Upanishad | Mundak
|Chapter 3-Canto 1|
[Taken from "Wisdom of the Ancient Sages: Mundak Upanishad / by Swami Rama. Honesdale, PA, The Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA. 1990.]
Chapter 3-Canto 1
According to the non-Dualistic philosophy ( A-Dwait Vaad), the center of consciousness is that force from which consciousness flows on different degrees and grades, but because of the apparent superimposition, the Jeev is bound to the body and mind and develops attachment to worldly objects, performs actions and reaps the fruits therein. While Brahm is essentially Pure Consciousness, but when He enters the body, He comes with His Maayaa (cosmic power). While Brahm is knowledge and light, this Jeev with Maayaa is ignorant and dark (or shadow).
In the same way, while Brahm is unaffected by Maayaa thus also is unaffected by enjoyment and suffering; Jeev is completely indulged in worldly things, consequently in enjoyment and sufferings. Jeev is the image of Param Brahm reflected in a person's mind. Both are inseparable. The only difference between them is that Jeev is covered with Maayaa and thus identifies himself with the objects of the mind and body (senses), and feels himself the doer of all actions, consequently he enjoys and suffers the fruits of his actions and experiences pleasure and pain.
According to Bhagvad Geetaa, which is derived from Upanishadic literature, the opposites, such as pleasure and pain, are felt only when the mind, with the help of senses, contacts the objects of the world.
Students of School of Duality (Dwait Vaad) believe that Jeev is an entirely separate entity and enjoys the fruits of actions. However the followers of non-Duality (A-Dwait Vaad) believe that that the Jeev can never undergo change. Only superimposition makes one feel that Jeev has an identity separate from Brahm. Only mind and matter experience changes but the soul himself never changes. Being Jeev himself cannot experience any change, only witnesses, but remains unaffected by the functions d changes of mind.
Only Brahm Vidyaa or Paraa Vidya (knowledge of Brahm) can help knowing Brahm. The Jeev refers to mind which stores thoughts, impressions, feelings and desires. As long as a Jeev resides in the body, He is called individual soul, or Being, or Spirit; but as He detaches from the world, He joins Brahm and Himself becomes Brahm who is called Pure Consciousness, or Purush.
This false identification (with the objects of mind and senses) changes the personality of Jeev. Thus through this mask worn by Jeev, according to His predispositions, regards Himself as a son, father, mother, sister, grandfather etc. He is supposed to develop attachments towards others. Thus the Jeev takes up a different kind of role is lost so much in playing that role that He forgets His true nature. He starts experiencing pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow according to that role. He experiences birth and death also. When He knows His true nature, He becomes free from all this drama.
When the Jeev develops a longing for spiritual life and practices discipline, such as non-violence, truthfulness, self-control etc, as explained by Patanjali, the codifier of Yog science, then only He attains a new tranquil mind. Brahm (the Pure Consciousness) is beyond grief and sorrow, pleasure and pain, hunger and thirst, life and death. Feeling all these changes are the nature of the body, not of Brahm.
There are three paths of Saadhanaa - (1) Saadhanaa through the mind, intellect, emotion which is the path of knowledge and Bhakti; (2) Saadhanaa through Brahmcharya which means austerity and control of senses through celibacy; and (3) the path of Vaayu which is not only breathing exercise. These exercises help to regulate the motion of lungs and keep he body healthy. All breathing exercises are valid, but Praan is not only the two breaths. Only because of Praan's support the mind functions intelligently and brilliantly and the senses have the power to work.
The eighteenth Mantra of Eesh Upanishad explains the path of light. If you want to practice the Truth, you have to bring its principles into practice.. First, one should learn not to lie. Not lying means not to speak words or sentences that do not relate exactly to the world of objects. Thus by practicing not to lie, one practices to speak truth and applying the principle of speaking the truth means do not lie.
When one has implemented this in his practical life, the whole structure of this verse changes. Therefore not lying leads one to Truth. Practicing truthfulness with mind, speech and action is a complete practice. Practicing thus one learns to restrain himself from doing what is not to be thought and does not speak what is not to be spoken. By not speaking, thinking or doing what is wrong, one starts thinking, speaking and doing only what is right. Therefore all the rules and injunctions declared in the scriptures are practiced this way.
It is important to note the principles and practices are two different things. The people who are free from delusion, falsehood, vanity and attachment to the world and who have no worldly desires attain this Supreme.
Sensory perception does not have the power to grasp Brahm, nor does the Tap. So even after understanding Upanishad's sayings one cannot realize Brahm. Intellect is necessary to develop for this, inner strength has to be developed - only training in understanding does not help. Buddhi is the finest of all modifications of our internal states. By virtue of its nature, it is pure. The mind is polluted by selfishness and attachments to the world. Thus Buddhi is not aware of Brahm; but when desires, thoughts, feelings and inclinations do not disturb mind, then mind stays calm and one can see Brahm through the clear water.
Intellect can be purified by reading, studying and understanding the sayings of scriptures. It leads the person to a state called - "Saakshaatkaar" (means "seeing Truth face to face"). The Aatmaa (soul) is realized within the human body and is discriminated from the first unit of life force and its vehicles - which are many, although only five are mentioned in the scriptures.
On the path of Gyaan Yog, Buddhi, which is the finest instrument of knowledge, is purified directly. The purification practices consist of methods of consciously withdrawing Buddhi from the sense perceptions. Most people think that Gyaan Yog helps a person to do , speak or act in any way he likes - this is not so. The purification exercises to purify higher Buddhi are very subtle only a few fortunate people can go on this path and get success.
END OF CHAPTER 3, CANTO 1
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 06/09/11