Kena Upanishad






These talks were given to a group
of Yoga teachers from European countries in Dalhousie in
1994. Serious and dedicated yoga teachers from Europe
had been studying the Vedic texts of Upanishads and the
Bhagvad Gita along with their study of Patanjali’s Yoga
Sutras. In response to their request Vimalaji shared her
perception and understanding of Gita and Upanishads by
giving talks on their chosen Upanishad or the Chapter of Gita
in Dalhousie or Mount Abu. There used to be friendship
gatherings of 2 to 3 weeks duration at a time spread over a
number of years when these communications took place.
Talks on lshavasya Upanishad, Chhandogya Upanishad,
Kathopanishad and Raja Yoga have already been published.
The present book publishes the talks on Kena Upanishad.

The talks originally recorded on audio casettes have
been transcribed and printed virtually verbatim. This is
unlike those on other Upanishads mentioned above. It is
thought that this would give the readers a feel of
participation in these ‘classes’ as Vimalaji called them and
help them understand the friendly nature of her
communications. Should the readers become the students,
they would fully benefit from these talks.

During the talks on the various mantras of Kenopanishad,
Vimalaji brings out the relevance of the teachings to the Yoga
teachers in the context of the present day living in the modern
technological age. The teachings of the ancient sages
are as scientific as any of the sciences of today. They are
dealing with the science of consciousness and the sages
have communicated their understanding step by step to
the disciples in their dialogues.



Chapter Description Page
The Body And The Totality 1
The Prayer 4
The Limbs: An Expression of Brahman 5
The Pupil’s Question 8
The Teacher Replies 11
Intelligence-The Directive Force 12
No Word Can Help Reach ‘IT’ 16
How Do The ‘Dheerah’ Behave 19
Various Interpretations 22
Freedom Must Be Lived 26
Teacher’s Humility 29
Prayer 31

II Neither Through Word Nor
Senses Nor Mind 32
Truth Cannot Be Taught 32
Knowledge Can Not Reveal Truth 36
Truth : Beyond The Known And The
Unknown 37
Limitations of ‘Vak’ 41
Abhyudaya : The Upward Movement 44
Brahman- The Source of All Activity 46
Limitations of The Mind 47
Perception of Things Separate
From Us 49
Essence of Education 51
Limitations of The Eyes And Ears 52
Brahman-The Essence of Life 56
No ‘Reward’ Can Be ‘Brahman’ 57
Prayer 60

III Brahman, The Ground of Our
Existence 61
Koshas- the Dimensions of Human
Life 62
Brahman, the Supreme Intelligence 65
Panch Pranas 66
Brahman, the Essence of Existence 67
The Interval Between Two Breaths,
Thoughts 69
We Are Gifted With a Variety of
Sights 72
No Sight can have Brahman as its
Object 74
Only in The Dimension of Silence 75
No’Experience’of The lnfinite 78
Prayer 80

IV Life- A Harmonious Whole 81
Brahman-The Oneness Manifesting
as Manyness 83
The Creative Energies in the Body
and In the Universe 84
Creativity is the light of life 86
Further Probing Necessary 88
One Who Says ‘I Know’ Does Not
Know 90
All Conditioned Knowledge is
lgnorance 91
The Negative Approach 94
A Communion With The Source of
Life 98
A Harmonious Whole 102
Prayer 104

v Essence of lmmortality 105
Understanding At Various levels 106
Aspects of Immortality 107
The Third Aspect of Immortality 109
Knowing Without The Knower 110
Through Communion With The
Substance’ 112
Have Knowledge But Don’t Cling To
The Shell of Words 115
Knowledge- Understanding-
Awareness-Communion 118
Satyam, The Indestructible 120
Communion gives Immortality 122
Divinity Must Manifest in
Relationships 124
Balance I nail Layers of Existence 126
Immortal-Not After Bodily Death,
But In This Life 127

VI Let Us Feel The Divinity in Us 131
Listening : A Total Action 131
Interplay of Energies 133
Energies : Figuratively Called ‘Deities’ 134
Brahman’s Victory And The Deities
Conceit 136
Deities Tum to Agni 139
Agni is Powerless Before The
Mysterious Being 143
The Same Truth Told Through Story 144
We Are Conditioned Expressions of
The Unconditioned 146
Prayer 153

VII Entering The Dimension of Silence 154
Harmonious Organization of All
Instincts 154
The Deities Turn to Vayu 159
Next lndra is Invited 163
Relevance of The Story to our Lives 165
‘Brahman’ Can Not Be Captured By
Brain And Mind 168
With A Pure Motive Humility Arises 170
Pure Energy Appears When All
Effort Ceases 172
Prayer 175

VIII Feeling The Proximity of Brahman 176
When Effort Ceases, Pure Energy
Manifests 176
Words Not The Only Means of
Communication 178
The Victory is That of Brahman 181
Life is Divinity 182
The Role of Human Beings 183
Victory of Good Over The Potential
of’Evil’ 184
Knowing And Learning 186
Agni, Vayu, lndra- More In
Proximity To Truth 188
Personal Discovery Leads To
Understanding 191
The Ageless Witness Different From
Body And Mind 194
More Proximity When Outgoing
Energies Are Contained 196
Prayer 199

IX Revelation Only Through Grace 200
Instruction Through Analogy 205
The Individual And The Cosmos 207
Atha Adhyatman 210
The Mind Deludes Itself 213
Attachment To Cultivated Sense
Pleasure 214
Prayer 220

X Samadhi Is To Be ‘Lived’ Not
Acquired 221
Vedanta- Consummation of
Knowledge 221
Let Not Mind Cultivate Memory of
Revelation 224
Importance of Upasana 226
Playing Various ‘Roles’ While Living 227
Let Mind Be In A Meditative State 229
A Reference to Yajnyavalkya’s
Dialogue With Maitreyi 232
Human Mind Can’t Accept
Effortlessness As A Dimension 236
On The Biological Front 238
On Psychological Front 239
Mind Must Realise: Life Is A Double
Movement 242
Prayer 245

XI Stabilization of Revelation In Daily
Life 247
The Upanishads : AGiobal Human
Heritage 247
Stabilization of revelation in Daily
Life 247
Revelation Stabilizes Through
Tapas 248
‘Tapa’ Means Unity, Harmony 252
True Purport of ‘Dama’ 254
Maintaining A Rhythm By
Withdrawal 257
Karma As Different From Kriya 258
Four Phases of Human Life 260
Flash of Revelation Must Stabilize
Through Karma 264
Our Real Abode Is ‘Satyam’ 266
Prayer 269

XII We are Born of Bliss 270
Revelation Stabilizes Through
Non Deceitful Living On All Levels 270
What Is ‘Sin’ In Spirituality 272
Concept of ‘Swarga’ In Spirituality 275
Now The Liberated One Is Rooted
In ‘The Highest’ 278
Prayer 283

Text Kenopanishad – English
Transliteration 284
Kenopanishad – SanskritText 291

Books by Vimala Thakar 298



Greeting the Friends : – I welcome my students
from Europe once again back in Dalhousie. I also
welcome the Indian and non-Indian friends who have come
to attend our study classes.

For the last few years some of us here have been
studying the Vedic texts of Upanishads. We have studied
lshavasya Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad, we have
studied twelve chapters of Gita together as well as some
parts of Raja Yoga of Patanjali and this time we will be
studying together Kena Upanishad. Those who are not
acquainted with the Vedic texts – their Sanskrit language,
those who have no idea of the foundation of Indian
Schools of Philosophy may find our classes rather abstract
and difficult to grasp. The frjends who have been studying
with me, have been teaching Yoga, studying yoga. They
are. acquainted with Smarta Yoga of Yagyavalkya, Hatha
Yoga, Raja Yoga and so on. So, those who have not
studied with me will have to forgive us because we will not
be able to dilute or explain to them. In the mornings we will
have classes looking into the texts. In the afternoon the
student-friends will be welcome either to make
observations about what has been said in the morning or
raise questions if they so desire. This is not a camp, there
will be no talks or discourses, there will not be looking into
the text of Kena Upanishad, i.e. not merely for academic
study. Our basic purpose of studying Upanishads is to find
out the relevance of those ancient teachings, to our so
called modern life and living. We are also interested in
finding out the significance and utility of those teachings
to the study of yoga, -the science of yoga, especially Raja

In this class are sitting the founder members of the
International Research Institute for Yogic Cousciousness.
So these classes have tremendous importance for them
as well as for students of Yoga in general.

For the recollection of my student friends,
Upanishads are dialogues between teachers and pupils.
They are a phenomenal exercise and a fantastic
scientific experiment in discovering the truth through the
channel of dialogue through questions and answers.They
are not like the six Schools of Indian Philosophy- Sankhya,
Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimansa, Vedanta etc.There
is no propagation of philosophy, there is pointing out of
the revealed Truth – revealed to the teacher by the life
Universal and the effort of the teacher to pour that Truth
into words in order to communicate it with the aspirants of
Truth. If there is no urge to discover the basic – the
fundamental truth of life, then the Upanishads or the Vedas
have no relevance to our life.

In lshavasya Upanishad, the sages, the Rishis had tried to verbalise the principle of truth that is immanent
and transcendent, all permeating, all prervading and yet
transcending.lshavasya had helped us to see how all our
actions – the Karma – all our actions are instrumental in
the revelation of that Truth. Unless the actions become
the means for discovering the Truth, lshavasya had told
us- the Vidya, the Avidya, the Sambhooti, the Vinash –
they lead us towards darkness. Chandogya Upanishad had
dealt with the Primal principle of creation which is sound
and they had helped us to see. how ‘Pranava, Omkara’,
the sound that is not born of friction , but is a self –
generated homogeneous sound which explodes into
millions of universes. So, from the principle, the
immanent and transcendent principle, we proceeded
towards the primal force of creation, the sound – the
‘Omkara’ as the ‘Udgitha’ and so on.

This morning , we will be looking at the Kena
Upanishad. This upanishad is a part of Samaveda and in the Samaveda Brahmanas, the eight chapters have gone
before the Kena Upanishad emerges from the Veda. The
eight chpaters of Samaveda preceding Kena Upanishad or Kena Brahmana as it is called, had dealt with various
rites and rituals that are necessary for ‘Yagnya’, for .the
sacrificial performances and now the ninth chapter
begins with a prayer. Every upnishad has .a special prayer
for itself and the prayer runs thus.

Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani.Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu te mayi santu.

Om santih:l Om santih:l Om santih.l

This is the prayer sung by the teacher and the pupil together before they begin the study and the prayer
in a very brief way indicates the essence of the Upanishad
itself. That is the beauty of the Vedic methodology of
teaching. The prayer that is jointly sung by the teacher
and the pupil is a kind of auto suggestion for the
discovery to take place of the Truth, that they are going to
. study. Here the Mantra says, “Let me take care of the
holistic development of all my limbs -‘apyayantu’. Ayantu
is a holistic development. We are not going to go into the
roots and how the words are derived. That will be too
theoretical. So, let there be a holistic development of
mamangani-mamam-mine,angani-limbs. Which are my limbs
which should be developed? Vak – Vak is speech: Vak -Vani- speech. Pranah-the vital force that is vibrating in
my being. Caksuh – my eyes, srotram -the ears, balam –
the strength permeating all the limbs simultaneously.
lndriyani ca Sarvani – all my sense organs. Let them be
properly developed. Balaminidriyani ca sarvani.

The Limbs : An Expression of Brahman

Why is there so much concern about the health and
development of all the limbs? – because Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam ‘- the Upanishad tells us that
everything is Brahman. What I call my body, what I look
upon as ‘my limbs, are expressions of the Brahman. They
body itself. Ma Brahmanirakarod – let me not be rejected
by the Brahman. Anirakarana mastu anirakaraname
stulet there be mutual cognition and awareness. Let that
Reality – the Brahman be aware of my existence. Let me
be aware of That so that there is a communication
between the two. It is only the cognition of That by me and
of me by That, that will produce interaction between the
two. If we are not aware of the existence itself, there
cannot be contact, there cannot be interaction
Anirakaranamastu anirakaranam mestu. This mutual
cognition, this mutual recognition, this mutual
appreciation-what will that do? Tadatmani nirate. If that
cognition, if that awareness, recognition takes place, then
in me, all the dharmas – the natural virtues, the natural
existential essence contained in the human being, will get
expressed in life. Tada atmani nirate mayi – then in the
person, in me, enriched by that awareness- ye dharmah
Upanisatsu gayante- all the virtues, the dharmas described
in all the Upanishads will naturally get expressed through
me. Upanisatsu gayante te mayi santu, te mayi santu- I
pray, I hope that all those dharmas, all those virtues will
manifest themselves through me. I can become the
vehicle of the expression of all the characteristics of
eternity, all the characteristics of Truth and Beauty and
Goodness, only when I recognize that what I call my limbs
vak, prana, caksu. srotra, sarvam Brahmaupanisadam – all
that is Brahman. I am a different expression but I am not
out of that. I am not separate from that. There is .no
division between the wholeness of life and this particular
expression of life contained in what I call my body. You
can say it is a drop of water but the drop of water
contained in the ocean – is a part of ocean. In the same
way I am organic part of the Totality. I am organic limb of
the wholeness of life. It is a beautiful prayer. Te mayi saritu,
te mayi santu. Shantil:t! Shantil:t! Shantil:t ! -Let there be
peace in me, let there be peace around me, let there be
peace with me and so on. So, this is the first Mantra, the
prayer with which the study begins.

The Pupil’s Question

Now a study always begins with a question by the
pupil. So the pupil who has studied the first eight
chapters of Samaveda now asks the teacher.

Kensitam patati presitam
manah -‘A very significant question is asked by the
student. Kena – ‘by whom’. So, each question begins with
Kena,’by whom’.That is why this Upanishad is called Kena

Kensitam patati presitam manah
Kena pranah prathamah praiti yuktah
Kenesitam vacamimam vadanti
Caksuh srotram ka u devo yunakti.(1.1)

He says, “All right, you say everything is Brahman.
You say, all our limbs are also expressions of that
Brahman or Reality, please tell me what is or who is the
force that directs the mind towards it’s object, how is it that
the mind reaches its object accurately and precisely for
thinking? Kensitam patati presitam manah.The ‘manah’is
mind. How does the mind proceed towards its respective
object accurately, specifically? Who wills it, who directs
it? Kena pranah prathamah praiti yuktah. This vital force the
pranah – how does it also reach out and receive the
vitality from the cosmos? Kena caksosu pasyanti. How do
the eyes reach their objects? The eyes do not reach the
sound and the ears do not reach the form. The eyes see
the form – the object, the ears hear the sound. This
relationship between the organs and their respective
objects is so precise, so accurate, who directs them, who
guides them? It is a very significant question. Does the
aggregate of all limbs or the limbs separately have a
separate intelligence by which they reach out towards their
objects or is there an intelligence, “Chaitanya”? – Is there
an intelligence separate from the limbs that directs them?
The teacher says, “Sarvam Brahmam”. He says, “all is
spirituality”. But the student sees the way he lives or she
lives and the student has watched that the ∑eyes are
related to the form and the object, the colour, the ears are
related and co-ordinated with various sounds, their tones,
undertones, overtones, vibrations; and the vital force
moving in the body and going out- you exhale breath. It is
the vital force that goes, receives the vital force- the prana
from outside and gets it in. So the inhaling, exhaling- that
scientific rhythmic movement is going on.

How does it go on? He is asking the teacher, ‘Who
directs it?’ Whose is the motivation? Has every sense
organ a separate motivation? Or is there some – one
principle that has a basic motivation which spreads into
organs and directs them? So, he is asking the question –
“How do the ears hear, how do the eyes see, how does the
vital force move around and how does the mind think?
About each limb a question is asked. That is the first

“Kensitam patati presitam manah Kena pranah prathamah
praiti yuktah Kena caksosu pasyanti srotram srunoti iti”

That is the question asked. So the teacher, very
gently tries to give the answer. The answer will be an
indication only. The answer will be an indication for the
purpose of stimulating the perception of the student. It is
not ready made information given, as it is given today.
Education is not only feeding in organized information. It
is something more – to stimulate, to awaken, to activise
the enquiry – the creative energy in the student so that the
student makes effort on his or her own and then the
personal discovery becomes the content of his I her
consciousness. You see∑, when we only receive information
and feed it into our memory that becomes knowledge. That
does not become necessarily the discovery of truth. So,
the teacher says:

The Teacher Replies

srotrasya srotram manaso mano yad
Vaco ha vacam sa u pranasya pranah
Caksusas caksuratimucya dhirah
Pretyasmallokadamrta bhavanti. (1.2)

He says, ‘look my dear, the ear that you see and
say the ear hears, is only an organ. The auditory energy is
not contained entirely in the organ.’srotrasya srotram’ –
the ear of the ear,’caksosu caksu∑- the eye of the eye.
‘Manaso manoyad-the mind of the mind,’pranasya pranah’
– the vital force of the prana that you have known is very
subtle. The teacher is trying to help the student to
discriminate between the organ – a dynamic organ – an
organ as a vehicle of the movement and the essential
energy which permeates the organs. If that energy does
not permeate the organ, the eyes, the ears, the mind etc.
-then the organs by themselves will not be able to hear
or see or think or move. He says there is some energy
behind it and it is very poetically put. I do not know how to
translate it that poetically into English Language. ‘srotrasya
srotram … … . .’ the ear of the ear, the eye of the eye, the
mind of the mind – it sounds as if it is a repetition. It is not
a repetition. It is a discrimination between the organ
equipped for its purpose and the energy. So, it is the basic
energy different from the organic, muscular, neurological,
chemical energy, which is the basic motivation, which is
the guiding principle.

Intelligence – The Directive Force

We feel that we hear through the ears and see
through the eyes. The eyes are seeing. The teacher says,
‘no, the eyes are caused to see and are helped to see
because inside there is an energy that wills to see, that
wants to see, that wants to hear, that wants to think. So, all
the limbs and all the sense organs, though they are
equipped for functioning, they are not equipped with the
motivation – the principle of intelligence, the perceptive
intelligence. It is separate and these organs are separate.
That is why when that energy.departs from the body, the
most beautiful eyes cannot see and the most sensitive ears
cannot hear. The body lies there and you say it is dead.
What does death mean? That, that basic intelligence, that
basic energy is no more there. It is not permeating this
whole magnificent organism that we call the human body.
So he says, ‘look my dear student, learn to discriminate.
Watch, watch how the organ functions and the motivation
is separate from the functioning of the organ’.

The will, the intelligence is a different source
contained in the physical and yet it is different. Look, this
is not very mystical or mysterious. You come from
industrialized countries with advanced science etc. the
atom contains a quantum of energy, atom contains it and
yet the mass, the weight, the form of the atom is not the
mass and form of the energy. The energy is very subtle
and you can explode that energy – the nuclear. energy –
the atomic energy contained in the atom and yet the ratio
of the quantum of energy is not related to the mass of the
atom. You cannot mathematically say that this big atom
should contain that much energy and nuclear energy
should not be contained in the proton or electron,
whatever it is – neutron. So, the contained and” the
container! Of course, the container must be sensitive
enough to hold and contain that energy. So, the human
body is made sensitive enough to contain that cosmic
intelligence, that universal intelligence and yet it is a
container in a way.

That is what the teacher is trying to explain. Do you
remember, was it in Chandogya, the Rishi Uddalaka
asking his son to bring a tiny seed from the banyan tree.
He says, ‘Have you seen the banyan tree?’ and the
student says, ‘Yes, a huge gigantic tree. This seed
contains that tree’.’And bring me the seed’, and the
student brings the seed -a tiny one and the teacher says,
“How stupid! Do you mean to say this is the seed of that
gigantic tree? This seed contains that tree?’ and the
student says, ‘Of course Sir, this is the seed. When planted
it sprouts and it grows into that tree.’ ‘So the whole tree is
contained in this? ‘Yes’, says the student. So the teacher
says,’My son, in the same way, that intelligence contains the power to express itself into the magnificent universe
or cosmos.’

The seed of the gigantic banyan tree need not be a
big one. It is a tiny thing. In the same way, in the big
human body the source of all energy, motivation,
intelligence need not be seen as a limb or as an organ. It
is not a sensory organ. Mind is an organ. As the brain can
be conditioned, the mind can be conditioned by patterns
of behavior. The brain can be conditioned by languages
and by academic sciences, theoretical sciences, –
philosophy, sociology, economics, physics, biology,
chemistry and so on. So the teacher says, ‘please learn to
discriminate. The will-the directive force, the intelligence
is a different energy than the energy of these limbs’,and
the student – the pupil says; ‘Oh! well, that’s very
interesting. If it is so, I thought if it is contained in the
speech, the mind, the prana, the ears etc. it will be easy
for me to deal with these organs and discover that. But
you say it is different. It is contained and yet it is different.’

‘Now tell me, how do I reach that source?∑! can train
the body. I can even educate my speech. I can discipline
∑my eyes, my ears- my audition, but how do I reach that
source if it is separate from the organs? How do I
discover? How do I reach? How do I perceive that?’ And
comes the answer –

‘No Word Can Help Reach ‘IT’
Na tatra caksur gacchati na vag gacchati no manah∑
Na vidmo na vijanimo yathaitadanusisyat.(1.3)

‘Na tatra vak gachhati no
Manah’ “My dear Son, speech cannot reach that source
and get it captured in a word.’ Na tatra vak gacchati, the
speech cannot reach there. It is the source of the speech
but the speech cannot reach there, just as you cannot climb
your shoulders.You have your feet and you have your
shoulders but you cannot climb on your shoulders. In the
same way speech cannot reach there – ‘na tatra vag
gachhati, no manah, na pranopi, na caksuh.’ ‘My dear son,
don’t think that you will be able to reach there with the
help of speech, with the help of words, with the help. of
knowledge contained in books.’ ‘All right, if the speech
cannot reach there, I will think about it through my mind. I
will conceive it, I will imagine, I will experience it through
mind.’ So, ‘Na tatra vak gachhati no Manah’ ‘my son, the
mind also cannot reach there.’ Why?- Because the mind
cannot think without the help of a word. Please try it.

Whether it is an emotion, whether it is a thought,
an idea, a wish -every mental movement requires the
help of a word. The very movement of thinking involves
the movement of words. So, if the speech, the verbalization
does not reach there, naturally the mind also cannot reach
there. The words cannot reach there – why cannot the
words reach there? Let me also go into it a little bit. What
is a word? It is manipulated Can there be a
word without sound? There is sound contained in you,
contained in us, contained in animals, contained in trees,
contained in. water. It is given unto the human beings to
engineer the sound energy. All those who coined words
and organized languages were great marvellous engineers.
So they manipulated, engineered the modulations, you
know with the sound energy.

Now, sound is the primal principle out of which
creation comes. Look, you can make curd out of milk but
once you make the curd, the curd cannot create milk. Curd
cannot be converted back into milk. You may take butter
out of the curds but then you cannot put the butter back
and convert it into curds. It is the source. The milk is the
source of curds. Curds are the source of butter. Once they
are . produced, they have their own identity. So, words –
verbalization has its own identity- has its own beauty. It is
like a sign post. It gives you some meaning. It conveys but
word cannot be converted back into sound. So words
cannot reach the sound principle and how is sound born?
Sound is born of Silence. Sound is an extension of Silence.
It is born of Silence. So, it is not the word, it is not the sound
but if one puts oneself voluntarily into the state of Silence,
may be, that primal energy, may be that primal Intelligence
which is dormant, permeating everything gets activised and
even your limbs feel the touch of it. Every sense organ
feels the presence of it. They can feel the presence but
they cannot discover- they cannot go back to the source.

Na tatra vak gachhati no Manah na pranah — even
your prana, the vital force, cannot reach there and capture
it. It is not something that can be captured in the forms of
sensation. Our sense organs, our limbs which are equipped
with sensitivity reach out towards the object and bring back
a sensation. A sense organ is meant to bring back the
sensation . As soon as the sensation reaches this
organism, this organism coverts the sensation into an ∑
electric impulse. That impulse reaches the brain and then
the interpretation takes place. Now, this is not a sensation.
Silence is not a sensation. So, neither the word can reach
there nor the mind whose movement requires words, can
reach there, nor the prana. That is why it is only between
inhaling and exhaling when you retain the breath either
inside or outside, either ‘Antar-Kumbhaka’ or the ‘Bahir-
Kumbhak, either you retain the breath outside or inside, it
is in that interval, that the dimension of Silence is felt bY
one- and a person who goes on extending the duration of
that Kumbhaka – Antar-Kumbhaka or Bahir-Kumbhaka,
is able to feel the presence of that energy. It is the interval
between two thoughts, it is interval between two breaths
which has the perfume of Eternity in it, which has the
perfume of the source of Life contained in it.

So ‘na tatra vak gacchati no manah no pranah na
caksosu pasyanti’ and the eyes cannot see it. The eyes
can see an object which is entirely separate from it. There
is a separation, there is even a division. So the eyes
become the subject and perceive an object. The subject-object
relationship between the reality and ourselves is
not possible, that division is not possible because that is
our nature. That is our essence, the Reality-the Chaitanya
– the atman – the Paramatman whatever you call it. The
lswara if you would like to call it. The Divinity is our nature.
It is our existential essence.

How Do The ‘Dheerah’ Behave?

And therefore, Dheerah, those who have understood
that the subject – object relationship created by the eyes,
the ears, the mind, the prana, is irrelevant here. This is
something for which a non-divided existence is necessary.
‘Dheerah’- a person who has understood this, who has.
cognized this fact, who has felt it after cognizing. He is
called a Dheera. Dheera means one who has tremendous
patience. We are impatient. We like the tension of the
division. We like the movement of reaching out, capturing
sensation and then one can say, ‘I have done it, I have seen
it, I have experienced it.’ So, this non-divided existence
that comes about in the moments of Silence is not very
interesting for people. They like the tension of division. And
that tension gives them a feeling of being alive.

The sensation of doing something gives them a
feeling that they are alive, that they are doing something,
something is happening to them. But for something to
happen, there should be division, there should be
separation and the teacher wants to bring that out to the
student. So he says, “Dheerah”- one who has seen or the
people who have seen the Truth- that the divided, the
separated dualistic life is related only to the sense organs
and the body, but the essence inside is not divided or
separated from the Wholeness, it is in the Wholeness,
though it is an expression of the Wholeness. Look, you
look at a tree. Is not a tree a part of the earth? It contains
earth in it, otherwise the trunk of the tree would not have
solidity. It contains water in it, otherwise there would be no
colours. It contains sunshine in it, it contains fire, water,
air, and earth and yet it is a tree. It is an expression of the
wholeness of life. It is condensed Wholeness. It is a
condensed cosmic expression.

In the same way, “Dheerah” – those who have
tremendous patience because of the understanding of truth
are not fascinated, are not influenced by the out going
movement of all the limbs and organs and the experiences
they bring in. They feel contented, they feel satisfied to
remain with the source of that energy. Do you remember?
“Atmani atmana eva tustaha sthitapradnyastadocyate.” –
Second Chapter of Gita, that we studied. One who is
contented, satisfied in the being of oneself is not impatient
for becoming, is not impatient for doing. He does things
without craving for doing them. He goes through the
process of becoming which is inevitable for social life but
that is not the aspiration of life.

Becoming is an inevitability through which the
person goes. ‘Atmani atmana eva tustah.” He is completely
satisfied with the Beingness, with the essence of his
Being. In the same way here, ‘Dheerah pretyasma lokad
amrutabhavanti’- ‘My son, the way to reach that nectar Amrutam,
that Eternity- you require tremendous patience
which is awakened by the realization that the sense organs and the experiences they bring in, have a different
source of energy which wills, which motivates, which
moves. They do not move by themselves. ‘Dheerah’ have
tremendous patience. They get to that nectar of eternity
through the understanding.’

Various Interpretations

A couple of points specially for those teachers of
Yoga who are very keen on making an authentic study
word by word of each Mantra. Most probably you have
come across the English, the French or the German
translations of these Upanishads. The English translations
of these Upanishads have been published by Ramakrishna
mission, Swami Chinmayananda mission, Divine Life
Society of Rishikesh and may be others. The summaries
of the Upanishads given in English language occur in the
volumes of Cultural Heritage of India published by
Ramakrishna mission, the History of Indian Philosophy
written by Prof. Dasgupta of Calcutta University,
R.D.Ranade of Allahabad University, Prof. Radhakrishnan
from Kerala, Vinobaji from Maharashtra and so on. Most
of these translations and commentaries accompanying
them are based on the commentary by Acharya Shankara
– Shankaracharya -the first exponent of Vedanta, the
philosophy of Vednata. Now, as you have known me for last so many years, I have a non-conventional, a non –
traditional approach to the Vedic texts.

So you will find the way I interpret the text, different
from and sometimes contradictory to the interpretations
and commentaries by Shankara accepted by Swami
Vivekananda and Chinmayananda and Shivananda and
all of them , including Vinoba. So there would be a
difference. I will give you an example – we were referring
to the first mantra, ” Kenesitam presitam patati manah Kena
pranah prathamah prayuktah (praiti yuktal)) srotram
scaksuhca u yunatki devah.”

The word ‘devah’ occurs there. Jn the English
translation you will find that word translated as God-which
God directs them or provides them with the motivation.
That is how they translate it, practically one and all
commentaries. I go to the root from which the word ‘deva’
is generated, derived. The word ‘deva’ is derived from the
root Diva and the root ‘diva’ in Sanskrit- modern as well as
ancient, means ‘to generate light.’ ‘Diva Divyate’ – that which
is .self- illumined and that which causes enlightenment.
So I go to the root of each word and each root yields so
many different shades of meaning. So, one has to get the
feel of the whole mantra and find out which shade to
accept for that mantra. That is what I have been doing.

So here, in the first mantra that we referred to this
morning, I have used not the word God but the force- the
driving force behind the movement of the mind, the
speech, the eyes, the ears, the pranas etc. the enlightening
force, the driving force. This is just one example I am
giving. In the second mantra that we were referring to this
morning, there comes the word “Atimucya dheera”
pretyasma lokad amruta bhavanti” ‘Atimucya’ that is the
word, which has been interpreted by Shankara and the
other commentators to mean ‘renounce’.

They say the ‘Dheerah’, the serious minded person
of understanding renounces the activities of the sense
organs. Because Shankara was a person advocating
renunciation as a way of life, Shankara was an advocate of
‘sanyasa’- renunciation, so ‘atimucya’ that term has been
translated, interpreted as renunciation. The person of
understanding renounces the world and renounces all the
activities, and somehow I can’t accept that meaning there.

That word ‘Mucya’ is derived from the root “Muca” to
set oneself free of the grip and the grasp of something :
muca- mocayate – to release oneself of the grip of, the
possession of, the grasp of. If you refer to any authentic
Sankrit grammar from Panini to Prabhakara and other
commentators, the root, ‘Muca’ means to set oneself free of the grip of. So, this morning when I was communicating, I
said, the Dheera- the person who understands who -has
cognized and who recognizes that the sense organs by
themselves haven’t got organically in them the motivation.
They are the vehicles that carry the motivation and establish
a contact etc. etc. So, a person who has understood that the
. source of energy-the source of motivation is not contained
in the sense organs but somewhere else, is no more in the
grip of the sensual activity and the pleasure that it gives. You
see, it is not renouncing the activity but setting oneself free
of the fascination, of the grip, of the imprisonment of the
sensual pleasure. We are prisoners of our sense organs
because we yearn for the sensual pleasures.

The senses reaching out, bringing in sensation, that
getting converted into an impulse and interpretation and
then reaction, it gives a kind of pleasure. Sensation gives
pleasure. So, I thought that a person of understanding is
released from the craving for sensual pleasure which the
movement of the sense organs yields to him. So it is the
renunciation of the craving for pleasure and not of the
physical or sensual movement. You see the difference,
specially for those who are studying deeply and who have
the responsibility of teaching others. I don’t know all of
you but I know – and some of you who are teaching and
who are deeply concerned.

So, I just wanted to explain to you, to clarify certain
points where the difference comes. Renunciation not on
the physical level- turning away your back upon, but it is
an inner renunciation – it is an inner freedom that comes
with understanding. So,’atimucya’ that term has been
interpreted and translated in one way, in perhaps all the
translations that you might come across and you will say,
‘why did Vimala say that?’ So, I have a non-traditional, a
non-conventional approach and I am sharing with you
whatever little understanding I have.

Freedom Must Be Lived

Let us proceed. “Atimucya Dheerai:J pretya asmat
lokat”. ‘Pretya asmat lokat’ has been translated right from
Shankara onwards, as those who die and depart from this
‘Loka’. ‘Pretya’- that root means, ‘to depart’. So they have
interpreted it, they have translated that the ‘Dheera’, the
man of understanding renouncing the sensual activities
and the sensual world becomes emancipated after death.
‘Pretya asmat lokat’ – after departing from this world they
are liberated – amruta bhavanti. They become the nectar
of eternity. They are merged into eternity. That is how they
translate. I feel that liberation after death has no meaning,
emancipation after the body drops away. If emancipation
requires the dropping of the body, then you will never live that state of emancipation. “Amrutah” – the state of
emancipation – unconditional freedom is a dimension of
life. It has to be lived and for living, it requires the body,
the sense organs, the movement of life, action, relationship
etc. So, ‘pretya asmat lokat, I have taken the word, ‘loka’
and gone to the root of it. It has a double meaning ‘lokyate’
-to perceive, to look at and that which is looked at.

The Sanskrit roots have a very fantastic way of
yielding meanings through the roots. It must be so in Latin,
in Greek, in Arabic, in Persian. I am not acquainted so
much with those languages but in Sanskrit you have to go
back to the root and find out what the root has to say.
‘Asmat lokat pretya’, the person of understanding has lost
the craving, he has transcended the craving for all which
is seen by the sense organs, which is felt by the sense
organs. Those sensual activities have lost their fascination.
He has transcended that attraction, that fascination of the

For example, when the eye sees an object, this is
the ‘caksu loka’-the relationship between the eye and the
object is a happening on the dimension of perception. So
perception through eyes is called one ‘Loka’. Then you
hear, so it is perception through audition-through hearing.
So that is the loka of audition. ‘Sravana loka’ and so on.
The word ‘loka’ is a charming word if you go to the roots.
Sq I take the mantra and then look to the roots – sit with
them and let them open up the meaning.

So these are a few examples I have given you. If
you refer to the commentaries or the translations, if there
is a difference, you will just see that, instead of getting
confused, you will say that well this is Shankara’s- this is
the ancient traditional and this is the non-conventional new
way of looking at it and then you will refer to your own feel,
your own understanding and accept whichever you like.
We are not here to convince you of the correctness of
what is being said. I am just sharing with you. So being a
non-conformist and being a non-traditional person from
childhood, I studied these Upanishads forty years ago, forty
five years ago, to be exact. From then, first in the original
and then one had to study the commentaries for the sake
of giving an examination at the university. So one came
across so many different commentaries and translations.
So I wanted to give certain examples of the differences in
interpretation. Now one more thing, after having given these
few examples of the differences in approach and in
interpretation, I have to complete what we had started this
morning. The last part of the third Mantra- “na tatra caksur
gacchati na vak gacchati no manah.” There the eyes
cannot reach, nor can the mind; nor can the ears etc. ‘na vidmo na vijanimo yatha etat anusisyat.”

Teacher’s Humility

The student had asked the question, “How do we
reach that source of energy- how do we reach that basic
source which has the capacity for desiring and for
motivating. That was the question. So, the teacher says,
“Na vidmo, we do not know, na vijanimo atha etat anusisyat
– nor are we aware of any technique or methodology to
teach it to others.” That part of the mantra was left this
morning incomplete. So, after having said that, there .the
ears, the eyes, the mind cannot reach, the speech cannot
reach, the teacher has the humility to say we don’t know
how to teach it. Why has the teacher to say that?

Because you can teach something where the
movement of some sense organ is relevant, where the
physical movement, the sensual movement, at least the
mental movement. The movement of words, ideas,
concepts, theories- they are also methods of moving. But
if the mind cannot reach there, it means no conception, no
idea, no thought can help and the perception through the
eyes, the perception through the ears and the description
based on that perception also is irrelevant. Therefore, that
which is not an object of sensual experience, that which is not an object of verbal utterance, that which is not an
object of mental experience, how can a teacher explain it
to a student? We don’t know how to teach it. That is a very
interesting communication- may I say, even admission, if
not confession, by the teacher that, that Truth cannot be
taught through the movement of any sensual action. We
had started this morning, the class, by saying that this
Upanishad comes in the Samaveda.

The first eight chapters have gone, this is the ninth
chapter, and in the first eight chapters, the Yagya-the
sacrificial rites, rituals- what they give to you, what is the
reward that you get, which kind of power is increased, what
kind of extra-sensory or transcendental experiences are
generated by those rites -all those descriptions are
contained in the first eight chapters with which we have
nothing to do. So, here the teacher says that those
sensual movements, the rites, the rituals, the sacrifices,
the mantras, the tantras, the concentrations and whatever.
all that does not yield the discovery of the truth. ‘You have
seen that’ – he says to the student.

He says that, you have seen my son, in the first eight
chapters that those things may yjeld powers, may generate
experiences, may give you beautiful lovely sensations and
even ecstasies but that is not it; that is not the freedom, the emancipation or the union with the Truth or the
Reality. So, here they are acknowledging, the teacher is
acknowledging that we do not know how to teach. You are
asking us how to reach and we are saying we don’t know
how to teach. That much portion was left this morning. So
I took it up and now let us take up yours questions.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyaini ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu.Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih



Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani.Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih 0m santih.

Truth Cannot Be Taught

I welcome and invite those of you who are
completely awake and alert to join me on our voyage of exploration. The last mantra that we had taken up
yesterday, “na tatra caksur gacchati na vak gacchti no
manah na vidmo na Vijanimo yatha etat anusisyat.” The eyes
cannot reach it or perceive it.The speech cannot verbalize
about it. The mind cannot conceive it or experience it and
hence we do not know what it is. ‘It’ implying the ultimate
truth – the nature of oneself- the nature of reality. ‘na
vidmo’ -we do not know, ‘na vijanimo yen etat anusisyat’ –
nor are we aware of any way of teaching it to you. If the
truth about oneself or life can be an object of perception,
then one may instruct the pupil to purify the act of
perception, the means of perception and perceive it. But it
is not an object that can be reached through the eyes or
the sight contained in the eyes.

If it were an object of verbalization, if the truth could
be captured in the structure of words, then may be, we
would have instructed you about the knowledge. The
books, the scriptures could have enlightened you about it.
But the words cannot reach it. If it were something
experienceable – that which could be captured in the
framework of a thought, in the framework of an
experience, then we would have shown you the ways of

Through sharpening your sense activities, through sensitising your sense organs we could have instructed
you. But that truth, that essence of life, that essence of
your own being is neither perceptible nor conceivable,
neither experienceable nor knowable. The way of the
ancient wise teachers in India were full of unconditional
humility. – ‘na vidmo’ – we do not know. What does the
pupil understand from this statement of the teacher?- that
the truth is not an object of knowledge. Please do see,
the relationship between the preceptor and the pupil-the
teacher and the student is of total trust bordering on faith
and utter humility, having the flavour of sacred innocency
on the part of the teacher.

So, instead of saying that the truth is not a knowable
object, the teacher says ‘we do not know.’ ‘na vidmo’- I do
not know it. It is a code language between the teacher and
the student. So the student grasps the truth that it is not a
knowable object. It is not an experienceable something. It
is not something that can be verbalized. So, no technic, no
formulae, no method, no sensitizing-refining-sharpening
the sense organs and their movements can describe or
define to us, or take us near the truth. May be the pupils
felt “What was my teacher doing with his teacher then?” It
has been a tradition.

The Vedas, the Upanishads were not written down for thousands of years. The teachers and the pupils living
together, by the word of the mouth – where they taught
and where they received. So, the pupils sitting near the
teacher might have had an expression on their face “What
were you doing with your teacher? What did your teacher
teach you then?”

anyadeva tat viditadatho aviditadadhi
iti susruma purvesam ye nastad vyacacaksire (1.4)

These teachings of the Upanishads are not
teachings of theories, dogmas. It is a transmission of truth
through the action of enquiry and response. It is giving an
opportunity to that unknowable, non experienceable, non
verbalisable truth to unfold itself to reveal itself, in the
interaction between the questions and the response, the
student and the teachers. So, anticipating the question of
the student, the teacher says, ‘lti susruma purvebhyam this
is what we have heard from our preceptors our teachers
“lti Susruma purvebhyam ye nastad vyacacaksire – those
who explained to us the mysteries of life, those who helped
us to understand the secret of life, those who revealed the
secret to us, from them we have heard. What have we
heard? ‘anyadeva viditad’- that truth, the ultimate reality,
the essence of our being is different from all the known
and the knowledge.

Knowledge Cannot Reveal Truth

‘Vidita’ – the term in Sanskrit has a double meaning –
the known, therefore knowledge. All the knowledge in the
world. Whatever has been known and described and
defined, put into words. Our preceptors had helped us to
understand that knowledge cannot reveal the truth. It can
give an idea about it. I utter a sentence – ‘there is a horse
in the field’. Now those who have not seen a horse say
“What is a horse?” so I draw a picture a sketch of the
horse or even paint it. So the person who has asked me
what is a horse sees the picture and I say ‘horse is like
this’. The painting of the horse shows the likeness of the

Supposing having heard from me how the horse
has four feet and has seen the picture, if the person goes
to the field and tries to ride over it, the horse will throw him
or her off because knowing the description or definition
about the horse or even seeing the symbol of it on a paper
does not enable the person to feel the life in the horse and
does not reveal the secret of relating to the horse – its movement, its trotting, its galloping, its dancing. You have
to be in contact with it, in touch with it. Be with the horse,
ride the horse- one has to learn. Then a kind of harmony
between your breathing movement, your blood circulation
and the heart movement and the movement of the horse,
the heartbeat of the horse – then that harmony can come
about. I am just giving an example. In the same way the
word ‘God and a symbol either painted on paper or carved
out in the form of an idol does not introduce us to the reality
of the divine. The word ‘God’ is not the divinity.

You may read the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bible,
the Zendavestha, the Quran-e-Sharif, the Granth Sahib –
you may read from all the books that which is known about
the divinity and God and Allah and Rama and Krishna and
whatever. You may sit with the symbol but the word is not
the thing.

Truth: Beyond the Known and the Unknown

‘Anyadeva viditad’, that essence, that truth is
entirely independent of- not only separate from, not only
different from, but it is independent of all knowledge. It is
independent of the known. ‘So may we call it the unknown
then?’ “Anyadeva aviditadadhi” – It is different and
independent also of the unknown, because what we. call unknown is nothing but unmanifested ignorance. When
we say knowledge and ignorance, it is manifested. When
we say unknown, it only means that our ignorance about
something is unmanifested. So, the teacher is saying that
the truth is independent of- different from, in its essence
it is from the known, from the knowledge put into words
and also it is independent of the unknown.

If you think that you will widen the horizons of your
knowledge, if you think that you will deepen yours verbal,
academic, theoretical knowledge, you will still not reach
there, because it is unknowable, it is un nameable, it is
inmeasurable. It has not been captured in any words .
however sacred the people might consider them. The
Indians consider the Vedas sacred, the catholics consider
the Old Testament or the New Testament, Sermon on the
Mount, the Quran – e – Sharif, the Islam – the Muslims,
look upon that as the sacred word. Even to question the
validity there of is looked upon as a blasphemy and so on.
So, here he says, “anyadeva viditad anyadeva aviditad” –
It is absolutely different from and independent of the known
and the unknown. It is unknowable.

Now, if the student – if the pupil has the flame of
enquiry within him or her, if the quest-the exploration of
the truth is very genuine and the person is charged with such an enquiry, what will happen to such a student? The
desire to reach the truth through an activity of knowing
comes to an end. Please do see this, the teacher does not
say that the Truth does not exist. The existence of the
reality, the truth – the essence is not questioned. The
validity of that is not challenged. The teacher only says
that it is unknowable, unnameable.

The student does not become frustrated “now what
do I do if I cannot read books, if I cannot experience it, I
cannot know about it, then what is to be done?” He doesn’t
get into a fit of depression or frustration. If the enquiry is
genuine, if the quest is authentic then the desire to
discover the truth through the movement of knowing,
through the movement of thinking, through the movement
of experiencing – that desire terminates. It subsides
completely because if it is unknowable, unnamable, what
is the use of struggling with the brain with new words and
new thought patterns and new codes of conduct and new
methods and new techniques and so on? So, generally,
when we begin our enquiry, when we begin our spiritual
pilgrimage, we have an illusion that we will read the
scriptures, the teachings of the liberated ones, the
Dhammapada-the words of Buddha, Confucious,Jesus
of Nazareth or the Vedas and we will get it.

We have an illusion that if we find out techniques
and formulas, then through those techniques, developing
the powers of our sense organs we might reach there. Here ∑
in the Kena Upanishad, in the dialogue, the teacher is
helping the student. He doesn’t say, ‘stop it’. But he is,
through his way of conversation and dialogue, helping the
enquirer. That outgoing desire to acquire, to obtain, to
attain, to achieve, the truth or reality or freedom through
sensual experiences, through cerebral knowing, through
chemical experiencing, he is helping them, so that, that
desire subsides. It’s a beauty of the Vedic texts that they
never say do this or do not do that. There are no musts or
must nots in the Vedic texts that I have gone through. I
have not gone through all of them. It is a vast ocean but
whatever little one has seen and studied in one’s life, I
haven’t come across that.

So, first saying, ‘na vidmo’ :_we do not know – we
do not know even how to teach it. Then he comes to the
truth that it is different and independent of the known and
the unknown and therefore it is unknowable, we have
heard it from our teachers. And so our outgoing desires to
reach the truth or ultimate reality through physical or
psycho-physical activities ended. That is what the teacher

anyadeva tat viditadatho aviditadadhi
iti su sruma purvesam ye nastad vyacacaksire (1.4)

Limitations of ‘Vak’

Then what do we do? If nothing can be done, what
do we do? So, comes the next mantra. “Yad vaca
anabhyuditam yena vagabhyudyate, tadeva Brahma tvam
viddhi nedam yadidamupasate.”

yat vacanabhyuditam yena vagabhyudyate
tadeva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidamupasate (1.5)

It is a beautiful mantra. ‘Yad vaca anabhyuditam.’ In
the previous mantras the teacher has said that the speech
cannot reach there. Now he takes one by one, the speech,
the mind, the ears, the prana and so on. So, in this mantra
the teacher is referring to vaca- vani – speech. Vaca
anabhyuditam- speech which is the explosion of sound
energy, engineered, manipulated, organized, scientifically
using the sound energy there is speech. But that speech those words uttered through the manipulation of sound
energy cannot take you to the source of the sound itself.

The truth- the reality- the essence, is concealed in
the source of the sound and the word cannot reach the
sound. The tree can bear a fruit and within the fruit there
can be the seed but the tree itself cannot become the seed
again. It has grown out of it as a sprout- as a sapling – as a
tree etc. It can bear a fruit and in the fruit, the consummation
of its growth, in the form of seeds, would be there. But that
seed is different and the seed out of which the tree∑ was
born was different. In the same way, you can have beautiful
descriptions through speech like these.

Upanishads or Vedas or the scriptures of
each religion – that is the seed – the description, the
definition given there but the speech itself through words
cannot reach the source of sound and speech is nothing
but the organized, systematic, scientific manipulation and
engineering of sound energy. You may create electricity
out of water but electricity cannot again be converted into
water. See the difference between the source and that
which emerges from the source. Sound energy has one
quality and when you utter the word, the word has a
different energy because the word has a meaning. It has a
sound, it has a meaning and the word is uttered by a person, therefore the prana energy of the person, the
chemical or the emotional side of the person accompanies the word.

You can separate the word from the emotions, the
warmth behind them. You can not separate the words from
the meaning that the society has sanctioned for them. That
cannot be separated, so the words have their own beauty.
At least they can tell you what the truth is not. They may
not take you towards the truth but negatively they can help
you to eliminate the ignorance and negatively describe it.
So, words have their own beauty, knowledge has its own
beauty. It has its utility where you are dealing with objects
separate from you, where the sense organs and their
movement put you in relationship with that which is
different from you -the cosmos, the earth, the skies, the
trees, the fields, the birds, the other human beings and so
on. They are different from you in space, in time, in form,
in qualities, in conditionings. So there knowledge comes
very handy to deal with machines, to deal with nature, to
deal with other human beings, social structures. So, “Yat
vaca anabhyuditam”- the truth, the Brahman is something
which no speech∑ and no words-verbalization, has been
able to generate or to reveal, to uncover. It is extremely
difficult for me to find out the English words and do justice
to the mantra.

So sound is contained in the pit of the stomach and
with the help of your breathing that sound travels upward.
You see the beauty of the mantra. It is so scientific, it is
explaining when it says ‘anabhyuditam’, that it has not taken
the ascending movement, revealing etc. It says the sound
travels with the breath. Then, when it comes up to your
throat, here the sound becomes word and then you speak
it out through your mouth. So it is an upward journey. So
the truth contained at the centre of your being even through
the ascending movement – an ascending journey of the
sound to become the word in the mouth, cannot uncover

It carries with it the feel of it but it cannot carry the
truth with it- “vaca anabhyuditam’- I am trying to share
with you the majestical meaning of the word ‘abhyudita –
abhyudaya’ it is a beautiful word-the sun rises- udayam
-the sun rises – ‘abhyudayam – it is holistic rising. So
when the sound rises in your body with the help of prana,
it is a holistic ascendance and then you express yourself
through words. “Yad vaca anabhyuditam yena
vagabhyudyate” – The sound or the speech can travel
upwards even in your body and reveal. The sound can
reveal itself through your mouth becoming a word.

Brahman – The Source Of All Activity

All this can take place because the Brahman is
there. The reality is called Brahman – the existential
essence of life is called Brahman. It is not a deity of which
you will find an idol in any of the temples of India or South
Asia. It is a term for divinity- the existential essence which
has ever been and which ever shall be, because it has
inexhaustible potential. It has been unwinding,
uncovering, revealing, its wealth and glory through billions
of years and yet endlessly the process of emergence –
ascendance, emergence, uncovering of its contents and
the contents merging back into it, goes on – the cycle of
birth and death – emergence and merging back –
uncovering and winding up goes on.

So the teacher is saying, ‘look here my dear, my
son, the speech has not uncovered or revealed IT. The
speech itself exists because of IT. It is rooted in the
Brahman and as the roots of the tree are under the earth,
you see the tree but you cannot see the roots unless you
dig. In the same way the roots of speech are in the
Brahman. If the probing- the enquiry is a probing- if that
probing or figurative digging goes on, then may be the
roots reveal to you. So why cannot the speech uncover?
– because “Yena vagabhyudyate” – the speech and its existence depends upon the Brahman. So what? ‘Oh my
son! understand, that the Brahman cannot be reached
through any psycho-physical activity, “Tadeva Brahma
tvam vidhi na idam yadidamupasate”.

You are doing the Upasana, you are doing the
rituals, the sacrificial rites, the rites of Karma. You are
doing all that, but doing of the Karmas, doing of the
Yadnyas, doing of your Hatha yoga exercises, Dharana,
Pratyahar etc. doing all your Mantras, Tantras -what you
get as the result of those psycho-physical activities is not
the Brahman. Brahman is not the result of any movement,
any action, any effort. So, my son, please understand that,
that which you get through any action, that which you get
through any words is not the Brahman. “Tadeva Brahma
tvam viddhi na idam yadidamupasate”. The Brahman-the
reality is different from what you achieve, obtain, arrive at
through any activities.

Limitations of the Mind

Yan manasa na manute yenahur mano matam.
Tadeva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam upasate.(1.6)

Perhaps the pupil felt-the student felt as we might
feel- “All right, we won’t go for mantra, tantra, we won’t go
for any sacrificial rites, rituals or devotional activities –
chanting, reciting, dancing, if it cannot be the result of that,
may be we leave it aside. But what about the thought
structure, what about our mind, what about the mental
movement? Can it not be reached through the thought?”
The idea comes and specially for the modern human
beings, living today in any of the countries of the world,
the idea to capture transformation, emancipation,
meditation, samadhi, divinity, through the mental activity,
through the cerebral activity is very strong.

We feel that if the brain has given us so much
technology, if the cerebral activity has enriched us with so
much of civilization, we can even go to the Mars, the moon;
we can reach the other end of the earth through electronic
media, we can actually see the person sitting across. So
why shouldn’t this cerebral activity which has given us
science, technology, enabled us to do genetic engineering
-why shouldn’t that cerebral activity enable us to capture
the divinity in a thought, in an experience?

So the teacher says, “Yanmanasa na manute”, ‘my
son, the mind cannot conceive of it – the mind cannot
imagine.’ The mind can give you, the mind and brain here are used as one, figuratively- the mind includes the brain
here. It includes the memory, the faculty of imagination,
the faculty of conception, permutation, combination etc.
all that is included in the term mind. Because we were
differentiating mind from brain yesterday, I would like to
give a hint that here the word ‘manasa’ used by the rishi-
the sage is a comprehensive term including everything
involved in cerebration, in mentation. So, the teacher says
it cannot be conceived by the mind.

“Yena ahur mano matam- “. The very energy of
perception or conception or imagination or memorization
-the energy is only an emanation of the Brahman. So as
a ray of the sun cannot be equal to the sun himself, the ray
of the moon-it can travel, cannot be equated with the whole
of the moon, in the same way this mental movement
cannot be equated with Brahman.

Perception of Things Separate From Us

The ray of the sun illumines for you an object that is
lying on the earth, in the darkness you could not perceive
it but with the sun rise and the rays reaching the earth, the
rays illumine the object on the earth. The rays are not
illuminating the sun. In the same way the mental
movement – a thought, or words can give you light about an object which is different from you. It can show you the
house as a house, it can show you a piece of cloth as a
cloth, another individual. The mind with the help of a word,
— because mental movement requires words. Thought
cannot move without a word. Emotion cannot be awakened
without a word. So it is a cerebral movement, it is a
movement of sound, word, the neurological, the chemical
system altogether woven into something comprehensively,
-So, the mind can illuminate, can give us information about
an object which is independent of us, separate from us.
The eyes will see it, the memory will bring up the name,
the brain will accept it and then you will respond to it.
Whenever there are objects apart from us, they have their
own existence, refative existence apart from us,
independent of us, separate from us- that existence does
not depend on us.

There the conceiving, ideating, thinking gives us
some knowledge, some information. If you can reach that .
object or that individual and interact sensually, it can give
you some experience also. You see an apple on a tree-a
lovely apple on a tree. But then you pluck it, you eat it,
then the interaction between the contents of the fruit and
the contents of your being generate a feeling which is
different from both of you. That interaction and that
generation is possible when the objects are apart from us.

They have their existence, they have their limited identity,
they have their contents not depending upon us. Then the
interaction gives you an experience. Then the cerebral
interaction with the help of a word gives you knowledge.
But hsere the teacher says, “Tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi
na idam yadidamupasate” – whatever has been thought
of, whatever has been experienced of, is not the essence
of Brahman. Please understand, my son, that the Brahman
-the reality cannot be captured in thought, in experience,
in perception, in audition.

Essence of Education

So, the teacher is inducing, as it were, indirectly.
You know, the beauty of education i∑s in suggestive remarks
– in suggestions. You throw out a suggestion, you throw
out an indication and out of that indication and suggestion
the creative energy of the student generates understating.
Education is not feeding in information. Here we are
dealing with education. Spirituality is a science of life and
living. So, very suggestively, indirectly-there is a beauty
in indirect transmission, not direct imposition. When you
directly begin to dish out theories and dogmas and
assertive statement, then it is quite possible that the
student having different conditionings, there may come up
some resistance in the student involuntarily – some resistance on behalf of the ego might come up when
education is reduced to direct imposition of information,
invasion of information. Communication is something
different. Here in our study classes we are trying to
communicate. We are trying to interact with one another.
No imposition – no desire to influence, to convert, to
convince because that becomes a different game.

Here it is only interaction between the life sitting
here and sitting there. It is an interaction. So, the teacher
helps inducing a desire, an urge in the mind of the student
for the termination of all outgoing activities. The cerebral
movement, the mental movement is also an outgoing
movement, because thought is a foreign element, thinking
is a material activity. It is a neurological- it is a chemical
activity, it is a cerebral activity. So, the student is being
persuaded and the teacher is trying to induce the urge for
the ending of the desire to know, to experience, to imagine
-experience at the sensual level, extra sensory, occult, ∑
transcendental etc. etc.

Limitations of the Eyes and Ears

yat caksusa na pasyati yena caksumsi pasyati
tad eva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam
upasate (1 .7)

yat srotrena na sroti yena srotramidam srutam
tadeva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam
upasate (1.8)

As the root energy behind all cerebration, as the
root energy behind all perception is the real Brahman and
not that which is arrived at through the cerebral or the
optical activity, the teacher now says “yat srotrena na srnoti”
– that which cannot be heard by your ear but that which
enables your ear to hear is the Brahman. There is a
beautiful mantra in Mandukya Upanishad.

Nayamatma balaheenena labhyah na Medhaya na
bahuna srutena”.

Bahuna srutena – if one has heard -attended many
talks, gatherings – one has heard the scholars, one has
heard the liberated ones – the hearing of it, reading of it
doesn’t take us to the Brahman – to the reality. So whatever you have heard may have eliminated the verbal
ignorance, may have eliminated misconceptions, may
have given you an idea of what the Brahman is- what the
likeness of the Brahman could be, but that is not the
essence. Knowledge doesn’t put you in living touch with
Reality. It doesn’t give you the living feel of the Reality. It
doesn’t soak you in that energy. It gives an idea, it is an
indirect activity and leaves you there. There remains the
God in the temple and you remain here. And with the
interaction with that idol or word or an idea, you create a
temporary feeling of elation, of excitement or intoxication.
If you are tired of the wordly life, that gives you some
respite, some rest but the dimensional transformation, the
transformation in the very quality of consciousness –
consciousness getting soaked in the nectar of that reality
does not come about.

We have to stop here with this mantra-but I was
saying that the rishi says, “not what you have heard, not .
what you have read, not what you have thought of or even
in an occult transcendental way experienced, is the
content of Brahman. Brahman is independent of that”. You
know, it is a spontaneous ending of all outgoing sensory
activities-that is required. Meditation begins where the
outgoing activity at the sensory level of knowing, feeling,
experiencing subsides completely – unconditionally, unconditional stoppage of all outgoing activities. It comes
to an end because there can be no peace as long as there
are different desires lurking in the lanes and by lanes of
consciousness. If I don’t find it here, I’ll go, turn to
somewhere else and there I’ll find it and I’ll experience it
and I’ll know about it etc. etc. As long as there is the
‘desire’ to acquire, to obtain, to arrive at the Truth, at the
Brahman, through some psycho- physical activity, there
cannot be silence.

When we sit quietly we are inducing that silence in us
allowing the dimension of silence to get activised but it
cannot get activised because on the subconscious level
there is the feeling, there are beliefs – may be due to
traditional authority or condititming, but there are beliefs
that you can reach it- you can have it- you can be there
through some psycho – physical activity. The Kena
Upanishad is a marvellous Upanishad as far as I have
seen it because it focuses all its attention on the subsiding
or irreversible ending of the desire to earn, to obtain, to
arrive, to achieve, to know, to experience-you know! So
the psyche is uncluttered by the desire to move through ∑
any of the senses including the mind -the brain.

I am grateful to all of you for giving me the
opportunity and joy of sharing. You come from such distant countries and create an opportunity for me to uncover
what is there. It is beautiful!

Brahman – the Essence of Life

The teacher points out that the Brahman – the
essence of life -the secret of life cannot be reached
through the movement of knowing, thinking, imagining. It
cannot be reached with the movement of sight contained
in the eyes, with the movement of audition contained in
the ears etc. He is also saying “Tad viddhi Brahma”-when
all the activities subside what remains in you and with you
is the Truth, is the Brahman. The Brahman, the Truth will be
felt by you where there is no desire to move through the
sense organs for obtaining, acquiring, reaching, arriving,
transforming. As long as the movements are there through
any of the sense organs with an acquisitive motivation, with
the ambition to reach or arrive somewhere, one is moving
away from the essence of one’s being. So, the teacher
says, ” Tad Viddhi Brahma Tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi”.

– That only – understand that only, to be the
Brahman which is left with you, left in you, when there is
no movement of knowing, thinking, experiencing,
acquiring, obtaining. This Kenopanishad seems to be very
seriously concerned with persuading the enquirers to let
the psycho – physical movement subside unconditionally.
When you do not provide the fuel of your ambition-when
you do not provide the fuel of your desires, aspirations,
ambitions etc., the activities of the psychological structure
and the physical structure subside by themselves. Then
the brain is there, alert, but not active. The energy is there
but the brain does not move in any direction. The sight is
there contained in the eyes-the eyes may be open or the
eyes may be closed but the sight is not trying to move .
through the eyes towards any object. The audition is
perfect in the instrument of audition-“srotram”-It is there
and yet it is neither withdrawn nor is it active, neither
inactive nor active. So with all the faculties intact- neither
indulging in the inertia of inactivity nor excited and
indulging into any activity- when they are there, they stay
put in the source in the body. “Tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi”.
Then what is felt within you, what vibrates within you, what
sustains your life without the movement of the brain, the
mind, the physical organism, understand that to be the
Brahman – to be the Reality. In every mantra “Tadeva
Brahma tvam viddhi na idam yadidamupasate”.

No ‘Reward’ Can Be ‘Brahman’

Whatever is attained, gained, obtained through any
of the efforts- whatever is acquired through effort is not the Brahman. You may have a reward if you learn and
practise Tantra Yoga. Latent powers in your body might
develop and give you experiences-wonderful experiences.
If the sensory world can give you marvellous experiences
and pleasure, the extra -sensory experiences have still
more charm, fun, excitement. Their momentum is different
from the pleasure at the sensual level. So that which is the
result of any activity at the physical or psychological level
is not the Brahman. No one can say that I have had an
experience of Brahman – I have realized the Divinity, I have
arrived there. This language cannot be used.

So understand, says the teacher, “Understand my
son, that that which is a result or effect of a cause, result
or reward of an activity or action, that is not the flavour of
the Brahman, it is not there-the essence, the perfume is
not there, the substance is not there. It has its own charm
– the sensory, the extra – sensory, the occult, the
transcendental experiences – ‘Shakti Pat’- ‘Kundalini’ and
what not.

When your being is not divided into the observer
and the observed, the seer and the seen, the doer and the
action, the experiencer and the experience-when your
being and all the faculties contained in you do not divide
themselves as subject and object then in that undivided existence of yours-in that virgin unity of your being, the
mystery-the secret gets revealed unto you. You cannot
know it, you cannot measure it but it gets revealed unto
you. “Tad viddhi tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi”- that only,
that residue when all the outgoing activities have
spontaneously gone into abeyance, the residue – that
which remains with you, in you, of you, there the
srevelation can occur – can happen.

So in our parlance of the twentieth century we might
call it the state of meditation. When you just are. All the
roles that one takes upon oneself as the knower, the doer,
the experiencer, the man, the wife, the parent, the chirdren,
the brother, the sister, the laWyer, the doctor, the engineer
– all these roles we have to play in society, in family life.
So many roles are taken over voluntarily or as a response
to the needs of the body and the mind. But when all those
roles drop away psychologically, when all the movements
go into abeyance towards the known and the unknown,
even towards the unknowable, then that non motion of your
being- the vibration of the Divinity, the vibration, may I
say the breath of the Divinity is felt. It has an awareness
which you feel. Its ‘presence’ is felt -let me use that term!


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.



New Challenges Every Day

Third day of our sacred gathering! When the urge
to learn and the integrity of that urge along with the depth
of seriousness combines, – the atmosphere gets charged
with a sense of urgency and perhaps the mutual sharing
between us makes the sanctity-sacredness descend upon
us. Every day brings to us new challenges and makes us
realize that living is sailing upon an unchartered sea or
ocean. I wonder if life would be at all worth living if there
were not fresh challenges in the movement of life greeting
us every day. They keep us healthy, alert and energetic.
Of course, they keep us healthy and alert only if we do not
throw the challenges or brush them aside or dump them
into memory wanting to postpone looking at them or
meeting them squarely. Then the challenges get fermented
in the heat of our reactions, defence mechanisms, ego
centred wishes etc. Problems are self inflicted whereas
challenges are the spontaneous expression of the
dynamism of life.

Koshas -the Dimensions of Human Life

Before we proceed with the seventh mantra may I
attract your attention to the teachings of the first six
mantras, for our daily living. The six mantras, as perhaps
the mantras in all other Upanishads and ‘ruchas’of the
Vedas, agree upon one fact that human life is a multi –
dimensional phenomenon. These dimensions are called
‘Koshas’. Koshas could perhaps be translated into English
language by the word layers of being and mostly they
enumerate them as five Koshas or ‘Panca Koshas’. Our
life, our being is constituted, or composed of five layers or
pancha koshas. Each science uses different terms for
describing these Koshas. Kena Upanishad is referring to
these Koshas in a figurative way, in a poetic and indirect
way. The external sense organs is the one layer, like the
eyes, the ears, the speech. Then the second layer is of
internal organs. “Srotrasya srotram caksusah caksu” the
internal organ for example. If the eyes are the external
organs, the sight contained in the eyes is called internal
organ. External organ – ‘bahir indraya’, internal organ-‘
antar indriyah’. So these are two layers. Eyes would be
called caksuh and the sight contained in the eyes is called

Speech – the outer organ, the external organ is
called ‘vani’ and the internal organ is called ‘vak’, the source
of vani. Ear, the external organ is called srotram and the
internal organ is called sruti. So on and so forth. So, these
are two layers, the external organs and the internal organs.
In the organs are contained energies. That is the third layer, .
the principle of energy. For example, the eyes contain the
sight because there is the principle of fire or ‘Agni’ in our
body. The eyes, the sight, the Agni-the fire; the ears, the
hearing and the principle of or space; the nose, the
smelling and the principle of earth or Prithvi behind it. This
is the third layer or the third kosha. There would not be the
faculty of smelling contained in the sense organ called
nose unless the body was permeated by the principle of
earth or Prithvi.

For your information, the Vedas and the Upanishads
call the Prithvi, ‘gandhavati’, gandha is perfume. They say
Prithvi, the earth contains in its womb innumerable kinds
of perfumes, scents, fragrances which get manifested in
the crops, the vegetables, the fruits, the flowers etc. It is a
beautiful name – Gandhavati -that which is the source of
all perfume and scents. So, I am indicating to you the
different layers of the phenomenon that is called human
being and human life.

So there is the Prithvi-the earth, Jalam- water.
Speech becomes possible because of the principle of
water. Hearing becomes possible because there is the
principle of Akasha or the emptiness of space and so on.
Behind the third layer are two very siginificant ‘tattvas’.
These external organs and internal organs – indriyas –
‘bahir indriyas’, ‘antra indriyas’, then the principle-the
energy – the Urja’ and behind the third come two very
significant tatvam- Prana -the vital force and mind -the
consciousness. If prana, the vital force was not permeating,
the three layers that we have looked at just now and if
there were not the consciousness conditioned in our normal
daily living, then all the energies contained in the internal
organs and the outer sense organs would not be activated
to function.

The activisation and the mobilization of the energies
contained in various organs is due to prana the vital force
and mind the consciousness. This is .the fourth layer –
chaturtha kosha. I am referring to the analysis and the
description given to us by Kenopanishad. If you refer to
Chandogya, we had a different analysis and a different
angle of looking at the same fact and if anaybody would
study Bruhadaranyaka or Katha Upanishad then they will
have still different angle of perception and way of describing
the same five layers. The pancha koshas have different names in different Upanishads as well schools of Indian
philosophy. We are referring to Kenopanishad. Behind the
fourth layer is the cosmic or the Universal energy of
Intelligence which is called ‘Pradnya’ -the Supreme

Brahma – The Supreme Intelligence

Here the Kenopanishad uses the word Brahman for
that all permeating, all pervading, omniscient, omnipotent,
omnipresent. If the Brahman, that essence of existence
were not in the body, then the pranas – the vital force will
not be able to move in the body. It will not be possible for
the pranas to activate the internal sense organs or the
external sense organs and oblige them to function.
Whether an outgoing movement or an ingoing movement
of all these organs, it becomes possible only when the
prana gets its dynamism from Brahman. The
consciousness – the conditioned mind which provides
motivation for every outgoing sensory organ in a
conditioned way or even sometimes for an ingoing
movement like introspection, reflection, contemplation etc.
– that movement of consciousness – individuated
consciousness limited by your body, limited by your past,
that also would not be possible unless the Brahman- the
unlimited- the unconditioned, Supreme Intelligence were existing. That is the root. The root of your Being – the
matrix, the ground of our existence is the Brahman. Prana
and consciousness are rooted in that and then the pancha
tatvas – the five principles, like prithvi, jala, agni, vayu,
akasha etc. they are rooted in the prana and the
consciousness. Then the internal organs like sight and
audition and perception and so on, they are rooted in these,
and therefore the instrument, the external sense organs
can function. Unless we understand this analysis of the
human phenomenon suggested by and contained in the
Kenopanishad, we will not be able to appreciate what the
teacher is trying to help the students to understand.

The Panch Pranas

This clarification or elaboration became necessary
because this morning we are taking up the mantra,

“Yat pra’ ena na praniti yena pranah praniyate; tadeva
Brahman tvam viddhi na idam yadidamupasate”.

The pranah, the vital force divided into pancha pranas
– prana, apana, vyana, samana, udana- that is the analysis
of prana. Prana again has five ways of functioning in
different parts of the body. Some move in the upper
direction, higher- not higher, but in the upper direction.

Some naturally function in the lower direction; some
function horizontally, some vertically and some permeate
the whole body and that is the movement of the vital force.
The five fold movement of the vital force enables the
internal organs and the . energies contained in the five
principles to manifest themselves through the outer organs.
For the help of my students I might prepare a chart and
hand it over to you on Monday, because we don’t have a
blackboard here, it is a small hill place and small room,
where we meet and share. So I might write down and
prepare a chart for you. So in the seventh mantra the rishi
says the prana, the vital force will not be able to take you
there because the prana itself can function- the vital force
itself can function – it gets its dynamism, it gets the
substance of that vital force from Brahman.

“Pranena na praniti yen a pranah praniyate” , that
which provides the substance to the vital force, that which
provides the substance to prana is Brahman. What these
five pranas moving in your body achieve through the sense
organs,that is not the Brahman.

