Story of “Satyakama Jabala”

Introduction:

This story appears in Fourth Chapter of “ChAndogya Upanishad”, which is part of “ChAndogya Brahmana” of the Sama Veda.  It is one of the largest Upanishads with Eight Chapters (Prapathakas) which contains many Khandas(sections) including some stories as themes to gain Upanishadic knowledge. This Upanishad is placed in the 9th position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishads. The name of the Upanishad is derived from the word   “Chanda” (Rhythm~ poetic meter). This Upanishad directly deals with the true nature of Brahman, the Supreme Self, without a second.
For full Text of ChAndogya Upanishad (छान्दोग्योपनिषत्) in Sanskrit, please use this link:— https://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_upanishhat/chhaandogya.html

Here we will learn some Vedantic philosophy through the story of Satyakama Jabala to Know “Brahma Vidya” as described in Fourth Chapter: Fourth Khanda to Ninth Khanda (4.4-4.9)

Story of Satyakama Jabala:–

Gautama, the son of the sage Haridruman, was a celebrated Rishi of the Vedic age. He was known as Haridrumata Gautama. He was well versed in the Vedic lore and had many students in his Tapovana(Place of spiritual practices at forest).

A young boy named Satyakama once expressed a desire to his mother Jabala to go to Rishi Gautama’s Tapovana to study and practice BrahmaCharya. Therefore one day the young boy went to Ashrama of Sage Haridrumata Gautama and said, ” Revered Sir, I desire to live under you as a Brahmacharin. Please accept me as your disciple.” Rishi Gautama said,          ” Most affectionate blessings!”.  Rishi asked Satyakama, “Dear boy, of what gotra or lineage (ancestry) are you?” The boy replied, ” Sir, I do not know of what gotra I am. I asked it to my mother. She said:” I also do not know of what gotra you are. I used to serve many people and I got you in my youth. So I am not sure of what lineage you are. However, I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama”. Therefore, Sir, I reveal myself to you as Satyakama Jabala.”

Appreciating Satyakama’s honesty and courage to speak the truth, Rishi Gautama smiled and said, ” No one who is not Brahmin can speak thus. Dear boy, bring the sacrificial fuel. I shall initiate you as a Brahmacharin, for you have not deviated from truth.” In that way Satyakama Jabala initiated into the life of a Brahmacharin.

After a few days, Rishi sorted out four hundred lean and weak cows and said to Satyakama, ” Dear boy, take these cows to the forest and graze them.” Satyakama bowed down with submission and while driving the cows said,      ” Sir, I shall not return these cows multiply into a thousand.” Satyakama lived in the forest and looked after the cows. Years went by. The number of cows increased to a thousand. 

The story continues. During the stay in forest, Satyakama got some spiritual knowledge from Four entities. Please read the following paragraphs.

Satyakama with his cows in the forest.

1. Knowledge imparted by the Bull:

[Here Vayu (The Air) represents Bull]

One day in the evening a bull came to Satyakama and said him,” Dear boy! now we are a thousand in number. Take us to the house of Rishi Gautama”.  The Bull said that there are four quarters for “Brahman”(The Supreme). The first quarter(foot) consists of four quarters of Universe. I shall teach you one quarter of the Brahman. It is Prakashavan or the Radiant. He who meditates on this Brahman as the Radiant, becomes Radiant in this world.” Thus having spoken the Bull told Satyakama that Agni, the God of fire, will teach him more later. At dawn, Satyakama drove the cows towards his Guru’s Ashram.

2. Knowledge imparted by the Agni (Fire) :

In the evening when the cows came together, Satyakama kindled a fire there, added fuel to the fire, penned the cows and sat down near them behind the fire, facing east.

Then the Fire addressed him and said: ” Dear Boy, I will teach you the second quarter (foot) of the Brahman. It has four parts. They are: The Earth. The Sky, The Heaven and The Ocean. It is Anantavan or the Endless. One who knows Him (Brahman) to be thus and meditates upon Him as Endless, becomes endless in this world.”  After that the Fire told him that a Swan was going to tell him about the third quarter of the Brahman.

3. Knowledge imparted by the  Swan:

[Here The Swan represents Aditya(SUN)]

At dawn, Satyakama continued to drive the cows towards the Guru’s ashram. Towards evening when the cows came together, he kindled a fire there, added fuel to the fire, penned the cows and sat down near them behind the fire, facing east. All of a sudden a swan came flying and said,” Satyakama! I shall teach you the third quarter of Brahman. The third foot consists of four parts. They are: Fire, Sun, Moon and the lightning. He is called “Jyotishman” or the Effulgent. One who knows him thus and meditates upon him as the Jyotishman, becomes Jyotishman in this world.” Then the swan told him that a “Madgu” (waterfowl, a kind of diver bird) would teach him the last part of the Brahman.

4. Knowledge imparted by the Water-fowl (Madgu) :

[The Water fowl represents Prana (Breath) here]

On the following day, once again, Satyakama drove the cows in the direction of his Guru’s ashram. Towards evening when the cows came together, he kindled a fire there, added fuel to the fire, penned the cows and sat down near them behind the fire there, facing east. Then a water-fowl came before him and said,” Satyakama! I shall teach you the fourth and final part of Brahman which again has four parts. They are: Prana, Eye, Ear and Mind. He is Ayatanavan or the all supporting. One who knows him thus and meditates upon Him as the Ayatanavan (All supporting), becomes that in this world.”

Satyakama returned to Rishi’s Ashram:

When Satyakama reached the Guru’s ashram with the thousand cows, the Guru greeted him, ” O Satyakama” ! Satyakama replied “Yes Lord”.  Guru said, ” Your face shines with the knowledge of Brahman. Who taught you that?”

Satyakama told his Guru, ” Certainly no human being. But will you, O Lord, please teach me now about Brahman, the subject closest to my heart. Sir, I now request you to expound it to me personally. Because  I know that the knowledge received directly from one’s own Guru becomes perfect.”

Then Rishi Haridrumat Gautama, replied, “Brahman is everywhere. Brahman is everything ( Brahmaivedam Sarvam). It has no beginning and no end. ” And Brahman is realized by knowing the Self, which is our True nature.  This is Supreme knowledge known as Brahma Vidya”.

And that is how Satyakama got the full knowledge of Brahman from his Guru and later, he himself became a great teacher of Brahma Vidya .

Conclusion:–

What is the important message we get through this story?

  • Rishi Haridrumata Gautama ignored the issue of family lineage. That means Rishi did not consider the cast of Satyakama.

  • The eligibility for learning Vedanta philosophy require two important points. One is genuine desire to learn the ultimate truth which is known to be “Brahma Gyan”(Knowledge of Supreme). The other point is freedom from impediments and worthiness to enter the sacred realm. In the case of Satyakama, both were present in Satyakama as was observed by the Rishi.

  • The most important message of this story is the fact that sources other than human can impart knowledge and Wisdom. The teachers of Satyakama were:  The Bull. The Fire, The Swan and The Waterfowl and Rishi Haridrumata Gautama.

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  10. Information available on internet.

Useful links:

Links of other posts on Chhandagyo Upanishad are given here. Readers are requested to read those posts one by one. Take time to read and understand the essence.
  1. Essence of Chhandogya Upanishad: Part-1A: First chapter starts and deals with the meditation on OM ” Udgitha Vidya” which has been discussed in my previous blog on ChAndogya Upanishad. The link is here:—
  2. “Panchagni-Vidya” [the doctrine of five fires]: 

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

Wisdom of Five Fires: Panchagni Vidya

Disclaimer:

  • The article is based on my studies, my concept, my thoughts on the subject. It is further supplemented  with my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE. I can be reached at : arun7663@gmail.com

INTRODUCTION:

Wisdom of Five fires (Panchagni Vidya) is part of ChAndogya Upanishad and it appears in Fifth chapter of the Upanishad. ChAndogya Upanishad is part of ChAndogya Brahmana of the Sama Veda which is one of the most largest Upanishads with Eight Chapters (Prapathakas) with many verses including some stories as themes to gain Upanishadic knowledge. This Upanishad is placed in the 9th position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishads. The name of the Upanishad is derived from the word   “Chanda” (Rhythm~ poetic meter). This Upanishad directly deals with the true nature of Brahman, the Supreme Self, without a second.
First chapter starts and deals with the meditation on OM ” Udgitha Vidya” which has been discussed in my previous blog on ChAndogya Upanishad. The link is here:— Essence of Chhandogya Upanishad: Part-1A
In this section we will discuss a brilliant study of the “Panchagni-Vidya” [the doctrine of five fires]
Note: The word Vidya in Panchagni Vidya is to be understood as Upasana~ Meditation. Here Vidya does not mean Knowledge.

The Five Fires~ Panchagni in the Panchagni Vidya are:

  • Heaven
  • Rain God
  • Earth
  • Male
  • Female

The Belief is that the five fires are given the five liquid oblations of

  1. Faith to Heaven: Soma Raja is generated
  2. Soma to Rain god: Rain is generated
  3. Rains to Earth: Food is generated
  4. Food to Man: Sperm is generated
  5. Seminal fluid to Woman: New born emanated.

॥ पञ्चमोऽध्यायः ॥

Link for Sanskrit Text of Chhandogya Upanishad:

The story of King Pravahana Jaivali and Svetaketu.
Upanishad starts with a story: Svetaketu was son of sage Uddalaka Aruni also known as Gautama too. Well educated and confident of his Knowledge. There was a noble, highly learned king of Panchal, during the late Vedic period named Pravahana Jaivali.  Svetaketu went to his court for sharing his knowledge in King’s court. The moment Svetaketu arrived at the court, the king received him with due respect and offered him requisite hospitality, being a Brahmin boy and well versed with Vedas and all branches of learning. The king asked the boy: ” Are you well educated? Have you studied? Is your education complete? Has your father instructed you?”
The boy replied. “Yes, my education is complete and I am well-read.” Then the King asked some questions. ” Naturally, you are a well informed and able to answer my questions. You are proficient in every branch of learning.” The boy affirmed. King the asked following five questions.

The first question asked by the King:

“Do you know where people go after they depart from this world? When people die, where do they go? Do you know the answer to this question, my dear boy?”
The boy replied, “I do not know. I am unable to answer.”

King then asked second question:

“Do you know wherefrom people come when they are reborn into this world?” The boy said, ” No, I do not know answer of this also”.

The Third question:                 

” Have you any idea of the paths along which the Souls ascends, the paths being known as Devayana and Pitriyana? Do you know the difference between these two paths? Why is one distinct from the other?” The boy said, ” I do not know the answer to this question also.”

The Fourth question:

“Why is it that the yonder world is not filled with people and overflowing? Always, the world is able to contain people and it is never flooded with them. What is the reason for this?” The boy said, ” This also I do not know.”

 The Fifth question:

” Do you know what are the five oblations that are offered and how the fifth oblation as liquid becomes a human being?”
“The boy said, this too I do not know”
Then the King said, ” Why did you say that you are well read and well instructed?  King said ” How is it possible that you are not able to answer even these questions. What made you think that you are well educated. What is that your father has taught and you are not able to answer these?” Listening this from the King, boy realized that his education was incomplete and his pride vanished. The boy realized for the first time that it was his wrong idea that he knew everything. Feeling disgraced, he returned home and took his father to task for not teaching this Vidya which could have helped him in answering the questions put by the king. But Sage Gautama himself was unaware of the answers. Therefore sage Gautama went to the king Pravahana to learn the Vidya. King received with due respect and offered him many gifts. But the sage Gautama refused to accept gifts since he was interested only to be enlightened on the discourse which King mentioned to the boy Svetaketu. King then Commanded him, ” Stay for a long time.” Then King said, O Gautama, before you, this Vidya was never went to Brahmanas: it is for this reason, that among all people, it was only with the Kshatriya.

Great king imparted to the circle of Brahmins by way of this initiation called the knowledge of the Panchagni-Vidya. The King explained five fires:

5.4.1-2: The First fire is svargaloka (Heaven):  The Sun is the fuel (sacrificial stick) of this Fire. The rays of the Sun are the smoke, while the day is the flame. The moon is the ember( red hot coal~चिंगारी). The stars are the sparks of this fire. When Agnihotra is performed, the jivas become Soma Raja(moon) and enter svargaloka.

5.5.1-2: The Second fire is Parjanya. 

O Gautama! the god of rain is the sacrificial fire; air is its fuel; the cloud is the smoke. Lightning is the flame. The Thunderbolt is the charcoal. The roars of the fire are the sparks. Soma Raja (Jiva) is the oblation in this fire.

5.6.1-2: The Third fire is the Earth. For this fire, the year is the sacrificial fire. Akasha (sky) is the smoke. The night is the flame. The directions are the live charcoals. The directions are the sparks. The oblation in this case is rain. When the rains reach the earth, food is grown.

5.7.1-2: The forth is man himself. His speech(vaak) is the sacrificial fire. His prana is smoke. His tongue is the flame. The eyes are the live charcoals, and his ears are the sparks. Here the oblation is food. From that food the seed of man is born.

5.8.1-2: The fifth fire is Woman. The interconnection between man and woman is the live charcoal. The small pleasures are the sparks. The oblation is the seed of man and from this does a new-born emanate.

Commentary: 

The Jiva which has ascended to the Heavenly world by the virtue of good deeds descends on the exhaustion of that merit to the earth to take up another life, from heaven in the form of rains. There in the earth, the self enters a food grain growing on a plant and then enters the blood of the male who consumes that food grain and that turns into sperm. Finally, when the seminal fluid enters the female womb upon coitus, the Jiva also enters the womb along with it. In the womb it gets embodied.

**Khanda 5.4 to 5.8 describe the conception of Human being using metaphor of Sacrifice( Yajna~ meditation). The fifth offering mentioned here is the seed of man(Semen) that brings about conception at the end.

॥ इति अष्टमः खण्डः ॥

इति तु पञ्चम्यामाहुतावापः पुरुषवचसो भवन्तीति
स उल्बावृतो गर्भो दश वा नव वा मासानन्तः शयित्वा
यावद्वाथ जायते ॥ ५.९.१॥

स जातो यावदायुषं जीवति तं प्रेतं दिष्टमितोऽग्नय
एव हरन्ति यत एवेतो यतः संभूतो भवति ॥ ५.९.२॥

5.9: The Ten months in mother’s womb:

5.9.1: Thus after the fifth oblation, water becomes Purusha [ पुरुषवचसो] known as Man. The foetus lies within the mothers womb, covered with membrane, for about nine or ten months, and then it is born.[**This is the answer to the fifth question asked by the King Pravahana]

5.9.2: When a person is born, he lives as long as he is destined to live. Then, when he dies as ordained, he is carried from here to the fire from which he came.

5.10: Path of Devayana

5.10.1-2: Those wo know this (Panchagni vidya), and those who live in the forest, practicing austerities with faith- they go to the path of Devayana(the world of light) From the world of light they go to the world of day; from the world of day to the world of bright fortnight; from the world of bright fortnight to the six months when Sun moves northward [Uttarayana]; from there go to the Sun, from the Sun to the moon; and from the moon to lightning. There someone, not human, receives them and leads them to Brahmaloka. This path is Devayana (path of gods).

5.10.3: On the other hand, those who live in the village and perform acts of public service, charity, and so on, attain the world of smoke. From there they go to the world of the night; from night they go to the world of the dark fortnight; and from the dark fortnight they go to the world of the six months when the Sun moves to the south. This means that they never attain the world of of the year.

5.10.4: From the six months of the southern solstice, they go to the world of the ancestors, from there they go to the sky. Then from the sky they go to the moon. This is King Soma. This is the food of the gods. The gods enjoy eating this food.

5.10.5-6: Living in the world of the moon until the merit (the fruits of his work) is exhausted, he then returns to this world along the same path. First going to the sky, he then goes to air. Having become air, he next becomes smoke. Having become smoke, he then becomes mist. From mist they become a cloud, after which they pour forth as rain. Then they are born as food. To emerge from these is difficult, only if someone or other eats him as food and pours him out as semen can he be reborn.[ Those who eat these things produce children just like themselves]

5.10.7: Those whose conduct on Earth has given pleasure, can hope to enter a pleasant womb; but those whose conduct has been foul can expect to enter a foul and stinking womb.

5.10.8: But those small and continually returning creatures(like flies and worms) are not to be found on either of these two paths : theirs is a third condition, ” Be born and die” That is why the world up there is not filled up, and that is why a man should carefully watch his actions. On this there is the following verse: 

This completes the answers to the five questions.

5.10.9: A person who steals gold, or drinks liquor, or goes to bed with his master’s wife, or kills a Brahmin-these four are lost. Also lost is the fifth- one who keeps company with such people.

5.10.10: But he who knows the five fires remains pure even if he is in the company of these people. He who knows this is pure and innocent, and after death he goes to the world of the good and pure.

The Celestial Region, the Atmosphere, the Earth, Man and Woman- These are the five stages of the Fire which becomes the object of meditation known as the Panchagni Vidya.

By the interconnection, combination and harmonious adjustment of the structure of these five levels of manifestation, birth takes place. This symbiology of Birth is applicable for all organisms in the world. This is theory of manifestation. Every event is Universal event, even the birth of a human. Every birth is to be considered in the light of Panchagni Vidya.

The whole point of this description in the context of the Panchagni Vidya is to describe us how the event of Births happen?  What are the stages of the descent of the soul into the physical embodiment? It has to be understood through philosophical point of view. The point made out is that higher realms are activated by the consequences produced by our actions, in turn which become causes of our descent.

Two paths are laid before the soul after death. One is Devayana, the Northern path. It is for those who sought Wisdom. The other is Southern Path~ Pitriyana.

Now, the Upanishad here tells us that the whole universal activity of creation may be conceived as such a kind of sacrifice,—yajna. The mantras that are chanted in the performance of yajna are the sacred intentions. Offerings are made to certain Deities.

A Single autonomous Process:

Universe and it's various constituents are only parts of it, internally connected. The whole universal manifestation is a single process and it is a continuous process. The process of Births and Deaths are to be explained from this point of view, where all phenomenal experiences are part of this single autonomous process and are connected to ultimate cause. There is some law which works in some particular manner on account of which we are compelled to follow this course of repeated cycle of Births and Deaths, known as transmigration.

The whole universe is our father; the entire universe is our mother:

There are various stages of manifestation. How the birth of an individual takes place, how a child is born? For that, the underlying philosophy or science to be understood. What we the common people know that child is born from womb of the mother. That is true. But the process of birth takes place throughout the cosmos. All the governing forces of nature (of the Universe) are active in the production of a single child. 
The whole cosmos is behind the scene. The Universe is the parent of the little baby.  That is the ultimate cause. It has connection with cause of all causes( Causal), by a chain of causal connections. 

When the secret is known, no one will say, ” It is my son or my daughter.” It is neither yours neither mines. It belongs to that from where it has come.

It has come from the cells of this Universe. It has not come automatically in the seminal essence of the father or the womb of the mother. A system works here with a process since primordial time. It is the quintessence of every particle of the whole of Nature. That is why we say “Brahmanda is in the Pindanda” ~ The macrocosm is in the microcosm.

Conclusion:

The Panchagni-Vidya is a meditation,—it is not an outward ritualistic sacrifice; it is a contemplation by the mind in which it harnesses every aspect of its force for the purpose of envisaging the reality
Existence itself is regulated by the presence of the sun. The sun is the cause of life on earth. But, who is the cause of the sun? The sun is also an effect of certain factors,—we may call them astronomical. That vibration is precedent and anterior to what we call the manifestation of even the causal condition of this world. Prior to all this, something else must be there, and prior to that, again, another thing, and so on, so that even our insignificant life in this world, in this physical body, can be said to be completely controlled by factors which are transcendent, beyond the sun and the moon and the stars, and where we go in this manner of tracing our cause back, we cannot know. This is the point driven home into the mind of Gautama by Pravahana Jaivali in the context of the explanation of the Panchagni-Vidya.

 Connected Universe:

The world, which is called the celestial realm, is itself the sacred fire into which oblations are offered. This is how the meditation is to be conducted. The fuel, which ignites the fire and causes the flames to rise up in this sacrifice, is the sun. As smoke rises from the fire in a sacrifice, we contemplate the rising or the emanation of the rays from the sun, symbolically. As the flames shine, so is the shining of the daytime due to the fire of the sun in the sacrifice. We may compare the embers, remaining after the flames subside in a sacrifice, to the moon who is something like the subsidence of the flames of the light of the sun, or we may even say, the comparison is made because moonlight arises generally when the sun’s flames subside. Compare the stars to the sparks which are ejected from the flames of the fire, because they are scattered, as it were, in the sky. Now, this is a sacrificial mode of contemplation on the higher regions of the cosmos.
There is a mutual dependence between the outer world and the inner world of the individual. Our thoughts influence the atmosphere. We must realize that thoughts are vibrations and it is nonlocal. This vibrations are not isolated activity inside our brain. The vibrations emanate like an aura to certain distance from the body of a person. The distance depends upon the intensity of the intensity of the aura(good vibes~ harmonious thoughts.)Therefore cumulative effect of the vibrations produced by all the individuals can bring very good result in that environment in return.

Readers are requested to study further on the following topics/websites 

2. We are influenced by the environment around us.                                      EPIGENETICS a new subject.
There is a cycle, as it were, a wheel rotating in the form of give-and-take between the gods in the heaven and the human beings here. We give something and we are given back something. Nature gives us what we give to it in the form of our own deeds in this world. We do not get what we do not deserve, and we cannot get, also, what we have not given actually. What we have given, what we have deserved, what we have parted with in the form of a sacrifice, that is given back to us, with compound interest sometimes, according to the law of Nature. On account of this cyclic activity of Nature, in which the individuals get involved through their actions, there is rainfall. So, we can imagine how rains occur.

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  10. Information available on internet.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

 

Essence of Chandogya Upanishad: Part-1A

Introduction:

The ChAndogya Upanishad is part of ChAndogya Brahmana of the Sama Veda which is one of the most largest important Upanishads with Eight Chapters (Prapathakas) with many verses including some stories as themes to gain Upanishadic knowledge. This Upanishad is placed in the 9th position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishads. The name of the Upanishad is derived from the word   “Chanda” (Rhythm~ poetic meter). This Upanishad directly deals with the true nature of Brahman, the Supreme Self, without a second.
Here we will discuss Four sections of the First Khanda of Chapter-1. Chapter deals with the meditation on OM. The syllable OM is to be known here as Udgitha. Chapter-1 has 13 Sections (Khandas). Udgitha Vidya is the main topic to be understood. 

Udgitha Vidya:

OM! Thus one should meditate on the Udgitha, for, one sings the loud chant with OM! The essence of all things is the Earth. The Essence of Earth is Water. The Essence of Water is Plants(Herbs). The Essence of Herbs is Man. The Essence of the Man is Speech. The Essence of Speech is the Rik (hymn). The Essence of Rik is Sama. The Essence of Sama is Udgitha. This is the best Essence of all Essences, the Highest, the Supreme, the Eighth, the Udgitha. 

 SECTION-1:  “OM iti etat aksharam” 

  1. OM! this Word, the Udgitha, should be adored. OM is Chanted, beginning of prayer. Let us meditate on It.
  2. The Earth constitutes the Essence of all substances; water is the essence of the Earth, and annual herbs of water; man forms the essence of annual herbs, and speech is the essence of Man; Rig is the essence of speech, Sama of the Rig, and of the Sama essence is Udgitha.
  3. The Udgitha is the quintessence of all these essences; it is Supreme, the most adorable, the Eighth. OM is the Self of all.
  4. What Is Rig? What is Sama? What is Udgitha?
  5.  Rig is Speech, Sama is Life, and OM, this letter is the Udgitha. Verily this and that, speech and breath(prana), are couples (Mithuna).
  6. The Couple (Mithuna) unites with the imperishable OM!, as couples uniting together gratify each other’s desires.
  7.  Knowing this He who meditate on the imperishable OM, all desires are fulfilled.
  8.  Verily this is an symbol of certain basic qualities. Whatever is enjoined, OM is surely repeated; hence this is called Prosperity. He verily becomes the gratifier of desires, and promoter of prosperity who, knowing all this, adores the imperishable Udgitha.
  9. Through its greatness and effects is the threefold knowledge maintained; for the worship of this word OM recited, OM exclaimed. OM chanted.
  10. Both, those who are versed in OM, the Self thus described, and those who are not, alike perform ceremonies through this letter. Knowledge and ignorance are unlike each other. The act done with knowledge, with inner awareness and faith, grows in power. That in a word, tells the significance of OM, the indivisible.

SECTION-2: Devas & Asuras:-

“Devas” This word stands for such functioning of the sense organs that are regulated and illuminated. Where as the word ” Asuras” stands opposed to Devas. For asuras, natural functions of the sense organs are of the nature of darkness means ignorance.

Devasurasangrama: Battle between Devas and Asuras. Difference between Dharma and Adharma. What should be done and what should not be done, in accordance with the scriptures. Both Devas and Asuras are born of Prajapati. Prajapati stands for the Personality of the being.

 

1.The Devas and the Asuras , the offspring of Prajapati, contended. Thereof the Devas collected the Udgitha, saying, hereby we will overcome the Asuras.

2. They (Devas) adored Breath as the Udgitha; the Asuras contaminated it with sin(पाप्मना~ pierced with evil ); hence it smells both foul and aroma, being verily contaminated by Evil.

3. They then adored Speech as the Udgitha; the Asuras contaminated it with sin; hence it expresses both truth and untruth, being verily contaminated by Evil.

4. They then adored Vision as the Udgitha; the Asuras contaminated it with sin; hence it views objects both worthy and not worthy of observation, being verily contaminated by Evil.

5. Next they adored Audition (Ear) as the Udgitha; the Asuras contaminated it with sin; Hence it hears both what are worthy of audition and what are not, being verily contaminated by Evil.

6. Next they adored Mind as the Udgitha; the Asuras contaminated it with sin, and hence it wills both good and evil, being verily contaminated by Evil.

7. Then they adored that which is the Chief vital Air (mukhyah pranah` Supreme prana), as the Udgitha; the Asuras approached it, and were destroyed as an earthen ball hit against an impregnable rock ( In fact they got lost in prana).

8. Thus, verily, as an earthen ball is destroyed when hit against an impregnable rock, so does he perish, who wishes to contaminate with vice. He who knows, Supreme prana is immune to injury like piece of unbreakable stone.

9. Through it (Mouth), man inhales not odours sweet or foul, indeed it has destroyed Evil; hence whatever is drunk or eaten by it supports, through this one nourishes the sense organs sustains. At the last moment, deprived of support, they depart, and that is why one opens Mouth at the time of their death.

10. Angira adored it, the Udgitha, hence verily it is called Angirasa or the essence of all the Angas (organs)

[Note: The word Angiras is derived from anga+rasa ; angirasa is the rasa means essence of the angas : the sense organs: It is the same Supreme Prana. When the Sage Angira worships Supreme prana, he is worshipping himself. Prana is also Brihaspati, because it is the lord of all Speech. Ayasya means that which comes out of the mouth. Angira, Brihaspati and Ayasya are the sages who worshiped Supreme Prana as Udgitha. They in fact worshiped themselves.]

11. Brihaspati adored it, the Udgitha, hence verily it is called Brihaspati; speech is Brihati whereof it is the source (pati).

12. Ayasa also adored it, the Udgitha, hence it is called Ayasya; or that which proceeds from the mouth (Asya).

13. So, did Vaka, son of Dalbha, know it, and glorify it for the gratification of the desires of the sages of Naimisha, for whom he officiated as a chanter of the Sama Veda.

