The Upanishads ( Post 4 ) …by Reader

Chapter III

Article 7

About the Principle of The Universe…

This article searches for that one elusive principle that one likes to presume common to everything in the universe. The basic uncertainty is if there is such a thing as a single all-pervasive principle, or is it just another force?

What is the aim of this effort, this research, this exercise, this Yadnya?

Is there a single principle that governs Life and death, the mortal and the imperishable and all of these that exist in one universe?

What is ‘one’ about so many different worlds in a universe? Why should there be a single principle at all?

Yadnya Valkya in his reply, although circumstantial, arrives at an unusual perspective:

This principle inhabits the earth; It is not expressed by the earth yet is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the water; It is not expressed by the water yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the fire; It is not expressed by the fire yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the sky; It is not expressed by the sky yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the air; It is not expressed by the air yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the space; It is not expressed by the space yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the Sun; It is not expressed by the Sun yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the quarters; It is not expressed by the quarters yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the moons and stars; It is not expressed by them yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the darkness; It is not expressed by the darkness yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the light; It is not expressed by the light yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits the inert; It is not expressed by the inert yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits breath, speech, skin, eye , mind; It is not expressed by them yet it is omniscient;

This principle inhabits understanding; It is not expressed by understanding yet it is omniscient;

This principle is the Soul, the Atma, the omniscient and the imperishable.

It is free of a-priori and a-posteriori characteristics and stations.


In my opinion, this answer defies the Advaita philosophy of non-duality of the universe.

If a principle is the prime mover of all the actions and interactions in Nature and is also not empirical, then I’d say, it is distinct and stand-alone.


Chapter III

Article 8

About the nature of Aksara Brahma

Here the sage is asked a tricky question. If Life is the driver of all volitional actions and also the stillness in the inert then it is not detached and it is not immune to influences. All functional associations become limiting values of Brahma.

Yadnya Valkya, in reply, repeats the question like a rhetoric. He follows it with an implication.

Life is the Aksara Brahma. Aksara means Imperishable, Brahma is the Life. Anyone who performs functions without this awareness may do so for a thousand years and yet find no peace. One who realizes and experiences this nature of life departs this world as a wise person.


Chapter III

Article 9

About many divinities…

I like the beginning of this article. A person named Sakalya asks the same question repeatedly and keeps getting more in-depth answers.

Sakalya (S): How many Gods are there, Yadnya Valkya?

Yadnya Valkya: As many faculties of the mind, the visvedevas – 3 hundred 3 times 3 thousand 3

S: Yes, but how many Gods are there, Yadnya Valkya?

Y: Three

S: Yes, but how many Gods are there, Yadnya Valkya?

Y: Two

S: Yes, but how many Gods are there, Yadnya Valkya?

Y: one and a half

S: Yes, but how many Gods are there, Yadnya Valkya?

Y: One

Yadnya Valkya then explains:

All are manifestations of one.

The thirty three divinities are eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas, Indra and Praja-pati.

… … … The eight Vasus are: Fire, Earth, Air, Sky, Sun, Space, Moon and Stars.

… … … The eleven Rudras are: Ten breathes in the body and the Mind.

… … … The twelve Adityas are: The twelve months of the year.

… … … Indra is the activity of Nature. Praja-pati is the Yadnya, the offering that sustains life.

The three divinities are three worlds – Earth, Space and Beyond.

The two divinities are Life and Food.

The One and a half divinities are Life and matter.

The One is Brahma.


Chapter III

Article 9 (continued)

About Other divinities

I was surprised by this article. You may guess why.

There are eight distinct characteristics in people who are correlated to eight divinities.

The divinity of a person who lives with fire, whose mind is enlightened, who seeks knowledge is the Imperishable, Immortal.

The divinity of a person who lives with desire, whose world is the heart, whose mind is enlightened is a woman.

The divinity of a person who lives with forms and appearances, whose world is the visible, is Truth.

The divinity of a person who lives in Space, whose world is the directions, is Space.

The divinity of a person who lives in darkness, whose world is a shadow, is Death.

The divinity of a person who lives in Light, whose world is bright, is Life.

The divinity of a person who lives with water, whose world is the heart, whose mind is enlightened, is Varuna.

The divinity of a person who lives with passion, whose world is the heart, whose mind is enlightened, is Praja-pati. (Here the notion is one who lives for procreation)


Chapter IV

Article 1

About Inadequacies of the Self…

Speech is holy. I learned from my mother, father and my teachers that speech is holy. What can anyone achieve who is speechless? The Word really is the established.

However, Yadnya Valkya says: It’s a one legged steed. Speech rides on air. It’s the voice of intelligence. Speech makes known the Rig, Yaju, Saama Vedas, the Atharva-angirasas, history, folklore, arts, upanishads, the sciences, the principles, the sutras, poetry, aphorisms, commentaries and the natures of the living world, the inert and the celestial. It is upheld by Wisdom. Speech is worshiped by the wise as this.


Life is holy. I learned from my mother, father and my teachers that this Life is indeed holy. What can anyone achieve who is lifeless? Life really is the established.

However, Yadnya Valkya says: It’s a one legged steed. Life rides on space. It bears on love and fear. The breath is an expression of the dearness of life. Life is sustained by reality. Life is worshiped by the wise as this.


Vision is holy. I learned from my mother, father and my teachers that this vision is holy. What can anyone achieve who has no vision? Vision really is the established.

However, Yadnya Valkya says: It’s a one legged steed. Vision rides on Truth. What the eye sees is what is. What is not seen is invisible. Vision discovers existence. Vision is worshiped by the wise as this.


Reception and Interoception are holy. I learned from my mother, father and my teachers that they are holy. What can anyone achieve who cannot map stimuli? Reception and Interoception are established.

However, Yadnya Valkya says: They are one legged steeds. They ride on endlessness. Directions have no boundaries. Reception and Interoception are worshiped by the wise as this.


The Mind is holy. I learned from my mother, father and my teachers that the mind is holy. What can anyone achieve without the mind? The Mind really is the established.

However, Yadnya Valkya says: It’s a one-legged steed. The Mind rides on blissfulness. The mind acquires worldly pleasures through blissfulness. The Mind is worshiped by the wise as this.


The heart is holy. I learned from my mother, father and my teachers that the heart is holy. What can anyone achieve without the Heart? The heart really is the established.

However, Yadnya Valkya says: It’s a one-legged steed. The heart rides on stability. The heart prevails over the world on stable emotions. The heart is worshiped by the wise as this.


To be continued…


76 Responses to “The Upanishads ( Post 4 ) …by Reader”

  1. Thank you Sharmila,

    I love this part for defining a Yadnya, the divine nature of the mind and Holiness.

  2. Sharmila,

    Please see the mail.

  3. I checked, does the blog still disappear on refresh? I checked, seems ok..

    • It’s visible now. Thank you. Where were you all day? I have sent the draft of the last post in this series. Please take a look.

      • Sharmila,

        This is what is happening. The blog opens normally. No problem. Then after entering the comment, if we try to go back to the main page, it disappears. But thats okay.

      • Hope everything is alright.

  4. The supreme….The God is ONE….! What is the need of so many manifestations..? Why can’t everyone believe in One God….!? Such uniformity can and could’ve avoided so many Wars and battles and crusades and terrorist acts….pursued in the name of Religion…!

    • MonaLisa,

      I feel there is one more thing. The vocabulary seems restrictive. The same word is used again and again to mean different things. Like yoga, yadnya, Brahma etc.

      There is one adjective for the quality of any characteristics: ‘Divine’

      • Reader,
        Is there any alternate term available to express “Divine” ..? May be everything he described is what it is in its purest form…

      • May be purity or perhaps because there is no concept of a satan/lucifer.

        So, everything must end in benevolence.

  5. Reader,
    “The divinity of a person who lives with desire, whose world is the heart, whose mind is enlightened is a woman.”

    This might ‘ve surprised you…! Nowhere there is a word “man” mentioned one time… I guess..! 🙂

  6. The darkness…the Death is also considered Divine…! why everyone is so afraid of it then…!?

    • I have two opinions on this.

      1. I am afraid of death when I am not certain about it.

      2. At the moment of death, since all senses are absent, one does not feel death the way we imagine.

      Like, pain is felt by humans only on a small scale. Certain injuries are not felt when they occur. Like a cut from a sharp blade – the pain starts much later when it becomes bearable. So, perhaps death is like that.

      • Reader,
        The end product may not be painful at all….but the process could be and probably is…! Cessation of all functioning and senses is not that easy and quick in all cases….if you have seen ppl on death bed with some serious burns & injuries to the body. Not a pretty sight at all….

      • You know, pain is still considered a sign of life. The only person I have seen who was asking to die even if there was no physical pain was my mother. She had nothing else to say. She kept praying till her last moment asking God to take her away. I have never recovered from those days even though its been more than 9 years now.

  7. Reader,
    Its the hardest thing in life to overcome the loss of near and dear ones….especially those who are very close to the heart…Sorry for your loss..!
    Pain and sufferings are not just physical….mental and emotional traumas cause more pain than anything else…and those ones are more dangerous and fatal….

