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 ...

Chapter X - Brahman the Infinite Bliss

The purpose of the sequel.

In Chapters II—IX, all the questions have been answered. In the words “he attains all desires together,”[1] it has been said very concisely that the knower of Brahman attains all objects of desire at once; and it has been also said—in the words “That One, verily, is the Flavour,”[2]—that Brahman is Bliss. With a view to establish these two propositions the śruti starts an enquiry.


Is Brahman’s Bliss inherent or generated?

सैषाऽऽनन्दस्य मीमाम्̐सा भवति ॥ २ ॥

saiṣā''nandasya mīmām̐sā bhavati || 2 ||

2. This is the enquiry concerning bliss.

Brahman, the Source of fear, is Bliss.[3] Here follows the enquiry concerning Brahman the Bliss.

(Question):—What is there concerning Bliss which has to be inquired into?

(Answer):—The question concerning bliss which has to be settled by enquiry is this: Is (Brahman’s) Bliss generated by the contact of the subject and the object like the worldly pleasure, or is it inherent in Him?

In other words: Is it generated by the contact of the senses and sense-objects like the worldly pleasure? Or, is it quite independent of all external means?—(S).


Brahman’s Bliss to be comprehended through sensual pleasure.

The enquiry that follows here is treated of by the śruti elsewhere. The Bṛhadāraṇyaka-Upaniṣad has discussed at great length and determined the nature of Bliss in the section which begins as follows:

“If a man is healthy, well accomplished, and lord of others, surrounded by all human enjoyments, that is the highest blessing of man.”[4]

‘Healthy’ means sound in body and the senses; ‘well-accomplished’ means possessed oī knowledge and other such attainments.

Now the highest worldly pleasure is occasioned by the combination of the necessary external means and personal accomplishments, and this is here pointed out for a comprehension of Brahman’s Bliss. It is, of course, through this bliss which is familiar to us, that it will be possible for us to conceive Brahman’s Bliss attainable through the mind (buddhi) from which all sense-objects have turned away.

The word ‘bliss’ in the text means the worldly pleasure generated by the combination of external objects and personal accomplishments. By means of this bliss within our ken, raised to the highest point, we shall indicate that Bliss which is ungenerated and does not depend on any external means. We see that whatever admits of higher and lower degrees culminates in what is infiinite in itself; so, too, in the case of bliss. Whatever admits of a higher measure culminates in what is immeasurable in itself; so our bliss culminates in the Supreme Bliss. The śruti itself teaches this here to those whose vision is directed outwards and who are therefore unable to comprehend the Inner Self.—(S).

Even the worldly pleasure is a part (or semblance) of Brahman-Bliss. When wisdom is screened by unwisdom (avidyā) and ignorance is in the ascendant, the Brahman-Bliss becomes the worldly pleasure admitting of various degrees as experienced by Brahmā and other beings of the world in accordance with their deeds (karma), their wisdom, and the external means at their command. The same Brahman-Bliss, the Bliss which is present to the mind of the man who has realised Brahman and who is unassailed by desire, is the bliss which is experienced a hundredfold more and more in the ascending orders of beings, rising from man, gandharvas and upwards, according as avidyā or ignorance, desire and karma decrease, till the culminating point is reached in the bliss of Brahmā, the Hiraṇyagarbha. When the distinction of the subject and the object caused by avidyā has been set aside by vidyā or wisdom, then there will remain the one inherent, perfect non-dual Bliss.

The Brahman-Bliss which has to be determined by enquiry does not admit of higher and lower degrees. It is the bliss generated by karma which we find in the world admitting of higher and lower degrees, from the bliss of Brahma down to that of man. Where this bliss, rising higher and higher from man upwards, reaches its culminating point,—we should understand that to be Brahman, having no beginning, middle, or end. It is a drop of this Brahman-Bliss which the whole world from Brahmā down to man enjoy according to their purity and meritorious deeds. So, rising higher and higher from man upwards, we can see face to face the inherent infinite Bliss of our Self.


The unit of human bliss.

