COMMENTARY ON THE ISHOPANISHAD PART I – MANTRAS 1 TO 8. BY SRI ANIRVAN,
TRANSLATED BY SRI GAUTAM DHARMAPAL. COPYRIGHT
Isa Vasyam idam sarvam yat kim O jagatyam jagat,
Ten tyakten bhunjhithah ma gridha kasya suiid dhanam.
All This has to be illumined by the Lord,
All this that is moving in This moving world
All these moving worlds in the moving universe
Therefore renouncing to Him, enjoy what He returns as Prasad.
Covet not wealth of anyone. ..
Reading this mantra along with the next mantra, we have an integral, whole and complete ideal of life. We see the Trinity of Right vision, Right enjoyment and Right action. There is nothing beyond this in the life of Man.
In the first mantra, it is said we should illuminate everything of this world by the light of the Lord. That is the purification (purity) of seeing. We may enjoy worldly things without greed or lust. These are illumined by the Lord through our renunciation of them by first dedicating all things to the Lord and enjoying what He returns to us as Prasada.x In this lies the purification of enjoyment.
In the very beginning we get three essential principles or truths, The Lord (God), the moving Uuiversal Power (Jagati or Shakti) and the Universe or our World. Isha the Lord is The Absolute Consciousness, Jagati, the Universal Power, is His Shakti, His conscious Force, and Jagat, their World and the Soul in the World, together both being the manifestations of the Lord. The Three are intermingled.
The One who is called Isha, Full Lord here, is called Ishana the Controller or the Ruler in the Veda (Samhita). Later he became popularly known as “Iswara,”of God. However this word is not found in the Rigveda; it is in the Atharvaveda and the Yajurveda. But there also it is not in the technical sense for ParamPurusha, the Absolute Being. In the Purusha Sukta of the Atharvaveda “Amirutatvasya Ishanah, i.e. The Lord of Immortality, has become “Amrutatvasya Iswara,” God of Immortality. The word has no technical meaning. The etymological meaning of the Isha, Ishan or Ishwara is Ruler or Controller. But Isha here connotes the Absolute Being (Parama Purusha). In the 4th, 5th and 8th mantras of this Upanishad, all His characteristics have been described, Natural (Swarupa), Neutral (Tatastha), Positive (Savishesha) and Negative (Nirvishesha). He is indescribable, One without a second, Transcendent yet Universal in self,expansion, Moving and Unmoving all at the same time. He is the Supporter and Sustained, the Container and the Contained. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Yagnyavalkya talks about the Rule of the Undecaying, the Imperishable (Akohara) One and its including in all, its all,pervadingness (antoryanitva)2. Ruling means keeping all beings and everything in rhythm, in essential harmony, disallowing any chaos. Indwelling is another form of this Rulership. One who lives within the hearts of everyone and controls their twin natures, the One whom nobody knows but who is the body and soul of everyone, He is the Indweller.
This Ruling and Indwellingness is the Mastery (Ishana) of the Lord (God Ishwara). This is His all encompassing, perishable, impermanent Nature (kohara,Bhava) or selfexpansion, selfmanifestation, self radiation. And yet in His real characteristics He is Imperishable, Permanent like the Sky (Ether) He is unmoving in His static Fullness. Though He is the Imperishable (akohara) yet He is the perishable (kshara) too. Doing nothing He is like the Sky, yet actively He is Prana (Life Force) as well. Being a harmonious combination of two apparently contradictory elements, essential principles, and truths, He is indescribable. He is the Lord God, combining in Him all the three conceptions of Imperishability, Indwelling and the Ruler.
The word “Iswara,” the Lord, is specifically mentioned in Mandukya Upanishad while discussing the attainment of Brahman. There it is written, “All this is Brahman.” It goes on, “This Self or Atma too is Brahman. This Atma is four footed or fourfold. In the first foot which is the state of wakefulness, he is Vaiswanara, the person residing in all beings of the world. In the second foot which is the Dream State, he is Tejas, the huminous one. In the third foot which is the state of Deep Sleep, he is Prajna, The Wise One, the Lord of wisdom. This Prajna is the Lord of All, Sarveswar, Sarva,Iswara or Omnipotent, All Powerful, Omniscient, All knowing, the Inner soul, the Womb of All, the INdweller in all. And in the fourth foot He is the state where all phenomena dissolve, who is calm, (shantam), the Good (shivam), the one without a second (adwaita).
Like the Self, Brahman too is four footed. In the outer form He is Wisdom, of the Thousand (x) Eyes, theThousand feet, the Universal (Virat) person. In the inner form He is Hiranyagarbhah, the Golden Embryo, the first born, Lord of all beings, while in the form of Concentrated Wisdom (Prajnan ghanata) He is the Lord of Immortality.4 These three forms are His Form of Being, His Ideal form and His Power (Shakti) form. Beyond all these three is His consciousness form, that of a child, inherent in all the three. Brahman is not only the Traya or the Three, but together with the fourth foot is the fourfooted Brahman or Brahman in four forms. One traverses the full, complete whole Brahman while ascending from Matter to Consciousness, passing from waking state through all the four states, leaving one state to enter another, saying not this, not this. At the end one arrives at the state of Dissolution of all phenomena, merging into the Imperishable One. On descending from that state of Total Oneness, from the power and opulence of the stillness of the dissolution of all phenomena, the silent Brahman, if one brings back to the efflorescence of phenomena the glory and greatness of That One and transforms even solid matter into spirit, then the Substance, the Idea and the Power, all are Brahman, all are Self.
This Indwellingness of the Imperishable One in the efflorescence of the phenomena, is His mastery, the radiation and transmission of His rhythm and harmony, creating Energy or Shakti. Here this Power, this Shakti, is called Jagati (Universal Movement). Jagati is the name of one particular rhythm in Veda. In the seven prominent rhythms, Jagati is the last one. In the Rigveda, Jagati is the rhythm used specially for the Universal Gods.
(Viswadevata)5. Every foot of it contains twelve letters. Therefore it is also the rhythm of the Sun God Aditya; because the revolution of the Sun is completed in twelve months. The word “Chandas” has three meanings, desire, manifestation and sheath. The rhythm of a god is that which creates a sheath of light round the creator flashed out of the God’s hidden desire, and which by becoming a placenta or womb of light, i.e.“Jyotijarayu,” controls it. Thus in “Jagati,” the rhythm of the Sun or Universal Consciousness, there is the significance and symbolism of the universal great and mighty Goddess, Nabashakti. Bhuvaneswari, the Goddess Aditi. Sun, Aditya, is The Son, the glorious power of Aditi. Aditi is the Transcendent Mahashakti, the Great Goddess, ever immutable and unbound. Aditi has become Jagati. Isha of this Upanishad is thus “Varuna,” the inseparable consort of Aditi. God Varuna symbolises (represents) the great mystery of unmanifest infinity which envelopes and propels all and yet stands beyond all.
This world comes out of the togetherness of this God (Isha) and His Shakti (Jagati). Isha the Lord is the Supreme Consciousness and Jagati. The Energy is MahaShakti the Supreme Power Force. Jagat, the universe or the world, is the movement, the emission or radiation of this consciousness-power, just as the radiation of the Sun rays from the Heart of the Sun (Aditya Hridayam) of the Great Sky. Each ray is like a “Soul ray,” the life of a soul or its world. Like the tendrils of the kadamba flower they are upheld in Jagati, The Mahashakti; with the Lord indwelling in Her. Behind every world or Soul’s life there is this Jagati, Shakti; behind every born thing or being is its world. Enveloping all and within each indwells the power of the Supreme Consciousness,the Lord
All that exists in this universe, each Jagat in this Jagati,that is, all the variegated oscillations of myriads of becomings in the ocean of this Universe, the creating, sustaining and destroying Mahashaktis, have to be seen illuminated by Isha, the immutable One Lord.
kurvann eveha karmāṇi jijīviṣecchataṃ samāḥ |
evaṃ tvayi nānyatheto 'sti na karma lipyate nare ||
Doing verily works here, one should wish to live
a hundred year,
Thus it is this and not otherwise than this
works do not cleave to such Man
The natural meaning of this mantra is this will to live a hundred years doing works. If this is the nature of man or Life’s dharma (inherent nature) then there cannot be otherwise. One who is truly a Man, works can never cleave to him; they cannot be a cause of bondage to him.
In the previous mantra we have the ideals of man’s Seeing and Enjoyment, In this mantra, the ideal of man’s actions is described. Thus in these two man God we get the formula of the Samkhya philosophy.
The Purusha of Samkhya in Nature is a Seer, Enjoyer and Doer. But the Nature of the Pure Purusha, the kaivalya (the state of total freedom and aloneness from the Nature,prakriti) of the non-enjoyer and non-doer Nature (apara prakriti). In ordinary life we are always bound to actions (works) and enjoyment; we are always tossed by the dualities of happiness and suffering, liking and disliking, attraction and aversion. Suffering is the final result of this oscillation. For complete removal of this suffering, we have to separate ourselves from Nature by the discipline of dispassion, discrimination and non-action. The discriminating person (Purusha) is neither an Enjoyer nor a Doer, he is only a Seer. Thus doctrine and the discipline (sadhana) accordingly is necessary on the way of ascension. In the beginning of spiritual life, so long as we are entangled with the lower Nature, this discipline is absolutely necessary (literal translation). its unavoidability is undeniable But this is not the end.
The freedom of man bound by Nature is achieved when he arrives at witness-consciousness, becomes a witness, separating himself from enjoyment and works. But this is not applicable to the Supreme Purusha. This lower Nature is his very own Self-Nature. It is the radiation of the Divine Self power hidden in His own qualities.1(selfquality) Therefore in His case there can be no question of being separate or remaining a witness. According to the Gita though He is an overseer or witness, He is also the Sanctioner, the Master as well as “the Enjoyer and the Lord.”2 The last two adjectives denote His divine enjoyment and divine works. In this form, He is everywhere –in the individual as self (atma) and in the universe as God (Paramatma). In this very Upanishad, we will know later about His “All-Becoming” and “Going-all around” forms. We will also hear about the oneness of the Purusha here and the Purusha there. As in the Param Purusha the Supreme Lord, so in us there will be no distinction whatsoever between Seeing, Enjoyment And Works. A great emphasis has been given to such an integral, complete and whole philosophy of Life in this Upanishad.
