By Swami Harshananda
It starts with an oft-quoted statement that it is the mind that is responsible for either bondage or liberation. When it is attached to the sense objects it leads to bondage; when freed from the same, it leads to liberation. Hence it should be free from the bondage of sense-life.
It then delineates the process of meditation by which the mind is bereft of sense-attachments fixed in the region of the heart on Brahman. Meditation on Brahman can be practiced first through the sound of Om, and then directly. This is followed by an exposition of Brahman-ātman with the usual adjectives like niṣkalam (partless), nirañjanam (stainless), aprameyam (immeasurable) and so on. Then the Upaniṣad describes how Brahman, the one without a second, appears as many, with the simile of moon and its reflections in water, and, the sky and pots. It puts forth the theory of two kinds of knowledge
- Sabda-Brahman - It is the Vedas and their branches.
- Para-Brahman - It has to be realized through contemplation.
This contemplation is likened to the process of churning milk to get butter, or churning the pieces of araṇi to get fire. The Upaniṣad ends with a statement of the jñānī, a man of realization, reflecting on his realization of his identity with Brahman. It is interesting to note that there is another Upaniṣad called Brahmabindu Upanisad which is almost identical with this Upaniṣad.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore