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 24-25

अथेन्द्रमब्रुवन्मघवन्नेतद्विजानीहि किमेतद्यक्षमिति तथेति तदभ्यद्रवत्तस्मात्तिरोदधे ॥ २४ ॥

स तस्मिन्नेवाकाशे स्त्रियमाजगाम बहुशोभमानामुमाँहैमवतीं ताँहोवाच किमेतद्यक्षमिति ॥ २५ ॥

athendramabruvanmaghavannetadvijānīhi kimetadyakṣamiti tatheti tadabhyadravattasmāttirodadhe || 24 ||

sa tasminnevākāśe striyamājagāma bahuśobhamānāmumām̐haimavatīṃ tām̐hovāca kimetadyakṣamiti || 25 ||

24. Then they said to Indra: “Maghavan! learn what this Great Spirit is.” He said “yes” and ran to That. That vanished from his view.

25. He beheld in that very spot a woman, Uma, very beautiful and of golden hue, daughter of Himavat. He said to her “What is this Great Spirit?”


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com.—Atha, etc., has already been explained. Indra, lord of the Devas, Maghavan, (being the most powerful of them) said yes, and ran to That. Hut That vanished from his sight, when he was near the Brahman and did not even talk to him, because it wished to crush altogether his pride at being Indra. In the very spot where the Spirit showed itself and from which it vanished and near the place where Indra was at the moment the Brahman vanished, Indra stood discussing within himself what that Spirit was, and did not return like Agni and Vayu. Seeing his attachment to that Spirit, knowledge in the form of a woman and of Umu appeared before him. Indra beheld knowledge. fairest of the fair,—this epithet is very appropriate in the particular context—as if adorned in gold. ‘Himavatim’ may mean ‘the daughter of Himalaya’ and being ever associated with the Lord (Siva) the omniscient, and having approached her, asked: “Who is this Spirit that showed itself and vanished?”


॥ इति केनोपनिषदि तृतीयः खण्डः ॥

|| iti kenopaniṣadi tṛtīyaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

Here ends the Third Part.

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