Prasna Upanishad, Class 7
Important points made by first section:
Shristi is the first point: Life and death are not opposite but complementary pair of nature; similar is growth and decay. We must accept the pair. Shrusti as a form of mithunam. Five shristies mentioned in the first section are:
- Mithuna shristy
- Loka shrishty
- Kala shristy
- Anna Shristy
Second point is Chukla Krishna Gathi topic was discussed after shristi as a diversion.
Third point is discipline of brahmanacharyim
Para vidhya and apara vidhya are from Mundaka Upanishad. Apra Vidhya or preparatory knowledge consists of karma and upasana. First chapter of Mundaka Upanishad elaborately discussed karma (e.g. agni hothram) but upasana (mental activity for saguana brahman) was not discussed in detail. Physical activities like pooja are not upasana. Vedanta is mental activity for nirguna brahman.
Second section: Hiranyagarbha (prana) sthuthi. Prior to upsana, the upsana deity should be glorified.
Hiranyagarbha is consciousness with the total (all) subtle body. This total subtle body is available as individual subtle body for everyone. Of the 17 organs of sukshma sareeram, prana is the most important one. Prana keeps body alive. Also during sleep, all sense organs come to a standstill except prana.
Third Section: Hiranyagarbha (prana) upasana is samashti prana, because Hiranyagarba blesses everyone as prana.
Question: What are the devadas that sustain the people (sareeram)? Devadas are various factors or principles behind every inert object. This consciousness principle is called Devada. Sun is not just an object, but when we consider that sun is pervaded by Eeswara, we call it Surya Deva. Each principle is called deva for this reason. So the first question is how many devas are sustaining the sareeram. Second question what principles (devas) are publicizing their own glories. Third Question is among these devas who is the greatest devada?
First principle sustaining the sareeram is 19 devas. because it provides a place to live. The 24 devas are:
- Panca Botham (akasa – space, vayu – air, agni – fire, apaha – water and prithvi – earth)
- Panca indriyam (hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell)
- Panca karmandhra (Vak – express, upasatha – procreate, payu – excrete, Pani – grasp and Pada – move
All 19 devas except prana claim they are the most important.
The rest of the section is answer to third question.