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Dwa Suparna Sayuja Sakhaya: Parable of two birds (Jiva+Atman)

Birds

A parable of two birds dwelling on the same tree (body), one represents the mind-aggregate, the other the Consciousness (supreme Brahman).  Mind hops around looking for pleasures in the world, while joyed at encounter with pleasures and disappointed with the pains. 

The mind hops around without stability ultimately resulting in sorrow. Only if the Mind stills and looks at the Atman, all its sorrows will be gone forever.

The other bird is the Supreme Brahman itself.

Lyrics in Sanskrit:

द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वृक्षं परिषस्वजाते।

तयोरन्य: पिप्पलं स्वाद्वत्त्यनश्नन्नन्यो अभिचाकशीति॥

समाने वृक्षे पुरुषों निमग्नोऽनाशया शोचति मुह्यमान:।

जुष्टं यदा पश्यत्यन्यमीशमस्य महिमानमिति वीतशोक:॥

यदा पश्य: पश्यते रुक्मवर्णं कर्तारमीशं पुरुषं ब्रह्मयोनिम्।

तदा विद्वान्पुण्यपापे विधूय निरंजन: परमं साम्यमुपैति॥

Lyrics in English:

Dwa Suparna Sayuja Sakhaya Samanam Vriksam Pariswajate

Tayor anyah pippalam swadu atti, anashnan anyo abhijakashiti. - Mundaka Upanishad 3.1:1

Samane vrikshe purusho nimagno 'nishaya shocati muhyamanah

Jushtam yada pashyati anyam isham asya mahimanam iti vita-shokah - Mundaka Upanishad 3.1:2

Yada pashyah pashyate rukma-varnam kartaram isham purusham brahma-yonim

Tada vidvan punya-pape vidhuya niranjanah paramam samyam upaiti - Mundaka Upanishad 3.1:3

Meaning in English:

Two birds living together, each the friend of the other, perch upon the same tree

Of these two, one eats the fruits of the tree, but the other simply looks on without eating.

Although the two birds are on the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness.

If in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord, at once the suffering bird becomes free of all anxieties

One who sees the golden colored bird, the Lord, the actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, is liberated.

Such a person becomes wise. He becomes free of both pious and sinful karmic reactions. He becomes pure. He attains a spiritual form like that of the Lord Himself.


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