Sunday, October 4, 2015

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3

Chapter III—The Prana: Its Glories and Redeeming Power 
1) There were two classes of Prajapati’s sons: the gods (devas) and the demons (asuras). Naturally, the gods were few and the demons many. They struggled with one another for mastery of these worlds. Being overwhelmed by the demons, the gods said: "Well, let Us overcome the demons at the sacrifice (jyotishtoma) by means of the Udgitha."
2) They said to the organ of speech: "Chant the Udgitha for us." "So be it," said speech and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the organ of speech, it secured for the gods by chanting, while the enjoymyent derived from the fine utterance of the words it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it (speech) and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one speaks improperly; that is that evil.
3) Then they said to the organ of smell: "Chant the Udgitha for us." "So be it," said the organ and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the nose, it secured for the gods by chanting, while the enjoyment derived from fine smelling it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one smells improper things; that is that evil.
4) Then they said to the organ of Seeing: "Chant the Udgitha for us." "So be it," said the organ and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the eye, it secured for the gods by chanting, while the enjoyment derived from fine seeing it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one sees improper things; that is that evil.
5) Then they said to the organ of hearing: "Chant the Udgitha for us." "So be it," said the organ and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the ear, it secured for the gods by chanting, while the enjoyment derived from fine hearing it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one hears improper things; that is that evil.
6) Then they said to the mind: "Chant the Udgitha for us." "So be it," said the mind and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the mind, it secured for the gods by chanting, while the enjoyment derived from fine thinking it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one thinks improperly; that is that evil. Likewise they also touched these other deities with evil—smote them with evil.
7) Then they said to the vital breath in the mouth: "Chant the Udgitha for us." "So be it," said the vital breath and chanted for them. The demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it, intending to pierce it with evil. But as a clod of earth, hitting a stone, is scattered, even so they were scattered in all directions, crushed and completely destroyed. Thereupon the gods became established in their true selves and the demons perished. He who knows this becomes his true self and his spiteful kinsman perishes.

DeVas and asuras who belonged to Prajapati / devas and asuras here represent organs of the body in this context as per Shankara - and so here they mean organs belonging to Prajapati or Hiranyagarbha - and to be specific as per Shankara - not the present HG but that HG who was a ordinary Jiva in his previous birth.
The same organs get termed deva as and asuras based on their nature
 When the organs get samskaras from actions done with knowledge derived from Vedas then they are devas - when they get samskaras from actions derived from impulse they become asuras
Every organ has good and bad / devas and asuras - same tongue can say noble things and ignoble things as well and so on
The Prajapati( -to-be)  had both devas and asuras - and asuras far outnumbered the limited minority devas In this story the devas wanted to win over the asuras and ordered each organ to do udgita karma
Since this will lead to shastriyasamskaras becoming stronger and this upasana is called udgIta - Pranava mantra occurs as part of a Sama mantra
Each mantra talks about a organ - speech smell eyes ears and mind in mantras 2 to 6
The asuras tried to obstruct the udgita karma by creating evil thoughts

Finally they tried to obstruct the prana(Life force)  but here alone they could not succeed in overpowering It and they got destroyed like a clay ball thrown on a rock gets scattered and broken down 
Prana unlike organs is not affected by asuraas and hence prank is shuddha in everyone - Life is Pure in everyone 
A sinner and saint both have a Life or prana which is sacred and Pure 

