Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

The Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (with the Commentary of Śaṅkarācārya)

by Swāmī Mādhavānanda | 1950 | 272,359 words | ISBN-10: 8175051027

This Upanishad is widely known for its philosophical statements and is ascribed to Yajnavalkya. It looks at reality as being indescribable and its nature to be infinite and consciousness-bliss. Ethics revolve around the five Yajnas or sacrifices. This book includes the english translation of the Bhāṣya of Śaṅkara. The Shankara-Bhashya is the most ...

Section III - Brahman as the Heart

The three disciplines, self-control etc., which are a part of all meditations have been enjoined. One is qualified for all meditations by becoming self-controlled, unavaricious and compassionate. The topic of the realisation of the unconditioned Brahman has been finished with the third and fourth chapters. Now meditations on Its conditioned aspect, resulting in prosperity, have to be described. Hence the following sections.


Verse 5.3.1:

एष प्रजापतिर्यद्धृदयम्; एतद्ब्रह्म; एतत्सर्वम्; तदेतत्त्र्यक्शरम्—हृदयमिति; हृ इत्येकमक्शरम्; अभिहरन्त्यस्मै स्वाश्चान्ये च य एवं वेद; द इत्येकमक्शरम्; ददत्यस्मै स्वाश्चान्ये च य एवं वेद; यमित्येकमक्शरम्; एति स्वर्गं लोकं य एवं वेद ॥ १ ॥
इति तृतीयं ब्राह्मणम् ॥

eṣa prajāpatiryaddhṛdayam; etadbrahma; etatsarvam; tadetattryakśaram—hṛdayamiti; hṛ ityekamakśaram; abhiharantyasmai svāścānye ca ya evaṃ veda; da ityekamakśaram; dadatyasmai svāścānye ca ya evaṃ veda; yamityekamakśaram; eti svargaṃ lokaṃ ya evaṃ veda || 1 ||
iti tṛtīyaṃ brāhmaṇam ||

1. This is Prajāpati—this heart (intellect). It is Brahman, it is everything. ‘Hṛdaya’ (heart) has three syllables. ‘Hṛ’ is one syllable. To him who knows as above, his own people and others bring (presents). ‘Da’ is another syllable. To him who knows as above, his own people and others give (their powers). ‘Ya’ is another syllable. He who knows as above goes to heaven.

It has just been said that Prajāpati instructs. Now who is this instructor, Prajāpati? This is being answered: This is prajāpati. Who? This heart, i.e. the intellect, which has its seat in the heart. That heart in which, at the end of the section relating to Śākalya (III. ix.), name, form and work have been stated to merge by way of the divisions of the quarters, which resides in all beings and is identified with them all, is Prajāpati, the projector of all beings. It is Brahman, being vast and identified with all. It is everything. It has been stated in the third chapter that the intellect is everything. Since it is everything, the intellect that is Brahman should be meditated upon. Now, first of all, meditation on the syllables of the name ‘Hṛdaya’ is being described. The name ‘Hṛdaya’ has three syllables. Which are they—‘Hṛ’ is one syllable. To him, this sage, who knows as above, knows that ‘Hṛ’ is the same as the root ‘Hṛ,’ meaning ‘to bring,’ his own people, relatives, and others not related to him bring presents. This last word must be supplied to complete the sentence. Because the organs, which are a part of the intellect (its ‘own’), and the objects, sound etc., which are not so related to it (‘others’), bring their respective functions as offerings to the intellect that is Brahman, which in its turn passes them on to the Self, therefore he who knows that ‘Hṛ’ is a syllable of the name, ‘Hṛdaya’ also receives presents. This result is in accordance with the meditation. Similarly ‘Da’ too is another syllable. This too is a form of the root ‘Dā,’ meaning ‘to give,’ inserted in the name ‘Hṛdaya’ as one of its syllables. Here also, to him who knows as above, knows that because the organs, which are a part of the intellect, and the objects, which are not so related to it, give their respective powers to the intellect that is Brahman, which too gives its own power to the Self, therefore the syllable is called ‘Da,’ his own people and others give their powers. Similarly ‘Ya’ too is another syllable. He who knows as above, that the form ‘Ya,’ derived from the root ‘In,’ meaning, to go, has been inserted in this name, goes to heaven. Thus one gets such conspicuous results from the meditation even on the syllables of its name; what should one say of the meditation on the reality of the heart itself? Thus the introduction of the syllables of its name is for the purpose of eulogising the heart (intellect).

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