Now the Rahasyopanisad is described.
Once, the pious sages in the heavenly worlds offered prayers to Lord Brahma and requested Him to teach them the inner secret of the Rahasyopanisad.
Lord Brahma uvācha, “In the ancient times, the wise Veda Vyāsa Maharshi had classified the Vedas as per the Divine Order. He went to Lord Shiva and paid obeisance to Him and pleaded with Him, “O the king of the Gods! O Supreme Lord! The remover of all obstacles that occur due to worldly pursuits and bondages.
O Great One who is resolute and stands firm on vows! The time has come to educate my son, Sukadeva, the quintessence of the Vedas, the Brahmopadesham and the meaning of the sacred AUM.
O Supreme Guru of the universe! Please accept my humble request to impart the Brahmopadesham to him.”
Īshwara uvācha, “O revered sage! Your son will realize the self- effulgent Light within that is the Absolute, the Supreme Self, Self of Selves and the Supreme Truth and renounce this world if I impart the knowledge of the eternal Brahman, the Supreme Person mentioned as the goal of the Vedas.”
Veda Vyāsa Maharshi uvācha, “Whatever be the result O Lord, I humbly beseech You to impart the most secret Brahmopadesham to my son in this auspicious time.”
O Lord of the Universe! I pray that my son will be taught the knowledge about the Supreme Truth that is You and will attain mukti (abidance in You) through the four ways mentioned in the scriptures.”
Bhagawan Shambo, the personification of kindness consented to the request of the wise Veda Vyāsa Maharshi and along with His beautiful consort, Uma Devi went to the assemblage of pious sages to impart the Supreme Knowledge to Sukadeva. He sat on the divine seat that was prepared for Him.
The resolute Sukadeva was blessed to receive the grace and knowledge of the Supreme Brahman from the Supreme Lord Himself and listened with ardent attention to the sweet words that poured from the Lord’s mouth. After receiving the upadesha of the sacred Pranava and its inner meaning and secret, Sukadeva prayed to Bhagawan.
Shree Suka uvācha, “O Lord of the Gods! O All-Knowing One! You are the personification of SatChitAnanda! O husband of Uma Devi! Have mercy on me because You are the embodiment of kindness for all living beings.
You have imparted the knowledge of the Pranava and the Parabrahman who is the Supreme beyond the Pranava and the hidden secret of the Pranava. I am curious to learn from You about the nature of the Mahā Vākyas of Tattvamasi, Prajnānam Brahma etc,. These have been divided into six parts and I pray to you O Sadashiva, to please reveal the hidden secrets behind these meaningful declarations.”
Shree Sadashiva uvācha, “O most learned and wise Sukadeva of resolute nature! You are definitely in possession of knowledge and wisdom. You have asked the most important question about the secret of the Vedas.
I, therefore, shall reveal to you this Rahasyopanisad, the most guarded secret about the Vedas classified in six parts. The moment you attain this knowledge, there is no doubt that you will attain salvation.
It is imperative to state that the Guru should not teach the meaning of these Mahā Vākyas without classifying them accordingly in parts and all Mahā Vākyas should be explained only with their six parts.
As the Upanisads are the Supreme among the Four Vedas, this Rahasyopanisad is considered to be the most exalted among all the Upanisads.
The devout who after understanding and knowing the Brahman as described in this Rahasyopanisad abides in the Brahman, contemplates on the Brahman, meditates on the Brahman, remains absorbed in the Brahman and is content in the Brahman does not need to go on pilgrimage, recite mantras, study the Vedas and even do japa and other sādhanā.
The fruit which is attained after contemplating and meditating on the inner secrets and meanings of the Mahā Vākyas lasts for hundred years which is equal to the fruit attained through japa and understanding, contemplating and meditating on the words of the Rishis on the Mahā Vākyas.
Om Asya Śrī Mahāvākyamahāmantrasya | Hamsa Rushihi | Avyaktagāyatri Chandaha | Paramahamso devata | Ham Beejam | Saha Shaktihi | Soham Keelakam | Mama Paramahamsapreethyarte Mahāvākyajape viniyogaha |
Anga nyāsa and Kara nyāsa – The Supreme Brahman is infinite knowledge and Truth. The Supreme Brahman is eternal bliss. The Supreme Brahman is the embodiment of boundless bliss. The Supreme Brahman is the creator of the entire gamut of beings. The Supreme Brahman is the Lord of the universe. The Supreme Brahman is the One, undivided and undifferentiated.
Om Bhu Bhuvah Svah Om Iti Digbandhah |
Dhyānam – Meditate and offer salutations to the Supreme Brahman who is the personification of eternal bliss and ultimate happiness and pleasure, who is the very form of knowledge, who is bereft of and beyond differences and differentiations, who pervades the entire expanse of space and who is the goal, the one who seeks the goal and the one who attains the Supreme Self.
The Supreme Brahman who is the One, eternal, pure and blemishless, Absolute, the one who is the witness in all beings, free from desires and perceptions and bereft of the three evils of kāma, krodha and moha. Salutations to the You, O Sadguru.
