birdThe Veda is the underlying essence and structure of creation.  Born of the Self-interacting dynamic of Oneness, consciousness, its structure is the language of nature… infinitely rich and all pervading.  Every word is abundant with meaning and knowledge. Each word embodies the wholeness of knowledge from which it was born.  Through Vedic cognition, the hymns of the Veda have come to us. Yet the translation and interpretation of those hymns is as elusive as is nature Herself. No wonder that the sublime knowledge of existence is so easily lost.

One verse of Rig Veda is usually interpreted as a prayer to retrieve lost cows. Maharshi has interpreted the lost cows to be the senses.  To retrieve them is to bring them home to the transcendent…  to unify them with the one essence of existence. This means to retire from relativity and return to the transcendent.  The term used in the verse is Nivartadhvam… interpreted to mean ‘retire’.  It is found in Rig Veda 10.19.1 and also in the Srimad Bhagavatam 8.21.19.

Yet Nivartadhvam is everywhere.  The very pulsation of an electron, the rising and setting of the Sun, the creation and dissolution of the universe… all of existence is in a cycle of retiring from one thing to the next… Nivartadhvam. For anything to be created, the former must be retired from… sometimes said to be destroyed. However the word “destroy” has connotations that may mislead.  In that sense, Shiva, the destroyer,  may be better referred to as the transcendent… that to which all retires or rests into.  It is easy to see how readily the knowledge is lost when we attempt to grasp the ungraspable… to define the unbounded value of anything.

Vedic studies are permeated with translations and interpretations. In so doing, the underlying essence, the true meaning is readily lost.  As a result, over time, people cease to appreciate it.  The knowledge slips through the fingers of humanity.  This is why Adi Shankara said the knowledge must be purified generation after generation. We are fortunate to live in a time when that purification of the knowledge is taking place.

Jai Guru Dev
Jai Shiva Shankara


© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.


  1. Profound, Beautiful, awesome…

    Thank you for always giving us such profound knowledge to reflect upon.

    Class and retreat were great!!!

    Love, Naomi

  2. This beautiful and also quite comforting. Your words reassure me that change and creation of the new does not require the “destruction” of all I know, but rather my resting into my Self so I can move forward.

  3. Beautiful! Thinking of Shiva as calling us h-om-e, and of us as retiring to him, the one, the transcendent is very helpful. It feels much easier to relate to then the “destroyer,” although he certainly destroys our ignorance as well.

    Nivartadhvam… May we all retire to the Divine…

    Jai Guru Dev

  4. I have said it is a great time to be alive.It feels like it is a great time to be alive..yet it also feels a little silly to say that because..duhh..I am alive.The truth is I probably don’t even realize actually how lucky I am to be alive at this time.All I know is how it feels and the only words I have to express it are,”IT IS A GREAT TIME TO BE ALIVE”

  5. I find this profoundly beautiful and comforting.
    Thank you, eternally.