Essence of Taittiriya Upanishad – Bhrigu Valli :

Introduction:

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

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

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

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

Peace invocation from Krishna Yajur Veda:

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

Anuvaka-1:

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

Anuvaka-2: Bhrigu returns for more:

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

Anuvaka-3 : Prana is Brahman.

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

Anuvaka-4: Mind is Brahman.

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

Anuvaka-5: Knowledge is Brahman.

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

Anuvaka-6: Bliss (Ananda) is Brahman.

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

The Tapas ends at Absolute Bliss:

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

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

Introduction to Anuvaka 7 to 10:

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

Anuvaka-7: Prana and Body as Food.

Photo by Sergei Akulich on Pexels.com

7.1:  Vow-1: Respect Food:

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

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

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

7.3: The Merit: Spiritual and material prosperity:

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

Anuvaka–8:

8.1: Vow-2  ” Do not reject Food”

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

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

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

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

8.3: The Merit: Spiritual and material prosperity:

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

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

9.1: Vow-3  “Store Food”

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

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

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

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

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

9.3: The Merit: Spiritual and material prosperity:

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

Interpretation of Anuvaka-7 to 9:

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

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

1.Abiding by the Law of Dharma:

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

2.Abiding by the Law of Karma:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upasana upon Body.

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

Upasana on Nature.

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

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

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

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

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

10.6 Song of Bhrigu:

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

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

Who knows this, knows Brahman.

॥ इति भृगुवल्ली समाप्ता ॥ The End of Bhrigu Valli

Peace invocation from Krishna Yajur Veda:

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

॥ हरिः ॐ ॥

Conclusion:

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

Recommended readings:

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

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

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

Disclaimer: 

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

Please read with patience to get the essence !!!

Introduction: 

This Part is known as Brahmananda Valli, second chapter of Taittiriya Upanishad. It has nine Anuvaka ( 9 sections). Anuvaka-1 to Anuvaka-6 (About the Five Sheaths has been discussed in Essence of Taittiriya Upanishad- Brahmananda Valli-Part-1A) . 

Here we will discuss from Anuvaka-7 to Anuvaka-9 and thus the End of Brahmananda Valli.

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

Key Words
Brahmananda Valli, Ananda, Bliss, Joy, vision of oneness, One unit of Human joy. The knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme

In this section we will discuss in details “What is Bliss” ?( The True Joy~ Ananda)

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

Anuvaka-7: A vision of Oneness is the sole condition that brings fearlessness.

Everything is Self-created. He is that essence. Drinking that essence, man rejoices. If man did not lose himself in that Joy. he could not breath, he could not live. Self is the sole giver of Joy. When man finds invisible, nameless, homeless, shapeless, he is no longer terrified. He becomes free from fear who attains such Oneness. But if the slightest ” Otherness” is allowed to enter then he is smitten with fear. That man, thinking himself wise, becomes terrified. Through fear of Brahman, Sun shines, rain pours, fire burns, wind blows, death speeds.

I have tried to project the concept in the figure drawn below:-

Anuvaka-8: What is JOY (Bliss) ?

Anuvaka has multiple slokas which are to be understood in depth. This article is about “Bliss (Ananda Joy)”. Definition of One unit ofHuman Joy” as mentioned in Taittiriya Upanishad.

We all know that our fundamental aim is to be always happy, joyous in our life. We always think of overcoming sufferings, miseries during different phases of life. We need permanent happiness which ordinarily is never seen. Joys and sorrows come and go like waves’ crest and trough.

According to Vedanta, the goal of Human is ” Attyantika Dukshya Nivritti, Paramananda praptyachya”. Complete cessation of sufferings and attainment of Bliss is the goal of everyone. In the Second part of the Brahmananda Valli, there is one section(section eight), known as Ananda Mimamsa which means an enquiry into the form of Supreme Bliss(Ananda). The Text first defines what is human joy and defines one unit measure, a standard unit of human joy. Then it explains about multiple units of this Joy at different levels and compare those amount of Joys(Bliss) with one revelation.

Part of Sloka starts like this:- 2. seisa ananda mimAMsA bhavati” which means ” This is the enquiry for Joy(Bliss)

3. yuvaasyaatsaadhuyuva aadhoayakaha aashishtho drathistho balishthah tasyeyam pruthvi sarva vittasyapoomasyaat sa eko maanusha aanandah”

1) Above sloka defines measurement of one unit of human joy this way:-Think of a young man, well educated ,ambitious, firm, strong, noble, and poses total wealth of this world. Call his joy as “eko maanusha aanandah” means one unit of human joy” .

So we have now one unit of human joy for further enquiry, further analysis. Before proceeding further, we will analyse the definition of one unit of human joy. The first point to be noted here is that, the first condition is, the Man should be young. Why young? Because youth is the ideal condition in one’s life to enjoy ,since at young age , body holds full strength, vigour and vitality. Looks very attractive, body heals faster and posses all the benefits of physical works. Second condition is that the youth should be well versed, ambitious, firm, strong, noble and have the wealth of the entire world. We may imagine him as the King of this world. The Joy of such a person may be assumed as one unit of human Joy which is maximum possible Joy of any human in this world. According to Vedanta, even more than this Joy is possible, but not in this world ( loka /plane/heavens and also known as Astral Planes ). However we should understand the concept of Joy in actuality.

Sloka continues :-

2) A hundredfold of that Human joy is now unit measure of Human Gandharvas, joy of those brought to the celestial choir (Gandharva loka) by their good deeds. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(100)

3) A hundredfold joy of Human Gandharvas is now unit measure of joy of celestial Gandharvas. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(10000)

4) A hundredfold joy of celestial Gandharvas is now unit measure of joy of manes (fore fathers), living in their eternal paradise (pitri loka). A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(1000000)

5) Multiply that one unit of joy of pitri loka hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Heaven born gods. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(100000000)

6) Multiply that one unit of joy of Heaven born gods hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Gods brought to godhead by their good deeds . A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(10000000000)

7) Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of gods brought to godhead by their good deeds. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(1000000000000)

8) Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of ruling gods . A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(100000000000000)

9) Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of god Indra (known as King of Heaven and also known as God of Thunder). A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(10000000000000000)

10) Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Brihaspati, who is known to be Guru of gods. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(1000000000000000000)

11) Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Prajapati, who is known to be maker of gods. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(100000000000000000000)

12) Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Spirit. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.(100,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00=10^22)

Anuvaka-9: Reality in the core of man and the reality in the Sun is One and the same.

He who lives in Man, He who lives in the Sun are one. He who knows this spiritual joy, mind cannot grasp, nor tongue speak, fears nothing. He who knows this, cries goodbye to the world, goes beyond elemental Self, living Self, thinking Self, knowing Self, joyous Self.  ”  

Let us now analyse the amount of human joy which is One unit in this world. More happiness is possible. but not in this world. As we believe, beyond this world, there are higher worlds, higher planes commonly known as Etheric plane, Astral planes of different vibrational frequencies. All the planes are in ascending order according to the energy densities. Commonly we call it as Gandharva loka, Pitri loka, Deva loka, Indra loka, Brihaspati loka, Prajapati loka, Brahma loka etc. All these lokas* are in ascending order. According to description, joy of each loka is multiplied by hundred to that of joy of previous loka. Finally the figure of joy becomes billions of times greater than that of maximum human happiness. {*I will write about the lokas, higher worlds or higher planes separately with full details}

For the time being, let us assume and believe that those higher worlds exist and also believe in the text of the sloka. We may concentrate on the concept. What we have learnt from the above sacred text? We can have discussion over it. In the sloka, every time it has been pointed out that the amount of Joy in the new loka, remains same. The statement is “A man full of revelation, but without desire, has equal joy”.

Conclusion:

What does it mean :  “A man with full revelation, without desire has equal Joy”? 

For that we will go back to beginning of Taittiriya Upanishad book II, sloka 1The knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme”.

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

Recommended readings:

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

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

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

Disclaimer: 

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

Please read with patience to get the essence !!!

Introduction: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace Mantra

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

Anuvaka 1-2: 

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

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

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

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

The First Layer:  “AnnaMaya Kosha” :

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

The Second layer: “PranaMaya Kosha” :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Fifth layer:-  “AnandaMaya Kosha” :-

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

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

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

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

Brahman is the very cause of creation:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

Recommended readings:

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

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