Introduction: Seventh Chapter:
**This Upanishad directly deals with the true nature of Brahman, the Supreme Self, without a second.
ChAndogya Upanishad consists of Eight chapters. The first five chapters forms the part of Karma Kanda and Upasana Kanda. Chapter- 6, 7 and 8 form the part of Jnana Kanda.
There are 24 sections in Chapter Seven. Here we will discuss on Chapter-7, Section-1 to Section-6 to learn profound knowledge, the Highest knowledge, through a dialog between: Narada (the disciple) and Sage Sanatkumar.
This chapter will be published in 4 Parts:
The essence of the Teaching is: – The Infinite Happiness ~ “Bhumaiva Sukham”
A request to my readers: Please read my previous posts on ChAndogya Upanishad, especially 6th chapter. Links are given below:
- Chapter Six: Section-1 to Section-4(Khanda-1 to Khanda-4). The link is here: Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-6A of 6
- Chapter Six: Section-5 to Section-8(Khanda-5 to Khanda-8). The link is here: Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-6B of 6
- Chapter Six: Section-9 to Section-16(Khanda-9 to Khanda-16). The link is here: Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-6C of 6[END OF 6TH CHAPTER]
॥ छान्दोग्योपनिषत् – सप्तमोऽध्यायः ॥
Structure of 7th Chapter!
Entire 7th Chapter is focused on ” Bhumavidya” means the knowledge of Infinity: “Brahma Gyan”. The knowledge has been imparted by the sage Sanatkumar to the sage Narada, step wise. Each step itself is a kind of meditation. Crossing each step one can go higher and higher and finally to the Infinity, beyond which nothing is there. That is unlimited and immortal.
Part-1: Section: 1-5 (Total 15 Mantras): ” The Individual SOUL“
Mantra1.1: Narada’s request to Sanatkumara:
OM; “Revered Sir, teach me”, thus did Narada approach Sanatkumara. Sanatkumara replied: ” Declaring what you already know, come to me. I shall tell you what is beyond.
Mantra1.2: Narada’s Qualification:
Narada then said: ” Revered Sir, I know the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, and the Sama Vedas, the Atharva as the fourth. The Itihasas and Puranas as the fifth; Vedic grammar; forms of ancestor worship; mathematics; the science of portents; the science of treasures; logic; the science of ethics; etymology; the preliminary Vedas; physical science; the science of serpents; and of celestials-all this I know, Revered Sir.
Mantra1.3: Narada’s Quest:
1.3.1: Narada Seeks Knowledge
“Revered Sir, I am only knower of verbal Texts, not a knower of the Self. Indeed, I have heard from persons like your revered Self thar a knower of the Self goes beyond grief.”
1.3.2: Narada wants escape from the ocean of grief.
“I am in such a state of grief. May your Revered Self take me across this ocean of grief.”
1.3.3: Guru’s Assessment:
Sage Sanatkumara replied to Narada: ” Whatever you have studied so far is really, nothing but a Name only. [ mere certificates]
[Knower of the Brahman is Brahman:]
Mantra1.4: The greatness of Name:
1.4.1: The Value of Education
Name: Indeed is: The Rig Veda, The Yajur Veda, and the Sama Vedas, the Atharva as the fourth. The Itihasas and Puranas as the fifth; Vedic grammar; forms of ancestor worship; mathematics; the science of portents; the science of treasures; logic; the science of ethics; etymology; the preliminary Vedas; physical science; the science of the war; the science of the stars; the science related to serpents; the science of the celestials i.e. fine arts.
1.4.2: Therefore, worship the Name:
Name alone is Brahman, so worship the Name.
Mantra1.5: Beyond the Name:
1.5.1: The fruit gained by the mastery of Name:
He who in Name, worships the Infinite, attains the sphere within reach of Name. He is free to act as he wishes. Such is he who in Name worships the Infinite!
स यो नाम ब्रह्मेत्युपास्ते यावन्नाम्नो गतं तत्रास्य यथाकामचारो भवति यो नाम ब्रह्मेत्युपास्तेऽस्ति भगवो नाम्नो भूय इति नाम्नो वाव भूयोऽस्तीति तन्मे भगवान्ब्रवीत्विति ॥ ७.१.५॥
1.5.2: What is greater than Name?
Narada: ” Sir, Is there anything greater than Name”?
Sanatkumara:” Yes, than Name, there is something greater.
Narada: ” Sir, please elaborate”
Section-2: Vaak- speech (2 mantras):
Mantra-2.1: What is greater than Name?
2.1.1: Speech surely is greater than name.
2.1.2: The Greatness of Speech:
Speech makes us understand the Rig Veda; the Yajur Veda and the Sama Vedas, the Atharva as the fourth. The Itihasas and Puranas as the fifth; Vedic grammar; forms of ancestor worship; mathematics; the science of portents; the science of treasures; logic; the science of ethics; etymology; the ancillary knowledge of Vedas; physical science; the science of the war; the science of the stars; the science related to serpents; the science of the celestials i.e. fine arts. Also, Heaven and Earth [ All elements], Air, Space, and Water, Fire, [All creatures], animals, birds, grasses and trees, beasts down to warms, flying insects and ants, merit, and demerit; [ All Values]; the true and false; the good and bad; the pleasant and unpleasant. Verily, if speech did not exist, all values: neither merit, nor demerit would we understand; neither true nor false; neither good nor bad; neither pleasant nor unpleasant.
2.1.3: Therefore, worship Speech:
All this Speech alone makes us understand. Hence, worship Speech.
Mantra-2.2: Beyond Speech:
2.2.1: The fruit gained by the mastery of Speech:
He who in Speech, worships the Infinite, attains the sphere within reach of Speech. He is free to act as he wishes. Such is he who in Speech worships the Infinite!
2.2.1: What is greater than Speech?
Narada: ” Sir, Is there anything greater than Speech”?
Sanatkumara:” Yes, than Speech, there is something greater.”
Narada: ” Sir, please elaborate.”
Section-3: “Manah”-Mind (2 mantras):
Mantra-3.1: What is greater than Speech?
3.1.1: Mind surely is greater than Speech.
3.1.2: Mind encompasses its Predecessors:
Just as two amalakas, or two kolas or two akshas are encompassed by closed fist; so also, both Speech and Name are encompassed by the Mind.
[ In this Mantra, the significance of example is that the Mind is the Palm, and the two fruits are the Speech and Name. Name and Speech are the tools used by the Mind to express itself]
3.1.3: Mind makes the intention:
When by the mind one intends, ” Let me learn the Mantras”, then he learns; ” Let me do sacrificial acts”, then he does; ” Let me desire offspring and cattle”, then he desires; ” Let me desire this world and the next”, then he desires.
3.1.4: Worship the Mind:
Mind indeed is the Self; Mind indeed is the world. Mind indeed is the Infinite Truth. Hence, worship with the Mind.
Mantra-3.2: Beyond Mind:
3.2.1: The fruit gained by the mastery of Mind:
He who in Mind, worships the Infinite, attains the sphere within reach of Mind. He is free to act as he wishes. Such is he who in Mind worships the Infinite!
3.2.1: What is greater than Mind?
Narada: ” Sir, Is there anything greater than Mind”?
Sanatkumara:” Yes, than Mind, there is something greater.”
Narada: ” Sir, then please elaborate.”
Section-4: “Sankalpa”-Will (3 mantras):
Mantra-4.1: What is greater than Mind?
4.1.1: Will surely is greater than Mind.
** Note: Though mind is very important, but it needs to be guided by the Will (Sankalpa). Mind is always wavering. It cannot decide. Will determines what actions are required to achieve the goal.
4.1.2: From Will arise all Predecessors.
Verily, when one wills, then he intends in his Mind. He sends forth his Speech. Of course, he sends forth in a Name. In the Name the Mantras are formed, and in the Mantras the Sacrifices are formed.
Mantra-4.2: The Greatness of Will:
Mantra-4.2.1: Will is the Origin of its Predecessors:
All these, indeed, merge in the Will, are made up of the Will, and abide in the Will.
Mantra-4.2.2: Will at the Causal Level:
Heaven and Earth willed; Air and Space Willed; Water and Fire willed.
***NOTE: This we have seen in multiple occasions throughout Upanishads. Will is the root of the earth, heaven, of all Worlds, Of space, Air, Fire, water, Food, life, and all that works. The will is the origin and end of the phenomenal world. Because of will, each force of nature plays its role.
Mantra-4.2.3: The Chain of Will at the Subtle & Gross Level.
By the Will of these, Rain wills. By the Will of Rain, Food wills. By the Will of Food, Pranas will. By the Will of the Pranas, Mantras will. By the Will of Mantras, Sacrificial acts will, by the Will of Sacrificial acts, the World Wills, by the Will of the world, all things Will.
Mantra-4.2.4: Therefore, Worship Will.
This is the great power of the Will. Hence, worship in the Will.
John Wheeler suggested that reality is created by observers and that ” no phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon. John Wheeler indeed firmly believed that we live in a very interactive Universe, implying that Humans and probably other intelligent species function as observers. They thereby influence the Universe at the most fundamental level and actively participate in the fabric of reality and evolution of the Universe. He also proposed that Universe is a self-synthesized information system.
Mantra-4.3: Beyond Will
Mantra-4.3.1: Mastery Over Will:
He who in Will, worships the Infinite.
Mantra-4.3.2: As is the Goal, so the attainment.
Indeed, the worlds willed by Him, being permanent, the permanent worlds; being well-founded, the well-founded worlds, being Un distressed, the Un distressed worlds; these he attains.
Mantra-4.3.3: Fruit gained by Mastery of Will.
He who in Will, worships the Infinite, attains the sphere within reach of Will. He is free to act as he wishes. Such is he who in Will worships the Infinite!
Mantra-4.3.4: What is greater than Will?