Brahman, The Essence of Existence

You may learn pranayama – various forms of
pranayama-samanya pranayam, vishesha pranayama,

deergha pranayama, bhasrika, sheetali etc. etc. and then
you will get experiences if you learn to prolong the duration
of the Kumbhaka – inner or the outer kumbhaka -various
dormant latent energies contained in your muscular,
nervous, glandular systems begin to flower and blossom
and manifest themselves. The teacher says, they are not
going to take you nearer to the Brahman. They are the
manifestations of the substance of the prana provided by
the Brahman. Brahman is the prime cause, Brahman is
the source. You think that the mind is providing motivations,
yes the mind provides motivation for the sense organ
because of its conditioning. But the consciousness itself,
the mind itself can function only as long as the Brahman is
in the body. The essence of life is there.

It is this analysis of the ancient rishis of the
Upanishads that enabled Shankaracharya, the prime
exponent of Vedanta to give us a sutra “Aham Brahmasmi”
– I am the Brahman. “Sarvam Khalu ldam Brahma” – all is
Brahman. “Sarvam Brahmaupanishadam” – Kena
Upanishad says and Shankara says, “Sarvam Khalvidam ∑
Brahma”. There is nothing like matter separately existing
from the Brahman or the Primal energy of intelligence.
“Aham Brahmasmi, Tattvam asi- thou art that. I am that. All
is essentially Brahman. When Shankara says that, he is
referring to the existential essence without denying the outer forms of existence. The outer forms of existenceinnumerable
shapes, sizes, colours, perfumes, qualities,
attributes. They have their own beauty, they have their own
utility but they are not the essence of existence. The
essence if existence is in the Brahman.

The Interval Between Two Breaths, Though1s etc.

Yat pranena na praniti yena pranah praniyate
Tad eva Brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam
upasate 11 1.9 11

Yat srotren na smoti yena srotramidam srutram
Tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam
upasate 1.8

So the teacher says, it is not the movement of the
prana or the movement of the consciousness that is going
to reveal the nature of Brahman. It is only when that
movement can subside – go into abeyance even for a fraction of a second, then in that interval between two
thoughts, between two wishes, two desires, between two
breaths that the Brahman gets revealed unto us.

“Yat caksusa na pasyati, yena caksunsi pasyati’,
tadeva Brahman tvam viddhi na idam yadidamupasate”.

But before I proceed to the mantra about caksu –
the eyes, let me go back to the previous mantra and add
one more point, because we are studying. These are study
classes and the sacred sharing between the teacher and
the student. The student share their enquiry and exploration
and the teacher shares the perception and the
understanding. Both nourish each other. Both nourish one
another. So I was referring to one more point about prana.

Prana causes the nose to smell. Te faculty of
smelling through the instrument of nose derives its
existence due to the principle of earth or prithvi which
contains and vibrates with prana. Prana is the source of
all creativity in out lives – all creative energies expressing
themselves in and through any of our sense organs
including the mind. They refer back of prithvi, the principle
of earth. So the five fold pranas moving through the body
provide activisation of the energies and specially,
especially it provides the faculty of smelling to the nose.

Otherwise when you go back and study the mantra you
might feel that the eyes, the ears, they have been referred
to and smelling has not been referred to. So the sight, the
hearing, the smelling, the thinking and may I add, that when
you allow an interval between the in going and the outgoing
breath or the ingoing and outgoing thought – when you
allow that interval, some duration, then in that duration
only the Brahman or reality behind the four Koshas – the
four layers of being, gets revealed, otherwise that source
– that matrix – that ground is covered up as the clouds in
the sky cover up the sun momentarily.

The clouds prevent our perception. They come in
between the sun and our sight. In the same way, the
movement of the outer sense organs, the movement of
the inner interval sense organs, the movement of the prana
and the consciousness hide and conceal the foundation
of existence.lf we want to perceive, to feel, to be aware, of
the source of our existence then these clouds of movement
-the movement of thoughts, the movement of desire, the
movement of reactions, the movements of doubts etc. etc.
need to go into abeyance.

We are the containers of the light of Life, we are
the containers of the light of Intelligence, but the movement
of intellect conceals, it comes in between – mentation, ideation, mental movement. So it is only when the outgoing
and the ingoing movements of the four layers go into
abeyance that the glory of the Brahman – the life source
illumines the whole being otherwise our lives remain like
the cloudy days.

We are gifted with a Variety of Sights

Yat caksusa na pasyati yena caksumsi pasyati
Tad eva Brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam
upasate 11 1.7 11

Your eyes and the sight contained in the eyes, the
sight contained in consciousness, because the sight
contained in the eyes is outgoing, it can point out an object
but there is a different kind of sight contained in .
consciousness which gives you premonition before the
things- before the phenomenon – before the events have
happened, the consciousness sees that. It is a kind of long
distance perception, it transcends time, it can transcend
time in which you call future and it can transcend time in
what you call future and it can transcend time in what you
call past. The premonition – perception of the past, perception of the future-that is also a kind of sight. You
may call it foresight to some extent but I call it premonition
because the capacity of premonition takes you both ways
-towards the past and towards the future, foresight takes
you only towards the future. So, we are gifted with a variety
of sights contained in us. Sensitivity has a sight which is
called intuition.

There is a kind perception contained in instincts
incorporated the biological organism. We share that
instinctive perception with our non human fellow beings. I
wonder if you have noticed, the sight, the perception that
birds have, the animals have, the birds also instinctively
get a feel of the rains, if they are to come say forty eight
hours afterwards, the birds move in a particular way. They
communicate their perception- their instinctive perception
to one another and their behaviour changes. If you have .
seen with the dogs, the cats, – I have seen it with horses ,
seen it with a deer. So animals and birds; and it is difficult
for me to communicate it to you and I won’t persuade you
to believe me but I feel that the trees, the plants, they have
also perception – they have sensitivity, they have
perception, they have ways of responding.

So we have instinctive sight or perception -we have
intuitional sight or perception – we have premonition an then the sight that is contained in the eyes. At different
layers of our being different kinds of sights and the rishi
says you may have five or ten varieties of sight and their
energies, and yet that sight is not going to reveal to you, to
show to you the Brahman, because it is not different from

No sight can have Brahman as its Object

The eyes can show you an object, the eyes can
show you an event, the sight can show you – point out an
event to you which is apart, which has existence apart from
you. But Brahman is the essence of your being, how can
any manner of sight convert it into an object? In Vedanta
they say Brahman is not the object of intellect. Brahman
cannot be an object of your brain. “Buddher avishayaha”
Budd hi -the intellect- the faculty of brain. As eyes, they
have sight- the caksus have drsti, brain has budd hi -the
intellect – the faculty of brain. So, Shankara says and
practically all Upanishads agree upon it that Budd hi-the
intellect cannot convert the source of life into an object of
thinking. It cannot be thought about, “Yan manasa na
manute yenahur mano matam” – the mind can conceive
only of an idea. It can convert something into an object of
thinking which is not its own substance, but the mind exists
– is rooted in Brahman. Therefore Brahman cannot be
converted into an object of knowledge – into an object of
perception-into an object of audition, whether you hear
the words of Vedas or any other scriptures. It cannot be
heard. It cannot be seen. It cannot be thought of. It cannot
be touched through the gross or the subtle sense organs.

Only in the Dimension of Silence

The rishi, the teacher is pointing out towards the
dimention of non-motion, non-action, non-perception, non
audition dimension of life. Einstein pointed out in theory of
relativity that time is a dimension. In the same way these
rishis, these sages are pointing out that motion is one
dimension of life but it cannot be equated with the
wholeness- with the Totality. There is another dimension
– non-motion.

Speech is one dimension, non- speech, another.
Action is one dimension, non- action, another. So, it is in
the dimension of non – motion when all the conditioned
principles of your being go into abeyance – biological is
conditioned by evolution; psychological is conditioned by
culture and civilization. The whole conditional existence
is moving. It can give you beautiful experiences, ecstatic
experiences. Rishi says it is the dimension of their non –
motion. They are going into abeyance-all the movements, so that the Brahman will be felt by every pore of your being.
The all permeating nature of that Brahman – that Reality
will be felt by you, you will become aware of it only in the
dimension of Silence – non-speech, non action, non motion etc.

Yan manasa na manute yenahur mano matam
Tadeva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam
upasate 1.6

If it has been possible for me to clarify this very
subtle part of the seventh, eighth and ninth mantra that we
have looked at, let me just briefly introduced you to the
next mantra.

Yadi manyase suvedeti dabhramevapi Nunam tvam
vettha brahmano rupam 1 Yadasya tvam yadasya
devesvatha nu Mimamsyameva te, manye viditam 11 2.1 11

We will look only at the first part of the mantra just
to get an idea how the rishi proceeds – how the teacher
proceeds with the teaching. He says, after all that you have
heard from me, after all that has been communicated by
me, if you feel that, “Yadi manyase”- if you think or feel –
if you consider.

Perhaps the proper translation- the word would be
consider-‘manyase’. “Yadi manyase suvedeti”, if you feel
‘Ah! Now I have understood what Brahman is because my
teacher says, “Tadeva Brahman tvamm viddi”- that is the
Brahman, that is the Brahman, my teacher has been
talking about it’. So if you say, if you consider, “Yadi
manyase suvedeti” – if you consider now you have
understood Brahman, then my son, understand that you _
have perhaps understood only that aspect of Brahman
contained in you – conditioned in your five layer multi
dimensional phenomenon of your life. I said I am just going
to introduce that mantra to you.

However ecstatic the moment of ultimate realization
might be, however majestic and grand that moment of
emancipation or realization or liberation might be, the rishi
of the Kenopanishad wants to point out that it is only a
limited revelation. “Yadi manyase suvedeti nunam tvam
vettha, factually- nunam- realistically- factually you have
felt, you have grasped, you have felt the touch -the
presence of that aspect of Brahman which is contained in
your being.

No ‘Experience’ of the Infinite

The Reality, the Brahman, the Truth being infinite,
it is not finite of which you can have a complete experience.
It is infinite. So even if you have now realized and you
have felt the presence of the Brahman in the Silence or
the non – motion -the abeyance of all movement-that is
not the whole of it. That hasn’t got the comprehensiveness.
It is the destiny, it is the factual, no, it is the fact of human
life that we are limited. We are conditioned, we are limited
in so many ways and those limitations can be an asset
also. Limitations can be the splendour and wealth also,
because in spite of or rather through the limitations, the
manifestation of unconditioned is going to take place.

So if you feel that now you have understood, please
at least understand that it is a limited circumferenced event
that has taken place in your limited and conditioned
instrument- this electro magnetic apparatus. It is not the
wholeness of Brahman, it is not the total potential of
Brahman. Well, you may say, it is not only that which is in
my body that I have felt the presence, I have felt the
presence outside of me in the cosmos. We have measured
the skies and measured the oceans, we have measured
the speed of light and sound. We are able to do genetic
engineering not only with biological plant world but even
in human species and so on, we might say. We have
transcended the earth orbit and landed on the Moon and
the Jupiter and the Mars or whatever. So, we have now
found out what is matter, we have found out the secret.

The other part with which we will be studying and
refer to next time he says if you have felt it inside due to
‘adhyatma’- ‘atma vidnyan’ and if you have felt it outside
of you in the cosmos because of science or ‘padartha
vidnyan’, even then it does not exhaust the wholeness,
the infinity of that Reality which is called divinity or
Brahman. Even the awareness that can manifest in human
being of the outer and the inner, is bound to be limited in
a way. So the teacher says beware, beware, neither you
nor me can say that we have seen the whole of Brahman,
we have felt the presence of the wholeness and infinity of
the Brahman. Infinity cannot be experienced. Eternity
cannot be experienced. So don’t you forget, otherwise you
will feel the presence, get intoxicated by it and say-‘Aham
Brahmasmi’ -I have now understood. And I think Vimalaji
should stop now. I am really overwhelmed by your sense
of urgency and the urge to learn, that makes you go through
all odds and difficulties and come here.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih 0m santih.



Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvanii. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakarnam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.

Resume of the Earlier Chapter

By the Grace of Life all of us together could explore
the meaning of the first part or the chapter of Kenopanishad
last week. Very briefly to take the resume of the first
chapter, the pupil asks the preceptor what is the activating
and motivating force behind the movement of the sense
organs like the eyes, the speech, the ears, the mind etc.
and the teacher points out figuratively in the beginning
that it is the ear of the ear, and the eye of the eye. It is the
mind of the mind and the prana of the prana that activates
and motivates. The figurative expression is meant to
induce the probing quality of the student’s intelligence. It
indicates that the outgoing activities of the sense organs
will never be able to produce the realization of the
activating and motivating force behind them. To elucidate
further, the teacher points out various layers of being in
which the activating and motivating force permeates and
enables them to function or operate.

The layer or the kosha of external sense organs,
the kosha of internal senses, the kosha of the principles
or elements which provide the energy to the internal
senses, the conditioned activating force of prana and the
conditioned motivating force of consciousness as the fourth
layer and then the teacher points out briefly, Brahman, the
Chaitanya, the Supreme Energy of Intelligence as the
matrix of all existence as the ground reality of all existence,
which remains unmanifest, which remains undivided, non
fragmented and yet it permeates every emanation that
takes place out of it, because of it and within it. That was the first chapter.

Brahman – The Oneness Manifesting
As Manyness

Those who have psychologically survived the
exertion of the exploration last week are welcome to join
me as we are going to explore the second part or the
second chapter from today. Unless one is a little acquainted
with the Indian philosophy, one is acquainted with the
basics of Sankhya, Yoga, Vedanta etc., it really becomes
very difficult to grasp what the Upanishad is trying to
explain or clarify. As I had mentioned the very first day,
the ancient Indian approach to life was and is wholistic.
You cannot separate the metaphysics from physics,
spirituality from philosophy. You cannot separate
psychology from ethics and so on. It is an intertwined
complexity, something beautifully interwoven into the
wholeness of life expecting that our act of living should
reflect the wholeness, it should reflect the complexity of
the wholeness.

One more point before I turn to the second chapter.
The metaphysics of ancient Indian wisdom proclaims that
the essence of life is harmony. The Brahman is the
condensed harmony. Harmony requires complexity-
Complexity in which everything has mutuality or
reciprocity. It requires a oneness, which manifests itself
as manyness. That manyness is meant to manifest – to
reflect the music of mutuality, reciprocity which is called
harmony. Harmony in the five principles of life, earth –
prithvi, water- jala, fire – agni, vayu – prana and emptiness
– akasha. The harmony is expressed through the interweaving
and intertwining of these five elements. There is not a
single expression of life, in which these five basic
principles are not incorporated. They constitute, they
compose a blade of grass, a drop of water and so on. If
this is sufficiently clear, we may not be acquainted with
the original texts of the Vedas and the Upanishads but
even a general idea is there, then the comprehension
does not become an ordeal.

The Creative Energies in the Body and in the Universe

Yadi manyase suvedeti nunam tvam vettha
daharamapi daharama evapi ”

– Yadi manyase suvediti – the teacher now is
speaking unto the student – his pupil. “If you consider that
now you ∑have known what is Brahma, very well – Yadi
Manyase Suvedeti- Suvedeti- well known, nunam tvam
vettha daharam evapi Brahmanorupam. Please do
understand that you have known only a part or an aspect
of the wholeness of Brahman’. Which is that part that you
feel that you have well known? “Yadi Manyase Suvedeti
Suvedeti nunam tvam vettha daharam mevapi”
BrahmaDorupaam yasya tvam – that part of Brahman which
is contained in your body. “Yadasya tvam devesu” – that
part or aspect of Brahman which is contained in the
energies permeating in the universe outside of you as
well as within you.

Here again second time the word ‘deva’ has come.
Unfortunately in all the English translations that one has
come across in the last fifty years of one’s life, the word
‘deva’ from the vedic texts has been translated as God –
Personalized God, and with all the humility I beg to say
that that translation is absolutely incorrect and does a great
injustice to the original text. As we had seen last week, the
word ‘deva’ originates from the root ‘diva’ which means to
be self illumined and capable of illuminating others.

Vedas are poetry. The Upanishads also have a
poetic format. So they use figurative language – similies,
analogies, poetic expressions which have to be decoded
in order to comprehend them. So wherever one has seen
it in the study of Rig veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda etc. this
word ‘deva’ refers to the self illuminated and illuminating
energies contained in the cosmos and contained in the
condensed cosmos, that is the human body, eg., the
principle of earth.- prithvi. In Englsih language they would
say prithvi is called by the Indians Goddess. Deva- Devata
-it is called. Originally the word implies, deva, devi, devata
– a centre of self – effulgent being. It is self – generated
and the energy contained in it is its nature. So Prithvi is
deva, it is an energy centre. It is a self illumined centre
and it illuminates others. Now you will say how can Prithvi
illuminate? What is this illumination? The sun can
illuminate, how can Prithvi?

Creativity is the Light of Life

Let us take a step further, wherever there is light of
creative energy – creativity is called the light of life. So
illumination indicates the existence, the presence of
creativity. Prithvi – the earth, has creativity and that
creativity is called the goddess -that creativity is called
the illumination because it gives you the food, it gives you
the rivers the water that nourish you. Agni – the fire
principle. It is again called deva – illuminating and self
illumined. If there were no fire principle in the body, there
would be no heat in the body. The eyes will not be able to
see unless, the sight will not be able to function unless,
the fire principle in the body works properly. There would
be no appetite, there would be no digestion of whatever
you take in and sight would not function. So, Agni – the
fire principle is called deva.

The same with sound which enables you to speak.
So sound is the God of speech. Fire is the god behind the
sight, space is the god behind your hearing or audition
and so on. So, this clarification was necessary that in the
Upanishads the word ‘deva’ is a code word. It has to be
deciphered as a centre of energy, self-contained, self-created,
self-illumined etc.

“Yadi Manyase Suvedeti nunam tvam vettha
daharam evapi Brhamanorupam yasya tvam”.

So, my dear son, now you have known or you feel
that you have known that aspect of Brahman which is
contained in you and that which is manifested in the devas
– the energies, the energy centers around you in the
cosmos. “Yasya tvam yasya devesu” the matrix- the ground
of existence remaining undivided and unmanifest yet
permeates these energy centres as you have energy
centres in your body and also the energy streams like
meridian line of energy and so on, in the same way in the
cosmos there are energy centres – sun is the energy
centre, moon is the energy centre, the oceans are the
energy centres, they are called devas.

It was mistaken in the nineteenth century perhaps
even eighteenth, it was thought by the western thinkers
and scholars that there was paganism in India, in ancient
India. It is not paganism -it is not worshipping stones and
water for the sake of themselves and calling them gods
but because there was no acquaintance with the Vedic
Sanskrit which is different from the Sanskrit that is studied
today in Indian universities. That is why I thought it
necessary to help the students of Yoga who want to
study Upanishads just to get an inkling. I have given
you only one example of the word ‘deva’, but the English
translations generally prove rather misleading because
they have been, the translations have been taken by
academicians. So they get the Sanskrit – English
dictionary and write the word. What else can they do?

Further Probing Necessary

“Yasya tvam yadasya tvam yat devesu.” The teacher
says, ‘The manifestation of the Brahman which is
contained in you and which is manifested outside of you.
You seem to have known only that’. “Atha nu
mimansyameva te”. ‘So my son, further probing, further
deliberation, further exploration seems to be necessary.
You have known only the conditioned form. You have known
only the manifest form of the Brahman; You have seen
only the motion part of it, the audition part of it, the
utterance or the verbalization part of it. So if you feel that
you have now understood what the Brahman is, you have
understood only the manifest, the conditioned and that
which is full of motion’. “Atha nunam tvam mimansyameva”,
so please don’t feel contented that you have grasped what
is Brahman totally. “mimansyameva”- mimansa is analysis.
You have still more to analyse. You have still to go deeper,
probe deeper.

But the pupil, the student of such a rishi, such a
sage, must have also been a very robust, and brilliant and
capable one. The teacher is trying to shake him, find out if
he has really understood. So when the teacher says, “Atha
nu mimansyameva”. You have still to probe and analyse
further, the student stops the teacher- “Manye suvediti”-
I have understood. You know, learning doesn’t mean that
one doesn’t have the freedom to express. The inter action
between the ancient sages and their pupils was full of
freedom, love, absolutely informal and intimate. So in the
Upanishad as soon as the teacher says “Mimansyameva
te”- go and further analyse it, the student says, ‘I have
done it’. “Manye suvedeti” and yet I persist in saying that I
have understood. That is the first mantra of the second

One Who Says ‘I know’ Does Not Know

If the meaning of the first mantra is sufficiently clear,
let us proceed.

“Yah tad veda na veda iti”. ‘I have understood that
one who says I know, does not know’. This is the reply the
student is giving to the teacher. “Yastad veda na veda –
na veda iti veda ca.” ‘and one who says, I do not know it,
knows it’. The student says, ‘Sir, look this is what I have
grasped from your teachings that one who says I know,
does not know and one who says I do not know, knows’.

What does that mean? What does the student want
to convey? When he says “Yastad veda na veda”, ‘one
who says I have known, does not know’, what is implied?
Implied that a person who says I know is ignorant because
he is looking upon Brahman – the Ultimate Reality as an
object of knowledge – as an object to be known with the
help of words. He is still looking upon the Brahman – the
reality as an object of perception, as an object of audition,
as an object of thinking. You know, all of you are aware
that the activity of knowing is cerebral activity. It is an
activity in the field of the known because you have to refer
to a word. The meaning of the word has been accepted
and sanctioned by society, it is standardized, it is organized,
it is sanctioned. Unless you take help of the words which
are defined and their meaning is accepted by society, you
can’t say, I know. Knowing requires the division of subject
and object. Knowing requires the help of the words which
are known, interpreted by the past, conditioned by the past.

So whatever knowledge results with the help of
words is bound to be limited and also indirect, also to use
the terminology of the Upanishads-it is a little polluted by
the subjectivity of the knower. “Yah tad veda na veda.” One
who says ‘I know’ does not know, he is ignorant. That, the
undivided matrix, the essence of life, cannot be divided
into subject, object. To remain a knower, convert that into
the object of knowledge, to remain the seer and convert
that into an object to be seen or a word to be heard, is still

All Conditioned Knowledge Is Ignorance

So all conditioned knowledge, all the movement of
conditioned consciousness is a kind of ignorance. That is
what Upanishad tells us. We may relish it, we may not like
it, because we live by knowledge, we live by the sensation
that I have acquired knowledge, it is ‘my’ knowledge – I
have acquired experience, sensual, extra sensory,
transcendental whatever- I have self-realization, I am
emancipated. For us everything is an object to be acquired,
to be obtained. So the division persists.

As long as the division persists in the name of
knowledge or experience, it is still ignorance, “Yastad veda
na veda no na vedeti Veda ca”. ‘But who says, I do not
know, has known it’ – why and how? One who says, I do
not know, has known it. “Nona veda, veda ca”, because
he has at least known that the movement of knowing can
never produce the encounter – the living touch of the
ultimate reality. The movement of seeing, hearing, thinking,
knowing cannot produce an intimate encounter, leave aside
interaction, even an encounter or the feel of the presence
can never be the result of any of the movements of any of
the senses.

So, “No na veda veda ca”-‘one who says I do not
know at least knows this much’. At least he knows this
much that it cannot be known, it cannot be experienced.
That itself is a big event in life. When a great scientist
says, all my life what I have known is just like a few pebbles
on the shores of life. Or another scientist says that the
reality cannot be the result of cerebral action. They have
gone: near this, you see, and mostly the twentieth century
physicists trying to probe matter to arrive at the truth and
reality, have been very sincere. They have been nearer to
reality than the so called religious people or religious
seekers, because they have the tentativeness of approach.
They don’t mind leaving aside the past theories and
proceeding further.

They do not create a point of prestige, whether it is
Neil Bohr, Einstein, it is David Bohm, it is Fritzof Capra,
whether Paul Davis from Australia – all these scientists
and before them the atomic theory of time, the vibrational
theory of time, the Big Bang, thetheoryofchaosand chaos
producing order and order relaxing back into new chaos,
you know, you live in Europe so you may be knowing more
about the adventures of physicists into the field of

The religious search is becoming stagnant but
science is proceeding logically, working very hard. So one
who says I do not know seems to be aware that it is not
knowable. One who says I have known looks upon it as
knowable. But the one who says, I don’t know, knows that
it is not knowable. It is beyond the known. It is beyond the
unknown also. It is just not knowable, not namable – not
measurable. For knowing you have to measure. A word
coined by us measures the sound potential existing in the
word or existing in the body. Music also which plays with
the sound energy in you, it is measuring, channelising,
manoeuvring, employing. So Brahman is neither knowable,
you cannot even call it unknown, because you call that
which is unknown which has the potential to be known in
some near future or distant future.

The Negative Approach

But one who has realized that it is beyond the
unknown that is to say it can never be known with the help
of brain, with the help of words, symbols, measures. The
use of knowledge is negative. It can at best tell us what it
is not. So it is a negative approach and you might have,
some of you might have read that the Vedas, the Upanishad
say ‘neti neti’ not this, not this, not this. They go on
eliminating. The negative approach of elimination and let
the truth remain as the residue after everything is negated,
has been an ancient approach. Please let us be very clear,
negation is not denial. You are not denying. The Upanishads
do not say that it does not exist, whatever ‘it’ is, ‘The
Brahman’, does not exist-they don’t say. They only say it
is not perceptible, it is not tangible, it is not audible, it is
not knowable, it is not experienceable.

Now do you get the suggestion of the teacher that
let all the activities and movements of the inner senses
and external sense organs go into abeyance. Let those
movements discontinue themselves, so that, that which is
beyond their reach can reveal itself in the emptiness of
your relaxation.

We the children of 2oth century, most of us if not
all, suffer from intellectual arrogance. We think there is
nothing beyond intellect – there is nothing that the brain
cannot capture, the sensations can not capture and this is
quite a different approach that is why many a non – Indian
and most of the university educational Indians either get
tired of studying Upanishads because they feel it an insult
to their brain and intellect when Upanishad says it is not
knowable, so why should we study, why should we
continue further and they stop. It is a reaction of the ego, it
is the reaction of the pampered intellect, pampered

Either they get desperate or they feel hurt. It is very
difficult to remain a student, it is very difficult to retain the
enquiry and openness till the last breath. That is why I
said the second chapter is an ascendance. It is a vertical
ascendance. Now the student has given the reply. ‘I have
understood that one who says I know does not know.’ ‘One
who says I do not know, knows’. In another Upanishad or
in another part of the same Upanishad there comes also a

Yasyamatam tasya matam matam yasya na veda
sah Avi jnatam vijanatam vijnatamavijanatam 11 2.3 11

Yasya matam – one who feels convinced that he
knows, tasya matam – he has not understood anything.

Yasya matam tasya matam yasya veda na veda sah
-one who says one has understood does not understand.
One who says I do not know anything about Brahman at
least has the openness and the scope, there is a
possibility if his communion with the Brahman and so on.

Now you must be anxious to hear what the teacher
has got to say to such a student. In the first mantra he
says I have understood and the teacher says what have
you understood and so he gives a very brilliant reply.

“Pratibodha viditam hi amrutam”.

The teacher says now, he uses a word which is
very crucial to our further study of the Upanishad and it is
a beautiful word, “Pratibodha viditam”. ‘Viditam”- understood.
‘Pratibodha’ – prati – every, from moment to moment at
every layer of your being, at every kosha of your being,
the panch Koshas, the five layers of your being, are you
aware that you have understood that it is unknowable or
that which is iriexperienceable? ‘Are you aware of this
knowledge or understanding of yours at the movement of
every layer of your being at everY moment?’

When the senses move, your external sense
organs move towards their respective objects and bring in
pleasant sensations of a form, of a colour, of taste, of
smell, of fragrance. When they bring those sensations
and your inner sense organs create an experience out of
that, are you aware that that is not the ultimate truth? It is
something that is happening on the level of conditioned
manifestation. It is a conditioned energy activated by,
motivated by the absolute Reality. It is activated by and
motivated by the Brahman. Are you aware of that? Or when
you do something with your body, you say I have done it?
Do you bring in a separate activating and motivation force
out of your knowledge, out of your conditioning- samskaras,
out of your wishes and desires, do you create a para lied
centre of authority? Are you aware at every layer of being
in every moment? When your mind thinks a thought, are
you aware that the movement of thinking is possible
because of the ‘Chaitanya’ behind?

When your ears hear music, do you get lost in the
music only-the sensation of pleasure that the music gives
you or, are you aware that the sound in the music, the play
with the silence between the notes of music, the singer
that is the manifestation of the sound energy and your
hearing also is a movement of that matrix of existence? If
you are aware of that, then listening to music will give you
the communion not with the notes of music or the beating
of time but with the sound principle.

A Communion With The Source Of Life

If you do not get lost in the sensation of pleasure,
then the action of listening will become a communion with
Silence which is the source of sound. ‘Pratibodha viditam
amurtama- the nectar of life, the source of life, the eternity,
the immortality of life can be communed with. You can be
in communion with that at every layer of being and in every
movement. The teacher is pointing out that if you feel you
have known and that remains only a cerebral idea, if it
remains only a cerebral grasp of an idea or a theory, you
have not understood anything. ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ you will
quote and you will say I am the Brahman, not the body, not
the sense organs. You may chant the mantras from
Vivekchudamani and other such scriptures – the
Upanishads etc.

He says the awareness- the communion has to be
at every layer of being and every movement; -breathing,
the hearing, the seeing, the thinking, the sexual interaction
and the ecstasy that one has there, does every movement
make you aware of the source of that movement or you
get lost in the intoxication of the motion, in the intoxication
of the sensation, in the intoxication of the pleasure or pain,
success or failure, acceptance or rejection by others? Do
you get lost in that? Then saying that I know it or I do not
know it remain only empty shells of words. We had seen
before, external sense organs, their inner sense organs,
ears-hearing, hearing is the inner sense organ – behind
the hearing, the space-the akasha, behind the akasha,
the movement of consciousness etc.

Any movement of the sense organs, even the
movement of consciousness or the movement of prana, if
the movement and the result of those movements sever
you,uproot you from your roots of existence, then
obviously the movement, the sensation, the experience,
the reward, the failure, the success, they are all in the
darkness of ignorance. Those of you who have studied
with me lshavasya in Mount Abu years ago, you will

“Andham tamah pravisanti ye avidyam upasate; Tato
bhuya iva te tamah ye u vidyayam ratah.”

Those who are ignorant are in the field of darkness
but those who are in the field of knowledge, erudition
and scholarship are in still thicker darkness, heavier
darkness – do you remember that? Those who have had
no occult transcendental experience may be ignorant but
at least they haven’t got the complication of an ego centred
ignorance, ego generated ignorance that I have had the
experience. I saw virgin Mary and I saw Christ, I saw Rama,
Krishna, this that the other. I had experiences and the
powers generated by those experiences.

Please, the teacher, the sage, the rishi is pointing
out that it is our destiny to live in the conditioned world, it
is our destiny to move through our senses, there is
nothing wrong in it. The senses, the sense organs, their
energies, their contact, the pleasure that you get, but
everything becomes a danger of getting uprooted, every
moment there is a danger of getting uprooted if the
sensation, the pleasure, the intoxication lapses you into
the non cognition of the source of your life – the essence
of your life-the Brahman -the Chaitanya -the Reality
∑the Supreme Energy of Intelligence. So, the conditioned
energies in the human body like prana, consciousness and
all their varieties, conditioned energies contained in the
cosmos outside, they are not the source, they are

The source- the activating source-the motivating
source “Kenesitam presitam patati manah kena pranah
prathamah praiti yuktah” – the first question in
Kenopanishad. So who is and what is the activating force?
Not the conditioned consciousness. Conditioned
consciousness moves, it can get you into relation with
an object, but its very movement – the movement of chitti
– the movement of chitta “Yogah chitta vritti nirodhah” –
the chitta, the mind,- the consciousness- the mind can
move only because there is chitanya behind it.

You will say because there is prana, the rishi says,
“Yes, but the prana can operate only because of the
absolute ground of Reality – ground of existence. So.let
us conclude this morning. The teacher is pointing out to
the student, very pleased with the student’s reply, but says
beware when you utter the words, “I know that we cannot
know it, I know that it is unknowable”, please beware.

Please be aware of this in the movement of all the
layers of your being – in every movement at every moment,
then the movement of the conditioned energies, the
movement of your being- the prana, the consciousness,
the hearing, the smelling, the seeing, the uttering, it will
be in harmony with the unmanifest, non individuated
wholeness of life. As the oneness and manyness are in
harmony, let there be harmony in your being. The motion
and the non-motion, let there be always a communion.
Speech and silence, let them be joined together.

A Harmonious Whole

If you get intoxicated by what you say or what you
hear, you get lost in the pleasure and then you want more
and more and more. But if you are aware that silence is a
dimension out of which speech becomes possible,
solitude is dimension out of which relationship and its
movement become possible, if you become- if you are aware
of the emptiness of space due to which all movement is
possible, then the motion and the non -motion, speech
and the Silence, aloneness and relationships all becomes
one whole – a harmonious whole of life. If the ancient
Rishis of India, the wise people of India, I should say Asia,
if they had worshipped anything, they had worshipped
this principle of harmony.

Principle of mutuality and reciprocity and they think
that, they have been proclaiming as we will see it as we
proceed that the human life has the responsibility to
manifest that harmony, that unity, remain undivided while
you go through manifested various activities, remain non
fragmented while you function on so many different fronts
of life, remain whole while you pass through action –
reaction, agreeability – disagreeability, acceptance –
rejection, birth- death, meeting- separating etc. in this
whole drama of life, in this whole travail of life, if that
undivided unity and harmony in the various activities is
retained, then, the rishi says, now your words are not empty
shells, there is the authenticity of life behind it. And I must
ask Vimalaji to stop.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om sanih 0m santih.

Chapter- V


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani.Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih 0m santih.

Before we proceed I would like to warn the students
that the passage we are going to explore this morning is
slightly more difficult and deeper than the passage we
had dealt with yesterday. It is one of the most crucial parts
of Kenopanishad and one of the most sublime passages
that one has come across in all the Upanishads that one
has seen and studied. So if some of you will not be able to
follow or understand, please do not get baffled or
disappointed. Just be kind enough to listen and may be
when you get back to your own countries read the
Upanishad and listen to the tape again, you might find it
easier to grasp.

Understanding At Various Levels

Pratibodhaviditam matam amrtatvam hi vindate 1
atmana vindate viryam vidyaya vindate amrtam 2.4

First let us see the literal meaning of the words and
then we shall turn to the significance or the implications of
the mantra. “Pratibodha viditam’ :- at every state of
consciousness, in every state of consciousness, by every
state of consciousness. eg.that which is known and
understood in waking consciousness, that which is known
and understood at the sensual level when you are in touch
with reality through the sense organs, that which is known
and understood when you are living at the psychological
level and living through the movement of thought, that
which is known and understood when you are living at the
emotional level and the emotional dimension, if you would
allow me to use the psychological terminology, that which
is understood at the level of cognition, at the level of
conation and at the level of affection, “Pratibodha viditam”
-that which is understood when you are alone and not
moving in any direction, there is no effort for knowing,
experiencing or doing anything when you stay put at the
source of your being, say in Silence; that which is
understood, when you are deep and thick in the movement
of relationship passing through the movement of action
and reaction, action or response. I am just giving a few
examples what the word ‘pratibodha viditam’ implies -that
which is understood whether you are operative at the
sensual, the psychology level, the cerebral or the
emotional level, you are alone or you are with the people,
that which is ‘understanding’, is there. “Pratibodha viditam.”

