Namaskaar. In this Part 15 of Kathopanishat commentary by Shri V. Subrahmanian we now enter the all important teaching of OM. The Kathopanishat is poular for this portion of the teaching which has some very beautiful verses which are a pleasure to listen learn by heart and hear the explanation too. Its amazing how the Upanishad is able to explain the most subtle of topics to us spiritual aspirants. To put the teachings in the right perspective, our teacher once asked us to describe in detail the element “Space” which is considered to be most subtle of the elements and most difficult to even describe. Most of us could not even form 1 sentence! So how difficult it is to explain and comprehend the Atman, Self which the Upanishad and our masters, teachers are doing !!
Having tested the aspirant Nachiketa, Yama, the AchArya, commences the teaching of the Self after having heard the first specific question coming from the former:
सर्वे वेदा यत्पदं आमनन्ति
तपांसि सर्वाणि च यद्वदन्ति ।
यत् इच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति
तत् ते पदं संग्रहेण ब्रवीमि ओं इति एतत् ॥ १५
सर्वे वेदा all the veda-s यत्पदं आमनन्ति in one voice proclaim that goal तपांसि सर्वाणि all austerities च यद्वदन्ति speak of यत् इच्छन्तो desiring that which ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति aspirants practice brahmacharya तत् that ते to you पदं goal संग्रहेण briefly ब्रवीमि shall I state ओं इत्येतत् it is Om.
Yama said: The goal which all the veda-s declare, which all austerities aim at and which men desire when they lead the life of continence, I will tell you briefly: it is Om.
The Goal that is the one sought after by the highest aspirants who have turned away from all the other attainable goals that are only ephemeral, all the veda-s proclaim without any contradiction. And that is one’s own state of being ever liberated. Of course, the veda-s do speak about other goals too but this ultimate goal is the final purport of all the veda-s. It is called ‘samanvayaH’ which forms the subject matter of the fourth brahma sUtra: ‘tat tu samanvayAt’ (18.104.22.168) which means [‘But that brahman (is known from the upaniShad-s), (it) being the object of their fullest import.’]. Shankara says there: ‘samanvayAt, because of being the object of their fullest import; for in all the upaniShad-s the texts become fully reconciled when they are accepted as establishing this very fact in their fullest import.’ Continue reading