The 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 IX - Meditation on the Vaisvanara Fire

Verse 5.9.1:

अयमाग्निर्वैश्वानरो योऽयमन्तः पुरुषे, येनेदमन्नं पच्यते यदिदमद्यते; तस्यैष घोषो भवति यमेतत्कर्णावपिधाय शृणोति; स यदोत्क्रमिष्यन्भवति नैनं घोषं शृणोति ॥ १ ॥
इति नवमं ब्राह्मणम् ॥

ayamāgnirvaiśvānaro yo'yamantaḥ puruṣe, yenedamannaṃ pacyate yadidamadyate; tasyaiṣa ghoṣo bhavati yametatkarṇāvapidhāya śṛṇoti; sa yadotkramiṣyanbhavati nainaṃ ghoṣaṃ śṛṇoti || 1 ||
iti navamaṃ brāhmaṇam ||

1. This fire that is within a man and digests the food that is eaten, is Vaiśvānara. It emits this sound that one hears by stopping the ears thus. When a man is about to leave the body, he no more hears this sound.

Here is another meditation like the preceding ones. This fire is Vaiśvānara. Which fire? This that is within a man. Is it the element fire that is one of the components of the body? No, it is the one called Vaiśvānara, which digests the food. Which food? The food that is eaten by men. That is to say, the heat in the stomach. For direct sign of it the text says: As that fire digests the food, it emits this sound. What is it? That one hears by stopping the ears thus, with one’s fingers. The word ‘Etat’ is an adverb (meaning ‘thus’). One should meditate upon that fire as Vaiśvānara, or Virāj. Here too the result is identification with it. Incidentally a death omen is being described: (When a man, the experiencer in this body is about to leave the body, he no more hears this sound.

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