With a view to make us understand this truth, the śruti proceeds as follows:

युवा स्यात्साधुयुवाऽध्यायकः । आशिष्ठो दृढिष्ठो बलिष्ठः । तस्येयं पृथिवी सर्वा वित्तस्य पूर्णा स्यात् । स एको मानुष आनन्दः ॥ ३ ॥ 

yuvā syātsādhuyuvā'dhyāyakaḥ । āśiṣṭho dṛḍhiṣṭho baliṣṭhaḥ । tasyeyaṃ pṛthivī sarvā vittasya pūrṇā syāt । sa eko mānuṣa ānandaḥ ॥ ३ ॥

3. Suppose a youth, a good youth, learned in the sacred lore, promptest in action, steadiest in heart, strongest in body,—suppose his is all this earth full of wealth. This is one human bliss.

Youth: one in prime of life. Though a youth, one may not be good; and though good, one may not be young. Hence the qualification “good youth.

In childhood man cannot appreciate the objects of pleasure and is therefore incapable of experiencing the sensual pleasures derived from flowers, good scents, women, and so on. In old age, though man can appreciate things, still, he lacks capacity for enjoyment; and therefore there is no pleasure for him either. So that youth alone is the period of enjoyment. A youth who is ugly and cherishes feelings of enmity and the like suffers much pain: hence the qualification ‘good.’ Though a good youth, a man will have to suffer pain if he lacks the knowledge of any one of the fourteen sciences and the sixty-four arts: hence the epithet “learned in sacred lore.” Though learned in all lore, he who is slow in action, or he who, owing to slowness of digestion, does not relish food, cannot enjoy: hence the qualification ‘promptest,’ or ‘best-eater’ (as the word ‘āśiṣṭha’ is otherwise rendered), i. e., one who can eat all articles of food with great relish. Even such a man, if wanting in fortitude, cannot exhibit courage in war and the like affairs: hence the epithet “steadiest in heart.” Though endued with courage, he who lacks physical strength cannot be equal to such tasks as horse-riding: hence the epithet “strongest.”

Thus all personal accomplishments have been spoken of. If to such a man belongs the whole earth endued with all wealth—with material objects necessary for enjoyment in this visible world and with all materials necessary for those rituals by which to secure the pleasures of the unseen world—i. e., if such a man be the king, the ruler of the whole earth, then his bliss is the highest pleasure of man, the unit of human bliss.

The possession of external objects of pleasure is referred to by the śruti in the second supposition. To this should be added such qualifications as “the lord of others” spoken of in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka-Upaniṣad. If a ruler of the whole earth should ever possess all the qualifications, then his bliss would represent the unit of human bliss.

The pleasures which are lower than these are no bliss at all, as they are mixed with pain. Certainly, no man other than a ruler of the earth described above, is found anywhere to enjoy satisfaction in all respects. Bliss means satisfaction; satisfaction is incompatible with desire for external objects; and desire for an object of pleasure necessarily springs up if the object is not already possessed. But, in the case of a ruler of the earth, nothing mars his satisfaction, inasmuch as all objects in this world of man are in his possession.

Such being the case, as desire grows less and less, bliss also rises higher and higher. Having this in view, the śruti proceeds to treat of the bliss which is higher than the one described above:


The bliss of the Manuṣya-Gandharvas.

ते ये शतं मानुषा आनन्दाः । स एको मनुष्यगन्धर्वाणामानन्दः । श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य ॥ १ ॥

te ye śataṃ mānuṣā ānandāḥ | sa eko manuṣyagandharvāṇāmānandaḥ | śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya || 4  ||

4. What is a hundred times the human bliss, that is one bliss of human fairies, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

The bliss of the human fairies (manuṣya-gandharvas) is a hundred times superior to the human bliss. The human fairies are those who, while they are men, have, in virtue of works and knowledge of a superior sort, have become Gandharvas. They indeed have the power of making themselves invisible and the like, and they have very subtle bodies and senses.

These Gandharvas of the human world emit sweet odours; they can assume whatever form they like; they possess the power of making themselves invisible and other powers of the kind, and they are experts in dancing and music.—(S).


The conditions of higher bliss.

They have accordingly fewer obstacles; they possess power to resist the pairs of opposites (such as, pleasure and pain, heat and cold), and they command all materials of pleasure. Therefore, being unobstructed and able to counteract obstruction, the human fairy has peace of mind. Owing to greater peace of mind, there is a better manifestation of pleasure. Thus, we see that, owing to the superior tranquillity, the bliss attainable at a higher stage is a hundred times superior to the bliss attainable in the next lower stage.

Of the stages mentioned here up to Brahmā, each succeeding stage is a hundred times superior to the one preceding it.—(S.)

By omitting the epithet “not smitten by passion” in the first instance,[5] the śruti shews that a man of sacred lore who cherishes no longing for human pleasures can attain a pleasure which is a hundred times superior to the human pleasure, i. e., a pleasure which is equal to the pleasure of a human fairy.

A man of sacred lore who is averse to all human pleasures, but who cherishes a desire for the pleasures of the next higher stage, can realise the pleasure which is a hundred times superior to the unit of human pleasure.—(S).

The qualification “a good youth, learned in the sacred lore” implies sacred knowledge and sinlessness, and they are common to all stages, whereas the absence of desire differs (at different stages) tending to a high or low bliss according as the object (of desire) is high or low. Accordingly, inasmuch as from a superior development of this last attribute accrues a hundred times superior pleasure, the śruti teaches—by the epithet * not smitten by passion’—that the attribute of being unsmitten by passion is the means for the attainment of Supreme Bliss.

The śruti teaches that the means of attaining the Supreme Bliss are three, namely, sacred lore, righteousness, and absence of desire. The first two are common to all stages from the human stage up to Brahma, while the third rises higher and higher with the ascending orders of beings and is therefore superior to the other two.—(S).

The king being a human being, his pleasure can become an object of our aspiration, and therefore the qualification of ‘sacred lore’ has not been mentioned in connection with human pleasure. The human fairies dwell in the antarik-sha or mid-region, as the śruti says elsewhere “By the Yakṣas, the Gandharvas and hosts of the Apsarases is the anta-rikṣa inhabited so that, the pleasure of human fairies, is not familiar to man, and the qualification ‘man versed in the Vedas’ is therefore intended to shew how that pleasure comes to be known in the world of man. Indeed by a study-of the scriptures and by his own experience, such a man sees many defects in the enjoyment of pleasure-giving objects in all regions,—namely, that it has to be secured with much trouble,that it is impermanent, and that there are yet higher pleasures,—and cherishes no longing for that kind of enjoyment. So that a man versed in the sacred lore and unassailed by passion enjoys all the pleasure that accrues to one from possession of the objects peculiar to the region of human fairies. Though an ignorant man who is unaware of the region of human fairies may at present remain unassailed by a desire for the pleasures of that region, still, at a subsequent period when he will know more of the region through the scriptures, a desire for its pleasures may spring up in him, and then he will cease to be indifferent. But since the man of the sacred lore who sees evil in those pleasures never cherishes a longing for them, he always remains unassailed by desire.


Peace is the essential condition of bliss.

(Objection):—In the case of a Gandharva, dancing, music and the like, cause now and then a welling up of mind and gives rise to delight; but this is not possible in the case of the man of sacred lore who is free from passion.

(Answer):—Let there be no such delight for him. Being but a momentary passing state of mind, it is not a genuine bliss. The genuine bliss consists in the peculiar satisfaction which prevails in the mind when, on the attainment of the object desired, the desire for it ceases, and the delight and other passing states of mind subside. It has been said:

“Neither the sensual pleasure in this world nor the great pleasure of heaven is equal to a sixteenth part of the pleasure of the extinction of desire.”

Bliss in the form of satisfaction, equal to that of the fairy, exists for him who is versed in the sacred lore unassailed by desire.

What has been said in these two instances—namely, that the bliss of satisfaction manifests itself more and more as greater tranquillity prevails in the mind,—should be understood in the other cases that follow here.


The bliss of the Deva-Qandharvas.

te ye śataṃ manuṣyagandharvāṇāmānandāḥ । sa eko devagandharvāṇāmānandaḥ । śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya ॥ ५ ॥

ते ये शतं मनुष्यगन्धर्वाणामानन्दाः | स एको देवगन्धर्वाणामानन्दः | श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य || 5 ||

5. What is a hundred times the bliss of human fairies, that is one bliss of celestial fairies, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

These are fairies (Gandharvas) by birth.

They are singers of the celestial regions (Deva-loka) born as such at the very beginning of creation.


The bliss of the Pitris.

ते ये शतं देवगन्धर्वाणामानन्दाः । स एकः पितृणां चिरलोकलोकानामानन्दः । श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य ॥ ६ ॥ 

te ye śataṃ devagandharvāṇāmānandāḥ | sa ekaḥ pitṛṇāṃ ciralokalokānāmānandaḥ | śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya || 6 ||

6. What is a hundred times the bliss of the celestial fairies, that is one bliss of the Pitṛs who dwell in the long-enduring world, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

Those who dwell long in the Pitṛ-lokas are here referred to, and such are the departed souls of those who, while here, perform the ceremonies such as the Pitṛ-śrāddha (oflering to the Pitṛś).—(S).


The bliss of the Devas born in the Ājāna.

ते ये शतं पितृणां चिरलोकलोकानामानन्दाः | स एक आजानजानां देवानामानन्दः | श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य || ७ ||

te ye śataṃ pitṛṇāṃ ciralokalokānāmānandāḥ । sa eka ājānajānāṃ devānāmānandaḥ । śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya ॥ ७ ॥

7. What is a hundred times the bliss of the Pitṛs who dwell in the long-enduring world, that is one bliss of the Devas born in the Ājāna, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

The Ājāna (lit., birth) is the region of the Gods (Devaloka). As a reward for the performance of the acts (of public charity) enjoined in the smṛti, souls are born in the region of the Gods (Devas).

The Ajāna is a Devaloka so called, lying just above the region of Pitṛs.


The bliss of the Karma-Devas.

ते ये शतं आजानजानां देवानामानन्दाः । स एकः कर्मदेवानां देवानामानन्दः । ये कर्मणा देवानपियन्ति । श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य ॥ ८ ॥

te ye śataṃ ājānajānāṃ devānāmānandāḥ | sa ekaḥ karmadevānāṃ devānāmānandaḥ | ye karmaṇā devānapiyanti | śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya || 8 ||

8. What is a hundred times the bliss of the Devas born in the Ājāna, that is one bliss of the Devas (known as) Karma-Devas, those who have reached Devas by work, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

They have reached Devas by mere work, by mere Vedic ritual such as fire-worship, Agnihotra.

They are unenlightened; i. e., they possess no knowledge of Brahman.


The bliss of Devas proper.

ते ये शतं कर्मदेवानां देवानामानन्दाः । स एको देवानामानन्दः । श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य ॥ ९ ॥

te ye śataṃ karmadevānāṃ devānāmānandāḥ | sa eko devānāmānandaḥ | śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya || 9 ||

9. What is a hundred times the bliss of the Devas (known as) Karma-Devas, that is one bliss of Devas, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

The Devas here referred to are the thirty-three[6] Devas who partake of the oblations offered in the sacrificial rites.

These reside on the Northern or Higher Path, the Deva-yāna, the Path of the Gods; they are those who have practised both sacrificial rituals and contemplation of Brahman.


The bliss of Indra.

ते ये शतं देवानामानन्दाः । स एक इन्द्रस्याऽऽनन्दः । श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य ॥ १० ॥

te ye śataṃ devānāmānandāḥ | sa eka indrasyā''nandaḥ | śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya || 10 ||

10. What is a hundred times the bliss of Devas, that is one bliss of Indra, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

Indra is the Lord of the Devas described just above.


The bliss of Bṛhaspati.

ते ये शतमिन्द्रस्याऽऽनन्दाः । स एको बृहस्पतेरानन्दः । श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य ॥ ११ ॥

te ye śatamindrasyā''nandāḥ । sa eko bṛhaspaterānandaḥ । śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya ॥ ११ ॥

12. What is a hundred times the bliss of Indra, that is one bliss of Bṛhaspati, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

Bṛhaspati is Indra's teacher.


The bliss of the Prajāpati.

ते ये शतं बृहस्पतेरानन्दाः । स एकः प्रजापतेरानन्दः । श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य ॥ ११ ॥

te ye śataṃ bṛhaspaterānandāḥ | sa ekaḥ prajāpaterānandaḥ | śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya || 11 ||

12. What is a hundred times the bliss of Bṛhaspati, that is one bliss of the Prajāpati, as also of the man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passsion.

Prajāpati, the Lord of creatures, is the Virāj, who has the three worlds for his body.


The bliss of the Hiraṇyagarbha.

ते ये शतं प्रजापतेरानन्दाः । स एको ब्रह्मण आनन्दः । श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य ॥ १३ ॥

te ye śataṃ prajāpaterānandāḥ | sa eko brahmaṇa ānandaḥ | śrotriyasya cākāmahatasya || 13 ||

13. What is a hundred times the bliss of Prajāpati, that is one bliss of Brahma, as alsoofthe man versed in the Vedas, not smitten by passion.

Brahmā, the Hiraṇyagarbha, who is manifested as the Universal Being as well as the individual beings, who pervades all the universe of samsāra, in whom all the different degrees of bliss described above unite into one, who possesses the Dharma which causes that bliss, the knowledge concerning that (Dharma and its results), as also the utmost freedom from desire.

He is the Sūtrātman, the first of the embodied beings, as the śruti says, “The Hiraṇyagarbha was in the beginning.”[7] The smṛti also says “He, verily, is the first embodied being, He is called Puruṣa, the soul; He, the original creator of all beings, this Brahma came into being in the beginning.” Therefore the ever-increasing bliss in this universe of saṃsāra culminates in Him.


Freedom from desire is the pre-eminent conditon of Bliss.

His bliss in its entirety is experienced directly by him who is versed in the Vedas, who is free from all sin and unassailed by desire. Therefore we learn that these three attributes form the means (to the Supreme Bliss). Knowledge of the Vedic teaching and freedom from sin are necessary (at all stages), while freedom from desire rises higher and higher at different stages; wherefore, we understand that this last—freedom from desire—is the pre-eminent condition (of the Supreme Bliss).

By teaching, as shewn above, that all degrees of bliss lie within the scope of the man versed in the Vedas, the śruti has explained how it is that “whoso knoweth the One hid in the cave in the highest heaven attains all desires together.”


The Supreme Bliss and its manifestations.

Even this bliss of the Hiraṇyagarbha, which comes within the scope of the man learned in the Veda on developing the utmost freedom from desire, is only a part of the Supreme Bliss, as the Śruti says, “Of this Bliss, verily, other beings enjoy a part.”[8] This Bliss, from which its parts are separated[9] as drops of water from ocean, and wherein those parts attain unity, [10]this Supreme Bliss is inherent in Brahman because it is non-dual.

In that Supreme Bliss beyond the Hiraṇyagarbha all our separated blisses attain unity; there all desire for higher and higher degrees of bliss and all knowledge of duality are absent, in virtue of true Knowledge; and there freedom from desire in all its ascending degrees reaches its culminating point.—Having thus arrived at a knowledge of the Supreme Bliss, we should then understand through the scriptures that “I am this Supreme Bliss.”—(S).

Here there is no such distinction as bliss and the enjoyer of bliss.

For, the śruti itself has taught that not the smallest distinction should be made in Brahman. No accessories are necessary for the attainment of one’s own Self, because it is naturally attained. The removal of ignorance is alone necessary. Just as a man who is sunk down under a heavy burden attains greater and greater ease by the gradual removal of the burden, so also by the gradual removal of avidyā, one attains gradually greater and greater peace in one’s own Self.— (S).

Thus the highest bliss in the world of saṃsāra which forms the door leading to the Supreme Bliss, has been made known through both Revelation and the direct experience of the man versed in the Vedas. Now, the śruti proceeds to speak of the Supreme Brahman-Bliss.


The Supreme Bliss is one and non-dual.

The result of the foregoing enquiry is concluded as follows;

स यश्चायं पुरुषे । यश्चासावादित्ये । स एकः ॥ १४ ॥

sa yaścāyaṃ puruṣe | yaścāsāvāditye | sa ekaḥ || 14 ||

14. And this one who is in the man, and that one who is in the sun, He is one.

He who is hid in the cave in the highest heaven, who, having emanated ākāśa and the rest in the universe down to the physical body (annamaya), has entered into that very universe, is here spoken of as “this one who.”—Who is here referred to? The one in this body (puruṣa). “That one who is in the sun” refers to that Supreme Bliss which is said to be within the scope of the man learned in the Vedas and whereof a part alone contributes to the bliss of all beings, from Brahmā downwards, who are entitled to happiness. He is one, as the ākāśa in different jars occupying different places is one.