    • Those experiences have taught me a lot things. Today when I am in a hospital waiting for a doctor’s final verdict in my company’s accident cases, I first take care of the children or immediate family member of the person. Build confidence, give them every possible support and protect them from that feeling of “No-one-is-hearing-me!”

      In my case, I kept telling my mother, “I need you Aai” (I called her Aai, thats mother in Marathi)… “I am with you, open your damn eyes and look!” but she never did. I felt abandoned. As if someone was not listening to me- someone who was running this show of life and death.

      Now, I know how it feels.

      I try to protect others who are in a similar spot. My job actually gives me many opportunities.

      • Reader,
        How funny it is….that the life is valued more when Death knock on the door….or after the life is engulfed by the death..
        We miss those who are gone..who are not with us anymore…those who departed…we value them not enough when they are around….we take them for granted many many ways…! How pathetic we humans are…!

      • You know, when a persons learn how to face such natural setbacks there are often intangible changes in their outlooks that others notice though the person may not realize.

        Like, self-esteem becomes more meaningful. Regardless of the vocation that one pursues, the person with a good moral grounding tends to protect and preserve self-esteem in every thought and action, both for ones own self and others.

        On the other hand, if such an experience is un-natural or traumatic, a person may risk losing values and become wayward, specially if already inclined to an unethical lifestyle.

  8. Why does the post keep disappearing…from the main page…?

  9. Lol…I know…Reader,
    ” Divine Lucifer “…! 🙂

    • There is no Lucifer, but divinity is what the scriptures call a woman. One should not believe every thing in the scriptures. We should test things ourselves. 😛

  10. Notice, in the last section, everything that we call ‘Holy’ is called inadequate including the mind.

    Attributing holiness to anything was a tricky business and done with some purpose. Edicts were issued like a Cow is holy, don’t kill a cow or a Pipal tree is holy don’t cut a pipal tree or even a tiger is holy, don’t kill a tiger etc.

  11. 🙂 Very Good Morning to you…!

  12. ‘ll be back tomorrow….

    • And a good eve to you… I mean if you like eves… 🙂

      • Reader,
        Thanks…! Yep …I like eves….! The sunsetty…red hues in the sky…before the darkness stes upon the horizon…the flock of birds flying in formation of ‘V’ back to their final destination for the day….their nests… and so many things like that….
        I can go on and on….and no two eves are alike ever….
        I enjoy every bit of my eve(ning)s in the right company..! 🙂

      • Every day in every way I am getting older and older… Good Morning…

  13. Reader – Kudos to you. The translations by themselves are one of the divinities. Albeit, I must confess I need to revisit your work a few more times, but, what you have provided here is a glorious start.

    • Sharmila,

      Thank you for the opportunity. This is fun for me. I have never done this before. Never thought it would be welcomed thus!

      Is it possible to put the Post 5 today? That will complete the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad. And readers can cross-reference the posts if they please.

  14. Where are you? Aap kahaan ho…??

  15. Sharmila,

    Feedback received off the blog:

    Reader, very different way of reviewing a scripture. (You) Did not comment on it like a philosopher yet gave enough away to reveal its substance! Hope to see more in the same style. Keep it up.

    Just for your information, this person is a renowned scholar and an advisor on religious matters to sheikhs in the ME.

    See? We are in good company… 🙂

    • Indeed in we(excluding you) are in Good company….Thank you Reader….and sorry you gotta put up with duffus like….me(can’t speak for all)

      • MonaLisa,

        Don’t ever feel that. The discussions on the post are very necessary to check our own feelings. The post can never say everything.

        And you have a unique style which is just you. Don’t change that. I like to explain my views on the blog.

        And I am glad it is on a blog. I am safe at this distance. I know there is no gun-control in the US. You’d have shot me more than once by now!!! 🙂

    • Fabulous! Congratulations and thanks for sharing..

  16. Reader,
    I thought you would have shot me umpteen times… 🙂 And I can bet …God forbid…if we meet in person anytime in this life….you will keep your gun handy… 🙂
    God willing we both are safe from each other at the distance…. 🙂
    We all display our views on the blog…nothing else…nothing personal… at all….. 🙂

    • Lets meet in Sharmila’s EF meet next year. I’ll hide behind Sharmila while you prepare to take aim…. or still better I’ll introduce someone else as Reader first… I’ll introduce myself after you run out of ammunition… 🙂

