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Know Thyself: Knowing the supreme through union

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Continuing to depict duality, the two opposites, that originates from one existing in the supreme unity, the Upanishad says: Ahoratro Vai Prajapati.

It says day and night is verily lords of creation. The day indeed is life and night is matter. Those who have intercourse by day, spill their life (prana) and those who have intercourse by night are chaste indeed. This is interesting.

Praanam vaa ete praskandanti. Ye divaa ratyaa sanyujyante brahmacharyamev tadyadraatrau ratyaa sanyujyante.

It means, Brahmacharya is not complete abstinence from sex, but control of sex. The Prasnopanishad declares that those who have sexual intercourse by day are not chaste because they spill their prana. Those who have sexual intercourse by night are chaste indeed. It means there must be a certain control of energies, not complete abstinence, because the Upanishads, despite their exultation of celibacy, recognises the value of married life. Most of the Rishis were married.

From here, the Upanishad proceeds saying:

Annam Vai Prajapatihi

Food is indeed the lord of creation. From food comes the vital material required for reproduction and from this, creatures are born. The Upanishad talks of the exalted, untouchable, unreachable spiritual being and then, brings it down to the ordinary level of day-to-day things, thus blending them. While admitting that the Supreme Brahman is absolute, it also says that the Supreme Brahman, in this case, as far as existence is concerned, manifests itself as food.

Food indeed is the lord of creation for from this verily is semen created. From this semen, all creatures are born. Therefore, respect your food. Annam Brahma–Food is a manifestation of the Brahman, a truth reflected also in other Upanishads.


Why? This is so because food indeed is lord of creation.

Annam Vai Prajapati Stato Ha Vai Tad Retas Tasmad Imaah Prajaah Prajaayant Iti.

Food indeed is the lord of creation for from this verily is semen created. From this semen, all creatures are born. Therefore, respect your food. Annam Brahma–Food is a manifestation of the Brahman, a truth reflected also in other Upanishads.

Tadye Ha Vai Tat Prajaapati Vratam Charanti Te Mithunam Utpaadayante. Tesham Eva Isa Brahmaloko Yesham Tapo Brahmacaryam Yesu Satyam Pratisthtitam

It then says, those who practice this rule of the lord of creation, those who understand the value of celibacy, as well as the value of creation, those who practice the rules by which they know how to control and use their energies at the proper time in the proper direction, they produce couples. This Brahmaloka, Brahma’s world of creation, in which austerity, chastity and truth are established, are for them alone.

So, the seers of the Upanishads see the great beauty and natural innocence in the sexual life and parental love, linking it to the deeper and higher energies of the cosmos.

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