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Chapter 3-Canto 2


Mundak Upanishad-3/2
[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 2

Shlok 1
Knowers of the Supreme Brahm know that the whole Universe is supported by Brahm and shines through the light of Brahm. Of those whose all worldly desires have burned and who worship Purush, the Pure Consciousness, only they transcend the cycles of birth and death.

Previous verse said that if the person worships with worldly motives (fame, name, vanity etc), he may attain success in the world, but he is not on the path of spirituality. This is called Sa-Kaam Poojaa (worship with desires); but if somebody does the same Poojaa with no desire, but with only spiritual enlightenment, that is the means to liberation.

Who has attained the self-realization, only he knows the Supreme Brahm - One without a second. The wise who completely devote their time and life to self-realization attain Moksh and do not come in this world again. There is no delusion or sorrow for them who have realized the unity in diversity, means that the same One exists in all; or his own Self exists in the Self of all. He cannot hate anyone, because if he has understood that his own Self exists in all, how can he hate himself except to love? He is not separated from others. Love is the binding force of life while the feeling of separation comes from hatred.

Grief and delusion come to a human being when he identifies himself with his limited body, mind and its objects. When one identifies himself with the non-Self aspect of his personality, he is weak and helpless and commits many mistakes and experiences tension, grief and sorrow. Jesus says - "Love thy neighbor as thyself." The Upanishad say - "The whole Universe is your family and all the members of the Universe are your family members." The purpose of spirituality is to destroy the illusion of separateness between all creatures.

Shlok 2
On the other hand who do not renounce their all desires, they take birth in the surroundings of their desires again and again; but whose desires are fulfilled he is established in the Self.

Those people who still have desires, take birth in this world again and again in the same environment for which they long. Thus it is actually the unfulfilled desires that bring the individual in the world. Besides, among all desires, the desire of attachment is the one most responsible for rebirth. When a person's all desires are united into "to attain Brahm", then that one desire will bring him again in the world to fulfill that desire. That is why wise men try, with all their resources and spiritual discipline to destroy ignorance and attain perfection in this lifetime only.

Shlok 3
The knowledge of Aatmaa cannot be attained through discourse, intellectual discussions or even extensive study, but (IT reveals) only to those whom IT chooses to unfold itself.

On this path when all efforts and spiritual disciplines are successfully practiced, a moment comes when there is no desire for anything. At this stage, Aatmaa reveals itself and its nature - peace, happiness and bliss. Spiritual discipline helps to remove the veil created by ignorance, and true desire to attain Brahm possesses the power to do it. The Self is already there. It is only covered because of the ignorance, as the ignorance is gone, the Self can be seen clearly. The veil of ignorance can be removed only when the spiritual Saadhanaa has purified the mind, intellect and heart. Only those privileged people who are chosen, can see IT.

Shlok 4
This Aatmaa cannot be attained by those who lack inner strength, sincerity, Tap, or dispassion. One who is blessed with these means attains self-realization and as result enters the Brahm Lok.

Inner strength is necessary to be regained for self-realization, because it is the inner strength only which is destroyed by mind and the sense pleasures. When it is regained, it should be protected well. Without yoking the Individual Self with the Cosmic Self or Brahm, practicing the spiritual discipline without a definite system cannot lead one to attain the goal of life.

Shlok 5
After attaining this, the person becomes content in his wisdom, is established in Aatmaa, is free from attachment and desires, and is fully at peace. Upon attaining Him the realized soul enters Brahm Lok.

Such calm and tranquil souls ultimately become One; exactly in the same way as a river become one with ocean. Brahm is pure consciousness. Individuality exists through the association with the body, senses and mind which constantly feed the Ego. Thus the Ego separates the individual from the Whole by creating a wall. Although this is all illusory, but the human being thinks that it is permanent and real. Such illusions can be washed off with spiritual practice. The knowledge of the Real Self (Cosmic Self) washes off all the accumulated dust from the impure mind.

Shlok 6
Those who attain the final wisdom of Vedaant and who by following the path of renunciation  have purified their minds, attained freedom from all bondages and after casting off their body they go to Brahm Lok which is the place of highest immortality

Even after purifying all the stains of A-Vidyaa from the heart, mind, and Buddhi, A-Vidyaa still remains in some quantity although the seeker is not able to see it. Therefore wise men form a habit of going into deep meditation and not allowing the dust of ignorance to touch their internal state. Only such wise people are illuminated souls and attain freedom from Maayaa. All the impositions and limitations created by Time, space and causality are destroyed, because he joins Brahm who is the source of all consciousness with no beginning or end. Therefore such an enlightened one does not return to he relative plane. Does he become non-existent? No, certainly not, but he just becomes one with the Absolute. He does not leave even his footprints behind to be traced. Not leaving his footprints means not leaving any Sanskaar unburned in the fire of knowledge.

Shlok 7
At the time of liberation, all the fifteen constituents of the body (five elements, five senses, and five Praan) return to their sources of origin. The senses subside in their origins. All previous Karm, intellectual knowledge and the individual soul - all become one with Param Brahm.

The Prashn Upanishad and the Mundak Upanishad are similar in their teachings because they come from the same source - Atharv Ved. What happens to the body after a man dies? Fill a jar of water and break it in any way you want, the water will find its own level and meets water; the outer covering of the jar will meet its own source earth; and the space of the jar will meet space; the reflection of the Sun will meet the Sun. The same thing happens to the body too. In fact, no one dies. After the five senses meet the five elements, five Praan take one form of Individual Soul and that soul willfully assumes body after body to fulfill its desires. The highest, immutable and imperishable 'sky' is birthless, deathless, hence no destruction.

Shlok 8
Just as the flowing rivers give up their names and forms after merging into the ocean, so does the realized soul leaving everything - names and forms, attains the highest and self-illuminated Purush.

All people should lead the life like the life of  river, without dams of stagnant water which becomes a source of illness and disease. That is why true Sanyaasee move all the time without stopping at any place for long time so that they do not get attached to anyone.

Shlok 9
One who knows Brahm definitely becomes Brahm and in his lineage no one remains ignorant of Brahm. He goes beyond all sorrows and vices and attains freedom from all bondages and thus becomes immortal.

He who knows Brahm, he himself becomes Brahm and no member of his family  remains ignorant of Brahm because he himself becomes an example. Advanced disciples are taught by their Guru from a long distance. When the body is still and the mind is still in such silence, the mind has no questions, hence there are no answers.

Shlok 10
The knowledge of Brahm should be imparted only to those who are sincere, studious and inclined to receive it, self-disciplined and who have taken a vow to carry fire on their head according to the rules.

Comments 3-2-10

Shlok 11
Aangiras explained this truth in ancient times that only that person who has fulfilled his vows may study this Upanishad.

Aangiras taught that this Upanishad should not be read by those who have not taken vows - the vow to practice spiritual discipline as instructed by the teacher. The knowledge of Brahm should not be imparted to an impure person also. Impure person means - if the functioning of the body, breath, and mind are not coordinated then the person will be making a futile effort and wasting his time.




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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 06/09/11