Tradition of Brahma Vidya

Published - March 24, 2019 08:56 pm IST

True spiritual knowledge is known as Brahma vidya in which is subsumed the different aspects and branches of all forms of knowledge. When caught in worldly activities, sacred or secular, despite one’s learning and achievements, a sense of dissatisfaction prevails when the yearning for something more enduring is stirred deep within oneself. In the Mundaka Upanishad, Sage Saunaka represents this thirst or Jignyasa for higher knowledge that is after all the ultimate goal of human existence, pointed out Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapadigal in a discourse. Sage Saunaka is a great rishi. He is reputed for the performance of many yagas. Yet he feels a lacuna and approaches Angiras and wishes to know ‘that’ through which everything else becomes known. This Upanishad highlights many unique characteristics inherent in the tradition of handing down knowledge of Brahman from guru to sishya. The illustrious guru parampara to which Angiras belongs is stated to establish that he is qualified in every way to impart this vidya. The lineage is traced to Brahma who has received it from the primordial guru Lord Narayana. From Brahma through Atharva, Angi and Satyavaha, it has come down to Angiras. So both preceptor and disciple are worthy of this knowledge. As the instruction begins, Angiras quotes the words of realised rishis who have spoken about Brahman. This modest spirit is ingrained in this method of knowledge transmission. Since the knowledge itself goes beyond the intellect and makes an impact in the inner experience, the sincere seeker is able to imbibe the teaching through the grace of the guru. He is filled with a sense of fullness of Atma Tatva jnana. The realisation thus gained is able to lift one from the mundane reality though one continues to be part of it during one’s lifetime.

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