Swamiji continued his talks on Prasna Upanishad.
Second Question, Shloka # 7:
Swamiji says all mantras from #5 to # 13 are all Prana Devata Sruthi or praise. Glorification is done at both Subjective (Adhyathmika) level as well as Objective ( Adhi Daivika) level. Prana is the Shakthi animating the ten gyanendriyas such as Shravnam, Darshanam etc at the Adhyathmika level. At the Adhi-Daivika level all these Shakthis are manifestations of Prana. Prana as Hiranyagarbha is manifesting as Prithvi, Varuna, Surya etc. At both micro and macro cosmic levels it is the one Prana Shakthi appearing as many.
Shloka # 11: “O Prana, you are Vratyaha and the Eka Rishi fire as well. You are the eater of everything as the Eka Rishi fire. You are the One who goes to the Antahriksha (space). As the Mathrikshva, you are the father of Vayu.”
Explaining this glorification Swamiji says:
Vratyaha: Here a Ninda Shruthi is used. A Ninda Shruthi is one that criticizes. Vratyaha is a Brahmin or Dvijaha who has not gone through the Samskaras. All Dvijahas go through an Upanayanam ceremony at which point their second phase of life begins. Up to Upanayanam ones life is led as per his own raga and dvesha. After Upanayanam all his activities must be according to Shastras or as per three Vedas. The age for Upanayam for Brahmin is 5; Kshatriya is 11 and for Vaishya is 12.
A person born as a Dvigaha but has not had Upanyanam at appropriate age is called a Vratyaha or unpurified one. It is a term used only from a spiritual point of view. Here, however, Prana is praised as a Vratyaha in a ninda sruthi. As per Shankacharya, Prana is part of Sukshma Shariram and Samashthi Prana is considered Hiranyagarbha. Hiranyagarbha is considered a Vratyaha as he was the first person born in the cosmos and did not have anybody to perform his Samskara.
Samskara is necessary only for the impure. Hirayagarbha being ever pure, no purification rite is necessary.
Eka Rishihi: Eka Rishi is the fire used by Atharvana Vedis. For each ritual, shastras prescribe a specific fire. Thus, a grihasta is required to maintain a fire called Garbhapatya agni daily. There are different methods of kindling fire prescribed by shastras. There are also different forms of Homa Kunda (shapes) prescribed. Each fire has a
name, as well, based upon the ritual and type of homa kunda used. Eka Rishihi is also a manifestation of Prana. Eka Rishihi belongs to the Athravana Veda as also Prasna Upanishad.
Attha: You are the eater of everything as the Eka Rishi fire.
Aadhyam: The offering or oblation. All Devatas are offering to Hiranyagarbha. At individual level also we are offering oblations by touch, sight, hearing etc to Prana Devata.
Matrikshva: One who goes to the antahriksha (space) or Vayu or Prana. As the mathrikshva you are the father of Vayu.
Shloka # 12: Prana Shakthi is present in every Indriya. Thus, it is present as the power of speech, power of hearing, power of sight and power of thinking. As death arrives Prana starts to leave and indriyas become weak. Indriyas now ask Lord Prana to become peaceful and not leave.
- Shloka # 13:This is upasamhara or conclusion of the chapter on Prana Sruthi. Indriyas now ask Prana “May you protect us like a mother protects a child. May you bless us with the wisdom that we do not repeat this mistake again.”
All these things in front of you are under the control of Prana. Whatever is there in other worlds is also under control of Prana.
This concludes the Prana Shruthi.
Swamiji summarized the three questions and their respective answers:
1. What are the powers of the individual? All 19 indriyas and the panca (5) pranas are the powers of the individual.
2. Who glorify themselves? All 19 indriyas glorify themselves.
3. Who is most powerful? Prana alone is most powerful of all.
4. How to prove superiority of Prana? All 19 organs function due to Prana. At time of death, as Prana leaves, all organs also start failing.
With best wishes,