Archive for category Language of Morality

A Hindu-centric World-view

Abstract:

A linguistic framework for a Hindu world-view, based from within the SanAtana traditions, is presented; this finds Indian subcontinent as the geographical focal point of worldly affairs. Reasonably widely known (as implied by the author) among the Astika Wanderers since time immemorial – albeit here drawing upon available empirical detail – this world-view envisions the entanglements of Devata-s with the mundane realm.

Discussion:

Figure-A

Hindu-geo

         In Figure-A, two red lines are shown drawn across the India map:

   A vertical line running at Longitude [77.5°±1.0°]; a horizontal line at Latitude [10.0°±1.0°]. Their intersection point – just north of Kerala and Tamilnadu, and south of Karnataka – is earmarked here as the Origin point (KumAra-Granthi). Regions falling in the Left nADI of BhAratI are shown in red rectangular shades, whereas the rest of the regions (blue rectangular) belong to the Right nADI of BhAratI.

chart

   The red regions are primarily Devis’ Kshetra-s/domains, the blue ones are primarily Devas’ Kshetra-s. In Deva-Kshetra, societies evolve as conservative, industrial, male dominant, and tend to practise systematized religions (Deva oriented). Devi-Kshetra cultures evolve as socialistic, creative, female oriented, and practise diverse localized religions (Devi oriented).

     These influences also culminate in a specific Triangular representation of India:

1) KaumAra-vertex (South); Prototypical

2) Ashvina-vertex (West); Sarasvati cultures

3) Hanumat-vertex (East); GAnga cultures

Figure-B

Hindu-world

   Next, in Figure-B the same red lines are extended throughout the globe. China, Russia (to an extent), South American, South African nations etc – as expected – fall in the Red regions, whereas Europe, Mid-East, Australia, etc are in the Blue. The nations beyond India can hardly be classified as Astika, so the modes of worship are not Hindu (though still classifiable from Hindu perspective), yet other indicators (e.g. socialistic/communist proclivity of Red, and liberal/conservative of Blue, etc) fit in perfectly with the model.

   The North American nations show roughly equal regions between Red and Blue, though not in an as diversified manner as India (which possesses the KumAra-Granthi).

   India’s diversity is a hidden gift, but if not properly handled by the policy makers and the intellectuals can easily devolve into mindless chaos and self destruction. Indians’ own detachment from their roots combined with steadily decreasing levels of intelligence makes the matter no better.

On the Triangular Representation:

1) KaumAra-vertex (South); prototypical

      2) Ashvina-vertex (West); Sarasvati cultures

  3) Hanumat-vertex (East); GAnga cultures

 These are the three orthogonal centres of core-competencies that through interactions amongst themselves create the whole Astika homeland. Linguistically these are the centres of Dravidian, Sanskrit, and Munda families respectively, all other regions in-between being “Krigian geostatistical” mix of the three.

  So even as the KaumAra-vertex can be somewhat seen as the first among equals, the mutual interactions among the three are more on the lines of contemporaneous. For example, the mandAra parvata “used” in Samudra Manthana (a Southern event) is located in the Bihar-Jharkhand region (near Hanumat vertex).

  Another way to understand this is with the analogy of Antenna: the three vertices constitute an antenna array like system — creating a space inside (the triangular region) where internal communication (without interference) happens, and a space outside where signals are transmitted.

  The three vertices, however, are far from being alike: as discussed earlier, the Southern vertex constitutes of both deva & devi kshetra-s within a rather condensed territory. The other two centres — Ashvina & Hanumat are attuned to deva and devi influences respectively and have a lot of freedom for space and movement.

  Ashvina vertex — being deva oriented, outwards looking, and male dominant – was responsible for taking the lead in the codifying of Astika knowledge system in the form of Veda. Both the Veda and the “universal” language it was expressed in were built bottom-up in an industrial-like fashion, even as these truly belonged to the time immemorial inter-communication within the triangle of the insiders’ space.