14. He who, knowing it thus, adores this imperishable Udgitha, becomes the solicitor. This is worship. Praising OM has a threefold reward: relating to the Body(Adhyatma), relating to animals (adhibhuta), and relating to the elements(adhidaiva)

SECTION-3: Udgitha relating to the Deities(gods).

  1. Next the worship of Udgitha is connection with gods: One should meditate upon Him who shines as Udgitha. Let him be adored. For rising he sings for the welfare of the creation; rising he dispels the darkness and danger. He, who knows him thus, becomes a destroyer of the fear of darkness and danger.
  2. Verily the Sun and that the Supreme prana are alike; this is warm as well as that; this may be called transitive; that is transitive and re-transitive; therefore let this and that be adored as the Udgitha. This and that are equal.
  3.  Moreover, let Vyana be adored as Udgitha. That function by which breath is respired is Prana, that by which is inspired is Apana, and the interval of the two is Vyana, which is speech. Therefore speech is articulated irrespective of inspiration and expiration. [ according to Sankaracharya prana is breathing out and Apana is breathing in]
  4.  That which is speech is Rig, therefore do (men) articulate the Rig without inspiring or respiring. That which Rig is Sama, hence is it chanted without inspiring or respiring. That which is Sama, is Udgitha, hence is it chanted without reference to inspiration or respiration. [ Note: One sings the Udgitha by suspending both breathing in and breathing out]
  5.  Moreover, all other mighty actions, such as the production of Fire by Friction, running a course, or stringing a strong bow, are performed without reference to inspiration or respiration, therefore is the Vyana worshipped as the Udgitha.
  6. Next verily let the letters of the word Udgitha be adored as the Udgitha. Respiration ” Prana” is “Ut”, for men attain the power of rising from respiration (Life Breath) ; speech ~ vak is “Gi”, for vak and gira, are said to be the synonymous; “tha” is aliment, for verily, everything is supported by food[sthitam].
  7. The Heaven (dyau) is “Ut, the atmosphere[Sky~ antariksha] is “Gi”, and the Earth (prithivi ) is Tha. The Sun Aditya is Ut, the Wind Vayu is Gi, and fire Agni is Tha. The Sama Veda is Ut, the Yajur Veda is Gi and the Rig Veda Tha. For him who, thus knowing, adores the letters of the Udgitha as the Udgitha, speech itself yields its wealth, and the adorer obtains treasure and the power to consume the same.
  8.  Now, then, that which yields desirable objects, will be disclosed. What are worthy of meditation should be thus adored:- the Sama hymn by which the adorer is to glorify should be enquired into. [You sing a particular Sama for a particular thing you wish to get. Sing it always, and remember that it is the source of what you are wishing for.]
  9.  The Rig hymns in which the Sama hymns occur, the Sages, who first promulgated them, and the Devas glorified by those hymns, should also be reflected upon.
  10.   One may use the Gayatri or some other hymn when praying, but one should meditate on it. Again, one may use a number of Sama mantras while praying, but one must meditate on them along with the Deities to whom they are addressed. [Whether you use the Gāyatrī or some other hymn while praying, you should not forget to meditate on that hymn. In fact, whatever mantras you use, you should meditate on them as well as on the deities to whom they are directed.]
  11.  No matter what direction (quarter) one may face while praying, one should meditate on that direction along with the presiding Deities of that direction.
  12. Finally, as a person ends is prayer, he should ask for whatever he desires, making sure, however, that pronunciation is correct. He should also think of himself. Then whatever he desires he has while praying is promptly and surely fulfilled.

SECTION-4

  1. OM! this letter should be adored, OM is recited. Recite this syllable as part of  your Upasana. How recite OM is being explained:–                                  
  2. The Devas, dreading death, adopted the threefold knowledge of the Vedas. They shielded themselves with mantras. The mantras are called Chandas, because the Devas shielded (achchhadayan) themselves therein.
  3. As Fishermen look at fish in water,  in the same way, Death could see the Divinities( Rig, Yajur and Sama hymns ),they, apprised of it, forsaking the Vedas, switched over to the recitation of OM.
  4. In reciting the Rig hymns OM is articulated (Swarati), so in the Yajur and Sama, therefore indeed, is this letter, the Udgitha possessing immortality and safety, called Svara: Adopting its support the gods became immortal and secure.[Note: Aksara, OM and Svara are the same. When people recite Vedic mantras, they always start with the aksara OM. By taking refuge in OM, one attains immortality and fearlessness]   
  5. Even now anyone who knows this OM and worships it thus can attain the fearlessness and immortality of OM, which is Aksara, or Svara. By becoming one with OM, person can attain immortality, just the Deities did.

Conclusion: Everything is OM !!!

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  10. Information available on internet.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

 

Essence of Aitareya Upanishad: Part-B

Disclaimer:

  • The article is based on my studies, my concept, my thoughts on the subject. It is further supplemented  with my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE. I can be reached at : arun7663@gmail.com

Introduction:

In this Blog we will cover KHANDA-II and III. KHANDA-I has been discussed in my earlier Blog Essence of Aitareya Upanishad- Part-A “

In Khanda II, the creation of human body is described in order to inculcate a sense of dispassion by showing the impermanence of the body. Creation continues through procreation. A man is born, he gives birth to a son and he takes rebirth after death. This signifies that a person has really three births. The procreative fluid of a father is said to be the essence of his Self. The mother looks after it during pregnancy as her own Self. After birth, the parents nourish the child so that he can be their substitute for performance of pious deeds. Hence the importance of natal care and oneness of the father and the son are emphasized.

In Khanda III, we will learn that “Consciousness is Brahman”. This Consciousness is Pure. This creation is unreal in nature. Creation is mere a superimposition upon Consciousness.

ऐतरेयोपनिषत्

वाङ् मे मनसि प्रतिष्ठिता मनो मे वाचि प्रतिष्ठितमाविरावीर्म एधि ॥

वेदस्य म आणीस्थः श्रुतं मे मा प्रहासीरनेनाधीतेनाहोरात्रान्
संदधाम्यृतं वदिष्यामि सत्यं वदिष्यामि ॥ तन्मामवतु
तद्वक्तारमवत्ववतु मामवतु वक्तारमवतु वक्तारम् ॥

॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥

KHANDA-II (Chapter-4)

Three Births of the Self [ Three incarnations]:

Verse: 4.1- First Birth :”The Pregnant Father”

This Jiva in the male body of his father first becomes semen. This semen is the vigour extracted and transformed from all the limbs. First the father holds and nourishes it in his own body and rears it which is not different from him. When he injects this in mother’s body he procreates himself in the form of a foetus. This is his first birth.

Verse: 4.2- :”The Development of the Foetus”

That semen becomes one with the woman-just like a limb of her own. That is why it does not hurt her. She nourishes this self of his that has come into her.

Verse: 4.3- Second Birth :”The Pregnant Mother”

She, being the nourisher of the child , should be nourished. The woman nourishes the embryo. Immediately after its birth the father nourishes the child. Nourishing the child from birth onward, he thus nourishes himself for the continuation of these worlds. For thus alone are these worlds perpetuated. This is one’s second birth.

Verse: 4.4- Third Birth :”The Pregnant Son”

Father himself becomes son. When son comes of age, father entrusts him with all the family duties and responsibilities and frees himself from parental debt. As life span of father shortens, father departs from this world and takes birth in another womb according to his Karma. This is his third birth. Thus the cycle of birth and death continues and become a bondage till he does not realize the truth, the reality.

Verse: 4.5- “Breaking Through Iron Fetters”

 Rishi Vamadeva realized the truth while he was in mother’s womb.

Rishi said ” While yet in embryo, I knew all the births of these Deities!, i.e. the inner senses and Indriyas are subjected to birth and death and not the Atman. Before I realized  this secret I had to pass through several Births which are compared with cages made of Iron. I was so attached with them that it was very difficult for me to get rid of those iron gates. Now by applying full strength of knowledge I broke all the fetters, became detached. Like a hawk, I escaped, being free and now I have no relation with the body. I am not the Body.”

Verse: 4.6- ” The Jivanmukti and Videhamukti of Vamadeva”

Having gained the knowledge of Atman, and freedom from Body Consciousness, Vamadeva took his Upward path. He attained the heavenly world of Bliss and fulfilled all his desires. He became immortal, yes He became immortal !!!

” Freedom from Body” : We can understand this in two ways:

  1. Death: This is applicable to a mortal
  2. Freedom from Body-Consciousness: Upward path towards Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

For a man, once the highest state of True realization is reached, the attainment of the Heavenly worlds of Bliss accompanies him, while still in the Body. While still in the body, the realized state experiences the Supreme Bliss. He enjoys all he desires.

Self Realization is the only way to come out of the bondage of repetitive cycle of Birth and Death. For that one should have Vairagya.

The three “Aavasthas”(states) and “Swapnas”(Dreams): in relation to Three Births:

Three Aavasthas are three dwelling places occupied by the Supreme Being after HE enters the body. The three Swapnas are three states as below:

  1. Right Eye: This is where He dwells during the waking state.
  2. The Mind: This is where He dwells during the dream state.
  3. The Heart: This is where He dwells during the deep sleep state.
  4. All the states are considered to be DREAM state (Swapna Aavasthas) because of ignorance.
Until man realize the Supreme truth and awakens to his spiritual destiny, he is considered to be in the state of Dream(Swapna).

KHANDA-III(Chapter-5)

PrajnAnaM Brahma: ” Consciousness is Brahman”

Brahman, The Self (Supreme Consciousness) can be known from two approaches. (A) Upahita Chaitanya and (B) Visishta Chaitanya.

Upahita Chaitanya: This is to be known as Pure Consciousness. Not associated with any upadhis, attributes and indestructible. It is known as Shuddha Brahman. It is the common substratum of all the three states of consciousness.

Visishta Chaitanya: This Self is associated with the various Upadhis and known as Visishta Brahman. Visishta means particular. This Self has two divisions and each has three sub divisions:

A) Samashti: Macrocosmic Level: It’s three sub-divisions are: i) Ishwara or Brahma at the causal level. ii) Hiranyagarbha or Pranaat , the subtle level. iii) Virat at the gross level.

B) Vyashti: Microcosmic Level: It has three sub-divisions, which are: i) Prajnaat- the Causal; ii) Taijasaat – the subtle level; and iii) Vishwaat -the gross level. These three sub-divisions correspond to Deep Sleep, Dream and waking state of Consciousness respectively.

Verse: 5.1- “Un associated(Upahita) Consciousness at Individual level “

OM! Who is this Self we are worshiping? Which of the two is He? A) The Atman: Or B) Is He ” That” (Atman) by which one sees? Or by which one hears? Or by which one smells fragrance? Or by which one knows what is tasty and what is not tasty?

Upahita Chaitanya: The Sakshi (Witnessing Consciousness )witnesses all the bodily and mental functions, but does not get involved in them. It remains untouched. It is That by which, one sees, hears, smells, thinks. This alone is the True Self at the Vyashti level.

Verse: 5.2- ” Associated Consciousness at Individual level “

In this Sloka,  Consciousness in association with the body, mind, intellect, memory and ego-sense is described. This Consciousness is reflected Consciousness. This has a Visishta relationship that produces Jeeva. Rishi describes here sixteen faculties in which Jeeva differ from each other. The faculties are inner instruments, chiefly the Mind and the Intellect which have their vast range to cover.

Sixteen faculties are as below.

i) Samjnaanam, ii) Aajnaanam, iii) Vijnaanam, iv)Praajnaanam, Comprehension, intelligence, v ) Medha, Memory retention, vi) Drishtih, vii) Dhritih, viii) Matih, ix) Maneeshaa, x) Jootih, xi) Smritih, xii) Samkalpah, xiii) Kratuh, xiv) Asuh, xv) Kaamah, xvi) Vashah.

All the faculties are considered to be different names and forms through which PrajnAnaM operates as Visishta Chaitanya in Jeeva. Faculties from i to xiv are part of Subtle body . Last two faculties xv and xvi constitute Causal body. These two are bundle of desires, attachments which causes the man take birth again and again.

Therefore we can summarize the sloka in this way:  “He is that other, living in the mind or in the intellect as imagination, discrimination, knowledge, continuity, intuition, conviction, contemplation, will, emotion, memory, desire, resolution, being, living, loving, longing: all names for one intelligence”.

Verse: 5.3-  “Un associated (Upahita) and associated Consciousness at all levels.” PrajnAnaM Brahma at all levels”

प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म :

Verse: 5.3: 
एष ब्रह्मैष इन्द्र एष प्रजापतिरेते सर्वे देवा इमानि च
पञ्चमहाभूतानि पृथिवी वायुराकाश आपो
ज्योतींषीत्येतानीमानि च क्षुद्रमिश्राणीव ।
बीजानीतराणि चेतराणि चाण्डजानि च जारुजानि च स्वेदजानि चोद्भिज्जानि
चाश्वा गावः पुरुषा हस्तिनो यत्किञ्चेदं प्राणि जङ्गमं च पतत्रि
च यच्च स्थावरं सर्वं तत्प्रज्ञानेत्रं प्रज्ञाने प्रतिष्ठितं
प्रज्ञानेत्रो लोकः प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठा प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म ॥ ३॥

In this Sloka, Rishi emphasize that PrajnAnaM Brahma is  present in all levels.

“He is Brahma , He is Indra, He is Prajapati; He is all these gods; He is the Five great elements- Earth, Air, Akasha, Water, Light; He is all these small creatures and the others which are mixed; He is the origin-those born of an egg, of a womb, of sweat and of a sprout; He is horses, cows, human beings, elephants- whatever breathes here, whether moving on legs or flying in the air or unmoving. All the basis of the Universe is Consciousness. Consciousness is Brahman. PrajnAnaM Brahma. प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म.

प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म. This is one of the four MahaVakyas:

Consciousness is Brahman. This Consciousness is Pure. Upahita Chaitanya. When it becomes associated Consciousness (Maya + Upahita Chaitanya). This creation is unreal in nature. Creation is mere a superimposition upon Consciousness.

Verse: 5.4- ” Jivanmukti & Kramamukti”

 एतेन प्राज्ञेनाऽऽत्मनाऽस्माल्लोकादुत्क्रम्यामुष्मिन्स्वर्गे लोके सर्वान्
कामानाप्त्वाऽमृतः समभवत् समभवत् ॥ ४॥

He having realized oneness with Pure Consciousness, soared from this world and having obtained all desires in yonder heavenly world, became immortal! Yes immortal.

Verse: 6- ” The Peace invocation”

ॐ वाङ् मे मनसि प्रतिष्ठिता मनो मे वाचि प्रतिष्ठितमाविरावीर्म
एधि वेदस्य म आणीस्थः श्रुतं मे मा प्रहासीरनेनाधीतेनाहोरात्रान्
संदधाम्यृतं वदिष्यामि सत्यं वदिष्यामि तन्मामवतु
तद्वक्तारमवत्ववतु मामवतु वक्तारमवतु वक्तारम् ॥

॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥

                       ॥ इत्यैतरोपनिषदि तृतीयोध्यायः ॥

The End of Aitareya Upanishad.

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of Aitareya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Aitareya Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  10. Information available on internet.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

 

Essence of Taittiriya Upanishad – Bhrigu Valli :

Introduction:

This Part is known as Bhrigu Valli, third chapter of Taittiriya Upanishad. It has Ten Anuvakas ( 10 sections)

The Taittiriya Upanishad is a part of the Krishna Yajur Veda and placed in the seventh position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishad. The Upanishad has three Chapters. First chapter of the Upanishad is Sheeksha Valli which gives the essence of the Karma Kanda of the Veda in terms of disciplines, rituals, meditations, values, code of conduct for daily life has been published in two parts. Sheeksha Valli: part-1A and Sheeksha Valli: part-1B.  

Second Chapter ” Brahmananda Valli teaches in details 1) about the five sheaths that surround our true essence, our true nature as described in the traditional Advaita Vedanta which uses a model to illustrate the successive layers of identification which obscure our real nature. and 2)What is Bliss”(True Joy). It has been published in two parts.  Brahmananda Valli: Part 1-A and Brahmananda Valli: Part-1-B

Bhrigu Valli has 10 Anuvaka : Enlightenment of Sage Bhrigu is highlighted in this Text. Bhrigu was the son of sage Varuna.

Peace invocation from Krishna Yajur Veda:

“Bhrigu May He protect us both. May He take pleasure in us both. May we show courage together. May spiritual knowledge shine before us. May we never hate one another. May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.”

Anuvaka-1:

3.1 Bhrigu, seeking his father Varuna, said: ” Lord ! Please teach me what is Brahman. Varuna replied: ” Food, Prana, Eyes, Ears, Mind and speech. These are all Brahman” From Brahman, all things are born, by whom they live, towards whom they move, into whom they return. Crave to know that well.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Anuvaka-2: Bhrigu returns for more:

Bhrigu then meditated with austerity (Tapas is an austerity, an act of purification) and understood that Food is Brahman.
Having known that Bhrigu returned to his father and said: ” Lord ! Please tell me more about Brahman.” Varuna said: ” By deep thinking(Tapas), seek thou to know Brahman. Tapas is Brahman.

Anuvaka-3 : Prana is Brahman.

3.3:Bhrigu meditated and found that Prana is Brahman, because it is from Prana alone that all these things are born, by prana they live and towards prana they move, into prana they return when die.
Having known that Bhrigu returned to his father and said: ” Lord ! Please tell me more about Brahman.” ” Varuna said: ” By deep thinking(Tapas), seek thou to know Brahman. Tapas is Brahman.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Anuvaka-4: Mind is Brahman.

Bhrigu meditated and understood that Mind is Brahman.  Because it is from Mind alone that all these things are born, by mind they live and continue to live into mind they return when die.
Having known that Bhrigu returned to his father and said: ” Lord ! Please tell me more about Brahman.” ” Varuna said: ” By deep thinking(Tapas), seek thou to know Brahman. Tapas is Brahman.

Anuvaka-5: Knowledge is Brahman.

Bhrigu meditated and understood that Knowledge is Brahman.  Because it is from Knowledge alone that all these things are born, by Knowledge they live and continue to live and into knowledge they return when die.
Having known that Bhrigu returned to his father and said: ” Lord ! Please tell me more about Brahman.” ” Varuna said: ” By deep thinking(Tapas), seek thou to know Brahman. Tapas is Brahman.

Anuvaka-6: Bliss (Ananda) is Brahman.

Bhrigu meditated and understood that Bliss (Ananda) is Brahman.  Because it is from Bliss alone that all these things are born, by Bliss they live and continue to live and into Bliss they return when die.
Having known that Bhrigu returned to his father and said: ” Lord ! Please tell me more about Brahman.” ” Varuna said: ” By deep thinking(Tapas), seek thou to know Brahman. Tapas is Brahman.
The Merit of Tapas: 
He who knows thus become well fixed in Supreme Bless Brahman. He becomes the possessor and eater of Food. He becomes rich in progeny, cattle, and gains the splendour of true Brahmana hood. Indeed he becomes great Spiritual and material prosperity. 

The Tapas ends at Absolute Bliss:

This Knowledge learnt by Bhrigu and taught by his father Varuna, established in the ” Supreme cavity of the Heart”.

The journey that began with food now ends in Supreme Bliss in the ” Supreme cavity of the Heart”. Here the disciple, the seeker becomes One with Brahman. The concept of teaching through conversation emphasize that anyone who follows the same method as Bhrigu, can have same realization what Bhrigu achieved. It is known as famous ” Bhargavi- Varuni Vidya” in Taittiriya Upanishad.

Introduction to Anuvaka 7 to 10:

The path of Self-Realization followed by Bhrigu is considered to be the most direct path, suited for meditation practitioners. But for the aspirants unable to follow are given alternate (indirect) method as described in Anuvaka-7,8,9 and first verse of 10. To prepare the lessor qualified students, for the same attainment of Bhrigu, a practice ” Annam-Annadanam Upasana is prescribed. This is meditation on Food and eater of food. If followed as described, seeker will reach to the same state of bliss, the absolute Bliss. Each Anuvaka is structured in a logical manner. 1. The Vrata (Vow), 2. The Upasana (Meditation) and 3. The Phala (merit gained).

Anuvaka-7: Prana and Body as Food.

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7.1:  Vow-1: Respect Food:

“annam na nindyaat; tat Vratam;” 
The vow here is not to insult food. What that means? That means, rejecting, refusing, criticizing, placing no value on Food. Food ties in well with the Upasana on Prana and Body. Food must be respected and taken in pleasant frame of mind. As such Pranic system works well.

7.2: Upasana-1: Prana and Body- Food for each other:

Prana is food (annam). Body is the eater of the food(annadam). The Body is Prana; Prana is Body. They are food to one another.

7.3: The Merit: Spiritual and material prosperity:

He who knows thus become well fixed in Brahman. He becomes the possessor and eater of Food. He becomes rich, Commands everything, enjoys everything; founds a family, gathers flocks and herds. Gains the splendour of true Brahmana hood.

Anuvaka–8:

8.1: Vow-2  ” Do not reject Food”

“annam na parichaksheet; tat vratam”  Do not reject food.
The Vow here is for not abandoning or wasting food served. In addition, too much fasting in the name of Austerity should also be avoided to fulfil body’s requirement.

8.2: Upasana-2:Water and Light- Food for each other.

Water and Fire–Food for Each Other. Water is food; Light lives on Water. Water is light; Light is Water; they are food for one another.

[Sun and Solar system works for sustaining life in Earth.]

8.3: The Merit: Spiritual and material prosperity:

He who knows thus become well fixed in Brahman. He becomes the possessor and eater of Food. He becomes rich, Commands everything, enjoys everything; founds a family, gathers flocks and herds. Gains the splendour of true Brahmana hood.

Anuvaka-9: Earth and Space- Food for each other.

9.1: Vow-3  “Store Food”

“annam bahu kurvita; tat vratam” : Prepare plenty of Food. Let that be your vow.

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

Here the Vow is for arranging plenty of food in store such that one can feed guests, unexpected guests and the needy without any difficulty. This practice is normally followed in most of the homes in India.

9.2: Upasana-3: Earth and Space- Food for each other.

The Earth is Food; Space is eater of Food. Earth is established in Space. Space is established Earth. They are food for one another. [Consider Ecosystem, Water cycles etc.]

9.3: The Merit: Spiritual and material prosperity:

He who knows thus become well fixed in Brahman. He becomes the possessor and eater of Food. He becomes rich, Commands everything, enjoys everything; founds a family, gathers flocks and herds. Gains the splendor of true Brahmana hood.

Interpretation of Anuvaka-7 to 9:

Before proceeding to Anuvaka -10, let us understand the essence from Anuvaka-7 to 9.

The teaching is hidden and something beyond the words. The teaching here is alternate to the model of Five Sheaths, where we have to reach to Brahman after negating all the koshas. Maharshi Bhrigu was a great sage. There are three primary stages of Sadhana covered in Anuvaka-7 to 9.

1.Abiding by the Law of Dharma:

First stage of Sadhana is Vow to eradicate undesirable practices to desirable noble practices. This means replacing unrighteous with righteous qualities. The aspirant has to align with the Laws of Dharma. An attitude must be developed, to respect the food, preserve the food and serve the food to the needy. The main idea is to develop a selflessness combined with benevolent quality.

2.Abiding by the Law of Karma:

There is an action and reaction suggested in this Upasana. It is to be understood that we are eating food and food is eating us. At one moment we are eaters; at another we are eaten! In this mystic manner, the Upasanas draw our attention to the Law of Karma.

Anuvaka--10: The Path of “Dharma & Karma”

10.1: Vow-4 : “Hospitality towards guests.”

न कञ्चन वसतौ प्रत्याचक्षीत । तद्व्रतम् । Do not turn anyone who seeks shelter and lodging. Gather enough food.

10.2-5: Upasana-4: Entertain and honour your guest.

Say to the stranger; “Sir, Food is ready for you”. The food is prepared and served in well manner. He who serves with purity, gets purity in return. He who serves with ignorance, gets ignorance in return.

Upasana upon Body.

He who knows, meditate upon Brahman as the blessedness in speech; as Prana and Apana as acquirer and preserver; as the activity of hands, as the movement of feet, as evacuation of bowels. All these are meditation upon Body. 

Upasana on Nature.

Worship Brahman as nourishment in rain, as power in lightning, as abundance in cattle, as light in stars, offspring, immortality and joy in organs of procreation, as all-filling in space, all containing nature in air. These are meditations on Nature.

Upasana on Supreme. As one thinks, so does one become.

Worship Brahman as the support, be supported. Worship Brahman as the Great and become Great, as mind and become mind. Surrender to Brahman as the sole object of desire, be the goal of all desire. Worship Brahman as the master of all and become master of all. Worship Brahman as the destroyer, your enemies whether in public or in home shall be destroyed. 

“The Reality in the core of man and the Reality in the Sun is one and the same”  

He who knows this, says goodbye to the world, goes beyond AnnaMaya Kosha (Elemental Self), Pranamaya Kosha (Living Self) , ManoMaya Kosha(Thinking Self), VijnaMaya Kosha (Knowing Self )and  AnandaMaya Kosha(Joyous Self).

10.6 Song of Bhrigu:

तत् साम गा॑यन्ना॒स्ते । हा ३ वु॒ हा ३ वु॒ हा ३ वु॑ ॥ ५॥

अ॒हमन्नम॒हमन्नम॒हमन्नम् ।
अ॒हमन्ना॒दोऽ॒३हमन्ना॒दोऽ॒३अहमन्ना॒दः ।
अ॒हꣳश्लोक॒कृद॒हꣳश्लोक॒कृद॒हꣳश्लोक॒कृत् ।
अ॒हमस्मि प्रथमजा ऋता३स्य॒ ।
पूर्वं देवेभ्योऽमृतस्य ना३भा॒इ॒ ।
यो मा ददाति स इदेव मा३अऽवाः॒ ।
अ॒हमन्न॒मन्न॑म॒दन्त॒मा३द्मि॒ ।
अ॒हं विश्वं॒ भुव॑न॒मभ्य॑भ॒वा३म् ।
सुव॒र्न ज्योतीः᳚ । य ए॒वं वेद॑ । इत्यु॑प॒निष॑त् ॥ ६॥
He remains, continuously singing the following song of Joy…… Oh! Oh! Oh!
He moves at will throughout the world, enjoying whatever he will, creating whatever shape he will, praising the Unity of Brahman-miraculous, miraculous, miraculous. I am the food, I am the food, I am the food; I am the eater, I am the eater, I am the eater. I am the link between, I am the link between, I am the link between. I am the first among the eternal and the immortal. I existed before the gods. I am the navel of immortality. Who gives me, protects me. I am food; who refuses to give me, I eat as food. I am this world and I eat this world.  I am self- luminous like the Sun.

Who knows this, knows Brahman.

॥ इति भृगुवल्ली समाप्ता ॥ The End of Bhrigu Valli

Peace invocation from Krishna Yajur Veda:

ॐ स॒ह ना॑ववतु । स॒ह नौ॑ भुनक्तु । स॒ह वी॒र्यं॑ करवावहै ।
ते॒ज॒स्वि ना॒वधी॑तमस्तु॒ मा वि॑द्विषा॒वहै᳚ ।
॥ ॐ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॑ ॥

॥ हरिः ॐ ॥

Conclusion:

Above Text reminds the Text in Brahmananda Valli, the second part of Taittiriya Upanishad. In Brahmananda Valli we gain knowledge to cross over the five Koshas (sheathes) during this life and it is Jivanmukti while still living. Also in the above Text, Kramamukti is projected as actions for the Self and for the Mankind through services with purity and selflessness to achieve the desired fruits of actions. He who follows the teaching of Bhrigu, masters the highest Knowledge. After gaining Knowledge he realizes Brahman which is the ultimate Goal.

