The muNDakopaniShat – Part 15
एषोऽणुरात्मा चेतसा वेदितव्यो यस्मिन्प्राणः पञ्चधा संविवेश ।
प्राणैश्चित्तं सर्वमोतं प्रजानां यस्मिन्विशुद्धे विभवत्येष आत्मा ॥ ९ ॥
एषः this अणुः subtle आत्मा self चेतसा by intellect वेदितव्यः to be realized यस्मिन् in which प्राणः prāṇa पञ्चधा fivefold संविवेश entered प्राणैः by senses चित्तं the intellect सर्वम् completely ओतं pervaded प्रजानां of people यस्मिन् in which विशुद्धे pure विभवति shines एष this आत्मा Self
That subtle Ātman is to be known by the intellect here in the body where the prāṇa has entered fivefold. By the Ātman the intellects of men are pervaded, together with the senses. When the intellect is purified, the Ātman shines forth.
The Ātman that is taught to be realized as stated in the previous mantra (3.1.8), is to be known by the intellect, which is the instrument, by which knowledge of the Self takes place. For the right knowledge to arise, the means, that is the intellect, must be extremely pure. Where is the Self to be realized? To this question we get the reply in the mantra thus: In that body where the prāṇa is available in its five forms such as prāṇa and apāna. The pure intellect is the abode where the Ātman is available for recognition. This is the ‘area’, the mind, where the Self shines forth, and is the location where it is to be realized. What is the kind of intellect that is required for such realization? The reply is: That mind which is pervaded by the senses, just as milk is pervaded by clarified butter and wood is pervaded by fire. It is well known that all minds are endowed with sentiency. In the matured intellect which is freed from the impurities the Self shines forth happily, in its pure mode, without the admixture of any limitation accompanying. The Self reveals itself especially in this locus, the mind that is thus rendered pure.
The Upaniṣads repeatedly instruct that the mind, intellect, is the locus where the Self is to be realized and the instrument to realize the Ātman is also the mind alone and that such a mind ought to be rendered extremely pure and subtle to accomplish this task. All sādhanas like karma yoga, devotion, upāsana and meditation are aimed at purifying the mind of the dross and making it sharp and subtle. With such a tool when the Vedanta is heard, the process of manana (cogitation) and nididhyāsana (meditation) become a smooth exercise.
यं यं लोकं मनसा संविभाति विशुद्धसत्त्वः कामयते यांश्च कामान् ।
तं तं लोकं जयते तांश्च कामांस्तस्मादात्मज्ञं ह्यर्चयेद्भूतिकामः ॥ १० ॥
यं यं whichever लोकं world मनसा by the mind संविभाति envisages विशुद्धसत्त्वः the man of pure mind कामयते desires यान् च and those कामान् objects तं तं that लोकं world जयते he attains तान् च and those कामान् objects तस्मात् thus आत्मज्ञं the knower-of-the-Self हि indeed अर्चयेत् shall worship भूतिकामः the one desirous of prosperity
Whatever world a man of pure understanding envisages in his mind and whatever desires he cherishes, that world he conquers and those desires he obtains. Therefore let everyone who wants prosperity worship the man who knows the Self.
The Knower of the Ātman attains all that is there in creation since the Ātman that he has realized is the self of the entire creation. This is the fruit of Knowledge, even while the Knower lives. He passes beyond all wants and establishes himself in the state of total satisfaction, tṛpti. He is a man of pure intellect, free of all blemishes. In case, for some or the other reason, he wants to attain, possess, some or the other world or object of desire, either for himself or for the sake of others, he can realize it by mere wish. Since he is a man of unfailing desire, satya sankalpa, those desirous of prosperity may worship the Knower, Jñānin.
Here ends the first section of the third Chapter of the Muṇḍakopaniṣat
The second section of the third chapter
स वेदैतत्परमं ब्रह्म धाम यत्र विश्वं निहितं भाति शुभ्रम् ।
उपासते पुरुषं ये ह्यकामास्ते शुक्रमेतदतिवर्तन्ति धीराः ॥ १ ॥
स he वेद knows एतत् this परमं supreme ब्रह्म धाम abode of Brahman यत्र where विश्वं the universe निहितं rests भाति shines शुभ्रम् brightly उपासते worship पुरुषं him ये those हि indeed अकामाः free of desires ते they शुक्रम् seed of birth एतत् this अतिवर्तन्ति transcend धीराः wise
- He, the Knower of the Self, knows that Supreme Abode of Brahman, which shines brightly and in which the universe rests. Those wise men who, free from desires, worship such a person transcend the seed of birth.
