Front Page Titles (by Subject) KAṬHA UPANISHAD - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
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KAṬHA UPANISHAD - 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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Prologue: Naciketas devoted to Death
1. Now verily, with zeal did Vājaśravasa give his whole possession [as a religious gift]. He had a son, Naciketas by name.
2. Into him, boy as he was, while the sacrificial gifts were being led up, faith (śraddhā) entered. He thought to himself:
4. Then he said to his father: ‘Papa, to whom will you give me?’3 —a second time—a third time.
To him then he said: ‘To Death I give you!’
Naciketas in the house of Death
Warning on the neglect of a Brahman guest
8. Hope and expectation, intercourse and pleasantness,4
Sacrifices and meritorious deeds,5 sons and cattle, all—
This he snatches away from the man of little understanding
In whose home a Brahman remains without eating.
Three boons offered to Naciketas
[Death (Yama), returning from a three days’ absence and finding that Naciketas has not received the hospitality which is due to a Brahman, says:]
9. Since for three nights thou hast abode in my house
Without eating, O Brahman (brahman), a guest to be reverenced,
Reverence be to thee, O Brahman! Well-being (svasti) be to me!
Therefore in return choose three boons!
Naciketas’s first wish: return to an appeased father on earth
10. With intent appeased, well-minded, with passion departed,
That Gautama toward me may be, O Death;
That cheerfully he may greet me, when from thee dismissed—
This of the three as boon the first I choose!
11. Cheerful as formerly will he be—
Auddālaki Āruṇi, from me dismissed.1
Happily will he sleep o’ nights, with passion departed,
When he has seen thee from the mouth of Death released.
Naciketas’s second wish: an understanding of the Naciketas sacrificial fire that leads to heaven
12. In the heavenly world is no fear whatsoever.
Not there art thou. Not from old age does one fear.
Over both2 having crossed—hunger, and thirst too—
Gone beyond sorrow, one rejoices in the heaven-world.
13. Thyself, O Death, understandest the heavenly fire.
Declare it to me who have faith (śraddadhāna).
Heaven-world people partake of immortality.
This I choose with boon the second.
14. To thee I do declare, and do thou learn it of me—
Understanding about the heavenly fire, O Naciketas!
The attainment of the infinite world, likewise too its establishment—
Know thou that as set down in the secret place [of the heart].
15. He told him of that fire as the beginning of the world,
What bricks, and how many, and how [built].
And he too repeated that, as it was told.
Then, pleased with him, Death said again—
16. Delighting, the great soul (mahātman) said to him:—
A further boon I give thee here today.
By thy name indeed shall this fire be [known].
This multifold garland (sṛṅkā), too, accept.
17. Having kindled a triple Naciketas-fire, having attained union with the three,1
Performing the triple work,2 one crosses over birth and death.
18.7 Having kindled a triple Naciketas-fire, having known this triad,
He who knowing thus, builds up the Naciketas-fire—
He, having cast off in advance the bonds of death,
With sorrow overpassed, rejoices in the heaven-world.
19. This, O Naciketas, is thy heavenly fire,
Which thou didst choose with the second boon.
As thine, indeed, will folks proclaim this fire,
The third boon, Naciketas, choose!
Naciketas’s third wish: knowledge concerning the effect of dying
20. This doubt that there is in regard to a man deceased:
‘He exists,’ say some; ‘He exists not,’ say others—
This would I know, instructed by thee!
Of the boons this is boon the third.
21. Even the gods had doubt as to this of yore!
For truly, it is not easily to be understood. Subtile is this matter (dharma).
Another boon, O Naciketas, choose!
Press me not! Give up this one for me!
This knowledge preferable to the greatest earthly pleasures
22. Even the gods had doubt, indeed, as to this,
And thou, O Death, sayest that it is not easily to be understood.
And another declarer of it the like of thee is not to be obtained.
No other boon the equal of it is there at all.
23. Choose centenarian sons and grandsons,
Many cattle, elephants, gold, and horses.
Choose a great abode of earth.
And thyself live as many autumns as thou desirest.
24. This, if thou thinkest an equal boon,
Choose—wealth and long life!
A great one on earth, O Naciketas, be thou.
The enjoyer of thy desires I make thee.
25. Whate’er desires are hard to get in mortal world—
For all desires at pleasure make request.
These lovely maidens with chariots, with lyres—
Such [maidens], indeed, are not obtainable by men—
By these, from me bestowed, be waited on!
O Naciketas, question me not regarding dying (maraṇa)!
26. Ephemeral things! That which is a mortal’s, O End-maker,
Even the vigor (tejas) of all the powers, they wear away.
Even a whole life is slight indeed.
Thine be the vehicles (vāha)! Thine be the dance and song!
27. Not with wealth is a man to be satisfied.
Shall we take wealth, if we have seen thee?
Shall we live so long as thou shalt rule?
—This, in truth, is the boon to be chosen by me.
28. When one has come into the presence of undecaying immortals,
What decaying mortal here below that understands,
That meditates upon the pleasures of beauty and delight,
Would delight in a life over-long?
29. This thing whereon they doubt, O Death:
What there is in the great passing-on—tell us that!
This boon, that has entered into the hidden—
No other than that does Naciketas choose.
The failure of pleasure and of ignorance; the wisdom of the better knowledge
1. The better (śreyas) is one thing, and the pleasanter (preyas) quite another.
Both these, of different aim, bind a person.
Of these two, well is it for him who takes the better;
He fails of his aim who chooses the pleasanter.
2. Both the better and the pleasanter come to a man.
Going all around the two, the wise man discriminates.
The wise man chooses the better, indeed, rather than the pleasanter.
The stupid man, from getting-and-keeping (yoga-kṣema), chooses the pleasanter.
3. Thou indeed, upon the pleasant and pleasantly appearing desires
Meditating, hast let them go, O Naciketas.
Thou art not one who has taken that garland1 of wealth
In which many men sink down.
4. Widely opposite and asunder are these two:
Ignorance (avidyā) and what is known as ‘knowledge’ (vidyā).
I think Naciketas desirous of obtaining knowledge!
Many desires rend thee not.2
5. Those abiding in the midst of ignorance,
Self-wise, thinking themselves learned,
Running hither and thither, go around deluded,
Like blind men led by one who is himself blind.3
Heedlessness the cause of rebirth
6. The passing-on4 is not clear to him who is childish,
Heedless, deluded with the delusion of wealth.
Thinking ‘This is the world! There is no other!’—
Again and again he comes under my control.
The need for a competent teacher of the soul
7. He who by many is not obtainable even to hear of,
He whom many, even when hearing, know not—
Wonderful is the declarer, proficient the obtainer of Him!
Wonderful the knower, proficiently taught!
8. Not, when proclaimed by an inferior man, is He1
To be well understood, [though] being manifoldly considered.2
Unless declared by another,3 there is no going thither;
For He is inconceivably more subtile than what is of subtile measure.
9. Not by reasoning (tarka) is this thought (mati) to be attained.
Proclaimed by another, indeed, it is for easy understanding, dearest friend (preṣṭha)!—
This which thou hast attained! Ah, thou art of true steadfastness!
May there be for us a questioner (praṣtā) the like of thee, O Naciketas!
Steadfast renunciation and self-meditation required
10. I know that what is known as treasure is something inconstant.
For truly, that which is steadfast is not obtained by those who are unsteadfast.
Therefore the Naciketas-fire has been built up by me,
And with means which are inconstant I have obtained that which is constant.
11. The obtainment of desire, the foundation of the world (jagat),
The endlessness of will,4 the safe shore of fearlessness,
The greatness of praise, the wide extent, the foundation (having seen1 ).
Thou, O Naciketas, a wise one, hast with steadfastness let [these] go!
12. Him who is hard to see, entered into the hidden,
Set in the secret place [of the heart], dwelling in the depth, primeval—
By considering him as God, through the Yoga-study of what pertains to self,
The wise man leaves joy and sorrow behind.
The absolutely unqualified Soul
13. When a mortal has heard this and fully comprehended,
Has torn off what is concerned with the right (dharmya),2 and has taken Him as the subtile,
Then he rejoices, for indeed he has obtained what is to be rejoiced in.
I regard Naciketas a dwelling open [for Ātman3 ].
14. Apart from the right (dharma) and apart from the unright (a-dharma),
Apart from both what has been done and what has not been done here,
Apart from what has been and what is to be—
What thou seest as that, speak that!
[Naciketas being unable to mention that absolutely unqualified object, Death continues to explain:]4
The mystic syllable ‘Om’ as an aid
15. The word5 which all the Vedas rehearse,
And which all austerities proclaim,
Desiring which men live the life of religious studentship (brahmacarya)—
That word to thee I briefly declare.1
The eternal indestructible soul
18. The wise one [i. e. the soul, the ātman, the self] is not born, nor dies.
This one has not come from anywhere, has not become anyone.
Unborn, constant, eternal, primeval, this one
Is not slain when the body is slain.5
The Soul revealed to the unstriving elect
20. More minute than the minute, greater than the great
Is the Soul (Ātman) that is set in the heart of a creature here.
One who is without the active will (a-kratu) beholds Him, and becomes freed from sorrow—
When through the grace (prasāda)1 of the Creator (dhātṛ) he beholds the greatness of the Soul (Ātman).
His opposite characteristics
21. Sitting, he proceeds afar;
Lying, he goes everywhere.
Who else than I (mad) is able to know
The god (deva) who rejoices and rejoices not (madāmada)?
22. Him who is the bodiless among bodies,
Stable among the unstable,
The great, all-pervading Soul (Ātman)—
On recognizing Him, the wise man sorrows not.
The conditions of knowing Him
23. This Soul (Ātman) is not to be obtained by instruction,
Nor by intellect, nor by much learning.
He is to be obtained only by the one whom He chooses;
To such a one that Soul (Ātman) reveals his own person (tanūm svām).2
24. Not he who has not ceased from bad conduct,
Not he who is not tranquil, not he who is not composed,
Not he who is not of peaceful mind
Can obtain Him by intelligence (prajña).
The all-comprehending incomprehensible
25. He for whom the priesthood (brahman) and the nobility (kṣatra)
Both are as food,
And death is as a sauce—
Who really knows where He is?
The universal and the individual soul
1. There are two that drink of righteousness (ṛta) in the world of good deeds;
Both are entered into the secret place [of the heart], and in the highest upper sphere.
Brahma-knowers speak of them as ‘light’ and ‘shade,’
And so do householders who maintain the five sacrificial fires, and those too who perform the triple Naciketas-fire.
The Naciketas sacrificial fire as an aid
2. This which is the bridge for those who sacrifice,
And which is the highest imperishable Brahma
For those who seek to cross over to the fearless farther shore—
The Naciketas-fire may we master!
Parable of the individual soul in a chariot
3. Know thou the soul (ātman, self) as riding in a chariot,
The body as the chariot.
Know thou the intellect (buddhi) as the chariot-driver,
And the mind (manas) as the reins.
4. The senses (indriya), they say, are the horses;
The objects of sense, what they range over.
The self combined with senses and mind
Wise men call ‘the enjoyer’ (bhoktṛ).
5. He who has not understanding (a-vijñāna),
Whose mind is not constantly held firm—
His senses are uncontrolled,
Like the vicious horses of a chariot-driver.
6. He, however, who has understanding,
Whose mind is constantly held firm—
His senses are under control,
Like the good horses of a chariot-driver.
Intelligent control of the soul’s chariot needed to arrive beyond transmigration
7. He, however, who has not understanding,
Who is unmindful and ever impure,
Reaches not the goal,
But goes on to transmigration (saṁsāra).
8. He, however, who has understanding,
Who is mindful and ever pure,
Reaches the goal
From which he is born no more.
9. He, however, who has the understanding of a chariot-driver,
A man who reins in his mind—
He reaches the end of his journey,
That highest place of Vishṇu.1
The order of progression to the supreme Person
10. Higher than the senses are the objects of sense.
Higher than the objects of sense is the mind (manas);
And higher than the mind is the intellect (buddhi).
