INTRODUCTION TO "COMMENTARY BY SRI ANIRVAN ON THE KENA-UPANISHAD," TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BY SRI GOUTAM DHARMAPAL, COPYRIGHT
Kena-upanishad is included in samaveda. Sama means “Swar” or “Sura” i.e. Light, sound or a musical note. The Rik- mantras were sung with musical notes only in Soma sacrifice, the best of the sacrifices. The mantras were called the womb of sama- the vedic prayers which were sung in the soma sacrifice. Sama Veda is the compendium of all the samas with musical notes; the Brahmana the ritual portion of the Veda explains and expands their use and mystic meanings. The chief of priests who sing the sama-prayers is called “udgata”, those who sing the mantras loudly (mystically meaning those who raise the sacrifice to the higher regions state of consciousness through their singing)- and the whole work of singing was called “udgatra karuna”. The Brahmana portion of the veda describe the works and the Aranyaka and Upanishad portions expand the philosophy and mysticism behind these works. Soma represents the Bliss- principle singing is the Bliss-bestowing Art (Nandana shilpa) dependent on “Vak”- the speech. The highest point of Bliss in the sama song is called “udgitha”. In Aitareya Upanishad we have seen that the main sadhana- discipline of Rigveda is that of “Uktha”- the highest or ultimate word or letter (sabda or Akshara) similarly the sadhana of Sama veda consists of udgitha. We should always keep in mind that the Rishis had realized this Bliss-principle propounded in the Upanishads of this (sama) Veda, through Music- Bliss- songs.
Out of the many branches of sama veda only three survive- KAVUTHUMI in Gujarat (Gurjardesha) as well as in Bangla Jaimini in Karnataka and “Ranayani” in Maharastra. According to Charana Vyuha Sutra, Kanthumi and jaimini are just another type or way of Ranayani. We are mainly top well versed (we mainly know) about the Kanthumi branch.
The book of the Jaimini branch has been only recently published. The Jaiminiya Brahmana of this branch holds a very important position in the Brahmana Literature like the Shata patha Brahmana. No other Brahmana has such high amount of mystic expressions. It is an unparallel storehouse of vedic thought and discipline. And yet no good commentary is found till now on their Brahmana.
Tandya, Chhandugya and the jaiminiya are the three main Brahmanas of sama veda that we have at present. But the Tandya and Chhandayya are the Brahmanas of the same tandi school (sect) and it is said that together their name was “Chatvarinsha Brahmana” because of its Forty books or chapters. Thus, the miniature brahmanas are “chatvarinsha” and “jaiminiya”. The first twenty-five books are called “Panchavinsha” or Tandya Brahmana. Five Books after that continued the same ideas in the “sadvinsha Brahmana”. Ten Books after that are called Chhandogya or Mantra or Upanishad Brahmana. The last eight chapters of this Brahmana is the famous Chhandogya Upanishad.
Jaiminiya Brahmana consists of eight books. The first three books or Kandas (trunks) describe works or Rituals. The subject matter of these books or kanda’s are like the first thirty-two books of “Chatvarinsha Brahmana”. From the fourth to seventh books are called “Upanishad Brahmana” which is very similar to Chhandogya Upanishad. The last book is called “Arsheya Brahmana” Kenopanishad is the fourth chapter of the seventh book of Jaiminiya Brahmana- (the fourth chapter of the Upanishad Brahmana). It brgins from its eighteen sector and ends at the twenty first section. We can call this Upanishad the essence of the Upanishad Brahmana and itwin be proper to discuss it keeping that Brahmana in the background. Some like to call Jaiminiya Upanishad Brahmana, Jaiminiya Ypanishad. This is very proper indeed, because it is very alike (similar) to Chhandogya Upanishad. Both of them are of the nature of Aranyaka.
There is a great similarity in the subject matter and its arrangement in the two Brahmanas- chatvarinsha and Jaiminiya. It is worth noting that upanishadic portions are predominant in both of them. But the way of exposition of the two Upanishad is not same or similar. The exposition of Chhandogya Upanishad is very compact and well arranged. But the exposition of the Jaiminiya is much more mystic though the exposition of Kena Upanishad in it is very compact, but we can easily understand from the way of exposition that the propounder of the Kena Upanishad is a mystic who loves to keep himself always in the background. It was perhaps because of the excess of mysticism or mystic language that in time the Jaiminiya slowly lost its prominence, but Kenopanishad which is a part of it is still continued to exist predominantly because of its comparatively better clarity. If we see in this light, we can say that the rationale of these who say that Kenopanished is much modern because its first two chapters are in poetry is not very strong. In fact the poetic portion is nothing but the collection of very ancient slokas describing the knowledge of Brahman. We find such slokas even in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad as well. Two of its slokas are exactly similar to that of Kenopanishad. Even in Brahmana we find many such gathas, Riks or Slokas Kenopanishad is not any way different from them it is indeed compiled and composed in the climate of the Jaiminiya Upanishad Brahmana.
Another name of Jaiminiya Brahmana is “Talavakara” Brahmana. Talavakara is one of the school- founder Rishis. We can know only this much about him from the Gana Path of Panini’s Sutras and Jaiminiya Guhya Sudra.what was his relation with Jaiminiya, we cannot know from this very little information. We find in Madhyandin samhita.
Sutra “Anandaya Talavam”- which means Talava one of the animals of Purusha medha sacrifice. It has to be sacrificed for the Bliss- God. Sayana says in his commentary on taittiriya Brahmana that a talava , a drum beater or plays an instrument like the mouth organ, (galavadya). It is possible that the word is applied to some musical instrument. Thus the meaning of the word “Talava Kara” will be a player of same musical instrument, which bestows joy or bliss. His association with Somayagna or Samagana is worth noting or considering.
Talavakara or jamini is a propounder of a whole and complete Brahamana like Rishi Mahidas or Aitareya. The name Talavakara is gone in the background. The name of Jamini has remained prominent. We find the name of jamini in the charana Vyuha Sutra of Shaunaka, but there is no mention of Talavakara. Even in Bhagavata Purana we find that Krishna Dwaipayana taught sama Veda or Chhandoga Samhita Jaimini only so here too we will take consider Jaimini alone as the authentic Rishi of Kenopanishad eventhough another names of Kenopanished is Talavakara Upanishad.
In the first three Chapters or sections of Jaiminiya Brahmana. We get the detailed description of the Oudgatra Karma of different Soma Sacrifices like Ekaha (oneday), Atina ( ), Dwadasha (Twelve days), satra ( ), Gavamayana ( ) etc. but one worth noting precularity of J.Brahmana is that it begins with the mystic description of the Agnihotra sacrifice- which is not expected because Agnihotra Sacrifice is not included in Somasacrifice. But Agni is indeed the fundamental base of all sacrifices. Oblations of Soma are to be poured in Agni. Moreover Agni Hotra is first, primary and easiest form of sacrifice among all sacrifices whose goal is the final Beatitude or Summum Bonum i.e. Moksha or Nirvana.
Agni Hotra is an indispensible everyday Karma (work). Under no circumstances it can be omitted. Mystically Agni’s relation with Soma is very close. “Agni Soma” is a famous pair of gods or coupled truths in Veda- whose flowing up and down the spinal cord is vividly and profusely described in mystic language in the Soma-Maridula of Rig Veda. Thus the discussion on Agni hotra at the beginning of a samaveda Brahmana is very meaningful.
The author of the Brahmana begins the discussion thus, “ So they ask, what and where the offering is given? They indeed pour the offering of Prana in Prana. That is how those Ritwiks who Churn the fire (Agnimanthan), give birth to the various states of prana of the host or patron (Yajamana)…. The ask of the churned fire only remains. That is this host’s food. At the same time smoke rises up windingly from it his mind is born……in this way along with the churning of fire, the mind, the eye, the ears, the Prana and Vak- the speech, the five Pranas of the host are born from this Fire. They are the divine Pranas. The offering in the fire are infact offered to these gods. As a result, the yajamana becomes full with offerings, full with mind, full with Prana, full with eyes, ears, speech and again full with Riks, yajes samas and Brahma- in one word he becomes golden (Hinmaya) and therefore becomes immortal and is born again as such. His Prana attains immortality. (All the offerings) makes this body of his, immortal.
In this way, in the very beginning of the Brihmana the Rishi very clearly gives us the mystic meaning and purpose behind the Vedic Works, done as Sacrifices conducted through Fire-God.
The fire states of Prana mentioned here, we had found in Aitareya Aranyaka as “ Brahma-Giri”- mounts of Brahma, and in chandogya Upanishad as five gatekeepers (Dwarpals) of Brahman. The idea of seven Pranas in the head (who are the seven flames of Vaiswanara Agni- Universal Fire or the seven senses of consciousness in the head developing from the digested food)- in Taittiriya Samhita is derived from here! We see these five Pranas in the very beginning of Kenopanishad. There we find hints as to how we can know and attain Brahman by moving through and rising above these Senses i.e. Pranas. In the Brahmana we get to know about their strengthening, fulfillment and as its result the new birth in immortality. In the Upanishad we find the hints to rise above Birth to Non-birth – Non-being, standing above both- “Atistha”. Both attainments (siddhi’s) are intermixed- inseperable. That the fullness or completiness of sadhana lies in the simultaneous living or experiencing being and non-being, we have already learnt from Ishopanishad.
The Brahmana through many mystic and historic stories describes and propounds that the Agni Hotra is in realty the essence of all the yajnas. It in fact is the most representative ritual. After describing Agni Hotra in details the Brahmana goes on to describe the udyatrakarma, till the end of the third book or chapter. All the books are quite big and are divided into many sections (khandas). The first book contains 364 sections, the second 442 and the third 386! After these three books, the forth Book or Chapter begins with Upanishad.. its subject matter is divided
In books, chapter, section, subsections etc. in older Upanishad we do not find divisions of chapters, sections etc. it is not in Jaiminiya Brahmana as well. But we find the divisions in its Upanishad portion. At some time in the past the reading and studying of this Upanishad was prominently amongst the Chandogas- does the divisions of the Upanishad in many chapters, sections etc indicate that fact?
This Upanishad was also known as “shatyayami Gayatrasya – Upanishad”- which means as Upanishad or giver of knowledge of Gayatra Sama which was hereditarily received from Rishi shayayani! This Upanishad should be taken and studied as such: this statement is just before the beginning of Kenopanishad. The originatorof the Shayayani heredity is Rishi Agastya: it is said: “evam va etam gayatradya udgitham Upanishadam Amritam- Indrah Agastyayah uvacha.” Which means: this udgitha of Gayatra Sama is- Upanishad and immortality and indra spoke it to Rishi Agastya. We have to discuss this statement in detail.
The Book of Samalings of Samaveda begins with Gayatra sama. The Source of this Sama is the famous savitri Rik rendered in Gayatri Chhande by Rishi Vishwamitra:” tat Savitur varenyam, Bhargo devasya dhimahi, Dhiyoyonah prachodayat”. “We mediate on the scorching light of that most adorable God, savitri. May He impel our intellect.” The Rishi of Gayatri sama is the Lord Prajapati- which means that this the origin, the First and foremost rhythm of universal creation. There is elsewhere in this Upanishad the story, that says. “when Brahma created (manifested) Prajapati, the rakshashi forces closely (adhere) clinged to Him. Then He was rescued from those forces by singing this Sama song and so it was named Gayatra sama! This Raksha- force is the Mula avidya- the original ignorance of Vedanta. In Chandi, the Saptashati she is called “Karna-mala”- the dirt in the ears of Lord Vishnu who is sleeping over the Ocean of all causes (karana- arnava). It means reflection or shadow of impurity dirt in the sky- the Akasha- principle, from which are born the twin asuras- Madhu and Kaitabha, from whose fat Medini i.e. the earth is formed.
In the language of philosophy this fact means the unconscious matter- the material cause of creation which is the negation of consciousness- principle as well as the carrier of consciousness- both, the penetration, the transit of this dirt in Prajapati was removed by the ringing of Gayatrasama, in which is the darkness- destroying adorable scorching Light of the Sun which flashes forth at the dawn of creation, which impels the intellect of all souls towards the Eternal light.
We can therefore, say that the Gayatra Sama and its womb the Savitri Rik are indeed “Viswamitra’s that Brahma (Vedamantra) which (always) protects the people of Bharat (as well as the people of the world). It is said in Tandya Brahmana (that) Gayatra is indeed all these worlds or the universe. It is again said, “Gayatra is indeed the head of Mahavrata”. We have seen in the Aitareya Upanishad that Nishkiralya sastra which is seen at the midday sacrifice if of Mahavrata is Mahaduktha- the great enlogy which terminates in the letter – A. Which is the first letter or syllable or wovel. The tune of a song is also lengthened by the help of a wovel. The here in lies or identity of the sastra read by the Hota and the Stotra sung by the Udgata.
The rational reason behind this similarity is this. “Udgitha” is the “head” of every sama whose mystic elucidation we find in chhandogya Upanishad. Therein it is said in the very beginning that “ The letter OM is the udigitha”. It means that the essence or the self of every sama or melody is this ringing, tickling, gingling sound of this eternal Omkarna which is the root, the source the basis or the foundation of the universe. Similarly the essence or self of every Rik is A. Rik is the womb of sama. Therefore akara is the womb of omkara. The WORK- sadhana of the Hota (the Ritwik who recites Rik Mantras in a sacrifice) is to terminate all Rik mantras into akara. (A) and the sadhana of an udgata (singer of the Sama-mantras) is to terminate all Samas into Omkara. Akara is then is the continous- monotone tune or a sound which is the seed of all sounds. Similarly Omkara is the continous melody or time, which is the seed of all tunes or melodies. One is primary the first sound or wovel; the other is primary or the first tune or melody. To the Vedic rishis both are Vak- the speech. Sound and tune, Rik and sama are two couples- entwined or united entities. If we want to attain the unity of the couple or arrive at this twofold root of the speech. We should condense its different sound expressions in one origin sound. Then a unity or oneness of (conviction or) idea is formed in the introvert consciousness. this Idea is the Brahman of the Upanishads, whom we experience in the self. According to the sacrificial viewpoint, the Brahman of Kenupanishad is (ringing, tikling) the reverberating resounding sound of Omkara in the udgitha of Gayatra Sama.
In Aranyaka or in the Brahmana of the nature of Aranyaka (like Chhandogya or Jaiminiya Upanishad) we find rints is to how the hota or the udgata used to wind up and bring to peaceful end the efflorescence of Vak. Upanishad is the result of this ending. it is not something unrelated to or a protest against the Aranyaka; but deeply intricately related connected with. The relation between the two is that of goal and the way or necessary practice to achieve it- Sadhya- Sadhana.
While studying Aitariya Upanishad we had seen how the whole collection of mantras- sastra- has to be wounded up in the letter A. and the Aranyaka contains its detailed description. It was said, “This letter A (akara) is Brahman and with it are integrated both self (atam) and SELF (atma). The upanishat proper began just after that and deliberated as to how creation of this variegated universe comes out from the Atma i.e. Brahman and is again dissolved in it. Jaimiriya or Gayatra Upanishad too precedes Kenupanishad, which is like an Aranyaka. It elucidates the mysticism of Sama and Udgitha and the glory of gayatra Sama. in the very beginning It says, “ the essence (rasa) of Samaveda is the Vyahriti “Swar”. That in turn is “Dynloka” the world of light- the sky whose essence is Aditya the Sun. Om is beyond this Aditya and its essence is Prana- the life force. This Omkara is both Gayatra Sama and the eight Syllables- Gayatri and both are Brahman.
We can see here that just as in Aitariya aranyaka in the discipline sadhana of uktha- speech or word, amongst all the Shastras- Hymns- the Nishkevalya Shastra was taken as the most important hymn and the whole hymn was condensed- reduced to letter A, similarly in the Sadhana of Udgitha amongst all the samas- songs – Gayatra Sama was considered as the chief and most important sama and it is reduced into Omkara which is beyond even the Sun Aditya supra cosmic. In the Vedic Hypotheses and hierarchy Soma is placed beyond Aditya whose sixteenth digit is eternal and unchanged- dhruva- i.e. without increase or decrease- waxing or waning. The essential nature or reality of Soma in the Veda is Ananda Bliss. Its astronomical is this Eternal unchanged Dhruva digit (kata), which expresses itself in the great WORD OM; in the metre Gayatri and the Gayatra Sama (Hymn). Basically Sama is the resonance of Omkara. And that is Brahma- the Infinite.
In Kenopanishad we have the exposition of experience, attainment of this Ananda Brahma (Bliss- infinity) the Rishis has attained. It through the Sadhana of “Sama” or “Udgitha” or music, just as the Rishi Aaitariya had attained. it through the Sadhana of “uktha” or the prasing of the word, the sound or speech. Like Aitariya Upanishad, here too, the Sadhana or meditation; contemplation as described in the Aranyaka is preparation for the experience or attainment of Brahma. There is a definite gradual order in the Sadhana of Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishad works Karma is predominant in Brahmana, conteplation in Aranyaka and direct experience- attainment in Upanishad. Experience- attainments follow works through contemplation-ideation.
Let us now revices in short the relevant ideas and philosophy of Jaiminiya Upanishad. We will get in it the atmosphere in which Kenopanishad was constructed.
The Rishi of Jaiminiya Upanishad, like the Rishi of Chhandogya Upanishad has arrived at Brahman through the contemplation on Sama. And yet the process and order of the two Upanishads is not the same. Though works and workships are prominently presented in the beginning at the end. The presentation and direct discourse on Brahman take a predominant place in Chhandogya Upanishad. But in Jaiminiya Upanishad discussion on works continue till the end. Works and knowledge are intermingled in the whole of the Upanishad. We find the unlimited discussion about Brahman only in Kenopanishad.
chandogya talks more about Rishi’s than Gods. it is just the opposite in jaiminiya. Indra is one of the minor Gods in Chhandogya, where as in Jaiminiya he is chief of the Gods- as in the Upanishads and Aranyaka of Rigveda. in the Kenopanishad of course he stands in the middle- he is a seeker of Brahman and amongst Gods he reached very near to Brahman, almost touched Brahman, and as such he had gone beyond all Gods. The prominence of Indra indicates that the Subjective- Spiritual view point of Upanishad follows the supernatural- God viewpoint and therefore in its philosophy the prominence of the Rishi Dhara (tradition) is still continuing.
In the very beginning of Jaiminiya Upanishad, Gayatra Sama and gayatri Mantra are said to be Brahman. At the same time it is said the Gayatri is same as Vak and its ends in the letter- Om. The Upanishad again and again reminds us of the fact. From the very beginning of creation Gayatra is the destroyer gallsins. Gayatra and its Upanishad are the Ambrosia. This saying is worth noting because “Desire is sin and freedom from Desire is Immortality.” – We find here the echo of the famous conclusion- deduction of Vedanta.
Gayatra Upanishad is placed before Kenopanishad. Even after Kenopanishad Jaiminiya Upanishad continues its discourse- we can call it the concluding part of Kenopanishad. There again we see Gayatri in the form of Savitri. There we find a very clear mention of the fact that this goddess Savitri is the presiding Goddess of the famous Savitri Mantra daily worshopped and meditated upon by the twice born the high caste people following the Vedic Tradition in Bharat. There Savitri is the sakti, force and power of the sun god. The two together is a couple (a union) like a man and a woman. This idea or principle of mithuna is found everywhere in individual objective and cosmic worlds. “Where ever there is Purusha- male there is a woman- female and vice-versa. They are like two wombs- sources and one couple union- Mithuna from this Female and Male all and everything generate.
After describing this Mithun- principle we get the interpretation of the Savitri mantra along with the three vyahriti. The three Vyahritis are placed one by one at the beginning of the three lines of the mantra. In the explanation three words are selected from the three lines. Varinya the most excellent or glorious from the first line, Bhargati the scorching light from the second line and Prachodayat- Impel from the third line. Then it is said, agni the fire, aps water and Chandrama- the Moon respectively are the three most excellent Varenya, Agni- the Fire, Aditya the Sun and Chandrama the Moon are respectively the three searching light. Bhargah and yagna- the sacrifice, stree- the female and Purusha the Male are the three who impel- prachodayat, astronomical moon (Chandrama) is soma (another name or the Bliss principle for the moon) or the bliss-principle of the Vedas as per God- viewpoint (adhidaivat drishti). Agni the fire always has its placement on the Earth. As JataVeda (the knower of all births). He is the self-consciousness of all jivas (souls or selves). Ap- the water is life energy and belongs to mid regions. The chandrama that is placed after Ap has also the place at mid regions. Because it is placed below the Sun (aditya) it waxes and waves along with Chandrama that is placed after or beyond the Sun. Mithun means a Pair, a couple a union (kata- two-in-one – like a union of a man and a woman) That is the ambrosid Soma or “Indu” – another name for Moon of the samhitas –Vedas. Taittriya Upanishad calles it the bliss of Brahma which hundred-timed greater more than the bliss of Prajapati- the creator God; that Bliss which is independent unprejudiced and beyond the universe. This is this Bliss- Ananda that impels us and is the cause of both the florescence of creation here in this universe as well as beyond. While explaining the third line of Savitri Mantra it is said that Yagna the sacrifice is in fact the driving force. We know that the sacrifices are of two kinds the Deva Yagna i.e. the sacrifices of God or the Descent of the supreme lord in this creation and the sacrifice of men i.e. the ascent of human beings towards God. In his purva Himansa Sutras, Jaimini defines Dharma as “chodana-lakshana-artho Dharma” – the attribute of Dharma is that it impels us , drives us towards God – which means that at the root of all human sacrifices there is an urge to raise our consciousness to higher and higher levels, which is called “ Pra-sava” i.e. the creation –generation here by Savita- the Sun or ut-sava- the raising of consciousness upward by soma- the Moon- God above the Sun. Again it is said that after the impelling of the sacrifice and the woman and the Man generate the seed of this line is the third Vjahriti “swam” which means both light and tune- melody. it is said in the Veda that “Swar-Brihat” i.e. the light of Brahma is our highest object of life- our summum Bonum. Therefore this Man and woman are the first and formost Mithuna (couple) thatis Savitri and savita – the sun and His consort. Taking together the God view and the sacrificial view it can be said that these two bestow the golden body to the sacrificer – yaju man – in the heavenly worlds – the worlds of light as the fruit of their sacrifice. This Divine Birth is the well known goal of sacrifice as per the Vedic tradition.
