Author Topic: Chapters VI and VII of Chandogya Upanishad  (Read 4848 times)


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Chapters VI and VII of Chandogya Upanishad
« on: April 26, 2009, 12:11:18 PM »
While the first five chapters of this Upanishad are predominantly
devoted to karma and upasana, Chapter VI, VII and VIII deal
with Brahma Vidya, which is the epitome of Jnana marga, Jnana

In the sixth chapter, the Upanishad reveals Brahman as Pure
Existence, Sat and is therefore known as Sat Vidya.  Here, there
is a discussion between Guru and disciple, on the principle of Sat.

The Guru is Uddalaka, the father and the disciple is Svetaketu, the son.  Uddalaka Aruni tells Svetaketu at the age of 12, to go to the
teacher's place and learn scriptures.  Svetaketu comes back when he
was 24.  The father says:  You appear to be vain.  Please go back to your teacher and learn about Brahman.  The father says: "You learn
that after which you would know everything.  Without that all your learning is nothing."  Svetaketu got disappointed but learnt from his father that all things like food, prana, wealth etc., are only temporarily satisfying but will not give the final Truth. The father says:  "What happens when a person dies?  First, his speech merges into his mind.  He cannot speak any more but his mind is still active.
Then the mind merges into prana, his life force.  The mind ceases to
function, but he is still breathing [as in the state of coma].  Then
prana merges into fire. [ Fire here means the heat in the body. If
the body is still warm, the person is not dead.] But when the fire goes
then, everything merges into the Supreme Self. Sat.  That which is the subtlest of all is the Self of all this.  It is the Truth. It is the Self.
"That Thou art" - Tat Tvam asi, O Svetaketu!"

The father then explains further this Truth through many more anecdotes and stories.

Forget about names and forms.  You are the eternal, unchanging
Reaity.  Our form, our body, is the starting point for all troubles.
We identify ourselves with the body and say: I am Brahmin, I am
learned, I am tall, I am fair complexioned, etc., etc., Remove this and to to the root, the moola, and that is Sat.  You are That.

There are bees going around to different places.  They collect pollen
from many different trees and put it all together to make honey.
Can you distinguish which flower, a drop of honey came from?  No.
The pollen has become mixed together to make the honey. Just as
the honey is now no longer identify the trees, living beings attain
unity in the Self.  You are the Self. You are That.

The living beings, whatever they were before in this world, whether
a tiger or a lion or a leopard or a boar or a bug or an insect or flea
or mosquito, -- they are born again.  They never know that they came
from Sat.  We are born again and again till we overcome our ignorance and attain Self Knowledge.  Death, for an ignorant person, is not liberation.  It is like going into deep sleep. And when you ar
reborn, it is as if you are waking up. Once you attain Self Knowledge, once you realize the Self, you are free, free from birth and death.

Arunachala Siva.