Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 41 of (Vol 2) of 01 Nov 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 41 of (Vol 2) of 01 Nov 2007.

(Continued from DK # 40 of 28 Oct 2007.)

230. After Easa and Kena, is Kata Upanishad, coming in the 'Kata Branch' of the Krishna Yajur Veda. In it is the description of the Upadesam given by Yama Dharma Raja to young brhmachari Nachiketa. It starts like an interesting story, but ends in high philosophy. Nachiketa's Father was conducting a Yagna, in which he was donating many things to deserving Brahmins. Evidently there were some items, like an old cow, which had finished it's useful life. The son Nachiketa, first asked his father as to why he is donating something not likely to be useful to the recipient. As the Father was rather preoccupied, he ignored the Son's question. Then Nachiketa evidently pestered his Father, as to whom he is going to donate him to. The Father rebuffed him saying that 'he will donate him to Yama', the God of Death. The result was that, Nachiketa landed in 'Yama Loka' unscheduled; and we got the Upanishad! Sri Krishna has used many of the sentences from this Upanishad verbatim in Baghawat Gita.

231. That matter of Object-Subject, that I talked about, while discussing the material content of Kenopanishad, is very clearly emphasised and reinforced in Katopanishad. You see, there are some plants like a type of grass, in which the whole stem is made up of leaves as though inserted concentrically in the next outer leaf. The central soft portion like a rod can be simply pulled out. It will just slide out, out of the plant with such ease and facility! 'Like that, the Subject Atma, should be pulled out of the Object Body and remain as Atma', says the Mantra (VI:17) in Katopanishad! 'Love, hate, lust, fear, are all affectations of the mind and not mine, who am the Atma. Hunger, thirst etc., are of this body and not mine, who am the Atma'. Thus, we should train ourselves to Objectify all the non-Atma things and learn to discard them, repeatedly. As we go along, slowly our assumption that we are this body and mind, will weaken and disappear completely. Then, like seperating the 'Eerkutchi' from the 'Munjam Grass', Atma can be pulled out of Non-Atma things!

232. If a bundle of banana leaves lying near by is drying up, are we affected? This human body should be thought of as package made up of flesh, nerves and bones, much closer than the bundle of Banana leaves. As that bundle remains an Object under our observation, instead of the Subjective self, our own body should also be seen as another Object, other than ourselves.

233. As we continue to live in this world, still living in this body, we should thus train ourselves that, this body is not me. Then instead of going to some Vaikundam or Kailasam for Moksham, after our dropping this body, 'here and now' can be the Nirvana. Moksham means total carefree bliss of undiluted happiness. This self satisfied person is 'sadanandan' or ever happy. He is the 'jeevan mukthan' or liberated while alive! The final aim or mission of all Vedas and Vedantam, is to make Man a Jeevan Mukthan. This same idea is said by Sri Krishna in Baghawath Gita, Ch V. 23. "shaknoti iha eva ya: sodum praak sareera vimokshanat I kaama krodhodbhavam vegam sa yukta: sa sukhi nara: II" shkanoti = is able; iha eva = here itself; sodum = to withstand; praak = before; sareera vimokshanaat = liberation from this body; kaama krodha udbhavam = born out of desire and anger; sa yukta: = he is a yogi; sa sukhi nara: = he is a happy man.

234. Ihaiva = iha + eva = here and now itself, while still in this world; if you recognise your identity with this Atma, and disassociate your self from ownership or being owned by this body; such a person cannot be adversely affected by death! Once this happens, body has no lordship over you and the mind has become your tool or instrument in your hands. Death does not affect you. So while living he has become 'Amirtham' everlasting. This becoming 'Amirtham ihaiva' is what is specially mentioned by 'Purush Suktham' and 'Dahara Vidya'. Upanishads, repeatedly emphasise this idea, in various ways.

235. The cause for all our problems are the body and the mind. (Let me straight away underline the point, that they are also the cause to make this discussion possible. It is true that Devatas, have no chance for Gnanam, without being born as a human being!) So possibly, I will reframe my sentence that, the cause for all our problems is that we are letting our body and mind, lord it over us, instead of they being tools in our hands! All the religions of the world, have a concept of 'moksham' to mean 'everlasting happiness devoid of sadness'. Other than Adwaitam, they all talk of some such achievement, somewhere in 'Paralokam or Heavens or Moksha lokam or Kailasam or Vaikuntam!' I am not overstating the truth, when I say that as per Adwaitam, by controlling and eradicating the wrong identification of our selves with the body and mind and bringing our focus back on the real one, 'Atma', the true Moksham can be, 'ihaiva' that is, 'here and now'.

236. That is what Adi Sankara reinstates in his Bhashyam for Brhma Sutram (I.1.4). "...tad etat asareeratvam mokshaakyam...". 'Asareeri' has come to mean, sound from an unknown source. Actually it only means, body or formlessness. When the wrong identification of ourselves as this body goes, we make ourselves, 'asareeri'. It is not suicide. Both death and suicide, affects only the body. Even after the body is no more, the 'mano maya sookshma sareera' or the subtle body of the mind, can trouble us. When you keep reducing the desires to nullity, and the body consciousness is dehydrated to vacuity, the inner Atma shines in effulgent glory. For this you do not have to go anywhere else. That is what is trumpeted by the Veda Vedanta as 'Ihaiva...Ihaiva...Iha Eva', 'here and now'.

237. There are two enemies preventing us from this very state of 'Amritatva'. Gita the Smruthi says that they are, 'Kama and Krodha'(Ch V.23). The background authority for that statement in the Gita is, the phrase, '...priyam apriyam...' in Chandokya Upanishad (VIII.12.1). Likes and dislikes. Likes are Kaamam. Dislikes are Krodham. Chandokyam says that these likes and dilikes do not touch the bodyless being! Love and Hate are for the embodied soul only. So the Upanishad says that, if you want to get over likes and dislikes, while still alive, get rid of the wrong identification with the body. Make it clear to youself that when you say, I or Me, that is not the Physical Body! You are You with or without the body!

238. The one Jeeva Atma, depending on the momentary attitude of his as me and mine, is classified as, Gaunatma or Mityatma or Mukhyatma. Elders have given this in the form of a slokam, which has been quoted by Adi Sankara Baghwat Padaal, in Brhma Sutra Bhashyam (I.1.4). "gowna mithyatman: asathve putra dehaati bhadanaat I sat brhma-atmaaham ityevam bhode kaaryam khatam bhavet II " Everyone has this deep rooted thought that, their children and relatives are themselves. That is 'Gouna Atma' or 'Honorary Aatma'. Even when we know that they are not ourselves, the sense of 'we and us and ourselves' will often arise in our minds. This is the cause for much narrow nepotism, clannishness, parochialism and nationalism; as well as the motivating force for much of social service, humanism, internationalism and love for all life forms. Closer home is the notion that we are our physical body. This is the 'Mithya Aatma', the reason for all narrow selfishness, lust, passion, hate, fear and competitive one-up-man-ship. When you come to the core of the being, and the oneness of Atma and Brhmam becomes clear, then it is evidently, Brhmaatma or Godliness. This is the point beyond space and time coalescing dignity, nobility and grandeur of transcendance! All the wrong notions vanish. No more 'yet to be done' responsibilities. That is the meaning of the slokam quoted above, which erases all doubts about selfishness and selflessness!

239. "Arise, Awake...", quoted by Swami Vivekananda, so effectively in Chicago, is a Mantra of Katopanishad. Many of the Quotable Quotes of the present day world in Philosophy and even Management subjects are from Katopanishad. Let me quote some of them! (a) "Education and Ambition alone cannot make you reach the Atma". (b) "For the Jeevan riding the chariot, the body is the Chariot; his brain is the Sarathy or Chauffeur; faculties of the mind are the reins; the senses are the horses". (c) "In the cave of the heart, God is in the form of a flame, the size of a thumb." (d) "The Mantram that is chanted at the time of 'Deepa Aradana', ' tatra suryo bhathi...', meaning, not the sun nor the moon or stars, nothing shines; but, everything shines because of His effulgence. So, these lights cannot enlighten Him, the Paramatma!" (e) "All our limited knowledge and awareness are sourced from that, so this limited, cannot explain that unlimited!" (f) "The famous comparison of all existance with the inverted tree of, 'Aswattam', with its roots in Brhmam and its branches and leaves spread all over the world!, described also in the first three verses of Ch.15 of Baghawat Gita". (g) "As and when you get rid of all the desires residing in your heart, you will become eternal and partake of the nectar of Parabrhmam". Next time you hear any of these ideas, let a bell ring that they are from Katopanishad.

240. After Katopanishad, are the three Upanishads of the Atharva Veda, 'Prasna, Mundaka and Maandookya Upanishads'. Prasna means question. How are we born in this world? Who are the protecting Devatas? How does 'life' come into the body? What are the truths about the states of, 'wakefulness, sleep and dream'? What is the use of 'Onkara Upasana'? What is the relation between God and Man / Paramatma and Jeevatma? These are the six questions answered in this Upanishad.

241. Mundakam, is to shave off ones head. This Upanishad is meant for study by the mature individuals, who have resignd themselves to a life of complete renunciation. Mundakopanishad talks of the 'Akchara Brhmam'. Akcharam means the endless infinite eternity. Akcharam also means 'sound / letter', which is also forever. We talk of 'Panchatchara, Shadakchara and Ashtakchara Mantras'. The root Mantra for all this is the 'Pranavam that is the Onkara'. To reach the Eternal Brhmam, the Akchara Onkara is the special vehicle. 'In the Bow of Onkara, the Arrow of Atma should be loaded and with perfect aim, without any doubt or hesitation, shoot at the target of Brhmam', says the Upanishad.

242. There is the Pippala tree, in which two birds are seated. One is symbolic of Jeevatma and the other Paramatma. One, the Jeevatma is eating the fruit. The other bird, the Paramtma, is just watching. This is a story from Mundakopanishad. This same story becomes the one about Adam and Eve with the forbidden apple. Apple tree is the Pippala tree. The Government of India has adopted the motto, "sathyam eva jayate", meaning 'truth alone wins', from this Upanishad only. There is one Mantra in this Upanishad, which is about such persons who have been 'Jeevan Mukthaas' and after dropping the body, become 'videha mukthas', that is 'bodyless-liberateds'. When offering 'Poorna Kumbham' to Sannyasis, the Mantra that is chanted in their honour, starting with the words, " karmanaa na prajayaa dhanena thyagena ekena amritatvam aanasu: ....", is also from this Upanishad! This sentence for example means, "...not by actions, not by having mass followership, not by wealth; but only by 'Thyaaga' or sacrifice; is eternal nectar of Amirtatvam imbibed..." It is again this Upanishad, that comes out with the idea that, " all the water falling from the skys, flowing in different channels become rivers with so many names, run in thier varied directions, finally anyhow reach the ocean: all the reverence by any and everybody anywhere, reaches the same God and every devotee finally loses his seperate identity and becomes one with the ultimate".

243. Next is the 'Mandookyopanishad'. Mandookam is a frog. How is the name of the Upanishad evolved out of a frog? Possibly, because, a frog does not go step by step, but jumps covering many steps along the way. Similarly, the Upanishad talks of leaping across the three stages of, Jagrat (wakefulness), Swapna (dream) and Sushupti (deep sleep), directly to the fourth stage of Tureeya, by Pranava Akchara Upaasana. The Rishi for the Upanishad is Varuna Baghavan, in the form of a frog. In size, this is the smallest, having only 12 Mantras. But in name and fame, it is very high. It talks of the Pranava and decisively establishes the oneness of Jeevatma and Paramatma. It describes the transcendent experience of Tureeya as, "...santam sivam adwaitam...", which is a famous quotation! Adi Sankara's Guru's Guru, Sri Gouda Padacharyal has written, 'Mandookyopanishad Kaarikai', to which Adi Sankara has written Bhashyam.

244. Amongst the ten Upanishads, next in line as per that slokam on the names, is 'thithiri' that is, 'Thaithreeya Upanishad'. Guru Vaisampayanar had a difference of opinion with his Sishya, Yagnavalkyar. Before parting of ways, the Guru asked the Sishya to 'vomit' all that had been taught. He did so and the other students, took the form of birds to partake the 'concentrated dose' and thereby retrieve and reassimulate the entire Branch of the Veda, whose Samhitai, Brhmanam and Aranyakam, got the name of 'Thaithreeyakam', as a part of Krishna Yajur Vedam. This Upanishad occurs as part of Thaithreeya Aranyakam. More than any other, the one most often studied is this Upanishad. Many of the Mantras in use in 'Karma Anushtanam' are from this Upanishad. Many of the Quotable Quotes are from this Upanishad only More about this, in the next e-mail!

(To be continued.)




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