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...

Second Adhyaya, Seventh Khanda (2 mantras)

Mantra 2.7.1.

I. Let one meditate on the five-fold, the Most High (and) Harmonious, in the senses. Pradyumna in smell, Vāsudeva in speech. Nārāyaṇa in the eye; Aniruddha in the ear, Saṅkarṣaṇa in the mind (manas); verily (all) these are (equally) the Most High.—110.

[Note.—Parovarīyāṃsi—(they are all) higher than the highest. There is no difference in them: all are the Most High: none being greater than the other, or inferior to it.]

Mantra 2.7.2.

2. For him is the attainment of the Most High, and the conquest of the highest world, who knowing this thus, meditates on the five-fold Harmonious, the Most High, in the (five) senses.—111.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

Having mentioned the meditation on the Lord as dwelling in animals, this Khaṇḍa now mentions the meditation on Him as dwelling in the senses. Because the senses are dependent upon men and animals. The word parovarīyaḥ occurs in the Śruti passage. The Commentator explains it thus:—

That which is higher than the high (parama) is called “paro” (para + u = paro. The “u” means better, higher; and is a sign of comparative degree). He who is higher than this ‘paro’ is called parovaram. He who is higher than this ‘parovaram’ even is called parovarīyaḥ.

Note.—The Commentator uses the word pārovarīyakam in his verse, it has the same meaning as parovarīyaḥ. Though in the 9th Khaṇḍa of the 1st Adhyāya this word was explained ns “more excellent,” that was a slip of the Commentator. He evidently rectifies that inaccuracy by quoting an authority, in which this word or rather its syllables are explained.

Though the forms like Pradyumna, etc,, are separate, and exist in separate objects, yet they are not one higher or lower than the other. All of them are equally high. All of them arc entitled to the epithet of parovarīyah. Thus the Commentator next says:—

All these forms of Viṣṇu are each of them the Most High, the Most excellent, in every respect and everywhere.

This parovarīya attribute belongs not only to the five-fold aspects of Viṣṇu as dwelling in the senses, but to those five fold aspects of Viṣṇu wherever they may be, whether in the lokas, etc., or anywhere else. Therefore the Commentator has used the i.e., words “in every respect everywhere.”

There is indeed no distinction between these forms, one is not higher or lower than the other, because they are verily always equal.

If they are all equal, how are they called the most high? Though they are all equal among themselves, yet they are higher than everything else, so the Commentator says:—

But these are in every respect the Most High, as compared to anything else that exists.

(The words prāṇa, etc., primarily are the names of the Lord, secondarily they are applied to the senses).

Thus the Lord Viṣṇu is called prāṇa, because He is the Guide or Leader o£ all (praṇetṛ), He is called vāk (speech) because He is always the revealer or the speaker of all truths, or because all words are His names. He is called cakṣuḥ (eye) because He sees all, in all times. He is called Śrotrom, (ear) because He hears always, everything; or because He gives to everything the power of hearing. He is called manas, because His is the prime thinker or the adviser (mantri or counsellor) of all: or because He is the mantri or Guide of this whole visible, perceptible, cognisable, objective world. Thus one Lord exists in His five-fold aspects, in the senses of all living beings, and is considered as five-fold.

In the Śruti passage “parovarīyo hā sya bhavati,” the word parovarīya must be taken as “giver of release.” How do you translate the same word, in the same passage, by two different ways, namely, in one place you explain it as the name of the Most High; and in another place as the state of attaining salvation? To this the Commentator answers

Brahman becomes His parovarīya, namely, his all in all, because He gives to him all that he wants.

Note.—In this Chapter, in the preceding Khaṇḍas, we had such words as apsumān, Ṛtumān, Paśumān, etc., all meaning ‘devoted to the Lord,’ or “who has attained the Lord called by such names as apsu, ṛtu, paśu,” etc., so in this passage also the word parovarīya must be so explained as to be in harmony with the previous explanation. Therefore the last Parovarīya is explained as “one who has attained the Parovarīya—the Most High.”

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