After explaining the savitri mantra in this way, the rishi concludes the Upanishad saying: “One who knows Savitri thus, overcomes Repeatative death and goes beyond (the cycle of birth and death) and wins the world of savitri.”
We can see that considering the beginning and the end of the Upanishad on udgitha of
Gayatra sama Kenopanishad is only its jest or substance. And the introducing of Uma- haimavati in it is not accidental. Gayatri or Savitri of Jaiminiya upanishd and the womanestri ) of Kenopanishad whom India confronts in the sky after the disappearence of yaksha are one. And yaksha himself or the ineffable Brahma is the Purusha. They are the father and the mother of our individual divine birth or the creation of the universe. They are the mithuna couple described as Vak and Brahma in the Samhita.
in the very beginning of Chandogya Upanishad, it is said, “Vak (speed) is the essence of Purusha (man). Rik is the essence of speech of speech and sama is the essence of Rik and Udgitha is the essence of sama. Worship the letter Om as Udgitha.
original meaning of essence is that which is Tasty and therefore that which gives joy. The word is specifically used in samhitra with regard to Soma. There Soma is “Indriyorasah” which means joy of India. And that is nectar. In the Upanishads it is the Bliss of Brahma or Joy and Happiness derived from the experience of Bhima- the Vast. This Taste, Happiness, Joy or Bliss is the goal of the Somasacrifice. Samaveda is used only in the Somasacrifice. Therefore Taste, Joy or Bliss alone is the summum-Bonum of the upanishads of Samaveda. We find the mention of Rasa- principle at different places in different ways in the chhandogya and jaiminiya upanishads.
We will talk about it at the proper place.
The quotation from Chandogya Upanishad is exhortation on Rasa Exhortation on Ananda (Ananda- mimamsa) in Taittriya Upanishad.
From Being to Omkara, from Matter to the Supreme Consciousness there is an everascending enrichment of Rasa in creation we are Purusha- Men. the power of speech in us differentiates us from animals. This Vak is fulfilled in Rik or the mantra of Fire. Rik is a verse or poetry, applying sama or musical notes to it, it becomes a song. Then its inner hidden meaning is freely a flow is the Delight worlds. The appeal of speech is to the intellect, but the appeal of music is to the heart, music carries the mystery of the unknown to the heart. Music reaches its highest pitch in udgitha, or the middle of sama- division. Musical pitch then reaches to the giggling crinkling sound of Omkar- the source of universe- which is called “Brahmi Vak” – the first speech of Brahma- or the all- pervading blissful melodious vibration of Brihati – the vast. We have seen in Aitariya Upanishad that Omkara is in the middle of Akara and Himkara. Both Rik and sama are Omkara. But Rik or Uktha leans towards Akara and the sama or the udgitha leans towards Himkara. Spiritually Riks goal is the Quiet- peace that one gets through knowledge where as the goal of sama is the delight or exhultation of the life force (prana). But the Rik and the Sama is a mithuna a couple this is said again and again both in chhandogya and Jaiminiya Upanishad
[ Vak, Rik, Sama, Udgitha and Om of Purusha- the Man are successively the basis the entailers of Rasa. These are the main well-recognized means of the Vedic spiritual sadana. Jaiminiya Upanishad talks a lot about them. They are in short as below.
Regarding Vak Jaiminiya Upanishad quotes two mantras from Rig Veda and gives their explanations- interpretation. The first mantra is that of Rishi Dirghatama where he talks about the four divisions or foots of Vak. The three foor of Vak are hidden in a cave (inside); one cannot have any indication of them outside; only the fourth foot appears in the human speech. Whils explaining the mantra, the Upanishad tells, the three hidden foots of Vak are serially Mind, the ear and the eye; and the forth foot is Vak speech that men speak. In Tantra the fourth Vak is called “Vaikhari” – the articulate utterance and the cave hidden three foots are called madhyama (the middle one), Pashyanti (that which is seen) and Para (the transparent one). We have talked about them in the Aitareya Upanishad Madhyama Vak is the mental speech- that which we always silently talk in our minds. At the root of this is the conscious selling of Vak in our hearts- that which is called “Pashyanti” in the Tantra. At the root of this Pashyanti Vak is the conscious inner hearing of (sravana) of Vak, which is called Para in the Tantra. There the Vak is only a vitration in the inner sky. In the explanation of Vak in the jaiminiya Upanishad we get some indication about these divisions of speech as stated in the Tantra Shastras. This is as if a hint a clue of a lost period chapter between the Veda and Tantra. It is worth noting that the speech, the mind, the eye and the ear are the well-known Brahma- Purusha (representation of Brahman) and the kenopanishad begins its discourse with them. Apart from these four Brahma Purushas, the fifth is Prana (the life energy). The Upanishad says this Prana is the asu (tears) the ray of the life.
Of course this is a very popularly derived meaning of the word “asu” because of the similarity of sound. It etymological meaning in reality is slathering or spreading all round just as the rays of sun are thrown out or spread out from the orb of the sun. In the very next section.
The Upanishad says, the life of all the gods, the manes, the human beings, animals, gandharvas and apsaras – the demigods occupying the mid regions, the fairies and the divine musicians, depend on the rays of the sun. Just as the life. Energy (prana) is established in Vak (the speech) similarly Vak is also established in Prana- both are interdependent. That means that Vak and Prana are a couple (Mithuna). This Prana is Brahma indeed- the doctrine of Prana Brahma- identity of Prana and Brahman is a major conception, philosophy of the Upanishads.
Another couple is that of Brahma and Vak. We find it in the Samhita portion of the Vedas. It is discussed in the section before this Upanishad. “Whatever is below Brahma is Vak. And whatever is above Vak is called Brahma. Nobody performs ritualistic (practical) work with this Brahma. The indirect Brahma i.e. Vak (here the rishi talks about the Riks, samas and yaju mantras) is the means for sacrificial works.
Here we see that Brahma is that silence from when the speech returns along with mind without reaching Brahman – “yato vacho nivartante aparapya manata saha”- The speech dissolves in that silence or merges in it. In the language of smriti shastra (law-books), para brahma (the supreme brahma) and shabda-brahma (the sound or word Brahman) are unified, become one there. This wording of the soundless word this mutation of the immutable. This notion of the motionless, moving of the immovable sky, that is Prana- Brahma- the vast that is the energy- which is symbolized in Samhita as “Gouri”- The white deer. In Nighartu (glossary of Vedic words). “Gauri” is another name of the Vak. In Samhita she is described as one who is eager to manifest in the form of universe. This form creating eagerness- the creative energy is Prana brahma with whomJaiminiya Upanishad calls this Vak Aditi. The rishi quotes here the famous Aditi- mantra of Rigveda. It says “Aditi is Dyan- the heavens, Aditi is mid region- antariksha.
