he fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the second part of the Aiterya Aranyaka of the Rigveda constitute Aitereyopanishad. The knowledge of self-realization is the main subject covered in these chapters. That is why they have been referred to as Upanishad.
AUM VANGAME MANASI PRATISHTHATAA|
MANO ME MA AANISTHAHA SHRUTA ME MAA PRAAHAASIHI|
ANENADHITENA HORAA TRANSADAGHAMYRUTAM VADISHYAMI|
SATYAM VADISHYAMI| TANMAVATU| TADVAKTARA AVATU|
AVATU MAAMAVATU VAKTARA BHAVATU VAKTAARAM|
THE RESOLUTION OF GOD TO CREATE THE UNIVERSE
Before the existence of this universe, there was nothing but God. There were no expressions and hence no forms. It is at this moment that God thought of creating different creatures that will bear the fruit of their actions.
Thinking of this God created universe comprising of fourteen worlds. Afterward He thought to create caretakers to protect these worlds from alien influences. Accordingly he created the Hiranyamaya Purush from the 4 elements, embellished him with all the organs and sub-organ and infused life into him. Thus he created Brahma who in turn created the caretakers of the worlds.
To create the different organs and sub organs of Hiranyagarbha, the supreme God had to practice penance that is take a resolution and as a result, the mouth developed. From the mouth the tongue was created and from the tongue, speech, senses and Agni or fire took birth. After this the nose developed and prana (breath) was created in it. The prana vayu created the Vayu devta.
After this the two eyes gradually started developing and the corresponding god also took birth from it. In this way the ear, skin, heart, navel came into existence and corresponding deities were also formed.
THE CREATION OF HUMAN BEINGS
The deities like Agni etc. which corresponded with the different senses created by God came into existence. At that time God infused hunger and thirst into them. Hence the deities prayed to the Divine Cosmic soul- O Lord! Please arrange or create such a place staying where we will have food.”
Answering to their prayer, the Divine Cosmic spirit created cow and showed it to all of them asking them to reside in its body. But the dieties doubted that the cow would not be possibly suffice for all of them. So the cosmic spirit created the horse and showed it to them. Looking at this, the deities were yet dissatisfied. Ultimately, God (divine spirit) created the human body and seeing which all the deities were elated and happy. They said- ” This human body is unique place for all of us to stay and all our requirement will be satisfied in totality.
The Divine Cosmic Spirit told the gods to take their appropriate positions in the human body.
Immediately Agni assumed form of the speech, senses and entered the human mouth. Since then, he resided in the tongue. Similarly, the Sun, the Ashwinis, Varuna, Moon, Death all in form of corresponding senses established themselves in their concerned place in the human body. Only ‘Hunger’ and ‘Thirst’ remained. They both said to the supreme God- O Lord! Please decide the place where we can also stay.
Divine cosmic element replied: “Both of you do not need independent places. I shall allot you places with the other gods. I shall make you partners in the food partaken. When the Gods enjoy pleasures for their contention, they simultaneously satisfy hunger and thirst.
THE CREATION OF MATERIAL OBJECTS
For sustenance of all the senses and after the creation of all the gods, the cosmic spirit created food and also created consumable articles by heating the five elements for the gods. At that time ‘Food’ thought he who eats me is my destroyer and hence he started running away where he could neither be caught by speech nor by the senses. At the end food tried to enter the mouth along with ‘Apaan Vayu’ and on this the Purush could partake the food in his body. This proves the fact that prana is itself the life of a human being.
THE ENTRY OF GOD IN HUMAN BODY
When all the senses and material objects were created, the cosmic spirit thought that those senses would never work without him. Thinking thus, Supreme God entered the human body through a small aperture ‘Brahmarandhra’ in the head, and came to stay in the heart. Since then He stays there. Thus to attain the God, one does not have to wander in places like the super celestial region as pure sky and the entire universe. One can attain the God right in his heart.
PRESUMPTION OF GOD IN MATERIAL LIFE
Seeing the strange creation of materials, the human being started to think aboout their creator. He realized that the divine cosmic spirit that resides in his heart is the one who is all-pervasive and is the creator of one and all. When divine element was created in the human body, the Purush realized him. Hence God is referred to as ‘Idandra’ which means ‘I have seen him’. This is referred to as by the people indirectly as ‘Indra’.
SECOND CHAPTER (FIRST SECTION)
THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN BODY
All these individual unredeemed souls are present in the father’s body as semen. This semen is the quintessence of the human body. The father takes care of all this in his own body and then places a seed in the womb of the woman. The woman nourishes that that seed in the form of a foetus just like a part of her own body and protects it properly.
Until delivery, she takes every care of the foetus which iltimately takes birth as the child. The mother then makes every efforts through different ceremonies to make the child strong, pure and intelligent. In this way this is the second birth of the child. When the child becomes fit to work and earn himself, the father makes the child his representative. He entrusts him the responsibility of all the auspicious duties and ceremonies such as Agni Hotra, supplication of God and hospitality of guests etc. and eventually considers him free from the Pitra Rina (the duty towards the ancestors) Slowly, the father grows old and dies. After death, he again takes birth according to his Karmas. This is his third birth. In this way transmigration of souls continues endlessly.
AN EXAMPLE OF THE DIVINE EXPERIENCE OF VAMADEVA
An individual soul transmigrates from one birth to another and is caught in an endless cycle. But he who realizes the eternal truth does not take birth again. It is believed that Vamadeva acquired the ultimate knowledge when he was there in his mother’s womb. He said in his mother’s womb: ” How lucky to have realized that the Gods in form of senses. Until I was devoid of this knowledge, I was locked in these bodies which were like cages. Now,like a bird and with the energy of knowledge in my wings I have broken all these bonds and have become separate. When Vamadeva Rishi took birth and when he attained god-hood, freed himself from all desires and attained immortility.
THIRD CHAPTER (FIRST CHAPTER)
WHAT IS WORTH KNOWING?
The two atmas (souls) which have been inferred to in the first and second chapter of this Upanishad are the ones who created this universe and created the unredeemed individual soul. He assumed a place in the body to assist the soul just created.
People, who wanted to realize God, started discussing things like: Who is that soul whom we supplicate and propitiate?
They thought that the heart is the mind because their energies are tangible and palpable. This is all embellished by the power to command, judge, understand, experience, have patience, take resolution, desire, maintain breath, fulfill sexual desires etc. All this is the embodiment of the al- mighty divine cosmic spirit. Thus we can feel the all-pervasiveness of this cosmic spirit.
GOD IS MOST VENERABLE
That divine cosmic spirit, who has created us, gives us energy to perform our duties and who protects all of us, is the most venerable. Swami Prajapati is the one who has created all the subjects and the people. All these gods in form of senses, the five elements, all small creatures, taking birth from eggs, from sweat, from earth, from the womb and other animals like cows, horses, elephants, all of them assume energy to perform their duties as a result of the blessings of this divine cosmic spirit. All these creatures reside in that divine cosmic spirit. He is the only from which everything takes birth and finally dissolute. Hence only that divine cosmic spirit is venerable.
THE FRUITS OF SUPPLICATING DIVINE SPIRIT
He, who realizes God or the divine cosmic, spirit transcends all the worldly things and resides eternally in the super celestial region where he enjoys eternal happiness and attains immortality.