Sunday, March 22, 2009

Amrita Bindu Upanishad

This is a translation of Amritabindu Upanishad, as faithful as I can make it, no attempt is made to interpret it in any manner. I have always felt that the study of the Upanishads should be done without relaying on their commentaries to ensure your personal participation in the study. Otherwise you would be following the ideas of others regarding the Upanishad rather than the Upanishad itself. That way lays bondage which the texts are trying so hard to get you out of.

I have omitted the “Santhipatham” of the text beginning with “Bhadram Karnebhi…” from my translation. It is a prayer to various deities or an invocation of peace to help the seekers achieve their objective of learning the ultimate truth without any hindrance.

Enjoy the text and meditate on it. It will give you an insight into what meditation is all about.

1. The mind is chiefly spoken as of two kinds, pure and impure. The impure mind is desire-ridden, and the pure is free of desire.

2. Undoubtedly it is the mind that is the cause of man’s liberation and bondage. The mind that is attached to sense objects leads to bondage, while that which is free from them leads to liberation. So they think.

3. Since liberation is for the mind free from sense-objects, the mind should always be made clean of such desire, by the seeker of truth.

4. Once this is accomplished and the mind is fully controlled within the heart (the heart chakra is one of the favorite centers of meditation-Translator) it realizes its own essence. Then the supreme state is obtained.

5. The mind should be controlled till it gets fully merged in the heart. This is Jnana (realization) and this is Dhyana (meditation) also, all else are mere talk and word play

6. The supreme state is neither to be thought of (as it is beyond thought), nor unworthy to be thought of (as it is the only method of release), nor is It to be thought of in any other manner than the essence of the ever visible, timeless, supreme bliss itself. Truth which is free from all entanglement is reached in this state.

7. First concentrate on OM with its letters( that is on AUM, the meaning would be roughly like this A= creative force, U= sustaining force , M= destructive force or in essence the visible reality in all its aspects contained in the word OM- Translator), then graduate to OM without regard to its letters. When the later form of meditation becomes fruitful, the idea of non-entity is attained as entity.

8. that alone is Reality, without component parts, without doubt, and without taint. Realizing I am that Reality one becomes immutable Reality

9. The Real is endless, beyond reason and analogy, beyond all proofs and causeless; knowing which the wise person becomes free.

10 The highest truth is that pure consciousness which realizes, “ There is neither control of mind nor it is coming into play, neither am I bound, nor am I a worshipper, neither am I a seeker after liberation, nor one who has attained liberation.”

11. Actually the soul should be known from its states of wakefulness, dreaming, and dreamless sleep. For him who has transcended the three states there is no rebirth.
12. Being the only One, the universal soul is present in all beings. Though One, it is seen as many, like the moon in the water.

13. Just as it is the vessel which being moved from one place to another which changes place and not the space enclosed in it, so is the jiva which resembles that space.

14. When the various forms like the vessel are broken repeatedly the Space (Akasha /ether) does not know them to be broken, but He knows perfectly

15. Being covered by Maya which is a mere sound, it does not know Space (The reality), through darkness, When ignorance is shredded, It by virtue of being Itself, only sees unity in everything.

16. The OM as Word is first looked upon as the Supreme reality. After that (the word idea) has vanished, that timeless reality remains. The wise person should meditate on that imperishable reality, if he desires the peace of his soul.

17. These two kinds of learning ought to be understood, the Word (physical) Reality and the Supreme Reality. Having mastered the Word Reality One attains to the highest Reality

18. After studying the Vedas (that is recorded knowledge) the intelligent person who is solely intent on acquiring knowledge and realization should discard the Vedas altogether, like the man who discards husk to obtain rice?

19. The milk is always white even though cows are of diverse colures. The intelligent person regards Jnana (learning) as the milk and the many branched Vedas as the cows.

20. Like butter hidden in milk, pure consciousness resides in every being. That ought to be constantly churned out by the churning rod of the mind.

21. The Supreme reality should be brought out like fire by taking hold of the rope of knowledge. “I am that Reality, indivisible, immutable, and calm”, thus it is thought of.

22. In whom reside all beings, and who resides in all beings by virtue of his being the giver of grace to all- I am that soul of the universe, the Supreme being, I am that Soul of the Universe the Supreme being.

This Upanishad is often linked to Yajurveda (one of the four Vedas) or more precisely to Krishna Yajurveda. Yet the “Santhipatham” (prayer at the beginning) belongs to Upanishads originating from Atbara Veda.

Considered from the point of view of the subject matter this is an Upanishad on Yoga, it is also a comparatively new Upanishad. Other Upanishads belonging to the same category are Varaha, Yogasikha, Yogathathva, Kshurika, Sandilya, and Hamsa.

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