The fourth, fifth and sixth
chapters of the second part of the Aiterya Aranyaka of the Rigveda constitute
Aitereyopanishad. The knowledge of self-realization is the main subject covered
in these chapters. That is why they have been referred to as Upanishad.
AUM VANGAME MANASI PRATISHTHATAA|
MANO ME MA AANISTHAHA SHRUTA ME MAA PRAAHAASIHI|
ANENADHITENA HORAA TRANSADAGHAMYRUTAM VADISHYAMI|
SATYAM VADISHYAMI| TANMAVATU| TADVAKTARA AVATU|
AVATU MAAMAVATU VAKTARA BHAVATU VAKTAARAM|
THE RESOLUTION OF GOD TO CREATE THE UNIVERSE
Before the existence of this universe, there was
nothing but God. There were no expressions and hence no forms. It is at this
moment that God thought of creating different creatures that will bear the fruit
of their actions.
Thinking of this God created universe comprising of fourteen worlds. Afterward
He thought to create caretakers to protect these worlds from alien influences.
Accordingly he created the Hiranyamaya Purush from the 4 elements, embellished
him with all the organs and sub-organ and infused life into him. Thus he created
Brahma who in turn created the caretakers of the worlds.
To create the different organs and sub organs of Hiranyagarbha, the supreme God
had to practice penance that is take a resolution and as a result, the mouth
developed. From the mouth the tongue was created and from the tongue, speech,
senses and Agni or fire took birth. After this the nose developed and prana
(breath) was created in it. The prana vayu created the Vayu devta.
After this the two eyes gradually started developing and the corresponding god
also took birth from it. In this way the ear, skin, heart, navel came into
existence and corresponding deities were also formed.
THE CREATION OF HUMAN BEINGS
The deities like Agni etc. which corresponded with
the different senses created by God came into existence. At that time God
infused hunger and thirst into them. Hence the deities prayed to the Divine
Cosmic soul- O Lord! Please arrange or create such a place staying where we will
Answering to their prayer, the Divine Cosmic spirit created cow and showed it to
all of them asking them to reside in its body. But the dieties doubted that the
cow would not be possibly suffice for all of them. So the cosmic spirit created
the horse and showed it to them. Looking at this, the deities were yet
dissatisfied. Ultimately, God (divine spirit) created the human body and seeing
which all the deities were elated and happy. They said- " This human body
is unique place for all of us to stay and all our requirement will be satisfied
The Divine Cosmic Spirit told the gods to take their appropriate positions in
the human body.
Immediately Agni assumed form of the speech, senses and entered the human mouth.
Since then, he resided in the tongue. Similarly, the Sun, the Ashwinis, Varuna,
Moon, Death all in form of corresponding senses established themselves in their
concerned place in the human body. Only 'Hunger' and 'Thirst' remained. They
both said to the supreme God- O Lord! Please decide the place where we can also
Divine cosmic element replied: "Both of you do not need independent places.
I shall allot you places with the other gods. I shall make you partners in the
food partaken. When the Gods enjoy pleasures for their contention, they
simultaneously satisfy hunger and thirst.
THE CREATION OF MATERIAL OBJECTS
For sustenance of all the senses and after the creation of all the gods, the
cosmic spirit created food and also created consumable articles by heating the
five elements for the gods. At that time 'Food' thought he who eats me is my
destroyer and hence he started running away where he could neither be caught by
speech nor by the senses. At the end food tried to enter the mouth along with 'Apaan
Vayu' and on this the Purush could partake the food in his body. This proves the
fact that prana is itself the life of a human being.
THE ENTRY OF GOD IN HUMAN BODY
When all the senses and material objects were
created, the cosmic spirit thought that those senses would never work without
him. Thinking thus, Supreme God entered the human body through a small aperture
'Brahmarandhra' in the head, and came to stay in the heart. Since then He stays
there. Thus to attain the God, one does not have to wander in places like the
super celestial region as pure sky and the entire universe. One can attain the
God right in his heart.
PRESUMPTION OF GOD IN MATERIAL LIFE
Seeing the strange creation of materials, the human
being started to think aboout their creator. He realized that the divine cosmic
spirit that resides in his heart is the one who is all-pervasive and is the
creator of one and all. When divine element was created in the human body, the
Purush realized him. Hence God is referred to as 'Idandra' which means 'I have
seen him'. This is referred to as by the people indirectly as 'Indra'.
SECOND CHAPTER (FIRST SECTION)
THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN BODY
All these individual unredeemed souls are present
in the father's body as semen. This semen is the quintessence of the human body.
The father takes care of all this in his own body and then places a seed in the
womb of the woman. The woman nourishes that that seed in the form of a foetus
just like a part of her own body and protects it properly.
Until delivery, she takes every care of the foetus which iltimately takes birth
as the child. The mother then makes every efforts through different ceremonies
to make the child strong, pure and intelligent. In this way this is the second
birth of the child. When the child becomes fit to work and earn himself, the
father makes the child his representative. He entrusts him the responsibility of
all the auspicious duties and ceremonies such as Agni Hotra, supplication of God
and hospitality of guests etc. and eventually considers him free from the Pitra
Rina (the duty towards the ancestors) Slowly, the father grows old and dies.
After death, he again takes birth according to his Karmas. This is his third
birth. In this way transmigration of souls continues endlessly.
AN EXAMPLE OF THE DIVINE EXPERIENCE OF VAMADEVA
An individual soul transmigrates from one birth to
another and is caught in an endless cycle. But he who realizes the eternal truth
does not take birth again. It is believed that Vamadeva acquired the ultimate
knowledge when he was there in his mother's womb. He said in his mother's womb:
" How lucky to have realized that the Gods in form of senses. Until I was
devoid of this knowledge, I was locked in these bodies which were like cages.
Now,like a bird and with the energy of knowledge in my wings I have broken all
these bonds and have become separate. When Vamadeva Rishi took birth and when he
attained god-hood, freed himself from all desires and attained immortility.
THIRD CHAPTER (FIRST CHAPTER)
WHAT IS WORTH KNOWING?
The two atmas (souls) which have been inferred to
in the first and second chapter of this Upanishad are the ones who created this
universe and created the unredeemed individual soul. He assumed a place in the
body to assist the soul just created.
People, who wanted to realize God, started discussing things like: Who is that
soul whom we supplicate and propitiate?
They thought that the heart is the mind because their energies are tangible and
palpable. This is all embellished by the power to command, judge, understand,
experience, have patience, take resolution, desire, maintain breath, fulfill
sexual desires etc. All this is the embodiment of the al- mighty divine cosmic
spirit. Thus we can feel the all-pervasiveness of this cosmic spirit.
GOD IS MOST VENERABLE
That divine cosmic spirit, who has created us,
gives us energy to perform our duties and who protects all of us, is the most
venerable. Swami Prajapati is the one who has created all the subjects and the
people. All these gods in form of senses, the five elements, all small
creatures, taking birth from eggs, from sweat, from earth, from the womb and
other animals like cows, horses, elephants, all of them assume energy to perform
their duties as a result of the blessings of this divine cosmic spirit. All
these creatures reside in that divine cosmic spirit. He is the only from which
everything takes birth and finally dissolute. Hence only that divine cosmic
spirit is venerable.
THE FRUITS OF SUPPLICATING DIVINE SPIRIT
He, who realizes God or the divine cosmic, spirit
transcends all the worldly things and resides eternally in the super celestial
region where he enjoys eternal happiness and attains immortality.