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, Ninth Khanda (8 mantras)

Mantra 2.9.1.

1. Now then let a man meditate on that Lord called the Sun and residing in the sun, having seven forms and called Āditya. Because He is always the same, therefore He is called the Sāma. Every one equally says “He looks towards me, He looks towards me,” therefore He is called the Sāma, the Harmonious.—115.

Mantra 2.9.2.

2. Let him meditate thus “All these beings are refuged in Him.” Pradyumna is that form of Him which exists in the time before the sun rises. By that form all animals are protected. Because they are protected by that form of the Harmonious called Hiṅkāra (Pradyumna) therefore they utter hiṅ before the sun rises.—116.

Mantra 2.9.3.

3. Now that aspect of the Lord which is in the time when the sun has first risen is called Prastāva (Vāsudeva). On this form of His all men are dependent. And because they are refuged by this form of the Harmonious called Prastāva, therefore, they love all enterprize and desire praise.—117.

Mantra 2.9.4.

[Note.—Saṅgavavelāyām—the time when the cows have been milked and are allowed by the cowherds to suckle their young ones, i.e., when the cows are together with their calves, i.e, 3 muhūrtas or about 2½ hours after the dawn.]

4. Now that form which is in the time of Saṅgava, that is called the Ādi or Varāha. On that form of His, Birds are dependent. Because they are dependent on this form of the Harmonious called Ādi, therefore, they fly about in the sky without support, holding themselves.—118.

Note.—The birds, perhaps, here mean Siddhas who by holding themselves (ādāya ātmānam) that is, by self-restraint and control of breath acquire the power to move in the air. Who are masters of Khecari Mudrā. These Siddhas or adepts are higher than men, but lower than Devas. Since Varāha or the Lord of gravitation is their protector, they transcend the law of gravity and move about freely from planet to planet, from stars to stars.

Mantra 2.9.5.

5. Now that form which is in the time of exact noon or midday that is called Nārāyaṇa. On that form of His, the Devas are dependent. Because they are dependent on this form of the Harmonious called Narayana and are His worshippers, therefore they are the best of all the descendants of Prajāpati.—119.

Mantra 2.9.6.

6. Now that form, which is in the time after midday and before afternoon is called. Aniruddha. On that form of His all germs are dependent. Because they are dependent on this form of the Harmonions, called Aniruddha, therefore they are not destroyed when carried from (father to the mother).—120.

Note.—The germs or garbhas are those Jīvas which have failed to evolve themselves into Devas or Siddhas (Birds) or men in one day of Brahmi or a Kalpa, These Jīvas are carried from the old planet to the new planet by Aniruddha. They are all in a state of perfect unconsciousness. They become garbhas. The word pratihṛtā of the Śruti is very expressive. It shows the carrying of the germs from a dying out system to a just born world. Aniruddha performs this function.

Mantra 2.9.7.

7. Now, that form which rules the period between the afternoon and the sunset is called Nṛsiṃha. On that form of His, wild beasts or Araṇyas are dependent. Because they are dependent on this form of the Harmonious called the Nṛsiṃha, therefore, they run towards the forest and the dens, when they see a man (a hunter).—121.

Note.— These Āraṇyas are semi-human beings, which dwell in the caves and dens of the dying out world. They are higher than the Garbhas and lower than the Pitṛs.

Mantra 2.9.8.

8. Now that form which rules the period when the sun first sets, is called Saṅkarṣaṇa. On that form of His the Pitṛs are dependent. Because they are the dependents o this form of the Harmonious called Saṅkarṣaṇa, therefore, the ignorant even put down the funeral cakes for them. Thus he who meditates on the Lord called Sāman, in His seven fol forms residing in that sun, in this way (gets release.)—122.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

The author now mentions the meditation on the Lord, under seven-fold Sāman. According to old commentaries the present Chapter is thus described:—“Adhyāya, among the five-fold, it has been explained how one ought to think of the members of Sāma as the sun. What is laid down now is that one ought to think of the sun as the complete Sāma, with due regard to its members and then he ought to meditate upon the seven-fold Sāma.” The old commentators have thus taken it to apply to the visible sun. This is, however, incorrect. Because the visible sun is not a ways the same to all, and it is not the refuge of all creatures. These, however, are the attributes to Āditya of this Khaṇḍa. Therefore, the Āditya mentioned here, cannot mean the physical sun. So the Commentator says.

