Taitreya Upanishad, Class 29


Greetings All,

Chapter 2, Anuvaka 3, shloka 2:

Of that former annamaya, this pranamaya is the atman. Different from this pranamaya-self made up of pranas, there is another self constituted of the mind. With that self, made of mind, the pranamaya is full. This is also of the form of man. Its human form is according to that of the former. Of it, Yajus is the head, Rk is right side, Saman is the left side, the scriptural injunction (adesa) is the trunk and the group of hymns of Atharva –Vada is the tail and support. There is the following Vaidika verse about it.

We are in anuvakaha # 3 of Brahmanadavalli. The Upanishad has entered Pancha Kosha Viveka.  This viveka is supposed to sensitize the mind. Mind has to become very sensitive. Citing an example: An axe is used to cut a tree; a blade is used to shave your face; the blade is subtler than the axe. A laser is used in eye surgery; it is an even more sensitive instrument. Thus sensitivity of instrument depends on subtlety of operation. Here, for understanding the atma, something inconceivable, the mind has to be very subtle. The subtlety of mind has to develop gradually. Thus, we started from annamaya and went to pranamaya; or from anatomy to physiology. Physiology is not tangible. Thus, functioning of eye can only be detected by testing it and not by a direct check. Pranamaya is thus subtler than annamaya.

Upanishad has made Pranamaya the Atma now. So we have to dwell on Prana. A Rig mantra was used to tell us this. Every physical body is a bead and through every body the life principle passes through. It is that which makes us alive and is called Sutra upasanam. If one practices this upsana two benefit accrue.

Sakama Upsana: One gets a long life.

Nishkama Upasana: One gets Chitta shudhi, Chitta Ekagrata, Chitta Vishalata. The mind becomes sensitive enough to go to next layer called manomaya.

In shloka # 2 we are also now entering manomaya. Really speaking Pranamaya is not atma. The atma is actually monomaya. Where is manomaya located? It is within pranamaya. With this pranamaya becomes anatma or a kosha. Every thing including anatma is born out of atma. Pranamaya is Karyam or it has nama and roopa. Thus, it is not a substantial entity. It only has a borrowed existence. It is Mithya. As such, it is as good as non-existent. This understanding in us is known as Pravilapanam or dissolution. Mithya is dissolved in satyam. Pranamaya is dissolved in manomaya.

Another important point to note in this meditation is that we are practicing annamaya and samashti annam aikyam. Then we practice pranamya and samashti prana aikyam. It shows Vyashti and Samashti aikyam at every level. The resolution of microcosmic also results in resolution of the macrocosmic.

Now, we are at manomaya. This manomaya (the content) fills pranamya kosha (the container). What is shape of manomaya? Manas does not have a shape of its own. It is like water. It assumes the shape of container. It takes shape of pranamaya. Now, pranamaya also has no shape of its own. So annamaya lends shape to pranamaya. Pranamaya in turn lends shape to manomaya. Thus, manomaya atma has manushya akara. It is a borrowed akara.

Once this is accepted, Manomaya has five factors. Atma is the head as Yajur Veda mantra. Rig Veda mantra is right hand side or south side. Sama Mantra is left hand side. Scriptural injunctions also known as adesha or Vidhi vakya, is the trunk. Atharvana Veda mantra is the tail and thus the support.

Shankaracharya says, Atharvana Veda is meant for health wealth etc. They provide Iha Loka Phalam. Whatever your goal is in life, one has to take care of health. Money, health, mental health’s are all important. Before going for adrishta phalam one has to obtain drishta phalam.

Shankaracharya now discusses a specific problem in this shloka. In annamaya its five factors are an intrinsic part of annamaya. In Pranamaya the five factors are also part of pranamaya. However in Manomaya the five factors are Vedas that are external to manomaya. How have outside factors become part of manomaya atma?

Answering his own question, shankaracharya says, Vedas are wisdom in form of thought or manovrithi. Rig mantra is Rig manovrithi. In Vedas, thought is converted to sound and then re-communicated as a thought. Every mantra is Vrithi; it is converted to sound and then thought. Thus Yajur, Rig, Sama are all Vrithi’s (thoughts). Therefore Rig mantra is on right side and Sama on left etc. Vrithis are a part of manomaya atma.

Last line of this shloka says with respect to manomaya atma there is a Rig mantra.

Chapter 2, Anuvakaha # 4, Shloka # 1: Rig mantra.

Whence all speech turns back with the mind without reaching It (The eternal truth or Brahman). He who knows  the bliss of eternal truth, the Brahman, fears not at any time. This mind is the embodied soul of the pranamaya. Of this pranamaya the manomaya is the Self.

Now we are entering anuvakaha # 4, shloka # 1, a Rig mantra. The mantra starts at Yato and ends at Kadachaneti.

Here the upasana is a Vyashti samashti Upsana. The goal is Vyashti samashti aikyam.

Hiranyagarbha (brahman) is total manomaya. This is glorification of Hiranyagarbha. He being Samashti or the total, individual mind cannot conceive of it. Hiranyagarbha is inconceivable to the mind. Vyashti cannot measure Samashti. Hiranyagarbha is embodiment of highest ananda (brahmanada). This ananda is meditated upon. Samashti hiranyagarbha in Vyashti Manomaya is meditated upon.

The benefits of Manomaya meditation are:

  1. Sakama: The person will not have any fear at all. Hiranyagarbha gives him highest security in relative terms as possible.
  2. Nishkama karma: Gives Chitta shuddhi, Chitta Ekagrata and Chitta Vishalata. Mind becomes sensitive enough to go to the next step.

This manomaya atma is called sharira atma. Annamaya and pranamaya are respectively shariram or the Deha while manomaya is the Dehi.

Chapter 2, Anuvakaha # 4, Shloka # 2:

Different from that made up of mind (manas) is another inner soul made up of intelligence (Vignana) and by that this (manomaya-self) is filled. It also has the shape of man. According to the human shape of the previous, is the human shape of this one. Faith (sraddha) is its head, righteousness (Rtam) its right side, Truth (satyam) its left side, Yoga is the trunk and total intellect (mahah) is the tail and support. There is this following Vaidika verse about it.

Here Upanishad is taking us to the next step or layer. Manomaya is not really the atma. The Atma is Vignanamaya atma. Where is this atma located? It is located within manomaya. Thus, now, manomaya has become an anatma.

Manomaya becomes a Karyam. Anatma is always a product. Whatever is a product is only a nama and roopa. Thus, Karyam is only a nama and roopa. Therefore, anatma is called mithya as it depends on something else. Anatma has only a borrowed existence; it does not have its own existence. As such it is as good as non-existence. Therefore, manomaya does not exist.  This is known as Pravilapanam or the intellectual denial of the existence of manomaya. Manomaya atma is swallowed. Vyashti and Samashti are both resolved in the process.

Vignanamaya also has Manushya akara. It is a borrowed akara from manomaya. Thus Vignanamaya is in a manushya container.

The five factors of Vignanamaya or knowledge are now defined. Knowledge is required for karma.  Manas stands for doubts. Thus, the more subtle knowledge destroys doubts.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy