Prasna Upanishads, Class 17


Greetings All,

Swamiji continued his talks on Prasna Upanishad.

Fourth Question
Mantra 7:
The teacher Pippilada is answering the questions of student number four, Sauryayana. He has asked five questions of which the fifth question is being answered now.

Q: Where does everything remain supported? What are the sub strata of everything?

Answer: The mukhya atma or Turiyam supports everything.

In Turiyam alone everything exists. Everything comes out of Turiyam and then goes back into it. Just like the birds that come out at sunrise and go back to rest, in the tree residence, at sunset. The Tree is Turiyam and the birds represent the creation.

Shloka: 8:
Now the teacher refers to all Bhuthani and then to Triputi. Triputi, the threefold, is used for knower-known-act of knowing, seer-seen-act of seeing etc.

The Pancha Bhutas, the Pancha Karana Bhuthas, the Pancha Sthula Bhuthas and the Pancha Sukshma Bhutha’s all rest in Turiyam.

The Pancha Bhuthas as: Prithvi and its subtle matter, Prithvi matra, Apas and Apas matra, Tejas and Tejas matra, Vayu and Vayu matra and Akasha and Akasha matra, all rest in Turiyam.

Sight and the object of sight drastavyam, Ear and object of hearing Srotavyam, Smell and the object of smelling Ghratavyam, Taste and object of taste Rasyitavyam, Touch and object of touch Sparasyithavyam, Speech and object of speech Vaktavyam, The two hands and object of taking Adatvayam, Organ of generation and its object
Anandayithavyam, Organ of excretion and its object Visarjayithavyam, The two feet and their object Gantavyam, the mind and its object Mantavyam, Buddhi, the intellect and its object Boddhavyam, Ahamkara the ego and its object Ahamkartavyam, Chittam (memory) and its object Chethayitavyam, Tejas, the light and its object Vidyotayitavyam, Prana (energy)  and its object Vidharayitavyam (what can be held up), all these rest in the Atman as well.

All the pairs indicate instrument and object relationship.

Shloka # 9:

Now the Bhoktha is discussed. The Jiva is the Bhoktha. The experiencer is being defined.

Who is Jiva? The Jiva is Purusha or Jivatma.  Purushha is referenced in Upanishads as Paramatma as well. It has to be interpreted in context of the use of the word. Here it is Jivatma that resolves into Paramatma. The Self, identifying with the body as the Drsahta (Seer), Sprashta (toucher), Srotha (hearer), Grhatha (smeller), and Rasayitha (Taster) is the Jivatma. The Chidabasha is the one indicated by the “I”. I is referring to a conscious being.  The “I” references to myself as a limited conscious being. Therefore Jiva is an all-pervading consciousness. It is the primary I, Ahamkara. It identifies with each attribute (I am fat, I am old, I am young etc.) through Chiddabasha. This Chiddabasha identifies with  each instrument. Thus we have seer, hearer etc., including for mind and budhi. This is
called Vignatma. They all come together and get resolved.

The Triputi, (Bhoktha, Bhojanam and Bhojyam) all three come together in dream and are resolved. This Jivatma also rests on paramatma, here called Aksharam.

Aksharam means imperishable one.  This word comes from Mundako Upanishad. Now with shlokas 7, 8 and 9 question # 5 has been answered. The Triputi are all resolved in Paramatma.  The adhishtana of Triputi cannot be known. So long as you are the Knower, you cannot know the Brahman. The moment you try to know, you become the knower. So, Brahman cannot be known.  This is the object of this knowledge. This is Brahma Gyanam.

Shloka # 10:

This is a Phala Shruthi.

The one who knows this knowledge will become Brahman. Own up That I am Brahman. O student, the One who knows Brahman as himself and not as an object to be known; he attains Aksharam or Parambrahman.  Sometimes Aksharam also refers to Omkara.

What type of Aksharam is it?

That which is free from Maya or Agyana Karana Shariram or Karana Shariram at Vyashthi level is Turiyam. The Turiyam is beyond Karanam and Kariyam. Chaya is used to describe Maya. Chaya is shadow.

You cannot say Shadow is non-existing. You also cannot say it is existing. On enquiry the shadow shows up as Asat. Hence it is called Anirvachaniyam.  Like Chaya, Swapna, Raju and Maya are all also called Anirvachaniyam.

Description of Aksharam:

Aksharam means free from Sukhsma Shariram or indestructible.
Alohitham means free from all colors.
Sthula Sharira rahitham.
Subhram, meaning pure.

This Pratyatma is Paramatma. Qualified Atma is Jivatma. Qualifiers are the Sharirams. When the three Shariram’s are removed,  I am Paramatma.To become Paramatma “I” must be without qualifications. “I” must remove the three Sharirams. How can I do this? Removal of qualification is understanding that the qualifications are Mithya. You
do not have to remove them physically. Just like a shadow is without substance, so even now “I” am the unqualified Atman. Even when “I” am experiencing the limitations, I am still the unqualified “I” or Paramatma. He, who becomes the knower of all, then becomes everything or one with everything.

Brahman is everything. I am Brahman. Therefore, I am everything. This is the Phala Shruthi.

Now being a part of Brahmana scripture, Prasna quotes some supporting shlokas.

Shloka # 11:

From mantra portion of Brahmanas:

The person who knows Aksharam, he enters everything as all pervading, as Brahman. As Aksharam, he is all pervading.

What type of Aksharam?

An Aksharam, in which, everything is resolved. Jivatma along with all organs (gyanaindriyas, karmaindriyas, pancha pranas, pancha bhuthani, gross and subtle, are all supported by the all-pervading paramatma. Disowning the limitation is the only way to enter this state. Thus, the Phala Shruthi is also over. The Phalam has been described. Now the student, Sauryayana, goes back to his seat.

With best wishes,
Ram Ramaswamy