Of RIG VEDA orientation, Kaushitaki Upanishad opens with the concepts of Deva Yaana and Pitru- Yaana and about the passage of Soul after death. As one leaves the world, all the Beings are stated to reach the gate way viz. the Chandra Loka first; if fortunate on the basis of the karma phala or the balance account of good or negative results of the previous births, the gates get opened to Swarga or higher Lokas to the extent of what the positive account decides; if not the return starts and on way back experiences negative results and then retuns back to earth by way of rains and is reborn again on the basis of karma phala is reborn as a worm, insect, fish, bird, lion, or snake or as a human being. During the period of expectancy or the period in the garbha or the womb, the Praani or the Self would be in the form of Pure Consciousness and once delivered the thick cover of Ignorance or Maya envelopes and adopts the features and actions of the newly born. On the other hand if the departed Soul has an excellent track record and is destined to reach up to higher lokas right up to Brahma Loka due to Sacrifices, Tatwa jnaana, and so on then he or she attains the status of Brahma itself! How such blessed Soul is pampered with divine experiences are detailed in this Upanishad. Thus Kaushitaki in the portion of Aaranyka once over, the final chapter deals with ‘Paraa Vidya’ and ‘Brahma Vidya’. King Gargyayani teaches ‘Paraa Vidya’ or the Highest Wisdom to Uddaalaka Aaruni that Brahma was in the celestial forms as Surya, Chanda, Vidyut or Lightning, Thunder, Vayu, Agni and Aapsu Purusha or Water. But at the end, the King of Kashi Ajatashatru negated the theory of Baakaaki Gargya and proves finally that Antaratma is indeed the reflection of Paramatma: Ya eteshaam Purushaanaam karta yasya tat karma savaiveditavyah ; thus Brahma Vidya was taught by Ajatashatru to Baalaaki.
Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham
Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]