Wednesday 5 June 2024

Yogopanishads – Amritabindu Upanishad

Transcription of the lecture given by Mananeeya Sri Hanumantaraoji, All India Vice President of VRM & VK

Amrita - bindu Upanishad, this Amritabindu Upanishad belongs to the Krishna Yajurveda. And as the tradition goes, the Shanti Pat, the prayer is the well-known:


Aum Sahana Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu

Sahaveeryam Karavavahai

Tejas Vinavati Tamastuma vidhwishavahai

Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti:


This is the prayer. Traditionally chanted before the study of the Amritabindu Upanishad.


Amritabindu Upanishad is an excellent Upanishad which analyzes, which proposes for the attainment of the Amritabindu, experience of the Amrita by a practice involved purely with the thought process, mind process, process of the mind, the thoughts, the views, the ponderings, the various ideas, the chatting in the mind, the thinking in the mind, the questions in the mind, the answers in the mind, what are all things that happen within our own mind, the entire constituents of the mind, and how these constituents and the activities, actions of the mind are to be carefully guided towards a particular side and experience the Amritattva. And that is the Amritabindu Upanishad.


This Amritabindu Upanishad has 22 mantras and each mantra is very deep and highly thought provoking and needs an elaborate understanding and an ability to interpret for our practices. Amritabindu Upanishad is predominantly concerned with the mind. In fact, the Upanishad opens the first mantra itself as: "Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayoho" which is a very commonly known phrase. "Mind alone is responsible for the freedom and the bondage."


mano hi dvividhaṃ proktaṃ śuddhaṃ cāśuddham eva ca,

aśuddhaṃ kāma-saṃkalpaṃ śuddhaṃ kāma-vivarjitam.

Once for all, the Upanishad, the first mantra settles, defines, and confirms beautifully that mind has been described as two forces - pure and impure. What is asuddham? kama sankalpam is asuddham; kama vivarjitam is shuddham.


mano hi dvividhaṃ proktaṃ śuddhaṃ cāśuddham eva ca,

aśuddhaṃ kāma-saṃkalpaṃ śuddhaṃ kāma-vivarjitam.


It is very clear, very simple. Having a desire is asuddham and not having a desire is shuddham. So, from asuddham to shuddham, the travel, the process, the transformation, the change, the journey from asuddhata to the shuddhata, from desire to the desireless state, is a very subtle process. The process is what type of desires we should have, the quality of the desires, which make us desireless.


In the Brahmananda Valli of the Taittiriya Upanishad, we come across every beautiful word repeatedly in the Ananda Mimamsa: "Shrotriyasya chakamahatasya". Who is Shrotriya? He who is akamaha. So, kamarahityam, kama vivarjitam, nishkamaha is shuddham. So pure mind means what? Pure mind is desirelessness, desireless state of the mind. Can we be without any desires? We cannot. But the goal is to be desire-less. But we cannot be without the desires. Then, what is the process? The process involved is have the desires which make us desire-less, means have the desires which are not self-centered. These are all shades of travel from the desire to desirelessness. These are the different levels of depth and evolution from desire to the desirelessness. So kamasankalpaha is ashuddham and kama vivarjitam is shuddham. What is bandha? Vishaya Asakti is bandha and Nirvishayaktha is muktaha - again Upanishad defines bandha means what? Vishaya Asakti is bandha and Nirvishayaktha is muktaha.


"mana eva manuṣyāṇāṃ kāraṇaṃ bandha-mokṣayoḥ

bandhāya viṣayāsaktaṃ muktaṃ nirviṣayaṃ smṛtam"


It beautifully defines what it is. Then "mano nirodho mokshopayaha" So, moksham is, mukti is, nirvishayam. Vishaya rahityam - Then how to attain that vishaya rahityam? nirvishaya sthiti? For that description detailed methodology has been given:


yato nirviṣayasyāsya manaso muktiriṣyate

ato nirviṣayaṃ nityaṃ manaḥ kāryaṃ mumukṣuṇā


tāvad eva niroddhavyaṃ yāvad dhṛdi gataṃ kṣayam

etaj jñānaṃ ca dhyānaṃ ca śeṣo nyāyaś ca vistara vistaraḥ


The Upanishad beautifully describes it. A seeker of the liberation, the mind should be constantly freed from the influence of the objects of desire, the influence created by the objects of desires, one should be free from that, for the reason that the muktihi of the mind, when it is freed from the influence of the objects that is attainment the moment when the mind is freed from the influence of the objects and entirely controlled and reaches the state of the non-existence that param tat paramampadam paramapadasthithi when it is attained that is mukthihi.


So, what is the practice suggested in this Upanishad? The practice suggested in the Amritabindu upanishad is let not the mind be influenced by the object of desires; Let not the mind be affected, not only affected, influenced by the objects of the desires. How difficult it is? That is the practice is to be done. each individual, each practitioner, each seeker, each sadhaka can adopt his or her own way of how not to get influenced by the objects of desire. But it is to be done.


Then the upanishad says "sa vishesha brahma sundanena nirvishesha brahma digamaha". The method is suggested: the attainment of the non-qualified Brahman by pondering in the qualified Brahman. Try to understand the objects how the objects are influencing me how the object is dragging me towards itself. What is the process of attraction, how I am getting attached to it, how I am getting attracted to it, how it is dragging me, how it is pulling me towards, what are the shades, what are the steps, what are the methods, how it is doing, what is happening within me, what is making me to go towards the object of desire, how the object of desire is pulling me, attracting me - by understanding these, by constantly observing, by constantly contemplating, by constantly analysing, a person will be freed from the influence. This is a real practice down to the earth. That is how it is beautifully said: "sa vishesha brahma sundanena nirvishesha brahma digamaha" This is how the method is suggested,


Then the Upanishad beautifully presents


eka evātmā mantavyo jāgrat-svapna-suṣuptiṣu

sthāna-traya-vyatītasya punar-janma na vidyate


eka eva hi bhūtātmā bhūte bhūte vyavasthitaḥ

ekadhā bahudhā caiva dṛśyate jala-candravat


What a wonderful description is given! Like varieties of pots, various types of pots, shapes of pots, volumes of pots, bigger, smaller, crooked, twisted shapes, and varieties of pots are there. And in the varieties of pots when water is put, the water takes that shape of the pot, and in that water which took the shape of the pot the same one single moon is reflected! One single moon is reflected. "ekadhā bahudhā caiva dṛśyate jala-candravat" - One moon is reflected in all the varieties of pots, ghata. So, there may be millions and millions of human beings, millions and millions of creatures. But what is reflecting in all of them is one Atman, the force responsible for me for all of us to breathe, the same force is responsible for a tiger to breathe, for a snake to breathe, even for a small virus to be alive, even for a small insect to move. The force is same, the shakti is same, the Atman is same - Atmana ekatvam. See how the Upanishad is presenting the methods of contemplation


Atmano janmanashrahityam - and that Atma is janma–nasha-rahitya - means the moon which was reflecting in the water in the ghata, in the pot the ghata is broken and the water spreads and the reflection of moon is not seen. We should not come to the conclusion that the moon has lost, moon has disappeared. The moon did not disappear. The capacity of the moon to reflect also did not gone. What is gone is the medium of reflection. Because the medium of reflection has gone, the reflecting capacity is not gone of the moon. That's why what was there before reflecting, what is there after reflecting; Pre-reflection and post-reflection and during the reflection - what was that moon is always there. This is how the Upanishad puts it Atma: is janma nasha rahitya:. A wonderful example in imagery is presented for the understanding that when we say that I am born, I will die, I may die, how the Atma is avinashihi, As it was presented in the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita that the Atman cannot be removed, cannot be moved:


"nainaà chindanti çasträëi

nainaà dahati pävakaù"


Not even the pancha bhutas bring any transformation in the Atman. So this is a beautiful thought given, a thought for contemplation, thought for meditation, a thought for pondering, as a Sadhana in the Amritabindu Upanishad. Then the Upanishad gives another beautiful verse:


śabda-māyāvṛto naiva tamasā yāti puṣkare

bhinne tamasi caikatvam caikatvam eka evānupaśyati


That oneness is to be understood, and that oneness can be understood by the "sabda Brahma dhyanena parabhrahmadhikama:"


śabdākṣaraṃ paraṃ brahma tasmin kṣīṇe yad akṣaram

tad vidvān akṣaraṃ dhyāyed yadīcchec chāntim ātmana


dve vidye veditavye tu śabda-brahma paraṃ ca yat

śabda-brahmaṇi niṣṇātaḥ paraṃ brahmādhigacchati


By meditating on the śabdākṣara that is on the Aum, contemplating the Aum, experiencing the vibrations of the Aum, Meditating, contemplating pondering on the sound of the Aum, the beginning of the sound, the end of the sound, in between the sound, the permanency of the sound, the starting of the sound , the end of the sound, from where the Aum starts, into where the Aum ends, the beginning, the exact starting point of the Aum – Shabdankura: it is called. And from where it merges into it, the merging point and the starting point - by contemplating on that, one can transcend that itself.


grantham abhyasya medhāvī jñāna-vijñāna-tatparaḥ

palālam iva dhānyārthī tyajed grantham grantham aśeṣataḥ


So you cross over and you will overcome the practices itself. The practices help to overcome, and you will overcome the practice itself. This is an important suggestion and a practice to be noted in the Amritabindu Upanishad.


The Upanishad again presents the oneness of the varieties, and gives a beautiful example that

gavām aneka-varṇānāṃ kṣīrasyāpy eka-varṇatā

kṣīravat paśyate jñānaṃ liṅginas tu gavāṃ yathā


Means cows, the color of the cows are different, but the milk of the cows is same. How beautiful it is! Various cows, varieties of cows, different colors, and different sizes may be there, but their milk has same color. Earlier the example given is the same moon reflecting, and here another imagery, another point to pondering over, another example for understanding, to push forward a particular point about the Ekatmata is given: The color of the milk is white, it is same.

gavām aneka-varṇānāṃ kṣīrasyāpy eka-varṇatā

kṣīravat paśyate jñānaṃ liṅginas tu gavāṃ yathā

Like that, in the various things what is the common one has to be found out and understood, Vijnana it is called.


satataṃ manthayitavya manthayitavyaṃ manasā manthānabhūtena

This mantana has to be done, constant churning in the mind, constant contemplation, pondering over. With these examples, one can attain the Amritastithi or Amitabindu stithi. "Sakshatkara Sadhanam dhyanam" - for that Dhyana is important. So Mananam, Nididhyasanam is important. Dhyana is an important dimension.


The Upanishad beautifully concludes

jñāna-netraṃ samādāya coddhared vahnivat param

niṣkalaṃ niścalaṃ śāntaṃ tad brahmāham iti smṛtam


sarva-bhūtādhivāsaṃ yad bhūteṣu ca vasatyapi

sarvānugrāhakatvena hakatvena tad asmyaha asmyahaṃ vāsudevaḥ


What is there in all these different things, seemingly different things, the common existent power is one and the same. This understanding this understanding is the crux of the Amritabindu Upanishad. That 'I am' and what is there in others, what is in me and what is in others, what I am what is in others is the same. This method of the mind, this thinking of the mind makes it Amritaha. So we have begun with "Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayoho" then Brahma Jnana, then Brahma Bhagava prapti will come, the moon and the pots, the milk and the cows, and from the Aum, contemplation of the Aum, chanting of the Aum, and meditation on the Aum, on the various dimensions of the Aum, the beginning of the sound of the Aum, the end of the sound of the Aum, that is how the entire Upanishad presents us a beautiful technique. That is the Amrita Bindu Upanishad's technique. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti:

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