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Kena Upanishad Madhva Bhashya – Interpretation By Madhvacharya

Kena Upanishad Madhva bhashya is the interpretation of Kena Upanishad by Madhvacharya.

According to Madhvacharya (also known as Ananda Tirtha – 1197 – 1280 CE), founder of the Dvaita School (Dualistic School) of Hindu philosophy, Brahman is sarva-preraka (induces action) and purna (complete) in itself.

In Kena Upanishad, Sadashiva approaches Chaturmukha on Mount Meru and poses three questions: Who directs the mind which runs after things good and bad? Who directs the senses like eyes, ears, etc? At whose behest do men speak?

Chaturmukha explains that is Bhagavan Vishnu who has given the power of seeing to the eyes, power of hearing to the ears, power of thinking to the mind, and finally the power of prana to direct all these. It is impossible to know him completely because of his infiniteness.

No one knows how he directs the mind, senses, and so on. If anyone claims that he knows Brahman, he knows nothing. If a person thinks that Brahman is infinite, and that he knows almost nothing about him, such a person knows Brahman only a little.

Parabrahman is neither too much known nor totally unknown. He is always closest to the jivatman (individual soul) and directs all this activities. He is the controller of devas (effulgent ones), what to speak of others? Every function in jivatman emanates at the will of Vishnu (Brahman).

Kena Upanishad has a dedicated episode in support of this. Once when the devas and asuras fought, God empowered the devas and secured their victory. The devas thought that victory was earned by their own might and felt very proud. Vishnu thought of correcting their false impression. He appeared before devas as a yaksha (venerable being) and asked Agni (Fire; jataveda), Vayu (Air; matarisva or that which travels), and Indra, one by one, to demonstrate their strength, and each one of them failed miserably. Then the yaksha suddenly disappeared.

At that very place, Goddess Parvati (Uma Haimavati) appeared. Indra inquired from her about the yaksha who disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared. Uma said He was that Parabrahman who made the devas victorious in battle.

The Upanishad emphasizes that Hari should be the object of meditation. One should try to know Parabrahman through Vedas and by following a Vedic code of conduct. Then one will be free from sins and finally get liberated and reach the abode of Vishnu.