Finding the Bramha
( ‘Bramha’, ‘Atman’ and ‘Self’ can be used interchangeably in this text. All denote the one and only Ultimate Reality.)
Brahma is abstruse and extremely difficult to fathom. Still this section of Kathopnishad makes an effort to grasp its attributes.
This mortal body with eleven opening is the seat of eternal and omniscient Bramha .
The person who conceives it in thought does not grieve and transcends time & the cycles of cause and effect.
But how does the timeless, absolute and undivided Bramha reside in different bodies at the same time?
Bramha is the essence and movement of all lives. It is displayed in motion, brightness of sun, life breath of cosmic air, fire in the womb of earth and the elixir in water.
It is the power that inspires human beings and gods. It is the seed of Truth and all action. It pervades in space, water, earth, mountains, rituals and is their magnificent essence.
Coming to other identifiable characteristics, it is said that Bramhan drives Prana (forward or upward moving energy in beings which governs reception of inputs like food and sensations) and Apana (downward or outward moving energy which controls expulsions from the body), and is worshipped in the center of the heart.
Its withdrawal causes immediate death and destruction of body.
The argument that the life comes from physical and vital sheaths of the body is farthest from reality. All these sheaths are the destructible constructs over the essential foundation that is Bramhan.
Now Yama explains what it is like to die without having a glimpse of Bramha.
Unaware of Ultimate Reality and caught in the momentum generated by the extent of their knowledge and karma, most of the people are born in different life forms including the immobile ones.
When the life forces are asleep, this eternally pure and immortal Bramha remains awake and creates the objects of desire.
It contains the whole material world and cannot be transcended. This is decidedly The Absolute Reality.
Despite being explained a number of times, the knowledge of Atman does not get established in the minds of those scholars whose intelligence is swayed by arguments of rationalists.
For them, the scripture reiterates that just as the energy (fire and air) enters the myriad lives and appears in their shape and form, Bramha also resides and appears as all the life forms and extends beyond them too.
This all pervasive Bramha includes the negative emotions like grief and fear too.
Just as the Sun shine reflects on all the objects to make them visible but the Sun remains unaffected by these objects, the Bramhs remains unaffected by the sorrow of the beings it resides in and extends beyond them too.
Eternal happiness is for only those prudent ones whose intellect perceives Atman as the Master of all forms of existence and which appears as many despite being one.
Eternal peace enjoins only the prudent ones whose intellect perceives Atman which alone fulfills all the desires and exists as the permanence within the impermanent & the mindful awareness in the conscious beings.
This experience of Atman or self realization is described as absolute bliss by the enlightened ones.
Can this Atman be glimpsed by our limited intellect?
It is said that the kingdom of Atman shines in its own effulgence. All the apparent objects are illumined by the light of either fire, electricity, stars, moon and sun. But these sources of light derive their luminescence from Atman alone.