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Vedas And Upanishads

Taittiriya Upanishad- Petal 5
By T.N.Sethumadhavan, December 2011 [[email protected]]

Chapter :

SIKSHA VALLI

MANTRA

SECTION 8 – OMITI BRAHMA . OMITIDAGM SARVAM.H .

CONTEMPLATION OF AUM

omiti brahma . omitida{\m+}  sarvam.h
omityetadanukritirha sma va apyo shravayetyashravayanti
omiti samani gayanti . o{\m+} shomiti shastrani sha{\m+} santi
omityadhvaryuh pratigaram pratigrinati . omiti brahma prasauti
omityagnihotramanujanati
omiti brahmanah pravaxyannaha brahmopapnavaniti
brahmaivopapnoti .. 1..

Om is all this. This syllable Om is used to indicate compliance. When they are told: "Om, recite," they recite. Uttering Om, they sing the Saman chants. With "Om, Som," they recite the prayers. Uttering Om, the adhvaryu priest gives the response. Uttering Om, the Brahma gives assent. Uttering Om, gives permission to offer oblations in the Agnihotra sacrifice. When a Vedic teacher wishes to obtain Brahman he utters Om; thus desiring Brahman, he verily obtains Brahman.

Earlier the vyahritis and the fivefold constituents were introduced as symbols of Brahman for the purpose of meditation. Now two other ideas are being introduced namely 1. to consider OM as the symbol, letter and sound indicating Brahman and 2. to consider OM as Brahman itself for meditation. The idea is that OM is everything as Brahman is everything - om iti idam sarvam as the mantra says; OM is Brahman itself - om iti brahma as the mantra puts it.

OM is Para Brahman (Brahman without attributes – nirguna) and Apara Brahman (Brahman with attributes – saguna).

The use of OM characterizes every aspect of life, spiritual and secular. OM is used as indicator of approval. This mantra gives examples from Vedic rituals to show how OM is employed in various ways. When somebody has to approve of something he simply says OM. When somebody requests anything the approval is conveyed by merely uttering OM. The singers of sama first say OM and then start chanting.  While performing sacrifices the concerned priests first utter OM and then start performing the respective rituals. The chief priest first utters OM and then grants his consent for the sacrificial proceedings. Similarly he permits to perform Agnihotra only after saying OM. The Brahmacharins first say Om and then only commence their Vedic studies.

Thus the substance of this mantra is that because all undertakings which start with the syllable OM become fruitful, one should meditate on OM as Brahman.

ityashtamo.anuvakah ..

End of Section 8 - Chapter 1

SECTION 9 – APARA VIDYOPASANAM

STUDY & TEACHING OF THE  VEDAS

ritam cha svadhyayapravachane cha
satyam cha svadhyayapravachane cha
tapashcha svadhyayapravachane cha
damashcha svadhyayapravachane cha
shamashcha svadhyayapravachane cha
agnayashcha svadhyayapravachane cha
agnihotram cha svadhyayapravachane cha
atithayashcha svadhyayapravachane cha
manusham cha svadhyayapravachane cha
praja cha svadhyayapravachane cha
prajanashcha svadhyayapravachane cha
prajatishcha svadhyayapravachane cha
satyamiti satyavacha rathitarah
tapa iti taponityah paurushishtih
svadhyayapravachane eveti nako maud.hgalyah
taddhi tapastaddhi tapah .. 1..

The disciplines are rightness and also the learning and teaching; truth and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; austerity and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; self-control and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; tranquillity and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; the kindling of sacrificial fires and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; the performance of the Agnihotra sacrifice and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; hospitality to guests and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; the perfromance of social duties and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; procreation and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas; propagation of the race and also the learning and teaching of the Vedas. Differing views on the subject: Truth alone, according to Satyvachas of the line of Rathitara, should be practised; austerity alone, according to Taponitya the son of Purusishti; according to Naka the son of Mudgalya, the learning and teaching of the Vedas alone, for that is austerity.

It has been stated earlier that only Self-Knowledge can give liberation. This may lead people to think that social duties as prescribed by the scriptures (karma) are redundant. Lest people make this mistake the place of karma or duties of an individual is being shown in this mantra. The idea is that karma properly done produces chittasuddhi, a pure mind which is a pre-requisite for the attainment of Self-Knowledge. These duties are to be performed along with the study of the scriptures and propagating truths contained in them. As long as the seeker is a part of the phenomenal universe, he must not neglect social duties and religious rites. By means of the former he becomes pure in heart and by means of the latter his mind acquires concentration. These duties enumerated in the mantra are tabulated below.

SL.NO.

DUTIES

MEANING

1

ritam

The practice of what is right and proper as indicated in the scriptures.

2

satyam

Living up to the ideals taught in the scriptures.

3

tapas

Spirit of self-sacrifice and self-denial.

4

dama

Control of the senses.

5

sama

Tranquility of the mind.

6

agni

Maintenance of a kitchen for feeding the needy fellow beings.

7

agnihotram

Practice of Fire-worship

8

atithaya

Treating the guests with due respect.

9

manusham

Live like normal human being.

10

praja, prajanah

Have children for continuing the family line..

11

prajatih

Have grandchildren i.e. arrange marriages of children .

This section is closed by quoting three masters who advocated the importance of satyam or tapas or the study of the scriptures and their efficient spread in the society.

iti navamo.anuvakah ..

End of Section 9 - Chapter 1

Chapter :

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