Namaskaar. Continuing with Part 10 of our series on Mundaka Upanishad. In these verses a very apt analogy has been drawn between the bow-arrow and the mind-intellect. Both require single pointed concentration and removal of all distractions to hit the goal. The teacher drives the point home with a very practical example.
The muNDakopaniShat – Part 10
How is one to really ‘contact’ Brahman? The method is being delineated here:
धनुर्गृहीत्वौपनिषदं महास्त्रं शरं ह्युपासानिशितं संदधीत ।
आयम्य तद्भावगतेन चेतसा लक्ष्यं तदेवाक्षरं सोम्य विद्धि ॥ ३ ॥
धनुः bow गृहीत्वा having taken औपनिषदं of the upaniṣad महास्त्रं the great weapon शरं the arrow हि indeed उपासानिशितं sharpened by meditation संदधीत place upon (the bow) आयम्य drawing back तद्भावगतेन with charged चेतसा mind लक्ष्यं goal तत् that एव alone अक्षरं Imperishable सोम्य dear one विद्धि strike
Take the Upanishad as the bow, the great weapon and place upon it the arrow sharpened by meditation. Then, having drawn it back with a mind directed to the thought of Brahman, strike that mark, O my dear, that which is the Imperishable.
An imagery is adopted by the Upaniṣad to help one understand and implement the method of realizing the Atman. Aiming at a target and shooting it with an arrow is the imagery. The bow here is the knowledge derived from the study of the Upaniṣad as to the nature of the Atman, the means to be practiced to become eligible to put in efforts to realize the Atman, etc. and the method of gaining the direct realization thereof. Continue reading