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VALLI  II

 

 

THE TWO ROADS

 

 

anya̍c chreyo 'nyad u̱taiva preyaste u̱bhe nā̱nārthe̍ pu̱rusagu̍ṁ sinītah |       

tayo̍ḥ śreya ā̱dadā̍nasya sādhu bhavati hī̱yate 'rthād ya̍ u preyo vṛṇīte || 1 ||    

śreya = the preferable, the Moral Good, the supreme goal 

anyat eva =(it) is  certainly  different;

tathā    =  similarly;

uta  =  too;   

preya  =      the  more  pleasant; 

te ubhe =  both of them;

nānā arthe =  serving divergent purposes;

sinīta  =  bind;

puruam  =  a  person:

tayo  =  of  the  two; 

ādadānasya  =  one who chooses  

śeya  =    the preferable,

sādhu bhavati = well-being, good comes;

ya u  =  the one that;

preya vṛṇīte = selects the pleasurable;

hīyate = gets alienated;

arthāt = from this objective,

 

Yama said: The good is one thing; the pleasant, another. Both of these, serving different needs, bind a man. It goes well with him who, of the two, takes the good; but he who chooses the pleasant misses the end.

 

 

Samyutta Nikāya I.4.2.6. 

tasmā sata ca asata ca nānā hoti ito gati |

asanto nirayam yanti sata saggaparāyaā ||

Therefore do the paths of the good and the evil of this world divide; the evil go to hell but the final destination of the good is heaven.

 

Samyutta  Nikāya  V.4.5.2  instead  of  saggaparāyaā,  (going  to  heaven)  we  read nibbāna-parāyaam (attaining nirvana)  since heaven is not the ultimate bliss but nirvana.

 

śreya̍ś ca preyaś ca ma̱nuya̍m etas tau sa̱ṁparī̍tya vi̱vina̍kti dhīrah |

śreyo̍ hi dhī̱ro'bhi̍preyaso vṛṇīte preyo ma̱ndo yoga̍-kemād vṛṇīte || 2 ||

śreya ca preya ca =  the preferable and the pleasurable;
manu
yam eta = comes to every man;
dhīra
  =  the brave one;

samparītya  =  having  pondered  carefully,   
vivinakti  = separates;
tau = those two.  
abhiv
ṛṇīte =  selects;
śreya
hi = the ultimate good;

preyasa  = the immediate good;  Pleasant ones
manda
  =  simple-minded; fools, idiots 
v
ṛṇīte  =  selects; 
yoga-k
emāt  =  material well-being,   

 

Both those that lead to ultimate good and the ones that seem pleasant at present are given  to a man. The brave ones examines them well and discriminates. Yea, he prefers those leading to ultimate good to the present pleasant ones; but the fool chooses the pleasant out of greed and avarice.

 

 

 

3

sa tvam pri̱yān pri̱ya rū̍pāguś ca kāmān abhi̍dhyāyan na̱cike̍totyasrākī |

nai̱tāgu sṛ̱ṅ vi̱ttamayī̍m avāpto yasyā̎ṁ majjanti ba̱havo̍ manu || 3 ||

naciketa = O Naciketas;
sa
tvam = such as you are  
abhidhyāyan = having considered   
kāmān = desirable things;
ca = and;
priyān = dear ones
priya-rūpā
= objects that produce delight,  ;
atyasrāk
ī = you have rejected;
na avāpta
= you have not accepted;
etā
  =  this;
s
ṛṅ  =  course; 
vittamayīm  =  abounding  in  wealth;
 yasyām  =  by  which;
bahava
  = many;
manu
= mortals;
majjanti =  sink, come to grief.

 

O Nachiketa, people like you after pondering well the pleasures that are or seem to he delightful now, renounced them all. You have not taken the road abounding in wealth, where many men sink.

 

 

dūra̍m ete vi̱parī̍te viūcī avi̍dyā yā ca vi̱dyeti jātā | 

vidyā̍bhīpsina na̱cike̍tasam manye na̱ tvā kā̱mā baha̍vo lolupanta ||  4 ||   

ete  =  these  two;
dūram  =  widely,  by  a  great  distance; 
viparīte  =  contradictory,  mutually exclusive;
vi
ūcī = have divergent courses;
yā ca = that which;
jātā = is fully ascertained, known by the learned;
avidyā iti =  ignorance;
yā ca = and that which is;
vidyā  iti  =  as  knowledge. 
manye  =  I  consider;  you  had; 
naciketasam  = Naciketas;
vidyābhīpsina
  = as desirous of knowing;
bahava
= many;
 kāmā = enjoyable things,
na lolupanta
= did not tempt;
tvā = you;

Wide apart and leading to different ends are these two: ignorance and what is known as Knowledge. I regard you, O Nachiketa, to be one who desires Knowledge; for even many pleasures could not tempt you away.

 

 

avi̍dyāyām a̱ntare̍ va̱rtamā̍ sva̱ya dhī̱ pa̱ṇḍita̍ṁ manyamānā |    

dandra̍myamā̱ṇā pa̱riya̍nti mū andhe̍naiva nī̱yamā̍nā yathā'ndhā || 5 ||      

vartamānā = the present life;
avidyāyām antare = with the ignorance within 
manyamānā
= considering;
svayam = ourselves; 
dhīrā
  =  intelligent, courageous; 
pa
ṇḍitam  =  versed  in  the  Scriptures;   
  =  ignorant ones
pariyanti = go round and round;
dandramyamā
ā = wise in their own esteem 
andhā
= blind people;
nīyamānā
= being led; 
andhena eva = by the  blind indeed,  

 

Fools dwelling in darkness, but thinking themselves wise and erudite, go round and round, by various tortuous paths, like the blind led by the blind.

 

 

Brains are like computers. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark. (Stephen Hawking, The Guardian)

 

 

 

 

na sā̍ṁparāya pra̱tibhā̍ti bāla pramā̍dyanta vi̱tta-mohe̍na mūham |

a̱ya loko nā̍sti pa̱ra i̍ti mānī puna̍ḥ punarvaśam ā̱dyate me || 6 ||

sāmparāya = is the other world, and also any particular scriptural means leading to the attainment of that other world. And this (means)
na pratibhāti = does not become revealed to,   
bālam  =  a  boy;  
pramādyanta
  =  blundering;
ham = ignorant:
vitta-mohena = because of the delusion caused by wealth. 
aya
loka =   there is only this  world  
na para asti = there is no other world;
iti mānī = constantly thinking thus;   
puna
puna = again and again;
ādyate = becomes subject to;
vaśam me = my control;  

 

One remains involved in a succession of suffering in the form of birth, death, etc.   

The Hereafter never reveals itself to a person devoid of discrimination, heedless and perplexed by the delusion of wealth. "This world alone exists," he thinks, "and there is no other." Again and again he comes under my sway.

 

 

"This world alone exists, and there is no other." life and death repeats and there is no other way out of this process.  But this world is not a closed world.  There is a spiritual world beyond to which we are all part.  This is an infinite realm whose door is death.  So death explains this truth to the seeker.

 

śravaā̍yāpi ba̱hubhi̍r yo na labhya śṛ̱ṇvanto̍'pi ba̱havo̍ ya na vidyu  |       

āśca̍ryo vaktā ku̱śalo'sya labdhā āśca̍ryo jātā ku̱śalā̍nu-śiṣṭa  || 7 ||

ya  = that which;
na labhya
= is not attainable;
 bahubhi
= by many;
śrava
āya api = even  by  hearing; 
ya
  =  which; 
bahava
  =  many ; 
ś
ṛṇvanta  api  =  even  while hearing;
na vidyu
= do not know;
asya vaktā = Its expounder;  
āścarya
= wonderful, a rare one; 
kuśala
  =  one  who  is  proficient,  skilful;  
labdhā  = attainer.
āścarya
= a wonder,
jātā = knower;
kuśalānu-śi
ṣṭa  = being instructed by a skilful teacher.

 

Many there are who do not even hear of Atman; though hearing of Him, many do not comprehend. Wonderful is the expounder and rare the hearer; rare indeed is the experiencer of Atman taught by an able preceptor.

 

Now death introduces the world of the Spirits - the world beyond Matter- the world of Atma

 

Dr Christina Manhar of the University of Gloucester has a good study on this from which I quote below the relevant portion. 

Ātman 

 

"In the Upanishads, the term Ātman is used to designate the Self, the Ultimate Reality that is Brahman.

 
The root word
an (aniti), from which the term Ātman comes, means to breathe, to enliven, to vivify.  Therefore, the meaning of Ātman is breath, life, lifeprinciple, spirit, the vivifier. 

 

There is also another opinion that the word Ātman comes from the root word at (atati) which means to go, to walk, to wander.  This indicates movement, the wind or the moving Spirit.  Hence, the  Brahman, the Paramātman or the Supreme Spirit is

understood as the moving Spirit   (Thottakara 1998: 342).   

It is worth noticing that

        the Hebrew word ruach,

        the Greek pneuma and

        the Latin spiritus

have similar meanings. 

They refer to breath, wind, movement of air,  Gods energy, Gods strength, power and dynamic activity. 

The Spirit is wind like energy. 

 

"It refers to the creative and dynamic activity of God (Heron 1983: 3-4). 

 

"Phrases such as the Spirit of the Lord, the wind of the Lord, the breath of the Lord

refer to Gods activity both at the physical and at the spiritual level. 

        The ruach of the  Lord inspired the prophets, charismatic leaders and artisans.

        The ruach of God was active in liberating the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage. 

        The ruach is lifegiving breath.

         It is the source of life (Gen 1:2; 6:17; 7:15; Gen 45:27; Judg 15:19; Ps 104:29;

Ps 33:6; Job 33:4; 27:3; Isa 42:5; Ezek 37:5ff.). 

        It is Gods own power of creation, and the power of life, which is communicated, to all created things, in heaven and on earth. 

        The Spirit is the creative and vital energy of all that lives (Moltmann 1990: 92).

 

"Ātman is also the term used to designate the human self, soul, spirit, and individual

self.  It indicates that which makes an individual to be himself, that is, the principle

of his essential personal identity (Abhishiktananda 1975, Revised ed. 1997: 102). 

 

"The term ātman is the self grammatically reflexive personal pronoun; it is the

principle which constitutes the reality of the person, his awareness of himself

(Abhishiktananda 1979, Revised ed. 1997: 61). 

 

'"In other words, the ātman or human  spirit signifies the most intimate core of the conscious being at a level beyond the  reach of sense or mind (Abhishiktananda 1974, Revised ed. 1997: 95-96). 

 

It refers to the interiority of human self and it is the central point of all reality.  Similarly, in  Vedic understanding the word ātman means breath or vital essence from which

develops the meaning of soul or self (Boyd 1977: 239). 

 

prāna

 

Also, the term prāna refers  primarily to the source of life within, and then to its diffused appearance throughout all the organs of body and mind, which are called pranah, or vital breaths, in the plural (Abhishiktananda 1974, Revised ed. 1997: 95). 

 

Here again it is worth noticing that the Hebrew term ruach also denotes the vital principle in man, his whole psychical life, though usually regarded on its higher side, as the religious origin of the usage would suggest (Robinson 1958: 20-21).  Ruach is what gives life and personality and it is what makes a creature a recognizable human being (Marriage 1989: 31).  The term pneuma like the Hebrew nephesh is synonymous with  the human soul or self or person.  

 

In Upanishadic thought ātman as real self is distinguished from the empirical self.  The

ātman as real self is the source of the three major elements of spiritual experience,

namely the sense of the real, the presence of awareness, and the extension of freedom. 

It is the unity of being, truth and freedom.  The empirical self is the sum of ones

customary roles, habits, aspirations, values, ideas, ideals, attitudes and sentiments,

which are the deposits of his culture, and those biogenic traits which are reinforced by

the mutable and the accidental (Winthrop 1963: 147).

 

The Upanishads give central place to ātman as the real self and speak about the  correspondence between ātman as the interiority of human self and the divine Self,  Brahman.  In the Upanishadic understanding, Brahman the transcendent Self indwells  the heart of human beings as ātman. 

 

Chāndogya Upanishad 3.14.2-4 says,

 

"The intelligent whose body is spirit,

        whose form is light, whose thoughts are true, whose nature is like ether, omnipresent and invisible, from whom all works, all desires, all sweet odours and tastes proceed;

        he who embraces all  this, who never speaks, and is never surprised,

he is my self within the heart,

        smaller than a corn of rice, smaller than a corn of barley, smaller than a  mustard seed, smaller than a canary seed or the kernel of a canary seed. 

He also is my self within the heart, greater than the earth, greater than the sky, greater than the heaven, greater than all these worlds. 

 

He from whom all works, all desires, all sweet odours and taste proceed, who embraces all this, who never speaks and who is never surprised, he, my self (atman) within the  heart,

is that Brahman. "

Dr Christina Manhar,  The Indwelling of the Spirit: A Hindu-Christian Reflection
University of Gloucester

 

 

na nareā̍varena prokta ea su̱vijeyo bahudhā̍ cintyamāna |       

ana̍nya-pro̱kte gatir a̍tra nāsty a̱ṇīyān hy a̍tarkyam a̱ṇupra̍āt ||  8 ||   

na narea avarena = not by an inferior man
prokta
= spoken of;
e
a  = the Self; the Soul
 suvjeya
= well understood  
bahudhā= variously
cintyamāna
  =  thinks with mind
ananya-prokte = when taught by a teacher who sees clearly
gatir = go
atra = here,
na asti =  not there;
gati
= cogitation  
atarkyam  =without doubt
a
īyān  =  more  subtle,
 a
u-pramāāt = than an atom.

Atman, when taught by an inferior person, is not easily comprehended, because It is diversely regarded by disputants. But when It is taught by him who has become one with Atman, there can remain no more doubt about It. Atman is subtler than the subtlest and not to be known through argument.

