Query from a seeker
Respected Swami Ji,
I listen to your discourse on Mundak Upanishad every morning and like it very much. I have tried to know the meaning of the title. I don't find it in any of the books. They just start off with the teaching.
Kindly help. Thanking you,
Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha Ji's response:
Here is the brief explanation:
"Mundaka" means: a shaven headed (a Sannyaasin); the trunk of a tree with the branches chopped off ; a barber.
One interpretation is that this Upanishad is meant for the Sannyaasins or will make one a Sannyaasin.
The inner meaning is: The hairs seen from outside exist on the scalp but they cover up the scalp. Like that, this world variety appears on the "substratum" called Consciousness but covers the Consciousness. Mundakopanishad removes the cover of world variety (ignorance of multiplicity/fragmentation) and exposes the One Consciousness, the Substratum, the Reality.
As such, the word "Upanishad" also means (upa+ni+sad) "the nearness or assimilation of which removes completely the ignorance".
Of course, there could be other interpretations also.