Chapter 2: Section 1
This is Chapter 2, Section 1
Tad etat satyam: yathā sudīptāt pāvakād visphuliṅgāḥ sahasraśaḥ prabhavante sarūpāḥ, tathākṣarād vividhāḥ, saumya, bhāvāḥ prajāyante tatra caivāpi yanti (2.1.1): O Master, how has this world come? The disciple raises the question.
There are various ways of answering this question of how this world has come. In the beginning the answer will depend on the ability of the student’s mind to understand, because the student imagines that the world has come from something. The student has not seen this world coming from something. Even without seeing the world coming from something, we put questions such as ”Who created this world?” and ”Why should the world be created by anybody?” We imagine that this world must have been created by someone, and as this assumption is already in the mind, one has to take the stand of the disciple in assuming that there is a cause for this world; so initially, by a kind of illustration and analogy, the cause of the world and the manner of its coming from the cause is described in this verse.
Here is the truth, the answer to your question. As from a large conflagration of fire thousands of sparks emanate in all directions, in a similar manner, varieties of individualities – species of beings and things – emerge from this imperishable Reality and return to it, as sparks of fire that rise from the conflagration shoot up and then go back to their source, which is the fire itself. Thus is the world coming from its cause, which is the imperishable Brahman. It comes, it is sustained, and it returns. There is a beginning and middle and an end for this world. Therefore the world is not real, merely because of this simple fact that it has a beginning and an end and a tentative middle.
The illustration of the fire and sparks is to indicate for the student’s comprehension that there is some quality in us which will enable us to reach God. If the effect is totally disconnected from the cause – if there is nothing in the effect which can be called similar to the essence of the cause – there will be no relationship between them. This is to indicate that in spite of our separation from God, our fall from Brahman, as it were, we are still endowed with that potential for returning to Brahman because the seat of Brahman is planted in our own heart. The Atman that we are is an indication of the Universal that Brahman is, just as the character of the spark is in essence the same as the character of fire. This illustration makes out that basically we are verily that which we are seeking. If we are entirely dissociated from that, there will be no possibility of our returning to it. The Atman is Brahman basically.
Divyo hy amūrtaḥ puruṣah sa bāhyābhyantaro hy ajaḥ aprāṇo hy amanāḥ śubhro akṣarāt paratah paraḥ (2.1.2). It was said that from that Imperishable Being, everything proceeds; the world is created by That. That Supreme Imperishable is the divine, formless Purusha. Here Purusha is to be understood in the sense of essential Consciousness. The origin of all things is Consciousness. It presupposes all thoughts, all actions and all types of awareness of objects. Even to think, there must be consciousness behind the thought. Even when we assert or deny a thing, consciousness is behind the act of affirmation and denial. If we totally doubt and become a confirmed agnostic or atheist, even in that act of our agnosticism or atheism there is a consciousness of our being such a thing. Even if we say nothing exists, there is a consciousness that affirms that nothing exists; therefore, something exists. That something is the consciousness of even the denial of all things. Such is the Purusha, which is the Supreme Consciousness.
Sa bāhyābhyantaro hy ajaḥ: Inside and outside, it is there. Consciousness cannot be divided into parts. It has no fractions. There is no division in consciousness. It is indivisible. Because of the fact that it is indivisible, it is all-pervading. If it is only in one place, it can be divided. If it is in one place, there should be a place where it is not. Now, to know that consciousness is not in some place, consciousness has to be there already, because the absence of consciousness cannot be known except by consciousness itself, and so even the location of the absence of consciousness is consciousness itself. We cannot negate it in any manner whatsoever. The denial of consciousness is an act of consciousness only, and therefore it is to be considered as pervading all things, and not located somewhere. It is not only in one place, it is everywhere.
Ajaḥ: It is unborn; it has no beginning. To conceive the beginning of consciousness is impossible, because there must be somebody to conceive that consciousness as the beginning. If we imagine that consciousness was created at some time, we must imagine that there was something prior to consciousness which created consciousness. Then there will be what is called infinite regression of argument: “Who created that which caused the coming of consciousness?” Then we can ask another question: “Who caused that second one?” etc. Finally, we will find that we will land on the lap of consciousness. It cannot be created by anybody, because the very question of the creation of consciousness is raised by consciousness itself. Hence, finally we have to accept that consciousness is Ultimate Reality; it is unborn in its nature.
