[Advaita-l] Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.4

Jaishankar Narayanan jai1971 at gmail.com
Fri May 7 13:47:47 CDT 2010

Dear All,

There was a discussion on Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.4 Vakya. I thought I
will explain it a little further as it has some interesting points
regarding the nature of a jnAni. The vakya is

prAnah hyeSa yassarvabhUtaih vibhAti vijAnan vidvAn bhavate na ativAdi |
AtmakrIda Atmaratih kriyAvAn eSa brahmavidAm variStah ||

Verily this (Sel, which is brahman), manifests in the form of all
beings. Knowing this the wise do not talk beyond (of other things). He
plays with himself, revels in himself and is engaged in  activities
(jnAna-dhyAna-vairAgyAdi kriyA). He is the greatest among wisemen.

In this vakya second line shankara gives two different readings. When
kriyAvAn is taken as a separate word in itself bhasyakara gives the
meaning of jnAna-dhyAna-vairAgyAdi kriyA yasya sah i.e.one who has
activities conducive to knowledge, meditation, dispassion etc.  When
AtmaratikriyAvAn is taken as a compound AtmaratikriyA asya vidyate
i.e. for whom revelling in oneself is the activity. Shankara further
says that some people take this kriyAvAn to read jnAna-karma-samuccaya
in the sruti and then dismisses that view.

The two different readings of kriyAvAn itself can account for who is
brahmavidAm varistah and I feel there is no need to bring in
krama-mukti etc here as krama-mukti is not the subject under

with love and prayers,


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