MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

(Notes prepared by Dr. Vijaya Rao by listening to the tapes) Introduction There is a Sanskrit verse which runs as follows.

Ahara Nidra Bhaya Maithunam Cha Samanam Etat Pashubhir Naranam l Buddhir Hi Tesham Adhiko Visheshaha Buddhya Vihinaha Pashubhirsamanaha ll

When we compare human beings with all other animals, we find many things common to both. First in ‘ Aahara’ i.e., food, ‘Nidra’, which means sleep and rest, ‘B hayam’ means the feeling of threat from outside world and consequently the

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

urge to protect oneself from threats, ‘M aithunan’ means propogation of species. Considering these common characters what is it that makes a human being the ‘Crown of Creation’? That is the faculty of ‘Buddhi’, the capacity to think, to know. Because of this unique faculty, a human being can study his life, learn from life’s experiences, project the future and thereby he can set goals for himself and consistently and carefully work for those goals. Animals on the other hand are programmed by nature and can function by instinct alone. So only a human being can have goals in life, otherwise called ‘Purusharthas’ in Sanskrit (‘Purusha’ means human being, ‘Artha’ means goal). How many goals are possible? Apparently, a single person can have many goals. I said apparently because, really does a human being have so many goals or is it really one? On analysis, we find, though superficially, there are many goals, in fact, deep down, he is seeking through money, position, fame and all the gadgets only one thing, that is happiness. We give logic in support of this. For example, let us say a person buys something; say a car or a new type of phone or something similar. He buys it with the hope that it will be useful and give him happiness (Ananda). Once he starts using it, after a while it starts giving trouble. He thinks ‘I bought it thinking this will give me Ananda; but now it has become a source of trouble. So

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

let me sell it off even if I lose in the deal, it is ok”! If he is fed up with it, he may even give it free to an Ashram! So we want all things only as long as they give ‘ Ananda’. The moment trouble starts, we want to be rid of it. So the only real goal is ‘Ananda’. All of us including scientists are working in this direction alone. Every invention is ultimately connected with human happiness. Our scriptures too help us in this endeavour. Our original scriptures, the Vedas are a source of knowledge. They are supposed to be revelations to our ‘ Rishis’ in their meditations and have been handed down to us. As they were ‘heard’, they are called ‘Shruthis’. They are like the ‘May I help you’ counters in the railway stations. The Vedas talk about the ultimate goal called Parama Purushartha which is nothing but ‘Ananda’. Ananda can be classified into two types depending on the source. 1. Ananda coming from external sources either from objects, people, situations or a combination of these. Scriptures call it ‘Vishayananda’. Majority of people work in this field alone. The spend most of their energy


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

and time to identify, acquire and enjoy happiness from external sources. 2. Ananda from internal sorce. This source is called ‘Atma’, the essence of me/you. This belongs to you and this inner source gives Ananda called ‘Atmananda’. If we have an inner source, how come, the majority does not know about it and hanker after external sources? Scriptures point out that the inner source is hidden ( Hiranya Nidhim, Goodham, Guhyam) So how to get this? It is exactly like a person who has a treasure buried in his land but is ignorant of it and thinks he is poor. Somebody who knows will have to come and tell him that he has a treasure in his property only and that he is in fact rich. Knowing is not enough. One has to remove the mud and rock above, own up the treasure and enjoy it. Similar is the case with ‘Atmananda’. Here mud and rock are the obstacles at the level of mind and intellect. So identifying the treasure is ‘Shravanam’, removing doubts is ‘Mananam’, owning up the ananda is ‘Nidhidhyasanam’. Between Vishayananda and Atmananda, which is better? Shastra presents the pros and cons of both and it is for you to choose.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

Vishayananda: The main plus point is that it is easier to acquire and that is why majority go for it. Even if it is hell, if there are a few friends, I feel at home! The main minus point is, Vishayananda is coming from external world, it depends on many external factors which are invariably changing in a dynamic system that the world is. So there is a constant fear and anxiety about the set up remaining the same. Secondly, whatever is borrowed and not my own, is subject to loss. What has come will certainly go away. For example, let us take the case of a vessel on a fire. There is water in the vessel and vegetables in the water. In this system, the vessel, water and vegetables get heated up because of the fire. Here fire is always hot, heat being its intrinsic property where as all other things like vessel, water and vegetables borrow heat from the fire and get hot. When there is no longer any fire, they get cooled indicating that heat is only a borrowed character in them. Similarly Vishayananda can never be permanent because it is borrowed. Atmananda: As it does not come from outside, it is unconditional. Outside fluctuations cannot disturb it. So it is


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

not subject to loss. The world cannot blackmail me, there is no anxiety. Total dependence on Vishayananda makes life miserable. When life is based on inner ‘Ananda’, one is independent. Scriptures objectively present the methods of acquiring both the ‘Anandas’. The portion dealing with getting Vishayananda is called ‘Veda Purva’ and the portion dealing with Atmananda is ‘Veda Antaha’. This Vedanta (Veda +anta = Vedanta ) is known as Self Knowledge or ‘Upanishad’, which means that which destroys dependence. (Upani = atma vidya, Shadu = destroyer of dependence) As Veda Purva deals with Vishayananda, it talks about action and rituals and urges one to work hard to procure all objects and therefore promotes dependence on external factors either persons, objects or situations. Atmananda which is the subject of Vedanta promotes independence and therefore the stress of Vedanta is on renunciation which means dropping all dependencies. It is mainly knowledge based.


If Vishayananda is dependence promoting and subject to loss. lot of people won’t mind that. So he should continue in Veda Purva. helps to get Vishayananda. 2. First step is Karma (action. So the two benefits of Veda Purva are: 1. make some modifications in his Karmas. This modified Karma (also mentioned in Veda Purva) will help him come to Vedanta. he cannot directly go to it. One requires qualification to enter Vedanta. a few people will realize the futility of these exercises and the limitation of Vishayananda and develop a desire for Atmananda. However. Desire alone is not enough. rituals). So Veda Purva itself can be of two steps. and 7 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Having pointed out the differences. then why does a part of Veda advocate it at all? Is there any relevance to it at all? Yes. Let us say a ritualistic person performs a lot of rituals and gets lots of things. Vedas give us the freedom to pursue either of them depending on what I want. Even after a person develops a desire for Atmananda. Veda Purva has one important role. Though there is constant anxiety of losing whatever is acquired. Provides required qualification to enter Vedanta.

Karma gives Vishayananda and Karma Yoga polishes me to go to Vedanta. There are many synonyms: Veda Shiraha Shruthi Shiraha Veda Shiro Matruka Sapta Swaraha The other name is Jnana Kandam because the emphasis is on Self discovery. This is a significant word with three portions: Upa. UPANISHADS Now we will focus on Vedanta. It is called Vedanta because of two reasons. The other reason is because. With self study there is a ninety percent chance that he won’t understand and a ten percent chance he will misunderstand which is worse. ‘Upa’ means that Self knowledge which is to be acquired from a Guru alone (Guru Upasadanam). Shad. Another name is Atma Vidya as here we are enquiring into ourselves. 8 Shankaracharya says . One is because it is in the end portion of Vedas. it is here that the ultimate meaning of the whole Vedas is revealed (Thathparyaha). Ni. Self study is a NO NO.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Second step is Karma Yoga. Another important name is Upanishad.

That is why one section of people. That is destroyer of all types of psychological dependences. So it means 9 . Originally Vedas had 1180 branches. One with this knowledge is ready to have anything and prepared to lose anything. but a bright fire well kindled and nurtured can destroy any wood into ashes. This knowledge cannot be gained by casually hearing something here and there. knowledge has to be systematically acquired and nurtured until it is thoroughly internalized for ignorance to be burnt down. which will destroy Samsara (bondage) is Upanishad. Vedas have many sub-divisions and each one is called a ‘Shaka’ which means a branch. In fact in Shankara’s commentary. So Guru Upasadanam is very important.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji ‘Shastragnopi Swatantrena Brahmanveshanam Na Kuryat ’. Just like books. the ‘Brahmanas’ job was only to study and teach Vedas in order to preserve and protect them. Upanishads occur at the end of all Vedas. Now many have been lost. Just like a feeble flame cannot ignite a log of wood. ‘Ni’ means Nishchaya Jnanam. we find Vedic Quotations which we are unable to find in available Vedic Mantras. ‘Sad/Shad’ means destroyer. a knowledge that has to be acquired thoroughly and comprehensively. So that knowledge to be gained from a Guru thoroughly. Half knowledge is dangerous.

In Upanishads. Prasna. The Bhagavad Gita is Upanishad in diluted form. these ten Upanishads are prominently commented upon. The Brahma Sutras lend logical support to Vedantic teaching.Out of these. Katha. Mundaka.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji many Mantras have been lost between Shankara’s time and now. It derives this name from a ritual mentioned towards the end of this Upanishad. Taittereya. the most popular and famous are ten Upanishads to which Shankaracharya has written commentaries. Any ritual is meant for 10 . All the three. Aithareya. Upanishad and Bhagawad Gita together are the ‘Prasthana Traya’ and form the foundation of Vedantic thought. Chndogya and Brihadaranyaka. Thse are Isa. MUNDAKA UPANISHAD This Upanishad belongs to the ‘Atharvana Veda’. Why were these ten chosen for commentaries? Shankara says is it because in Brahma Sutras. Kena. It was a ritual called ‘Mundaka Vratham’ or ‘Shirovratham’ in which fire in a container was carried on the head to the accompaniment of Mantra chanting by the prospective student of Vedas. Each Shaka of Veda has an Upanishad. Now 108 Upanishads are available. So originally there were 1180. the Brahma Sutra. there is not that much logic. Mandukya.

This prayer differs depending on the Veda of origin of the Upanishad. Just like we do Ganesha Pooja before every endeavor. all the important aspects of Vedanta are dealt with in that. Purpose of the Shanthi Patha Shanthi means removal of obstacles. all ideas are not there. Each chapter is divided into two sections. Each chapter is called a ‘Mundaka’ and each section is called a ‘Shaka’. In others. Why is Mundaka chosen to be taught first. though Isa is mentioned as the first in the list? It is because it is relatively smaller and comprehensive. This Upanishad has more than sixty Mantras and three Chapters. Srishti Vichara is not there. All Upanishads begin with a prayer called ‘ Shanthi Patha’. 11 . For example. That is. Shanthi Patha is chanted before Upanishad study. so that religious life will give the necessary mental make up to study the Upanishad.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji qualification. in Kena.

So the prayer is recited by both student and teacher. I need to use my effort to tap it. It is like solar energy. So let us chant the Shanthi Mantra. For any endeavor to succeed.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Pataha means recitation. individual effort and the Lord’s grace have to go hand in hand. Similarly we need prayer to tap Ishwara Anugraha. Though solar energy is free. But then even grace is not freely distributed. We have to make ourselves deserving of grace with sincere effort on our part and prayer to the Lord for grace. ओम् भद्र ं क्ण ेरिभः शृण ुय ाम देवाः । भद्र ं पश्य ेमाशिभ्य रजत्र ाः ॥ िस्थ रैरंगैस्त ुष ्ट ुव ांसस्त नूि भः । व्य शेम देविहतं यदायुः ॥ स्व िस्त न इन्द ्र ो वृद ्ध श्र वाः । स्व िस्त नः पूष ा िवश्व वेदाः ॥ स्व िस्त नस्त ा्क ्श ्य ोर अिरष्ट नेिमः । स्व िस्त ्न ोर बृह स्प ित्द रधातु ॥ ॐ शािन्तः शािन्तः शािन्तः॥ Om ! Bhadram Karnebhih: Shrunuyaama Devaah: Bhadram Pashyemaakshabhir Yajathraah: | Sthirairangai Sthushthuvaagum Sastanoobhih: Yashema Devahitham Yadhaayuh: | 12 .

First let me see well. In Vedantic context good things also can mean Upanishad. Let me hear this again and again. 13 . It is only when I don’t hear bad things that my mind is reasonably peaceful and receptive to Vedantic teaching. The next prayer is with regard to eyes.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Svasthi Na Indhro Vriddhashravaah: Svasthi Nah Pooshaa Vishva Vedaah: | Svasthi Nasthaakshyo Arishtanemih: Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi This prayer can be chanted by Vedantic students and others as well. which of course is the best thing one can happen to hear. The first prayer is with regard to our ears. The one ultimate Mangalam is ‘Atmatattvam’ and let me hear that alone. In case of Vedantic student. Secondly let me see auspicious things (Bhadram). One Lord controls the creation through various cosmic forces. the most auspicious thing is Sarvatra Brahma Darshanam. Secondly let me hear good things from the world. Let me hear what is being said well. They derive their strength and authority from Ishwara. It is addressed to various Devatas who preside over our organs.

Tanuhu – here means Vedic prayers or Sooktas. Many times we do not even know how to pray properly. Devahitam Yadhayuhu Vyashema : Let us enjoy the full life allotted to us by the Lord. This is very important as I will have to face the ups and downs of life and still be able to study Scriptures. Let me be fit enough till my last breath. Let me not have ‘Apamruthyu’ Indraha Naha Swasthi : Indra represents strength (Balam). 14 . Stirairangaihi Stushtuvagam Sasthanoobhihi – This is a general prayer which says ‘Let us all be endowed with firm limbs in order to be able to worship you ( Sthyavanam Kurvathaha) which means to serve the Universe. So let him bless me with strength both physical and mental.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji He yajathraha – O protectors of worshippers. Scriptures therefore teach us through such beautiful prayers which are called ‘Sooktas’. where is the question of study? So I need time and strength to withstand the onslaughts of life and still be able to set aside all that for the purpose of study. If all my limited strength is gone in caring about family problems alone.

He is Arishtanemihi. let him bless me with a similar quality in my spiritual journey. This Surya is Vishwa Veda . be the driver of the president’s car! Next is the prayer to Brihaspati. This is invoked in the Gayathri Mantra also (Dheeyo Yonaha Prachodayat). Tarkshya Naha Swasthi : Tarakshya means Garuda Deva. jams etc! So even if you want to be a driver. Nemihi means flight. Swami Dayanandaji used to say. one who energises and nourishes the whole creation here.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Vruddha Shravaha means the most famous one or Brihat Keerthihi. He whose flight is unobstructed. 15 . Pushnati iti Poosha. Garuda being Vishnu’s vahana is like a president’s car which is not obstructed by any traffic lights. Speech involves both my speaking and proper understanding of others speech as well. Naha means to us. Let him bless me with proper speech. Lord of speech. Arishta means unobstructed. Let him give me Pranic energy in addition to physical and mental energy. After all Vedanta is a series of dialogues. Poosha Naha Swasthi : Let Surya shower his grace. Poosha means Sun. the Omniscient one or Sarvajnaha.

3. So let all these obstacles be removed. 2. So with this prayer. Adhiboutika – disturbances from my surroundings like loud noise. mosquitos. 16 . Guru Lakshanam (qualifications of a Guru) and Shishya Lakshanam (qualification of a student). now let us get into the text proper.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The prayer is concluded with Shanthihi repeated three times. 1. unnecessary worries and thoughts can disturb me during Shravanam. can also disturb my pursuit. I Chapter. The glorification of Atma Vidya (Vidya Mahima). pains. So I pray for the Adhyatmic Shanthi. This repetition three times is significant because all obstacles can be said to come from three sources. 1. earthquake etc. TV nearby can be obstacles to my study. Adhidaivika – the forces of nature over which I have no control like rain. insects. Adhyatmika – those that originate from myself like aches. I Section The first section has three topics. So the prayer for Adhiboutika Shanthi.

Otherwise those sciences are worthless. It is the culmination of all other branches other of science. This is another glory of Brahma Vidya. He is not a mere creator but the initiator of the greatest Vidya (Brahma Vidya) Parampara. He was the first being born from Vishnu and all Vedic knowledge was given to him. Pratiṣṭham here means Parisamapthi or culmination of. understand Vedantic teachings. This method.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 1. All the sciences even validated when like they Tarka. studying Vedas from one’s own father is called ‘Niyamadhyayanam’ and is said to be most auspicious. He taught this Vidya to his son Atharva. brahmā devānām prathamaḥ sambabhūva viśvasya kartā bhuvanasya goptā. Viśvasya Kartā Bhuvanasya Goptā – Brahma created the whole world and not only that protects it too ( gopayathi). get Physics should only lead a person help to you metaphysics. Grammar also find their fulfillment only when used as stepping stones to study Vedanta. This applies not only to modern sciences. traditional sciences Mimansa. This teaching is coming in the form of Guru Shishya Parampara. So it is an ancient teaching coming from time immemorial. Brahma himself was the first Guru. sa brahma-vidyāṁ sarva-vidyā-pratiṣṭham arthavāya jyeṣṭha-putrāya prāha. 17 .

That is why we are still able to study it today. All these methods were used to preserve the teaching. you will become a Brahma Rakshasa. So here we also know about a qualification of the student being truthful. 18 . This happened long long ago. The famous statement ‘Sathyamevajayathe’ is from Mundaka alone. Otherwise they said. time tested. also called Satyavaha or Satyvaaha which means a person who speaks truth alone. Bharadwaja taught this to Angira (in Sanskrit Angiras). sa bhāradvājaya satyavāhāya prāha bhāradvājo’ngirase parāvarām. used by our forefathers who derived benefit. Every student has a debt to the teacher. Angir taught this to Bharadwaja.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 2. The Guru Shishya Parampara of six generations is given. artharvaṇe yām pravadeta brahmātharvā tām purovācāṅgire brahma-vidyam. Atharva gave this knowledge to the next generation ‘Angir’. Every generation was truthful to the teachings. That is to share this knowledge with at least one disciple. The first three Mantras are an introduction which extol the glory of the Brahma Vidya as the most ancient.

Ganga purifies and elevates a person. so also is Self knowledge. Ganga is perennial. That is why in our culture Ganga Devi is compared to Self knowledge ( Gnana Ganga). The way Shounaka 19 Angiras to Shounaka is approached Angiras is . kasmin nu bhagavo vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātam bhavati iti. Para = Guru.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji This teaching is called Paravara. Both Ganga and Brahma Vidya originate from the Lord’s head and flow down. 3. Parasmath Parasmath Guroho Avarena Avarena Prapthya Ya Vidha Sa paravara Isyuchyathe It is that teaching flowing from a higher level ( Guru) to a lower lever (Shishya) just like Ganga Devi flows down from the head of Shiva to bless humanity. that which has come down through Guru Shishya Parampara. Now the sixth generation from introduced. so does Self knowledge. śaunako ha vai mahāśalo’ṅgirasaṁ vidhivad upasannaḥ papraccha. Avara = Shishya.

he developed interest in Vedanta. 20 . he had a huge Pakashala. Guru Upasadanam – he approached the Guru (student should approach the Guru). The word ‘Mahashala’ indicates all this. Bhakthi and Ishwara Vishwasa are all a must before one goes to Vedanta. So they were Grihastas who had done all this and brought up many children thereby getting Vairagyam. He was a person who led a religious life of Karmayoga. No ritual is complete without feeding people. This indirectly indicates that he had performed lots of Yagas and Yajnas. i. Vedanta is a big zero. rituals. Shounaka was a Mahashala which means he was a Grihasta with a huge Yagashala and a huge Pakashala. he should have led a life of religion and made his mind mature. No Thyajyam’ ).MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji described. Without religion. Because of this alone. an irreligious philosophy has no role in our culture. The indirect lesson here is that before a person comes to Vedanta.e. So Shraddha. In Gita also it is there – ‘ Yajna Dana Tapa Karyam. so he had done lot of Annadanam also.. Ha and Vai suggest that it is an ancient incident but still happened and not fiction. So Shounaka was a religious person who had also done a lot of Annadanam/charities (Yajnam and Danam purify the mind.

Atleast we must take some fruits. Hey Bhagavaha – Oh glorious one. Main qualification of the Guru is that he should have been a student first. The Shishya requests the Guru and questions him. Namaskara is the physical expression of humility. Shishya should show respect. a person cannot be a Guru. flowers or Thulasi leaves. This indicates reverence for the teacher. Naprushtaha Kasyachid Bruyat – Never force this teaching on an uninterested person. So Shounaka followed all these Shastric protocol. The principle behind this is. reality of the creation) by knowing which everything becomes known essentially. Now Upanishad enters into the topic. ‘Kasmin Nu Bhagavo Vijñāte sarvam Idaṁ Vijñātam Bhavati Iti ‘ I want to know the basic substance of this creation (Truth. should do Sashtanga Namaskaram. Rikthapanena Nagachethu Raja Guru Devam – one should not go to see the Guru with empty hands.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Vidhivat – according to Shastric rules/injunctions. Guru should not demand it. Having given the offering. Without being a Shishya. Such a one is called ‘Sampradayavit’ Guruhu. They also indicate that one should not teach Vedanta without being asked. in this creation 21 .

the words bangle. When we say bangle is created. Space. earth everything in God alone in names and forms. In Sanskrit.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji we experience many products born out of one particular cause. water. chain. it is called Nama Rupa addition. If you anlayse ornaments and gold. he can easily say. This principle alone is highlighted in the Puranic story. different types of furniture from one wood. Then what has happened? Creation is only a word. and the substance is one cause alone. everything in creation is that Karanam alone in different names and forms. you have indirectly known all the effects which are nothing but the cause itself in different ‘ Vesham’ (guises). Let us call it ‘Mula Karanam’. Chain = gold + Nama Rupa. air. Vedanta says. similarly all the products we see are names and forms alone. Gold alone has weight. there is no increase in the weight of gold as nothing new has been added. The advantage of that is. ring are names but there is no new substance other than gold in them. the gold which is already there has been given a form and a name. just like many ornaments out of one material that is gold. Narada conducts a 22 . By knowing that one cause. fire. Eka Karana Jnanena Aneka Karyajnanam Bhavathi Student wants to know the basic cause (or stuff) of the whole creation.

With the third Mantra the introduction is over. If you know the one God. Brahma Vidya is the superior knowledge and all other material sciences are inferior knowledge. In Vedanta this Karanam is called ‘Brahman’. All sciences are also aiming at this same basic truth of creation from their own sides. Subramanya approached by exploring every product (Karyam). Whoever goes round the whole creation and comes back first will get a special mango. a lower knowledge. So Guru Angiras now gives the teaching. Muruga goes off on his peacock fast. The entire Mundaka Upanishad is an answer to this question. He introduces two branches of knowledge. Ganesha being chubby. is slow to move but quick to think! He does Pradakshina to his parents and wins! Here Shiva & Parvathi symbolize the whole creation (Ekam Karanam). you have understood everything essentially. One called Para Vidya or higher knowledge and the other Apara Vidya. Vinayaka instead went to the root of everything.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji competition for Ganesha and Muruga. Why is it so? 23 .

Dve Vidye Veditavye: here note that Angiras does not take any credit to himself. tasami sa hovāca: dve vidye veditavye iti ha sma yad brahmavido vadanti. parā caivāparā ca. 24 . four Vedas and six Vedangas. another one is not known.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The first reason is Apara Vidya is a study of effects and by knowing the effect of one product. how can we negate the cause? A brief commentary on Aparavidya: traditionally ten branches are there. A person made a slight change and wrote ‘God is now here’! Keeping the effect. Para Vidya on the other hand is study of cause and by knowing the cuase. All other sciences are effects of one cause only. Atheists wrote God is nowhere. therefore it is everywhere. the cause. 4. the word Veda means Veda Purva. even though one pervades all the effects. Brahman. all effects are known. In Apara Vidya. but attributes it all to his Purva Acharyas and Brahma Jnanis.

Mimamsa is analysis of meanings of Vedic words. The meanings of Vedic words differ depending on where the word is placed (beginning. and end) in the Veda.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 5. even after ten thousand years Vedas are preserved. That is why. maths and chemistry). This is important as 1. They are the six steps to be crossed over to reach Vedantha. 2. which is the Devatha and all such details. atha parā yayā tad akṣaram adhigamyate Vedangas mean auxiliary sciences. Vedas were never written but learnt by heart and taught orally. 25 . Shiksha means science of prononciation – how to pronounce the Veda Mantras. This subject analyses which letter originates from which part of body. middle. So pronunciation was very important as mistakes could increase exponentially over generations. tatrāparā ṛg-vedo yajur-vedaḥ sāma-vedo’tharva-vedaḥ śikṣā kalpo vyākaraṇaṁ niruktaṁ chando jyotiṣam—iti. They are Anga because by studying them Vedas are understood better (just like physics.

maa vidvishaavahaii. they are asked to get the whole text by heart before actual teaching starts. 26 .. Shiksha Shastra deals with these. 3. So a science of pronounciation is very necessary. if you want to study either logic or grammer. Upasamhara Nyaya and Abhyasa Nyaya are all the rules to decipher the meaning of words in Vedas. it is possible only if I know the whole thing by heart. So immediately after Upanayanam. shaantihi ends on a lower note. tejasvina vadhiitamastu. Eg. shaanti. Aum shaanti. Vedadhyayana and Swadhyaya were compulsory for Vaidikas.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Upakramana Nyaya. Veda Mantras have Swaras and the meanings are determined not only by letters but by Swara also. saha viryang karavaavahai. If I should know the position of Mantras. saha nau bhunaktu. Even now in North India. in the Shanthi Mantra (Krishna Yajurveda) Aum saha naavavatu.

this plus suffix Manu = Brahman. the word Jnanam is derived from four different ways. Bhava Vyutpathi). For example. Based on which root. In Sanskrit every word is derived form a root. Shankara says.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Kalpa: Book on rituals (codifying the rituals). Similarly ‘Atma’ is derived from four different roots. Our tradition is so rigorous with each science having its own authoritative texts (Panini’s Shiksha and Vyakarana. Jna means to know (Karana Vyutpathi. the word Brahman is derived from the root Bhruhu which means big. Yaska’s Nirukta) 27 . For example. in Tat Tvam Asi. the meaning differs. Asi is in present tense. If I don’t understand this point. Vedas have Mantras strewn all over. All priests should make use of Kalpa. Niruktham: This is the science of etymology or derivation of the word. I think I am doing Sadhana to become Brahman in future! Whole Upanishad presents Moksha as present tense. Where there is a controversy with respect to meaning this reasoning (as to from which Dhatu it is derived) will also have to be adopted to arrive at the correct meaning. We should know which Mantra to chant when. in Taittareya Upanishad. For example. Vyakaranam: (Grammar) it can be a problem if it is not understood.

Para Vidya: Yaya Aksharamadhigamyathe. pot/ornaments). Gayathri Chandas has three lines with eight letters (begins with Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi – Astakshara Tripada Gayathri). Pingala Rishi has written a book. All these Vedangas come under Apara Vidya. the cause is imperishable. Gayathri Mantra is in Nishrud Gayathri Chandaha. The word Aksharam can also be understood as Karanam or cause. Moon and Stars. It exists before the effect comes (i. Jyothisham is Astrology.e. while the 28 . Just like in the case of clay and pots or gold and ornaments. Jyothisha should be used to perform noble Karmas alone. it is used to determine appropriate time to perform rituals. Literally it means study of the luminaries like the Sun. Veda does not encourage predictive astrology. that which does not perish. As Vedanga. Etymology of Aksharam: Na Ksharathi Ithi Aksharam. Jyothihi means luminous body. For example. Let us learn to accept whatever comes. that by which the imperishable is known. Tasvavithurvarenyam – becomes 23 letters. Tasyavithurvarenyam – 24 letters The science of metres is called Chandas Shastra.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Chandas: Metre in which Mantras are written. that is why it is Nishrad Gayathri Chandaha.

General Law is therefore cause (Karanam) is imperishable whereas effect (Karyam) perishes. The real Aksharam is formless. Shiva etc. yat tad adreśyam. nityam vibhum sarva-gataṁ susūkṣmaṁ tad avyayam yad bhūtayonim paripaśyanti dhīrāḥ. known. So this next Mantra six gives the definition of 6. Krishna. The creation comes from the Karanam. Alphabet in Sanskrit is called Aksharamala. The truth alone is called Bhagawan in Puranas. avarṇam. Adhigamyathe: Brahman. Therefore no formed thing is eternal and therefore 29 . agotram. acakṣuḥ-śrotraṁ tad apāṇipadam. remains in Karanam and resolves in Karanam. So ‘Karanam’ is called ‘Aksharam’. So the infinite truth is itself worshipped as God in different names. In the beginning. So all these are symbols of this imperishable truth.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji effect exists and after the effect perishes also. agrāhyam. Rama. the mind is not evolved enough to appreciate the formless Bhagawan. because whatever has form is subject to deformation also.

Shankara says if it is not available to eyes. Caste 2. Agothram: one who has no family. Forms are all at LKG level! Abstract ideas are concretized in the symbols. Apply to all Karemndriyas. Colour 3. Why? Because it is formless as formless alone can be eternal. Agrahyam: it cannot be grasped. you can extrapolate it to other senses too – Sarva Indriya Agocharam and Sarva Jnanendriya Agocharam. 1.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Aksharam Aroopam. So it is Pancha Karanendriya Agocharam. 30 . Property in the sense of physical or chemical etc of a substance. Adreshyam: invisible. therefore has no Gothram. Brahman is not born. Avarnam: the word Varna has three meanings. Only one who is born has parentage and therefore ‘Gothram’.

has no destruction being the ‘Karanam’ of everything. Jathi Neethi Kula Gotra Duragam Nama Rupa Guna Dosha Varjitham Desha Kala Vishayathi Vathiryata Brahmatatvamasi Bhavayatmani Achakshu Shrotram: free from all sense organs of knowledge. a mysterious principle on which Parabrahma is floating.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Shankara has taken it in this third sense when he says ‘Avarnam’means it has no properties or attributes. So Brahman has no shape. However it is also time that Brahman has no caste or colour. It is all pervading. Brahman is Niravayavam: organs give a shape to the individual. Will there be a chain without wood or ornament without gold? 31 . This is a symbolic representation of the Parabrahma Tatvam which survives when the whole creation is resolved. the Karanam alone becomes the creation with Nama and Rupa. Vibhum (Vividham Bhavathi Iti Vibhuhu). The effect is because of the cause alone. Puranas talk about Pralayam where Krishna on a leaf floating in water. Brahman. the leaf represents the ‘Maya’. Nityam: Brahman is eternal. free from all Karmendriyas or organs of action.

One Brahman 32 . The very existence is lent by Brahman. I am the decayless Brahman. Tat Avyayam: without decay. This is very important. Bhuta means all things and beings. Pranena Agocharam. Why is this most important? In third Mantra. what ‘is’. disintegration without old age. Yoni: the direct meaning is womb of mother. declention. you will have to deliver it later!! Brahman is not an object of conception. It is beyond comprehension. When some body asked what is God? The answer as. it is to be known only. Bhutayonim: most important word in this context. once you know the root cause of anything.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Similarly without Brahman. is God. you know generally all effects. creation cannot be there. Otherwise I will be afraid of old age. Susukshman: extremely subtle means difficult to comprehend. because we cannot see or perceive in any way. The very ‘is ness’ in every product is God alone. Root cause alone appears as effects. But here it means cause of everything (similar to concept of Big Bang from a singularity). How to conceive Brahman in that case? Don’t conceive it because if you conceive. it was said.

mind and senses complex. Once that is found. There is a practical benefit for the wisdom i. They are trying to find one thing explaining everything TOE (theory of everything). I enjoy a light mind. prepared people. Indriyas.e. weak force and gravitation). speech. Who can know this Brahman? Very very few because it is very very subtle. freedom from mental turmoil. everything macro and micro can be explained. Otherwise the mind is a ‘weight’ we bear. Adhikari. Such people who have all these qualifications clearly 33 . Tatvabodha gives qualifications: Viveka: value for Brahma Jnanam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji alone appears as the Manifold Universe. Therefore Brahma Jnanena Sarva Jnanam Bhavathi Scientists are also hunting for Advaitham only. Dheeraha: qualified. Now there are four types of energies (nuclear force. Shamadi Shatka Sampathi: a well integrated personality with a disciplined and well aligned body. Matter is manifestation of energy. Vyragya: all other things are secondary. Mumukshatvam: desire for Moksha or freedom. strong force.

the 34 . In many cases like furniture. Varieties of plants growing from the earth 3. Samantat pashyanthi. 8th and 9th Verses are a commentary on the 6 th Mantra. sṛjate gṛhṇate ca. not ornaments).MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji recognize this. So here spider is the intelligent as well as the material cause of the web. This sixth Mantra is the most important Mantra in this section. yathorṇa-nābhiḥ viśvam. ornaments etc. yathā pṛthivayām oṣadhayas sambhavanti. 7. 1. Hairs growing from the body 1. the spider initially very intelligently selects the appropriate spot and visualizes its web. Raw material is also produced by the spider itself (normally any raw material is different from the maker). means they perceive Brahman everywhere (they see gold alone. Here the beauty is. yathā sataḥ puruṣāt keśalomāni tathākṣarāt sambhavatīha The 7th. This is elaborated through three examples to show the relationship of cause and effect. So it is the intelligent cause of the web. Spider spinning the web 2.

Material cause is called Upadhana Karanam. it is capable of producing different varieties.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji carpenter is different from wood. Normally we experience ‘Salakshana Srishti’ like mangoes in mango tree. Though earth is one. Intelligent cause is called Nimitha Karanam. so there is no question of searching for material cause. no time. He alone visualizes the creation. no space. Brahman Creation Adreshyam (invisible) Drishyam 35 . Earth produces varieties of plants. So is Brahman. So the body which is of Chetana nature produces something of a different nature (Vilakshana Srishti which means cause producing an effect of a different nature). this Vilakshana Srishti is possible. So spider is Abhinna Nimitha Upadhana Karanam. So he is the cosmic architect. Other than him there is nothing. humans begetting humans. goldsmith is different from gold. But hair and nails are insensient. Our body is live and sensient. So is Brahman who is one but can produce many effects – Eka Karanath Aneka Vidha Karyani 3. 2. But in Brahman. he alone is also the material.

Gruhnate) Kesha Loma – Kesha is scalp hair. the spider not only designs and creates the web by itself but is its Laya Karanam also (it swallows/resolves its web into itself). whereas a pot maker does not swallow the pot! Brahman also creates and resolves the creation into himself/itself (Srujate. 36 . Loma is body hair. Sat Purushat – from live body Like these three examples Brahman also creates the whole cosmos and finally resolves in himself. In spider example.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Agrahyam (cannot grasp) Grahyam Avarnam (no properties) Properties Avyayam (indestructible) Vyayam So it shows Brahman can produce creation of totally different nature.

Matter can never be created or destroyed (This is so both in science and Vedanta). Nothing can be created out of nothing. annāt prāṇo manaḥ satyaṁ lokāḥ karmasu cāmṛtam. 1. 1. Shankara gives the example of a seed which is sowed. Then what is creation? 37 . How does creation originate from Brahman? This is Vedic Cosmology! The world has evolved from Brahman gradually in three stages. 2. 2. tapasā cīyate brahma.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 8. neither totally unmanifest nor totally manifest. tato’nnam abhijāyate. Plant just emerges from the seed but is not fully grown. 3. there are two important Laws. It is swollen just before sprouting. Brahman also goes through three stages. Fully grown tree stage. In Vedanta.

like why is the creation there? Creation is just a figurative expression. it is already there in the wood potentially. If so. So everything exists in Brahman in potential form which we may call ‘Shakthi’ and Brahman can be called ‘Shiva’. So universe was never created at any time according to the Law of Conservation of Matter. Even before creation of desk.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji There is no creation. what is the meaning of creation? When we create a desk what happens? Before and after creation of desk. It has been only conversion of form of raw material from one to another and we rename it as desk. But it might have been there in potential form like the tree in a seed. 38 . some amount of matter exists. That is why we can never find answers to basic questions about the universe. That is why a tree can come from a seed but nothing comes out of a stone though both a seed and a small stone may look similar outwardly. It is a myth. So every product exists in the cause in potential form. So creation is only from the unmanifest to the manifest from.

Just before creation. Long before creation. it is called ‘Suskhma Prapancha’.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Brahman containing unmanifest universe is itself expressed as ‘Shiva Shakthi’ principle. but they were inseparable like my walking principle or talking principle cannot be there without me. Maya has two Avasthas – passive and activated just like activated carbon (four jumping electrons ready for chemical reaction). 39 . it is in activated form. 3. It is also called ‘Maya’ (potential). Brahman + Maya was there. It is there. This prepared stage is called activated Brahman (stage 2). We can also compare it with the preparedness of athletes just before the start of a race. Potentiality has become partially manifest. similar to a young plant. the unmanifest creation is in passive form. just like a seed is swollen with water just before it sprouts. In Sanskrit. So before creation. The unmanifest universe goes through various stages of manifestations. but cannot be seen.

Kriya Shakthi). Annat Pranaha. That is why Upanishads are called mystic literature. Jnana Shakthi. Once all these are created. Brahman expands ‘as it were’ because real expansion is not possible as Brahman is Sarvagatam (fills everything) or is infinite. This subtle universe or Sukshma Prapancha is transformed into gross universe. Manaha. Tatah Annam Abhijayathe – Annam here means Brahman in prepared condition. everything has a peculiar meaning. So cosmic mind evolves from prepared condition of Brahman (Ichha Shakthi. Sukshma Prapanch to Sthoola Prapancha. Pranaha. Manaha mean cosmic mind. the other things come into being like Karmas. Lokaha means fourteen Lokas. Brahma Tapasa Cheeyathe – stage one to two. Satyam Lokaha – represent the final stage of visible universe. So where can it expand? This is through ‘Tapas’ which means by ‘preparedness’. 40 . human beings etc.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 4. All these meanings are explained with rational and logical support in Brahma Sutras by Shankaracharya. In this Mantra. Here Satyam means five Sthoola Pancha Bhootas.

Here Amritham means Karma Phala. It is omniscient with Maya Shakthi (Icha. tasmād etad brahma nāma-rūpam annaṁ ca jāyate. yaḥ sarvajñaḥ sarva-vid yasya jñānamayaṁ tapaḥ. The whole creation must fulfil the Karmaphala of all the beings. This Srishti is based on Karmaphala of previous Srushti. Jnana and Kriya Shakthi). so there is no beginning or end. Yasya Jñānamayaṁ Tapaḥa – visualize the whole creation before actually it is created. 9. The same idea is continued in the next Shlokam. It is a cyclic process. Sarvavit means omniscient in Apara Vidya. Karma Phalas either Punyam or Papam are bound to be there. Brahma alone has become all this (it is like I create the whole world in my dream myself). Sarvajnaha means omniscient in Para Vidya.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Amritham – once actions are done. 41 . So everything is based on cosmic law of creation.

Now we will enter into the second section. Then names. First Mundaka: Second Khanda 1. satyakāmā. tāny ācaratha niyatam. eṣa vaḥ panthāḥ sukṛtasya loke. Student and teacher are introduced the branches of knowledge.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Here Tapas means visualization with the help of Maya. not Karma Brahman. form. Brahman is also briefly introduced as the root cause of the Universe. food etc are born which means Brahman has become all this. tad etat satyam: mantreṣu karmāṇi kavayo yāny apaśyams tāni tretāyāṁ bahudhā santatāni. Brahma here means ‘Suskshma Prapancha’. From that Tapas is born. The first section of Mundaka is introductory in nature. The rest of the five sections will be elaboration of two Vidyas. 42 . namely Apara and Para Vidya are mentioned briefly. The second section has a magnified version of Apara Vidya.

What should be the life style of a human being? Initially people are naturally interested in wealth and entertainment. Artha Kama Pradhana Karma meant for material well being including money and sense pleasures. Meditations Ritualistic portion is Karma Pradhana and Meditation is Upasana Pradhana. Only Vedanta comes under Para Vidya. 1. 43 . Ritualistic portion. Moksha Pradhana Karma – they are Nishkama or Satvika Karmas which take me towards the Lord. Here we are not going to deal with secular sciences like physics etc but only Veda Purva. They are also called Kamya Karmas or Rajasa Karmani. Ritualistic portion: These are again of two types. 1. and 2.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Apara Vidya literally means lower branch of knowledge. Kama Karmas are done mostly with a bit of Nishkama Karma like Sandhya Vandanam which is supposed to be the best Nishkama Karma. 2. The Veda Purva itself has two portions. So Artha. All the secular sciences come under this category including the Poorva Bhaga of Vedas.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Gradually our priorities should shift. They are already there 44 . When Krishna talks about four types of Bhaktas in Gita. Kamaha means seekers. opportunity to study Scriptures and remove obstacles in that direction. In the first section it meant Pancha Bhootas. In this Mantra. So Apara Vidya has this important role. So it means. a proper Guru. but ask for Jnana and Vairagya and a desire for Moksha. ask for Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampathi. interested in worldly things. various benefits of Karma. Kamya Karmas are talked about initially as that is what people are inclined towards first. Kavayaha: Vedic Rishis have discovered these Mantras. Temple visit need not be dropped. Jignasu comes only after Aartha and Artharthi. Kamya Karmas are mentioned. it means Karma Phalam. Even after we get a desire for Moksha. Mantreshu Karmani: in the Mantras of Veda Purva. oh people. Karmas meant for Chittashuddhi should be more and more and Kamya Karmas less and less. Satyakama: The word Satyam has four or five meanings. in the third line. They haven’t invented them.

These ritualistic Mantras are mainly contained in Rig. All kamya Karmas have to be performed strictly according to the rules to get the appropriate results. How do we know weather the rituals will produce results or not? In science. money. Thani Niyatam Acharata: take to them and fulfil your desires. but in Vedas. light. So desires are not a sin. Here one important thing is to be noted. between rituals and their results.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji created by the Lord. the explanation is not given. Just like in growing a plant. It knows that we are still children in spiritual sense. Yaju and Sama Vedas. Veda does not condemn worldly desires. but Veda gives guarantee 45 . the mechanism of action in any process is explained. Sukrutasya Loke means for accomplishing various karma Phalas. Veda allows them and infact has Mantras for their fulfillment. This is meant by ‘Niyatam’: Niyama Anusarena Kartavyam. But we should gradually grow and grow out of them eventually. Illegitimate fulfillment alone is wrong. children etc. If a man wants name. water and manure have to be applied appropriately to make it grow well. Karmas have to be properly done. so many preconditions like soil. fame.

2 yathā lelāyate hy arcis samiddhe havya-vāhane. Here again the word ‘Satyam’ is used Tad Etat Satyam: here it means. Avitatham. results are guaranteed if done properly. it will not produce results and may even be counterproductive.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji that the results will come if Karma is performed properly. It should not be a smoldering fire but a well kindled one with 46 . Where? Within the Homa Kunda. you have to fulfil so many conditions. it is valid. Here oblations with the fire are offered. trustworthy. person facing the east. Havyavahane Samiddhe: means the fire in the Homa Kunda should be burning brightly when the oblations are offered. tad ājya-bhāvāv antareṇāhutiḥ pratipādayec chraddhayā-hutam. So you can decide either to use them or not. the oblation should be offered between north and south. On the minus side. Here Upanishad wants to present the plus and minus points of rituals. On the plus side. There is only ‘Shraddha’. This is called ‘Ajya Bhaga’. if not. It is supposed to be done by Grihastas twice daily. Ahutih Pratipadayet: here the ritual ‘Agnihotram’ is taken as a standard example of a Karma.

Agni serves as a courier reaching the oblations to the respective Devathas. yasyāgnihotram adarśam apaurṇamāsam acāturmāsyam anāgrayaṇam atithivarjitam ca ahutam avaiśvadevam avidhinā hutam ā-saptamāṁs tasya lokān hinasti. Flames are considered tongues of fire. Any ritual has many supportive or Anga Karmani. Chaturmasyam: to be done once in four months (different from Chaturmasyam of Sanyasis). 3. Agnihotra must be supported by these rituals. Pournamasa: to be done the day after Pournima (Padya). Agrayanam: ritual done with freshly harvested grains.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji flames shooting up. 47 . Yada Lelayathe Hyarehihi: means when fire is well kindled and flames are shooting up and they lap up the oblations as it were. Darsham: to be done the day after Amavasya (Padya).

So proper timing of ritual is highlighted. those meant for purity of mind or spiritual preparation. Ahutam: done at an improper time (will not give results). So the ritual ‘Agnihotra’ is efficacious only if accompanied by the six 48 . The order of invoking should be followed too. Vysvadevam: offering food to animals everyday. The catch is: they have to be done properly which means all preconditions should be fulfilled.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Atithi Pooja: feeding at least one person other than family every day. Agnihotram has to be supported by all these without which its results will not come. 1. meant for material ends (Sakama) and 2. in Sandhyavandanam. morning Devatas should be invoked in the morning and evening Devatas should be invoked in the evening. Karma involves physical body and mind whereas Upasana is a purely mental occupation. They are valid and reliable if done properly and results are bound to come. For example. Karmas are of two types. The Upanishad first deals with ‘Sakama’ Karma. Avidhinahutam: done without observing rules.

An utterly useless ritual is called Bhasma Ahuti in Vedic parlance because if Ahuti is offered when there is only smoke and there are no flames. it will destroy all positive results. Kali: is a black or dark coloured flame. Why should there be flames? Because they are considered tongues of Agni Devata and they lap up the offerings that are offered in the fire. 49 . etc till Brahmaloka). it will not produce any results. one should not blow air directly to the fire to kindle it as saliva should not fall on fire as fire is sacred and considered a Devata. sphuliṅginī viśva-rūpi ca devī lelāyamānā iti sapta-jiḥvāḥ. it should be taken as. Suvarloka. (Ayasa Matram Nishprayojanam Bhavathi) 4. kālī karalī ca mano-javā ca sulhoitā yā ca sudhūmravarṇā. Here it is to be noted that Agnihotra is taken as a representative of all Sakama Karmas and the positive results are the attainments of higher Lokas (Bhuvarloka. Shankara says. it is useless. In Homa/Yagas. Maharloka. Here varieties of flames are described.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Anga Karmas already delineated. If not. Agni has seven types of flames delineated in the abolve Shloka and is therefore also called Sapta Jihva (one with seven tongues).

where all comforts are provided. Swarga Prapti was considered a great thing. Paraloka Phalas – one enjoys Swargaloka. There are Ihaloka Phalas like prosperity. This Mantra describes the results that one gets when rituals (Sakama) are performed properly. wealth etc. taṁ nayanty etās sūryasya raśmayo yatra devānām patir eko’dhivāsaḥ. Manojava: fast moving flame like the speed of mind. scorching flame. Sphulingini: with many sparkles. health.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Karali: fierce. deep red flame (described in labs when testing for 5. Even within the Vedic fold. Sulohita: calcium). eteṣu yaś carate bhrājamāneṣu yathā-kālaṁ cā hutayo hy ādadāyan. some branches consider a 50 . Many religions still consider heaven going as the ultimate goal. Sudhumravarna: dark grey coloured smoky flame. Lelayamanaha: all these move about in the Homa Kunda. Devi Vishvaruchi: bright and multicoloured flame. extremely hot.

who are invoked. Oblations invoke bright Devatas who welcome him with pleasant words like ‘Achi. but the example is given to show that the Devatas are so bright and they very warmly welcome and lead the ritualist. and they guide him in the form of ‘rays of Sun’ as it were. 51 . 6. Achi’. How will he be treated in heaven? Will be he treated as a second class citizen? No. not exactly. Oblations represent various Devatas. he will be a first class citizen. Here how one is taken to higher Lokas is described. means please come. Only in Advaita. When a person offers oblations into the fire observing all the do’s and don’ts. ehy ehīti tam āhutayas suvarcasaḥ sūryasya raśmibhir yajamānaṁ vahanti. priyāṁ vācam abhivadantyo’rcayantya. going to a Loka is not ultimate but gaining Moksha here and now is considered ultimate. then the very oblation will lead him to higher Lokas. In heaven the Lord of Devatas (Indra) presides (he is the most powerful (unrivalled) ruler of Devas). eṣa vaḥ puṇyas sukṛto brahma-lokaḥ.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji higher Loka as the highest destination.

Here Brahmaloka means heaven. All this is the result of Karma Rupa (Sakama) Apara Vidya! Until now positive aspects of Sakama Karma were talked about. Pain will be proportional to pleasure. Hotruganaha (Rig). Next. that the result is finite (Anityam. we move closer and closer to Yamaraja coming down is anything but happy. Ashashvatam. Rituals involve priests. Any Karma can be performed only with the help of all accessories which include things and human beings. fleeting). The whole topic is presented by the Upanishads in three stages. if you are prepared to face that also. then persist with Sakama Karmas. Adhvaryu (Yajur). In a medium sized ritual. 52 . perishable. Be prepared mentally for the limitations. So Veda says. Everyday in Swarga is a count down! Just like every birthday. Upanishads point out the negative aspects. Wife is required especially when Dakshina is to be offered (symbolic of husband requiring permission from wife to give anything).MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Archayantaha: he is worshipped. sixteen priests are required: four for each Veda. 1. Most important is.

On these accessories is dependent the whole ritual. Yajnarupa means all these eighteen accessories (sixteen priests. Avaram means Karma.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Udgatru (Sama). chanting Vishnu Sahasranama by heart without meditation becomes just a Karma. plavā hy ete adṛḍhā yajña-rūpā aṣṭādaśoktam avaram yeṣu karmā: etac chreyo ye’bhinandanti mūḍhāḥ jarā-mṛtyuṁ te punar evāpiyanti. 7. Rituals are of two types. This is what is described in the following Mantra. Yajamana and wife) (Ashtadasha). called Upasanarahita Karma and those that include Upasana is Upasanasahita Karma. 53 . If supported by Dhyanam (visualize the meaning of the verses) becomes Karma + Upasana. The ephemeral nature of both Karma and its Phalas are being discussed. Those which do not involve any Upasana or meditation. and Brahmagaha (Atharvana). For example.

With what instrument do you perform (instrumental case) (Karana Karakam). 2. So all these together cause action. some essential factors are necessary. 4. Karta: performer of the action or subject of action (nominative case). Any action has proportional result. For whose/what benefit (dative case) (Sampradana Karana) 5. Place from where resources are got (locative case) (Apadhana Karakam). Accusative case). Karaka –> Kriya –> Phala. Object of action (what is eaten for example. As the cause is.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji For this. Even if one Karakam is not there. Karaka Janya: kriya. This 54 of action (ablative case) (Adhikarana . we need to know that any action is born out of important accessories called ‘Karakam’ in Sanskrit. If cause is finite. Location Karakam). it invariably produces a result. 1. action cannot take place. Kriya Janyam is Phala. 6. for action to take place. so the effect is. 3. This law is applicable to all actions in life. result is also finite. It means. Next once action is produced.

Avaram Karma: Karma which is Dhyana Rahitam. so are the results of all Punya Karmas (Anityam). Naturally they will lose the perishable benefits in time and go from one death to another. As these are fragile and perishable. avidyāyām antare vartamānāḥ svayaṁ dhīrāḥ paṇḍitam manyamānāḥ. Therefore. 55 . andhenaiva nīyamānā yathāndhāḥ. So with such Karmas. Even Swarga is not eternal. no one can hope for eternal security. janghanyamānāḥ pariyanti mūḍhāḥ. Homas are finite. but what about old age which is inevitable too? 7. the results will necessarily have to be finite. One may say he is not afraid of death. considered to be slightly of lower quality. Mudaha Etat Shreyaha Abhinandanti: only fools think they can get eternal security out of them. if all the Karakas are finite like all people are finite. Karakani Anitya: Karaka Janya Kriya Anityaha Kriya Janya Phalam Api Anityam Plavaha means fragile boats like catamaran on the Pacific Ocean.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji is a Law too. all oblations are finite.

wake him and learn from him. He who knows not and does not know that he does not know is a fool. Rajayoga and social service). knows he knows. Follow him. They are steeped in ignorance of two kinds. Here Upanishad talks of a fifth type. he is wise. He who knows not. knows he knows not.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji So even the most sacred Karma cannot give Moksha. He who knows. One is self ignorance and the second is the misconception that Moksha is got through Karmas (the widely held opinions that Karma. Bhakti. shun him. knows not. all paths to Moksha are wrong. he knows (like Anjaneya) – he is asleep. They are all misconceptions. He who knows. Unfortunately the people who say these also say that Vedas teach this. Na Dhanena. He will be humble. Whoever holds on to Karma are therefore to be criticized strongly. he is ignorant. Thyage Nike Amrutatvamanashuhu’. No! Vedas are very specific about this ‘Na Karmana. Jnana. 56 . teach him. Na Prajaya.

Here we should be 57 . but claims that he is wise and knows – (Swayam Dheeraha.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji He who does not know. Unfortunately most of the Vedic translations are nontraditional and misleading. Such people when they face problem in one aspect. 9. So the whole world is like this. Pariyanti: ramble about and not reaching anywhere. Wherever four paths to Moksha are mentioned. Panditham Manyamanaha). take it as Avaidika Margaha. Janghanya Manaha: afflicted by varieties of problems in life because they are misguided due to unintelligent expectations in life. Avidyayam Bahuda Vartamanahavayam Kritharthaha – Upanishad continues criticism of rituals. Such people seek advice from similar ones. replace one ‘Anityam’ with another and hence do not reach anywhere. they leave that and do something else. avidyāyām bahudhā vartamānā vayaṁ kṛtārthā ity abhi-manyanti bālāh: yat karmiṇo na pravedayanti rāgāt tenāturāḥ kṣīṇalokāś cyavante. They are Nitya Anitya Vastu Viveka Rahitaha.

So people of the world think they are happy and not in need of Vedanta. mortal). So going to reach Bhagawan is an error (Bahuda Varthamanaha). So do your Karmas. Truth is one but misconceptions can be many. People are confused. only change your Sankalpa. a rope (truth) can be mistaken for snake. until 58 . we have been thinking like this from our childhood days. I have to travel and travel to reach him). but motive should be for Shreyas. So here Bahuda Avidhyam means with regard to Jeeva. We cannot push Vedanta down their throats. we think we are happy which is most surprising. Vayam Krithartha Iti Manyante: in the midst of this Anityam world. (misconceptions like I am a finite. Here note that only Sakama Karmas are criticized.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji careful. ‘Samastha Duritha Kshaya Dvara Shree Parameshwara Preethyartham Jnana Vairagya Sampadanartham Vedanta Shravna Manana Nidhidhyasanartham’ Rituals are important. For example. not Nishkama Karmas as they produce Chitta Shuddhi and therby lead to Jnana and Moksha. world (world will make me happy if I make some adjustments here and there). The same is true with our concept of God (he is sitting in Vaikunta or Kailasa and after death. garland. pipeline etc.

they are always miserable being always under the hold of one of the ‘Arishadvargas’. there is no time to think the fundamental question of life. However the same rituals if done with a Sankalpa. they still have not discovered the goal of life and the problem of Samsara.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji they discover the necessity. 59 . So only bless them and wish them all the best. their mind is always pre-occupied with yoga (acquiring something which I do not have now) and Kshema (safeguarding what I have already acquired). once my Punya is exhausted. ‘What did I achieve out of this life?’ Dukhaturaha: because of attachment. So don’t impose it on them. Why is this so? Karminaha: because of their excessive attachment to worldly things and beings. In that sense. So one who does Nishkama Karma is intelligent. my next birth may not be human. then welcome and teach them. Upanishad continues criticism of Sakama Karmas. praying the Lord for Chitta Shuddhi become Nishkama Karmas and lead one to Moksha Marga. childish people. The day they discover the problem of Samsara and they come. If I do not make use of this wonderful human birth. they are Balaha.

Ishta: are Vedic rituals done in presence of Agni also called ‘Shroutha’ Karmas. nāksaya pṛṣṭhe te sukṛte’nubhūtvemaṁ lokaṁ hīnataraṁ vā viśanti. Annadanam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Tena Aturaha: unintelligent people aspiring for heaven etc which are lesser goals. Purta: these are also called Smartha Karmas and involves help to society like digging wells. Material motive: limited benefit. they fall from heaven and again return to either human or even lower births. temple building. Once Punyas are exhausted. All these again can be done with two motives. Chyavante means they fall. 10. This conveys almost the same idea as the previous Mantra. Pramudhaha: extremely foolish people. constructing rest houses for people etc. iṣṭapūrtam manyamānā variṣṭhaṁ nānyac chreyo vedayante pramūḍhāḥ. 1. Spiritual motive: gives Chitta Shuddhi. 2. 60 .

Therefore Nakam means heaven i. For them. They are unaware about ‘Shreyas’. Better continue with your religious practices even if you have started study of Vedanta. Religious people however accumulate Punyam and go to higher Lokas. Suvarloka. 61 . as they help you to grasp Vedanta better. Maharloka. Tapoloka. painless pleasure (this is relative too as it ends). He has to serve as a model to younger generation. According to Scriptures.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The word Ishtam can be derived from two roots and two meanings. Ichhati: to desire (priyam) 2. 1. Anyat Shreyaha Na Vedayante: many people do not know about Moksha Sadhanam at all. Yajati: religious worship.e. Even a purified person cannot drop religious rituals unless he takes formal Sanyasa. Nakam: Akam means pain. all religious practices are only for material benefit. Satyaloka and Brahmaloka are the higher Lokas. Scriptural study is most important among all religious practices. Only do Sankalpa properly. from Yaj. Bhuvarloka. Nakam means no pain. The others can be abbreviated but not study.

Now we came to Upasana Pradhana (Manah) Apara Vidya. Rituals are mainly Kayika (body. sūrya-dvāreṇa te virajāḥ prayānti yatrāmṛtaḥ sa puruṣo hy avyayātmā. The word ‘Upavas’ also has the same meaning. tapaḥ śraddhe ye hy upavasanty araṇye śāntā vidvāṁso bhaikṣācaryaṁ carantaḥ. but only mind is involved. These are also Karmas only. 11. Ishwar Sameep Varthanam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Anubhutva means they enjoy a gala time. Upanishad talked about rituals and their Phalams. Till the tenth Mantra. Upavas. 62 . physical) Pradhanam. However it is a count down every minute. They are also called meditations or ‘Saguna Ishwara Dhyana’. So here the Anityatvam of all Sakama Karmas and their Phalams is emphasized. Devathayaha Ape Sameepe Aasanam means dwelling near God mentally.

Whole Apara vidya is subsidiary. In the four Ashramas described. 1. It is entirely devoted to Vedanta Chintana. Vidwansaha means Upasakaha. So meditation/Upasana is 63 . Upasana Pradhanam. Brahmachari: Veda Adhyayana is important. ‘Chinthana Aasupthehe Aamruthehe Kalam Nayed Vedanta Chinthaya’ Even to take that concentrated dose of Vedanta one has to get that mental maturity. Not all can take it. social and family responsibilities to be shouldered. 4. 2. Sanyasa: both Karma and Upasanas are minimal. Grihasta: 3. Try to live a secluded life and give importance to Saguna Ishwara Dhyanam. Karmas involve a certain extrovertedness of mind in order to organize everything required to perform the Karma. Vanaprastha: Karma Pradhana. in order to spend more time to meditate upon God.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Fasting is only incidental. to save time from the routine cooking etc. one Sadhana is highlighted in each Ashrama. rituals and Upasana are minimal with only Sandhyavandanam. Other things are subsidiary.

and after death. In Upasanas also two types. Surya Dwarena Prayanti: they travel by a special route called Shukla Gati which is an unseen route traveled by the Jeevatma (Sukshma Karana Sharira Complex). Sakama and Nishkama distinguished. Tapaha. Bhykshacharyam Charantaha: life style of Bhiksha. but proportion is different (more Karma. Shanthaha: less. Te Virajaha: of this means Sakama Upasana. Upasanaha: Karmas. In Grihastashrama also both Karma and Upasana are there. In Vanaprasthashrama. By this 64 . The practitioners Punyavanthaha. gradually hand over the responsibility to the next generation. restlessness is become neutralized. their Papas are practice meditation with minimum due to reduction of Karmas. in secluded place.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji for withdrawing the mind inside. less Upasanas) Shraddha here means Upasana predominantly. Aranye Upavasanthi: they live in forest.

On the positive side. Same is true with Upasana too. Upasanas are more powerful than Karmas. The 11th Mantra hinted at Upasana Kanda. So Karma keeps a person within the hold of Samsara. So what produces Moksha? It is only Para Vidya or Jnana.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji route. they will come back! So Anityam is there too. organize the minds. There are also pleasures. he reaches Brahmaloka presided over by Chaturmukha Brahma with a relatively eternal life span (2000 Chaturyugas are Brahma’s one year and his life span is 100 such years). Both positive and negative aspects of Karmas and Upasanas were delineated. Therefore it also comes under Apara Vidya. It is to be noted that the Upasana referred to here is Saguna Brahma Dhyanam and not Atma Dhyanam. Upasanas can integrate. remove extrovertedness. Those who attend classes there get Krama Mukthi. If there also they don’t attend classes and watch TV. Even miraculours powers or Siddhis which are Upasana Phalas also are material ends. increase the focusing power of mind but can never produce Jnana/Moksha. follow it. purify and integrate 65 . Avyayatma: free from old age. The most important negative aspect is that Karma and Upasanas cannot produce knowledge/Moksha. There are also Vedanta classes conducted by Brahmaji. So what should one do? Not totally reject Apara Vidya.

Brahmanaha Karmachitan Lokan Parikshya – Every person. It is the most important Mantra of Mundaka and whole Upanishad literature. How does the shift take place? This is indicated in this next Mantra. 12. doesn’t matter. When this is so. Once in a while do introspection (having acquired all this. Then intelligently graduate to Para Vidya.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji the mind. acquire everything. we repeat the same mistakes. Intelligence is not avoiding 66 . tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyam brahmaniṣṭham. Dharma comes only later as it is invisible. what to talk of Moksha? So initially only Sakama Karma will appeal to people. am I secure?). also learn (Parikshya). The entire Vedic life design is beautifully given here. in the beginning is interested in Artha and Kama only. only as and when you enjoy. Without this introspection. parīkṣya lokān karmancitān brāhmaṇo nirvedam āyān nāsty akṛtah kṛtena. Vedas say.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji mistakes. but not with ourselves. We generally are very objective about others. Devotion to God. Brahmana is one who has this appropriate attitude. Only if he follows Vedic life style (Vaidika Achara Sampannaha). 67 . How? 1. not repeat them. In unpleasant ones. when there are problems in life. In pleasant experiences we do not learn at all. not Brahmana by birth. This is called Karma Phala Pariksha. a disturbed mind is unable to learn. So I need a technique by which I can keep my mind calm. Veda prescribes ‘Samatvam’. God brings us under water often as it were to purify us just like Ganga Snana. Take unpleasant experiences as a gift from God to teach me lessons in life. We generally don’t learn because. accomplishments here. mind is not available for learning. Lokan means achievements. So what is needed is to be objective about myself and change myself. This is futile as we cannot change others. can he learn from life. Brahmanaha here means one who wants to follow Vedic teaching. our mind is disturbed. This is prasada Buddhi. So learn from life. but by learning from them.

So they are dependence causing and the struggle continues. So he will study thoroughly all the Artha. it is painful. So the three Purusharthas namely.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Brahmanaha Karmayogi Ishwararpana Budhiman. This is so with money. Shankara says Pratyaksha. Athrupthikaratvam: There is no contentment. Anumana and Agama Pramana can teach us. Artha. power and relationships and situations. 3. At most it can make life more comfortable (Amruthathvam Nashasti Vittena in Brihadaranyaka) not peaceful. 68 . Bhandakatvam: I become a slave of things. We can also learn from others experience if we are sensitive enough. I am always aware of what I don’t have. What is the lesson learnt? All Karma Phalas have intrinsic defects. They are not synonymous. 1. Kama Phalani. So I lean on them and when the support is removed. preserving and losing is painful. Kama and Dharma make Samsara continue. that money does not promise happiness. Dukha Mishritatvam: this is because there is effort required in acquiring. 2. situations and relationships I have acquired. Always look to next higher one.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Moksha is the only goal free from these defects. Akritaha cannot be accomplished as Krithaha can only produce defective results. can be displayed in an exhibition etc. but cannot be used to sit! Similarly don’t lean on external factors but use them when they are available. Nirveda Mayat develops Vairagyam towards all Karmaphalaha and Upasana Phalaha. It is neither attachment nor hatred but transcending both. After getting purification and 69 . He gets Nitya Anitya Vastu Viveka. To see and enjoy. Disappointments come to a person who has appointments with the future. For real support lean on Bhagawan alone. Vairagyam does not mean hatred. for Jnana Yogyatha and are important there. Here this Brahmanaha discovers the Anitya of Samsara and that Moksha alone is Nitya. Akritaha means Moksha. It can be used for decoration. Kritena Akritaha Nasti: Kritam means Karma and Upasana (literally doing). Krithaha is useful for purification. It puts an end to this struggle. ie. Example: there is nicely decorated card board chair. This attitude is Nirvedanam. Through Kritaha.

This is what is meant by Parikshya Lokan Karmachitan. lose cycle. He needs to live a Dharmic life. then Vedanta says. there is nothing Vedanta can do for him. if you are interested. A person will have to come to Para Vidya to get Moksha. Moksha. to acquire the necessary qualifications to get Moksha one has to follow Apara Vidya initially. the person will have a Satvic mind.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji integration. Vedanta is useful only if someone does not want to have the acquire. So there is no Karma/Upasana to ‘acquire’ Brahman. because of this bent of mind he will learn from the experiences of life and know their limitations. college is no longer useful to me. 70 . then it becomes a Karma Phala and therefore limited and it will go away. they become useless for me just like after any degree. do certain compulsory duties (Pancha Yagnas). The advantage of these Nikshkama Karmas is. All the Sadhyams (Phalas) accomplished are limited in time. there is a defectless goal – Brahma. At that time Jnana Kanda calls me and asks what do you want? If the person says I am not interested in finite goals. So how to acquire Brahman? If it is acquired by any way. However. If a person is addicted to material goals and is willing to pay the price.

This is only for a person who wants a defectless goal. Brahman is you who is ever known to you always. and then don’t complain. it becomes the end product of a process. but know that whatever you achieve is all going to end. it is in the present tense. So what is the 71 . At least should I do something to know Brahman? It is not an object of knowledge. Vedanta is relevant only for those who want a defectless goal. an object of discovery or object of experience.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The goal of Moksha can never be accomplished in time through effort. If you gain. Knowing is only with respect to unknown. Veda says this Brahman or defectless goal ‘you are’. So be ready for shocks and problems. I need not do anything to accomplish it. Veda says ‘wish you all the best’. If someone does not want this and is happy with worldly things. So Moksha is not an event. When Veda says ‘you are Brahman’. you will lose also. So it is not something to ‘become’ by effort. So the very question ‘how to accomplish Moksha/defectless goal?’ is wrong. Here Veda says. If so. So what should I do now? If it is me alone. you have to come to Jnana Kanda.

Kunti told him that she had six children. So which opinion about myself is correct? So what is required is self enquiry to see if Vedic revelation about myself is correct.e. Karna had a self conclusion that he was an ‘Akshatriya’. I have an opinion about myself that I am finite. I am finite is a wrong conclusion because I have never seriously enquired about this. So now I have to make a proper conclusion (Atmanaha Brahmatva Vicharaha). no Dukha Mishritatvam. who is the sixth child and he would like to meet him. Example: In Mahabharata. The whole Sadhana is geared towards this. Problem is Veda says ‘I am defect free goal’. Brahma means pure Ananda. So what will Kunti say? Saha Tvam Asi! So that is a Mahavakyam! 72 . total satisfaction. no Atriptikaratvam. i. infinite and Veda says I am that.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji problem? Veda is talking about the most familiar thing to me. But before coming to Veda. etc. So he asks.

Upanishad says I am Brahman. So there are two opinions about me. I am Asamsari I am ‘located’ in my conclusion. that is all. but I had thought that I am mortal. He only needs to own up the truth. limited and Samsari. So in the important 12th Mantra Upanishad talks about transition from Karma Kanda to Janana Kanda. So Shastra is the mirror to know my real nature. as it is not anything new but most familiar to me. The two are not separate. I need not experience it. 1. perishable. to look at myself I need a mirror. Shastrajnanam (Vedanta) is itself Brahmajnanam. When Upanishad says ‘you are Brahman’ which is present tense and not imperative mood or future tense. 73 So it needs to be . As all our senses are ‘outward looking’. Brahman is not a theory.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Now does Karna have to travel to reach the sixth child? Should he do any Sadhana and have any experience to know that? No. locationless as per Upanishad. not a hypothesis. My problem is whether I am able to accept this. I am Samsari 2. Language has the problem of objectification. not an idea. So I require an enquiry into myself to find the truth.

There the Guru just gives the Mantra after a short ritual and the process is over. he must necessarily go to a Guru. So one has to go to a teacher. This is different from ‘Mantra Diksha’. so that my mind becomes pure. In enquiry. No thinking is involved. Many questions arise. There is no question of whether Guru is necessary etc. there is no question of knowledge. It is meant for repetition. If at all a few people have gained ‘Jnana’ without a Guru. World and Atma being Guru is all incorrect World cannot teach me because I will interpret the world along my own preconceived notions. it is a consistent.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji communicated by an expert. it is only an exception. What sort of Guru should I approach? Who is a Guru? 74 Therefore Shankara independent in Mundaka study is not says Na Bhashya Swatantrena Brahmanveshanam . There is no question of enquiry. painstaking long standing ‘Shravanam’. recommended. so the teaching has to go on until all doubts are gone. a preceptor (Sa Gurumeva Abhigachhet) means only one who has definitely got Sadhana Chatushtaya Samapathi. Upanishad uses a special methodology. ‘Shastragnapi Kuryanthu’ The one who systematically communicates the truth of the listener is a Guru. Secondly.

2. How do you know? He is a Guruless Guru. So Lord is the first Guru. So the most important thing to know about a Guru is whether he was a Shishya first! Brahmanishtam: his true nature. Shrotriyam: one who knows to handle the scriptures through which he has to communicate to a disciple. The so so one. The best one. one who has the methodology of communication (Sampradayaha). He has both received and assimilataed the teaching and owned up the teaching. 1. he ever has the key. one who is spontaneously established in 75 . The worst one. 1.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Upanishad answers this. How did he get the key? He did not get. 3. So he is also called ‘Sampradayavit’: one who has the key to open the scriptures and give me the teaching! How did the Guru get the key? Guru was previously a Shishya! Who was the first Guru? ‘Sadashiva Samarambham Shankaracharya Madhyamam’. Shastras talk about three types of Gurus. Uttama Guru: He is both a Shrotriya and Brahmanishta.

the teaching could not be assimilated.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 2. but tell whatever his Guru told him. Madhyama Guru : one who was a Shishya. 76 . defective Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampathi. Adhama Guru: he is ‘Kevala Brahmanishta’ somehow he has gained Brahma Jnana. his blessings sought. but he can never be an ideal Guru. They are ‘Jnanis’. they are full of discrepancies between then and the Shastras. but they are not understood by people. This is because he himself has not tread the path in this life. he is a spiritual genious who got knowledge without scriptures and without Guru. so he cannot show the path properly to others. their statements are punchy. Such people can be called mystics. If you ask ‘what do you mean?’ he cannot explain because he himself never came that way. So he is a Jnani. He is adorable. can be worshipped. he will never mislead. but due to some lack in his qualification. His teaching will not be defective but it may not be very effective! He may not be very bold in declaring ‘Tat Tvam Asi’. there is a split in his personality. There is a disparity between his life and his teaching. a great person. But if you see his teachings. Here. teaching remains purely academic information just like oil in water. 3. However. has received the teaching. He is ‘Kevala Shrotriyaha’.

Guru. I only question my understanding but not the teaching or the teacher.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji This Mantra talks about the first type of Guru. I gently ask the Guru to teach again as I have not understood properly. Samit: dry twigs. Garbhini. Krishna emphasizes Shraddha very much in Bhagavad Gita. there is no logical contradiction i. express your humility physically to the teacher. no Yukti Virodha. An arrogant person will be stiff backed. This is indicated by Namaskara in our culture. Vrudha. So upto this is transition from Apara to Para Vidya. take some offering to the Guru to show your humility. The expression ‘Samitpanihi’ means. The most scientific and rational intellect will be totally satisfied if it studies the scriptures properly. In clear understanding. Shraddha means if I cannot understand the teaching.e. Questions are not meant to test the teacher. ‘Agnihotram. Daivam Rithamhastena Na Peyathu’ – don’t go with empty hand. They symbolize readiness of mind as they catch fire readily. Bala. Even the present century science cannot shake Vedantic teaching. no Shruthi Virodha. Wet twigs never burn! So ‘Samit’ indicates Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampannaha. 77 . Be humble. Approach him with Shraddha and Bhakthi. Griha Kshetram (temple). stiff necked. no Anubhava Virodha. Raja.

These two describe all qualities like discrimination. disciplined. without asking. Prashanthachittaya: One with mastery over the mind. it is never to be given. 78 . tasmai sa vidvān upasannāya samyak praśānta-cittāya śamānvitāya. This is important because. desire for Moksha. So he is an Adhikari. Samyak Upasannaya: has approached the teacher in the proper way with Shraddha and Bhakthi and also asks for knowledge. it means Dama or dispassion. yenākṣaram puruṣaṁ veda satyam provāca tāṁ tattvato brahma-vidyam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 13. in this context. Manonigrahaha Shamanvithaya: Indriya Nigrahaha. Iti Mundakopanishad prathama Mundako Dwithiyaha Khandaha An ideal student and ideal teacher have come together.

Brahmavidyam Provacha: so he gave the knowledge of Brahma. Second Mundaka: First Khanda 79 . The student is well qualified. nature of Tvam. So we have completed two Khandas of first Mundaka at the end of which it is pointed out that an ideal student and an ideal teacher have come together. Teacher is ‘Vidwan’: wise. Poorayathi Sarvam Iti Purushaha (because cause pervades all effects). The first Mundaka was an introductory one and the second gives the essence of Brahman Vidya. How? Tattvataha: correctly stepwise -> nature of individual. By this the student will come to know the truth. Atmajnani.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Na Prushtethu Kasyachit Bhrooyath Na Cha Never give if improperly asked also. and here is the main teaching. the ultimate cause of the universe. In this Mundaka Upanishad. nature of macrocosm. Aksharam. so is the teacher (not only does he know Brahman. he also has the method of communicating this to other people). nature of Tat and their relation (Asi). each chapter is known as one Mundaka. The third concluding Mundaka concentrates on Sadhanas. Pandithaha.

It is an elaboration of the definition already given in first chapter. bhāvāḥ prajāyante tatra caivāpi yanti.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 1. 1. 80 . tathākṣarād vividhāḥ. Here the popular method (Brahman as the cause of the universe/Jagat Karanam Brahma) is used to reveal Brahman. what type of cause is Brahman? A cuase (Karana) is of two types. tad etat satyam: yathā sudīptāt pāvakād visphuliṅgāḥ sahasraśaḥ prabhavante sarūpāḥ. Brahman being the cause or Karanam and the world being the effect or Karyam. Here Upanishad is going to reveal Brahman or Aksharam. saumya. Karana Sambandha as it is known in Sanskrit. Intelligent cause (Nimittha) and 2. So Brahman and world have a cause effect or Karya. Material cause (Upadhana). When Brahman is said to be the cause of universe.

which role is highlighted?) Once this is understood. They are very important in understanding Brahman clearly. So Brahman has not only made the world. Prapanchaha being Karyam is Anithyam. In the worldly examples like pot. So the example of spider was given. So clay is Nithyam and pot is Anithyam. Therefore Karanam is Nithyam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji This has been analysed before. the two causes are different. world can also be understood clearly. Thirdly. First corollary: clay the Karanam is Nithyam (it was there before the pot. father at home. Only if Brahman is understood clearly. There can be many pots made of clay. cloth etc. Karyam is Anithyam. Upadana Karanam Brahman). 81 . if both causes are one. In case of Brahman. Brahman happens to be both the material and intelligent cause of universe (Abhinna Nimittha. which aspect is highlighted here? (Suppose you are an officer at office. both are same. Pot is made by the potter (Nimittha) using clay (material). ornaments. student in the class. many corollaries can be derived. let us take the example of a pot made of clay. To derive these. in present and will also be there after pot is broken). but has also become the world. Brahman being Karanam is Nithyam.

2. Karanat Pruthak Nasti.Karyam. and Brahman is in all creation. non substantial entity. Karyani Anekam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 1. Ghataha Alpagataha. if clay is removed. whereas pot cannot exist independent of the cause. Pot is a dependent. If there are ten pots and they are located here and there with a jug in between. Karanam Eakm. You cannot have a pot without clay or only ornaments without gold! So. Karanam. the cause is only one (clay). Even though two words are used. 3. Similarly gold is in all ornaments. but is borrowed from the clay. Its existence does not depend on the products. So clay is said to pervade all pots. Pots and jugs are many (Aneka Karyani) but behind the pluralistic products. there is 82 . pot is Mithyam. Mrid Sarvagataha. how can a pot be there? So they are not two separate entities independent of each other. When you say pot ‘is’ the ‘is’ness is borrowed from the clay temporarily gifted to the pot! How is that? Because. that is why it exists before. the very existence part of the pot does not belong to the pot. every product is located in a particular place but the clay (material) is everywhere the pots are. clay has an existence of its own. during and after pot’s existence. Therefore. Therefore clay is Satyam.

The ‘is’ness of Brahman belongs to ‘is’ness which in Sanskrit is called Sat. Brahma Satyam. inanimate objects. suppose you have Karyam. similarly with furniture. everything included exists only in name. two names are there but only one substance). Vacharambham Vikaronamadheyam Mrithika Eva Satyam.e. So Karanam Sathyam. The substance behind is Brahman alone. animate. close his eyes and meditate on gold! Will he get gold? Another has furniture. Similarly. water and ocean. has to find wood. There is no substance called desk (wood only). Jagan Mithya. So the entire cosmos consisting of the elements. and closes his eyes to realize wood. how will you recognize the Karanam? An unthinking person can do these things wrongly. and ornament (gold only). Mithya.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji actually only one substance (ther are no wood two and corresponding substances. it is the only substantial entity. thread and cloth. Brahman being Karanam. we should 83 . ocean (water only). i. Karyam Mithyam (only verbal existence). what do we call him? Fool! So don’t dismiss the ocean to realize water. if he is given an ornament and asked to realize gold. elementals. he will throw away the ornament. keeping Karyam in hand. That is why when somebody asked what is God? The answer is ‘What ‘is’ is God’ Then our final analysis will be. we have the world.

Jagatkaranam. Any product born out of a material will go back to the material cause (pot breaks and goes back to clay status). Therefore creation also goes back to Brahman when it resolves. Swatantra Siddham. If so.that Brahman which I want to reveal is Satyam (karanam) independently existing. Tad Etat Satyam. we will go the first Mantra. Nithyam. So Brahman is Srishti Sthithi Laya Karanam. Aksharam means eternal. Narayana in Puranic literature and Itihasas. This is the way Brahman/God is defined. imperishable (Na Ksharathi Iti Aksharam). it is also Stithi Karanam (cause of survival). ‘Yatheva Imani Bhootani Jayanthe Ena Jathani Jeevanthi’ This same Brahman word is replaced by the word Ishwara. That is what is beautifully said Taittereya. Vividha Bhavaha Prajayante: varieties of things are born. Here Upanishad gives an example which is often repeated and popular. Brahman is therefore Srushti and Laya Karanam. The Mantra begins with a bang. So from that Aksharam Brahma.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji know how to discern the Karanam Brahman. With this background. the whole world has come. 84 . This is called the analysis of Srushti. Smruthis and also in Brahma Sutras.

Therefore Vasthuthaha Bedhaha Nasti. Both are H2O or HHO (Sat Chit Anandanha!). So Srushti and Brahman are one the same. Brahman. So fire becomes Karanam and sparks. The same example can be extended to ocean and waves. The differences between Karanam and Karyam are only superficial and aparant whereas their essential nature is identical. have the essential features of heat and light. So essentially you are Brahman. what is the essential nature of fire. lots of differences are there. Similarly.e. between you and Brahman. From such a fire. All the sparks resolve back into Agin Tatvam. many sparks come out. indicating one Karanam which is the cause. 85 . heat and light (Ushtna and Prakashaha). Visphulingaha become Karyam. Sarupaha means the same essential nature i. The idea to be conveyed with this example is this. but essential features are one and the same. The word Visphulingaha is plural indicating Karyams are many whereas the word Pavakam = Agni is singular. How many Jeevathmas are there? Innumerable. Here Upanishad is laying the foundation for Tat Tvam Asi.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Fire (a huge bonfire or conflagration) is compared to Brahman. Sparks even though superficially may appear to be different from fire. if you take the non essential features.

The corollary of this is that every product (Karyam) is a nonsubstantial entity (Mithya). the examples being clay and pots. oh. If Brahman is the cause and world is the product. the Upadana Karanam aspect of Brahman is going to be highlighted. pleasant one. An angry teacher can create tension. Similarly Brahman is Satya and world is Mithya. an expression by which he shows that he cares for the Shishya and the Shishya is dear to him. the relation between the two is a cause effect relationship. beautiful one’. Upanishad took the example of fire and sparks. This is the aspect highlighted here. It helps to make Shishya feel relaxed and tension free. water and ocean etc. Karanam alone is substantial. 86 . Attention without tension is ideal! The first part of the second chapter deals with Paramathma Swaroopam and the second part deals with Paramathma Jeevathma Aikyam. This attitude of being serious about the study yet being relaxed (not afraid of the teacher) is very necessary because only then (such a mind) can receive the teaching. gold and ornaments.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The Guru addresses the student here as Soumya which means ‘oh. In this section.

For example. Brahma Lakshanam is presented here. wood etc which are inert in nature (Achethana Karanani Upadanani). gold. 1. 2. it should not be taken literally.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 2. Therefore Upanishad takes care of these possibilities. When Brahman is said to be a cause. In fact scientists also think like this.6 also a definition was given where it was pointed out that Brahman is the material cause of the universe and to convey this idea. spider and wood were given.1. An example should not be stretched too much. divyo hy amūrtaḥ puruṣah sa bāhyābhyantaro hy ajaḥ. Any cause they predict happens to be 87 . In our experience every material cause happens to be a material like clay. we tend to think in terms of an Achethana Vastu. Sometimes these can give rise to certain doubts and misconceptions. when we say ‘he is the pillar of the organisation’. the example of clay. It has a limited scope only. aprāṇo hy amanāḥ śubhro akṣarāt paratah paraḥ. It gives the definition of Brahman. This is a very important Mantra quoted often by Shankaracharya. In 1. Brahman could be imagined to be like a spider sitting somewhere and creating the universe.

They are now looking for one basic force/energy but all are inert only as both matter and energy are inert only. electro magnetic. Brahman is of the nature of consciousness (Divya). strong nuclear force and gravitation. Divyaha: Swayamprakasha Chaithanya Swaroopaha. because it shows the difference between Vedanta and all other material sciences. In Vedanta the whole approach is reversed. In all material sciences.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji either matter or energy. then energy. That is why they are called material sciences. Previous Mantra was Thatastha Lakshana Mantra (indirect definition). Swaroopa is direct definition. This Mantra has come to remove that misconception. weak nuclear force. matter is the fundamental principle out of which. Here consciousness is the basic stuff and matter is only appearing and disappearing. The inner essence of universe is consciousness. it is sometimes similarly conceived as an Achethana Vastu. So what is the nature of consciousness? 88 . That is why it is called Swaroopa Lakshana Mantra. creation is made of and consciousness is only a later product. four types. From many types to one type of matter. This is a very important idea we have to note. When Brahman is presented as a basic cause.

that it is not located in brain. it is the cause of space also. So Purushaha means all pervading/no location. So it cannot be located because you require space. potter makes a pot. it has a location. it is unimaginable. In another Upanishad it is called Asthulam. Therefore Brahman is not located in space. 89 . Adeergham. But when we say Brahman is unlocated. essence. formless consciousness is the nature of Brahman.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Whenever we talk of materials like gold. So Brahman is unlocated and the words ‘here’ and ‘there’ are meaningless. That is why Upanishad here gives the word Amruthaha. Ahaswam. content of everything. Similarly. if Brahman is the stuff of creation. the mind cannot conceive. One neuroscientist has said that consciousness is locationless. So we say. When we say clay is the Karanam of pot. wood. it is ‘all pervading’ which is actually a compromised word. where was it located before creation (space is also part of creation!). clay etc we can imagine some form and we tend to think the same way with consciousness. The real word is – ‘no location’. on the other hand Brahman being the cause of everything. Purushaha: Brahman is locationless (Sarvam Poorayathi iti Purushaha).

Though words such as look within. search within are used. Amanaha: Brahman is free from mind also because mind is an incidental. the wave need not look within to see water. mindless. Hijaha = Hi + Ajaha. incidental products generated. With reference to creation within means.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Sabhahyabhyantharaha: within and without. we know that clay itself has a beginning. not the intrinsic nature of Brahman (wave is not the intrinsic nature of water). Hi is for emphasis to mean it is indeed birthless. product of consciousness 90 . later. Ajaha: When we say clay. When Brahman is said to be Ajaha. dive deep within. within the body and outside as well. Arpanaha: Prana means the five Pranas which stands for the Sukshma Sharira. wood etc are material cause. it free from them all because they are all later. just like gold is essence of all ornaments. Brahman has no Sukshma Shariraha. it is organless. So it is the substratum of the world within and the world outside. it means Brahman has no beginning. So Brahman is the causeless cause of everything. intellectless.

every Nama Rupa can do a particular function. it is Shuddhaha. so not an intrinsic feature of Brahman. When form is added. Desk Nama Rupa can function as desk. will be there. Does form have weight? No. Finally it is the technical. Similarly chain. Thirdly. In Sanskrit. Brahman being free from mind and body. we call it bangle. we also give a name. what is it that is created? So this creation is the biggest myth! What is meant by creation then? Only a particular form is given to a material which is already there. If so. 91 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji which comes and goes. is. product would have weighed more than raw material. chain etc. I know nothing new is created. very important definition Aksharath Paraha: Varieties of pots (products) are created from the material cause clay. this addition of form is called Rupam. Previously clay was there. in keeping with it. afterwards also clay is there. In gold. In Sanskrit this is called Namam. So same amount of clay was. Shubraha: means Shudhaha. When I say pot is created. On analysis. eternally ever pure because all impurities belong to mind and body.

That is why when different wax/gold shapes are melted. It says the whole universe is only name. you will be in trouble. So in the material. Lump of clay potentially contains all other forms. This function is called Karma.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji bangle etc. Therefore what is creation? Weightless Nama Rupa Karma! Otherwise we can call it non-substantial name. never depend on this. If varieties of forms can be added to clay or gold to produce many products. all the Nama Rupa Karma are potential. Similarly in Brahman. It is like a cardboard/thermocol chair which is good to decorate and keep dolls but not to sit! If you want to lean. This is called Shakthihi Shivaha Shakthayukthaha Yadi Bhavathi Prabhavitham. lean on the substance (Paramathma) behind the non-substantial universe. Upanishad extends this to the whole universe. 92 . non-substantial. gold etc) like ghee/butter in milk. Vedanta says it is possible only if the forms (products) are potentially there in the substance (clay. That is why Bhagavad Gita says. the whole universe of Nama Rupa Karma is there potentially. they resolve into one lump. form and function and is therefore a myth. form and function.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji They are there even before creation. It is called Shakthi. It is Mrs. The essence of macro and microcosm are one and the same. Brahman. Avyaktham. It is an adjective to potential Nama Rupa. so must be there! It is called Nama Rupa Beejam. 93 . the whole creation came out. Avyakrutham. Brahman is superior to potential Nama Rupa which is the cause of manifest Nama Rupa. This is going to be the development. This same fact is said in religious literature as Mayatheetham Brahma. From that Brahman. The revelation of the identity of Jeevatma and paramatma is indicated by the word Asihi. Here Aksharam means potential name and form. only Brahman is substantial. Here it is said that Brahman is superior to potential Nama Rupa (Aksharath Paraha) because all the Nama Rupa are non-substantial. Maya. the nature of Paramatma (Tat Padartha) is highlighted and in the second section the nature of Jeevatma (Tvam Padartha) is highlighted. It means the cause. In this Mantra. The second chapter of Mundaka Upanishad is an important one consisting of two sections. In the first section. the word used for this Aksharam. this Maya is given another description. Parathaha. prakruthi. This revelation is done by two methods.

The corollary is I learn never to depend on a non-substantial world. water & waves.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 1. Direct method called Swarupa Lakshanam. Shruthi wants to convey that Brahman is the material cause and world is the effect. world is only a word. The wrong extensions we could make are. but don’t learn on it for emotional support. we can have certain misconception. Indirect method called Thatastha Brahma Lakshanam. First Mantra (Tadetat Sathyam) says Brahman is Upadana Karanam. the material cause of the universe. We should never extend an example too much. Jnanam and Anantham. If at all. We should also know what Shruthi does not want to convey. gold & ornaments. 2. 94 . In second Mantra Brahman is revealed as Satyam. depend on the substantial Brahman and enjoy the non-substantial world. It also wants to say. It wants to point out that there is no world separate from Brahman (product is not separate from material). Both the definitions are important because when Brahman is said to be the material cause of the universe. Through the examples of clay & pot. that this wonderful universe is non-substantial.

We should not take this to be the case with Brahman! Swami Dayanandaji jokes like Chappathi dough which can be rolled into varieties of shapes! Brahman is an intangible material cause which is conscious. but Brahman unlike all other materials is not inert but conscious.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 1. 2. But Brahman does not undergo any change but is Nirvikara Upadana Karanam. the material undergoes modification. This is the most unique aspect of Vedanta which is not there in any material science or any other system of philosophy. only in 95 . that the non-tanglible formless consciousness that is Brahman is the stuff of the universe. wood. Material cause is generally tangible like clay. So the creation is not separate from the changeless. 3. Generally. consciousness that is Brahman. formless. then we can extend it to say. In all other systems. gold. matter is the material cause. Therefore generally material cause is changing (Parinami). Scientist point out that this tangible universe is made up of energy which is intangible. Generally material cause is inert. when a material cause produces an effect. water etc. If non-tangible energy can give rise to this tangible universe.

The world therefore cannot be created from nothing but it must already be existing in potential form. In Brahman. it is only because potentially it is already there in milk. In Sanskrit. in that. but consciousness is the stuff of the universe. We know from science and Shastra that nothing in this creation can be either created or destroyed according to the Law of conservation of energy and matter. the whole non-substantial Nama 96 . If I can take out butter from milk. That is why we call Vedanta a spiritual science. So Vedanta says the whole creation of name and form must be already existing in unmanifest potential form in Brahman. Having thus revealed Brahman thus in the first two Mantras. When there is a lump of clay. jugs etc) are hidden (as possibilities). An Indian scientist who is very much interested in Vedanta and is a great scientist who tried to reconcile the Vedantic teachings and some of the observations of modern science wrote a book called ‘Self aware universe’. The essence of that work is that consciousness is the stuff of the universe. Upanishad now talks about evolution of the universe.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Vedanta we consider that matter is not the stuff of the universe. spiritual science is called Chethana Upadana Karana Vadaha. all other forms (like pot.

it is said. We cannot see the mind. It is made up of combination of the five Sthoola elements. senses etc. Different people have these in different proportions. but can it be doubted? 3. they are not visible to our senses. Ideal example for this is our own physical body. Avyaktham. We call this potentiality or unmanifest state as Shakthi. ideally 97 . Five elements combine in different proportion to produce subtle bodies and subtle universe (Sukshma Bhoutika Prapancha of five elements). five elements combine in different permutations and combinations to produce mind. Prakruthi. Maya. Agni. Just like bricks arranged in different patterns can produce different patterns of rooms. This generally is presented in four stages. 4. Vayu. Being subtle. 1. From subtle elements. all indicating the world potentially in Brahma. Five Sukshma pancha Bhutas (five elements) 2. five gross elements are born (Stoola Bhootha Srushtihi). Akasa.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Rupa exists. That is why in Ayurveda. prithvi. Aapaha. This at the appropriate time determined by Kala and prarabdha evolves into Nama Rupa. Five gross elements combined in different proportions give rise to the gross universe.

98 . muscle pains etc. not Darwin’s theory of evolution. The three main principles Vata. So the world is non-tangible. Kapha stands for Apaha and Prithvi Tatvam and can cause respiratory problems. Pitha stands for Agni Tatvam and its imbalance can manifest as migraine. we are going to see the evolution of the cosmos. So what is the benefit of this teaching? It is Sarvathra Brahma Darshanam. it will say. Pitha and Kapha will all go awry! The evolution here means manifestation. but as grow older. Vata. vomiting and digestive problems. Vata stands for Vayu Tatvam and its imbalance causes joint pains. In the tenth Mantra. non-substantial name and form only! (Vacharambhanam Vikaro Namadheyam). whatever you are experiencing is Brahman alone with different name and form. Shankara says this in Atmabodhani. From Mantra three to nine. the inequilibrium will not affect us much. Pitha and Kapha should be in balance.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji the five should be in balance. Yama has a hold on our body! As long as we are young. Through the imbalance of these three.

But the Upanishad does not adhere to the order (Akrama Srushtihi). I know it is there. Kham (Akasha). you are free. no matter what happens to the effect. See the cause. you are bound. see the effect. khaṁ vāyur jyotir āpaḥ pṛthivī viśvasya dhāriṇī. learn to see Brahman everywhere. 3. This is going to be the development. Prithvi. Jyothihi. etasmāj jāyate prāṇo manaḥ sarvendriyāṇi ca.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji since the entire creation is Brahman + Nama Rupa. Sarvathra Brahma Darshanam is Moksha and Sarvathra Jagath Darshanam is Samsaraha. Let us take the second line first. It talks about Pancha Sthoola Bhoota Srushti. If vision is of the cause. So we will go to the third Mantra now. namely. Generally an order is given for Srushtihi. Vayuhu. This is because effect is subject to arrival and departure and hence constant fear of loss is there. So we need to rearrange it for explanation. which is glorified as Vishwasya 99 . Aapaha. I can never enjoy it.

When I drink water. Thasya Vyakaranam Thamabhavathu. vāg vivṛtāś ca vāyuḥ prāṇo hṛdayaṁ viśvam. cakṣuṣī candra-sūryau. 4. asaya padbhyām pṛthivī hy eṣa sarvabhūtāntarātmā. 100 . aginr mūrdhā.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Dharini which means supporter of all the living things both directly by giving the terra firma to stand on. Vyakaranam means manifestation. This line indicates both subtle and gross elements. when I breathe air. Buddhi. diśaḥ śrotre. Manaha (four components of Manaha. Our Shastras look upon the whole universe as the body of the Lord. First line talks about the elementals that are Sookshma Srushti namely the five Pranas. Chitta and Ahankara. Next. but also indirectly by providing us with all other requirements. Pancha Jnanendriyani and pancha Karmendriyani). all from the basic substance called Brahman (Avyakrutha Nama Rupena Jagadasithu. the gross elements and elementals consisting of the entire gross universe are talked about. vedāḥ. In short the whole Sookshma Sharira. Our body is an example of gross elemental (combination of gross elements). it is gross elements.

but now we know that. The same holds good for the cosmos also. Al = person) Let us look at the logic behind the concept. perum means big. Even so. So every thing can affect everything else. When I look at my body. it affects other organs and systems also. With advancing science.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji the universal person or Vishwa Rupa Ishwara or Virat Ishwara. A few decades before. That is why it is called a universe and not a multiverse. it is a conglomeration of many organs. (In Tamil it is called ‘Perumal’. As somebody said ‘you cannot pluck a flower without affecting a stem’. both material and intelligent cause. That is because all organs are functioning in harmony as though they are one unit. the universe functions as one unit. Similarly every organ is interconnected to the other. When we analyse scientifically also. but ultimately everything is related to everything else. Upanishad is revealing Brahman as the Jagat Karanam. In first and second verses. Superficially all things may look separate. So it is an organized whole. In this section. we see it as one unit and not as a group. just like the departments in an industry. All our scriptures including Purusha Suktha (Sahasra Sheersha Purushaha) convey this very idea. If one is diseased. It is a beautiful statement. the nature of Brahman was pointed out by using 101 . we did not know this. we are better able to appreciate this truth.

forest fires. all over the world like droughts. the word means all the Nama Rupas in potential condition (Maya).This word Aksharam occurs in both first and second Mantra. the gross creation is called ‘Virat’. A few degree centigrade temperature variations in South America Pacific Ocean. famine etc. In first. All Upanishad describe this very beautifully. Jananam and Anantham. Now. Somebody asked for a clarification. it means Brahman itself which is Satyam. We have been reading this ‘el mino’ phenomenon. cyclones. Bhoohu Paadou Yasya Nabhirvidasuranisschndrasooryacha Nele Tribhuvana Vapusham Vishnumeesham Namami In Rudra also there is the Dhyana Shloka 102 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji the word ‘Aksharam’. In the second. This is Vishwa Rupa Ishwara. then it can create weather changes. What is the difference? It is this. Aksharam1 and Aksharam2 together is the universe which we are seeing from third verse onwards. Therefore universe can be looked upon as the body of the Lord and every part as a limb of the Lord. It works as one unit or system which is interconnected. This alone is borrowed in the Vishnu Sahasranama Dhyana Shloka.

Thryambakam yajamahe Sughandhim Pushti Vardhanam Urvaru Kamiva Bhandanath Mruthyormuksheeyamamruthath 103 . I don’t know how many of you saw the Leonid showers recently.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Peetam Yasya Murthim Dharithri Jaladhara Kalasham Lingamakara Nakshatram Pushpamalyam Mrahagana Kusumam Chandravanhakra Netrem Krishihi Saptha Samudram Himagirithanayam Saptha Pathala Padam Vedam Vaktharam Lingam Shadadgaha kashadishivadanam Divya Namami Describing Shiva. This similar description of Vishwa Rupa Ishwara is in this fourth Mantra. All these are like jewels on body of Shiva. I was watching on the terrace and was disappointed as there was no ‘shower’ but a few meteorites were seen in the sky. This itself is invoked in the famous Mantra. This upper Loka is like head of Virat Ishwara. We have a cosmic Linga which is the very Akasha itself. all the planets are diamonds. Chakshushi Chandra Soorya: Sun and moon are the eyes of the Lord. Agni Moordha Bhavathi: here Agni means Swargaloka.

Whenever there is a conflict and I want Bhagawan’s opinion.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Thryambakam means Lord with three eyes namely Sun. Vivrutaha means elaborate scriptures and it also means popular or well known (olden days!) because now they are not that popular! We have to encourage the Vedas. I can understand this. Vagirvruthascha Vedaha: Vedaha means scriptures. Entire Vayu Tatvam or atmosphere is the breath of the lord. 104 . Lord does not come and speak to us directly but through scriptures. Vayuhu pranaha: life breath of Lord is Vayuhu. the ‘Virat’ will have lung disease! We also will naturally be affected as we exist within the Virat! Hridayam Vishwam: entire universe is like the heart (or mind) of the lord. they are Lord’s mouth piece. refer to scriptures. From Tatvabodha we know that individual ears are born from space principle alone. How can you say that? If I compare to my dream world. Moon and Fire (Soma Soorya Agni Lochanaha) Ambaka means eyes. If air is polluted. Dishaha Kshetre: ten directions (space) are his ears. The entire dream world of Shabda. They are the organ of speech of Lord. Same thing in Vishnu Sahasranama Karnou Aasha where Aasha means Dishaha.

naturally the earth is the feet of the Lord. Similarly Virat Ishwara is behind the entire cosmos! You have to add a sentence.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Rupa. 105 . Suppose somebody asks the question. Vedanta says this world also does not exist separate from the Lord’s mind. It is all your own mental projection. next Mantra. Gandha exist in my mind alone. This Virat Ishwara is also born out of Ishwara. exists in waker’s mind and resolves into waker’s mind alone. Virat being the totality. The Lord’s mind is called ‘Maya’. the inner essence of everything. He is also subject to arrival and departure from Brahman. it must be inherent in everything. In fact it is born in the waker’s mind. Esha Sarva Bhoothasyarathma: This Ishwara is in and through everything. Rasa. Sparsha. Even though. also. similarly in the head simultaneously (this we recognize when bitten by mosquitoes!). Asya Padabhyam Prithvi: if the heaven is the head. where are you in your body? The answer will be I am behind the finger. we don’t recognize this in the dream but after waking up. Continuing. so everything is a thought and it is not separate from the waker’s mind.

106 . further Srushti is discussed. This Mundaka Mantra does not give details but some dots and dashes. the Jeeva goes through the final ceremonies or ‘Antyesti Karma’. only some of them. In this final ritual. A vaidika must go through forty one Samskaras. of which this is the last where I offer my body to the fire God. Many Jeevas are born out of Brahman (Prajaha Samprasuthaha). This is one of the methods by which human beings are born. In this. the physical body is offered to the fire. Shastra talks about procedure of human birth. It requires five fields to evolve. but not in full fledged form but in very very fine form and handed over to Jeeva. Each field is figuratively called Agnihi. tasmād agnis samidho yasa sūryaḥ somāt parjanya oṣadhayaḥ pṛthivyām. At that time. Shastra says at the moment this body is offered to Agni. next physical body is prepared. It is known as Panchagni Vidya. The Chandogya and Brihadaranyaka give details. So this physical body has to evolve to become full fledged body.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 5. putmān retas siñcati yoṣitāyām bahvīḥ prajāḥ puruṣāt samprasūtāḥ. We have to start from the time of death of a Jeeva. This and Puanarjanma process is talked about in detail in Chandogya Upanishad. This is not the case of all the living beings not even all human beings. This evolves in five stages.

Here Upanishad mentions some items. even in body digestive fire metabolized. we say heated thinking or the expression ‘what is cooking up in your head’ in English. even prmature baby is kept in an incubator). It is called Agni because Agni has the capacity to refine. Everything has to go through a fire either in a gross or subtle form. raw fruit requires heat to ripen. 107 . purify. Tasmadagnihi: Swarga Agnihi or first stage (Swarga). even pots are baked. modify anything (it cooks food. Mega: then it goes through cloud (evolution 2) Prithvi (Anna): then it goes through earth (evolution 3) Retaha Shariram: then through body of man (evolution 4) Purusha Shariram: then through body of woman (evolution 5) After all these.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Initially clled Soma Shariram. Even when we have to think hard to come with some idea. Agnihi here means Swarga Loka. a full fledged baby is born. For the Swarga loka the illumining principle is Surya Tatvam. so the minute the body goes to Swarga Loka straightaway and there evolves to some extent (Vrishtikarana).

this is only one of the methods. has to recide in the body of the male. human beings Vanhi: many. 4th stage Prajaha: Purusha Shariram. That is why in our tradition. Soma: first stage of evolution. countless Remember. Panchagni Vidya cannot be applied here. not universally applicable. 108 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Parjanyaha : cloud or second Agni Puthivyaha : early Pumanu: male Every body before coming to mother.e. Second stage i. Oshadayaha: 3rd stage Rethaha: in the male. Vrushti Shariram is not mentioned here but has to be supplied by us. abortion is not accepted at any time and is called Bhruna Hathyam and is a big Papam. At conception it is transferred to the mother’s body (yoshithayam).

These are contained in Vedas. They teach how not to abuse my freewill and how to be a responsible 109 . That is how a human being though physically weak. Freedom is that which is available for abuse. due to his intellect has invented a gun and can kill even a tiger.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Ultimate source of all these beings is Purushaha meaning Brahman alone. Only human beings can cause damage. There is a difference between human beings and other living beings in that human beings have a free will whereas other living beings come programmed and act only by instinct. Bhagawan therefore has created rules and regularions for human beings. We know that knowledge is power. tasmād ṛcaḥ sāma yajūṁṣi dīkṣā yajñaś ca sarve kratavo dakṣiṇāś ca. saṁvatsaraś ca yajamānaś ca lokāḥ somo yatra pavate yara sūryaḥ. Free will can be abused. 6. One good thing is animals will not tamper with universal harmony. Continuing.

This type of life is called ‘Yajnaha’.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji citizen of the world. Hruchaha Sama Yajumshi: the three Vedas. So Yajna means. responsible way of living. Some one may ask when Vishwamitra himself has so much Tapobalam. Vishwamitra takes the help of Rama to destroy Asuras. Here Upanishad is revealing Brahman as Jagat Karanam. Deeksha: Any religious discipline which means observance of certain rules. remove chappals in OT etc. My way of life should be in harmony with creation. Rishis did not invent them. When Brahman is talked about as the cause of creation. All these come under Diksha like wearing sacred thread. any person going to a hospital has to abide by some rules like change of clothes. then he is known as Ishwara. In Ramayana. why did he need Rama? The reason is this. the Vedas came to humanity (revealed) through the medium of Rishis. Atharva is not mentioned as it is not primarily concerned with rituals. similar moral disciplines also need to be observed. For example. wearing tuft. Similarly performance of any Vedic ritual also entails observance of certain do’s and don’t’s. The idea of saying Vedas came from Ishwara is. So here Veda talks about Yajnas which we will see. 110 . They are Mantra ‘Drashtaraha’ (just as in invention and discovery in English).

Cooked food in liquid form is offered with Annadanam which were part of a big Yaga. Similarly gold was a Dakshina as part of ritual. a kind of ‘ganji’ (Vajashchame…. Vajapayee etc based on this Parampara. Even now Godanam is given in Kumbhabhishekams. milk and curds for Abhishekams. in Chamakam). telling lie. Peyam: in liquid form.. Even if we do pooja. Nowadays people name themselves Dikshit. In the Yagashala. whatever was useful in rituals was Dakshina! Samvatsaraha: literally means year. even urine and dung were used as Panchgavyam. getting angry etc should not be indulged in. Vajapayee: Vajam means ‘Annam’. Therefore Rama had to go.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji to destroy Asuras. Yagnaha: Small Yagas without sacrifices. he had to get angry. Therefore cow was offered as Dakshina to priests and Brahmins. One who has taken Diksha is a ‘Dikshita’. because 111 . Shankara writes Karmanga Bhuthani Sarvani . Krathavaha: means big Yagas like Ashwameda Yaga etc. This was because cow was considered sacred as all the products of cow. Here Shankara defines. Dwivedi. Krodha is forbidden. time. Dakshinashcha: cow was given as Dakshina. time as integral part of Vedic activity.

Yoga. Brahmaloka) 2. Sankalpa is done which starts with mention of time. All these rituals produce results which are called ‘Karma Phalas’. Yajamanaha: most important factor. 3.e.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji before any Vedic activity. the Vaidika who performs the Vedic ritual. Time is called Pancha Anga (Masa. Lokaha: All fourteen Lokas or fourteen fields of experience (Veda looks upon the world as Karma Phalam only) which are the result of action or Karma Phalam. and Karana). Tithi. This is only in case of human beings because they do all these with their free will and not instinctively. The secondary meaning of master came from this (Yajathe Iti Yajamanaha or Yagam Karothi Iti Yajamanaha). All these Lokas are here classified into two (four elsewhere) here. Therefore even Kala or time is looked upon as Karmanga Bhootaha. he will attain Atma Jnana. Higher non returnable Loka (once gone there. paksha. i. 1. These Phalas can be Punya or Papa. Higher returnable Loka: but one has to come back. Neither higher nor lower: Manushya Loka 112 beautiful pleasure filled one . The basic meaning is Vedic ritualist.

Vithala. 8th is Manushya Loka (Bhuloka. Patala Here only two sets are talked about.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 4. 113 heavens illumined by moon Brahmaloka illumined by Surya. Somaha Yathra Pavathe: (returnable) Yatra Surya: returnable. higher and lower are figurative and not special. Incidentally. Suthala. they belong to different realms). Bhuvarloka. Tapoloka. non . 14th Loka is Brahma Loka. Therefore one Loka cannot be described in terms of another Loka (just like dream world can never be located in terms of waker’s world. Rasathala. Lower Loka. 13th to 9 are higher. Each is supposed to have a different time space series. Satyaloka. Brahma Loka – six higher Lokas + one our world) Atala. Talatala. Maharloka. Mahathala. Suvarloka.

this should always be remembered. but here and now in a different medium. prāṇāpānau vrīhi-yavau tapaś ca śraddhā satyam brahma-caryaṁ vidhiś ca. An inert thing has no use unless a sensient thing makes use of. All these are born out of Brahman. 7. So Devatas were created. tasmāc ca devā bhaudhā samprasūtāḥ sādhyā manuṣyāḥ paśavo vayāṁsi. Achetana vastu is made use of by Chetana vastu and only then it makes sense. heaven need not be above. Upanishad talks about sacred creation first and secular creation next. 114 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Similarly. Tasmach cha Deva Bahudah Samprasuthaha: the worlds that were talked about in last Shloka were created as Karma Phalam and therefore they need to be inhabited.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

Devatas are Jeevas, because of whose Punyam they are there. Bahudha: manifold, even though manushya loka is one, all human beings are not the same. All features vary. Body, environment etc are all graded. Similarly in heaven also all Devatas are not the same (LIG, MIG, HIG!). That is why even in heaven, jealousy cannot be avoided! Sadhya: another set of celestials called Pithrudevathaha. Manushya: we people Pashavaha: animals Vayamsi: birds Pranapanou: breathing and (life breath) breathing out

(atmosphere). We take these things for granted! Once life has come: we need 3 times food! Vrīhi-Yavau: vegetarians!) Tapas cha: once food and mouth are there, it is difficult to stop! Therefore moderation in everything, control, restraint with regard to all senses, karma. wheat & barley (Lord assumes we are


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Bhagawan. This is most difficult. What can be scientifically shown, faith is not necessary. Once topics which are beyond the realm of science and logic come, beyond field of observation, Veda alone is the means of knowledge (Apourusheya Vishaya). If I want to know suprasensuous things I should not be adamant or fanatic. It is like saying, to see the color; I want to use my ears for a change! That is called foolishness. Intelligence is use of appropriate means of knowledge for the appropriate field of knowledge. If I refuse to use the eye, to know the color, I am the loser, nobody else. Similarly, if I refuse to use the Scriptures for the relevant information, Veda is not going to lose but I am the loser. This is called ‘Pramanya Buddhi’. The Pramanya Buddhi towards Veda is called Shraddha. Looking at the Vedas as a means of knowledge in its particular field is called ‘Shraddha’. This, we have to gather, we have to imbibe from childhood. If we do not develop faith from childhood, it is extremely difficult to accept it in adulthood. That is why even when child is

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

born, they chant Vedas into its ears. They say ‘Vedosi’ because they know that in life we have to know higher things for which Vedas are the only Pramana and we need Shraddha. This is a unique faculty of mind, which is also Bhagawan’s creation. Satyam: truthfulness as a value Brahmacharya: discipline of a Vedic student. One who leads the disciplined life of Vedic study; only study, study, study. No other pre-occupations. Vidhis Cha: all do’s & don’t’s like Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara, Swadhyanna Pramaditavyam etc. All were born out of Brahman also.


sapta-prāṇāḥ prabhavanti tasmāt saptārciṣas samidhas sapta-homāḥ, sapta ime lokā yeṣu caranti prāṇā guhāśayā nihitās sapta sapta.

Here Upanishad talks about all the accessories necessary for sensory experiences. In fact our entire life is a series of

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sensory experiences alone. Four factors are required for sensory experiences. 1. Sensory organs which are the subtle instruments withing the body which belong to Sukshma Sharira. 2. They can function only when they have their physical accessories which as known as ‘Golakam’ (sense organs in Stoola Sharira). 3. Range of sense organs which are comparable to radiance of light. Even though ears are here, the scope of hearing goes upto a particular distance, similarly, range of sight goes to a particular distance. So we can compare the ears, eyes to a lamp and the distance illumined as the range. Whatever falls within the range is perceived by us (‘within earshot’). This range is known as ‘Prabha’ or scope. 4. The sense objects: Normally we talk about five senses, but here seven as it were is talked about. It means seven holes in the head (two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one tongue). Tasmat Prabhavanti: from that Brahman are born Saptha Pranaha: Seven sense organs (do not refer to Pancha Pranas but Indriyani)


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Saptha Achirshaha: seven flames extending to various distances (range of each indriya). Whatever falls within that range, I perceive. Saptha Samidhaha: sevenfold sense objects; all objects falling under these seven sense organs. Even among objects those that fall within the scope of right eye, right ear etc and those that fall within scope of left sided organs. The beauty is Upanishad imagines the sensory perception also to be a type of Yaga. The eyes are like flames, sense objects are like offering. Golaka is Homa Kunda. Indriyas are like fire, sense objects are like ghee, the more you offer, the more the fire goes up and ask for more. This is so true; the more we satisfy our sense pleasures, the more they ask for and we get addicted. Saptha Ime Lokaha: Here Loka means the ‘Golakam’ or physical part of the sense organs. The invisible part is the Indriyam. Thus we have seven Golakas. With these four factors, Saptha Homaha: constant Yagas are taking place. First in the morning is coffee Yaga! Taste is the oblation, mouth is the Homa Kunda, and taste is the

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fire! You switch on TV; forms and colours are the oblation, physical eyes are the Homa Kunda, Chakshu or sight Indriya is the fire and another Homa. Similarly with ears, nose, skin etc. Through out the day, innumerable Yagas (seven Yagas here) are taking place. Does this go on permanently? We will go crazy because each one produces either Sukha or Dukha Phalam through emotions like Raga, Dwesha, Kama, Krodha through out. So a person gets tired by evening. Therefore Bagawan has decided on rest (Sushupti) when Yagas are not there. All the Kundas are emptied, and the Indriyas are withdrawn. So the ‘Golakas’ are only the office room of the Indriyas where they operate when person is awake and go back when person goes to sleep so that office/counter is closed as it were! Their residence (Indriyas) is the heart which is here called Guhasaya (Guhayam Shorate Iti, where Indriyas take rest) until next waking state. Saptha Saptha Nihitaha: these sense organs are seven each in every human being. All these are born out of Brahman.


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

9. rūpāḥ,

ataḥ samudrā girayaś ca sarve asmāt syandante sindhavas sarvaatas ca sarvā oṣadhayo rasaś ca yenaiṣa bhūtais tiṣṭhate hy antar-ātmā.

Not only the subjective world or Adhyatmam is born out of Brahman, even the objective world or Adhibhootam is also born out of Brahman. A few examples are given. Ataha Syandante: from that Brahman alone, come forth or emanate Samudra: seas Girayaha: mountains Sindhavaha, Sarvaroopaha: the two together mean all types of rivers, with pure water, having different ingredients. For example, Tamraparni means it has copper. Religiously also they are different. Some are very sacred like Ganga, Yamuna. All are born out of Brahman. Atascha Sarva Oshadayaha: all the plants, trees, shrubs, herbs, creepers, all vegetation also are born out of Brahman. The nourishing power of the plant is also (the Rasaha or essence) Rasascha is also born out of Brahman.


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

What is the glory of the Rasaha; because of that Rasa alone, every human being survives. (Anna Rasenaiva Bhootva, Annarsenaiva Vrudhim Prapya). This physical body is nourished only by the Rasa of plants. The Upanishad puts the survival of human being in a technical language. What is meant by surviving? This physical and subtle body are together, death is when they separate. The nourishment of plant alone keeps Antaratma means Sukshma Shariram, Bhutou means along with Sthoola Shariram, Tistathe means remains.


puruṣa evedaṁ viśvaṁ karma tapo brahma parāmṛtam, etad yo veda nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ so’vidyā-granthiṁ vikiratīha, saumya.

In the last Mantra, the topic of creation is concluded. This is a very important Mantra as it gives the philosophical lesson that is to be learnt from the whole of this Srishti Prakaranam.


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The topic goes on telling everything is born out of Brahman. What is the Tatparyam, the main corollary? That is brought out here. Shankaracharya quotes this Mantra very often and so much study is done on this Mantra. First lesson is this; Brahman is the material cause, world is the effect. Therefore Brahman alone appears in the form of the effect, world. I need not do anything special to experience the Brahman; whenever I experience the world, it is Brahman alone manifesting as world. The very experience of effect is the experience of the cause in effectual form. Nobody can say I have not experienced Brahman. In fact you have not experienced anything other than Brahman. This is lesson number one. Second lesson; Brahman is cause, world is effect. Therefore there is no substance called world other than Brahman. Therefore the world is only verbal, non substantial existence (Vacharambhanam Vikaro Namadheyam). World is only a word, Nama Matra

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Satta, this is called ‘Mithya’. The only Satta is Brahman. Upanishad presents this in the first two lines. Purushaha Poorayathi Sarva Iti Purushaha: Brahman, that which is all pervading, infinite. Idam Sarvam: all this Karma: all action Tapaha: all meditation, We have to add Teshaam Phalam: all the Phalas (Lokas etc of Karma & Upasana) This is a technical way of presentation. The Scriptures look upon the whole world as Karma Phalam only. It looks upon the body as the result of your previous action. If it is healthy, result of good action and unhealthy, result of bad action. The good thing here is you don’t blame Bhagawan. Similar is the case of environment. So whole creation is Karma, Upasana Phalam which is also Brahman. This is called Brahma Satyam, Jagan Mithya. Paraamrutham: Param means ultimate reality, ultimate stuff of the creation. It is also the eternal truth.


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

What is the practical lesson here? As long as you hold on to anything substantial, your life is safe. When you hold on to anything non substantial, your life is in danger (sitting on a hollow card board chair!). Whole world is non substantial, so don’t lean on it. If you do that, you have to blame your own non discrimination. So if you want security, peace, happiness, hold on to Brahman alone. Second part of Upanishad deals with how to know that Brahman? This is very important because people ask how to realize Brahman? It was said Brahman was Karanam, world is Karyam. The relationship is Karya Karana Sambhandha. What are the differences between Karya and Karana? Four main differences were talked about. Sno 1 2 Karanam Karyam One Many Sarvagatam; Pervades Alpagatam (where there all effects. 3 is ring, no bangles, but to & gold is behind both Nithyam; exists in all Anithyam; Subject three periods of time destruction death)


Do I appreciate anything as non existent? In the first nine verses. What is that which is common to all these? The appreciation of the existence “Is” is common (Satta) everywhere. The ‘isness’ of effect is borrowed from cause. What is there that is everywhere. 126 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 4 Has existence independent Has only dependent existence. you say. Upanishad gives the quiz. creation was talked about. Brahman being the material cause and everything being born out of Brahman. all the time and one? Whenever you experience anything. your investigation should start by looking for these four conditions. there is a woman. there is a man. there is a table etc. Karanam Satyam Karanam Mithya The search for Brahman. If I take any one physical body. or anything in creation does not fulfil these conditions.

This is a cognitive change and is the benefit of the knowledge. furniture. I no more look upon the world as world but as world (Ishavaasyamidagam Sarvam). Moksha is not going to some Loka. so we should change our perspective of the world. pot. I see immortality. in 127 . ornaments. the conclusion is drawn which is the central essence of this entire section. This brings about a change in your very life itself. Moksha is not accomplishement of any new thing.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji In the tenth verse. I train myself to look like this. That change is from Samsara to Moksha. When I see world. wave etc. Since world is an effect and Brahman is the cause. Therefore the displacement of world vision by Brahman vision is displacement of mortality vision by immortality vision. This is Sarvathra Brahma Darshanam. Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya. just as there are no ornaments other than gold. The transformation has taken place only because I have displaced world vision by Brahman vision. This is what is meant by ‘Asatoma Sadgamaya. What we call world is Brahman alone. really speaking there is no world other than Brahman. Mruthyorma Amrithangamaya’. A cognitive change should bring about a change in perspective which in turn should bring about an attitudinal change.

