V Subrahmanian, Friday, October 9, 2015 11:09 am

The Pra?nopani?at – Part 12

Part 12

The Mantra 5.5 is now being explained:

He who meditates on the syllable ‘Om’ as containing the knowledge pertaining to the three letters, as a symbol, as also qualified as the Supreme Being abiding in the Sun, S?rya, attains to a certain fruit. The meditation has the syllable ‘Om’ as a support, a symbol, for both the lower (para) and the higher (apara) Brahman.  The fruit of such a meditation is: he becomes unified with the Sun. Even upon death, he will not return from S?rya as one would return from Chandra. Just as a snake sheds its worn out skin, this meditator is freed from sins and reaches the Hira?yagarbha loka. There, he gains the direct realization of the Supreme Brahman that is beyond all creation and becomes liberated from sams?ra.  This is called ‘krama mukti’, liberation in stages, in Advaita. The gaining of Self-knowledge in one’s human life, in this world itself, before death, is called ‘sadyo mukti’ or ‘liberation here itself.’ When a person performs meditation on the syllable ‘Om’ or any other method taught in the Veda, as a result of the strength of the meditation, he attains to an exalted loka, the brahma loka, after death. There he gains the Self-knowledge taught by Hira?yagarbha/Brahm?, the Lord of the Brahma loka. When the Brahma loka perishes during the cosmic dissolution, all the residents of that loka, along with Brahm?, attain to the final liberation and never to return to sams?ra.

The up?saka attaining liberation is restated in the next two mantras.

Mantra 5.6

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

?????? three ??????? letters ??????????? mortal ?????????? joined ?????????????? together ?????????????? properly ???????? activities ????????????????????? external, internal and intermediate ????????????????? well accomplished ? does not ?????? tremble ???? the knower

The three letters of ‘Om’ if employed separately, are mortal; but when joined together in meditation on the total Reality and used properly on the activities of the external, internal and intermediate states, the knower trembles not.

The three letters of the syllable ‘Om’ are ‘a’, ‘u’ and ‘ma’. Individually these letters are within the realm of death. That is, when meditated upon individually, the letters do not free one from death; they do not result in liberating the individual. The letters are also connected with each other. Also, they are specifically aimed at distinct results. However, when they are properly meditated upon by applying oneself ardently to the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep, the result is that the meditator is not affected by any worldly happenings. He has seen, realized, his self that is what is underlying the three states. He has meditated on the three Puru?as who are associated with the three states of waking, etc. The aspirant has, experientially realized that there is this connection between the three states and the three letters of Om. He has nothing in the world to be afraid of. Nothing can affect him. All that is there in the three states is this ?tman.

Mantra 5.7

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

?????? by ?k mantras ??? this ???????? by Yajur mantras ?????????? intermidiary ?????? by S?ma mantras ??? which ??? that ???? knowers ???????? know ??? that ??????? by Omk?ra ?? alone ?????? support ??????? attains ???????? the Knower ??? which ??? that ??????? tranquil ????? free of old age ?????? free of death ???? fearless ??? Supreme ? too ??? thus

The wise man, meditating on ‘Om’, attains this world by means of the ?k verses; the intermediate world by means of the yajur verses; and that which is known to the seers by means of the s?ma verses. And also through the syllable ‘Om’ he realizes that which is tranquil, free from decay, death and fear and which is the Highest.

The above mantra gives a summary of all that has been said before. By meditating on just the ‘a’ letter of the syllable ‘Om’, one attains through the ?ks, this, world of humans. By meditating on the ‘u’ letter one gains, through the Yajur mantras, the world presided over by Soma. What one attains by meditating on all the three letters together is the world of Brahm?, brahmaloka, is known to the enlightened alone and not others. This three-fold attainment of lower Brahman, a knower accomplishes through the meditation on the syllable ‘Om’. By this very syllable ‘Om’ one realizes even the Supreme, Higher, Brahman, the Imperishable, the Supreme Reality, the Puru?a, the Tranquil, that is characterized by freedom from the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep, and totally devoid of the manifest and unmanifest world. Hence alone that Supreme Brahman is free of old age and hence alone free of death. Since that Brahman is devoid of transformations such as old age (disease, decrepitude, etc.) It is Fearless. The idea is that only when old age, disease and death are present there is constant fear of the pain of these maladies of life. These are not avoidable as long as one is embodied. The state one attains through self-realization is free of embodiment and hence alone free of fear. Since It is Fearless, It is the Highest, surpassed by no other state or entity. This state too is accomplished by the meditation on the syllable ‘Om’, the symbol, which enables one to reach the Brahmaloka and from there, through self-realization.

From the description above, one is reminded of the structure of the M????kya Upani?ad, especially the seventh mantra. This mantra teaches the Supreme, Turiya, as that transcending the triad of states of waking, etc. where alone one has an embodied life and the travails connected with it. Freedom from the triad of states is freedom from bondage.

Here ends the Fifth Question and reply.

The Sixth Question

Mantra 6.1

?? ???? ?????? ????????? ??????? ? ??????????????? ??????? ????????? ???????????? ????????????? ??????? ???????? ?????? ????? ? ???? ??????????? ??????? ??? ??????????????? ??? ?? ????????????, ????? ?? ?? ?????????? ????????????? ???????????????????? ??????? ? ? ??????? ????????? ????????? ? ?? ???? ???????? ?????? ????? ??? ? ? ?

?? then ? indeed ??? him, Sage Pippal?da ??????? Suke??? ????????? son of Bharadv?ja ??????? asked ????? Respected Sir, ?????????? Hira?yan?bha ??????? of Kosala ????????? prince ???? me ?????? approached ??? this ???????? question ??????? asked ??????? the sixteen-part ???????? Bh?radvaja ?????? Puru?a ????? know? ??? him ??? I ??????? youth ?????? replied ? not ???? I ??? this Puru?a ??? know ??? if ???? I ???? this ??????? knew ??? why ?? you ? not ????????? inform about ??? thus, ????? completely ?? indeed ??? this person ?????????? destroyed ?? whoever ?????? untruth ??????? utters ??????? hence ? not ??????? fit ????? lie ??????? to utter ? he ??????? quietly ???? chariot ?????? mounted ????????? departed ?? him ???? Thou ???????? ask of ??? where ??? that ?????? Puru?a ??? thus

Then Suke??, the son of Bharadv?ja, said to Pippal?da: Sir, Hira?yan?bha, the prince of Kosala, once came to me and asked this question: “O son of Bharadv?ja, do you know the Person with sixteen parts?” I said to the prince: “I do not know Him; if I knew Him, why should I not tell you? Surely he who speaks what is not true withers away to the very root; therefore I should not speak untruth.” Then he silently mounted his chariot and went away. Now I ask you: Where does that Person dwell?

After the fifth question was asked and replied, Suke??, son of Bharadv?ja, posed his question to the revered Sage Pippal?da. It has been stated before that the entire world of cause and effects, along with the j?va, rests in the Supreme Ak?ara  during deep sleep. From this it also becomes clear that even in the pralaya, dissolution, the world rests in that Supreme Ak?ara alone. It is quite reasonable to hold that the effect (world) is established in its cause (Ak?ara) alone. It has been stated in this very Upani?ad ‘From the ?tman arises the pr??a’ (Pra.up. 3.3). It is also the considered conclusion of all the Upani?ads that by knowing the source of the world one would attain the Supreme purpose of life, liberation. In other words, the liberating knowledge is had from knowing the fundamental cause of creation. By knowing this One Cause, everything stands known. It is also stated subsequently that ‘He, the all-knower is verily the all’ (Pra.up. 4.10). What is required to be stated clearly is ‘Where indeed is that Ak?ara, the Cause, Satyam, known by the name ‘Puru?a’, to be realized?’ The Sixth Question is posed with a view to delineate on this. The narrating of a background story is to bring out the rarity of this Knowledge and through this, the immense effort needed on the part of the aspirants to secure it.

Part 1, Part 11, Part 13 Coming soon…


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