Front Page Titles (by Subject) MAITRI UPANISHAD - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
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MAITRI 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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Meditation upon the Soul (Ātman), the essence and the true completion of religious sacrifice
1. That which for the ancients was [merely] a building up [of sacrificial fires] was, verily, a sacrifice to Brahma.1 Therefore with the building of these sacrificial fires the sacrificer should meditate upon the Soul (Ātman). So, verily, indeed, does the sacrifice become really complete and indeficient.
Who is he that is to be meditated upon?
He who is called Life (prāṇa)!
A tale thereof:—
The ascetic king Bṛihadratha, being offered a boon, chooses knowledge of the Soul (Ātman)
2. Verily, a king, Bṛihadratha by name, after having established his son in the kingdom, reflecting that this body is non-eternal, reached the state of indifference towards the world (vairāgya), and went forth into the forest. There he stood, performing extreme austerity, keeping his arms erect, looking up at the sun.
At the end of a thousand [days]2 there came into the presence of the ascetic, the honorable knower of the Soul (Ātman), Śākāyanya, like a smokeless fire, burning as it were with glow. ‘Arise! Arise! Choose a boon!’ said he to the king.
He did obeisance to him and said: ‘Sir, I am no knower of the Soul (Ātman). You are one who knows its true nature, we have heard. So, do you tell us.’
‘Such things used to occur! Very difficult [to answer] is this question! Aikshvāka, choose other desires!’ said Śākāyanya.
With his head touching that one’s feet, the king uttered this speech:—
Pessimistically he rejects evanescent earthly desires, and craves only liberation from reincarnate existence
3. ‘Sir, in this ill-smelling, unsubstantial body, which is a conglomerate of bone, skin, muscle, marrow, flesh, semen, blood, mucus, tears, rheum, feces, urine, wind, bile, and phlegm, what is the good of enjoyment of desires? In this body, which is afflicted with desire, anger, covetousness, delusion, fear, despondency, envy, separation from the desirable, union with the undesirable, hunger, thirst, senility, death, disease, sorrow, and the like, what is the good of enjoyment of desires?
4. And we see that this whole world is decaying, as these gnats, mosquitoes, and the like, the grass, and the trees that arise and perish.
But, indeed, what of these? There are others superior, great warriors, some world-rulers, Sudyumna, Bhūridyumna, Indradyumna, Kuvalayāśva, Yauvanāśva, Vadhryaśva, Aśvapati, Śaśabindu, Hariścandra, Ambarīsha, Nahusha, Śaryāti, Yayāti, Anaraṇya, Ukshasena, and the rest; kings, too, such as Marutta, Bharata, and others. With a crowd of relatives looking on, they renounced great wealth and went forth from this world into that.
But, indeed, what of these? There are others superior. We see the destruction of Gandharvas (demigods), Asuras (demons), Yakshas (sprites), Rākshasas (ogres), Bhūtas (ghosts), spirit-bands, goblins, serpents, vampires, and the like.
But, indeed, what of these? Among other things, there is the drying up of great oceans, the falling away of mountain peaks, the deviation of the fixed pole-star, the cutting of the wind-cords [of the stars], the submergence of the earth, the retreat of the celestials from their station.
In this sort of cycle of existence (saṁsāra) what is the good of enjoyment of desires, when after a man has fed on them there is seen repeatedly his return here to earth?
Be pleased to deliver me. In this cycle of existence I am like a frog in a waterless well. Sir, you are our way of escape—yea, you are our way of escape!’
Śākāyanya’s instruction concerning the Soul (Ātman)1
1. Then the honorable Śākāyanya, well pleased, said to the king: ‘Great king Bṛihadratha, banner of the family of Ikshvāku, speedily will you who are renowned as “Swift Wind” (Marut) attain your purpose and become a knower of the Soul (Ātman)!
This one, assuredly, indeed, is your own self (ātman).’
‘Which one is it, Sir?’
Then he said to him:—
The Soul—a self-luminous, soaring being, separable from the body, identical with Brahma
2. ‘Now, he who, without stopping the respiration, goes aloft and who, moving about, yet unmoving, dispels darkness—he is the Soul (Ātman). Thus said the honorable Maitri. For thus has it been said2 : “Now, that serene one who, rising up out of this body, reaches the highest light and appears with his own form—he is the Soul (Ātman),” said he. “That is the immortal, the fearless. That is Brahma.”
The unqualified Soul, the driver of the unintelligent bodily vehicle
3. Now, indeed, O king, this is the Brahma-knowledge, even the knowledge contained in all the Upanishads, as declared to us by the honorable Maitri. I will narrate it to you.
Now, the Vālakhilyas are reputed as free from evil, of resplendent glory, living in chastity. Now, they said to Kratu Prajāpati3 : “Sir, this body is like a cart without intelligence (a-cetana). To what supersensuous being, forsooth, belongs such power whereby this sort of thing is set up in the possession of this sort of intelligence? Or, in other words, who is its driver? Sir, tell us what you know!”
Then he said to them:—
4. “He, assuredly, indeed, who is reputed as standing aloof, like those who, among qualities, abstain from intercourse with them—He, verily, is pure, clean, void, tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless, undecaying, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent. He abides in his own greatness. By him this body is set up in possession of intelligence; or, in other words, this very one, verily, is its driver.”
Then they said: “Sir, how by this kind of indifferent being is this sort of thing set up in possession of intelligence? Or, in other words, how is this one its driver?”
Then he said to them:—
Every intelligent person a partial individuation of the supersensuous, self-limiting Person
5. “Verily, that subtile, ungraspable, invisible one, called the Person, turns in here [in the body] with a part [of himself] without there being any previous awareness, even as the awakening of a sleeper takes place without there being any previous awareness.
Now, assuredly, indeed, that part of Him is what the intelligence-mass here in every person is—the spirit (kṣetrajña, ‘knower-of-the-body’) which has the marks of conception, determination, and self-conceit (abhimāna), Prajāpati (Lord of Creation) under the name of individuality.1
By Him, as intelligence, this body is set up in possession of intelligence; or, in other words, this very one is its driver.”
Then they said: “Sir, if by this kind of indifferent being this kind of body is set up in possession of intelligence, still how, in other words, is this one its driver?”
Then he said to them:—
The primeval Person progressively differentiated himself into [a] inanimate beings, [b] the five physiological functions, [c] the human person, [d] a person’s functions
6. “Verily, in the beginning Prajāpati stood alone. He had no enjoyment, being alone. He then, by meditating upon himself (ātmānam), created numerous offspring.
[a] He saw them inanimate and lifeless, like a stone, standing like a post. He had no enjoyment. He then thought to himself: ‘Let me enter within, in order to animate them.’
[b] He made himself like wind and sought to enter within. As one, he was unable. So he divided himself fivefold—he who is spoken of as the Prāṇa breath, the Apāna breath, the Samāna breath, the Udāna breath, the Vyāna breath.
Now, that breath which passes up—that, assuredly, is the Prāṇa breath. Now, that which passes down—that, assuredly, is the Apāna breath. Now, that, verily, by which these two are supported—that, assuredly, is the Vyāna breath. Now, that which conducts into the Apāna breath [what is] the coarsest element of food and distributes (sam-ā-nayati) in each limb [what is] the most subtile—that, assuredly, is named the Samāna breath. It is a higher form of the Vyāna breath, and between them is the production of the Udāna breath. Now, that which ‘belches forth and swallows down what has been drunk and eaten’—that, assuredly, is the Udāna breath.
[c] Now, the Upāṁśu vessel is over against the Antaryāma vessel, and the Antaryāma vessel over against the Upāṁśu vessel. Between these two, God (deva) generated heat. The heat is a person,1 and a person is the universal fire (Agni Vaiśvānara). It has elsewhere2 been said: ‘This is the universal fire, namely that which is here within a person, by means of which the food that is eaten is cooked. It is the noise thereof that one hears on covering the ears thus.3 When he [i. e. a person] is about to depart, one hears not this sound.’
‘He, verily, having divided himself fivefold, is hidden away in secret—He who consists of mind, whose body is life (prāṇa), whose form is light, whose conception is truth, whose soul is space.’4
[d] Verily, not having attained his purpose, He thought to himself from within the heart here: ‘Let me enjoy objects.’ Thence, having pierced these openings, He goes forth and ‘enjoys objects with five reins.’ These reins of his are the organs of perception. His steeds are the organs of action. The body is the chariot. The charioteer is the mind. The whip is made of one’s character (prakṛti-maya). By Him forsooth driven, this body goes around and around, like the wheel [driven] by the potter. So, this body is set up in possession of consciousness; or, in other words, this very one is its driver.
But the Soul itself is non-active, unqualified, abiding
7. Verily, this Soul (Ātman)—poets declare—wanders here on earth from body to body, unovercome, as it seems, by the bright or the dark fruits of action. He who on account of his unmanifestness, subtilty, imperceptibility, incomprehensibility, and selflessness is [apparently] unabiding and a doer in the unreal—he, truly, is not a doer, and he is abiding. Verily, he is pure, steadfast and unswerving, stainless, unagitated, desireless, fixed like a spectator, and self-abiding. As an enjoyer of righteousness, he covers himself (ātmānam) with a veil made of qualities; [but] he remains fixed—yea, he remains fixed!”
