In the House of Death: Story of a Boy-Nachiketas

Introduction:-

This is a legendary story of a little boy Nachiketas, barely ten years old, son of Sage Vajasravasa. Nachiketa meets Yama (The Death God in Hindu philosophy) and get answers of his question: ‘What is Death?”

Through conversation, Lord Yama reveals “Supreme Knowledge” to Nachiketa, the knowledge of the nature Atman and the path to gain Wisdom,  Moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

Sage Vajasravasa wished to perform a sacrifice called Vishwajit (Sarva Dakshina), meaning victory over the whole universe. Through such sacrifice, the performer aims to gain the fruit of gaining a higher world and enjoy the pleasures there. (Vajasrava means a Giver). The boy faced wrath of his father after completion of sacrificial fire , when he found there was fault in the part of his father. As such the boy was offered to Yama, by his father in anger.

Finally he got the desired knowledge from Yama when he exhibited “Mumukshautva” (intense desire to seek Wisdom) and Vairagya(dispassion for all worldly pleasures).

The Story in details:-

Sage Vajasravasa, desiring Heaven, rewards, performed the Visvajit sacrifice, in which he gave away all his property as gift[Dakshina]. He had a son by name Nachiketa.

Gifts not worth the name:

When the gifts were being distributed, Nachiketa, who was still a boy said to himself: Joyless, surely, are the worlds to which he goes who gives away cows no longer able to drink, to eat. to give milk, or to calve. He went to his father and said: Father! To whom will you give me? Nachiketa repeated this question second and a third time. At last his father got angry and replied: ‘Unto death I offer you’.

Nachiketa then proceeded to meet the king of Death: “Yama”

Nachiketas at the door of Death

Nachiketa thought: whether I die now or later matters a little. What purpose of the King of Death will my father serve today by thus giving me away to Death? Nachiketa said: Think of those who went before, those that will come after. Man dies and born again like a blade of grass. A mortal ripens like a corn and corn springs up again.

"Man dies and is born again like a blade of grass. This means seed grows only to fall and fall only to grow. This is the cycle of human life because birth and death are correlatives."

Lord Yama’s Instructions on Hospitality: 

Nachiketa went into the forest and sat in meditation within the house of Death. Death king Yama was out of his kingdom on his job. When Death appeared his servant said: Lord! when a holy man enters a house as guest it is as if fire has entered. The wise man cools him down. So bring him water O king of Death!

If a holy man comes into fool’s house and is given nothing, the fool’s family, public and private life, ambitions, reputation, property, hopes alliances, all suffer. Thereupon Lord Yama said to Nachiketa: ‘A guest should be respected. You have dwelt in my house three nights without eating; I bow to you O holy Boy! Take from me three boons[gifts]. Choose now three boons, one for each night, O Brahmin! may all be well with me’!

The First Boon: 

Nachiketa said: ‘O Death! may Gautama, my father, be calm, cheerful and free from anger toward me! may he recognise me and greet me when I shall have been sent home by you! This I choose as the first of three boons’.

Death grants the first boon!

King of Death said:  ‘I will so arrange things, that your father, will recognise and love you as before and he will sleep peacefully at night and his grudge against you will vanish’.

The Second Boon: 

Nachiketa said: ‘ There is no fear in the kingdom of Heaven, because you are not there, nobody there is afraid of old age. man is beyond hunger, thirst and sorrow. You know, O Death! Please explain me what Fire leads to Heaven, show it, I am full of faith. I ask this as my second boon.’

Death said: ‘ I will explain it, listen! find the rock and conquer unmeasured worlds. Listen, for this came out of cavern.’

Death grants the second boon! 

Yama told him that out of Fire comes this world, what bricks and how many go to the alter, how best to build it. Nachiketa repeated all. Death encouraged ran on. I give you another gift. This fire shall be called by your name. Count the links of the chain: 

*Worship the triple  Fire: 1) Knowledge, 2) Meditation, and 3) practice.

*The triple process: 1) Evidence, 2) Inference, and 3) Experience.

* The triple duty: 1) Study, 2) Concentration, and 3) Renunciation.

Understand that everything comes from Brahman. That Brahman alone is sought and found, attain everlasting peace; mount beyond Birth and Death.

***Here, Fire means Energy-

King of Death continued: ‘ When man understands himself, understands Universal self, the union of the two, kindles the triple Fire, offers the sacrifice; then shall he, though still on Earth, break the bonds of Death, beyond sorrow, mount into Heaven.[ **This is liberation, while living on Earth]

The Nachiketa Agni[Fire]:

The perfect sacrifice is explained by Yama.

 Out of fire arises all that exists in the Universe. Mastering this, one gains mastery over any field of human activity, and acquires whatever one desires in terms of worldly prosperity and power. However, it is all within the transitory realm; all gains here are impermanent. Nachiketas very attentively listened and was able to follow what was said. He repeated all that Yama explained. Being happy with Nachiketas, Yama encouraged and said " I will give you another gift. This fire shall be called by your name." And it is known as "Nachiketas Fire". 

‘The Fire that leads to heaven is your second gift, Nachiketa! It shall be named after you. Now choose the third gift.’

The Third Boon: 

The secret of Death!!!

Nachiketa said: ‘Some say that when man dies he continues to exist, others say that he does not. Explain, and that shall be my third gift.’

It is too difficult for you Nachiketa!

Death said: ‘ This question has been discussed by the gods, it is deep and difficult. choose another gift, Nachiketa! Do not be so hard. Do not compel me to explain.

Nachiketa said: ‘Indeed on this matter, even by the gods doubts have been entertained. You also say, O Death, that this principle is not truly comprehendible easily. But a teacher like you can explain this. Another such teacher I shall never find. therefore, I have no option before me but this. No other boon equal to this there be for me to choose!

To continue in the next part….

Third gift was indeed granted and it is a great part of the story, where the words of wisdom are the main essence. To be published in the second part, or else it will be a very lengthy blog.

Interested readers may go through the following post

Essence of Katha Upanishad :Part 4C of 4: -The Concluding Part-

*** This story is from Katha Upanishad. Kathopanishad is part of Krishna Yajurveda and consists of two Chapters. Each Chapter has three sections. This Upanishad is a favourite one in all ages and it is placed in third position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishads.

Conclusion:-

Through this dialogue between Nachiketa and Lord of Death, the response of Death has to be observed minutely! Every one is interested to know the secret of Death! But what are the conditions that an aspirant should posses to know the secret. That discussion proceeds from here onwards.

NEXT PART !!..COMING SOON…😊🙏❤️

MaNDukya Upanishad- The Nature of OM: – Part-2

Introduction:

Mandukya Upanishad belongs to Atharva Veda. It is the shortest of all the Upanishads with only 12 verses and placed in the 6th position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishads.

This Upanishad teaches the significance of the sacred syllable ॐ~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.

Among the Upanishads, the “Mandukya” may be regarded as the most important. It is said : ” mandukyam ekam eva alam mumukshunam vimuktaye”. For the liberation from bondage, for a seeker, the maNDukya alone is sufficient.

Upon meditating on the Mystic Syllable OM [AUM], mind can be trained to achieve freedom gradually to attain ultimate Reality.

Please read my previous post on Mandukya Upanishad, Part-1, where I have discussed up to 7th mantra out of total twelve mantras. 7th mantra is most important among the Vedic scriptures. This mantra describes the nature of Absolute reality~ Brahman. Please read first part of the post. Link is here:-

In this post, I will discuss the last five Mantras [from 8th mantra to 12th mantra].

माण्डूक्योपनिषत्

॥ अथ माण्डूक्योपनिषत् ॥

Mantra-8:- ॐ~AUM (OM) with four quarters:

“सोऽयमात्माऽध्यक्षरमोंकारोऽधिमात्रं पादा मात्रा मात्राश्च पादा अकार उकारो मकार इति “॥ ८॥

“so.ayamAtma.sdhyakSharamo~NkAro-adhimAtram pAdA mAtramAtrAshcha pAdA akAra ukAro makAra iti” – [8]

“The same Atman, (which has been described in 7th Mantra as having four quarters) is again, AUM, from the point of view of the syllables. The “AUM “with parts is viewed from the stand point of sound. The quarters the letters and the letters are the quarters. The letters here are A, U and M”.

According to Shankara, 7th mantra have concentrated on the abhidheya meaning ‘that which is being spoken of’, i.e. the thing named or denoted. OM [AUM], therefore, is effectively the abhidhAna-name or appellation. This means that Atman is equated to OM in the linguistic sense. The letters constituting OM are A, U and M.
Mantra-9:- The first mAtra of OM-akAraH: the letter “A” : vaishvAnara- the waking state.

“जागरितस्थानो वैश्वानरोऽकारः प्रथमा मात्राऽऽप्तेरादिमत्त्वाद् वाऽऽप्नोति ह वै सर्वान् कामानादिश्च भवति य एवं वेद “॥ ९॥

“jAgaritasthAno vaishvAnaro-akArah prathamAmAtra-a-apteraadimattvaadvA-a-apnoti ha vai sarvAnkAmAnAdishcha bhavati ya evaM veda”.-[9]

“He who is VaishvAnara, having for its sphere of activity the waking state is A, the first letter of AUM, on account of its all-pervasiveness or on account of being the first. One who knows this attains the fulfilment of all desires and becomes the first of all”.

prathamA mAtra: – The first mAtra of OM-akAraH: the letter “A” vaishvAnara- the waking state. AdimatvatvAt: being the first. Pervasiveness-“A” which pervades all sounds. “A” is the fundamental sound. We can not speak any word without opening the mouth and the sound thus produced is “A”. We can regard this sound as pervading every other sound. Similarly we we regard the waking state as having primacy. We only know of the existence of the dream state and deep sleep states when we are at waking state. Obviously we have to be awake in order to pursue this enquiry and to attain enlightenment.

In the scripture VaishvAnara is said to pervade the whole of the Universe. In Bhagavad-Gita, Ch10.33, Lord Krishna says: ” I am the letter “A”, describing himself as Ishwara. This mantra is advocating Upasana on OM, with specific attention on the first letter “A”.

One who understands this, gets all he wants; becomes leader among men.

Mantra-10:- The letter “U”, the second mAtra of OM is “taijasa”, the dream state

“स्वप्नस्थानस्तैजस उकारो द्वितीया मात्रोत्कर्षाद् उभयत्वाद्वोत्कर्षति ह वै ज्ञानसन्ततिं समानश्च भवति नास्याब्रह्मवित्कुले भवति य एवं वेद” ॥ १०॥ 

“svapnasthAnastijasa ukAro dvitIyAmAtrotkarShAdubhayatvAdvotkarShati ha vai j~nAnasantati-nsamAnashcha bhavati nAsyaabrahmavitkule bhavAti va evaM veda” -[10]

“The dreaming condition [taijasa], called mental condition, corresponds to the second letter “U”. It upholds; stands between waking and sleeping. He who understands, upholds the tradition of Spiritual knowledge. looks upon everything with an impartial eye. No one ignorant of Brahman is born into his family”.

The letter “U”, the second mAtra of OM is “taijasa”, the dream state, because both are regarded as superior and also are in the middle of their respective series. Whosoever knows this will become superior in knowledge and accepted by all. All members of his family will be wise. As a matter of fact, A being the first of all sounds is superior to all letters. But “U” coming after “A” may be said superior to “A” in all indirect way. as such the subtle taijasa is regarded as superior to vishva because subtle is superior to gross. Gross can be considered as the effect of the subtle cause. Gross equates to matter, subtle to energy. Mind is superior to physical body. State of mind makes us superior to the animals. Gross body returns to earth on death, but the subtle and causal body remains present for rebirth. 

Note:- At the macrocosmic level, at the end of the Universe[Pralaya], the entire gross creation [Virat] is subsumed into Hiranyagarbha. 

Mantra-11:- Deep sleep, the intellectual condition, called “Prajna” corresponds to the third letter “M”.

“सुषुप्तस्थानः प्राज्ञो मकारस्तृतीया मात्रा मितेरपीतेर्वा मिनोति ह वा इदꣳ सर्वमपीतिश्च भवति य एवं वेद” ॥ ११॥

“suShuptassthAnaH prAj~no makArastRRitIyA mAtra meterapItervA minoti havA idaM sarvamapItishcha bhavati ya evaM veda”-[11]

“Undreaming sleep, called the intellectual condition [prAj~no], corresponds to the third letter “M”. It weighs and unites. he who understands, weighs the world; rejects; unites himself with the cause”.-[11]

Sankara Explains:-

One who is prAj~no associated with deep sleep is “M” , the third letter{sound) of AUM. The key word “miti” in the mantra needs to be understood. “miti” means measure. As food grains are measured in utensils before use and that is filled again when it is reused on regular basis, which means grains reappear again. similarly, at individual level, the waking and dream states as though disappear in deep sleep, emerge again sometime later. Similarly, at the macrocosmic level, the gross[Virat] and subtle[Hiranyagarbha] worlds disappear at the end of creation into the causal state(Ishwara~antaryamin) and reappear at the next creation. This is analogous to the scientific theory of “Big-Bang & Big-Crunch”. In the same manner, while chanting OM (AUM), the sound “A” and “U” disappear when we close mouth and only sound “M” remains. And the sound “A” and “U” reappear again when the mouth is opened for chanting AUM. waking and dream states are merged in deep sleep. As we have seen in mantra-4 of this Upanishad, that they[ A= Vishva & U= Taijasa] become “mass of consciousness” (prajnanaghana)  in M (deep sleep state).

In deep sleep, all perceptions and cognitions converge into a single mode of the mind: It becomes mass of Consciousness[ ekibhutah]. There is no modifications of the mind[ due to absence of Vrittis].

The happiness of deep sleep is greater than all other forms of happiness. 

Therefore one who knows this, comprehends the real nature of the Universe. He realises himself as Atman and the cause of the Universe i.e. Ishwara.

Mantra-12:- “Amaatra”- The fourth letter: “Turiya”

“अमात्रश्चतुर्थोऽव्यवहार्यः प्रपञ्चोपशमः शिवोऽद्वैत एवमोंकार आत्मैव संविशत्यात्मनाऽऽत्मानं य एवं वेद “॥ १२॥

“amAtrashchaturtho-avyavahAryaH prapa~nchopashamaHshivo-Advaitaevamo~NkAra-atmaiva saMvishatyAtmanA-a-AtmaM ya evaM veda ya evaMveda”-[12]

“The fourth conditioned of the Self corresponds to OM as one, indivisible word. He is whole; beyond bargain. The world disappears in Him. He is the good; the one without a second. Thus OM is nothing but Self. He who understands, with the help of personal self, merges himself into the impersonal Self.”

The part less “OM” is the fourth quarter; It is beyond all conventional dealings; It is the limit of the negation of the phenomenal world. It is all- Auspicious, all-Blissful; It is One without a second; the Non-Dual Reality; This OM is verily the same as the Atman or Self within. The Self realises Itself through the Self; He who knows thus, merges himself  into the impersonal Self.

Conclusion:-

A) Individually( for Jiva), the waking consciousness is called Vishva. It is called Taijasa in dream and Prajna in deep sleep state. Correspondingly, from the view of Cosmic level, these are: Virat in waking, Hiranyagarbha in dreaming and Ishwara in deep sleep. 

B) The relationship between individual and the cosmic, between Vishva & Virat, Taijasa & Hiranyagarbha, Prajna & Ishwara is integral part of ONE [ Non-Dual Consciousness]. This realisation will put Jiva in Ishwratwa and make it  Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent.

C) The knower of Brahman, who has realised the highest Truth, will enter into the Self by burning away the Third state of latency[ the dormant Vasanas~ (causal) are burnt]. Henceforth, he is not born again, as there are no Karmas to cause a further birth.

D) AUM is realised when the illusion of DUALITY vanishes.

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. The Mandukya Upanishad: with Gaudapada’s Karika and Sankara’s commentary: By swami Nikhilananda
  7. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  8. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  9. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  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 

A Brief Note on Ten Principal Upanishads.

Introduction:-

One of the three basic Texts of Vedanta is “Upanishad”. Other two are Bhagavad-Gita and Brahma-Sutra. Together these three Texts constitute “Prasthana Traya”: known as Triple canon of Vedanta. Upanishads constitute the revealed Texts, known as “Sruti Prasthana”. Vedanta is the name given to them because they are End means concluding part of the Veda. Bhagavad-Gita is “Smriti-Prasthana”, which occupies an unique place in Vedantic tradition. A popular verse compares the Upanishads to the cows, The Bhagavad-Gita to the milk, Sri Krishna to the milk man, Arjuna, the Pandava Hero to the calf and the wise people to the partakers of the milk. The third of the canonical text is “Brahma-Sutra” which is regarded as “Naya-Prasthana”.

“samasta-vedanta-sarasangraha-bhutam”

In this post we will discuss about Upanishads in brief:

Salient features on Upanishads:

  • Upanishad = Upa + Nishad: Spiritual knowledge obtained by disciples sitting near or at the feet of The Guru [ means the Teacher].
  • Scholar says that Upanishads were composed during 4000-5000 BC. Some says: 2000-14000BC.
  • Nowhere it is mentioned about any author n the Upanishads. No date of origin can be fixed.
  • Teachings were imparted in stillness, noise free environment like forests where tranquillity can not be disturbed. Those Upanishads are known as Aranyaka and these were specially intended for Vanaprastha.
  • Teachings were transmitted orally and hence called as “SRUTI”.
  • Value of Upanishad for Mankind is for all time, all places and all ages. Lessons in Scriptures are very practical and applicable for modern world as it was for Indo-Aryan period.
  • Upanishads were transported to western countries initially through Persian translation[1700 AD].
  • French scholar Anquetil Duperron brought a copy of manuscript from Persia to France. Later on it was translated in French and Latin.
  • First English translation was made by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. [1775-1833].
  • Every Upanishad begins with a Peace mantra.(shanti path).
  • There are 108 Upanishads. Among them 10 Upanishads are considered as Principal Upanishads.
  • Who Am I? What is this Universe? Whence and how we are born? What is mortality or Immortality? What is Atman or Brahman? What is liberation(from cycle of birth)? What is death?- All questions have answers in Upanishads. 

The Ten Principal Upanishads are:

1) IshaVasya Upanishad: Occurs in the Samhita portion of  Shukla Yajur Veda.

2) Kena Upanishad:  It is embedded inside the last section of the Talavakara Brahmanam of the Samaveda.

3) Katha Upanishad: Belongs to Katha Branch of Krishna Yajurveda

4) Prashna Upanishad: Comes from the Brahmana portion of the Atharva Veda, belonging to Pippalada Sakha.

5) Mundaka Upanishad: It is Part of Atharva Veda.

6) Mandukya Upanishad: 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.

7) Taittiriya Upanishad: It is a part of the Krishna Yajur Veda and placed in the seventh position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishad.

8) Aitareya Upanishad: Belongs to Aitareya Aranyaka**(Teachings in the forest), part of Rig-Veda.

9) ChAndogya Upanishad: It is part of ChAndogya Brahmana of the Sama Veda

10) BRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad: It forms the fourteenth Kanda of Satapatha Brahmana of “Shukla Yajurveda.” This is the biggest one.

ब्रह्म` ~ “Brahman” : The Principal word in Upanishad: What is It?

First of all, we need to know the true meaning of “Brahman” [ब्रह्म`]

Brahman: IT is That which is Absolute, fills all space, is complete in Itself, to which there is no second and which is continuously present in everything, in every being and everywhere. It is homogeneous in nature.

The word ब्रह्म` “Brahman” will be used repeatedly. Meaning of Brahman is VAST. This is to be noted here that the word “Brahman” does not refer to any Cast , Creed or Sect. According to Vedanta the word ” Brahman” has been derived from the root word “brh” which means growing or expanding and suffix “man” added to it signifies absence of limitations. In Vedanta, the word Brahman is a neuter gender and hence it is referred as pronoun ” That”. It is very difficult to describe Brahman, which is ultimately indefinable, indescribable, and utterly beyond all human comprehension. Brahman can not be described through senses alone. Vedanta has however taught us how to realize Brahman which is “Supreme Consciousness”

 The oneness of Soul(Jiva~Atman) and GOD(Param Atman), the ultimate Truth is the principal essence of all Upanishads. 

Please visit my website for more details. https://arunsingha.in

Pictures shown below are relevant to the Text of Upanishads.

A special note On International Yoga Day-2022:

Introduction: 

The word “YOGA” has been derived from the Sanskrit word “YUJ”. This means “to Connect or to Combine”. In very simple word it is “UNION”. 

∪ ⇒ Union: Union with Source(Brahman/ Purusha)

∑ ⇒ Summation{Of All that we perceive or do not perceive }

∫ ⇒ Integral[ Non-Dual]

+ ⇒ Add [ All good qualities]

There are multiple paths for Union. After deep studies of Vedanta (ten Principle Upanishads) and Patanjali Yoga Sutras, I have found and adopted two easy paths to achieve my goals.

1) Vedantic Approach( Advaita- Non-Dualism)

2) Yogic Approach ( Patanjali Yoga sutras)

Vedantic Approach:

What should be my (our) goal?

Answer: To be United with Supreme[ The absolute “Brahman”] : Complete cessation of sufferings and attainment of Bliss is the goal of everyone.

” Attyantika Dukshya Nivritti, Paramananda praptyachya”

Most important condition to remove sufferings is “fearlessness”.

A vision of Oneness is the sole condition that brings fearlessness.

There is nothing to fear. Everything is Self-created. HE( The Absolute) is that Essence, by drinking which, man rejoices. That Self is the sole giver of Joy (Bliss). When man finds invisible, nameless, homeless, shapeless, he is no longer terrified. He becomes free from fear who attains such Oneness. But if the slightest ” Otherness” is allowed to enter then he is smitten with fear. That man, thinking himself wise, becomes terrified. ” 

The knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme”.

How to Know Brahman?

Knowledge of Brahman can not be gathered by mere reasoning. Knowledge can be attained through intuition or revelation. Intuition is the final result of the enquiry into Brahman. There are three stages which are very essential for progressing in this path. Three stages are as below:

Following are the steps: 

1.Sravana :  Listening to the teachings of the sages on Vedanta. Now instead of Sravana, we can use the word Study of Vedanta, because Sravana was the practice during early Vedic period as no method of writing existed.

2.Manana : This stage is the reflection on the teachings. This means thinking about what has been heard and subjecting that into a reason based on experience gained.

3.Nididhyasana : Stage of meditation on the truth [MahaVakyas]. It is the culmination of the practice of Sravana and Manana. BRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad says  on Nididhyasana. ” The Self , my dear Maitreyi, should be realized-should be heard of , reflected on and meditated upon; by the realization of the self, my dear”.

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

When this ignorance or veil is removed, Brahman which is Self effulgent reveals itself in its pristine glory and splendour. 

Now the Text is for whom?

 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(Sadhana Chatustaya) ,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).

Why one should enquire Brahman? Why?

Most of the religions believe that life in earth or life in heaven are attained on the basis of one’s virtuous deeds(“KARMA”) which is transient. But once you know Brahman, you will enjoy everlasting bliss and immortality.

Knowledge of Brahman destroys ignorance which is the root cause of all sufferings. 

” Sastrayonitvadhikaranam” : Brahman is realisable only through the scriptures. The scripter is the source of right knowledge.  Through scripture only we get a comprehensive understanding of the nature of Brahman. Brahman is formless, colourless, attribute less. Hence it can not be grasped by the senses alone. Brahman is ONE, infinite and without second.

THE FOUR GREAT VEDIC STATEMENTS

Yogic Approach: Ashtanga Yoga: Patanjali Yoga sutras:

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

This path of Yoga is Universal. 

The essence of Patanjali’s Yoga sutra is in the second sutra(1.2):

” yogashchittavrittinirodhah” [sutra-1.2] : Yoga is for the control of thought-waves in the mind. To still the fluctuating mind.

Yogas citta-vritti-nirodah” which literary means “Yoga is the stilling of the modifications of the mind”.

