The mind ponders over the given order. Further, muses over the existence that abounds and surrounds the individual. Broods over the ambience in which life is placed, calling for the force that sustains this entire process making it thrive always with little pause. What or which is the prime mover of this order, that makes it originate, flourish, change and decay over the ages with little lull. Evidently, one needs to understand and appreciate such force as also the potential in whatever intelligible mode possible. This tends to be the onus of our ancient text, KENOPANISHAT related by the sages of yore.
This is the output of the thinking faculty that the human is endowed with. But for which the person becomes a nonentity. Here, at this juncture, to recall from the Western thought Descartes postulated, “I think therefore I am”. Thus the thinking or the rational faculty of the individual that marks him from the rest of the animal species. One can never visualize a human without his thinking; in such a very unthinking hypothetical scenario, the individual may be deemed nonexistent.
Granting this, how about the basic poser, which causes this thinking; which suggests to the mind? AMMA once very aptly observed, that we know only when the thought enters the mind and not before. AMMA questioned from where the thought springs, sources itself prior to such entry within the thinking being. Just as KENOPANISHAT queries which suggests the mind? Which prompts the mind in all this process?
Logically if we deduce that the mind thinks reacting to the external stimuli, how does the sight work, eyes see, ears listen, the speech gains voice. These are the very material questions that beg for an answer. Obviously, evidently we are not seeing the moving force behind all these vital functions, which respond, react and rest upon the elements and the environs. The emerging conclusion is that some other force is at work motivating all these senses, vital functions in the individual though not apparent or readily seen.
We also observe that all this mortal, physical activity that is so much given vent ceases when the life departs from the physical form. Nor does one understand at such final moment, where do all the senses, their functions, the inherent vitality depart. Though the very same organs exist, in the very same human body, they do no longer work. The compelling logical conclusion is that some other force inherent, yet not manifests objectively works and not the physical limbs of the person on their own. This overwhelming motivator or such prime force, our sages in this text conceptualized as the very ‘Parabrahman’ or the ‘Brahman’.
Even so, such force is the undercurrent of all the living process, yet not perceived or discerned ordinarily by the person. This is the basic ignorance of life that covers up every one. Either the mortals, other evolved species if they think are ever unable to grasp this subtle but effective truth or knowledge of the unseen, invisible motivator, the prime mover. As the allegory in this Upanishat’s text reads, even the immortals too are not an exception in this respect.
A little story that is allegoric rightly captures this scenario. One moment that GODS gain a victory, which is in fact secured by Brahma. Yet they become self congratulatory, assertive, assuming, attributing the entire conquest to them, and thus giving room for conceit. They deemed themselves much exalted by this single win.
At this point, one glorious presence emerges in the ether of which they know not till then and begin to wonder unable to understand or cognize the same. The GODS are bent upon approaching the same for a clear perception of the mystic entity or presence, for our reference as of now; we may style the same as Yaksha.
Firstly, AGNI presents himself full of inflated ego, cites his credentials as the one who can burn anything and everything. In response the strange being (Yaksha) places a simple blade of grass before Agni to burn the same. Agni could not do so. Likewise, Vayu too makes his entry before the Yaksha that he shall move anything by the force of his virulent wind. But could not move the blade of grass placed before the wind god despite his much vaunted claims to do so. Vayu too failed. Then Indra deemed the Lord of the GODS too approaches the strange being (Yaksa) wondering about the same.
Just at the very moment, Goddess Uma makes her entry and conveys that the unknown presence is that of ‘Brahma Vidya’ or the very ‘Brahman’. Much more appropriate mode of reckoning this uncommon moment is that the Goddess Uma made her appearance as the very ‘Brahman’, having seen the discomfiture of the GODS.
The GODS knew ‘Brahman’ in the cosmic presence equally so in the individual vein. Yet the illusion of attributing the achievement that is verily of Brahma to the self vaingloriously caused the discomfiture. Or, so to say they were drawn into the momentary frailty of ego which is again overcome through the gracious intervention of Goddess Uma exposing the true ‘Brahman’. Cognition or an understanding sight of the very ‘Brahman’ dispelled the momentary ignorance or illusion of the vain Agni, Vayu and Indra, who could avert the same in the nick of the moment, by the gracious intervention of Goddess Uma.
To present AMMA in this scenario rightfully, as also depict the ‘Brahman’, the root of the ego or conceit has been struck, giving little room for raising its ugly head. AMMA said, “The deeds are beyond (or not within the hands of) the being”. (Chetalu Chetullo Levu). The simple three worded aphorism of AMMA in the vernacular Telugu, which strikes at the very root of ego and the resultant illusion, if keenly appreciated or deeply perceived within the self of the being in its true import.
AMMA moved a little further and conveyed even thoughts are cognized after their entry into the mind and not before. Thus the emerging confirmation is that neither actions nor even the thoughts are within the control or access of the human being ordinarily. If so, how can the person attribute any action, thought, process or phenomenon to the self? Likewise, success or failure, comfort or pain also is not to be attributed to the person evidently though he undergoes the same. Thus the very base, root, source or cause of the ego is removed, dispelled; eradicated given such right perception granted by AMMA.
Having said till this point upon the emptiness of ego; the issue of the prime force, the causative force, or the crucial, single motivator of all that exists, merits further thought. In terms of this epic KENOPANISHAT, from the exposition of Goddess Uma to Lord Indra ‘Brahman’ is the one and only cause, the prime mover of all processes and phenomena visible, and invisible. This is the supreme force that lords over everything, conditions all else with no exception.
The volition and the action too rightly belong to ‘Brahman’. The individual is only a meek being in such overwhelming Brahman’s dispensation, ever swayed by the same, in his lifetime. If so, ‘Brahman’ is but the lightning, the wind, the fire from which even the elements obtain their vital force.
Obvious conclusion is ‘Brhman’ is such vital, prime source. ‘Brahman’ is the cause, source, power and the prime mover of one and all in the cosmic process. Every being is HIS (Brahman’s) subject in the true sense and enjoined upon to seek him in deference setting aside the egoistic physical being. ‘Brahman’ is ever present within the being as also without the being whether one is aware or not.
AMMA summed up this macro situation, this crucial aspect conveying that all that exists, visible, invisible is ‘Brahman’. All that exists is ‘Brahman’. There is little that is out of such ‘Brahman’ for the very reason that it is all inclusive without any exception. Not knowing ‘Brahman’ or living without such conception is but ignorance, illusion. To put forth this truth effectively in AMMA’S parlance “BRAHMAN IS WITHOUT ILLUSION”. (“Bhranthi Lenide Brahmam” as said by AMMA, in HER own words inimitably).
AMMA expounded the essence of the sacred text KENOPANISHAT in a couple of sentences both put together not exceeding six words, in the vernacular Telugu inimitably. “ALL THAT IS (EXISTS) BRAHMAN”. Here this concept includes the visible and the invisible too. Again to sum up the comprehension of this thought registering in our awareness; AMMA said “BARHAMAN IS WITHOUT ILLUSION”. To elaborate the same a little more, when the true perception of BRAHMAN dawns within the individual, there is no room for illusion. The frail, fickle human being is enlightened by the knowledge of this sublime truth of the BRAHMAN.
Pray AMMA BLESS us with such enlightened perception.