Kaivalya Upanisahd, Class 12


Greetings All,

Shloka’s 22 & 23:
Continuing his teaching on Kaivalya Upanishad,  Swamiji says, from shloka’s 15-22, the teacher is revealing the nature of Brahman via a subtle method called Adhyaroopa Apavada Gyanam. This method is an important method in Vedanta. Example of this method is given below:

A man has a pot in hand. I want to reveal the clay, the essence of the pot, to him. In his vision, he has a pot, although he really holds the essence, the clay. I teach this to him in four stages.

  1. Presenting the pot as a product or Karyam or as an effect. If pot is the product or effect, what is the cause (Karanam) of it? Let us keep in mind that Karyam and Karanam are related.
  2. The cause of the pot is clay. It is also called the material cause.  The above two together are called Adhyaroopa stage.
  3. If you understand the clay is the material cause, then you realize that, in fact, there is nothing called pot other than clay. All properties belong to clay such as visibility, substantiality etc.  There is no substance called pot. I thus negate Pot as a substance.  Now, Pot is reduced to a mere word that does not have substance. Here,
    only clay has substance.
  4. Once you negate the pot, there is only clay as substance. There is no Karya Karanam sambhandam in the same or one substance. Once the Karyam is negated, the clay loses its status as Karanatvam. Once Pot is negated, status of clay is also negated. What is left behind is Karya Karana Vilakshanam.

It was Clay before, in between also it was Clay and then, later too, it was Clay. In between we introduced a word and called it “Pot”. This is the tyranny of word.

Third and fourth stages together are called Apavada stage. Once you go through the two stages we come to the Karya Karana Vilakshana (Vilakshanam means act of distinguishing).

How to apply this Adhyaroopa Apavada principle to the big pot called Samsara?

  1. The world is a product. It is created.
  2. What causes it? Brahman is the cause or Karanam or Srishti prakriya or Adhya Roopa Prakriya.
  3. If Brahman is Karanam and the World is Karyam, then there is no Karyam world. Or we can say there is no substance called World other than Karana Brahman. Whatever we experience as this world is Brahman. There is no world other than Brahman.
  4. Once world is negated, how can Brahman be called it’s cause? So,Brahman is not Karanatvam, its Karanam Status has been negated. What is left is Karya Karanam Vilakshanam.

Shankaracharya says do not look for a Brahman. It is the “I” myself. This Brahman is neither Karyam nor Karanam.  With this shloka the teaching is over.

Shloka # 23 & 24:
This shloka describes the benefits of this knowledge.  By the application of the Adhya roopa method one has to know the nature of Paramatma, the one who resides in the mind of everyone. He is not in a thought. He is, in fact, present as a witness or awareness of thought’s very existence.

How many consciousness’s are there? Minds are many but consciousness is only one. Pots are many but space is one. Since it is division less, it is non-dual. It is a witness of everything including inside and outside the mind. Or, it is the internal and external world’s witness. It is beyond Karyam (Asat) and Karanam (Sat). It is Shudham, free from all impurities. This Paramatma roopam one should come to know as myself.

With this knowledge one becomes one with Paramatma.  Swamiji says do not imagine there is a separate Parmatma with whom you merge into. It was always one Jivatma and Paramatma. This was only a psychological division in mind. Knowledge brings about a change in mind. Previously, I thought, I was away from Paramatma; Now, I know I
am Paramatma. It is an intellectual transformation. All these are in intellect only. There is no external change that occurs. There is no physical change that happens. It is my attitude, towards the world, and me that changes and this is called Moksha.

Chapter 2 Shloka 1:
With the previous Shloka Kaivalyam is over. However, Swamiji says, suppose there are students who don’t grasp this knowledge. It is too abstract to accept. Negation of universe is the most difficult part of Vedanta. The solidity of the universe is difficult to negate. The more you negate it, the more it reinforces.

The reason for this is an Obstacle(s) in mind of the student. When Gyana Kanda does not work one has to go back to Karma Kanda (religious life). Religious life includes built in prayaschitam such as Pancha Maha Yagnaha. Pancha Maha Yagnaha can include:

  1. Puja
  2. Social Service
  3. Brahma Yagya
  4. Pitra Yagya.

In this Upanishad Brahma Yagya is presented as a solution to such mental obstacles. Brahma Yagya means Veda Adhyayanam or recitation of scriptures in any language.

This Upanishad specifically recommends Rudra Parayanam (from Yajur Veda), although Kaivalya itself is from Atharvana Veda. Rudra is presented as a universal power. Rudram is also considered one of the best Prayaschithams. With recitation of Rudram following papams will go away:

  1.  Disrespect to sacrificial fire.
  2.  Alchohol consumption related.
  3. Brahma Hatya. It may have occurred in some previous life.
  4. Krityam: Not doing what is to be done or Acts of omission.
  5. And Akrityam: Doing what should not be done. Acts of commission.

By Rudra Parayanam all above papams go away and the Lord Shiva of Kashi protects one. Therefore,Vedantic students should perform Rudra Parayanam. If a man is a Sanyasi, he has to perform Rudram as well.  A Sanyasi is allowed to perform only certain rituals. Rudram is one of them.

Chapter 2, Shloka 2:

What will Rudra Parayanam do?  By this karma Yoga, one attains Gyanam. In due course he will get Chittha Shuddhi and will be eligible for Kaivalya Upanishad knowledge.  He will have to listen to this knowledge and the knowledge will take hold.

Thus, this samsara destroying knowledge is obtained. Thereafter, having known Brahman as per Kaivalyam Upanishad, he gets the infinite Moksha. The word kaivalyam comes from this shloka.

With Best Wishes,
Ram Ramaswamy