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Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Translated by Charles Johnston

Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad

PART I, SECTIONS 1-3

BUILDING THE COSMOS

THREE PARABLES OF THE COSMOS

I

Dawn is the head of the Horse consecrated for sacrifice; the sun is the eye; the wind is the life-breath; the open mouth is the fire common to all men; the circling year is the self, the body, of the Horse consecrated for sacrifice; the over-arching heaven is the back; the midworld is the interior; the earth is the underparts; the directions of space are the two sides; the intermediate directions are the ribs; the seasons are the limbs; the months and the lunar fortnights are the joints; the days and nights are the foothold, the feet; the stellar mansions are the bones; the clouds are the muscles; the half-digested food is the sand; the rivers are the entrails; the liver and lungs are the mountains; plants and trees, lords of the forest, are the hair and mane; the ascending sun is the foreparts; the descending sun is the hindparts; when he yawns, that is the lightning; when he shakes himself, that is thunder; when water descends, that is rain; his voice, verily, is the Voice.

Day was born as the sacrificial vessel before the Horse; the place from which it is born is in the eastern ocean; night was born as the sacrificial vessel behind; the place from which it is born is in the western ocean; these two, verily, came into being about the Horse as the two sacrificial vessels. As a charger he carried the Devas, the Bright Powers; as a steed he carried the Gandharvas, the Celestial Choristers; as a courser he carried the Asuras. the Dark Powers; as a horse he carried men. The Great Deep, verily, is his kin; in the Great Deep is the place of his birth.

II

Naught, verily, was here in the beginning; by Death was this enveloped; by Hunger, for Hunger is Death. He made the thought: “May I become possessed of a self, a body!” He advanced, singing praises. From him, singing praises, the Waters of space were born.

For me, singing praises, radiant joy came into being,” said He. This, verily, is the radiant being of radiance; radiant joy comes into being for him who thus knows this radiant being of radiance.

The Waters of space, verily, were the radiance; that which was the foam of the Waters curdled and coagulated; that became Earth. On that He made a mighty effort; the fervour and essence of Him, thus effortful, fervid, was manifested as Fire.

This Fire separated itself threefold: the Sun is a third part; the Air of the midspace is a third part; Fire here is a third part. Therefore this Life-breath is disposed threefold. The eastern direction is the head; on this and that side of it are the forequarters. The western direction is the tail; on this and that side of it are the hindquarters. South and north are the flanks. The over-arching heaven is the back. The midworld is the interior. This forms the underparts. So He is firmly established in the Waters of space. Knowing thus, he is firmly established, whithersoever he goes.

He desired, saying: “Would that a second self of me might be born!” Through thought He united himself with Voice, He who is Hunger, He who is Death. That which was the seed of being became the circling year. Before that, the circling year was not. He bore him for a period of time equal to the circling year. At the end of a period equal to the circling year, He brought him into manifestation. He approached him, thus born, with open mouth; as if in fear, he uttered a cry; this became Voice.

He beholding said : “If I shall design anything against him, I shall make the world-food less!” Through that Voice, through that self, He brought into manifestation all this, whatsoever exists here, as the Rig verses, the Yajur formulas, the Sama chants, the hymns, sacrifices, living beings, animals. Whatsoever He brought into manifestation, all that He began to consume. He is the eater of all; this is the consuming power of the boundless Being. He becomes the eater of all this, all becomes food for him, who thus knows the consuming power of boundless Being.

He desired, saying: “With a further sacrifice let me sacrifice further!” He made a mighty effort, He brooded with fervour; from Him, thus effortful, fervid, brilliance, valour went forth. The life-breaths, verily, are brilliance, valour; as the life-breaths went forth, the body began to expand. His body, verily, was Mind.

He desired, saying: “May this body of mine be consecrated for sacrifice! May I become possessed of a self through this!” Thereupon the Horse came into being, because this expanded. This was consecrated for sacrifice. This is the sacrificial character of the Horse consecrated for sacrifice. He truly understands the sacrifice of the Horse, who knows it thus. He held him in thought, not confining him. At the end of the year, he took him for sacrifice. The animals he delivered to the Bright Powers. Therefore the sacrifice to the Lord of beings is offered to all the Bright Powers. He who is fervent is as the sacrifice of the Horse; the circling year is his self, his body. This fire is the radiance, these worlds are its selves, its bodies. There are these two, this radiance and the sacrifice of the Horse, yet they are one Divinity, Death. He overcomes the second death, nor does Death gain him; Death becomes his body, he becomes one of these divinities, who thus knows.

III

These two were derived from the Lord of Beings: the Devas, Bright Powers, and the Asuras, Dark Powers. Of them, the Devas were younger, the Asuras were elder. In these worlds they strove against each other.

The Devas said: “Come, let us prevail against the Asuras in the sacrifice through the great Chant!” They said to Voice: “Do thou sing for us the great Chant!” “So be it!” said Voice. Voice sang for them the great Chant. Whatever delight there is in voice, that it sang for the Devas; whatever of beauty one speaks, that is for self. The others knew, “By this singer they will prevail against us!” Running to attack it, they pierced it with evil. This evil is whatever one speaks that is unseemly; this is the evil.

So they said to the forward Breath: “Do thou sing for us the great Chant!” “So be it!” said the forward Breath. The forward Breath sang for them the great Chant. Whatever delight there is in the forward Breath, that it sang for the Devas; whatever of beauty one breathes, that is for self. The others knew, “By this singer they will prevail against us!” Running to attack it, they pierced it with evil. This evil is whatever one breathes that is unseemly; this is the evil.

So they said to Vision: “Do thou sing for us the great Chant!” “So be it!” said Vision. Vision sang for them the great Chant. Whatever delight there is in vision, that it sang for the Devas; whatever of beauty one sees, that is for self. The others knew, “By this singer they will prevail against us!” Running to attack it, they pierced it with evil. This evil is whatever one sees that is unseemly; this is the evil.

So thy said to Hearing: “Do thou sing for us the great Chant!” “So be it!” said Hearing. Hearing sang for them the great Chant. Whatever delight there is in bearing, that it sang for the Devas; whatever of beauty one hears, that is for self. The others knew, “By this singer they will prevail against us!” Running to attack it, they pierced it with evil. This evil is whatever one bears that is unseemly; this is the evil.

So they said to Mind: “Do thou sing for us the great Chant!” “So be it!” said Mind. Mind sang for them the great Chant. Whatever delight there is in mind, that it sang for the Devas; whatever of beauty one imagines and wills, that is for self. The others knew, “By this singer they will prevail against us!” Running to attack it, they pierced it with evil. This evil is whatever one imagines and wills that is unseemly; this is the evil.

So they said to the principal Life-breath: “Do thou sing for us the great Chant!” “So be it!” said the principal Life-breath. This Life-breath sang for them the great Chant. The others knew, “By this singer they will prevail against us!” Running to attack it, they strove to pierce it with evil. Then, as a clod striking a stone would be shattered, they were shattered in all directions, and were destroyed. Therefore the Devas prevailed over the Asuras. Through the Self he who thus knows, prevails over the hated enemy.

Then they said: “In what was be who thus adhered to us? It is he who is in the inner being, he who is called Ayasya Angirasa, that is, the essence of the powers.”

So that divinity is named Far, for far from it is Death; far from him is death, who thus knows. So that divinity, striking off evil, death, from these divinities, caused evil to go thither, where is the end of the spaces. There it set down their evils. Therefore, let him not go to the abode, to the end. Let me not meet with evil, with death.

So that divinity, striking off evil, death, from these divinities, carried them beyond death. It carried Voice over first. When it was delivered from death, it became Fire. This Fire, transcending death, shines. It carried over the forward Breath. When it was delivered from death, it became Wind. This Wind, transcending death, purifies. It carried Vision across. When it was delivered from death, it became Sun. This Sun, transcending death, enkindles. It carried Hearing across. When it was delivered from death, it became the Spaces. These Spaces transcend death. It carried Mind across. When it was delivered from death, it became Moon. This Moon, transcending death, gives light. Thus, verily, that divinity carries him beyond death, who thus knows.

So the principal Life-breath sang for itself food. Whatever food is eaten, by this is it eaten; here he is established. The Devas said: “So great is all this, as food; this for thyself thou hast sung. Do thou make us to be partakers in this food!” “Do ye then enter altogether into me!” “So be it!” They entered him completely from all sides. Therefore, whatever food one eats through this, by it all these are satisfied.

Thus, verily, his own all enter into him, he becomes a supporter of his own, best, foremost leader, overlord, who thus knows. He who, among his own, seeks to withstand him who thus knows, such a one does not suffice for those whom he should support; but he who follows him, and, following him, seeks to support those whom he should support, such a one suffices for those whom he should support.

So this, called Ayasya Angirasa, is the essence of the powers; the Life-breath is the essence of the powers. Since the Life-breath is the essence of the powers, from whichever of the powers the Life-breath departs, that, verily, dries up, for this is the essence of the powers. This is also Brihaspati; for Voice is Brihati, and this is her lord; therefore, he is Brihaspati. This is also Brahmanaspati; for Voice is Brahma, the spirit of the Eternal, and this is her lord; therefore, he is Brahmanaspati.

This is also the Sama chant, for Voice, verily, is the Sama. This is Sa and Ama, She and He; this is the Sama character of the Sama. Or it is because it is equal to a midge, equal to a fly, equal to an elephant, equal to these three worlds, equal to all that is, therefore, it is the Sama. He attains unity of being, unity of place, with the Sama, who knows this Sama thus. It is also the great Chant. The Life-breath is great, for by the Life-breath all this is upheld. And Voice, verily, is the Chant; thus these make up the great Chant.

Therefore, Brahmadatta, grandson of Chikitana, when he was making the offering of King Soma, said: “May King Soma cause this man’s head to fall off, if Ayasya Angirasa sang the great Chant by any other means; by Voice, verily, and by the Life-breath he sang it!”

He who knows the essence of this Sama chant, possesses that essence. The tone is the essence. Therefore, let him who is about to offer the sacrifice, seek for the tone in Voice; with that Voice endowed with tone let him offer the sacrifice. Therefore, at the sacrifice, they wish to see one possessing the tone, one who possesses the essence. He possesses the essence, who thus knows the essence of the Sama chant.

He who knows the golden quality of this Sama chant, possesses gold, for the tone is the golden quality; he possesses gold, who thus knows the golden quality of the Sama chant.

He who knows the foothold of this Sama chant, he, verily, stands firm. Voice, verily, is the foothold, for in Voice this Life-breath is established. But some say it is set firm in food.

Then the offering of the invocations which purify. The celebrant sings the Sama chant; when be sings, let him (for whom the sacrifice is offered) murmur these sentences:

Cause me to go from the Unreal to the Real!

Cause me to go from Darkness to Light!

Cause me to go from Death to the Immortal!

When be says, “Cause me to go from the Unreal to the Real,” Death, verily, is the Unreal, the Real is the Immortal. “Cause me to go from Death to the Immortal! Make me immortal!” This he says. “Cause me to go from Darkness to Light!” Death is Darkness, the Light is the Immortal. “Cause me to go from Death to the Immortal! Make me immortal!” This he says. “Cause me to go from Death to the Immortal!” There is no obscurity in this. So whatever other praises there are, in these he may win food for the self. In them let him choose a wish, whatever desire he may desire. The celebrant who knows thus, whatever desire he may desire, whether for himself or for him who offers the sacrifice, that he wins. This is world-winning. Nor is there any prospect that he will not win that world, who thus knows this Sama chant.

 

PART I. SECTIONS 4-6

BUILDING THE COSMOS

PARABLES OF THE COSMOS

IV

Atma, Supreme Self, verily, was here in the beginning, having the form of Purusha. He, looking this way and that, saw naught but himself. “This am I,” he declared in the beginning. Thence the name “I” came into being. Therefore, even now, he who is addressed. first saying, “It is I,” then declares his other name, whatever it be. Because he had before (purva) consumed (ush) all sin and darkness from all this, for that reason he is named Purusha. He who knows this thus, consumes him who would be before him.

He feared. Therefore, he who is alone fears. He, considering, said, “Since there is none besides myself, why do I fear?” Thereupon, verily, his fear departed, for why should he fear? Because of a second, verily, fear comes into being.

He, verily, found no joy. Therefore, he who is alone finds no joy. He desired a second. He was then great as female and male joined together. He caused this Self to fall apart, as two. Thence a male and a female came into being. Therefore, Yajnavalkya of old declared that this self is, as it were, a half-portion. Therefore, this Radiant Ether is pervaded by the feminine power. He was joined with this. Thence the Sons of Manu came into being.

This, considering, said, “How is it that he is joined with me, having produced me from himself? Come, then, let me be hidden!” She became a cow, he became a bull. With her he was joined. Thence cattle came into being. The one became a mare, the other a sire; the one became a he-ass, the other a she-ass. With her he was joined. Thence the undivided hoof came into being. The one became a she-goat, the other a he-goat; the one became a ewe, the other a ram. With her he was joined. Thence goats and sheep came into being. Thus, verily, whatever there is, in pairs, even down to the ants, all this he emanated.

He knew, “I, verily, am this manifested being, for I emanated all that exists.” Thence manifested being came into being. He who thus knows comes into being in this manifestation of Him.

Then in this way he rotated this fire-stick: from his mouth, as the cleft, and from his two hands, He emanated fire. Therefore, these are smooth on the inside, as the cleft is smooth on the inside. Therefore, when they say here, “Offer sacrifice to that one! Offer sacrifice to that one!”—to one Bright Power or another, this is the several emanations of him, for he, verily, is all the Bright Powers.

And so whatever here is moist, that he emanated from seed; this is Soma, the moon-fluid. All that is here, verily, is Food and Eater of food. The moon-fluid is Food, the Fire-lord is the Eater of food.

This was the super-emanation of Brahma, the emanating Power, that he emanated Bright Powers better than himself; that, being mortal, he emanated Immortals. Therefore, it was a super-emanation. He who thus knows, comes into being in this super-emanation of him.

At that time, this was not differentiated. According to name and form, verily, it became differentiated, as it is said, “He has that name, he has that form.” Even now, this world is differentiated according to name and form, as it is said, “He has that name, he has that form.”

So he entered this, even to the finger-tips, as a razor would be hidden in a razor-case, as consuming fire in the fire-sticks, so that they see him not. For, manifested, he is incomplete. Breathing, verily, he is named Life-breath. Speaking, he is named Voice. Seeing, he is named Vision. Hearing, he is named Hearing. Thinking, he is named Mind. These, verily, are the names of his works. He who worships one or other of these, he knows not; for he is incomplete in one or other of these. Let him worship, meditating on Atma, for in Atma, in the Supreme Self, all these are one. This is the clue, guiding through all this being, namely, Atma, for through Atma he knows all this, just as one might trace by a footprint, thus. He who knows this thus, finds fame and praise.

Therefore, the Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than aught else, for the Self is nearer. To one who speaks of what is other than the Self as dear, he should say, “The possessor will lose what he holds dear!” And so it will be. Let him worship the Self as dear. He who worships the Self as dear, his treasure cannot pass away.

Then they say, “Since by knowing Brahma, they will become the All, what then did Brahma know, whereby He became the All?”

The Eternal was here in the beginning. That knew Itself, “I am the Eternal!” Therefore, It was the All. Therefore, whichever of the Devas, the Bright Powers, became awakened to That, became the All. So also of Seers. So also of men. So, beholding this, the Seer Vamadeva began, “I was Manu and the Sun!”

This is so even to-day: he who thus knows, “I am the Eternal!” becomes the All; not even the Devas can hinder his realization, for he becomes their very Self. So he who worships any deity other than Atma, thinking, “I am other than He; He is other than I,” such a one knows not; he is, as it were, a sacrificial beast of the deities. As many beasts profit a man, so each one of these men profits the deities. When even one beast is taken away, it is unpleasant, how much more if many be taken. Therefore, it is not pleasing to the deities that the sons of men should know That.

Brahma, the Eternal, was here, verily, in the beginning, alone. Being alone, That was not made manifest. That super-emanated a better form, the Warrior. Those of the Bright Powers who are Warriors: Indra, the Ruler; Varuna, the azure Sphere; Soma, the Lunar Lord; Parjanya, Lord of the lightning; Yama, the Controller; Mrityu, Death (of the body); Ishana, the gold-coloured Solar Lord. Therefore, naught is higher than the Warrior. Therefore, the Brahman sits below the Warrior at the ceremony of consecration. For the Warrior he disposes this glory, for this is the source of the Warrior, namely, Brahma, the Eternal. Therefore, even though the King attain supremacy, he rests in the end on the Eternal as his source. He who injures him, attacks his own source. He becomes more evil, injuring what is better than himself.

He was not yet made fully manifest. He emanated the People, the Vaishya, all these Bright Powers who are enumerated according to hosts, namely: Vasus, lords of substance; Rudras, lords of energies; Adityas, lords of light; Vishvedevas, lords of hosts; Maruts, lords of the breaths.

He was not yet made fully manifest. He emanated the Shudra colour, those who serve, as Pushan, the Nourisher. So this Earth nourishes all, whatsoever is here.

He was not yet made fully manifest. He super-emanated a better form, the Law of Righteousness. So this is the Weapon of the Warrior, namely, the Law of Righteousness. Therefore, naught is higher than the Law of Righteousness. Therefore,. the weak overcomes the stronger by the Law of Righteousness, as by a King. For that Law is Truth. Therefore, when a man speaks Truth, they say, “He speaks Righteousness!” So, if he speak Righteousness, they say, “He speaks Truth!” For both are one.

Therefore, there is this: Brahma, the Eternal; Kshatra, the Warrior; Vish, the People; Shudra, the Servant. That came into being among the Devas as Agni; among men as the Knower of Brahma; as a Kshattriya, a Warrior, by means of the divine Warrior; as a Vaishya, by means of the divine Vaishya; as a Shudra, by means of the divine Shudra. Therefore, they seek a dwelling among the Bright Powers in Agni, the Firelord, and among men in the Knower of Brahma; for by means of these two forms Brahma, the Eternal, became manifest.

Therefore, he who goes forth from this world of Atma, without knowing it as his own home, he, not knowing this, profits not; it is as Vedas unrecited, as work undone. He who, not knowing this, performs even a great and holy work, that work of his fades away in the end. So he should worship Atma, the Supreme Self, as his own home. He who worships Atma as his own home, his work fades not away. From that Supreme Self, verily, whatsoever he desires, that he emanates.

So this Atma, this Supreme Self, is the dwelling-place of all beings. If he make sacrifices and offerings, thereby he becomes the dwelling-place of the Devas. If he recite the Vedas, thereby he becomes the dwelling-place of the Seers. If he make libation to the Fathers and desire progeny, thereby he becomes the dwelling-place of the Fathers. If he house men and give them food, thereby he becomes the dwelling-place of men. If he find grass and water for beasts, thereby he becomes the dwelling-place for beasts. If in his dwellings animals and birds, down to the ants, find a living, thereby he becomes their dwelling-place. Just as one would wish security, so, for him who knows thus, all beings wish security. Thus is this known, when rightly meditated on.

Atma, Supreme Self, verily, was here in the beginning, alone. He desired, “May there be a consort for me! Then might I have progeny; would that I had possessions, then might I accomplish the work.” So far is desire. Not even if he wished, would he find more than that. Therefore, even now, he who is lonely desires, “May there be a consort for me! Then might I have progeny; would that I had possessions, then might I accomplish the work.” So far as he does not gain one or other of these, so far he thinks that he is incomplete. Now this is his completeness: Manas, Mind, verily, is himself; formative Voice is the consort; Life-breath is the progeny; Vision is his human wealth, for by means of vision, he finds That; Hearing is his divine wealth, for by means of hearing, he hears That; Atma, verily, is his work, for by means of Atma, he does work. So this sacrifice is fivefold; the beast is fivefold; man is fivefold; fivefold is all, whatsoever there is. He obtains the All, who thus knows.

V

When by means of wisdom, by means of fervour, the Father generated the seven foods, one was common to all, two he shared with the Devas, three he made for himself, one he bestowed upon beasts. On this food is all founded, whatever breathes, or breathes not. From what cause, then, are they not consumed, though being eaten always? Who knows this imperishableness, he eats food with his mouth; he goes to the Bright Powers, he lives on power.” So far the verses.

When by means of wisdom, by means of fervour, the Father generated the seven foods,” for it was by means of wisdom, by means of fervour, that the Father generated them.

One was common to all.” That which is common to all is the food which is eaten here. He who worships that food is not turned from evil, for it is mixed.

Two he shared with the Devas.” They are the sacrifice and the offering. Therefore, they make the sacrifice and the offering to the Devas. They also say that these two are the new moon and full moon sacrifices. Therefore, let him not sacrifice simply to gain his wishes.

One he bestowed upon beasts.” This is milk. For in the beginning verily, both men and beasts live on milk. Therefore, they touch the lips of the new-born babe with melted butter, or put it to the breast. So also they call the new-born calf “one that eats not grass.”

On this food all is founded, whatever breathes or breathes not.” For on milk is all this founded, whatever breathes or breathes not. This that they say, “Making an offering of milk for a year, he overcomes the second death”: let him know that it is not so, for if he make this offering even for a day, on that very day he overcomes the second death, if he thus knows, for he offers all his food to the Devas.

From what cause, then, are they not consumed, though being eaten always?” Because Purusha, the Logos, is imperishable, and he generates this food again and again.

Who knows this imperishableness”—because Purusha is imperishable, and by meditation he generates this food, by his works. Should he not do this, it would be consumed.

He eats food with his mouth.” The meaning is, that with his mouth he eats food.

He goes to the Bright Powers, he lives on power.” This is praise.

Three he made for himself.” Mind, Voice, Life-breath: these he made for himself.

So one says, “I was absent-minded, I did not see; I was absent-minded, I did not hear.” For through Mind he sees, through Mind he hears. Desire, imagination, questioning, faith, lack of faith, firmness, shame, thought, fear, all this, verily, is Mind. So, when one is touched on the back, it is by means of Mind that he discerns it.

Whatever sound there is, that, verily, is Voice; and it is finite and infinite.

Forward-breath, downward-breath, distributive-breath, upward-breath, uniting-breath, these are all Breath. So this Atma takes the form of Voice, the form of Mind, the form of Life-breath.

These are the three worlds: this world is Voice; the mid-world is Mind; that world is Life-breath.

These are also the three Vedas: Voice is Rig Veda; Mind is Yajur Veda; Life-breath is Sama Veda.

These are also Devas, Fathers, Men. Voice is the Devas; Mind is the Fathers; Life-breath is Men.

These are also Father, Mother, Child. Mind is the Father; Voice is the Mother; Life-breath is the Child.

These are also the known, the knowable, the unknown. Whatever is known is a form of Voice, for Voice is known. Voice, becoming this, guards him.

Whatever is knowable is a form of Mind, for Mind is knowable. Mind, becoming this, guards him.

Whatever is unknown is a form of Life-breath, for Life-breath is unknown. Life-breath, becoming this, guards him.

Of this Voice, the Earth is the body; its light-form is the bodily Fire. Therefore, as far as Voice extends, so far extends this Earth, so far extends this Fire.

And so of this Mind, the Sky is the body; its light-form is that Sun. Therefore, as far as Mind extends, so far extends the Sky, so far extends the Sun.

These two joined in union. Therefrom Life-breath was born. This is Indra, the Ruler. So Indra is without a rival. A second, verily, is a rival. He who thus knows is without a rival.

And so of this Life-breath the Waters are the body; its light-form is that Moon. Therefore, as far as Life-breath extends, so far extend the Waters, so far extends that Moon.

These are all equal, all infinite. So he who worships these as finite, wins a finite realm. And so he who worships these as infinite, wins an infinite realm.

So the circling year is a Lord of beings. He is made up of sixteen parts. His nights, verily, are fifteen parts. His sixteenth part stands firm. He is increased and diminished only by the nights. On the night of the new moon, entering with that sixteenth part that possesses Life-breath, in the morning he is born. Therefore, let him not cut off the Life-breath of any being that possesses Life-breath, not even of a lizard, on that night, as an act of reverence for that Divinity.

The spiritual man who thus knows, is this circling year, this Lord of beings possessing sixteen parts. His possessions are the fifteen parts; Atma, the Self of him, is the sixteenth part. Through his possessions he is increased and diminished.

Therefore, this Atma is the nave of the wheel; his possessions are the rim of the wheel. Therefore, if he suffer the loss of all his possessions, if he yet live, because of the Self, they say, “He has come off with the loss of the rim!” And so, verily, there are three realms: the realm of Men, the realm of the Fathers, the realm of the Devas.

This realm of Men is to be won by means of a son, by no other work; by work is the realm of the Fathers to be won; by wisdom is the realm of the Devas to be won. For the realm of the Devas is the most excellent of the realms; therefore, they praise wisdom.

And so this is the testamentary benediction, when one understands that he is about to depart: He says to his son, “Thou art spiritual life, thou art sacrifice, thou art the world!” The son repeats, “I am spiritual Life, I am sacrifice, I am the world!” For whatever wisdom has been handed down, the one essence of it all is “spiritual life.” And whatever forms of sacrifice there are, the one essence of them all is “sacrifice.” And whatever worlds there are, the one essence of them all is “the world.“ So great, verily, is the All.

Being thus the All, he liberates me from this world.” Therefore, when a son has received the teaching handed down, they call him a lord of the world. For this reason, they impart to him the teaching handed down.

When one who thus knows goes forth from this world, then with these Life-breaths he enters the son. And so, if he has done anything crookedly, the son sets him free from it all; therefore, he is called a son, a deliverer. By means of a son, he stands firm in this world. Then these divine Life-breaths, immortal, enter into him.

From the Earth and from the Fire the divine Voice enters him. This is divine Voice,—that through which whatever he says comes into being.

From the Sky and from the Sun the divine Mind enters into him. This is divine Mind,—that through which he possesses bliss and sorrows not.

From the Waters and from the Moon the divine Life-breath enters him. This is divine Life-breath,—that which, whether moving or moving not, is not perturbed or impaired.

He who knows thus, becomes the Self of all beings. As is that divinity, so is he. As all beings guard that divinity, so all beings guard him. Whatever these beings suffer, with them that suffering remains; only the blessed goes to him. Sin and darkness go not to the Devas.

Here follows a consideration of the powers of action. The Lord of beings emanated the active powers. When they were emanated, they vied against one another. Voice said, “I shall utter speech!” Vision said, “I shall see!” Hearing said, “I shall hear!” The other powers also, according to their several works. Death, becoming weariness, put constraint upon them, and laid hold upon them. Laying hold upon them, Death barred them. Therefore, Voice grows weary, Vision grows weary, Hearing grows weary. But Death could not lay hold upon the central Life-breath.

Him the powers sought to know. They said, “This is the best of us, since, whether moving or moving not, he is not perturbed nor impaired. Come, then, let us all become a form of him!” Of him, verily, they all became a form. Therefore, they are named Life-breaths after him. Therefore, they name the family after him, if in a family there is one who thus knows. Whoever vies with one who thus knows, withers away, and, withering away, in the end he dies. So far concerning the powers of the Self.

And so concerning the divinities. The Fire-lord said, “I shall blaze!” the Sun said, “I shall send fervent beat!” The moon said, “I shall give light!” The other divinities also, according to their several divinities. So, as the central Life-breath is among the Life-breaths, so is the Great Breath among the divinities, for the other divinities wane, but not the Great Breath. For the Great Breath is the divinity that knows no setting.

So there is this verse:

From whom the Sun rises,
And in whom he goes to his setting—

for from the Great Breath he rises, in the Great Breath he goes to his setting—

Him the divinities made Law;
He is to-day and to-morrow also.

For what they undertook of old, that they do also to-day. Therefore, let him undertake the one obligation. Let him guide the forward and the downward Life-breath, saying, “May dark Death not lay hold on me!” What he would do, let him seek to fulfil it. Thereby he conquers union with the Great Breath and dwells therein.

VI

A Triad, verily, is this: Name, Form, Work.

Of these, of names, Voice is the uprising praise, for from Voice arise all names. This is their Sama chant, for through all chants it is the same. This is their spiritual power, for it supports all names.

And so, of forms, Vision is the uprising praise, for from Vision arise all forms. This is their Sama chant, for through all forms it is the same. This is their spiritual power, for it supports all forms.

And so, of works, Atma is the uprising praise, for from Atma arise all works. This is their Sama chant, for through all works it is the same. This is their spiritual power, for it supports all works.

Though this be a Triad, Atma is One; though Atma be one, this is a Triad. That is the Immortal, veiled by the manifest; for the Life is immortal, while Name and Form are the manifest. By these two, the One Life is veiled.

 

PART II. SECTIONS 1-3

KSHATRIYA AND BRAHMAN

I

Driptabalaki of the Gargya clan was a learned man. To Ajatashatru, the Raja of Benares, he said, “Let me declare to thee the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “A thousand cattle we give for teaching such as that, so that folk run and cry, ‘A King like Janaka is here!’”

Then the Gargya said, “That spiritual Power in the sun, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as excellent, of all beings the head and ruler. He who thus reverences him, becomes excellent, of all beings the head and ruler.”

Then the Gargya said, “That spiritual Power in the moon, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as the great King Soma, wrapped in his pale robe. He who thus reverences him, day by day he is nourished and sustained, nor does his food fail.”

Then the Gargya said, “That spiritual Power in the lightning, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as the radiant. He who thus reverences him, becomes radiant; radiant, verily, becomes his progeny.”

Then the Gargya said, “That spiritual Power in the shining ether, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatasbatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as the full, the unchanging. He who thus reverences him, is filled with offspring and cattle, nor does his progeny depart from this world.”

Then the Gargya said, “The spiritual Power that is in the breath of the wind, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as the ruler, irresistible, the invincible host. He who thus reverences him, becomes victorious, invincible, conquering his foes.”

Then the Gargya said, “The spiritual Power that is in fire, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as the victor. He who thus reverences him becomes a victor; his progeny also is victorious.”

Then the Gargya said, “The spiritual Power that is in the waters, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as the secondary form. He who thus reverences him, attains to his secondary form, not to that which is not his secondary form. Thus the secondary form is born from him.”

Then the Gargya said, “The spiritual Power that is in the mirror, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as possessor of the rays. He who thus reverences him is endowed with rays; his progeny is endowed with rays. His rays outshine whomsoever he encounters.”

Then the Gargya said, “This breath of the word that goes after him who goes, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatasbatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as the breath of life. He who thus reverences him, even in this world gains the full span of life, nor before the time does life depart from him.”

Then the Gargya said, “The spiritual Power that is in the spaces, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as the inseparable companion. He who thus reverences him, becomes possessed of the companion, nor is his company separated from him.”

Then the Gargya said, “The spiritual Power that is formed of shadow, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as death. He who thus reverences him, even in this world gains the full span of life, nor does death come to him before the time.”

Then the Gargya said, “The spiritual Power that is in oneself, him I reverence as the Eternal!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “Nay, rest not thy teaching upon him! For already I reverence him as endowed with the Self. He who thus reverences him, endowed with the Self, verily, he becomes and his progeny is endowed with the Self.”

Then the Gargya was silent.

Then Ajatashatru said, “Only so much?”

Only so much,” he replied.

He said, “Not with so much is it known!”

Then the Gargya said, “Let me come to thee as a disciple!”

Then Ajatashatru said, “It is against the grain that a Brahman should come to a Kshatriya, with the thought, ‘He will declare to me the Eternal!’ But I shall cause thee to know the greater wisdom!”

Taking him by the hand, he stood up. Then they two went to a man who was asleep. With these words they called upon him, “Great one in the pale robe, King Soma!” But he did not stand up.

Then pressing him with his hand, he caused him to awake, so that he stood up. Then Ajatashatru said, “When this one was thus asleep, this man who possesses knowledge, where was he then? Whence has he thus come?”

This also the Gargya did not understand.

Then Ajatasbatru said, “When this one was thus asleep, this man who possesses knowledge, then by means of his knowledge drawing in the knowledge of these life-breaths, he rests in the shining ether which is in the heart within. When he thus withdraws them, then they say that the man sleeps. Then the life-breath is withdrawn, voice is withdrawn, vision is withdrawn, hearing is withdrawn, mind is withdrawn.

When he thus moves in the realm of dreams, those worlds are his. Then he is as a great Raja, as a great Brahman, he penetrates the high and the low. And so, as a great Raja, taking his people with him, traverses his own country according to his desire, so he, verily, withdrawing the life-breaths within his own body, traverses these realms according to his desire.

And so, when he enters dreamlessness, so that he beholds nothing outwardly, then the two-and-seventy thousand channels, which are called ‘well-disposed,’ which lead from the heart to the region about it, slipping out by these, he rests in the dwelling. Then as a prince, as a great Raja, as a great Brahman, when he attains to the consummation of joy, night rest, thus, verily, he rests.

Then, as a web-wombed spider might come forth, spinning his thread, or as small sparks come forth from a fire, so from this Self come forth all life-breaths, all worlds, all bright powers, all beings. His secret significance is, ‘the Real of the real.’ The life-breaths are the real; of them he is the Real.”

II

He, verily, who knows the child, with his lower house. with his upper house, with his pillar, with his cord, he holds back the seven hostile half-brothers.” This which is the central life, verily, is the child; this (body) is his lower house; this (head) is his upper house; the life-breath is the pillar; what is eaten is the cord. These seven imperishable beings wait upon him: these red lines that are in the eye, by them Rudra is correlated with him; these waters that are in the eye, by them Parjanya is correlated with him; the pupil of the eye, by this the Sun is correlated with him; the iris of the eye, by this Agni is correlated with him; the white of the eye, by this Indra is correlated with him; by the lower eyelash Earth is correlated with him; by the upper eyelash Heaven is correlated with him. Food fails not for him who thus knows.

Then there is this verse:

“An inverted goblet, base upward;
In it all glory is disposed;
Seven Seers are seated on the rim;
Voice as eighth communes with the Eternal.”

An inverted goblet, base upward”: this, verily, is the head, for it is an inverted goblet, base upward. “In it all glory is disposed”: the life-breaths, verily, are all glory; thus he names the life-breaths. “Seven Seers are seated on the rim”: the life-breaths are the seven Seers; thus he names the life-breaths. “Voice as eighth communes with the Eternal”: for voice as eighth is in communion with the Eternal.

These two (ears) are Gotama and Bharadvaja; this is Gotama, this is Bharadvaja. These two (eyes) are Vishvamitra and Jamadagni; this is Vishvamitra, this is Jamadagni. These two (nostrils) are Vashishta and Kashyapa; this is Vashishta, this is Kashyapa. Voice, verily, is Atri, for by the mouth food is eaten; because he eats, it is called Atri. He becomes an eater of all, for him all becomes food, who thus knows.

III

There are two forms, verily, of the Eternal: the formed and the unformed; the mortal and the immortal; the set and the moving; the actual and the beyond.

This, then, is formed: whatever is other than the Great Breath and shining ether; this is the mortal, the set, the actual. Of it, of this formed, of this mortal, of this set, of this actual, the (sun) which gives warmth is the animating essence, for he is the animating essence of the actual.

And so the unformed, the Great Breath, shining ether, that which is the immortal, that which is the moving, that which is the beyond; of this unformed, of this immortal, of this moving, of this beyond, the animating essence is the spiritual Power in this circular disk, for this is the essence of the beyond. So far with regard to the bright powers.

And so with regard to oneself: whatever is other than the life, other than the shining ether in the inner Self, is the formed; this is the mortal, the set, the actual. Of it, of this formed, of this mortal, of this set, of this actual, the animating essence is the power of vision, for this is the animating essence of the actual.

And so the unformed, that which is the life, the shining ether in the inner Self, that which is the immortal, that which is the moving, that which is the beyond; of this unformed, of this immortal, of this moving, of this beyond, the animating essence is the spiritual Power which is in the right eye, for this is the essence of the beyond.

Of him, of this spiritual Power, the form is as a saffron robe, as shining white wool, as the purple beetle’s covering, as a flame of fire, as a white lotus, as a sudden lightning-flash. As a sudden lightning-flash, verily, is the splendour of him who thus knows.

And so of this there is the definition: “Not thus! Not thus!” For nothing can go farther than this “Not thus!” And so the name that is given is “the Real of the real”; for the life-breaths are the real, and of them this is the Real.

 

PART II, SECTIONS 4-5

THE SECRET OF IMMORTALITY

YAJNAVALKYA AND MAITREYI

IV

Maitreyi!” said Yajnavalkya, “I am about to enter on a higher stage of life, leaving this stage. Come then, let me make a final division with thee and Katyayani here!”

Then Maitreyi said, “Sire, if this whole earth should be full of wealth for me, may I thereby be immortal?”

No!” said Yajnavalkya. “As is the life of those endowed with possessions, such would thy life be. But there is no hope of immortality through wealth!”

Then Maitreyi said, “What should I do with that, whereby I may not be immortal? But what my lord possesses of wisdom, that, verily, tell to me!”

Then Yajnavalkya said, “As dear, indeed, as thou art to us, so dear is what thou speakest. Come, then, be seated, and I shall tell thee fully. But, while I am speaking, do thou meditate deeply!”

He said, “Not, verily, for love of husband is the husband dear, but for love of the divine Self is the husband dear!

Not, verily, for love of wife is the wife dear, but for love of the divine Self is the wife dear!

Not, verily, for love of sons are sons dear, but for love of the divine Self are the sons dear!

Not, verily, for love of wealth is the wealth dear, but for love of the divine Self is the wealth dear!

Not, verily, for love of spiritual knowledge is the spiritual knowledge of the Brahman dear, but for love of the divine Self is the spiritual knowledge dear!

Not, verily, for love of power is the power of the Kshatriya dear, but for love of the divine Self is the power dear!

Not, verily, for love of worlds are the worlds dear, but for love of the divine Self are the worlds dear!

Not, verily, for love of Bright Powers are the Bright Powers dear, but for love of the divine Self are the Bright Powers dear!

Not, verily, for love of beings are the beings dear, but for love of the divine Self are the beings dear!

Not, verily, for love of all that is, is all this dear, but for love of the divine Self is all that is dear!

This divine Self, verily, is what we should seek to see, what we should seek to hear, what we should think upon, what we should meditate on deeply, Maitreyi! When, verily, we behold, hear, think upon, meditate deeply on the divine Self, then all is known.

The spiritual knowledge of the Brahman departs from him who sees spiritual knowledge elsewhere than in the divine Self. The power of the Kshatriya departs from him who sees power elsewhere than in the divine Self. The worlds depart from him who sees the worlds elsewhere than in the divine Self. The Bright Powers depart from him who sees the Bright Powers elsewhere than in the divine Self. Beings depart from him who sees beings elsewhere than in the divine Self. All that is departs from him who sees all that is elsewhere than in the divine Self. The spiritual knowledge of the Brahman, the power of the Kshatriya, the worlds, the Bright Powers, these beings, all that is,—are what this divine Self is.

This is as, when a drum is being beaten, one would not be able to lay hold on the sounds that come forth, but, by laying hold on the drum or on him who beats the drum, the sound is held.

This is as, when a conch is being blown, one would not be able to lay hold on the sounds that come forth, but by laying hold on the conch or on him who blows the conch, the sound is“held.

This is as, when a lute is being played, one would not be able to lay hold on the sounds that come forth, but by laying hold on the lute or on him who plays the lute, the sound is held.

This is as, when a fire has been built with damp fuel, wreaths of smoke arise and spread,—so, verily, from the Great Being is breathed forth that which becomes Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, history, tradition, science, secret teaching, poems, memorial verses, explanations, commentaries; from That all these are breathed forth.

This is as the ocean, receptive of all waters; as the skin, with the sense of touch, receptive of all contacts; as the nostrils, receptive of all odours; as the tongue, receptive of all flavours; as the eye, receptive of all forms; as the ear, receptive of all sounds, as the mind, receptive of all concepts; as the heart, receptive of all wisdoms; as the hands, receptive of all acts; as the power of generation, receptive of all engenderings; as the power which puts forth, receptive of all eliminations; as the feet, receptive of all journeyings; as the voice, receptive of all Vedas.

This is as a piece of salt, thrown into water, would dissolve into the water, nor would it be possible to lay hold on it, but wherever one may take it, it is salt, so, verily, is this Great Being infinite, boundless, a cloud of perception. Prom these elements arising, into them, verily, one returns at dissolution. Nor, after going forth, is there any perceptive consciousness. Thus, verily, I declare it to thee!” Thus spoke Yajnavalkya.

Then Maitreyi said, “In this my lord perplexes me, saying that, after going forth, there is no perceptive consciousness!”

But Yajnavalkya said, “I say, verily, nothing perplexing, for this suffices for right perception. For where there is duality, verily, there one smells the other, one sees the other, one hears the other, one addresses the other, one thinks the other, one perceives the other. But where all of this has become the divine Self, then by what and whom could he smell, by what and whom could he see, by what and whom could he hear, by what and whom could he address, by what and whom could he think, by what and whom could he perceive? By what could he perceive That, by which he perceives all that is? By what, verily, could he perceive the Perceiver?

V

This earth is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this earth. And this, in the earth, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the embodied, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

These waters are honey for all beings, and all beings arc honey for these waters. And this, in the waters, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the seed-formed, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This fire is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this fire. And this, in the fire, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the voice-formed, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This breath is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this breath. And this; in breath, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the breath-formed, radiant, Immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This sun is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this sun. And this, in the sun, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the seeing, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

These spaces are honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for these spaces. And this, in these spaces, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, in hearing and in echo, the radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This moon is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this moon. And this, in the moon, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the mind-formed, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This lightning is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this lightning. And this, in the lightning, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the radiance-formed, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This thunder is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this thunder. And this, in the thunder, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the sound-formed, tone-formed, radiant immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This shining ether is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this shining ether. And this, in the shining ether, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the shining ether in the heart, the radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This righteous law is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this righteous law. And this, in the righteous law, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the righteous, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This truth is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this truth. And this, in the truth, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the truth-formed, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This mankind is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this mankind. And this, in mankind, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this, in oneself, the man-formed, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he, verily, who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This divine Self is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this divine Self. And this, in the divine Self, the radiant, immortal Spirit, and this divine Self, radiant, immortal Spirit, this is he who is the divine Self, this is the immortal, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

This divine Self, verily, is of all beings the Lord, of all beings the King. Like as in the wheel of a chariot, the spokes are set firm in the nave and in the felloe, so, verily, in this divine Self are set firm all beings, all Bright Powers, all worlds, all lives, all selves.”

This, verily, is the honey that Dadhyanch Atharvana declared to the two Ashvins. This the Rishi, the Seer, declared:

Heroes, this terrible deed of yours, done for gain, I reveal to you, as the Thunder-lord reveals the rain; this honey which Dadhyanch Atharvana declared through the head of a horse.”

This, verily, is the honey that Dadhyanch Atharvana declared to the two Ashvins. This the Rishi, the Seer, declared:

On Dadhyanch Atharvana, O Ashvins, ye did put as a substitute the head of a horse. He, fulfilling righteousness, declared to you the honey of Tvashtri, the divine Architect, to be your secret, ye wonder-workers.”

This, verily, is the honey that Dadhyanch Atharvana declared to the two Ashvins. This the Rishi, the Seer, declared:

Two-footed strongholds he made, four-footed strongholds he made. Taking wings, he entered the strongholds as Spirit.”

He, verily, is the Spirit in all strongholds. His name is Purusha, that is, Puri-shaya, “he who dwells in the stronghold.” There is naught that is not enveloped by him, naught that is not penetrated by him.

This, verily, is the honey that Dadhyanch Atharvana declared to the two Ashvins. This the Rishi, the Seer, declared:

To each form this Spirit conformed himself, that he might be manifested. Indra, the Lord, through his magical powers, through Maya, goes forth in many forms; for yoked are his steeds, numbering ten hundred.”

This Spirit, verily, is the steeds, tens, thousands, many, endless. This Eternal has no earlier, no later, no within, no without. This divine Self is the Eternal, experiencing all things. So far, the teaching handed down.


Note: Part II, Section VI (The Line of Teachers) was left untranslated.


 

PART III, SECTIONS 1-7

YAJNAVALKYA AND THE BRAHMAN PRIESTS

THE ANSWERS OF YAJNAVALKYA

Janaka, verily, King of the Videhas, prepared a ceremonial sacrifice accompanied by many gifts. Thither the Brahman priests of the Kuru and Panchala peoples were assembled together. Then in the heart of Janaka, King of the Videhas, there arose a desire to know which of those Brahman priests was most learned in the sacred lore. So be had a thousand cattle brought together in the pen, and ten measures of gold were fixed to the horns of each, five measures on either horn. Then he said to them:

Worshipful Brahman priests, whichever of you best knows the Eternal, let him take away these cattle.”

But those Brahman priests had not the hardihood to do this. So Yajnavalkya said to his disciple: “Samashravas, beloved, drive these cattle home.” He drove them home.

Then those Brahman priests were wroth: “How does he call himself the best knower of the Eternal among us?” said they.

Now Ashvala was the priest who made the offering for Janaka, King of the Videhas. He questioned him, saying:

Yajnavalkya, art thou the best knower of the Eternal among us?”

He said: “We make obeisance to the best knower of the Eternal. But we desire to have the cows.”

Then Ashvala, the priest who made the offering, undertook to question him:

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “since all that is here is held by death, since all is overtaken by death, through whom is he who provides the sacrifice liberated beyond the reach of death?”

By the priest who makes the offering, by Fire, by Voice. Voice, verily, is he who makes the offering in the sacrifice. That which is this Voice is also this Fire, he who makes the offering. This is liberation, this is liberation beyond the reach of death.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “since all that is here is held by day and night, since all is overtaken by day and night, through whom is he who provides the sacrifice liberated beyond the reach of day and night?”

By the priest who prepares the Soma-juice, by Vision, by the Sun. Vision, verily, is the priest who prepares the Soma-juice in the sacrifice. That which is this Vision is also this Sun, he who prepares the Soma-juice. This is liberation, this is liberation beyond the reach of day and night.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “since all that is here is held by the two halves of the month, the waxing moon and the waning moon, since all is overtaken by the waxing moon and the waning moon, through whom is he who provides the sacrifice liberated beyond the reach of the waxing moon and the waning moon?”

By the priest who sings the chant, by the Breath, by the Life. The Life, verily, is the priest who sings the chant in the sacrifice. That which is the Life is also the Breath, he who sings the chant. This is liberation, this is liberation beyond the reach of the waxing moon and the waning moon.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “since the mid-world offers no foothold, as it were, by what ascent does he who offers the sacrifice ascend to the heavenly world?”

By the priest who guides the ritual, by Mind, by the Moon. Mind, verily, is the priest who guides the ritual in the sacrifice. That which is Mind is also the Moon, he who guides the ritual. This is liberation, this is liberation beyond the reach of the mid-world.” So far, liberation. Now the attainments.

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “With how many Rig verses will he who makes the offering operate to-day in this sacrifice?”

With three.”

Wbich are the three?” he said.

The opening verse, the accompanying verse, and the benediction as the third.”

Through these, what does he conquer?” he said.

Whatever there is here possessing life.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “how many oblations will the priest who prepares the Soma-juice pour out in this sacrifice to-day?”

Three.”

Which are the three?” he said.

Those which flame up when they are offered, those which flow over when they are offered, those which sink down when they are offered.”

Through these, what does he conquer?” he said.

Those which flame up when they are offered, by them he conquers the divine world, for the divine world glows like flame, as it were. Those which flow over when they are offered, by them he conquers the world of the fathers, for the world of the fathers is over this world, as it were. Those which sink down when they are offered, by them he conquers the world of men, for the world of men is the world below, as it were.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “through how many divinities will the priest who guides the ritual, standing on the right hand, protect this sacrifice to-day?”

Through one.”

Which is the one?” he said.

Mind. Without end, verily, is Mind. Without end are the All-powers. Through this he conquers the world without end.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “how many hymns of praise will the priest who sings the chant sing in this sacrilice to-day?”

Three.”

Which are the three?” he said.

The opening hymn, the accompanying hymn, and the hymn of benediction as the third.”

Which are they with reference to the self?” he said.

Forward-breath is the opening hymn. Downward-breath is the accompanying hymn. Distributive-breath is the hymn of benediction.”

Through these, what does he conquer?” he said.

He conquers the earth-world through the opening hymn, the mid-world through the accompanying hymn, the heavenly world through the benediction.”

Thereupon Ashvala, the priest who made the offering, became silent. And so Artabhaga son of Jaratkaru questioned him:

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “how many apprehenders are there, how many outer apprehenders?”

Eight apprehenders, eight outer apprehenders.”

These eight apprehenders and eight outer apprehenders, which are they?” he said.

The forward-breath is an apprehender. It is joined with the downward-breath as outer apprehender, for through the forward-breath he apprehends odours.

Voice is an apprehender. It is joined with name as outer apprehender, for through voice he utters names.

The tongue is an apprehender. It is joined with taste as outer apprehender, for through the tongue he distinguishes tastes.

Vision is an apprehender. It is joined with form as outer apprehender, for through vision he beholds forms.

Hearing is an apprehender. It is joined with sound as outer apprehender, for through hearing he hears sounds.

Mind is an apprehender. It is joined with desires as outer appehender, for through mind he desires desires.

The two hands are an apprehender. It is joined with work as outer apprehender, for through the two hands he accomplishes work.

The skin is an apprehender. It is joined with touch as outer apprehender, for through the skin he is aware of contacts.

These are the eight apprehenders, the eight outer apprehenders.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “since death consumes all, which is the divinity who consumes death?”

Death is as fire. It is consumed by the waters. Thus he overcomes the second death.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “when the man here dies, do the life-breaths depart from him?”

Not so, not so,” said Yajnavalkya; “here, verily, they are drawn together; he expands, he draws in the outer air; drawing it in, he lies dead.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “what does not leave him?”

Name. For unending is name; unending are the All-powers; through this he conquers an unending world.”

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “when the man here is dead, and to the fire goes his voice, to the wind his life-breath, his vision to the sun, his mind to the moon, to the spaces his hearing, to the earth his body, to the shining ether his self, to plants the hair of his body, to trees the hair of his head, to the waters the blood and seed return, where then is the spirit of the man?”

Take, beloved, my hand. This, Artabhaga, we two shall know together. It is not for us while with others.”

They two, going apart, counselled together. When they spoke, it was of Karma they spoke; when they praised, it was Karma they praised: through good works he becomes good, and evil through evil works.

Thereupon Artabhaga son of Jaratkaru became silent. And so Bhujyu descendant of Lahya questioned him:

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “Among the Madras as pilgrims we were travelling. We came to the dwelling of Patanchala, of the Kapi clan. He had a daughter, possessed by a seraph. We asked him, ‘Who art thou?’ He said, ‘Sudhanvan, of the Angirasas.’ When we were asking him of the ends of the worlds, we said to him, ‘What has become of the Parikshitas? What has become of the Parikhitas?’ So I ask thee, Yajnavalkya, what has become of the Parikshitas?”

He said : “That one said, ‘They have gone thither, whither go those who offer the sacrifice of the sacred horse.’”

But whither do they go, who offer the sacrifice of the sacred horse?”

Two and thirty days’ journeys of the sun god is this world of men in extent. Twice as great is the whole earth, surrounding it. Twice as great is the ocean, surrounding the earth. Then, as is a razor’s edge, or a mosquito’s wing, so great, in the space between, is the shining ether. Indra, becoming as a winged one, delivered them to the Breath. The Breath, bestowing them within himself, conveyed them thither, where are those who offer the sacred horse. Thus, as it were, the seraph praised the Breath. For the Breath is the expansion and the drawing together. He who thus knows, conquers the second death.”

Thereupon Bhujyu descendant of Lahya became silent.

And so Ushasta descendant of Chakra questioned him:

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “that which is the Eternal, known eye to eye, not by the eye of another, the Self within all, that reveal thou to me.”

It is thy divine Self, Atma, within all.”

Which one, Yajnavalkya, is within all?”

He who breathes forward through the forward-breath is thy divine Self within all. He who breathes downward through the downward-breath is thy divine Self within all. He who breathes distributively through the distributive breath is thy divine Self within all. He who breathes upward through the upward-breath is thy divine Self within all. This is thy divine Self within all.”

Ushasta descendant of Chakra said: “This has been explained to me as if one were to say, ‘That is a cow, that is a horse!’ That which is the Eternal, known eye to eye, not by the eye of another, that reveal thou to me.”

It is thy divine Self, within all.”

Which one, Yajuavalkya, is within all?”

The seer of seeing thou mayest not see. The hearer of hearing thou mayest not hear. The thinker of thinking thou mayest not think. The knower of knowing thou mayest not know. This is thy divine Self within all. All other than this is subject to affliction.”

Thereupon Ushasta descendant of Chakra became silent.

And so Kahola descendant of Kushitaka questioned him:

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “that which is the Eternal, known eye to eye, not by the eye of another, the Self within all, that reveal thou to me.”

It is thy divine Self, within all.”

Which one, Yajnavalkya, is within all?”

He who rises above hunger and thirst, sorrow and infatuation, decay and death, knowers of the Eternal who have perceived this divine Self, overcoming the longing for sons, the longing for wealth, the longing for the world of men, set forth on the pilgrimage. For this longing for sons is a longing for wealth, and the longing for wealth is a longing for the world of men, for both of these are the same longing. Therefore, let the knower of the Eternal turn from learning and seek to become a child. Let him turn from the child state and from learning and seek to become a silent seer. Let him turn from silence and what is beyond silence and seek to become a knower of the Eternal.”

Through what may he become a knower of the Eternal?”

Through that whereby he so becomes. All other than this is subject to affliction.”

Thereupon Kahola descendant of Kushitaka became silent.

And so Gargi daughter of Vachaknu questioned him:

Yajnavalkya,” she said, “Since all this is warped and woven on the waters, on what, then, are the waters warped and woven?”

On the Breath, Gargi.”

On what is the Breath warped and woven?” she said.

On the intermediate worlds, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the intermediate worlds warped and woven?” she said.

On the worlds of the seraphs, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the worlds of the seraphs warped and woven?” she said.

On the sun worlds, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the sun worlds warped and woven?” she said.

On the moon worlds, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the moon worlds warped and woven?” she said.

On the star worlds, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the star worlds warped and woven?” she said.

On the worlds of radiant beings, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the worlds of radiant beings warped and woven?” she said.

On the worlds of Lord Indra, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the worlds of Lord Indra warped and woven?” she said.

On the worlds of the Lord of beings, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the worlds of the Lord of beings warped and woven?” she said.

On the worlds of the Eternal, Gargi.”

On what, then, are the worlds of the Eternal warped and woven?” she said.

He said: “Gargi, question no farther, lest thy head fall apart! Thou art questioning too far concerning a Divinity not to be questioned. Gargi, question no farther!”

Thereupon Gargi daughter of Vachaknu became silent.

And so Uddalaka son of Aruna questioned him:

Yajnavalkya,” he said, “Among the Madras we were dwelling in the abode of Patanchala son of Kapi. He had a wife possessed by a seraph. We asked him, ‘Who art thou?’ He said, ‘Kabandha Atharvana.’ He said to Patanchala son of Kapi and to those who were learning the sacrifice, ‘Patanchala, son of Kapi, knowest thou the thread, by which this world and the other world and all beings are tied together?’ Then Patanchala son of Kapi said, ‘I know it not, Sir.’ He said to Patanchala son of Kapi and to those who were learning the sacrifice, ‘Knowest thou, son of Kapi, the inner ruler, who rules from within this world and the other world and all beings?’ Then Patanchala son of Kapi said, ‘I know him not, Sire.’ He said to Patanchala son of Kapi and to those who were learning the sacrifice, ‘Son of Kapi, he who knows that thread and the inner ruler, he knows the worlds, he knows the bright powers, he knows the Vedas, he knows beings, he knows the divine Self, he knows all things.’ He declared it to them, therefore I know it. Therefore, if thou, Yajnavalkya, without knowing the thread and the inner ruler, drivest off these cows bestowed on the Brahman priests, thy head will fall apart.’

In truth, son of the Gotamas, I know the thread and the inner ruler,” he said.

Anyone may say, ‘I know, I know I’ But as thou knowest, so declare!” He said, “The Breath, son of the Gotamas, is the thread. By the Breath, verily, as by a thread, this world and the other world and all beings are tied together. Therefore, son of the Gotamas, they say of a man from whom life has gone forth, that his limbs have slackened. For by the Breath, son of the Gotamas, as by a thread they are tied together.”

Even so, Yajnavalkya. Declare the inner ruler.”

He who, abiding in the earth, is other than the earth, whom the earth knows not, of whom the earth is a body, who inwardly rules the earth, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in the waters, is other than the waters, whom the waters know not, of whom the waters are a body, who inwardly rules the waters, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in fire, is other than fire, whom fire knows not, of whom fire is a body, who inwardly rules fire, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in the interspace, is other than the interspace, whom the interspace knows not, of whom the interspace is a body, who inwardly rules the interspace, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in the sky, is other than the sky, whom the sky knows not of whom the sky is a body, who inwardly rules the sky, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in the sun, is other than the sun, whom the sun knows not, of whom the sun is a body, who inwardly rules the sun, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal:

He who, abiding in the spaces, is other than the spaces, whom the spaces know not, of whom the spaces are a body, who inwardly rules the spaces, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in moon and stars, is other than moon and stars, whom moon and stars know not, of whom moon and stars are a body, who inwardly rules moon and stars, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in shining ether, is other than shining ether, whom shining ether knows not, of whom shining ether is a body, who inwardly rules shining ether, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in darkness, is other than darkness, whom darkness knows not, of whom darkness is a body, who inwardly rules darkness, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in radiance, is other than radiance, whom radiance knows not, of whom radiance is a body, who inwardly rules radiance, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal. So far concerning divinities.

Now concerning the powers of beings. He who, abiding in all beings, is other than all beings, whom all beings know not, of whom all beings are a body, who inwardly rules all beings, his is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal. So far concerning the powers of beings.

Now concerning the self. He who, abiding in life-breath, is other than life-breath, whom life-breath knows not, of whom life-breath is a body, who inwardly rules life-breath, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in voice, is other than voice, whom voice knows not, of whom voice is a body, who inwardly rules voice, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in vision, is other than vision, whom vision knows not, of whom vision is a body, who inwardly rules vision, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in hearing, is other than hearing, whom hearing knows not, of whom hearing is a body, who inwardly rules hearing, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in mind, is other than mind, whom mind knows not, of whom mind is a body, who inwardly rules mind, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in touch, is other than touch, whom touch knows not, of whom touch is a body, who inwardly rules touch, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in intelligence, is other than intelligence, whom intelligence knows not, of whom intelligence is a body, who inwardly rules intelligence, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.

He who, abiding in seed, is other than seed, whom seed knows not, of whom seed is a body, who inwardly rules seed, this is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, Immortal.

The unseen seer, the unheard hearer, the unthought thinker, the unknown knower: other than He there is no seer, other than He there is no hearer, other than He there is no thinker, other than He there is no knower. He is thy divine Self, the inner ruler, immortal.”

Thereupon Uddalaka son of Aruna became silent.

 

PART III, SECTIONS 8, 9

A GREAT INITIATE

TWO QUESTIONERS

And so the daughter of Vachaknu said:

O worshipful Brahmans, I shall ask him two questions; if he will tell them to me, then not one of you will ever be his conqueror in declaring the Eternal!”

Ask, Gargi!” they said.

She said: “I, verily, O Yajnavalkya, like as a warrior prince of Kashi or Videha, stringing his unstrung bow, and grasping in his hand two rival-conquering arrows, might stand up against you, even so with my two questions have stood up against thee. Tell them to me.”

Ask, Gargi!” said he.

She said: “That, O Yajnavalkya, which is above the heavens, that which is beneath the earth, that which is between heaven and earth, that which these people call the past which has been, the present which is, the future which shall be: on what is that warped and woven?”

He said: “That, O Gargi, which is above the heavens, that which is beneath the earth, that which is between heaven and earth, that which these people call the past which has been, the present which is, the future which shall be, on shining ether is that warped and woven.”

She said: “Obeisance be to thee, O Yajnavalkya, who hast declared this to me! Gird thyself for the other!”

Ask, Gargi!” said he.

She said: “That, O Yajnavalkya, which is above the heavens, that which is beneath the earth, that which is between heaven and earth, that which these people call the past which has been, the present which is, the future which shall be: on what dost thou say it is warped and woven?”

He said: “That, O Gargi, which is above the heavens, that which is beneath the earth, that which is between heaven and earth, that which these people call the past which has been, the present which is, the future which shall be, I say that on shining ether it is warped and woven.”

Well then, on what is shining ether warped and woven?”

He said: “It is that, O Gargi, which knowers of the Eternal name the Everlasting. That is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long, neither ruddy nor smooth, without shadow, without darkness; it is not air, it is not shining ether, without attachment, without taste, or odour, or sight or sound, without speech, or thinking, without fire, without life-breath, without measure, having neither within nor without; that consumes naught, nor does aught consume that. At the command of this Everlasting, O Gargi, sun and moon stand forth separate; at the command of this Everlasting; O Gargi, heaven and earth stand forth separate; at the command of this Everlasting, O Gargi, the moments, the hours, the days and nights, the half-months, the months, the seasons, the years stand forth separate. At the command of this Everlasting, O Gargi, eastward these rivers flow from the snow-covered mountains, westward flow those, each according to his direction. At the command of this Everlasting, O Gargi, the sons of men praise those who give, the bright powers draw nigh to him who sacrifices, the spirits of the fathers draw nigh to the memorial offering.

Whosoever, O Gargi, not knowing this Everlasting, in this world makes offerings and sacrifices and performs arduous works, even through many thousand years, that work of his is finite. Whosoever, O Gargi, not knowing this Everlasting, from this world goes forth at death, he is miserable. And whosoever, O Gargi, knowing this Everlasting, from this world goes forth at death, he is a knower of the Eternal.

Therefore, verily, O Gargi, this Everlasting is the unseen seer, the unheard hearer, the unthought thinker, the undiscerned discerner; for other than this there is no seer, other than this there is no bearer, other than this there is no thinker, other than this there is no discerner. On this Everlasting, verily, O Gargi, the shining ether is warped and woven.”

She said: “O worshipful Brahmans, verily you may think it much that you escaped from him by an obeisance! For not one of you will ever be his conqueror in declaring the Eternal!”

Thereupon the daughter of Vachaknu became silent.

And so Vidagdha son of Shakala asked him:

How many are the Bright Powers, O Yajnavalkya?”

He answered according to the form of invocation:

As many as are named in the form of invocation of all the Bright Powers: three, and three hundred, three, and three thousand,” said he.

Yea, verily, but how many are the Bright Powers, O Yajnavalkya?”

Three and thirty,” said he.

Yea, verily, but how many are the Bright Powers, O Yajnavalkya?”

Six,” said he.

Yea. verily, but how many are the Bright Powers, O Yajnavalkya?”

Three,” said he.

Yea, verily, but how many are the Bright Powers, O Yajnavalkya?”

Two,” said he.

Yea, verily, but how many are the Bright Powers, O Yajnavalkya?”

One and a half,” said he.

Yea, verily, but how many are the Bright Powers, O Yajnavalkya?”

One,” said he.

Yea, verily, but what are the three, and three hundred, three, and three thousand?” said he.

He said: “These are their manifestations of might; but three and thirty are the Bright Powers.”

Which are the three and thirty?” said he.

Eight Vasus. eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas, make one and thirty; Indra and Prajapati make three and thirty,” said he.

What are the Vasus?” said he.

Fire, and Earth, and Air, and Interspace, and Sun, and Sky, and Moon, and Stars. These are the Vasus, the bases, for on them is all this universe founded,” said he.

What are the Rudras?” said he.

These ten life-breaths in the spirit of man, and Self as the eleventh. When from this body of mortality they go forth, they cause lamentation; because they cause lamentation, they are the Rudras,” said he.

What are the Adityas?” said he.

The twelve months of the circling year; these are the Adityas, for taking this whole world they go. Because taking this whole world they go, therefore they are the Adityas,” said he.

What is Indra? What is Prajapati?” said he.

The Lord of the thunderbolt is Indra. Sacrifice is Prajapati, Lord of beings,” said he.

What is the thunderbolt?” said he.

Lightning,” said he.

What is sacrifice?” said he.

The animals,” said he.

What are the six?” said he.

Fire, and Earth, and Air, and Interspace, and Sun, and Sky. These are the six, for all this world is built of these six,” said he.

What are the three Bright Powers?” said he.

The three worlds, for in these three worlds are all the Bright Powers,” said he.

What are the two Bright Powers?” said he.

The Food, verily, and the Life,” said he.

What is the one and a half?” said he.

The purifying Spirit,” said he.

Then they said: “Since the purifying Spirit is as one, how is it one and a half?”

Since in it, all wins increase, therefore it is one and a half,” said he.

What is the one Bright Power?” said he.

Life,” said he; “this is the Eternal, which they call That.”

He who should know that Spirit, of whom earth is the dwelling, fire the world, mind the light, of every Self the ultimate home, he, in truth, would be a knower, O Yajnavalkya.”

I indeed know that Spirit, of every Self the ultimate home, of whom thou speakest. It is this embodied Spirit. Tell me, O son of Shakala, what is his divinity?”

The immortal,” said he. “He who should know that Spirit, of whom desire is the dwelling, the heart the world, mind the light, of every Self the ultimate home, he, in truth, would be a knower, O Yajnavalkya.”

I indeed know that Spirit, of every Self the ultimate home, of whom thou speakest. It is this Spirit formed of desire. Tell me, O son of Shakala, what is his divinity?”

Women,” said he. “He who should know that Spirit, of whom forms are the dwelling, vision the world, mind the light, of every Self the ultimate home, he, in truth, would be a knower, O Yajnavalkya.”

I indeed know that Spirit, of every Self the ultimate home, of whom thou speakest. It is that Spirit in the sun. Tell me, O son of Shakala, what is his divinity?”

The real,” said he. “He who should know that Spirit, of whom radiant ether is the dwelling, hearing the world, mind the light, of every Self the ultimate home, he, in truth, would be a knower, O Yajnavalkya.”

I indeed know that Spirit, of every Self the ultimate home, of whom thou speakest. It is the Spirit of hearing and of the echo. Tell me, O son of Shakala, what is his divinity?”

The spaces,” said he. “He who should know that Spirit, of whom darkness is the dwelling, the heart he world, mind the light, of every Self the ultimate home, he, in truth, would be a knower, O Yajnavalkya.”

I indeed know that Spirit, of every Self the ultimate home, of whom thou speakest. It is the Spirit formed of the shadow. Tell me, O son of Shakata, what is his divinity?”

Death,” said he. “He who should know that Spirit, of whom forms are the dwelling, vision the world, mind the light, of every Self the ultimate home, he, in truth, would be a knower, O Yajnavatkya.”

I indeed know that Spirit, of every Self the ultimate home, of whom thou speakest. It is the Spirit in the mirror. Tell me, O son of Shakata, what is his divinity?”

The breath,” said he. “He who should know that Spirit, of whom the waters are the dwelling, the heart the world, mind the light, of every Self the ultimate home, he, in truth, would be a knower, O Yajnavalkya.”

I indeed know that Spirit, of every Self the ultimate home, of whom thou speakest. It is the Spirit who is in the waters. Tell me, O son of Shakata, what is his divinity?”

Varuna,” said he. “He who should know that Spirit, of whom seed is the dwelling, the heart the world, mind the light, of every Self the ultimate home, he, in truth, would be a knower, O Yajnavalkya.”

I indeed know that Spirit, of every Self the ultimate home, of whom thou speakest. It is the Spirit embodied in the son. Tell me, O son of Shakala, what is his divinity?”

Prajapati,” said he, “the Lord of beings.”

O son of Shakala,” said Yajnavalkya, “have these Brahmans here consigned thee to ashes?”

O Yajnavatkya,” said the son of Shakala, “since thou hast reduced to silence these Brahmans of the Kurus and Panchalas, through knowing what Divine Power hast thou done this?”

I know the realms of space, with their bright powers, with their foundations,” said he.

Since thou knowest the realms of space, with their bright powers, with their foundations, what bright power dost thou assign to this eastern realm?”

The bright power of the sun,” said he.

This sun, on what bright power is it established?” said he.

On vision,” said he.

On what is vision established?” said he.

On forms,” said he, “for through vision he perceives forms.”

Then on what are forms established?” said he.

On the heart,” said he, “for through the heart he knows forms, for in the heart are forms established.”

This is even so, O Yajnavalkya. What bright power dost thou assign to this southern realm?”

The bright power of Yama,” said he.

This Yama, on what bright power is he established?” said he

On the sacrifice,” said he.

Then on what is the sacrifice established?” said he.

On the gifts of the sacrifice,” said he.

Then on what are the gifts of the sacrifice established?” said he.

On faith,“ said he. “For when he has faith, he gives the gifts, for on faith are the gifts established.”

Then on what is faith established?” said he.

On the heart,” said he, “for through the heart he knows faith, for on the heart is faith established.”

This is even so, O Yajnavalkya. What bright power dost thou assign to this western realm?”

The bright power of Varuna,” said he.

This Varuna, on what bright power is he established?” said he.

On the waters,” said he.

Then on what are the waters established?” said he.

On the seed,” said he.

Then on what is the seed established?” said he.

On the heart,” said he, “for when the son is born according to the form of the father, they say, ‘From the heart he has issued; from the heart is he built up, as it were’. For on the heart is the seed established.”

This is even so, O Yajnavalkya. What bright power dost thou assign to this northern realm?”

The bright power of Soma,” said he.

This Soma, on what bright power is he established?” said he.

On Initiation,” said he.

Then on what is Initiation established?“ said he.

On the Real,” said he, “for to the Initiate they say, ‘Speak the Real, speak Truth!’” said he.

Then on what is Truth established?” said he.

On the heart,” said he, “for through the heart; he knows the Real, the Truth, for on the heart is Truth established,” said he.

This is even so, O Yajnavalkya. What bright power dost thou assign to that fixed realm above?”

The bright power of the Fire-lord,” said he.

This Fire-lord, on what bright power is he established?” said he.

On the Voice,” said he.

Then on what is the Voice established?” said he.

On the heart,” said he.

Then on what is the heart established?” said he.

Thou shadow of a man!” said Yajnavalkya, “If thou thinkest that it can be anywhere but in us! For if it were anywhere but in us, then dogs might eat it, or birds of prey tear it to pieces!”

Then in what art thou and the Self established?” said he.

In the Life,” said he.

Then in what is the Life established?” said he.

In the downward-life,” said he.

Then in what is the downward-life established?” said he.

In the distributive-life,” said be.

Then in what is the distributive-life established?” said he.

In the upward-life,” said he.

Then in what is the upward-life established?” said he.

In the uniting-life,” said he. “This is that divine Self, of which they say, ‘It is not that, not that!’ It is incomprehensible, for it is not comprehended. It is indestructible, for it is not destroyed. It is beyond attachment, for it is not attached. It is unbound. It trembles not. It is invulnerable. These are the eight dwellings, the eight worlds, the eight bright powers, the eight Spirits. He who discerns these eight Spirits, and, uniting them, transcends them, He is the Spirit of the Secret Teaching, concerning Whom I question thee. If thou shalt not declare Him to me, thy head will fall off!”

But the son of Shakala did not know Him, therefore his head fell off. Also robbers carried off his bones, thinking they were something of value.

And so he said: “Worshipful Brahmans, whichever of you desires, let him question me. Or do ye all question me. Or whichever of you desires, him among you will I question. Or I shall question you all.”

But those Brahmans dared not.

Then he questioned them through these verses:

“As is a tree, lord of the forest, such of a surety also is man.
His hairs are the leaves, his skin is the bark without.
From his skin the red blood flows, as sap from the bark.
From him pierced a stream comes forth, as from the stricken tree.
His flesh is the outer wood, as sinews the fibres are firm.
His bones are the inner wood, his marrow is formed as the pith.
As the tree, hewn down, springs up again, renewed once more from the root;
The mortal, hewn down by Death, from what root does he grow up?
Say not, ‘from the seed!’ for that proceeds from the living man;
As the tree, springing from seed, comes forth visibly into being.
But if the tree were uprooted, it would not thus return to life.
The mortal, hewn down by Death, from what root does he grow up?
When born indeed, he is not born again, for who would cause him to be born?
Wisdom, bliss, is the Eternal, ultimate home of the giver of gifts, and of him who stands, knowing That.”

 

PART IV, SECTIONS 1, 2

JANAKA AND YAJNAVALKYA

A DIALOGUE OF SAGES

Janaka, King of the Videha nation, had taken his seat. Thereupon Yajnavalkya drew near to him. To him Janaka said:

Yajnavalkya, with what purpose hast thou come,—seeking herds, or subtle questions?”

Both, indeed, O King!” Yajnavalkya answered. “Whatsoever anyone has declared to thee, that let us hear!” said he.

Jitvan, son of Shilina, has declared to me that the Eternal, verily, is Voice, the Word,” said Janaka.

As though one were to say that a man had a mother, a father, an instructor, just so did Jitvan, son of Shilina, say that the Eternal is the Voice, the Word, saying to himself: ‘What can he have, who is voiceless?’ But did he declare to thee the abode, the foundation?”

He did not declare that to me,” said Jaoaka.

That is a one-legged answer, O King!”

Do thou declare it to me, Yajnavalkya!”

The Voice, the Word, verily, is the abode. Radiant Ether is the foundation. As Consciousness let him reverence That.”

What is the character of Consciousness, Yajnavalkya?”

The Voice, the Word, O King, said he. For through the voice, the word, verily, O King, a friend is recognized and also the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, the Atharva-Angirasa, history, tradition, wisdom, secret teaching, verse, memorial sentences, expositions, commentaries, sacrifice, oblation, what is eaten, what is drunk, and this world and the other world and all beings,—through the voice, the word, verily, O King, these are recognized. Therefore, the Supreme Eternal is the Voice, the Word. Nor does the Voice, the Word abandon him, all beings are subject to him, becoming a Radiant Being, he goes to the Radiant Beings, who, thus knowing, reverences That.”

A herd of a thousand with a bull like an elephant I bestow!” said Janaka, King of the Videha nation.

But Yajnavalkya said, “My father thought that one who has not imparted the teaching should not accept gifts! But whatsoever anyone has declared to thee, that let us hear!” said he.

Udanka, son of Shulba, has declared to me that the Eternal, verily, is Life,” said Janaka.

As though one were to say that a man had a mother, a father, an instructor, just so did Udanka, son of Shulba, say that the Eternal is Life, saying to himself: ‘What can he have, who is lifeless?’ But did he declare to thee the abode, the foundation?”

He did not declare that to me,” said Janaka.

That is a one-legged answer, O King!”

Do thou declare it to me, Yajnavalkya!”

Life, verily, is the abode. Radiant Ether is the foundation. As the Beloved let him reverence That.”

What is the character of the Beloved, Yajnavalkya?”

Life, verily, O King, said he. For through the desire of life, O King, one sacrifices even for him for whom no sacrifice should be offered, one accepts gifts from him from whom no gifts should be accepted. From the desire of life, O King, comes the fear of death, to whatever region one may go, Therefore, the Supreme Eternal, O King, is Life. Nor does Life abandon him, all beings are subject to him, becoming a Radiant Being, he goes to the Radiant Beings, who, thus knowing, reverences That.”

A herd of a thousand with a bull like an elephant I bestow!” said Janaka, King of the Videha nation.

But Yajnavalkya said, “My father thought that one who has not imparted the teaching should not accept gifts! But whatsoever anyone has declared to thee, that let us hear!” said he.

Barku, son of Vrishna, has declared to me that the Eternal is Vision,” said Janaka.

As though one were to say that a man had a mother, a father, an instructor, just so did Barku, son of Vrishna, say that the Eternal is Vision, saying to himself: ‘What can he have, who is without vision?’ But did he declare to thee the abode, the foundation?”

He did not declare that to me, said Janaka.”

That is a one-legged answer, O King!”

Do thou declare it to me, Yajnavalkya!”

Vision, verily, is the abode. Radiant Ether is the foundation. As the Real let him reverence That.”

What is the character of the Real, Yajnavalkya?”

Vision, verily, O King,” said he. “For when, O King, they say to one beholding through vision: Hast thou seen? He says: I have seen! That is the Real. Therefore, the Supreme Eternal, O King, is Vision. Nor does Vision abandon him, all beings are subject to him, becoming a Radiant Being, he goes to the Radiant Beings, who, thus knowing, reverences That.”

A herd of a thousand with a bull like an elephant I bestow!” said Janaka, King of the Videha nation.

But Yajnavalkya said, “My father thought that one who has not imparted the teaching should not accept gifts! But whatsoever anyone has declared to thee, that let us hear!” said he.

Gardabhivipita Bharadvaja has declared to me that the Eternal is Hearing,” said Janaka.

As though one were to say that a man had a mother, a father, an instructor, even so did Gardabhivipita Bharadvaja say that the Eternal is Hearing, saying to himself: ‘What can he have, who is without hearing?’ But did he declare to thee the abode, the foundation?”

He did not declare that to me,” said Janaka.

That is a one-legged answer, O King!”

Do thou declare it to me, Yajuavalkya!”

Hearing, verily, is the abode. Radiant Ether is the foundation. As the Infinite let him reverence That.”

What is the character of the Infinite,” Yajnavalkya?

Space, verily, O King,” said be. “Therefore, verily, O King, in whatever direction of Space one goes, of that he does not reach the end, for the directions of Space are infinite. And the spaces, O King, are Hearing. Hearing, verily, O King, is the Supreme Eternal. Nor does Hearing abandon him, all beings are subject to him, becoming a Radiant Being, he goes to the Radiant Beings, who, thus knowing, reverences That.”

A herd of a thousand with a bull like an elephant I bestow!” said Janaka, King of the Videha nation.

But Yajnavalkya said, “My father thought that one who has not imparted the teaching should not accept gifts! But whatsoever anyone has declared to thee, that let us hear!” said he.

Satyakama, son of Jabala, has declared to me that the Eternal is Mind,” said Janaka.

As though one were to say that a man had a mother, a father, an instructor, even so did Satyakama, son of Jabala, say that the Eternal is Mind, saying to himself: ‘What can he have, who is without mind?’ But did he declare to thee the abode, the foundation?”

He did not declare that to me,” said Janaka.

That is a one-legged answer, O King!”

Do thou declare it to me, Yajnavalkya!”

Mind, verily, is the abode. Radiant Ether is the foundation. As Joy let him reverence That.”

What is the character of Joy,” Yajnavalkya?

Mind, verily, O King,” said he. “For through Mind, verily, O King, he aspires toward the Woman, wherein a son conformable to himself is born. He is Joy. Mind, verily, O King, is the Supreme Eternal. Nor does Mind abandon him, all beings are subject to him, becoming a Radiant Being, he goes to the Radiant Beings, who, thus knowing, reverences That.”

A herd of a thousand with a bull like an elephant I bestow!” said Janaka, King of the Videha nation.

But Yajnavalkya said, “My father thought that one who has not imparted the teaching should not accept gifts! But whatsoever anyone has declared to thee, that let us hear!” said he.

Vidagdha, son of Shakala, has declared to me that the Eternal is the Heart,” said Janaka.

As though one were to say that a man had a mother, a father, an instructor, even so did Vidagdha, son of Shakala, say that the Eternal is the Heart, saying to himself: ‘What can he have, who is without a heart?’ But did he declare to thee the abode, the foundation?”

He did not declare that to me,” said Janaka.

That is a one-legged answer, O King!”

Do thou declare it to me, Yajnavalkya!”

The Heart, verily, is the abode. Shining Ether is the foundation. As Steadfast let him reverence That.”

What is the character of Steadfast, Yajnavalkya?”

The Heart, verily, O King,” said he. “For the Heart, O King, is the abode of all beings. The Heart, verily, O King, is the foundation of all beings. For in the Heart, verily, O King, all beings have their foundation. The Heart, verily, O King, is the Supreme Eternal. Nor does the Heart abandon him, all beings are subject to him, becoming a Radiant Being, he goes to the Radiant Beings, who, thus knowing, reverences That.”

A herd of a thousand with a bull like an elephant I bestow!” said Janaka, King of the Videha nation.

But Yajnavalkya said, “My father thought that one who has not imparted the teaching should not accept gifts!”

Janaka, King of the Videha nation, descending from his seat, said: “Obeisance to thee, Yajnavalkya! Impart to me the teaching!”

Yajnavalkya said: “Like as a King, preparing for a great journey, would make ready a chariot or a ship, even so art thou prepared in thy inner Self through these secret teachings. Therefore, as thou art leader of a host, endowed with wealth, a master of the Vedas, learned in the secret teachings,—when thou art liberated from this world, whither wilt thou go?”

That I know not, Sire, whither I shall go!”

Then, verily, I shall declare this to thee, whither thou wilt go.”

Let my Master declare it!” said he.

Enkindler, verily, by name is this Spirit in the right eye. Him, verily, being the Enkindler, they call Indra, the Lord, with a hidden meaning. For the Radiant Beings are lovers of the hidden, haters of the manifest.

And so this Power, having the form of Spirit, in the left eye is his consort Viraj, the Luminous. Of these two, the place of concordant praise is this Shining Ether in the Inner Heart. And so their subsistence is this ruddy sphere in the Inner Heart. The covering which envelopes these two is, as it were, a network in the Inner Heart. The path which these two follow is the channel which runs upward from the Heart. Pine as a hair divided a thousand-fold are these channels named Well-disposed, which have their foundation in the Inner Heart. Through these, verily, flows on the fluent life. Therefore is this an eater of finer food, as it were, than this bodily self.

Of him, the eastern lives are the eastern space. The southern lives are the southern space. The western lives are the western space. The northern lives are the northern space. The lives above are the space above. The lives below are the space below. All the lives are all the spaces of him.

But the Supreme Self is not that, not that! The Supreme Self is intangible, for It cannot be grasped. The Supreme Self is indestructible for It cannot be destroyed. The Supreme Self is illimitable, for It cannot be limited. It is free from bondage, unshaken, invulnerable.

Thou hast attained the Fearless, O Janaka!” said Yajnavalkya.

Then Janaka said: “May the Fearless come to thee, Yajnavalkya, since as a Master thou makest us know the Fearless. Obeisance to thee! In thy keeping be the Videha nation, and myself also!”

 

PART IV, SECTION 3

JANAKA AND YAJNAVALKYA: II

THE INWARD LIGHT

To Janaka king of the Videhas came Yajnavalkya, determined not to speak openly with the king. But when Janaka king of the Videhas and Yajnavalkya debated together at the offering of the holy fire, Yajnavalkya offered the king a wish. The king chose: to ask questions according to his desire. Yajnavalkya assented, and the king first asked:

Yajnavalkya, what is the light of this spirit of man?”

The sun is his light, O king,” he answered. “For with the sun as his light he rests, goes forth, does his work, and returns.”

This is so in truth, Yajnavalkya. But when the sun is set, Yajnavalkya, what is then the light of this spirit of man?”

The moon then becomes his light,” he answered. “With the moon as his light he rests, goes forth, does his work, and returns.”

This is so in truth, Yajnavalkya. But when the sun is set, Yajnavalkya, and the moon is also set, what is then the light of this spirit of man?”

Fire then becomes his light,” he answered. “With fire as his light he rests, goes forth, does his work, and returns.”

This is so in truth, Yajnavalkya. But when the sun is set, and the moon is also set, and the fire sinks to rest, what is then the light of this spirit of man?”

Voice then becomes his light; he answered. With voice as his light he rests, goes forth, does his work, and returns. Therefore in truth, O king, when a man cannot distinguish even his own hand, where a voice sounds, thither he approaches.”

This is so in truth, Yajnavalkya. But when the sun is set, Yajnavalkya, and the moon is also set, and the fire sinks to rest, and the voice is stilled, what is then the light of this spirit of man?”

The Divine Self, the Soul, then becomes his light,” he answered. “With the Soul as his light he rests, goes forth, does his work, and returns.”

Which of his powers is the Soul?” he asked.

It is the spirit of man which is made of Consciousness among the life-powers, the Light within the heart. This spirit of man, remaining unchanged, moves and perceives in both worlds. He seems to be clothed with imaginings. He seems to be full of activities. For when he enters into rest, the spirit of man transcends this world and the forms of death.

This spirit of man, verily, coming to birth, entering into a body, goes forth beset by darkness and evil. So ascending, passing through death, be puts aside darkness and evil.

Of him, of this spirit of man, there are two dwelling-places: this world and his dwelling-place in the other world. The borderland between them is the third, the dwelling-place of dreams. While he dwells in the borderland, he beholds both these dwelling-places, this world and his dwelling-place in the other world. And so, according as his advance is in the other world, attaining to that advance he beholds both the darkness of evil and the joy of bliss.

When he enters into rest, drawing his material from this all-containing world, felling the wood himself and himself building the dwelling, the spirit of man enters into dream, through his own shining, through his own light. Thus this spirit of man becomes his own light.

There are no chariots there, nor steeds for chariots, nor roadways. The spirit of man puts forth chariots, steeds for chariots and roadways. Nor are there any delights there, nor joys and rejoicings. The spirit of man puts forth delights and joys and rejoicings. There are no lakes there, nor lotus pools, nor rivers. The spirit of man puts forth lakes and lotus pools and rivers. For the spirit of man is Creator.

And there are these verses concerning this:

Leaving the bodily world through the door of dream, the sleepless Spirit views the sleeping powers. Clothed in radiance he returns to his own dwelling, the gold-gleaming Spirit, swan of everlasting.
Guarding the nest beneath through the life-breath, the spirit of man rises immortal above the nest. He soars immortal according to his desire, the gold-gleaming Spirit, swan of everlasting.
Soaring upward and downward in dreamland, as a god he makes for himself manifold forms; now with fair beauties rejoicing, laughing, now beholding terrible things.

They see his pleasure-ground, but him sees no one. Therefore it is said: Let none abruptly wake him that sleeps: hard to heal, verily, is he to whom the Soul returns not.

They also say that dream is a province of waking. For whatever he beholds while awake, the same he beholds in dream. Thus the spirit of man becomes his own light.”

King Janaka said: “I give the Master a thousand cattle. But tell me the higher wisdom that makes for liberation!”

When, verily, the spirit of man has taken his ease in the resting-place above dream, moving to and fro and beholding good and evil, he returns again by the same path, hurrying back to his place through dream. But whatever he beholds there, returns not after him, for this spirit of man is detached and free.”

King Janaka said: “This is so in truth, Yajnavalkya. I give the Master a thousand cattle. But tell me the higher wisdom that makes for liberation!”

When, verily, the spirit of man has taken his ease in dream, moving to and fro and beholding good and evil, he returns again by the same path, hurrying back to his place in the world of waking. But whatever he beholds there, returns not after him, for this spirit of man is detached and free.”

King Janaka said: “This is so in truth, Yajnavalkya. I give the Master a thousand cattle. But tell me the higher wisdom that makes for liberation!”

When, verily, the spirit of man has taken his pleasure in the world of waking, moving to and fro and beholding good and evil, be returns again by the same path, hurrying back to the realm of dream.

Therefore, as a great fish swims along both banks of a river, first the nearer bank and then the farther, so this spirit of man traverses both these worlds, the world of dream and the world of waking.

Then, as in this shining ether a falcon or an eagle, flying to and fro and growing weary, folds its wings and sinks to rest, so, verily, this spirit of man hastens to that world where, finding rest, he desires no desire and beholds no dream. There are, verily, these channels within him, called the inwardly disposed, fine as a hair divided a thousand times, filled with the shining, the blue, the yellow, the green, the red.

When he has dreamed that they are slaying him, that they are oppressing him, that an elephant is pursuing him, that he is falling into an abyss, or whatever fear he beheld in the waking world, he understands that it was through unwisdom. Where, like a god, like a king, he perceives that he is the All; this is his highest world.

This, verily, is that form of his which has passed beyond desire, which has put away evil, which is without fear. As one who is wrapped in the arms of the beloved, knows nought of what is without or within, so this spirit of man, wrapped about by the Divine Self of Inspiration, knows nought of what is without or within. This, therefore is his perfect form. He has won his desire. The Divine Self is his desire. He is beyond desire. He has made an end of sorrow.

Here the father is father no more; nor the mother a mother; nor the worlds, worlds; the bright powers are bright powers no longer, nor the scriptures, scriptures; here the thief is thief no longer, nor the murderer a murderer; the outcast is not an outcast, nor the baseborn any longer baseborn; the pilgrim is a pilgrim no longer, nor the saint a saint. For the spirit of man is not followed by good, he is not followed by evil. For he has crossed over all the sorrows of the heart.

The spirit of man sees not; yet, seeing not, he sees. For the power that dwells in sight cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other beside the spirit, or separate from him, for him to see.

The spirit of man smells not; yet, smelling not, he smells. For the power that dwells in smelling cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other beside the spirit, or separate from him, for him to smell.

The spirit of man tastes not; yet, tasting not, he tastes. For the power that dwells in taste cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other beside the spirit, or separate from him, for him to taste.

The spirit of man speaks not; yet, speaking not, he speaks; for the power that dwells in speaking cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other beside the spirit, or separate from him, for him to speak to.

The spirit of man hears not; yet, hearing not, he hears. For the power that dwells in hearing cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other beside the spirit, or separate from him, for him to hear.

The spirit of man thinks not; yet, thinking not, he thinks. For the power that dwells in thinking cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other beside the spirit, or separate from him, for him to think of.

The spirit of man touches not; yet, touching not, he touches. For the power that dwells in touch cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other beside the spirit, or separate from him, for him to touch.

The spirit of man knows not; yet, knowing not, he knows. For the power that dwells in knowing cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other beside the spirit, or separate from him, for him to know.

For only where there is separation may one see another, may one smell another, may one taste another, may one speak to another, may one bear another, may one think of another, may one touch another, may one know another. But the one Seer is undivided like a sea of pure water. This, O king, is the world of the Eternal.”—Thus Yajnavalkya imparted the wisdom handed down.—“This is the highest path of the spirit of man. This is his highest treasure. This is his highest world. This is his highest bliss. All beings, verily, live on a measure of this bliss.

He who among men is rich and happy, a lord well endowed with all wealth, this is the highest bliss of mankind. But a hundredfold greater than the bliss of mankind is the bliss of those who have departed and have won paradise. A hundredfold greater than the bliss of those who have departed and have won paradise is the bliss of the world of seraphs. A hundredfold greater than the bliss of the world of seraphs is the bliss of the bright powers who have grown divine through righteousness. A hundredfold greater than the bliss of the bright powers who have grown divine through righteousness is the bliss of the bright powers who are divine by birth, and of him who has heard the teaching, who is without deceit, who is not stricken by desire. A hundredfold greater than the bliss of the bright powers who are divine by birth is the bliss of the world of creative powers, and of him who has heard the teaching, who is without deceit, who is not stricken by desire. A hundredfold greater than the bliss of the world of creative powers is the bliss of the world of the Eternal, and of him who has heard the teaching, who is without deceit, who is not stricken by desire. This, verily, is the supreme bliss, this, O king, is the world of the Eternal.” Thus spoke Yajnavalkya.

He replied: “I give the Master a thousand cattle. But tell me the higher wisdom that makes for liberation!”

Then Yajnavalkya feared, thinking: the wise king has cut me off from all retreat.

 

PART IV, SECTION 4

JANAKA AND YAJNAVALKYA: III

THE WAY OF LIBERATION

And so when he has taken pleasure in this world of dream, moving to and fro and beholding good and evil, the spirit of man returns again by the same path, hurrying back to his former dwelling-place in the world of waking.

Then as a wagon heavy-laden might go halting, creaking, so the embodied self goes halting, overburdened by the Soul of Inspiration, when it has gone so far that a man is giving up the ghost.

When he falls into weakness, whether it be through old age or sickness be falls into weakness, then like as a mango or the fruit of the wave-leafed fig, or the fruit of the holy fig tree is loosened from its stem, so the spirit of man is loosed from these bodily members and returns again by the same pathway to its dwelling in the Life.

Then like as when a king is coming forth, his nobles, officers, charioteers and rulers of villages make ready to serve him with food and drink and shelter, saying: the king is coming, the king is at hand!—so all the powers make ready to wait on the soul, saying: the soul is coming, the soul is at hand!

And like as when a king is going onward, his nobles, officers, charioteers and rulers of villages gather about him; so verily, at the time of the end, all the life-powers gather round the soul, when it has gone so far that a man is giving up the ghost.

When this self falls into weakness and into confusion of spirit, then the life-powers are gathering in about him. He takes them up together in their radiant substance and enters with them into the heart.

When the spirit that dwells in sight is turned once more toward its source, he is no longer a perceiver of forms, he is becoming one, they say; he no longer sees. He is becoming one, they say; he no longer smells. He is becoming one, they say; he no longer tastes. He is becoming one, they say; he no longer speaks. He is becoming one, they say; he no longer hears. He is becoming one, they say; he no longer thinks. He is becoming one, they say; he no longer touches. He is becoming one, they say; he no longer knows.

Then of him the point of the heart becomes luminous, and when it has grown luminous, it lights the soul upon its way, whether it depart from the head or from the eye or from other parts of the body. And as the soul rises upward, the life-breath rises upward with it; and as the life-breath rises upward, the powers rise up with the life-breath. The soul is endowed with consciousness and enters into consciousness.

Then his wisdom and works take him by the hand, and the knowledge he has gained of old. Then as a caterpillar when it has come to the end of a leaf, reaching forward to another foothold, draws itself over to it, so the soul, laying aside the body and putting off unwisdom, reaching forward to another foothold, draws itself over to it.

As a worker in gold, taking an ornament of gold, moulds it to another form, newer and fairer, so of a truth the soul, laying aside the body here, and putting off unwisdom, makes for itself another form, newer and fairer: a form like the forms of the fathers, or of the seraphs, or of radiant beings, or of the progenitor, or of the formative divinity, or of other beings.

For this soul of man is the Eternal; it is made of consciousness, it is made of feeling, it is made of the life-breath, it is made of vision, it is made of hearing; it is made of the earth, it is made of the waters, it is made of the air, it is made of the ether; it is made of the radiance and what is beyond the radiance, it is made of desire and what is beyond desire, it is made of wrath and what is beyond wrath, it is made of the law and what is beyond the law. It is made of the All; as it is said, it is made of this world and of that world.

According as were his works and walk in life, so he becomes. He that works righteousness becomes righteous, and he that works evil becomes evil. He becomes holy through holy works and evil through evil works.

So, of a truth, they said of old: Man, verily, is formed of desire; as his desire is, so is his will; as his will is, so he works; and whatsoever work he does, in the likeness of that he grows.

Then there is this verse:

To whatsoever form his heart is attached, to that he goes, accompanied by his works, through his attachment thereto. When he has received the full reward of his work, whatsoever he has done here in this world, he returns again to this world, the world of works.

Thus far for him who is under desire. Now as to him who is free from desire, who is beyond desire, who has gained his desire, for whom the soul is his desire. From him the life-powers do not depart. Growing one with the Eternal, he enters into the Eternal.

Then there is this verse:

When all desires that were hid in his heart are let go, then the mortal becomes immortal and attains the Eternal.

And like as the slough of a snake lies lifeless, cast forth upon an ant-hill, so lies his body here, when the spirit of man rises up bodiless and immortal, as the Life, as the Eternal, as the Radiance.”

I give a thousand cattle to the Master,” thus spoke Janaka king of the Videhas.

Then there are these verses:

The small old path that stretches far away, has been found and followed by me. By it go the Seers who know the Eternal, rising up from this world to the heavenly world, attaining liberation.
It is adorned, they say, with gleaming white and blue, with yellow and green and red. This is the path that was made known by the Eternal; by it go the knower of the Eternal, the worker of holiness and all those endowed with radiance.

Blind darkness they enter, who worship unwisdom. They go, as it were, to yet greater darkness, who delight in wisdom.

Joyless verily are those worlds, by blind darkness enwrapped; thither at death go those who have not found wisdom, whose souls have not awakened to the light.

Who has gained knowledge of the Divine Self, realizing that he is that Divine Self, longing for what, desiring what, should he fret for bodily life?

By whom the Divine Self has been found, through his awakening to its reality, while he dwells in the wilderness of the world, he is the creator and maker of all; his is the world, for he is the world.

Even here in the world have we attained wisdom; if thou hast not attained wisdom, great is thy loss. They who know this Eternal, they become immortal. But those who know not, enter into sorrow.

When one gains clear vision of this Self Divine, lord of what has been, of what shall be, he no longer seeks to hide from the Eternal.

At whose feet rolls the circling year with all its days, that the Radiant Beings worship as the light of lights, as life immortal.

In whom the fivefold beings and the radiant ether are set firm , him I know to be the Divine Self; possessing wisdom, I know him as the immortal Eternal, I, immortal.

They who know the life of life, the eye of the eye, the ear of the ear, the heart of the heart, they have learned to know the Eternal, the Ancient, the Most High.

By the heart it is to be discerned: there is no separateness here. He goes from death to death who beholds separateness.

This immeasurable, unchanging is to be discerned, verily, as the One, stainless, beyond the shining ether, the unborn Divine Self, mighty, unchanging.

Let the wise man, the knower of the Eternal, knowing him, gain for himself wisdom. Let him not meditate on many words, for words are weariness.

This, verily, is the mighty, unborn Divine Self, who is made of Consciousness among the life-powers. This is the shining ether in the heart within, where dwells the ruler of all, master of all, lord of all. He becomes not greater through good works, nor less through [former] evil. He is lord of all, overlord of beings, shepherd of beings. He is the bridge that holds the worlds apart, lest they should flow together.

This is he whom the followers of the Eternal seek to know through repetition of the Vedas, through sacrifice, through the giving of gifts, through fervour and penance, through much fasting. Knowing him, one becomes a silent sage. This is the goal in search of which pilgrims go forth on pilgrimages.

Knowing him, the men of old desired not offspring. What should we do with offspring, they said, since ours is the Divine Self, the heavenly world? Rising above the desire of offspring, the desire of the world, the desire of wealth, they became saints. For the desire for offspring is a desire for wealth, and the desire for wealth is a desire for the world; for these are both desires.

The Divine Self is not that, not that. It is incomprehensible, for it cannot be comprehended; it is imperishable, for it passes not away; nought adheres to it, for it is free. It is unbound, trembles not, suffers no detriment.

For to him, verily, these two cross not over, whether he has done evil, or whether he has done righteously. He crosses over both; things done or undone afflict him not.

Then this is declared by the holy verse:

This is the lasting might of him who knows the Eternal, that he grows not greater nor less through works. Let him know the pathway of the Divine Self.

Knowing it, he is not stained even by [former] evil deeds.

Therefore he who knows the Divine Self has gained serenity, self-conquest, right cessation and endurance; his will is one-pointed.

In the Divine Self he beholds his own self, he beholds all as the Divine Self. Nor does evil reach him; he passes beyond all evil. Evil does not afflict him, he burns up all evil. He is free from evil, free from stain, free from doubt, a knower of the Eternal. This, O king, is the world of the Eternal. This thou hast attained.” Thus spoke Yajnavalkya.

I give the Master the Videhas, and myself also for service.” Thus spoke Janaka.

This, verily, is the Divine Self, unborn, unfading, deathless, immortal, fearless. This Divine Self is the fearless Eternal. He becomes the fearless Eternal, who knows this thus.

 

PART IV, SECTION 5—PART V, SECTION 12

YAJNAVALKYA AND MAITREYI

THE DIVINE SELF AS THE SUPREME TREASURE

It happened that Yajnavalkya had two wives, Maitreyi and Katyayani. Of these two, Maitreyi was possessed of the word of the Eternal, while Katyayani had such wisdom therein as is natural to women. Now the time had come for Yajnavalkya to pass onward into the next period of life. So Yajnavalkya spoke thus:

Maitreyi, I am about to go forth as a religious wanderer from this station of life. Therefore let me make a final disposition of my wealth with thee and with Katyayani here!”

Maitreyi said: “If, my lord, all this earth full of riches were mine, should I thereby become immortal?”

Yajnavalkya said: “Not so! not so! As is the life of those who have great possessions, so would thy life be. But there is no hope of immortality through riches!”

Maitreyi said: “What should I do with that whereby I may not become immortal? But what my master knows, that declare thou to me!”

Yajnavalkya said: “Dear, indeed, hast thou been to us, lady, but now thou hast increased thy dearness! I shall set forth the teaching to thee, and do thou meditate well on what I declare!”

He said: “Not, verily, for love of the husband is the husband dear, but for love of the divine Self is the husband dear.

Not, verily, for love of the wife is the wife dear, but for love of the divine Self is the wife dear.

Not, verily,, for love of sons are sons dear, but for love of the divine Self arc sons dear.

Not, verily, for love of riches are riches dear, but for love of the divine Self are riches dear.

Not, verily, for love of herds of cattle are herds of cattle dear, but for love of the divine Self are herds of cattle dear.

Not, verily, for love of the priest’s prayer is the priest’s prayer dear, but for love of the divine Self is the priest’s prayer dear.

Not, verily, for love of the warrior’s weapon is the warrior’s weapon dear, but for love of the divine Self is the warrior’s weapon dear.

Not, verily, for love of the worlds are the worlds dear, but for love of the divine Self are the worlds dear.

Not, verily, for love of the Bright Powers are the Bright Powers dear, but for love of the divine Self are the Bright Powers dear.

Not, verily, for love of the books of wisdom are the books of wisdom dear, but for love of the divine Self are the books of wisdom dear.

Not, verily, for love of beings arc beings dear, but for love of the divine Self are beings dear.

Not, verily, for love of the all is the all dear, but for love of the divine Self is the all dear.

The divine Self is to be seen, to be heard, to be thought on, to be meditated on, Maitreyi! For, verily, when the divine Self is seen, is heard, is thought on, is understood, all this is understood.

The essence of prayer forsakes him who sees the essence of prayer elsewhere than in the divine Self.

The essence of power forsakes him who sees the essence of power elsewhere than in the divine Self.

The worlds forsake him who sees the worlds elsewhere than in the divine Self.

The Bright Powers forsake him who sees the Bright Powers elsewhere than in the divine Self.

The books of wisdom forsake him who sees the books of wisdom elsewhere than in the divine Self.

Beings forsake him who sees beings elsewhere than in the divine Self.

The all deserts him who sees the all elsewhere than in the divine Self.

This essence of prayer, this essence of power, these worlds, these Bright Powers, these books of wisdom, these beings, this all is the divine Self.

It is as when a drum is being beaten, one cannot lay hands upon the sounds which are outside it, but by laying hands on the drum, or on the drummer, the sound, verily, is held.

It is as when a conch shell is being blown, one cannot lay hands upon the sounds which are outside it, but by laying hands on the conch shell, or on him who is blowing the conch shell, the sound, verily, is held.

It is as when a lute is being played, one cannot lay hands upon the sounds which are outside it, but by laying bands on the lute, or on him who is playing the lute, the sound, verily, is held.

It is as when a fire is laid with damp kindling wood, smoke-clouds spread in different directions; thus, verily, from this Great Being has been breathed forth that which is the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, the Veda of Atharva and Angirasa, the Histories, the Ancient Books, Wisdom, Upanishads, Poems, Memorial Verses, Expositions, Commentaries, sacrifice, oblation, food, drink, this world and the world beyond, and all beings. From That, verily, all these have been breathed forth.

So, as of all waters the ocean is the place of union, so of all contacts the sense of touch in the skin is the place of union, of all odours the two nostrils are the place of union, of all tastes the tongue is the place of union, of all forms sight is the place of union, of all sounds hearing is the place of union, of all impulses of will the mind is the place of union, of all wisdoms the heart is the place of union, of all works the two hands are the place of union, of all formative powers the creative power is the place of union, of all putting forth the power which puts forth is the place of union, of all journeyings the two feet are the place of union, of all the Vedic hymns voice is the place of union.

So, as a quantity of salt has neither outside nor inside, but is altogether a mass of taste, so, verily, this divine Self has neither outside nor inside, but is altogether a sum of perceiving consciousness. From these beings having taken its rise, into them, verily, it returns. After it has departed, no perception remains behind. Thus I declare it.”

Thus spoke Yajnavalkya. Then spoke Maitreyi:

My master, verily, has caused me to enter into confusion; for I, verily, do not understand this divine Self!”

He replied:

Of a truth I speak not confusion. This divine Self, verily, is imperishable; it is in nature invulnerable, indivisible.

For where there is, as it were, a second, the one sees the other, the one smells the other, the one tastes the other, the one addresses the other, the one hears the other, the one thinks of the other, the one touches the other, the one understands the other. But where for him all has become the divine Self, then by what and whom should one behold? by what and whom should one smell? by what and whom should one taste? by what and whom should one address? by what and whom should one hear? by what and whom should one think of? by what and whom should one touch? by what and whom should one understand? For by what could one understand the divine Self by whom one understands all?

For the divine Self is not this, not this! it is incomprehensible, for it is not comprehended; it is indestructible, for it cannot be destroyed; it is free from attachment, for it cannot be attached; it is not bound, it trembles not, it cannot be wounded.

Whereby, verily, could one know the Knower? Thus art thou instructed in wisdom, Maitreyi. This, of a truth, is immortality!”

When he had thus spoken, Yajnavalkya set forth.

 


Note: Part IV, Section VI (The Line of Teachers) was left untranslated.


 

Om! Complete is that world. Complete is this world. From that, this is emanated. After taking this complete from that complete, that remains complete.

Om! Radiant ether is the Eternal, the ancient ether, the ether stirred by the Great Breath! Thus of old said the son of Kauravyayani. This is the wisdom of those who know the Eternal. Through this I know what should be known.

The threefold children of the Lord of beings dwelt with their Father, the Lord of beings, in service of the Eternal: namely, the Bright Powers, the sons of men, the Powers of darkness.

After they had dwelt with Him in service of the Eternal, the Bright Powers said: Let our Lord speak to us!

To them He spoke the syllable Da, adding, Have you understood? We have understood! they answered. Thou saidst to us: Damyata! Conquer yourselves!—Om! verily, you have understood! He said.

And so the sons of men said to Him: Let our Lord speak to us!

To them He spoke the syllable Da, adding, Have you understood? We have understood! they answered. Thou saidst to us: Datta! Give!—Om! verily, you have understood! He said.

And so the Powers of darkness said to Him: Let our Lord speak to us!

To them He spoke the syllable Da, adding, Have you understood ? We have understood! they answered. Thou saidst to us: Dayadhvam! Be compassionate!—Om! verily, you have understood! He said.

Therefore this divine Voice repeats as Thunder: Da! Da! Da! Conquer yourselves! Give! Be compassionate! Therefore this threefold command should be carried out: Self-conquest, generous giving, compassion.

 

This, which is the Heart, is the Lord of beings, this is the Eternal, this is the All.

The Heart, Hri-da-yam, has three syllables.

Hri is one syllable. His own and others also bring (hri) gifts to him who thus knows.

Da is one syllable. His own and others also give (da) to him who thus knows.

Yam is a syllable. He goes (ya) to the heaven-world who thus knows.

That, verily, is That. This, verily, was That, namely, the Real. He who knows that Great Spirit as the first-born, namely, that the Real is the Eternal, wins these worlds. Could he be overcome, who thus knows that this Great Spirit is the first-born, that the Real is the Eternal? For, verily, the Real is the Eternal.

 

The Waters (of Space) were here in the beginning. The Waters manifested the Real—the Real, which is the Eternal;—the Eternal manifested the Lord of Beings; the Lord of Beings manifested the Bright Powers. They, the Bright Powers, make obeisance to the Real. Thus there is the trisyllable Sa-ti-yam (Satyam, Real), sa is one syllable, ti is one syllable, yam is one syllable. The first and last syllables are the Real; in the midst is falsehood. And this falsehood is comprehended on both sides by the Real and shares the being of the Real. Falsehood injures not him who thus knows.

What the Real is, that sun also is. The Spirit within the circle (of the sun) and the Spirit who is in the right eye, these two are correlated to each other. Through his rays that (Spirit in the sun) is correlated with this (Spirit in the right eye); through the life-breaths this is correlated with that. When he is about to ascend (at death), he beholds that circle pure; these rays no more come to meet him.

The Spirit who is in this circle (of the sun)—his head is Bhur (Earth); there is one head, this is one syllable. Bhuvar (Midworld) is his two arms; there are two arms, these are two syllables. Svar (Heaven) is his standing; there are two feet, this is two syllables (su-ar). His spiritual significance is “Day”. He slays evil and leaves it behind him, who thus knows.

The Spirit who is in the right eye—his head is Bhur; there is one head, this is one syllable. Bhuvar is his two arms; there are two arms, these are two syllables. Svar is his standing; there are two feet, this is two syllables. His spiritual significance is “I”. He slays evil and leaves it behind him, who thus knows.

 

Formed of Mind, of the substance of Light, is this Spirit in the inner Heart; it is as a grain of rice or barley. This is the ruler of all, the overlord of all, who governs this whole world, whatever there is.

The Eternal is as lightning, because of radiating and dividing. Lightning divides him from evil, who thus knows that the Eternal is as lightning, for the Eternal is as lightning.

Let him make obeisance to Voice as a milch cow. She has four teats: The Invocation, the Presentation, the Salutation, the Benediction. The Bright Powers are nourished by two teats: the Invocation and the Presentation. The sons of men are nourished by the Salutation. The Fathers are nourished by the Benediction. The Life is as the bull; Mind is as the calf.

This fire common to all men is within the man, whereby is cooked the food which is eaten. The sound of the fire is heard when the fingers are pressed against the two ears. When the man is about to go forth at death, he no longer hears this sound.

When, verily, a man goes forth from this world at death, he comes to the Great Breath. This makes a place for him like the central space in a chariot wheel. Through this he ascends.

He comes to the sun. This makes a place for him like the hollow of a drum. Through this he ascends.

He comes to the moon. This makes a place for him like the hollow of a kettle-drum. Through this he ascends.

He comes to a world where he is afflicted neither by heat nor cold. In this world he dwells for immeasurable years.

This, verily, is the supreme austerity when one afflicted by sickness suffers. He gains the supreme world, who thus knows.

This, verily, is the supreme austerity when they carry the body of him who has gone forth to the forest. He gains the supreme world, who thus knows.

This, verily, is the supreme austerity when they lay the body of him who has gone forth upon the funeral pyre. He gains the supreme world, who thus knows.

There are some who say that the Eternal is Food. But this is not so, for without life, food is subject to decay.

There are some who say that the Eternal is Life. But this is not so, for without food, life withers and dries up.

These two Powers reach their highest state when they have entered into union.

 

Therefore Pratrida said to his father: What good could I do to one who thus knows, or what evil could I do him?

But his father answered, making a sign with his hand: No, Pratrida, for who has gained the highest attainment merely by identifying himself with these two?

Then his father said to him: Vi!—for vi signifies food, for all these beings have entered into food; Ram!—for ram is life, for all these beings rejoice in life.

All beings, verily, enter into him, all beings rejoice in him, who thus knows.

 

PART V, SECTION 13—PART VI, SECTION 1

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE GAYATRI

THE LOGOS AND DIVINE CONSCIOUSNESS

The Intoning: The Intoning, verily, is Life, for Life raises and supports all in this world. A hero, knowing the Intoning, rises up from him, he wins oneness of nature, oneness of dwelling, with the Intoning, who knows thus.

The Formula: The Formula, verily, is Life, for in Life all beings in this world are united. All beings are united for mastery to him, he wins oneness of nature, oneness of dwelling, with the Formula, who knows thus.

The Chant: The Chant, verily, is Life, for in Life all beings in this world come together. Coming together, verily, all beings build for the mastery of him, he wins oneness of nature, oneness of dwelling, with the Chant, who thus knows.

The Rule: The Rule, verily, is Life, the Rule, of a truth, is Life, for Life guards from all harm. He attains a Rule which needs not to be guarded, he wins oneness of nature, oneness of dwelling, with the Rule, who knows thus.

 

The Earth, the Mid-world, the Heavens,—these make up eight syllables. And one division of the Gayatri, the holy hymn, contains eight syllables. And that sequence is this division of it. As much as there is in these three worlds, so much does he win, who knows this division thus.

Verses, Formulas, and the Chants,—these make up eight syllables. And one division of the Gayatri contains eight syllables. And that sequence is this division of it. As much as is this threefold lore, so much does he win, who knows this division thus.

Breathing, Out-breathing, Forth-breathing,—these make up eight syllables. And one division of the Gayatri contains eight syllables. And that sequence is this division of it. As much that possesses Breathing as there is in this world, so much does he win, who knows this division thus.

And so there is the fourth (turiya), the beautiful division, he who gleams above the dust of life. This fourth (turiya) division is called the beautiful, because it is revealed. It is called above-the-dust because it gleams above, above the dust of life. He shines in grace and glory, who knows this division thus.

And this Gayatri, the holy hymn, is established upon that fourth (turiya) beautiful division, above the dust of life. That is established upon Truth. Vision, verily, is Truth; yea, Vision, verily is Truth. Therefore, if now two should come contending,—the one saying: “I have seen!”, the other saying: “I have heard!” we should put faith in him who said: “I have seen!”

And that Truth is established on Power. Verily, Power is Life. It is established on Life. Therefore they say: “Power has greater radiance than Truth!” Thus is this Gayatri established with regard to the Divine Self.

This Gayatri protects the servants of the house. The life-breaths, verily, are the servants of the house. Thus it protects the life-breaths. Because it protects (tra) the servants of the house (gaya), it bears the name, Gayatri; it is the verse concerning the Life-giver, which is intoned. When one intones it, it protects his life-breaths.

There are those who intone this verse concerning the Life-giver in four times eight syllables. “Voice”, they say, “has four times eight divisions; we intone the verse concerning the Life-giver in accordance with this!” Let him not do this, but let him intone the verse concerning the Life-giver as thrice eight syllables. Verily, if he who knows thus lays hold on much, as it were,—that is not equal to even one division of the Gayatri.

If he should lay hold on the three worlds and all that therein is, he would obtain as much as the first division of the Gayatri. If he should lay hold on the threefold lore, he would obtain as much as the second division. If he should lay hold on all that possess Breathing, he would obtain as much as the third division. But the fourth (turiya) division, the beautiful, which gleams above the dust of life, cannot be thus obtained by anyone. For how could one lay hold upon so much!

Thus is the Gayatri approached with adoration: “O Gayatri, thou hast one division, two divisions, three divisions, four divisions; yet thou art without division, for thou art undivided! Adoration to thy fourth (turiya) division, the beautiful, above the dust of life! Let not that one obtain that,—that is, the enemy. Or, let not the desire of that one be fulfilled! Verily, his desire is not fulfilled, regarding whom one thus adores. Or, let me obtain that!”

Concerning this, Janaka, King of the Videhas, thus spoke to Budila the son of Ashvatarashvin: “If thou hast said that thou knowest the Gayatri, how hast thou become bearer of burdens, as an elephant?”

O King!” he replied, “I did not know its mouth!”

Verily, the Fire-lord is its mouth. For even if they lay much, as it were, on the fire, the fire consumes it all. In the same way, he who thus knows, even when he has committed much sin, purging himself of it all, he becomes cleansed, purified, free from decay, immortal.

 

By a veil as of gold, the face of the Real is hidden. O thou Shepherd of the flock, Lord of the sun, lift up that veil, for the vision of the law of the Real!

Shepherd and Lord of Light, thou only Seer, Lord of Death, Light-Giver, Son of the Lord of Life, send forth thy rays and bring them together!

That radiance of thine, thy form most beautiful I behold; the Spiritual Man in the real world. That am I!

My Spirit enters the Spirit, the Immortal. And this body has its end in ashes! Om!

O Sacrifice, remember! Remember what has been done! O Sacrifice, remember! Remember what has been done!

O Divine Fire, lead us by the good path to Victory! O Bright One, thou who knowest all wisdoms!

Give us victory over our consuming sin! To Thee we offer the highest word of praise!

 

Om! He, verily, who knows the most venerable and the best becomes the most venerable and best of his own people. The Great Breath, verily, is the most venerable and the best. He who knows thus becomes the most venerable and the best of his own people, and of those of whom he wishes so to become.

He, verily, who knows the most excellent becomes the most excellent of his own people. Voice, verily, is the most excellent. He who knows thus becomes the most excellent of his own people, and also of those of whom he wishes so to become.

He, verily, who knows the firm foundation stands firm both on even and on uneven ground. Seeing, verily, is the firm foundation, for through Seeing one stands firm on even and on uneven ground. He stands firm on even and on uneven ground who knows thus.

He, verily, who knows the treasure, attains as treasure whatsoever he desires. Hearing, verily, is the treasure, for in hearing is stored the treasure of all these Vedas. He attains as treasure whatsoever he desires who knows thus.

He, verily, who knows the abode becomes the abode of his own people, an abode of men. Mind, verily, is the abode. He becomes the abode of his own people, the abode of men, who knows thus.

He, verily, who knows the life-power increases in offspring and cattle. The seed, verily, is the life-power. He increases in offspring and cattle who knows thus.

 

They, verily, these vital powers contended among themselves as to which was the better. They went to Brahma. To Brahma they said: “Which of us is most excellent?”

To them Brahma said: “That one of you through whose going forth the body is thought to be most afflicted, that one of you is the most excellent!”

So Voice went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, Voice said: “How have ye been able to live without me?”

They said: “As the dumb, not speaking, yet breathing with the breath, seeing with sight, hearing through the power of hearing, knowing through the mind, giving through the life-power, thus have we lived!” Voice entered in again.

Then Seeing went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, Seeing said: “How have ye been able to live without me?”

They said: “As the blind, not perceiving with sight, yet breathing with the breath, speaking with the voice, hearing through the power of hearing, knowing through the mind, giving life through the life-power, thus have we lived!” Seeing entered in again.

Then Hearing went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, Hearing said: “How have ye been able to live without me?”

They said: “As the deaf, not hearing with the power of hearing, yet breathing with the breath, speaking with the voice, seeing with sight, knowing with the mind, giving life through the life-power, thus have we lived!” Hearing entered in again.

Then Mind went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, Mind said: “How have ye been able to live without me?”

They said:· “As the deluded, not knowing through the mind, yet breathing with the breath, speaking with the voice, seeing with sight, hearing through the power of hearing, giving life through the life-power, thus have we lived!” Mind entered in again.

Then the Life-power went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, the Life-power said: “How have ye been able to live without me?”

They said: “As the impotent, not giving life through the life-power, yet breathing with the breath, speaking with the voice, seeing with sight, hearing with the power of hearing, knowing with the mind, thus have we lived!” The Life-power entered in again.

Then, when Breath would have gone forth, as a strong horse from the region of the Sindhu (Indus) might drag away his foot-ropes and their pegs, so did Breath drag away the lesser vital powers with him.

They said: “O Worthy One, go not forth! For without thee we shall not be able to live!”

If such I be, then make an offering to me!”

So be it!” said they.

Voice, verily, said: “Wherein I am most excellent, therein most excellent art thou!”

Seeing, verily, said: “Wherein I am a firm foundation, therein art thou the firm foundation!”

Hearing, verily, said: “Wherein I am a treasure, therein art thou the treasure!”

Mind, verily, said: “Wherein I am an abode, therein art thou the abode!”

The Life-power, verily, said: “Wherein I am giving life, therein art thou giving life!”

Breath said: “If such I be, what is my food? What is my dwelling?”

Whatsoever there is in this world, down to the food of dogs, down to the food of caterpillars, down to the food of worms and butterflies, that is thy food! As for thy dwelling, it is the waters.”

What is not food is not eaten by the Breath. What is not food is not laid hold of by him who knows thus: that it is the food of Life, of Breath. They who know this, who have heard the teaching, being about to eat, sip water, and having eaten, sip water. Thus they think that they make Breath not naked.

 

PART VI, SECTION 2

KING PRAVARANA, SON OF JIVALA

RAJANYA AND BRAHMAN

Shvetaketu, verily, Aruna’s grandson, came to the assembly of the Panchala nation. He came to Pravahana, son of Jivala, who was attended by his followers. Looking up at him, the king addressed him:

Youth!” said he.

Sir!” he replied.

Hast thou received the teaching from thy father?”

Yes!” he said.

Knowest thou how these beings, going forth from this world, proceed on different paths?”

No!” said he.

Knowest thou how they come back to this world again?”

No!” he said.

Knowest thou how that world is not filled up by the many going thither again and again?”

No!” said he.

Knowest thou at which sacrifice being sacrificed, the waters, rising up, speak with human voice?”

No!” said he.

Knowest thou the approach of the path of the gods, or of the path of the fathers, or by doing what they approach the path of the gods or the path of the fathers: as the word of the Rishi has been heard by us:

“’Two ways I heard of, for mortals, the way of the fathers and the way of the gods.
By them goes all that moves, between father heaven and mother earth.’”

No!” said he; “I do not know even one of them.”

The king invited him to remain as his pupil. Not consenting to remain, he ran away to his father. He said to him:

Forsooth, Sir, thou didst say that we had received the teaching!”

How now, wise one?” he answered.

This Rajanya fellow has asked me five questions, and I do not know one of them!”

What were they?” said he.

These!” said he, and he enumerated them. His father said:

Thou knowest us thus, dear, that whatever know, told it all to thee! But come, let us two set forth thither, and dwell as pupils with the king!”

Go yourself, Sir!” said he.

That descendant of Gotama went to where Pravahana, son of Jivala, was. To him offering a seat, the king caused water to be offered. He made him the offering. To him the king said:

We give a wish to the worshipful descendant of the Gotamas.”

He said:

This wish is promised to me: the speech that thou didst speak in the presence of the boy, tell me that!”

The king said:

That, O descendant of the Gotamas, is among the wishes of the gods. Say a wish of men!”

He said:

It is well known! There is store of gold, of cattle and horses, of slave-girls and tapestries and robes! May the Master not be niggardly toward us, in that which is great, infinite, illimitable!”

The king said:“This wish, descendant of the Gotamas, must be sought according to rule.”

I offer myself as thy pupil!” said he. For with this word the men of old betook them to a Master. He therefore dwelt there, thus becoming his disciple.

The king said to him:

Therefore, O descendant of the Gotamas, be thou without reproach toward us, thou and thy forefathers: since this teaching never before dwelt in any Brahman, but to thee shall declare it, for who has the right to refuse thee, speaking thus!”

He said:

That world, verily, is as a sacrificial fire, O descendant of the Gotamas. Of it, the sun truly is as the fuel; the rays of light are as the smoke; day is as the flame; the regions of the heavens are as the embers; the lesser regions are as the sparks. In this sacrificial fire the Radiant Beings offer faith. From this oblation Soma Raja arises.

The cloud of watery vapour, verily, is as a sacrificial fire. O descendant of the Gotamas. Of it, the year is as the fuel; the thunder clouds are as the smoke; the lightning is as the flame; the thunderbolts are as the embers; the hail-stones are as the sparks. In this sacrificial fire the Radiant Beings offer Soma Raja. From this oblation rain arises.

This world, verily, is as a sacrificial fire, O descendant of the Gotamas. Of it, the earth is as the fuel; the fire is as the fuel; the night is as the flame; the moon is as the embers; the stars are as the sparks. In this sacrificial fire the Radiant Beings offer the rain. From this oblation food arises.

The union of parents, verily, is as a sacrificial fire, O descendant of the Gotamas. The lips opened in breathing are as the fuel; the life-breath is as the smoke; vision is as the embers; hearing is as the sparks. In this sacrificial fire of union the Radiant Beings offer the food. From this oblation the new-born being arises. He lives his full life-span, and then he dies, and they take him to the pyre. . . . In this fire the bright powers offer the man, and from that sacrifice the man is born, of the colour of the sun.

They who know this thus, and they who, in the forest, follow faith and truth, they are born into the flame, from the flame they go to the day, from the day to the waxing moon, from the waxing moon to the six months in which the sun goes north, from these months to the Deva-world, from the Deva-world to the sun, from the sun to the lightning; them, reaching the lightning, a person, mind-born, coming, leads to the worlds of the Eternal. They dwell in those worlds of the Eternal, in the highest realms; for them there is no return.

But they who win worlds by sacrifice, gifts, penance, they are born into the smoke of the pyre, from the smoke they go to the night, from the night to the waning moon; from the waning moon to the six months in which the sun goes south, from these months to the world of the fathers, from the world of the fathers to the moon. They, reaching the moon, become food. The gods feast on them, as they wax and wane, like the lunar lord. Then, going full circle, they descend to this ether, from the ether to the air, from the air to rain, from rain to the earth; reaching the earth, they become food. Again they are sacrificed in the fire of man and the fire of woman, and are reborn, coming forth again to the world of men. Thus, verily, they go on their circling way.”


Note: the remainder of Part VI (sections 3-5) was left untranslated due to the passing of Charles Johnston. For an alternate translation see Chapter VI, Third-Fifth Brāhmaṇa, of S. Radhakrishnan’s translation (The Principle Upanishads) or Part VI, Chapter III-V, of Swami Nikhilananda’s translation.


See Also


Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad

Translated from the Sanskrit with Interpretations

By Charles Johnston

Full Text Online

Translated by Swāmi Nikhilānanda

Brihadāranyaka Upanishad

Part One

Chapter I

MEDITATION ON THE HORSE-SACRIFICE

1

OM. Verily, the head of the sacrificial horse is the dawn, its eye the sun, its vital breath the wind, its open mouth the Vaiśvānara fire, and the trunk of the sacrificial horse is the year. The back is heaven, the belly the intermediate region, the hoof the earth, the sides the four quarters, the ribs the intermediate quarters, the limbs the seasons, the joints the months and half-months, the feet the days and nights, the bones the stars, the flesh the clouds. Its half-digested food [in the stomach] is the sand, the blood-vessels the rivers, the liver and lungs the mountains, the hair the herbs and trees. The fore part of the horse is the rising sun, and the hinder part the setting sun. Its yawn is lightning, its shaking of the body is thunder, its making water is rain, and its neighing is indeed voice.

2

The day, verily, is the golden cup called mahimān, in front of the horse, which arose pointing it out. Its source is the eastern sea. The night, verily, is the silver cup called mahimān, behind the horse, which arose pointing it out. Its source is the western sea. These two vessels appeared at either end of the horse. As a racer the horse carried the gods; as a stallion, the gandharvas; as a runner, the demons; as a horse, men. The sea is its stable, and the sea, its source.

 

Chapter II

THE PROCESS OF CREATION

1

In the beginning there was nothing whatsoever in the universe. By Death (Hiranyagarbha), indeed, all this was covered—by hunger; for hunger is, verily, death. “Let Me have a mind,” was His desire, and He created the mind. Then He moved about, worshipping Himself. From Him, thus worshipping, water was produced. “Verily,” Death thought, “while I was worshipping (archatē), water (ka) was produced”; that is why arka (the fire used in the Horse-sacrifice) is so called. Surely, water [or happiness] comes to him who knows how arka (fire) came to be called arka.

2

Water, verily, is arka. What was then like froth on the water became solidified; that was earth. After the earth was created, Hiranyagarbha was tired. From Him, thus fatigued and heated, came forth His essence as brightness. That was Fire.

3

He divided Himself into three: [fire one-third,] the sun one-third, and the air one-third. Thus Prāna (Virāj) is divided into three. His head is the east, and His arms are that (the north-east) and that (the south-east). His hinder part is the west, and His two hip-bones are that (the north-west) and that (the south-west). His sides are the south and the north, His back is heaven, His belly is the intermediate region, and His chest is the earth. Thus He stands firm on water. He who knows this stands firm wherever he goes.

4

He desired: “Let a second self be born of Me,” and He (Death or Hunger) brought about the union of speech with the mind. What was the seed there became the year. Prior to that there had been no year. He (Death) bore him (the year) for as long as a year, and after that time projected him. Then, when he was born, Death opened His mouth [to devour him]. He (the child) cried: “Bhān!” and that, indeed, became speech.

5

He thought: “If I kill him, I shall have but very little food,” and through [the union of] that speech and that mind He brought forth all this, whatever there is: the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sāma-Veda, the metres, the sacrifices, men, and animals. Whatever He (Death) brought forth He resolved to eat. Verily, because He eats (ad) everything, therefore is Aditi (Death) called Aditi. He who knows why Aditi came to have this name of Aditi becomes the eater of everything, and everything becomes his food.

6

He desired: “Let me sacrifice again with the great sacrifice.” He was tired and he practised austerities. From Him thus fatigued and heated, His fame and vigour departed. The prānas (organs) are verily fame and vigour. When the prānas went out His body began to swell, but the mind was set on the body.

7

He desired: “Let this body of Mine be fit for a sacrifice, and let Me be embodied through this [body].” [Thinking thus, He entered the body.] Because the body swelled (aśvat), therefore it came to be called horse (aśva). And because it became fit for sacrifice (medhya), therefore the Horse-sacrifice came to be known as Aśvamedha. He who knows this verily knows the Horse-sacrifice.

[Prajāpati, desiring again to sacrifice with the great sacrifice, imagined Himself as the horse,] and letting the horse remain free, He reflected [on it]. At the end of a year he sacrificed it to Himself and dispatched the [other] animals to the gods. Therefore [priests even now] sacrifice to Prajāpati the sanctified [horse] dedicated to all the gods.

Verily, the sun who shines yonder is the Horse-sacrifice. His body is the year. This [earthly] fire is the arka (sacrificial fire), whose limbs are these worlds. So these two, fire and the sun, are the arka and the Aśvamedha (Horse-sacrifice). These two, again, become the same god, Death. He who knows this conquers further death; death cannot overcome him; death becomes his self; and he becomes one with these deities.

 

Chapter III

THE PRĀNA: ITS GLORIES AND REDEEMING POWER

1

There were two classes of Prajāpati’s sons: the gods (devas) and the demons (asuras). Naturally, the gods were few and the demons many. They struggled with one another for [mastery of] these worlds. [Being overwhelmed by the demons,] the gods said: “Well, let us overcome the demons at the sacrifice (jyotishtoma) by means of the Udgitha.”

2

They said to the organ of speech: “Chant [the Udgitha] for us.” “So be it,” said speech and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the organ of speech, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] the fine utterance [of the words] it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it (speech) and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one speaks improperly; that is that evil.

3

Then they said to the organ of smell: “Chant [the Udgitha] for us.” “So be it,” said the organ and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the nose, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] fine smelling it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one smells improper things; that is that evil.

4

Then they said to the organ of seeing: “Chant [the Udgitha] for us.” “So be it,” said the organ and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the eye, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] fine seeing it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one sees improper things; that is that evil.

5

Then they said to the organ of hearing: “Chant [the Udgitha] for us.” “So be it,” said the organ and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the ear, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] fine hearing it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one hears improper things; that is that evil.

6

Then they said to the mind: “Chant [the Udgitha] for us.” “So be it,” said the mind and chanted for them. Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the mind, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] fine thinking it utilized for itself. Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it and pierced it with evil. That evil is what is found today when one thinks improperly; that is that evil.

Likewise they also touched these [other] deities with evil—smote them with evil.

7

Then they said to the vital breath in the mouth: “Chant [the Udgitha] for us.” “So be it,” said the vital breath and chanted for them. The demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them. They charged at it, intending to pierce it with evil. But as a clod of earth, hitting a stone, is scattered, even so they were scattered in all directions, crushed, and completely destroyed. Thereupon the gods became established [in their true selves] and the demons perished. He who knows this becomes his true self, and his spiteful kinsman perishes.

8

Then the organs said: “Where is that which joined us [to our true selves]?” [After deliberation they discovered that] it was here, within the mouth (āsyē). Hence the vital breath (prāna) is called ayāsya, and also, because it is the essence (rasa) of the limbs (anga) of the body, āngirasa.

9

That deity is called “dur,” because death is far (dur) from it. From him who knows this, death is far away.

10

That deity took away death, the evil of these gods, and carried it to where the end of the quarters is. There it deposited their evil. Therefore let no one go to a person [of that region], or to the country beyond the border, lest he should meet there with evil, with death.

11

That deity, after taking away the death—the evil—of the gods, carried them beyond death.

12

First of all, it carried the organ of speech, which is the foremost organ. When the organ of speech was freed from death it became fire. That fire, having transcended death, shines beyond its reach.

13-15

Then it carried the organ of smell. When it was freed from death it became air (Vāyu). That air, having transcended death, blows beyond its reach.

Then it carried the organ of sight. When it was freed from death it became the sun (Surya). That sun, having transcended death, shines beyond its reach.

Then it carried the organ of hearing. When it was freed from death, it became the quarters (Disah). Those quarters, having transcended death, remain beyond its reach.

16

Then it carried the mind. When the mind was freed from death it became the moon (Chandra). That moon, having transcended death, shines beyond its reach. Thus, verily, that deity carries beyond death him who knows this.

17

Next it (the vital breath) obtained eatable food for itself by chanting. For whatever food is eaten, is eaten by the vital breath alone, and it (the vital breath) rests on that (the food).

18

The gods said to the vital breath: “Verily, just this much is all the food there is, and you have secured it for yourself by chanting. Now give us, please, a share of this food.”

Then sit around facing me.”

So be it.”

They sat down around the vital breath. That is why whatever food one eats through the vital breath satisfies the organs.

So do his relatives sit around facing him who knows this; he becomes the supporter of his kinsmen, the greatest among them and their leader, a good eater of food, and their lord.

Whoever, among his kinsmen, desires to be a rival of the man who has this knowledge is not able to support his dependents. But, on the other hand, he who follows him (the knower of the vital breath) and who, following him, desires to support his dependents is certainly able to do so.

19

It is called ayāsa āngirasa, for it is the essence (rasa) of the limbs (anga). Yes, the prāna is the essence of the limbs. From whichever limb the vital breath departs, that limb withers right there; therefore it is verily the essence of the limbs.

20

It is also Brihaspati (lord of the Rig-Veda). Speech is Brihati (Rig), and the vital breath is its lord (pati). Therefore it is called Brihaspati.

21

It is also the Brahmanaspati (lord of the Yajur-Veda). Speech is Brahman (Yajur), and the vital breath is its lord (pati). Therefore it is called Brahmanaspati.

22

Prāna is Sāman, too. Speech is, verily, sa and this (prāna) is ama. Sāman (the chant of the Sāma-Veda) is known by that name because it is sā (speech) and ama (prāna). Or because it (prāna) is equal (sama) to a white ant, equal to a mosquito, equal to an elephant, equal to these three worlds, nay, equal to this universe; therefore it (prāna) is indeed the Sāma-Veda. He who knows this vital breath to be such attains union with it or lives in the same world with it.

23

And it is also the Udgitha. The vital breath is verily ut, for by the vital breath all this [universe] is upheld (uttabdha); and speech is githa (song). And because it is ut and githa, therefore it is Udgitha.

24

Regarding this [there is also the following anecdote]: Brahmadatta, the great-grandson of Chikitāna, while drinking Icing [soma], said: “Let this soma strike off my head if I say that the ayāsya āngirasa chanted the Udgitha through any other means than this [vital breath and speech].” Surely he chanted through speech and the vital breath.

25

He who knows the wealth of this sāman (vital breath) obtains wealth. Tone, indeed, is its wealth. Therefore let one who is going to perform the sacrificial work as a priest desire that his voice may have a good tone, and let him perform the sacrifice through that voice with a good tone. Therefore people desire to see at a sacrifice a priest with a good voice, like one who has wealth. He who thus knows what is the wealth of the sāman obtains wealth.

26

He who knows the suvarna (gold) of the sāman (vital breath) obtains gold. Tone is verily its gold. He who thus knows what is the gold of the sāman obtains gold.

27

He who knows the support of the sāman (vital breath) gets a support. Speech verily is its support. For, supported in speech, the vital breath is transformed into a chant. Some say the support is in food (the body).

28

Next follows the edifying repetition (abhyāroha) only of the hymns called pavamānas. The priest called prastotri indeed chants the sāman. While he chants it, let the sacrificer recite these [Yajur verses]:

Lead me from the unreal to the real. From darkness lead me to light. From death lead me to immortality.”

When the mantra (verse) says: “Lead me from the unreal to the real,” “the unreal” means death, and the “real,” immortality; so it says, “From death lead me to immortality,” that is to say, “Make me immortal.”

When it says: “From darkness lead me to light,” “darkness” means death, and “light,” immortality; so it says: “From death lead me to immortality,” that is to say, “Make me immortal.”

In the verse: “From death lead me to immortality,” there is nothing that is hidden.

Then come the remaining hymns, with which, by singing them, [the chanter] should obtain food for himself. Therefore while they are being chanted let the sacrificer ask for a boon—anything that he desires. Whatever objects this chanter, endowed with such knowledge, desires for himself or for the sacrificer, he obtains by his chanting. This [meditation] by itself wins the world (Hiranyagarbha). He who thus knows the sāman (the prāna, or vital breath)—for him there is no fear of not being admitted into that world.

 

Chapter IV

THE CREATION AND ITS CAUSE

1

In the beginning, this [universe] was the self (Virāj) alone, in the shape of a person. He reflected and saw nothing else but His self. He first said: “I am He.” Therefore He came to be known by the name I (Aham). Hence, even now, when a person is addressed, he first says: “It is I,” and then says whatever other name he may have. And because He, before (purva) the whole group [of aspirants], burnt (aushat) all evils, therefore He is called Purusha. He who knows this verily burns up him who wishes to be [Virāj] in advance of him.

2

He was afraid. Therefore people [still] are afraid when alone. He thought: “Since there is nothing else but Myself, what am I afraid of?” Thereupon His fears were gone; for what was there to fear? Assuredly, it is from a second [entity] that fear arises.

3

He was not at all happy. Therefore a person [even today] is not happy when alone. He desired a mate. He became the size of a man and wife in close embrace. He divided this body into two. From that [division] arose husband (pati) and wife (patni). Therefore, as Yājnavalkya said, the body [before one accepts a wife] is one half of oneself, like the half of a split pea. Therefore this space is indeed filled by the wife. He was united with her. From that [union] human beings were born.

4

She reflected: “How can he unite with me after having produced me from himself? Well, let me hide myself.” She became a cow, the other (Manu) became a bull and was united with her; from that [union] cows were born. The one became a mare, the other became a stallion; the one became a she-ass, the other became a he-ass and was united with her; from that [union] one-hoofed animals were born. The one became a she-goat, the other became a he-goat; the one became an ewe, the other became a ram and was united with her; from that [union] goats and sheep were born. Thus, indeed, he produced everything that exists in pairs, down to the ants.

5

He (Virāj) realized: “Indeed, I am the creation, for I produced all this.” Therefore He became the creation. He who knows this becomes a creator in this creation of Virāj.

6

Then He (Virāj) rubbed back and forth thus and produced fire from its source: the mouth and the hands. Therefore both the hands and mouth are hairless inside.

When they (the priests) speak of particular gods, saying: “Sacrifice to him,” “Sacrifice to that one,” [they are mistaken]; for these are all His manifestations: He Himself is all the gods.

Now, whatever is liquid, He produced from semen; and that is soma. This universe is indeed this much: food and the eater of food. Soma is food; and fire, the eater of food. This is the highest creation of Virāj, that He projected the gods, who are even superior to Him. This is the highest creation because He, although mortal Himself, manifested the immortal. And he who knows this verily becomes [a creator] in this highest creation of Virāj.

7

Now, all this [universe} was then undifferentiated. It became differentiated by name and form: it was known by such and such a name, and such and such a form. Thus to this day this [universe] is differentiated by name and form; [so it is said:] “He has such a name and such a form.”

This Self has entered into these bodies up to the very tips of the nails, as a razor lies [hidden] in its case, or as fire, which sustains the world, [lies hidden] in its source. People do not see the Self, for [when viewed in parts] It is incomplete: when breathing, It is called the vital breath (prāna); when speaking, the organ of speech; when seeing, the eye; when hearing, the ear; when thinking, the mind. These are merely Its names according to Its functions. He who meditates on one or another of Its aspects does not know, for It is then incomplete: the Self is separated from Its totality by being associated with a single characteristic.

The Self alone is to be meditated upon, for in It all these become unified. Of all these, this Self alone should be known, for one knows all these through It, just as one may find [an animal which is lost] through its footprints. He who thus knows the Self obtains fame and association [with dear ones].

8

This [Self] is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than everything else, [because] It is innermost. If one [holding the Self dear] were to say to a person who speaks of anything other than the Self as dear, that he, the latter, will lose what he holds dear—and the former is certainly competent to do so—it will indeed come true.

One should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. He who meditates upon the Self alone as dear—what he holds dear will not perish.

9

They say: “Since men think that by the Knowledge of Brahman they become all, what, pray, was it that Brahman knew by which It became all?”

10

This [self] was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It knew itself only as “I am Brahman.” Therefore it became all. And whoever among the gods had this enlightenment, also became That [Brahman]. It is the same with the seers (rishis), the same with men. The seer Vāmadeva, having realized this [self] as That, came to know: “I was Manu and the sun.” And to this day, whoever in a like manner knows the self as “I am Brahman,” becomes all this [universe]. Even the gods cannot prevent his becoming this, for he has become their Self.

Now, if a man worships another deity, thinking: “He is one and I am another,” he does not know. He is like an animal to the gods. As many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes anguish [to the owner]; how much more so when many [are taken away]! Therefore it is not pleasing to the gods that men should know this.

11

In the beginning this (the kshatriya and other castes) was indeed Brahman, one only without a second. He, being one, did not flourish. He projected, further, an excellent form, kshatriyahood—those kshatriyas (rulers) among the gods: Indra, Varuna, Soma (Moon), Rudra, Parjanya, Yama, Mrityu (Death), and Iśāna. Therefore there is none higher than the kshatriyas. Thus at the Rājasuya sacrifice, the brāhmin sits below and worships the kshatriya. He confers that glory on kshatriyahood alone. But brāhminhood is [nevertheless] the source of kshatriyahood. Therefore even though the king is exalted [in the sacrifice], at the end of it he resorts to brāhminhood as his source. He who slights a brāhmin strikes at his own source. He becomes more evil, as one who slights his superior.

12

Yet He (Virāj) did not flourish. He projected the vaiśya caste—those classes of gods who are designated in groups: the Vasus, Rudras, Ādityas, Viśve-devas, and Maruts.

13

Still He did not flourish. He projected the śudra caste—Pushan. This [earth] is verily Pushan (the nourisher); for it nourishes all that exists.

14

Yet He did not flourish. He projected, further, that excellent form, justice (dharma). This justice is the controller of the kshatriya. Therefore there is nothing higher than justice. So even a weak man hopes [to defeat] a stronger man through justice, as one does with the help of a king. Verily, that which is justice is truth. Therefore if a man speaks the truth, they say he speaks what is just, and if he speaks what is just, they say he speaks the truth; for justice alone is both these.

15

So these [four castes were projected]: the brāhmin: the kshatriya, the vaiśya, and the śudra. Among the gods Prajāpati became a brāhmin as fire, and among men [He became] the brāhmin. He became a kshatriya [among men] through the [divine] kshatriyas, a vaiśya through the [divine] vaiśyas, and a śudra through the [divine] śudras. Therefore people desire to attain the results of their rites among the gods through fire, and among men as a brāhmin. For Prajāpati [directly] projected Himself as these two forms.

Now, if a man departs from this world without realizing his own World (the Self), It, being unknown, does not protect him—as the Vedas, unrecited, or as a deed unaccomplished, do not [protect him]. Nay, even if one who does not know It (the Self) should perform here on earth a great many meritorious acts, those acts will in the end surely perish for him. One should meditate only upon the World called the Self. He who meditates upon the World called the Self—his work does not perish; for from this very Self he projects whatever he desires.

16

Now, this self (the ignorant person) is an object of enjoyment (lokah) to all beings. In so far as he offers oblations in the fire and performs sacrifices, he becomes an object of enjoyment to the gods. In so far as he studies the Vedas, he becomes an object of enjoyment to the rishis. In so far as he makes offerings to the Manes and desires children, he becomes an object of enjoyment to the Manes. In so far as he gives shelter and food to men, he becomes an object of enjoyment to men. In so far as he gives fodder and water to the animals, he becomes an object of enjoyment to the animals. In so far as beasts and birds and even ants find a living in his home, he becomes an object of enjoyment to these. Just as one wishes no injury to one’s body, so do all beings wish no injury to him who has this knowledge. All this, indeed, has been known and well investigated.

17

In the beginning this [aggregate of desirable objects] was but the self, one only. He cherished the desire: “Let me have a wife, so that I may be born [as the child]; and let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.” This much, indeed, is [the range of] desire; even if one wishes, one cannot get more than this. Therefore, to this day, a man who is single desires: “Let me have a wife, so that I may be born [as the child]; and let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.” So long as he does not obtain each one of these, he thinks he is incomplete.

Now, his completeness [can also come in this way]: The mind is his self, speech his wife, the vital breath his child, the eye his human wealth, for he finds it with the eye; the ear his divine wealth, for he hears it with the ear; the body his [instrument of] rites, for he performs rites through the body. [So] this sacrifice has five factors—the animals have five factors, men have five factors, and all this that exists has five factors. He who knows this obtains all this.

 

Chapter V

MANIFESTATIONS OF PRAJĀPATI

1

The following are the mantras:

[I shall now disclose] that the father produced seven kinds of food through meditation and rites. One is common to all [eaters]. Two he assigned to the gods. Three he designed for himself. And one he gave to the animals. On it (food) rests everything—whatsoever breathes and whatsoever breathes not. Why are not these foods exhausted although they are always being eaten? He who knows the cause of this inexhaustibility of the food eats food with pre-eminence (pratika). He obtains [identity with] the gods and lives on nectar.”

2

When it is said: “That the father produced seven kinds of food through meditation and rites,” the statement means that the father indeed produced them through meditation and rites. When it is said: “One is common to all [eaters],” it means that the food which is eaten is that which is common to all. He who appropriates this food is never free from evil, for this is, verily, the general food. When it is said: “Two he assigned to the gods,” the statement means oblations made in the fire and presents offered otherwise to the gods. Therefore people make oblations in the fire and offer presents otherwise to the gods. Some, however, say that the two foods refer to the new-moon and full-moon sacrifices. Therefore one should not engage in sacrifices for material ends. When it is said: “One he gave to the animals,” the statement refers to milk; for at first men and animals live on milk alone. That is why they first make a new-born babe lick melted butter or they put it to the breast. And they speak of the new-born calf as not yet eating grass. When it is said: “On it rests everything—whatsoever breathes and whatsoever breathes not,” it means that everything rests on milk, all that breathes and breathes not. It is further said [in another Brāhmana] that by making offerings of milk in the fire for a year one overcomes further death; but one should not think thus. For he who knows this overcomes further death the very day he makes the offering, because he offers all eatable food to the gods. When it is asked: “Why are not these foods exhausted although they are always being eaten?” the answer is that the eater is indeed the cause of this inexhaustibility, for he produces this food again and again. When it is said: “He who knows the cause of this inexhaustibility,” the statement means that the eater is indeed the cause of this inexhaustibility, for he produces this food through meditation and rites. If he did not do this the food would be exhausted. When it is said: “He eats food with pratika,” the word pratika means pre-eminence; hence the meaning is that he eats food pre-eminently. The statement: “He obtains [identity with] the gods and lives on nectar,” is a eulogy.

3

Three he designed for himself”—that is to say, the mind, the organ of speech, and the vital breath; these he designed for himself. [They say:] “My mind was elsewhere, I did not see it; my mind was elsewhere, I did not hear it.” It is clear that a man sees with his mind and hears with his mind. Desire, determination, doubt, faith, lack of faith, steadfastness, lack of steadfastness, shame, intelligence, and fear—all this is truly the mind. Even if one is touched from behind, one knows it through the mind; therefore [the mind exists].

Whatever sound there is, it is just the organ of speech; for it serves to determine a thing, but it cannot itself be revealed.

The prāna, apāna, vyāna, udāna, samāna, and ana—all these are but the vital breath (prāna). This body (ātmā) consists of these—the organ of speech, the mind, and the vital breath.

4

These verily are the three worlds: the organ of speech is this world (the earth), the mind is the intermediary world (the sky), and the vital breath is that world (heaven).

5

These verily are the three Vedas: the organ of speech is the Rig-Veda, the mind is the Yajur-Veda, and the vital breath is the Sāma-Veda.

6

These verily are the gods, the Manes, and men: the organ of speech is the gods, the mind is the Manes, and the vital breath is men.

7

These verily are father, mother, and child: the mind is the father, the organ of speech is the mother, and the vital force is the child.

8-10

These verily are what is known, what is to be known, and what is unknown. Whatever is known is a form of the organ of speech, for it is the knower. The organ of speech protects him [who knows its different manifestations] by becoming that [which is known].

Whatever is to be known is a form of the mind, for the mind is what is to be known. The mind protects him [who knows this] by becoming that [which is to be known].

Whatever is unknown is a form of the vital breath, for the vital breath is what is unknown. The vital breath protects him [who knows this] by becoming that [which is unknown].

11

The earth is the body of that organ of speech, and this fire is its luminous organ. And as far as the organ of speech extends, so far extends the earth, and so far extends fire.

12

Now, heaven is the body of this mind, and that sun [yonder] is its luminous organ. And as far as the mind extends, so far extends the earth, and so far extends fire. The two (fire and the sun) were united, and from that was born the vital breath. It (the vital breath) is the supreme Lord (Indra). It is without a rival. A second being is, indeed, a rival. He who knows this has no rival.

13

Next, water is the body of this vital breath, and that moon [yonder] is its luminous organ. And as far as the vital breath extends, so far extends water, and so far extends the moon. These are all equal, all infinite. He who meditates upon them as finite wins a finite world, but he who meditates upon them as infinite wins an infinite world.

14

That Prajāpati, represented by the year, consists of sixteen parts. The nights [and days] are fifteen of his parts, and the constant point is the sixteenth. He [as the moon] is increased and decreased by the nights [and days]. Through the sixteenth part he permeates all living beings as the new-moon night and rises the [following] morning. Therefore, in honour of this deity, on this night let no one cut off the breath of any breathing being, not even of a lizard.

15

Verily, the person who knows this is himself that Prajāpati who is endowed with sixteen parts and who is represented by the year. Wealth constitutes fifteen of his parts, and the body is his sixteenth part. He is increased and decreased by that wealth. This body is the nave and wealth is the felloe. Therefore even if a man loses everything, but lives in his body, people say that he has lost only his felloe [which can be restored again].

16

Now, these are, verily, the three worlds: the world of men, the world of the Manes, and the world of the gods. The world of men can be gained through a son only, and by no other rite; the world of the Manes through rites; and the world of the gods through meditation. The world of the gods is the best of the worlds. Therefore they praise meditation.

17

Now therefore follows the entrusting: When a man thinks he is about to die, he says to his son: “You are Brahman, you are the sacrifice, and you are the world.” The son replies: “I am Brahman, I am the sacrifice, I am the world.”

[The Śruti explains the thoughts of the father:]

Whatever has been studied by me (the father) is all unified in the word Brahman. Whatever sacrifices have been made by me (the father) are all unified in the word sacrifice. And whatever worlds were to be won by me (the father) are all unified in the word world. All this is indeed this much. He (the son), being all this, will protect me from [the ties of] this world.” Therefore they speak of a son who is well instructed as being conducive to the [winning of the] world; and therefore [a father] instructs him.

When a father who knows this departs from this world, he—along with his own organ of speech, mind, and vital breath—penetrates his son. If, through a lapse, any duty has been left undone by him, the son exonerates him from all that; therefore he is called a son. The father remains in this world through the son. The divine and immortal organ of speech, mind, and vital breath enter into him (the father).

18

The divine organ of speech from the earth and fire enters into him. That is the divine organ of speech through which whatever he says is fulfilled.

19

The divine mind from heaven and the sun permeates him. That is the divine mind through which he becomes joyful only and grieves no more.

20

The divine vital breath from water and the moon permeates him. And, verily, that is the divine vital breath which, whether moving or not moving, neither feels pain nor is injured. He who knows this becomes the self of all beings. As is this deity (Hiranyagarbha), so is he. And as all beings honour this deity, so do they honour him. Howsoever creatures may grieve, that grief of theirs remains with them; but only merit goes to him. No demerit ever goes to the gods.

21

Next follows the consideration of the vow (meditative worship):

Prajāpati projected the organs. They, when they were projected, quarrelled with one another. The organ of speech resolved: “I will go on speaking”; the eye: “I will go on seeing”; the ear: “I will go on hearing.” So did the other organs, according to their functions. Death, having taken the form of weariness, laid hold of them—it overtook them, and having overtaken them, restrained them. Therefore does the organ of speech become tired, and so do the eye and the ear. But death did not overtake the vital breath (prāna) in the body. The other organs resolved to know it and said: “This is verily the greatest among us; whether moving or not moving, it neither feels pain nor is injured. Well then, let us assume its form.” They all assumed its form. Therefore they are called prānas after it.

In whatever family there is a man who knows this—that family they call by his name. And whoever competes with one who knows this, shrivels and, after shrivelling, in the end dies. This is with regard to the body.

22

Now with regard to the gods. Fire resolved: “I will go on burning”; the sun: “I will go on giving heat”; the moon: “I will go on shining.” And so did the other gods, according to their functions. As is the vital breath in the body among the organs, so is air (vāyu) among the gods. The other gods fade, but not air. Air is the deity that never sets.

23

Now there is this verse (śloka):

The gods observed the vow of that from which the sun rises and in which it sets. This [vow] is followed today and this will be followed tomorrow. The sun rises verily from the prāna (the vital breath in its cosmic form) and also sets in it. The gods even today observe the same vow which they observed then.

Therefore a man should observe a single vow—he should perform the functions of the prāna and apāna (respiration and excretion), lest the evil of death should overtake him. And if he performs them, let him try to complete them. Through this he obtains identity with that deity, or lives in the same world with it.

 

Chapter VI

THE THREE ASPECTS OF THE UNIVERSE

1

Verily, this [universe] is a triad of name, form, and work. Of those names [which are in daily use], speech (sound in general) is the source (uktha), for from it all names arise. It is their common feature (sāman), for it is common to all names. It is their Brahman (self), for it supports all names.

2

Next, of forms, the eye is the source (uktha), for from it all forms arise. It is their common feature (sāman), for it is common to all forms. It is their Brahman (self), for it supports all forms.

3

Next, of work, the body is the source (uktha), for from it all works arise. It is their common feature (sāman), for it is common to all works. It is their Brahman (self), for it supports all works.

These three together are one—this body; and the body, although one, is these three. This immortal entity is covered by truth: the vital breath is the immortal entity, and name and form are truth, and by them the immortal entity is covered.

 

Part Two

Chapter I

RELATIVE ASPECTS OF BRAHMAN

1

OM. There lived of yore a man of the Garga family called proud Bālāki, who was [an eloquent] speaker. He said to Ajātaśatru, the king of Kāśi: “I will tell you about Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “For this proposal I give you a thousand [cows]. People indeed rush, saying:

Janaka, Janaka.’ [I too have some of his virtues.]”

2

Gārgya said: “That being (purusha) who is in the sun, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk to me about him. I meditate upon him as all-surpassing, as the head of all beings, and as resplendent.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him becomes all-surpassing, the head of all beings, and resplendent.

3

Gārgya said: “That being (purusha) who is in the moon, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk to me about him. I meditate upon him as the great, white-robed, radiant Soma.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him has, every day, abundant soma pressed for him in his principal and auxiliary sacrifices, and his food never runs short.

4

Gārgya said: “That being (purusha) who is in lightning, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as luminous.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him becomes luminous, and his progeny too becomes luminous.

5

Gārgya said: “This being (purusha) who is in the ākāśa, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as full and unmoving.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him is filled with progeny and cattle, and his progeny is never extinct from this world.

6

Gārgya said: “This being (purusha) who is in the air, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as the Lord (Indra), as irresistible, and as the unvanquished army.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him becomes ever victorious, invincible, and a conqueror of enemies.

7

Gārgya said: “This being (purusha) who is in fire, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as forbearing.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him becomes forbearing, and his progeny becomes forbearing.

8

Gārgya said: “This being (purusha) who is in water, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as agreeable.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him-to him comes what is agreeable, not what is disagreeable, and to him are born children who are agreeable.

9

Gārgya said: “This being (purusha) who is in the mirror, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as shining.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him becomes shining, and his progeny too becomes shining, and he outshines all those with whom he comes in contact.

10

Gārgya said: “The sound that arises behind a man while he walks, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as life.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him reaches his full age on this earth, and life does not depart from him before the completion of that time.

11

Gārgya said: “This being (purusha) who is in the quarters, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as second and as inseparable.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him gets companions, and his followers never part with him.”

12

Gārgya said: “This being (purusha) who consists of shadow, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as death.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him reaches his full age on this earth, and death does not overtake him before the completion of that time.

13

Gārgya said: “This being (purusha) who is in the self, I meditate upon as Brahman.” Ajātaśatru said: “No, no! Please do not talk about him. I meditate upon him as self-possessed.” Whosoever thus meditates upon him becomes self-possessed, and his progeny too becomes self-possessed.

Gārgya remained silent.

14

Ajātaśatru said: “Is this all?”

That is all.”

By knowing that much one cannot know Brahman.”

Let me approach you as a student,” said Gārgya.

15

Ajātaśatru said: “It is contrary to usual practice that a brāhmin should approach a kshatriya, thinking: ‘He will teach me about Brahman.’ Nevertheless, I will instruct you.” [So saying,] he took Gārgya by the hand and rose. They came to a sleeping man. [Ajātaśatru] addressed him by these names: Great, White-robed, Radiant, Soma. The man did not get up. [The king] pushed him again and again with his hand till he awoke. Then he got up.

16

Ajātaśatru said: “When this being full of consciousness (identified with the intellect) was thus asleep, where was it then and whence did it thus come back?” Gārgya did not know the answer.

17

Ajātaśatru said: “When this being full of consciousness (vijnāna maya) is thus asleep, it absorbs, at that time, the functions of the organs through its own consciousness and rests in the Supreme Self (ākāśa) that is in the heart. When this being absorbs them, it is called svapiti. Then the organ of smell is absorbed, the organ of speech is absorbed, the eye is absorbed, the ear is absorbed, and the mind is absorbed.”

18

When the self remains in the dream state, these are its achievements (results of past action): It then becomes a great king, as it were; or a noble brāhmin, as it were; or attains, as it were, high or low states. Even as a great king, taking with him his [retinue of] citizens, moves about, according to his pleasure, within his own domain, so does the self, taking with it the organs, move about according to its pleasure, in the body.

19

Next, when the self goes into deep sleep—when it does not know anything—it returns along the seventy-two thousand nerves called hitā, which extend from the heart throughout the whole body, and remains in the body. As a baby or an emperor or a noble brāhmin lives, having reached the summit of happiness, so does the self rest.

20

As the spider moves along the thread [it produces], or as from a fire tiny sparks fly in all directions, even so from this Ātman come forth all organs, all worlds, all gods, all beings. Its secret name (Upanishad) is “the Truth of truth.” The vital breaths are the truth, and their truth is Ātman.

 

Chapter II

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRĀNA

1

He who knows the calf together with its abode, its special resort, its post, and its rope, kills his seven hostile kinsmen. The vital breath in the body is indeed the calf; this body is its abode, the head its special resort, strength its post, and food its rope.

2

These seven gods that prevent decay worship it (the calf): through these pink lines in the eye, Rudra attends on it; through the water in the eye, Parjanya attends on it; through the pupil of the eye, the sun attends on it; through the black of the eye, fire attends on it; through the white portion, Indra; through the lower eyelid, the earth; and through the upper eyelid, heaven attends on it. He who knows this—his food does not diminish.

3

Regarding this there is the following mantra:

There is a bowl which has its mouth below and which bulges at the top. Manifold knowledge has been put into it; seven sages sit on its rim, and the organ of speech, which has communication with the Vedas, is the eighth.”

What is called the “bowl which has its mouth below and which bulges at the top” is this head [of ours], for it is a bowl which has its mouth below and which bulges at the top. When it is said: “Manifold knowledge has been put into it,” this refers to the organs; these indeed represent manifold knowledge. When it is said: “Seven sages sit on its rim,” this refers to the organs; they indeed are the sages. “The organ of speech, which has communication with the Vedas, is the eighth” because the organ of speech is the eighth and communicates with the Vedas.

4

These two [ears] are Gotama and Bharadvāja: this one (the right) is Gotama and this one (the left), Bharadvāja. These two [eyes] are Viśvāmitra and Jamadagni: this one (the right) is Viśvāmitra and this one (the left), Jamadagni. These two [nostrils] are Vaśishtha and Kaśyapa: this one (the right) is Vaśishtha, and this one (the left), Kaśyapa. The tongue is Atri, for through the tongue food is eaten. Atri is the same as atti (eating). He who knows this becomes the eater of everything, and everything becomes his food.

 

Chapter III

THE TWO FORMS OF BRAHMAN

1

Verily, there are two forms of Brahman: gross and subtle, mortal and immortal, limited and unlimited, definite and indefinite.

2

The gross form is that which is other than air and ākāśa. It is mortal, limited, and definite. The essence of that which is gross, which is mortal, which is limited, and which is definite is the sun that shines, for it (the sun) is the essence of the three elements.

3

Now the subtle: It is air and ākāśa. It is immortal, it is unlimited, and it is indefinite. The essence of that which is subtle, which is immortal, which is unlimited, and which is indefinite is the Person (Purusha) in the solar orb, for that [Person] is the essence of the two elements. This is with reference to the gods.

4

Now with reference to the body: The gross form is that which is other than the air and the ākāśa that is in the body. It is mortal, it is limited, and it is definite. The essence of that which is gross, which is mortal, which is limited, and which is definite is the eye; for it (the eye) is the essence of the three elements.

5

Now the subtle: It is the air and the ākāśa that is in the body. It is immortal, it is unlimited, and it is indefinite. The essence of that which is subtle, which is immortal, which is unlimited, and which is indefinite is the person (purusha) that is in the right eye, for that [person] is the essence of the two elements.

6

The form of that person is like a cloth dyed with turmeric, or like grey sheep’s wool, or like the [scarlet] insect called Indragopa, or like a tongue of lire, or like a white lotus, or like a flash of lightning. He who knows this—his splendour is like a flash of lightning.

Now, therefore, the description of Brahman: ”Not this, not this”; for there is no other and more appropriate description than this “Not this.” Now the designation of Brahman: “The Truth of truth.” The vital breath is truth, and It (Brahman) is the Truth of that.

 

Chapter IV

YAJNAVALKYA AND MAITREYI (I)

1

Maitreyi, my dear,” said Yājnavalkya, “I am going to renounce this life. Let me make a final settlement between you and Kātyāyani (his other wife).”

2

Thereupon Maitreyi said: “Venerable Sir, if indeed the whole earth, full of wealth, belonged to me, would I be immortal through that?” “No,” replied Yājnavalkya, “your life would be just like that of people who have plenty. Of Immortality, however, there is no hope through wealth.”

3

Then Maitreyi said: “What should I do with that which would not make me immortal? Tell me, venerable Sir, of that alone which you know [to be the only means of attaining Immortality].”

4

Yājnavalkya replied: “My dear, you have been my beloved [even before], and [now] you say what is after my heart. Come, sit down; I will explain it to you. As I explain it, meditate [on what I say].”

5

Then Yājnavalkya said: “Verily, not for the sake of the husband, my dear, is the husband loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self [which, in its true nature, is one with the Supreme Self].

Verily, not for the sake of the wife, my dear, is the wife loved, but she is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the sons, my dear, are the sons loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of wealth, my dear, is wealth loved, but it is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the brāhmin, my dear, is the brāhmin loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the kshatriya, my dear, is the kshatriya loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the worlds, my dear, are the worlds loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the gods, my dear, are the gods loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the beings, my dear, are the beings loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the All, my dear, is the All loved, but it is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, my dear Maitreyi, it is the Self that should be realized—should be heard of, reflected on, and meditated upon. By the realization of the Self, my dear—through hearing, reflection, and meditation—all this is known.

6

The brāhmin rejects one who knows him as different from the Self. The kshatriya rejects one who knows him as different from the Self. The worlds reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The gods reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The beings reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The All rejects one who knows it as different from the Self. This brāhmin, this kshatriya, these worlds, these gods, these beings, and this All—are that Self.

7-9

As the various particular [kinds of] notes of a drum, when it is beaten, cannot be grasped by themselves, but are grasped only when the general note of the drum or the general sound produced by different kinds of strokes is grasped;

And as the various particular notes of a conch, when it is blown, cannot be grasped by themselves, but are grasped only when the general note of the conch or the general sound produced by different kinds of blowing is grasped;

And as the various particular notes of a vinā, when it is played, cannot be grasped by themselves, but are grasped only when the general note of the vinā or the general sound produced by different kinds of playing is grasped;

[Similarly, no particular objects are perceived in the waking and dream states apart from Pure Intelligence.]

10

As from a fire kindled with wet fuel various [kinds of] smoke issue forth, even so, my dear, the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sāma-Veda, the Atharvāngirasa, history (itihāsa), mythology (purāna), the arts (vidyā), the Upanishads, verses (ślokas), aphorisms (sutras), elucidations (anuvyākhyānas), and explanations (vyākhyānas) are [like] the breath of this infinite Reality. From this [Supreme Self] are all these, indeed, breathed forth.

11

As the ocean is the one goal of all waters (i.e. the place where they merge), so the skin is the one goal of all kinds of touch, the nostrils are the one goal of all smells, the tongue is the one goal of all savours, the ear is the one goal of all sounds, the mind is the one goal of all deliberations, the intellect is the one goal of all [forms of] knowledge, the hands are the one goal of all actions, the organ of generation is the one goal of all [kinds of] enjoyment, the excretory organ is the one goal of all excretions, the feet are the one goal of all [kinds of] walking, the organ of speech is the one goal of all the Vedas.

12

As a lump of salt dropped into water becomes dissolved in water and cannot be taken out again, but wherever we taste [the water] it tastes salt, even so, my dear, this great, endless, infinite Reality is Pure Intelligence alone. [This self] comes out [as a separate entity] from these elements and with their destruction [this separate existence] also is destroyed. After attaining [oneness] it has no more consciousness. This is what I say, my dear.”

So said Yājnavalkya.

l3

Then Maitreyi said: “Just here you have bewildered me, venerable Sir, by saying that after attaining [oneness] the self has no more consciousness.”

Yājnavalkya replied: “Certainly I am not saying anything bewildering, my dear. This [Reality] is enough for knowledge, O Maitreyi.”

14

For when there is duality, as it were, then one smells another, one sees another, one hears another, one speaks to another, one thinks of another, one knows another. But when everything has become the Self, then what should one smell and through what, what should one see and through what, what should one hear and through what, what should one speak and through what, what should one think and through what, what should one know and through what? Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known—through what, my dear, should one know the Knower?”

 

Chapter V

THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF CREATED OBJECTS

1

This earth is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this earth. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this earth and the bright, immortal, corporeal being who is in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

2

This water is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this water. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this water and the bright, immortal being existing as the semen in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

3

This fire is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this fire. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this fire and the bright, immortal being identified with the organ of speech in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

4

This air is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this air. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this air and the bright, immortal being identified with the vital breath in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

5

This sun is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this sun. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this sun and the bright, immortal being identified with the eye in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

6

These quarters are the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of these quarters. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in these quarters and the bright, immortal being identified with the ear in the body and with the time of hearing [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

7

This moon is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this moon. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this moon and the bright, immortal being identified with the mind in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

8

This lightning is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this lightning. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this lightning and the bright, immortal being identified with the light in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

9

This thunder-cloud is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this thunder-cloud. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this thunder-cloud and the bright, immortal being identified with sound and with the voice in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

10

This ākāśa is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this ākāśa. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this ākāśa and the bright, immortal being identified with the ākāśa in the heart in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

11

This dharma (righteousness) is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this dharma. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this dharma and the bright, immortal being identified with the dharma in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

12

This truth is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this truth. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in this truth and the bright, immortal being identified with truth in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

13

This mankind is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this mankind. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in mankind and the bright, immortal being identified with mankind in the body [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

14

This cosmic body (ātman) is the honey (effect) of all beings, and all beings are the honey (effect) of this cosmic body. Likewise, the bright, immortal being who is in the cosmic body and the bright, immortal being identified with the [individual] self [are both honey]. [These four] are but this Self. [The Knowledge of] this [Self] is [the means to] Immortality; this [underlying unity] is Brahman; this [Knowledge of Brahman] is [the means of becoming] all.

15

And verily this Self is the Ruler of all beings, the King of all beings. Just as all the spokes are fixed in the nave and the felloe of a chariot wheel, so are all beings, all gods, all worlds, all organs, and all these [individual] creatures fixed in this Self.

16

This, verily, is the honey (madhu-doctrine) which Dadhyāch, versed in the Atharva-Veda, taught the Aśvins. The Mantra (the rishi) perceived this and said:

O Aśvins in human form, I will disclose that terrible deed of yours, called damśa, which you performed out of greed, as the thunder-cloud discloses the approaching rain. I will disclose the honey (madhu-doctrine), which Dadhyāch, versed in the Atharva-Veda, taught you through the head of a horse.”

17

This, verily, is the honey (madhu-doctrine) which Dadhyāch, versed in the Atharva-Veda, taught the Aśvins. The Mantra (the rishi) perceived this and said:

O Aśvins, you fixed a horse’s head on Dadhyāch, versed in the Atharva-Veda, who, O terrible ones, wishing to be true to his promise, taught you the [ritualistic] meditation on the honey (madhu-doctrine) connected with the sun, and also the secret (spiritual) meditation on it.”

18

This, verily, is the honey (madhu-doctrine) which Dadhyāch, versed in the Atharva-Veda, taught the Aśvins. The Mantra (rishi) perceived this and said:

He (the Lord) made bodies with two feet; He made bodies with four feet. Having first become a bird (the subtle body), He, the Supreme Person, entered the bodies. On account of His dwelling in all bodies (pur), He is called the Person (Purusha). There is nothing that is not covered by Him, nothing that is not pervaded by Him.”

19

This, verily, is the honey (madhu-doctrine) which Dadhyāch, versed in the Atharva-Veda, taught the Aśvins. The Mantra (the rishi) perceived this and said:

He (the Lord) transformed Himself in accordance with each form, and [each] form of His was for the sake of making Him known. The Lord (Indra), through His mayas, appears manifold; for to Him are yoked ten horses, nay, hundreds.

This Ātman is the organs; It is ten and thousands—many and infinite. This Brahman is without antecedent or consequent, without interior or exterior. This self, the all-perceiving, is Brahman. This is the teaching [of the Upanishads].”

 

Chapter VI

THE LINE OF TEACHERS

1

Now the line of teachers [through whom the honey, or the madhu-doctrine, has been transmitted]:

Pautimāshya [received it] from Gaupavana. Gaupavana from another Pautimāshya. [This] Pautimāshya from [another] Gaupavana. [This] Gaupavana from Kauśika. Kauśika from Kaundinya. Kaundinya from Śandilya. Śandilya from Kauśika and Gautama. Gautama

2

From Agniveśya. Agniveśya from Śandilya and Anabhimlāta. Anabhimlāta from [another] Anabhimlāta. This Anabhimlāta from [still another] Anabhimlāta. [This] Anabhimlāta from Gautama. Gautama from Saitava and Prāchinayogya. Saitava and Prāchinayogya from Pārāśarya. Pārāśarya from Bhāradvāja. Bhāradvāja from [another] Bhāradvāja and Gautama. Gautama from [still another] Bhāradvāja. [This] Bhāradvāja from Pārāśarya. Pārāśarya from Baijavāpāyana. Baijavāpāyana from Kauśikāyani. Kauśikāyani

3

From Ghritakauśika.Ghritakauśika from Parāsaryayana. Pārāśaryāyana from Pārāśarya. Pārāśarya from Jātukamya. Jātukamya from Āsurāyana and Yāska. Āsurāyana from Traivani. Traivani from Aupajandhani. Aupajandhani from Āsuri. Āsuri from Bhāradvāja. Bhāradvāja from Ātreya. Ātreya from Mānti. Mānti from Gautama. Gautama from [another] Gautama. [This] Gautama from Vātsya. Vātsya from Śāndilya. Śāndilya from Kaiśorya Kāpya. Kaiśorya Kāpya from Kumārahārita. Kumārahārita from Gālava. Gālava from Vidarbhikaundinya. Vidarbhikaundinya from Vatsanapāt Bābhrava. Vatsanapāt Bābhrava from Pathin Saubhara. Pathin Saubhara from Ayāsya Āngirasa. Ayāsya Āngirasa from Ābhuti Tvāshtra. Ābhuti Tvāshtra from Viśvarupa Tvāshtra. Viśvarupa Tvashtra from the Aśvins. The Aśvins from Dadhyāch Ātharvana. Dadhyāch Ātharvana from Ātharvana Daiva. Ātharvana Daiva from Mrityu Prādhvamsana. Mrityu Prādhvamsana from Prādhvamsana. Prādhvamsana from Ekarshi. Ekarshi from Viprachitti. Viprachitti from Vyashti. Vyashti from Sanāru. Sanāru from Sanātana. Sanātana from Sanaga. Sanaga from Parameshthin (Virāj). Parameshthin from Brahmā (Hiranyagarbha). Brahman is self-born. Salutation to Brahman.

 

Part Three

Chapter I

YĀJNAVALKYA AND AŚVALA

1

OM. Janaka, Emperor of Videha, performed a sacrifice in which gifts were freely distributed [among the priests]. Brāhmin scholars from [the countries of] Kuru and Panchala were assembled there. Emperor Janaka of Videha wished to know which of these brāhmins was the most erudite Vedic scholar. So he confined a thousand cows in a pen and fastened on the horns of each ten pādas of gold.

2

He said to them: “Venerable brāhmins, let him among you who is the best Vedic scholar drive these cows home.”

None of the brāhmins dared. Then Yājnavalkya said to one of his pupils: “Dear Sāmśravā, drive these cows [home].” He drove them away.

The brāhmins were furious and said: “How does he dare to call himself the best Vedic scholar among us?”

Now [among them] there was Aśvala, the hotri priest of Emperor Janaka of Videha. He asked Yājnavalkya: “Are you indeed the best Vedic scholar among us, O Yājnavalkya?”

He replied: “I bow to the best Vedic scholar, but I just wish to have these cows.”

Thereupon the hotri Aśvala determined to question him.

3

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “since everything here (i.e. connected with the sacrifice) is overtaken by death, since everything is overcome by death, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of death?”

Through the hotri priest and the organ of speech looked upon as fire. The sacrificer’s organ of speech is the hotri. This organ of speech is fire; this fire is the hotri; this [fire] is [the means to] liberation; this is complete liberation.”

4

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “since everything here is overtaken by day and night, since everything is overcome by day and night, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of day and night?” “Through the adhvaryu priest and the eye looked upon as the sun. The sacrificer’s eye is the adhvaryu. This eye is the sun. This sun is the adhvaryu; this [sun] is [the means to] liberation; this is complete liberation.”

5

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “since everything here is overtaken by the bright and dark fortnights, since everything is overcome by the bright and dark fortnights, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of the bright and dark fortnights?”

Through the udgātri priest and the vital breath looked upon as the air. This vital breath is the udgātri. This vital breath is the air; this air is the udgātri; this [air] is [the means to] liberation; this is complete liberation.”

6

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “since the sky is, as it were, without a support, by means of what support does the sacri6.cer go to heaven?”

Through the Brahmā priest and the mind looked upon as the moon. The sacrificer’s mind is the Brahmā. The mind is the moon; this moon is the Brahmā; this [moon] is [the means to] liberation; this is complete liberation.”

So far about the ways of liberation; now about the meditation based upon resemblance.

7

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “how many [kinds of] Rig verses will the hotri priest use today in this sacrifice?”

Three kinds.”

And which are these three?”

The introductory, the sacrificial, and the eulogistic as the third.”

What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?”

All this that has life.”

8

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “how many [kinds of] oblations will the adhvaryu priest offer today in this sacrifice?”

Three.”

And which are these three?”

Those which, when offered, blaze upward; those which, when offered, make a great noise; and those which, when offered, sink down.”

What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?”

By those which, when offered, blaze upward, he wins the world of the gods; for the world of the gods shines bright, as it were. By those which, when offered, make a great noise, he wins the world of the Manes; for this world of the Manes is excessively noisy. By those which, when offered, sink down, he wins the world of men; for the world of men is down below.”

9

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “with how many gods does the Brahmā priest [seated] on the right protect the sacrifice today?”

‘With one.”

‘Which is that one?”

The mind. The mind is indeed infinite, and infinite are the Viśve-devas. An infinite world he (the sacrificer) wins thereby.”

10

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “how many [kinds of] hymns of praise will the udgātri priest chant today in this sacrifice?”

Three.”

And which are these three?”

The introductory, the sacrificial, and the eulogistic as the third.”

Which are those that have reference to the body?”

The prāna is the introductory hymn, the apāna is the sacrificial hymn, and the vyāna is the eulogistic hymn.”

What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?”

Through the introductory hymn he wins the earth, through the sacrificial hymn he wins the sky, and through the eulogistic hymn he wins heaven.”

Thereupon the priest Aśvala held his peace.

 

Chapter II

YĀJNAVALKYA AND ĀRTABHĀGA

1

Then Ārtabhāga, of the line of Jaratkāru, questioned him. “Yājnavalkya,” said he, “how many grahas (organs) are there, and how many atigrahas (objects)?”

Eight grahas,” he replied, “and eight atigrahas.”

And which are these eight grahas and eight atigrahas?”

2

The Prāna (the nose), indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the apāna (odour), the atigraha; for one smells odours through apāna (the air breathed in).

3

The vāk (the organ of speech), indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, name; for one utters names through the organ of speech.

4

The tongue, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, taste; for one knows tastes by the tongue.

5

The eye, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, colour; for one sees colours through the eye.

6

The ear, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, sound; for one hears sounds with the ear.

7

The mind, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, desire; for through the mind one cherishes desires.

8

The hands, indeed, are the graha; they are controlled by the atigraha, work; for one performs work by means of the hands.

9

The skin, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, touch; for one feels touch through the skin. These are the eight grahas and eight atigrahas.”

10

Yajnava1kya,” said he, “since all this is the food of death, who, pray, is that god to whom death is the food?”

Fire, indeed, is death; it is the food of water. [One who knows this] conquers further death.”

11

Yājnavalkya,“ said he, “when this [liberated] person dies, do his organs depart from him or not?”

No,” replied Yājnavalkya, “they merge in him only. The body swells, is inflated, and in that state the dead [body] lies at rest.”

12

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “when such a man dies, what is it that does not leave him?”

The name. For the name is infinite, and infinite are the Viśve-devas. He [who knows this] wins thereby an infinite world.”

13

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “when the vocal organ of this dead person merges in fire, the nose in air, the eye in the sun, the mind in the moon, the ear in the quarters, the body in the earth, the ākāśa (space) in the heart in the external ākāśa, the hair on the body in the herbs, the hair on the head in the trees, and the blood and semen are deposited in water, where is that person then?”

Yājnavalkya said: “Give me your hand, dear Ārtabhāga. We shall decide this between ourselves; we cannot do it in a crowd.”

Then they went out and deliberated, and what they talked about was karma (work), and what they praised was karma: one becomes good through good karma and evil through evil karma.

Thereupon Ārtabhāga, of the line of Jaratkāru, held his peace.

 

Chapter III

YĀJNAVALKYA AND BHUJYU

1

Next Bhujyu, The grandson of Lahya, questioned him.

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “we were travelling in [the country of] Madra as [religious] students, when we came to the house of Patanchala, of the line of Kapi. His daughter was possessed by a gandharva. We asked him (the gandharva): ‘Who are you?’ He said: ‘I am Sudhanvan, of the line of Angiras.’ While asking him about the limits of the world, we said: ‘Where were the descendants of Parikshit?’ And likewise I ask you, Yājnavalkya, where were the descendants of Parikshit? [Tell me,] where were the descendants of Parikshit?”

2

Yājnavalkya said: “The gandharva, I suppose, told you that they went where those who perform the Horse-sacrifice go.”

And where do they go who have performed the Horse-sacrifice?”

Thirty-two times the space traversed by the sun’s chariot in a day makes this plane (loka); around it, covering twice the area, is the world (prithivi); around the world, covering twice the area, is the ocean. Now, as is the edge of a razor or the wing of a fly, so is there just that much space [between the two halves of the cosmic shell. Through that opening they go out].

