Front Page Titles (by Subject) THIRD MUṆḌAKA The Way to Brahma - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
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THIRD MUṆḌAKA The Way to Brahma - 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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Recognition of the Great Companion, the supreme salvation
1. Two birds, fast bound companions,
Clasp close the self-same tree.
Of these two, the one eats sweet fruit;
The other looks on without eating.1
2. On the self-same tree a person, sunken,
Grieves for his impotence, deluded;
When he sees the other, the Lord (īś), contented,
And his greatness, he becomes freed from sorrow.2
3. When a seer sees the brilliant
Maker, Lord, Person, the Brahma-source,
Then, being a knower, shaking off good and evil,3
Stainless, he attains supreme identity (sāmya) [with Him].
Delight in the Soul, the life of all things
4. Truly, it is Life (Prāṇa) that shines forth in all things!
Understanding this, one becomes a knower. There is no superior speaker.
Having delight in the Soul (Ātman), having pleasure in the Soul,4 doing the rites,
Such a one is the best of Brahma-knowers.
The pure Soul obtainable by true methods
5. This Soul (Ātman) is obtainable by truth, by austerity (tapas),
By proper knowledge (jñāna), by the student’s life of chastity (brahmacarya) constantly [practised].
Within the body, consisting of light, pure is He
Whom the ascetics (yati), with imperfections done away, behold.
6. Truth alone conquers, not falsehood.
By truth is laid out the path leading to the gods (devayāna)
By which the sages whose desire is satisfied ascend
To where is the highest repository of truth.
The universal inner Soul
7. Vast, heavenly, of unthinkable form,
And more minute than the minute, It shines forth.
It is farther than the far, yet here near at hand,
Set down in the secret place [of the heart], even here among those who behold [It].
Obtainable by contemplation, purified from sense
8. Not by sight is It grasped, not even by speech,
Not by any other sense-organs (deva), austerity, or work.
By the peace of knowledge (jñāna-prasāda), one’s nature purified—
In that way, however, by meditating, one does behold Him who is without parts.
9. That subtile Soul (Ātman) is to be known by thought (cetas)
Wherein the senses (prāṇa) fivefoldly have entered.
The whole of men’s thinking is interwoven with the senses.
When that is purified, the Soul (Ātman) shines forth.
The acquiring power of thought
10. Whatever world a man of purified nature makes clear in mind,
And whatever desires he desires for himself—
That world he wins, those desires too.
Therefore he who is desirous of welfare should praise the knower of the Soul (Ātman).
Desires as the cause of rebirth
1. He knows that Supreme Brahma-abode,
Founded on which the whole world shines radiantly.
They who, being without desire, worship the Person (Purusha)
And are wise, pass beyond the seed (śukra) [of rebirth] here.
2. He who in fancy forms desires,
Because of his desires is born [again] here and there.
But of him whose desire is satisfied, who is a perfected soul (kṛtātman),
All desires even here on earth vanish away.
The Soul (Ātman) known only by revelation to His own elect
3. 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).1
Certain indispensable conditions, pre-eminently knowledge
4. This Soul (Ātman) is not to be obtained by one destitute of fortitude,
Nor through heedlessness, nor through a false notion of austerity (tapas).
But he who strives by these means, provided he knows—
Into his Brahma-abode this Soul (Ātman) enters.
In tranquil union with the Soul of all is liberation from death and from all distinctions of individuality
5. Attaining Him, the seers (ṛṣi) who are satisfied with knowledge,
Who are perfected souls (kṛtātman), from passion free (vītarāga), tranquil—
Attaining Him who is the universally omnipresent, those wise,
Devout souls (yuktātman) into the All itself do enter.
6. They who have ascertained the meaning of the Vedānta-knowledge,
Ascetics (yati) with natures purified through the application of renunciation (saṁnyāsa-yoga)—
They in the Brahma-worlds at the end of time
Are all liberated beyond death.
7. Gone are the fifteen parts2 according to their station,
Even all the sense-organs (deva) in their corresponding divinities!
One’s deeds (karman) and the self that consists of understanding (vijñāna-maya ātman)—
All become unified in the supreme Imperishable.
8. As the flowing rivers in the ocean
Disappear, quitting name and form,3
So the knower, being liberated from name and form,
Goes unto the heavenly Person, higher than the high.
The rewards and the requisite conditions of this knowledge of Brahma
9. He, verily, who knows that supreme Brahma, becomes very Brahma.1 In his family no one ignorant of Brahma arises. He crosses over sorrow. He crosses over sin (pāpman). Liberated from the knots of the heart, he becomes immortal.
10. This very [doctrine] has been declared in the verse:—
11. This is the truth. The seer (ṛṣi) Aṅgiras declared it in ancient time. One who has not performed the vow does not read this.
[1 ]This stanza is quoted from RV. 1. 164. 20; repeated at Śvet. 4. 6. Compare also Kaṭha 3. 1.
[2 ]Repeated at Śvet. 4. 7.
[3 ]The first three lines of this stanza are quoted at Maitri 6. 18.
[4 ]As in Chānd. 7. 25. 2.
[1 ]This stanza recurs at Kaṭha 2. 23.
[2 ]That is, of the microcosm back into the macrocosm. Cf. Praśna 6. 5.
[3 ]The Sanskrit idiom for ‘individuality.’
[1 ]In the title to his Latin translation, ‘Oupnekhat,’ Anquetil Duperron set this sentence evidently as the summary of the contents of the Upanishads: ‘Quisquis Deum intelligit, Deus fit,’ ‘whoever knows God, becomes God.’
[2 ]Identified with Prāṇa, ‘Life,’ in Praśna 2. 11. The reference, then, is probably to the mystical Prāṇāgnihotra sacrifice, in which ‘breath’ is symbolically sacrificed for an Agnihotra ceremony.
[3 ]Śaṅkara explains this as ‘carrying fire on the head—a well-known Vedic vow among followers of the Atharva-Veda.’ But it is more likely to be ‘shaving the head,’ as Buddhist monks did later. This preliminary requisite to the study of the Upanishad doubtless gave it the title ‘The Shaveling Upanishad,’ or ‘The Upanishad of the Tonsured.’
[1 ]That is, Question Upanishad.