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Meaning - Om Purnam Adah Purnam Idam

  पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते। पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते॥ (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 5.1.1)

‘The mantra "Om Purnam Adah Purnam Idam" is a shanti mantra and it comes from the Ishavasya Upanishad and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, both belonging to the Shukla Yajurveda. It serves as a peace invocation, invoking the Supreme Consciousness, Brahman.

Purnam adah: This indicates that Brahman, the ultimate reality, is omnipresent and all-pervading. Just as space exists everywhere without limitation, Brahman permeates everything in existence.

Purnam idam: This part of the mantra signifies that everything perceived as limited and distinct in the manifest world is also Brahman in essence. Despite appearances of diversity and multiplicity, all phenomena are fundamentally rooted in Brahman.

Purnat purnam udacyate: Here, it is suggested that the manifest world emerges from Brahman as its cause. The diversity and multiplicity of the world are manifestations of the underlying unity of Brahman.

Purnasya purnam adaya: Through the knowledge of the Self (Atmavidya), one recognizes the inherent oneness of all existence. By overcoming the ignorance of separateness and understanding that even the manifest world is an expression of Brahman, one attains realization.

Purnam eva avashishyate: This part emphasizes that only Brahman remains in the end, both within and without. Brahman is characterized by pure knowledge and consciousness, transcending all limitations and dualities.

Acharya Shankaracharya's commentary highlights three key points for contemplation:

Oneness of Brahman: Everything, including the manifest world and pure Consciousness, is Brahman. This realization is the ultimate truth of existence.

Cause-effect relationship: There is a causal connection between Brahman and the manifest world. The diversity of the world emanates from the underlying unity of Brahman.

Sadhana towards realization: Despite the truth of Brahman, one must engage in spiritual practices (Sadhana) to attain this knowledge. Mere intellectual understanding is insufficient; one must internalize and realize the truth experientially.

In summary, the mantra "Om Purnam Adah Purnam Idam" encapsulates profound truths about the nature of reality, emphasizing the omnipresence of Brahman, the unity underlying diversity, and the importance of spiritual realization through Sadhana.