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 purpose of the sequel.
The question as to whether Brahman exists or does not exist has been answered. The creation, the enjoyment of bliss, the vital functions, the fearless state, and existence of fear,—all these point to the existence of Brahman (their Cause), the Source of ākāśa &c. Thus one question has been answered. The two other questions relate to the wise and the ignorant, as to whether they do or do not attain Brahman. The last of the three questions is, Does the wise man attain or not attain Brahman? It is this question which the śruti proceeds to answer in the sequel. The middle one of the three questions being answered when the last question is answered, no (separate) attempt will be made to answer that question.
The foregoing is the Bhāṣyakāra’s (Śaṅkarāchārya’s) view. As against this, the Vārtikakāra (Sureśvarāchārya) says as follows:
I, whose dense ignorance has been consumed in the fire of His Holiness’s (Śaṅkarāchārya’s) speech, think that these questions relating to the wise and the ignorant have been answered in the words, “When in truth this soul gains fearless support in Him who is invisible ...."(Vide anti p. 590 et seq). By construing the passage just referred to as meant to answer the two questions, not only is the question as to the existence or non-existence of Brahman answered, but also direct answers to both the other questions are obtained.—(S).
To know Brahman is to attain Him.
Tbe śruti now proceeds to describe the result of knowing the Bliss as explained above:
स य एवंवित् । अस्माल्लोकात् प्रेत्य । एतमन्नमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति । एतं प्राणमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति । एतं मनोमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति । एतं विज्ञानमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति । एतमानन्दमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति ॥ १५ ॥
sa ya evaṃvit | asmāllokāt pretya | etamannamayamātmānamupasaṅkrāmati | etaṃ prāṇamayamātmānamupasaṅkrāmati | etaṃ manomayamātmānamupasaṅkrāmati | etaṃ vijñānamayamātmānamupasaṅkrāmati | etamānandamayamātmānamupasaṅkrāmati || 15 ||
15. He who thus knows, departing from this world, attains this Annamaya self, this Prāṇa-maya self does he attain, this Manomaya self he attains, this Vijūānamaya self he attains, he attains this Ānandamaya self.
Whoever knows thus, i. e., —‘thus’ referring to what has been just said—whoever knows “I am Brahman,” Brahman described above, whoever casts aside all inferiority and superiority, and realises his identity with the non-dual Brahman, the Real, Consciousness, the Infinite, he departs from this world, he withdraws from this world, i. e., he becomes indifferent to this world, to this congeries of visible and invisible objects of desire, and attains the Annamaya self described before at length. He does not see the aggregate of the external objects as distinct from his physical body; that is to say, he regards the whole universe of gross matter as his own physical body (annamaya-ātman). Then he identifies himself with the whole Prāṇamaya being described above, which dwells within the whole Annamaya; then with the Manomaya, then with the Vijñānamaya, then with the Ānandamaya, described above. And then, he attains his fearless stand in the Invisible, the Selfless, the Undefined, the Abodeless.
Whenever a person in this world, as it rarely happens, has perfected himself in the course of many past births, and intuitively perceives his identity with Brahman described above, then he loses attachment for this personal self which is full of evil as also for all external beings, and attains to that Being in whom this physical universe takes its rise, has its being, and attains dissolution at the end. ‘He who thus knows’ means the person who, thus, in virtue of his knowledge of the truth, has given up all attachment for the separate body or bodies with which he identified himself through attachment; and it is such a person who attains the Annamaya self, and so on. In the course of his investigation into the nature of things, he sees his identity with the Annamaya-ātman, the Virāj; and seeing all the individual beings—such as sons, grandsons &c., —in the physical world as none other than the Virāj from whom they have been evolved, he rises above them all. Similarly, he sees the Annamaya self as none other than the Prāṇamaya self and rises above the former by identifying himself with the latter. Then again, by identifying himself with the Manomaya which lies within the Prāṇa-maya, he, as a matter of course, gives up his identity with the external, the Prāṇamaya, just as the serpent for which a rope is mistaken loses its identity as such when seen in its true form as rope. Thus, by passing into the higher and higher self, he gives up the lower ones until he attains finally the Fearless, the Brahman beyond the visible and the invisible.—(S).
When a man knows the Inherent Bliss of the Self in the way described above, he attains that bliss in the same order. Brahman defined above as “Real, Consciousness,” and so on, has evolved, by the power of His māyā, the whole universe from ākāśa down to our bodies, and is present in the cave of the five sheaths as though He has entered into it; that is to say, He can be directly perceived in us in His unconditioned form. And this Brahman is one partless Essence, the one Supreme Bliss. Now the śruti proceeds to teach by what steps one who has realised Brahman in this form attains the Bliss.
The universe created by Brahman is twofold, made up of the perceiver and the object of perception, the bhoktri and the bhogya. The former includes the egos ranging from the Inner Conscious Self (Pratyak-chaitanya) down to the self of the physical body. That part of the universe which lies outside our body presenting itself to our consciousness as ‘this,’ and comprising the son, the wife, etc., comes under the category of bhogya, the objects of perception. No doubt the son, the wife, &c., are found identified with the self, as witness people Avho feel happy or miserable when the sons, &c., are happy or miserable; still, their separateness from oneself being clearly recognised by all, they are selves only in a secondary sense, but not in the literal sense of the word; and accordingly the śruti, with a view to prevent their identification with the Self, first treated of the Annamaya self. The aspirant for knowledge, too, understanding this truth, departs from this world, i. e., gives up his attachment for the son and the like perceived as external to the self, and identifies himself with the Annamaya self as taught in the śruti. That is to say, no longer identifying himself with the pleasures and pains of the sons, &c., he rests in the mere Annamaya self. In the same manner he passes from the Annamaya into the Prāṇamaya and other seifs. On passing into the Ānandamaya, he gradually gives up the four aspects of the Ānandamaya sheath and finally rests in Brahman, the One Partless Bliss, spoken of as “Brahman, the tail.”
What is truth, Duality or Non-Duality?
Now we have to discuss this point: Who is he that thus knows? and how does he attain (Brahman)?—Is he who attains (Brahman) distinct and quite separate from the Supreme Ātman? or is he identical with the Supreme Ātman?
(Question):—What would follow from this?
That is to say, where is the necessity for this discussion? A discussion must be calculated to remove a doubt and to serve a definite purpose.—(A).
(Answer);—If he be distinct from the Supreme Ātman, it would go against the śruti which says:
“This having sent forth, into that very thing He then entered.”
“Now if a man worships another Deity, thinking ‘the Deity is one, I am another,’ he does not know.”
“Existence......one alone, without a second.”
“That, Thou art.”
If he be identical with the Supreme Ātman, then he would be both the agent and the object of the action spoken of in the words “be attains the Ānandamaya self;” which is opposed to reason. Moreover, then, either the Supreme would be subject to the misery of saṃsāra, or there would be no Supreme Being at all.
The third case is evidently open to objection. The three sides of the question being all alike apparently open to objection, it is necessary to discuss the matter thoroughly, with a view to determine which of them is quite free from objection; and everybody knows that it is a determinate and certain knowledge which can be of any benefit.—(A).
(The opponent):—If it be not possible to refute the objections to which both the sides are severally open, then there is no use discussing the point. If, on the contrary, it is settled that one of the two sides is not open to objection, or if there be a third side which is quite unobjectionable, then that must be the meaning of the śruti, and a discussion of the point would be quite uncalled for.
(Answer):—No; because that settlement is the very object in view.—Certainly, if the objections urged against the two sides could not be answered, or if there be a third side which is recognised as unobjectionable, then the discussion would be useless. But that point has not been settled as yet; so that this discussion, intended as it is for a settlement of the point, does serve a purpose.
(The opponent):—Yes, the discussion has a purpose to serve, inasmuch as it is intended to determine the meaning of the śāstra or scriptures- So, you are welcome to discuss the matter, but you cannot establish the point.
(The Vedāntin):—What! is there a Vedic commandment that the point shall not be established?
(The Vedāntin):—Why then (do you say that I cannot establish the point)?
(The opponent):—Because many are arrayed against you. Relying as you do solely on the teaching of the Vedas, you maintain oneness. But many, indeed, are those who are arrayed against you, arguing for duality and not caring for the Vedas. I have therefore a doubt as to whether you can establish your point.
