Chandogya Upanishad (Madhva commentary)

by Srisa Chandra Vasu | 1909 | 169,805 words | ISBN-13: 9789332869165

The English translation of the Chandogya Upanishad including the commentary of Madhva called the Bhasya. This text describes in seven sections the importance of speech, the importance of knowledge and the journey towards salvation.. It is one of the largest Upanishads and is associated with the Sama Veda. The Mundaka Upanishad is variously spelled...

First Adhyaya, Sixth Khanda (8 mantras)

Mantra 1.6.1.

[Note.—Adhyudham—rests, is refuged. For it is a well-known fact that fire rests on earth, i.e., manifests itself through matter. If there is no solid matter, the heat radiation is not manifested.]

[Note.—Gīyate—is sung; even the exoteric Sāman, the hymns of the Sāma-Veda are sung as based on the mantras of the Ṛg-Veda, by the singers of the Sāma-Veda. The matrix of the Sāma-Veda is the Ṛg-Veda.]

1. (The Devī Sarasvatī called) Ṛk verily (pervades) this (earth) (the Deva Vāyu called) Sāman (pervades) fire; thus this (fire is seen to) rest on that (earth); therefore, the Sāman is sung as resting on the Ṛk. Sā is this earth, and Ama is fire and that makes Sāma.—45.

Note.—Separately Sarasvatī and Vāyu have their places in earth and fire; and are separately known by those names, but when combined, they give rise to a single body, a deity called Ardhanāri. Of this Ardhanāri or androgynous Being (Adonai?) the Sarasvatī part is called, Sā, the Vāyu part is called Ama. This Ardhanāri rests also in earth and fire; the Sarasvatī part is called Sā, because it is Sāra or essence; the Vāyu part is called Ama (ā = not, ma = measured); because it is “unmeasured.” Thus Sāma would mean “illimitable essence.”

Mantra 1.6.2.

2. (The Devī Sarasvatī as presiding over) sky is verily Ṛk, (the Deva Vāyu as presiding over) air is Sāman. This Sāman is refuged in that Ṛk; therefore, the Sāman is sung as based on the Ṛk. The sky is and the air is Ama, and thus the Sāma is made.—46.

[Note.—Antarīkṣam (Antarīkṣa)—sky, the goddess Sarasvatī as presiding over the sky. (The deity of the middle region).]

[Note.—Vāyuḥ (Vāyu)—air, the god Vāyu presiding over the external Vāyu. The other words are the same as in the last verse.]

Mantra 1.6.3

3. The Heaven (Sarasvatī) is verily Ṛk, and the Sun (Vāyu) is Sāman, this Sāman is refuged on that Ṛk; therefore, the Sāman is sung as based on the Ṛk, the Heaven is and the Sun is Āma, thus Sāma is made.—47.

[Note.—Dyauḥ—heaven, dwelling in heaven; the third region. The Goddess Sarasvatī as presiding over Heaven.]

[Note.—Ādityaḥ (Āditya)—the sun, the god dwell ing in the Sun. The god Vāyu as presiding over the sun.]

Mantra 1.6.4

4. (The Devī Sarasvatī dwelling in) the stars is verily Ṛk and (the Deva Vāyu in) the moon is Sāman; This Sāman is refused on that Ṛk. is the stars; Ama the moon; and thus Sāma is made.—48.

[Note.—Nakṣatrāṇi—the goddess Sarasvatī dwelling in the stars.]

[Note.—Candramāḥ, the god Vāyu dwelling in the moon.]

Mantra 1.6.5.

5. Now that which is the white light of the Sun that indeed is Ṛk, again that which is the blue, exceeding dark light of the Sun, that verily is Sāman; this Sāman (darkness) is refuged in that Ṛk (brightness); therefore, the Sāman is sung as refuged on the Ṛk. Now the Sā is the white light of the Sun; and the blue and deep dark is Ama, and that makes Sāma.—49.

[Note.—Kṛṣṇam (Kṛṣṇa)—black; the word paraḥ may qualify Kṛṣṇa (kṛṣṇam),

then it will mean “very black,” “deep black.”]

Mantra 1.6.6.

6. Now that (Being residing inside Vāyu and Sarasvatī) which is seen in the sun, (in meditation), as full of intense joy, with joy as beard, joy as hair, joy all together to the very tips of his nails—50.

[Note.—Hiraṇmayaḥ (Hiraṇmaya)—Hiraṇya means ‘gold’ as well as ‘transcendental happiness,’ “in-effable, complete joy, different from all worldly joys therefore, Hiraṇmaya means either ‘golden’ or ‘full of intense joy,’ hi = placed, containing; ra = delight; na = bliss, joy. In whom are contained the highest joy and delight is called so.]

[Note.—Dṛśyate—is seen (in contemplation or through vision of wisdom and not by ordinary sight).]

