(Last Updated on : 06/12/2011)
Kenopanishad is one of the primary and old Upanishads of the Hindu Philosophy. It is also known as the Talavakara Upanishad. The Upanishad is also a part of the Talavakara Brahmana of the Samaveda
. The name Kenopanishad has been formed after combining the two words, 'Kena' and 'Upanishad'. The word, 'kena' means by whom. Thus, it can be said that the aim of Kenopanishad is to answer the eternal question of mankind that is by whom is this eternal world powered. The Kenopanishad explains the greater truth of life and enables the student to carry out a discovery of the self. With the aid of the Kenopanishad the student begins an inner quest. The Kenopanishad has been ideally divided into four sections each of which tries to identify the Great Power and in the process finds out who empowers the living beings, the earth and the sun.
All the living beings harmonize at one point. They seek the omnipotent. All the four chapters try to explain that there is only one Supreme Being who illuminates the entire world and all the living beings are supposed to bow before that Supreme Being because it is the Supreme Being who generates the vital force into our bodily entities. All the four chapters of the Kenopanishad answer certain questions. They are Where did I come from? Where do I go? Why have I come? Is life an empty and meaningless incident? Has life a purpose? Is there a mission in life?
Concept of Kenopanishad
Religion is the science of all sciences and by understanding the proper concept of religion one is able to find answer to all his eternal questions. Religion according to Kenopanishad is a privilege of man and not an instinct of animals. Unlike animals whose life is limited to mere eating, sleeping and mating, human beings seek a greater principle in life. A human being yearns for a superior purpose in life.
Two important components of religion are namely the ritualistic injunctions and philosophical suggestions. Both should go hand in hand. Religion without philosophy is barren and at the same time philosophy without religion has no meaning. Religion and philosophy is able to bring out the true meaning of religion. It can be said that religion has immense significance in a man's life because with the practice of religion a man of any degree is able to fulfill the true goal of his life.
According to the Kenopanishad the Omnipotent is the source of all. Everything emanates from Him and at the same time merges unto Him. One who worships the Omnipotent with absolute delight is able to find the Ultimate Truth and Bliss of life.
The Upanishad says that the material world has no joy in it. The happiness which is rendered by the material world is only ephemeral in nature. Instead we should look into our minds to fetch a joy that is complete and permanent in nature. Religion is the only source which takes towards the ultimate Bliss. But that does not mean that religion changes the external world instead religion has the capacity to render liveliness into the lives of living beings which in turn gives birth to a perennial source of happiness. Says the Kenopanishad that the entire external world should be controlled by our minds so that we are in a position to react positively to the world around us. Positive reaction should include a detachment from the maddening passions that take place around us. All human beings should experience an inner sense of freedom so that one is not perturbed by the external turbulence. In this regard it has said that it is only religion that empowers us with the mental equipment with the help of which we can strike a proper balance and poise under all circumstances. The practice of proper religion trains the mind and the mind reaches a state where it is calm and composed. Thus only with the practice of true religion the heart of an individual becomes an ocean of peace.
All religions in the world claim that one should put away the false ego in order to taste the ultimate truth. By sacrificing the false ego one is able to ward off all the negative energies from ones character and in the process is able to unite with the divine life. The Kenopanishad or the Talavakara Upanishad states that the true nature of living beings should be true knowledge and absolute bliss. It explains that all religions cries out living beings should usher in self realisation within themselves so that they are in a position to experience the ultimate truth of life.
According to the Upanishad the mind experiences true solace only when it is surrendered at the feet of the Guru with a pure and enquiring heart. It says that unless we have a mind that is pure and is free from all kinds of negative energies we are not in a position to receive the grace of the Lord. Moreover with the aid of loyalty, faith and love towards the Lord we can reach the state of pure consciousness whereby we unite with the Supreme Being.
The core philosophy or the discourses of the Kena Upanishad revolves around the fact that everything in this world is a result of the Lord's power and all living beings should realise that the universe moves on with the help of the cosmic power. As a result all of them should meditate upon the name of the Lord. As the philosophy which has been discussed by the Kenopanishad is complicated in nature it has been explained through a discussion between a teacher and a taught so that one is able to grasp the central theme of this Upanishad. At the same time the Upanishad has also mentioned that meditation upon the name of the Lord is possible only when an individual possess a mind which is devoid of any false ego and strictly adheres to the path of religion with a wholesome mind.
Hence it can be concluded saying that the Kenopanishad gives an insight into the prime driver of the cosmos and claims that the prime driver of the cosmos is Omnipotent from whom all beings emanates and unto him all beings merge.