(The Vedāntin):—A benediction, indeed, to me is this very thing,—your saying that I, a monist, have many dualists arrayed against me. I will conquer them all; and I shall now commence the discussion.
Non-duality is truth, because duality is a creature of ignorance.
I maintain that ‘he who thus knows’ is the Supreme Ātman Himself; for, it is here intended to teach that he is identical with the Supreme. Here, in the words “the knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme,” the śruti has indeed proposed to teach that jiva attains identity with the Supreme through knowledge of that Supreme One. Certainly, it is not possible that one can ever attain identity with another altogether distinct.
Whether destroyed or not, one cannot become another; a pot, whether destroyed or not, does not become a cloth.—(A).
If jīva be identical with Brahman, he is already Brahman. What then is the meaning of the śruti which says, “He who knows Brahman reaches the Supreme;” “He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman Himself.” * —(S)
(Answer):—It is true that jiva is already Brahman, for, he who is not Brahman cannot become Brahman. As to the śruti teaching that the knowerof Brahman attains Brahman, it only means to say that what is unattained by avidyā becomes attained by vidyā or knowledge, just as the tenth man who, by ignorance, did not know that he was the tenth, became the tenth by knowledge.—(S).
We answer the opponent thus:—The object of the śruti is to remove the idea of separateness caused by avidyā. The attainment of one’s own Self through Brahma-vidyā, as taught (by the śruti in the words quoted above), consists in the giving up of the non-self, of the personal self connected with the physical body, etc., which are erroneously regarded each in turn as the self.
(Question):—How are we to understand that such is the purpose of the teaching?
(Answer):—Because the śruti teaches knowledge and no more. And we all see that the result of knowledge is the removal of ignorance. And mere knowledge is here taught as the means of attaining the Self.
(The opponent):—ft is like imparting knowledge of the road. The teaching of mere knowledge (of Brahman) as the means does not point to identity with Him.—Why?—For, we see that knowledge of the road is imparted for reaching a strange village; and certainly the man who has to go to the village is not identical with the village.
Just as the knowledge of the road to the village is the means of reaching the village through walking, so also, knowledge of Brahman is the means of reaching Brahman through a repeated practice of contemplation of that knowledge.— (S).
(Answer):—No, because that is a different case. Certainly, no knowledge of the village itself is there imparted; it is only knowledge of the road leading to the village that is imparted. On the contrary, here (in the Upaniṣad) no knowledge of means other than knowledge of Brahman is imparted.
One literally reaches the village by travelling on the road; whereas here the reaching is figurative and consists in the giving up of avidyā by knowledge.— (S).
(The opponent):—It means that knowledge of Brahman aided by the ritual and other acts treated of in the śruti constitutes the means to the attainment of the Supreme.
So far as liberation is concerned, there is not the least thing to be effected by ritual. The Real is in His inherent nature ever wise and therefore ever pure. Brahman is therefore ever free. What is there for works to do here.?—(S).
And the śruti, in the words “this having sent forth, into that very thing He entered,” teaches that the one embodied in the created objects is identical with Brahman.
Fearlessness in mokṣa is compatible only with non-duality.
It is only on this theory that we can explain how the knower of Brahman attains fearless stay in Brahman. Of course, it is only when the knower sees none other than himself that he may be said to have attained the fearless state by knowledge, there being then none other than himself that might cause fear. And all beings other than the Self must be creatures of avidyā; for then alone can mere knowledge lead us to regard the external being as unreal.
It is only when duality is a creature of avidyā and the real existence is one alone that the following passages will have a meaning:
“He who thinks ‘Deity is one, I am another, he does not know.”
“He is to be known as one alone.”—(S).
Duality is not perceived by Atman in His natural state.
The existence of a second moon, indeed, is one which is not perceived by him who has eyes unaffected by the disease of timira.
The knowledge that the moon is one will be true only if a second moon is not seen by those other than the timira-diseased man.—(S).
(The opponent ):—It cannot be granted that no external being is perceived.
(Answer):—You should not say so; for it is not perceived in the states of suṣupti and samādhi.