Aprānaḥ: It is not an individual prana consciousness – breathing, etc. It has no mind, because there is no necessity for it to think anything. As there are no objects in front of it, why should there be a mind? And as it is not an individual with a body, there is also no prana. Śubhraḥ: Pure, simple radiance. Akṣarāt paratah paraḥ: Even the so-called imperishable prakriti is perishable in the light of a still higher imperishability that is beyond prakriti – paratah paraḥ.
Etasmāj jāyate prāṇo manaḥ sarvendriyāṇi ca, khaṁ vāyur jyotir āpaḥ pṛthivī viśvasya dhāriṇī (2.1.3): From this great Purusha, everything comes. The cosmic prana, Hiranyagarbha, emanates from this Supreme Brahman. The Virat, which is called here the manas, also emanates from that Brahman. All the indriyas, or the sense organs, also emanate from That. They are actually the feeders, the tentacles of consciousness. Khaṁ vāyur jyotir āpaḥ pṛthivī viśvasya dhāriṇī: The five elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether – the very Earth that sustains us, the basis of all, emanate from That. The whole Brahmanda, the fourteen worlds, seven above and seven below, which are the permutations and combinations, modifications of gross forms or subtle forms, or the real forms of the five elements, all these come from one breath, as it were, of this one Supreme Being.
Aginr mūrdhā cakṣuṣī candra-sūryau, diśaḥ śrotre, vāg vivṛtāś ca vedāḥ, vāyuḥ prāṇo hṛdayaṁ viśvam, asaya padbhyām pṛthivī hy eṣa sarva-bhūtāntarātmā (2.1.4): This Cosmic Being is described here as something like the Vishvarupa Darshana of the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavagita. Aginr mūrdhā: Agni here represents Heaven. The radiant heavens are the head of the Supreme Being. Cakṣuṣī candra-sūryau: The Sun and the Moon are the eyes of that Supreme Being. Diśaḥ śrotre: The entire quarters of space are the ears, as it were, of that being. Vāg vivṛtāś ca vedāḥ: Vedas are its words, or the speech it utters. Vāyuḥ prāṇaḥ: The entire cosmic breath, the entire air, the wind, is the universal Prana. Hṛdayaṁ viśvam, asaya: The whole Universe is its heart. Padbhyām pṛthivī: The gross form of physical manifestation in the form of this Earth may be regarded as its footstool. Eṣa sarva-bhūtāntarātmā: This is a picture before you of the all-pervading Soul of all beings.
This illustration is to point out that all things that we can conceive in our mind or see with our eyes are part of this great being, the limbs of the Virat Purusha. That something is the eye, something is the head, something is the foot is only illustrative of everything being somehow or other organically connected with this Being. The whole universe is its body: eṣa sarva-bhūtāntarātmā.
Tasmād agnis samidho yasa sūryaḥ somāt parjanya oṣadhayaḥ pṛthivyām, putmān retas siñcati yoṣitāyām bahvīḥ prajāḥ puruṣāt samprasūtāḥ (2.1.5). The creation process is described here in terms of the Panchagni Vidhya, which is described in more detail in the Chhandogya Upanishad. This is a very interesting concept that we have in the Upanishads – the Panchagni Vidhya, the fivefold descent through which any event in the world can be imagined to take place. Events do not take place merely on Earth. They take place in heaven first. A vibration takes place in the highest heaven, and here this heavenly vibration is called Agni, or the Supreme Fire of the original cosmic activity.
The Sun may be regarded as a representative of heaven. The heat and light of the Sun are responsible for everything that happens between the Sun and all the planets, including Earth. Any event that takes place in the world is caused by the Sun. You must have heard that sunspots sometimes occur and create catastrophes in the world, and their positions suddenly cause a rise or fall in the cost of materials. It depends upon the manner in which the sunspot affects the Earth.
There are also indications of the Moon acting in the same way. If we observe the Moon two or three days after the New Moon, amavasya, we will find a crescent visible on the horizon. This crescent is sometimes slanting, and not straight like a cup. Either it is slanting to the left side or it is slanting to the right side, but very rarely is it straight. The belief is, astronomically, that if it is slanting to the left, prices of commodities will fall in the direction where it is slanting, and where it is rising up – north or south, as the case may be – the price of commodities will rise.
Can we imagine this mystery, how the Sun and the Moon can control us? Someone has written a beautiful book called ‘Super Nature’. Moonlight does not penetrate deep into the waters of the ocean, but there are little molluscs living deep in the ocean that arrange their activities according to the movement of the moonlight, though the moonlight does not reach them. They must be great mystical astronomers indeed! And so is the wonder of the effect that is produced by the Sun and the Moon, and even by the interstellar cosmic rays that impinge upon the Earth and affect us in multifarious ways.
This heavenly vibration, therefore, is the cause of everything that is taking place here. And the vibrations created by the solar orb produce such an impact upon the atmosphere that the heat of the Sun sucks the waters of the ocean and converts it into vapour which forms clouds; by the action of wind blowing in various directions according to the circumstances of nature, rain falls.
Somāt parjanya: Rain falls. Oṣadhayaḥ pṛthivyām: When rain falls, plants grow. There is harvest in the fields, and vegetables and all edibles in the world become available to us. But how does rain fall? A great activity is taking place in the mid-heavens, over which we have no control. We cannot create rain, and we will all perish if there is no rain. These vegetables and foodstuffs are eaten by man and finally converted into the bloodstream, and then into the essences which are responsible for the production of children while living a married life.
Putmān retas siñcati yoṣitāyām bahvīḥ prajāḥ puruṣāt samprasūtāḥ: In this manner, the heavenly Purusha is causing, by its own vibration of will, the creation of every little thing in this world. Even the little crawling insects are created by the Supreme Purusha. Creation takes place in a variety of ways, which is only one illustration of the manner of the relation of cause and effect, highlighting how we, in our crude form of understanding, imagine how something could have come from something else. Why should anything come from something else? Because if something is not there which is causeless, and if the ultimate cause also has a cause, there would be a logical regression and the argument will break. A meaningful argument should have an end. Endless arguments are no arguments. And so, the argument in respect of the effect coming from a cause should lead to a cause which itself has no further cause.
This causeless cause must also be an intelligent cause. Therefore, this ultimate cause is, firstly, without any cause behind it – there is no other cause for it; secondly, it is intelligent because it is purposive and knows what to create; and thirdly, it is all-pervading because if it is located in one place only, it will be a perishable object. Thus, the Supreme Purusha is indivisible consciousness, all-pervading, causative of everything in this world. This is one answer of the Guru in reply to the disciple’s question how things have come at all. Generally, when disciples go to Gurus, this is the first question they put. Why was this world created, and who created it? They have many other questions, no doubt, but the first question that generally arises in the mind of a student is how this world has come. And here is a tentative answer according to the understanding of the disciple for the time being.
These passages of the Mundaka Upanishad that we are presently studying deal with the creative process of the Universe. In the previous session we had some inkling of it – the cause producing the effect and continuously having influence over the effect until the very end. The passage or the verse concerning the Panchagni Vidhya, which we discussed earlier, is an astounding doctrine of not only there being causes behind causes, an endless series of connections and concatenations, but also one thing influencing the other. The Upanishad is a knowledge that cuts off all attachments. It is the secret wisdom that severs the tree of bondage. One of the ways it adopts is to instil into the students’ minds the nature of the world, so that when it is properly understood or investigated into, it will no more be a source of attraction and repulsion, love and hatred.
The occurrences in the world, the events taking place in space and time, the very historical process of mankind – all these are certain occurrences taking place in the world that are above this Earth, just as the manifestation of our own physical body is not a sudden occurrence or an abrupt manifestation from nowhere but a gradual concretisation of impulsions and intentions coming from within. For instance, in order that the physical body may shape itself into this particular form that we see, it has first of all to be vitalised by the prana which is within. The within-ness of the prana is the reason why there appears to be life and vitality in the physical body. In a similar way, activities in this world, all the processes of human history, have a cause behind the physical realm. There is a super-physical cause for all that happens in the physical world.
The way in which the prana operates in the body determines its condition of health. The prana decides whether we are healthy or sick. It is very important to know that life and prana are identical. If prana is harmoniously distributed in the body, there is a pacified state of mind also, at the same time, and there is lightness of body, buoyancy of spirit and quickness in the ability to grasp things mentally. Therefore, internal to the body there is a prana that causes the so-called activities of the body. If the hands and the feet move, it is because the prana moves inside. The prana exerts pressure on a limb in a particular direction, and then it starts moving. But inside the prana there is the thought which causes the prana to operate in that particular manner. When we walk, the prana will not impel the legs to move unless there is thought behind it. The mind wants the prana to work in such a way that it moves the legs. But within the mind there is reason, which says that it is necessary to move the legs. The mind is only a connecting link between the reason on one side and the prana on the other side. But there is something behind reason – namely, the very fact of our being individuals in this world. Why should there be a necessity to move the limbs? It arises on account of a certain kind of finitude in which we are involved. The jivatatva is the cause; and jiva is nothing but a concentrated point of the Atman consciousness. Thus, the tapas of Brahman created the world, says the Upanishad in one of its passages: tapasā cīyate brahma, tato’nnam abhijāyate (1.1.8).
Anna is the product of this concentration of the will of Brahman. All that is produced can be regarded as anna, and in this sense the finitude itself is a product. It is anna for the concentrated will of the Atman to manifest itself as an individual. And the finitude causes another product which is its anna – namely, the reason or the intellect. The mind is the anna or the product of the reason. The prana is the anna or the product of the mind, and the physical body is the anna or the product of the prana. As it happens in this manner in an individual case, so is it that everything happens in the world. The Panchagni Vidhya of the Upanishad is a cosmological iteration of the very same process that takes place in our own individuality, through which it is that we are what we are in this body.
The causes behind the causes is the story of creation, especially the Panchagni Vidhya Tattva. There is a cause for the body, which is the prana. There is a cause for the prana, which is the mind. There is a cause for the mind, which is the reason. There is a cause for the reason, which is the jivatatva or finitude, and there is a cause for that, which is the will of the Atman. So is this production of things and events in this world which are occasioned by certain vibrations. The vibrations are one behind the other. In the beginning, originally there is the tattva or the tapas concentration of Brahman Himself, which gyrates and produces Hiranyagarbha-tattva, Virat-tattva, space-time. After that there are the tanmatras – shabdha, sparsa, rupa, rasa, gandha – then the five elements, and all things down to the very earth from where there is the harvest of diet, and food which when eaten produces vitality in the system, causing further enlargement of the species.
Tasmād ṛcaḥ sāma yajūṁṣi dīkṣā yajñaś ca sarve kratavo dakṣiṇāś ca, saṁvatsaraś ca yajamānaś ca lokāḥ somo yatra pavate yara sūryaḥ (2.1.6): From this Being, everything proceeds, it is said. The Vedic verses, mantras, are also emanations of this Being, which means the truths contained in the Veda mantras are eternally there as projections of certain aspects in the manifestation of Brahma-tattva. The chants, the Yajurveda mantras and the formulae that are employed in the performance of sacrifices, the rites connected with these yagnas, ceremonies of various types, the gifts and what not, even the time chosen for the sacrifice, and the worlds purified by the Sun and the Moon which the soul will attain after the departure from this body, all these are conditioned by that original tapas of Brahman. Our future is in the hands of God. This is what is actually meant by this passage – our past, our present, as well as our future. The condition into which we are born into this world, the community in which we find ourselves, the length of life for which we will be living in this world, the experiences which we will pass through are all written down while we are still in our mother’s womb.
Jāti āyuḥ bhogāḥ (Yoga Sutras 2.13): Jati, ayuh, bhoga are already predetermined even before we come out of the womb of our mother. We cannot change one inch of it. This is a sutra of Patanjali. Jati is the category of life into which it will be born – the community, so-called. Ayuh is the length of life. Bhoga is the joy or the sorrow that we have to reap in this world. In a similar manner are all these things mentioned here – the total concept of events taking place in all the worlds.
Not only the visible, tangible objects of sense, but also the processes of perception and the motive force that causes this perceptional process are also to be regarded as conditioned by this original tapas of Brahman. And there is then nothing left for the jiva to contemplate individually. The individual remains merely as an instrument of action in the hands of that great tapas of Brahman. Here creation is considered in a total sense and not merely in a linear descending series, and is taking place from all sides like winds sometimes blow from all sides and not only in one direction. It is not a single direction that the Will of Brahman has taken in the production of effects from causes, but everywhere there is a spread-out series of causes, infinite in number, producing infinite products or effects from this countless process everywhere, just as we have countless cells in the body that not only move in one direction – they do not move just in a linear, vertical, horizontal or whatever direction – there is a rounding-up of activity through the harmonious action of the cells from all directions. Creation, therefore, is a multidirectional activity. It is not a single direction that is taken as we walk on the road, for instance. We walk only in one direction, but the Will of Brahman does not act in that manner. It acts from all directions, and it is as infinite as Brahman itself is. This is why it is said that the creation of Brahman also is infinite. Infinite produces infinite, limitlessness comes from Limitlessness, and Eternity produces eternity, as it were, in a most remarkable sense.
