Taittiriya Upanishad

The Best Quotes

The Knower of Brahman

Aum. He who knows Brahman attains the Supreme.

On the above, the following mantra (Rik) is recorded:

"He who knows Brahman which is
Reality,
Knowledge, and
Infinity hidden in the cave of the heart and
in the highest akasa
—he, being one with the omniscient Brahman,
enjoys simultaneously all desires.
"

From that Atman (Brahman) was born akasa; from akasa, air; from air, fire; from fire, water; from water, earth; from earth, herbs; from herbs, food; from food, man.
He, that man, verily consists of the essence of food. This indeed is his head, this [right arm] is his right wing, this [left arm] is his left wing, this [trunk] is his body (atman), this support [below the navel] is his tail. (2.1.3)

 

He who knows the Bliss of Brahman, whence all words together with the mind turn away, unable to reach it—he never fears. (2.4.1)

Commentary:
The true nature of the mind cannot be known either by words or by the mind itself. The mind which seeks to know the mind is only a mental state (vritti). Hence the mind remains unknown to the mind.

The mind is, in essence, one with the Cosmic Mind, or Hiranyagarbha (the first manifestation of Saguna Brahman), who is the highest manifestation of Brahman in the relative world. That is why it is said that he who contemplates the sheath of the mind as Brahman has nothing to be afraid of; he attains the World of Hiranyagarbha.

“The intellect accomplishes the sacrifice; it also accomplishes all actions. All the gods worship the intellect, who is the eldest, as Brahman.”

“If a man knows the intellect as Brahman and if he does not swerve from it, he leaves behind in the body all evils and attains all his desires.” (2.5.1)

 

“If a person knows Brahman as non—existent, he himself becomes non—existent. If he knows Brahman as existent, then know him as existent.”
This is the embodied soul of the former.

Thereupon the following questions of the pupil: Does anyone who knows not attain that World after departing this life? Or does he who knows attain that World after departing this life?

He desired: “May I be many, may I be born. He performed austerities. Having performed austerities, He created all this— whatever there is. Having created all this, He entered into it.

Having entered into it, He became both the manifested and the unmanifested, both the defined and undefined, both the supported and unsupported, both the intelligent and the non— intelligent, both the real and the unreal. The Satya became all this: whatever there is. Therefore call It the True. (2.6.1)

aum

"In the beginning all this (i.e. the manifested universe) was nonexistent. From it was born what exists. That (i.e. Brahman described as non-existent) created Itself by Itself; therefore It is called the Self-made (Sukritam)."

That which is Self-made is flavour (rasa, or essence); for truly, on obtaining the flavour one becomes blissful.

Who could direct the prana and the apana [to perform their functions] if this Bliss (Brahman) did not exist in the akasa [of the heart] ? Brahman verily exists because It alone bestows bliss.

When a man finds fearless support in That which is invisible, incorporeal, indefinable, and supportless, he has then obtained fearlessness.

If he makes the slightest differentiation in It, there is fear for him. That [Brahman] becomes [the cause of] fear for the knower [of differentiation] who does not reflect. (2.7.1)

Harih Om. Bhrigu, the son of Varuna, approached his father Varuna and said: "Venerable Sir, teach me about Brahman."

To him, the son, he said this: "Food, the vital breath, the eye, the ear, the mind, speech."

To him he said further: "That from which these beings are born, That by which, when born, they live, That into which they enter, they merge—seek to know That. That is Brahman."

He performed austerities. Having performed austerities— (3.1.1)

He realised that food is Brahman; for from food, verily, are these beings born; by food, when born, do they live; into food do they enter, do they merge.

Having realised this, he approached his father again and said: "Venerable Sir, teach me Brahman."

To him, the son, he said this: "Seek to know Brahman by means of austerities. For austerities are the means of knowing Brahman."

He practised austerities. Having practised austerities— (3.2.1)

He realised that the prana is Brahman; for from the prana, verily, are these beings born; by the prana, when born, do they live; into the prana do they enter, do they merge.

Having realised this, he approached his father again and said: "Venerable Sir, teach me Brahman."

To him, the son, he said this: "Seek to know Brahman by means of austerities. For austerities are the means of knowing Brahman." He practised austerities. Having practised austerities— (3.3.1)

He realised that the mind is Brahman; for from the mind, verily, are these beings born; by the mind, when born, do they live; into the mind, at the time of dissoulution, do they enter, do they merge.

Having realised this, he approached his father again and said: "Venerable Sir, teach me Brahman."

To him, the son, he said this: "Seek to know Brahman by means of austerities; for austerities are Brahman."

He practised austerities. Having practised austerities— (3.4.1)

 

Brahman is Bliss (Ananda)

He realized that bliss (Ananda) is Brahman;
for from bliss,
verily, are these beings born;
by bliss, when born, do they live;
into bliss [at the time of dissolution] do they enter, do they merge.

This is the wisdom taught by Varuna and learnt by Bhrigu. It is established in the supreme akasa [in the heart]. He who knows this is established in the Bliss of Brahman. He becomes a possessor of food and an eater of food. He becomes great in offspring and cattle and in spiritual radiance, and great in fame. (3.6.1)

Commentary:
The Bliss of Brahman, which is experienced through the non-duality of existence and is the bestower of Freedom. Bliss is devoid of pain and constitutes man's true end. It is defined thus in the Chhandogya Upanishad'. "The Infinites is bliss. There is no bliss in anything finite." (7.23.) It is from bliss that all phenomena, including akasa and the other elements, are born.
All finite truths, such as matter (food), life (prana), the mind, and the intellect, find their fulfilment in the bliss experienced through the Knowledge of Brahman dwelling in the heart.

 

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* Excerpts translated by Swami Nikhilananda