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...

Fourth Adhyaya, Eleventh through Fifteenth Khandas (15 mantras)

Mantra 4.11.1.

1. After that the Gārhapatya Fire taught him. “Brahman is Vast (pṛthivī), World Guide (agni), Destroyer (annam) and Eternal (āditya).” As subjective Antaryāmin (He is), the SPIRIT who is seen in the Solar Logos (by the illumined sage). He is the “supreme I am,” He indeed is the supreme I am.—283.

Mantra 4.11.2.

2. He who knowing this thus meditates on Him, his sins destroyed, becomes a dweller of the world of God, gets life eternal, lives resplendent, and his dependants do not perish, because we guard him in this world and in the other; who soever knowing this thus, meditates on Him.—234.

Mantra 4.12.1.

1. Then the Anvāhārya Fire taught him:—“Brahman is the Protector of all, the Guide, the Supreme Ruler, the Joy Eternal.” (As Self He is) the SPIRIT who is seen (by the illumined sage) in the Lunar Logos. He is verily the “supreme I am.” He indeed is the supreme I am.—284.

[Note.—Āpaḥ (Āpas/Ap)—the waters, the Protector of all. (ā = All, = to protect).]

[Note.—Diśaḥ (Diśas/Diś)—the quarters; the Guide (deśana = director, the Teacher).]

[Note.—Nakṣatraḥ (Nakṣatra)—the stars: the Supreme King (na = not, kṣattra = king. Who has no ruler above him).

Mantra 4.12.2.

2. He who knowing Him thus, meditates on Him, his sins destroyed, becomes a dweller of the world of God, gets life eternal, lives respondent, and his dependants do not perish, because we guard him in this world and in the other, whoever knowing Him thus, meditates on Him.—285.

Mantra 4.13.1.

1. Then the Āhavanīya Fire taught him:—“Brahman is All-powerful, All-pervading, the Luminous, the Sentiency.” (As Self, He is) the SPIRIT who is seen (by the illumined sage) in the Deva of lightning. He is the “I am.” He indeed is the “I AM.”—286.

Mantra 4.13.2.

2. He who knowing Him thus, meditates on Him, his sins destroyed, becomes a dweller of the world of God, gets life eternal, lives resplendent. His dependents do not perish, because we guard him in this world, and in the other, whosoever knowing Him thus, meditates on Him.—287.

Fourteenth Khaṇḍa.

Mantra 4.14.1.

1. Then they said: “Friend Upakosala, (thus have we taught thee theoretically) the two doctrines about God, namely, that God is the “I” (the Inner Ruler of all souls) and that God is the “Ātman” (the All-pervading cosmic agent). But thy teacher alone will tell thee the (practical) mode (of realising this teaching)”. In time his teacher came back, and said to him “Upakosala”!—288.

[Note.—Asmad Vidyā—the secret Doctrine of “I”; the knowledge of the Antaryāmin (the Inner Ruler).]

[Note.—Ātma-vidyā—the doctrine about the “Ātman”—God as the Cosmic Agent, the All-pervading. The words “have been taught” should be supplied, to complete the sentence. Thou must know intellectually these two Vidyās, as we have taught. The practical method of their realisation by meditation, will be taught to thee by thy teacher.]

Mantra 4.14.2.

2. He answered “Sir,” The teacher said: “Friend, thy countenance looks bright as that of a person inspired. Now who has taught thee (a Deva or a lower entity)?” Upakosala said: “What (lower entity) can dare teach me, Sir? Men and Asuras hide themselves before thee. The (presiding Devas of) these (fires) verily taught me. They were (refulgent) like these, but unlike these (as they had hands, feet, etc.)”. Upakosala spoke about the Fires before his teacher. The teacher said: “What, my friend, have these Fires told you?”—289.

[Note.—Nihnutaḥ (Nihnuta)—hide. Both men and demons hide themselves before thee: are not capable of teaching in thy presence. The Devas alone have taught me.]

[Note.—Īdṛśāḥ—like these (visible fires in their colour and brilliancy).]

[Note.—Anyādṛśāḥ—but unlike these (fires, because they were endowed with an organised form, with hands, head, feet, etc.).]

Mantra 4.14.3.

3. Upakosala answered: “This” (repeating all that the Fires had told him). The teacher said: “My friend, they have verily taught thee the knowledge about the Worldsupporters, but I shall tell thee (the goal, the path and the method of meditation). As water does not cling to a lotus leaf, so no sinful act clings to one who knows Him thus.” He said: “Sir, tell me.” He said then to him.—290.

