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 7.13 (thirteenth khaṇḍa) (one text)

Upaniṣad text:

‘From the Sombre I go to the Variegated; from the Variegated I go to the Sombre. Shaking off all evil, as the horse shakes off its hairs,—and as the moon frees itself from Rāhu’s mouth,—so shaking off the Body, and having fulfilled all ends, I obtain the uncreated Region of Brahman!—Yea, I obtain it?—(1)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

From the Sombre I go to the Variegated etc., etc.,’ is a Mantra-text, which is purifying in itself, set forth here for the purpose of being repeated, or meditated upon—‘Sombre’ is the deep Colour; ‘from the sombre’ means ‘from the sombre as it were’,—the term ‘Sombre’ stands for Brahman in the heart, on the ground Brahman being extremely incomprehensible; from this Sombre therefore means ‘from the Brahman in the Heart’—i.e. having come to know the Brahman in the Heart by contemplation,—from That, I go to the Variegated,—the Variegated as it were; the ‘Variegated’ character of the Brahmic-Region being a Common mixture of Forests and other Desirable things,—to this variegated—Brahmic-Region—may I go, in my mind, after the death of the Body.—The meaning is that—because from the Variegated—Brahmic-Region—I go:—for the purpose of differentiating Name and Form—to the Sombre,—i.e. because I have attained the position of this Brahman in the Heart,—therefore I go to that Variegated Self—in the form of Prakṛti.—

It is next described in what manner I go to the Variegated Brahmic-Region:—As the Horse shaking off its hairs,—i.e. by shaking, removes his fatigue and also dust etc. from his hairs,—becomes free from dirt, clean,—so, in the same manner, having shaken off all evil—called Merit and Demerit,—and as—reflected—Moon frees itself from Rāhu’s mouth and becomes bright,—so shaking off the Body—getting rid of it, as the receptacle of all evil,—and by means of contemplation, having fulfilled all ends.—I obtain the uncreated—Eternal—Region of Brahman.—The repetition is meant to indicate the end of the Mantra-text.—(1)

End of Section (13) of Discourse VIII.

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