The Mudgala Upanishad is one of the ancient scriptures of Hinduism that reveals the secrets of the Purusha Sukta, a hymn from the Rigveda that describes the cosmic being, Purusha, who is identified with Narayana, the supreme lord of Vaishnavism. In this blog post, we will explore the main teachings of this Upanishad and how they can help us attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
What is the Mudgala Upanishad?
The Mudgala Upanishad is a Samanya Upanishad, meaning that it is not attached to any particular branch or school of Hindu philosophy. It is part of the Rigveda, one of the four Vedas, which are the oldest and most authoritative scriptures of Hinduism. The Upanishad is named after the sage Mudgala, who is also mentioned in the Mahabharata as a virtuous and wise king who refused to go to heaven because he preferred to remain in a state of moksha, or liberation. ¹
The Upanishad consists of four chapters, each containing nine verses. The first chapter introduces the concept of Purusha, the cosmic being who is the source and essence of everything. The second chapter explains how Purusha manifests himself as Narayana, the supreme lord who creates and sustains the universe. The third chapter describes how Narayana becomes the Atman, or soul, in every living being and how he can be realized through devotion and meditation. The fourth chapter concludes with a summary of the benefits of knowing Narayana as Purusha and Atman.
What are the main teachings of the Mudgala Upanishad?
The main teachings of the Mudgala Upanishad can be summarized as follows:
- Purusha is the supreme reality, beyond all attributes and limitations. He is eternal, infinite, blissful, and self-luminous. He is also called Brahman, the absolute truth.
- Narayana is the personal aspect of Purusha, who manifests himself in various forms and names. He is also called Vishnu, Hari, Madhava, Perumal, Krishna, and other epithets. He is the creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe. He is also the protector and benefactor of his devotees.
- Atman is the individual soul, which is nothing but a reflection of Purusha in the body-mind complex. It is also called Jiva, or living being. It is subject to ignorance, bondage, and suffering due to its identification with the body-mind complex.
- Moksha is the liberation from ignorance, bondage, and suffering. It is achieved by realizing one’s true nature as Purusha-Narayana-Atman. It is also called Kaivalya, or absolute oneness.
- Bhakti is the devotion to Narayana as Purusha and Atman. It is also called Dharma, or righteous duty. It involves worshiping Narayana with love, faith, and surrender. It also involves serving Narayana in all beings with compassion and generosity.
- Jnana is the knowledge of Narayana as Purusha and Atman. It is also called Vidya, or wisdom. It involves meditating on Narayana with concentration, discrimination, and detachment. It also involves studying and contemplating on Narayana’s scriptures and teachings.
How can we apply the teachings of the Mudgala Upanishad in our lives?
The teachings of the Mudgala Upanishad can help us attain liberation through Narayana by following these steps:
- Recognize that we are not our body-mind complex, but we are Purusha-Narayana-Atman.
- Worship Narayana with love and devotion in his various forms and names.
- Serve Narayana in all beings with compassion and generosity.
- Meditate on Narayana with concentration, discrimination, and detachment.
- Study and contemplate on Narayana’s scriptures and teachings.
- Seek guidance from Narayana’s saints and sages.
- Surrender to Narayana’s will and grace.
By doing so, we will gradually overcome our ignorance, bondage, and suffering and realize our true nature as Purusha-Narayana-Atman. We will experience bliss, peace, and freedom in this life and beyond.
(1) Mudgala Upanishad – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudgala_Upanishad
(2) Mudgala – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudgala
(3) Mudgala Upanishad – Vyasa Mahabharata. https://www.vyasaonline.com/mudgala-upanishad/
(4) Narayana – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narayana
(5) Welcome To Narayana Group. https://www.narayanagroup.com/
(6) Om Namo Narayanaya – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Om_Namo_Narayanaya