Again by the grace of two great gurus, Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswati and Sri Paramarthananda Swarniji, this challenging commentary of the Taittinya upanisad has been completed.
This second part of Taittiriya upanisad has two vallis or chapters known as Brahmanandavalli and Bhrguvalli. Brahmanandavalli is the second valli of the Taittirrya upanisad and Bhrguvallt, the third. Brahmanandavalli unfolds six important topics, thus covering the whole teaching. Among them, the first was the definition of Brahman and the second topic was the benefit one would get by knowing Brahman. This was already dealt with in the first volume of the Taittirrya upanisad. In this second volume, the rest of the four topics are talked about. Among the four, the first topic is the pafica kosa viveka, which is a means to know Brahman, the second is proof of Brahman's existence, the third is topic of oneness between Brahman and oneself and consequently, the fourth and the final topic is that Brahman's ananda svarupa is one's own anand a svarupa, one's own nature.
The upanisad calls this svarupa ananda as brahmananda to distinguish it from what is generally known in the world as ananda. The upanisad calls this generally known ananda as visayananda, because it is I as though' gained through the objects of the world. Just as Brahman is satyam and the world mithya, brahmananda is sat yam and visayananda is mithya. The upanisad explains all this.
What a person always wants is happiness. One tries to gain it through family, power, money, fame, name, etc. That is why it is called visayananda as it is gained only when certain desired objects are gained. One may gain it with lot of effort, wasting many years of this human life, which according to sastra, is very precious and one rarely gets it with a lot of pUDya. And how long does that happiness last? It is very temporary for the objects are also very temporary. Sometimes the happiness does not even last that much time as the gained objects exist, because those very objects may have stopped giving happiness or because one is worried of losing them, and therefore anxiety creeps in negating the happiness. In such a frame of mind one would go to any extent and even resort to means that are not in keeping with dharma and there starts one's downfall for adharma cannot give happiness.
On the other hand, the one who knows that not only Brahman is there, but it is oneself, and that one has to make an I as though' inward journey mentally to understand that, gains all the ananda in the world, eventhough he may not have any worldly means for gaining ananda. This is brahmananda. The upanisad says infact there is no happiness called visayananda. Brahmananda only is experienced now and then, without oneself knowing it, when one's mind is clear, but it is mistaken as visayananda, the happiness got through objects. When one gets the desired object one's mind is clear for sometime and at that time, without realising one enjoys brahmananda. But soon the mind gets clouded and the happiness is gone. A jnaru's mind, on the other hand, always being clear, he enjoys brahmananda all the time. Thus happiness is so near, it being one's own nature, yet so far, because one does not bother to understand the truth which is staring at one's face. The upanisad is so compassionate that not only it tells the truth, but helps us further in grasping the truth by indirectly telling us through the story of Bhrgu and his father Varuna that we should take the help of a guru who will make us understand the entire teaching of the upanisads, without leaving any thing out, as a father would teach his son.
And having said that, the upanisad in its Bhrguvalli even gives upasanas to prepare the mind, for those who are not able to understand the teaching. It tells indirectly how it is never too late to gain brahmajfianam. It also again gives the means to brahmajnanam, among which tapah and faith in srutis are the most important ones.However well a guru teaches, one's mind must have space to receive the teaching. It should not be crowded with undesirable things like anger, raga-dvesas. jealousy etc. For that only upasanas are given. And one should also have focussed mind, which alone is called tapah. Thus the upanisad gives every help needed to get at one's own anarid a. And the great gurus, Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswati and Sri Paramarthananda Swamiji have used all their teaching skills, to see that we do not miss even a little bit of the truth. And so when their teaching of this upanisad ends, as the upanisad remarks one would feel like exclaiming 11 Aho, how lucky I am"! As for the layout of the book it is the same as in the first volume. Each anuvaka is started, with a preliminary introduction, so that one has an idea of the subject matter that is going to be explained or discussed by the upanisad in that section. Thereafter, one part of the anuvaka at a time is taken and given the transliteration, anvaya, word by word meaning and the summary of it, as given by Sri Pararnarthananda Swamiji. It is followed by Sankaracarya's commentary, again for that part of the anuvaka only. In the commentary, word-to-word translation has been given, to make the commentary easier to understand. While explaining the meaning of the bhashya words, the Sanskrit words are given in transliteration in the brackets after their English translation. In order to closely convey the specific Sanskrit words for the English translation, the compound words have been split and the appropriate word shown in brackets for the English translation. While doing so, the Sanskrit words are not shown as they will appear in vigraha, resolution. Since the purpose is to communicate, compromises of grammar rules have been done. I'hope the readers will understand the intent and bear with it.
Besides Sankaracaryas commentary, as still lot of explanation and notes are needed to understand the subtle commentary of his, certain explanations are added in the bhasyam, in the form of notes and also in the form of bracketed explanations, based on the explanations given by Pujy a Swamiji Dayarianda Saraswati and Sri Param ar thariand a Swamiji. As for the cover of this volume it is a visualisation of Brahman as onkara pervading the third visible panca bhuta, earth in the form of plant food, called annam by the upanisad.
My pranams to Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswati and Sri Paramarthanand a Swamiji for this great teaching, and to Swami Saksakrtananda Saraswati for encouraging me in all possible ways to pen this, sorry to soft copy this book. And last but not least thanks to my enthusiastic readers who have been asking, when the second part of the Taittiriya will be out. My thanks also to Ms. Ambika for helping me in the final stages of formatting the book and specially for giving a beautiful form to my visualisation of the cover. I dedicate this book to all those who supported me and encouraged me in this endeavour of mine and hope that they also come. To share this great happiness known as brahmananda.