The ancient term for this philosophy of Life was ‘Seeing’ (dristi). There is a ‘False Seeing” and ‘Right Seeing’. False seeing is covered by Ignorance; it is narrow because of ego; it does not look at LIfe and the world in a complete whole way ; loots at life with personal narrow interest, in parts. Right seeing is calm, joyful, happy, open, vast, bounteous like sunshine. It automatically spreads equally to all and everyone; without losing one’s own self; it brings the variety and divinity of the Many under the umbrage of the harmony and beauty of the One. In this Seeing, we see in ourselves and in all others the same One, who is “the Lord of All;” we see everything enveloped and illumined by the Lord. Our enjoyment is purified by the purity of this Seeing; we can creatively partake of that enjoyment without greed, with joy as His (grace) (prasada), benediction.
But along with enjoyment, we are also entangled by works, actions. In Enjoyment we receive or gather energy, force within us ; in Works we radiate, throw it out, scatter energy. False Seeing pollutes work, just as it pollutes Enjoyment. The result of both these is excitement, intoxication and weariness at the end. But the joy and clarity of Right Seeing transforms Works into mastery, into the force goes the free radiation of Selfpower. Our Self-nature then is similar to or resembles God-Nature; like Him in Right Seeing we are Consciousness (chit), in Right Enjoyment like His Bliss (ananda) and in Right Action like His Force (shakti).
There is one word in the mantra, jijivisha or “will to live” which is not found anywhere else. However in the Samhita (Veda), the idea is common. Here we find at many places the idea of wishing to enjoy a hundred year life (Shatayu), a Lifespan decreed by God.3 In the Upanishads, the Self (atma) is not only immortal, It knows no age, no death. It is ageless, deathless (vijarah Vimrityuh); the Brahmanas talk about the body of the sacrificer becoming golden lined (hiranya shariny) as a result of oblations leading to immortality. In Swetaswara Upanishad there is a mantra which says, “There is no old age, no disease, no death for a yogi whose body is transformed by the Fire of yoga, where qualities of the five material elements of body (Pancha mahabhuta) are changed into the qualities of yoga.4 Behind all these is the Sun-worship of the Vedas,which says, The light of the Sun is brightest when the Sun rises to its highest point or zenith in the midsky. Its light begins to diminish after reaching that zenith. In our lives too, after the prime of youth, begins its loss which ends in death. This decay and decrease must be stopped. We have to oppose it with all our might. We will not allow the Sun to go downwards after it reaches its zenith. This is the full object of the worshippers of the Sun. Behind this is a very strong “will to Live,’ which has taken a definite form in the Upanishads in the worship of “Prana Brahma’–Brahman as Life force. Today we have forgotten this, but the saying “Vaidikah Pranavadinah” i.e. the followers of the Vedas are worshippers of Prana, was well known in the ‘Shaiva Darshans,’ the philosophy of the followers of Shiva, until the Middle Ages. In the injunction “Jyivishet Shatam Samali” (will to live for a hundred years) we hear the propulsion of the ageless, deathless Sungod. Arousing a strong resolution and will power in ourselves, we should live a hundred years worthily (resisting death, disease and old age), keeping the light of Mind shining brightly till the end despite the ageing of the body and diminishing of prana.
And we will have to live ’kurvann eva karmani,’ always doing works. Here the adverb ‘eva’ is in the sense of emphasis. We have to do works, there is no other way. It seems this is in refutation of some opposing ideal.
Let me remind you here about the two streams of Aryan thought, ’tarka’ and “mimamsa,” The Rationalists and the Exegesisits. The Rationalists, though they do consider the supreme Good (Salvation,Liberation or Nirvana) as the highest goal of human life, do not accept Vedic works (Sacrifice) or worship of God the means for its realisation. As stated in Rig Veda, they fall in the category of “adeva ayagna,” non-believers in gods or sacrifices. In one of his Suktas, Rishi Gritsamada has criticised them.6 The final end of this ideal is in one or other type of Non-action; where they declare that to renounce all types of works is life’s ideal. In the Tirthankas of the Buddhist literature we get some information about them. This doctrine was much in vogue in eastern India. We get such indications in Rig Veda.
“Dissolution” or “Transcendence, Pari Nirvana of Consciousness” was generally the goal of the spiritual attainment of these who believed in the Renunciation of all actions (karma Sannyasa) as the means to their goal. “Asad Brahma” (Brahma as Non Existence) and ‘Varunt Sunyata” (The void of Varuna, the god of Darkness) are the vedic synonyms. We find them mentioned in different ways and places in the Samhitas and Upanishads.
It is possible everything ends in the Void or Nothingness. As water mixed with water or as salt dissolves in water, life too ends in death. Maybe that death is dazzling, so what? Yagyavalkya has said in Brihadarayaka Upanishad, “There remains no cognition after transcending all.” Maybe to dive and descend into that supreme wordless silence, that Supreme Void, is the final Truth of the Being. If that is so, neither enjoyment nor actions, nothing will remain in that Transcendental state of SelfBeing of Yama (the god of death) or Varuna (the god of night, darkness) Then why should we not choose in the very beginning of life, that which is certainly going to come at the end of life ?
But there is a loophole in this argument. The Neutrality and Integrity of Right Seeing, Right Vision is not there. You cannot call the Supreme Truth, Existence (Sat) alone or NonExistence (asat) alone. It is Existence and Non-Existence, Life and Death together. The Motion (Movement) at the root of life is His Motion. Stopping or withdrawal of Motion in Death is His Nature of Calmness, Peace. So long as there is life, there is Enjoyment as well as Action. Just as the enjoyment controlled by renunciation is Pure, Action controlled by non-attachment is also Pure. In one there is the Grace, Benediction of the Lord, in the other His Power. Both are laid down or willed by God. The perishable (Kshara) universe comes out of the Unperishable (akshara); Existence (Sat) is born from Non-Existence (asat).10 To attain or to be established in this Non-existence or the unperishable is the true meaning of Sun-like Death (Vaivaswat Mrityu). If we can keep our lives illumined by the LIght of the Lord, our Action will be a rhythmic dance, a natural inborn exuberance of His Power.
What is Action or works (Karma)? Here we get the instruction regarding works at the end of Shukla-yajur Veda. We can therefore easily surmise that works means Sacrifice (yagna). Then we will have to take this term in a wider sense. According to Riksamhita, sacrifice (yagna) is that ‘divine work’ (Devakarma), a discipline (Samani), which leads to ‘Naka’, the highest heaven or beyond the sun to ‘Vishoka’ hoka or sorrowless world.11 It is not only the ritual-dominated excessive activities. In Chandogya Upanishad Rishi Ghora, Angiras tells Devakiputra Srikrishna that ‘Man’s whole life is a sacrifice; whatever he does is part and parcel of that sacrifice.12 The same idea lies behind the Five Mahayagnas in the Chandogya Upanishad to be practised (performed) daily by a householder.13 Accordingly any action prompted by the spirit of sacrifice is a yagna. A person can perform it with the spirit of non-attachment or by performing such action can become desireless. That desirelessness or non-attachment will be the guiding force or the result of his final attainment.
“Evam tvayi na anyatha itah asti”. There can be two meanings of ‘evam tvaye.’ One, “if this is so in you,’ or Two,” if you have become this.” The real meaning of this sentence is, “if the joy of controlled enjoyment and will to live a God ordained life is the main ideal of your life, then performing sacrifice-oriented actions is obligatory or ordained, it cannot be otherwise.
The bother and trouble that accompany works disturbs and pollutes or clouds the mind (the Chitta), and therefore becomes a cause for bondage. This is the fear of the seekers of salvation (moksha,nirvan) What pollutes the mind is not works but attachment. Actions done with ego, greed or desire for hoarding of objects of enjoyment are black indeed, wrong and unworthy. It daubs the light of the mind with collyrium (blackness). It pollutes the mind. But the actions done as dedication to the divine or for the good of all beings are white andpure, the fruits of such actions are spiritual light and clarity of a pure, good-natured mind and heart (Chitta). The doer then is desireless, unstained, nonattached. His nonattachment is known by his way of action, by his skylike, turmoil free, undisturbed purity and light. He is then a doer and yet a nondoer. Sometimes his actions are an automatic exuberance of his self-power just like the radiation of the sun rays in the sky. It is then the proliferation of an enlightened consciousness, coming down of the perishable (kshara) from the unperishable (akshara). The purusha, the self, then is a Doer inspite of being a NonDoer. Thus though he does something, he does nothing, and while he does not do anything, he does (He sees action in nonaction and nonaction in action). Thus he is a Kritsnakarmakrit”–doer of all works–and yet non-attached.
Here the term (word) ‘nara’ is used for such a non-attached doer. The old form of ‘nara’ is ‘nru’. It is a much used term in Samhita. for ‘man’ as well as ‘god.’ Yaska in his etymology has defined the term thus. narah nrityanti karmasu,14 men dance in actions. In the Gita. Sri Krishna says, “I am virility in men’ (paurusham nrishu).15 In Samhita wherever the word is used it inspires the sense of great power, strength. Putting all this together, we can say that the action of a nonattached person is truly a man’s (nara’s) action. In it, there is a rhythm of dance; exuberance of a virile man, which is akin to the self manifestation of the Supreme Divine.
Thus in the first two mantras we get an outline of the integral, whole philosophy of life. Its instruction is –We have to illuminate this world by the Lord; established in renunciation, enjoy everything as his benediction (prasad) without greed. We have to keep doing works till the end of our lives with happy expectation of a hundred year life.
