the upanishads: breath of the eternal

Principle source: the unkown Upanishads author

Translated by Swami Prabhavananda, Frederick Manchester



Hollywood California

(note: this text version is currently of low OCR-scan-quality, see also the PDF version)


It has seemed to me fitting that this ttanslatifln of the Upamsheds should be accompanied by ^ woid regarding its principal author, Swami Pr?- bhavananda

The first intimation that the future Swami w?s to take up the religious life came when at the ap of thirteen he read The Gospel of Sn Ramakmhatt capacious volume in which a disciple of the great nineteenth century saint told in faithftfl

versacion It was prophetic that the boy was vividly impressed by whatlic read there ol hwami Brahmananda. partly because of something that at- tracted him even in the Swami s monastic namr» and partly because of the acknowledged position of Swami Brahmananda as in a special sense the spir- itual son of the saint

Shortly after this first reading of the Gospel- Swami Prabhavananda met a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. and also Sn Ramakrishna's widow- known to devotees as Holy Mother A few years Jafer. when he was eighteen, be met for the first time Swami Brahmananda himself. “I was imme– diatcly drawn to him,” says SwamI Prabhava- nanda, as if to a long-lost fticnd who was very neat and dear to me I had never felt such a love before in my life, it was the love of parents and the love of a friend, all m one “ Within three months of this meeting the call to religion came m urgent form, and the youth responded with the msoluuon to be expected of the Kshatnya that he was One thing only mattered to him— that he Swami Brahmananda, who at t-Vfl h”* T bvmg m a monastery at the fc»t of had^“ of India He

unantirtr °A welcome

nannounced visitors— but what of that! With

I ex-

still dark *wh of a morning, and

and found h^msdf nionastety grounds

lows in f midst of many bunga-

might exp. will* on.i— he

walked straight to°a

but before bp /- u to wait beside a door,

laimselE came out by'lhr*” '^T“‘

tary by annrbp, ^ud his secre-

-aoiia aaid a.mply“'“Heu',’’7- 2'?”’'

Swami Prabhavananda was initiated as Swami Brahmananda's disciple. He wanted to join the monastery at once, but was not permitted to do so At the end of a month his spiritual master sent him back to college to finish his education

There followed a period of two years during which religious interests gave way in his mind to political For the first time m Bengal, a revolution was brewing against British rule, and with pa- triotic ardor, and characteristic courage, Swami Prabhavananda gave such assistance as his youth and apparent gutlelessness best fitted him to give It seemed to him then that the great duty of the Hindu was to fight for freedom, and therefore that to retire from the world into the monastic life was, for him at least, indefensible At twenty he grad- uated from the City College of Calcutta and imme- diately entered upon a half-year of further study in the department of philosophy of Calcutta Uni- versity College

It was during a brief vacation that his fate was finally settled In order to study Shankata with Swami Shuddhananda. a Sanskrit scholar of great repute and a disciple of the world famous Swam! Vivekananda, he went to live at Belur Math the great monastery on the Ganges near Calcutta Here, dally, Swami Shuddhananda would atrrue with him on the subject of the monastic hfe and titge hm to become a monk Swami Prabhava- nanda s vigorous opposition continued — ^but not for long for another and a compelling influence was at work Swami Brahmananda wag staying in the monastery ut the time and Swami Prabhav- ananda was much with him

' One morning ” says the Swami telling of the decisive moment, “when I went as asnal to pros- trate myself before Maharaj — as Swatni Brahma nanda was called — “a bystander asked ‘When is this boy going to become a jnonk^’ Maharaj looked tae up and down and quietly answered “When the Lord wills ' And as be said these words and as he looked at me m bis eyes an unforgettable sweetness all my revolutionary ideas wete sud- denly fevoluiioniied and I went downstairs and said to Swami Sboddbananda 'I have joined the monastety * *

Speakiag of Swami Brahmananda still a young man Sti Kamakrisbna onre said Rakhal has the keen intelligence of a king If be chose he could role a large kingdom “ This remark had an ap propnatc sequel Donng the last twenty years of Swami Biahmanandas hie he served With great success as head of the Ramakrishna Order His executive talents were matched by bis spiritual dis tmction On the occasion of Swami Prabhava nanda’s departure from India when he was chosen by his superiors as a representative of the Hindu religion in. America a disaplc of Sri Ramakrishna said to him referring to Swami Brahmananda ‘ Never forget that yon have seen a Son of God You have seen God ’*

This then was the man of whom Swami Pra- bhavananda was a disciple and under whose guid- ance he passed a dc>2cn years of his life During four or fire months of this period master and dis- ciple lived m the closest intimacy and to bear the Swami speak of this experience is to realize that into the fashioning of a monk as this process was conceived by Swami Brahmananda there entered the bitter as well as the sweet— the bitter itself however being only the last and surest proof of the sweetness Whom the Lord loveth he ebas- teneth On one occasion Swami Prabhavananda was so cast down by the rebukes of his master that he decided to desert the monastery and hide him- self forever With this thought in mind he went to prostrate himself before Mahataj and silently take leave of him Maharaj told him to sit down and for a while continued his earnest admonitions reminding his disciple of all his faults then with a sudden change of manner he asked ‘ Do you think you can run away from me^ ' The kind words the master then spoke dispelled all the young man s sorrow ’Never before ' Swami Piabhavananda siys ' had I been so deeply aware of his love and piotecnon All thovjght of tnnmng away was forgotten Kis words soothed my bntn- ing heart Then he said Onr love is so deep that wedo not let yotiltnowhow much we love you The sum of what 1 have been trying to say is this that Swami Prabhavananda brings to his jn- tcrpietation of the Upantsbads not only a scholarly acquaintance with the Sanskrit texts but also the insight to be derived from close association with one who embodied tn his own mind and spirit, in the highest degree the great inteilectoal and spirit- ual traditioa of India He has been the disciple of the disciple of one who has come to be regarded in India as the latest in its list of authentic ava- tars

Oor aim m this translation has not been to achieic a literal rendering but rather allowing our- selics such freedom as seemed desirable to convey in clear and simple English the sense and spirit of the original Often for example when wc had a choice between following the icxi exactly and then (xpbming It in a note or else expanding the text lo include the necessary explanations we have adopted the second altctnative In the opening of certain Upanishads where a literal tendering would hive rctuUed in an unattractnc abruptness or bald- ness v,e base — we trust discreetly— supplied a few inde&nitcly prolonged Our typographical form foe the recurrent salutation or beocdictioa.

OM . . , Peace — peace — peace.

\s designed to suggest as nearly as possible the mode la which It « intoned

The departures from prose are slight. In chants which precede the several Upanishads and especially in the hymn with 'which the Swetas- vatata coucludes. we use a form whuh is not pfosc. nor perhaps verse either, save by courtesy, hut which has seemed to ns to produce a heightened elfect not readily obtainable in ordinary prose Foe the hymn, a heightened effect seems patttcuUtly de- sirable, since in it both substance and form achieve a poetic quality which the Upanishads do not else- where equal Indeed, the form we have used was the result of acadent rather than design. Such a passage as

Thou art the fire.

Thou art the sun,

Thouert theoir.

Thou art the moon,

Thouort (he starry firmomenf. Thou art Brahman Supreme' Tbouart the waters — thou. The crecrof of altl

— such a passage set down in the sober ways of piose seemed cubbed confined — asked for wings however weak and once we had yielded to the solicitation of capital letters and short rhythmic lines for matter such as this we thought it well to complete the hymn as best we could m the same style

The apparent argurnents subjoined to the titles on the interleaves arc not really arguments since they give no proportioned epitome of the pacts they precede Rather they indicate dominant themes

It remains to say a word regarding my part in the book It is secondary As one oactie to English speech I have done what I could to help Swami Prabhavananda in his undertaking He alone as sumes lesponsibility for all ideas and opinions all interpretations and all statements of fact

Frederick Manchester


THE OLDEST SCRIPTURES of India, and the most important, are the Vedas All orthodox Hindus recognize in them the ongm of their faith and its highest written authority.

The Vedas are four in number; Rik. Sama,

two parts: Work and Knowledge The first is mainly made up of hymns, instructions regarding rites and ceremonies, and rules of conduct. The sec- ond is concerned with knowledge of God, the highest aspect of religious truth, and is called— Upanishads.

The literal meaning of upamskad, “sitting near devotedly,” brings picturesquely to mind an earn- est disciple learning f*T)m his teacher. The word also means “secret teaching” — secret, no doubt, be- cause a teaching vouchsafed only to those ^ho arc spiritually ready to receive and profit by it. Sti another interpretation is sponsored by the great seventh-century commentator Shankara; know edge of God — “the knowledge of Brahman, the knowledge that destroys the bonds of ignorance and leads to the supreme goal of freedom.

How many Upanisbads once existed is un- known One hundred and eight have been pre served these ranging m. length from a few bun dred to many thousands of words some in prose some m verse some part one part the other In style and manner they vary widely often within the same Upamshad being now simply and con cretely narrative now subtly and abstractly cx pository often assuming m cither case a dialogue form Their tone too fluctuates the characteristic seriousness and elevation finding occasional relief in homely humor Who wrote them no one knows nor with any accuracy when they were written The Rishis whose insight they embody remain wholly in the background impeisonal as the truth they atood for theit individual lives lust fote*»es and even their names —

In the dark backward and abysm of time Of the one hundred and eight extant Upan ishads sixteen were recognized by Shankara as authentic and autbontalive On ten of these he wrote elaborate commentaries which included quo tations from the other six and it is these ten which have come to be regarded as the principal Upan ishads Following are their names Isha Kena Kalha Prasna Mundaka Mandakya Taittitiya Aitareya Chandogya Bnhadaranyaka Together il’ey constitute and will probably always consti i*^te the primary object of attention for all who would know the Hindu religion A characteristic of the Upanishads is their homogeneity Many apparently differing concep lions are to be found in them but these are Roughly speaking to be found in all of them not distributed one in one Upanishad another in an other It IS true that one Upanishad may empha size certain ideas or a certain view more than the rest or may specialize as it were m a part cular topic but such distinctions often seem purely ac cidental and are never important The partitions between the Upanishads m ght therefore for all practical purposes be completely done away with tbe whole hundred and eight being reduced to one

Another and more important chyactcnstic arises from the fact that the Upanishads are the Work of saints and seers Their authors were con cerned with reporting ms ghts which came to them tn thought or vision not with making these in sights superficially coherent They were not build ers of systems but recorders of experience We must be prepared therefore for apparent inconsistency for obliviousness to one conception through tem poraty absorption in another Nowhtrt must we eitpEct to find ths whole truth gathered together once for all in easy, triumphant, conscious formu lation

Still another charactcrislic of the Upanishads has to do with then form Never were ideas set down ■ — an expositor might suspect — with less regard for his convenience Nowhere is there a logical be- ginning, nowhere a logical end Furthermore, at- tention at all points is not upon parts clearly recognized as parts but upon wholes — upon brief, comprehensive, unanalyzed statement, Jt may be, or upon such particular elements as round out, when taken together, a momentary conception For the study of the Vedas according to long tradition and even according to the Vedas them- selves, one must have a master, or Guru “Ap- proach a teacher ” we read m the Rik, “with hu- mility and with a desire to serve”; and in the Upanishads To many it is not given to hear of THAT — ^meaning God — .‘‘which dwells in eter- nity Many though they heat of it do not under- stand It Wonderful is he who speaks of it Intelli- gent IS he who learns of it Blessed is he who taught hy a good teacher, is able to comprehend

It ”

The function of the good teacher, as Hinduism conceives him. Is twofold He of course explains the scriptures the spmt as well as the letter but. what is more important still, he teaches by his life— by hts daily acts by his most casual words sometimes even by his silence Only to be near him only to sene and obey him in humility and in reverence is to become quickened in spirit and the purpose of study of the scriptures is not merely or primarily to inform the intellect but to purify and enrich the soul

Pteaicne tndtti art the etadg end the ueebmt cf the Vedatt lit uho engage* ir> thttt th ngt etta m to tonttnitaltofi And ti ro longer e tlate to h t patuom Degout telf tonttolUd d u pt ntd in tp nt lU nut to fame and t$ a bUt* ng to mankind

Wc have said that the orthodox Hindu regards the Vedas as his highest written authority Any subsequent scripture if he u to regard it as valid must be in agreement with them tr may expand upon them it may de\thp them and still be rte ognized but it must net contradict them They are to him as neatly at any human document can be the expression of dnine truth At the same time u would be a mistake to luppose that his allegiance to their authority « slavish or blind If he considers them the word of God it is because he belieies their truth to be verifiable immediately, at any moment m his own personal experience If he found on due ciatninauon that it v. as not so verifiable he would reject it If be found that any part of It was not so vetifiablc he would reject that And m this position the scriptures he w#ll tell you uphold him The real study, say th® Upanishads is not study of themselves but stucly of that ' by which we realize the changeless ” other words the real study in religion is first- hand experience of God

Indeed the term Vedas as used by the orthodox not only names a large body of texts handed dovi^n by generation after generation but in another sense stands for nothing less than the inexpressil’l® truth of which all scriptures arc of necessity a pal® reflection Regarded m this second aspect the Vedas are infinite and eternal They are that per feet knowledge which is God They are identic*! ansVion •wn’nt'Vie'^^otd o1 tbie Christian Si 3oVm ‘ In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God ’


Bteatb of the Eternal

As smoke and sparks arise from a lighted kre kindled With damp fuel, even so, Maitreyi. have breathed forth from the Eternal all knowledge and all tutsdom — what we know as the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, and the rest. They are the breath of the Eternal.


1 - isha

LIFE in the world and Itfe in the spirit are not incompatible Work, or action, IS not contrary to knowledge of Cod, but indeed if performed without at- tachment, is a means to it On the other hand, renunciation is renunciation of the ego, of selfishness — not of life The end, both of work and of renunciation, 13 to know the Self within and Brah- man without, and to realize their iden- tity The Self is Brahman, and Brah- man is all

FilUd futi with Brahman ate the things ttw see,

FtlUi fail with Beabman are the things we see not. From out of Brehrrart Bowtih all that is From Brahman oil — yrt i* he *KJf the tame.

OM . . Peace^peace^^peate.

In the heart of all things, of whatever there IS in the universe, dwells the Lord He alone is the reality. Whetefoie. «nouncing vam appearances, rejoice in him Covet no man’s wealth

Well may he be content to live a hundred years •who acts without attachment— who works his Work with earnestness, but without desire, not yearning for its fruits — ^he, and he alone.

Worlds there are without suns, covered up with darkness. To these after death go the ignorant, slayers of the Self.

The Self is one. Unmoving. it moves swifter than thought. The senses do not overtake it, for always it goes before. Remaining still, it outstrips all that run. Without the Self, there is no life.

To the Ignorant the Self appears to move — ^yet


It moves not From the ignorant it is far distant— yet It IS neat It is wuhm all and it is without all He who sees all beings in the Self and the Self m all beings hates none

To the illumined soul the Self is all For him who sees everywhere oneness how can there be delusion or grief?

The Self IS everywhere Bright is he bodiless without scar of imperfection without bone with- out flesh pure untouched by evil The Seer the Thinker the One who is above all the Self- Existent— he It IS that has established perfect order among objects and beings from begtnning- less time

To darkness are they doomed who devote them- selves only to lift in the woild and to a greater darkness they who devote themselves only to meditation

Life in the woiId alone leads to one result meditation alone leads to another So have we heard from the wise

Tlicy who devote themselves both to life in the world and to meditation by life in the world overcome death and by meditation achieve im- mortality

To datkntss ate they doomed who worship only the body and to greater darkness they who worship only the spirit.

Worship of the body alone leads to one result, worship of the spirit leads to another So have we heard from the wise

They who worship both the body and the spirit, by the body overcome death and by the spirit achieve immortality *

The face of truth is hidden by thy golden orb

0 Sun That do thou remove in order that I who am devoted to truth may behold its glory *

O nourisher, only seer, controller of all–0 illumining Sun fountain of life for all creatures— Withhold thy light gather together thy rays May

1 behold through thy grace thy most blessed form The Being that dwells therein— ^ven that Being am I

Let my life now metge in the all pervading life Ashes are my body s end OM . O mind re- member Brahman O mind remember thy past deeds Remember Brahman Remember thy past deeds

O god Agni lead us to felicity Thou knowest all our deeds Preserve us from the deceitful attrac-

* In th* Sanskiit thi* vtree »nd tht five preceding »re exceedingly obscute CommeataWrs expUin them VMiously and not very clearly

* In this verre (he Son ajrmbolizes the Self or Brahman as IS usaal in the Vedas The golden orb like the rays and tbe light of the following verse is Maya the world of appearance

tioaofsin To thee we offer our salutations again 2nd yet again!*

* This ven« aad tht ptttedsog coostitote t ptayet uttered at the momect of death Even today they are employed hy the Hindus in their fonctal rites The mind is exhorted to remember its past deeds hccauie st is these deeds that accompany the departins sonl and deterinice the nature of Its next incarnation Since cremation involves fire it is natural that it should be presided over by the god of £re Agat The god IS here tnvofced both in bis own character and as a lymbol of Brahman

2 - kena

THB power bfhtnd every actfVtty of nature and of man is the pou>et of Brahman To realize this truth n to be immortal

Uaif qmttntss 4tsctnd upon my limbs,

My speech, my breath my eyes my ears May att my senses wax dear and strong May Brahman shou; himui/ unto m«

Neoer may I deny Brahman nor Brahman me I with him end hr with m^~may we abide always together

May then he tevealed to me,

Who am devoted to Brahman The holy truth of the (/panishads CM Peace— peare— peace

At whose behest does the mind think? Who bids the body live' Who makes the tongue speak? Who IS that effulgent Being that directs the eye to form and color and the car to sound'

The Self is ear of the car inind of the mind, speech of the speech He is also breath of the breath and eye of the eye Having given up the false identification of the Self with the senses and the mind and knowing the Self to be Brahman the Wise, on departing this world, become im mortal

Him the eye does not see nor the tongue cx-

press nor the mind grasp Him we neither know nor ate able to teach Different is he from the known and different is he from the unknown So have we heard from the wise

That which cannot be expressed in words but by which the tongue speaks — know that to be Brahman Brahman is not the being who is wor- shiped of men

That which is not comprehended by the mind but by which the mind comprehends — ^know that to be Brahman Brahman is not the being who is worshiped of men

That which is not seen by the eye but by which the eye sees— know that to be Brahman Brahman is not the being who is worshiped of men

That which is not heard by the ear but by which the eat heats — ^know that to be Brahman Brahman is not the being who is worshiped of men

That which is not drawn by the breath but by which the breath is drawn — know that to be Brahman Brahman is not the being who is wor- shiped of men

If you think that you know well the truth of Brahman know that you know little What you think to be Brahman m your self or what you think to be Brahman in the gods — that is not

Brahman What is indaed ths truth of Brahman you must therefore learn I cannot say that I know Brahman fully Nor can say that I know him not He among us nows him best who understands the spirit of the Words Nor do I know that I know him not ’

He truly knows Brahman who knows him as beyond knowledge he who thinks that he knows* knows not The ignorant think that Brahman is known but the wise know him to be beyond knowledge

He who realizes the existence of Brahman be- hind every activity of his being — whether sensa tion perception or thought — he alone gams im- mortality Through knowledge of Brahman comes power Through knowledge of Brahman comes Victory over death

Blessed is the man who while he yet lives real- izes Brahman The man who realizes him not suf- fers his greatest loss When they depart this life the Wise who have realized Brahman as the Self m all beings become immortal

Once the gods won a victory over the demons and though they had done so only through the pot\er of Brahman they were exceedingly vain They thought to themsehes It was we who beat our enemies and the gIor> is ours.'*


Brahman saw their vanity and appeared before them But they did not recognize him

Then the other gods said to the god of fire. “Fire, find out for us who this mysterious spirit is ”

“Yes,” said the god of fire, and approached the spirit The spirit said to him.

“Who are you?”

“I am the god of fire As a matter of fact, I am very widely known ”

“And what power do you wield^”

“I can burn anything on earth ”

“Burn this.” said the spirit, placing a straw be- fore hitn

The god of fire felt upon it with all his might, but could not consume it. So he ran back to the other gods, and said.

“I cannot discover who this mysterious spirit is ”

Then said the other gods to the god of wind: “Wind, do you find out foe us who he is ”

“Yes,” said the god of wind, and approached the spirit The spirit said to him “Who are you^”

“I am the god of wmd As a matter of fact, I am very widely known I fly swiftly through the heavens ”

“And what power do yon wield?”

“I can blow away anytbing on earth.”

“Blow this away,” said the spirit, placing a straw before him.

The god of wind fell upon it with all his might, but was unable to move it. So he ran bach to the other gods, and said:

“1 cannot discover who this mysterious spirit is.”

Then said the other gods to Indra, greatest of them all: “O respected one, find out for us, wc pray you, who he is.”

“Yes,” Slid Indra, and drew nigh to the spirit* But the spirit vanished, and m bis place stood Uma, God the Mother, well adorned and of tx* ceedsng beauty. Beholding bet, India asktd*.

“Who was the spirit that appeared to us?”

“That,” answered Uma. “was Brahman. Through him it was. not of yonrsflves, that you attained your victory and your glory.”

Thus did Indra. and the god of fire, and the god of wind, come to recognize Brahman.

The god of fire, the god of wind, and Indra— these excelled other gods, for they approached nearest to Brahman, and were the first to recog- nize him.

Bat of all gods Indra is supreme for he ap ptoached nearest of the three to Brahman and was the first of the three to recognize him

This IS the truth of Brahman m relation to nature whether in the flash of the lightning or in the wink of the eyes the power that is shown IS the power of Brahman

This IS the truth of Brahman in relation to man in the motions of the mind the power that IS shown IS the power of Brahman For this reason should a man meditate upon Brahman by day and by night

Brahman is the adorable being in all beings Meditate upon him as such He who medi tates upon him as such is honored by all other beings.

A Dtsapie

Sir teach me more of the knowledge of Brah man

The ilfostrr

I have told yon the sccrci knowledge Austerity self-control performance of duty without attach ment— tltesc arc the body of that knowledge The Vedas are its hmbs Truth is its very soul

He who attains to knowledge of Brahman being freed from all evil finds the Eternal, the Supreme

OM Peace — peace — peace

3 - katha

THE secret of immortaUttf h to be found tn pueiRcaiion of the heart, in meditation, in realization of the ideo’ tity of the Self within and Brahman Without For immortality is simply union With Cod


On , .

j '•» few ptclK,

ffe' A* ”•

/otv ooi/ 'i'idtntonding

0\t D *♦ uirt m etl

Pta(t—pt»t — pttK*

Vjj-asrjbaM, hop. m.rtd ibal l,, 0 rite which re-

'“■Mltle jld „f ,7^“” >“ only

Ibc old ih. h ’ “““only such ss w-m useless— “reins thn „ ”'”'J'” ‘'me Ob-

•on wh™ I Ins )ouns

“’esctipiure,”J!‘ f ■”

•^W «h7rf 5 '° ' 'eor-

loomed s”” “


thou me'– ^ sleest


‘■”pstiensly” ° •“ “plied


‘ Thee I give to Death! ’

Then Nachiketa thoaght to himself ‘ Of father’s many sons and disciples I am indeed the best or at least of the middle rank not the worst but of what good am I to the King of Death^ Yet being determined to keep his father’s word he said

* Father, do not repent thy vow* Consider hoW It has been with those that have gone before and how It will be with thos” that now live Like corn a man ripens and falls to the ground like corn, he springs up again m his season ’

Having thus spoken the boy journeyed to the house of Death

But the god was not at home and for three nights Nachiketa waited When at length the King of Death returned he was met by his servants who said to him

A Brahmin like to a flame of fire entered thy house as guest and thou wast not there There- fore must a peace offering be made to him With all accustomed ntes O King thou must receive thy guest for if a householder show not due hos pitahty to a Brahmm he will lose what he most desires— the merits of his good deeds his right- eousness his sons and his cattle ”

Then the King of Death approached Nachiketa and welcomed him with courteous words


pray TJ ^u «^”ence Let. I

a°» ptL”,° 1 ’“‘‘‘' “” ’r*'” ”'S'-'”

i>osp.Si Jv p“r '’°'® “O' ”'“”'d “ly

for Mdl ‘’'orrfor.. thrsi: boons-ons

“ «kc fet'of ft f'”?* •« It te- And

“O' anxioL ’’°°? ' '’’o' “y f^'krr bo


rwogmzTfJ^'” '■ “thy fatter shall «ne th»» ^ heretofore, and^ee-

«nd he shM”] “ tranquil of mind

«nan sleep in peace ”

fear heaven there is no

that „i, ^ O Death art not there nor in

One tr<.mti^'^4J^® thought of growing old make thirst e yh«c free from hunger and from and a»- “ from the reach of sorrow all rejoice * 3 crifif- knowest O King the fire

fice f« *T ^ heaven Teach me that sacn-

Wuh fttW of faith This is my second

the^^*^^*^^” consenting EXrath taught the boy *ttenf^!, *°d ceremonies

harnM ® repeated all that be had

• and Death well pleased with him said


' I grant thee an extra boon Henceforth shall this sacrifice he called the NachiVeta Sacrifice, after thy name Choose now thy third boon ”

And then Nachikcta considered within himself, and said

When a man dies there is this doubt Some say, he is others say. he is not Taught by thee,

I would know the truth This is my third wish ‘ Nay,” replied Death ‘ even the gods were once puzzled by this mystery Subtle indeed is the truth regarding it not easy to understand Choose thou some other boon O Nachiketa ”

But Nachiketa would not be denied Thou sayest O Death that even the gods were once puzzled by this mystery, and that it is not easy to understand Surely there is no teacher bet- ter able to explain it than thou — and there is no other boon equal to this ’

To which, trying Nachiketa again, the god re- plied

' Ask for sons and grandsons who shall live a hundred years Ask for cattle elephants, horses gold Choose for thyself a mighty kingdom Or if thou canst imagine aught better ask for that — not for sweet pleasures only but for the power beyond all tbougbt to taste their sweetness Yea verily* the supreme enjoyct will I make thee of every good thing Celestial maidens beautiful to behold


such incfced as were not meant for mortals — even these, together with their bright chariots and their musical instruments, will I give unto thee, to scr^c thee. But for the secret of death, O Nachiketa. do not askl”

But Nachiketa stood fast, and said* “These things endure only till the morrow O Destroyer of Life, and the pleasures they give near out the senses Keep thou therefore horses and chariots, keep dance and song, for tli>sclfJ How shall he desire wealth, O Death, who once has seen thy face? Nay. only the boon that I hate chosen— (hat only do [ ask Having found out the society of the imperishable and the immortal, as in know- ing thee I hare done, how shall I. subject to decay and death, and knowing well the vanity of (he fles}>— hotv shall I wuh for long life?

‘Tell me, O King, the suprtmt secret regarding uhlch men doubt No other boon « til I ask ” Whereupon the King of Death uell pleased at heart, began to (each Nachiketa the secret of im- mortality

Ktna of Dx'aih

The good is one ibing rlK pltauni »» anoihrr. These two dilTering in ilieir ends iKith prompt to action Dlnwd are cIkt that elioose the good: they that clioose tl>c pleasant miss tl>c goal


Both the good and the pleasant present them selves to men The wise having examined both distinguish the one from the other The wise prefer the good to the pleasant the foolish driven by fleshly desires prefer the pleasant to the good Thou O Nachiketa having looked upon fleshly desires delightful to the senses hast renounced them all Thou hast turned from the miry way wherein many a man wallows

Fat from each other and leading to different ends are ignorance and knowledge Thee O Naehiketa I regard as one who aspires after knowledge for a multitude of pleasant objects were unable to tempt thee

Living in the abyss of ignorance yet wise m their own conceit deluded fools go round and round the blind led by the blind

To the thoughtless yonth deceived by the vanity of earthly possessions the path that leads to the eternal abode is not revealed Thts world alone IS real there is no hereafter — thinking thus he falls again and again birth after birth into my jaws

To many it is not given to heat of the Self Many though they bear of it do not understand It Wonderful js he who speaks of it Intelligent is he who learns of it Blessed is he who taught by a good teacher is able to understand it


The truth of the Self cannot be fully under- stood when taught by an ignorant man for opin ions regarding It not founded in knowledge \ary one from another Subtler than the subtlest is this Self and beyond all logic Taught by a teacher who knows the Self and Brahman as one a man leaves vain theory behind and attains to truth The awakening which thou hast known does not come through the intellect but rather in full- est measure from the lips of the wise Beloved Nachikcta blesicd blessed art thou because thou seckest the Eternal Would that I had more pupils like thcel

Well I know that earthly ttcisutc lasts but till the morrow For did not I m>sflf uohing to be King of Death make sacrifice with firc^ But the sacrifice was a fleeting thing performed with fleet- ing objects and small is my reward seeing that only for a moment will my reign endure

The goal of worldly desire the gliitermg ob jeets for which all men long the celestial pJeaiuret they hope lo gam b> religious ruts tlie mcwi sought after of miraculous powcrt—all tliese wrre wjfbin lh> grasp Dut all *b se with Crn rrsolre thou hast renounced

The ancient eflulgesit being the indwelling Spirit subtle dixp hidden in the lotus of tl>e Iwart


is hard to know. But the wise man. following the path of meditation, knows him, and is freed alike from pleasure and from pain

The man who has learned that the Self is sep- arate from the body, the setises. and the mind, and has fully known him, the soul of truth, the subtle principle — such a man vcnly attains to him, and is exceeding glad, because he has found the source and dwelling place of all felicity. Truly do I be- lieve. O Nachikefa. that for thee the gates of joy stand open.


Teach me, O King, I beseech thee, whatsoever thou knowest to be beyond tight and wrong, be- yond cause and effecc, beyond past, present, and future.

King of Death

Of that goal which all the Vedas declare, which is implicit in all penances and in pursuit of which men lead lives of continence and service, of that will I briefly speak.

It is — OM

This syllable is Brahman This syllable is in- deed supreme He who knows it obtains his de- sire


It IS the stcongesc support If js the highest sj m bol He who knows it is reverenced as a knower of Brahman

The Self whose symbol is OM is the omnis cient Lord He is not born He docs not die He is neither cause not effect This Ancient One is un born eternal imperishable though the body be destroyed he is not killed

If the slayer think that he sla>s if the slam think that he is slam neither of them kno^^5 the truth The Self 5l3>$ not nor is he slam Smaller than the smallest greater than the great est this Self forever dwells within the hearts of all When a man is free from desire his mind and senses purified lie beholds the glory of the Self and K Without sorrow

Though seated he travels far though at rest he moves all things Who but the purest of the pure can realize th s Effulgent Being who is joy anti who IS bc>ond jO)

Formless » be though inhabiting fotm In the midst of the fleeting he abides forever All pervad ing and supreme is the Self The w isc man Know- ing him in Ins true nature transerndi all grief TIic Self if not known through itudy of five senptuffs nor through rabtleiy of the initllrti nor through mueh leasniag But by him wl»o


longs for him is he known * Verily unto him docs the Self reveal his true being

By learning a man cannot know him if he dc sist not from evil if he control not his senses if he quiet not his mind and practice not meditation To him Brahmins and Kshatriyas are but food and death itself a condiment

Both the individual self and the Universal Self have entered the cave of the heart the abode of the Most High but the knowers of Brahman and the householders who perform the fire sacrifices sec a difference between them as between sunshine and shadow

May we perform the Nachiketa Sacrifice which bridges the world of suffering May we know the imperishable Brahman who is fearless and who IS the end and refuge of those who seek liberation

Know that the Self is the rider and the body the chariot that the intellect is the charioteer and the mind the reins *

The senses say the wise are the horses the roads they travel ate the mazes of desire The wise

I!'” on of th s sentence involv

L he L “

*In Hindu psychology the i

! the organ of per


call the Self the enjoycr when he is united with the body the senses and the mind

When 3 man lacks discnmmation and his mind IS uncontrolled his senses are unmanageable like the restive horses of a charioteer But when a man has discrimination and his mind is controlled his senses like the well broken horses of a charioteer lightly obey the tern

He who lacks discrimination whose mind is cn steady and whose heart is impure neicr reaches the goat but is born again and again But he who Ii-» discrimination whose mind is steady and whose heart is pure reaches the goal and having reached U IS born no more

The man who has a sound understanding for charioteer a controlled mind for reins— he it is that reaches the end of the journey the supreme abode of Vishnu the all pervading •

The senses demc from physical objects phyt ical objects from mind mind from intellect intcl lect from ego ego front the onmanifcstcd seed and the uflmanifested seed from Drahman— the Un caused Cause

Brahman is ibe rnd of the journry Brahman is the supreme goal

This Brahman this Self deep hidden m all

» \ ihr

II herf oi” ro Brjbeiia


beings IS not revealed to all but to the scers pure in heart concentrated m mind — to them is he rc vealed

The senses of the wise man obey his mind his mind obeys bis intellect his intellect obeys his ego and his ego obeys the Self

Ansel Awake’ Approach the feet of the Master and know THAT Like the sharp edge of a razor the sages say is the path Narrow it is and difficult to tread’

Soundless formless intangible undying taste less odorless eternal without beginning without end immutable beyond nature is the Self Know ing him as such one is freed from death

The Narrator

The wise man having heard and taught the eternal truth revealed by the King of Death to Nach keta is glorified in the heaven of Brahma

He who sings with devotion this supreme secret in the assembly of the Brahmins or at the rites in memory of his fathers is rewarded with rewards immeasurable!

Ktng of Death

The Self Existent made the senses turn out ward Accordingly man looks toward what is


Without, and sees not what is within Rare is he who, longing for imtnocCahty, shuts his c>cs to what IS without and beholds the Self Fools follow the desires of the flesh and fall into the snare of all encompassing death but the Wise knowing the Self as eternal, seek not the things that pass away

He through whom man sees tastes smells bears feels and cnjojrs is the omniscient Lord He serily is the immortal Self Knowing him one knows all things

He through whom man cxjxiitncfs the sleep mg or waking states is the all penading Self Knowing him one grieves no more

He who knows that the individual soul cn;oyer of the fruits of action is the Self— <ver present within lord of time past and future— casts out all feat For this Self is the immortal Self

He who sees the First Dorn — born of the mind of Brahma born before the creation of waters— and secs him inhabiting the lotus of the lieart liv mg among physical elements s«s Drahman in- deed For thu First Dorn u the immortal Self’ Tliat being « ho ii the power of all pon ers and

‘ Dribrnin ibt laijwnoiul ftiitran »bra »n»-

<uf»d *riih the fower ^t^T» — ‘b* ro»rr lo rroltf *i

Ih* emrm jl DRiKrw — I* keewo •* II Fiftf Dora

32 theupanishads

IS botn as such who embodies hirosclf in the clc ments and in them exists and who has enteied the lotas of the heart is the immortal Self Agni the all seeing ■roho lies hidden in sticks like a child well gaarded in the womb who is worshiped day by day by awakened souls apd by those who offer oblations in sacrificial fire — ^he is the immortal Self'

That in which the snn rises and in which it sets that which is the source of all the powers of nature and of the senses that which nothing can tran scend— that 15 the immortal Self

What IS within us is also without What is Without IS also within He who sees difference he tween what is within and what is without gots evermore from death to death

By the purified mind alone is the indivisible Brahman to be attained Brahman alone is — noth ing else is He who sees the manifold universe and not the one reality goes cvennore from death to death

That being of the sire of a thumb dwells deep

iThe reference is to the Vedc Asn whose

name means fire is sa il to be all seeing the fire symhoUS ng Brahman the Revealer the two fire sticks wb ch be ng robbed together produce the fire represent the heart the m nd of man


■wubin tbe heart* He 15 the lord of time past and futnre Having attained him one fears no more He verily is the immortal Self

That being of the size of a thumb is like a flame without smoke He is the lord of time past and future the same today and tomorrow He verily is the immortal Self

As rain fallen on a hdl streams down its side so runs he after many births who sees manifold ness in the Self

As pure water poured into pure water remains pure so docs the Self remain pure O Nacbiketa ■uniting with Brahman

To the Birthless tbe light of whose conscious ness forever shines belongs tbe my of eleven gates * He who meditates on the ruler of that city knows no more sorrow He attains liberation and for him there can no longer be birth or death For the ruler of that city is the immortal Self

The immortal Self is tbe son shining m tbe sky he is the breeze blowing in space he is the fire burning on the altar he is the guest dwelling m I Tbt usM asenbf » defiti c< ntioate t zc to cb< 5<If la or*f to It tbt d joplf la mnJ at on

* Tb* B rtWta I* tbe Self »be fity of elnrtn gitn U the bodf w h iti sfxrtDre»— erei e*n etc


the house he is in all men he is in the gods he is in the ether he is -wherever there is truth he is the fish that is born in water he is the plant that grows in the soil he is the n\cr that gushes from the mountain — ^he the changeless reality the illimitablel

He the adorable one seated m the heart is the power that gives breach Unto him all the senses do homage

What can remain when the dweller in this body leaves the outgrown shell since he is vetily» the immortal Self?

Man does not live by breath alone but by him m whom is the power of breath

And now O NachiKeta will 1 tell thee of the unseen the eternal Brahman and of what befalls the Self after death

Of those Ignorant of the Self some enter into beings possessed of wombs others enter into plants — according to their deeds and the growth of their intell gence

That which is awake m us even while we sleep shaping in dream the objects of our desire — that indeed is pure that is Brahman and that verily is called the Immortal All the worlds have their being in that and none can transcend it That is the Self


As fire, though one, takes the shape of every ob- ject which It consumes, so the Self, though one, takes the shape of every object in which it dwells ■ As air. though one, takes the shape of every ob- ject which It enters, so die Self, though one, takes the shape of every object in which it dwells As the sun, rcvealer of all objects to the sect, is not harmed by the sinful eye. nor by the impur- ities of the objects it gazes on, so the one Self, slwelling in all, is not touched by the evils of the 'vorld For he transcends all He is one. the ford and innermost Self of al/. of one form, he makes of himself many forms To him who sees the Self tcxcaled m his own heart be- longs eternal bIiss-~(o none else, to none else!

IntcUigcftce of the intclUgent. cietaal among the ttansKftt h«, though one. makes possible the de- sires of many To him who sm the Self retcalcd in his own heart belongs eternal peace — to none else, to non; else!


How. O King shall I find that hlusful Self, supreme, ineffable, who is attained by the wise? Docs be shine by himself, or docs be «!!<« an- otlxr s light?


King of Death

Hitn the sun does not illumine, nor the moon, not the stats, not the lightning — nor, venly, fires kindled upon earth He is the one light that gives light to all He shining, everything shines

This universe Is a tree eternally existing, its root aloft, Its brinchcs spread below. The pure root of the tree is Brahman the immortal, m whom the three worlds have their being whom none esn transcend, who is verily the Self '

The whole universe came forth from Brahman, moves in Brahman Mighty and awful is he, like to a thunderbolt crashing loud through the heav- ens For those who attain him death has no terror In fear of him fire burns the sun shines, the rams fall the winds blow and death kills

If a man fails to attain Brahman before he casts off his body he must again put on a body in the world of cteated things

In one's own soul Brahman is realized clearly, as if seen in a mirror In the heaven of Brahma also IS Brahman realized cleatly as one distinguishes light from darkness In the world of the fathers he 1 The ' three -worlds' tretliesicy the earth and the nether


K beheld as in a dream* In the world of angels be appears as if reflected in water The senses have separate origin in their several objects They may be active as in the waking state or they may be inactive as in sleep He who knows them to be distinct from the changeless Self grieves no more

Above the senses is the mind Above the mind IS the intellect Above the intellect is the ego Above the ego is the unmanifcsced seed the Primal Cause

And vcnly bc>ond the unmanifestcd seed is Brahman the all pervading spirit the uncondi tioned knowing whom one attains to freedom and achieves immortality

None beholds him with the ejes for be is with out Visible form Vet in the heart is he revealed through self control and meditation TTjosc who know him become immortal

When all the senses arc stilled when the mind IS at rest when the intfllfct wavers not — tlut say the wise is the higlirst state

Tins calm of the senses and the mind has been defined as } oga He w ho attains it » freed from de lusion

• Tb« fiihm »tt tht tpu » ot el* ii>tio*i «l<sJ vh® dwrti la »8oih<f weilA rrJjHai iht ii of ihnr t«vl dffdi t>?l lo nSnh


In one not freed from delusion this calm is un certain unreal it comes and goes Brahman words cannot reveal mind cannot reach eyes cannot sec How then save through those who know him can he be known?