[Note.—Hiraṇya Śmaśruḥ—golden bearded. Every limb and member of the Lord is golden or made of bliss-matter.]

Note.—Well, the majesty and greatness of Vāyu and Sarasvatī have been described in the previous five mantras, as rulers of earth, fire, sky, air, heaven, the sun, the stars, the moon, the visible and invisible rays of the suit, separately as positive and negative energies, and also conjointly as the neutral energy called the cosmic Androgyne (Ardhanāri) but what is the good of all this knowledge? The Śruti next shows that even such High Beings as these worship the Lord, and consequently the Lord must be the Most Majestic. Therefore it now describes this Majestic Form Divine called Udgītha.

Though all members are of the color of gold, the eyes of the Lord are of different color. They are, therefore, separately described next.

Mantra 1.6.7.

7. His two eyes are like fresh red lotus. His (mystic) name is Ut, for He has risen (udita) above all sins. He also, who knows this, rises verily above all sins.—51.

[Note.—Kapyāsam (Kapyāsa)—unfaded, fresh, ka=water, pa=to drink, kapi=that which drinks water, viz., the stalk of the lotus; āsa=to sit. Kapyāsa seated on the stalk; not removed from the stalk, therefore, fresh and unfaded.]

Note.—This Being seen between Vāyu and Sarasvatī, in the solar orb, is the Lord Hari. His color is golden, so also all His bodily limbs, except the eyes. His mystic name is Ut.

Mantra 1.6.8.

9. Ṛk and Sāma (i.e., Sarasvatī and Chief Vāyu) are the ministrels of the Lord; therefore, He is called Udgītha (He who is praised as Ut); and, therefore, he also who sings Him is called Udgātṛ. He, (the Lord, called Ut) is the Ruler of the worlds above that (above the Heaven plane.) He rules those worlds, and awards the desired objects to the Devas. This is adhidaivata or cosmological.—52.

[Note.—Udgīthaḥ (Udgītha)—because his name is Ut and Ṛk and Sāman sing (ga, geṣṇau) His praises.]

[Note.—Tasmāt—therefore, when such Mighty Persons as Sarasvatī and Vāyu are His singers, panegyrists, ministrels.]

This Khaṇḍa shows how Prāṇa and Vāk, otherwise called Sarasvatī and Vāyu, go to form the various lokas, such as earth or the physical, antarīkṣa or the astral, and dyu or the heaven; as well as worlds above these. It also describes how the Lord permeates these worlds and how He is the golden Person, full of intense joy, seen by the devotee in his meditation. There arises a stage in the course of meditation when the darkness is removed, and brilliant light, in the form of a solar disk, is seen in Dhyāna. In this solar disk, is seen this Person of joy, called the Hiraṇmaya Puruṣa. It is this being, who is the Ruler of all worlds above the heaven, and of all the wishes of the Devas, inhabiting those worlds. Of course, the physical sun is also a centre, in which the Lord dwells.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

It has been said that higher than Vāk is Ṛk, and that higher than Ṛk is Sāman. Thus Ṛk and Sāman fall in the category of Īśvaras or God, and so the psychological and cosmological meditation and worship pre-suppose the worship of these High Ones. The present chapter and the next teach the worship of Udgītha, as surrounded by these two High ones. In other words, they teach the worship of the Lord as a Trinity, i.e., of God (Udgītha = the Most High), of Vāyu and Ṛk. These three form an entity by themselves.

Or these two chapters may be taken as teaching, that God, the Udgītha, is higher than the other two Persons of the Trinity. Though God the Udgītha is higher than Ṛk and Sāman, yet it has not been declared, in what consists the special glory of God; and in what is He different from the other two Persons of the Trinity. These are points which have not been as yet explained; hence it became necessary to mention the respective powers and glory of these two Persons, Ṛk and Saman. Thus these two Khaṇḍas show this. Says the Śruti “Ṛk is this earth and Sāman is fire.” This verse apparently means that earth, etc., are identical with Ṛk. To remove this primā facie false notion, it became necessary to explain the five sentences, namely, (1) Ṛk is this earth and Sāman is fire, (2) the Ṛk is the sky, the Sāman air, (8) the Ṛk is heaven and the Sāman is sun, (4) the Ṛk is the stars and the Sāman the moon, (5) the Ṛk is the white light of the sun and Sāman, the exceedingly blue light of the sun. The Commentator explains these five sentences thus:—

The Vāyu, the presiding deity of the Sāma Veda dwells in fire, (air, the sun, the moon, and in the exceeding blue darkness in the sun.) While Sarasvatī, the presiding deity of the Ṛg Veda, resides in the earth (the sky, heaven, the stars, and in the white light of the sun.)

Although in the Śruti passage, the Ṛk is mentioned first, and the Saman next, yet as Sāman is higher, it has been explained first by the Commentator.

