Tuesday 15 November 2016

Ishavasyopanishad - 12

Mantras 9 to 11

अन्धन्तम: प्रविशन्ति येSविद्यामुपासते

ततो भूय इव ते तमो ये उ विद्यायाम् रता: ||९||

अन्यदेवाहुः विद्यया अन्यद् आहुः अविद्यया

इति शुश्रुम धीराणां ये नस्तद्विचचक्षिरे ||१०||

विद्यां च अविद्यां च यस्तद्वेदोभयं सह |

अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययाऽमृतमश्नुते ||११||

In this mantra and in the following two a combination of vidya and avidya is advised. This, however, does not mean that the knowledge of the Absolute can be combined with desires and actions that are the effects of ignorance. Action, being relative in its character, can be combined with relative knowledge and not with Absolute Knowledge. Relative knowledge means the effect of the upasana of a deity. Both karma and upasana require body-consciousness, without which they have no value. They cannot be combined with a knowledge that is all-pervading and therefore transcends the body. Objects belonging to the same class join together but not those belonging to different classes. Action therefore should be performed with the knowledge of its causes and effects with respect to one's progress in the path to perfection. The egoless state of ignorance and the illumination of knowledge combined together give rise to true knowledge which is egoless consciousness.

Performance of actions with the full knowledge that it is the law of life that manifests itself as action and therefore without any reason for the desire for the results of such actions makes one get disgusted with the world of actions, frees him from attachment and liberates him from the trammels of death. Through the knowledge of the divine being, viz., the divinity whose upasana is performed, one attains to that divinity, and opens the door to immortality. Upasana of any divinity, when it is performed with a desire to attain that divinity alone, gives one the temporary freedom of the attainment of that divinity, and later makes one take birth as an individual; but when action is combined with this knowledge, action becomes selfless. Action has got a quality of producing pain, and knowledge by nature is illuminating. When action is illuminated by knowledge, it becomes the source of the experience of pain born of viveka, not pain born of ignorance. Motiveless action combined with the knowledge of divinity does not cause one to revert to the mortal world, but allows one to attain krama-mukti or gradual liberation through the passage of that divinity of upasana. The highest divinity of upasana is hiranyagarbha, the Cosmic Being, and the result of this upasana is the attainment of hiranyagarbha. The upasaka reaches this state, and from there he passes onward to the Absolute, provided his upasana is not restricted to the region of hiranyagarbha alone.

Therefore, a combination of karma and upasana is beneficial; it leads to krama-mukti; but when they are performed separately, they lead to their respective specified limited results, and make one take birth as an individual.

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