The great Soul, and the individual, suffering, transmigrating soul
1. Then they said: “Sir, if thus you describe the greatness of this Soul (Ātman), there is still another, different one. Who is he, called soul (ātman), who, being overcome by the bright or the dark fruits of action (karman), enters a good or an evil womb, so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders around, overcome by the pairs of opposites (dvandva)?”
The soul that is subject to elements and qualities, confused and self-conceited, suffers and transmigrates
2. [Then he said:] “There is indeed another, different soul, called ‘the elemental soul’ (bhūtātman)—he who, being overcome by the bright or the dark fruits of action, enters a good or an evil womb, so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders around, overcome by the pairs of opposites.
The further explanation of this is:—
The five subtile substances (tan-mātra)1 are spoken of by the word ‘element’ (bhūta). Likewise, the five gross elements (mahā-bhūta) are spoken of by the word ‘element.’ Now, the combination of these is said to be ‘the body’ (śarīra). Now, he, assuredly, indeed, who is said to be in ‘the body’ is said to be ‘the elemental soul.’ Now, its immortal soul (ātman) is like ‘the drop of water on the lotus leaf.’2
This [elemental soul], verily, is overcome by Nature’s (prakṛti) qualities (guṇa).
Now, because of being overcome, he goes on to confusedness; because of confusedness, he sees not the blessed Lord (prabhu), the causer of action, who stands within oneself (ātma-stha). Borne along and defiled by the stream of Qualities (guṇa), unsteady, wavering, bewildered, full of desire, distracted, this one goes on to the state of self-conceit (abhimānatva). In thinking ‘This is I’ and ‘That is mine,’ he binds himself with his self, as does a bird with a snare.
Consequently (anu) ‘being overcome by the fruits of his action, he enters a good or an evil womb, so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders around, overcome by the pairs of opposites.’ ”
“Which one is this?”
Then he said to them:—
The inner Person remains unaffected in the elemental soul’s transformations
3. “Now, it has elsewhere been said3 : ‘Verily, he who is the doer is the elemental soul. The causer of action through the organs is the inner Person. Now, verily, as a lump of iron, overcome by fire and beaten by workmen, passes over into a different form—so, assuredly, indeed, the elemental soul, overcome by the inner Person and beaten by Qualities, passes over into a different form. The mode of that different form, verily, has a fourfold covering,1 is fourteenfold,2 is transformed in eighty-four3 different ways, is a host of beings. These varieties, verily, are driven by the Person, like “the wheel by the potter.” Now, as, when a lump of iron is being hammered, the fire [in it] is not overcome, so that Person is not overcome. This elemental soul (bhūtātman) is overcome (abhibhūta) because of its attachment [to Qualities].’
The body a loathsome conglomerate
4. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘This body arises from sexual intercourse. It passes to development in hell[-darkness] (niraya).4 Then it comes forth through the urinary opening. It is built up with bones; smeared over with flesh; covered with skin; filled full with feces, urine, bile, phlegm, marrow, fat, grease, and also with many diseases, like a treasure-house with wealth.’
The overcoming and transforming effects of the dark and of the passionate qualities
5. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘The characteristics of the Dark Quality (tamas) are delusion, fear, despondency, sleepiness, weariness, heedlessness, old age, sorrow, hunger, thirst, wretchedness, anger, atheism (nāstikya), ignorance, jealousy, cruelty, stupidity, shamelessness, religious neglect, pride, unequableness.
The characteristics of the Passionate Quality (rajas), on the other hand, are inner thirst, affection, emotion, covetousness, maliciousness, lust, hatred, secretiveness, envy, insatiability, unsteadfastness, fickleness, distractedness, ambitiousness, acquisitiveness, favoritism towards friends, dependence upon surroundings, hatred in regard to unpleasant objects of sense, overfondness in regard to pleasant objects, sourness of utterance, gluttonousness. With these this elemental soul (bhūtātman) is filled full; with these it is “overcome” (abhibhūta). Therefore it undergoes different forms—yea, it undergoes different forms!’ ”
The rule for the elemental soul’s complete union with the Soul at death
1. Then, indeed, assuredly, those chaste [Vālakhilyas], exceedingly amazed, united and said: “Sir, adoration be to you! Instruct us further. You are our way [of escape]. There is no other.
What is the rule (vidhi) for this elemental soul, whereby, on quitting this body, it may come to complete union (sāyujya) with the Soul (Ātman)?”
Then he said to them:—
The miserable condition of the individual Soul
2. “Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Like the waves in great rivers, there is no turning back of that which has previously been done. Like the ocean tide, hard to keep back is the approach of one’s death. Like a lame man—bound with the fetters made of the fruit of good and evil (sad-asad); like the condition of one in prison—lacking independence; like the condition of one in the realm of death—in a condition of great fear; like one intoxicated with liquor—intoxicated with delusion (moha); like one seized by an evil being—rushing hither and thither; like one bitten by a great snake—bitten by objects of sense; like gross darkness—the darkness of passion; like jugglery (indrajāla)—consisting of illusion (māyā-maya), like a dream—falsely apparent; like the pith of a bananatree—unsubstantial; like an actor—in temporary dress; like a painted scene—falsely delighting the mind.’
Moreover it has been said:—
The antidote: study of the Veda, performance of one’s own duty, and austerity
3. The antidote, assuredly, indeed, for this elemental soul (bhūtātman) is this: study of the knowledge of the Veda, and pursuit of one’s regular duty. Pursuit of one’s regular duty, in one’s own stage of the religious life—that, verily, is the rule! Other rules are like a bunch of grass. With this, one tends upwards; otherwise, downwards. That is one’s regular duty, which is set forth in the Vedas. Not by transgressing one’s regular duty does one come into a stage of the religious life. Some one says: ‘He is not in any of the stages of the religious life! Verily, he is one who practises austerity!’ That is not proper. [However], if one does not practise austerity, there is no success in the knowledge of the Soul (Ātman), nor perfection of works. For thus has it been said:—
Knowledge of Brahma, austerity, and meditation: the means of union with the Soul
4. ‘Brahma is!’ says he who knows the Brahma-knowledge.
‘This is the door to Brahma!’ says he who becomes free of evil by austerity.
‘Om is the greatness of Brahma!’ says he who, completely absorbed, meditates continually.
Therefore, by knowledge (vidyā), by austerity (tapas), and by meditation (cintā) Brahma is apprehended.
He becomes one who goes beyond [the lower] Brahma, even to the state of supreme divinity above the gods; he obtains a happiness undecaying, unmeasured, free from sickness—he who, knowing this, reverences Brahma with this triad [i. e. knowledge, austerity, and meditation].
So when this chariot-rider1 is liberated from those things wherewith he was filled full and overcome, then he attains complete union (sāyujya) with the Ātman (Soul).”
Worship of the various popular gods is permissible and rewarding, but temporary and inferior
5. Then they said: “Sir, you are the explainer! You are the explainer!2 What has been said has been duly fixed in mind by us.—Now, answer a further question.
Agni (Fire), Vāyu (Wind), and Āditya (Sun); time—whatever it is—, breath, and food; Brahmā, Rudra, and Vishṇu3 —some meditate upon one, some upon another. Tell us which one is the best?”
Then he said to them:—
6. “These are, assuredly, the foremost forms of the supreme, the immortal, the bodiless Brahma. To whichever one each man is attached here, in its world he rejoices indeed. For thus has it been said4 : ‘Verily, this whole world is Brahma.’
Verily, these, which are its foremost forms, one should meditate upon, and praise, but then deny. For with these one moves higher and higher in the worlds. But in the universal dissolution he attains the unity of the Person—yea, of the Person!” ’5
Hymn to the pantheistic Soul
1. Now, then, this is Kutsāyana’s Hymn of Praise.—
The progressive differentiation of the Supreme Soul
2. Verily, in the beginning this world was Darkness (tamas) alone. That, of course, would be in the Supreme. When impelled by the Supreme, that goes on to differentiation. That form, verily, is Passion (rajas). That Passion, in turn, when impelled, goes on to differentiation. That, verily, is the form of Purity (sattva).
That Purity, when impelled, flowed forth as Essence (rasa). That part is what the intelligence-mass here in every person is—the spirit which has the marks of conception, determination, and self-conceit, Prajāpati (Lord of Creation) under the name individuality.1 These forms of Him have previously been mentioned.2
Now then, assuredly, indeed, the part of Him which is characterized by Darkness (tamas)—that, O ye students of sacred knowledge, is this Rudra. Now then, assuredly, indeed, the part of Him which is characterized by Passion (rajas)—that, O ye students of sacred knowledge, is this Brahmā. Now then, assuredly, indeed, the part of Him which is characterized by Purity (sattva)—that, O ye students of sacred knowledge, is this Vishṇu.
Verily, that One became threefold. He developed forth eightfold, elevenfold, twelvefold, into an infinite number of parts. Because of having developed forth, He is a created being (bhūta); has entered into and moves among created beings; He became the overlord of created beings. That is the Soul (Ātman) within and without—yea, within and without!
