Unravelling secrets of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

T. Sivasankaran Nair

T. Sivasankaran Nair  

: After his translation-cum-interpretation of the Chandogya Upanishad, scholar T. Sivasankaran Nair has written a similar work on Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. It will be released at a function at the Paramekkavu Agrasala here on April 14. Sitting in the courtyard of his house at Pulakkod in Chelakkara, this former chargeman with the Indian Ordnance Factory, Pune, said his friends persuaded him to write the book.

“It is a salute to sages. Upanishad means the great secret. It is the secret of everything in time and space, a secret that transcends manifestation of the world,” he says.

Of all Upanishads, he claims the Isavasya Upanishad, Kena Upanishad, Katha Upanishad, Prasna Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad, Thaithiriya Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad are the most important. Of these, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is unique by its size, and exposition of truth, he says. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is divided into three Kandas: Madhu Kanda, Yajnjavalkya Kanda and Khila Kanda. Madhu Kanda is divided into two chapters. The first is further divided into six Brahmanams. The first Brahmanam describes the universe in the form of an Aswa (horse) for Aswamedha Yajna and its sacrifice as the manifestation of the world. The second Brahmanam deals with the description of Prajapathi as Mruthyu (death) and the manifestation of the world in the form of food for Prajapathi. Prajapathi became the eater and everything he created became food for him. Yajnjavalkia Kanda has two chapters. The first is divided into nine Brahmanams. It tells the story of sage Yajnjavalkia. Khila Kanda has two chapters, the first of which has passages on the Gayatri Mantra. The second is dedicated to Puthrotpathy (progeny).

In the Upanishad, Yajnjavalkia asks, ‘What happens to the soul of a realised person and an unrealised one after death?’ So goes the reply: The realised one merges with Brahma, while the unrealised wanders in life.

Brihadaranyakopanishath is brihath (great) in every respect; great in size and exposition, he says. His attempt to translate and interpret too is such a feat.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 7:16:03 AM |

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