Author Topic: Introduction  (Read 246 times)

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Introduction
« on: April 07, 2019, 05:01:58 PM »
Since the Upanishad commencing with Kenesitam and revealing the supreme Brahman has to be spoken of, the ninth chapter [The Kena Upanisad forms part of the Upanisad Brahmana of the Talavakara branch of the Sama-Veda.] begins. Earlier than this, rites have been exhaustively dealt with, and the (different) meditations on the vital force as the basis of rites, as also the meditations on the (Various) Samas [A Sama song is divided into parts-five or seven.

This Sama as also each of its parts has to be thought of variously. For such meditation see Ch. I. and II.], forming parts of rites, have been spoken of. After that is stated the meditation on the Gayatra Sama, (thought of as the vital force), which ends with a succession of teachers and pupils and which relates to effects of action. If all these rites and meditations, as enjoined, are properly observed, they become the cause of purification of the mind of one who is free from desires and longs for emancipation. But in the case of one who cherishes desires and has no enlightenment (i.e. meditation on or knowledge of gods), the rites by themselves, as enjoined in the Vedas and Smrtis, become the cause for the attainment of the Southern Path and for returen to this world. But through activity prompted by natural impulses that are repugnant to the scriptures, there will be degradation into lower beings ranging from beasts to the motionless ones (trees etc.) in accordance with the Vedic text. '(If one does not perform rites or meditation), then one does not proceed by either of these Paths (Northern or Southern). They become these little creatures (mosquitioes etc.) that are constantly subject to birth and death following the (divine) order "Be born and die." This is the third state' (Ch.V.x.8); and in accordance with the words of the other text: 'Three kinds of beings [Born from the womb, egg, or earth.] followed a course that deviates (from these Northern and Southern Paths)' [And thereby they tread a path of sorrow.] (Ai. A. II. i. 1. 4).

The longing for the knowledge of the indwelling Self arises only in that desireless man of pure mind who has renounced all transitory, external means and ends by virtue of the emergence of a special kind of tendency (in his mind) created by works done in this life or in previous ones. This fact is being shown in the form of questions and answers by the Vedic text beginning with Kenesitam. In the Katha Upanisad, too, it is said, 'The selfexistent Lord destroyed the outgoing senses; therefore one sees the outer things and not the Self within. A rare discriminating man, desiring immortality, turns his eyes away and then sees the indwelling Self' (Ka. II. i. 1) etc. And in the (Mundaka) Upanisad of the Atharva-Veda it is said, 'Having examined the worlds attainable by work thus:
"The unproduced (everlasting emancipation) is not to be produced by work", the Brahmana should resort to renunciatin. In order to know that Reality fully, he must go, with sacrificial faggots in hand, only to a teacher versed in the Vedas and is established in Brahman' (Mu. I. ii. 12). In this way alone, does a man of detachment acquire the competence to hear, meditate on, and realize the knowledge of the indwelling Self, and not otherwise. Besides, as a result of this realization of the indwelling Self as Brahman, there comes the total cessation of ignorance which is the seed of bondage and the cause of the emergence of desire and activity, in accordance with the verse: 'What sorrow and what delusion can there be for that seer of oneness?' (Is.7); and also in accordance with the Vedic texts: 'The knower of the Self transcends sorrow' (Ch. VII.1.3); 'When the One that is both cause and effect is realized the knot of the heart (of the seer) gets untied, all (his) doubts are resolved, and all karma is consumed' (Mu. II. ii. 8) etc.

Objection: May it not be argued that this result can be attained even from Knowledge [The word jnana occurs in two senses: (i) Vedantic knowledge and (ii) knowledge about gods or meditation on them. Jnana in the second sense can be combined with rites and duties, but not Vedantic jnana.] coupled with rites and duties?
Answer: No, because in the Vajasaneyaka (Brhadaranyaka) Upanisad that (combination of rites and meditation) has been spoken of as the cause of a different result. Starting with the text, 'Let me have a wife' (Br. I. iv. 17), the Vajasaneyaka shows in the text, 'This world of man is to be won through the son alone, and by no other rite; the world of the Manes through rites; and the world of the gods through meditation' (Br. I. v. 16), how rites and duties lead to the attainment of the three worlds that are different from the Self And there (in that Upanisad itself), again, the reason for embracing renunciation is adduced thus: 'What shall we achieve through children, we to whom the Self we have attained is the goal?' (Br. IV. iv. 22). The explanation of that reason is this: What shall we do with progeny, rites, and meditation combined with rites, which are the means for the attainment of worlds other than that of the Self, and are the causes for the attainment of the three worlds of men, Manes, and gods? Nor are the three worlds-transitory and attainable by means as they are-desirable to us, to whom is desirable the world that is natural, 'birthless, undecaying, immortal, fearless' (Br. IV. v. 25), that 'neither increases nor decreases through work' (Br.IV.iv.23), and is eternal. And being eternal, it is not to be secured by any means other than the cessation of ignorance. Hence the only duty is to renounce all desires after the realization of the unity of the indwelling Self and Brahman. Besides, the knowledge of the identity of the indwelling Self and Brahman militates against its co-existence with work, because the realization of the identity of the Self and Brahman, which eradicates all dual ideas, cannot reasonably coexist with work which presupposes the ideas of the difference of agent and results; for the object (of knowledge) being the deciding factor, the realization of Brahman is not determined by human effort. ['An object of injunction is that which has to be achieved by effort consequent on the injunction. Knowledge is not of that kind'-A.G. The object is the determining factor as regards the content of any valid knowledge. Neither injunction nor any accessory has any effect here.]

Therefore this desire to know the indwelling Self, in the case of a man who has renounced all seen and unseen results attainable by external means, is being shown by the Vedic text beginning with Kenesitam. But the object (of the inquiry) being subltle, the presentation in the form of questions and answers of the student and teacher leads to easy comprehension; and it is also shown that the object is not realizable through mere dialectics. Moreover, in accordance with the Vedic text, 'This wisdom is not to be attained through dialectics' (Ka. I. ii. 9), and the obligation about taking a teacher implied in the Vedic and Smrti texts, 'One who has a teacher acquires knowledge' (Ch. VI. xiv. 2), 'Such knowledge alone as is acquired from a teacher becomes the best' ['Leads to the acquisition of the best result.'-A.G.] (Ch. IV. ix. 3). 'Learn that through obeisance' (G. IV. 34), it can be imagined that someone, having found no refuge in anything other than the indwelling Self, and having a longing for the fearless, eternal, auspicious, and unshakable (Brahman), approached a teacher who is established in Brahman, and asked: