Taitreya Upanishad, Class 38


Ch 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.

Continuing his teaching of the Upanishad, Swamiji said,

We are in beginning Anuvakaha 8 of chapter 2 that begins with a Rig mantra. The mantra says that Brahman becomes a source of fear if one does not understand him. The Brahman referred to here is the dvaitam Brahman consisting of jiva and jagat that causes fear as it contains space and time and thus finitude and thus mortality which in turn creates fear. Fear of death causes fear in us. Unknown Brahman is the source of fear. This was pointed out to us in anuvakaha # 7, but is now expanded here. Even Devas have fear. Devas have much more favorable conditions of existence but they also are afraid. Even in devaloka there is dvaitam that results in fear. Vayu Devata functions well due to Ishwara, as does Indra. Each Devata has a duty and Ishwara monitors their Swadharma.

The word Bhisha means out of fear.

Even Surya Devata functions perfectly out of fear of Ishwara. Agni also functions perfectly by heating everything out of fear of Ishwara. Proof of Agni is in the cooking. Anything ripens and grows due to Agni. Even a child grows due to Agni. Even mind grows due to heat of sorrow (manas tapam). Indra does his function of supervising Devatas including thunder and lightning, all due to fear. The fifth god is Mrithya (kala) due to which all events happen. He also functions perfectly due to fear of Ishwara. Never be afraid of death as he performs only according to Dharma. Even this Yama is afraid of Ishwara. Surrendering to this Ishwara will keep Yama away. Essence of shloka is even Devatas are frightened of Brahman. This is the seventh argument and with this all the arguments are over.

Thus the seven arguments for Brahman 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.
  7. Brahman is Bhaya Abhaya Cheta.

So, the implied question has been answered. As a side note, while these seven points are logical basis for the existence of Brahman, other Upanishads such as Katho Upanishad say Brahman is beyond logic. Logic can’t prove his existence. If so, God would have been a chapter in a science book.

A group of philosophers, Nyayika’s, say Brahman can be proved through reasoning. Shankaracharya, however, says God cannot be proved through logic. He says so in his commentary on Brahmasutra. When the Nyayika shows proof, the advaitin pokes holes in his logic. Advaitins say God belongs to a field where no logic can be applied.

Then how can Taittiriya Upanishad claim seven arguments for existence of God?  It appears there are two types of logic.

  • Independent logic and
  • Scripture backed logic.

Vedanta logic is scripture backed logic. Pure logic cannot establish God. It is deficient in handling of God. The deficiency is in the logic. It can be remedied by shastra logic. In Sadhana Panchakam, Shankaracharya talks of Dus Karta (pure logic) and Srutimata Karta(Shastra backed logic).

Pure logic can’t prove existence of God. That is why Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampathy requires shradha. So, these seven reasons are all shastra-based logic. So the first implied question has been answered. The other two questions will be answered later.

Now we go to a side topic called ananda mimamsa. Mimamsa means analysis. Ananda mimasa is exploration of ananda or joy.

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.

What is this enquiry? A gist of this enquiry is offered below.

In Brahmanandavalli we talked about ananda kosha and ananda atma. There, ananda was divided into two categories:

  1. Atmanada and
  2. Ananda maya Koshaha or manifest ananda in a quiet mind.

Both are analyzed here. Five distinct features are discussed. Five differences between the two, Atmananda and Ananda maya Koshaha, are also discussed.

  1. Koshananda is reflected ananda; it is like the face in a mirror is a reflected face. Ananda is the original ananda or atma. The reflecting medium of ananda is a “quiet mind” or ananda maya kosha.
  2. Koshananda is impermanent while Atmananda is permanent. How do we say so? A reflection occurs only where there is a reflecting medium. If reflecting medium is destroyed or changed the reflection goes away; while Atmananda will still remain. The original face remains as is.
  3. Koshananda is graded, such as happy, happier and happiest. It is subject to change. Atmananda, the original, is ungraded ananda. It is not subject to change. How so? Koshananda is a reflection; as such it is graded due to condition of reflecting media (mirror). A clean mirror will give a clear image. Thus, tranquility of mind is subject to gradation as priya, modavrithi and pramodavrithi. We discussed this in anandamaya kosha. Original ananda, however, is ungraded.
  4. All koshananda’s are experiential in nature and hence impermanent and graded, since they are a reflection alone. Thus, Samadhi ananda is available only in Samadhi, as the mind is very clear at that time as such reflection is also bright. Thus, it is an impermanent ananda.

Atmananda, however, is a non-experiential ananda. Eyes can’t see it’s own self. You can only see a reflected eye whose image can always change. Atmananda can never be experienced in its original version. It can be experienced only as a reflection.

5) Koshananda can be attained through two methods. Atmananda can be attained only by one method.

Koshannda: When mind is tranquil, contented and fine, atmananda can be reflected. Tranquil mind or tranquility-based koshananda can be attained by two methods.

Mind is disturbed by its dissatisfaction with a set up. We have a mental mold of how we like our house, wife, children etc. If this mold is changed, mind gets upset. Struggling mind is a disturbed mind. In such a mind there is no ananda. When mind and set up are not aligned there is mental disturbance. So, we need to align them to bring tranquility of mind.

This alignment can be brought by two methods:

  • By adjusting external set up or re-ordering it and then aligning the setup to my mind. To quote swamiji, you can try to adjust the wife knob, child knob, house knob etc. The reality is that you will have to deal with the many knobs of the samsara with which you are not in alignment.
  • Learn to make adjustments to one’s own mind to accept choice-less set ups. This is an internal adjustment and requires a change in my attitude. This is also known as Vairagyam and it is not based on external conditions; rather it is based upon viveka. In this scenario only one mind has to be adjusted. In this an attitude adjustment is required. Citing an example to illustrate this, imagine walking on a bad road with sharp and thorny stones. You can always lay a carpet on the path and you should be able to walk without a problem; or you can wear a shoe and this too will allow you to walk over the thorny path. Swamiji says, for the person with the shoes, the entire earth is carpeted.

What is the means to get to atmananda? Atmananda is my very nature. There is no means at all. If at all one exists, it is Gyanam. The gyanam is that, “ I am atmananda”. Owning up to the fact that atmananda is myself; gyanam is only a means for atmananda.

Take away:

Mental disturbance causes emotional issues of anger, jealousy etc. Mental disturbance is caused when one’s expectations in life are not met. In a choice-less situation, the best way to reduce this mental disturbance is to change one’s expectations. This involves a change in our attitude to the world, as well.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy