Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECOND PRAPĀṬHAKA - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
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SECOND PRAPĀṬHAKA - 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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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!”
[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.