Next the Commentator explains the five sentences (1) Sā is this earth, and Ama is lire, etc., (2) Sā is the sky and Ama the air, (3) Sā is heaven and Ama the sun, (4) Sā is the stars and Ama the moon, (5) Sā is the white light of the Sun and Ama the dark ray of the Sun.

The goddess Vāk is verily called Sā, the wife; while praṇa is called Ama or husband. Thus these two, as a pair, get the single name of Saman (thus Sāman is a collective name denoting Prāṇa and Vāk joined indissolubly.)

This describes the Ardhanāri form of Vāyu which is half male and half female. As says a verse “Vāyu is sometimes described as a dual entity, half male and half female.”

The Commentator next explains the five passages “this Sāman rests on that Ṛk... Therefore Saman is seen resting on the Ṛk.”

Therefore, verily this Sāma Veda is described as consisting of both Ṛk and Sāman verses (verses to be sung and verses to be merely recited.)

Vāyu, the deity of Sāman, dwells in Agni or lire, and Sarasvatī, the deity of Ṛk dwells in earth, and thus Sāman rests on that Ṛk, therefore this Sāman is described as consisting of both Ṛk and Sāman.

The Commentator next explains the Śruti text. “Now with reference to the body. Ṛk is speech, Sāman breath, etc.”

These two Vāk and Prāṇa, thus reside always in speech (eye, ear, the white light of the eye, the person in the eye, the breath, the self, the mind, the blue light, etc.)

The Commentator next explains the two verses “that golden person who is seen within the Sun” and “in the person who is seen in the eye.” These two verses apparently mean that the Lord is in the Sun and in the eye. The Commentator removes this misconception:—

The Lord Viṣṇu is inside these two (Vāk and Prāṇa,). The Lord Viṣṇu is inside of Vāyu, which pervades the Sun; and inside of Sarasvatī (that prevades [pervades?] the eye.)

The Commentator next explains the phrase “Ṛk and Sāman are his Geṣṇau.” The word Geṣṇau has been explained as “joints” by old commentators. This erroneous interpretation is set aside:—

And these two (Vāk and Prāṇa) are (his panegyrists, the singer of his praises), His ministrels.

Thus Geṣṇau means the two singers of praises, two ministrels, and not two ‘joints? They sing his praises, through the hymns of the Ṛk and the Sāma Vedas; and therefore, they are called geṣṇau or ministrels. The Commentator next explains the phrase His name is Ut, because He has risen above all evil.

He is Higher than Ṛk and Sāman, therefore He alone is called Ut or the Most High (Ut = Ucca) and above all sins. This is in Sātatva.

The whole of the above metrical commentary is from a book called Sātatva. In Mantra Sixth, Khaṇḍa Sixth, we find:—“Whose eyes are like Kapyāsa lotus.” The word Kapyāsa has been taken by old commentators to mean ‘monkey (kapi) seat (āsa);’ namely, of the colour of monkey’s haunches. This is wrong. The Commentator explains this word thus:—

The word Kapyāsa means fresh-stalk-seated, namely unfaded. Whose eyes are like fresh red lotus.

“Ka” means water, “Pi” means drink, “Kapi” means the stalk through which water is drunk and “Āsa” is seat, so the whole word “Kapyāsa” means ‘a flower seated on the stalk that still drinks water, i.e., which has not faded and fallen away from its stalk.’

He is in the Sun and He is in the eyes as well.

In the Mantras 7 and 8 of Khaṇḍa 7 occur some words which have been wrongly interpreted by old commentators as “He obtains through the one the worlds beyond that, and the wishes of the Devas, and He obtains through the other the worlds beneath that, and the wishes of the men.” This would mean as if the singer of the Udgītha obtained both the divine and human wishes and worlds. The Commentator corrects this wrong notion.

He who is the singer of that Viṣṇu may (can) give heavenly and human desires (to others) if he is a human being; but if (such a singer) is Vāyu himself, he gives salvation, even both to goḍs and men; therefore, Vāyu is the chief Udgātā.

In the previous passage it was mentioned that Vāyu is the ministrel singing the praises of the Lord. Thus He is the principal Udgātā. This Vāyu gives salvation to men and gods both, for He is the chief singer of the Lord and His most-beloved. While a human Udgātā can never give salvation, but through the magic of his singing can accomplish the desires of his yajamāns by procuring all heavenly objects of desire for them.

In Mantra 8 Khaṇḍa 6 it is said the Ṛk and Sāman are his joints, and therefore he is Udgītha. The force of “therefore” is not very clear here. So the Commentator, explains it.

Therefore He is culled Udgītha, because Ue is high (ut) and because he is sung (gāyate), i.e., He is sung as the Most High.

This is another etymology of the word Udgītha.

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