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 VIII - Meditation on the Vedas as a Cow

Verse 5.8.1:

वाचं धेनुमुपासीत; तस्याश्चत्वारः स्तनाः—स्वाहाकारो वषट्कारो हन्तकारः स्वधाकारः; तस्यै द्वौ स्तनौ देवा उपजीवन्ति—स्वाहाकारं च वषट्कारं च, हन्तकारं मनुष्याः, स्वधाकारं पितरः; तस्याः प्राण ऋषभः, मनो वत्सः ॥ १ ॥
इत्यष्टमं ब्राह्मणम् ॥

vācaṃ dhenumupāsīta; tasyāścatvāraḥ stanāḥ—svāhākāro vaṣaṭkāro hantakāraḥ svadhākāraḥ; tasyai dvau stanau devā upajīvanti—svāhākāraṃ ca vaṣaṭkāraṃ ca, hantakāraṃ manuṣyāḥ, svadhākāraṃ pitaraḥ; tasyāḥ prāṇa ṛṣabhaḥ, mano vatsaḥ || 1 ||
ityaṣṭamaṃ brāhmaṇam ||

1. One should meditate upon speech (the Vedas) as a cow (as it were). She has four teats—the sounds ‘Svāhā,’ ‘Vaṣaṭ,’ ‘Hanta’ and ‘Svadhā.’ The gods live on two of her teats—the sounds ‘Svāhā’ and ‘Vaṣaṭ,’ men on the sound ‘Hanta,’ and the Manes on the sound ‘Svadhā.’ Her bull is the vital force, and her calf the mind.

Still another meditation on the same Brahman is being mentioned—that speech is Brahman. ‘Speech’ here means the Vedas. One should meditate upon that speech (the Vedas) as, i.e. as if she was, a cow. Just as a cow secretes milk through her four teats for her calf to suck, so does this cow, speech, secrete through her four teats, to be presently mentioned, food for the gods etc. that is comparable to milk. Now what are those teats, and who are those for whom she secretes the food? The gods, corresponding to a calf, live on two of the teats of this cow, speech. Which are they? The sounds ‘Svāhā and ‘Vaṣaṭ,’ for through them oblations are offered to the gods. Men on the sound ‘Hanta’: Food is given to men with the use of the word ‘Hanta’ (if you want). The Manes on the sound ‘Svadhā,’ for food is offered to the Manes to the utterance of this word. Her bull, the bull for that cow, speech, is the vital force, for the Vedas are rendered fruitful by the vital force, and her calf the mind, for she is stimulated to secretion by the mind; because the Vedas are applied to a subject that has been thought over by the mind, therefore the mind stands for the calf. He who meditates upon this cow, speech, as such, attains identity with her.

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: