Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Brhadaranyaka Upanisad 1.4.1. to 1.4.3

The main aim of the Upanishad is adhyaropa apavada accepting the world initially and rejecting the world as unreal - and thus - once world is revealed as unreal - then what is left I the observer is left out as real - atma prakashanam

The adhyaropa world consists of vyakrta prapancha avyakrta prapancha 

Avyakrta prapancha is synonymous with Maya or prakrti

Vykarta is further classified as sadhya prapancha sadhana prapancha

Sadhana prapancha consists of karmakanda rituals and upasanas.

Sadhana prapancha has been described by description of three upasanas.

Ashwa upasana Agni upasana and Praana upasana have been described so far
All 3 are Virat upasana essentially

Now the Upanishad turns to sadhya prapancha.

It will be impossible to enumerate hundreds of sadhyas or karmaphalas so Upanishad goes directly to the highest sadhya prapancha. Hiranyagarbha prapti or Virat prapti. In other words Brahmaloka. 
Upanishad talks about both the glories of HG as well as the limitations.
Verse 1.4.1:
आत्मैवेदमग्र आसीत्पुरुषविधः, सोऽनुवीक्ष्य नान्यदात्मनोऽपश्यत्, सोऽहमस्मीत्यग्रे व्याहरत्, ततोऽहंनामाभवत्; तस्मादप्येतर्ह्यामन्त्रितोऽहमयमित्येवाग्र उक्त्वाथान्यन्नाम प्रब्रूते यदस्य भवति; स यत्पूर्वोऽस्मात्सर्वस्मात्सर्वान्पाप्मन अउषत् तस्मात्पुरुषह्; ओषति ह वै स तम् योऽस्मात्पूर्वो बुभूषति य एवं वेद ॥ १ ॥
ātmaivedamagra āsītpuruṣavidhaḥ, so'nuvīkṣya nānyadātmano'paśyat, so'hamasmītyagre vyāharat, tato'haṃnāmābhavat; tasmādapyetarhyāmantrito'hamayamityevāgra uktvāthānyannāma prabrūte yadasya bhavati; sa yatpūrvo'smātsarvasmātsarvānpāpmana auṣat tasmātpuruṣah; oṣati ha vai sa tam yo'smātpūrvo bubhūṣati ya evaṃ veda || 1 ||
1. [Page 92] In the beginning, this (universe) was but the self (Virāj) of a human form. He reflected and found nothing else but himself. He first uttered, ‘I am he.’ Therefore he was called Aham (I). Hence, to this day, when a person is addressed, he first says, ‘It is I,’ and then says the other name that he may have. Because he was first and before this whole (band of aspirants) burnt all evils, therefore he is called Puruṣa. He who knows thus indeed burns one who wants to be (Virāj) before him.
It has been explained that one attains the status of Hiraṇyagarbha through a combination of meditation and rites. That the same result is attained only through meditation on the vital force has also been stated in the passage, ‘This certainly wins the world,’ etc. (I. iii. 28). The present section is introduced in order to describe the excellent results of Vedic meditations [Page 93] and rites by setting forth the independence and other powers of Hiraṇyagarbha,.who is himself the result of his past actions, in the projection, maintenance and dissolution of the universe. The meditations and rites that are prescribed in the ceremonial portion[1] of the Vedas would thereby be extolled by implication. The import, however, is this: The sum total of these results of meditation and rites belongs to the relative world, forVirāj[2] has been described as possessing fear, dissatisfaction, etc., has a body and organs, and consists of gross, differentiated and transient objects. This prepares the ground for what follows, since the knowledge of Brahman alone, which is going to be described, can lead to liberation. For one who is not disgusted with things of the world consisting of a variety of means and ends is not entitled to cultivate the knowledge of the unity of the Self, as one who is not thirsty has no use for a drink. Therefore the delineation of the excellent results of meditation and rites is meant to introduce the succeeding portion. It will also be said later on, ‘Of all these, this Self alone should be realised’ (I. iv. 7), ‘This Self is dearer than a son’ (I. iv. 8), and so on.
In the beginning, before the manifestation of any other body, this universe of different bodies was but the self, was undifferentiated from the body of Virāj, [Page 94] the first embodied being born out of the cosmic egg, who is here meant by the word ‘self.’ He is the product of Vedic theditations and rites. And this self was of a human form, with a head, hands, etc., i.e. Virāj. He, who was born first, reflected on who he wras and what his features were, and found nothing else but himself, consisting of the body and organs. He found only himself, the self of all. And as he had been purified by Vedic knowledge in his past life, he first uttered, ‘I am he,’ the Virāj who is the self of all. And because owing to his past impressions he first declared himself as Aham, therefore he was called Aham (I). That this is his name as given out by the Śruti will be mentioned later: ‘His secret name is Aham’ (V. v. 4). Hence, because this happened with Virāj, the cause, therefore, to this day, among men, his effects, when a person is addressed as, ‘Who are you?’ he first says, ‘It is I,’ describes himself as identified with his cause, Virāj, and then says, to one who inquires about his particular name, the other 'name, the name of his particular body, such as Devadatta or Yajñadatta, that he may have, as given to that particular body by his parents.
And because he, Virāj, in his past incarnation when he was an aspirant, by an adequate practice of meditation and rites was the first of those who wanted to attain the status of Virāj by the same method,and before this whole band of aspirants burnt —what?—all evils, viz. attachment and ignorance, which obstructed his attainment of the státus of Virāj—because it was so, therefore he is called Puruṣa, who burnt first. As this Virāj became Puruṣa and Virāj by [Page 95] burning all the obstructing evils, so another person, by the fire of his practice of meditation and rites, or by virtue of meditation alone,burns one—whom?—who wants to be Virāj before him, this sage. The text points him out in thewords, ‘Who knows thus.’ It is implied that he has perfected himself in the practice of meditation.
Objection: The desire to attain the status of Virāj must be dangerous, if one is burnt by a sage possessing this knowledge.
Reply: There is nothing wrong in it; for burning here means only the failure to attain the status of Virāj first, due to a deficiency in the practice of meditation. The man who uses the best means attains it first, and the man who is deficient in his means does not. This is spoken of as the former burning the latter. It is not that one who uses the best means actually burns the other. As in the world, when several people are having a running contest, the man who first reaches the destination may be said to burn the others, as it were, for they are shorn of their strength, so is the case here.
In order to show that the results, meant to be extolled here, of meditation and rites enjoined in the ceremonial portion of the Vedas, are not beyond the range of transmigratory existence, the text goes on:
Verse 1.4.2:
सोऽबिभेत्, तस्मादेकाकी बिभेति; स हायमीक्षां चक्रे, यन्मदन्यन्नास्ति, कष्मान्नु बिभेमीति, तत एवास्य भयं वीयाय्, कस्माद्ध्यभेष्यत्? द्वितीयाद्वै भयं भवति ॥ २ ॥
so'bibhet, tasmādekākī bibheti; sa hāyamīkṣāṃ cakre, yanmadanyannāsti, kaṣmānnu bibhemīti, tata evāsya bhayaṃ vīyāy, kasmāddhyabheṣyat? dvitīyādvai bhayaṃ bhavati || 2 ||
2. [Page 96] He was afraid. Therefore people (still) are afraid to be alone. He thought, ‘If there is nothing else but me, what am I afraid of?’ From that alone his fear was gone, for what was there to fear? It is from a second entity that fear comes.
He, Virāj, who has been presented as the first embodied, being of a human form, was afraid, just like us, says the text. Because this being with a human form, possessing a body and organs, was afraid owing to a false notion about his extinction, therefore, being similarly situated, people to this day are afraid to be alone. And the means of removing this false notion that caused the fear, was, as in our case, the right knowledge of the Self. He, Virāj, thought, ‘If there is nothing else but me, no other entity but myself to be my rival, what am I afraid of, for there is nothing to kill me?’ From that right knowledge of the Self alone his, Virāj’s fear was clean gone. That fear of Virāj, being due to sheer ignorance, was inconsistent with the knowledge of the Supreme Self. This is what the text.says: For what was there to fear? That is, why was he afraid, since there could be no fear when the truth was known? Because it is from a second entity that fear comes; and that second entity is merely projected by ignorance. A second entity that is not perceived at all cannot certainly cause fear, for the Śruti says, ‘Then what delusion and what grief can there be for one who sees unity?’ (Iś. 7). That his fear was removed by the knowledge of unity [Page 97] was quite proper. Why? Because fear comes of a second entity, and that notion of a second entity was removed by the knowledge of unity; it was nonexistent.
Here some object: What was Virāj’s knowledge of unity due to? And who instructed him? If it came without any instruction, the same might also be true of us. If, however, it was due to the impressions of his past life, then the knowledge of unity would be useless. As Virāj’s knowledge of unity acquired in his past life, although it was present, did not remove the cause of his bondage, ignorance—for being born with that ignorance, he was afraid—so the knowledge of unity would be useless in the case of everybody. Should it be urged that the knowledge prevailing at the last moment only removes ignorance, our answer is that it cannot be laid down as a rule, since ignorance may appear again just as it did before. Therefore we conclude that the knowledge of unity serves no useful purpose.
Reply: Not so, for, as in the world, his knowledge sprang from his perfected birth. That is to say, as we see that when a person has been born with a select body and organs as a result of his past merits, he excels in knowledge, intelligence and memory, similarly Virāj, having burnt all his evils which produce qualities the very opposite of righteousness, knowledge, dispassion and lordship, had a perfected birth in which he was possessed of a pure body and organs; hence he might well have the knowledge of unity even without any instruction. As the Smṛti says, ‘The Lord of the universe is born with these four [Page 98] virtues—infallible knowledge, dispassion, lordship and righteousness’ (Vā. I. i. 3).
Objection:" If he was born with those virtues, he could not have fear. Darkness never appears with the sun.
Reply: Not so, for the expression, 'He is bom with these virtues,’ means that he is not instructed about them by others.
Objection: In that case qualities like faith, devotion and prostration (to the teacher) cease to be the means of knowledge. The Gītā, for instance, says, ‘One who has faith and devotion and controls one’s senses attains knowledge’ (G. IV. 39), and ‘Know it through prostration’ (G. IV. 34). There are other texts from the Śrutis as well as Smṛtis which prescribe similar means for knowledge. Now, if knowledge is due to the merits of one’s past life, as you say was the case with Virāj, then the above means become useless.
Reply: No, for there may be differences as regards the means such as their alternation or combination, efficacy or inefficacy. We observe in life that effects are produced from various causes, which may operate singly or in combination. Of these causes operating singly or in combination, some may be more efficacious than others. Let us take a single instance of an effect produced from various causes, say, the perception of form or colour: In the case of animals that see in the dark, the connection of the eye with the object alone suffices, even without the help of light, to cause the perception. In the case of Yogins the mind alone is the cause of it. While with us, [Page 99] there is a combination of causes such as the connection of the eye with the object, and light, which again may vary according as it is sunlight or moonlight, and so on. Similarly there would be differences due to that light being of a particular character, strong or feeble, and so on. Exactly in the same way with the knowledge of the unity of the Self. Sometimes the actions of one’s past life are the cause, as in the case of Virāj. Sometimes it is reflection, for the Śruti says, ‘Desire to know Brahman through reflection’ (Tai. III. iii-v. i). Sometimes faith and other things are the only causes of attaining knowledge, as we learn from such Śruti and Smṛti texts as the following: ‘He only knows who has got a teacher’ (Ch. VI. xiv. 2), ‘One who has faith... attains knowledge' (G. IV. 39), ‘Know it through prostration’ (G. IV. 34), ‘(Knowledge received) from the teacher alone (is best)’ (Ch. IV. ix. 3), ‘(The Self) is to be realised through hearing,' etc. (II. iv. 5; IV. v. 6). For the above causes remove obstacles to knowledge such as demerit. And the hearing, reflection and meditation on Vedānta texts have a direct relation to Brahman which is to be known, for they are naturally the causes to evoke the knowledge of Reality when the evils, connected with the body and mind, that obstruct it have been destroyed. Therefore faith, prostration and the like never cease to be the means of knowledge.

The glory of HG is He is the first Created and the Creator.
om brahma devanam prathamam sambabhuva visvasya karta bhuvanasya gopta.

While the greatness of Hiranyagarbha padam which is the Highest goal of all these upasanas is noted the Upanisad has to also point out the limitations too otherwise the seeker will never come to jnana marga from karma Marga
Even though Hiranyagarbha is the creator - he manifests as the whole universe - He is in the form of everything - sarvatmataka.. He is also though within samsara only and this is the limitation. 

HG glory is talked about by mentioning 3 names of HG

Aham - he is the "I" ...when HG first emerged he saw nothing else but hmself and recognized himself as Aham or I.

THen he is called Purusha - that entity which has burnt all prior evils.. HG in his prior birth was a ordinaryu manushya jiva and did yajna and accumulated punya and destroyed all papas in order to get qualified to become the HG of this creation. And since he was the first in the race amongst the many other jivas that were also striving for this he is called Purusha. Shankara uses the term first amongst sprinters in a race. Purvam aushat iti Purusha.

Finally since He himself became the creation he is called Srshti. 

Thus 3 titles Aham Purusha Srshti
The Up mentions whoever performs Upasana on this HG he will also become number one (as upasana on HG as Purusha) and he will also become a great creator if he does upasana on HG as Srshti)

To show the samsara problem of HG Upanishad says HG has bhayam and aratih - fear and dissatisfaction. The idea is by virtue of his post even HG is not a mukta purusha but it is only by knowledge he can be mukta.

HG was alone and hence felt fear - fear is always from another entity -person or thing. this is a very very important verse and is often quoted by advaitins - dvitiyad vai bhayam bhavati. The idea is also represented in the Taittiriya Upanishad. Source of fear is always when there is another thing even God as separate from me is a source of fear, as he is not only the creator and sustainer but also the destroyer and can take away from me all that i possess and hold dear.
And since HG had fear to this day humans also have fear

There is no second thing other than me can be looked upon in 2 ways

There is no 2nd thing other than me as hiranyagarbha (where Me refers to HG)


There is no 2nd other than thing other than me as Brahman (where Me refers to Brahman)

Here in his bhashyam makes an enquiry based on 2nd option
If HG got this knowledge aham brahman where is the source of this knowledge - where is the shastra?guru? And if these are not required then for us also they are not required.
He concludes that shastra guru is for the majority and exceptional ppl may get jnanam because of purva janma sadhana

Shankara gives an example - there is knowledge of colour. In the case of yogis who have suprasensuous perception they can get the rupa jnanam with the help of the mind itself. Animals with night vision they get knowledge of objects with eyes and mind. For humans we require mind eyes and Light also. Thus rupa jnanam remaining the same nimitta bheda are there - there are differences in the instruments and means of knowledge.

Another point taken up by Shankara is whether HG comes under Ishwara category or HG or not. Shankara concludes majority of references to HG are to Ishwara alone and rarely HG may refer to jiva and due to extraordinary purity he is taken as Ishwara

And second thing was he was Lonely. and to this day humans feel lonely when they are alone. They long for companionship.

Verse 1.4.3:
स व नैव रेमे, तस्मादेकाकी न रमते; स द्वितीयमैच्छत् । स हैतावानास यथा स्त्रीपुमांसौ सम्परिष्वक्तौ; स इममेवात्मानं द्वेधापातयत्, ततः पतिश्च पत्नी चाभवताम्; तस्मातिदमर्धबृगलमिव स्वः इति ह स्माह याज्ञवल्क्यः; तस्मादयमाकाशः स्त्रिया पूर्यत एव; तां समभवत्, ततो मनुष्या अजायन्त ॥ ३ ॥
sa va naiva reme, tasmādekākī na ramate; sa dvitīyamaicchat | sa haitāvānāsa yathā strīpumāṃsau sampariṣvaktau; sa imamevātmānaṃ dvedhāpātayat, tataḥ patiśca patnī cābhavatām; tasmātidamardhabṛgalamiva svaḥ iti ha smāha yājñavalkyaḥ; tasmādayamākāśaḥ striyā pūryata eva; tāṃ samabhavat, tato manuṣyā ajāyanta || 3 ||
3. [Page 100] He was not at all happy. Therefore people (still) are not happy when alone. He desired a mate. He became as big as man and wife embracing each other. He parted this very body into two. From that came husband and wife. Therefore, said Yājñavalkya, this (body) is one-half of oneself, like one of the two hálves of a split pea. Therefore this space is indeed filled by the wife. He was united with her. From that men were born.
Here is another reason why the state of Virāj is within the relative world, because he, Virāj, was not at all happy, I.e. was stricken with dissatisfaction, just like us. Because it was so, therefore, on account of loneliness etc., even to-day people are not happy, do not delight, when alone. Delight is a sport due to conjunction with a desired object. A person who is attached to it feels troubled in mind when he is separated from his desired object; this is called dissatisfaction. To remove. that dissatisfaction, he desired a mate, able to take away that dissatisfaction, i. e; a wife. And as he thus longed for a wife, he felt as if he was embraced by his wife. Being of an [Page 101] infallible will, through that idea he became as big—as what ?—as man and wife, in the world, embracing each other to remove their dissatisfaction. He became of that size. He parted this very body, of that size, into two. The emphatic word ‘very’ used after ‘this’ is for distinguishing between the new body and its cause, the original body of Virāj. Virāj did not become of this size by wiping out his former entity, as milk turns into curd by wholly changing its former substance. What then? fíe remained as he was, but being of an infallible resolve, he projected another body of the size of man and wife together. He remained the same Virāj, as we find from the sentence, ‘He became as big as,’ etc., where ‘he’ is co-ordinate with the complement. From that parting came husband (Pati) and wife (Patnī). This is the derivation of terms denoting an ordinary couple. And because the wife is but one-half of oneself separated, therefore thisbody is one-half, like one of the two halves of a split pea, before one marries a wife. Whose half? Of oneself. Thus said Yājñavalkya, the son of Yajñavalka, lit. the expounder of a sacrifice, i.e. the son of Devarāta. Or it may mean a descendant of Hiraṇyagarbha (who is the expounder). Since one-half of a man is void when he is without a wife representing the other half, therefore this space is indeed againfilled by the wife when he marries, as one-half of a split pea gets its complement When again joined to the other half. He, the Virāj called Manu, was united with her, his daughter called Śatarūpā, whom he conceived of as his wife. From that union men were born.
From 1.4.3 to 1.4.6 Up talks about srshti - 4 sections - manushya, pashvadi srshti, deva and anna-annada srshti. The aim here is not in giveing details of the srshti but only to point out that HG alone has become humans, animals, devas.. thus HG eva sarvam abhavat and HG eva sarvatmakah

HG here is talking about manushya srshti. And as the beginning it is talking about Manu and Shata rupa srshti. And from this Manu and Shata rupa alone all the other humans originated. 

That HG was the Creator is his Glory but the reason for his creation is his limitation. He created because he could not be happy by himself; and this problem alone is coming paramparaya. When every brahmachari gets married he is HG - he feels unhappy since he is alone ekaki na ramate
Hence HG himself appears as a human pair - and they appeared as one unit - not separately but as one composite unit. Hence we are called manava because we all came from manu. 
To explain how this couple appeared as one unit the Up gives the example of certain grams or pulses where if we examine we find two parts that are interconnected. Manu and Shata were similarly together but separate. HG therafter separated them.
The gram example is given by the Up to indicate that man and woman are mutually complimentary. The idea is there is no superiority between male and female - each is incomplete without the other.

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