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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -8
 
ĪŚĀVĀSYOPANISAD-BHASYA OF ŚRĪ VENKATANĀTHA
  

INTRODUCTION 

            This is the first of the  Upanisad – bhasyas according to Viśstādvaita Philosophy undertaken for being translated into English with critical notes. The importance of this kind of work needs hardly be exaggerated. Philosophy and Religion, it will be seen, owe their deepest inspiration to the fine and excellent theism breathing through these Upanisads. Through the ages,  the culture of India was imbibed from these unfailing springs of spiritual consciousness that had its roots in Divine knowledge, Divine Action and Divine Devotion culminating in Divine Birth. The necessity to rescue Philosophy and Religion from futilities of political and social inertia is everywhere felt. A divine consciousness must once more take possession of our entire being and transmute us and lead us on the Divine Path. Such a promise I eminently capable of being fulfilled by student and practicers of the  Īśvara-Yoga.

 

THE TWO RECENSIONS

 

            The Īśāvāsyopanisad forms the final chapter out of the forty which constitute the Vajaaneya Samhita of the White Yajur Veda1. There are two recensions of the  above samhita namely the Kanva and the Madhyandina. The Upanisad, as we have it, belongs to the Kanva school. There are, however, slight differences between the Samhita text and the Upanisad text.

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1Sukla Yajur Veda was revealed to Rsi Yajnavalkaya by the Sun the form of Hayagriva or Vaji (horse).

 

            (i) In the 5th mantra1 there is added u between tad and na in the firt pada, and between tad and antike in the second pada. (ii) in the 6th mantra the Samhita reading is Atmanneva. The Upaniad reads Atmanyva, and (iii) finally the Samhita-Upanisad when recited as part of the Samhita ends with the words OM Kham Brahma.

 

            The differences as between the two recensions are very many. An understanding of the help considerably our appreciation of the Bhasya of Śrī Venkatanātha at more than one place.

 

            It may be noticed in this connection that the Brhadaranyaka Up. which belong to the Sukla Yajus school, reads the four mantra as found in the īśāvāsyopanisad. (Brh.Up. V.xv.1ff). It quotes the Isa. 3 and the 9th  of the Kanva recension along with many others with the introductory words ‘Tadete sloka bhavanti’ (Brh. Up. IV.iv.11). There is, however, a slight difference in the fourth pada of the third mantra which reads Avidvamso abuddhi janah in the place of the Isa. text Ye ke catmahano jnah.

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1 In the text  used by all the commentaries, with the exception of Śrī Venkatanātha the 5th mantra first pada omit the u between tad and na.

 

COMMENTATIE ON THE ĪŚĀVĀSYOPANISAD

 

            The Īśāvāsyopanisad is one of the most important Upanisads which has had the benefit of being commented upon by most teachers of Vedānta. Besides the main schools of Vedānta, modern writers and thinkers too have drawn their essential inspiration from this Upanisad. The Ānandasrama edition of this Upanisad contains beside Śrī Śankara’ Bhasya and Anantacharya. The Adyar edition has the commentary of the Upanisad-Brahmayogin which I also based on Śrī Śankara’s commentary. The interpretations of these authors are mainly advaitic, and yet there are considerable difference between their comments. There seems to have been a commentary by Bhaskara, but we are unable to get at one and therefore it must have been presumably lost. We shall first consider the structure and plan of the Upanisad according to Śrī Śankara and then of Uvvata, the famous commentator on the Vajasaneya Samhita, Madhyandina recension, and finally that of Śrī Venkatanātha, incidentally pointing out the differences between these three.

 

ŚRĪ ŚANKARA

  the Īśāvāsyopanisad teaches the Supreme Self. He consider that not all the mantras herein pertain to this instruction. The  chief mantras are 1and 3-8, that is, in all seven, since these alone instruct the  Highest Brahman.

 

            1. The first mantra teache the advaita-nature of the Self; all else are illusion. He takes vasyam to mean acchadaniyam, fit to be hidden. This interpretation forces him to read tyakta as tyaga. Bhunjitah means protection instead of enjoyment (which is the meaning grammatically speaking, since this I derived from the root Bhuj atmanepadin, when it means other than protection. (bhujo ‘navane: Panini I.iii.66)

 

            2. The second mantra I declared by him as teaching a different method to the ignorant man who is unable  to grasp the significance of the first mantra. This, it I to be noticed, is a serious deversion from the main instruction said to have been started, as Śrī Śankara says in hi introductory words thus:

 

Karmasu aviniyuktah team akarma – sesasya atmano yathatmya – prakasakatvat.

Na karma lipyate Nare  is said to refer to bad action – asubham karma.

 

            3.The third mantra I merely a denunciation of the follower of the lower path (avara-marga).

 

            4. The fourth mantra begin with the introduction of the Self. In this mantra apas is interpreted to mean karma.

 

            5. The fifth mantra is merely a reiteration of the fourth, na mantranam jamita stiti purva mantroktam apartham punaraha.

 

            6-7. The seventh mantra I said to be the reiteration of the  sixth, and in the sixth mantra Śrī Śankara say praptasyaiva anuvadoyam.

 

            8. The eighth mantra is said to deal with the Nature of the Supreme Self. Taking the words Sukram and other to be nominative neuter. Śrī Śankara converts them all  into nominative maculine just like Kavih, Manisi and others. Paryagat is taken almost in an intransitive sense.

 

            9. From the ninth onward according to Śrī Śankara, there is not one single mantra which can be taken to refer to the main theme o the Upanisad, namely, the Self. Or anything that help the realization of it. In the Avidya-Vidya  triad (9-11) Avidya which means vedic karma is said  to lead to Pitrloka, the world of Manes, and  Vidya which means knowledge of gods is said to grant devaloka or the world of gods.

           

            12-14: The Sambhutiasambhuti triad teaches the meditation on Hiranyagarbha and Unmanifest  matter (Avyakta prakrti, the results of meditation on which are quite different from on another. Because the results are different both, have to be performed. In the fourteenth mantra Śrī Sankara takes sambhuti  to mean asambhuti – sambhutin ca vinaam cetyatra avarnalopena nirdeso drastavyah.

 

            15-18: These mantras are all prayers made by the person unable to practice the knowledge of the Self which has been taught earlier, that is the person mentioned as practicing the avidya and vidya, and presumably also asambhuti and  sambhuti. But during the prayer, in the 16th verse, fourth pada, Śrī Sankara suggests that the worshipper is begging  Him (the Self not as a servant but that he is himself the Purusa who reside in the Solar Orb (Ādityamandala).

 

            Śrī Sankara interprets Vidya as pertaining to the knowledge of the gods, because the find it difficult to accept the position that supreme knowledge can go with any action. as may be seen from his introduction to 9th mantra and the concluding portion of his bhasya; where he raises this question again in the 18th mantra—tasmat upasanaya samuccaya na paramatma vijnaneneti yathasmabhir vyakhata eva mantranam artha ityuparamyate.

 

UVVATA

 

            Taking up the interpretation of Uvvata in his commentary on the Vajasaneya samhitopanisad according to the Madhyandina recension we fin that he belongs to the Advaita school.

 

            1. He interprets in the first mantra  Vasyam  in the same way as Sankara. But he takes tyaktena to mean tyakta-sva-svami-sambandhena (with which the relationship  of possessor and possession is abandoned). Bhunjitah I interpreted  Anubhaveh enjoy. This verb being a transitive one requiring an object, Uvvata suggests that it is the enjoyable objects (bhogan).

           

            2. Differing from Sankara, Uvvata say that the counsel to do actions in the second mantra is for the seeker after knowledge and liberation and not for the ignorant man—nissprhasyapi yogino jānā nimitta karmqanyadhikara ityetam artham aha. Na karma lipate nare  is interpreted by Uvvata to refer to action don or the sake of knowledge. Nanu Karmanah phalena bhavitavyam; katham mukteh praptih. Ityetad asankyha.

 

            4-5. According to Uvvata the fourth mantra mentions the causal aspect of Brahman. Evam karaarupam atmanam uddisyathedanim karyarupenoddisati.

            Uvvata takes apas to mean karma in the fourth mantra.

 

            6-7. The seventh mantra is declared so as to point out as it were further result than the sixth.

           

            8.1 Uvvata takes paryagat in the transitive sense of attained. Sukram and others, being in the accusative case, supply the object, Brahaman. The second part of the Mantra is taken to be the result of the seeker’s practice of knowledge, the result being, the enjoyment o the conscients and the unconscient, abandoning the relation of possessor and possession with them—atha atmopasanayukta-sya phalam aha..yathasvarupam rthan vihitavan – tyakta – svasvami – sambandhairarthais cetanacetanair upabhogam krtavan.

                 

9-14. The rest of the mantras 9-14 are taken a formulas to be repeated (meditated upon and repeated) by the seeker. Ita uttaram upasana-mantrah procyante.     

     

No reason is here shown by Uvvata as to why the six mantra 9-14 should be taken as Upasana mantra, since they do not have the special characteristic of mantra as those found in this Upanisad itself from 15-17. It is jut possible that since this Upanisad according to his text – the Madhyandina – suddenly takes up the conjoint meditation of asambhuti and sambhuti soon after  the description  of the Deity – the Self of all, he might have thought that there is no special reference to what preceded in these verse. And obviously, because there is the reference to upasana in the mantras andham  tamah praviśānti ye asambhutin upasate.

 

9-11 M (12-14 K). According to Uvvata asambhuti  - refers to the cārvāka1 – view whereas sambhuti refers to those to those who hold that there is nothing except the Atman or self alone –

 

Lokayitikah prastuya (prastutya) nindyante, yesametad darsanam: jalabudbudavajjivah, mada-śaktivad vijānām, iti. Andham tamah praviśānti ye asambhutim upasate mrtasya satah punah sambhavo nasti. Atah sariragrahanad asmakam muktireva …………..

 

Ye sambhutyam eva ratah. Atmaiva asti, nanyat kincid attiyabhiprayah. Karmaparanmukha yat karma kanda jānā kandayor asambandha ityabhiprayah

 

The 11M (14 K) shows that both vinaa and sambhuti which mean ultimately karma and self-knowledge have to be practiced together by the seeker.

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1 Most commentators, excluding Venkatanātha, do not contribute anything original or new, but alternate in their view between Śankara and Uvvata.

 

            12-14 M (9-11K) merely repeats the above view. However in the 12th, Avidyā means karma which  grants svarga and other minor pleasures. Uvvata’ words under the 14th Mantra are significant: Tadubhayam veda janati saha ekibhutam karma kandam jānā kandasya gunabhutam

 

            15M according to Uvvata describes what happens to the seeker after his exist from the body. His interpretation of the words ‘Klibe’ in the latter half of the mantra is klptaya lokaya; to the destined world or a world destined by his karma.

 

 

            16M. Supatha is devayana marga, and raye means muktilaksanaya dhanaya.

 

            17. Here Uvvata takes the mantra as giving instruction in the Adityopaana. He explains Om Kham Brahma thus: ittham ca upasanam kuryat, Om Kham Brahma. Om iti nama nirdesah kham iti rupa nirdesah. Akasa-rupam Brahma dhyayet.

 

ŚRĪ VENKATANĀTHA

 

            1. Next we shall consider the bhasya of Śrī Venkatanātha in detail. A commentary on any work should display the fundamental integrity or unity of that work, and as far as possible, it should be a study from the stand point of historical development and synthesis. Unfortunately in the field of Upanisadic thought most commentators have not proceeded from the unitary stand-point, either in respect of its own subject matter or in respect of its continuity with the tradition. There is a widely prevalent modern view that it is wrong to speak of a unitary philosophy of the Upanisads, and the utmost that we might claim is that every Upanisad or some parts thereof are possibly unitary in their import. Thus it is held that a synthesis adumbrated by the Vedānta-sūtra-kara is not warranted. Whethr or not this is true, whether the Vedānta-sūtra kara did in fact develop a new theory of his own about the Upanisads, we shall not be certainly in the wrong when we assert that every single Vidya taught in the Upanisads, is a unitary instruction. It is because this fact has not been paid heed to, there have cropped up innumerable errors. It is just to prevent these, a science of interpretational rule or Mīmāmsā has grown up, for interpreting texts dealing with either dharma  or Brahman,  both of which lead to the ultimate realization. Further the commentator bearing in mind the rules so determined, has to be loyal to the syntheis inherent in each Upanisad or Vidya and to the logic inherent in all thought. The commentary of Śrī Venkatanātha can be said to fulfill admirably the three-fold purpose of being loyal to textual unity, to tradition, and to the rules of interpretation. What Śrī Mqallinatha has stated regarding hi aim in commenting on any work—that he would not write anything that has no sanction in authority—nanapeksitam ucyate  -- applied with equal force to what Śrī Venkatanātha has, as a rule, followed in his commentaties. At all crucial point he quotes authoritie word for word form Sruti, Smrit and Visnu Purana.

 

            2. According to Śrī Venkatanātha any upanisad or a portion dealing with a vidya, should be treated as integral instruction which leads to the highest end or goal of man. A proper understanding will reveal that the several mantra bear a unitary relationship to one another.

 

            3. Śrī Venkatanātha interprets the Īśāvāsyopanisad on the lines of Brahma-Sūtras, since it deals with the Supreme Being as Atman. For as Katyayane opines this entire Upanisad pertains to the Atman-devata—Isavasyam atmadevatyah1. Thus firstly it instruct the nature of the Lord, the ultimate category and secondly, the good means to the realization of  Him, and lastly the ultimate goal (purusartha). These three are called, according to Viśstādvaitic terminology tattva, hita and purusartha. The Brahma Sūtras which comprises four chapters deals in the first the tattva—the Brahman; in the second it rejects all views not in agreement with the nature of the ultimate truth already established in the first chapter. The third chapter deals with the means of attainment, hita namely the several vidyas—sandilya, dahara,  and other such meditations. Lastly, in the fourth chapter it describes  the realization of the goal of the individual, namely, attainment of Brahman. All these topics are finely indicated by the following hemistich – kranatvam abadhyatvam upayatvam upeyata. Since the refutation of other doctrine is subordinate to the real comprehension of the truth, it I usually omitted in any instruction given to the seeker. Śrī Venkatanātha introducing the 12th mantra writes:

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1Sarvanukrama Sūtra : pt.IV.p.38

 

Tadevam upasyam paramatmtattam, sangatadupaanarupanca paramahitam, prama purusartha paryantam upadisya :-

 

            4. The Upanisad, contextually considered, is the fortieth and the concluding chapter of the Vajasaneya Samhita or the Sukla Yajurveda devoted to the performance of works, sacrifices and others. The disciple to whom it I addressed is one who has already mastered the 39 chapters which precede this final upaniadic or knowledge chapter. The implication is that the disciple being confused and dissatisfied with them seeks further knowledge about them.

 

THE STRUCTURE AND PLAN OF THE UPANISAD IN

DETAIL

 

            1. The first mantra and the second form the first major group: third to eight form the second major group, and nine to fourteen form the third major group, while the last major group consists of the mantras fifteen to eighteen.

 

            2. The 1st Major group serves as an    NOVEMBER, 2004  BETWEEN

 

V. SHANTHA RAM, S/O. ŚRĪ V. VENKATESHWARLU aged about 36ya which follows. The use of the second person singular ‘bhunjithah’ clearly indicates that these mantras are addressed to a seeking-disciple, well-trained in the previous portions already taught, who now, like a Naciketas, is seeking the highest truth not to be found in the instructions and practices so far taught. In answer to this search, the first two mantras give a straight-forward and unequivocal direction that the seeker should deem himself to be the property of the Lord, like anything else, and not an independent agent, and that if he performed the prescribed rituals in this consciousness he need not be afraid of bondage resulting from the continuous performance of actions.

 

            Śrī Venkatanātha’s interpretation of vasnam is ‘vyapyam, sarvadhare svasmin sven vasaniyam va.’1

 

            The interpretation of the words tyaktena and bhunjithah2 are almost identical with those of Uvvata, to whose bhasya we have already referred.

            (ii) The second mantra3 is  important in so far as through out it lays stress on the need for actions being done; it affirms that it is the only way open to any individual (even a seeker, mumuksu), and that he cannot under any circumstances renounce actions prescribed previously in the Samhita.

 

            3. The 2nd Major group teaches the nature of the Atman—the Self of all things. This second major group may be said to comprise four  sub-groups, namely the 3rd ., 4-5, 6-7, and 8th Mantras.

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1Ramachandra pandita interprets vasyam as vasayogyam adhistanena acchadaniyam va – nivaarthakad vaser bahulakad adhikarane nyat. (Ānandarama ed.p.2): Śankarānanda writes “Tena vasyam acchadaniyam nivasayogyam va” (Ānandasrama  ed.p.2). Upanisad Brahma Yogic writes: Isa avasyam vyaptam,  (Adyar ed.p.7)

2 Upanisad-Brahma-Yogin writes: Bhunjithah: Prapnuhi.

3 Bhaskara according to Ānandagiri: Yaduktam Bhaskarena sarvapyupanisad ekam brahmavidyā prakaranam. Tatah prakarana bhedakaranam anucitamiti. (Ānandasrama ed. P.iii)

 

            (i) In the third mantra, the teacher before teaching the true  nature o Brahman, points out the results that accrues to those who re the destroyers of the self, namely, those who are ignorant of the self, avidvamsah.

           

            (ii) The fourth and the fifth mantras describe the omnipervasiveness of the Self. Venkatanātha points out that the mantra 4, whilst revealing the omnipervasiven indicated in the first mantra, speaks of this Self in apparently incongruous terms, known as virodhabhasa  in later alankarika  terminology as possessing wonderful power. The first pada of the 4th mantra  speaks about the Self as unmoving but swifter than the mind: the second and third padas show that He could not be overtaken by any one but that He could overtake every one. The only explanation for this is that the Self is omnipresent. The final pada reveals His marvelous omnipresence with respect to vertical existences also.

 

            In the 4th mantra ‘apas’ means water, as the accent happens to all on the last, syllable.1

 

            The fifth mantra whilst reiterating in a different manner the previous mantra adds a further description about the Self being both inside and outside of all things (sarvasya).

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1cf. Isa Upanisad: Śrī Aravinda Ghose: p.4 note 2 “Apas  as it is accentuated in the version of the White Yajurveda, can mean only “waters”. It this accentuation is disregarded we may take it as the singular Apas work action. Sankra however renders it by the plural works.”

Cf. Upanisad Brahma-yogin also takes this to mean to water element.

 

(iii) The sixth and the seventh mantras form the third subsidiary group, which teaches the immediate results of realization of the omnipervasiveness of the Self, namely the selfness of all thing, both subjectively and objectively, that is to say, absence of sorrow and delusion and recoil from anything and everything.

 

The sixth mantra mentions the relationship between the Self and the creatures as one of supporter and supported: the seventh speaks of them a  co-ordinate unity which is precisely an instance of the principle of interpretation of all identity-texts according to Viśstādvaita.

 

(iv) The eighth mantra whilst further describing the nature  of the Self and the seeker, by implication suggests the hita, the good means to realization of the Lord. It can also the seen that this mantra differentiate between the Self and the seeker as attained and the previous mantra, thus once again affirming that all mention of Oneness is merely a mention of coordinate unity (samanadhikranya).

 

3rd Major Group, consists of six mantras from 9 to 14. This is again subdivided into two subsidiary groups of three mantras each.

 

(i) 9.11. What is briefly mentioned in the second mantra of the Upanisad Kurvan….. is here expanded, and it is  pointed out that the practice of work or action should go along with the practice of knowledge; bereft of action knowledge praxis is dangerous, bereft of knowledge action is foolish. Most of the commentators of this group take the word ‘anyat’ in the 10th mantra (13 M) and the 13th (10M) mantra to refer to efforts or fruit or results  of praxes. Venkatanātha on the other hand say that is refers to the means alone.

 

Vidyaya and Avidyāya though in the instrumental case in the 10th mantra, are taken to be in the ablative case by Venkatanātha, in support of which he refer to the parity with the 13th mantra sambhavat  and asambhavat. We find that this view is justified because the Madhyandian recension supplies the exact case-ending required.

 

Now to the meaning of the words Avidya and Vidya. Almot1 all the commentators agree that the meanings of Avidya and Vidya are krma and knowledge respectively. According to Venkatanātha, Vidya means knowledge of the form of meditation (upasanatmka jānā).

 

The most important point to be noted in this group I that a conjoint practice of karma and jānā is inculcated, karma being subsidiary (anga) to knowledge. Bhaskara accepts this conjoint practice but he consider that karma and jānā are equally important in bringing about realization, whereas the scriptural view is definite that knowledge alone can bring about realization. Yādava Prakāśa, though accepting conjoint practice of karma and jānā (Jānā karma-samuccaya) thinks  that there are two different results, one for jānā and another for karma,  namely Brahmaprapti and karma-nivrtti. Mandana Misra explains the saha in the Upanisad as the relation of togetherness between means and end, and giving a second explanation says: avidya cannot be without vidya nor can vidya be without avidya.1

This triad of verses according to Venkatanātha also teaches that the means taught herein lead to the attainment of Brahman-Amrta, the immortal, the Parama Purusartha.

 

(ii) 12-14 The Sambhuti-Asambhuti triad.2

 

            The ordinary meaning of sambhuti is birth, and that of asambhuti is non birth or dissolution. Some commentators mean by these two terms creation (srsti) and dissolution (pralaya). But as this meaning does not accord with the context. Venkatanātha interprets these  to means (1) attainment of Brahman and dissolution of obstacles to it (viz. samsara); (2) Samadhi-nispatti (communion in trance), and the destruction of all evil tendencies and mental habits pertaining to outer objects; or (3) following a meaning which is given in his Nyāya siddhanjana (P.162), sambhuti  means arciradi gati (ascent on the path shown by the Arcis and others), and asambhuti  means karmanam anya sankrantih (transference of karma from the freeing soul at the time of his departure from his body to thoe wo are his foes). This last view is the interpretation given by Sudarana Suri, the author of the inimitable commentary Sruta-Prakasika on the Śrī Bhasya (III.iii.33&34).

 

            Śrī Venkatanātha in his Nyāya siddhanjana refers to another view put forward by Narayanarya, the author of the Nitimala According  to him, sambhuti and vinasa mean knowledge and action, vidya  and karma. According to this view there I no difference between this triad and the vidyaavidya  triad, of which this is merely a reiteration. Narayanarya  refutes in his Nitimala (p. 64) a view which holds that the words sambhuti  and  vinasa  mean savisesa  and nirvisesa dhyana  respectively, that is to say, the samprajnata samadhi  and asamprajnata samadhi  mentioned by Yoga sastra. (1.17)

 

            The purpose of this triad is to touch the contemplation of what follows after the death of the seeker. These are (i) arciradi gati  and karma sankranti or (ii) Brahma-prapti and pratibandhaka nivrtti. These two interpretations are suggestedby the context of this triad in the Upanisad as it has come to us. If however, we take into  consideration the context in which this is found in the Madhyandina recension, it would  appear that it has reference to Upasana or meditation upon the supreme Self, the tattva taught in this Upanisad. It is this mening that Venkatanātha seems to prefer when he gives his second alternative namely wsamadhi-nispatti  and manadambhadinam himsasteyadinam bahir mukendriyavrttinam ca vinasah. It is significant that Kuranarayana, who is an ardent and faithful follows of Venkatanath’s interpretation gives this meaning alone in his commentary.

 

            6th Major group 15-18

 

            This group is different from all the previous verses in so far as it consists only of mantras,  prayers to be repeated by the seeker at the time of his practice (upasana), whereas all the previous mantra, or verses more properly so-called, deal with instruction alone. This can be seen by applying the linga principle of Mīmāmsā1.

 

            The first prayer is for the removal of the obstacle to knowledge, and the purpose of this prayer is merely indicated by the satyadhrmāyā drstaye, and this is expanded in the succeeding mantra.

 

            The first prayer is for the removal of the obstacle to knowledge, and the purpose of this prayer is merely indicated by the satya-dharmāyā drstaye, and this is expanded in the succeeding mantra.

 

            The third and the fourth mantras are prayers to the Lord to lead the individual soul to the highest bliss, remembering Himself, and what he had done.

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1The linga principle in Mīmāmsā is the principle of expressive power of the words used. Here in these four mantras, there are vocatives; and verbs are used in the second person and first person; and there are personal pronouns in the first and second and second person.

 

            The last mantra which is usually used on all occasions, in sacrifice, or hymn, or in the knowledge-section s in this case, has a significance all its own in Upanisadic literature.

 

EDITIONS AND Mss. CONSULTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF

TRANSLATION

 

            There are several editions of Venkatanātha’s Īśāvāsyopanisad-bhasya. I. Īśāvāsyopanisad-bhasya of Vedānta Desika with the additional commentatries of Kurunarayana swamin and Purisai rirangacharya swamin: Ānanda Press, Madras.`1914 (in Devanagari script): II. Īśāvāsyopanisad-bhasya of Vedānta Desika with Acarya-bhasya-tatprya by Tarkarnava Siromani T. Viraraghavacharya of Śrī Venkatewara Sanskrit College, 1933 (in Devanagari script): III. Īśāvāsyopanisad-bhasya of Vedānta Desika with Kurunarayana swamin’s bhasya, issued along with the Dasopanisad-bhasya of RangaRāmānuja edited by Navanitam Krishnamacharya (grantha script) 1913. All the above have been printed. The second amongst the above has been generally followed. As there were many doubtful points, a Mass, No.3128 of the Śrī Venkateswara Oriental Institute Library and two Mss. Of the Madras Govt. Oriental Mss. Library (D.319 and R.3192c) were referred to. The Mysore Oriental Library does not contain any Mss. of the above Upanisad bhaya.

 

 

ĪŚĀVĀSYOPANISAD-BHASYA

(TRANSLATION)

(Benedictory verses)

 

            1. We meditate on Vasudeva possessed of a multitude of pure and excellent qualities, by whom are being dwelt in all this conscient and unconcient1.

 

            2. The Tra   NOVEMBER, 2004  BETWEEN

 

V. SHANTHA RAM, S/O. ŚRĪ V. VENKATESHWARLU aged about 36 years, occupation Business. Resident of 1-49/2/4, Shankar Nagar, Ch$            Ũ܈܈連֠逤Ȝf all, of innate greatness, the inner self of all beings, Himself (eternally) transcending all faults, the One object of all science (vidyas), the Presiding One of all actions, the Extinguisher of sin, Enjoyable by the freed, the Readly Means, shines at the end of the Samhita of the Vajins2.

 

            3. (The Vedic passage) which is recited with ‘All this I fit to be indwelt by the Lord’ in the beginning is the instruction in the knowledge of Brahman given by the Guru to his disciple.

 

4. All (actions) prescribed in the Samhita could be (utilized) on account of separate injunction, for knowledge; for pointing this out clearly is the addition of this (anuvaka) at the end of that (samhita)

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1Verse 1. Anustab sloka metre.

Verse 2. Mandakranta

Verse 3. Sloka metre

Verse 4. Sloka metre

2 The adjectives used by Śrī Venkatanātha in respect of the Purusa mentioned in verse 16 have reference to mantra specified below respectively.

i.                    Saravesanah, verse 1.

ii.                  Sahajamahima, verse 4 and 5.

iii.                Sarvabhutantaratma, verse 6 and 7.

iv.                 Sarvan dosan svayam atipatan, verse 8 1st half.

 

 

ISA VASYAM IDAM SARVAM

YATKINCA JAGATYAM JAGAT

TENA TYAKTENA BHUNJITHA

MA GRDHAH KAYASVID DHANAM

 

THE BHASYA

 

            There (in the Upanisad) at the outset, for the  sake of removing the illusion of independence and others (of the individual) who is in the possession of material body, the teacher (keeping in mind this fact) declares the Nature, Existence, and Activity of all things to be under the control of the Lord.

 

            Idam: this, (that is) determined by the respective sources of knowledge as other than Īśvara, of the forms of intelligents and unintelligent.

 

            Isa: By the Lord. By the all-controlling Purusottama1 well-known as entirely different from the soul, in (the passages) “The knower and the ignorant, the two unborn, the Lord and the non-lord” (Svet. Up I.9) and others.

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1 The meaning of the word is all destiner. This word has a cross-reference to Bh. Gītā. XV.17, where it is equated with the Lord, Īśvara: “But other than these two is the highest Spirit called the Purusottama, who enters into three worlds and upbears them.”

 

            Vasyam: Fit to be pervaded is the meaning. Or such a could be made by Himself to dwell in Himself, who is the support of all1. Thus the Smrti says “He everywhere (dwells), and in Him everything dwells, Because of that is He called (paripathyate) by the learned, Vasudeva” (Vis.P.I.ii.12.)

 

            Jagatyam : (is) the significator for other worlds also.

 

            Jagat: The group of thing of the form o the enjoyed (bhogya) and enjoyers(souls), which changes into another state in nature and quality (respectively)2.

 

            Yat-kinca: This qualification ‘whatsoever’ is used in order to affirm that there is nothing whatsoever which has not Him as it Self, (This is) elucidated (thus):” (They) say that the sense organs, sensorium, buddhi, sativa, brilliance, strength, courage, body and soul have Vasudeva as their self”3.

 

            But (the objector says), according to the rule “Rudhi (conventional meaning) overrules the Yoga (etymological meaning) overrule the Yoga (etymological meaning), Isa herein mentioned may be Rudra, and further because there is no additional word (upapada) such as ‘All’ (which addition if it were present will affect the rudhi and it may then designate Visnu well known as Sarvesvara).

 

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1That is to say, He is the one being in whom all things dwell because he is their support asraya and adhara, and who dwells in all thing as their support, as in the examples of the body and the hub of the wheel.

2Cf. Bhokta-bhogyam-preritaranca matva (Svet. Up. I. 12) Prakrti undergo modification only in their dharma bhuta jānā.

3 Untraced quotation.

 

            Not so (we reply). Since a in the case of the words Akasa, Prana and others used in the sense of the (original) cause (where the rudhi is annualled), so also here the rudhi1 is annulled; and since the quality of pervading all as well as being the support of all cannot  belong to Rudra who is accepted (i) as not being the cause of all things and (ii) as being bound by Karma on the strength of the passage such as “One only Narayana was Existent, neither  Brahma nor Isna” (Mahopanisad) “I am still not free from sin, grant me names” (Satapatha Brahmana), this word Isa must be accepted etymologically (yaugika) as referring to the Lord of all, of unlimited Lordship, Who is well known as possessing those qualities (of all supporting-ness and all indwellingness and other).

 

            Though on  account of there being no mention (hereof Isa) as already well known (as the primal cause) there is a difference in this case form that of Akasa and other passages, yet because of its use in a quite contrary sense itself there I justification for the rejection of its conventional (rudhi) sense according to the Aindri  principle1.

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1 In some scriptural texts all thing are declared to have originated form Akasa, Prana and others which nominally mean the gross elements; but what is meant by them are not these gross or subtle elements but the primal Indwelling Being in all. This is indicated by the use of the phrase like vai  or  ha vai :  yati va imani bhutani; sarvani ha va imani bhutani akasad eva samutpadyante (Ch.Up.I.ix.I)

 

 

            Nor is there here the principle o contextual allness2 (sarvatvam adhikam), no such limitation being seen.

 

            (If it be said that instead of one perpetual All-lord, we may have one Ivara stream, one All-lord in one cosmic age and another in another age and o on, or else we may have several Īśvaras, rulers, at the same time and at all times eternally but who divide their absolute lordship between themselves by limiting their power to specific regions, we reply):

 

            But the theories of Īśvara-stream and multiple Īśvaras are rejected by a numbr of (scriptural) sources of right knowledge, which establish the Lord existing at all the three times (past, present and future) and destining all processes.

 

            It is therefore right that this passage refers to Narayana alone who ha lordship independent. (of others) as the Lord who dwells in all (or rather in whom all can dwell) proclaimed in the passages “Him the protector of the world, the Lord of Self”. (Tait, Nara.XI25) and others; Who I to be redeclared later on as ‘Yosavasau Purusah (Isa 16); Who is determined as the parent of Brahma and Rudra by passages inexplicable otherwise which cannot apply to any other   got);

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1 Pur. Mim. III.ii.2. There  is a rk mantra addressed to Indra. This I directed to be used with reference to Agni-Garhapatya. This transference of an Indra rk to Agni is due to understanding the terms in an etymological sense as otherwise it will b meaningless.

2Pur.Mīmāmsā I.ii.1.

Who is most famous as the all-indwelling propeller (in the passages); ‘This is the indwelling self of all beings, faultless, dweller in the highest sky, (divya), the shining one (deva), the One Narayana” (Sub.Up.VII) and others; and Who in the passages “He is Brahma” and “He is Siva” (Tait.Nara.XI.26) is mentioned as the substance (visesya) or Brahma, Siva, Indra and others who are His attributes (vibhūtis) as in the case of the world in the passage ‘This (world) is all Purusa Himself.” This I enough (of refutation) of the objections of that person who dos not know the pada-teaching, the pada (Isa) in which there is no place at all for the conventional meaning (anyarudhi), and which is not a compound word.

 

            In this manner having taught the seeker after liberation, the knowledge of (his) dependence on the Lord, he (the teacher) counsles living that has renunciation as its ornament:

 

            TENA TYAKTENA BHUNJITHAH: With that (World) Renounced Enjoy.

 

            tena:  with that world which is mistaken as enjoyable;

 

            tyaktena: renounced; because of the lperception of its (world’s) being exceedingly full faults: being one with that (world) renounced: ie, (being one that has renounced the world).

 

bhunjithah: enjoy: ‘enjoy that Group of un-prohibited enjoyable (things) which I helpful in supporting the body, which I useful to Yoga’ (this) is the import got (siddyati) from the nature of the instruction and from the context (arthaprakaranabhyam).

 

Or else it might be construed thus: Enjoy that which has been mentioned as the One in which all dwell, the supremey enjoyable (niratisaya-bhogya) (Brahman), through the means going to be taught (in the succeeding verses).

 

Kasya svid dhanam: anyone’s wealth, wealth belonging to a relative or non-relative.

 

Ma gradhah: do not covet. And Yama says to his servant beginning with (the verse) “In the supreme friend…” “I That crooked mind, who is covetous of wealth, that human animal, is not Vasudeva’s devotee”.1

 

This renunciation of  desire for wealth is to be taken to stand for renunciation of all things other than the supreme Self. Thus does the Smrti say “ (He) who has attachment to the supreme Self and detachment from the non-supreme Self”. ys that he, who has learnt as taught in the previous verse (evam vidusah), has to perform the routine and occasional (obligatory prescribed) work,3 characterised by renunciation of attachment to fruits and agency and others through out (his) life:

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1 Untraced quotation.

2 Untraced quotation.

3 Nitya naimittika duties according to one’s varna and arama.  

 

KURYANEVEHA KARMANI

JIJIVISET SATAM SAMAH

EVAM TVAYI NANYATHETO STI

NA KARMA LIPYATE NARE,

 

            THUS (ONE) SHOULD DESIRE TO LIVE A HUNDRED YEARS JUST PERFORMING WORKS. THUS FOR THERE (it) IS NOT OTHERWISE THAN THIS, WORKS DO NOT GET SMEARED OVER MAN.

 

            jijiviset: To show that even for the knower of Bmliman living till the completion of this knowledge I desirable the desiderative suffix is used here).

 

            Satam samah: hundred years: has reference to generality (prayika visayam), ‘Living a hundred years one should indeed perform works that accord with one’s fitness . At no time should there be giving up of works subservient to knowledge’ is the meaning. ‘That there is no special reason to say that this passage refers to independent actions which are the means of obtaining fruits, is said in the Vedānta Sūtra “No, since there is no speciality” (III.iv.13). Another meaning not contrary to the context (Prakarana) is also mentioned in the next sūtra: “For the sake of praise only (there is) permission” (III.iv.14). The Bhaya (of Rāmānuja) (runs thus) “The word va (is used) for indicating delimitation (eva). Since the, context (is) that of knowledge (of Brahman) taught in ‘All this (is ) fit to tbe indwelt by the Lord… ‘ for the sake of praising (knowledge), this is the permission for performing work always. Because of the power (mahatmya) of knowledge, even though  one is performing works always, one is not stained by them: in this manner knowledge is praised. And the rest of the passage, “Thus for thee: it is not otherwise than this: works do not get smeared over mna’ shows this alone.

 

tvayi: for thee, who are fit for Brahma-vidya.

 

evam: Thus alone is the thing (that I) to be practiced;

 

Ito’nyatha nasti: (It) is not otherwise than this: this is said negatively for the sake of conforming (the previous positive statement regarding doing work which are imperative through out life).

 

Now (if it be asked) will there not accrue bondage to the knower of Brahman, since there I the performing of work, (the teacher) says: Works do not get smeared over  men. IN the case of the man, the Brahman knower, under reference according to the “principle of separate injunction” (as taught in the sūtra)” But Agnihotra and others (are to be performed) for that purpose (of knowledge) alone, since that is (so) seen (in the Upanisads) “ (IV.i.1), actions do not become the causes of results such as svarga and others. There is no possibility of a discriminating desireless man wittingly undertaking to do works as mean to pleasure which are not useful for knowledge and to forbidden works. For (such of ) those that may arise there will be the expiation (niskrti) according to his fitness, on the strength of the text: “ If one I not free from bad conduct…(one will not attain Brahman)” (Katha-Up.II.24).

 

If it be said that as taught in the Tadadhigamadhikrana (V.S.IV.i13), Brahma-vidya is o powerful as to prevent any works from staining man, and therefore no expiation is needed, (we reply) but what I established in the case of those who practice Brahma-vidya is that the only sins which do not stain them are those which are performed inattentively (pramadikanam).

 

That he whose fitness (adhikra) has been burnt by the fire of knowledge is not subject to the  injunctions, mandatory and prohibitive, is a view that is not acceptable to the knowers of the Veda.

 

III. For the sake of making one quickly take to the knowledge (hereinafter) to be imparted, he (the teacher) now-say that falling into Naraka most assuredly happens to those who commit self-murder, because their knowledge and actions become other than what they ought to be, due to their lacking the knowledge of the said nature and because of having desires for wealth:

 

ASURYA NAMA TE LOKA

ANDHENA TAMASAVRTAH

TANS TE PRETYABHIGACCHANTI

YE KECATMAHANO JANAH

 

            (THERE ARE) THOE WORLDS KNOWN A ASURYA PERMEATED BY BLINDING DARKNESS WHITHERTO THE SOUL-SLAYER, WHOEVER THEY ARE RESORT ON DEPARTING (FROM THEIR BODIES)

 

            Asuryah:  (the suffix) yat  (is used) in the sense of ‘Those which belong to the Asuras’; ‘endurable by those of asuric nature’ is the meaning’1

 

            name: the term of notoriety.

 

            Te lokah: there exist most frightening worlds named  Naraka. He further describes them thus;

            Andhena tamasavrtah: permeated by intense darkness.2

 

            tan: them, bereft of all light.

 

            te: those self slayers.

 

            pretya: on departing from (their) then bodies.

 

            abhiggacchanti: complerely continuously attain.

 

Ye ke ca: any, divine or human (being); such as Brahman or ksatriya and others.

           

            atmahanah: the soul-slayers, (that is) those who make themselves as if non existent, as said in the Upanisad” If one knows not Brahman, verily one becomes non-existen” (Tait.Up.VI.1). This, through the destruction of the self (deha ghata-mukhena), indicates the series of great sins (patakavarga).

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1Cf.Bh.Gītā.XVIII.

2Cf. The use of the same phrase used by the seer in verses Isa. 9 and 12.

 

            janah: those who take births—those who are in samsāra is the meaning.

 

            IV. The Ruler-principle (Īśvara tattvam) spoken of in a previous verse (Isa.I) as the All-supporter, is clearly described as having wonderful powers which are suggested by contradictory terms as it were. Thus:

 

ANEJAD EKAM MANSO JAVIVO

NAINAD DEVA APNUVAN PURVAMARSAT

TAD DHAVATO ‘NYANATVETI TISTHAT

TASMINNAPO MATARISVA DADHATI

 

THE ONE UNMOVING (YET) SPEEDIER THAN THE MIND

THAT (WHICH HA) ALREADY CONTAINED (ALL) THE GODS

HAVE NOT ATTAINED:

THAT STANDING OVERTAKE OTHERS THAT RUN:

BY THAT, AIR (MATARISVAN) UPBEARS THE WATERS.

 

            Anejt: unmoving.

 

            ekam: The one, transcendent (pradhanam); or that which has no second being outside Hi controlling power or equal to him.

 

            manasojaviyah: Having a speed greater than even the speediest mind.

 

            If it be said that unmovingness and such speediness cannot co-exist, (we reply) Not so, because by recourse to intention (tatparya) they can easily co-exist. Since all are always pervaded by Him there is unmovingness and since He exists beyond the range of the mind’s perception at all times. He I stated to be faster that the mind as it were1. In the following passages also, (it) has to be construed thus.

 

            Na etad deva apnuvan purvam arsat: This (which has) already obtained (all), all the gods have not yet attained.

 

            devah: gods, Hiranyagarbha (Brahma) and others.

 

            na apnuvan: Have not all this time attained. The embodied souls (Ksetrajās) whose consciousness is obstructed by karma prior to their gaining that knowledge, do not attain it by their own intelligence, though it is infinite and therefore eternally omnipervasive. Therefore there is no contradiction here.

 

            Thus I it said in the Chandogya Upanisad (VII iii.2).

 

“So just as those who do not know the spot night go over a hid treasure of gold again and again, but not find it, even so, all creatures here go day by day to that Brahman-world (Brahma-loka) (in deep sleep) but do not find it, for truly they are carried astray by what I false.”

           

            Tad dhavato’nyan atyeti tisthat: As stated in the passages “He who I in the earth”.. ‘(He) who in the self’ (Brh.Up.V.vii.7ff), in this manner even whilst remaining in everything it overtakes the running Garuda and others. “ However far and far they may run It I beyond that” is the meaning.

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1 ‘To move’ means to reach a space in which it was not before. But for a thing which is all-pervasive there cannot be a space in which it was not before. Therefore it I motionless.

 

            Thus it has been said,

 

“Even flying like Garuda for 1,000,000 years,

one, though having the speed of the mind,

even then cannot reach the limit of the

cause.”

 

            The overtaking of those who run by those who are at any one place is not possible: This is (a case of) wonder.

 

            That there is something more wonderful is mentioned (next): Tasminnapo matarisva dadhati: By It (supported), the air upbears the waters. The air which I in it, though void of hardness and others to enable it to prevent water (in the form of cloud) (from falling), upbears water. That  I to say, air being supported by the supreme Lord, the supporter of all, verily through His power supports water, clouds; stars, planets starry bodies and others. Thus the Smrti says “Heaven, Akasa with the Moon, Sun, stars, the directions, earth, the great ocean, are being supported by the power of the great self, Vasudeva. “(Mh.Bh.Anu. 154.136)

            V. Out of regard (for the subject matter, Īśvara) (the teacher) in a different way teaches what has been said (in the previous Verse) as “The one, unmoving, speedier then the mind’ thus:

 

TAD EJATI TAD U NAILATI

TAD DURE TADVANTIKE

TADANTARASYA SARVASYA

TADU SARVASYAYA BAHYATAH

 

THAT MOVES AND THAT TRULY DOES NO MOVE:

THAT I AFAR AND THAT I ALSO NEAR

THAT I INSIDE ALL THIS THAT VERILY I OUTIDE ALL THI.

 

            Tat: that; the pervading principle

 

            ejati: moves through being faster than the mind after the manner spoken of in the previous (verse). ‘Moves as it were’ I the meaning.

 

            Tad u na ejati: that same thing verily does not move.

 

            Tad dure tadu antike: that is afar and also near. Having in view the difference between the ignorant and the awakened, even the Infinite (Brahman) is described as far and as near. Thus does Saunaka say ‘To those whose faces are turned away from Govinda, whose minds are attached to objects (of sense), to them, that supreme Brahman is farther than the far; to those whose minds are absorbed in Govinda, having renounced all objects, one should know, that is near.”(Vis.Dharma 99.14).

            A thing can exist within something, but, at the same time, it cannot be outside it. A thing can be outside but not within it (also). Here he mentions the distinction (of Īśvara) from both these (kinds of things): “That (is) inside all thi (and) that truly (is) outside all this.”

 

            tat: That, the transcendent omnipervasive Brahman spoken of already.

 

            asya arvasya: of all things having variegated conscient and unconscient form and determined by sources of right knowledge.

 

            antar bhavati: dwells within; ‘because there is no obstruction, it exist without there being any limitation of space’ is the meaning. That same thing exists also outside all these, that is, that exists both at places where finite object are and at places where they are not. That I clearly declared in the Taittirīya beginning with the “Thousand headed..” the purpose of which  is to determine that principle which ha to be meditated upon in all the several sciences of the Transcendent (para vidya) thus:

 

            ‘Whatever is in the world, seen or even heard, pervading all that both inside and outside Narayana stands’ (Tait.Nara.X.1).1

 

            VI. Thus has been said that all things have Brahman as their self. Next is mentioned the immediate utility of having this knowledge.

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1Cf. Satapatha Brah.XIV.5.30. cf. Bh.Gītā VI.29-30

 

YAS TU SARVANI BHUTANY

ATMANYEVANUPASYATI

SARVABHUTESU ATMANAM

TATO NA VIJUGUPSATE

 

            (HE) WHO SEE ALL CREATURES IN THE SELF ALONE AND THE SELF IN ALL CREATURES DOES NOT RECOIL FROM ANYTHING.

 

            yastu: But who: tu is used for the sake of indicating the extra-ordinariness with regard to the greatness (mahima) of the knower of Brahman.

 

            sarvani bhutani: all creatures, from Brahma down to the plants.

 

            atmani: In the Self, Here the word ‘self’ refers to the all indwelling elf because there is nothing to indicate limitation, and because of the context, and because of the nature of the thing (arthasvabhavat) (described).

 

            eva: alone. The intention of the world alone is, that even those things that are  supported by the earth and other really reside in the supreme Lord through these elements.

 

            anupasyati: continuously clearly perceives.

 

            sarvabhutesu ca atmanam: by these words  is intended pervasion alone, since they are incapable of supporting Him (lit. there can be no support to Him by them).

 

            (sah) ‘He’, the correlative of ‘who’, has to be inserted.

 

            tatah navijugupsate: All things having been perceived as having Brahman as their self, from none of them does he recoil, in the same way as he does not recoil from his own dependents. The meaning I, he scorn hoting.

 

            VII. Once again, strengthening (the above teaching) by means of (the statement of) co-ordination, (he, the teacher) say that to perceive it thus leads to the immediate annihilation of sorrow:

 

YASMIN SARVANI BHUTANY

ATMAIVABHUD VIJANATAH

TATRA KO KOHAH KASSOKA

EKATVAM ANUPASYATAH

 

WHEN FOR HIM WHO KNOWS THE SELF ALONE HAS BECOME ALL CREATUTES.

            THEN FOR HIM PERCEIVING ONENESS, WHERE IS THERE   DELUSION OR SORROW?

 

            yasmin: when, at the time of meditation.

 

            Vijanatah: for him who knows distinctly by the method well taught (upadistena margena) the difference between the independent and the dependent entities with the help of the scriptures.

 

            atma eva sarvani bhutani abhut: ‘The supreme elf itself has appeared a qualified ‘by all’ is the meaning. When the co-ordination between the world and Brahman is possible through the principle of relationship of body and soul according to common and scriptural usage as in ‘I am a God etc., the theories of badha1 (sublation), upacara2 (secondary significance) and svarupaikya3  (identity in nature) are to be rejected4.

 

            tatra: Then.

 

            kah mohah : where I there delusion? Delusion of the form of wrong notion of self-independence and others doe not happen. This is the meaning.

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1 Badha theory of samanadhikaranya negate one of the term as false. In the example ‘the thief is this pillar’ the meaning that there I no thief at all but that the pillar was mistaken for the thief. The identity expressed by ‘is’ negates the thief by affirming the pillar as the real. In this kind of identity then, the world which appears as existing perceptibly has to be negated.

2Upacara (identity through secondary meaning): ‘All this is the King’, this means that all these are entirely dependent on the king. Though there is here a statement of identity conveyed again by the word ‘is’ it is only by recourse to secondary meaning we are enabled to make sense out of that statement. “All this is verily the Brahman” (sarvam khalvidam Brahma) though it can be understood in this secondary way, yet it does not fully explain the implicit relation of identity.

3 The substance identity (svarupaikya): “The mud is the pot” is a statement of the oneness of substance between mud and pot. This kind of identity is not capable of being applied here, since if there be svarupa identity between the world and Brahman (i) Brahman would have to undergo change, and (ii) the relationship between two incompatible substances as matter and spirit is impossible.

4The fourth kind of co-ordination is based on the Śarīra-Śarīrī bhava  of Viśstādvaita.

 

            kah sokah: Where is there sorrow? There will arise no grief, even when there are deaths of children or the seizing away of kingdoms and others, because of the realisation of the absence of ownership in all things which belong to the Transcendent:  this I the meaning. Thus (Janaka) says “Infinite indeed is my wealth of which nothing is mine. If Mithla is burnt nothing mine is burnt” (h.Bh.śānti.XVII.18).

 

            ekatvam anupasyatah: to one who perceives the Oneness of that which ha got all existences a it attributes. Obviously here the use of the word ‘one’ does not connote that there are no other things (besides this), because there is nothing to militate against anything said at the beginning in” All this is fit for the indwelling by the Lord…”(Isa.I.) as pervaded by the Lord, and because in both the cases of knowing and non-knowing that all differences are illusory, the teacher could not have given this kind of instruction and others regarding such identity.

 

            Nor does this (eka) speak of the substance-identity (svarupaikya) of the mutually incompatible factors, because in case there is the destruction of all contradictions, there will occur confusion in the discrimination and others between one’s own theory and those of others. The explanation of the  ‘one-ness’ as belonging to Brahman with it attribute can be entertained, since it is in accord with all the sources  of right knowledge. But it is better to take it to mean the relation (of body and soul, śarīraśarīrī-bhava)1 which enable u to maintain the co-ordination stated above, because the term (ekatvam) oeness is used in the passage “The oneness of Rama and Sugriva” (Ramāyāna Sund.35.51) and others, o a to mean some particular relation.1

 

            Even though these two seers may be construed so as to refer to the released soul, it I more appropriate (so say), in consonance with what has been said, that it mean praise of the seeker (mumuksu). Consequently, the word ‘seeing’ anupasyatah: is applied to such knowledge arising out of a study of scriptures or to that knowledge of meditation on the Highest which arises through such study, in  order to indicate it state when it becomes mot clear and distinct. It cannot be  doubted that the intuitive vision which results here as a fruit of the particular samadhi  is that which is meant, since it I mentioned as the mean (of liberation). It has been affirmed in the Śrī  Bhasya  that the word ‘seeing’ refers in all those passages which counsel the mean to realization to the meditation knowledge (upasana-jānā).

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(form of jati) and ‘It’ is the self which owns it or dwells in it or controls it. That which refers to the body really refers to the self within. It is the inseparable relation between the body and the self that is stated. When either of the terms is mentioned it means that implicitly the other also is intimated.

1The samanadhikarnya between the world and the Brahman is one of the body and self. Friendship  sneha or love I also another instance of samanadhikranya. When we speak of the unity or oneness  of Rama and Sugriva, it is not substantial identity that is intimated but oneness of love or reciprocal existence. Dependence on the Lord and living for the Lord, are types of co-ordination giving rise to the expressions of oneness or identity, or unity.

 

            VIII. And again the teacher describes more fully the individual who knows the nature of the Ruler and the Ruled, by clearly pointing out the special qualities of that, which he has to know:

 

SA PARYAGAC CHUKRAM AKAYAM AVRANaM

ASNAVIRAM SUDDHAM APAPAVIDDHAM

KAVIR MANISI PARIBHUH SVAYAMBHUR

YATHATATHYATO’ROTHAN VYADADHAC CHAVATIBHYAH

SAMABHYAH

 

            HE. ATTAINS THE RADIANT, BODYLESS, SORELESS, SINEWLESS, PURE, UNINJURED BY SIN; (HE) EER, CONTROLLER OF THE MIND, CONQUEROR, INDEPENDENT, BEARS (IN HIS MIND) THE REAL NATURE OF THINGS FOR INNUMERABLE YEARS.

 

            Sah: He who sees Brahman the indwelling elf of all beings.

 

            paryagat: ‘will  attain ‘ is the meaning, according to the principle enunciated in the text “He who knows Brahman attain the Trancendent (param)” (Tait. Anand. I, I). Or else it is restatement of the fact that he has attained experience (anubhava) obtained by samadhi as in the case (of the text). “One attain Brahman here (itself)” (Katha. Up II. Iv.14).

 

            sukram: pure,  of the selfluminous form.

 

            akayam: though having all a His body, yet free from any karmic body. Therefore having no scars or muscles (avranam asnaviram).

 

            suddham: not even smelling of ignorance and other faults.

 

            apapaviddham: “That which I unaffected by karmas which are of the form of good and evil (papapunya) which are the cause of ignorance and others,” this is the meaning, since the Upanisad beginning with the passage ‘Neither good actions (affect Him)’ close with the word. “All sin form Him recedes” (Ch.Up.VII.iv.1).

 

            In this manner, the Supreme Self who is absolutely proof against evil (heyagunas)  is the One Who is to be attained, and Who leads one to the attainment, and Who is to he meditated upon by the seeker (mumuksu)1.

 

            The teacher describes the knower of Brahman as the “seer of all things”.

 

            kavih: He who sees thing transcending (all the sources of right knowledge) (kranta-dari). Or else the meaning may be ‘One who like Vyasa and others, is the author of works that help teaching the Supreme and His excellences.

 

            Ma isi: Buddhi, which controls the mind is called manias. He who possesses it is the manisi. ‘He who through practices of yoga and renunciation has a controlled psychic organism, antahkarana’ is the meaning.

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1This is the reading according to all the available printed edition. But the commentary of Kuranarayana suggest the following reading: Upasyatr yaya Ityunktah.

 

            Paribhuh: (He) who is  on all sides. He who surpasses all those who know other sciences (vidyas). Or he who has subdued the enemies, namely desire, anger, miserliness and others difficult to conquer.

 

            svayambhuh: (He) whos existence is independent of anything else, that is to say, the seer of the form of the eternal Self.

 

            Yathatathyatah arthan vyadadhat: has borne in his mind all things by distinguishing them as they are in themselves namely, the supreme goal (parama-purusartha), the means of attaining it, the obstacles to the attainment and others.

 

            sasvatibhyah samabhayh: the intention of this is ‘for the sake of getting rid of all obstacles till the Brahman attainment’.

            Or else, the groups of, words in the nominative and the accusative may be commented, as referring respectively to the Supreme Self and the individual soul. In which case:

 

            sukram: pure and other words refer to the individual soul, which is purified and freed from all limitation (faults and sins)1.

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1 The individual soul is said to be purified, when it shuffles off its karmic body. When there is no karmic body, it is said to be bodiless and therefore it is without sores and muscles which are incident on the karma-results; in that state it has no ignorance and other faults. It is then possessed of a body composed of luminous substance.

 

            Him also the Supreme Self (sah) surrounding on all sides (paryagat) exists.

 

            kavih : seer and others terms are easy to understand.

 

            arthan: created objects.

 

            sasvatibhyah samabhyah: in order that they may exist till their destruction.

 

            yathatathyatah vyadadhat: really created: not merely displayed like a magician.

 

            IX. After having thus given instruction in the knowledge that has works a its accessory regarding Supreme Being who has wonderful power, then, censuring those who follow mere works and those who follow mere knowledge,. (the teacher) teaches the attainment o the highest good resulting only from knowledge strengthened by duties of caste and stage (varnasrama) thus:

 

ANDHAM TAMAH PRAVIŚĀNTI

YE VIDYAM UPASATE

TATO BHUYA IVA TE TAMO

YA U VIDYAYAM RATAH

 

            INTO BLINDING DARKNESS ENTER THOSE WHO ARE DEVOTED TO NON-KNOWLEDGE (WORKS): INTO STILL GREATER DARKNESS VERILY THOSE WHO ARE ATTACHED TO KNOWLEDGE ALONE.

 

            ye: who are attached to enjoyment and powers.

 

            avidyam: karma: works only, divested from knowledge; for it is stated by the Smrti “There  is another power Avidyā, having the name karma, which is counted a the third..”. (Vis.P.VI.vii.61).

 

            upasate: perform with one-pointed mind, this is the meaning.

 

            tamah: ignorance, or else that darkness of Naraka which is unavoidable on account of strong attachment to the threefold ends (dharmarthakama).

 

            The continued experience of misery by those who are attached to mere works is mentioned by the Atharvanikas  (Mund.Up.I.i.18) thus:

 

“The ships of sacrifice are surely unsteady in which is  counseled the inferior karma as being performed by eighteen agents (or as being taught in the eighteen smrtis)1. Those ignorant persons who take delight in these as leading to bliss, fall into decay and death again and again”.

 

tato bhuya iva te tamo ya u vidyayam ratah: Those who are attached to knowledge alone, by  neglecting  the duties according to their fitness, enter into darkness deeper than the darkness obtained by those doing works alone with one-pointedness of mind.

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1Cf. Dasopanisad-bhasya  of RangaRāmānuja whose interpretation has been followed here.

 

iva: Here the word ‘iva’, like, shows that it is difficult to know the dept of darkness.

 

            u, eva: alone, must be taken along with the succeeding word,  thus:

 

            vidyayam eva ratah: those who are attached to knowledge alone.

