Awareness: The Ultimate Truth

Introduction:
Awareness: 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. It is known as “Brahman in Vedanta”

Awareness is pure Consciousness.

There is no full proof scientific definition of Awareness in general . However, according to Advaita Vedanta philosophy, Reality is identified as “Brahman” . Brahman is identified as singular in nature, identical to the Self and known as Pure Being (Sat) , Awareness (Chit) and Bliss (Ananda). The visible world(Matter) is considered to be illusory (Maya~ Mithya). Bhagavad Gita says: Awareness is one and undivided in all beings , but it appears to be divided, when shinning through many bodies and minds. [ Ch-13: 16-18.]

Awareness is that, in which all experiences appear. It is that with which all experiences are made.

The common name is “I ” or “Self”. According to Vedas (Sacred Texts of ancient India), Brahman is Infinite being. All these refer to “THAT” in which experience appears. With which it is known and out of which it is made. Conventional view is that our thoughts and feelings, perceptions appear in ourselves through awareness.

Please read the following Paragraph carefully:

If we observe carefully, we will see these thoughts appear in some kind of Field. They appear in that space. Consciousness is not though a space but say a field or space like. Now may we close our eyes and allow our thoughts to move freely wherever it goes according to previous experiences. Think for a moment. It can be observed minutely. Does my attention ever leave the field of Awareness? Thoughts inside “I AM” and sound outside “I AM” are not separate. They are linked. Allow our attention to go wherever it goes and have a single question. Does ever my attention leave the Awareness? Try to leave the field out. Imagine out of box now, such as that experience which you have not experienced earlier. or remember that you landed on the Mars. New sets of perceptions appear. Now, are these new perceptions inside Awareness or outside Awareness? Is there any feeling, perceptions outside Awareness? Can we leave our Awareness where there is no feeling?

Simply and clearly nobody has ever come in contact with any experience outside of Awareness. Strangely our entire world culture is founded on a single belief . According to Science, there is a substance which exists outside Awareness and that substance is Matter. Matter is the fundamental reality of all existence. Classical physics, reductionists and science at least believe this that Consciousness is derived from Matter. This is the primary assumption as a whole. Since the invention of matter, scientists are saying that Awareness is product of Matter.

Now question arises. Q-1) What is the nature of Universe? Q-2) How Awareness can be derived from matter? Both are contradictory. For question no. 1): Science do not ever acknowledge that we have answer. For question no. 2): How is Awareness derived from Matter (from brain arises consciousness…but brain is matter). We presumed that the stuff called matter is Universe and then we ask how Awareness derived from matter. Now, the question is how the Universe has come up?

Awareness is our experience.

Now therefore, Awareness is our subject to be known, the field of study. We are aware of what we have experienced. What is the nature of that knowing that is more important. Until we know the nature of knowing with which our experience is known, or until we know the nature of the Awareness where our experience appears we cannot know anything that is true about the body, mind and beyond.

We must first know what the nature of Awareness is?

Now if we ask ourselves ” Am I aware”? Then comes the answer “yes”. There is some gap between two thoughts. What happens is that after putting the first question “Am I aware” question makes some pause and ask the system to get the reply and there it collapses and reply the answer “yes”. During this gap of time, awareness tests itself momentarily. In the pause between the question, I am aware that I am aware. Awareness knows itself. That is the pause and it is Awareness itself who replies yes I am aware. I AM AWARE THAT I AM AWARE.

“No mind” : What is it?

Think of that which is not objective and see.

Awareness recognizes its own Being. Only awareness knows that it is awareness. No mind is the answer. Although thought is made of awareness only, yet it cannot know the stuff it is made of. Awareness is a field which is aware that it is a field adding a space like quality. It is empty from the point of view of objective. It is free from objective. It is like a screen of awareness where all the experiences appear. There is single Awareness (NON DUAL).

Awareness is fundamental:

We can say it is Universal Consciousness. It has no border, it has no shape, no form, not distinguishable, the single infinite, indivisible entity(The whole, the ONE).

Now, imagine a scene of dream. Dream breaks, then what remains in mind? What was in dream? Where is the scene seen? Seen by whom?

In the study of Awareness , there is a break through by Upanishads: NON-DUAL VEDANTA (ADVAITA VEDANTA). It is not about mystical experiences too. It is about daily experiences like awaking , dreaming and deep sleep. Now let us apply some logical thoughts and investigate.

Vedanta is an investigation to find out who or what we are? When we will realize that we are not limited to this body of flesh and blood, but we are immortal Awareness.

It is a journey from not knowing to knowing. There are methodologies to understand, to establish logics. We may refer the text “DIG DRISHYA VIVEKA which has been written some 700 years back.

  • We see the world through eyes. Eyes are distinct from what it sees. Here, eyes are the seer.
  • I am aware of the eyes , that eyes are object. Mind is seer and eyes are now object. Eyes and mind are separate.

Let us think deeply. Mind is the observer of the body , because it observes through all sense organs. it is seer here. Let us observe Mind now. Mind itself which constitutes our thoughts, feeling ,emotions , ideas are changing, which are never static. I am aware that whether,

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

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

Now that I am distinct from this Body and Mind . So, Who Am I?

Answer is :– I Am the Awareness. I Am the Witness of the Body and Mind. This Self, this pure Subject, is not an object. It cannot be known. I AM always Awareness, not something else.

Conclusion:

The knowing of consciousness with which we experience, cannot be divided into parts. Trace the “I” to its origin after removing all experiences to the essence of nature of our minds, we will land into same Consciousness. Our finite minds overlap, and we call that the outside world and part of minds which do not overlap, we call it that thoughts and feelings. Our minds are the elements of the Universal consciousness. We do share the world of same Consciousness.

List of Books : Recommended For Interested Readers:

  1. Thought As a System: By DAVID BOHM
  2. BIOCENTRISM:– How life and consciousness are the keys to Understanding the True Nature of The Universe: By Robert Lanza, MD with BOB BERMAN
  3. Beyond Biocentrism- Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness and the illusion of Death. By Robert Lanza, MD with BOB BERMAN
  4. Entangled Minds- Extra Sensory Experiences in A Quantum Reality. By DEAN RADIN.
  5. Expand Your Consciousness through DAVID K MILLER
  6. QUANTUM ENIGMA -Physics Encounter Consciousness: By Bruce Rosen Blum and Fred Kuttner.
  7. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  8. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  9. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  10. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  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 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 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 Katha Upanishad :Part 4C of 4: -The Concluding Part-

Nachiketas at the door of Death

Preface: Patience is essential to read this article:

  • 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: Death is a Teacher:

Katha Upanishad (Kathopanishad) is one among ten principal Upanishads and part of Krishna Yajurveda. Katha Upanishad consists of two Adhayas (Chapters). Each Chapter has three Vallis (sections). This is a legendary story of a little boy Nachiketas, barely ten years old, son of Sage Vajasravasa (also known as sage Gautama), who meets Yama (The Death God in Hindu philosophy). Through conversation, Yama reveals Supreme Knowledge to Nachiketas, the knowledge of the nature Atman and the path to gain Wisdom,  Moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

Earlier I have published Valli-1 to Valli-3 of Book-1 and Valli-1, Valli-2 of Book-2. The links are given below:-

1.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-1 of 4

2.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-2 of 4

3.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-3 of 4

4.Essence of Katha Upanishad : Part-4A of 4

5.Essence of Katha Upanishad :part 4B of 4

In this final part, I will discuss in details on BOOK-2; Valli -3.

The entire Sanskrit version of Katha Upanishad (Sanskrit Mantras) are available in this site: Link is Here:

Glorify The Supreme:

In the previous chapters we have seen that Lord Yama has answered to all the boons of Nachiketas, where Third Boon was the main for attaining Supreme “Brahman”. In the Book-2, Section-2, we have seen that answer to the Third Boon has two distinct stages for the attainment of The Supreme.

  1. Sadhana: The path where the seeker struggles for Self improvement.
  2. Attainment of the Goal of Non-Duality.

In this final section we will see the Glorious Vision of Life:

Eternal creation is a Tree:

Mantra-2.3.1: Eternal creation is a Tree, having its roots above and branches below; This is the ancient Ashwattha (peepul) Tree. That is verily Purity Itself, living in all things and beyond. That is Brahman. That is also called the Immortal. In That rest all the worlds; and none can Transcend That. This is verily That!

The “Terror of the Thunderbolt”!

Mantra-2.3.2: This whole Universe, with whatever is in it, emerges from Brahman and vibrates with Prana. It instils great terror, hangs like a thunderbolt overhead. Those who know this become Immortal.

Order in the Cosmos!

Mantra-2.3.3: For fear of Him, Fire burns; for fear of Him, the SUN shines; for fear of Him rain pours, proceed Indra and Vayu; for fear of Him proceeds Death, the Fifth (Panchamah).

Rebirth continues until Realization.

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

“Four Worlds of Reality”

Mantra-2.3.5: As in the mirror, so it is within one’s own Self; as in a dream, so in the world of forefathers; as in a reflection seen in water, so in the world of the Gandharvas; as between light and shade, so in the world of Brahma.

The Dissimilarity of the Senses & Self:

Mantra-2.3.6: Having known, the senses does not belong to the Self, but to the Elements; as also their rising and setting, and that they all have separate origins, the man of intelligence does not come to grief.

Steps from Sense Organs towards Total Mind:

Mind is above Sense:

Mantra-2.3.7: The mind is superior to the sense organs; the intellect is superior to the mind; Nature (“Mahat”) is superior to the intellect; the Unmanifested is superior to the Nature(“Mahat”).

Ladder from Total Mind(Hiranyagarbha) to Attriubuteless Brahman:

Mantra-2.3.8: But superior to the Unmanifested is the Purusha; who is unconditioned,  filling all things and indeed without attributes, knowing whom, a man becomes freed and moves towards Immortality.

No Eye can see Him, nor has He a face to be seen:

Mantra-2.3.9: His Form does not exist within the range of vision; none can behold Him with eyes(senses). But, through Meditation, by controlling the mind with the Intellect, He can be found in the Feart (By intuition is He revealed ).Those who know this become Immortal.

Total withdrawal of the Senses:

Mantra-2.3.10: When mind and senses are at rest, when the discrimination of the Intellect is finished, when the “Five” come to rest, the Five senses together with the mind, and the intellect, too stops its functioning, that state (state of intuition) is said to be the highest, the Final Condition.

Yoga Brings – A Quite Mind:

Mantra-2.3.11: That is Yoga, declare the wise ones, where there is firm control over the senses, and one is freed from the fluctuations of the mind. When that condition is reached, the Yogi can do no wrong. Before it is reached, Yoga seems union and again disunion.

The Final Gate into Eternity:

Mantra-2.3.12: He can not be known through Discourse, nor through speech, nor through mind, nor through the eye can It be attained. Apart from Him who speaks of It as ” He Exists” finds Him. How can a man who does not believe so find Him?

Faith Earns Favour to go Further:

Mantra-2.3.13: i) The Self should be realized first as ” It Exists”; and then, ii) as ” It Really is” in essence. Of these two, when “It Exists” is believed or accepted on faith, then ” It Really is ” become more favourable to one, the Truth dawns.

When the Desires of Heart is finished, it becomes Immortal:

Mantra-2.3.14: When the desires are given up totally, man still in the Body, is united with the Self and the mortal becomes Immortal, and he attains Brahman even here, while living.

 This alone is the Law:

Mantra-2.3.15: When the knot of the heart is cut, the mortal becomes Immortal. This alone is the Teaching.

[Above Mantra has an inner meaning. Knot of the Heart is symbolical. It is meant to separate Ego from the Consciousness.]

Mantra-2.3.16: A hundred and one in number are the channels of the Heart; Of them, towards the crown of the Head passes through one of them (the Sushumna). Going up through that channel, one gets Immortality. The others that have different directions, become the causes of Death.

Final Teaching

Mantra-2.3.17: God, the innermost Self, Of the size of the Thumb, the Purusha, the indwelling Self, is ever seated in the hearts of men. One should separate Him from One’s body; as the arrow maker strip the reed. Him, one should know as pure and Immortal. Him, one should know as pure as Immortal.

Conclusion of the Upanishad

Mantra-2.3.18: Nachiketas has been instructed by Lord Yama. He attained the Knowledge of the Self and also the whole process of Yoga. A knower of Brahman, free from all impurities, he has become freed forever from the grip of Death. Any other seeker, too, can become the same if he knows the inner Self in the same way.

Peace Mantra:

Mantra-2.3.19: May He protect us both ( by revealing knowledge)! May He take pleasure in us both! May we show courage together! May Spiritual Knowledge shine before us. May we never hate one another! OM! Peace, Peace and Peace be everywhere.

Conclusion:

Failure to comprehend the Essential Unity of Being is the Cause of Rebirth.

Why do we take rebirth or otherwise we can say we move from death to death. Why? It is due to wish of fulfilling desires that remain till death. But if we can realize the True Reality of the Self, the Eternal Self, from whom everything manifests, the desires get vanished, get dried up. All desires melt is the light of the Self. This is Nirvana. Nachiketas wanted to know, what happens to the Souls after death. Lord of Death ” Yama ” explained the reality through conversations between them. That is the Essence of Katha 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 Katha Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Katha Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. Commentary of Mandukya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  9. MANDUKYA Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  10. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  11. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  12. 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 Katha Upanishad :part 4B of 4

Preface: Patience is essential to read this article:

  • 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: Death is a Teacher:

Katha Upanishad belongs to Katha Branch of Krishna Yajurveda. Katha Upanishad is a favorite one in all ages and it is placed in third position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishads.

“Katha Upanishad” is divided in two parts( Adhyaya), each part consists of three Vallis(Sections). So far, I have published Valli-1 to Valli-3 of Book-1 and Valli-1 of Book-2. The links are given below:-

1.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-1 of 4

2.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-2 of 4

3.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-3 of 4

4.Essence of Katha Upanishad : Part-4A of 4

In this part, I will discuss in details on BOOK-2; Valli -2

॥ काठकोपनिषदि द्वितीयाध्याये द्वितीया वल्ली ॥

Mantra-1: A City with eleven gates (this body) belongs to the Unborn, Un flickering Consciousness. By meditating on HIM, one does not grieve, He is liberated and being free, He gains emancipation. [  एतद्वै तत् ] This is verily That !

Ekaa-dasha Dwaaram: The Eleven gates of the Body are: Seven openings on the Head[2 Eyes, 2 Ears, 2 Nostrils and 1 Mouth]; Three openings in the lower Body{The Naval, The Genital organ and The Anus}; One opening which is non-physical, positioned at the Crown of the Head, called Brahma-Randhra. 

Brahman: Everything and Everywhere!

Mantra-2: As the SUN, He dwells in the Heavens; as the AIR, He dwells in the Sky; as the FIRE, He dwells in the sacrificial alter (or on Earth); as a guest He dwells in a house. He dwells in Man, He dwells in the Gods, He dwells in the sacrifices, and He dwells in the Sky. He is born in the Water, on the Earth, from the sacrifice, and on the Mountains. HE is all that is True and Great.

Above Mantra teaches on Upasana( Meditation). It reminds that the Self is the same in all beings. That Self has no limits, no boundaries. The Whole Universe is it’s dwelling place.

Brahman: – Director of Prana & Deities:

Mantra-3: He( Brahman) sends Prana upwards; He throws the Apana downwards; that Adorable One seated in the Centre is He, that is worshipped by all the Gods.

Above Mantra gives a focus on the most important function of Supreme Self in our Body which animates by the power and energy provided by Prana, the Vital Life force. There are Five Pranas, among which two are most import which represent the incoming and outgoing Breath. Obviously other three Pranas are implied.

When the Body is negated, what remains?

Mantr-4: As this gets loosened or detached, the embodied Self, the indweller of the Body gets freed from the body. What then remains here? [एतद्वै तत् ] This is verily That !

When Prana is Negated, What Remains?

Mantra-5: Not by Prana, nor by Apana; does any mortal live; but it is some other that they live, on which these two depend.

When the Body Departs, What Remains?

Mantra-6: Well, now I will explain to thee this mysterious and ancient truth about Brahman. You wished to know, when death takes place, what becomes of the Soul? O Gautama?

Following Mantra gives the answer for the Boon-3, which was asked by Nachiketas, which was about the mystery, the secret behind life and death.

Perspective-1: While in ignorance:

Mantra-7: Entering a womb, some embodied Souls are destined to have a Body; other Souls continue only as plants. It all happens as person’s Karma and Knowledge.

Perspective-2: When Knowledge Dawns:

The Purusha remains awake, while we are in sleep, He shapes the countless objects of our desire. He alone is Pure, He is Brahman; He alone is known as the Immortal. In Him rest all the worlds; verily, there is none who can transcend Him. [  एतद्वै तत् ]This is verily That !

The Transcendent Brahman:

Mantra-9 to Mantra-15 will now take you to the Transcendental Realm.

Mantra-9: Just as Fire, though one, entering the world, assumes various forms and shapes; so also the immanent Self of all beings, though one, assumes the form according to each shape it enters, and yet It remains beyond them(is Transcendent) .

Mantra-10: Just as AIR, though one, entering the world, assumes various forms and shapes; so also, the  immanent Self of all beings, though one, assumes the form according to each shape it enters, and yet It remains beyond them(it is Transcendent) .

Mantra-11: Just as the SUN, the eye of the whole world, is not tainted by sight and external defects, the immanent Self of all beings, though one, is not tainted by the sorrows of the world, as it is external to them, (it is Transcendent).

Above three verses teaches us the Upasana on three basic Elements in nature Fire(Agni), Air(Vayu) and The Sun (Sooryah). They are also regarded as the foremost among the Immanence and the Transcendence of the Supreme Self.  Immanence is the Self within a person and Transcendence is the Omnipresent Self.

Being One, Controlling All !

Mantra-12: One Supreme Ruler is the inner Self of all; This one quality appears in all individuals. The wise realize Him in their own hearts. To them belong Eternal Joy, to none else.

Mantra-13: He is the Eternal among the non-eternals, the Intelligence among the intelligent ones; Though One, He fulfil many desires. The wise realize Him in their own hearts. To them is Eternal peace, to none else.

The “Self” is Self-Luminous & Shines Variously:

Mantra-14: Nachiketas asks: “[  एतद्वै तत् ]  “This is That”- thus do the sages perceive; That indescribable highest Bliss. How shall I know That? Does It shine of Itself or does it shine by another light?”

Mantra-15: Lord Yama answers : ” The SUN does not shine there, nor the moon, nor the stars; nor the lightning, much less this lamp. When He shines, everything shines after HIM; by His light, all these Shine!”