Aspects of Immortality

“Pratibodha viditam hi matam amrutatvam vindate.”
It is only by that understading that amrutatvam is attained.
Amrutatvam – immortality. It is only that which is vibrating
at every, and in every, state of consciousness, which
results in the attainment of immortality. Generally the word
immortality is understood to be related either to the body

or to the ego – the conditioned self. Mortal – the body –
physical body is mortal and there have been scientist of
life who have tried to discover the alchemy by which the
duration of physical survival – biological survival can be
prolonged with the hope that perhaps the body can
become immortal.

There have been such alchemists in the Middle
East and perhaps all the Asian countries. They have tried
their hands at that and we have proofs in India that the
body has been helped either through Hatha Yoga or Tantra
Yoga to prolong its duration to about eight hundred years.
Personally I have seen a Yogi who was two hundred and
fifty years old when I met him. I have not come across a
longer duration than that. But one has read about them, in
China, in Tibet and also in India.

So that is one meaning of mortality and immortality
related to the survival of the physical organism. The other
is the continuity of the conditioned consciousness, the
monitor of psychological movement which you call the ego
and the content of the ego is thought-thought in the form
of knowledge or thought in the form of conditionings.

Thought having vibrational existence does not die.
The vibrations exist in the body as long as the body is
psychological or the psycho- physical level, if one is aware
that though knowing takes place in the neurological
system through the cerebral movement, the conditioned
consciousness is not the knower. The primal knower- the
source of knowing, doing, experiencing is Brahman, the
ground reality- the source -the substance, the essence.

So when at psychological level you go through the
activity of knowing without creating a knower at the level
of conditioned mind-conditioned consciousness, you go
through the events and experiences without imagining,
creating or building up an experiencer, then there is that
flame of awareness behind the sensual movement, the
psychological movement, there is the supreme Intelligence
– Chaitanya, – Brahman. There is a source of inexhaustible,
infinite, eternal energy, unchangeable, unmutilatable. –
unshakable. Then there is communion.

Knowing Without The Knower

You move through the senses, enjoy the interaction
between the senses and the outer world, you move through
the brain, the nerves, the chemical system, enjoy the
feeling – the emoting part, enjoy the thinking part, aspect
of life and yet you are aware that this is a movement that is
going on- knowing, experiencing, doing without the knower,
the doer, the experiencer. It is the matrix of life- the source
of life – the Brahman, whose presence causes these
movements of knowing, experiencing – sensual level,
sexual level, psychological level.

So without becoming the knower, the experiencer
and the doer of the movements that are going on, that
have to go on, you r.emain in communion with the sourcethe
substance – the essence. That state of communion
has the perfume of immortality because that state of
communion and awareness sets you free of all
psychological suffering and misery. You go through the
drama of life – the pain and the pleasure. There may be
perturbance, disturbance at the sensual level you are a
witness to that, you do not get victimized by it. “Kiesha
Mukti Kaivalyam.” The Yoga Sutras have taught you that
the state of Yoga is the ending of psychological misery
and suffering. So immortality, eternity is a state where there
is no suffering. Please do not attach the word immortality
to something which happens after death. Though the body
is born and the body is to drop some day in what you call
death, life knows no death. Life knows no dying. It is an
eternal dance of infinite, innumerable energies.

So ‘pratibodha viditam matam hi amrutatvam
vindate.” The immortality is attained, is arrived at, is felt, is
realized, when there is ‘pratibodha viditam’. You have the
understanding at every state of consciousness, in every
state of consciousness, the communion is not snapped,
there is a spontaneous, effortless, communion with the
source of your own being and therefore this drama of
becoming-the play of becoming that has to take place at
the physical and the psychological level, you become a
husband, a wife, a father, a mother, you become a brother,
a sister, you become a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher-all this
process of becoming that has to be gone through at the
psychophysical level does not deprive you of the splendour,
the majesty of remaining without any becoming.

Through Communion With The ‘Substance’

Remaining at the source of being, the beingness
does not get affected by any state of consciousness, by
any psycho – physical activity – that is called immortality.
“Pratibodha viditam matam hi amrutatvam vindate.” And how
does that happen? This is a science of life and living. So
the rishi – the teacher after having made this statement –
this communication, now in the second part of the mantra
refers to the explanation – shows the path, indicates the
direction to his students – to his pupils: “Atmana vindate
veeryam” Atmana. – by your beingness – by the source of
your life – by the substance, the essence of your life – the
Brahman, the divinity which is your Being – the supreme
energy of Intelligence which is your nature. Intelligence
is the nature of life. Eternity, divinity, infinity, immea
surableness, unnamableness, that is the nature of life.
So atmana means by the Substance, – when there is
awareness of the Substance, when there is communion
with that Substance. ‘Vindate veeryam’. The word ‘veeryam’
is very significant. Most of the translators and commentators
have translated it by the word strength. But that does not
satisfy your friend Vimala. Through the penetrations,
explorations, and experimentations in her life, she has
found out that the word ‘Veeryam’ means vitality. There can
be physical strength, there can be strength of conviction,
there can be strength, devotion which is exclusive
attachment to an object. The rishi, the teacher is not
referring to that kind of strength which is produced by any
effort of the brain. Intellectual conviction is born of a
cerebral effort.

Devotion or exclusive attachment to an object, to
an individual, to a code of conduct, to a code of values
etc. – that is the result of an emotional movement and
effort. The veeryam – the vitality is not produced through
or by any psycho – physical effort. The vitality is that, that
emerges-out of awareness. Please do see this. Vrtality-that
is the perfume, you know, a bud blossoms, becomes
a flower and there is the beauty,-there is the fragrance,
you do not sprinkle some scent on it. It is the act of
flowering, it is the movement of blossoming which
causes the emergence of the scent contained in those
petals of the flower. In the same way when the awareness
blossoms and flowers at every sensual, psychological
movement in your life, the awareness blossoms, flowers
and the vitality emerges out of that flower. It has nothing to
do with human thought or effort.

Look, those of you who are acquainted with
painting and drawing, you mix certain colours,-two colours
– that is only you are causing interaction of two colours
and the third colour generates – it is generated. You do
not create the third colour but you have caused the
interaction of say green and yellow and the result is a third
colour. In the same way there is an interaction of your
conditioned limited being with other conditioned
expressions of life and the interaction of those-conscious
interaction of those energies generates what you call
awareness and that awareness has vitality.

Knowledge has no vitality, knowledge is static,
knowledge has no dynamism but awareness has its own
dynamism and therefore the word ‘veeryam’. In this
context after referring to ‘pratibodha viditam hi amrutatvam’,
we have to understand the word ‘veeryam’ – much more
deeply than the strength or power that is the result of
human efforts. I hope you are accompanying me. “Atmana
vindate veeryam”.

The communion through awareness with the
Brahman, with the source and existential essence of your
life, communion through awareness with the beingness of
your life generates a vitality. It cannot be affected by
anything in the world- no pleasure, no pain, no agony, no
honour, no humiliation can increase or decrease it. It
doesn’t become brighter or dimmer. So atmana vindate

Have Knowledge But Don’t Cling to the Shell of

“Vidyaya amrutatvam vindate.”- Now, the awareness
which causes the communion, which generates the vitality,
how does that awareness come? Something most
beautiful, most sublime and the teacher is opening up
layer by layer. He has used the word ‘Vidyaya. ‘Vidya’ –
knowledge. Knowledge, verbalized knowledge. Now, you
cannot escape the necessity or the inevitability of acquiring
knowledge once you are born in a human body.

Exercising the brain is an inevitability, exercising
the senses – the sense organs, the internal senses and
the outer sense organs is a necessity of life. The movement
of life, the act of living requires exercising the sensual
energies and the cerebral energies. Now, with the help of
words – the books available, the talks, the conferences,
the seminars, through hearing, through reading and
throug your sensual experience, you derive knowledge.
That’s how we begin.

All are not born with that unique quality of inborn
awareness, some may be. They are not freaks of nature
but it does happen that in some human beings there is the
excellence or the brilliance of inborn awareness. This is not
the time and the place to go into the rationale of such human
beings and how they are born with that. But if you would
allow me, just one brief sentence that when the parents in
the act of sexual interaction, they are fully in communion
with each other without fear, without assertiveness, without
aggressiveness, without jealousy, when there is a relaxed
sensitivity and the mating is gone through with a sense of
satisfaction, relaxation and yearning for communion that
does not remain a biological act only, that does not remain
a psychological craving or aggressive – aggression and
submission. It doesn’t remain at that level.

The divine aspect of sex and the sexual intercourse
get manifested. May be, one can go back to the genetical
reasons and causes and antecedents upto three
generations but as I said this is not the place, this is not
the time. But please do not look upon the occurring of such
exceptional human beings as a mystery or as a miracle. It
is also a fact-a rare fact-a unique fact, there is nothing in
life of which you cannot find out the logic, the mathematics,
the rationale, the cause- effect relationship, at least eighty
to ninety percent you can find it out.

Now, ‘vidyaya amrutatvam vindate’- so it is our destiny
to acquire knowledge with the help of words and sensual
activities – movement of relationship at the level of the
sense organs. Now that is- that knowledge, will become
vidya. I am translating the word Vidya tentatively by the
word knowledge because I do not find any other word for
it. I am not acquainted with your English language as much
as I am acquainted with Sanskrit or eight or ten other
Indian languages.

So that knowledge can be the source of under
standing at least at the cerebral level, intellectual level. If
you do not cling to the words, if you do not cling to the
pattern of expression or diction but while you are acquiring
knowledge you try to penetrate the words and feel the
meaning. Vidya is the meaning felt by you.

Let me call it intellectual understanding or verbal
understanding. That Vidya, that knowledge can tell you,
what is finite, what is infinite. It can introduce you to the
phenomenon of the constant changae that is taking place
around you, within you. It can point out what is transitory,
what is non transitory. So the verbal knowledge, in Sanskrit
the word is called ‘Shabda Brahma’ the aspect of divinity
expressed in words. It is called Shabda Brahma.

Knowledge – Understanding -Awareness –

So, ‘Vidyaya vindate amrutatvam’- this knowledge
if you understand the meaning and do not cling to the
shell of the word -the letters, then that causes awareness
and awareness causes communion and communion
causes immortality. Therefore “atmana vindate veeryam”from
the Being ness of your life you derive the vitality- the
glory and the splendour of vitality which gives you the
passion to live – no pain, no pleasure, no success, no
defeat can affect that vitality – that passion for living and
knowledge, if properly acquired and properly used, can
generate the awareness. You see the indirect or the ne
gative use of knowledge? Knowledge is not to be thrown
into the dust bin.

The books, the scriptures, the talks, the tapes or
whatever you have through whichever media, it is how we
relate to that. If we do not know how to relate, we may∑
create a burden out of knowledge-just carry in our memory
the word, the idea, the shells of theories and dogmas. It is
upto us either to create a burden and a bondage out of
knowledge or to take the extract of knowledge. After all
what is honey but the nectar extracted from flowers – one
must know how to extract it that is all. So knowledge can
cause understanding, understanding can generate
awareness, awareness can cause communion,
communion with Brahman is immortality.

“Pratibodha viditam matam hi amrutatvam vindate
atmana vindate veeryam vidyaya amrutatvam vindate.” If
it has been possible for me to bring over to you some
meaning of the mantra, please proceed with me to the next

lha cedavedidatha satyamasti
na cedihavedinmahati vinastih

Bhutesu bhutesu vicitya dhirah
pretyasmallokadamrta bhavanti 2.5

Satyam, The Indestructible

In the first mantra, in the previous mantra, there
was a question of being in communion and attaining
immortality. In this mantra ‘amruta bhavanti’- you become
immortal. That is what the rishi says. In Bruhadaranyaka
Upanishad you come across a mantra “Brahmavid
Brahmaiva bhavati.”- One who understands Brahman
becomes the Brahman, ‘Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati’.
He becomes Brahman.

Now, in this mantra the same thing is. said but in a
magnificent way. It is a glorious mantra. “lha cedavedid
atha satyamasti” – ‘lha’, in this world, iha – in your own
body – in the human body, the human brain, the human
consciousness. ‘Cedavedid’, if you understand the truth
of life – Satyamasti – there is truth in life. There is that
eternal infinite, divine – that divinity of life. When they say,
‘Satyamasti’ they call divinity as the truth of life. The
ultimate nature of reality is divinity. And please, what is
divinity? What is Satyam? – That which is. self generated
– which is not the product of human thought. Life is not
conceived by man. Man is born into it, which is self
generated, self’ propelled, self regulated. What is Satyam?
-that which is indestructible, which knows no death. What
is Satyam?- that which is self aware, for which there is no
need to acquire knowledge with the help of sense or
thought structure, which has knowing as a characteristic
of its existence.

Look, water has the characteristic of flowing. You
do not cause a river to flow. You do not cause the cloud to
burst into rains. You do not cause the sun to shine. It is the
characteristic. Characteristic is something which is in
separable from the existence of that being. Please do have
patience with me. Attributes are different from
characteristics. Coolness-water is cool. That coolness is
the attribute of water. Fire is hot- the heat is the attribute .
of fire, but characteristic is inseparable. The cold water
can be heated then heat becomes the attribute of the
water. The characteristic of water is flowing.

The earth is steady – steadiness, steadfastness is
the characteristic of earth. The wind blows – it is the
characteristic. In the same way now we are referring to,
‘lha cedavedid atha Satyamasti’. If here in this human body,
it is understood that the essence of life is indestructible
truth, immeasurable, unnamable divinity, which has the
characteristic of understanding or awareness. Self –
awareness, it is self aware, it is indestructible, it is
unchangeable, if one can understand this truth in this body
– while living in this body, ‘lha ced’-that expression is a
very powerful expression – while you are living in the
body on this planet, surrounded by so many limitations
and conditionings through which you have to function, you
have to operate, if living and moving in this body, wading ∑
through the conditionings and limitations, if you can
understand, if you can be aware of the divinity of life;
‘Amruta bhavanti’ – you have already become immortal
because you are in eternal communion with the Brahman.

You become what you are aware of. If you are
thinking all the time of food, the consciousness gets
polluted by the grossness of your thinking-whatever are
the objects of your constant thinking, your whole physical
structure is going to reflect that grossness. Your words –
your speech is going to smell of that grossness. We
become what we are aware of. So ‘iha cedavedid atha
Satyam asti’- there is truth in life. Life is not only constant
change, life is not only destruction. Life is not the manyness
but life is the oneness- the unity.

‘communion’ Gives Immortality

Then living in the mortal body, you are already
immortal. The communion, the state of communion
confers upon you the grace of that immortality. You are no
more identified with the mortal aspect of your being, though
you live in it. You are in communion with, you are aware of
the immortal aspect of your being and therefore you have .
that perfume, you have that splendour, you have that
majesty. ‘lha na ced avedi’- If living in the human body on
this planet, you do not understand the truth of your life,
‘mahati vinasti’ – there is going to be a great loss to you,
there is going to be a great destruction in your life, if you _
do not avail yourself of the opportunity conferred upon you
by cosmic life that you have a human form, you have a self
– aware consciousness, you have the help of words and
past knowledge and conditionings. You have at your
disposal all the energies of the earth, the fire, the water,
the space, you know, the sound. All those energies are
within your body, we have seen that yesterday. So after
having at your disposal all the energies inside you and
around you, inspite of having the self-aware consciousness,
you do not understand the existential essence of life, and
remain identified, then ‘avidya, asmita, raga, dvesha,
abhiniveshah, panchakleshah’, then you will be
encompassed by, you will be enveloped in, five kleshas,
five fold suffering, as Yoga sutras have taught us. ‘mahati
vinasthi’, the teacher is saying to the student, “my son,
you will be at a great loss, you will have destroyed the
opportunity given to you, if you do not understand the
essence, the substance, the source of life which is within
you, which is around you. If you do not get entangled in
the momentary pleasures and pains that are caused by
the sensual level, if we do not get entangled in the hurts
that are caused by wrong use of verbalization by other
people, by the crookedness, by the meanness, by the
jealousy which are aberrations in the lives of other people,
if you do not get entangled in the pleasure of praise and
flattery and pain of condemnation or rejection, if you
remain in communion with your own being, then ‘amruta

Divinity Must Manifest In Relationships

Do you see what I had said the other day that the
human beings have the responsibility to manifest the
divinity contained in them in their relationships to make
the planet fragrant with the divinity contained in our being.
But we have made a hell of it, unfortunately not knowing
how to live. So “Mahati vinastihi”, it is a great loss. You are
causing destruction to your own self and you are causing
destruction to others who are around you. “Vinashtihi”- the
word comes from ‘vinaash’, Vinash is destruction,
damaging, mutilating, hurting, breaking down, you know,
the destructive activities.

So your relationships then will be full off destructive
activities, if you do not understand the truth. You will cause
suffering to yourself and destruction to others-the planet,
the non- human species, the human fellow- beings and
so on. And if you have understood then, “bhutesu bhutesu
vicitya dhirah”. ‘bhuta’- that which has a form, that which
is perceptible, tangible with which you can interact- ‘bhuta’,
the earth is called, the mountains are called ‘bhuta’-that
which has happened. ‘Bhu-bhavati’; ‘bhu’ is the root, origin,
that which has happened- occurred, that which has
taken a form, shape, a colour. So the mountains are bhutas,
the rivers are the bhutas, the birds, the trees, the animals,
the human beings-bhutesu bhutesu, in every expression
of life.

The occidental literature divides life into animate
and inanimate. In the Vedic texts, the word inanimate does
not occur, everything is animate because everything has
that energy of intelligence contained in it and now physics
has helped us to say that the quantum of energy contained
in an electron or proton has not to depend upon the mass of
that container. We cannot logically explain the ratio of the
quantum of energy to the atom-the electron-the proton.
They say it is inexplicable and that energy has been
exploded. It has been verified. ‘Bhutesu bhutesu vicitya

Balance In All Layers of Existence

‘Dhirah’ – the wise ones, the patient ones, why do
they call them patient? ‘Dhirah’- because one who does
not get perturbed, disturbed easily. Something happens
and we get disturbed. The chemical balance of the body is
disturbed so quickly with us. One word by someone, one
gesture by another, a glance by someone else and there
the disturbance is caused. Not even words are needed.
So we are. Our balance is so fragile on the physical and
the psychological level and that imbalance gets reflected
in our looks, in our words, in our relationships. You see
how we cause destruction? You do not have to take a
gun in your hand or throw a stone for destruction, your
imbalance, your getting disturbed and perturbed makes
you an anti-social creature temporarily. May be a minute,
may be an hour, may be a day, may be a year- that doesn’t
matter but already one has gone through that destructive
phase ‘Dhira is one who does not get perturbed, disturbed.

The chemical, the neurological balance, the verbal
balance, the mental balance, you know, all the five layers
of our being. When all the five layers of our being remain
unperturbed and undisturbed, they notice, they register
how the others have acted and yet inwardly, at all the layers
ofJhe being the equipoise, the peace, the balance is
retained effortlessly – not forcing yourself to keep the
balanee. Then it would be a suppression, it would be a
repression and it will take its toll on you. That is not what
the Upanishad says, ‘Bhutesu bhutesu vicitya dhirah’∑- the
dhirah – the wise ones and therefore the patient ones;
‘vicitya’- they recognize- they have cognized it in their
body, they cognize it, recognize it in the bodies of people
around them. They recognize the existence of divinity in
the lives of other people. That the other people do not allow
the divinity to become operative, they do not express it, is
a different question, but they recognize it- the substance,
the essence. “Bhutesu bhutesu” – in every object every
being – they recognize the existence, the inner core, the
inner essence. “Bhutesu bhutesu vicitya dhirah
pretyasmallokad amruta bhavanti”. Bhutesu bhutesu vicitya
dhirah pretyasmallokad- ‘pretya’ has been translated by all
commentators including Shankara as dying -dying of the
body-after their bodies are dead, after they have died,
they become immortal. ‘Pra itya’-the root is to go.

Immortal – Not After Bodily Death, But In This Life

It is a word that indicates motion and your friend,
Vimala says the physical death is not necessary.
‘Pretyasmallokad’-from these lokas, from these dimensions
of the sensual, the verbal, the psychological, the non-
psychological etc. they are called lokas. Loka, kosha, they
are scientific terminology in the science of spirituality. The
loka word is taken by the commentators and the translators
even in Indian languages, loka they say, is this world. –
This world- this planet. When they depart from this planet
when they die to this world, then they become immortal.

And I think perhaps the rishi did not want to say
that. ‘Asmat lokad’ while remaining in this loka – on this
planet, in this world -they turn away. The word. ‘Pretya’ is
indicative of motion. Why should that motion be the final
irreversible motion of dying? Dying is a beautiful act. That
is the last act that we can commit in our life, if we are not
already- if we are not murdered by fear already. You know,
in the bodies that are alive, they are already killed by fear
of death. (So we can’t die! That’s a different matter.)

Now because the word ‘pretya’ is indicative of
motion, I say, ‘dhirah- the wise ones have turned away.
Psychologically intellectually they have turned away from
the happenings and the events of the (body) – happenings
and the events that take place in this body on this planet.
What is turning away? They do not identify. They do not
identify – non – identification is transcendence while you
are still in the body. So, they have turned away. There is a
beautiful word – expressed in Buddhist literature – Maitri,
Karuna, Mud ita, Upeksha. Upeksha is the word- that you
see and yet it is not seen by you. That you are there and
yet you are not identified with that. So ‘pretyasmat lokad –
the ‘dhirah- the wise ones do not attach any importance
to the pain or pleasure. They go through it; they do not
attach any importance. They have turned away. The value,
the significance is attached somewhere else. You feel
grateful that you are given the opportunity of being alive
and go through all this.

You are grateful for the benediction of being alive
and the opportunity of interaction with cosmos, with nonhuman
fellow beings, with human fellow beings. To go
through the pain and the tears, part of life, pleasure, and
the smiles, to be alive and to go through all that. To feel
the pleasure, the pain, the separation, the meeting, you
know, it is a tremendous opportunity. ‘Pretyasmat lokad’ –
the dhirah – the wise ones while living in this body turn
away from the trivialities, the travail of daily living. They
remain in communion and therefore ‘asmat lokad amruta
bhavanti’. They become immortal while living in the body.
They are immortal- bhavanti. They have already become
immortal. Going through the pain and the pleasure-the
duality-the corridor of duality, the majesty of being rooted
in the ‘Being’ is there.

lha cedavedid atha Satyamasti iha nacedavedin
mahati vinastih. Bhutesu bhutesu vicitya dhirah
pretyasmallokad amruta bhavanti.

So with your beautiful quality of listening and
patience with me, we have come- we have concluded
one of the most sublime passages of the Upanishadic
literature. We will turn to the third chapter tomorrow.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascassuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih

Chapter- VI


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.

Listeni∑ng : A Total Action

By the grace of life we shall be studying the third
part of the Kenopanishad. Personally for me, these
classes are sacred gatherings. We are looking into the
wisdom of the ancient human beings, the wisdom that has
been handed over to us after ten thousand years and what
I am trying to do in these classes is to build a verbal bridge
for you to reach the implications and teachings of those
ancient sages.

As the mantras are touched by my articulations with a
sense of great respect, I do hope that your listening also
is a total action as the articulation on the part of your friend
is a total action. What is a total action? When the listening
is not disturbed by the emotional reaction that surges up
at hearing the words. It is a total action when one is not in
a hurry to formulate a value judgement about what one is
listening to.

It is a total action, the listening, when one is not in a
hurry to find out how much of it can be lived by the listener.
That is also a kind of value judgement. There is no hurry
to agree or disagree, accept or reject what the Upanishad
is trying to teach. Let the listening be a total action.

Let the meaning that one understands percolate
through all the layers of the being and when you get back
to your respective countries you will have time enough to
correlate it to your daily living and explore the possibility
of living your understanding in the context in which you
have to live. These few words are necessary, they were felt
necessary because we are going to study a chapter which
appears to be simple because it is narrated in the form of
a story. It feels very interesting and yet the illustrations of
the story are only symbols to convey something much
deeper than what the literary meaning appears to .

Interplay of Energies

Before we begin the mantras, I deem it necessary
to share with you a basic, a fundamental point contained
in the approach of the Vedas and Upanishads to Realityto
life. According to the Vedic texts contained in the Vedas,
the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, the Samhitas, the
Upanishads etc. the fundamental point is this, that the
macrocosm and the microcosm, the individual and the
cosmos and the energies interact. We are fields of energy.
for their interplay and their interaction. If the energies
contained in the microcosm and the macrocosm are put to
proper use that is to say to manifest the harmony, the
principle of life, then the result is what you call the good or
the forces of good. There is no abstract good or goodness
apart from the proper use of the energies at our disposal
in our body and at our disposal in the cosmos surrounding
us in which we have to live.

When the energies are misused or abused not for
manifesting the inherent harmony, reciprocity or mutuality,
when they are twisted, distorted, misused or abused, that
exercise generates the force of evil. Please do see with
me this important contribution of the Vedas and the
Upanishads. They do not recognize an independent
existence of the devil or the evil forces. They do not
exercise the dichotomy between the good and the evil. It
is only the twisting, the distorting, the perverting of the
energies, the maladjustment or lack ∑ of adjustment, the
ignorance about the proper use of energies, that generates
the force of evil.

Energies: Figuratively called ‘Deities’

This clarification I hope will help my students to
grasp the indications of the symbolology that is used in the
third chapter. These energies are figuratively called deities;
for example, the principle of fire – agni, is figuratively
called a deity. Brahman, the matrix of the ground reality of
existence, is described as inscrutable deity. The energy of
agni or fire which helps us to perceive, what is the work of the
deity of agni-the fire principle? Perception, articulation
through speech and digestion through the digestive
organs. These are the three fold functions of the energy of ∑
agni or fire which is called a deity. There is the principle pf
air- vayu, which is called prana existing in us and the
emptiness of space around us – it is also called a deity.
lndra-the energy contained in the mind which helps us to
think, to feel, so lndra would be the deity of the mind, prana
would be the deity of vayu – the principle of air, ether and ∑
there would be the deity of agni – the fire, enabling us,
helping us with perception, articulation and digestion etc.

I am just giving you some examples, how these
energies or the principles of energies are called deities.
Unfortunately, the Indians who inherited the Upanishads,
the Vedas directly, being born in the land where the Vedas
and Upanishads were proclaimed, did not perhaps grasp ∑
this intention of using the word deity, deva or devata and
they started building temples and constructing idols. They
were not satisfied with the verbal symbolology.

The word itself is a symbol. Why do you need to create
another symbol in stone or metal and build a temple of
walls around it? But the Indians have built temples of
Brahman, they have built temples for agni – fire, vayu,
earth etc. etc. So the metaphysical meaning of the word,
the secret, you see, the word agni is a code or a code
word. It is a symbol itself but they took it- they wanted a
gross symbol. The word has a vibrational existence. So
they started building temples to agni-to fire, to Brahman,
to vayu-to prana- everything- to the earth, to lndra and
they constructed idols relevant to the meaning of course.

So worshipping of the deities and going to the
temple satisfied them and the further penetration of the
meaning of the words has been arrested at least for the
last two or three thousand years. I wonder if the human
inheritors of the ancientq wisdom scattered all over the globe
will penetrate further and render the temples and the gross
idols irrelevant to the exploration of the meaning. After
having given you the background, let us start with the
mantras of the Upanishad.

Brahman’s Victory And The Deities’ Conceit

Brahma ha devebhyo vijigye, tasya ha brahmano
vijaye deva amahiyanta I Ta aiksantasmakamevayam vijayo’
smakamevayam mahimeti Ii 3.1 II

That is the first mantra. It is all a figurative language
but let us look at the verbal meaning first – the literal
meaning. “Brahma devebhyo vijigye”-the Brahman, the
ultimate∑ Reality, won a victory on behalf of the deities
against the evil forces mobilized in the cosmos. Please do
understand, mobilized in the macrocosm and the
microcosm. The word cosmos- we are not out of it, we
are in it. We are involved in it, we are included in it. Brahma
ha devebhyo vijigye- vijigye- became victorious- won
victory; devebhyaha – on behalf of the deities.

In the English translation you will find the word- on
behalf of the gods, because the initial, the wrong term –
the fundamental wrong term, is in translating or interpreting
the word deva as a god – as a deity – as a goddess.

“Brahma ha devebhyo vijigye, tasya ha Brahmana
vijigye devah amahiyanta.”

The deities became elated when they saw the
victory. It was the Brahman who had earned victory on
their behalf but the deities became elated at the event of
victory and why did they become elated, excited?

Ta aiksant asmakam eva vijayah asmakam eva
mahima iti

The deities felt that they had won, it was their glory
-the victory was their own glory. They forgot that the
Brahman had earned victory on their behalf for them.

“Ta aiksanta asmakameva vijayah asmakameva
mahima iti ” ‘Mahima’ is glory. ‘Vijaya’ is victory, success.
Well, Brahman being omnipresent, omniscient,
omnipotent, Taddhaisam vijajnau, immediately
instantaneously the Brahman realized that the deities out
of self- conceit had attributed the victory to themselves.
They had forgotten the presence of the Brahman within
them. They had forgotten the source of their energies and

Pradurbabhuva, therefore the Brahman
felt it necessary to manifest its presence. In a mysterious
way it manifested its presence unto the deities.

na vyajanata kimidam
yaksamiti – and the deities could not recognize what it
was. They could not identify. They were so much engrossed
in the sense of elation. They were so much entangled in
the -self – conceit attributing the victory to their own
powers, they could not identify. Brahman-the mysterious
ground of existence – the source and the substance and
the manifestation all rolled into one. They had never
thought of it that there is a source of their energies. The
energies that were occupied in those deities or the
principles, were not possessed by them. The source- the
substance – the motivator – the director of the energies
contained in them was invisible, intangible, therefore they
managed to forget it.

Deities Turn To Agni

So when the mysterious source made its presence
felt to them, they could not identify, they could not
recognize. Now, whom should they ask, so they turned to
the principle of fire – agni.

Agnimabruvan, they said to the fire
principle, they said to the deity, agni.

abruvan, jataveda, vijanihi kimidam Yaksamiti

‘Please, will you find out on our behalf what this
mysterious presence which we are feeling now, what is
this? Who is this? What is this? Completely independent
of us. We had never seen it, we had never heard of it,
never thought of it and suddenly there is something which
we cannot identify, recognize, understand, will you please
find out?’ Now, a question might arise in your mind – why
agni? Why the fire principle first?

Let me communicate to you the theory of
cosmogenesis according to the Vedas. “Atmanahaakas’a
sambhutaha” from the divinity, from the eternity, from the
source of life there emerged the space, the ‘akash’- the
most comprehensive, extensive, all permeating principle
is space, the emptiness, which is called the akash and
Akas’at vayuh, vayor agnihi- from the space- out of the
emptiness of space arose the principle of sound – nada.

According to the ancient cosmogenesis, the primal
principle behind creation is sound which contains fire.
Sound contains fire; fire contains water; water contains

“Atmanah akas’a sambhutah, akas’at vayu, vayor
agnih, agnir apah, apyat prithvi.” We are not going to look
at the whole of it, we are just going to look at relevant
portion. So fire is after the space or the akash. Fire can
reach everywhere. Fire, the agni has perceptive capacity,
consuming capacity, assimilating property.

So they turned to that all powerful nearly omniscient
deity of agni or fire and said “Jataveda”, you, who seem to
know everything, you, who have the energy of knowing the
energy of knowing just by birth – it is your characteristic,
will you please find out on our behalf what this “Yaksam” –
Yaksa is a mysterious being, “Tegnim abruvan, jataveda,
etad vijanihi kimidam Yaksamiti” and agni said, “Tatheti””
So be it.” So the agni said, “Yes, I will try to find out.”

tamabhyavadat ko’asiti.

Tam abhyadravat – the principle of fire, agni went
near that mysterious being. It is only agni that can go there
because the water, the earth they come afterwards, they
have more solidity. But the fire has the mobility which will
not be obstructed by space. So “Tamabhyadravat” the
principle of fire which has perceptivity, the capacity to
assimilate and to articulate, please do see, speech is
possible, articulation is possible when there is the
principle of fire or agni or heat in your body. Perception,
articulation, the eyes can see only as long as there is the
principle of agni in the body. So the agni – the fire went
near that mysterious being and that mysterious being
addressed and said, “Tamabhyavadat”, addressed and said
“Who are you?” It asked the fire – the deity of fire, “Who
are you?”

“Tadabhyadravat, tamabhyavadat ko’siti”, ‘agnirva
ahamasmityabravit Jataveda va aham asmiti”

So the agni was surprised that, that being did not
know what agni was, that being did nots even recognize
agni. So with enough self conceit ‘agnih abraveet’ – the
principle of fire- the deity of fire said, “I am agni, don’t you
know me? I am all pervading, all permeating, I have heat,
I have light and you don’t know me? What, it is not surprising
we don’t know you, but you should know me” –
“Jataveda va Aham asmi iti” the principle, the deity of agni,
the fire was hurt that it was not recognized, so said, ‘I am
jataveda I am all knowing, all perceiving, all reaching
principle’. “Oh!”, the Yaksh- the mysterious being says,
-“what powers do you have”? You are so
self assured and you say I am agni, I am jataveda-what
powers do you have?

Tasminstvayi kim Viryamityapidam sarvam
daheyam yadidam prthivyamiti II 3.5 II

‘Whatever there is on this planet, on this earth, I
can bum it, I can consume it, I can assimilate it. Sarvam
daheyam yadidam prithiyamiti’, whatever is there, I can
burn, I can enlighten, I can consume. So the agni in a very
self assured way went on describing its own powers.

Tasmai trnam nidadhav —(3.6)

Agni Is Powerless Before The Mysterious Being

The being, the mysterious being in a very gentle
way put a blade of grass before the agni. In front of the
deity, it put a blade of grass.
“Tasmai trmam nidadhave tad daheti” and said, “Will you
please burn this? Will you convert it to ashes?”

tadupapreyaya sarvajavena tanna sasaka
dagdhum (3.6)

The deity of agni – the fire, went with all force
towards the blade of grass but unfortunately it could not
burn the grass. That blade of grass, it could not touch it. It
could not burn it, it could not reduce it to ashes. “Na sasaka

tata eva nivavrte, Hurt very much by
the humiliation that it could not even burn and reduce a
blade of grass to ashes,∑ it retired. It went back.
aham na sasaka says, -tells the sad story- says, “I could
not, I could not recognize what that Yaksa – what that
mysterious being is. What that presence is”. (For this
morning, these few mantras are sufficient. Tomorrow we
shall proceed to the next deity and its efforts etc.)

The Same Truth Told Through Story

Now, how do you – how do you find the relevance of
this story to our study of yoga, to our study of meditation,
to our life because the stories in the Upanishads are told
to illustrate some point. In the second chapter the teacher
had taken the students nearly to the peak of sublimity as
we had seen yesterday in the passage of amruta bhavanti
-immortality. That was the peak of the communication and
the teacher might have found that the students are taken
aback. They are dumbfounded. So he turns now to the ∑
narration of a story putting the same thing, the mystery,
the invincibility, inscrutability of the Brahman. He is trying
to say the same thing in a figurative way through symbols.

We in our daily life rely upon our perceptions using
the sight-energy of sight contained in the eyes. We even
are prone to believe that, that which can be seen by us
through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the mind – only that
exists and if our senses cannot give the evidence of the
existence of something, we in our self conceit are inclined
to say that it doesn’t exist. Please do see this. The
perception through the sight, perception through audition,
perception through smelling, perception through touch,
perception through thinking -all the sense organs that we
have, all the senses, internal senses that we have and all
the energies of the fire, the water, the air etc., the smelling,
we can smell because we have the element of prithvi -the
earth in us; we can hear because there is the inner space
or akasha in us, hearing is the energy of akasha, smelling
is the energy of prithvi – the earth in us; thinking –
conceiving, imagining, ideating, – all these are energies
contained in the brain due to the presence of Brahman –
Chaitanya- the Supreme energy of intelligence. Intellect
is only the reflection of Intelligence. So we forget that our
hearing, knowing, thinking, etc. speaking, is due to the
principles of energy contained in us.

They are fuctioning in our body but we cannot own
them. We are not the owners, we are not the directors, we
are not the motivators of those. We are users of those
energies and whatever happens due to the exercise of the
energy is not our doing – is not our acquisition. It is an
interaction between the energies inside and outside and
therefore it is the glory of life itself – not our acquisition,
not our possession but it is the glory oflife manifested
through us, expressed through us. Glory be unto the Life.
But we think it is our glory and we feel that whatever
cannot be seen does not exist, whatever can not be heard
does not exist, whatever cannot be reached through the
word -verbalization does not exist. So the teacher is trying
to bring the fundamental truth across to his students that
please, you and your deities within you, you and your
deities outside of you, are not the source of life expressed
through them, of the power expressed through them. The
light, the life, the energy, the power, the intelligence is
really contained in the Brahman -the unique source of all

We Are Conditioned Expressions Of The

Though it is beyond the reach of your sense organs
and your sense energies or your energies of the brain and
consciousness, it does exist and you can function because
of its existence. You are the conditioned expressions of
the unconditioned reality. Well, allright the conditioned
energies in our bodies but what about the energies existing
in the cosmos? If you will have patience with me, I would
like to point out that the energies contained in the cosmos,
last couple of centuries, two hundred years or so, human
race has been very busy exploring the energies contained
in the cosmos, trying to capture them, channelise them,
utilize them. It is nothing wrong if they are channelised,
exercised for expressing harmony, for generating harmony .
among the species inhabiting the planet, but mankind felt
after trying to capture the energies and being victorious to
some extent, we have been diving deep into the oceans
even trying to live there, conducting researches there, we
have been going beyond the orbit of the earth and
exploring the whole solar system – how many solar
systems are there in the cosmos, what is happening on
the moon, the Jupiter, the Mars, how can we connect the
earth planet to them.

We have been trying to use solar energy, lunar
energy, thermal energy and we have been attributing
those powers to ourselves. How much – to what extent
they have been used properly and how they have been
misused or abused for the benefit of some and for the
destruction of some others is an open secret, it is not the
subject of our study. But the energies contained in the
cosmos at our disposal-the interaction with those energies
has to be directed towards uncovering the mystery of
relationship, uncovering the mystery of harmony-between
the space and man, between the earth and mankind
between the solar system and mankind, the mutuality, the
reciprocity, the co-operation, the homogeneity.

Life is an organic wholeness according to the Vedas
and the Upanishads. It is non-fragmentable, non –
divisible. It is an organic wholeness in which we are and
the human race can co-operate with the cosmic forces to
manifest, to express that music of harmony that mystery of
being together, retaining your own identity. So, do you see
that the story narrated by the teacher to the students is not
only a make – believe story. It is a symbolical narration of
what man does unto himself and unto life.

If this point is clear, let us come to the last part of
today’s, this morning’s exploration of ours.

So let us have, the Upanishads says, let us have
the humility first to realize that the energies contained in
us for example, the sight – the seeing – the perceiving
intelligence. Firstly it is limited and conditioned by our
humanness. It is a beautiful conditioning, the humanness,
its complexity, its beauty, it is the vehicle for the divine to
express itself. It is so eloquent with energies. Other
species have energies but the power to be eloquent, to
have speech, to form languages, to have music a.nd arts
or fine arts. That is conferred upon the human race.

So the humanness is an eloquent vehicle, eloquent
in all senses of the term, magnificently suited for unfolding
the contents of divinity. We have yet to learn to be human
beings, we have yet to be learn to relate even amongst
ourselves in a humane way, we have yet to learn to relate to
the energies contained in us without twisting them towards
indulgence – cult of indulgence or twisting them and
distorting through the cult of suppression and represstion.
We have to learn quite a lot and living is learning.

So life -the wholeness of life is not limited to what
is perceived by us through any of the senses or aggregate
of the senses. It is not limited to the words that have been
spoken before us and that are being spoken today. The
wholeness cannot be equated to the scriptures, even the
Vedas and Upanishads or whatever you have –
Dhammapada, the Bible, the Quran-e-Sharif, Zendavesta
and so on. Even if you put all the scriptures togethers,
what they describe or define cannot do justice to that which
is defined or described. So let us realize the independence
of the existence of truth or Reality. It is independent of our
perception. It is independent of our articulation.

It is vibrating, pulsating in every expression. So it is
not only the god, the deity of agni that failed in identifying
and understanding the Brahman -the mysterious being – the mysterious presence that we feel amongst ourselves.
You may say, ‘I’, referring to the ego – the monitor of all
psycho-physical functions and yet you are jolly well aware
that there seems to be some presence behind the ‘I’ which
is the witness of all cognition, which is a witness all our
actions, which is a witness to, of what we do, we think, we
speak, we do not speak.

So that presence is felt by us in the moments of
love, in the moments of silence, in the moments of peace,
in the moment when we are visited by terrible sorrow
suddenly, but we forget that and we get self conceited – I
have done this, I have acquired, I know, I experience. The
teachings of the Upanishad – Kenopanishad and other
Upanishads, my friends, are aimed at helping us to see
that the fun of life, the joy of life, the beauty of life is in
letting the knowledge flow through us without attributing
knowership to ourselves. Let the actions flow through the
bed of your being – as the bed of the river, let the actions
flow through all the sense organs through the brain, through
the conditioned consciousness without creating a thinker
and experiencer attributing the thinkership to ourselves.

So rooted in the awareness, may be as a witness to
the flow of knowledge, to the flow of Karma- action, to the
flow of experiences- anubhuti – realizations. If we can be
rooted in the awareness, then the mysterious being, the
presence of the mysterious Brahman – the divinity in us
will be felt by us. It may not be cognized at the cerebral
level, it may not be experienced on the emotional level,
yet the whole of our being could get charged with that
presence. This is the message I have learnt from this
Kenopanishad through every mantra. This is the message
lshavasya had given unto us. Those of you who were with
me in Mount Abu years back when we studied and
explored lshavasya Upanishad, you might perhaps
remember the mantra,

‘Yah asau asau pursah sah aham asmi iti. Vayur
anilam amrtam atha idam bhasmantam sariram Om krato
smara krutam smara krato smara krutam smara.’

The Upanishad says, “Bhasmantam sariram”- this
body is reducible to ashes but inside the body the purusa
– the self born – the self – illuminating, self generated
entity- the source of life, this ‘I’, the ego that wants to
retain its separate identity is in fact the reflection of that.
“Yah asau asau purusah sah aham asmi iti” – the real
content of my being, the real essence of my being lies in
the divinity of that Purusa. It uses the terms Purusa, Prakriti
-you have studied Sankhya.

So whether it is lshavasya or it is Kena Upanishad,
the teachings are the same from different angles. Those
of you who were with me when we studied Chandogya for
a couple of years in Abu might remember how the rishi
Uddalaka asks his son to bring∑ the seed of a banyan tree.
The son had asked what is the mystery of life, what is the
essence of life and rishi – the teacher – the father says,
“My son, find out in the garden outside, a banyan tree and
bring me the seed and as this seed – the tiny seed
contains the whole gigantic banyan tree – this seed has
all – the trunk, the branches, the twigs, the fruit, the flowers,
everything. Can you see it?” He says, “No, I don’t see any
trunk or branches in it and yet it contains”. In the same
way, the emptiness, the space contains the whole universe
and you are that – ‘Tattvam asi’ . So whether it is
Chandogya, whether it is lshavasya, whether it is Kena
Upanishad or any other Upanishad that you might like to
study, the teachings are the same.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam rna rna
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi
santu te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih

Chapter – VII


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamtndriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih

Harmonious Organization Of All Instincts

Those who have been with us here from the very
first day of our study classes will please recollect that the
Kenopanishad is the ninth chapter in the “Jaimini
Brahmana” belonging to Samaveda. In the preceding
eight chapters the students have been helped to organize
harmoniously the various autonomous systems of thejr
psycho – physical existence. We have referred to the
different layers or the koshas of our being and every layer
is nearly a dimension by itself having an autonomous
system of its own, not depending on other koshas or other
layers. For example at the physical level, in the physical
organism, we share with the other non human species and
our fellow beings the energy of instincts and impulses.
There is the impulse of hunger, thirst, sleep, sex and urge
for security. These instincts and impulses have to be
organized harmoniously with the psychological layer, with
the verbal layer, and also with the trans – psychological’
layer that we had referred to in our previous study classes.
If they are not organized they will behave chaotically. If
the hunger or the appetite is not observed and understood,
if its significance and role in our whole life is not
appreciated, if it is not tamed, disciplined, educated
properly then the hunger or the appetite can become wild.
If ‘it is not satisfied at the right time in the right manner it
can consume and it can turn to ashes or burn to ashes the
psychological condionings and make you behave in an
un- human way. There is that strong instinct and impulse
of the sex, if it is not understood and it is not met squarely,
observed its energies, its movements, if it is not educated
in decency and dignity, the sex impulse can degenerate
into lust, aggressive greed, ruin you and ruin others through
you. We are not going to elaborate but all these impulses
incorporated in our physical organism have a tremendously
important role to play in our life because the physical
organism is the foundation.

Briefly we may turn to the verbal dimension. It is a
dimension of sound energy. It is an autonomous dimension.
As your hunger or sleep or sex do not depend upon your
theories and dogmas but have their own independent
momentum and velocity, in the same way, the words- the
verbalization incorporated in your nervous system, in your
chemical system, in the emotional and the intellectual
aspect of your being, the movement of words and the
movement of sound has to be observed and it has to be
educated. Wrong use of verbali?ation, misuse, abuse of
verbalization – the word energy – the energy of the word
can destruct you and destruct others. It can hurt,” it can
humiliate, it can kill, it can excite, it can provoke. Word is
very powerful energy. So one has to educate the faculty of
speech and learn to use verbalization in harmony with the
inner motivations and also in harmony with the outer deeds
or facts of life. Please do see with me, Hatha Yoga for
example, specially the first six steps of Hath a Yoga- yam a,
niyama, asana, pranayam, pratyahar and dharana- they
are aiming at purifying and organizing the physical, the
biological instincts and impulses, they are aiming at
educating and sophisticating, refining the layer of
verbalization – the faculty of speech. It is there that
Mantra Yoga or Naada yoga can be a supportive measure
because they also use the sound energy.

And then, there is the third autonomous system,
the dimension that you call psychological – the thought
structure. The psychological structure is nothing but the
conditiongs fed into us, generation after generation, by
the human species collectively. So these conditionings the
past – the human past contained in us which permeates
the neurological system, which permeates the chemical
system, if you would observe as yoga students deeply,
you would find the effect of the conditionings on the
glandular, the muscular systems, even right deep down to
the marrows of the bones. I have felt it necessary to
elaborate upon this point because unless the physical, the
verbal and the psychological dimensions, structures- their
energies are not organized harmoniously into one organic
wholeness; the longing-the urge to understand the source
of life will not be there. The physical instincts and impulses
will drag you towards the outgoing movement of the
external sense organs. The pleasures derived from their
interaction with the outer world will stimulate excitement,
elation, intoxication and the desire to discover the meaning
of life, the essence of reality will remain only a weak and
fragile wish somewhere in the lanes and bylanes of
consciousness. It cannot become a longing because your
energies are dissipated in outgoing movements. You have
to go through chemical imbalances generated by every
experience at the sensual or sexual level and that takes
its toll upon the vitality of your being and life.

So the previous preceding eight chapters, they
explained how to purify, how to organize, how to harmonise
the energies operating at different layers- the koshas of
the being and energies that are self-contained autonomous
systems. It is like a wheel, within a wheel, within a wheel.
They have to be observed, understood, appreciated,
organized and educated otherwise an exculsive longing for
liberation, a vital longing for discovery of the truth of life is
not sustained in your being. The Upanishadic teachings
presume that one who is studying them has gone through
the process of purification, education, harmonization etc.
It is presumed. Please do see this. Otherwise the
Upanishadic teachings will remain only a utopia or the
privilege of some few gifted people and I beg to share with
you that the teachings are for you and me, for every
human being provided he eliminates the disorder and
disharmony and chaos at the sensory level, verbal level
and mental level.

As we are nearing the third chapter and within a
week we will be able to complete the fourth chapter also, it
is essentially necessary, because you and me, we are
students of life, we are students of Yoga, we are
interested in personal discovery of the truth for ending
psychological suffering. That is our goal. The discovery of
the source of life -origin of life -the ground of life because
it is only the source, the origin that can be the goal of our
life. If the goal of life is non related or antagonistic to the
origin and the source of our being, then we will be torn
within. Well, with this much backgroud let us turn to the
portion that we have to take up this morning.

The Deities Turn to Vayu : (The Story contin-ued)

Atha vayumabruvan, vayavetad vijanihi kimetad
yaksamiti tatheti 3.7

Then it was the turn of vayu. Yesterday we saw what
had happened to agni- the principle of fire when it tried to
understand that mysterious being- the Brahman. Today,
now, we will be travelling with vayu. The word vayu- the
root contained in the word vayu means to travel, to smell,
to blow. That is what the air does, the wind does. So, it
was the turn of vayu then to approach the Yaksham – the
mysterious being, cognise it, understand it and articulate
about it.

‘Vayumabruvan, vayavetad vijanihi’, ‘Oh Vayu!, Oh
the air, the ether, please with all your powers, will you find
out the mystery of that being?’

Tadabhyadravat, tamabhyavatdat ko’siti (3.8)

The vayu went near the Yaksa – that mysterious
being who made its presence felt but did not disclose its
form, its nature, or its characteristics. ‘Tamabhyadravat’ it
went near it, ‘Tamabhyavadat’ that mysterious being said
unto vayu, ‘Kositi’, ‘Who are you? What are you?’

vayuh aham asmi iti abruvan Vayu said, I am Vayu.
mataris’va va (3.8)

Aham asmi iti. I am matarisva. The
word mataris in Sansrit means space, the emptiness of
space – matari. One who travels in the space- matarisvamataris’va.
So vayu, as agni had said ‘I am jataveda, I know
everything- omniscient by my very nature, now vayu says,
‘I am mataris’va. By my very birth, my abode is the
emptiness of space and I can travel freely everywhere in
akasha- in the space.’

Mataris’va va aham asmi iti. Yaksa says,

tasmin kim tvayi Veeryam api. (3.9)

‘What are your powers, sir? You travel in the air,
you can blow, you can smell, yes, what are your powers?
What are you supposed to do?’, ‘Tasmin kim tvayi veeryam

adadiya idam sarvam prithivyam. (3.9)

Mataris’va says – the vayu says, “Sir, I can blow
anything and everything that is on this planet. I can blow, I
can carry- I can carry even smell-that subtle thing which
cannot be seen, which cannot be felt except through the
nose.” “Oh yes, so you can blow, you can travel, you can

Tasmai trnam nidadhau. (3.10)

The mysterious being put a straw in front of vayu.
This is a figurative way of putting things, you know it is a
story, for illustrating the meaning- the significance. It is a
symbolical story, otherwise how can vayu stand there in
fornt of him, you know, please do not take it literally. It is a
figurative way, a poetic way of explaining things.

trunam nidadhav adasva iti
Please blow this, carry it.

tadupapreyaya sarvajavena, tanna sasakadatum. (3.10)

The vayu – the matarisva went towards the straw –
the blade of grass with all the force at its disposal and it
could not blow the straw, could not blow the blade of grass, .
‘upapreyaya’, went near it, ‘sarvajavena’, with all the power
at its disposal, all strength at its disposal, ‘na sasaka’ , –
could not catch it, could not blow it, could not carry it with
it into the space.

Tata eva nivavrute, – it retired.
asakam vijnyatum kimetad yaksmiti.

‘I have failed in understanding, in grasping, in
identifying what that mysterious being is. I could not
even lift the straw that it had put before me’. So feeling
humiliated, feeling miserable, vayu retires.

This morning, with your cooperation I would like to
handle the next mantra also, so that we can see the
meaning of the two mantras together.

Next, lndra Is Invited

Athendramabruvan, maghavan etad vijanihi kimetad
yaksamiti tatheti. (3.11)

It was the turn of lndra. lndra is supposed to be
repository of all strength, force and power contained in
cosmic energies. So that lord of strength and power – all
powerful, was requested to approach the Yaksa and
identify and find out what it stood for. “Maghavan etad
vijanih kimetad Yaksamiti” and lndra says, “So be it. I’ll go
and try.” – tadabhyadravat- it went near;
– tasmat tirodadhe – but what happened as soon
as lndra went near the Yaksa, near that mysterious being,
that mysterious being evaporated -just disappeared and
then what happened, there,

‘tasmin akase’ at that very spot in
that emptiness of space,

‘striyamajagama bahusobha-manamumam
haimavatima. (3.12)

In that very place at that very spot in the emptiness
of space appeared before lndra a superbly beautiful
energy. Because it is energy, figuratively here in the
Upanishad it is referred to as Uma Haimavati – the daughter
of the Himalaya. Hima is snow. Himavat, Himalaya -the
abode of snow. That energy, the daughter of the Himalayas
indescribably beautiful – in dazzling beauty of the purityshe
appeared before him and said, ‘it was Brahman’. She
told lndra that, ‘that Yaksa the mysterious being, whose
presence you were feeling was Brahman’. Now, these are
the two mantras, not two in number they may be four or
five but these are the two stories that we are going to take
up this morning.

Relevance Of The Story To Our Lives

The story you have understood literally-what is its
relevance to our lives? What is its significance to our life?
The principle of vayu in our bodies – microcosm is what
we call prana. We had seen it also in the previous mantras.
In Ayurveda it is called vayu. Vata, Pitta, Kafa- different
names are given. A variety of names in Ayurveda, then a
variety of names in the science of music- Nada Yoga and
so on. These ancestors of the Indians were very poetic
people, very aesthetically keen people. They loved poetry,
music, dance, drama – they loved life. They were
worshippers of life. So putting things in allegory, similies,
figurative descriptions, poetic suggestions, indications etc.

The Upanishads are full of all that glory. So, prana
and this energy of prana is felt by the students of Yoga as
a very powerful instrument at their disposal. I am not
referring only to Hatha Yoga, or Raja Yoga. The word ‘Yoga’
is very comprehensive. It has an extensive meaning and
there are not less than eighteen varieties of Yoga and for
everyone the “Ashtangayoga”-the eight fold preparation or
equipement is required. It’s a must if you want to study any
of the Yogas. So, prana is felt a very powerful instrument
and you can educate, channelise every type of prana and
through the education, channelisation, utilisaion of prana
through the variety of pranayamas and specially through
the art of ‘Bahir Kumbhaka and ‘Antar Kumbhka’ retaining
the breath outside and retaining the breath inside. Through
that, miraculous powers have been developed by people
and can be developed and through pranayama oxidizing
the blood, prolongation of physical life, occult and
transcendental experiences, awakening of psycho –
physical energy of Kundalini, so on and so forth.

So people are very fond of asana, pranayam and
they develop symmetrical development of their body,
awakening of powers, experiences etc. they feel fascinated.
There was a time in Europe and America, when I was
travelling for twenty five – thirty years, people were very
fond of the Hatha Yoga part of it. After having done it for
ten years – fifteen years, they began to realize that all
these – eightfold path and also pranayama, it doesn’t
result in what you call ‘dhyan’ or ‘samadhi’.

Somehow the quantum jump into the last stage,
samadhi, invincible peace, inner equipoise, “Yogaschitta
vrtti nirodhah”, that does not result. The vrittis go on
creating ‘Kieshas’ and students of yoga go on suffering
mentally though they live physically in good health. So a
kind of dichotomy between the physical and the
psychological has been realized and appreciated.

Remarkable, because it is the genuine integrity of their
enquiry that has enabled the students and teachers of Yoga
in Europe specially and to some extent in U.S. A., Canada,
Australia etc. but more in Europe.

So now they ask themselves, ‘what next’, the asanas,
the pranayama have given us very much, much more. Many
unexpected things have happened, experiences have
happened and yet the inner peace, the inner wholeness,
the inner equipoise is not there. Why, because that all
powerful prana has not been able to lift the straw, which is
the ego, in our human life. That ego is a straw – it is a
blade of grass because it has only conceptual reality. It
has not got any factual subtance as the external sense
organs have. You have limbs, you have nose, eyes, ears.
Then you have the sight, the hearing- the audition, you
have the articulation but they have substance – physical
substance- factual content. But ego has only a conceptual
content – it is an idea. It is a conceptual monitor. It hasn’t
got- it is not a limb, it is not a sense organ, it is not like
brain, the lungs, the heart. So all the powers derived
through asanas, pranayama, pratyahar and even dharana
-the science of concentration, where the Mantra Yoga,
Nada Yoga have been used at least in the Oriental world
to cure physical sickness, to cure even psychological
sicknesses, imbalances, for purifying, the Yagnyas, all
that has been used and yet all that – those sacrificial rites
and those eightfold, no rather sixfold, steps of Yoga they
have not enabled us for the liquidation of that imaginary

Do you see what the story signifies for us? – that
you may do things, not that they should not be done, but
the purifying, sophisticating, refining the physical – the
verbal systems of our being, the layers of our being, do
not enable us to uncover the secret of Reality- the meaning
of life. This is the significance of the first part of the mantra.

‘Brahman’ Cannot Be Captured By
Brain And Mind

Please turn with me to the second one. lndra, in
our case, in our life, indicates the complexity of the mind
and brain together. In one word, in Sanskrit language, they
would call it, ‘Budd hi’. So intellect as the faculty of the
cerebral organ and mind with all its conditioned energies,
lndra represents the complexity of the mind and brain
together; so lndra had gone there to understand the
mystery of the being- the Brahman and that is what we do
with our brain, with our budd hi, with our mind. We feel that
the mystery of life can be uncovered through mental
movement, through the movement of the brain – the
intellect, it can be captured in a word, in a thought, that it
can be captured in our experience. So the mind tries; after
the speech, the perception, the prana. Now it is the mind
that has come into the field for identifying the Brahman,
naming it, recognizing it and uncovering its mystery or
meaning. This is where the human race stands today,
after having achieved the marvels of science and
technology, high technology with the help of nuclear
energies, electronics and so on. The human brain, the
human being somehow even without uttering it to himself
or herself, there is a conviction inside, that the Brahman the
Divinity must be and can be captured with the cerebral
movement or a mental movement. The brain – the mind
wants to objectify the Brahman, create a subject object
relationship with it in order to say that I know it.

tasyamatam yasya
matam yasya veda na veda sah. (2.3)

We have, in the second chapter we have seen that
the one who says he knows, knows not and one who knows
that he knows not, seems to be knowing. So what
happened here- the mind with all its powers including the
brain, all its powers, tried to approach the ultimate Reality
-the Brahman- the Divinity with the help of word, with
the help of thoughts, scriptures, experiencing powers,
occult experiences etc. etc. and to the great surprise of
the mind and brain the moment it tries to think about
Brhaman it gets lost into silence, because Brahman
cannot be an object of thought, it can not be an object of
perception. It cannot be an object of audition, it cannot be
an object of articulation or speech. It cannot be an object
of conception. You cannot conceive about it. You cannot
describe it into a word. You cannot convert it into an idea.
So the mind stops, because the Brahman, the Divinity
disappears. It defies the touch of thought and word
verbalization. That is what is figuratively suggested that
the Divinity defies verbalization . Divinity defies your
perception. All your relative faculties with their conditioned
energies are irrelevant for the contact with that.

With A Pure Motive Humility Arises

If the mental efforts and intellectual efforts have an
integrity, if they are for learning and discovering, at least
the motivation is pure and not polluted with ambition :- with
acquisitiveness, with greed etc. comparative ambition –
others have had it, I must have it – why not I! You know,
out of jealousy, out of comparison, out of competition! When
the mind realizes, when the brain realizes that all its
movements are futile, unrelated to any further exploration,
then a genuine, very precious humility arises in the mind.

We will turn to those mantras tomorrow, what happens to
the lndra etc. But let us finish with the symbolology and its
significance in our daily living. We are here to learn, we
don’t want to become philosophers and give lectures about
Upanishads. You and I are interested in living and
discovering the essence of life for ourselves for the ‘Kiesha ∑
Mukti Kaivalyam state’ of our life and consciousness.

So the moment it is realized by the buddhi – the
brain and the mind together, that its movement is
unrelated, irrelevant, meaningless, futile, it stops. The
stopping, the discontinuity of the mental movement is what
is implied by the word humility. So it stops, it discontinues
its movement and yet remains open. If it discontinues its
movement out of frustration then it will be closed in.
Nothing further can happen. But in quietly discontinuing
the movement there is the receptivity. Humility is nothing
but openness and receptivity towards life. That is what we
call Silence- mounam.

You remain empty because your movement in any
or every direction is going to be irrelevant to the
exploration. It will give you the gratification that you are
moving but it is a meaningless movement. So the
discontinuity of the intellectual and mental effort, mental
movement, results in an openness and receptivity which
is called humility. It has tremendous dynamism and there,

Umam Haimavatim bahusobhamanam striyamajagam
tasminakase (3.12)

— in that space, in that akasa superbly beautiful and
pure energy is felt by lndra- is seen by lndra, figuratively
in the form of Uma – it is mentioned in a female form
because the word energy indicates female gender – that
is poetry. Energy is neither male nor female but poets can
take liberty, can’t they? So in the discontinuity of the mental
and cerebral movement, in that space of emptiness within
you flashes an energy as pure as the snow as if it is born
of the Himalaya – Haimavtim, daughter of Himavat – the
abode of purity. The literal meaning of the word Uma or
Haimavati or Gauri is literally purity – sheer purity – utter
purity. As the snows are without blemish, so was that

Pure Energy Appears When All Effort Ceases

Now why are they calling that energy pure like snow
unpolluted? Because it is not touched by human thought.

It is ever virgin. Look at the beauty of it. My words are
prosaic, they cannot be as poetic as the Upanishads, so I
don’t know how to bring that beauty to you. The energythe
Divinity is untouched by human conception, human
thought, human articulation, be it even the words of the
Vedas or any other scriptures and therefore it is pure and
unblemished like the snows, as if it is born of the purity. It
is the daughter of purity. Now do you see the relevance to
our lives that there comes a time after educating, refining,
sophisticating, organizing, harmonizing the energies
contained in our psycho – physical being. Refining,
sensitizing the brain- the mind, there comes a moment
where all our conscious efforts have to end or discontinue.
The Upanishad – now we will be taking up the fourth
chapter. So the Kenopanishad which is primarily, basically
meant to reveal the secret of Brahman -the secret nature
of ultimate reality is preparing us for that discontinuity of
all our efforts.

Every effort stinks of acquisitiveness, every effort
at its base has some trend and trace of acquisitive
tendency – wanting to acquire – transformation to be
acquired, Samadhi to be acquired, niravana to be obtained
and that tendency retains the duality – you remain the
subject. So, as you cannot climb on your shoulders, you
cannot objectify your own essence. So Upanishad is
preparing you and me for that magnificent dimension of
silence which is as pure as the snows in which, in the
womb of the emptiness, is contained the Divinity. For our
daily living, in the openness, in the receptivity, in that
relaxed emptiness, not the tension of expectation because
expectations are based on the known; they are a
movement of the known in the known, please, so, when
these is no tension of expectation, no impatience of
acquisitive motivation, when there is the grace of
relaxation, thus far and no further are my efforts or
movements relevant to the exploration, so let there be an
exploration through non action, non motion, not getting
closed in. Non motion is not getting closed in. Non effort
does not imply isolation, you are open, vulnerable,
receptive, alert but not active, alert but not attending,
observing, looking for.

These Upanishads enchant me because thousands
of years ago, the sages could penetrate the depth and
soar high into the secrets of cosmic reality and thanks to
the sages – rishis who have handed down that wisdom to
us through their verbalized texts and through the words –
the mantras, the Richas, is filtered the nectar of their
realizations. So the mind seems to be superior to the prana,
to the speech, to the perception, to the audition because it
is subtler than them. It can function without sound, it can
separate the word from the sound and travel with them
and so on. So the last instrument of exploration has
beautifully and gracefully relinquished movement and
effort. That is the point at which we conclude this morning’s
class and we shall meet tomorrow morning again, to see
what this graceful relinquishing of one’s own movements,
powers and energies does to us.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih 0m santih.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Chapter – VIII


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh srotramatho
balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam Brahmaupanisadam
Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma Brahma nirakarod
anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me astu. Tadatmani nirate
ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih 0m santih.

When Effort Ceases, Pure Energy Manifests

At the end of the third part of the Kenopanishad, we
had arrived at a point where the mind – the brain had
relinquished all activity, all effort and had relaxed into non
action, non movement. Due to the discontinuity of mental
movement there was space – emptiness and in that
emptiness or space came a flash of awareness dazzlingly
brilliant like a lightning manifesting itself through the
darkest clouds in the space of skies. The mind, the brain
were illumined by the flash of that brilliant awareness. I
wonder if some of you have been in any tropical country in
the midst of rainy season. The skies get filled by dark
grayish clouds, sometimes jet black clouds and one feels
that one can’t see anything, one can’t go anywhere.
Darkness envelopes and renders you direction less, nearly
motionless and suddenly dazzlingly brilliant lightning
shines through that darkness and illumines the whole
space for you. The rishi, the sage of the ancient times
must have witnessed the beauty and the brilliance of that
manifestation of lightning. He is describing the energy of
awareness. He is giving an analogy of a superbly beautiful,
supremely beautiful woman. He is giving an analogy as if
it was condensed purity : Uma, Haimavati, born of the
purity of snows, as if that energy was a frame of condensed
purity. It was majestically beautiful. The poetic description
is due to the phenomenon that intelligence is not born of
any conditionings. It is not a psycho – physical activity. It
is not a faculty of the brain. The awareness, the intelligence
that shines brilliantly in the emptiness of space of your
consciousness, in the state of meditation-that flash of
awareness, now is revealing the truth.

Now, we shall this morning take up the fourth part
of the Upanishad.

Sa brahmeti hovaca; brahmano va etad vijaye mahiy’-
adhvam iti; tato haiva vidancakara brahmeti II 4.1 II

That is the first mantra of the fourth part of the
Upanishad. Saa – that brilliant energy, Uvaca-
communicated. It is, for the sake of illustration that the
anology is used, that the figurative poetic diction is used
and we have to decode the words, ‘uvaca’, ‘uvaca’ in your
English translation must have been translated as “She
spoke- energyspoke.” Now, ‘vak’ is the original word from
which the word ‘Vani’ and ‘vaca’ are derived. Please note,
specially the students of Yoga should note it that, ‘vak’ does
not mean ‘to speak’. The original Sanskrit root means. to
communicate; and speech -verbalized speech created
and constructed by the human species is one way of

Words Not The Only Means Of Communication

The spoken word is not the only path of
communication, channel of communication or faculty of
communication. We have to distinguish the faculty of
communication from the limited and conditioned channel
of the spoken or the written word. So ‘vak’ is the source,
‘vani’ and ‘vaca’ they are conditioned energies, they have
been conditioned by the human species, marvellous∑
engineering of the sound energy. So, they constructed
words out of sound, connected the words and organized
ideas. They derived and deduced conclusions. They
formulated theories and the whole verbalized literature,
scriptures or literature etc. But here, we have to understand
the word, ‘sa hovaca’, that energy communicated. Human
beings are inclined to believe as if the spoken word or the
measurements that they have constructed is the only way
of communication. It should not be difficult for the students
of yoga to realize that existence has its own essence. There
is a form and there is the content. As the water contains
electricity, as the earth contains gravity – gravity is the
essence of the earth, solidity is the form and gravity is the
essence; fluidity of the water is the form, electricity is the
essence; light is the form but the existential essence of
the sun rays and the sun is nutrition – healing – nutrition
etc. In the same way the whole existence, the cosmic
existence has an essence and that essence communicates
with us through its presence. I call it the language of the
presence. Please do not think that it is something,
mysterious that one is talking about.

Supposing you have certain tensions, clashes or
conflicts within you, the whole.being becomes tense and
then the presence of the individual communicates that
tension without a word’. The presence communicates it.
Supposing you are very happy- joy bubbling in every pore of
your being, without a word, your presence communicates
the inner elation, the inner joy, the inner happiness.
Supposing your whole being is harmonized, there is a
harmony within you of the physical, the verbal, the mental
and the supramental dimensions- the ‘pancha koshas’ of
your being, then you do not have to say a word, but subtle
vibrations of peace emanate from your being. I hope you
get my point – that communication does not have to depend
upon the spoken word. The presence communicates and if
you have the receptivity and sensitivity to feel that
communication then you get into communion with that
essence. Communication is the channel. The presence is
more eloquent than the words put together. The gestures,
the words, the glances all put together haven’t got that
quality of virgin eloquence that pristine eloquence that you
carry with your whole being.

The Victory Is That Of Brahman

‘Sa Brahmeti hovaca’ – that flash of awareness
communicated to the mind, that was totally relaxed in non
action, that it was Brahman, that the victory was due to
Brahman. “Brahmanah eva etad vijaye mahiyadhvam”, you
were all elated in the victory, the glory attributing it to
yourselves, your powers, your qualities, your excellences,
but all the powers residing in you, – the excellences
occupying your form are due to the essence of existence.
They are due to the Brahman- the Divinity of Life. Now,
the victory of all the deities! Please remember what was
said about the deities, the energy centers contained in us,
the source of energies contained in our external sense
organs. So agni is the deity, the energy contained in the
sight resulting in perception. Agni is the principle, the
energy occupying your vocal organs. So agni is the deity
of speech, of perception. Prana-vayu, is the deity behind
all movements, actions in your body through external
sense organs or internal sense organs. Now that
awareness is saying to these deities of agni, prana, vayu
and also lndra- the mind, the brain, that awareness says
that all the excellences, the powers residing in you are
due to the existence of the Divine.

Life is Divinity

My friends, according to the ancient Vedas and
Upanishads, Life itself is Divinity. Divinity is the existential
essence of life. It is not apart from life. It does not reside
somewhere in an abode of separation conducting,
regulating, modulating from outside. It is within Life. Life is
not only Divine, Life is Divinity. If you say life is divine then
you consider that divineness as the attribute of life. But
the sage is trying to teach us that divinity is the essencethe
substance of life, of every expression, not only of the
human life, but of every expression of life. To feel the
divinity contained in the mountains, their majesty, their
steadiness, the fertility contained in them; to feel the
divinity in the flowing streams and rivers, and the majestic
oceans; to feel the divinity in the blades of grass, saplings,
trees, plants; to feel them, to feel that in the birds, creatures
– you know, if you have a sensitivity then all of them will
communicate to you through their presence. They will
teach, they will reveal.

So awareness that supreme energy of intelligence
-that universal or cosmic consciousness, that supramental
consciousness, people have given different words to it,
the Upanishads call it Brahman- that which is ever virgin,
that which is ever fresh, that which is ever creative, ever
uncovering its essence through emanations and receives
the emergences back, allows them to merge back into
itself. So that flash of awareness is telling the deities of
agni, vayu and mind that, ‘the victory was not yours. The
glory that you attributed to yourself that you were doing
good and you have won victory over the evil, it is a
misconception’. It is a misperception. All the energies
are there because of the Divinity.

The Role of Human Beings

And then what is your role? What is the role of the
deities? What is the role of the human being? It is left to us
to exercise those energies in a harmonious way, to
manifest the inner harmony – the principle of harmony in
life. It is left to us, it is our privilege to exercise them in
harmony. First you become a whole human being by
harmonizing the physical, the verbal, the mental,
intellectual – no inner conflicts, no incompatibilities, no
contradictions, no tensions. You become a wholeness as
the cosmic life is a wholeness, your being also becomes a
demonstration of that wholeness, a manifestation of the
wholeness. You know, spirituality is the science of
wholeness, where there is the principle of harmony,

So exercising our energies, organizing them so
that they breathe reciprocity and not confrontation;
mutuality and not contradiction, that is left to us. But if we
attribute the glory when we exercise the energies
harmoniously, when all our movements, actions, deeds,
are the emanation of that inner wholeness- inner peace expressions
of that. inner harmony, then what you call
‘good’, results. The good in life -the goodness in life with
ourselves, with others, with the nature etc. Goodness is not
an abstraction. It is the result of harmonious organization of
energies and exercising them without fragmenting.

Victory Of ‘Good’ Over The Potential Of ‘Evil’

We are arriving at the end of this Kenopanishad to
the depth of the teachings. Kenopanishad is one of the
most important Upanishads, second only to lshavasya,
which is trying to reveal the secret of life. So the word
victory comes, ‘Bramanah eva vijaye mahiyadhvam”. It is
victory of Brahman. So the question will arise in your mind
what is there to become victorious – victory against whom
-victory over whom? It is the victory of the good over the
potential of evil contained in us. It is our victory over
ourselves. When the energies are not harmonious, when
there is conflict, contradiction, when there is misuse, abuse
of energies, you can misuse, abuse biological implulses
and instincts, you can misuse, abuse psychological
conditionings: the knowledge, the experience, the defence
mechanism, the pattern, the codes of conduct fed into you.

There is the possibility of misusing, abusing,
twisting, distorting, and then through that distortion, through
that twisting, through that disorder you become an
instrument of evil force. Evil does not exist independently.
The Vedas, the Upanishads do not recognize a separate
devil – a satan from a separate personified god. That
duality is not accepted.

The Upanishads, the Vedas proclaim the non
duality of life in every possibfe way. They proclaim the unity,
the non-duality, the advaita. So it is a victory of the good
over the possible evil. Goodness and evilness are within
us. The human beings are privileged to have both, maladjustment,
twisting, distortion – you become an instrument
of evil force – the evil will express through you and if they
are harmonized, if a lovely organic wholeness is allowed
to develop, then you become an instrument of Good forces.
Please do see this.

“Sa Brahmeti hovaca tasyah Brahmano vijaye
mahiyadhvam iti”

When this truth was revealed by the eloquence of
that flash of awareness, then the mind the brain learnt that
it is the Brahman which is the source of their energies and
excellences and it is the Brahman that is the substance of
their energies, powers and excellences and it is the cause
of every good that results from the movement of their

“Tato haiva vidancakara Brahmeti”.’Vidancakara’ is a
typical upanishadic expression.

‘Knowing’ And ‘Learning’

The Upanishad doesn’t say, ‘the mind came to
know what Brahman was. Now here again we will have to
differentiate. As we differentiated, discriminated ,
communication from speech, we will have to distinguish
and discriminate ‘knowing’ from ‘learning’. “Tato haiva
Vidancakara Brahmeti” – then only – ‘tato ha eva’, very
significant terms. The mind then only learnt that Brahman
was the cause, the source, the origin, the substance, the
goal of life. Mind did not find it by its efforts. The mind or
the brain independently of Brahman could not discover
the mystery of the meaning of life. The mind could not
discover, obtain, acquire, achieve. When the mind makes
an effort, it results in knowledge. The mind, the brain
requires words sanctioned by the past, standardised by
the society, organized by the collective human effort, then
only knowledge results. The mind can know, it can acquire.
Learning is not an acquisitive movement, knowing is. You
acquire knowledge, you acquire experiences. It is a
movement of the conditioned energy within the frontiers
of the known. So the mind and the brain had learnt.

The truth of life, the Divinity of life defies human
thought, human conception, human articulation, human
experiencing. So the sage says, “tate ha eva”- then only.
“Tate haiva Vidancakara” Vidancakara -learnt, learning; tato
haiva-when only the conscious efforts were relinquished.
When you let go the conscious effort at knowing or
experiencing or doing, then only the truth is revealed to
you in a flash of awareness like the flash of lightning
illumining the whole sky. So it learnt, it did not come to
know. Awareness is not the result of knowledge.
Awareness is not produced by any Karma or action- tantra,
mantra, yajnya, yaga, sacrificial rites and everything. They
have their own utility in their fields but they do not cause
the revelation and I think, in not only in the vedic texts but
scriptures of every religion the word revelation comes. It
reveals itself unto us. Some call it the grace descending,
some call it revelation dawning upon the consciousness
and so on. So this word ‘revealed’- Truth is revealed, not
conquered, not obtained, not acquired, not achieved, not

“Sa Brahmeti hovaka BrahmaDa vijaye mahiyadhvam iti
tato haiva vidancakara Brahmeti”

Then only the mind, the brain learnt due to the
revelation that it was Brahman and not themselves that
had brought about the goodness in life, the victory of the
good over the evil and so on. If this is sufficiently clear, let
us turn to the second mantra.

Tasmad va ete deva atitaramivanyan devan,
yadagnirvayurindraste hyenannedistham paspar suste
hyenat prathamo vidancakara brahmeti II 4.2 II

Agni, Vayu, lndra – More In Proximity To Truth

Tasmat – that is why – hence; ete devah – these
deities of agni, vayu, indra -the fire, the prana- vayu –
prana – air, and the consciousness – conditioned
consciouness functioning through the brain, when the
conditioned consciousness operates through the brain
the Upanishads use the term buddhi. When it does not
require the operation of the cerebral organ then it is called
Pradnya – Intelligence. (How I wish I could keep my
students with me for one year so that I could show them
the glory, the wealth of Sanskrit language!) Intelligence – .
Awareness – Pradnya which does not have to depend
upon any human sense organ, which is not a part of our
inheritance, which is the essence of Life, and ‘Buddhi’, the
consciousness which you call the mind – consciousness
functioning through the brain. If the brain gets damaged,
mutilated then all the knowledge that you had acquired
cannot manifest itself.

So it depends upon a sense organ. Pradnya does
not have to depend upon the brain. Well, ‘tasmat ete devah’
– these deities, which deities? – agni, vayu, indra – fire,
air and mind. They are superior to ‘anyan devan’. These
deities, these energies are superior to other energies at
our disposal. ‘Yat anyat agnih vayuh indrah:’. Why are they
superior to others? ‘Te hyenat nedistham pasparsuh ‘, these
three deities, these three energies could get into the
proximity of that Brahman. They could get near. They did
not understand it.

The truth, the mystery was not revealed unto them
– agni and vayu, but they could get into proximity- they
could go near it. Now, what does this mean, agni or vayu
getting nearer to Reality than other energies or deities?
Agni is perception. What is the other energy available to
us?- hearing, srotram. You remember the second mantra,
of the first chapter?

‘srotrasya srotram manaso manoyat vacoha vaca
pranasya u pranah caksusah caksuh pasyanti dhirah
pretyasmallokat amrtam vindate’ etc.

srotrasya srotram. We have the ear, the audition.
The spoken word heard by you , the spoken word written
and read or perceived by you. It is a difference. So
hearing does not carry you in the proximity of the Reality.

“Nayamatma balahinena labhyah na medhaya na
bahunasrutena’- Bruhadaranyak Upanishad.

This atma, this Reality cannot be reached ,
bahunasrutena, by a scholar, by a well read, well educated,
sophisticated person. The word that you hear cannot
reveal its meaning to the extent that when you perceive it
directly, it is revealed to you. Let us take an example: you
read in a book of psychology or you listen in a talk given to
you by someone on human mind, that mind moves all the
time incessantly. It is moving and it brings back memories
of the past or it runs towards the non-existent future etc.
etc., you read it. This remains a theory or an idea for you
out of the book on psychology.

Personal Discovery Leads To Understanding

In order to realize, to have a personal first hand
discovery of the fact, you will have to observe the
movement of your own mind – that personal first hand
perception of the fact, encounter with the fact; then you
have a different relation with the meaning of the phrase,
‘the mind is moving’, because you have seen it. The word
that is heard hasn’t got that dynamism which the direct
perception through an intimate encounter with the fact
gives unto you. So the agni- the principle- the fire- the
perception, is superior to audition. ‘ete devah anyat devat’
more than the other deities or energies at our disposal,
they are superior. They have more excellence not in the
sense of hierarchy but in the sense of quality, the
discrimination, distinguishing, discriminating one from the
other. You must have seen in your life too that when you
yourself read something and then you observe the truth of
the fact, the word written in a book or spoken by someone
gives you information. Information is not knowledge.
Information does not constitute knowledge. Information
cannot and does not result in understanding. But then
you read, again information- but more powerful. It captures
you because you have read but then you take a step
further. You observe the fact – you say, come on, let me
watch my mind, sit down and see what happens, and then
you see how the mind moves faster perhaps than the ray
of the light and hops from one to the other subjects – how
it moves backward, forward, past, future etc. When you
observe that, then it is not a knowledge born of audition,
knowledge born of dry perception, through a word, but it is
a living contact throbbing with dynamism due to the
encounter. A living encounter with a fact teaches you much
more than hundreds of books can ever do.

The sages of ancient India throw a challenge at us
for direct encounter with life-the movement of life-direct
communion with life, not relying on the communicationthe
second hand -the third hand. So I have just elaborated
one point, why agni the principle of perception is called
,_ superior or more in excellence than audition. Take another
example- there is the earth element in us. We have seen
the perception, the agni principle. But along with agni, vayu,
we have akasha, we have prithvi, we have jalam. These
are all terms you are acquainted with. Prithvi- that allows
us to smell, that allows us to touch other objects and you
get to some extent, you get knowledge out of touching it
with the external senses, the hardness, the softness, the
heat, the coldness, the bitterness, the sweetness. You know
-through tasting, touching, through smelling etc. But when
the pranas move – the vayu tatva, we have seen agni,
now we are turning to vayu -Agni, Vayu, lndra. ‘nedistham
pasparsuh’ they saw the Divinity from proximity. They felt it
from proximity, the others cannot feel it, they cannot go as
near as the agni or vayu can take you. Now, pranayama one
who studies pranayama, the varieties of pranayama,
then that exercise – exercising the prana – the vayu
element in you. All the five pranas are indicated by the
term prana – prana, apana, vyana, saman, udan etc. So,
when you exercise the prana energy scientifically, then in
the interval between two breaths, whether through ‘bahir
kumbhaka’ or ‘antar kumbhaka, in that interval, the feel of
reality is much more intense than when you touch it-touch
an idol, worship it, garland it, do the aarti, the pooja -the
feel that you get.

He says the feel given by prana being more subtle,
is nearer to the truth than the feel of the Divinity given to
you by touching through your hands, through your eyes.
So the vayu tatva – the prana principle takes you nearer
to the reality than the prithvi tatva.

“Annyadev agnir, vayur, indrah tehi enat nedistham
pasparsuh”. ‘nedisthama- proximity, nearness, ‘pasparsuh’,
– they had a feel of it. Now here again you will have to
work a little hard with me.

The Ageless ‘Witness’ Different From
Body And Mind

As you are having patience, let us look at the word
‘pasparsuh’ – touched it, felt it. In our life without reading
any books on Vedas or Upanishads, it is our common
experience – what is our common experience? – that
though we kriow that -I have a body, I have a mind, I have
an ego, there is a vague feeling born with us, in us that
there is something more to us because when you say, this
is my body, surely the principle that says, ‘this is my body’
has independent existence of the body. When you say,
‘my mind, ‘my ego’, what is the principle that is a witness
of the ego and its movements? There is a principle. You
may not know it, you may not be able to define it, you may
not be able to describe it, but there is a vague feeling. The
body grows older. You must have watched, there was
childhood in your body, then the youth in your body and
with some elderly persons how the adulthood blossomed
in the body and then gradually also old age entered from
the backdoor. It is the back which registers old age first so
I am calling it “backdoor”.

Well, if you have seen that, there is a vague feeling
that your body has become old, not you. There is a feel of
agelessness to that witness. The mind gets angry, you say
‘I was angry’, but who perceived the anger? What was the
principle that was witnessing the movement of the mind
getting angry, mind getting violent or the speech getting
violent? We may not know the essence of that but there is
a feel. It does not depend upon education, reading,
writing, three ‘R’s, nothing. Everyone is born, the
conditioned energy of mind and ego and there seems to
be an unconditioned energy which is ever vigilant even
when you go to sleep, that ageless-that presence- that ‘I-
ness’ – that witness is protecting you like a guiding,
guarding angel, while you are sleeping.

In the moments of love, when the ego does not
function, that ‘something’ operates and you don’t mind
being in full abandonment, devoting, dedicating everything
to the beloved, otherwise ego has all activities acquisitive
but in the moments of love, ego gets brushed aside and
there is an urge to pour your whole being into everything
that you do for your beloved. How is that possible? So, the
rishi says there is a vague feeling like a mist prevailing
between that reality and ourselves and some energies in
us take us nearer to that. The mist becomes thinner.

You read books, you listen to talks, you move with
the nature and you feel proximity to that something which
is ageless, which is nameless. When you have the feeling
that you are not getting old, body gets old, the body is
male or female, the mind has responsibilities -social
responsibilities, responsibilities of the family, organization
etc. you feel as if they have the maleness, the femaleness,
the lndianness, the Englishness, the Dutchness, the
ltalianness etc. But it transcends – it transcends all
limitations, transcends all divisions, descriptions, but it is
only a vague feeling.

More Proximity – When Outgoing Energies
Are Contained

That is why it does. not become a source of energy
for us-vitality for us, that does not become a motivation
force because it is vague. Agni and vayu reduce the
vagueness and the mind when it relaxes into non – action,
when it relinquishes hold on every manner of effort then in
that majesty of effortlessness, in the state of meditation,
there is much more proximity than even the perception or
the pranayama and the energies released by pranayama.
Those who do yoga and those who do pranayama know
how the latent energies contained in the muscular, the
glandular systems even the neurological or the chemical
system -those energies are developed. Supposing a
person who has not studied yoga is fasting and a person
who has studied yoga and also has learnt pranayama, then
with the help of pranayama one can have nutrition directly
from the cosmic energies even while one is fasting. A yogi
will feel nutrition even while fasting while the other person
who has not studied yoga does not know how to convert
the cosmic energies of air, water, space, sunshine into our
nutrition- he will not be able to stand the fast that much.
The glandular, the muscular, the neurological, the
chemical energies latent and dormant in us – they get
activised. This is an experience of any one who studies
Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga and if you en!er into meditation.

And all the outgoing energies, the external sensory
organs, the internal senses, the thought energy even when
thought moves, it takes you away from your essence. So
all those out- going energies are contained in themselves.
“Atmani atmana eva tustah”, they are all contained, they
are grounded at their source. Then the division between
the Divinity and the material, the physical, the biological
diminishes to minimum. So he says, agni, vayu, indra
‘nedistham pasparsuh’, they felt the proximity of that
Divinity which was vague to other sense organs, to other
deities and therefore through that proximity “Prathama
vidancakara Brahmeti”, that is why they could learn, they
could go through the phenomenon of learning. The
revelation took place to the mind – unto the mind. So,
‘Prathamah’ – first of all, the mind in its Silence feels the
proximity to the Divinity. If the perception of a fact – the
encounter with the fact itself is gone through, then you
feel the proximity with the truth behind the fact, not when
you hear the word but when you see it.

I do not want to tire you more. It has been possible
for us to take two mantras today.

‘Sa Brahmeti hovaca tasyah Brahmana eva vijaye
mahiyadhvam tato haiva vidancakara Brahmeti’ (4.1) and
‘Tasmat ete devah atitaram anyat’ (4.2)

They had therefore- these deities of agni, vayu and
indra have excelled – surpassed other deities. They felt
the proximity. They may have touched it negatively but
they have felt the presence before the other deities or the
sense organs could feel it.

I am sorry if I have tired you this morning. But we
are coming now to the last part of the Upanishad and I am
afraid we will be working hard on Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday also and we might require two sessions a day,
next week three days, so that if you have any questions to
ask, then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons
could be used for questions – answers or whatever- the
way you would like to use them. Thank you for your


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.

Chapter -IX


Resume’ Of The Earlier Mantras

Those who have been attending the classes from
the very first day will have to take a brief resume
introspectively of what we have gone through in the first
three chapters or parts of the Upanishad. It is very
necessary to recollect where we began and how we

Upanishads are dialogues between the teacher and
the pupils. The dialogues are meant for the revelation of
the ultimate truth to take place through the interaction
between enquiry and understanding. The pupil had asked
the teacher, “Kensitam patati presitam manah Kena pranah
prathamah praiti yuktah”. By whom are the sense organs
and the senses motivated and directed towards their
respective objects and the teacher says, “srotrasya srotram
manaso manoyad vaco ha vacam sa u pranasya pranah”. It
is the ear of the ear, mind of the mind, essence of the
sight, the vitality of the vital force and so on.

The pupil says and asks how do we reach that ear
of the ear and the eye of the eye and prana of the prana
and he gets the answer from the teacher “Na tatra vak
gacchati” – the speech cannot reach there. “Na caksumsi
pasyanti- the eyes cannot perceive it, “manasa na manute”
-the mind cannot conceive of it. The pupil says, “But then
what- how did your teacher teach you? How will you teach
us?” And the teacher in humility says, “Na vidmo na vijanimo
yathaitadanusisyat” – we don’t know and we do not know
any technique or methodology to impart that teaching. “Oh !”
says the pupil, “but your teachers must have taught you
some way or the other and the teacher agrees and he
gives the instruction through analogies, figurative stories,
similes, illustrations etc.

For understanding the analogies and the stories
narrated in the Upanishad, let us remember that the
Upanishads proclaim the unity of life – the unity between
the cosmos and the individual, the macrocosm and the
microcosm. So in the second chapter the teacher explains
how there are parallel forces operating in the cosmos as
well as in the individual, that is condensed cosmos. The
microcosm is the condensed macrocosm. Everything that
is contained in the cosmos is contained also in the
individual. So the parallel is described in a suggestive way
in the second chapter that there is the unmanifest non-
differentiated source and substance of life which the sages
call Brahman or Divinity. Then the unmanifest and nondifferentiated
source of life, the essence of existence
manifests itself in the form of principles of energy, which
are clled “Tatvam”. The five principles of energy- earthprithvi,
water- apah, air- pranah, fire- agnih and space akasa.
So the unmanifest has become manifest and yet it
is undifferentiated, all the five principles permeating every
expression of life. As we have in our being the unmanifest
source of our existence the Atman, in cosmos they call is
Brahman, and in the human body they call it Atman -the
Supreme intelligence, Chaitanyam, Acharya Shankara
calls it Samvit. I am addressing these words specially to
my students of yoga who have been studying with me for
the last many years. So parallel to the Brahman is the
Atman. Then the undifferentiated manifest principles of
energy or the panchatatvas are common to the cosmos
and to our body. They are common, parallel forces
functioning, interacting in the cosmos and in the individual.
Then comes the differentiation. Uptil now unmanifest nondifferentiated,
manifest differentiated; now come with me
to the third layer. We have spoken of the five layers in our
‘pancha koshas’ in the human body, there are ‘pancha
koshas’ in cosmos also.

So the third layer comes to the differentiation. The
principle of earth has differentiation like the mountains,
the valleys, the ground – even ground, uneven ground,
rocks, stones, pebbles, clay and in your human body the
earth principle becomes the bone structure and the
covering of the muscles and the glands etc; the principle
of water becomes oceans and rivers, as in your human
body the principle of water takes the form of blood,
perspiration, tears, urine etc. They have the principle of
fire – agni in the cosmos. The differentiated form Is the
sun, the moon, the lightning, the fire contained in the womb
of the earth, in the depth of the oceans, in the space of the
skies and in the human body the principle of agni – fire
becomes the sight in your eyes, the flame of appetite in
your stomach, the digestive organs. It becomes the heat
in your body, it becomes the speech for your articulation
etc. In the cosmos is the skies- the space- akasha and
the same principle of akasha takes various differentiated
forms in our body. It takes the form of all the cavities
contained in the body and it takes the form also of sound.
Sound is the extension of silence.

We have no time to go into the elaboration of these
parallel forces but the second chapter of Kena Upanishad
illustrates the parallel the ‘panch koshas’ very vividly and
in the third chapter comes the analogy, illustration in the
form of a story. In the Upanishads you will find two things,
one, their teaching, the essence as we had seen yesterday
– the unity or the non-duality of life is the essence of
teaching and the second aspect of Upanishads is
instruction through analogy. Teachings refer to the basic,
the fundamental existential essence and the analogies,
the similes, the stories etc. they are for instructing.

The instructions are wrapped up in the stories
because the Rishis were teachers par excellence. They
never forced or imposed directly. They suggested – their
instructions were indirect, suggestive, poetical. So the third
chapter contains the story of how agni, vayu, indra tried to
approach the mystery – the secret of truth. They had a
feel of it. They tried to make conscious efforts and they
failed miserably. The mind nearly lost its movement and
when the conscious movements of the agni, vayu, indra,
the fire principle behind perception and articulation, speech
principle behind the prana the vital forces operating in the
body and then the principle of mind which enables us to
think, to conceive, to deduce conclusions to imagine, to
remember etc.

The conscious efforts of all these – they have not
referred to all the five, they have given illustration and
instruction through mentioning the three important
principles calling them deities and when they failed, their
movements were abandoned and then the Reality of Life
revealed itself unto them. Please do see this.

This resume’ was very necessary because the
mantra that we are going to study today is,

Tasya esaiva adesah —(4.4)

Instructions Through Analogy

It is the word ‘adesa’ which obliged me to go back
with you to the point of beginning and look back upon the
process and procedure of the Rishi, the way the Rishi
taught. The word ‘adesa’ has been translated into most of
the translations in Indian and non- Indian languages as
command or order and the sages- the ancient Rishis never
ordered, never commanded. That was not their style of
functioning and that is not the style of functioning even
today of the rishis or the sages that be in the world – any
part of the world. So, the word ‘adesa’ according to the
original Arsha Sanskrit, that is the Sanskrit language of
the Rishi, the modern Sanskrit is different from the
Sanskrit language of the sages. ‘Adesa’ means instruction
through illustration and analogy. You communicate the
teachings and then they being abstract, they being
beyond lhe reach of the mind and eyes and ears, one has
to illustrate that so that the pupils who cannot take a
quantum jump in one sweep can learn through the stories,
the illustrations. “Tasya esaisa adesah” – the teachings of
the Upanishads have thus instructed through analogy.
Please do remember, the student had asked the teacher,
“how did your teachers teach you” and therefore the rishi,
the teacher is telling his pupils that the teachings have
been thus illustrated unto us, we were instructed thus
through the analogy.

Only three words but they have such tremendous
importance- “Tasya esaiva adesah”. What is the adesa?
What is the instructed teaching? The instructed analogies
– what do they say?

“Tasya esaiva adesah yad vidyutah vyadyutada–“.

‘Vidyut’ – lightning, ‘vyadyutad’ – illumine. The
instruction through analogy has taught us – has told us
that the revelation of Divinity – the revelation of the
Brahman the Supreme Secret of Life occurs, takes place
and as the flash of the lightning takes place and as the
flash of the lightning illumines the whole sky simultaneously,
it illumines the whole cosmos timelessly. In that moment
of lightning manifesting, itself it is nearly eternity that is
flashing itself. It is not limited by time and space, that
occurring, that happening. ‘Vidyutah vyadyutad’. As
lightning flashes and simultaneously illumines the
whole cosmos.

Nyamimisad eva iti

The Individual And The Cosmos

If you do not understand, if you have not seen the
flashes of lightning illuminating the skies and the
emptiness, total emptiness of the space, you might have
noticed the blinking of the eye that takes place in your
body. The flash of lightning in the cosmos and blinking of
the eye, the eye opens itself and closes itself effortlessly.
If there is stronger light than to which the sight is tuned in,
then the eye closes itself. It is not a voluntary activity. Your
volition is not involved in that happening. If there is very
strong wind, then the eyelids close themselves. It is not a
mechanical movement, it is not a movement out of
volition. It is. the movement of the organic intelligence
taking place by itself.

Tasyaisa adeso yadetad vidyuto vyadyutada iti
nnyamimisada ityadhidaivam 4.4

This is the mantra we are studying this morning. As
the blinking of the eye takes place effortlessly, timelessly
and the lightning flashes across the skies instantaneously,
timelessly – ‘tasya esaisa adesah-‘ the teachings of the
Upanishad says the revelation of the Divinity or Brahman
takes place in this way. “Nyami misad iva iti adhidaivatam”,
the last part of the mantra. “Adhidaivatam” in reference to
the cosmic happenings. Everything that happens in the
body has a cosmic parallel and everything that happens
in the cosmos has a parallel in ourselves-we who are the
condensed cosmos. May I help my students to remember
what we had learnt in lshavasya Upanishad, Chandogya
Upanishad etc.

The Vedas – the four Vedas, the Rigveda ,
Yajurveda, Atharvaveda, Samaveda etc. they have
mathematics, they have grammar-‘Vyakaran’, they have
‘cchandam’- the science of poetics, they have astronomy
– ‘jyotisham’. The Vedas are verbalization of the science
of Life, the science of wholeness, the science of harmony
– harmonizing energies. So, you will get in the Vedas,
Ayurveda – the science of, the Indian science of
herbalology, harmony, harmonizing energies at each layer
of the body – and get astronomy also. So, in this
“Adhidaivata”, you will learn how there is constant
interaction going on between the solar systems and the
earth, the stars and other planets and the earth and the
human life, the movements of collective human beings
and individuals. You may call it ecology, deep ecology, you
may call it environmentalism, you may call it astronomygive
it any name.

Life is a movement of relationship between the
individuated, differentiated and the non – individuated,
non- differentiated. We are not parts like parts of a motor
car or an aeroplane; we are not parts of the cosmos. We
are organic expressed units – individuated units. We are
in that organic wholeness. So please do see this, that the
rishi here refers to ‘adhidaivatam.’ The science of the
energies contained in the cosmos and their relationship to
the energies contained in the human body, is called
‘adhidaivatam.’ So as in cosmos the flash of lightning
takes place, as in your human bodies the blinking of the
eyes takes place, that Supreme Revelation of the secret
of life happens and occurs timelessly.

If it has been possible for me to convey to you the
contents of the first mantra, let us proceed towards the
second mantra.

Atha Adhyatmam

We come to the word from ‘adhidaivatam’, the
cosmic happening, now we come to ‘adhyatma’ , the
happenings in the individuated, differentiated unit of
cosmic life-the human body. In the translations available
to you in Indian or non lAd ian languages, you will find, the
‘me’, the ego! Because one has seen dozens of
translations of the Upanishads in Indian languages and
some of them in English language -those translations
have not satisfied me. You know, I am a non-conventional
person. I have a non-authoritarain, non-traditional
approach to the truth of life. Right from Acharya Shankara
and commentaries given by him, translated by
Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Chinmayananda and so
on, so many very respectable persons have done it and
though I am not a sanyasi or a yogi, in the right of being a
human student, I have tried to study them independently
of the commentaries. So they translate the word
‘adhidaivatam’ as the spiritual interpretation and they
refer to ‘atha adyatmam’ as the happening related to the
individual self- the ego, the me etc. and I had to go into
all these’ details this mornings for the benefit of the yoga
teachers specially because it seems to me that the words
‘adhidaivatam’ and ‘adhyatmam’ have radically different

‘Adhyatma’, definitely it refers to the revelation of
truth taking place in the human body but not necessarily
to the self, the me, the ego, that conceptual entity, that has
been built up by the human civilization and culture. Now
with that much clarification let us proceed. “Atf1a
adhyatmam”, now let us turn to the ‘dhyatma’ part of itthat
part of it, the happenings taking place in the human
body in detail. “In the blinking of an eye” is an analogy but
now we come to the actual happening. We have to
differentiate between the analogy and the actual
occurrence. The analogy says “as if’ the blinking of the
eye, is taking place.

Atha adhyatmam yatha gacchati iva ca manah
anena upasmarati. (4.5)

Yatha gacchati iva ca manah –what happens in the
human being at the moment of the revelation of Brahman
– the Divinity – the secret – the supreme essence –
existential essence? The mind feels as -if it has entered
the Brahman – it has entered – it has fused into the cosmic.

“Yatha gacchati iva ca manah” – ‘iva’, the word ‘iva’, is
very important. The mind feels as if it has gone there.

Mind loses its movement. “Gacchati” is derived from
the root ‘gama’. ‘gama – gacchati’ – it indicates velocity,
momentum. So in the human body when the revelation
takes place, the mind mistakens it for its own merging. In
fact it had happened when the mental movement had gone
into abeyance. The mind had discontinued its movement.
There was no action, no conscious movement and yet the
mind gets into the delusion as if it has gone there, it has
got it. Why? “Yad anena ca upasmarati”- because the mind
has the faculty of remembering, recollecting, reliving.

Don’t you relive the events of the past through
memory?- when you turn to your memory? First there are
verbal pictures and then actual incidents that had taken
place- you picturize them , you visualize them, you relive
them emotionally, not only verbally. You relive them at all
the five layers of your being. So, the revelation has taken
place and it has taken place simultaneously at all the five
layers as the flash of the lighting illumines simultaneously
the earth, the skies, the rivers, the oceans. It does not
illumine only one part of the cosmos, it illumines everything,
in the same way, revelation permeates in all the layers. It
illumines all the layers – something happens to all the
layers of your being. It is not a cerebral movement, it is not
a chemical experience, it is not a neurological sensation.
It is a tremendous happening. It is a tremendous event.

The Mind Deludes Itself

So, the mind deludes itself, it harbours an illusion
that it has merged, that it has gone, it has acquired,
because it can – the self- conscious energy – the human
consciousness, it can, after a second, can remember what
had happened. It can recollect, even revisualize and that
recollection, that revisualization, that remembering takes
the form of a thought. Memory takes the form of a thought.
It takes the form of words, it takes the form of pictures. So
when the mind remembers, it deludes itself into believing
that it had attained, it had done it, it had objectified
Brahman and it had got it. How can the unity of life be
objectified? The truth – the Reality – the Brahman – the
Divinity – the Paramatma – the Atman, cannot be an
object of thought.

It cannot be an object of memory, but the mind is
conditioned, it has a groove in which it moves. So after
that revelation, it tries to capture the sensation of what
had happened in the form of a thought or memory or an
idea. If it were a thought, if it were an idea, then it could
have continuity but the revelations are not of time, they do
not happen in the framework of time. Therefore in spite of
thinking and ruminating and remembering and recollecting,
the mind cannot relive that moment, that ecstacy of the
moment of revelation. It is a dead memory. You may try to
sprinkle it with a little emotion and inspiration and
intoxication but the revelation, not being of time, has no
continuity. Please do see this. We are coming now to the
end of the chapter.

Attachment To Cultivated Sense-Pleasure

We are coming to the very depth, the core of the
teachings of Kenopanishad. So without sparing you, I have
to take you with me to the deepest layer of the teachings.
‘Nyami misad iva’ – like the winking of an eye, it has
happened and if you make conscious efforts and go on
.winking the eye, then it is a different thing! The mind can
artificially, intentionally, through manipulation, through
manoeuvring can make effort to relive it in imagination, it
cannot be relived. You get born but once, even if you want
to, you cannot get born time and again. It is a happening,
it is an event, in the same way revelation is an event that
has taken place in the sacred interaction between the
microcosm and the macrocosm, the cosmic and the
individual. Look, my friends, attachment has a continuity;
has love any continuity? Is love of time? Is it born of
thought? Has it anything to do with your minds? Love
dawns upon the heart. Attachment is cultivated sense

We are pleasure seekers, so we can create
attachment about an object, about an individual, about a
situation, about you know anything and everything. It has
continuity but love has no continuity. Suffering has
continuity which is generated by the self, by the ego, the
me. Sorrow has no continuity. Sorrow flashes across your
being, makes your being very sharp. Sorrow enriches life
as joy also does. Suffering causes degeneration. It is the
mind that tries to enter into self pity, self defence and it
goes on harping on the same thing. But suffering is
psychological; sorrow is an interaction.

Suddenly someone dies, not a person who has been
ill, a person who is talking with you this moment, the
person is there, next moment not there. It is a happening.
You can’t say I am a spiritual seeker, it does not affect me.
The interaction of the act of dying or the event of death
and the person living; it shakes you deeply. You come out
of the illusion as if you are going to be immortal and you
are never going to die. It defies all your efforts to push the
death which is a part of life somewhere into the remote
corners. You see, sorrow – sorrow gives an edge, a

So the mind- ‘yad anena ca anusmarati’- the mind
tries to reme~ber, to recollect, to relive that revelation and
therefore there is in human beings and in human languages
the descriptions of the experiences of the ultimate –
misleading description because the mind even of a
sadhaka- the mind even of an enquirer at the last point of
that revelation gets into a delusion. This is what is called in
the Vedic texts, ‘Maya’. It has no reality – your description
of the described. The description is not the described. The
definition is not the defined, the word is not the thing, but
we create an illusory conceptual world within ourselves
and around us by describing that which had happened.
The faculty of self awareness is misused and abused
because we want to feel that we had acquired something.

You know, acquisition has relevance, importance,
utility, significance on the physical level. You acquire money;
you acquire prestige; you acquire objects, necessary food,
clothing, shelter; you acquire verbal knowledge which is
called education. There, acquisition – the acquisitive
movement, has a relevance. You are the subject and there
are objects. You have sensual experience, you have sexual
experiences, you have emotional experiences and so on,
transcendental, occult but thus far and no further. When it
comes to the unmanifest non-differential, non-individuated
source of life, the substance of life, there cannot be
experiencing, there cannot be verbalization, ‘neti’, ‘neti’,

“Yan manasa na manute yenahur mano matam; tadeva
Brahma tVam viddhi na idam yadidamupasate.” (1.6)

‘Na idam’, that which is cultivated, that which is
objectified is not Brahman. “Yat srotrena na srnoti yena
srotramidam srutam; tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi na idam
yadidmupasate.” You would recollect these mantras, we
had gone into in the second part of the Upanishad.

“Yat pranena na praniti yena pranah praniyate; tadeva
brahma tvam viddhi na idam yadidamupasate.” (1.9)

So the ‘adhyatmam’ the significant teaching for the
reference of the individual, we have to understand that the
happening at the individual organism, the happenings of
the mind, is not the conquest, revelation is not the conquest
by your brain. It is not a victory of verbalization.

“Atha adhyatmam yat gacchati iva ca manah yat anena

So this memory, ‘anusmarat:lam’ is memory,
recollecting, reliving, describing etc. may give us some
psychological consolation, but let us understand that
uncovering of the secret of life – revelation of the ultimate
Reality is a happening- is an occurrence due to the grace
of the interaction between the undifferentiated and the
differentiated. It takes place- interaction- is the Grace.
Do you understand why I am saying it is the Grace? It is
because it is very rarely that we remain open and receptive.
The openness and receptivity at the layers, all the layers
of your being – external sense organs, internal sense
organs, the principles of energy and at the level of prana,
the vital force and consciousness to remain open.
Consciousness is conditioned therefore openness and
receptivity hardly sustain there. Consciousness is
conditioned by knowledge it is conditioned by past
experiences – our own and those of the human race. So
we have the feel, ‘I know’- because I know the words of
the Vedas, the Bible, the Zendavesta, the Quaran-e –
Sharif, the Guru Granth Sahab.

