V Subrahmanian, Tuesday, November 1, 2016 1:35 pm

S?tasamhit? B?had?ra?yaka Upani?at – Part 7

Part 7

The method of securing the Advaitic understanding by analyzing the relevant mantras of the B?had?ra?yaka Upani?at is being discussed.

Verse 44

???? ?????? ?????????? ? ?? ????????? ?

?????????? ?????????????????? ? ?? ??????? ? ???

? not ??? thus ? not ??? thus ??? thus ?????????? determined ?? he ?? this ????????? all-achiever ?? he ???? this ????? Self ??? ever ??????????????? of ungraspable nature ? not ?? indeed ??????? grasped

In the foregoing, Brahman/?tman was taught by the Upani?ad in positive terms. One might get a doubt that such a Brahman, taught in positive terms, is actually endowed with one or the other up?dhi, limiting adjunct and hence sop?dhika. In order to remove that doubt the Upani?ad embarks on the teaching of Brahman in the manner of ‘neti, neti’, which means: 

In the expression ‘neti’, there are two words, ‘na’ and ‘iti.’. The latter word ‘iti’ means, or rather signifies, that which is immediately available for experience, by way of perception or otherwise. As a result, the word ‘iti’ means ‘idam’, ‘this’ that is seen, experienced, d??yam.  By the repetition, whatever is seen, experienced, in its entirety as ‘this’ is negated. The purport of ‘neti, neti’ is: Whatever is experienced as an object, that, in its entirety, is negated and that entity that is the locus in which there remains nothing more to be negated, being devoid of any up?dhi,  is retained or understood as the Supreme Truth, Brahman-?tman.  It is this ?tman, the Self, that is the source from which avidy? (ignorance), k?ma (desire) and karma (action), etc. arise. Apart from Brahman there is no doer-enjoyer really. What is the nature of this Brahman-?tman that is the only Real? It is forever beyond the grasp of the sense and motor organs. The organs have no power to grasp, know, the ?tman, the innermost Self of all. The Subject, the ?tman, is ever the One that is the power behind the organs that grasp outside objects or the mind that generates thoughts.  However, the organs, the objects, the mind and the thoughts, all of these are always Objects forever and never can be the Subject that grasps the Self. 

Verse 45

?????????????????? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?

????????? ???????????? ? ?? ?????? ? ???

??? also ????????????? undecaying nature ? too ??  ????? O Gods! ?  ?? never ??????? decays ????????? unattached ?????? Lord ?????? ever ? not ?? indeed ?????? attaches

Further, this ?tman, unlike the superimposed world, is not of the nature of decaying. Never indeed does the Self decompose. Being devoid of parts, it is impossible for decomposition to happen in the Self. Hence, that Self which is the limit of all negation of the observed world, will never be negated by any force. Objection: The Self that is the substratum of the superimposition of the observed world, can be tainted, owing to the association of the world that is subject to additions and deletions. Hence why can’t there be transformations in the Self too?  Reply: The Self is unattached just like the lotus leaf that is unattached to the water that gets deposited on it. The Self never gets fastened to anything as belonging to It since It is devoid of the idea of identification. Also, the observed world that could generate attachment, itself is, because of being a mere appearance, mithy?, incapable of attaching to anything in absolute terms. The desert land is never moistened with the mirage-water that appears to be on the surface there.        

Veres 46

?? ?????? ????? ???????????

     ? ?????? ?????? ?? ??????? ?

?????? ?????????????? ????????

     ? ??????? ?????? ?????? ? ???

??? this  ?????? eternal ????? glory ??????????? of the Knower  ? not ?????? increases ?????? by action ?? not ??????? decreases ???? his ?? alone ?????? be ?????? Knower of the Goal   ?? that ???????? having known ? not ??????? touched ?????? by action ?????? by sinful

The foregoing message is also found in the Upani?adic teaching contained in the passage ????????????????? ? ?? ?????? ????? ??????????? ? ?????? ?????? ?? ??????? ? ?????? ?????????????? ???????? ? ??????? ?????? ????????? ? [23. “This has been expressed by the following ?g verse:  ‘This is the eternal glory of Brahman: It neither increases nor decreases through action. Therefore one should know the nature of That alone. Knowing It one is not touched by evil action.’] (B?had?ra?yaka Upani?ad 4.4.23) The Non-dual Truth established by applying the method of ‘neti, neti’, negating whatever name-form that is encountered and focusing on the underlying Existence-Consciousness of all phenomenon, which Truth is none but one’s own Self, is the Eternal Glory of the one who has really realized It. All other glories one attains by performing this or that action is only ephemeral and not the absolute glory. The Glory that is Brahman-?tman, being one’s very nature, is alone Eternal. Why? It is because Brahman, The Eternal Existence, does not undergo any transformation of increasing or decreasing owing to action. Action belongs to the realm of the body-mind complex and since Brahman-?tman is beyond the body-mind, no improvement or diminishing can happen in It. This is because Brahman-?tman is completely unconnected, unattached, to the adjuncts where alone transformation arises. Hence, being Immutable, Brahman alone is the Eternal Glory of the Knower. It is to be recognized that there can be no glory ‘for’ or ‘of’ Brahman. On the other hand, Brahman Itself is the Eternal Glory of the Knower of Brahman.          

