Bhumavidya (Samskrit : भूमविद्या) is the knowledge of subtle meditation processes given to the world in the dialogue between Narada and Sanathkumara mentioned in Chandogya Upanishad (Chapter 7). Bhumavidya gives us the knowledge of the Self in an aprapanchaka way. This vidya is also discussed in Brhdaranyaka Upanishad.
Whereas Brahmavidya and Panchagnividyas are also expounded in the same Chandogya Upanishad, they are saprapanchaka in approach for the ordinary householder, whose observances lead him to the realization of the Brahman. However, it is evident that all these vidya's are steps in the process of the evolution of the human mind and all ultimately lead a sadhaka to the Infinite (variously called as Brahman, Parabrahman or Absolute consciousness or Pure Consciousness).
- 1 परिचयः|| Introduction
- 2 नामोपासनम् || Namopasana
- 3 भूमविद्या || Bhumavidya
- 3.1 वाक् || Speech
- 3.2 मनस् || Manas (Mind)
- 3.3 संकल्पम् || Sankalpa (Will or Resolve)
- 3.4 चित्तम् || Chitta (Intelligence)
- 3.5 ध्यानम् || Dhyana (Contemplation)
- 3.6 विज्ञानम् || Vijnana (Knowledge)
- 3.7 बलम् || Balam (Strength)
- 3.8 अन्नम् || Anna (Food)
- 3.9 आपः || Apah (Water)
- 3.10 तेजस् || Tejas (Fire)
- 3.11 आकाशः || Aakasha (Space)
- 3.12 स्मृतिः || Smrti (Memory)
- 3.13 आशा || Asha (Hope)
- 3.14 प्राणः || Prana (Life-force)
- 4 भूमा || The Infinite
- 5 References
Narada Sanathkumara samvada is initiated due to the fact that supreme good was not attained by Narada, even though he was endowed with excellent faculties and capabilities of all knowledge (being Brahma manasaputra). For this reason, having renounced all his pride of excellent lineage, knowledge, conduct and capabilities, like any ordinary person, he approaches Sanathkumara, for obtaining the supreme good - this in itself shows that the knowledge of the Self is the only means to attain the Absolute Consciousness or Parabrahmam. Chandogya Upanishad the treasure house of all tattvas contains this dialogue explaining one of the many philosophies that lead a man to the Parabrahmam.
नामोपासनम् || Namopasana
Narada maharshi approached Sanatkumara and requested him to teach him Brahmajnana so that he could quieten his disturbed mind. Sanatkumara asks him what knowledge base he already has, so as to accordingly instruct him beyond that knowledge (Chan. Upan. 7.1.1). Towards this end, he asks Narada about all the vidyas that he is aware of.
नाम वा ऋग्वेदो यजुर्वेदः सामवेद अथर्वणश्चतुर्थ इतिहासपुराणः पञ्चमो वेदानां वेदः पित्र्यो राशिदैवो निधिर्वाकोवाक्यमेकायनं देवविद्या ब्रह्मविद्या भूतविद्या क्षत्रविद्या नक्षत्रविद्या सर्पदेवज्ञविद्या नामैवैतन्नामोपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.1.4)
so'haṁ bhagavo mantravidevāsmi nā''tmavicchutam̐hyeva me bhagavoddr̥śebhyastarati śokamātmaviditi so'haṁ bhagavaḥ śocāmi taṁ mā bhagavā ñchokasya parāṁ tārayatviti tam̐hovāca yadvai kiṁcaitadadhyagīṣṭhānāmaivaitat || (Chan. Upan. 7.1.3)
Meaning : Sanathkumara says - "Whatever you have studied is only a name. All the vedas (Rig, Yajus, Sama and Atharvana. As the 5th the Itihasa (history) and Puranas, the Veda of Vedas namely Vyakarana (grammar), Pitrya (Shraddha kalpa or the rites for the forefathers), गनित||Ganita (Mathematics), दैव || Daiva ( the science of portents), निधि || Nidhi (the science of time), वाकोवाक्य || Vakovaakya (logic) एकायन || Ekayana (ethics and politics), देवविद्या || Deva vidya (Etymology) ब्रह्मविद्या || Brahmavidya (the science of the Vedas, including vedangas) भूतविद्या || Bhutavidya (science of elements), क्षत्रविद्या || Kshtravidya (Science of war or Dhanurveda), नक्षत्रविद्या || nakshatra vidya (science of stars or astronomy), सर्पदेवज्ञविद्या || Sarpavidya (science of snakecharming and fine arts) - All these are the name only. Meditate on the Name.
He who meditates on the Name as Brahman, becomes independent as far as the Name reaches.
भूमविद्या || Bhumavidya
Narada maharshi continues to ask if there is something better than a Name and Sanathkumara replies that there is something greater than the Name, which is capable of being thought of as Brahman. Thereafter, Sanathkumara in his brilliant exposition outlines a series of aspects starting with what is greater than Name and ultimately leads Narada to The Bhuma or Infinite (Brahman) according to Adhyaya 7 of the Chandogya Upanishad.
वाक् || Speech
वाग्वाव नाम्नो भूयसी वाग्वा ऋग्वेदं विज्ञापयतु यजुर्वेदँ् सामवेदमाथर्वणं चतुर्थमितिहासपुराणं पञ्चमं वेदानां ..... वाङ्नाभविष्यन्न धर्मो नाधर्मो व्यज्ञापयिष्यन्न सत्यं नानृतं न साधु नासाधु न हृदयज्ञो नाहृदयज्ञो वागेवैतत्सर्वं विज्ञापयति वाचमुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.2.1)
vāgvāva nāmno bhūyasī vāgvā r̥gvedaṁ vijñāpayatu yajurvedam̐ sāmavedamātharvaṇaṁ caturthamitihāsapurāṇaṁ pañcamaṁ vedānāṁ ..... vāṅnābhaviṣyanna dharmo nādharmo vyajñāpayiṣyanna satyaṁ nānr̥taṁ na sādhu nāsādhu na hr̥dayajño nāhr̥dayajño vāgevaitatsarvaṁ vijñāpayati vācamupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.2.1)
Summary : वाक् || Vaak (Speech) is greater than Name. Speech makes one understand the four vedas, the itihasa and puranas, the veda of vedas, the Veda of Vedas namely Vyakarana (grammar), Pitrya (Shraddha kalpa or the rites for the forefathers), गनित||Ganita (Mathematics), दैव || Daiva ( the science of portents), निधि || Nidhi (the science of time), वाकोवाक्य || Vakovaakya (logic) एकायन || Ekayana (ethics and politics), देवविद्या || Deva vidya (Etymology) ब्रह्मविद्या || Brahmavidya (the science of the Vedas, including vedangas) भूतविद्या || Bhutavidya (science of elements), क्षत्रविद्या || Kshtravidya (Science of war or Dhanurveda), नक्षत्रविद्या || nakshatra vidya (science of stars or astronomy), सर्पदेवज्ञविद्या || Sarpavidya (science of snakecharming and fine arts), heaven, earth, air, akasa, water, fire , the devatas, men, animals, cattle, grasses, trees, worms, and ants, vice and virtue, truth and untruth, good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant. Speech makes us understand all this. Meditate on speech. According to Sri. K. S. Narayanacharya's insights
"Paroksha jnana (knowledge which is from outside source), gives Aparavidya,which means knowledge of this realm. Paravidya means that knowledge which enlightens the inner self through direct experience. This Para vak is spoken by a brahmavid. The four Vedas and the Vedaangas constitute ‘Apara Vidya’ which finally shape into real or valid knowledge when associated with svanubhuti (personal experience), a path used by a sadhaka to achieve Parambrahma."
मनस् || Manas (Mind)
मनो वाव वाचो भूयो यथा वै द्वे वाऽऽमलके .... मनो ह्यात्मा मनो लोको मनो हि ब्रह्म मन उपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.3.1)
mano vāva vāco bhūyo yathā vai dve vā''malake .... mano hyātmā mano loko mano hi brahma mana upāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.3.1)
Meaning : Upon Narada maharshi's inquiry, Sanathkumara explains : मनः || Manas (Mind) is higher than Vak (Speech) just as one holds two amla (gooseberry) fruits or Badri fruits in one’s fist, similarly Mind holds Vak and Nama. When one wishes in his mind to read Veda, he reads it, when he wishes in mind to perform actions then he performs them. Only in the mind one desires wealth and children. When a person wishes in mind for this world or the next, he desires for them. Mind is the world, Mind is the Self, indeed and Mind is Parabrahmam. Meditate on the mind.
संकल्पम् || Sankalpa (Will or Resolve)
संकल्पो वाव मनसो भूयान्यदा वै संकल्पततेऽथ मनस्यत्यथ वाचमीरयति तामु नाम्नीरयति नाम्नि मन्त्रा एकं भवन्ति मन्त्रेषु कर्माणि || (Chan. Upan. 7.4.1)
saṁkalpo vāva manaso bhūyānyadā vai saṁkalpatate'tha manasyatyatha vācamīrayati tāmu nāmnīrayati nāmni mantrā ekaṁ bhavanti mantreṣu karmāṇi || (Chan. Upan. 7.4.1)
Summary : Narada rishi continues to ask Sanatkumara questions. Sanatkumar explains : संकल्पः || Sankalpa (Will or Resolve) is higher than mind and it is within its purview that we are able to do karma and achieve success. For when a man wills, he thinks in his mind, then through speech he utters it (his resolve) in Name. In the name, the mantras become one, and into the mantras, the karma (ritual works) merges.
तानि ह वा एतानि संकल्पैकायनानि संकल्पे प्रतिष्ठितानि सम्क्लृपतां द्यावापृथिवी समकल्पेतां वायुश्चाऽऽकाशं च समकल्पन्ताऽऽपश्च तेजश्च तेषाँ् सम्क्लृप्त्यै .... संकल्पमुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.4.2)
tāni ha vā etāni saṁkalpaikāyanāni saṁkalpe pratiṣṭhitāni samklr̥patāṁ dyāvāpr̥thivī samakalpetāṁ vāyuścā''kāśaṁ ca samakalpantā''paśca tejaśca teṣām̐ samklr̥ptyai .... saṁkalpamupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.4.2)
Summary : Indeed, all these (beginning with mind and ending in yagnas) center in the will, consist of will, and abide in will. द्यावा || Dyava,(land of light), पृथिवी || prithivi (earth) and other Panchabhutas (Vaayu, Akasha, Aapa (water), Agni) all of them Willed. Through the will of these, वर्ष || Rain, अन्न || Food, प्रणा || Prana, मन्त्रा || mantras, कर्माणि || Karma (actions) are developed and therefore meditate on Sankalpa. By the will of the world, all things - the whole universe - wills, for an accomplishment of its full form.
Verse 7.4.3 goes on to describe the consequences accruing to such a Meditator on the Will. One who meditates on the Will as Brahman, remains permanent, accomplished and undistressed and finally obtains the permanent renowned worlds appointed for him, free from all fear and enemies.
चित्तम् || Chitta (Intelligence)
चित्तं वाव संकल्पाद्भूयो यदा वै चेतयतेऽथ संकल्पयतेऽथ मनस्यत्यथ वाचसीरयति तासु नाम्नीरयति नाम्नि मन्त्रा एकं भवन्ति मन्त्रेषु कर्मणि || (Chan. Upan. 7.5.1)
cittaṁ vāva saṁkalpādbhūyo yadā vai cetayate'tha saṁkalpayate'tha manasyatyatha vācasīrayati tāsu nāmnīrayati nāmni mantrā ekaṁ bhavanti mantreṣu karmaṇi || (Chan. Upan. 7.5.1)
Summary : To Narada maharshi's question Sanatkumara further answered : चित्तम् || Chitta (Intelligence) is greater than Will. Only when one understands, he will make a resolve, then reflects on his resolve, utters it in speech, spells out the name, and in this the mantras and karma become one.
Chitta is the inspiration for sankalpa (resolve). Intelligence is the faculty of discriminating things at the proper moment and also the faculty for ascertaining the purposes of past and future events, a faculty thus greater than the Will. Intelligence is the center of all actions and their support.
Verse 7.5.3 goes on to describe the consequences accruing to such a Meditator on Intelligence. One who meditates on the Will as Brahman, remains permanent, accomplished and undistressed and finally obtains the permanent renowned worlds appointed for him, free from all fear and enemies.
ध्यानम् || Dhyana (Contemplation)
ध्यानं वाव चित्ताद्भूयो ध्यायतीव पृथवी ध्यायतीवान्तरिक्षं ध्यायतीव द्यौर्ध्यायतीवऽऽपो ध्यायन्तीव पर्वता ध्यायन्तीव देवमनुष्यास्तस्माद्य इह मनुष्याणां महत्तां प्रप्नुवन्ति ध्यानापादाँ् शा इवैव ते .... ध्यानमुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.6.1)
dhyānaṁ vāva cittādbhūyo dhyāyatīva pr̥thavī dhyāyatīvāntarikṣaṁ dhyāyatīva dyaurdhyāyatīva''po dhyāyantīva parvatā dhyāyantīva devamanuṣyāstasmādya iha manuṣyāṇāṁ mahattāṁ prapnuvanti dhyānāpādām̐ śā ivaiva te .... dhyānamupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.6.1)
Meaning : To Narada maharshi's question Sanathkumara replies : ध्यानम् || Contemplation or meditation is greater than Intelligence. पृथिवी || prithivi (earth) meditates, as it were, thus do the sky, water, mountains, devatas and the worldly beings. He, among men, who has attained greatness, has done his share of contemplation or meditation. While अल्पाः narrow-minded people are quarrelsome abusive and slandering, great men have reached heights of meditation. Meditate on Contemplation.
By 'contemplation' is meant a continuous uninterrupted concentrated reflection of certain duties mentioned in the vedas. Contemplation brings about firmness as seen in yogis and hence too, the earth appears firm as if it were contemplating.
विज्ञानम् || Vijnana (Knowledge)
विज्ञानं वाव ध्यानाद्भूयो विज्ञानेन वा ऋग्वेदं विजानाति यजुर्वेदँ् सामवेदमाथर्वणं चतुर्थमितिहासपुराणं पञ्चमं वेदानां वेदं पित्र्यँ् राशिं दैवं निधिं वाकोवाक्यमेकायनं देवविद्यां ब्रह्मविद्यां भूतविद्यां क्षत्रविद्यां नक्षत्रविद्यां सर्पदेवजनविद्यां दिवं च पृथिवीं च वायुं चाऽऽकाशं चापश्च तेजश्च देवाँ्श्च ...... लोकममुं च विज्ञानेनैव विजानाति विज्ञानमुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.7.1)
vijñānaṁ vāva dhyānādbhūyo vijñānena vā r̥gvedaṁ vijānāti yajurvedam̐ sāmavedamātharvaṇaṁ caturthamitihāsapurāṇaṁ pañcamaṁ vedānāṁ vedaṁ pitryam̐ rāśiṁ daivaṁ nidhiṁ vākovākyamekāyanaṁ devavidyāṁ brahmavidyāṁ bhūtavidyāṁ kṣatravidyāṁ nakṣatravidyāṁ sarpadevajanavidyāṁ divaṁ ca pr̥thivīṁ ca vāyuṁ cā''kāśaṁ cāpaśca tejaśca devām̐śca ...... lokamamuṁ ca vijñānenaiva vijānāti vijñānamupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.7.1)
Meaning : Answering Narada maharshi, Sanathkumara further continues : Vijnana is greater than Contemplation. It is through knowledge one knows the four Vedas, the itihasa and puranas and different sciences, virtues and vices, pleasant and unpleasant (as previously given in 7.1.2). The world knows everything through Vijnana. Meditate on Vijnana (Knowledge).
विज्ञानम् || Vijnana is experiential and evidence-based and is superior to Dhyana, it is the progenitor of dhyana. Only through this can one have a proper understanding or Vivekabuddhi or all things visible and invisible, leading us to attain the Knowledge of Brahma. Knowledge refers to grasping the meaning of scriptures whereas wisdom refers to cleverness with regard to other things.
बलम् || Balam (Strength)
बलं वाव विज्ञानाद्भूयोऽपि ह शतं विज्ञानवतासेको बलवानाकम्पयते स यदा बली भवत्यथोत्थाता भवत्युत्तिष्ठन् परिचरिता भवति परिचरन्नुपसत्त भवत्युपसीदन्द्रष्टा भवति श्रोता भवति मन्ता भवति बोध्दा भवति .... बलमुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.8.1)
balaṁ vāva vijñānādbhūyo'pi ha śataṁ vijñānavatāseko balavānākampayate sa yadā balī bhavatyathotthātā bhavatyuttiṣṭhan paricaritā bhavati paricarannupasatta bhavatyupasīdandraṣṭā bhavati śrotā bhavati mantā bhavati bodhdā bhavati .... balamupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.8.1)
Meaning : Continuing his explanation Sanathkumara says : Bala is greater than vijnana. One powerful man shakes a hundred men of knowledge. A man of power rises (is superior), attends to, approaches, sees, hears (to his superiors and teachers), reflects, understands, acts and hence knows. It is by this Strength that the earth stands, so does the sky, heavens, mountains, devatas and mortals, and all other beings and so does the world. Meditate upon Strength.
By Power is meant the intuitive faculty of the Mind, brought about by the use of food.
अन्नम् || Anna (Food)
अन्नं वाव बलाद्भूयस्तस्माद्यद्यपि दशरात्रार्नाश्र्नीयाद्यद्यु ह जीवेदथवाऽद्रष्टाऽश्रोताऽमन्ताऽबोध्दाऽकर्ताऽविज्ञाता भवत्यथान्नस्याऽऽयै द्रष्टा भवति श्रोता भवति मन्ता भवति बोध्दा भवति कर्ता भवति विज्ञाता भवत्यन्नमुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.9.1)
annaṁ vāva balādbhūyastasmādyadyapi daśarātrārnāśrnīyādyadyu ha jīvedathavā'draṣṭā'śrotā'mantā'bodhdā'kartā'vijñātā bhavatyathānnasyā''yai draṣṭā bhavati śrotā bhavati mantā bhavati bodhdā bhavati kartā bhavati vijñātā bhavatyannamupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.9.1)
Meaning : Sanathkumara continues : Food is greater than Strength. For if one does not eat for ten days, though he lives, he is unable to see, hear, reflect, understand, act and know. But 'आयै' meaning 'upon one whom food reaches', he is able to do all these things. Meditate on Food.
It is the bala (strength) of the grain that makes mind strong with right disposition. Thus grain is higher than knowledge and strength. Anna || अन्न is born of water and without rains there is no Anna || अन्न.
आपः || Apah (Water)
आपो वावान्नाद्भूयस्यस्तस्माद्यदा सुवृष्टिर्न भवति व्याधीयन्ते प्राणा अन्नं कनीयो भविष्यतीत्यथ यदा सुवृष्टिर्भवत्यानन्दिनः प्राणा भवन्त्यन्नं बहु भविष्यतीत्याप एवेमा मूर्ता येयं पृथवी यदन्तरिक्षं ...... मूर्ता अप उपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.10.1)
āpo vāvānnādbhūyasyastasmādyadā suvr̥ṣṭirna bhavati vyādhīyante prāṇā annaṁ kanīyo bhaviṣyatītyatha yadā suvr̥ṣṭirbhavatyānandinaḥ prāṇā bhavantyannaṁ bahu bhaviṣyatītyāpa evemā mūrtā yeyaṁ pr̥thavī yadantarikṣaṁ ...... mūrtā apa upāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.10.1)
Meaning : Sanathkumara continues : आपः || Water is greater than food. When water is scarce, प्राणा or vital spirit is troubled as there is less food. When water is sufficiently available, प्राणा or vital spirit rejoices and plenty of food is available. Water verily manifests in different forms, like earth, sky, heavens, mountains, wind and all living beings. All forms are water, Meditate upon water.
