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Gist of the Hamsa Upanishad

Judicious is the goose mystery of yogis. (Cf Deussen 1980, 718)

The Sanskrit word hamsa "means any kind of goose or duck", tells Frederick Pargiter. (1904, 30n).

The Teachings

The Hamsa Upanishad tells how to awaken the heavenly goose (or duck or swan) that shines of its own within oneself.

The individual soul is called a goose (Hamsa).

The individual soul (hansa) is also the highest soul (paramhansa) at times.

Sri Brahmananda Saraswati does not recommend repetition of OM for any householders. For them, meditation on OM "does not give good effects, it will be responsible for decline and misfortune," he says. However, householders may benefit from other mantras to meditate on; they are used in TM (Transcendental Meditation). Sri Brahmananda was the Shankaracharya of Northern India. (Mason 2009, 323-24).

Here is an official statement from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

Meditation is considered to be safe for healthy people. There have been rare reports that meditation could cause or worsen symptoms in people who have certain psychiatric problems, but this question has not been fully researched. [WP, "Research on meditation"]

Dr. Jaan Suurküla made encouraging research on TM in Sweden:

As early as in the 1970s, the Swedish government's National Health Board conducted a nationwide epidemiological study that found that hospital admissions for psychiatric care were 150-200 times less common among the 35,000 people practicing Transcendental Meditation in Sweden, than for the population as a whole. The calculation was made by Professor Jan-Otto Ottoson, Scientific counsellor of the National Health Board in Sweden (Surküla, University of Gothenburg, Vasa Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, 1977.)

Source: Paper 127: Jaan Suurküla. "The Transcendental Meditation Technique and the Prevention of Psychiatric Illness." Vasa Hospital, University of Gothenburg, Sweden - Paper prepared in May 1977.

TM has since become accepted for other research findings also [◦TM site] "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," is an old proverb. There is also a Wikipedia article named "Transcendental Meditation research", with a cavalcade of information from various studies. The findings have these topics:

  1. Health outcomes
  2. Mental functioning
  3. Criminal rehabilitation, addiction
  4. Effects on the brain (EEG) (MR is much promising too)
  5. Effects on the physiology
  6. Contraindications. Individuals with moderate symptoms of mental illness have been observed to benefit from the practice of TM.
  7. Research quality: It varies.
  8. Research funding and promotion: Much public funding in the U.S.A.

From the Hamsa Upanishad

Gautama spake:

The awakening of the Brahman-lore,
Which is familiar with all duties,
Which comprises the content of all texts,
Through what, sir, is it effected?

Sanatsujata spake:

. . .

Indescribable . . .
Is the mystery of the Yogins;
Which spreads out the path before the Hamsa,
Bestows joy and the fruit of liberation.

. . . power to disappear
And a clear-seeing eye divine
. . .

[Source: Deussen 1980, 717-21]


Duck mysteries, goose mysteries, Hamsa Upanishad, Hansa upanisad, Literature  

Deussen, Paul, trans. Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Vols 1-2. Varanasi: Banarsidass, 1980.

Mason, Paul. 108 Discourses of Guru Dev: The Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath (1941-53). Vol 1. Penzance, Cornwall: Premanand, 2009.

Pargiter, Frederick Eden, tr. Markandeya Purana. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1904.

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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