Mundakopanisad1939

Mundakopanisad1939 - Published by THE PRESIDENT, SRI...

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Published by THE PRESIDENT, SRI RAMAKRISHNA MAT$, MYLAPORE, MADRAS Fourth Edition (All rights reserved) Printed by C. SUBBARAYUDU, AT THE VASANTA PRESS, Price 12 Annas ADYAR, MADRAS
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INTRODUCTORY NOTE THERE are sixty-four verses or Mantras in this Upanisad, divided into three chapters each comprising of two Sections or Khandas. The whole book as well as each chapter is called Mundaka, a word etymologically denoting a shaving razor and a person "with a shaven head, namely, a Sannyasin or a monk. A probable explanation for naming the Upanisad thus is made out from these two senses of the word by some who say (l) that para-vidya or the higher wisdom so lucidly and directly taught herein removes the superimposed veil of ignorance obscuring the Atman just as a razor shaves off the hair covering the head ; and (2) that this Upanisad is pre-eminently intended for the Sannyasin y emphasising as it does the necessity of sannyasa for the attainment of the Eternal and the Imperishable. It belongs to the Atharva-veda, and presumably to the S'aunaklya-s'akha, since its contents were taught to S'aunaka by Angiras, who in his turn had learned it from Bharadvaja Satyavaha, the disciple of Atharvan, the eldest son and pupil of Brahma. The authoritativeness of the instruction imparted is brought out by this genealogical table. " By knowing which," inquires S'aunaka of Angiras, with due ceremony and reverence, " is all this the
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84 MUNDAKOPANISAD entire phenomena experienced through the mind and the senses really understood ? " To this essential question of all sciences and philosophy Arigiras gives a proper and elaborate reply, covering the remaining part of the Upanisad, and answering all possible questions implied in the original inquiry. At the outset a logical scheme of the entire province of knowledge is drawn up, which subordinates all practical and theoretical learning available then (and even now) to the realization of the Imperishable (para-vidya), where all particular items -of knowledge converge sarva-vidya-pratistha. The Upanisadic knowledge that is helpful to this realization is also called para-vidya. In the first Section of the first chapter the nature of the Imperishable is hinted at in an early verse and is fittingly followed by the descrip- tion, with the aid of vivid similes, of how the universe, so different from It, has sprung into existence " out of " It alone. The second Section gives a realistic account of the grand mechanism of Vedic ritualism in a few quick and arresting verses. That there is no desire to disparage Vedic rituals is evident from the special care the Upanisad takes to emphasize their devout and flawless performance and the great evil resulting from carelessness in this regard. The
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2012 for the course RELIGION 121 taught by Professor Albertson during the Fall '10 term at USC.

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Mundakopanisad1939 - Published by THE PRESIDENT, SRI...

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