So also “Let one meditate on the Supreme Viṣṇu called Āditya, residing in the sun. He has seven aspects or forms, He is called Sāma, because He is always the same (Sāma—same). He is called Sāma also for this reason, because (every one thinks that He is his special beloved) and loves him only. They say “He faces me, He faces me.” Thus because He is seen by all in one’s own direction, therefore, He is called Sāma, from Sāmya dṛṣṭi or sameness of vision.

Objection.—The Lord Viṣṇu residing in the sun, is not visible to all; how is it possible then to say that because He is same to the eyes of all, therefore, He is called Sāma? This objection is answered next by the Commentator:

“The sameness of the vision of all is with regard to the solar orb, and Viṣṇu is the cause of this; therefore, all see Viṣṇu or the solar orb in his own direction. (Since He is the cause of the parallel rays of the solar orb, therefore, He is the real producer of this sameness of vision.) In this Lord Viṣṇu alone are verily refuged all these creatures.

“Before rising, this Lord Viṣṇu is called by the name of Pradyumna (pra=before...dyu=light) He is the support of all animals, He is the self on whom, depend all animals. On rising He is Vāsudeva similarly (and this aspect of the Lord dwells in the risen sun). He is the refuge or support of human beings. Similarly, the Lord in His aspect of Varāha resides in the sun at the time called Saṅgava, (namely, when cows are taken to be milked.)

At the Saṅgava time—at the time when the rays are put forth; or, at the time when the calves are allowed to be with the cows the form of the sun that appears at that time that is the Ādi Bhakti, i.e., the syllable ‘Om.’ This is the ordinary explanation of this word. It, however, is the meeting (sam) point of two planes or globes (gavaḥ)—the astral plane which is midway between the Human and the Deva—Super-human but sub-divine.

In this form the Lord Viṣṇu is the refuge of all Birds. Similarly the Lord Viṣṇu, called Narayana, dwells in the midday sun, and He is the support of the Devas. Next to it is Aniruddha. This is the aspect of the Lord Viṣṇu dwelling in the sun, after midday, but before afternoon. In this form he is the support of creatures who are still in the womb, and not yet born. After that, namely, in the sun which appears before sunset and after afternoon, He is called Nṛ-Siṃha and He is the refuge of all wild animals. After that, the form which appears in the setting sun, is called Saṅkarṣaṇa. He is the refuge of the Pitṛs. This seven-fold Viṣṇu should be meditated upon. He who thus meditates upon Him, gets the Highest Place (after) becoming free from the ocean of Saṃsāra.”

Note.— This describes an evolutionary period, or the Day of Brahmā. Just before sunrise, i.e., before the advent of man on this earth, animals appear on its surface; and the. Lord as working through animals, from His seat in the sun, is called Pradyumna; and the cosmic note of the animal world is hiṅg. Then comes humanity on this earth. The birth of humanity is poetically likened to the rising sun. The Lord working through men from the sun is called Vāsu Deva. When through course of ages humanity evolves into psychic beings called Birds or movers-in-space, then is the period just before the midday of creation. This Bird period of evolution has yet to come. When this period will dawn, then men will possess the power of moving freely through space; going from one planet to another; and not tied down to this earth, as they are at present. Whether they will do so in their physical body or astral body will depend upon the amount of evolution made by each man.

After this Bird period, comes the Deva period of humanity. The man is now free to move, not only in the physical and astral, but through the Deva world also. It is at this period that the Devas mix freely with men, for men have become Deva-like. This is the culminating point of humanity; and the Lord in this aspect is called Nārāyaṇa. Then begins the decline. The humanity passes out from the world into the subtler regions. It no longer exists on this physical globe. Then comes the gestating state, in the higher plane. This state is called Garbha or womb; and the Lord presiding over this state is called Aniruddha. After that comes the manifestation of beings, half men and half beasts. These beings called upadrava—calamities, misfortunes, monsters, are on the astral plane and are called Āraṇyas or wild beasts also. These are the Terrible Ones, the great calamities. The Lord presiding over them, is called Nara-Siṃha, the Man-lion. When the close of the day of Brahmā comes, these souls which are still on the subtler plane, become the seeds of future evolution; they are called the Pitṛs. The Lord presiding over them is called Saṅkarṣaṇa. These Pitṛs take birth on the new globe of the new system and are followed again in the same order by men, Birds, Devas, etc. But what became of the men who had evolved up to Devas? These beings either remain as rulers of the new world, or pass out to higher evolution. Only the Garbhās, the Araṇyas and the Pitṛs evolve as a rule on the new globe; and not the Devas, the Birds, and the men of the past Day.

The Commentator now explains the phrase “therefore they move in the air without any support.”

As Varāha (the Lord as Varāha) supports all, therefore the Birds who are refuged in that form, are capable of moving in space without any support.

[May not Varāba denote gravitation that keeps all suns and planets in their proper places? The Siddhas called Birds have the power of moving in space, because they are worshippers of the Varāha aspect of the Lord.]

The Commentator now explains the passage “Therefore they make the sounds of hiṅ...because they are sharers of this Sāman.”

They make the sound hiṅ, because they are dependent upon the Lord named Hiṅkāra (Pradyumna.)

This also explains the phrase “sharers of hiṅkāra,” i.e., refuged in the Lord called Hiṅkāra.

The Commentator now explains the passage “Therefore they love prastuti and praśaṃsā...because they are sharers of Prastāva.” The two words prastuti and praśaṃsā are not synonyms.

Because men are dependent upon or refuged in Prastāva (Vāsudeva) therefore, they are lovers of prastuti, i.e. of novel undertakings, adventures and enterprises, and of praśaṃsā or praise and celebrities. This is so, because Vāsudeva called Prastāva is first of the Avatāras or manifestations, and the presiding deity of praise and celebrity.

The Commentator next explains the passage “therefore they are the best of the descendants of Prajāpati, because they are sharers in Udgītha. The Devas have not become best merely because they are dependent upon and refuged in Nārāyaṇa, for then the animals and men also would have become best, because they also are dependent upon and refuged in the Lord in His form of Pradyumna and Vāsudeva, and all forms are equal in greatness.

The Commentator answers this objection:—

The Devas have become the best of all descendants of Prajāpati, because they worship and meditate on the Lord as full of all perfect qualities. This is denoted by the etymological meaning of the word Nārāyaṇa itself. It is this worship which has made the Devas pre-eminent and nothing else.

An objector says how do you say that the Devas became best of all creatures by the mere worship of Nārāyaṇa as full of all excellent qualities; when we find that in Madhu Vidyā, etc., mention is made that the Devas became best of all creatures by worshipping Vāsudeva, etc. So the worship of Nārāyaṇa alone is not sufficient. To this the Commentator answers.

If the other forms like Pradyumna, Vāsudeva, etc., are worshipped as full of all perfect qualities, then such worship also becomes the worship of Nārāyaṇa indeed, and produces the same effect.

But how the worship of other forms can become the worship of Nārāyaṇa, merely by the fact that one worships a Lord in that form as full of all perfect and excellent qualities? To this the Commentator answers.

Because the word Nārāyaṇa means literally He who is full of all excellent and perfect qualities; therefore, the worship of any form with the notion that it is full of all perfect and excellent qualities is the worship of Nārāyaṇa in its literal sense.

Ara means evil, fault. Na+ara=nāra, “free from blemish or fault.” Qualities in which there are no blemishes or faults, are called nārā or faultless, excellent perfect qualities. Ayana means refuge, abode. He who is the abode of all faultless, excellent and perfect qualities is called Nārāyaṇa.

Since the germs are under the special protection of Aniruddha, therefore, they are not destroyed, though carried from the body or loins of the father (to the womb of the mother). On the contrary, they increase therein. On the other hand, everything else like food, etc., entering from outside into the system becomes assimilated with the system and is so destroyed; but not so the germs when they enter the body.

But what is the authority that the Lord as Aniruddha protects the germs. The Commentator quotes a Śruti in support of it.

As says a Śruti (Ṛg Veda, X. 184. 1; “May Dhātā lay the germ for Thee.” Because Dhātā here means the Lord Aniruddha and not the four-faced Brahmā.