Two correlated manifestations of the Soul: inwardly the breathing spirit, and outwardly the sun
1. He [i. e. the Soul, Ātman] bears himself (ātmānam) twofold: as the breathing spirit (prāṇa) here, and as you sun (āditya).
Likewise, two in number, verily, are these his paths: an inner and an outer. Both these return upon themselves with a day and a night.
Yon sun, verily, is the outer Soul (Ātman). The inner Soul (Ātman) is the breathing spirit.
Hence the course of the inner Soul (Ātman) is measured by the course of the outer Soul (Ātman).1 For thus has it been said: ‘Now, whoever is a knower, freed from evil, an overseer of his senses, pure-minded, established on That, introspective, is even He [i. e. the Soul, the Ātman].’
And the course of the outer Soul (bahir-ātman) is measured by the course of the inner Soul (antar-ātman). For thus has it been said: ‘Now, that golden Person who is within the sun,2 who looks down upon this earth from his golden place, is even He who dwells within the lotus of the heart and eats food.’
The inner Soul identified with the Soul in space, which is localized in the sun
2. Now, He who dwells within the lotus of the heart and eats food, is the same as that solar fire which dwells in the sky, called Time, the invisible, which eats all things as his food.
What is the lotus, and of what does it consist?
This lotus, assuredly, is the same as space. These four quarters of heaven and the four intermediate quarters are the form of its leaves.
These two, the breathing spirit and the sun, go forth toward each other.
One should reverence them with the syllable Om [§ 3-5], with the Mystic Utterances (vyāhṛti)1 [§ 6], and with the Sāvitrī Prayer [§ 7].
The light of the sun, as a form of Brahma, represented by the mystic syllable ‘Om’
3. There are, assuredly, two forms of Brahma: the formed and the formless.2 Now, that which is the formed is unreal; that which is the formless is real, is Brahma, is light.
That light is the same as the sun.
Verily, that came to have Om as its soul (ātman). He divided himself (ātmānam) threefold.3Om is three prosodial units (a + u + m). By means of these ‘the whole world is woven, warp and woof, across Him.’4
For thus has it been said: ‘One should absorb himself, meditating that the sun is Om.’
4. Now it has elsewhere5 been said: ‘Now, then, the Udgītha is Om; Om is the Udgītha. And so, verily, the Udgītha is yonder sun, and it is Om.’
For thus has it been said: ‘. . . the Udgītha, which is called Om, a leader, brilliant, sleepless, ageless, deathless, three-footed,6 three-syllabled,7 also to be known as fivefold,8 hidden in the secret place [of the heart].’
For thus has it been said9 : ‘The three-quartered Brahma has its root above.1 Its branches are space, wind, fire, water, earth, and the like. This Brahma has the name of ‘the Lone Fig-tree.’ Belonging to It is the splendor which is you sun, and the splendor too of the syllable Om. Therefore one should worship it with Om continually. He is the only enlightener of a man.’
For thus has it been said:—
Various triads of the forms of the Soul, worshiped by the use of the threefold ‘Om’
5. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘This, namely a, u, and m [ = Om], is the sound-form of this [Ātman, Soul].’
Feminine, masculine, and neuter: this is the sex-form.
Fire, wind, and sun: this is the light-form.
Brahmā, Rudra, and Vishṇu: this is the lordship-form.
The Gārhapatya sacrificial fire, the Dakshiṇāgni sacrificial fire, and the Āhavanīya sacrificial fire: this is the mouth-form.
The Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, and the Sāma-Veda: this is the understanding-form.
Earth (bhūr), atmosphere (bhuvas), and sky (svar): this is the world-form.
Past, present, and future: this is the time-form.
Breath, fire, and sun: this is the heat-form.
Food, water, and moon: this is the swelling-form.
Intellect (buddhi), mind (manas), and egoism (ahaṁkāra): this is the intelligence-form.
The Prāṇa breath, the Apāna breath, and the Vyāna breath: this is the breath-form.
Hence these are praised, honored, and included by saying Om. For thus has it been said3 : ‘This syllable Om, verily, O Satyakāma, is both the higher and the lower Brahma.’
Worship of the world and the Soul by the use of the original three world-creating Utterances
6. Now [in the beginning], verily, this world was unuttered.
When he [the Soul, Ātman], who is the Real (satya), who is Prajāpati (Lord of Creation), had performed austerity, he uttered bhūr (earth), bhuvas (atmosphere), and svar (sky).
This, indeed, is Prajāpati’s coarsest form, this ‘world-form.’ Its head is the sky (svar). The atmosphere (bhuvas) is the navel. The feet are the earth (bhūr). The eye is the sun (āditya), for a person’s great material world (mātrā) depends upon the eye, for with the eye he surveys material things. Verily, the eye is the Real; for stationed in the eye a person moves about among all objects.
Therefore one should reverence bhūr (earth), bhuvas (atmosphere), and svar (sky); for thereby Prajāpati, the Soul of all, the eye of all, becomes reverenced, as it were.
For thus has it been said: ‘Verily, this is the all-supporting form of Prajāpati. This whole world is hidden in it, and it is hidden in this whole world. Therefore this [is what] one should worship.’
Worship of the Soul (Ātman) in the form of the sun by the use of the Sāvitrī Prayer1
Yonder sun, verily, is Savitṛi. He, verily, is to be sought thus by one desirous of the Soul (Ātman)—say the expounders of Brahma (brahma-vādin).
Savitṛi, verily, is God. Hence upon that which is called his splendor do I meditate—say the expounders of Brahma.
Thoughts, verily, are meditations. And may he inspire these for us—say the expounders of Brahma.
Etymological significance of the names of the cosmic manifestations of the Soul
Now, ‘splendor’ (bharga).—
Verily, he who is hidden in yonder sun is called ‘splendor,’ and the pupil in the eye, too! He is called ‘bhar-ga’ because with the light-rays (bhā) is his course (gati).
Or, Rudra (the Terrible) is called ‘bharga’ because he causes to dry up (bharjayati)—say the expounders of Brahma.
Now bha means that he illumines (bhāsayati) these worlds. ra means that he gladdens (rañjayati) beings here. ga means that creatures here go (gacchanti) into him and come out of him. Therefore, because of being bha-ra-ga, he is ‘bharga.’
Sūrya (the sun) is [so named] because of the continual pressing out (sūyamāna).1Savitṛi (the sun) is [so named] because of its stimulating (savana). Āditya (the sun) is [so named] because of its taking up unto itself (ādāna). Pāvana (fire) is [so named] because of its purifying (pavana). Moreover, Āpas (water) is [so named] because of its causing to swell (āpyāyana).
The Soul (Ātman) the agent in a person’s various functions
For thus has it been said2 : ‘Assuredly, the Soul (Ātman) of one’s soul is called the Immortal Leader. As perceiver, thinker, goer, evacuator, begetter, doer, speaker, taster, smeller, seer, hearer—and he touches—the All-pervader [i.e. the Soul, the Ātman] has entered the body.’
The Soul (Ātman), the subject in all objective knowledge; but itself, as unitary, never an object of knowledge
For thus has it been said3 : ‘Now, where knowledge is of a dual nature,4 there, indeed, one hears, sees, smells, tastes, and also touches; the soul knows everything. Where knowledge is not of a dual nature, being devoid of action, cause, or effect, unspeakable, incomparable, indescribable—what is that? It is impossible to say!’
The Soul (Ātman) identical with various gods and powers
8. This Soul (Ātman), assuredly, indeed, is Īśāna (Lord), Śambhu (the Beneficent), Bhava (the Existent), Rudra (the Terrible), Prajāpati (Lord of Creation), Viśvasṛij (Creator of All), Hiraṇyagarbha (Golden Germ), Truth (satya), Life (prāṇa), Spirit (haṁsa), Śāstṛi (Punisher, or Commander, or Teacher), Vishṇu (Pervader), Nārāyaṇa (Son of Man),1 Arka (the Shining), Savitṛi (Vivifier, the sun). Dhātṛi (Creator), Vidhātṛi (Ordainer), Samrāj (Sovereign), Indra, Indu (the moon). He it is who gives forth heat, who is covered with a thousand-eyed, golden ball, like a fire [covered] with a fire. Him, assuredly, one should desire to know. He should be searched for.
To be perceived by the meditative hermit
Having bidden peace to all creatures, and having gone to the forest, then having put aside objects of sense, from out of one’s own body one should perceive Him,
The liturgy for making the eating of food an oblation unto the Soul in one’s own breath
9. Therefore, verily, he who knows this has both these [i. e. breath and the sun] as his soul (ātman, self); he (Ātman), meditates only in himself, he sacrifices only in himself. Such meditation and a mind devoted to such practise—that is a thing praised by the wise.
One should purify the impurity of his mind with [the formula] ‘What has been touched by leavings.’ He repeats the formula (mantra):—
First [i. e. before eating] he swathes [his breath] with water.1 ‘Hail to the Prāṇa breath! Hail to the Apāna breath! Hail to the Vyāna breath! Hail to the Samāna breath! Hail to the Udāna breath!’—with these five Hails he offers the oblation.
Then, with voice restrained, he eats the remainder.