In the previous mantra it was said that the Knower of Brahman is worthy of worship by those who desire prosperity. Now, here, in this mantra, it is said that the worship, meditation, of the Knower of Brahman, without desire for worldly prosperity, results in the attaining of liberation itself. Brahman is the abode of all desires, being the substratum on which the entire world of objects rests being superimposed. Not needing any external source of illumination, Brahman, the Pure, is self-luminous. However, this luminosity should not be understood as any physical light. The Jñānin who realizes Brahman is an extremely rare person, not to be found easily. Since the knower is non-different from Brahman, the adoration, with due ardor, of the Jñānin, is greatly praised. The devotion practiced for the Jñānin fructifies into the devotee-aspirant gaining complete purification paving way for the realization of the Ātman. In the Bhagavadgītā (13.7) the Lord has included ‘Ācāryopāsanam’ (worship, adoration, of the Ācārya, the preceptor) as one of the essential means to Knowledge. Those aspirants who are free of all desires and ardently devoted to the Brahmavid (Knower), just as one would the Supreme Lord, will be blessed with the Knowledge of the Ātman and attain liberation, freed of the transmigratory existence. Such are indeed the wise ones who have the Ācārya as their object of adoration. The Śvetaśvatara upaniṣad (6.23) says: यस्य देवे परा भक्तिर्यथा देवे तथा गुरौ । तस्यैते कथिता: ह्यर्था: प्रकाशन्ते महत्मन: ॥ [If these truths have been told to an advanced aspirant who feels the highest devotion for God and for his guru as for God, then they, the truths, will surely shine forth as inner experiences of the aspirant.] Thus the Knower of the Self is to be worshiped.
कामान्यः कामयते मन्यमानः स कामभिर्जायते तत्र तत्र ।
पर्याप्तकामस्य कृतात्मनस्तु इहैव सर्वे प्रविलीयन्ति कामाः ॥ २ ॥
कामान् objects यः he who कामयते desires मन्यमानः cherishing स he कामभिः with those desires जायते is born तत्र तत्र in those places पर्याप्तकामस्य the one with satisfaction कृतात्मनः the Knower तु however इह here एव itself सर्वे all प्रविलीयन्ति dissolve कामाः desires
- He who, cherishing objects, desires them, is born again here or there through his desires, But for him whose desires are satisfied and who is established in the Self, all desires vanish even here on earth.
Renouncing desires is the seminal means for an aspirant. He who cherishes the objects of the seen and unseen worlds is bound to be born in those worlds that are conducive for his reaping the fruits of his actions directed at realizing his desires. He indulges in actions both righteous and otherwise and by default will have to reap their fruits. Taking birth in the appropriate environment, he will be inextricably bound by the very desires he cherished. On the other hand, he who, by the strength of Self-knowledge transcends the need for cherishing desire for objects attains the summum bonum of life and experiences supreme satisfaction even while living in this body. Attainment of the Self frees him from the compulsion to entertain desires and work for them. The entire world is realized to be his very Self, Brahman. He goes beyond ignorance, avidyā, through the realization of his true ever-satisfied, never-craving, nature by vidyā. All desires and the tendency to act, work, for fulfilling them, comes to an end. With nothing to perpetuate the sāmsāric life, he becomes liberated and the desires also die with the death of the body, leaving no seed of ignorance to beget him another body.
नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्यो न मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन ।
यमेवैष वृणुते तेन लभ्यस्तस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूं स्वाम् ॥ ३ ॥
न not अयम् this आत्मा Self प्रवचनेन study लभ्यः attained न not मेधया intelligence न not बहुना much श्रुतेन learning यम् Him (Ātman) एव alone एषः he (aspirant) वृणुते chooses तेन by him लभ्यः attained तस्य his एष this आत्मा Self विवृणुते reveals तनूं nature स्वाम् true
- This Ātman cannot be attained through study of the Vedas, nor through intelligence, nor through much learning. By him alone who chooses the Ātman, is It attained. It is Atman that reveals to the seeker Its true nature.