In the first volume of the Taittirlya upanisad, we saw the definition of Brahman as satyam jnanam anantam. And the result of this knowledge was also given as, the one who knows it, will be Brahman and will gain all his desires simultaneously. It was also said that Brahman can be recognised in one's own mind as it is manifest there as one's own atma. Now the question is how does one recognise Brahman in the mind? As explained in the first volume the mind has to be prepared, first by karma and then by upasanas. Once the buddhi is thus purified, the guru will impart the brahmajfianam given in the upanisad step by step.
The first step, which is about, what Brahman actually is, was clearly defined in the first anuvaka of this Brahmanandavalli as satyarh jnanam anantarh brahma. But that Brahman was paroksam brahma, as though separate from you. Whereas now we are in the next step, talking about aparoksam brahma, the brahmatma, which is not at a distance from you, but which is your own atma. Thus we come to the tatasthalaksanarn, the indirect definition of Brahman as the direct definition of Brahman satyam jrianam anantam will not clearly point out this fact. That is why in the beginning of Taittirrya upanisad vol. 1 itself, it was mentioned that this upanisad clearly presents both the direct as well as the indirect definitions of Brahman.
What is the tatasthalaksanam of Brahman? The tatasthalaksanam of Brahman is, that it is the cause by which all the living beings are born, sustained and resolved into. Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswati says this tatasthalaksanam of Brahman is important because then only, one comes to understand what is sat yam and what is mithya. Then only the knowledge of the brahmatma makes one sarvatma, because there is nothing other than the Brahman. Sarvatmakatvam, 'I am all that is here', can be understood only when one understands all that is here, is not separate from oneself, and yet one is independent of all of them. This position must be clear. Therefore a method is followed by the sruti. The upanisad introduces that method in this valli, which is an inward journey from galaxies, to the earth, then to plants and food till it lands in the human body. The food eaten is assimilated and modified into a body.
So body is born of assimilated annam not directly, but indirectly through the parent bodies which are the essence of annam (annarasamayah). Then the upanisad continues its inward journey through the body. As part of this journey, the upanisad says the human body, which being born of annam, which is therefore known as annamaya, is the atma, the '1'. Then the vision is shifted from annamaya, the universal mistake, to pranamaya and then from pranamaya to manomaya and then from manomaya to vijfianamaya and from vinianamaya to ananadamaya, Thus having shifted the 'I' sense from each of these, through the negation of their being atma and resolving them into the cause, the upanisad lands the 'I' sense in the innermost brahmatma. Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswati says thus one is taken through the teaching further interior, going through five levels of experience, where the mistake of it being atma is committed. And at every level sastra makes the correction.
Pujya Swamiji says this whole process is to accommodate individuality connected to the total and at the same time clear the confusion. Each level being introduced and resolved into its cause is indeed introduction to tatasthalaksanam of Brahman. Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswati says one level of understanding in brahmavidya is, that karyam is non-separate from karanam. So the whole prakriya of karana-karya here is only to swallow the karya, as it is non-separate from karanam. Thus by stages you get to brahmatma, which being karanam is satyam. Karyam being mithya, it has no independent existence. Thus finally one arrives in oneself as satyarh jnanam anantarh karanarn brahma, which alone is mukhyatma. This is the essence of the inward journey, which starts with this second anuvakaof this valli and continues to be the content of the following three anuvakas, This is nirgunabrahma jnanam, which takes one from anatma to atma.
Along with this inward journey through the physical body of a human being, a paksi kalpana, a bird imagery is also given. What does the sruti mean by this? Pujya Swamiji says it is quite evident that the sruti wants to take one to the innermost, antaratma, the brahmatma, and at the same time give a chance for upasana as well, at this level of brahmajnanam also. Hence the imageryis given, so that one could stop the journey at anyone level and do agunabrahma upasana if one desired it. But it would no longer be nirgunabrahma jnanam. If one should ask why the upanisad gives this parallel teaching of sagunabrahma upasana and nirgunabrahma jnanam, the answer is it is due to the compassion of the upanisad. For the well prepared mind the upanisad thinks the nirgunabrahma jnanam should no longer be delayed. But at the same time it does not want to ignore the not so well prepared mind in spite of all the preparing of the mind done in the first chapter of this upanisad, the siksavalli. Sruti is like a loving intelligent mother, who knows the different capacities of her different children and keeps them happy by encouraging them to do what they are capable, so that they do not get frustrated. It is therefore that sagunabrahma upasana is given at every level also. Thus the upanisad gives each one what they desire and what they are capable of.
As for brahmajnanam, once the journey is over and one comes to know that brahmatma, the creator of the whole universe is non-separate from oneself; the teaching also comes to an end. The sravanam part is over. But the student might have some doubts. So later on, two questions are asked here, namely whether after death, does a wise man reach Brahman or not, and after death does an ignorant man reach Brahman or not? These questions arise because the student has not yet got the clear vision that Brahman is not something to be reached, but only has to be known, as it already exists as one's own self. This might lead to another incidental question of Brahman's existence itself. Since brahmatma is notavailable, for the sense organs, one might have the basic doubt how can one be sure Brahman exists even though the sastra says so. Sometimes there are no answers to such questions except that one should have faith in the sastra. But the sastra in all its benevolence taking the help of logic, which we are all used to, proves the existence of Brahman. In this context three very important topics are discussed, namely Brahman's entry into the created world, known as "anupravesa sruti'. an analysis of brahrnananda known as "anandamimamsa' and an analysis of the cause of fear and security known as 'bhaya-abhaya hetutva rrumamsa'. This is the mananam part. Thus this Taittirrya upanisad is a complete upanisad as it prepares one for the teaching, then gives the teaching in the form of sravanam giving both the definitions of Brahman, direct as well as indirect, and if still doubts exist clears them patiently and thoroughly, which alone is known as mananam.
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