For the consciousness- conditioned consciousness
to remain in the humility of openness and receptivity is
very rare and the vital force – the prana vibrating in the
whole body, they have the urge to conquer, to become
victorious, to attain, to reach, you know, as if Reality is
destined somewhere – it has a localized destination.
Reality is the dynamism of life. You cannot, have an
exclusive direction towards it. It is not a destination to be
reached. It is a dyhamism which has to be perceived,
appreciated. So, I call the interaction ‘Grace’. The cosmic
energies are functioning operating but unless there is that
holistic openness and receptivity the interaction does not
take place.

So through the interaction, through and by the grace
of that interaction the revelation occurs. “Tasya esaisa
adesah yatha vidyuttad vyadyutad nyami misanti.” So we
have learnt very important points this morning. Now the
teacher has given the answer why it cannot be taught.

“Na vidmo na vijanimo yatha etad anusisyat iti
susruma purvebhyam ye nastad vyacacak~ire.” The teacher
had given the reply at the end of the first part, you can refer
to it when you go back to your own countries; that from
those, from whom we had learnt, had told us that it cannot
be taught as a method, as a technique, as a formula. It can
be illustrated, it can be instructed through analogies but
directly it cannot be taught as it cannot be objectified. The
Brahman- the Atman-the Truth cannot be objectified,
cannot be verbalized and I think this much verbalization
about the non- verbalisable is enough for the day!


Om apyayantu mamaQgani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca Sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam rna rna
Brahma nirakarod anirakaraDamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.

Chapter- X


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyaQi ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam rna rna
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.

Vedanta – Consummation of Knowledge

Yesterday the mantra that we were studying together
had dealt with the occurrence of revelation of Divinity or
Brahman and how the mind which was the most proximate
principle to the Divinity in that occurrence dwells upon the
memory of that occurrence, repeatedly remembers it and
because of the repeated memory or verbal projection of
the occurrence and’the futile effort to relive the occurrence
of the revelation, feels that it is the mind itself that has
acquired the revelation. The mind wants to convert the
occurrence into an experience. It was a happening. It was
something generated due to the interaction between the
meditative state of conditioned consciousness and the
“Brahman”. ‘Yat tadgacchati vaca manah anena anusmarati
abhiksnam sankalpah.’. That was the mantra we had
studied yesterday. I wonder if you remember that the
Upanishads – the Aranyakas are called Vedanta. Among
the various parts of Vedas – Brahmanas, Samhitas,
Aranyakas, Niruktam, Vyakaranam, Ganita, Jyotish etc. the
Aranyakas – the Upanishads which are the revelation of
the ultimate truth through the dialogue between the teacher
and student are called Vedanta. ‘Veda’ is knowledge –
verbal knowledge and ‘anta’ is ending. The Upanishads
deal with the ending of knowledge and knowing.

Let us for a second, look at the word ‘ending’. It is
not discontinuity; it is the consummation. Knowledge if it
is genuine, if it does not consist of empty shells of words
but the feel of the meaning indicated by those words, then
the consummation of knowledge and the process of
knowing culminates into the occurrence of revelation of
the secret, revelation of the mysterious Divinity-the Brahman-
the indwelling Reality. So the mantra we studied
yesterday factually shares with us the consummation of
knowledge and knowing. The conditioned consciousness
– the mind should feel fulfilled that its knowing has
culminated into proximity and a feel of the infinite – the
Eternal, the unnamable, the immeasurable Brahman.

But generally what happens with most of the
people, the fortunate ones in whose lives the extra ordinary
occurrence of happening of the Revelation takes place –
the mind tries to own it as its experience, its achievement;
not as the consummation or fulfillment but as its own
achievement- acquisition. Understanding can never be
converted into an experience. Revelation and the energy
of awareness left behind as the trace of that occurrence
cannot be converted into experience, acquisition,
achievement. Feeling apprehensive that the pupils might
be inclined to convert the revelation -the occurrence-∑
the happening -the event into a memory of acquisition or
achievement, the teacher proceeds in sharing the secret
in the mantra that we are going to study today.

Let Not Mind Cultivate Memory Of Revelation

Taddha tadvanam, nama tadvanamityupasitavyam;
sa ya etadevam vedabhihainam sarvani bhutani
samvanchanti II 4.6 II

‘Taddha tadvanam nama’ – the teacher now is
suggesting, recommending to the pupil that let not your mind
cultivate the memory of the occurrence as an experience.
Let it be in a state of meditation looking upon the Brahman
-the Divinity as “Tadvanam”. “Vanam” is again one of the
code words of the Vedic texts. Literally it means that which
dwells in every form – the indwelling essence or self
contained in every form, every expression of life. ‘Vanam’
also means that which is likeable, adorable, admirable for
every creature. Instinctively all creatures, all beings fall in
love with the indwelling essence of their existence. So
instead of remembering the happening as your
achievement or acquisition, remember the extraordinary
reality that the Brahman, the secret truth dwells everywhere
in every being. “Taddha tadvanam nama”, the Brahman,
the Divinity is the indwelling existence of Life.

Every form, you may call it animate, inanimate
because of the limitations of your sense organs. You may
call it matter, energy, human, non – human species, the
mineral, the vegetable kingdom etc. you may give names
to those expressions of life but the existential essence the
Brahman, the Divinity is the same in every expression in
every form. “Taddha tadvanam nama”, the letter ‘ha’ is used
by the Vedas and Upanishads to emphasise a point. It is
verily, it is factually the indwelling essence. “Tadvanam iti
Upasitavyam.”. Therefore if the mind, which is constituted,
composed of memory, knowledge is memory- memory of
knowledge, thought, experience, patterns of behaviour,
codes of conduc{ value structures -that is the stuff of our
conditioned consciousness. So, the mind that is addicted
to memory – that goes on moving through the memory of
the past; if at all, it wants to remember, let it remember,
“Tadvanam iti Upasitavyam”, let it be in meditation about
the Brahman, the Divinity as the indwelling self or the
indwelling existence of all life, of all beings. I hope you
would notice the very subtle distinction between the
memory of the occurrence as one’s personal experience
which tries to convert the impersonal event into a personal
acquisition and the memory of the proximity and feel of
the essence of all life. Brahman is the essence of all life.
Let us not forget that human beings are condensed
cosmos. There is no qualitative difference between the
microcosm and the macrocosm. As regards the essence,
there is no difference in the quality. So “Tadvanam iti

Importance of Upasana

Now let us turn to the word “Upasana- Upasitavyam.”
‘Upasana’ generally is translated into English as a
devotional act. Literally, looking to the roots from which
the word is organized or formulated, ‘Upa’ is near- Upa,
the word is indicative of proximity. Upasana- ‘asa’- ‘to .
be’, the root ‘asa’ from which the word asti – asmi – aham
asmi- I am, ‘tad asti’- it exists. So ‘asa’ means to be.
Upasana – to be in the proximity of. You can be in the
proximity of the ultimate Truth through the channel of your
emotional being. That is how Bhakti Yoga comes into
existence as a branch of Yoga. Emotions exclusively
focused upon the description, the symbol of the Reality.
You can be proximate to the Ultimate Reality through
meditation, cessation of mental movement. You can be in
the proximity of the Divinity by controlling the breath and
prolonging the duration between two breaths, prolonging
the duration between two thoughts. Each branch of Yoga
has its own strategy for being in the proximity – psycho –
physical proximity. Why is it necessary, this Upasana? If
the Brahman, the Divinity is the indwelling essence of Life,
if it is the substance- the source of life, why should upasana
or meditation be necessary at all? I hope you will ask this
question of yourselves and contemplate upon it. If that
question would visit my consciousness, I would say unto
myself, the upasana, the meditation with any of the
strategies recommended by various branches of the
science of Yoga, becomes necessary because we are
obsessed with the sense of duality. Living in the
conditioned physical organism operating through the
conditioned consciousness, where the act of relating to
life is based upon the imaginary division as subject and
object unless you imagine that there are two entities, the
act of relationship or relating has no propriety. It is not at all
necessary, it has no relevance. So living in the conditioned
limited world physically, biologically, psychologically,
operating or functioning through various limitations and
conditionings, we are conscious of the duality – the
subject and the object.

Playing Various ‘Roles’ While Living

Living is relating; living is relationship and that is a
game we play all our life on the level of psychological and
physical existence. I use the word ‘we play the game’. If
you don’t mind, may I give an illustration? You might have
participated in plays and dramas in your school or college
days? I have done it in school days and college days
enacting plays and you play the role of the king, the queen,
the villain, the hero, the heroine- you play the role and you
have to play it perfectly; you have to put all the excellence
of your talents into that game of playing the role. Inwardly
you are aware that you are neither the hero nor the heroine,
neither the prince nor the pauper and yet based on the
awareness of your own separate identity you still play the

May be that role is played for three hours and here
this acceptance of duality which is a relative fact,
acceptance of the relative fact, imagining it to be absolute
fact, we play the game of human life, take upon ourselves
so many roles and we discharge them. – between man
and woman, between individual and society, between
human beings and the non human species, between the
individual and the cosmos. There is beauty and also there
is grandeur. You require tremendous skill to operate and
function through the limited sense organs and conditioned
psychological structure. If you are aware that the duality
generated by the limited sense organs and the conditioned
psychology are not the ultimate reality, if you are aware
that the indwelling essence, – the indwelling reality in
every expression of life is the same, then you become
aware of the unity of life; you become aware of the
foundation of non-duality on which the game of duality is

I hope you have been sometime sitting on the banks
of some river or sitting on the beach of some ocean and
you see the movement in water, of water on the breast of
water; you see drops – you call it a drop because of its
sh.ape – a bubble but what will happen if you touch it? If
you touch the bubble, you don’t get the bubble, you touch
the water because it is made of water. You see ripples,
you may see big waves and if you try to take into your
hands a handful of waves or ripples, what will happen? –
you will have only water in your hands. Water is the
foundation, the ocean-the river is the foundation on which
the bubbles, the drops, the ripples, the waves carry on
their dance. That is why our friend Fritzof Capra calls it
the. dance of the Siva. The dance of innumerable energies
on the breast of unity of life. On the breast of that nonduality,
the dance of manyness – the dance of many
innumerable energies playing with one another, acting upon
one another generating still different energies, it goes on.

Let Mind Be In A Meditative State

So the teacher now is helping the students and
persuading them to be in a meditative state having the
proximity to the essence of life, not proximity to the memory,
that it had happened in your body, it had happened in your
consciousness. This yourness of the body, yourness of
the conditioned consciousness is a relative truth, the
absolute truth is different. You and I, I and thou are that,
you might have read in the book by the Jewish philosopher
thinker. ‘Aham Brahmasmi’, ‘Tatvam asi’, ‘Sarvam khalvidam
Brahma’, That is the way of Upanishads, of saying the same

“Taddha tadvanam, nama tadvanam iti
upasitavyam” (4.6)
Please be in the state of meditation focussing all
the five layers and their energies on the indwelling Reality.
A person who does this, a person who lives in the state of
meditation, all the five layers feeling the proximity of the
indwelling reality or essence, if a person lives that way,
please do see this, if intellectually you are convinced that
there is reality and your mind is running away with the .
sense organs for the transitory pleasures that the external
sense organs can bring to you, then there will be a division
between the intellectual conviction, verbal knowledge and
the emotional layer of your being. All the layers do not get
focussed their energies and you remember with me when
we say they are energies, we are referring to Prithvi, Apa,
Agni, Va.yu, Akasha etc. We are referring to the five
principles which are the source of energy.

So unless all the layers of the being harmoniously
focus their energies and here, focussing the energies for
relaxing the movement, not focussing the energies to get
an experience but they concentrate and make the last
effort, the consummation of knowing, experiencing, going
into a state of non- doing, non- knowing, non- experiencing,
unconditional total relaxation not inhibited by any
expectation, requires tremendous energy- vitality. If only
the brain wants it and the mind doesn’t want it, if the mind
wishes for it but the body is not prepared for it then the
occurrence of revelation is made impossible by us. We
put obstructions in the path of that happening. If a person
lives in that state of meditation in proximity to the
Brahman or Divinity by all the layers of being – ‘panch
koshas’, then ‘sarvani bhutani’, all the existing beings,
“enam” referring to the person who lives thus in meditation,
“Sarvani bhutani abhi samvancchante”, as all people love
their own being, the indwelling Divinity or reality, all
beings, all creatures, all expressions of life fall in love with
such a being.As they love Divinity, they love such a
person; they adore such a person, they respect such a
person whose life is a demonstration of ‘the finite living in
the proximity of the infinite’; the conditioned living in the ∑
proximity of the unconditioned.

A Reference to Yajnyavalkya’s Dialogue
With Maitreyi

I wonder if some of ybu remember the dialogue
between Yajnyavalkya and his wife when Yajnyavalskya
wanted to renounce and become a sanyasi, he wanted to
leave his wife Maitreyi and go away to live the last phase
of life as a sanyasi and the wife asks, ‘why are you going
away? what are you going to do?’ He talks about selfrealization,
he talks about immortality and then she says,
‘being your wife won’t you share that secret with me?’ and
he utters those extraordinarily majestic teachings.

Nava are jayayah kamaya jaya priya bhawati
Atmanastu kamaya jaya priya bhawati.

Nava are pattyuh kamaya pati priyo bhawati Atmanastu
kamaya pati priyo bhawati.’

I won’t take your time in reciting the whole mantra.
The wife is not loved by the husband for the sake of the ∑
wife. The wife does not love the husband and the husband
does not love the wife because they are mutually objects
of pleasure but because,
Atmanastu kamaaya sarvam priyam bhawati.

The person sees the reflection of atman, the
indwelling self in the other. The rishi goes on-Yajnyavalkya
goes on describing,

‘Nava are putrasya kamaya’, ‘nava are dhanasya
kamaya’, ‘nava are sarvasya kamaya sarvam priyam bhawati,
atmanstu kamaya sarvam priyam bhawati’.

He says to his wife everything becomes lovable and
we love it not for its sake∑ but because it reflects the reality
of our own being.

“Atmavare drstavyah srotavyah mantavyah

Hence it is the essence of life, the atman – the
Divinity, which should be – about which you should hear,
about which you should read, about which you should
contemplate and which should be realized as a fact by
you. As that passage, some of you have gone through that
with me, let us come back to the Kenopanishad.

The teacher says, if and when a person lives in the
proximity (of Brahman), now how is the proximity sustained?
Because every revelation leaves behind the trace of its
happening and that trace is the energy of Awareness.
Awareness is not a part of consciousness, it is not a part
of your mind- the conditioned consciousness, it is not a
part of your biological psychological inheritance. Self
awareness being the essential characteristic of life, the
revelation – the flash of revelation leaves behind it the
trace of its occurrence -that awareness. Not -that person
is aware of the happening. That will be a mental game –
that will be memory. ‘That’ awareness has no subject. It
hasn’t got the center in the brain or the thought structure.
It vibrates in the whole being as life pulsates through you
and me, in the big toe there is life, in the crown of your
head there is life, everywhere there is life inside you, the
light of life, the heat of life, the sound of life, the movement
– the motion of life encased in your body is the pulsation
of life.

So when a person lives in that dimension of
awareness which is a non personal phenomenon – it is a
Cosmic energy – it is a supramental energy – it is the
Supreme Intelligence, then all creatures, the moment they
lay their eyes upon the person, they seek the proximity,
they love, they adore, they respect; not because the
person has achieved something but the person has been
an opportunity for the revelation of the Cosmic truth. If you
are not too tired, let us proceed to the next mantra. We
are now coming to the end of the Upanishad –
Kenopanishad and hopefully we might complete it tomorrow.

But let us proceed to the next mantra. We have seen
this mantra, “Tadvanam nama tadvanam iti upasitavyam”.
But before we proceed let me point out one thing, in the
English translations they have rendered this mantra by
saying that please meditate upon Reality by the name,
“Tadvanam”, as if you can recite or chant the name
‘tadvanam’ instead of Rama, Krishna or some god. That
really is not doing justice to the mantra. ‘Tadvanam nama’
-it is an idiom as you have idioms in English language,
this Arsha Sanskrit language of the Rishi and sages have
their idioms. ‘Tadvanam nama’- the nama word here does
not mean the noun. Generally it does mean noun,common
noun but here it does not mean that, verily it is,
‘tadvanman nama’, verily it is the essence of all life.
Sometimes ‘Ha’, sometime ‘nama’ sometimes ‘vava’-these
are the code words of the Upanishads because they are
dialogues. The teacher is talking; it is the spoken word put
into print. It is not literature; it is not philosophy. It is a
dialogue that is being presented to us. ‘Tadvanam nama’,
the Divinity is the indwelling essence verily and so, be in a
state of meditation being aware of that – the indwelling

Human Mind Can’t Accept Effortlessness
As A Dimension

Now, let us proceed to the next. Human mind is the
same whether it was five thousand years ago or it is at the
end of the twentieth century. So, the student simply cannot
accept that without your effort, without your doing anything,
. the revelation can take place. In the limited world we have
to do, we have to speak, we have to experience, we have
to know. So, we fall a prey to the feeling that nothing can
happen without our efforts; everything must happen as the
result of our action, as the result of our thinking, as the
result of our knowing. So, the student says to the poor
teacher, – “Bho bruhi upanisadam”, “Sir, but
you have not told us the secret, “How the revelation takes
place, please tell us the secret”. ‘Bho bruhi upanisadam ‘ – .
It can’t accept – the human mind can’t accept, that
effortlessness is a dimension of life with its own potential.
Efforts have their dimension – their energies and
effortlessness also has its own potential. If motion – the
movement has some potential energy and dynamism, nonmotion
also has dynamism of its own. So he says, “Bho
bruhi upanisadam” . “Sir, please tell us the secret how that
happens’. The teacher says, – Uapnisadam
ukta te”, I have already told you the secret”.

“Vava brahmim upanisadam abruma” — (4. 7)

I have already shared with you the secret that you
are asking for. So this mantra, after having gone through
all the three parts, now at the end of the fourth part, the
pupil – he must have been very much influenced by what
he had heard but yet, inwardly, the craving and the ye
arning for doing something, acquiring something,- it must
be the result of what I do, not the reward but at least the
result. This pathetic condition of the human mind is also
presented to us in the Upanishad. They were human
beings as you and I are and when the teacher says, “te
ukta upanisadam brahmim”- “I have told you the secret
about the Divine – about the Brahman – I have already
told you the secret.” What does the teacher imply by that?
He implies thereby that do not look for some technique,
some formula; do not look for some avenue of exercising
your mind or your thought. The irrelevance of thought
movement, irrelevance of mental movement is emphasized
negatively by the teacher. “Ukta te upanisadam brahmim”
– I have already told you the secret about the Divinity.
‘Vava ukta te upanisadam abruma”. -second time- ‘I have
really, verily, factually – I have shared with you the secret’

On The Biological Front

Look, my friends, we are multi – dimensional
creatures. We, the human beings are not one dimensional
creatures and we had seen in the third part- second, third
part of the Upanishad how there are autonomous systems
at each layer of our being. Each is a dimension. Biological
aspect of our life is a dimension,- it has its autonomous
system. It has its energies of instincts and impulses. We
have a psychological dimension and it has its own energy
of thought, memory, emotions etc. So, we are multi
dimensional creatures. We are a complexity- beautiful
magnificent complexity and when Socrates says, “Self
knowing is virtue”, he wants to understand, he wants us to
understand the complexity of our life.

On the biological level, there are non- voluntary
energies functioning. There you are not doihg anythingappetite,
thirst, sex, sleep etc. urge for security, urge for
procreation- all these have nothing to do with your volition.
They are biological energies incorporated in your body.
Well, when the energy of hunger permeates the body, then
you get up and you cook a meal or you pluck a fruit or
whatever and then you satisfy it. But it is not the doing,
you do not digest the food, you do not cause the sleep,
you do not cause the thirst. They are happenings, but we
forget that. In the multi-dimensional life of ours there is a
big part of happening where we are not the doer. We may
be experiencing it but we are not the creators of that.

On Psychological Front

On the psychological level, it is the past
conditionings fed into you – the ‘samskaras’, they move,
the inheritance moves on the subconscious level. Your
acquired knowledge and cultivated talents and assimilated
excellences – they operate on the conscious level and the
conditionings of the whole human race they are lying
dormant at the unconscious level. There too it is a multidimensional
thing. So when you say, ‘I think’; when we say
‘I think’, we don’t realize that thought is a reaction of the
memory and thinking is a movement that goes on in the
known, with the help of the known and the circumference
of knowledge is there, however wide may be the horizons
of your thinking.

So, there is also happening, your thinking, your
feeling, your reactions – they are the movement of the
past operating through you. One doesn’t like to see that,
one feels I have my mind and I know and I feel and these
are my likes and dislikes. It is my anger, my lust, my fear,
my pettiness etc. they are only cerebral, neuro-chemical
ways of behaviour fed into the human organism – it is a
product of collective movement. So, it is also happening.
We do not realize it unless we observe. We learn to
observe and we observe how for most of the day in our
daily living, the ‘happenings’ are taking place much more
than ‘our’ doings. But we can acquire wealth, do a job,
acquire a degree, become a lawyer, become a teacher,
become a businessman, become an industrialist or

So that minor section of our life of ‘doing’ and ‘
becoming’ is inflated by our imagination and we feel that
as I can acquire thought, I can acquire experiences, I can
acquire wealth, science technology, I can acquire the
ultimate truth as an experience or as an idea, as a thought
and the Rishi says that can’t be. It is the source of your
life, it is the substance of your life. The most that can
happen is the awareness, awakened by the relaxation of
silence. So he says, “my dear son, you ask me to tell you
about the Upanishad, the secret? I have really already told
you about the secret truth of life”. Really speaking, when
the teacher says that being in a state of meditation results
in the proximity to the Divine, no question should arise,
but the obsession with movement, with action, with effort
forces the student to ask quesion. This emphasises the
point how we the humans are addicted to the movement
and addicted to the idea of we ‘doing’ and ‘something’

Do you remember that we said yesterday- it is very
rare that we allow the interaction between the individual
and the cosmic to happen. It is only when the conditioned
movements subside and there is openness and a relaxed
receptivity, not a receptivity carrying the tension of
expectation, carrying the tension of blueprints, that must
happen this way, it has happened in the life of someone,
else XYZ, so it must happen in my life this way. So we
have blue prints of ttie realization, of the revelation, of the
transformation. Life doesn’t move that way. It does not
function that way. It defies our calculations. So, when there
is a relaxation not inhibited by the tension of expectation
whatsoever, then there is the interaction.

So, it is so rare, that was indicated yesterday and
today we see how it is rare. The student of the teacher is
somehow feeling help.less unless there is some method,
some technique, some formula, something to do. We feel
helpless. What does that mean? Our helplessness is the
reaction of the ego. I have done so much on the material
level, on the psychological, on the intellectual level. Why
not on this level? This insistence for effort, in this country
they call it “Sadhana” and they feel that it will be there at
the end of the Sadhana. So, this mantra with which we are
going to conclude the morning session, brings to our
notice the pathos of human life.

Mind Must Realise: Life Is A Double Movement

The unconditional total relaxation or the non-movement
of mind, – non-movement of thought, somehow
does not appeal to us. So we conclude the morning
session with the penetrating sharp pathos of the human
mind, ancient or modern, which forgets that life has a
double movement, that of knowing and being in the state
of non- knowing, that of doing and being in the state of
non-doing, that of relationship and of solitude, that of
speech and of silence. These two dimensions are woven
into each other as the darkness of the night and the light
of the day are woven together. They are not contradictory
to each other. They nourish each other.

Yes, the darkness of the night nourishes the light
of the day. So, with this ingrained inhibition, let us be
aware of that inhibition and see what the teacher has got
to say tomorrow – what more he has to share with his
pupil. A couple of minutes-two more minutes please. Here
in this country, I do not, I cannot speak about other
countries, born, brought up and living in this country, I can
talk about what happens here. People even take pride in
saying, “I have surrendered” -you can visit ashrams – “I
have surrendered”. Can surrender or dedication be the
act of will? Can it be the result of some determination, ∑
decision? Or will it be the logical, natural consequence
when one understands the limitations.

Awareness of the limitations may result in an
attitude of surrender. Surrender can be an attitude like
prayer- an attitude towards whole life. But this, “I have
surrendered -I have renounced”, can renunciation be the
movement of the ego? Can it be the act of a thought – a
calculated, planned, organized act? Or when you see the
futility of being attached to the pain or pleasure – the
sensation of pain or pleasure – the sensation of being
hurt or being honoured, when you see the futility – the
shallowness, then you are no more interested in it, you
don’t pay any importance to it, you let them happen. You
walk through the corridor of pain and pleasure with the
majesty of a person who is not concerned of this but lives
through them. Pain may cause tears and pleasure may
cause smiles; without inhibiting either, the person lives.
Renunciation is the maturity of an approach to life.

Surrender is an attitude of humility due to the
realization of our limitations which are our glory and also
our limitation: which are our asset, excellence and also
our limitation. So in this country people are inclined to
believe that samadhi is a personal acquisition; figuratively
you may say he attained or she attained Samadhi but
literally, spiritually it is a wrong statement. The person lives
in meditation, the person lives in samadhi. He cannot
attain it. It is not an artificially manipulated state of your
consciousness. It is a state of living, it is a way of living.
My friends, spirituality, Yoga, “Tasmat yogi bhava Arjuna”it
is an alternative culture, it is an alternative way of living,
not alternative field of acquisition, possession, ownership,

So in this mantra, we are brought down to the earth
again from the peak of revelation yesterday; we are brought
down to the earth again as all of us have feet of clay, the
teacher has pointed out and let us see what happens,
tomorrow morning.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi
santu te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.

Chapter- XI


The Upanishads: A Global Human Heritage

With your co-operation, we-have arrived at the end
of the Kenopanishad. Those who have studied with me
lshavasya and Chandogya Upanishad might be aware that
we have been studying the Upanishads for the sake of
penetrating into the secrets of Yoga – Shastra. “Brahma
Vidyayam Yoga sastre”- Yogashastra, the science of yoga,
all its branches and affiliated sciences are rooted in
Brahma – Vidya. The knowledge and understanding of
the Brahman – the code word for Divinity and the
Upanishads communicate the knowledge about the
Brahman in a scientific way. Therefore we started studying
the Upanishads. You might have noticed that I have not .
interpreted the Upanishads as a Hindu. There are Hindu
monks and sanyasins, Hindu philosophers who have carved
out of the Upanishads, Hindu interpretations. To me, the
Vedas, the Upanishads and the six systems of Indian
philosophy came into existence much before Hinduism was
developed as an organized or institutionalized religion. The
Rishis were not Hindus and this proclamation of mine
disturbs many a Hindu in India.

Stabilization of Revelation in Daily Life

So, I have looked upon the Vedic texts, the
Upanishads as well as the six systems of Indian philosophy,
Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimansa, Vedanta
as the cultural heritage of the whole humanity. Of course,
they are written in Sanskrit language, they have an Indian
atmosphere about them because the language is born of
a culture, but the content of the Upanishads is universal.
We have been studying it to explore the universal content
of the Upanishads which would become a global human
heritage. You are aware of the inventions in the field of
science and technology; the inventions may take place in
some country, in some language but they become the
heritage of the global human family. You may say H20 equal
to water in any of the languages but the truth in that
equation has universal verification and I dare say that the
universal contents of the Upanishads can be verified by
anyone in any part of the world provided the meaning is
not interpreted with the entanglement of mythology or
Hinduism -the Hindu religion.

You and I meet here as members of global human
family with a planetary consciousness and a cosmic
awareness. Those of you who are neither acquainted with
the science of yoga nor acquainted with the Upanishadic
terminology must have found the classes, the dialogues
extremely difficult. I appreciate the difficulty and yet we
have been studying together to explore the universal
contents of Upanishads written in ancient India or Norway
in Sanskrit language. There is a big controversy whether
the Vedas were written in India or in Norway and the great
Indian leader Lokmanya Tilak – B. G. Tilak from
Maharashtra was the first one to mention the controversy.
‘The Arctic Home in the Vedas’, ‘Orion’- these two volumes
written by Mr. Tilak indicate that according to him Vedas
were written in the region near the North Cape. Well, with
this clarification on the last day let us proceed to the
mantras that we are going to study and probe this morning.

Revelation Stabilizes Through Tapas

Tasyai tapo damah karmeti pratistha vedah
sarvangani satyamayatanam II 4.8 II

“Tasya”-of the Brahman-of the Divinity, Pratistha stabilization,
‘tasya pratistha’. The revelation of the

Brahman, the revelation of the secret truth of life gets
stabilized in the person where it has occurred provided
the person lives ‘tapa, dama, karma’. You might have
noticed that the word ‘Pratistha’ has been translated and
interpreted by most of the commentators as the legs of the
Brahman and Vedas are the limbs of the Brahman etc.
Thqwqqat seems to me rather immature interpretation of the
mantra. ‘Pratistha’ is stabilization, ’tistha’- literally does
mean ‘to stand’, ‘Pratistha’ – in a special way; but that is a
figurative way.

All the Upanishads are poetic dialogues, they have
the format of a poetic dialogue between the teacher and
the student. So, because there is the root ’tistha’, the
word ‘Pratistha’ need not be interpreted as the legs of the
Brahman, or the Vedas are the limbs of the Brahman. That
would be stretching the root meaning too far. It is a poetic
diction requiring decoding of the words containing the
figurative description. So, the stabilization of the revelation
takes place in the life of the person when there is ‘Tapa”.
The word “tapa” is generally interpreted as austerity. It
seems to me that the word ‘tapa’ is a phenomenon, it
indicates a phenomenon which takes place
simultaneously on the level of brain, mind and senses,
sense organs. ‘Tapa’ indicates the unity of the movement
of the brain, the mind and the senses.

If we watch our daily living, we might notice that we
never live as united whole beings. We are fragmented, we
are divided. The sense- the internal sense and the external
sense organs have their biological needs, they have their
biological energies and the needs are to be satisfied by
feeding the sense organs or by feeding the internal senses
with their respective objects. But the physical, the
biological needs are limited, whereas out of the process
of satisfying the needs of the physical structure, the mind
creates greed, lust, envy, jealousy, comparison etc. etc.
The greed and the lust of mind can never be satisfied, it is
insatiable. The needs can be satisfied because they are
based in the biological structure, they are limited but the
mind creates unlimited wants. The body has the needs
and the mind creates wants. You may feel the appetite,
you may feel hungry and you feed the body. How you feed
it, with what you feed it, how much quantity, what quality,
how many intakes throughout the twenty four hours,
depends upon either a scientific approach to the
phenomenon of appetite which is something very sacred;
either one can have a scientific approach that is to say,
with the help of brain you acquire knowledge about your
physiology, hygiene, anatomy; the requirements of the body
– you watch them and you find out the way, a scientific
way of satisfying them. How much sleep is necessary for
the body, at what age how many hours sleep is necessary.

A person who does tremendous physical hard work, and a
person who does not do any manual work; what is the
difference between their requirements, you know this is a
scientific approach. So the needs are related to the
understanding acquired through the brain.

But in between stands the mind and when a need is
satisfied whether having a diet or having sleep or listening
to music or perceiving beautiful objects or human beings,
the act of perception, that act of nutrition – intake of
nutrition creates its own sensation. When you take good
food, obviously there is going to be a sensation of
pleasure and that is the privilege of the human being to
live those sensations. But the mind says, ‘No, I want to
have it more, I want to have it again and again’. Pleasure
and pain are inevitable in life. The agreeable sensation is
called pleasure, disagreeable sensation is called pain.

“Anukula samvedanam sukham, pratikula
samvedanam dukham”.

So it is a physical beauty – the interaction between
your organism and the objects, the relationship, it generates
sensation. It gives you pleasure or pain and the mind now
creates exclusive directions. It wants repeated pleasure,
it wants more pleasure.

So, a quantitative greed and the greed, lust for
quality all that is the creation of the mind. And therefore,
our provision of the needs at the physical level does not
remain scientific. According to the whim of the mind,
according to the demand of the mind, according to the
inner compulsion of greed or lust, we do injustice to the
body. We can overfeed the body, we can oversleep the
body or we can deny, sleep or food to the body.

‘Tapa’ Means Unity, Harmony

Tapa means the unity. The needs understood by the
brain, the understanding accepted by the mind and therefore
the movement of the physical needs, understanding of the
brain and the reconciliation or acceptance by the mind go
hand in .hand; there is a consistency, there is a harmony.
When a person lives in this basic unity at the three layers,
then it is called “Tapa”. We understand cerebrally, there is
no difficulty in understanding and our brains are sharpened
in this era of science and technology. So it is not at all
difficult. The verbal knowledge of Brahman, the verbal
knowledge of your physiology, psychology, all that is
available to us. But the truth conveyed by that knowledge
is not relished by the mind. The mind creates its own
desires, entanglements, tensions, conflicts. So we remain
divided within us. There is no “Tapa” in our life because of
the division which can generate fragmentation. We, nearly
all of us, for moments we become schizophrenics- divided
personalities. The brain points out how the imbalance
caused by anger, by jealousy, by destructive impulse is
harmful or greed is harmful, addiction is harmful-the brain
points it out, the mind refuses to accept it. So the cerebral,
verbal knowledge becomes not only stale but it loses its
dynamism because of the fragmentation, because of the
inner contradiction, because of the inner inconsistency.
We may be hypocrites, we may project an image of a self
controlled person.

So, it is perhaps the experience of most of us that
inspite of knowledge there is no ‘tapah’-‘tapas’,’unity’,
in our being. You know psychological misery or suffering
is the result of this inner fragmentation, this inner
contradiction, this inner division. To remain undivided, i.e.
mind, the emotional, the chemical system, subservient to
the cerebral understanding and the sensory system
equipped to implement the understanding, then there is
a beauty. So, please let us not interpret the word ‘tapa’ as
austerity according to some Hindu code of conduct or the
Hindu ethics, their norms and criteria.

My dear friends, in the era of science, we the
human species are going to evolve a new ethos. The Hindu
ethos, the Muslim ethos, the Catholic ethos, they are
not going to stand the challenges of science and
technology. So we have to explore and we have to be
the pioneer in our own life of a new ethos which will be
common to the whole global human family. We cannot
remain psychologically divided, separated, isolated into
the enclosures of organized religions and benefit from
science which does not know any enclosures. Whether it
is science, your physics or whether it is science – the
physics of consciousness as I call it, I call spirituality
physics of consciousness- physics of matter and physics
of consciousness – physics of energy, they are going to
give us a new synthetic perspective of life and a new ethos.

True Purport of ‘Dama’
Let us turn to the second word “Dama”. It is a
beautiful word. According to the Hindu interpretation, ‘dama’
leading to the word ‘damanam’, is interpreted as
suppression or repression and it seems to me absolutely
irrelevant in the context of the revelation of the Brahman
or Divinity. It seems irrelevant to have any need for
suppression or repression as there is no need and scope
for indulgence indicated by the word ‘tapa’, there is no
need for denial, rejection, suppression or repression in
the context of the occurrence of the revelation. For the
stabilization of the revelation why should anyone require
repression, suppression, denial? It is a contradiction in
terms; then the word revelation becomes meaningless –
empty and surely the sages of the ancient times would not
use a word that has no relevance to the occurrence of
revelation of the secret or truth of life. So, it seems to me
that the universal content of the word ‘dama’ in the context
of the Upanishad is a voluntary withdrawal by the mind
from the sense objects. When the needs of the senses are
satisfied, the mind without suppression, repression,
rejection or denial voluntarily withdraws from the contact
of the sense object, from the sensation of pleasure due to
the interaction with the sense object, it withdraws because
the ‘tapa’ and ‘dama’ together result in ‘sanyama’, which is
self restraint.