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of Taittiriya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Taittiriya Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Information available on internet.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

Essence of Aitareya Upanishad: Part-A

Disclaimer:

  • The article is based on my studies, my concept, my thoughts on the subject. It is further supplemented  with my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE. I can be reached at : arun7663@gmail.com

Introduction:-

Aitareya Upanishad belongs to Aitareya Aranyaka**(Teachings in the forest), part of Rig-Veda, consists of  three Parts. First Part consists of three chapters. Remaining two Parts have one chapter each. according to scholars, Rishi Maheedasa Aitareya composed this Upanishad. The purpose of this Upanishad is to direct the mind towards oneness turning away from ritualistic actions. 

According to Aitareya Upanishad, in the beginning, Atman was the All and it has manifested all this Universe. This is to be understood as total effect which came out of the total Cause. The whole objective Universe is the Effect. Also this is to be understood that the Effect which has come out of Cause is not separated from the Cause.

Aitareya Upanishad emphasize the beliefs, practices of Procreation, sustenance of generations, Birth and rebirth. It teaches about the creation of Universe, creation of beings, the embodied Self, the importance of food, desire in the continuation of the worlds and beings. Upanishad gives idea on transmigration of souls, the nature of Self, the manifestation of Brahman and the path of liberation. My presentation here is on first Part. I have added some figures of creation of Universe according to modern science just to imagine and relate Aitareya Upanishad with physics and philosophy

Atman:

Atman includes everything and everyone. It is the Total of all created beings, and so it is called Brahman. The ultimate in us is Atman. The ultimate in the cosmos is Brahman. Atman is Brahman. There can not be anything other than this Universal Reality.

The first chapter describes the creation. It describes the creation of Universe from Consciousness. 

Story of creation in Aitareya Upanishad says ” When there was nothing other than Consciousness, called Atman, the One and Absolute Consciousness willed to create a world of multiplicity and diversity. Creation is believed to be outcome of Tapah (Fire)

ऐतरेयोपनिषत्

Peace Invocation: Shanti Path: 

वाङ् मे मनसि प्रतिष्ठिता मनो मे वाचि प्रतिष्ठितमाविरावीर्म एधि ॥

वेदस्य म आणीस्थः श्रुतं मे मा प्रहासीरनेनाधीतेनाहोरात्रान्
संदधाम्यृतं वदिष्यामि सत्यं वदिष्यामि ॥ तन्मामवतु
तद्वक्तारमवत्ववतु मामवतु वक्तारमवतु वक्तारम् ॥

॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥

May Self-luminous Brahman be revealed, Speech merge in Mind; Mind merge in Speech. May they bring me Vedas. May I ponder over the Knowledge day and night, may I never forget it. Truth shall be on my lips, and Truth in my thoughts. May truth protect me; protect my teacher; protect us both.

May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.

॥ अथ ऐतरेयोपनिषदि प्रथमाध्याये प्रथमः खण्डः ॥

Verse: 1.1 Before Creation began.

ॐ आत्मा वा इदमेक एवाग्र आसीन्नान्यत्किंचन मिषत्।स ईक्षत लोकान्नु सृजा इति ॥ १॥
" Atma va idam eka evagra as it, nanyat kin cana misat" is the beginning sentence of Aitareya Upanishad.

“In the beginning all this verily was Atman (Absolute Self) only, one and without a second. There was nothing else that winked. He (Atman) willed Himself: “Let Me now create the worlds”.

The Space Time, The Universe(s), the Creatures, the People, everything is a product out of Pure Consciousness for a CAUSE. Pure Consciousness is Atman. 

Atman is identical to Brahman and exists alone as the sole Reality prior to the creation of all names and forms of this Universe(the Virat Form) and also exists after the dissolution as well. { Holographic Universe: Universe is really a hologram}.

The cosmic egg of Vedanta maybe imagined like a point and called as singularity in astrophysics from where this Universe has taken birth.

Astrophysics and Advaita Vedanta agree on certain points. Advaita Vedanta upholds the notion of the pulsating or oscillating Universe. Creation is followed by dissolution and this process will continue infinitely. Science has given the terms as “Big Bang”  for the Creation and “Big Crunch” for the Dissolution of the Universe.

Verse: 1.2 : Creation of World:

He created all these worlds: Ambhah, Mareecheeh, Marah and Aapah. Far beyond is Ambhah, just above the Heaven (Svah) with Heaven acting as it’s support. That of the first is water bearing cloud, that of light, that of earth, that of water. Heaven and beyond Heaven is that of the first water; sky[Mareecheeh] is that of light; this mortal territory is that of Earth(Marah~ plane of death). Under Earth is that of water[Aapah] (representing the nether worlds).

Verse: 1.3: Hiranyagarbha, The Chief Deity:

Brahman thought again: “Here are the worlds just created. Let me create protectors for these worlds.” Then He took a lump of water and gave it form of Purusha( Hiranyagarbha ~Chief Deity of the whole subtle manifestation).

Note: Hiranyagarbha:

Hiranyagarbha Sukta of the Rig Veda(10.121) states that God manifested Himself in the beginning as the Creator of the Universe, encompassing all things, including everything within Himself, the collective totality, as it were, of the whole of creation, animating it as the Supreme Intelligence. Deities fall under Hiranyagarbha. The Deities are in subtle form. The gross creation has not begun yet.

Verse: 1.4: Eight Chief Deities are created.

तमभ्यतपत्तस्याभितप्तस्य मुखं निरभिद्यत यथाऽण्डं
मुखाद्वाग्वाचोऽग्निर्नासिके निरभिद्येतं नासिकाभ्यां प्राणः ॥

प्राणाद्वायुरक्षिणी निरभिद्येतमक्षीभ्यां चक्षुश्चक्षुष
आदित्यः कर्णौ निरभिद्येतां कर्णाभ्यां श्रोत्रं
श्रोत्रद्दिशस्त्वङ्निरभिद्यत त्वचो लोमानि लोमभ्य ओषधिवनस्पतयो
हृदयं निरभिद्यत हृदयान्मनो मनसश्चन्द्रमा नाभिर्निरभिद्यत
नाभ्या अपानोऽपानान्मृत्युः
शिश्नं निरभिद्यत शिश्नाद्रेतो रेतस आपः ॥ ४॥

Eight Chief Deities are: 

1) The Agni Devata: ” A Mouth burst forth from it as cleft, just as an egg cracks; from the mouth proceeded Speech, from Speech emerged Agni, the Fire Deity.

2) The Vayu Devata: Then Hiranyagarbha’s nostrils burst forth; from the nostrils emerged the sense of smell; and from the smell emerged Vayu, the Air Deity.

3) The Aditya Devata: Then the Eye burst open on the lump; from the Eyes, sight merged; and from sight Aditya, the Sun Deity.

 4) The Disha Devata: Then the Ears burst forth; from the Ears proceeded hearing; from hearing Dishah; the Deity of Directions/Space.

5) The Vanaspataya Devata: Then the Skin suddenly appeared; from the Skin came out hair; and from hair, Vanaspatayah, the Deity of “Herbs and Trees”

6) The Chandramaa Devata: Then the Heart sprung up; from the Heart proceeded the mind; from the mind, Chandramaah, the Moon Deity.

7) The Mrityu Devata: Then a Navel burst forth; from the Navel, the Apana or power of excretion; from Apana came Mrityuh, the Lord of Death.

8) The Aapah Devata: Then the Generative Organ burst out; from this Organ the semen or seed; from semen came Aapah, the Water Deity.

Note: We know the five element (five Deities) model of Creation. Here also we see the same five elements, each of which has it’s own Deity. The three additional Deities mentioned are the Sun, the Moon and the Death. All the eight Deities play important role in the Operation of the Universe.

॥ इत्यैतरेयोपनिषदि प्रथमाध्याये प्रथमः खण्डः ॥

End of Chapter 1 of Part-1


॥ अथ ऐतरेयोपनिषदि प्रथमाध्याये द्वितीयः खण्डः ॥

In the previous chapter we have known the Creation of the Organs and their Deities at subtle and macrocosmic (Samasthi) level. In this second chapter, we will discuss the gross and microcosmic level( Vyashti) of the creation. When it was subtle, we called it Hiranyagarbha. Now we will call it Virat with multiple forms. To understand the creation we may refer the Text in “Panchadasi” : Four stages of creation. A conceptual picture is projected below. I have written separate blog on this topic. The link is here: “The Divine Art”

The divine art!!(A concept according to the Text ” “Panchadasi: Sixth Chapter: “Chitra Deepa Prakarana”)

The stages of creation are as below: 4 stages of divine art!

FOUR STAGES OF CREATION IS COMPARED WITH FOUR STAGES OF PAINTING!

Chapter-2:   Abodes for the Deities.

Verse: 2.1-3

When these Deities were created, they went back to water. Then He endowed that being with hunger and thirst. Deities then said ” Please find for us some place where we can live and eat.  He then created a Bull out of the waters. They said: indeed, this is not sufficient.” He then created a horse. They said: No; it is not sufficient.” He then created a man. They said : ” Oh! Well done” Deities were happy since Man is the chief of creatures. He said to the Deities: “Take your places.

Verse: 2.4-5

The Deity of Fire in the character of speech entered in the mouth; The Deity of Air in the character of Scent entered the nose; The Sun-Deity in the character of sight entered the eyes; The Deity of four quarters in the character of hearing entered the ears; vegetation in the character of hair entered the skin; The Moon Deity, in the character of mind entered the Heart; The Deity of death in the character of Apana entered the navel; he Deity of water in the character of seed entered the loins. Hunger and thirst said:” Where is our place?” He said:” Take your place beside all the Deities, for I have made you the partner of all. To whatever Deities man makes oblation, hunger and thirst shall partake.”

॥ इत्यैतरेयोपनिषदि प्रथमाध्याये द्वितीयः खण्डः ॥

End of Chapter 2 of Part-1


॥ अथ ऐतरेयोपनिषदि प्रथमाध्याये तृतीयः खण्डः ॥

Chapter 3 of Part-1:

Verse 3.1-2: Creation of Food

The Creator Said:” Here are the territories and their guardians. I need to create food.

Verse 3.3-10: How to grasp the food?:-

Lord meditated on waters and from waters emerged food. The food so created fled from Man. He tried to grasp with speech but failed. Indeed, were he be able to catch it by speech, then merely by saying food, we would have been satisfied. Then he tried to grasp food with the breath, but he could not. Indeed, were he be able to grasp it merely by smelling food we would have been satisfied. Lord sought to grasp it with the eye. Man was not able to grasp with eye. If indeed, man had grasped with the eye, one would then have been satisfied by merely seeing food. He tried to grasp it with his ears but failed. Had he been succeeded, to to hear it had become satisfaction enough. he then tried to grasp it with his skin but failed. Had he succeeded, to touch it would have been satisfaction enough. He tried to grasp it with mind but failed, had he succeeded, thinking of it had been satisfaction enough. He then tried to grasp it with the downward breath Apana and succeeded. Apana alone receives food. Apana lives on food. 

Since Apana grasps food, retains, consumes, assimilates, rejects, it is called Annayu and therefore Apana is known as Vayu. 

[EACH SYSTEM HAS IT'S OWN GRIP. DIGESTIVE IS BY STOMACH ONLY. SIMILARLY OTHERS. SUCH IS ONE OF THE FUNCTIONS OF HUMAN BODY]

Verse 3.11 Lord’s Regal Entry:

The Creator thought Himself: ” How could all these remain without Me?” Then He said to Himself: “Which way shall I enter into it?” He said to Himself further: ” If Speaking is done by Speech, Smelling is done by nose, seeing is done by eyes, hearing by the ears, touching by the skin, thinking by the mind, eating by the Apana and the emission of semen by the sex organ, then what is there for Me to do?

Verse 3.12: Creator’s Entry into the Body:

Then He split open the suture of the Skull, entered through the gate which is gate of Joy , called ” Vidriti” This is Naandana. He found three place to dwell and three conditions to move: i) Waking, ii) Dreaming and iii) Sleeping.

Important Note:-

Sacchidanand Brahman associated with power of Maya is termed as Ishwara.

Two important verses from Panchadasi, Chapter-6 is given below to understand Ishwara and Jiva in brief. For details, interested readers may read Swami Vidyaranya’s Panchadasi. Also readers may read my Blog : “The Divine Art” which is comprehensive presentation of Chapter Six- ” Chitra Deepa” of Panchadasi.

Maya has created Ishwara and Jiva, represented by the sheath of Bliss and the sheath of Intellect respectively. The whole perceptible world is a creation of Ishwara. [ Panchadasi: Chapter6-Verse212]

From the determination of Ishwara to create, down to His entrance into the created objects, is the creation of Ishwara. From the waking state to ultimate release, the cause of all pleasure and pains, is the creation of Jiva.    [ Panchadasi: Chapter6-Verse213]

Verse 3.13 : “Oh! I have seen this earlier”.

He entered the Body, named it’s various parts, wondered if there could be anything there not Himself. He saw Purusha, the Supreme Brahman; Rejoiced to find there was nothing but Himself.

Verse 3.14: From Idandra to Indra- Knowledge to Ignorance!

Hence He is known by Idandra. He- that sees. This Idandra has since been called Indra (short name-nick name). Even Deities(Devas) are fond of this name ” Indra”  

॥ इत्यैतरेयोपनिषदि प्रथमाध्याये तृतीयः खण्डः ॥

End of Chapter 3 of Part-1

Conclusion:

How did the Creation came up? Creator thought I shall indeed create the worlds. At the end of each Cycle, the totality of living beings at that point of time remains in the form of Vasana in the form of mental impressions. In the beginning of the next cycle, these Vasanas are projected by Isvara according to the quality of their past actions to seek out their fulfilment in the objective world to appear. Although the creation happens by the will of Brahman, Supreme Consciousness, but the resultant product is based on the nature of past actions by the created persons.

References:-

The Purusha Sukta of Rig Veda describes the creation of Universe.

The Purusha Sukta of Rig Veda paints picture of the ideal Primeval Being existing before any phenomenal existence. According to Sukta, that cosmic person is conceived with thousand heads, eyes and feet and filled the Universe and extended beyond it.

The Nasadiya Sukta of Rig Veda:

It is recommended to read the article ” Cosmology in Vedanta” by Swami Tathagatananda.

BIOCENTRISM:-

Interested readers may read the new subject Biocentrism. Name of the book is BIOCENTRISM : How life and Consciousness are the keys to understanding the True nature of the Universe: By Robert Lanza MD with BOB BERMAN. One excerpt from the book is this: “Some of the thrill that came with the announcement that the human genome had been mapped or the idea that we are close to understanding the first second of time after the Big Bang rests in our innate human desire for completeness and totality.                  Page-13 BIOCENTRISM

First Principle of Biocentrism: What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness.

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of Aitareya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Aitareya Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  10. Information available on internet.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

 

My journey through Books: Part-1

Introduction:

This journey through books started on December-2016 and it was specific and you can say something predetermined in the perspective of Spirituality.

So far I have published about 27 Blogs on Vedanta (Upanishad). In this blog series, I am going to let you know, how I entered into the world of Vedanta.

Certain odd events in my life made me very low during the mid 2016. Indeed I was very happy with my professional life, due to my promotion to the post of Dy. General Manager (CNS) , Ahmedabad Airport in the month of June-2016 with independent charge of AERODROME OPERATION CONTROL CENTER (AOCC) ), AUTOMATIC SWITCHING SYSTEM (Important system for for flight movements), All types of communication system  for inter and intra Airports, along with additional responsibilities of Surveillance Systems (Primary Radar, Secondary Radar,  Automatic Dependant Surveillance system[ADS] and to impart Training. I was doing good with Jeal and enthusiasm with my team, yet I was highly unhappy which was purely personal. As I was committed to my job which was directly related to passenger safety and security, so I had to be on my toe for that. I had to care the systems 24/7. That was a tough situation but without much difficulties I was managing well as far as my responsibilities towards my organization( AIRPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA) was concerned.

At certain moment I started thinking like this ” Who will cry when I will die”. Within a day or two,  I found a book named ” Who will cry when you die : By Robin Sharma” in the Airport Book shop. I decided to buy that book anytime soon. But I missed the chance to buy that one from the Airport Book Shop.  I was so busy with my job that it was not possible to find even time to search the book in other stores. That time, I never thought of buying it online. I went to Bangalore to visit my daughter and son in law. I stayed for some time there. I searched the book in book stores like ” Cross World”. It was out of stock. My daughter suggested me buy it online from Amazon or flipkart. I did that and bought one from Amazon. Finally the book was in my hand. Finally books became my mentor and saved me from going into depression and get lost. 

  • The first book came in my mind was: Who will cry when you die : By Robin Sharma:

  • The Second book: The Monk Who sold his Ferrari: By Robin Sharma:

  • The Third book: The Power of your Subconscious Mind: By Joseph Murphy

Above mentioned three books changed my life to a new direction and thereby a new journey started in my life. These three books along with others worked as saviour in my life. These three books were the pioneer to build an interest in the field of Vedanta and Modern Science[ Quantum Physics and Quantum Biology]. I will share everything with you my dear readers. What magical events happened in my life, that I will share in the next part. In this part I have listed few books that initially helped me. I will write in details about the contents of the books in short.

After reading these three, I got the following books miraculously.

Next appeared in my life are the books shown above These books are like life saving drugs, even more than that. 

PART-A: List of the books I have gone through initially:

  1. Who will cry when you die : By Robin Sharma: 21-12-2016
  2. The Monk Who sold his Ferrari: By Robin Sharma: 21-12-2016
  3. The Power of your Subconscious Mind: By Joseph Murphy: 21-3-2017
  4. Subconscious Mind Power: How to use the Hidden Power of your Subconscious mind: By Thompson James: 24-10-2017
  5. Master your Mind, Master your Life:15 Mind set hacks That will unleash your full potential Today: By Magnus Steele:05-12-2017
  6. The Shift: Taking your life from your Ambition to Meaning: By Wayne W. Dyer: 08-01-2018
  7. Evolve your Brain: The Science of Changing your Mind: By Joe Dispenja: 31-12-2017
  8. I am The Mind: By Deep Trivedi: April:2017
  9. I AM: The Power of Discovering Who you Really are: By FALCO HOWARD: 15-6-2017
  10. THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF: 10th Anniversary Edition: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles: Lipton Bruce H.
  11. MINDSET : How Positive thinking will set you Free & Help you achieve massive success in your life. By Benjamin smith.
  12. How to Eliminate Negative Thoughts and Emotions. By beau Norton, the CEO & Founder of ” Perfectly at Peace”.
  13. How to Transform your life: A blissful journey : Geshe Kelsang Gyasto
  14. Raise your Vibration: 111 Practices to increase your Spiritual connection: By Kyle Gray.
  15. Raise your Vibration: By Sabrina Reber
  16. Death by Black Hole and other COSMIC QUANDARIES: By Neil De Grasse Tyson
  17. The power of Truth: by William George Jordan
  18. Back to the Truth: 500 years of ADVAITA
  19. The Secret of Infinite Intelligence: By Antar
  20. THE DIVINE MATRIX: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles and Belief. By GREGG BRADEN
  21. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS.****** Translated By: Shree Purohit Swami and W.B.YEATS.
  22. BLACK HOLES: The BBC Reith Lectures : Stephen Hawking.
  23. Taking the Quantum Leap: The new Physics for Non scientists: By Fred Alan Wolf
  24. You are the Universe by Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos.
  25. BIOCENTRISM : How life and Consciousness are the keys to understanding the True nature of the Universe: By Robert Lanza MD with BOB BERMAN
  26. The Self Aware Universe: How Consciousness creates the material world: By Amit Goswami, Ph.D.
  27. THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE: By Michael Talbot.

In the next part I will write about the life changing events that happened after reading the books with full attention. It will be about Miracles that happened in my life:” THE POWER OF SUBCONSCIOUS MIND” Yes! That is it.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

 

Essence of Taittiriya Upanishad- Brahmananda Valli-Part-1A

Disclaimer: 

  • The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

Please read with patience to get the essence !!!

Introduction: 

This Part is known as Brahmananda Valli, second chapter of Taittiriya Upanishad. It has nine Anuvaka ( 9 sections)

The Taittiriya Upanishad is a part of the Krishna Yajur Veda and placed in the seventh position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishad. The Upanishad has three Chapters. First chapter of the Upanishad is Sheeksha Valli which gives the essence of the Karma Kanda of the Veda in terms of disciplines, rituals, meditations, values, code of conduct for daily life has been published in two parts. Sheeksha Valli: part-1A and Sheeksha Valli: part-1B.  

Our true nature is covered by the sheaths~[SHEATHE means KOSHA in Sanskrit ] known as “panchakosha” The Five Sheaths.

In this section we will discuss in details 1) about the five sheaths that surround our true essence, our true nature as described in the traditional Advaita Vedanta which uses a model to illustrate the successive layers of identification which obscure our real nature. and 2) ” What is Bliss”(True Joy)

Key Words:
panchakosha, Five sheathes, Brahmananda Valli, “Satyam jnanam anantam Brahman” AnnaMaya Kosha, PranaMaya Kosha, ManoMaya Kosha, VijnaMaya Kosha, AnandaMaya Kosha

” Brahmananda Valli-  “ब्रह्मानन्दवल्ली” : The Bliss that is Brahman”

Peace Mantra

ॐ स॒ह ना॑ववतु । स॒ह नौ॑ भुनक्तु । स॒ह वी॒र्यं॑ करवावहै । ते॒ज॒स्विना॒वधी॑तमस्तु॒ मा वि॑द्विषा॒वहै᳚ । ॐ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॑ ॥

Anuvaka 1-2: 

The opening sentence of Taittiriya Upanishad , in “Brahmananda Valli” is “Satyam jnanam anantam Brahman” which literarily means the knower of Brahman attains the Supreme.

From this very Self (Brahman), sprang space, from space the wind, from the wind 🌬️ the fire, from the fire 🔥, the water 💦, from the water the earth 🌎, from the earth the herbs, from the herbs food, from food man. Thus man indeed is made up of the sap of food. From food arise the creatures, which so ever live on earth. Through food do they live and to food they return. Of all elements, indeed food is the best. Therefore food is known as best medicine also. He who has no form assumed many forms; He who is infinite appeared finite; He who is everywhere assumed a place; He who is wisdom, caused ignorance; He who is real, caused unreality. It is HE ,who has become everything. It is HE who gives reality to all. Before the universe was created, Brahman existed as unmanifest.

Anuvaka-2-5: Five sheathes (“panchakosha“)

According to Taittiriya Upanishad, our true essence is covered by these sheathes in the same way that a scabbard encloses the blade of sword. Self is hidden behind the mask of the personality. The second chapter of Taittiriya Upanishad “BrahmanandaValli” describes five sheathes (“panchakosha“). Concept of whole of this Five Sheaths model is highly symbolic and metaphorical. Five sheaths are as follows:- 1) AnnaMaya Kosha 2) PranaMaya Kosha 3) ManoMaya Kosha 4) VijnaMaya Kosha 5) AnandaMaya Kosha

The First Layer:  “AnnaMaya Kosha” :

From food (food= anna) arise all the creatures, which live on earth, and through food alone do they live, and finally they return to the food in the end. The first layer, the grossest one with which we first identify ourselves as the body, is made up of food and known as AnnaMaya Kosha” (অন্নময়কোষ). The body takes birth, grows old, dies and decays back into the food from which it was produced. This has nothing to do with the real “Self”. This body alone is not the “Self”.

The Second layer: “PranaMaya Kosha” :

This is vital life force for which the body is animated and actions are performed. This layer is made of “Prana” the breathe which known as “PranaMaya Kosha”(প্রানময়কোষ). We are multi-layered being, composed of physical body, subtle body and causal body . The first mentioned sheath, the AnnaMaya Kosha is permeated by four Koshas. The next layer the Second layer is “PranaMaya Kosha”. The AnnaMaya Kosha is the effect of Prana. PranaMaya Kosha controls AnnaMaya Kosha. But this is not the real Self.

"Prana" is vital energy and invisible to us. It is like Electric Power ,which gives life to the machines and machines run, animates.  Same way this vital energy "Prana" animates us, the live bodies.  It runs the 1st layer the Physical body. This prana is external to further subtler energy which is Mind. The mind is so subtle and transparent, that  mind can reflect consciousness. 

Prana (Breath) is verily the life of beings and hence it is called the Universal life. It is matter of common knowledge that life becomes possible only so long as the vital energy keeps the different organs of the organism alive. ” Though this vital life force makes the body animated and actions are performed but this is not the Real Self. This Prana Maya Kosha separates life from death once the “Prana” leaves the body. This sheath is composed of five Pranas (prana, Udana, vyana, samana, apana). These pranas have their own importance to operate The Body perfectly. Through practice of Pranayama (pranayama is breathing exercise, part of Yoga as described in the ancient texts) , we can transcend to the next layer “ManoMaya Kosha”(মনোময়কোষ). But this is not the real Self.

The Third layer: – “ManoMaya Kosha”(মনোময়কোষ):

This Self is embodied in the previous one (Prana) which is the mental sheath consisting of the thinking mind.  This MIND (Manas” মন”) and the organs of perception is known as “ManoMaya Kosha”(মনোময়কোষ). This is the sheath which limits us and blocks us to go beyond. This Kosha is powerful, because bondage and liberation depends on the mind. It pervades the PranaMaya Kosha. Basically, this body is consisting of Mind through which we perceive the world via five agents (sense organs).Mind functions in three levels. 1. Conscious mind 2. Subconscious mind 3. Unconscious mind. All the above three minds are subsets of Universal mind. Human being is stuck in this sheath as always people are abducted by the mind (monkey mind). In the Patanjali yoga sutras 1.2 ” yoga is the stilling of modifications of mind’~” “yogas chitta Vritti nirodaha”. When the fluctuations of mind are stilled, our true nature is revealed.  We have then enough clarity to perceive the Self beyond the mind. Through pranayama and pratyahara (mental withdrawal of senses) we can pervade to the next layer. But this is not the real Self.

The Fourth layer:- VijnaMaya Kosha (বিজ্ঞানময় কোষ):

Beyond Mind there are higher levels of mind responsible for discriminations, recognizing the truth and the false, real or unreal. In silence it knows without needing to think. This is intellect (buddhi). This intellectual sheath is known as “VijnaMaya Kosha”.

VijnaMaya Kosha (~Buddhi) Sheath of WISDOM. This is also a part of subtle body. When subtle body is disciplined, the physical body also becomes very healthy and strong. The mind which is ruler of the subtle body gets flattened by worldly affections, attachments, desires etc. Through practice mind comes under control by this sheath. This self is embodied in the previous one that is ManoMaya Kosha. But this is not the real Self.