(Objection):—In referrring to His existence in man, it is not right to refer to it in such terms merely as “this one who is in the man,” without any specification; it would, on the other hand, be right to refer to it in the words “this one who is in the right eye for so does the śruti refer to it elsewhere.[11]

(Answer):—No: for, this section treats of the Supreme Brahman.[12] It is the Supreme Ātman that the śruti treats of in this section, as witness the passages:

“When in truth this soul gains fearless support in Him who is invisible, selfless, undefined, non-abode, then has he the Fearless reached.[13]

“From fear of Him does Wind blow.”[14]

“This is the enquiry concerning Bliss.”[15]

It is not of course right to introduce a foreign subject all on a sudden, while the śruti intends to impart here a knowledge of the Paramātman. It is, therefore, the Supreme Brahman that is here referred to in the words “He is one.” Is it not indeed an enquiry into Bliss with which the śruti is here concerned? The result of that enquiry has to be stated here, in the conclusion, namely, that the Bliss of Brahman is inherent and nondual, the Paramātman Himself, that it is not produced by the contact of the subject and the object. Consonant with this, indeed, is the indication of Brahman in the words “This one who is in the man, and that one who is in the sun, He is one,” by doing away with the special features existing in the different beings.

The direct result of the foregoing enquiry into Bliss, as stated here, is that Brhaman is the non-dual bliss, quite independent of external means; i. e., that the Brahman whose nature as Supreme Bliss has been shewn to us through inference—the limited bliss of the beings in the universe pointing to the existence of the infinite Bliss—is identical with the inner Self. Brahman, who is devoid of all saṃsāra and described as “Real, Consciousness and Infinite,” has been raised above the unreal and the unconscious and shown to be one with the Self abiding in the mind of man. By the extrication from the not-self—the egoism, etc., that lies in the lap of avidyā,—of the Witness thereof, we are made to perceive directly that the Witness is the same as Brahman; for, the Witness being self-luminous and immediately known, He is here referred to as “this one.” The Inner Self of the man free from avidyā as described in the words, “the man learned in the Vedas, not smitten by passion” occurring in the last instance, is, owing to proximity, referred to in “this one in the man;” and so the śruti here teaches that this Inner Self of man, the Pratyagātman, is one with Brahman.—(S).

When there is no avidyā, Brahman comes, of Himself, within the range of experience. Where an unknown object is to be known, there it is that an external source of knowledge is needed, the ego continuing to be the perceiver; but as to Brahman who is Himself Consciousness, no such external source of knowledge is necessary. Here knowledge of the Self is identical with the Self and involves no consciousness of a foreign object; and therefore no external knowledge is needed. This consciousness of the Self has, unlike others, neither a rising nor a setting.—(S).

The location denoted by the words ‘in the man’ in the passage “this one who is in the man” is secondary and should therefore be ignored as unintended, the śruti referring mainly to the Self as it does elsewhere in such passages as “This intelligent one who is in the prāṇas.”[16] So, in the words “this one who is in the man,” the śruti teaches that jīva is identical with that one who is the constant Witness of the mind, and who can be reached by the mind which is not smitten by passion. “That one who is in the Sun” refers to the Paramātman who shines brightest in the sun and is devoid of all separation from us. That the Para-mātman is present in the sun is taught in the śruti:

“The Sun is the Ātman of the moving and the unmoving.”[17]

Because by avidyā the One Reality puts on different forms as Kṣetrajña and īśvara, therefore, by discarding this distinction, we should regard them as one in reality, just as the ākāśa of a jar and ākāśa outside the jar are one.—(S).

(Objection):—Even then, the reference to the particular entity of the sun is of no use.

(Answer):—The reference is not useless. It serves to shew that the inferiority of man and the superiority of the sun should be ignored. Of course, the highest excellence in this world of duality, made up of form and formless matter, is reached in the sun. When we ignore the special features of man, we will find that the Supreme Bliss exists the same (in man and in the sun); and therefore neither superiority nor inferiority exists for one who has reached this state (of unity). It therefore stands to reason to assert “This soul gains fearless support in Him,” etc.

The sun is the highest object in the universe made up of the matter having form and of the formless matter. Identity of the Consciousness in us with the Consciousness in the sun, as taught in the śruti, is possible only when the elements which make the man and the sun the lower and the higher beings are eliminated. In the words “this one who is in the man” the śruti refers to jīva, the lower entity, manifested in the mind of man and predicates his unity with īśvara, the higher entity, as when we say the “serpent is rope.’Tn virtue of this predication of unity with īśvara, jīva’s inferiority which is correlated to īśvara’s superiority should be lost sight of, being incompatible with his unity with Īśvara; and then īśvara’s superiority should also be lost sight of, inasmuch as it can exist only in relation to the inferiority of jīva. So, the result of this predication is that the superiority in the sun and the inferiority in the jīva are both lost sight of. Thus discarding both, we get at that which is not what the words of the sentence directly denote, that which is taught only in the words “not thus, not thus,” namely, the truth that Brahman is the Self and that the Self is Brahman. Neither superiority nor inferiority exists in the Ātman. It is they, whose vision is overpowered by ignorance, that see superiority and inferiority. Ignorance alone leads to the perception of superiority, etc.; they do not exist in reality: therefore when ignorance is devoured by knowledge, all distinctions vanish. Moreover, since the Bliss of the Supreme Brahman excels all blisses ranging from man up to that of the Hiraṇyagarbha, we should hold to the unity of the Self in man and of Brahman in the sun; and then, ignorance which is the source of all differentiation will disappear. By describing Brahman as “Real, Consciousness,” the śruti denies the unreal and ignorance in the very nature of Brahman. Ignorance which is the cause of all distinction, being thus removed, the unity of jīva in man with Brahman in the sun is not incompatible with reason.—(S).

‘Man’ here means the aspirant of wisdom. In him there exists some bliss, as both reason and experience shew. The śruti elsewhere has started at length the argument for its existence. Having started with the words “for the Self’s pleasure, indeed, does everything become dear,”[18] the śruti shews that all objects of pleasure such as sons, wealth, etc., are dear as subservient to the Self, and thereby proves that the Self, as the object of supreme love, is the Bliss itself. Every one feels, “May I ever live! May I never die!” It is thus a fact of every one’s experience that the Self is Bliss. Man here stands for all sentient beings of the same class; and in speaking of bliss in man the śruti has in view the bliss in all the external beings that we see around us. The bliss in the sun is typical of the bliss which is beyond our perception and stands for the bliss of all the Devatās or Cosmic Intelligences of the same class as the sun. In whatever being there is bliss, whether it be in man, or in the other sentient creatures around him, or in the Devatās or Cosmic beings,—in whatever upādhis or vehicles it is contained, all bliss is one and the same in its essential form. All the distinctions that we make in bliss,—such as human bliss, the bliss of gods, and so on,—have reference only to the upādhi. This One Partless Bliss of Brahman, with all the distinctions thereof due to the upādhis from the Hiraṇyagarbha down to the unmoving objects, has been referred to by the śruti elsewhere in the words:

“This is His highest bliss. All other creatures live on a small portion of this bliss.”[19]

Thus the foregoing enquiry points to this conclusion: that the seekers of knowledge should understand that Brahman’s Bliss is one and one alone, that it is one and indivisible, that it is as it were the ocean of bliss whereof the blisses of the Hiraṇyagarbha and others are so many drops.

Taittiriya 1

Footnotes and references:


Vide ante p. 275.


Vide ante p. 584.


Brahman has been spoken of before as such in the passage “That One, verily, is the Flavour.”


Bṛ. 4-3-33.


i. e., when speaking of the human bliss.


Namely, the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve Ādityas, Indra, and Prajāpati.


Tait. Saṃhitā. 4-1-8.


Bṛ. 4-3-32.


through their upādhis.


on the extinction of the upādhis.


Bṛ. Up. 2-3-5.


Whereas the passage quoted above occurs in a section treating of the conditioned Brahman.—(V),


p. 591.


p. 603.


p. 606.


Bṛ. Up. 4-4-22.


Tait. Saṃ. 2-4-14.


Bṛ. 2-4-5.


Bṛ. 4-3-32.

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