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VALLI  VI

 

 

ūrdhva̍-mūlo'vāk-śākha e̱so'śva̍tthas sa̱nāta̍nah | 

tad e̍va śu̱kraṁ tad bra̱hma tad e̍vāmṛ̱tam u̍cyate | 

tasmi̍n lo̱kāś śri̍tās sa̱rve̱ ta̱d u nā̍tyeti̱ kaśca̍na | e̱tad vai tat || 1 ||

ūrdhva-mūlaḥ  =  has  its  roots  above

avāk-śākhaḥ  = downwards are its branches

esaḥ  =  this

aśvatthaḥ  =  sacred  fig  tree

sanātanaḥ = eternal

tat-eva = that indeed is

śukraṁ = white, pure, resplendant;

 tat  brahma = that is Brahman

tat-eva = that indeed is

amṛtam = immortal

ucyate  = is called

tasmin = on That

sarve lokāḥ = all the realms of existence

śṛitāḥ = are fixed, based

kaḥ-cana na = nothing whatsoever;

atyeti = exceeds, transcends;

tat-u = that indeed

etat-vai tat = This verily is that.  

With the root above and the branches below (stands) this eternal fig tree. That

(indeed) is the pure; that is Brahman, that indeed, is called immortal. In it all the

realms rest and nothing whatsoever transcends it. This, verily, is that.  

This is that eternal Asvattha Tree with its root above and branches below. That root,

indeed, is called the Bright; That is Brahman and That alone is the Immortal. In That all

worlds are contained and none can pass beyond. This, verily, is That.

 

     upsidedowntree

 

The tree of samsāra has its unseen roots in Brahman. The tree grows upside down. It has

its roots above and branches below. The tree, roots and branches represent Brahman in its

manifested  form  as  the  world  of  experience. 

 

The same concept is found in the Tree of Life in the Jewish mysticism.

 

 

yad i̍daṁ ki̱ńca ja̍gat sa̱rva̱ṁ prā̱na e̍jati̱ niḥsṛ̍tam | 

ma̱had bhayaṁ va̱jram udya̍taṁ ya e̍tad vi̱dur a̱mṛtā̱s te bha̍vanti || 2 ||

 

yat idaṁ kińca jagat sarvam  = all this universe that there is

prāne = the supreme Brahman, (being there)

ejati = and moves

niḥśṛtam = having emerged

mahat bhayam = greatly terrifying

vajram udyatam = like an upraised  thunderbolt; 

ya  etat  viduḥ  =  they  who  know  this

amṛtas  te  bhavanti  =  they  attain immortality.

 

Whatever there is−the whole universe−vibrates because it has gone forth from Brahman, which exists as its Ground. That Brahman is a great terror, like a poised thunderbolt. Those who know It become immortal.

 

 

bha̱yād a̱sya agni̍s tapati bha̱yāt ta̍pati̱ sūrya̍ḥ | 

bhayā̍d i̱ndraś ca̍ vāyu̱ś ca̱ mṛ̱tyur dhā̍vati̱ pańca̍maḥ || 3 || 

asya bhayāt = from fear of Him

agniḥ tapati = the fire burns

bhayāt = from fear

sūryaḥ tapati  = the Sun gives heat

bhayāt = from fear

indraḥ ca vāyuḥ = Indra and Vayu

mṛtyuḥ ca = and Death

pańcamaḥ = the fifth

dhāvati = run, speed, move fast.

From terror of Brahman, fire burns; from terror of It, the sun shines; from terror of It, Indra and Vayu and Death,and the fifth, run.

 

iha̍ ced aśa̍kad bo̱ddhu̱ṁ prā̱k śarī̍rasya vi̱srasaḥ | 

tata̍s sa̱rveṣu̍ loke̱ṣu̱ śa̱rīra̍tvāya̱ kalpa̍te || 4 ||

iha = here and now

cet = if

aśakat = one succeeds

boddhum = in knowing realising

prāk śarīrasya visrasaḥ = before the disintegration of the body.

tataḥ = then – because of that non-realisation;

sarveṣu lokeṣu = in the manifested or projected worlds of existence

śarīratvāya = for embodiment;

kalpate = one is considered suitable or fit.

If a man is able to realise Brahman here, before the falling asunder of his body, then he is liberated; if not, he is embodied again in the created worlds.

 “If  one  is  able  to  realise  that  Brahman  before  death  one  becomes  fit  for    rebirth  in  the heavenly realms”.  If any one receive the Brahman and is connected to the Spirit world even in this life, he is worthy of the heavens.

John 11: 25-26 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"

 

 

Śaṅkara  opines  that  that  this  verse    teaches  that  it  is  possible  for  us  to  attain  the  saving wisdom here and now – a state known as jivan-mukti as opposed to liberation after death – videha mukti. 

Rāmānuja does not accept the idea of jīvan-mukti because the body is due to Karma and will last as long as the Karma is operative. True mukti can only apply to the jīva which is completely liberated from a body and Karma.

 

 

yathā̍’’darśe tathā̱’’tma̍ni yathā̍ sva̱pne tathā̍ pi̱tṛ-lo̍ke | 

yathā̍’psu parīva̍ dadṛśe tathā̍ ga̱ndharva̍-loke chā̱yā̱-ta̱pa̱yor i̍va bra̱hma-lo̍ke || 5 ||

yathā ādarśe = as in a mirror

tathā-ātmani = similarly in the mind (intellect);

yathā svapne = as in a dream

tathā pitṛ-loke = similarly in the realm of the ancestors

yathā apsu = as a reflection in water

pari  iva  dadṛśe  =  appears  to  be  without  clear  demarcation;  hazy;   

tathā  gandharva-loke  = similarly in the realm of the Gandharvas

chāyā-tapayoḥ iva = like shade and light

brahma-loke = in the realm of Brahma.  

As in a mirror, so in the mind (intellect);

as in a dream, so in the World of the Fathers;
as a reflection in water, so Brahman is seen in the World of the Gandharvas;

as in light and shade, so in the World of Brahma.

1 Corinthians 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Parabrahman can be seen reflected in the mind which is like a mirror – covered with  dust.  Our vision depends on the preconceptions and cultural and experiencial background within our lives. 

Our understanding of God depends upon the lives, teaching and heritage of our forefathers.

We are also conditioned by every dimensions of existence, even those we are not aware of because we are living in a cosmic network, visible and invisible.

When we realize him it will be like seeing Him directly

indri̍yāṇām pṛ̱thag-bhā̍vam udayā̍stamayau ca̱ yat | 

pṛthag u̱tpadya̍mānānam ma̱tvā dhī̱ro na̱ śoca̍ti || 6 || 

indriyāṇām  =  of  the  senses 

pṛthak bhāvam = their separate natures 

udayāstamayau = rising and setting

ca yat  = and that

utpadyamānānam  =  that  are  generated separately from their sources

matvā = knowing through the process of discrimination;

dhīraḥ = the wise, intelligent person

na śocati = does not grieve  

Having understood that the senses have their separate origin and that they are distinct from

Atman and also that their rising and setting belong to them alone, a wise man grieves no

more.

 

 

i̱ndriye̱bhyaḥ pa̍ram ma̱no̱ ma̱nasa̍s sattva̱m utta̍mam | 

sattvā̍d a̱dhi ma̍hān ā̱tmā̱ mahato̍'vyakta̱m utta̍mam || 7 || 

indriyebhyaḥ param  manaḥ = the mind is superior to the senses

manasas sattvam uttamam = the “essence of the mind” is better than the mind

sattvāt adhi mahān ātma = higher than the intellect is the Spirit ”

mahataḥ avyaktam uttamam = the unmanifest is superior to the Spirit.

 

Beyond the senses is the mind,

beyond the mind is the intellect,

higher than the intellect is the Spirit within

higher than the Spirit within is the Unmanifest Spirit beyond.

 

a̱vyaktā̱t tu pa̍raḥ pu̱ru̱ṣo̱ vyā̱pako̍'liṅga̱ eva ca | 

yaṁ jńā̍tva mucya̍te ja̱ntu̱r a̱mṛta̍tvaṁ ca̱ gaccha̍ti || 8 ||

avyaktāt tu paraḥ puruṣaḥ = the Purusha is superior to the unmanifest

vyāpakaḥ = He is all-pervasive;

aliṅgaḥ  =  having  no  identifying  sign  

eva  ca  =  indeed  (emphasis)

yaṁ  jńātva  =      having  known whom

jantuḥ = a person;  

mucyate = is liberated

gacchati amṛtatvaṁ ca = attains immortality as well.

 

Beyond the Unmanifest is the Person, all−pervading and imperceptible.

Having realised Him, the embodied self becomes liberated and attains Immortality.

The ultimate Brahman is a Purusha - a Person - The Spreme Person.  This person is omnipresent.  It is immanent in all creation and transcends it. Hence knowing is indeed knowing the Person as we know any other person and submitting to Him.

In the hierarchial description we have a hint of Pythagorean Greek thought.

Pythagoreanism says that the nous is an intelligent principle of the world acting with a specific intention. This is the divine reason regarded in Neoplatonism as the first emanation of the Divine.

From the nous emerges the world soul, which gives rise to the manifest realm.

Pythagoreanism goes on to say the Godhead is the Father, Mother, and Son (Zeus).

In the mind of Zeus, the ideas are distinctly articulated and become the Logos by which he creates the world.

These ideas become active in the Mind (nous) of Zeus. With him is the Power and from him is the nous.]

This theology further explains that Zeus is called Demiurge (Dęmiourgos, Creator), Maker (Poiętęs), ad Craftsman (Technitęs). The nous of the demiurge proceeds outward into manifestation becoming living ideas. They give rise to a lineage of mortal human souls.

The components of the soul are
1) the higher soul, seat of the intuitive mind (divine nous);
2) the rational soul (logistikon) (seat of discursive reason / dianoia);
3) the nonrational soul (alogia), responsible for the senses, appetites, and motion.

Zeus thinks the articulated ideas (Logos).

The idea of ideas (Eidos - Eidôn), provides a model of the Paradigm of the Universe, which the Demiurge contemplates in his articulation of the ideas and his creation of the world according to the Logos.

According to Christian theology, the transcendent God, who cannot be approached or seen in essence or being, becomes immanent primarily in the God-man Jesus the Christ, who is the incarnate Second Person of the Trinity. In Eastern Orthodox theology the immanence of God is expressed as the hypostases or energies of God, who in his essence is incomprehensible and transcendent. In Catholic theology, Christ and the Holy Spirit immanently reveal themselves; God the Father only reveals himself immanently vicariously through the Son and Spirit, and the Divine Nature, the Godhead is wholly transcendent and unable to be comprehended.

This is expressed in St. Paul's letter to the Philippians, where he writes:

who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.( Philippians 2:6–8)

The Holy Spirit is also expressed as an immanence of God.

 

The Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."[ Luke 3:22]

 

na sa̱ndṛśe̍ tiṣṭhati̱ rūpa̍m asya̱ na cakṣu̍ṣā paśyati̱ kaśca̱n-ainam̎ | 

hṛ̱dā ma̍nī̱ṣā mana̍sā̱’bhiklṛ̍pto̱ ya e̍tad vi̱dur a̱mṛtā̱s te bha̍vanti || 9 ||

na  tiṣṭhati  =  does  not  exist

saṁdṛśe  =  as  an object  of  vision  or  perception

asya  rūpam  =  His form

na cakṣuṣā = not with the physical eye or the other senses

paśyati  =  perceives

enam  =  this

na  kaḥ  cana  =  nobody

hṛdā = by the heart

manīṣā = by the intellect, intuitive vision

manasā = by mind

abhiklṛptaḥ = when it is revealed or apprehended

etat viduḥ = those who know this fac

te = they

amṛtāḥ bhavanti  = become deathless

 

His form is not an object of vision; no one beholds Him with the eye. One can know Him

when He is revealed by the intellect free from doubt and by constant meditation. Those who know this become immortal.

We cannot see his form.  We can know him only through experience directly.  Pondering over the personal experience with the Supreme Spirit through the Spirit within we can know the truth. Hence it is necessary to receive him by faith in order to get immortality.

Apprehended  = (abhikḷṛptaḥ) As the concept of God is formed by our personal subjective

mental nature, it cannot be identical for all.

As is our nature so is our conception of the Divine.

 

 

“The man of faith, whose heart is devoted, whose senses are mastered: he finds

Brahman. Enlightened, he passes at once to the highest, the peace beyond

passion.” (Bhagavad Gita 4:39)

“His mind is dead to the touch of the external: it is alive to the bliss of the Atman.

Because his heart knows Brahman his happiness is for ever.” (Bhagavad Gita 5:21)

 

 

yadā̍ pa̱ńcāva̍tiṣṭhante jńānā̍ni̱ mana̍sā saha | 

buddhi̍ś ca na̱ vice̍ṣṭate tā̱m āhu̍ḥ para̱mām ga̍tim || 10 ||

yadā = when

pańca jńānāni = the five sources of knowledge through senses eyes

avatiṣṭhante  = are at rest, have ceased to fluctuate

manasā saha = together with the mind which collates the data they gather

buddhiḥ  =  and  also  the  intellect  characterised  by  determination

ca na  viceṣṭate=  does  not  engage  in activites

tām = that state [of quiescence]

āhuḥ = is called

paramām gatim = the highest state.

When the five senses through which we receive knowledge stand still, together with the mind and when the intellect does not move, that is called the Supreme State.

This is the process of Yoga

Yoga Sutras 1.1-1.4: describes

Once the obstacles and false identities have been temporarily set aside, the true Self, which has been there all along, naturally comes shining through (1.3). The rest of the time, we are so entangled with our false identities that we literally do not see that this misidentification has happened (1.4). It is the reason that sometimes it is said that we are asleep, and that we need to awaken. That awakening to the Self is the meaning of Yoga. (Patnjali Yoga Sutra)

Rāmānuja takes the "highest state" here to refer to the quelling of the mind from all sensual

pre-occupation prior to the ultimate pursuit of the path to Mokṣa.

 

 

tām yoga̍m iti manyante sthi̱rām i̍ndriya̱-dhāraṇām | 

apra̍ma̱ttas ta̍dā bhavati yo̱go hi̍ prabha̱vāp-ya̍yau || 11 ||

 

tām = that state

yogam = to be Yoga

iti = this

manyante = they consider

sthirām indriya-dhāranam = the steady control of the 10 senses

apramattaḥ = undistracted; with careful concentration

tadā = then, at the time of yoga practice

bhavati = one becomes

yogaḥ hi prabhavā apyayau = expands and contracts, subject to growth and decay.

 

This, the firm Control of the senses, is what is called yoga. One must then be vigilant; for

yoga can be both beneficial and injurious.

 

 

naiva̍ vā̱cā na mana̍sā prā̱ptuṁ śa̍kyo na̱ cakṣu̍sā | 

astī̍ti bruvato̍'nya̱tra̱ ka̱thaṁ tad upala̍bhyate || 12 || 

 

na  eva  vācā =  not  even by  speech

na  manasā  =  neither  by  thinking

na  cakṣusā  =  neither  by seeing

śakyaḥ = can

prāptuṁ = be attained

asti iti bruvataḥ = by one who says “It is”

anyatra = except

kathaṁ  = how

tat = that

upalabhyate = can be attained

 

Atman cannot be attained by speech, by the mind, or by the eye. How can It be realised in

any other way than by the affirmation of him who says: "He is"?

 

 It is only by faith that we can attain Him since it is impossible to perceive him through our senses.  Yet when we add all experiences in all its connections we are assured of the one who says: "I Am".  While it is a logical necessity, it is to be deducted from experience from its wholeness to be certain that leads to faith.

 

astī̍ty e̱vopa̍labdhavyas ta̱ttva-bhā̍vena̱ cobha̍yoḥ | 

astī̍ty e̱vopa̍labdhasya ta̱ttva-bhā̍vaḥ pra̱sīda̍ti || 13 ||

 

asti iti eva upalabdhavyaḥ =  It should be apprehended as simply existent then

tattva-bhāvena =  its true nature [is realised]

ubhayoḥ =  of the two aspects, conditined and unconditioned, immanent and transcendent;

tattva-bhāvaḥ =  the true essential aspect

asti iti eva upalabdhasya =  of that very self which  was  earlier  accepted  as  immanent

prasīdati  =  becomes  favourably  disposed  for  Self-revelation.