Aditi is father, mother and the son as well! Aditi is all the gods of the universe- Vishwa Devagana. She again is Panchajana the five purushas! Wharever is born is Aditi and what will be born is also Aditi”. That this Aditi is Vak is also hinted in Rig Veda. There we get these equations: “ Vak is the low- (go or dhenu”. Aditi is the mother of the Rudraganas (group of gods called the Rudras), daughter of vasuganas and the friend of Adityaganas- she is the navel of immortality, she is immortality, stainless cow (go). She is the knower of Vak, inspires Vak, all the I terlect is gathered in Her. She comes from the universal Gods and returns in them. In thr mantras the ideas about Aditi, Vak and Go- the cow are intermingled.
In Nighantu Aditi and Dhenu, both are the names of Vak.
Association of Vak with the Vasu, Rudra and Adityaganas is found in the Vak- Sukta as well. Again Vrishabha- Dhenu (the bull and the cow) is a famous symbol or analogy for the First Father- Mother. In the referred Rik mantra Aditi’s all-pervasiveness and all creating power can be easily metaphorically signified. There is some newness in the definition of Panchajanas of the Rik in the Upanishad. The rishi asks, “who are these Panchajanas?- the gods who were Panch-janas before the Asuras- the Titans. They are that Purusha who is Aditya (the Sun), the Purusha in the Chandra (moon), the purusha in the lightening (vidyut) the purusha in the waters (apas) and the purusha in the eye (akshi). Here, the sun, the moon and the lightening are ascending states of the overhead consciousness- we find their mention in Chhandagya Upanishad. The Purusha in waters is the is the Prana – belongs to antariksha and the purusha in the eye represents vasuganas are gods in the earth (prithivi); Rudraganas are the gods in the mid regions and Adityas are the Gods in the heavens, the self- consciousness. All of them are the special powers (vibhuti) of Aditi i.e. Vak.
Lastly this Vak is nothing but Om – the immaculate word has already been said. There it has been said that essence (rasa) of this Vak i.e. Omkar is Prana. This Vak is the eight-syllabled Gayatri Rik and the Gayatra sama generated from it. Both are Brahman. And because this Gayatri Vak is truly Prana itself, the Brahma that is attained by its Sadhana is also based on Prana – whose symbol is Poshu – the animal. the best amongst the animals is cow. Just as the gayatri has eight syallables the cow too has eight hoofs (4X2). Gayatri Vak is this cow (go) which is a symbol both if Prana and the light of knowledge – Prajna.
This Om and Vak are again a couple. The Rishi says, “This Om is Agni- the fire and Vak is Prithivi- the Earth. Om is the Air (vayu) and Vak is the mid region (antariksha). Om is Aditya- the Sun and Vak is Dyau the heavens. Om is Prana and Vak is simply Val. Here also we have the four- footed Omkara and the four- footed Vak. The first three feet are adhidaivata – cosmic the fourth foot is spiritual – udhyatma or individual (self). All this means that whatever exists in an individual self or the universe, everything is Om and Vak.
Om is immutable (akshara) supreme – para – brahma and Vak is Shabda Brahma who is intent, desirous for creation. The two together are Mithuna and so taking one letter “O” from Om and “VA” from vak a song in Gayatra melody tune was formed Ora. ``ora ova hum bha ova lengthening the tune it can formed into a sixteen lettered line in this way. “Ova chova chova cha hum bha ova” Ova is the seed mantra of the couple and “ Hum Bha” is “stobha kshara” – stop letters. The letter Hum is a symbol for Moon and Bha is represents the Sun. Shodakshara symbolize Shodashakala Purusha – Person with sixteen parts. Brahma is also Shodashakala with Kshar Brahma with fifteen kata’s and along with the sixteen Dhurva- Firm Kala the Akshara- Brahma. The conception of shodashakata- the sixteen letters on parts is very ancient. It is mentioned even in the Rig Veda. The Shodashakala Soma or Moon signifies the Principle of immortality so the shodashakala Purusha is Amrita Purusha.
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for Moon and Bha is represents the Sun. Shodakshara symbolize Shodashakala Purusha – Person with sixteen parts. Brahma is also Shodashakala with Kshar Brahma with fifteen kata’s and along with the sixteen Dhurva- Firm Kala the Akshara- Brahma. The conception of shodashakata- the sixteen letters on parts is very ancient. It is mentioned even in the Rig Veda. The Shodashakala Soma or Moon signifies the Principle of immortality so the shodashakala Purusha is Amrita Purusha. The immortal person. The sixteen letters Sama signifies Him. Moon’s fifteen Katas where there is waxing and waning is the Body and the shodashikata is bodiless. Whatever is Bodiless is immortal with the shodashakala sama the sadhaka attains immortality beyond body. The Mithuna of Om and Vak is thus the Mithun of the Moon and the Sun, which is, helps man in attaining immortality. In the Samhita (Rig Veda etc.) this conception of Mithuna has been extended to the marriage Surya (the daughter of sun) to Moon (Soma). Soma or the Moon there is beyond the Sun and therefore inexpressible indefinable letter.
Thus we have seen that Vak, Gayatri and Gayatra Sama, Vak, Omkara, all are helpers in attaining immortality. In the Somasacrifice the udgata helps the host to attain the sun aditya or the Heavens- the region of gods by the letter Om.
Now something about Rik and Sama both are kinds of the same Vak. The two together are a mithuna – a couple to speak plainly, the highest development of language is in melody – in a song. But the resort of the tune is in words. We get in Chhandogya Upanishad a list of those who cohere to one another like Rik and Sama both in self sight or god sight, individually or cosmically – adhyatma and adhidavat views. The conception of Mithuna is a bit different in Jaiminiya Upanishad – the couple is a bit different in jaiminiya Upanishad – the couple together is like Yama and Yami of Samhitas. Rik desires to unite with sama. Sama asks Rik “who are you?” Rik says, “I am Sa” i.e. the first woman or Aditi. Sama said, “I am ama” i.e. Bala – force, strength. This “Sa” and “Ama” together is Sama. Here lies the essence of sama. This means means according to Tantra, that Sama is the union of Shiva and Shakti. This conception or Idea of Sama or Mithuna is applied to the conjugal life of human couples as well.
Then Rik said, “ Come, let us unite and create”. Sama said, “ No, you are my sister. Go and unite with some one else” Rik said, “ I do not find any other with whom I could unite. I want to unite with you only”.
But Sama did not wish to unite with the impure Rik. Then she was purified by honey. This honey is Somananda – the Bliss derived from Soma. We find many references about this in Samhita. Sama is closely connected with Soma – both are Bliss – Principle. This Bliss is compared with the joy of copulation. So it is said the Brahmacharis should not eat honey! But if the Teacher (Guru) – gives him honey he can take it!
Then sama also purified himself and said to Rik, “ I am Ama and you are Sa, you are Sa and I am Ama. You follow my vows and then we will create the world and its people. Come, let us unite”. Therefore while uniting with Rik, Sama increased and overflowed. That means, Music overshot (went beyond) words, Purusha- Man over passed woman- Stri. Then Sama said, “I am finding you no more in my experience. Let us be vast and huge and then create people”. Rik said, “ Alright, let it be so”. Then they became great universal and started creation. They generated Sama Bhakti and Vashat Kara and then Aditya – the Sun. Then they melted in one another.
We can see that Sama is closely connected with Somya- Honey and couple- copulation principle- doctrine. This is one of the main line of Vedic ideology. We find it’s mentioned in many Upanishads. Later on this stream flows down to the Tantras.
