Taittriya Upanishad is one of the old Sanskrit scripture of ancient Vedas. In this article we will take certain part of this Upanishad and try to understand “Who we are?” in the thought of it.
The journey is to find who you really are and at last you will find yourself as well as God. In almost all religion, it’s said that you are the God you are the divine one etc., in this short metaphorical journey we will really experience the same.
There is Sufi (poem addressing Allah) poet who is said in his song “I find myself when I try to search god, I find God when I try to search myself”. This is the whole philosophy of this presentation.
Let’s start the journey to discover oneself.
Taittiriya Upanishad said,
Question > Do you want to know yourself?
Answer> Yes, of course.
Question> Ok, who you are?
Answer> this is I am, the face, the hand, leg, eye etc. In face I am the whole body!
Ok, let’s start with that. The Upanishad is saying this body as “Annayamaya Atma”. The body is made by Food. Yes, if you literally think that, our body exist because we do eat. Just think that how much food we have consumed in today? May be 2 K.g ! Ok, how much in last 7 days? 7X2= 14 Kg. and how much in last year? 365X2 = 730 Kg and so on. Just think how much we have consumed in last 25 years! So, in broad sense, we do not see anything beyond food in body.
Ok, if the body which keeps on changing, is made with food. Upanishad saying, you are not the body. The self which we are trying to find is not the body. So, look within the body.
What you will find within body? Upanishad said, there is “Pranamaya Atma”. “Pranamaya Atma” means life. You feel energetic, you feel hungry, sick, sad, and happy those are the functions of life. So, we find, “Annayamaya Atma” is behaving as jacket over “Pranamaya Atma”.
So, the thought to be clear, we are not “Annayamaya Atma” (not food) then are we “Pranamaya Atma”? Are we our life are we the sadness, happiness, etc which is covered by our body?
Upanishad says, No we are not the life, we are not “Pranayama Atma”. Let’s come one step deeper from this.
What is deeper than the life? Feel within, you will find your mind. Thoughts, Feelings, Memory, Decisions all comes from your mind. Upanishad is calling this as “Monamoya Atma”. People may identify him by combining the mind and body. I mean, they may define that I am so and so and I did so and so.
Do you think that the mind is what you are? No, you are not the mind, because mind changes time to time based on your experience. It’s not static and the Upanishad says, even that is not the self.
The mind is nothing but a cover by your life which is again covering by body. Let’s go next step from this.
Upanishad is saying. What do you use to use the mind? Impelled by what the mind thinks? Why mind act? Who controls our mind? Upanishad is giving answer, it is “Intellect” and Upanishad call it as “Vidayanamaya Atma”.
So, the question comes, the intellect which we using is self? No, because it too is dynamic. The intellect which you had years ago and the intellect now, those are must be different. So, Upanishad is saying, Intellect is not self, it’s too covering by mind.
Let’s think something deeper than the intellect. What could be beyond than the Intellect? Upanishad saying there is a blankness which exist beyond intellect. Which we experience in deep sleep. Upanishad is calling this as “Anandamaya Atma”
So, are we the blankness? Upanishad saying, no we are not blankness because the blankness too is not permanent. We fall in sleep and week up, when we weak up the blankness goes away.
So, that is not self. Upanishad is concluding here, like this. The self is “Which is experiencing all those Atmas”
So, you are not your body-> You are not your life -> You are not your mind -> You are not your Intellect-> You are not the blankness beyond the Intellect. You are the one who is observing all those Atmas, all those covers and this is the God.