BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD | 2.5.19 | SRI SANKARACARYA
idam vai tan madhu dadhyann atharvano' svibhyam uvaca , tad etad rsih pasyann avocat : rupam rupam pratirupo babhuva , tad asya rupam praticaksanaya ; indro mayabhih puru-rupa iyate . yukta hy asya harayah sata dasa iti . ayam vai harayah , ayam vai dasa ca sahasrani bahuni canantani ca , tad etad brahmapurvam , anaparam , anantaram , abahyam , ayam atma brahma sarvanubhuh , ity anusasanam . || 2.5.19 ||
19 . This is that meditation on things mutually helpful which Dadhyac , versed in the Atharva-Veda , taught the Asvins . Perceiving this the Rsi said , " ( It ) transformed Itself in accordance with each form ; that form of Its was for the sake of making It known . The Lord on account of Maya , ( notions superimposed by ignorance ) is perceived as manifold , for to It are yoked ten organs , nay hundreds of them . It is the organs ; It is ten , and thousands‚ — many , and infinite . That Brahman is without prior or posterior , without interior or exterior . This self , the perceiver of everything , is Brahman . " This is the teaching .
|| BHASYA || : This is that meditation , etc , — is to be explained as before .
( It ) transformed Itself in accordance with each form , or ( to put it differently ) assumed the likeness of each form .
A child has the same form as , or resembles , the parents . A quadruped is not born of bipeds , nor vice versa .
The same Lord , in the process of manifesting name and form , " transformed Itself in accordance with each form " .
Why did It come in so many forms ? " That form of Its was for the sake of making It known . " Were name and form not manifested , the transcendent nature of this Self as Pure Intelligence would not be known .
When , however , name and form are manifested as the body and organs , it is possible to know Its nature . The Lord on account of Maya or diverse knowledge , or ( to give an alternative meaning ) the false identifications created by name , form and the elements , not in truth , " is perceived as manifold " , because of these notions superimposed by ignorance , although It is ever the same Pure Intelligence .
Why ? For to It are yoked , like horses to a chariot , ten organs — called " Hari " because they draw — " nay , hundreds of them " , for the purpose of revealing their objects ; " hundreds " , because there are a great many beings . Since there are a large number of sense-objects ( the Supreme Self appears as manifold ) . It is to reveal them , and not the Self , that the organs are yoked .
As the Katha Upanisad says , " The self-born Lord injured the organs by making them outgoing in their tendencies " ( IV . 1 ) .
Therefore the Self is known not in Its true nature as homogeneous Pure Intelligence , but merely as the sense-objects .
QUESTION : Then this Lord is one entity , and the organs another ?
REPLY : No ; " It is the organs ; It is ten and thousands — many and infinite " — because there are an infinite number of beings .
In short , that Brahman which is the self is without prior , ie cause , or posterior , ie effect , without interior or exterior , ie it has no other species within It or without It .
What is this homogeneous Brahman ? This self . What is it ?
The inner self that sees , hears , thinks , understands , knows ; the perceiver of everything , because as the self of all it perceives everything .
This is the teaching of all Vedanta texts — the gist of them . It leads to immortality and fearlessness . The import of the scriptures has been fully dealt with .
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