The Brahman Is the Source and Upholder of All That Exists

The Mundaka Upanishad next shows the connecting link for our minds between the Supreme Brahman and the manifested universe, both on an individual and on a cosmic basis:  Ultimately, there is no duality, as everything that we experience, and all that exists is both born from, and upheld in existence by, the Brahman:

Sri Aurobindo translates Chapter 2, Section 1, Verse 3 of the Mundaka Upanishad:  “Life and mind and the senses are born from Him and the sky, and the wind, and light, and the waters and earth upholding all that is.”

Life, mind and senses represent the internal reality experienced by the individual, while sky, wind, light, waters and earth represent the elements or building-blocks of the external reality experienced by the individual.

The Brahman is at once the golden womb of creation (hiranyagarbha) and Supreme beyond the creation.  The Brahman contains, creates through his concentrated conscious force, tapas, sustains and destroys all these forms.   The Brahman is not bound by these forms, yet they are nothing other than the Brahman.

The Rishis frequently refer to various examples, such as a jar that is formed out of clay, created from earth but taking on a form through the action of conscious intelligence and application of energy.  At some point the jar dissolves back into the earth from which it arose.  It is a transitory form of earth that serves its purpose, has its significance, and then returns once again to its undifferentiated form of earth, to be re-cast into a new form hereafter.  The earth from which the jar is created is not limited or bound by the jar — it continues to exist independently and beyond the existence of the specific jar.  In a similar way, all the names, and forms and circumstances of life arise from the golden womb of creation, under the power of manifestation of Brahman, without limiting or circumscribing the Brahman whatsoever due to the existence of the transitory forms.


Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Mundaka Upanishad, pp. 193-210
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