There are two selves the appirent self and the real Self Of these it js the teal S*lf and he alone who must be felt as truly existing To the man who has felt him as truly existing he reveals his innermost nature

The mortal m whose heart desire is dead be comes immortal The mortal m whose heart the knots of Ignorance ate untied becomes immortal These are the highest truths taught in the scrip tuces

Radiating from the lotus of the heart there are a hundred and one nerves One of these ascends toward the tboosand petaled lotus in the bram If when a man comes to die his vital force passes upward and out through (his nerve he attains im mortality but if his vital force passes out through another nerve he goes to one or another plane of mortal existence and lemains subject to birth and death

The Supreme Person of the size of a thumb the innermost Self dwells forever in the hearts of all beings As one draws iIm pith from a reed so must the aspirant after truth with great perse


verance separate the Self from the body Know the Self to be pure and immortal — yea pure and immortal I

The Narra/or

Nachiketa having learned from the god this knowledge and the whole process of yoga was freed from impurities and from death and was United with Brahman Thus will it be with an other also if he know the innermost Self

OM Peace — peace — peace

4 - prasna

MAN ts composed of such elements as Vital breath deeds, thought, and the senscs-^U of them deriving their being from the Self They have come out of the Self, and in the Self they ultimately disappear — even as the ivaters of a river disappear in the sea



th our ears may wr hear what ii good W Ih our eyes may we behold thy nghteoutntst 'Trangu I n body may we who worth p thee Und rest Oif Peace~peac^~pettce

Cbl fig I to the tupteme Self I

SuKESHA Satyakama Gargya Kousalya Bbar gava and Kabandbi devotees and seekers after the ttuth of tbe supreme Brahman with faith and hu niilicy approached the sage Pippalada

Said the sage Practice austerity continence faith for a year then ask what questions you wish If I can I will answer

After a year Kabandhi approached the teacher and asked

Sir how did the creatures come into being? The Lord of beings replied the sage medi tated and produced Prana the primal energy and Rayi the gi'er of form desiring that they male and female should in manifold ways produce crea turcs for him

Prana the pnmal energy is the sun andRayi the form giving substance is the moon

the upanishads

Be It known that all this universe that which IS gross and that which is subtle is one with Rayi Therefore is Rayi omnipresent

In like manner is the universe one with Prana The rising sun pervades the cast and fills with energy all beings that there inhabit and likewise when his rays fall on the south the west the north the zenith the nadir and the intermediate regions to all beings that there inhabit he gives life

Prana is the soul of the universe assuming all forms he is the light that animates and illumines all even as it is written —

The Wise know him who assumes all forms who IS radiant who is alt knowing who is the one light that gioes light to all He rises as the sun of a thousand rays and abides in infinite places Prana and Rayi uniting divide the year Two arc the paths of the sun — two are the paths that men travel after death These arc the southern and the northern

Those who desire offspring and are devoted to almsgiving and ntuals considering these the high cst accomplishment attain the world of the moon and arc horn again on earth TTiey travel by the southern path which is the path of the fathers and IS indeed Rayi the maker of forms

But those who are devoted to the worship of


Self by means of austerity continence faith 3nd knowledge go by the northern path and at tain the world of the sun The sun the light is indeed the source of all energy It is immortal be- yond fear it is the supreme goal For him who to the sun there is no more birth nor death The sun ends birth and death

Prana and Rayi wnitmg form the month Its dark fortnight is Rayi and its bright fortnight is Prana Sages perform their devotional rites in the Jtght With knowledge fools in the dark, in ig norance

Food IS Prana and Rayi From food is pro duced seed and from seed in turn are born all creatures

Those who worship the world of creation pro ducc children but those alone attain the world of Bnhraan who arc steadfast in continence mrdita tion and truthfulness

’ The pure world of Drahman is attainable by those only who are neither deceitful nor wicked nor false

Then Bhargava approached the teacher and asked

Holy sir liow many sctetal powers hold to- gether this bodyf btch of then are most man ifes: in it? And which is the greatest?


The powers ’ replied the sage ‘ ate ether air fire water earth — these being the five elements which compose the body and besides these speech mind e>e car and the rest of the sense organs Once these powers made the boastful assertion We hold the body together and support it where upon Prana the primal energy supreme over them all said to them Do not deceive yourselves It is I alone dividing myself fivefold who hold together this body and support it But they would not believe him

Prana to justify himself made as if he in* tended to lea%e the body But as he rose and ap pcared to be going alt the rest realized that if he vent they also would have to depart with him and as Prana again seated himself the test found their respective places As bees go out when their queen goes out and return when she returns so V as It with speech mind vision hearing and the test Convinced of their error the powers now praised Prana saying

As fire Prana burns as the sun be shines as cloud he rams as Indta he rules the gods as wind he blows as the moon he nourishes all He IS that which is visible and also that which is invisible He is immortal life

As spokes in the nave of a wheel so is every thing made fast m Prana — the Rik the Yajur

prAsna 47

th? Sama. all sacrifices, fhe Kshatnyas, and the Brahmins

O Prana, lord of creation, thou movest in the womb, and art born again To thee who, as breath, dwellcst in the body, all creatures bring offerings

‘Thou, as fire, dost carry oblations to the gods: and through thcc the fathers recciec their offerings To every organ of sense thou givest Its function

* ‘Prana thou art the creator: Ihou art the dc- tiroyer by thy prowess, and thou art the protector, Thou movest in the sky as the tun. and lord of lights art thou

‘Prana when thou showertst down rain, thy creatures rejoice, hoping that they will find food, as much as they desire

“ ‘Thou art purity itself, thou ait the master of all that exists thou art fire the cater of offer- ings We the organs of sense, offer to thee ihy food-— to thcc, the fatiKr of all.

'* 'That power of tbine which dwells in speech, in the ear and in ihe eye and which pervades tl>e heart— make that propitious and forukr us not.

” 'Whatioeier exists in the universe is depend- ent on tlw O Prana ftotect us as a nother pro- tects her children Grant us prosperity and grant us wisdom


And when it was the turn of Kousalya he put this question

Master of what is Prana born how does be enter the body bow docs he live there after divid ing himself how docs he go out how docs he experience what is outside and bow does be hold together the body the senses and the mind?

To which the sage replied Kousalya you ask very difBcult questions but since you are a sincere seeker after the truth of Brahman 1 must answer

Prana is born of the Self Like a man and his shadow the Self and Prana are inseparable Prana enters the body at birth that the desires of the mind continuing from past lives may be fulfilled As a king employs officials to rule over different portions of his kingdom so Prana associates with himself four other Pranas each a portion of him self and each assigned a separate function

The Prono himself dwells in eye ear mouth and nose the Apana which is the second Prana rules the organs of excretion and generation the which is the thud Prana inhabits the navel and governs digestion and assimilation The Self dwells m the lotus of the heart whence radiate a hundred and one nerves From each of these proceed one hundred others which ate smallti and from each of these again seventy


fold, what are his inner workings — such an one attains to immortality, y«a, «wri to immortality.“

Gargya then asked

* Master, when a mao's body sleeps who is it within that sleeps, and who is awake, and who is dreaming^ Who then experiences happiness, and with whom arc all the sense organs united^

‘As the rays of the sun O Garg>3, when he sets” replied the sage, “gather thcmscKes up in his disk of light, to come out again when he rises so the senses gather themsehes up m the mind the highest of them all Therefore when a man docs not heat, see. smell, taste, touch, speak grasp, en- joy. we say that he sleeps

’ Only the Pranas arc then awake in the body, and the mind is led nearer to the Self

While in dream, the mind revives its past im- pressions Whatever It has seen it secs again, what- ever It has heard, it hears again whatever it has enjoyed in various countries and in various quar- ters of the earth it enjoys again What has been seen and not seen, heard and not heard enjoyed and not enjoyed, both the real and the unreal it sees yea. it secs all *

1 StunViri in cxpliining tb< above pamge rttnirks that by lb* nnmn tb* eabcjtd ibt vntnjoirtd that a man txpnitDCct in dream* arc mint «he thing* that wtre *«n atid htatd and tajoyed tn pan Iito


“When the mind is ompowercd by’ deep slum- ber, u dreams no more. It rests happily m the body.

“As birds, my Inend. fly to the tree for rest, even so do all these things fly to the Self* earth and Its peculiar essence, water and its peculiar essence, Are and its peculiar essence, air and its peculiar essence, ether and its peculiar essence, the eye and what it sees, the ear and what it hears the nose and what it smells, the tongue and what it tastes, the skm and what it touches, the voice and what It speaks the hands and what they grasp, the feet and what they walk on. the mind and what it perceives, the intellect and what it understands, the ego and what it appropriates, the heart and svhat It loves, light and what it illumines, energy and what it binds together.

“For \cniy it is the Self that sees, hears smells tastes, thinks knows, acts He is Brahman, w hose essence is knowledge He is the immutable Self, the Supreme

“He who knows the immotable. the pure, the shadowless the bodiless the eolotlm. attains to Brahman, O my friend. Such an one becomes all- knonttig and he dwells m all beings Of him it IS written

“e tt'ho knoii’s that immutable Self, tcherem I, IV the mind, the ursti tht Pranat. the eltment*


— verily such an one hnoiys cUl things and realizes the Self in all

Whereupon Satyakama coming near to the mas ter said

Venerable sir if a man meditate upon the syllable OM all his lift what shall be his reward after death^

And the master answered him thus Satyakama OM is Brahman — both tht con ditiontd and the unconditioned the personal and the impersonal By meditating upon it the wise man may attain either the one or the other

If he meditate upon OM with but little knowl edge of us meaning but neueiihelcss is enlightened thereby upon hts death he will be immediately born again on this earth and during his new life he will be devoted to austerity continence and faith and will attain to spiritual greatness

If again he meditate upon OM with a greater knowledge of Us meaning upon his death he will ascend to the lunar heaven and after he has par taken of its pleasures wdl reiutn again to earth But if he meditate upon OM in the full con iciousness that u is one with God upon his death he will be united writh the light that IS in the sun be w ill be freed from evil even as a snake is freed (ton Its slough and be will ascend to Gods


dwelling place There he will realize Brahman who evermore abides in the heart of all beings — Brahman Supreme!

Concerning the sacred syllable OM it is written ' The syllable OM. when tt is not fully under* stood does not lead 6^ond woTlality When if IS fully understood, and meditation is therefore rightly directed a man is freed from fear, whether he be ouiofte dreaming or sleeping the dreamless sleep and attains to Brahman

‘ By virtue of a httle understanding of OM a man returns to earth after death By vum of a greater understanding he attains to the celestial sphere By virtue of a complete understanding he leatns what is known only to the seets The sage With the help of OM reaches Brahman the fear- less the undecaying the immortaH”

Lastly Sukesa approached the sage and said ‘ Holy sir Hiranyanabba prince of Kosala once asked me this question Sukesa do you know the Self and his sixteen partsf I replied I do not Surely if I knew them I would ba\e taught them to you I will not he for be who lies perishes root and all ’ The pnnee silently mounted hi< thatiot and went away So now I ask of thee Where is the Self I '

The sage replied


“My child, •within this body dwells the Self, from whom sprang the sixteen parts of the uni- verse. and in this manner they came into being “If, creating, I enter my creation.” the Self re- fleeted, “what is there to bind me to it, what is there to go out from it when I go out. to stay ■within it “when I stay^*' Pondering thus and m answer to his thought, he made Prana; and from Prana he made desire; and from desire he made ether, air. fire, water, earth, the senses the mind, and food, and from food he made rigor, penance, the Vedas, the sactifiaal rites and all the worlds Thereafter, in the worlds he created names And the number of the elements be thus created was sixteen

“As the flowing rivers whose destination is the sea having reached it disappear in it, losing theif names and forms, and men speak only of the sea. so these sixteen parts created from out his own being by ibe Self, the Eternal Seer, having re- turned to him from whom they came, disappear in him, their destination, losing their names and forms and people speak only of the Self Then for man the sixteen parts arc no more, and be attains to immortality

“Thus was It said of old;

“The sjATfeen parts are spohet projecting from the StU, tufjo is the hub of the u^hecl The Self


IS the goal of knowledge Know him and go be- yond death ”

The sage Concluded saying ‘ What I have toJd you is all that can be said about the Self, the Supreme Brahman Beyond this there is naught

The disciples worshiped the sage and sard * You are indeed our father You have led us beyond the sea of ignorance

“We bow down to all the great seers! “Obeisance to the gteat sects! '

OM Peace— peace— peace

5 - mundaka

SINCE the manifold objects of sense are merely emanations of Brahman, to knoti) them in themselves is not enough Since all the actions of men are but phases of the universal process of crea- tion action alone is not enough

The sage must distinguish between knowledge and wisdom Knowledge ts of things acts and relations But wis- dom IS of Brahman alone, and, beyond all things acts and relations he abides forever To become one with him ts the only wisdom


OM . . .

V/ith oar tm may uv htar tahat u good

Tranguit in body may wt who wonhip thtthnd rttt OLt … Ptact—ptact—pttit

Out op the infinite ocean of existence arose Brahma £fst*born and foremost among the gods. From him sprang the omwse and he became its protector The knowledge of Brahman, the fovo' dation of all knowledge, he revealed to his first* born son, Atharva

fn torn Atharva taught this same knowledge of Brahman to Angi Angi. again, taught it to Satyabaha who reiealed it to Angiras

To Angiras came upon a time Sounaka, the famous householder and asked respectfully

'Holy sir, what a that by which all else is known? ’

“TTjosc who know Brahman.” replied Angiras. “say that there are two kinds of knowledge, the higher and the lower

T7ie lower u knowledge of the Vedas (the Rik, the Sama. the Yajor and the Atharva), and


also of phonetics ceremonials grammar etymol ogy metre and astronomy

The higher is knowledge of that by which one knows the changeless reality By this is fnlly re vealed to the wise that which transcends the senses which IS uncaused which is indefinable which has neither eyes nor cars neither hands nor feet which IS all pervading subtler than the subtlest — the everlasting the source of all

As the web comes out of the spider and is Withdrawn as plants grow from the soil and hair from the body of man so sprmgs the universe from the eternal Brahman

Brahman willed that it should be so and brought forth out of himself the material caus? o the universe from this came the primal energy and from the primal energy mind from mind the subtle Clements from the subtle elements the many wor s and from the acts performed by beings m the many worlds the chain of cause and effect— the reward and punishment of works

Brjman sees all knows all he is knowledge itself Of him are born cosmic intelligence name iorm and the material cause of all created beings and things

Finite and transient

at* the fruits of sacrificial

M U N D A K A 61

rites The deluded who regard them as the highest good remain subject to birth and death

Living in the abyss of ignorance yet wise m their own conceit the deluded go round and round like the blind led by the blind

Living in the abyss of ignorance the deluded think themselves blest Attached to works they liinow not God Works lead them only to heaven whence to their sorrow their rewards quickly exhausted they are flung back to earth Considering religion to be observance of ntuals and performance of acts of chanty the deluded remain ignorant of the highest good Having en Joyed in heaven the reward of their good works they enter again into the world of mortals

But Wise self controlled and tranquil souls— who arc contented m spirit and who practice aus terity and meditation in solitude and silence — are freed from all impurity and attain by the path of liberation to the immortal the truly existing the changeless Self

Let a man devoted to spiritual life examine care fully the ephemeral nature of such enjoyment whether here or hereafter as may be won by good Works and so realize that it is not by works that one gains the Eternal Let him give no thought to transient things but absorbed in meditation let him renounce the world To know the Eternal let


him humbly approach a Guru devoted to Brahman and well'Versed in the scriptures.

To a disciple who approaches reverently, who is tranquil and self-controlled, the wise teacher gives that knowledge, faithfully and without stint, by which is known the truly erUting. the changeless


The Imperishable is iHc Real. As sparks in- numerable fly upward from a blazing fire, so from the depths of the Imperishable arise all things. To the depths of the Impcruhablc they again descend.

SelMuminoos is that Being, and formless. He dwells within all and without alL He is unborn, pure, greater than the greatest, without breath, without mind.

From him are born breath, mind, the organs of sense, ether, air. fire, water, and the earth, and he binds all these together.

Heaven is his head, the run and moon his eyes, the four quarten his ears, the revealed scriptures his voice, tlx air his breath, the universe his heart. From his feet came the earth. He is the innermost Self of all.

From him arises rbe fun-illumined iky. from the sky the rain, from the rain food, and from *hc teed in man which he gives to woman.


Thus do all creatures descend from him From him are born hymns devotional chants scriptures rites sacrifices oblations divisions of tune the doer and the deed and all the worlds lighted by the sun and purified by the moon From him are born gods of diverse descent From him arc born angels men beasts birds from him Vitality and food to sustain it from him aus tenty and meditation faith truth continence and law

From him spring the organs of sense their Activities and their objects together with their awareness of these objects All these things parts of man s nature spring from him In him the seas and the mountains have their source from him spring the rivers and from him the herbs and ocher life sustaining elements by the aid of which the subtle body of man subsists m the physical body

Thus Brahman is all m all He is action knowl edge goodness supreme To know him hidden in the lotus of the heart is to untie the knot of ignorance

Self luminous is Brahman ever present in the hearts of all He is the refuge of all he is the supreme goal In him exists all that moves and breathes In him exists all that is He is both that which IS gross and that which is subtle Adorable


IS he Beyond the ken of the senses is he Supreme IS he Attain thou him!

He the self luminous subtler than the subtlest in whom exist all the worlds and all those that live therein — he is the imperishable Brahman He is the principle of life He is speech and he is mind He IS real He is immortal Attain him O my friend the one goal to be attained I

Affix to the Upanishad the bow incomparable the sharp arrow of devotional worship then with mind absorbed and heart melted in love draw Je arrow and hit the mark— the imperishable Brahman

OM IS the bow the arrow is the individual be ing and Brahman u the target With a tranquil heart take aim Lose thyself m him even as the arrow is lost in the target

In him arc woven heaven earth and sky to gethec With the mind and all the senses Know him the Self alone Give up vain talk He is the bridge of immortality

1 where

Me the spokes of a wheel the nerves meet Medi

him as OM Eastlp mayest thou cross the sea of darkness

'■”*'“=■”<15 ull who knows all osc g ory is manifest in the universe lives

mundaka 65

Within the lotus of the heart the btigh*’ throne of Brahman

By the pure in heart is he known The Self ex ists m man within the lotus of the heart and is the master of his hfc and of his body With mind illumined by the power of meditation the wise know him the blissful the immortal

The knot of the heart which is ignorance is loosed all doubts arc dissolved all evil effects of deeds arc destroyed when he who is both personal and impersonal is realized In the effulgent lotus of the heart dwells Drah man who is passionless and indivisible He is pure he IS the light of lights Him the knowers of the Self attain

Him the sun docs not illumine nor the moon nor the stars nor the lightning— nor >erily fires kindled upon earth He is tl»c one light that gi\cs light to all He shining everything shines This immortal Brahman is before tins immor tal Brahman is behind this immortal Brahman extends to the right and to the left aboic and below Venly all is Brahman and Brahman is supreme

Like two birds of golden plumage iniepara bic companions iJie individual self and the im mortal StU are perched on llie brandies of tlie


selfsame tree The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree, the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes

The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad But when he recog- ni2es the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more

When the seer beholds the Effulgent One, the Lord the Supreme Being then, transcending both good and evil and freed from impurities, he unites himself with him

The Lord is the one life shining forth from every creature Seeing him present in all the wise man IS humble, puts not himself forward His delight u in the Self, his joy is in the Self he serves the Lord in all Such as he indeed, are the true knowers of Brahman

This Effulgent Self i$ to be realized within thd oins the heart by continence by steadfastness in truthand meditation and by superconscious vision Their impurities washed away, the seers realize him

Truth alone succeeds not untruth By truthful ness the path of felicity u opened up the path ’y *be sages freed from cravings and which leads them to truth’s eternal abode brahman is supreme, he u self luminous he is

hundaka 67

beyond all tbonght Subtler than the subtlest is he

He resides in the lotus of the heart of every being The eyes do not see him speech cannot utter bitn, the senses cannot reach him He is to be at*

When through discrimination the heart has become pure then, in meditation, the Impersonal Self is revealed

The subtle Self within the living and breathing body u realized in that pure consciousness wherein IS no duality— that consciousness by which the heart beats and tbc senses perform thnr office Whether of heaven or of heavenly enjoyments 'vhethec of desires or of objects of desire whatever thought arises m the heart of the sage is fulfilled Therefore let him who seeks his own good rtvrre and Worship the sage

The sage knows Dtahnun the support of all the pure effulgent being in whom is contained the Universe They who worship the sage and do so Without thought of self cross the boundary of birth and death

He who brooding Upon sense objects comes to yvarn for them is bom here and there again and

«ed tbc Self, and thus saitsfied all hunger, attains to liberation even in ihu life

THE UPANISHADS The Self is not to be known through study of the scnptures nor through subtlety of the m tellect nor through much learning But by him who longs for him is he known Verily unto him does the Self reveal his true being

The Self is not to be known by the weak nor by the thoughtless nor by those who do not rightly meditate But by the rightly meditative the thoughtful and the strong he is fully known H^ing known the Self the sages are filled with joy Blessed are they tranquil of mind free from passion Realizing everywhere the all pervading Brahman deeply absorbed in contemplation of his being they enter into him the Self of all

Having fully ascertained and realized the truth o edanta having established themselves m pu nty of conduct by following the yoga of renun ciation these great ones attain to immortality irf

from them at death they attain to liberation

en cath overtakes the body the vital energy enters the cosmic source tbc senses dissolve in their «use and karmas and the mdividual soul are lost ra man the pure the changeless the infinite nam! doing lose

tiaTr.» 50 tbe Wise man freed from

SpIF t attains the Supreme Being the

Self Luminous the Infinite


He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman No one ignorant of Brahman is ever born m his family He passes beyond all sorrow He over comes evil Freed from the fetters of ignorance he becomes immortal

Let the truth of Brahman be taught only to those who obey his law who are devoted to him and who are pure in heart To the impure let it never be taught

Hail to the sages! Hail to the illumined souls!

This truth of Brahman was taught m ancient times to Shounaka by Angira Hail to the sages! Hail to the illumined soulsl


Peace — peace — peace

6 - mandukya

THE life of mart ts divided between waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep. But transcending these three states is ««• perconscious vision— called simply The Fourth.


OA/ . . .

V/ilh cur tan may u» hear what it ffood V/ith oar tyti may wt behold thy rtghxtouMttt Trangml in body may we who wonhip thee fnd rest OM Peoc^— peace — peace

Brahman, is the a&iverse Whatsoever has existed, “^hitsoevet exists whatsoever shall exist hecestcet, IS OM And whatsoever transcends past present, Sfld future, that also is OM All this that we see without is Brahmanr This Self that IS within is Brahman

This Self, which Is one with OM, has three aspects and beyond these three different from them and indefinable — The Fourth

The first aspect of the Self is the universal person the collective symbol of created beings in his physical nature — Vauwanara He is awake and IS conscious only of external objects He has seven members The heavens are his ‘head the sun his eyes air his breath fire his heart water his belly earth bis feet ancf space his body He has nineteen instruments of knowledge five organs of


sense five organs of actron five functions of the breath together with mind intellect heart and ego He IS the enioyei of the pleasures of sense The second aspect of the Self is the universal person m his mental nature — ^Taijasa He has seven members and nineteen instruments of knowl* edge He IS dreaming and is consnons only of his dreams In this state he is the enjoyer of the subtle impressions in the mind of the deeds he has done in the past

The ihttd aspect of the Self is the universal per- son in dreamless sleep-^Prajna He dreams not He 13 without desire As the darkness of night covers the day and the visible world seems to disappear so in dreamless sleep the veil of ud' consciotisness envelops his thought and knowledge and the subtle impressions of bis mind apparently vanish Since he expeneaccs neither strife not anx- iety he is said to be blissful and the experienced of bliss

Prajna is the lord of all He knows all things He IS the dweller m the hearts of all He is the ongtn of all He is the end of alL*

The Prajiu is ksoim m Innn. or God m bu personal aspect. Dmmlcss deep is ipioiaace Witbm ttat igaor^nce exist all the three ttUM ot (QoinwinKtt the *laU

the dream state, and the state of dreaailns sleep Iswara techsicaUr u Bnhmaa assoeuttd with Maya or oaiTtrsal


The Fourth say the woe is not subjective ex perience nor objective experience nor experience intermediate between these two nor is it a nega live condition which is neither consciousness nor Unconsciousness It is not the knowledge of the senses nor is it relative knowledge nor yet in fcrential knowledge Beyond the senses beyond the understanding beyond all expression is The Fourth It IS pure unitary consciousness wherein awareness of the world and of multiplicity is com plctely obliterated It ts ineffable peace It is the supreme good It ts One without a second It is the Self Know it alonel

This Self beyond all words is the syllable OM This syllable though indivisible consists of three letters— A U M

Vaiswanara the Self as the universal person in his physical being corresponds to the first letter — A Whosoever knows Vaiswanara obtains wbat he desires^ and becomes the first among men

Taijasa the Self at the universal person in his mental being cottesponds to the second letter — U Taijasa and the letter U both stand in dream

Ignorance and the iedvdoaf man u Brahman awociated with indie dual ignorance TTie diiUnet on between God and man w that God controls ignorance man u controlled by at


between waking and sleeping Whosoever knows Taijasa grows in wisdom and is highly honored Prajna, the Self as the universal person in dreamless sleep, corresponds to the third letter —

He IS the origin and the end of all Whosoever knows Prajna knows all things

The Fourth, the Self, is OM the indivisible syllable This syllable is unutterable, and beyond mind In it the manifold universe disappears It is the supreme good — One without a second Whosoever knows OM. the Self becomes the Self.

7 - taittiriva

MAN, in hts ipnorance. tdentiixea Aim* self with the rnatenai sheaths that en- compass Ass true Self. Transcending these, he becomes one with Brahman, who ts pare bliss



May Mura grant us ptaetl

May Varuna grant us ptaetl

May Aryamtt grant us peactf

May lodra and Brihasptii grant as peace ’

May the all pervading Vithnu grant us peacil Ha I fo Brahmanl

Hail to thee thou soartt of til power!

Thou AET indeed the manifested Brahman Of thee will r speak Thee will I proclaim in m7 thoughts as true Thee wdl I prochim on my lips as true

May truth protect me may it protect mf teacher may it protect us both May glory come to us both May the light of Brahman shine m us both

Thou art Brahman one with the syllable OM which IS in all scnptcres — the supreme syllable the mother of all sound Do thou strengthen me with true wisdom May I O Lord realize the Immortal May my body be strong and whole may my tongue be sweet may my ears hear only praise of thee The syllable OM is verily thine


image Through this syllable thou mayest be at- tained Thou art beyond the grasp of the intellect Vouchsafe that I forget not what I have learned in the scriptures

Thou art the source of all happiness and of all prosperity Do thou come to me as the goddess of piospcnty and shower thy blessings upon nve May the seekers after truth gather round me may they come from everywhere that I may teach them thy word

May I be a glory among men May I be richer than the richest May I enter into thee O Lord and mayest thou reveal thyself unto me Purified am I by thy touch O Lord of manifold forms.

Thou art the refuge of those who surrender themseUes to thee Reveal thyself to me Make me thine own I take my refuge m thee

Thou art the Lord immortal self luminous and of golden effulgence within the lotus of every heart Within the heart art thou revealed to those that seek thee

He uho dwells in thee becomes king over him self He controls his wandering thoughts He be comes master of his speech and of all his organs of sense He becomes master of his intcUect

Thou art Brahman whose form is invisible like ether whose Self u truth Thou art perfect

taittiriya 81

peace and immortality the solace of life the de- light of the mind May I worship thee’

OM IS Brahmin OM is all He who meditates on OM attains to Brahman

Having attained to Brahman a sage declared ‘I am life My glory is like the mountain peak I am established m the parity of Brahman I hav^ attained the freedom of the Self I am Brahman, self-luminous the brightest treasure I am en- dowed with wisdom I am immortal imperish- able '

OM Peace — peace— peace

To a Lag Student

Let your conduct be marked by right action, including study and teaching of the scriptures by truthfulness m word deed and thought by self- denial and the practice of austerity hj poise and self-control by performance of th? everyday du ties of life with a cheerful heart and an unattached mind

Speak the truth Do your duty Do not neglect the study of the scriptures Do not cut the thread of progeny Swerve not from truth Ekviate not from the path of good Revere greatness

Let your mother be a god to you let your father be a god to you let your teacher be a god


to yoQ let your guest also be a god to you Do only such actions as are blameless Always show reverence to the great

Whatever you give to others give with love and reverence Gifts must he given in abundance with joy humility and compassion

If at any time there is any doubt with regard to right conduct follow the practice of great souls who arc guileless of good judgment and devoted to truth

Thus conduct yourself always This is the in junction this is the teaching and this is the com mand of the scriptures

He who knows Brahman attains the supreme goat Brahman is the abiding reality, he is pure knowledge and he is infinity He who knows that Brahman dwells witbm the lotos of the heart be- comes one with him and enjoys all blessings Out of Brahman who is the Self came ether out of ether air out of air fire out of fire water out of water earth out of earth vegetation out of vegetation food out of food the body of man The body of man composed of the essence of food IS the physical sheath of the Self

From food are bom all creatures which live upon food and after death return to food Food is the chief of all things It is therefore said to be medicine for all diseases of the body Those who


not identify himself with the other sheaths and does not yield to the passions of the body

Different from the intellectual sheath is the sheath of the ego This sheath is encased in the intellectual sheath and has the same form Beyond all sheaths is the Self Vain and useless becomes his life who thinks of Brahman as nonexistent He alone who knows Brahman as existent truly lives

Surely at death a foolish roan does not attain Brahman but only a wise man

Desiring that he should become many that he should make of himself many forms Brahman meditated Mediuting he created all things Creating all things be entered into everything Entering into all things he became that which hag shape and that which is shapeless he became that which can be defined and that which cannot he de fined he became that which has support and that which has not support he became that which is conscious and that which is not conscious he be came that which is gross and that which is subtle He became all things whatsoever therefore the Wise call him the Real

Concerning which truth it is written Before creation came into existence Brahman existed as the I7nmanifesf From the Unmanifest was creafed


the manifest From himself be brought forth him- self Hence he js ftnoiun as the Self-Existent The Self-Existent is the Isscncc of all felicity Who could live, who could breathe, if that blissful Self dwelt not within the lotus of the heart? Jle it IS that gives joy.

When a man finds his existence and unity in the Self — who is the basts of life, who is beyond the senses, who is formless, inexpressible, beyotid all predicates — then alone docs he transcend fear. So long as there is the least idea of separation from him. there is fear. To the man who thinks himself learned, yet knows not himself as Brahman, Brah* man. who dtives away all feat, appears as fe%: Itself.

Concerning which truth ft is written. Through fear cf £rabrva.o tbe wtoJ blows oof the sutj shmes: through fear of him Indca, the god of ram, Agnl, the god of fire, and Yama, the god of death, perform their tasks

Who could live, who could breathe, if that, blissful Self dwelt not within the lotus of the heart? He it is that gives joy Of what nature ts this joy?

Consider the lot of a young man, noble, well- read. intelligent, strong, healthy, with all the wealth of the world at his command Assume that he IS happy, and measure his joy as one unit


One hundred times that joy ts one unit of the joy of Gandharvas but no less joy than Gand- har^a$ has the seer to whom the Self has be«n revealed and who is without craving *

One hundred times the joy of Gandharva# is one unit of the joy of celestial Gandharvas but no less joy than celestial Gandharvas has the to whom the Self has been revealed and who is without craving

One hundred times the joy of celestial Gandh arvas is one unit of the joy of the Pitns in tbetr paradise but no less joy than the Pilris m ib«f paradise has the sage to whom the Self has l>«n revealed and who u without erasing

One hundred times the joy of the Pitns in tbeic paradise is one unit of the toy of the Devas but no less joy than the Devas has the sage to whom the Self has been revealed and who is without craving

One hundred times the joy of the Devas is one unit of the joy of the karma Devas but no less joy than the karma Devas has the sage to whom the Self has been revealed and who is without craving

One hundred times the joy of the karma Devas

1 Gandharvas F tns Dms etc are heiors of a h order than man AeeaidinK to the Upanishads here elsewhere many worlds inbab ted by Tar oai btiees fflske up the uniTerse


IS one unit of the joy of the ruling Devas but no less joy than the ruling Devas has the sage to whom the Self has been revealed and who is Without craving

One hundred times the joy of the ruling Devas IS One unit of the joy of Indra but no less joy than Indra has the sage to whom the Self has been revealed and who is without craving

One hundred times the joy of Indra is one unit of the joy of Brihaspati but no less joy than Brihaspatt has the sage to whom the Self has been revealed and who is without craving

One hundred times the joy of Bnhaspati is one amt of the joy of Prajapati but no less joy than Prajapatt has the sage to whom the Self has been revealed and who is without craving

One hundred times the joy of Prajapati is one unit of the joy of Brahma but no less joy than Brahma has the seer to whom the Self has been revealed and who is without craving

He who IS the Self iq man and be who is the Self m the sun are one Verily he who knows this truth overcomes the world he transcends the physical sheath he transcends the vital sheath he transcends the mental sheath he transcends the intellectual sheath he transcends the sheath of the ego

It is written He who knows the joy of Brah


man which words cannot express and the mind cannot reach is free from fear He ts not distressed by the thought. Why did I not do what is right? Why did I do what is wrong* He who knows the joy of Brahman knowing both goad and eutl transcends both


May Brahman protect us may he guide us may he give us strength and eight understanding May peace and love be with us alV

Bhriga respeccfullf approaching bis father Vaiuna said Sir teach me Brahman Varona explained to him the physical sheath and the vital sheath and the functions of the senses and added He from whom all beings are born m whom they live being bora and to whom at death they return — seek to know him He is Brahman

Bhngu practiced austerity and med tation Then It seemed to him that food was Brahman For of food all beings are born by food they are sus tamed being born and into food they enter after death *

This knowledge however did not satisfy He again approached hts father Varuna and said Sir teach me Brahman


Varuna replied Seek to know Brahman by meditation Meditation is Brahman

Bhrigu practiced meditation and learned that primal energy is Brahman For from primal energy all beings are born by primal energy they are sus tamed being born and into primal energy they enter after death

But Bhiigu was still doubtful about bis knowl edge So he approached his father again and said Sir teach me Brahman Varuna replied Seek to know Brahman by meditation Meditation is Brahman

Bhrigu practiced meditation and learned that mind is Brahman For from mind all beings are born by mind they arc sustained being born and into mind they enter after death

Still doubtful he apfwoached bis father and said Sir teach me Brahman His father replied Seek to know Brahman by meditation Medita tion IS Brahman

Bhrigu practiced meditation and learned that intellect is Brahman For from intellect all beings are born by intellect they are sustained being born and into intellect they return after death Not yet satisfied doubting his understand ing Bhrigu approached his father and said Sir

taittiriya 91

the world — I who am endowed with golden efful- gence ’ Those who know me achieve Reality

OM . . . Peace — ^pcace — ^peace.

8 - aitareya

BRAHMAN, source, sustenance, and end of the universe, partakes of every phase of existence He wakes with the wakiny man. dreams with the dreamer, and sleeps the deep steep of the dream- less steeper, but he transcends these three states to become himself Hts true nature is pure consciousness


lley my tpcrth be one u»lh my m nd and may my m nd bt one ti'ilh my ipetth O thou telf turn nout Beahman remove Ihe iv7 of tgnarante from belote me Ihat ] may behold ihy I ght

Da ihoa reveal to me ihe ip n» of the kt ptum Hay the truth of the $a piuttt be ever p euni to me Hoy I teek day and n ght to real xt v.hai / lean from the tagei

Hay I tpeak the tru h of B ahman

Hay I ipeak the truth

Hay tl proteei me

Hay It protHi my leorher

01/ Peace p eaee^ p e o r r

Before creatsov att that rzsstcd wai the Self the Self slant frothing elic naj 77jfn the Sell thought Let me »end forth the w orMi

He sent forth these worlds Ambhas the h gh estv-orld aboie thesV) and upheld by It Menchi the sky Mara the mortal Horld the earth and Apa the world benraih the earth

He thought Celwld the wotlds Let me now* send forth tbrir guarduni Then he KOt forth ihrir goJfdiant.

He thought Behold these wotlJi xrd the 9S


guardians of these worlds Let me send forth food for the guardians ” Then he sent forth food for them

He thought ‘ How shall there be guardians and I have no part in them?

‘ If, without me speech utters breath is drawn, eye sees ear hears skin feels mind thinks s^x organs procreate then what am I? '

He thought Let me enter the guardians ” Whereupon opening the cenrer of their skulls he entered The door by which he entered is called the door of bliss '

The Self being unknown all three states of the soul are but dreaming— waking dreaming attd dreamless sleep In each of these dwells the Self the eye is hts dwelling place while we wake the mind is his dwelling plate while we dream the lotus of the heart is his dwelling place while tye sleep the dreamless sleep

Haying entered into the guardians he identifiod himself with them He became many individual beings Now, therefore if an individual awakes

center of spiritual consaoDsners techiiicall7 knows as the Sahashtara the thousand petaled lotos is situated in the tenter of the bratn When the yogis mind absorbed jn med tation teaches this center lie realizes bis unity with


from his threefold dream of waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep, he secs no other than the Self. He sees the Self dwelling tn the lotus of his heart as Brahman, omnipresent, and he declares “I know Brahman *

Who IS this Self whom we desire to worship? Of what nature is this Self?

Is he the self by which we sec form, hear sound, smell odor, speak words, and taste the sneer or the bitter?

Is he the heart and the mind by which we perceive, command, discriminate know, think, re- member Will feel desire, breathe, Jose, and per- form other like acts?

Nay, these are but adjuncts of the Self, who IS pure consciousness i'lnd this Self, nho is pure consciousness is Brahman He is God, all gods the five elements— <atlb air, fire wain, ether all beings great or small, born of eggs born from the womb born from beat born from soil horses cows, men elephants, birds, everything (hat breathes, the beings that walk and the beings that walk not The reality behind all these u Brahman, who IS pore conscicrtwnrs*.

*Th* Mift^nVri Uiuo>»b*<l ib>* at

•Tbt Fonrih,' iuBfcfixt'tS *>»• *brt» ««i(t leJ d ’’tiiaf from ihfm in tinJ


All these, while they Uve. and after they have ceased to live, exist in him.

The sage Vamadeva. having realized Brahman as pure consciousness, departed this life, ascended into heaven, obtained all his desires, and achieved Immortality.