 Prana is vishudda 

Next 3.8 to 3.16
8) Then the organs said: "Where is that which joined us to our true selves?" After deliberation they discovered that it was here, within the mouth (asye). Hence the vital breath (prana) is called ayasya and also, because it is the essence (rasa) of the limbs (anga) of the body, angirasa.
9) That deity is called "dur," because death is far (dur) from it. From him who knows this, death is far away.
10) That deity took away death, the evil of these gods and carried it to where the end of the quarters is. There it deposited their evil. Therefore let no one go to a person of that region, or to the country beyond the border, lest he should meet there with evil, with death.
11) That deity, after taking away the death—the evil—of the gods, carried them beyond death.
12) First of all, it carried the organ of speech, which is the foremost organ. When the organ of speech was freed from death it became fire. That fire, having transcended death, shines beyond its reach.
13—15) Then it carried the organ of smell. When it was freed from death it became air (Vayu). That air, having transcended death, blows beyond its reach. Then it carried the organ of sight. When it was freed from death it became the sun (Surya). That sun, having transcended death, shines beyond its reach. Then it carried the organ of hearing. When it was freed from death, it became the quarters (Disah). Those quarters, having transcended death, remain beyond its reach.
16) Then it carried the mind. When the mind was freed from death it became the moon (Chandra). That moon, having transcended death, shines beyond its reach. Thus, verily, that deity carries beyond death him who knows this.
17) Next it (the vital breath) obtained eatable food for itself by chanting. For whatever food is eaten, is eaten by the vital breath alone and it (the vital breath) rests on that (the food).
18) The gods said to the vital breath: "Verily, just this much is all the food there is and you have secured it for yourself by chanting. Now give us, please, a share of this food." "Then sit around facing me." "So be it." They sat down around the vital breath. That is why whatever food one eats through the vital breath satisfies the organs. So do his relatives sit around facing him who knows this; he becomes the supporter of his kinsmen, the greatest among them and their leader, a good eater of food and their lord. Whoever, among his kinsmen, the greatest among them and their leader, a good eater of food and their lord. Whoever, among his kinsmen, desires to be a rival of the man who has this knowledge is not able to support his dependents. But, on the other hand, he who follows him (the knower of the vital breath) and who, following him, desires to support his dependents is certainly able to do so.
19) It is called ayasa angirasa, for it is the essence (rasa) of the limbs (anga). Yes, the prana is the essence of the limbs. From whichever limb the vital breath departs, that limb withers right there; therefore it is verily the essence of the limbs.
20) It is also Brihaspati (lord of the Rig—Veda). Speech is Brihati (Rig) and the vital breath is its lord (pati). Therefore it is called Brihaspati.
21) It is also the Brahmanaspati (lord of the Yajur—Veda). Speech is Brahman (Yajur) and the vital breath is its lord (pati). Therefore it is called Brahmanaspati.
22) Prana is Saman, too. Speech is, verily, sa and this (prana) is ama. Saman (the chant of the Sama—Veda) is known by that name because it is sa (speech) and ama (prana). Or because it (prana) is equal (sama) to a white ant, equal to a mosquito, equal to an elephant, equal to these three worlds, nay, equal to this universe; therefore it (prana) is indeed the Sama—Veda. He who knows this vital breath to be such attains union with it or lives in the same world with it.
23) And it is also the Udgitha. The vital breath is verily ut, for by the vital breath all this universe is upheld (uttabdha); and speech is githa (song). And because it is ut and githa, therefore it is Udgitha.
24) Regarding this there is also the following anecdote: Brahmadatta, the great—grandson of Chikitana, while drinking king [soma], said: "Let this soma strike off my head if I say that the ayasya angirasa chanted the Udgitha through any other means than this vital breath and speech." Surely he chanted through speech and the vital breath.
25) He who knows the wealth of this saman (Vital breath) obtains wealth. Tone, indeed, is its wealth. Therefore let one who is going to perform the sacrificial work as a priest desire that his voice may have a good tone and let him perform the sacrifice through that voice with a good tone. Therefore people desire to see at a sacrifice a priest with a good voice, like one who has wealth. He who thus knows what is the wealth of the saman obtains wealth.
26) He who knows the suvarna (gold) of the saman (vital breath) obtains gold. Tone is verily its gold. He who thus knows what is the gold of the saman obtains gold.
27) He who knows the support of the saman (vital breath) gets a support. Speech Verily is its support. For, supported in speech, the vital breath is transformed into a chant. Some say the support is in food (the body).
28) Next follows the edifying repetition (abhyaroha) only of the hymns called pavamanas. The priest called prastotri indeed chants the saman. While he chants it, let the sacrificer recite these [Yajur verses]: "Lead me from the unreal to the real. From darkness lead me to light. From death lead me to immortality." When the mantra (verse) says: "Lead me from the unreal to the real," "the unreal" means death and the "real," immortality; so it says, "From death lead me to immortality," that is to say, "Make me immortal." When it says: "From darkness lead me to light," "darkness" means death and "light," immortality; so it says: "From death lead me to immortality," that is to say, "Make me immortal." In the verse: "From death lead me to immortality," there is nothing that is hidden. Then come the remaining hymns, with which, by singing them, [the chanter] should obtain food for himself. Therefore while they are being chanted let the sacrificer ask for a boon— anything that he desires. Whatever objects this chanter, endowed with such knowledge, desires for himself or for the sacrificer, he obtains by his chanting. This [meditation] by itself wins the world (Hiranyagarbha). He who thus knows the saman (the prana, or vital breath)—for him there is no fear of not being admitted into that world.