Then, afterwards, he again swathes with water.
So, having sipped, having made the sacrifice to the Soul, he should meditate upon the Soul with the two [formulas] ‘As breath and fire’ and ‘Thou’rt all’:—
So he who eats by this rule, indeed, comes not again into the condition of food.2
Applications of the principle of food (according to the Sāṅkhya doctrine)
10. Now, there is something else to be known. There is a higher development of this Ātman-sacrifice, namely as concerns food and the eater. The further explanation of this [is as follows].
The conscious person stands in the midst of Matter (pradhāna). He is an enjoyer, for he enjoys the food of Nature (prakṛti). Even this elemental soul (bhūtātman) is food for him; its maker is Matter. Therefore that which is to be enjoyed consists of the three Qualities (guṇa), and the enjoyer is the person who stands in the midst.
Here observation is clearly proof. Since animals spring from a source, therefore what is to be enjoyed is the source. Thereby is explained the fact that Matter is what is to be enjoyed. Therefore the person is an enjoyer, and Nature is what is to be enjoyed. Being therein, he enjoys.
The food derived from Nature through the transformation in the partition of the three Qualities becomes the subtile body (liṅga), which includes from intellect up to the separate elements (viśeṣa). Thereby an explanation is made of the fourteenfold course.1
There is no apprehension of the sweetness of the source, so long as there has been no production.
It [i. e. Nature] also comes to have the condition of food in these three conditions: childhood, youth, and old age. The condition of food is because of the transformation.
Thus, as Matter passes on to the state of being manifest, there arises the perception of it. And therein, [namely] in [the tasting of] sweetness, there arise intellect and the like, even determination, conception, and self-conceit. So, in respect to objects of sense, the five [organs of sense] arise in [the tasting of] sweetness. Thus arise all actions of organs and actions of senses.2
Thus the Manifest is food, and the Unmanifest is food.
The enjoyer thereof is without qualities. [But] from the fact of his enjoying it is evident that he possesses consciousness (caitanya).
The elemental soul (bhūtātman) is called Soma. He who has the Unmanifest as his mouth is called Agni (Fire), because of the saying: ‘The person, truly, with the Unmanifest as his mouth, enjoys the three Qualities.’
The renouncer of objects of sense the true ascetic
He indeed who knows this is an ascetic (saṁnyāsin) and a devotee (yogin) and a ‘performer of the sacrifice to the Soul (Ātman).’ Now, as there is no one to touch harlots who have entered into a vacant house, so he who does not touch objects of sense that enter into him is an ascetic and a devotee and a ‘performer of the sacrifice to the Soul (Ātman).’
Food, as the life, source, goal, and desire of all, to be reverenced as the highest form of the Soul (Ātman)
11. This, verily, is the highest form of the Soul (Ātman), namely food; for truly, this life (prāṇa, breath) consists of food. For thus has it been said1 : ‘If one does not eat, he becomes a non-thinker, a non-hearer, a non-toucher, a non-seer, a non-speaker, a non-smeller, a non-taster, and he lets go his vital breaths.’ [And furthermore:] ‘If, indeed, one eats, he becomes well supplied with life; he becomes a thinker; he becomes a hearer; he becomes a toucher; he becomes a speaker; he becomes a taster; he becomes a smeller; he becomes a seer.’ For thus has it been said2 :—
12. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Verily, all things here fly forth, day by day, desiring to get food. The sun takes food to himself by his rays. Thereby he gives forth heat. When supplied with food, living beings here digest.3 Fire, verily, blazes up with food.’ This world was fashioned by Brahma with a desire for food. Hence, one should reverence food as the Soul (Ātman). For thus has it been said1 :—
The theory of food
13. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘That form of the blessed Vishṇu which is called the All-supporting—that, verily, is the same as food. Verily, life (prāṇa) is the essence of food; mind, of life; understanding (vijñāna), of mind; bliss, of understanding.’ He becomes possessed of food, life, mind, understanding, and bliss who knows this. Verily, in as many things here on earth as do eat food does he eat food who knows this.
The theory of time
14. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Food, verily, is the source of this whole world; and time, of food. The sun is the source of time.’
The form thereof is the year, which is composed of the moments and other durations of time, and which consists of twelve [months]. Half of it is sacred to Agni: half, to Varuṇa. From the asterism Maghā (the Sickle) to half of Śravishṭhā (the Drum)2 in the [sun’s southward] course is sacred to Agni. In its northward course, from Sarpa (the Serpent) to half of Śravishṭhā is sacred to Soma. Among these [asterisms] each month of Ātman [viewed as the year] includes nine quarters3 according to the corresponding course [of the sun through the asterisms]. On account of the subtilty [of time] this [course of the sun] is the proof, for only in this way is time proved. Apart from proof there is no ascertaining of the thing to be proved. However, the thing to be proved [e.g. time] may come to be proved from the fact of its containing parts [e.g. moments, etc.], to the cognizance of the thing itself. For thus has it been said:—
Whoever reverences Time as Brahma, from him time withdraws afar. For thus has it been said:—
15. There are, assuredly, two forms of Brahma: Time and the Timeless. That which is prior to the sun is the Timeless (a-kāla), without parts (a-kala). But that which begins with the sun is Time, which has parts. Verily, the form of that which has parts is the year. From the year, in truth, are these creatures produced. Through the year, verily, after having been produced, do they grow. In the year they disappear. Therefore, the year, verily, is Prajāpati, is Time, is food, is the Brahma-abode, and is Ātman. For thus has it been said:—
16. This embodied Time is the great ocean of creatures. In it abides he who is called Savitṛi,1 from whom, indeed, are begotten moon, stars, planets, the year, and these other things.
And from them comes this whole world here, and whatever thing, good or evil, may be seen in the world. Therefore Brahma is the soul (ātman) of the sun. So, one should reverence the sun as a name of Time. Some say2 : ‘Brahma is the sun.’ Moreover it has been said:—
The infinite Brahma—the eternal, unitary Soul (Ātman) of the world and of the individual
17. Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahma, the limitless One—limitless to the east, limitless to the south, limitless to the west, limitless to the north, and above and below, limitless in every direction. Truly, for him east and the other directions exist not, nor across, nor below, nor above.
Incomprehensible is that supreme Soul (Ātman), unlimited, unborn, not to be reasoned about, unthinkable—He whose soul is space (ākāśātman)1 ! In the dissolution of the world He alone remains awake. From that space He, assuredly, awakes this world, which is a mass of thought. It is thought by Him, and in Him it disappears.
His is that shining form which gives heat in yonder sun and which is the brilliant light in a smokeless fire, as also the fire in the stomach which cooks food. For thus has it been said: ‘He who is in the fire, and he who is here in the heart, and he who is yonder in the sun—he is one.’
To the unity of the One goes he who knows this.
The Yoga method for attaining this pure unity
18. The precept for effecting this [unity] is this: restraint of the breath (prāṇāyāma), withdrawal of the senses (pratyāhāra), meditation (dhyāna), concentration (dhāraṇā), contemplation (tarka), absorption (samādhi). Such is said to be the sixfold Yoga. By this means.
For thus has it been said:—
Withdrawal from sense-objects into absence of all thought
19. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Verily, when a knower has restrained his mind from the external, and the breathing spirit (prāṇa) has put to rest objects of sense, thereupon let him continue void of conceptions. Since the living individual (jīva) who is named “breathing spirit” has arisen here from what is not breathing spirit, therefore, verily, let the breathing spirit restrain his breathing spirit in what is called the fourth condition (turya).’1 For thus has it been said:—
The selfless, liberated, joyous vision of the Self (Ātman)
20. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘One may have a higher concentration than this. By pressing the tip of his tongue against the palate, by restraining voice, mind, and breath, one sees Brahma through contemplation.’ When through self, by the suppressing of the mind, one sees the brilliant Self which is more subtile than the subtile, then having seen the Self through one’s self, one becomes self-less (nir-ātman). Because of being selfless, he is to be regarded as incalculable (a-saṅkhya), without origin—the mark of liberation (mokṣa). This is the supreme secret doctrine (rahasya). For thus has it been said:—
The Yoga method of attaining to non-experiencing selflessness and to ultimate unity
21. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘There is an artery,1 called the Sushumnā, leading upwards, conveying the breath, piercing through the palate. Through it, by joining (√yuj) the breath, the syllable Om, and the mind, one may go aloft. By causing the tip of the tongue to turn back against the palate and by binding together (saṁ-yojya) the senses, one may, as greatness, perceive greatness.’ Thence he goes to selflessness. Because of selflessness, one becomes a non-experiencer of pleasure and pain; he obtains the absolute unity (kevalatva). For thus has it been said:—
Reaching the higher, non-sound Brahma by meditation on the sound ‘Om’
22. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Verily, there are two Brahmas to be meditated upon: sound and non-sound. Now, non-sound is revealed only by sound.’ Now, in this case the sound-Brahma is Om. Ascending by it, one comes to an end in the non-sound. So one says: ‘This, indeed, is the way. This is immortality. This is complete union (sāyujyatva) and also peacefulness (nirvṛtatva).’