Tasmāc ca devā bhaudhā samprasūtāḥ sādhyā manuṣyāḥ paśavo vayāṁsi, prāṇāpānau vrīhi-yavau tapaś ca śraddhā satyam brahma-caryaṁ vidhiś ca (2.1.7): These passages connected with the creation of the universe occurring in the Mundaka Upanishad have some relevance or connection with the Purusha Sukta of the Veda, which also says that all gods, all sacrifices that are performed by the gods and for the gods, and every animal conceivable, every little thing, birds, insects, even the grains in the fields, the very breathing process, and activities such as religious and philosophical considerations, faith and truth, self-restraint, law and order, all these are the will of Brahman. The author of the Upanishad has, as much as possible, tried to conceive. There is nothing left unsaid by these verses, which are very few in number but plentiful in their abundance of meaning. From Him, from that great plenum of felicity, these seven senses manifest themselves.
The seven senses are: sapta-prāṇāḥ prabhavanti tasmāt saptārciṣas samidhas sapta-homāḥ, sapta ime lokā yeṣu caranti prāṇā guhāśayā nihitās sapta sapta. (2.1.8). Seven orifices above the neck are referred to here as seven senses – the two nostrils, the two eyes, the two ears, and a mouth. These are the seven apertures which act like senses, performing their respective functions. These senses and their powers of cognition – not only the location of the eyes, nose, ears, etc, but also the capacity involved in them to perform their function and the particular objects to which they are directed, as also the knowledge that such objects are the requisites for the function of a specific sense organ, and the physical locations of these senses – are what is meant by these cryptic words prana, arcisas, samidhas and homa. Sacrificial terminology is used here to describe an otherwise vital function that is taking place in us.
Seven pranas are the seven functions of the sense organs mentioned, and the flaming anguish of these senses to grab that particular food or object are known as saptārciṣas, seven flames. Our desires are like flames. They rush forth like burning heat in the direction of their objects. And the objects themselves are called samit, which is offered into the sacrifice. The sacrifice – the word homa used here – is the consumption of the object. There is a kind of Prana Agnihotra, otherwise described in the Chhandogya Upanishad. As we have an external sacrifice which we perform on alters in a physical fire and oblations such as ghee, etc., are poured over them, we have an internal sacrifice taking place; that is called Agnihotra inside the body. Only householders perform external sacrifice. Vanaprasthas who are retired from household life perform the very same sacrifice inwardly – that is, internal Prana Agnihotra. When we take our meals, we are actually offering an oblation into the fire of Vaishvanara which operates in the stomach as the samana prana. It is the duty of any educated person in the field of spirituality not to eat food with greed like an animal but to pay some attention to the process that is taking place in the very act of taking food. We just do not lap up, or grab like an animal, the diet that is offered. A prayer is involved in the very process of eating.
Life is a prayer. The sense organs, in their greed for their objects, are actually craving for relief from the agony or the involvement in this grizzly action of their longings for things. There is a deity operating inside the ear as a point of consciousness at the back of the nervous system and the eardrum, etc., that appear to be the causes of the sounds that we hear. So is the case with all other sense organs. If we ignore the presence of these conscious points called divinities, we would be paying disrespect to them, and the Agnihotra sacrifice would not then be performed. Those who eat without offering to the gods first as a sacrament are actually thieves, says the Bhagavadgita.
In the Panchagni Vidya we have been told in a very, very dramatic fashion, picturesquely, that the diet that we take is actually something produced by the earth, which happens on account of the rainfall coming from the skies. And the rain is nothing but an effect produced by certain vibrations of the rays of the Sun in respect of the water element in the world. And even there, the final cause is not reached. Why should the Sun act in this manner? Who has empowered the Sun to project heating rays so that the water vapour may be absorbed, become clouds, and move about by the action of wind that simultaneously cooperates in this process? Why should all this take place? Let the Sun convert water into vapour, but why should the wind also blow simultaneously? Who is the reason, who is the cause behind this cooperative activity? There is also something beyond the Sun. That is the heavenly spirit, willing that things should take place in that particular fashion. So this kind of Panchagni Vidhya is taking place inside the body as well as outside the body. All occurrences in world history, inwardly as well as outwardly, inside us as well as outside us, are manifested by a series of causes and effects of the central will, the concentration, the tapas of Brahman: tapasā cīyate brahma (1.1.8).
Sapta ime lokā yeṣu caranti prāṇā guhāśayā nihitās sapta sapta (2.1.8): Seven are the worlds which will be reached by the performer of this kind of internal Agnihotra, Panchagni Vidhya Tattva. And any one of these worlds will be our fruit thereof. We know what the seven worlds are, and we may reborn there in any way, in any fashion, according to the devotion with which the sacrifice has been performed. Both outer sacrifice as well as inner sacrifice have a common intention of lifting the soul above this physical body and taking it into the heavenly regions, even up to the highest Brahmaloka.
Atas samudrā girayaś ca sarve asmāt syandante sindhavas sarva-rūpāḥ, ataś ca sarvā oṣadhayo rasaś ca yenaiṣa bhūtais tiṣṭhate hy antar-ātmā (2.1.9). Atas samudrā: Even the oceans are created by Him. Don’t you think it is a picturesque description? Girayaś ca sarve: The mountains, oceans and rivers cannot be there but for the will of That – asmāt syandante sindhavas sarva-rūpāḥ. The author of this Upanishad must have been a great poet like Kalidasa, who beautifully presents before us all the values of Kali as emanating from one single point.
Atas samudrā girayaś ca sarve asmāt syandante sindhavas sarva-rūpāḥ, ataś ca sarvā oṣadhayo rasaś ca yenaiṣa bhūtais tiṣṭhate hy antar-ātmā: This inner Atman appearing as Brahman outside and the Kutastha Tattva inside us is the cause of even the mighty oceans and towering Himalaya Mountains. The rivers flow in a particular direction only, and not in another direction. The sun rises only in one direction, and not elsewhere. The stars scintillate and maintain their positions not in any other manner, only because of terror of the operation of the system of law and order of Brahman tapas. All the trees and plants grow only because of the will of that tapas. There cannot be a breeze moving, wafting through the leaves of trees in the thick of the forest unless that tapas operates. Do you believe that such a thing is possible, that even an atom cannot vibrate and act in the manner it does unless the central will is there operating at the nucleus of that atom?
Yenaiṣa bhūtais tiṣṭhate hy antar-ātmā: Through all these manifestations mentioned in various ways, this inner Atman rejoices and glories in itself. It plays in the form of the Universe. That is lokavattu lilakaivalyam (2.1.33), says the Brahma Sutra. Why does the supreme Brahman manifest itself? Why does it do tapas and concentrate and become all these things in this way? Lokavattu lilakaivalyam. Why do children play? Why do they create mud houses and then in the evening kick them apart and return home? Why to they skip and dance? There is no reason for that. So is the reasonless sport for Brahman in the form of this picturesque manifestation.
Puruṣa evedaṁ viśvaṁ karma tapo brahma parāmṛtam, etad yo veda nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ so’vidyā-granthiṁ vikiratīha, saumya (2.1.10): The whole cosmos is this Purusha only. We are seeing nothing but that in front of us. Karma tapo brahma parāmṛtam: Our actions, our austerities, our studies, and the fruits of our actions all are included in this vast manifestation – puruṣa evedaṁ sarvam (Purusha Sukta 2). It is the Purusha Sukta speaking through the Upanishad, as it were.
Etad yo veda nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ so’vidyā-granthiṁ vikiratīha, saumya: The Guru speaks, “My dear disciple, listen! Whoever knows this secret that I have been telling you all the while, in connection with the Atman which is the deepest reality of every individual and the deepest reality of the cosmos, whoever knows this correctly and lives in it, such a person breaks the knot of ignorance.”
Avidyā-granthiṁ vikiratī: It tears it apart and scatters it into pieces. It scatters the knot of the ignorance which has caused us to believe that we are here as isolated individuals and the world is outside.