Namaskaar. We move forward to Part 27 of Kathopanishat commentary by Shri V. Subrahmanian and Vedanta Academy, but the Upanishad is drilling in the subtle teaching of nature of Brahman and the commentator explains it beautifully for us through examples, the gated-body analogy and quotes from Vedas.
The upaniShad takes forward the task of determining the nature of brahman even though this has been done in the foregoing sections. Such a continued or repeated endeavour is warranted in view of the extremely subtle nature of the subject matter, brahman/Atman, and the consequent difficulty in apprehending it. Now we enter the second section of the second chapter.
अनुष्ठाय न शोचति विमुक्तश्च विमुच्यते । एतद्वै तत् ॥ १ ॥
पुरम् a city एकादशद्वारम् of eleven gates अजस्य belonging to the unborn अवक्रचेतसः and of undistorted Consciousness. अनुष्ठाय having meditated upon Him न no more शोचति one grieves विमुक्तश्च freed from ignorance विमुच्यते he becomes free एतत् this वै indeed तत् is that.
There is a city with eleven gates belonging to the unborn Atman of undistorted Consciousness. He who meditates on Him grieves no more; liberated from the bonds of ignorance, he becomes free. This, verily, is That.
The word ‘city’ is only figuratively used since the body has some similarities with a city. The presence of gatekeepers, governing officials, etc. which constitute the various features of a city are to be seen in the body as well and hence the comparison. A city endowed with these components is seen to be functioning for the sake of some that are not part of those constituents but are independent of these. So too, owing to the similarities with a city the body endowed with several aspects can exist for the sake of a Master who is not really a part of these features but is like the king in the capital city. Continue reading