V Subrahmanian, Tuesday, May 12, 2015 12:49 pm

The muNDakopaniShat – Part 17

Part 17

Continuing on Mantra 3.2.6:

The self-realized person does not take any path to ‘attain’ Brahman since his very self, he verily, is Brahman.  The ‘going’ thus is compared: ‘Just as the footprints of birds cannot be traced in space and of aquatics in water, similar is the course of the men of knowledge’ (Mah?bh?rata ??ntiparva 239.24).  Also says the ?ruti: ‘Those who are intent upon transcending the transmigratory life do not tread on any path.’ (Itih?sa upani?ad18). All movements from one abode to another is within sams?ra, bondage, and are therefore limited, finite. Since Brahman is the ‘All’, there is no need to and it is impossible too to, really physically travel to ‘reach’ Brahman. If Brahman is limited, localized, to some or the other location, then akin to a formed object It will be endowed with a beginning and end, it would be dependent on something else, made of parts and therefore temporal and produced.  Brahman can never be of this description.  Therefore attaining Brahman is not of any traveling to some other place.

Mantra 3.2.7
???? ???? ?????? ????????? ??????? ????? ???????????? ?
??????? ???????????? ????? ????????? ???? ????????? ? ? ?

???? go back ???? parts ?????? fifteen ?????????? causes  ????? deities ? and ????? all senses ???????????? their source-deities ??????? actions ?????????? the j?va ? and ????? self ??? supreme ?????? imperishable ????? all  ????????? become one

The fifteen parts go back to their causes and all the senses to their deities; the actions and the Atman reflected in the buddhi, become one with the highest imperishable Brahman, which is the Self of all.

The liberation, ‘mok?a’ admitted by the knowers of Brahman is characterized by the dispelling of the avidy?, ignorance, and the sams?ra, bondage, it has caused.  It is not certainly an effect of any action.  The natural condition, state, of the aspirant is Brahman, is ever-liberated.  This state is not any effect of action.  At the time of the aspirant attaining the videha, body-free liberation, the various components, kal??, fifteen in number, of the body-organs-mind complex, attain, return, to their respective sources in creation.  The fifteen parts are enumerated in the last, sixth, question-answer of the Pra?nopani?at.  All the deva-s that had been stationed in the sense/motor organs by blessing the organs with the power to act, too, obtain to their respective abodes in the cosmos such as the sun. What about the actions of the knower? Those actions that have started yielding their fruit have been lived out and expended during the lifetime of the knower. And those actions that have not fructified will become one with the Supreme Brahman.  And the aspirant, the j?va, who is verily Brahman, owing to avidy?, as though entered this body and available there as the reflected consciousness, just as the sun is available in all the water bodies where its reflection appears, too becomes one with Brahman.  Thus, there is nothing pertaining to the erstwhile j?va that remains over in the world once he becomes enlightened and finally dies. This death is understood to be the extinction of the up?dhi, the limiting adjunct that kept Brahman limited so far, as it were. The final ‘merger’ is in that Supreme, immutable, infinite, imperishable, akin to the space in terms of subtlety and all-pervading nature, the unborn, free of old age and death, fearless, that which is without a cause and effect, without interior and exterior, secondless, auspicious and blissful and tranquil. Thus all actions along with the j?va become one, without any difference, with Brahman. This attaining to oneness, non-difference, with the source, Brahman is akin to the reflections becoming one with the sun when the reflecting media such as water cease to be.  It is like the space limited by pots etc. becoming one with the infinite space upon the limiting adjuncts such as the pot are destroyed.

Mantra 3.2.8

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

??? just as ????? rivers ??????????? flowing  ??????? in the ocean ????? ???????? disappear ??????? name and form ????? bereft ??? so too ???????? the Knower  ????????? from the name-form ???????? freed ???????? greater than the great ??????? Puru?a ????? attain ??????? self-effulgent

As flowing rivers disappear in the sea, losing their names and forms, so a wise man, freed from name and form, attains the Purusha, who is greater than the Great.

Further, as the rivers such as Ga?g? that flow and attain the ocean and become one with the latter by losing their individual identities such as specific names and forms, so too the enlightened j?va, freed from the name-form dual created by avidy?, attains to the Supreme Self-luminous Person, Brahman, that is beyond the imperishable m?y?.

Mantra 3.2.9

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

? ?? he who ? ?? indeed ??? that ???? Supreme ?????? Brahman ??? realizes ?????? Brahman  ?? alone ???? becomes  ? ???? not his ??????????? ignorant of Brahman ???? family ???? born ???? overcomes ???? misery ???? overcomes ???????? evil ??????????????? from the fetters of the heart ???????? freed ????? immortal ???? becomes

He who knows the Supreme Brahman verily becomes Brahman. In his family no one is born ignorant of Brahman. He overcomes grief; he overcomes evil; free from the fetters of the heart, he becomes immortal.

Since there are many obstacles to attain a goal, it is possible that the Knower, obstructed by any of the five well-known afflictions (stated in the Yogas?tra 11.3 of Patanjali: ignorance, egotism, desire, aversion and ardent clinging to mundane existence) or hindered by any celestial being, might not merge with Brahman and on the other hand attain to any other world taking a different course.

This possible doubt is answered by this mantra.  Since knowledge is the panacea for all ills, there will be no power that hinders the knower’s merger with Brahman. Knowledge of the Self dispels ignorance which is the only obstacle to liberation. This is because the very natural state of everyone is liberation and therefore the only hindrance to that state is ignorance. And since the aspirant has obtained that knowledge there is no way he is denied the state of being Brahman itself.  The mantra declares that the knowledge of Brahman confers upon the knower the very state of Brahman. Whoever in the world knows Brahman as ‘I am Brahman’ cannot be associated with any path to any destination whatsoever.  Even gods cannot create obstacles for this knower since he is the very self of these divinities as well. Therefore the knower of Brahman is Brahman alone. And in his lineage no one who is not a knower of Brahman is born.  Also, he crosses over all mental sorrows resulting from non-fulfillment of any longing during his very lifetime.   He goes beyond all sins, that are characterized by dharma and adharma (the idea is that he is not touched by any merit or demerit arising from all actions). He is free from the knot of the heart which means that mark of ignorance that results in the admixture of the Consciousness and the inert body-mind.  The notion of ‘I am a human’ completely vanishes as stated by this very Upani?ad:

‘The fetters of the heart are broken, all doubts are resolved and all works cease to bear fruit, when He is beheld who is both high and low.’ (2.2.9)

The Upani?ad concludes the discourse by stating the method of transmission and receiving of the Brahmavidy?, the liberating knowledge, in a formal way:

Mantra 3.2.10

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

??????????? performers ??????????? learned in veda ????????????? devoted to Brahman ????? themselves ??????? offer oblations ??????? Eka??i ??????????? endowed with faith ?????? for them ?? alone ???? this ????????????? Brahman-konwledge ???? impart ????????? head-vow ??????? as enjoined ??? by those ?? indeed  ??????? performed

A ?k—verse declares: This Knowledge of Brahman should he told to those only who have performed the necessary duties, who are versed in the Vedas and devoted to Brahman and who, full of faith, have offered oblations in the ‘Eka??i’ Fire and performed, according to rule, the rite of carrying fire on the head.

The mantra itself shows the method of transmitting the Brahmavidy?.  Those who have performed the scripture-ordained actions are the ones that are eligible to receive this vidy?.  Those who have studied the Veda, who are established in Brahman, those who are engaged in the meditations of the lower, apara, Brahman, while being desirous of knowing the Supreme Brahman, themselves offering oblations to the Fire known by the special name ‘Eka??i’.  They are endowed with great faith. They alone have attained the necessary propensity to receive the Brahmavidy?.  They have to be the ones who have performed the ‘head sacrifice’.  This vow involves holding fire on the head, in compliance with the exact procedures stated.  This is akin to the Vedic vow of those belonging to the Atharva-veda following.  Only those who are endowed with the above qualifications are fit to receive the Brahmavidy? taught in the Upani?ad.

Mantra 3.2.11

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

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

??? that ???? this ?????? Truth ???? ??i ???????? A?gir?? ???? yore ???? said ? do not ???? this ??????????? who has not performed the head-vow ?????  study ??? obeisance ?????????? to the great seers ??? obeisance ?????????? to the great seers.

Thus the seer A?gir? declared this truth in olden times. A man who has not performed the vow should not read it. Salutation to the great seers! Salutation to the great seers!

The ??i named A?gir? in the days of yore taught ?ounaka who approached him in the formal way and sought the vidy? pertaining to the Imperishable Puru?a, the Supreme Truth which is Brahman.   By saying this the mantra implies that whoever endowed with the necessary qualifications, approaching dutifully and sincerely seeks this liberating knowledge from a true ?c?rya, must be given the teaching. He who has not performed the head-vow should not read this text. This is because the vidy? will culminate in the fruit of direct liberating knowledge only in that aspirant who has performed the ordained vow and thereby earned the required samsk?ra, propensity.

With this the teaching of Brahmavidy? is concluded.  Obeisance is offered to those great ??is who have secured this esoteric knowledge in the unbroken lineage from the initiator, Lord Brahm?, Obeisance also to those great ?c?ryas such as Brahm? who have obtained the direct Knowledge of the Supreme Brahman.  The mention of the obeisance twice is to convey the ardor and also to signify the completion of the Mu??aka Upani?ad.

Here ends the exposition of the Mu??aka Upani?ad with the commentary of ??? ?ankar?c?rya.

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

??????? ? ??????? ???????????? ??????? ?? ???? ??????????? ??????? ????????????? ???????????? ??????? ?? ??????????????? !!

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

o? bhadra? kar?ebhi? ???uy?ma dev?? | bhadra? pa?yem?k?abhiryajatr?? | sthirairan?gaistu??uv?ga? sastan?bhi? | vya?ema devahitam yad?yu? ||

svasti na indro v?ddha?rav?? |svasti na? p??? vi?vaved?? |

svasti nast?rk?yo ari??anemi? | svasti no b?haspatirdadh?tu ||

O? ??nti? ??nti? ??nti? ||

OM O gods! Let us hear good (auspicious) things through our ears! O worshipful ones! Let us see good (auspicious) things with our eyes! May our organs and body be stable, healthy and strong! May we do in the life span allotted to us by gods what pleases them.

May Indra (who is) extolled profusely in the scriptures do good to us! May P??an  (who is) knower of world do good to us! May T?rk?ya (who) destroyer of enemies do good to us! May B?haspati establish good in us!

Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

Om Tat Sat

Part 1, Part 16

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