Taittiriya Upanishad

by A. Mahadeva Sastri | 1903 | 206,351 words | ISBN-10: 8185208115

The Taittiriya Upanishad is one of the older, "primary" Upanishads, part of the Yajur Veda. It says that the highest goal is to know the Brahman, for that is truth. It is divided into three sections, 1) the Siksha Valli, 2) the Brahmananda Valli and 3) the Bhrigu Valli. 1) The Siksha Valli deals with the discipline of Shiksha (which is ...

The three divisions of the Taittirīya Upaniṣad.

The Taittirīya-Upaniṣad is threefold—Sāṃhitī, Vāruṇī, and Yājñikī. The Upaniṣad as made up of the first prapāṭhaka or lecture is called Sāṃhitī, because the study of Saṃhitā forms a part of it. Varuṇa being the propagator of the traditional lore of Brahmavidyā embodied in the second and third lectures, the Upaniṣad which is made up of the two lectures is called after him. In the fourth lecture Mantras which are used in Yajñas or sacrificial rites are also mentioned, and therefore the Upaniṣad as made up of this lecture is called Yājñikī. Of these three, the chief is the Vāruṇī, inasmuch as therein is expounded the Brahmavidyā which is the direct means to man’s summum bonum, viz., the attaining of Brahman.


Why Sāṃhitī-Upaniṣad should come first.

It should not be objected that, as the chief of the three, the Vāruṇī-upaniṣad should be first read. For, to acquire the necessary qualification to study the chief one, the Sāṃhitī-Upaniṣad should be read first. By karma or Vedic ritual, no doubt, the seeker of knowledge has attained the necessary qualification for wisdom as well as a craving for wisdom; still, concentration or one-pointedness of mind cannot be brought about by works. On the other hand, owing to the multiplicity of activities, there will be a greater tendency to wander away from the one point of study. The Kaṭhas declare that concentration or one-pointedness of mind is essential for an intuitive realisation, in the following words: “By subtle seers alone, with a sharp and subtle mind, is He beheld.[1]

This one-pointedness of mind is produced by a practice of dhyāna, meditation. Hence the aphorisms of Patañjali describing the nature of Yoga and the means thereto:

“Yoga is the suppression of the transformations of the thinking principle.”[2]

“Their suppression is secured by abhyāsa (practice) and vairāgya (non-attachment)[3]

Wherefore it is but right that, for a practice of dhyāna or meditation, the Saṃhitā-Upaniṣad should come first.


Footnotes and references:


Kaṭha-Upa. 3-12.


Op. cit 1-2.


Op. cit 1-12

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