He is to be realised first as Existence limited by upadhis and then in His true transcendental nature. Of these two aspects, Atman realised as Existence leads the knower to the realisation of His true nature.

yadā̍ sa̱rve pramu̍cyante̱ kā̱mā ye̍'sya hṛ̱di śri̍tāḥ | 

atha̍ ma̱rtyo'mṛ̍to bha̱va̱ty a̱tra bra̍hma sa̱maśnu̍te || 14 || 

 

yadā sarve = when all

kāmā = desires

pramucyante = fall off, are shed, liberated;

ye hṛdi śritāh = which nestle within the heart

asya  = of the one pre-enlightenment;

atha  = then

martyaḥ = a mortal

amrtaḥ  bhavati = becomes immortal

atra = here itself

brahma samaśnute  = attains the state of Brahman.

 

When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal becomes immortal and here attains Brahman.

Rāmānuja says that the desires refered to here are only hankering for those things which obstruct the path to mokṣa — durviṣaya vaṣayaka manorathāḥ

 

 

yadā̍ sa̱rve pra̍bhidya̱nte̱ hṛḏaya̍syeha̱ grantha̍yaḥ | 

atha̍ ma̱rtyo' mṛ̍to bha̱vaty e̍tāvadhy a̱nuśā̍sanam || 15 || 

 

yadā = when

sarve granthayaḥ = all the knots

hṛdayasya = of the heart – intellect

iha = here and now

prabhidyante  =  are  shattered,  destroyed

atha  =  then

martyaḥ  amrtaḥ  bhavati =  a  mortal  becomes immortal;

etāvat = thus far, this much

anuśāsanam  = the teaching.

 

When all the ties of the heart are severed here on earth, then the mortal becomes immortal.

This much alone is the teaching.

 

The  knots  of  the  heart  are  all  the  conditioned  concepts  arising  from  ignorance  (avidya)

which  bind  one  to  the  wheel  of  samsara.  These  concepts  are  all  the  notions  of  identity

(ahaṅkāra),  the  delusion  of  possession  (mamata),  attraction  (rāga),  aversion  (dveṣa),

clinging (abhiniveśa), etc.

 

Thus  far  is  the  teaching.    The  original  Upanisad,  it  was  felt,  ended  with  I.1.17.  The

subsequent sections may have been added at a late date. These words seem to mark the end

of the enlarged Upanishad. The remaining verses seem to be a still later addition.  

 

 

Another portion of later addition starts here.

 

śata̍ṁ caikā ca hṛ̱daya̍sya nāḍyas tā̱sām mūrdhā̍nam a̱bhini̍ḥsṛtaikā | 

tayo̍rdhvam āyann a̱mṛta̍tvam eti vi̱ṣvaṅg a̱nyā u̱tkramaṇe̍ bhavanti || 16 ||

 

śataṁ  ca eka = one hundred and one

hṛdayasya nāḍyaḥ = channels into the heart 

tāsām = of these

mūrdhānam = the head

abhiniḥsṛtā = exists through

tayā = through that channel

ūrdhvam āyan = going upwards

amṛtatvam  eti  =  one  goes  to  immortality

viṣvak  anyāḥ  =  the  other channels that branch out in different directions

utkramaṇe bhavanti = serve for death ie. rebirth.

 

There are one hundred and one arteries of the heart, one of which pierces the crown of the head. Going upward by it, a man at death attains immortality. But when his prana passes out by other arteries, going in different directions, then he is reborn in the world.

This evidently refers to the Chakra Theory which developed much later in history.  It was taken over by the Gnostics and is now a total vast subject area.  It speaks of seven centers of openings starting from the bottom to the crown. Reference here is only about the importance of the Crown Chakra on the top of the head known also as Sahasra Chakra.  If the breath leaves the body from the Crown Chakra it has attained mukthi.  That is the proposition here.

The crown of head is known as Brahmarandhra (Sanskrit) [from Brahman cosmic spirit + randhra opening, fissure, cavity] Brahman's crevice; a mystical suture or opening in the crown of the head, through which a person leaves his body at death. Connected with the heart by means of the sushumna-nadi, a psychovital channel in the spinal column. "A mystic term having its significance only in mysticism" (TG 63). Anatomically the fontanel is a soft, pulsating, unossified area in the skull of an infant, which hardens as the child develops.

 

brahmarandhra

According to Vishnu Purana II:8:97 Brahma-loka which lasts till the great dissolution of the universe is called “immortality” . True “immortality” means freedom from the cycle of birth and death in other words – liberation from the cycle of samsāra.

Therefore the meaning can be that the enlightened one who dies with the mind focussed in the heart chakra ascends to the sahasrara chakra and then into the Brahma-loka or realm of Brahmā. There one remains until the great dissolution and is then reborn with the next cycle of projection.  Or on the other hand it can mean that after remaining in Brahmā-loka until the end of the cycle one then attains true immortality.

 

 

aṅgu̍ṣṭha mātraḥ pu̱ruṣo̍'ntarātmā sadā̍ janā̱nām hṛ̱daye̍ sanniviṣṭaḥ | 

taṁ svāc cha̍rīrāt pra̱vṛhe̍n muńjā̍d iveṣīkāṁ dhairye̱ṇa | 

taṁ vidyāc chu̱kram a̱mṛta̱ṁ taṁ vidyāc chu̱kram a̱mṛta̍m iti || 17 ||

 

aṅguṣṭha mātraḥ puruṣaḥ = the Person the size of a thumb

antarātmā = witin one's very own Self

sadā  = always

janānām hṛdaye sanniviṣṭaḥ = seated in the hearts of all people

taṁ  = him

pravṛhet = one should draw out, separate

svāt śarīrāt = from one's own body

iṣīkāṁ iva muńjāt = like a stalk from within the munja grass

dhairyeṇa  = unerringly, steadily

taṁ  = that separated consciousness

vidyāt = one should know

śukram amṛtaṁ  = as pure and immortal

taṁ vidyāt śukram amṛtam iti = the repetion indicates the end of the teaching.

 

The Purusha, not larger than a thumb, the inner Self, always dwells in the hearts of men.

Let a man separate Him from his body with steadiness, as one separates the tender stalk

from a blade of grass. Let him know that Self as the Bright, as the Immortal−yea, as the Bright, as the Immortal.

 

mṛtyu̍-pro̱ktāṁ nāci̍keto'tha labdhvā vidyā̍m e̱tām yo̱ga vidhi̍ṁ ca kṛtsnam |

brahma̍-prāpto vi̱rajo̱ 'bhūd vi̱mṛtyu̍r anyo’py evam yo̱ vid adhyātmam eva || 18 ||

 

naciketas  atha  labdhvā  =  Nachiketas  then  having  obtained

vidyām  etām  mṛtyu-proktāṁ  =  this Knowledge of Brahman imparted by Yama

ca kṛtsnam yoga vidhiṁ = and the methodology of Yoga in its entirety

brahma-prāptaḥ abhūt = attained the state of brahman-realisation

viraja = free from rajas

vimṛtyuḥ = free from death

anya api = and anyone else too

evam yah  vit = who realise this

adhyātmam eva = with regard to Spirituality.

 

Having received this wisdom taught by the King of Death and the entire process of yoga,

Nachiketa became free from impurities and death and attained Brahman. Thus it will be

also with any other who knows, in this manner, the inmost Self.

 

Shankara interprets vi-rajah (free of rajas) as freedom from both virtue (puṇya) and vice (pāpa) and vi-mrtyuḥ (free from death) as freedom from desire and ignorance.

This final verse is called the “phala-sruti” enunciation of the benefits of this teaching which are

transcendence and final liberation from samsāra. It stresses the fact that enyone and everyone is able to achieve this state regardless of any race, caste, creed, gender or any other difference. The spiritual path is open to one and all, the gates of liberation have been  flung open wide by Lord Yama so that all who heed this teaching can enter.

sa̱ha-nā̍vavatu | sa̱ha nau̍ bhunaktu |

sa̱ha vī̱rya̍ṃ karavāvahai | te̱ja̱svi-nā̱vadhī̍tam astu̱ mā vi̍dviṣā̱vaha