      • lol….I think I would know…who the Reader is….! I would read ‘woman hater’ on the forehead…! 🙂
        Wonder…yet you are ready meet all female on the blog….! suggestive of that hatred not very strong….still there is a chance to penetrate the walls of your heart… 🙂
        Btw ….by chance if you introduced a wrong guy…then there are fair chances …that you will miss the Kiss….a welcome Kiss and a Goodbye Kiss…! 🙂

      • Now I am sure I am going to introduce someone else first… I don’t want a welcome kiss followed by a good bye…

        I’ll get someone like Pritish Nandy – a shining full moon on the top and fungus on the chin! Try kissing that… 😛

        I never said I hate women… you keep insisting on that… I love only women… I only said they are Lucifer’s mothers…

  17. 🙂 Reader,
    Do you realise you just admit that you the men are ‘Lucifer’….women are just ‘Lucifer’s mothers’….lol…
    If you hate me that much you should introduce someone unknown to me…seen Mr.Nandy’s pic on blog…don’t I..?!
    Mind can be blinded…heart would know…who the Reader is…! You can’t hide for long…!
    Btw….your description is encouraging me to stick to my plan…I never kissed any Mooney head/forehead before…. 🙂

    • MonaLisa,

      You know, in Inorganic Chemistry there is a process called Sublimation. Most common substances when heated in the solid state become liquid first and then evaporate.

      Sublime materials, like Iodine for instance, ‘evaporate’ directly from the solid state without melting.

      Reader is sublime. He doesn’t melt. He goes directly from solid state to vapour! It’s because of something called High Latent Heat!

      Also, now I am sure its time to grow my long beard before the EF meet…

  18. Reader,
    What can I say…but to prescribe the process of “condensation” for you…!!!?
    Do you not Welcome someone with a ‘Hug & Kiss’ ever..!? Isn’t it common amongst ME culture…!?
    You can stick to your Indian Culture….can’t force that upon me…for God’s sake…! 🙂
    Beard or no beard…it has nothing to do with a friendly gesture…! 🙂

    • MonaLisa,

      You want me to leave you be “For God’s sake”? Hmm.. I am sure God will not mind that…

      Well, okay. Let Sharmila decide the protocol. I have nothing against H&K. I have never done that before though. So, if I vaporize by chance you will have to manage the condensation procedure, which will be a CPR in my case… 🙂

      • Reader,
        Leave me…!? When and where did I say that…!? And that’s for God’s sake..!? He will definitely push you back to earth…immediately….wrong entry prohibited….. 🙂
        Btw can anyone catch a Free Spirit..!?
        Lol…you remind me of a dialogue form “Friends”… 🙂
        You have ample time to practice H & K till then… 🙂
        If it is required …I will be at your service…then…for CPR… but won’t let you evaporate on me…. 🙂
        What if you faint with a terrible shock…!? Then we have to think of something else…keep an Ambulance on call…. 🙂

      • I remember when my grand mother kissed me when I was a kid. My soul slipped out of the frame silently and came back after a full body transplant….

        I have not grown out of that yet. So, I’ll need a paed to save me. I know one but she is missing from the blog last few days.

  19. Lol…Reader,
    Look into your pocket…she must be hiding in there somewhere…
    If you are that fragile …to bear a kiss from your grand ma then…I think I shall spare you…will keep a distance of 10 ft. period….don’t worry…don’t lose your good night sleep over such petty things…
    Sounds like Friendly Hugs are forbidden in your land…. 🙂

  20. MonaLisa,

    Fragile is a nice word. I might have said brittle. But fragile is better.

    I don’t know what fancy women have about kisses. I hate the idea! Not just romantic types, I mean all women do. Grandmas. aunts, mothers, sisters, friends et al.

    My first girl-friend’s name was Babli. I was about 8-9 years old. We were neighbors at home and were in the same grade in the primary school. Primary school was co-ed unlike the high school which was only for boys and girls went to the convent nearby.

    Babli sat next to me in the class. One day, for some reason, she sat somewhere else.

    During the break, I went across and bashed her up. She went crying to the class teacher.

    “Why did you beat her?!” asked the teacher

    “She did not sit with me!” I said


    There are many ways of saying “So?”, if you have noticed. I had no answer for this one. I took my caning calmly and returned to my seat.

    But note this: From the next day she sat next to me as usual. So I knew I had done the right thing.

    However, I had not anticipated her sinister plans of getting even afterwards. Rudyard Kipling was right: The female of the species is more dangerous than the male.

    A few weeks later, her father was transferred to Nagpur and they had to leave the town. Their family came to our house for dinner and everything was alright till the last few minutes.

    She came quietly into my room where I was sitting in my study chair and, without any warning, kissed me all of a sudden.

