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Vyahriti – The Madhva View

The three mystic syllables bhuh, bhuvah, suvah elucidate the meaning of omkar. There is a fourth Vyahriti known as mahah and known to Chaturmukha Brahma. The monosyllable om is the nomenclature of Parabrahman. It is so concise that it is not easily cognizable. Hence bhuh, bhuvah, suvah – the three syllables which are calledthe vyahritis – explain om, and thereby Parabrahman, too.

Rig Bhashya of Madhavacharya states that the vyahriti explains omkar. The three padas of Gayatri explain the vyahritis. The three padas of Gayatri explain the vyahritis. The three Riks of Purushasukta explain Gayatri. The three Vedas and all the Oriental literature explain Pusushasukta. Rig Bhashya explains the omkar and vyahritis as om that is complete with an infinite number of auspicious qualities and free from any blemishes, bhuh that is perfect in all aspects, bhuvah that is all-sided glory and suvah that is supersaturated with bliss.

The four vyahritis are governed by four forms of Vishnu or Narayana, namely, Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Sankarshana and Vasudeva.

Taittirya Bhashya explains that the four vyahritis are the four aspects or anga (limbs) of Bhagavan Vishnu namely Anirudha (head), Pradyumna (hands), Sankarshana (feet) and Vasudeva (body). However, there is no difference between these forms. Although Vedas, Pancharatra, and other Oriental literature have explained Brahman, none of them is so concise and so effective as bhuh, bhuvah and suvah. Hence these are termed as vyahritis.

The Vedic teacher instructs his pupils in detail regarding the greatness of vyahritis, the governing forms of God, their pervasion and action in the macro and microcosms and the results of meditating on this as vidya. First, Upanishads explain how the vyahritis and governing forms pervade and function in the Universe (macrocosm). The four mystic syllables represent – loka (region), tejas (light), Vedas (scripture), prana (vital air), in that order.

The region covers terrestrial region, intervening space, and heaven. Light covers fire, air, sun and moon. Scriptures cover Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. Vital air covers prana, apana, vyana and anna.

Influence of vyahritis forms in the microcosm space inside the heart, space in palatial region, root of the hair, and parietal bone joint. Also they cover speech, hearing, knowledge, and head.

The vyahritis like bhuh and others and forms like Aniruddha and other pervade and function in all the above macro and miro-zones in the same order.

The benefit of meditating on bhuh is that it bestows inspiration, intelligence and luminescence. ‘Om Bhuh’ bestows abundant glory and useful wealth. ‘Om Suvah’ bestows abundant happiness and tranquility.

Chandogya Upanishad highlights another importance of vyahritis. The tree oblations offered utilize the three vyahritis in yajna and homa, to compensate for procedural lapses. The Yogopanishad also extols the importance of vyahritis.