Taitreya Upanishad, Class 37


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.

Continuing his teaching of the Upanishad, Swamiji said,

We are in chapter 2, Anuvakaha 7,where Brahman has been identified as the Nimitha Karanam, Sukridam and only source of all Anandam. Knowingly or unknowingly all people draw ananda from Brahman alone. Wise people know that this ananda is from Brahman while others do not. Brahman is Sukritam and Rasaha. It is the only source of consciousness; hence even an inert thing appears conscious. Karana, sukshma and sthula shariras all draw consciousness from Brahman. Thus, every moment we are experiencing Brahman, expressed through our body.

Thus we have identified six reasons for existence of Brahman. They are:

  1. Brahman is nimitha karanam
  2. Brahman is jivatma.
  3. Brahman is the material cause; Brahman is existent as universe.
  4. Brahman is Self Creator or Sukritam
  5. Brahman is ananda.
  6. Brahman is life principle.

Now we are entering the next topic which is that the only way to discover security is through Brahma Gyanam. All other sources are fake as they are insecure to begin with.

Citing example of the mighty American missile security system that could not prevent the world trade center from being reduced to rubbles.

Brahma Gyanam alone is abhaya gyanam. Just knowing about Brahman does not do it. True Brahma Gyanam is when one knows that, “ I am” that Brahman. Citing example of a poor man, his knowing about Bill Gates will not remove his poverty. Knowledge that Brahman is ever secure will not help; “I am” ever secure is the goal.

I am Brahman; I am ever secure; therefore I am secure.

Without abheda gyanam and advaita gyanam there is no security. Only a person firmly established in Brahman as “ Aham Brahma Asmi” is secure. This Brahman is invisible and un-objectifiable. Un-objectifiable Brahman can exist only as the subject “I” or as “I” the observer. Brahman is body-less, therefore formless or un-embodied. It is unobjectifiable, undefinable, formless and indescribable. Anything can only be described through its attributes. Brahman is nirguna or without attributes, hence it cannot be described.

Anything can be described only when it fulfills five conditions known as Shabdapravrithanivrithi. This topic will be discussed in Mandukya Upanishad. The word Aninilayanam in the shloka means it does not have support of anything or it is without dvaita or advaita.

In its initial stages Vedanta says, Brahman is the support of the world. This statement may indicate duality as if there is a supporter it also means there is a supported. Thus when we say husband it implies a wife. However, in its final stages Vedanta says, Brahman is not a support; it is not even a subject. Keep in mind that the word subject implies an object. In Mandukya Upanishad it says, it is not even advaitam; advaitam implies dvaitam; so it is just silence. One has to get established in this silence through knowledge.

What is that knowledge? It is that, “ I am” that Brahman.

What does one get out of being established in Brahman? He discovers security in himself. He discovers emotional self-dependence. We are all born depending on family, society etc. Scriptures say we should change it to God dependence. Don’t depend on perishables.

Thus, god dependence equals self-dependence. This means seeking security in myself. I now give security to others.

Citing an example to clarify the thought, when I claim I am a wave, my security depends on the ocean. When I claim I am water even the ocean’s security depends on existence of water.

Bhayam represents samsara, emotional security. All my activities are due to this emotional insecurity. Even going to school is for a job. Even having children is for security. Even religion is for security. The day security is not a force in my life it becomes a leela.

Suppose I refuse to get “ Aham Brahma asmi” knowledge? What happens?

Upanishad says in such an ignorant person who sees duality or difference between himself and god there will be fear. Differences can be related to Jiva-Ishwara, Jiva-jagat and jiva-jiva (another jiva).

The word Ud Aram means little difference. The word used is not Udaram, meaning belonging to stomach. Ud Aram indicates use of two philosophies. Dvaita says I am totally different from God. Advaita says, I am not totally different from god; I am part of god.

For such a person who sees difference there will always be fear. God, here, becomes a source of fear. Even the Rudram mantra begins with a salutation to god’s anger. How can god be a source of fear; he is after all srishti and sthithi laya karta?

He is also Samhara karta or Laya karta. In duality, he is also a destroyer. In Gita’s chapter # 11, in Vishvarupa darshanam, god is a destroyer. So, fear is when you see a difference between God and you.

Citing an illustrative quotation, “ If you say education is expensive, try ignorance.” Vedanta also says try dvaita darshanam.

What is the source of fear in an ignorant person? Brahman is the source of his fear. For the wise, Brahman is a source of fearlessness. Thus, Brahman is a source of both fear and fearlessness.

Understood Brahman is fearlessness. Unknown Brahman is cause of fear. To illustrate this idea following example of rope and snake was cited.

Rope in front of me is not a cause of fear, when you know it is rope. Same rope, unknown, can be mistaken for a snake. Thus unknown rope is cause of fear while known rope is not.


Snake>mistaken rope>unknown rope> can cause fear.

Known Brahman>advaitam>fearlessness.

Unknown Brahman>mistaken Brahman>Dvaitam.

Thus Brahman, which is jiva-jagat-ishwara, which in turn is the world, creates persecution complex in me. All disturbances caused by the world bother me.

The word Vidushaha in shloka means ignorant person. Normally this word means wise person. The usage of this word is explained in three ways.

  1. When a person is ignorant he is called a Brihaspati, a so-called wise person.
  2. He is learned in all sciences (apara vidhya) except shatras (para vidhya). Citing an example for this, a Brahmana was crossing a river on a boat. He asked the boatman if he knew Vyakarana (grammar). The boatman said he did not. The Brahmana told him, one fourth of your life is gone without this knowledge. Then he asked him, if he knew artha shastra. The boatman replied he did not. The brahmana said you have lost half your life. Then Brahmana asked him if he knew mimamsa? The boatman replied he did not. Then Brahmana told him, you have lost three quarters of your life.Around that time the boat hit an obstacle and started taking in water. It was filling quite fast. The boatman asked the Brahmana do you know how to swim? Brahmana replied he did not. Then the boatman told Brahmana then your whole life is gone.
  3. Vidushaha also is one who has performed sravanam of scriptures. However, he has not performed mananam and because of that he does not yet have the conviction in the teaching. He has not yet become an Sthita Pragyaha.

Essence of this teaching is that Brahman is the source of both fear and fearlessness. In world we see examples of both. Wise persons, without possessions, who are secure and people with possessions that are not secure.

So the seventh reason is that Brahman is a source of fear for the ignorant while it is a source of fearlessness in the wise.

Thus, seven reasons were given in response to the implied question of the student. Following the topic of God as a source of fearlessness there is a Rig mantra.

Chapter 2, Anuvakaha # 8, Shloka # 1:

Through fear of Him blows the wind. Through fear of him rises the sun. Through fear of him again fire and moon and lastly, the fifth, death proceed to their respective duties.

This is a Rig mantra. Here Upanishad presents in a poetic manner that the whole world is frightened of God. Even devatas are frightened. Devatas are Lords of the laws of Universe. Thus, Surya Devata is the intelligent principle of the sun.  Varuna devata is intelligent principle of rain and so on. All devatas are functioning well without shirking their duties. The sun rises and sets. Earth goes around the sun. This is the harmony of creation, meaning perfect functioning of universal laws; also meaning perfect functioning of Devatas.

How do you know devatas are supervising these laws? Wherever there is orderliness, there is an intelligent principle governing it. Just look at our roads; nobody follows the rules; suddenly, when you see people waiting at a red light it means there is a policeman there; there is a law-enforcing principle there.

Second law of thermodynamics says when things change disorder increases. Thus we have devatas who function perfectly due to Ishwara, who controls them. They are mortally afraid of Brahman; hence they perform their duties.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy