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 ...
From Prāṇamaya to Manomaya.
The śruti now proceeds to unite to the Manomaya self him who, on the ground that all creatures have their birth and being and dissolution in Prāṇa as declared in the sequel, has abandoned the false Annamaya self and has taken his stand in the Prāṇamaya, in the consciousness “I am prāṇa.”—(S)
तस्माद्वा एतस्मात् प्राणमयात् । अन्योऽन्तर आत्मा मनोमयः । तेनैष पूर्णः ॥ ३ ॥
tasmādvā etasmāt prāṇamayāt | anyo'ntara ātmā manomayaḥ | tenaiṣa pūrṇaḥ || 3 ||
3. Than that, verily,—than this one formed of Prāṇa,—there is another self within formed of Manas (thought-stuff). By him this one is filled.
Manas is the antaḥ-karaṇa, the internal organ or instrument, consisting of saṅkalpa (fancies, purposes, impulses) and vikalpa (thoughts of distinct objects, doubts). Formed of this stuff is the Manomaya, as the Annamaya is formed of food-stuff. And this is the inner self of the Prāṇamaya. The rest may be interpreted as before.
Māyā, which resides in Brahman and is the material cause of the universe, is made up of three guṇas or principles. The guṇa of Tamas being the cause of the Annamaya, inertness is found to predominate in that kośa; there exists in it neither the kriyā-śakti nor the jñāna-śakti, neither the power of action nor the power of cognition. The guṇa of Rajas being the cause of the Prāṇamaya, the power of action inheres in the Prāṇamaya. The guṇa of Sattva being the cause of the three kośas from the Manomaya upward, the power of cognition inheres in those three kośas. The cause of the Manomaya is Sattva mixed with Tamas; and therefore we find in it the Tāmasic qualities, such as attachment and hatred. The cause of the Vijñāna-maya is Sattva mixed with Rajas, and therefore we find in it the agency with reference to all Vedic sacrificial rites and all secular acts such as agriculture. The pure guṇa of Sattva is the cause of the Ānandamaya, and therefore we find therein only joys of various kinds, termed love and so on. No doubt, the jñāna-śakti, the essence of cognition, is in itself only one; still it appears threefold owing to a difference in its aspects or functions,—as the instrument (karaṇa-śakti), as the agent (kartṛ-śakti), and as enjoyment (bhoga-śakti). Manas is a product of jñāna-śakti, or essence of cognition in its aspect as an instrument; and formed of this Manas is the Manomaya, the aggregate of the vṛttis or states of mind such as desires, fancies, and the like. These states of mind are enumerated by the Vājasaneyins as follows:
“Desire, representation, doubt, faith, want of faith, firmness, want of firfnness, shame, reflection, fear,-—all is mind.”
In this connection may be cited other passages such as the following:
“Thirst fondness passion, covetousness” etc.
The Manomaya lies within the Prāṇamaya, so that, on account of proximity, the Ātman’s Consciousness, which permeates all, is manifested in Manas; and because of this manifestation of Ātman in it, the Manomaya is the self of the Prāṇamaya. The Prāṇamaya is permeated by the Manomaya,—the external by the internal. Just as the kriyā-śakti or the power of action pervades the whole body from head to foot, so also is the jñāna-śakti found to pervade the whole body. Manas, the internal sense, stands here for the ten external senses also, such as those of sight, speech, etc. It should therefore be observed that all senses, both of cognition and of action, are included in the Mano-maya-kośa.
Senses are born of the Paramātman.
The origin of these senses has been thus discussed in the Vedānta-sūtras II. iv. i —4:
(Question):—Are the senses beginningless, or have they been created by the Supreme Self?
(Prima facie view): —The senses are beginningless, because their existence prior to creation has been declared by the śruti in the following words:
“Those Āishis alone at the beginning were existent.—Who are those Aiṣis?—Prāṇas (the vital powers, senses)verily are the Ṛṣis.”
(Conclusion):—In the first place the proposition that, the One being known, all is known, cannot be true unless the senses (indriyas) are included among created things. And the statement that “mind comes of food, breath of water, and speech of fire” shows that the senses are products of the elements of matter. The birth of the senses is clearly declared in the words “hence is born prāṇa, manas and all senses.” As to the passage which speaks of their existence prior to creation, it should be interpreted as referring to a minor creation. We therefore conclude that senses are born from the Paramātman.
