aum1An upanishad closest to my heart, known for its brevity contains within itself everything that one who desires liberation, needs for his journey. Very few have been able to isolate the characteristics of what one can experience when he delves within, this upanishad from Atharva veda is able to broach the subject with so much of confidence and clarity. The fact that it inspired the guru of Jagadguru himself to write a commentary on this measly twelve shlokas speaks volumes on its importance in a seeker’s life. This collection of pondering on the upanishad has a mish mash of my thoughts , some words of elaboration from both my masters and hence I apologise for lack of continuity if you experience any while reading this. Through series of blog lets attempt to unravel this upanishad in our minds with the help of notes on the this taken during lectures given by masters and the famous Gaudapada karika

ॐ भद्रं कर्णेभि: शृणुयाम देवा भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्रा:|
स्थिरैरन्गैस्तुष्टुवःनुं सस्तनूभिर्व्यषेम देवहितं यदायु :||
ॐ शान्ति :! शान्ति:!! शान्ति:!!!
स्वस्ति न इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवा: स्वस्ति न: पूषा विश्ववेदा:|
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमि: स्वस्ति नो बृहस्पतिर्दधातु ||
ॐ शान्ति:! शान्ति:!! शान्ति:!!!

Only the Vedic upanishads can write an invocation this essential for a spiritually established life. During the tumultuous adolescent years when I heard this upanishad with shanti mantra uttered by me and my master in sync. My rebellious mind wandered to question what could be the significance of a prayer in realm of vedic study. Isn’t Vedic study by itself the ultimate. My master who had the uncanny ability to catch the musings of my mind promptly said that prayer is the technique one uses to bring out the powers of omnipresent, of the highest perfection already residing within us.

Thus from that day, each day of the upanishad study, under that insignificant tree, me and my master behind the closed eyes prayed in harmony to almighty that our ears hear the auspicious only, eyes see the auspicious only. That we may  spend the remaining of our lives in performing the acts that are in service of lords. We prayed to Indra the one who was ancient and supreme, the Pusa (Sun) the all knowing nourisher of the world, the Taksyah (vayu) the swift moving bird to protect us from all harm, the bruhaspati to protect this Spiritual wealth within us and transform it to wisdom in our lives.

This prayer is our humble recognition of things we cannot control and hopefully this prayer and its significance will shine bright when we finish unraveling the upanishad. But a look back on our lives will tell us, how we had no control on what we heard, we have little choice in our words and no control at all in the words that spring from others. We have through these eyes photographed so many events non beneficiary to our existence. The life that set itself out seeking answers and making sense of purpose of life gets lost in living the very life so much that it can barely shed seconds in service of the lord. The wave of deluge engulfs it all. The adolescent girl who chanted this prayer wasn’t caught in deluge yet to know the power of this prayer in her life.

The power of subtle that governs everything. The subtle and access to that subtle can make the worst criticism, the words spewed in anger, even a utterance of curse turn into auspiciousness in your lives. Where intellect is sharp , the auspiciousness dwelling within the words shines at you. Those blessings within the disguise and the power of mind that sees if something good comes out of those words is granted by devas. This prayers taps the door of those devas and seeks the blessing to deal with what cannot be controlled. For a seeker the biggest obstacles are posed by factors they can’t control.

In the coming blogs we will go into upanishad’s commentary.