About the Author
Shri Rangappa and Shri Ahuja have expressly chosen the Maandukya Upanishad, in full praise for its merits for rendering and interpreting it for the modem mind. They have dwelt with each of the 12 mantras of the Upanishad, as if a theme by itself, in consistent development with the entire tent, bringing out the whole message and its spiritual teaching. This they have done with faithfulness, close study, clarity and consistency which they feel to be of logical merit. The whole treatment is marked out by something like a psycho-spiritual philosophy leaning on advaitha. Their work speaks of both labour and inspiration and it will be of interest to not only the modem mind but also to those having a grounding in Indian Spiritual tradition.
The Maandukya is counted amongst the principal Upanishads though in its size it is perhaps the smallest. comprising only twelve mantras. Its importance is unique in that it speaks to us invitingly about our own secret truth of being along with the integral truth of cosmic Reality and the supreme Truth of the Absolute Reality. and thus subtly leads our consciousness into identity with the Supreme Reality. significantly called "OM". Also spelt as A-U-M. Presumably for this importance the authors of its "Modem Rendering and Modem Interpretation". Shri K.S. Rangappa and Shri L.B. Ahuja, appreciate it as "The Upanishad of Upanishads".
The Upanishad announces at the very outset that 'OM' the Imperishable Word is the Supreme Reality. both in its ultimate essence and also its cosmic manifestation in cease-less Time. including all that was and is and will be in the world-creation. It purports to effectively arouse in us the awareness of the truth of our own spiritual Self to be the same identical OM in its fourfold poise of Consciousness.
This fourfold poise of the Self is typified in experiential terms. viz., the waking, 'jagarita', the dreaming, 'svapna', the deep slumber, 'susupti', and the superconscient fourth, 'turiya', Each one of the these poises is a poise of essential consciousness, 'prajna, Wisdom, characterised respectively as outward Wisdom, inward Wisdom, Wisdom per se, self-contained, selfexistent. Consciousness and the transcendent Wisdom of the Absolute, the supreme nondual Self Gnosis is beyond all predications.
It is the last, the fourth poise of the Absolute Consciousness which verily is the singly composite syllable 'OM', itself triply syllabled as 'A-U-M', in which and of each syllable is integrally one with the composite whole and everyone is a measure of the Supreme Reality.
The signification of the triple syllable 'A-U-M' is explicated by the Upanishad respectively in terms of successive measures of the Supreme as Creative Consciousness, Prajna. First wakefully poised is the Vaisvanara, the Universal Male, represented by the syllable 'A' which is the initial and the all pervasive sound. The second is the dream-poised Taijas, the Luminous, represented by the syllable 'U', signifying rising and advancing and centrally common to all sounds. The third is the sleep-poised Lord of Wisdom, Prajna, represented by the sonant 'M', singnifying measure and finality of sounds. Consistently, the measureless, non sonant, soundless is the transcendent Poise, the 'turiya', Incommunicable, That in which is the cessation of all phenomena, the other-less One, the Supreme Good, Sivo'dvaita'. Thus is 'OM' the Self Itself.
The Upanishad not only speaks of what the composite syllable 'A-U-M' stands for and the Reality and its measures signified by each sonant, it also assures what spiritual realisations one would attain by .becoming conscious of the mystic truths of the component sonants of the single syllable 'OM'. The knower of the waking Poise, Vaisvanara, signified by the sonant 'A', attain all that he longs for and becomes the source of inspiration; the knower of the Dream-Poise, Taijas, signified by the sonant V attains to advancement of knowledge and enhances the heritage of Wisdom of Brahman to further generations. He who knows the Sleep-Poise, the Prajan, signified by the sonant M, measures all this existence with himself and attains to the final entry into the Eternal. He who knows Him in the fourth Poise, the Supreme, really knows Him and enters by his self into the Self.
Shri Rangappa and Shri Ahuja have expressly chosen the Maandukya Upanishad, in full praise for its merits, for rendering and interpreting it for the modern mind. They have dealt with each of the twelve mantras of the Upanishad, as if a theme by itself, in consistent development with the entire text, bringing out the whole message and its spiritual teaching.
This they have done with faithfulness, close study, clarity and consistency which they feel to be of logical merit. The whole treatment is marked out by something like a psycho-spiritual philosophy leaning on Advaita. Their work speaks of both Jabour and inspiration and it will be of interest to not only the modern mind but also to those having a grounding in Indian spiritual tradition. One deserve to see that the Upanishadic Wisdom has its great value because of the intrinsic truth it carries, irrespective of idiosyncratic appeal, modern or traditional.
The language of the Mandukya Upanishad is straight and packed and enunciative, communicating spiritual truths in experiential and convincing terms. To get at these truths through mind's appropriate ideas is quite normal to man's intellect, perhaps necessary and appealing to the modern man. But the Upanishads are nothing less than Upanishads and the intimate spiritual truths are to be intimately realised. The Maandukya speaks to us, the seekers of Self, not only enunciatively and convincingly but also assuringly, inviting and preparing us for possible realisations for which alone a philosophical systematisation is meant to serve some purpose.
May 'OM' become a living realisation in its integrality as the Mandukya declares it, whatever its conceptual value in this or that philosophical scheme!
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