We get in the Chhandogya Upanishad, “The essence of Rik is Sama and the essence of Sama is udgitha. Udgitha is a Sama Blakti i.e. a part or a node. Generally Sama is divided into five parts. Udgitha is its middle part. Sama is “swar” a musical note or a tune of light. It is like Sun’s circum ambulation of the sky. The time before down is the first part of Sama called “Himkara” and the time of Sunset is the last part of Sama called “Nidhana” – the end or death. In between the two is the mid-day sun “Udgitha”, the middle part. In this way, both in chhandogya and Jaiminiya Upanishads there are many instructions, teachings that admonist us to consider udgitha as the highest principle. Moreover it is said in the jaiminiya Upanishad, “Udgitha is nectar immortality – In the beginning of Creation Prajapati (the creator God) gave it to the Gods” Brikaspati won the Udgitha by “Swadha” which means the Valourof self” Udgitha is Prana – (force or Energy) whatever there is in the North direction of sky is formed by or belongs to Udgitha. This Udgitha Prana is pointed light which conquers everything and therefore it can stop or stave off all but none can stop it. Subjectively Purusha is Udgitha . We find the ultimate cast or saying in Chhandojya: udgitha is Omkar.
Thus we see that Rik, Sama and Udgitha ends in Omkara as they become finer through sharp- pointed Intellect; the Omkar, which is the first and origin vibration in the sky and is a symbol signifying Brahman. All these are the special representations of Vak; and the fact that Vak is inseparably united with Brahman, we find in the samhitas. This compiling of Vak and Brahman has ended in the doctrine of Shatda – Brahma in Indian Philosophy.
This doctrine is implied in Kenupanishad. But I this mystical Upasanas (worships) of Sama in both Chhandogya and Jaiminiya Upanishads it is very explicit. Brahman presented in Kenupanishad is undoubtedly the supreme Brahman (Para Brahma). But Its Basis is Shabda Brahma. This we can easily guess from the way Kenopanishad has been placed in Jaiminiya Upanishad. By placing in between the mystic interpretations of Gayatra and Savitri Samas, the Upanishad as it tells us that this Kenu Upanishad is the fruit, end result of the Samopasana – the worship of Sama. The Equations of Vak, Gayatra (gayatri) and Om and Brahman in the very beginning of Jaiminiya Upanishad is also noteworthy.
in Kenopanishad three more principles closely connected with Brahma are spoken about they are the sky (Akasha), the lightening (Vidyut) and Indra. The first is Brahma’s dwelling place- resort. (Sotosay), the second is its Indication – pointer (Adesha) and the third – Indra – is its Knower and the one who touches It. There is some detailed discussion about them in Jaiminiya Upanishad, which helps in understanding the inner meaning of these principles.
According to Brahma Sutra (a treatise on Vedanta) the sky is the indicator of Brahman as we find the attributes of Brahman in the sky also. The subject of sky holds a special place in the Chhandogya Upanishad.
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The Upanishad very lucidly explains us that contemplation – meditation on Akasha is a major means to realize and attain Brahman. In Jaiminiye Upanishad Akasha has been placed at the very beginning of creation. Atma – the self is placed before everything else in Aitareya Upanishad. What is Akasha is also the speech Vak. That is to say, Vak is the inseparable self- energy of the sky, “Lokas the worlds are formed from the juice squeezed by Prajapati – the creator God from this Vak. Gods are created from the squeezed juice of lokas. In this way by squeezing successfully come out the three Vedas, the three Vyahritis- the mystical utterances- Bhuh, Bhuvah and Swati and at the end of all Om. Om is the immutable word that drips but does not decay. Again this sky is aditya- the sun whose dawning enlightens, reveals everything. Again the sky- Akasha is Indra whom the Samhitesdescribe as “The Seven- rayed Bull”. These seven rays are formed by Vak. The number of Seattering or pervading of this Vak is “Vyomantra” which is arrived at by placing twelve zero after one. The rays of the sun establish themselves in each soul as vak. In this respect there are many mystic sayings in the Upanishad which we cannot or need not present here. The sky is the speech as well as the sun- this is the order of creation or manifestation.
From the sky (akasha) or from the Dark Night of Non- Existence emerge Sura- musical (sound) and Light. In Vedic phraseology both are called “Swar” which again is the musical tune of Sama.
In inverse order light merges in music, in the language of Samhita. The eye turns into “The ear- the hearing”. i.e. seeing becomes hearing. The modern mystics will say “From” merges into Name of course, the sky is the carrier of both Name and Form.
We see in the Kenopanishad that when Yaksha- the Daemon disappears, only the sky remains. In that sky appears the woman Uma, Haimavati, the Golden hued daughter of the Himalayas. She tells to Indra that this Daemon was Brahman, the vast eternal. Here Haimavati represents Vak and the sky is her resort. The sky- akasha is the resort of Brahman as well and Indras moving place. There are ample reasons to understand that here. Indra is the Sun- Aditya. We will discuss about it or later. Yaksha- the Daemon and “stree” the woman here are the couple and Indra is their progency or power. This is like Aditi’s becoming as Father, Mother and Sun. The sky is the upholder or resort of all the three. Jaiminiya Upanishad says that sky is both Vak and Indra. From the viewpoint of experience both propositions suggest the same meaning. Kenopanishad’s viewpoint is somewhat analytical where as Jaiminiya Upanishad is more mystic.
In Kenopanishad the lightening is called an Indicator of Brahman that is pointer and a helper in its attainment. According to Vedic idea, lightening is mainly thelight in the mid regions (antariksha). But the lightening appears in the sky and then disappears- because of this, Upanishad uses it as an analogy. In Kathopanishad the sequence is Fire, then lightening and then sun, moon and the stars. According to the mystic viewpoint this lightening is the recollection or a flash of intuition. In samhita it is called “Ketu” Flame Ray of Light or “Chitti” thinking, clear understanding etc. In Kenopanishad lightening denotes sudden flash a light in the sky. In Jaiminiya Upanishad the (principle) of lightening is quite profound. There lightening is spiritual light.
It is said that which is akasha- the Sky is Aditya- the Sun as well this sun is three fold, the white, the black and purusha. The white (sukla) is shining the light, the Black (Krishna) is dark unlighted, and the Purusha is the inner being of both. This sun god is subjectively the eye. That also is threefold- the white, the black and the Purusha i.e. the inner self subjectively seen by the inward eye. The Purusha in both these cases is Prana- the life force- He is sama, He is Brahman. He is immortality. This seeing of Brahman by the Inward eye is the “Ascent” i.e. going beyond the objective seeing and seeing Brahman. But even after that is the “Para Kranti” or “Akranti” of Brahman, i.e. going beyond all and seeing It and attaining Brahman intimately closely. This happens like the twinkling of lightening. When the ligtening dazzles then its form is shukla – the white when it merges in the Sky then It is dark blue or Black (Krishna) and the Purusha that is this lightening is Prana, the Sama, Brahman and Immortality. Again Prana is Sama and Brahman is Immortality. In this way we find three Purushad – the Eye Purusha in the eye, the purusha that is beyond the “atipurusha” in the Sun and “Parama Purusha” the supreme Purusha in the lightening. The Eye Purusha is Subjective and therefore same as self- atomic. The atipurusha i.e. sun is spiritual and therefore shapes Itself similar to other forms (pratirupa) and the two together the supreme Purusha is the All- Form (sarvarupa) inside as well as outside. Again just as all paths going up the mountain meet at the summit of the mountain, similarly all the rays of the sun after spreading all around and inversely return and merge in the Sun. One who knows and understands this returns and merges in the Sun along with the ray uttering Om, Om. That means that on the earth
He is the self of all selves (sarva Bhutatma) because the rays of the sun are established in all and every self (soul) and he is sun rayed and in the heavens he is the Sun himself – aditya purusha. His merging in Sun time is way is the unforbidden Sama with all open doors (sarvatodwara) i.e. such an all-enveloping musical consort of light entry to which is open to all. And this spreading out, marshalling of the rays of music from the Orb of the Sun, as light is the lightening.
