In the sixth chapter of the Prashnopanishat the first mantra is about ‘where does the entity with 16 kalA-s reside?’ The second mantra is in reply: ‘Here alone, in this body, does the puruSha (with 16 kalA-s) resides. The third mantra is about:
3 The Purusha reflected: “What is it by whose departure I shall depart and by whose staying I shall stay?”
This mantra comes to specify(1) that the sixteen kalA-s (parts) are created by a sentient being, the Purusha and (2) the order, krama, in which the 16 are created.
4 He created prana; from prana faith, space, air, fire, water, earth, the organs, mind, food; from food virility, austerity, the Vedic hymns, sacrifice, the worlds; and in the worlds He created names.
Here the sixteen parts/components are enumerated:
He created prana (1); from prana faith (shraddhA (2) , space, air, fire, water, earth, (five elements: 5+2=7) the organs (all sense/motor organs 10 put together 1 (8), mind (9), food (annam 10); from food virility (vIryam 11), austerity (tapas 12), the Vedic hymns (mantra 13), sacrifice (karma 14), the (worlds 15); and in the worlds He created names (nAma 16).
Having said that the PuruSha ‘creates’ these sixteen kalA-s, the upanishad says in the very next mantra:
5 As these flowing rivers, bound for the ocean, disappear into the ocean after having reached it, their names and forms being destroyed and are called simply the ocean�”even so, these sixteen parts of the seer, whose goal is the Purusha, disappear into the Purusha after having reached Him, their names and forms being destroyed and are called simply the Purusha. He becomes free of parts and immortal. On this there is the following verse.
Thus, we have the Upanishad itself ‘superimposing’ the sixteen parts on the PuruSha and subsequently negating them. The following is to be appreciated:
- The Upanishad uses the word ‘ShoDaShakalam puruSham’ in the first mantra and goes on to specify the sixteen parts in the 4th mantra. This is the adhyAropa.
- Subsequently, the Upanishad in the mantra 5 declares that ‘for the one who is endowed with Self-knowledge, ‘paridraShTuH’ the sixteen kalA-s cease to be in the state of liberation: The jnAnI comes to be called ‘puruSha’ by the Upanishad itself.
- The crucial words in this mantra that indicate apavAda, negation: ShoDaShaklAH astam gacchamti (the sixteen kalA-s cease to be) and ‘akalaH’ = One without kalA-s. ‘sakalaH’ becomes ‘akalaH’.
- Thus the adhyAropa word/name ‘ShoDaShakalAH puruShaH’ is now negated and replaced with ‘akalaH puruShaH’.
- There is an unmistakable adhyAropa-apavAda nyAya in this Upanishat.
- And for the equally unmistakable ‘brahmAtmaikyam’ we have the Upanishat saying the ‘PuruSha’ is the one that creates all these sixteen kalA-s. And the Upanishat itself declares that the one without the kalA-s, that is, the one who has freed himself from the kalA-s through jnAnam, is called ‘PuruSha’. Thus the PuruSha creates the kalA-s and the one endowed with the kalA-s is the ‘ShoDaShakalAH puruShaH’ and the one freed of the kalA-s owing to Jnanam as ‘PuruSha’. Thus we have the PuruSha as the creator, the bearer and the negator of kalA-s.
- Here is an example of ‘brahmaiva svAvidyayA samsaratIva, svavidyayA muchyata iva’.
- Since according to the Upanishad it is jnAnam that frees the puruSha from the bondage of kalA-s (body-mind complex and all the actions and fruits of actions resulting thereof), it is confirmed that such bondage is ‘jnAnabAdhyatvam’ (that which is negatable through knowledge.)
- Such jnAnabAdhyatvam is found ONLY in places where there is a superimposition owing to avidyA, for example: rope-snake, considering the pure uncontaminable space as endowed with dirt, etc., dream, etc. In other words, if knowledge, jnAnam, has to remove something, that something must be avidyA-born: superimposed due to ignorance of the vastu.
- Thus, according to this Upanishad, A. samsAra is Aropita and is therefore, jnAnabAdhya, B.there is the teaching of adhyAropa-apavAda.
- Another corollary that follows from the teaching of the fifth mantra is: the One Conscious(ness) Entity is ever free of the kalA-s (body-mind apparatus). So, even in the liberated state there are no names, body-mind apparatus of any make, either prAkRta or aprAkRta, for this entity.
- Hence there is no Vedanta pramANa for any difference, bheda, in mokSha, for bheda is possible ONLY through admitting names/body/mind/sense organs. Here is the Upanishat itself negating the bhedaka-s (name/body/mind, etc.).
- Thereby the Upanishat is confirming the Advaitic mokSha alone without giving room for any difference in mokSha by way of residing in one or the other lokas with one or the other deity along with several other mukta-jiva-s.
Om Tat Sat