V Subrahmanian, Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:57 am

The kenopaniShat – Part 10

Part 10

The Upani?at is giving out the fundamental means that are required for embarking upon the effort to gaining the Upani?adic knowledge:

Mantra 8:

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

????? (??????) Its ??? austeries ??? self-restraint ???? scriptural injunctions ??? these are ?????????? feet ????? the vedas ??????????? are the limbs ?????? Truth ?????? is its abode.

Austerities, self-restraint and sacrificial rites are Its feet and the Vedas are all Its limbs. Truth is Its abode.

What constitutes the foundation on the basis of which the vidy? stands firm?  The upani?at lists out a few s?dhana-s that are to be sincerely practiced and maintained for the vidy? to generate and stay with the knower. ‘Tapas’ constitutes the concentration/one-pointedness of the body, organs and the mind. ‘Dama’ is the restraint of the organs, both the cognitive and the motor.  ‘karma’, actions enjoined by the scripture, is agnihotra, etc. It is seen that only when these s?dhana-s are well practiced and the mind of the aspirant made pure thereby, the vidy?, the knowledge of the Truth, arises. How does one say this so firmly? It is because one also sees that the un-prepared aspirant, even if taught the Truth, does not become enlightened as it happened in the Indra-Virocana episode (of the Ch?ndogya upani?at 8th chapter). The practices are the strong foundation on which the vidy? arises and rests firm.  

Thus, whether in this or in the past innumerable lives if one purifies the mind by practicing these means, then the liberating knowledge arises as stated by the ?vet??vataropani?at 6.23:

???? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ???? ? ??????? ????? ???????? ?????????? ????????   ||

The Truth dawns on that purified soul who has supreme devotion to God and the same intensity of devotion to the Guru.  Also says the Mah?bh?rata (??nti parva – 204.8):

?????? ????????????? ?????? [Knowledge of the Truth arises in those whose sinful actions are eradicated.]  

The above and many other disciplines are required for the rise of Knowledge.  For example the Bhagavadg?t? (13.7 to 11) lists a set of s?dhana-s such as ‘freedom from pride’. Just as a man stands firm on his feet, so too these disciplines are the foundation on which the vidy? flourishes.  The four Vedas and their limbs such as the ‘?ik??’ too constitute the ‘legs’ for this vidy?. The Vedas help one gain the knowledge of the actions enjoined therein and all its limbs protect the Vedas as it were.

‘Satyam’, truth, is the dwelling place where this secret teaching, ‘upani?at’ resides. ‘Satyam’ constitutes freedom from deceit and crookedness at the level of speech, mind and body. This is because the Knowledge of the Supreme resides only in those who are given to truth, are free from deceit and are pious and not those who are crooked and devilish in their disposition. This has been stressed in the Pra?nopani?at 1.16 ‘? ???? ?????????? ? ???? ?’ (‘In whom there is no fraud, crookedness, falsehood and where there is no pretense’).  Therefore does the upani?at emphasizes that Satyam is the abode of Knowledge. While austerities, etc. themselves imply the element of Satyam in being the ‘feet’, support, of Knowledge, the mention of Satyam explicitly as the abode is only to stress the exalted status of truth as a means (for Knowledge) as the Vi??usm?ti 8.36 says: ????????????? ? ????? ? ????? ????? ? ????????????????? ???????? ????????? ?? ?.?? ?? [‘A thousand horse-sacrifices and truth are weighed in a balance; and one truth outweighs the thousand horse-sacrifices.’].        

Mantra 4.9:

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

?? he ?? who ????? this secret ??? thus ??? know ?????? shaking off ????????? all sins ?????? in infinite ??????? heaven ???? world ?????? highest ???????????? established ???????????? established     

He who thus knows this Upanishad shakes off all sins and becomes firmly established in the infinite and the highest Heaven, yea, the highest Heaven. 

He who realizes this brahmavidy?, the Knowledge of the Brahman-?tman, which has been taught by the mantra commencing with ‘?????????…’ (‘Impelled by whom….’ Kena.up. 1.1) and eulogized by the mantra ‘?????? ? ????????…’ (‘Brahman indeed…’Kena.up.3.1), and which is the basis, foundation, of all knowledge as described by the Mu??akopani?at 1.1.1 as ‘?????????????????????..’ (‘The basis of all knowledge’), attains immortality as taught by this very Upani?at: ‘???????? ?? ???????..’ Kena.up.2.4).  Even though the fruit of this Knowledge, realization, is already stated, yet the Upani?at concludes the discourse with the formal statement of the fruit. 

What is that fruit? Having dispelled the sin which is characterized by avidy?, k?ma and karma (‘ignorance, desire and action’) and is the seed of transmigratory existence, sams?ra, the knower of this Truth taught by the Upani?at, gets established in Brahman that is Infinitely blissful and which has no end.  The adjective ‘ananta’ (‘boundless’) is sometimes used by courtesy with reference to the heaven (devaloka) where the celestials reside.  In order to ward off that sense, the word ‘jyeye’ (‘that which is greater than all’) is used by the Upani?at. It is the Self, ?tman, which is the truly boundless.  The idea is that the Knower does not return to the world.

That, the cessation of sams?ra, is the fruit of realization of the ?tman which is non different from Brahman.  The Knower might live on in the world till the body falls off.  Yet such a life is not in any way a bondage to him.  At the fall of the body, he does not pass over to any other world or return to this world.  Brahman, that is what the real ‘he’ is, remains as always as the Non-dual Truth.  That is the Supreme Advaitic Truth the Upani?ads teach.             

End of Kena Upani?ad

The Peace Chant

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

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

[Om. May my limbs, speech, vital force, eyes, ears, as also strength and all the organs, become well developed.  Everything is the Brahman revealed in the Upani?ads.  May I not deny Brahman; may not Brahman deny me.  Let there be no rejection (of Brahman) by me.  May all the virtues that are (spoken of) in the Upani?ads repose in me who am engaged in the pursuit of the Self; may they repose in me.  Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!] 

Here ends the exposition of the Kenopani?at in the light of the commentary of ?r? ?a?karabhagavatp?da.

Part 1, Part 9

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