Now, as a spider mounting up by means of his thread (tantu) obtains free space, thus, assuredly, indeed, does that meditator, mounting up by means of Om, obtain independence (svātantrya).
Others expound the sound[-Brahma] in a different way. By closing the ears with the thumbs they hear the sound of the space within the heart. Of it there is this sevenfold comparison: like rivers, a bell, a brazen vessel, a wheel, the croaking of frogs, rain, as when one speaks in a sheltered place.
Passing beyond this variously characterized [sound-Brahma], men disappear in the supreme, the non-sound, the unmanifest Brahma. There they are unqualified, indistinguishable, like the various juices which have reached the condition of honey.1 For thus has it been said:—
23. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘The sound-Brahma is the syllable Om. That which is its acme is tranquil, soundless, fearless, sorrowless, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, immovable, immortal, unshaken, enduring, named Vishṇu (the Pervader). So for paramountcy one should reverence both these. For thus has it been said:—
Piercing, in abstract meditation, through darkness to the shining, immortal, Brahma
24. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘The body is a bow.2 The arrow is Om. The mind is its point. Darkness is the mark. Having pierced through the darkness, one goes to what is not enveloped in darkness. Then, having pierced through what is thus enveloped, one sees Him who sparkles like a wheel of fire, of the color of the sun, mightful, the Brahma that is beyond darkness, that shines in yonder sun, also in the moon, in fire, in lightning. Now, assuredly, when one has seen Him, one goes to immortality.’ For thus has it been said:—
The vision of the brilliant Soul in the perfect unity of Yoga
25. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘He who, with senses indrawn as in sleep, with thoughts perfectly pure as in slumber, being in the pit of senses yet not under their control, perceives Him who is called Om, a leader, brilliant, sleepless, ageless, deathless,1 sorrowless—he himself becomes called Om, a leader, brilliant, sleepless, ageless, deathless, sorrowless.’ For thus has it been said:—
In the sacrifice of suppressed breath in Yoga the light of the world-source becomes visible
26. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Verily, as the huntsman draws in fish with his net and sacrifices them in the fire of his stomach, thus, assuredly, indeed, does one draw in these breaths with Om and sacrifice them in the fire that is free from ill.2
Furthermore, it is like a heated caldron. Now, as ghee in a heated caldron lights up by contact with [lighted] grass or wood, thus, assuredly, indeed, does he who is called non-breath light up by contact with the breaths.
Now, that which lights up is a form of Brahma, and that is the highest place of Vishṇu, and that is the Rudra-hood of Rudra. That, having divided itself (ātmānam) thus unmeasured times, fills these worlds. For thus has it been said:—
The light of the Brahma hidden in the body, made fully manifest and entered into in Yoga
27. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Assuredly, this is the heat of Brahma, the supreme, the immortal, the bodiless—even the warmth of the body.’
For that [heat] this [body] is the melted butter (ghee).1
Now, although it [i. e. the heat] is manifest, verily it is hidden2 in the ether (nabhas) [of the heart]. Therefore by intense concentration they so disperse the space in the heart that the light, as it were, of that [heat] appears.
Thereupon one passes speedily into the same condition [of light], as a lump of iron that is hidden in the earth passes speedily into the condition of earthiness. As fire, ironworkers, and the like do not overcome a lump of iron that is in the condition of clay, so [in Yoga] thought together with its support vanishes away.3 For thus has it been said:—
Entrance into the hall of Brahma after slaying the door-keeper, self-consciousness
28. Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Having passed beyond the elements (bhūta), the senses, and objects of sense; thereupon having seized the bow whose string is the life of a religious mendicant (pravrajya) and whose stick is steadfastness; and with the arrow which consists of freedom from selfconceit (an-abhimāna) having struck down the first warder of the door to Brahma [i. e. egoism, ahaṁkāra]—he who has confusion (sammoha) as his crown, covetousness and envy as his ear-rings, lassitude, drunkenness, and impurity (agha) as his staff, lord of self-conceit, who seizes the bow whose string is anger and whose stick is lust, and who slays beings here with the arrow of desire—having slain him, having crossed over with the raft of the syllable Om to the other side of the space in the heart, in the inner space which gradually becomes manifest one should enter the hall of Brahma, as the miner seeking minerals enters into the mine. Then let him disperse the fourfold1 sheath of Brahma by the instruction of a spiritual teacher (guru).
The unhampered soul—the perfect Yogī
Henceforth being pure, clean, void, tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless, undecaying, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent, he abides in his own greatness.2
Henceforth, having seen [the soul] which abides in his own greatness, he looks down upon the wheel of transmigrating existence (saṁsāra) as upon a rolling chariot-wheel.’
For thus has it been said:—
Conclusion of the instruction on Brahma-knowledge and on Yoga
By the practise of Yoga one gains contentment, endurance of the pairs of opposites (dvandva), and tranquillity (śāntatva).
This profoundest mystery one should not mention2 to any one who is not a son, or who is not a pupil, or who is not tranquil. However, to one who is devoted to none other [than to his teacher] or to one who is supplied with all the qualifications (guṇa), one may give it.
Liberation into the real Brahma by relinquishment of all desires, mental activity, and self-consciousness
30.Om! One should be in a pure place, himself pure (śuci), abiding in pureness (sattva), studying the Real (sat), speaking of the Real, meditating upon the Real, sacrificing to the Real.3 Henceforth, in the real Brahma which longs for the Real, he becomes completely other. So he has the reward (phala) of having his fetters cut; becomes void of expectation, freed from fear in regard to others [as fully] as in regard to himself, void of desire. He attains to imperishable, immeasurable happiness, and continues [therein].
Verily, freedom from desire (niṣkāmatva) is like the choicest extract from the choicest treasure. For, a person who is made up of all desires, who has the marks of determination, conception, and self-conceit, is bound. Hence, in being the opposite of that, he is liberated.
On this point some say: “It is a quality (guṇa) which by force of the developing differentiation of Nature (prakṛti) comes to bind the self with determination [and the like], and that liberation results from the destruction of the fault of determination [and the like].”
[But] it is with the mind, truly, that one sees. It is with the mind that one hears. Desire, conception, doubt, faith, lack of faith, steadfastness, lack of steadfastness, shame, meditation, fear—all this is truly mind.1
Borne along and defiled by the stream of Qualities, unsteady, wavering, bewildered, full of desire, distracted one goes on into the state of self-conceit. In thinking “This is I” and “That is mine” one binds himself with himself, as does a bird with a snare!2 Hence a person who has the marks of determination, conception, and self-conceit is bound. Hence, in being the opposite of that, he is liberated.3 Therefore one should stand free from determination, free from conception, free from self-conceit. This is the mark of liberation (mokṣa). This is the pathway to Brahma here in this world. This is the opening of the door here in this world. By it one will go to the farther shore of this darkness, for therein all desires are contained.4 On this point they quote5 :—
Śākāyanya’s final course upward through the sun to Brahma
Having spoken thus, Śākāyanya became absorbed in thought.
Marut, having done obeisance and shown proper honor to him, having attained his end, departed by the northern course of the sun, for there is no approach by a side-path here in the world. This is the path to Brahma here in the world. Piercing through the door of the sun, he departed aloft. On this point they quote7 :—
Therefore yonder blessed sun is the cause of creation (sarga), of heaven (svarga), and of final emancipation (apavarga).1
The evidences of the Soul in the senses and in the mind
31. Of what nature, verily, are these senses that range forth? And who is the one here who goes forth and restrains them?—Thus has it been said.
The answer is: ‘They are of the nature of soul (ātmaka), for the soul is he who goes forth and restrains them. There are enticing objects of sense (apsaras), and there are so-called luminous rays. With his five rays he feeds upon objects (viṣaya).’
‘He who has been described2 as “pure, clean, void, tranquil, and of other marks.” He is to be apprehended by his own peculiar marks.
Some say3 that the mark of Him who is without any mark is what heat and [anything] pervaded by it is to fire, and what a most agreeable taste is to water.
Now others say4 it is speech, hearing, sight, mind, breath; now others5 that it is intellect, steadfastness, memory, intelligence. Now, verily, these are the marks of Him, even as sprouts here are the mark of a seed, as smoke, light, and sparks are the marks of a fire. On this point they quote1 :—
The Soul, the source of all
32. From Him, indeed, [who is] in the soul (ātman) come forth all breathing creatures, all worlds, all the Vedas, all gods, all beings. The mystic meaning (upaniṣad) thereof is: The Real of the real.2
Now, as from a fire, laid with damp fuel, clouds of smoke separately issue forth; so, lo verily, from this great Being (bhūta) has been breathed forth that which is Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sāma-Veda, [Hymns of] the Atharvans and Aṅgirases, Legend (itihāsa), Ancient Lore (purāṇa), Sciences (vidyā), Mystic Doctrines (upaniṣad), Verses (śloka), Aphorisms (sūtra), Explanations (anuvyākhyāna), and Commentaries (vyākhyāna). From It, indeed, all beings here [were breathed forth].’3
The mystical significance of the three fires in the religious sacrifice4
33. Verily, this [Gārhapatya] sacrificial fire with its five bricks is the year. For that [fire] the bricks are these: spring, summer, the rains, autumn, winter. So it has a head, two wings, a back, and a tail. In the case of one who knows the Person this sacrificial fire is the earth, Prajāpati’s first sacrificial pile. With its hands it raises the sacrificer up to the atmosphere, and offers him to Vāyu (the Wind). Verily, the wind is breath.
