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...

Third Adhyaya, Twelfth Khanda (9 mantras)

Mantra 3.12.1.

1. The Lord called Gāyatrī is verily this All-full, in whatever form (He may be). Gāyatrī is Speech, because (the Lord as) Speech (controls and commands) all beings. He sings out (the Vedas) and gives salvation to all, (hence He is called Gāyatrī).—182.

[Note.—Gāyatrī—the Lord called Gāyatrī, and residing in the Gāyatrī, having a female Form, and called Hayaśīrṣa or he whose head is sound. This Sound-headed Form is the first of the six forms of the Lord.]

[Note.—Bhūtam (Bhūta)—manifold, full, the incarnations like the Fish, etc. This is the second Form of the Lord, and is called Bhūta or the Incarnation-Form, or the Form of manifoldness.]

[Note.—Vāk—the speech, the Lord dwelling in speech. This Form is the same as the Gāyatrī Form, the Female Form and called Hayaśīrṣa or the Sound-headed.]

[Note.—Gāyati—sings, the Lord sings out the Vedas, reveals them. He is the first utterer of the Vedas.]

Note.—The Gāyatrī is the first Form of the Lord. It is a female Form and is in the sun. The second Form of the Lord is that which incarnates and is called the Bhūtam or the Multiform. The third Form is Vāk or Speech—the Revelation that teaches, the Word of Command, The first mantra mentions these three forms,

The names of the Lord given herein are after the objects in which the Lord dwells. Or rather the object in which the Lord dwells gets that particular name, because it represents that particular aspect of the Lord. Thus the Lord has the name Pṛthu or Broad—the earth is called Pṛthivī after this name of the Lord, because of her spaciousness and expansiveness, and so on.

Mantra 3.12.2.

2. That (very Lord who is in the sun and called) Gāyatrī, is indeed (the very Lord who is in the earth and called) Pṛthivī the Bread. In this (form) are all these beings established. None excels this Form.—183.

Note.—The Pṛthivī is the fourth form of the Lord.

Mantra 3.12.3.

3. That very Lord who is in the earth and called Pṛthivī, is indeed the very Lord who is in this Soul and called Śarīra, the Joy-bliss-wisdom. In this Form rest indeed these senses. None can excel this Form.—184.

Note.—This is the fifth form of the Lord. This is the aspect by which the Lord maintains all organised bodies: and hence He is called Sarīra or body. The word Śarīra literally means the wisdom or motion that gives rise to joy and delight—all sensations are essentially pleasurable.

Mantra 3.12.4.

4. That very Lord who is in the Soul and called Śarīra, is indeed the very Lord who is in the innermost part of the Soul, and called the Heart. In Him rest indeed these senses. None excels this Form.—185.

[Note.—Hṛdayam—the heart. The Lord is called Hṛdaya (Hṛdayam) also, because He knows (ayana) or moves (ayana) in the hearts of all souls.]

Note.—This is the sixth and the inmost form of the Lord and called the Heart, i.e., the Mover of all hearts or the Knower of all hearts.

Mantra 3.12.5.

5. That very six-fold Gāyatrī has four feet; and that very fact is declared by a Ṛk verse (Ṛg Veda X. 90. 3).—186.

Mantra 3.12.6.

6. Such is His greatness, yea the Lord is even greater. All souls constitute one quarter of Him. His immortal three quarters are in Heaven.—187.

[Note.—Amṛtam (Amṛta)—the Immortal; the Essential Nature, the svarūpa or the real form of the Lord.]

[Note.—Divi—in heaven. With reference to the Lokas called Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ, and Svar; the heaven mentioned here alludes to a place which is one lac yojanas beyond the intermediate world. These worlds are called Dyu or Heavens, and consist of the Śvetadvīpa, the Anantāsana and the Vaikuṇṭha. The word, “tiṣṭhati”, “rests,” should be supplied to complete the sentence.]

Mantra 3.12.7.

