Taitreya Upanishad, Class 39


Greetings All,

Chapter 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shloka # 2:

The following is the enquiry concerning the Bliss (Brahmananda rasa). Suppose there be a youth, good, well versed in the scriptures, well disciplined, resolute and very strong; to him belongs all this earth full of wealth. This is one unit of human bliss. This (unit of bliss) of man multiplied hundredfold is the bliss of human gandharvas- and this is also the bliss of one well versed in the Vedas and who is free from desires.

Continuing his teaching of the Upanishad, Swamiji said, in Anuvakaha 8 of chapter 2, we are now in ananda mimamsa or ananda vichara or enquiry into ananda. In last class I gave an outline of what this enquiry is all about. To recap what I said, Ananda is divided into two types: 1) Atmananda and 2) Koshananda. Five differences between the two anandas were noted. They are:

  • Koshanada is reflected ananda. Atmananda is the original, un-reflected ananda.
  • Koshananda is impermanent. It is only a reflected ananda. The quality of the reflecting surface affects the quality of image or ananda. It is like reflecting my face in the mirror. If mirror is dull the reflection will also be dull. Thus, it is a conditional ananda. Atmananda, however, is permanent and is not conditional.
  • Koshananda is a graded ananda, depending upon the quality of reflecting medium. Thus, it can be graded as Priya, Moda or Pramoda. Atmananda has no changes, as it is not a reflection, hence it is ungraded.

Reflected ananda is ananda-maya-kosha and is anatma. It is an experiential pleasure. I can objectify my reflectable face. However, my original “I” is never experiencable. I can never experience my own original “I”. Nobody can claim I have experienced atmananda. One can only experience reflected ananda. Atmananda can only be owned up to.

  • Koshananda can be obtained by two methods. To obtain Koshananda one requires a tranquil mind to begin with.

First method is one where one can tune or change the external conditions.

Second one is via internal adjustment or via Viveka. The internal adjustment is not dependent on external conditions. This adjustment gives me tranquility. It is tranquility obtained due to viveka and vairagya. It is tranquility obtained in a mature and dispassionate mind.

Those who do not have viveka or have trouble with it, can always adjust the external conditions or set ups and still obtain tranquility. A tranquil mind can reflect atmananda.

For Atmananda there is only one method. It is known only by knowledge. It cannot be experienced. It is the “ I” the experiencer. “I” the original is never lost. Even if mirror does not reflect well, the original face still remains as is. Thus, they can be summarized as:

  • Vishaya Prapya Koshananda; It is dependent on external things to obtain tranquility of mind.
  • Vairagya Prapya Koshananda; It is dependent on dispassion and maturity to obtain the tranquility of mind.
  • Gyana Prapya Atmananda.

Of these three, the Upanishad deals with koshananda first. It deals with external and internal methods of getting koshananda. The goal of both is tranquility of mind, also called “ Chitta Prasada”. In this condition there is no kama, krodha and other negative feelings. In Koshananda there is gradation. To measure this gradation, the Upanishad has come up with a measurement standard for ananda and it is called “One Manushya ananda unit”. It is similar to measurements such as the metric system. The Upanishad also defines the type of manushya to be used in this standard. It is an “ideal” unit or one, which may be difficult to put in practice.

Defining this ideal unit of ananda the Upanishad says, “ This is a human being in his youth with following characteristics:

  • He is a sadhu;
  • With a healthy body;
  • A dynamic person;
  • An efficient person;
  • Firm of will;
  • Perseverant;
  • With all internal wealth to enjoy all sense pleasures;
  • Has all needed sense objects to enjoy;
  • Owner of the entire earth; we are imagining an ideal human, with all its wealth (petroleum, diamonds, etc) in his possession.
  • With internal conditions and external conditions both in a perfect combination, ideal for enjoyment.

This experiential pleasure, Koshananda, we will designate it as “One unit of Manushya ananda”, as experienced by this ideal youth.

The word sadhu for the youth is used in context that he is a cultured and dharmic person. Mind without values is a sick mind. In youth, one is prone to pride and arrogance. This ideal youth is, however, humble. His humility comes from his study of scriptures. His knowledge of shastra’s gives him humility.

The Upanishad is going to take us to ten higher koshanandas.

Chapter 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shloka # 2 through Shloka # 11: All shlokas were recited.

Shloka # 2, continued:

The Upanishad talks of ten higher Koshanandas.


First level: 100 units of Manushyananda.

Second level: 10,000 units of manushyananda.

Third level: 1,000,000 units of manushyananda.

Fourth level: 100,000,000 units of manushyananda

Fifth level: 10,000,000,000 units of manushyananda

Sixth level: 1,000,000,000,000 units of manushyananda

Seventh level: 100,000,000,000,000 units of manushyananda

Eighth level: 10,000,000,000,000,000 units of manushyananda

Ninth level: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 units of manushyananda

Tenth level: 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 units of manushyananda. The tenth level is known as the Hiranyagarbha ananda kosha.

Between the first level and tenth level there are many levels of manushyananda.

Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shloka # 3:

A hundred fold of the bliss of the human gandharvas is the unit of measure of the bliss of the celestial gandharvas. This is the same bliss of one who is well versed in the Vedas and who is free from all desires.

The next level is manushya gandharvananda. Here the ananda is 100 times. This is due to superior organs of enjoyment and the available objects of enjoyment. His organs are fine-tuned to enjoy at a higher level. His mind is refined, like a trained musician who can enjoy a high level of music. The word Upadhi means instruments and they are superior; therefore objects sensed by them are also superior. Hence he gets hundred times of the unit of pleasure. This is koshananda. Only a person who has dispassion, a man without desires, can obtain this pleasure of manushya -gandharvananda. This dispassion can come about in two ways in a human being. One is through suppression and second by knowledge. Now, suppression cannot give true dispassion. However, the knowledge by which one knows that external objects are not the source of his enjoyment is true dispassion. It is like the dog chewing on the bone that thinks it is tasting the blood, in the bone, while in reality it is tasting its own blood bleeding in its mouth.  This Srotriya has Viveka Janya Vairagyam. The intensity of his vairagyam will decide his pleasure. His vairagyam is for manushya ananda, so he gets Manushya gandharva ananda. He gets a mind that is tranquil, as he does not have desires, hence his ananda. His Koshananda can be obtained by going to higher lokas or by getting vairagyam.

Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shloka # 4:

A hundredfold the bliss of the celestial gandharvas is the unit of joy of the manes, whose world continues for long. The same is the joy expressed by one well versed in the Vedas and who is free from desires.

Next is Deva-gandharva-manushyananda. Here, a human being, due to his past punyams, has migrated to gandharva status. A Devagandharva is born directly in Gandharva loka. This gives him some advantages. His ananda is 100 times that of manushyagandharva. He has a different external set up; hence, his pleasures are also of a higher level.

This is also a koshananda. You can get this same ananda of Deva-gandhrava, if you have the viveka janya vairagyam. Here his vairagyam is more intense; it is a graded vairagyam. He has vairagyam for manushyananda and manushya- gandharv-ananda to get Devagandharva ananda.

Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shloka # 5:

This joy of the manas , whose worlds are relatively immortal multiplied a hundred fold is one unit of joy of the ajanaja gods born in deva loka and it is also the joy of a srotriya free from desire.

The next is Pitr Loka or Chir loka ananda. So chirloka vasi has equivalent to 1 million units of manushyananda. You can get the same ananda with greater vairgyam. He has vairagyam for all three that is, manushyananda, gandharvananda and pitrananda.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy