About Me

My photo
Hari Sarvottama Vayu Jeevottama

A very warm welcome to the blog of Madhwa Brahmins community.
We, Madhwa Brahmins are followers of Jagadguru Sriman Madhwacharya. We originally hail from places in Karnataka and the neighboring states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Our main dialects are Kannada, Tulu, Marathi, Telugu and Konkani.

A brief background of Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya:

prathamO hanumAn nAma dviteeyO bheema Eva cha |
pUrNaprajna tRuteeyastu bhagavat kAryasAdhakaH ||

As the above shloka from khila vAyustuti explains, Sri Madhwacharya (also known by the names Poornaprajna and Anandateertha) is the third incarnation of Lord MukhyaprAna Vaayu, after Lord Hanuman and Lord Bheemasena. He is the chief proponent of TattvavAda, popularly known as Dvaita. He was born on Vijayadashami day of 1238 CE at Paajaka Kshetra, a small village near Udupi. He is the 22nd commentator on the Brahma sutras of Lord Sri Veda Vyasa.

Kindly note that this blog contains important topics discussed in our Orkut community and some articles on tattvavAda philosophy. All the topics can be found in the BLOG ARCHIVE (right side)

08 May, 2009

Sri IshAvAsya upanishad

Source: www.dvaita.org
Translators : Sri Keshava Rao Tadipatri and Sri Srisha Rao.

Om pUrNamadah pUrNamidam pUrnAt pUrNamudachyate |
pUrNasya pUrNamAdAya pUrNameva avashishyate ||
Om shAntiH shAntiH shAntiH ||

The Rushi of this Upanishad is Svayambhuva Manu. The Lord Hari (Vishnu), known as Yajna for being the Lord of all sacrifices, is the Devata. The Lord incarnated as the son of AkUti, the daughter of Manu himself. Manu, when faced with the danger of some demons who were intent upon devouring him, praised the Lord with these verses, and overcame his dire straits thereby. These circumstances are narrated in the Bhagavata Purana also.

The meters (Chandhas) such as anustubh may be known in their respective places by counting the syllables.

There is the ancient stern warning against commencement of Vedic study or sacrifice without knowing the seer, the Deity, and the meter(s) correctly. Hence these facts should first be attended.

The tenets to be stated later will only be taken to heart by the qualified, not by others; for this reason, to create the qualification for study, and to satisfy the curiosity of the student for the subject of study, the first mantra obtains as follows –

Om IshAvAsyamidam sarvam yatkiñcha jagatyAm jagat |
tEna tyaktEna bhuñjItha mA grdhah kasyasvid dhanam || 1 ||

idam sarvam = all this (this entire universe);
Ishavasyam = Ishasya AvAsyam = Ishasya AvAsayogyam = pervaded by Isha, the Lord Hari;
yat kiñcha = also whatsoever, and whatever there may be;
jagatyam = prakrtyam = in the primordial nature;
jagat = the world;
tena = by Him (the Lord Hari);
tyaktena = dattena vittena = wealth granted, allotted, given;
bhuñjItha = bhogam kuryah = do experience, enjoy;
ma grdhah = ma kankshetah = do not crave for, do not seek;
kasyasvid = any one else's;
dhanam = wealth.

This entire universe is pervaded by the Lord Hari, for the reason that it is dependent upon primordial nature, which in its turn is also pervaded by Him. He alone is thus independent. For this reason, enjoy whatever is given to you by Him, and do not seek wealth from any other source (since Hari alone is independent, do not worship others such as kings in hopes of wealth).

N.B. Compare this verse with Bhagavata Purana VIII.1.10 (Atmavasyamidam sarvam), where the same meaning is conveyed clearly

With the first principle of morality for a seeker of knowledge being stated as acceptance of the Lord's disposition, it is now stated that one must always, continually, perform in His service one's required duties in life, just as one is always engaged in satisfaction of needs such as thirst. Thus, there is no reason to give up action simply on the basis that acceptance of the Lord's disposition and freedom from greed means that one need not act either –

kurvanneveha karmANi jijIviShechChatam samAh |
evam tvayi nAnyatheto'sti na karma lipyate nare || 2 ||

kurvan = doing;
eva = only, even;
iha = here, in this world, while a human being;
karmANi = (prescribed) actions, duties, works;
jijIviShet = jIvitum ichChet = shall you desire to live;
shatam samAh = shatam varshANi = a hundred years, a full life;
evam = thus, in this way;
tvayi = for you, in you;
na = not;
anyatha = otherwise, different;
itah = from this;
asti = is;
karma = papam = sin;
lipyate = stains, taints;
nare = in the man.

One must desire to live even a hundred years by doing prescribed karma only. Thus is it right for you, not otherwise; [if this is done, then] sin will not bind the human. As it is the case that a person sins even inadvertently, all the time, it is not correct to think that simple inaction will cause one to be free of taint. The only way in which that would happen, and one would qualify for study and the understanding of the sacred subjects, is by the performance of required action as the Lord's worship for as long as one lives.

One must be satisfied with whatever the Lord sees fit to give one, as the first verse states, but must always perform one's duties, as the second states, without desire for reward beyond His judgement.

However, not all will accept the Lord's decree. Thus, for the person who has obtained (or is in the process of obtaining) the required qualifications, in order to produce interest in the Paramaatma, those with incorrect understanding (that which does not follow the principles laid down thus far) are criticized –

asuryA nAma te lokA andhena tamasA'vrtAH |
tAmste pretyAbhigachChanti ye ke chAtmahano janAH || 3 ||

asuryA = of great misery, or belonging to asura-s (demons);
nAma = nischitametat = thus is certain;
te = they, those;
loka = worlds;
andhena tamasa = nibiDandhakAreNa = of relentless, blinding darkness;
avrtAh = covered with, enveloped by;
tAn = (to) them;
pretya = upon death;
abhigacChanti = fall into, are trapped into;
ye ke = those who;
Atmahanah = yathavad atmajñanamajñatva vaiparityena janantah = having failed to know the (Parama-) Atma correctly, persist in false knowledge only;
janAh = persons.

The worlds of eternal misery, covered with unremitting darkness, indeed, do they fall into without recourse, they who, having failed to realize the truth about the Lord (in spite of opportunity), persist in false knowledge.

The question now becomes, what is this truth about the Isha that should be realized? The next verse therefore states the character of the Lord --

anejadekam manaso javIyo nainaddevA ApnuvanpUrvamarShat |
taddhAvato'nyAnatyeti tiShThattasminnapo mAtarishvA dadhAti || 4 ||

anejat = not trembling, free of all fear;
ekam = one, alone, the primary;
manasah = (than) the mind;
javIyah = swifter than;
na = not;
enat = it, this one;
devAh = the deities headed by Brahma;
Apnuvat = sakalyena vyajanan = comprehend or know fully;
pUrvam = from before, since beginningless time;
arShat = knowing (freely and from His own nature);
tad = that [Brahman];
dhAvatah = those running, moving fast;
anyAn = others;
atyeti = surpasses, overtakes;
tiShThat = rests, exists, remains;
tasmin = in Him, in that Hari;
apah = karmani = actions;
mAtarishva = Mukhya Prana;
dadhati = samarpayati = dedicates, offers.

(The Supreme is) completely free of fear, for being the primary Being; He is swifter than the mind, and cannot be fully comprehended (even) by the deities (headed by Brahma), while He knows all by His own nature, from beginningless time; though unchanging, staying as-is, He effortlessly overtakes all, no matter how they may run; to that Lord, Mukhya Prana dedicates all the actions performed by all creatures.

tadejati tannaijati taddUre tadvantike |
tadantarasya sarvasya tadu sarvasya bAhyataH || 5 ||

tad = tasmat = from him;
ejati = bibheti = tremble (in awe or stupefaction);
tat = He, Himself;
na = (does) not;
dure = far off;
tadu = tadeva = He alone;
antike = near, close by;
antah = within, inside of;
asya = of this;
sarvasya = of all;
bAhyatah = outside of.

He causes all to tremble or quake in fear of Him, but He Himself fears none (for being independent); He is very far off (He exists even at infinite distances), and He is also very close by (because He is omnipresent); He is within everyone and everything, and also outside everyone and everything (His presence is all-pervasive).

It has been said that Hari is all-pervasive, the controller of all, and all-powerful. Now, the use of knowing this is clarified –

yastu sarvANi bhUtAnyAtmanyevAnupashyati |
sarvabhuteShu chAtmAnam tato na vijugupsate || 6 ||

yah = (he) who;
tu = but, indeed;
sarvANi = all;
bhUtani = beings, creatures, objects,
Atmani = in the Supreme Being;
eva = only;
anupashyati = excellently beholds, clearly understands;
sarva bhuteShu = in all beings;
cha = and;
Atmanam = the Lord, the Ruler of the innermost self;
tatah = thus, therefore, by reason of;
na = (does) not;
vijugupsate = wish to hide or seek concealment.

One who sees all animate and inanimate nature in the Supreme (for He exists outside them and is their support), and also sees the Supreme in all of them (for He exists in them, and is their controller from within), by this reason, he becomes free of fear and does not ever need to seek concealment.

One who perceives Sri Hari as being the sole independent entity and the motivator of all, has no fear of anyone, since he knows that all power belongs to the Lord only, not to any other. Verse 5 has already expressed the idea that the Supreme is omnipresent; the repetition of the same notion here is for the purpose of explaining the significance of such omnipresence (why it is important to understand it).

The same notion is further clarified --

yasminsarvANi bhUtAnyAtmaivAbhUdvijAnatah |
tatra ko mohaH kaH shoka ekatvamanupashyataH || 7 ||

yasmin = in whom;
sarvANi = all;
bhUtAni = beings [exist], the word tisthanti being implied here;
Atma = the Supreme Being;
eva = only;
abhUt = present, exists within;
vijAnatah = who understands this very well (the prefix vi signifying visheSheNa, “specially” is added to jAnatah, “who knows,” the purport being that the Lord is understood as special as compared with the individual, or that He is very well understood);
tatra = in that person;
kah = what;
mohah = delusion;
shokah = sorrow;
ekatvam = identity (of the Lord existing in any one being and Him existing in all others);
anupasyatah = perceives well.

For one who clearly understands that all beings exist in the Supreme, and that He exists within all of them (as their controller), and who thus sees the unity of the Lord as existing (without change) everywhere, what could possibly cause delusion, or sorrow? Nothing at all, thus is intended.

At this, one would ask, `How can it be said that there is lack of delusion, merely upon knowing the Lord?' To answer this, it is said –

sa paryagAchChukramakAyamavraNamasnAviram shuddhamapApaviddham |
kavirmanIsShI paribhUH svayambhUryAthAtathyatO'rthAn vyadadhAchChAshvatIbhyaH samAbhyaH || 8 ||

sa = he (the qualified seeker who understands as previously indicated);
paryagAt = (having) attained;
shukram = shokarahitam = free from sorrow;
akAyam = liñgasharIravarjitam = lacking a subtle body;
avraNam = complete, not suffering from limitations of time, space or capacity;
asnAviram = lacking a physical body (literally: lacking sinews, lacking muscles; lacking a body of the kind that includes sinews and other physical features);
shuddham = being the source of all purity, the purifier;
apApavidudham = untouched by sin;
kaviH = one knowing all, omniscient;
manIshi = one who controls the minds of all;
paribhUH = omnipresent and the controller of all, “the best there is”';
svayambhUH = self-sustaining, lacking any dependence on any other;
yAthAtathyatataH = having the quality of yatha tatha or “as is”, i.e., “in reality,” “truly and properly”, as distinguished from “deceitfully”, “in a dream or illusion”;
arthAn = entities, objects;
vyadadhAt = created, ordained;
shashvatIbhyaH = eternally, since time immemorial;
samAbhyaH = years, ages.

He (the one who knows as previously described) attains the Lord who is completely free of sorrow, lacking the subtle body (of transmigration and rebirth), and the gross body (that is the cause of physical suffering), indeed is Himself the source of all purity anywhere, lacking any manner of contact with sin. That omniscient, self-sustaining Lord, the controller of all minds, has eternally created all entities (in an infinitude of cycles of Creation) in reality.

Therefore, by knowing the Supreme as described, the qualified seeker shakes off the bondage to the subtle body and the dense body which are the causes of suffering, and hence attains freedom from delusion and sorrow.

The first half of this mantra describes negative qualities, or the Lord's lack of a physical body. The question then arises how such an entity can be capable of action, since all action is seen to be only by beings that are endowed with physical bodies.

The second half of the verse then clarifies that the actions of the Lord such as Creation are entirely true and have been so from time immemorial, thus none need explain away Creation as a myth or illusion.

The Lord's form is characterized by His self-same qualities such as omniscience; hence it is not that He has no form, but only that He does not have one of the same deficient sorts as creatures in the world do.

N.B. This verse is often quoted by Acharya Madhva as an authority in support of the reality of Creation.

It has been previously stated (verse 7) that exact knowledge of the Paramatma is the means to liberation (mukti); that such knowledge must be accompanied by criticism of (rejection of) incorrect/illusory doctrines and cannot be by itself, thus is clarified in the following THREE verses –

andham tamaH pravishanti ye avidyAmupAsate |
tatO bhUya iva te tamO ya u vidyAyAm rataH || 9 ||

andham tamah = relentless, blinding darkness;
pravishanti = enter into, obtain;
ye = those who;
avidyAm = with incorrect understanding, having failed to grasp correctly;
upAsate = worship, meditate upon;
tatah = and then, than that;
bhUyah = greater;
iva = undoubtedly;
te = they, those who;
tamah = darkness;
ya = who;
u = but;
vidyAyAm = proper knowledge;
ratah = engaged in, devoted to.

Those who worship [Vishnu or others] with false understanding enter dense, unrelenting darkness. Those who are merely devoted to the correct understanding (but do not care to criticize incorrect understanding), go to a greater darkness.

We may say, therefore, that “a great responsibility rests with him who knows; he is bound to teach others, else, his lot is even worse than those of the ignorant.” Not only is it the case that one must condemn false knowledge in order to avoid the greater suffering that would ensue if one did not, but one must also do so because the two things, correct understanding and condemnation of incorrect understanding, each have their own separate result that one should seek, thus the next verse –

anyadEvAhurvidyAyA'nyadAhuravidyayA |
iti shushruma dhIrANAm ye nastadvichachakShirE || 10 ||

anyat = the other, different;
Eva = only;
Ahuh = they (the learned) say;
vidyayA = by correct understanding;
avidyayA = by criticism of false understanding;
iti = thus;
shushrumah = we have heard;
dhIrANAm = dhimatam = persons of sound understanding;
ye = who;
nah = us;
tad = that;
vichachakshire = vyachachakshire = explained, taught.

We heard from the wise and judicious, who explained to us that the result of having the right knowledge is different from the result of condemning the wrong knowledge. Therefore, both (practice of correct understanding and refutation of false understanding) are needed.

vidyAm chAvidyAm cha yastadvEdObhayam saha |
avidyayA mRutyum tIrtvA vidyAyA'mRutamashrnute || 11 ||

vidyAm = exact knowledge of Vishnu;
avidyA = criticism of false knowledge;
cha = and (in conjunction with);
yah = who;
tad = that;
veda = knows;
ubhayam = both;
saha = together, at the same time;
avidyaya = by means of criticism of false knowledge;
mrtyum = death (and other undesirables such as suffering and ignorance);
tirtva = having overcome, crossed over;
vidyAya = by means of correct knowledge;
amrtam = moksha characterized by enjoyment;
ashnute = obtains.

One who knows the correct knowledge, and also criticizes false knowledge, for him, by criticism of false knowledge (which causes suffering), he overcomes suffering, and by practice of correct knowledge (which causes enjoyment), he obtains mukti.

It has been said that false knowledge causes suffering, and that correct knowledge gives mukti. How is this so? This is clarified –

andham tamaH pravishanti ye asambhUtim upAsate |
tatO bhUya iva tE tamO ya u sambhUtyam ratAH || 12 ||

andham tamah = relentless, blinding darkness;
pravishanti = enter into, obtain;
ye = those who;
asambhUtim = 'sRuShTikarta na' = 'not Creator', 'having failed to grasp Vishnu as the Creator';
upAsate = worship, meditate upon;
tatah = and then, than that;
bhUyah = greater;
iva = undoubtedly;
te = they, those who;
tamah = darkness;
ya = who;
u = but;
sambhUtyam = as Creator only;
ratah = engaged in, devoted to.

Those who worship [Vishnu] with the understanding that He is not the Creator, enter dense, unrelenting darkness; to a greater darkness than that, go they who merely think of Him as the Creator alone [but not as the Sustainer or Destroyer].
It has been said earlier that the Lord is the Sustainer, hence that also should be understood.

Not only is it the case that one must know the Lord as being the Creator as well as the Destroyer so that the suffering that would ensue if one of these were not known could be avoided, one must also do so because the two things, knowing Him as Creator and as Destroyer, each have their own separate result that one should seek, thus the next verse --

anyadEvAhuH sambhavAdanyadAhurasambhavAt |
iti shushruma dhIrANAm yE nastadvichachakShire || 13 ||

anyat = the other, different;
eva = only;
Ahuh = they (the learned) say;
sambhavat = by correct understanding as Creator;
asambhavAt = by correct understanding as Destroyer;
iti = thus;
shushrumah = we have heard;
dhIrANAm = dhimatam = persons of sound understanding;
ye = who;
nah = us;
tad = that;
vichachakshire = vyachachakshire = explained, taught.

We have heard from the wise, who explained to us that the result of having knowledge of Him as Creator is different from the result of knowing Him as the Destroyer.

What is this difference? The next verse clarifies --

sambhUtim cha vinAsham cha yastadvEdObhayam saha |
vinAshEna mRutyum tIrtva sambhUtya'mRutamashrnute || 14 ||

sambhUtim = knowledge of Vishnu as Creator;
vinAsham = knowledge of Him as Destroyer;
cha = and (in conjunction with);
yah = who;
tad = that;
veda = knows;
ubhayam = both;
saha = together, at the same time;
vinAshEna = by means of knowing Him as Destroyer;
mRutyum = death (and other undesirables such as suffering and ignorance);
tIrtva = having overcome, crossed over;
sambhUtya = by means of knowing Him as Creator;
amRutam = moksha characterized by enjoyment;
ashrnute = obtains.

One who knows Vishnu as Creator, and also as the Destroyer, for him, by knowledge of Him as Destroyer, he overcomes suffering, and by knowing Him as Creator, he obtains mukti.

hiraNmayEna pAtrENa satyasyApihitam mukham |
tat tvam puShannapAvRuNu satyadharmAya dRuShTye || 15 ||

hiraNmayena = by the golden, effulgent;
pAtreNa = by the orb, disk;
satyasya = of the Lord, who is of complete and real auspicious qualities;
apihitam = concealed;
mukham = face (and other parts also);
tat = that;
tvam = you;
puShan = Complete One;
apAvRuNu = unveil, disclose;
satyadharmAya = to the devotee, i.e., to me;
dRuShTye = in order to see.

The effulgent form of the Lord, who is present (even) in the solar orb and is of complete auspicious qualities, is concealed from my vision; O Complete One, I pray to thee that thou mayest disclose thine form (which I otherwise would never be able to see) to me, thy devotee.

pUShnnEkarShe yama sUrya prAjApatya vyUha rashmIn |
samUha tEjaH yat tE rUpam kalyANatamam tat tE pashyAmi || 16 ||

pUsan = Complete one;
EkarShe = Supreme Knowable, also present in the sage Ekarsi;
yama = Controller of all, also present in the deity Yama (god of death);
surya = a goal or objective for (even) the deities, also present in Surya (god of the sun);
prAjApatya = as being specially obtained by Prajapati or Brahma;
vyuha = extend;
rashmIn = the knowledge of my true nature;
tejah = extrinsic knowledge;
yat = what, that which;
te = your;
rupam = form;
kalyanatamam = of exceedingly auspicious nature;
tat = that;
pashyAmi = I see.

O Pusan the Omniscient, Ekarsi the Supreme Knowable, Yama the controller of all, Surya the effulgent and a destination for even the deities, Prajapatya a special destination for Brahma; extend the knowledge that is of my true nature, and also knowledge extrinsic to me, so that I may perceive that most auspicious form of yours.

That it is necessary to know the Supreme as being resident in Mukhyaprana - Vayu, the chief among all jiva-s, thus also is indicated --

yO'sAvasau puruShaH sO'hamasmi || 17 ||

yah = He who;
asau = in (the deity of) Life ( asau is the locative singular of asu meaning ``life'');
asau = exists;
puruShah = the complete person;
sah = he;
aham = aheyam = unfit for rejection, impossible to avoid;
asmi = essence, being.

That Perfect Being, who exists in all symbols including Mukhya Prana, the god of Life, and who cannot be avoided (by anyone ever), is the very essence of being (for myself and for everyone else).

It is not possible to explain this line as expressing identity of the individual with the Supreme, as the word asmi uses the lat pratyaya and would need to express identity in the present tense, per the rule of Panini, vartamane lat (Astadhyayi 3.2.123), a sense that is not proposed even by the non-dualists.

At this, the question arises: how may it be said that Vishnu of perfect form is the essence of all beings, when beings themselves undergo destruction such as by cremation? Surely, then, their resident would also be destroyed by their destruction? This objection is answered as follows --

vAyuranilamamRutamathEdam bhasmAntam sharIram || 18 ||

vayuh = Prana, the god of Life;
anilam = ah brahmaiva nilam nilayanam yasya,
sah = "he whose support is `a', i.e., Brahman, alone'';
amRutam = free of death;
atha = now, then;
idam = this;
bhasmAntam = ending in fire, subject to (destruction such as) cremation;
sharIram = body.

Although this body is subject to destruction by fire (or similarly), even so, (even) the deity of Life whose support is Brahman alone, does not himself suffer destruction at any time.

The point being made is that when even the deity of Life does not suffer destruction because of being supported by Brahman, what remains to be said in respect of the latter? It is surely obvious that the latter does not have any destruction Himself.

N.B. The word vayu is oft mistranslated as "wind.'' Philology tells us that such a meaning is not appropriate, since vayu is a cognate of Latin vita meaning "life.'' Hence, Vayu is "the god of Life,'' not "the wind god'' as commonly supposed.

Then, the One signified by the pranava is prayed to --

Om kratO smara kRutam smara |
Om kratO smara kRutam smara || 19 ||

Om = the pranava, signifying Hari;
krato = Hari, who art of the form of knowledge;
smara = be of a disposition to bless;
kRutam = good deeds I have done;
smara = be of a disposition to show favor upon.

O Hari, who art of the form of knowledge, be thou of a disposition to bless me, thy devotee; note thou any good things I may have done (and have compassion for things I have done wrong), and show favor upon me. O Hari, who art of the form of knowledge, be thou of a disposition to bless me, thy devotee; note thou any good things I may have done (and have compassion for things I have done wrong), and show favor upon me.

N.B. In order to show that this attitude must be a constant refrain in the mind of the devotee, the line is repeated.

It has previously been shown that along with shravana, etc., in order to obtain realization of what one has obtained a gross understanding of, prayer is also necessary. It is now shown that even after realization is achieved, worship of the Lord is necessary in order to attain liberation.

The Supreme as present in Agni is worshipped –

agnE naya supathA rAyE asmAn vishvAni dEva vayunAni vidvAn |
yuyOdhyasmajjuhurANamEnO bhUyiShThAm tE nama uktim vidhEma || 20 ||

agne = añgam deham, gunabhutam jagad va, nayati prerayati = O Agni (the Controller of the body, and indeed of the whole universe);
naya = guide, lead;
supatha = by the auspicious path;
rAye = to the wealth (of liberation);
asman = us;
vishvAni = complete, adequate;
deva = O Deity;
vayunAni = thoughts, pieces of knowledge;
vidvAn = know;
yuyodhi = remove, separate;
asmat = our;
juhurANam = degrading, sinful;
enah = sin, evil deed;
bhUyiShThAm = fullest, to the utmost, endowed with knowledge and devotion;
te = unto you;
nama = praise, salutations;
uktim = utter;
vidhema = we do.

O Lord, as `Agni', you are verily the controller of the body, and even of the whole universe; lead us by the highest path to the wealth of liberation; you fully know all that we know, all the efforts we have made; remove from us the effects of past sinful acts that are causing bondage, thus we pray unto you with our fullest knowledge and devotion.
N.B. This verse is also found as Rg Veda I.189-1.

Om pUrNamadah pUrNamidam pUrNAt pUrNamudachyate |
pUrNasya pUrNamAdAya pUrNamEvAvashishyate
|| Om shAntiH shAntiH shAntiH ||

Thanks for reading.

shrI bhArateeramaNa mukhyaprANAntargata shrI kRishNArpaNamastu

No comments: