Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote is an internationally repute organization devoted to undertaking Original and Interdisciplinary Research in Vedas, Agamas and Philosophy in addition to collecting rare and old manuscripts and undertaking research works in Sanskritic and Allied Scientific Studies with focus on Visistadvaita School of thoughts and publish useful works. In this direction in its tenure of existence for over two decades has already published more that 50 Books in Sanskrit, English and Kannada Languages.
However for over a decade now the Book Publication related to the critical editions of Upanisads in Sanskrit with notable commentaries could not be published. But, now for the benefit of Scholars, Students pursuing higher studies in Sanskrit and interested Readers, the present Director of the Academy, Prof. Bhashyam Swamy in a very short period of his taking over of the charges of the O% the Director has prioritized to release critical editions of 3 more works on Upanisads – viz. Mundaka, Mandukya and Taittiriya along with valuable commentaries in accordance with the Visistadvaita School of Philosophy.
I deem it a great honour to pen this Preface to this publication of Academy of Sanskrit Research titled “Taittiriyopanisad” in Sanskrit with 6 Valuable commentaries (i.e. The Pratipadarthadipika by Sri Sri Bharadvaja Ramanujacharya of 19th Century; The Prakasika by Sri Rangaramanujamuni belonging to the 17th and 18th century the Ananda bhasya by Sri Ramanandamuni, probably belonging to the 14th or 15th Century; the Subodhini by Gopalanandayogi of 17th and 18th Century. Bhasya of Kuranarayana Muni and Mitaksara by Sri Kaushika Govindaraja) to be dedicated to the benefit of Humanity interested in the development and propagation of the Indian Philosophy through Sanskrit.
If this publication can add to the awareness of the corpus of interpretations of Sri Ramanujacarya and his followers point of view on the Upanisads, we feel that Academy has contributed its might in line with the primary objectives of the Organization to the readers.
The Indian Philosophy for ages has inherited under the umbrella of Vedas. Upanisads in a way has depicts the essence of the Vedas and thus are also called as Vedanta. Every human being seeks the ultimate Salvation and the reading of Vedanta/Upanisads helps him to try to attain the salvation.
The Upanisads that are available to us is vast (about 108 a per certain quarters). Of these, it is accepted by all that the ten principal Upanisads – viz. Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Chandhogya and Brhadaranyaka – are the most authoritative and ancient Upanisads. Of these ten, the Academy has already brought out Isa, Kena, and Aitareya, in Sanskrit. Now Taittiriya is being published.
The Taittiriyopansad is a marvelous composition that captures readers or rather listeners with its music and provides altogether a novel conception of the Supreme Reality, a conception that is implied in the rest of the Upanisadic literature but receives explicit and adequate formulation only here. Hope the readers will benefit from this humble contribution of the Academy.
I wish to salute to all the eminent Scholars, Associates (including Adyar Library, Chennai) and at the same time congratulate of Staff of Academy of Sanskrit Research and those who have contributed their might directly or indirectly in enabling the Academy to bring out his publication.
UPANISADS are the essence of VEDAS. They are also known as VEDANTA as they are known as a treasure house of Spiritual knowledge.
Even though, the Upanisads are composed in an orderly poetry manner, they are difficult to digest by even Scholarly Community. Perhaps keeping this in mind our Great Acaryas have with their intellectual and spiritual power of fore thought have in fact delivered these poetic works in a understandable way by giving their commentaries known as Bhasyas. These Bhasyas form part as a valuable value addition of our heritage.
In an attempt to reach the Upanisads in original form along with the various commentaries related to each of the different Upanisads, to the hands of the interested Scholarly and other Interested Community, the Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote, has embarked upon a “Upanisad Projet” to critically edit and release them as its publication in Kannada, Sanskrit and English. Already the Publication of some of the Upanisads has been released.
In this endeavor of the Academy, the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, (A Deemed University) New Delhi, has kindly been extending a valuable support through part funding the Project. Thus I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the University in General and to its Vice Chancellor, Dr. Kutumba Shastri, in particular.
It may be interesting to note that the commentaries presented here in our Melkote Series belong to the School of Visistadvaita Philosophy propounded by the Great Acarya Ramanuja.
I now take pride in presenting this edition of “TAITTIRIYOPANISAD” with six commentaries (i.e. Pratipadarthadipika by Sri Bharadwaja Ramanujacarya; Prakasika by Sri Rangaramanujamuni; Anadabhasya by Ramanandamuni, Subodhini by Gopalanandayogi Bhasya by Kuranarayana muni and Mitaksara by Govindaraja – all belonging to the period from 14th to 18th Century AD). Further, it may be noted that for the benefit of the readers, we have incorporated the entire relevant Upanisad text at the beginning itself.
The Academy has strived hard to collect and collate as many commentaries as feasible related to each of the Upanisads being critically edited and published by it. It is the fervent hope that this will be well received by the Scholarly community as an important VALUE ADDITION.
In this connection it is noteworthy to state that we were fortunate enough to get copy of the original Paper Manuscript (vide No. 62043) of Mitaksara by Kaushika Govindaraja – commentary of Taittiriyopanisad which was hitherto not Published elsewhere and the Academy taken pride to incorporate the commentary in this edition. Thus I wish to express our gratitude to the donor – Adyar Library, Adyar, Channai both for making available to us as well as permiting to us to publish.
Vidvan S. Narayana, Sri Embar Varadacharya, Sri S. Krishnan in particular and other in-house Scholars have painstakingly edited this edition. I am grateful to them.
The team lead by Mr. Javare Gowda and including Mrs. M.B. Bharathi, Mr. Bettaswamy Gowda (in particular) and others have given technical support ably. I wish to congratulate their team effort.
But for the thrust and encouragement given by the Deputy Commissioner, Mandya Dist., Mandya and our respected Secretary cum Treasurer (who is also holding the additional charge of the President of the Academy as of date) Sri C.N. Seetharam, I.A.S. these works kept pending for finalization and release for quite a long time (by the previous management) would not have come to the light even now. Hence I wish to express our gratitude to him. Our thanks are also due to him for his ready acceptance to pen the Preface for this Edition as the General editor of the series.
I am grateful to Prof. K.S. Narayanacharya for his vivid Introduction which conveys the message of Upanisads to people at large. Vidvan Panditharathnam K.S. Varadacharya deserves commendation for his Introduction in Sanskrit.
Apart from the above I also to express our gratitude to one and all, both in-house employees as well as out-sourced support for their deep involvement in our efforts to present this publication.
This great Upanisad forms one among the major Ten Principal Upanisads and has come down to us with its proper incantation-notes, the svaras, along with the entire body of the anterior Samhita, Brahmana and Aranyaka parts of a whole branch of Vedas called the Black Yajus School – Krsnayajurveda. A majority of South Indian Vaidikas, to date use it extensively in all auspicious ceremonies like daily household worship, daily temple – worship and other similar occasions that command Vedic recitals. It is indeed great pleasure to listen to the recitation of many parts of this lovely and musical Upanisad, like, “the parting Instruction of the Vedic Tutor to his Disciples,” “The Description of the Five fold factorization of the Human Personality,” “the Upward Journey of the Departed Soul after Release from fleshly Bondage”, and the last instruction regarding the whole of one’s life as a Grand Sacrifice, symbolically to be conceived in terms of spiritual paraphernalia corresponding to the ingredients in terms of the Performer, his companion, the Fire, the Fees, the Altar etc. (Which is known as Purusavidya in Vedantic parlance), and other similar parts inbetween. The impression, everlasting, even after a casual listening of the choral recitation of this grand Upanisad, is only a matter of tested experience, even on untutored ears! What to speak of those lucky ones divinely destined to daily recitals!!
The Upanisad derives its name from a disciple of Sage Vaisampayana, called Tittiri who was instrumental in spreading the letter and spirit of this whole brandh of Vedas, after Bhagavan Vedavyasa arranged the accumulated, Revealed, Vedic literature into the well known four branches. Of these, the sacrificial and liturgical mystical hymns (revealed mostly in prose) which formed the Yajus declension, came to the custody of Vaisampayana (also the custodian of the celebrated Mahabharata composed by Vyasa in 18 parvans, spread over some one lakh of anustubh verses, who gave it to numerous among his disciples. It is noteworthy here that Vaisampayana was specially chosen for this double honour, and double responsibility of preserving and propagating both a Vedic branch, and a Grand Epic, which is said to be a veritable Fifth Veda, and a freestyle verse commentary as it were on Vedic Esoteric Truths, embodied in Myths and Archetypes. No other disciple had this privilege! That shows what importance Vyasa himself attached to this branch of Veda. In course of time Yajus literature itself developed further into many notable branches like the Kathaka, the Maitrayaniya, and Subala and others; an also into the so called White Yajus School, the Suklayajurveda.
The circumstances of the manifestation of this last branch are of importance for the Black Yajus school also, and are couched variously in symbolic language, and different versions of the same are found in the commentaries on the Vedas, in the Mahabharata itself and other Puranas. The circumstances of this major bifurcation are worth meditating upon for a clue into some major Vedic ideas and ideals without whose help it is difficult to understand or evaluate the direction and flow of Vedic thought in general, and of sacrificial literature in particular. It is unfortunate that no serious attempt has been made by any major Vedic Bhasyakara in Sanskrit, or their translators or interpreters in other languages, to decipher the significance of the myth that has evolved in this connection. The myth itself runs, somewhat as follows:
The Myth Behind
Sage Yajnavalkya was a disciple, too, of Vaisampayana in his earlier younger days of learning; and he had mastered this branch in all its entirety, as arranged by Vyasa, the Grand Master. The day of departure from Gurukula, the Forest University, where he was taught, was fast approaching! Meanwhile Yajnavalkya had resorted to a rebellious, heterodox experiment of separating the ritual-ordaining injunctory parts of the Veda, from their explanatory, literary and explicitly philosophical parts, i.e., the Samhita and Brahmana parts! For, in the arranged text of this Veda as passed on by Vedavyasa, to date, the two parts go very often hand in hand, side by side, although there is a separate Brahmana part also, well acknowledge, and well arranged with deliberate thought. Why the Master thought of retaining those residual Brahmanaparts within the Samhita portions, in spite of his own transferring of similar other parts to a separate Brahmana literature, was what no one could question Vaisampayana, and much less his master, Vyasa himself! Where the Master had left different aspects of Revealed Literature, was for no one to question, as there was only one ‘Vyasa’, one Grand Arranger, Editor, for this Great Age of Kali!!
But Yajnavalkya, innocently, though honestly felt that more ‘purging’ was genuinely needed in this regard. The rebel in him egged him on to this ‘sacrilege’ of usurping the Master’s Privilege; nay! Improvement of the Master’s layout!’ Yajnavalkya, according to Vaisampayana, was guilty of this violation, when the disciple’s, secretive efforts of further segregating Vedic portions was so discovered! He was furious, understandably! The result was a curse pronounced on the disciple, to the effect that he must ‘return’ all that he had learnt and mastered under the tutelage of the guru, Vaisampayana! It was not a case of ‘unlearning’ what one had ‘learnt!’ That could have been simply effected by pronouncing ‘forgetfulness’ as a curse! That was not enough of a punishment, perhaps! It was the case of ‘returning’ to the Preceptor, all he had received from him! (It was something like denying Copy Rights, of modern times, perhaps! The text could not be passed on either in terms of the letters or its notation, let alone its meaning or interpretation, by the ‘unfaithful’ disciple, for life, for good!)
The Myth says that ‘Vomition’ was the only mode of this ‘return’ left to the unfortunate disciple, and that he ‘emptied’ his ‘stomach’ of all its Vedic contents, earlier received from his venerable teacher! Yajnavalkya, thereafter, is said to have gone away, severing all connections from his master and fellow students; he began meditating on God within the Solar Orb by doing rigorous penance, to recover what he had lost, from God Himself directly. Was he not a lover of the Vedic Wisdom he had a taste of, earlier? That shows, he was not a rebel, basically, against Vedic tradition, radically!! He did not want to go back upon the word given to his master, and at the same time wanted entitlement to that wisdom from a higher authority, as it were! A clever way of combining rebelliousness with tradition, a case of combining what T.S. Eliot calls “Tradition and the Individual talent”!! God was indeed pleased with this unique prayer and is said to have revealed to him all that he had lost in a totally different form, order and sound notation pattern; Since God Resplendent, radiating Beams of know-ledge and light, as pure as Sunlight, was the direct revealing authority, it is said that this new Veda so revealed, came to be known as Sukla, or the White Yajus, sakha, (branch). Since God assumed the form of a Horse (Vaji), (Horse faced avatara called Hayagriva) While imparting this Veda, this branch is also known as Vajasaneyi. This is one end of the story.
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