Higher than the intellect is the Great Self (Ātman).
11. Higher than the Great is the Unmanifest (avyakta).
Higher than the Unmanifest is the Person.
Higher than the Person there is nothing at all.
That is the goal. That is the highest course.
The subtle perception of the all-pervading Soul
12. Though He is hidden in all things,
That Soul (Ātman, Self) shines not forth.
But he is seen by subtle seers
With superior, subtle intellect.
The Yoga method—of suppression
13. An intelligent man should suppress his speech and his mind.
The latter he should suppress in the Understanding-Self (jñāna ātman).
The understanding he should suppress in the Great Self [= buddhi, intellect].
That he should suppress in the Tranquil Self (śānta ātman).
Exhortation to the way of liberation from death
14. Arise ye! Awake ye!
Obtain your boons1 and understand them!
A sharpened edge of a razor, hard to traverse,
A difficult path is this—poets (kavi) declare!
15. What is soundless, touchless, formless, imperishable,
Likewise tasteless, constant, odorless,
Without beginning, without end, higher than the great, stable—
By discerning That, one is liberated from the mouth of death.
The immortal value of this teaching
The immortal Soul not to be sought through outward senses
1. The Self-existent (svayambhū) pierced the openings [of the senses] outward;
Therefore one looks outward, not within himself (antarātman).
A certain wise man, while seeking immortality,
Introspectively beheld the Soul (Ātman) face to face.
2. The childish go after outward pleasures;
They walk into the net of widespread death.
But the wise, knowing immortality,
Seek not the stable among things which are unstable here.
Yet the agent in all the senses, in sleeping and in waking
The universal Soul (Ātman), identical with the individual and with all creation
The eternal Lord abiding in one’s self
The result of seeing multiplicity or else pure unity
The real Soul of the individual and of the world
The priest by the altar, the guest in the house,
In man, in broad space, in the right (ṛta), in the sky,
Born in water, born in cattle, born in the right, born in rock, is the Right, the Great!2
This, verily, is That!
The appropriate embodiment of the transmigrating soul
One’s real person, the same as the world-ground
8. He who is awake in those that sleep,
The Person who fashions desire after desire—
This, verily, is That!
The unitary world-soul, immanent yet transcendent
9. As the one fire has entered the world
And becomes corresponding in form to every form,
So the one Inner Soul (Ātman) of all things
Is corresponding in form to every form, and yet is outside.
10. As the one wind has entered the world
And becomes corresponding in form to every form,
So the one Inner Soul of all things
Is corresponding in form to every form, and yet is outside.
11. As the sun, the eye of the whole world,
Is not sullied by the external faults of the eyes,
So the one Inner Soul of all things
Is not sullied by the evil in the world, being external to it.
The indescribable bliss of recognizing the world-soul in one’s own soul
12. The Inner Soul (antarātman) of all things, the One Controller,
Who makes his one form manifold—
The wise who perceive Him as standing in oneself,
They, and no others, have eternal happiness!
13. Him who is the constant among the inconstant, the intelligent among intelligences,
The One among many, who grants desires—
The wise who perceive Him as standing in oneself,
They, and no others, have eternal peace!
The self-luminous light of the world
15. The sun shines not there, nor the moon and stars,
These lightnings shine not, much less this (earthly) fire!
After Him, as He shines, doth everything shine,
This whole world is illumined with His light.1
The world-tree rooted in Brahma
This, verily, is That!
The great fear
Degrees of perception of the Soul (Ātman).
5. As in a mirror, so is it seen in the body (ātman);
As in a dream, so in the world of the fathers;
As if in water, so in the world of the Gandharvas (genii);
As if in light and shade, so in the world of Brahma.
The gradation up to the supersensible Person
6. The separate nature of the senses,
And that their arising and setting
Is of things that come into being apart [from himself],
The wise man recognizes, and sorrows not.
7. Higher than the senses (indriya) is the mind (manas);
Above the mind is the true being (sattva).
Over the true being is the Great Self [i. e. buddhi, intellect];
Above the Great is the Unmanifest (avyakta).
8. Higher than the Unmanifest, however, is the Person (Purusha),
All-pervading and without any mark (a-liṅga) whatever.
Knowing which, a man is liberated
And goes to immortality.
9. His form is not to be beheld.
No one soever sees Him with the eye.2
He is framed by the heart, by the thought, by the mind.
They who know That become immortal.3
The method of Yoga, suppressive of the lower activity
10. When cease the five
[Sense-]knowledges, together with the mind (manas),
And the intellect (buddhi) stirs not—
That, they say, is the highest course.1
11. This they consider as Yoga.2 —
The firm holding back of the senses.
Then one becomes undistracted.3
Yoga, truly, is the origin and the end.4
The Soul incomprehensible except as existent
12. Not by speech, not by mind,
Not by sight can He be apprehended.
How can He be comprehended
Otherwise than by one’s saying ‘He is’?5
13. He can indeed be comprehended by the thought ‘He is’ (asti)
And by [admitting] the real nature of both [his comprehensibility and his incomprehensibility].6
When he has been comprehended by the thought ‘He is’
His real nature manifests itself.
A renunciation of all desires and attachments the condition of immortality
14. When are liberated all
The desires that lodge in one’s heart,
Then a mortal becomes immortal!
Therein he reaches Brahma!7
15. When are cut all
The knots of the heart here on earth,
Then a mortal becomes immortal!
—Thus far is the instruction.
The passage of the soul from the body to immortality—or elsewhere
16. There are a hundred and one arteries of the heart.
One of these passes up to the crown of the head.
Going up by it, one goes to immortality.
The others are for departing in various directions.1
17. A Person of the measure of a thumb is the inner soul (antarātman),
Ever seated in the heart of creatures.
Him one should draw out from one’s own body
Like an arrow-shaft out from a reed, with firmness.
Him one should know as the Pure, the Immortal—
Yea, Him one should know as the Pure, the Immortal.
This teaching, the means of attaining Brahma and immortality
18. Then Nacrketas, having received this knowledge
Declared by Death, and the entire rule of Yoga,
Attained Brahma and became free from passion, free from death;
And so may any other who knows this in regard to the Soul (Ātman).
[1 ]The narrative and dialogue at the opening of this Upanishad seem to be taken—with some variation, but with some identical language—from the earlier Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa, 3. 11. 8. 1-6. The old tradition of Naciketas in the realm of Death being in a position to return to earth with knowledge of the secret of life after death, is here used to furnish a dramatic setting for the exposition which forms the body of the Upanishad.
[2 ]This line is found at Bṛih. 4. 4. 11 a K verbatim; with variant in the first word, at Īśā 3 a and Bṛih. 4. 4. 11 a M.
[3 ]That is, Naciketas voluntarily offers himself in order to fulfil the vow which his father was paying so grudgingly. Thereupon the father, in anger at the veiled reproof, exclaims: ‘Oh! go to Hades!’
[1 ]As in the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa narrative.
[2 ]śāntim tasya; both words probably with a double significance, ‘extinguishment of fire’ and ‘appeasement of the Brahman’ by bringing water.
[3 ]A Vedic epithet of Yama (Death).
[4 ]śūnrtām, according to a strict etymology, might mean ‘good fellowship.’
[5 ]If derived from √iṣ (instead of from √yaj), iṣṭāpūrte might possibly (though less probably) mean ‘wishes and fulfilment.’
[1 ]As it stands, prasrṣṭaḥ is nominative and must agree with the subject, ‘Auddālaki Āruṇi.’ But in such a connection it is hardly applicable; and in the previous stanza it was used with reference to Naciketas. To relieve the difficulty Bohtlingk (in his translation of the Kaṭha, Aitareya, and Praśna Upanishads, Berichte uber die Verhandlungen der Koniglich Sachsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, philologisch-historische Classe, 1890, pp. 127-197), p. 132, emends to prasrṣṭe, i. e. ‘toward one from me dismissed’; and Whitney (in his ‘Translation of the Katha Upanishad’ in the Transactions of the American Philological Association, 21. 88-112), p. 94, emends to prasrṣṭaṁ, and translates: ‘be cheerful [toward thee], sent forth by me.’ Śaṅkara solves the difficulty by giving the word a sense, ‘authorized,’ which is quite different from what it evidently has in the previous stanza.
