On Mundaka Upanishad: What lies at the end of the story of knowledge

Acharya Prashant
14 min readMar 7, 2022

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

यः सर्वज्ञः सर्वविद्यस्यैष महिमा भुवि ।
दिव्येब्रह्मपुरे ह्येष व्योम्न्यात्मा प्रतिष्ठितः ॥

yaḥ sarvajñaḥ sarvavidyasyaiṣa mahimā bhuvi
divyebrahmapure hyeṣa vyomnyātmā pratiṣṭhitaḥ

The Omniscient, the All-wise, whose is this might and majesty upon the earth, is this Self enthroned in the divine city of the Brahman, in his ethereal heaven.

~ Verse 2.2.7

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Acharya Prashant (AP): The all-knowing, sarvajñaḥ, all-seeing, omniscient. “The omniscient, the all-wise,” sarvavid, “whose is the might and majesty upon earth” — whose writ runs large, who is above everything on this earth, whose value is the highest, who is the most majestic on this earth.

What is meant when it is said “who is the most majestic on this earth” or “who is the mightiest on this earth”? What is ‘this earth’ referring to? The consciousness of those inhabiting the earth. So, it is referring to the mind of man; it is not referring to trees or mountains or things like that.

“…is this Self,” the Ātman, “enthroned in the divine city of Brahman,” Brahmapuri, Ātman enthroned in Brahmapuri, “in his ethereal heaven,” in his mighty space, vyom.

No, dear ego, you do not know much. No, dear ego, you do not see much. Ātman is omniscient, Ātman is sarvajñaḥ, sarvavid; you are not. Have some humility. Don’t be so confident of yourself. That which you know of is just foolish, and the proof of that is that you continue to know much. Had you really known much, all your knowledge would have disappeared; you would have moved into a spontaneous sahajāta. That hardly requires any knowledge. But you continue to know much; you continue to live and operate from a point of knowledge, and that itself is sufficient to prove that you do not know much.

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