P.S.
There is also this (“off-the-radar”) tradition of Veda mUrti-s where each Veda itself is known as a deity having unique face:

Rg-veda: रासभाननः (Donkey face)
Sama-veda: हयाननः (Horse face)
Yajur-veda: अजाननः (Goat faced)
Atharva-veda: मर्कटाननः (Monkey face)

So, even as Ashvin koNa took lead in putting expression to the Veda, this tradition indicates that –
1) the Rk & the sAman come originally from the Ashvin-vertex (donkey and horse both belong to equus genus).
2) Atharvan comes originally from the Hanumat-vertex.
3) Yajus comes originally from the KaumAra-vertex (अज understood as “prototypical”; आदेः जायते).

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Bālāji, the Lord of Tirupati : meaning of the name

Consider two words: बालाजी and रामाजी.
जी is honorific. Also, बाला and रामा both are in vocative.

Both बाल and राम, fundamentally mean: “male”
So बालाजी (as well as रामाजी) means:
“He”
(with a capital h)

Of course that would be Lord Vishnu here.
The actual accents – how people down South here – pronounce बालाजी supports what I said.

The moral of the story:
a) Sanskrit lost accents.
b) Sanskrit lost varied use of vocative.
c) Tradition is therefore, as an authority, higher than a loukika bhAShA, and shouldn’t be doubted so easily.

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रामा as a vocative is in universal use in प्राकृतम् (i.e. not only Hindi) throughout Northern India. And this is indeed naturalistic, evidenced by other uses (in a-ending nouns) such as यारा (vocative) for यार (male friend), and therefore is not borrowed.

regarding बाला,

Again, in the North we have:
बालमा (voc.) and बलमा (voc.) for बालम (male friend) and बलम (male friend).

balls : testicles, ball : round object, ballsy : courageous, bald : no hair on (round) scalp (thus exposed), bull, bell, etc.

Hindi: बल manly power, बाल hair growing on (round) scalp, बाला bangle (round), बाली earring (round), बेल a round fruit, बाली Sugreeva’s powerful brother, बैल, etc.

In fact, shaving head at Tirupati could be related to the word root.

जी following a vocative is easy to understand. But the deeper question is indeed of the original uses of vocative that modern Sanskrit has lost. We will come to this point later but for now, let us understand बाला as the vocative qualifying जि: the nominative to produce बालाजि:, or बालाजी: the nominative.

To summarise, I must emphasise again that बालाजी means “He” / पुंदेवता (not related to Bala-Krishna as speculated by some).
The historical questions are highly irrelevant, since the “He” could have been any male deity, theoretically. The exchange of deities, among different dhārmika orientations, in the long histories of temples is a commonly observed phenomenon all over India. There is more unity among dhārmika traditions than what is acknowledged superficially. The point is, the spiritual power remains the same. However, this has not stopped many trouble mongers from peddling unnecessarily, without proper context or acumen, in such matters.

The validation of the meaning “He” (पुंदेवता) comes in the existence of quite a few Hanumāna temples (in Rajasthan) that are also called as Balaji temples, and also at least one Sūrya temple in Madhyapradesha again called a Balaji temple.

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बल (= वल) can be said to be the root word here. By applying different vowels and semivowels we get all other instances (including yavana words such as vale, valley, wall, ball, bull, etc etc).

One of Indra’s enemies is known as वल (also बल). वल, just like वृत्र, is a power of असत् that encompasses, encircles, and isolates realms. Since Vaidika words are self-referencing, and original, the purest meaning of वल is this: circle, or something circled. An immediate example: वलय.

The next purest instance I can think of is the vel of vel-murukan. This vel is mystically understood to be the piercer of the barrier (here, वल). From here we can see बल also getting its meaning: manly power, or even the male organ. So we have बैल etc.

In my view, therefore, in the North-West of India (or likely in Maharashtra itself) we had the word mutation of वल as वल and बल (e.g. in Punjabi: वल्ले-वल्ले and बल्ले-बल्ले) and there onwards it spread to IE worlds. However, before the mutation, the word had its origin in the South as वेल.