7. That Gāytrī-form of the Lord is indeed Brahman, the All-pervading. This indeed is the All-luminous which is outside of the Soul (in the physical heart).—188.

Note.—The Śruti again describes the four feet of the Lord called Gāyatrī in a different way. This verse describes two forms. The first is the Brahma-form, i.e., the all-pervading form—existing both inside and outside the bodies. The second is the “Bahir-ākāśa”—the Luminous-form in the material (jaḍa) heart in the ether (physical), i.e., in the etherial body.

Mantra 3.12.8.

8. That All-luminous form who is outside the Jīva (in the external heart) is verily the All-luminous who is inside the Jīva (pervades the soul).—189.

Note.—This is the Third Form or foot of the Lord called Gāyatrī.

Mantra 3.12.9.

9. That All-luminous form who is inside the Jīva, is verily the All-luminous who is in the heart of the Jīva.—190.

Note.—This is the Fourth Form.

Mantra 9 (continued).

9. That All-luminous, who is in the heart, is verily the Full, the Self-determined. He who knows thus, obtains happiness, full and independent.—190.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

This khaṇḍa is generally explained to be in praise of the Gāyatrī. The following words occurring in it have been taken by baṅkara in their literal sense, viz., Gāyatrī as meaning the metre Gāyatrī; bhūta [bhūtam] existing thing; vāk, speech; pṛthivī, the earth; śārīra, body; hṛdayam, the heart. Śrī Madhva shows that these words all mean the Lord. He takes up first the word bhūta [bhūtam] and shows that this word comes from the root √bhū, meaning “to be many” and not from √bhū ‘to be.’ That thus it means “The Full,” “The Infinite.” In fact, Bhūtam is the same word as Bhumā—both meaning immensity.

In the previous khaṇḍas were taught the glory of the Lord as Āditya, and it was shown how He was the object of meditation for the Devas called Vasus, etc. Now is explained the glory of the Lord under His name of the Gāyatrī and as being six-fold, for the sake of those who are devoted to the worship of the Gāyatrī.

Whatever is here Bhūta [Bhūtam] (Manifold) is really Prabhūta [Prabhūtam] (Immensity), is alone the All-Full Lord called the Gāyatrī. (No one else is Full or Manifold). It comes from the √bhū, to be many. And ‘many’ has the sense of Fulness also.

Having explained the word bhūtam in his own words, the commentator now quotes an authority for his interpretation of this word as well as of the other words.

As in the Sat-tattva:—“That which is Full in every way (in space, in time and in qualities), having the forms of the Fish, the Tortoise, etc., is this Lord Viṣṇu and who verily is within every one. Because the Vedas have emanated from Him (or been uttered by him) He is the great singer (Gāyaka) and is the saviour (trātā) of all, hence He is called Gāyatrī (the great Musician Saviour). He is the Supreme Male Vāsudeva. Bhūta [Bhūtam] is the same as Bhūmā—both meaning Immensity: and Bhūmā is the Supreme Person, because He is All-Full. He is Supreme over everything else (including Ramā even), He is the controller of all. Whatever (Form that He assumes) is verily Viṣṇu indeed in His entirety, none else is like Him.

Thus the First Form of the Lord is Gāyatrī, a female form and sunlike luminous. His Second Form is the Incarnating Form such as the Fish, etc., and called Bhūta [Bhūtam]. His Third Form is Vāk.

He the Lord Viṣṇu alone is called Vāk (the speech or the voice), because he dwells in speech. Because he is the Revealer, therefore he is called Hayaśīrṣa (the mind or sound as head) and he dwells in the Gāyatrī.

Thus the Third Form of Hari is Vāk, and allegorically represented as Hayagrīva. Haya or Turaga, means both ‘the mind, the sound’ and also ‘the horse.’ Hayaśīrsa or Hayagrīva need not necessarily be translated as Horse-faced, as that has nothing to do with Vāk or speech, but as mind-faced, or sound-faced.