Purity of prana is portrayed in a different manner - an explanation of vishuddatvam
Prana is given a title Duur  Pranasya dur namatvam  Dur means far away 
Pranav  is far away from impurity - impurity is called mrtyu in this context 

After finding out that prana is Pure all the organs started doing Prana upasana
By pranaas grace all the asuras evil or selfish thoughts were thrown away vyasthi abhimanam is tee, Shanakara uses
By doing this prana upasana each indriyam becomes a deva or Pure
When vyasthi abhimanam is there it is called indriyam
When samashti abhimanam is there it is called adhidaivam 

Chakshur indriiyam became Surya
Vak became Vayu and so on 

Thus the upassaka transformed into hiranyagarbha as each organ became the deva
At individual level we can say he identifies with the total and after desth he obtained hiranyagarbha padam

The evil tendencies were thrown out and deposited in regions where there is no Vedic tradition and so the upanishad is advising to avoid going to the regions where the Vedic tradition or upaasana are not followed as these evil tendencies will revert

Prana distributed food to all the indriyas
Pranaya swaha apanaya swaha etc - all nourishment is given to prana and prana distributes to it all organs
Samana prana is so called sameee karana karaha - that prana in the stomach that processes the nourishment and distributes to all the organs equally
This is the 3rd virtue of prana - bartrtvam / distributor

Vishuddatattvam duram srehta bhartaa we have seen so far
Now angirasam - which provides nourishment that which gives life to all the organs 
Anvya vyatrikea logic is used 
When prana is there all organs function

When prana is not there organs are useless

Thus prana is the life force of the entire Cosmos itself

Next section :
Prana is now described as not only the essence of the world it is the essence of the word also
In the scheme of the Veda the universe is divided into words and their meanings
If there are infinite objects there are infinite words

World = thoughts pratyaya  and thought objects or words shabda  and word objects
Are there objects other than words is a discussion for later
Here prana is said to be the essence of all words

It is the essence of all Vedas - rigvedaa as rigpati or Brhaspati. And Yajuspati or Brhamanaspati and saamapati
Now Prana is called saama
Saama is the same in everyone - life force is sacred is supreme in everyone - from the tiniest insect to the entire Cosmic Hiranygarabha - hence Prana is saamaha
Praana along with vak indriiyam alone becomes saama mantras
Sama mantras have to be chanted as music and so we require breath and so Sanaa gaana requires mantra plus geeta - mantra is from Vak and geeta from prana - vakupasarjanaprana saama

Ugitha in samavedaa is pranava or Omkara
Here udgitha is said to be prana
Glory of Sama is related to be from prana

Next section
Upasana is complete with Japa
Japa here is given a spl term abhyarohaa
That which takes us higher is japa

Which mantra is to be chanted in this upasana?
Asatomasatgamayaa ...
Meaning here has to be contextual to karmakanda as we are dealing with upasana here
Upanishad says asat = mrtyu; tamas = Mrtyu; all 3 mean mrtyor ma amrtam gamayaa

What is mrttyu? Shankara  says Mrtyu (as Asaat ) 1st time has a spl meaning : ashastriyam karma and upasana and amrtam is shastriya karma /upasana
Mrtyu 2nd time (as tamas) is ajnananam of shastriya karma and upasanaa and Jyoti is knowledge of same
3rd Mrtyu is combined mrtyu 1 & 2
3rd Amrtam is hiranyagarbhaa pad am or brahmalokaa padam

HG upasaka can pray and get everything for himself as well as for other people just like Prana

Thus ends the Udgitha brahamanam 

Monday, September 7, 2015

veda is a pramana

Pramanam is a means of knowledge
Is padam or vakyam the source of knowledge? Is it the word or is it the sentence

As per PM a word can never be a source of knowledge only a sentence can be

When I speak to you you can understand the word only when it is known to you
So when a word is used I am not giving any new knowledge because the word is already known!
Meaning of word has already been learnt from pratyaksha
Like a child is taught words such as tree flower clock etc

If he has never seen a picture of a clock the word itself cannot provide knowledge

Once you understand the word through pratyaksha it becomes a known word
Now when that word is used you are only reminded of the old knowledge and no new knowledge is created

Padam apramanam
veda is a pramanam as vakyam
Sentences are pramanam

How so? If words cannot produce knowledge how can a sentence which is mere words alone put together?