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Name nArAyaNa नारायण : A truer understanding

Summary:
Calling shrI viSNu instead as “nArAyaNa” is a serious disrespect, even if borne out of ignorance, towards shrI viSNu: Narayana is a proper name of shrI sUrya, a Vedic god. Narayana as an epithet of shrI viSNu, no problems, but as a proper name itself — is a huge denigration of both shrI viSNu and Vedic Dharma.

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nAra means waters, also means woman, mother.
And AyaNa : let us just say, it means “refuge”.
Indeed, we are not talking about “Samudra” (the Father) here, instead we are talking about Apah, nAra, Mothers’ expanse.

Who is the first born of Mother? In Shaiva tradition it is gaNesha, and equivalently in Vedic it is shri agni, also called “apAma-napAta” i.e. waters’ child.

Surya is the highest deity in the span of shri agni the aSTa-vasu and therefore understood as the very first manifestation of Creation from Mother’s womb of Infinity. The first God that we can understand in terms of forms and worship accordingly. The overlord, as well as the guide, of all Creation.

shri viSNu, a “composite God” like shri agni, has a still far greater scope (pervading virtually everything within it) than even shri agni, and therefore He obviously “contains” Surya also within Himself (in the infinite unbroken continuity of His being).
In this way He can assume any of the various deities’ names as His adjectives. This is not the same as calling His proper name as something which is a proper name of some other deity.

However, the avatAra who can indeed take Narayana as His proper name is the Avatara of Lord who comes in the Surya-mode of shri viSNu.

And that would be, shri rAma. Ever heard of “rAmAyaNa”? The sacred book that is the refuge of all mortals? Ramayana is Narayana.

Does Rama-Narayana ring a bell? yes?
Does Krishna-Narayana ring a bell? No?

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If we try go deeper into the famed “nara, nArAyaNa, hari, kriSNa” found in the purANa-s, by comparing with the mahA-mantra “hare kriSNa hare kriSNa..” we find that hari and kriSNa are common to both listings.

nara is nothing but the divine human inflated within us. So we are left with the word nArAyaNa being same as the name rAma of the mahA-mantra.

shri rAma – the superhero of rAmAyaNa, when exhausted in the war against rAvaNa, was advised to worship shri sUrya (in Aditya stotram) in order to regain strength by tapping into His very own source (sUrya).

But do I mean then that shri rAma was an incarnation of sUrya deva, not of shri viSNu?

No. karNa in the mahAbhArata was a manifestation of sUrya. But when we talk about avatAra, we say: “shri rAma was viSNu’s avatAra in the mode of sUrya.” We can, otherwise, find many similarities between karNa and shri rAma. But karNa wasn’t an avatAra. People in the anga-pradesha even to this day remember the rule of karNa as fondly as the rest of Hindus remember the rAma-rAjya.

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rAma nAma and nArAyaNa nAma:

Many Hindus cultivate a habit of using the rAma nAma frequently, such as by greeting each other using the nAma (“Jai shri rAma”, etc). The secret behind this is no secret at all: we do it so that the nAma is on our lips for one final time again when we are about to die.

RAma is the shortest path to what Vedanta knows as “moksha”. I equated rAma nAma to nArAyaNa earlier in this thread. Notice the “rA” sound common to both (same that occurs in surya who is bhArata-bhAratI).

So, yes, we are not talking about finite entities here at all. We are talking strictly about the “Infinites”, the “its” here.

Read the following carefully to understand this:

Let me explain the idea using the material analogy (a valid method). Let us then talk about the material space (bhaga-AkAsha) that we are surrounded with. How do we characterise this space?

Clearly, bhaga-AkAsha is attribute less. Yet we say, “here we have so and so length, so and so width, and so and so depth”. Thus, we still are able to talk about the infinite in terms of “length”, “width”, and “height” which are very much finites. This is known as understanding the infinite using the language of finite.