I AM (the Real Self) the witness of this sheath. Mind is mostly engaged with the first layer which is nothing but the body, the false identity with ego. It has a shape, size, name, fame everything.  Very much visible to Self, to inner Self, outer Self and to others of this samsara (সংসার). • The unwavering peace we seek is realized by experiencing the unlimited and eternal Peace that is our True Identity. Though obscured by ignorance, it exists within us, waiting to be revealed. This experience is enlightenment—Self-realization.{Experience to be gained with the help of 4th layer } • Self-realization can be attained by mastering the mind. Just as only a clean, undistorted mirror can reflect our face as it truly is, only a one-pointed and tranquil mind can part the veils of ignorance to reveal and reflect the Self. The effort to free the mind from the limitations of ignorance is a drama that has been repeated since time immemorial. But if the mind leads one towards the VijnaMaya Kosha by pervading itself, then what will happen?  In silence it knows without needing to think which is intellect (Buddhi~বুদ্ধি).  According to Vedanta, the study of scriptures helps in realization of truth, when one is equipped with necessary fourfold discipline:- 1. Discrimination between real (nitya নিত্য~ eternal) and unreal (anitya অনিত্য~transitory). 2. Renunciation of the unreal (Viraga~বৈরাগ্য) 3. Six fold qualities. 4. Longing for liberation (Moksha ~মোক্ষ প্রাপ্তি to escape from the cycle of births and deaths) The word “Self” is generally meant to “Atman” (soul). But the Sanskrit word is “Atman”, which cannot be translated.  This Atman is Deathless, Birthless, Eternal and Real for every individual.  It is the unchanging reality (sat ~সৎ) behind the changing body, sense organs, mind and ego. It is Spirit, which is pure Consciousness (চিত্) and is unaffected by time-space causality. It is infinite and it is ONE without the second. As the unchanging reality in the individual is known as Atman, same way the unchanging reality in the Universe is known as “BRAHMAN”. Vedanta says This BRAHMAN and ATMAN are one and the same. VijnaMaya Kosha consists of the intellect in conjunction with the five organs of knowledge (জ্ঞানেন্দ্রিয়).

The Fifth layer:-  “AnandaMaya Kosha” :-

This Self is embodied in the previous one. The self-consisting of Bliss and is filled by it. Here is the presence of most profound peace and silence when mind becomes no mind.  This is State of Bliss Let us recall the first sloka (1ST verse) of “Taittiriya Upanishad” second chapter which is known as “Brahmananda Valli”. Quoting the sentence again: —

“Satyam jnanam anantam Brahman” which means “The knower of “BRAHMAN” attains the Supreme”.  BRAHMAN is Truth, knowledge and Infinity, which is our own very Self, the Atman.  Brahman is not an object of knowledge.  It is always witnessing subject. (দ্রষ্টা~The Seer). In the second chapter of Taittiriya Upanishad, there is the definition of “Human JOY”. One unit of Human Joy. Will write that in my next blog very shortly. The Self is infinite. There is in fact no multiplicity or plurality in that ONE, Homogeneous Being, the Supreme Being and the Ultimate. Because of superimposition and our ignorance, we have forgotten our true nature.  It alone exists as the illuminator. This “Atman” the Real “Self” in its glorious existence, reveals its own Sat-Chit nature which is AnandaMaya. That is why this Sheath is referred to “AnandaMaya Kosha”. Actually, this Five Sheath model as mentioned in Taittiriya Upanishad is just an idea for understanding the different levels of the Self. The eternal nature of Self is Bliss only.

 Anuvaka-6: Who goes There- the Ignorant or the Knower?

Now the question arise in the mind of seeker ( ” atha atah anuprashnaah”):  Does the ignorant after living this world reach There or does the knower reach There? There means the AnandaMaya Kosha. The answer is : The Knower reach there. Knower reach Brahman. He who denies Brahman, denies Himself. He who affirms it, affirms Himself.  

Brahman is the very cause of creation:

Brahman thought: I would be many; I will procreate. And in the Heat of His meditation created everything; creating everything He entered into everything; entering into everything He took shape yet remained shapeless; took limits yet remained limitless; made His home, yet remained homeless; created knowledge and ignorance; reality, unreality; became everything; therefore everything is reality. In the beginning there was no creation; then creation came. He created Himself out of Himself. Hence He is called Self-Creator. 

Conclusion:

The Five sheaths model: Pancha Kosha Tatwa has been used to simplify the Advaita Vedanta to reach the Goal The Self Realization.

At the end we find Brahman which Rishi is driving us to reach through the process of negation. By negating the koshas from AnnaMaya to AnandaMaya, we enter into limitless realm of Brahman, the ultimate Goal. As each Kosha is Transcended we enter into subtler than the previous one. Finally we get back to beginning of Taittiriya Upanishad book II, sloka 1The knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme”.

According to Vedanta, Brahman is the Truth, the Knowledge and the endless Being. He who knows what is hidden in the cave in the highest heaven, realizes all his desires along with the Omniscient Brahman.

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of Taittiriya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Taittiriya Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Information available on internet.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

Essence of Taittiriya Upanishad – Sheeksha Valli : Part-1A

GURUKUL

Disclaimer:

  • The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

Introduction:

The Taittiriya Upanishad is a part of the Krishna Yajur Veda and placed in the seventh position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishad. The Upanishad has three Chapters. First chapter of the Upanishad is Sheeksha Valli which gives the essence of the Karma Kanda of the Veda in terms of disciplines, rituals, meditations, values, code of conduct for daily life. Consists of 12 sections, of which the first and the last contain prayers to the deities for the removing of obstacles’ while pursuing spiritual wisdom. In this blog we will discuss Sheeksha Valli. This Upanishad deals with the rituals part(Karma kanda~ Lower Knowledge) and Higher Knowledge part(Gyan Kanda~ Brahma Vidya). Hence it is considered to be a complete Upanishad. In this part we will learn Karma Kanda, the Rituals part.

Sheeksha Valli: Science of Vedic Chanting:

शीक्षावल्ली:

Section-1: Peace Invocation from The Yajur Veda:

May the Sun bless us! May the Night bless us! May the Eye bless us! May Might bless us! May speech bless us! May the All-prevalent bless us! Welcome Spirit! Welcome Life, Face of Spirit! Truth shall be on my lips and truth in my thoughts. May Truth protect me; protect my teacher; protect us both. May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.

Section-2: Sheeksha –Vedic Phonetics

We explain what constitutes pronunciation. It comprises letters, accent, quantity, articulation, rhythm and lastly sequence of letters.

Section-3:Third Section : Significance of Combinations

Teaches how to meditate on combination of words. Mere recitation of the Text may focus the mind only on letters. But, through meditation pupil will understand the symbolic significance which will make the mind pure and one pointed.

Prayer by Teacher and Student

May we both attain Fame together. May we both obtain Spiritual pre-eminence.(स॒ह नौ॒ यशः । स॒ह नौ ब्र॑ह्मव॒र्चसम् ।)

Now therefore Meditation (Upasana) on Sandhees:

This chapter deals with the Universe, Light(Luminosity), Vidya(Knowledge of Upanishad), progeny (maintaining family line) , language. (अधिलोकमधिज्यौतिषमधिविद्यमधिप्रज॑मध्या॒त्मम् ।) Adhilokam, Adhijyotisham, Adhividyam, Adhiprajam, Adhyaatmam. These are Maha-Samhitas**, the ” Great Word Junctions (Sandhees)” ***Samhita means conjunction or union.

Meditation-1 :What is this Universe?

Earth below, Heaven above, air between, wind joining them.

Meditation-2 :What is Light(Luminosity)?

Fire on one side, Sun on the other side, water between, lightning joining them.

Meditation-3 :What is Vidya( Knowledge of Upanishad)?

The Teacher on one side, pupil on the other side, knowledge between, discourse joining them.

Meditation-4 :What is progeny (maintaining family line)?

Mother on one side, father on other side, child between, procreation joining them.

Meditation-5 :What is language?

The lower jaw on one side, the upper jaw on the other side, words between, tongue joining them.

Summary of Third Section:

Upon these, anyone who meditates as explained, shall have children, cattle**(wealth), food, knowledge and Heavens. [** In the ancient time cattle was treated as wealth.]

Section-4: Teacher’s Prayer for wisdom and fortune:

Fourth section: For the attainment of knowledge of Brahman, one needs good memory, good health, adequate food and clothing which are basic needs. This section describes the process for attainment.

OM! , Whose form is manifold and Essence of Vedas, revealed in Vedas, revealed in the world, sprung from immortality! Lord, fill me with intelligence, that I may grasp immortality!

Make my body strong, my tongue sweet, my ears keen. You are the Spirit’s armor, hidden by sensuality. Keep me from forgetting.

May spiritual riches come of their own will. May they increase, then send me Spirit itself. May I never lack clothes. cows, food, drink, that I may serve you the better. May pupils come, may pupils gather round, may pupils listen, that I may serve you the better.

May they in peace, control mind and sense, that they may serve you the better. may I become famous, may I become richer than the richest, that I may serve you the better.

Lord! may I enter into you, may you enter into me! May I merge into your thousands of shapes, for my purification.

As water flows downward, as months mingle with the year, Guardian! may pupils come from everywhere, that I may serve you the better. You are the Fold. Take me, Enlighten me.

Summary of the Fourth Section:

This is a need for the teacher to have a sufficient number of students, not only to expand teaching venture, but also to spread the Vedic culture to the world. This Upanishad teaches about Ethical and Moral life with Self control (BrahmaCharya) without which a person can not progress towards Enlightenment.

&& Original Sanskrit sloka is available in the following link: Sanskrit Document

Conclusion:

The first chapter of the Taittiriya Upanishad has 12 sections comprising of different meditation(UPASANA) and ethical rules which a disciple should practice in order to purify his or her mind. Meditation is required to focus mind towards the cosmic power or the Supreme Being. This chapter deals with discipline of Sheeksha (academics) which comprises the study of phonetics and pronunciation. It deals with sound, pitch, quantity, force, modulation and combination. Ethical and Moral life with Self control (BrahmaCharya) is very important, without which a person as well as society can not progress towards Enlightenment.

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of Taittiriya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Taittiriya Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Information available on internet.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is : arun7663@gmail.com

MaNDukya Upanishad- The Nature of OM- Part1

Introduction:

The Mandukya Upanishad, belongs to Atharva Veda. It is the shortest of all the Upanishads with 12 verses and placed in the 6th position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishads. This Upanishad teaches the significance of the sacred syllable ~AUM (OM) and it correlates with four states of Consciousness. It describes the Turiya state, the state of transcendental Consciousness in which all the divisions and Duality disappears. The SELF alone exists in its pure state. Upon meditating on the Mystic Syllable , OM , mind can be trained to achieve freedom gradually to attain ultimate Reality.

माण्डूक्योपनिषत्

॥ अथ माण्डूक्योपनिषत् ॥

ॐ भद्रं कर्णेभिः श‍ृणुयाम देवा
भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः ।
स्थिरैरङ्गैस्तुष्तुवाꣳसस्तनूभिर्व्यशेम देवहितं यदायुः ॥

स्वस्ति न इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवाः
      स्वस्ति नः पूषा विश्ववेदाः ।
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमिः
      स्वस्ति नो बृहस्पतिर्दधातु ॥

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om! Shining Ones! May our ears hear the good. May our eyes see the good. May we serve HIM with the whole strength of our body. May we, all our life, carry out HIS will. Peace, peace and peace be everywhere.

Everything is OM

 ॐ इत्येतदक्षरमिदꣳ सर्वं तस्योपव्याख्यानं
भूतं भवद् भविष्यदिति सर्वमोङ्कार एव
यच्चान्यत् त्रिकालातीतं तदप्योङ्कार एव  ॥ १॥
First Mantra: Hari OM! OM ityetadakSharamidaM sarvam tasyopavyAkhyAnaM bhutaM bhavadH bhaviShyaditi sarvamoMkAra eva. yachchaanyatH trikAlAtitaM tadapyoMkaAra eva.(1) 

OM + ity + etad + akSharam => means This syllable is OM.                idaM sarvam => means This (OM) is all. tasya + upavyAkhyAnaM =>  Explanation begins with this Omkar.  bhutaM ( past) bhavadH ( present) bhaviShyat (future)  sarvam oMkAra eva. => Past , present future; everything is OM. yachchaanyatH trikAlA (three time periods) titaM tadapy + oMkaAra eva. ( even that too is OM which transcends three division of time).

Mantra 1. Hari OM! The Word OM is Imperishable. All this it’s manifestation. Past , present future; everything is OM. Whatever transcends the three divisions of time , that too is OM.

सर्वं ह्येतद् ब्रह्मायमात्मा ब्रह्म सोऽयमात्मा चतुष्पात् ॥ २॥
Second MantrasarvaM hyetad brahmAyamAtmA brahma so ayamAtma chatuShpAt (2) 

Mantra 2: All this is verily Brahman. (ब्रह्मायमात्मा ब्रह्म) ” Ayam atma Brahma” There is nothing that is not Brahman. The Personal Self is the impersonal Brahman. (सोऽयमात्मा चतुष्पात् ) It has four aspects (states), also known as four quarters.

” Ayam atma Brahma” is one of the four mahaVakyas from four Vedas. It signifies the realization that who I am really is that same Brahman. The word “chatuShpad” (चतुष्पात् )refers to the four aspects of Consciousness. Three states of Consciousness: 1) Waking[GROSS], 2) Dreaming [SUBTLE] and 3) Deep Sleep [CAUSAL]. Fourth is the Reality which is the Background of all states. Details to be known from the following verses.

The first pada: Waking state Consciousness.

जागरितस्थानो बहिष्प्रज्ञः सप्ताङ्ग एकोनविंशतिमुखः
स्थूलभुग्वैश्वानरः प्रथमः पादः ॥ ३॥
Third Mantra : jAgaritasthAno bahiShpraj~naH saptA~Nga ekonaviMshatimukhaH sthUlabhugvaishvAnaraH prathamaH pAdaH (3)

Mantra 3: First comes the material condition-common to all. Perception turned outward. Seven limbs*( सप्ताङ्ग = 7 limbs), Nineteen mouths**( एकोनविंशतिमुखः = 19 mouths), wherein the Self enjoys course matter. This is known as waking condition. Waking State~ jAgrat.  The individual is known here as vaishvAnara (Virat) who is in the waking state of consciousness(the gross world). Bahih PrajNa: (बहिष्प्रज्ञः) means the outward tendencies which is predominant in this state. The Seven Limbs: the macrocosm and microcosm are paired up and through 19 mouths, one enjoys the gross objects( स्थूलभुग्वैश्वानरः ) of this world.

*Seven limbs are: Heavens(he ad), Sun(eye) air(breath), fire(heart), water(belly), earth(feet) and space(body).

**Nineteen mouths are: 1) Five organs of senses- Hearing, Touching, Seeing, Tasting and Smelling. 2) Five organs of action- Speaking, Handling, Walking, Generating and Excreting. 3) Five living fires- Prana, Apana, Samana,Vayana, and Udana. 4) Four states of mind:  Discursive mind (Manas), Discriminative mind(Buddhi), Mind-Material(Chitta) and Personality(Ahangkara).  { 3×5+4 = 19}

The Second Pada – Dream state Consciousness.

स्वप्नस्थानोऽन्तःप्रज्ञः सप्ताङ्ग एकोनविंशतिमुखः
प्रविविक्तभुक्तैजसो द्वितीयः पादः ॥ ४॥
Fourth Mantra: svapnasthAno.antaHpraj~naH saptA~Nga
ekonaviMshatiMukhaHpraviviktabhuk taijaso dvitIyaH pAdaH (4)

Mantra 4: Dream State:  Taijasa~  the dreamer creates dream world out of his or her own mind. In the dream state, entire dream world seems to be as real as is experienced in waking condition, whatever be the time duration of the dream.
In dream, the person experience the subtle world  (pain or pleasure,  joy or fear) through dream sense organs, not the physical sense organs. In dream, mind reflects the impression left by waking state like a piece of canvas with the pictures painted on it. Dream state experience that as if it were like waking. Like in waking state, here the sphere of activity is inward. It enjoys the subtle objects (प्रविविक्तभुक्तैजसो ) of the mental world. Seven limbs and nineteen mouths also work here but INWARD. Here Anta prajNa is predominant. 

 

According to BRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad IV.3,9:
When he dreams, he takes away a little of the impression of this all embracing world (the waking state), himself puts the body aside and himself creates a dream body in it’s place, revealing his own lustre by his own light and dreams. In this state, the man himself becomes the light.

The Third Pada -Deep Sleep Consciousness      (Vyashti)

यत्र सुप्तो न कञ्चन कामं कामयते न कञ्चन स्वप्नं
पश्यति तत् सुषुप्तम् । सुषुप्तस्थान एकीभूतः प्रज्ञानघन
एवानन्दमयो ह्यानन्दभुक् चेतोमुखः प्राज्ञस्तृतीयः पादः ॥ ५॥
Fifth Mantra: yatro supto na ka~nchana kAmaM kAmayate na ka~nchana svapnaMpashyati tat suShuptam. suSuptasthAna ekibhUtaH praj~nAnaghana evAnandamayo hyAnandabhukchetomukhaH prAj~nastRRitIyaH pAdaH. (5)

Mantra 5:The Deep Sleep state (SuShupta~SU=Sundar/excellent +sUpta=Sleep) ~ prajNa and antaryAmin.
In this state, waking world and dreaming world temporarily ceases. We exist here in non dual state. Most refreshing state. A state of Bliss(with ignorance). In the waking and dreaming state, we are diverted from this state of bliss, though knowledge of our true nature is absent here. All the perceived limitations are removed in this temporary state but ready to spring forth as soon as we move to waking world.

In that sleep state, not for anything desirable does one have any desire.(यत्र सुप्तो न कञ्चन कामं कामयते).  Not the slightest trace of dream does it see in that state of deep sleep.(न कञ्चन स्वप्नं पश्यति तत् सुषुप्तम् ). In the sphere of deep sleep, there is just one ” homogenous mass of consciousness” alone (सुषुप्तस्थान एकीभूतः प्रज्ञानघन).  Because of his union with the Self and his unbroken knowledge of it, he is filled with joy, he knows his joy, his mind is illuminated (एवानन्दमयो ह्यानन्दभुक् चेतोमुखः). Such is the called third quarter called prajNa (चेतोमुखः प्राज्ञस्तृतीयः पादः).

The Ishwara State of Consciousness.

एष सर्वेश्वरः एष सर्वज्ञ एषोऽन्तर्याम्येष योनिः सर्वस्य
प्रभवाप्ययौ हि भूतानाम् ॥ ६॥
Sixth Mantra: eSha sarveshvaraH eSha sarvaj~na eSho.antaryAmyeSha yoniH sarvasyaprabhavApyau hi bhUtAnAm. (6)

Mantra 6: The Self is Lord of all. He is inner controller and inhabitant of the hearts of all. He is Omniscient, the source of all; creator and dissolver of  all beings. there is nothing He does not know.

The fruit of the process of “Negation”:

नान्तःप्रज्ञं न बहिष्प्रज्ञं नोभयतःप्रज्ञं न प्रज्ञानघनं
न प्रज्ञं नाप्रज्ञम् । अदृष्टमव्यवहार्यमग्राह्यमलक्षणं
अचिन्त्यमव्यपदेश्यमेकात्मप्रत्ययसारं प्रपञ्चोपशमं
शान्तं शिवमद्वैतं चतुर्थं मन्यन्ते स आत्मा स विज्ञेयः ॥  ७॥
Seventh Mantra: nAntaHpraj~naM na bahiShpraj~naM  nobhayataHpraj~nam  napraj~nAnaghanaM  na praj~nam nApraj~nam.
adRRiShTamavyavahAryamagrAhyamalakShaNamachintyamavyap adeshyamekAtmapratyayasAraM manyante sa AtmA sa vij~neyaH.(7)

 

Mantra 7: Negation Phase: He is not knowable by perception, turned inward or outward, nor by both combined. He is neither that which is known, nor that which is not known, nor is He the sum of all that might be known. He can not be seen, grasped, bargained with. He is undefinable, unthinkable, indescribable.

nAntaHpraj~naM = not the knower of the internal (subtle)

na bahiShpraj~naM = not the knower of the external (gross)

na bahiShpraj~naM = not the knower of both

napraj~nAnaghanaM = not the knower of deep sleep

na praj~nam = nor consciousness

nApraj~naM = nor unconsciousness.

Assertion Phase: The only proof of His existence is union with Him. The world disappears in Him. He is the peaceful, the good, the ONE without a second. This is the fourth condition of the Self- The most worthy of all. This is the Atman

This 7th mantra is most important among the Vedic scriptures. This mantra describes the nature of Absolute reality~ Brahman. 

Conclusion:

According to the Mandukya Upanishad, four conditions of  The Self (“Atman”) can be described as below :-
1) Waking condition: Perception turned outward.
2) Mental condition : Perception turned inward, known as dreaming condition. Self enjoys subtle
matter.
3)Deep sleep condition: No desire, no dream. This is intellectual condition. Because of union with Self
and his unbroken knowledge, one feels joy. He knows joy. His mind is illuminated.
ॐ~AUM
A~ Waking
U~ Dreaming
M~ Deep Sleep
The Fourth condition of the Self  can be achieved through deep meditation that corresponds to “OM” as ONE. Self is Whole and beyond bargain. The world disappears in HIM. SELF is one without a second. This condition is known as #Turiya#

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of Mandukya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. MANDUKYA Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  9. Information available on internet.

             It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

Essence of MUNDAKA Upanishad: Part-2-A

Disclaimer:

  • The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind. 
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

Introduction:

Higher Knowledge: Para Vidya: To be discussed in this Khanda:

The Vedas clearly Speak of two distinct fields of Knowledge: i) The Lower ( Apara Vidya ) and ii) The Higher ( Para Vidya ). In the first Mundaka(Khanda-1 & Khanda-2), we have seen that discussion on the Apara Vidya begins with the Karma Kanda. Those who follow the Karma Kanda Rituals (Agnihotra) are desirous of obtaining pleasures through actions. But this is not our goal. Sage Angria said to Sage Saunaka : ” The Sages studied the Rituals described in the Vedas, went beyond them to the Truth. You may find it better to stay with them; if you seek the reward of your actions, stay with them”

According to First Mundaka, Agnihotra ( fire sacrifice)  is considered to be null and void if even one of the eight given conditions is not full filled.

 

Also it is said that better than Karma Kanda is Upasana Kanda which is the middle path and it prepares for the Gyan Kanda which we will study in the next part, The Second Mundaka, second Khanda and The Third Mundaka. There the spiritual teaching will be taken up in greater depth.

॥ मुण्डकोपनिषत् ॥

Peace Mantra:

ॐ भद्रं कर्णेभिः श्रुणुयाम देवा भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः ।     स्थिरैरङ्गैस्तुष्टुवाꣳसस्तनूभिर्व्यशेम देवहितं यदायुः । 
स्वस्ति न इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवाः स्वस्ति नः पूषा विश्ववेदाः । 
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमिः स्वस्ति नो बृहस्पतिर्दधातु। 

॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

॥ ॐ ब्रह्मणे नमः ॥

॥ द्वितीय मुण्डके प्रथमः खण्डः ॥

Thus Begins the First Section of the Second Canto

Sparks from the Flaming FIRE :

तदेतत् सत्यं
यथा सुदीप्तात् पावकाद्विस्फुलिङ्गाः
      सहस्रशः प्रभवन्ते सरूपाः ।
तथाऽक्षराद्विविधाः सोम्य भावाः
      प्रजायन्ते तत्र चैवापि यन्ति ॥ १॥

दिव्यो ह्यमूर्तः पुरुषः स बाह्याभ्यन्तरो ह्यजः ।
अप्राणो ह्यमनाः शुभ्रो ह्यक्षरात् परतः परः ॥ २॥

Spark of the Flaming Fire

2.1.1 तदेतत् सत्यं = Know this Truth from the higher standpoint:

The fire sparks , though of one nature with the fire, leap from it; uncounted beings leap from the Everlasting, but these, my son, merge into it again.

2.1.2 Absolute Nature of Brahman:

The Divine is Shapeless (दिव्यो ह्यमूर्तः ~ Divine formless), Birthless, (ह्यजः ~ ajah), Breathless, Mindless,(अप्राणो ह्यमनाः) above everything, (बाह्याभ्यन्तरो) Outside everything, inside everything. ( शुभ्रो ) Absolutely Pure, verily even from the Indestructible (Causal), higher than Highest means (ह्यक्षरात् परतः परः) transcending even the transcendent Ishwara” means beyond the Causal state.

2.1.3 :Brahman as “Hiranyagarbha” –the Subtle Macrocosm:

 एतस्माज्जायते प्राणो मनः सर्वेन्द्रियाणि च । 
खं वायुर्ज्योतिरापः पृथिवी विश्वस्य धारिणी ॥ ३॥ 

From Him (Brahman) are born the Prana, the Mind, and all the sense organs, the elements, sky, wind, fire, water, and earth which support all creation.

According to Bhasya, the creation of the Subtle Body at Samasthi or microcosmic level is emphasized here. Aim is to show that Prana, mind and all other elements can not co-exist with Brahman. From Brahman, in association with Maya, arises Ishwara, the Creator. From Ishwara, arises the five subtle elements known as Tanmatras. From Tanmatras arise the mind and the pranas, from their Sattvic and Rajasic portions respectively.

2.1.4: Brahman as Virat- the Gross Macrocosmic.

अग्नीर्मूर्धा चक्षुषी चन्द्रसूर्यौ
दिशः श्रोत्रे वाग् विवृताश्च वेदाः ।
वायुः प्राणो हृदयं विश्वमस्य पद्भ्यां
पृथिवी ह्येष सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ॥ ४॥

HE is the inmost Self of all. Fire His head; Sun and moon, His eyes; the four quarters, His ears; The Vedas when uttered are His voice; Wind, His Breath; The Universe, His Heart; Earth, His Feet. He is indeed the inner Self of all beings. This is the macrocosmic picture of Virat that is Total Gross Universe.

2.1.5: The ” Panchagni” – The Five Fires in the Cosmos:

तस्मादग्निः समिधो यस्य सूर्यः 
    सोमात् पर्जन्य ओषधयः पृथिव्याम् । 
पुमान् रेतः सिञ्चति योषितायां 
    बह्वीः प्रजाः पुरुषात् सम्प्रसूताः ॥ ५॥

Fire is from Him, its fuel Sun, moon from Sun, rain from moon, food from rain, man from food, seed from man; thus all descends from Purusha( Supreme).

From HIM are produced the 1st Fire, whose fuel is SUN. From the MOON comes the Rain Clouds (2nd Fire), from Clouds, the Herbs(3rd Fire) on Earth. From Herbs comes Man(the 4th Fire). His semen is Shed into the Woman (the 5th Fire). In this sequential process , Many living beings from the PURUSHA are produced. This is the “Cycle of Five Fires.” “The Panchagni- Five Cosmic Fires.”

2.1.6: Origin of Karma Kanda Rituals:

तस्मादृचः साम यजूंषि दीक्षा
यज्ञाश्च सर्वे क्रतवो दक्षिणाश्च ।
संवत्सरश्च यजमानश्च लोकाः
सोमो यत्र पवते यत्र सूर्यः ॥ ६॥

From Him come the Hymns of the Rig & Sama Vedas and the Sacrificial formula of the Yajur Veda, used in the preliminary rites. Then come the sacrifice, the sacrificial post, the sacrificial gifts etc, the time of sacrifice, the sponsor of the sacrifice , and the worlds (to be gained by the sacrifice); purified by the Lunar and Solar paths.

2.1.7: Origin of Upasana Kanda Rituals

तस्माच्च देवा बहुधा सम्प्रसूताः 
साध्या मनुष्याः पशवो वयांसि ।
 प्राणापानौ व्रीहियवौ तपश्च 
श्रद्धा सत्यं ब्रह्मचर्यं विधिश्च ॥ ७॥

From Him also Gods of various hierarchies are born. There are the celestials, the men, the animals and the birds. There are the in-breath and out-breath, the corn and barley, and austerity(तपश्च ); there are faith (devotion), truthfulness, sexual abstinence, and all the values of life (श्रद्धा सत्यं ब्रह्मचर्यं विधिश्च ).

