Kena upanishad (Madhva commentary)

by Srisa Chandra Vasu | 1909 | 11,760 words | ISBN-13: 9789332869165

This is Mantra 2.1 of the Kena-upanishad (Kenopanishad), the English translation and commentary of Madhva (Madhvacharya) called the Bhasya. The Kena Upanishad deals with topics such as Brahman and Atman (soul) and also discusses the symbolic representation of the Gods as forces of nature. It is an important text in the Vedanta schools of Hindu philsophy. This is Mantra 1 of section 2 called ‘Dvitiya-Khanda’.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Kena-upaniṣad mantra 2.1:

यदि मन्यसे सुवेदेति दहरमेवापि नूनम् त्वं वेत्थ ब्रह्मणो रूपम् यदस्य त्वं यदस्य देवेष्वथ नु मीमांस्येमेव ते मन्ये विदितम् ॥ १ ॥

yadi manyase suvedeti daharamevāpi nūnam tvaṃ vettha brahmaṇo rūpam yadasya tvaṃ yadasya deveṣvatha nu mīmāṃsyemeva te manye viditam || 1 ||

yadi—if, O Rudra!; manyase—thou thinkest; su-veda—I know well, being taught so by you; iti—thus; daharam—little, minor; eva—surely, indeed, Api, but; nūnam—certainly; Tvam vettha—thou knowest; brahmaṇaḥ—of Brahman; rūpam—form, nature; yat—because; asya—of this (Unconditioned Brahman, above Time, Space and Causation); tvam—thou (art but one of the many conditioned consciousnesses); In thee, the nominative used in the sense of Locative; That aspect which is in thee; yat—that (form of Brahman which is other than thy conditioned self); asya—of this (Brahman in nature); deveṣu—in the Devas, nature gods like Indra, Agni, etc; atha—therefore; nu—now; mīmāṃsyam—should be thought out; eva—indeed, alone; te—of thee, by thee; manye—I think; viditam—known.

1. (O Maheśvara!) If thou thinkest “I know (Brahman) fully” then even thou also verily knowest but the minor manifestation of Brahman. Because (of this little knowledge), therefore, now thou must think (over the other) manifestations of Brahman, as it is in thee and the Devas. “I think I know”.


(An objection is raised, “you have said that Brahman is not known by the Deva of the mind even. But that is improper. I, Rudra, am the Deva of the mind, I certainly know Brahman completely. Why do you then, O Brahmā! say that the Deva of the mind even does not know Brahman completely.” This objection raised by Rudra, is answered by Brahmā in the present verse.)

O Rudra! If thou thinkest “I know Brahman well,” then thou even, like others, hast known only a small portion of the essence of Brahman. Because thou knowest only a small aspect of Brahman (the Dahara Brahman) therefore, that aspect of Brahman which is in thee and that aspect which exists in the Devas, must now be investigated by thee.

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