तेजस् || Tejas (Fire)
तेजो वावाद्भ्यो भूयस्तद्वा एतद्वायुमागृह्नाऽऽकाशमभितपति तदाऽऽहुर्निशोचति नितपति वर्षिष्यति वा इति तेज एव तत्पूर्वं दर्शयित्वाऽथापः सृजते तदेतदूर्ध्वाभिश्च तिरश्चीभिश्च विद्युद्भिराह्रादाश्चरन्ति ... तेज उपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.12.1)
tejo vāvādbhyo bhūyastadvā etadvāyumāgr̥hnā''kāśamabhitapati tadā''hurniśocati nitapati varṣiṣyati vā iti teja eva tatpūrvaṁ darśayitvā'thāpaḥ sr̥jate tadetadūrdhvābhiśca tiraścībhiśca vidyudbhirāhrādāścaranti ... teja upāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.12.1)
Meaning : Sanathkumara continues : तेजस् || Fire is greater than water. For through the medium of Vaayu, it warms the Aakasha (ether or air). Then it is said "it is hot, it burns, it will rain". Fire first manifests itself and creates water. Thunders and associated lightnings flash up across the skies. Then it is said " there is lightning and thunder, it will rain". It is fire that first shows its presence and creates water. Meditate on fire.
Aapa (water) manifests from तेजस् || Fire, it is the cause of the rain, without fire and heat there can be no rain.
आकाशः || Aakasha (Space)
आकाशो वाव तेजसो भूयानाकाशे वै सूर्या चन्द्रमसावुभौ विद्युन्नक्षत्राण्यग्निराकाशेनाऽऽह्वयत्याकाशेन प्रतिश्रृणोत्याकाशे रमत आकाशे न रमत आकाशे जायत आकाशमभिजायत आकाशमुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.11.1)
ākāśo vāva tejaso bhūyānākāśe vai sūryā candramasāvubhau vidyunnakṣatrāṇyagnirākāśenā''hvayatyākāśena pratiśrr̥ṇotyākāśe ramata ākāśe na ramata ākāśe jāyata ākāśamabhijāyata ākāśamupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.11.1)
Meaning : Sanathkumara continues : आकाशः || Aakasha is greater than the Fire. For in आकाशः || Aakasha exist both Surya and Chandra, Lightning, Stars, and Fire. Through the Aakasha we call or talk (आह्वति) and hear back (प्रतिश्रृणोति) because of it. We rejoice or not in Aakasha, in space are all things arise and they grow. Meditate on Aakasha.
स्मृतिः || Smrti (Memory)
स्मरो वावाऽऽकाशाद्भूयस्तस्माद्यद्यपि बहव आसीरन्न स्मरन्तो नैव ते कंचन शृणुयुर्नमन्वीरन्न विजानीरन्यदा वाव ते स्मरेयुरथ शृणुयुरथ मन्वीरन्नथ विजानीरन्स्मरेण वै पुत्रान्विजानाति स्मरेण पशून्स्मरमुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.13.1)
smaro vāvā''kāśādbhūyastasmādyadyapi bahava āsīranna smaranto naiva te kaṁcana śr̥ṇuyurnamanvīranna vijānīranyadā vāva te smareyuratha śr̥ṇuyuratha manvīrannatha vijānīransmareṇa vai putrānvijānāti smareṇa paśūnsmaramupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.13.1)
Meaning : Sanathkumara continues : स्मृतिः || Memory is greater than Aakasha. For even if many are present, if memory (remembrance) is not present, we cannot hear anyone, would not recollect, nor know anyone. Only when Memory is present, one can hear, contemplate and know. Through memory we know our children and cattle. Meditate on Memory.
स्मृतिः || Memory (the inner dharma) coming from the antahkarana (inner core of the being) is greater than the Sky it awakens when desire is there. It is through memory one recognizes cattle and children to be his own.
आशा || Asha (Hope)
आशा वाव स्मराद्भूयस्याशेद्धो वै स्मरो मन्त्रानधीते कर्मणि कुरुते पुत्राँ्श्च पशूँ्श्चेच्छत इमं च लोकममुं चेच्छत आशामुपास्स्वेति || (Chan. Upan. 7.14.1)
āśā vāva smarādbhūyasyāśeddho vai smaro mantrānadhīte karmaṇi kurute putrām̐śca paśūm̐ścecchata imaṁ ca lokamamuṁ cecchata āśāmupāssveti || (Chan. Upan. 7.14.1)
Meaning : Hope is greater than Memory. Kindled by hope does memory read the mantras, perform activities, desire for sons and cattle. Hope fuels desire for this world and the next. Meditate upon Hope.
प्राणः || Prana (Life-force)
प्राणो वा आशाया भूयान्यथा वा अरा नाभौ समर्पिता एवमस्मिन्प्राणे सर्वँ्समर्पितं प्राणः प्राणेन याति प्राणः प्राणं ददाति प्राणाय ददाति प्राणो ह पिता प्राणो माता प्राणो भ्राता प्राणः स्वसा प्राण आचार्यः प्राणो ब्रह्मणः || (Chan. Upan. 7.15.1)
prāṇo vā āśāyā bhūyānyathā vā arā nābhau samarpitā evamasminprāṇe sarvam̐samarpitaṁ prāṇaḥ prāṇena yāti prāṇaḥ prāṇaṁ dadāti prāṇāya dadāti prāṇo ha pitā prāṇo mātā prāṇo bhrātā prāṇaḥ svasā prāṇa ācāryaḥ prāṇo brahmaṇaḥ || (Chan. Upan. 7.15.1)
Meaning : Spirit (Life force ) is greater than Hope. Just as the spokes of a wheel are bound in the center by the nave, so also everything is fastened to the Prana. Prana moves by prana, it gives prana to the prana. Prana is the father, mother, brother and sister and teacher. Prana is the Brahman. Everything is dependent upon Praana. When unbecoming words are uttered against one's father or other relatives, it is condemned by saying, “Shame on you, you may be affected by the papa (पापम्) of killing mother, father and acharya". Such words signify while the Life force exists. Once life departs the body, even if one is burned to death, he would not be called as a killer. After death, when elders are cremated it is not termed as murder or betrayal, praised as a pious deed. Thus, from both negative and positive instances, it follows that the names "father", "mother" apply to the Spirit or Life within us.
प्राणो ह्योवैतानि सर्वाणि भवति स वा एष एवं पश्यन्नेवं मन्वान एवं विजानन्नतिवादी भवति .... || (Chan. Upan. 7.15.4)
prāṇo hyovaitāni sarvāṇi bhavati sa vā eṣa evaṁ paśyannevaṁ manvāna evaṁ vijānannativādī bhavati .... || (Chan. Upan. 7.15.4)
Life-force is verily all these. One who sees thus, thinks, and knows thus, such people are called as अतिवादी || ativaadi (one who argues) by general people. An अतिवादी || ativaadi only after experiencing the Truth argues for the Truth and should not conceal the fact.
भूमा || The Infinite
Upon Narada maharshi's earnest behest Sanatkumara details the characteristics of भूमा || The Infinite.
सुखं भूमा || Infinite is Bliss
यो वै भूमा तत्सुखं नाल्पे सुखमस्ति भूमैव सुखं भूमा त्वेव विजिज्ञासितव्य इति भूमानं भगवो विजिज्ञास इति || (Chan. Upan. 7.23.1)
yo vai bhūmā tatsukhaṁ nālpe sukhamasti bhūmaiva sukhaṁ bhūmā tveva vijijñāsitavya iti bhūmānaṁ bhagavo vijijñāsa iti || (Chan. Upan. 7.23.1)
Meaning : भूमा || The Infinite is Bliss. There is no bliss in anything finite. The Infinite alone is Bliss. Bhagavan - I desire to understand the Infinite.