2.1.8: “The Secret of Groups of Seven”

सप्त प्राणाः प्रभवन्ति तस्मात्
सप्तार्चिषः समिधः सप्त होमाः ।
सप्त इमे लोका येषु चरन्ति प्राणा
गुहाशया निहिताः सप्त सप्त ॥ ८॥

The Seven Pranas are born from HIM alone. The Seven flames [The Seven Tongues of Fire explained in First Mundaka, 2nd Khanda, Mantra no: 4], the Seven fold fuel, the Seven fold oblations; as also the Seven ” nodal points” or Chakras, where the Pranas are seated (distribution in the Body) in the “cave of the heart” (of all beings) lie all these in groups of Sevens.

2.1.9: Our Physical World:

अतः समुद्रा गिरयश्च सर्वेऽस्मात् 
स्यन्दन्ते सिन्धवः सर्वरूपाः । 
अतश्च सर्वा ओषधयो रसश्च 
येनैष भूतैस्तिष्ठते ह्यन्तरात्मा ॥ ९॥

From HIM arise oceans, rivers, mountains, herbs and their properties. And in the middle of the elements is the innermost Self.

2.1.10: Brahman and Universe is ONE.

पुरुष एवेदं विश्वं कर्म तपो ब्रह्म परामृतम् ।
एतद्यो वेद निहितं गुहायां
सोऽविद्याग्रन्थिं विकिरतीह सोम्य ॥ १०॥

The Purusha alone is this entire Universe– the sacrificial works and austerities. He is The Supreme Consciousness. This highest and immortal Brahman. He who knows this as seated in the cavity of the heart, unties the knot of ignorance even here in this very life, O good-looking son.

॥ इति मुण्डकोपनिषदि द्वितीयमुण्डके प्रथमः खण्डः ॥

Conclusion:

This Universe, including all subjects and all objects, is only a condition supported by the Supreme Consciousness, on the basis of which appearances are experienced by the cognizing individual and without which the Universe has no Reality. In fact, what is real in the Universe is nothing more and nothing less than the Existence-Consciousness-Bliss( Sat-Chit-Ananda). The names and the forms are not existent substances. When the Purusha is known, all is known. In fact there is no such thing as all, except this One Purusha. The Knowledge of the Purusha, therefore, means the absence of Duality which is the same as the destruction of Ignorance and attainment of Immortality and Absoluteness.

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of MundakaUpanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. MUNDAKA Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. Information available on internet.

             It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

An Essay on ” Ashtanga Yoga” on the occasion of INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY-2021

Introduction: 

Multiple paths are there to attain enlightenment.

Here we will concentrate upon the teachings given by Maharshi Patanjali through his Yoga sutra. If we can follow sincerely, the steps described in Yoga sutra, we can understand Ignorance (Avidya), the cause of Bondage . We can  distinguish between permanent and impermanent, between Body and Consciousness. 

” yogashchittavrittinirodhah” : Yoga is for the control of thought-waves in the mind. To still the fluctuating mind.

Mind alone is the cause of bondage and mind alone is the cause of liberation.

Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage and mind devoid of desire for objects is the cause of liberation.

Yoga means union. Union of inner self with higher Self. Yoga brings perfection, peace, harmony in life. It will help in leading a disciplined successful life with good health and mind. Through Yoga one can have a calm mind and peaceful sleep. And these are all normal achievements.  If followed properly what Maharshi Patanjali has taught us “Ashtanga Yoga”, we can raise our nature to a divine nature. 

“Ashtanga Yoga”  : In English we call it as Eight limbs of Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga was formulated by Maharshi Patanjali ,through his Yoga Sutras (aphorisms). According to scholars, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra was compiled around 2200 centuries back. The Yoga sutras of Patanjali is the science of joy and a blue print for living a deeply satisfying life. It presents a holistic systematic approach towards the elimination of sufferings and attainment of spiritual liberation. Liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. These teachings are for all genders of all ages, races, faiths and positions. There are 196 sutras presented in four sections know as PADA. 

“Ashtanga Yoga” : Eight limbs are as follows.

1. Yama – Restraints.

2. Niyama – Observances.

3. Asana -Physical postures.

4. Pranayama – Control of Prana (Breathing control).

5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses.

6. Dharana – Concentration

7. Dhyana – Meditation.

8. Samadhi – Absorption.  

Principal Teachings of Yoga Sutras:

  1.  Human sufferings can be removed by eliminating faulty and wrong perceptions of life, because wrong perceptions gives rise to endless cravings for satisfaction of senses.
  2. The eternal peace we seek is realized by experiencing the truth our Identity which is obscured by ignorance (Avidya). The Identity is always exists within us, waiting to be revealed. Once revealed, it is then enlightenment, the Self-realization.
  3. Self-realization can be attained by mastering the MIND. Only tranquil mind with one pointedness can remove the veils of ignorance.
The second sutra alone gives a vast meaning. If that line is understood and practiced, then the goal will be achieved. This sutra directly points towards setting of Subconscious mind.  "yogah chitta vritti nirodha" means stopping of distraction and fluctuation of mind. If mind is fixed, conflicts will be ceased. 

Details of Each of the Limbs of Yoga:

  1. Yama: The first “anga”  consists of prohibitions against unethical deeds. These are basically restraints. Following are to be noted: 
  • Ahimsa-Non violence:  Non-violence truly  meant here as  to refrain from causing harm , showing anger , being harsh to others including self. Killing and doing physical harm is common form of violence.  To maintain a life with non-violence, we need to have a heart with full of love for others irrespective of their attitudes towards us. That love  must be unconditional and universal. At the same time we must love ourselves equally.                                                                             
  • Satya-Truthfulness: : This means, on being firmly established in truthfulness ,the Yogi gets the power of attaining for himself  the fruits of work without the work . Results come to them automatically. This is the power of truth. It is believed that for an honest person who is in the path of truth, fear vanishes for him. Nothing to hide. Life becomes an open book. 
  • Asteya-Non-stealing: With the establishment of virtues like honesty, aspirant develops an intuitive awareness. Therefore we should curb our desires for the things which are not our own. Rather we should share our knowledge, our noble thoughts and material belongings to uplift others who are indeed needy ,instead of hoarding them for own benefits.                                                                                           
    Brahmacharya- celibacy:  Right use of energy: sutra 2.38 says ” Brahmacharya pratisthayam viryalabhah”.  It is about controlled and disciplined sex. Brahmacharya does not mean cut off from sex. According to explanations of the above sutras by the scholars it is said that “Virya” , the seminal fluid is our life. If stored properly, it can generate lot of energy. When absorbed into the system it gets transformed into prana. Conserved sexual energy in woman also gets transformed. Seminal fluid gives stamina and strength to the brain and nerves. 
  • Aparigraha- non possessing, non accumulation: sutra 2.37: ” Aparigraha sthairye janmakathamta sambodhah”  which means : On becoming steady in non-possessiveness, there arises the knowledge of how and from where is it generated. One of the most important virtues. This sutra teaches to give up tendency of accumulation of materials. Possession should be that much required to maintain life (necessary items).

2. Niyama : This second  limb (“anga” ) is composed of some injunctions to develop various ethical virtues. Following are the components of Niyama.

  • Saucha (cleanliness) :  Purity of body and mind.
  • Santosha ( Contentment): Very simple meaning.  To keep mind away from dwelling in the past or future. One should not  regret on missed opportunities and also need not worry about future. Contentment is  the way to live in present moment, NOW.    
  • Tapas (discipline, austerity etc.) : Mandates spiritual disciplines.  A state of spiritual maturity.  With the practice of austerity, all kinds of impurities are removed from body and mind. Austerity is very important in one’s life to ascend to higher state. 
  • Svadhyaya ( study of self and sacred texts): This sutra teaches for self-observation, study of scriptures, recitation of mantras and union  with the desired deity ( Ishta devata).                                                                     
  • Isvara Pranidhana (Total surrender to the Supreme being):  This sutra teaches Self surrender. Complete surrender to God.  Dedicated services for the welfare of others including mankind, animal kind, plants and nature. This practice is non selfish in nature. Without expectation of fruits of actions. This is the path of Karma Yoga.                   
At first sight, these 5 yamas and 5 niyamas might seem to resemble the 10 commandments of the Bible. Unless an aspirant has mastered these two steps of discipline, practice of subsequent steps of yoga will be ineffective.

The third anga ” Asana” is important part of Ashtanga Yoga. The importance is to make spine held erect and relaxed with the three upper parts of the body, the chest, the neck and the head in a straight line. This is required for nerve currents to channelize for further improvement in concentration. In Yoga culture around the world , some asanas are taught, which are very complex and performed with great difficulties. As such, aspirants remain busy with the perfection of asanas. Finally the essence of Yoga gets spoiled. Since they concentrate on asanas only, other seven limbs do not get due attention. Practicing asanas only becomes a part of Hatha Yoga which is mainly concerned with the maintenance of the health and attainment of longevity of the body. Getting too much engrossed in asanas will make a man body minded only.

The object of  Yoga is to make a man rise above body consciousness. In Patanjali Yoga sutra, it is simply stated that asanas should be stable and comfortable for meditation.

According to Maharshi Patanjali , Ashtanga Yoga is  not limited to any class, place, time and circumstances. This path of Yoga is Universal. 

The fourth anga “pranayama”  commonly believed as control of breath but scholars says this is actually control of Universal Energy. The Prana  moves the whole Universe. Prana is believed to be a cosmic energy. It is prana vibrating at the beginning of cosmic cycle that shapes akasha (space) out of which all energies are evolved. Biological functions of all kinds are performed by this vital energy.

The knowledge and control of this prana is known as pranayama.

Practice of pranayama is done after mastering asana. When pranayama is practiced under the guidance of right “Guru” (Teacher), one can have control over prana and it becomes possible to feel the vibrations which helps attaining higher insight. Thereby ,the power generated will help the nerves in getting optimum functions. It is believed that Pranic healing, faith healing etc. are  the results of doing pranayama. 

By regulating prana, we can regulate our mind, because both moves together. If one is controlled, the other will automatically be controlled. Finally we need a controlled mind.

Now we will discuss “pratyahara” the fifth anga.

Our perceptions are developed through sensory inputs that we see, hear, feel, touch, and taste which influence internal organs in the brain and mind acts accordingly. We react through inputs received by our senses. If the inputs are not favourable to our expectations or wishes, we become unhappy, angry, depressed. Our minds are engaged constantly evaluating the inputs and categorize whether inputs are favourable or not. This is our reaction on 24X7 basis. Pratyahara gives our mind a moment to not evaluate and teaches us to be free from any reactions developed by senses. Now step by step we have reached to this point of Pratyahara.

Sixth anga: Dharana – Concentration: 

“deshabandhashchittasya”  => this suggests to confine mind in a territory, a very limited space, which disallows movements of mind. That is called “Dharana”.

One pointed attention: Dharana is the process of fixing the attention of mind to a certain point. That may be any object of concentration (internal or external), sound, deity or  noble idea for the benefit of creation. After successful practices of first five limbs, one becomes ready for Dharana. It is the first step towards Dhyana (meditation). Practicing Dharana stops mind moving randomly and make it one-pointed concentration. As such it finds complete absorption in the present moment. Even one pointed concentration can be made by focusing on breath, or reciting mantras or concentrating on image of deity. 

Dharana, Dhyana & Samadhi: These three limbs together lead aspirants to the ultimate goal. 

In reality, normally mind remain fixed hardly for a very few minutes. Even if someone fixes mind on image of deity, yet mind wanders at numerous points or issues. Therefore it is important to practice first five limbs with full attention. “Pratyahara”  helps in attaining a mind without fluctuations, since withdrawals of senses bind the mind to a fixed point. It is impossible to concentrate unless the mind is purified. For that ,let us look into Sutra 1.33 (Samadhi Pada) to understand right methods for purification of mind which will help in concentration of mind. 

According to above sutra , if the fourfold qualities are dealt with right actions, then the practitioner of Yoga will overcome the distractions of mind. These are : 1. friendliness towards happiness, 2. compassion towards misery,  3. rejoicing for virtues and 4. indifference to vices.  With such preparation and practice, “Dharana” comes much more easily and naturally. 


 Seventh Anga: Dhyana- meditation: 

sutra 3.2 "tatra pratyayaikatanata Dhyana" means uninterrupted stream of consciousness is Dhyana. 

Definition : DhyanaThe extension and lengthening of Dharana is Dhyana. Dharana continued without interruption is Dhyana. We have reached unto Dhyana after through practice, step by step, sequentially of  Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara and Dharana. One cannot skip any of the above steps. All the steps are scientifically designed. That is the specialty of Ashtanga Yoga. If one has followed all the steps properly, then only Dhyana is possible. One has to change his or her way of life to reach unto this stage of Dhyana (concentration). Let us look into sutra 3.2 again for further analysis.  “tatra pratyayaikatanata dhyanam” :  If we now split the sloka like this =>>  tatra + pratyaya +ekatanata, then  tatra => means ” in that place” which refers to “desha” as mentioned in sutra 3.1.                                                                pratyaya=> means total content of mind which occupies the field of consciousness at a particular time.  Mind remains in continuous contact in Dharana.                                                                                                                                   Ekatanata=> means extending continuously without interruption. Before practicing Samadhi, this kind of un interrupted continuous Dhyana is essential for the aspirant. Obviously it is not an easy job but not impossible! 

State of mind which is calm, quite, tranquil, and free of distortions, reflects purusha”. When the mind is in completely sattvic mode(there is a fine difference between sattvic mode and purusha), then it is possible to achieve the goal. The essence of Patanjali’s Yoga sutra is in the second sutra(1.2): Yogas citta-vritti-nirodah” which literary means “Yoga is the stilling of the modifications of the mind”. Target is to achieve the state of mind which is calm, tranquil and free of distortions. It is the control of thought waves in the mind. One must not have conflicts in the mind. We think only mind is real but actually “purusha” is real. This is due to ignorance. Within inside or outside , ignorance has to be removed through mental exercises, through discrimination. So all these sutras so far we have come across is pointing towards the Dhyana for farther higher level  “Samadhi”. When the ignorance is destroyed and you remain in stillness of mind, you do not have any other idea, you become blank and then you can do Dharana effectively. It will be then possible to stretch Dharana and that will be Dhyana. Unless the foundation work is done , Dharana can not be stretched to Dhyana. Continuing this one pointed attention without any distraction or disturbance, the aspirant saves a lot of energy which will build up a system, vast quietness and silence that fill one’s being.

Since now a days, people are talking of meditation, it has become important to know what is meditation.  At least we can concentrate on breath which is the vital force. Understand the secrete nature of breath. It must not be an ordinary one. It is prana. It is the breath to whom we should respect.  Realise that breath is the fountain head of life which primarily moves the entire universe. 

Therefore let us keep in mind that when Dharana is stretched for a long period it becomes Dhyana. In other words elongated condition of Dharana is Dhyana. 

Now we may discuss about Dhyana in details in practical point of view. According to yogic science, in every human being there are thousands of channels of energy passing through the body and life energy prana functions through these channels known as “naddis”. Among these channels, there are three most important naddis. These three channels are 1) Ida naddi, 2) pingala naddi and 3) susuhumna naddi.  Among these three, susuhumna is the Supreme. If we consider  prana as the energy field like an electrical energy field, then  Ida which is in the left may be imagined as “cathode” (-ve charge) and the right which is pingala  may be compared with anode (+ve charge). Energy flows through these channels. This concept is according to yogic anatomy. These are to be considered as psychic energies. When they are balanced, body and mind is also balanced and in the best condition for practice of Yoga. Practice of Pranayama makes balancing of these channels and thereby activate sushumna naddi. According to yogis, ida and pingala are considered as two nerve currents on either side of the spinal column. It is considered that the Moon moves the ida and the Sun moves the pingala. Ida is cooling where as pingala is heating. Ida flows through left nostrils and pingala through right nostrils. Sushumna runs along the center of the spinal column.  It is believed that when Sushumna operates Yogi enters into samadhi. However this topic is yogic science and out of scope of  discussion in this part.

Samadhi– The state of Cosmic Consciousness- the 8th anga: 

sutra 3.3: "tad evarthamatranirbhasan svaroopashoonyam iva samadhih" means=> In that absolute state, then there is no meditator or the thing that is meditating upon. What remains only is the meditation, that is called samadhi. 

When Dhyana enters into Samadhi , the Gate which leads into the world of realities opens. Samadhi means a state of mind which through the practice of Dharana and Dhyana has become so  completely tranquil and the person meditating  is so absorbed that the he or she even forgets own existence.                Let us analyze the word “svaroopashoonyam”  of sutra 3.3. ” svaroopa” + shoonyam”  means that ” svaroopa” which is the residual consciousness of its own action disappears completely i.e. becomes “shoonyam” .

When you are fully absorbed with the vastness of the Supreme being and even the sense that I am meditating is not there and the ego “I” goes then, only the true Self, higher Self ,the Big I” remains.  This is possible when there are no Vrittis in chitta. In other words mind does not fluctuate. In Samadhi, Mind  surrenders all its resistances to the union with the object of meditation. In this state, field of observation and the observing intelligence merge and total intelligence shines as the sole substance of reality. 

sutra 3.4 "trayamekarta samyamah" means => The three practices Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi together on same object is called samyamah.

If we analyse the word “samyamah”  we will find it has two parts. Sama + Yama. Sama means perfection and Yama means control. In samyamah, mind dives completely in to an object or idea and gains complete knowledge of the object of attention down to its most subtle aspect. This gives rise to psychic powers called “Vibhuti”. Practice of Samyamah and mastery of its technique opens the door toward power and Siddhis.

Key points : Dharana, Dhyana , Samadhi , concentration, meditation, purusha, samyamah , Ashtanga Yoga.

Conclusion:

We have discussed about the means to reach the Goal , the last limb of Eight limbs.  If followed properly, the person will definitely feel joy and peace of mind which will accompany to the bed at the end of the day. Who does not want a peaceful sleep?  

All practices as mentioned above will make ways for state of “samyamah” which constitute Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Eight limbs as a whole constitute one complete path which leads the aspirant upwards. When the mind is set into a pattern, automatically one connection will be established with higher Self. That is individual’s experience which can be considered as Self-Realization

Recommended readings:

  1. Patanjali Yoga Sutras: commentary By Swami Vivekananda.
  2. FOUR YOGAS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA :Condensed and retold by Swami Tapasyananda.
  3. Patanjal Yogasutra : Commentary , by Swami Premeshananda.
  4. Inside the Yoga Sutras- By Reverend Jaganath Carrera.
  5. Four Chapters on Freedom- By Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
  6. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Swami Satchitananda.

My sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me.  Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-3 of 4

                    Know the Atman(The Self) to be the master of the Chariot.

Disclaimer:

  • This article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆ I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind. 
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

Katha Upanishad : —  It gives a direct teaching to the spiritual aspirant.

ॐ ॥ अथ कठोपनिषद् ॥

Peace Invocation:-

ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सहवीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु । मा विद्विषावहै ॥
  ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
May HE protect us both. May HE take pleasure in us both. May we show courage together. May spiritual knowledge shine before us. May we never hate one another. May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.

प्रथमाध्याये तृतीया वल्ली॥  Introduction: 

This third section is very important for the seekers. Deals with process of Sadhana. How can an aspirant transcends himself ? Section-1: [ Essence of Katha Upanishad part-1 of 4 ] was an introduction on Nachiketas’ position. Section-2 [ Essence of Katha Upanishad part-2 of 4 ] introduced the existence of the Supreme Being. Now an extended Metaphor is introduced in this section to make the Text easy. Section has 17 verses. All verses are discussed.  Let us look into:

Two Selves :The Universal Self and The Individual Self: 

Two Selves:  One is in the process of attaining: The attainer. Other is that what to be attained. One is Traveller , other is Destination. Obviously between two the common is means of communication and that is “CHARIOT”.

ऋतं पिबन्तौ सुकृतस्य लोके
    गुहां प्रविष्टौ परमे परार्धे ।
छायातपौ ब्रह्मविदो वदन्ति
    पञ्चाग्नयो ये च त्रिणाचिकेताः ॥ १॥

यः सेतुरीजानानामक्षरं ब्रह्म यत् परम् ।
अभयं तितीर्षतां पारं नाचिकेतँ शकेमहि ॥ २॥

Both the Individual Self and the Universal Self, are living in the heart, like shade and Light. Though beyond enjoyment, yet enjoy the fruit of action. Wise says this for the knowers of Brahman and the performers of the Nachiketas fire ( त्रिणाचिकेताः ~ trinachiketaah). [1.3.1]. The Heart here is referred to the Intellect, where the Supreme Self gets reflected and that reflection is Jiva or Ego (Ahamkara). “पञ्चाग्नयो~ pancha-agnayah refers here to the performers of the five fires, the house holders, the followers of Karma Kanda of Vedas. And  those who performs त्रिणाचिकेताः ~ trinachiketaah are worshipper of Upasana Kanda of Vedas. Man can kindle that Fire, that Spirit, a bridge for all who sacrifice, a guide for all who pass beyond fear.[1.3.2]

आत्मानँ रथितं विद्धि शरीरँ रथमेव तु ।
बुद्धिं तु सारथिं विद्धि मनः प्रग्रहमेव च ॥ ३॥

इन्द्रियाणि हयानाहुर्विषयाँ स्तेषु गोचरान् ।
आत्मेन्द्रियमनोयुक्तं भोक्तेत्याहुर्मनीषिणः ॥ ४॥

Know the Atman to be the master of the Chariot; the body, the chariot; the Intellect (buddhi) , the charioteer ; and the mind , the reins. The senses, they say , are the horses; the objects, the roads. When Self is joined to body, mind, sense, none but He enjoys. [1.3.3-4]

The Intellect: Avijnanvan and Vijnanavan:

यस्त्वविज्ञानवान्भवत्ययुक्तेन मनसा सदा ।
तस्येन्द्रियाण्यवश्यानि दुष्टाश्वा इव सारथेः ॥ ५॥

यस्तु विज्ञानवान्भवति युक्तेन मनसा सदा ।
तस्येन्द्रियाणि वश्यानि सदश्वा इव सारथेः ॥ ६॥

When a man lack steadiness, unable to control his mind, his senses are like unmanageable horses.  यस्त्वविज्ञानवान्भवत्ययुक्तेन~  “avijnaanavaan bhavati” means non-discriminating intellect and विज्ञानवान्भवतिdiscriminating intellect. The non-discriminating charioteer is most dangerous. The discriminating one takes care to rein in the mind so that the horses are well-controlled.[1.3.5-6 ]

The Destination: Reaching the Goal:

यस्त्वविज्ञानवान्भवत्यमनस्कः सदाऽशुचिः ।
न स तत्पदमाप्नोति संसारं चाधिगच्छति ॥ ७॥

यस्तु विज्ञानवान्भवति समनस्कः सदा शुचिः ।
स तु तत्पदमाप्नोति यस्माद्भूयो न जायते ॥ ८॥

विज्ञानसारथिर्यस्तु मनः प्रग्रहवान्नरः । 
सोऽध्वनः पारमाप्नोति तद्विष्णोः परमं पदम् ॥ ९॥

Three verses: 1.3.7 to 1.3.9 focus on the Destination, where the intellect is the key factor. The impure, self-willed, unsteady  man misses the goal and is born again and again. The self-controlled , steady, pure man goes to that Goal from which he never returns. He who calls intellect to manage the reins of his mind reaches the end of his journey, finds that Supreme abode of Vishnu.[ 1.3.7-9] 

The Route of the Journey: 

इन्द्रियेभ्यः परा ह्यर्था अर्थेभ्यश्च परं मनः ।
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्बुद्धेरात्मा महान्परः ॥ १०

महतः परमव्यक्तमव्यक्तात्पुरुषः परः । 
पुरुषान्न परं किंचित्सा काष्ठा सा परा गतिः ॥ ११॥ 

Above the senses are the objects of desire, above the objects of desire is mind, above the mind is intellect, above the intellect manifest the great Atman, beyond the great Atman, the unmanifest, the Purusha. Beyond the Purusha, there is nothing. That is the END, the Supreme Goal. [1.3.10-11]

Here the journey is through understanding and reaching deeper levels within our Being. No physical distance needs to be covered. Only to meditate on ॐ (AUM) going deeper and subtler till it reaches the core. 

Self is seen only by Subtle intellect:

एष सर्वेषु भूतेषु गूढोऽऽत्मा न प्रकाशते ।
दृश्यते त्वग्र्यया बुद्ध्या सूक्ष्मया सूक्ष्मदर्शिभिः ॥ १२॥

This Atman is in all living beings. It is hidden there and not visible to eye (गूढोऽऽत्मा न प्रकाशते ). It can indeed be  seen by the sharp intellect with the subtle vision(बुद्ध्या सूक्ष्मया सूक्ष्मदर्शिभिः) [1.3.12]. Intellect of the sage finds Him.

Successive Merging from Speech to Self:

यच्छेद्वाङ्मनसी प्राज्ञस्तद्यच्छेज्ज्ञान आत्मनि ।
ज्ञानमात्मनि महति नियच्छेत्तद्यच्छेच्छान्त आत्मनि ॥ १३॥

उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत
    प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत ।
क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया
    दुर्गं पथस्तत्कवयो वदन्ति ॥ १४॥

The wise nature in  man would loose his speech in mind, mind in the intellect, intellect into the “Mahat” and the Mahat into The Peaceful Self. Arise, awake! Learn Wisdom at Master’s feet. The path is indeed difficult to cross and hard to tread, like the sharp edge of a razor. Mahat here is referred to the total MIND [1.3.13-14] { Please see the notes at the end}.

Subtlety of the Supreme Self:

अशब्दमस्पर्शमरूपमव्ययं
    तथाऽरसं नित्यमगन्धवच्च यत् ।
अनाद्यनन्तं महतः परं ध्रुवं
    निचाय्य तन्मृत्युमुखात् प्रमुच्यते ॥ १५॥

He who knows the soundless, odorless, tasteless,  intangible, formless, deathless, supernatural, unchangeable Reality, springs out of the mouth of Death.(1.3.15).

Glory of the ” Nachiketas ” Knowledge:

नाचिकेतमुपाख्यानं मृत्युप्रोक्तँ सनातनम् । 
उक्त्वा श्रुत्वा च मेधावी ब्रह्मलोके महीयते ॥ १६॥

य इमं परमं गुह्यं श्रावयेद् ब्रह्मसंसदि । 
प्रयतः श्राद्धकाले वा तदानन्त्याय कल्पते । 
तदानन्त्याय कल्पत इति ॥ १७॥

This Vedic knowledge as received by Nachiketas, and as told by the Lord of Death is Eternal. Those who hear and repeat correctly this ancient dialogue becomes worthy of glorification in the world of Brahman( Brahma Loka). He who sings this great mystery at the anniversary of his fathers to a rightly chosen company, finds good luck, good luck beyond measure.[1.3.16-17]

Conclusion:

The highest evolute in creation is Mahat. Then comes ahankara; then comes the tanmatras and then, at last, the five elements. But to us , the five elements come first. And as the world affects our thinking and perception, we are slaves of it. The jive is enslaved by Avidya (ignorance). Avidya has to be removed. Absence of knowledge brings fear of Death. With vidya( knowledge), people become fearless. Knowing this knowledge, people will welcome Lord of Death, Yama, not repel Him.

॥ इति काठकोपनिषदि प्रथमाध्याये तृतीया वल्ली ॥***End of Second Valli of first Adhaya***

Thus ends the Third Chapter of the First Part of the Katha Upanishad.

