4). Qualities of Brahman – Totally Still but Faster than mind !

Ishavasya Upanishad

अनेजद् एकं मनसो जवीयो नैनद्देवा आप्नुवन्पूर्वमर्षत् ।
तद्धावतोऽन्यानत्येति तिष्ठत् तस्मिन्न् अपो मातरिश्वा दधाति ॥ ४ ॥

anejad ekaṃ manaso javīyo nainaddevā āpnuvanpūrvamarṣat |
taddhāvato’nyānatyeti tiṣṭhat tasminn apo mātariśvā dadhāti || 4 ||

anejad – nonmoving (immobile), ekaṃ- one, manaso javīyo – faster than the mind.  Devah-  sense organs (Gods – consciousness of sense organs – shining ones),                   purvam arsat enat – always ahead of others, na apnuvan – could not overtake. tat tishtat – it is always still (always same); dhavatah anyan – others who move fast,                                 ati eti – leaves behind. tasminn – on this, matarishwa –  air /life force (prana) – lord who dwells in space,  apaha dhadati – supports all activities. 

Brahman is still, yet faster than the mind.  Sense organs (devas) cannot overtake Brahman since Brahman went even before them. Being still it outruns all other runners. It (Matarishva) supports the activities of all beings.

Q4-1). What is the essence of this sloka ? 

Brahman is beyond human mind and comprehension. Hence Brahman is devoid of any quality.  Even though Brahman is devoid of any qualities, nature of Brahman is explained in terms of manifestation.  Manifestation is expression of Brahman. Brahman is total stillness yet faster than the reach of the mind. There is no place where mind cannot reach. In this way, all pervasive nature of Brahman is explained.

Our mind can only think in terms of binary logic. If something is still – it cannot move. But Brahman is beyond mind. Brahman is beyond activity and inactivity. Brahman is unactive. Brahman is not inert like a stone. Hence by explaining Brahman in contradictory terms of stillness & motion, the sloka brings out the transcendental nature of Brahman.

Next four slokas are for pointing out nature of Brahman.

Q4-2). How can Brahman be still but  faster than the mind ? 

Brahman is stillness – motionless as compared to the world which is constantly changing and hence called jagat.  Stillness aspect of Brahman is highlighted to draw our attention to Brahman – our SELF (atma).

     Brahman is my SELF. Brahman is sat-chit-ananda (existance-consciousness-bliss).  Brahman is unmanifest, unborn and invisible. Being unmanifest Brahman is beyond grasp of mind. How can we know such Brahman ?

    Even though Brahman is beyond mind, we have intuitive understanding of Brahman all the time. Intuition is knowledge without intervention of reasoning ability of mind or sense organs. Whenever we refer “I am ” we are referring to SELF – Brahman only.  “I stands for consciousness – chit”; am stands for sat aspect of Brahman.

    I know I exist intuitively. Nobody has to prove me I exist and I am conscious.  In other wards, I am sat-chit. This aspect nobody has to educate me. Neither I need sense organs to prove that I exist.  For example if I am in dark room, if somebody asks me is there chair, I will say – “I cant see. There is no light” . However, if the question is are you there ? , the answer is definite “yes”. I don’t need light to know my existence.

        I exist, therefore I am able to think. Mind is nothing but thoughts. Hence existance comes first and thought comes later. Mind can travel faster than light but existance is there before the reach of the mind.  My SELF is existance – consciousness. Mind is only my expression. Hence,  ” I  am” is there even before mind travels.  “I am” is unmanifest. I am the SELF (atma).  “I am” is stillness. Hence the praradoxical statement that Brahman is still yet faster than the mind. In other words “Being (atma) is before thinking (mind)”

    This is quite contrary to the statement of the philosopher Descartes – ” I think therefore I am.”

    Upanishads teach “I am” therefore “I think”. My existence which is nothing but Brahman comes before the mind. I am never travels. It is total stillness. Unmanifest. Yet it is faster than the mind because of this reason.

Mind reaches out to any object near or far. We say – “Table exists. Chair exists”. The existence aspect of table or chair is expressed as “is ness”. The chair is, the table is … I am. ..

Brahman is in me as “I am” and in all the object of the universe as “is ness”. Hence all pervading reality of Brahman reaches anywhere before the mind.



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