Taittiriya Upanishad- Petal 7

iti chaturtho.anuvakah ..

End of Section 4 - Chapter 2



vij~nanam yaj~nam tanute . karmani tanute.api cha
vij~nanam devah sarve
brahma jyeshthamupasate . vij~nanam brahma chedveda
tasmachchenna pramadyati . sharire papmano hitva
sarvankamansamashnuta iti .

tasyaisha eva sharira atma
yah purvasya . tasmadva etasmadvij~nanamayat.h
anyo.antara atma.a.anandamayah . tenaisha purnah
sa va esha purushavidha eva . tasya purushavidhatam.h
anvayam purushavidhah . tasya priyameva shirah . modo daxinah paxah .

pramoda uttarah paxah . ananda atma . brahma puchcham pratishtha
tadapyesha shloko bhavati .. 1..

The intellect accomplishes the sacrifice; it also accomplishes all actions. All the gods worship the intellect, who is the eldest, as Brahman.” “If a man knows the intellect as Brahman and if he does not swerve from it, he leaves behind in the body all evils and attains all his desires.

This is the embodied soul of the former. Verily, different from this, which consists of the essence of the intellect, but within it, is another self, which consists of bliss. 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. Joy is its head, delight is its right wing, great delight is its left, bliss is its trunk. Brahman is its tail, its support.

Now the sheath of bliss is taken up for discussion.  An intelligent person goes on performing sacrifices with great respect and promotes all kinds of activities and in these endeavors, because of his intelligence; he is able to discriminate between what is good and what is not. Aware of the importance of intelligence, Indra and other deities worship Brahman who is the chief of all intelligent beings or rather intelligence itself.

A person may have many blemishes due to his association with a body, but if he knows Brahman and never stops thinking of him, he will nevertheless get rid off these blemishes. He will enjoy everything he wants. This vijnanamaya self, Brahman as intelligence. It is the embodied self of the manomaya kosa ( the self as the mind).

Within the vijnanamaya kosa (the self as intelligence) there is another self known as anandamaya kosa, the self as bliss. The vijnanamaya kosa is filled by the anandamaya kosa which is also like a human body having a human form.  This is also compared to a bird as in the previous instances. The joy of seeing things is the head, joy of acquiring things is right wing, joy of enjoying things is left wing, and bliss is the middle part of the body or it’s self. Brahman is its supporting tail.

Spiritual joy does not depend upon any external factor and we are happy despite external conditions, not because of them. This kind of joy comes from Brahman; so Brahman is said to be the support or tail of all joys. The highest joy comes when we know we are Brahman. This Brahman is the inmost Self. Because we perceive duality we suffer and as all dualities end in Brahman we become one with that joy that is Brahman.

Brahman is the ultimate support of the five sheaths. These sheaths have been described in order to demonstrate the transcendental Brahman. Through the contemplation of the sheath of bliss, the aspirant ultimately realizes the pure Brahman. The example is that the luminous ray of the gem is mistaken for the gem itself; but by following such ray one ultimately reaches the gem. Beyond the sheath of bliss there exists the Pure Brahman which transcends all duality and is the substratum of phenomenal universe.

So far in this chapter the Upanishad described the five sheaths which constitute the embodied creature. They are the sheaths of food or matter, the prana or vital breath, the mind, the intellect and bliss - arranged one inside the other (refer to the diagram given earlier).  The outer derives its reality from the inner. Brahman is the innermost reality. It is untouched by any of the sheaths but is the unrelated ground of all. The physical sheath cannot function without being energized by the sheath of prana or vital breath; the mind directs the prana and the intellect controls the mind; the intellect is dependent upon bliss.

iti pa~nchamo.anuvakah ..

End of Section 5 - Chapter 2

We shall take up the remaining sections and complete the Chapter 2 next time.


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