The four Mahā Vākyas are now stated. Starting with AUM Prajnānam Brahma. AUM Aham Brahmāsmi. AUM Tattvamasi. AUM Ayamātmā Brahma. Of these, meditation, contemplation and complete understanding and experience of AUM Tattvamasi which can be said to be the beginning for one to know the Supreme Brahman will ultimately lead to sāyujya with Lord Shiva.
Tatpadamahāmantrasya | Hamsa Rushihi | Avyaktagāyatri Chandaha | Paramahamso devata | Ham Beejam | Saha Shaktihi | Soham Keelakam | Mama Sāyujyamuktyarte jape viniyogaha |
Anga nyāsa and Kara nyāsa – Meditate and offer salutations to Tatpurushāya, Īshānāya, Aghorāya, Sadyojāta and Vāmadevāya. Meditate on Tatpurusheshānāghorasadyojātavāmadeva on the heart lotus.
Om Bhu Bhuvah Svah Om Iti Digbandhah |
Dhyānam – Meditate and offer salutations to the Supreme Brahman who is Knowledge, the Knowable and the Known or Goal of Knowledge who is beyond Knowledge. The Supreme Brahman is pure, intuition, unbound and eternal. The Supreme Brahman is Truth, Knowledge, personification of SatChitAnandam, the only One worthy of meditating upon and bliss.
Tvampadamahāmantrasya | Vishnu Rushihi | Gāyatri Chandaha | Paramātmā devata | Aim Beejam | Kleem Shaktihi | Souhu Keelakam | Mama Muktyarte jape viniyogaha |
Anga nyāsa and Kara nyāsa – Meditate and offer salutations to Vāsudevāya, Sankarshanāya, Pradyumnāya, Aniruddhāya and Vāsudevāya. Meditate on Vāsudevasankarshanapradyumnāniruddha on the heart lotus.
Om Bhu Bhuvah Svah Om Iti Digbandhah |
Dhyānam – Meditate and offer salutations to the Supreme Brahman who is the creator, the prāna, the protector, the sustainer, the witness, the Sole Doer and the destroyer of all beings both animate and inanimate. You pervade the mind, the intellect, the memory, the ego and the sensory organs and yet remain unattached and unbound. I bow to your Lotus Feet.
Asipadamahāmantrasya | Mana Rushihi | Gāyatri Chandaha | Ardhanāreeshwaro devata | Avyaktādi Beejam | Nrsimha Shaktihi | Paramātmā Keelakam | Jeevabrahmaikyarte jape viniyogaha |
Anga nyāsa and Kara nyāsa – Meditate on the five elements that are always in the unmanifest state starting with the double molecular earth, double molecular water, double molecular fire, double molecular air and double molecular space. Meditate on the double molecular Prithivyaptejovāyvākāsa on the heart lotus.
Om Bhu Bhuvah Svah Om Iti Digbandhah |
Dhyānam – One who meditates on the Supreme Brahman as given in this Mahā Vākya will become that Brahman who is creator of all beings. One who always contemplates and meditates upon this Mahā Vākya will be able to merge into the five elements and become that Brahman.
Thus, the classification of the Mahā Vākyas has been made into six parts.
Now, the shlokas to enable one to understand the Mahā Vākyas in the Rahasyopanisad follows.
It is Consciousness that enables all beings to see, hear, smell, express and taste. This is generally called as perception.
The Supreme Consciousness that is Me is inherent in Chatur mukha Brahma, Lord Indra, all the gods, man, horse, cow etc., animals and all beings. This Supreme Consciousness known as Prajnānam Brahma is Me.
This body is for one to attain perfection, that is the complete knowledge of the Supreme Brahman. The Supreme Self lives along with the intellect as a witness and becomes the ego under delusion and ignorance. The Supreme Self is the intellect and the egoity and all the objects of experience but remains only as a witness, unattached and unbound. It is the jeeva with the false identification with the intellect that has the notion of action and the doer.
Therefore, the Supreme Consciousness is called Witness when it is conditioned by the faculties of the internal organs namely mind, memory, egoity and intellect and is assigned as the enjoyer, the jeeva when it is qualified by the internal organs and others.
The Supreme Self is Self – Effulgent, the Absolute, Self of Selves, the Supreme Being and the Supreme Person as spoken about as the goal in the Vedas. IT is perfect and ever established in ITSELF and therefore, the word Brahman (Brahma) has been attributed to IT. The word Asmi refers to the union of the Brahman (Brahma) with the entire gamut of creation of moving and unmoving. Therefore, this is the purport of Aham Brahmāsmi (I am That Brahma or Brahman).
The One, undivided and undifferentiated is the Supreme Brahman that is ever – existent, has existed today as IT were before creation, is Absolute, without name and attributes, single, real and unique.
The Supreme Brahman has been described in the word of Tat. The Supreme Brahman who is beyond the perception of the sensory organs, its attributes and the body is described in the word of Tvam. The dissolution of the jeeva into the Supreme Brahman or the union of the jeeva with the Supreme Brahman after contemplation, meditation and understanding of the inner meanings of the words of Tat and Tvam is the meaning of Asi.
The self – effulgent Light of Knowledge that is the Supreme Brahman residing in the heart lotus of all beings both moving and unmoving is apparently hidden because of perception and is led by the word Ayam. The jeeva is rendered to be from ego to the physical body made of five elements.
The entire universe and gamut of creation is a reflection of the Supreme Brahman and is in reality, the Supreme Brahman. That Supreme Brahman resides as the Light in the heart lotus of all and therefore, every being is that Supreme Brahman as mentioned in Ayamātmā Brahma.
Lacking discrimination and led by ego, I have been wandering about in a slumber, in a dream – like state seeing the world of ‘My’ and ‘mine’ with satisfaction arising from sensory organs. Now, enlightened by your teachings O venerable Guru on the inner meanings of the Mahā Vākyas, I see a rise in my understanding of the reality of the universe.
For one to truly understand the inner meaning of the Mahā Vākyas, one must concentrate on the expression of the words, the purport and the goal. It is to be known that the sensory organs are a mere reflection of Consciousness and therefore, a part of the word Tvam. However, as the sensory organs and its attributes are only a reflection of Consciousness, the Supreme Brahman is to be known to be beyond the reach of the mind, ego, memory and the sensory organs.
The word Tat represents the Supreme Brahman who is the witness, the enjoyer, the benefactor and the sole doer but remains untainted, unattached and unbound. Therefore, the Supreme Brahman is Absolute Bliss and Primal Cause for one and all. Hence, the word Asi refers to the union of the jeeva and the Supreme Self after seeing, knowing, understanding, experiencing and attaining the Supreme Self residing within.
Distinction between Tvam and Tat is made by action and cause respectively. If these two are set aside, then, Twam and Tat are known and experienced as SatChitAnanda or personification of bliss. These two words are frequently used irrespective of context, place and time. If the distinctions are removed, then only the Supreme Brahman who is ever – existent is realized. The perception of an entity called Devadatta is addressed by one and understood by another as this and that respectively, then distinctions that are only apparent are created. When those apparent distinctions that are reflections of Consciousness are set aside, then one can know, understand, experience and attain the Supreme Consciousness that is One, undivided and undifferentiated.
The jeeva is the kārya and the Īshwara is the karana. The Supreme Brahman though seated in nature within the body in the heart lotus remains only as a non-agent. Though IT is the sole doer and therefore, the kārya, karana and kartrtvam, IT remains pure, untainted, unbound and unattached and is Knowledge.
A disciple who listens ardently (shrāvanam) to the inner purport and the teachings of the Guru, strives to ascertain, contemplate (manana) and think deeply about the teachings over and over again and through constant contemplation of oneself as the Supreme Self (nididhyāsana) puts into action all that has been learnt will attain perfection.
The knowledge acquired through other learnings is perishable but the Supreme Knowledge of Brahmavidyā will help one attain that Supreme Brahman and remain seated in THAT itself.
The Mahā Vākyas are to be initiated and taught only as per sadangās. It is improper to initiate one into the Mahā Vākyas without offering salutations to the various gods as per the sadangās as declared by Lord Brahma.
Īshwara uvācha, “O Sukadeva! I have revealed this Rahasyopanisad only to you that will help you attain mukti. Your father, the revered Veda Vyāsa Maharshi requested me to teach you about the Supreme Brahman and I consented.
Thus, Brahmopadesham is the embodiment of SatChitAnandam. If you meditate on this Brahmopadesham and remain in your true state of Brahman, you will surely become a jeevanmukta.
AUM, within which the Vedas and Vedanta are enshrined is the Supreme Brahman. Both the Vedas and Vedanta are unmanifest and begin and end with AUM and yet AUM is beginningless and endless. That AUM who is the Primordial Person and Primal Cause within which is this reflection known as nature is Lord Maheshwara.
Upon receiving the Brahmopadesham from Lord Shiva, Sukadeva renounced the world immediately, bowed down to the great Lord Shiva and offered salutations. He then retired to the forest and became immersed in the Supreme Brahman.
Sukadeva becoming absorbed in the Parabrahman realized the Truth and remained seated in that infinite bliss ignorant of the lamentation of his father, Veda Vyāsa Maharshi.
As Sukadeva pierced the subtlest of the subtle atom, beyond the Unmanifest, his father kept calling him out of sheer sorrow and wanted to follow him. Only the voice of Sukadeva through the entire gamut of creation could be heard by Veda Vyāsa Maharshi.
Having realized from the entire gamut of creation that his beloved son Sukadeva had indeed become one with the Supreme Brahman, Veda Vyāsa Maharshi, son of Satyavati also attained the Supreme Bliss along with his son.
The one who studies, contemplates and meditates on this Rahasyopanisad will be free from all sin and will attain the exalted state of kaivalya with the blessings of his Guru. The attainment of sākshātkara and kaivalya is the secret of this Upanisad.
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