Verily, breath (prāṇa) is a sacrificial fire [i.e. the second, the Dakshiṇa fire]. For that the bricks are these: the Prāṇa breath, the Vyāna breath, the Apāna breath, the Samāna breath, the Udāna breath. So it has a head, two wings, a back, and a tail. In the case of one who knows the Person this sacrificial fire is the atmosphere, Prajāpati’s second sacrificial pile. With its hands it raises the sacrificer up to the sky, and offers him to Indra. Verily, Indra is yonder sun.
He [Indra] is this [third, the Āhavanīya] fire. For that the bricks are these: the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sāma-Veda, [the Hymns of] the Atharvans and Aṅgirases [i.e. the Atharva-Veda], Legend (itihāsa), and Ancient Lore (purāṇa). So it has a head, two wings, a back, and a tail. In the case of one who knows the Person this sacrificial fire is that sky, Prajāpati’s third sacrificial pile. With its hands it makes a present of the sacrificer to the Knower of Ātman (the Soul).1 Then the Knower of Ātman raises him up and offers him to Brahma. There he becomes blissful, joyful.
One’s own digestion to be attended to, as a compend of cosmic sacrificial fires
34. The Gārhapatya fire is the earth. The Dakshiṇa fire is the atmosphere. The Āhavanīya fire is the sky. Hence they are [called] ‘Purifying’ (pavamāna), ‘Purifier’ (pāvaka), and ‘Pure’ (śuci).2 Thereby one’s sacrifice is made manifest.
Since the digestive fire also is a combination of ‘Purifying,’ ‘Purifier,’ and ‘Pure,’ therefore this fire should be worshiped with oblations, should be built up, should be praised, should be meditated upon.
The Self intended in religious sacrifices and verses
The sacrificer, when he takes the sacrificial butter, seeks meditation upon divinity thus:—
And thus too one discerns the meaning of the sacred verse (mantra).1 ‘That desirable splendor of Savitṛi’ should be meditated upon as [the desirable splendor] of Him who is the meditator abiding in the intellect. Here in the world one reaches the place of tranquillity for the mind; he places it in the Self (Ātman) indeed.
Liberation in the control of one’s thoughts
On this point there are these verses:—
Both sacrifice and meditative knowledge needed
Hence, for those who do not perform the Agnihotra sacrifice, who do not build up the fire, who do not know, who do not meditate, the recollection of the heavenly abode of Brahma is obstructed. Therefore, the fire should be worshiped with oblations, should be built up, should be praised, should be meditated upon.
Brahma, transcending all fragmentary manifestations, the supreme object of worship
35. Adoration to Agni (Fire), who dwells in the earth, who remembers the world!2 Bestow the world upon this worshiper!
Adoration to Vāyu (Wind), who dwells in the atmosphere, who remembers the world! Bestow the world upon this worshiper!
Adoration to Āditya (Sun), who dwells in heaven, who remembers the world! Bestow the world upon this worshiper!3
Adoration to Brahma, who dwells in all, who remembers all! Bestow all upon this worshiper!
He who is yonder, yonder Person in the sun—I myself am he.
Verily, that which is the sunhood of the sun is the Eternal Real. That is the pure, the personal, the sexless (a-liṅga).
Of the bright power that pervades the sky (nabhas) it is only a portion which is, as it were, in the midst of the sun, in the eye, and in fire. That is Brahma. That is the Immortal. That is Splendor. That is the Eternal Real.
Of the bright power that pervades the sky it is only a portion which is the nectar in the midst of the sun, of which, too, the moon (Soma) and breathing spirits (prāṇa) are only sprouts. That is Brahma. That is the Immortal. That is Splendor. That is the Eternal Real.
Of the bright power that pervades the sky it is only a portion which shines as the Yajur-Veda2 in the midst of the sun. That is Om, water, light, essence—the immortal Brahma! Bhūr! Bhuvas! Svar! Om!
Of the bright power that pervades the sky it is only a portion which, rising in the midst of the sun, becomes the two light-rays. That is the knower of unity, the Eternal Real. That is the Yajur-Veda. That is heat. That is fire. That is wind. That is breath. That is water. That is the moon. That is the bright. That is the immortal. That is the realm of Brahma. That is the ocean of light. In It, indeed, worshipers become dissolved like the lump of salt.1 That, verily, is the Brahma-unity, for therein all desires are contained.2 On this point they quote:—
Transitory worshipers of the gods, and terminating knowers of real unity
Sacrifice to the two forms of Brahma, in space and in one’s own self
36. Assuredly, indeed, of the light-Brahma there are these two forms: one, the Tranquil (śānta); and the other, the Abounding.
Now, of that which is the Tranquil, space (kha) is the support. And of that which is the Abounding, food here is the support.
Therefore one should offer sacrifice in the sacrificial space (vedi) with sacred verses (mantra), herbs, ghee, flesh, sacrificial cakes, boiled rice, and the like, and also—regarding the mouth as the Āhavanīya fire—with food and drink cast (avasṛṣṭa) in the mouth, for the sake of an abundance of vigor, for the winning of the holy (puṇya) world, and for immortality.
On this point they quote: ‘One who is desirous of heaven (svarga) should offer the Agnihotra sacrifice. One wins the realm of Yama with the Agnishṭoma sacrifice, the realm of the moon (Soma) with the Uktha, the realm of the sun (sūrya) with the Shoḍaśin (the sixteen-day sacrifice), an independent realm with the Atirātra sacrifice, that of the Lord of Creation (Prajāpati) with the sacrifice which continues to the end of a thousand years.’
The Inner Soul in the material world furnishes the individual’s and the sun’s existence
The offering of food passes through fire to the sun and back into life
37. Therefore, one should reverence with Om that unlimited bright power. This has been manifested in threefold wise: in fire, in the sun, and in the breath of life.
Now, the channel [which is between them] causes the abundance of food that has been offered in this fire to go unto the sun. The moisture which flows therefrom rains down like a chant (Udgītha). Thereby living creatures here exist. From living creatures come offspring.
On this point they quote: ‘The oblation which has been offered in the fire it causes to go unto the sun. The sun rains that down with its rays. Thereby arises food; from food, the production of beings.’
For thus has it been said:—
The course to the ultimate Brahma even here in the body
38. He who performs the Agnihotra sacrifice rends the net of eager desire (lobha).
Thence, having cut off confusion (sammoha), he no longer approves of anger.
Meditating upon desire, he then cuts through the fourfold sheath1 of Brahma.
Thence he goes to the highest ether. There, truly, having cut through the spheres of the sun, of the moon, of fire, and of Pure Being, himself being purified (śuddha), he sees the Intelligence (caitanya) which abides within Pure Being (sattva), immovable, immortal, unshaken, enduring, named Vishṇu,2 the ultimate abode, endowed with true desires and with omniscience, independent, which stands in its own greatness. On this point they quote:—
Having meditated upon him who is of the measure of a thumb or of a span within the body, more subtile than the subtile, then one goes to the supreme condition; for therein all desires are contained.3 On this point they quote:—
Om! Adoration to Brahma! yea, adoration!
The Soul (Ātman) as the world-sun, and its rays4
1. Agni, the Gāyatrī meter, the Trivṛit hymn, the Rathantara chant, the spring season, the Prāṇa breath, the stars, the Vasu gods, issue forth to the east; they shine, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and peer through an opening.
He is unthinkable, formless, unfathomable, concealed, unimpeachable, compact, inpenetrable, devoid of Qualities, pure, brilliant, enjoying Qualities (guṇa), fearful, unproduced, a master Yogī, omniscient, munificent, immeasurable, without beginning or end, illustrious, unborn, intelligent, indescribable, the creator of all, the soul (ātman) of all, the enjoyer of all, the lord of all, the inmost being of everything.
2. Indra, the Trishṭubh meter, the Pañcadaśa hymn, the Bṛihad chant, the summer season, the Vyāna breath, the moon, the Rudra gods, issue forth to the south. They shine, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and peer through an opening.
He is without beginning or end, unmeasured, unlimited, not to be moved by another, independent, devoid of marks, formless, of endless power, the creator, the enlightener.
3. The Maruts, the Jagatī meter, the Saptadaśa hymn, the Vairūpa chant, the rainy season, the Apāna breath, the planet Venus, the Āditya gods, issue forth to the west. They shine, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and peer through an opening.
That is tranquil, soundless, fearless, sorrowless, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, immovable, immortal, enduring, named Vishṇu (the Pervader),1 the ultimate abode.
4. The Viśvadevas, the Anushṭubh meter, the Ekaviṁśa hymn, the Vairāja chant, the autumn season, the Samāna breath, Varuṇa, the Sādhya gods, issue forth to the north. They shine, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and peer through an opening.
He is pure within, clean, void, tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless.
5. Mitra and Varuṇa, the Paṅkti meter, the Triṇava and Trayastriṁśa hymns, the Śākvara and Raivata chants, the winter and the dewy seasons,2 the Udāna breath, the Aṅgirases, the moon, issue forth above. They shine, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and peer through an opening.
