|Chapter 17||The Threefold Divisions of Material Existance||Verse 26,27|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The auspiciousness of the word SAT is being glorified by Lord Krishna. SAT is the sound vibration representing the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence and to exemplify eternal goodness and the purity of creation. For any Vedic rite enjoined to be performed under the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures by authorised Vaisnavas and brahmanas; SAT will also be vibrated in conjunction with OM and TAT. Steadiness and concentration in yagnas or propitiation and worship is also deemed as SAT. All activities directly performed for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord such as collection of articles for offering like ghee or clarified butter from a cow, sweeping and cleaning the temple of the Supreme Lord, singing devotional songs in glorification of the Supreme Lord, making flower garlands for Lord Krishna or any authorised incarnation and expansion as revealed in Vedic scriptures, etc. All these direct activities are deemed as SAT. Even indirect activities that assist in accomplishing the direct activities such as establishing flower gardens and agricultural fields, harvesting fruits, rice and grains, acquiring wealth to be donated to the Vaisnava brahmana devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna, all these indirect activities are also deemed to be SAT. Therefore since OM TAT SAT are transcendental nomenclatures connected to the Supreme Lord and eternally auspicious they are recited at all Vedic rites by duly initiated Vaisnavas and brahmanas from one of the four sampradayas or authorised channels of disciplic succession as revealed in Vedic scriptures and by their efficacy perfect any defects or errors. To consider SAT as only a mere laudatory evocation is not consistent with the ultimate reality. SAT denotes creation, the eternal existence of the atma or immortal soul and perpetual goodness. SAT is understood to be an injunction with the maxim: SAT is eternally auspicious and always to be praised, honoured and glorified.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The word SAT denotes creation and eternal goodness. The pranava refers to the first breath OM which is vibrated at the commencement of all Vedic rites from the root word prana meaning breath. Properly pronouncing the pranava OM as AH--OOOH--MMMMM while comprehensively understanding its meaning without the slightest desire for rewards, by performing yagnas or propitiation and worship to the Supreme Lord with devotion and tapah or austerities and danam or charity as matter of duty, by japa chanting the holy names of the Supreme Lord Krishna: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare With great respect and love as well as the names of any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures are all considered SAT. Thus by duly initiated Vaisnava brahmanas evoking the sacred sound vibrations OM TAT SAT, the Supreme Lord is verily propitiated and worshipped.
The Rig Veda confirms that yagnas that are performed for the exclusive satisfaction of the Supreme Lord without the slightest trace for expectation of rewards and are designated OM TAT SAT. The Vedas call these three divine sounds the performers of Vedic rites due to the fact that the potency of vibrating OM TAT SAT perfects any defects, insures success and pleases the Supreme Lord granting communion with Him.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The Supreme Lord Krishna explains that the word SAT denotes eternal existence and perpetual goodness. The words sad-bhave exemplifies eternal existence and the words sadhu-bhave exemplifies perpetual goodness. This is the correct understanding in which SAT is to be comprehended in the Vedas as well as its utilisation by the recitation of SAT in prescribed Vedic rituals performed exclusively by the Vaisnavas and brahmanas. Similarly the transcendental sound of SAT may be evoked for any auspicious activity ordained by the Vedic scriptures by duly initiated Vaisnava brahmanas in any of the 480,000 types of humans existing throughout creation.
To follow the prescribed Vedic duties of yagna or propitiation and worship by the Vaisnava brahmanas, tapah or austerities by the ksatriyas the royal warrior class and danam or charity by the vaisyas or merchant class are all considerd in sattva guna or mode of goodness because they are conscientiously following the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures. Thus all such activities are known as SAT denoting perpetual goodness and due to being dedicated to the Supreme Lord they possess auspicious attributes of an eternal nature and for this they are also known as SAT.