9 - chandogya

BMHMAN IS att. From Brahman OOme appearances, strosc/iOnS, dtstres, deeds But all these ore mereli/ name and form. To know Brahman one must ex- perience the identity between him and the Self, or Brahman duxlhnp wilhin the lotus of the heart Only by so doing can man escape from sorrow and death, and become one with the subtle essence beyond all knowledge.


Hay t/uitlntit dtteind upon my limbt Hy tpttth my bttaih my tytt my met Hay all my ttnut wait cUat and tttong Hay Brahman thaw hmulf unto mt Hty I nevtr deny Brahman not Brahman mt I wtih him and ht wtih mt — may iLt ebdt alavyt togtthtr

Hty ihtrt b* ttvtaltd to mt WAo am dtuottd to Btthmtn Tht holy ifuih of iht Vptmthadi OH Pmct~pn3ct •• p tott

TlIC RrQurREMCSTS of duty 3rt ihrff The iint IS sacri/icr study aftnsgisins thr second is aus Verity the third is life as a student in the home of a teacher and the practice of continence Together these three lead one to the realm of the blest But Ik who IS firmly established in the knowledge of Brahman aehieses immortality

The light that shines above ilie beasers and abose this world the light slut shines in tlx high fst world bc>ond which there are no otlxrs — that IS the light that shines m the Iwarli of men Truly has this univervcome forth from Drib •nan In Orahman it lises and hat tit being At


saredly all is Brahman Let a man freed from the tamt of passion worship Brahman alone A man u above all his will As is his will in this life so docs he become when he departs from It Therefore shonld his will be fixed on attaming Brahman

The Self who is to be realized by the pnrified mind and the illumined consaousness whose form IS light whose thoughts are true who like the ether remains pure and nnattached from whom proceed all works all desires all odors all tastes who pervades all who is beyond the senses and m whom there is fullness of joy forever— he is my very Self dwelling within the lotus of my heart Smaller than a gram of nee is the Self smaller than a gram of barley smaller than a mustard seed smaller than a canary seed yea smaller even than the kernel of a canary seed Yet again is that Self within the lotus of my heart greater than the earth greater than the heavens yea greater than all the worlds

He from whom proceed all works all desires all odors all tastes who pervades all who is beyond the senses and m whom there is fullness of joy forever — he the heart enshrined Self is venly Brahman I who worship the Self within th lotus of my heart will attain him at death


He who worships him, and puts his trust in him, shall surely attain him.

Said the seer Sandilya: At the moment of death a knowcr of Brahman should meditate on the fol- lowing truths.

Thou art imperishable.

Thou art the changeless Reality.

Thou art the source of life.

This highest knowledge, the knowledge of Brahman, having drunk of which one never thirsts, did Ghora Angirasa teach to Krishna, the son of Devaki

One day the boy Satyakama came to bis mother 3nd said “Mother. I want to be a religious stu- dent. What is my family name?”

“My son,” replied his mother, “I do not know.

In my youth I was a servant and worked m many places I do not know who was your father I am Jabala. and you are Satyakama. Call yourself Satyakama Jabala ”

Thereupon the boy Went to Gautama and asked to be accepted as a student “Of what family arc you, my lad'” inquired the sage.

Satyakama replied “I asked my mother what my family name was, and she answered: '1 do not know In my youth I was a servant and


vrotked in many places I do not know who was youc father I am Jabala and yon are Satyakama Call yourself Sacyakama Jabala' I am therefore Satyakama Jabala sir

Then said the sage 74000 but a true Brahmin would have spoken thus Go and fetch fuel for I will teach yon You have not swerved from the troth

After initiating Satyakama the sage gave him four hundred lean and sickly cattle saying Take good care of these my hd The boy promptly dto\e them toward the forest tow mg to himself that he would not return until they numbered a tboQsand He dwelt m the forest for many years and when the cattle had increased to a thousand the bull of tbc herd approached him and said Satyakama wc have become a herd of one thousand Do you uow lead us to the house of your master and I will teach you one foot of Brahman

Speak our please said Satyakama Then said the bull The east is a part of the Lord and so is the west the south is a part of the Lord and so is the north The four cardinal points form a foot of Brahman Fire will teach you another

On the following day Satyakama began his journey Toward evening h lighted a f re and at


he sat down facing the east to worship he heard a voice from the fire saying ‘ Satyakama I will teach you one foot of Brahman This earth i$ a portion of Brahman The sky and the heavens are portions of him The ocean is a portion of him All these form a foot of Bnhmin A swan will teach you another ’*

Satyakama continued his journey On the fol- lowing evening when he had lighted his fire and seated himself facing the east to worship a swan flew to him and said ' 1 have come to teach you one foot of Brahman This lighted fire before you 0 Satyakama w a part of Brahman, and like- wise the moon the lightning too u a pan All these form a foot of Brahman A loon will teach

ou another

The next evening as Satyakama lighted hii fire and seated himself facing the east to worship a loon came near him and said ' I will teach you one foot of Brahman Breath is 3 part of Brah man sight is a part of Brahman hearing is a part of Brahman mind is a part of Brahman All these form a foot of Brahman

At last the joulb arfised ar the home of hit master and rcscrcntly presented himself before him As soon as Gautama «aw him he exclaimed *'My son yeu? shin« like a knower cf Brah- man B> nhom were you iaoght»


‘ By beings other than men ' replied Satya kama but I desire that you too should teach me For I have heard from the wise that the knowl

that the Guru tmpaits will alone lead to the supreme good ”

Then the sage taught him that knowledge and left nothing out

Upakosala dwelt as a student in the house of Satyakama for twelve years Though the teacher let other duciples return to their homes after they had been duly caught the way of truth Upako sala was not allowed to depart The wife of Satyakama entreated her husband to finish teach tag him in order that he might go home like the rest but Satyakama not only refused to do so but went off on a journey At this Upakosala was so sad and sick at heart that he could not eat The teacher s wife plied him with food and m everything treated him with tender affection but to no avail At last the boy cried out to her O mother my heart is still so impure I am too unhappy to cat!

Then a voice from out the fire which he was tending said This life is Brahman The sky is Brahman Bliss is Brahman Know thou Brah man’ *


I know that life is Brahman ” replied Upako- Sala But that the sky is Brahman, or that bliss IS Brahman I do not know ”

•Again came the voice from out the fire this time explaining that fay sky was meant the lotus of the heart wherein dwells Brahman and that by bliss 'vas meant the bliss of Brahman ' Both ' said the voice refer to Brahman' and continuing It taught Upakosala thus

Earth food fire sun — all these that you wor ship — are forms of Brahman He who is seen in the sun — that one am I He who dwells in the cast tn the north in the west and in the south he who dwells in the moor in the stars and in water— that one am I He who dwells in the sky and makes the lightning his home — that one also am I Knew Well the true nature of the world that it may never do you harm '

Thereupon the fire which had been only an earthly fire with which to prepare sacrifices as- sumed a new aspect and became the Lord himself The earth was transformed life was transformed the sun the moon the stars the lightning — every- thing was transformed and deified And thus it was that to Upakosala the true nature of all things was revealed

In due time Satyakania returned home When he saw Upakosala he said


“My son, yocr face shines like one who knows Brahman Who has taught you^”

“Beings other than men,” replied Upakosala Then said Satyakama “My son, what you have learned is true True also is this that I teach you now Lo, to him who knows it shall no evil chng eien as drops of water cling not to the leaf of the lotus

“He who glows in the depths of your eyes — that IS Brahman, that is the Self of yourself He is the Beautiful One. he is the Luminous One In all the worlds, forever and ever, he shmcsl’’

When Svetaketu was twelve years old his father Uddalaka said to him, “Svetaketu, you must now ga ea fchooJ and study None of oar family, my child, is Ignorant of Brahman ”

Thereupon Svetaketu went to a teacher and studied for twelve years After committing to memory all the Vedas, he returned home full of pride in his learning

Hii faihcr, noticing the young man’s conceit said to him “Svetaketu have you asked for that knowledge by which wc bear the unbearable, by which we perceive the unpeAeirable, by which we know the unknowable^”

‘ What is that knowledge, sir?” asked Sveta- keiu


“My child. as by knowing one lump of clay, sll things made of clay are known, the difference being only in name and anstng from speech, and the truth being that all arc clay, as by knowing

known, the difference being only in name and arising from speech, and the truth being that all gold— exactly so is that knowledge, knowing which we know all ”

But surely those venerable teachers of mine *tc ignorant of this knowledge: for if they pos* awsed It, they would have taught it to me Do you therefore, sir. gne me that knowledge.*’

“Be It so.” said Uddalaka. and continued thus* “In the beginning there was Exiitence. One only. Without a second Some say that in llie be* ginning there was non*rxutfncr only, and that out of that the unn erse was bom But bow couM such a thing bef blow could exitienee be born of non-existence' No. my son. in rJH beginning tl>erc Was Existence alone — One only, without a tefon J He. the One, thought to himself Let nc be many, let me grow forth Thus oat of hirjwlf I>e pro- jected ibe oni«r« .and having projected oot cf lumstU sIk universe. Ik entered into es-ery Iving and esery thing All that m lui its ulf in h-m alone. He »i the trnili. Hr w the subtle rtvfce cf


all He IS the Self And that, Svctaketn, THAT ART THOU ”

‘ Please sir tell me more about this Self ’’

‘ Be It so. my child

' As the bees make honey by gathering juices from many flowering plants and trees and as these juices reduced to one honey do not know from what flowers they severally come similarly, my son, all creatures when they are merged in that one Existence wbetbet in dreamless sleep or m death know nothing of their past or present state because of the ignorance enveloping them— know not that they are merged in him and that from him they came

* Whatever these creatures are, whether a Iron, or a tiger, or a boat, or a worm, or a gnat, or a mosquito that they remain after they come back from dreamless sleep

“All these have iheir self in him alone He is the truth He is the subtle essence of all He is the Self And that. Svetaketu THAT ART thou ”

‘ Please, sit, tell me more about this Self “

‘ Be It so my son

* The rivers in the cast flow eastward the rivers in the west flow westward and all enter into the sea From sea to sea they pass, the clouds lifting them to the sky as vapor and sending them down as ram And as these rivers when they arc united


that river, likewise all those creatures that I have named, when they have come back from Brahman, know not whence they came.

All those beings have their self in him alone. He is the truth. He is the subtle essence of all. He Is the Self. And that, Svetaketu, THAT ART


Please, sir, tell me more about this Self.”

‘Be It 50. my child:

this large tree, it would bleed, but Jive If he vert to Strike at its stem, it would bleed, but live If he Were to strike at the top, it would bleed, but live. Pervaded by the living self, this tree stands

depart from one of its branches, that branch

Would wither, if it were to depart from a second, that would wither: jf it were to depart from a third, that would wither If it were to depart ftom the -whole tree, tlw whole t«c would withrr.

“Likewise my son. know this The body dies when the Self leaves it — but the Self dies not.

”.MI that IS has its self in him alone He m ihc truth. He is the subtle essence of all He is tlw Self. And that, SvctaKctu, that art thou ’’

“Please, sir. tell me more about this Self ”

“Be It so Bring 3 fr»»r of tim NyagroJha tree ”


Here it is sir Break it It IS broken sir What do you see^

Some seeds extremely small sir Break one of them It IS broken sir What do you sec^

Nothing sit

The subtle essence you do not sec and in that IS the whole of the Nyagrodba tree Believe my son that that which is the subtle essence— in that have all things their existence That is the truth That IS the Self And that Svetaketu THAT ART THOU

Please sir tell me more about this Self Be It so Put this salt in water and come to me tomorrow morning

Svetaketu did as he was bidden The next morning his father asked him to hung the salt wh ch he had put in the water But he could not for It had dissolved Then said Uddalaka

Sip the water and tell me how it tastes *

It IS salty sir

In the same way continued Uddalaka though you do not see Brahman m this body he IS indeed here That which is the subtle essence — in that have all things the r existence That


w the truth That is the Self And that Svctaketu “Hat art thou

Please sir tell me snore about this Self said the youth again

Be It so my child

As a man may be blindfolded and led away, 3nd left in a strange place and as having been so fialt With he turns m every direction and cries out for someone to remove his bandages and show him the way home and as one thus entreated tnay loose his bandages and gne him comfort *nd as thereupon he walks from village to village asking his way as he goes and as be arrives home at last— .just so docs a man who meets with an illumined teacher obtain true knowledge

Tliat which is the subtle essence— in that have all beings their existence That is the truth Tliatis ‘he Self And that O Ssciakttu THAT ART THOU

Please sir tell me more about this Self '

Be It so m) cb Id

When a nan is fatalli ill hii relations gallief round him and ask Do you know me^ Do you know me' Now until hu srfcfb is nerged m his mind h s mind m b«* breath hu breath in liu Mtal heat hts vital I>eat in ilw Sur-cne Being Ik know s then But when h i sr«th ii merged in hit mind his mird in his trrath h i breath in Ini


vital heat, his vital heat m the Supreme Being then he docs not know them

' That which is the subtle essence — ir that have all beings their existence That is the truth That IS the Self And that, O Svetaketu, THAT ART THOU ”

Narada once came to Sanatknmara and asked to be taught To Sanatknmara's question, “What base you already studied? Narada replied that he had studied all the branches of learning— art, scs> ence music and philosophy, as well as the sacred scriptures ‘'But,” said be, ’ 1 have gamed no peace I have studied all this but the Self I do not know I have heard from great teachers like yon that he who knows the Self overcomes grief Grief u ever my lot. Help me, I pray you, to over- come It ”

Sanatknmara said ‘'Whatever you have read IS only name Meditate on name as Brahman ”

Narada asked “Is there anything higher than name? ’

Yes speech is higher than name It is through speech that we come to know the many branches of learning that wc come to know what is right and what is wrong what is true and what is nn- troe what is good and what is bad, what is pleas- ant and what is unpleasant For if there were no


speech neither right nor wrong wouJd be known er the true nor the false, neither the good nor 6 ad. neither the pleasant nor the unpleasant peech makes us know all this Meditate on speech

as Brahman ”

3ir. is there anything higher than speech^” Yes, mmd is higher than speech As the closed fist holds two amalaka frmts or two kola fruits or two aksha fruits so does mind hold name and speech For if a man thinks in hts mind to study toe sacred hymns he studies them, if he thinks 1*1 his mmd to do certain deeds, he does them, if he thinks in his mmd to gam family and wealth, he gains them, if he thinks in his mmd to be “eppy in this world and the next, he is happy, here and there Mtnd is ibe chief inner organ of the Self Mind IS the means to happiness Medi- tate on mmd as Brahman ’*

Sir IS there anything higher than mind?”

“Yes, will IS higher than mind For when a man wills he thinks in his mind and when he thinks in his mmd he puts forth speech and when he puts forth speech be clothes his speech m words All these therefore center in will consist of will, and abide in will Meditate on will as Brahman ”

“Sir is there anything higher than wilP”

“Yes discriminating will is higher than will For when a man discriminates by analyzing his


past experiences and considering on the basis of these what may come m the future he rightly wills m the present Meditate on discriminating will as Brahman

Sir IS there anything higher than discrimioat mg will? *

“Yes concentration is higher than discriminat ing will Those who reach greatness here on earth reach it through concentration Thus while small and vulgar people arc always gossiping and quar rellmg and for lack of concentration abusing one another great men possessing it obtain their re ward Meditate on concentration as Brahman

Sir IS there anything higher than concentta tion^

“Yes insight IS higher than concentration Through insight we understand all branches of learning and we anderstand what is right and what is wrong what is true and what is false what IS good and what is bad what is pleasant and what is unpleasant This world and the other worlds we understand through insight Meditate on insight as Brahman

In like manner Sanatkumara taught Narada to meditate on Brahman as power as food as water as fire as ether and to meditate on him as mcffl ory as hope and as the principle of life


Then said Sanatkamara: “But, verily, he is the true knower who knows eternal Truth,”

It is only when a man has realized eternal Truth that he declares it He who reflects upon it realizes it. Without reflection it js not realized.

And only be who has faith and itveience re- flects on eternal Truth

And only he who attends on a Guru gains faith and reverence.

And only he attends on a Guru who struggles to achieve self-control.

“And only he achieves self-control who finds joy in it. Ask to know of this joy.”

“Sir, r Wish to know of it.”

“The Infinite is the source of joy. There is no joy in the finite Only in the Infinite is there joy. Ask to know of the Infinite '*

“Sir, I Wish to know of it.”

“Where one sees nothing bat the One, hears nothing but the One, knows nothing but the One — there is the Infimre. Wher« one sees another, hears another, knows another — there is the finite. The Infinite is inimorlal. the finite is mortal ” what does the Infinite rest?

“In its own glory — nay. not even in that In

118 the upanishads

the -wotld It is said that cows and hoises, ele- phants and gold slants wines fields, and houses ate man’s gloty— hm these are poor and finite things How shall the Infinite test anywhere but tn Itself? ’ , . f

The Infinite is hclow. above behind, beiotc, to the tight, to the left I am all this This Infinite IS the Self The Self is below above behind be- fore, to the right to the left I am all this One who knows meditates upon and leaUzes the truth of the Self — such an one delights in the Self revels m the Self, rejoices in the Self He becomes master of himself, and master of all the worlds Slaves are they who know not this truth

‘ He who knows meditates upon and realizes this truth of the Self, finds that everything— primal energy, ether, fire, water and all other ele- ments mind will, concentration speech, sacred hymns and scriptures, indeed the whole universe — ^issues forth from it

‘ It IS written He who has realized eternal Truth does not see death nor tlfness, nor pam. he sees eueryfhing as the Self, and obtains alt

“The Self is one, and it has become all things ‘ When the senses arc purified, the heart is puri- fied when the heart is purified there is constant and unceasing remembrance of the Self, when there is constant and unceasing remembrance of the

chandogya 119

bonds are loosed and freedom is attained Thus the venerable Sanatkumara taught Na 3 who was pure in heart how to pass from

aarkness into light

Within the city of Brahman which is the body J IS the heart and within the heart there is a Jttle house This house has the shape of a lotus and Within it dwells that which is to be sought after inquired about and realized What then is that which dwelling within this little house this lotus of the heart is to be sought sfter inquired about and realized?

As large as the universe outside even so large IS the universe within the lotus of the heart Within It are heaven and earth the sun the moon the lightning and all the stars What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm All things that exist all beings and all desires 3re in the city of Brahman what then becomes of them when old age approaches and the body dis solves in death?

Though old age comes to the body the lotus of the heart docs nor grow old At death of the body It does not die The lotus of the heart where Brahman exists in all his glory— that and not the body is the true city of Brahman Brah man dwxUirtg therein »s untouched by any deed


ageless deathless free from gnef free from hunger and from thirst His desires arc right desires and his desires are fulfilled

As here on earth all the wealth that one earns IS but transitory so likewise transitory are the heavenly enjoyments acquired by the performance of sacrifices Therefore those who die without hav ing realized the Self and its right desires find no permanent happiness in any world to which they go while those who have realized the Self and Its light desttes find permanent happiness every where

If the sage desires to see his fathers of the spirit' world lo his fathers come to meet him In thcir company he is happy

And if he desires to sec his mothers of the spirit world lo his mothers come to meet him In their company he is happy

And if he desires to see his brothers of the spirit world lo his brothers come to meet him In their company he is happy

And if he desires to see his sisters of the spirit world lo bis sisters come to meet him In their company he is happy

And if he desires to see his friends of the spirit world lo bis friends come to meet him In their company he is happy


And if he desires heavenly perfumes and gar- 3nds lo heavenly perfumes and garlands come to him In their possession he is happy

And if he desires heavenly food and drink lo

possessiorl he is happy

And if he desires heavenly song and music lo heavenly song and music come lo him In their possession he is happy

Indeed whatsoever such a knower of Drahman way desire straightway it i$ his and basing ob tamed it he is exalted of men TTie fulfillment of right desires is withm reach cf everyone but a veil of illusion obstructs the ignorant That u why, though they desire to set Iheir dead their beloved, they cannot see them

Do ne Wish for oUr beloved among the living Of among the dead ot is there aught else for w hich We long vt for all our longing do not obtain?~

Jo all shall be ours if we but dire deep within rven to the lotus of the heart where dwells tl>e Lord Yea the object of every right desire it wiihm our reach though onsecn conrcaled by a veil of


As one not knowing ihat a golden rrratorc he» boned beneath his feet may walk over it again and again yet never find it to all bcipgs live every moment in the city of Drahrian yet rcrer find


him, because of the veil of illusion by which he is concealed.

The Self resides within the lotus of the heart. Knowing this, consecrated to the Self, the sage enters daily that holy sanctuary.

Absorbed in the Self, the sage is freed from identity with the body and lives in blissful con- sciousness The Self is the immortal, the fear- less. the Self is Brahman. This Brahman is eternal Truth

The Self within the heart is Uke a boundary which divides the world from THAT. Day and cross nut tlut boundary, nor old age, nor death, neither gnef nor pleasure, neither good nor evtl deeds All erd shuns THAT. For THAT « ff«f from impurity: by impurity can it never be touched

Wherefore he who has crossed that boundary, and has realized the Self, if he u blind, ceases to be blind if he is wounded, ceases to be wounded, if he is afflicted, ceases to be afflicted When that boundary is crossed, mght becomes day; for the world of Brahman is light itself.

And that worM of Brahman is reached fcy those who practice continence For the knowet of eternal truth knows it through continence. And what IS known as worship, that also is continence.


For a man worships the Lord by continence and thus attains him

What people call salvation is really continence For through continence man is freed from ig norance And what is known as the vow of si lencc that too is really continence For a man through continence realizes the Self and lives in quiet contemplation

What people call dwelling m the forest that is really continence

In the world of Brahman there is a lake whose Waters are like nectar and whosoever tastes thereof IS straightway drunk with joy and beside that Iske IS a tree which yields the juice of immortality Into this world they cannot enter who do not practice continence

For the world of Brahman belongs to those who practice continence They alone enter that World and dxink from that lake of nectar For them there is freedom in all the worlds

It was said of old

The Self iihich ts free from impurities from old age and death from gnef from hunger and thirst which desires nothing but what it ought to desire and resolves nothing but what if ought to reso/t-e is to be sought after ts to be inquired


about ts to be realized He who learns about the Self and realizes if obtains alt the worlds and all desires

The gods and demons both heard of this truth and they thought to themselves Let us seek after and realize this Self so that we may obtain all the worlds and all desires

Thereupon Indra from the gods and Virochana from the demons went to Prajapati the renowned teacher For thirty two years they lived with him as pupils Then Prajapati asked them why they had both lived with him so long

'We have heard they replied that one who realizes the Self obtains all the worlds and all de sires We ha\e lived here because we want to learn of this Self

Then said Prajapati * That which is seen in the c)c — that is the Self That is immortal that IS fearless and that is Brahman

Sir inquired the disciples ts that the Self uhich ts seen reflected in the water or in a mir ror?

The Self is indeed seen reflected in these was the reply Then Prajapati added Look at your selves in the water and whatever you do not un demand come and tell me about it

Indra and Virochana gazed on their reflections


jn the water and returning to the sage they said ir we have seen the Self we have seen even ‘he hair and the nails

1 Ptajapati bade them don their finest

c othes and look again in the water This they did and returning to the sage theysatd 'We have seen t e Self exactly like ourselves well adorned and in our finest clothes “

To which Prajapati rejoined ' TTie Self is in- ced seen m these Tlic Self is immortal and fear- less and it is Brahman ” And the pupils went away veil pleased

But Prajapati looking after them lamented Ihus Both of them departed without anj4*iflg Of discriminating and wiihoof trul) comprehend ing the Self Whosoever follows a false doctrine of the Self will perub

Now Virochana satisfied for hi* part that I« had found out the Self rriumed to the demons and began to teach (hem (hat ibe body alone it to be “Worshiped chat the body alone I* to be »erved and that he vho worships the body and senes tlie body gains both vrorfds this and the next Such doctrine is in very truth the docinre of tlK demons!

But Indra on his way back to ihe godf rral ired the usclisnns cf this lnovrIfdj:e At this


Self,” be reasoned, “seems to be well adorned when the body IS well adorned, well dressed when the body IS well dressed, so will it be blind when the body IS blind lame when the body is lame, de- formed when yhe body is deformed When the body dies, this same Self will also die! In such knowledge I can sec no good ”

So he returned to Ptajapati and asked for further instruction Prajapati required him to live with him for another thiriy-two years, after which time he taught him thus*

“That which moves about in dreams, enjoying sensuous delights and clothed in glory, that is the Self. That is immortal, that is fearless, and that is Brahman ” ' .

Pleased with what he had heard, Indra again departed But before he had reached the other gods he realized the uselessness of this knowledge also ‘True It is” he thought to himself, “that this Self IS not blind when the body is blind, nor fame or hurt when the body is lame or hurt But even in dreams it is conscious of many sufferings So in this doctrine also I can see no good ”

So he went back to Prajapati for further in- struction Prajapati now bade him live with him for another thirty-two years and when the time had passed taught him saying. “When a man

CHandogia 127

« sound asleep, free from dreams, and at perfect

earless, and I't Is Brahman.“

ndra went away. But before he had reached his ome. he felt the uselessness even of this fcnowl-

oneself as this or as that while asleep One is not conscious, in fact, of any existence at all The state of one in deep sleep is next to annihilation, I can see no good in this knowledge either ”

So once more Indra went back to Prajapati.

ho bade

the highest truth of the Self, sajring'

“This body is mortal, always gripped by death, but within it dwells the immortal Self This Self, when associated in our consaoosness with the body, is subject to pleasure and pain and so long as this association continues, freedom from picas Ure and pam can no man find But as this associa- tion ceases, there cease also the pleasure and the pain

“Rising above physical conscious&css. knowing the Self to be distinct from the senses and the mind • — knowing it in its true light— Kinc rejoices and is free ”

The gods, the luminous ones meditate cn the


Self, and by so doing obtain all the worlds and all desires. In like manner, whosoever among mor- tals knows the Self, meditates opon it, and realizes it — ^he too obtains all the worlds and all desires.

10 - brihadaranyaka

THE Self IS the dearest of all things, and only through the Self ts anything else dear The Self ts the origin of all finite happiness, but tt is itself pure bliss transcending definition It remains unaffected by deeds good or bad It is beyond feeling and beyond knowledge, but It IS not beyond the meditation of the sage



ft/letf full wtth Brahman are the thmgt we tee Filled full ujith Brahman ate the things we see not From out of Brahmart Howtih all that is From Brahman all — yet tt he stilt the tame OM Peace— ptoee—peaet

Lead me from the unreal to the real Lead me from darkness to light Lead me from death to mmorialtty

The world existed first as seed which as it grew and developed took on names and forms As 3 tazor in its case or as fire la wood so dwells the Self the Lord of the universe in all forms even to the tips of the fingers Yet the ignorant do not know him for behind the names and forms he remains hidden When one breathes one knows h;m as breath when one speaks one knows him as speech when one sees one knows him as the eye when one bears one knows him as the car when one thinks one knows him as the mind All these are but names related to bis acts and he who worships the Self as one or another of them docs 131 _


not know him for of them he is neither one nor another Wherefore lei a man worship him as the Self and as the Self alone The perfection which IS the Self is the goal of all beings For by know ing the Self one knows all He who knows the Self IS honored of all men and attains to blessed ness

This Self which is nearer to us than anything else IS indeed dearer than a son dearer than wealth dearer than all beside Let a man worship the Self alone as dear for if he worship the Self alone as dear the object of bis love will never perish

This omvetse before it was created existed as Brahman 1 am Brahman thus did Brahman know himself Knowing himself he became the Self of all beings Among the gods he who awakened to the knowledge of the Self became Brahman and the same was true among the seers The scer Vamadeva realizing Brahman knew that he himself was the Self of mankind as well as of the sun Therefore now also whoever real izes Brahman knows that he himself is the Self in all creatures Even the gods cannot harm such a man since he becomes their innermost Self Now if a man wonhip Brahman thinking Brahman vs one and he another he has not the true knowledge


This universe before it was created existed as

rahman Brahman created out of himself priests Warriors tradesmen and servants among both gods and men

Then he created the most excellent Law There IS nothing higher than the Law The Law is the truth Therefore it is said that if a man speak the truth he declares the Law and if he declare the Law he speaks the truth The Law and the truth are one

Now if a man depart this life without knowing the kingdom of the Self be because of that igno fance does not enjoy the bliss of liberation He dies Without reaching his goal Nay even if a man Ignorant of the kingdom of the Self should do vir tuous deeds on earth he would not arrive through them at everlasting life for the effects of his deeds Would finally be exhausted Wherefore let him know the kingdom of the Self and that alone The virtue of him who meditates on the kingdom of the Self IS never exhausted for the Self is the source from which all virtue springs

The Self out of which the sun rises and into which It sets — that alone do the wise make their goal

Gargya son of Valaka was a good talker but exceedingly vain Coming one day into the pres


cncE of Ajatasatru king of Benares he accosted him with boastful speech


I Will teach you of Brahman Ajatasatru

Indeed’ Well just for that kind proposal you should be rewarded with a thousand cows Pco pie nowadays flock to King Janaka to speak and hear of Brahman I am pleased that you have come to me instead


He who IS the being m the son and at the same time the being in the eye he who having entered the body through the eye resides in the heart of man and u the doer and the cxpcricnccr — him I meditate upon as Brahman


Nay nay' Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as transcendental luminous su preme He who meditates upon Brahman as such goes beyond all created beings and becomes the glorious ruler of all



The being who is m the moon and at the same time in the mind — him I meditate upon as Brah- man


Nay, nay* Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as infinite, clad in purity, bliss- ful. resplendent He who meditates upon Brahman as such lacks nothing and is forever happy.


The being who is m the lightning and at the same time in the heart — bita I meditate upon as Brahman.


Nay, nayf Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as power. He who meditates upon Brahman as such becomes powerful, and his chil- dren after him.


The being who is in the sky and at the same tune in the heart — him I meditate upon as Brah- man.



Nay, nayl Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as all pervading changeless He who meditates upon Brahman as such is blessed with children and with cattle The thread of his progeny shall never be cut


The being who is m the wind and who at the same time is the breath within— him I meditate upon as Brahman


Nay, nay' Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as the Lord invincible and un conquerable He who meditates upon Brahman as such becomes himself invincible and uncon querable


The being who is in the fire and at the same time in the heart — ^him I meditate upon as Brah- man


Nay, nay t Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as forgiving He who meditates

brihadaranyaka 137

upon Brahman as such becomes himself forgiving and hts children after him


The being who is m the water and at the same time in the heart — him I meditate upon as Brah- man

A jatasatru

Nay. nay' Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as harmony He who meditates Upon Brahman as such knows only what is har- monious Of him arc born tranquil children


The being who is m the mirror— him I medi- tate upon as Brahman


Nay nay' Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as effulgent He who meditates Upon Brahman as such becomes himself effulgent and his children after him He shines brighter than all who approach him


The sound that follows a man as he walks — that I meditate upon as Brahman



Nay> nay ^ Do not speak thus of Brahman. T*bat being I •worship as the vital force. He who medi- tates upon Brahman as such reaches his full age in this world; breath docs not leave him before his time.


The being who pervades space — him I meditate upon as Brahman.


Nay. nay’ Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I wotship as a second self, which can never be separated from me He “who meditates upon Brahman as such is never lonely, and his follow- ers never forsake him


The being who dwells in the heart as intelli- gence — him I meditate upon as Brahman.


Nay, nay’ Do not speak thus of Brahman That being I worship as the lord of will He who medi- tates upon Brahman as such achieves self-control, and his children after bun


Cargya ceased speaking. Ajatasatru. continuing, guesuoned him.


Is that all that you know of Brahman?

Gargya {humbly)

That is all that I know.


By knowing only so much, one cannot profess to know Brahman

Gargya {humbly)

Please, sir, accept me as a disciple, and teach me of Brahman


It is unnatural that a Brahmin should apj^roacb a Kshatriya and a king to learn of Brahman How- ever, I Will teach you

So saying Ajatasatru took Gargya by the hand and rose Then as the two walked side by side, they came to a sleeping man

Ajatasatru (to the sleeper)

O thou great one, clad in white raiment, O Soma O king'


At first the man did

not stir Then as Ajatas

atcu touched him he awoke

Ajatasatm itoCargya)

This man who is a conscious intelligent being where was he when he was thus asleep and how did he thus wake np? (Goeppn u,as silenl ) When this man who is a conscious intelligent being is thus in deep sleep he enlets into the Self within h ^ heart having withdrawn into

T” ”'htn his

m he •'“■s withdrasvn he is said

to be absorbed in the Self

the^Vve'V'’” “°*h'ng he enters into

from the lotus of the heart Even as a young man o an emperor - the best of BrahLs Xn

take, ■>' straightway

find rest ” “'“P

h= hues

m a world of his own He may dream that he is a king or rhat he is the best of Brahmins he may dream that he is an angel or that he ,s a beast As an emperor having obtained the objects of enjoy ment moves about at will in his dominions so the sleeper gathering up the impressions of sense


compounds them into dreams according to his desires

As threads come oat of the spider as little sparks come out of the fire so all the senses all the Worlds all the gods yea all beings issue forth from the Self His secret name is Truth of the Truth.

Yagnavalkya (to bis wifi)

Maitreyi I am resolved to renounce the world *nd begin the life of renunciation I wish thete fore to divide my property between you and my other Wife Katyayani


My lord if this whole earth belonged to me with all Its wealth should I through its posses Sion attain immortality^


No Your life would be like that of the rich None can possibly hope to attain immortality through wealth

Then what need have I of wealth^ Please my lord tell me what you know about the way to immortality



Dear lo me have you always bwn, Maiiisyi. and now you ask to learn of that truth which is near- est my heart Come, sit by me I will explain it to you Meditate on what I say

It IS not for the sake of the husband, my be- loved that the husband is dear, but for the sake of the Self

It IS not for the sake of the wife, my beloved, that the wife is dear, but for the sake of the Self.

It IS not for the sake of the children, my be- loved that the children are dear, but for the sake of the Self

It IS not for the sake of wealth, my beloved, that wealth is dear, but for the sake of the Self.

It IS not for the sake of the Brahmins my be- loved that the Brahmins ate held m reverence, but for the sake of the Self

It IS not for the sake of the Kshatnyas my be- loved that the Kshatnyas are held in honor, but for the sake of the Self

It IS not for the sake of the higher worlds, my beloved that the higher worlds are desired, but for the sake of the Self

It IS not for the sake of the gods my beloved, that the gods arc worshiped but for the sake of the Self

®RIHaDarAN'YAkA 143

It is not for the sake of the creatures, my^ be- . that the creatures are dear, but for the sake ot the Self.

It IS not for the sake of itself, my beloved, that anything whatever is esteemed, but for the sake or the Self.

The Self, beloved Maitreyi, is to be known, ear about it, reflect upon it. meditate upon it.

. ^ ^”owing the Self, my beloved, through hear- ing. reflection, and meditation, one comes to know 3*1 things

Let the Brahmin ignore him who thinks that *«e Brahmin is different from the Self.

Let the Kshacriya ignore htm who thinks that Kshatnya is different front the Self.

Let the higher worlds ignore him who thinks that the higher worlds arc different from the Self.

Let the gods ignore him who thinks that the gods are different from the Self

Let all Creatures Ignore him who thinks that the creatures are different from the Self*

Let all ignore him who thinks that anything whatever is different from the Self.

The priest, the warrior, the higher worlds, the gods, the creatures, whatsoever things there be— these are the Self

As, when the drum is beaten, its varions par- ticular notes are not beard apart from the whole.


but m the total sound all its notes aie heard, as. when the conch-shell is blown, its various partic- ular notes are not heard apart from the whole, but in the total sound all us notes arc heard, as when the Vina is played its vsrtoas particular notes are not beard apart from the ^holc, but in the total sound all Its notes are heard — so. through the knowledge of the Self, Pate Intelligence, all things and beings are known Xherc is no existence apart from the Self.

As smoke and spatks arise from a lighted fire kindled with damp fuel, even so. Maitreyt, have been breathed forth from the Eternal all knowl* edge and all wisdom-— what we know as the Rig Veda, the Yajar Veda, and the rest They are the breath of the Eternal

As for water the one center Is the ocean, as for touch the one center is the skin, as for smell the one center is the nose as for taste the one center is the tongue, as for form the one center is the eyes, as for sound the one center is the cars as for thought the one center is the mind, as for divine wisdom the one center is the heart — so for all beings the one center is the Self.

As a lump of salt when thrown into water melts away and the lump cannot be taken out, but wher- ever we taste the water it is salty, even so, O Maitreyi the individual self, dissolved, is the

brihadaranyaka 145

Eternal — ^purc consciousness, infinite and tran- scendent Individuality arises by identificatioii of the Self, through ignorance, with the elements, and With the disappearance of consciousness of the many, m divine illumination, it disappears Wh^te there is consciousness of the Self, individuality is no more.

This It IS. O my beloved, that I wanted to tell you.


“Where there is consciousness of the Self, indi* viduality is no more”, this that you say, my confuses me


Mv bftlflved. Ut aothiti^ I have said confuse you But meditate well the truth that 1 have spoken.

As long as there is duality, one sees the othefr one hears the other, one smells the other, one speaks to the other one thinks of the other, one knows the other, bat when for the illumined soul the all IS dissolved in the Self, who is there to be seen by whom, who is there to be smelt by whom, who IS there to be heard by whom, who is there to be spoken to by whom who is there to be thought of by whom, who is there to be known by whom?


