[Advaita-l] Does praNava upAsanA leads to brahmaloka?

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Thu Sep 8 06:23:38 CDT 2016

I agree with both Sri Chandramouliji and Sri Bhaskarji.

Essentially YamadharmarAja is prescribing OmkAra upAsana for those
adhikAris that do not feel that they are ready for jnAna sAdhana. Therefore
he says if you are not ready, please do OmkAra upAsana and you will go to
Brahma loka where you will get jnAna.

Shankara's bhashya to 1.2.18 confirms this: अन्यत्र धर्मादित्यादिना
पृष्टस्यात्मनोऽशेषविशेषरहितस्यालम्बनत्वेन प्रतीकत्वेन चोंकारो निर्दिष्टः
अपरस्य च ब्रह्मणो मन्दमध्यमप्रतिपत्तॄन्प्रति । अथेदानीं
तस्योंकारालम्बनस्यात्मनः साक्षात्स्वरूपनिर्दिधारयिषयेदमुच्यते
Translation - The letter Om was discussed as a prop (Alambanam) and a
substitute (pratIka) for Atma. The Atma, which was the object of the
question (of Nachiketas) that began with the verse "Anyatra dharmAt" and
which is devoid of all attributes. This was done for the purpose of helping
 men of weaker and middling intellects who wish to attain the apara
Brahman. Now this text commences for the purposes of directly ascertaining
the real nature of Atma to attain which the prop Om was mentioned
previously .

The relative merits of krama mukti and sadyo mukti are indirectly
considered later on in Katha Upanishad itself. In 2.3.5 of the same
upanishad, Yama says that the quality of knowledge produced in Brahma loka
is clear like the manushya loka (unlike the gandharva loka and pitr loka,
where brahma jnAna can occur too, but the quality of the jnAna is quite
unclear). However, Shankaracharya adds a caveat to this. He says - स च
दुष्प्रापः, अत्यन्तविशिष्टकर्मज्ञानसाध्यत्वात् । तस्मादात्मदर्शनाय इहैव
यत्नः कर्तव्य इत्यभिप्रायः - Translation- (while the quality of knowledge
in Brahma loka is very clear) it is very difficult to attain Brahma loka,
as it is only attained by the performance of a highly specialised set of
karma and upAsana. Therefore, please do not postpone the effort for Atma
darshana (that is jnAna), and try to get it  here itself.


On Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 10:40 AM, Sujal Upadhyay via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Respected members,
> One of our members Sri Chandramouli ji has stated the following
> Please share your opinion.
> My query: Do you mean to say that by praNava upAsanA, one attains
> brahmaloka and then attains Jnana at the end of kalpa?
> Reply: That is right.  There are several upAsanAs prescribed by the Srutis
> by following any one of which the sAdhaka can attain Brahmaloka and then
> attain “moksha’ through jnAna there itself. Pranava upAsana is one of them.
> But pranava is considered the highest type of sAdhana because of one unique
> feature namely that it is the only sAdhana through which the sAdhaka can
> attain either apara Brahman or para Brahman. The Katha Up 1-2-17 reads
> एतदालम्बनं श्रेष्ठमेतदालम्बनं परम् ।
> etadAlambanaM shreShThametadAlambanaM param |
> Translation Swami Gambhirananda (This medium is the best; this medium is
> the supreme (and the inferior) Brahman)
> Part of the Bhashya reads
> यत एवम्, अत एव एतत् ब्रह्मप्राप्त्यालम्बनानां श्रेष्ठं प्रशस्यतमम् ।
> एतदालम्बनं परम् अपरं च, परापरब्रह्मविषयत्वात् ।
> (yata evam, ata eva etat brahmaprAptyAlambanAnAM shreShThaM prashasyatamam
> | etadAlambanaM param aparaM cha, parAparabrahmaviShayatvAt |)
> Translation : (Since this so, therefore, among all the mediums, for the
> attainment of Brahman, this medium is the highest-the most praiseworthy.
> this medium is supreme Brahman as well as the inferior Brahman, since it
> relates to both the inferior Brahman and the superior Brahman).
> Apara Brahman is attained through pranava upAsana while para Brahman is
> attained through pranava jignAsa or vichAra.
> ​Hari ​
> OM
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