In this ideal of Seeing, Enjoyment and Action lies the fulfillment of Life.
asurya nama il hokah andhena tamasavritah
tanste pretyabhigacchanti ye ke atmahano janah
Asura,related are the worlds that are encompassed
by blind darkness.
Towards them they go after passing away (death)
Those that are slayers of their souls –3–
Life has to be enlightened by purified Vision (seeing), Enjoyment and Works (Action). That was the meaning of the former two mantras. Enlightenment comes through self-awareness. In this mantra, we get the expansion of that truth.
“Asurya” (with short u) is the reading in both Karva and Madhyandin branches of Yajurveda. We do not find this word in any other Upanishad. It seems therefore that it is a technical word. “Asurya” means that which is related to “asura” (demon). That it is ‘asurya’ (with long U) that is ‘Sunless’ is indicated in Shatapatha Brahmana. But there is a reason why that meaning is minor. The apparent meaning of the word ‘atmata’ in the mantra is, “Those who have no self awareness can be called slayers of Self (Soul).” But there can be another meaning. “Those who do not accept existence of “Self” (Atma) i.e. those who are believers in “NonSelf” (anatma-vadi).” After passing away (priti) they go to ‘asurya loka’ to the worlds of asuras that encompass blind darkness, gloom or the void of God Varuna’s dark Night. This is in every way the worship of ‘asambhuti,’ ‘NonBecoming’ or “Dissolution” (Vinasha), which is not the intention of their Upanishad. In Rig Veda Varuna is especially ‘asura,’ in Brahmanas He is God of Night (Ratri) or the Unmanifest (avyakta). The word “andhena tamasah” stated in this mantra is used by Yagyavalkya in Brihadaranyaka, “NonCognition after passing away” (asuryaa).2
If we take the prevalent meaning of the word ‘atmaha’–slayers of one’s self–it will mean that those who spend all their lives in deep ignorance and delusion without being self aware, they fall in the blind gloom of great delusion after passing away–preti–or death. This is the state of ordinary deluded ignorant people. In life they move about in a half-conscious or unconscious state. Whatever consciousness they possess is the consciousness of their ego (aham), not of their self (atma), because their eyes are turned outward, not inward. Man cannot know his self unless and until he turns his eyes inward. Till this happens, he is not “known of his self (atmanur) or Self-aware, his slayer of his self. (atmahano).” His life’s blindness continues even in the gloom of death, this is his fate.
But this is not everybody’s fate. Out of lakhs of people some wake up with a strong desire for immortality with sudden arousing of faith in higher worlds like Nachiketa. Standing before the revolution of Life and Death, they see that in their own selves is one ‘ajo bhagah,’4 part unborn, part an immortal smokeless flame of light constantly rising up towards the worlds of Mitra and Varuna. The knowledge of this psychic Fire is the knowledge of the Atman or Self. To keep that Flame burning all the time as a Fireworshipper (agnihotri) is the life vow of an aya.
This self knowledge is at the source of creation. It is said in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. “In the beginning Brahma had become all this. He knew His own Self as, “I am becoming Brahma.”5 This “I am” knowledge of Brahma has permeated all. That is why, it is said in the Gita that the jiva (soul or self) is a part of Him (ansha) or a ray (anshu) like the ray radiated from the Sun: One end of the ray consciousness is gathered in Incss; on the other end it has spread out in Brahma. But the common trait of both is “I am ness” (asmita) or selfness (swadha) or to remain as self within one’s own self.
When we lose this “I am ness” or “Selfness”, then only we are ‘selfslayers’. In nature consciousness arouses with the sense or knowledge of “Is ness” (astita). The sense or knowledge of “I amness” arouses long after it due to reactions. In the beginning we understand (know) that “all is”. but do not know “i am” or I am not, Then “I am ness” is defeated by “Is ness”. After that the constant effort of “I am ness,” to rise above “Is ness” is our whole life. If ‘I am ness’ can absorb “Is ness” by being ‘Vast’ (brihat) then only our life is fruitful, worthy. This is called in the Upanishads the spirit or experiencing of oneness of Self and Brahman (brahmatma,bhava) or oneness of self with All, (sarvatma bhava) –equivalent of which in Samhita are ‘Devatati’–that God is everything and ‘Sarvatati’–that All is everything or All is All.
“Jagatyam Jagat.” When the Existence of the Universe because of the miraculous power of Jagat, the Shakti of the Lord, eclipses our Beings’ I am ness”, then we are slayers of our selves (atmaha) –drowned in the gloom of Nonself (anatma): but this universe which our senses can grasp is not the only universe. Beyond that and deep within it is the universe which is extrasensory beyond our physical senses, but graspable by intellect, there is the flooding of the light of Mitra, the Sun God of Day, and beyond it the void of God Varuna, (the God of Night) eclipse of God Rahu. In the language of Chandogya Upanishad before the Golden hued Purusha in Aditya (The Sun) is the “Shuklam Bhah” or the White Light, and behind it is the “Aulam Parah Krishna” The Dark Blue Supreme Darkness. The ascent and descent in these two is our Supreme Goal; our Summum tonum.6 But that too is challenge of the Supreme Existence (Is ness) to our being, ’I am ness.’ By the expansion of our consciousness, we purely wish to ascend to the Light of Sun and colourless Void, but not by losing ourselves, our I am ness (asmita). There also remaining our own selves (swadhavah) we wish to assimilate the (Supreme) Existence in our SELF (I am ness). Along with the expansion of our Self consciousness, we do not wish to drown ourselves in the shoreless Beyond, but wish the condensation of allpervasiveness. May be, again and again we will be drowned or drifted away by the floodwaters, Despite that, by constant deposits of alluvial soil (alluvium) in the “Inscrutable Profound Deep” (apraketam gahanam gabhiram) an island of SELF Existence will arise. This Self existence (atmasthiti) will be the essence of the Supreme Existence, HIs Self existent (svayambhu) centre of consciousness (Chit kendra). If this does not happen, then even if I ascend from this world to higher worlds, I will be a self slayer (atmaha). My “passing onward” (preti) or Self exceeding (svotarana) will then lead me to the shore of an undescribable Blind Gloom. In the of my (solid) Self existence, I will just drown helplessly in the bottomless strong attraction of Immersion in the Bodilessness (videha laya) or Immersion in Nature8 (prakritilaya).
To lose oneself in the all destroying dissolution due to strong attraction and insistence on Renunciation and Non action, from ancient times such an ideal of life was prevalent in our country. We see its complete well developed formation in Gautam Buddha. For him, there is no enjoyment, no works, no God! not even Atman! All Existence was devoured by an immeasurable unlimited Non Existence, all light extinguished in a lightless void. We cannot say that this experience is untrue. We get many indications towards in Upanishads and Samhitas. That which is Nonexistence (asah), the Night (ratri), the souls or waterless Void (sunam apeh) whose secret within the Supreme Lord of the great sky ‘knows or knows not’! (Veda na Veda Va), that which is unknown and unknowable, indescribable where “the Sun shines not, nor the moon or stars.”9 We cannot deny it! But is this great and mighty dissolution the last word of the spiritual experience.9 Then, whence comes this creation,9 why and wherefore this will to live.9 Is it not for the sake of a grand descent after the ascent.9 Is not this Nonexistence, asat, the mother, the creation of Existence (Sat).9 What is that light in the eye of Night ? What is that Timeless ‘Wavy Sea’ (samadro arnavah) that rocks in Her Heart? where nothing (lightlessness) shines? in that NonLight (analoka), how comes this shadow of light (anubha)?
That also we cannot deny: I we have no right to deny the existence of that, wherein our existence, our I am ness (asmita) dissolves. Bubbles of water dissolve in the Sea, but the Sea always remains. And its existence is inseparable from the Supreme Existence, the Supreme I am ness. Let me remind you again of the passage from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, “Brahma knew one’s own Self as “I am Brahma.”10 (aham brahmasmi), and because of that It became all.” One Supreme Existence expanded into myriad inferior existences. By the influx and inspiration of the Supreme Existence (Being), all existences also become imbued with selfhood. But all these existences when they ascend to their source, if before dissolving their self existence if they are not inspired and enlightened by the light of the Supreme Existence, then they too are in fact slayers of self; In their passing onward (preti) they will go to the sunless world enveloped by dark gloom, without knowing the secret of Varun’s ‘Sunless World’ (asurya loka) which is full of unmanifest light.11
We will have to save ourselves from the great perdition that happens due to the dissolution of our selves. By standing firmly in the Self Being of Varuna, we shall have to keep the light of ourselves unextinguished even in the flooding of unmanifest light of the Sunless worlds at the crest of our passing away (priti). Simultaneous coexistence of ‘the Day of Mitra,” “Maitram ahah’ and the Night of Varuna’ (varun ratri) will remain together in a Supreme Self existence, I am ness. That Self existence is the Lord’s as well as ours.
In the first two mantras of the Upanishad we have the splendour, the exuberance of Selfhood in the will to live, in the purification of Vision (seeing), enjoyment and Action by the Lord’s illumination. In this mantra, through negative inference selfhood is established at the crest of the Passing Onward through the higher worlds in the Supreme Being who is Beyond all. That too is of course dependent on the Lord, whose complete and whole description in positive and negative attributes together is given in the following mantras. In the first three mantras a full and complete picture of life and Existence is given, combining will to live (Jijivisha) with passing away (preti), life with Death.
anejad ekam manaso javiya
nainad devah apnuvan purvam arshat
tad dhavato anyan atyeti tishtat
tasmin apo matatuswa dadhati
One unmoving, swifter than Mind
Gods reach Him not, as It always progresses (runs) forward,
That standing, passes beyond others who are running
In that Malarisvan (Master of Life) establishes the Waters
In the first three mantras we get a general idea about the Lord of the Universe, about our immortal Atma who resides within us, “atma antasyami amritah,”3 by whose illumination and inspiration the divine transformation of our Seeing, Enjoyment and Action take place and thereby our “will to live” is fulfilled. In the next five mantras we get a definite idea about Him along with ourselves.
When God, the Lord is the interpenetrating controller of the Universe as well as our lives, then He too is mutable (kshara) ; But at the same time He is also immutable (akshara). Based on His immutable Nature, there are two simultaneous movements in Him–one is the descending movement which is mutabl (kshara) and the other is the ascending movement or the return to the (akshara). In our lives that is the double melody of will to live (Jijivisha) and ‘passing away’ (preti), Action and Inaction, Occupation and retirement. Beyond this descent and ascent is the still Majesty of His Silent Sky (akasha). That is discussed now.
The word “Isha” in the first mantra is in the masculine gender, but in this mantra He is indicated by the neuter gender word ‘tat’- that. In the Vedas “tat’ indicates the If is said in the Upanishad that Brahma, the TRUTH is both ‘Sat’ and ‘tyat’ (tyam) ,That. The essence of ‘Sat’ is the Sun (Aditya) the person with Form and the essence of ‘Tyat’ is the Purusha without Form that is inside or behind the Sun (disc). In Riksamhita, ‘Ekam Sat’–The one Existence, and ‘Ekam Tat’–the One That, both are the Supreme Truth or Principle. ‘Ekam Sat’–The One Existence is the Source of many Gods of God-Nature, whereas ‘Ekam Tat’–The One That, is a Formation of Light formed or apparent due to the harmonious ensemble of all. That is the mystery of the perpetual Harmony of Mitra and Varuna which is covered by the Harmony in the depth of the Sky of the stilling Sun. ‘Isha’ of the first mantra is this ‘Ekam Tat’–”The One That.” In the terminology of Samhita as Isha the Lord; He is ‘One God’ (ekodevah), The One Person. In His Nature He is ‘Ekam Sat,’ The One Existence, and in His Indescribable Nature, He is ‘Ekam Tat,’ The One That.
This ‘ekam tat’–One That is ‘achalaM,’ unmoving or untroubled, is as a Sky with no beginning and no end, with bounteous continuous Fullness. It is like a Tree in the evening Sky standing still in the heavens, filling everything with Fullness. “Vriksha iva stabdhah, divi tish that ekat.”4
This Source of the Imperishable is at the root of the Universe, at the Gangotri (source of the river Ganges) of Life. We have to dive within the Source using intuition, intellect and knowledge. However this knowledge of Skylike All, pervading stillness is not lifeless. Whatever the knowledge, it is never knowledge alone, and life, consciousness and force are always together. It is said in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad ”What is tyat, the Unmoving that is yet Moving as well.” Chhandogya Upanishad talks about quickening in Brahma (Brahma, kshobha) like the quivering of Light in the Sun.5 Thus in stillness, there is not absence of movement, but its ingathering, as happens in yoga at the time of trance (samadhi) where (Chitta) Mind and senses are withdrawn within. As a result of ingathering, an inverse ratio is seen between Movement and Nonmovement–steadiness. Just as it happens in the revolution of a what , as the speed of any point going towards the centre decreases, the speed going towards the increases proportionately.
Because of that, as the Absolute That (tatswarupa) is ‘anejat’ unmoving in Its Selfsteadiness, so it is ‘manaso javiyo’– swifter than Mind in Its universal. SelfBecoming. ‘Java’ is a Vedic term meaning movement or vibration of Force, which is the inherent nature (dharma) of the Universe, the nature of jagati,the Shakti. As there is motion in the outward objective Universe, so there is motion in the subjective Universe. In the Veda it is called ‘manaso javah,’ the motion of the mind. In Mundaka Upanishad it is called ‘manojava,’ swift as Mind, the name for the third tongue of Fire. In our Universe the speed of mind is swifter than that of the body; the speed of God is swifter than the speed of mind ; and the speed of Self (atma) surpasses both mind and God because the Self has the nature of the ‘anejat,’ unmoving , of the Absolute That. This is an apparent paradox. Its revolution is required.
Motion is vibration of Force (Shakti), materially outside, spiritually inside. In the beginning this motion or Movement is eclectic, haphazard. It is difficult to understand its meaning or aim, purpose or good, slowly as we began to understand its aim and object, it becomes harmonious. The cloudy force of matter gathers, becomes concentrated into elements of Matter, as animate or inanimate objects; it takes definite forms, or bodies within, in our minds we see in the beginning formless unorganised, confused misty Thinking of the mind, the Buddhists called it Movement of the chitta; when we become conscious of its aim or desire, that movement is concentrated. When we know what we desire, our desires are transformed into rows (vrata) or resolutions. Then the movement of the mind becomes straight, linear and speedy. But as long as the object of our desire or aim is outside, the movement of mind is always obstructed because of the delay or difficulties in attainment. Its result is sorrow and agony (burning of Chitta).
In fact true meaning or aim of anything is not outside; it is within. Fruitfulness of enjoyment is not greed or pleasure of senses but in the joy or pleasure of the Self when we desire a thing; at the same time it enters us in the form of an idea or feeling. This idea or feeling is God; whatever is outside as a thing is within us as an idea which is divine. A time comes when the outgoing mind withdraws; its outward motion turns within. This is the transformation of its desire, from desire for wealth for outside objects into the desire for inner worlds, for worlds of Light, of ideas. Each place of consciousness is a world in itself. Now we desire to ascend from earth consciousness to worlds of higher consciousness.
It is the ascent of earth consciousness to higher heavens (worlds) ascending the path to the Light in the vehicle of the Gods (devayana).
This inwardisation and ascent of consciousness is higher, better and swifter then the speed of mind. It is here called the running of Gods. This running or speed is linear like mind’s speed. But this line is not parallel to earth, it is perpendicular, rising higher and higher (atirohi) or ascending.
In the language of Rig Samhita, it is like one ascending from one peak to another peak and seeing how much more is yet to climb, and thereby arises in him consciousness of higher and higher aims.8 The higher the ascent, the greater and wider is the spread of the horizon of consciousness; pervasion is added to linear motion. According to Samhita, then God radiates everywhere (urugaya) God is ever-rising (urukrama) in me, like the Rising Sun ascending from hoka (plane of consciousness) to higher hoka and as it ascends the Light of the Sun spreads vaster and vaster. The whole experience then is like a circular Light globe its Light expanded into infinity–self, experience is its axis.
But then, where is the fruitfulness of this expansion, this ascent? looking at whom we expand, even after much expansion we find that He is still out of bounds! unattainable! Capturing and yet not capturing, knowing and yet not knowing! So after expansion, after reaching out, the time comes for return. But the expansion is not vain. Now when we return home, we find that the one whom we were seeking outside, He was all the time seated in my home! For this, Chhandogya Upanishad gives the simile of a bird whose feet are tied to a rope. It flies everywhere, but not finding a resting place anywhere else, comes back to the pole where it was tied. It then finds itself and finds everything within itself. This is the result of all movement, all going around! If that is an unenlightened movement of the mind, then its result is weariness, languor, like sleep after the clamour and turmoil of the waking state. It is like coming back to one’s undeter unmanifest Source. But if this movement is the movement of an awakened mind,what is called in Samhita, the carving out of the manifest from the unmanifest with the help of heart, mind and intellect, its result too will be the diving me the enlightened Peace and Silence experienced after the return to the axis-point of Self experience; Brihadaranyaka calls it (Samprasada) Bliss. Then only we can understand why ‘tat’ is called unmoving (anejat), why ‘Tat’ (That) always remains static, always standing (tishthat), standing still at the centre of all around multifarious expansion of movement.
And yet He is always progressing moving forward–’Purvam,arshat’–He is running forward and forward before all movements,movements of Gods or Nature. The chariot goes on running forward and the storm of dust runs behind it. The speed of mind and the speed of Gods are like it. Their speed is in fact His speed. In shakti and in the Universe speed is transmitted from the centre of His Selfexperience. Just as the power in the seed is transmitted to the plant (Vanaspati) the manifestation has an end, is mutable, but the seed shakti is immutable, endless. The Tree as it has become (bhuta) or as it would have become (bhavya) in both the seed power (shakti) is the controller (Ishana). He is the Lord of what was (bhuta) and what shall be (bhavya) and being such “Stands or is seated in the middle of the body,” madhya atmani tishthti.”12 This is the secret of His movement before Becoming which is like a harmonious melody, piercing and Emrucitnt.13
In this Selfcentre is the seed of the Universe “matariswa apo dadhati,” the Matariswan (the Master or Lord of Life) establishes the waters. This is a Cosmic Seeing, Godseeing (adhidawat) along with Subjective or Selfseeing, (adhyatma). What happens in me, in the Self, happens in the comes as well. That is motion or flow of Universe in hundreds of streams from an inexhaustible immutable infinite source. He is called ‘Matarisva’ in whom this flow is first visible, The Immutable Infinite is His support, container or sustraturm or abode. The meaning of the word ‘matariswa’ is the one who breathes in the Mother (matari). In Rigsamlute, He is the one who takes form in the Mother (matarisha yad amimita matari).14 This Mother is Aditi, that Mahashakti. The Greats Power (Shakti) in Sky, inseparable from the Supreme, unbound, indestructible and indivisible; who is the Mother of all Gods (devatamagi) 15, all adityal, suns or Gods are Her sons.16 The rising, the leaping that takes place in the Sealike Heart of Aditi due to the desire, the urge for creation, that is Matanisva. Matarisva is the Universal Life Force (Prana)
And as the waters is the flow, the stream of that Prana, Life Force, Samhita fills about seven waters or seven rivers (saptasindhu). According to the states of consciousness (adhihoka) they are these seven worlds Bhuh (the earth), Bhuvah (the mid,regions), svati (the heavens), Mahat (the great, strong Superworld), vignana (the world of knowledge), Janah (the world of Bliss, ananda), Tapah (the world of austerity) and Satyam (The world of Truth). Subjectively they are these seven states of consciousness within the Self; the body (Deha), the Prana, the mind (Manas); the Vignan (knowledge or supermind), the Bliss (ananda), Chit (the consciousness) and Sat (The Existence). These Seven waters sustained by Matarisva is the world (Jagat) of the first mantra. The Mother is the ‘Jagati.’ “Ekam Tat,” The One, That is ‘anejat,’ the UnMoving is the support, the Substratum or the Base and as Isha, the Lord the controller.
The one who as God, the Lord (Isha) is the controller of the world as well as life ; in every being, He is the indweller as Self ; and He again as the Absolute beyond all, to the indescribable, incognisable, Immutable One. As the Immutable He or It (the Brahman) is the base, support and Supreme of the varied manifold creations of the Universe.
Again we see that this moving Universe is also He is both, the mutable and the immutable, the one as well as Many. The One who is beyond everything in the subjective experience, is again the one residing in and synthesising Everything. When we ascend beyond Mind rejecting everything one by one we say, He is not this, not this, nothing that is Here. But again when we start descending, we see that He verily has become all this. Then we say what the Upanishad says in the next mantra.
Tad ejati tannaijati, tad dure tad n antike
Tad antar abya sarvasya, tad u sarvasyasya bahyatah
That quivers (and) that quivers not,
That is far that is near as well ;
That is within (in the heart all this
That again is outside all this –5–
The wondrous form whom we had accosted on the shore of the Sea when all was drowned, on return we see that He is present here too. Not by closing our eyes in meditation but keeping the eyes wide open we see that He is dancing in joy, here there everywhere. “Tad ejati, yad idam kim cha jagat sarvam, prana ejati nihsrutam,”1 Whatever is here, all this world is the outflow, a cascade of the quivering Prana (life force). This waving, billowing of Prana is outside,–we the flames of fire, in the sfreams of water, in the dancing of leaves of trees, plants, all vegetation–everywhere in the world. This waving is within tov, where He is an indweller in all in every organ of the body–in my eyes, ears, breathing, we mind, is overmind and supermind (in Vignana); in my desire and nondesire, in my angur and nonanger ; in my dharma (duties) and adharma –everywhere3. Again when we look up in the sky, He is there in the bottomless still. Silent and Static Fullness of the sky. And there ‘Tad na ejati’ – That does not quiver, there is no movement whatsoever. And the reflection of that sky falls within me, “in the Heart inside.”4 All become still, calm where in all phenomenon dissolve; there too “That quivers not.”
Again in the depth of that everfilling and yet motionless sea arises the commotion of the Sun heart. There we see that the radiation of the restrained Prana of the indescribable, in cognisable, unknowable spreads out and goes beyond the farthest galaxies of the Universe. Therefore it is said Tad dure–where and how far, nobody can say: ‘na tatra suryo bhati, na chandra taratkam’ there the Sun shines not, nor the moon, nor the stars. Again at the same time from the endless Beyond it converges in a lightning moment in the bottomless (consolidated) Self awareness: Then that (He) is Tad u antike–That is here, nearer than the near, as Self, the lover of life who equally enjoy pleasure and pain, Light and shadow, success and defeat ;5 whom “anti santam no jahati, anti santam na pasyati” because he is too near to leave and yet too near to sec.6
This consolidation of Self experience penetrates even the Cosmic experience and turns it into a consolidated cosmic consciousness. Then we experience that indescribable as the indewelling Self of all : just as subjectively we see that, in our hearts, so we see that objectively (in all objects) in the hearts of all–antar asya sarvasya’. In all forms of the Universe, that (If) shapes Itself to the forms It enters7; again like the filament of the electric bulb Its Light not only illuminates the container but spreads, radiates outside as will.– “sarvasya asya bahyatah”– then we see that He is All–”Purusha eva idam sarvam”8. All this is the Purusha indeed; He is that Thousand-headed, Thousand-eyed, Thousand-footed Purusha who encompasses from all sides this Universe yet surpasses it by ten fingers ! All the world’s heads are His head, all eyes are His eyes, all feet His feet. He is the indweller of the Universe, He is the Universal Form and He again is “standing beyond” (atistha)–anejad ekam tat’ That unmoving one.
Because of this consolidated experience, our egosense, the sense of the separate Self, transforms its Self into an all encompassing Self awareness, Self knowledge–the Self. That contains all, dwells in all and takes the forms of all.
Commentary on The Ishopanishad PART I – Mantras 6 to 8. By Sri Anirvan, translated by Sri Gautam Dharmapal. Copyright
Mantras 6 and 7
Yastu Sarvani bhutani atmani eva annpasyah
Sarva bhutshu cha.tmanam toto no vijugupsate
But he who sees everywhere the Self in all existences (becomings)
And all existences in the Self, shrinks not thereafter
from any person or any thing–6.
Yasmin sarvani bhutani atma eva abhud Vijanatah
tatra ko mohah kah shoka ekatvam anupas yatah 7.
In whom all existences have become self alone,
In such knower how there can be delusion or
what grief there can be, when he sees oneness
The Upanishad has already talked about the experience of the Lord (Isha). Now in these two mantras it talks about Self experience. Both are two sides of the same experience. If the object of experience lies outside–as it happens in sense experience, that knowledge is indirect. But if I know the object by ‘becoming’ it, that knowledge Then will be direct. In Brihadaranyata Yagyavelkya says to Maitreya,“Everything becomes dear to us because we love or want our Self.”1 That means, love for an object is essentially Selflove. Accordingly we can say experience of an object is essentially Self experience, and this experience becomes closer and denser where there is love. We can easily become one with the person whom we love. Then only the knowledge about that person will be direct. When our knowledge about God becomes direct like that, then only we can illuminate Life and world by HIm. Then Godexperience and Selfexperience become one–to know Him is to know the Self–to know oneself.
We have seen that we have to know God simultaneously as Indweller in us and in Tui Universe as well as Immutable Beyond. Just as He is the foundation of our Life and the world, He is beyond both as well. This is the injunction of the shruti (the Shastra the scripture). We have also seen that we should not be slayers of Self by losing ourselves at any layer or state of consciousness due to the strong attraction of Transcendence. We will have to transform our ego, our Iness into an enlightened Selfknowledge by the interpenetration of God’s Self being. Then His Iness is my I ness and will not call it I or ‘ego’. but Self (atma), “Ayam atma Brahma Sarvanubhuh.”2 – This Self is Brahman, The Experiences or All.
In this way in the individual, the world and the Beyond, we get a Trinity of the One Summun Bonum, as Self, God and the absolute immutable,anejat. that moves not. All experience end or rest in the experience of God and the Immutable (Isha and Brahman) in the Self. The complete allround fullness of this experience lies in the experiencing of it ‘not only in the incommunicable, unthinkable calm where all phenomena dissolve, but also in the waking consciousness too where all the phenomena an in full play: In the two mantras being discussed now there is the exposition of this complete whole Selfexperience.
There are three stages of this experience according to its intensity. In the beginning we have the knowledge of the Self as substratum, then the knowledge of the Self as the indweller in all and lastly the experience of all as Self and the Self as all (Sarvatma bhava). Needless to say, that the serial order is meant for our understanding : In fact al the three experiences are interwoven and an indivisible whole.
One mode of experience is: Sarvani bhutani atmani eva anupasyati–He see all beings and becomings within hsi own Self. This is a natural experience. This is the knower’s seeing of all with wide open eyes, not in meditation with indrawn eyes. Just as an ordinary person sees all in the sea of Light, this is knower’s seeing all in the sea of consciousness. The Light of the Sun is novo not material but conscious. The Sun is “jiva asuh”–the life force (Prana) that radiates in all directions ; “atma jagatas tasthush cha”3 the Self all that is moving and unmoving. To see this God, this Self, this conscious LIfe day after day, all the time. Thereby gest as there is the “remembrance” of the Sun like Purusha (Person) in the heart, there is the “Reviewing” of Him by open eyes outside. By this reviewing, this realisation, Self consciousness is enlightened more and more and this Godexperience and Selfexperience become one. Then God is Self and Self is God. And in this ever visualised sea of Self consciousness there is the billowing of all beings.
Yet, this experience is that of a indifferent neutral Purusha. He knows, Self everything, but accept nothing or rejects nothing. In this fullness of experience there is the peace and calm of pervasion, of vastness, but not the intensity of interpenetration. In the language of the Gita, he is the witness of the Life and the world, at the most a sanctioner.5 Passive, motionless Sky is spread out ; what has to happen, happens ; It has nothing to do with what happens no interest.
When this Self experience of seeing all in one’s Self becomes deeper and denser, the seeing goes a step further and one sees ‘Sarvabhateshu atmanam”–sees one’s Self in the depth of all beings The knowledge of the substratum condenses into the knowledge of the indweller. Whatever and whoever swims or dives into the Sea of consciousness, all of them are not unrelated, something, they are all the result, the product of the same consciousness and therefore inter-related. Light is a force that not only illuminates everything by its Light, but also become heat, interpenetrates everything and also radiates. The Sky is the substratum and the indweller is quivering, oscillating by Lifeforce Prana in that very sky. One cannot separate the sky and the Lifeforce Prana. The Sky akasha is calmness tranquility, Life,force Prana is exuberance ; full of movement. The exuberance in tranquility and tranquility in exuberance.
This visualisation does not happen by simply remaining indifference as witness, but through interpenetration in all. To seeing and knowledge, joy and power are added. One who was a witness and a sanctioner novo becomes a controller, enjoyer and the Lord as will. And yet the tranquility and calm of the Sun and witness remain unobstructed, undiminished. And therefore enjoyment and lordship are in a harmony with his seeing and witness consciousness–do not create disharmony or chaos.
And therefore fullness of knowledge is in Vignana. (supermind). Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “Somebody has seen milk and somebody has taken (drunk) milk. Seeing milk (i.e. knowing Milk) to Jnana and increasing one’s strength by Taking milk is Vignana!” The knowledge and experience of Substratum is knowledge, Jnana and the knowledge and experience of Indwelling, the Indweller is Vignana. Seeing becomes powerful because of interpenetration. Fullness of Selfexperience is in the togetherness of these two.