But how do you know this? Because in the preceding passage the Lord Viṣṇu is mentioned and so the whole hymn is a praise of the four forms of Viṣṇu.

Because in the preceding three lines or padas Viṣṇu, Tvaṣṭar [Tvaṣṭṛ?] and Prajāpati are mentioned and in the fourth line Dhātā occurs, therefore, these are inferred to be the four forms of Viṣṇu as mentioned here, namely, Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.

The whole stanza of Ṛg Veda is as follows:—

“May Viṣṇu form and mould the womb, may Tvaṣṭā duly shape the forms.”

“Prajāpati expel the foetus, and Dhātār lay the germ for thee.”

But how do you say that this Viṣṇu, Tvaṣṭā, etc., denote the four forms of Viṣṇu, and are not the names of separate deities? This the Commentator answers by quoting an authority.

As says a text:—“The forming and moulding of the womb is from Vāsudeva; the shaping of the form belongs to Saṅkarṣaṇa; the act of ejecting the child from the womb called Niṣeka and translated above as expel the foetus is the work of Pradyumna, while maintaining the germ in the womb and nourishing it there, is the act of Aniruddha.”

(‘Forming and moulding the womb’) means the power to produce the son, or it may mean the purification of the womb. ‘Shaping the form’ means the construction of the various limbs and organs of the body of the child in the foetus. The ‘ejectment’ means expulsion of the child from the womb, when the time of delivery has approached. Letting the germ means upholding the foetus. If Vāsudeva, etc., perform these functions, why does the Vedic Śruti not mention these names, and why does it use names like Viṣṇu, Tvaṣṭā, etc.?

To this the Commentator answers by showing that these names etymologically are the same:—

Viṣṇu comes from the √vislṛ [?visṛ?] ‘to pervade,’ and Vāsu Deva also means the Lord who pervades all; and thus both are one. Tvaṣṭā comes from the √tvas ‘to shine,’ and Saṅkarṣaṇa also means the same. Prajāpati means ‘he who causes the offspring (prajā) to fall (pāta) from the womb, on the ground; and Niṣeka means coming out of the womb, therefore Prajāpati (or he who ejects the foetus from the womb) is Pradyumna While Aniruddha is Dhātā because he upholds (Dhāraṇa) the foetus.

Admitted that these four names found in the Vedas may be thus identified with the four names, Vāsu Deva, etc., bub what are the two Aświns mentioned in the next stanza which runs as follows:—

“O Sinivāli, set the germ, set thou the germ, Sarasvatī:

May the Twain Gods bestow the germ, the Aśvins crowned with lotuses.

To this the Commentator answers.

Kṛṣṇa and Rāma are the Aśvins mentioned in this passage.

The Commentator next explains the passage the animals run to forests and dens from men.

‘Because the form of Nṛsiṃha [Nṛ Siṃha] dwells always in forests and dens, therefore, the wild animals, when frightened, instinctively run towards forests and dens, for protection; even though they know not that their protector Nṛ Siṃha is always there. Because when the wild animals are frightened the Lord as Nṛ Siṃha is always their protection.

Because Saṅkarṣaṇa is said to be the refuge of the Pitṛs, therefore, even the ignorant put down or offer funeral cakes (Piṇḍas) to them, otherwise, how could these offerings, thus given, reach the dead ancestors? (Because Saṅkarṣaṇa is the Lord of the Pitṛs, he carries these offerings to them.)

Though there is no difference, among these (four) forms either in quality or in name, (for any name is as good to call upon the God as the other, for all these forms are equally the Most High) yet His most particular favourite name is said to be Nārāyaṇa. Because verily all the other names conjointly denote what the single word Nārāyaṇa does. Or because any one of those names is equal to that of Nārāyaṇa, and can be as effective as that name, then only, when it is meditated upon with the full significance of the word Nārāyaṇa; that is, with the notion that the Lord is full of all auspicious, excellent and perfect qualities and the name denotes the same.

(It was mentioned before that the Devas became pre-eminent over all, because they knew the meaning of the name Nārāyaṇa and understood it to mean the fullness of all excellent qualities. Thus only by knowing the significance of the name and by so worshipping the Lord, the Devas became the best of all the descendants of Prajāpati.

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