Taittiriya Upanishad- Petal 7

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CHAPTER 2 – BRAHMANANDA VALLI

SECTION 3 – LIFE AND MIND

THE SHEATH OF THE MIND

MANTRA

pranam deva anu prananti . manushyah pashavashcha ye
prano hi bhutanamayuh . tasmat.h sarvayushamuchyate
sarvameva ta ayuryanti . ye pranam brahmopasate
prano hi bhutanamayuh . tasmat.h sarvayushamuchyata iti .

tasyaisha eva sharira atma . yah purvasya
tasmadva etasmat.h pranamayat.h . anyo.antara atma manomayah
tenaisha purnah . sa va esha purushavidha eva
tasya purushavidhatam.h . anvayam purushavidhah
tasya yajureva shirah . rigdaxinah paxah . samottarah paxah
adesha atma . atharva~ngirasah puchcham pratishtha
tadapyesha shloko bhavati .. 1..

The gods breathe after the prana, so also do men and cattle; for the prana is the life of creatures. Therefore it is called the life of all. Those who worship the prana as Brahman obtain a full life; for the prana is the life of creatures. Therefore it is called the life of all.

This sheath of the Prana is the embodied soul of the former. Verily, different from this sheath, which consists of the essence of the prana, but within it, is another self, which consists of the mind. By this the former is filled. This too has the shape of a man. Like the human shape of the former is the human shape of the latter. The Yajur Veda is its head, the Rig Veda is its right wing, the Sama Veda is its left wing, the teaching is its trunk, the hymns of Atharva and Angiras are its tail, its support.

Now the discussion is about the Sheath of the Mind, Manomaya Kosa.

The organs follow prana, the vital breath which enables them to perform their respective functions, whether they are of the human beings or animals. As Prana gives life to all living beings, it is called sarvayusam, the life of all beings.  Those who worship Prana as Brahman attain full span of life. This prana is the indweller of Annamaya Kosa discussed earlier. The sense organs are called here as Devas - deities, because they illumine the objects for us but that too when they are fortified with prana or life. If the prana is worshipped as Brahman we attain the full span of life i.e. we get whatever is meditated upon meaning that the life’s purpose is achieved.

Inside this pranamaya kosa there is manomaya kosa, the sheath of the mind. Just as the pranamaya kosa completely fills the annamaya kosa, so too the manomaya kosa completely fills the pranamaya kosa and also it has the same form.

Again the Upanishad uses the same analogy of the bird to illustrate the manomaya kosa.  In the yajnas chanting of Veda Mantras forms the basic requirement and therefore the Veda Mantras are deemed to be the limbs of the sacrifices. So too, as the Veda Mantras carry the mind of the seeker  along the path of God Realization, though through Karma Kanda, they are said to be the limbs of the manomaya kosa which is portrayed here in the shape of a bird. The Yajur Veda is its head, the Rig Veda is its right wing, the Sama Veda is its left wing, the teaching is its trunk, the hymns of Atharva and Angiras are its tail, its support.  The idea of connecting manomaya kosa with the Vedas is that when we recite the Veda Mantras certain mental reaction or feeling develops within us and when we understand the meaning of the Mantras we bring to mind certain thoughts. Thus the Veda Mantras cause responses in the mind and hence the comparison.

iti tritiyo.anuvakah ..

End of Section 3 - Chapter 2

SECTION 4 –MIND AND UNDERSTANDING

THE SHEATH OF THE INTELLECT

yato vacho nivartante . aprapya manasa saha
anandam brahmano vidvan.h . na bibheti kadachaneti .

tasyaisha eva sharira atma . yah purvasya
tasmadva etasmanmanomayat.h . anyo.antara atma vij~nanamayah
tenaisha purnah . sa va esha purushavidha eva
tasya purushavidhatam.h
anvayam purushavidhah . tasya shraddhaiva shirah
ritam daxinah paxah
satyamuttarah paxah . yoga atma . mahah puchcham pratishtha
tadapyesha shloko bhavati .. 1..

He who knows the Bliss of Brahman, whence all words together with the mind turn away, unable to reach it—he never fears.

This sheath of the mind is the embodied soul of the former. Verily, the different from this sheath, which consists of the essence of the mind, but within it, is another self, which consists of the intellect. By this the former is filled. This too has the shape of a man. Like the human shape of the former is the human shape of the latter. Faith is it head, what is right is its right wing, what is truth is its left wing, absorption is its trunk, Mahat is its tail, its support.

The Upanishad asks the student to contemplate Brahman as limited by the conditioning adjuncts of the mind. The mind  is in essence one with the Cosmic Mind, Hiranyagarbha who is the highest manifestation of Brahman in the relative world. He who contemplates on the sheath of mind as Brahman has nothing to fear; he attains the world of Hiranyagarbha.

So far the Upanishad has taught the student to contemplate on Brahman as endowed with Upadhis, (adjuncts) of the sheaths of food, vital breath, and the mind. He who completely detached himself from the sheath of mind is now taught about the sheath of intellect (Vijnanamaya kosa) so that his mind may penetrate deeper into the true nature of the Self or Atman.

The manomaya kosa is considered as the atma or the Self of the pranamaya kosa. Inside the manomaya kosa is the vijnananamaya kosa, the sheath of the intellect. Vijnananamaya kosa fills the manomaya kosa. It is also of the form of manomaya kosa. Vijnanamaya is of the level of the intellect, the level of decision or determination. Again, Vijnanamaya kosa is thought of as a bird. The head of such bird is sraddha, faith and respect in the scriptures. Te right wing of the bird is rtam, righteousness and the left wing is satyam, truth. The body of the bird is said to be Yoga; yoga means complete absorption, complete identification. The tail of the bird, the support, is mahat which is Hiranyagarbha, the first manifestation of Brahman. As the earth is supporting al the trees and creepers, Hiranyagarbha supports everything.