The result, the fruit of this is ‘Tato na Vijugupsati,’ Thereafter (he) shrinks not from any person or anything. Shrinking is narrowness of consciousness; just to withdraw within oneself on apprehending opposition or Threat from any side like a tortoise or a conch shell. This is the nature of Ego–to remain enthroned within oneself, to distance oneself from all. Selfhood is just opposite, its spreads and encompasses all within one’s Self like Light, it does not move away from anybody but enlightened, illuminates all, does not allow oneself to get tarnished by any evil or dirtiness, impurity.6 Not only that, with deep sympathy to be interpenetrate and involve oneself with happiness and sorrow, liking and disliking of all, making them one with one’s self and yet to remain above all these, not to be carried away by them, remain steadfast within one’s own Self. This is the all pervading, all seeing, all penetrating Selfexperience, which is under all circumstances, in every way. In the language of Banhadananyaka, it is unattachment on spite of living will all, experiencing all (Sarvanubhuh).7
This is the state of Vignana where in most experience. At the end of the Selfexperience culminates into the experiencing all in one’s own Self (sarvatma,bhava). Remaining absorbed in the all,inter penetrating Self experience,(yasmin, in whom) vijanatah sarvani bhutani atma eva abhut. The knower in whom all existences have become (his) Self alone–we see that all beings,existences become the Self of such a knower, the vignoni. This supreme end of seeing, experiencing, in which all difference between Self,and all bangs or many selves, between the Seer and the Seen, object and Subject, the enjoyer and the enjoyed is totally removed, completely vanishes and this happens not in sleep consciousness or Trance consciousness only but in the waking, meditative consciousness as well. This is Supreme Oneness, Advaita, where there is no other. This is ekatvam anupasyatah seeing of oneness–True and undivided oneness of Isha (God), Atma (the Self) and Jagat (the World) at all levels of consciousness.
Substratum, indwelling and all this is Self aitadalmya8 or experience of Self in All–the experience of all the three to gather is True Oneness (adwaita)–All the three form a Trinity. We have already said before, the question of seriality or succession is immaterial here. And yet there is some difference in depth and between the three, but which is like Light following or favouring, complementary one another and not opposing or contrary. Though there is no difference in subjective experience, in mind and intellect some difference does appear and it will be easy to understand the nature of the Three experience separately intellectually.
This world is in God (Isha). He is in all, in everything, He has become all this–it is not difficult for us to accept all this is simple faith. Because all this is obvious, objective experience ,so long as God is out of our personal experience, there is no difference whatsoever in believing Him or Matter as the source or root of the Universe. The experience of God, the knowledge about His true Nature and inherent qualities (Swabhava & Swadhasma) can become a reality to us only by inner subjective experience. If we can know Him as our own, as the basis, as substratum of our beings and the world, as the Indweller of our life, as our very Self, then only we can know Him in fact and in spirit.
We can have this knowledge through His infusion, inspiration, interpenetration in us. Then the simple faith about which we have talked earlier comes handy. He is ; He pervades and covers everything as sky, as air, as Light; He is everywhere as Life force, Prana, as consciousness ; He is inside, outside liking and enveloping everything, remaining inside and yet transcending everything–this faith, this Thinking and feeling inflames our (Self knowledge) just as one day our ego had took shape due to the constant attacks of the outside world on our cloudy consciousness, so our Free Selfhood is inflamed by the constant infusion of the Vast. The narrow, the small ego expands into the Vast Self. In the language of Sri Ramakrishna this ego is unripe I whereas the Self is the ripe I one ego rejects, resists another ego, but the Self embraces all. Just as all are in the Lord (Isha), all are in the Self as well; in me, in the I who is in them or who is He! This identification between God and the Self is the first fruit of HIs infusion, His permeation.
But in the beginning this experience is subjective. That It means. I alone may dire in it may be full of this experience; Then He or Self alone remains or maybe He and I remain, but the world is not there. When I come out of this experience, the world just emerges; but as the impressions (samskar) of withdrawal remain very strong, the objective experience is pale in comparison to the subjective experience. One feels that the Inner alone is True Real, the outside is unreal, pali. The world, even if If is there seems life a dream on the shore of dissolution, like a shadowy illusion. I am seeing it as a witness applying collyrium of Light at the eyes.
But the substratum is neither impotent nor lifeless. The sky and life force (Prana), Force Energy (Shakti) and consciousness, the Purusha and Prakriti (Nature) are inseparable, Concomitant. Unattached Self too is not powerless. In passivity or calmness and activity or exuberance there is only a change of direction in dynamism. In passivity energy is asleep only not lost. And in the state of passivity to arising of the pure Sattva is quite natural. This pure Sattva is the yogic nature of the unattached Self.
If the ascending evolution of nature is the Truth of our lives, it is alos the Truth of the world. We have experienced the momentum of this ascent within ourselves in the intense aspiration of seeing the Truth by removing the sheath obstruction of the golden lid. This aspiration for seeing and Being the Truth lies at the source of the world as well. Its fulfilment, its gratification is the summum bonum of Jagati, the great mature (Mahapratnti) That is also the Truth of the Self Nature of God’s Rule and Indwelling. It means, what has happened in me, has also happened, is happening and will happen in every being. I am then not merely an indifferent witness seer, but a partner in His divine works, partner of the Lord who is behind all this happenings. Then I experience myself as the indwelling Self of all beings. The Self is then not only a witness and a sanctioner, but the Lord as will. This is the second stage of the Self experience and it is the deeper, intenser form of the experience of the Lord as substrata.
From there the Third stage of Self experience or the experience of “aitad, atmya”–where one perceives all selves in one’s own Self, the ‘adwaita,’ Nondual stage is only one step further. As the experience becomes intenser and deeper we find that the discrimination between our Self and there of all beings gets paler and slowly ends into a conscious nondiscrimination–All distinctions, sense of separation melts into oneness. In the first experience, the Self and All Beings were as it the two poles of Existence–despite the fact that the Self was the substratum of all beings. All beings or the world was then an object, the Seen, the material, not spiritual or conscious. In the second experience the spiritual transformation of the world is potential. We see that all beings are becoming Self. It depends ofcourse on timely transformations of energy. What has happened in Me, is happening everywhere. The supreme highest intensity of Self experience, this dependence on transformations in Time vanishes. Then, in what has already happened to me, the world’s happenings are already drowned; in me the world is lying fulfilled, fully become. It reminds us of the words of Srikrishna at Kurukshetra: “Maya eva nihatah purvam eva”–By me they are already slain, so whatever is happening has already happened in me and is going on happening as well. An occurrence is only an unfolding of what has already happened (in Self) or we can say in the language of this Upanishad. “Doer’s doing is in fact only a remembrance of what is already done!”
This experience is beyond Time. There the difference between Self and All Beings does not exist–it is lost in Time’s ascending streaam. But to be able to transmute this experience of nondifference into the experience of difference in the descending stream–there in lies the zenith of Self Experience Self and All Beings then are One–not only in dissolution–in Nirvana only but in the Becoming too; not only in the final destruction of the Universe (pralaya) but in the creation too; not only in Trance but in the return to the waking consciousness too. The Self (atma) this in the language of the Gita is the Supreme Self (Paramatma); as the Supreme Purusha (Parama Purusha or Parameswar) He is in This human body “upadrashta, anumanta cha,bharta,bhokta maheswarah” He is the Witness, the Sanctioner,lord, the Enjoyer and almighty Lord.” Gita 13/23.
The first of This highest Self Experience is :–
“Tatra ko mohah Kah Shoka ekatvam anupashyatah”
what delusion, what grief there can be
for the one who sees oneness everywhere ?–
Where in the ascending and descending process the Immutably (akshara), The Lord (Isha), the Jagati (The Shakti of the Lord) and the world (Jagat) have all become One, all parts, all divisions have become a complete allround whole in flaming living experience of Indivisible oneness ; where all differences because they are within one’s own Self and therefore infused by the homogenous experience of indivisibility–there is no grief, there is no delusion. Grief and delusion are the fundamental traits of unenlightened unrefined, uncultivated Chitta (mental–vital nature). Grief is the burning of heart and mind ; the bruning caused by the disatisfaction that arises due to (not,getting) desired objects. When one does find the desired sense object within and seeks it outside, its achievement is either unsure or partial and Desire, hit heart’s burning is then a certainly–it is an unavoidable result of the unenlightened lust for life. At the root of Grief lies Ignorance, Inconcent, in Samhita it is called “achi”–Inconcience–that is Delusion. Where there is right Seeing of the object and right achievement of it in the Subjective experience, there is neither delusion nor grief.9 Then “:ayam atma Brahma Sarvanubhu” – This atma Self is Brahman who is the Experience of all– and that experience is Full, Calm and cheerful even in the day,to,day practical Life.
In Upanishads this experience is mostly described as a result of the infusion of the vast. It is as if flood of Light is rushivg down from the heavens and Elluminates all our being. Faith then is the main instrument of worship,devotion. Along with there is another way of discipline,sadhana. To ascend from here to there,from this world to higher worlds. Then ascesis, austerity or virility,valour,celebacy becomes the main discipline, Obstacles in the way do not give way easily, we have to overcome then by Self effort, Four obstacles have been described in then Upanishad–delusion, greed, grief and clinging to works. They are the main obstructions to Divine knowledge, Divine Enjoyment and Divine Works. A general name for these in Samhita is “amha,”the ego or the impurity and shrinking, the narrowness of consciousness. Divine realisation, divine inspiration and poression purifies our consciousness, of all evil, it becomes vast (brihat) and our will to live becomes meaningful.
In the next mantra we get the undivided description of the mutable and immutable aspects of the Divine – the Isha of the first mantra with reference to our lust for Life – (Jigi wisha) the wish to live a hundred years!
