May 21, 2024, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Complete knowledge leads to divinity

Spiritual Highway

The Nepal Weekly
August 2, 2022

The message of Chhandogyopanishad is lucid: complete knowledge leads to divinity while incomplete knowledge indicates way to evil world. A story with Indra and Birochan as main characters illustrates the point in the great treasure of knowledge.

One day Prajapati declares: the person who is free from the compulsion of birth and death, does not suffer from hunger and thirst, remains committed to the truth and rightful pledge should be sought. Such person would pursue the guidelines of the great teacher and the holy scriptures and get hold of what he aspires and presides over the space.

Listening to the declaration, the gods and demons depicted interest in fetching such person. They said “we would like to know the Atman in such a way that we could get victory over land and access all means to satisfy our consumption-needs.” They make a determination to send Indra as a representative of gods and Birochan as a delegate of the demons to Prajapati in a competitive spirit. Prajapati offers them the audience only after they complete Brahmacharya for 32 years. Brahmacharya in Vedic philosophy is a disciplined way of life in which truth is embraced through mind, body and spirit, sense-organs-pleasures are regulated in a positive way and sexual desires and acts are controlled.

Prajapati asks them what their intention was in visiting him after practicing Brahmacharya. Since we listened to your declaration we have been committed to know the person who is immortal and who is omnipresent, ever present everywhere like the ultimate consciousness.

The conversation between Prajapati, Indra and Birochan is loaded with the great Vedic logic for Atman, the unchanging, eternal, innermost radiant Self that is unaffected by personality and unaffected by ego remaining ever-free, never-bound and ultimate cosmic consciousness. Great sages explain the same point in various ways in the innumerable books on Atman.

In a sense the dialogue among the trio in the Chhandagyopanishad is considered as a great statement on the Atman and all its features which could be accessed not through any text or experiment or any teaching and learning but through self meditation, in-depth dedication beyond sense organs, mind and intellect. Completeness of knowledge in this regard is essential; incompleteness is misleading.

By Shirish Ballabh Pradhan