Those of you who have studied the first twelve
chapters of Geeta with me will remember
– “Sanyamagnisu juvhati”, a sacrifice that all the imbalance
and impurities are sacrificed in the fire of ‘sanyama’ – in
the fire of self restraint. It is different from controlling. In
control, you impose something, referring to some criteria
or norm and here it is an inneraction, not impelled or not
compelled from outside, in the name of heaven or hell, but
it is an inner emergence of a sense of responsibility
towards the senses, towards the understanding, that there
is a restraint. It is a beautiful word and all the Upanishads
and Vedas sing hymns to ‘sanyama’, the beauty – the
elegance of self-restraint. So, first there is a voluntary
withdrawal of the mind from the sense objects. When the
mind voluntarily withdraws from the contact, the sensation
of pleasure, interaction with the sense objects, then the
energy of restraint emerges. Please do see, life∑ is all
energy, innumerable energies – some are known to us,
some are not known to us, some have been conditioned
and many others are yet to be refined, channelised. So,
‘dama’ is voluntary withdrawal of the mind after satisfying
the needs of the senses.

For example, you have communicated through
words whatever you had to communicate; does the process
of verbalization discontinue there? Or does it continue to
find out the reaction of the other person? To manipulate a
particular reaction from ∑ the person? The simple
communication for sharing, for exploration, for clarification
is one act and when you go on chattering, blah blah blah
blah … because you want to manipulate either your
behaviour or the behaviour of the other person out of fear,
out of the desire to dominate etc. etc. So a simple act of
verbalization – ‘speech’, loses its dignitY and decency. Do
we withdraw from the movement of verbalization or go on
talking the whole day, whether it is necessary, warranted
or not. If there is no one else we talk to ourselves, the
chattering goes on, you see, there is no ‘dama’ -there is
no withdrawal.

You take a good meal and then you sit down and
think of the food, go on thinking of the food, so the mind
has not withdrawn. You have gone through a sexual act,
sexual relationship and you have had an ecstacy out of it,
because sex is divine, it is a divine energy that human
beings share with the cosmos and you have gone through
it, but then because it had given you some sensation of
pleasure, some intoxication; every pleasure intoxicates,
some may intoxicate for a moment, other pleasures might
intoxicate for hours and others may be even longer – you
continue the memory of that pleasure. You picture before
your eyes, imaginary situations.

Maintaining A Rhythm By Withdrawal

So, does the mind withdraw after having lived
through that relationship or does the mind go on thinking
about it, ruminating about it, memorising it? You see, our
lives haven’t got the dignity of ‘dama’. This withdrawal
doesn’t happen. Then you impose upon yourself rejections,
denials, suppression, repression. Why should the pledge
or the vow of celibacy be necessary in life? Why should
fasting except for health be necessary? Why should that
be called holy? And why should the sex be allowed to
degenerate into a cult of pleasure? Please do see with
me. So, as the word ‘tapa’ implies unity of the cerebral, the
emotional and the sensual; ‘dama’ implies the sanctity of
a voluntary withdrawal after satisfying the needs.

You are not denying the senses their needs but the
needs are limited by the rhythm of life. Life is a fantastic
phenomenon. A tree requires water but if you go on
watering all the time, the roots will get rotten – they rot.
If you starve the roots, also they will get dried up. So there
is propriety in discovering the proportion in which the
senses require their provisions. There is a beauty, there
is an elegance. So, proportionateness, propriety, timing
and the right way- the correct way of doing things, all that
is included in ‘tapa’ and ‘dama’.

Karma As Different From Kriya

Restraining myself from the temptation of diving
deeper into this, let us proceed to the third word ‘karma’.
Specially for the students and teachers of yoga, let me
clarify the word, ‘karma’- distinguish it from the word, ‘kriya’.
You have very significant two words, ‘kriya’ and ‘karma’.
‘Kriya’ is an activity which is not born of your volition, your
decision. It goes on in you as a biological phenomenon
primarily. So, the biological impulses create their
momentum. They have their momentum and you follow
the compulsion of those impulses. Then it is ‘kriya’. It is an
activity not action.

“Kurvan eva iha karmani jijiviset shatam samah”.
remember lshavasya? The privilege of human being is to
live the life of action for at least a hundred years -the
span of human life.

“Kurvan eva iha karmaryi jijiviset shatam samah Evam
tvayi na anyathe tosti na karma lipyate nare.” It is your
responsibility, it is your privilege to act and action does not
create any bondage, “na Karma lipyate nare”. It is a great
assurance, that we have already seen, given to us in the
lshavasya Upanishad. So on the biological level when you
yield to the compulsion of the instincts and impulses,
defying the limitation pointed out by brain or knowledge,
then you are going through the kriya, you are a victim. The
second layer of our being-the psychological structure and
its stuff of past knowledge, experience, conditionings etc.
the thought, the memory has its own momentum. Like the
biological impulses there are psychological impulses.

The inheritance and also the temperamental
idiosyncrasies in individuals create a variety of inner
com.pulsions. If there is fear, the fear dictates your
behaviour. It strangles, it cari suffocate, it can make you
aggressive. So, what is done out of fear∑ is not a karma, it
is not action. It is an activity. You are victimized, you are
pushed in that direction, pulled, whether you want to do it
or not. Jealousy – it makes you behave in certain ways;
anger-you behave in certain ways. You are not even aware
of what you are doing or saying when the fit of anger hits.
Please do see. So, that which pulls you, pushes you,
compels you and gets some movement extracted out of
you, that is ‘Kriya’ – ‘Kriya, Pratikriya’.So, activity is not
action and the Vedic texts, the whole of the Vedas, the
Upanishads, the metaphysics, the philosophy, they say that
the human life is meant to do ‘Karma’. It is a life of action
and not activity or inactivity.

Four Phases of Human Life

Therefore the ancient wise people explored and
verbalized ‘shastras’ – sciences. This is for the reference
of the Upanishads specially, according to those shastras
or sciences, human life is divided into four periods and
one who lives through each period or phase of life has
certain actions to be gone through – the responsibilities.
Karma is responsibility, it is your privilege and also your

The first twenty five years of life accoding to the
shastras -Vedic shastras, are meant for cultivation of the
powers of body and brain, developing the talents contained
in the mind. They call it the period of Brahmacharya. It is
an educational period. It is a period for cultivating the
talents and the powers contained in panchakoshas, all the
layers of your being. So there is a certain way of action
expected of a student from the age of seven to twenty five,
they expect a certain behaviour, a certain “anushasanam”
– orderliness, “atha atmanusasanam” – there is a kind of
order, voluntarily accepted by, explained to the child
by the parents, by the teacher- a kind of rhythmic life,
otherwise the exploration and the cultivation of inner
powers and the acquisition of verbal knowledge would
become impossible in the life, if the first twenty five years
are chaotic, anarchical, following the whims, the craze etc.
etc. So they talk of discipline or orderliness in the life of a
Brahmachari. It is riot a rigid pattern of life. I know that
religious people in the name of religion whether it is
Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism – they
have created very rigid and strict patterns, codes of
conduct. We are not referring to them. The shastras refer
only to four periods.

Then comes the ‘Garhasthya’ – the married life or
the joint life of the male and female human beings. The
whole biological dimension is a field of the attraction, the
infatuation and the interaction between the male and the
female energies. It is the privilege of the human being to
understand the nature of attraction, to understand the male
and female energy even in one’s own body and then the
man and the woman, living together a joint life, where they
acquire wealth, they have their households, they raise
families. They enjoy the enclosures. ‘Brahmacharya’, the
first phase – educational had no enclosures. There was an
orderliness but there was an openness.

Now from the age of twenty five to fifty, according to
the ancient division, today it may be increased fifty to sixty,
I don’t know but they are guidelines – guiding principles
and one has to find out adjust and adapt according to the
context of one’s life. Surely, the diet necessary in Alaska
or at North Cape will not be necessary in a tropical country
near the equator. So adaptation, adjustment through a
scientific approach will be necessary even after the
_guidelines are provided. The guidelines should never be
converted into rigid patterns otherwise the freedom of the
human being will be lost. So, there is a period of twenty
five years to build up enclosures, to decorate them, to enjoy
the sensation of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ without harming others,
without exploiting others.

So the karma of a householder would be different,
the responsibilities of a householder, the commitments of a
householder would be different from those of an unmarried
student who had not entered into the adventure of joint –
living. Then comes the third which they call, ‘Vaanaprastha’
from the age of fifty to seventy five where you relinquish the
hold on me and mine. You renegade the responsibilities
to your progeny and devote your time and energy in the
service of fellow human beings or fellow non human
beings. In the ancient India they were recommended to go
to the forests and live there. One wouldn’t say that today,
but the life, the energy could be dedicated, devoted to the
service of the fellow beings and we have seen how the
mountains and oceans and trees are fellow beings. They
are not things, they are beings. The earth is a being. So
that is the period when one withdraws from the sensation
of Tness and ‘mineness’ and the attraction for enclosures.
You open up again and prepare yourselffor.the last period
which is called the period of “Sanyaasa” or renunciation,
which is relinquishing the hold even on the thoughts,
feelings, the attachment to the body, identification with the
body, identification with the mind. Renunciation or
‘sanyaasa’ is a naked state of non-identification. It is a
beautiful nudity of consciousness. There, there is the glow
of your pristine being ness denuded bf all the processes of

Flash Of Revelation Must Stabilize
Through Karma

The action of the. “Vaanaprastha”, the retiring
person, that would be different from the householder and
so on. I have given you very briefly the definition of the karma
according to the shastras. We are not going to deal with
the elaboration of these four phases and what the shastras
have enjoined upon us through them. The guidelines are
really beautiful. One marvels at the penetrating, gaze of
those ancient sages. So, ‘tapa’ , ‘dama’, ‘karmeti’ -the
revelation stabilizes when your actions are in harmony with
the phase of your life. Actions are in harmony vyith the
responsibilities by the phase of your life. Every phase of
life brings its own commitments and own responsibilities
amd when you discharge them with the help of tapa and
dama, with the help of unity of your being and the dignity
of withdrawal from the senses and sense objects after
satisfying the needs, when the actions are in harmony,
then the revelation stabilizes in your body.

Please do see, self-realization is not difficult to
come by and may be, revelation does occur in moment of
tremendous depths and intensity, but unless it stabilizes,
it is assimilated by your whole being and it does not
remain the prisoner of your brain as an ideation; it does
not remain enclosed in the prison house of your emotions
and experiences, but where it sinks deeper and deeper, ∑
percolates and comes down to the sensual level, then it is

Supposing you say, ‘I am at peace with myself and
you get disturbed every second moment, you say there is
harmony and there is love and you explode every second
day then the stabilization of the understanding in the
body doesn’t take place. Dimensional transformation is
the stabilization of that flash of revelation through Tapa,
Dama, Karma.

Tasyai tapo
damah karmeti pratistha vedah sarvangani.

Now, the word ‘anga’, ‘Sarva’ is all and the word
‘anga’ has been interpreted and translated as limbs. Yes,
the word ‘angam’ does mean a limb but the word angam
also means an aspect. So all the Vedas give you all the
aspects of this – how this stabilization of the revelation
can take place. So Vedas are called a comprehensive
communication, comprehensive expression of the
revelation as well as the ways it can stabilize.

Our Real Abode Is ‘Satyam’

vedah sarvangani satyamayatanam.—(4.8)

Now we come to the most beautiful word, “ayatanam”
-abode. If any of you are acquainted with Samaveda:-

Satyam ayatanam veda ayatanavan bhavati∑
Suryam va ayatanam veda ayatanavan bhavati
Chandram va ayatanam veda ayatanavan bhavati

The Samaveda goes on singing: one gets rooted grounded
in one’s real abode. So the teacher now says to
the student, “my son, our real abode is Satyam”, where
the radiation of that revelation will take place through you,
if you are grounded in your own abode – Satyam. It is
translated as Truth and what is Truth? -not an abstract
principle of duality, non- duality, personal god, impersonal
god. Rishi is not referring to that. Look at the context. The
context is stabilization of the occurrence in the complex
being. Here the word ‘Satyam’ seems to refer to the most
difficult faculty in human life of non-deception. We are very
deceitful creatures and we deceive ourselves through
wishful thinking, through imagining, through doubting,
through suspecting. So there is deception.

Something gets uttered through you or done
through you and you try to find out a defence for it for
justifying what you have done, you try to find out the
acceptance of what has happened. Without any self
defence, rarely, you can come across. All the time we
want to justify. In self-justification, we feel the sense of
security. We feel that we have not only to live but we have to
defend the ways of our talking, doing, reacting, responding.
So there comes the deception. I tell a lie and then I justify
by telling a lie, saying ‘Oh!’ I am afraid of that person.’ If I
had not told the lie or the falsehood then the person would
have done this, that, the other.

To remain steadfast in the truth you have
understood is the most difficult thing. We cling to the
untruth, we cling to the deceits, the cheatings, the game
that we play with ourselves. You know what innocency is?
When you never defend and never justify yourself. Then
there is the elegance of innocency in our life. So the rishi
says, “Satyam ayatanam” – a non-deceitful way of living.
That is, “Satyam asatyam”, not the dichotomy between truth
and falsehood. When you betray the truth that is falsehood,
that is all. Falsehood does not exist by itself; it has no
independent existence. Betrayal of truth is falsehood,
betrayal of a fact is telling a lie.

Do you see how we deceive ourselves, even if we
have seen the game of betraying going on in ourselves we
don’t accept it. We try to conceal it from our own intelligence
lest the intelligence condemns us, criticizes us.

“Tasya tapo damah karmeti pratistha vedah sarvangani
satyam ayatanam”. (4.8)

So today, this morning we could deal only with one
mantra -and in the afternoon when we meet we will study
the last mantra together. I had no idea how much time our
study and exploration is going to take – we cannot
calculate. The last mantra is,

Yo va etamevam vedapahatya papmanamanante
svarge loke jyeye pratitisthati pratitisthati II 4.9 II

It is quite a mantra to deal with. But I do hope that
with your co-operation we wm study it this evening.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.

Chapter- XII


Yah etanam evam veda papmanam anante svarge
loke jyeye pratitisthati pratitisthati (4.9)

Revelation Stabilizes Through Non Deceitful
Living On All Levels

‘Yah etanam evam veda’ – one who understands
‘etanam’- the word ‘etanam’ refers to Tapa, Dama, Karma;
Vedah and Satyam as ‘ ayatanam’. It is a reference to the
previous mantra and to the person who understands the
stabilizing effect of tapa, dama and karma, a person who
understands that the comprehensive perspective of the
wholeness of life communicated by the Vedas and the non
-deceitful way of living are necessary for the establishment,
crystallization, or stabilization of the transformation that
takes place with that flash of lightning – with that flash of

The flash of revelation by itself does not cause the
wholistic harmonious transformation of the body, the
senses, the mind etc. Please do see this because there
are schools of spirituality who claim that understanding the
nature of ultimate truth brings about instantaneous
transformation. According to the Upanishads, the revelation
-the understanding takes place- occurs- happens as a
flash but for that flash to be stabilized as an energy of
awareness in the body, the brain and the mind requires
tapa, dama, karma, satyam. So this proclamation of the
Upanishads may be something different from what you
might have heard or read.

Transformation is not only an event. Revelation is an
event, but the transformation requires stabilized energy
of awareness. If the awareness remains fluctuating, if
that energy is not steady, it can get shaken or it can be
weakened or it can be attached then transformation does
not happen. The dimensional transformation is much more
than only that flash of lightning or the flash of revelation.
The flash provides the energy but the whole of the being
has to assimilate that energy and let it stabilize.

You need adapters and you need stabilizers not only
for the energy of electricity, electronics, your organism is
much more sensitive than any electronic org£inism. It has
magnetism, it has electricity, it has all sorts of energies. It
is a dance of energies. Our lives are a field of – field for
the energies – innumerable energies to act and interact
and generate the music of. harmony. So “Ya etanam evam
veda” – one who has understood the importance of non
deceitful way of living: non deceit at physical, verbal,
mental, intellectual- all levels, then the comprehensiveness
of perspective, then the withdrawal of mind from sense
objects after satisfying the needs and the unity of brain,
mind and senses, “Ya etanam evam veda” – one who has
understood the significance, the role of these stabilizers
in the life of such a person -what happens?- “Papmanam
apahatya.” Now two important words – ‘papa’. Papa is
translated as sin – papam, punyam – virtue and vice or
virtue and sin. That is the usual interpretation and
translation of the word and the word sin again is related to
the injunctions of organized religions. – This is sinful – this
is virtuous. The norms, the criteria given by, sanctioned by
organized religions- institutionalized religions. That is how
the Hindu interpreters interpret the word here, ‘papam’.

What Is ‘Sin’ In Spirituality ?

Now it seems to me, in the context of revelation
and the whole teaching of Kena Upanishad, here the word
‘sin’ unfolds a very fundamental factor for our life. ‘Sin’here.
is a crime against laws of life; not rules and regulations,
norms and criteria of traditions, customs, conventions or
religious commands because we are dealing with science.
Spirituality and religion are two different things – their
levels are different- their objectives are different. Both of
them have a role to play but one should not be confused
with the other. So here sin is a crime against life.

Now, what is a crime against life? We are organically
expressions of the biological dimension of life and there
are biological laws. If those are violated then it is a sin.
Then it creates a chaos or anarchy in the biological structure
-the functioning of the biological instincts, impulses gets
impure or imbalanced. If you violate the law in relation to
diet, to sleep, to appetite, to thirst, to exercising the body,
to sex, you know everything, and you violate the laws of
life either due to the cult of indulgence for pleasuremongering
or you violate the laws of life due to your codes
of suppression, repression, denial, rejection- both ways
the laws of life can be violated. Violating the law of life is a
sin. It is a crime against life.

We have to interpret the word in the context of the
whole teaching of the Upanishad. The harmonious
relationship between the principle of earth, fire, water, air
and space, those energies if their harmony is disturbed
and violated by our living then it is a crime against life, it is
a sin against life. If we perceive the present- what you call
the present moment- the now, the here. If the present is
perceived through the glasses of the past, the preferences
and the prejudices, the likes and dislikes of the past or the
dogmas and theories of the ancestors or traditions, then
you cannot meet the present-the challenges of the present.

Every dawn brings to your doorstep new challenges.
That is the beauty. It is not a school time table. Life is not a
school time table. It throws up new challenges and instead
of looking at them, meeting them squarely instead of
understanding them if we get busy measuring them and
whether we are adequate enough to meet them or not meet
them, we measure ourselves, we measure them using the
past as terms of reference for that evaluation, then the
dynamism of life is violated. We are talking about
spirituality, we are now talking about the meditative way
of living after the revelation. What is the culmination now?

The culmination is these crimes against life which
had created impurities in-our being, which had resulted in
various imbalances that we were not aware of, conscious
of. The Rishi – the teacher says, a person who has
understood the previous mantra, the impurities in his
being due to the past crimes get washed away. The
impurities get washed away, all his five koshas- all his
five layers ofbeing are puified.- “Ya etanam evam veda”one
who has understood this and allowed the revelation
to become a stabilized energy of awareness from his
being, the results of previous crimes, ‘papam’, those impurities
get washed out of the system and imbalances get
corrected. ‘Papmanam apahatya’.

For the information of yoga teachers, ‘apahatya’ –
the word, ‘apahatya’ has been interpreted as ‘destroyed’
and it seems to me, we are students of science, this is
phySics of consciousness that we are studying-that things
can get corrected, not destroyed. Impurities can be washed
out as you wash out the toxins of your blood stream. You
do not have to sprinkle purity, you do not have to graft a
pure way of life- that’s not possible. ‘Apahatya papamanam’
implies does it not, that the previous incorrect ways of life
get corrected, imbalances get balanced and impurities get
washed out because the stabilization is taking place;
please do see with me.

Concept Of ‘Swarga’ in Spirituality

The revelation and the energy generated by the
revelation-the energy of awareness has been stabilized
through satyam, through tapa, through dama, through
karma etc. “Apahatya papmanam” – so, as the impurities
are washed out and imbalances are corrected, then what
is the result, ‘anante swarge’, again we have come to a∑
crucial word, because these words are interpreted by
Hindus in relation to the Hindu religious terms, Hindu
mythologies etc. The austerity of the scientific content
does not get communicated. “Svarge anante” – which is
boundless, limitless -that is easy. ‘Ananta’- unending.
But what do you do with the word, ‘svarge’.

‘Svarge’- in practically all the commentaries, they
will say heaven – paradise. This idea of heaven and hell
may be common to practically all the organized religions. It
is playing upon the psychology of reward and punishment
which is useful as a civic incentive but has no value in
spirituality. Here as you and me, we are studying it, it seems
to me that the word, ‘svarge’ is not at all referring to the
concept of heaven or the Rishi is not offering you the
rewards, is not tempting you, persuading you, coaxing you,
pressurizing you for that stabilization through offering the
reward that you will go to heaven or that you will be in
paradise. That seems so immature, childish. It does not
go with the seriousness of the subject.

So, what does “Svarge Joke”, what does that mean?
You recite Gayatri mantra. But the mantra that we recite is
an abbreviation of the original Gayatri. The original Gayatri
mantra is much longer than what we recite here in the
morning or is generally recited. “Bhu Bhuvah Svahah Mahah
Tapah Janah Satyam” etc. The Gayatri mantra refers to
seven lokas or dimensions of life. You have ‘Bhu lok’-the
earth which is energy of gravity etc. etc.; then you have
‘Bhuvah’- the loka, the dimension of water, then you have
the dimension of fire, you have the dimension of air etc.
‘Saptalokas’- the seven dimensions are described.

So ‘svarge loke’ -the person in whom the energy of
awareness is thus stabilized gets transported holistically
into the dimension where there is no misery and no
suffering. ‘Bhuh Bhuvah Svaha’, there is suffering in
physical, psychological in the Bhu-loka, in the orbit of the
earth and also the Bhuvar-loka, which still has the vibrations
of the people living on the earth – the psychic vibrations.
Perhaps your modern physics will tell you how many miles
is the orbit of the earth and once you cross the orbit of the
earth how the weightlessness affects the cerebral organ,
condition etc.

Those who travel in the space, if you read their
experiences and what happens to them, it is a very
fascinating story – the space travelling through the rockets
-right from 1966 onwards. So, ‘Svarge- loke’ -the
person gets transported in a dimension where all the misery
and suffering has come to an end. It is a dimension of
bliss. Mythologically speaking, when you are in heaven or
paradise they say, there is no illness, there is no sickness,
there is no suffering, there is only enjoying. But they put it
in very gross terms. You have wine and wealth and women
there and all the sensual pleasures and the satiation of
pleasure ∑never takes place, so constantly you are
enjoying – you know they make it very gross.

But the indication here is, the suffering has ended
-‘Kiesh Mukti Kaivalyam’. ‘Avidya, Asmita, Raga, Dvesh
,Abhinivesha Pancha Kleshaha, there you begin and ‘Kiesh
Nivrutti Kaivalyam’. The ‘Gunas’ are ‘Pratiprasavshunya’.
So transported to a dimension of consciousness, which
has the bliss of non-duality and therefore suffering has
ended. “Anante svarge lake jyeye pratitisthati pratitisthati’.
‘Anante svarge loke jyeye pratitisthati pratitisthati’. ‘Jyeye’
-the highest – there is nothing higher than this says the
teacher to the student.

Now The Liberated One Is Rooted In
‘The Highest’

That is the highest where the human being can
reach- the highest dimension. Stabilization of the energy
of awareness, the energy of awareness radiates through
the being, through the presence and through the
movement of living of that person and as there is the
ending of psychological suffering and misery, there is a
kind of bliss bubbling around in the life of the person. “jyeye
lake pratitisthati pratitisthati”. Now the person is rooted,
the previous mantra talks about stabilization of energies
and now the last mantra talks about getting grounded in it.

Psychologically we are rooted in the ego concept,
the ‘I’ consciousness and therefore the circumference of
personality etc. but here after the stabilization of awareness
and the transportation into a different dimension of
non-duality, the person is rooted in the highest. In the
highest dimension possible for the human species to grow
into. Perhaps we have not studied the 15th chapter of Gita, I
think we studied the twelve chapters but in the 15th chapter,

moola madhah sakham asvatham prahuravyayam Chandasi
yasya parnani’, the Tree of Life, Gita says, has its roots up
in the space. ‘Urdhwa moola’ – the roots of the tree of life
are not in the soil. On the materia.! level, the roots are in
the consciousness and the branches grow downwards.

‘Urdhwa moola madhashakham asvatham
prahuravyam’, ‘avyayam’- which never decreases which
doesn’t get destroyed. So, I am just giving you the reference
of the 151h chapter of Gita, because Gita is the result of all
these Upanishads. “Sarvopanishado gavo ‘dogdha gopala
nandanah partho vatsah sudhirbhokta dugdham gitamrutam
mahat”. Upanishads are, the cows and Krishna- Vasudev
is milking the cows for his dear friend Arjuna and the milk of
the Upanishads is Gita. All these Indian people – ancient
Indians were very poetic. Their communication of truth was
never prosaic. Not propagation of theories. They would
always clothe it in the ∑upsurge of poetic musical terminology.

So “Ya etanam evam veda aphatya papmanam anante
svarge lake jyeye pratitishati pratitishati . ” – twice – the
teacher is saying it is so. The person, who gets rooted in
the highest dimension of bliss. My friends, we had seen,
perhaps while we were studying ‘Chandogya’ – “Anandat
khalu imani bhutani jayante”- the Cosmogenesis according
to the Vedic text is, life emerges out of the bliss. We are
not born of sin. We are born of bliss, say the Vedas. “anandat
eva khalu imani bhutani jayante, anandat eva jeeyante”. The
sustaining power, the sustaining energy in life is that bliss,
‘∑ “Anandad eva ante sarve pravilayante” and all merge back
into that ocean of bliss which is Brahman which is Divinity ∑
and so on.

It is very interesting that in the last mantra the ∑
crucial phrase of ‘apahatya papmanam’, this correction of
the incorrect things, the washing out of the impurities has
been mentioned by the teacher and thus ends the

‘Kenesitam patati presitam manah Kena pranah
prathamah praiti yuktah.’That was the first mantra and
this is last mantra – getting rooted in the highest of the
dimensions. If you turn to the latest inventions of physics
they will tell you that life emerges out of the emptiness of
space. There was condensed space, they say, condensed
emptiness and millions of universes emerged out of that
emptiness, not with a bang. So when the teacher, the Rishi
says in the higher most space, in the highest bliss the
person’s consciousness gets rooted, it indicates, it implies
that the individuated consciousness has lost the illusion
of separateness and the unity with its own source
becomes a fact not an idea. But I have worked hard and I
have made you work hard this morning and this afternoon
so I would not prolong.

This is the third Upanishad that we have studied
together and you have seen how I study with you. I do not
sit here as an authority, I have never related myself with
you as a guru. Yes there is a teacher in a certain way; but
you give me the joy of this collective sharing and studying.
We study together and when I study with you and I look at
the word and I communicate its meaning I am learning. I
don’t know whether you can see it because it reveals new
nuances of which there was no cognition before. The
cognition comes only in the interaction through the
communication, through the sharing. A teacher becomes
conscious of many nuances.

So you have given me the joy, we have studied three
Upanishads together and I am very very grateful to all of
you, who come from different countries, live in this
primitive place in many inconveniences- the basic needs
or the facilities may not be there but you persistently come.
That shows your sustained seriousness and the urge to
learn and study. May you be blessed with this sustained
seriousness of enquiry, with the urge to arrive at the unity
of all the five layers of your life and may you have the
glimpses of that bliss in which your friend lives. It is not a
privilege of the few, it is the consummation of human growth
and it is within the reach of every human being who has
the urge to learn, to discover and to live.


Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me
astu. Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu
te mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih


Om saha navavatu Saha nau bhunaktu 1 Saha Viryam
karavavahai I Tejasvi navadhitamastu. Mavidvisavahai II

Om santih ! Om santih ! Om santih.!

Om apyayantu mamangani vak pranascaksuh
srotramatho balamindriyani ca sarvani. Sarvam
Brahmaupanisadam Maham Brahma nirakuryam ma ma.
Brahma nirakarod anirakaranamastu anirakaranam me astu.
Tadatmani nirate ya Upanisatsu dharmaste mayi santu te
mayi santu.

Om santih Om santih Om santih.


Kensitam patati presitam manah
Kena pranah prathamah praiti yuktah !
Kenesitam vacamimam vadanti
Caksuh srotram ka u devo yunakti !! 1.1 !!

srotrasya srotram manaso mano yad
Vaco ha vacam sa u pranasya pranah !

Caksusas caksuratimucya dhirah
PretyasmallokadamrtA bhavanti !! 1.2 !!

Na tatra caksur gacchati na vag gacchati no manah !
Na vidmo na vijanimo yathaitadanusisyat !! 1.3 !!

Anyadeva tat viditadatho aviditadadhi !
lti su sruma purvesam ye nastad vyacacaksire !! 1.4 !!

Yat vacanabhyuditam yena vagabhyudyate ! Tadeva brahma
tvam viddhi nedam yadidamupasate !! 1.5 !!

Yan manasa na manute yenahur mano matam ! Tadeva
brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidamupasate !! 1.6 !!

Yat caksusa na pasyati yena caksumsi pasyati ! Ttad eva
brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam upasate !! 1.7 !!

Yat srotrena na srnoti yena srotramidam srutram ! Tadeva
brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam upasate !! 1.8 !!

Yat pranena na praniti yena pranah prainiyate ! Tad eva
Brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam upasate !! 1.9 !!

!! iti prathamah khandah !!


Yadi manyase suvedeti dabhramevapi
Nunam tvam vettha brahmano rupam !
Yadasya tvam yadasya devesvatha nu
Mimamsyameva te, manye viditam !! 2.1 !!

Naham manye suvedeti; no na vedeti, veda ca !
Yo nastad veda tad veda no na vedeti veda ca !! 2.2 !!

Yasyamatam tasya matam matam yasya na veda sah !
Avi jnatam vijanatam vijnatamavijanatam !! 2.3 !!

Pratibodhaviditam matam amrtatvam hi vindate !
atmana vindate viryam vidyaya vindate a mrtam !! 2.4 !!

lha cedavedidatha satyamasti na cedihavedinmahati
vinastih ! Bhutesu bhutesu vicitya dhirah pretyasmallokadamrta
bhavanti !! 2.5 !!

!! lti dvitiyah khandah !!


Brahma ha devebhyo vijigye, tasya ha brahmano vijaye deva
amahiyanta ! Ta aiksantasmakamevayam vijayo’
smakamevayam mahimeti !! 3.1 !!

Taddhaisam vijajnau, tebhyo ha pradurbabhuva !
Tanna vyajanata kimidam yaksamiti !! 3.2 !!

Te’gnimabruvan, jataveda, etad vijanihi kimetad
yaksamiti; tatheti !! 3.3 !!

Tadabhyadravat, tamabhyavadat ko’siti, agnirva
ahamasmityabravit Jataveda va aham asmiti !! 3.4 !!

Tasminstvayi kim viryamityapidam sarvam
daheyam yadidam prthivyamiti !! 3.5 !!

Tasmai trnam nidadhavetad daheti, tadupapreyaya
sarvajavena tanna sasaka dagdhum, sa tata eva nivavrte,
naitadasakam vijnatum yadetad yaksamiti !! 3.6 !!

Atha vayumabruvan, vayavetad vijanihi kimetad
yaksamiti; tatheti !! 3.7 !!

Tadabhyadravat, tamabhyavatdat ko’ Siti, vayurva
ahamasmityabravin matarisva va ahamasmiti !! 3.8 !!

Tasmin tvayi kim viryamitya pidam sarvamadadiya
yadidam prthivyamiti !! 3.9 !!

Tasmai trnam nidadhavetadadatsveti, tadupapreyaya
sarvajavena, tanna sasakadatum, sa tata eva invavrte
naitadasakam vijnatum yadetad yaksamiti !! 3.10 !!

Athendramabruvan, maghavan etad vijanihi
kimetad yaksamiti tatheti; Tadabhyadravat;
tasmat tirodadhe !! 3.11 !!

Sa tasmin evakase striyamajagama bahusobha –
manamumam haimavatim; Tam ho vaca, kimetad
yaksamiti !! 3.12 !!

!! lti trtiyah khandah !!


Sa brahmeti hovaca; brahmanano va etad viaye mahiy’-adhvam
iti; tato haiva vidancakara brahmeti !! 4.1 !!

Tasmad va ete deva atitaramivanyan devan,
yadagnirvayurindraste hyenannedistham paspar suste
hyenat prathamo vidancakara brahmeti !! 4.2 !!

Tasmad va indro atitaramivanyan devan; sa hyenannedistham
pasparsa, sa hyenat prathamo vidancakara
brahmeti !! 4.3 !!

Tasyaisa adeso yadetad vidyuto vyadyutada iti
nnyamimisada ityadhidaivam !! 4.4 !!

Athadhyatmam yadetat gacchativa ca mano’nena
caitadupasmarati abhiksnam sankalpah !! 4.5 !!

Taddha tadvanam, nama tadvanamityupasitavyam;
sa ya etadevam vedabhihainam sarvani bhutani
samvanchanti !! 4.6 !!

Upanisadam bho bruhityukta ta upanisad Brahmim vava ta
upanisadamabrumeti !! 4.7 !!

Tasyai tapo damah karmeti pratistha vedah sarvangani
satyamayatanam !! 4.8 !!

Yo va etamevam vedapahatya papmanamanante
svarge loke jyeye pratitisthati pratitisthati !! 4.9 !!

!! lti caturthah khandah !!

Om saha navavatu ! Saha nau bhunaktu ! Saha Viryam
karavavahai ! Tejasvi, navadhitamstu ! Ma vidvisavahai !!

Om santih ! Om santih ! Om santih.!




1) Vimal Prakashan Trust
‘Shiv Kuti’, MountAbu,
Rajasthan 307 501.
2) Vimal Prakashan Trust
‘Sant Krupa’
103, Ratnam Towers,
Behind Chief Justice’s Bungalow,
Judges Bungalow Road,
Ahmedabad, Gujarat- 380 054


‘What is the force that directs the mind towards its
objects? Whose is the motivation?’ Is there some
principle that has a basic motivation which
spreads into organs and directs them? …

One who says “I know” does not know, he is
ignorant. The essence of life can not be divided
into subject, object. All conditioned knowledge, al l
the movement of conditioned consciousness, is a
kind of ignorance …

Life itself is Divinity. Divinity is the existential
essence of life. It is not apart from life. To feel the
divinity contained in the mountains, their majesty,
their steadiness, to feel the divinity in the blade of
grass, saplings, birds ….. if you have the sensitivity
then all of them will communicate to you through
thei f presence …

What 1s the role of a human being? It is left to us to
exercise the energies contained in us in a
harmonious way, to manifest the inner harmony.
You become a wholeness as the cosmic life is a

Vimala Thakar