In surya who is bhArata-bhAratI, the bhArata-component is an aMsha of Sri Indra, while the bhAratI-component (a mighty Devi as well) is an aMsha of Narayana.

In this way, to the Vedic Rsis all knowledge was expressed in terms of the aindra (Vedic Sanskrit is called Aindra): Indra classifies the finites by “divide-and-rule”, but also makes out the infinites using the Aindra reception (also known as “inducing”, “induction” etc – these words are rooted in Indu and Indra).

To come back to the original analogy, what do the Aindra description of bhaga-AkAsha (material space) using length, width and depth (there could be actually many more such finites such as position, momentum, energy, etc) tell us?

This description by the three finites tells us about the existence of three Infinites within the space. What are their names?

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Let us now come out of the analogy. The point I tried to demonstrate here was that: “there are more than one Infinite”. There are more than one States of what Vedanta calls “mOkSa”. And Narayana is the deity, the “it”, who is the closest such state. Narayana is therefore also the first deity of this class encountered by our specially talented ancestors, the Rsis, when they were on their “straightest path”, when they toiled hard to pave the way forward for humanity.

The names nara, nArAyaNa, hari and krishNa – spell out a very important formula (though still not the whole of the sanAtana-truth), and all these four names are seen on an equal footing, yet they are different from each other: nara is all the finite worlds combined, whereas the three others are three different Infinites, three different “its”.

I hope I made myself clear here.

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On the intellectual plane, let me point out that the Rsis nara, nArAyaNa, hari and krishNa belonged to Satyuga (ref. MahAbhArata). In satayuga shri viSNu doesn’t incarnate: there is no need for it.

So these four were Rsis who specialised in four very important modes of shri viSNu. This is how these names today are quoted more in the context of Vaishnavism. Though, these four names, and the deities behind them, can in a still valid way appear in Shaiva or any other Dharmika paradigm as well. Thus, for example, we see Swamy Satya-narayana’s vigraha (in the ancient and important satya-narayana temple in Annavaram, Andhra Pradesh), though still considered on some kind of equivalence with shri rAma (who is believed to be the kshetra-pAlaka of the said temple), is also traditionally considered as “belonging” to all the three paradigms (also called deities): Shiva, Vishnu and BrahmA.

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Understanding The Indu-Saraswati Seals

The Indu-Saraswati seals of archaeological find provide a very keen insight, as also some hard evidence, into the deep Vedic roots of the (H)indu Civilization. The connection between the two: Vedic literature, and archaeological find: is apparently indeed natural, but it could be asked here- why, then, the connection has not been immediately evident to everyone? The answer to this question has more to do with a bad approach to the problem, than the “purported” mal-intent of some to distort an otherwise purely academic discourse.

The problem with the approach has been that it misconstrued the Vedic corpus as a “given” and an accessible resource, while the seals (and the other finds) were “meant” to be something inscrutable, mysterious that needed decoding. The reality, however, turns out to be just the opposite:

The seals- simple creations of artisans- are actually the “given”, whereas it is the Vedic texts that needed the decoding.

This problem is more a home-grown one than a conspiracy theory pointing to some foreign stake-holders:
Hindus have failed to understand the Vedic thought in its true light, and under the spell of relatively recent paradigms such as Vedanta continue to see the Veda as merely something of a ritual-book, karma-kANda. The Vedic Sanskrit (in which the Veda is written) is far richer than the Classical Sanskrit (in which the Vedanta is expressed), and this fact alone- if not anything else- should have alerted them that the quality of content should therefore also be far richer in the Vedic than in the post Vedic.

Anyway, enough on this already; here we will be discussing some of the depictions in the seals alongside an understanding from the Vedic view-point. For the conceptual framework- not much is explained here- the reader is advised to consult other posts of this blog-site.

ADITI and The Four Realms (lokA)

four_circles
This depiction relates to the Four Realms of Aditi, and the three-fold nature of each Realm is represented by three concentric circles in each of the quadrants. The circles (realms), naturally, also have contact points with the adjacent realms. “Asat” is the state of these realms when they are isolated from each other, whereas “Sat” is the state when these realms communicate with each other via the four contact points between them.

four_circles_2
This depiction is a secondary variation of the first one. In addition to the four realms, there is one more shown now in the center, indicative of the “Immortal” consciousness which is placed center of all the realms and their influences.

indus_sun
This seal focuses only on one realm, and as before there are three concentric circles, and also the fourth making a boundary giving effect of emanating Sun-rays. The circles therefore can also be seen as some kind of solar deities, also called Aditya-s, or the children of Aditi.

swastika
This one is still another variation of the Four Realms, idealized to the extreme by the use of plain straight lines. This symbol is known as Swastika and is the most sacred  (certainly more than the AUM) symbol of Hindus.

swastika_variant
This one is yet another idealized variation of Realms. The circles are not completely abandoned (not even in the present day Swastika) and are depicted as simple dots.

Yama
In a related symbology, this seal depicts Vedic God Yama having buffalo-horns (buffalo is His vAhana) for His crown. This goes against the earlier speculations about the figure being that of Shiva/ Rudra, though very few know about the close proximity of the two Vedic Gods Yama and Rudra. As a corroborative we can see four animals surrounding the kingly God: a Tiger (on His left bottom), an Elephant (on His left top), a Rhino (on right top) and a Buffalo (on right bottom). These four animals denote (in the postVedic mythology) the “contact points” between the four realms. Moreover, their sequencing is also right: Tiger is opposite Buffalo (Yama’s own place), and Elephant is opposite Rhino.

copyright: J M Kenoyer

copyright: J M Kenoyer

Finally, this one, as also discussed earlier in this post, depicts the Vedic God Vayu as an exotic imaginary animal, who is “made up” from an artistic synthesis of many different animals (yes, horse included), receiving Soma juice (soma pavamAna) from an equally exotic “Soma-juice-blender”-cum-“Sacrificial-altar” where the acts of sacrifice (Vedic Yagna) and the receiving of Soma-juice are simultaneously performed and effected. This is also how the communication lines are established between the two (of the four) realms: Heaven (Dyo) and Earth (Prithvi).

Bolsena Italy 700 BCE

Now let us look at the above pendant. Looks like yet another Vedic depiction of Swastika and Aditi’s Realms ? Well, only, this is from Bolsena, Italy  ( Etruscan, 700 BC at the farthest). The Indu-Saraswati seals discussed here, however, belong to 3000-2000 BC window. So, the pendant borrows from the Indu-Saraswati which is the source– if we go by the time-scales involved, by the richness and the variety evident of the original design as discussed earlier, and also by how this goes right to the heart and crux of the Vedic thought; finally, the stickiness and exact similarity between the two confirms a faithful transfer of religio-spiritual beliefs (normally associated with actual migrations/invasions of people).

There is more to say, no doubt, but let us leave it here for now.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER EXPLORATION:

1. RgVeda: A Summary

2. Conversations & Stories

3. RgVeda: The Real Meaning

4. THE RAMAYANA AND THE ROOTS OF PRE-CHRISTIANITY CIVILIZATION OF ITALY

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Hanumāna

Hinduism's biggest God

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PanchaJana पञ्चजन and The Five Yoga-s

From Vedanta वेदान्त generally one comes to know about the four Yoga-s योग as spiritual disciplines that can be practiced together or independent of each other.  Vedanta, however, has only made a collection of the already existing Yoga-s: bhakti भक्तिkarma कर्मrAja राज, and jnana ज्ञान.

Firstly, Vedanta did not create them.

Secondly, even then, one Yoga is missed out: the Yoga of “Artistic pursuits” (for the lack of better word).

The only place where these are talked about (and indeed discovered) is in the Veda, where the Five Yoga-s are called “The Five Tribes” (PanchJana/ पञ्चजन), where, the evolved mankind is thought of as “components” made from five kind of people: The Athlete (<Karma), The Lover (<Bhakti), The Artist, The Thinker (<Raja), and the Sage (<Jnana). Every Arya (Hindu) is invited to fully evolve himself using all these modes, together.

This is aligned to the way by which we can implement Dharma धर्म into the practical/ day-to-day aspects of our lives, something that holds further promise for our progress.

¿”The Yoga of Artistic pursuits”? / “A FIFTH Yoga?”

Veda doesn’t use too many labels, it only talks in terms of its Devatā-s. One can say, Veda is the BigBang consciousness where all knowledge, all awareness, reside in a unitary language.
We can call this “fifth” Yoga, and what comes to my mind, the “Vrata Yogaव्रत योग. Vrata means here “starting something with a resolve of completing it”, i.e., “the part” containing the “whole” by the way of harmony. Indeed, Art fits the bill, but there is surely a greater scope.

These five Yoga-s, or the modes, are gifts from the Deva-s of Swarga स्वर्ग: Sūrya सूर्य (Jnana), Indra इन्द्र (raja), Mitra मित्र (Vrata), Marut मरुत (Bhakti), and AśviniKumar अश्विनीकुमार (Karma). Swarga has two ends (like any other Lōka): one is presided over by Sūrya and the other by AsviniKumar.
One can say, Surya is very much related to Indra, and Asvins (AsviniKumar) very much related to Marut.

PanchJana and Pandava-s

In Mahabharata, Kunti (wife of king Pāndu) wanted the very best of humans as her children, with the use of the vardāna (boon) given to her by Rsi Durvāsā. She (along with the other queen, Mādri) was blessed with “five sons” known as “Pāndava-s”.

Now, the thing with the Mahabharata is that here we get to see the total range, from the very divine to the vilest; purest of knowledge, mixed with even the worst of ignorance. And a lot of grey shades, to add on to this.

Rsi Durvāsā’s vardāna was perfect; Mitra, Indra, Maruta and AsviniKumar — gave their amśa-s (parts) to take birth (as manifestation only, and not Avatāra) as: Yudhisthira, Arjun, Bhim, and Nakul – Sahdeva, respectively.

Of course, people of the Mahabharata age, due to some ignorance (no Satyuga, remember) called Yudhisthira to be from Dharma, and Bhima from Pavan, since Mitra was as good as forgotten by that time, and Marut also got converged into a separate Vedic Deva, Vayu. (confusing mostly because Lord Hanuman, a Janus-God, was known to be from both Marut and Pavan/ Vayu). On the other hand, Dharma as an idea had become the prerogative and authority of the king (means, no separate Judiciary), by that time, and indeed, in Veda it is Mitra who is the ruler of Swarga (not Indra), so Yudhisthira was conceived to be “the best ruler of men.” {however, Dharma in general relates to all the five modes together, and Marut in particular}

Mahabharata is rich, and complex in its history telling. Now, in the “Pāndava-s”, AsviniKumar manifested as a twin (since Asvins are twins). So it seems to break the notion of PanchJana.

Though, actually not, the real fifth in this fivesome was KarNa, the son of Surya from Kunti.

Mahabharata is mind-boggling, yes?

The Pāndava-s became the “five modes” to support progress by connecting to the divine in Krishna. One may ask, however, how come Krishna was an Avatār, but the Pāndava-s were not?

One can only say: if, for example, Vishnu incarnates as the Indra mode, then it is Avatāra; equally, and equivalently, the same thing can be said as: if Indra incarnates in the Vishnu mode then it is an Avatāra. Else, the manifestation could well turn out be an out-of-harmony power, Asura (not a pejorative in the Veda; it is like “Titan” may be).