Sa paryagat sukram akayam avranam
asnaviram suddham apapaviddhom
Kavir manisi paribhuh svayambhuh
yathatathyato arthan vyadadhat
That absolute Tat – He has gone abroad–has spread out all around – That which is bright, white and pure, bodiless, scarless, sinewless the pure and unpierced by evil. He is the Seer, the Thinker, the one who becomes Everywhere, the Self Existent, and has ordered objects and Beings perfectly according to their nature from eternal (sempiternal)Time.
In this mantra the Supreme has been indicated by both masculine and neuter words. In the very beginning we get the masculine ‘He’ or ’Sah,” He refers to Isha, the Lord of the first mantra. He is a Person, He has qualities as well as works. Just after He, there are a few neuter adjectives; they refer to the underlined “Ekam Tat”– The One that, Most of the adjectives are in the negative, like the “neti neti” – not this, not this injunction of Yagnavalkya in Brihadaranyaka. Then we have a few masculine adjectives. All together we have in that living language of Rik Samhita a beautiful description of the mutation of the Immutable , which is the sustention of the Universe.2
A very small sentence in the beginning of the mantra–’Sah paryagat”–He went abroad, He spread out everywhere. It is like the rising of a curtain at the beginning of a drama before our very eyes! Undoubtedly it reminds us of the wonderful picture of Sunrise drawn in two mantras by the great Rishi Kutsa Anginasa.3
Ud Irdhvam Jiva asur na agat
apa pragat tama a jyotir lti
araik pantham yatave suryaya
aganma yatra practiranta ayuh
Awake and arise ! Here comes He our Life, Our Prana! the darkness has gone a way ; Here comes the Light Dawn has withdrawn herse of from Sun’s path, we have gone there where everybody’s Life reaches, swimming over (all obstacles).
Chitram devanam ud agad anikam
Chakshur mitrasya Varunasya agneh
apra dyawapru thi antariksham
Surya atma jagatas tasthusus cha
See, the wonderful form of the light of the Gods has arisen, the eye of Mitra, of Varuna and of Agni the Sun has filled with Light, the heavens, the Earth and the midregions; He who is Self of the Moving and the Steady.
Sa paryagat – He has gone abroad – He who has spread out in all directions, He who is the orb of the Sun of the Person (Purusha) who is inside the orb of the Sun with whom I am one.4 By the radiation of His rays all that is steady in unmoving and moving, all and everything is quivering with LIfeforce. It is as if the mystery of the infinite is placing His eye on my eyes.
But behind the white Light of the Sun resides the Supreme blackness of the Blue Sky! Beneath the definable, describable experience lies the Silence and Isness of the Beyond who is unknowable, the indescribable by speech or mind .... Isha God, the love is there, just Isness or (Sun, mantra) or Existence only which is as good as NOn,existence (asat,kalpa). He is the Pure,the white S’ukram,the purity ; the whiteness of a guileless, delusion less Being. Both ‘sokah’ the Grief or Sorrow and ‘S’ukram’ white and pure come out of the same root ‘S’uch.” Sorrow or grief is the bruning of the smoky fire. and smokeless Light is ‘S’ufra’ the pure, the white. The visible Light of the Sun is the white and pure Light “S’uklam bhah” of that Absolute. ‘Tat,swarup’–which is nothing but the whiteness of the the Absolute Being. Again we find in Riksam lite that the colourless Sky is also S’uchi,’pure and white and the ort of the Sun that moves in it is “Hamsah S’uchisat.”5 ,The Swan that is (moving) in pure the white sky. From the same rooti ‘S’uch’ have the three words “S’oka” (sorrow or grief), “S’ukra,”white and PUre and ‘S’uchi” which describe serially the Smoky, the smokeless and colourless states of the chitta, (The inner organ of mind, heart and intellect) ‘S’ukram’– the white hight –S’uklam bhah”6 of the Sun,indicates both form and formlessness. Here ’bhah”–the Light is “a kayam” – He has no body. The ward “Kaya” comes from the root “ci” meaning To gather, to integrate. The body of Isha, the Lord is made up by the integrationn of Power, Energy and Light, as it is said in this Upanishad later, that body is the gathering of His Light and still deeper in His most blessed Form of the Purusha (person) within,7 spiritually speaking His body in the Sun is concentrated consciousness ; and within that in the golden Person (Purusha) whose whole body from the hair of the head to the nails of hands affect every part is golden–8 it is an embodiment concentrated consciousness. Here “Sukram” or ‘S’uklam bhah’ points to formlessness, bodilessness. It does not gather or get concentrated anywhere, always melts in void of Varuna (the God might darkness), in the Infinity of the Sky; where in the language of Kathopanishad “na tatra suryo bhati na chandra tarakam” 9– There the Sun shines not nor the moon, nor the stars– and in the language of Brihadaranyaka’s subjective seeing, “na pritya sangya asti”10–There is no cognition after passing away–. In the inner individual experience, this is seeing the void within the Full. In the language of the Buddhists it is the Seeing of the void in the nonbeing of the atom individually and seeing in the All the void of A the NonBeing of Nature, collectively. On practical level, it is the calm and quietude of equal vision everywhere.
This experience of void in the heart of Fullness, this blue-white of Truth, how in the deep heart of the Golden Person is gratified by two other adjectives. It is said that this all pervading bodiless Light,body is ‘avranam’ and ‘asnaviram’– it is scarless and sinewless. The cut or wound which even after heading relains a sign is called Scar. It is the symbol of apparent differentiation. This play of Self differentiation ta the solidity, compactness of the form of the concentrated consciousness, is an apparent seeing of difference, which is fully infused and imbibed by nondifference. But in the Deep void of Formlessness there is not even this apparent difference. And therefore it is scarless, it is complete in its nondifferentiating compactness ; as it is in the objectless experience of individual Self in the Waking Sleep. ‘Snayu’–sinew means that which binds, unites the separate parts. In Brihadaranyaka the Lord of all, the master of all beings, the great Self has been called, “Eshah setur vidharana eshaw lokanam asambhedaya”12– He is the bridge to gather all these states, indifferently. Sinew is such a means of gathering. The body is a living organic system, so there is a natural difference between membranes and sinew. The Purusha, however, shapes Himself to the forms He meets “rupam,rupam pratirupo babhuva.”13 There the simile of sinew or bridge can understood to be the relation between the one and many with respect to the body. But in the radiation of one Single Whole White Light into many rays or many Light prints the simile of sinew or bridge is not necessary, and is unproved. Thus “Ekam Tat,” the “One That,” is sinewless, inspite of being “upholder of many beings or states.”
Then, we have two more adjectives of “That– the “Tat,swarup.”–’S’uddham” The Pure and “apapaviddham” the one who is un pierced by sin. BOth convey the same idea; one positively, the other negatively.
The unattached, the vast, in the language of Samhita the “Swadhavah,” one who is ‘Self Established,” one who is content with oneself, that alone is Pure. Like Sky, like Light, Impurity comes from the contact of the nonSelf object. Where, no difference exists between Self and nonSelf, where all is Self due to the infusion and pervasion of Self consciousness, there can be no impurity.
Purity is the inherent nature of Self. Its experience is possible for one who is established in Yoga, who has the experience of All is Self or Self is All. But in the consciousness of one who has just started on the path of yoga and in the practical world, the duality between purity and impurity is always there. Naturally the question will aise in the minds of the enquirer, why this impurity in the world ? where is the place of impurity in the indivisible, whole Being? If we consider impurity in a wider sense, it is the same famous question in philosophy called the Problem of Evil; the solution to which the Upanishad gives in a different way.
Here the impurity is called ‘sin.’ One name for sin in Samhita is ‘amhas,” which means narrowness or shrinking of consciousness. All that causes this shrinking is sin. Whether it is connected with our desire or not, is immaterial. Therefore not only any evil activity but any evil force is also sin.14 Objectively it is the force of a devil or ‘rakshas,’ or desire, ‘vritta,’ it is nothing but the demonic force which is opposed to Divinity,15 to God. But this opposition between God and Demon is at the root of Creation. In Veda both Gods and demons are prajapatya, i.e. children of Prajapati, the Creator.16 Therefore, taking for granted that the creator is all Good and then ask how sin came about in His creator is in itself a fallacy, and to worry about it shows absence of Right Seeing. Like Sunspots sin is there in the Partless whole Itself, one cannot evade it. It is not necessary, because even though it exists there, it has not permanent existence. In the war between Gods and demons the defeat of demons and victory of Gods is definite in the end. It cannot be otherwise.
It is not possible to completely root out sin from the world. So instead of searching for its roots, we should search then in ourselves, because the aspiration or necessity of being pure or sinless is there within us. Brahmana therefore tells that the root of sin is in our ‘ashanaya’- hunger, or “bubhuksha” – craving.17 The Upanishad says, the root of sin is in the feeling of Duality, which is actually the impurity of Prana18 the life force. In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Yagnyavalkya says the same thing differently. He says, “One who has no desire is calm, controlled, withdrawn, enduring and meditative; he sees his Self within himself, and also sees all as his own Self. He is beyond all sins ... not only that, he is even beyond these two feelings, “Oh, I have committed this Sin” or “See, I have done this virtuous act.”19
One who has no desire is Self satisfied, he is always living within himself. He is therefore called ‘svadhavana’ – one who is established within one’s Self – and therefore he is unattached. This non attachment is his subjective state. When it is intensified, its objective state is experienced in the radiation of his subjective state in the world. He then is Vast, the Self of all Selves, Sarvabhutatmabhutatma” Selfbecoming of all Selfbecomings.
In the first subjective state, he is Pure, He has no doing, nor nondoing.20 However in the other objective state, though he is pure in essence, the duality of sin or virtuous deeds which all other becomings which are of his own Selfbeing experience, does not touch him, does not get attached to him; just as the Sun’s colourless white Light is not stained or contaminated by the many colours produced (projected) by it. This noncontamination is the quality of not being pierced by sin experience is pure; in objective experience Svadhaa when making an offering to manes. Its literal meaning is standing in one’s own Self, a word uttered while making offerings to a deity or to the Gods. Literally it means well said. Both words are used here in their technical sense.