Principal Teachings of Yoga Sutras: 

“Ashtanga Yoga” : Eight limbs of Yoga are as follows.[8 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

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.  

Details of Each of the Limbs of Yoga:

Yama: The first “anga” 

This 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. 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 . 
  • Asteya-Non-stealing: With the establishment of virtues like honesty, aspirant develops an intuitive awareness.                                      
    Brahmacharya- celibacy:  Right use of energy: sutra 2.38 says Brahmacharya pratisthayam viryalabhah”. It is about controlled and disciplined sex. 
  • 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. 

Niyama: Second  limb (“anga” )

It 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): 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. 
  • 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):   Dedicated services for the welfare of others including mankind, animal kind, plants and nature.               

The third anga ” Asana”

It 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.

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.

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. 

Pratyahara” : the fifth anga.

“Pratyahara”  : Withdrawals of senses:  It 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.  Pratyahara gives our mind a moment to not evaluate and teaches us to be free from any reactions developed by senses. 

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

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

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: 

Definition : DhyanaThe extension and lengthening of Dharana is Dhyana. Dharana continued without interruption is Dhyana. 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. 

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. 

SamadhiThe 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. 

Conclusion:

Eight limbs as a whole constitute one complete path which leads the aspirant upwards.

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. 

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

 

The Essence of IshaVasya Upanishad- Part-2

Introduction:

 IshaVasya Upanishad appears in the Samhita portion of  Shukla Yajur Veda. It is one of the Ten principal Upanishads. Isha Upanishad has Eighteen Mantras. Among Ten Principal Upanishads, this comes in the beginning of the list. Isha means the Lord of the Universe. In my previous post on this Upanishad I have discussed Mantra no-01 to Mantra no -07.

Link of the previous post : The Essence of IshaVasya Upanishad- Part-1

In this part we will discuss Isha Upanishad Mantra no-08 to Mantra no-13 .

§ Eighth Mantra: The Path of Renunciation:

1) Sah paryagat shukramakaayam avarnam; asnaaviragm shuddhamapaapa-viddham; 2) kavih maneeshee paribhooh, swayambhoo yaathaa-tathyatah; arthaanvyadadhaatshwateebhyah samaabhyah.

The Self [ the atman] is everywhere, without a Body, without a shape, whole, pure, unpierced by evils, wise, all knowing, far shining, self depending, all transcending, functions and duties are allotted by HIM alone to the Creator for eternity.

Analysis: 

There is no place where He is not there. He is everywhere. He is in everything. He is not limited by Time and Space. There is nothing that He needs to possess and nothing that He needs to achieve. He is the seed, the substratum, the cause of all. He has no physical body. As long as there is body, there is happiness and misery. He is immortal. He is beyond all the three gunas: Tamas, Rajas, and Sattwa. He is His own father and mother. None conceived Him. No one is the cause of His being. He is Self-existent.

§ Ninth mantra: Avidya & Vidya:

1) Andham tamah pravishanti ; ye avidyaam upaasate; 2) tatah bhooyah ive te tamah; ye u vidyaayaam rataah.

Pin your faith to natural knowledge, stumble through the darkness of the blind, pin your faith to supernatural knowledge, stumble through a darkness deeper still.

§ Tenth mantra: The fruits of Avidya & Vidya:

Anyat eve aanuh vidyayaa, anyat aahuh avidyayaa; iti shushruma dheeraanaam, ye nah tat vicha-chakshire.

They enter into blinding darkness who are worshippers of Avidya alone; but they enter even greater darkness, who verily are worshippers of Vidya alone. One thing, they say, is obtained from Vidya, and another thing, they say, from Avidya; Thus we have heard from wise, who have explained it to us.

§ Eleventh mantra: Combination of Avidya & Vidya:

Vidyaam cha avidyaam yah, tatvedaubhayam saha; avidya mrityumteettvaa, mashnute vidyayaamrita.

They that know and distinguish between natural knowledge and supernatural knowledge shall by the first cross the perishable in safety; shall, passing beyond the second, attain immortal life. 

Vidya (Knowledge) and Avidya(Ignorance: he who knows them both together, overcomes death [darkness] through Avidya and obtains immortality through Vidya.

Above three mantras are very important. We must understand the essence of the mantras. The essence is that we should equalise jnana (vidya) and ajnana (avidya) and should not adhere to either the one or the other alone. According to the scholars, knowledge of Ishwara can not be obtained by Karma alone nor by knowledge alone. Avidya = Karma and Vidya = Knowledge. Avidya yields fruits of karma, which has time bound existence. Hence attainment of Moksha [ liberation] is not possible, since several births are required to enjoy the fruits of Karma. This is called falling into utter Darkness which is nothing but SAMSARA. The mantra further says that if Upasana of Vidya means devotion is offered alone , it is still worse, because it will lead to greater Darkness. He who understands the correct meaning of this avidya and vidya and maintains balance between them and does Upasana, accordingly, can cross the world of Death and attains mortality.

Different scholars of different darshanas has given different opinion on vidya and avidya. Let us look into Shankaracharya’s commentary. His method of analysis is on the basis of subtle meaning of both the words. He always considered Advaita Philosophy to explain these two words: avidya and vidya. The knowledge of the world is Avidya and the knowledge of Ishwara is Vidya. The world of objects is presented to us by our senses and we see the world [jagat] as real. We are ignorant about the thread of Consciousness running through each and every object. There is certainly connection between the visible world and unseen Ishwara. In general we believe that we the jivas are separate entity and Ishwara is separate entity. The cause of existence and experience of the world is due to the presence of Ishwara. So long as we are in the world with a sense of separate existence as the Jiva, the world has to be accepted as though it is real.

§ Twelfth mantra: Worshipping Unmanifest and Manifest:

1) andham tamah pravishanti; ye asambhootim-upaasate; 2) tato bhooya iva te tamo; ya u sambhootyaagm ratah.

Pin your faith to the seed of nature, stumble through the darkness of the blind; pin your faith to the shapes of  nature, stumble through a darkness deeper still.

They enter into blinding darkness who aim to conquer the Unmanifest cause of creation; but they enter into even greater darkness.

§ Thirteenth mantra: Fruits of Unmanifest and Manifest:

1) anyat evaaahuh sambhavaat, anyat aahuh asambhavaat; 2) iti shushruma dheeraanaam, ye nah tatvicha-chakshire.

The seed of nature brings one result; the shapes of nature another. We have heard it from the wise, who have clearly explained it.

Readers are requested to read the Sanskrit version of this Upanishad from the site whose link is here:

Conclusion:

Action: Karma: Duty

Karma is to be performed without expecting the fruits of Karma: Niskama Karma.

Jnana: Knowledge: The Truth

The nature of the  Oneness : One Unity is the Ultimate Jnana: True knowledge.

Oneness: It is that, when: 

  • A person does not see as mine or not-mine.
  • No more love and hate for objects
  • No more likes and dislikes.
  • One transcends all pleasure and pain.
  • There is no more Duality of subject and object.
  • The waves and ocean are both seen as water alone.
  • The blazing sparks are not different from the fire producing them.

Rebirth continues until Realization.

Katha Upanishad Mantra-2.3.4 says: If one does not succeed in realizing Him (The Self), before the fall of the Body, then in the worlds of created things, a rebirth for the Body is ordained.

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. Isavasya Upanishad for Beginners: By Swami Krishnananda.
  4. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  5. Commentary of ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  6. IshaVasya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  7. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  8. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  9. A-U-M Awakening to Reality: By Dennis Waite***
  10. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya:
  11. Information available on internet.

∝ζ::  Concluding part will consist Mantra-14 to Mantra-18: Will be published soon!😊🙏🙏❤️

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 incredibly 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

Spark of the Flaming Fire

 

My journey through Books: Part-3 [ A Quantum Touch]

In this post, I will emphasize on my miraculous experiences, which I consider as chances in my favour. This was possible by the effective study and practice of  activating “Power of Subconscious Mind”.

I consider those events as miracles, because I got links and guidance from unseen and invisible Power within. It is as if someone is guiding through several means, continuously, to get whatever is required in the path to progress.

As I mentioned in my previous post that the most important scientific Book helped me was:

” THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF: 10th Anniversary Edition: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles: Lipton Bruce H.”

What Influenced me while reading the book?

Research made at Stanford University’s School of Medicine by Bruce Lipton revealed that the environment operating through the cell membrane controlled the behaviour and physiology of cells, turning genes on and off.  I was reading the book and at the same time I was watching his series of lectures at different places all over the world. Bruce mentioned in his lectures about Quantum Physics.

Quantum physics says that the world visible to us we believe, is composed of matter, which is nothing but illusion. Everything is Energy. There is no such thing as matter. as such I felt an urge to study ” Quantum Physics” . As you know that by this time, I finished the famous book The Power of your Subconscious Mind”: By Joseph Murphy

Study of Quantum Physics became a necessity for me. 

And Miracle Happened [16/12/2018]!

One fine morning, all on a sudden, one of my senior colleagues, Shri Amar Kanti Pal, came to my residence and suggested me to do ongoing physics course from IIT/KANPUR under the leadership of well known prof H C VERMA. Immediately enrolled first course “Basics of Special Theory of Relativity “.

I am happy to share my certificate here:

I developed immense interest [intense desire] to learn more and more on Subconscious mind, Quantum , Philosophy, life experiences, life cycle, human sufferings, etc. which are all interrelated topics. As a result, I got chance to study further and further from the courses conducted by Indian Institute of Technology. KANPUR.

Another Miracle!

The Second course, the most desired and most important was ” Basics of Quantum Mechanics” which helped me to grasp sacred Texts of Upanishads[ ADVAITA VEDANTA]: 

Initially, I found the course very interesting which started becoming tough later on, but managed with rigorous studies.

Max Planck is said to be father of quantum Mechanics. see what he said :

That is why I consider these studies as chances (as miracles).

Course on Quantum mechanics was highly beneficial for me because, when I was studying ancient Indian philosophy (Advaita Vedanta) , I came across so many writers , speakers, scientists who referred quantum physics, quantum biology for understanding the Reality as mentioned in Vedanta. To some extent understood what the subjects says. 
I noticed that most of the modern writers, pointed towards quantum physics for understanding the Subject/object , Observer/observed, seer/seen related topics mainly when the subject is consciousness. Advaita Vedanta focuses on consciousness which is the cause of this Universe, not the matter. Material realism can no longer be the only ontological explanation for the Universe. Human consciousness can not be ignored.

Classical Physics vs Quantum Physics:

Laws of classical physics [ NEWTONIAN PHYSICS] is based on matters and 3D system which affirms that there is always separation between the KNOWER & KNOWN (object). Classical physics doesn’t work in the study of subatomic particle’s behaviour and thus in the study of life science. Here matter creates Consciousness
Where as Quantum physics works well in the study of subatomic particles which are building blocks of this Universe and basically it’s nature is waves. This quantum mechanics theory suggests to abolish absolute separation between the KNOWN & KNOWER. Here Consciousness creates matter.

In quantum theory, we have seen objects exists in more than one place at the same time like a wave.

Three distinct and major areas of Quantum theory gives bewildering results.

1. Entanglement:

It is connectedness between two objects so intimate that they behave as one, instantly and forever, even if they are separated by the width of galaxies. Double slit experiment clears it’s spookiness. 

2. Complementarity:

As formulated by Niels Bohr, a leading founder of quantum physics, the principle holds that objects can display themselves in one way or another, but not the both. In fact the object does not have an existence in particular location with specific motion. Only the observer’s knowledge and activities cause it to come into existence in some place or with some particular animation. At an instant, an object may be either a wave or a particle, but not the both.

3. Wave function collapse:

This supports that Biocentrism is wave function collapse when we try to measure an object in its subatomic level it’s wave function collapse. At the moment of observation, it takes a definite existence.

According to German physicist MAX BORN (1926),Quantum waves are “waves of probability”, not waves of material.

A wave of Probability is nothing but a likely outcome. Point to be noted here that materials are made of subatomic particles. Subatomic particles behave as wave until OBSEVER tries to measure it. And wave is intangible.
Noble physicist John Wheeler once said” No phenomenon is real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon” Above statement is very important in the perspective of Vedanta and Quantum mechanics. There is more to write. May Maybe next time.

And the third course  was “Advanced course on Special theory of Relativity”

" Learning is the only thing the mind never exhaust, never fears, and never regrets" This was stated by Leonardo Da Vinci, who was well known Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect and engineer(1452-1519)."

Thus, I believe very clearly, that our consciousness creates our life experiences. We no longer have to view ourselves as passive, or unable to influence our material circumstances. We are not victims of what’s happening.

My personal experiences made me understand, that our Consciousness creates reality in life as because mind sends signals to the nervous system, which controls genes and that is Epigenetics(Above genes). 

We need to rewrite our Subconscious programmes.

Conclusion:

a) Study of Quantum physics made me believe that Thoughts create Reality!

b) I realised that there is a mechanism where Higher Intelligence works inside our body and mind and it is connected to Universal Mind.

c) Many people have heard about placebo effect. This is a term that is frequently used in modern science to describe how conscious mind creates healing of body thinking positive.

d) All my conscious attention are focused in gaining knowledge [Brahma Vidya]. As such my energy has been invested mostly in learning and sharing. I wish to live my life in a state of love.

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

Please read my previous post : Link is here:- “ My journey through Books: Part-2″

My next part will focus on the following Books

 

Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-8C

Introduction: Eighth Chapter:

The ChAndogya Upanishad is part of ChAndogya Brahmana of the Sama Veda which is one of the largest important Upanishads with Eight Chapters (Prapathakas) with many Mantras(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.

*Self is Atman; Atman is Brahman*

ChAndogya Upanishad consists of Eight chapters. The first five chapters forms the part of Karma Kanda[ rituals] and Upasana Kanda [worship and meditation]. Chapter- 6, 7 and 8 form the part of Jnana Kanda[profound Self-knowledge].

The essence of the Teaching is: – “Brahma Vidya”

Brahma Vidya: It is the knowledge of the ultimate Truth which results in Self realisation. The knower of this Truth remains untouched by any situation in life.

This chapter is especially intended for those who are unable to grasp the vastness of “Absolute”, the subject like Bhoomaa Vidya (Infinity), taught in the previous chapter. Though this chapter confines itself to the Heart of an individual, but that does not limit itself to the body of an individual. The heart here mentioned is used as symbol as the centre of the pure subjectivity in us and therefore heart refers to consciousness, which is apparently located within the walls of the body, but never limited to physical body.

A) Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-8A: Section-1 to Section-3  has been published. Here is the link.

B) Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-8B: Section-4 to Section-6  has been published. Here is the link.

A request to my readers: Please read my previous posts on ChAndogya Upanishad, especially 6th & 7th chapter. Links are given below:

  1. Chapter Six: Section-1 to Section-4(Khanda-1 to Khanda-4). The link is here:  Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-6A of 6
  2. Chapter Six: Section-5 to Section-8(Khanda-5 to Khanda-8). The link is here: Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-6B of 6
  3. Chapter Six: Section-9 to Section-16(Khanda-9 to Khanda-16). The link is here: Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-6C of 6[END OF 6TH CHAPTER]
  4. Chapter-7 : Section-1 to Section-6 has been discussed. The link is here:- Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-7A
  5. Chapter-7 : Section-7 to Section-12 has been discussed. The link is here:- Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-7B
  6. Chapter-7 : Section-13 to Section-22: The link is here:- Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-7C
  7. Chapter-7 : Section-23 to Section-27: The link is here:- Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-7D[FINAL PART]

This post is part-3[8C] from 8th Chapter of ChAndagyo Upanishad. Section-7 to Section-11 will be discussed here. 

Section-7 [Four Mantras]: 

Prajapati’s Instruction to Indra on the Real Self:

In this section we will concentrate on stages of Consciousness. In  Mandukya Upanishad we have seen three conditions of Self waking, dreaming and deep sleep.

On one occasion, Prajapati made an announcement in his celestial assembly hall. The gods and the demons both were present there and both heard the proclamation. He proclaimed the great Truth. The announcement made is as below:

Mantra-1: Prajapati said: ‘The Self is free from sin, free from old age, free from death, free from sorrow, and free from hunger and thirst. It is the cause of desire for Truth and for commitment to Truth. This Self has to be sought for and thoroughly known. The person who has sought for and known the Self attains all worlds and all desires’.

Mantra-2:  Both the gods and the demons came to know from people what Prajapati had said. They said: ‘ We shall search for the Self, by knowing which we can attain all the worlds and whatever things we desire.’  With this object in view, Indra among the gods and Virochana among the demons went to Prajapati, carrying fuel in their hands. But they did not let each other know their plans.

Mantra-3: Both of them spent 32 years with Prajapati by maintaining Brahmacharins (Austerities). One day Prajapati asked them: ‘For what purpose you are here?’ They replied: “The Self is free from sin, free from old age, free from death, free from sorrow, and free from hunger and thirst. It is the cause of desire for Truth and for commitment to Truth. This Self has to be sought for and thoroughly known. The person who has sought for and known the Self attains all worlds and all desires-Sir this is you message. We hope to attain that Self and therefore stay.’

Mantra-4: Prajapati said those two: ‘ That which is seen in the eyes is the Self.’ He also said: “This Self is immortal and fearless. It is Brahman.’ Then they asked: ‘Lord, we see something when we look in water and again when we look in a mirror. Which is it?’ Prajapati replied: “The Self is seen in all these’.

Section-8 [Five Mantras]: 

Mantra-1: Prajapati said: ‘Look at yourself in a bowl of water, come again if you do not understand the Self. They looked into the bowl of water. Prajapati said: ‘What did you see there?’ They said: ‘ We saw ourselves, our doubles; even with our hair and nails’.

Mantra-2: Prajapati said: ‘ Shave, put on fine clothes, fine jewels, look into water again.’ They did accordingly. Prajapati said: ‘ what did you see?’

Mantra-3: They said: ‘Lord! We saw ourselves shaven, dressed, adorned. ‘Prajapati said: ‘ That is Self. That is unalarmed, immortal Self.’ They both went away satisfied.

Mantra-4: Seeing them leave, Prajapati said to himself: ‘ They are going  without finding the Self, without knowing the Self. Who follows their philosophy, whether godly or godless perishes. Virochana, the king of the demons, went back to the demons happy in mind and explained to them the Upanishad.

Mantra-5: This is why in this world even today people say, ‘Oh, he is demon,’ if that person is devoid of the feeling of charity, is called godless; for that is the philosophy of godless. When a person dies, they decorate the body with all kinds of offerings, new clothes, and jewellery, for they think that by this, the person will conquer the other world.

In this section the teachings emphasize on the fact that there are some people who pays least importance in self-discipline. Such people are primarily interested in pleasures perceived by senses only. They do not believe in the higher knowledge. They do not care for humanity, charity. No faith in GOD. Busy in doing misdeeds to meet requirements of self only. The body is everything to them. Therefore, they believe in decorating a dead man with the hope that they will be treated same in the next world. This was the practice adopted in ancient Egypt. According to Vedanta philosophy, the Self is not the body. Body decays and perishes, but the Self never. Body must be given due importance such that Prana makes the body animating and body can perform all works that are needed to sustain life.

Section-9 [Three Mantras]: 

Mantra-1: Before reaching to the gods with the Teachings received from Prajapati, Indra thought himself that the reflection is well decorated when the body is decorated. When the body is in fine clothes, the reflection is also in fine clothes. When the body is neat and clean, the Self is also neat and clean. Again, suppose a person is blind, then the Self  is blind. If the body is lame, so will be the Self. If the body is crippled, Self would be crippled. If the body is dead, Self would be dead. But Self is never dead. Therefore, Indra felt inadequacy in the teaching.

Virochana was happy with the teachings. He went back without any doubt and explained everything he understood to the demons. Virochana taught that the Body was the Self, since he understood the teachings according to his own level, his own nature. But Indra was a god with higher intellect and spiritual qualities. Indra remembered what Prajapati said about the Self in the beginning. Prajapati said:The Self is free from sin, free from old age, free from death, free from sorrow, and free from hunger and thirst. It is the cause of desire for Truth and for commitment to Truth”. Therefore, Indra returned back to Prajapati to learn about True Self.

Mantra-2: Indra went back to Prajapati with folded hands. Prajapati said: Indra! you went away with Virochana, perfectly satisfied. What brings you back? Indra replied: when the body is adorned, so is its reflection. When the body is in fine clothes, the reflection is also in fine clothes. When the body is neat and clean, the Self is also neat and clean. Again, suppose a person is blind, then the Self  is blind. If the body is lame, so will be the Self. If the body is crippled, Self would be crippled. If the body is dead, Self would be dead. Therefore, I do not see good in this.

Mantra-3: Prajapati said: Indra! This bodily Self is like that. Stay for another thirty-two years, I will explain more. Indra stayed for another thirty-two years.

In the next section, Indra is introduced into an experience which is not conditioned by the characters of the physical body.

Section-10 [Four Mantras]: The Self in Dreaming state.

Mantra-1: Prajapati said: ” That which you see in the dreaming state, is the Self. That is Brahman, about which I am going to explain you. That Being which rejoices and is happy in the state of dream is the Self, which is fearless and Immortal. Indra then left satisfied. But even before returning to gods, a doubt arose in his mind. He thought: ” A person may be blind, but when he is dreaming, he is not blind. He may be lame, but when he is dreaming, he is not lame. There may be some defects in his body, but his dream body is not affected by them.

Mantra-2: Self is not killed when the body is killed. He is not crippled when the body is crippled, yet he is killed and chased in dreams. It may seem as if there is something unpleasant. He may even seem to be weeping. I see nothing good in this.

Mantra-3: Indra went back to Prajapati with folded hands. Prajapati said: Indra! you went away with Virochana, perfectly satisfied. What brings you back? Indra replied: “Lord, a person may be blind, but when he is dreaming, he is not blind. He may be lame, but when he is dreaming, he is not lame. There may be some defects in his body, but his dream body is not affected by them.

Mantra-4: Self is not killed when the body is killed. He is not crippled when the body is crippled, yet he is killed and chased in dreams. It may seem as if there is something unpleasant. He may even seem to be weeping. I see nothing good in this. Prajapati said: Indra! This bodily Self is like that. Stay for another thirty-two years, I will explain more. Indra stayed for another thirty-two years.

Section-11 [Three Mantras]:

The Self in Deep sleep:

Mantra-1: Prajapati said: ” When the man is sleeping, at peace with himself, happy, without dream, then that is Self. It is immortal and fearless”.  Indra went away satisfied, but before reaching to the gods, he found inadequacy in teaching. He thought within himself: Man in his sleep does not even recognise that he is Self; neither does he know any other creatures around it. It is like complete annihilation, as it were. How could this be Self? That which does not know its own Self , can not be Self.

Mantra-2: Indra again went back to Prajapati with folded hands.                    Prajapati asked: ‘Indra you went satisfied, what brings you back? Indra replied, “Revered Sir, indeed in deep sleep, this one does not know Himself as “I am He”, neither does he know any creatures. He is lost. I see no good in this.

Mantra-3: Prajapati said; ‘ Indra! you are right; yet where else you can find the Self? Stay for five years more; i will explain more. Indra stayed accordingly. That makes one hundred and one years and so with regard to that people say thus, ” Verily, foe one hundred and one years Indra lived with Prajapati, the disciplined life of a celibate student of sacred knowledge.” Then Prajapati said to him: —

                                                                           …to continue

Next part will be final part : section-12 to section-15 will be published soon.

Conclusion:

One hundred and one years of austerity was performed by Indra in the abode of Prajapati to acquire Supreme knowledge. Even now people say that lord Indra, such a powerful person with such a brilliant intellect, had to live a life of tremendous austerity for 101 years for the sake of this “Brahma Vidya”, knowledge of Atman.

So, one hundred and one years of tapas did Indra perform in the abode of Prajapati for the sake of this Supreme Knowledge. Even now people say: “Indra, such a powerful person with such a brilliant intellect, had to live a life of tremendous austerity for one hundred and one years for the sake of this Atman knowledge!”

Readers are requested to know more on “deep sleep” from my blog post on maNDukya Upanishad. Mantra-2 is most important which is given below:

Mantra 2:  (Mandukya Upanishad): 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 link for reading text in Sanskrit is here:-   Chandgoya 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 ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. ChAndogya Upanishad: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.
  7. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  8. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  9. A-U-M Awakening to Reality: By Dennis Waite***
  10. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya:
  11. 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 incredibly 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

 

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The Four Great Vedic Statements [ Mahavakyas]

THE FOUR GREAT VEDIC STATEMENTS

Introduction: Four “MahaVakyas”

There are four great statements (Maha Vakyas– Great sayings), one each taken from each of four Vedas by ancient scholars. These are most famous mantras and gives the core knowledge of Veda. Traditionally these well known MahaVakyas are pointers for the aspirants seeking liberation from the cycle of births. Four MahaVakyas will be discussed in this post.

Before knowing the 4 “MahaVakyas”, let us look into one sloka from Taittiriya Upanishad.

Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma”:- 

Above sentence literarily means ‘the knower of “Brahman” attains the Supreme.” Taittiriya 2.1.1 which is the opening sentence of Taittiriya Upanishad. We will try to understand the essence of this sentence.

“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).

First of all, we need to know the true meaning of “Brahman”.

Brahman: IT is That which is Absolute, fills all space, is complete in Itself, to which there is no second and which is continuously present in everything, in every being and everywhere. It is homogeneous in nature.

Brahman: It is the key word here!

The word “Brahman” will be used repeatedly. Meaning of Brahman is VAST. This is to be noted here that the word “Brahman” does not refer to any Cast , Creed or Sect. According to Vedanta the word ” Brahman” has been derived from the root word “brh” which means growing or expanding and suffix “man” added to it signifies absence of limitations. In Vedanta, the word Brahman is a neuter gender and hence it is referred as pronoun ” That”. It is very difficult to describe Brahman, which is ultimately indefinable, indescribable, and utterly beyond all human comprehension. Brahman can not be described through senses alone. Vedanta has however taught us how to realize Brahman which is “Supreme Consciousness”. In this article I will try to explain what I understood after reading different Scriptures. Hope readers will find it interesting and worth reading.

From Upanishads we can learn about “Brahman”.  Founder of Advaita Vedanta, 8th century scholar, Shri Adi Shankaracharya said: ” there Exists one Absolute Brahman, who is “Sat-Chit-Ananda” and homogeneous in nature .” Vedanta philosophy is part of the four Vedas are believed to be composed and orally transferred, goes back to 5000 years. The oneness of Soul(Jiva~Atman) and GOD(Param Atman), the ultimate Truth is the principal essence of Vedanta philosophy. 

The Four MahaVakyas are as follows:-

Above photo has been taken from “ANANDA DHAM”, the Ashram of my father’s Guruji. I used to visit ashram since my teen age. That time I did not understand above statements(written in Bengali script). Since then, it was in my mind to know the famous statements:

1) ” prajnAnaM brahma “:Consciousness is Infinite.

This means consciousness is Brahman. This has been taken from Rig Veda ( Aitareya Upanishad): The essence is that Brahman is Supreme knowledge. The absolute reality is the essence of what you really are.

2) ” tat-tvam-asi”: That-Thou-Art.

It means “You are that” which is from Sama Veda (ChAndogya Upanishad).

3) ” ayamAtma brahma”: This Self is the Truth.

Which means This Self is Brahman. It has been selected from Atharva Veda ( maNDukya Upanishad). Atman and Brahman are the same like the waves and the ocean are one.

4) ” aham brahmAsmi”:- I am the Infinite Reality.

Here it means “I am Brahman”. This has been taken from Yajur Veda (bRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad ).   “I AM” is that absolute reality.

Importance of the MahaVakyas:- MahaVakyas contain the essence of ageless Wisdom and Absolute Truth regarding ” Brahman” which is “SAT-CHIT-ANANDA”

To understand above four MahaVakyas, one has to study Vedanta . Vedanta consists of three basic Texts. Together they are referred as ” PRASTHANA TRAYA” , triple canon of Vedanta.

  1. Upanishads ( Shruti Prasthana):

  2. Bhagavad Gita( Smriti Prasthana : Quintessence of the teaching of entire Veda: “samasta-vedanta-sarasangraha-bhutam”).

  3. Brahma Sutra (Nyaya-Prasthana also known as uttarmimamsa sutra).

Those who wish to study the philosophy of Vedanta, may read ” The Ten Principal Upanishads” and the “Brahma Sutra” after reading the “Bhagavad Gita”. In the following paragraphs, I will write brief introduction about Brahma sutra. Rather I will emphasize on Brahma sutra because it is essential to understand the concept of Advaita Vedanta. While explaining Brahma sutra, some references of Upanishads obviously will follow.

There are four chapters in Brahma sutra. First chapter unifies Brahman. Second chapter shows no conflicts between Vedanta and other sastras (sacred texts). The third deals with practice to attain Brahman and the fourth one is result of attaining Brahman which is nothing but fruits of Self realization. The first topic of first chapter of Brahma sutra is “Jijnasadhikaranam” [ Topic-1/first chapter] which means ” The enquiry into Brahman and it’s prerequisites”. The first sentence of this chapter is ” Athato Brahmajijnasa” (Hence thereafter a deliberation on Brahman.1.1.1)

Now, this Text is for whom? A little explanation is essential here.

The Vedanta is for the person who is competent to understand and study sastras(Scriptures) ,has tranquil mind, full of faith, consistently engaged in good thoughts and associates with the knower of Truth. After attainment of certain preliminary qualifications which are known as ” SADHANA CHATUSHTAYA”~ 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).

Even without possessing the knowledge of “Karma Kanda” (Rituals, religious ceremonies), a desire for attaining the knowledge of Brahman( Brahma Gyan) will arise direct from the study of “Srutis”. Therefore, I will recall here the sentence ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” which is written in Sanskrit as ” श्रोत्रियस्यचअकामहतस्य “ means well versed in “Srutis”. Hence it implies that the enquiry of Brahman does not depend on the performance of any act but through study of Vedas. That is the essence of the section ” Ananda Valli” of Taittiriya Upanishad.

Why should one enquire Brahman? Why?

Most of the religions believe that life in earth or life in heaven are attained on the basis of one’s virtuous deeds(“KARMA”) which is transient. But once you know Brahman, you will enjoy everlasting bliss and immortality. Knowledge of Brahman destroys ignorance which is the root cause of all sufferings.

We will continue our study of Vedanta a little more in the following paragraphs. I admit that this will be lengthy for the readers, but it is essential part of Vedas which needs to be presented.

“Janmadyadhikaranam“: Definition of Brahman[Topic-2/First chapter of Brahma sutra]. First sentence here is ” Janmadyasya yatah” 1.1.2(2) means Brahman is that from which the origin, sustenance and dissolution of this Universe proceed. Brahman is eternally pure, wise, and free. He is Omnipotent and Omniscient. One can attain knowledge of brahman through reflection on it’s attributes. Would like to refer here Taittiriya upanishad-iii-1: Conversation between Varuna and his son Bhrigu Varuni on enquiry into Brahman. Bhrigu is asking his father- ” Sir, teach me Brahman”. Varuna said, ” that from whence these beings are born, that by which, when born they live, that into which they enter at their death, try to know that“. That is Brahman.

Here the point to be noted is that the origin, sustenance, and dissolution of the Universe are characteristic of the Universe because of changing (cyclic) in nature. They do not pertain to the eternal unchanging Brahman, yet they indicate Brahman which is the cause of this universe. Sruti has another definition of Brahman. ” Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahman” means Truth, knowledge, Infinity is Brahman.

” Sastrayonitvadhikaranam” : Brahman is realizable only through the scriptures [Topic-3/First chapter of Brahma sutra]. “Sastrayonitvat”: 1.1.3(3) means the scripter is the source of right knowledge. The scriptures illumine all things like a search light. Through scripture only we get a comprehensive understanding of the nature of Brahman. Brahman is formless, colorless, attribute less. Hence it can not be grasped by the senses alone. Brahman is ONE, infinite and without second.

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. The eternal nature of Self is Bliss only.

Vedanta says that 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.

Three key words are repeatedly used in Vedanta. Those are to be understood which are conceptual.1.Brahman: Discussed above. Next two are 2.Maya and 3.Atman; discussed below.

What is Maya? (~ Sanskrit word) :– Manifested Universe is all due to “Maya”

The appearance of this world is due to Maya-the illusory power of Brahman. Maya is neither “Sat” (existent) nor “Asat” (not existent). This world is unreal. According to Vedanta, our real nature is divine, pure, perfect, eternal, and free.  We do not have to become Brahman, because we are That. But Maya is the veil which covers our real nature. Maya is beginning less. Time arises only with Maya. It is unthinkable, indescribable (Anirvachaniya). The word illusion is often used as meaning of Maya, but scholars says it is improper. There is no equivalent word in English to mean it. What is known to us, according to ancient sacred texts, that Maya disappears when we realize our true nature.

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.

According to Vedanta, The ultimate in us is ATMAN. The ultimate in Cosmos is BRAHMAN. This is the Universal Reality. Total Substance is Brahman. The same substance, when conceived as the essence of particular being is Atman. The Universe has been manifested out of this Total Substance can be said as Brahman. This is Atman, the Self of the universe. This Brahman is without a prior or a posterior, without interior or exterior. This Atman is Brahman, the perceiver of everything.

Conclusion:-

It is believed that Four MahaVakyas were chosen by Acharya Adi Sankara, and he attached 4 Mantras to 4 “Matha”s (Pitha)” in the four corners of India. Each four MahaVakyas are taken from each Veda. 

” prajnAnaM brahma “:Consciousness is Infinite [RIG VEDA]; It is connected to Govardhana Pitha

” tat-tvam-asi”: That-Thou-Art [ SAMA VEDA]; Connected to Dwarka Pitha

” ayamAtma brahma”: This Self is the Truth [ATHARVA VEDA]; Connected to Jyotirmath Pitha.                            

” aham brahmAsmi”:- I am the Infinite Reality [YAJUR VEDA]; It is connected with Sringeri Sharada Pitha

My request to the readers: Please go through some of my blogs which are relevant and specific to know more on the subject: Links are as below. 

  1. Essence of ChAndogya Upanishad: Part-6C of 6[END OF 6TH CHAPTER]
  2. Essence of Aitareya Upanishad: Part-B: 
  3. MaNDukya Upanishad- The Nature of OM: – Part-1
  4. The Divine Art !!!

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. Mandukya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. BRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  7. Aitareya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  8. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  9. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  10. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  11. A-U-M Awakening to Reality: By Dennis Waite***
  12. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya:
  13. 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 incredibly 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 Prashna Upanishad: Part-1 of 6

Preface:

  • 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.
  • 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

** Upanishad do not say any word which may create hatred about anything living or non-living.

Introduction:

Prashna Upanishad comes from the Brahmana portion of the Atharva Veda, belonging to Pippalada Sakha. It has 67 mantras spread over six chapters. Each chapter contains one question. Prashna means question. The scientific approach of Vedanta is the basis of the Prashna Upanishad, where the teacher and the students are engaged in an enquiry into the nature of Universe. This Upanishad leads the aspirant from the known to the unknown, from the manifest to the unmanifest, from the grossly materialistic mind to the Supremely subtle, Absolute and Pure Consciousness’.

प्रश्नोपनिषत्

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 ॥

In this Upanishad, there are six disciples. Each asks a question to the Guru and Guru answers them. Each question and answer becomes a chapter. The first question refers to the origin of the created beings, the second to the constituents of Human personality, the third to the nature of origin of Prana, the fourth is about the psychological aspect of the Human personality , the fifth is about pranava and the sixth is about the metaphysical principle in man. The need of faith, austerity and continence of body and mind for spiritual knowledge is emphasized.

We will discuss only about the First Question in this part.

प्रथमः प्रश्नः । THE FIRST QUESTION:

Vedanta says that this Universe is a manifestation, a projection. It is not a creation like a potter making a pot. It is an Autonomous System. The Universe is projected from Prajapati and again it is withdrawn and back unto Him.

The First question was about the Creation of Universe and the Sustaining Power of Existence.

The Disciples come with Firewood (offerings~** ):

Verse-1.1: Om! Sukesa, the son of Bharadvja, Satyakama, the son of Sibi, Sauryayani, belonging to the family of Garga, Kausalya, the son of Asvala, Bhargava, the son of Bhrigu of Vidarbha, and Kabandhi, the son of Katyana- all these students and Devotees, seeking the supreme Brahman, approached, with their offerings and their faith to Sage Pippalada.

[~** ” Firewood in hand means the tradition was that the disciples should carry firewood to the teacher.]
Verse-1.2: The Sage said: ” Stay with me for a year, practice faith, austerity, continence, then ask what question you like.

Verse-1.3: At the end of the year, Kabandhi Katyana asked the sage ” O Revered, venerable Master, whence are all these creatures born?”

Twin aspect of creation: Matter(Rayi) and the Energy( Prana): E = mc2

Verse-1.4: The Sage said: ” The Creator , His Mind’s eye on the world made a couple in meditation, life and matter, thinking they would do the rest. He brought the mutual union of Matter and Life-force (Prana).

To understand well, we may refer “Tattva Bodha”, where we know that hierarchy downwards from Brahman:
1) Brahman: The Supreme Being, Non-Dual Reality; Pure Consciousness.
2) Brahman+ Maya = Ishwara: The Causal Consciousness, The Unmanifest Seed: Ishwara, the Supreme Creator, Ishwara also stands for the Consciousness in association with the causal body. A step below that is
3) Hiranyagarbha (The cosmic womb): The Manifested means Ishwara in association with Subtle body. Then comes the third step.
3) Prajapati: ” The Creator of Living Beings” : Here, this is same Consciousness in association with Hiranyagarbha and the total mind.

The Equality of Rayi & Prana-1: E = mc2

Verse-1.5: Rayi and prana, both are aspect of creation. In this verse we see that Rayi and Prana are considered to be partners on equal terms. One is with form and the other is formless. both are manifestations from the standpoint of Prajapati, their originator. both arise from the Tanmatras or subtle elements.

The Equality of Rayi & Prana-2.

Verse-1.6: The message out of this lesson is that it is the same life-principle in all creatures. There is no longer the individualistic view of life. Guru is trying to show that all Life is one; that there is one universal Life-force, and it manifests through all life forms. The Sun is indeed Prana, life, Energy; the Moon is Rayi, food, matter. All that have form means gross and all that is formless means subtle is matter and therefore anything having a form is indeed Matter. Rayi and Prana are two forms. Creation moves and maintains its continuity by an interaction of these dual principles. According to modern science, Four fundamental forces of nature govern this Universe. Prana is the Sun; Rayi is the Moon. Matter is solid, matter is subtle. Therefore Rayi is present everywhere. Sun gives light and life to all who live. East and West, North and South, above and below, it is Prana of the Universe.

VaishvAnara:- The immediate Source of Prana & Rayi:

Photo by Bradley Hook on Pexels.com

Verse-1.7-8: He is this VaishvAnara (The sum total of all beings), assuming all forms; Prana is the fire that rises everyday. This is supported by a Rig Veda Mantra: “The wise knows Him, the all pervading, all illuminating, all knowing, the One, upholder of all, and say that He rises as the Sun that He may warm everything, go into everything, it is particular life.”

The Southern path (Dakshinayan)of Return: This course is “Pitriyana”

Verse 1.9: The year is indeed Prajapati. There are two paths-The southern and the northern. Those who follow the Path of Desiree alone by the performance of Sacrificial and pious acts, obtain only the world of Moon which is the realm of Transmigration and certainly they do return here(get reborn). Therefore the worshippers who desire to have offspring take this southern route. For Rayi (Matter) is verily the Path of Forefathers.

*** For the verses 1.9 and 1.10, I request the readers to read my another Blog, which part of ChAndogya Upanishad : The Link:>> "WISDOM OF FIVE FIRES~ Panchagni Vidya" 

The Northern Path of ” No Return” This course is “Devayana”

Verse 1.10: The Solar path(Northern path ~Uttarayana) is for those who practices austerity, celibacy, who have faith and pursue knowledge because they seek the Atman(The Self) and obtained the world of Sun. This is the home of all living creatures. It is immortal, a place without fear. It is the highest goal from there they do not return again.

The year as a Time cycle:

Verse 1.11: This mantra glorifies the SUN as the father of all, the provider of life sustaining rains, and other support on which this Solar system and life on Earth is sustained. It describes the SUN as Lord of Time. Sun gives us seasons and twelve months.

We may relate above Texts with the BIGBANG theory as below. It is reader’s choice how they relate.

The Universe is Conscious. The Sun has intelligence: Please see the video:

BIGBANG

BIG BANG~ CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE: 13.7 BILLION YEARS AGO

GRAND UNIFIED THEORY:

Expanding and Collapsing Universe:

According to Unified Quantum field theory by Dr. John Hagelin, Ph.D. :

“The experience of the Unified field of Consciousness, in which the observer, the process of observation and the observed are unified, is considered to be a means of realizing the ultimate inseparability of the observer and the observed, leading to a completely unified view of Self and the environment traditionally known as ” Enlightenment” or ” Unity Consciousness” “

Books of Related Interest:

  1. THE DIVINE MATRIX: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles and Belief. By GREGG BRADEN
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS.****** Translated By: Shree Purohit Swami and W.B.YEATS.
  3. BLACK HOLES: The BBC Reith Lectures : Stephen Hawking.
  4. Taking the Quantum Leap: The new Physics for Non scientists: By Fred Alan Wolf
  5. You are the Universe by Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos.
  6. BIOCENTRISM : How life and Consciousness are the keys to understanding the True nature of the Universe: By Robert Lanza MD with BOB BERMAN
  7. The Self Aware Universe: How Consciousness creates the material world: By Amit Goswami, Ph.D.
  8. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  9. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  10. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  11. Commentary of ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  12. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  13. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  14. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  15. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  16. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya:
  17. 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

 

MaNDukya Upanishad- The Nature of OM: – Part-1

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

The Divine Art !!!

 THE DIVINE ART: FOUR STAGES OF MANIFESTATION OF UNIVERSE

Light on the analogy of painted picture: “Universal Superimposition”:

Introduction:

A Text from “Panchadasi” composed by The Sage Vidyaranya Swami: — 

“Panchadasi” is a comprehensive Text (Prakarana Grantha) on Advaita Vedanta, composed during 14th century A.D. It has fifteen chapters divided into three sections; Five chapters in each section: Sections are: 1. Viveka (Discrimination), 2. Deepa (Illumination), 3. Ananda (Bliss). Sixth chapter explains on the process of manifestation of the Universe which is fourfold. We will discuss on 6th Chapter. Analogy of painting of art explains the principle of Advaita Vedanta in quite simple manner. 

Sixth Chapter: “Chitra Deepa Prakarana”

  1. First step: Piece of white cloth, pure in its original state to start painting.
  2.  Second step: The cloth is then stiffened with starch to turn it to a canvas.
  3. Third step: Artist draw Outline of the painting according to his imagination in mind.
  4. Fourth Step: Finally, the outline is filled with different colors and thus a complete picture appears on the canvas.

The Universe is like a vast painted picture:

Similar to the process of the painting, there are four stages in the process of creation of this Universe. There is an all pervading, unchangeable background, Pure Consciousness, known is “Brahman” which is the first stage of creation. As cloth has to exist for drawing painting, similarly, Pure Consciousness exists for the creation of Universe. That is the first stage. Second stage- stiffening of cloth is compared with the concentrated Will of Cosmic Being. In the pure Being, there is no question of Will.  The stiffened form is Ishwara, where The Maya is superimposed with pure Consciousness. The third stage, drawing outline is similar to faint picture of cosmos, can be seen as “Hiranyagarbha. Fourth stage is the gross manifestation. The Virat”

1. Pure white cloth is equivalent to Nirguna Brahman:

Pure Consciousness~ Nirguna Brahman

Now, we will discuss on the analogy drawn: Pure Consciousness which is the nature of Brahman, is the substratum of all things, and this may be compared with pure white cloth. Swami Vidyaranya says, for analogy, Pure white cloth is equivalent to Nirguna Brahman (Nirguna means~ Non-qualified Brahman). This is first unchanging stage of projection of Universe.

2. Starch which stiffened the white cloth is Maya.

Maya superimposed with Nirguna Brahman

Nirguna Brahman (Pure Consciousness), the absolute in itself is not projecting the universe. With the help of Maya, it is projecting itself as the universe. Just as in the rope-snake example, where rope appears to be snake. But it is actually rope. Due mistake it happens. Similarly, ignorance, the Maya plays the role of rope. Therefore, Brahman (Sat-Chit-Ananda) is projecting the Universe when Maya is superimposed with Pure Consciousness. This has been compared with the starched canvas. This is second stage of manifestation of Universe (Maya Upahita Chaitanya)

3. Third stage indicates drawing of the outline: That is “Hiranyagarbha”

Nirguna Brahman, with the power of the Maya, with subtle bodies projecting as Hiranyagarbha.

 Same Sat-Chit-Ananda, Nirguna Brahman, with the power of the Maya, associated with the subtle bodies are projected as “Hiranyagarbha”. Five subtle elements: known as Tanmatra  (तन्मात्र) out of which our mind, intellect, in the subtle body ( sukshmah sarira ) is formed. Pranamaya kosha, ManoMaya kosha and VijnaMaya Kosha are created. Thus, the drawing of the outline is formed. This is third stage of projection of Universe.

4. The same Hiranyagarbha with all physical bodies is Virat. 

Once the outline is drawn, the painter fills in the color, Diverse colors. That completes the full painting. And that is gross body. Same is applicable to the formation of the Universe. Hiranyagarbha, associated with gross bodies becomes gross physical Universe. Same Consciousness which is Nirguna Brahman now with Maya is Ishwara and again associated with all subtle bodies is Hiranyagarbha. The same Hiranyagarbha associated with all physical bodies is Virat. This is final and changing stage of manifestation of Universe.

Thus, the analogy drawn by Swami Vidyaranya, is unique. Easy to understand the concept of “Nirguna Brahman” and “Saguna Brahma” White cloth is compared with “Nirguna Brahman”(Pure Consciousness~ Sacchidanand Brahma).  And the Virat is Saguna Brahman.

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

Consciousness associated with Maya, subtle bodies and with physical bodies is Virat the final form. What we see as Universe. This Virat Roopa was seen by Arjuna [ Bhagavad Geeta-eleventh chapter]. Arjuna asked Shri Krishna, I would like to see your Divine form.  

Now let us investigate into details of Virat. We see Virat as scattered. Now think I am an individual. And there are other beings, billions and billions of living beings, microorganisms, plants, oceans, mountains, microscopic elements, macroscopic materials, stars, planets, Sun moon galaxies etc. which all exists before us.  Though, they look separate, but actually not. Because all these appear in ONE PURE CONSCIOUSNESS. 

What lesson we get from four stages of painting with the analogy given by Vidyaranya Swami? What is real is the cloth. The canvas. How can we say that? Because painting doesn’t exist without cloth. 

Only Reality here is the cloth. Pure white cloth. No starch, no outline, no painting. Basically, it is cloth even after all association. Before association it is cloth. After all association, it is cloth. Suppose the completed painting shows nature, animals, people. Ultimately, if you think carefully, in the picture, each object of the painting is nothing but a piece of cloth. All characters, such as men, women, children, whatever be shown in the painting are basically a piece of cloth. We may even consider a movie hall. Where the screen is basically a cloth. Screen remains screen before and after the movie. What we see in the movie is known to us. Similarly, this Universe is a vast projection of Supreme Consciousness. What is that? Can we not say now that “YOU ARE THAT (TAT TVAM ASI)” That means each of us is Pure Consciousness, Brahman. Advaita Vedanta says us that in the background we are all pure Consciousness.

Famous Verse from “Viveka Chudamani” a prakarana grantha(Sacred Text) is:  “Brahma Satya Jagat Mithya, Jivo Brahmaivanaparah.

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. 

The entire Universe you are experiencing, all that you see, living, non-living, around you, that you interact, all the events, happenings in your life, are in reality Sat-Chit-Ananda, Brahman, the ultimate Reality. We are not body made of flesh and blood, not body and mind complex. We are actually Sat-Chit-Ananda. (Existence, Consciousness Bliss) appearing as this body and mind.  

We have to see through the experiences in our life. 

Vidyaranya swami explains, there are human beings shown in the picture wearing clothes and painted with different colors. These clothes on human being, are painted on real clothes. Think carefully here. There is a painted cloth, which is a Real cloth. People see the picture and put their comments on the colors, objects shown in the painting and discuss on their look. But nobody talks of clean cloth which first became canvas and then finally a painted picture. Same is true for all of us the human beings, having different qualities, different nature etc., we do not think of Chidatma, Brahman, the Pure consciousness. Reality is: “I am not the body not the mind. I am pure consciousness.” That is true for all of us. Background Consciousness: that is all of us. 

The Virat Rupa of Lord Krishna

Conclusion:

“Chitra Deepa prakarana” with 280 verses is particularly important and significant chapter of the Text Panchadasi. Teaching of Swami Vidyaranya is very systematic, consistent, and very progressive. Quite simple to understand the essence of the topic. Method is “adhyaropa apavada”. Adhyaropa apavada is the meaning of superimposition. Verse 1 to 17 gives the whole Vedanta in nutshell. Just as the canvas painting is created, same way the entire world is created. Slowly we can start negating Apavada method. Intellect has to discern, to falsify all the entire objective world. Entire objective world has to be falsified. That is what intellect has to be convinced to understand and realize the Ultimate Reality. That is our Original nature. I am the witness Consciousness. 

 

What is Joy?-part-3 (concluding part)

Declaration:         

☆The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, 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 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 sacred books/ancient texts, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood. 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. NAMASTE

  • Recap: This post is the concluding part of the article ” What is Joy” 

  • Part-1:- What is Joy (Part-1)” In this part we have seen that section VIII of Brahmananda Valli, the second part of “Taittiriya Upanishad”  define the unit of Human Joy. Thereafter in the successive slokas, it has been shown that each time we go to the next higher world(Loka), joy is multiplied by 100. Finally, at the top most Loka, the joy has become 100,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00 units. However, according to Taittiriya Upanishad ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” in each loka. In Sanskrit, the sentence is : —” श्रोत्रियस्यचअकामहतस्य “ –  which means a man well versed in Vedas (Scriptures) has equal Joy.
  • Part-2:- In part-2 we have discussed the real meaning of the statement ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” What revelation is that? Revelation means knowing Vedas. A brief description on Vedanta has been given in part-2. Brahma sutra “Topic-1” to “Topic-3′ was explained. Part-3 will cover Brahma Sutra “Topic-4” and some mantras from principal Upanishads.
  • Readers are requested to send queries on any part to my mail ID: arun7663@gmail.com

We will continue from last topic ( Topic-3/Chapter 1) of Brahma sutra that was discussed in part-2.

Knowledge of Brahman can not be gathered by mere reasoning. Knowledge can be attained through intuition or revelation. Intuition is the final result of the enquiry into Brahman. There are three stages which are very essential for progressing in this path. Three stages are as below:

1.Sravana :  Listening to the teachings of the sages on Vedanta. Now instead of Sravana, we can use the word Study of Vedanta, because Sravana was the practice during early Vedic period as no method of writing existed.

2.Manana : This stage is the reflection on the teachings. This means thinking about what has been heard and subjecting that into a reason based on experience gained.

3.Nididhyasana : Stage of meditation on the truth [MahaVakyas]. It is the culmination of the practice of Sravana and Manana. We may see what BRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad says  on Nididhyasana. ” The Self , my dear Maitreyi, should be realized-should be heard of , reflected on and meditated upon; by the realization of the self, my dear”.

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 (discussed in part-2) and teachings of Guru , who has understood the real significance of MahaVakyas. This ” Brahma Kara Vritti” destroys the mula-Avidya or primitive ignorance which is the root cause of all bondage, births and deaths. When this ignorance or veil is removed, Brahman which is Self effulgent reveals itself in its pristine glory and splendour. 

Part- 3 starts here with Brahma Sutra Topic-4 of Chapter-1 which says :-” Samanvayadhikaranam” [Sanskrit] which means Brahman is the main purport of all Vedantic texts. First statement is ” Tattu Samanvayat”  means Brahman is to be known only from Scriptures. ChAndogya Upanishad, chapter six beautifully explained the topic. In the next few paragraphs we will concentrate on famous lines from different Upanishads. These lines will give us more knowledge about Brahman.

A little about ChAndogya Upanishad:  Once upon a time, there lived one Shwetaketu, son of sage Uddalaka. One day Uddalaka said to his son ” My son! find a teacher and learn. None of our family has remained a Brahman in name only. So at the age 12, Shwetaketu was sent to “GURUKULA” for studying Vedas for 12 years. When Shwetaketu returned home after completion of studies, sage Uddalaka noticed that  Shwetaketu has become a stiff necked arrogant and self willed young man of 24 years. Watching his attitude, sage asked him    ” My son, you think such a big of yourself, but did you ask your teacher about that initiation ,which makes a man hear what is not heard, think that is thought of, know what is not known?  Shwetaketu gave a negative  reply. Shwetaketu said his father ” I have not learnt that. Please teach me that my Lord”. Then sage started teaching that lesson, by knowing which everything is known. This conversation between sage Uddalaka and his son is the main topic of ChAndogya Upanishad. One of the Four mahaVakyas “ tat tvam asi” has been quoted 9 times to deliver Brahma Gyan. We will see in the next paragraph a few mantras from ChAndogya along with mantras from other Upanishads where Brahman is the main purport.

  1. ” Being only this was in the beginning without a second”—-ChAndogya: VI-2-1.
  2. ” The Atman which is free from sin that it is which we must search out, that it is which we must try to understand”—-ChAndogya: VIII-7-1.
  3. ” In the beginning all this was Atman or Self only”— Aitareya -Aranyak-II-4-1-1.
  4. ” Let a man worship him as Atman or the Self” —- BRRihadAraNyaka : I-4-7 
  5. ” Let a man worship him as Atman only as his true state” —- BRRihadAraNyaka : I-4-15 
  6. ” This is Brahman without cause and effect, without anything inside or outside; this Self is Brahman perceiving everything.—– BRRihadAraNyaka : II-5-19 
  7. ” He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman—– Mundaka Upanishad—III-2-9.
  8. ” The wise who knows the Atman as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging  among changing things, as great and omnipresent does never grieve”                          –Katha Upanishad II-1-2 . [Such person is not attached to anything.]

Brahman cannot become an object of perception because it is extremely subtle, abstract, infinite and all – pervading. Senses and mind derive power from Brahman the ultimate source. Brahman is Self luminous, Self existent, Self knowledge, Self delight and Self contained. When one realizes Brahman, he is totally free from all sorts of miseries. He attains the Moksha( liberation from the cycle of birth and death). The state of moksha, the final emancipation is Eternal.

Thus we see Vedantic texts teach that Brahman is Eternal, all knowing , absolutely self-luminous and indivisible. Therefore proper understanding Vedanta leads a man to the final emancipation. This is the concept behind the line ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.”

Now in this concluding passage, let me describe a little about Vedas, without which the content will not be completed. Four Vedas are divided broadly into two parts. : 

  1. Karma Kanda: pUrva mimAMsA : The ritual portion:-  Mainly concerned with the earlier part of the Vedas. It is associated with the philosopher Jaimini, believed to be disciple of Maharshi Vyas regarded as original compiler of the Vedas. This part lays down various rituals and sacrificial acts to be performed for attaining specific goals like gaining enough wealth, progeny, expanding kingdom, heaven etc.. However this is not the intention of the Vedas that people should continue to perform these sacrificial, rituals to enjoy the results thereof.  These are teaching to divert one’s mind from improper way of life to a proper way of life. Ultimate teachings is that one should perform actions without desire and attain the purity of mind and thereby become fit for Self-knowledge. That is what Lord Krishna taught through Bhagavad Gita.
  2. Gyan Kanda : uttara mimAMsA : The knowledge portion : Mainly concerned with the later parts of the Vedas, the philosophical part popularly known as Upanishads and also as Vedanta, i.e., conclusion of Vedas. Philosopher Badarayana is said to be the author of Vedanta which includes Brahma Sutra.

Finally, Atman = Brahman is the purport of the entire Advaita philosophy. There is non-dual reality(Brahman), there is no separate existence of world and there is no second. This is the final Revelation.

References:

  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. You are the Universe; Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters: By Deepak Chopra & Menas Kafatos.
  5. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentry By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  6. Information available on internet.

What is Joy (Part-2)

☆The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my experiences and self realization.
☆I found some link between modern science and statements of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth 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 sacred books/ancient texts translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I am trying to share the subject matter as I understood in very concise form.
You may find it boring or interesting, dull or exciting, but my intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. Please give your suggestions for the shortcomings 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. 
♡ Please share your feedback at — arun7663@gmail.com : Regards. Namaste.

Part-1 is summarised in the figure below:

Introduction: In the previous blog ” What is Joy (Part-1)” , we have seen that, according to second part of the scripture ‘Taittiriya Upanishad”, second section “Brahmananda Valli ” beautifully explained what is Joy? At first the definition and one unit of Human Joy has been described. Thereafter in the successive slokas, it has been shown that each time we go to the next higher world(Loka), joy is multiplied by 100. Finally, at the top most Loka, the joy has become 100,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00 units. However, according to Taittiriya Upanishad ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” Now what is that revelation? In Sanskrit, the sentence is : —” श्रोत्रियस्यचअकामहतस्य “ –  which means a man well versed in Vedas (Scriptures) has equal Joy. So that is the essence of the sentence. This is our point of discussion here. I will try to project the subject according to Texts followed in Advaita Vedanta. Advaita (NON-DUALISM) is essentially a philosophical framework which make sense of the mysterious Universe. Traditional Advaita takes its authority from the Upanishads. Advaita Vedanta was systemized somewhere around 8th century by Shri Adi Shankaracharya. However essence of teaching originates in the Upanishads which were composed during 5000-6000 BC. No where it is mentioned about any author in the Upanishads and date of origin can not be fixed. Some scholar says Vedic period is 4000-5000 BC. Upanishads are known as Vedanta means essence of Vedas. Teachings of Vedas were transferred orally known as ” Sruti”. The principal book that attempts to explicate the actual philosophy of Upanishad is called ” Brahmasutra” . In the past 100 years, there have been a resurgence of interest in Advaita Vedanta in the West after the discovery of new field of physics known as Quantum Physics. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) toured the world to spread the message of Vedantic truth with the aim of uniting all religions.

Key words: “Brahman” ; ” Brahma sutra”; ” Advaita Vedanta” ; Upanishad;

The word “Brahman” will be used repeatedly. Meaning of Brahman is VAST. This is to be noted here that the word “Brahman” does not refer to any Cast , Creed or Sect. According to Vedanta the word ” Brahman” has been derived from the root word “brh” which means growing or expanding and suffix “man” added to it signifies absence of limitations. In Vedanta, the word Brahman is a neuter gender and hence it is referred as pronoun ” That”. It is very difficult to describe Brahman which is ultimately indefinable, indescribable and utterly beyond all human comprehension. Brahman can not be described through senses alone. Vedanta has however taught us how to realize Brahman which is “Supreme Consciousness”. In this article I will try to explain what I understood after reading different Scriptures. Hope readers will find it interesting and worth reading.