 

There are varying interpretation of this passage:

bahudhā cintyamāna:

May mean:

        Atman is thought of in many ways,

         much meditated upon

        understood of as a plurality  

gatir  atra  nāsti
   'There  is  no  going  here 

        there  is  nothing beyond the knowledge of Paramātman 

        there is no way back to Samsāra 

        we do not want to go in there, because...?

atarkyam a̱ṇupra̍āt: 

        inconceivable,

        unprovable by argument. The Supreme Self is unknowable by argument,

        as It is subtle, beyond the reach of the senses and the understanding based on sense data.

        It is beyond the smallest of atoms.   

ananya-prokte    a  teacher  who  is  non-different  i.e.  has  realised  his  essential  identity  with Paramātman, having personal and immediate experience, he is lifted above sectarian disputes.

There are several different readings for this rather abstruse verse:

It  may  also  simply  mean; taught  by  some  one  other  than  the  inferior  mentioned earlier, i.e. a superior person who knows the truth. Or taught by another someone other than oneself, i.e. By some skilful teacher.' 

 

Some other rendering by Non-dual (Advaita) scholars;

 

Advaita considers the Saul of Man as identical with the Supreme Brahman the Paramatman.

(a)  When  the  (supreme)  Self,  that  is  non-different  from,  and  is,  one's  very  Self  is properly taught;  there is nothing else  to be known. For the realisation of the unity of the Self  is  the  culmination  of  all  knowledge.  Therefore,  as  there  is  no  knowable,  there remains nothing to be known here.

(b) When the theory of the non-dual Self is taught followed by realisation, there remains no  further  transmigration;  for  liberation  which  is  the  result  of  that  realisation,  follows, immediately.

(c) When the Self is taught by a teacher who has become identified with the Brahman that he teaches, there is  no non-realisation. To the student, the realisation, "I am that (Self)", dawns, just as it did in the case of the teacher.   

 

The Qualified Non-dual Visiṣṭadvaita interpretation is:

 

 For Ramanuja, the understanding, which a person gets about the Self when taught by one who  has  realised  Brahman  is  impossible  to  get  when  taught  by  a  person  of  inferior capacity who has not realised Brahman. But the realisation spoken of cannot be "identity with Brahman as Shankara thinks, because if there is only One ātman and One Brahman which  are  both  identical  then  realisation  would  mean  the  total  and  exclusive  non-perception of difference. Therefore, who would teach and who would be the taught? It would in fact be like one teaching one's self while looking in the mirror!

 

naiā̍ tarkea ma̱tir ā̍paneyā proktā̍'nyenaiva su̱jānā̍ya preṣṭha | 

tvam ā̍pas sa̱tyadhriti̍r batāsi tvādṛ̍ṅ no bhūyān na̱ciketa praṣṭā || 9 ||     

Therefore eā = this;
na āpaneyā = can not to be attained ;
 tarke
a = through reasoned argumentation.   
pre
ṣṭha = O dearest one;
sujānāya bhavati = leads to sound knowledge;
prokte = imparted;
anyena eva = by a different person indeed  
=  that (teaching) which;
 tvam āpa
=   you have attained;  ; asi  = you are; naciketa  = O Naciketas;
satya-dhriti
  =  of true resolution.   
pra
ṣṭā = enquirers;
na
=  from us;
bhūyān = be;
tvād
k = like you.  

This Knowledge cannot be attained by reasoning. Atman become easy of comprehension, O dearest, when taught by another. You have attained this Knowledge now. You are, indeed, a man of true resolve. May we always have an inquirer like you!

 

jānā̍my aham śevadhir i̱ty ani̍tyam na hy a̍dhruvai  prā̱pyate̍ hi dhruva tat |

tato̍ mayā nā̱ciketa̍ś cito'gnir a̱nityai̍r dravyai prā̱ptavā̍n asmi nityam || 10 ||

jānāmi aham = I know;
śevadhi
= the treasure  [comprising the fruits of action,
iti =   that;
anityam  = not eternal
na  hi  =  cannot  be
adhruvai
  =  through  that  which  is impermanent; 
prāpyate  =  attained;
dhruva
  = permanent  reality,
tat  = that;
hi  = for indeed;

tata  =  therefore; 
mayā  =  by  me; 
nāciketa
  cito'gni  =  the  fire  called  Naciketa
anityai
  dravyai  =  with  impermanent  things.  
prāptavān  asmi  =  I  have  achieved;
 nityam  =  the everlasting

 

Yama said: I know that the treasure resulting from action is not eternal; for what is eternal cannot be obtained by the noneternal. Yet I have performed the Nachiketa sacrifice with the help of noneternal things and attained this position which is only relatively eternal.

 

kāma̍syā'pti ja̱gata̍ḥ pratiṣṭ krato̍r ānantya a̱bhaya̍sya pāram |

stoma̍-mahad u̱rugā̍yam pratiṣṭ dṛṣṭ̍ dhtyā dhī̱ro na̱cike̍to'tyasrākī || 11 ||      

kāmasya-āpti = the goal of desire  having  realised; 
jagata
pratiṣṭ = the corner stone of the universe,
kratu
= meditation or sacrifices.  
ānantya
= without end;
abhayasya = of fearlessness;   
pāram = the utmost limit;
stoma  mahat =  greatly praised, 
urugāyam  =  the  expanse;
prati
ṣṭ  =   foundation  ;
d
ṛṣṭvā = having seen,
naciketa
  =    O Naciketas;  
dh
tyā = patience;  
dhīra
= courage 
atyasrāk
ī =   renounced  

 

The fulfilment of desires, the foundation of the universe, the rewards of sacrifices, the shore where there is no fear, that which adorable and great, the wide abode and the goalall this you have seen; and being wise, you have with firm resolve discarded everything.

ta du̱rdarśa̱ḍham a̍nupraviṣṭa guhā̍hita gahvare̱ṣṭham pu̍am |

adhyā̍tma-yo̱gādhigame̍na devam ma̱tvā dhī̱ro ha̱ra-śokau̍ jahāti ||  12 ||

ta  =  Him;
durdarśa
= hard to perceive;
ham anupraviṣṭa = deeply hidden;
guhāhita
= situated in the depth of the mind;
gahvare
ṣṭham = existing in the midst of misery ;
purā
am  =  ancient,  everlasting; 
adhyātma-yogādhigamena  = focussing of the mind upon the Ātman;
devam  =  Deity/Self;
matvā  =  meditating  on;
dhīra
= the courageous person;
har
a-śokau = happiness and sorrow.
jahāti = is freed from;

The wise man who, by means of concentration on the Self, realizes that ancient, effulgent One, who is hard to be seen, unmanifest, hidden and who dwells in the buddhi and rests in the bodyhe, indeed, leaves joy and sorrow far behind.

eta̍c chrutvā sa̱mpa̍righya martya pravṛ̍hya dha̱rmyam aum e̍tam āpya |

sa mo̍date mo̱danī̍yagu hi labdhvā vi̱vtagu̍ṁ sadma na̱cike̍tasam manye || 13 ||

etat  =  that  reality  of  the  Self  that  I  shall  speak  of;
śrutvā  =  after  hearing  the  teaching;
samparig
hya  =  after  comprehending; 
prav
hya  =  after separating;
dharmyam = the essence, the true nature of it;
āpya = after attaining, realising;
a
um etam = this subtle thing - the Self;
sa
martya = that  mortal;
modate = rejoices;
labdhvā = having;
modanīyat
= that which causes great delight;
manye = I consider tha
sadma = mansion - the experience of Brahman;
viv
ta = is wide open;
naciketasam = [to you] O Naciketas.

 

The mortal who has heard this and comprehended it well, who has separated that Atman, the very soul of dharma, from all  physical objects and has realised the subtle essence, rejoices because he has obtained that which is the cause of rejoicing.  The Abode of Brahman, I believe, is open for Nachiketa.

 

Seeing Through the Veil

Hieronymous Bosch - Ascent to the Empyrean - c. 1480

 

anya̍tra dha̱rmād anya̍trādharmād a̱nyatrāsmāt k̍ktāt |

anya̍tra bhū̱tāc ca̍ bhavyāc ca ya̱t tat paśya̍si tad vada || 14 ||

anyatra = different;
dharmāt = from right action
adharmāt = from wrong action;
asmāt k
tāktāt =  different from the effect, and the cause;
bhūtāt = from what was,
bhavyāt =  or will be;
yat tat paśyasi  = whatever it is that you see, you know with surety;
tat = that;
vada = tell me.

 

Nachiketa said: That which you see as other than righteousness and unrighteousness, other than all this cause and effect, other than what has been and what is to betell me That.

sarve̍ vedā yat pa̱dam ā̍mananti tapā̍gusi sa̱rvāi ca̍ yad vadanti |

yad i̍cchanto bra̱hmaca̍rya caranti tatte̍ padagu sa̱ṅgrahe̍ṇa bra̱vīmyo̍m ityetat ||

 yat padam  = the goal which;
sarve vedā =  all the Vedas;
āmananti = propound;
ca = and;
yat = that which;
sarvā
i tapāsi = all the austerities;
vadanti = speak of;
yat icchanta
= desiring which;
caranti =  (they) practise;
brahmacaryam =celebacy;
bravīmi te = I tell you;
sa
grahea = in brief;
tat =  that   goal;
om iti etat = OM it is.  

