1st - 5th Verse
The first five verses deal with the discourse of learned Rishis in quest of the Supreme Brahman. They are all well versed in the Vedas and are discussing among themselves about concepts related to Brahman, creator of the whole world and from whom all are born; origin of man and under whose majesty all are living; the support of the life. The issues that have been raised here relate to the creation, preservation and the ultimate dissolution of the Beings i.e. jivas and the universe. It questions whether time, or nature, or necessity, or chance, or the elements be regarded as the cause or he who is called the purusha, the living self? The cause cannot be the union of these as there is a living self. Finally, the sages absorbed in meditation found out through yoga or through self-control and meditation, the creative power or the ultimate cause of the universe. They understood that the Brahman or the real Self is beyond time, space and causality and is the only Reality that was the cause of the maya and the creation of the universe. This maya consists of three gunas viz. sattva, rajas, and tamas.
6th- 10th Verse
The sages saw the wheel of Brahman, which has one felly, a triple tire, sixteen end-parts, fifty spokes with twenty counter-spokes and six sets of eight; whose one rope is manifold; which moves on three different roads; and whose illusion arises from two causes. Here the world has been compared to a rotating wheel or a flowing stream. The different terms used to signify them can be explained as:
* Wheel of Brahman - Refers to the universe which is non-different from the creator who is the same as Brahman.
* Felly - The outer rim of the wheel which supports it signifying the power of maya in creation as a causal factor.
* Triple tire - These represent three gunas.
* Sixteen end-parts - Refer to five elements, five organs of perception, five organs of action and the mind.
* Fifty spokes - Support the cosmic wheel representing mental condition.
* Twenty counter spokes - Organs of perception and organs of action and their corresponding objects.
* Six sets of eight - Forty eight types of human capabilities and qualities.
* One rope - The rope of love which manifests as love for children, food and the heavenly world
* Three different roads - Roads of righteousness, unrighteousness and knowledge
* Illusion arising from two causes - Deception arises from two causes, virtuous action and sinful action on account of which the non-self (body) is taken as the Self.
One meditates on the River whose water is derived from five currents i.e. the five organs of perception whose waves are the five organs of actions and who is the producer of the five senses of intellect, which has five whirlpools i.e. the objects of the senses, which is impelled by the velocity of the five kinds of pain, which is divided by the five kinds of misery, and which has five turnings. The Brahman in the form of the wheel is the support and the end of all beings. It is infinite and when blessed by Him the self attains Immortality. This is the supreme Brahman. In him the three, the enjoyer or finite soul, the objects of enjoyment and the supreme ruler can be seen. A person who is aware of this Brahman becomes free from birth. The Lord, Isa, supports all that is a combination of the perishable and the imperishable, the manifest, the effect and the unmanifest, the cause. The same Supreme Self, without any Lordship, becomes bound when it needs to assume the attitude of the enjoyer. The jiva then realizes the Supreme Self and becomes free again. The Supreme Lord emerges as Isvara, omniscient and omnipotent and as the jiva, of limited knowledge and power, both unborn. the unborn prakriti is however, creates the ideas of the enjoyer, enjoyment and the object. The Atman is infinite and all pervading. Hence it is devoid of agency. When a person becomes aware that these three are the Brahman, he is freed from his fetters. Prakriti is perishable. Hara, the Lord who destroys all evils is immortal and imperishable. The non dual Supreme Self rules both prakriti and the individual soul. By constantly meditating upon him, by becoming one with him, by union with Him, by the knowledge of identity with Him, one attains cessation of every delusion.
11th - 16th Verse
By knowledge of god all the bonds of ignorance, unhappiness are destroyed. One becomes free from the cycle of birth and death. By meditating upon him after the dissolution of the body arises the third state, that of universal lordship. The absolute nature of Brahma is eternal. Knowing the triad, the enjoyer (the Individual soul), the objects of enjoyment and the Ruler (the supreme ruler), helps in understanding that everything is Brahman. The visible form of fire when remains concealed in the wood cannot be seen, yet there is no destruction of its subtle form. The fire can be created by persistently rubbing the wood i.e. its source. In the same way Atman that exists in two states can be grasped in this very body by means of Om. By making the body the lower piece of wood and Om the upper piece and by constantly practising the friction of meditation, one can see the real Self that remains hidden like the fire in the wood. As oil exits in sesam seed, butter in curds, water in a river and fire in the two pieces of wood, so does the absolute soul exist within his own self or soul. The Self can be realised by a person who beholds the truth. This is the Brahman that is taught by the Upanishad.
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