Front Page Titles (by Subject) FIRST PRAŚNA - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
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FIRST PRAŚNA - 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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Six questioners seek the highest Brahma from a teacher
1. Sukeśan Bhāradvāja, and Śaibya Satyakāma, and Sauryāyaṇin Gārgya, and Kauśalya Āśvalāyana, and Bhārgava Vaidarbhi, and Kabandhin Kātyāyana—these, indeed, were devoted to Brahma, intent upon Brahma, in search of the highest Brahma. Thinking ‘He, verily, will tell it all,’ with fuel in hand2 they approached the honorable Pippalāda.
2. To them then that seer (rṣi) said: ‘Dwell with me (samvatsyatha) a year (samvatsara) more, with austerity (tapas), chastity (brahmacarya), and faith (śraddhā). Then ask what questions you will. If we know, we will tell you all.’
Question: Concerning the source of creatures on earth
3. Then Kabandhin Kātyāyana came up and asked: ‘Sir, whence, verily, are creatures here born?’
The Lord of Creation created matter and life for dual parentage of creatures
4. To him then he said: ‘The Lord of Creation (Prajāpati), verily, was desirous of creatures (offspring, prajā). He performed austerity. Having performed austerity, he produces a pair, matter (rayi, fem.) and life (prāṇa, masc.), thinking “These two will make creatures for me in manifold ways.”
The sun and moon, such a pair
5. The sun, verily, is life; matter, indeed, is the moon.
Matter identified with every form of existence
Matter, verily, is everything here, both what is formed and what is formless. Therefore material form (mūrti) indeed is matter.
The sun, identified with the life of creatures
6. Now the sun, when it rises, enters the eastern quarter. Thereby it collects the living beings (prāṇa) of the east in its rays. When it illumines the southern, the western, the northern, the lower, the upper, the intervening quarters, when it illumines everything—thereby it collects all living beings in its rays.
7. That fire rises as the universal, all-formed life. This very [doctrine] has been declared in the verse:—
The year identified with the Lord of Creation; the two paths: of reincarnation and of non-reincarnation
9. The year, verily, is Lord of Creation (Prajāpati). This has two paths, the Southern and the Northern.3
Now, those, verily, indeed, who worship, thinking “Sacrifice and merit are our work (krta)!”—they win only the lunar world. They, indeed, return hither again.4 Therefore those seers (ṛṣi) who are desirous of offspring go the Southern course. This matter (rayi) verily it is, that leads to the fathers (pitṛyāṇa).
10. But they who seek the Soul (Ātman) by austerity, chastity, faith, and knowledge—they by the Northern course win the sun. That, verily, is the support of life-breaths. That is the immortal, the fearless. That is the final goal. From that they do not return—as they say (iti). That is the stopping [of rebirth]. As to that there is this verse (śloka):—
Two old Vedic interpretations of the year
11. They speak of a father, five-footed, twelve-formed,1
Rich in moisture, as in the higher half of heaven.
But others here speak of a sage2 in the lower half,
The twofold month, identified with the Lord of Creation; to be properly observed in sacrifice
12. The month, verily, is the Lord of Creation (Prajāpati), Its dark half, indeed, is matter; its bright half, life. Therefore these seers (ṛṣi) perform sacrifice in the bright half; other people, in the other half.
Day and night, identified with the Lord of Creation; to be properly observed in procreation
13. Day and night, verily, are the Lord of Creation (Prajāpati). Of this, day indeed is life; the night, matter. Verily, they waste their life who join in sexual enjoyment by day; it is chastity that they join in sexual enjoyment by night.
Food, the direct source of creatures
14. Food, verily, is Lord of Creation (Prajāpati). From this, verily, is semen. From this creatures here are born.
16. To them belongs you stainless Brahma-world,
In whom there is no crookedness and falsehood, nor trickery (māyā).’
[2 ]The ancient token with which a person presented himself as a pupil unto a teacher whose instruction he desired.
[1 ]Or, according to a different exegests, the word jātavedasam may mean ‘all-finding.’
[2 ]This stanza occurs again in Maitri 6. 8, as the conclusion of a section which expounds the unity of Prāṇa (life) and Āditya (the sun).
[3 ]Elaborated in Bṛih. 6. 2. 15-16; Chānd. 4. 15. 5; Chānd. 5. 10; and BhG. 8. 24-26 as the half-year of the sun’s southward course and as the half-year of the sun’s northward course, respectively.
[4 ]This belief in rebirth occurs already in AV. 12. 2. 52 b.
[1 ]Both Śaṅkara here and Sāyaṇa on the Rig-Veda passage explain this as ‘the year,’ ‘with five seasons,’ and ‘with twelve months.’
[2 ]Or ‘one far-shining,’ vicakṣaṇa.
[3 ]‘With seven steeds, and six seasons.’—Com.
[4 ]This stanza = RV. 1. 164. 12.
[5 ]As stated above in § 13.
[6 ]That is, offspring, like Prajāpati himself according to § 4.