Notes:-

  • a) Tanmatras are the 5 objects of perception, made up of the five subtle elements.
  • b) Mahat: Beyond the senses there are objects. Beyond the objects is mind, beyond the mind is intellect. Beyond the intellect is Great Self Mahat(cosmic intelligence).

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.
  4. Commentary of Katha Upanishad By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Katha Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. Information available on internet.

             It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me. Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

Next part : Path to realization of Atman

 

Essence of Kena Upanishad (KENOPANISHAD)

Essence of Kena Upanishad: 

Disclaimer:

  • The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind. 
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

Introduction: – 

Kena Upanishad, part of Sama Veda, is one among the Ten Principal Upanishads and comes next to Isha Upanishad in list (Serial number 2). Kena Upanishad is presented in the form of a dialogue between “Guru” and “Shishya”. Deals primarily with the nature of the Self, the path to its realisation which gives aspirant a knowledge of Brahman” the ultimate reality. (Brahma-Gyan). 

This Upanishad has profound analytical and metaphysical presentation, which leads our mind from gross to subtle with a logic. Upanishad delivers a conceptual knowledge on “Brahman”.  It has four chapters. First two chapters gives us knowledge of nature of individual. Third chapter has a story in the form of a moral lesson and continues up to half of the fourth chapter. Fourth chapter ends with contemplation. In this post, I will discuss on few slokas (verses).  

Shanti Path:  

OM! apyayantu mamangani vakpranascaksuh srotramatho balamindriyam ca sarvani                                  sarvam brahmopanisadam. 
maham brahma nirakuryam ma ma brahma nirakarodanirakaranam astvanirakaranam me’stu. Tadatmani nirate ya upanisatu dharmaste mayi santu te mayi santu. OM shantih santih santih. 

 Beginning Shanti Mantra: [Prayer] : – May my limbs, Speech, prana, eyes ears, life, energy, come to my help. All is the pure Brahman of the Upanishads. I shall never deny that Brahman, nor that Brahman desert me! Let me be in union, communion with Brahman. Let the virtues recited in the Upanishads be rooted in me. May they repose in me! OM! Peace. Peace. Peace! 

 Sloka-1: “Om kenesitam patati presitam manah kena pranah prathamah praitiyuktah. kenesitam vacamimam vadanti caksuh srotram ka u devo yunakti” 

Sloka-1.ओं केनेषितं पतति प्रेषितं मनः केन प्राणः प्रथमः प्रैति युक्तः ।
केनेषितां वाचमिमां वदन्ति चक्षुः श्रोत्रं क उ देवो युनक्ति ॥ १ ॥ 

First Sloka:  OM! By whose will be directed does the mind light on its subjects. At whose, command does prana, the foremost, move? By whose will do men speak this speech? What Intelligence directs the eye and the ear? (1.1) 

The student asked teacher with the intention to know, what is that other than body and mind, which makes it possible.To understand well, let us concentrate on our day to day and even moment to moment experiences means entire conscious experiences. We will examine what makes these possible? By whose will or command? We all know Consciousness makes it possible. Example: How eye sees? Function of eye, optic nerve network, neurons then finally image of that ….an impression. But apart from the mechanism of seeing through eye, one such experience is known as qualia, according to modern science. Hard problem of consciousness. We experience through inputs received by sense organs. Consciousness, is not the product of body mind system. Neither body, nor mind (brain) is producing Consciousness. Even the mind is regarded as matter. Because mind is influenced by matters. Then what is it?  Let us investigate Sloka -2.  

 Sloka-2: Srotrasya srotram manaso mano yadvaco ha vacam sa u pranasya pranascaksusascaksu. Atimucya dhirah pretyasmallokadamrta bhavanti (1.2) 

 Sloka-2.  श्रोत्रस्य श्रोत्रं मनसो मनो यद्वाचो ह वाचं स उ प्राणस्य प्राणश्चक्षुषश्चक्षुः ।
अतिमुच्य धीराः प्रेत्यास्माल्लोकादमृता भवन्ति ॥ २ ॥ 

Second Sloka: The teacher replied: It is the Ear of the ear, mind of the mind, speech of the speech, the Life of the life and the Eye of the eye. Having detached, the Self, from the sense organs and renouncing the world, the Wise attains immortality. (2) 

From second sloka we learn, It is the Atman, the spirit, by whose power the ear hears, the eye sees, the tongue speaks, the mind understands and life functions. The wise man separates the Atman from these faculties, rises out from the cycle of birth and death, attains immortality. 

Guru’s (Teacher) reply implies that, It is Consciousness, which enables everything. Knowing this entity, the wise person transcends the limitations of human life. Transcends the world and attain immortality. Advaita (Non-Dualism) teaches that I am not the body, not the mind. What is then? I am Atman. I am awareness. 

The significance of the reply is to bring that it is not the mind and sense organs, but it is Consciousness which functions behind the scenes. Thereby mind and other organs perform their respective functions. Self only impels the mind and other sense organs work. 

Sloka-3: na tatra caksurgacchati na vaggacchati no mano na vidmo na vijanimo yathaitadanusisyadanyadeva tadviditadatho aviditadadhi. iti susruma purvesam ye nastadvyacacaksire (1.3) 

Sloka3.   न तत्र चक्षुर्गच्छति न वाग्गच्छति नो मनो न विद्मो न विजानीमो यथैतदनुशिष्यादन्यदेव तद्विदितादथो अविदितादधि |
इति शुश्रुम पूर्वेषां ये नस्तद्व्याचचक्षिरे ॥ ३ ॥ 

Third Sloka: The eye does not reach there, nor speech, nor the mind. We do not know That. We do not know how to instruct one about it. It is distinct from the known and above the known. We have heard it so stated by preceptors who taught us that. (3) 

Guru signifies that Self cannot be known by the mind or other sense organs. Self is different from the known and beyond the unknown. But we are beyond that. That, which is illumining all this is Consciousness. Knower of everything. This is the real you. So, something apart from eye, ear, mind, speech that which…. That you are. [   Tat TVAM ASI…]  

All problems and sufferings happen in the body and mind. When mind is not active, say deep sleep. All problems disappear. Next time in awakening state, they become active again. These body and mind are apart from Consciousness, which is our own reality. The sufferings are all appearances in Consciousness which are of changing nature.  

Knower and known. Consider Universal knowledge as super set of all knowledges. It has two subsets that are : 1) That which is known.  2) That which is unknown. There are some knowledge in the unknown subset which cannot be known objectively. Can be known only subjectivity(intuitively). Means we cannot objectify as in the case of eye or ear or mind. Knowledge gained is through objects. But some knowledge can be gained through intuition, through realisation. 

 Sloka-4:  yadvacanabhyuditam yena vagabhyudyate. tadeva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidamupasate.(1.4) 

Sloka4. यद्वाचानभ्युदितं येन वागभ्युद्यते ।
तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि नेदं यदिदमुपासते ॥ ४ ॥ 

Fourth Verse: What speech does not enlighten, but what enlightens speech, know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which (people) here worship. 

After explaining the nature of Brahman, Guru warns shishya against thinking that he knows Brahman very well. Guru says that one who thinks he knows the Brahman well doesn’t know it in reality. ” It is known to him who does not know it and unknown to him who knows it.” 

Upanishad mentioned, how Brahman can be realised intuitively. Knower of Brahman knows that Brahman exists in everything, in all beings and in experiences as “Sakshi Chaitanyam” (witness consciousness). The wise who knows this becomes immortal. 

Story in short. Third part: 

There was a war between Devas (God’s) and Asuras( Demons). Devas got victory and they thought that it was their glory. 

Brahman, knowing this, appeared as Yaksha (Venerable being). Devas could not find out who the Yaksha was. So, Agni was asked to find out. Yaksha asked Agni, “Who are you and what do you do?”

Agni replied, “I am fire and I can burn everything.” Then Yaksha placed a straw before Agni and asked him to burn that. Agni could not do and returned to the Devas.

Next,  Vayu was sent to Yaksha and same question he repeated.  “Who are you and what do you do?”. Vayu replied’ I am Vayu, and I can blow away anything” Again, Yaksha placed the straw before Vayu and asked him to blow that. Vayu could not do that and returned as well.

Finally, Indra himself went to find out who the Yaksha was. But as he neared, Yaksha disappeared and in his place appeared Goddess Uma. She explained that in fact, Yaksha was Brahman and because of Brahman, the war was won by the Devas. Moral of the story is that: Brahman made Devas realise that they were not the doers of any function, but they can do it is because of presence of Brahman. It is because of Brahman, the whole Universe functions. Brahman is the Substratum and the reality of everything. 

 That real essence of me, which is my true identity, must be realized and once that is realized, then I am free from all the personalities I possess. In essence, we are pure Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. With this understanding, we can continue with the personalities we possess and do our duties as advised in Isha Upanishad. 

  The fundamental question: Who we are ⁉️ 

Vedanta philosophy gives an answer to the question. (Vedanta namah Upanishad pramana) and if we can know the answer, then we will overcome all sufferings and sorrows.  

The answer is: We are pure Existence, Consciousness, Bliss (Sacchidanand) and not a limited mortal being, as we see in this present body of flesh and blood. Essence of all Upanishads is that our true nature is pure Existence, Consciousness, Bliss (Sacchidanand)  

“Brahma Satya Jagat Mithya Jivo Brahmaivanaparah.”  Famous Verse from “Vivek Chudamani” a prakarana grantha (Text) 

“Brahma Satya Jagat Mithya” : It means Brahman is the only truth (the ultimate reality), the world is illusory, neither true, nor false (Mithya). Means the world is changing and what we see is just appearance. 

“ Jivo Brahmaiva naparah”:  Adi Shankaracharya is conveying that the realization of the individual Self, Atman, Life energy in its purest form (without the ego) is nothing but realizing brahman only. 

 Now, we will refer DRIG-DRISHYA VIVEKA, which is a prakarana grantha, believed to be composed by Eminent author, scholar about 700 years back, known as Vidyaranya Swami. Some says author was Bharati Tirtha. The text has another name as Vakya Suddha. The text has 46 slokas. But we will see first sloka to the context of Kena Upanishad. 

This text will help, to understand the essence of first three mantras. This text specifically establishes the identity of Jiva and the infinite Reality using a technique for discrimination between the Seer (Drik) and the seen (Drishya). In this text “Vivekah” is a medium to differentiate Real from unreal. Three levels of Seer-seen relationship is discussed. 

 First sloka of DRIG-DRISHYA VIVEKA: – 

“roopam drishyam lochanam drik, tat drishyam drik tu maanasam; drishyaa dhee-vrittayah saakshee drishya dhee-vrittayah saakshee.” 

Analysis: 

1  roopam drishyam lochanam drik  Formis the seen, the eye is the seer. 
tat drishyam drik tu maanasam  that eye is the seen, and mind is its seer. 
drishyaa dhee-vrittayah saakshee  thoughts in the mind are seen by the Witness. 
drishya dhee-vrittayah saakshee.  which alone is the Seer but can never be the seen. 

 We see the world through eyes. Eyes are distinct from what it sees. Here eyes are the seer. I am aware of the eyes, that eyes are object. Mind is seer and eyes are now object. Eyes and mind are separate. Let us investigate deeply. Mind is the observer of the body, because it observes through all sense organs. It is seer here. Let us observe Mind now. Mind itself which constitutes our thoughts, feeling, emotions, ideas are changing, which are never static. 

I am aware that whether, 

  • I am happy or not. 
  • I understand or do not understand. 
  • I like or do not like.
  • I love or do not love. 
  • I hate or do not hate. 
  • I am angry or not angry. 

All the above are expressions of my mind. These are wave of thoughts. So, I am aware of all the changes in my mind. Therefore, I am the witness of the mind. Hence mind is seen by Me. Evidently, I am distinct from the MIND. I am not the mind, but witness of the mind. Seer and seen are different. I am that who illumines my MIND. 

 Now the logic is that:  I must not forget that I, the witness of the mind, whatever I am, I am distinct from the mind. I am thus aware and conscious of the mind, the variations in mind. Generally, we identify ourselves most closely with our minds that I am this person who thinks, feels and has a personality (my personality-that i am proud of) 

But this mind is that one, whom I think I am and where I am being told, I am aware of the contents of my mind, then I cannot be the mind, I am that=> which is aware of the mind, that which is witness of the mind. This witness, this awareness is Consciousness.  Mind being observed by Consciousness. Therefore, we have first crossed bodily self to a sense of mental self and then finally to a sense of witness. Now I have become the witness of my Body and Mind. Now that I am distinct from this Body and Mind. So, who am I?  Answer is: — I am the Consciousness. I am the witness of the Body and Mind. This Consciousness self, this pure subject, is not an object. It cannot be known. I AM always Awareness, Consciousness, not something else. 

 The idea that Consciousness is not an object is fundamental insight going all the way back to the “Upanishads”. According to teachings of Upanishads, Consciousness is not an object. Whatever we are aware of is not Consciousness. What we see, hear, smell or taste, or think of, or understand, or objectify in any manner, whatsoever, none of these is Consciousness. These are objects shinning in Consciousness. 

What is Consciousness?  For that let us see the text “Nirvana shatakam” composed by Shri Adi Shankaracharya.

When young boy of eight,Shri Shankara, while wandering in the Himalayas, seeking to find his Guru, he encountered the sage Govinda pada Aacharya who asked him” who are you”.  The boy reply replied with these stanzas which is known as Nirvana shatakam. The Sage was indeed his teacher he was looking for. 

 

“Mano BuddhyA-hankara chittani naaham. Nacha shrotra jihve na cha Ghrana netra. Nacha vyoma bhoomir na tejo na vayuh. Chidananda Rupa Shivoham” 

  I am not mind, intellect, ego and the memory. I am not the sense of organs (ears, tongue, nose, eyes and skin). I am not the five elements (sky or ether, earth, light or fire, the wind and the water). I am supreme bliss and pure consciousness, I am Shiva, I am all auspicious, I am Shiva. 

 “Na cha prana sangto na vai pancha vayu. .Na vaa sapta dhatur na vaa pancha koshah. Na vak pani Padam na chopastha payu. Chidananda rupah Shivoham Shivoham.” 

 I am not prana (vital force) nor five vital airs(panchvati), Nor the seven essential material (sapta dhatu),nor the five Sheaths of the body (pancha kosha). I am not the organs of speech, nor hand nor the leg, Nor the organs of procreation or the elimination (payu-anus). I am Supreme bliss and pure consciousness, I am Shiva, I am all auspicious, I am Shiva. 

 “Na Me Dvesha Ragau Na Me Lobha Mohai. Mado Naiva Me Naiva Maatsarya Bhavah. Na Dharmo Na Chatthi Na Kamo Na Mokshah.Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham 

 I have no hatred or dislike, neither greed nor liking, no delusion, I have no pride or haughtiness, nor jealousy. I have no duty to perform (dharma), no desire for any wealth or pleasure (kama), I have no liberation (moksha) either. I am Supreme bliss and pure consciousness, I am Shiva, I am all auspicious, I am Shiva. 

  “Na Punyam Na Papan Na Saukhyam Na Dukhan.Na Mantro Na Teertham Na Veda Na Yajnaha. Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhokta. Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham 

  I have neither virtue, nor vice,nor pleasure or pain, I do not need mantras (sacred chants), nor pilgrimages. nor scriptures (Vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yajnas). I am neither the enjoyed nor the enjoyer, nor enjoyment. I am the supreme auspiciousness of the form of consciousness-bliss( chidananda Rupah). I am the auspiciousness. I am Supreme bliss and pure consciousness, I am Shiva, I am all auspicious, I am Shiva. 

 “Na Me Mrityu Shanka Na Me Jati Bhedah. Pita Naive Me Naiva Mata Na Janma. Na Bandhur Na Mitram Gurur Naiva Shishya. Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham 

  I have no fear of death, nor do I have death. No doubt about my existence, nor distinction of caste. I have no father or mother, I have no birth. I have no relatives, nor friend, nor the guru, nor the disciple. I am pure knowledge and supreme bliss, I am Shiva, I am all auspiciousness, I am Shiva. 

  “Aham Nirvikalpo Nirakaara Roopah. Vibhur Vyapya Sarvatra Sarvendriyanaam.                                                                                     Sada Me Samatvam Na Mukthir Na Bandhah.  Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham”. 

  I am formless and devoid of all dualities. I exist everywhere and pervade all senses. Always I am the same, I am neither free nor bonded. I am pure knowledge and supreme bliss, I am Shiva, I am all auspiciousness, I am Shiva. 

 Vedanta defines Consciousness very precisely. ” Neti, neti” Whatever we can be aware of, either directly through our senses or through our mind or thoughts, or indirectly through scientific instruments, all of these are objects. 

Conclusion: 

That which is aware of all these objects is Consciousness. It is purely subjective. Consciousness is uniquely distinct from the objective Universe.

The common name is I or Self. Religious name is / Brahman (Infinite being)…according to Vedanta. All these refer to  “THAT “in which experience appears. With which ,it is known and out of which it is made. Conventional view is that our thoughts and feelings appears in ourselves. The experience of body like sensations appears in ourselves is also consciousness. Perceptions also appears in same consciousness, in the same field thoughts etc appears. But these are not pure consciousness. Pure Consciousness is that Consciousness, where there is no thought.(Consciousness-thoughts=Pure Consciousness). State of “No Mind”. Chitta Vritti nirodah……. 

 *** Note: The term Brahman, Atman, Self or Consciousness, Witness, Reality, each word refers to the same ONE Reality, known as Brahman in all Upanishads. Advaita Vedanta philosophy believes in one Supreme being, because of which all this exists. All these terms are interchangeable. 

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. DRIG-DRISHYA VIVEKA by Swami Gurubhaktananda
  4. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.
  5. You are the Universe; Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters: By Deepak Chopra & Menas Kafatos.
  6. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentry By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  7. Information available on internet.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me.  Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

************************************************************************* 

 

“Ashtanga Yoga” [ Eight limbs of Yoga]~ Part-6

Disclaimer:

  • The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
  • ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind. 
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

Introduction!

For practice of Samadhi, aspirant require advanced state of spiritual development. In my earlier blogs, I have discussed “Ashtanga Yoga” which is a integrated method to reach the state of Samadhi. In this blog we will concentrate on another kind of method called “Kriya Yoga” which is preliminary preparation for entering into the state of Samadhi. Sadhana Pada, the second section among four sections of Patanjali Yogasutra starts with the instructions in “Kriya Yoga”.  In this section Maharshi Patanjali gives us guidelines to make proper foundation through some practical methods to enter into state of “Samadhi”. Here we will discuss the first part of Sadhana Pada which deals with philosophy of “klesha”. Klesha means pain, misery , sufferings , problems and difficulties in life. Pain may be physical or mental. We will focus on different types of kleshas which are obstacles that must removed to achieve goal.  Our goal is to attain state of Samadhi. Through this article, we will learn the method of overcoming the pains in life according to Patanjali Yoga sutras.

Recap: In previous blogs “Ashtanga Yoga”  part-1 to part-5 , I have covered following topics (links included):-

Ashtanga Yoga Part1  Introduction to Patanjali Yoga sutras : It presents a holistic systematic approach towards the elimination of sufferings and attainment of spiritual liberation.  Maharshi Patanjali integrated and simplified the science of Yoga concisely in his Yoga sutras. There are 196 sutras presented in four sections know as PADA. Maharshi Patanjali  divided the path of Yoga, known as “Raja Yoga” into eight levels (Eight limbs) named “Ashtanga yoga”.

Ashtanga Yoga Part-2:  Samadhi Pada ,the first section of four Sections of “Patanjali Yoga Sutras” explained briefly. Ashtanga Yoga Part-3:  In this part we have discussed on first five limbs of Eight limbs(Ashtanga Yoga), which are : 1. Yama – Restraints, 2. Niyama – Observances, 3. Asana -Physical postures, 4. Pranayama – Control of Prana (Breathing control), 5. Pratyahara -Withdrawal of the senses.   Ashtanga Yoga Part-4:   Last three limbs of Eight limbs are Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.  In this part-4, sutras from Vibhuti Pada  ,Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi have been discussed in details. Practices of samadhi unravel the mysteries of Yogic Life and the power of siddhis are thus acquired. 

Ashtanga Yoga Part-5:    In this part we have discussed five Vrittis, means mental modifications as mentioned by Maharshi Patanjali. Five Vrittis are 1)Right Knowledge. 2) Wrong Knowledge. 3) Imaginary Knowledge. 4) No Knowledge. 5) Past Knowledge.

Now, this Blog will start with definition of “kriya yoga” Sutra: 2.1

sutra 2.1 "tapahsvadhyayeshvarapranidhanani kriyayogah" means=> Kriya Yoga is three fold- Austerity, study of scriptures and surrender to Supreme Being.

The first sutra of Sadhana Pada defines ” Kriya yoga” . Kriya yoga comprises of three actions : 1) Tapas, 2) Svadhyaya and 3) Isvara Pranidhana. We will discuss on the actions which are basically practices means Sadhana. Tapas: Tapas means fire. Fire burns. Here fire is referred to burning of mental impurities which is the first and foremost step towards Samadhi. Sometime Tapas is referred to austerity too.  Tapas is the first step, for the removal of Avidya( ignorance). It is also conservation of heat and energy in physical body through pranayama.

Tapas has to be considered as pain and that to be accepted as an inspiration for the purification of mind. Tapas is austerity which is a practice that helps to struggle and accept our life’s challenges happily. Austerity does not mean torturing the body or doing anything that weakens the faculties of mind. Practice of such austerity should help in bringing the ability to endure and overcome problems, sufferings with great strength. It is the foundation which gives rise to wisdom, peace and an inner joy. It builds a strong faith on Self. Wisdom, faith and fearlessness are the result of tapas.           

We will see what Lord Krishna says in the context of ” Tapas” in Bhagavad Gita-Chapter-4,verse-7.

BG:4.7 " As a kindled fire reduces wood to ashes , O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions(karmas ) from material activities. Fire of knowledge burns the entire karma, accumulated karmas, current karmas and reduces the scope of future karmas.

Tapas is that practice which can remove mental impurities in waking state, dreaming state and even beyond. The complexities in mind must be eliminated even from the stock that gathered due Samskaras (previous births). Svadhyaya: Study of spiritual and devotional texts that will strengthen spiritual inclination. It also means the detailed study of one’s own self. Self-study. Study of own personality which includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspect. Practice of Svadhyaya will lead to perception of self ,through which awareness will rise. Through Svadhyaya, aspirant can look at his or her own consciousness. It is refinement of the intellect through introspection and acquisition of knowledge. For acquisition of knowledge, study of sacred Texts are essential. Even the aspirant may approach his master to learn lessons. Let us look into Bhagavad Gita Chapter4, verse 34 to understand “Svadhyaya”  which is a process of gaining knowledge in another way. I felt it adding here:– “tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah” : Bhagavad Gita:4.34

Bhagavad Gita:4.34:  “Learn the truth by approaching a Spiritual master(GURU).Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.”

Ishwara Pranidhana: This step is dedication. A life dedicated to God.  Ishwara is inner awareness. It is within us ,the real Self.  Mind(Chitta) should be placed at the disposal of this “Self “(inner awareness)completely. This dedication also includes discharge of duties towards creation of God, for the betterment society, for the betterment of Nation, and for the betterment of this Earth and beyond.  An unconditional surrender to the Supreme Being is referred here.

sutra 2.2: " Samadhibhavanarthah klesatanukaranarthascha" means=> practice of kriya yoga is required for the purpose of developing samadhi and for thinning out the "klesha"

We will now discuss about kleshas. Kleshas are pain bearing obstacles. According to Patanjali Yogasutra 2.3, there are five types of kleshas. To get rid of kleshas, practice of kriya yoga is necessary. Let us know in details.

sutra 2.3:" Avidyasmitaragadveshabhiniveshah klesha" 
  • Avidya : Ignorance. It is misapprehension about the real nature of self
  • Asmita: Egoism
  • Raga: Attachment
  • Dwesha: Aversion
  • Abhinivesa: Fear of death: 
sutra 2.4: " Avidyaksetramuttaresam prasuptatanuvichhinnodaranam" means => Ignorance is the productive field of all kleshas, whether they are dormant, attenuated, oscillating or expanded.

Five types of kleshas need to be eliminated to enter into the state of  Samadhi. Kleshas are impurities and  removal of kleshas is the process to be known as kriya yoga. Kleshas are to be understood clearly. Just as a roasted seed does not sprout and does not give birth of a tree, same way after a successful practice of Kriya yoga, the kleshas do not rise in mind and becomes unproductive state. As such, unproductive state does not give rise to modifications of the mind. Impression that “I am not the body ” becomes like a roasted Seed from the latent impression of the belief that “I am the body”. Therefore other such modification does not arise and all feelings based on such a belief get extinguished for all time. Maharshi Patanjali has explained five kleshas  one by one and the order is also significant because Avidya (ignorance) gives birth  to egoism .From egoism comes attachment. From attachment comes non-fulfilment of attachment, which in turn gives rise to aversion. From aversion comes fear of death i.e. clinging to body life Avidya (ignorance) is the source of  rest of the four Kleshas: Asmita, Raaga, Dwesha and Abhinivesa. Just as a seed gives rise to a whole tree , similarly Avidya gives birth of other four kleshas.  These kleshas have four states of expression. They may be in 1) dormant when you cannot perceive them. Sometimes they become 2) feeble or attenuated and they are experienced  in the scattered condition. They give rise to an 3) oscillating state(alternating). Some are in 4)  Expanded state.

In the dormant condition Kleshas are present in latent form. It can not find expression due lack of proper conditions as in the case of advanced Yogi. In the attenuated condition also, kleshas are present but in feeble condition and remain inactive due to lack of stimulus. When kleshas are in oscillating condition, the sufferers passes through state of confusion. In the state of expanded condition kleshas are fully operative and behaves like waves in the surface of sea as seen in the time of storms. In this condition sufferings are extreme.

sutra 2.5 "anityashuchiduhkhanatmasu nitya-shuchi-sukhatmakhyatiravidya" means=> Avidya considers non-eternal, impure, evil and non-atman to be eternal, pure, good and atman respectively

Sutra 2.5 gives classical definition of Avidya. To consider impermanent as permanent is Avidya . Sutra explains clearly what is the mistaken idea that we consider as real and permanent.  Avidya is associated with jivatma from the very beginning and remains as Samskaras until Avidya is removed through self realisation and enlightenment. 

Conclusion:

By now, we have understood that ignorance is the source of all kinds of distress in life. From sutra 2.1 to 2.5 we have covered and understood the “kleshas” and cause of kleshas. Our goal is to reach to the state of Samadhi after eliminating the kleshas. We have also learned that Avidya is the source of all kleshas and Avidya is collection of wrong and false knowledge. Therefore if we practice, we can remove kleshas means pain bearing obstacles. Through practice of kriya yoga, kleshas can be attenuated. Calmness of body and mind will come through Tapas. Through Svadhyaya will come true knowledge , self realisation and tranquillity of mind through Ishwara Pranidhana.


Multiple paths are there to attain enlightenment. Here we have concentrated upon the teachings given by Maharshi Patanjali through his Yoga sutra. If we can follow sincerely, the steps described in Yoga sutra, we can understand Avidya . We can  distinguish between permanent and impermanent, between Body and Consciousness. Advaita Vedanta also teaches about methods for removal of Avidya means ignorance in different way. In this connection readers may read my other blogs such as:  ” WISDOM OF FIVE SHEATHES”   and  ” What is Joy” (part-1)

My next blog will cover last chapter of Patanjali Yoga sutra" KAIVALYA PADA"  

Notes:-  Having gone through all the books listed below, I have composed this blog as a concise text for Ashtanga Yoga.  


