The Chandogyopanisad belonging to the Sama Veda school is one of the oldest and the best known among the ten major Upanisad-s on which Sri Samkara has written Bhasya-s. It is definitely pre-Buddhistic. The Brahmasutra-s of Badarayana is to a great extent based on the Chandogyopanisad. It is in this Upanishad that we get the central philosophy of the Upanisad-s, the basic doctrine of the identity of the Individual Self with the Absolute Reality, Brahman, tat tvam asi (‘That Thou Art’) taught by the philosopher Uddalaka Aruni to his son Svetaketu nine times repeatedly. It is in this Upanisad that we get the interesting story of Satyakama Jabala and his truthful mother. It is in this Upanisad again that we get the significance of the mystic syllable Om, as well as some of the theories of creation such as that of the cosmic egg (brahmanda) splitting asunder into two, resulting in the creation of the earth and the sky. There are several instances in this Upanisad, showing how a teacher instructs his pupil on philosophical truths through the method of practical experiments. This Upanisad seems to be the most logical one, establishing the identity of the Individual Self with the Supreme Brahman.
The Adyar Library and Research Centre has published all the 108 Upanisad-s with the Advaitic commentary of Upanisad Brahma Yogin. The commentator, also called Upanisad Brahmendra Yogin, and Ramacandrendra Yogin was a samnyasin, and a pupil of Vasudevendra. His name before he became a samnyasin was Sivarama. His commentaries on all the 108 Upanisad-s were completed on 17 December, 1751. It was after completing his Upanisad commentaries that he came to be known as Upanisad Brahma Yogin. His Matha is still at Kanci.
The present commentary on Chandogyopanisad by Upanisad Brahma Yogin is Advaitic in nature and summarizes more or less the Bhasya of Samkaracarya. But in some cases it is more elaborate than the Bhasya and helpful to the readers. It is very lucid in the presentation of Samkaracarya’s position.
Dr S. Sankaranarayanan got on loan two new manuscripts of the Upanisad and the commentary from Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Manuscripts Library through the kindness of His Holiness Jayendra Sarasvati. On the basis of these, he has been able to prepare a critical edition of the commentary. As far as the Upanisad text is concerned he has examined all relevant editions and given significant variant readings as footnotes; but has presented the generally accepted version of the Upanisad. Dr Sankaranarayanan has also added Sanskrit Tippani wherever needed. Though the work has taken more time than expected, the result, it is hoped, will justify the time taken.
A destailed Introduction by Dr S. Sankaranarayanan will be published separately.
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