This portion of the Jaiminiye Upanishad can be called a gloss or a commentary on the subject of lightening in the Kenopanishad.
Now about Indra. In the Aranyaka, Brahmana and Samhita of Rig Veda, Indra is undoubtedly the supreme divinity- because the midday oblation in Somayaga- Soma sacrifice is offered to him. At mid- day the sun is at the zenith. The main aim of Vedic sadhana is to stop the downward movement of the Sun from Zenith subjectively it means after reachingthe highest visible point of consciousness one has to raise the consciousness higher and higher through an ascending movement and not to come down in the worldly circulating movement. This will be possible by the grace of Indra the supreme deity of the Midday Sacrifice, the best of the drinkers of soma. Because of that in principle and in fact Indra is the sole supreme deity in Veda.
This greatness of India has remained unimpaired in the two Upanishads of Rig Veda. There is the embodiment, of the truth, Prana containing or one with supreme knowledge; to know him is the summum Bonum of man; to realize Him is the highest realization. But in Chhandogya Upanishad we see that Indra goes to Prajapati to learn self- knowledge. In Kenopanishad also, He is a seeker of Brahman. In both the places His essential Reality is suppressed in the secondary deliberation of Gods. But in Jaiminiya Upanishad He is a seeker of Brahman. In both the places His essential Reality is suppressed in the secondary deliberation of gods. But in Jaiminiya Upanishad He is fully established in His glory and majesty. Though He is one of the Gods there He is the main chosen Deity- Like our tutelary Deity, He is the best owed of Emancipation as well as spiritual powers. To glorify the majesty of Indra the Upanishad quotes some important Rik- mantras.
30/7/06. The most important description of Indra in Jaiminiya Upanishad is that He is the Sun whom the Samhita describe as the Seven Rayed Bull. His seven rays are vak the word or speech, the mind, the eye, the ear Prana and asu the vibration or queering of life and food anna or matter which is established in all being where ever i.e. He is born as all-beings in combination matter, prana (the life force) and consciousness. Again in Sama song in Soma sacrifice He is the Udgata- the singer as well Udgitha- the highest uttereane of Sama- when the sound the musical note of lightrises from here and starts vibrating over the head, then Indra comes there, but the ordinary priests do not know that. Only the Srotriyas- those who are well- versed in the Vedas – Know and say that Indra alone is Rik Sama Uktha, Udgitha, (the highest pith of the sama), Brahman (the vast) (all these are different forms of Vak); Prana, Vyan, andApana (all these are different forms of Prana); The eye, the ear and the Mind- they are all one Purusha who is established in all the beings in different ways: Again all that was concealed before manifestation in the sky (the Akasha) that is beyond the sun is also Indra. And therefore it is said I the Samihita that hundred of heavenly world and earths (Dyulokas and Bhilokas) and thousands of suns reach or overtake Him. Here in this respect we have to recollect what is said in the chhandogya about the golden Purus too resending in the sun whose whibe and dark blue light together mould the Sama of this universe. This Golden Purusk and Indra are one. In the Puranas He is Vishnu on whose breasts dazzle the kaustubha Diamond.
That Indra is the supreme deity becomes very clear from these mystic (statements) in Jaiminiya Upanishad “ well, whom do you worship? – Akshara the imperishable the immutable. What is that Akshara? That which mutates but does not decay? What that mutates but does not decay? – Indra. Who is that Indra? – That who sports in the eyes who sports in the eye? He is Sama as well because He is identified with Earth, identical with the sky, identical with the heavens, identical with all the beings. He shines beyond the heavens. He has indeed become all these one has to worship Him in this way. One who know this, becomes all light, well established, peaceful, self-possessed, wealthy, all- pervading, all powerful, brilliant, luminous, full of wisdom, virile, famous, praise- worthy, performer of works, immutable, possessing strong senses and harmonious. This is what is said in thisRik, “He shapes Himself according to the forms He meted; this Form of His is worth seeing. Indra moves about by being many formed through His miraculous Power (Maya) thousands of His vehicles (in the form of rays) are kept yoked. Maghawa, the Mighty Indra looks wonderful in different forms – creating enchanting miraculous (maya) around His body.
Here we see, that spiritually (Adhidaivat) Indra is all- pervading Prajapati – the Creator God; and subjectively (Adhidaivat) the purusha in the eye, the inner being, the self experienced by the wise who eyes are turned inwards materially. He is whatever is Here and astronomically He is the Sun. As the immutable word, He is the Supreme vak and as sama He is the melody of Light that is at the root of the universe. That he has become all this is His Maya. His miraculous creative power
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There are two other names or appellations for the supreme Deity – in the Brahmana His name is “Prajapati” and in the Upanishads “Brahman”. The experience of the first is objective, of the other subjective. In the Jaiminiya Upanishad Indra stands in between. He is in relation to the universe; Prajapati and subjectively in the self- experience He is Brahman. This has been told variedly in this manner. The three fold Sama is four footed. Brahman is its third foot, Indra is its third foot, Prajapati is its third foot, and Anna- the matter the food is its fourth foot. That which is Brahman is Prana the life force, that which Indra is Vak the speech that which is Prajapati is Mana, the mind. And Food – the matter (anna) is the fourth- foot. Here each of the first three foots are folds is called the third foot which means that they are though three and three though one. And there Trinity is one pole of the Being as Consciousness and the other pole is Anna – the matter. The first saying we have the universal form of the Deity in the other it is the Individual form – Anna – the matter is then the gross body. Beyond mind (mana) is speech and even beyond is Prana (the energy) – this order is worth noting. This vak is the power- force Shakti of the Prana Brahma and Mind is the Projection of both. There is some similarity of this idea with Kenopanishad. There Prajapati is appropriated by Indra. Indra is mental speech that is manifested or extended in the Universe. Uma is the Supreme Vak, Brahma is Prana. But beyond them all is the (akasha). Indra is not the goal, He is the means. Elsewhere in Jaiminiya Upanishad Indra has been called “Prajapati Matra” same as or equal to Prajapati. All these is said to bring down the supreme Deity to His manifested powers for making the Sadhana easier. The Deity who is the goal becomes means as well the Goal and the means become one.
Apart from the sky, the lightening and Indra, these are some more interesting topics in Jaiminiya Upanishad. e.g. the sacrifice of the Purusha, the vivid description of the ascending way towards Brahman which is not found in any other place, the many ways of ascending the coach of Brahman, rebirth according to one’s wish from (the Brahma Loka) the worldly Brahman etc. But as there is no mention about all these topics in Kenopanishad we need not discuss them here.
We have already said that the Jaiminiya Upanishad which is the source of Kenopanishad is more like an aranyaka. Now let us see how the idea of aranyaka develop into the ideas of the Upanishad. We have already talked about this in some details; here we will narrate them briefly.
