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 31

तद्ध तद्वनं नाम तद्वनमित्युपासितव्यं स य एतदेवं वेदाभि हैनं सर्वाणि भूतानि संवाञ्छन्ति ॥ ३१ ॥

taddha tadvanaṃ nāma tadvanamityupāsitavyaṃ sa ya etadevaṃ vedābhi hainaṃ sarvāṇi bhūtāni saṃvāñchanti || 31 ||

31. The Brahman should be worshipped by all and is hence called Tadvana. As Tadvana, It must be worshipped. Who thus knows Brahman, is loved by all living beings.


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com.—‘Tat’ means ‘Brahman’. ‘Ha’ means ‘as is well-known’. ‘Tadvanam’ is a compound of tat and vanam. It means ‘which deserves to be worshipped as the one Atman of all living things’. The Brahman is well-known as Tadvanam and should, therefore, be worshipped as Tadvana, a word denoting its virtue. ‘Worshipped’ means ‘contemplated.’ The Sruti next declares the fruit attained by one who contemplates the Brahman by this name. He who contemplates the Brahman already defined as possessed of this virtue, him (this worshipper) all living things love, i.e., pray to him as they would to Brahman.

Thus instructed, the disciple addressed the preceptor in the following manner.

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