The senses are eleven in number.
(Vedānta-sūtras. II. iv. 5 — 6).
(Question):—How many are the senses, seven or eleven?
(Prima facie vieiv):—The senses are seven in number; for the śruti says in general “seven senses are born thence.” The śruti speaks also specifically of them as dwelling in the seven apertures of the head, in the words “Seven, indeed, are the prāṇas located in the head.”
(Conclusion):—As against the foregoing we hold as follows: Senses other than those located in the head, such as hands and the like, are mentioned in the Veda; “Both hands and what one must handle, both organ of joy and what must be enjoyed.” So, in determining the number on the sole authority of the Vedas, we find there are eleven separate functions—namely, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, speaking, taking, going, enjoying, excreting, and thinking; and there must be eleven separate sense-organs concerned severally with these eleven functions.
The senses are not all-pervading.
(Vedānta-sūtras. II. iv. 8 — 13.)
(The Sāṅkhya):—The senses are all-pervading; but their functions are confined to particular regions of the several organisms in order that therein the several jīvas may enjoy the fruits of their respective actions.
(The Vedāntin):—This involves a needless assumption. When all our experience can be explained by supposing that the senses are of the same extent as the bodily regions where they function, of what avail is the needless assumption that the senses are all-pervading without functioning throughout. Moreover, the śruti speaks of the ascent, departure, and return of jīva; and since these are not possible in the jīva who in himself is all-pervading, it has been assumed that the senses form the upādhi of the jīva and that it is by this upādhi or vehicle of the senses that he really ascends, departs, and returns. If even this upādhi were all-pervading, what then is it which really ascends, departs, and returns? Wherefore, the senses are not all-pervading. When the sūtrakāra (the author of the Vedānta-sūtras) speaks of these middle-sized senses as aṇus(=atoms, subtle ones), he only means that they are invisible, so subtle that they transcend the ken of ordinary men.
The senses are dependent on Devas.
(Vedānta-sūtras; II. iv. 14 — 16)
(Question): —Are the senses quite independent in their working or dependent on Devas?
(Prima facie view):—Speech and other senses perform their respective functions quite independently; they are not dependent on Devas. Otherwise, the Devas would be the enjoyers or sufferers by the experience acquired through the senses, and the jīvātman (individual embodied soul) would derive no experience at all.
(Conclusion):—In the words “Agni became speech and entered the mouth” and so on, the śruti declares that speech and other senses are under the influence respectively of Agni and other gods; and their operation therefore depends entirely upon the Devas. From this it by no means follows that the Devas are the enjoyers of the fruits of the experience. Certainly, it is not right that the Devas, who have attained to the state of Devas as the fruit of their highly meritorious karma, should be affected by the experience so low in its kind; on the contrary, a very high enjoyment accrues to them in their Devatā bodies. It is the human soul that enjoys the fruits of his karma in the form of the experience gained through the senses working under the influence of the Devas. We therefore conclude that the senses are dependent on the Devas for their action.
The senses are distinct from Prāṇa proper.
(Vedānta-sūtras II. iv. 17 — 19).
(Question):—Are these senses mere functions of Prāṇa, or are they principles quite distinct from Prāṇa?
(Prima facie view):—Speech and other senses must be mere functions of Prāṇa proper; for, the śruti declares that they are only forms of Prāṇa, in the words “They were all of this one alone.” Moreover, in common parlance, they are designated by the very term Prāṇa: as for instance, it is sometimes said, “the prāṇas of this dying one have not as yet gone.” The śruti also speaks of speech and other senses under one and the same designation ‘prāṇa’:
“And the people do not call them the tongues, the eyes, the ears, the minds, but the breaths (prāṇas).”
Therefore the senses are not distinct from Prāṇa.
(Conclusion):—One distinction between them is this: while speech and other senses are overcome with weariness in their respective spheres of work, Prāṇa is unwearied in its operation. The śruti says:
“Death having become weariness, took them and seized them.........Having seized them, death held them back from their work. Therefore speech grows weary.”
Again, in the dialogue between Prāṇa and the senses, the śruti declares first that the body did not peṛṣ or rise as speech and other senses departed from or entered into it; and then, that the body perished or rose as Prāṇa departed from or entered into it. Because of these distinguishing features declared in the śruti, it is only in a figurative sense that speech and other senses are said to be mere forms of Prāṇa and are spoken of under the designation ‘prāṇa.’ And the senses are spoken of as prāṇas because of their following Prāṇa so closely as servants follow their master. There is a vast difference in their functions. The senses are limited in their respective spheres of action and are instruments of thought; whereas Prāṇa is the leader of the senses and the body. Accordingly, because of their weariness and other distinguishing features, the senses are principles quite distinct from Prāṇa.
Manas is the chief among the senses.
Of these eleven senses Manas is the chief, and therefore the Manomaya-kośa is named after it. And Manas is the chief of the senses because speech and other senses depend on it for their respective functions. Indeed in all their respective functions they invariably presuppose a state of mind called prajñā (consciousness) such as a desire to speak, to see, to hear, or the like. This truth has been stated at length by the Kauṣītakins, viewing the matter both in its positive and negative aspects. Viewing the matter in its positive aspect, they declare:
“Having by prajñā (consciousness) taken possession of speech, he reaches by speech all words......Having by prajñā taken possession of the eye he reaches all forms.........”
The negative side of the proposition is declared as follows
“For, without prajñā, speech does not make known any word. ‘My mind was absent,’ he says, ‘I did not perceive that word’...Without prajñā the eye does not make known any form. ‘My mind was absent,’ he says, ‘I did not perceive that form.’”
Contemplation of the Manomaya.
Having taught that the Manomaya, the aggregate of all senses, is one’s own self, the śruti now proceeds to enjoin the contemplation thereof, in order to strongly impress the idea in the heart; and with a view to this end the śruti first teaches the form in which it should be contemplated:
स वा एष पुरुषविध एव । तस्य पुरुषविधताम् । अन्वयं पुरुषविधः । तस्य यजुरेव शिरः । ऋग्दक्षिणः पक्षः । सामोत्तरः पक्षः । आदेश आत्मा । अथर्वाङ्गिरसः पुच्छं प्रतिष्ठा ॥ ४ ॥
sa vā eṣa puruṣavidha eva | tasya puruṣavidhatām | anvayaṃ puruṣavidhaḥ | tasya yajureva śiraḥ | ṛgdakṣiṇaḥ pakṣaḥ | sāmottaraḥ pakṣaḥ | ādeśa ātmā | atharvāṅgirasaḥ pucchaṃ pratiṣṭhā || 4 ||
4. He, verily, this one, is quite of man’s shape. After his human shape, this one is of man’s shape. Of him, the Yajus itself is the head, the Ṛk is the right wing, the Sāman is the left wing, the ordinance is the self, the Atharva-Aṅgirases are the tail, the support.
 The Manomaya which has been declared to abide within the Prāṇamaya as the self, and which we feel in the consciousness “I think, I imagine,” is represented, for contemplation’s sake, to be of human form made up of five members. As explained above, the human form of this kośa follows from that of the Prāṇamaya, after the fashion of the melted metal assuming the form of the mould into which it is poured.
What the Veda in reality is.
Of him, the Yajus is the head.—Yajus is that class of mantras which are not subject to any definite rule as to the syllables, lines and endings. All speech of this kind is here referred to by the word ‘Yajus.’ It is here represented as the head because of its importance; and the importance lies in its being of immediate use in sacrificial rites, etc. For, it is with the Yajus—with the words svāhā, etc.,—that an oblation is offered. Or, the representation of the Yajus as the head and other like representations should always be based entirely on the authority of the śruti. What we call Yajus is only a mano-vṛtti,—a state, a mode, a function, an act, of mind,—and consists in thinking of the particular syllables, words and sentences—as uttered by particular organs, with particular effort, pitch and accent,—as constituting the Yajurveda; and it is this thought that manifests itself through hearing and other organs and is given the appellation of Yajus. The same thing applies to the Īvfik, and to the Sāman.
