Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECOND MUṆḌAKA The Doctrine of Brahma-Ātman - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
SECOND MUṆḌAKA The Doctrine of Brahma-Ātman - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
The Imperishable, the source and the goal of all beings
1. This is the truth:—
As, from a well-blazing fire, sparks
By the thousand issue forth of like form,
So from the Imperishable, my friend, beings manifold
Are produced, and thither also go.
The supreme Person
The source of the human person and of the cosmic elements
The macrocosmic Person
4. Fire is His head; His eyes, the moon and sun;
The regions of space, His ears; His voice, the revealed Vedas;
Wind, His breath (prāṇa); His heart, the whole world. Out of His feet,
The earth. Truly, He is the Inner Soul (Ātman) of all.
The source of the world and of the individual
5. From Him [proceeds] fire, whose fuel is the sun;
From the moon (Soma), rain; herbs, on the earth.
The male pours seed in the female.
Many creatures are produced from the Person (Purusha).
The source of all religious rites
6. From Him the Rig Verses, the Sāman Chant, the sacrificial formulas (yajus), the initiation rite (dīksā).
And all the sacrifices, ceremonies, and sacrificial gifts (daksiṇā),
The year too, and the sacrificer, the worlds
Where the moon (Soma) shines brightly, and where the sun.1
The source of all forms of existence
7. From Him, too, gods are manifoldly produced,
The celestials (Sādhyas), men, cattle, birds,
The in-breath and the out-breath (prāṇāpānau), rice and barley, austerity (tapas),
Faith (śraddhā), truth, chastity, and the law (vidhi).
The source of the activity of the senses
8. From Him come forth the seven life-breaths (prāṇa),2
The seven flames, their fuel, the seven oblations,
These seven worlds, wherein do move
The life-breaths that dwell in the secret place [of the heart], placed seven and seven.
The source of the world—the Inner Soul of things
9. From Him, the seas and the mountains all.
From Him roll rivers of every kind.
And from Him all herbs, the essence, too,
Whereby that Inner Soul (antarātman) dwells in beings.
The pantheistic Person found in the heart
10. The Person (Purusha) himself is everything here:
Work (karman) and austerity (tapas) and Brahma, beyond death.
He who knows That, set in the secret place [of the heart]—
He here on earth, my friend, rends asunder the knot of ignorance.
The pantheistic Brahma
1. Manifest, [yet] hidden; called ‘Moving-in-secret’;
2. That which is flaming, which is subtler than the subtle,
On which the worlds are set, and their inhabitants—
A target to be penetrated by meditation on ‘Om’
3. Taking as a bow the great weapon of the Upanishad,
One should put upon it an arrow sharpened by meditation.
Stretching it with a thought directed to the essence of That,
Penetrate1 that Imperishable as the mark, my friend.
The immortal Soul, the one warp of the world and of the individual
5. He on whom the sky, the earth, and the atmosphere
Are woven, and the mind, together with all the life-breaths (prāṇa),
Him alone know as the one Soul (Ātman). Other
Words dismiss. He is the bridge to immortality.
The great Soul to be found in the heart
Deliverance gained through vision of Him
The self-luminous light of the world
10. 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.3
The omnipresent Brahma
11. Brahma, indeed, is this immortal. Brahma before,
Brahma behind, to right and to left.
Stretched forth below and above,
Brahma, indeed, is this whole world, this widest extent.
[1 ]That is, the world of the fathers, and the world of the gods, respectively; described in Chānd. 5. 10.
[2 ]Śaṅkara explains these seven prāna as the seven organs of sense in the head (i. e. two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and the mouth). They are compared to seven different sacrificial oblations. The enlightenments produced by their activity are the flames of the sacrifice; the objects which supply their action, the fuel. Each sense moves in an appropriate world of its own; but they are all co-ordinated by the mind (manas), which is located in the heart. These same seven flames are probably referred to in Praśna 3. 5, end. Compare the seven flames of the regular sacrifices named at Muṇd. 1. 2. 4.
[1 ]With a double meaning, doubtless, in accordance with the great thought of metaphysical knowledge which is here being expounded. Besides being derivable from √vyadh, ‘to penetrate,’ viddhi means also ‘know.’
[3 ]This stanza = Katha 5. 15 and Śvet. 6. 14.