Taitreya Upanishad Class 47
Ch 3, Anuvakaha 8, Shloka # 1:
Do not reject food. That is duty. Water is food. Fire is the food eater. Fire is fixed in water, water is fixed in fire. So food is fixed in food. He who knows that food is fixed in food, gets established in Brahman. He becomes possessor of food and and eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, in cattle and in his spiritual lustre. He becomes great in fame.
In first six anuvakas of Brghuvalli the Upanishad summarized pancha kosha viveka as a means of Brahmavidya. Now in anuvaka # 7 it gives some secondary preparatory disciplines as well. These disciplines are in the form of Upasanas and Vrthams and are described in anuvaka’s 7, 8 and 9 respectively. Three Vrthams were given along with disciplines including Vishwarupam upasana. In these upasanas three pairs of things were taken and their inter dependence meditated upon. We see everything as one cosmic organism or as Vishwarupam.
The first pair was Sharira and Prana.
The second pair was Agni and Jalam.
Interdependence of these pairs was revealed as annam and annada Sambandham. It can also be termed as consumer and consumed relationship. Furthermore, for these pairs, the prathishta and prathishtita relationship or the supporter supported relationship was also revealed.
Thus we saw the relationship of agni and jalam in this context. From an individual perspective agni is consumer and jalam is consumed. From external perspective, when fire is quenched by water, the role is reversed. In an individual’s body, Agni is in the form of Vaishwanara agni or digestive fire. Hence, when one is thirsty, it is known as Daham or burning of inner system; hence we give water. Our inner fire consumes this water. Here water in annam and agni is annada.
In the instance when fire is extinguished by water, water is consumer and fire is consumed. So, here we see the mutual annam annada sambandam.
In case of agni and water how is prathishta and prathishtita relationship established? Agni is supporter of Jalam based upon shastric desrciption of universe. Thus we have:
Akasha> Vayu> Agni> Jalam. Here, Agni is the karanam of Jalam, the karyam. A Karanam is always a support of Karyam. Thus, gold supports ornament; wood supports furniture etc. This is prathishta and prathishtita
sambandham. Another angle is agni is supporter and jalam the supported. When rain-bearing clouds are there, they are the cause of lightning. The clouds are the jalatatvam while lightning is the agnitatvam.
Our body too has agnitatvam in form of body temperature that is maintained at an even 98.4 DF. However, while the outside atmospheric temperature can change continuously yet our body’s agni tatvam is maintained. Jalatatvam maintains it. Sweating reduces the high temperature of body.
Citing a story, a boy’s sweat glands were not functioning properly. They had to invent a mechanism to maintain his sweat.
For consumption of water and exit of water from body god has created this thermostat. Agni tatvam (prathistha) is maintained by Jala tatvam (pratitishita). They are interdependent. May you meditate on this interdependence or ecological harmony. When we meditate on this sambandham then the phalam is Prathishta. The benefit is, whatever you meditate upon, so you will become. Citing another phrase, whatever you think about, you become. Other phalams include: Whoever benefits from this mutual dependence of agni and jalam will be well supported in his life. Not only will he have good support, he will also get other worldly benefits, namely name, fame, food and health.
The second Vrattham and upasana are now complete.
CH 3, Anuvaka # 9, Shloka # 1:
Accumulate plenty of food. That is duty. The earth is food. Akasha is the food eater. In earth is fixed akasha. In Akasha is fixed earth. So food is fixed in food. He who knows that food is fixed in food, thus rests in food; and is established well for ever. He becomes rich in food and becomes the eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, in cattle and in spiritual lustre. He becomes great in fame.
This is the third Vrattham that says May you produce plenty of annam. Let there be prosperity. May extra produce be shared with all people; it can be in the form of grains as well. May you cook a little more food for annadanam. This is your vrtham. You should learn to think of others as well. One benefit of Ekadashi upavasam is to know what hunger means, then alone we come to know of others hunger. I should learn to identify with others.
The third upsana identifies another pair. The pair is Prithvi and Akasha. They have annam annada sambandham as well as Prathista and prathishtita sambandham.
