Ch 3, Anuvaka 10, shloka # 3:
Now follows the meditation upon the adhidaivika; as satisfaction in the rains, as power of lightning; as fame in the cattle, as light in the stars, as off-spring, immortality and joy in the organs of procreation and as all in the akasha.
Swamiji said we are in anuvakaha # 10, the final one of Brghuvalli. After talking about Athiti Puja and Anna Danam the Upanishad is now discussing some more upasanas. They are: Adhyatmika Upasana, Adhidaivika Upasana and Akasha Upasana. They are three types of meditations.
We have complete Adhyatmika Upasana. Now we are in adhidavika upasana. In this there is one odd Upasana that really belongs to adhyatmika upasana. It is a meditation on one of the organs of the body. It is meditation on the organ of procreation. This organ is also looked upon as a sacred one. Everything given to us by God is sacred. No organ in itself is good or bad. An organ is only an instrument. Good or bad depends on how it is used by the Karta. Thus, a surgeon for healing uses a knife, while same knife maybe used by a criminal to hurt somebody. Gyana-indriyas are neither good nor bad; it same with Karma indriyas; it so for the organ of procreation as well. May you meditate on Upastha. Meditate on power of propagation or the generative power or Prajathihi.
The other power is amrithum or immortalizing power of oneself. Through propagation every species immortalizes itself. The material cause of a child is the parent; flesh and blood of parent is now in child. So it is an indirect form of perpetuation or immortalizing. Thus we have the saying that when one dies he is survived by so and so. Immortality is always ananda. That is why we crave for it. So, we take pictures. That is one of the reasons we name a child. Hence the reason we start an endowment in a name. Mortality is Dukham. Immortality is ananda. One’s child is ananda. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says one’s son is ananda. Parents consider their child special and unique. He sees child as himself or an extension of himself. So it leads to prajathihi, then to amrutam and through it to ananda. Through these three glories, prajathihi, amritum and ananda we should meditate on organ of procreation. It is an Adhyatmika upasana.
Chapter 3, Anuvakaha # 10, Shloka # 3 continued:
The adhidavika Upasanas are now discussed. Here natural forces are seen as Ishwara.
Vrishti: Rain is one of the natural forces. Drought is a problem in some parts of India. It has many affects. It is crucial for human beings. It brings food and many other benefits. When rain comes don’t take it for granted. Hence the idea of storing rain water and harvesting it. Meditate on it as fulfillment. Eating well and drinking water requires rain. Several Upanishads talk of rain. Even Tirukural talks of the glory of rain.
Lightning and Thunder: It is also known as Vidhyut Brahma Upasana. Keno Upanishad also talks about it. Meditate on lightning. Meditate on its power and energy. We unfortunately cannot tap this energy yet.
Pashu: Cattle or wealth was worshipped. Cattle are worshipped through fame. Cows, in those days, represented wealth. So, a wealthy person is well known in society. Whether a scholar is well known or not, a wealthy person is. A wealthy man can perform a lot of dharma for society; hence he is well known. So, see Brahman as fame in Pashu.
Nakshatreshu: See the glory of Brahman in stars. The lights of the stars are their originals light not a borrowed one. Gayathri mantra refers to Savithaha, which is about stars. Meditate on Brahman in the light of the star and the sun.
The whole creation is seen as God’s Vibhuti or Vishwarupa Upasana. Sarvatra Ishwara darshanam is goal of Upanishad. See God in your body as well as around you.
This is the subtlest of all upasanas. In akasha alone everything exists. So everything is akasha. In Brahmanandavalli, akasha is one that creates; it is karanam of Vayu, the karyam. Agni is also creation as is jalam; all finally come from Akasha. Nothing exists separate from akasha. Akasha is closest to Brahman. So it is the best Alambanam or symbol for Brahman. Both Akasha and Brahman are invisible; both are non-tangible; both are non-pollutable; both are non-divisible; both are ekam; both are all pervading; both are sarva-adharam. There are many features that are common to both. Both are sukshmam. If one trains one’s mind to meditate on akasha our intellect will get refined enough to understand Brahman. Hence it is an important Upasana. So, Upanishad gives us a group of Akasha Upasanas next.
