Kena upanishad (Madhva commentary)

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

This is Mantra 2.3 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 3 of section 2 called ‘Dvitiya-Khanda’.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Kena-upaniṣad mantra 2.3:

यस्यामतं तस्य मतं मतं यस्य न वेद सः ।
अविज्ञातं विजानतां विज्ञातमविजानताम् ॥ ३ ॥

yasyāmataṃ tasya mataṃ mataṃ yasya na veda saḥ |
avijñātaṃ vijānatāṃ vijñātamavijānatām || 3 ||

yasya—by whom (of that knower of Brahman); amatam—is not thought (who thinks that he does not know Brahman) not to be reasoned or thought out or determined; tasya—by him; of him; matam—it is known; matam—it is thought (who thinks that he knows Brahman); yasya—by whom; na—not; veda—he knows; saḥ—he; avijñātam—not known, not realised; vijānatām—of (by) the difference=knowers (who still have the idea of distinctions of the knower, knowledge and known); vijñātam—known; avijānatām—by (of) non-difference knowers, who do not know distinctions of knower, known, and knowledge The force of is to denote “distinction, mainfoldness”.

3. Of whom (the opinion is) “Brahman is not to be thought of,” by him He is (rightly) thought. He who thinks “Brahman has been thought of by me,” he does not know. By those who consider “we have realised Brahman,” He has not been realised. By those who consider “we cannot fully realise Brahman” He is realised.


He who thinks “I can not completely think out Brahman”—has got an idea of Brahman—(has brought some portion of Brahman within the grasp of his mind. For he does not fall into the error that Brahman can be made an object of complete mental apprehension).

But he, who thinks “I have completely thought out Brahman,” has got no idea of Brahman (for he has got the wrong notion that Brahman can be completely thought out: and he limits Brahman).

He who thinks “I have made the entire Brahman an object of my meditation, and in my meditation, I have known him entirely” has not known Brahman.

But he who thinks “I cannot know Brahman fully even in meditation,” knows Him.

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