 

Yama said: The goal which all the Vedas 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 Concept of AUM:

In the Mandukya Upanishad, we find, AUM stands for the Supreme Reality. It is a symbol for what was, what is, and what shall be. AUM represents also what lies beyond past, present and future. So we learn that it is all encompassing. In fact, Om also represents Brahman, which is equated with the Self as we learn Brahman is all, and the Self is Brahman. This Self has four states of consciousness. In the same Upanishad, we find an explanation of these four states, as the four components of om. The first sound is a, and is called Vaishvanara (where one is focused on the external), and the second is u, is called Taijasa, (the dreaming state where one is focused internal). The third is m, called Prajna, (the all-knowing state of deep sleep, in which one neither dreams nor desires) and the fourth is called Turiya, (the superconscious state which is neither inward nor outward). This final state also represents the first three syllables, A, U, and M. Om is found in several places in the Upanishads. For example, in the Amritabindu Upanishad, it reads, keep repeating the ancient mantra Om until it reverberates in your heart.  

 (The Upanishads, by Eknath Easwaran, Mandukya Upanishad p.60, v. 1-8; Amritabindu Upanishad p. 243 v. 7)

 

If you look at the Hindu symbolism today, the one that is associated uniquely is the sound of Om and the symbol of Om.  You may not find this symbolism of AUM as common as the Devanagari Script AUM  which came into existence much later in history.

 

Yet the oldest AUM was in Tamil as  given on the top left side.   But the surprising thing about it is that AUM is not found in any of the Vedas.

 

 

Even the early Upanishads written in Sanskrit, there are references to udgtha (up sound) and  as  pranava  (pronouncing).    This may  be  thought  of  as  referring  to  the Sound  Om.    But  it  is  a  stretching of the imagination.  The first direct reference to AUM  is  found  in  Prashna-Upanishad, where the threefold constituents of AUM  is mentioned and explained.  It is also found in Mndkya-Upanishad.  Brihad-ranyaka, Chndogya, and Taittirya, Aum is mentioned many times both as Aum and as  Om-kr.  In the Yoga-Stra (1.27), it is called the Word (vcaka) of  God  (shvara).  

 

 

The  official  explanation  in  the  Upanishad  for AUM  is  that  it  consists  of  three  sounds representing  the  three  persons  within  the Godhead,  but  forming  one  united  sound  that creates    It  also  introduces  the  fullness  or  the substance  of  God  as  represented  by  the silence that follows or the totality of the syllable. The Word was the first expression of God through which the whole cosmos living and the nonliving visible and the invisible were created.  If one looks even deeper, the whole of Kabala and the threefold tree reaching into the  unknown  darkness  encased  in  the  ineffable  name  of  YHVH  can  be  seen  in  the Upanishadic teachings.  It goes far deeper than the simple logos of the Greek. The later Hindu trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara of today) with its intricate mythologies are based on  the  dialectics  of  good  and  evil  and  their  interaction,  (  a  feature  borrowed  from  the Gnosticism after the coming of Manicaen the Persian Gnostic.)   This was the basic conflict on which Manicheans were declared heretics  by  the  early  churches  everywhere  in  the  world.    The  AUM  on  the  other  hand represents the Trinity based on Love and not on conflict.  

 

The symbol and mantra AUM emerged in Indian scene soon after the mission of  St.Thomas  the  Apostle  and  were  seen  only  after  that  time.    All  early  churches in Kerala had used this as the Christian symbol and they appear at the entrance of the seven original churches established by Thomas.  

 

You can see them even today over the main entrance of many of the churches.  AUM was clearly part of the Malankara (Malabar Kerala) Christian tradition from the first century.  They however associate it with the Christian Trinity and to Christ the word who  became flesh. An objective conclusion would be that Aum was indeed the original Christian  concept as introduced by Thomas.

etadd hy e̱vāka̍ram brahma e̱tadd hy evaka̍ram param |

etadd hy e̱vāka̍ram jā̱tvā̱ yo̱ yad i̍cchati ta̱sya ta̍t || 16 ||

etat hi eva akaram brahma = this syllable AUM indeed is Brahma  (the individual Self); etat hi eva akaram param = this syllable indeed is the Supreme Self;
etat hi eva ak
aram jātvā = one who knows this syllable;  
ya
= who, anybody, 
yat =  whatever; 
icchati = he desires;
tasya tat = to him it is that.

This syllable Om is indeed Brahman. This syllable is the Highest. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires.

 

 

etad ā̱lamba̍na śreṣṭham etad ā̱lamba̍nam param |

etad a̱lamba̍na̱tvā̱ bra̱hma-lo̍ke ma̱hīyate || 17 || 

etat = this is;
śre
ṣṭham = the best of;
ālambana
  = means or support;
param =  the supreme;

etat ālambana jātvā  = knowing this means;
brahma-loke mahīyate  = revels in the world of Brahma.

 

This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma.

 

na jā̍yate mriyate vā vipaścin nā̱ya kuta̍ścin na ba̱bhūva̍ kaścit |

ajo̍ nitya śā̱śvato̍'yam purāo na ha̍nyate ha̱nyamā̍ne śarīre || 18 ||

vipaścin = the cognising one;
na jāyate = is not born, is not produced;  
mriyate vā = nor does it die;
aya
  = this one;
na kutaścit = did not orginate from anything, did not arise from any other cause;
na kaścit  babhūva  =  and  does  not  originate  anything  else,  does  not  cause  new  staes  of  being; 
aja
  = unborn; 
nitya
= eternal;
śaśvata
= not subject to decay;
ayam  = this is;
purā
a = ancient;
na hanyate = it is not killed or injured;
hanyamāne śarīre = when the body is killed.
purā
ah:= primeval,
purā api nava
,= old yet new,
vrddhi-vivarjita
= being devoid of growth

 

The knowing Self is not born; It does not die. It has not sprung from anything; nothing has sprung from It. Birthless, eternal, everlasting and ancient, It is not killed when the body is killed.

 

The one who knows this OHM has already attained eternal salvation and does not die again.

 

John 5:24  "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

hantā̍ cen ma̱nyate̍ hantu hata̍ś cen ma̱nyate̍ hatam |

ubhau̍ tau na vi̱jānī̍to nā̱ya ha̍nti na̱ hanya̍te || 19 ||

cet = if;
manyate = one thinks:
hantu
  = for the sake of killing;
hantā = that he slays;
cet = and if;
manyate  =  one  thinks; 
hata
  =  it  is  killed;   
ubhau  tau  =  both  of  them; 
na  vijānīta
  =  do  not comprehend their own Self;
aya
  = this one [Self]
 na hanti = does not kill;
na hanyate = and is not killed.

 

If the killer thinks he kills and if the killed man thinks he is killed, neither of these apprehends aright. The Self kills not, nor is It killed.

 

This is taught by Krishna in Bhagavad Gita where it was used to justify  killing brothers if  needed:

 

One who takes the Self to be the slayer and the one who thinks He is slain, neither of them knows; The Self slays not nor is He slain. (Bhagavad Gita 2.19)

Know for certain that That which pervades all is imperishable. None can cause the destruction of That, the Imperishable. (Bhagavad Gita 2.17)

Only the material bodies of the Self are subject to destruction, it is said, while the Self itself is indestructible, immeasurable and eternal. Fight therefore, O descendant of Bharata. (Bhagavad Gita 2.18)

 

In contrast it is to be understood as indestructibility of the Soul.  When you kill, the body is destroyed, but the Soul lives on. The Soul will have to be reap the consequence of its action while in the body.  In essence this is the judgement of the Soul.  This is the binding law of Karma.  In reincarnation theory it will either be returned to the creation to pay for it or will be liberated to be eternally with the Paramatma.  This in essence is the basis of Hell and Heaven. The only way of release from the Karmic Law is the Grace of God who pays the price himself.  This is the Bhakthi Marga - the Way of Faith.

This (the Self) is never born, nor does it die at any time. This has never come into being, never comes and never will come into being. This is eternal, permanent, the most ancient, is not killed when the body is being killed. (Bhagavad Gita 2.20)

One who knows this Self to be indestructible, eternal, unborn and immutable, O Partha, how can that person slay or cause to be slain. (Bhagavad Gita 2.21)

 

There seems to be confusion here between the Soul and Spirit.  The Soul, the bird who enjoys the fruit of the actions is not identical with the Spirit of God within man.  There are two householders within the cave or two birds in the same tree.  The Soul originally generated by the life giving Spirit, builds itself into a Self independent of the Spirit.

 

Bhakthi Marga is a totally different plane where the Paramatma, incarnates Himself and takes on the Karmic results of the Soul.  This is possible only in an incarnation.  This is the essential teaching of the Christianity.

 

 

 

a̱ṇor aī̍yān maha̱to mahī̍yān ā̱tmāsya ja̱ntor nihito̍ guhāyām |

tam a̍kratu paśyati vīta-śo̱ko dhā̱tu-pra̱sādā̎n mahi̱māna̍m ātmana || 20 ||

aīyān = subtler;
a
o = than an atom;
mahīyān = greater;
mahata
= than the greatest; 
ātmā = the spirit;
nihita
= is lodged;
guhāyām = in the cave of the heart;
asya janto
  = of this creature; 
tam  = That;
akratu
  = a desireless person;
dhātu
-prasādāt = through the serenity of the organs; 
paśyati = sees, realises;
mahimānam = the greatness;
ātmana
= of the Spirit;
vīta-śoka
= [becomes] freed from suffering.

 

Atman, smaller than the small, greater than the great, is hidden in the hearts of all living creatures. A man who is free from desires beholds the majesty of the Atman within through tranquillity of the senses and the mind and becomes free from grief.

 

 

āsī̍no dūra vrajati śa̱yāno̍ yāti̱ sarva̍ta | 

ka̱stam ma̍dāma̱da̱ṁ de̱va̱m ma̱d-anyo̍ jātu̱m arha̍ti || 21 ||

āsīna = while seated;
dūra
= afar
vrajati = it goes
śayāna
= while lying;
yāti = it goes
sarvata
= everywhere
ka
= who
tam = that
mada-amada
  = that joyful and joyless;\
devam = divinity
mad-anya
= apart from me
jātum = to know;
arhati = is be worthy of
 

Though sitting still, It travels far; though lying down, It goes everywhere. Who but myself  is worthy to know that the divine Spirit rejoices  or not?

 

Sitting He goes far; lying He goes everywhere. Who else, therefore, save myself, is able to comprehend the God who rejoices and rejoices not?

aśarī̍ragu śa̱rīre̍ṣvanavastheu a̱vasthi̍tam |

mahānta̍ṁ vibhu̍m ātmā̱na̱ṁ ma̱tvā dhī̍ro na̱ śoca̍ti || 22 ||

aśarīra  =  bodiless;
 śarīre
u  =  among  bodies;
anavasthe
u  = in the impermanent, transient;
avasthitam  =  unchanging,  stable, permanent;
mahānta
  = the great;
 vibhum = all pervading;
ātmānam  =  Self;
matvā = having meditated [upon]; 
dhīra
= the wise one;
na śocati =  does not grieve, experience suffering

 

The wise man, having realised Atman as dwelling within impermanent bodies but Itself bodiless, vast and allpervading, does not grieve.

 

This Spirit which is part of the Supreme Spirit resides in the bodies which are made of clay.  You are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

 

nāya̍m ātmā pra̱vacane̍na labhyo na̱ medha̍yā na ba̱hunā̍ śrutena |

yam-e̍vaia vṛṇute te̱na labhyas tasyai̍ṣa ā̱tmā vivṛ̍ṇute tanūgu svām || 23 ||

nayam  = not this;    
ātmā  =  Supreme  being; 
pravacanena  = through discourse;
na  labhya
  =  cannot  be  attained  (known);
na medhayā = neither through intellectual  reasoning;
na bahuna śrutena  = neither by much listening;
yam eva= he whom;
e
a vṛṇute = this One chooses; 
tena labhya
= by him is attained;
e
a ātmā = this Supreme Being; 
tasya = to him;
viv
ṛṇute = he reveals;
svām tanu
= His own nature.

 

This Atman cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books. It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Atman reveals Its own form.

 

We are now talking about an Atman who is outside of the beings who is realized by the beings.  This Supreme Spirit is immanent within while it transcends the being.  Hence this cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, nor by intellectual rationality.  It is given by the grace of the Supreme Spirit to whomsoever He reveals Himself.

 

Ephesians 2:8 - 10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

nāvi̍rato duśca̱ritān nā̍śānto nāsa̱māhi̍ta |

nāśā̍nta̱-māna̍so vā̱'pi̱ pra̱jāne̍naina̱m āpnu̍yāt || 24 ||

na avirata   = one who has not desisted; 
duścaritāt = from bad conduct, from those acts which are prohibited  by  Dharma   ;   
na  aśānta
  =  one  who  is unrestrained  
na  asamāhita
  =  one  who  does  not  have  the  powers  of concentration; 
vā-api  =  or  even  indeed; 
na  aśānta-mānasa
  =  one  who  does  not  have  a  still  or peaceful mind
prajānena = through profound knowledge
āpnuyāt = can realise;
enam = this Supreme Truth.

 

He who has not first turn away from wickedness, who is not tranquil and subdued and whose mind is not at peace, cannot attain Atman. It is realised only through the Knowledge of Reality.

 

1 Corinthians 6:9 -10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

 

yasya̍ bra̱hma ca̍ ka̱tra̱ṁ ca̱ u̱bhe bha̍vata o̱dana̍ḥ |

mtyu̍r ya̱syopa̍seca̱na̱ṁ ka̱ itthā̍ veda̱ yatra̍ sa || 25 ||

yasya = That for which;
brahma ca k
atra ca = brahmins and Kshatriyas   
ubhe = both of whom;
bhavata
= become;
odana
  = food;
yasya = for which;
m
tyu  = Death
upasecana
= [is as a] supplement to the food;
ka
= who;
veda = knows;
 itthā = in this manner;
yatra = where;
sa
= It is?

 

Who, then, knows where He is?

He to whom Brahmins and kshattriyas are mere food and death itself a condiment?