Taitreya Upanishad, Class 36


Ch 2, Anuvakaha # 7, shlokas # 1:

 In the beginning was verily this non-existence. From that existent was born. That created Itself by Itself. Therefore, it is called the self-made or the well made. (shloka 1)

Continuing his teaching of the Upanishad, Swamiji said,

We are in chapter 2, Anuvakaha 7 that begins with a Rig mantra quotation. No new teaching is imparted here. It says Brahman is the intelligent and Material cause of universe.

Brahman with Maya is the real cause. Maya is not separate from Brahman. It is like the Shakti of a person. It is the Shakti of Brahman. When we say, somebody is coming, it means, he is coming with all his powers of seeing, hearing, talking, intelligence etc. This Mayasahitam Brahman is called Asat in the shloka. Before Srishti, Brahman with Maya alone existed.

Brahman all by itself, without Maya, is beyond transactions. Maya is present in a potential form in Brahman. Matter is also in a potential form in Brahman. Brahman with Maya are both not aware before transactions, hence they are not available. Hence they are considered non-existent and hence called Asat.  Therefore, Asat can be explained as Brahman plus Maya in a potential form. The raw material of creation is Ishwara.

Now, Sat is consciousness combined with matter in a manifest form wherein transactions can occur. Thus, earlier it was in an un-manifest form as Maya, however later it is now in a manifest form.

God did not look for a raw material and instrument for creation. A carpenter needs wood and a chisel to create his furniture. Subject, object and instrument together create the furniture. It is very similar to the way we create our own dream world.

Because of this versatility of God, (subject/object/instrument, all in one)

Brahman is called Sukritam or Self Creator. This is the fourth reason, per the Rig Mantra. Brahman is existent as the Self-Creator.

Ch 2, Anuvakaha # 7, Shloka # 2:

This which was self-made….. that is taste (joy). Having obtained this taste, man becomes blessed; for who can breathe out or breathe in, if this joy were not there in the cavity of the heart? This Brahman Itself brings us joy.

In the next line it says, Brahman is existent as the source of ananda. The very existence of ananda is clue of Brahman. This process is explained in two stages:

  1. Brahman is source of ananda for all Gyanis who do not go after the external world for ananda. Here humanity has been divided into two groups, Gyani’s and Agyani’s. Worldly people have Vishayanda. We think, since a Sanyasi Gyani is without Vishayananda, he should be a miserable person; however; reality is that he is quiet a happy person. What is his source of ananda? For such a person, his source is internal, that is Brahman. A logic called pariseshanyaya is used to explain this. This ananda comes from Brahman.
  2. Really speaking not only wise people get ananda; the worldly people too get ananda from Brahman alone. Worldly people erroneously think they are getting ananda from their wife, children, possessions etc.

It is like a dog-logic. A dog chews on a bone. The sharp edges of the bone cut his mouth and it starts bleeding. The dog enjoys the blood thinking it is coming from the bone. Reality is that the bone only creates a condition for manifestation of dog’s own blood.

So, whenever we think the world is giving us ananda, we are using the dog-logic. No object in the world can give us sukham, say the Vedas. If such was the case the world should give ananda to all the people. Reality is that while some people like a particular music, others do not. Thus, ananda is dependent on my attitude. External objects create a mental condition called shanti vrithi. In this state, my own ananda-swarupam becomes manifest. Worldly people enjoy ananda without knowing that it is coming from within them.  A Gyani, however, knows this fact.

How do you say, Brahman alone is source of ananda?

Chandogya Upanishad in chapter 7 says happiness is a state of freedom from want or a state of purnatvam. Unhappiness is an emotional state of apurnatvam.

Citing an example a man gets a watch in a lottery. He was complaining that the next day another man got a scooter. He thinks he lost a scooter that he never had to begin with.

Infinite alone is ananda. In alpa vastu, there is no sukham. Thus, Brahman alone is anantam and its source, nothing else in creation is.

Therefore, knowingly or unknowingly, when I am happy, I am tapping into Brahmananda. Thus to recap:

First stage: Brahman is proved by ananda of wise people.

Second stage: Brahman is also proved by ananda of un-wise people.

Brahman is not a dry drab thing. It is full of juicy ananda obtained through knowledge. Hence, Satyam, Gyanam and anantam is also called Sat, Chid, Ananda.

Thus, a human being becomes happy only through contact with Brahman.  Brahmananda is expressed in a quiet mind; one without desires and is contented. This topic is discussed later, in-depth, in Section 8 of this Upanishad.

In shloka 2, the last sentence starting with Eshaha Hyevanandayati, it says, this Brahman alone gives ananda to everyone. External ananda or vishayanada is also internal ananda. Here it says there is nothing called sense pleasure, it is all atmananda alone. No external thing gives joy. They only create a mental condition where  “my” joy is expressed.

Vedanta is able to create a mental condition of joy even without wife, children and possessions. The wife and children are no more for taking joy (samsari) rather family members are for giving joy (Jivan mukti).

Atma alone gives all joy, nothing else gives joy. Shankaracharya calls it the fifth argument for Brahman.

Recapping the arguments for Brahman:

1: Brahman is nimitha karanam

  1. Brahman is jivatma.
  2. Brahman is the material cause; Brahman is existent as universe.
  3. Brahman is Self Creator or Sukritam
  4. Brahman is ananda.

Physical body is made of matter only. Thus, iron, calcium, and sodium deficiencies in our body prove this, as does biochemistry. Shastras say body is made up of five elements that are all inert. Logically body is inert, however, experientially, we find body is sentient. Both body and a table are made of matter, however, my body is sentient. So, body gets its sentiency from somewhere, while the table does not get it. An inert thing can’t function intelligently without an intelligent principle propelling it, as evident in a moving car. Thus all our inert organs (eyes, ears, nose etc.) function due to Brahman.

So, the sixth argument is that we see sensible action in an inert body due to an invisible factor behind it. Thus, a fan rotates due to an external invisible factor called electricity. Similarly, our body moves via our atma tatvam.

Previously we said Brahman is source of all ananda. Now the shloka says if this Brahmasvarupa atma is not there in the body, then which living being will breathe in and breathe out? If atma is not there, there is no life. Therefore life principle is a manifestation, a version of Brahman. Without understanding Brahman, life will be a mystery. Science is still not able to explain life and death. But for Vedanta explaining it, Brahman will still remain a mystery.

Shankaracharya says this is the sixth argument. Brahman asti. I see intelligent activity in inert body. This is proof of Brahman. Every movement of yours is proof of Brahman, just like every movement of fan is proof of electricity. A refined intellect will appreciate this proof.

We have seen the sixth argument. Now we move to the seventh and final argument.

Ch 2, Anuvakaha # 7, Shloka # 3:

When this seeker attains the fearless oneness with Brahman who is invisible, incorporeal, inexplicable and unsupported, then he becomes free from fear. When however, he makes even the slightest distinction in Brahman, then there is danger for him. That very same Brahman Himself becomes the source of fear for him who makes a difference and who reflects not. To the same effect, there is the following Vaidika verse.

Here teacher says my sense of insecurity will leave me only by knowing Aham Brahma Asmi. Insecurity is a constant refrain of an unwise person. A child from birth clings to its mother seeking security. Lifelong we are pursuing things due to a sense of insecurity. Hence it is a struggle. Because our actions are not deliberate rather they are dictated by a sense of insecurity, life becomes a struggle. Most of our reactions are due to insecurity.  As we grow old, we seek security from children; hence the feeling in a woman that my daughter-in-law is taking my son away. Children too seek security in parents. Everything in life is finite and subject to destruction. Brahman alone is not lost, because it is Me. I cannot be separated from Myself. The day I am established in Myself, I don’t have insecurity anymore. I, now, provide security to others.

Take away:

  1. No object in the world can give us sukham (joy), say the Vedas.
  2. No external thing gives joy. They only create a mental condition where “my” joy is expressed.
  3. Happiness is a state of freedom from want or a state of purnatvam. Unhappiness is an emotional state of apurnatvam.
  4. A fan rotates due to an external invisible factor called electricity. Similarly, our body moves via our atma tatvam.

 With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy