- Kena Upanishad
- The Kena Upanishad or “By Whom [Kena] Upa-nishad,” takes its name from its first words, which ask the question, Who impels mind, breath and speech? Its subsidiary name, the Talavakara Upa-nishad, is from the Talavakara BRAHMANA of the SAMA VEDA, in which this Upanishad is sometimes found. The answer to the initial question is found in the second stanza: “That which is the hearing of the ear, the thought of the mind, the voice of speech and also the breathing of breath, and the sight of the eye” is the thing by which everything comes about.This short Upanishad, with about 34 stanzas, tells a story (vss. 14–28) about the gods’ first encounter with the BRAHMAN. They approached the unknown being to see whether they could overpower it, but all were defeated. INDRA himself could not overcome it, but on his way back the goddess Uma told him that the being was brah-man. He passed on this information to the rest of the gods, and was recognized as the greatest of the gods because of this knowledge. Uma somehow does not get the credit.Further reading: Sri Aurobindo, Kena Upanishad (Pon-dicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1952); S. Radhakrish-nan, The Principal Upanishads (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1994).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.