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Year end observations# 1

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Dec 29 1995 - 16:19:57 PST

1) I want to jot down a few miscellaneous points that came to my mind
as this Year is coming to an end. 

(1) I just completed a lengthy survey of 17 Sanyasa Upanishads
for the Tattvaloka Journal. I found much of the commentaries 
are based on Advaita Vedanta. It is understandable, since the Western Scholars,
The Adyar Library , Chinmaya mission, Mayavati Asrama  have done yeoman work in
translating the Advatic commentaries of Upanishad Brahmam  of Kanchi on the 108 
Upanishads , which is based on the Sringeri Acharya Sankarananda of the 
fourteenth century. 

Although the Dasa Maha Upanishads have been commented on by Sri Ramanuja
in the context of Sri Bhashyam, many other Upanishads known as Minor Upanishads
including the 17 Sanyasa Upanishads have been left out by our Acharyas with the
of Ranga Ramanuja Muni or Periya Jeeyar. One of the activities that the
Vaishnava Thondar 
Kuzham can undertake could be to get the rare manuscripts like the above and 
make it possible for Western Scholars and Eastern Scholars alike to get access
to them.

A Quick summary of the 17 upanishads on Sanyasam
In earlier postings on Sanyasam, the Praisha Mantram, the use 
of Sacred thread  and other points were mentioned. These 17 Upanishads
often set in the form of dialog between Lord Narayana and Brahma or 
Brahma and Narada or other pairs acting the role of Acharya and Sishya 
cover the topics related to the different orders of Sanyasa.

Each of the Sanyasa Upanishad belongs to a Veda Samhita and is 
found typically in the Aranya section (forest  text) . Nirvanopanishad is
associated with Rg vedam as the only Sanyasopanishad.

Among the remaining 16, four belong to the Sama Veda(Arunyopanishad,
 Kundikopanishad, Maitreyopanishad and Sanyasopanishad).

The Krishna Yajur Veda accounts for the following three Upanishads:
 Avadhutopanishad, Katharudropanishad
and Brahmopanishad. The largest group of Sanyasopanishads belong to the 
Sukla Yajur Veda given to us by Yajnavalkya , after he learnt it from Aditya .
He had 
to return the Krishna  Yajur Veda back to his Acharya Vaisampaayana as a result
of an angy dispute between the teacher and the student. These SIX  Sukla Yajur 
Veda Upanishads are : Jabalopanishad, Paramahamsopanishad, Bhikshukopanishad,
Yajnavalkyopanishad, Satyayaniopanishad and Turiyatitopanishad. The Atharva Veda

claims the three remaining Upanishads: Narada Parivrajakopanishad , 
Parabrahmopanishad and Paramahamsa Parivrajakopanishad.

The message contained in the famous passage in Avadhutopanishad as an
echo from another famous Upanishad is : " Not by Rituals (Karmanaa),
not by progeny(Prajaya) , not by wealth (Dhanena), BUT by Renunciation
(Thyagenaiva)  ALONE a few attain immortality." This message is a summary of 
the passage in Mundaka (One with Shaven head) Upanishad: " But those, who 
in purity and faith live in thesolitude of the forest, Who have wisdom
and peace and long not  for earthly possessions , those in radiant
purity pass through the gates of the SUN to the dwelling place of 
the Supreme ." 

The Upanishads talk about the 6 Stages of Sanyasa : Kutichaka
(hut dweller ) , Bhaudaka (Mendicant monk), Hamsa , Paramahamsa,
Turiyatita and Avadhuta . The last stage of Avadhuta is considered as 
the highest stage. The rules and regulations on the need for sacred thread,
Kamnadalu, Ochre Cloth, Tri or Eka Danda , the Mantras are spelled out.
The Praisha mantras to be recited at the stage of entering Sanyas is 
pointed out. The rules, eligibility for  Apat Sanyasa under emergencies such as
 those faced by Adi Sankara, Narayana Theertha 
of Krishna Leela Tarangini fame as well as the  Atura sanyasa taken
for instance by  Sri Ramanuja are described. 

The Narada Parivrajakopanishad is the Longest one with 9 Upadesams and 
more than 300 mantras. This Upanishad has enormous details on the Vyashti 
and Samashti Pranavam, since the Veda Pranavam of Om is considered 
the most important mantra to recite and reflect upon.

I would  appreciate any information on the availability of the Vishitadvaitic
commentary on these Upanishads by Periya Jeeyar or others..