In jaiminiya Upanishad we get exegesis of sacrifice and works; In Kenopanishad we get exegesis of Brahman. That sacrifice and works are established in Brahman is said in this Upanishad. One should perform works with contemplation. The ancient term for contemplation is Upasana – worship: and main part of Upasana is to change the way or mode of seeing at things. In the very beginning of Chhandogya Upanishad we are asked to look at Udigitha as the sun or as the chief Prana. Udigitha then is not only a sama or the highest point of the melody we have to contemplate and feel spiritually that it is dazzling with the mid-day light of the sun or subjectively as the chief Prana in the body which is the master of the self, umpired by sin. By such contemplationwe will have the cognition or knowledge of vastness, greatness. This knowledge of the greatness of the self is objectively the deity and subjectively Brahman. That means, the vastness or expansion of self- consciousness is Brahman. The worship through works is means of this expansion. In this way we get in Aranyaka the means of realizing or attaining Brahman by combining Brahma and works and exposition of attainment we find in the Upanishad. Adithya – the Sun is at the centre of all Vedic descriptions. The supreme object of human life according to Vedas is to be a possessor of immense heat and light like the sun. Subjectively this heat and light are Prana- life force and Prajna, Supreme Knowledge. The result of the highest attainment of these two is an intimate union with the sun. The Upanishad call it the attainment of Brahman- the Vast, the infinite. Then it is experienced that the purusha that is me and the purusha that is in the Upanishads.
Just as the deity resides as the sun in this infinite unbound field that is the sky, in the same way He resides in my body as Fire – whose energy and force we experience as the heat of the body, the technical term for which is “Tapah” ; Austerity increases this Heat “Dama” self- control or controlling of senses is the means to increase this Heat, Tapah. In Kenopanishad these two means along with works are mentioned as foundation of Brahma. In the mystic language of the Vedas Sun’s foundation is Agni – fire or Heat and the Earth – the Prithivi – is the foundation of the heavens. We can say that matter is the foundation of consciousness. Of course here consciousness is involved in matter, in Vedic language “consciousness is established in us like the ray of the sun.
Mid- region – antariksha is in between the earth and the heavens – the sky. It is the place where the air or wind blows. Spiritually wind is “Vaya” the win God. Subjectively it is “Prana” the life force. Akasha – the Sky is full of light. Mid regions – “the Antariksha” is full of Prana the life force and the Earth is full of the play of matter. The gods who stand for these three are the Sun god (adithya), the wind god (vayu) and the fire god (agni). In us the Gods shine as the light of mind, the force or energy of prana and the heat of the body. We find all these three gods in Kenopanishad – only in place of Sun we have Indra.
The sky is also mentioned here. When yaksha, the mysterious god disappears only akasha the sky remains – the mystic nothingness; void remains. Indra, the first mental being arrives at this void sky and whils moving in it comes across Kma Haimavati. Dissolution of yaksha in the sky. Appearance of Uma and coming of Indra there. If in the language of Veda if we say that Uma is Aditi- the mother of Gods; then this trinity reminds us of that famous saying of the Rishi Gotam Rahugana, “aditir mata, sa pita, sa putra” – “Aditi is the mother, He is the father, He is the son. Here the father is Yaksha, the son is Indra and the two respectively are above and below Aditi. We will discuss in detail about this at the proper place.
In the episode, about yaksha in Kenopanishad we find altogether five gods, Agni, vayu, indra, uma and yaksha. Subjectively they are respectively the purusha in matter – anna, the purusha in prana – the life force, the purusha in mind; Intelligence or higher mind and Prajnana or the super mind- knowledge (or according to Taittiniya Upanishad “Ananda – Bliss). The Limit of the lower Nature is in the three first Purushas. Amongst them the Mental Purusha is the “leade of Prana the life force and the body” - “Prana- Sharira Neta”. The natural consciousness has to ascend to super consciousness beyond this lower life – to knowledge through Intelligence. This is the mystical meaning of the story and our supreme attainment, Summum Bsnum.
“Works” – is the means for this ascension. Works is either the sacrifice or contemplation – meditation. Sacrifice is outward performance, contemplation is inward. But contemplation, meditation is very essential even while performing the sacrifice. We find all the Brahman’s prescribing worship and meditation. Chhandogya Upanishad emphatically states. Both perform works – one who knows and the one who knows not. But knowledge – Vidya and Ignorance – avidya are two different things. That which is done with knowledge, faith and “Upanishad” that is meditation (remaining attuned with the divine), that alone is truly effective.
The two means of contemplation are Vak and the mind. Both meet in the mantra. The word is defined by yaska as “mantro mananat” by contemplation or constant rumination in the mind, word or words recited in prayer to God or a particular deity. The use of mantra is indispensible in sacrifice or works or worship. Generally speaking there are three types of mantras – Rik, Sama and Yajnk are mantras used in the works or sacrifice. Sacrifice or the works generally means self- sacrifice. In the soma sacrifice there are four types of priests called Ritwiks. In them the Hota, the priest who recites the mantras of rigveda inviting the Gods to receive the oblations, receits the ecology. The udgata, (priest) loudly sings the sama-songs, and the adhvarya, the chief official who pours the oblations, conducts or performs the sacrifice or the work. Everything is done by reciting the mantras and meditating on the meaning of the mantra. In the language of the Samhita, one priest nourishes, the mantra another strengthens it and the last one forms the body of the sacrifice. Above all the priest is Brahma who is the master of all acts and all- knower, who is the chief of the sacrifice and protector. Brahma is “knower of all births” like the God Agni, which means the knower of the mystery of Brahman; the sacrifice and the word. Though all other priests he transmits his power and knowledge to the host – yajamana. As a result, the yajamana established himself in the vast worlds; the high heavens. We find these words at the end of the Kenopanishad while describing the fruits or recoard of this knowledge, we have a very splendid description of the heavenly worlds at the end of the Soma- mandale of the Rig- Veda. There one is established in infinite light, all desires fulfilled, self- established, gratified and full of immortal eternal Bliss. We can easily find in this description Sacchidananda – the existence, knowledge and bliss absolute of Vedanta. There is no difference whatsoever between Heavenly Worlds and the worlds of the Brahman or between Somya- ananda- Bliss of Soma and Brahmananda – Bliss of the Brahma- the vast.
Two characteristics of the discipline of Sacrifice are worth noting. Firstly, we can minimize the profuseness of works. There is one beautiful example of this in Chhandogya Upanishad. There we find injunctions as to how the yajamana- the host conquers the heavenly kingdoms of Indra, Brahma and other Gods, as a reward of Soma- sacrifice. Secondly how the elaborate indispensible mantras can be condensed and ultimately reduced to one syllable “a” with regards to uktha and to Omkara with regards to udgitha. We have earlier talked about these two.
In this way we can draw in the outward consciousness inward into subjective consciousness. Yoga is the common device or art in respect of both. As a result, the outer means are turned into inner means – the consciousness slowly reposes from works in Vak speech and from Vak in mind. This is the common way to rise from the ideas of brahmanya to Aranyaka and from the ideas of Aranyaka to Upanishad i.e. idea. So in Upanishads the Upasana – the worship with the help of omkara has been given a prominent place. Off course there is no mention of Omkara in Kenopanishad.
But it is mentioned at many places in Jaiminiya Upanishad Kena is just the next step from Jaiminiya – where more importance is given to the supreme Brahman – parabrahma – than Sabda Brahma – Brahman as word. Many things are elliptical, implied in Kenopanishad. We get their elaboration in Jaiminiya Upanishad.
Here ends the introduction of kenopanishad. Now to the Upanishad proper.
END OF INTRODUCTION