Recommended readings:

  1. Patanjali Yoga Sutras: commentary By Swami Vivekananda.
  2. FOUR YOGAS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA :Condensed and retold by Swami Tapasyananda.
  3. Patanjal Yogasutra : Commentary , by Swami Premeshananda.
  4. Inside the Yoga Sutras- By Reverend Jaganath Carrera.
  5. Four Chapters on Freedom- By Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
  6. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Swami Satchitananda.

It is my sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me.  Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

“Ashtanga Yoga” [ Eight limbs of Yoga]~ Part-5

Disclaimer:

The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization. ☆I found some link between modern science and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say. ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences. ♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.  ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept, gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.  Your positive feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.


Patanjali sutra 1.40 : ” paramanu paramamahattvantosya vashikarah” means=> Meditating mind becomes un obstructed from the atomic to the infinite.

Recap: In previous blogs “Ashtanga Yoga”  part-1 to part-4 , I have written on following topics(links included):-

Ashtanga Yoga Part1  Introduction to Patanjali Yoga sutras : It presents a holistic systematic approach towards the elimination of sufferings and attainment of spiritual liberation.  Maharshi Patanjali integrated and simplified the science of Yoga concisely in his Yoga sutras. There are 196 sutras presented in four sections know as PADA. Maharshi Patanjali  divided the path of Yoga, known as “Raja Yoga” into eight levels (Eight limbs) named “Ashtanga yoga”.

Ashtanga Yoga Part-2:  Samadhi Pada ,the first section of four Sections of “Patanjali Yoga Sutras” explained briefly.

Ashtanga Yoga Part-3:  In this part we have discussed on first five limbs of Eight limbs(Ashtanga Yoga), which are : 1. Yama – Restraints, 2. Niyama – Observances, 3. Asana -Physical postures, 4. Pranayama – Control of Prana (Breathing control), 5. Pratyahara -Withdrawal of the senses.  

Ashtanga Yoga Part-4:   Last three limbs of Eight limbs are Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.  In this part-4, sutras from Vibhuti Pada  ,Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi have been discussed in details. Practices of samadhi unravel the mysteries of Yogic Life and the power of siddhis are thus acquired. 

Introduction: 

In the previous posts we have seen “Eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga”. In this post we will discuss on “Vrittis” from “Samadhi Pada”. Mind has its dynamic nature (prakriti). As such mind has the capacity to express itself with modifications, various modes, which are known as ” Vritti”Vritti ” is a Sanskrit word. Vrittis are like innumerable waves as seen in agitated ocean of “chitta” (mind). Can we see bottom of an agitated sea? No, we can not. Similarly when mind is agitated, we can not see “purusha” which is our own and very true nature. Therefore, we need to isolate those Vrittis. Vrittis are mental modifications. We need to stop those modifications. Our aim is to follow the second sutra of Samadhi Pada. This is the essence of Patanjali Yoga Sutra: Yogas citta-vritti-nirodah” which literary means “Yoga is the stilling of the modifications of the mind” Target is to achieve the state of mind which is calm, tranquil and free of distortions. It is the control of thought waves in the mind. One must not have conflicts in the mind. We have to block Vrittis. In the following paragraphs we will know about different Vrittis. Sutra 1.5 onwards tells us about Vrittis.

sutra 1.5: " Vrttayah panchatayyah klistahaklistah" means => modifications of mind are fivefold; they are painful or not painful.

There are five kinds of mental modifications, means five types of “Vrittis” , which are either painful or painless.  In the following sutras ,we will learn one after another.

sutra 1.6 "Pramana viparyaya vikalpa nidra smrtayah" means => five folds of Vrittis are right knowledge, wrong knowledge, conceptualization, sleep and memory.

Let us now concentrate over the five fold Vrittis (modifications of mind) which  are  classified  in the sutra1.6:  Maharshi Patanjali explains all these five modifications in his sutras from 1.7 to 1.11.  All that we see, hear, and experience arise in our mind through senses and constitute consciousness in mind. Every mental state can be explained through these five mental modifications and can be said as manifestation of mind

  1. Pramana:  Right Knowledge : [sutra 1.7]
  2. Viparyaya: Wrong Knowledge : [sutra 1.8]
  3. Vikalpa: Delusion, imagination : [sutra 1.9]
  4. Nidra: Sleep : [sutra 1.10]
  5. Smritayah: Memories : [sutra 1.11]
sutra 1.7: "pratyakshanumanagamah pramanani" (pratyaksha + anumana + agamaha) Direct cognition, inference and testimony are the proof and right source of knowledge.

According to above sutra there are three types of right knowledge. 1. Direct perception or cognition , 2. Inference and 3. Authoritative testimony are the basic source of knowledge. Perception is gained through sense evidences. It is the product of sense organs. If the sense organs are optimally functional, then these can be the sources for right knowledge. (Not always true. Example:- mirage ,an optical effect sometime seen at sea or in the desert or over a hot pavement ). However direct perception is the initial reaction of stimulus on individual mind. When the mental function starts, pure and direct experience can be varied according to the limitations of thought process of that individual. Another point is lack of focus during the act of sense organs and focus of mind on the act. Like thinking something while doing something else. Knowledge gained in this way can be incomplete and differ according to the self ego known as “ahamkara”. Experiences gathered have the imprints of biased thoughts also. Perceptions include some factors like desires, aversions , fears, greed etc. Such perceptions when recalled ,mind becomes venerable  to the false impressions and incomplete memories. Such perceptions are also one form of mis-perception. Next sutra (1.8) will explain more on it. 

Anumana means Inference:  Inference is based on experiences. It  can be another source of right knowledge. 

Agamah: Testimony: Where no sense evidence is available, and there is no solid ground for inference, then we have to depend on testimony, provided it is authoritative testimony.  We can consider teachings of Guru and Scriptures are best testimonies.

sutra 1.8: "viparyaya mithyajnanam atadroopapratishtham " This means misperception is the result of false or incomplete knowledge.

If we split the sentence , Sanskrit words of the sutra, it would be easy to understand.  viparyaya (misconception) + Mithya (false)+ jnanam (knowledge)+ atad (not on that)+ Roopa (form)+ pratishtham(established).  One example will make the sense clear.  If someone mistakes a rope for a snake, it will be a false. To see a rope as a snake is misconception( Mithya jnanam). Such false knowledge should be corrected through right knowledge. viparyaya (misconception) is nothing but ignorance (Avidya) only. Now, how ignorance can be eliminated?   To understand what ignorance is, we may refer sutra 2.3 in brief.(2.3/Sadhana Pada):    “avidyasmitaragadveshabhiniveshah kleshaah”   means ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and clinging to bodily life are five obstacles. [sutra 2.3]

sutra 1.9: "sabdajnaananupati vastushoonyo vikalpah" means=> A kind of mental modification, which arises on hearing mere words having no objective reality. It is a verbal delusion only.

Here we will learn about “vikalpa” another kind of mental modification, a type of Vritti. Vikalpa is , a conceptualization ,verbal delusion, which arises on hearing mere words having no basis. We get angry on hearing some words ,when uttered by some persons. If we reason it out, we can manage ourselves without reacting, without being angry, without being miserable. The words are not objects, have no basis. It is just a mental modification due to vague notion. This vague notion is due to knowledge gained through conceptualization. In conceptualization, mind weaves basis through combination of memory and language, which may or may not be correct. 

sutra 1.10: " abhava-pratyayalambana vrittirnidra" means=> mental modification(Vritti) based on cognition of nothingness is sleep.

Here we will discuss the fourth type of modification of mind. This modification of mind is based on the absence of content and that is known as Sleep. During sleep a person’s mind remains blank. There is a feeling of voidness. There is no cognition in the field of consciousness. We will refer to maNDukya Upanishad regarding “Deep sleep” condition to understand this sutra. According to maNDukya Upanishad ,there are four states of self.  The Deep Sleep state also known as “SuShupta” is one of the four states.  SuShupta~SU=Sundar/excellent +sUpta=Sleep~ means prajNa and antaryAmin.
In this state, waking world and dreaming world temporarily ceases. We exist here in non dual state. Most refreshing state. A state of Bliss(with ignorance). In the waking and dreaming state, we are diverted from this state of bliss, though knowledge of our true nature is absent here. All the perceived limitations are removed in this temporary state but ready to spring forth as soon as we move to waking world. In Deep sleep condition self has no desire, no dream. This is intellectual condition. Because of union with Self and his unbroken knowledge, one feels joy. He knows joy. His mind is illuminated.                                                            This state outwardly appears to be the same as  citta-vritti-nirodah, where mental modifications are suppressed. However in Deep sleep, although there is no consciousness as is present in waking state, yet mental activity is transferred to subtle condition and comes back as soon as sleep is broken. Therefore, Sleep is one condition of mind which hides the knowledge of the external world. Thoughts are there but not present before mind. 

sutra 1.11: " anubhootavishayasanpramoshah smritih"

Sutra 1.11 is about fifth Vritti which is known as “smritih” (memory).  Memory is nothing but retention of past experiences collectively. Past experiences leave impressions in mind. All experiences impact the mind as Vrittis. As time passes, these Vrittis become subtler and then it become part of SamskarasSamskaras are subconscious impressions which lie dormant. It is active in the subconscious level and influence our conscious mind in the background. 

Normally we do not observe the movements of mind , the fluctuations of mind, carefully. But if we observe the movements of mind carefully, then we can stop its fluctuations. Mental modifications can be stopped ,if we concentrate on our thoughts appearing in mind. What ever we think in waking condition are included in five types of Vritti as mentioned above. Most of the time, the thoughts are found to be baseless and they are originated due to ignorance only. This ignorance is due to absence of knowledge of our real nature, true nature which is “purusha”.  Ignorance is removed by regular and persistent practice of Yoga. Ignorance is removed by gaining more insight into the nature of our mind and going beyond mind.

sutra 1.12: " abhyasavairagyabhyan tannirodhah"

” abhyasa (continuous practice) + vairagya (detachment) + abhyam ( by both) + tannirodhah ( modification of mind are stopped)”.

All mental modifications means five types of Vritti can be restrained by practice and non attachment. According to sutras of Maharshi Patanjali, combination of uninterrupted practice and non-attachment stop fluctuations and mental modifications in mind. In this respect we may refer four means of Salvation as stated in Vedanta. According to Vedanta, the study of scriptures helps in realization of truth, when one is equipped with necessary fourfold discipline:
1. Discrimination between real (Nithya নিত্য~ eternal) and unreal (anitya অনিত্য~transitory).
2. Renunciation of the unreal (Viraga~বৈরাগ্য)
3. Six fold qualities.
4. Longing for liberation (Moksha ~মোক্ষ প্রাপ্তি to escape from the cycle of births and deaths)

Sravana, Manana, Nididhyasana leads us to intuition (aparoksha anubhuti). In this way, “Brahma Kara Vritti ” is generated from ” Sattvic anta Karana ” after following four means of Salvation and teachings of Guru( Teacher). This ” Brahma Kara Vritti” destroys the mula-Avidya or primitive ignorance which is the root cause of all bondage, births and deaths. 

Conclusion!

In this part we have discussed five Vrittis, means mental modifications as mentioned by Maharshi Patanjali. Five Vrittis are 1)Right Knowledge. 2) Wrong Knowledge. 3) Imaginary Knowledge. 4) No Knowledge. 5) Past Knowledge. Next post  will cover first part of Sadhana Pada to know about “Kriya Yoga” 

Notes:-  Having gone through all the books listed below, I have composed this blog as a concise text for Ashtanga Yoga.  


Recommended readings:

  1. Patanjali Yoga Sutras: commentary By Swami Vivekananda.
  2. FOUR YOGAS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA :Condensed and retold by Swami Tapasyananda.
  3. Patanjal Yogasutra : Commentary , by Swami Premeshananda.
  4. Inside the Yoga Sutras- By Reverend Jaganath Carrera.
  5. Four Chapters on Freedom- By Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
  6. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Swami Satchitananda.

My sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any. Suggestions to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me.  Readers are requested to read all the posts to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

              

 

 

 

“Ashtanga Yoga” [ Eight limbs of Yoga]~ Part-4

Disclaimer: 

The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization.
☆I found some link between modern science and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind. 
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.  Your positive feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

"svarasavahi vidushopi tatharoodho bhiniveshah" means => Fear of death is an inherent and present in all leaving beings, even in those who are very learned. [sutra 2.9]
"te pratiprasavaheyah sookshmah" means => These causes of unhappiness can be annihilated by resolving them to the source i.e. by reversing the process by which they are produced can be destroyed.[sutra 2.10]
"Dhyanaheyastadvrittayah" : means => Through meditation, their (different states of minds/
Vrittis) are to be rejected. [sutra 2.11]

Recap: In the previous parts of my blog “Ashtanga Yoga”  part-1 to part-3 , we have discussed following topics:-

Ashtanga Yoga Part1  Introduction to Patanjali Yoga sutras : It presents a holistic systematic approach towards the elimination of sufferings and attainment of spiritual liberation.  Maharshi Patanjali integrated and simplified the science of Yoga concisely in his Yoga sutras. There are 196 sutras presented in four sections know as PADA. Maharshi Patanjali  divided the path of Yoga, known as “Raja Yoga” into eight levels (Eight limbs) named “Ashtanga yoga”.

Ashtanga Yoga Part-2:  Samadhi Pada , first section of four Sections of “Patanjali Yoga Sutras” explained briefly.

Ashtanga Yoga Part-3: In this part we have discussed on first five limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, which are : 1. Yama – Restraints, 2. Niyama – Observances, 3. Asana -Physical postures, 

4. Pranayama – Control of Prana (Breathing control), 5. Pratyahara -Withdrawal of the senses.  

Introduction:

Five limbs described in Sadhana Pada are step by step processes of elimination of all external causes of mental distraction. Yama and Niyama helps in eliminating disturbances due emotions and uncontrolled desires. Asana and Pranayama eliminates disturbances that arise in physical Body. Pratyahara plays a vital role through detachment of senses which affects mind. As such ,the practitioners become free of external disturbances. These five techniques of yogic practices are referred as “Bahiranga” or external.  These practices make aspirants fit physically, mentally, emotionally and morally for practices of next higher levels of Yoga. These three practices of Yoga Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are known as Antaranga or internal. In this part-4, we will discuss sutras from Vibhuti Pada  Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.  Practices of samadhi unravel the mysteries of Yogic Life and the power of siddhis are thus acquired. Accomplishments of Power are discussed in the second part of third Pada. Therefore the third Pada is known as Vibhuti”

Vibhuti means to expanse your consciousness. Expanse of state of mind to higher level of consciousness is Vibhuti. Instead of scattered and fluctuating mind, mind should be held in one place , at one point. That is one pointedness.  Pranayama, Pratyahara helps to practice Dharana. That is the ultimate aim of practicing Dharana. This practice will lead the aspirant to next higher stage  “Dhyana”. One pointed attention is essential to explore the core of consciousness. Even one pointed attention can be applied in day to day activities for better results, better performances and thus getting a satisfaction which will keep the mind happy. When mind is happy, it means one can lead the life happily. The first sutra of Vibhuti Pada defines Dharana.

Dharana – Concentration: 6th anga: 

sutra : 3.1 "deshabandhashchittasya Dharana" means fixing the mind onto a fixed point.

“deshabandhashchittasya”  => this suggests to confine mind in a territory, a very limited space, which disallows movements of mind. That is called “Dharana”.

One pointed attention: Dharana is the process of fixing the attention of mind to a certain point. That may be any object of concentration (internal or external), sound, deity or  noble idea for the benefit of creation. After successful practices of first five limbs, one becomes ready for Dharana. It is the first step towards Dhyana (meditation). Practicing Dharana stops mind moving randomly and make it one-pointed concentration. As such it finds complete absorption in the present moment. Even one pointed concentration can be made by focusing on breath, or reciting mantras or concentrating on image of deity. 

Dharana, Dhyana & Samadhi: These three limbs together lead aspirants to the ultimate goal.  In reality, normally mind remain fixed hardly for a very few minutes. Even if someone fixes mind on image of deity, yet mind wanders at numerous points or issues. Therefore it is important to practice first five limbs with full attention. “Pratyahara”  helps in attaining a mind without fluctuations, since withdrawals of senses bind the mind to a fixed point. It is impossible to concentrate unless the mind is purified. For that ,let us look into Sutra 1.33 (Samadhi Pada) to understand right methods for purification of mind which will help in concentration of mind. 

sutra 1.3 " maitri-karuna-muditopeksanam sukhadukhapunyapunyavisayanam bhavanataschittaprasadanam"

According to above sutra , if the fourfold qualities are dealt with right actions, then the practitioner of Yoga will overcome the distractions of mind. These are : 1. friendliness towards happiness, 2. compassion towards misery,  3. rejoicing for virtues and 4. indifference to vices.  With such preparation and practice, “Dharana” comes much more easily and naturally. 


Dhyana- meditation: 7th anga.

sutra 3.2 "tatra pratyayaikatanata Dhyana" means uninterrupted stream of consciousness is Dhyana. 

Definition : DhyanaThe extension and lengthening of Dharana is Dhyana. Dharana continued without interruption is Dhyana. We have reached unto Dhyana after through practice, step by step, sequentially of  Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara and Dharana. One cannot skip any of the above steps. All the steps are scientifically designed. That is the specialty of Ashtanga Yoga. If one has followed all the steps properly, then only Dhyana is possible. One has to change his or her way of life to reach unto this stage of Dhyana (concentration). Let us look into sutra 3.2 again for further analysis.  “tatra pratyayaikatanata dhyanam” :  If we now split the sloka like this =>>  tatra + pratyaya +ekatanata, then  tatra => means ” in that place” which refers to “desha” as mentioned in sutra 3.1.                                                                pratyaya=> means total content of mind which occupies the field of consciousness at a particular time.  Mind remains in continuous contact in Dharana.                                                                                                                                   Ekatanata=> means extending continuously without interruption. Before practicing Samadhi, this kind of un interrupted continuous Dhyana is essential for the aspirant. Obviously it is not an easy job but not impossible! 

We will now discuss on why Maharshi Patanjali starts Yogasutra with Samadhi Pada instead of Sadhana Pada, while Samadhi is the last limb of Ashtanga Yoga. Because he is trying to direct us to what we have to achieve at the first instance, means setting the Goal. State of mind which is calm, quite, tranquil, and free of distortions, reflects purusha”. When the mind is in completely sattvic mode(there is a fine difference between sattvic mode and purusha), then it is possible to achieve the goal. The essence of Patanjali’s Yoga sutra is in the second sutra(1.2): Yogas citta-vritti-nirodah” which literary means “Yoga is the stilling of the modifications of the mind”. Target is to achieve the state of mind which is calm, tranquil and free of distortions. It is the control of thought waves in the mind. One must not have conflicts in the mind. We think only mind is real but actually “purusha” is real. This is due to ignorance. Within inside or outside , ignorance has to be removed through mental exercises, through discrimination. So all these sutras so far we have come across is pointing towards the Dhyana for farther higher level  “Samadhi”. When the ignorance is destroyed and you remain in stillness of mind, you do not have any other idea, you become blank and then you can do Dharana effectively. It will be then possible to stretch Dharana and that will be Dhyana. Unless the foundation work is done , Dharana can not be stretched to Dhyana. Continuing this one pointed attention without any distraction or disturbance, the aspirant saves a lot of energy which will build up a system, vast quietness and silence that fill one’s being.

Since now a days, people are talking of meditation, it has become important to know what is meditation.  At least we can concentrate on breath which is the vital force. Understand the secrete nature of breath. It must not be an ordinary one. It is prana. It is the breath to whom we should respect.  Realise that breath is the fountain head of life which primarily moves the entire universe. 

Therefore let us keep in mind that when Dharana is stretched for a long period it becomes Dhyana. In other words elongated condition of Dharana is Dhyana. 

Now we may discuss about Dhyana in details in practical point of view. According to yogic science, in every human being there are thousands of channels of energy passing through the body and life energy prana functions through these channels known as “naddis”. Among these channels, there are three most important naddis. These three channels are 1) Ida naddi, 2) pingala naddi and 3) susuhumna naddi.  Among these three, susuhumna is the Supreme. If we consider  prana as the energy field like an electrical energy field, then  Ida which is in the left may be imagined as “cathode” (-ve charge) and the right which is pingala  may be compared with anode (+ve charge). Energy flows through these channels. This concept is according to yogic anatomy. These are to be considered as psychic energies. When they are balanced, body and mind is also balanced and in the best condition for practice of Yoga. Practice of Pranayama makes balancing of these channels and thereby activate sushumna naddi. According to yogis, ida and pingala are considered as two nerve currents on either side of the spinal column. It is considered that the Moon moves the ida and the Sun moves the pingala. Ida is cooling where as pingala is heating. Ida flows through left nostrils and pingala through right nostrils. Sushumna runs along the centre of the spinal column.  It is believed that when Sushumna operates Yogi enters into samadhi. However this topic is yogic science and out of scope of  discussion in this part.

Samadhi– The state of Cosmic Consciousness- the 8th anga: 

sutra 3.3: "tad evarthamatranirbhasan svaroopashoonyam iva samadhih" means=> In that absolute state, then there is no meditator or the thing that is meditating upon. What remains only is the meditation, that is called samadhi. 

When Dhyana enters into Samadhi , the Gate which leads into the world of realities opens. Samadhi means a state of mind which through the practice of Dharana and Dhyana has become so  completely tranquil and the person meditating  is so absorbed that the he or she even forgets own existence.                Let us analyse the word “svaroopashoonyam”  of sutra 3.3. ” svaroopa” + shoonyam”  means that ” svaroopa” which is the residual consciousness of its own action disappears completely i.e. becomes shoonyam” .

When you are fully absorbed with the vastness of the Supreme being and even the sense that I am meditating is not there and the ego “I” goes then, only the true Self, higher Self ,the Big I” remains.  This is possible when there are no Vrittis in chitta. In other words mind does not fluctuate. In Samadhi, Mind  surrenders all its resistances to the union with the object of meditation. In this state, field of observation and the observing intelligence merge and total intelligence shines as the sole substance of reality. 

sutra 3.4 "trayamekarta samyamah" means => The three practices Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi together on same object is called samyamah.

If we analyse the word “samyamah”  we will find it has two parts. Sama + Yama. Sama means perfection and Yama means control. In samyamah, mind dives completely in to an object or idea and gains complete knowledge of the object of attention down to its most subtle aspect. This gives rise to psychic powers called “Vibhuti”. Practice of Samyamah and mastery of its technique opens the door toward power and Siddhis.

Key points : Dharana, Dhyana , Samadhi , concentration, meditation, purusha, samyamah , Ashtanga Yoga.

Conclusion!:

In this section, Vibhuti Pada, we have discussed about the means to reach the goal , the last limb of Eight limbs.  So far we have discussed Eight angas.  If followed properly, the person will definitely feel joy and peace of mind which will accompany to the bed at the end of the day. Who does not want a peaceful sleep?  

All practices as mentioned above will make ways for state of “samyamah” which constitute Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Eight limbs as a whole constitute one complete path which leads the aspirant upwards. When the mind is set into a pattern, automatically one connection will be established with higher Self. That is individual’s experience which can be considered as Self-Realization\

In the next part, part-5 we will discuss Samadhi Pada, 5th sutra onwards from the first section of Patanjali Yoga Sutra and some part of Vibhuti Pada which will explain different types of Vrittis. Removal of Vrittis is essential to control our mind.

Notes:-  Having gone through all the books listed below, I have composed this blog as a concise text for Ashtanga Yoga.  


Recommended readings:

  1. Patanjali Yoga Sutras: commentary By Swami Vivekananda.
  2. FOUR YOGAS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA :Condensed and retold by Swami Tapasyananda.
  3. Patanjal Yogasutra : Commentary , by Swami Premeshananda.
  4. Inside the Yoga Sutras- By Reverend Jaganath Carrera.
  5. Four Chapters on Freedom- By Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

My sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries. Any suggestion to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me.  Readers are requested to read part-1 to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

Thank you. Regards!  NAMASTE ! JAI GURU! (17/01/2021)

“Ashtanga Yoga” [ Eight limbs of Yoga]~ Part-3

Disclaimer: 

The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my beliefs, my experiences and self realization.
☆I found some link between modern science and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind. 
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.  Your positive feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

"sankalpa prabhavan kamanas tyaktva sarvan asheshatah manasaivendriya gramam viniyamya samantatah shanaih shanair uparamed buddhya dhriti grihitaya atma sanstham manah kritva na kinchid api chintayet " :- from Bhagavad Gita-Ch-6/ver-24.
Lord Sri Krishna said : One should engage oneself in the practice of Yoga with determination and faith and not to be deviated from the path. One should abandon without exception, all material speculation and thus control all the senses on all sides of the mind.

This part is devoted to the discussion of ” Ashtanga Yoga”  : Eight Limbs according to Patanjali Yoga Sutras :-

Introduction: 

In my previous blogs part-1 and part-2 of  “Ashtanga Yoga Sutras”, I have tried to explain about Yoga Philosophy and the basis of it. We have discussed four sutras of Samadhi Pada. A brief recap is presented here again. 

Four sections of Patanjali Yoga Sutras are as under:

  1. Samadhi Pada: The first section:  Portion on contemplation has 51 sutras. Samadhi refers to that state of the Yogi, where his Self-identity is absorbed into the pure consciousness with collapsing of three categories of Self (witness, witnessing and witnessed). Beyond this state it is “Kaivalya” (Liberation which is known as “moksha” in Vedanta). The essence of Patanjali’s Yoga sutra is in the second sutra: “Yogas citta-vritti-nirodah” which literary means “Yoga is the stilling of the modifications of the mind” . Target is to achieve the state of mind which is calm, tranquil and free of distortions. It is the control of thought waves in the mind. One must not have conflicts in the mind.
  2. Sadhana Pada: It has got 55 sutras: Sadhana means practices. Author describes two systems of Yoga.
    1. Kriya Yoga: which includes following steps: 
    a) Tapas (Austerity) ;
    b) Svadhyaya; (Self study of scriptures);
    c) Isvara pranidhana- devotion to God or pure consciousness.
    2. Ashtanga Yoga:    [We will focus here on “Ashtanga yoga”. ]
  3. Vibhuti Pada: This section has 56 sutras: This chapter describes about “Siddhi” (supra normal powers) which can be acquired by the practice of Yoga.
  4. Kaivalya Pada: 34 sutras: Describes the process of liberation (isolation) which is commonly known as emancipation (moksha) too.

    Maharshi Patanjali  divided the path of Yoga, also known as “Raja Yoga” into eight levels (Eight limbs) named “Ashtanga yoga”.  Kriya Yoga will be discussed in later parts.