    Yuuuuuccckkk!!!! Aaarrgggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

    I shot out of the chair and went screaming and bawling to my mom and dad.

    Its a cruel, unfair world I tell you. You know what they did? Instead of scolding her, they laughed at me! They said it was a good lesson to me for beating her in the class!!!

    The learning point is: Never trust a girl within kissing distance!


    There, now you know. 10 ft is okay for me, if you are not 10 ft tall.


    PS: And now definitely good night.. back in the morning…

    • Lol…. Reader,
      So True…! Girls are too naive and emotional fools to get/understand a nerd like you… 🙂
      If their warm ,innocent gesture to show their affection sounds like a conspiracy of the females against male of same species…to you…then….I don’t know…what to say…! Whether to laugh at it…or cry about it..but sounds pretty pathetic…for sure…!
      We are not that kind of ppl (a cheapster Bimbo or a floozy) who dump themselves on others…jeee…sss…! Its nothing but the part of an etiquette…..! Ours differ …then so be it…!

      In your school days…..You wanted her company but at/from the distance….she must sit with you…and no one else….(that shows your possessiveness and dominating nature.)..or you feel angry, jealous and dejected…yet little physical contact annoyed you….seems you are one of those confused lot…confused about their feelings towards opposite gender…
      And you want everything your way…. 🙂

      • MonaLisa,

        Good Morning.

        I wouldn’t do a Freudian analysis of that event.

        I prefer C.G Jung – he would have said that likes and dislikes are decided by custom, not by the gender.

        But that was 37-38 years ago.

        This is a new improved Reader, Ver 9, Release 5! (9 x 5 = 45)

        The following patches have been installed:

        1. I am not possessive about anything that is not in my possession.

        2. I don’t want everything my way so long as I am getting what I want!


      • And hey, blame Rudyard Kipling… I didn’t never say that no way… He says f is more d than the m…

        PS: I only says f is d… 🙂 haha 🙂

      • And he said that about serpents in his famous “Jungle Book”! 🙂

  21. Reader,
    Good Morning….! Do you ever sleep …!?

    If F is D then M is V… like serpents …you know…! 🙂

    And its not always about customs…don’t blame it (your short comings) on customs….

    Age is just a number …not the barometer to measure some one’s wisdom or maturity….! You are such a baby…hahaha….. 🙂

    • MonaLisa,

      Yes, V for Vulnerable.

      What short comings? I don’t have any short comings. I am perfect.

      Purnaam adah, purnam idah purnaat purnam udachyate |
      Purnaasya purnam adaya purnam eva vashishyate ||

      … … … That is perfect, this is perfect; Perfection is borne in perfection |
      … … … Take perfection from perfection yet perfection remains ||

      BA Upanishad 5:1

      (Translation mine)

  22. 🙂 Reader,
    This is getting better and better…. 🙂
    V stands for venomous too…. serpents are venomous…not vulnerable…

    Perfection remains if it..the soul is in its purest form…
    not when it is in the vehicle-body….which is the reflection of desire and past karma…as its been said….

    • MonaLisa,

      I bet the male serpent is vulnerable in front of the female… I know my creed… 🙂

      The soul is always pure and perfect. What transpires in the nature of Karma can be modulated. Thats what self-control is all about.

  23. Sharmila,

    See mail for a rare picture of the five headed cobra that appeared in a house in BLR.

  24. Wow.. is this for real???????

  25. Sharmila,

    Wacth out for some stranger info from me on the personal front.

    Our upanishad exercise has created a new market. My operations chief wants a similar-do on the Atharvashirsha of Ganesha.

    Looks like I have got a whole new activity stream going! Its fun!!

    Now MonaLisa may ask if the whole office is filled with chumps like me… Its a mad mad mad mad world!!! 🙂

  26. LOL.. great stuff here… Just put out the Final post..looking forward to more..

    • Yes, its wonderful.. but remember I take credit only till all is well.. if something is amiss you take the onus of publishing it first!


      PS: Kidding! We didn’t write the scriptures, did we?

  27. And like I would even know the difference!

    • That won’t convince a jury. I suggest you give your statement in mandarin. That would sail through the proceedings!

      I’ll be the witness for prosecution!

      (Its a famous play written by Ayn Rand – Witness for prosecution. In that the prosecutor presents the witness of the friend of the person who is charged in the court. The friend builds up the case in favor of the charge till the last moment. The jury is almost convinced untill all of a sudden the witness turns hostile and calls the bluff. The person who is charged is set free. Both the friends then live happily ever after!

      Theres a slight twist in the tale at the end. I wouldn’t disclose it here, in case you find the book or the movie.)


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