Chapter # 1, Anuvakaha # 5, Shloka # 6:
These above mentioned four are themselves fourfold and the four Vyahrtis are each four in number. He, who knows these, knows Brahman. All the devas carry offering unto Him.
Continuing his teaching of the Upanishad, Swami Paramarthananda said, we are completing anuvakaha # 5 dealing with Vyahrati Upasana, the second upsana. The first upasana was Samshito upsana. In Vyahrthi upasana four objects were invoked one on each of the four Vyahrthi’s and an upasana was performed on each of them. This process was performed four times, each time with varying four objects. Thus, all together, they became a composite upsana at four levels.
Shankaracharya says objects of meditation should always be in proper sequence. First is Rg (Bhu), second is Sama (Bhuvaha) and the Third is Yajur ( Suvaha). This sequence should not be changed. Objects should also not be interchanged.
Now the phalam is discussed.
Suppose one practices these four Vyahrithi upsanas as mentioned in Upanishads, one is actually practicing Hiranyagarbha Upasana. In the shloka, Veda means upasana. Brahman, in shloka, means Hiranyagarbha. In previous shloka Brahman meant Omkara. Such an Upasaka will become one with Hiranyagarbha through this upasana.
What is Hiranyagarbha? It is samashti chaitanyam. It is reflected consciousness reflected in sukshma sharira. Therefore, Hiranya garbha =Total mind (all minds) +Total Prana.
Now shankaracharya raises a question. If a person is practicing Vyahrati Upasana, why does he obtain Hiranyagarbha as Phalam? He is, after all, not performing Upasana on Hiranyagarbha? When one performs saraswathi upsana one gets knowledge. When one performs Lakskmi upasana one obtains wealth. But, here, why is it different? Swamiji says, it is a question of interpretation. Shankacharya answers his own question and says when Vyahrati upasana is performed with Hiranyagarbha upasana one obtains Hiranyagarbha as phalam. The next anuvaka, number 6, in fact starts off with Hiranyagarbha upasana.
One obtains this Hiranyagarbha phalam only after death. The advantage of Hiranyagarbha phalam is that he obtains infinite power of the Totality. Therefore, all devatas worship him as well.
How do you say all devatas worship hiranyagarbha? Surya represents chakshu or total eye power. Dig devata (god of space) represents total hearing power. Thus, each devata represents the total power of each sense organ. Hiranyagarbha represents total power of all indriyas, pancha pranas and manaha. So, he is total power. Therefore, all devatas worship him.
What benefit accrues to an upasaka? The upasaka becomes one with Hirnayagarbha after death. He will be worshipped by all devatas. This phalam is obtained only through a sakama upasana. If one is not interested in Hiranyagarbha phalam, can one practice this upasana as a nishkama karma? Yes. This upasana then provides chitta shudhi and chitta vishalata (expansion of mind). What is benefit of chitta shuddhi and chitta vishalata? It gives the seeker nirguna brahma aikyam.
Chapter # 1, Anuvakaha # 6, Shloka # 1:
Here in this space within the heart resides the intelligent, imperishable, effulgent “Purusa” or “Entity”. Between the palates, that which hangs like a nipple (the uvula), that is the birthplace of Indira, where the root of hair is made to part, opening the skull in the center.
Starting anuvaka # 6, swamiji said, in this shloka he is invoking hiranyagarbha or total sukshma shariram (total knowledge). The meaning of the word Hiranya is gold but here it means knowledge. Why compare gold with knowledge? The reason is both of them shine. Thus knowledge removes darkness of ignorance; hence it is compared to gold, like shining knowledge. The word garbha means inside or within. The one within who is of infinite knowledge is called Hiranyagarbha. He is to be meditated upon.
Since it is difficult to conceive of Hiranyagarbha in our minds, due to its huge size and its invisibility as a subtle body, how do we conceive it? Here, we use a symbol or an alambanam to conceive it. Thus, a flag stands for a country. So, too, the symbol for Hiranyagarbha is my own individual mind. Vyashti manas is the alambanam for Total mind. Often one thinks of God as someone outside of us. It is our orientation. So long as we think of him as outside of us, Vedanta vichara becomes difficult. After all, in Vedanta, God is conceived as within me or as Me. In Karma kanda, however, the thinking is different. There, I am a Dasa while You are Swami. I am small and useless. Vedanta however teaches that I am the purest of pure Brahman. How do we reconcile this huge gap in understanding? In this shloka this understanding is reconciled by invoking God in your self. May my Dvaita budhi vanish gradually. May my Bheda Budhi (god and I are separate) also vanish gradually. This process is known as Aham Graha upsasana. Here God is invoked in myself. Lalita sahasranamam and Sandhya vandanam both include Aham graha upasana. Here one starts to think first as an imagination (aham graha) then converts it to a fact, aikya gyanam.
Where is this individual mind located? Shastras talk of a mind, which is different from brain. Science only recognizes the brain. It does not recognize a mind as in Vedanta. Mind is subtle while brain is physical. Brain is burned after death. The Mind, however, continues after death and travels in search of another body.
Every subtle instrument, indriyam, has a physical location called Golakam. One can see the golakam but not the indriyas. Thus, ears are the golakam while hearing ability itself is the indriyam. Scriptures say mind is in the Hridayam or heart. Which heart? It is the physical heart that resides in the left side of the body. In this physical heart resides antahakaranam where the mind resides. In jagrita avastha the mind functions all over the body. In sushupti avastha it withdraws into hridayam alone. In hridayam there is an inner space. The space is as big as the thumb. The heart is as big as the size of a fist. The fist covers the thumb like space. In this thumb like space is the individual mind. In this mind one invokes Hiranyagarbha. What type of Hiranyagarbha is invoked? One who has many virtues. The virtues are:
- Mano mayaha. The Total mind pervades the individual mind as well.
- Amrita: immortal one. This immortality is relative only. It just indicates that Hiranyagarbha has a very long life. Brahma’s life is supposed to be 2000 chatur yogas. Hiranyagarbha’s life is shorter than that.
- Hiranyamaha: He is everywhere.
Such a hiranyagarbha should be invoked during meditation. Now, the phala sruthi starts. If I meditate upon him, what happens? The Hiranyagarbha upsaka, after death, will go to Brahma loka. Who actually goes to Brahma loka? It is not the sthula sharira, as it is burned after death. Atma cannot go, as it is everywhere, as such it cannot travel. So, only sukshma shariram travels via Shukla gathi. Shukla gathi is known as the well-lit path. Shukla gathi starts at Hridayam. Sukshma shariram is withdrawn at death into hridayam. Several nadi’s go out of Hridayam. Nadi’s are subtle paths. Sushumna Nadi originates from Hridayam and travels through the middle to the throat and then to head and then to the top of the skull (uchi). The brahma-randram is the opening on top of the skull. The sukshma shariram passes through Brahma randram through solar disc via shukla gati and reaches the Brahma Loka. This path is also called Indriya Yoni or Brahmaji’s marga leading to Brahma Loka.
Some word meanings: Taluka means inner throat; Sthana means nipple; Keshanta means roots of hair are parted.
When a Sanyasi dies we do not know if he was a gyani or not. Sanyasi has two goals. If he gets gyanam he a slo gets moksha as such there is no travel. Even without gyanam he will still go to Brahma loka. This is the reason some people, just before death, tend to take sanyasa and it is called Apat sanyasa.
How about a Grihasta? He too will go to Brahma Loka if he practices this upasana.
With Best Wishes,