As we know that Ashtanga means Eight Limbs. Ashta = Eight, Anga = Limbs. Eight limbs are : Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Limbs literally  means "anga" in Sanskrit. All limbs together form the complete system Yoga to reach the final goal. We will frequently now call anga as a prime point of discussion here. Eight limbs can be treated as 8 steps.
  1. Yama: The first “anga”  consists of prohibitions against unethical deeds. These are basically restraints. Following are to be noted: 
  • Ahimsa-Non violence: sutra 2.35: ” Ahimsapratisthayam tatsaminidhau vairatyagah”   Non-violence truly  meant here as  to refrain from causing harm , showing anger , being harsh to others including self. Killing and doing physical harm is common form of violence.  However, out of frustrations we sometime become harsh with others. This is also a gross form of violence. To maintain a life with non-violence, we need to have a heart with full of love for others irrespective of their attitudes towards us. That love  must be unconditional and universal. At the same time we must love ourselves equally. Then frustration will not arise. Through logical reasonings we can definitely have mastery on this quality ” ahimsa”.                                                                                         
  • Satya-Truthfulness: : sutra 2.36: ” Satya pratisthayam kriyaphalasrayatvam” which means on being firmly established in truthfulness ,the Yogi gets the power of attaining for himself  the fruits of work without the work . Results come to them automatically. This is the power of truth. It is believed that for an honest person who is in the path of truth, fear vanishes for him. because one need not be afraid since the life is open to all. Nothing to hide. Life becomes an open book. This is very simple to understand that truthfulness has tremendous power.
  • Asteya-Non-stealing: sutra 2.37: ” asteyapratesthayam sarvaratnopasthanam” which means ” To one established in honesty, non-stealing, all gems present themselves”. With the establishment of virtues like honesty, aspirant develops an intuitive awareness. Therefore we should curb our desires for the things which are not our own. Rather we should share our knowledge, our noble thoughts and material belongings to uplift others who are indeed needy ,instead of hoarding them for own benefits.                                                                                           
    Brahmacharya- celibacy:  Right use of energy: sutra 2.38 says ” Brahmacharya pratisthayam viryalabhah”.  It is about controlled and disciplined sex. Brahmacharya does not mean cut off from sex. According to explanations of the above sutras by the scholars it is said that “Virya” , the seminal fluid is our life. If stored properly, it can generate lot of energy. When absorbed into the system it gets transformed into prana. Conserved sexual energy in woman also gets transformed. Seminal fluid gives stamina and strength to the brain and nerves. 
  • Aparigraha- non possessing, non accumulation: sutra 2.37: ” Aparigraha sthairye janmakathamta sambodhah”  which means : On becoming steady in non-possessiveness, there arises the knowledge of how and from where is it generated. One of the most important virtues. This sutra teaches to give up tendency of accumulation of materials. Possession should be that much required to maintain life (necessary items).

2. Niyama : This second  limb (“anga” ) is composed of some injunctions to develop various ethical virtues. Following are the components of Niyama.

  • Saucha (cleanliness) : sutra 2.40 & 2.41 ” sauchat svangajugupsa parairasamsargah”  and ” Sattvasuddhi-saumanasyaikagryendriyajayatmadarsanayogyatvani cha”.  These two sutras mandate purity of body and mind.
  • Santosha ( Contentment): sutra 2.42santosadanuttama sukhalabhah”    very simple meaning.  To keep mind away from dwelling in the past or future. One should not  regret on missed opportunities and also need not worry about future. Contentment is  the way to live in present moment, NOW.    
  • Tapas (discipline, austerity etc.) : sutra 2.43: “Kayendriyasiddhirasuddhiksayattapasah”  mandates spiritual disciplines.  A state of spiritual maturity.  With the practice of austerity, all kinds of impurities are removed from body and mind. Austerity is very important in one’s life to ascend to higher state. 
  • Svadhyaya ( study of self and sacred texts): sutra 2.44 “Svadhyayadistadevatasamprayogah”  This sutra teaches for self-observation, study of scriptures, recitation of mantras and union  with the desired deity ( Ishta devata).                                                                     
  • Isvara Pranidhana (Total surrender to the Supreme being): sutra 2.45 “Samadhisidhisiddhiri svarapranidhanat”    This sutra teaches Self surrender. Complete surrender to God.  Dedicated services for the welfare of others including mankind, animal kind, plants and nature. This practice is non selfish in nature. Without expectation of fruits of actions. This is the path of Karma Yoga.                   
At first sight, these 5 yamas and 5 niyamas might seem to resemble the 10 commandments of the Bible. Unless an aspirant has mastered these two steps of discipline, practice of subsequent steps of yoga will be ineffective.

Sadhana Pada (portion on practice) :  teaches on ashtanga(eight limbs) ” 

Beginning of Sadhana Pada describes Kriya yoga. But we will discuss here ashtanga yoga which has been described in the later part. From 28th sutra onwards explains ashtanga yoga.

"Yoganganusthanad Asuddhi ksaye JnanadiptihrA vivekakhyteh" : (sutra 2.28:  from sadhana Pada ) which means-- By the practice of the limbs of Yoga, the impurities diminishes and light of wisdom appears which leads to discriminative discernment.

Yamas and Niyamas are basic foundation to develop a lifestyle that effectively supports your practice of meditation. If the foundation is  strong, then evidently state of mind will be ready enough to progress further. These first two angas direct control our behaviour. Without practicing Yamas and Niyamas sincerely and honestly, one can not have a mind free from stress and conflicts. All of you will agree to this point.

The next three angas asana, pranayama and pratyahara mandate certain kinds of control over our body, breath and senses respectively. Very important to practice these with full devotion. We will discuss one after other in sequence.

Now, we will look into the third “anga” asana : Let us see what sutra says on Asana? 

"sthira sukhamasanam" sutra 2.46: this means one must have practice to sit for a long period without feeling discomfort.

The third anga ” Asana” is important part of Ashtanga Yoga. The importance is to make spine held erect and relaxed with the three upper parts of the body, the chest, the neck and the head in a straight line. This is required for nerve currents to channelize for further improvement in concentration. In Yoga culture around the world , some asanas are taught, which are very complex and performed with great difficulties. As such, aspirants remain busy with the perfection of asanas. Finally the essence of Yoga gets spoiled. Since they concentrate on asanas only, other seven limbs do not get due attention. Practicing asanas only becomes a part of Hatha Yoga which is mainly concerned with the maintenance of the health and attainment of longevity of the body. Getting too much engrossed in asanas will make a man body minded only. But the object of  Yoga is to make a man rise above body consciousness. In Patanjali Yoga sutra, it is simply stated that poster should be stable and comfortable for meditation.

" jati desa kala samayna vacchinnah sarvabhauma mahavratam" sutra 2.31 

Let us look into a very important sutra 2.31 in Sadhana Pada. What it says?  In this Sutra Maharshi Patanjali says that these great vows are not limited to any class, place, time and circumstances. This path of Yoga is Universal. 

The fourth anga “pranayama”  commonly believed as control of breath but scholars says this is actually control of Universal Energy. The Prana  moves the whole Universe. Prana is believed to be a cosmic energy. It is prana vibrating at the beginning of cosmic cycle that shapes akasha (space) out of which all energies are evolved. Biological functions of all kinds are performed by this vital energy. The knowledge and control of this prana is known as pranayama. Let us see what Yoga sutra (2.49) says:-

"tasmin sati svasaprasvasayorgativicchedh pranayamh" sutra 2.49: This literally means that after practicing firm posture, the movements of inhalation and exhalation should be controlled. This is "pranayama" and  Patanjali Sutra 2.49 to 2.52 says all about it.

Practice of pranayama is done after mastering asana. When pranayama is practiced under the guidance of right “Guru” (Teacher), one can have control over prana and it becomes possible to feel the vibrations which helps attaining higher insight. Initially one can feel that how pranayama is creating motion in lungs. Thereby ,the power generated will help the nerves in getting optimum functions. It is believed that Pranic healing, faith healing etc. are  the results of doing pranayama. I am not going into details of pranayama. Aspirants can have the knowledge of pranayama through further reading and doing under authorized Institutions. The Prana is very powerful energy. One should not play with cobra without a training from trainer. It is like that.

By regulating prana, we can regulate our mind, because both moves together. If one is controlled, the other will automatically be controlled. Finally we need a controlled mind.

Now we will discuss “pratyahara” the fifth anga.

1)"svavisayasamprayage cittasvarupanukara ivendriyanam pratyaharh". sutra 2.54: Which means: When the senses withdraw themselves from the objects and imitate, as it were, the nature of the mind-stuff, this is pratyahara. 
2) " tath
paramo vasystendriyanam" sutra 2.55:
This means : Then follows supreme mastery over the senses.
[
with this sutra the sadhana Pada ends here].

Our perceptions are developed through sensory inputs that we see, hear, feel, touch, and taste which influence internal organs in the brain and mind acts accordingly. We react through inputs received by our senses. If the inputs are not favourable to our expectations or wishes, we become unhappy, angry, depressed. Our minds are engaged constantly evaluating the inputs and categorize whether inputs are favourable or not. This is our reaction on 24X7 basis. Pratyahara gives our mind a moment to not evaluate and teaches us to be free from any reactions developed by senses. Now step by step we have reached to this point of Pratyahara.

Conclusion:

In this section, sadhana Pada, we have discussed about the means to still the mind which is our final objective. So far we have discussed Five angas.  First two angas “Yamas” & “Niyamas” have ten guidelines which are very practical, logical, visionary for making a man free from all agonies, stress, miseries and sufferings. If followed properly, the person will definitely feel joy and peace of mind which will accompany to the bed at the end of the day. Who does not want a peaceful sleep?  

All practices as mentioned above will make ways for next higher stages which are Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Eight limbs constitute one complete path which leads the aspirant upwards. When the mind is set into a pattern, automatically one connection will be established with higher Self. That is individual’s experience which can be considered as Self-Realization.

Now we may compare these eight angas, the methods or process whatever we say, with Vedanta, how it would be? Let us look into:- 

In Vedanta we have seen , prequalification required for a person  is to be competent to understand and study sastras(Scriptures). The aspirant must have tranquil mind, with required attributes as described in Vedanta. After attainment of certain preliminary qualifications which are known as four salvations ,one can progress towards the direction of knowing Brahman. Four salvations are:

  1. “Nitya-anitya-vastuveveka” which means discrimination between the eternal and non eternal.
  2. ” IhamutrarthaphalabhogaViraga” : Indifference to the joys in this life or in in Heaven, and of the fruits of one’s action.
  3. ” Shatsampat” : Six fold virtues that are : i) Sama (Control of mind), ii) Dama ( Control of senses),iii) Uparati (Cessation from worldly enjoyments), iv) Titiksha ( Endurance of pleasure and pain, heat and cold), v) Sraddha (Faith), vi) Samadhana (Deep concentration).
  4. “Mumukshautva” (Desire for liberation).
What we see above is that point number 3  "Shatsampat"  the Six fold virtues has enough resemblance with the Patanjali Yoga Sutras.

In the next part, part-4 we will discuss last three angas, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi which mandate specific practices to control our mind which is most essential part in this philosophy. 

Notes:-  Having gone through all the books listed below, I have composed this blog as a concise text for Ashtanga Yoga.  


Recommended readings:

  1. Patanjali Yoga Sutras: commentary By Swami Vivekananda.
  2. FOUR YOGAS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA :Condensed and retold by Swami Tapasyananda.
  3. Patanjal Yogasutra : Commentary , by Swami Premeshananda.
  4. Inside the Yoga Sutras- By Reverend Jaganath Carrera.
  5. Four Chapters on Freedom- By Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

My sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries. Any suggestion to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me.  Readers are requested to read part-1 to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

Thank you. Regards!  NAMASTE ! JAI GURU!

“Ashtanga Yoga” [ Eight limbs of Yoga]~ Part-2

This part is devoted to the discussion of ” Ashtanga Yoga”   (Patanjali Yoga Sutras):-

Target: To make the MIND calm, tranquil and free from disturbances. 

Introduction :  There are Six systems of Hindu philosophy:    Samkhya ; Yoga ; Nyaya ; Vaisheshika; Mimamsa & Vedanta.

Here we will focus on Yoga system~ “Patanjali Yoga Sutras” , which has it’s own model of  Ultimate Reality according to Yoga philosophy. This has different view point from Vedanta on Ultimate Reality.  Yoga tradition is similar to Samkhya System of philosophy.  Great Sage Kapil was founder of Samkhya Philosophy. Samkhya was composed during 500-600 BC. According to Samkhya philosophy, Universe is composed of two independent co-exiting realities” purusha (consciousness) and prakriti (matter). When purusha is bonded to prakriti , Jiva (a living being ) is formed.  Samkhya philosophy is believed to be the oldest philosophy which is basically a science of liberation. Liberation from bondage of sufferings.   Samkhya means numbers. Kapila was a great a sage. That is why in Bhagavad Gita Ch10-verse-26, Lord Krishna says ” Amongst trees I am peepal tree ^^ ; of the celestial sages, I am Narad. Amongst the Gandharvas, I am Chitrath and amongst siddhas I am the sage Kapil”. It is believed that all branches of Hindu philosophies are derived from Samkhya including Patanjali Yoga Sutras.

Yoga Sutra: What is Sutra? Vayu Purana defines " sutra" as *A very brief statement, leaving no room for doubt, without repetition and expressing a comprehensive idea*. We need commentary to understand sutras.

*****Yoga Sutras are  based on  practical activities along with theory. The basis of  Yoga Sutras certainly lies in Samkhya Philosophy. Samkhya is theoretical and Yoga is Practical.  Ultimate goal is Liberation( Moksha) which is similar to Advaita Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta is monistic where as Yoga Tradition is Dualistic. In my blog ” What is Joy ?(Published in 3 parts) and ” The Wisdom of Five Sheaths” , I have discussed about the Ultimate Reality and to find the path of Liberation, in the perspective of Advaita Vedanta. The Vedanta is for the person who is competent to understand and study sastras (Scriptures) ,has tranquil mind, with required attributes as described in Vedanta.  After attainment of certain preliminary qualifications which are known as four salvations ,one can progress towards the direction of knowing Brahman, which is the main goal. In the same manner, Yoga Sastra is based on controlling the mind by following ethical values, right attitudes, correct postures, Breathing exercises, concentration and meditation. Now I will try to explain ,that I have understood through intuition, after studying both philosophies along with other research work going on in Neurology and an upcoming subject Neurotheology. Advaita Vedanta theory says that you are already free. You are already that what you want to become. ” tat tvam asi” is one of the four mahaVakyas. All the four mahaVakyas are in present tense. Neither in past or future. You already posses your real Identity, which you have forgotten. Then what is the problem with us? Why don’t we realize who I am? We have forgotten our true Self and suffer because of ignorance only. Very simple theory, according to Advaita Vedanta , we need to remove the Ignorance which is termed as Avidya.

Key words: purusha, prakriti, Avidya, samadhi, Kaivalya

Principal Teachings of Yoga Sutras:

  1.  Human sufferings can be removed by eliminating faulty and wrong perceptions of life, because wrong perceptions gives rise to endless cravings for satisfaction of senses.
  2. The eternal peace we seek is realized by experiencing the truth our Identity which is obscured by ignorance (Avidya). The Identity is always exists within us, waiting to be revealed. Once revealed, it is then enlightenment, the Self-realization.
  3. Self-realization can be attained by mastering the MIND. Only tranquil mind with one pointedness can remove the veils of ignorance.
To free the mind from the limitations of ignorance is like a drama that has been repeated since time immemorial. The foundation of this drama is summarized in three basic precepts: 1.Purusha 2. Prakriti 3.Avidya

The Yoga Sutras are also known as Raja Yoga, the Royal Yoga. This system of Yoga is universal. Spirituality here is a holistic science and applicable to the people of all faiths.  The guidelines are very specific, well designed, logical, beyond doubt. Through practices step by step one can achieve the goal. 

Now we will discuss Samadhi pada , first section of four Sections of “Patanjali Yoga Sutras”:

We will discuss here Samadhi Pada sutra 1.1-1.4 

Samadhi Pada : This is the first section which is an exploration of the different aspects of Samadhi. First four Sutras (1.1-1.4) of this section deals with the definition of Yoga as a process of mental purification. The second sutra alone gives a vast meaning. If that line is understood and practiced, then the goal will be achieved. This sutra directly points towards setting of Subconscious mind.  ” yogah chitta vritti nirodha” means stopping of distraction and fluctuation of mind. If mind is fixed, conflicts will be ceased. Details of Vrittis are given in next sutras.                                                                                                                 

Sutras 1.5-1.11 teaches five types of Vrittis which will be discussed in the next part (part-3) : Five Vrittis are as follows :-                                                           Pramana– cognitive process:  Viparyaya– process of misconception:  Vikalpa- illusionary and fantasy prone states: Nidra-  state of inertness Smriti– inner process of memory

Brief discussion over sutras from 1.1 to 1.4- 

1.1 “atha yoganushasanam”: This is the beginning of Yoga. 

1.2 “yogashchittavrittinirodhah”: Yoga is for the control of thought-waves in the mind.

1.3 “tada drashtuh svaroope avasthanam”: This means that the Self is revealed. Then you see only purusha. During this period the seer (purusha) rests in his own state. Example: When there is no wave, water is still we can see bottom below the surface of water. Even in ocean, where ocean is stand still ,we can see what lies beneath the sea from upper surface of it.  Similarly when mind waves are still, mind is calm we can feel our true nature which is Divine. That is our true Self.

1.4 “vrittisaroopyam itaratra”: At other times, when purusha is not in the state of yoga , man remains identified with the thought waves which are nothing but conflicts in the mind.

Conclusion: 

So, from the above four sutras we learn that Human mind can become a very effective tool and primarily mind would become a very helpful friend and guide us in our day to day life. The concept of purusha and prakriti may be difficult for the time being. As we will study more sutras , more we will know and finally we will have clear concept on samadhiKaivalya , the ultimate goal. When the mind is in sattvic mode, there is a fine difference between sattvic mind and purusha. Mind is not the original and primary creative power of consciousness. Our mind stands between a Superconscious and conscious state. Mind is the instrument through which we receive inspirations, intuitions, imaginations and impulsions to knowledge. Same mind creates errors and wrong perceptions about the world. This is the cause of sufferings. 

According to ancient Hindu philosophy, it is commonly believed that human life started from grass, shrubs, plants, insects, animals, higher animals in order. After wandering for millions of years, he attains human life and then the goal of human life is to find Consciousness, which is covered by Maya, known as ignorance or Avidya whatever we say.

At the end of the evolution of human life, when the intellect called conscience develops in his mind, he becomes curious to know the information of the inner world. Fortunately, one can know the songs of the Vedic religion, or any other similar so that the mystery of creation is gradually captured in his intellect, but even if he knows and understands all these things, it is not possible to attain perfection in this world apart from himself. When all the desires are fulfilled, one then wishes to enter the inner world and becomes thirsty to know “THAT”, by knowing which everything becomes known.  From this state one starts unconditional love and devotion. In this state of mind Yoga practice becomes meaningful.

Ihamutrafalbhogabiragah”(Vedantasarah-17) :-

Sachchidananda (Sat+ Chit+ Ananda) is my true nature. Unless a strong desire gets developed to realize this nature (Swaroopa), yogi can not progress. and if anyone goes on the path of Yoga, yet there are chances to get back to previous state, by seeing various worldly materials of enjoyments, sensual enjoyments etc which distracts the  during this journey. In that case leaving the Yoga, Yogi gets attracted and continue the path of enjoyment. If we follow the path correctly, all the obstacles of the four ages will not harm a man. Therefore one must understand properly and get engaged in the pursuit of Raja Yoga.


In the next part, we will discuss in details about “Ashtanga Yoga” Eight Limbs of Yoga.

Maharshi Patanjali gives a wide range of techniques that slowly control the mind and continuously induce more and more subtle perceptions automatically, as if someone is whispering into your ears. The main part of Ashtanga Yoga is contained within eight fundamental methods as follows. These will be discussed in details in my next part- part-3.

1. Yama – Social code: Restraints. 

2. Niyama – personal code: Observances.

3. Asana – sitting pose: Physical postures.

4. Pranayama – Control of Prana: Breathing control.

5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses.

6. Dharana – Concentration

7. Dhyana – Meditation.

8. Samadhi – Absorption.      

 ^^ Notes:- ( In India ,peepal tree known as “asathwa” plant) [ scientific name is Ficus religiosa know n as sacred tree in many regions of the world ] )

My sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries. Any suggestion to make the site attractive will be highly helpful for me.  Readers are requested to read part-1 to have continuation of the topic from the beginning. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

Thank you. Regards!  NAMASTE !

“Ashtanga Yoga” [ Eight limbs of Yoga]~ Part-1

Disclaimer: 

The article is based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept on the subject. It is further supplemented with my experiences and self realization.
☆I found some link between modern science and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
♡ Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind. 
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts.  There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.  Your positive feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE.

Introduction:

“mana eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshaya bandhaya visayasaktam muktam nirvisayam smritam”  which means that for  man , mind alone is the cause of bondage and mind alone is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage and mind devoid of desire for objects is the cause of liberation. [brahmaBindu upanishad-verse-2

“Ashtanga Yoga” .. in English we call it as Eight limbs of Yoga. “Yoga Darshan” means philosophy of Yoga which is one branch among six systems of Hindu philosophies. Ashtanga Yoga was formulated by Maharshi Patanjali ,through his Yoga Sutras (aphorisms). According to scholars, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra was compiled around 2200 years back. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are classified as a classical text of ancient psychology of East, because the text guides how control of mind to achieve the goal.

We know that Sigmund Freud [1856-1939], was an Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Freud developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association and discovered transference, establishing it’s central role in the analytical process. He described the evolution of his clinical method and set out his theory of the psychogenetic origins of hysteria. In 1899 he published ” The interpretation of Dreams”. His analysis of dreams as wish fulfilments provided him with models for the clinical analysis of symptom formation and the underlying mechanism of repression.”  Concept of the Unconscious mind was central to Freud’s account of mind. He ensured that unconscious mind theory receives a scientific recognition in the field of psychology.  When people think of psychology , they recall contribution of Sigmund Freud. His contributions in the field supported the belief that not all mental illness have physiological causes, rather difference in environment have an impact on psychology and behavior. His research work contributed towards understanding the development of human personality, clinical psychology and abnormal psychology. But long before Sigmund Freud , the concept was known to the scholars of East.

Now, in the present condition of society , worldwide, people are passing through difficult time, particularly due to pandemic situation. Human life has become miserable with diseases like cancers, diabetes, depression, and bitter relationships, betrays, unlimited unfulfilled desires and it’s implications, poor economy, failed marriages, immoral activities, political rivalries , corporate rivalries, fights, terrorism and what not? Unable to bear with the sufferings, people are committing suicides, going for killing or else finishing their lives with diseases as a result of unwanted outcome of worst relations, bad life events, mental shocks due failures in life etc. As a result people are rushing to Psychologists for better well being in the life to carry on. Psychologists help people to cope up with life events and relationships by understanding their behaviors and emotions.  Psychologists have their systematic methods to support the sufferers and bring them a better human life.

But long long ago, when there were no phycologists, there existed a method adopted by religious teachers of different ages who guided humankind to overcome miseries, sufferings. Before religious teachers there existed the philosophies of Vedanta. Also existed philosophies of Yoga. // Yoga means union. Union of inner self with higher Self. Yoga brings perfection, peace, harmony in life. It will help in leading a disciplined successful life with good health and mind. Through Yoga one can have a calm mind and peaceful sleep. And these are all normal achievements.  If followed properly what Maharshi Patanjali has taught us, we can raise our nature to a divine nature.//

The practice of Yoga will bring you to the trance state. A state where you can experience increased insight in yourself and others. You will have the ability to access information from higher beings. Definitely there will be  a continuous changing of states from a normal state of consciousness. You will find some calling from unknown sources. I have my own experiences in this life journey which I will share some other time in some other space, because I would like to share my concept about Yoga and particularly Raj Yoga which comes from Patanjali Yoga Sutras. I hope that this article will help you to awaken your ability to access altered state of consciousness.  

Each system of philosophies has it’s own method of teachings.  In this article we will concentrate on Yoga philosophy of Patanjali.

Key words: Consciousness, Ashtanga yoga, Meditation, Mind

Before proceeding further, I would like to emphasize on the word ” Consciousness”. What is consciousness? According to science ( reductionism) consciousness exists only in the brains of highly evolved organisms.  It has become a great challenge to the scientists to understand consciousness. How brain produce consciousness?  At present this topic is an debatable and interesting issue of interdisciplinary fields of Quantum physics, Cosmology, neurology etc. Research is going on at higher levels throughout the world to find out what the consciousness is.  Philosophers argue that consciousness is beyond the physical workings of Brain. After the discoveries of Quantum physics and quantum Biology modern scientists and cosmologists started believing that Consciousness is a mystery and it is so deep that can be compared to Quantum theory which is equally a deep mystery. Almost one century have been spent by the scientists to understand consciousness from the perspective of our current scientific paradigm, but no significant progress has been made. What ever has been understood by the scientists, through research and recent studies, outcome is not accepted universally. However we have clear concept on Consciousness according to Vedanta Darshan or Yoga Darshan. In this article we will discuss on Consciousness in the perspective of Yoga Darshan. 

There are many paths , many religions. All the religions have one goal which is almost similar in one way. All adopt the religious path to reach ultimate goal that is to know the Supreme Knowledge (Supreme Consciousness) and to be united with the infinite Being. As such the enquiry should arise from the heart of the seekers to know the Supreme Consciousness.

Main Topic: Ashtanga Yoga:- 

The Yoga sutras of Patanjali is the science of joy and a blue print for living a deeply satisfying life. It presents a holistic systematic approach towards the elimination of sufferings and attainment of spiritual liberation. Liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. These teachings are for all genders of all ages, races, faiths and positions. The teachings include theory and practice. Maharshi Patanjali integrated and simplified the science of Yoga concisely in his Yoga sutras. There are 196 sutras presented in four sections know as PADA. Four PADAs (4chapters) are divided as follows:-

  1. Samadhi Pada: 51 sutras: Samadhi refers to that state of the Yogi, where his Self-identity is absorbed into the pure consciousness collapsing of three categories of Self (witness, witnessing and witnessed). Beyond this state it is “Kaivalya” (Liberation). The essence of Patanjali’s Yoga sutra is in the second sutra: “Yogas citta-vritti-nirodah” which literary means “Yoga is the stilling of the modifications of the mind” . Target is to achieve the state of mind which is calm, tranquil and free of distortions. It is the control of thought waves in the mind. One must not have conflicts in the mind.

2. Sadhana Pada: It has got 55 sutras: Sadhana means practices. Author describes two systems of Yoga.
1. Kriya Yoga which includes following steps: 
a) Tapas (Austerity) ;
b) Svadhyaya; (Self study of scriptures);
c) Isvara pranidhana- devotion to God or pure consciousness.
2. Ashtanga Yoga

3.Vibhuti Pada: This section has 56 sutras:

This chapter describes about “Siddhi” (supra normal powers) which can be acquired by the practice of Yoga.

4. Kaivalya Pada: 34 sutras: Describes the process of liberation (isolation) which is commonly known as emancipation (moksha) too.

Maharshi Patanjali  divided the path of Yoga, also known as “Raja Yoga” into eight levels (Eight limbs) named “Ashtanga yoga”.

Eight limbs are as follows.

1. Yama – Restraints.

2. Niyama – Observances.

3. Asana -Physical postures.

4. Pranayama – Control of Prana (Breathing control).

5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses.

6. Dharana – Concentration

7. Dhyana – Meditation.

8. Samadhi – Absorption.

In the next part, I will elaborate on each of these Eight limbs. All the steps are highly logical , essential and very important too . One can not skip any of the steps. To achieve the goal, one has to follow each step with full sincerity and honesty. Initially you may find the steps as difficult one. But truly, they are not. Path of Yoga Darshan is very simple and clear. Personally ,I have experienced and observed changes in my Mind my, perceptions. It is a continuous process. It is like gaining heights. You have to be cautious too, because there are chances to fall back to the previous level. Also it has to be believed that the experience, knowledge gathered will be stored for next life. 

My sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries. My mail ID is :   arun7663@gmail.com 

Thank you  NAMASTE !