Sunday 14 August 2016


2016-33 Mundaka Upanishad:  Para Vidya  [Higher Knowledge] and  Apara Vidya [Lower Knowledge 

The Mundaka Upanishad is an ancient Sanskrit Vedic text, embedded inside Atharva Veda. It is one among the ten Principal Upanishads. It is a poetic verse style Upanishad, with 64 verses, written in the form of mantras.
The Mundaka Upanishad contains three Mundakas [parts], each with two Kantas [sections].
The first Mundaka defines the science of Para Vidya [Higher Knowledge] and Apara Vidya [Lower Knowledge]
Then it asserts that acts of oblations and pious gifts do not reduce unhappiness in life, and it is knowledge alone that frees.
The second Mundaka describes the nature of the Brahman, the Self, the relation between the empirical world and the Brahman, and the path to know Brahman.
The third Mundaka expands the ideas in the second and asserts that the state of knowing Brahman is one of freedom, fearlessness, complete liberation, self-sufficiency and bliss.


Saunaka is taught by Angiras
1.1.3. A great householder named Shaunaka once came to Rishi Angiras and reverently asked:
"What is that by knowing which all is known?"
1.1.4. Angiras replied: "The illumined sages say knowledge is twofold, higher and lower.
1.1.5. The study of the Vedas, linguistics,
rituals, astronomy, and all the arts can be called lower knowledge. The higher is that which leads to Self-realization."
1.1.6. "The eye cannot see it; mind cannot 
grasp it. This everlasting Brahman has neither caste nor race, neither eyes nor ears nor hands nor feet. Sages say this Brahman is infinite in the great and in the small, everlasting and changeless, the source of life."

The Mundaka Upanishad:  First Mundaka:  First Khanda 

śaunako ha vai mahāśalo’ṅgirasaṁ vidhivad upasannaḥ papraccha,
kasmin nu bhagavo vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātam bhavati iti.

Saunaka, the great householder, approached Angiras in the proper manner and said: Revered sir, what is that by the knowing of which all this becomes known? MuU 1.1.3

tasami sa hovāca: dve vidye veditanye iti ha sma yad brahmavido 
vadanti,parā caivāparā ca.

To him [Saunaka] he [Angirua] said: Two kinds of knowledge must be known−
that is what the knowers of Brahman tell us.
They are the Higher Knowledge and the lower knowledge.  
MuU 1.1.4

tatrāparā ṛg-vedo yajur-vedaḥ sāma-vedo’tharva-vedaḥ śikṣā kalpo 
vyākaraṇaṁ niruktaṁ chando jyotiṣam—iti.
atha parā yayā tad akṣaram adhigamyate.

Of these two, the lower knowledge is the Rig−Veda, the Yagur−Veda, the Sama−Veda, 
the Atharva−Veda, siksha (phonetics), kalpa (rituals), vyakaranam (grammar), nirukta (etymology), chhandas (metre), and jyotis (astronomy); and the Higher Knowledge is 
that by which the Imperishable Brahman is attained.                                    MuU 1.1.5

yat tad adreśyam, agrāhyam, agotram,avarṇam, acakṣuḥ-śrotraṁ tad apāṇi-padam,
nityam vibhum sarva-gataṁ susūkṣmaṁ tad avyayam yad bhūta-yonim paripaśyanti dhīrāḥ.

By means of the Higher Knowledge the wise behold everywhere Brahman,
which otherwise cannot be seen or seized, which has no root or attributes,
no eyes or ears, no hands or feet; which is eternal and omnipresent,
all−pervading and extremely subtle; which is imperishable and the source of all beings.                                                                                                                 
MuU 1.1.6

YouTubeAudio: Intro. to Upanishads: Dr. Sumit Kesarkar: [Click Here] 

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