Kena Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary

by S. Sitarama Sastri | 1905 | 13,003 words

The Kena Upanishad is a collection of philosophical poems discussing the attributes of Brahman: the unchanging, infinite universal spirit. Brahman is further proposed as the cause for all the forces of nature, symbolized as Gods. This commentary by Shankara focuses on ‘Advaita Vedanta’, or non-dualism: one of the classical orthodox philosophies o...

Verse 5

यन्मनसा न मनुते येनाहुर्मनो मतम् ।
तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि नेदं यदिदमुपासते ॥ ५ ॥

yanmanasā na manute yenāhurmano matam |
tadeva brahma tvaṃ viddhi nedaṃ yadidamupāsate || 5 ||

5. What one cannot think with the mind, but by which they say the mind is made to think, know That alone to be the Brahman, not this which (people) here worship. (5)


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com.—‘Manah,’ ‘mind.’ By the word ‘Manah’ here, both mind and intelligence are meant. ‘Mauah’ means ‘that by which one thinks.’ The mind is equally connected with all the sensory organs, because its sphere includes all external objects. The Sruti says: ‘Desire, volition, deliberation, faith, negligence, boldness, timidity, shame, intelligence, fear, all these are mind.’ The modes of activity of the mind are desire, etc. By that mind, none wills or determines that intelligence which enlightens the mind, because as enlightener of the mind, that is the mind’s controller, the Atman being in the interior of everything, the mind cannot go there. The capacity of the mind to think exists, because it is enlightened by the intelligence shining within, and it is by that, that the mind is capable of activity. Those who know the Brahman say that the mind is pervaded by the Brahman. Therefore know that to be the Brahman which is the Atman, the interior intelligence of the mind. ‘Nedam, etc.,’ has already been explained in the commentary on the last verse.

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