- Ghandarva Vidya
- Artha Vēda or Shilpa Vidya
- Negantu/ Neruktam
- Pūrva Memāmsa
- Maha Bharatha
This Upanishad is supposed to belong to Atharva Vēda. This Upanishad is all about Brahma Vidya. It is believed that Brahma Vidya which appears in this Upanishad is originally taught by Maharshi Brahma to Atharva, then Atharva to Angira, then Angira to Sathyavahana, then Sathyavahana to Angirasa and then finally Angira to Shounaka. But no one knows who the actual author of this Upanishad is.
This Upanishad is divided into three main parts and each part is named as Mundaka. Each Mundaka is again divided into two sections. Put together there are 64 slōkās in these six sections.
In the first Mundaka first section, the names of all those Rishis who propagated Brahma Vidya and their order is given. The two basic Vidyas (Apara and Parā) necessary for acquiring knowledge of Brahma and the difference between the two Vidyas and their use is explained. Methods of acquiring Brahma Vidya and creation of the Universe are explained in a general way.
In the second section of first Mundaka, all about Apara Vidya is given and the direction to get Mukthi (salvation) is given. The methods of implementing Apara Vidya and the results that will be obtained due to Apara Vidya are explained.
In the first section of second Mundaka, all about Prakrithi (nature) and creation from Prakrithi is explained. Also in this section the description of the God’s form and Vishwa Rūpa is given. In the second section of second Mundaka methods of invoking and visualizing (with Buddhi not with eyes) God are explained.
In the first section of third Mundaka, the difference between Jēva, Ēshwara and Prakrithi is explained. Also the benefits of acquiring Ēshwara by Jēva are explained. In the second section of third Mundaka, the characteristics of obtaining Ēshwara with the help of Gyana and Bhakthi are explained. In this section how the soul will travel through Mukthi and comes back to life is explained.
- Maharshi Brahma is the director of Varnashrama Dharma and therefore is called Vishwa Kartha. He is the teacher of Brahma Vidya and by his teachings enlightens the people and protects them from doing sin and is therefore called as Bhuvana Gōptha (who protects the world). He had many pupils among which Adharva is the most prominent. So Maharshi Brahma taught Adharva the Brahma Vidya.[Any person who is well versed in all four Vēdas is called as Brahma].
- Adharva learnt from Brahma, then Angira learnt it from Adharva, then Sathyavahana learnt it from Angira and then Angirasa learnt it from Sathyavahana.
- Once a rich person named Shounaka approached Maharshi Angirasa and requested him to tell him about that thing, on knowing it this (Universe) everything will be known.
- On Shounaka’s request, Angirasa told that, “according to Vēdic scholars two types of Vidya known as Para and Apara are to be learned”.
- According to Angirasa, Rig Vēdam, Yajus Vēdam, Sāma Vēdam, Adharva Vēdam, Shiksha, Kalpam, Vyākaranna, Neruktham, Chandassu, and Jyothisham are regarded as Apara Vidya. After learning the Apara Vidya, whatever Vidya one learns about and due to which one acquires the indestructible matter is called Para Vidya.
- The thing that is to be learnt due to Para Vidya is something which cannot be known by our Gyana Indriyās (eyes, ears, tongue, skin and nose), cannot be acquired by Karmēndriyās (mouth, hands, legs, excretory system and reproduction system), does not have Gōthra, does not have a color, does not have eye and ears, does not have hands and legs, is eternal, omnipresent, all pervading, minute than the minutest, indestructible, and everything in the Universe is because of which is perceived everywhere by intelligent scholars or Yogi’s in their meditation.
- Just like a spider brings out strings for its net and also keeps everything within its body, just like plants emerge from the seeds, and just like hair grows on bodies, this entire Universe emerges from that indestructible matter.
- With its knowledge, Brahma does penance and Prakrithi is brought into existence. From this Prakrithi, Mahathathvam is brought into existence. From the Mahathathvam emerged Anthahkarannam and from the Anthahkarannam emerged Thanmātrās (Pancha Bhūthās in their minute form). Then emerged Sun, stars and planets from Thanmātrās and then Karmas and their results emerged.
- The God who knows everything and is pervading in everything, whose penance is knowledge, from that God Vēdas, Universe with its constituents names, medicinal plants and from those eatables are emerging.
- Our previous sages were able to know which Manthrās in the Vēdas are for doing proper karmas like Agnihōthra, speaking truth etc., and preached them. There are many such Manthrās in Vēdas and are in different forms and explicitly given. Those persons who seek Mukthi should regularly practice that is given in these Manthrās. Follow the sayings and get benefitted from those karmas. This is the only path towards salvation or Mukthi and this is the only truth.
