Chandogya Upanishad (Shankara Bhashya)

by Ganganatha Jha | 1942 | 149,749 words | ISBN-10: 8170842840 | ISBN-13: 9788170842842

This is the English translation of the Chandogya Upanishad, an ancient philosophical text originally written in Sanksrit and dating to at least the 8th century BCE. Having eight chapters (adhyayas) and many sub-sections (khandas), this text is counted among the largest of it's kind. The Chandogya Upanishad, being connected to the Samaveda, represen...

Section 7.26 (twenty-sixth khaṇḍa) (two texts)

Upaniṣad text:

For one who sees thus, reflects thus and understands thus,—Spirit springs from the Self,—Hope springs from the Self,—Memory springs from the Self,— Ākāśa springs from the Self,—Fire springs from the Self,—Water springs from the Self,—Appearance and Disappearance spring from the Self,—Food springs from the Self,—Power springs from the Self,—Understanding springs from the Self,—Contemplation springs from the Self,—Consciousness springs from the Self,—Will springs from the Self,—Mind springs from the Self,—Speech springs from the Self,—Name springs from the Self, the Mantra texts spring from the Self,—Act springs from the Self—all this springs from the Self.—(1)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

For one who sees thus etc,, etc., and has attained ‘self-sovereignty’,—i.e. the wise person spoken of in the Context,—before his understanding of the True Self—all origination and dissolution of entities beginning with ‘Spirit’ and ending with ‘Name’ proceeded from a Self other than his own; while, after the understanding of the True Self, they proceed from his own Self; similarly, for the wise man, all operations proceed from his own Self.—(1)

Upaniṣad text:

To this effect, there is the following Verse:—‘One who sees this sees not death, nor disease, nor even pain; he who sees this sees all things; and obtains all things in all ways; he, being one, becomes three, five, seven and nine; and then he is said to be eleven, a hundred and ten, and a thousand and twenty. On the purity of objective cognition, follows the purity of the inner nature; on the purity of the inner nature, Memory becomes strong; and on the strengthening of Memory follows freedom from all ties. After all his impurities had been washed out, the Blessed Sanatkumāra showed Nārada beyond darkness.—They call him Skanda,—yea, they call him Skanda,—(2)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

Further, to this same effect, there is the following verse:—One who sees this—the wise man who realises the truth as described above,—sees not death; nor disease,—such as fever etc.,—nor even pain—the Very idea of suffering; again, one who sees this sees all things; he sees the Self in all things,—and then, he obtains all things, in all ways,—in every manner possible.—Further, the wise man, before the setting in of the differentiations of creation, is one only, and while being one, he becomes three etc., etc., and through these diversities, he comes to be, at the time of creation, of endless diverse forms;—and again at the time of Absorption, he returns to his very source, his own real unity, through his own Self. All this attracts the learner to the Philosophy taught and eulogises it.

Next is taught the means of the^ proper understanding of the Philosophy,—just like the means of cleaning the mirror for obtaining the proper reflection of the face.—On the purity of objective cognition;—the term ‘āhāra’ stands for what is presented; i.e. the cognition of sound and other objects, which presented to the experiencing Agent, for the purpose of being experienced; and the purity of the understanding in the shape of the cognition of those objects, is what is meant by the term ‘āhāra—Śuddhi:’ (Purity of objective cognition), which means the objective cognition untainted by such impurities as love, hate and delusion. When this ‘purity of the objective cognition’ has come about, there follows purity of the inner nature, i.e. freedom of impurities, for the inner nature (internal organ) wherein the said cognition subsists;—when this purity of the inner nature has come about, the Memory of the Self, the Infinite, becomes strong—uninterrupted; that is, there is no forgetting of it. On the strengthening of Memory,—when Memory has been secured,—follows freedom from all ties—absolute sessation [cessation?], destruction of all those knots in the heart, in the shape of bonds of evil due to Ignorance, hardened by the impressions left by past experiences extending over several births. And because all this follows, gradually, step by step, from the purity of objective cognition,—therefore this latter should be accomplished.

Having expounded the sense of the entire scripture the text sums up the story. After all his impurities had been washed out; the impurities of love, hatred and such others had become attached to Nārada’s inner nature, and coloured it—like the colouring matter from trees,—and when all this was washed out, rubbed out, destroyed, by the application of the alkaline fluid of knowledge, and dispassion and exercise,—Nārada became a fit disciple,—and him the teacher showed beyond darkness,—i.e. the Absolute Truth, beyond the darkness of Ignorance.—“Who showed him this?”—The Blessed Sanatkumāra; the ‘Blessed’ has been thus defined—‘one who knows the origin, dissolution, the going and the non-going of living beings,—who knows the Science and the Nescience,—is to be called Blessed, ‘Bhagavān’;—and these conditions were entirely fulfilled in the case of the sage Sanatkumāra. This same Sanatkumāra, people also call the Deity Skanda,—people who know his real character.

The repetition is meant to indicate the end of the Discourse.—(2)

End of Section (26) of Discourse VII.

End of Discourse VII.

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