Speaking of suṣupti, the śruti says, “Then there is no duality.” So that, though perceived at times, duality is not perceived at other times and is therefore unreal.—(S).
(The opponent):—Non-perception (of duality) in suṣupti is like the non-perception of a thing by one who is quite preoccupied with another thing.
(Answer):—No; for there is then (in suṣupti) no perception of anything at all.
(Answer): —No, because the jāgrat and svapna are creatures of avidyā.—The perception of external objects in the jāgrat and svapna states is caused by avidyā, because it does not exist in the absence of avidyā.
(The opponent):—Then even the non-perception in suṣupti is due to avidyā.
(Answer): —No, because this non-perception is the natural state (of Ātman).— (To explain): It is the immutable state of Ātman that constitutes His real nature, because it is not dependent on other things. No changing state can ever constitute His real nature, because it is dependent on other things. Certainly the real nature of Ātman has no need of an external operative cause. It is only a specific aspect of Ātman that stands in need of an external cause to bring it about. This specific aspect is a change, and perception (of external objects) in the jāgrat and svapna states is a specific aspect (of the Ātman). Indeed, that state of a thing which does not depend on an external cause is the real nature of that thing; what is dependent on an external cause does not constitute the inherent nature of the thing, inasmuch as it disappears on the disappearance of the external cause. Therefore, suṣupti being the inherent state of the Ātman, the specific aspect (of perception) is then unmanifested, whereas it is manifested in the jāgrat and svapna states.
Fearlessness is incompatible with duality.
In the case, however, of those who hold that there exists an Īśvara and a universe distinct from the Self, there can be no cessation of fear; for, fear arises from an external being; and an external being, if existent, can never undergo annihilation; and what is nonexistent cannot make its existence felt.
(The opponent):—The external being becomes the source of fear only when conjoined with another cause.
(Answer): —No, for it is the same with this other cause. Even supposing that the external being becomes the source of fear only when there exists another auxiliary co-operative cause, permanent or transitory, such as good and bad acts (dharma and adharma), we cannot suppose that such a cause will ever cease to exist, and therefore there would be no cessation of fear. If, on the contrary, we should suppose that such a cause would cease to exist, then existence and non-existence would be mutually interchangeable, and no faith could be placed in anything whatsoever.
Supposing fear can arise without a cause and is therefore not caused by īśvara, even then there would be no cessation of fear. If fear be inherent in Ātman, then it would cease only with the cessation of Ātman. But no follower of the Vedas would ever admit that Ātman will ever cease to exist.—(S).
On the other hand, this objection does not apply to the theory of oneness, inasmuch as (the fear of) saṃsāra as well as its cause are creations of ignorance. Certainly, the second moon seen by the ṭmīṛa-diseased eye neither comes into being nor undergoes annihilation.
Fear being caused by ignorance, it disappears on the disappearance of ignorance. If it be caused by an external object, then there will be fear always. If it be caused by the Self, then the Self having no control over it, it would not cease unless the Self ceases to exist, which nobody is prepared to grant. And if the Self should cease to exist, there would be none to reap the fruit of the cessation of fear. If we hold that fear is caused by mere avidyā, all this can be easily explained. When avidyā will be absent, fear will be absent too; for, fear arises only when there is avidyā. Fear arises when Brahman is not realised. Whence can fear arise when Brahman is realised? Where is the serpent when the rope is seen? Therefore avidyā alone must be the cause of fear.—(S).
Ignorance and knowledge are not the attributes of the Self.
(The opponent):—Then knowledge and ignorance, vidyā and avidyā, are the attributes of Ātman.
(Answer):—No, because they are cognised in immediate perception (pratyakṣa). Discrimination and non-discrimination, knowledge and ignorance, are, like colour, perceived by immediate perception, as pertaining to the mind (antaḥ-karaṇa). Certainly, as an object of immediate perception, colour can never be an attribute of the percipient. And avidyā or ignorance is cognised by one’s own experience, “I am ignorant, and my understanding cannot discriminate.” So also, knowledge or discrimination is cognised in one’s own experience; and the wise impart their knowledge to others, and accordingly those others understand also. Therefore knowledge and ignorance, vidyā and avidyā, should be brought under the category of name and form. Name and form are certainly not the attributes of the Ātman, since the śruti says:
“He who is called Ākāśa is the revealer of name and form. That which is distinct from them is Brahman.”