Therefore one ideally ought to strive to realize one’s true nature that is Brahman. What accrues to the one with such a realization? By so realizing, the Knower is untainted by p?pam, sin. The word ‘p?pam’ includes ‘pu?yam’ (merit) as well since this latter too results in sams?ra, bondage. Hence by merely realizing the Truth of oneself, one is freed of both pu?ya and p?pa. In other words, the stock of merit and demerit is annulled by Knowledge.   

Verse 47

??????????????????????? ??????-

     ???????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ?

?????????? ?????????????????

     ??????????? ?????? ????????????? ? ???

???????  therefore ???????????????? to acquire Brahman-knowledge ???????? the aspirant ?????? mind-control  ?????? sense-control ???????? truth-speaking ????? be ? also ?????????? renounce action ????????????????? purport of all the Upanishads ??????????? means to knowledge ?????? constantly ?? however ??????????? adhere to

The external means to knowledge, namely reciting the Veda, performing ritual sacrifices, giving gifts and fasting, etc. were stated in the foregoing. Here, the internal means to knowledge taught in the B?had?ra?yaka Upani?ad 4.4.23 ??????????????????? ????? ??????????????? ??????? ????????????????????? ?????? [“Therefore he who knows It as such becomes self-controlled, calm, withdrawn into himself, patient and collected; he sees the Self in his own self (mind)’’] is condensed.

Since the fruit of Brahman-knowledge has been specified in glorious terms in the foregoing, therefore let one desirous of obtaining that state equip himself with the means such as sense and mind control, etc. that are essential. ‘?ama’ or ‘??nti’ is withdrawal from action involving external organs. ‘dama’ or ‘d?nti’ means freedom from the longings pertaining to the mind. The word ‘satyav?d?’ (steadfast adherence to speaking the truth) is indicative, representative, of all the limbs of yoga. ‘karma-ty?g?’ (renouncing actions) is the giving up of all actions that are aimed at attaining other worlds and are therefore detrimental to the acquisition of the liberating Brahman-knowledge. Having equipped oneself with these means, one has to engage seriously in the proximate means to acquiring the Self-realization namely ????????? ???????? ??????????????? [B?had?ra?yaka Upani?ad 2.4.5] ‘?rava?a-manana-nididhy?sana’ [determining the purport of the Upani?ads, cogitation with the aid of logical reasoning and steadfast meditation on the Truth].

Thus we have several levels at which means are prescribed by the Veda: The ‘external’, the ‘internal’ and the ‘proximate’ means to self-knowledge. 

Verse 48


     ???????????????????? ??? ?

??????????? ? ????????????

     ?????????????????????? ???? ? ???

????????????? bhasma on the forehead ????????? other parts of the body ????????????? O Foremost among the Pious! ??? always  ?????? practice ?????????? in the knowledge of Shankara ??? intent ??????????? the word ‘?iva’, etc. ? also ????? chant ??????? especially ?????????? worship ???????????? filled with devotion ???? Hara

Apart from the proximate means to Self-realization, one has to engage in the practice of the methods taught in the Upani?ads such as the J?b?la aimed at securing the grace of Lord ?iva. These practices involve the applying the three parallel lines made of the holy ash on the forehead and other parts of the body, chanting of the divine names ‘?iva’, etc. devout worship of Lord ?iva. All this forms part of the internal proximate means to realize one’s true Self as non-different from the Supreme Brahman, ?iva.

Verse 49

?????? ????? ????? ????

     ?????? ????????? ???? ?

?????????? ?? ????????

     ??? ??????????????????? ? ??

?????? with the means ????? that are complete ????? endowed ????: O Gods!  ?????? by knowing ???????  entirely ??? this ???? world ????????? as the form of the Lord ?? alone ?? however ???????? convinced  ??? knows ??????????????????? just as the bilva placed on one’s palm

Self-realization of the form ‘Everything that is seen and I myself are none but the Supreme Brahman, ?iva’ arises by acquiring the means as follows:

Recitation of Veda, scripture-enjoined sacrifices (yajña), gifts (d?na), austerity (fasting, etc)

Developing self control of the form of regulating the mental and sensory reactions,  forbearance, withdrawal from actions

Steadfast dedication to (study) ?rava?a, cogitation (manana) and committed meditation (nididhy?sana)

When the above means are sincerely employed, the direct realization of the form stated above will be had just as a bilva-fruit placed on one’s palm is so patently cognized.

(Coming soon… Part 8) 

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