 

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Tryambaka Ishvar Rudra

Before understanding the meaning of “Tryambaka” त्र्यम्बक, let us consider the following Rica रिचा, श्लोक (incidentally one of the most powerful mantra-s) from the RgVeda:

RV 2.41.16 (to Devi Saraswati)

अम्बि॑ऽतमे । नदी॑ऽतमे । देवि॑ऽतमे । सर॑स्वति । अ॒प्र॒श॒स्ताःऽइ॑व । स्म॒सि॒ । प्रऽश॑स्तिम् । अ॒म्ब॒ । नः॒ । कृ॒धि॒ ॥
ambitame nadītame devitame sarasvati | apraśastā iva smasi praśastim amba nas kṛdhi ||

Translation: “Among all mothers (ambi-s), among all rivers, among all Devis, O Saraswati, thou are the best! O mother (amba), make us – the ignoble- full of renown.”

Here, both ambi अम्बि and amba अम्ब have been used to mean “mother”. So, amba means: mother -common noun- not Mother, but mother; and much more than that:
“womb” can be seen as coming from amba.
It also denotes the “waters” realm of Mother (Antariksha; Space).
That’s where ambā (“watery”/ “spacious”) comes from, as well as ambikā (ambi+kā; fem.).
Hence, ambuja (ambu+ja) means: “water-born”; ambar (amba+ra) means: antariksha, ākāsha.
And that’s why ambak (amba+ka; masc.) means: “of mother”. This is the only meaning Veda knows of, verily, as in this exquisite Rica (the famed Mahāmrityunjaya Mantra) for Rudra.

RV 7.59.12:

त्र्य॑म्बकम् । य॒जा॒म॒हे॒ । सु॒गन्धि॑म् । पु॒ष्टि॒ऽवर्ध॑नम् । उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कम्ऽइ॑व । बन्ध॑नात् । मृ॒त्योः । मु॒क्षी॒य॒ । मा । अ॒मृता॑त् ॥
tryambakam | yajāmahe | sugandhim | puṣṭi-vardhanam | urvārukam-iva | bandhanāt | mṛtyoḥ | mukṣīya | mā | amṛtāt

Translation: “I worship thee, the Three-mothered (Tryambaka), of pleasant odour, the giver of good health. Liberate me unto Immortality even as the gourd fruit is freed of its shell (i.e., when death comes).”

So, त्र्यम्बक = त्रि + अम्बक, Tryambaka = tri (three) + ambaka (of mother)
Tryambaka, then means, “of three mothers”. Rudra has three mothers: ILā, DakshiNā and Saraswatī, when He is seen to come/ take birth evolutionarily from the Antariksha realm.

This realisation has been lost on the people since the end of the Vedic age, and upon much speculation and groping in the dark, Tryambaka was arbitrarily assigned the meaning: Three eyed. That even while Trilochana त्रिलोचन already means “three eyed” and is used very widely as an attribute of Shiva/ Rudra. However,

1) No etymology (in Sanskrit) exists for ambak meaning eye, in the same way that ambak is shown here to be from amba.

2) “Eye” (लोचन, चक्षु, नयन, etc.) is a utility word and therefore ambaka if meaning “eye” should have usage in regular contexts. This also doesn’t seem to be the case. However, in a classical text on Ayurveda, Ashtānga Hridayam, a word “valāmbaka”(vala+ambaka) वलाम्बकः occurs, and is said to be the place where the “remaining disease (phlegm)” is confined. Now, both Vala and ambaka are Rgvedic words. Vala is the Asat of Antariksha (Mother’s) realm who holds up Her waters, that is, is a barrier between us and Mother. The disease, in question, is being sent to this mysterious place, outside the body to “above it”, via the sahasradhara chakra, presumably. “valāmbaka” (Mother’s hold/ cave) is that place where this is sent and held up. This is how healing and self-healing is performed by Yogis. So here again, ambaka means “of mother” and not “eye” as translated by some.

3) There is this village named “ambaka” in Maharashtra/ India 17°12’4″N 74°22’25″E (wikimapia link). The site says the village has in its middle an ancient Ambā Temple, “from which it derives its name”. Moreover, the villagers must have been extremely conservative about this, given the fact that they fell under islamic dominance and surrounding areas do seem to have adopted islamic names. Now this is some hard evidence.

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