Ah Maitrcyi my beloved the Intelligence which reveals all — ^by what shall it be revealed? By whom shall the Knowet be known ^ The Self is described as not this not that It is mcompte hensible for it cannot be comprehended undecay ing for It never decays unattached for it never attaches itself unbound for it is never bound By whom O my beloved shall the knower be known^

This It IS that I teach you O Maitrcyi This is the truth of immottality

So saying Yagnavalkya entered upon the path of tcnuneution

Tins earth is honey for all beings and all beings are honey for this earth The intelligent immortal being the soul of this earth and the intelligent immortal being the soul in the individual being — each IS honey to the other Brahman is the soul in each he indeed is the Self m all He is all

This water is honey for all beings and all be mgs arc honey for this watcr».Thc intelligent im mortal being the sool of this water and the in telligent iramortal being thesoul in the individual being — each is honey to the other Brahman is the soul in each he indeed is the Self in all He is all This fire is honey for all beings and all beings


*ire honey for this fire The intelligent immortal sing the soul of this fire and the intelligent im n^ortal being the sonl in the individual being — sach IS honey to the other Brahman is the soul m sach he indeed is the Self in all He is all

This air is honey for all beings and all beings 3rc honey for this air The intelligent, immortal being the soul of this air and the intelligent itn- tnortal being the soul m the individual being—

wch he indeed is the Self in all He is all This sun IS honey for all beings and all beings arc honey for this sun The intcJhgent immortal being the soul of this sun and the intelligent immortal being the soul in the indiiidua} being*'* each is honey to the other Brahman is the soul in each he indeed is the Self m all He is all This space is honey for all beings and all beings are honey for this space TTie intelligent immortal being the soul of this space and the intelligent immortal being the soul m the individual being — each is honey to the other Brahman is the soul in each he indeed is th^Self in all He is all

This moon is boW for all beings and all be- ings arc honey for this moon The intelligent im- mortal being the soul of this moon and the intelli- gent immortal being the soul in the individual being — each is honey to the other Brahman is the


soul m each he ludeed is the Self in all Ht is all Tins lightning is honey foe all beings and all beings are honey for this lightning The intelli gent immortal being the soul of this lightning and the intelligent immortal being the soul in the indiMdoal being — each uhoncy to the other Btah man is the soul m each he indeed is the Self m all He is all

This thunder is honey for all beings and all beings are honey for th s thunder The intelligent immortal being the soul of this thunder and the intelligent immortal facing the soul in the individ- ual being— <a«h is honey to the other Brahman is the soul in each he indeed is the Self m all He ss all

This ether ts honey for all beings and all be mgs arc honey for this ether The inielhgcnt im mortal being the soul of this ether and the in- telligent immortal being the soul m the individual being — each is honey to the other Brahman is the soul in each he indeed is the Self in alt He ts all This law 1$ honey for all beings and all beings arc honey for this law The intelligent immortal being the soul of ibis law and the intelligent immortal being the soul in the individual being—— each IS honey to the other Brahman is the soul in each be indtd is the Self in all He is alt

Thu truth is honey for all beings and all beings


are honey for this troth The intelligent immortal being the soul of this truth and the intelligent Juimortal being the soul in the individual being — ■ each IS honey to the other Brahman is the soul lO each he indeed is the Self in all He is all

This race of men is honey for all beings and all beings are honey for this race of men The intclli gent immortal being the soul of this race of men and the intelligent immortal being the soul m the individual being— each is honey to the other Brah tnan is the soul in each he indeed is the Self in all He ts all

This Self is honey for all bemgs and all bemgs are honey for this ^If The intelligent immortal being the soul of this Self and the intelligent immottal being the soul in the individual being- each IS honey to the other Brahman is the soul m

each he indeed IS the Self mall He is all

This Self IS the lord of all beings the king of all beings As the spokes are held together in the hnb and m the felly of a wheel just so all beings all creatures all gods all worlds all lives arc held together m the Self

He made bodies with two f«t be made bodies with four feet He entered into all bodies and because he dwell* wilhin the lotus of the heart he IS known as Punisha There is notlling that iS


not sartonnded by him nothing that is not filled by him

He assumed all forms He assumed all forms to reveal himself in all forms He the Lord is re- vealcd in all forms through his Maya He is tens and thousands many and endless

This Brahman is tvithont cause without effect without inside or outside This Brahman is the Self

Janaka King of Vidcha on a certain occasion performed a sacrifice and in connection theressith distributed costly gifts Among those who attended the ceremony were the wise men of Kuru and of Panchala King Janaka observed them and wanted to find out which was the wisest

Now It happened that the king kept a thousand cows enclosed in a pen and between the horns of every one of them were fastened ten gold coins.

Venerable Brahmins said King Janaka let him who IS the «uest among you take these cows home

The Brahmins dared not stir save Yagnavalkya alone

My learned son said Yagnavalkya to his disciple drive home my cows


'Hurrah’” cried the lad and made after them

The rest of the Brahmins were enraged How dare he call himself the wisest’ ' they shouted Ac iast, Aswala priest to King Janaka accosted Yagnavalkya saying

' Yagnavalkya are you quite sure you are the Wisest among us^ '

“I bow down *’ replied Yagnavalkya, “to the Wisest But I want those cows’ '

Then Aswala began to question him


Yagnavalkya since everything tonneeted with saenficial ruts is pervaded by death and >s sub* jeet to death by what means can the worshiper overcome death?


By the knowledge of the identity between the worshiper the fire and ibe ritual siord For the ritual word is indeed the worshiper and the ritual word IS the fire and the fire which is one with Brahman « the worshiper Tins knowledge leadr to liberation this knowledge leads one beyond death


Aswala held his peace But Aetabhaga asked Yagnavalkya everything is the food of death Is there any power for which death is food?


Indeed yes Fire devours everything and fire again is the food of water Similarly there is a death to death The knower of the truth of Brah man overcomes death


Yagnavalkya when such an one gives up his body do his perceptive faculties along with his mind go out of him or do they not?


They do not They merge m the final cause the Self The body lies lifeless inflated and swol len

Artabhaga held his peace Then Ushasta asked

Yagnasalkya what is the ultimate the immc diate Brahman Brahman himself alone directly realized as such the Self which dwells within all?

Yagnawlkya (poinrmsr to bis heart)

This thy Self which is within all



Which self O Yagnavalkya is within all?

YagnatMtkya That which breathes in is thy Self which is Within all That which breathes down is thy Self which is within all That which diffuses breath i$ thy Self which is within all That which breathes out IS thy Self which is within all Again I reply This thy Self which is within all


As one might say in distinguishing a cow from ahorse that the cow is the animal that walks and the horse is the animal that runs exactly $o simple so clear O wise one has been your teaching about Brahman 1 But tell me I ask again who is the nht mate the immediate Drahman Brahman himself alone directly realized as such the Self which dwells within alP

) agnavalkya

This thy Self wh ch u within all Uifiasta

Which self O ’i agnralkya uwiihmall’



Thou canst not we the seei of the sight, thou canst not hear the hearer of the sound, thou canst not think the thinker of the thought thou canst not know the knower of the known Again I re- ply This thy Self which is withm all Anything that IS not the Self perishes

Ushasxa held his peace Kahola asked:

Yagnavalkya what is the ultimate the imme- diate Brahman Brahman himself alone directly realized as such the Self which dwells within all?


This thy Self which is withm all hahola

Which self O Yagnavalkya is withm all?


That which is beyond hunger thirst grief, de- lusion decay, and death Having realized this Self, the sages renounce the craving for progeny wealth and existence m the other worlds and live the life of mendicants The erasing for progeny leads to the craving for wealth and the craving for wealth


to the craving for existent in the other worlds. Thus there are two cravings— craving for a life of enjoyment here, and craving for a life of greater enjoyment hereafter. Therefore should a sage, when he has fully attained the knowledge of the Self, desire to live with that knowledge as his only refuge. When he has fully attained the knowledge of the Self, and realized it as his only «fuge, he should devote himself exclusively to eontemplation of the Self. He alone is the true knower of Brahman who directs his mind towards the Self, and shuns all other thoughts as distrac- tions How does such a knower of Brahman act and conduct himself? Whatever he may do or howsoever he may conduct himself, he is free from craving, and is forever established in the knowl- edge of Brahman. Anything that is not the Self perishes.

Kahola held his peace. Uddalaka asked: Yagnavalkya, we live as students in Madra, in the house of Kapya His wife was once possessed by 3 Gandhaiva, a celestial anger Wc asked the Gandharva who be was He replied that he was Kabandha, and proceeded to question Kapya thus* “Dost thou know that thread whereon this life, the next life, and all bongs are strung toselhei?” Kapja did not know TTic Gandharva continued!


“Dost thoQ know that Inner Ruler who controls, from within, this life, the next life, and all be- ings^” Kapya did not know. The Gandharva then said. “He who knows that thread and that Inner Ruler knows Brahman, knows the worlds, knows the gods, knows the Vedas, knows the creatures, knows the Self — ^knows all things ” I myself know these things that the Gandharva taught. Yagnavalkya, if thou, without knowing that thread and that Inner Ruler, take the cows that belong only to the wisest, accursed shale thou be.


I know that thread and that Inner Ruler. Uddalaka

Anybody can say. “I know, I know.” Tell us what you know.


The subtle principle of life is that thread whereon this life and the next life and all beings arc strung Hence, when a man dies, they say his limbs are loosed, for while he lives they are held together by that principle of life.


That is true, Yagnavalkya Now speak of the Inner Ruler



He who dwells on earth but is separate from the earth whom the earth docs not know whose body the earth is and who controls the earth from Within — ^he the Self is the Inner Ruler the Im mortal

He who dwells in water but is separate from Water whom water does not know whose body water is and who controls water from withm— he the Self is the Inner Ruler the Immortal

He who dwells in fire but B separate from fire whom fire does not know whose body fire is and who controls fire from within— he the Self ij the Inner Ruler the Immortal He who dwells m the sky in the air in heaven m the four quarters in the sun in the moon in the stars in ether in darkness in light but is separate from them whom none of them knows whose body they are and who controls them from Within — he the Self is the Inner Ruler the Im mortal

He who dwells in all beings but is separate from all beings whom no being knows whose body all beings are and who controls all beings from within— he the Self is the Inner Ruler the Immortal

He who dwells m odor speedi sight hearing


and toQch bat is separate from them whom odor speech sight bearing and touch do not know whose body is odor speech sight hearing and touch and who controls them all from within — he the Self is the Inner Ruler the Immortal He who dwells in the mind hut is separate from the mind whom the mind does not know whose body the mind is and who controls the mind from with n — he the Self is the Inner Ruler the Im mortal

He who dwells m the intellect but :s separate from the intellect whom the intellect docs not know whose body is the intellect and who con trols the intellect from withm— be the Self is the Inner Ruler the Immortal

Unseen bat the seer unheard but the hearer unthinkable but the thinker unknown bat tbc knower — there is no other seer but he there is no other hearer but he there is no other thinker but he there is no other knower but be He the Self IS the Inner Ruler the Immortal

Anything that is not the Self perishes.

Uddalaka held bts peace Then arose Gargi the daughter of Vachahnu and addressed the sages Revered Brahmins I shall ask Yagnavalkya two questions If he is able to answer them no one


among you can ever defeat him He will be the great «xpounder of the truth of Brahman


Ask O Gargi


Yagnavalkya as the son of a warrior from Kasi Or V jdeha might string bis loosened bow and with two deadly arrows in his hand rise to give baetJe even so have I iisen to fight thee with two ques ttons Answer my questions


Ask O Gargi


Yagnavalkya that of which they say that it is above heaven and below the eanh which is be tween heaven and earth as wc/1 and which was is and shall be — tell me in what it is woven warp and woof?


That of which they O Gargi that it is above heaven and below the earth which is be

tween heaven itid earth as well and which was is


and shall be — that is woven warp and woof m the ether


Thou hast answered my first question I bow to thee O Yagnavalkya Be ready now to answer my second question


Ask O Gargi


In what IS that ether woven warp and woof?


The seers O Gargi call that Akshara— the changeless Reality He is neither gross not fine neither short nor long neither hot not cold neither light nor dark neither of the nature of air nor of the nature of ether He is without relations He IS without taste or smell without eyes cars speech mmd vigor breath mouth he is without meas nre he is without inside or outside He enjoys nothing nothing enjoys him

At the command of that Akshara O Gargi sun and moon hold their course At the command of that Akshara O Gargi heaven and earth keep their position At the command of that Akshara


0 Gargi moments hours days and nights fort

wir path At the command of that Akshara O Gargi rivers issuing from the snowy mountains now On some eastward some svestward others m other directions

He OGargi ho m this world svithootknow Jtig this Akshara offers oblations performs sacri fiecs practices austetuics even though for many thousands of years gains little his offerings and practices are perishable He OGargi who departs this world Without knowing the Imperishable is pitiable Due he 0 Gargi who departs this w orfd knowing the Akshara tswisc

This Akshara O Gargi is unseen but is the seer ts unheard but is the hearer is unthinkable but IS the thinker is unknown but is the knower Tliirc IS no seer but he there is ro hearer but he thcfc IS no thinker but he there ii no knower but he In Akshara tcnl> O Gargi tlie ether ti woicn warp and woof


Revered Dralimins well may you fetl Hen if you get off will) bowing Eefore hin' No one will defeat Vagnaralkyj expoonJer of the truth cf Bralinan


Qatgi held het peace Yagnavalkya addressed the sages

Revered Brahmms ask itie questions if you will — any one of you m the assembly or all of you Or if any one of you so desires I will question him Or I will question all of you jBuf the Brahmins held theic peace


On a certain occasion Janaka king of Videha having seated himself to give audience saw the sage Yagnavalkya among his visitors and accosted him


Yagnavalkya what brings you here? Do you come for cattle or for philosophy?


For both Your Majesty I wish to hear what your teachers may have taught you


Jilwa taught me that the word is Brahman Y agnavalkya

As one who from childhood has been instructed


adequately, first by his mother, then by bis father, and after that has been initiated into the sacred mysteries by a sage — as snch an one should teach, so has Jitwa taught yoo the truth when he said that the word is Brahman For what could a per- son achieve without the word? But did he tell you about the abode and support of this Word Btah- tnan^


No, he did not


Then you have been only pajtly taught. Jamka

Do you, then, teach me, O Yagnaralkya

The organ of speech is its abode, and ether the primal cause of the universe is rts eternal support Meditate upon the word as identical with knowl. edge


Wh,! IS Y^nmltp’



The word is knowledge Your Majesty For through the word a friend is known and likewise all knowledge spiritual or otherwise TTirough the word is gained knowledge of this world and of the next Through the word is obtained knowl edge of all creatures The word Your Majesty is the Supreme Brahman


I give you a thousand cows with a bull as big as an elephant for teaching me


My father was of the opinion that one should not accept any reward from a disciple without fully instructing him I wish to know what any one else may have taught you


Udanka taught me that pcunal energy is Brab man He did not tell me about its abode and sup port


Breath is its abode and ether its support It should be meditated upon as dear For life is m-



Barku taught me that sight is Brahman But he did not teach me its abode and support


The eye is its abode and ether its support Ft should be meditated upon as truth For it is by sight that objects ate known Sight is Brahman What mote have you leatnedf


Gardabhivipaci tangbt me that hearing is Brah man


The car is its abode and ether its support It should be meditated upon as bmidess For sound is carried by space and space is limitless Heanng is Brahman


Satyakama taught me that the mind is Btah




The mmd is its abode and ether its sapport It should be meditated upon as happiness For by the miud aloud is happiness experienced Mind is Brahman


Vidagdha taught me that the heart is Brahman Yagnavalkya

The heart is its abode and ether its support It should be medicated upon as the resting place For all beings find rest in the heart The heart is Brah man

Janaka (descending feom hts throne and humbly addressing the sage)

I bos7 down to you Yagnavalkya please teach me


Your Majesty as a person wishing to make a long journey furnishes himself with a chariot or a boat so have you equipped your mind with sacred wisdom You are honorable and wealthy and you have studied the Vedas and learned the Upan isbads Whither then diall you go when yon leave this body’


I do not know revered sir


I will tell you where you wiH go Janaka

Tell me please


Indha is the Self identified with the physical self Viraj the physical world is his wife the ob ject of his enjoyment The spaa within the heart IS their place of union in dream when the Self is identified with the subtle body or mind The Self in dreamless sleep ts identified with the vital force Beyond this is the Supreme Self — he that has been described as not this not that He is incomprehen sible for he cannot be comprehended he is unde caying for he never decays he is unattached for he does not attach himself he is unfettered for nothing can fetter him He is never hurt You have attained him who is free from fear O Janaka and free from birth and death


May that fearlessness come to you who teach us


fearlessness I bow down to you Behold this em- pire of Vidcha, as well as I myself, at your service

Once when Yagnavalkya came to the court of King Janaka, the King welcomed him with a question


Yagnavalkya what serves as the light for man?


The light of the sun Your Majesty for by the light of the sun man sits goes out does hiS work and returns home


True indeed Yagnavalkya But when the suit has set what scx% cs then as his light?


The moon is then his light


When the sun has set O Yagnavalkya and the moon has set what serves then as his light?


The fire Is then his light



When the sun has set O Yagnavalkya and the moon has set and the file has gone out what serves then as his light?


Sound IS then his light for with sound alone as his light man sits goes out does his work and returns home Even though he cannot sec his own hand yet when he hears a sound he moves to


True indeed 0 Yagnavalkya When the sun has stt and the moon has set and the fire has gone out and no sound IS heard what serves then as his light?


The Self indeed is his light for by the light of the Self man sits moves about does his work and when his work is done rests


Who is that Self'


The self luminous bong who dwells within the


lotos of the heart snrtounded by the senses and sense organs and who is the light of the intellect IS that Self Becoming identified with the intellect be moves to and fro through birth and death be tween this world and the next Becoming identi fied with the intellect the Self appears to be think mg appears to be moving While the mind is dreaming the Self also appears to he dreaming and seems to be beyond the next world as well as this

When man the individual soul is born and assumes relationship with the body and sense or gans he becomes associated with tbe evils of the world When at death be gives up the body be leaves all evils behind

There are two states for man — the state in this world and the state in the next there is also a third state the state intermediate between these two which can be likened to dream While m the intermediate state a man experiences both the other states that in this world and that in the next and the manner thereof is as follows When he dies he lives only in the subtle body on which are left the impressions of his past deeds and of these impressions he is aware illumined as they are by the light of the Self Th pure Iighl of the Self affords him light Thus it is that m the in termcdiate state he experiences the first state or


$elf luminous being the Self within the Immortal One keeps ahve the house of Resh With the help of the Vital force but at the same time walks out of this house The Eternal goes wherever he desires

The self luminous being assumes manifold forms high and low in the world of dreams He seems to be enjoying the pleasure of love or to be laughing with friends or to be looking at tern fytng spectacles

Everyone is aware of the experiences no one sees the Experiencer

Some say that dreaming is but another form of waking for what a man experiences while awake he experiences again in bis dreams Be that as it may the Self m dreams shines by his own light


Revered sir I offer you a thousand cattle In struct me further for the sake of my liberation


The Self having in dreams tasted enjoyment gone hither and thither experienced both good and evil attains to the state of dreamless sleep then again he comes back to dreams Whatever he may experience m dreams docs not affect him for the true nature of the Self lemains forever unaffected



So It IS indeed Yagnavalkya I offer you an other thousand cattle teveted sir Speak on for the sake of jny liberation


The Self having in dreams tasted enjoyment gone hither and thither experienced good and evil hastens back to the state of waking from which he started Whatever he may experience in dreams does not affect him for the true nature of the Self remains forever unaffected


So It is indeed Yagnavalkya Another thousand cattle shall be yours revered sit Spcjk on for the sake of my liberation


The Self having m wakefulness enjoyed the pleasures of rense gone hither and thither cipe ncnccd good and cvff hastens back again to his dreams

As a large fish inose* from one bank of a rivcf to the other so docs tlx Self moic between dream ing and

As a haw k or a falcon flyrng in the sky becomes


tired, and stretching its wings comes back to its nest, so does the Self hasten to that state where, deep in sleep, he desires no more desires, and dreams no more dreams

Indeed, the Self, in his true nature, is free from craving, free from evil, free from fear. As a man in the embrace of his loving wife knows nothing that IS without, nothing that is within, so man in union with the Self knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within, for in that state all desires are satisfied The Self is his only desue, he IS free from craving he goes beyond sorrow

Then father is no father, mother is no mother, worlds disappear, gods disappear, scriptures dis' appear. the thief is no more, the murderer is no more, castes are no more no more is there monk or hermit The Self is then untouched either by good or by evil, and the sorrows of tbe heart are turned into joy.

He docs not see, nor smell, nor taste, nor speak, nor hear nor think, nor touch nor know, for there is nothing separate from him, there is no second Yet he can see for sight and be are one yet he can smell for smelling and he arc one > et he can taste, for taste and he are one. yet be can speak, for speech and be are one, yet he can bear, for hearing and he are one, yet he can think, for thinking and he arc one, yet he can touch, for

iTd t Z “r e”' ^or

Mother •’' “”“*« to„ch« and


'*-'10^;”:;“- Crea^nr„’’'X'’r

'“«P⇒«.=nofh„.„Cb“ pJfperience but a

Yq «/anflAa

Tha Self ia,

'°fc ™«“'>°ftomrt“ ,'f “■^'‘'•f“taBs

THE UPANISHADS When his body becomes thm through old age or disease the dying man separates himself from his limbs c^cn as a mango or a fig or a banyan fruit separates itself from its stalk and by the same way he came be hastens to hts new abode and there assumes another body, m which to begin a new hfe ^

When his hod? grows weak and he becomes apparently nneonsuons the dying man gathers his senses about him and completely withdrawing their powers descends into hts heart No mote does he see form or color without

v'h” He docs

dLsTrl “°U he

seNc f r detaching them

h»« where the bvTharT b“ 1 ^”!,“' *' “Sht of the Self and

of,? “'hw Ihrotigh the eye

oyhtotigh the gate of the sknil or throngh some mher apertnre of .he body When he Urns departs Uns f “heJ> life departs all the ftinc

tions of the vital principle depart The Self re mams conscom and conscons the dying man goes to hm abode The deeds of this life and the impressions they leave behind follow him

As a leech having reached the end of a blade of grass takes hold of another blade and draws

brihadaranyaka 177

uself to It so the Self having left this body behind It Unconscious takes hold of another body and draws himself to it

As a goldsmith taking an old gold ornament moulds It into another newer and more beautiful so the Self having given up the body and left it Unconscious takes on a newer and better form either that of the fathers or that of the celestial singers or that of the gods or that of other beings heavenly or earthly

The Self is verily Brahman Through ignorance It identifies itself with what is alien to it and appears to consist of intellect understanding life sight hearing earth water air ether fire desire and the absence of desire anger and the absence of anger righteousness and the absence of righteous ness It appears to be all things— now one now another

As a man acts so does he become A man of good deeds becomes good a man of evil deeds be comes evil A man becomes pure through pure deeds impure through impure deeds

As a man s desire is so is his destiny For as his desire is so is his will as his will is so is his deed and as his deed « so is his reward whether good or bad

A man acts according to the desires to which he clings After death he goes to the next world bear

THE UPANISHADS mg in his mind the subtle impressions of his deeds and after reaping there the harvest of his deeds he returns again to this world of action Thus he who has desire continues subject to rebirth

But he in whom desire is stilled suffers no re- birth After death having attained to the highest desiring only the Self he goes to no other world Brahman he becomes Brahman \Vhcn all the desires which once entered into his heart have been driscn out by divine knowl edge the mortal attaining to Brahman becomes immortal

As the slough of a snake lies cast off on an ant hill so lies the bod? of a man at death while he freed from the bod? hreomrs one with the im mortal spirit Brahman the Light Eternal


Sir again I give yon a ihonsand cows Speak on that I may be liberated

y agnaualkya

The path of liberation is subtle and hard and

long I myself am walking in ,t nay I have reached the By this path alone the wise the knowers of Brahman having attained h m while living achieve final liberation at death

Other worlds there arc joyless enveloped m


Worlds they entered npon the path of complete


Craving for progeny le2ds to craving for wealth and craving for wealth leads to craving for life

n other worlds Two cravings there are tbccrav

•ng for a life of pleasure in this world and the craving for a life of greater pleasure in other Worlds

The Self is to be described as not this not that t ts Incomprehensible for it cannot be compre hended undecaymg for it does not decay un attached for it never attaches itself unfettered for

IS never bound He who Knows the Self is un affected whether by good or by evil Never do such thoughts come to him as i have done an evil thing or I have done a good thing Both good Snd evil he has transcended and be is therefore

troubled no more by what he may or may not have done

The eternal glory of the knower of Brab man bcgmninglcss and endless revealed by divine knowledge is neither increased nor decreased by deeds Let a man therefore seek to find it sinre having found it he can never be touched by evil Self controlled is he svho knows the Self tranquil poised free from desire Absorbed in meditating

upon It he sees it within his own soul and be secs all beings in It Esil touches him not troubles him


not for jfi the fire of his divine knowledge all evil IS burnt away

Freed from evil freed from desire freed from donbt he becomes a knower of Brahman

This O King IS the truth of Brahman Do thou attain to it!


Most rsvmd s.r I offtc yon tht tmpirc of Videha and myself with tt to be your servant


The Self the great unborn the undecaymg the undying the immortal the fearless is in very

1,',“,? Brahman is

without fear He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman!

Gods men and asnras—sll three descendants of Ptajapati— heed svith him for a time as students Then the gods said Teach us sir! In reply Prajapatr nticred one syllable Da Then he said Have you undersroodf They answered Yes we have understood Yon said to us Da mayata— Be self controlled Yes agreed Pra

japati you have understood

Then the men sard Teach us sit Prajapatl uttered the same syllable Da Then he said

bkihadaranyaka 183

Have you understood?” They answered “Yes we have understood You said to us ‘Datta— Be f Yes,” agreed Prajapati, “you have

understood ”

Then the asuras said “Teach us, sir ” Prajapati ««ered the same syllable ‘ Da ” Then he said Wave you understood?” They said “Yes we ave understood You told us 'Djyadhwam — Be compassionate * ” * Yes.” agreed Prajapati, “you nave understood ”

The storm cloud thunders 'Dal DaT Dal— Be St 'Controlled! Be charitable’ Be compassionate’ ’

11 - swetaszatara

must be practiced according to accepted rules By ns means it is possible to real- ize the personal Brahman, who in union With Maya, creates preserves, and dissolves the universe and likewise the impersonal Brahman who transcends all forms of being, who eternally is. Without attributes and without action



Tranquil in body, may tM who worship thee hnd rest OM Peace — peace — peace

OM }Jeil to the supreme Self!

J-^isciPLES INQUIRE Within ihcmsclves:

What IS the cause of this universe^ — is if Brah- wan^ Whence do we come^ Why do we live? Where shall we at last find rest? Under whose command are we bound by the law of happiness and us opposite?

Time, space law. chance, matter, primal energy, intelligence — none of these not a combination of these, can be the final cause of the universe, for they also are effects, and exist to serve the soul Nor can the individual self be the cause for being subject to the law of happiness and misery, it is not free

The seers absorbed in contemplation, saw within themselves the ultimate reality, the self- luminous being, the one God, who dwells as the self conscious power in all creatures He is One je?


withont a second Deep within all beings he dwells hidden from sight by the coverings of the gunas — saffaia, rajas, and fames He presides over time space and all apparent causes

This \ast unuerse is a wheel Upon it are all creatures that arc subject to birth death and re- birth Round and round it turns and never stops It IS the wheel of Brahman As long as the indi vtdual self thinks it is separate from Brahman it revolves upon the wheel in bondage to the laws of birth death and rebirth But when through the grace of Brahman it realizes its identity with him It revolves upon the wheel no longer It achieves immortality ^

He who IS realized by transcending the world of cause and effect in deep contemplation is ex- pressly declared by the scriptures to be the Supreme Brahman He is the substance all else the shadow He IS the imperishable The knowers of Brahman know him as the one reality behind all that seems For this reason they arc devoted to him Absorbed in him they attain freedom from the wheel of birth death and rebirth

The Lord supports this universe which is made up of the perishable and the imperishable the

1 apn«rt for tbr fint iim« la (ztiRt H ndo litm tof« lb* traa;* of ih* wheel as applied to birth draib aod refc tih


which unites mmd and matter) arc but three as peels of Brahman the one reality

Fire though present ra the fircsticks is not per ceivcd until one stick is rubbed against another The Self is like that fire it is realized m the body by meditation on the sacred syllable OM

Let your body be the stick that is rubbed the sacred syllable OM the stick that is rubbed against It Thus shall you realize God who is hidden within the body as fire is hidden withm the wood Like oil in sesame seeds butter in acam water in the rivet bed fire in tinder the Self dwells within the soul Realize hun through truthfulness and meditation

Like butter in cream is the Self in everything Knowledge of the Self is gamed through medica tion The Self is Brahman By Brahman vfi all Ignorance destroyed

To realize God first control the outgoing senses and harness the mmd Then meditaic upon the light in the heart of the fire — meditate that is upon pure consciousness as distinct from the ordi nary consciousness of the intellect Thus the Self the Inner Reality may be seen behind physical appearance

Control y our mind so that the UltimatcRcahty


the self luminous Lord may be revealed Strive earnestly for eternal bliss

With the help of the misd and the intellect keep the senses from attaching themselves to ob JWts of pleasure Tfiey will then be purified by the hght of the Inner Keahty and that light will bs revealed

The Wise control their minds and unite their hearts with the infinite the omniscient the all pervading Lord Only discrimmating souls practice spiritual disciplines Great is the glory of the self' luminous being the Inner Reality Hear all yr children of immortal bliss also ye gods who dwell in the high heavens Follow only in the footsteps of the illumined ones and by continuous meditaiion merge both mind and in tellect 1(1 the eternal Brahman The glorious Lord Will be revealed to you

Control the vital force Set lire to the Self within by the practice of meditation Be drunk wiih the Wine of diiinc love Thus shall }ou reach perfection

Be devoted to the eternal Brahman Unite the light within you with the light of Brahman Thus Will the source of ignorance be destrojed and you will rise above karma

Sit upright holding the chetf throat and licad erect Turn the senses and the mind inward to the


lotus of the heart Meditate on Brahman with the help of the syllable OM Cross the fearful currents of the ocean of worldlincss by means of the raft of Brahman — the sacred syllable OM

With earnest effort hold the senses m check Controlling the breath regulate the vital activities As a charioteer holds back his restive horses so docs a persevering aspirant hold back his mind Retire to a solitary place such as a mountain cave or any sacred spot The place must be pro tected from the wind and rain and it must have a smooth clean floor free from pebbles and dust It must not be damp and it most be free from disturbing noises It must be pleasing to the eye and quieting to the mind Seared there practice meditation and other spiritual exercises

As you practice meditation you may see in vision forms resembling snow crystal wind smoke fire lightning fireflies the sun the moon These arc signs that you arc on your way to the re\ elation of Brahman

As you become absorbed m meditation you will realize that the Self is separate from the body and for this reason will not be affected by disease old age or death

The first signs of progress on the path of yoga arc health a sense of physical lightness clearness


of complexion a bcaarifal voice an agreeable odor o the person and freedom from craving

As 3 soiled piece of metal when it has been c eaned shines brightly so the dweller in the body

from sorrow and attains to bliss

The yogi experiences directly the truth of Brail man by realizing the light of the Self within He is freed from all impunties — ^he the pure the birih less the bright

He IS the one God present in the north the east the south and the west He ts the creator He eaters into all wombs He alone is now born as all beings and he alone is to be born as all beings m the future He is within all persons as the Inner Self facing in all directions Let us adore the Lord the bright one who is in fire who is in water who m in plants and tKcs who pervades the whole uni'crsc

The one absolute impersonal Existence together With his inscrutable Maya appears as the diiire Lord ihe personal God endowed with manifold glories With his disine power be holds domm on over all the worlds At llie penods of creation and dissolution of the universe be alone exists Those who realize h m become immortal

The Lord a One wubout a second With las


divine power he rules over all the worlds Within man he dwells and within all other bemgs He projects the universe, maintains it, and withdraws It into himself

His eyes are everywhere his face his arms his feet are in every place Out of himself he has pro- duced the heavens and the earth and with hts arms and his wings he holds them together

He IS the origin and support of the gods He is the lord of all He confers bliss and wisdom upon those who are devoted to him He destroys their sms and their sorrows

He punishes those who break his laws He secs all and knows all May he endow us with good thougbtsi

O Lord clothed in thy most holy form which IS calm and blissful and which destroys all evil and Ignorance look upon us and make us glad

O Lord thou bast tc\ealcd thy sacred syllable OM which IS one with thee In thy hands it is a weapon with which to destroy ignorance O pro- tector of thy devotees do not conceal thy benign person

Thou art the supreme Brahman Thou art in- finite Thou hast assumed the forms of all crea- tures remaining hidden in them Thou pervadest all Tliou art the one God of the universe Tliose who realize thee b-comc immortal


sand eyes and a thousand feet He envelops the universe Though transcendent he ts to be mcdi tated upon as residing m the lotus of the heart at the center of the body ten fingers above the navel

He alone is all thts — what has been and what shall be He has become this universe Yet he re mams forever changeless and is the lord of im mortality

His hands and feet arc everywhere his eyes heads and mouths arc everywhere His ears are everywhere He pervades everything in the universe Without organs of sense yet reflecting the ac tivities of the senses he is the lord and ruler of all He IS the friend and refuge of all He resides in the body the city of nine gates He sports in the world without in innumerable forms He is the master the ruler of the whole world animate and inanimate

He moves fast though without feet He grasps everything though without hands He sees all though without eyes He hears everything though without cats He knows all but none knows him He IS called the Supreme die Great One

Subtler than the subtlest greater than the great est the Self is hidden in the heart of all creatures Through bis grace a man loses his cravings ttan scends gnef and realizes him as Brahman Sup cme


0 Brahman Supreme!

Formless art thou, and yet (Though the reason none knows)

Thou brmgest forth many forms;

Thou brmgest them forth, and then Withdrawcsf them to thyself.

FiU us with thoughts of ihcci

Thou art the fire,

Thou art the sun,

Thou art the air.

Thou art the moon,

Thou art the starry firmament.

Thou art Brahman Supreme:

Thou art the waters— thou.

The creator of all!

Thou art woman, thou art man.

Thou art the youth, thou art the maiden.

Thou art the old man tottering with his staff; Thou facest cury where.

Thou art the dark butterfly.

Thou art the green parrot with red eyts.

Thou art the thunder cloud, the seasons, the seas Without beginiiing art tbon.

Beyond time, beyond space.


Thou art he from whom sprang The three worlds

Maya is thy divine consort^ —

Wedded to thee

Thou art her master her ruler

Red white and black is she

Each color a guna

Many arc her children—

The rivers the mountains Flower stone and tree Beast bird and man—

In every way like herself Thou spirit in Hesh Forgetting what thou art Uflitcst With Maya—

But only for a season Parting from her at last Thou rcgainest thyself

Thou Brahman Immortal And thou woven of clay (Two beings yet one)—

Like two beautiful birds Golden of plumage Companions inseparable P rched high up on the branches Of the selfsame tree—

SWETASZATARA As man thou tascest The sweet fruits of the tree.

The sweet and bitter frnits But as Brahman master of Maya, Thou rcmainest unseen.


Calmly observing

Forgetting his oneness with thee, Bewildered by his weakness.

Full of sorrow is man But let him look elose on thee,

Know thee as himself,

O Lord most worshipful.

And behold thy glory—

Lo all his heavy sorrow Is turned to joy

Changeless thou art.

Supreme porel In thee dufll the gods The source of all scriptores thou art Yet what shall scriptures avail If they be stnoolh on the Iip But absent from the heart?

To him » ho knows thee comes fullness— To him alone’

200 .


Thou art lord and master of Maya,

Man U her slave.

With Maya uniting, tbou hast brought forth the universe.

The source of all scriptures thou art.

And the source of all creeds.

The universe is thy Maya;

And thou, great God. her lord.

Wherever the eye falls.

There, tvithin every form.

Thou dwcllest.

One thou art. one only.

Dorn from many wombs.

Thou hast become many:

Unto thee all return.

Thou. Lord God. bcsiowcst all blessings.

Thou the Light, thou the Adorable One.

Whoever finds tbec Finds infinite peace.

Thou art Lord God of all gods.

All the worlds rest in ibee;

Thou art ruler of the beasts.

Two-footed, four-footed:

Our heart's worship be thinci Thou art the blissful Lord.

SWETAS2ATARA Subtler than the subtlesc In ibee alone is there peace

Thou sole guardian of the universe

Thou lord of all

In the hearts of thy creatures

Thou hidest thyself

Gods and sects become one with thee

Those who know thee dic nor

Of all tehstons ‘hou an the source The light of thy knowledge shining There is nor day nor night Nor being nor non being—

Thou alone art

T^ou afone art — tftoo ifie Light Impenshablt adorable Great Glory is thf name No one is there beside ihce No one equal to tlice

Invisible IS thy form InMsibl* to mortal eyes The seen alone In iheir purified iKariJ —

They alone see tliee Tb<> alone are intrnortal


Neither male not female art thou Nor neuter

Whatsoever form thou assomest That thou art

Thou dost pervade the universe Thou art consciousness itself Thou art creator of time AH knowing art thou Ac thy bidding Maya Thy power divine Projects this visible umvetse Projects name and form

Thou art the Primal Being

Thou appearest as this universe

Of illusion and dream

Thou art beyond time

Indivisible infinite ibc Adorable One—

Let a man meditate on thee

Within his heart

Let him consecrate himself to thee

And thou infinite Lord

Wilt make thyself known to him

Thou womb and tomb of the universe

And Its abode

Thou source of all virtue

S WETASZATAKA Destroyer of all sins^

Thou art seated in the heart. When thou art seen.

Time and form disappear Let a man feel thy presence. Let him behold thee withm. ■Anti to him shall come peace. Eternal peace—

To none else, to none elsel

Thou art the eternal among nos*etersaU, The consciousness of the conscious , Though one. thou fuldllest The desires of many.

Let a man devote himself To knowledge of thee.

Let him follow thy path And he shall know thee All his fetters shall be loosed.

Can a man roll up the sky Like a piece of skm?

Can he end his miser?

And know not thee?

THE UPANISHADS If the truths of these scriptures are meditated upon by a man in the highest degree devoted to God and to his Guru as to his God they will shine forth They will shine forth tndccdl

OM Peace — peace — peace

12 - kaivalya

THE saga who by ftath. decoinrt, and meditation has realised the Self and become one With Brahman, ts released from the wheel of change and escapes from rebirth, sorrow, and death


/fay BraWart pfotnt u*

/fay ht gu dt M

Jt/fly he g Of US strength and right unde Hand ng Hoy loue and harmooy be u. th ut qU OH Peote — pease— peace


tcaeh me the knowledge of Brahman 1 bear that this is the supreme knowledge bidden and sacred sought bjr the wise and that he who seeks It IS freed from impunties and attains the Supreme Being


Seek to know Brahman by acquiring faith in the word of the scriptures and in )our Guro Be devoted lo Brahman Meditate on him unceasingly Not by work nor by progeny nor by vealth but by daotion to him and by indifference to (he world docs a man reach immortality

TTie supreme bcaien shines in the lotos of tl)c heart TTi y enter there who struggle and aspire rrj


Understanding the spirit of the scriptural teach mgs they itnonncc the world

Retire into solitude Scat yourself on a clean spot and m erect posture with the head and neck in a straight line Be indifferent to the world Con trol all the sense organs Bow down in devotion to your Guru Then enter the lotus of the heart and there meditate on the presence of Brahman — the pure the infinite the blissful

Unmanifest to the senses beyond all thought infinite m form is God He is the doer of all good he is forever tranquil he is immortal He is One without begmning middle or end he all- pervading He IS infinite wisdom and be is bliss The seers meditate on him and reach the source of all beings the witness of all He goes beyond all darkness He is Brahma he is Shiva be is Indra he is the supreme the changeless Reality He is Vishnu he is the primal energy he is eternity He IS all He IS what has been and what shall be He is eternal He who knows him conquers death There IS no other way to liberation

By seeing the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self one goes to Brahman That is the only way

The mirid may he compared to a fircstick the syllable OM to another Rub the two sticks to gether by repeating the sacred word and meditating

kaivalya 209

on Brahman and the flame of knowledge will kindled in your heart and all impuntm will burnt away

He as the Self resides in all forms but it veiled by ignorance When be is m the state of dream that men call leaking he becomes the in dividual self and rnjO)s food drink and many other pleasures When he is in the state of drean that rtien call dreaming be it happy or mtterahle because of the creations of hts mind And w!>en he IS w the state of dream that mtn call dreamless sleep be IS oiereome by darkness he experienres nothing he enjoys test


dream and dreamless slecjv— *!ic lam lam Brah man know this and break all bonds

In the three states of consciousness whatever appears as the enjoyer or the object of enjoyment I am the witness thereof separate from all I am pure consciousness I am the eternal Shis a

From me all emerge m me all exist and to me all return 1 am Brahman — One without a second I am subtler than the subtlest I am greater than the greatest I am the Eternal Being I am this manifold universe I am the Lord of golden efful gence 1 am Shiva

I am Without hands or feet My divine powers none can conceive I see though without eyes I hear though without ears I know all but none knows me I am infinite wisdom I am the One to be known through the scriptures 1 am the knower of all scriptures Merit or dement docs not affect me I was not born I have neither body nor senses not mirid I the Supreme Self dwell in the lotus of the heart I am pure I am One without a second


Peace — ’pcace — peace

upanishads_author, swami_prabhavananda
indian vedic spirituality
consciousness, spirituality, mind, humanity
book/the_upanishads_breath_of_the_eternal.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/02 14:10 (external edit)