Brahmopanishad IV

{To Read Author’s General Note click here }

(Contd… from Part III)

There are four unrelated parts in this Upanishad. The Upanishad itself is not divided. The division is by me. It has no authority other than convenience.

The first part of the Upanishad emphasizes the importance of the aerobic life. Brahman is self-effulgent.

The second part deals with Brahman that covers all states of existence (waking and sleep and REM sleep). Brahman includes all the gods, like Sun, Vishnu and Rudra.  Brahman includes in himself space. Brahman is neither inclusive nor exclusive of human concepts/perceptions.

The third part shows that Brahman is holier than the sacred symbols of Vedic authority like the thread and shika or the tuft among the Brahmins. The treatment highlights the hollow vanity of the symbols.

This part deals with the singularity and universality of God. {This is a vital difference between Hinduism and ‘semitic’ religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  The Single God of these religions is not universal. They (the single gods) display nepotism in respect of their followers.} ‘Hinduism’ is presented as a religion that celebrates the joy of life.

  1. God (Brahman) is one. He is present unseen in all created beings. He is all-pervasive. He is the inner Atma in all beings. He is the overlord of all rituals. He resides in all beings. He is the (mute) witness in all rituals. He is the Supreme intelligence. He is exclusive (singular). He has no attributes.

    (God is an observer. He is not a participant.)

  2. God is the (active) intelligence among many inactive ones. He is Singular but presents himself as many. The wise ones who discover this Self enjoy eternal bliss, not others.
  3. The wise ones generate fire (of knowledge) by making their self-consciousness the lower arani and the pranava mantra the upper Arani. They ‘see’ the unseen Brahman by practicing meditation of churning (the two Aranis).

    (Arani is the piece of shami wood that is used to generate fire in Vedic rituals. Pranava mantra is the Gaayatri.)

(The mundane and the sublime are rubbed against each other to produce the fire of understanding.)

  1. (Brahman is present unseen)like oil in the seeds, like butter in the curd, like water in the waves and like the fire in Arani.  One sees the Reality by practicing objectivity and by observing the Self in the Self. 
  2. Just as the spider weaves a web and withdraws it (Brahman creates the impression) of presence and absence of Jiva in the wakeful and sleeping states.
  3. The heart resembles the calyx (closed outer petals) of the lotus bud bent downwards. Understand that to be the supreme abode of the Universe!
    (It is my opinion that the lotus with its many petals is symbolic of the many ‘universes’. Recently I came to know that scientists call this, “multiverse”. The petal comes close to the Einsteinian Space-Time curved like a saddle.)
  4. The waking state is centered on the eye. The dream state is assigned to the neck. Dreamless sleep is in the heart and the turiya or cosmic consciousness is located in the crown of the head.
  5. An individual holds (sandhatte) his Atma by means of Pragnya or understanding of the Supreme Self. From this are derived Sandhya meditation and the prayer called Sandhyavandana.
  6. This Sandhya meditation (of the Sannyasi) is without any offering of water. It is also not limited by the spoken word and exertion of the body. It unifies all the created beings. That is the Sandhya prayer for the Sannyasi bearing a single staff.
    (The Sannyasi is not limited by worldly woes. His prayer is to the universal self.)
  7. Neither the human mind nor the spoken word is relevant in the region of Brahman. This is the Supreme Bliss of the Self. A wise man who knows this is liberated.
    (Human attributes do not bind Brahman that is Supreme bliss.)
  8. The Supreme Self pervades everything (seamlessly) like cream in the milk. It is founded on spiritual discipline. It is the supreme Brahmopanishad (Knowledge of Brahman). It is defined by the Unity of Self in all forms.  It is the supreme Brahmopanishad.

    To sum up: God is the (active) intelligence among many inactive ones. He is Singular but presents himself as many. The mundane and the sublime interact with each other to produce the fire of understanding. The Supreme knowledge is defined by awareness of the Unity of Self in all forms.

End of the Upanishad.

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