Front Page Titles (by Subject) FIRST ADHYĀYA The course of reincarnation, and its termination through metaphysical knowledge 2 - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
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FIRST ADHYĀYA The course of reincarnation, and its termination through metaphysical knowledge 2 - Misc (Upanishads), The Thirteen Principal Upanishads 
The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, translated from the Sanskrit with an outline of the philosophy of the Upanishads and an annotated bibliography, by Robert Ernest Hume (Oxford University Press, 1921).
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Citra and Śvetaketu concerning the path to the conclusion of reincarnation
1. Citra Gāṅgyāyani,3 verily, being about to sacrifice, chose Āruṇi.4 He then dispatched his son Śvetaketu, saying: ‘You perform the sacrifice.’ When he had arrived,5 he asked of him: ‘Son of Gautama,6 is there a conclusion [of transmigration] in the world in which you will put me? Or is there any road? Will you put me in its world?’
Then he said: ‘I know not this. However, let me ask the teacher.’ Then he went to his father and asked: ‘Thus and so has he asked me. How should I answer?’
Then he said: ‘I too know not this. Let us pursue Veda-study (svādhyāya) at [his] residence, and get what our betters give. Come! Let us both go.’
Then, fuel in hand, he returned to Citra Gāṅgyāyani, and said: ‘Let me come to you as a pupil.’
To him then he said: ‘Worthy of sacred knowledge (brahma) are you, O Gautama, who have gone not unto conceit. Come! I will cause you to understand.’
The testing at the moon; thence either return to earth, or further progress
2. Then he said: ‘Those who, verily, depart from this world—to the moon, in truth, they all go. During the earlier half it thrives on their breathing spirits (prāṇa); with the latter half1 it causes them to be reproduced. This, verily, is the door of the heavenly world—that is, the moon. Whoever answers it, him it lets go further. But whoever answers it not, him, having become rain, it rains down here. Either as a worm, or as a moth, or as a fish, or as a bird, or as a lion, or as a wild boar,2 or as a snake, or as a tiger, or as a person, or as some other in this or that condition, he is born again here according to his deeds (karman), according to his knowledge.
When he comes thither it asks him: ‘Who are you?’
He should reply:
So am I born, being born forth4 as the twelfth or thirteenth succeeding month, by means of a twelve- or thirteen-fold father.5 For the knowledge of this was I—for the knowledge of the opposite of this.6 So bring ye my seasons on to immortality. By this truth, by this austerity I am a season, I am connected with the seasons. Who am I? I am you.’
It lets him go further.
The course to the Brahma-world
3. Having entered upon this Devayāna (‘Leading-to-the-gods’) path, he comes to the world of Agni (Fire), then to the world of Vāyu (Wind), then to the world of Varuṇa,1 then to the world of Indra, then to the world of Prajāpati, then to the world of Brahma. This Brahma-world, verily, has the lake Āra, the moments Yeshṭiha, the river Vijarā (‘Ageless’), the tree Ilya, the city Sālajya, the abode Aparājita (‘Unconquered’), the two door-keepers Indra and Prajāpati, the hall Vibhu (‘Extensive’), the throne Vicakshaṇā (‘Far-shining’), the couch Amitaujas (‘Of Unmeasured Splendor’), and the beloved Mānasī (‘Mental’), and her counterpart Cākshushī (‘Visual’), both of whom, taking flowers, verily weave the worlds, and the Apsarases (Nymphs), Ambās (‘Mothers’) and Ambāyavīs (‘Nurses’), and the rivers Ambayā (‘Little Mothers’). To it comes he who knows this. To him Brahma says: ‘Run ye to him! With my glory, verily, he has reached the river Vijarā (‘Ageless’). He, verily, will not grow old.’
The knower’s triumphal progress through the Brahma-world
4. Unto him there go forth five hundred Apsarases, one hundred with fruits in their hands, one hundred with ointments in their hands, one hundred with garlands in their hands, one hundred with vestments in their hands, one hundred with powdered aromatics in their hands. They adorn him with the adornment of Brahma. He, having been adorned with the adornment of Brahma, a knower of Brahma, unto Brahma goes on. He comes to the lake Āra. This he crosses with his mind. On coming to it, those who know only the immediate, sink. He comes to the moments Yeshṭiha. These run away from him. He comes to the river Vijarā (‘Ageless’). This he crosses with his mind alone (eva). There he shakes off his good deeds and his evil deeds. His dear relatives succeed to the good deeds; those not dear, to the evil deeds. Then, just as one driving a chariot looks down upon the two chariot-wheels, thus he looks down upon day and night, thus upon good deeds and evil deeds, and upon all the pairs of opposites. This one, devoid of good deeds, devoid of evil deeds, a knower of Brahma, unto very Brahma goes on.
Approaching unto the very throne of Brahma
5. He comes to the tree Ilya; the fragrance of Brahma enters into him.
He comes to the city Sālajya; the flavor of Brahma enters into him.
He comes to the abode Aparājita (‘Unconquered’); the brilliancy of Brahma enters into him.
He comes to the two door-keepers, Indra and Prajāpati; these two run away from him.
He comes to the hall Vibhu (‘Extensive’); the glory of Brahma enters into him.
He comes to the throne Vicakshaṇā (‘Far-shining’).1 The Bṛihad and the Rathantara Sāmans are its two fore feet; the Śyaita and the Naudhasa, the two hind feet; the Vairūpa and the Vairāja, the two lengthwise pieces; the Śākvara and Raivata, the two cross ones. It is Intelligence (prajñā), for by intelligence one discerns.
He comes to the couch Amitaujas (‘Of Unmeasured Splendor’); this is the breathing spirit (prāṇa). The past and the future are its two fore feet; prosperity and refreshment, the two hind feet; the Bhadra and Yajñāyajñīya [Sāmans], the two head pieces; the Bṛihad and the Rathantara, the two lengthwise pieces; the verses (ṛc) and the chants (sāman), the cords stretched lengthwise; the sacrificial formulas (yajus), the cross ones; the Soma-stems, the spread; the Udgītha, the bolster (upaśrī); prosperity, the pillow. Thereon Brahmā sits. He who knows this, ascends it with one foot only (eva) at first. Him Brahmā asks, ‘Who are you?’ To him he should answer:—
Essential identity with the infinite Real
6. ‘I am a season. I am connected with the seasons. From space as a womb I am produced as the semen for a wife,1 as the brilliance of the year, as the soul (ātman) of every single being. You are the soul of every single being. What you are, this am I.’
‘Whatever is other than the sense-organs (deva) and the vital breaths (prāṇa)—that is the actual (sat). But as for the sense-organs and the vital breaths—that is the yon (tyam). This is expressed by this word “satyam” (‘the Real’). It is as extensive as this world-all. You are this world-all.’
Thus he speaks to him then. This very thing is declared by a Rig[-Veda] verse:—
Apprehension of It through the Sacred Word and through all the functions of a person; the knower’s universal possession
7. Having the Yajus as his belly, having the Sāman as his head,
Having the Rig as his form, yonder Imperishable
‘Is Brahma!’ Thus is he to be discerned—
The great seer, consisting of the Sacred Word (brahma-maya).2
He says to him: ‘Wherewith do you acquire (√āp) my masculine names?’
‘With the vital breath (prāṇa, masc.),’ he should answer.
‘Wherewith feminine names?’3
‘With speech (vāc, fem.).’
‘Wherewith neuter ones?’3
‘With the mind (manas, neut.).’
‘With the breath (prāṇa1 ).’
‘With the eye.’
‘With the ear.’
‘Wherewith the flavors of food?’
‘With the tongue.’
‘With the two hands.’
‘Wherewith pleasure and pain?’
‘With the body.’
‘Wherewith bliss, delight, and procreation?’
‘With the generative organ.’
‘With the two feet.’
‘Wherewith thoughts, what is to be understood, and desires?’
‘With intelligence (prajñā),’ he should say.
To him he says: ‘The [primeval] waters [and also: Acquisitions],2 verily, indeed, are my world. It is yours.’
Whatever conquest is Brahma’s, whatever attainment—that conquest he conquers, that attainment he attains who knows this—yea, who knows this!
[2 ]Other expositions of this subject occur at Chānd. 5. 3-10 and Bṛih. 6. 2.
[3 ]Or Gārgyāyaṇi, according to another reading.
[4 ]That is, as officiating priest.—Com.
[5 ]So B, abhyāgataṁ; but A has, instead, asīnaṁ, ‘when he was seated.’
[6 ]So A: putra ’sti; but B has the (less appropriate) reading putro ’si, ‘You are the son of Gautama’ Is there . . .’
[1 ]Reading aparapakṣeṇa.
[2 ]In A this item is lacking, and the order of the series is different.
[3 ]That is, the moon.—Com.
[4 ]upa-jāyamāna: or perhaps ‘re-born,’ a meaning which is used in the BhG. and MBh.
[5 ]That is, the year.—Com.
[6 ]‘This’ = brahma, according to the Com. The idea is perhaps: ‘A person’s life is either unto knowledge of the truth, or unto ignorance.’ Deussen interprets more specifically, with reference to ‘the two paths’ which are being expounded in this chapter, that ‘this’ refers to the devayāna, ‘the path to the gods,’ and ‘the opposite of this’ to the pitryāna, ‘the path to the fathers.’ Bohtlingk makes an ingenious text-emendation: saṁ tad vide ’ham, prati tad vide ’ham, instead of ’saṁ tadvide ’ham, pratitadvide ’ham. But the result, ‘I am conscious of this; I recollect this,’ does not seem as probable as the traditional reading, although that itself does not seem altogether correct. Bohtlingk’s article ‘Bemerkungen zu einigen Upanishaden’ contains on pp. 98-99 a rejoinder to Deussen on this same passage.
[1 ]Here A adds ‘then to the world of Āditya (the Sun).’
[1 ]The combined descriptions of the throne and of the couch are very similar to the description of Vrātya’s seat in AV. 15. 3. 3-9, and also of Indra’s throne in Ait. Br. 8. 12.
[1 ]So B: bhāryāyai retas. A has instead bhāyā(s) etad, ‘ . . . produced—from light; thus [I am] the brilliance . . . ’
[2 ]The passage from the last sentence in the preceding section through this stanza is not found in some manuscripts, is not commented on by Śaṅkarānanda, and therefore is very probably an interpolation.
[3 ]Such is the order in A; but in B the items about ‘feminine names’ and ‘neuter names’ are transposed.
[1 ]A variant in both A and B is ghrāṇa, ‘smell.’
[2 ]The Com. explains āpas as meaning ‘the primary elements.’ But the word very probably has a double significance in this connection; beside its evident meaning, it refers also (though as an artificial plural of √āp) to the preceding questions, ‘Wherewith do you acquire (√āp) . . . ’ The usual Upanishadic conclusion of such a series would very appropriately be formed if the word meant, summarily, ‘acquisitions.’