The universe and all the elements within are in a constant state of change. The planets are in constant motion, their positions in relation to each other and the other astral bodies are in continuous flux. This constant motion and shift apply for the realm of reality and truth as well. As you know, Astya is a negation of the Satyatvam – one can say it is Mityaa. Mityaa however is defined as Satya Asatya Vilakshanam – as it is neither Satya nor Asatya also. From that very definition Asatya, is not just negation of Satya but that which has no locus for existence as in Vandyaa Putrah. Thus we have Satya, Asatya and Mithyaa where the later involves negation of the Satya and Asatya.
From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Om peace, peace, peace
This Mantra’s first line – Asato Asato Maa Maa Sad-Gamaya – Sad-Gamaya means, “Lead me from the Asatya to the Satya.” In this context the applicable meaning for a satya and asatya are existence, reality and truth; non-existence, non-reality and untruth, respectively.ext, the applicable meaning for satya and asatya are existence, reality and truth; and non-existence, non-reality and untruth respectively.
The second line – Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya – means “Lead me from darkness to light.” When the Vedas refer to darkness and light, they mean ignorance and knowledge, as ignorance, like darkness, obscures true understanding, and like the only remedy for darkness is light, the only remedy for ignorance is knowledge. The knowledge spoken of here is again the knowledge of one’s true nature.
The third line – Mrtyorma Amrtam-Gamaya – means: “Lead me from death to immortality.” This should not be taken as a prayer to live endless years in heaven or on earth. It is a prayer to the Guru for assistance in realizing the truth that “I was never born, nor can ever die, as I am not the body, mind and intellect, but the eternal, blissful consciousness that serves as the substratum of all creation.”
The journey is a journey of knowledge. It is journey from what we misunderstand to be our self to what truly is our self. What the mantras really means is “Lead me to the understanding that I am not the limited body, mind and intellect, but am, was and always will be that eternal, absolute, blissful consciousness that serves as their substratum.”