 

            X. What then is the means of liberation? In answer to this (the teacher) declares:

 

ANYAD EVAHUR VIDYAYA

NYAD AHUR AVIDYĀYA

ITI SUSRUMA DHIRANAM

YE NA TAD VICACAKSIRE

           

            THE SAY (THE MEANS OF ATTAINMENT) (IS) QUITE DIFFERENT FROM KNOWLEDGE: (AND) THEY SAY (THE MEAN OF ATTAINMENT) (IS) DIFFERENT FROM NON-KNOWLEDGE (WORKS). THIS (STATEMENT) HAVE WE HEARD FROM THOSE SEERS WHO EXPLAINED THAT CLEARLY TO US.

 

            Anyad eva ahuh vidyaya anyad ahuh avidyaya: Here the meaning of the ablative is conveyed by the instrumental case, according to the rule (of grammar) which permits change (of cases etc.,) because (otherwise) there can be no connection with anya: different from, and because there is similarity with the word in the ablative case in the verse mentioned later (v. 13) anyadevahuh sambhavat. Here what is mentioned is that the means for the attainment of liberation are different from mere karma, and , different form knowledge divested form all prescribed works.

 

            ye: who, the previous teachers.

 

            nah: to us who have approached (them) by protrating (ourelve) and others1.

 

            tat: that, (that is the) means to liberation.

 

            vicacakire: taught distinctly (clearly).

 

            tesam hiranam: of those seers, who are attached to meditation on the supreme Self. Here ‘statement’ (vacanam) has to be added (to complete the sense). Or else, as in the passage ‘One hear of the dancer’ which means “Hears from the dancer” the genetive can somehow, be  made to mean the ablative.

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1Cf. Bh.Gītā.IV.34.

 

Iti uruma : Thus have we heard; the intention in using the first person perfect is that it is impossible to grasp Brahmavidyā completely, since it is difficult.

           

            XI. What has been mentioned briefly as “different” he now explains thus:

 

VIDYANCAVIDYĀNGA

YAS TAD VEDOBHAYAM SAHA

AVIDYĀYA MRTYUM TIRTVA

VIDYAYA MRTAM ASNUTE

 

HE WHO KNOWS BOTH KNOWLEDGE AND NON-KNOWLEDGE TOGETHER:

BY NON-KNOWLEDGE CROSSING OVER DEATH, BY THE KNOWLEDGE ATTAIN THE IMMORTAL.

 

Yah: (He) who has received the true instruction.

 

vidyam : knowledge: that which is of the form of meditation on the Supreme Self.                             

 

            avidyam ca: and non-knowledge of the form of works subsidiary to that (knowledge).

 

            etad ubhayam: both these which have no possibility of opposition between each other.

 

            saha veda: together knows. Because of the necessity for both the main and the subsidiary being practised equally (anustheyatva samya), making no distinction (such as main and subsidiary) between them, it is said that they are to be known by the words “he should know them together”, but not becaue that which has to be followed and that which ought to be rejected are to be equally known (jātavyatva-sāmyaāt).

 

            If it be said that because at first non knowledge has been censured there is appropriateness in that jātavyatvya sāmya) (then) it follows that there is the mention of this group of two rejectables, since knowledge has also been censured. Further, if it be so, the succeeding passage will not fit in (with this view).

 

            avidyayā mrtyum tīrtvā vidyayā amrtam aśnute: By non knowledge crossing over death, by knowledge attain the immortal:

 

            avidyayā: by the non-knowledge (works) prescribed by the scriptures as the subsidiary of knowledge.1

 

            mrtyum: death. the past karma that is the cause of death which consists in the constriction of knowledge.

            tīrtvā: completely crossing over.

 

            vidyayā: By the knowledge having the form of clear vision of the Supreme Self mentioned earlier(verse 6).

 

            amrtam aśnute: attain the immortal. (He) attains the Supreme Self known as free from all faults in the passage. “This is the Immortal, free from fear: this is the Brahman” (Ch.Up.IV.xv.1) and others: this is the meaning.

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1īśā.2

 

            Even in case the word  ‘amrtam’ is taken to mean freedom (moksa) (from death), there is no repetition  (here), for crossing over death mean the crossing over the obstacle to the means (of realization) (upāya-virodhi), and “(He) attains freedom form death” declares the achievement of the disappearance of all obstacles to attainment (prāpti-virodhi nivrtti-lābhokteh”).

 

            Here those who interpret this to mean “One who exits having attained death through ignorance”, having forgotten the uncontradicted natural trend of words and passages and smrtis, through their own ignorance, by themselves having attained their death exist.1

 

            This very passage is kept in mind in the Visnu purāna (VI.Vi.12) (where it is stated):

 

“He (Keśidhaja), taking refuge in knowledge (arising from a study of scriptures) seeking knowledge of Brahman as fruit, for the sake of crossing over death through non-knowledge (works), performed many sacrifices”.

 

            Here I has been said by the Commentator on the Vedānta Sūtras (Śrī Rāmānuja) that  according to the context and appropriateness the word avidyā (nonknowledge) refers to works which are subsidiary to knowledge: “Here the meaning of the word avidyā is karma (works) prescribed  for varnāśrama” and also ‘avidyā that is known to be the means of crossing over death, other than knowledge is prescribed works alone (vihitam karmaiva).’

 

            The term ‘avidyā’ (non knowledge) which excludes knowledge vidyā, having to mean that which is promixate and next to it, like the words a-braāhmana  and others which denote ksatriya and others, refers to work which are intimately related (to knowledge), this is the intention. So the upabrahmanās; such as

 

            “Both austerity (tapas) and knowledge make for a Brahman’s ultimate happiness (niśśreyasa). By tapas he destroys his sin (and) by knowledge he attain the Immortal (vidyayā amrtamaśnute) (Manu Smrti. XII.104) harmonize (with our explanation).

 

            To those who describe that there are mentioned two conjoint mean, knowledge and works, and that there are two goals, of the form of the crossing over death and the attainment of immortality,1 one may accord a reply by referring to numerous śruti, smrti and sūtra passages which clearly enunciate the organic relation between action and knowledge as subsidiary and main, (and) the crossing over death through  knowledge alone.

 

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1Thi view of jāna-karma samuccaya is that of the Yādavaprakāś school.

 

            In the doctrine of grouping of the unequals, viśamasamuccaya1 also where the sannipatya-upa-kārakatvam is plausible according to their respective sphere, to seek any other explanation is not acceptable by the knower of the rules of interpretation.

            XII. After having thus taught that Supreme Being who should be meditated upon and the Supreme good (hita) which is of the form of meditation on Him with its subsidiary (anga) upto the attainment of the Supreme End, it is now said by the three following verses that the combined meditation on the two fruit-steps of the form of getting rid of obstacles and the attainment of Brahman-experience (Brahmānubhava) should be undertaken as subsidiary to knowledge. There at first (the teacher) censures the practice of meditation on one only thus:

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1Visama amuccaya vāda and sama samuccaya vāda are the two view regarding the relationship between karma and jāna, works and knowledge. The sama samuccaya vāda holds that works and knowledge have not the relationship of main and subsidiary, and that both are equally efficient in helping attainment. This view has been refuted because scriptures affirm that knowledge alone can make us attain liberation. The visama samuccaya vāda on the other hand affirms that karma is subsidiary to knowledge. Both Rāmānuja and Bhāskara accept the visama samāccaya vāda. But here arises the question as to how works can help knowledge. The works become subsidiary to knowledge, and can help to create knowledge I engendered. Thu it is sannipatya upakāraka, i.e., practically efficient in removing the obstacles to knowledge thus being useful in contributing to knowledge itself as its subsidiary. The other view is one of ārād upakāraka, which holds that the subsidiary helps the main at the time of realization of fruits by directly bringing about the results which are unseen. adrsta. The second view I that of Bhāskara, whereas the first view is that of Rāmānuja and Venkatanātha. Cf. ĀPADEVI; ed.F.Edgerton p.230.

 

ANDHAM TAMAH PRAVIŚANTI

YE SAMBHŪTIM UPĀSATE

TATO BHŪYA IVA TE TAMO

YA U SAMBHŪTYĀM RATĀH

 

            INTO BLINDING DARKNESS ENTER THO WO ARE DEVOTED TO ASAMBHŪTI.

            THEY INTO STILL GREATER DARKNES WHO ARE ATTACHED TO SAMBHŪTI.

 

            Sambhūti asambhūti: In the passage “Departing from here I am going to commune with This”(Ch.Up.III.xiv.4) (and) “Having shaken off the body, having fulfilled (all works) (krtāmā), I shall commune eternally with the Brahman-world” (Ch.Up.VIII.xii.1) and others, mention is made of sambhūti as of the form of attainment of Brahman. The word asambhūti excludes it (sambhūti), (and) denotes the destruction (vināśa) of obstacles, which is proximate to it, since immediately after, is mentioned “sambhūtica vināśam ca: communion and destruction”.1

 

            Here by the word ‘asambhūti’  is not meant either the non-origination of communion nor the destruction of it, since it is not correct to declare pre-non-existence or consequent non-existence of sambūti which is said to be the means of attainment of Brahman, as the means of crossing over the death.

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1 cf. venkatanāhta’s NYĀYA-SIDDHANJANA. Jīvapariccheda p.162 (mem.ed) where upāsana of sambhūti means meditation on the path of the Arcis etc.

 

            Here also (the view) that the root ‘to cross’ means ‘to attain’ is to be refuted as previously (v.11)

 

ANYADEVĀHU SAMBHVĀD

ANYADĀHUR ASAMBHAVĀT

ITI SUŚRUMA DHīRĀNĀM

YE NAS TAD VICACAKSIRE

 

THE FRUIT TO BE KEPT IN MIND IN MEDITATION IS DIFFERENT VERILY FORM SAMBHAVA, THEY SAY: (THE FRUIT TO BEKEPT IN MIND IN MEDITATION IS) DIFFERENT FROM ASAMBHAVA, THEY SAY, THIS HAVE WE HEARD FROM THE SEERS WHO EXPLAINED THAT CLEARLY TO US.

 

Here the word ‘that’ (tad) indicates the two (fruit-steps) which will be declared presently as needing to he kept in mind conjointly.

 

SAMBHŪTIM CA VINĀSAM CA

YAS TAD VEDOBHAYAM SAHA

VINĀSENA MRTYUM TīRTVĀ

SAMBHŪTYA MRT AM ASNUTE

 

HE WHO KNWS BOTH SAMBHŪTI AND VINĀŚA TOGETHR. BY THE VINāŚA CROSSING OVER DEATH, BY THE SAMBHŪTI ATTAINS THE IMMORTAL…

 

Here also explaining that which has been said by the phrase ‘different form, (the teacher) now teaches the meditation on both vināśa and sambhūti, which are subsidiary to knowledge. He affirms the necessity of practicing them by revealing their fruits thus: by the vināśa.. attains the Immortal. By the vināśa which is meditated upon, destroying the obstacles (to Brahman-attainment), by sambhūti, which is meditated upon, one attain Brahman. The result of the main (knowledge) are stated here in respect of the subsidiary having the form of (conjoint) meditation of sambhūti and cināśa for the sake of praising (it). Or else, for the sake of avoiding any dissimilar interpretation of the passage “By vināśa for the sake of praising (it. Or else, for the sake of avoiding any dissimilar interpretation of the passage “By vināśa  crossing over death” which is similar to another passage already uttered (avidyayā mrtyum tirtvā) by the vināśa I intended the destruction of egoism and gaudiness and others, cruelty and theft and others, and the activities of the outwardly-turned organs (of knowledge). Therefore having got rid of the sins that are opposed to samādhi, through the observance of the subsidiary of the form of the disappearance of obstacles, one attain Brahman verily by Brahma-sambhūti, which is of the form of perfection of samādhi.

 

Here to take sambhūti and vināśa to mean original creation (srsti) and dissolution (pralaya), and then to ay that here there is distinction between the fruit of the form of crossing over death and the attainment of immortality does not seem in the least to the least to be appropriate.

 

IV. Now the following mantras which have to be repeated by one, who I practicing in this (prescribed) manner the Brahma-vidyā along with its subsidiaries until the realization of fruits, are taught. In these (mantras) for those who deem the Supreme Self as the meaning of all (names) the words Pūdsan and others culminate  in that (Self) through these respective gods or directly. For here, only if this be so, the fact that Yama. Sūrya and other words which self-evidently indicate one and the same thing, will be correct.

 

There, by the first of these mantras, he prays to Him, the Lord who is meant by the word Pūsan (nourisher), for the disappearance of the obstacles to samādhi mentioned already as vināśa (destruction) thus:

 

HIRANMAYENA PĀTRENA

SATYASYĀPIHITAM MUKHAM

TAT TVAM PŪSAN APĀVRNU

SATYADHRAMĀYA DRSTAYE

 

            THE FACE OF THE TRUTH IS COVERED WITH A GOLDEN VESSEL. THAT DO THOU PUSAN! REMOVE FOR THE SAKE OF PERCEIVING THE FUNCTION OF THE TRUE (JīVA).

 

            satya: Here by the word truth (satya) is, meant the individual soul. Since in the passages “(In creation the supreme self) became the soul (satya) and matter (anrtam) (and yet) continued to be itself (satya)” (Tait. Ānand.6)’ “Then its name I ‘true of the true’; “The souls are truth; amongst them This I truth” (ibid) that word ‘satya’ is used to denote the individual soul (jīva).

 

            Tasya mukham: its face by which is meant the manas which is like a face on account of it being the support of many sene-organs.

 

 am: Hidden by a golden vessel: by a vessel full of rajas(passion) which is similar to a golden one, on account of its being full of rāga (attachment and redness), which obstructs activities relating to the Supreme Self. The meaning of the word (hidden) is: (the mind) whose activities regarding the Supreme Self, resident in the heart are obstructed. The mention of rajas(passion also signifies tamas (darkness). By the word ‘hiranmāyā’ (golden) is denoted the group of enjoyable things (bhogyavarga) which are dependent on works.

 

            tat: that, the manas which is analogous to the face for the soul.

 

            Pūsan: O Noursisher! who have  the nature of nourishing those who hve taken refuge (in Thee):

 

            apāvrnu: Open: remove its covering.

 

            For what purpose? Satyadha māyā drstaye: for the sake of beholding Brahman, already mentioned, which is the function (dharma) of the individual soul, the satya (truth).1

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1Here dharma means two things; the first is the ethical ‘ought’ or the imperative duty of beholding Brahman; the second is the liberation of the dharma-bhūta-jāna, the functional consciousness of the individual which due to karma and desire etc, has undergone constriction and limitation and has been even shrouded. The second meaning affirms that beholding Brahman is the natural quality  of the individual’s consciousness. In this context however the first meaning seems to be appropriate.

 

XVI. Again exhibiting  the attributes of that which is to be  seen through the Vision, (he, the seeker) prays (to Him, the Lord) to grant him vividness of vision (drstāh gunam) thus:-

 

PŪSANNEKARSE YAMA SURYA PRAJAPATYA

VYŪHA RASMIN SAMUHA TEJAH

YAT TE RŪPAM KALYĀNAQTAMAM TAT TE PASYĀMI

YO’SĀVASOU PURUSAS SO HAM ASMI

 

            O NOURISHER; O SLE SEERI O CONTROLLERI PROMPTERI RULER O ALL BORN OF PRAJĀPATI! ANNUL THE (FIERCE) RAYS, GATHER UP (THY) LIGHT, THAT WICH IS THY MOST AUPICIOUS FORM THAT (FORM) OF THINE I BEHOLD. WHO THIS PERSON HE THIS I AM.

 

            Pūsan: O nourisher.

 

            Ekarse: One seer; the seer without a second, of that which is beyond (the range of) the sense.

 

            Yama: all-indwelling controller.

 

            Sūurya: who urgest fully (properly) the minds of the devotees.

 

            Prājāpatya: Thou who art the indwelling Ruler of all creatures born  out of Prajāpati (Brahmā). Or else the meaning of the suffix (ya) may be dropped in the word ‘Prājāpatya’. (Then) the meaning is: the ruler of all those who are born.

 

            Vyūha raśmin samūha rejah: Annul thy fierce ray which are not helpful in revealing thy true form. Gather up (thy) light of the form of rays.

            yat: which is well known in the passages “Of the hue of the Sun” (Purusa sūkta) and others.

 

            Kalyānatamam: of greater auspiciousness than all the auspicious things which is subhāśraya (auspicious enough to be the object of our meditation).1

 

            Te rūpam: Thy Divine Form.

 

            tat paśyāmi: That do I behold.

 

            Here the present tense, as in the succeeding passage (so’ham asmi) is merely the reiteration of the meditation at that particular moment. But if the context  of prayer is to be taken into account, here the potential sense is to be accepted “May I behold’ (paśyeyam) according to the rule of change in grammer (vyatyaya). Or else, this ‘I behold Him always’ is a statement befitting the nature of the unconditionally dependent soul (nirupādhika śesatva).

            Te: Thy, the repetition is indicative (of the fact) that this form belongs to Him only (that is special to Him alone).

           

            Now he (the teacher) speaks about the meditation on the Inner Self as the (aham) thus:

 

            Yah asau asau purusah so’ ham asmi: Who this Person he this I am1. The repetition (of asau: this) is to how great regard (for the Supreme Being). Or else after the manner of the passage,

 

“yo ‘sāvatīndriya-grāhyah sūksmo ‘vyaktassanātanah

Sarvābhūta-mayo’ cintyas sa esa svayam udbabhau.

                                                              (Manu Smrti 1.7)

            “Who this (Being) not graspable by sense, subtle Unmanifest Eternal. Being in the form of all creatures. Unthinkable. He this  shone out Himself”.

 

            The who ‘thises’ should be separated and related to Who (yah) and to the He (sah) (thus yo’sau purusah so’sau aham asmi)2. Or else (the two thises) are intended to indicate that He is proved by all sources of right knowledge, authoritative beyond the purview of the senses.

 

            Purusah: Person: Who ha qualities such as Fullness, Primeval Existence and others: Who possesses the form of the colour of the Sun (āditya): Who I well-known in the Purusasūkta, read in all the Vedas which is not devoted to (description of) any other (god).

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1 Cf. Mādhyandina  recension quoted in the Introduction which clearly shows the insight o Venkatanātha into the construction of the passage regarding yosāvasau.

2 Thi I precisely the arrangement in the Mādhyandina recension.

 

            Sah aham: (HE  I): Here the Word ‘I’ should apply through the individual soul to its indwelling self.

 

            asmi: am: consequently the word ‘am’ also would ultimately refer through  the individual soul to the Supreme Self, which has his self as it attribute pratyag rūpa-sva-viśsta.

 

            The rule ordained (in grammar) is only this much: “If there be a pronoun in the first person, the inflection of the verb must be in the first person” (Pānini I.iv.107); but not that (the inflection in) the first person will drop out if the asmad refers to the Supreme Self through the individual soul. In he same manner, in the passage “That thou art” and others, the word ‘asi’(art) should be explained. There too, this much alone is correlative sense or even when it I to be understood then the verbal inflection in the second person (follows) (Pānini I.iv.105), but not that (the inflection in) the second person will drop out if the yusmad refer through the individual before him to the Supreme Self (within him).

Csage the laudatory statements (upacāreu)1. “I am you’ and “You are myself” and other, the verbal inflections of the first and second persons are determined according to the subject of the sentence (luddeśya). Similarly even here this distinction is legitimate, because  those words (yusmd asmad) which refer only to the subject (of any sentence) are meant in the (Pānini) Sūtras as words going along with (the verbs) (upapada). The statement however made in the Śrī Bhāsya(I.i.1) when explaining “That thou art”, ‘Here (in this passage is not prescribed anything regarding anything’, intends the negation of any unknown thing (aprāptāmśanisedhābhiprāya): this is clear since this (passage) is shown to be a concluding (passage). And the ‘asmi’ (am) cuts down like the asi1 (art) sword) those who affirm that in the passage. ‘That Thou art’ and ‘He I am’, the oneness off the causal and effectual limitations, because the words yusmad and asmad are relinquished in respect of the hearer and the (self) meditator. There is none be taught nor is there any individual particularly meant by the asmi (I am).

 

            If it be said that at some places the second person and the first person occur on account of juxtaposition of such words alone as have significance regarding limitation which have to be given up, then, it is preferable to follow our own thesis, according to which the significance of the words I not abandoned.

 

            Those who affirm that the text means “that’ One Existence alone (sanmātra) which is a whole having two parts cannot explain properly the texts “That thou art” and “He I am” and others, (i) because in case (there) texts are taken to indicate the Pure Existence (sanmātra), to speak of ‘You’ and ‘I’ in the passages is impossible: (ii)because. If it be said that they indicate the Existence which is qualified by ‘You-ness’ and  ‘I-ness’, then the verbal inflection must be in the third person (and not in the second and the first persons as we find in the texts); (iii) because it is impossible for the perceivable (driśya) objects ‘You’ and ‘I’ (yusmad asmad artha) to have any connection with the form of īśvara who is a portion of Existence, as (it is impossible) for the pot and the saucer (to because there is no need to speak about ‘you’ and ‘I’ having the form of that Existence specially, they being always perceived (or known) as such: and there is no need to meditate on it either. Nor (v) will drsti vidhi (the command directing one to meditate upon a thing as if it is another)1 in respect of sciences of libearation, be accepted by the knower of the Vedānta2.

 

            Though the second and first persons could be justified by taking them in a secondary sense due to their dependence on that (king) as in the passages ‘You are a king’ ‘I am a king’ and other, yet it is set aside on account of there being available here the same way by  which  the  words  signifying  genus  and  quality

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1Cf. Mano Brahmeti upāita,  etc., Ch.Up.III.iv.

2Śrī Vedānta Deśika here proposes and refute alternative explanations; Firstly: does the passage in question indicate the Pure Existence?

 

            (ii) If not, does intimate in Existence as qualified by ‘You and ‘I’ portions?

(iii) Or does it mean the īśvara, who is a part of Pure Existence (as Yādavaprakāś holds) having the forms of ‘You’ and ‘I’

(iv) Or does it mean that ‘You’ and ‘I’ are having the attribute of Existence?

(v) Or does it merely instruct the meditation of a thing as if  it is another (drsti vidhi)

(indicate their substrate) (jāti-guna-śabdagati lābhāt) as in the case of Vedic and common usage of the words, god, man and others, which ultimately denote the conscient (self within them).

 

            If it be said that one might a well abandon the trouble of explaining this co-ordination (of one’s own self) with the other who is called (here) Purusa (in which case) this passage “Who this Person, He this I am” can mean  the meditation (by the individual) of his own purified self only: (We reply) not so,  because in the (passages) “That which applies to them (Tat tvam  asi and  Tvam vā aham asmi) it is appropriate to take this meditation to be of the same kind (as that).

 

            Even should this passage mean that type of meditation upon  one’s own self, which is subsidiary to the science of Supreme Brahman, such as “Having Brahman as my Self I am”, then even the word ‘sah’ (that) (which stands for Brahman) will have to be taken in a secondary sense (laksaniya) namely, dependence upon that, and others.

 

            XVII. Then the nature of the purified soul is being described:

VAYUR ANILAM AMRTAM

ATHEDAM BHASMANTAM ŚARĪRAM

OM KRATO SMARA KRTAM SMARA

KRATO SMARA KRTAM SMARA

 

            MOVING ABOUT, ABODELESS, IMMORTAL; NOW THIS BODY HAS ITS END IN ASHES. OM! O ACRIFICE! REMEMBER. REMEMBER THAT WHICH WAS DONE: O SACRIFICE! REMEMBER. REMEMBER THAT WHICH WAS DONE.

 

            Vāyuh: because of moving about from place to place (tatra tatra) according t it knowledge and works, (the soul) is vāyu.

 

            anilam:  (abodeless): because of having no permanent resting place and because of not residing at any one place (material body) permanently, it is anilam.

 

            amrtam: immortal: it is itself immortal though its series of bodies perish. This (amrtam) signifies1 absence of old age and others because of the passage “Free from old age, deathless, sorrowless..” in the Prajapati’s statement (Ch.Up.VIII.I.5). Here from a consideration of the passages “Air and sky, these are immortal (amrtam)” and others, no doubt need be entertained that the words ‘vāyu’ and the other mean the second element since the passage will not harmonize with the prior and consequent (context).

 

            Even though it may be appropriate to take these words as referring to the Supreme Being either through extended significance: (visista-vrttyā) or through etymological significance (yoga), yet it is better to say that these (words) refer to the individual soul which is different from the perishing body, since that is what is spoken of immediately after (this). In case  this ‘Vāsu’ is taken here to refer to prāna, breath, (its) value is very little.

 

            Those belonging to the Śvetāśvatra school refer to the soul which is meant by the word ‘the enjoyer’ when distinguishing between ‘The enjoyer, the enjoyable and the Impeller’ (Svet.Up, I.12) by the word ‘immortal’ in (the passage) “Mutable is Pradhāna, Immortal  and Immutable is the soul (Hara), the one God controls both the mutable and the immutable) soul” (Śvet.Up.I.10): and “Verily the mutable is avidyā, immortal is vidyā (soul). He who controls both avidyā and vidyā is other (than these two)” (Śvet.Up.V.i).

 

            In this manner having declared the immortality of the soul well-known from such passage as ‘He, the knower is neither born nor dies’. (Katha.Up.I.218) he (the teacher) now declares the inevitable mortality of the soul’s body (Ksetrajā śarira) thus: Athedam Bhasmāntam Śariram:

 

            atha: now1: The word ‘now’ is used here so as to introduce a topic  different form the previous. Or the word ‘atha’ means immediately after exit of the soul (from its body). Or it refers to all (souls) subject to karma. Thus is said in the  Smrti:

 

“The sands in Gangā (and) the streaks of rain when Indra rains can be counted, but it is impossible to count the number of Brahmās who hve gone before in the world”, and in the passage “When Brahma and others immerge….”1.

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1There are five meanings for the word ‘atha’ according to Amarasimha: mangalānantarārambhapraśnakārtsnyesu. (III.248). Here Venkatanātha interprets atha in three ways (i) ārambha (ii) anantara (iii) kārtsnya

 

            idam: this: this qualification ’idam’ (this) I used so as to exclude those (kinds of bodies) which are known from valid sources (pramāna), as the bodies of īśvara and as eternal.

 

            bhasmāntam: has its end in ashes. This suggests all way of disposal (samskāaramātra)2. Or else it also signified its end as worms (kitānta etc.,) which are well known at other places.

 

            śarīram: body. When we consider the etymological meaning of the word ‘śarīra’ its nature of being perishable is known.

 

            In this manner having said about the distinction between the conscient and the unconscient in the order (seen in he passage) “Having meditated upon the enjoyer, the enjoyable and the Impellor” (Śvet.Up.I.12), (then) he (the teacher) mentions the Impeller, the Supreme Person in this context, by the pranava OM; as those who belong to the Ātharvana School read “Whoever meditates on the Supreme Purusa with the same letter Om with three mātra..” (Praśna.Up.V.5). In Yoga system also it is said:

 

“That particular Person who is untouched

by sorrow, by actions and their fruits and

tendencies īśvara”.

 

“He is the teacher of all those who have

lived previously too, because there  is no

limitation by time (for Him)”.

 

“The word expressing Him is pranava…(Yoga Sūtras

I, 24-26).

   NOVEMBER, 2004  BETja, Śiva) says “ O learned ones! At all times recite thus OM and meditate on Keśava.” He has Himself sung “ Pronoucing repeatedly the Brahman of the form of this single letter OM and continuously remembering Me, (he who goes forth abandoning the body attains the highest status). (Bh. Gīta  VIII.13).

 

            Thus should one see at all places.

 

            Next making God (Bhagavantam), who is of the form of sacrifice and who is the Object of knowledge, sacrifice, turn towards him, he prays to Him for His Grace thus:

 

            Krato smara Krtan smara: Sacrifice, remembers; remember that which was done:

 

            Krato: O sacrifice: (O Lord) who are of the form of sacrifice. As He says “I (am) sacrifice (kratu). I(am) yaja” (Bh.Gītā.IX.16). Or else the word ‘sacrifice’ refers to meditation because of the context, as (in the passages):

 

“Whatever a person meditates on in this world,

he becomes the same after death” (Ch.Up.VIII.14 v.11).

“He should meditate”, (Ch.Up.IV ?).

“One who has meditated thus” (?)

 

            But the word (kratu) is (to be taken) through the secondary significance to mean God who is the object of it (meditation).

 

            smara: Remember. Make (us) the object of your mind that is full of grace. Just as (in the passage) “O keśava. The fact that you remember us with your mind which is full of love”. And   it is said by the Lord thus in the passage beginning with “When the mind is stady” “afterwards when he in dying and is like wood and  stone, I remember that devotee of mine and lead him to the highest destination” (Varāha Purāna).1 To say in respect of one who at all times directly perceives all, that there is remembrance, means only His looking back at what was done previously.

 

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1 Varāha Purāna: cf. Venkatanātha’s  Rahasya-śikha mani which is devoted to the exposition of the esoteric meaning of the above. This verse is not found in the extant purāna.

 

            Krtam smara: Remember that which was done: Here also the same meaning is intended. “What little  good thing had been done by me, being grateful do you protect me” this is the idea. Or  else “remembering all the favours that you have granted me so far please complete the remainder also yourself.”

 

            Thus they say in the Smrti “That person when being born”…1

 

            He himself says thus ‘To those who seek perpetual communion with me…,2 and so on.

 

            The repetition of Krato smara krtam smara  is due to the extreme urgency in respect of what has been said (prayed) so far.

 

            XVIII. And again he address the Divine, Agni by name, praying that He might lead (him) to his own desired goal, thus:

 

AGNE NAYA SUPATHĀ RĀYE ASMĀN

VISVĀNI DEVA VAYUNĀNI DIDVĀN

YUYODHY ASMAJ JUHURĀNAM ENO

BHŪYISTHĀM TE NAMA UKTIM VIDHEMA

 

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1 Mh.Bh.śānti 358.73. “That person whom when being born

Madhusūdana sees. He is to be known as good man (sātvika): he verily becomes an aspirer after liberation.”

2Bh.Gītā.X.10.

           

O AGNI! LEAD US BY THE AUSPICIOUS PATH TO WEALTH:

O GOD THOU WHO KNOWEST ALL KNOWLEDGE REMOVE

FROM US THE CROOKED SIN.

TO YOU WE SINCERELY (AND REPEATEDLY) UTTER THE

 WORD ‘NAMAH’

 

            Agne: O Agni! You who have fire as your body. (This is said in) the Antaryāmi Brāhmana “whose body is Agni” (Bh. Up  V.vii.4). Or else You who have the quality of leading us to the front and others, according to the rule “Jaimini sees no contradiction (if it refers) even directly (to the Lord)” (Vedānta sūtra I. Ii.29).

 

            naya: lead: make us walk.

 

            Supathā: By  the good path. In other words, by means that are free from any contact with anything prohibited (by scripture).

 

            rāye: to wealth, which is useful for protecting one’s body which exists for the sake of knowledge and for worshipping you and etc. Or else  what is intended here is the non-worldly wealth, which is described in these (passages) “Earn that permanent wealth that is incapable of being stolen by the hands of the thief, nor can become the possession of kings, and which is incapable of being divided by kinsmen”, and  “Infinite indeed  is my wealth….” (Mh.Bh.śānti.17.18) because that (meaning) is in conformity with the capacity (artha) and context (prakarana).

 

            The same mantra, qualified by contexts and others, speaks to such different meanings as are in accordance with them: thus say those who know the well established rules well.

            asmān: us: who have no other attitude of mind and who have no other means (than you).

 

            visśvāni deva vayunām vidvān : O God! You who know all knowledges.

 

            ‘Māyā vayunām jānam are synonyms’ say the lexicographers. Here therefore, while indicating ‘knowledge’ by the word ‘vayuna’ the different special means (upāya) (to that wealth) are intended.

            May you, who know as they are all means of realizing the four-fold ends of life (dharmārtha-kāma-moksa) according to the fitness of each individual, be pleased to lead us, who do not know them: this is the meaning.

 

            Juhurānam: That which bothers as because of its being a bond, or else, because of its having crookedness of an unimaginable sort.

 

            enah: The sin which is of the form of performance of actions which are prescribed (akrtya-karana) and of non performance of those (actions) which are prescribed (krtyaakarana) and others, and which obstructs the experiencing of You and etc.

 

            asmat: from us.

 

            Yuyodhi: remove, destroy is the meaning.

 

            Bhūyisthām te name-uktim vidhema: We, sincerely  and repeatedly utter the word, ‘namah’. The interchange (of inflexion) is well warranted by the rules (of grammar).

 

            Or else one prays to the Divine to help one to continue repeating the word ‘namah’. Verily even those who are liberated are mentioned in the Moksa dharma  as ‘those who always utter namah’.

 

            The intention of the word ‘ukti” is that even though this namasin not mental and physical, by the mere utterance of this word ‘namah’, He will be pleased to grant His Grace.

 

            Thus the Samhitā has concluded after having taught briefly about the Supreme Being, Its possession (vibhūtis), meditations on It, and their characteristics.1

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1 The reading of Śrī Kūrunārāyana swāmin here is different: evam paratattva tadvibhūtiyoga –tadupāsana – tatprpadana – tatprpadana – tatphala – viśesān….

 

 

ISĀVĀSYOPANISAD-BHĀSYA

 

CONCLUDING VERSES

 

            1. Venkateśa1, born of the clan of Viśvāmitra, friend of the Universe, wrote through the grace of Hayagrīva2, thus this commentary on the final portion of the Samhitā of the Vājasaneyins which is clear and yet obscure, for the enjoyment of the learned disciples.

 

            2. 3How is this anuvāka beginning with īśā not opposed to those in this world who hold, that there is identity between all enjoyers4”: that  bond souls are the Supreme5; that there is identity and difference6; (who accept) the philosophies of the jains and the buddhists7: that salvation is not something to be attained8 (since all are ever-free) and that fear of bondage is illusion?9

 

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1Sālinī metre

2 Vājivaktraprasādāt: through the grace of the Horse-head Being Hayagrīva. Haya-vādana, the patron God of Venkatanātha. The play here on the words suggests that since the Lord of  the form of Hayagrīva alone gave the Vājasaneya Samhitā, the teaching herein embodied also has the sanction of its original author.

3Sikharinī metre.

4Abhedam-bhoktrīnām:

5 athacabhavinām eva paratām:

6 tātha bhedābhedam:

7 jinasugatanītim:

8asampadyām muktim:

9 bhava-bhayam alīkam:

 

COLOPHON

 

            Thus the īśāvāsyopanisad bhāsya concludes, amongst the works of Śrī Venkatanāhta, the teacher of Vedānta, supreme master of all sciences and lion among poets and logicians.

 

HALL TO ŚRī VENKATESA, THE LION AMONG POETS

AND LOGICIANS, ABOUNDING IN AUSPICIOUS

QUALITIES, THE TEACHER OF THE VEDĀNTA