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Taittiriyopanisad (Sanskri Text, Transliteration, Word-to-Word Meaning, English Translation and Detailed Notes) - A Most Useful Edition for Self Study

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Item Code: NAE633
Author: Swami Sarvananda
Language: Sanskrit Text With English Translation
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9788178230504
Pages: 208
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.0 inch x 5.0 inch
Weight 140 gm
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Book Description


The Yajur-veda occupies an unrivalled place in the Divine tradition of Hinduism, as it forms the liturgical text guiding the Adhvaryu to institute the sacrificial worship. It is handed down to us in two recensions, the Taittiriya! and the Vajasaneyr, of which the earlier and the more important one is the first. There is a Sarahita, a Brahmana, and an AraJ;1yaka for the Taittir iyaka branch of the Yajur-veda bearing great formal affini ty. The seventh, the eighth, and the ninth Prapn thakas .

An interesting story is narrated in the Mahabharata, XII. 319, and the Visnupuraua. III. 5, tracing the origin of the name Taittirtya, Vaisampayana, a prominent disciple of Vyasa and the first teacher of the Yajur-veda, incurred the sin of Brahminicide by failing to attend a council of the sages on the Mount Meru, where he was obliged to go by appointment. To get absolution from the sin he requisitioned his twenty-seven disciples to perform the necessary expiation. His maternal nephew, Yajnavalkya remarkable for his piety and obedience, volunteered to do all that was needed to be done, himself alone, and spoke slightingly of the co-disciples, imputing to them incompetence. Vaisampayana took offence at this effrontery and bade him to give 'up the Veda committed to him. Yajnavalkya remonstrated that it was only partiality for his Guru which prompted him to say as he did. But that did not satisfy the sage". Yajnavalkya consequently had to disgorge the Veda in a tangible form, stained with blood. At the behest of Vaisampayana the other disciples temporarily trans- formed themselves into partridges (tittiri) and picked up the leavings. This connection with the Tittiri birds entailed on this Veda the epithet Taittiriya. With a (chapters) of the Taittirtya Aranyaka, known under the titles Sik~a-valli, Ananda-valli, and Bhrgu-valli, constitute the Taittiriyakopanisad. These chapters are subdivided into Anuvakas (Lessons) made up of a few crisp sentences, with measure and rhythm, meant to be learnt and chanted as a unit. According to the current editions of the book there are thirty-one Lessons in the whole Upanisad distributed, twelve, nine, and ten respectively, among the three chapters. The concluding Prapa thaka of the Taittirjyaraayaka is called Yajnavalkya or Mahanarayana Upanisad, and is sometimes treated as a sequel to the Taittirtyopanisad.

While the whole of the Taittiriya-yajur-veda is studied with proper accent and employed in ceremonial worship in South India even today, at least to some extent, the Taittirtyopanisad alone is more popular than the earlier portions of this branch of the Veda. This hallowed tract has clothed in sublime and lucid language gleams of supreme insight which have subsequently developed into lofty philosophy expounded in many volumes. In all probability, this was the first Upanishad which attracted Sri Sankaracarya to expound, and the fact that he cited from it 147 times in his Brahma-sutra-bhasya speaks volumes for its authoritativeness. The Acarya's successors like Suresvara, Sa yana, San karananda, and Acyutakrsnanda also promoted its study by writing elaborate annotations on it. A brief account of the subjects treated in the Upanisad is presented below in order to guide the fresh reader through the apparently disconnected and even incongruous Lesson'S in the various chapters.

The Upanisad starts with a propitiatory chant addressed to the cosmic powers like Mitra and Varuna to ward off all possible obstacles on the path of the seeker of Br ahrnavidya. A brief account of the principles of Vedic phonetics is then given so that the student may not attach himself to religious demerit by the incorrect utterance of the sacred text, and that he may not fail to grasp rightly or sufficiently the meaning of the text learnt. The meaning of the Vedic text can be understood well only if proper attention is paid to accent, quantity, rhythm, sequence, and the exact form of the speech sounds; and constant reflection and enquiry into it alone will engender divine wisdom and deliverance from the perils and pains of life.

Reflection and enquiry can be conducted fruitfully only if the mind is made pure by meditations. The third Lesson therefore proceeds to formulate suitable meditations with an initial prayer for Yasas (renown resulting from good acts) and Brahmavarcas (spiritual resplendence]." With the prowess and glory born of the study and practice of the Veda, meditations become effective. They are given in a series so that the mind may rest upon them and gain steadiness. The thoughts of the worshipper entangled in the intricate domestic and religious rituals are lifted out of them and released in the vast sphere of cosmic contemplations. The great things of the phenomenal existence, like the luminaries, the worlds, education, generation, and speech, are to be reflected upon and the relations subsisting among their components, are to be realized mentally on the analogy of Sarhhita, or grammatical coalescence. Rewards such as children, cattle, food, knowledge, and longevity are invariably mentioned after the various meditations to attract the ritual-engrossed mind to subtle thinking. The importance of material good in the spiritual evolution of the aspirant is also sufficiently stressed by this.

The fourth Lesson brings to the foreground the necessity of intelligence and wealth; here the prayer 'May He invigorate us with intelligence' (Medhayasprnotuj significantly precedes 'Bring in prosperity' Sriyarh a vahaj. For,' if the mind is barbarous, wealth is only a dragging weight. A sublime prayer is therefore addressed to the Godhead, represented and symbolized by the holy syllabic Om, asking for tenacious memory, able body, sweet speech, vast erudition, and general fitness to receive the bliss of immortality. The prayers formulated next for offering oblations express indirectly the eagerness of the true spiritual teacher to transmit wisdom to an increasing band of calm, self- controlled disciples; his prayer for copious wealth in cloth and kind, and food and drink, has for its motive only the maintenance of the dependent disciples. We witness at the close of the Lesson the longing of such an enlightened teacher to share among a multitude of worthy candidates his knowledge, expressed beautifully in these words: As water flows downwards, as months go to make up the year, so may numerous celebte students hasten to me. It is only a genuine teacher commissioned by the divine Power that is gifted with this capacity to communicate spiritual wisdom so widely and effectively. From the heart of such a guru alone can gush out the sublime prayer: O God, may I enter into thee; may thou manifest in me and take possession of e; may I be cleansed of all defilement in They self having a thousand manifestations

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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