This Upanishad is in the fourth chapter of Talavakara Brahmana of Samaveda. Hence it is called Talavakaropanishad. It is also called as Kenopanishad as it begins with the word Kena. Gives the clue to the central theme of this Upanishad viz.

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May my limbs, speech, Prana, eye, ear, strength and all my senses grow vigorous. All everything is the Brahman of the Upanishads. May I never deny Brahman. May Brahman never spurn me. May there be no denial of Brahman.

May there be no spurning by the Brahman. Let all the virtues recited by the Upanishads repose in me, delighting in the Atman! May they in me repose! Om Peace! The Indwelling Power 1. Who is the director of the mind? Who impels the mind to alight on its object?

At whose command does the Prana proceed to function? The command of Brahman or the Absolute. At whose command do men utter speech? The command of Brahman.

What intelligence directs the eyes and the ears towards their respective objects? The Intelligence of Brahman. Behind the Prana and the senses there is Brahman or the supreme Self. He who knows this attains immortality. Ignorant people identify themselves with the body, mind, Prana and senses on account of nescience or Avidya. They mistake these false, perishable limiting adjuncts or vehicles for the pure immortal Atman, and so they are caught in the round of births and deaths.

But some wise people abandon this false identification, separate themselves from these limiting adjuncts through enquiry, discrimination, Anvaya-Vyatireka- Yukti, and practice of Neti, Neti doctrineI am not this body, I am not this Prana, I am not this mind, I am not the senses,identify themselves with the all-pervading, immortal, pure Brahman and obtain knowledge of Brahman and attain immortality.

Rise above sense-life and live in the Atman. You will attain immortality and eternal bliss. You will become immortal while living in this body, if you attain knowledge of Brahman. You need not wait till you leave this body. Just as the water in a cup borrows its heat from the sun or the fire, so also the mind. Prana and senses borrow their light and power from the Atman.

The ear hears through the light of the Atman, the tongue speaks through the power of the Atman, the mind thinks through the power of the Atman, and the Prana performs its functions through the power of the Atman only.

The mind and the organs are inert and non-intelligent. They appear to be intelligent through the light and power of the Atman. The ears, eyes, mind and Prana exist for the use of the Atman, just as a house exists for the use of its owner. The Director is Brahman or Atman. Brahman shines by its own light. By its light all this universe is illumined. The sun, moon, stars, fire and lightning shine by its light. No one can live and breathe if there were not the self-luminous Brahman.

Brahman leads Prana up and Apana down. One becomes immortal by renouncing all desires. Intuitive Realisation of Truth The Sruti says: Not by works, not by offerings, not by wealth, but by renunciation alone does one attain immortality.

How can the eyes see the sun, the seer of sight? The eye is an object of perception for the mind and Atman. One cannot jump on one's own shoulders. Brahman cannot be an object of perception because it is partless, attributeless, extremely subtle and infinite. To define Brahman is to deny Brahman. Satchidananda is only a provisional definition of Brahman.

The Srutis explain Brahman through the Neti-Neti not this, not this doctrine. The disciple should possess a subtle, sharp, pure, and one-pointed intellect.

Brahman cannot be known like the objects of the world. It cannot be explained by mere words, just as you explain to others the nature of the objects of the world.

Brahman is distinct from the known, from the whole manifested universe and from the unknown, too. Brahman is the only Reality. It is the basis and source for everything. Brahman is not an object. It is all-pervading, mysterious, incomprehensible, Chaitanya or pure consciousness. Brahman must be known through intuition. It is very difficult to understand the nature of Brahman.

It is very difficult to explain the nature of Brahman, because there is no means or language by which to do so. Those who are endowed with a pure and subtle intellect can easily grasp the subtle ideas of the Upanishads.

As Brahman is beyond the reach of the senses and the mind, the aspirant should at first have a comprehensive understanding of Brahman through the study of the Upanishads and the instructions of an illumined preceptor. The aspirant should equip himself with the four means Viveka discrimination , Vairagya dispassion , Shat-Sampat sixfold virtue , Mumukshutva yearning for liberation and practise constant meditation.

Then alone will he attain knowledge of Brahman. He will realise Brahman like an amalaka fruit in his hand. Then all doubts and delusion will vanish. That which is distinct from the known and the unknown is Brahman. The knowledge of Brahman has been traditionally handed down from preceptor to disciple. Brahman can be known only by instruction from an illumined teacher or realised sage and not by logical discussions or by intelligence, great expositions, austerity or sacrificial rites, etc.

The soul of man is the Atman. The soul of the universe is Brahman. The Atman is identical with Brahman. What speech does not enlighten, but what enlightens speech, know that alone to be Brahman. Speech cannot reveal or illumine Brahman. Brahman is beyond the range of speech. Speech expresses itself through the power or light of Brahman. Speech is finite. How can the finite speech reveal the infinite Brahman? Brahman alone illumines speech and its organ, the Vak-Indriya.

Brahman is the speech of speech, the tongue of tongue. Brahman is within speech and directs speech. This Atman is Brahman or Bhuma infinite or the unconditional. Brahman is unsurpassable, big, great, the highest of all, all-pervading.

So it is called Brahman. Brahman is eternal, unchangeable, self-luminous, formless, colourless, attributeless, timeless, spaceless, indivisible, unborn, undecaying immortal.

Vedanta is not hostile to devotion. It only deprecates worship with selfish interest. A Vedantin or a Sage is a perfect devotee.

Para-Bhakti or supreme devotion and Jnana or wisdom are one. Vedanta says that Isvara whom people worship is one's own Self. It teaches an expanded form of Bhakti, the highest form of devotion.

The Self and The Mind Brahman is the silent witness of the activities of the mind and all the organs. That which cannot be comprehended by the mind but what causes the mind to think and to apprehend an object, know that alone as Brahman.

The mind is connected with all the organs. It is the commander-in-chief of all active forces. Desire, volition, deliberation, faith, negligence, courage, timidity, shame, intelligence, fear all these are ultimately the mind. Mind is the 'Drik' or the seer, the objects are the 'Drishya' or the seen. The Atman is the Seer, the mind is the seen.


Kenopanishad, Kenopaniá¹£ad: 5 definitions

Did you know that the very first Avatara much before the famous Dasavataras was that of a Yaksha? I did not know this until I studied Kenopanishad. Having won decisively, the Devas had a great celebration. Devas congratulated and praised their leaders Indra, Vayu and Agni who stood out as the main architects and heroes of the victory. This victory had gone into their head as they seemed to believe that it was all their glory. So, Eswara decided to show them their place.



May my limbs, speech, Prana, eye, ear, strength and all my senses grow vigorous. All everything is the Brahman of the Upanishads. May I never deny Brahman. May Brahman never spurn me. May there be no denial of Brahman.


The Kenopanishad

Kena Upanishad. Invocation Om. May Brahman protect us both the preceptor and the disciple! May Brahman bestow upon us both the fruit of Knowledge! May we both obtain the energy to acquire Knowledge!


Being the essence of the Vedas, the Upanishads contain the distilled wisdom of the seers and sages of ancient India, as relevant today, if not more, as they were thousands of years ago. There are more than a hundred Upanishads, out of which ten are recognized as the main body of the Upanishadic treatises. The Kenopanishad is one among these ten principal Upanishads, belonging to the Sama Veda. It essentially deals with the nature of the highest reality called Brahman and establishes that this highest reality is not what can come within the scope of our ordinary knowledge. The opening prayer itself is like a ray of sunshine, being an appeal for a strong and vigorous body and senses, through a constant abiding in the Brahman and for peace through the dedication of all human efforts to the all pervading Brahman. The Kenopanishad commences with a set of meaningful questions.

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