These again, name and form, are mere fictions, just as, with reference to the sun, day and night are mere fictions; they do not exist in reality.
Attainment is knowledge.
(Answer):—No, for this attainment consists in mere knowledge. No reaching, as in the case of a leech (jalūka), is meant here.—What then?—The reaching spoken of in the śruti means mere knowledge.
I. e., the knowledge “I am Brahman,” which removes avidyā as well as its effects erroneously ascribed to Brahman, the True Self. So that, on the attainment of knowledge, there would be no occasion for this objection.—(A).
It may be urged that the Ātman never sees himself as subject to pleasure and pain; i. e. it may be objected that, since Brahman who is ever free is never subject to saṃsāra, He cannot regard the cessation of saṃsāra, resulting from knowledge, as of any benefit. In reply, we ask, then tell me who the seeker of mokṣa is. There being no saṃsārin other than Brahman, there would be no seeker of mokṣa if Brahman be not subject to saṃsāra, and the scriptures treating of mokṣa would all go in vain. Moreover, in the states of jāgrat, svapna and suṣupti, the Self experiences Himself as subject to saṃsāra, by His inherent Consciousness, as “I am black, I am happy, I do not know.” Being devoid of causes and effects, of the senses and the body, the Supreme Ātman is not subject to such division as the agent and the object, and so on. Because of the absence of these, the Ātman is nothing but pure Consciousness. Knowledge removes from the Ātman all connection with action, which arises from avidyā. In Himself the Ātman is unrelated to action. No works are necessary for one to attain one’s own inherent nature; for works are necessary only to bring about a change or what is not inherent in the nature of a thing. The rituals enjoined in the Veda are useful only in cleansing the mind and preparing the way for the removal of ignorance.—(S).
(The opponent):—Attainment should be understood in its literal sense, it being declared in the śruti that the knower attains Ātman.
(Answer):—No; for actual union is not seen in the case of the Annamaya self.
When the knower is said to pass from the external world into the Annamaya self, we find that no actual reaching takes place as in the case of a leech or in any other fashion.
(The opponent):—The Manomaya, or the Vijñanamaya, having gone out towards external objects, turns back again and attains itself, i. e., abides in itself.
Like the manas or buddhi, which, after going out towards external objects through its vṛttis or functions, turns back and reaches itself, so also the Ātman goes out towards the physical body, etc., through manas, and then turning back, comes to Himself.—(S).
(Answer):—Seeing that one cannot act upon oneself, you have asserted that some one outside the Annamaya self passes into the latter; but you here speak of the Manomaya or the Vijñānamaya returning to itself: this is a self-contradiction.
Even a leech, however active, cannot reach itself by itself. Even supposing that a leech, being made of several parts, reaches one of its parts by another, the Ātman cannot do so, inasmuch as He has no parts.—(S).
So, too, it is impossible to explain the actual attainment of the Self by the Ānandamaya.
Therefore the attainment is not reaching. Neither is it one of the Annamaya, &c., that attains Brahman. As the only remaining alternative unobjectionable view, the union (spoken of here) must be mere knowledge, attained by one who is outside the sheaths ranging from the Annamaya to the Ānandamaya.
It is only from ignorance that the Supreme Self, the Innermost Self in all, who lies beyond all sheaths and who is immutable, is said to attain or know the Self, just as it is on account of ignorance that ākāśa is said to be a spacegiving substance.—(S).
When union is thus viewed as mere knowledge, (we can understand how), on the rise of the knowledge of one’s true Self, vanishes away the Ātman’s illusory knowledge, that identification of the Self with the not-self—such as the Annamaya—which arises from the Ātman’s connection with the heart-cave,—that Ātman who is within all, who abides in the not-self including the Ānandamaya, and who, having created the universe from the ākāśa down to the physical body, then entered into that very universe. The word “attain” is used in this figurative sense, namely, the cessation of illusion of avidyā or ignorance; the attaining of the all-pervading Ātman cannot indeed be explained in any other way. Moreover, there is no being other than Ātman; and one cannot attain oneself. Certainly a leech does not attain itself. Therefore, it is only with a view to impart the knowledge of the oneness of the Self with Brahman defined above in the words “Real,Consciousness, Infinite is Brahman,” that Brahman who is the object of all experience is represented as multiplying Himself, as creating the universe, as entering it; as the Flavour attained by the wise, as the Fearless, as the Goal attained, and so on; whereas, in point of fact, no such conditions can exist in the unconditioned Brahman.
That is to say, all this representation is intended to lead to the knowledge “I am Brahman” who is the Real, the Infinite, the never-failing Consciousness. On the rise of the sun of knowledge, the Self who lies beyond the five sheaths devours one by one all the five sheaths, and, like a lamp, becomes extinguished in Himself.—(S).
A summary of the foregoing discussion.
Sāyaṇa gives a clear summary of the results of the foregoing discussion as follows:
(Question):—Who is meant by the words “he who thus knows?”— Is it Paramātman or some one else? It cannot be Paramātman, for, He is the one to be known and cannot therefore be the knower. It cannot be some one else either, for, it would be opposed to the teaching such as “That, Thou art.”
(Answer):—This objection does not apply to our theory; for, the Paramātman can be both the knower and the known. When conditioned by the physical body, the senses, and other upādhis, He is the knower; as the one partless Bliss, He is the one to be known.
(Objection):—The śruti says that ‘he who thus knows’ attains Brahman. Attainment (saṃ-kramaṇa) means firm conjunction, as we find in the case of a leech firmly holding on to a blade of grass; and certainly, the knower, the Paramātman, conditioned by the upādhis such as the body and the senses, cannot be said to attain the Annamaya self in the manner of a leech.
(Answer):—Not so, for, attainment here means the disappearance of illusion as a result of knowledge. And accordingly the Bhāṣyakāra (Śaṅkarāchārya) has said, “the word ‘attain’ is used in a figurative sense,—the cessation of illusion, of avidyā.” Mere knowledge cannot indeed be the means of attaining, in the literal sense; we do not, for example, find that the mere knowledge “this is composed of collyrium” ever attaches collyrium to the eye.
(Objection):—Already, in the words “departing from this world” occurring in the first instance, the śruti has spoken of the disappearance of illusory knowledge concerning external objects such as children.
(Answer):—If so, then, by the attainment of the Annamaya self the śruti may mean that the illusion regarding children and the like will spring up no more. W'e have accordingly explained the attainment of the Annamaya to mean resting in the Annamaya self. On the same principle, by the attainment of the Prāṇamaya we mean that, as a result of the realisation of the Prāṇamaya self, the illusion of the identification of the Self with the Annamaya, which has once disappeared, does not spring up again. And so in the subsequent cases. Though the Annamaya, etc., are not the True Self, still, they are spoken of as the Self, because from illusion they are commonly regarded as the Self, as the thing corresponding to the notion of ‘I.’ Seeing that Brahman, the Real Bliss, is beyond speech and thought, the śruti does not speak of the attainment of Brahman, the real Bliss, by the four-aspected bliss of the Ānandamaya-kośa, though as a matter of fact there exists such attainment.
Footnotes and references:
i.e., the Virāj.—(Y).
i.e., he sees that he is identical with Brahman in the form of the physieal matter comprising both the individual (vyaṣṭi) physical body as well as the universal (samaṣṭi) physical body,—(V).
i.e., the Sūtrātman.—(V).
Ante p. 524.
Bṛ. Up. 1-4-10.
If jīva and the Supreme be identical, either jīva should he merged in the Supreme, or the Supreme should be merged in jīva. In the former ease, the existing saṃsāra should pertain to the Supremo; in the latter case there would be no place for the Supreme, the Ruler of jīvas.—(V).
i.e., the jīva.
At the commencement of this Vallī.
such as Īśvara.
Bṛ. Up. 1-4-10.
Bṛ. Up. 4-4-20.
Avidyā is the erroneous identification of the Self with the body, etc.—(A).
This is said against a possible supposition of the opponent, that fear is non-existent and is therefore absent in mokṣa.
This other cause being jīva’s dharma and adharma.
Chhā. Up. 8-14-1.