Discussion : The principle of contentment is superior all others. When this principle is understood, the eternal happiness that so arises is incessantly dependent on something which is great and which is addressed as Parabrahman. The ordinary mundane things do not give us true happiness; it can only produce unwanted longing, misery, disease, and cycles of life and death experiences.
अमृतं भूमा || Infinite is Immortal
यत्र नान्यत्पश्यति नान्यच्छृणोति नान्यद्विजानाति स भूमाऽथ यत्रान्यत्पश्यत्यन्यच्छृणोत्यन्यद्विजानाति तदल्पं यो वै भूमा तदमृतमथ यदल्पं तन्मर्त्यँ्स भगवः कस्मिन्प्रतिष्ठित इति स्वे महिम्नि यदि वा न महिम्नीति || (Chan. Upan. 7.24.1)
yatra nānyatpaśyati nānyacchr̥ṇoti nānyadvijānāti sa bhūmā'tha yatrānyatpaśyatyanyacchr̥ṇotyanyadvijānāti tadalpaṁ yo vai bhūmā tadamr̥tamatha yadalpaṁ tanmartyam̐sa bhagavaḥ kasminpratiṣṭhita iti sve mahimni yadi vā na mahimnīti || (Chan. Upan. 7.24.1)
Meaning : When one sees nothing, hears nothing else, understands nothing else - that is the Infinite. When one sees, hears and understands something - that is Finite. That which is Infinite is Immortal and that which is Finite is mortal.
भूमा (big, endless), the sanctuary for eternal happiness, can be understood not by sight, hearing (or perception) but by being fully absorbed in Yoga. That Bhuma || भूमा is Amrutam, whatever is अल्पम् or dull-witted is मर्त्य || Martya or mortal.
Narada maharshi asks : Wherein does the Infinite rest? Sanathkumara replies : In its own greatness when a resting place is talked about. But the reality is that It does not rest even in its own greatness. Thus Infinite is without any rest, without any support. As परम्ब्रह्म || Parambrahma is established by its own glory and not sheltered on anything, it is the root, and shelter of or the only source of Jagat.
अहं भूमा || Infinite is 'I'
In Chan. Upan. 7.25, Sanathkumara explains why the Infinite does not rest in anything - because it is the Infinite itself, that is below, above, behind, before, to the right and to the left. It is indeed all this. Infinite is spoken of initially as - "that" indicating a foreign entity. However, it may lead one to think that Infinite is something other than the Jiva or self.
आत्मा भूमा || Infinite is 'Self'
In Chan. Upan. 7.25, Sanathkumara explains to remove the doubt that Infinite is something other than the Jiva or self. Indiscriminate people also describe the body as 'I', hence to set aside the doubt that 'body' is not Infinite, Sanathkumara proceeds to explain it as "आत्मा or Self". The Self is alone and is all everywhere. He who sees आत्मा or Self all pervading, thinks thus, and understands thus, becomes अात्मरति - one who revels in the Self, अात्ममिथुन - delights in the Self. Such a wise person, even while living is installed as स्वराट् || Svaraat (king of heaven or Self-king). Such a person continues to be independent in all worlds even when his body falls off.
In Chan. Upan. 7.26, Sanathkumara explains that for such a wise one who has attained the Kingdom of Self, everything discussed so far springs from Self - prana, hope, akasa, water, food, strength upto the Name. He who sees thus, sees not death, nor disease, nor pain. He who perceives this, sees all things, and obtains all things in every way. On the purification of food, the inner nature becomes pure, so does the memory becomes firm. On the strengthening of Memory follows the loosening of all ties.
In this way Narada maharshi who was freed from attachment, aversion, was taken beyond the darkness of Ignorance by Sanatkumara to be shown the highest Truth. Therefore, he is also called as "Skandha."
- Jha, Ganganatha. (1923). The Chandogya Upanishad and Sri Sankara's Commentary, Fourth Volume. Madras:The India Printing Works.
- Chandogya Upanishad (Adhyaya 7)
- Swami Sivananda Saraswati, (1936). Dialogues from Upanishads, Amritsar : The Star Press