At individual level every object is a different form of earth alone. These objects also consume space. In a small flat people are very conscious of space. In one house plastic chairs are hung from the wall. Tables are folded for the same reason. So, all objects consume space. Therefore, earth is a consumer of space.
From another angle space is a consumer. We can show the creation principle as follows:
Akasha>Vayu> Agni> Jalam> Prithvi.
During dissolution the process reverses:
Here Prithvi is consumed by Akasha, finally. So here akasha is consumer and earth is consumed. This is the annam annada sambandam.
Prathishta and prathishtita relationship is seen where Akasha is karanam for all four elements including earth. They are all products of akasha. Space is subtlest form of matter. While akasha is karanam (prathishta), Earth is karyam (prathishtita). Karanam supports Karyam.
Another angle: Prithvi is supporter and akasha is supported. Akasha can accommodate, but for space to be useful it has to be enclosed, such as in a hall. A Hall is not name of the walls; rather it is the name of enclosed space. Water is accommodated by space in a vessel. Vessel provides enclosed space. Space is useful only when enclosed. Space is supported by enclosure to be useful. Enclosure is made up of prithvi. So Prithvi supports Akasha to make Akasha useful for transactions.
Prithvi and Akasha have annam annada sambandham. They have Prathishta Prathishitita Sambandam as well. Everything is interdependent. One who meditates on this cosmic symbiotic relationship will be supported in his life as well. Remember society has to be supported and if you can make yourself indispensible to society, it will also support you. However, if you are a parasite on society you will be considered a burden. You give and you will be given. He will get worldly results as phalam.
So three pairs were reviewed to understand their interdependence. Modern science shows how the whole earth is interconnected. Universe is one cosmic organism.
Vishnu sahsranamam also says the same. It says cosmos is Perumal. Thus the three upsanas lead us to Vishwrupa Dhyanam.
Shankaracharya adds a corollary to this through his commentary. He says if everything in universe is interdependent; it means nothing in creation is independent. Everything is dependent on some factor(s). If anything has a dependent existence, it is a mithya. So, entire creation is a mithya. Creation has a borrowed existence because something else is the adishtanam. Adishtanam is one that lends existence to creation. This adishtanam is Brahman. Subject cannot enjoy subject-ness without an object. Object also cannot enjoy object-ness without a subject. They are all interdependent. Thus student cannot enjoy student-hood without a teacher. This is known as Turiyam. Shankaracharya says this upasana shows the Mithyatvam of Universe. With this meditation the Vishwarupa dhyanam is over.
Ch 3, Anuvaka # 10, Shloka # 1:
Do not turn away anybody who seeks shelter and lodging. This is the vow. Let one, therefore, acquire much food by any means whatsoever. They should say: “Food is ready”. If the food is prepared in the best manner, the food is given to him (the guest) also in the best manner. If the food is prepared in a medium manner, food is also given to him in a medium manner. If food is prepared in the lowest manner, the same food is also given to him in a lower manner. He who knows thus, will obtain all the rewards as mentioned above.
Now we are in the tenth and final anuvaka of Brghuvalli. Here two more Vrthams are introduced. In previous anuvaka’s three Vrthams were given. Thus the fourth Vrtham is Athiti Puja. This topic was already discussed in shikshavalli. The fifth Vrtham is anna-danam.
Athitipuja: When a person comes to your place give him shelter. This advice should be taken in context of the Vedic times when it was written, when there were no hotels and eateries for a traveller. Nowadays hotels and restaurants are available so don’t force yourself on others. Don’t go unless invited. Dont entertain unknown people. Be very careful of Swamiji’s. Act according to situation. In olden times, when a guest came without his planning for it, it was considered God’s will. To such a guest one has to provide food. Scriptures say when a guest is standing outside and you continue to eat inside the house, it is like committing a big crime. So share food. So, always have extra food in the house. Dayanadaswamiji said a house is not a home if cooking does not take place. Whatever you eat, first offer it to God. So, food has to be cooked so that you may have plenty of annam. Somehow procure food although legitimately. Remember when an Athithi (guest) comes he feels he is imposing upon you; the householder should remove any feeling of guilt on part of guest in this regard. Make him feel welcome.
With Best Wishes,