- When performing Agnihōthra, wait till the Agni is fully ready to burn the materials and then first give Ghee as Āhuthi (sacrifice) and then other required materials according to the type of Agnihōthra.
- Persons who follow Vēda Dharma will do Agnihōthra in correct time and according to the ritual or according to the type of penance or according to the season and with the required materials accordingly. Who does not do such Agnihōthra accordingly will be depleted of good results in their life and afterwards.
- The fire or Agni that is set up in the Altar should be fully in position to burn the materials. Such Agni is called Divyamayi or Lelāyamāna and is described to have seven tongues with which in swallows the materials or burns the materials. The seven names of this Agni are Kāli (black color), Karāli (Fearsome), Manōjavā (having the speed of mind), Sulōhithā (good red color), Sudhūmravarnnā (ash color), Sphulingini (containing sparks), and Vishwarūpi (having different other forms) respectively.
- Anyone who does Agnihōthra regularly in the above said seven faces of fire and conducts well in the society according to Varnāshrama Dharma, is called as Sathpurusha and the given Āhuthis will rise above with the help of Sun rays and reach the leader of all Dēvathās. [Indra is the leader of all Dēvathās. Indra is Surya or Sun in this context.].
- Because of the Agnihōthra, the Yajamān (Person doing Agnihōthra) will be invited to Brahma Lōka by the Sun rays with all respect and gives the Yajamān the ultimate happiness. [Here we have to understand that the Yajamān will be purified by Agnihōthra and his/her soul will attain Brahma and enjoy the bliss].
- Agnihōthra should be performed without any personal desires. If done with personal desires, definitely the desires will be fulfilled. But, one cannot obtain Mukthi and will attain the cycle of birth and death. No doubt, happiness is obtained by Agnihōthra but Mukthi is obtained only if done without any personal desires in mind.
- Illusion filled knowledge is called Avidya. Those who immerse in such Avidya consider themselves to be scholars and fall in the birth and death cycle continuously and suffer immense pains. Ill-witted people fall into such illusions for worldly happiness just like a blind person following another blind fellow. A blind fellow following another blind will not get the right path and instead fall into a pit.
- Rāga (liking) and Dwesha (disliking) are the reason for a person’s behavior. Instigated by Rāga people do good Karmas and attain happiness. Therefore Rāga is the reason for bonding. According to Angirasa, Rāga is due to Avidya and therefore a person running for worldly pleasures does not obtain Mukthi.
Those who think worldly pleasures are the ultimate and do not know about Mukthi, will enjoy these worldly pleasures in this painful life and complete the good karmas and get lower lives in their next birth.
Those scholars, who are not bent towards worldly pleasures, leave the worldly attachments and live a solitary life and eat after begging. They bear the Dwandwas (cold and heat, happiness and pain, praise and insult etc., are called Dwandwas) and do the Vēdic Karmas without any desires in mind. These scholars become depleted of impurities and at the end of their life due to their Yoga practice, pass through the Sushumnānādi (a particular nerve in the head of the body) and acquire salvation.
The person who read Vēdas and who wants to know about Brahma is called a Brahmin. Such a person will realize the results pleasures and pains of Karma. He will realize that Brahma cannot be obtained due to Karmas. So he becomes determined and approaches a Maharshi with a lamp in the hand and requests him to preach about Brahma. [A lamp in the hand indicates obedience and service orientation.].
The Maharshi, who has won over the senses and renounced the worldly pleasures, will be able to preach the Brahma Vidya ‘as it is’ to the worthy student.
- Just like equal sized sparks come out from fire, similarly from this Prakrithi all materials are produced and all materials disappear back into Prakrithi during Prallaya.
- Paramāthma is definitely Divya (divine), Amōrthāh (form less), Purushah (Fill everything), Bāhyābhyantharaha (all pervading inside and outside of everything), Ajah (never takes birth), Aprānnaha (does not have Prānna), Amanāh (does not imagine), Shubhrah (Pure), different from Prakrithi and minutest of all.
- Because of Paramāthma Prānnam (life), Mannassu (mind), Sarvēndriyānni (all senses), Ākāsham (invisible space), Vāyu (air/gaseous substance), Jyōthi (Agni/Sun rays/Vidyuth/Electricity/Fire), Āpah (Jal/water/liquid substance) and all supporting Earth are created.
- Paramāthma fills this Universe and if his structure is imagined as a human body and compared, then the brilliance is Head, Moon and Sun are Eyes, Directions are Ears, Vēdās are Voice, Air is Prānna, all mobile and immobile materials are Heart and Feet are Earth.