[Note.—Lokān—the worlds: tbe supporters of all; namely (1) the Prāṇa, (2) the All-pervading Cosmic Brahman = Ka, (3) the Subjective Self, the Antaryāmin Brahman= Kha.]

[Note.—Avocan—they said. These, of course, thou should know, but not meditate upon: nor take as thy goals.]

[Note.—Vakṣyāmi—will teach. I will tell thee that who is to be meditated upon, and the path and the goal which is to be teached. He praises the teaching that he is going to give.]

Mantra 4.15.1.

1. (He said). This Person who is seen in the eye is the Self (called Vāmana). This is the Immortal, the Fearless. This is Brahman. Nothing clings to this. Because (such a Person resides in the eye) therefore if any one drops melted butter or water on it, it runs away on both sides (and does not cling to the eye).—291.

Mantra 4.15.2.

2. The wise call Him the Saṃyadvāma (the Most Beautiful), because all objects of beauty enter into Him. All beautiful objects enter into Him who knows Him thus.—292.

Mantra 4.15.3.

3. He verily is called Vāmani (the Giver of beauty) because He alone gives beauty to all. He who knows Him thus gives beauty to all (beings inferior to himself).—293.

[Note.—Vāmani—the giver of beauty: called Vāmani.]

[Note.—Nayati—leads, causes to be obtained. The word Vāmani is a compound of vāma “beauty,” and ni “give”. He who gives beauty to all beautiful beings and objects, such as Lakṣmī, etc., is called Vāmani—the Giver of Beauty.]

Mantra 4.15.4.

4. He is also Bhāmani (the Resplendent) for He shines in all worlds. He who knows this thus, shines in all worlds—294.

Mantra 4.15.5.

5. Now when such persons die, whether (their relations) perform their death ceremonies or not, they go to the plane of the Ray, from the Ray-plane to the Day-plane, from the Day-plane to the Bright-fortnightly plane, from the Bright-fortnightly plane to the Northern six monthly plane, from the Six monthly plane to the Annual plane, from the Annual plane to the Solar plane, from the Solar plane to the Lunar plane, from the Lunar plane to the plane of Sarasvatī, (from that they reach to the plane of the chief Vāyu) who is her Lord and beloved of God.—295.

[Note.—Na—not. On the dying of such wise one whether their people perform the obsequies or not; still they, through the grace of God, and His power, find their path illumined by the light of the heart; and through the Brahmanāḍī they pass out of the body and reach Arcis.]

[Note.—Arciṣam—the higher world called Arcis (the plane of ether?).]

[Note.—Abhisambhavanti—reach. The Arcis plane is two-fold—called the plane of Agni and the plane of Jyotis. See the Gīta. Dwelling in this Arcis world for a while, they proceed further to the Ātivāhika Vāyu Loka: and thence to the Deva Loka presided over by the deity called Ahar, (the Day).]

[Note.—Arciṣaḥ—from the Arcis plane (the Ray-God).]

[Note.—Āpūryamāṇapakṣam (=Āpūryamāṇa-pakṣam), to the light plane presided over by the deity of the light half of the moon (the Fortnight-God). Āpūryamāṇa-pakṣāt, from the Fortnightly plane.]

[Note.—Eti—goes (the sun). The plane of the six northern monthly ruling deity.]

[Note.—Samvatsaram (Samvatsara)—to the plane presided over by the deity of the Year. From the Year-plane to the Lightning-plane, then to the Varuṇa plane, and then to the Prajāpati plane. From this plane to the plane of the sun.]

[Note.—Candramasaḥ (Candramas/Candramasa)—from the Moon-plane, after passing through the planes of Vaiśvānara, Indra and Dhruva.]

[Note.—Mānavaḥ (Mānava)—the servant of Manu; the beloved minister of the Lord Manu. Manu is here the name of God—the Thinker. The beloved of God is Vāyu (Christ). This is why Christ is called the son of Man—the son of Manu, the son of God.]

Mantra 4.15.6.

6. He leads them to Brahman. This is the path guarded by the Devas, the path that leads to Brahman. Those who proceed on that path, do not return to this round of humanity, yea. they do not return.—297.

[Note.—Enān—them, the souls of the wise who had reached Him, whether they belong to the class of Symbol-worshippers (Pratīkālarnbanas) or the non-symbol-worshippers.]

[Note.—Brahman—the Vāyu takes the souls of the non-symbol-worshippers to the Supreme Brahman, and the symbol-worshippers to the Kārya Brahman.]

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

Note.—All the Fires jointly thus taught Upakosala the knowledge about the “Para” and the “Apara Brahman” in a general and collective way. In the subsequent three Khaṇḍas each Fire teaches separately and Brahman is described in detail, each Fire teaching one aspect of Brahman. Thus the Gārhapatya fire says “Earth (Pṛthivī) fire (Agni), food (Anna [Annam]), and the sun (Āditya) are my (forms). The person that is seen in the sun, I (Aham) am (Asmi) he.” Now this verse in its literal-meaning as given above conveys altogether a wrong notion. The woods Pṛthivī etc. do not mean here Earth etc., but they are names of the Lord. Primarily, like every word, they denote certain attributes of the Lord; secondarily they have come to be applied to ‘earth’ ‘fire’ etc. Similarly “Aham Asmi” does not mean “I am” but it is also a name of God. Similarly in Khaṇḍa 12, the Anvāhārya fire teaches about Āpas (waters), Diśaḥ (quarters), Nakṣatra (stars) and Candra (moon). These words āpas etc. do not mean here “waters” etc. but are also the names of the Lord. The Āhavanīya fire teaches in Khaṇḍa thirteenth about prāṇa, ākāśa, dyau, vidyut. They also are name of the Lord, and do not mean the breath, the ether, the heaven, the lightning. The commentator shows this by quoting an authority

Thus it is in the Tattva Saṃhitā:—

“The Lord Viṣṇu is called Pṛthivī, because of His expansiveness (pṛthu = expanse). He is called Agni similarly, because He is the Leader (netri) of the Body (aṅga = body, microcosmic and macrocosmic). He is called Anna [Annam], because He always is the Eater (atri = eater, destroyer). He is named Āditya because He exists from beginning (ādi = beginning).”

Note.—The force of the affix tyap in “adi tyap” is that of “existing.”

He is similarly called Āpas, because He protects (=to protect) all fully (ā = fully). He is also called Diś because He directs (deśana = directing, guiding) all. He is called Nakṣatra, because He has no (“na” = no) ruler (“kṣatra” = ruler, king) over Him. (He is the Supreme King). He is called Candramas, because He is bliss (cand = to be happy). He is called Prāṇa, because His form is power (prāṇa = power;. He is called Ākāśa, because He fills all (ā = all, kāśa = to fill, to pervade). He is called Dyau, because His form is Luminous (div = to shine) He is called Vidyut, because He knows (vid = to know) all.”

Note.—The commentator next takes up the sentences “that which is in the Sun,” “that which is in the Moon,” and “that which is in the Lightning” and shows that they do not establish the identity of the three fires Gārhapatya etc., with the Puruṣa in the Sun etc., as has been taken by Śaṇkara.

“He who is in the Sun, the Moon and the Lightning, is the Supreme Hari, bearing those names (of Surya, Candra and Vidyut). He is called Aham, because He is the Supreme (a=not, ham=heyam, inferior). He dwells (as the Antaryāmin) in the Gārhapatya etc.” Thus it is in the Tattva Saṃhitā.”

Note.— But may not the Śruti be explained as establishing the identity of the Jīvas in the Gārhapatya etc., with the Jīvas in the Sun &c? That is the Jīva in the Gārhapatya Fire is the same as the Jīva in the sun; the Jīva in the Anvanārya Fire is the same as the Jīva in the moon and so on.

To this the Commentator says:

If the view be taken that the Śruti (intends to) establish the identity of the Jīva (in the fire and the sun etc.); then the separate mention of the Puruṣa in the Sun, the Puruṣa in the Moon, the Puruṣa in the Lightning (all the three used in the Locative case, “ya eṣa āditye puruṣaḥ” etc.) would not be appropriate; (but the nominative case would have been used—the Puruṣa who is the sun, the Puruṣa who is the moon, the Puruṣa who is the lightning).

Note.—The Locative case would establish only the identity of the Puruṣa in the sun etc., but not of the Puruṣa who is the sun etc. But if the words āditya etc., be taken here as meaning the physical orbs of the sun, moon etc., then the principal meaning of these words has to be needlessly given up. These words āditya etc., denote conscious beings and not the vehicles in which they manifest. But it may be said “the phrase “āditye puruṣa” means Brahman who is in the Jīva called āditya, and the Śruti intends to establish the identity of the Jīva and Brahman.” Then also arises this difficulty: in the Śruti we find āditya, candra etc., mentioned in the nominative case also: showing that they refer to separate things.

Therefore the Commentator says:—

(The Śruti first says) “Pṛthivī, āgni, annam, ādityaḥ” (IV-ll-l), and again further on it says “ya eṣa āditye puruṣaḥ dṛśyate” (IV-11-1), thus the object denoted by the word ādityaḥ must be separate from the object denoted by the phrase “the Puruṣa in the āditya” for the meaning of the word ādityaḥ in the nominative case cannot be the same as that in the Locative. They must refer to two distinct objects. (The construction of the Mantra necessarily leads to this interpretation).

Note.—In fact the word ādityaḥ used in this verse in the nominative case must denote a being different from that referred to in āditye in the locative case. The two cannot be one. Therefore the being referred to in the first part of the mantra, is not referred to in the second part of the same. If āditya (nominative) means God, then āditye (locative) cannot mean God, (for then it would be absurd to say the “Puruṣa in God”). In fact, we are obliged to take the words āditya, candra and vidyut in two senses, though occuring in one and the same sentence. Thus in Mantra 1 of Khaṇḍa 11 the word āditya occurs twice, first in the nominative case (in the phrase “pṛthivyagnirannamādityaḥ” and again in the locative case (in the phrase “ya eṣa āditye puruṣaḥ”). The first āditya is explained as being the name of the Supreme Brahman, the second as the name of the Solar Logos (a Jīva) in which dwells the Brahman. Similarly in Mantra 1 of Khaṇḍa 12, and Mantra 1 of Khaṇḍa 13, where words candramas and vidyut are similarly used. The general rule of interpretation is, that if one and the same word occurs twice, in the same sentence one meaning alone is to be given to it in both places, unless there be some indication to the contrary. Here we have given two different meanings to one and the same word—because there is such a contrary indication in the difference of the cases in which those words are used, one being in the nominative case, the other being in the locative case.

Hence the Commentator says:—

Therefore it does not establish identity (either of two Jīvas or of the Jīva and Brahman).

Note.—Therefore the phrase “So’ham asmi” of this mantra does not establish identity, because of the absurdity to which that interpretation would lead. The phrase therefore is an exclamation by the Lord as Inner Ruler (Antaryāmin), and He says “I am the same Aham the Supreme; I am free from all limitations.”

Therefore the commentator says:—

The Phrase “sa eva aham asmi”—“I am He indeed” is used to express the absence of all differences with regard to the Antaryāmin Lord.

The Āntaryāmin [Antaryāmin?] within the Solar Logos and the Āntaryāmin [Antaryāmin?] within the Gārhapatya Fire is one and the same Lord, without the slightest difference. Two phrases are used in Mantra 1 of the Khaṇḍas 11, 12 and 18.—Namely (1) “so’ham asmi”; (2) “sa eva aham asmi”; the first phrase (so’ham asmi) declares the indentity of the Āntaryāmin [Antaryāmin?] in the Solar Logos with the Āntaryāmin [Antaryāmin?] in the Gārhapatya Fire. The second phrase (sa eva aham asmi) emphasises this identity, declaring there is not the slighest shade of difference between these two Āntaryāmins [Antaryāmins?]. But would not the first phrase (so’ham asmi) which is in a very emphatic form, be sufficient to indicate absolute identity: what is the necessity of the second phrase (sa eva aham asmi)? To this the Commentator replies:—

Though the first phrase “so’ham asmi” was sufficient to denote identity, yet the second phrase denotes something more (it is not merely identical, but absolutely identical, without the slightest difference).

Moreover the phrases like “so’ham asmi” never denote the identity of the Jīva and Brahman but declare the identity of the Āntaryāmin [Antaryāmin?] in all Jīvas. He alone is entitled to say “I am” All Jīvas have consciousness, because He has uttered in the beginning “I am I.” The Commentator again quotes the Sāma Saṃhitā in support of this view.

The words aham “I,” asmi “I am,” and -the rest are primarily applicable to the Āntaryāmin [Antaryāmin?] alone (the God as the Inner Guide of all Souls). They secondarily apply to the Jīvas, because every Jīva is in (indissoluble) relation with the Āntaryāmin [Antaryāmin?] (the Highest Self of all). Therefore these words (aham “I” asmi “I am”) etc., found in the Vedas denote the Lord Hari (alone), in His aspect as Āntaryāmin [Antaryāmin?].

‘The Lord Janārdana (has two aspects) one the All-pervading (cosmological), the other the Self or Ātman-aspect (Psychological) This second—the Self dwelling within all souls—is denoted by the words like “I,” “I am” etc. Thus the Fires taught Upakosala these two aspects of Viṣṇu.’ Thus it is in Sāma Saṃhitā.

The Phrase “na asya apara puruṣāḥ kṣīyante” (Mantra 2 Khaṇḍa 11) is explained by Śaṅkara as meaning “his lower generations—i.e., descendants perish not.” The word “apara-puruṣāḥ” does not mean descendants but servants.

He never loses his servants—i.e., he has always servants to help him. This is the meaning of the words “na asya apara etc.”

The Phrase “loki bhavati” of the same mantra (IV-11-2) means “he goes to the worlds of the Lord (i.e., to Vaikuṇṭha etc).”

(When Satyakāma returns from his journey he finds Upakosala shining with inspiration, and he asks him “who has taught him.” Upakosala uses the words “ko’nu mā’nuśiṣyād bho iti”. And then are used the words “ihā veva nihnute.” They are taken to mean by Śaṅkara “he conceals the fact, as it were.” It is not a very happy rendering, as it imputes to Upakosala a very ignoble motive. Madhva gives the following explanation).

The word ihāve is a compound of two words iha and ava “iha+ava=ihāve” (in the dual). “Iha” means ‘here,’ ‘in the physical world, the mortal world.’ It means the dwellers of the physical plane. “Ava” means ‘lower,’ ‘the dwellers of the lower planes.’ “Ihāve” thus means “Men and Asuras.” (Asuras are dwellers of the lower planes like Pātāla etc. The whole sentence is “ihāve va nihnutaḥ”, it means “the men and demons verily hide themselves before you Sir; (for they cannot teach in your presence). They are not capable of teaching. Therefore, (Men and Demon being excluded) Devas alone have taught me.” This is what Upakosala meant.

The word “va” in the above means “eva” or alone. The phrase “īdṛśāḥ anyādṛśāḥ” is used in Mantra 2 of Khaṇḍa 14. According to Śaṅkara it is translated “Are these fires other than fires?” This interpretation imputes the motive of concealment to Upakosala—a very unworthy motive. Their real meaning is given by Madhva:—

“Īdṛśāḥ”—“like these”—the Devas who taught me were shining ones like these material fires: their colour being fiery and shining. “Anyādṛśāḥ”.—“unlike these”—the Devas however were unlike these physical fires, because they had hands, feet, etc.

This is, of course, a far better explanation than that of Śaṅkara. He says “the meaning is that Upakosala does not actually conceal the fact, nor doos he plainly give out what the fires had told him. Upakosala says ‘These fires, being tended by me, explained it to me and hence, on seeing you, these are trembling with fear as it were, now, though they were quite unlike this, before’—with this in view, he pointed to the fires, hinting as it were, at what ho meant.”

This explanation not only implies that Upakosala had a guilty conscience, because ho was taught by the fires, bub that the fires themselves who are Devas, were afraid of a human being Satyakāma, who belonged tn the class of Ṛṣis only. Tho fires, being Devas, belong to a higher order, than Satyakāma a Ṛṣi, and a Deva always has a right to teach, where a Ṛṣi may teach: though the inverse of this proposition would not be true.

The Commentator now gives a reason why the words Pṛthivī etc. are names of God.

Because the God has all names like those of Candra etc., (therefore the words Pṛthivī etc., are names of God. In the Rig Veda it is said Who alone has all the names which separately belong to each Deva.”—which proves that to Viṣṇu belongs all the names.

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

(to 15th Khaṇḍa.)

Note.—This Khaṇḍa shows first that the Lord has His residence in the eye. Since nothing can taint the Lord, the eye (the residence of the Lord) acquires something of this divine attribute of untaintability.

Thus it is in the Mahā Kurma [Kūrma?]:—

“The untaintability of the eye is the result of its being the residence of the untaintable Lord. (Such is the glory of the Lord) that by being His residence, the eye has become untaintable among all things. Adoration therefore to that Lord called Vāmana, the Supreme Self.

Note.—The picture on the retina iś certainly very small—a mere miniature only—a dwarf (which is also a meaning of the word Vāmana). But it has within it the whole universe. The man does not see the world outside him directly, but this minute imago of the world on the retina. No wonder the Ṛṣis took this as one of the greatest glories of the Greater. The story of the Dwarf Incarnation is partly based upon this fact.

The Commentator next explains the phrase “mānavam āvartam” of Mantra 6. The yord mānava does not mean “appertaining to Manu,” as explained by Śaṅkara, but has its ordinary meaning of “human.”

The phrase “mānavam āvartam” is a compound term, and means “the place where men (mānavāḥ) whirl (āvartante, constantly come and go).” The ordinary compound would have been Mānavavartam; the “ma” in the text is a Vedic archaism.

The knowers of this Vidyā do not come back to this whirl of humanity (i.e., to this Saṃsāra). As it is said:—“He who knows the Vāmana residing in the eyes, is not born again. He becomes freed from this Saṃsāra so difficult to cross, and quickly attains the Lord Vāmana.”

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