॥ इति काठकोपनिषदि द्वितीयाध्याये द्वितीया वल्ली ॥

End of Katha Upanishad Second Book- Section-II(Dwitiya Adhaya: Valli-II)

काठकोपनिषदि द्वितीयाध्याये द्वितीया वल्ली 
        
पुरमेकादशद्वारमजस्यावक्रचेतसः ।
अनुष्ठाय न शोचति विमुक्तश्च विमुच्यते । एतद्वै तत् ॥ १॥

हँसः शुचिषद्वसुरन्तरिक्षसद्-
    होता वेदिषदतिथिर्दुरोणसत् ।
नृषद्वरसदृतसद्व्योमसद्
    अब्जा गोजा ऋतजा अद्रिजा ऋतं बृहत् ॥ २॥

ऊर्ध्वं प्राणमुन्नयत्यपानं प्रत्यगस्यति ।
मध्ये वामनमासीनं विश्वे देवा उपासते ॥ ३॥

अस्य विस्रंसमानस्य शरीरस्थस्य देहिनः ।
देहाद्विमुच्यमानस्य किमत्र परिशिष्यते । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ४॥

न प्राणेन नापानेन मर्त्यो जीवति कश्चन ।
इतरेण तु जीवन्ति यस्मिन्नेतावुपाश्रितौ ॥ ५॥

हन्त त इदं प्रवक्ष्यामि गुह्यं ब्रह्म सनातनम् ।
यथा च मरणं प्राप्य आत्मा भवति गौतम ॥ ६॥

योनिमन्ये प्रपद्यन्ते शरीरत्वाय देहिनः ।
स्थाणुमन्येऽनुसंयन्ति यथाकर्म यथाश्रुतम् ॥ ७॥

य एष सुप्तेषु जागर्ति कामं कामं पुरुषो निर्मिमाणः ।
तदेव शुक्रं तद्ब्रह्म तदेवामृतमुच्यते ।
तस्मिँल्लोकाः श्रिताः सर्वे तदु नात्येति कश्चन । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ८॥

अग्निर्यथैको भुवनं प्रविष्टो
    रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बभूव ।
एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा
    रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बहिश्च ॥ ९॥

वायुर्यथैको भुवनं प्रविष्टो
    रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बभूव ।
एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा
    रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बहिश्च ॥ १०॥

सूर्यो यथा सर्वलोकस्य चक्षुः
    न लिप्यते चाक्षुषैर्बाह्यदोषैः ।
एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा
    न लिप्यते लोकदुःखेन बाह्यः ॥ ११॥

एको वशी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा
    एकं रूपं बहुधा यः करोति ।
तमात्मस्थं येऽनुपश्यन्ति धीराः
    तेषां सुखं शाश्वतं नेतरेषाम् ॥ १२॥

नित्योऽनित्यानां चेतनश्चेतनानाम्
    एको बहूनां यो विदधाति कामान् ।
तमात्मस्थं येऽनुपश्यन्ति धीराः
    तेषां शान्तिः  शाश्वती नेतरेषाम् ॥ १३॥

तदेतदिति मन्यन्तेऽनिर्देश्यं परमं सुखम् ।
कथं नु तद्विजानीयां किमु भाति विभाति वा ॥ १४॥

न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं
    नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोऽयमग्निः ।
तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं
    तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति ॥ १५॥

  इति काठकोपनिषदि द्वितीयाध्याये द्वितीया वल्ली ॥

Conclusion:

Failure to comprehend the Essential Unity of Being is the Cause of Rebirth.

Why do we take rebirth or otherwise we can say we move from death to death. Why? It is due to wish of fulfilling desires that remain till death. But if we can realize the True Reality of the Self, the Eternal Self, from whom everything manifests, the desires get vanished, get dried up. All desires melt is the light of the Self. This is Nirvana. Nachiketas wanted to know, what happens to the Souls after death. Lord of Death ” Yama ” explained the reality through conversations between them. That is the Essence of Katha 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 Katha Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Katha Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. Commentary of Mandukya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  9. MANDUKYA Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  10. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  11. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  12. 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 Katha Upanishad :part 4A of 4

Nachiketas at the door of Death

Preface: Patience is essential to read this article:

  • 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: Death is a Teacher:

Katha Upanishad belongs to Katha Branch of Krishna Yajurveda. Katha Upanishad is a favorite one in all ages and it is placed in third position in the list of Ten Principal Upanishads.

“Kata Upanishad” is divided in two ” parts( Adhyaya). Book-1 & Book-2. I have published  Essence of Book-1 in three parts. The links are given below:-

1.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-1 of 4

2.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-2 of 4

3.Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-3 of 4

In this part, I will discuss in details on BOOK-2; Valli -1

काठकोपनिषदि द्वितीयाध्याये – प्रथमा वल्ली :–

“Path to realization of Atman”

The Nature of Atman: 

Book-2 has 49 verses in total. It is subdivided into three chapters(Valli). This part contains 15 Mantras of Prathama Valli.

Know the Power of Knowledge:– But before that let us know two obstacles to Knowledge.

We the Human face two obstacles in life. Both are obstacles in the path of Enlightenment. They are:——–

a) The External world of Senses.

b) The internal world of Mind. 

BOOK-2 CHAPTER-1 :(Adhyaya-2: Valli-1)

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयम्भू-
    स्तस्मात्पराङ्पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चिद्धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्ष-
    दावृत्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ॥ १॥

Mantra1: Lord of Death Yama Said:” The Self-Existent created the senses out-going, therefore one looks outward, not into the atman within. A rare discriminating man arises, desirous of immortality, sees the atman within.”

Mantra-2: The ignorant man runs after pleasures, sinks into the entanglement of death; but the wise man seeking the immortality, does not run among things that die.

The Cognizer of Sense Experiences:

येन रूपं रसं गन्धं शब्दान् स्पर्शाꣳश्च मैथुनान् । 
एतेनैव विजानाति किमत्र परिशिष्यते । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ३॥

Mantra-3: By , that they are cognized. whatever form, taste, smell, sound, touch and sexual joy one encounters, is by that alone. What is there unknowable to That in this world? This is verily That. (एतद्वै तत् ~This is Mahavakya of this Text)

Witness of the Three States.

Mantra-4: The wise man by meditating upon the all pervading Self, understands the objects of Dream and those of Waking State. That Great Omnipresent Atman, Having realized this , the wise man goes beyond sorrow.

[We may refer Mandukya Upanishad, from where we can know about the different states of Consciousness: 1} Waking, 2) Dreaming, 3) Deep Sleep and 4) Turiya] Interested readers may please read my blog on Mandukya Upanishad:  The Link is Here:-- 

Mantra-4 presents the Self as the Witness of the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep. The Deep Sleep state is not mentioned as no objects are perceived in it. The perceiver is indicated as being the Self.