It is unpierced by sin. Similarly Tat (That) in its own Self is Beyond everything and is pure, but as the substratum of all That, is unpierced by Sin (apapaviddham).
We saw defined the duality of Sin and Virtue, as according to Yagyavalkya’s philosophy of Desire “Putraishna”- The Desire for Progeny, in the great Manu’s words “Pravrithir esha bhutanam,” is a natural activity of men of all Becomings, therefore naturally there is neither a sin nor a virtue in it. “Vittaishna” the Desire for wealth can end in Greed, and so sin and virtue are mixed there. In hokaishna” -the desire for higher worlds– man desires to ascend higher, to become a God. Because there is an attempt to rise above sin in hokaishna we can say it is virtuous. But to attain Godhood is not man’s Summum Bonum.–”Nainad devah pronuvan purvam arshat”–He cannot reach Godhood as It always moves forward– as said in this Upanishad. In hokaishna man’s “preti” progressing forward is towards Aditi’s “Sinlessness” or “Stainlessness.” It stands colourlessness.22 In Its Self status Svadhaa Beyond are “catistha” and in “Swaha,” that is when It is expressed in all as well done or wellspoken i.e. in creation lies Its “Pratsha.” There is no sin there, nor virtue, and yet there is the Total Freedom from the Allexperiences – the Freedom beyond All.
The description of the neuter adjectives of the “Ekam Tat” ‘That One’ ends here. This gave us some information about the indefinable, indescribable, nonparticular Being of the Absolute. This knowledge will remain as a background in our consciousness and with its help we will see the world as the effusion, as the efflorescence of the Full on the saturation of Void; as if the Full is overflowing out of the Full -Purnat Purnam udachyati.’ We are introduced to it by the masculine adjectives in the second part of the Mantra. These are applicable to the Atistha, standing Beyond everything – The Absolute.
paratistha – Proper status, respect, reputation; firm standing Foundation
Purusha - the Person whose most blessed form in or of the Sun can be visible to the spiritual eye.
It is said, that He is Kavi and Manishi, a Poet and A thinker. The word ‘kavi’ comes from ‘Ku.’ He is a Kavi, who has an intense yearning ‘akut’ in his heart. It is a secretly borne wish or desire. In Riksamhita, this wish or Desire is called “I manaso retah” the ejaculation of Mind, mind’s overflowing impulse, which is there in the beginning of everything.23 In man this wish, this desire, passionately seeks through mind and heart the root, the source of ‘Sat’–the Existence, the Secret, the Being and the Becoming–and finds in the end that it is in the ‘aSat’- The Non Existence, the Non Being and Non becoming! Thereby we see that Man is a poet.24 The Supreme God too is a poet. His passion is for Creation, for Selfexpression or Selfmanifestation–an urge to overflow one’s Self in hundreds of streams from all inexhaustible source.25 This world is His poem. The Samhita looking at the world says.” See this poem of God, it neither dies nor does it grow old.”26 The medium for both these poets, man and God, is ‘Vak,’ the Word. This ‘Vak’ is the rhythmic form of the yearning, the passion of the heart of the poet, whose three parts lie deep down in the care. Only one part is expressed here, just as in man’s creation, so in the Supreme Poet’s creation or manifestation.27 Both are all overflowing, an effusion of an idea. This idea is high above the cosmos; though ‘beyond all senses yet attainable by Intellect’. says the Gita. The Poet here is the seer, therefore he is called “The seer who sees beyond all bounds.” He can see the idea lying far beyond which has not yet taken form. God too is such a farseeing revolutionary Poet. This world is the exposition, manifestation of His grand Dream, that is Gold (Hiranyagarbha).
Isha the Lord is not only a poet, He is a Thinker as well. Both adjectives are interrelated. In Riksamhita we are told to purify the meditating inner chitta by “heart, mind and Intelligence.”28 Mind is the first instrument for attaining Him. Above Mind is Vignana, Highest Knowledge or the Higher Mind, which is called ‘manisha’ in Samhita. Beyond it is Heart which is the supreme basis of all.29, wherein resides ‘Atma’–the Self.30 In Samhita the Heart is called the Sea of Light which means flashing infinite consciousness.31 The Heart’s relation is evident in the creation of a poet. We can say that when the poem has condensed with joy in the heart of a poet, when it is expressed itself perfectly in the intelligence or Vignana mind of the poet, then the poet is a ‘manishi’. The Supreme poet’s poem comes down one step, from Heart to Intelligence. In creation it moves one step forward. It is as if the possibility of a Multibecoming in a nondual intense idea is visualised in the United Emission of the Absolute and the Word (BrahmaVak), took the orb of the Sun in the blue Sky. Because of the will and desire for the Universe the Poet Lord (Isha) became a Thinker.
Then the Lord moves a step forward and becomes ‘Paribhuh”–The One who becomes everywhere; retaining His nature of “Swayambhuh,” the SelfExistent. The “Paribhuh” is one who becomes in all directions everywhere. This becoming is like the slow but constant blossoming of the Light of the Dawn expanding throughout the Sky. The Thinker poet now becomes ‘paribhu,’ all expanding, his ideal vision now takes the form of a rhythm. Previously we had ‘Saparyaga.’
–He has gone abroad, spread out everywhere–now we have “Sa paryabhavat”–He has become all. One is movement, the other is becoming, In the motion, we get the spreading of ray. In the Becoming we have expans, on and formation of Light all around. “He becomes” is an intense inward subjective experience. In His movement there is the separaveness of the objective out,ward seeing. Subjectively He is becoming, Objectively He is moving forward, But both happen (go) together ; He is Becoming as He goes on moving.
Again when He is going abroad or spreading out all around (pariganta, in Samhita’s language parijma) and ‘paribhuh,’ the one who becomes everything, even then He is ‘Swayambhu,” the Self Existent, as well. He is Becoming all without expecting any nonSelf (other than Himself) efficient cause, remaining as Swayambhu–SelfExistent and ‘Swathawah’- remaining steadfast within His own Self, and to get this becoming is possible as His own moving around is the cause of the Becoming. It is as if vibrations are moving from all around toward the circumference from the nonsteady centre of a civeli–this is called in Samhita, the birth of Sat (existence) from aSat (nonexistence).33 This ‘Swayambhu,’ SelfExistent, as ‘Tat Sat,’That Existent,’ and as ‘Anejad Ekam,’ - The Unmoving One–is the substratum, basis of all, the agitation, the quivering of the Sun Heart in That is the ‘moving and becoming all around”–paribhava.
In this very Upanishad there are two other terms, asambhuti–NonBirth or NonBecoming, and “Sambhuti’ -Birth or Becoming. Non Becoming is His remaining within one’s own Self as the Immutable. It is His (Swayambhu) SelfExistent Existence (Sadbhava). Sambhuti, Birth or Becoming is His illumination and effusion as ‘paribhu,’ Becoming all around. Apart from ‘Sambhuh’ there is another word in Veda – Vibbuh. Then He goes abroad –paryagat–variegated in different forms– radiating all around from One.
Kaushitaki Upanishad tells us about the intimate union of Prajna and Prana - Wisdom and Lifeforce. It is said, what is Prajna is Prana and what is Prana is Prajna.34 We can say that Prajna (wisdom) is Swayambhu (SelfExistent) and Prana (Lifeforce) is Paribhu (Becoming all around). We can compare the inseparableness of Prajna and Prana with the inseparableness of Shiva and Shakti.
Isha, the Lord is Swayambhu,the SelfExistent. This is one side to HIs Being. On another side He is a Vidhata–The Maker, the Ordainer. Then this can be said about Him. ‘Sa yathatathyatah arthan Vyadadhat S’aswatibhyah Samabhyah”–He has ordered objects and Beings perfectly according to their nature from sempiternal Times. This is the true and meaningful transmutation (ksharana) of the Intransmutable (aksharana)– The rhythmic performance of the worlds (jagat) in the jagati, in the moving Universal Force –Shakti . Isha is ‘paribhu’ (Becoming all around) too. He has become this world which moves, that means, He is moving. He is ‘parijma,’ one who moves all around. This moving, this going out in all directions is like the billowing of the waves of the Sea, what its aim is we do not know apparently. This movement seems haphazard; its secret lies deep down in the mystery of the unmanifest might.35 But overhead the Sun and the Moon are moving and because of their movements we have the revolutions of day and night, of seasons. That movement is no more haphazard, it is rhythmic and harmonious. The blossoming of Prana and Prajna – Lifeforce and Wisdom depends on it.36 Prana and Prana are harmonious, rhythmic. Because where there is will to live, Harmony appears defeating chaos and disorder. The haphazard movement of chance automatically becomes orderly. Thereafter with the help and support of the Harmony of Prana there is the continuous ascending development of wisdom (prajna). In the language of Riksamhita, ”It is His climbing from one peak to another peak and visualising how much has yet to be done, and along with it the meaning or the knowing of the aim of the climbing flashed before him.37 The harmonious arrangement and organisation of objects and events at every step and stage of this meaningful movement is the orderly ordaining of the Ordainer, to organise everything and all events as to where and when each thing and event should be. This is the meaning of the Lord’s rule. This is the radiating of the rhythm of jagati throughout the Universe by the inspiration of the Universal Consciousness. But as He Himself has become all this as “paribhu” (one who has become all around), this is nothing but the rhythm and harmony of His Selfradiation.
We have come to the end of one part of the Upanishad in describing the mutual relation of Isha, the Lord, Self (atma) and the business.38 Isha is both the Intransmutable and the Indweller. From ancient times emphasis has been put on one or the other aspect of Isha and therefore sectarian conflict arose even at the time of Yagyavalkya. In the next two groups of mantras an endeavour has been made to solve this. In the first group of mantras the viewing is subjective, In the following group it is universal or cosmic.