. . . Him who is called Om, a leader, brilliant, sleepless, ageless, deathless, sorrowless.1
6. Śani (Saturn), Rāhu (the Dragon’s Head), Ketu (the Dragon’s Tail), serpents, the Rākshasas (ogres), the Yakshas (sprites), men, birds, deer, elephants, and the like issue forth below. They shine, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and peer through an opening.
. . . . He who is intelligent, the avenger, within all, imperishable, pure, clean, shining, patient, tranquil.
The one unlimited Soul (Ātman) of the whole world
7. He, truly, indeed, is the Self (Ātman) within the heart, very subtile, kindled like fire, assuming all forms. This whole world is his food. On Him creatures here are woven.2
He is the Self which is free from evil, ageless, deathless, sorrowless, free from uncertainty, free from fetters,3 whose conception is the Real, whose desire is the Real. He is the supreme Lord. He is the ruler of beings. He is the protector of beings. He is the separating bridge [or dam, setu].4
This Soul (Ātman), assuredly, indeed, is Īśāna (Lord), Śambhu (the Beneficent), Bhava (the Existent), Rudra (the Terrible), Prajāpati (Lord of Creation), Viśvasṛij (Creator of All), Hiraṇyagarbha (Golden Germ), Truth (satya), Life (prāṇa), Spirit (haṁsa), Śāstṛi (Punisher, or Commander, or Teacher), the Unshaken, Vishṇu (Pervader), Nārāyaṇa (Son of Man).5
He who is in the fire, and he who is here in the heart, and he who is yonder in the sun—he is one.6
To Thee who art this, the all-formed, hidden in the real ether, be adoration!
Warnings against the disorderly and against false teachers
8. Now then, the hindrances to knowledge, O king.
Verily, the source of the net of delusion (moha) is the fact of the association of one who is worthy of heaven with those who are not worthy of heaven. That is it. Although a grove is said to be before them, they cling to a low shrub.
Now, there are some who are continually hilarious, continually abroad, continually begging, continually living upon handicraft.
And moreover, there are others who are town-beggars, who perform the sacrifice for the unworthy, who are disciples of Śūdras, and who, though Śūdras, know the Scriptures (śāstra).
And moreover, there are others, who are rogues, who wear their hair in a twisted knot, who are dancers, mercenaries, religious mendicants, actors, renegades in the royal service, and the like.
And moreover, there are others who say ‘For a price we allay [the evil influences] of Yakshas (sprites), Rākshasas (ogres), Bhūtas (ghosts), spirit-bands, goblins, serpents, vampires, and the like.’
And moreover, there are others who falsely wear the red robe, ear-rings, and skulls.
And moreover, there are others who love to be a stumbling-block among believers in the Vedas by the stratagem of deceptive arguments in a circle, and false and illogical examples.
With these one should not associate. Verily, these creatures are evidently robbers, unfit for heaven. For thus has it been said:—
Warning against ignorance and perverted doctrine
9. Verily, Bṛihaspati [the teacher of the gods] became Śukra [the teacher of the Asuras], and for the security of Indra created this ignorance (avidyā) for the destruction of the Asuras (devils).1
By this [ignorance] men declare that the inauspicious is auspicious, and that the auspicious is inauspicious. They say that there should be attention to law (dharma) which is destructive of the Veda and of other Scriptures (śāstra). Hence, one should not attend to this [teaching]. It is false. It is like a barren woman. Mere pleasure is the fruit thereof, as also of one who deviates from the proper course. It should not be entered upon. For thus has it been said2 :—
Warning against devilish, false, non-Vedic doctrine
10. Verily, the gods and the devils (Asuras), being desirous of the Self (Ātman), came into the presence of Brahma. They did obeisance to him and said: ‘Sir, we are desirous of the Self (Ātman). So, do you tell us.’
Then, meditating long, he thought to himself: ‘Verily, these devils are desirous of a Self (Ātman) different [from the true one].’ Therefore a very different doctrine was told to them.
Upon that fools here live their life with intense attachment, destroying the saving raft and praising what is false. They see the false as if it were true, as in jugglery.
Hence, what is set forth in the Vedas—that is true! Upon what is told in the Vedas—upon that wise men live their life. Therefore a Brahman (brāhmaṇa) should not study what is non-Vedic. This should be the purpose.
The bright Brahma in the heart, stirred into all-pervading manifestation by meditation on ‘Om’
11. Assuredly, the nature of the ether within the space [of the heart] is the same as the supreme bright power. This has been manifested in threefold wise: in fire, in the sun, and in the breath of life.1
Verily, the nature of the ether within the space [of the heart] is the same as the syllable Om.
With this [syllable], indeed, that [bright power] is raised up from the depths, goes upwards, and is breathed forth. Verily, therein is a perpetual support for meditation upon Brahma.
In the stirring up, that [bright power] has its place in the heat that casts forth light. In the stirring up, that is like [the action] of smoke; it rises up into a great tree in the sky, issuing forth into one branch after another.
That is like the casting forth of salt into water, like the heat in melted butter, like the range [of the thought] of a meditator [i. e. all-pervading].
On this point they quote: ‘Now, wherefore is it said to be like lightning? Because in the very moment of going forth it lights up the whole body.’
Therefore, one should reverence with Om that unlimited bright power.2
The persons in the eyes, and their abode in the heart
The utterance of the various sounds of the alphabet, produced by breath started from the mind
(5) As stirred in heart by means of fire of friction,
Less is it than the least; in throat, is doubled;
And know that on the tongue-tip it is trebled;
Come forth, it is the alphabet!—They say thus.
The true seer of the All beyond all evil
The larger self found in the superconscious; but a purposeful duality in the Self
[1 ]Or the meaning may be: ‘The building up of the previous [sacrificial fires, described in the antecedent Maitrāyaṇī Saṁhitā,] was verily a sacrifice to Brahma.’
[2 ]The commentator Rāmatīrtha supplies ‘years.’
[1 ]The particular course of instruction here begun continues through 6. 28.
[2 ]Chānd. 8. 3. 4.
[3 ]Śākāyanya’s report of this conversation between the Vālakhilyas and Prajāpati continues to the end of 4. 6.
[1 ]The Sanskrit word viśva, the ordinary word for ‘everyone,’ is doubtless used here in its individual, as well as in its collective, reference.
[1 ]According to the commentator, the Prāṇa and Apāna breaths are here compared to the two vessels, Upāṁśu and Antaryāma, which stand on either side of the central altar at the Soma sacrifice; and a person is compared to the heat produced between the two.
[2 ]Bṛih. 5. 9. A similar idea is found in Chānd. 3. 13. 8.
[4 ]Repeated from Chānd. 3. 14. 2.
[1 ]This is probably the earliest occurrence of the word in Sanskrit literature. For an exposition of the doctrine, consult Garbe’s Die Samkhya-Philosophie, pp. 236-239.
[2 ]That is, it is unaffected; for the simile see Chānd. 4. 14. 3.
[3 ]So again in Mānava Dharma Śāstra 12. 12.
[1 ]Referring either, as in 6. 28 and again in 6. 38, to the doctrine of the four sheaths (kośa), namely food, breath, mind, and knowledge (the same characteristics of four different selves are mentioned in Tait. 2. 1-4), or, according to the Scholiast, to the four forms of animal life, characterized as born alive, born from an egg, born from moisture, born from a germ (Ait. 5. 3).
[2 ]Referring to the fourteen classes of beings, Sānkhya-Kārikā 53, or to the fourteen worlds of the Vedāntasāra 129—so Deussen interprets.
[3 ]Meaning probably merely ‘very many.’
[4 ]That is, in the womb.
[1 ]For the same metaphor of the individual soul riding in the body as in a vehicle see above, 2. 3. and 2. 6; also Kaṭha 3. 3.
[2 ]If instead of abhivādī the reading should be ativādī, as in Chānd. 7. 15. 4. and Muṇḍ. 3. 1. 4, then the translation would be: ‘You are a superior speaker! You are a superior speaker!’
[3 ]Note the three triads: an old Vedic trinity, three principles speculated about as philosophic causes, and the famous Brahmanic trinity.
[4 ]Chānd. 3. 14. 1.
[5 ]This evidently is the end of the conversation, begun in 2. 3, between the Vālakhilyas and Prajāpati, as derived by tradition from Maitri and narrated by Śākāyanya to King Bṛihadratha. The remainder of the Upanishad up to 6. 29 is supposedly a continuation of Śākāyanya’s long discourse; but without a doubt it consists of several supplements, as even the commentator explains with regard to the Sixth and Seventh Prapāṭhakas.
[1 ]‘Individuality’ is the precise modern technical philosophical term for the indefinite word viśva, which means simply ‘everyone.’
[2 ]In 2. 5.
[1 ]That is to say, waking and sleeping are correlated with day and night.
[2 ]Thus far the quotation may be found in Chānd. 1. 6. 6.
[1 ]Namely, bhūr, bhuvas, and svar.
[2 ]A repeated phrase, Bṛih. 2. 3. 1.
[3 ]A statement regarding primeval being occurring in Bṛih. 1. 2. 3.
[4 ]‘Across Him,’ i. e. reading asminn iti instead of asmīti. The main statement is a stereotyped formula, used repeatedly in Bṛih. 3. 6.
[5 ]Quoted from Chānd. 1. 5. 1.
[6 ]According to the commentator, referring to the three conditions of waking, dreaming, and profound slumber.
[7 ]That is, a + u + m.
[8 ]Embracing the five breaths, Prāṇa, Apāna, Vyāna, Samāna, Udāna.
[9 ]RV. 10. 90. 3-4.
[1 ]Cf. Kaṭha 6. 1 for the eternal fig-tree with its root above and its branches below.
[2 ]This stanza is quoted from Kaṭha 2. 16 with certain verbal changes.
[3 ]In Praśna 5. 2.
[1 ]RV. 3. 62. 10.
[2 ]The original meaning of dhīmahi is more likely to have been ‘obtain,’ from √dhā, although it is possible to derive the form from √dhī, ‘to meditate upon,’ as here interpreted.
[1 ]Of the Soma juice in the sacrifices to the sun.
[2 ]Cf. Praśna 4. 9 for a similar list.
[3 ]Cf. Bṛih. 2. 4. 14 for this same theory of knowledge.
[4 ]That is, implying both a subject which knows and an object which is known.
[1 ]The paragraph up to this point recurs later in 7. 7.
[2 ]Or, according to a different exegesis, jātavedasam may mean ‘all-finding.’
[3 ]This stanza = Praśna 1. 8.
[1 ]By taking a sip into the mouth. On the whole procedure of this ritual cf. Chānd. 5. 2. 2-5 and 5. 19-24.
[2 ]That is, is not reborn, and is not eaten again by others.
[1 ]Of nature through intellect, mind, thought, self-consciousness, the five organs of sense-perception, and the five organs of action.
[2 ]That is, in interaction with the correlated objects in Nature.
[3 ]So intimated in Bṛih. 1. 4. 6.
[4 ]By knowing this fact about fire he becomes identified with fire and so, like fire, is not defiled by the impurities of the food eaten.
[1 ]The quotation is made loosely from Chānd. 7. 9. 1.
[2 ]In Tait. 2. 2.
[3 ]Literally: ‘When sprinkled with food, living beings here cook [it].’
[1 ]In Tait. 2. 2.
[2 ]That is, from June up to December.
[3 ]A twelfth part of the twenty-seven asterisms through which the sun moves in the course of the year is two and a quarter, or nine quarters.
[1 ]The sun: etymologically, the Begetter.
[2 ]Quoted from Chānd. 3. 19. 1.
[1 ]A phrase from Chānd. 3. 14. 2 and Kaush. 2. 14.
[2 ]The first three lines of this stanza = Muṇḍ. 3. 1. 3 a, b, c.
[1 ]Described in Māṇḍ. 7. On the term turya see p. 392, note 11.
[1 ]So described, but not so designated, in Chānd. 8. 6. 6 and Kaṭha 6. 16. Hinted at also in Tait. 1. 6 and Praśna 3. 7.
[1 ]Cf. Chānd. 6. 9. 1-2.
[2 ]For another parable of a bow and arrow in mystical meditation see Munḍ. 2. 2. 3-4.
[1 ]‘Called Om . . . deathless’ is a stereotyped expression from 6. 4.
[2 ]That is, Brahma-Ātman, which is designated by this same epithet at Śvet. 3. 10.
[1 ]That is, because it manifests the presence of heat.
[2 ]As in Muṇḍ. 2. 2. 1 a: ‘manifest, [yet] hidden.’
[3 ]—and is not overcome.
[1 ]Consisting, according to the commentator, of food, breath, mind, and understanding, as in Tait. 2. 1-4. The same exhortation recurs below in 6. 38.
[2 ]The words ‘pure, clean . . . greatness’ are repeated from 2. 4.
[3 ]That is, to Bṛihadratha, concluding the conversation begun at 1. 2 and the course of instruction begun at 2. 1.
[1 ]The Vālakhilyas (according to the commentator Rāmatīrtha), who at 2. 3 are described as having come to Prajāpati for this knowledge.
[2 ]This same prohibition is imposed near the end of two previous Upanishads, namely at Bṛih. 6. 3. 12 and at Śvet. 6. 22.
[3 ]As directed at 6. 9.
[1 ]This paragraph has already occurred in Bṛih. 1. 5. 3.
[2 ]The paragraph up to this point has already occurred above at 3. 2.
[3 ]These two sentences have already occurred in this same section.
[4 ]The last clause of this sentence has already occurred in Chānd. 8. 1. 5.
[5 ]Kaṭha 6. 10.
[6 ]The last line of this stanza recurs at BhG. 8. 21 b.
[7 ]Compare Chānd. 8. 6. 6.
[1 ]Rāmatīrtha, the commentator, explains this as:—of re-creation for the man who does not worship the sun; of heaven [with temporary enjoyment] for the man who worships the sun as a divinity; of final cessation of rebirth for the man who worships the sun as Brahma-Ātman.
[2 ]As in 2. 4 and in 6. 28.
[3 ]As in 6. 27.
[4 ]As in Bṛih. 4. 4. 18 and Kena 2.
[5 ]As in Ait. 5. 2.
[1 ]Already quoted in 6. 26.
[2 ]Most of this paragraph is repeated from Bṛih. 2. 1. 20 with the addition of the words ‘all the Vedas.’
[3 ]This paragraph is repeated from Bṛih. 2. 4. 10 with slight variation.
[4 ]The three fires which are used in the religious sacrifice are interpreted to represent the three successive sacrificial piles which were erected by the Lord of Creation in the cosmos, namely the earth, the atmosphere, and the sky. The power which rules in each of these world-regions, namely the year, the wind, and the sun, successively elevates the sacrificer to the next superior, finally to the supreme Brahma.
[1 ]That is, to Prajāpati.
[2 ]Epithets of three oblations offered in the fire at a sacrifice; so, by transference, applied, as epithets, to the fire itself.
[1 ]In RV. 3. 62. 10.
[2 ]This same great truth, of the character-making power of thought, is expressed also in the Buddhist scripture, Dhammapāda 1. 1, 2.
[3 ]This quatrain has already occurred in 6. 20.
[1 ]Or perhaps ‘an extension of the knots [that bind the soul].’
[2 ]According to the reading of the text, lokasmṛte. Or, with the reading lokasprte of TS. 7. 5. 24. 1, ‘who protects the world.’
[3 ]These same three invocations occur, with the variation ‘who protects the world,’ in TS. 7. 5. 24. 1.
[1 ]These lines and the following phrase occur with slight variations in Īśā 15, 16 and Brih. 5. 15. 1.
[2 ]Regarded as the highest of the Vedas, for it is the one to which this Maitri Upanishad is attached.
[1 ]For the simile see Bṛih. 2. 4. 12.
[2 ]The last clause has already occurred in Chānd. 8. 1. 5 and Maitri 6. 30, and recurs again in 6. 38.
[1 ]This same stanza occurs also in Mānava Dharma Śāstra 3. 76.
[1 ]Composed of food, breath, mind, and understanding—according to Tait. 2. 1. 4. This same exhortation has occurred in 6. 28.
[2 ]The words ‘immovable . . . Vishṇu’ are repeated from 6. 23.
[3 ]The last clause is repeated from 6. 30 and 6. 35.
[4 ]An analytic and philosophic statement of the contents of this section, 1-6, would be:—
[1 ]The sentence up to this point is repeated from 6. 23.
[2 ]The winter season (hemanta) in India is reckoned to last about two months, from the middle of November to the middle of January; the dewy season (śiśira) about two months, from the middle of January to the middle of March.
[1 ]A description repeated from 6. 4 and also 6. 25.
[2 ]For the same metaphor of warp and woof see Bṛih. 3. 6 and 3. 8.
[3 ]Reading vipāśaḥ.
[4 ]This same metaphor occurs at Bṛih. 4. 4. 22 and Chānd. 8. 4. 1.
[5 ]This entire paragraph is repeated from 6. 8 with the addition of the epithet ‘the Unshaken.’
[6 ]The sentence is repeated from 6. 17.
[1 ]Reading vedāvidyāntaram.
[1 ]Compare the instruction of Indra, the representative of the gods, and Virocana, the representative of the devils, by Prajāpati in Chānd. 8. 7. ff.
[2 ]In Kaṭha 2. 4.
[3 ]This quatrain = Īśā 11.
[4 ]This stanza is repeated from Kaṭha 2. 5 and Muṇḍ. 1. 2. 8 with slight variation.
[1 ]The words ‘bright power . . . breath of life’ are repeated from 6. 37.
[2 ]This sentence is repeated from 6. 37.
[3 ]For this same thought see Bṛih. 4. 2. 3.
[1 ]The well-known uṣman.
[2 ]This stanza is repeated with slight verbal variation from Chānd. 7. 26. 2.
[3 ]A re-assertion in somewhat different form of the thought of RV. 10. 90. 3, 4 namely, that one quarter of Brahma exists in the actual and that three quarters constitute the eternal part of existence.