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, Thirteenth Khanda (8 mantras)

Mantra 3.13.1.

1. Of this Supreme Brahman called the Heart, there are verily indeed five divine gate-keepers. He who is His eastern gate-keeper is the presiding deity of the breath, of the eye and is the sun. Let one meditate on him (as Sun) as physical energy and health. He who meditates thus becomes energetic and healthy.—191.

[Note.—Deva-suṣayaḥ—divine gate-keepers. The gate-keepers who are Devas themselves. The word upāsyāḥ “are to be meditated upon” should be supplied to complete the sentence. The word Deva-suṣī may also mean “the gate through which the Deva has his exit and entrance”.]

Mantra 3.13.2.

2. Now he who is His southern gate-keeper is the presiding deity of Vyāna, of the ear, and is the Moon. Let one meditate on him (as Moon possessed of) beauty and fame. He who meditates thus becomes artistic and famous.—192,

Mantra 3.13.3.

3. Now he who is His southern gate-keeper is the -presiding deity of Apāna, of the organ of speech: and is Agni. Let one meditate on him (as Agni possessed of) intellectual energy and sanity. He who meditates thus becomes intellectual and sane.—193.

[Note.—Brahma-varcasam (varcasa)—the energy produced from the study of the Vedas. The intellectual energy.]

Mantra 3.13.4.

4. Now he who is His northern gate-keeper is the presiding deity of Samāna, and of wind, and he is Indra. Let one meditate on him as Indra possessed of renown and lordliness. He who meditates thus becomes renowned and lordly.—194.

Mantra 3.13.5.

5. Now he who is the central gate-keeper is the presiding deity of Udāna and the chief Vāyu and is Ākāśa. Let one meditate on him as the principal Vāyu possessed of spiritual energy and greatness. He who meditates thus becomes spiritually energetic and great.—195.

[Note.—Mahaḥ—the presiding deity of Mahar; because he is full, therefore, he is called Mahat or great. Similarly the sun, the moon, Agni and Indra are also known as Prāṇa, Vyāna, Apāna and Samāna respectively.]

Mantra 3.13.6.

6. These verily are the five servants of Brahman, the gate-keepers of the world of Pure Wisdom and Joy (also). He who knows these five servants of Brahman thus, (as) the gate-keepers (of the Heart as well as) of the world of Pure Wisdom and Joy gets a virtuous son born in his family; and himself enters that world of Pure Wisdom and Joy because he knows these five servants of Brahman, the gate-keepers of the world of Svarga.—196.

Mantra 3.13.7.

7. Now that Light which shines above this heaven, in the worlds higher than those of Brahmā, higher than all, beyond which there are no higher worlds, (and which themselves are) the highest worlds (of their respective planes); that is verily the same light which is within (the heart of) man. And of this the direct proof is this:—197.

Mantra 3.13.8.

8. Namely the warmth which one perceives through touch here in the body. Of Him is this praise, which one hears as existing in the ears, namely the sound like the roar of an ocean, or that of thunder, or of the burning fire. Let one meditate on Brahman as if thus seen and heard. He who knows this thus, becomes clear-seeing and celebrated; yea who knows this thus.—198.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

In the last khaṇḍa it was mentioned that the Supreme Brahman is in the Heart and is called Hṛdaya, the all-luminous in the town called the Heart. Now will be described the greatness of meditating on the various gate-keepers of this city of the Heart where the Lord dwells. In the Upaniṣad text are mentioned five gates thus: the east gate, which is Prāṇa, which is the eye; the southern gate, which is Vyāna, which is the ear; the western gate, which is Apāna, which is the speech; the northern gate, which is Samāna which is the mind (manas); the upper gate, which is Udāna, which is Vāyu. Prima facie it would appear as if Prāṇa, Apāna, etc., eye, ear, etc., the sun, moon, etc., the east gate, the west gate, etc., were identical, that is to say, the east gate was identical with Prāṇa, eye, and the sun and so on. The Commentator removes this misconception by an extract from the Sat-Tattva.

The warden of the front gate of Hari is the presiding deity (abhimāni) of the breath of (prāṇa) respiration, of the eye, and is called also the sun, the presiding deity of energy and health. The warden of the south is the Moon, the Vyāna, the presiding deity of ear: the deity of fame and beauty. The warden of the west is the presiding deity of the speech, the Apāna, the fire, the intellectual energy, the deity of food. The warden of the north is Indra, the presiding deity of the Samāna and Manas, of glory and lordly power always.

The gate-keeper of the zenith (or the central gate) is the Chief Vāyu itself, the (presiding deity of) ākāśa. He is called ākāśa because of his all-knowing (ā = all; kāśa = to illumine, to know). He is called Udāna because of his being high (unnati = high). He is called Ojas because of his powerfulness (ūrjita = powerful). He is called Mahaḥ because he is full. These five Persons are known as the gate-keepers or servants of the Supreme Brahman. They are the constant gate-keepers in the Heart and also in the world of Viṣṇu. They are the Inner Guards of the Vaikuṇṭha, as Jaya, Vijaya, etc., are the Outer-Guards of the Viṣṇu Loka.

Note.—In the Śruti, it is said that, ho who meditates on Prāṇa gate-keeper becomes Tejasvī and Annāda, on Vyāna Śrimān and Yaśasvī, on Apāna Brahmavarcasvī and Annāda, on Samāna Kīrtimān and Puṣṭimān, on Udāna Ojasvī and Mahasvān, Primā facie it would appear that the person meditating becomes equal in these attributes with the objects of meditation. The Commentator shows that the worshipper gets a portion of the attributes of these gate-keepers.

He who meditates on these gets even a share in a portion of the attributes belonging to these (gate-keepers): and also attains the Viṣṇu world, and gets good offsprings.

Note.—The phrase “tripādasyāmṛtam divi” has been explained in the sense that the three forms Nārāyaṇa, etc., exist in the Dyu—namely, in the Śvetadvīpa, Anantāsana and Vaikuṇṭha. These very three forms are now spoken of in the seventh mantra of this khaṇḍa as existing “above Dyu.” The Dyu there has a different meaning from the Dyu hero. The phrase ‘above dyu’ docs not mean a world above the Vaikuṇṭha or Anantāsana or the Śvetadvīpa, but above dyu in its lower sense.

In fact, the three forms of the Lord in those three worlds are identical with the form of the Lord in the Heart—the Citadel with five gates.

The Lord Viṣṇu dwelling in Vaikuṇṭha and residing above the seven worlds is indeed the same who is in all the worlds, and is also in the highest and best world of Brahma called Viśva. He is in the non-inferior worlds as well. He one alone resides in all souls (Puruṣas). And that Viṣṇu is in Prāṇa (vital force), and Prāṇa is in Agni (vital heat), This vital heat (agni) is felt on touching a living being. This is one way of seeing Viṣṇu, namely, through the vital heat which is the effect of vital energy in which dwells the Lord. This Prāṇa is constantly singing out the praise of that Viṣṇu, and this is what the wise hears always as existing in his two ears and gets divine sight: and gets Mukti through such meditation.

(The wise only see the Inner Light through divine eyes and hear the Inner Music through divine audition. Ordinary people neither see this Light nor hear this Music. This is the result of meditation on the vital heat and vital sound. The vital heat and sound are no doubt physical things, but meditation on them leads to the vision of the Divine Light and the hearing of the Divine Music. This last is a well-known method of Yoga, called the Śabcla Yoga, and is very popular now-a-days among the sect called the Sat Sangīs [Saṅgīs?] or Rādhā Svāmis.)

The Lord should be meditated thus as if He was perceptible and audible, because by such meditation one getting Release, sees and hears the Lord through divine sight and divine hearing. Thus it is in the Sat-Tattva.

Note.—In Mantra 2 the word Yaśas ‘fame’ is used, and in Mantra 4 the word Kīrti or ‘renown’ is employed. The commentator now shows the difference between these two.

In the Śabda Nirṇaya it is said that Yaśas means that which goes (ya) to different directions—fame in distant places; a pervasive attribute; while kīrti is a visible monument of one’s greatness.

(Thus the Pyramids are the Kīrti of the Pharaohs. The idea of something material and perceptible is to be found in the word Kīrti, while Tasas has no such idea, as Arjuna is famous as a warrior.)

The phrase “Sarvataḥ Pṛṣṭheṣu” of Mantra 7, literally on the backs of all, means in places which are the highest, namely, in the Vaikuṇṭha, the Kṣīra Sāgara (the Ocean of Milk), and the Anantāsana, etc.

The phrase “Viśvataḥ Pṛṣṭheṣu” of the same mantra means “in higher places than even the Brahma-Loka.”

The word Anuttama means that from which there is nothing better, beyond which there are no superior worlds. The word Uttama means which is itself in every respect high and the best.

Says an objector:—The Vaikuṇṭha Loka alone is the highest of all worlds, why do you include the Kṣīra Sāgara and the Anantāsana which are parts of the Prākritic plane? To this the Commentator replies:

The Anantāsana is the highest of the Pṛthivī (physical) Lokas, and consequently with respect to the earth it is the highest or Sarvataḥ Pṛṣṭheṣu. With regard to the Intermediate worlds (the astral) the Śveta-dvīpa is the highest, and so, that also is called the highest or Sarvataḥ Pṛṣṭheṣu: and Hari dwelling there is said to be dwelling in the highest world (for it is the highest world of the Intermediate plane). Among all the heavenly (Deva) worlds, the Vaikuṇṭha is said to be the highest So the Lord in Vaikuṇṭha is also rightly said to be dwelling in the highest place: for among the heavens the Vaikuṇṭha is the highest.

Says an objector:—The phrase “Atha yad ataḥ paro divaḥ” (Mantra 7) has been explained as “beyond the heaven.” If the Lord is in the highest heaven Vaikuṇṭha, how can He be said to be beyond the heaven? To this the Commentator replies.

The great Meru is said to be ‘heaven’ with regard to the Earth. The Anantāsana is beyond this Great Meru (the Land of the Earth Devas—the heaven on Earth): and thus the Lord in Anantāsana is beyond heaven (i e., beyond the Earthly Paradise). The Solar Orb is the heaven of the (Intermediate Plane or) Ākāśa for the Astral Plane). The Śveta-Dvīpa is beyond this heaven and so the Lord in Śvetadvīpa is beyond the Astral heaven. The Indra Loka is the heaven of the Dyu plane (Deva plane) The Vaikuṇṭha is beyond the Indra Loka, and so the Lord in Vaikuṇṭha is beyond this heaven also. It is in this sense that the phrase dīva [dīvaḥ] ‘beyond the heaven’ is used. (The “heaven” there means the earthly, the astral and the celestial heavens).

Admitted that Vaikuṇṭha is “Viśvataḥ Pṛṣṭheṣu”, because it is beyond the Satya Loka or the Brahma’s world. But how can the Anantāsana and the Śvetadvīpa be said to be beyond the Brahma’s world, for you have explained the word viśvata [viśvataḥ] as “of Brahmā.” These two worlds are not beyond Brahma’s world, though they are the highest regions of the Physical and the Astral? To this the Commentator answers:—

With regard to the Earth, the Brahma’s world is in Meru. The Anantāsana is beyond Meru and so it is beyond the Brahma’s world. With regard to the Intermediate Region, the Vaijayanta is the world of Brahmā. The Śvetadvipa is beyond this; and so it is beyond the Brahma’s world. With regard to the Dyu worlds, the Satya Loka is the world of Brahmā; and the Vaikuṇṭha is beyond the Satya Loka and therefore beyond the Brahma’s world. In other words, like the “heaven,” the Brahma’s world is also threefold. (The Physical Brāhmic world is in Meru, the Astral Brāhmic world is in Vaijayanta, and the Celestial Brāhmic world is the Satyaloka.)

The Anantāsana, the Śvetadvīpa and the Vaikuṇṭha being beyond the Meru, the Vaijayanta and the Satyaloka respectively, they are said to be “beyond the Brahma’s world,”—“Viśvataḥ Pṛṣṭheṣu”. Thus it is in the Sat Tattva.

The words “Ninadam iva” and “Nadathur iva” of Mantra 8 have been explained by Śaṅkara as “a rumbling like that of a chariot” and “a bellowing like that of the bull.” The Commentator shows that these explanations have no authority. He quotes the authority of Sat Tattva for his explanation.

So also: “Nināda is the roar of the ocean and Nadathu is the sound of the thunder.”

The word Cakṣuṣya has been explained by Śaṅkara as “conspicuous,” while Madhva has explained it as “obtaining of divine vision.” He now quotes the same authority of the Sat Tattva for his explanation.

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