Translated by S. Radhakrishna
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 3.5
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 3.7
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 3.8
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4.5
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 5.1
- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 5.2
- Chandogya Upanishad
- Chandogya Upanishad 3.14
- Chandogya Upanishad 4.4
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.1
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.2
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.8
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.9
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.10
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.11
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.12
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.13
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.14
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.15
- Chandogya Upanishad 6.16
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.17
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.18
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.19
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.20
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.21
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.22
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.23
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.24
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.25
- Chandogya Upanishad 7.26
- Taittiriya Upanishad
- Isa Upanishad
- Kena Upanishad
- Katha Upanishad
- Katha Upanishad 1.1
- Katha Upanishad 1.2
- Katha Upanishad 1.3
- Katha Upanishad 2.1
- Katha Upanishad 2.2
- Katha Upanishad 2.3
- Mundaka Upanishad
- Mundaka Upanishad 1.1
- Mundaka Upanishad 1.2
- Mundaka Upanishad 2.1
- Mundaka Upanishad 2.2
- Mundaka Upanishad 3.1
- Mundaka Upanishad 3.2
- Mundaka Upanishad 1.1
- Svetasvatara Upanishad
- Svetasvatara Upanishad 1
- Svetasvatara Upanishad 2
- Svetasvatara Upanishad 3
- Svetasvatara Upanishad 4
- Svetasvatara Upanishad 5
- Svetasvatara Upanishad 6
- Maitri Upanishad
- Subala Upanishad
- Kaivalya Upanishad
- Vajrasucika Upanishad
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4
1. In the beginning this (world) was only the self, in the shape of a person. Looking around he saw nothing else than the self. He first said, ‘I am.’ Therefore arose the name of I. Therefore, even to this day when one is addressed he says first ‘This is I’ and then speaks whatever other name he may have. Because before all this, he burnt all evils, therefore he is a person. He who knows this, verily, burns up him who wishes to be before him.
2. He was afraid. Therefore one who is alone is afraid. This one then thought to himself, ‘since there is nothing else than myself, of what am I afraid?’ Thereupon his fear, verily, passed away, for, of what should he have been afraid? Assuredly it is from a second that fear arises.
3. He, verily, had no delight. Therefore he who is alone has no delight. He desired a second. He became as large as a woman and a man in close embrace. He caused that self to fall into two parts. From that arose husband and wife. Therefore, as Yajnavalkya used to say, this (body) is one half of oneself, like one of the two halves of a split pea. Therefore this space is filled by a wife. He became united with her. From that human beings were produced.
4. She thought, ‘How can he unite with me after having produced me from himself?’ Well, let me hide myself. She became a cow, the other became a bull and was united with her and from that cows were born. The one became a mare, the other a stallion. The one became a she-ass, the other a he-ass and was united with her; and from that one-hoofed animals were born. The one became a she-goat, the other a he-goat, the one became a ewe, the other became a ram and was united with her and from that goats and sheep were born. Thus, indeed, he produced everything whatever exists in pairs, down to the ants.
5. He knew, I indeed am this creation for I produced all this. Therefore he became the creation. He who knows this as such comes to be in that creation of his.
6. Then he rubbed back and forth and produced fire from its source, the mouth and the hands. Both these (mouth and the hands) are hairless on the inside for the source is hairless on the inside. When they (the people) say ‘sacrifice to him,’ ‘sacrifice to the other one,’ all this is his creation indeed and he himself is all the gods. And now whatever is moist, that he produced from semen, and that is Soma. This whole (world) is just food and the eater of food. Soma is food and fire is the eater of food. This is the highest creation of Brahma, namely, that he created the gods who are superior to him. He, although mortal himself, created the immortals. Therefore it is the highest creation. Verily, he who knows this becomes (a creator) in this highest creation.
7. At that time this (universe) was undifferentiated. It became differentiated by name and form (so that it is said) he has such a name, such a shape. Therefore even today this (universe) is differentiated by name and shape (so that it is said) he has such a name, such a shape. He (the self) entered in here even to the tips of the nails, as a razor is (hidden) in the razor-case, or as fire in the fire-source. Him they see not for (as seen) he is incomplete, when breathing he is called the vital force, when speaking voice, when seeing the eye, when hearing the ear, when thinking the mind. These are merely the names of his acts. He who meditates on one or another of them (aspects) he does not know for he is incomplete, with one or another of these (characteristics). The self is to be meditated upon for in it all these become one. This self is the foot-trace of all this, for by it one knows all this, just as one can find again by footprints (what was lost). He who knows this finds fame and praise.
8. That self is dearer than a son, is dearer than wealth, is dearer than everything else and is innermost. If one were to say to a person who speaks of anything else than the Self as dear, he will lose what he holds dear, he would very likely do so. One should meditate on the Self alone as dear. He who meditates on the self alone as dear, what he holds dear, verily, will not perish.
9. They say, since men think that, by the knowledge of Brahman, they become all, what, pray, was it that Brahman knew by which he became all?
10. Brahman, indeed, was this in the beginning. It knew itself only as ‘I am Brahman.’ Therefore it became all. Whoever among the gods became awakened to this, he, indeed, became that. It is the same in the case of seers, same in the case of men. Seeing this, indeed, the seer Vama-deva knew, ‘I was Manu and the Sun too.’ This is so even now. Whoever knows thus, ‘I am Brahman,’ becomes this all. Even the gods cannot prevent his becoming thus, for he becomes their self. So whoever worships another divinity (than his self) thinking that he is one and (Brahman) another, he knows not. He is like an animal to the gods. As many animals serve a man so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes displeasure, what should one say of many (animals)? Therefore it is not pleasing to those (gods) that men should know this.
11. Verily, in the beginning this (world) was Brahman, one only. That, being one, did not flourish. He created further an excellent form, the Ksatra power, even those who are Ksatras (rulers) among the gods, Indra, Varuna, Soma (Moon), Rudra, Parjanya, Yama, Mrtyu (Death), Isana. Therefore there is nothing higher than Ksatra. Therefore at the Rajasuya sacrifice the Brahmana sits below the Ksatriya. On Ksatrahood alone does he confer this honour. But the Brahmana is nevertheless the source of the Ksatra. Therefore, even if the king attains supremacy at the end of it, he resorts to the Brahmana as his source. Therefore he who injures the Brahmana strikes at his own source. He becomes more evil as he injures one who is superior.
12. Yet he did not flourish. He created the vis (the commonalty), these classes of gods who are designated in groups, the Vasus, Rudras, Adityas, Visvedevas and Maruts.
13. He did not still flourish. He created the Sudra order, as Pusan. Verily, this (earth) is Pusan (the nourisher), for she nourishes everything that is.
14. Yet he did not flourish. He created further an excellent form, justice. This is the power of the Ksatriya class, viz. justice. Therefore there is nothing higher than justice. So a weak man hopes (to defeat) a strong man by means of justice as one does through a king. Verily, that which is justice is truth. Therefore they say of a man who speaks the truth, he speaks justice or of a man who speaks justice that he speaks the truth. Verily, both these are the same.
15. So these (four orders were created) the Brahmana, the Ksatriya, the Vaisya and the Sudra. Among the gods that Brahma existed as Fire, among men as Brahmana, as a Ksatriya by means of the (divine) Ksatriya, as a Vaisya by means of the (divine) Vaisya, as a Sudra by means of the (divine) Sudra. Therefore people desire a place among the gods through fire only, and among men as the Brahmana, for by these two forms (pre-eminently) Brahma existed. If anyone, however, departs from this world without seeing (knowing) his own world, it being unknown, does not protect him, as the Vedas unrecited or as a deed not done do not (protect him). Even if one performs a great and holy work, but without knowing this, that work of his is exhausted in the end. One should meditate only on the Self as his (true) world. The work of him who meditates on the Self alone as his world is not exhausted for, out of that very Self he creates whatsoever he desires.
16. Now this self, verily, is the world of all beings. In so far as he makes offerings and sacrifices, he becomes the world of the gods. In so far as he learns (the Vedas), he becomes the world of the seers. In so far as he offers libations to the fathers and desires offspring, he becomes the world of the fathers. In so far as he gives shelter and food to men, he becomes the world of men. In so far as he gives grass and water to the animals, he becomes the world of animals. In so far as beasts and birds, even to the ants find a living in his houses he becomes their world. Verily, as one wishes non-injury for his own world, so all beings wish non-injury for him who has this knowledge. This, indeed, is known and well investigated.
17. In the beginning this (world) was just the self, one only. He desired, ‘would that I had a wife, then I may have offspring. Would that I had wealth, then I would perform rites.’ This much indeed is the (range of) desire. Even if one wishes, one cannot get more than this. Therefore, to this day, a man who is single desires, ‘would that I had a wife, then I may have offspring. Would that I had wealth, then I would perform rites.’ So long as he does not obtain each one of these, he thinks himself to be incomplete. Now his completeness (is as follows), mind truly is his self, speech his wife, breath is his offspring, the eye is his human wealth, for he finds it with the eye, the ear his divine wealth, for he hears it with his ear. The body, indeed, is his work, for with his body he performs work. So this sacrifice is fivefold, fivefold is the animal, fivefold is the person, fivefold is all this world, whatever there is. He who knows this as such obtains all this.
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4
1. ‘Maitreyi,’ said Yajnavalkya, ‘verily, I am about to go forth from this state (of householder). Look, let me make a final settlement between you and that Katyayani.’
2. Then said Maitreyi: ‘If, indeed, Venerable Sir, this whole earth filled with wealth were mine, would I be immortal through that?’ ‘No,’ said Yajnavalkya: ‘Like the life of the rich even so would your life be. Of immortality, however, there is no hope through wealth.’
3. Then Maitreyi said: ‘What should I do with that by which I do not become immortal? Tell me that, indeed, Venerable Sir, of what you know (of the way to immortality).’
4. Then Yajnavalkya said: ‘Ah, dear, you have been dear (even before), and you (now) speak dear words. Come, sit down, I will explain to you. Even as I am explaining reflect (on what I say).’
5. Then he said: ‘Verily, not for the sake of the husband is the husband dear but a husband is dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of the wife is the wife dear but a wife is dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of the sons are the sons dear but the sons are dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of wealth is wealth dear but wealth is dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of Brahminhood is brahminhood dear but brahminhood is dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of ksatriyahood is ksatriyahood dear but ksatriyahood is dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of the worlds are the worlds dear but the worlds are dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of the gods are the gods dear but the gods are dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of the beings are the beings dear but the beings are dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, not for the sake of all is all dear but all is dear for the sake of the Self. Verily, O Maitreyi, it is the Self that should be seen, heard of, reflected on and meditated upon. Verily, by the seeing of, by the hearing of, by the thinking of, by the understanding of the Self, all this is known.
6. ‘The Brahmana ignores one who knows him as different from the Self. The Ksatriya ignores one who knows him as different from the Self. The worlds ignore one who knows them as different from the Self. The gods ignore one who knows them as different from the Self. The beings ignore one who knows them as different from the Self. All ignores one who knows it as different from the Self. This Brahmana, this Ksatriya, these worlds, these gods, these beings and this all are this Self.
7. ‘As when a drum is beaten, one is not able to grasp the external sounds, but by grasping the drum or the beater of the drum the sound is grasped.
8. ‘As when a conch is blown, one is not able to grasp its external sounds, but by grasping the conch or the blower of the conch the sound is grasped.
9. ‘As when a vina (lute) is played, one is not able to grasp its external sounds, but by grasping the vina or the player of the vina the sound is grasped.
10. ‘As from a lighted fire laid with damp fuel, various (clouds of) smoke issue forth, even so, my dear, the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, Atharvangirasa, history, ancient lore, sciences, Upanishads, verses, aphorisms, explanations and commentaries. From this, indeed, are all these breathed forth.
11. ‘As the ocean is the one goal (uniting place) of all waters, as the skin is the one goal of all kinds of touch, as the nostrils are the one goal of all smells, as the tongue is the one goal of all tastes, as the eye is the one goal of all forms, as the ear is the one goal of all sounds, as the mind is the one goal of all determinations, as the heart is the one goal of all forms of knowledge, as the hands are the one goal of all acts, as the organ of generation is the one goal of all kinds of enjoyment, as the excretory organ is the one goal of all evacuations, as the feet are the one goal of all movements, as speech is the one goal of all Vedas.
12. ‘As a lump of salt thrown in water becomes dissolved in water and there would not be any of it to seize forth as it were, but wherever one may take it is salty indeed, so, verily, this great being, infinite, limitless, consists of nothing but knowledge. Arising from out of these elements one vanishes away into them. When he has departed there is no more knowledge. This is what I say, my dear’: so said Yajnavalkya.
13. Then said Maitreyi: ‘In this, indeed, you have bewildered me, Venerable Sir, by saying that, “when he has departed there is no more knowledge.”‘ Then Yajnavalkya said: ‘Certainly I am not saying anything bewildering. This is enough for knowledge (or understanding).’
14. ‘For where there is duality as it were, there one smells another, there one sees another, there one hears another, there one speaks to another, there one thinks of another, there one understands another. Where, verily, everything has become the Self, then by what and whom should one smell, then by what and whom should one see, then by what and whom should one hear, then by what and to whom should one speak, then by what and on whom should one think, then by what and whom should one understand? By what should one know that by which all this is known? By what, my dear, should one know the knower?’
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 3.5
1. Now Kahola Kausitakeya asked him, ‘Yajnavalkya,’ said he, ‘explain to me the Brahman that is immediately present and directly perceived, that is the self in all things.’ ‘This is your self which is in all things,’ ‘Which is within all things, Yajnavalkya.’ ‘It is that which transcends hunger and thirst, sorrow and delusion, old age and death. The Brahmanas, having known that self, having overcome the desire for sons, the desire for wealth, the desire for worlds, live the life of mendicants. That which is the desire for sons is the desire for wealth; that which is the desire for wealth is the desire for the worlds for both these are but desires. Therefore let a Brahmana, after he has done with learning, desire to live as a child. When he has done (both) with the state of childhood and with learning, then he becomes silent meditator. Having done with (both) the non-meditative and the meditative states, then he becomes a Brahmana (a knower of Brahman).’ ‘How does the Brahmana behave?’ ‘Howsoever he may behave, he is such indeed. Everything else is of evil.’ Thereupon Kahola Kausitakeya kept silent.
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 3.7
1. Then Uddalaka Aruni asked him, ‘Yajnavalkya,’ said he, ‘we lived in the house of Patancala Kapya among the Madras, studying the scriptures on the sacrifices. He had a wife who was possessed by a gandharva. We asked him, “Who are you?” He said, “I am Kabandha Atharvana.” He said to Patancala Kapya and those who studied the scriptures on the sacrifices, “Do you know, O Kapya, that thread by which this world, the other world and all beings are held together?” Patancala Kapya said: “I do not know it, Venerable Sir.” He said to Patancala Kapya and those who studied the scriptures on the sacrifices: “Do you know, Kapya, that inner controller from within who controls this world and the next and all things.” Patancala Kapya said, “I do not know it, Venerable Sir.” He said to Patancala Kapya and those who studied the scriptures on the sacrifices. “He who knows that thread, O Kapya, and that inner controller, indeed knows Brahman, he knows the worlds, he knows the gods, he knows the Vedas, he knows beings, he knows the self, he knows everything.” Thus he explained it to them. I know it. If you, Yajnavalkya, do not know that thread, that inner controller and still take away the cows that belong only to the knowers of Brahman, your head will fall off.’ ‘I know, O Gautama, that thread and that inner controller.’ ‘Anyone might say, “I know, I know.” Tell us what you know.’
2. He said, ‘Air, verily, O Gautama, is that thread. By air, verily, O Gautama, as by a thread this world, the other world and all beings are held together. Therefore, verily, O Gautama, they say of a person who dies that his limbs have been loosened, for they are held together, O Gautama, by air as by a thread.’ ‘Quite so, Yajnavalkya, describe the inner controller.’
3. (Yajnavalkya said,) ‘He who dwells in the earth, yet is within the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, who controls the earth from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
4. ‘He who dwells in the water, yet is within the water, whom the water does not know, whose body the water is, who controls the water from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
5. ‘He who dwells in the fire, yet is within the fire, whom the fire does not know, whose body the fire is, who controls the fire from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
6. ‘He who dwells in the sky, yet is within the sky, whom the sky does not know, whose body the sky is, who controls the sky from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
7. ‘He who dwells in the air, yet is within the air, whom the air does not know, whose body the air is, who controls the air from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
8. ‘He who dwells in the heaven, yet is within the heaven, whom the heaven does not know, whose body the heaven is, who controls the heaven from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
9. ‘He who dwells in the sun, yet is within the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is, who controls the sun from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
10. ‘He who dwells in the quarters (of space), yet is within the quarters, whom the quarters do not know, whose body the quarters are, who controls the quarters from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
11. ‘He who dwells in the moon and the stars, yet is within the moon and the stars, whom the moon and the stars do not know, whose body the moon and the stars are, who controls the moon and the stars from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
12. ‘He who dwells in the ether, yet is within the ether, whom the ether does not know, whose body the ether is, who controls the ether from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
13. ‘He who dwells in the darkness, yet is within the darkness, whom the darkness does not know, whose body the darkness is, who controls the darkness from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
14. ‘He who dwells in the light, yet is within the light, whom the light does not know, whose body the light is, who controls the light from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal. Thus far with reference to the divinities. Now with reference to beings.’
15. ‘He who dwells in all beings, yet is within all beings, whom no beings know, whose body is all beings, who controls all beings from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal. Thus far with reference to the beings. Now with reference to the self.’
16. ‘He who dwells in the breath, yet is within the breath, whom the breath does not know, whose body the breath is, who controls the breath from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
17. ‘He who dwells in (the organ of) speech, yet is within speech, whom speech does not know, whose body speech is, who controls speech from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
18. ‘He who dwells in the eye, yet is within the eye, whom the eye does not know, whose body the eye is, who controls the eye from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
19. ‘He who dwells in the ear, yet is within the ear, whom the ear does not know, whose body the ear is, who controls the ear from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
20. ‘He who dwells in the mind, yet is within the mind, whom the mind does not know, whose body the mind is, who controls the mind from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
21. He who dwells in the skin, yet is within the skin, whom the skin does not know, whose body the skin is, who controls the skin from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
22. ‘He who dwells in the understanding, yet is within the understanding, whom the understanding does not know, whose body the understanding is, who controls the understanding from within, he is your self, the inner controller, the immortal.’
23. He who dwells in the semen, is other than the semen, whom the semen does not know, whose body the semen is, who controls the semen from within, that is your self, the inner controller, the immortal. He is never seen but is the seer, he is never heard but is the hearer. He is never perceived, but is the perceiver. He is never thought but is the thinker. There is no other seer but he, there is no other hearer but he, there is no other perceiver but he, there is no other thinker but he. He is your self, the inner controller, the immortal. Everything else is of evil. After that Uddalaka Aruni kept silent.
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 3.8
1. Then Vacaknavi said: ‘Venerable Brahmanas, I shall ask him two questions. If he answers me these, none of you can defeat him in arguments about Brahman.’ ‘Ask, Gargi.’
2. She said, ‘As a warrior son of the Kasis or the Videhas might rise up against you, having strung his unstrung bow and having taken in his hand two pointed foe-piercing arrows, even so, O Yajnavalkya, do I face you with two questions: Answer me these.’ ‘Ask, Gargi’ (said he).
3. She said: ‘That, O Yajnavalkya, of which they say, it is above the heaven, it is beneath the earth, that which is between these two, the heaven and the earth, that which the people call the past, the present and the future, across what is that woven, like warp and woof?’
4. He said: ‘That which is above the heaven, that which is beneath the earth, that which is between these two, heaven and earth, that which the people call the past, the present and the future, across space is that woven, like warp and woof.’
5. She said, ‘Adoration to you, Yajnavalkya, who have answered this question for me. Prepare yourself for the other.’ ‘Ask, Gargi.’
6. She said: ‘That, O Yajnavalkya, of which they say, it is above the heaven, it is beneath the earth, that which is between these two, the heaven and the earth, that which the people call the past, the present and the future, across what is that woven like warp and woof?’
7. He said: ‘That which is above the sky, that which is beneath the earth, that which is between these two, sky and earth, that which the people call the past, the present and the future, across space is that woven like warp and woof.’ ‘Across what is space woven like warp and woof?’
8. He said: ‘That, O Gargi, the knowers of Brahman, call the Imperishable. It is neither gross nor fine, neither short nor long, neither glowing red (like fire) nor adhesive (like water). (It is) neither shadow nor darkness, neither air nor space, unattached, without taste, without smell, without eyes, without ears, without voice, without mind, without radiance, without breath, without a mouth, without measure, having no within and no without. It eats nothing and no one eats it.’
9. ‘Verily, at the command of that Imperishable, O Gargi, the sun and the moon stand in their respective positions. At the command of that Imperishable, O Gargi, heaven and earth stand in their respective positions. At the command of that Imperishable, O Gargi, what are called moments, hours, days and nights, half-months, months, seasons, years stand in their respective positions. At the command of that Imperishable, O Gargi, some rivers flow to the east from the white (snowy) mountains, others to the west, in whatever direction each flows. By the command of that Imperishable, O Gargi, men praise those who give, the gods (are desirous of) the sacrificer and the fathers are desirous of the darvi offering.’
10. ‘Whosoever, O Gargi, in this world, without knowing this Imperishable performs sacrifices, worships, performs austerities for a thousand years, his work will have an end; whosoever, O Gargi, without knowing this Imperishable departs from this world, is pitiable. But, O Gargi, he who knowing the Imperishable departs from this world is a Brahmana (a knower of Brahman).’
11. ‘Verily, that Imperishable, O Gargi, is unseen but is the seer, is unheard but is the hearer, unthought but is the thinker, unknown but is the knower. There is no other seer but this, there is no other hearer but this, there is no other thinker but this, there is no other knower but this. By this Imperishable, O Gargi, is space woven like warp and woof.’
12. She said: ‘Venerable Brahmanas, you may think it a great thing if you get off from him though bowing to him. Not one of you will defeat him in arguments about Brahman.’ Thereupon (Gargi) Vacaknavi kept silent.
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3
1. Yajnavalkya came to Janaka (King) of Videha. He thought (to himself) ‘I will not talk.’ But when (once) Janaka (King) of Videha and Yajnavalkya discussed together at an agnihotra ceremony, Yajnavalkya granted the former a boon. He chose to ask any question he wished. He granted it to him. So (now) His Majesty first asked him.
2. ‘What light does a person here have? (What serves as the light for man?)’ ‘He has the light of the sun, Your Majesty,’ he said, ‘for with the sun indeed as the light, one sits, moves about, does one’s work and returns.’ ‘Just so, Yajnavalkya.’
3. ‘When the sun has set, Yajnavalkya, what light does a person here have?’ ‘The moon, indeed, is his light, for with the moon indeed as the light, one sits, moves about, does one’s work and returns.’ ‘Just so, Yajnavalkya.’
4. ‘When the sun has set, Yajnavalkya, and the moon has set, what light does a person here have?’ ‘The fire, indeed, is his light, for with the fire, indeed as the light, one sits, moves about, does one’s work and returns.’ ‘Just so, Yajnavalkya.’
5. ‘When the sun has set, Yajnavalkya, and the moon has set and the fire has gone out, what light does a person here have?’ ‘Speech, indeed, is his light for with speech, indeed, as the light, one sits, moves about, does one’s work and returns. Therefore, Your Majesty, even where one’s own hand is not discerned there when speech is uttered one goes towards it.’ ‘Just so, Yajnavalkya.’
6. ‘When the sun has set, Yajnavalkya, and the moon has set and the fire has gone out and speech has stopped, what light does a person here have?’ ‘The self, indeed, is his light,’ said he, ‘for with the self, indeed, as the light, one sits, moves about, does one’s work and returns.’
7. ‘Which is the self?’ ‘The person here who consists of knowledge among the senses, the light within the heart. He remaining the same, wanders along the two worlds seeming to think, seeming to move about. He on becoming asleep (getting into dream condition), transcends this world and the forms of death.
8. ‘Verily, this person, when he is born and obtains a body, becomes connected with evils. When he departs, on dying he leaves all evils behind.
9. ‘Verily, there are just two states of this person (the state of being in) this world and the state of being in the other world. There is an intermediate third state, that of being in sleep (dream). By standing in this intermediate state one sees both those states, of being in this world and of being in the other world. Now whatever the way is to the state of being in the other world, having obtained that way one sees both the evils (of this world) and the joys (of the other world). When he goes to sleep he takes along the material of this all-embracing world, himself tears it apart, himself builds it up; he sleeps (dreams) by his own brightness, by his own light. In that state the person becomes self-illuminated.
10. ‘There are no chariots there, nor animals to be yoked to them, no roads but he creates (projects from himself) chariots, animals to be yoked to them and roads. There are no joys there, no pleasures, no delights, but he creates joys, pleasures and delights. There are no tanks there, no lotus pools, no rivers, but he creates tanks, lotus-pools and rivers. He, indeed, is the agent (maker or creator).
11. ‘On this there are the following verses. Having struck down in sleep what belongs to the body, he himself sleepless looks down, on the sleeping (senses). Having taken to himself light he goes again to his place, the golden person, the lonely swan (the one spirit).
12. Guarding his low nest with the vital breath, the immortal moves out of the nest. That immortal one goes wherever he likes, the golden person, the lonely bird.
13. ‘In the state of dream going up and down, the god makes many forms for himself, now as it were enjoying himself in the company of women or laughing or even beholding fearful sights.
14. ‘Everyone sees his sport but himself no one ever sees. Therefore they say that one should not wake him (the sleeping person) suddenly; for it is difficult to cure if he does not get back (rightly to his body). Others, however, say that (the state of sleep) is just his waking state for whatever objects he sees when awake, those too, he sees, when asleep; (not so) for in the dream state the person is self-illuminated.’ Janaka said, ‘I give you a thousand (cows), Venerable Sir, please instruct me further, for the sake of my liberation.’
15. ‘After having tasted enjoyment in this state of deep sleep, after having roamed about and seen good and evil, he returns again as he came to the place from which he started (the place of sleep) to dream. Whatever he sees in that state, he is not followed (affected) by it for this person is not attached (to anything).’ (Janaka said) ‘Just so, Yajnavalkya, I give you a thousand (cows). Venerable Sir, please instruct me further, for the sake of my liberation.’
16. ‘After having tasted enjoyment in this state of dream, after having roamed about and seen good and evil, he returns again as he came to the place from which he started to the state of waking. Whatever he sees in that state he is not followed (affected) by it for this person is not attached (to anything).’ (Janaka said) ‘Just so, Yajnavalkya, I give you a thousand (cows). Venerable Sir, please instruct me further, for the sake of my liberation.’
17. ‘After having had enjoyment in this state of waking, after having roamed about and seen good and evil, he returns again as he came to the place from which he started, the state of dream (or that of deep sleep).
18. ‘Even as a large fish moves along both banks of a river, the hither and the further, so also this person moves along both these states, the state of dream (or sleep) and the state of waking.
19. ‘As a falcon or any other (swift) bird having flown around in the sky becomes weary, folds its wings and is borne down to its nest, even so this person hastens to that state (of self) where he desires no desires and sees no dream.
20. ‘In him, verily, are those channels called hita, which are as fine as a hair divided a thousandfold and filled with white, blue, yellow, green and red (fluids). Now when (he feels) as if he were being killed, as if he were being overpowered, as if he were pursued by an elephant, as if he were falling into a well, he thinks (imagines) through ignorance whatever fear he has seen (experienced) in the waking state. But when he thinks that he is a god, as it were, that he is a king, as it were, that I am all this, that is his highest world.
21. ‘This, verily, is his form which is free from craving, free from evils, free from fear. As a man when in the embrace of his beloved wife knows nothing without or within, so the person when in the embrace of the intelligent self knows nothing without or within. That, verily, is his form in which his desire is fulfilled, in which the self is his desire, in which he is without desire, free from any sorrow.
22. ‘There (in that state) a father is not a father, a mother is not a mother, the worlds are not the worlds, the gods are not the gods, the Vedas are not the Vedas. There a thief is not a thief, the murderer is not a murderer, a candala is not a candala, a paulkasa is not a paulkasa, a mendicant is not a mendicant, an ascetic is not an ascetic. He is not followed (affected) by good, he is not followed by evil for then he has passed beyond all the sorrows of the heart.
23. ‘Verily, when there (in the state of deep sleep) he does not see, he is, verily, seeing, though he does not see for there is no cessation of the seeing of a seer, because of the imperishability (of the seer). There is not, however, a second, nothing else separate from him that he could see.
24. ‘Verily, when there (in the state of deep sleep) he does not smell, he is, verily, smelling, though he does not smell for there is no cessation of the smelling of a smeller, because of the imperishability (of the smeller). There is not, however, a second, nothing else separate from him that he could smell.
25. ‘Verily, when there (in the state of deep sleep) he does not taste, he is, verily, tasting though he does not taste, for there is no cessation of the tasting of a taster, because of the imperishability (of the taster). There is not, however, a second, nothing else separate from him that he could taste.
26. ‘Verily, when there (in the state of deep sleep) he does not speak, he is, verily, speaking though he does not speak, for there is no cessation of the speaking of a speaker, because of the imperishability (of the speaker). There is not, however, a second, nothing else separate from him to which he could speak.
27. ‘Verily, when there (in the state of deep sleep) he does not hear, he is, verily, hearing, though he does not hear, for there is no cessation of the hearing of a hearer, because of the imperishability (of the hearer). There is not, however, a second, nothing else separate from him which he could hear.
28. ‘Verily, when there (in the state of deep sleep) he does not think, he is, verily, thinking, though he does not think, for there is no cessation of the thinking of a thinker, because of the imperishability (of the thinker). There is not, however, a second, nothing else separate from him of which he could think.
29. ‘Verily, when there (in the state of deep sleep) he does not touch, he is, verily, touching, though he does not touch, for there is no cessation of the touching of a toucher, because of the imperishability (of the toucher). There is not, however, a second, nothing else separate from him which he could touch.
30. ‘Verily, when there (in the state of deep sleep) he does not know, he is, verily, knowing though he does not know for there is no cessation of the knowing of a knower, because of the imperishability (of the knower). There is not, however, a second, nothing else separate from him which he could know.
31. ‘Verily, when there is, as it were, another there one might see the other, one might smell the other, one might taste the other, one might speak to the other, one might hear the other, one might think of the other, one might touch the other, one might know the other.
32. ‘He becomes (transparent) like water, one, the seer without duality. This is the world of Brahma, Your Majesty.’ Thus did Yajnavalkya instruct (Janaka): ‘This is his highest goal; this is his highest treasure; this is his highest world; this is his greatest bliss. On a particle of this very bliss other creatures live.’
33. ‘If one is healthy in body, wealthy, lord over others, lavishly provided with all human enjoyments, that is the highest bliss of men. This human bliss multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of the bliss for the fathers who have won their world. The bliss of these fathers who have won their world multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of the bliss of the gandharva world. The bliss of the gandharva world multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of the bliss of the gods by action, those who attain their divine status by (meritorious) action. The bliss of the gods by action multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of the bliss of the gods by birth as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, who is without sin and not overcome by desire. The bliss of the gods by birth multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of the bliss in the world of Praja-pati, as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, who is without sin and not overcome by desire. The bliss in the world of Praja-pati multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of the bliss in the world of Hiranyagarbha as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, who is without sin and not overcome by desire. This is the highest bliss. This is the world of Brahma, Your Majesty,’ said Yajnavalkya. (Janaka said) ‘I will give you, Venerable Sir, a thousand (cows) please instruct me further for the sake of my liberation.’ At this Yajnavalkya was afraid that this intelligent king should drive him to (the exposition of) the ends of his convictions.
34. ‘After having had enjoyment in this state of dream (or sleep), after having roamed about and seen good and evil, he returns again as he came to the place from which he started to the state of waking.
35. ‘Just as a heavily loaded cart moves creaking, even so the self in the body mounted by the self of intelligence moves creaking, when one is breathing with difficulty (i.e. when one is about to expire).
36. ‘When this (body) gets to thinness, whether he gets to thinness through old age or disease, just as a mango or a fig or a fruit of the peepul tree releases itself from its bond (gets detached from its stalk), even so this person frees himself from these limbs and returns again as he came to the place from which he started back to (new) life.
37. ‘Just as for a king who is coming, policemen, magistrates, chariot drivers, leaders of the village wait for him with food, drink and lodgings, saying, “here he comes, here he comes,” even so for him who knows this, all beings wait for him saying, “here comes Brahman, here he approaches.”‘
38. Just as policemen, magistrates, chariot-drivers, leaders of the village gather round a king who is departing, even so do all the breaths (or senses) gather round the self at the end, when one is breathing with difficulty (when he is about to die).
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4
1. ‘When this self gets to weakness, gets to confusedness, as it were, then the breaths gather round him. He takes to himself those particles of light and descends into the heart. When the person in the eye turns away, then he becomes non-knowing of forms.
2. ‘He is becoming one, he does not see, they say; he is becoming one, he does not smell, they say; he is becoming one, he does not taste, they say; he is becoming one, he does not speak, they say; he is becoming one, he does not hear, they say; he is becoming one, he does not think, they say; he is becoming one, he does not touch, they say; he is becoming one, he does not know, they say. The point of his heart becomes lighted up and by that light the self departs either through the eye or through the head or through other apertures of the body. And when he thus departs, life departs after him. And when life thus departs, all the vital breaths depart after it. He becomes one with intelligence. What has intelligence departs with him. His knowledge and his work take hold of him as also his past experience.
3. Just as a leech (or caterpillar) when it has come to the end of a blade of grass, after having made another approach (to another blade) draws itself together towards it, so does this self, after having thrown away this body, and dispelled ignorance, after having another approach (to another body) draw itself together (for making the transition to another body).
4. ‘And as a goldsmith, taking a piece of gold turns it into another, newer and more beautiful shape, even so does this self, after having thrown away this body and dispelled its ignorance, make unto himself another, newer and more beautiful shape like that of the fathers or of the gandharvas, or of the gods or of Praja-pati or of Brahma or of other beings.
5, ‘That self is, indeed, Brahman, consisting of (or identified with) the understanding, mind, life, sight, hearing, earth, water, air, ether, light and no light, desire and absence of desire, anger and absence of anger, righteousness and absence of righteousness and all things. This is what is meant by saying, (it) consists of this (what is perceived), consists of that (what is inferred). According as one acts, according as one behaves, so does he become. The doer of good becomes good, the doer of evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous by virtuous action, bad by bad action. Others, however, say that a person consists of desires. As is his desire so is his will; as is his will, so is the deed he does, whatever deed he does, that he attains.
6. ‘On this there is the following verse: “The object to which the mind is attached, the subtle self goes together with the deed, being attached to it alone. Exhausting the results of whatever works he did in this world he comes again from that world, to this world for (fresh) work.” This (is for) the man who desires. But the man who does not desire, he who is without desire, who is freed from desire, whose desire is satisfied, whose desire is the self; his breaths do not depart. Being Brahman he goes to Brahman.
7. ‘On this there is the following verse: “When all the desires that dwell in the heart are cast away, then does the mortal become immortal, then he attains Brahman here (in this very body).” Just as the slough of a snake lies on an anthill, dead, cast off, even so lies this body. But this disembodied, immortal life is Brahman only, is light indeed, Your Majesty.’ ‘I give you, Venerable Sir, a thousand cows,’ said Janaka (King) of Videha.
8. ‘On this there are the following verses: “The narrow ancient path which stretches far away, has been touched (found) by me, has been realised by me. By it, the wise, the knowers of Brahman go up to the heavenly world after the fall of this body, being freed (even while living).
9. ‘”On that path they say there is white, blue, yellow, green and red. That path was found by a Brahmana and by it goes the knower of Brahman, the doer of right and the shining one.”
10. ‘Into blind darkness enter they who worship ignorance; into greater darkness than that, as it were, they that delight in knowledge (enter).
11. ‘Those worlds covered with blind darkness are called joyless. To them after death go those people who have not knowledge, who are not awakened.
12. ‘If a person knows the self as “I am this,” then wishing what, and for desire of what should he suffer in the body?
13. ‘Whoever has found and has awakened to the self that has entered into this perilous inaccessible place (the body), he is the maker of the universe, for he is the maker of all. His is the world; indeed he is the world itself.
14. ‘Verily, while we are here we may know this: if (we know it) not we would be ignorant, great is the destruction. Those who know this become immortal while others go only to sorrow.
15. ‘If one clearly beholds him as the self, as God, as the lord of what has been and what will be, he does not shrink away from him.
16. ‘That in front of which the year revolves with its days; that the gods worship as the light of lights, as life immortal.
17. ‘That in which the five groups of five and space are established, that alone I regard as the self. Knowing that immortal Brahman I am immortal.
18. ‘They who know the life of life, the eye of the eye, the ear of the ear and the mind of the mind, they have realised the ancient primordial Brahman.
19. ‘Only by the mind is it to be perceived. In it there is no diversity. He goes from death to death, who sees in it, as it were, diversity.
20. ‘This indemonstrable and constant being can be realised as one only. The self is taintless, beyond space, unborn, great and constant.
21. ‘Let a wise Brahmana after knowing him alone, practice (the means to) wisdom. Let him not reflect on many words, for that is mere weariness of speech.
22. ‘Verily, he is the great unborn Self who is this (person) consisting of knowledge among the senses. In the space within the heart lies the controller of all, the lord of all, the ruler of all. He does not become greater by good works nor smaller by evil works. He is the bridge that serves as the boundary to keep the different worlds apart. Him the Brahmanas seek to know by the study of the Veda, by sacrifices, by gifts, by penance, by fasting. On knowing Him, in truth, one becomes an ascetic. Desiring Him only as their worlds, monks wander forth. Verily, because they know this, the ancient (sages) did not wish for offspring. What shall we do with offspring (they said), we who have attained this Self, this world. They, having risen above the desire for sons, the desire for wealth, the desire for worlds, led the life of a mendicant. For the desire for sons is the desire for wealth and the desire for wealth is the desire for worlds; both these are, indeed, desires only. This Self is (that which has been described as) not this, not this. He is incomprehensible for He is never comprehended. He is indestructible for He cannot be destroyed. He is unattached for He does not attach himself. He is unfettered, He does not suffer, He is not injured. Him (who knows this) these two (thoughts) do not overcome, for some reason he has done evil or for some reason he has done good. He overcomes both. What he has done or what he has not done does not burn (affect) him.
23. ‘This very (doctrine) has been expressed in the hymn. This eternal greatness of the knower of Brahman is not increased by work nor diminished. One should know the nature of that alone. Having found that, one is not tainted by evil action. Therefore he who knows it as such, having become calm, self-controlled, withdrawn, patient and collected sees the Self in his own self, sees all in the Self. Evil does not overcome him, he overcomes all evil. Evil does not burn (affect) him, he burns (consumes) all evil. Free from evil, free from taint, free from doubt he becomes a knower of Brahma. This is the world of Brahma, Your Majesty, you have attained it,’ said Yajnavalkya. Janaka (King) of Videha said, ‘Venerable Sir, I give you the (empire of) Videos and myself also to serve you.’
24. This is that great unborn Self, who is the eater of food and the giver of wealth. He who knows this obtains wealth.
25. This is that great unborn Self who is undecaying, undying, immortal, fearless, Brahman. Verily, Brahman is fearless. He who knows this becomes the fearless Brahman.
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4.5
1. Now then, Yajnavalkya had two wives, Maitreyi and Katyayani. Of these (two) Maitreyi was a discourser on Brahma-knowledge, while Katyayani possessed only such knowledge as women have. Now then, Yajnavalkya when he wished to get ready for another mode of life-
2. ‘Maitreyi,’ said Yajnavalkya, ‘lo, verily, I am getting away from this state (into the forest). Forsooth, let me make a settlement for you and that Katyayani.
3. Then said Maitreyi: ‘My Lord, if, indeed, this whole earth filled with wealth were mine, do I become immortal by it or not?’ ‘No,’ replied Yajnavalkya. ‘As the life of people who have plenty of things will your life be, but there is no hope of immortality through wealth.’
4. Then Maitreyi said: ‘What shall I do with that by which I do not become immortal? What you know (of the way to immortality), Venerable Sir, that, indeed explain to me.’
5. Then Yajnavalkya said: ‘You have been truly dear to me (even before), now you have increased your dearness. Therefore, if you wish, my dear, I will explain it to you. As I am expounding to you, seek to meditate on it.’
6. Then, he (Yajnavalkya) said: ‘Verily, not for the sake of the husband is the husband dear but for the sake of the Self is the husband dear. Verily, not for the sake of the wife is the wife dear but for the sake of the Self is the wife dear. Verily, not for the sake of the sons are the sons dear but for the sake of the Self are the sons dear. Verily, not for the sake of wealth is wealth dear but for the sake of the Self is wealth dear. Verily, not for the sake of the cattle are the cattle dear but for the sake of the Self are the cattle dear. Verily, not for the sake of the Brahmana is the Brahmana dear but for the sake of the Self is the Brahmana dear. Verily, not for the sake of the Ksatriya is the Ksatriya dear but for the sake of the Self is the Ksatriya dear. Verily, not for the sake of the worlds are the worlds dear but for the sake of the Self are the worlds dear. Verily, not for the sake of the gods are the gods dear but for the sake of the Self are the gods dear. Verily, not for the sake of the Vedas are the Vedas dear but for the sake of the Self are the Vedas dear. Verily not for the sake of the beings are the beings dear but for the sake of the Self are the beings dear. Verily, not for the sake of all is all dear but for the sake of the Self is all dear. Verily, the Self, Maitreyi, is to be seen, to be heard, to be reflected on, to be meditated upon; when, verily, the Self is seen, heard, reflected on and known, then all this is known.
7. Brahmanahood deserts him who knows Brahmanahood in anything else than the Self. Ksatriyahood deserts him who knows Ksatriyahood in anything else than the Self. The worlds desert him who knows the worlds in anything else than the Self. The gods desert him who knows the gods in anything else than the Self. The Vedas desert him who knows the Vedas in anything else than the Self. The beings desert him who knows the beings in anything else than the Self. All deserts him who knows all in anything else than the self. This Brahmanahood, this Ksatriyahood, and these worlds, these gods, these Vedas, all these beings, this all are the Self.
8. Just as when a drum is beaten, one cannot grasp the external sounds but by grasping the drum or the beater of the drum, the sound is grasped;
9. Just as when a conch is blown one cannot grasp the external sound but by grasping the conch or the blower of the conch, the sound is grasped;
10. Just as when a Vina (or lute) is played one cannot grasp the external sounds but by grasping the vina or the player of the vina, the sound is grasped;
11. As from a fire kindled with damp fuel various kinds of smoke issue forth, so, verily, from this great being has been breathed forth that which is the Rg Veda, the Yajur Veda the Sama Veda, the hymns of the Atharvans and the Angirasas, legend, ancient lore, sciences, sacred teachings, verses, aphorisms, explanations, commentaries, sacrifice, oblation, food, drink, this world and the other and all beings. From it, indeed, have all these been breathed forth.
12. As the ocean is the one goal (meeting-place) of all waters, as the skin is the one goal of all kinds of touch, as the nose is the one goal of all smells, as the tongue is the one goal of all tastes, as the eye is the one goal of all forms, as the ear is the one goal of all sounds, as the mind is the one goal of all intentions, as the heart (intellect) is the one goal of all knowledge, as the hands are the one goal of all kinds of work, as the generative organ is the one goal of all forms of delight, as the anus is the one goal of all evacuations, as the feet are the one goal of all movements, as the (organ of) speech is the one goal of all the Vedas.
13. ‘As a mass of salt is without inside, without outside, is altogether a mass of taste, even so, verily, is this Self without inside, without outside, altogether a mass of intelligence only. Having arisen out of these elements (the Self) vanishes again in them. When he has departed there is no more (separate or particular) consciousness. Thus, verily, say I’, said Yajnavalkya.
14. Then Maitreyi said: ‘Here, indeed, Venerable Sir, you have caused me to reach utter bewilderment. Indeed, I do not at all understand this (the Self).’ He replied, ‘I do not say anything bewildering. This Self, verily, is imperishable and of indestructible nature.
15. ‘For where there is duality as it were, there one sees the other, one smells the other, one tastes the other, one speaks to the other, one hears the other, one thinks of the other, one touches the other, one knows the other. But where everything has become just one’s own self, by what and whom should one see, by what and whom should one smell, by what and whom should one taste, by what and to whom should one speak, by what and whom should one hear, by what and of whom should one think, by what and whom should one touch, by what and whom should one know? By what should one know him by whom all this is known? That self is (to be described as) not this, not this. He is incomprehensible for he cannot be comprehended. He is indestructible for He cannot be destroyed. He is unattached for He does not attach himself. He is unfettered, He does not suffer, He is not injured. Indeed, by what would one know the knower? Thus you have the instruction given to you, O Maitreyi. Such, verily, is life eternal.’ Having said this, Yajnavalkya went away (into the forest).
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 5.1
1. That is full, this is full. From fullness fullness proceeds. If we take away the fullness of fullness, even fullness then remains. (The syllable) Aum is Brahman (who) is the ether, the primeval ether, the ether that blows. Thus, verily, the son of Kauravyayani used to say. This is the Veda which the knowers of Brahman know; through it one knows what is to be known.
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 5.2
1. The threefold offspring of Praja-pati, gods, men and demons, lived with their father Praja-pati as students of sacred knowledge. Having completed their studentship the gods said, ‘Please tell (instruct) us, sir.’ To them then, he uttered the syllable da (and asked) ‘Have you understood?’ They (said) ‘We have understood, you said to us “damyata,” “control yourselves”.’ He said, ‘Yes, you have understood.’
2. Then the men said to him, ‘Please tell (instruct) us, sir.’ To them he uttered the same syllable da (and asked) ‘Have you understood?’ They said, ‘We have understood. You said to us “give”.’ He said, ‘Yes, you have understood.’
3. Then the demons said to him, ‘Please tell (instruct) us, sir.’ To them he uttered the same syllable da and asked, ‘Have you understood?’ They said, ‘We have understood, you said to us, “dayadhvam,” “be compassionate.”‘ He said, ‘Yes, you have understood.’ This very thing the heavenly voice of thunder repeats da, da, da, that is, control yourselves, give, be compassionate. One should practise this same triad, self-control, giving and compassion.
Chandogya Upanishad 3.14
1. Verily, this whole world is Brahman, from which he comes forth, without which he will be dissolved and in which he breathes. Tranquil, one should meditate on it. Now verily, a person consists of purpose. According to the purpose a person has in this world, so does he become on departing hence. So let him frame for himself a purpose.
2. He who consists of mind, whose body is life, whose form is light, whose conception is truth, whose soul is space, containing all works, containing all desires, containing all odours, containing all tastes, encompassing this whole world, being without speech and without concern.
3. This is my self within the heart, smaller than a grain of rice, than a barley corn, than a mustard seed, than a grain of millet or than the kernel of a grain of a millet. This is myself within the heart, greater than the earth, greater than the atmosphere, greater than the sky, greater than these worlds.
4. Containing all works, containing all desires, containing all odours, containing all tastes, encompassing this whole world, without speech, without concern, this is the self of mine within the heart; this is Brahman. Into him, I shall enter, on departing hence. Verily, he who believes this, will have no more doubts. Thus used to say Sandilya, yea Sandilya.
Chandogya Upanishad 4.4
I. Once upon a time Satyakama Jabala addressed his mother Jabala, ‘Mother, I desire to live the life of a student of sacred knowledge. Of what family am I?
2. Then she said to him: ‘I do not know, my child, of what family you are. In my youth, when I went about a great deal, as a maid servant, I got you. So I do not know of what family you are. However, I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama by name. So you may speak of yourself as Satyakama Jabala (the son of Jabala).’
3. Then he went to Gautama, the son of Haridrumat and said, ‘I wish to become a student of sacred knowledge. May I become your pupil, Venerable Sir.’
4. He said to him ‘Of what family are you, my dear?’ He replied, ‘I do not know this, sir, of what family I am. I asked my mother. She answered me, “In my youth, when I went about a great deal as a maid-servant, I got you. So I do not know of what family you are. I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama by name.” So I am Satyakama Jabala, Sir.’
5. He then said to him, ‘None but a Brahmana could thus explain. Bring the fuel, my dear, I will receive you, as a pupil. Thou hast not departed from the truth.’ Having initiated him, he separated out four hundred lean, weak cows and said, ‘Go with these, my dear.’ While taking them away, he said, ‘I may not return without a thousand.’ He lived away a number of years. When they came to be a thousand.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.1
1. Aum. There was Svetaketu Aruneya. His father said to him, ‘Live the life of religious student, verily, my dear, there is no one in our family who is unlearned (in the Vedas), who is a Brahmana only by birth.’
2. He then, having become a pupil at the age of twelve, returned when he was twenty-four years of age, having studied all the Vedas, greatly conceited, thinking himself well read, arrogant. His father then said to him, ‘Svetaketu, since you are now so greatly conceited, think yourself well read and arrogant, did you ask for that instruction
3. By which the unhearable becomes heard, the unperceivable becomes perceived, the unknowable becomes known?’ ‘How, Venerable Sir, can there be such teaching?’
4. Just as, my dear, by one clod of clay all that is made of clay becomes known, the modification being only a name arising from speech while the truth is that it is just clay.
5. Just as, my dear, by one nugget of gold, all that is made of gold becomes known, the modification being only a name arising from speech, while the truth is that it is just gold.
6. Just as, my dear, by one pair of nail scissors all that is made of iron becomes known, the modification being only a name arising from speech while the truth is that it is just iron: thus, my dear, is that teaching.
7. ‘Verily, those venerable men did not know this; for if they had known it, why would they not have told it to me? Venerable Sir, please tell me that,’ ‘So be it, my dear,’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.2
I. ‘In the beginning, my dear, this was Being alone, one only without a second. Some people say “in the beginning this was non-being alone, one only; without a second. From that non-being, being was produced.”
2. ‘But how, indeed, my dear, could it be thus?’ said he, ‘how could being be produced from non-being? On the contrary, my dear, in the beginning this was being alone, one only, without a second.
3. ‘It thought, “May I be many, may I grow forth.” It sent forth fire. That fire thought, “May I be many, may I grow forth.” It sent forth water. Therefore, whenever a person grieves or perspires, water is produced from the fire (heat).
4. ‘That water thought, “May I be many, may I grow forth.” It sent forth food. Therefore, whenever it rains anywhere then there is abundant food. So food for eating is produced from water alone.”
Chandogya Upanishad 6.8
1. Then Uddalaka Aruni said to his son, ‘Svetaketu, Learn from me, my dear, the true nature of sleep. When a person here sleeps, as it is called, then, my dear, he has reached pure being. He has gone to his own. Therefore they say he sleeps for he has gone to his own.
2. ‘Just as a bird tied by a string, after flying in various directions without finding a resting-place elsewhere settles down (at last) at the place where it is bound, so also the mind, my dear, after flying in various directions without finding a resting-place elsewhere settles down in breath, for the mind, my dear, is bound to breath.
3. ‘Learn from me, my dear, what hunger and thirst are. When a person here is hungry, as it is called, water only is leading (carrying away) what has been eaten (by him). So as they speak of a leader of cows, a leader of horses, a leader of men, so they speak of water as the leader (or carrier of food). On this, my dear, understand that this (body) is an offshoot which has sprung up, for it could not be without a root.
4. ‘And what else could its root be than food? And in the same manner, my dear, with food as an offshoot, seek for water as the root; with water, my dear, as an offshoot, seek for heat as the root; with heat, my dear, as an offshoot, seek for Being as its root. All these creatures, my dear, have their root in Being. They have Being as their abode, Being as their support.
5. ‘Now when a person here is thirsty, as it is called, heat only is leading (or carrying off) what has been drunk (by him). So as they speak of a leader of cows, a leader of horses, a leader of men so one speaks of heat as the leader of water. On this my dear, understand that this (body) is an offshoot which has sprung up, for it could not be without a root.
6. ‘And what else could its root be than water? With water, my dear, as an offshoot, seek for heat as the root; with heat, my dear, as an offshoot, seek for Being as the root. All these creatures, my dear, have their root in Being. They have Being as their abode, Being as their support. But how, verily, my dear, each of these three divinities, on reaching the human, becomes threefold has already been said. When, my dear, a person departs from hence, his speech merges in his mind, his mind on his breath, his breath in heat and heat in the highest divinity.
7. ‘That which is the subtle essence (the root of all) this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ ‘Please, Venerable Sir, instruct me still further.’ ‘So be it, my dear,’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.9
1. ‘Just as, my dear, the bees prepare honey by collecting the essences (juices) of different trees and reducing them into one essence.
2. ‘And as these (juices) possess no discrimination (so that they might say) “I am the essence of this tree, I am the essence of that tree,” even so, indeed, my dear, all these creatures though they reach Being do not know that they have reached the Being.
3. ‘Whatever they are in this world, tiger or lion or wolf or boar or worm or fly or gnat or mosquito, that they become.
4. ‘That which is the subtle essence, this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ ‘Please, Venerable Sir, instruct me still further.’ ‘So be it, my dear,’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.10
1. ‘These rivers, my dear, flow the eastern toward the east, the western toward the west. They go just from sea to sea. They become the sea itself. Just as these rivers while there do not know “I am this one,” “I am that one.”
2. ‘In the same manner, my dear, all these creatures even though they have come forth from Being do not know that “we have come forth from Being.” Whatever they are in this world, tiger or lion or wolf or boar or worm or fly or gnat or mosquito that they become.
3. ‘That which is the subtle essence, this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ ‘Please, Venerable Sir, instruct me still further.’ ‘So be it, my dear.’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.11
I. ‘Of this mighty tree, my dear, if someone should strike at the root it would bleed but still live; if someone should strike at the middle, it would bleed but still live. If someone should strike at the top, it would bleed but still live. Being pervaded by its living self, it stands firm, drinking in its moisture (which nourishes it) and rejoicing.
2. ‘If the life leaves one branch of it, then it dries up; if it leaves a second, then that dries up; if it leaves a third, then that dries up. If it leaves the whole, the whole dries up. Even so, indeed, my dear, understand,’ said he.
3. ‘Verily, indeed, this body dies, when deprived of the living self, the living self does not die. That which is the subtle essence this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ ‘Please, Venerable Sir, instruct me still further.’ ‘So be it, my dear,’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.12
1. ‘Bring hither a fruit of that nyagrodha tree.’ ‘Here it is, Venerable Sir.’ ‘Break it.’ ‘It is broken, Venerable Sir.’ ‘What do you see there?’ ‘These extremely fine seeds, Venerable Sir.’ ‘Of these, please break one.’ ‘It is broken, Venerable Sir.’ ‘What do you see there?’ ‘Nothing at all, Venerable Sir.’
2. Then he said to him, ‘My dear, that subtle essence which you do not perceive, verily, my dear, from that very essence this great nyagrodha tree exists. Believe me, my dear.
3. That which is the subtle essence, this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ ‘Please, Venerable Sir, instruct me still further.’ ‘So be it, my dear,’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.13
1. ‘Place this salt in the water and come to me in the morning.’ Then he did so. Then he said to him, ‘That salt you placed in the water last evening, please bring it hither.’ Having looked for it he found it not, as it was completely dissolved.
2. ‘Please take a sip of it from this end.’ He said, ‘How is it?’ ‘Salt.’ ‘Take a sip from the middle. How is it?’ ‘Salt.’ ‘Take a sip from the other end. How is it?’ ‘Salt!’ ‘Throw it away and come to me.’ He did so. It is always the same. Then he said to him, ‘Verily, indeed, my dear, you do not perceive Pure Being here. Verily, indeed, it is here.’
3. ‘That which is the subtle essence this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ ‘Please, Venerable Sir, instruct me still further.’ ‘So be it, my dear,’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.14
1. ‘Just as, my dear, one might lead a person away from the Gandharas with his eyes bandaged and abandon him in a place where there are no human beings, and just as that person would shout towards the east or the north or the south or the west, “I have been led here with my eyes bandaged, I have been left here with my eyes bandaged.”
2. ‘And as, if one released his bandage and told him, “In that direction are the Gandharas, go in that direction; thereupon, being informed and capable of judgment, he would by asking (his way) from village to village arrive at Gandhara; in exactly the same manner does one here who has a teacher know, “I shall remain here only so long as I shall not be released (from ignorance). Then I shall reach perfection.”
3. ‘That which is the subtle essence this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ ‘Please, Venerable Sir, instruct me still further.’ ‘So be it, my dear,’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.15
1. ‘Also, my dear, around a sick (dying) person his relatives gather and ask, “Do you know me?” “Do you know me?” So long as his voice is not merged in mind, mind in breath, breath in heat and heat in the highest deity, so long he knows (them).
2. ‘Then when his voice is merged in mind, his mind in heat, and heat in the highest deity, then he does not know (them).
3. ‘That which is the subtle essence this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ ‘Please, Venerable Sir, instruct me still further.’ ‘So be it,’ said he.
Chandogya Upanishad 6.16
1. ‘Also, my dear, they lead up a man seized by the hand, saying, “He has stolen, he has committed a theft, heat the axe for him.” If he is the doer thereof (i.e. if he has committed the theft) then he makes himself untrue (a liar). Being given to untruth, covering himself by untruth he takes hold of the heated axe and is burnt. Then he is killed.
2. ‘But if he is not the doer thereof, thereupon he makes himself true. Being given to truth, covering himself by truth, he takes hold of the heated axe he is not burnt. Then he is released.
3. ‘And as in this case he would not be burnt, thus has all this that for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Svetaketu.’ Then he understood it from him, yea, he understood.
Chandogya Upanishad 7.17
1. ‘Verily, when one understands, then he speaks the truth. One who does not understand does not speak the truth. Only he who understands speaks the truth. But one must desire to understand understanding.’ ‘Venerable Sir, I desire to understand understanding.’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.18
1. ‘Verily, when one thinks, then he understands, one who does not think does not understand. Only he who thinks understands. But one must desire to understand thinking.’ ‘Venerable Sir, I desire to understand thinking.’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.19
1. ‘Verily, when one has faith, then he thinks. One who has not faith does not think. Only he who has faith thinks. But one must desire to understand faith.’ ‘Venerable Sir, I desire to understand faith.’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.20
1. ‘When one has steadfastness, then one has faith. One who has not steadfastness does not have faith. Only he who has steadfastness has faith. But one must desire to understand steadfastness.’ ‘Venerable Sir, I desire to understand steadfastness.’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.21
1. ‘When one is active, one has steadfastness. Without being active, one has not steadfastness. Only by activity does one have steadfastness. But one must desire to understand activity.’ ‘Venerable Sir, I desire to understand activity.’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.22
1. ‘When one obtains happiness, then one is active. One who does not obtain happiness is not active. Only he who obtains happiness is active. But one must desire to understand happiness.’ ‘Venerable Sir, I desire to understand happiness.’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.23
1. ‘The infinite is happiness. There is no happiness in anything small (finite). Only the infinite is happiness. But one must desire to understand the infinite.’ ‘Venerable Sir, I desire to understand the infinite.’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.24
1. ‘Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is the infinite. But where one sees something else, hears something else, understands something else, that is the small (the finite). Verily, the infinite is the same as the immortal, the finite is the same as the mortal.’ ‘Venerable Sir, on what is the infinite established?’ ‘On its own greatness or not even on greatness.
2. ‘Here on earth people call cows and horses, elephants and gold, slaves and wives, fields and houses “greatness.” I do not speak thus, I do not speak thus,’ said he, ‘for in that case one thing is established in another.’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.25
1. ‘That (infinite) indeed is below. It is above. It is behind. It is in front. It is to the south, it is to the north. It is indeed all this (world). Now next, the instruction in regard to the self-sense. I, indeed, am below. I am above, I am behind, I am in front. I am to the south, I am to the north; I, indeed, am all this (world).
2. ‘Now next the instruction in regard to the self. The self indeed is below. The self is above. The self is behind. The self is in front. The self is to the south. The self is to the north. The self, indeed, is all this (world). Verily, he who sees this, who thinks this, who understands this, he has pleasure in the self, he has delight in the self, he has union in the self, he has joy in the self; he is independent (self-ruler); he has unlimited freedom in all worlds. But they who think differently from this are dependent on others (have others for their rulers). They have (live in) perishable worlds. In all worlds they cannot move at all (have no freedom).’
Chandogya Upanishad 7.26
1. ‘For him who sees this, who thinks this and who understands this, life-breath springs from the self, hope from the self, memory from the self, ether from the self, heat from the self, water from the self, appearance and disappearance from the self, food from the self, strength from the self, understanding from the self, meditation from the self, thought from the self, determination from the self, mind from the self, speech from the self, name from the self, sacred hymns from the self, (sacred) works from the self, indeed all this (world) from the self.
2. ‘On this there is the following verse. He who sees this does not see death nor illness nor any sorrow. He who sees this sees everything and obtains everything everywhere. He is one, becomes threefold, fivefold, sevenfold and also ninefold. Then again he is called the elevenfold, also a hundred and elevenfold and also twenty-thousand fold. When nourishment is pure, nature is pure. When nature is pure, memory becomes firm. When memory remains firm, there is release from all knots of the heart. To such a one who has his stains wiped away, the venerable Sanatkumara shows the further shore of darkness. Him they call Skanda, yea, him they call Skanda.’
Taittiriya Upanishad 2.1
1. Having taught the Veda, the teacher instructs the pupil. Speak the truth. Practise virtue. Let there be no neglect of your (daily) reading. Having brought to the teacher the wealth that is pleasing (to him), do not cut off the thread of the offspring. Let there be no neglect of truth. Let there be no neglect of virtue. Let there be no neglect of welfare. Let there be no neglect of prosperity. Let there be no neglect of study and teaching. Let there be no neglect of the duties to the gods and the fathers.
2. Be one to whom the mother is a god. Be one to whom the father is a god. Be one to whom the teacher is a god. Be one to whom the guest is a god. Whatever deeds are blameless, they are to be practised, not others. Whatever good practices there are among us, they are to be adopted by you, not others.
3. Whatever Brahmanas there are (who are) superior to us, they should be comforted by you with a seat. (What is to be given) is to be given with faith, should not be given without faith, should be given in plenty, should be given with modesty, should be given with fear, should be given with sympathy.
4. Then, if there is in you any doubt regarding any deeds, any doubt regarding conduct, you should behave yourself in such matters, as the Brahmanas there (who are) competent to judge, devoted (to good deeds), not led by others, not harsh, lovers of virtue would behave in such cases.
5. Then, as to the persons who are spoken against, you should behave yourself in such a way, as the Brahmanas there, (who are) competent to judge, devoted (to good deeds) not led by others, not harsh, lovers of virtue, would behave in regard to such persons.
6. This is the command. This is the teaching. This is the secret doctrine of the Veda. This is the instruction. Thus should one worship. Thus indeed should one worship.
Isa Upanishad 1.1
1. (Know that) all this, whatever moves in this moving world, is enveloped by God. Therefore find your enjoyment in renunciation; do not covet what belongs to others.
2. Always performing works here one should wish to live a hundred years. If you live thus as a man, there is no way other than this by which karman (or deed) does not adhere to you.
3. Demoniac, verily, are those worlds enveloped in blinding darkness, and to them go after death, those people who are the slayers of the self.
4. (The spirit) is unmoving, one, swifter than the mind. The senses do not reach It as It is ever ahead of them. Though Itself standing still It outstrips those who run. In It the all-pervading air supports the activities of beings.
5. It moves and It moves not; It is far and It is near; It is within all this and It is also outside all this.
6. And he who sees all beings in his own self and his own self in all beings, he does not feel any revulsion by reason of such a view.
7. When, to one who knows, all beings have, verily, become one with his own self, then what delusion and what sorrow can be to him who has seen the oneness?
8. He has filled all; He is radiant, bodiless, invulnerable, devoid of sinews, pure, untouched by evil. He, the seer, thinker, all-pervading self-existent has duly distributed through endless years the objects according to their natures.
9. Into blinding darkness enter those who worship ignorance and those who delight in knowledge enter into still greater darkness, as it were.
10. Distinct, indeed, they say, is the result of knowledge and distinct, they say, is the result of ignorance. Thus have we heard from those wise who have explained to us these.
11. Knowledge and ignorance, he who knows the two together crosses death through ignorance and stains life eternal through knowledge.
12. Into blinding darkness enter those who worship the unmanifest and into still greater darkness, as it were, those who delight in the manifest.
13. Distinct, indeed, they say, is what results from the manifest, and distinct, they say, is what results from the unmanifest. Thus have we heard from those wise who have explained to us these.
14. He who understands the manifest and the unmanifest both together, crosses death through the unmanifest and attains life eternal through the manifest.
15. The face of truth is covered with a golden disc. Unveil it, O Pusan, so that I who love the truth may see it.
16. O Pusan, the sole seer, O Controller, O Sun, offspring of Praja-pati, spread forth your rays and gather up your radiant light that I may behold you of loveliest form. Whosoever is that person (yonder) that also am I.
17. May this life enter into the immortal breath; then may this body end in ashes. O Intelligence, remember, remember what has been done. Remember, O Intelligence, what has been done, Remember.
18. O Agni, lead us, along the auspicious path to prosperity, O God, who knowest all our deeds. Take away from us deceitful sins. We shall offer many prayers unto thee.
Kena Upanishad 1
1. By whom willed and directed does the mind light on its objects? By whom commanded does life the first, move? At whose will do (people) utter this speech? And what god is it that prompts the eye and the ear?
2. Because it is that which is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech, indeed of the speech, the breath of the breath, the eye of the eye, the wise, giving up (wrong notions of their self-sufficiency) and departing from this world, become immortal.
3. There the eye goes not, speech goes not, nor the mind; we know not, we understand not how one can teach this.
4. Other, indeed, is it than the known; and also it is above the unknown. Thus have we heard from the ancients who have explained it to us.
5. That which is not expressed through speech but that by which speech is expressed; that, verily, know thou, is Brahman, not what (people) here adore.
6. That which is not thought by the mind but by which, they say, the mind is thought (thinks); that, verily, know thou, is Brahman and not what (people) here adore.
7. That which is not seen by the eye but by which the eyes are seen (see); that, verily, know thou, is Brahman and not what (people) here adore.
8. That which is not heard by the ear but by which the ears are heard (hear); that, verily, know thou, is Brahman and not what (people) here adore.
9. That which is not breathed by life, but by which life breathes; that, verily, know thou, is Brahman and not what (people) here adore.
Kena Upanishad 2.2
1. If you think that you have understood Brahman well, you know it but slightly, whether it refers to you (the individual self) or to the gods. So then is it to be investigated by you (the pupil) (even though) I think it is known.
2. I do not think that I know it well; nor do I think that I do not know it. He who among us knows it, knows it and he, too, does not know that he does not know.
3. To whomsoever it is not known, to him it is known: to whomsoever it is known, he does not know. It is not understood by those who understand it; it is understood by those who do not understand it.
4. When it is known through every state of cognition, it is rightly known, for (by such knowledge) one attains life eternal. Through one’s own self one gains power and through wisdom one gains immortality.
5. If here (a person) knows it, then there is truth, and if here he knows it not, there is great loss. Hence, seeing or (seeking) (the Real) in all beings, wise men become immortal on departing from this world.
Katha Upanishad 1.1
1. Desirous (of the fruit of the Visvajit sacrifice) Vajasravasa, they say, gave away all that he possessed. He had a son by name Naciketas.
2 As the gifts were being taken to the priests, faith entered him, although but a (mere) boy; he thought.
3. Their water drunk, their grass eaten, their milk milked, their strength spent, joyless, verily, are those worlds, to which he, who presents such (cows) goes.
4. He said to his father, ‘O Sire, to whom wilt thou give me?’ For a second and a third time (he repeated) (when the father) said to him, ‘Unto Death shall I give thee.’
5. Naciketas, ‘Of many (sons or disciples) I go as the first; of many, I go as the middling. What duty towards Yama that (my father has to accomplish) today, does he accomplish through me?’
6. ‘Consider how it was with the forefathers; behold how it is with the later (men); a mortal ripens like corn, and like corn is born again.’
7. As a very fire a Brahmana guest enters into houses and (the people) do him this peace-offering; bring water, O Son of the Sun!
8. Hope and expectation, friendship and joy, sacrifices and good works, sons, cattle and all are taken away from a person of little understanding in whose house a Brahmana remains unfed.
9. ‘Since thou, a venerable guest, hast stayed in my house without food for three nights, I make obeisance to thee, O Brahmana. May it be well with me. Therefore, in return, choose thou three gifts.’
10. ‘That Gautama (my father) with allayed anxiety, with anger gone, may be gracious to me, O Death, and recognising me, greet me, when set free by you and this, I choose as the first gift of the three.’
11. (Yama said): ‘As of old will he, recognising thee (thy father) Auddalaki, the son of Aruna, through my favour will he sleep peacefully through nights, his anger gone, seeing thee released from the jaws of death.’
12. (Naciketas said): ‘In the world of heaven there is no fear whatever; thou art not there, nor does one fear old age. Crossing over both hunger and thirst, leaving sorrow behind, one rejoices in the world of heaven.
13. ‘Thou knowest, O Death, that fire (sacrifice which is) the aid to heaven. Describe it to me, full of faith, how the dwellers in heaven gain immortality. This I choose, as my second boon.’
14. (Yama said): ‘Knowing well as I do, that fire (which is) the aid to heaven, I shall describe it to thee-learn it of me, O Naciketas. Know that fire to be the means of attaining the boundless world, as the support (of the universe) and as abiding in the secret place (of the heart).’
15. (Yama) described to him that fire (sacrifice which is) the beginning of the world (as also) what kind of bricks (are to be used in building the sacrificial altar), how many and in what manner. And he (Naciketas) repeated all that just as it had been told; then, pleased with him, Death spoke again.
16. The great soul (Yama) extremely delighted, said to him (Naciketas). ‘I give thee here today another boon. By thine own name will this fire become (known). Take also this many-shaped chain.
17. ‘He who has lit the Naciketa fire thrice, associating with the three, performs the three acts, crosses over birth and death. Knowing the son of Brahma, the omniscient, resplendent and adorable and realising him, one obtains this everlasting peace.
18. ‘The wise man who has sacrificed thrice to Naciketas and who knows this three, and so knowing, performs meditation on fire throwing off first the bonds of death and overcoming sorrow, rejoices in the world of heaven.
19. ‘This is thy fire (sacrifice) O Naciketas, which leading to heaven, which thou hast chosen for thy second boon. This fire (sacrifice) people will call by thy name only. Choose now, O Naciketas, the third boon.’
20. ‘There is this doubt in regard to a man who has departed, some (holding) that he is and some that he is not. I would be instructed by thee in this knowledge. Of the boons, this is the third boon.’
21. (Yama said): ‘Even the gods of old had doubt on this point. It is not, indeed, easy to understand; (so) subtle is this truth. Choose another boon, O Naciketas. Do not press me. Release me from this.’
22. (Naciketas said:) ‘Even the gods had doubt, indeed, as to this, and thou, O Death, sayest that it is not easy to understand. (Instruct me) for another teacher of it, like thee, is not to be got. No other boon is comparable to this at all.’
23. (Yama said:) ‘Choose sons and grandsons that shall live a hundred years, cattle in plenty, elephants, gold and horses. Choose vast expanses of land and life for thyself as many years as thou wilt.
24. ‘If thou deemest (any) boon like unto this, choose (that) as also wealth and long life. O Naciketas, prosper then on this vast earth. I will make thee the enjoyer of thy desires.
25. Whatever desires are hard to attain in this world of mortals, ask for all those desires at thy will. Here are noble maidens with chariots and musical instruments: the like of them cannot be won by men. Be served by these whom I give to thee. O Naciketas, (pray) ask not about death.’
26. (Naciketas said:) ‘Transient (are these) and they wear out, O Yama, the vigour of all the senses of men. All life (a full life), moreover, is brief. Thine be the chariots, thine the dance and song.
27. ‘Man is not to be contented with wealth. Shall we enjoy wealth when we have seen thee? Shall we live as long as thou art in power? That alone is (still) the boon chosen by me.
28. ‘Having approached the undecaying immortality, what decaying mortal on this earth below who (now) knows (and meditates on) the pleasures of beauty and love, will delight in an over-long life?
29. ‘Tell us that about which they doubt, O Death, what there is in the great passing-on. This boon which penetrates the mystery, no other than that does Naciketas choose.’
Katha Upanishad 1.2
1. (Yama said): ‘Different is the good, and different, indeed, is the pleasant. These two, with different purposes, bind a man: Of these two, it is well for him who takes hold of the good; but he who chooses the pleasant, fails of his aim.
2. ‘Both the good and the pleasant approach a man. The wise man, pondering over them, discriminates. The wise chooses the good in preference to the pleasant. The simple-minded, for the sake of worldly well-being, prefers the pleasant.
3. ‘(But) thou, O Naciketas, hast rejected (after) examining, the desires that are pleasant and seem to be pleasing. Thou hast not taken to the way of wealth, where many mortals sink (to ruin).
4. ‘Widely apart and leading to divergent ends are these, ignorance and what is known as wisdom. I know (thee) Naciketas, to be eager for wisdom for (even) many desires did not distract thee.
5. ‘Abiding in the midst of ignorance, wise in their own esteem, thinking themselves to be learned, fools treading a tortuous path go about like blind men led by one who is himself blind.
6. ‘What lies beyond shines not to the simple-minded, careless, (who is) deluded by the glamour of wealth. Thinking “this world exists, there is no other,” he falls again and again into my power.
7. ‘He who cannot even be heard of by many, whom many, even hearing, do not know, wondrous is he who can teach (Him) and skilful is he who finds (Him) and wondrous is he who knows, even when instructed by the wise.
8. ‘Taught by an inferior man He cannot be truly understood, as He is thought of in many ways. Unless taught by one who knows Him as himself, there is no going thither for it is inconceivable, being subtler than the subtle.
9. ‘Not by reasoning is this apprehension attainable, but dearest, taught by another, is it well understood. Thou hast obtained it, holding fast to truth. May we find, Naciketas, an inquirer like thee.
10. ‘I know that wealth is impermanent. Not through the transient things is that abiding (one) reached; yet by me is laid the Naciketa fire and by impermanent means have I reached the everlasting.
11. ‘(Having seen) the fulfilment of (all) desire, the support of the world, the endless fruit of rites, the other shore where there is no fear, the greatness of fame, the far-stretching, the foundation, O wise Naciketas, thou hast steadfastly let (them) go.
12. ‘Realising through self-contemplation that primal God, difficult to be seen, deeply hidden, set in the cave (of the heart), dwelling in the deep, the wise man leaves behind both joy and sorrow.
13. ‘Hearing this and comprehending (it), a mortal, extracting the essence and reaching the subtle, rejoices, having attained the source of joy. I know that such an abode is wide open unto Naciketas.’
14. (Naciketas asks:) ‘Tell me that which thou seest beyond right and wrong, beyond what is done or not done, beyond past and future.’
15. (Yama says:) ‘That word which all the Vedas declare, which all the austerities proclaim, desiring which (people) live the life of a religious student, that word, to thee, I shall tell in brief. That is Aum.
16. ‘This syllable is, verily, the everlasting spirit. This syllable, indeed, is the highest end; knowing this very syllable, whatever anyone desires will, indeed, be his.
17. ‘This support is the best (of all). This support is the highest; knowing this support, one becomes great in the world of Brahma.
18. ‘The knowing self is never born; nor does he die at any time. He sprang from nothing and nothing sprang from him. He is unborn, eternal, abiding and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.
19. ‘If the slayer thinks that he slays or if the slain think that he is slain, both of them do not understand. He neither slays nor is he slain.
20. ‘Smaller than the small, greater than the great, the self is set in the heart of every creature. The unstriving man beholds Him, freed from sorrow. Through tranquillity of the mind and the senses (he sees) the greatness of the self.
21. ‘Sitting, he moves far; lying he goes everywhere. Who, save myself, is fit to know that god who rejoices and rejoices not?
22. ‘Knowing the self who is the bodiless among bodies, the stable among the unstable, the great, the all-pervading, the wise man does not grieve.
23. ‘This self cannot be attained by instruction, nor by intellectual power, nor even through much hearing. He is to be attained only by the one whom the (self) chooses. To such a one the self reveals his own nature.
24. ‘Not he who has not desisted from evil ways, not he who is not tranquil, not he who has not a concentrated mind, not even he whose mind is not composed can reach this (self) through right knowledge.
25. ‘He for whom priesthood and nobility both are as food and death is as a sauce, who really knows where he is?
Katha Upanishad 1.3
1. There are two selves that drink the fruit of Karma in the world of good deeds. Both are lodged in the secret place (of the heart), the chief seat of the Supreme. The knowers of Brahman speak of them as shade and light as also (the householders) who maintain the five sacrificial fires and those too who perform the triple Naciketas fire.
2. That bridge for those who sacrifice, and which is the highest imperishable Brahman for those who wish to cross over to the farther fearless shore, that Naciketa fire, may we master.
3. Know the Self as the lord of the chariot and the body as, verily, the chariot, know the intellect as the charioteer and the mind as, verily, the reins.
4. The senses, they say, are the horses; the objects of sense the paths (they range over); (the self) associated with the body, the senses and the mind-wise men declare-is the enjoyer.
5. He who has no understanding, whose mind is always unrestrained, his senses are out of control, as wicked horses are for a charioteer.
6. He, however, who has understanding, whose mind is always restrained, his senses are under control, as good horses are for a charioteer.
7. He, however, who has no understanding, who has no control over his mind (and is) ever impure, reaches not that goal but comes back into mundane life.
8. He, however, who has understanding, who has control over his mind and (is) ever pure, reaches that goal from which he is not born again.
9. He who has the understanding for the driver of the chariot and controls the rein of his mind, he reaches the end of the journey, that supreme abode of the all-pervading.
10. Beyond the senses are the objects (of the senses) and beyond the objects is the mind; beyond the mind is the understanding and beyond the understanding is the great self.
11. Beyond the great self is the unmanifest; beyond the unmanifest is the spirit. Beyond the spirit there is nothing. That is the end (of the journey); that is the final goal.
12. The Self, though hidden in all beings, does not shine forth but can be seen by those subtle seers, through their sharp and subtle intelligence.
13. The wise man should restrain speech in mind; the latter he should restrain in the understanding self. The understanding he should restrain in the great self. That he should restrain in the tranquil self.
14. Arise, awake, having attained thy boons, understand (them). Sharp as the edge of a razor and hard to cross, difficult to tread is that path (so) sages declare.
15. (The self) without sound, without touch and without form, undecaying, is likewise, without taste, eternal, without smell, without beginning, without end, beyond the great, abiding, by discerning that, one is freed from the face of death.
16. This ancient story of Naciketas, told by Death, telling and hearing (it), a wise man grows great in the world of Brahma.
17. Whoso shall cause to be recited this supreme secret before an assembly of Brahmanas or devoutly at the time of the ceremonies for the dead, this will prepare (for him) everlasting life, this will prepare everlasting life.
Katha Upanishad 2.1
1. The Self is not to be sought through the senses. The Self-caused pierced the openings (of the senses) outward; therefore one looks outward and not within oneself. Some wise man, however, seeking life eternal, with his eyes turned inward, saw the self.
2. The small-minded go after outward pleasures. They walk into the snare of widespread death. The wise, however, recognising life eternal do not seek the stable among things which are unstable here.
3. That by which (one perceives) form, taste, smell, sounds and touches of love, by that alone one perceives. What is there that remains (unknown to it)? This, verily, is that.
4. That by which one perceives both dream states and waking states, having known (that as) the great, omnipresent Self, the wise man does not grieve.
5. He who knows this Self, the experiencer as the living spirit close at hand as the lord of the past and the future-one does not shrink away from Him. This, verily, is that.
6. He who was born of old from austerity, was born of old from the waters, who stands, having entered the secret place (of the heart) and looked forth through beings. This, verily, is that.
7. She who arises with life, Aditi, the soul of the gods, who stands, having entered the secret place (of the heart), who was born with the beings. This, verily, is that.
8. Agni, the all-knower, hidden in the fire-sticks, like the embryo well borne by pregnant women, should be daily adored by the watchful men with oblations. This, verily, is that.
9. Whence the sun rises and where it goes to rest; in it are all gods founded and no one ever goes beyond that. This verily, is that.
10. Whatever is here, that (is) there. Whatever is there, that, too, is here. Whoever perceives anything like manyness here goes from death to death.
11. By mind alone is this to be obtained. There is nothing of variety here. Whoever perceives anything like variety here, goes from death to death.
12. The person of the size of a thumb resides in the middle of the body. After knowing him who is the lord of the past and the future, one does not shrink (from Him). This, verily, is that.
13. The person of the size of a thumb resides in the middle of the body, like a flame without smoke. He is the lord of the past and the future. He is the same today and the same tomorrow. This, verily is that.
14. As water rained upon a height flows down in various ways among the hills; so he who views things as varied runs after them (distractedly).
15. As pure water poured forth into pure becomes the very same, so the self, O Gautama, of the seer who has understanding becomes (one with the Supreme).
Katha Upanishad 2.2
1. (There is) a city of eleven gates (belonging to) the unborn, uncrooked intelligence. By ruling it one does not grieve and being freed is freed indeed. This, verily is that.
2. He is the swan (sun) in the sky, the pervader in the space (between earth and heaven), the priest at the altar, the guest in the sacrificial jar (house). He dwells in men, in gods, in the right and in the sky. He is (all that is) born of water, sprung from the earth, born of right, born of mountain. He is the true and the great.
3. He leads the out-breath upward, he casts inwards the in-breath, the dwarf who is seated in the middle, all the gods adore.
4. When the embodied self that dwells within the body slips off and is released from the body, what is there that remains? This, verily, is that.
5. Not by any outbreath or inbreath does any mortal whatever live. But by another do they live on which these (life-breaths) both depend.
6. Look (here). I shall explain to you the mystery of Brahman, the eternal, and also how the soul fares, after reaching death, O Gautama.
7. Some souls enter into a womb for embodiment; others enter stationary objects according to their deeds and according to their thoughts.
8. That person who is awake in those that sleep, shaping desire after desire, that, indeed, is the pure. That is Brahman, that, indeed, is called the immortal. In it all the worlds rest and no one ever goes beyond it. This, verily, is that.
9. As fire which is one, entering this world becomes varied in shape according to the object (it burns), so also the one Self within all beings becomes varied according to whatever (it enters) and also exists outside (them all).
10. As air which is one, entering this world becomes varied in shape according to the object (it enters), so also the one Self within all beings becomes varied according to whatever (it enters) and also exists outside (them all).
11. Just as the sun, the eye of the whole world, is not defiled by the external faults seen by the eye, even so, the One within all beings is not tainted by the sorrow of the world, as He is outside (the world).
12. The one, controller (of all), the inner self of all things, who makes his one form manifold, to the wise who perceive him as abiding in the soul, to them is eternal bliss-to no others.
13. The one eternal amid the transient, the conscious amid the conscious, the one amid many, who grants their desires, to the wise who perceive Him as abiding in the soul, to them is eternal peace and to no others.
14. This is that and thus they recognise, the ineffable Supreme bliss. How then may I come to know this? Does it shine (of itself) or does it shine (in reflection)?
15. The sun shines not there, nor the moon and the stars, these lightnings shine not, where then could this fire be? Everything shines only after that shining light. His shining illumines all this world.
Katha Upanishad 2.3
1. With the root above and the branches below (stands) this ancient fig tree. That (indeed) is the pure; that is Brahman. That, indeed, is called immortal. In it all the worlds rest and no one ever goes beyond it. This, verily, is that.
2. The whole world, whatever here exists, springs from and moves in life. (It is) the great fear (like) the upraised thunderbolt. They that know that become immortal.
3. Through fear of him, fire burns; through fear (of him) the sun gives heat; through fear both Indra (the lord of the gods) and wind and Death, the fifth, speed on their way.
4. If one is able to perceive (Him) before the body falls away (one would be freed from misery); (if not) he becomes fit for embodiment in the created worlds.
5. As in a mirror, so (is it seen) in the soul, as in a dream, so in the world of the manes, as (an object) is seen in water, so in the world of the gandharvas; as shade and light in the world of Brahma.
6. Knowing the separate nature of the senses, which spring separately (from the various subtle elements) and (knowing also) that their rising and setting (are separate), the wise man does not grieve.
7. Beyond the senses is the mind; above the mind is its essence (intelligence); beyond the intelligence is the great self; beyond the great (self) is the unmanifest.
8. Beyond the unmanifest is the person, all-pervading and without any mark whatever. By knowing whom, a man is liberated and goes to life eternal.
9. Not within the field of vision stands this form. No one soever sees Him with the eye. By heart, by thought, by mind apprehended, they who know Him become immortal.
10. When the five (senses) knowledges together with the mind cease (from their normal activities) and the intellect itself does not stir, that, they say, is the highest state.
11. This, they consider to be Yoga, the steady control of the senses. Then one becomes undistracted for Yoga comes and goes.
12. Not by speech, not by mind, not by sight can he be apprehended. How can he be comprehended except by him who says, ‘He is’?
13. He should be apprehended only as existent and then in his real nature-in both ways. When He is apprehended as existent, his real nature becomes clear (later on).
14. When all desires that dwell within the human heart are cast away, then a mortal becomes immortal and (even) here he attaineth to Brahman.
15. When all the knots that fetter here the heart are cut asunder, then a mortal becomes immortal. Thus far is the teaching.
16. A hundred and one are the arteries of the heart; one of them leads up to the crown of the head. Going upward through that, one becomes immortal; the others serve for going in various other directions.
17. The person of the size of a thumb, the inner self, abides always in the hearts of men. Him one should draw out with firmness, from the body, as (one may do) the wind from the reed. Him one should know as the pure, the immortal, yea, Him one should know as the pure, the immortal.
18. Then Naciketas, having gained this knowledge declared by Death and the whole rule of Yoga, attained Brahman and became freed from passion and from death. And so may any other who knows this in regard to the self.
Mundaka Upanishad 1.1
1. Brahma arose as the first among the gods, the maker of the universe, the protector of the world. He taught the knowledge of Brahman, the foundation of all knowledges, to Atharva, his eldest son.
2. That knowledge of Brahman, which Brahma taught to Atharva, and Atharva in olden times told Angiras. He (in his turn) taught it to Satyavaha, son of Bharadvaja and the son of Bharadvaja to Angiras-both the higher and the lower (knowledge).
3. Saunaka, the great householder, duly approached Angiras and asked, through what being known, Venerable Sir, does all this become known?
4. To him he said, two kinds of knowledge are to be known, as, indeed, the knowers of Brahman declare-the higher as well as the lower.
5. Of these, the lower is the Rg Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, the Atharva Veda. Phonetics, Ritual, Grammar, Etymology, Metrics and Astrology. And the higher is that by which the Undecaying is apprehended.
6. That which is ungraspable, without family, without caste, without sight or hearing, without hands or feet, eternal, all-pervading, omnipresent, exceedingly subtle, that is the Undecaying which the wise perceive as the source of beings.
7. As a spider sends forth and draws in (its thread), as herbs grow on the earth, as the hair (grows) on the head and the body of a living person, so from the Imperishable arises here the universe.
8. By contemplative power Brahman expands. From that food is produced. From food, life (thence) mind, (thence) the reals (the five elements); (thence) the worlds; (thence the rituals) in the rituals, immortality.
9. He who is all-knowing and all-wise, whose austerity consists of knowledge, from him are born this Brahma (Hiranya-garbha), name-shape and food.
Mundaka Upanishad 1.2
1. This is that truth. The works which the sages saw in the hymns are variously spread forth in the three vedas. Perform them constantly, ye lovers of truth. This is your path to the world of good deeds.
2. When the flame (which) moves after the fire has been kindled, then one should throw with faith his oblations between the two portions of melted butter.
3. He whose agnihotra sacrifice is not followed by the sacrifice of the new moon and of the full moon, by the four months’ sacrifice, by the ritual (performed in the harvest season) is without guests, without oblations, without the ceremony to all the gods or gives offerings contrary to rule, (such conduct) destroys his worlds till the seventh.
4. The seven moving tongues of fire are the black, the terrific, the swift as mind, the very red, the very smoky-coloured, the spark blazing, the all-shaped goddess.
5. Whosoever performs works, makes offerings when these (tongues) are shining and at the proper time, these (offerings) in the form of the rays of the sun lead him to that (world) where the one lord of the gods abides.
6. The radiant offerings invite him with the words, ‘come, come,’ and carry the sacrificer by the rays of the sun, honouring him and saluting him with pleasing words: ‘This is your holy world of Brahma won through good deeds.’
7. Unsteady, verily, are these boats of the eighteen sacrificial forms, which are said to be inferior karma. The deluded who delight in this as leading to good, fall again into old age and death.
8. Abiding in the midst of ignorance, wise in their own esteem, thinking themselves to be learned, fools, afflicted with troubles, go about like blind men led by one who is himself blind.
9. The immature, living manifoldly in ignorance, think ‘we have accomplished our aim.’ Since those who perform rituals do not understand (the truth) because of attachment, therefore they sink down, wretched, when their worlds (i.e. the fruits of their merits) are exhausted.
10. These deluded men, regarding sacrifices and works of merits as most important, do not know any other good. Having enjoyed in the high place of heaven won by good deeds, they enter again this world or a still lower one.
11. But those who practise austerity and faith in the forest, the tranquil knowers who live the life of a mendicant, depart freed from sin, through the door of the sun to where dwells the immortal, imperishable person.
12. Having scrutinised the worlds won by works, let a Brahmana arrive at non-attachment. The (world) that is not made is not (won) by what is done. For the sake of this knowledge, let him only approach, with sacrificial fuel in hand, a teacher who is learned in the scriptures and established in Brahman.
13. Unto him who has approached in due form, whose mind is tranquil and who has attained peace, let the knowing (teacher) teach in its very truth that knowledge about Brahman by which one knows the Imperishable person, the true.
Mundaka Upanishad 2.1
1. This is the truth. As from a blazing fire, sparks of like form issue forth by the thousands, even so, O beloved, many kinds of beings issue forth from the immutable and they return thither too.
2. Divine and formless is the person. He is without and within, unborn, without breath and without mind, pure and higher than the highest immutable.
3. From him are born life, mind, all the sense-organs (also) ether, air, light, water and earth, the supporter of all.
4. Fire is His head, His eyes are the sun and the moon, the regions of space are His ears, His speech the revealed Vedas; air is His life and His heart the world. Out of His feet the earth (is born); indeed He is the self of all beings.
5. From him (proceeds) fire whose fuel is the sun; from the moon, the rain; herbs on the earth. (nourished by them) the male fire pours seed in the female, thus are creatures produced from the person.
6. From him are born the ric (verses) the saman (chants), the yajus (formulas), the rites of initiation, all the sacrifices, ceremonies and sacrificial gifts, the year too, and the sacrificer, and the worlds where the moon purifies and where the sun (shines).
7. From him also the gods are born in manifold ways, the celestials, men, cattle, birds, the in-breath and the out-breath, rice and barley, austerity, faith, truth, chastity and the law.
8. From him come forth the seven life-breaths, the seven flames, their fuel, the seven oblations, these seven worlds in which move the life-breaths, seven and seven which dwell in the secret place (of the heart).
9. From him, all the seas and the mountains, from him flow rivers of every kind; from him are all herbs and their juice too; by which, together with the elements, the inner soul is upheld.
10. The person himself is all this, work, austerity and Brahma beyond death. He who knows that which is set in the secret place (of the heart), he, here on earth, O beloved, cuts asunder the knot of ignorance.
Mundaka Upanishad 2.2
1. Manifest, well-fixed, moving, verily, in the secret place (of the heart) such is the great support. In it is centred all this which moves, breathes and winks. Know that as being, as non-being, as the supreme object to be desired, as the highest beyond the reach of man’s understanding.
2. What is luminous, what is subtler than the subtle, in which are centred all the worlds and those that dwell in them, that is the imperishable Brahman. That is life, that is speech and mind. That is true, that is immortal, O beloved, that is to be known, know (that).
3. Taking as the bow the great weapon of the Upanishads, one should place in it the arrow sharpened by meditation. Drawing it with a mind engaged in the contemplation of that (Brahman), O beloved, know that Imperishable Brahman as the target.
4. The syllable aum is the bow: one’s self, indeed, is the arrow. Brahman is spoken of as the target of that. It is to be hit without making a mistake. Thus one becomes united with it as the arrow (becomes one with the target).
5. He in whom the sky, the earth and the interspace are woven as also the mind along with all the vital breaths, know him alone as the one self. Dismiss other utterances. This is the bridge to immortality.
6. Where the arteries of the body are brought together like the spokes in the centre of a wheel, within it (this self, moves about) becoming manifold. Meditate on aum as the self. May you be successful in crossing over to the farther shore of darkness.
7. He who is all-knowing, all-wise, whose is this greatness on the earth, in the divine city of Brahma, in the ether (of the heart) is that self-established.
8. He consists of mind and is the leader of life and body and is seated in food (i.e. the body) controlling the heart. The wise perceive clearly by the knowledge (of Brahman) the blissful immortal which shines forth.
9. The knot of the heart is cut, all doubts are dispelled and his deeds terminate, when He is seen-the higher and the lower.
10. In the highest golden sheath is Brahman without stain, without parts; Pure is it, the light of lights. That is what the knowers of self know.
11. The sun shines not there, nor the moon and stars, these lightnings shine not, where then could this fire be? Every thing shines only after that shining light. His shining illumines all this world.
12. Brahman, verily, is this immortal. In front is Brahman, behind is Brahman, to the right and to the left. It spreads forth below and above. Brahman, indeed, is this universe. It is the greatest.
Mundaka Upanishad 3.1
1. Two birds, companions (who are) always united, cling to the self-same tree. Of these two, the one eats the sweet fruit and the other looks on without eating.
2. On the self-same tree, a person immersed (in the sorrows of the world) is deluded and grieves on account of his helplessness. When he sees the other, the Lord who is worshipped and his greatness, he becomes freed from sorrow.
3. When a seer sees the creator of golden hue, the Lord, the Person, the source of Brahma, then being a knower, shaking off good and evi1 and free from stain, he attains supreme equality with the lord.
4. Truly it is life that shines forth in all beings. Knowing him, the wise man does not talk of anything else. Sporting in the self, delighting in the self, performing works, such a one is the greatest of the knowers of Brahman.
5. This self within the body, of the nature of light and pure, is attainable by truth, by austerity, by right knowledge, by the constant (practice) of chastity. Him, the ascetics with their imperfections done away, behold.
6. Truth alone conquers, not untruth. By truth is laid out the path leading to the gods by which the sages who have their desires fulfilled travel to where is that supreme abode of truth.
7. Vast, divine, of unthinkable form, subtler than the subtle. It shines forth, farther than the far, yet here near at hand, set down in the secret place (of the heart) (as such) even here it is seen by the intelligent.
8. He is not grasped by the eye nor even by speech nor by other sense-organs, nor by austerity nor by work, but when one’s (intellectual) nature is purified by the light of knowledge then alone he, by meditation, sees Him who is without parts.
9. The subtle self is to be known by thought in which the senses in five different forms have centred. The whole of men’s thought is pervaded by the senses. When it (thought) is purified, the self shines forth.
10. Whatever world a man of purified nature thinks of in his mind and whatever desires he desires, all these worlds and all these desires he attains. Therefore, let him who desires prosperity worship the knower of the self.
