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 MUNDAKA Upanishad: Part-2-A

Disclaimer:

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

Introduction:

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

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

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

 

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

॥ मुण्डकोपनिषत् ॥

Peace Mantra:

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

॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

॥ ॐ ब्रह्मणे नमः ॥

॥ द्वितीय मुण्डके प्रथमः खण्डः ॥

Thus Begins the First Section of the Second Canto

Sparks from the Flaming FIRE :

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

दिव्यो ह्यमूर्तः पुरुषः स बाह्याभ्यन्तरो ह्यजः ।
अप्राणो ह्यमनाः शुभ्रो ह्यक्षरात् परतः परः ॥ २॥
Spark of the Flaming Fire

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

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

2.1.2 Absolute Nature of Brahman:

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

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

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

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

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

2.1.4: Brahman as Virat- the Gross Macrocosmic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.1.6: Origin of Karma Kanda Rituals:

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

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

2.1.7: Origin of Upasana Kanda Rituals

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

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

2.1.8: “The Secret of Groups of Seven”

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

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

2.1.9: Our Physical World:

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

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

2.1.10: Brahman and Universe is ONE.

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

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

॥ इति मुण्डकोपनिषदि द्वितीयमुण्डके प्रथमः खण्डः ॥

Conclusion:

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

Recommended readings:

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

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