Namaskaar. We conclude the series with this Part 35 of the Kathopanishat commentary by Shri V. Subrahmanian. It has been a great learning session for me and I hope all readers have also enjoyed and benefited from it. This is just a glimpse into the teachings of this great Upanishad, there is no substitute for learning in a structured manner from a proficient teacher or Guru face-to-face but an attempt has been made by me through these posts to at least have a basic understanding of the principles of Vedanta. I once again reiterate that NONE of the content of this wonderful commentary is my own. I have been studying it along and posting it here part by part ab verbatim, and still have a long way to go to fully understand the depth and glory of this Upanishadic teachings. I am grateful to Shri V. Subrahmanian and Advaita Academy for so graciously sharing this with us all. The website http://www.advaita-academy.org has a lot of material on Vedanta and Adi Sankaracharya’s works by several renowned teachers. Please read up some of it as you please. I thank you all for reading and giving your valuable comments.
By realizing the all-pervading brahman that is free of all differences and as one’s very Self, one becomes freed of the ‘knots’ of ignorance etc. Such a one is verily brahman even while living (the rest of his destined bodily life). He does not transmigrate upon the death of the body. The upaniShadic passages such as ‘अत्र ब्रह्म समश्नुते’ (‘He attains to brahman here itself’) kaThopaniShat (2.3.14) and ‘न तस्य प्राणा उत्क्रामन्ति ब्रह्मैव सन् ब्रह्माप्येति’ (‘His subtle body does not leave the gross body upon death; He being brahman Itself attains to brahman’) bRRihadAraNyaka upaniShat (4.4.6) teach this beyond doubt.
Those who are not endowed with the knowledge of the Absolute brahman stated above and those who wish to attain to the brahmaloka (owing to specific meditations on the conditioned brahman) and also those who will be returning to the transmigratory life in a different body, however, will take one or the other path upon the death of the body. Such specific path(s) get delineated with a view to praise the knowledge of the Absolute brahman. Moreover, in the beginning of the upaniShadic dialogue Nachiketa had asked for the knowledge of the meditation on agni, the Fire God, as his second boon. The method of obtaining the fruit of this meditation too has to be stated. Keeping all this in view the next mantra states:
शतं चैका हृदयस्य नाड्य-
स्तासां मूर्धानमभिनिःसृतैका ।
विष्वङ्ङन्या उत्क्रमणे भवन्ति ॥ १६ ॥
शतं च एका hundred and one हृदयस्य of the heart नाड्यः nerves (channels) तासां of which मूर्धानम् crown अभिनिःसृता pierces एका one तया through it ऊर्ध्वम् upwards आयन् move अमृतत्वं immortality एति attains विष्वङ् in all directions अन्या others उत्क्रमणे in rebirth भवन्ति happen