Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Katha Upanishad:Shankara Bhashya; Chapter 1 Valli3: Mantra 8-9

(Transcript of talks given by Pujya Swami Paramarthananda)

Sadhana-chatushtaya-sampatti is a prerequisite for jnanayoga or moksha – this is the message of the ratha kalpana using both anvaya and vyatireka logic. In sadhana-chatushtaya-sampatti three values are ighlighted – viveka shama and dama. [All others are indirectly indicated – vairagyam, titksha, etc]

Mantra 8
Yastu vijnaanavaan bhavati samanaskah sadaa shuchih
Sa tu tatpadamapnoti yasmaadbhooyo na jaayate

Sadhanas chatushtaya sampatti as one package is not presented is never presented in any Upanishad or Smrti as well. We will need several shruti vakyas for each component. All prakarana granthas mention the sa/ch/sampatti – this is extracted from various portions of Shruti.
Suppose there is a person with viveka shama and dama – that person will attain that goal – yasmat bhuyo na jayate – from where there is no return no punarjanma. [it is understood that along with this shrvana/manana/nidhidhyasana must be there as well for moksha]

Now the Bhashya
Yas tu vijnanavan bhavati – if there is a charioteer who is a viveki; sa manaskaha – is yukta manaha – a disciplined mind; shama. Saha tadeva sada shuchih – because of that he is always in control of his sense organs - dama is natural. Wherever mind control is there sense control is automatic. Initially mind control is more difficult as sense organs are more gross and mind is more subtle. Hence initiaaly when we don’t have adequate mind control we should practice dama and then we gradually practice shama. Once shama is very good, then dama comes very easily/naturally.
Initially one has to force sense control but this cannot be forced for long – otherwise it à suppressionà repressionà oppressionà depression

Sahatu – such a Master (by ajahallakshana means that Master who has such a charioteer)
Tad padam apnoti – means moksha is attained yasmat – from that aaptat padat accomplished goal aprachyutaha – he does not slip down or return, bhuyaha na jayate – he is not reborn in samsara.

Yaha tu vijnanavan samanaskaha sadashuchih bhavati saha rathi tat padam apnoti yasmat bhuyaha na jayate

Introduction to 9
AS introduces the sloka. Kim tad padam what is that goal or destination? Because it is not specified—only a generalized statement that there is no return is mentioned. IN the following it is going to be named vishnopadam. The Up answers
Mantra 9

Vijnaanasaarathi yastu manahpragahavaan narah
Sodhvanah paaramaapnoti tad vishnoh paramam padam

1st half is again repletion of the three qualifications – viveka, shama and dama -through implication
2nd half – refers to the destination of the spiritual path or journey (advaa) – Vishnupadam.

V-A will say vishnupadam is vaikuntha – abode of Vishnu.
AS says padam means svarupam. Vishnu swarupam is nirguna brahman. If it is nirguna brahman, how do you call Vishnu? Vish means to pervade.

“Vijnana sarathir yastu yo viveka buddhi saarathi purboktaha manaprghravan pragreheeta maanaha samahitachitta…naro vidwan..samsara gateh paramparamevaadhicantayam ityetat apnoti uchyate sarva samsara bandanaih”
Yaha tu vijnana sarathi – suppose there is a Master who has a discriminative driver – purvoktaha- means refer to the prior mantra’s bhashyam [2nd line]…such a Master manaha praghrvan – and he is associated with healthy reins in the form of controlled mind or shama – hence samahitachitta (this term can be interpreted as samadhanam also but in this context we are taking as shama in keeping with the flow of the mantra) shuchih narah – the Up forgets to add shuchih from the prior mantra but AS says perhaps Up can forget but we cannot hence specifies…narah – translates as vidwan – here vidwan does not refer to jnAni – in this context vidwan refers to sadhaka – and hence means a discriminative (but self-ignorant) person, a viveki. He reaches the end (i.e. destination) of the samsara journey. {Someone asked a question - How come when you search the object you always find it in the last place of your search – because whenever you search that will be the end of the search!} param adhigantavyam – the final destination to be reached. Ityetat – this is the meaning. Apnoti – meaning he attains – he is liberated from (released from i.e. the shackles release him!) shackles of samsara – samsara bandhanaih. What are those shackles – punarjama, anitya, kama, karma, etc etc

“Tad vishnor Brahmanaparama vasudeva…ityetat asau apnoti vidwan”
In the mUlam – tat Vishnoh padam - Vishnoh – refers to the All pervading ParamatmA We are not referring to a shanka-chakra-gada-dhaari personal God here - contextually Vishnu has three meanings – eka rupa Vishnu which is shanka-chakra-gada-dhaari, aneka rupa Vishnu is vishwarupa – bhupadau yasya nabhir.. and third meaning is nirguna Vishnu or vyapanasheelasya – all pervading nirgunam Brahman otherwise called paramAtma. Here AS specifies it is the 3rd meaning. The 1st 2 meanings are mithyA – only 3rd meaning is satyam. Paramatmanah – otherwise called Paramatma. In the 7th Ch of Gita it is called Vasudeva – Vasudevaha sarvam iti...Here also Vasudeva means son of Vasudeva = how can nirgunam Brahman be son of Vasudeva – some commentators give a different derivate – vasu means sat rupah atma, and deva means chit rupah atma. Sat-chit-brahman is referred here by Vasudeva. Then next mulam is paramam – Supreme. Padam – literal meaning is sthanam or location/abode or residence. After giving this vakyartha AS comes to contextual meaning satatvam – or swarupAm – ityetat – this is the meaning. Asau vidwAn apnoti – This a person with viveka attains or reaches that destination. Why cant you take Vishnupadam in its primary sense as Vaikuntha – because that is what is the primary meaning. Why or How can you give up the primary meaning? This is the obj of the V.Adv. Our answer is the Up says reaching which a person will not return – if a person is going to reach any loka by travel you can never remain permanently whatever is attained in time through an action will be subject to an end. Such a travel to Vaikuntha as a loka will not be eternal. Being a karmaphalam it has an end. Hence because of logical discrepancy or fallacy we are giving up the primary meaning and taking the secondary meaning. (Same argument applies to Shiva loka also!)

Yaha naraha tu vijnana sarathi manahpragrhahavan (bhavati) saha adhvanaha paaram apnoti. Tat Vishnoh paramam padam bhavati.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will come back for repeat reads as time permits...