Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kena Upanishad 2:4 and Pre-Existing Conditions

Self-realization perceived conceives
Your own timelessness surely attending.
By that Self attends the potency.
By its knowledge attends the eternal.

pratibodha-viditam matam
amritatvam hi vindate
atmana vindate viryam
vidyaya vindate 'mritam

Note: This was a tough nut. But I feel the clue lay in amritatvam. Amritam alone, without the –tvam (you), means something along the lines of immortality. But add the ‘you’ and you have your own existing immortality. Thus there is a parallel with pratibodha, which most translate as realization, but is seen here importantly as self-realization. In other words, what is seen here is what you always are. Thus the last two lines indicate the process, so to speak. Atman, your Self, provides the potency for it own self-discovery. And its own knowledge is the eternal.

One other note. The word ‘vindate’ is translated by most as ‘attain.’ I’ve used ‘attend’ instead, to emphasize the pre-existing quality not available in the other word. I feel it may be slightly awkward, but I prefer a little clumsiness in the right direction rather than elegance in the wrong one.

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