By: JayakrishNa Nelamangala
This world is under the control of Vedic Parabrahman, Vishnu. This truth is sometimes expressed as this world is under the fear of Brahman. There are several statements such as ‘bhayaadasya agnistapati’, ‘bheeshaasmaat vaatah pavate’ coming from katopanishat and taittareeya which establish this vedic truth. In the brahma-sootras, there is what is called ‘kampanaadhikarana’ fixing the meaning of all such vedic statements. The next mantra in this upanishat starts with the words ‘tadejati tannejati’. ‘एजॄ कंपने ējr̥̄ kaṁpanē’ The root word ‘ējr̥̄’ has the meaning ‘kampana’ – to fear, to shake. This world is under the ‘fear’ of Brahman. Hence, ‘tat ejati’ or ‘tadējati’. However, Brahman Himself is not under the control of anything. Hence, ‘tat na ejati’ i.e., tannējati. Vedic Brahman is the closest one to all since God is present in the inner most recesses of heart in every being. This is a vedic concept that is expressed at several places. ‘अस्मिन् सन्दोहे गहने प्रविष्टः asmin sandōhē gahanē praviṣṭaḥ’ of the brihadaaraNyaka. The inner space in the heart is also known as ‘dahara-Akaasha’ in shaastra. This truth is stated in the Geeta at several places.
“ईश्वरस्सर्वभूतानां हॄद्देशे अर्जुन तिष्ठति īśvarassarvabhūtānāṁ hr̥̄ddēśē arjuna tiṣṭhati’
‘Ishwara is situated in the heart of all beings, Oh! Arjuna” – Geeta 18.61.
“सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टः sarvasya cāhaṁ hr̥di sanniviṣṭaḥ”
‘I am situated in the hearts of all’. Geeta – 15.15.
Hence the closest one to us, is the Inner residing Vedic Brahman which is taught by this upanishat as ‘tad u antike’ तद्वन्तिके. At the same time, Vedic Brahman is the farthest one of all, it is farther than the farthest.
munDakopanishat expresses it as:
“दूरात् सुदूरे तदिहान्तिके च पश्यत्सु इहैव निहितं गुहायां
dūrāt sudūrē tadihāntikē ca paśyatsu ihaiva nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ”
The one that is the farthest is the closest which resides here itself, for the one who can see it in the inner cave of the heart.
The point here is the fact that Parabrahman is omnipresent. The Parabrahman that is everywhere is the farthest and also the closest to everyone.
With this background, we will try to understand the upanishat mantra.
तदेजति तन्नेजति तद्दूरे तद्वन्तिके ।
तदन्तरस्य सर्वस्य तदु सर्वस्य बाह्यतः || ५ ॥
tadējati tannējati taddūrē tadvantikē |
tadantarasya sarvasya tadu sarvasya bāhyataḥ || 5 ||
तदेजति tadējati- This world is fearful under His Control
तन्नेजति tannējati – because there is nothing that Controls Him, Parabrahman is not fearful
तद्दूरे तद्वन्तिके taddūrē tadvantikē – Vedic Brahman is nearby and also far away
तदन्तरस्य सर्वस्य tadantarasya sarvasya – It is in all
तदु सर्वस्य बाह्यतः tadu sarvasya bāhyataḥ – yet it is indeed beyond all.
What is far away is Parabrahman. What is nearby is also Parabrahman. The same Parabrahman is indeed inside of all things. The same Parabrahman is indeed outside of all things. We should notice that, this shlOka establishes three mahimās (greatnesses) of Parabrahman:
1. all things are ‘scared’ of Him, and He is not ‘scared’ of any. This is in support of His Independence or svātantrya.
2. He is far and near to everything; this is in support of His mahimā, greatness that He is sarva-gata i.e., sarva-antaryaami.
3. He is inside and outside of everything. This is in support of His mahimā, greatness that He is sarva-vyāpee i.e., Omnipresent.
The concepts behind these “mahimā”s of Parabrahman viz., svatantra, sarva-gata, sarva-vyāpI, go lot deeper than what has been mentioned here. To “understand”
God is to understand “mahimās” of God. The more we study vēdōpaniṣats, the deeper their meaning gets. This is how, Brahma-jignyāsā in the form of Veda-
vichāra-jignyāsā is indispensable for getting the knowledge of God. When we
understand Parabrahman’s other mahimās through other parts of vēdōpaniṣats, we
should understand them only as not opposed to these “mahimās” already established in this part of the Veda in this upanishat.
This is specifically mentioned here because, Veda needs to be understood with the help of principles laid out in brahma-mīmāṁsā by Sri Vedavyaasa. It is under this circumstance that Veda will teach its object, which is Parabrahman, The Highest.