The word ‘yajus,’ is generally used to denote an aggregate of external sounds known by that name. But, lest the criticism of the śruti might be carried too far, we should absolutely accept its authority and understand that ‘yajus’ here denotes a particular state of mind—which may be expressed in the words “we now study the Yajurveda; these syllables occurring in this particular order constitute the Yajurveda which we should study.”—(A). So that what we call Yajus is a particular state of Manas woven into the consciousness of Īśvara, and which, in the form of words and sentences, becomes manifested through hearing and other organs.—(S). That is to say, the Yajus, theĀik, etc., are only particular states of mind impregnated with consciousness; or they are all mere consciousness in the form of particular states of mind.—(A).
Mantras being thus only vṛttis or functions of mind, and since a function can be repeated, we can understand how a mental repetition of mantras is possible Otherwise, as incapable of repetition, a mantra could not be repeated (in mind) any more than a pot; so that it would be absurd to talk of a mental repetition of mantras.
If mantras were not functions or acts of mind,—were something other than acts, like pots, etc.,—no such thing as a repetition of the mantra would be possible; for, it is only an act or function,—which every state of consciousness is,— that can be repeated, but not an external thing such as a pot. The mind cannot directly act upon objects which are external to it and therefore beyond its scope; so that, if the mantras were something external to the mind, to speak of a mental repetition of them would be absurd.—(S & A).
But a repetition of mantras is often enjoined in connection with sacrificial rites.
And such injunctions shew that mantras are acts or functions which alone, unlike external objects such as pots, are capable of repetition.—(A).
(Objection):—The mental repetition of a mantra may be effected by way of repeating the thought (smṛti) of its syllables.
(Answer): —No, because it would involve a departure from the primary sense of words. To explain: the formula “let him thrice repeat the first (verse) and thrice the last” enjoins a repetition of certain verses. If the verse cannot itself be the subject of repetition,— if, on the other hand, the mere thought of it were repeated,—it would be tantamount to a neglect of what is primarily enjoined in the words “Let him thrice repeat the first verse.”
To repeat the mere idea of what is taught in the verse is to resort to a secondary sense of the injunction; for, the idea of what is taught in the verse is different from the verse itself, of which a repetition is here enjoined. Moreover, in the words “mental repetition is deemed a thousand times more effective,” it is said that a mental repetition of mantras is more fruitful, and that the external repetition,— i.e., the repetition of mantras through word of mouth,—is less fruitful. Wherefore the mental repetition is what is primarily enjoined; while the other—i.e. repetition by word of mouth—can be made out by understanding the text in its secondary sense. When a passage is capable of a literal interpretation, it is not right to understand it in a secondary sense.—(S & A)
Therefore, the mantras are nothing other than the Ātman’s Consciousness limited by the upādhi of the states of mind and manifested in these states of mind;—that Consciousness of Ātman which has neither a beginning nor an end, and which is here spoken of as Yajus. And so, we can explain how the Vedas are eternal. Otherwise,—i. e., if they are objects external
to consciousness, like colour, etc.,—the Vedas would be non-eternal; and this conclusion is quite unsound. And the śruti which speaks of the unity of the Veda with the Eternal Self, in the words “He is the Ātman abiding in Manas, in whom all Vedas become one,” will have a meaning only if the Ṛk and other portions of the Veda are eternal. There is also a mantra which reads as follows:
“The Ṛks are seated in Akṣara (the Indestructible), in the Supreme Heaven, wherein all Devas sit on high.”
Since it has been established that mantras are mental states, and since all mental states are found invariably permeated by the Conscious Self, the mantras are one with the Conscious Self. Thus the view that mantras are mental states or acts explains not only the possibility of their repetition, but also the eternality of the Vedas which are ultimately one with Ātman. Further, as the Veda is one with Consciousness, as it is not a mere insentient word, it is capable of throwing light upon Dharma and other things worth knowing. This view obviates the necessity for the unwarranted postulate of ‘Sphoṭa’ or eternal sound—that form of the Veda in which it is said to be distinct from the insentient syllables of which it is composed, and in which it is supposed to be able to throw light upon truth.—(S&A)
The ‘ordinance’ here refers to the Brāhmaṇa, (that section of the Veda) which ordains things requiring specific directions. The Atharva-Angirases, i.e., the mantras seen by Atharvan and Aṇgiras, including their Brāhmaṇa, is the support, because they treat mostly of rites which promote man’s well-being by conducing to his peace and strength.
The Brāhmaṇa section of the Veda consists of ordinances and is therefore here referred to by the word “ordinance.” Or, the Brāhmaṇa is so called because it is the command of the Supreme Brahman.—(S).
The three Vedas here designated as the Yajus, etc., refer to the mantras comprised in them, while the Brāhmaṇa portion is referred to by the word “ordinance”........The mantras of the Atharva-Veda are represented as the support, because, as contributing to the attainment of what is desirable and to the avoidance of what is undesirable here in this life, they promote man’s well-being. It is true that the Yajus and other Vedas are formed of words, not of mind; but here the words ‘yajus,’ etc., stand for the states of mind concerned with the thought of those words.
तदप्येष श्लोको भवति ॥ ५ ॥
इति तृतीयोऽनुवाकः ॥
tadapyeṣa śloko bhavati || 5 ||
As in former cases, this verse throws light upon the Manomaya self.
Brahman beyond speech and thought.
यतो वाचो निवर्तन्ते । अप्राप्य मनसा सह । आनन्दं ब्रह्मणो विद्वान् । न बिभेति कदाचनेति ॥ १ ॥
yato vāco nivartante | aprāpya manasā saha | ānandaṃ brahmaṇo vidvān | na bibheti kadācaneti || 1 ||
1. Whence all words turn back as well as Manas, without reaching; he who knows Brahman’s bliss fears not at any time.
This verse is cited as evidence concerning the nature of the Manomaya-kośa described above. That is to say, this verse is quoted here to shew that the Vedas are of the nature described above. It is Brahman that is inaccessible to words; nothing else is inaccessible to words. As Brahman is the Eternal Consciousness, even Manas has no access to Him. The śruti declares that Brahman is beyond the reach of mind, by describing Him as “that which one thinks not by Manas.”—(S)
Or, the śruti has quoted this verse with a view to teach that the wise man should understand that the Manomaya is composed of speech and thought (Manas), beyond whose reach nothing lies except Brahman, the Untainted. Brahman is not the main thing referred to in this verse, inasmuch as there is no occasion to treat of Him in this chapter.—(S.)
As this chapter relates to the Manomaya-kośa, it cannot be the Supreme Brahman that is described here. Now to explain the verse as descriptive of the Manomaya-kośa: Manas may be said to lie beyond the scope of speech, because it is immediately witnessed by consciousness and does not therefore stand in need of speech or other senses to manifest itself in consciousness. It is also beyond the reach of Manas; for, it is impossible to think that Manas is reached by its own vṛtti or state. As the sūtrātman is Great or Unlimited, and as Manas is one in essence with the sūtrātman, even the word ‘Brahman’ may be applied to Manas. That man has nothing to fear at any time who knows that bliss is the fruit of the contemplation of this Manomaya Brahman, and who, by contemplation, has attained Brahman’s bliss and dwells in the state of the Hiraṇyagarbha— (A).
He has never anything to fear, who contemplates Brahman’s bliss in the upādhi of the Manomaya,—that bliss which is the essential nature of Brahman, whom no words nor thought can reach, though speech and mind can speak and think of all else. In the first place, no words can denote Brahman as He belongs to no particular genus and is devoid of qualities, etc. On this the Naiṣkarmyasiddhi says:
“Relation, qualities, action, genus, and usage,— these make a word applicable to a thing. None of these exists in Ātman: thence Ātman is never denoted by a word.”
When Manas thinks of things, it thinks of them as of this or that form. In neither way can Brahman be thought of. Therefore Manas recedes from Brahman. This idea has been expressed in the Pañchakośa-viveka (in the Vedānta-Pañchadaśī) as follows:
“Under what form then does Self exist?—if one were to ask this, we would reply that the notion of this or that mode does not apply to Self. That which is not like this nor like that, you must regard with certainty as Self in its essence. An object known through the senses is commonly spoken of as “like this,” and that which is not presented to consciousness as “like that.” The cogniser (viṣayin) is not known through the sense-organs; nor is there a non-presentation of Self; for, the nature of Self implies presentation.”.
Fearlessness, the fruit of the contemplation.
Just as the śruti has taught in the preceding chapters the contemplation of Brahman in the upādhis of the Annamaya and the Prāṇamaya, so here it means to teach the contemplation of Brahman in the upādhi of the Manomaya. Otherwise, it would be of no use to represent the Yajus, etc., as the head and so on. Here the root ‘vid’ of the word “vidvān” (knower) denotes contemplation (upāsana), inasmuch as the two verbs “vid” and “upa-ās” are used synonymously in the sections treating of upāsana. This has been clearly shewn by Śrī Śaṅkarāchārya in his commentary on the Vedānta-sūtras (IV. i. i):
“In some passages the verb ‘vid’ ‘to know’ is used at the beginning and the verb ‘upa-ās’ ‘to contemplate’ at the end. For example, we have at the beginning ‘He who knows what he knows is thus spoken of by me’ and then ‘Teach me, sir, the deity which you contemplate.’ In some passages the verb ‘upa-ās’ occurs at the beginning and the verb ‘vid’ at the end; as for example, we have at the beginning ‘let a man contemplate on mind as Brahman,’ and at the end ‘ He who knows this shines and warms through his celebrity, fame and glory of countenance.”
Accordingly the verb ‘vid,’ to know, here denotes contemplation. As a result of this contemplation, there will be no fear either here or hereafter. In him who is incessantly engaged in the contemplation, there is no room for the feelings of attachment and hatred, and the devotee is therefore free from all fear of the world. As he has thereby secured mukti which will accrue to him in due course, (i. e., after passing through the state of the Hiraṇyagarbha, the Lower Brahman), he is devoid of all fear of the future. The absence of both kinds of fear is indicated by the words “at any time.”
The outcome of the study of the Manomaya.
Now the śruti proceeds to point out the main purpose of this teaching concerning the nature of the Manomaya:
तस्यैष एव शारीर आत्मा । यः पूर्वस्य ॥ २ ॥
tasyaiṣa eva śārīra ātmā | yaḥ pūrvasya || 2 ||
2. Thereof,—of the former,—this one, verily, is the self embodied.
Thereof, of the former, i. e., of the Prāṇamaya, this one, namely the Manomaya, is the self, having the Prāṇamaya for his body.
Then arises the strong conviction that the Prāṇamaya is the body and that the Manomaya is its lord. The Bṛhadāraṇyaka records a dialogue between Bālāki and Ajātaśatru. Bālāki regards Prāṇa as the Self; and in order to prove that Prāṇa is not the Self, Ajātaśatru takes him to a man who is asleep. He calls the man out by the four scriptural names of Prāṇa. The man not awaking at the call, it is concluded that the insentient Prāṇa is not the Self. And then, to shew that the self is self-conscious,—something other than Prāṇa,—Ajātaśatru rubs the man in hand and wakes him up. Then the conscious Ātman rises. And accordingly the śruti says:
“And the two together came to a person who was asleep. He called him by these names, ‘Thou, great one, clad in white raiment, Soma, king.’ He did not rise. Then rubbing him with his hand, he woke him, and he arose.”
Footnotes and references:
Tai. Up. 3–3,
Vide ante. p. 406
Bṛ. Up. 1-5-3.
Chhā. Up. 6-5-4.
Muṇḍ. Up. 2-1-3.
Tait. Saṃ. 5–1–7
Praśna. Up. 4— 8.
Ait. Up. 2-4.
Bṛ. Up. 1–5–21.
Bṛ. Up. 1–5–21.
Kau. Up. 3–6.
The first two sentences should be explained as before. Vide ante pp. 414-415.
The other words are ‘svadhā,’ ‘vaṣaṭ’—(S).
Inasmuch as the sruti is of a higher authority; whereas all attempt to seek for an analogy as the basis of the representation is human.—(S.)
as the witness thereof—(A).
Taitt, Āra. 3—11,
Sāyaṇa’s interpretation is somewhat at variance with the Bhāṣyakāra’s.
Kena. Up. 1-5
a work of Sureśvarāchārya; III. 103.
Op. Cit 26–27.
For a full explanation of this, Vide ante pp. 424–425.
Bṛ. Up, 2–1–15.