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.
Continuing his teaching of the Upanishad, Swamiji said, in Anuvakaha 8 of chapter 2, we are now in ananda mimamsa, an enquiry into ananda. It is a discussion about Koshananda (Anandamaya kosha) and Atmananda.
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; 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. Atmananda has no changes, as it is not a reflection, hence it is ungraded.
- Since Koshananda is a reflection in mind, it available for experience. It is experiential ananda.
However, Atmananda is not an object of experience.
Atmananda is Consciousness itself or Chaitanyam.
- Koshananda can be obtained by two methods. First one is Vairagya prapthihi and second one is Vishaya prapthihi. When desired object is obtained mind enjoys ananda. This is Koshananda. This koshananda can also be obtained by having Vairagyam towards the object. Viveka Shakti gives us Vairagyam. It is a mind without ragaha or dveshaha as such a calm mind. Through vairagyam and without acquiring any objects such a person is happy.
Atmananda, however, can only be realized through Gyanam that gives me the realization that I am atmananda.
The Upanishad now takes up koshananda first.
First the Upanishad defines an ideal unit of ananda. It is called manushyananda. Then ten higher levels of graded ananda were also discussed. The same higher ananda can be obtained through intensity of one’s Vairagyam. Vairagyam can also be graded with respect to dispassion. To obtain external objects we need money or wealth. Internal dispassion, however, is obtained through Viveka.
Thus we have:
- Vishaya Prapya Koshananda;
- Vairagya Prapya Koshananda;
- Gyana Prapya Atmananda.
Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shloka # 6 & #7:
This joy of the gods born in the deva loka multiplied a hundredfold is a unit of the gods (karma devas) who have become so by their special karmas and it is also the joy of a Srotriya, free from desires. (Shloka # 6)
A hundred times this joy of the gods (karma devas) who have become so by their special karmas is a unit of joy of the gods (office bearers) and it is also the measure of the bliss of the Srotriya who has transcended all his desires. (Shloka # 7)
Here it says 100 units of Pitr loka ananda equals ajanajananda. An Ajanaja is a swargaloka vasi. Ajanaja’s are in the swarga loka due to their punyams. Swarga loka can be obtained by two methods.
- Smartha Karmani are karmas prescribed by smrithi grantha or secondary scriptures or non-vedic scriptures. Through performance of these Karmas one goes to Ajan Loka. A Srotri enjoys the same ananda. A Srotri is one with knowledge of scriptures as well as with Vairagyam. He has Vairagyam of all lower lokas.
- 100 units of ajanajananda equal one Karma Devananda. Karma Deva is one who has performed Srautha Karmas. Srautha karmas are one’s prescribed by the Vedas. They also go to Swarga Loka. However, within Swarga Loka, they have a higher status and Loka as well. A Srotriya who has the cultivated Vairagyam upto Ajananaja Loka can experience this Koshananda.
Karma deva is an ordinary citizen in Swarga Loka. Devas, however, have a higher position in Swarga Loka. One should note that a Deva is distinct and separate from a Karma Deva, although both are residents of Swarga Loka. There are only 33 Devas in Swarga Loka. These Devas have an even greater ananda than Karma Devas.
How can one become a Deva? To become a Deva one has to perform Karmas as well as Upasanas. This gives a person higher punyam. In Upasana one prays to a Deva. In Katho Upanishad, Yama tells Nachiketas that, when I was a human, I wanted to become Yama through practice of rituals.
This ananda too can be obtained through Vairagyam.
Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shlokas # 8:
One hundred measures of the happiness of the gods (office bearers) is the simple unit of joy of Indra and it is also the measure of the bliss of the Srotriya who has transcended all his desires.
100 units of Devananda are equal to one unit of Indrananda. A Srotri through Vairagyam too can obtain this.
Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, shloka # 9:
A hundredfold the bliss of Indra is the unit of joy of Brihaspati and it is also equal to the bliss of a Srotriya who is devoid of all desires.
Brahaspathi or Vachaspathi represent words of wisdom. Therefore, Lord of wisdom Brihaspathi is Guru of Indra. So he has an even better Loka. Therefore, 100 units of Indrananda equal one Brihaspatyananda. A Srotri through Vairgayam too can obtain this
Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shlokas # 10:
A hundredfold the bliss of a Brihaspati is the unit of measure of the bliss of Prajapati and it also gives us a measure of the bliss enjoyed by a Srotriya who has no desires.
Here it says, 100 units of Brihaspatyananda equals one unit of Prajapatyananda. A Srotriya who has acquired the required level of Vairagyam too can obtain this.
Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shlokas # 11:
A hundredfold the bliss of Prajapati is the unit of measure of the bliss of Brahman, which is in no way greater than the bliss of one who is a Srotriya and who, in his experience of the Reality, is devoid of all other desires.
100 units of Prajapatyananda equal one unit of Hiranyagarbhananda. Hiranyagarbhananda is called Brahman ananda in shloka. This Brahman is not the original ananda or the eternal Brahman. Here, it is still a reflected ananda only. This is the highest pleasure possible. A Srotri with appropriate level of Vairagya too can obtain this.
Vairagyam gives the highest level of sukham. We can be happier without possessions or by Tyaga. This is the lesson of India to the world. All other cultures talk of materialistic pleasures. While India does not condemn materialistic pleasures, it says, Tyaga is higher than material pleasures. Hence a Tyagi is more respected than a Bhogi. Citing story of a king and a Yogi, Yogi tells king, “You who has everything are standing before me, while I, who has nothing, is sitting.” This is the difference between Bhoga and Tyaga.
Ch 2, Anuvakaha 8, Shlokas # 12:
The Reality in the core of man and the Reality which is in the sun are one. He who knows this, on leaving from this world, first attains the Atman made of food, next the Atman made of Prana, next attains the Atman made of mind, next attains Atman made of Buddhi and lastly attains the Atman made of bliss……regarding this there is the following Vaidika Verse.
Now we are moving on from Koshanada to Atmananda. The first line of the shloka is a maha vakya. A maha vakyam is one, which discusses Jivatma Paramatma aikyam or the oneness of micro and macro.
The maha vakya says that, the ananda that obtains in a person, the micro, and the ananda obtained in Hiranyagarbha or the macro; both anandas are one and the same. Now, this statement contradicts what we just learned in the last few shlokas. We just learned that Manushyananda (1 unit) and Hiranyagarbhananda (10 to the power of 20 units) are hugely different in scale. But, here, in the maha vakyam the Upanishad says, Manushyananda and Hiranyagarbhananda are one and the same.
We should be aware that in Vedas, in Sanskrit, every word has two meanings. One is known as Vachyartha or direct meaning and another is Lakshyartha or indirect meaning. Thus, to Carnatak music lovers the word Chamangudi does not he mean the village, rather it means the musician who hailed from that village.
A general rule of interpretation is to apply primary meaning first and if it does not fit then apply secondary meaning. If the statement comes from same source, one of them should fit.
The word Ananda, its Vachyartha or direct meaning is experiential pleasure. This is koshananda pleasure.
Therefore, Manushyananda with 1 unit of pleasure and Hiranyagarbha with ten to the power of twenty units of pleasure are both koshanandas. So, the primary meaning does not fit here. So, we try the secondary meaning. Ananda, can also mean Atmananda or original ananda. This ananda is same in Manushyananda and Hiranyagarbhananda. This is the Lakshyartha. Atmananda has no gradations. Human being has a poor quality of reflection, while Hiranya -garbha has a good quality of reflection.
How many methods are there to obtain Atmananda? Atmananda need not be obtained at all as it is the very Experiencer himself. It is “ I” the Chaitanyam. It is removing the ignorance and knowing that I am the Seeker. The seeking of an object is the wrong approach to obtaining Atmananda. One who knows this mahavakyam attains atmananda.
With Best Wishes,