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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Upanishads > Essentials of the Upanishad > Kenopanishhad


This belongs to the Talavakara Brahmana of the Saama Veda and is also called Talavakaropanishad.

Central Theme

This Upanishad which is in the form of a dialogue between Chaturmukha Brahma and Sadashiva, and brings out the sarva-prerakatva (controller of all others), sarvottamatva (superiority over all else) and sakalyena avedyatva (Unknowable in its entirety) of the Supreme Person.

Who Directs Us?

The Upanishad asks three questions at the outset:

1.       Who directs the mind towards its good or bad objects?

2.       Who directs Mukhya PraaNa to discharge his duties?

3.       Who directs the senses -- eye, ear, etc., towards the respective objects?

All these questions have but a single answer. He who gives the power of seeing to the eye, hearing to the ear, thinking to the mind and power to move to PraaNa directs their respective activities. He is evidently the Supreme God. Those who realise that He is the director of the mind, senses and even of Mukhya PraaNa, will attain liberation. This takes us to the question of the nature of God.

The Supreme Is Infinite And Therefore Cannot Be Fully Comprehended

God is beyond the reach of the senses, beyond words and even beyond the mind. Being Infinite, He cannot be brought within the compass of limited knowledge. One cannot know how He directs the senses, mind, etc. However, He does not remain altogether unknown, but is not completely known because of His infinite nature. He is unique, distinct from and Superior to all known things manifest or unmanifest. He cannot be known through speech, mind, eyes, etc., but knows all that is known through these and regulates them. He is immanent in all the jiiva-s and directs them, but He is not identical to them.

Those who think that they know Him fully do not really know Him, as they have not comprehended His Infinite nature. On the other hand, those who think that they do not know Him fully, know Him, as they have realised His Infinite nature. The knowledge of God to the best of one's ability is adequate for one's salvation. The presence of God as the Inner resident and controller of all is brought out by an interesting story of ahaMkaarakhaNDana (humbling the pride) of Agni, Nasikya Vayu and Indra in this Upanishad.

Tapas, Dama And Karma -- Means Of Spiritual Progress

The Upanishad concludes its teaching by stating that tapas (penance), dama (subduing the senses) and karma (prescribed action) are the means to obtain spiritual knowledge. The Vedas, Vedangas and Mimamsa constitute the source Literature of philosophical inquiry.

The exposition of the sarva-prerakatva and the sarvottamatva of the Supreme Lord is the key note of this Upanishad.