Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECOND PRAŚNA - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
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SECOND 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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Concerning the several personal powers and their chiefest
1. Then Bhārgava Vaidarbhi asked him [i. e. Pippalāda]:
[a] ‘Sir, how many powers (deva) support a creature?
[b] How many illumine this [body]?
[c] Which one again is the chiefest of them?’
[a] and [b] The supporting and illumining powers
2. To him then he said: ‘Space (ākāśa), verily, is such a power (deva)—wind, fire, water, earth, speech, mind, sight, and hearing, too.1 These, having illumined it, declare: “We uphold and support this trunk (bāṇa)!”
[c] Life, the essential and chiefest
3. To them Life (prāṇa, the life-breath), the chiefest, said: “Fall not into delusion! I indeed, dividing myself (ātmānam) fivefold, support and sustain this body!”
4. They were incredulous. He, from pride, as it were, rises up aloft. Now when he rises up, then all the others also rise up; and when he settles down, they all settle down with him.
Now, as all the bees rise up after the king bee when he rises up, and all settle down when he settles down, even so speech, mind, sight, and hearing. They, being satisfied, praise Life (prāṇa, the life-breath).
The universal Life
5. As fire (Agni), he warms. He is the sun (Sūrya).
He is the bountiful2 rain (Parjanya). He is the wind (Vāyu).
6. Like the spokes on the hub of a wheel,
Everything is established on Life (prāṇa):—
The Rig verses, the Yajus formulas, the Sāman chants,
The sacrifice, the nobility (ksatra) and the priesthood (brahman)!
7. As the Lord of Creation (Prajāpati), thou movest in the womb.
’Tis thou thyself that art born again.
To thee, O Life, creatures here bring tribute—1
Thou, who dwellest with living beings!
8. Thou art the chief bearer [of oblations] to the gods!
Thou art the first offering to the fathers!
Thou art the true practice of the seers,
Descendants of Atharvan and Aṅgiras!
9. Indra art thou, O Life, with thy brilliance!
Rudra art thou as a protector!
Thou movest in the atmosphere
As the sun (Sūrya), thou Lord of lights!
10. When thou rainest upon them,
Then these creatures of thine, O Life,
Are blissful, thinking:
“There will be food for all desire!”
11. A Vrātya2 art thou, O Life, the only seer,
An eater, the real lord of all!
We are the givers of thy food!
Thou art the father of the wind (Mātariśvan).
12. That form of thine which abides in speech,
Which abides in hearing, which abides in sight,
And which is extended in the mind,
Make propitious! Go not away!
13. This whole world is in the control of Life—
E’en what is established in the third heaven!
As a mother her son, do thou protect [us]!
Grant to us prosperity (śrī) and wisdom (prajñā)!’
[1 ]That is, the five cosmic elements, and with prāṇa (life-breath) the five personal functions.
[2 ]The reference may be to ‘Indra,’ for whom maghavan is a very common Vedic epithet.
[1 ]This line is a reminiscence of AV. 11. 4. 19 a, b, a hymn to Prāṇa, of which there are other reminiscences in this Praśna Upanishad.
[2 ]Śaṅkara explains this word as meaning ‘uninitiated’ because of his being the first born, and there being no one else to initiate him; therefore ‘pure by nature.’ This is a noteworthy characterization; for, later a Vrātya is either a despised, non-Brahmanical low-caste man, or else a man who has lost caste through the non-observance of proper ceremonies! Yet compare the glorification of the Vrātya in AV. 15.