V Subrahmanian, Friday, July 11, 2014 10:07 am

The muNDakopaniShat – Part 7

Part 7

Mantra 2.1.2

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

?????? luminous ?? indeed ??????? formless ?????? puru?a ??????????????? existing within and without ?? verily ??? unborn ??????? devoid of pr??a ?? indeed ????? devoid of mind ?????? pure ?? thus ???????? ???? than the great imperishable ??? greater

He is the self-luminous and formless Puru?a, uncreated and existing both within and without. He is devoid of pr??a, devoid of mind, pure and higher than the supreme Imperishable. 

The Supreme Brahman is resplendent since It is self-luminous.  It needs no luminosity from any other object.  In fact, It is the source of all luminosity of the luminous objects like the Sun, etc. in creation.  It is luminous in the sense that It is in the luminous Self, by Itself.  And Its luminosity is transcendental in the sense that it is not physical.  Hence It is devoid of any form.  It is the Puru?a, being all-pervasive, filling everything in creation, Full by Itself, not needing anything else to fill It up.  It is called ‘Puru?a’ because It resides in the body of every being.  It exists within and without. That is, there is nowhere that It is not.  It is unborn.  It is not born of any cause, either by Itself or by another cause since there is nothing apart from, other than It. In the world it is observed that the bubbles, surf, etc. in water are caused by air contacting the water and objects like pot are the causes for the various ‘cavities’ created out of space itself.  Since the entire gamut of transformation (like birth, existence, growth, changes, deterioration and destruction) has for its origin the first occurrence of birth, by negating birth for the Puru?a, all the other transformations stand negated.  It exists within and without and is unborn, thereby being ageless, deathless and imperishable, constant and fearless. 

It would be interesting to note that to those who perceive the differences created by the body, mind, etc. adjuncts, the Puru?a, in the different bodies, is wrongly comprehended to be endowed with pr??a, mind, sense and motor organs and having objects to experience, even as space is wrongly perceived to be characterized with base, dirt, etc.  For those endowed with the right, absolute, vision, however, the Puru?a is known to be devoid of the pr??a, the vital force.  In It the principle of motion, air, does not exist.  So too, the Puru?a is seen as devoid of even the mind which is the abode of the power of a variety of perceptions, resolve, doubt, etc.  By the epithets ‘apr??a?’ and ‘aman??’ (devoid of vital force and the mind stuff) the upani?ad is negating all the varieties of pr??a (pr??a, ap?na, vy?na, ud?na and sam?na), the motor organs (hands, legs, speech, excretory and reproductive), their objects as also the intellect, mind and the sense organs (eye, nose, ear, tongue and skin) as well as their objects (form, smell, sound, taste and touch).  Thus we have another upani?ad specifying  ‘dhy?yat?va lel?yat?va’ (‘It meditates as it were, it moves as it were’) B?had?ra?yaka upani?ad. 4.3.7.

Since the Puru?a is devoid of these two central limiting adjuncts, the pr??a and the mind, It is Pure.  All impurities, bodily and mental, occur only through these two adjuncts.  Therefore alone the Puru?a is greater than the imperishable m?y? which is the seed of the name- form dual which is again the seed of all body-mind complexes.  This m?y?, which is also known as the unmanifest/undivided, is itself called ‘supreme’ in relation to the effects to which it is the cause.  The Puru?a, however, is greater than, transcends, this m?y? and therefore is free of any kind of up?dhi, limiting adjunct. 

In that Puru?a the transactional ‘imperishable’ (m?y?) exists interwoven.  Now we can appreciate as to how indeed the Puru?a is devoid of pr??a, etc. thus: If indeed the pr??a, etc. existed by themselves prior to creation just as the Puru?a (existing by Himself), then the Puru?a too must be endowed with pr??a, etc.  But pr??a, etc. do not exist by themselves prior to creation like the Puru?a (who exists even prior to creation).  Therefore the Puru?a is ever characterized by being devoid of pr??a, etc. Just as when a son is not yet born, a person is ‘without son’.  As to how the pr??a, etc. did not exist prior to creation is being stated:

Mantra 2.1.3

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

???????? from the Puru?a ????? are born ?????? pr??a ??? manas ??????????????? all the organs (sense/motor) ? ?? also ether ????? air ??????? fire ??? water ?????? earth ???????? ?????? the supporter of everything.

From Him are born pr??a, manas, all the sense-organs, ther, air, fire, water and earth, which supports all. 

From this Puru?a who is endowed with the adjunct, up?dhi, of the seed of the name-form dual, is born the pr??a who is a mere name without any substance of its own, since it is born of avidy?, ignorance.  Says the Chandogyopani?ad 6.4.1 – ‘v?c?ra?bha?a? vik?ro n?madheya?’ (‘All modification has speech alone as its support; it is unreal’).  Surely, by the ignorance-created pr??a the Puru?a will never be endowed with pr??a just as one devoid of a son will not be deemed to be a father merely because he witnesses a son in a dream.

So too the manas, all the sense and motor organs and their objects (like activity, sound and touch) are born from this Puru?a of whom the imperishable m?y? is an adjunct.  In other words, the ‘pure’ Puru?a is not the cause of anything; it is only the imperishable, insentient, m?y? that is the source of all creation, in association with the Puru?a.  The association is only to the extent of the Puru?a’s sentience  for m?y?, being insentient cannot by itself be the cause of creation either. 

Since the entire creation is an effect of ignorance, named avidy?/m?y?, there being no real creation of anything, the Puru?a is absolutely devoid of any of the created entities like pr??a, manas and so on.  Just as these, having had no real existence prior to creation, are ‘born’ from the Puru?a, so too do they attain destruction (in the Puru?a).  Just as the sense/motor organs and manas so too the causes of the body namely the elements ether, air, fire, water and earth which supports the created objects, are all ‘born’ from that Puru?a alone.  The elements are endowed with the attributes sound (in ether), touch (along with sound, in air), form (along with sound and touch, in fire), taste (along with sound, touch and form, in water) and smell (along with sound, touch, form and taste, in earth). 

Having stated in a concise manner the subject matter of the paravidy?, the higher knowledge, the Puru?a, also called ak?ara?, in the mantra 2.1.3 in the foregoing, the upani?ad commences the discourse on the aparavidy?, the lower knowledge.  While the Puru?a of the higher knowledge is free of any adjuncts, up?dhis, the puru?a of the lower knowledge is the one attributed.  The purpose of this two-type deliberation of the Puru?a in a concise and elaborate manner is to facilitate the easy understanding of the Truth just as the s?tra, an aphoristic expression, is explained by the bh??ya, the commentary for comprehension. 

The vir?? is born of the first-born hira?yagarbha known as pr??a, the cosmic egg.  Even though the vir?? appears to be an entirely distinct entity, yet since he is born of this puru?a alone, he is of this puru?a-content alone.  This is what is being stated precisely in the sequel.

Mantra 2.1.4

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

?????? fire ?????? is the head ??????? eyes ???????????? moon and sun ???? the quarters ????????  ears ???? speech ??????? ? ?????  expanded veda-s ????? air ??????  pr??a  ????? heart ??????? universe ???? from his  ???????? feet ?????? earth ?? ?? He indeed ????????????????? is the inner Self of all beings.

The heavens are His head; the sun and moon, His eyes; the quarters, His ears; the revealed Vedas, His speech; the wind is His breath; the universe, His heart. From his feet is produced the earth. He is, indeed, the inner Self of all beings.

The word ‘fire’ of the mantra means the heaven region on the authority of the Chandogya upani?ad 5.4.1 ‘asau v?va loko gautam?gni?’ (‘O Gautama, the world is surely the fire’).  The head of the cosmic being is the heaven in the created universe.  His eyes are the moon and sun. His ears are the quarters (spatial directions).  His speech is what constitutes the revealed veda-s. His pr??a is the air of the created universe.  His manas, the inner organ, is the entire universe.  The entire universe which is a modification, transformation, of the mind alone, is seen to resolve into the mind in deep sleep.  Upon waking, from the mind alone the world emerges just as sparks emerge from a blazing fire.  The entire earth is born of His feet. This divine being, Vi??u, the all-pervading, Ananta, the infinite, the first embodied being of whom the three worlds constitute the adjunct is the inner self of all beings.                                

Part 1, Part 6, Part 8 Coming Soon…

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