Mundaka Upanishad 3.2
1. He knows that supreme abode of Brahman, wherein founded, the world shines brightly. The wise men, who, free from desires, worship the Person, pass beyond the seed (of rebirth).
2. He who entertains desires, thinking of them, is born (again) here and there on account of his desires. But of him who has his desire fully satisfied, who is a perfected soul, all his desires vanish even here (on earth).
3. This self cannot be attained by instruction nor by intellectual power nor even through much hearing. He is to be attained by the one whom (the self) chooses. To such a one the self reveals his own nature.
4. This self cannot be attained by one without strength nor through heedlessness nor through austerity without an aim. But he who strives by these means, if he is a knower, this self of his enters the abode of Brahman.
5. Having attained Him, the seers (who are) satisfied with their knowledge (who are) perfected souls, free from passion, tranquil, having attained the omnipresent (self) on all sides, those wise, with concentrated minds, enter into the All itself.
6. The ascetics who have ascertained well the meaning of the Vedanta knowledge, who have purified their natures through the path of renunciation, they (dwelling) in the worlds of Brahma, at the end of time, being one with the immortal, are all liberated.
7. Gone are the fifteen parts to their (respective) supports (the elements) and all the gods (the sense organs) into their corresponding deities. One’s deeds and the self, consisting of understanding, all become one in the Supreme Immutable Being.
8. Just as the flowing rivers disappear in the ocean casting off name and shape, even so the knower, freed from name and shape, attains to the divine person, higher than the high.
9. He, verily, who knows the Supreme Brahman becomes Brahman himself. In his family, no one who does not know Brahman, will be born. He crosses over sorrow. He crosses over sins. Liberated from the knots of the secret place (of the heart), he becomes immortal.
10. This very (doctrine) is declared in the verse. Those who perform the rites, who are learned in scriptures, who are well established in Brahman, who offer of themselves oblations to the sole seer (a form of fire) with faith, to them alone one may declare this knowledge of Brahman (to them alone), by whom the rite (of carrying fire) on the head has been performed, according to rule.
11. This is the truth. The seer Angiras declared it before. Let none who has not performed the rite read this. Salutation to the great seers. Salutation to the great seers.
Mundaka Upanishad 1.1
1. Aum, this syllable is all this. An explanation of that (is the following). All that is the past, the present and the future, all this is only the syllable aum. And whatever else there is beyond the threefold time, that too is only the syllable aum.
2. All this is, verily, Brahman. This self is Brahman. This same self has four quarters.
3. The first quarter is Vaisvanara, whose sphere (of activity) is the waking state, who cognises external objects, who has seven limbs and nineteen mouths and who enjoys (experiences) gross (material) objects.
4. The second quarter is taijasa, whose sphere (of activity) is the dream state, who cognises internal objects, who has seven limbs and nineteen mouths, and who enjoys (experiences) the subtle objects.
5. Where one, being fast asleep, does not desire any desire whatsoever and does not see any dream whatsoever, that is deep sleep. The third quarter is prajna, whose sphere (of activity) is the state of deep sleep, who has become one, who is verily, a mass of cognition, who is full of bliss and who enjoys (experiences) bliss, whose face is thought.
6. This is the lord of all, this is the knower of all, this is the inner controller; this is the source of all; this is the beginning and the end of beings.
7. (Turiya is) not that which cognises the internal (objects), not that which cognises the external (objects), not what cognises both of them, not a mass of cognition, not cognitive, not non-cognitive. (It is) unseen, incapable of being spoken of, ungraspable, without any distinctive marks, unthinkable, unnameable, the essence of the knowledge of the one self, that into which the world is resolved, the peaceful, the benign, the non-dual, such, they think, is the fourth quarter. He is the self; He is to be known.
8. This is the self, which is of the nature of the syllable aum, in regard to its elements. The quarters are the elements, the elements are the quarters, namely the letter, a, the letter u and the letter m.
9. Vaisvanara, whose sphere (of activity) is the waking state, is the letter a, the first element, either from the root ap to obtain or from being the first. He who knows this, obtains, verily, all desires, also, he becomes first.
10. Taijasa, whose sphere (of activity) is the dream state, is the letter u, the second element, from exaltation or intermediateness. He who knows this exalts, verily, the continuity of knowledge and he becomes equal; in his family is born no one who does not know Brahman.
11. Prajna, whose sphere (of activity) is the state of deep sleep is the letter m, the third element, either from the root mi, to measure or because of merging. He who knows this measures (knows) all this and merges also (all this in himself).
12. The fourth is that which has no elements, which cannot be spoken of, into which the world is resolved, benign, non-dual. Thus the syllable aum is the very self. He who knows it thus enters the self with his self.
Svetasvatara Upanishad 1
1. Those who discourse on Brahman say: What is the cause? (Is it) Brahman? Whence are we born? By what do we live? And on what are we established? O ye who know Brahman, (tell us) presided over by whom do we live our different conditions in pleasures and other than pleasures (pains).
2. Time, inherent nature, necessity, chance, the elements, the womb or the person (should they) be considered as the cause? It cannot be a combination of these because of the existence of the soul. Even the soul is powerless in respect of the cause of pleasure and pain.
3. Those who followed after (were devoted to) meditation and contemplation saw the self-power of the Divine hidden in its own qualities. He is the one who rules over all these causes from time to the soul.
4. (We understand) Him (as a wheel) with one felly, with three tires, sixteen ends, fifty spokes, twenty counter-spokes and six sets of eights, whose one rope is manifold, which has three different paths, whose one delusion (arises) from two causes.
5. We meditate on him as a river of five streams, from five sources, fierce and crooked, whose waves are the five vital breaths, whose original source is the fivefold perception, with five whirlpools, an impetuous flood of five pains, divided into fifty kinds (of suffering) with five branches.
6. In this vast brahma-wheel, which enlivens all things, in which all rest, the soul flutters about thinking that the self in him and the Mover (the Lord) are different. Then, when blessed by him, he gains life eternal.
7. This has been sung as the supreme Brahman and in it is the triad. It is the firm support, the imperishable. The knowers of Brahman by knowing what is therein become merged in Brahman, intent thereon and freed from birth.
8. The Lord supports all this which is a combination of the mutable and the immutable, the manifest and the unmanifest. And the soul, not being the Lord, is bound because of his being an enjoyer. By knowing God (the soul) is freed from all fetters.
9. There are two unborn ones, the knowing and the unknowing, the one all-powerful, the other powerless. Indeed there is (another) one who is unborn, connected with the enjoyer and the objects of enjoyment. And there is the infinite self, of universal form, non-active. When one finds out this triad, that is Brahman.
10. What is perishable is the pradhana (primary matter). What is immortal and imperishable is Hara (the Lord). Over both the perishable and the soul the one God rules. By meditating on Him, by uniting with Him, by reflecting on His being more and more, there is complete cessation from the illusion of the world.
11. By knowing God there is a falling off of all fetters; when the sufferings are destroyed, there is cessation of birth and death. By meditating on Him, there is the third state; on the dissolution of the body, universal lordship; being alone, his desire is fulfilled.
12. That Eternal which rests in the self should be known. Truly there is nothing beyond this to be known. By knowing the enjoyer, the object of enjoyment and the mover (of all), everything has been said. This is the threefold Brahman.
13. As the form of fire when latent in its source is not seen and yet its seed is not destroyed, but may be seized again and again in its source by means of the drill, so it is in both cases. The self has to be seized in the body by means of the syllable aum.
14. By making one’s body the lower friction stick and the syllable aum the upper friction stick; by practising the drill (or friction) of meditation one may see the God, hidden as it were.
15. As oil in sesamum seeds, as butter in cream, as water in riverbeds, as fire in friction sticks, so is the Self seized in one’s own soul if one looks for Him with truthfulness and austerity.
16. The Self which pervades all things as butter is contained in milk, which is the root of self-knowledge and austerity, that is the Brahman, the highest mystic doctrine. That is the highest mystic doctrine.
Svetasvatara Upanishad 2
1. Savitri (the inspirer) first controlling mind and thought for truth discerned the light of Agni (Fire) and brought it out of the earth.
2. With mind controlled we are under the command of the divine Savitri that we may have strength for (obtaining) heaven.
3. May Savitri, having controlled through thought the gods that rise up to the bright heaven, inspire them to make a great light to shine.
4. The sages of the great all-knowing control their mind and control their thoughts. The one who knows the law has ordered the ceremonial functions. Great is the praise of the divine Savitri.
5. I join your ancient prayer with adoration. Let my verse go forth like the path of the sun. May all the sons of the Immortal listen, even those who have reached their heavenly abodes.
6. Where the fire is kindled, where the wind is directed, where the soma flows over, there the mind is born.
7. With Savitri as the inspirer, one should delight in the ancient prayer. Make your source (dwelling) there. Your work will not affect you.
8. Holding the body steady with the three (upper parts, chest, neck and head) erect, causing the senses and the mind to enter into the heart, the wise man should cross by the boat of Brahman all the streams which cause fear.
9. Repressing his breathings here (in the body), let him who has controlled all movements, breathe through his nostrils, with diminished breath; let the wise man restrain his mind vigilantly as (he would) a chariot yoked with vicious horses.
10. In a level clean place, free from pebbles, fire and gravel, favourable to thought by the sound of water and other features, not offensive to the eye, in a hidden retreat protected from the wind, let him perform his exercises (let him practise Yoga).
11. Fog, smoke, sun, wind, fire, fireflies, lightning, crystal moon, these are the preliminary forms which produce the manifestation of Brahman in Yoga.
12. When the fivefold quality of Yoga is produced, as earth, water, fire, air and ether arise, then there is no longer sickness, no old age, no death to him who has obtained a body made in the fire of Yoga.
13. Lightness, healthiness, steadiness, clearness of complexion, pleasantness of voice, sweetness of odour, and slight excretions, these, they say, are the first results of the progress of yoga.
14. Even as a mirror stained by dust shines brightly when it has been cleaned, so the embodied one when he has seen the (real) nature of the Self becomes integrated, of fulfilled purpose and freed from sorrow.
15. When by means of the (real) nature of his self he sees as by a lamp here the (real) nature of Brahman, by knowing God who is unborn, steadfast, free from all natures, he is released from all fetters.
16. He, indeed, is the God who pervades all regions, He is the first-born and he is within the womb. He has been born and he will be born. He stands opposite all persons, having his face in all directions.
17. The God who is in fire, who is in water, who has entered into the whole world (the God), who is in plants, who is in trees, to that God be adoration, yea, be adoration.
Svetasvatara Upanishad 3
1. The one who spreads the net, who rules with his ruling powers, who rules all the worlds with his ruling powers, who remains one (identical), while (things or works) arise and continue to exist, they who know that become immortal.
2. Truly Rudra is one, there is no place for a second, who rules all these worlds with his ruling powers. He stands opposite creatures. He, the protector, after creating all worlds, withdraws them at the end of time.
3. That one God, who has an eye ‘on every side, a face on every side, an arm on every side, a foot on every side, creating heaven and earth forges them together by his arms and his wings.
4. He who is the source and origin of the gods, the ruler of all, Rudra, the great seer, who of old gave birth to the golden germ (Hiranya-garbha), may He endow us with clear understanding.
5. Rudra, your body which is auspicious, unterrifying, showing no evil-with that most benign body, O dweller in the mountains, look upon (manifest yourself to) us.
6. O Dweller among the mountains, make auspicious the arrow which thou holdest in thy hand to throw. O Protector of the mountain, injure not man or beast.
7.Higher than this is Brahman, the supreme, the great hidden in all creatures according to their bodies, the one who envelopes the universe, knowing Him, the Lord, (men) become immortal.
8. I know the Supreme Person of sunlike colour (lustre) beyond the darkness. Only by knowing Him does one pass over death. There is no other path for going there.
9. Than whom there is naught else higher, than whom there is naught smaller, naught greater, (the) one stands like a tree established in heaven, by Him, the Person, is this whole universe filled.
10. That which is beyond this world is without suffering. Those who know that become immortal, but others go only to sorrow.
11. He who is in the faces, heads and necks of all, who dwells in the the cave (of the heart) of all beings, who is all-pervading, He is the Lord and therefore the omnipresent Siva.
12. That person indeed is the great lord, the impeller of the highest being. (He has the power of) reaching the purest attainment, the ruler, the imperishable light.
13. A person of the measure of a thumb is the inner self, ever dwelling in the heart of men. He is the lord of the knowledge framed by the heart and the mind. They who know that become immortal.
14. The person has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet. He surrounds the earth on all sides and stands ten fingers’ breadth beyond.
15. The person is truly this whole world, whatever has been and whatever will be. He is also the lord of immortality, and whatever grows up by food.
16. On every side it has a hand and a foot, on every side an eye, a head and a face. It has an ear everywhere. It stands encompassing all in the world.
17. Reflecting the qualities of all the senses and yet devoid of all the senses, it is the lord and ruler, it is the great refuge of all.
18. The embodied soul in the city of nine gates sports (moving to and fro) in the outside (world), the controller of the whole world, of the stationary and the moving.
19. Without foot or hand, (yet) swift and grasping, he sees without eye, he hears without ear. He knows whatever is to be known; of him there is none who knows. They call him the Primeval, the Supreme Person.
20. Subtler than the subtle, greater than the great is the Self that is set in the cave of the (heart) of the creature. One beholds Him as being actionless and becomes freed from sorrow, when through the grace of the Creator he sees the Lord and His majesty.
21. I know this undecaying, ancient (primeval) Self of all, present in everything on account of infinity. Of whom they declare, there is stoppage of birth. The expounders of Brahman proclaim Him to be eternal.
Svetasvatara Upanishad 4
1. He who is one, without any colour, by the manifold exercise of his power distributes many colours in his hidden purpose and into whom in the beginning and at the end the universe is gathered, may He endow us with a clear understanding.
2. That indeed is Agni (fire), that is Aditya (the sun), that is Vayu (the wind) and that is the moon. That, indeed, is the pure. That is Brahma. That is the waters. That is Praja-pati (the lord of creation).
3. You are woman. You are man. You are the youth and the maiden too. You, as an old man, totter along with a staff. Being born you become facing in every direction.
4. You are the dark-blue bird, you are the green (parrot) with red eyes. You are (the cloud) with the lightning in its womb. You are the seasons and the seas. Having no beginning you abide through omnipresence. (You) from whom all worlds are born.
5. The One unborn, red, white and black, who produces manifold offspring similar in form (to herself), there lies the one unborn (male) delighting. Another unborn gives her up, having had his enjoyment.
6. Two birds, companions (who are) always united, cling to the self-same tree. Of these two the one eats the sweet fruit, and the other looks on without eating.
7. On the self-same tree, a person immersed (in the sorrows of the world) is deluded and grieves on account of his helplessness. When he sees the Other, the Lord who is worshipped and His greatness, he becomes freed from sorrow.
8. For him who does not know that indestructible being of the Rg Veda, whereon in the h1ghest heaven all the gods reside, of what avail is the Rg Veda to him? They, indeed, who know that rest fulfilled.
9. The Vedas, the sacrifices, the rituals, the observances, the past, the future and what the Vedas declare, all this the maker sends forth out of this, in this the other is confined by maya.
10. Know then that prakrti is maya and the wielder of maya is the Great Lord. This whole world is pervaded by beings that are parts of Him.
11. The One who rules every single source, in whom all this dissolves (at the end) and comes together (at the beginning of creation), who is the lord, the bestower of blessing, the adorable God, by discerning Him one goes for ever to this peace.
12. He who is the source and origin of the gods, the ruler of all, Rudra, the great seer, who beheld the golden germ (Hiranya-garbha) when he was born, may He endow us with clear understanding.
13. He who is the overlord of the gods, in whom the worlds rest, he who is the lord of two-footed and four-footed beings, to what God shall we offer our oblations?
14. More minute than the minute, in the midst of confusion, the creator of all, of manifold forms, the one embracer of everything, by knowing Him as the auspicious, one attains peace for ever.
15. He indeed is the protector of the world in time, the lord of all, hidden in all things, in whom the seers of Brahman and the deities are united, by knowing Him thus one cuts the cords of death.
16. By knowing Him, the auspicious, hidden in all beings like the film exceedingly fine that rises out of clarified butter, the one embracer of the universe, by knowing God one is released from all fetters.
17. That god, the maker of all things, the great self, ever seated in the heart of creatures is framed by the heart, by the thought, by the mind, they who know that become immortal.
18. When there is no darkness, then there is neither day or night, neither being nor non-being, only the auspicious one alone. That is the imperishable, the adorable light of Savitri and the ancient wisdom proceeded from that.
19. Not above, not across, not in the middle, nor has any one grasped Him. There is no likeness of Him whose name is great glory.
20. His form is not to be seen, no one sees Him with the eye. Those who through heart and mind know Him as abiding in the heart become immortal.
21. ‘You are unborn’ with this thought someone in fear approaches you. O Rudra, may your face which is gracious protect me for ever.
22. Rudra, hurt us not in my child or grandchild, hurt us not in my life, hurt us not in my cattle, hurt us not in my horses. Slay not our heroes in your wrath for we call on you always with oblations.
Svetasvatara Upanishad 5
1. In the imperishable, infinite highest Brahman are the two, knowledge and ignorance, placed hidden. Ignorance is perishable while knowledge is immortal. And he who controls knowledge and ignorance is another (distinct from either).
2. He, who being one, rules over every single source, over all forms and over all sources, He who bears in His thoughts and beholds when born the fiery (red) seer who was engendered in the beginning.
3. That God, who, after spreading out one net after another in various ways draws it together in that field, the Lord, having again created the lords, the great self, exercises his lordship over all.
4. As the sun, illumining all regions, above, below and across, shines, so that one God, glorious, adorable, rules over whatever creatures are born from a womb.
5. The source of all, who develops his own nature, who brings to maturity whatever can be ripened, who distributes all qualities, He the one, rules over this whole world.
6. That which is hidden in the Upanishads which are hidden in the Vedas, Brahma knows that as the source of the Vedas. The gods and seers of old who knew that, they came to be of its nature and have, verily, become immortal.
7. But he who has qualities and is the doer of deeds that are to bear fruit (i.e. bring recompense), he is the enjoyer, surely, of the consequence of whatever he has done. Assuming all forms, characterized by the three qualities, treading the three paths he, the ruler of the vital breaths (the individual soul), wanders about according to his deeds.
8. He is of the measure of a thumb, of appearance like the sun, endowed with thought and self-sense, but with only the qualities of understanding and the self he seems to be of the size of the point of a goad.
9. This living self is to be known as a part of the hundredth part of the point of a hair divided a hundredfold, yet it is capable of infinity.
10. It is not female, nor is it male nor yet is this neuter. Whatever body it takes to itself, by that it is held.
11. By means of thought, touch, sight and passions and by the abundance of food and drink there are the birth and development of the (embodied) self. According to his deeds, the embodied self assumes successively various forms in various conditions.
12. The embodied self, according to his own qualities, chooses (assumes) many shapes, gross and subtle. Having himself caused his union with them, through the qualities of his acts and through the qualities of his body, he is seen as another.
13. Him who is without beginning and without end, in the midst of chaos, the creator of all, of manifold form, who alone embraces the universe, he who knows God is freed from all fetters.
14. Him who is to be grasped by the mind, who is called incorporeal, who makes existence and non-existence, the kindly (the auspicious), the maker of creation and its parts, the Divine, they who know Him have left the body behind.
Svetasvatara Upanishad 6
1. Some wise men speak of inherent nature, others likewise, of time (as the first cause), being deluded. But it is the greatness of God in the world, by which this Brahma-wheel is made to turn.
2. He by whom this whole world is always enveloped, the knower, the author of time, the possessor of qualities and all knowledge. Controlled by Him (this) work (of creation) unfolds itself, that which is regarded as earth, water, fire, air and ether.
3. Having created this work and rested again, having entered into union with the essence of the self, by one, two, three or eight, or by time too and the subtle qualities of the self.
4. Who, having begun with works associated with the (three) qualities, distributes all existents. In the absence of these (qualities), there is the destruction of the work that has been done and in the destruction of the work he continues, in truth, other (different from what he has produced).
5. He is the beginning, the source of the causes which unite (the soul with the body). He is to be seen as beyond the three kinds of time (past, present and future), and as without parts after having worshipped first that adorable God who has many forms, the origin of all being, who abides in one’s own thoughts.
6. Higher and other than the forms of the world-tree and time he from whom this world revolves who brings good and removes evil, the lord of prosperity, having known Him as in one’s own self, the immortal, the support of all (he attains Brahman).
7. He in whom is the Supreme Lord of lords, who is the highest deity of deities, the supreme master of masters, transcendent, him let us know as God, the lord of the world, the adorable.
8. There is no action and no organ of his to be found. There is not seen his equal or his better. His high power is revealed to be various, indeed. The working of his intelligence and strength is inherent (in him).
9. Of Him there is no master in the world, no ruler, nor is there any mark of Him. He is the cause, the lord of the lords of the sense organs, of Him there is neither progenitor nor lord.
10. The one God who, according to his own nature, covers himself like a spider with threads produced from pradhana (unmanifested matter), may He grant us entrance into Brahman.
11. The one God hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the inner self of all beings, the ordainer of all deeds, who dwells in all beings, the witness, the knower, the only one, devoid of qualities.
12. The one controller of the many, inactive, who makes the one seed manifold. The wise who perceive Him as abiding in their self, to them belongs eternal happiness, not to others.
13. He is the eternal among the eternals, the intelligent among the intelligences, the one among many, who grants desires. That cause which is to be apprehended by discrimination (of samkhya) and discipline (yoga)-by knowing God, one is freed from all fetters.
14. The sun does not shine there nor the moon and the stars, nor these lightnings, much less this fire. After Him, when He shines, everything shines, by His light all this is illumined.
15. The one bird in the midst of this world. This indeed is the fire that has entered into the ocean. Only by knowing Him does one pass over death. There is no other path for going there.
16. He is the maker of all, the knower of all, the self-caused, the knower, the author of time, the possessor of qualities, the knower of everything, the ruler of nature and of the spirit, the lord of qualities, the cause of worldly existence, and of liberation, of continuance and of bondage.
17. Becoming that, immortal, existing as the lord, the knower, the omnipresent, the guardian of this world is He who rules this world for ever, for no other cause is found for the ruling.
18. To Him who, of old, creates Brahma and who, verily, delivers to him the Vedas, to that God who is lighted by His own intelligence, do I, eager for liberation, resort for refuge.
19. To him who is without parts, without activity, tranquil, irreproachable, without blemish, the highest bridge to immortality like a fire with its fuel burnt.
20. When men shall roll up space as if it were a piece of leather, then will there be an end of sorrow, apart from knowing God.
21. By the power of austerity and the grace of God, the wise Svetasvatara in proper manner spoke about Brahman, the Supreme, the pure, to the advanced ascetics, what is pleasing to the company of seers.
22. This highest mystery in the Vedanta which has been declared in a former age should not be given to one whose passions are not subdued nor again to one who is not a son or a pupil.
23. These subjects which have been declared shine forth to the high-souled one who has the highest devotion for God and for his spiritual teacher as for God. Yea they shine forth to the high-souled one.
Maitri Upanishad 1.1
1. A sacrifice to Brahman, indeed, is the laying (of the sacrificial fires) of the ancients. Therefore let the sacrificer, having laid these fires, meditate on the self. Thus, verily, does the sacrifice become complete and flawless. Who is he that is to be meditated upon? He who is called life. Of him there is this story.
2. Verily, a king, Brhadratha by name, after having established his son in the kingdom, reflecting that this body is non-eternal, reaching the state of non-attachment (to the things of the world) went into the forest. There, performing extreme austerity, he stands, with uplifted arms, gazing at the sun. At the end of a thousand (days) there came into the presence of the ascetic, like a fire without smoke, burning as it were with glow, the revered Sakayanya, the knower of the self. He said unto the king: ‘Arise, arise, choose a boon.’ He did his obeisance and said, ‘O Revered One, I know not the self. We have heard that you know its nature. So tell it unto us.’ Sakayanya replied, ‘Such things used to occur formerly. Very difficult (to answer) is this question. O Aiksvaka, choose other desires.’ The king, touching his (Sakayanya’s) feet with his head recited this utterance.
3. O Revered One, in this foul-smelling, unsubstantial body, a conglomerate of bone, skin, muscle, marrow, flesh, semen, blood, mucus, tears, rheum, faeces, urine, wind, bile and phlegm, what is the good of the enjoyment of desires? In this body which is afflicted with desire, anger, covetousness, delusion, fear, despondency, envy, separation from what is desired, union with the undesired, hunger, thirst, old age, death, disease, sorrow and the like, what is the good of the enjoyment of desires?
4. And we see that all this is perishing, as these gnats, mosquitoes and the like, the grass and the trees that grow and decay. But, indeed, what of these? There are others, superior, great warriors, some world-rulers, Sudyumna, Bhuridyumna, Indradyumna, Kuvalayasva, Yauvanasva, Vadhryasva, Asvapati, Sasabindu, Hariscandra, Ambarisa, Ananakta, Saryati, Yayati, Anaranya, Uksasena, and the rest; Kings, too, such as Marutta, Bharata and others, with their whole families looking on, they renounced great wealth and went forth from this world into that. But, indeed, what of these? There are others, superior. We see the destruction of Gandharvas (fairies), Asuras (demons), Yaksas (sprites), Raksasas (ogres), Bhutas (ghosts), Ganas, Pisacas (goblins), snakes, vampires, and the like. But, indeed, what of these? Among other things, there is the drying up of great oceans, the falling away of mountain peaks, the deviation of the fixed pole-star, the cutting of the wind-ropes (that hold the stars in their places), the submergence of the earth, the departure of the gods from their station. In such a world as this, what is the good of enjoyment of desires? For he who has fed on them is seen to return (to this world) repeatedly. Be pleased, therefore, to deliver me. In this world (cycle of existence) I am like a frog in a waterless well. Revered Sir, you are our way (of deliverance), you are our way.
Maitri Upanishad 2
1. Then, the revered Sakayanya, well pleased, said to the king: ‘Great King Brhadratha, banner of the race of Iksvaku, speedily will you who are renowned as Marut (the wind) attain your purpose and become a knower of the self. This, indeed, is thy self.’ ‘Which, O Revered One,’ said the King. Then he said to him.
2. Now he who, without stopping the respiration, goes upwards, moving about yet unmoving, dispels darkness, he is the self. Thus said the revered Maitri. For thus has it been said, ‘Now that serene one, who, rising up out of this body, reaches the highest light and appears with his own form, he is the self,’ said he, ‘that is the immortal, the fearless. That is Brahman.’
3. Now, indeed, O King, this is the brahma knowledge, even the knowledge contained in all the Upanishads as declared to us by the revered Maitri. I will narrate it to you. Now we hear that Valikhilyas were free from evil, of resplendent glory and vigorous chastity. Now they said to Kratu Praja-pati, ‘O Revered One, this body is like a cart without intelligence. To what supersensuous being belongs such power by which such a sort of thing has been made intelligent, or in other words, who is its mover? What you know, O Revered One, tell us that.’ Then he said to them.
4. He, who is reputed as standing aloof amidst qualities, like those of vigorous chastity, he indeed, is pure, clean, void, tranquil, breathless, mindless, endless, undecaying, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent. He abides in his own greatness. By him this body is set up as possessing intelligence or in other words, this one, verily, is its driver. Then they said, ‘How, Revered sir, by this kind of desireless being is this sort of thing set up as possessing intelligence, or in other words, how is this one its mover?’ Then he said to them.
5. Verily, that subtile, ungraspable, invisible one, called the person, dwells here (in the body) with a part (of himself), with previous awareness (volition) even as the man who is fast asleep awakes of his own awareness (volition). Now, assuredly that part of him, which is entirely intelligent in every person is the spirit (knower of the body) which has the marks of conception, determination and self-love, Praja-pati called Visva. By him as intelligence is his body set up as possessed of intelligence, or in other words this very one is its mover. Then they said, ‘Revered sir, if by this kind of desireless being this sort of thing is set up as possessed of intelligence, still, how is this one its mover?’ Then he said to them.
6. Verily, in the beginning Praja-pati (the lord of creatures) stood alone. He had no happiness, being alone. Then, meditating on himself, he created numerous offspring. He saw them to be like a stone, without understanding, without life, standing like a post. He had no happiness. He then thought to himself, ‘Let me enter within in order to awaken (enlighten) them.’ He made himself like wind and sought to enter into him. Being one, he could not do it. He divided himself fivefold and is called prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana (five kinds of breath). That breath which rises upwards that, assuredly, is the prana (breath). Now that which moves downwards, that, assuredly, is the apana (breath). Now that, verily, by which these two are supported, that, assuredly, is the vyana (breath). Now that which carries unto the apana breath gross elements of food and distributes the subtle (elements) in each limb, that, assuredly, is called samana (breath). It is a higher form of the vyana (breath) and between them is the production of the udana (breath). That which brings up or carries down what has been drunk and eaten is the udana (breath). Now the upamsu vessel is over against the antaryama vessel and the antaryama vessel is over against the upamsu vessel and between these two the god generated heat. That heat is the person and the person is the universal fire. And thus it is said elsewhere, ‘This is the universal fire namely that which is here within a person by means of which the food that is eaten is cooked (digested). Its noise is that which one hears on covering the eyes thus. When a man is about to depart this life he does not hear this noise.’ He, verily, having divided himself fivefold is hidden in a secret place, he who consists of mind, whose body is life, whose form is light, whose conception is truth, whose soul is space. Verily, not having attained his purpose, he thought to himself from within the heart here, ‘Let me enjoy objects.’ Thence having pierced these openings (the five apertures of the senses), he enjoys the objects by means of the five reins. These reins of his are the organs of perception. His horses are the organs of action. His chariot is the body. The charioteer is the mind. The whip is made of one’s character. By him thus driven, this body goes round and round like the wheel (driven) by the potter. So this body is set up as possessing intelligence or in other words, this very one is its mover.
7. Verily, this self, the seers declare, wanders here on earth in every body (from body to body) unaffected, as it seems, by the light or the dark fruits of action. On account of this unmanifestness, subtility, imperceptibility, ungraspability, freedom from self-sense, (the self) is unabiding and a doer only in seeming, truly is not a doer, he is abiding. Verily, he is pure, steadfast, unswerving, stainless, unagitated, free from desire, remains fixed like a spectator and abiding in his own self. As an enjoyer of righteous work he covers himself with a veil made of qualities, but he remains fixed, yea, he remains fixed.
Maitri Upanishad 3.3
I. They (the Valikhilyas) said (to Praja-pati Kratu), ‘Revered One, if you thus indicate the greatness of this self then there is that other, different one also called self, who, affected by the bright or dark fruits of action, enters a good or an evil womb, so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders about, affected by the pairs (of opposites like pleasure and pain).
2. There is, indeed, another, different, called the elemental self, he who, affected by the bright or the dark fruits of action, enters a good or an evil womb so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders about affected by the pairs (of opposites). And this is its explanation. The five subtle elements are called by the name element. Likewise the five gross elements are called by the name element. Now the combination of these is called the body. Now he, indeed, who is said to be in the body is called the elemental self. Now its immortal self is like a drop of water on the lotus leaf. This (elemental self) verily, is affected by nature’s qualities. Now because of being affected, he gets to bewilderment (becomes confused); because of bewilderment he sees not the blessed Lord who dwells in himself, the causer of action. Borne along and defiled by the stream of qualities, unstable, wavering, bewildered, full of desire, distracted, he gets to the state of self-love. thinking, ‘I am he,’ ‘This is mine,’ he binds himself with his self like a bird in a snare. So being affected by the fruits of his action, he enters a good or an evil womb so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders about, affected by the pairs of opposites. Which one is this? Then he said to them.
3. And thus it has been said elsewhere. Verily, he who is the doer is the elemental self: he who causes to act by means of the organs is the inner person. Now even as a ball of iron, overcome by fire and beaten by workmen takes many forms, the elemental self overcome by the inner person and beaten by the qualities takes many forms. The mode of that form has a fourfold covering, is fourteen-fold, is transformed in eighty-four different ways, is a host of beings, is verily manifold. All these varieties, verily, are impelled by the person even as the wheel by the potter. Now, as when a ball of iron is being beaten, the fire is not overcome, even so the person is not overcome. The elemental self is overcome because of its attachment (to qualities).
4. And thus it has been said elsewhere. This body arises from sexual intercourse. It is endowed with growth in darkness. Then it comes forth through the urinary passage. It is built up with bones, smeared over with flesh, covered with skin, filled with faeces, urine, bile, phlegm, marrow, fat, grease and also with many diseases, like a treasure house full of wealth.
5. And then it has been said elsewhere: bewilderment, fear, depression, sleepiness, sloth, heedlessness, old age, grief, hunger, thirst (mental), weakness, anger, unorthodoxy, ignorance, jealousy, cruelty, stupidity, shamelessness, meanness, rashness, unequableness, these are the characteristics of the quality of darkness. Inner thirst, affection, passion, covetousness, hurting others, lust, hatred, deceit, envy, insatiability, unsteadfastness, fickleness, distractedness, ambitiousness, acquisitiveness, patronage of friends, family pride, aversion to unpleasant objects and over-attachment to pleasant objects, sourness of utterance and gluttonousness, these are the characteristics of the quality of passion. By these he is filled, by these he is affected, therefore the elemental self attains manifold forms, yea, attains (manifold forms).
Maitri Upanishad 4
1. They (the Valikhilyas), indeed, of vigorous chastity, exceedingly amazed, approached him and said, ‘Revered Sir, salutations to you, instruct us further. You are our way (of deliverance) and there is no other. What is the method (rule) by which this elemental self, after leaving this (elemental body) obtains union with the (true) self?’ Then he (Praja-pati Kratu) said to them.
2. And this it has been said elsewhere. Like the waves in large rivers there is no turning back of that which has been done previously; like the tide of the ocean, the approach of one’s death is hard to keep back. Like a lame man, bound by the fetters made of the fruits of good and evil, like the condition of a man in prison, lacking independence, like the condition of one in the realm of death, beset by many fears, like one intoxicated with liquor, intoxicated with the liquor of delusion, rushing about like one possessed by an evil spirit, like one bitten by a great serpent, bitten by the objects of sense, like gross darkness, the darkness of passion, like jugglery, consisting of illusion, like a dream, false appearances, like the inside of the banana tree, unsubstantial, like an actor changing dress every moment, like a painted scene, falsely delighting the mind and therefore it has been said, ‘Objects of sound, touch and the like are worthless objects for a man,’ the elemental self, through attachment to them, does not remember the highest state.
3. This is, indeed, the antidote for the elemental self, acquirement of the knowledge of the Veda and the due performance of one’s own duty. Pursuit of the duties of the stage of life to which each one belongs, this is the rule for one’s own duty; others are like the branches of a stem. Through it one goes upwards, otherwise downwards. That is one’s regular duty which is set forth in the Vedas. Not by transgressing one’s regular duty does one belong to the stage of life. If one says that a man does not belong to any of the stages of life for he is (one) who practises austerity, it is not proper. (However) if one does not practise austerity there is no success in the knowledge of the self or in the perfection of works. For thus has it been said: By austerity goodness is obtained and from goodness understanding is reached and from the understanding is the self obtained and he who obtains the self does not return.
4. ‘Brahman is,’ said one who knew the knowledge of Brahman. ‘This is the door to Brahman,’ said one who had freed himself from evil by (the practice of) austerity. ‘Aum is the (manifest) greatness of Brahman,’ said one who, completely absorbed, always meditates (on it). Therefore, by knowledge, by austerity, by meditation is Brahman apprehended. He becomes one who goes beyond the Brahma (the lower, Hiranya-garbha) and to the state of the supreme divinity above the gods. He obtains happiness, undecaying, unmeasured, free from sickness, he who knows this and worships Brahman with this triad (knowledge, austerity and meditation). Then freed from those things by which he was filled and affected, this rider of the chariot attains (complete) union with the self.
5. They said. ‘Revered One, you are the teacher, you are the teacher. What has been said has been duly fixed in mind by us. Now answer a further question. Fire, air, sun, time, whatever it is, breath, food, Brahma, Rudra, Visnu, some meditate upon one, some upon another. Tell us which one is the best for us.’ Then he said to them.
6. These are but the chief forms of the Supreme, the immortal, the bodiless Brahman. To whichever one each man is devoted here, in his world he rejoices. For it has been said, ‘Verily, this whole world is Brahman.’ Verily, these, which are its chief forms one meditates upon, worships and discards. For with these one moves higher and higher in the worlds. And when all things perish (in universal dissolution), he attains unity of (with) the person, yea, of the person.
Maitri Upanishad 5
1. Now then this is Kutsayana’s hymn of praise. Thou art Brahma and verily thou art Visnu, thou art Rudra and thou Praja-pati; thou art Agni, Varuna, Vayu, thou art Indra and thou art the moon. Thou art food, thou art Yama, thou art the earth, thou art all, thou art the Imperishable. All things exist in thee in many forms for their own or for their natural ends. Lord of the universe, salutations to thee, the self of all, the maker of all, the enjoyer of all, thou art all life and the lord of all pleasure and delight. Salutations to thee, the tranquil self, salutations to thee, the deeply hidden, the incomprehensible, the immeasurable and without beginning and without end.
2. Verily, in the beginning this (world) was darkness alone. That was in the Highest. When impelled by the Highest it moves on to differentiation. That form, verily, is passion. That passion, when impelled, moves on to differentiation. That, verily, is the form of goodness. That goodness, when impelled, the essence flowed forth. That part is what the intelligence principle in every person is, the knower of the body, which has the marks of conception, determination and self-love, Praja-pati (the lord of creation) called Visva. His forms have been previously mentioned. Now then, indeed the part of him which is characterised by darkness that, O students of sacred knowledge, is this Rudra. Now then, indeed, that part of him which is characterised by passion, that, O students of sacred knowledge, is this Brahma. Now then, indeed, that part of him which is characterised by goodness, that, O students of sacred knowledge, is this Visnu. Verily, that one becomes threefold. He developed forth eightfold, elevenfold, twelvefold, in unlimited parts. Because he thus developed, he is a (created) being, he moves about, having entered all beings. He became the lord of (created) beings. That is the self within and without, yea, within and without.
Subala Upanishad 3
1. In the beginning this was non-existent. He who knows (the Brahman) as unborn, uncaused, unestablished (in anything else), devoid of sound, devoid of touch, devoid of form, devoid of taste, devoid of smell, imperishable, not dense, not prodigious, originless, as one’s own self (he), sorrows not. That which is lifeless, mouthless, earless, speechless, mindless, splendourless, devoid of name and clan, headless, devoid of hands and feet, devoid of attachment, devoid of glowing redness (like fire), immeasurable, not short, not long, not gross, not minute (like a speck), not small, not great, not definable, not obscure, not demonstrable, not manifest, not shrouded, without an interior, without an exterior. It does not feed on anything, nor does anything feed on it. One should attain this (Brahman) by recourse to the six means of truthfulness, charity, austerity, fasting, chastity (of mind and body) and complete indifference to worldly objects (renunciation of all objects which do not help the attainment of the knowledge of the self). One should also attend to the following three, self-control, charity and compassion. The pranas (vital airs) of this (knower of Brahman) do not go out; even where he is they get merged. He who knows thus, becoming Brahman remains as Brahman alone.
1. Then Paingala asked Yajnavalkya, please relate to me a detailed account of the great texts.
2. Yajnavalkya replied to him: One should engage in meditation of the kind ‘That thou art,’ ‘Thou art the seat of Brahman.’ ‘I am Brahman.’ Therein the imperceptible personal Lord with the qualities of omniscience and others, endowed with the power of maya, of the character of being, consciousness and bliss, the source of the world is (what is connoted by) the word ‘that’ (of the text). That alone, being influenced by the inner sense, supported by the conception of self (I-conception) is (what is connoted by) the word ‘thou’ (of the text). Giving up the power of maya and ignorance which envelop (the two), the supreme and the individual soul, what is meant by the terms ‘that’ and ‘thou’ becomes Brahman which is non-distinct from the self. The investigation into the import of the texts ‘That thou art,’ I am Brahman is hearing. Exclusive attention to the meaning of what is heard is reflection. The fixing of thought with one-pointed attention solely on the object attained through hearing and reflection is meditation. The thought absorbed only in the object meditated upon, giving up the distinction of the meditator and the act of meditation resembling a lamp in a windless spot attains the highest enlightenment. In that state, when the functionings directed towards the cognition of the self are roused (the intuitions of the self), are not cognised but only inferred from memory. Through this the numberless previous karmas accumulated during this beginningless cycle of births and deaths attain their dissolution. Thence, through the power of practice, a stream of nectar showers always from a thousand directions. Therefore
the adepts in yoga call this highest enlightenment ‘the cloud of virtue.’ When the nets of dispositions (good and bad) are dissolved without any residue, when the accumulated deeds, virtuous and vicious, are completely destroyed, to the very roots, the past and the future alike, owing to the removal of all impediments bring about the direct and immediate perception (of Brahman) as of the amalaka fruit, on the palm of the hand. Then (the knower of Brahman) becomes one liberated while in life.
3. Isvara developed the desire to disquintuplicate the quintuplicated elements. After causing the macrocosms, the worlds comprised in them and other effects to recede into their (antecedent) causal form, after making into one the subtle body, the organs of actions, the life principles, the organs of perception and the fourfold inner sense, and after merging all elements in the fivefold causal elements, he causes earth to dissolve in water, water in fire, fire in air, air in ether, ether in the self-sense, the self-sense in the great, the great in the unmanifested and the unmanifested in the self in due order. The Virat, the Hiranya-garbha and the Supreme Lord, owing to the dissolutions of their respective adjuncts, lapse into the Supreme Self. The gross body composed of the quintuplicated great elements, organised through the accumulated (past) karma, owing to the destruction of karma and the ripening of the fruits of good karma, becoming one with the subtle body, attaining the form of the causal body, causes the causal body to merge in the unchanging inner self. The three states of Visva, Taijasa, Prajna, on account of the dissolution of their adjuncts merge in the inner self. The microcosm being burnt (and purified) by the fire of knowledge becomes merged along with its causes in the Supreme Self. Therefore let the Brahmana, after becoming possessed of self-control engage in meditation incessantly on the identity of That and Thou. Thereafter, even as the sun shines with all his splendour on the dissipation of the clouds, the self manifests himself. After meditating on the self seated in the middle (of the heart) like a lamp placed inside a vessel, of the size of a thumb and of the form of smokeless flame (the self manifests himself).
4. One should meditate on the unchanging, imperishable that is inside, manifesting (the diverse functions). The sage who is continuously engaged in meditation till he goes to sleep or is overtaken by death.
5. He should be known as one liberated while alive (in this body). He is blessed and is of fulfilled duties. After giving up the state of being liberated while alive, when the time arrives for his quitting the body, he enters on the state of disembodied liberation even as the air attains the state of non-movement.
6. (He attains the state) that is devoid of sound, devoid of touch, devoid of forms, devoid of wasting, likewise devoid of taste, that is eternal, and devoid of smell, having neither beginning nor end, that transcends the Great, constant, that alone remains, which is flawless and free from ailing.
Paingala Upanishad 4
1. Then the sage Paingala asked Yajnavalkya: What is the (nature of) action of a knower? What is his condition? Yajnavalkya replied unto him: The seeker after liberation endowed with humility and other good qualities carries (safely) across (the ocean of worldly existence) twenty-one generations of his class. The moment he becomes a knower of Brahman he carries across one hundred and one generations of his class. Know the self as the lord of the chariot and the body as verily, the chariot. Know the intellect as the charioteer and the mind as, verily, the reins.
2. The senses, they say, are the horses and the objects (of the senses) the paths (they range over). The hearts of the knowers (of Brahman) are so many air chariots.
3. (The self) associated with the body, the senses and the mind, the great sages declare, is the enjoyer. Therefore, Narayana is actually established (as the self) in the hearts (of all beings). The seeker after God, after becoming one with God. becomes the self of all beings:
4. As long as his previously commenced karma remains unspent, he functions (very much) like the snake with the slough on. He who has attained liberation, though possessed of the body, wanders about homeless like the moon (on the sky).
5. Casting off his body either in a place of pilgrimage or in the house of an eater of dog’s flesh (the knower) attains aloneness. After scattering the vital airs he attains aloneness. After (the knower has run the appointed course of life and dies) his body should be cast away as an offering to the cardinal points; or else it may be buried. Only in the case of a male who is eligible for the order of monkhood is (burial) prescribed, never for others.
6. No pollution (is to be observed by blood relations), no rituals connected with the funeral fire, no oblations (in the form of balls of cooked rice) nor offerings of water nor rituals on new moon and other days should be adopted for the (departed) mendicant who has become Brahman.
7. Even as there is no cooking of food that has already been cooked, there is no cremation of the body (of a knower) which has already been burnt (in the fire of austerity). For one whose body has already been consumed by the fire of knowledge, there is no need for the performance of sraddha ceremonies or any other obsequies.
8. So long as there is the limitation (leading to differentiation between the teacher and the pupil) so long the pupil should serve the teacher. He should behave with the teacher’s wife and his sons as he would with the teacher (himself).
9. With a purified mind, with a purified consciousness, full of forbearance, and in the attitude ‘I am he’ full of forbearance, and when he gains the attitude ‘I am he,’ when the supreme self, the basis of all knowledge gets firmly fixed in the heart, when the body attains the state of quiescence then does the mind scintillating with the intellect become void of its functionings. What is the use of milk to one satiated with nectar? Even so what is the use of the study of the Vedas for one who has perceived the Self? For the Yogin who is satisfied with the nectar of knowledge (of Brahman) there is nothing whatsoever that has yet to be achieved. If there is anything (still to be achieved), he is not a knower of the truth. Remaining aloof, yet not aloof, remaining in the body, yet not of the body, the innermost self, becomes the all-pervading (Brahman). After purifying the heart, thinking of Brahman the perfect (free from ailment), the Yogin should perceive that he is the all, the transcendent, the blissful.
10. As water poured into water, milk poured into milk, ghee into ghee becomes one without differentiation, even so the individual soul and the Supreme Self (become one).
11. When the body is lit (with the flame of) knowledge, when the understanding becomes indivisible in form, then the knower should burn all the bonds with the fire of the knowledge of Brahman. Then he who has attained the form of the self, firmly established in the state without limitations should enter on the state hallowed, that is known as the supreme lord, that is of non-dual form, that resembles ether devoid of impurities, like water that has flown into water.
12. The self that has a subtle body like the ether, that self immanent in all beings is not seen like the air. (That) self is motionless both outside and inside. The self immanent in all beings perceives with the torch of knowledge.
13. Wheresoever the knower may die, whatever may be the manner of death, at that very place he becomes merged (in Brahman) even as the all-pervading ether.
14. The knower who knows the self to be indissoluble, like the ether of the pot, reaches independence with the range of his knowledge (spreading) on all sides.
15. A man may perform penance standing on one leg for a thousand years (yet his austerities) do not deserve a sixteenth part of the merit of concentrated meditation.
16. One desires to know all about what constitutes knowledge and what has to be known, but even if he should live for a thousand years he does not get to the end of the (study of the) scriptures.
17. What is to be known is the subtle imperishable existence while one’s life is unsteady. (Therefore) giving up the network of scriptures (which are many and endless), let the truth be meditated on.
18. (It is only) so long as the seeker does not attain knowledge of the real that endless ceremonies, observances of purity, prayers, likewise performance of sacrifices, visits to places of pilgrimage (are prescribed by the scriptures).
19. For the great souled, the surest way to liberation is the conviction that I am Brahman. The two terms, what leads to bondage and what leads to liberation, are the sense of mineness and the absence of the sense of mineness.
20. With the sense of mineness the soul is bound; with the absence of the sense of mineness it is liberated. When the mind rises to the state of illumination, the sense of duality is never attained.
21. When the seeker attains the state of illumination then he (attains) the highest state. Wheresoever his mind goes there is the highest state.
22. There is the transcendent Brahman well established everywhere. However much one tormented by hunger strikes with his fisticuffs the ether round him or chews (any amount of) chaff (his hunger is not appeased).
23. For him who does not know ‘I am Brahman,’ liberation does not arise. He who studies this Upanishad every day becomes hallowed as by fire; he becomes hallowed by air; he becomes hallowed by the sun; he becomes hallowed by Brahma; he becomes hallowed by Visnu; he becomes hallowed by Rudra. He attains the merit of bathing in all the sacred waters. He becomes accomplished in the study of all the Vedas. He becomes disciplined in the performance of all the vows prescribed in the Vedas. By him are attained the fruits resulting from a hundred thousand recitals of the Itihasas, the Puranas and the Rudras. By him has been repeated the syllable pranava (aum) myriads of times. He sanctifies ten previous and ten future generations. He sanctifies the rows of people with whom he dines. He becomes a great-souled one. He becomes freed from the sins of killing a Brahmana, drinking liquor, stealing gold, sharing the bed with the teacher’s wife and associating with those who have committed these sins.
24. These knowers of Brahman, with their passions cast away, their inner senses alert, expound clearly that highest state of Visnu. This is the truth, (this is) the Upanishad.
1. Then Asvalayana approached the Venerable Lord Brahma and said: Teach (me), Venerable Sir, the knowledge of Brahman, supreme, sought constantly by the wise, hidden, that by which the knower is soon freed from impurities and attains the person greater than the great.
2. Brahma the grandsire said to him (Asvalayana): Seek to know (Brahman) by faith, devotion, meditation and concentration. Not by work, not by offspring, or wealth; only by renunciation does one reach life eternal.
3. It is higher than heaven, shines in the cave of the heart. Those who strive (for it) enter into it.
4. The ascetics who have ascertained well the meaning of the Vedanta knowledge, who have purified their natures through the path of renunciation, they (dwelling) in the worlds of Brahma, at the end of time, being one with the immortal, are all liberated.
5. In a solitary place, seating oneself in an easy posture, with a pure heart, with the head, neck and body straight, in the last order of life, controlling all the senses, bowing with devotion to the teacher.
6. Meditating on the lotus of the heart, devoid of passion and pure, in the centre of which is the pure, the sorrowless, the inconceivable, the unmanifest, of infinite form, the blissful, the tranquil, the immortal, the source of Brahma.
7. Him who is without beginning, middle or end, who is one, all-pervading, who is wisdom and bliss, who is formless, wonderful, who has Uma as his companion, the highest lord, the ruler, who is the three-eyed, who has a dark throat, who is tranquil; by meditating on him the sage reaches the source of beings, the witness of all, who is beyond (all) darkness.
8. He is Brahma (the creator); he is Siva (the judge), he is Indra, he is the imperishable, supreme, the lord of himself. He is Visnu (the preserver), he is life, he is time, he is fire, he is the moon:
9. He is all, what has been and what shall be. He is eternal. By knowing him one conquers death. There is no other way to liberation.
10. By seeing the self in all beings and all beings in the self one goes to Brahman, not by any other cause.
11. Making one’s body the lower firestick and the syllable aum the upper firestick, by the effort of kindling (the flame of) knowledge, the knower burns the bond (of ignorance).
12. The same self veiled by maya attains a body and performs all work. In the waking state he attains satisfaction by the varied enjoyments of women, food and drink.
13. In the state of dream the self experiences happiness or sorrow in the worlds created by his own maya. In the state of dreamless sleep in which all things disappear, overcome by darkness, he experiences happiness.
14. Again, he (the individual jiva) on account of his connection with the deeds of his past life wakes up and sleeps. He revels in the three states of consciousness (waking, dream and dreamless sleep) and from him all this varied world is born. In him who is the support, who is the bliss, who is indivisible wisdom are merged the three states of consciousness.
15. From him are born life, mind and all the senses; sky, air, light, water and earth which is the support of all existence.
16. He is the supreme Brahman, the self of all, the chief foundation of this world, subtler than the subtle, eternal. That thou art; Thou art That.
17. The world which shines in the states of waking, dream and dreamless sleep, knowing that it is Brahman who I am, one is freed from all fetters.
18. In the three states of consciousness whatever appears as the object of enjoyment, or the enjoyer or the enjoyment, I am different from them, the witness (thereof), pure consciousness, the eternal Siva.
19. From me all proceed, in me all exist, and to me all return. That Brahman without a second am I.
20. I am subtler than the subtle, greater than the great. I am this manifold universe. I am the ancient, the person. I am the lord of golden hue. I am Siva.
21. I am without hands and feet, of inconceivable powers. I see without eyes. I hear without ears. I know (all). I am of one form. None knows me. I am always pure consciousness.
22. I am the One to be known through the many Vedas. I am the maker of the Vedanta and the knower of the Vedas. Merit or demerit I have none (do not affect me). There is no destruction for me, no birth or body; senses or intellect.
23. I have not earth, water, fire, air, ether. Knowing the nature of the Supreme Self, dwelling in the cave of the heart, stainless without a second; the witness of all, free from (the duality of) existent and non-existent, he obtains the pure nature of the Supreme Self.
24. Whoever reads satarudriya (this Upanishad connected with it) becomes pure as fire, he becomes pure as air, he becomes purified from (the fault of) stealing gold; he becomes purified from (the fault of) drinking liquor, he becomes purified from (the fault of) murdering a Brahmana, he becomes purified from (the faults of) commission and omission. Therefore one should strive to become freed (from these faults). He who has freed himself from the different orders of life should meditate (on this upanishad) constantly or occasionally.
25. He obtains this wisdom which destroys the ocean of births and deaths. By knowing this he obtains the state of kaivalya, he obtains the state of kaivalya.
1. I shall describe the Vajrasuci doctrine which blasts ignorance, condemns those who are devoid of the knowledge (of Brahman) and exalts those endowed with the eye of knowledge.
2. The Brahmana the Ksatriya, the Vaisya and the Sudra are the four classes (castes). That the Brahmana is the chief among these classes is in accord with the Vedic texts and is affirmed by the Smrtis. In this connection there is a point worthy of investigation. Who is, verily, the Brahmana? Is he the individual soul? Is he the body? Is he the class based on birth? Is he the knowledge? Is he the deeds (previous, present or prospective)? Is he the performer of the rites?
3. Of these, if the first (position) that the Jiva or the individual soul is Brahmana (is to be assumed), it is not so; for the individual’s form is one and the same in the large number of previous and prospective bodies. Even though the jiva (the individual soul) is one, there is scope for (the assumption of) many bodies due to the stress of (past) karma, and in all these bodies the form of the jiva is one and the same. Therefore the jiva is not the Brahmana.
4. Then if (it is said) that the body is the Brahmana, it is not so, because of the oneness of the nature of the body which is composed of the five elements, in all classes of human beings down to the candalas (outcastes), etc.; on account of the perception of the common features of old age and death, virtue and vice, on account of the absence of any regularity (in the complexion of the four classes) that the Brahmana is of the white complexion, that the Ksatriya is of the red complexion, that the Vaisya is of the tawny complexion, that the Sudra is of the dark complexion and because of the liability of the sons and others (kinsmen) to becoming tainted with the murder of a Brahmana and other (sins) on cremating the bodies of their fathers and other kinsmen. Therefore the body is not the Brahmana.
5. Then (if it is said) that birth (makes) the Brahmana, it is not so, for there are many species among creatures, other than human, many sages are of diverse origin. We hear from the sacred books that Rsyasrnga was born of a deer, Kausika of Kusa grass, Jambuka from a jackal, Valmiki from an ant-hill, Vyasa from a fisher girl, Gautama from the back of a hare, Vasistha from Urvasi (the celestial nymph), Agastya from an earthen jar. Among these, despite their birth, there are many sages, who have taken the highest rank, having given proof of their wisdom. Therefore birth does not (make) a Brahmana.
6. Then (if it is said) that knowledge (makes a) Brahmana, it is not so because among Ksatriyas and others there are many who have seen the Highest Reality and attained wisdom: Therefore knowledge does not (make) a Brahmana.
7. Then (if it is said) that work (makes a) Brahmana, it is not so, for we see that the work commenced in the present embodiment or accumulated during the previous or to commence on a future embodiment is common to all living creatures and that good men perform works impelled by their past karma. Therefore work does not (make) a Brahmana.
8. Then (if it is said) that the performer of religious duties is a Brahmana, it is not so; for there have been many Ksatriyas and others who have given away gold. Therefore the performer of religious rites is not the Brahmana.
9. Then, who, verily is the Brahmana? He who, after directly perceiving, like the amalaka fruit in the palm of one’s hand, the Self, without a second, devoid of distinctions of birth, attribute and action, devoid of all faults such as the six infirmities, and the six states, of the form of truth, wisdom, bliss and eternity, that is by itself, devoid of determinations, the basis of endless determinations, who functions as the indwelling spirit of all beings, who pervades the interior and the exterior of all like ether, of the nature of bliss, indivisible, immeasurable, realisable only through one’s experience and who manifests himself directly (as one’s self), and through the fulfilment of his nature, becomes rid of the faults of desire, attachment, etc., and endowed with qualities of tranquillity, etc., rid of the states of being, spite, greed, expectation, bewilderment, etc., with his mind unaffected by ostentation, self-sense and the like, he lives. He alone who is possessed of these qualities is the Brahmana. This is the view of the Vedic texts and tradition, ancient lore and history. The accomplishment of the state of the Brahmana is otherwise impossible. Meditate on Brahman, the Self who is being, consciousness and bliss, without a second; meditate on Brahman, the Self who is being, consciousness and bliss without a second. This is the Upanishad.