Mantra-5: He who knows that the enjoyer of this honey is one’s own dear Atman, the sustainer of his life, the Lord of the past and the future, no more thereafter does he ” wish to save himself”

Knowing the Truth, that the Individual Self, the eater of the fruit of action, is the Universal Self, maker of past and future, knows that he has nothing to fear.

Hiranyagarbha ~ Brahman in Subtle Creation:

Mantra-6: He is the “First-Born” of the Austerity of Brahma; He is born prior to the five elements; He enters and take his seat in the heart cavity, in the midst of the elements- He now truly Sees. This is verily That! [एतद्वै तत्]

This means that: the boundless power, source of every power, manifesting Itself as Life, entering into every Heart, living there among the elements, that is Self: “Brahman”

Mantra-7: It is She (Hiranyagarbha) from whom Prana is Born; She is the Enjoyer in the form of the Devas; She enters and takes her seat in the heart of cavity, in the midst of the elements-She is now truly Born. This is verily That![एतद्वै तत्]

The essence of the Mantra-6 & 7 has to be understood minutely.

यः पूर्वं तपसो जातमद्भ्यः पूर्वमजायत । 
गुहां प्रविश्य तिष्ठन्तं यो भूतेभिर्व्यपश्यत । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ६॥

 या प्राणेन संभवत्यदितिर्देवतामयी ।
 गुहां प्रविश्य तिष्ठन्तीं या भूतेभिर्व्यजायत । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ७॥

Mantra: 6 reflects the views in the perspective of Brahman and Mantra:7 views in the perspective of Human in the Earth.

“Hiranyagarbha” is Brahman Himself in a conditioned form. Hiranyagarbha is to be known as ” the First Born”(Poorvam Jaatam). ” Pranena Sambhavati” means from whom Prana is born.

The Tapasvin in Brahman is called Ishwara, which combines with the creative power called Maya at the Causal level. The first fruit of this union is “Hiranyagarbha”, which also is known as “Cosmic Womb” at the subtle level, who represents the Female potential to produce creation.

To understand the concept of Brahman-Ishwara-Hiranyagarbha-Virat(The creation), I request to read my another blog " The Divine Art", the link is here:--

Three types of Worshippers:

अरण्योर्निहितो जातवेदा गर्भ इव सुभृतो गर्भिणीभिः 
। दिवे दिवे ईड्यो जागृवद्भिर्हविष्मद्भिर्मनुष्येभिरग्निः । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ८॥

Mantra-8: Lodged between two pieces of wood(known as Arani), is the Fire of Knowledge that signifies Omniscience. It is like a foetus that is well-protected(nourished), there in womb of pregnant women. Day by day, it is carefully tended and adored(worshipped). i) By the sleepless one (the awakened in his contemplations);ii) by the offers of oblations(the householder) and iii) by the men (Upasakas) who worship triple Fire               (Nachiketas Fire). This is verily That! [एतद्वै तत्]

Here is the mystic meaning of the above Mantra.

In ancient time, Fire was created by the ignition of two sticks-the upper and lower aranis are the two sections of the mathava which ignites fire and keeps it hidden in them. One stick can not generate Fire, but two are necessary. Jatavedas means Agni (Fire). Just as rubbing is necessary to ignite Fire, some sort of igniting force is necessary to manifest Hiranyagarbha. We have Him in us; we carry Him with us always; just as pregnant women carry the foetus in their wombs wherever they go, we move about with Him, and we cannot live without Him. The Agni (Fire) is symbolically worshipped by the householders as the fivefold Agni which has become a Ritual only. People mistake this Agni, Earthly Fire as the real, instead of recognizing it as the Universal Fire. The Agni we worship is a symbol of the Vaishvanara-agni. Prana is Life manifesting itself as energies of various kinds, just as electricity can be manifest as heating or mechanical or other works. This mysterious living Being within individual bodies is That answer to Nachiketas’ question about Hiranyagarbha.

Essence of Mantra-6,7 & 8: The whole of Virat, the gross manifestation, has to be considered as being nothing but Brahman Himself. The same applied earlier to Hiranyagarbha. Now this is extended to include that even Virat too stand for Brahman alone.

Brahman- The Absolute:

Mantra-9: That from which the SUN (Hiranyagarbha) arises, and into which it merges or sets- That upon which depend all the Deities. None ever transcends That (The Supreme Brahman). This is verily That! [एतद्वै तत्]

Brahman is Both Here & Thereafter:

Mantra-10: That which is here is thereafter; whatever is there, is likewise here. He goes from death to death[Transmigrates], who sees any difference between there and here.

One should not differentiate and categorize “Brahman”-the Supreme. Brahman is Non-Dual and therefore can not be differentiated. He can only be known as one Homogenous Whole. He is both ” There and Here” . He is both in conditioned and unconditioned state. He is transcendent as well as immanent respectively. He is beyond as well as within.

Train your Mind that– there is but ONE; he  who divides the ONE, moves from Death to Death.

Mantra-11: This is to attained through the Mind alone; There is no diversity here whatsoever. He goes from death to death; who sees any difference between “Here & There”.

The “Thumb-Sized Brahman”

Why and whom to fear?

Mantra-12: The Purusha of the size of a thumb; resides in the middle(core) of the body. He is the Lord of the past and future; knowing Him one does not fear thereafter. This is verily That! [एतद्वै तत्]

Mantra-13: The Purusha of the size of a thumb; is like a light without smoke. He is the Lord of the past and future. He Exists today, and He will exist tomorrow. This is verily That! [एतद्वै तत्]

Mantra-14: Just as water rained on inaccessible height, gets dispersed as it runs to lower regions; so also one who perceives the selves differently, cannot avoid running after them endlessly.

The Self of the wise men remains pure.

Mantra-15: Just as pure water when into pure ; it is poured, it becomes verily pure water only; so also the pure thoughts of men of knowledge, poured on the Self, remain pure, O Gautama.


  *काठकोपनिषदि द्वितीयाध्याये - प्रथमा वल्ली*

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयम्भू-
    स्तस्मात्पराङ्पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चिद्धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्ष-
    दावृत्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ॥ १॥

पराचः कामाननुयन्ति बाला-
    स्ते मृत्योर्यन्ति विततस्य पाशम् ।
अथ धीरा अमृतत्वं विदित्वा
    ध्रुवमध्रुवेष्विह न प्रार्थयन्ते ॥ २॥

येन रूपं रसं गन्धं शब्दान् स्पर्शाꣳश्च मैथुनान् ।
एतेनैव विजानाति किमत्र परिशिष्यते । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ३॥

स्वप्नान्तं जागरितान्तं चोभौ येनानुपश्यति ।
महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति ॥ ४॥

य इमं मध्वदं वेद आत्मानं जीवमन्तिकात् ।
ईशानं भूतभव्यस्य न ततो विजुगुप्सते । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ५॥

यः पूर्वं तपसो जातमद्भ्यः पूर्वमजायत ।
गुहां प्रविश्य तिष्ठन्तं यो भूतेभिर्व्यपश्यत । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ६॥

या प्राणेन संभवत्यदितिर्देवतामयी ।
गुहां प्रविश्य तिष्ठन्तीं या भूतेभिर्व्यजायत । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ७॥

अरण्योर्निहितो जातवेदा गर्भ इव सुभृतो गर्भिणीभिः ।
दिवे दिवे ईड्यो जागृवद्भिर्हविष्मद्भिर्मनुष्येभिरग्निः । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ८॥

यतश्चोदेति सूर्योऽस्तं यत्र च गच्छति ।
तं देवाः सर्वेऽर्पितास्तदु नात्येति कश्चन । एतद्वै तत् ॥ ९॥

यदेवेह तदमुत्र यदमुत्र तदन्विह ।
मृत्योः स मृत्युमाप्नोति य इह नानेव पश्यति ॥ १०॥

मनसैवेदमाप्तव्यं नेह नानाऽस्ति किंचन ।
मृत्योः स मृत्युं गच्छति य इह नानेव पश्यति ॥ ११॥

अङ्गुष्ठमात्रः पुरुषो मध्य आत्मनि तिष्ठति ।
ईशानं भूतभव्यस्य न ततो विजुगुप्सते । एतद्वै तत् ॥ १२॥

अङ्गुष्ठमात्रः पुरुषो ज्योतिरिवाधूमकः ।
ईशानो भूतभव्यस्य स एवाद्य स उ श्वः । एतद्वै तत् ॥ १३॥

यथोदकं दुर्गे वृष्टं पर्वतेषु विधावति ।
एवं धर्मान् पृथक् पश्यंस्तानेवानुविधावति ॥ १४॥

यथोदकं शुद्धे शुद्धमासिक्तं तादृगेव भवति ।
एवं मुनेर्विजानत आत्मा भवति गौतम ॥ १५॥

  इति काठकोपनिषदि द्वितीयाध्याये प्रथमा वल्ली ॥

Conclusion:

Failure to comprehend the Essential Unity of Being is the Cause of Rebirth.

Why do we take rebirth or otherwise we can say we move from death to death. Why? It is due to wish of fulfilling desires that remain till death. But if we can realize the True Reality of the Self, the Eternal Self, from whom everything manifests, the desires get vanished, get dried up. All desires melt is the light of the Self. This is Nirvana. Nachiketas wanted to know, what happens to the Souls after death. Lord of Death ” Yama ” explained the reality through conversations between them. That is the Essence of Katha 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 Katha Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. Katha Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. Commentary of Mandukya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  9. MANDUKYA Upanishad By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  10. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  11. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  12. Information available on internet.

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

 

Essence of Aitareya Upanishad: Part-B

Disclaimer:

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

Introduction:

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

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

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

ऐतरेयोपनिषत्

वाङ् मे मनसि प्रतिष्ठिता मनो मे वाचि प्रतिष्ठितमाविरावीर्म एधि ॥

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

॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥

KHANDA-II (Chapter-4)

Three Births of the Self [ Three incarnations]:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verse: 4.5- “Breaking Through Iron Fetters”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KHANDA-III(Chapter-5)

PrajnAnaM Brahma: ” Consciousness is Brahman”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verse: 5.2- ” Associated Consciousness at Individual level “

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

Sixteen faculties are as below.

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

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

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

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

प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म :

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

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

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

प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म. This is one of the four MahaVakyas:

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

Verse: 5.4- ” Jivanmukti & Kramamukti”

 एतेन प्राज्ञेनाऽऽत्मनाऽस्माल्लोकादुत्क्रम्यामुष्मिन्स्वर्गे लोके सर्वान्
कामानाप्त्वाऽमृतः समभवत् समभवत् ॥ ४॥

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

Verse: 6- ” The Peace invocation”

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

॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥

                       ॥ इत्यैतरोपनिषदि तृतीयोध्यायः ॥

The End of Aitareya Upanishad.

Recommended readings:

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

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

 

Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-2 of 4

Disclaimer:

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

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

ॐ ॥ अथ कठोपनिषद् ॥

प्रथमाध्याये द्वितीया वल्लीIntroduction:

In Essence of Katha Upanishad: Part-1 of 4 , Section-1/Chapter-1 has been discussed. In this part we will discuss second Valli of first Adhaya.(Section-2/Chapter-1- from verse -1 to verse-25). Text is lengthy, since all the verses are covered to know the Essence of Katha Upanishad. Readers are requested to read with patience. My efforts will be successful, if you like the content.

Two Paths in Human Life: ” The Good and the Pleasant” # SREYAS & PREYAS #

अन्यच्छ्रेयोऽन्यदुतैव प्रेय-
    स्ते उभे नानार्थे पुरुषँ सिनीतः ।
तयोः श्रेय आददानस्य साधु
    भवति हीयतेऽर्थाद्य उ प्रेयो वृणीते ॥ १॥

श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतः 
    तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः । 
श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीते 
    प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते ॥ २॥

Lord Yama said ” The preferable (Sreyas=श्रेय ) and the pleasurable (Preyas= प्रेयो ) both approach the mortal man. The good is one, the pleasant is another. These two serves divergent purposes. Both have commands. Who follows the good, attains sanctity; who follows the pleasant drops out of the race.” Every man faces both. The intelligent selects the electable in reference to the delectable. Choosing is always a function of the intellect, not the mind. The non intelligent person(मन्दो ) , driven by mind looks for short time happiness and chooses Preyas.[1.2.1-2]

Lord Yama praises Nachiketas’s discrimination:

स त्वं प्रियान्प्रियरूपांश्च कामान्
    अभिध्यायन्नचिकेतोऽत्यस्राक्षीः ।
नैतां सृङ्कां वित्तमयीमवाप्तो
    यस्यां मज्जन्ति बहवो मनुष्याः ॥ ३॥

Lord Yama said: Nachiketas! Having examined the pleasures, you have rejected them; turned from the vortex of the life and death. I showed you all the glitters there exists. You simply renounced them, where most people would have grabbed that I offered.[1.2.3]

Sreyas is Vidya(wisdom) and Preyas is Avidya (ignorance).

दूरमेते विपरीते विषूची
    अविद्या या च विद्येति ज्ञाता ।
विद्याभीप्सिनं नचिकेतसं मन्ये
    न त्वा कामा बहवोऽलोलुपन्त ॥ ४॥

अविद्यायामन्तरे वर्तमानाः 
    स्वयं धीराः पण्डितंमन्यमानाः । 
दन्द्रम्यमाणाः परियन्ति मूढा 
    अन्धेनैव नीयमाना यथान्धाः ॥ ५॥

Lord Yama continues: ” Diverging roads: one is called ignorance and the other is called wisdom. Nachiketas! you turn towards wisdom. Being an aspirant for wisdom, do I consider you to be, O Nachiketas! Fools brag of their knowledge; proud, ignorant, deluded in many crooked ways, blind led by the blind, go round and round.[1.2.4-5]

Preyas: A false Vision:

न साम्परायः प्रतिभाति बालं
    प्रमाद्यन्तं वित्तमोहेन मूढम् ।
अयं लोको नास्ति पर इति मानी
    पुनः पुनर्वशमापद्यते मे ॥ ६॥

न साम्परायः प्रतिभाति बालं => na saam-paraayah prati-bhaati baalam” :- Meaning of the line is that, the means for the attainment of the long term goal are not revealed to those who have a short term goal. What can the money-maddened ignorant know of the future? This is the only world, and none hereafter- the fool thinks in this manner. I kill him again and again. (पुनः पुनर्वशमापद्यते मे ~ Poonah Poonah vasham aapadyate me). Remain in the cycle of birth and death.[1.2.6]

Wonder Teacher and Wonder Disciple:

श्रवणायापि बहुभिर्यो न लभ्यः
    श‍ृण्वन्तोऽपि बहवो यं न विद्युः ।
आश्चर्यो वक्ता कुशलोऽस्य लब्धा
    आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता कुशलानुशिष्टः ॥ ७॥

Lord Yama says: “Some have never heard of the Self, some have heard but can not find Him. Who finds Him is a world’s wonder, who expounds Him is a world’s wonder, who inherits Him from his Master is a world’s wonder. No man of common mind can teach Him; such men dispute one against another. But when the uncommon man speaks, dispute is over. Because the Self is a fine substance, He slips from the mind and deludes imagination. It is a wonder to find that rare expounder , who is proficient to teach , also it is wonder to find that rare listener who is proficient to grasp the teaching.”[1.2.7]

Principles in Spiritual teaching:

न नरेणावरेण प्रोक्त एष
    सुविज्ञेयो बहुधा चिन्त्यमानः ।
अनन्यप्रोक्ते गतिरत्र नास्ति
    अणीयान् ह्यतर्क्यमणुप्रमाणात् ॥ ८॥

नैषा तर्केण मतिरापनेया 
    प्रोक्तान्येनैव सुज्ञानाय प्रेष्ठ । 
यां त्वमापः सत्यधृतिर्बतासि 
    त्वादृङ्नो भूयान्नचिकेतः प्रष्टा ॥ ९॥

Beloved! logic brings no man to the Self. But when taught by one who sees no Duality, then no doubts and variations will arise. नरेणावरेण “प्रोक्त एष सुविज्ञेयो बहुधा चिन्त्यमानः ” This knowledge can not be obtained from the inferior instructor( who has not attained Brahman). “अणीयान् ह्यतर्क्यमणुप्रमाणात् “ means: Indeed, It can not be argued that It is subtler than the subtlest. You have obtained that wisdom, as you are already soundly fixed in the Truth. [1.2.8-9]

Lord Yama’s attainment, when He was young: [1.2.10]

जानाम्यहं शेवधिरित्यनित्यं
    न ह्यध्रुवैः प्राप्यते हि ध्रुवं तत् ।
ततो मया नाचिकेतश्चितोऽग्निः
    अनित्यैर्द्रव्यैः प्राप्तवानस्मि नित्यम् ॥ १०॥

कामस्याप्तिं जगतः प्रतिष्ठां 
    क्रतोरानन्त्यमभयस्य पारम् । 
स्तोममहदुरुगायं प्रतिष्ठां दृष्ट्वा 
    धृत्या धीरो नचिकेतोऽत्यस्राक्षीः ॥ ११॥

Lord Yama explains here that impermanent means can not bring permanent. Because man can not find the Eternal through pleasures, means Preyas. Yama says: ” I have sought Nachiketas fire in these pleasures and worshiping that alone, found the Eternal. The fulfilment of all desires, the conquest of the world, freedom from fear, unlimited pleasure, magical powers, all were yours , O Nachiketas!, being full of wisdom and firm resolve, you have rejected them all.”[1.2.10-11]

The means to attain the Supreme Self:

तं दुर्दर्शं गूढमनुप्रविष्टं
    गुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् ।
अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन देवं
    मत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १२॥

एतच्छ्रुत्वा सम्परिगृह्य मर्त्यः 
    प्रवृह्य धर्म्यमणुमेतमाप्य । 
स मोदते मोदनीयँ हि लब्ध्वा 
    विवृतँ सद्म नचिकेतसं मन्ये ॥ १३॥

Lord Yama continues: “The wise meditating on God, concentrating their thought, discovering in the mouth of the cavern, deeper in the cavern (गुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम्), that Self, that ancient Self, difficult to imagine (तं दुर्दर्शं गूढमनुप्रविष्टं), more difficult to understand, pass beyond joy and sorrow. Hearing from the teacher and comprehending, distinguishes nature from the Self. He then rejoices, for that he has obtained the very cause of all joy. I think, the abode of Brahman , your gates of joy stands open.”[1.2.12-13]

The concept conveyed here is that; the Self is Real even though it can not be perceived through senses and mind. It is said that He is the most hidden of all hidden secrets. People go to different places seeking Him, but He is hidden in the bottom of the seeker himself. Seeker carries Him wherever he goes, yet he asks for Him. The cave represents the intellect. [deeper in the cavern (गुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम्) : पुराणम् = pooranam which means ” from the time immemorial” ] By means of the science of inner Self, the Supreme Deity within is meditated upon (अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन देवं). The wise man who recognizes That Supreme Being, comes to renounce both joys and sorrows (मत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ).

Boon 3: A reminder: Nachiketas says to Lord Yama:

अन्यत्र धर्मादन्यत्राधर्मा-
    दन्यत्रास्मात्कृताकृतात् ।
अन्यत्र भूताच्च भव्याच्च
    यत्तत्पश्यसि तद्वद ॥ १४॥

Nachiketas asked: ” What lies beyond right and wrong, beyond cause and effect, beyond past and future , tell me of that thing as you see it” [1.2.14]

The Goal of all Spiritual efforts- “OM”

सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति
    तपाꣳसि सर्वाणि च यद्वदन्ति ।
यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति
    तत्ते पदꣳ सङ्ग्रहेण ब्रवीम्योमित्येतत् ॥ १५॥

Brahman is AUM:

Yama said: ” The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence, will tell you briefly: The word is AUM [1.2.15]

एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ब्रह्म एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम् ।
एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ज्ञात्वा यो यदिच्छति तस्य तत् ॥ १६॥
एतदालम्बनँ श्रेष्ठमेतदालम्बनं परम् । 
एतदालम्बनं ज्ञात्वा ब्रह्मलोके महीयते ॥ १७॥

एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ब्रह्म : = This word alone is verily Saguna Brahman. एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम्: = This word alone is verily the Nirguna Brahman. This syllable AUM(ॐ) is indeed Brahman. This syllable is the Highest, Eternal. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. एतदालम्बनं ज्ञात्वा ब्रह्मलोके महीयते : = This word is the ultimate foundation. Who finds it is adored among saints.[1.2.16-17]


The Yoga of the Self: The Nature of Atman:

Following two slokas are also seen in second Adhaya of Bhagvad Geeta:

न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चि-
    न्नायं कुतश्चिन्न बभूव कश्चित् ।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
    न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ १८॥

हन्ता चेन्मन्यते हन्तुँ हतश्चेन्मन्यते हतम् ।
उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायँ हन्ति न हन्यते ॥ १९॥

The knowing Self is not born; It does not die. It has not sprung from anything; nothing has sprung from It. Birth less, eternal, everlasting, and ancient, It is not killed when the body is killed.[1.2.18]
If the killer thinks he kills and if the killed man thinks he is killed, neither of these apprehends aright. The Self kills not, nor is it killed.[1.2.19]

Self-Knowledge-1 : Majesty of the Self: –

अणोरणीयान्महतो महीया-
    नात्माऽस्य जन्तोर्निहितो गुहायाम् ।
तमक्रतुः पश्यति वीतशोको
    धातुप्रसादान्महिमानमात्मनः ॥ २०॥

Atman, smaller than the small, greater than the great, is hidden in the hearts of all living creatures. A man who is free from desires beholds the majesty of the Self through tranquility of the senses and the mind and becomes free from grief.(1.2.20)

Let us put it mathematically: “smaller than the small, greater than the great”. Suppose n is a number, and we consider two loops. n=n+1 and n=n-1 in two different cases.
case 1. n+1> n ; in the loop n=n+1, n approaches to ∞ (infinity)
case 2. n-1 < n; in the loop n=n-1, n approaches to zero; ε (epsilon) but ≠ 0 . This example will just help to imagine the vastness of Brahman.
Planck length, the smallest in size = 1.6 x 1035 meters. Planck time, the smallest time = 1044seconds. Volume of the observable Universe is 3.566×1080 m3

आसीनो दूरं व्रजति शयानो याति सर्वतः ।
कस्तं मदामदं देवं मदन्यो ज्ञातुमर्हति ॥ २१॥

अशरीरँ शरीरेष्वनवस्थेष्ववस्थितम् ।
महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति ॥ २२॥

Though sitting, He travels; though sleeping, yet everywhere. Who but you and I , Death can comprehend that Supreme who is beyond joy and sorrow.[1.2.21]
The wise man, having realized Atman as dwelling within impermanent bodies but itself bodiless, vast, and all-pervading, does not grieve.(1.2.22)

The sole condition: Choose only the Self:

नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्यो
    न मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन ।
यमेवैष वृणुते तेन लभ्यः
    तस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूꣳ स्वाम् ॥ २३॥

नाविरतो दुश्चरितान्नाशान्तो नासमाहितः ।
नाशान्तमानसो वाऽपि प्रज्ञानेनैनमाप्नुयात् ॥ २४॥

The Self is not known through discourse, splitting of hairs, learning however great; He comes to the man He loves; takes that man’s body for his own. [1.2.23]
He who has not first turned away from wickedness, who is not tranquil and subdued, and whose mind is not at peace, can not attain Atman. It is realized only through the knowledge of Reality.[1.2.24]

यस्य ब्रह्म च क्षत्रं च उभे भवत ओदनः ।
मृत्युर्यस्योपसेचनं क इत्था वेद यत्र सः ॥ २५॥  

He has made mere preachers( Brahmanas) and soldiers(Kshatriyas) His food, death it’s condiment; how can a common man find Him? This verse means that How can one know thus as to where the Self is, for which both the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas become food, and for which death takes the place of curry. Above mantra (verse-25) has an intellectual in depth inner meaning, which need to be elaborated.

The Brahmanas and Kshatriyas represent knowledge and power. But that knowledge is not omniscience and power is not the authority.उभे भवत ओदनः = means both become food ( odanah = boiled rice). मृत्युर्यस्योपसेचनं = means , for which mrtyuh, death becomes upasecanam, supplement to the food, being unfit even to be food. क इत्था वेद यत्र सः = means kah, who – being a man with worldly intellect, and devoid of the disciplines described above; veda knows; ittha, in this way- like the man endowed with above mentioned disciplines; yatra, as to where The Self, the eater-destroyer of the Universe-exists in Its own glory. Who knows It as such? In other words, it can be said as ” In the case of Atman, existence is general and absolute. This is paramarthika-satta. In it , individuality ( Brahmanas and Kshatriyas ) is ruled out. As such death has no meaning there; death is dissolved in it. Such Atman-who can know where He really is? “

॥ इति काठकोपनिषदि प्रथमाध्याये द्वितीया वल्ली ॥

***End of Second Valli of first Adhaya***


Recommended readings:

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

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

Essence of Kena Upanishad (KENOPANISHAD)

Essence of Kena Upanishad: 

Disclaimer:

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

Introduction: – 

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

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

Shanti Path:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story in short. Third part: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

  The fundamental question: Who we are ⁉️ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 First sloka of DRIG-DRISHYA VIVEKA: – 

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

Analysis: 

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

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

I am aware that whether, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion: 

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

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

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

Recommended readings:

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

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

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