“Adyaropa Prapadyathe Apavadabhyam Rishyanam Nishprapancham Sukha Bodhartha Thathvagnaihi Kalpitha Kramaha”. All of you see this desk. So to convert you cognitively (ideal teaching is where you do not even realize that you have changed or that you are made to change!). This method was invented and used by our Acharyas from time immemorial.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji fact Moksha is nothing but a change in my vision born out of knowledge. This has a technical name (the method) in Shastra. just as in computers gradually I phase changes to next. Let us take the example of this wooden desk. This Srishti Prakaranam is used for this change in vision. This is the basic method of Vedanta teaching. Adhyaropa Apavada method by which I gradually displace world vision by Brahman vision. 128 . Our mind is totally transformed. Since the method is very important. we should see how it works. You say here is the wooden desk. This Adhyaropa Apavada method is done in four stages.

Karyam was negated. what is your relationship. the word Karanam is relevant. wood cannot be called a Karanam because the word is relevant only with reference to the other one namely desk or Karyam! Only as long as you accept the Karyam. in Sanskrit Karyam. Fourth stage: Once you negate the desk (Karyam). to whom? Or with Whom/what? 129 . Karana is relevant only when two things are there. Third stage: Once you have learnt to look at the wood. is there a desk other than wood? Tell me how many kgs of desk is there and how many kgs of wood are there? You know that the whole weight is wood alone. there is no such substance called desk! I say in fact ther is no desk other than wood. any effect should have a cause. Desk is only a word with only a verbal existence (negation of desk/Karyam). Now in third stage. Here cause is wood (introduction of wood as cause). So with only one thing. Second stage: If desk is an effect. You accept that. I ask you. you will immediately ask.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji First stage: Present the desk as an effect or product. The word Karya. how can any relationship be there? Suppose I ask you.

because Karanam entails relationship which can exist only in the field of duality. Avarishtam Bhavenmunihi. So fourth stage is negation of Karana status of wood. what is left behind? There is only one wood which is beyond cause and effect. no question of Karya. Once Karyam is gone. Paschath Karyam Visarjayeth. This is the ultimate vision of Vedanta. Karanam status of wood is also negated (very careful. The first two stages are Adhyaropa stage and next two stages are Apavada stages. derived through Adyaropa Apavada method. Karanatvam Tato Nashyeth. Extend this to the world. Karya Karana Vilakshana Brahma Eva Asti. wood alone is and wood alone will be! Wood being non dual. Karana. Wood alone was. only Karanam status!) To give Karanam state is to accept duality. 130 . Shankaracharya beautifully presents this in Aparokshanubhuthi Karyaha Karanam pashyethu.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Relationship is a concept which can exist only in the field of duality. That done. I don’t negate wood. Once these stages are gone through.

Previously Brahman had one type of Nama Rupa. what would have been a better move. look at the example. There is only Brahman which is neither cause nor effect. chair is wood!). In a chess game. there is Brahman. and there will be Brahman. Negation of causal status of Brahman. Negation of world as non different from Brahman. what will be the problem? Suppose there is a table. where do we commit the mistake? This also we should know where do we stray away from Shastra. Presentation of world as an effect. Introduce Brahman as the cause. after the game they analyse the game to see where the defeatd person went wrong. This is the transformed vision. 3. effect cannot be used because in ‘Advaitham’. I know all of them are wood. First there were planks of wood alone. Now. Later they were converted into furniture. no destroying. 4. There is no question of creating anything. The words Cause. so the same mistake is not committed again! Similarly. there are no two things. There was Brahman. no Brahman is with another type of Nama Rupa. I know that if I retain the word ‘wood’ for all the furniture (desk is wood. 131 . that is called wooden headedness!). desk and a chair and I am a wise man! I tell that please bring that wood! (Sarvathra wood Darshanam. 2.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 1.

then I say no. desk. perspectival problem is attitudinal problem and attitudinal problem is Samsara! 132 . Then I started using that word and after sometime. ‘tall’ is non substantial. In wooden table. I have reversed them! This is delusion. we tend to think of the noun (table here) as substantial and the adjective (wood here) as non substantial.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Poor fellow.This misconception occur in my ‘Buddhi’. ‘wooden’ is adjective. these are reversed! So the misconception is. Really speaking. qualifying word is adjective. the other wood! So there will be communication problem! So to overcome the communication problem. I introduced a word chair. wood is substantial and table is non substantial! When I say. he brings the chair. Here table is noun. because your language reveals your thinking. man is noun. We all know from our experience that noun is substantial and adjective is non substantial. not this wood. thinking problem is perspectival problem. is a serious one. What is a noun and what is an adjective? Name is noun. Really speaking we should be saying ‘tably wood’! This reversal of noun and adjective though appears as a simple language problem. Here ‘man’ noun is substantial. Language problem is thinking problem. tall is adjective. I concluded that table is a substance! It is a wooden table! This is the height of delusion. table etc. he is a tall man.

What is Brahman? Existence. If burnt. Is continues.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Let us retain the language. I want to find out what is the enduring thing in the creation which belongs to Brahman and whatever is changing. Suppose you destroy desk and convert into planks. is Brahman. When I look at the creation. Therefore what is creation? Brahman + Nama Rupa. Similarly if plank is made into saw dust. tell me what is the nature of Brahman? Whatever was. is. but let us think problem and have the wisdom to know which is substantial and which is Nama Rupa alone! Remember world is non substantial and Brahman alone is substantial and everything we see is Nama Rupa alone. it shifts from desk to plank. Therefore what is world? 133 . will be. the common. enduring. Do you destroy the ‘Is ness’ of desk? No. That is. Existence shifts to saw dust. In Sanskrit it is called ‘Satta’. eternal factor is ‘Is ness’ or existence. it shifts to ashes? So Is. What do I discover? There is only one thing which is inherent in all objects and which is eternal in all products. belongs to Nama Rupa.

Ok. For this the answer is given in the next two lines of this Mantra. I experience Brahman as existence. For this do I need any Sadhana? No! I might have a desire to experience unadulterated with Nama Rupa Brahman (Nama Rupa Rahita Satta Anubhavaha). Suppose I want to know how this room will be when it is dark. Now I have Nama Rupa Sahita Brahma. switch off all lights and see. The other simpler method is to close my eyes! 134 . One is to close all doors. There are two methods.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Existence + Nama Rupa. So when do I experience Brahman? I am experiencing Brahman all the time in the form of existence. But my problem is I don’t experience the Pure Brahman but along with Nama Rupa! (Nama Rupa Sahita Satta Anubhavaha). Very simple! But the question is how can I do that? How can I eliminate the world and experience pure existence? So we have a shorter method. windows. Now next question. So what should I do? Destroy all Nama Rupa. But I want to experience Nama Rupa Rahita Brahma.

tell me what is left behind? Then you start searching. how do I know it is there? Then Upanishad says. not operating your nose or tongue. So to remove the five senses.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Similarly when my sense organs are all open. Rupa. the whole world is there (Shabda. suspend sensory functions. Imagine you have gone to a quiet place. Sparsha. Now the question is how do I know the pure Existence? If I open my eye it becomes Existence + form etc. It says Pure Existence can never be experienced. Because the very word experience entails operating senses which makes Existence impure! Then comes next question. Gandha + Existence). You should not mentally project also. You ask ‘Swamiji. In short. when you suspend sensory perception and when entire world is negated. Upanishad here puts a bomb shell. As long as I operate sensorily. If pure experience can never be experienced. In short you are meditating. Rasa. Then all Nama Rupas get eliminated. it is impure Existenc alone. What is left behind? That is Satta or Existence alone is left behind. there 135 . imagine you have closed your eyes. Then Nama Rupa are suspended.

that is ‘Brahma Satyam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji is only blankness’. Upanishad asks. this awareness. Therefore where is Brahman? ‘Tat Tvam Asi’. you have to recognize in your mind as the consciousness withness of every thought and also the absence of thoughts. That is what Upanishad says ‘Yetado Veda Nihitam Guhayam’. witness consciousness is pure Existence. In the tenth concluding Mantra of Srishti Prakaranam. Upanishad gives the Tatparya of the whold of Vedanta. so it is never the experience. That is why Buddhists came up with Shunya Vada. when you say ther is nothing. One Brahman manifests as the whole 136 . how do you know? That there is nothing. You should own up the Pure Existence as I the Consciousness who am the witness of every thought. which means there is a witness of nothingness which is left behind. you are aware. Jagan Mithya. This alone. Jeevo Brahmaiva Na Paraha’. Satta = Chaitanya = You You are the experience.

When we see. Every Upanishad has an initial question like this and the entire Upanishad is an answer to that. The next question is. understand the features of Karanam and look for them in the Karyam. which is eternal. So here Shounaka’s question has been beautifully answered (by knowing Brahman. The answer is under one condition ‘Eka Karana Vijnanena Aneka Karya Vijnanam Bhavati’. With this idea.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji universe. all effects are as good as known. we know that ‘Isness’ or ‘Satta’ fits this description. as they are not separate from the cause. By knowing one material cause. everything else is known). how am I to discern the Karanam Brahman in everything? The answer is. So the question also should be always remembered (Eka Vijnanena Sarva Vijnanam Katham Bhavathi?). Features of Karanam are: Something. 137 . one and inherent everywhere. teacher answers the basic question asked by the student ‘Kasmin Bhagavo Vijnate Sarvamidam Vijnatham Bhavati’. if that is so.

logically what should be left out? Satta + Nama Rupa – Nama Rupa = Satta or pure Existence. ashes. when you destroy a pot. Therefore Brahma Jnanam is only in the form of Satta Jnanam. Brahma Jnanam is also experienced along with object. I alone am the witness of everything and the blankness also. So apply that to remind yourself of Brahman. It remains when everything is burnt down. That is why ash is an ideal representative of Brahman. Where do you experience that Consciousness? Upanishad says you can never experience that Consciousness outside. you cannot ‘experience’ the pure existence because that pure Existence happens to be the ‘I’. But when I suspend all Nama Rupas. it is only in one way in the form of pure Consciousness. We can ‘experience’ anything only when something is separate from me! So. We also know that world cannot exist separate from Existence (Satta). Similarly with table. ‘Isness’ shifts to planks. but not appreciated with these. then to earth and so on.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Existence is the only thing which is Ekam. if I have to know it. ‘Isness’ shifts to shred of pot. but as though everything is blank. saw dust. Sarvagatam. So do you say Existence is ‘Shunyam?’ Here Upanishad says. then clay. we are not able to experience anything. we find. Once all the Nama Rupas are removed. Nityam. the Conscious principle. For example. even though 138 .

Similarly though consciousness is every where. (Means. the problem is. Here every word is significant and deep. light etc. one should know the pure Existence. I can recognize it in your Antahakarana. when you want to know whether electricity is there or not. How is it recognizable in the mind? 139 . but recognizable in your mind alone as consciousness like. It is located everywhere. Brahman is located in mind. I cannot experience the counsciousness in your body though I can see your Nama Rupa. Yaha Veda. I recognize it as the witness of thoughts as well as the silence in the mind).MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji you are a conscious person. So Brahman is everywhere but recognized in the plug point of my mind. Nihitam means located. here it should be understood as being available in the mind as consciousness. you test it at some points like a fan. though it flows in all the wires. So. But Brahman by definition is unlimited. Once you say. Etat = Karanam Brahma Guhayaam Nihitam: Antahkarana is called Guha or cave. I can experience it in myself alone. Therefore Upanishad says. it becomes limited. Nihitam literally means located. One should know Brahman in the form of consciousness in the mind. So Nihitam menas recognizable.

Having wasted twelve years.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji This is also important because people think we have to meditate! This craze is there. he wants in one sentence. An aside here: One person came and told “I am able to remove all thoughts after practicing 12 years Swamiji. How do I explain? Generally. though 140 . Though Brahman is there as consciousness. because of ignorance. I tell “Please attend the classes”. Mind is compared to a cave because. So they sit. what a tragedy! What he is looking for is the consciousness which was there before the thoughts. He says “Swamiji. during the thoughts and after suspending the thoughts. this fact is not recognized. I don’t want all these intellectual drills and all that. (it is a waste of time!). Tha consciousness which is there all the time has been taken for granted and he is looking for that! That is why mind is called ‘Guha’. He is looking for something which is never going to come. ‘Cave’ is that in which things are not recognized due to darkness. You just tell me in two mintues just give me some clue!” What I am teaching day after day. But I don’t know what to do next? I am expecting something to happen. suspend all thoughts and look for that pure Existence. nothing happens”.

I cannot say I have not experienced Brahman! All I can say is “Don’t look for a new experience. Dayananda Swamiji makes a very beautiful statement: in the case of all our worldly transactions. because of which alone. If the mind is blank. first know Brahman by attending classes. I gather all necessary information first including formalities and then have the actual experience. they have knowledge. Unfortunately. no experience. Suppose I want to go to UK or USA. every word forms a thought in your mind. the thought is illumined by the consciousness. experience later. Brahman experience does not come later because Brahman is the consciousness evident all the time because of which all the experiences are possible. So it is available in ‘Nirvikalpaka Samadhi’? No. we extend this tendency to Brahman also. then do Sadhana to get Brahman experience later! This is the greatest misconception in Vedantic field. This 141 . Note this very clearly. This fact is lost sight of by sheer ignorance. So if someone asks if I have that experience. People always say. the blank mind is illumined by the same consciousness. that alone is ever evident. normally knowledge comes first. it is available right now. I cannot say I have experienced.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Brahman is there all the time as the witness consciousness of thoughts and thoughtless state also. all old and new experiences are illumined by the consciousness.

that consciousness which is every where is my nature. in me. 142 . I should not say I have consciousness. What is missing is however. It is not ‘Brahma Anubhava’ but Brahma Jnanam which is required. Brahman is with Nama Rupa and is Sushupthi (deep sleep). is the fact or knowledge. but I am consciousness who is pervading and illumining the body. If you are not sure. Samadhi and Coma states Brahman is without Nama Rupa. In Jagrat and Swapna Avastha. the whole creation is born. it sounds mind boggling. Yaha Veda: Shankara writes. when you get hit strongly and are stunned for a while. Initially. It is not. So now I say I am the Jagat Karanam. as you go on. that is Nirvikalpaka Samadhi. that. So Chaitanyam experience is never lacking for any one. This requires teaching. in me the whole creation exists and in me it resolves. Aham Brahma Asmi Iti Veda or simply Aparokshathaya Veda. then alone Jnanam can take place. Now you can understand the importance of Shastra Vichara.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Brahman is with Nama Rupa and without Nama Rupa also. this is the first Upanishad. Does not matter. I have consciousnesss in the mind. you will appreciate. but that I should own up that existence is in the form of consciousness and that consciousness is myself. In which Avasta can teaching take pace? Naturally in Jagrat Avasta alone when teacher is there. I lend existence to the whole creation.

Similarly. But it is unbelievable when you are actually in dream. take this example. now I know I am Karanam. what is the benefit of this knowledge? I thought I was Karyam. Saksha Kurute Prabodha Samaye Atmaname Vadvayam. Upanishad says all of you please wake up.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji I lend existence to this creation. A knot especially an old one is very difficult to disentangle. 143 . Whenever you feel diffident. When you join two things either physically or symbolically (wedding is called tying the knot). Now the next line. but you realize the falsity only when you get up. 2. Upanishad says. Similarly due to ignorance. Saha: that Jnani Nikirati means destroys Avidyam Granthim: the knot of ignorance Why is ignorance called a knot? 1. I have lost my creatorhood and have become a creature and look for creature comforts! So what should I do now? Uthishtata Jagrata Prapyavaranna Bodita. The whole dream world is born. a knot is formed. self ignorance combines two things. exists and resolves in me. it is like a knot. Our ignorance being Anadi. (in fact time itself is born out of ignorance).

only working Dehabhimana is there. So. because of ignorance. The birth date of the body becomes my birthday. Like the two types of cholesterol. Dehabhimana goes. Once ignorance is gone. Samsara is there. you should not use name in Vyavahara. You have sufficient ego for transactions to fulfil your duties. I really have no biodata. That does not mean. As long as ‘Dehabhimana’ is there. it is not destroyed. When seed is roasted. but it has lost its capacity to germinate. The physical and mental conditions of the body become my conditions. one is good and the other is bad! Jnani’s Ahankara is functional. be as you were. In Vyavahara. in fact. have Abhimana with the body. this knot is removed and this mixing up does not take place anymore. This is what they call ‘roasted seed’. Similarly working Dehabhimana is called Badhita Ahankara or functional ego. I get attached to these. only know the facts in your mind. through knowledge. but it is not toxic or poisonous Ahankara which germinates into Samsara. Sookshma and Karana Shariras).MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji even though I am pure consciousness. it is tastier. HDL & LDL. So this Atma Anatma mixing up is caused by the ignorance knot. 144 . I associate myself with the body (Sthoola.

Brahman was revealed primarily as Jagat Karanam. Brahman alone “IS”. oh! Pleasant one. The corollary is. It was also pointed out that the nature of Brahman is “Pure Existence” (Sadrupa Brahma). this goes etc to refer to themselves. Instead. universe being. Aham Brahma Iti Jnanena Jeevanmukthaha Bhavathi To make the student a bit relaxed as the subject is tough. there is nothing other than Brahman and whatever is experienced by us is nothing but the very Brahman with different Nama Rupa.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Some people talk. In the first section of second chapter. which means. change your vision. At the end. That is as the Chidrupa Atma. Upanishad made the important revelation that the all pervading existence in its pure form can be recognized in only one way. he is addressed as Soma. Swami Dayanandaji calls this spiritual snobbery! This is nothing but change in language but continuance in Samsara. this comes. 145 . Karyam cannot exist separate from Brahman. The first section ends here. Technically this is presented as “Brahma Sathyam Jagan Mithya”.

The essence of Macrocosm is existence and the essence of microcosm is consciousness and the essence of both is one and same (Sadeva Chit Chideva Sat). it rises. the creation resolves. the pure Consciousness alone. Blessed by me the creation is born. both are one and the same. 146 . Tat = essence of creation and Tvam = essence of yourself (Consciousness). it is difficult to swallow this idea. How can I. Not blessed by me. I can boldly claim that I. I alone lend existence to the whole creation. the observer. the ‘Chit’ lend existence to the whole world? It is unbelievable. blessed by me. Initially. The dream world enjoys existence borrowed from the waker alone. the ‘Chit’ lend ‘Sat’ to the creation. Blessed by me the creation exists. I. Once I know that I am the Cit or Consciousness. am in the form of creation. So Vedanta here gives an example to see how it is true. I am afraid of the dream world I have created. the beauty is I myself enter it. Sadrupa Brahma is called Tat and Chidrupa Atma is called Tvan.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji In Vedantic terminology. The example is Swapna Prapancha.

Almost every Mantra is a Mahvakya here. the Satchidatma. Jati does not matter at all. I offer my prostrations. Mhavakyam is a technical word.Chinmatra Vistaritam’. A Mahavakyam is one which says that the individual self and the essence of the world is one and the same. The second section of second chapter which we will see elaborates on this aspect. The one who has recognized this is the best person whether he is a Dvija or a Chandala. the entire dream world resolves in me alone. Manisha Shankaracharya Panchakam says this ‘Brahmhaiva Ahamidam…. This revelation is called ‘Mahavakyam’. beautifully this world in comes. and to that person. Extend this to the real world also. I am the Satchidatma into which it resolves. Jeevatma Paramatma Eikya Bodhaka Vakyam Mahavakyam. It is the central section of ‘Mundaka’. Chidrupa = Jeevatma 147 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji and when I wake up. From me.

traditionally. Yajur Veda: Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: ‘Aham Brahmasmi’.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Sadrupa = Paramatma Though there are several Mahavakyas in the Upanishads. Combination of ‘Tat’ (Brahma) and ‘Tvam’ (Jeevatma) 2. womanness (ness is a suffix). These are but four samples. 1. but Vedas have more than 4000 Mahavakyas. where Tvam gives an abstract quality to the noun (suffix is something added to a noun to make an abstract noun). Atharvana Veda: ‘Ayamatma Brahma’. Example: manness. with regard to the Mahavakya. 148 . 3. 4. the word ‘Tatvam’ can be looked at from two angles. Incidentally. Sama Veda: Chandogya Upanishad: ‘Tatvamasi’. For example: Purushatvam. 1. Rig Veda: Aitareya Upanishad: ‘Prajnanam Brahma’. ‘Tat’ word to which a suffix ‘Tvam’ is there. ‘Tatvamasi’. one from each Veda is taken as a sample. Streetvam. 2. In Sanskrit. there is a mis-conception.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji ‘Tat’ = real. ‘Tvam’ = ness. āviḥ saṁnihitaṁ guhācaraṁ nāma mahat padam atraitat samarpitam. Tatvam means reality. With this background. ejat praṇan nimiṣac ca yad eat jānatha sad asad vareṇyam param vijñānād yad variṣṭham prajānām. So ‘Tvam’ = realness/reality. Second Mundaka: Second Khanda 1. 149 . we should take the first meaning. So it is the most important section. In ‘Tatvamasi’. let us enter into the section. The second section concentrates on ‘Jeevatma Paramatma Eikyam’. In Tatvabodha.

Avihi: literally means light/Prakasham/Jyothihi. the Upanishad mixes up the features of Jeevatma and paramatma. It is used purely in a technical sense. Because of misconception. self evident consciousness. So kindly don’t commit the mistake of looking for lights in meditation or be carried away by 150 . Often the word light is used to indicate consciousness (Atmajyothihi). Note the style of Upanishad. people expect to see a light or lights in the heart etc during meditation. Nothing of the sort happens except probably one’s own auto suggestion and mental projection. This should be known very clearly. as it has lead to misconceptions very widely. Upanishad uses the features of Paramatma ‘as though indiscriminately’. It is one Shloka where. to indicate that they are mutually exchangeable as they are one. Swayam Prakasha Chaitanyam. observer which was there before the light. in some words to describe Jeevatma.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji To reveal the oneness of Jeevatma and Paramatma. So first. we will see Jeevatma description in first line. during and after the light. If at all any such experience happens know that it has nothing to do with ‘Atma’ which is the experience.

a particular sound can be appreciated by the ear. So sense organs can be called light. Going by that definition. stars. Similarly. So Atma lends light to the mind. But Upanishad says the final light is the Atma Chaitanyam or Consciousness. somebody’s verbal directions help us avoid obstacles and find our way. moon. electricity and fire are external lights. Similarly in the presence of mind also things are known. mind to the sense organs and they lend light to my words. the ultimate light is Consciousness alone. Colours are known by the presence of the eye. The five sense organs are the internal lights. but without eye. things are known and can be called light. It is called ‘Vagjyothihi’ (words either heard or read leading to knowledge). The example of words being in a sense light is explained in the ‘Swayamjyothi Brahmana’ of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Even if the sun is there. any sense organ can be called a light. in the presence of which alone. Therefore. mind can function. light is defined as that in whose presence. In a dark room where nothing can be seen. one is absent minded. things are known. In the absence of mind. In Vedanta. Minus the consciousness the other lights are meaningless. inspite of eyes and ears. This is because in the presence of words/ear. so eye can also be a light.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji such experiences or their reports. we fail to know. Mind and words are also light. 151 . Sun.

the awareness of the 152 . Shabda may go. One sense may be displaced by another sense. where is it available? Sannihitam: it is very well placed. but consciousness can never be displaced by anything. Thet is why Atma is called ‘Shrotrasya Shrotram’ etc. So I the consciousness is the primary source. ‘I see a clock’ because of consciousness. Sparsha may go. ‘very well evident’. but what does not go is ‘Jnanam’. it is very evident in every experience as that particular Jnanam. But still. When Shabda comes.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji it is not seen. Even they may be pushed off with total blankness. when Sparsha comes. Why do we say. I say. Suppose you close all your senses and look inside. consciousness is very well evident? Because everything else is evident because of consciousness. If mind is not backed by consciousness all other factors present will not enable me to see. Everything is evident because of consciousness alone. So consciousness is given the name ‘Avihi’ meaning self evident light. ‘Shabda’ is evident because of consciousness alone. Raga Dwesha may be there. which alone is always there. So. Similarly.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

blankness is there. That is why it is called ‘Bhavabhava Sakshihi’. It is the witness of things presence as well as the absence of things. That itself will never become absent. Therefore, to recognize the consciousness, what time do you want? ‘Pratibodha Viditam Matam’. Brahma Jnanam is not through a particular experience, but discerning the awareness in every particular experience, like the knowledge of the light in the room. I don’t have to stare at the light, to know it is there. Because of that alone, I can see everything else. The perception of awareness/consciousness is in and though all experiences. Jagratswapna Vijrumbhate. So you need not go to Turiya or Turiyatita Avastas. I am not saying they are there or not there. I say ther is no need to go to four, five or sixth Avastas to recognize this fact. We can happily discern this here and now. That is why it is called Sannihitam. It is also well known as ‘Guhacharam’, that which moves about in the mind literally. Consciousness is in mind as witness of every thought. ‘Sarvavrutti Sakshiroopena Huhayam Charati Iti Guhacharam’ and illuminator of thought.




MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

Some one asks, what is the proof that there is light in the room (without looking directly at the tube). The very fact that I am able to read every line in the book is proof that there is light. The fact that every thought or its absence is known shows that the consciousness is there. Here I make an aside point, as it may be misleading. When I say, Atma is the witness of every thought in the mind; again we want to come face to face with witness, by removing all thoughts (like remove all things in the room to see the tube light!). That is why such people are tube lights!! And Atma tube light will be there, which I come across. This never can happen because I am the witness. Therefore even if you remove your thoughts, do not look for the Sakshi, but recognize I am the Sakshi who is the illuminator of thoughtful and thoughtless Guhacharam. states. That is what to is meant by Charam means move. Does

Consciousness move? Shankaracharya says ‘No, No, seemingly moving

(Guhacharam Eva) because it is like space. Movement is always from a place where you are to a place you are not. Since consciousness is locationless, there is no question of movement. It is only that when thoughts move, it appears as though the consciousness which is

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

intimately associated with the thoughts moves. It is a transferred epithet; just like we say, it is a gloomy day, happy day, walking man, running nose, drinking water etc. (we drink water, not water which drinks!) So consciousness ‘Acharam Api Guhacharam Eva

Varthate’, seemingly moving in the minds of men. Consciousness reflected in thought appears as if consciousness moves. In a comatose person what is absent is not consciousness but thought. In this section, the teacher brings out the main teaching i.e. JeevatmaParamatma Aikya and all Mantras are Mahavakyas. Definition of Avihi: Sva Isvara Sarva Prakashakatve Sati Sva Itara Sarva Aprakashayatvam Svayam Prakashatvam which means, while it illumines everything else, itself is not or need not be illumined by anything. Sannihitam means intimately available along with every object (In Kena Upanishad, Pratibodha Viditam). Here Nama (Guhachara Nama) means Prasiddam, not name. The word ‘Nama’ is used in two ways. 1. Indeclinable: it does not have any diclention, gender, case, number etc. (Sadrusham Thrishu Lingeshu Sarvasuch Vibhakthishu, Vachaneshu cha Sarveshu

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

Yatravyeti known.






according to context. Here it means Prasiddham or well

2. Declinable word: Nakaranthaha Napumsaka Lingaha Naman Shabdhaha Nama Namni Namani Namati Nanma Namabhyam Namabhihi. Here it is in the first (indeclinable) sense which means well known. Jeevatma is well known as Guhacharam; moving in the cave of mind (cave = ignorance), as though moving. People talk of higher and lower states of consciousness. Do you know how these words came? Really speaking, consciousness does not have states because states indicate change. Since consciousness is Nirvikaram, it cannot have states though such things are written in books. They only refer to the kind of thoughts. Mahatmas have qualitatively higher thoughts like generosity, compassion, friendship etc. That is all. Till now in the first line Tvam or Chit Pada Lakshyartha was talked about. In second line, Tat or Sat or Paramatma Swaroopam is talked about.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji









Jagatkaranam, Ekam Sat Brahma. Mahat = infinite = Paramatma is also Guahacharam. So Chit Eva Sat. If Jeevatma and Paramatma are one, hereafterwards we can use one common name Atma for both. Padam = Aadharam, Aaspadam, Adhistanam or

substratum of everything. Why? Because it is the Karanam of all the Karyas. So ‘Sachidatma’ is the ‘Padam’ (see how Aadharam is used in Shanthakaram Suresham Bhujagashayanam Vishwadharam Padmanabham Gaganasadrusham). Atra Samarpitam: Atra Sachidatmani Eva Etatsarvam Samarpitam. In it only is supported, based, located all the following things. So what are they? Ejat: all moving or flying things (Anejat: plants, nonmoving) Praanat: breathing ones


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

Nimishat: blinking ones, in general all living things as based on Sachidatma alone. We will see, Yadetad Janaya and Sadsat later. Varenyam: the goal to be sought after by all people. Varaneeyam means Shreshtam as in

Tasvaviturvarenyam. By saying that Atma is worthy goal, Upanishad means that all other goals like, Dharma, Artha and Kama are not real goals at all. They are fake, seeming, deceiving goals! They are seeming deceiving goals! Atma or Moksha is the only real goal. In the Gayathri Mantra Bhargo Devasya Dheemahe Dheeyoyona Prachodaya Atu, Bharga means Avihi, meaning self evident light. Here Avihi is Varenyam, there Bharga is Varenyam. Varishtam: the greatest thing in creation. Varaha: superior Variyan: more superior and Varishtam: most superior, greatest both qualitatively (time and spacewise also) simply by dimension and qualitatively. In fact we should not say most superior

That is why we are sure. So Brahman is Param. Have a mirror. So Guru wields the Shastra Darpana! 159 . Anumana etc. Kenava Idagam Sarvam Vijanati Tam Kena Vijaniyat?’ So how to know it? There is only one method. because it is the observer who is the reality.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji because it is the only thing that really exists and all else is Mithya. ‘Vijnataram Are Kena Vijaneeyat. Prajanam Vijnanath Param. Param: beyond the scope of/range of. the Shastras. science can never discover the reality.e. including scientific instruments. There is a book also called ‘Shastra Darpanam’. Scientists are improving their observing capacity by which they can observe the observed/observable. Generally beyond all worldly knowledge of people i. material knowledge or Apara Vidya. the knowledge gained by our instruments of knowledge. Pourusheya Pramana Janya Vijnanam = Prajanam Vignanam like Pratyaksha. but not the observer! This is said in Brihadaranyaka.

it says. in fact Atma is not supporting but itself manifests as world (water itself appearing as wave. Asat is Amurtha Prapancha. Etat Janat: know this Atma. That is the goal of your life. This Atma which is in the form of Sat outside. Until now. Upanishad said Atma supports universe (Atra Evat Sarvam Samarpitham). ‘Uthistatha Jagrata Prapya Varannabodhita’ 160 . Knowing that alone is the goal of your life. like Atma is a stand on which universe stands! So to clear this doubt.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Now we go back to third line. they are not two distinct entities). Sat is Murtha Prapancha. Sat Asat: this Atma alone is in the form of both gross and subtle universe. This is significant. which is in the fom of Chit in your mind which is your real nature. When it is said it ‘supports’ the notion of duality is there. Now it imagines a problem.

but Atma is not only not perceptible now but will eternally be imperceptible (because it is on this side of the instrument as it were!).MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 2. we may be able to comprehend it some day. Anubhyaha Anuhu: subtler than an atom. viddhi. Subtle means that which is not easily comprehensible. saumya. Upanishad says Jeevatma is subtler than the subtlest. Archimat = same as Avihi. probably with improving our observation techniques. An atom. tad amṛtam. self evident consciousness. tad etad akṣaram brahma sa prāṇas tad u vāṇ manaḥ. Literally Avihi means a beam of light (Archishman Architaha Kumbhaha). tad veddhavyam. tad etat satyam. yad arcimad yad aṇubhyo’ṇu ca. yasmin lokā nihitā lokinas ca. though subtle. The teacher Shounaka brings out the oneness and advises the student to know this. Atom is known for its subtility. Swami Chinmayananda used to give a nice example: A person 161 . Gross means easily knowable.

That all pervading existence itself is consciousness. but as now it was dark without the torch light. So what did he do? He dismantled the torch and took out the batteries. He wanted to see what is there inside. Now the Upanishad brings out the Mahavakyam ‘Tadetad Aksharam Brahma’. the batteries are what the torch is all about and they cannot be seen by the torch light. sound will also be there. That is why it is Anoraneeyam. the very existence pervading everywhere. which makes the torch so bright. There is an article called sound of silence. I only manifest whatever letters are already there in the creation. the alphabets can never be created or destroyed. never the object. ‘Drumeva Jatu Drushyate’. It is Aksharam. So sound is already there in Avyakta Roopa. When I talk. Sound is the property of Akasha and as long as it is there. Tadetad Brahma: This Jeevatma. I don’t manufacture the letters. 162 . imperishable. consciousness alone is Brahman. he could not see anything in the dark! Because.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji had a torch light. ever the objectifier. The alphabets are also called Akshara because according to Shastra. witness.

In the previous one Samarpitam was used here. Tadetat Satyam: so the Atma alone is the reality. the Pancha Pranas. Mithya. What are based? All the fourteen worlds and their occupants or inhabitants. The teacher then addresses the student Soumya. the duality problem comes. Shankaracharya says. It is almost the same as the previous Shloka. Atma is the very world consisting of everything. Vak. By other things. Tad Amrutham: so what is real is eternal. So all material sciences are ignorance alone! So may you know that Atma. So both Chetana and Achetana Prapancha is based on Brahman alone. 163 . to encourage him as it is a tough subject. Yasminlokaha Lokinashcha Nihita: upon this Brahman everything is based. and there is no Dvaitam. there is no transformation in life. Again. ‘Apara Vidya Hi Avidya’.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Here Aksharam means the imperishable Brahma. Manaha. Vayuhu. Tad Veddhavyam: that alone is worthy of knowing. So Upanishad says. every thing else is false. Nihita is used to say ‘based’.

Similarly before our Sadhana. the arrow and target are different. Guru is there. Jeeva travels. Now. I and paramatma are different. So here is a hint of the next few Mantras. before the arrow is released. confronts a snake and comes down to lower Janmas. there is Bhedaha or division. our spiritual Sadhana is going to be compared to archery where Jeevatma is compared to the arrow and Paramatma to the target. 164 . There. Shastra is there.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji This last line also has a second meaning based on the following verses. he goes up the ladder (Manushya Janma). interest in Vedanta has come. and all favourable conditions are there. then again becomes human being. there is no more any distance or gap between them. throws the dice and some number comes. separate. Rarely he gets a good human birth. But there is a big snake in 95 and again in 97 which comes to 33 and one in 99 which comes to 11 or so! So you have to put ‘Tatvamasi’ sixer to reach Paramapadam! Archery analogy (Dhanurvidya) is a well known analogy of Mundaka. That means he has reached 94 in the game. After shooting they are no more separate. They play snakes and ladder on Vaikunta Ekadashi which is a beautiful analogy.

Vyadh: to pierce. 3. arrow is Sharaha. as an arrow. āyamya tad-bhāvagatena cetasā lakṣyaṁ tad evākṣaraṁ. the teacher here says Tad Veddhavyam. Here three comparisons are there. Jeevatma is compared to the arrow. 1. you should pierce. 165 . target is called Lakshyam. hit. Veddhavyam can be derived from two different roots. Vid: to know 2. dhanur gṛhīvtā aupaniṣadam mahāstraṁ śaraṁ hy upāsā-niśitaṁ saṁdadhīta.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Keeping that in mind. Paramatma is compared to the target to be hit. In Sanskrit. Viddhyathi So let us go to the third Mantra. saumya viddhi. In Sanskrit. pierced.

or Guru is the archer as he is helping the Shishya like the launching silos. there is a distance between Jeevatma 166 and . Before the actual strike of the arrow to the target. he is not the archer). in any part of the world. So indirectly Upanishad here wants to say Jeevatma Paramatma Aikyam is impossible without Shastram. Here Upanishad Shastram is the bow. the arrow and target are different and ther is a distance between them. So bow is required. teaching in any language. i. Comparing the pursuit of spiritual Vidya to archery is one of the well known analogies or metaphors given in Shastra.e. Here what is not mentioned is the archer. Who is the archer? You can say. the distance between them becomes zero. Without this Aikyam is impossible. Why this analogy? 1. After the hit. Similarly before Atma Jnana. Parambrahma is compared to the target (Lakshyam) which has to be hit by the arrow (Jeevatma is the Sharam. Any literature which conveys the idea that ‘You are the Whole’ is ‘Upanishad’. you are the archer.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji But the arrow to hit needs some trigger. It will not hit by itself.

So arrow will have to travel to hit the target. What removes the distance between them? The bow removes the distance Shastra Pramana or Vedanta Vichara is the bow which is instrumental in removing the distance between the two. 2. So there is no space wise or time wise distance between the two. Jeevatma and Paramatma are one only. which will not be there once knowledge. when I ask “Should I do any Sadhana to ‘become’ Paramatma?” I put time wise distance between me and Paramatma. Time wise distance can be explained this way. Similarly. So there is no question of becoming.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Paramatma. there is a distance time wise between me and sixty years. ‘No’ as you are already Paramatma. One is that Paramatma being all pervading cannot be away (to be physically away is to be spatially limited). If I am young now. is gained. So as far 167 . the distance is a physical one. The significance of the metaphor is this: In case of arrow and target. Upanishad says. But there is no physical distance involved in case of Jeevatma and Pramatma for two reasons.

I need not become. Kunti says she has six sons. Shastra uses several methods of enquiry to remove 168 Jeevatma Paramatma . what distance did Karna travel to become a Kounteya? None at all. The bow referred to in the analogy is Shastra which helps to eradicate the distance between the arrow and the target. Karna asks “who is the sixth one?” Kunti answers that Karna himself is the sixth son and that he is not a Radheya. That is all. I already am. Here the Pramana is Shastra alone. If so. become Paramatma like the distance between dreamer and waker! So what should you do to remove this notional distance? The only way is to remove the ignorance. what distance is there? Upanishad says it is the distance caused by ignorance. Example: Karna meets Kunti. How? Gain knowledge. the notion that I have to reach.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji as Paramatma is concerned. Five are of course the well known Pandavas. He only gained knowledge. I need not reach. So here.