To start with our topic of discussion in part-2 here, we need to know the real meaning of the statement ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” What revelation is that? Revelation is knowing Vedas. Since knowing Vedas is beyond our scope in this space, but we can have some glimpses of famous lines from Vedas. Let us read following paragraphs quoting few lines from different Vedantic Texts

satyam jnanam anantam brahma” : which literarily means ‘the knower of Brahman attains the Supreme.” Taittiriya 2.1.1 which is the opening sentence of Taittiriya Upanishad. (This has been explained in my earlier blog ” THE WISDOM OF THE FIVE SHEATHS (FIVE LAYERS~ Pancha Kosha)”

First of all we need to know the true meaning of “Brahman”. From Upanishads we can learn about Brahman. Five great Acharyas have explained about Brahman. One of them, founder of Advaita Vedanta, 8th century scholar, Shri Adi Shankaracharya said: ” there Exists one Absolute Brahman, who is “Sat-Chit-Ananda” and homogeneous in nature .” **** However the origin of entire Vedanta philosophy which is part of the four Vedas are believed to be composed and orally transferred, goes back to 5000 years. The oneness of Soul and GOD, the ultimate Truth is the principal essence of Vedanta philosophy. In the next paragraphs we will see what teachings we receive from Vedas.

There are four great statements (Maha Vakyasgreat sayings), one each taken from four Vedas by ancient scholars. These are most famous mantras and gives the core knowledge of Veda. Traditionally these well known MahaVakyas are pointers for the aspirants seeking liberation from the cycle of births. Four MahaVakyas are as below:

1) ” prajnAnaM brahma ” which means consciousness is Brahman. This has been taken from Rig Veda ( Aitareya Upanishad): The essence is that Brahman is Supreme knowledge. The absolute reality is the essence of what you really are.

2) ” tat-tvam-asi” which means “You are that” which is from Sama Veda (ChAndogya Upanishad).

3) ” ayamAtma brahma” which means This Self is Brahman. It has been selected from Atharva Veda ( maNDukya Upanishad). Atman and Brahman are the same like the waves and the ocean are one.

4) ” aham brahmAsmi” which means “I am Brahman” has been taken from Yajur Veda (bRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad ).  Who I am is that absolute reality.

Now, to understand the subject ,one has to study Vedanta . Vedanta consists of three basic Texts. Together they are referred as ” PRASTHANA TRAYA” , triple canon of Vedanta.

  1. Upanishads ( Shruti Prasthana):
  2. Bhagavad Gita( Smriti Prasthana : Quintessence of the teaching of entire Veda: “samasta-vedanta-sarasangraha-bhutam”).
  3. Brahma Sutra (Nyaya-Prasthana also known as uttarmimamsa sutra).

Those who wish to study the philosophy of Vedanta, may read ” The Ten Principal Upanishads” and the “Brahma Sutra” after reading the “Bhagavad Gita”. In the following paragraphs, I will write brief introduction about Brahma sutra. Rather I will emphasize on Brahma sutra because it is essential to understand the concept of Advaita Vedanta. While explaining Brahma sutra, some references of Upanishads obviously will follow.

There are four chapters in Brahma sutra. First chapter unifies Brahman. Second chapter shows no conflicts between Vedanta and other sastras (sacred texts). The third deals with practice to attain Brahman and the fourth one is result of attaining Brahman which is nothing but fruits of Self realization. The first topic of first chapter of Brahma sutra is “Jijnasadhikaranam” [ Topic-1/first chapter] which means ” The enquiry into Brahman and it’s prerequisites“. The first sentence of this chapter is ” Athato Brahmajijnasa” (Hence thereafter a deliberation on Brahman.1.1.1)

Now the Text is for whom? A little explanation is essential here. 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(Sadhana Chatustaya) ,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).

Even without possessing the knowledge of “Karma Kanda” (Rituals, religious ceremonies), a desire for attaining the knowledge of Brahman( BrahmaGyan) will arise direct from the study of “Srutis”. Therefore, I will recall here the sentence ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” which is written in sanskrit as श्रोत्रियस्यचअकामहतस्य “ means well versed in “Srutis”. Hence it implies that the enquiry of Brahman does not depend on the performance of any act but through study of Vedas. That is the essence of the section ” Ananda Valli” of Taittiriya Upanishad.

Why one should enquire Brahman? Why? Most of the religions believe that life in earth or life in heaven are attained on the basis of one’s virtuous deeds(“KARMA”) which is transient. But once you know Brahman, you will enjoy everlasting bliss and immortality. Knowledge of Brahman destroys ignorance which is the root cause of all sufferings. We will continue our study of Vedanta a little more in the following paragraphs. I admit that this will be lengthy for the readers, but it is essential part of Vedas which needs to be presented.

“Janmadyadhikaranam“: Definition of Brahman[Topic-2/First chapter of Brahma sutra]. First sentence here is ” Janmadyasya yatah” 1.1.2(2) means Brahman is that from which the origin, sustenance and dissolution of this Universe proceed. Brahman is eternally pure, wise and free. He is Omnipotent and Omniscient. One can attain knowledge of brahman through reflection on it’s attributes. Would like to refer here Taittiriya upanishad-iii-1: Conversation between Varuna and his son Bhrigu Varuni on enquiry into Brahman. Bhrigu is asking his father- ” Sir, teach me Brahman”. Varuna said ” that from whence these beings are born, that by which, when born they live, that into which they enter at their death, try to know that“. That is Brahman. Here the point to be noted is that the origin, sustenance and dissolution of the Universe are characteristic of the Universe because of changing (cyclic) in nature. They do not pertain to the eternal unchanging Brahman, yet they indicate Brahman which is the cause of this universe. Sruti has another definition of Brahman. ” Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahman” means Truth, knowledge, Infinity is Brahman.

” Sastrayonitvadhikaranam” : Brahman is realisable only through the scriptures [Topic-3/First chapter of Brahma sutra]. “Sastrayonitvat”: 1.1.3(3) means the scripter is the source of right knowledge. The scriptures illumine all things like a search light. Through scripture only we get a comprehensive understanding of the nature of Brahman. Brahman is formless, colourless, attribute less. Hence it can not be grasped by the senses alone. Brahman is ONE, infinite and without second.

Hope readers have found the reason why the sentence ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” is so important which has been repeated many times in the scripture Taittiriya Upanishad. I request to my readers to give me feedback for improving the content. Please send your comments/suggestions for improvement to my email; arun7663@gmail.com

“More on part-3 .This is the end of Part-2.”

THE WISDOM OF THE FIVE SHEATHS (FIVE LAYERS~ Pancha Kosha)

PICTURE: Courtesy: #Debashree

My humble request to the readers of my blog that before you start reading, please consider this statement of mine.

☆Whatever I have written in the following article is purely based on my studies, my experiences, and my personal development in the field of the particular subject.
☆ While studying ancient sacred texts (Advaita Vedanta), I found the statements of ancient sages regarding Universe and Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth whatever we say, is similar to the statements of modern physics, the quantum physics
  ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as HUMAN irrespective of gender differences (without any distinguish, until unless quoted)
♡ The article is just outcome of my studies on the subject.  I have gone through the books of different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic. After studying thoroughly and after self-satisfaction, I have tried to project the subject matter in very concise form.
You may find it boring or interesting, dull, or exciting, but my intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. Please give your suggestions for the shortcomings. 
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts.  This is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
♡ This is my first blog. Will be waiting for your support and encouragement.
I will be happy to receive your comments, suggestions regarding the topic. Please send your comments to my mail id:  arun7663@gmail.com

Namaste.🙏

THE WISDOM OF THE FIVE SHEATHS (FIVE LAYERS~ Pancha Kosha)

Introduction:

 The opening sentence of Taittiriya Upanishad , Section-2 is “Satyam jnanam anantam Brahman” which literarily means the knower of Brahman attains the Supreme.

 Let us know 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.

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

 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” teaches about the five sheathes. Concept of whole of this Five Sheaths model is highly symbolic and metaphorical.
Five sheaths are as follows:-
1) AnnaMaya Kosha
2) Prana Maya Kosha
3) ManoMaya Kosha
4) VijnaMaya Kosha
5) AnandaMaya Kosha

The First Layer:  “AnnaMaya Kosha”(অন্নময়কোষ) :

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: “Prana Maya Kosha”(প্রানময়কোষ)

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 “Prana Maya Kosha”(প্রানময়কোষ). We are multilayered 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 “Prana Maya Kosha”. The AnnaMaya Kosha is the effect of Prana. Prana Maya Kosha controls AnnaMaya Kosha.

"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.

Pancha Koshas(FIVE SHEATHS) can be divided into the three bodies: These three bodies are the objects of experience in deep sleep, dream and waking conditions, respectively. It is the causal body that is experienced in deep sleep. The subtle body in dream and the physical body in waking condition.

Three bodies are as follows:–
A) The gross body “Sthula sarira”=(~ Sanskrit word) consists of first layer AnandaMaya Kosha.  
B) The Subtle body “Suksma sarira”( ~ Sanskrit word) consists of Pranayama Kosha., ManoMaya Kosha and VijnaMaya Kosha. Also known as Astral body.
C) The causal body “Karana sarira”(~ Sanskrit word) consists of AnandaMaya Kosha.


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 Prana Maya 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’~”yogass 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 (Manas~ Sanskrit word) there are higher levels of mind responsible for discriminations recognizing the truth and the false fruit real or unreal. In silence it knows without needing to think. This is intellect (buddhi~ Sanskrit word). This intellectual sheath is known as “VijnaMaya Kosha”.

VijnaMaya Kosha (~Buddhi) Sheath of wisdom. This is 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? 
Let’s look beyond the mind.
Beyond the mind (Manas), 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 which is intellect (Buddhi~বুদ্ধি). This intellectual sheath is known as “VijnaMaya Kosha “~sheath of wisdom.
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.

Through identification of five layers or sheaths the Self is revealed.  This reveals that:-
“I AM NOT THE PHYSICAL BODY”
“I AM NOT THE PRANA (BREATH)”
“I AM NOT THE MIND”
“I AM NOT THE INTELLECT (BUDDHI) “
“I AM ALSO NOT THE ANANDAMAYA KOSHA” too. ☆☆

Then who I AM?

☆☆ I am The Witness of these five sheaths.

Our true nature is beginning less, endless, non-dual, unbounded, ever free, pure, aware, Supreme Bliss. Due to ignorance known as Maya (Avidya), we pass through cycles of births and deaths and that is the cause of pain, sufferings, and miseries. Maya is compared as veil in Vedanta.
The ignorance of the real nature of the Self constitutes this causal body or the seed-body. It projects the appearance of the whole Universe through the subtle sheath.
This Anandamaya Kosha or the causal body is impersonal, formless, Universal, a blissful space usually identified within deep sleep (sushupti~সুসূপ্তি) ★★
★★The Mandukya Upanishad explains about 4 states of Atman. There is one state the 3rd state, known as deep sleep. The second state is known as dream state (    ). The first state is known as Awaking state.
4th state is known as Turiya.

We have to rise above these five sheaths to realize the identity with Pure Consciousness. So, we need to strip off all the layers one after the other, to take out the innermost essence of the Atman from all objects of perception. When the identification with the sheaths ceases, the self realizes the Infinite Being and gets liberated beyond death.

I am trying to project the concept through the figure drawn below:-

Notes:-

Maya (~ Sanskrit word) :–

According to Vedanta, our real nature is divine, pure, perfect, eternal and free.  We do not have to become Brahman, because we are That. But Maya is the veil which covers our real nature. Maya is beginning less. Time arises only with Maya. It is unthinkable, indescribable (Anirvachaniya). The word illusion is often used as meaning of Maya, but scholars says it is improper. There is no equivalent word in English to mean it.
What is known to us, according to ancient sacred texts, that Maya disappears when we realize our true nature.

^^Atman & Brahman:-
According to Vedanta, The ultimate in us is ATMAN The ultimate in Cosmos is BRAHMAN. This is the Universal Reality. Total Substance is Brahman. The same substance, when conceived as the essence of particular being is Atman. The Universe has been manifested out of this Total Substance can be said as Brahman. This is Atman, the Self of the universe. This Brahman is without a prior or a posterior, without interior or exterior. This Atman is Brahman, the perceiver of everything.

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. Mandukya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. BRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  7. Aitareya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  8. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  9. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  10. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  11. A-U-M Awakening to Reality: By Dennis Waite***
  12. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya:
  13. Information available on internet.

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Namaskar