Sunday, 1 November 2015

VEDIC WISDOM: CHANDOGYA UPANISHAD: THE STORY OF SATYAKAMA [LOVER OF TRUTH]

2015-44  Vedic Wisdom: Chandogya Upanishad: 
The Story of Satyakama [Lover of Truth]
THE STORY OF SATYAKAMA  [CHANDOGYA UPANISHAD Part IV CH. 4-9]


Part IV Chapter 1: The Story of Satyakama

Satyakama and mother Japala
4.4.1 Once upon a time, Satyakama the son of Jabala addressed his mother and said: "Revered Mother, I wish to become a brahmacharin. Of what lineage am I?"

4.4.2 She said to him: "I do not know, my child, of what lineage you are. In my youth, I served in many households, and at that time you were born to me. I do not know of what lineage you are. I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama. Say, then, that you are Satyakama Jabala.

4.4.3 He came to Gautama the son of Haridrumata and said: "Revered Sir, I wish to live with you as a brahmacharin. May I approach you, as a pupil?"

4.4.4 Gautama said to him: "Of what lineage are you, beloved?" Satyakama said: "I do not know, Sir, of what lineage I am. I asked my mother about it and she replied: “In my youth, I served in many households, and at that time you were born to me. I do not know of what lineage you are. I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama. Say, then, that you are Satyakama Jabala.” I am, therefore, Sir, Satyakama Jabala."

"Beloved, go with these"
4.4.5 Gautama said: "None but a true brahmin would thus speak out. Fetch the fuel, beloved; I shall initiate you. You have not departed from truth." He initiated Satyakama. Having separated out four hundred lean and weak cows from his herd, he said: "Beloved, go with these." Driving them away toward the forest, Satyakama said: "I shall not return until they become a thousand."

He lived a number of years in the forest. When the cows had become a thousand --

Part IV Chapter 5: Instruction by the Bull

1. Initiation by the Bull
4.5.1 The bull of the herd, addressing him, said: "Satyakama!" "Revered Sir!" Satyakama replied. The bull said: "Dear friend, we have become a thousand, take us to teacher’s house.

4.5.2 "I will declare to you one foot of Brahman." "Declare it, Revered Sir." The bull said to him: "The east is one quarter, the west is one quarter, the south is one quarter, the north is one quarter. This, dear friend, is one foot of Brahman, consisting of four quarters and this foot is called Prakasavat [shining].

4.5.3 "He who knows this and meditates on the foot of Brahman consisting of four quarters as shining, becomes shining on this earth. He conquers shining worlds−he who knows this and meditates on the foot of Brahman consisting of four quarters as shining."

Part IV Chapter 6: Instruction by Fire

4.6.1 The bull further said: "Agni [fire] will declare to you another foot of Brahman." Satyakama then, when it was the morrow, drove the cows in the direction of the teacher’s house. And when they came together toward evening, he lighted a fire, penned the cows, laid fuel on the fire and sat down behind the fire, facing the east.

2.Initiation by Fire
4,6.2 Agni [fire], addressing him, said: "Satyakama!" "Revered Sir!" Satyakama replied.

4.6.3 "Dear friend, I will declare to you one foot of Brahman." "Declare it, revered Sir." Agni said to him: "The earth is one quarter, the sky is one quarter, heaven is one quarter, the ocean is one quarter. This, dear friend, is one foot of Brahman, consisting of four quarters and this foot is called Anantavat (endless).

4.6.4 "He who knows this and meditates on the foot of Brahman consisting of four quarters as endless, becomes endless on this earth. He conquers endless worlds−he who knows this and meditates on the foot of Brahman consisting of four quarters as endless."

Part IV Chapter 7: Instruction by the Swan

4.7.1 Agni further said: "A hamsa [swan] will declare to you another foot." Satyakama then, when it was the morrow, drove the cows in the direction of the teacher’s house. And when they came together toward evening, he lighted a fire, penned the cows, laid fuel on the fire and sat down behind the fire, facing the east.

3. Initiation by the Swan
4.7.2 Then a swan flew to him and said: "Satyakama!" "Revered Sir!" Satyakama replied.

4.7.3 Dear friend, I will declare to you one foot of Brahman." "Declare it, revered Sir." The swan said to him: "Fire is one quarter, the sun is one quarter, the moon is one quarter, lightning is one quarter. This, dear friend, is one foot of Brahman, consisting of four quarters and this foot is called Jyotishmat [luminous].

4.7.4 He who knows this and meditates on the foot of Brahman consisting of four quarters as luminous, becomes luminous on this earth. He conquers luminous worlds−he who knows this and meditates on the foot of Brahman consisting of four quarters as luminous.

Part IV Chapter 8: Instruction by the Diver−Bird

4.Initiation by the Diver-bird
4.8.1 The swan further said: "A madgu [diver−bird] will declare to you another foot." Satyakama then, when it was the morrow, drove the cows in the direction of the teacher’s house. And when they came together toward evening, he lighted a fire, penned the cows, laid fuel on the fire and sat down behind the fire, facing the east.

4.8.2 Then a diver−bird flew to him and said: "Satyakama!" "Revered Sir!" Satyakama replied.

4.8.3 "Dear friend, I will declare to you one foot of Brahman." "Declare it, revered Sir." The diver−bird said to him: "The prana is one quarter, the eye is one quarter, the ear is one quarter, the mind is one quarter. This, dear friend, is one foot of Brahman, consisting of four quarters and this foot is called Ayatanavat (having support).

4.8.4 "He who knows this and meditates on the foot of Brahman consisting of four quarters as Ayatanavat, possesses a support [i.e. home] on this earth. He conquers the worlds which offer a home−he who knows this and meditates on the foot of Brahman consisting of four quarters as Ayatanavat."

Part IV Chapter 9: Instruction by the Teacher

4.9.1 Satyakama reached the teacher’s hermitage. The teacher said to him: "Satyakama!" "Revered Sir!" Satyakama replied.

4.9.2 The teacher said: "Beloved, you shine like one who knows Brahman. Who has taught you?" "Others than men," he replied. "But I wish, revered Sir, that you alone should teach me."

5. Initiation by the Guru Gautama

4.9.3 "For I have heard from persons like your good self that only knowledge which is learnt from a teacher [acharya] leads to the highest good." Then he [Gautama] taught him [Satyakama] the same knowledge. Nothing whatsoever was left out, yea, nothing whatsoever was left out.

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In the website, http://www.universaltheosophy.com/, we find a beautiful explanation for the above.

Satyakama is sent forth to tend a herd of cattle, with the understanding that he must not return until they number a thousand. He departs to the depths of the forest to feed his herds. The evident meaning would seem to be that the disciple is set the task of developing his spiritual perceptions, in addition to his physical powers and mind; and that only after he has done this, can his master initiate him.

The Sanskrit commentaries confirm the interpretation of this story as a parable of spiritual things. We are told that a Divinity entered the bull, in order to teach him. In general. the teaching given to Satyakama is a foreshadowing of the doctrine of the Four Steps of the Eternal, set forth in Mandukya Upanishad.

These four steps are: natural body, subtle body, causal body, divine body, with the states or planes o£ consciousness corresponding to them. It is easy to see how the story of Satyakama and his four lessons, each divided into four, would prepare the way for this later, more mystical teaching, and make it more intelligible.

We may , if we wish, identify his four teachers: the bull, as physical life; the fire, as the life of the subtle body, called the Radiant in the later Upanishad, the swan as the vesture of the adept; the cormorant, which disappears beneath the waters, as the body of the sage who has attained Brahma jnana, and has withdrawn from the visible world.

"Beloved, thy face shines as the face of one who knows the Eternal. . . . " "This Eternal they call the Uniter of Beauty. . .", "Those who go forward on that path return not. . ." 






YouTube Video: Satyakama [the Lover of Truth] [Click Here] 3:42m



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