Through this metaphor.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji distance. Even in Kaivalya Upanishad. Viveka’. Omkara here denotes Shastra. One is ‘Drig Drishya Viveka’. some important Sadhanas are indicated. ‘Atmanamarani Krutva Pranavasya Uttararani……’ By using Omkara. the arrow has to be in a proper condition. If you have to use the arrow to hit the target. Therefore Upanishad compares Omkara to the bow. ‘Avastha Tryaya The result of each is Jeevatma arrow and Paramatma target becoming one. it is said. U corresponds to Swapnavastha and M corresponds to Sushuptavastha and between two Omkara chants. 169 . A corresponds to Jagruthavastha. Omkara is divided into three letters A. U and M. another is ‘Panchakosha Viveka’ and the thirdly. One method among these is Omkara Vichara similar to Avastha Traya Vichara which is discussed in Mandukya. there is silence which is equated to Avastha Traya Sakshi. we generate knowledge by which the distance between Jeevatma and Paramatma is removed.

the personality should be sharp (Drushyate Tu Agrayabuddha Suksmaya Sookshmadarabhi). it should be sharp. it must be straight and not crooked! If so. 170 . I am Paramatma here. 2. Pooja. meditation. Similarly. means the intellect sharpened by Upasana. Sandhya Vandana are meant for this alone. but once I put on my chappals. must be applied to understand this knowledge. which means a sharp intellect is needed. helps to sharpen our intellect. All our Japa. Only then. not return! (People say “Swamiji. So. How to sharpen your intellect? Upasana Abhyasa. So Sharamupasa Nikhitam. one should have Aarjavam or straight forwardness.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 1. He should have values. So Chitta Ekagrata or (Samadhanam) is indicated. Secondly. it will fall here only. the feeling goes away!”) If arrow is blunt. First. it will travel briskly and when it hits. In the same way. or even it hits. it may not hit. it remains there. may not stay here. the Jeevatma once it hits Paramatma should remain there.

the more the withdrawal required of the bow string. All other students who were Sanyasis with only a thatched hut and Kamandalu were worried about their possessions being burnt down and ran away to safeguard them. king Janaka was an example to all others. there is no question of Moksha. Similarly. But still. and that is why his teacher had a high regard for him. when an illusory fire was created by his teacher. 3. Similar is the case with our Sadhana. the archer must keep the target 171 . an attitude of Nivruthihi or withdrawal (Antarmukhatvam) is required. the arrow is withdrawn. he did not wince even once. Until the target is struck. So the Jeeva (Sadhaka) must commit himself to the Shastra without Shastra Vichara.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Thirdly. Janaka was a family man and a kind. he was so concentrated in his Sravanam and withdrawn from all else during his studies. the arrow must be fixed to the bow. The more the distance to be travelled. Unless we withdraw from our Vyhvaharas. we cannot understand this Vichara. Aayamya means to withdraw from worldly Vyavahara. The extroverted mind has to withdraw. Sadhana: before striking (shooting). In this connection.

Mahastradhanuhu Oupanishadam: the great bow used by the seeker is the Upanishad Shastra. 2. Mind should be withdrawn from Anatma and turned towards Atma like damming a river. 1. Water is collected thereby preventing wastage. as we still haven’t studied Shastras comprehensively. drop the extrovertedness of the mind. Similarly. Tadbhavagatena Chetasa means Paramatma Chintana Bhavana or absorbed mind. Nishitam means sharpened. electricity etc. In damming. This collected water is channelized usefully for irrigation. though so many Vyavaharas are done by us throughout life. Aayamya: just like arrow is drawn inwards. The arrow must be sharpened by practice of meditation. Here Upansana refers to Saguna Dhyanam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji constantly in focus. 172 . this focus that my goal is self knowledge must never be lost sight of. not Nirguna Upasana. two processes are involved. Sharasambhadhit: the Jeeva arrow must be connected to the Shastra Vichara bow.

mere chanting of Omkara will not give knowledge. praṇavo dhanuḥ.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Similarly. śaro hy ātmā. Strike the target means here. śaravat tanmayo bhavet. Pranavaha Dhanuhu: here Omkara is compared to the bow. mind should be withdrawn from useless extraneous things. brahma tal lakṣyam ucyate. This is just an aside point. The available mind should then be turned towards Atma Vichara. oh! Pleasant student. that Mantra itself is 173 . drop the notional distance between Jeeva or Paramatma or Bedabuddhi Tyaja Hey Soumya. Having done all this. When a person is introduced to Gayathri. One clarification here. In fact. apramattena veddhavyam. chanting of mere Omkara is not prescribed for non-sanyasis. The metaphor of the previous verse is explained here. Aksharam Lakshyamviddhi: may you strike the target the imperishable Brahman. 4.

174 . Therefore Omkara is given to him. Whether Om alone (Sanyasi) or with other Mantra is chanted. he chants ‘Om Om Om’. then any other equivalent Mantra like Om Namah Shivaya. never Om alone. If Gayathri initiation has not been done. Others have to chant something like Namah Shivaya or Namah Narayanaya along with Om. Om Tatsavituvirenyam Akare Praveshayami Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Ukare Praveshayami Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayat Makare Praveshayami So Omkara becomes a Sanyasi’s Mantra. he requires something in place of Gayathri because taking Sanyasa per se does not give Jnanam. When a person takes Sanyasa. He has to do Shastra Vichara and get Jnanam. Leaving the Gayathri for other Mantras is not required. he renounces the sacred thread and Gayathri. Gayathri is merged into Omkara. So then. Chitta Shuddhi is got.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji supposed to be his protector. The three Padas of Gayathri are merged into three Mantras of Omkara. Even when he does ‘Parishanchana’. Sri Ram Jairam is good for protection and Chittashuddhi. A person who has Gayathri does not require any other Mantra.

There is no mention of an archer. Apramattena Veddavyam: should strike the target by being very alert and without any distraction.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Vichara about Omkara like in Mandukya can give Jnana. Guru is the Archer. Tat Brahma Lakshya Uchyate: Brahman is the target. It is not enough merely to hit the target. Sharahi Atma: Jeevatma is the arrow. anya vāco vimuñcatha. 175 . Pranavo Dhanuhu: Omkara Vichara which requires a Guru. Jeevatma must become one with Paramatma. tam evaikaṁ jānatha ātmānam. 5. Sharavat Tanmayo Bhavet: just as arrow becomes inseperable from the target. yasmin dyauḥ pṛthivī cāntrikṣam otam manaḥ saha prāṇaiś ca sarvaiḥ. amṛtasyaiṣa setuḥ. Dvaita Bhava must be replaced by Advaitam. If you want an archer.

It is very difficult to translate but can be roughly translated as ‘based’. The example of waves based on water. This word ‘Otam’ is a very significant one. Dyauh means higher Lokas like Suvaha and above. Both macrocosm and microcosm. They are not two different things but essentially one. Samashti and Vyashti. ornaments based on gold should be taken. Antariksha means intermediary world. So all these are based on Brahman. 176 . world and Brahman and should be avoided. Prthivi is our Marthya Loka or Bhuhu. both Adhidaivam and Adhyatmam are basd on (Otam) Paramatma. Yasmin Otam: In the Paramatma. the entire creation is based or interwoven.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Now the main topic of ‘Aikyam’ is discussed. Prthivi and Antariksha. Not only this external world but also the internal world. Manouhu Pranouhu Saha: the mind along with Karanas and the Pancha Pranas are also based on Brahman. Here again watch that there is scope for the mistake that two things are there. Creation means Dyauh.

many other systems like Sankhya. That is the witness principle.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Wave is nothing but water. It indicates that there is no duality at all. what trickles down is Brahman (Sat Sat Sat). 177 . world is similarly Brahman alone. Brahman diluted with Nama Raupa water is the world! Remove Nama Rupa. realize that Aikyam. This is indicated by the word ‘Otam’ which is a commonly used verb. (Vedanta Vichara). May you know. Paramatma is defined and then that Paramatma is identified with Jeevatma. consciousness. ornament is gold alone. If you take the whole universe and put it into a bit mixie and turn it. Paramatma is defined as the very stuff or Sat of the universe. that Brahman is none other than Jeevatma. It was called Sat principle behind the world. Each Mantra in this section is a Mahavakya Mantra. The benefit of this knowledge is said in the last line. what is left is Brahman. say that there are many Atmas. It is a non dual principle. There is no world without Brahman. Tam Atmanam Janat: know that alone. This is important to understand because. which is identical with the Chit principle behind the Jeevatma. Oh! Student. and both are identical.

It is a small shift of vision. Tam Atmanam Janata: may you know that Brahman. Knowledge and I should not be different. which makes it sweet. May you know that ‘Sat’. It should bot be there in one corner of your intellect available only at the time of the lecture. Sugar merely added to coffee does not make the coffee sweet.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Bhuloka. the inner world of mind. it should be assimilated well and it should become part and parcel of your personality. Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya. Similarly. The stirring 178 process is called . Prana and senses is also woven in Brahman only. Brahman alone is the Jeevatma. but only when the added sugar is stirred well. How many ‘Atmas’? Ekam Janata: may you rrecognize this fact. Here Upanishad quietly uses the word ‘Atma’ to indicate that Paramatma. but makes a very big difference. Bhuvarloka and Suvarloka is interwoven in Brahman just like a cloth woven in silk (there is no cloth other than silk thread). Is it enough if you know it? The teacher says that it is not enough. Brahman is ‘Chit’ Atma. This makes all the difference between a Samsari and a Mukta. Asatoma Sadgamaya. You should be soaked in that knowledge. Mruthyorma Amruthangamaya.

gossip. Chintanam. So reduce talking. Ekameva Paradbhamya Brahmabhyasam Vidurbudhaha: either reading. What is quality control? Anyaha Vachaha: non Vedantic talk. Nidhidhyasanam does not 179 . If I don’t do that what happens? Many problems are caused by talking. action and talk. Extrovertedness/Rajoguna manifests in two ways. criticism. being in the atmosphere of Vedanta as often as possible. Ananyam Tadprabhodanam. then quality control. Start quantity control. sharing with friends or deciphering your notes! In one way or other. To do that more and more.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji ‘Nidhidhyasanam’. be more antarmukhi and dwell over Vedanta Vichara more and more. Just as pickle has to remain in the atmosphere of its juice to season. Mounam is the virtue. Vedanta must surround you. the worldly transactions to that extent will have to be reduced. Kathanam. mind should be in that atomosphere. reduce talk. Anyaha Vachaha Vimuchyata: reduce other matters of talk. Without reduced transactions.

aum iti eveṁ dhyāyathātmānam. 6. Here also. Therefore Jnana Nishta or assimilation alone is the bridge to cross the ocean of Samsara or mortality and gain immortality. 180 . Atma is again defined. transformation does not take place. and Jeevanmukthi is out of question. Without Nidhidhyasanam. arā iva ratha-nābhau saṁhatā yatra nāḍyaḥ sa eṣo’ntaś carate bahudhā jāyamānaḥ. Atma Jnanam as a means of Moksha is highlighted. This consciousness is there when there are thoughts and also when there are no thoughts. Atma is that witness/consciousness in the mind which illumines every thought. Amruthasya Esha Setuhu: Nidhidhyasanam which presupposes reduction of Anyavachaha is the only method of immortality or Mukti. svasti vaḥ pārāya tamasaḥ parastāt.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji take place.

but it is not so. I would not be aware of a thoughtless mind. So we will use the word ‘Nadi’ only). During waking. Rath Nathou Araha: just like all the spokes of a chariot wheel converge upon the central hub. consciousness should not be there. (The word Nadi is difficult to translate.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Therefore consciousness itself is not a thought. Mind is that which is located in the heart. it withdraws into the heart. It illumines the arrival of thoughts. in sleep. 181 . Nadyaha Samhata: all the Nadis are based upon or converge on the Yatra = heart. Tatra Antaha Eshaha Charate: within that heart is present the Atma Chaitanyam. in a thoughtless state. some say they are nerves. The heart is that central point from which Nadis emerge and reach all over the body. it travels all over. In that case. If that were so. it illumines the presence of thoughts and it also illumines the departure of thoughts. Now mind is defined. some say they are blood vessels. similarly all the Nadis are supported by the heart.

but only thoughts are absent. Similarly though Atma Chaitanyam is everywhere. why go to plug point to check for power? Because it is contactable. That is the Hridayam or mind. consciousness appears to be absent. (Hrudaye Sakshichaitanya Rupena Vyakyam). Then why specify within the heart? Sada Sarvagatopyatmana Sarvatravabhasate If electricity is there through out. it includes the mind also. Atma is all pervading and sometimes within the mind? When it says. even though consciousness is present all the time. tappable there. This is transference of 182 . all pervading. the witness of mind. means. but truly it is present. it can be recognized only in a certain point called Upalabdhi Sthanam. Bahudha Jayamanene: seemingly born in manifold ways.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Within heart means in Sthoola Sharira. we recognize it only when thoughts are present. So Atma is recognizably present in the heart. when thought transactions are absent. is mind means Sookshma Sharira and within mind is the Atma. unrecognizably present everywhere. How does Upanishad say. Atma is within the mind? Is it not a contradiction as in some places it says. When thoughts are resolved.

Making use of Omkara. Here actually pot is born and gone. I would not be aware of it. It has sound and silence part. Similarly consciousness appears to be seemingly born and gone. we arrive at the silence in between two Omkaras. you should not look for arrival of Atma because Atma is not subject to arrival and departure. This is Vedantic meditation. you understand that it is not a blank state. the very fact that I am aware of it indicates that the silence is pervaded by awareness. not space. Anganam Anganam Antaraha Madhavaha: In the Rasa Krida of Bhagavata. Omiti Dyayate: you can make use of the Mantra Om. If so. Dwell upon the non arriving. How does this silence help? Once you come to silence. walking man etc. Krishna with a Gopi on either side is described symbolically. First you concentrate on the sound aspect and gradually you shift to the silence aspect. We will see it in more detail later. pot space is gone etc. The Omkaras are the Gopis and the silence in between is Krishna. Pot space is born. Don’t be carried away by any experience.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji attributes like running nose. Therefore in meditation also. 183 . Evam Atmanam Dhyayate: May you meditate upon that consciousness. This consciousness which is always there is Atma. non departing consciousness.

That is why the teacher says it requires the grace of Ishwara. divye brahma-pure hy eṣa vyomny ātmā pratiṣṭhitaḥ. The distance between me and Brahman is only ignorance not spatial or temporal. 7. This is Vedantic meditation. Though we want to do well on the silence. Vaha Swasti: may there be auspiciousness in your grand spiritual pursuit.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Dayanandaji nicely puts it as ‘Silence Awareness’. yah sarvajñaḥ sarva-vid yasyaiṣa mahimā bhuvi. So it is not so easy. So own up that fact. Tamasaha Parastat: which is beyond Tamas. 184 . grace of Acharya. Tamaha Paraya: To reach the shore of Samsara and attain Moksha. The teacher then says “Wish you all the best”. Hence his wishing all the best to the student. grace of Shastra. we are unknowingly carried away by our powerful thoughts.

Sarvajnaha: omniscient Sarvavit: also means omniscient Why the repetition? Here we have to take from two stand points. Sarvavitu is from the point of view of Apara Vidya. mano-mayaḥ prāṇa-śarīra-netā pratiṣṭhito’nne hṛdayaṁ sannidhāya tad vijñānena paripaśyanti dhīrāḥ ānanda-rūpam amṛtaṁ yad vibhāti. All 185 . We can write books and books on the glory. Yasya Esha Mahima Bhuvi: all the glories of creation belong to him alone.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 8. Sarvajna is from the point of Para Vidya. First line defines Brahman. Yaha Sarvajnaha Sarvavit: Brahman is the omniscient principle of consciousness.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji glories belong to Brahman as he alone is appearing as this creation. 186 . It is therefore available to you in the form of consciousness because of which you exist. The plurality we experience in this creation does not belong to Brahman but to Nama & Rupa stuff is Brahman alone. How to recognize this basic stuff Brahman? Upanishad says it is in you also. The revelation of this fact in words is called a Mahavakya. Yasousha Mahima Buvi: Brahman is the very material cause of the creation. The word ‘omniscient’ is used from both Para Vidya and Apara Vidya stand points. The teacher Shounaka continues the topic of Jeevatma Paramatma Aikyam and student Angiras had asked for knowledge of Paramatma. it is called Sat and from stand point of the individual it is called Chit or consciousness. From the stand point of the world. all the Mantras here are Mahavakya Mantras including the present one. Not only that. creation is verily Brahman’s manifestation. Brahman is the omniscient cause of this creation. This one Mantra is the basis for the entire tenth chapter of Gita called Vibhuti Yoga.

That is why during sleep. In the second line. Brahma Pura means abode of Brahman. but it is made sacred by the presence of the Lord. outside. the physical heart is the location of the mind in a Jeeva. all glories are his. Eshaha Atma: that very lord whom you thought was elsewhere. It is 187 . belongs to him alone from the smallest atom to the biggest star. from the unicellular organism to humans. in your heart.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji So what? If Brahman has become world. Why do we say Paramatma is installed in the heart? According to Shastra. Divye means sacred. Paramatma is installed. is very much inside you too. In this sacred residence. the mind is withdrawn from the body and goes home to the heart. Why is it sacred? Residence by itself is not sacred. Heart is the abode of Brahman. whatever glory is found here. that very same Brahman is also the Jeevatma or consciousness. Why is it called Brahma Puram? Pura means residence. Science is still not conclusive about the location and nature of mind (brain? Heart?) But Shastra says it is in the heart. Eshaha means the one (the Jeevatma) is located in Divye Brahmapure.

brightness differs according to the bulb. heart and mind is the Sanctum Sanctorum where consciousness. consciousness is there illumining the thoughts as well as their absence. Why do you go. There can be only one answer. where this Atma is installed as the Sakshi Chaitanya. we go to the temple. the Lord is installed. Evern though God is all pervading. Within mind. Physical body is the temple. one Mantra is Ananthaya Namaha. How do you say Paramatma is in the heart. Pancha Koshas are like the Prakaras. Divye Brahmapure Vyomani: in the space of the heart called Daharakasha. one may be 50 watts. So Lord is there in our house and temple uniformly. one 100 and one 150 watts etc. That is why. which goes all over the body during waking state and returns home to rest. To worship the Lord. his manifestation is not uniform. in the temple. when he is omniscient? Isn’t that. when God is everywhere? In fact. Why? The reason is manifesting medium is not uniform. Just like one electricity passes through all bulbs. thoughts are there and behind the thoughts. where devotees constantly worship and chant 188 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji like a travelling salesman. limiting the Paramatma? It is like this.

Similarly. Brahman is everywhere. Simple example: if I keep a pot of water on fire. So mind is a better location for manifestation of Brahman. the water becomes hot. Is it possible to make the house sacred? Yes. Suppose I keep an iron piece over the fire. we say. by our good and noble conduct. where as in a human being (mind) both Sat and Chit aspects are manifested. the place acquires sanctity. house can be very sacred too. The external world is only capable of manifesting the Sat aspect of Brahman.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Mantras. it will not be that sacred. Here we get the important idea that the body is a temple (Manomaya Prana Shariraneta ……. and good atmosphere. it also emits light. if bad language and gossip are indulged in and bad deeds are done. The iron becomes hot and then when it becomes redhot.) Dehe Devalayaha Prokthaha: heart is the Garbha Griha. Similarly. namely heat and light. witness consciousness is the Lord. which means it imbibes and manifests one aspect of fire principle that is heat. In the house. So here it is manifesting both the aspects of fire. So Hrudayam is the Sanctum for Chit aspect of the Lord. a temple has more Sannidhyam. Aradhayami Manisannibhamatma Lingam 189 . This is how different media can lead to more or less manifestation.

my whole life (all Karmas) are your worship alone. Similar is the Mantra. Oh Lord. What for Apunarbhavaya i. Vimala Citta. Girija is my mind. my sleep is Samadhi. all my speech is your Stutihi. flow of noble thoughts is Jalabhisheka to the Lord. to get Moksha. Lower form is going to temple for a limited time. all that I consume is your Naivedyam. body is your temple. the very meditations that I practice are the flowers.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Mayapuri Hrudaya Pankaja Sannivishtam Shraddhanadi Vimalachitra Jalabhishekaha Nityam Samadhi Kusumouhu Apunarthavaya Shraddha is the river. Wherever I walk is Pradakshinam. you are the very Atma Chaitanyam. 190 . to get out of birth death Samsara (Videha Mukthi). Atmatvam Girijamathihi…….e. Anne Pratishtithaha: Lord in Annamaya Kosha or physical body. all my Indriyas are Shivaganas.. This is the higher form of worship. This however has to be continued until we graduate to the higher form of worship. The source of these Mantras is this present Upanishad Mantra.

it is not useful. but the same Chaitanya enclosed in the mind becomes useful for Vyavahara. They are alive because of Atma alone which obtains within this Sukshma Shariram. Manomayaha: name of Paramatma. At death. Paramatma is in the mind space. This itself is called Jeevatma. the mind and all other organs become sentient. Similarly Prana. Any enclosed space alone is useful for transaction. but by enclosing the space within a house (by building a house) the same space becomes useful for transaction. Mind by itself is insentient. Normally it refers to Manomaya Kosha. But it is Atma. This live Sukshma Sharira lends consciousness to physical body till death. Atma 191 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Hridayam Sannidhaya: in the heart. An aside point here. but here it does not mean a Kosha. Here Paramatma is called Manomaya because he is as if conditioned or enclosed by the mind. Just like the all pervading space is ‘enclosed’ in a pot or within the four walls of a room. Prana Sharira Neta: because of the blessing of the consciousness alone. not the walls! So Sarvagat Chaitanyam is not useful for transactional purposes. When we have a plot of land. Here also the interesting thing is it is the space alone we use. Lord is installed in the mind in the form of consciousness.

so body becomes dead. In the seventh Mantra. So here Sukshma Sharira is referred to as Prana Sharira. The teacher now says the aim of a spiritual seeker is the recognition of the Atma alone. Neta means carrier. In the eighth Mantra. How does inert mind get the capacity to travel from one body to another? Who blesses or activates it? Upanishad says it is activated by Atma. However the direction of travel is determined by the Karma of the Sukshma Sharira (like the petrol enables the car 192 . the witness consciousness. hence the title Prana Sharira Neta.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji does not leave the body. teacher pointed out that the Paramatma is installed in every body in the form of Jivatma itself. Atma alone leads the mind from one body to another. this is elaborated. but Sukshma Sharira leaves the body. Atma is Prana Sharira Neta because it blesses the Sukshma Sharira. Prana here refers to Sukshma Sharira as it is the most important part of the Sukshma Sharira. It is not a kosha here. enlivens it and this enlivens the Sthoola sharira and enables the Sukshma Sharira to travel from one body to another. Manomayaha means one who is manifest in the mind.

just like one sun illumines the whole earth. How? Tadvijnanena: by gaining the Atma Jnanam. They recognize the Atma. Sanctum is the heart where Atma is witness consciousness. a Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampannaha or Jnana Yogyaha. So Dheeraha means qualified person.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji to move. through eye of wisdom (Jnana Chakshusha). The same witness consciousness which illumines my thought also illumines everybody’s thoughts. however petrol does not determine the direction of movement of the car). you do not see it with your physical eye. it says. Paripashyanti: they see the witness consciousness every where. Concepts are abstract principles which are understood through wisdom. which means you clearly understand a concept. 193 . qualifications are necessary. one has to know that Atma! Atma Jnanam is a must for all the people. This Atma is also installed in the body. is in fact essential. In third line. (This is symbolically represented as the third eye of Shiva). But to attain this.

you say how can I get because anything got means it was not there before. so it is not Nitya. So owning up that I am Poornaha.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Ananda Rupam: this is the nature of Atma. Amritam: which is eternal. Whoever says. however extraordinary or mystic it may be. because any experiential pleasure is limited or finite where as here Ananda is also Amrutham which means eternal. is never lost in terms of time. 194 . I had infinite bliss in that place. So this is only by gaining Jnana Tadvijnanena means the knowledge only. Ananda means fullness. Yadvibhati: always evident. there is a logical loophole. So dropping the notional limitation is the attainment of Ananda. Continuing. this knowledge once gained. note that it is in the past tense! How can it be infinite??? Experience is now past and I am now tense! How do you get that Nitya Ananda? In the question itself. So this precludes experiential pleasures. Here note that Ananda should bot be taken at experiential pleasure because Upanishad uses the word Nitya Ananda Swarupam. free from limitation. Nityam. Chaitanya Rupena: as consciousness principle.

So it is ignorance in the mind (Ajnana). This is an often quoted important Mantra.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 9. Here teacher talks about Jnana Phalam. hence the comparison. so difficult to remove. Three benefits are highlighted here. kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi tasmin dṛṣṭe parāvare. A knot joins two ropes. Why ignorance is compared to a knot? 1. That is why Upanishad is mysterious and teacher is essential. What is meant by this knot of the heart? The word heart here means mind. Because any knot that is old cannot be easily disentagled. Avidya knot is Janmas old. bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ. I should be 195 . Knot means ignorance. Here the knot of ignorance mixes up Atma and Anatma. Hridyagranthabedhaha: knot of heart getting cut. (Granthihi Eva Drudibhuta in Bhashya) 2. So I the observer and body the matter are mixed up.

Teacher trains him in asking questions. Teaching comes where there is knowledge and understanding. and the body is my object”. Sookshma and Karana Shariras. there is heaven. there is no teaching there. So I am free from Sharira Trayam and have had Ajnana Nashaha. not believed! For believing teaching is not required. All the basic features of Vedanta are difficult to swallow. This is very important because we are talking about something to be known. Instead I say “I am 20 years old” etc! Swami Chinmayananda calls this ‘unholy marriage’. you either believe it or not. Example. So here separation is holy! I should say ‘Talaq Talaq Talaq’ to get this divorce three times because I have to separate myself from Sthoola. Sarva Samshayaha Chidyante: Destruction of all doubts.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji saying “I am the consciousness. I have assumed. every experience proves it too. Teaching involves lot of doubts because teaching seems contradictory to my experience. he is all powerful and I have to 196 . as I feel I am limited. student is encouraged to raise doubts. First. Therefore in Vedanta. Ishwara has created everything. Understanding means doubts should not be there. it says you are infinite which is difficult to accept. Preaching comes where there is faith.

A person mistook himself for a worm. This is our convention. I must be convinced. He saw 197 . So he saw a doctor. if at all you need a concession. a psychiatrist who through many sessions and many dollars later convinced him with the help of a mirror and a worm etc. it is unreal. Jeevobrahmouvanaparaha must be cleared. Ajnana Nashaha: Swmi Chinmayananda tells a story. 1. Convincing the world is not the issue here at all! All questions regarding the three basic tenets namely. Brahma Satyam 2.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji merge with him as a humble devotee one day. Then ignorance is totally gone. Then after all these sessions. that he is a human being and not a worm. Vedanta tells ‘you are that Ishwara’. This is also unswallowable. Clear knowledge is my conviction about the truth of these teachings. Scriptures then say there is no world. Jaganmithya 3. The eternally invisible Brahman is the only reality! The eternally visible world is unreal! So I find it difficult to accept Vedantic teachings in these matters. the man returned and went out.

The man said “I know that doctor. Aagami: Jnani does not acquire Aagami Karma due to absence of Karma. mana and apamana at mental level. as it already has momentum (just like vehicle moves a bit after applying brakes depending on the momentum that was there). Karma Nashaha: We have seen that Karma is of three types. how can one become a liberated person if everything is the same. Sanchita (accumulated). but does the crow know that I am not the worm? The crow has not attended your sessions!” So why should others know you are a Jnani? You should know. Scriptures say Sanchita are totally destroyed like radiation destroys cancer.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji a crow. that is it. what is the benefit? 198 . Prarabdha (presently fructifying) and Aagami (generated by our past actions). If so. Prarabdha: cannot be destroyed as it has already started fructification. Immediately he was scared and went back to the doctor and told him that here is a crow outside who may eat me! Doctor said “you now know you are not a worm. So Prarabdha will continue to give favourable and unfavourable situations like bodily sicknesses at physical level. so the crow won’t eat you”.

a beauty. very life is a Lila. Like a defanged cobra. Swami Dayanandaji says nicely. So similarly Prarabdha becomes an ornament for a Jnani. Dukheshu Anudvigneshu Manaha Sukheshu Vigatashruhaha. once Jnana is there. a kind of insulation or raincoat. Samsara is a defanged cobra which is worn like an ornament by Shiva. but I won’t get wet. his peace of mind is not disturbed. This Atma Jnanam gives him a healthy attitude. Through out Gita. Therefore Jnanena Samsara Nashaha. For him. Tasmin Paravare Drushte: all these benefits accrue when Atma is clearly recognized. mind and intellect are ornaments. Raincoat does not stop the rain and cannot stop the rain. 199 . Similarly Jnanam gives protection. So all the three Karmas do not cause any harm. Krishna tells this. body.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Vedantic answer is. But it is your attitude towards conditions which determines your peace of mind. That is why he is a Jeevanmuktaha. Because of this change in attitude. your peace of mind does not depend on favourable and unfavourable conditions.

so Nishkala means partless.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Paravara here means Para = Karanam and Avaram = Karya. Therefore he is called Karya Karana Rupam or Para Avara Rupam. the Paramatma who is Virajam means free from impurities. Lump of clay is cause. pot is also clay. Nishkalam = Kala means division. Therefore Paravara means that which is both in the form of Karma and Karya. 10. Water and air are divisible because 200 . Continuing. Everything is Brahman only. divisionless. pot is effect. First. One with Avyakta Nama Rupa is cause and one with Vyakta Nama Rupa is effect. but lump is cause. This is also a Mahavakya Mantra. Similarly ocean (cause) and effectual wave (effect) are both water. hiraṇmaye pare kośe virajaṁ brahma niṣkaram tac chubhraṁ jyotiṣāṁ jyotiḥ tad yad ātma-vido viduḥ.

This is a very significant character of Brahman and has many important corollaries. maya. Nishkalam: very important.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji we can put them in a container where as space is indivisible. Virajam means free from all impurities including ignorance. We will see that in the next classes. Aikyam does not mean union between two things or a merger. 1000 names are there. When 15 Kalas get together it is Purna Chandra). In Vishnu Sahasranama. That is both are one and the same. Brahman is not tainted by Maya though he is permanently associated with it (just like a movie screen may be intimately associated with a water fall projected on it without getting wet). There is no union of 1000 members. Here also Jeevatma = Paramatma and Paramatma = Jeevatma. not even similarity. name is one only. Kala means a part or digit (example: Chandrakala. Similarly Brahman is indivisible. We should take it as Ekasya Bhavaha Aikyam. This is Aikyam. 201 . but though names are 1000. Here Jeevatma Paramatma Aikyam is further analysed and emphasized. Jeevatma and Paramatma are two words which reveal the same Vastu. This is called Samanadhikaranyam.

Nitya Shuddham. our clothes and our body are pure immediately after a wash. Shubhram is positively put. But the definition of Brahman is that it is infinite. So Nishkala negates this whole philosophy. Shubhram: pure. Paramatma will be limited by Jivatma. it is unsullied. but subject to impurities later. it was a negative way of saying. 202 . So the third option is Jivatma is Paramatma. limitless.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Nishkalam means partless. The word Nishkalam negates this. This is a very important word because there is an entire system of philosophy which is based on the concept that all Jivas are part of one Brahman (Vishishtadvaita) or Jiva is a part of divinity (which is a big fire as it were). So Brahman is not only free from impurity but also not subject to impurity so that in Shubhram. For example. Because there are some things which are without impurity now but in future may become impure. Can you say Jeevatma is outside Paramatma? No. divisionless. When it was said Virajam. It appears as though Brahman has many parts. Is it necessary to express it both negatively and positively? Yes. each one will be limited by the other. because in that case.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Jyothisham Jyothihi: Illuminator of all illuminators. All the others are able to function as lights because of the presence of consciousness alone. It lends light to mind first. because in its presence only. hence the expression Jyothisham Jyothihi. if mind is elsewhere. sense organs and mind are also called lights. so that it becomes the knowing instrument. things are not known. Similarly. consciousness is also called light. Consciousness cannot be absent. they can function. ‘light’ means that in whose presence. meaning only if mind is behind the sense organs. 203 . In this definition. light of all lights. Ultimately. In Vedanta. things are known and in its absence. all lights are qualified to be called light. The speciality of consciousness is it is the light of all other lights. if mind is elsewhere. Just like sun lends light to a mirror so that it becomes a secondary source of light. things are known and in whose absence. Even words are qualified to be called light (example: please throw some light on that particular topic). things are not known. I cannot see. So the ultimate source of light is consciousness. I cannot hear. it is only hypothetical. Atmannatmana Abhuvam Adarsham: The Brihadaranyaka says. This borrowed light alone we call Chidabhasa. The mind lends light to the sense organs.

Brahman is there. brilliant. because it acts like a reflector (like reflectors in roads where thy shine from light borrowed by vehicle lights!). It is like Sanctum Sanctorum. In that Kosha. Pare means sacred. Why? Because it is the dwelling place of Brahman. and effulgent. Temple is sacred because of the deity within (original sacredness). Similarly. The Prakarams have borrowed sacredness. Parabrahmanaha upalabdhi Sthanatvat Vijnanamaya Koshastapi Paratvam Oupacharikataya Uchyate. Bright means sensient. Mind is alive due to consciousness and appears bright. 204 . This is like taking the reflector itself as light source. Why? Because it is capable of reflecting the Atma Chaitanyam. mind is like a temple as it is the abode of Brahman. highest. It is also called Hiranmayam meaning bright.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji So this Paramathma is where? Hiranmayem Pare Koshe: within your own Vijnanamaya Kosha. That is why Buddhists made the mistake of taking the mind as Atma.

Goodness belongs to Satva Guna of Maya and badness to Rajo and Tamo Gunas of Maya (Anyatra Dharmat Anyatra Adharmat). idaṁ vibhāti. tasya bhāsā sarvam. na tatra sūryo bhāti. Atmavidaha: whoever knows the Jivatma clearly. Absence of thoughts is also illumined by Brahman. 205 . nemā vidyuto bhānti.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji So in that Vijnanamaya Kosham. 11. It is Guna Atitaha. Brahman is neither good nor bad. It means Jivatma and paramatma are one. Brahman is present as Sakshi Chaitanyam. kuto’yam agniḥ. na candra-tārakam. It is present illumining both good and bad thoughts. tam eva bhāntam anubhāti sarvam. That is why self realization and God realization are one and the same. Tad Brahmaviduhu: knows Brahman clearly. It does not even produce good or bad thoughts.

206 . Even before the attempt to prove starts. So you never attempt to know consciousness. Consciousness is ever evident. Consciousness is evident. this is the prover/consciousness. how to prove its existence? Vedanta says there is only one thing which need not be proved at all. nothing need illumine consciousness. and nothing can illumine consciousness.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji This is a very important Mantra used at Aarthi also. The prover. how will I know if it is there?’ To prove the existence of something. evident by a process of knowledge. Atma can never become the object of knowledge. I need to know. How? Are you conscious of my sound? That means two things are evident. The essence of this Mantra is ‘Atma is knower of everything. the prover is already there. but definitely existent. consciousness illumines everything. So. If it is unknowable. But consciousness is ever evident (Prathibodha Viditam). If so then. need not be proved. because of it. sound is evident. Prover is already proved by his attempt to prove. who wants to prove everything. This Mantra says. what is it you do? You try to make something which is not evident. This is very interesting when you try to prove something.

Vachamagocharamaneka Guna Swarupam. Tatra Na Bhati = all these are incapable of illumining Atma. Stars. All these five cannot illumine consciousness. Sarva Anubhati: everything else is revealed. only after the self evident Atma. how is it that we take classes for so many years? If all these cannot illumine Atma. self evident. Chandra. When Sun and Moon cannot illumine. Vagisha Vishnu Sura Sevitha Padapeetam. none of them need reveal the Atma because it is self revealed. Tam Evam Bhantam: none of them can reveal the Atma. and mind also. If words cannot illumine. what to talk of ordinary fire or the camphor fire which we wave in Aarthi? By extension. lightening (electricity) and fire. Vagena Vigrahavarena Vachamagocharam. 207 . we have to take other lights like sense organs. how do I know it exists? The Upanishad says. Surya. words.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Upanishad takes five illumining principles.

third person. Therefore revealed!” do not. she. are all possible only when I is there (first person). Similarly if other three are gone. World is alive and available. our world can be said to be what is perceived by our sense organs. one fifth of his world (colour. it. attempt very to know is consciousness. ehere is no world as for as I am concerned. Tasya Bhasa: only because of borrowed light from the consciousness. In a way. Suppose ears are gone. the others shine (Aham Bhami Sarvam Anubhati).MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji That is why we can talk about second person and third person in English grammer only after the first person. you. form) is darkened. second person. sense organs and their objects shine. “Consciousness need not be The teaching 208 . They work because of mind. Therefore Idaam Sarvam Atma Chaitanyena Nibhati. because of five sense organs. they. Without I. If a person is blind. Therefore. he. illumined by Vedantic teacher tells. another 1/5 is gone. I. mind. there is neigher you or he. mind is illumined by the consciousness. I shine.

Atma. in ‘I’ the consciousness. mind. everthing is illumined by consciousness. borrowing the consciousness from Atma. you are Atma. life itself will become light! 209 . the consciousness and body. I am propertyless Brahman. the Mantra is a commentary on the word Jyothisham Jyothihi of the previous Mantra. The body alone has properties. So. So. Once I know this (that I am consciousness alone. the body also is evident.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji consciousness. The two things are evident. the light of all lights). you have no property. the first part of teaching is Atma is self evident. intellect etc. Second part: when I am self evident. So it is ideal for committing a mistake like putting chilli in beans. we are transferring the properties of the body. you cannot distinguish one from the other easily until you bite and feel the pungency! Chilli beans Viveka is difficult. Similarly body is chilli. Atma is beans! Similarly. Including my thoughts. The teacher says.

I am Chetanam and everything else is Achetanam. there are two things! Once a second entity comes. The illuminator is Atma. the illumined is Anatma (mind. Atma Anatma duality comes and Dwitiyadvou Bhayam Bavati! Therefore this is only the forst stage of learning. This is the concluding and also a very important Mantra. cottareṇa. Second stage is there is no observed world different from the observer/Atma. Iti Mundakopanishadi Dvitiyamundake Dvithiyakandaha. 210 . illumines the whole world around. Nanachidram Ghatodara Sthitam Deepa Prabha Bhasvaram. There is one problem. paścad brahma.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 12. The consciousness alone comes out as it were and pervading the whole place. I am Drik and the world is Drishya. sense organs. I am the illuminator consciousness and everything else is illumined. world etc). dakṣinataś adhaścordhvaṁ ca prasṛtam brahmaivedaṁ viśvam idaṁ variṣṭham. Why? When I say. This is what is said in Dakshinamurthy Stotram. brahmaivedam amṛtam purastād brahma. Brahman alone appears as the world too.

What is the meaning here? Brahman being Karanam. Dakshinath: southern side Uttarena: northside Adhashchordvam: down and up is Brahman alone. How to believe this? When the whole world is so overwhelming right from the mosquito! 211 . there is no Karyam separate from Karanam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji To understand that. Recall the last Mantra of first section. the entire inert universe is Varishta Brahmaiva. we should go back to the first section where Brahman was said to be Karanam and the world Karyam. There is no matter separate from consciousness. Purastat Amritam Brahma: whatever in front is Brahman. world being Karyam. no Anatma separate from Atma. Purusha Evedam Sarva Tapo Brahma Paramrutham …… Meaningwise. the same is repeated here. Pashchat Brahma: everything behind is Brahman. In short.

“Man puts all animals in the cage. the consciousness. For both acquisition and assimilation of self knowledge. namely Jeevatma paramatma Aikyam. which was elaborately discussed in second chapter and then Sadhanas or preparatory disciplines without which self knowledge cannot be acquired or even if acquired it cannot be internalized. certain preparatory disciplines are necessary and are discussed here. but with the mosquito. Phalam means benefits. but on waking your realize that the dream was not separate from you. Aikya Jnana Phalam is also discussed. He himself gets into a cage (net) to escape from it!” It is so powerful and you say there is no world! For that. when I own up my nature. Similarly. there is no world separate from me. the Vedantic answer is ‘Swapnavat’. So the world is not different from you. You experience Swapna solidly. Here the teacher reveals the main teaching. Benefits are freedom while living called technically Jeevanmukti and freedom after 212 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Dayananda Swami used to say. Jagrat prapanchaha Na Bhinnaha Drishyavat Swapna Prapanchavat. We have finished two chapters of Mundaka Upanishad and entering 3rd chapter. Thirdly.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji death called Videha Mukti (Aikya Jnanam Aikya Jnana Sadhanani Aikya Jnana Phalam cha). often quoted by Shankaracharya and other Acharyas. dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samānaṁ vṛkṣam pariṣasvajāte tayor anyaḥ pippalaṁ svādv attyanaśnann anyo’bhicakaśīti. every individual is a mixture of two principles known as Sakshi Chaitanyam and Ahankara Chaitanyam. 213 . 1. We will enter into the third Mundaka. Like the previous two sections. the identity in the essential nature of the individual and total (Mahavakya Mantra). first section. The teacher analyses the nature of individual (Jeevatma) and says. this chapter also has two sections. This Mantra is important and well known. Starts with the main topic of this Upanishad namely Jeevatma Paramatma Aikyam.

4. This original consciousness. This Sakshi Chaitanyam is reflected in the special medium called the mind. like the light illuminating the whole place is called Sakshi Chaitanyam. and therefore pervades the body also. 3. Here it is worthwhile to recollect what the scriptures say about consciousness. All Sakshi Chaitanyam is the consciousness which pervades everywhere pervading consciousness which obtains in the body also is the Sakshi Chaitanyam (original consciousness or OC). Consciousness survives the death of the body. These five points should always be remembered because it is you. The surviving consciousness cannot transact with the world because of absence of transacting medium namely the body. Consciousness is an independent entity which pervades and enlivens the body. According to Scriptures. 1. Consciousness is not limited by the boundaries of the body. mind is inert matter made 214 . 2. 5.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Now we have to understand what are these. a product or property of the body. Consciousness is not a part.

pratibimba Chaitanya. mind is absent. Chit Pratibimba. Reflected consciousness can travel because it is located. it is capable of receiving and reflecting the consciousness. the reflected consciousness just as a mirror (which by itself is not luminous but unlike a table or chain is still capable of reflecting due to its fine surface where as a table or chain cannot do so. and even if mind travels from one place to another. So in every individual. Only Sakshi Chaitanya is there. the reflection also travels. Still it is so fine and subtle. Sakshi Chaitanya being all pervading is present wherever reflected consciousness is.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji up of five elements. it is 215 reflects consciousness and this is called . These two are inseperable. two consciousnesses are there as it were. one the original consciousness and the second. So Sakshi and Ahankara are there in every living being. Similarly mind due to its Sookshamata or Swachata Ahankara. When death and rebirth happen. Therefore there is no reflected consciousness or Ahankara. So mind enjoys a borrowed consciousness called Chidabhasa. Why do I say every living being? Because in non-living things. all synonymous terms for the reflected consciousness or RC.

It is the reflected consciousness which travels from one body to another. due to grossness of the medium.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji not the original Consciousness which travels because original consciousness being all pervading cannot travel. Cannot undergo any Is subject to modification change. that is. That is why we say in Satva pradhana mind. If medium is dull. Sn o Original Consciousness/ Sakshi Chaitanya 1 2 3 Unlocated and therefore Located all pervading Is one Innumerable Reflected Consciousnesses are possible. the reflection is dull. it is depending on the reflecting Nirvikara medium. In plants. reflection is brighter. When medium is bright. reflection is very bright. reflection is also bright. reflection is even more brighter. it varies and even in the same 216 Reflected Consciousness/ Ahankara . In human beings. The differences between Original Consciousness and Reflected Consciousness should also be known. Satva being a little more. In animals. reflection is also dull. Among humans also. Satva being even more.

mind etc. it can never refer to the body and Ahankara. Example: when I point a finger at you and say “you are fat”. as even you listen to the statement “you are the all pervading Brahman” body.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji person. but only to Sakshi. the word ‘you’ is used. it is Vachyartha and when the meaning of Sakshi is taken it is called Lakshyartha. I mean your intellect. If I say. you are all pervading Brahman. because individual is a mixture of both. meaning changes (body. at different times. you take the Sakshi and not the 217 . I mean your physical body. the word Jeevatma is used for the individual and according to context. it can either mean Ahankara or Sakshi. So when you take the meaning of Ahankara. When I say “you are intelligent”. So you have to know the context to know Vedanta. it may vary. intellect) according to context. Similarly Jeevatma word can mean both Ahankara or Sakshi when I say. Though both times. Ahankara Chaitanya is meant Reflected Consciousness as only Reflected Consciousness can travel. Jeevatma travels from Bhuloka to Swargaloka. In Scriptures. When this is clearly understood. Vikaras therefore belong to the Reflected Consciousness.

then tree. upon this tree are perched two birds. Here body mind complex is compared to a tree. Kadachid Mishri (a cricketer hits his first century. Ahankara bird eats the fruits of Sukham and Dhukham. Upanishad uses an analogy or example. Upanishad says. what type of fruit? Sometimes sweet. pleasure and pain. They are Ahankara and Sakshi.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji So. generated out of the actions of physical body. only one bird is eating the fruits of the tree. but his side loses the match. Why? Because tree was also seed once. sometimes bitter! Both types of fruits come out of the tree itself. Upanishad then says. both Sukha at the century and Dukha at the team’s defeat!) mixture of pleasure and pain! 218 . because plant. of these. we should know the composition of the individual (Ahankara Sakshi Mishraha Jeevatma). How does he feel. To convey this idea. Sukhi Bhavati Dukhis Cha Bhavati. for the teaching to be efficacious. Then. Sukha Dukha Phalam Ahankaraha Anubhavati. will whither and die one day just like our body.

Sakshi bird does not eat any fruits. Two individuals become friends only because of common interests (Samana Aravyanou or Samana Ravyanou). Original Consciousness is there too. Sakshi is Akarta. This Sakshi is Akarta Abhokta. Now let us look at the Mantra. one is Bimba Chaitanyam. To put in two sentences. Sun is bright. Dwa Suparna: two birds are there referring to Ahankara and Sakshi. Ahankara is Kartha. also bright. Abhokta.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Ahankara is Kartha and Bhokta. Bhokta. it just watches the other bird jumping and falling. Why? Because Sakshi is all pervading. Both are Chaitanya. Na Datte Kasyachit Vibhuhu Papam Na Chaiva Sukrutam Tena Phalatheetaha Ajnanenavrutam Jnanam Muhyanti Cha Jantavam Sarva Karmani Manasa Sanyasa ……………Naiva Kurvan Na Karayatu So this is the essence of this Mantra. wherever Reflected Consciousness is there. 219 . the other is Pratibimba Chaitanyam. Sayuja: always together. Jeevatma is a mixture of Ahankara and Sakshi. so is the reflection of Sun which can also illuminate a room. bright. Sakhaya: they are friends having common features. non separable.

The next Mantra talks more about the Sakshi. here Karma Phalam. We are constantly eating our Karma Phalam at all times except in deep sleep. it does not travel to any Loka. and does not undergo any modification either and does not perform any action. we call Jeevatma. we continue to eat Karma Phalam. witnessing the whole process or illumining the whole process without involvement. 220 . Therefore. When your will is not involved. Pippalam: fruit. whatever happens is Karma. In the case of Sakshi Anashnan means without experiencing anything. Tayo: of these two birds Anyaha Swadu Atti: one eats constantly with relish and involvement. Swarga or Naraka. Even in Swapna. Both these together. we have to take. Swarga and Naraka are in that Sakshi Chaitanya.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Parishaswajate: literally means looks on. According to context. In fact some of our Prarabdha Karmas are exhausted during Swapna also. Anashnan: Sakshi Chaitanyam (with respect to bird) does not eat anything. but then conditions do not affect Sakshi Chaitanya. It remains Abhichakashiti.

any process at all. In deep sleep. I can claim either of them as myself. Samsara and Moksha do not depend upon any action at all. then Ahankara is like the specs that I use to see the world.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 2. Once I claim myself as Ahankara. whether children will perform Shraddham or not! So I am a Samsari. When I shift my identification from Ahankara to Sakshi. juṣṭam yadā paśyaty anyam īśam asya mahimānam iti. I can say that I am Ahankara backed by Sakshi or Iam the Sakshi functioning through Ahankara. I am not the Ahankara. Swarga everything is there. They depend upon which part of Jeevatma I own up. samāne vṛkṣe puruṣo nimagno’nīśayā śocati muhyamānaḥ. Agami. Punarjanma. Prarabdha. I am located. but I am the Sakshi functioning through Ahankara. Sanchita. In previous Mantra I said Jeevatma has Sakshi and Ahankara. 221 . I use my Ahankara during my waking and dream state to transact. Papam. Now that in Samsara and what is Moksha are talked about. Punyam. vīta-śokah. I am a Kartha. there is a shift in my vision. Bhokta.

So I am immersed in body mind complex and therefore all the time thinking about the body and how to immortalize the body. When you doze off. Upanishad first talks about ignorant people who claim themselves as Ahankara and suffer. not using it in Sushupti like using and removing spectacles whether I claim Ahankara or Sakshi as myself. wife’s or government’s hands. though the reflection connected with the reflected medium. the mind and mind connected to the body. 222 . Nimagnaha: immersed in Ahankara (reflection). You use your Ahankara to listen to my talk.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji my Ahankara medium may be resolved. So it is entirely in your hands and not in husbands. Upanishad says is your choice! Claim yourself as Ahankara and suffer or claim yourself as Sakshi and be free. Samane Vrikshe: which is in the same tree as Paramatma. your Ahankara is set aside and my poor talk is no longer heard by you! Using Ahankara in Jagrut and Swapna. but am I there or not? I am there. Purushaha: ignorant Jeevatma. I use Ahankara during waking state. So I am the Sakshi using the Ahankara sometimes and not using it sometimes. which is impossible.

clothing and shelter. same with power. expectation of physical immortality is delusion. I am subjective. Ashochyan Anvashochastam Prajnavadamchya Bhashase. For the sake of body. Sarvam Paravasham Dukham. Sochati: consequence of above factors is grieving. all the time Shoka and Moha. basic being food. I lose my objectivity. Arjuna Vishada Yoga is the result! As babies. The more the dependence. Karpanya Doshoyahataha. Now even for a joke. but still don’t feel secure. we smiled always not requiring any joke or reason to smile. the more insecure we feel. This is called Nimagnaha or immersed (Tadatmyam). Expectation of physical immortality is delusion. That is helplessness. Anishaya: helpless. As body mind complex. my life itself is dependent on umpteen numbers of factors. the more unpredictable our life.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Through the body. Muhyamanaha: I am deluded. I cannot smile! Humour 223 . we get money. expectation of physical security is delusion. then so many people with all attendant problems. I am also involved in various relationships and identify with all of them. Shankara writes elaborate Bhashyam about how this is: Putro Nashte Aham Nashtaha. The body is the most insecure thing in the creation. in fact the more we have of these. Putre Pushte Aham Pushtaha. I am confused.

Chandalaha Achandalaha Bhavati.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji is gone. In Sushupthi. Mata Amata Bhavati. Tatra Pita Apita Bhavati. What is incidental comes and goes. Ahankara Sakshi Viveka. Poulkyasaha Apoulkyasaha Shravanaha 224 . Therefore Ahankara as it comes and goes (in deep sleep) is incidental. Everything is a joke for him! So Shoka is the lot of Ajnani Jeevatma. Deshaha Nasti. Kalaha Nasti. What about Jnani Jeevatma? (OM biography!) Yada Anyam Pashyati: when a Sadhana Chatushyaya Sampanna Adhikari after doing sufficient Atma Anatma Viveka. For example. How do you know what is my intrinsic and what is my incidental nature (what is Agantukam and what is Swabhavikam). it should have been hot always like fire which is not the case). Here heat is the incidental nature of water (if heat was intrinsic nature of water. Vachyartha Lakshyartha Viveka recognizes Sakshi as his original nature and Ahankara as incidental. he does not need a reason. Chidabhasa Chit Viveka. hot water is there. we cannot enjoy Laurel Hardy or Charlie Chaplin! What is the use of life if it is not enjoyed? Jnani is one who is always happy. What is intrinsic is always there. Bhavati.

Because Ahankara is not intrinsic. Pure consciousness he recognizes. Tapasaha Atapasaha Bhavati. This becomes clear only by Vicharaha. Unwise Jeevatma says ‘Aham Bhrama Asmi’.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Ashravanaha Bhavati. This you have to compare with the previous Ahankaraha. all these are not there in Sushupti. Asya Mahimanam: recognizes that pure consciousness as the I (Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma) Wise Jeevatma says ‘Aham Brahma Asmi’. Consciousness is the original substratum of everything in which bodies arise and resolve. 225 . From first chapter first section) Pujyam: that consciousness alone. Nitya Shuddha Buddha Mukta Swabhavaha (recollect Yatradaddyeshyam Agrahyam Agotram Avarnam…. the great one. Justam: the noble adorable one. Pure consciousness unlocated you are in deep sleep. Because Sushupti is illumined. Brihadaranyaka says. Ishaha: master of the universe. awared by that Sakshi alone.

Then he will discuss Jnana Sadhanani. Chidabhasa is there. free from Shokaha. teacher is going to summarise the main teaching. The same Jeevatma also has a higher nature. In first three Shlokas summary of Jeevatma Paramatma Aikya Jnanam through a beautiful analogy of two birds seated on a tree was presented. Even after recognizing the Sakshi. We can say this is one of inferior nature. This original consciousness does not travel 226 . Ahankara’s limitations appear insignificant like a pin prick. Therefore it is Kartha Bhokta Amshaha. the original consciousness. Wherever the mind is there. the benefit of Jnanam. The two birds represent the Chidabhasa or Pratibimba Chaitanyam and the Chit or Bimba Chaitanyam. This is a well known analogy. from the point of Sakshi Swarupam. not confined to the mind alone. namely Jeevanmukti and Videha Mukti. the preparatory disciplines and then Jnana Phalam. Chidabhasa is the reflected consciousness in the mind. which is all pervading. the Ahankara will continue but be limited.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji A small difference! This glory he recognizes and is therefore Vita Shokaha. In this third chapter. That is Brahmatma Jeevatma Aikyam. It can travel when mind travels. Everything is ok.

mind and all other things. relations related to it and thus become Samsari.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji at all. tadā vidvān puṇya-pāpe vidhūya nirañjanaḥ paramaṁ sāmyam upaiti. Abhokta. Jeevatma is a mixture of both these. Upanishad says unintelligent people own up the inferior nature and suffers whereas wise ones own up the superior nature and revel. 3. I own up my body. There is no modification. Once there are associations. even when mind travels. my life is not under my control. When I indentify with inferior nature. Therefore I am Akartha. 227 . I can own up any one of these. he transcends sorrow. One bird represents my inferior nature (Vyavaharika). while another bird represents my higher Paramarthika nature. The other Justam who owns up the higher Sakshi Swarupam (Nitya Satya Asangatva Sarvagatatvam). yadā paśyaḥ paśyate rukma-varṇaṁ kartāram īśam puruṣam brahmayonim.

What is the nature of that Sakshi? The description is Rukma Varnam. I as my intrinsic and the unlocated I as my incidental nature. the Sakshi Swarupam. Pashyate: he clearly recognizes his higher nature. Location belongs to mind and body and not to consciousness. the original consciousness. We generally make the mistake of taking the located. In the waking state. I am the unlocated consciousness. I am the located consciousness and in the sleep state. a Viveki. It cannot be physically done. I should not own up the located consciousness as myself but the unlocated one as myself. really speaking. To distinguish between Chidabhasa and Chit requires an extremely subtle intellect. Sadhana Chatustaya Samapannaha. Pashyaha: a discriminative person. It is evident in and through all my experiences like the light in the 228 . Location is a sense I develop in the waking state. we are upside down! This discrimination requires a sharp intellect (Sukshma Buddhihi) such a one is called Pashyaha. So the unlocated I is my original nature.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Here first two lines deal with Jnanam and second two lines deal with Jnana Phalam. We say Vedanta is upside down. a seer. does not require a special experience at all. a man of discernment. which is self evident. the located I is my incidental nature only.

Kartaramisham Kartaram: this Sakshi is the creator of the whole world (the other meaning of Kartha. two words for the same object. (Dristi Bhavet Namabhedaha Natu Vastubhedaha). husband etc. When we say Brahman is the creator. it automatically means Shivaha Shaktyamuktaha 229 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji room. ruler etc. everything is seen in its presence. The two are one. what is called Sakshi is itself from the stand point of Jagat. just like the same person is father. The technical term used for such a one is Samanadhikaranam. even the empty room (Pratibodha Viditam Matam). Gold is well known as that which is ever shining. From the stand point of individual. Dristi Bhedat or Pravruthi Nimitta Bhedat Namabhedaha Natu Vastu Bhedaha. Atma is also ever evident and shining. Tell me which is correct? The answer is ‘Sakshi Eva Brahma’. Ishaha: the sustainer or the ruler also (Ishwaraha). Literal meaning is shining like gold. one who is the doer or Samsari should not be taken here). it is always with Shakthi called Maya (whatever we say Brahman the creator. Brahman. Another meaning is creator of universe (Jagat Srusti Stithi Laya Karta). Here you say Sakshi is Karanam. son. The Scriptures say Brahman alone is Karanam. Then a doubt may arise.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Yadi Bhavati Shaktaha Prabhavitum). Brahmayonim: one which is the cause of even Brahmaji. we tend to think. when I get Jnanam. So the intelligent person always sees the Sakshi which is the creator. Sarva Sharira Vasi. indweller. It looks unassimilable! Remember the dream example. Puri means Shariraha. Here as an aside point. Brahman refers to the Nirguna Brahma Tatva and Brahma refers to the Saguna Brahma or Chaturmukha Brahma. I am the sustainer. In Sanskrit. when dream example is given. Sarvam Purayati Iti Purushaha: all pervading. the ruler. Such a Sakshi. one who is the indweller of every living being. 1. suddenly one day. Sarva Sharirastaha Sarva Antaryami is also called Purushaha. the creator (Chaturmukha Brahma). The Sakshi Chaitanyam is the cause of even Chaturmukha Brahma. So I am the creator. We don’t enumerate Maya separately as Maya is non separate from Brahman. 230 . Yoni means cause. Purushaha: two meanings are there. when dreamer wakes up to higher nature. it should be carefully noted. the effulgent. he recognizes as Aham. 2. All these are descriptions of Sakshi.

both are chains or Shackles). So Moksha is going beyond not only Papam but Punyam also (that is what is meant by Sarva Dharman Parityajya of Bhagawad Gita). in my understanding. Punyapape: both Punya and Papa. When will physical dissolution take place? Only in Videha Mukti when you don’t have body or mind and for you. knowledge is the only method which takes you beyond Punyam and Papam. How to destroy Punyam? We cannot do Papam again? Shankara writes giving up of Punya Papa is not an action. For a Jnani. Tada: then (Atma Jnane Prapte Sati). but is falsified or recognized as Nama Rupa. that is all. Vidhuya: destroy or wipes off. So Punyam also falls within the ambit of Samsara or bondage (like iron and gold chains. He throws away both Punyam and Papam. there is no world. we do Punyam. It is not a physical process. How to go beyond Punaym? To remove Papam. Tada Vidvan. in his wisdom. this world does not physically disappear. So 231 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji the world disappears! No. this wise person. there is substance Brahman but other things are Nama Rupa only.

It is not actually a sin because you did not commit it. means pure. 232 . What are the impurities? Punyam. blemishless. Bedha Buddhi Nashaha Eva Ekasyam. somewhere you have to acquire knowledge. The only method by which we can overcome that is by Jnanam. Vedanta says your basic sin is ignorance. but born with it! Having ignorance is not a sin. Other Sadhanas will only purify the mind. merges with Brahman without motion. it is only notional. No physical merger because there is no physical distance involved. but somehow. so only dropping the notion of division. So Niranjanaha means he bcomes spotless. ignorance or Avidya. immaculate. Pashyam Samyam Upaiti: attains total oneness in Brahman. that is the basic original sin! What they call original sin in other religions.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji this Jnani wipes off Punyam and Papam and becomes Niranjanaha. but perpetuating it is. Papam and one more which is the cause of both.

tera nam anek tu ek hi ho. Har Desh me tu. Again Jnanam and Jnana Phalam are given in this Mantra. so cause alone appears as every effect. prāṇo hy eṣa yaḥ sarva-bhūtair vibhāti vijānan vidvān bhavate nātivādī. knows. 233 . har vesh me tu. Atma blesses Prana and Prana in turn lends Chetanam to the body. like they sing that Bhajan.). Here it does not mean Pancha Pranas. that because of which everything is alive. Vidvan Vijanan: the wise person recognizes. the Karanam. again Brahmaivamidamamrutam Purastat Paschdbrahma…. ātma-krīḍa ātma-ratiḥ kriyāvān eṣa brahma-vidāṁ viriṣṭhah. Sarvabhootevirbhati: Jnani recognizes the Brahman which alone appears in the form of creation. Why? We saw before how Brahman alone is Jagatkaranam and also how Brahman alone has become everything (Purusha Evedam Vishvam Tapo Brahma Paramrutham in first section. Whatever I see is Brahman alone in different Nama Rupa. Here carefully note Pranaha means Brahman.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 4. thereby it is the enlivener but ultimately Brahman alone is the Prana.

He is not a talkative person. both in and out. No teaching can take place in Mounam. the more silent he becomes. the more heart becomes full. teaching in silence etc! Dayananda Swamiji says. that is Angustam Tarjani Yoga Mudra Vyojana Dehinam. he becomes totally silent. Brahman alone is shining. the less the need to talk. Shrutyartha Brahma Jeevaikyam Darshayannaha Avatat Shivaha. One of the signs of Samsara is talkativeness. One person seeing the Mudra of Dakshinamurthy concluded that Dakshinamurthy takes snuff! So without explanation.. If that is the case. Even showing a Mudra does not mean anything until its symbolism is explained with words. Does not mean. how to teach? Some people quote. no Mudra makes sense. recognizes this through the third eye of wisdom. I have to give one hour explanation about ‘Chinmudra’. It is a sign of incompleteness. feels full and complete. Mouni Bhavati.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji So where should I turn to see Brahman? Everywhere. The wise person knows this. 234 . ‘Don’t take the silent teaching in a literal sense (Mouna Vyakta Prakatid…. So what happens? Na Ativadi Bhavati: the more wisdom one gains.).

Here Mouni means talking only as and when required. It is like when you get a drop in somebody’s car once in a way when you are prepared to travel by bus! Need is something which you have and have taken for granted. Advaita Vadi Bhavati. and miss it when it is not there. Atma Kreedaha: how will he get happiness? He does not depend on the world (in Bhagawad Gita. So that expression of silent teaching has some other significance. Luxury is a thing which you enjoy with thanks when it is available. takes it as bonus or luxury. He is satisfied with himself as he is. Atmanyeva Atmana Tushtaha….MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji So I have to talk and explain that Mudra and only then it becomes meaningful. If a person remains in silence. but don’t miss when you don’t have. self fulfilled. Therefore he does not talk Anatma Vishaya too much because they do not interest him. Ativadi menas Ati Dvitavadi Na Bhavati. They lose their significance. for example. That does not mean he throws away everything but whatever he has. not missing. it can be interpreted by the other person in many ways. not wanting anything.). 235 .

Kriyavan: he is engaged in Loka Sangraha Kamani. His very presence is Loka Sangraha. Atmaratihi: he enjoys himself. revels in himself. establish Ashramas and give talks. That Ramana Maharshi could be so full and happy owning nothing with only Koupinam. When I say greatest. his very presence is a blessing to the society. that is. his whole life is available to him for the sake of society (Loka Sangraha Mevapi Sampashyan Karthrumarhasi). He is engaged in Loka Sangraha. So if you ask about some Jnanis who did not engage in Loka Sangraha by travelling all over. It is an inspiration and teaching to all of us. is there a gradation in Jnanis. ‘to be happy you require only yourself’. greatest? People may say one who goes to Samadhi now 236 . Therefore he need not go from place to place. what Loka Sangraha did they do? Their very presence and existence is an inspiration to society. but remained in one place. greater. Esham Brahmavidam Varishtaha: this person is the greatest Jnani. great. For Jnani whole life is a luxury.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji one’s hand and legs when they are ok. As Swamiji beautifully puts. naturally the question comes. He has nothing to accomplish as he has already accomplished the best possible thing. Moksha.

I can claim either of them as I. the force of habit is there. Brahmi Stitihi). it is uttered by the mixture of Ahankara and Sakshi. So now only one obstacle. comparing with other people. In the first four Mantras. which is not limited by the size of body mind complex. I am useless etc. he is called Varishtaha (Jnana Nishta. the limited Samsari I. Atma Jnana can happily take place. Lower self is identifying with body mind complex with Ahankara. By this even the obstacle of Viparyaya can be removed and when that is also gone. thinking). Suppose he goes through Mananam. Neither the pure Ahankara nor pure Sakshi by themselves utter the word I. Behind this is the original consciousness. When a person does Shravanam consistently and properly. It is shifting our vision from lower self to higher self. it is called Sakshi. Whenever I say ‘I’. teacher condenses self knowledge. inferiority complex etc. But the problem is that Jnanam is obstructed by two things. that is.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji and then is greater and one who is always in Samadhi is greatest! Here is the idea. he has to remove habits like jealousy. Through Nidhidhyasanam. con’t be physically separated. one is doubt (Samshaya) and the other is the habit of Samasara called Viparyaya (I am limited. Stitapragnaha. he is constantly analyzing and removing his doubts until there are no doubts at all with the teaching. The two are always mixed together. Upanishad 237 .

it is not available even in sleep. Kriyavan. finite. satyena labhyas tapasā hy eṣa ātmā samyag-jñānena brahmacharyeṇa nityam. I will eternally find myself lacking. Suppose a person wants to calim Sakshi as myself or who wants to pursue spiritual knowledge. 5. This feeling of incompleteness is Samsara. Claiming the Ahankara. As Ahankara I can never be complete in life. Atma Ratihi. The reason being. antaḥ-śarīre jyotir-mayo hi śubhro yam paśyanti yatayaḥ kṣīṇadoṣāḥ. The benefit of claiming myself as Sakshi is Atma Kreedaha. eternally missing one thing or other. In fact.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji says ‘don’t claim Ahankara as myself but calim Sakshi as myself’. what are the disciplines he should pursue? 238 . Ahankara being only my incidental nature is not permanent. where as Sakshi alone is my permanent self.

highlighted. Satyam 2. In English truth with a small t! It is a Sadhana and not Sadhya. Tapaha: This also has two meanings. but never speak untruth (Anrutha Varjanam). if it harms others. Samyakajnanam 4. Second meaning is in the context of ethics and morality. Satyam: In Scriptures. it is not an end but means to an end. Brahmacharyam We will see them. 1. He says. Shankara does not translate Satyam as speaking the truth but as avoidance of untruth.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji They are given Here in these two Mantras are (Atmajnana to be Sadhanani). Here it means. One is Parambrahma itself the reality or Truth with capital T. It is not a means but an end in itself. Tapas four disciplines going 3. It means avoidance of verbal untruth. 239 . you may avoid speaking. this word has two meanings. you may speak truth or you may observe silence. not telling a lie. Speaking truth.

(Jnanakanda of Vedas). uses appropriate instruments or equipments to aid in his search. Tapaha will have the first meaning of austerities. So one meaning of Tapaha is self imposed deprivation. Manasascha Indiriyanascha Ekagrayam Tapaha. When it is not willful. Brahmacharyena: chastity or sexual purity. I go without food. where I willfully forego certain physical comforts to establish my mastery over my own body.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji One meaning is austerities like Upavasa etc. it is not a Sadhana but a torture. he studies the place of the crime. the second meaning is valid. but in starvation. In both fasting and starving. it is a deliberate action on my part. it is imposed where as in fasting. In this context. mind and thought. where as in the Karma Kanda. If he just sits in his room and keeps asking ‘who is the criminal? 240 . Samyakajnanam: proper enquiry into the nature of Self or Vedanta Vichara. Why the term proper? When a detective is trying to investigate a crime. Chastity should be in body. Second meaning is concentration of mind and sense organs. and requires proper instruments for the enquiry. This is an important discipline for a Vedic student.

Samyak means in the right direction. but simply go on asking ‘who am I? Who am I?’ it will only lead to some speculative conclusions. Therefore knowledge requires appropriate instrument. Without one the other is inefficient. if I don’t employ any instrument. without the Guru. If Vedanta is like a lotus bud. Shastra is like bulb. electricity to touch. in this case. So when Vedanta comes into the picture. Each alone is of no use. in whose presence. Guru also automatically comes into the picture. to know the Atma. Guru is given a beautiful analogy ‘Vedantambuja Suryaha’. only when both are there. Both are necessary like the bulb and electricity. Guru is like the Surya. There is no Atma Vichara without Vedanta Vichara.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Who is the criminal?’ what will he get? Nothing. because the two are complementary. Vedanta Pramanam. Speculation can never be knowledge. Self enquiry therefore means Scriptural enquiry. there is light. Similarly. So enquiry involves use of appropriate instrument. A Guru without Vedanta cannot help and Vedanta without Guru is also of no use. the 241 . none of them can be knowledge. it cannot be put to use! That is why in Guru Stotram. Instrumentless enquiry leads only to speculation.

All these four conditions are important. it is called Samyak Jnanam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji lotus bud opens up and blooms into a beautiful flower. it will not turn out to be the real goal and then we switch to another one and so on. a fully blown lotus! Vedanta is like a bud and it can blossom and bless the seeker only when it opens up. The Nityam should be added to all the four disciplines. Nityam Samyak Jnanena. there is no real direction to life. everyone has to take Sanyasa. always. Life is like a rudderless boat. A person who has discovered that is called Yatihi. Until we choose Moksha. Even if he enters Gruhastashram. If Moksha is not the goal. It is not that after discovering the goal as Moksha. those who have direction in life. Nityam Tapasa. falls into place. We keep feeling that something is missing but do not know what it is. Nityam Brahmacharyena. When should I tell the truth? Nityam. we will not have satisfaction. our goal keep on receding and at any point of life. So this struggle goes on until one discovers Moksha as the real goal. Pasyanti Yatayaha: seekers. then whatever you do. it becomes 242 . Even though something appears like a goal. So when self enquiry is made with the help of Guru and Shastram. Once the goal is there.

When I say. people whose mental impurities (Raga Dwesha) have weakened. Pashyanti: discover the Atma by following the above four Sadhanas. it is Raga and when I say world is s source of sorrow. only when Moksha is discovered as the goal of life. world is a source of joy. Those Yatayaha and Ksheenadoshaha. Raga leads me to run towards things and Dwesha makes me run away from some other things.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji very very meaningful. in fact only if Moksha is the goal! So getting married. Krishna calls such a person as one with ‘Vyayasatmika Buddhihi’. Unknown I is ‘Dukhahetuhu’. know I is ‘Sukha Hetuhu’ and therefore life is full of Pravrutti and Nivritti. it is Dwesha. With Bhagawad Gita. if Moksha is the goal. having children and even starting industry becomes meaningful. If some one asks whether world is a source of joy or sorrow. Because all of them cumulatively contribute to my spiritual progress alone. Vedanta says it is neither. getting or getting rid! So these mature people or seekers. What type of Atma do they discover? 243 . I am the source of joy or sorrow. So Yati is one who has direction. world is world.

Where do they discover? Antahsharire: within their own body. How do they discover? Not as an object. satyena panthā vitato deva-yānaḥ. but as ‘I myself’ (Aparokshataya Pashyanti. 6. within their own mind. So what is the lesson? These four lessons are extremely important.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Jyothirmayaha Shubhraha: consciousness is Jyotirmayaha Shubhraha because it is pure. in the form of witness consciousness (Vruttinam Tadabhanascham Sakshi Rupena) as the witness of presence of thoughts as well as the absence of thoughts. 244 . Aham Brahma Asmi Iti Pashyanti). satyam eva jayate nānṛtam. yenākramanty ṛṣayo hy āpta-kāmā yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam. Aham Sakshi Iti Pashyanti.

most of them are avoidable. we can think of ‘Prayaschittam’. they say Dharmaputra’s chariot was not touching the ground. Otherwise we will have no time for anything other than ‘Prayaschittam’! That means at whatever stage of spiritual journey you are. Here remember certain points you have to know about Upasakas. Upasaka means one who meditates upon the Lord (Saguna Ishwara Dhyanam). That is why in Mhabharatha also. be it Karma Yoga. If this awareness is very much there.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Among the four disciplines enumerated in the previous Mantra. in a particular context. Upasana Yoga or Jnana Yoga. In the entire Scriptures. namely. we will watch our lies. a particular discipline is highlighted. study them statistically and bring them down. it touched the ground. the teacher emphasizes the first Sadhanam. He cannot get Moksha 245 . you will find the value of telling the truth is repeated again and again so that we know very very clearly that speaking untruth brings me down spiritually. Though all disciplines are equally important. If we really see. but when he uttered untruth (with regard to Ashwathama). Satyam is important. Satyam. symbolic of one’s spiritual fall. Only when we minimize.

246 . an invisible path. But for some reason. he may not be able to come to Jnanam like he did not develop full qualifications. you should come to Jnanam (just like you cannot sit in high school permanently). but he did not get opportunity for Shravana. but he should maintain his desire for Moksha. Scriptures point out that. that he can continue to be an Upasaka for his whole life. he will go through a special Marga called ‘Shukla Gati’ (or Surya Dwara) here called Devayanaha. Therefore from Upasana one is supposed to come to Jnanam. Then what? Upanishad points out. So Upasaka also requires truthfulness. he will get opportunity for Atma Jnanam. Upasaka will take this Devayanaha. Therefore. or there was Guru. Nidhidhyasanam or his health did not permit this etc. Upanishads recommend after following Upasana. Manana. The Guru is Brahma himself who can teach excellently. When he dies with this desire alone. and go to Brahmaloka. Jnani requires truthfulness and Jeevanmukthi also requires truthfulness. There. So. after death.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji directly because any amount of Upasana cannot give Moksha. Devayana is also possible only when one is truthful.

Rishayaha are Upasakas. So Vitayaha menas laid with Atmakamaha Rishayaha Ena Akramanti. Such a Loka Satyavan will go to. spiritual disciplines necessary for Jnanam and the benefits of Jnanam namely Jeevanmuktihi and Videhamukti. If there is no truthfulness that Marga itself is not there. so those Mumukshu Upasakas Yena Akramanti. translated as the bright path). teacher wants to . four spiritual disciplines were emphasized. Satyam. Aptakamaha are those who have no worldly desires. namely. teacher is concentrating on Jnana Sadhanani and Jnana Phalam. namely. Yatra: in that Brahmaloka What will they get? Satyasya Paramam Nidhanam Asti: Paramam Nidhanam means the greatest benefit of truthfulness or Brahman.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Margaha Saptena Vitayaha: the Devayana Marga is paved with truthfulness. After 247 this. that ultimate benefit or Param Brahma is attainable in Brahmaloka. namely. Tapas. they go to Brahmaloka by Devayana Marga (in English. In the previous two Mantras. tell the truth. Brahmacharya and Samyak Jnana. So it is an extremely important value. In the last two sections. So whether you want Moksha here or later.

but in this context it means Upasakas. In Brahmaloka. Here it is said. Every truth is the brick with which. means. there are no bricks for Devayana! Aptakamaha Rishayaha: normally the term Aptakama and Rishihi refers to Jnanis. and who does not attain knowledge in this Janma but after death. but it can never win Moksha Phalam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji reemphasise the discipline of Satyam. They are Atmakamaha because they have no Ichha other than Moksha. that is Brahman. the Devayana Marga is paved with Satyam. Devayana is made as it were. Teacher also wants to say that not only Jeevanmukti. go by Shuklagati or Devayana and reach Brahmaloka and there attain Jnanam or Brahma. they attain the ultimate benefit of their truthfulness. one can never attain Brahma the absolute truth. even for Kramamukti. The idea is without Satyam the Vyavaharika value. truthfulness alone wins Moksha. Therefore he said ‘Satyameva Jayati Jayati’. the value of Satyam is important. 248 . so if someone does not speak truth. Untruthfulness may win in local courts etc. Kramamukti is the Mukti attained by Upasakas who do Nishkama Upasana.

the head itself will go! So a finer operation requires a 249 . truthfulness is important. if he uses the same axe. To cut a gross tree. the work. the axe required is also huge. The next discipline that is going to be emphasized is a subtle intellect to know the Atma. bṛhac ca tad divyam acintya-rūpaṁ sūkṣmāc ca tat sūkṣma-taraṁ vibhati. Why do we say we require a subtle intellect? Generally. One requires a subtle intellect to know the Atma. what will happen? Not only the hair.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The essence of these two Mantras is. 7. dūrāt sudūre tad ihāntike ca paśyatsv ihaiva nihitam guhāyām. the nature of the tool required depends on the nature of operation. whether you want Mukti here (Sadhomukthihi) or Krama Mukti. Suppose a person who wants to shave his face.

Now teacher wants to say that Atma is Ati Suskhmam. we take the Pancha Bhutas as the example. Agni. Sukshmata of Atma is pointed out. The instrument with which I want to know it. therefore least subtle where 250 as Akasha is most . So Prithvi. Drushyate Tu Agraya Buddhaya Sukshmaya Sukshmadashibhihi. Vayu. the more pervading an object is. that instrument of knowledge also must be well sharpened. The Self is extremely fine and subtle. in the next eighth Mantra. Prithvi is least pervasive.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji finer instrument. In Kathopanishad we will see. Akasha. the importance of a sharp intellect is emphasized (Buddheha Sukshmatvam Apeksha). Do you remember the example of bow and arrow? One has to sharpen the intellect by Upasana. there is a gradation in pervasion and subtility. Each element which is more pervasive than the other is subtler too. not local blade. So in this seventh Mantra. To understand this. A micro surgery in the eye requires a very fine instrument like laser. So what is the nature of Atma? Tat Bruhat: the Atma or Brahman is limitless and infinite. One needs an extremely subtle intellect to know Atma because Atma is extremely subtle. Jalam. the more subtle it becomes. So subtility is directly proportional to the pervasiveness of an object.

In fact Brahman is located in space. therefore Jadam. therefore Jadam. in fact it is the subtlest. The above meaning is Brahman is beyond space! So Brahman is more pervasive than space. This is the law. Therefore whatever is Drishyam is Jadam. Every object of knowledge is Jada. Chaitanya Rupam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji pervasive and therefore most subtle. Whatever is Akhandam is Adrishyam. Yat Drishyam Tad Jadam. whatever is non inert is not 251 . It is very difficult to conceive even! Padosya Vishva Bhutani Tripadasyam…. mind is Drishyam. Being self evident and therefore ever a subject. Divyam: it is self effulgent.. self evident. Body is Drishyam. Then. You experience the world. it is inert material. Atma is supposed to be even more subtle than space. ten inches. that is what is meant in Atyatishtaddashangulam. So Brahman is beyond even time and space. Anything you experience is Jada meaning inert. The other elements come inbetween. Therefore Tadbruhat Akashadihi Api Bruhat. Tasmad Akashadehi Api Sookshmataram. never an object of knowledge. Whatever is inert is an object of knowledge.

Vibhati means that Brahman itself appears as everything. there is a controversy about the nature of space. We can say. Every word indicates the Sookshamata. So when space itself is inconceivable. Space itself.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji an object of knowledge. Therefore it must be very Sookshmam. incomprehensible. 252 . So Anantatvam Sookshmam. Achintya Rupam: it means inconceivable. what is it? Science is still inconclusive. Shankara writes. we find extremely difficult to conceive. Even now. Anonarapi Sookshmam Shyamakodaha Api Sookshmam. Swayamprakashatvat Aprameyatvat Sookshmam. smaller than quartz. Sookshmat Sookshmataram: it is subtler than subtlest object in the world that is space. what to talk of Atma which is even more subtle than space! Therefore it is inconceivable. So how will you know something that is not an object of knowledge? It is going to be extremely difficult. Is it emptiness? Is it a positive entity? If so. Mind can conceive only an object of experience. unobjectifiable.

Any amount of travel to anywhere. Swargaloka. for the ignorant. Vykunta. Brahurloka.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Vividham Bhati Iti Vibhati: even though it itself doen’t have any form. it is nearer than the nearest. Suppose you ask where is it? Tad Iha Antikecha: in fact. anywhere you go. According to Shankara. I have explained the meaning of Guha. for the wise. Pashyatsvu: in the mind of every living being. Where is that Atma? Durat Sudure: it is farther than the farthest. Why living? 253 . You have to recollect all those meanings in this context. in the form of five elements. it appears Pancha Bhautarupena. five elementals. it is nearer than the nearest. In fact the distance is zero. Brindavana. How close is it? Guhayam Nihitam: it is present in one’s own mind. just like the distance between the dreamer and waker. It is all very peculiar. Goloka. it is farther than the farthest. Pancha Bhoutika Rupena Vividham Bhati. you cannot reach Brahman.

dropping the objectivity tendency. Nihitam: available as the very Sakshi of every thought as well as the absence of thoughts. Once you come to Vedanta. we will not find it. the expectation of experiences. So this is the nature of Paramatma. So when you drop your Brahma Anubhava expectation.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Is Brahman not there in non-living also? But due to grossness of the medium. Any concept is not Brahman. where as in living beings. sharpness means. this is natural. because of these finer medium. The conceiver is Brahman. dropping the idea of meeting with Brahman. the search is over. If at all it is an event. you need a subtle mind. Once we know Brahman as the subject. you drop grossness of mind. That is called grossness of the mind. the objectifying habit is there. they can manifest both the sad and ‘Chit’ aspect of Brahman. In Vedanta. they can only manifest the ‘sad’ aspect of Brahman. However. it is the moment you stop looking forward to Brahma Anubhava and how do you stop? 254 . A scientific mind per se is not a subtle mind. Then when does Brahma Anubhava come? Brahma Anubhava is not an event. As long as we keep searching for Brahman as an object.

So what cannot reveal Brahman? 255 . So why should I look for Brahma Anubhava? Kena says Pratibhoda Viditam. Brahman is the awareness which is in and through every Anubhava. So looking for experiences is grossness of mind. 8. then what can reveal it. In the previous Mantra. subtility of Brahman was pointed out. recognition of consciousness in every Anubhava is Brahma Anubhava. Now here Upanishad says what cannot reveal Brahman. na cakṣuṣā gṛhyate nāpi vācā nānyair devaiḥ tapasā karmaṇā vā.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji By knowing that Brahman is not known through a particular Anubhava. jñāna-prasādena viśuddha-sattvas tatas tu taṁ pasyate niṣkalaṁ dhyāyamānaḥ.

please note. So words reveal the ever present Brahman by pointing out this fact. Was it divine? Then it is not Brahman! Then what about words? Vacha Api Na Grhyate. 256 . It is the consciousness because of which. words cannot reveal Brahman.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Na Chakshusha Grhyate: the eyes cannot grasp Brahman. Words however reveal that Brahman need not be revealed! Not jugglery of words. you are hearing these words. Then why do you talk Swamiji? That is the joke. Words do not reveal Brahman. it is said ‘Nedam Yadidamupasate’. That is why in Kena. Therefore Vacha Api Na Grhyate. ‘Did you see that?’ ‘Yes’. Then it is not Brahman.

Without Tapas. Tapas has a lot of use. Suppose I do Tapas. Chittasya Shuddhaye Karma Natu. But be very careful when teacher says. It means Tapas does not reveal Brahman. Satvaguna Adhikyam. Karmana Va: any amount of rituals or action cannot grasp Brahman. That is what Buddha did and said “I tortured my body. It again does not mean drop all rituals. 257 . without food. Austerity brings self control. You should not conclude that Tapas is useless. by torturing the body. We should never take a wrong corollary. not Gods. Vastupalabdaye: all these are not going to reveal Brahman. Devaihi means sense organs. all the rituals are required for Chitta Shuddhi. Solid Tamoguna will never go. No. Tapas cannot reveal Brahman. it cannot be revealed. Shastra Pramanam is required without which nothing will happen.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Na Anyihi Devaihi: here in this context. Then what is required? Two things are required. self mastery. I came to know that torturing the body does not give any knowledge”. Even by other sense organs. Similarly. one is Shastram and the other is Sookshma Buddhihi.

I cannot do that unless I have an external guidance in the form of a mirror.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Navedavin Mamute Gam Bhruhantam. But is mirror alone sufficient? No. Here. Elsewhere. Vishuddha means pure). Jnanaprasadena Vishuddhasatvam: one should have a pure mind (Satva means mind. Only when both of them are there I will be able to see myself. So Shastram plus mind are required. There is a beautiful Shloka. to see the real I. Without the support of the Scriptures. one can never know the Atma. Antahkarana is emphasized. I certainly require two things namely Shastram (special mirror) and a special eye called Jnana Chakshuhu or the subtle mind. In this Mantra mirror part is not said but is understood. 258 . So even to see the false I. Shastram is emphasized (Vedanta Vijnana Sunishcitartarthyaha Yogad Yatayaha Shuddha Satvaha). if I require a mirror and eyes (two things). Both are important. the importance of mind is emphasized. Here mind is emphasized. eyes are also necessary. Yasya Nasti Swayam Prajna Shastram Tasya Karoti Kim Lochanabhyam Vihinasya Darpanam Kim Karishyati? Suppose I want to look at my face.

How will you get that? By Karma Yoga. Here not only Shuddhi is said but also tranquility of mind which is indicated by the word. A person with these two qualifications (Vishuddha Satva or Vairagyam and Jnana Prasadam or Shamadi Shatka Sampathi) ultimately meaning Sadhana Chatushyaya Samapannaha only.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji What is purity of mind? To know that. Buddhe Shamaha is Jnana Prasadaha. Such a person Tam Nishkalam Paryate. one gets a tranquil mind. a relaxed but disciplined mind. Such a mind is called Sookshma Buddhihi. Prasadaha: which means a tranquil mind or Shamaha. By these. by Upasana. That is understood. he will recognize the Atma or Brahman. likes and dislikes are the main impurities. you get Vishuddha Satvaha. In fact. Jnana Prasadam (either by Saguna Ishwara Dhyanam or Ashtanga Yogaha). Antahkaranasya Shanthihi or Manahshanthihi. we should know what are impurities of the mind? Raga and Dwesha. 259 . These can be overcome by Karma Yoga. Jnanam here means Buddhihi. Vishuddha Satvaha can be equated to Vairagyam qualification.

āṇaiś cittaṁ sarvaṁ otam prajānām. eṣo’ṇur ātmā cetasā veditavyo yasmin prāṇaḥ pañcadhā saṁviveśa. This word. yasmin viśuddhe vibhavaty eṣa ātmā. That Shastram also is important is hinted here. So. 260 . Jnana means Shravana Manana Nidhidhyasana. a person with a tranquil mind and a pure mind will recognize the partless and indivisible Brahman through Jnanayoga. Therefore one should acquire Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampanna Antahkaranaha.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji What type of Brahman? Nishkalam which means partless. Vedanta Shravana Manana Nidhidhyasanouhu Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampannaha Brahma Pashyate. Therefore one should acquire Sadhana Chatushtaya and then acquire Jnanam. indivisible. 9. Dhyayamanaha means Jnanayogena. we have seen in the last section.

Anuhu means Sookshmaha. Sookshma Buddhi as an essential prerequisite for recognizing Atma was emphasized. Eshaha Atma: this Atma. So then the question comes. Upanishad gives an adjective to Atma. If the question does not come. So this subtle Atma can be known through subtle intellect alone. Is it not a contradiction? How do you reconcile the contradiction? 261 . Without a subtle intellect.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji In the previous Mantra. Here it is said mind alone can know the Atma. self evident. intimately available Atma is Chetasa Veditavyaha is known through the mind alone. we have to raise that question. What type of mind? Subtle mind. it said. mind cannot know the Atma. it is impossible to recognize Atma. It is going to be emphasizes in this Mantra also. To indicate that. In several other places in the Upanishad.

do we clean it with soap and water? 262 . you have to interpret as subtle mind alone can know. To throw away the mind. still later another one. Those with unrefined mind cannot know. yatantopyakrutatmanaha Nainam Pashyanya Chetasa Yoginaha Pashyanti with Samskrita Manaha. Yato Vacho Nivartante Aprapya Manasa Saha. If the mind cannot know Atma. Shama. Pashyantayatma Vyavastitam. When Upanishad says mind alone has to know. why should we clean it? If we want to throw away something. That is why so many refinements or disciplines of the mind are prescribed. it should be understood as a gross mind cannot know.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji For that there are different answers. Dama are all for the mind only. I will give one simple answer now. Yan Manasa Na Manute means Yat Stoola Manasa Na Manute. why should we go on refining the mind? Viveka. In Gita also Yatyanto Yoginshchounam. When Upanishad says mind cannot know. later I will give another answer. Vairagya.

One has to know the Atma in one’s own body itself. Why? 263 . Apana. Where should the Atma be recognized? Yasmin: here it means Asmin Sharire. What type of body? Alive or dead? Pranaha Panchada Samvivesha Vartate: in this physical body where Prana is available in five fold manner. Panchada: five fold Prana. Prana. Even though in your body also consciousness is there. In that live body (that in which Prana is there). That is why Upanishad says Asmin Sharire. In the body also where do you recognize the consciousness? In the mind or in the Sookshma shariram to be precise. I can experience only in my body. Sentiency. Because I can recognize consciousness in my body alone.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The very fact that Scriptures prescribe varieties of Sadhanas for purifying the mind means mind has to be employed. I cannot experience consciousness in your body. Vyana. Udana and Samana.

when you touch the body. How did body get that? Through mind. one cold and one hot water.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Because Pranouhu Saha Sarvam Chittam Otam: the entire mind along with all sense organs is pervaded by the consciousness. and I know that heat does not intrinsically belong to water (because the water in the other cup is cold). you do not see the fire principle. you can recognize consciousness. it is live. inherited by. but is pervaded by some other Chaitanya Tatvam. you feel the heat. means pervaded by. but I know sentiency is not the intrinsic nature of the body. body would be permanently alive. you dip your finger in the hot water. it is sentient. 264 . Therefore body is not intrinsically alive. that water is now hot. interpenetrated by the consciousness. therefore the experienced heat must be borrowed principle or intrinsic? Borrowed obviously. This borrowed principle I discern with my intellect. Where? In your own mind. In the same way. I don’t perceive the fire principle. Like when you have two cups of water. That is why it is said ‘Sarvam Prajanam Chittam Otam’. but I discern it. If it were so. but you know that water which is pervaded by the fire principle. Therefore.

thoughts of the mind and the consciousness. because Upanishad clearly says. Since the object of knowledge is very subtle. Anything moving draws our attention. meaning a live body. In the body where? 265 . the instrument of knowledge also must be very subtle. Self knowledge requires a very subtle intellect. Mind keeps on sparking as it were and is noticed. Where should Atma be recognized? In a live physical body only! (That is why teacher says Yasmin Sharire Pranaha Panyadha Sanniveshaha). in fact as subtle as Atma itself.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Wherever you are experiencing the mind. Generally we are carried away by the dancing Vrittis. Esha Anuhu Atma Chetasa Veditavyaha: all these words are important. Vrittihi and Chaitanyam. The teacher is talking about qualifications required for self knowledge and he pointed out that a very subtle intellect is required to gain this knowledge. Atma which does not spark is not discerned. That body in which the five Pranas are functioning. you are experiencing two things.

(Sarvam Chittam Pranouhu Saha Chytanyena (this has to be added by us) Otam). consciousness is there in my mind! Therefore to avoid distraction. interpenetrated by. the mind is evident because of consciousness but the consciousness is not evident because of the mind. Scriptures present a method. I am simultaneously experiencing two things. It constantly entertains thoughts. When someone asks what is there in your mind. Otam means pervaded. no change.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji In a mind which is pervaded by the consciousness principle. Wherever there is variety and change. One is the mind. In a quiet mind. Dwesha Vritti and Kama Vritti etc etc are there. I never experience the pure mind but one that is soaked in consciousness. Even so. the other is the pervading consciousness. Whenever I am experiencing the mind. when both are evident simultaneously. but never say. ther is constant movement and variety. Here Prana means Indriyas. there is no variety. whereas in the mind. whereas consciousness is Achalam Nishcalam Tishtruti. where there are no distractions. It is self evident. In Chaitanyam. The uniqueness here is that. our attention is attracted. mind is all the time active. depression. It doesn’t keep quiet. love. the consciousness appears to be more 266 . we generally say anger. etc etc. Therefore it is always thaken for granted.

it is more obvious. we should be able to appreciate it. heroine etc. screen is there. that is all. Atma Vibhavati: means it is more evident. One thing we should note here. as it were. It is not possible. the screen continues to be there. when there is no movie. movie goes. We can use the quiet mind to identify the consciousness. but later. 267 . To recognize the screen. movie comes. When is it more evident? When movie is on or off? Naturally when movie is off. When movie is running also. Similarly Upanishad says Manasi Vishuddhe Sati. even when the movie is on. initially we may need to see it without movie. I have to tell. There afterwards. Visheshena Bhavati: there are no distractions. That is why the example of a cinema screen is given. In the interval. when the mind is temporarily relaxed and quiet. but I am distracted by what is going on. the hero.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji evident not because it is not already evident. I have to show the screen when there is no movie. Therefore initially to recognize the screen. but because there are no distracting thoughts. but we should not expect a permanently quiet mind. screen is very much there.

I will expect a permanent quietitude. Akoshaha etc Nityaha. Achalaha. For a person who is aware of consciousness. there will be a problem. screen continues. 268 . thoughts or no thoughts. Screen is Adrishaha. screen continues. Movie is there. So now you understand that screen is pure whatever may happen in the movie. it is always Nitya Siddhaha. I am the pure consciousness. Vishwam Darpana Dashyamana Nagari Tulyam Mayaya Nijanthirgatam Pashyannatmati Bahirivodbhootam Yatha Nidraya. So. Similarly a quiet mind is useful to own up the Chaitanyam in the absence of thoughts and later in the presence of thoughts also. If I don’t understand this properly.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji even though the movie is running. for a beginner. Adashaha. Sthanuhu. hero dies. screen is there. Atma is not affected by the nature of my thoughts. Yasmin Vishuddhe: in a quiet mind Esham Atma Vibhavati: this Atma appears more evident. again next show hero appears.

Which Namas glorify the Atma and which Namas glorify Anatma? Example. we do it from both Drishtis. Secondly from Anatma stand point also. If you take Shankaracharya Ashtottara Namavali. you can do a nice home work. this is my Guru. One is from the stand point of Atma which he has discovered. it means Atma. 269 . what does ‘I’ mean? Anatma or relative Ahankara. so indirectly Jnana Stuti also. In Scriptures Jnani is glorified from two angles or stand points. When he says Aham Brahmasmi. Satchitananda Vigrahaya Namaha. he has discovered his nature. yam yaṁ lokam manasā saṁvibhātiviśuddha-sattvaḥ kāmayate yāṁś ca kāmān. it is obviously Atma that is referred to. When he says. Jnani looks at himself both from Atma Drishti and Anatma Drishti.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 10. So a Jnani is glorified in this Mantra (Jnani Stuti). this is my Shishya. taṁ taṁ lokaṁ jāyate tāṁś ca kāmāṁs tasmād ātmajñaṁ hy arcayed bhūti-kāmaḥ. When we glorify him.

Jnani is closer to Ishwara than all other people. because both are Satchitananda Atma revealed by Tatvam Asi. Ishwara’s body is Samashti Shariram. Ishwara’s manifestation in a Jnani is more.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji When it says Dwisaptati Manograte Namaha. but Scriptures say. Can Jnani’s mind be omniscient in the literal sense? No. a Jnani may be well versed in Vedanta but may not know astrophysics or something else. Jnani and Ishwara are totally identical. So Anatma Drishtya Jnani and Ishwara are not identical. can a Jnani be equal to Ishwara? You know Jnani and Ishwara can never be identical because Jnani Shariram is Vyasti Shariram. So. Is it Atma or Anatma? Obviously Anatma. one who travelled all over and destroyed seventy two wrong systems of philosophy. From Atma stand point. The Ishwara Pratibimba in a Jnani is brighter because the reflecting medium is brighter (like 270 . because of his purity. From Anatma Drishtya. Jnani is like mini Ishwara. Jnani’s body is finite in power. Therefore a Guru can be seen from both stand points. Because of his purity which is needed for his Sadhana Chatustaya Sampathi. Ishwara’s is omniscient and omnipotent.

He has less or no ego. Therefore Upanishad says. If someone says you are great. like worshipping the Lord in a temple.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji two mirrors. that place is more capable of manifesting Ishwara. When it is blocked. Jnani 271 . he says the greatness belongs to my Guru. where as in the case of an Ajnani. just like human body). Bhagawan is trying to express. To serve as a flute. Apashruthi comes. he will similarly attribute it to his Guru. So all Gurus are like pipeline which is empty. caused by thick layer of ego. That is why even when he is worshipped. one a dusty one and the other a bright one). and one at either end. that is. one can worship a Jnani also. what is necessary is that. If you say that to his Guru. nice music comes out of it. How many holes are there in a flute? Nine (seven holes. without a block. Why do you worship the Lord in a temple? It is because of the constant chanting etc. it is like a blocked pipe. So we can also serve as a flute of the Lord. So Jnani becomes like a temple. he does not take it as worship to himself. but hands it over to the Lord. without ego or Ahankara. Ultimately it goes to the Lord. we must be empty. Raga and Dwesha. but the pipeline is blocked. Krishna having a flute indicates this when flute is empty. so Lord’s glory can flow through.

as he is without any block. Not for his own sake as he does not want anything. What Lokas and desires? Yam Yam Lokam Manasa Kamayate: whatever desires a devotee may entertain. Tamscha Kaman: not only Lokas. Bhagawan’s blessings reach the worshipper. So a Jnani is a mini Ishwara. he is Satya Kamaha. a temple. and the desires of the worshipper are fulfilled. all the devotee’s desires. but any or all worldly desires the devotee may have are fulfilled as well. Tam Tam Lokam Jayate: he can accomplish for the devotee any Loka he wants. next Mantra says spiritual desires are fulfilled.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji has removed the Ahankara block so Lord’s music flows through the Jnani. Jnani allows God to fulfill through him. This Mantra says Jnani can fulfill material desires. So a Jnani can fulfill both the material and spiritual desires of a disciple. In short. Satya Sankalpaha. a Jnani is capable of fulfilling. Jnani who has a pure mind untainted by Ahankara. Now look at the Shloka. your worship directly reaches the Lord. whom all people can worship and fulfill their desires. Tasmat: therefore 272 . Vishuddha Satvaha. Therefore when you worship a Jnani.

Guru Vishnu. upāste puruṣam ye hy akāmās te śukram etad ativartanti dhīrāḥ. Kama and Dharma or worldly desires. So now we enter the final part of the Upanishad. we worship Jnani’s as Guru Brahma. in our culture. Same thing is said in Guru Stotra. second section of third chapter. Guru Sakshath Parambrahma Tasmaishri Guruve Namaha. Jnani’s glorification as Mukti pradata. Third Mundaka: Second Khanda 1. a fulfiller of spiritual desires is highlighted. namely. That is why. Atmajnam Archayed: they can worship a Jnani. Those desirous of these. Now in the next secton. 273 . Bhukti Mukti Pradatacha.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Bhutikamaha: Bhuti means Artha. sa vedaitat paramam brahma dhāma yatra viśvaṁ nihitam bhāti śubhram. Gururdevo Maheshwaraha. So with the glorification of Jnani as Bhukti Pradata is over. one who fulfills both material and spiritual desires.

not only it is Adharam. Jnana Phalam and Jnana Swarupam were talked about. Glory of a Jeevanmukta is talked about as Mukti Pradata. Yatra Shubram Paramam Brahma Dhama Etat Brahma Saha Veda. the infinite Brahman. in which alone. the abode of what? Yatra Vishwam Nihitam Bhati: which is the abode of the entire creation. So Yatra Vishwam Nihitam Bhati. Brahma 274 . in supporting the world. Here also same topics are discussed. by any impurities belonging to the world. Even though. it does not get tainted. it is Shubram.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji In the previous section. Jnana Sadhanam. So who is a Jnani? Saha Etat Paramam Brahma Ved: so this Jeevanmukta has recognized the Paramam Brahma. entire world is resting. If you say Brahma is Sarva Adhara. it is untainted. but at the same time. the knowledge is incomplete because you will say Brahma is Sarva Adharam. Here also they are said. How does he know? That is important. just like space. which means. three topics. it accommodates everything. What type of Brahma? Which is the the substratum. Jnana Phalam was talked about as Jeevanmukti and Videhamukti.

people ask for Brahma Vidya. not ‘Scriptures’. What is the use? Therefore the knowledge is complete only when you say that Brahman which is pure and Sarvadharam Therefore. Brahma is Shubram. one who knows as himself. Saham Ved = Atmatvena Veda. All others are underutilizing or improperly utilizing a Jnani. Brahmatma Aikyam Jnani. Very rarely. Aparokshataya Veda.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji is great. what happens? Ye Purusham Upasate: suppose devotees worship is I. Such a Jnani. still they have to join the Brahma Vichara of all the people. noun as in ‘Vedanta’. Jnani’s have renounced everything for the sake of Brahma Vichara. So what will happen to Mukti Kamaha? 275 . how? Akamaha: without desiring material ends (Nishkama Pooja of a Jnani). Therefore majority is interested in Bhutikamaha. Here the word Veda is a verb. if people worship. the consciousness principle. but I am miserable. then Te Dheeraha: they are the intelligent people because they are utilizing a Jnani in a proper way.

fact chemistry. Spirituality needs the same systematic teaching economics that or is required for in physics. he can get that by the Drishta method by asking someone to donate and give it to him or in an Adrishta manner. If they want money. Jnani has to help them by several methods. Shukram literally means Manushya Beejam. through success in his venture etc by blessing. But Guru has to teach without losing his patience. But if a devotee is seeking Moksha. even more astrophysics. Therefore Jnani blesses by teaching. Krishna told everything in a systematic way. When Mukti is wanted. human seed and in this context. They are out of the birth death cycle. Jnani can help in only one way by teaching systematically. 276 . until the student understands.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Te Yetat Shukram Ativrtanti. it means Janma or rebirth. systematic. teaching is the only method just like in school or college. but still Arjuna keeps asking the same questions till the eighteenth chapter. That is the only method exemplified by the second chapter of Gita. When they are asking for Bhukti. That is so with many students. They transcend Punarjanma.

Because even in this Janma. kāmān yah kāmayate manyamānaḥ sa kāmabhir jāyate tatra tatra. That is why somebody said.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 2. it was said. our future is determined by our intense desire. watch your thoughts because your thoughts will become your actions. It also means he will not have Punarjanma (Te Sukram Ativartanti). action leads to results. How can Jnanam destroy Punarjanma? What is the connection between Jnanm and freedom from Punarjanma? For this. paryāpta-kāmasya kṛtāmanas tu ihaiva sarve pravilīyanti kāmāḥ. Upanishad gives a particular reason here. watch your actions as your actions will become your character. So in this Janma itself if future 277 . our Punarjanma is determined by our intense desire. In the Scriptures. Wach your personality because it determines your future. Because desire leads to action. it is said. a Jnani blesses the disciple with Moksha by systematic teaching. In the previous Mantra. different reasons can be given. watch your character because they determine your personality. results determine your future.

it was said. then by extending the same logic. Tasmat Sarveshu Kaleshu Mamanusmara Yudhyache …… So we have so many desires and gradually in life. to Mumukshus he gives Moksha by teaching them and making them Jnanis too. some desires become strong and swallow all others. is as bright as the first one.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji depends on my present desire. What he gives depends on the seeker. though this rule holds good. and that desire will be the fuel for my next Janma. our desire determines our next Jnama also. The last section of this Upanishad begins with glorification of Jnani who can bless seekers with both material and spiritual ends. and if you have not actually seen the process of lighting. as we reach old age. In case of a Jnani. Krishna tells this very clearly in eighth chapter of Bhagawad Gita. In first Mantra. he is a Bukti Mukti Pradata. since he does not have any desires he merges into Brahman and hence there is no Punarjanma. The second flame once lit. not a lesser Jnani than himself! But as much a Jnani as himself! The example of one flame being used to light another flame is very apt here. one desire will be very strong. you can never make out which was 278 .

or meet some one or buy something. This is not surprising. So thus. we say Shankara is Guru and Sureshwara is Shishya. because suppressions is dangerous. because he simply cannot eat. rebirth is also decided by Kama. Same way. how does the knowledge of Brahman protect a person from rebirth? For that. get dropped because he is so full. So my desire determines my travel and also its direction. He drops all desires. both are of such high quality. Extending the same principle. a 279 . Rebirth is determined by the intense yearning of a person. Atmanyeva Atmana Tushtaha). but when you look at their works. as he is totally devoid of Kama (prajahati Yada Kaman. So Karma is backed by Kama. why do we go out? It is either because I want to attend Upanishad class. Just as a person who has eaten a sumptuous lunch refuses even an attractive dish like a jamun. not as suppression. desires. In the case of a Jnani. the second Mantra gives the answer. For example. Then the question comes. The intense desire of a Jeeva determines the travel. In fact. Jnani makes his disciples also Jnanis and thus releases them from rebirth.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji the original flame and which one was lighted later. it is impossible to say one is Guru and other is Shishya. Similarly in Guru Shishya Parampara also. Sarvan Partha Manogatan.

the desire of the previous Janma takes over. but something forces him to pursue that. He may not know the details of the Purva Janma. minus that object. I am incomplete. Tatra Tam Buddhisamyogam Labhate Pourva Dehikam. So what happens? Saha Tatra Tatra Jayate: so he takes birth in a situation where such desire can be fulfilled. As Krishna says in Bhagawad Gita. Kaman Yaha Kamayate: suppose a person thinks of varieties of sense objects. 280 . he cannot have any desires! That is said in this beautiful Mantra. That is how different people have different inclinations. Manyamanaha: by this repeated dwelling on the same desire. it becomes a deep thirst. Even the intense desire for Moksha is no different. but some become very dominant. How? By repeatedly thinking of them (Dhyayate Vishayanpumsaha) and feel. Kamabhihi: when born with a new body. This kind of thinking gradually becomes very intense yearning for both positive and negative things. We have many desires.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Jnani is so full.

and thereby have best of both the worlds! Here teacher indicates how it is not possible because. For Jnani therefore this law becomes irrelevant. meaning one who is with converted into Paramatma Jeevatma! (Compound Bahuvreehi). That is what is meant by Tatra Tatra Jayate.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji That is how. I will pursue all material ends in my early age and then desire Moksha in the end. your last wish will be noble. for this one. so the Janma. You cannot cheat me. as the desire. some people are interested in Swamijis. How? Jnanena Krutaha. Paramatmatvena Kruthaha Jivatmena Yasya Saha. desire at the end of life will be a cumulative effect of the whole (type of) life he has led. How? Kritatmamastu: Kritatma means one who has fulfilled himself totally. only if you have noble thoughts and noble ambitions. Tasman Sarveshu Kaleshu Mamanusmarayudhya Cha. by knowledge. 281 . One may argue. Shankaracharya is the hero! So. philosophy etc at an early age! When many youngsters of the same age are after Rajnikanth and Tendulkar and all those people. That is why Krishna tells in Bhagawad Gita. that is the law.

we grope everywhere and struggle for fulfillment. Without knowing this. possessions etc etc. Sarve Kamaha Ihaiva Praviliyante: all the desires will dissolve here itself. So the only desire of every one is Purnatvam. why should he seek something! So he is fulfilled or Paryaptakamaha. When Jnani has found that fulfillment. children.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Paryaptakamasya: whose desires are all fulfilled. wife. money. The same is the case with husband. though superficially. There afterwards. it appears as though people want this and that. It is the feeling of completeness that I am after (Purnatvam). By getting that something I hope to become complete. position. desire something? Here we have to know basic principle. Nobody desires any object in the world. one who has already discovered completeness in himself. why should he. He has fulfilled all his desires in life by knowledge. if at all he has 282 . Then what does every body desire? A person has a feeling of imcompleteness which is expressed as a desire for something. it says Saha Ashnute Sarvan Kaman Saha. In Taittereya. I feel my life is not made without a Benz car! I keep thinking of that and feel my life will be complete with Benz! So that means what? I am not seeking the Benz car. but the feeling of completeness which I hope to get by acquiring the Benz.

Both can neither increase nor decrease my Purnatvam (Na Karmana Vardhate No Kvaniyat). success takes me to the top of the world. that is Muktihi. All Jnani’s actitivities are fullness based activities. Fullness based activity means its success or failure does not matter to me. help people. In emptiness activity. The desire to bless the world. They are non binding desires.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji desires. 283 . I enjoy the success. they are not for fulfillment. out of compassion. but am not weighed down by the failure. but out of fulfillment. Fullness based activity is different from emptiness based activity. All Ajnani’s activities are emptiness based activities. How do you know that? Krishna in Bhagawad Gita says Naiva Tasya Kritenarthaha Nakruteneh Kaschan…. Therefore Jnani does not have emptiness backed desires or binding desires. and failure to the bottom.

positive things have to be inferred. If that is not there. we get some Sadhanas or disciplines required for a seeker. Here teacher wants to say. Ayam Atma Pravachanena Na Labhyaha: the Atma cannot be attained by any amout of spiritual study alone. in the presence of which only all other Sadhanas become valid. but it should 284 be backed by Teevra . study is very important. It is not said that study of Scriptures is useless. Be careful. which alone give spiritual success. To be fruitful. Only study without intense desire will not give full benefit. na bahunā śrutena. one particular Sadhana is very important. nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā. yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanūṁ svām. What is that one single Sadhana which validates all other Sadhanas? Teacher says that is intense desire for Moksha or Teevra Mumukshutvam. the study must be backed by Teevra Mumukshatvam. though some benefit is there. From them. The example of a person under water struggling to breathe is given. In these next two Mantras. all other Sadhanas will not give full benefit. Here teacher talks about disqualifications.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 3.

Let it take ten years or ten Janmas. not backed by Mumukshatvam is not fruitful. From that you infer. because wherever I go. In all different situations. That the problem is not with the world. I must be thoroughly convinced. which means choosing Atma/Moksha as top priority in life. This. It says if you are not convinced. So that conviction must come. So that noise must be from myself (inner Santrupthihi). So what is required is converting the weak ‘I’ to strong ‘I’. but with me. If it has not come. Medha is Granthyartha Dharana Shakthihi. 285 . Nothing everything. Only ego fattens. happens. Vedanta does not want to enforce this idea. manipulating go and and experiment changing with the world. whatever I do. the common factor is I. Pravachanena Na Labhyaha: Atma is not attained by study. It becomes only an academic pursuit. The weak ‘I’ is Samsara and the strong ‘I’ is Moksha. but it has to come. Memory is useful but mere memory. Na Medhaya: mere memorization is also not useful. something is wrong with me.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Mumukshatvam which is here called Atma Varanam. that noise is always there like a Tambura Shrithi that I am incomplete.

For that. to him. Advaithis are the greatest Bhaktas also. Who is sincere? One who has chosen Paramatma as the only Paramatma Purushartha in life. Dharma. Dayananda Swamiji used to say. Paramatma reveals itself. 286 . Artha and Kama are all means but not an end. the answer is. Shankara highlights one more factor here.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji What about repeated Shravanam? Na Bahuna Shrutena: mere Shravanam. Purushartha Nischaya is being clear about priorities in life. To whom does it come then? Tasya Esha Atma Svam Tanum Vrupute: reveals its nature only to sincere seekers. Shankara says. listening to Scriptures through a Guru will not help without Mumukshatvam. Moksha is in our hands only. other people blame Advaithis saying ‘they don’t believe in Lord’s grace for Moksha’. One who has chosen this. For this. Tena Labhyaha: by him alone. Spiritual goal is the only goal. it is known. It is not God’s will etc. Moksha is the only Purushartha which is not a means but an end. So they are not Bhaktas.

should we ask the sun to send us light? Sun cannot but give light. Shankara says. Lord’s grace is always there. Similarly. just like the sun showers his light impartially over the whole earth whether it is river Ganga or a local drain. whether it is a rich area or a poor area. Therefore Bhagawan’s grace is always there. 4. 287 . It is upto us to make the effort to tap the grace for Moksha. Then what is required? Our effort which is what is meant by Yamevaisha Vrunute. Lord’s grace is important. as he is the embodiment of light.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Lord’s grace is always there. etair upāyair yatate yas tu vidvāṁs tasyaiṣa ātmā viśate brahma-dhāma. nāyam ātmā bala-hīnena labhyo na ca pramādāt tapso vāpy aliṅgāt. Udghareth Atmanatmanam: Moksha is determined by your free will.

1. Lingaha: in this context Vairagyaha or Sanyasaha as said by Shankara.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Here. 4. It is not a matter of belief. Strength is not physical but intellectual (Buddhi Balam) because the whole process is knowledge based and not emotion absed like Puranas etc. Guru says I am GOD. Tapaha: in this context Jnana. Balam: strength. clearing them all is involved. It talks about Ishwara. 288 . It says world is not real when it keeps creating problems for me! It says I am Brahman. At every step Buddhi is to be very active without a good thinking capacity. world and I. but knowing and assimilating. Apramada: alertness. I am God while I think I am a DOG. 2. The basic tenets of Vedanta are Brahma Satyam Jaganmithya Jeevo Brahmaivanaparaha. doubts galore will come. 3. one cannot have this knowledge. teacher is going to talk about four qualifications without which one will not get Moksha. Vedanta is clear knowledge of a subject which is very subtle and contrary to our general knowledge. So teaching is involved. whom I have never seen! Every basic dictum is contrary to my perception. They are 1. not being mechanical.

Apramadaha: alertness. Dayanandaji gives the example of marbles. scriptural study under the guidance of a competent Guru. I don’t have Dwesha. Tapaha: Jnanam or Vedanta Vichara. clearer is the vision of myself. the more I look the more I see myself only. During exams. Shastra Jnanam Eva Atma Jnanam. It is Raga Dwesha Atitatvam. The same child when he is 50. what is his attitude to marbles? 289 Samadhanaha . so I go away to avoid temptation. so my knowledge of myself becomes clearer and clearer. 3. I was attached to them as a child. When I look into a mirror. I don’t have Raga. it is also not mere intellectual gymnastics. If I am doing some extra analysis to remove my doubts. Therefore in and through all our pursuits. So Scriptural enquiry is self enquiry. we should be alert or about Citta our goal of Moksha.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 2. The understanding of Scriptures is understanding of myself. even though there are sufficient distractions is our life. It does not mean hatred. is called Chittaekagrata Apramadaha. 4. Lingam: Sanyasa or Vairagyaha. mother says you should not play. Only when I wipe the dust off the mirror. not losing sight of the goal. The study is not an extrovert pursuit. but it is like dusting the mirror. Detachment. Never think it is a mere intellectual pursuit.

you cannot attain is double negative and therefore more emphatic. that is called Lingaha or Sanyasa here. With these you can attain is positively putting it. Without these four. his 290 . Paramatma cannot be attained because he will be distracted all over. Knowledge without Vairagyam will only be a scholarly knowledge without assimilation. All these four them are by important. putting Teacher in double wants to emphasize negative knowledge. Na cha Pramadat Labhyaha: without alertness. Etair Upayair Yatate Yas Tu Vidvan: that intelligent person who strives with these four qualifications.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Its presence does not pose a temptation and its absence does not pose a vacuum. Vairagya Rahita Jnanat Na Labhyate. one cannot attain liberation. So he has got maturity towards objects that is growing out of attachments. this Paramatma cannot be attained. Alinganat Tapasaha Va: Paramatma cannot be attained by study without Vairagyaha or Sanyasa. Balaheenena Ayamatma Na Labhyaha: without Buddhi Balam or intellectual strength. Without these.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Atma will merge into Paramatma. Of these. The main teaching has already been given in the form of answer to the question ‘Kasmin Bhagavo Vijnate Sarvamidam Vijnatam Bhavati?’ posed by Shounaka to Guru Angiras. what we call elements. just like by knowing water. everything is as good as known (Brahma Jnanena Sarva Vijnanam Bhavati). the first one. elementals etc etc are only names. the basic substance being Brahman alone. namely Brahma Vidya was already discussed. preparatory steps. 3. knowledge. wave are all known’. 1. The Jnana Sadhanani have also been talked about. ocean. Tasyaisha Atma Vishate Brahmadhama. In this section. river. froth. Jnana Sadhanani. Atma Varanam or deep thirst for the 291 the benefit of acquiring this . Summary of the teaching that is Brahma Vidya in brief. teacher wants to wind up the teaching by discussing three topics. Similarly. 2. Jnanaphalam. This is the concluding portion of Mundaka Upanishad. The answer is ‘by knowing Brahman which alone is the truth or substance behind this manifold creation.

Lobha. Moha. Jeevanmukthihi and Videhamukthihi. one can enjoy inner freedom from Kama. Three other Sadhanas were Balam or inner strength.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji knowledge being the most important. Krodha. Mada. Matsarya etc. alertness or Apramada and Sanyasa Sahita or Vairagya Sahita Jnana that is enquiry backed by detachment. Both should go hand in hand. Now teacher enters the topic of Jnana Phalamin the following Mantra. samprāpyainam ṛṣayo jñāna-tṛptāḥ kṛtātmāno vīta-rāgāḥ praśāntāḥ. Janan Phalam is going to be presented in two ways. all the inner pains. (In 292 . 5. te sarvagaṁ sarvataḥ prāpya dhīrā yuktātmānas sarvam evāviśanti. Jeevanmukthihi is inner freedom even when person is alive without changing has Ashrama or profession.

our priorities are in Artha Kama. Generally in the beginning stages of life. Material accomplishments are incidental. That is called switching the priorities of life. How to bring about this? That is not spelt out here. A person has to convert from a materialistic to a spiritual person. one who knows that spirituality is more important than materialism. It is a gradual growth the stages of which. the seeker goes through. It is brought about by a religious life. after death. It means one who has recognized the fact that spiritual growth is the only real accomplishment in life. That is one result. Only Jnani has the raincoat of Jnanam. so any amount of rain. Such a person is called Dhiraha or Viveki. First is Dheeraha. the Jnani is not reborn because he merges with the Lord (Ishwara Aikyam or Brahma Aikyam) or Janma Abhavaha. In this Mantra Upanishad beautifully talks about the stages which the seeker goes through. Without a 293 . Let us rearrange the words in the Mantra. Secondly.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Bhagawad Gita. Dukheshu Anudvigna Manaha Sukheshu Vigataspruhaha Veetaraga Bhaya Krodhaha Stitadhirmuniruchyate) Freedom from inner turmoil is not due to change in the outer set up which is determined by Prarabdha. he does not get wet. but they are not the main goal. That is Jeevanmukthi.

Danam. How is that? Shankara says. 294 . Next is Prashanthaha. become religiously spiritual. the next stage is Vita Raga. only when money is there. So money is used for Moksha. but the religions in due course. that is called Vairagya. Wife is Saha Dharmacharini not Saha Arthacharini or Saha Kamacharini. Initially Veda does not forbid materialism. one with a non extrovert mind. unknowingly in course of time. growing out of petty things in life. Similarly family life also. Ashtanga Yoga. So the attitude that Artha Kama as subservient to Dharma. one gets converted from materialistic religion to spiritual religion. Money is also required for Moksha. you can do noble Karmas. This again requires effort like Japa. God is also made a partner in our ventures! But the beauty of religion is. a person cannot convert himself. Viveka will naturally lead to Vairagyam. a mind which is tranquil and turned inwards. social service etc. Moksha. So that is also for spiritual growth. Once we grow mentally.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji religious life. rituals. Even religion in the early stage is used for money only. no more restless and wandering (Shamadi Shatka Sampannaha). What is Vairagya? All things other than Moksha become secondary. Pooja.

Atma Jeevatma. So how beautifully stages are talked about! First you become Dheeraha. he becomes a Rishihi. next is acquisition of knowledge. 295 . Each term is important here. Vairagya and Shamadi Shatka Sampathi. Krutam means converted. Next is Krutatmanaha. Rishu means to know. a Jnani. Those who have converted Jeevatma into Paramatma (Paramatmatvena Kruthaha Jeevatma Yasya.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Next is Rishayaha. What type of conversion? To paramatma. If a person does that. a seer. Rishati Janati Atmatatvam Iti Rishihi. Then Prashanthaha. compound Bahurvihi). Then Rishihi. means Jnaninaha. a knower. Once I have Viveka. This is done by systematic and consistent study of Scriptures for a length of time under the guidance of a competent Guru.

because Jeevatma has always been Paramatma.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji How? Is it a physical conversion? Not at all. I am Nitya Atruptaha. So Jeevatma can never get total satisfaction. I can never be totally satisfied. So the conversion is at the level of understanding. Paramatma. It is only changing my misconception (from wrongly understood Jeevatma to rightly understood Paramatma). Only when I recognize my Paramatma nature. will I have total satisfaction as Paramatma. they have Mrityorma become Amritangamaya). This is called Jnanena Truptihi. Such a gas does not exist. Rightly understood Jeevatma is Paramatma. Next stage is. Similarly ignorance is converted to knowledge (Asatoma Sadgamaya. Jnanatruptaha: as long as I am Jeevatma. there will be always some complaint. Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya. smake is converted to rope. Rope was mistaken as snake due to dim light. Therefore. not because surroundings are fine but inspite of them. There is no time in life when everything is all right and ideal like that ideal gas equation where PV=RT. Like converting our snake into rope. By gaining correct knowledge. Similarly. How is it possible? 296 .

So Yukta Atmanaha means Jnana Nishtaha (they don’t lose sight of the knowledge). Mananam and Nidhidhyasanam. How? Sarvataha: totally without any distinction. So what will happen to such Jnana Nishtaha? Sarvataha Sarvagam Prapya: at the time of death. They should be all the time in Shravanam. Sarvagam Prapya. Next is Videha Muktihi. our problems become insignificant. Te Yuktatmanaha: they (Jnanatruptaha) continue in this knowledge without slipping down. Paatanam. is all 297 . This is Jeevanmuktihi. at the end of their Prarabdha. From the vision of knowledge. all the time dwell in the knowledge. Sarvameva Aavishanti: they pervade thus the whole creation having become one with Brahman. it looks very big. Patanam. But when you look from a higher perspective (a tree looks big from the ground. Jnanatrupta means Jeevanmuktaha.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji When you look at a problem or anything from a particular angle. merge into the all pervading Brahman. but the same tree when looked at from a helicopter looks insignificant!).

Similarly. enclosed space. When pot is broken the space inside the pot is said to merge into the total space. there is no question of actual merging. they will attain brahma Aikyam. The pot when it eixisted. In short. merger should not be taken as a physical event. all pervading. Why? Because if Brahman is physically away. ‘they merge into Brahman’.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji pervading. that is all. When it is broken. 298 . This consciousness space in body pot had a name. why use the word merging? That is why Shastra gives example of pot space and total space. theat seeming individuality is gone. consciousness has no more name. body is like the pot. it is called Brahman. So it is only a seeming individuality. When the body is gone. Though it is said. Then. consciousness is like space. This is called Sarvarthaha Sarvagam Prapya. but actually what did the space do? Nothing. now it is unenclosed.

Shuddhasatvaha: First stage in spirituality is a pure mind. family should be healthy. I 299 . children should grow up well. For a pure mind. Satva here means pure not Satva Guna. Raga Dweshas also have to be pure which means they are legitimate and not illegitimate. Upanishad talks about Jeevanmukti and Videha Mukti Phalam as a result of Self knowledge. two conditions are required. te brahma-lokeṣu parāntakāle parāṁṛtāḥ parimucyanti sarve. we will rearrange words. one whose Raga and Dwesha are subservient to one’s mind. Here also stages through which seeker goes through are pointed out. Similarly legitimate Dweshas are like I don’t want to be sick. vedāntā-vijñāna-suniścitārthāḥ saṁnyāsa-yogād yatayaḥ śuddhasttvāḥ.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 6. What is that? That I should be healthy. For sake of convenience. nothing wrong in them. Secondly. all these are legitimate desires. In this popular Mantra also.

An impure mind is restless. convert your Raga Dweshas nto preferences. It should not be ‘I need a cup of coffee. convert your needs into preferences. they are under manageable conditions. This is called Shuddha Satvaha (Krishan says Indriyassamindriyarthe Ragadweshou Vyavastitou). Once mind is pure. If it is there. So there must be an Ashrama here (Shantamidam Ashrama Padam)’. so that even another disturned person who comes near will become calmer. balance of mind is the sign of purity. if it is not there also ok. I see evn traditional rivals among wild animals. Kalidasa very beautifully describes this when Dushyantha comes to Kanva Ashrama. Intelligence and academic education does not promise peace. but radiates his inner calmness.’ Similarly at every stage. agitated. equanimity. and always disturbed.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji should not be the slave of Raga Dweshas. purity alone gives peace. ‘my mind somehow has become very calm. So you can say. A person with a calm mind is not only calm himself. criticizing. That is why I say. Don’t be a slave of Raga Dwesha. are moving around without attacking each other. Purity alone can give equanimity not intelligence. He says. it is ready for knowledge. but I prefer a cup of coffee. grumbling. Calmness of mind is an indication of purity. ok. So what is the next stage? 300 .

becomes a student union leader. he has to commit totally. Veda gives him freedom from religious duties. So Yatayaha means committed seekers. you send your child to college. he used to play for fun. So what do Yatis practice? Sanyasa Yogaha: means Jnana Yogaha as that is the primary duty of a Sanyasi. Veda will not be happy. Arthaha: central teaching of Scriptures namely Jeevatma Paramatma Aikyam. Sanyasa means pure Jnana Yoga. 301 . family duties and also social and political duties.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Yatataha: Yati means Sanyasi. literally meaning committed pursuit of knowledge. they become wise people. Will you be happy? So by following Vedanta Vichara committedly. A Sanyasi con’t even vote! He has a civil death. Vichara: Shastra. what will happen? Vedanta Vichara Sunischita Arthaha: means Jnaninam Bhavanti. and he instead of studying well. Sunischitaha: clearly doubtlessly known. Vedanta: Upanishad. That person to whom the central theme of Upanishad. Why? So he can pursue Shravana Manana Nidhidhyasana all the time. Like an amateur person turning professional! Before. So if he takes Sanyasa and does some other pursuit. The very purpose of Sanyasa is this person is freed from all duties. It is like. but once he turns pro.

on one side I say Brahmananda and another side I weep. and Nidhidhyasanam: to remove emotional problems. Again ‘become’ is within quotes like 302 . This requires special effort. Mananam: to remove intellectual problems (doubts). Jnani’s become one with the immortal Brahman (Param: Brahman. Lokaha Samastha Sukhino Bhuvantu. Amruta: immortal). We have to always own up Aham Brahmasmi. These inner pains should be flushed out by Nidhidhyasanam. no revenge either. So these things should not nag my mind. Whenever ideal conditions come. So how does he get it? Shravanam: to get knowledge. Next is Paramrutha: as the result of this. though we normally feel we have overcome them. These inner pains can surface at any time. So you have to accept things and enjoy what you have. they show up. As long as they are there.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Shastras namely. Jivatma Pramatma Aikyam is clearly known. We all have deep complaints about ourselves and others. realize that all the pains I underwent are for my growth only and resolve all my conflicts with myself.

but only water of ocean. Why final? Because till now. Yamuna or Saraswathi. Jeevanmuktihi: is enjoying inner freedom even while alive. After that. Parantakale: at the time of their final death. death was always associated with rebirth! Only after Jnanam. it is not so. This is Jeevanmuktihi. In this last section of Upanishad. lose their individuality and become one with ocean. They live as long as Prarabdha allows. They are no longer Ganga. This is going to be clarified in the next Mantras with an example of how rivers. teacher is giving Jnana Phalam in the form of Jeevanmuktihi and Videha Muktihi. Sarvai To Brahmaloke Parimuchyanti: so they merge into Brahman Chiatanya (not Brahma Loka here). like pot space merging into total space. inspite of various situations in life caused by 303 . So Jeevanmukti and Videhamukti are the Phalam of Jnanam. Death of an ignorant person is only Antakala. when they join ocean.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji dreamer and waker. where as Jnani’s death is Parantakala.

it says. Sthoola. Merger without movement. of these sixteen Kalas. losing individuality is Videha Muktihi. Videha Muktihi means. at the time of death. where same idea is presented. Here in this Mantra. gatāḥ kalāḥ pañcadaśa pratiṣṭhā devāś ca sarve prati-devatāsu. So in this Mantra also. karmāñi vijñānamayaś ca ātmā pare’vyaye sarve ekī-bhavanti. fifteen merge into corresponding total aspect of creation. Sookshma and Karana which make him into a limited Jiva and merges into the Paramatma. thus freeing him from any limitation. which makes the pot space merge into the total space without any movement is apt. This was talked about in the following Mantras. 7.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Prarabdha. the merger of the individual with the total is pointed out. The example of a pot broken. 304 . the liberated person gives up all the three bodies namely. Prasnopanishad says that the individual personality is divided into sixteen facets known as Shodashakala.

why is it said fifteen Kalas merge? What about the sixteenth? Shankara writes in his commentary that the sixteenth Kala refers to the name. which remains in that organ in the form of Shakthi.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Panchadasha Kalaha: fifteen aspects of the personality. The question is. the Vyavahara Nama of a person which remains in the memory of other people even after the person is gone. deities. So except name. without this. enabling the organ to function. That is why in 18 th chapter of Bhagawad Gita. They merge etc. A name makes a person unique among so may people. similarly elementals etc. Pratishtaha: merge into the corresponding macro aspect of creation. Shankara writes. the sense organs cannot function. Devascha Sarve Pratidevatasu Gataha: here Devas refer to sense organs. Krishna says. when Prasna Upanishad talks of sixteen Kalas. into will corresponding Devatha. the other fifteen Kalas go back to the totality. Adhistanam Tatha Karta 305 . So part of Surya Shakthi is in the eye. Body has five elements which merge into corresponding total five elements. into merge presiding Shrotrasya Chakshushaha. in every sense organ there is a blessing given by the corresponding Devatha. They Surya Digdevatha Adhistana Devatha.

In Ajnani. This blessing which was in the sense organ will merge into the Devatha itself. Therefore at the time of death of a Jnani. only the other two (Sanchita and Agami) will merge into Ishwara or totality. Sarva Api Eki Bhavanti: all of them will merge in the case of a Jnani. So this Vijnanamaya Atma also called Karta Pramata. which makes me a distinct individual. So Vijnananmayaha Atma means the strong sense of ‘I’. Vijnanamayaha Atma: In the first notion. Ahankaraha also merges into the total. only physical body dissolves. only a human being has a very strong ‘I’ notion. Vividha Cha Pruthkshesta Daivam Chaivathru Panyamam. Daivam: means power or blessing of the Devatha. The subtle body. Prarabdha is already exhausted.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Karanam Cha Pruthagvidam. Here the word Atma refers to Ahankara only and not Paramatma. causal body. the individuality. Bhokta. a person dies (we are now talking about Videha Mukti). Then what about Karmani? Karmas also (Sanchita and Agami) will not be retained as Prarabdha need not merge because only when it is exhausted. all 306 .

rivers if they feel they 307 . Now imagine having originated from the ocean. in the infinite Brahman it merges.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji survive which also they call the sould and this takes rebirth. though ultimately they come from the clouds which in turn originate from ocean only! But forgetting these. they forget that fact and think they have originated from the mountains (immediate parents). The example is the river merging into the ocean. 8. Where? Pare Avyaye: in the totality. yathā nadyas syandamānās samudre astam gacchanti nāma-rūpe vihāya. So rivers are many in number and have all originated from the ocean only. To convey this idea an example is going to be given in the next Mantra. That is why a river is called Adrija. tathā vidvān nāma-rūpād vimuktaḥ parāt-param puruṣam upaiti divyam.

Moksha. it is merger into the Lord. they are rushing towards their source the ocean. we have all come from one Ishwara. Going to God is a happy event. everything is gone. some may be pure. not a sorrowful event. But knowingly or unknowingly. and each has an individuality like Ganga. and our essential nature is same as that of Ishawara just like both ocean and river have water and therefore both are essentially one. they merge into the 308 . some may have some elements like copper in Tamraparni. He remembers through knowledge. he drops. their names and forms are different. we have forgotten our source which is Brahman except the Jnani. So how long are they going to retain their individuality? Only till they merge into the ocean. only the ocean is there. Some of them may have lot of impurities. merges into Brahman. Yamuna. all this as long as they retain their individuality. Just like the river. Similarly. Rupa. So for a Jnani.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji are from mountains and forget the original source. Syandamanaha Yata Nadhyaha: So all the rivers which are rushing towards the ocean. That is why bath in the ocean is considered sacred as it contains the water of all rivers. the Nama. Once they merge. Nama. Rupa and individuality. some are sacred and some are not. the ocean and have become many. Saraswathi etc etc.

That becomes the secret name of the child. form and individuality which are purely associated with the body. Vidvan Namarupad Vimuktaha: this wise person drops the name. the Namakarana ceremony is talked about. Rupa and properties. Veda tells us what is a fact. ‘You are consciousness my child’. but then so would everybody’s name which poses transactional problems.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji ocean. the essential nature of water. There. If at all. form and individuality. Why secret? 309 . parents name the child ‘Veda’ as the first name always (Veda means Chaitanyam or Brahman) (Vedosi Atharath Nama Karoti). So Namarupe Vihaya: leaving their name. That is why in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. continues to exist. Parent may not know what it is (Tadasya Tad Grihameva Nama Bhavati). Samudre Astam Gachanti: they merge into the ocean. my name should be ‘Chaitanyam’. even though their individuality is gone like Nama. Tatha: similarly. Essentially I cannot have a name.

how to differentiate between one and the other? That is why secondary names are given. 310 . Chaitanyam is neither male nor female. beyond Maya. beyond space. beyond ignorance. the sacred Brahman. Purusham Upaiti: merger into Purusha. So having dropped Nama and Rupa. beyond matter. What type of total consciousness? Paravaram: which is beyond the creation. Chaitanya Swaroopam. What type of spirit is it? Divyam. Maya is matter. It is the same thing with gender also. The first Para refers to Maya and second Para refers to beyond. so beyond matter. male and female is only with respect to the body. Upaiti: merges. Vidwan: the wise one. the total consciousness without motion.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Because of transactional problems! If all rivers are called water. the absolute. Jnani drops the secondary name which is of the body alone.

sa yo ha vai tat paramam brahma veda brahmaiva bhavati. The one quotes who this umpteen number knows Brahman. Therefore I have disowned my own Brahmanhood and seeking that outside. the benefit is he himself becomes the Brahman. It has a lot of significance. Normally when we know something. of Shankaracharya times. the substratum of the universe. we do not become that thing. but I am ignorant of this fact’. In fact. himself becomes Brahman. This is very often quoted statement and basis of Advaitic teaching. it can cause problems in our day to day life if it were so! Shankaracharya says elsewhere. So here the 311 . tarati śokaṁ tarati pāpmānaṁ guhā-granthibhyo vimukto’mṛto bhavati. Once again Jeevanmuktihi and Videha Mukti are talked about. nāsyābrahma-vit kule bhavati.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 9. Sa Yo Vai Tat Paramam Brahma Veda: suppose a person knows the Parambrahma. that it is possible under only one condition that is that ‘I am already Brahman.

If you are not Brahman already. whatever you do. which is impossible. infinite need not become infinite. It says not only Jnani becomes Brahman. then what is required? The infinite which is not aware of its nature has to own up the fact that it is infinite.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji very knowledge itself is the accomplishment. Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati. he converts everyone around him into Jnanis. If you want to become Brahman. you will never become Brahman. Any other method you try will not work. That alone is the Sadhana. just like Karna became Kshatriya merely by knowing! Knowledge makes me Brahman because I am already Brahman. Do you know why? Brahman means infinite. if you are not Brahman already. That is why what we require is knowledge or owning up. Logic is finite cannot become infinite. a finite you have to become infinite Brahman. depending on whether Jnani is Grihasta or Sanyasi. The whole Vedanta is not one of becoming but knowing and owning. an Ajnani cannot be there because his 312 . That is why Upanishad says. you are finite in nature. but disowned this fact. Asya Kule Abrahmavit Na Bhavati: in his family or Ashram.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji influence is so powerful. I thought I was the shell called the body. I own up my Paramarthika Swarupa. The knot and Guha have already been discussed. this Ahankara belongs to another field called Vyavaharika Swapna. Granthaha: means knot. When I wake up to my actual nature. Tarati Papmanam: free from Papas. but came to know I am the consciousness principle. The example given is. This itself is Grantibhyaha Vimuktaha. self ignorance. I use the shell temporarily as long as it is available. As papa belongs to the realm of Ahankaraha and since Jnani has freed himself from Ahankaraha. When I wake up. Guha Grantibhyaha Vimuktaha Bhavati: he becomes free form the knot of the heart. he is free from Papas. Then. he will convert every one into Jnanis. Similarly. so have grown out of attachment to the body. through knowledge. I grow out of Vyavaharika Swapna. suppose I commit some crime in a dream and am arrested. all Papas are gone. 313 . I know I am no longer the criminal and all that was a dream alone.

tad etat ṛcābhyuktam: kriyāvantas śrotriyā brahmaniṣṭhās svayaṁ juhvata ekaṛṣim śraddhayantaḥ. the teaching takes place. Upanishad wants to talk about preparatory qualifications required on the part of the student to gain this knowledge. Jnana Phalam topic is over. but Phalam 314 .MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Tarati Shokam: sorrows caused by Papas. teṣam evaitām brahma-vidyāṁ vadeta śirovrataṁ vidhivad yais tu cīrṇam. Now here. So with previous Verse. 10. in short Samsara is gone for him. But sometimes. Amritam Bhavati: will get Videha Mukti also. This is Jeevanmukti. which should fructify into the Moksha tree and give Ananda Phalam. Even the best seed can grow only when the ground is prepared. Similarly though teaching is good. that is becomes one with immortal Brahman. When it is over. How long will this be? As long as Prarabdha continues. Guru is sowing the seed of Jnanam.

if studied. Shastra. Without the . this Atharvana Veda Upanishad is quoting a Mantra from Rig Veda. and then Chitta Stairyam. Vedanta. what is that? That the students must have the following qualifications. so we blame Guru. Generally we are very good at blaming others. Tad Etat Ruchya Abhyuktam: here is what the Rig Mantra says. Kriyavantaha: practices for Scriptures spiritual prescribe Pancha certain Maha growth. it will begin to click. 2. Yagnaha. you have to allot time for these spiritual disciplines. Shrotriyaha: they must study Scriptures. Shastra therefore asks “Did you observe the conditions?” The mind should have the necessary conditions namely Sadhana Chatustaya Sampathihi. but only when above conditions are fulfilled. it will just remain. 1. Such people who practice Karma Yoga are Kriyavantaha. Here. everything. Chitta Vishalatha. Cittashuddhihi. Without these.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji does not come. No other Sadhana is valid without 315 this. Even while you fulfil your material desires. Chitta Ekagrata.

which is unfortunately not emphasized at all! To know the theory first is important in any field. Kama Pradhana life. for how long. Santosha.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji necessary theoretical background what Sadhana can I practice? Without Scriptural study. when to go to the next step? Therefore Scriptural study is the first Sadhana. all Artha. Only when I study Scriptures. how will I know where I stand? Do I require Puja. having a gala time. Even in Yoga Shastra. Dhyana. Tapas. will it remind me. Swadhyaya. No other book will say that. pilgrimage? What Sadhana do I have to undertake. Dharma and Moksha are talked about only in Scriptures. Swadhyaya is prescribed (Shoucha. but unfortunately it is never done. All others will tell about making money. Why Scriptural study is emphasized so much? Because only Scriptures point out that Scriptural growth is as or even more important than material growth and accomplishments. First. and Ishwara Pranidhana). Yogasanas are done without preliminary disciplines. Japa. ‘am I giving over importance to material accomplishments and not enough to spiritual accomplishments?’ So constantly 316 .

all concessions are given. In and through all our other pursuits. Now a days. In other words. This is done through Scriptural study. this Upanishad had to be studied. Brahmanishtaha: committed to the pursuit of Brahma Jnanam. Tesham Evam Brahmavida Vadet: only for such students this Upanishad could be taught. So we compensate by our prayers ‘Kalou Kalmasha Chittanam. That had to be practiced with faith in efficacy of the ritual. Papa Dravyopajivinam Kriyavihinanam. That is why this Upanishad is called Mundaka Upanishad (Mundaka means Shiraha). Gatirgovinda Govinda Kirtanam’ said by Krisha not in Gita. remembering that my ultimate goal is Brahman only. elsewhere. If you 317 . After the Vratham. Yaihi Tu Shirovratam Cheernam: this Shirovratam was one other ritual which had to be properly performed. as it is Kaliyuga. Here is a ritual called Ekarshi ritual. Mumukshavaha. Ekarsham Jahante Swayamshraddhavantaha: certain special rituals are prescribed for Atharvana Veda students to study Atharvana Veda (like certain special entrance exams).MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji some one should remind you about this.

this teaching is to be given. It means only those who have purified their mind. to them alone. at least chant the name of the Lord. but is ever valid. It never becomes outdated. naitad a-cīrṇa-vrato’dhīte. Rishirangiraha Purovacha: given by the Rishi Angira to the Shishya Shounaka.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji cannot perform rituals. But one thing. unlike other things. Even though it is the most ancient teaching. namaḥ parama-ṛṣibhyo namaḥ parma-rṣibhyaḥ. to give results. Tadetat Satyam: it is ever valid even in 21 st century. it has not become obsolete. one will not be able 318 . 11. one must follow disciplines prescribed. Achirnavratam Na Udhite: without proper preparation by following the necessary disciplines. Next is the concluding Mantra of of the Upanishad. it can give you peace of mind. tad etat satyam ṛṣir aṅgirāḥ purovāca. long long ago.

You are able to hear because of me. Now we will conclude by chanting ओम् भद्र ं क्ण ेरिभः शृण ुय ाम देवाः । भद्र ं पश्य ेमाशिभ्य रजत्र ाः ॥ 319 . Therefore better you qualify. That is why we say ‘Sadashiva Samarambham Shankaracharya Madhyamam. Why? Because they have preserved and propagated this wisdom. Therefore this teaching survives because of Rishi Parampara only.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji to appreciate the teaching in the proper perspective. I am able to teach because of my Guru. Having given the by required offering qualifications. Instead of developing detachment to other things. Upanishad concludes Namaskara to Rishi Parampara.our gratitude to the Rishis. This is repeated once again to emphasise the point. Asmadacharya Paryantam Onde Guru Paramparam’. Namaha Parama Rishibhyaha: our prostrations to our Rishi Parampara. one may develop detachment to Vedanta itself. he because of his Guru and so on.

thus there are totally six sections. 320 . Each chapter has two sections. The Upanishad belonging to Atharvana Veda has three chapters.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji िस्थ रैरंगैस्त ष ु ्ट ुव ांसस्त नूि भः । व्य शेम देविहतं यदायुः ॥ स्व िस्त न इन्द ्र ो वृद ्ध श्र वाः । स्व िस्त नः पूष ा िवश्व वेदाः ॥ स्व िस्त नस्त ा्क श ् य ् ोर अिरष्ट नेिमः । स्व िस्त न ् ोर बृह स्प ित्द रधातु ॥ ॐ शािन्तः शािन्तः शािन्तः॥ Om! Bhadram Karnebhih: Shrunuyaama Devaah: Bhadram Pashyemaakshabhir Yajathraah: | Sthirairangai Sthushthuvaagum Sastanoobhih: Yashema Devahitham Yadhaayuh: | Svasthi Na Indhro Vriddhashravaah: Svasthi Nah Pooshaa Vishva Vedaah: | Svasthi Nasthaakshyo Arishtanemih: Summary Today I will give you a summary of Mundaka Upanishad. We will see the gist of each section. Each chapter is called a Mundaka and each section has two Khandas.

the wisdom is ancient and it is this wisdom which makes all other knowledge meaningful or purposeful.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The first section begins with glorification of the teaching to be given. just like in Bhagawad Gita. here. 321 . if it does not culminate in Brahman. this teaching started by Brahmaji. and this is glorified by pointing out that this Vidya has been initiated by Brahmaji himself. Any other science is validated only when it ultimately leads to Brahma Vidya. Without this science. the others are all useless. just like any number of zeroes are validated only by a number preceding them. It is one science which validates all other sciences. Teaching is going to be of Brahma Vidya. Similarly all your education. is useless according to Scriptures. So it is a most ancient and time tested wisdom. the second chapter gives the gist of the entire Gita. The initiator is great. So thus in first three Verses. In next part of the first section. the knowledge of Brahman. a lineage which is available even now in 21 st century. an overview of the whole teaching that is going to come. has been coming down through the Guru Shishya Parampara. Not only that. (Sarva Vidya Pratishta). brahma Vidya is glorified. teacher gives the whole teaching in a nut shell. Therefore it should be a great teaching undoubtedly. this section gives the entire teaching (4 th to 9th Mantras).

Eka Karana Vijnanena Aneka Karya Vijnanam Bhavati. There is one basic principle. nityam vibhum sarva-gataṁ susūkṣmaṁ tad avyayam yad bhūta-yonim paripaśyanti dhīrāḥ 322 . Shounaka asks the question “What is it. What is it? The one cause alone manifests in different forms of effects. that is the absolute cause of the universe. Since Karanam alone appears as many Karyas. yat tad adreśyam. everything in the creation is understood?” To this. teacher wants to give the Karanam that is called Aksharam here. agotram. Therefore Brahma Vijnanena Sarva Vijnanam Bhavati. avarṇam. only by knowing the ‘Mula Karanam’ of this creation. Eka Karanameva Aneka Karya Rupena Bhati. the teacher answers by pointing out that. Then teacher gives the definition of Brahman. agrāhyam. everything is known. Gold alone manifests in the form of different ornaments. Therefore.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Teaching is given in the form of a dialogue between Shounaka. by knowing which. the Guru. acakṣuḥ-śrotraṁ tad apāṇi-padam. the disciple and Angiras.

by knowing which. He goes on to say that this Brahman is such a wonderful cause. you have understood everything. This is the essence of the first section.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji The nature of Brahman is brilliantly described by the teacher and says this Brahman is the cause of the universe. in the case of universe. 323 . the intelligent cause namely gold smith is different from the material cause namely gold. But Upanishad points out. that it is both the intelligent and material cause. Similarly Bhagawan is comparable to that. this is the case. The following Mantras are worth noting and getting by heart. Normally when an ornament is made. The knowledge of this Brahman is called para Vidya or higher knowledge and all other knowledge comes under Apara Vidya or inferior knowledge. To convey this idea. By knowing this Brahman. the teacher gives the example of the spider. both the technically Abinna Nimitta Upadana Karanam is Brahma. So both Para Vidya and Apara Vidya are introduced. It happens to be a unique case where it is itself the maker and material for the web it creates. Sarvam Vijanatam Bhavati. Normally the material world of ours.

This is the first basic question which is the foundation of the whole Upanishad. nityam vibhum sarva-gataṁ susūkṣmaṁ tad avyayam yad bhūtayonim paripaśyanti dhīrāḥ. agrāhyam. agotram. yat tad adreśyam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji śaunako ha vai mahāśalo’ṅgirasaṁ vidhivad upasannaḥ papraccha. avarṇam. acakṣuḥ-śrotraṁ tad apāṇipadam. 324 . This is the definition of Brahman. kasmin nu bhagavo vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātam bhavati iti.

can never produce knowledge or liberation. If they are practiced without any material desire. On the negative side. All material sciences can be represented by two groups. Upto a particular level. they produce purification of mind and inner growth. and that is Chitta Shuddhihi. Upasana can give the result of going to higher Lokas. Therefore they are not the cause of 325 . but only as a service to others or Ishawara Preethyartham. they give finite results by fulfilling material desires not only for this Janma but also future Janmas and give different Lokas. Karma and Upasana done whether with or without desires. If they are practiced. virtuous mind develops. Firstly. Second Section Here the teacher concentrates on Apara Vidya. Moral values get promoted. yathā pṛthivayām oṣadhayas sambhavanti. if practiced with material desires (Sakamataya). The teacher talks about both the positive and negative points of both Karmas and Upasanas. Karmas.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji yathorṇa-nābhiḥ sṛjate gṛhṇate ca. they can give two types of results. they help. all material sciences. all actions including rituals and Upasanas which are all types of meditation. unhealthy mental traits will diminish. but can never give Brahma Vidya. yathā sataḥ puruṣāt keśalomāni tathākṣarāt sambhavatīha viśvam.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

Moksha. Even so, by producing purification of mind, they help me to come to Moksha. So naturally, the question is, if Karma and Upasana cannot produce knowledge, then what can produce knowledge? For that, the answer is, only Guru, Shastra Sravanam will produce knowledge. Systematic study of Scriptures, for a length of time, under the guidance of a competent Guru alone will give knowledge. This is called Jnana Yoga. Karma and Upasana can prepare one for Jnana Yoga, but cannot replace Jnana Yoga. Therefore, teacher elaborately talks about Karma and Upasanas upto eleventh Mantra. Then in twelth and thirteenth Mantras, teacher advises, all of you should practice Karmas and Upasanas, first with material desires, nothing wrong; one need not feel guilty. Veda allows Sakama Karma and Upasana initially. When you go through them, sooner or later, you will discover the limitations of those material pleasures. The biggest limition is they are all subject to loss one day or other. When they are lost, they produce pain/sorrow directly proportional to the pleasure they gave. So they are all potential sources of sorrow. This you discover by getting enough kicks. Once you have understood this,

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

what will you do? Again continue Karma and Upasana, but instead of Sakama, switch to Nishkama. Continue going to temple, but instead of asking for money, possessions, pleasure etc, ask for Jnana and Vairagya. Then third phase is, drop or minimize both Karma and Upasana, and dedicate your life to Brahma Vichara. So this shifting of priorities in life is highlighted in the Mantra twelve which is the most important Mantra in the Upanishad.

parīkṣya lokān karmancitān brāhmaṇo nirvedam āyān nāsty akṛtah kṛtena, tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyam brahma-niṣṭham.

So, go to a teacher, surrender to him, learn Brahma Vidya and get liberation. So these are the topics of the second section. Third Section


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

Teacher introduces Para Vidya, which alone is the central theme of the Upanishad. The whole third section deals with this main topic, and the fourth section also deals with it. In this section, as part of Para Vidya, teacher introduces Brahman as the cause of the universe. How the entire universe arises out of Brahman is elaborated in nine Mantras (Srushti Prakarana). How does creation come? First, five subtle elements come (invisible). From them, subtle universe is born which includes all our minds, senses, Pancha Pranas, Sukshma Sharira etc. Then gross elements and all gross bodies are born out of Brahman, not only that, both Chara and Achara, sensient and insentient, all are born out of Brahman. Even Scriptures originate from Brahman alone. They are not born out of human intellect. Thus in tenth Mantra, the conclusion is given which is the most important thing. That Brahman is Karana, Prapancha is Karyam, and if Brahman is Karanam and world is Karyam, the important corollary is, there is no world at all other than Brahman, like there is no ornament without

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji

gold. There is no substance in the ornament or creation but only name and form. Substance is Brahman alone, gold alone. So all products have only verbal existence (Sarvesham Karyanam Nama Matra Satta). Therefore teacher says, the whole world being a product is nothing but verbal. There is no substance called space, no substance called air, no substance called fire, water or earth. They are all words and forms only, substance being Brahman alone. But you say, “Swamiji, you say they are not there, but they are so tangible!” The tangibility does not belong to the effect; it always belongs to the cause! When I say desk is big or heavy, these characters belong to wood alone and not to the desk which is only name and form. The tangibility of the world belongs to Brahman, and there is and will be only Brahman. In between we introduce a word and we ourselves withdraw the word. Therefore the essence of the teaching is Sarvam Brahmamayam Jagat. This is conveyed in the tenth Mantra which is most important in this section.


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji


puruṣa evedaṁ viśvaṁ karma tapo brahma parāmṛtam, etad yo veda nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ so’vidyā-granthiṁ vikiratīha, saumya.

By teaching this, the teacher has answered the student’s question also. So what was the student’s question? “What is that, by knowing which, everything is known?” The teacher has answered “By knowing one Brahman, you have known the whole creation”. All this is Brahman with name and form only. This is the essence of the third section. Important Mantras are:


MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji


tad etat satyam: yathā sudīptāt pāvakād visphuliṅgāḥ sahasraśaḥ prabhavante sarūpāḥ, tathākṣarād vividhāḥ, saumya, bhāvāḥ prajāyante tatra caivāpi yanti.

This point out that Brahman is Srishti Stithi Laya Karanam with an example of fire and sparks.


divyo hy amūrtaḥ puruṣah sa bāhyābhyantaro hy ajaḥ, aprāṇo hy amanāḥ śubhro akṣarāt paratah paraḥ.

This is a beautiful definition of Brahman very often quoted by Shankaracharya and even taken for analysis in Brahma Sutras.


puruṣa evedaṁ viśvaṁ karma tapo brahma parāmṛtam. Look for that which is all pervading.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 12. in and through all ornaments and what do you find? Gold alone. How can one recognize that Brahman? How can one know the karana. This is also important because idea to be derived is given. Look for that which is permanent. etad yo veda nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ so’vidyā-granthiṁ vikiratīha. 332 . Gold is that which is permanent even when ornaments are subject to arrival and departure. saumya. Gold the Karanam is in which ornament? In every ornament gold is there. gold is one. when Karyas are there in front of me? Suppose ornaments are there in front of me. How to discern gold? Very simple. Though ornaments are many. So you have to look for some permanent feature. Fourth Section The topic of para Vidya continues.

It is Ekam. So Brahman is Sat. existence is Sarvagatam and existence is Nityam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji So if you have to discern the Karanam. Nityam and Sarvagatam where as names are Anekan. then old. ‘IS’ is common to all. which is permanent in me? For sometime I said I was a boy. similarly there is a man. which fits into these. and so on. pieces are there. When I see a wall. there is only one thing. Everything ‘IS’. What is there permanently in me? 333 . then a youth. Where is it not? So if it is everywhere. Where? Ask a counter question. it has to be in me also. Body is changing. Previously it was ‘pot is’. Therefore existence is Ekam. emotions are changing. I say there is a wall. and then mud is there. now it is ‘mud is’. Anityam and Alpagatam. So how to discern Brahman? In the form of Sat. So. Even if you break a pot. Discard the name and form and discern that which is Ekam Nityam Sarvagatam which is Karanam Brahma. there is a table etc. In this creation. what is that. these are to be noted.

That is concentration or focusing. Therefore. So this is the central theme and most important part of this section. 334 . earn money. get children etc etc. 3. the Sat Brahmna is present in you as the witness or Atma.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji Only one thing. 2. They are: 1. That Brahman is the goal. Therefore Brahmaiva Chit Atma. So know Brahman as the I. 4. Whatever preparations an archer requires to shoot an arrow are required here too. the I is spiriti/consciousness or Karanam. Upanishad says. Arrow must be sharp and fine. This knowledge is called Jeevatma Paramatma Aikyam. One may marry. Similarly for success in Vedanta. that is the type of mind required to know this knowledge. Arrow must be straight. is the only permanent thing in me. What I am conscious of is Karyam. 5. the consciousness principle. Withdrawal from all other distractions. Lakshya Nirnaya: target must be clear. Teacher incidentally introduces one more topic. my mind should be focused on that. must be clear. Until I strike the target. the witness consciousness which is aware of all the changes. That I am consciousness is always there. the goal in life must be clear.

will never succeed in Brahma Vidya. Don’t be distracted by worldly pursuits. Develop a sharp and subtle mind as the topic is subtle.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji but in and through all that. 335 . All this is brilliantly conveyed through the archery example. śaro hy ātmā. who is not morally upright. śaravat tanmayo bhavet. Just as the bow helps the arrow in reaching the target. Fourth section has four important Mantras. Scriptures help us to reach Brahman. Most important is the ‘bow’ which is compared to the Scriptures. One. the goal of Moksha must be very clear. apramattena veddhavyam. brahma tal lakṣyam ucyate. praṇavo dhanuḥ. the target. Above all one must be honest and straightforward.

idaṁ vibhāti. This is another popular Mantra. dakṣinataś cottareṇa. paścad brahma. nemā vidyuto bhānti. brahmaivedam amṛtam purastād brahma. tam eva bhāntam anubhāti sarvam.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji hiraṇmaye pare kośe virajaṁ brahma niṣkaram tac chubhraṁ jyotiṣāṁ jyotiḥ tad yad ātma-vido viduḥ. This tells about the benefits of knowledge and is often quoted. na candra-tārakam. adhaścordhvaṁ ca prasṛtam brahmaivedaṁ viśvam idaṁ variṣṭham. tasya bhāsā sarvam. 336 . na tatra sūryo bhāti. kuto’yam agniḥ.

The value of ‘Satyam’ or truthfulness is emphasized. Fifth Section Summarises Brahma Vidya and talks about Sadhanas. Without moral values. Once Abhimana is given up. there is no difference between them. study of philosophy is uttely useless. whereas an intelligent one says there is water. Jeevatma owns up his true nature. An ignorant man says there are waves.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji It says that there is nothing other than Brahman. he is the Kartah Bhaktha because of Dehabhimana. One is the Jivatma bird and another is the Paramatma bird. the difference between them being ignorance when Jivatma bird recognizes the Paramatma bird. that is Paramatma. Brahma Vidya is also summarized through the example of two birds. Important Mantras are: 337 . One bird eats the fruit. Brahma Vidya Saraha and Sdhanas are given. It highlights moral values.

importance given to intense urge for freedom (Teevra Mumukshatvam). anxiety etc. inner freedom even while alive. Sixth Section Here preparatory disciplines are highlighted and the benefits of this knowledge are talked about. Casual approach is not of much benefit. Important Mantras are: 338 . Benefit is in the form of Jeevanmukthi. Highlighting of values continues in this section also.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samānaṁ vṛkṣam pariṣasvajāte tayor anyaḥ pippalaṁ svādv attyanaśnann anyo’bhicakaśīti. I am free from the tryrrany of my own mind like depression. one is free from Punarjanma. This gives definition of Brahma once again. dūrāt sudūre tad ihāntike ca paśyatsv ihaiva nihitam guhāyām. bṛhac ca tad divyam acintya-rūpaṁ sūkṣmāc ca tat sūkṣma-taraṁ vibhati. and Videha Mukti.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji vedāntā-vijñāna-suniścitārthāḥ saṁnyāsa-yogād yatayaḥ śuddhasttvāḥ. This is chanted when a Sanyasi comes. Analogy of rivers merging into ocean given. tathā vidvān nāma-rūpād vimuktaḥ parāt-param puruṣam upaiti divyam. yathā nadyas syandamānās samudre astam gacchanti nāma-rūpe vihāya. te brahma-lokeṣu parāntakāle parāṁṛtāḥ parimucyanti sarve. 339 .

340 . One who knows Brahman becomes Brahman.MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 10. where the teaching. tarati śokaṁ tarati pāpmānaṁ guhā-granthibhyo vimukto’mṛto bhavati. archery and two birds on a tree are unique to this Upanishad. So this is a complete Upanishad. It is called Mundaka because of a splendid Vratham called Shirovratham to be practiced by students of Atharvana Veda. Sadhana and benefits are beautifully presented. The examples of spider. nāsyābrahma-vit kule bhavati. sa yo ha vai tat paramam brahma veda brahmaiva bhavati.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 341 .

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 342 .

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD by Swami Paramarthanandaji 343 .

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