Know Paramatma and merge into the same!
The Taitiriyopanishad consists of high value narrative on multiple themes such as devotion to Omkar, worship of Luxmi, Saraswati, obedience to words of teacher, married domestic life, Vedic studies, and value of grains. Categorized into three sections, the Upanishad discusses other multiple themes including ways to gain access to knowledge of Brahma, varied rituals, symbols of Brahma, meditation, devotion to debates and studies.
The first section of the Taitiriyopanishad -Shikshyaballi- talks of methodology of studying the Vedas, performance-rituals, value of teacher-words, discipline, ethics, and other values. The second section – Brahmanandaballi – and the third section – Bhriguballi- narrate in a simple way the teachings of the Vedanta besides explaining the Atma, Paramatma, and the creation of the world.
Taitiriyopanishad also presents an interesting explanation of the Paramatma particularly its comprehensive greatness and values. The essence of its discussion of Paramatma is: to know Paramatma is to merge into the same. In other words the knowledge of the Paramatma leads one to unification with the same. The Paramatma has been described as the Truth, Enlightenment, and Infinity. It explains how Paramatma manifests itself into the trio – Truth, Enlightenment and Infinity.
Truth has been described as free of any pollutants, undestructible, and nonchanging. As for example, the sea is unchangeable, but the wave created in it is changeable, so is the surf in the sea. It clarifies the sea is true, the rest is not. Similarly the gold is true; the ornaments made of gold – bangles, rings, necklaces are not. The ornaments are subject to change. Brahma is the foundation of all existences; it is pure, unpolluted, unborn, omnipresent, ubiquitous, immortal, endless and beginning-less. Truth remains constantly present at present, in the past and in the future.
The Brahma, according to the Upanishad, is accessible only through consciousness, awareness and similar mental process and experience. Literacy or mastery of texts or technical knowledge or process along with other informational tools or learning methods cannot lead to Brahma. It is in this vein that Lord Rama, according to Muktikopanishad, refers to his breath as expression of four Vedas. The Chhandogyopanishad also describes the Brahma as the ultimate enlightenment. After such enlightenment, there is nothing that remains to be known.
By Shirish B. Pradhan
(See corporatenepal.com for Nepali version)