We get knowledge about relationships between known words / objects samsarga arthaha / syntactic relationship

Once you accept sentence is pramana there needs to be a verb and verb indicates action and hence action is the primary meaning of the Veda Aamnyasya kriyarthatvat

Sankara accepts padam is not pramanam; vakyam is pramanam
And also agrees vakyam has to have a verb
But he refutes that all verbs indicate action
E.g There is a temple 1km east or Vasumati saptadweepa asti - earth has 7 continents

There is no action here
There is a verb asti to be; which conveys a fact

So sentences the Veda employs are factual even if they do not enjoin any action
Arthavada vakyams are also pramana and hence factual

For the Vedic arthavadas to be pramana 2 conditions are required
One - arthavada should not reveal what is already known by other means of knowledge pramanantara samvada
Two - it should not contradict what is already known pramanantara  visamvada like Fire is cold

When arthavada repeats an already known thing it is called anuvada (repetition) / apramanam
When arthvada contradicts known thing it is called gunavada (exaggeration) / apramanam

So if Indra is describes as one with vajra since is neither anuvada nor gunavada it is bhutarthavada which is pramana
Hence we accept Indra is fact; all devas are factual jivas

PM replies - butarthavada may be fact - but by knowing fact we don't get any purushartha result and Veda is meant to provide us purushartha

Shankara refutes this saying validity of a pramana cannot be determined based on utility of the sentence. They become useful when connected to a vidhi as upasana

Here Sankara concludes the arthavada praamaanyam - by themselves they may not be useful but.they should be connected to vidhi vakyams doe utility
Now he takes up Vedanta pramanyam
Vedanta is also a pramanam because it is a vakyam and it fulfills both conditions for pramanyam
Does not repeat what is already known and does not contradict what is already known

Everything that we know is objective anatma vishaya and what Vedanta talks about is atma vishaya

There cannot be contradiction between the 2 as they are in different domains

Vedanta vakya is not bhutarthavada
Vedanta vakya is useful by itself and it is svatatntram and not vidhisheshaha

Mere bhutarthavada statements will have a vidhi vakyam next to it but Vedanta vakyas not being bhutarthavadas will not have any vidhi related to it

Shankar counters the purvamimasaka - you accept nisheda vakyas (don ts or prohibitive injunction )  as pramana; What activity should one do with a nisheda vakya? asks Sankara
Nisheda vakyams don't involve any action

A prohibitive injunction pertains to a undesirable or desirable pursuit? If undesirable there is no need for injunction and if it is desirable there is no need to prohibit

It is only useful in one condition when a undesirable thing is falsely taken as desirable
It functions  when there is bhrantinor delusion

When we listen to a nisheda vakyam we understand , we get the knowledge, that the pursuit is undesirable or harmful
The moment I get this knowledge bhranti goes way the delusion is destroyed
Once delusion is gone my pursuit or bhranti pravrtti also goes away

By mere knowledge this person frees himself from anartham - there is nothing to DO here
This inaction or audaseenyam is not a type of action but is the nature of the person

If it be argued inaction is also an action you can never make a difference vidhi & nisheda

Vedic statement can be valid whether they prescribe action or they don't prescribe action is this established by Shankara

All vedaavakyams which fulfil 2 conditions nonrepetition & noncintradiction are pramana
All Veda pramanavakyams can be categorized into 4 : vidhi vakya nisheda vakya bhutarthavada vakya and Vedanta vakya
Common to all these 4 is pramanams
Uncommon features
Vidhi is useful by itself by leading to sukham / all vidhis require action for utility
Nisheda vakyams are also independently useful by saving us from Dukham / don't prescribe any action
Vedanta vakya is also useful independently as it leads to moksha / don't prescribe action akaryaparam
All 3 are ananyasheshamm or independent svatatntram
Bhutartavada is not independently useful but for utility has to be connected to  one of these three.  They can occur in both karma kanda and jnanankanda as well. These vakyas are also akaryaparam don't prescribe action

