Taitreya Upanishad, Class 31


Greetings All,

Ch 2, Anuvakhaha  5, Shloka # 2:

Of that, of the former, this one is verily is the embodied self. Different from this self made up of intellect (vignanamaya) is another self within., formed of bliss (anandamaya). By this, that is filled (by anandamaya the vignanamaya is full). It also  has the shape of man. According to the human form  of  that, is the human form of this. Of it, joy (priya) is the right side, rejoicing (moda) is the left side, and bliss (pramoda) is the trunk. Brahman is the tail support. There is this vaidika verse about it.

Swamiji said we are in the middle of anuvakaha # 5 of Brahmanandavalli. We have gone from vignanamaya to anandamaya. Vignanamaya has now become a kosha. The moment you understand it is a kosha or anatma it means anatma is born out of atma. Vignanamaya 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. Vignanamaya is dissolved in anandamaya.

What is the shape of anandamaya? It is in the container called Vignanamaya, which has the shape of manushya. Thus, anandamaya also is in the shape of the manushya. Ananadamaya does not have a shape of its own as such it borrows its shape from the container. Thus of all the Koshas only annamaya has its own shape, all others borrow from annamaya.

Now coming to the factors, anandamaya atma’s head is priyam. Priyam means happiness. It’s right hand side is Moda. Moda means more happiness. Its left hand side is Pramoda. Pramoda means highest happiness.

How to understand these three terms of happiness being used? It is like happy, happier and happiest. Citing an example: You go to a restaurant and see gulabjamun on menu. You like gulabjamun. The pleasure of seeing gulabjamun is priyam, also known as Ishta darshanaja sukham.

Now you order the gulabjamun and it is brought to you. This owning of object of desire is known as Moda or Ishta grahanaja sukham. Then, when you finally taste the gulabjamun you obtain Pramoda or Ishta anubhavajam sukham. This is highest pleasure when the object of desire and one who desires it, become one. Swamiji says, the food and you become one, reflecting advaita. All these three experiential pleasures are anandamaya. The word maya means it is subject to change. Thus all conditional pleasures are anandamaya. Now the Upanishad says, anandamaya is not atma.

In case of anandamaya there are only three factors instead of the normal five. In fact anandamaya is also not the real atma. The real atma is anandaha. The suffix maya is not added to it. Ananda is the non-fluctuating pleasure, the real atma. It is not a changing, experiential pleasure. Once I know ananda is atma then anandamaya also becomes a kosha. Thus all experiential pleasures are anatma. They are subject to arrival and departure. Thus, they have nama and roopa as well. This anandamaya is a mithya. It is also known as kosha ananda.

Then, what is atma-ananda? It is not an object of experience. It has to be understood as myself. Not only is it myself, it has the support of (pucha) in Brahman. Really speaking the Brahman is only an apparent support rather than a real one. Citing an example, Swamiji says, it is like saying outer space is the support of inner space in a pot. Really speaking outer and inner space is one and the same. It is only a superficial difference.

How do we know that Brahman seemingly supports that atmananda? In beginning of this chapter Brahman was defined as Satyam, Gyanam and Anantam. From this Brahman the creation comes into being. Brahman and Atma are identical.

What is the difference between anandamaya kosha and atmananda?

Anandamaya is an object while atmanada is the subject.

Koshanada is subject to change while atmananda is my self with no arrival or departure.

How can I experience atmanada? Whatever I experience is koshananda. “I” am the experiencer, not the experience.

How can I see my own original eye?

I can never see my own original eye. Even in a mirror we see only the reflected eye. Reflected eye is visible, while original eye is not. Reflected eye can come and go with the mirror while original eye does not change. Even the mirrors reflective quality can change the reflection. The original eye has no arrival or departure.

If original eye cannot be seen and I can see only the reflected eye; if so, what is the proof of the original eye?

The very experience of the reflected eye is proof of the original eye. Every experiential experience is proof of atmananda. So, who am I? I am Satyam, Gyanam, Anantam and Anandaha.

Now the Rig mantra comes in.

Ch 2, anuvakaha # 6,shloka #1:

If he knows Brahman as non-existent, he becomes himself non-existent. If he knows Brahman as existent, then (they) the world knows him to be existent. Of the former (anandamaya kosa), the Self is the essence.

The Rig mantra talks about a serious problem faced by Vedantic students. The student understands annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vignanamaya, anandamaya and now seeks the experience of atmananda as well. In general we all wish to seek to experience the objects we come in contact with.

While Atmananda is eternal, I am seeking for the arrival of the eternal atmananda. How can I look for experience of eternal atmananda? Even in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, ananda goes away when you come out of Samadhi and you feel pain. Highest mystic pleasure is really koshananda. Atmananda, you never experience. Students are not able to accept this fact. This is a universal problem. We conceptualize everything. Our study of Vedanta is often an intellectual exercise.

Nastika is one who says Brahmananda is not a subject of experience. Suppose a person negates Brahmananda, it is equivalent to negating himself. Because, Brahmananda is Yourself. Most contradictory statement is,  “ I am not existent”. Therefore, never negate existence of Brahman. Accept Brahmananda is existence even though it can’t be experienced. There is only one thing in creation that is without objectification. It is, “I am”. He himself is existence.

There is another meaning to this shloka as well. Suppose a man says Brahman is not existent, Shankaracharya says, such a person is adharmic. It is adharmic because he can’t have Brahmagyanam as a goal in his life. For such a person all shastras are redundant. The very purpose of dharma shastras is to prepare one for Brahma gyanam.

In a society that values only money and entertainment, god does not exist. Such a society has no dharmic values. Such a society is exclusively focused on artha and kama.

In our culture artha and kama are perfectly acceptable until one reaches his middle age at around 40 or 50 years of age. After that one’s goal is pursuit of god.

Materialists thus become asurah’s. Asu means organs and raha means protector. One who protects his organs for long life. Asuraha is also called Asata.

On the other hand if one believes in Brahman, then Chitta shuddhi and Gyanam become important. He is a spiritual person. He is called a Suraha. Chapter 16 of the Gita discusses asura’s and sura’s.

If a family is only into material pleasures then it can become separated very easily through divorces, remarriages and inter-racial marriages. In India, family was strong although the trend is changing. In all stages of life family is required when the goal is dharma and moksha. So, accept Brahman. One day you will understand that Brahman is “ I am”.

Now the Yajurveda Upanishad has completed Pancha Kosha. This is pancha kosha viveka.

In the beginning three questions were raised. They were:

1) What is Brahman?

2) How to know Brahman?

3) What do you mean by knowing the greatest?

We have discussed what is Brahman and how to know Brahman. Now we move to discussing the third question.

However, before answering the third question, a student interrupts with a question. Questions related to a topic being taught are known as Anu-Prashna. We will discuss this first