He indeed (called Gāyatrī) is also named Pṛthivī, and dwells in the Earth. Verily in Viṣṇu pervading the earth is established the whole world. Nothing whatsoever surpasses Him: this Hari indeed is the greatest of all. On account of His spaciousness (pṛthu) He is called Pṛthivī (the Broad): He indeed called Pṛthivī resides in the souls of all embodied creatures. The Unborn Adorable Lord is called śarīra, because He is all joy and delight (sari), and also wisdom (īraṇa). The Purūṣa [Puruṣa?] (of mantra 3) is the Jīva, the all-pervading Lord resides in the Purūṣa or Soul. The Lord Viṣṇu thus dwelling in the Jīva gets the name of Śarīra. Because He is auspiciousness (śam), delightful (ra) and wisdom (īra), therefore He is called Śarīra—the Wisdom-Delight-Prosperity. He dwells also in the heart of the Jīva whose essential nature is sentiency (caitanya), as the Lord Viṣṇu moves (ayana) or knows (ayana) in the heart (hṛt) So the wise call Him Hṛdaya or the Mover-in-the-heart or the Knower-of-the-heart.

The Lord Viṣṇu dwelling in the Gāyatrī has a female Form and luminous like the sun. This is His First Form. His Second Form is the Incarnation Form, such as those of the Fish, etc., and called the Bhūta. His Third Form is that which dwells in speech and is called the Sound-faced (Haya-śīrṣa)—it is also a female Form. The Fourth Form is that which dwells in the earth—it is yellow in colour and a female form. The Fifth Form is that which is inside the Jīva (soul) and pervades it. It is named Śarīra. The Sixth Form is that which dwells in the heart and is called Hṛdaya. Thus the Lord Viṣṇu called Gāyatrī has these six forms and so He is said to be six-fold.

The Lord Viṣṇu called Gāyatrī is said to have four feet, three of which constitute His essential nature (svarūpa), and the fourth is separate. His fourth and the separated Foot includes all the souls (Jīvas), merely because they are similar to Him (and hence called a foot of the Lord). But the true feet of the Lord Viṣṇu are three existing in heaven—namely, Nārāyaṇa, Vāsudeva and Vaikuṇṭha—these are the three feet or the svarūpa or the essential form of the Lord.

Note.—Nārāyaṇa resides in the Śvetadvīpa, Vāsudeva in the Anantāsana, and Vaikhuṇṭha in Vaikuṇṭha. The Vaikuṇṭha world is heaven, as it is beyond the Satya Loka even, but how can you call Śvetadvīpa and Anantāsana heavens, for they are parts of the Bhūta world. To this the commentary says:

The forms of Hari called Ananta sayana (Nārāyaṇa) and Anantāsana (Vāsudeva), reside always in vehicles made of the most rarefied mental Matter (cit-prakṛti), many millions of miles away from the earth, and hence those two places are also called “heaven” in the Śruti. All places which are more than a myriad of miles (yojanas) away are called Dyu or heaven, when we speak of the three worlds (Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svar); and therefore these two are called heavens.

Note.—If heaven be used in this peculiar sense, i.e., for any celestial body which is more than a lac of yojanas from the earth, and if in this sense Nārāyaṇa, Vāsudeva and Vaikuṇṭha exist in these heavens, what is then that world which is said to be higher than heaven? For in mantra 7 of the next khaṇḍa we find a place mentioned which is said to be higher than heaven “paraḥ divaḥ”? For according to your explanation every place beyond a lac of yojanas is “heaven,” so nothing can be beyond heaven. To this the commentary says:—

The Lord is said to be above the Heaven when reference is made to the seven worlds.

Note.—When we intend to speak of the three worlds Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svar, places beyond the sky (antarikṣa) or intermediate world by a lac of yojanas or more are called heavens. In this sense Śvetadvīpa (the White Planet or Island), the Anantāsana (the endless seat) and the Vaikuṇṭha are Heavens, and the forms of the Lord existing in these places are said to be existing in heaven. When we say the Lord is “beyond heaven,” we are speaking of Him as beyond the seven worlds (for heavens are included within the seven worlds).

The commentary now explains the mantras “yad vai tad brahma”, etc. (mantra 7 to 9) and shows that those verses also establish the four forms of the Lord Gāyatrī in a different way.

The Lord is the Supreme Brahman—and is declared to be all-pervading. He verily is outside the Jīva in the ether of the (physical) heart. He who is in the physical heart, is now also within the Jīva pervading it. He who thus pervades the Jīva is also within the inmost recess (heart) of the Jīva, within the spiritual heart. Thus also is described in another way the four-footedness of the Lord.

Note.—The first form is in the Brahman or the All-pervading form—that which exists both in and out of all physical bodies. It is the physical form of the Lord—the Lord as space. The second form is the Lord as in the ether of the physical heart—controlling the physical activities of all organised bodies. This is the Lord as an organised body—the Lord as in ether. The third form is in the Jīva—the Ego, the Lord as controlling all Egos or personalities. The fourth form is in the spiritual heart of the Ego-controlling all monads.

The commentary now explains the phrase “tad etat pūrṇām apravarti” (mantra 9).

That very Lord (described before as six-formed and iour-formed) is Full (infinite in time, space and qualities). He is not moved by any one, but sets in motion the whole universe. That is said to be pravarti who is set in motion by another. The Lord Hari is self-determined (apravarti), because He is always Independent. Or the Lord is called apravarti, because He has no pravriti or origin.

(According to the ṭīkā-kāra the word pravarti if taken as an accusative form will mean that which all can use, the Lord is not such an object to bo set in motion by all. it be taken in active sense, then it means the mover. The Lord has no mover.)

Happiness, Full, Independent, and eternal is for such knower.

Note.—Happiness is called full in the sense that it is full or Perfect according to the capacity of the Freed Soul, not that it is full in the sense that the Lord is full. It is called independent, because no lower being has control over him. It is certainly dependent on the Lord. This happiness belongs to the Released who knows the Lord thus: and not to the non-released.

The Caturmukha Brahma alone is entitled to this Gāyatrī meditation (principally and) directly. For inferior beings who perforin this Gāyatrī meditation there is also happiness, but it is dependent and not full the full and independent happiness is for Brahma alone: and not for anybody else. No doubt the happiness of Brahmā is dependent on Viṣṇu also, but it is independent of every being lower than Brahmā. The happiness of others is dependent not only on Viṣṇu, but on Brahmā also. Thus the word independent is a relative term, and means “not dependent on a being lower than itself” and depends upon the position occupied by it in the hierarchical gradation, and the capacity of the being. Thus it is in the Sat-tattva.

The commentator has explained thus this khaṇḍa in the words of the authoritative work called the Sat Tattva, and has shown that this chapter also deals with the Supreme Brahman. Saṅkara, however, explains this khaṇḍa as applying to the poetical metre called the Gāyatrī. The commentator now shows the irrelevancy of that explanation: by re-ductio ad absurdum proof.

From the application of the word Brahman to Gāyatrī, it is concluded also that the latter can mean here the Lord, (and not the metre Gāyatrī. For the word Brahman in its principal meaning denotes the Lord, therefore the word Gāyatrī here means the Lord).

Not only the Śruti word Brahman is a direct statement that the word Gāyatrī here means the Lord, but by applying the well-known canons of interpretation also we conclude that this chapter refers to the Lord: and not the metre Gāyatrī, for there are inferential marks also to that effect.

The words Fully Independent—purnā [purṇā?] pravarti—used in mantra 9—can apply literally and principally only to the Lord; and not the metre Gāyatrī; moreover, the Ṛg Veda mantra X. 90. 3. quoted in this chapter also shows that the topic treated herein is the Lord and not the metre Gāyatrī (for even the Śaṅkaras admit that the Puruṣa Sūkta from which the above mantra is a quotation applies to the Lord).

Thus having established that the Vidyā taught herein applies to the Lord, the commentator now shows that the explanation of the word Bhūta given by Śaṅkara is wrong. For Śaṅkara says:—Bhūta [Bhūtam] means all the living beings, animate or inanimate.

All the Jīvas (egos—animate or inanimate) form but one foot of the Lord, for the Śruti says “pādasyā visvā bhūtāni”—all beings are but a foot of Him (mantra 6).

The full reasoning is this. If the words “sarvam bhūtam” used in the first mantra meant “all beings, animate and inanimate”—then there occurs tautology. For the word bhūta [bhūtam] refers to the Gāyatrī which is six-fold and has four feet. While mantra 6 shows that all “living beings” form but only one foot of the Gāyatrī, and are thus included in and are a portion of the six-fold Gāyatrī. The word bhūtam therefore in the first mantra cannot mean “living beings”—forthen we are faced with this absurdity—at one place bhūta [bhūtam] (if translated as living beings) is equal to the whole of Gāyatrī, and in the second place it is only one-fourth of Gāyatrī. Therefore the bhūtam of the first mantra cannot mean “living being”—but one which would include all living beings and be over and above that.

Therefore the phrase “bhūtam yad idam kiñca”—refers to the Avatāra-form from which come out the incarnations like the Fish, the Tortoise, etc., and the word Bhūtam refers to this form which is one of the six forms of the Lord called Gāyatrī.

The commentator now quotes an authority to show that “all living beings” constitute one separated pāda of the Lord.

As among the twenty-two Avatāras of the Lord, the Jīva also is mentioned, as Pṛthu Avatāra (which is a typical Jīva), so among the four pādas of the Lord, the Jīva constitutes one pāda owing to its proximity to the Lord.

Note.—Pṛthu is the ninth Avatāra, when counting twenty-two Avatāras. “In response to the prayers of the Ṛṣis the Lord assumed the body of Pṛthu.” In reply to the objection “why the Jīvas, who are different from the Lord enumerated in the category of the other three forms which truly belong to the Lord,” the commentary goes on.

Says the Prāthamya:—

As the Time, Brahmā (the Male), the Vyakta (the Manifested matter) and the Prakriti (the Unmanifested Root of matter) are enumerated among the forms of the Supreme Viṣṇu along with His really supreme forms like the Fish, etc., so all beings, though really distinct from Him, are counted among His feet. As the Brahman is said to have two forms, the Mūrta (the Material or Visible) and the Amūrta (Immaterial or Invisible), in the same sense, the beings (egos) though different from the Lord, are said to be His foot, and are counted along with His feet (or real forms).

Note.—Egos are conventionally spoken of as the foot or form of the Lord. His true forms are only the Avatāra forms like the Fish, etc.

Says the objector: “But why do you labour this point? Is it not plain that the Egos (Jīvas) are one foot of the Lord in the sense that they are identical with the Lord? Why make them different from the Lord; and then search out a forced interpretation?” To this the commentary replies:—

(There, however, are the real feet of the Lord), for in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa we find Him described as Tripāt, in the verse “sudarśanākhyam svāstramtu prāyuṅkta dayitam Tripāt”—“the Three-footed Lord employed His beloved weapon called Sudarśana.” This shows that the Egos (Jīvas) are not really a foot of the Lord.

Note.—In this chapter the Lord is said Four-footed in a conventional sense only: His real forms are three, the Jīvas are not His essential forms. Had they been so, the Bhāgavata Purāṇa would not have spoken of the Lord as Tripāt (the three-footed), but Catuṣpāt.

Says an objector: “But how a thing which is really separate can be said to be a pāda or portion (aṃśa) of another?” To this the Commentary replies:—

As Suvarcalā, the wife oḥ the Sun, has been described as a part (aṃśa) of the Lord, so the Jīvas (Egos) are said to be the part of the Lord, though they are always (whether bound or free) really distinct in substance from the Lord.

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