- Paramāthma created the Agni (Fire) but Sūrya is the fuel for Agni. Because of Chandra (Moon) Clouds rain onto Earth and Ōshadhi (herbs and food) are produced. Pumān (Man) puts his semen in Yoshithāyām (Woman) and people are born. In this manner Paramāthma created the world.
- Due to Paramāthma where Surya and Chandra are shining, there the following were born. Ruk (Mantrās pertaining to Ruk), Sāma (Mantrās pertaining to Sāma), Yajus (Mantrās pertaining to Sāma), Diksha (dedication in penance), Yagyas, Krathavaha (Rituals), Dakshinna (Donation), Samvathsara (Time), Yajamān (Person donating for Yagyas), and Lōkas (all planets, stars etc.,).
- Due to Paramāthma different Dēvathās (all divine materials), Achievers, Humans, Animals, Birds, Prānna (life sustaining air) and Apāna (Gas responsible for excretion), Grains, Rituals, Shraddha (Dedication), Sathyam (Truth speaking), Brahmacharyam (Not involving in Adulteration and having control over sexual organs), and Āgya (Order) were created.
- Seven Senses (Two Eyes, Two Ears, Two Nostrils, One Mouth) which acquire all information from outside the body with Seven rays in them to acquire Seven different aspects and with Seven different materialistic knowledge are created by God. These Senses are attached to Mind (inner Sense) during deep sleep and to Prānna during awaken state.
- All Oceans, Rivers, Mountains, Herbs, and Juices were created and with Pancha Bhūthās, all living bodies are made and in such bodies souls are placed by the God.
Dear Shounaka, Work, Knowledge, Superior and indestructible Vēdas, and the entire visible Universe are present in the all pervading God. Whoever realizes this fact, he/she will remove the illusion gland or Avidya from the mind in this birth only.
- The one that announces itself, the one that is closest to all, the one which can be known only by Buddhi, the one that is famous and Greatest, the one that cannot be realized by ordinary people, the one that is best of the best, the one which is to be sought, the one which is present in the Buddhi of a Yogi, and the one in which this mobile and immobile Universe is present is none other than Brahmam or God.
- The one that is radiant, the one that is minutest, and the one in which all worlds and lives exist is nothing but Brahmam. It is indestructible, it is the reason for everything, it is the Voice and Mannassu, it is the truth, and it is the one that should be sought by the mind.
- As prescribed in Upanishads, find a bow like instrument and in that bow place meditation as arrow and release it towards the target. Keeping Brahma in mind reach the indestructible Brahmam.
- ‘AUM’ is definitely the bow and Yogi (due to meditation) should become the arrow and reach the Brahmam. In this manner without any disturbances one should reach Brahmam.
- Dyulōkam (Region in which Sun, Stars and other radian bodies are placed), Prithvi (Planets and satellites), Anthariksham (Space between Earth and Sun), All lives in the Universe and Manassu get support from Brahmam just like beads are supported by the string. All these glow because of Brahmam and one should use this Brahmam as bridge to cross the river of death and birth cycle.
- Just like spokes connected to the wheel of a vehicle, all nerves in the body are connected to the brain. In this brain God is known with the help of knowledge, Upāsana (keeping close to God) and Dhyāna (Meditation). One should do Dhyāna with repeating the sound ‘AUM’ meaningfully or realizing the meaning of the word ‘AUM’. The meaning of ‘AUM’ is knowledge and dedication is Upāsana.
- Soul or Jēva stays in the brain and accesses the food dependent body with the help of Manassu or mind. This Soul or Jēva with the help of knowledge and dedication meditates on the blissful God who is famous throughout the Earth, and acquire the all known and all pervading Paramāthma in the BrahmaPuram (It is the point from which a Yogi’s soul exits the body).
- When the Yogi perceives God in the BrahmaPuram, all his Avidya and doubts will be gone and all his karmas decline.
- Yogis after losing Avidya perceive the Brahmam who is the minutest, the Greatest, the purest, and the light for all the lights or shines objects like Sun and Stars in the Universe.
Neither the Sun nor the Stars nor the Moon nor the Lightning can illuminate the God. Then what can this Agni do? All the light giving objects are shining due to the brilliance of Paramāthma.
For a Yogi, in his meditation, the Brahmam appears in front, back, up and down and around him and in the entire Universe he will see Brahmam only and nothing else.
- Two birds of equal fame and which never separate are sitting on a tree. One eats the sweet fruit of the tree and the other just watches. [Here one bird is Jēva and the other is Paramāthma. The tree is Prakrithi and the bird which eats the fruit is Jēva and the bird which watches is Paramāthma. Jēva or soul enjoys nature and Paramāthma is the witness for all that is happening.].
- Jēva is always involved in Rāga and Dwēsham and is limited in the body. Due to his Avidya, he is always attached to the rope of sufferings and does not get rid of it. When a person sees and learns from Yogis about God, then he/she gets relieve from these sufferings.
- When a person realizes about the author of Vēdas, King of the Universe, self radiating object and omnipresent God, then that scholar will be relieved of liking and disliking of the worldly pleasures and attains the wonderful peace.
- When a scholar who is striving to become a Yogi, realizes that Paramāthma is shining with every soul and is the witness for our deeds and is the reason and life of lives, then he/she becomes silent and does not waste time and activity for anything else. This Yogi will be enjoying bliss within himself/herself. Such a Yogi becomes famous among the Scholars.
- When the characteristics of liking and disliking are lost in a Yogi, then he/she is enlightened with the radiance of God and his brain is filled with knowledge and entire Avidya is lost. This situation for a Yogi comes only after practicing of speaking truth, bearing the Dwandwas, regularly meditating on God and with Brahmacharyam.
- The one does not change with time and place is called Truth and that is God and is the ultimate limit of truth. There is no Truth beyond this. Untruth makes one to suffer and Truth gives joy. That is why scholars and Rishis stick to truth and never speak what is not Truth. Therefore Truth is one of the best methods of obtaining salvation.
- Brahmam is the Greatest of all and is minute than the minutest. It is self radiant and cannot be imagined and sketched by Manassu or mind. It is nearer than the nearest and farther than the farthest. It can only be obtained inside Buddhi and with the help of Meditation.
- Paramāthma cannot be seen eyes or called with voice or with any sense for that sake. Paramāthma or God or Brahmam cannot be obtained by any karma good or bad that we do. Paramāthma can only be perceived by purifying the mind and meditating within Buddhi.
- One can get salvation only when the soul is within the body that is made of Pancha Prānna (Prānna, Apāna, Vyāna, Udāna, and Samāna), Indriyās (Senses) with Prānna Shakthi, and Anthahkarannam (mind) that is purified. In the purified state a Yogi will obtain God within the Buddhi.
The Yogi, who by following Yama Niyamās got Samādhi state, can get all the joy in the Universe. There is no desire that cannot be fulfilled for such a Yogi. In order to achieve this one should learn the art of Yoga from a Brahma Gyāni by rendering service to such purified souls.
- The Yogi who does Upāsana to the Brahmam in which this entire Universe is present, which is purely Brilliance, and which is the support to everything will definitely achieve this Brahmam in his/her purified Buddhi. The above Yogi by leaving all the worldly pleasures and meditating on God will surely be beyond the birth and death cycle.
- If a person meditates with his/her mind thinking about worldly pleasures, will definitely because of the worldly desires take birth again after the death. But the Yogi whose mind is purified will have depleted of worldly thoughts.
- Paramāthma cannot be obtained just by reading books or by teaching or by intelligence or by listening more or reading Shāstras. Only by seeking God in previously said methods one can achieve Him.
- One cannot attain salvation by enjoying worldly pleasures. One has to strictly follow Brahmacharya and Āshrama Dharma and seek God according to previously said methods.
- The Yogi and Scholars who followed Āshrama Dharma and renounced the worldly pleasures will obtain the omnipresent Brahmam in their Meditation.
- By practicing Āshrama Dharma according to Vēdas, by controlling Indriyās, by renouncing worldly pleasures and by meditating with purified mind, a Yogi will be given salvation for a period of Parānthakāla (about 31,104 x 1010 years) and again re-enter this Universe by taking birth.
- When a Yogi gets salvation, all the 15 parts (Prānna, Shraddha, Prithvi, Jal, Agni, Vāyu, Ākāsham, Indriyās, Annam, Vēryam, Thappassu, Mantra, Karma, Lōkam and Nāmam) which were with his soul will unite with their respective matter. So Jēva or soul will be detached from these and become free or what we call as salvation. Jēva is now attached only with God.
- Just like all rivers entering the ocean lose their individual identity, similarly all those who got salvation lose their body entities and enter the Paramāthma.
- One, who knows this Brahmam will be relieved of sufferings, will be detached from sins, will be released from worldly memories and will become Brahmam itself. Only Brahma Gyānis will be born in the family of a Yogi who got salvation or Mukthi.
This Brahma Vidya is dictated by Rig Vēda. This Brahma Vidya will be taught to those only who perfectly followed the Vēdic Dharma and did the duties accordingly. Also it can be taught to a person who strictly followed Brahmacharya.
- According to Rishi Angirasa, only the person who strictly followed or follows Brahmacharya will be able to learn and achieve this Brahma Vidya. Namaskāra to all the great Rishis and Namaskāra to all the great Rishis.