Kena upanishad (Madhva commentary)

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

This is Mantra 4.7 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 7 of section 4 called ‘Caturtha-Khanda’.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of Kena-upaniṣad mantra 4.7:

उपनिषदं भो ब्रूहीत्युक्ता त उपनिषद्ब्राह्मीं वाव त उपनिषदमब्रूमेति ॥ ७ ॥

upaniṣadaṃ bho brūhītyuktā ta upaniṣadbrāhmīṃ vāva ta upaniṣadamabrūmeti || 7 ||

upaniṣadam—the Upaniṣad; the secret doctrine, the Theosophy or the wisdom about Brahman; bho—O Lord, O Brahmā; brūhi—say, tell me with all its basis and its abode; iti—thus; uktā—has been told; te—they or to thee; upaniṣat—Upaniṣad; Literally “upa” near “ni” wholly, “sada” to destroy, to approach, to loosen; That which destroys Avidyā with all its latent effects, that which loosens the bond of egoism, in the shape of I and mine, and thus carries the soul wholly to the vicinity of Brahman and makes it realise its similarity with it; Max Müller derives it from upa=near, ni=down, sad=to sit: an assembly or session where pupils approach and listen to their teacher, Brāhmīm, the Brāhmī, the doctrine relating to Brahman; vāva—alone, undoubtedly; te—to thee; upaniṣadam—the Upaniṣad; abrūma—we have told; iti—thus.

7. “O Brahmā, tell me the Upaniṣad.” (Brahmā answered) the Upaniṣad has been told to thee: undoubtedly we have told thee the Brāhmī Upaniṣad.

N.B.—The question, “Teach me, Upaniṣad” may have three meanings (1) teach me the Brahman—the subject matter of all Upaniṣads, (2) or the means by which the knowledge obtained through Upaniṣad may be retained—the qualifications necessary to fit one to be the receptacle of this knowledge, (3) or the cause of this knowledge. To the first, the answer is the Brāhmī Upaniṣad has already been taught. The next verse answers the other portion of the question. According to Śaṅkara the meaning of this question is that what has already been explained is the whole Upaniṣad, and there remains nothing to supplement or complement it. The next verse, according to him, would be almost redundant, and is not a portion of the Upaniṣad, “nor as a distinct aid for achieving the end with the Upaniṣad.”

Commentary: The Bhāṣya of Madhva (Madhvācārya):

(English translation of Madhva’s 13th-century commentary called the Īśāvāsyopaniṣadbhāṣya or Īśopaniṣadbhāṣya)

Śiva hearing this again asked Brahmā:—“Tell me that who is the main topic of this science.” Brahmā replied to him “I have already told thee what is the chief topic of this science: now I shall tell thee, the sources from which this may be learnt.”

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