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.2.1 to 1.2.7

1In the beginning there was nothing whatsoever in the universe. By Death, indeed, all this was covered—by hunger, for hunger is, verily, death. "Let Me have a mind," was His desire and He created the mind. Then He moved about, worshipping Himself. From Him, thus worshipping, water was produced. "Verily," Death though, "while I was worshipping, water was produced"; that is why the Arka (fire used in the Horse—sacrifice) is so called. Surely, happiness comes to him who knows how the fire came to be called arka.
2Water, verily, is arka. What was then like froth on the water became solidified; that was earth. After the earth was created, Hiranyagarbha was tired. From Him, thus fatigued and heated, came forth His essence as brightness. That was Fire.
He divided Himself into three: the sun one—third and the air one—third. Thus Prana is divided into three. His head is the east and His arms are that (the north—east) and that (the south—east). His hinder part is the west and His two hip—bones are that (the north—west) and that (the south—west). His sides are the south and the north, His back is heaven, His belly is the intermediate region and His chest is the earth. Thus He stands firm on water. He who knows this stands firm wherever he goes.
4He desired: "Let a second self be born of Me," and He (Death or Hunger) brought about the union of speech with the mind. What was the seed there became the year. Prior to that there had been no year. He (Death) bore him (the year) for as long as a year and after that time projected him. Then, when he was born, Death opened His mouth to devour him. He (the child) cried: "Bhan!" and that, indeed, became speech.
He thought: "If I kill him, I shall have but very little food,'' and through the union of that speech and that mind He brought forth all this, whatever there is: the Rig—Veda, the Yajur—Veda, the Sama—Veda, the metres, the sacrifices, men and animals. Whatever He brought forth He resolved to eat. Verily, because He eats everything, therefore is Aditi (Death) called Aditi. He who knows why Aditi came to have this name of Aditi becomes the eater of everything and everything becomes his food.

Here Srshti is taken from Hiranyagarbha.
Word Mrtyu is the term for HG

HG divides Himself into Agni Vayu & Aditya Fire Wind & Sun

Agni manifests from HG is what is of relevance here.
Therefore Agni is great
Agni is given 2 titles - arka and apratishtithaha
How did Agni get this title ?
HG did not use effort
When HG was admiring (archati) his creative power Srshti emerged
1st to emerge apah called kam - short of udakam - water principle
Hence the term arka (archati + kam)

Since water gave rise to Agni Agni is also called arkah
One who meditates on Agni which is Arkam he will get arkam - and kam can refer to sukam happiness
Agni emerges from apah

Agni is apratishtitah and one who meditates will get pratishta security or support
Agni here is meditated upon as viraat which is detailed in the 3rd mantra in this section - eastern part of fire is head etc

6He desired: "Let me sacrifice again with the great sacrifice." He was tired and he practiced austerities. From Him thus fatigued and heated, His fame and vigour departed. The pranas (organs) are verily fame and vigour. When the pranas went out His body began to swell, but the mind was set on the body.
7He desired: "Let this body of Mine be fit for a sacrifice and let Me be embodied through this." Thinking thus, He entered the body. Because the body swelled (asvat), therefore it came to be called horse (asva). And because it became fit for sacrifice (medhya), therefore the Horse—sacrifice came to be known as Asvamedha. He who knows this verily knows the Horse—sacrifice.
Prajapati, desiring again to sacrifice with the great sacrifice, imagined Himself as the horse and letting the horse remain free, He reflected on it. At the end of a year he sacrificed it to Himself and dispatched the other animals to the gods. Therefore priests even now sacrifice to Prajapati the sanctified horse dedicated to all the gods.
Verily, the sun who shines yonder is the Horse—sacrifice. His body is the year. This earthly fire is the arka (sacrificial fire), whose limbs are these worlds. So these two, fire and the sun, are the arka and the Asvamedha (Horse—sacrifice). These two, again, become the same god, Death. He who knows this conquers further death; death cannot overcome him; death becomes his self; and he becomes one with these deities. 

In this concluding portion the Upanisad prescribes another u asana which is a combination of the prior 2 up asanas - the ashwa upasana and the Agni up asana to arrive at a samasya upasana
This is the main upasana as per Sankara Ashva-arka-samsara-upasana

Here Upanisad points out that ashvaa is another name for viraat - how so?
Upanishad details this as a story.
Brahma performed many yaagaas and finally sukshmaashareeram of viraat departed and the world started bloating and became unholy amedhyam
Virat decided to re enter the body, and again the body  became holy and had expanded
Past tense of expand is ashvayati
Viral shareeram is ashwa  + medhya - swollen and holy

Ashwa the viraat is symbolized by surya or Aditya
Virat agni upasanaa is in the form of Aditya upasanaa
It is mrtyurrupa upasana and one can overcome apamrtyu unnatural death