Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya
Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya is a Sanskrit verse taken from the “Pavana Mantra” from the great Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. The Pavana Mantra, also known as Pavamana Abhyaroha is a mantra that originated in ancient India from the key scripture of various schools of Hinduism, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya

The mantra Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya got its existence as a mantra or a prayer that was recited as the introductory praise of the Soma Sacrifice (rituals performed in front of the sacred fire while chanting mantras). The patron who used to sponsor the sacrifice used to chant this mantra while performing and initiating the Soma Sacrifice.

The mantra is of great value and holds highly sacred and wise meanings inside it. This Sanskrit verse has served as a guiding principle for a lot of people from ancient India and for the people who follow Hinduism’s teachings in their lives.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya Meaning

Tamso Ma Jyotigamaya is Sanskrit in origin. This phrase is a part of full Sanskrit prayer that gives a sense of subtle acknowledgment towards real life. In Sanskrit, “tamas” means “darkness” and “jyotir” means “light”, which makes the literal meaning of this phrase as,

“From darkness, lead me to light.”

The symbolic and deep meanings of this phrase are about the state of self-awareness and enlightenment. Being aware of our inner self and the omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent power reflects the true meaning of this phrase. It is a mantra that brings serenity to souls. It gives your heart, mind, and bodies the strength to deal with struggles.

“From darkness, lead me to light.”

This phrase has two parts. One being “from darkness” illustrates how in the times of Kaliyug we are surrounded by many evils, harms, and sins. How this world is full of gloominess and ignorance. How every other day we face various sorts of negative energies around us. And how we are stuck in a constant state of reversal. 

The other part “lead me to light” elucidates the endeavor for betterment and calmness. It gives you the power to make your way out of all the darkness. It motivates you to keep going even in times of desperation, depression, and exigency. It aids you towards a life of self-embodiment, self-love, modesty, and serenity.

This mantra is a wholesome concept that benefits in many stages of life. It is a complete and perfect ideology that guides people towards self-betterment and self-judgment. It motivates them towards the progress and well-being of minds and souls.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya in Sanskrit

This phrase comes from the Sanskrit language. The pronunciation of this mantra goes as “tah-mah-so mah jyo-teer-gah-mah-yah”.It belongs to Bṛhadāraṇyakopaniṣat (a philosophical Sanskrit textbook of Hinduism). It reads as,

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya in Sanskrit

“तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।“

“Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya”

This Sanskrit phrase has some strong meanings attached to it. It not only speaks for the religious point of view but also for the calmness of minds and souls. It obscures all sorts of darkness and flashes the ray of light and hope.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya Sloka

This phrase “Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya” is a part of a whole Sanskrit sloka. This sloka is the epitome of peace of mind and souls. This sloka brings your mind and heart closer towards religion, calmness, peacefulness, morality, and humbleness. The complete sloka reads as,

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya Sloka

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih
||

O Lord, lead me from untruth to truth

Lead me from darkness to light

Lead me from death to immortality

Om Peace Peace Peace

The meaning of this whole sloka is very deep-rooted and diverse. Every phrase of this sloka carries within itself a vast ocean of philosophical and religious points of view. Here, “from untruth to truth” means from the phenomenal unreal world towards the reality. “From darkness to light” means “from a state of ignorance to the state of knowledge.”. And “from death to immortality” means “to go from the worldly mortality to the state of immortality i.e self-realization.”

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya is taken from?

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya- a phrase originally a part of a Sanskrit Shanti Mantra. It is taken from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishads ( बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद् ). The Brihadaranyaka Upanishads are the earliest and the principal Upanishads of Hinduism.

This Upanishad is the basic structure for most of the schools for Hinduism. It is basically an exposition to Atman (a Sanskrit word for inner self spirit or soul). The Upanishad includes various passages on ethics, metaphysics, philosophy, psychology, and the history of medieval scholars.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya is taken from?

The sloka “tamso ma jyotirgamaya” is taken from the popular “Pavamana Mantra” of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28). This mantra was originally recited by the patron who introduced the “Soma Sacrifice”. Today, the recitation of this mantra takes place in schools during prayer time. And is now recited by every Hindu as a prayer to seek the peace of mind and soul.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya Logo

There is no such logo of this mantra but as this phrase particularizes to move towards the light from darkness, “a lighted diya” makes the most perfect logo for “tamso ma jyotirgamaya”.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya

Why a diya is the perfect analogy for this mantra? It is because the diya holds a very sacred view in Hinduism. In ancient India and even in present India, a well-litted diya is religiously considered as a symbol of positive and good signs. It displays a picture of a cultural, religious, and ethnic society. It creates an atmosphere of positivities and brings a ray of light to the darkness around us. Thus, a diya seamlessly represents “tamso ma jyotirgamaya” and efficiently demonstrates its true meaning of bringing light in the darkness.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya Song

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya- the Shanti Mantra or the Mantra of Peace has now become the most popular song of the present times. It is usually chanted as a mantra to calm the nerves, mind, body, and soul. It is also sung at many Hindu religious, cultural, spiritual, and social gatherings. Moreover, it is also recited as a prayer in various Hinduism schools of India. Additionally, now it is also used as a yoga chant to help distillate from the surrounding world.

Tamso ma jyotirgamaya song is recently used as a “Navras” soundtrack for the movie, The Matrix Resolution. The lyrics of this song not only give a religious touch to your heart but also a touch of lightness and tranquillity. Many singers like Arijit Singh, Jagjit Singh, Ravi Shankar etc have sung this mantra beautifully. The beauty of this mantra lies in the fact that no matter who the voice is, the lyrics when heard give a sense of serenity to every soul and everybody. 

The lyrics of this mantra are Sanskrit in origin. They are taken from the “Pavamana Mantra” of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28). But, because of the cosmic influence of this mantra it has now gained a more sacred and spiritual value.

Sanskrit Lyrics:

असतोमा सद्गमय ।

तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय ।

मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥

ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ।।

Sanskrit Lyrics Translated to English:

asato mā sadgamaya

tamasomā jyotir gamaya

mrityormāamritam gamaya

Oṁ śhānti śhānti śhāntiḥ

English Lyrics:

From ignorance, lead me to truth;

From darkness, lead me to light;

From death, lead me to immortality

Om peace, peace, peace

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya Prayer

This mantra is a true prayer- the seeker’s cry for assistance in transcendence. This prayer is not like other prayers of materialistic worldly things like shelter, food, riches, fame, success, and glory. But, it is a prayer for the everlasting things like knowledge, understanding, humanity, and self-satisfaction. Those who desire the true wealth of knowledge seek comfort through this prayer. And those who want to understand the purpose of their life, this world, and God, pray this mantra to fill their hearts with satisfaction.

“asato ma sadgamaya” (असतोमा सद्गमय ।)

“Lead me from the asat to the sat”

The first line of this prayer includes two words “asat” and “sat”. Although, the Sanskrit meanings of these words are very diverse and some of them are not even applicable here. So, the properly applicable meanings of these words are “untruth/non-reality” for asat, and “truth/reality” for sat. After understanding the meanings of these words we can figure out the basic concept of leading towards “sat ( The Truth)”.

According to the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, the concept of being true is to remain true at all times. It means that if something has been regarded with the title of being true, then it must remain true in past, present, and future. And if we contemplate over this, only one such thing will come to our mind as the indisputable Truth– that is our God. So, this will become our true reality and in this phrase, we seek to move towards reality.

Whereas, if we look at our universe and its things, we will see that each and everything present here is in a constant state of change, growth, and deterioration. So, we can not count these things as reality. This explains the concept of “asat”- that is the unreal world and its possessions.

“tamso ma jiyotirgamaya”

(तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।)

“Lead me from darkness to light”

The second line of this prayer depicts darkness as “ignorance” and light as “knowledge”. Ignorance is indeed the darkness of minds and souls. It restricts and obscures a person’s ability to think, differentiate, and understand the concepts of good and evil. While knowledge outlines and highlights the abilities of humbleness, humanity, and spirituality.

When we surround ourselves within all kinds of darkness we feel suffocated, restricted, and limited. So, we chant this mantra to keep our hearts pure and to lift our spirits towards the light of knowledge and understanding. As we flood our hearts and souls with the best knowledge of religion, ethics, and morality the clouds of darkness and gloominess vanishes with a beat.

“mrtyorma amrtam gamaya”

(मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥)

“Lead me from death to immortality”

The third line of this prayer preaches humbleness and kindness. Here immortality means “self-realization or acknowledgment” and mortality means “the possessions of this world”. It is a prayer to help us understand our one true self.

The realization of our deeds, actions, emotions, and feelings is the best form of being humble and down to earth. If you are true to your own self nothing can ever harm you because self-satisfaction is the ultimate goal to happiness and well-being.

Tamso Ma Jiyotrigamaya Essay

The literal meaning of Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya is ‘from darkness, lead me to light.’ The true essence of this mantra is not limited to the dynamics of the world, instead, this mantra is a cry for help that arises from the heart of a wandering human who realizes his limitedness in the universe.

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya symbol

This mantra doesn’t mean to ask for prosperity (light) from poverty (darkness) in terms of food, health, success, glory, fame, or worldly wealth. Rather, this mantra means that the wanderer has realized that everything that we seek in the world to be important, in reality, holds no importance in human life.

Even if one has achieved everything that they may ask for, there will always be the darkness that is left inside them undiscovered. A person will only repent to the true meaning of this mantra when they will have recognized the true meaning of life which is beyond the measure of all worldly blessings.

People who recite these mantras in their daily routine after the morning arcana and the evening arati know what this means. They realize the value of temporary possessions and are trying to seek eternal light.

The temporary nature of the world that makes a person seek this mantra is the way nature works. The changing of the seasons, the planetary motions, and the shifting of the seasons make them realize that how temporary everything in this world is.

Even the mental state of a human mind is not fixed and changes over time with different experiences. Everything that seems real for once changes sooner or later leaving behind a sense of incompletion that one seeks to fulfill with this mantra.

courtesy: google images

References:

  1. https://greenmesg.org/stotras/vedas/om_asato_ma_sadgamaya.php
  2. https://www.quora.com/What-does-Tamaso-ma-jyotir-gamaya-mean
  3. https://www.lyrics.cat/lyrics+tamaso+maa+jyotir+gamaya+lyrics
  4. http://aumamen.com/prayer/asatoma-sadgamaya-lyrics-and-meaning
  5. https://www.gktoday.in/question/tamso-ma-jyotirgamaya-lead-us-from-darkness-to-lig
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brihadaranyaka_Upanishad
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavamana_Mantra

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