Narada: ” Sir, Is there anything greater than Will”?
Sanatkumara:” Yes, than Will, there is something greater.”
Narada: ” Sir, then please elaborate.”
Section-5: “Chittam”-Intelligence (3 mantras):
Mantra-5.1: What is greater than Will?
Mantra-5.1.1: Intelligence is greater than Will?
Mantra-5.1.2: From Intelligence arise all Predecessors:
Verily, when one understands, then he wills, then he intends in Mind, then he sends forth Speech, and he sends it forth in a Name. In the name the Mantras become one, and in Mantras the Sacrifices become one.
Mantra-5.2: Greatness of Intelligence:
** Note: Will (Sankalpa) is good but suppose you cannot discriminate, and you will (determine) for an Evil deed, then that kind of will certainly not good for the mankind. Hence Intelligence must guide the will. Intelligence is the power to judge what is good and bad, what is right and wrong, and then a person makes an appropriate decision. That is the greatness of intelligence over will.
Mantra-5.2.1: Intelligence is above all its predecessors.
All these, indeed, merge in Intelligence, are made up of it, and abide in it.
Mantra-5.2.2: The apparently and truly Intelligent:
Therefore, even a man who knows a lot, but if he is without Intelligence, as ” He does not exist,” – this is how people speak of him. If he does really know, if he were really learned, he would not be without intelligence. On the other hand, though knowing little, if he is endowed with intelligence, him, we note, that people are keen to hear.
Mantra-5.2.3: Therefore, worship Intelligence:
Intelligence, indeed, of the others so far is the one abode of mergence for them all. Intelligence is their Soul and their support. Hence, worship with Intelligence.
Mantra-5.3: Beyond Intelligence:
Mantra-5.3.1: Mastery over Intelligence:
He worships the Infinite with Intelligence.
Mantra-5.3.2: As is the Goal, so the Attainment.
Indeed, the worlds of intelligence, being permanent, the permanent worlds; being well-founded, the well-founded worlds, being Un distressed, the Un distressed worlds; these he attains.
Mantra-5.3.3: Fruit gained by Mastery of Intelligence.
He reaches the sphere of Intelligence. He is free to act as he wishes. Such is he who with Intelligence worships the Infinite.
Mantra-5.3.4: What is greater than Intelligence?
Narada: ” Sir, Is there anything greater than Intelligence”?
Sanatkumara:” Yes, than Intelligence, there is something greater.”
Narada: ” Sir, then please elaborate.”
Part-2: Section: 6-8 (Total 6 Mantras): ” DHARMA-the Universal Law”
Section-6: “Dhyaanam- Contemplation [2 Verses]
Mantra-6.1: What is greater than Intelligence?
Mantra-6.1.1: Contemplation is greater than Intelligence?
Mantra-6.1.2: Greatness of Contemplation:
The Earth contemplates as it were. The sky contemplates as it were. Heaven contemplates as it were. Water contemplates as it were. The Mountains contemplate as it were. Divine beings and men contemplate as it were.
Mantra-6.1.3: The Great compared to the mean-minded.
Therefore, verily, among men here, of those who attain greatness, a share of the result of contemplation they seem to have obtained. How small-minded are the, the abusive and the slanderous, in comparison to the genuinely great ones! Truly, a share of the result of contemplation they seem to have obtained.
Mantra-6.1.4: Therefore, worship Contemplation.
Mantra-6.2: Beyond Contemplation:
Mantra-6.2.1: Fruit gained by Mastery of Contemplation.
Who worships the Infinite with Contemplation, goes to the Sphere reached by Contemplation. He is free to act as he wishes. Such is he who worships the Infinite with Contemplation.
Mantra-6.2.2: What is greater than Contemplation?
Narada: ” Sir, Is there anything greater than Contemplation”?
Sanatkumara:” Yes, than contemplation, there is something greater.”
Narada: ” Sir, then please elaborate.”
Section-7: “Vijnaanam”- Wisdom [2 Mantras]: to be continued….[Next Part:- coming soon!!]
In this section we have seen that sage Narada was proficient in Vedas, Epics, Puranas, rule of grammar, Ethics, Politics, Physical science, music, art, astrology, astronomy, six auxiliary limbs of Vedas, and all science related to this world and beyond. Sage Narada realised that these Qualifications are mere Name only. Yet, he was not satisfied with his knowledge, because he wanted to have knowledge which will give him permanent Happiness. Therefore, Narada approached Sanatkumara to learn “Bhooma Vidya”. Narada surrendered before Sanatkumar, saying : ” I have heard from other people that a person who knows the Self, crosses over sorrow. What is this Self? I am in sorrow. I am in a state of grief in spite of all this learning that I have. I have come to you, great master, with a request to take me beyond the ocean of sorrow”.
- Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite. **
- THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
- Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
- Commentary of ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
- ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
- EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
- THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
- A-U-M Awakening to Reality: By Dennis Waite***
- Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya:
- Information available on internet.