Om Shri Gurubhyoh namah
For Keno Upanishad there are 2 versions of Shankara bhasyam – pada bhashyam and vakya bhashyam. Some people say Shankara considers Kena extremely important and hence he wrote 2 bhashyams. There are some scholars who have a different opinion – they accept pada bhashyam as Shankara’s and they say the authorship of the vakya bhashyam is not Adi Shankara – based on both style and content. Conventionally whenever vakya bhashyam is presented it is always presented as Adi Shankara’s only.
In the Gorakhpur publication both pada and vakya bhashyams have been given. Method to be used is complete pada bhashyam and thereafter separately deals with vakya bhashyam.
Shankara begins with the sambandha bhashyam - whether the veda purva bhaga and the veda anta bhaga should we treated as 2 different shastrams or as one. We treat the two as separate as two separate shastrams – adhikaris, vishaya and prayojanams are all different. Karmakanda directly contributes to the refinement of the student and indirectly to the rise of the knowledge - it does not contribute to moksha either directly or indirectly.
Introduction to Kena Upanishad, Padabhashyam
Kenehitam ityadyaam upanishat parabrahma vishaya vaktavya iti navamatsyadhyasaysa aarambhah.
The Kenopanishad as we have seen in our mulam class belongs to Sama Veda and this Veda also has got various recensions or branches. One of the branches is called talavakara shakha. And it is known by this name because of its association with the Rshi by the same name. He is one of the disciples of Rshi Jaimini. There is a portion of this called talavakara brAhmanam. There are nine chapters in this sub-section – eight deal with karma and upasana; the ninth deals with the Upanishad. Hence it is also called talavakara Upanishad.
Iti adya which begins with
Kene ishitam – with the words Kena ishitam
Parabrahma vishaya – which deals with the topic of Parabrahamn
Vaktavya – has to be taught to the prepared student (prepared by means going through the prior 8 chapter dealing with karma and upasana)
Iti with this intention of the talavakara Brahman
Aarambhah – the ninth chapter.
Pragetasmaat karmAni asheshatah parisamApitani samasthakarmAshraya bhutasya cha prAnasya upasanAn yuktAni karmAnga sAmavishayAni cha
Shankara summarizes what is the topic discussed in the prior eight chapters. Three topics – 1. Karmani rituals 2. Svatantra upasanani – Independent meditations. 3. Karmanga upasana -meditations which are part of rituals. Nachiketa ritual was mentioned and a karmanga upasana was mentioned – virAt upasana was prescribed – the virAt should be invoked only in the fire which is part of Naciketas ritual. And in that ritualistic fire karmangam. Therefore it is called angi upasana.
PrAg etasmaat – before this 9th chapter; Karmani – all types of Vedic rituals
Parisamapitani – covered, dealt with; Asheshatah - completely
Samasta karmaashraya bhutasya pranasya upasanaani -
prAnasya – here prana refers to samashti prana – which is the Great Hiranyagarbhasya
What is the greatness of HG? Samasta karma ashraya bhutasya – you are able to do any ritual you require energy. Without prana karma is possible. Hence I want to meditate on the glory of prana at the samashti level. ya pranena sambhavati, ya bhutebhih saha vyajayata– Katha Up. All these are svantantra upasanas – not part of rituals. So this is the 2nd topic
Also karmanga upasanani – various deities are invoked as various parts of the rituals. Any component of a ritual – for example upasana can be prescribed on the fire. Or we invoke various deities on different mantras. For example various deities are invoked on vyahrti mantra. Mantras bhu bhhuvah are taken and upon them various deities are invoked…Bhuriti va ayam lokah bhuvariti antariksham suvar ityasau lokah maha iti adityah adityena vaava sarve loke mahiyante.
All these upasanas are covered parisampitani in the first 8 chapter. As an aside Upasanas also come under karma – manasam karma – Upanisadic study will not come under karma.
Anantarancha Gayatra samavishayam
Darshanam vamshantam uktam (karyam).
Therafter anantaram at the end of the talavakara Brahmana, darshanam Samashti prana upasanam or HG upasanam in the Gayatri sama mantra known as Gayatri Sama. It is specifically mentioned because it is an important upasana – Gayatri upasana is also dealt with in detail in Chand Up and Brahmasutra. At the end - vamsha – Gurushishya parampara – at the end. Brh 2,4,6 ends with a section called vamsha brahmanam – list of Rshis. In some readings the word karyam is not there and is the preferred reading.
Sarvametat yathoktam karma cha jnanancha samyakanushthitam
nishkAmasya mumukshoho sattvashudhyartam bhavati
Sarvam etat All these 3 topics yathoktam karma and jnana (here jnana means svantantra and paratarntra upasana) as described samyak anushthitam – if they are properly studied AND appropriately performed – samyak anushthitam – means proper procedure. Sattvashudhyartham bhavati – it will contribute to chittashuddhi. Antahkaranam is a product of sattva guna – so here sattvam refers to antahkaranam. Purification means raga-dvesha management/disarmament and disempowerment. And also add chitta ekagrata – because upasana will give ekagrata. nishkamasya – who perform this ritual without using it for worldly favors. Nishkama karma, parameshwara preetyartham. Why? Because he is desirous of moksha – mumukshoho.
Samakasya tu jnanarahitasya kevalAni shrautAni smArtAni cha
KarmAni dakshinaMArga pratipattaye punaravrrtayecha bhavanti
Suppose a person is not interested in Moksha, or he has more serious problems and he wants to solve family problems first! For such a person interested in worldly pursuits sakamasya and who is bereft of knowledge of upasana (of 3 types described above) – he merely does rituals prescribed in Shruti and Puranas, etc kevalani shrautani smartani – these will contribute to travel by Krishnagati – dakshinamArga – and punaravrrtayecha – and return either to the Earth or even to the lower lokas.