Thus the relationship of OM TAT SAT to the Vedas, the performance of prescribed Vedic activities performed by Vaisnava brahmanas and protected by the ksatriyas while supported by the vaisyas clearly and succinctly demonstrates what is factually Vedic in society and what is actually situated in sattva guna while simultaneously clarifying comprehensively by the logic of opposing parallels what is not Vedic in society and thus doomed to the perdition of exclusion from the ascending orbit of sattva guna.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna now reveals the glories of the divine sound SAT which is also a name for the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence. SAT is well established throughout the Vedic scriptures as the epitome of the ultimate truth and always recited in Vedic rituals. SAT confirms the ultimate reality and extinguishes any doubt or misconception about the non- existence of that ultimate reality which manifests all realities. SAT represents perpetual goodness in the eternal spiritual worlds as well as the temporary material worlds. The performance of all prescribed Vedic activities such as marriage or birth ceremonies is known to be SAT. SAT is also devotion to the Supreme Lord in the form of planting Tulasi and offering her leaves unto the Supreme Lord, picking flowers for garlands for the Supreme Lord. Constructing temples for the Supreme Lord, collecting wealth for the Supreme Lord, cleaning the temple floor for the Supreme Lord, singing, dancing and playing musical instruments before the diety form of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His aurthorised incarnations as revealed in Vedic scriptures is all SAT as well. Any activity directly or indirectly related to the service, pleasure and satisfaction of the Supreme Lord as revealed in Vedic scriptures is also deemed as SAT. During yagna or propitiation and worship by the Vaisnavas and brahmanas the priestly class, tapah or austerities by the ksatriyas the royal warrior class and the danam or charity by the merchant class the absence of the conception of rewards for services rendered is SAT.
Here the particles sa iti ca referring to SAT is used twice. The first usage denotes limitation by the words karma ca eva meaning matter of duty. The second usage denotes unlimited by the words tad-arthyiam meaning for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord. Thus it has been established by the parallel logic of opposites that activities devoted to the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions always follow sanatan dharma or eternal righteousness and can never be unrighteous. Whereas activities not devoted to the Supreme Lord Krishna regardless of how noble and well meaning they may be are never situated in righteousness because they exclude Him.
The Chandogya Upanisad VIII.I.VI beginning tad yatheha karmajito lokah states: Those who at the time of death depart their bodies without realising the atma or immortal soul which is the goal of human existence for them moksa or liberation does not exist anywhere. But those who depart their physical body at the time of death having realised the atma have achieved the goal of human existence and experience moksa everywhere in all worlds. What could be more pathetic and sorrowful then performing prodigious austerities for impermanent results and wasting one's life in the pursuit and acquisition of temporary materialistic rewards which have absolutely no value longer then the moment of death in a brief span of life not even reaching 100 years.
So even by performing prescribed Vedic activities perfectly while harbouring desires for fame, wealth, power and dominion in this life; or performed for entry into the heavenly planets in the next life to enjoy without the burdens of old age and disease and fully satisfy the senses with exquisite and beautiful heavenly maidens who want to enjoy fully as well. All these thingy are as ephemeral as mist in the sun. When the merits of such activities are exhausted such jivas or embodied beings incarnate again in the material worlds of mortals to reap what they sow. In this way addicted to the rituals of the Vedic scriptures and attached to the rewards of the heavenly planets they remain revolving in the orbit of samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death incessantly. Contrarily all activities dedicated to the Supreme Lord for His exclusive satisfaction without the slightest desire for any reward are of an eternal nature and bestow immeasurable benefit. Lord Krishna confirms in chapter 18 verse 56 beginning: sarva-karmanyapi sada meaning: Although always performing unlimited activities, by the mercy of the Supreme Lord and protected by Him one assuredly achieves the eternal, imperishable spiritual realm.
Thus it has been established that vibrating the divine and transcendental sounds of OM TAT SAT at the commencement of all Vedic activities comprised in the ordinances and injunctions prescribed in the Vedic scriptures is eternally auspicious; if performed with devotion for the exclusive satisfaction of the Supreme Lord Krishna with full faith in Him or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions. In this way by the power and potency invested in OM TAT SAT all Vedic activities are insured success and confer eternal benedictions for the highest good of creation and all living entities.