Ch 3, Anuvaka 10, shloka # 4:
Let him meditate the Supreme as the support; he becomes well supported. Let one worship Brahman as great, one becomes great. Let one worship IT as mind; he becomes thoughtful. Let him worship That as namah (obeisance); to him all desires shall come to pay homage. Let him meditate upon That Supreme; he becomes supremacy in life. Let him contemplate upon That as the “destructive aspect” of Brahman; all those enemies who hate him and those rivals whom he does not like “die around him”.
This is the last group of Upasanas of the Upanishad.
All upasanas here are related to akasha. Different glories of akasha are meditated upon. The benefit of this meditation is that intellect becomes subtle, as it has to conceive the inconceivable.
Prathishta: Or support.
Shankaracharya says don’t take akasha as inert; rather take it as Devata. It is the support of everything. May you meditate on this Support. The phalam depends on the type of meditation performed. Nishkama Upasana will refine the intellect. Sakama Upasana will get the person enough support during his life. It is the Phalam. Upto middle age we don’t worry about support. As one grows older our sense of insecurity grows. So, practice this upsana. One’s with insecurity should practice this upasana.
Shankaracharya says same phalams are applicable to other adhidaivika upasanas as well. As the upsana, so is the benefit. Thus, with upasana on rains one gets fulfillment. It is the same with Pashu and Nakshatra as well. If one is not interested in the benefits he will certainly obtain spiritual gains.
Mahaha: Here he sees Brahman as the glorious one. It appears as if it is infinite; in reality it is not. However, it is subtlest. Here meditator becomes mahan. This is the benefit of this upasana.
Manaha: It is the thinking faculty or intelligence. So, meditate on akasha as intelligence. He will have benefit of intelligence.
Namaha: May you meditate on Akasha as Namaha. All his desires will perform namaskara to him. They will come to him without asking. Meditation on service gets the service of objects and people. This is the phalam he gets.
Brahma: The infinite. May you meditate on Akasha as the limitless one. He will also become limitless in terms of glory, family extension, fame etc.
Tataha: means the Akasha Tatvam. Parimara means destructive agent; Nashakaranam means Akasha tatvam is the destructive agent of Ishwara. At time of pralaya everything resolves into akasha finally, in the reverse order of creation. Thus during dissolution, the process reverses as follows:
Therefore, Akasha is considered an agent of destruction. If you meditate on this destructive power of akasha, all your enemies will be destroyed. Enemies are of two types:
- Disliking enemies are ones who do not like you.
- Disliked enemies are the ones who I don’t like.
Both types of enemies will perish. A question can come up as to why the Upanishad is talking about destruction of people one likes or dislikes? What the Upanishad is communicating to us that it is enmities that are destroyed. That person is no more an enemy. They will not dislike me anymore. Their attitude towards me will change. I too will stop disliking my enemies; my attitude too will change. So, an all round attitudinal change comes about due to this Upasana. With this akasha related upasanas are all over.
Suppose the Taittiriya Upanishad ends in an upasansa, we will tend to remember the last upasana; this is a human tendency. Therefore, Taittiriya Upanishad wants to remind us that Brahma Gyanam is still its final goal. So it concludes by reminding us of Brahma Gyanam and of jivatma paramatma aikya gyanam. This topic was also discussed in Chapter 2, Brahmanandavalli, via a mahavakya. The Upanishad now talks about Brahma Gyanam and its phalam.
Ch 2, Anuvakaha 10, Shloka # 5:
The Reality in the core of man and the Reality that is in the sun are one. He knows this, on leaving this world, first attains this Atman made of food, next attains this Atman made of Prana, next this Atman made of mind, next this Atman made of buddhi and lastly, this Atman made of bliss. And, thereafter, eating what he likes and assuming any form according to his wishes, he roams upon the face of this globe and sits singing the following Sama song of joy.
The earlier part of this mantra has already been quoted in Brahmananda Valli, section Vi.
Meaning wise we can say this portion is same and has been lifted from chapter 2. It says anandatma is jivatma. Aditya is Ishwara. Atmananda is same in everyone. The difference is only in reflected ananda. Bimba ananda is same in all. Prati-bimba ananda varies from person to person. Experiential pleasure varies from person to person while original ananda is my own nature. Original ananda, my nature, does not vary.
With Best Wishes,