V Subrahmanian, Thursday, August 7, 2014 4:43 pm

The muNDakopaniShat – Part 8

Part 8

Mantra 2.1.5

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

??????? From Him ?????? Fire ????? the fuel ???? for which ?????? is the sun ?????? from moon ???????? rain ????? herbs ?????????? on the earth ?????? man ???? seminal fluid ??????? places ????????? in the womb ?????? many ?????? beings ???????? from Puru?a ?????????? are born

From Him comes the Fire whose fuel is the sun; from the moon comes rain; from rain, the herbs that grow on the earth; from the herbs, the seminal fluid which a man pours into a woman. Thus many living beings are born of the Puru?a. 

From the Supreme Puru?a is born the particular form of being, Agni.  The fuel, as it were, for this Agni is the Sun. The Sun indeed is illumining the heavens, the first fire.  From the heavens the moon is produced from which the second fire namely the rain, the second fire, emerges.  From rain grow the herbs on earth, the third fire.  By the sacrificial oblations made in the male, the fourth fire, by the herbs that are the basic material, the man pours in the seminal fluid into the womb which is yet another, the fifth, fire. In this manner countless
beings are generated with distinctions such as br?hma?a. 

Mantra 2.1.6

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

??????? From the Puru?a ??? the ?ks ??? the s?man ?????? the yaju-s ??????? the wows ?????? the sacrifices ? also ????? all ?????? vedic rituals ???????? the sacrificial fee ? too ????????? the year ? and ?????? the sacrificing-person ? and ????? the worlds ???? soma ???? where ???? purifies ???? where ?????? the sun

6. From Him have come the ?ks, the S?man, the Yajus, the D?k??, all sacrifices, the Kratus, gifts, the sacrificial fee, the year, the sacrificer and the worlds which the moon sanctifies and the sun illumines.  

From that Puru?a, the specific category of mantras called ?k is born. The ?k is characterized by having a fixed number of syllables, feet and length which are seen in the meters such as the g?yatr?.  The s?man is that which is divided into five parts or seven parts, and is embellished with stobha etc. and specific tunes for recitation.  The Yajus is discernible by syllables, feet and length that are not fixed and are in the form of sentences.  These three types of mantras emanate from the Puru?a.  D?k?? refers to restrictions to be followed by the sacrificer by wearing the girdle made of the mu?j? grass, etc.  Yajña-s are all of the type of agnihotra, etc.  Kratu-s are the sacrifices where the y?pa, the sacrificial stake is present.  Dak?i?? refers to the fee/gift in the form consisting variedly of one cow up to one’s everything.  Samvatsara refers to the unit of time, which is a part of the ritual.  ‘Yajam?na?’ refers to the one who performs the sacrifice.  ‘Loka-s’ refer to the worlds that one attains as a result of actions.  Of these ‘Soma’ loka refers to where the moon deity sanctifies and those loka-s where the sun illumines.  These two categories are the ones named ‘dak?i??yana’ and ‘uttar?ya?a’ which are respectively attained by the ignorant and the meditative.  The idea is that all that is part of one’s life is taught to be originating from Brahman. 

Mantra 2.1.7

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

??????? ? from Him ????? the gods ????? varied ??????????? are born ??????: the s?dhya-s ???????? humans ???? animals ?????? birds ?????????? pr??a and ap?na ????????? rice and barley  ??? austerity ? and ??????? faith ????? truth ??????????? celibacy ????? rules ? as well

7. By Him are begotten the various devas, the s?dhyas, men, cattle, birds and also pr??a and ap?na, rice and barley, penance, faith, truth, continence and rules.

From that Puru?a the deva-s namely the groups of vasu-s, rudra-s, ?ditya-s, etc. who form part of rituals are born.  The s?dhya-s are specific categories of deva-s.  The humans are the ones that are eligible to engage in action.  Animals are both domestic and wild.  Birds too are born from this Puru?a alone.  The very life of men is dependent on the pr??a and ap?na which have the Puru?a alone for their source.  Grains like rice and barley are used for the purpose of vedic sacrifices.  ‘Tapas’ is penance forming part of a greater ritual, which is aimed at cleansing the one engaged in it or aimed at bringing a specific fruit to the performer. All human objectives called dharma, artha, k?ma and mok?a have as their precondition for success what is known as faith, ?raddh? which is characterized by unshakable faith in the words of the scripture.  Satyam is truth which manifests as avoidance of falsehood as also uttering facts as they are, not causing injury to the hearer thereof. ‘Brahmacharyam’ is the avoidance of carnal physical relation.  The manner of performing a vedic act is called ‘vidhi’, method, in this context.  All these are born of the Supreme.  

The intention of the Upani?ad in saying these is that everything in our life namely objects, events, persons, etc. is nothing but Brahman, being born of Brahman.  This knowledge helps us get the realization that by knowing one, everything is known.  That is the question with which the Upani?ad started.  By knowing the fundamental cause, the entire range of effects becomes known.  The knower is able to appreciate that there is no separate entity called effect apart from the cause. 

Mantra 2.1.8

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

???? seven ??????? senses ????????? are born ??????? from that Puru?a  ???? seven ??????? flames ????? and fuel ???? seven ????? oblations
???? seven ??? these ????? worlds ???? in which ?????? move ??????? the senses ???????? residing in the cave ??????? placed ???? seven ???? seven.

8. From Him have sprung the seven pr??a-s, the seven flames, the seven kinds of fuel, the seven oblations and also the seven planes where move the pr??a-s, lying in the cave, which are seven in each living being.   

The seven sense organs in the head namely the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears and mouth emanate from the Puru?a alone.  These senses have their fire which is none other than their capacity to sense. The senses have their respective fuels that are nothing but the various objects of the world.  These are to be understood as: form (for the eyes), smell (for the nostrils), sound (for the ears) and taste (for the tongue, mouth).  These objects too are born of the Puru?a.  The imagery is of a vedic sacrifice where the objects of the senses are the oblations poured into the sense organs.  There are the seven sacrifices, homa-s, which are the knowledge arising from the sense organs operating through their capacity to sense the sense objects.  The entire operation can be stated as: the pram??a-s knowing the prameya-s and getting the knowledge thereof, pramiti.  This tripu??, the triad, is what is being taught here as having the Puru?a for its source.  In other words, it is this Supreme Being that appears in creation as the knower, the knowing instruments, the knowing power, the knowable objects and the knowledge arising thereof.  Shankaracharya cites a passage from the Mah?n?r?ya?a upani?ad 24.1: ????? ???????? ????????? (??.?) [‘That which is his sense-perception is what he offers as an oblation.’]

Also, these seven worlds are the ones, figuratively, the orifices of the sense organs, where the senses operate from.  The Upani?ad takes care to specify the ‘places’ so as to avoid anyone mistaking the word ‘pr??as’ in the mantra to be referring to the distinct airs such as pr??a, ap?na, etc.  These pr??a-s (sense organs) are placed by the Creator in the cave, which could be taken to be the body or the intellect/mind where these rest/resolve during deep sleep. 

The purport of these mantras is: All the actions and the instruments thereof along with their results that are involved in the ‘Sacrifice related to the Self’ performed by the knowers as well as the ones pertaining to the ignorant persons – these are effects of the Supreme Cause, the Omniscient Puru?a alone.  Thus, to reiterate, the Upani?ad is specifying these to drive home the message that the effect is non-different from the cause.  The created world, in all its variety, is none other than Brahman.  One can discern this message in all the Upani?ads of which the Chandogya Upani?ad’s sixth chapter is a classic example.

Mantra 2.1.9

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

??? from this ???????? oceans ????? mountains ? too ????? all ??????? from this Puru?a ?????????? flow ??????? rivers ????????? of every kind ??? from ? also ?????? all ????? herbs ??? juice ? too ??? by  ?? him ????? elements ??????? supported ?? indeed ?????????? the inner Self

9.  From Him come all the oceans and the mountains; from Him flow rivers of every kind; from Him have come, as well, all plants and flavours, by which the inner self subsists surrounded by the elements. 

Part 1, Part 7, Part 9

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