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 30

अथाध्यात्मं यद्देतद्गच्छतीव च मनोऽनेन चैतदुपस्मरत्यभीक्ष्णम् सङ्कल्पः || 30 ||

athādhyātmaṃ yaddetadgacchatīva ca mano'nena caitadupasmaratyabhīkṣṇam saṅkalpaḥ || 30 ||

30. Next illustration, from the Atman within the body—as speedily as the mind goes to Brahman—as speedily as one thinks of Brahman hy the mind, and as speedily as the mind wills.


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com.—‘Atha’ means‘next’. We offer illustrations from the Atman within the body. ‘Goes to’ means ‘perceives as an object’. As speedily as one (worshipper) thinks of the Brahman as near. ‘Abhikshnam’ means ‘very much’. ‘Wills’, i. e., about the Brahman. By the volition, recollection of the mind, the Brahman as hounded by the mind is perceived as an object. Therefore this is an illustration of the Brahman taken from within the body, as lightning and winking from the activity of the powers. And as those illustrations show that Brahman flashes instantaneously, so these illustrations show that Brahman’s appearance and disappearance are as quick as the perceptions of the mind. These illustrations of the Brahman are given because it can be understood by dull persons only if so illustrated. It is well-known that the unconditioned Brahman can be known by persons of inferior intellect.

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