[2 ]That is, both death and old age.
[1 ]Śaṅkara explains these as ‘father, mother, and teacher.’
[2 ]Namely, ‘sacrifice, study of the scriptures, and alms-giving.’
[3 ]brahma-ja-jña perhaps is a synonym of jāta-vedas, ‘the All-knower,’ a common epithet of Agni (Fire, here specialized as the Naciketas sacrifice-fire).
[4 ]īdya, a very common Vedic epithet of Agni (Fire).
[5 ]nicāyya may carry a double meaning here, i. e. also ‘by building [it, i. e. the Naciketas-fire].’
[6 ]Half of the third line and the fourth line recur at Śvet. 4. 11.
[7 ]Stanzas 16-18 are not quite apt here. They may be an irrelevant interpolation—as previous translators have suggested.
[1 ]The word sṛnkā occurs nowhere else in the language—so far as has been reported—than in 1. 16 and here. Its meaning is obscure and only conjectural. Śaṅkara glosses it differently in the two places, here as ‘way.’
[2 ]This stanza recurs with unimportant variants in Maitri 7. 9.
[3 ]With a variation, this stanza recurs in Muṇḍ. 1. 2. 8; similarly in Maitri 7. 9.
[4 ]That is, death, the great transition, mentioned at 1. 29.
[1 ]With different grouping of words the first two lines may also mean:
That is, the Ātman is to be obtained only by a superior person, as is stated in Muṇḍ. 3. 2. 4.
[2 ]Or perhaps, ‘. . . [because] being considered manifoldly,’ i. e. by the inferior man the Ātman is falsely ‘conceived of as a plurality,’ while in reality He is absolute unity.
[3 ]Either (1) by another than an inferior man, i. e. by a proficient understander, or (2) by another than oneself, i. e. by some teacher.
[4 ]Or perhaps ‘work.’
[1 ]The word drṣṭvā is superfluous both logically and metrically.
[2 ]Here, in contrast with the latter half of the line, the idea of dharma may be philosophical: i. e. ‘the qualified.’ In the next stanza it is certainly ethical.
[3 ]Compare Muṇd. 3. 2. 4 d: ‘Into his Brahma-abode [i. e. that of a person qualified to receive Him] this Ātman enters.’ See also Chānd. 8. 1. 1.
[4 ]Śaṅkara and all translators except Deussen regard the previous section as an utterance by Naciketas. Instead of assigning so pregnant an inquiry to a pupil still being instructed, the present distribution of the parts of this dialogue interprets it (in agreement with Deussen) as continued exposition, rhetorically put in the form of an interrogation by the teacher himself.
[5 ]The word pada here doubtless is pregnant with some other of its meanings (twenty-two in all enumerated by Apte in his Sanskrit-English Dictionary), particularly ‘way,’ ‘place,’ ‘goal,’ or ‘abode.’
[1 ]The ideas and some of the language of this stanza recur in BhG. 8. 11.
[2 ]The word akṣaram here may also be pregnant with the meaning ‘imperishable’ (Apte gives fourteen meanings in all). Thus:—
[3 ]The word brahma(n) here may contain some of its liturgical meaning, ‘sacred word,’ as well as the philosophical meaning ‘Brahma.’ Thus:—
[4 ]This stanza recurs with slight verbal variation in Maitri 6. 4.
[5 ]Substantially this stanza is identical with BhG. 2. 20.
[6 ]Substantially this stanza is identical with BhG. 2. 19.
[1 ]This is an important passage, as being the first explicit statement of the doctrine of Grace (prasāda). The idea is found earlier in the celebrated Hymn of the Word (Vāc), RV. 10. 125. 5 c, d, and again in Muṇḍ. 3. 2. 3 c, d. This same stanza occurs with slight verbal variation as Śvet. 3. 20 and Mahānārāyaṇa Upanishad 8. 3 (= Taittirīya Āranyaka 10. 10. 1).
[2 ]This stanza = Muṇḍ. 3. 2. 3.
[1 ]The last line of this stanza = RV. 1. 22. 20 a, and also, with a slight change, RV. 1. 154. 5 d.
[1 ]The commentators interpret ‘boons’ as referring to ‘teachers.’ But the word may imply ‘answers to your questions.’
[1 ]madhv-ad, literally ‘honey-eater,’ i. e. the empirical self.
[2 ]Lines c and d = Bṛih. 4. 4. 19c, d.
[3 ]Lines a and b = Bṛih. 4. 4. 19a, b with a verbal variation.
[1 ]That is, the body, with its eleven orifices: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, mouth, the two lower orifices, the navel, and the sagittal suture (vidṛti—Ait. 3. 12). By the omission of the last two, the body is conceived of as a nine-gated city at Śvet. 3. 18 and BhG. 5. 13.
[2 ]With the omission of the last word this stanza = RV. 4. 40. 5; exactly as here it = VS. 10. 24; 12. 14; TS. 3. 2. 10. 1; Śat. Br. 6. 7. 3. 11.
[3 ]That is, in the middle of the body, and the devās are the bodily powers (or ‘senses,’ as not infrequently), according to Śaṅkara’s interpretation.
[4 ]Line d = 4. 3 d.
[5 ]As in 5. 3 a, b.
[1 ]The last four lines recur again as 6. 1. c-f.
[1 ]This stanza = Muṇḍ. 2. 2. 10 and Śvet. 6. 14.
[2 ]This same simile of the world as an eternal fig-tree growing out of Brahma is further elaborated in BhG. 15. 1-3.
[3 ]These last four lines = 5. 8. c-f.
[4 ]A very similar stanza is in Tait. 2. 8.
[1 ]The reading svargeṣu instead of sargeṣu would yield the more suitable meaning ‘in the heavenly worlds.’ At best, the stanza contradicts the general theory that perception of the Ātman produces release from reincarnation immediately after death. Consequently Śaṅkara supplies an ellipsis which changes the meaning entirely, and Max Muller hesitatingly inserts a ‘not’ in the first line. The present translation interprets the meaning that the degree of perception of the Ātman in the present world determines one’s reincarnate status.
[2 ]These two lines recur at Śvet. 4. 20 a, b.
[3 ]These two lines recur at Śvet. 3. 13 c, d and 4. 17 c, d.
[1 ]Quoted in Maitri 6. 30.
[2 ]Literally ‘yoking’; both a ‘yoking,’ i. e. subduing, of the senses; and also a ‘yoking,’ i. e. a ‘joining’ or ‘union,’ with the Supreme Spirit.
[3 ]apramatta, a technical Yoga term.
[4 ]Perhaps, of ‘the world’ of beings and experiences—here too, as in Mānḍ. 6, where the phrase occurs. That is ‘the world’ becomes created for the person when he emerges from the Yoga state, and passes away when he enters into it. Or perhaps the translation should be ‘an arising and a passing away’: i. e. is transitory—according to Śankara.
[5 ]The same thought of the incomprehensibility of the ultimate occurs at Kena 3 a, b, and Muṇḍ. 3. 1. 8 a, b.
[6 ]That is, both the affirmable, ‘He is’ and the absolutely non-affirmable ‘No! No!’ neti, neti of Bṛih. 2. 3. 6; both ‘being’ (sad) and ‘non-being’ (asad) of Muṇḍ. 2. 2. 1 d and Praśna 2. 5 d. Śankara interprets ‘both’ as referring to the ‘conditioned’ and the ‘unconditioned’ Brahma.
[7 ]This stanza is found also at Bṛih. 4. 4. 7 a.
[1 ]This stanza is found also at Chānd. 8. 6. 6. Cf. also Kaush. 4. 19 and Bṛih. 4. 2. 3.