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

GURUKUL

Disclaimer:

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

Introduction:

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

Sheeksha Valli: Science of Vedic Chanting:

शीक्षावल्ली:

Section-1: Peace Invocation from The Yajur Veda:

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

Section-2: Sheeksha –Vedic Phonetics

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

Section-3:Third Section : Significance of Combinations

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

Prayer by Teacher and Student

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

Now therefore Meditation (Upasana) on Sandhees:

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

Meditation-1 :What is this Universe?

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

Meditation-2 :What is Light(Luminosity)?

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

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

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

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

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

Meditation-5 :What is language?

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

Summary of Third Section:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary of the Fourth Section:

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

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

Conclusion:

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

Recommended readings:

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

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

What is Joy? (Part-1)

Preface:

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

☆The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my experiences and self realization.
☆I found some link between modern science and statements of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth whatever we say.
☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
♡ Having gone through the sacred books/ancient texts translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I am trying to share the subject matter as I understood in very concise form.
You may find it boring or interesting, dull or exciting, but my intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. Please give your suggestions for the shortcomings and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts.  There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
♡ This is my second blog. Will be waiting for your support and encouragement.
Please share your feedback at — arun7663@gmail.com : Regards. Namaste.

PEACE MANTRA “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”.

This article is about “Joy”. Definition of One unit ofHuman Joy” as mentioned in Taittiriya Upanishad.

Lets look into the section VIII of Brahmananda Valli, the second part of Taittiriya Upanishad which is one of among 10 Principal Upanishads.

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. Any living creature will seek comfort zone with all good happenings all the time. Among all creatures, Human is considered to be the most intelligent creatures of this world. We the human being, though always search for joy and always try for a life with full satisfaction, yet we can not achieve both joy and satisfaction permanently. Joys and sorrows come and go like waves’ crest and trough.

According to Vedanta, the goal of Human is ” Attyantika Dukshya Nibritti, 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. According to measurement model, it will take us to the highest level for clear conception about Joy. Very interestingly and mathematically described in such a fashion that one will understand and find what is Joy in reality.

Part of Sloka starts like this:-

2. seisa ananda mimAMsA bhabati….which means ” This is the enquiry for Joy(Bliss)

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

Call his joy as “eko maanusha aanandah” means one unit of human joy

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” . Thus the standard unit of Human joy is defined. We will now see what next is in the sacred text.

So we have now one unit of human joy for further enquiry, further analysis. Before proceeding further, we will analyze 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, vigor 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 ). There are higher worlds beyond this world like heavens which is believed by most of the religions. I will write about those Astral planes in my other blog. However we should understand the concept of Joy in actuality.

Now we will move to the next part of the sloka.

Sloka continues :-

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Sloka Continues: 

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. Here is my Authority.[** End of Sloka 2.8 of Taittiriya Upanishad.]

Let us now analyze 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”.

Continue reading What is Joy? (Part-1)