Fire, in the form of a falcon, delivered them to Vāyu. Vāyu, placing them in itself, took them where [previous] performers of the Horse-sacrifice were.”

Thus did the gandharva praise Vāyu. Therefore Vāyu alone is the aggregate of all individuals. He who knows this, as stated above, conquers further death.

Thereupon Bhujyu, the grandson of Lahya, held his peace.

 

Chapter IV

YĀJNAVALKYA AND USHASTA

1

Then Ushasta, the son of Chakra, questioned him. “Yājnavalkya,” said he, “explain to me the Brahman that is immediately and directly perceived—the self that is within all.”

This is your self that is within all.”

Which [self] is within all, Yājnavalkya?”

That which breathes through the prāna is your self that is within all. That which moves downward through the apāna is your self that is within all. That which pervades through the vyāna is your self that is within all. That which goes out with the udāna is your self that is within all. This is your self that is within all.”

2

Ushasta, the son of Chakra, said: “You have explained it as one might say: ‘Such is a cow,’ ‘Such is a horse.’ Tell me precisely the Brahman that is immediate and directly—the self that is within all.”

This is your self that is within all.”

Which is within all, Yājnavalkya?”

You cannot see the seer of seeing; you cannot hear the hearer of hearing; you cannot think of the thinker of thinking; you cannot know the knower of knowing. This is your self that is within all; everything else but this is perishable.”

Thereupon Ushasta, the son o£ Chakra, held his peace.

 

Chapter V

YĀJNAVALKYA AND KAHOLA

1

Next Kahola, the son of Kushitaka, questioned him.

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “explain to me the Brahman that is directly and immediately perceived—the self that is within all.“

This is your self that is within all.”

Which [self] is within all, Yājnavalkya?”

It is that which transcends hunger and thirst, grief, delusion, old age, and death. Having realized this Self, brāhmins give up the desire for sons, the desire for wealth, and the desire for the worlds, and lead the life of [religious] mendicants. That which is the desire for sons is the desire for wealth, and that which is the desire for wealth is the desire for the worlds; for both these are but desires. Therefore a brāhmin, after he is done with scholarship, should try to live on that strength which comes of scholarship. After he is done with that strength and scholarship, he becomes meditative, and after he is done with both meditativeness and non-meditativeness, he becomes a knower of Brahman.

How does the knower of Brahman behave? Howsoever he may behave, he is such indeed. Everything else but this is perishable.” Thereupon Kahola, the son of Kushitaka, held his peace.

 

Chapter VI

YĀJNAVALKYA AND GĀRGI (I)

1

Then Gārgi, the daughter of Vachaknu, questioned him.

Yājnavalkya,” said she, “if all this is pervaded by water, by what, pray, is water pervaded?”

By air, O Gārgi.”

By what, pray, is air pervaded?”

By the sky, O Gārgi.”

By what is the sky pervaded?”

By the world of the gandharvas, O Gārgi.”

By what is the world of the gandharvas pervaded?”

By the world of the sun, O Gārgi.”

By what is the world of the sun pervaded?”

By the world of the moon, O Gārgi.”

”By what is the world of the moon pervaded?”

By the world of the stars, O Gārgi.”

By what is the world of the stars pervaded?”

By the world of the gods, O Gārgi.”

By what is the world of the gods pervaded?”

By the world of Indra, O Gārgi.”

By what is the world of lndra pervaded?”

By the World of Virāj, O Gārgi.”

By what is the World of Virāj pervaded?”

By the World of Hiranyagarbha, O Gārgi.”

By what, pray, is the World of Hiranyagarbha pervaded?”

Do not, O Gārgi,” said he, “question too much, lest your head should fall off. You are questioning too much about a deity about whom we should not ask too much. Do not ask too much, O Gārgi.”

Thereupon Gārgi, the daughter of Vachaknu, held her peace.

 

Chapter VII

YĀJNAVALKYA AND UDDĀLAKA

1

Then Uddālaka, the son of Aruna, questioned him.

Yājnavalkya,” said he, “in [the country of] Madra we lived in the house of Patanchala, of the line of Kapi, studying the scriptures on the sacrifices. His wife was possessed by a gandharva. We asked him (the gandharva): Who are you?’ He said: ‘Iam Kabandha, the son of Atharvan.’ He said to Patanchala Kāpya and those studying the scriptures on the sacrifices: ‘O descendant of Kapi, do you know that Sutra by which this world, the other world, and all beings are held together?’ Patanchala Kāpya said: ‘I do not know it, venerable Sir.’ [Then] he (the gandharva) said to Patanchala Kāpya and those studying the scriptures on the sacrifices: ‘O descendant of Kapi, do you know that Inner Controller who controls this world, the next world, and all beings?’ Patanchala Kāpya said: ‘I do not know him, venerable Sir.’ [Then] he (the gandharva) said to Patanchala Kāpya and those studying the scriptures on the sacrifices: ‘O descendant of Kapi, he who knows that Sutra and that Inner Controller indeed knows Brahman; he knows the worlds, he knows the gods, he knows the Vedas, he knows the beings, he knows the self, he knows everything.’ He (the gandharva) explained it all to them, and I know it. If you, Yājnavalkya, do not know that Sutra and that Inner Controller, and still take away the cows that belong only to the knowers of Brahman, your head will fall off.”

I know, O Gautama, that Sutra and that Inner Controller.”

Anyone might say: ‘I know, I know.’ Tell us what you know.”

2

Yājnavalkya said: “Vāyu, O Gautama, is that Sutra. By Vāyu, as by a thread, O Gautama, are this world, the other world, and all beings held together. Therefore, O Gautama, they say of a person who dies that his limbs have been loosened; for they are held together by Vāyu as by a thread.”

Quite so, Yājnavalkya. Now describe the Inner Controller.”

3

[Yājnavalkya said:] “He who inhabits the earth, yet is within the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, and who controls the earth from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

4-14

He who inhabits water, yet is within water, whom water does not know, whose body water is, and who controls water from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits fire, yet is within fire, whom fire does not know, whose body fire is, and who controls fire from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the sky, yet is within the sky, whom the sky does not know, whose body the sky is, and who controls the sky from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the air, yet is within the air, whom the air does not know, whose body the air is, and who controls the air from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits heaven, yet is within heaven, whom heaven does not know, whose body heaven is, and who controls heaven from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the sun, yet is within the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is, and who controls the sun from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the quarters [of space], yet is within them, whom the quarters do not know, whose body the quarters are, and who controls the quarters from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the moon and stars, yet is within the moon and stars, whom the moon and stars do not know, whose body the moon and stars are, and who controls the moon and stars from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the ākāśa, yet is within the ākāśa, whom the ākāśa does not know, whose body the ākāśa is, and who controls the ākāśa from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits darkness, yet is within darkness, whom darkness does not know, whose body darkness is, and who controls darkness from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits light, yet is within light, whom light does not know, whose body light is, and who controls light from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.”

This much with reference to the gods (adhidaivatam). Now with reference to beings (adhibhutam).

15

[Yājnavalkya said:] “He who inhabits all beings, yet is within all beings, whom no beings know, whose body all beings are, and who controls all beings from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.”

This much with reference to the beings. Now with reference to the body.

16-23

[Yājnavalkya said:] “He who inhabits the nose (prāna), yet is within the nose, whom the nose does not know, whose body the nose is, and who controls the nose from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits [the organ of] speech, yet is within speech, whom speech does not know, whose body speech is, and who controls speech from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the eye, yet is within the eye, whom the eye does not know, whose body the eye is, and who controls the eye from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the ear, yet is within the ear, whom the ear does not know, whose body the ear is, and who controls the ear from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the mind, yet is within the mind, whom the mind does not know, whose body the mind is, and who controls the mind from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the skin, yet is within the skin, whom the skin does not know, whose body the skin is, and who controls the skin from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the intellect (vijnāna), yet is within the intellect, whom the intellect does not know, whose body the intellect is, and who controls the intellect from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He who inhabits the organ of generation, yet is within the organ, whom the organ does not know, whose body the organ is, and who controls the organ from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

He is never seen, but is the Seer; He is never heard, but is the Hearer; He is never thought of, but is the Thinker; He is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other seer than He, there is no other hearer than He, there is no other thinker than He, there is no other knower than He. He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. Everything else but Him is perishable.”

Thereupon Uddālaka, the son of Aruna, held his peace.

 

Chapter VIII

YĀJNAVALKYA AND GĀRGI (II)

1

Then the daughter of Vachaknu said: “Venerable brāhmins, I shall ask him two questions. If he answers me these, then none of you can defeat him in discussing Brahman.”

[The brāhmins said:] “Ask, O Gārgi.”

2

Gārgi said: “O Yājnavalkya, I [shall ask] you [two questions]: As a man of Kāśi or the King of Videha, scion of a heroic line, might string his unstrung bow, take in his hand two bamboo-tipped arrows highly painful to enemies, and approach [his enemies] closely, even so, O Yājnavalkya, do I confront you with two questions. Answer me these.”

Ask, O Gārgi.”

3

She said: “O Yājnavalkya, what pervades that [Sutra] which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as [what is] between them, and which—they say—was, is, and will be?”

4

He said: “That, O Gārgi, which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as [what is] between them, and which—they say—was, is, and will be, is pervaded by the [unmanifested] ākāśa.”

5

She said: “I bow to you, O Yājnavalkya. You have fully answered this question of mine. Now brace yourself for the other.”

Ask, O Gārgi.”

6-7

She said: “Yājnavalkya, what pervades that [Sutra] which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as [what is] between them, and which—they say—was, is, and will be?”

He said: “That, O Gārgi, which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as [what is] between them, and which—they say—was, is, and will be, is pervaded by the [unmanifested] ākāśa.”

What pervades the ākāśa?”

8

He said: “That, O Gārgi, the knowers of Brahman call the Imperishable. It is neither gross nor subtle, neither short nor long, neither red nor moist; It is neither shadow nor darkness, neither air nor ākāśa; It is unattached; It is without taste or smell, without eyes or ears, without tongue or mind; It is non-effulgent, without vital breath or mouth, without measure, and without exterior or interior. It does not eat anything, nor is It eaten by anyone.

9

Verily, under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gārgi, the sun and moon are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gārgi, heaven and earth are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gārgi, moments, muhurtas, days and nights, fortnights, months, seasons, and years are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gārgi, some rivers flow eastward from the white mountains, others flowing westward continue in that direction, and still others keep to their respective courses. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gārgi, men praise those who give, the gods depend upon the sacrificer, and the Manes upon the Darvi offering.

10

Whosoever in this world, O Gārgi, without knowing this Imperishable, offers oblations, performs sacrifices, and practises austerities, even for many thousands of years, finds all such acts but perishable. Whosoever, O Gārgi, departs from this world without knowing this Imperishable is miserable. But he, O Gārgi, who departs from this world after knowing the Imperishable is a knower of Brahman.

11

Verily, that Imperishable, O Gārgi, is never seen but is the Seer; It is never heard, but is the Hearer; It is never thought of, but is the Thinker; It is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other seer but This, there is no other hearer but This, there is no other thinker but This, there is no other knower but This. By this imperishable, O Gārgi, is the [unmanifested} ākāśa pervaded.”

12

Then said Gārgi: “Venerable brāhmins, you may consider yourselves fortunate if you can get off from him through bowing to him. None of you, I believe, will defeat him in arguments about Brahman.”

Thereupon the daughter of Vachaknu held her peace.

 

Chapter IX

YĀJNAVALKYA AND VIDAGHDHA

 

Then Vidaghdha, the son of Śakala, asked him: “How many gods are there, Yājnavalkya?”

Yājnavalkya ascertained the number through [the group of mantras known as] the Nivid, and said: “As many as are mentioned in the Nivid of the Viśve-devas—three hundred and three, and three thousand and three.”

Very good,” said Śakalya (the son of Śakala), and asked again: “How many gods are there, Yājnavalkya?”

”Thirty-three.”

Very good,” said Śakalya, and asked again: “How many gods are there, Yājnavalkya?”

Six.”

Very good,” said the other, and asked again: “How many gods are there, Yājnavalkya?”

Three.”

Very good,” said the other, and asked again: “How many gods are there, Yājnavalkya?”

Two.”

Very good,” said he, and asked again, “How many gods are there, Yājnavalkya?”

One and a half.”

Very good,” said he, and asked again: “How many gods are there, Yājnavalkya?”

One.”

Very good,” said Śakalya, and asked: “Which are those three hundred and three, and those three thousand and three?”

2

Yājnavalkya said: “There are only thirty-three gods. These others are but manifestations of them.”

Which are these thirty-three?”

The eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, and the twelve Ādityas—these are thirty-one. And Indra and Prajāpati make up the thirty-three.”

3

Which are the Vasus?” asked Śakalya.

Fire, the earth, the air, the sky, the sun, heaven, the moon, and the stars—these are the Vasus; for in them all this [universe] is placed (vasavah). Therefore they are called Vasus.”

4

Which are the Rudras?” asked Śakalya.

The ten organs in the human body, with the mind as the eleventh. When they depart from this mortal body, they make [one's relatives] weep. Because they make them weep (rud), therefore they are called Rudras.

5

‘Which are the Ādityas?” asked Śakalya.

There are twelve months in the year. These are the Ādityas, because they move along carrying (ādadānāh) all this with them; therefore they are called Ādityas.”

6

Which is Indra and which is Prajāpati?” asked Śakalya.

The thunderclap is Indra and the sacrifice is Prajāpati.”

Which is the thunderclap?”

The thunderbolt.”

Which is the sacrifice?”

The animals.”

7

Which are the six [gods]?” asked Śakalya.

Fire, the earth, the air, the sky, the sun, and heaven; for these six comprise all those.”

8

Which are the three gods?” asked Śakalya.

These three worlds, because all those gods are comprised in these three.”

Which are the two gods?”

Matter and the vital breath (prāna).”

Which are the one and a half?”

This [air] that blows.”

9

[Yājnavalkya said:] “Concerning this some say: ‘Since the air blows as one substance, how can it be one and a half (adhyardha)?’ [The answer is:] It is one and a half because by its presence everything attains surpassing glory (adhyardhnot).”

Which is the one God?”

The vital breath (Hiranyagarbha); it is Brahman which is called That (Tyat).”

10

[Śakalya said:] “Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is the earth, whose organ of vision is fire, whose light is the mind, and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yājnavalkya.”

I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety. It is the Being who is in this body. Go on, Śakalya.”

Who is His deity (cause)?”

Nectar (chyle),” said Yājnavalkya.

11

[Śakalya said:] “Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is lust (kama), whose organ of vision is the intellect, whose light is the mind, and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yājnavalkya.”

I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety. It is the Being who is identified with lust. Go on, Śakalya.”

Who is His deity?”

Women,” said Yājnavalkya.

12

[Śakalya said:] “Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is colours, whose organ of vision is the eye, whose light is the mind, and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yājnavalkya.”

I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety. It is the Being who is in the sun. Go on, Śakalya.”

Who is His deity?”

Truth (the eye),” said Yājnavalkya.

13

[Śakalya said:] “Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is the ākāśa, whose organ of vision is the ear, whose light is the mind, and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yājnavalkya.”

I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety. It is the Being who is identified with the ear and with the time of hearing. Go on, Śakalya.”

Who is His deity?”

The quarters,” said Yājnavalkya.

14

[Śakalya said:] “Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is darkness, whose organ of vision is the intellect, whose light is the mind, and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yājnavalkya.”

I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety. It is the Being who is identified with shadow (ignorance). Go on, Śakalya.”

Who is His deity’?”

Death,” said Yājnavalkya.

15

[Śakalya said:] “Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is [particular] colours, whose organ of vision is the eye, whose light is the mind, and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yājnavalkya.”

I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety. It is the being who is in the mirror. Go on, Śakalya.”

Who is His deity?”

The vital breath,” said Yājnavalkya.

16

[Śakalya said:] “Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is water, whose organ of vision is the intellect, whose light is the mind, and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yājnavalkya.”

I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety. It is the Being who is in water. Go on, Śakalya.”

Who is His deity?”

Varuna (rain),” said Yājnavalkya.

17

[Śakalya said:] “Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is semen, whose organ of vision is the intellect, whose light is the mind, and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yājnavalkya.”

I know that Being of whom you speak-who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their entirety. It is the Being who is identified with the son. Go on, Śakalya.”

Who is His deity?”

Prajāpati (the father),” said Yājnavalkya.

18

[When Śakalya kept silent] Yājnavalkya addressed him thus: “Śakalya, have these brāhmins made you their instrument [such as tongs] for burning charcoal?”

19-20

”Yājnavalkya,” said Śakalya, “what Brahman do you know, that you have thus flouted these Vedic scholars of Kuru and Panchāla?”

[Yājnavalkya replied:] “I know the quarters, with their deities and supports.”

[Sākalya said:] “If you know the quarters, with their deities and supports, what deity are you identified with in the east?”

With the deity sun.”

In what does the sun find its support?”

The eye.”

In what does the eye find its support?”

Colours, for one sees colours with the eye.”

In what do colours find their support?”

”The heart (mind),” [said Yājnavalkya,] “for one knows colours through the heart. Therefore it is in the heart that colours find their support.”

Just so, Yājnavalkya.”

21

[“Yājnavalkya,” said Sā.kalya,] “what deity are you identified with in the south?”

With the deity Yama (the god of justice).”

In what does Yama find his support?”

The sacrifice.”

In what does the sacrifice find its support?”

The remuneration of the priests.”

In what does the remuneration find its support?”

Faith, for when a man has faith he remunerates the priest. Therefore it is in faith that the remuneration :finds its support.”

In what does faith find its support?”

The heart (mind),” [said Yājnavalkya,] “for one knows faith through the heart. Therefore it is in the heart that faith finds its support.”

Just so, Yājnavalkya.”

22

[“Yājnavalkya,“ said Śakalya,] “what deity are you identified with in the west?”

With the deity Varuna (the god of rain).”

In what does Varuna find his support?”

Water.”

In what does water find its support?”

Semen.”

In what does semen find its support?”

The heart,” [said Yājnavalkya.] “Therefore they say of a newborn child who resembles [his father] that it seems as if he has sprung from [his father's] heart—that he has been created of [his father's] heart, as it were. Therefore it is in the heart that semen finds its support.”

Just so, Yājnavalkya.”

23

[“Yājnavalkya,” said Śakalya,] “what deity are you identified with in the north?”

With the deity Soma (the moon and the creeper of that name).”

In what does Soma find its support?”

‘The initiatory rite.”

In what does initiation find its support?”

Truth. Therefore they say to the one who is initiated: ‘Speak the truth’; for it is in the truth that initiation finds its support.”

In what does the truth find its support?”

The heart,” (said Yājnavalkya,] “for through the heart one knows the truth; therefore it is in the heart that the truth finds its support.”

Just so, Yājnavalkya.”

24

What deity,” [said Śakalya,] “are you identified with in the fixed direction (i.e. overhead)?”

With the deity fire.”

In what does fire find its support?”

Speech.”

In what does speech find its support?”

The heart.”

In what does the heart find its support?”

25

You ghost,” said Yājnavalkya, “that you think that the heart should be elsewhere than in ourselves! If it were elsewhere than in ourselves, dogs would eat this body or birds tear it to pieces.”

26

In what do the body and the heart find their support?” [asked Śakalya.]

In the prāna.”

In what does the prāna find its support?”

In the apāna.”

In what does the apāna find its support?”

In the vyāna.”

”In what does the vyāna find its support?”

In the udāna.”

In what does the udāna find its support?”

In the samāna.”

[Here the Upanishad itself states:]

This self is That which has been described as “Not this, not this.” It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered, for It never feels pain and never suffers injury.

[Yājnavalkya said:] “These are the eight abodes, the eight organs of vision, the eight deities, and the eight beings.

Now I ask you about that Person who is to be known only from the Upanishads, who definitely projects those beings and [again] withdraws them into Himself, and who is at the same time transcendental.

If you cannot clearly explain Him to me, your head shall fall off.”

Sākalya did not know Him; his head fell off; and robbers snatched away his bones, mistaking them for something else.

27

Then Yājnavalkya said: “Venerable brāhmins, whosoever among you wishes to question me may now do so, or all of you may. Or whosoever among you desires it, I shall question him, or I shall question all of you.”

But the brāhmins did not dare.

28

Yājnavalkya interrogated them with the following verses:

1. As is a mighty tree, so indeed is a man: this is true. His hairs are the leaves and his skin is the outer bark.

2. From his skin blood flows and from the bark, sap. Therefore when a man is wounded blood flows, as sap from a tree that is injured.

3. His flesh is its inner bark and his nerves are its innermost layer of bark, which is tough. His bones lie within, as does the wood of the tree. His marrow resembles the pith.

4. A tree, when it is felled, springs again from its root in a new form; from what root, tell me, does a man spring forth after he is cut off by death?

5. Do not say: From the semen, for that is produced from the living man. A tree springs from the seed as well; after it is dead it certainly springs again.

6. If a tree is pulled up with its root, it will not spring again. From what root, tell me, does a mortal spring forth after he is cut off by death?

7. [If you think] he is indeed born, [I say: No,] he is born again. Now who should again bring him forth?

[The Upanishad states:] It is Brahman, which is [absolute] Knowledge and Bliss, the ultimate goal of him who offers wealth, and also of him who has realized Brahman and stands firm in It.

 

Part Four

Chapter I

PARTIAL DEFINITIONS OF BRAHMAN

1

OM. Janaka, Emperor of Videha, was seated [to give audience] when Yājnavalkya arrived. The Emperor said to him: “Yājnavalkya, for what purpose have you come here? With a desire for cattle, or to hear some subtle questions asked?”

For both, Your Majesty,” said he.

2

[Yājnavalkya said:] “Let me hear what anyone among your teachers may have told you.”

Jitvan, the son of Śilina, told me that the organ of speech (fire) is Brahman.”

As anyone who had [the benefit of being taught by a good] mother, father, and teacher should say, so did the son of Śilina say that the organ of speech is Brahman; for what can be attained by a person who cannot speak? But did he tell you about its abode (body) and support?”

No, he did not.”

This Brahman is only one-footed, Your Majesty.”

Then you tell us, O Yājnavalkya.”

The [physical] organ of speech is its abode and the ākāśa is its support. It should be meditated upon as intelligence.”

What is intelligence, O Yājnavalkya?”

It is the organ of speech, Your Majesty,” said Yājnavalkya. “Through the organ of speech alone, O Emperor, are known the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sāma-Veda, the Atharvangirasa, history, ancient lore, the arts, the Upanishads, verses, aphorisms, explanations, commentaries, [the results of] sacrifices, [the result of] offering oblations in the lire, [the result of] giving food and drink, this world, the next world, and all beings.

The organ of speech, Your Majesty, is the Supreme Brahman. The organ of speech never deserts him who, knowing this, meditates upon it; all beings eagerly approach him; and being a god, he attains the gods.”

I give you a thousand cows with a bull as large as an elephant,” said Emperor Janaka.

Yājnavalkya replied: “My father was of the opinion that one should not accept gifts from a disciple without fully instructing him.”

3

[Yājnavalkya said:] “Let me hear what anyone among your teachers may have told you.”

Udanka, the son of Śulba, told me that the vital breath (prāna) is Brahman.”

As anyone who had [the benefit of being taught by a good] mother, father, and teacher should say, so did the son of Śulba say that the vital breath is Brahman; for what can be attained by a person who does not live? But did he tell you about its abode and support?“

No, he did not.”

This Brahman is only one-footed, Your Majesty.”

Then you tell us, O Yājnavalkya.”

The vital breath is its abode and the ākāśa is its support. It should be meditated upon as dear.”

What is that dearness, O Yājnavalkya?”

It is the vital breath, Your Majesty,” said Yājnavalkya. “For the sake of that vital breath (life), O Emperor, one performs sacrifices for him for whom they should not be performed and accepts gifts from him from whom they should not be accepted; nay, for the sake of the vital breath, O Emperor, one may go to a quarter where one runs the risk of losing one’s life.

The vital breath, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman. The vital breath never deserts him who, knowing what has just been said, meditates upon it; all beings eagerly approach him; and being a god, he attains the gods.”

I give you a thousand cows with a bull as large as an elephant,” said Emperor Janaka.

Yājnavalkya replied: “My father was of the opinion that one should not accept gifts from a disciple without fully instructing him.”

4

[Yājnavalkya said:] “Let me hear what anyone among your teachers may have told you.”

Barku, the son of Vrishna, told me that the eye is Brahman.”

As anyone who had [the benefit of being taught by a good] mother, father, and teacher should say, so did the son of Vrishna say that the eye is Brahman; for what can be attained by a person who cannot see? But did he tell you about its abode and support?”

No, he did not.”

This Brahman is only one-footed, Your Majesty.”

Then you tell us, O Yājnavalkya.”

The eye is its abode and the ākāśa is its support. It should be meditated upon as truth.”

What is truth, O Yājnavalkya?”

It is the eye, Your Majesty,” said Yājnavalkya. “Verily, Your Majesty, if one asks a person who has seen with his eyes: ‘Have you seen?’ and he answers: ‘Yes, I have,’ then it is true.

The eye, Your Majesty, is the Supreme Brahman. The eye never deserts him who, knowing what has just been said, meditates upon it; all beings eagerly approach him; and being a god, he attains the gods.”

I give you a thousand cows with a bull as large as an elephant,” said Emperor Janaka.

Yājnavalkya replied: “My father was of the opinion that one should not accept gifts from a disciple without fully instructing him.”

5

[Yājnavalkya said:] “Let me hear what anyone among your teachers may have told you.”

Gardabhivipita, a descendant of Bhāradvāja, told me that the ear is Brahman.”

As anyone who had [the benefit of being taught by a good] mother, father, and teacher should say, so did the descendant of Bhāradvāja say that the ear is Brahman; for what can be attained by a person who cannot hear? But did he tell you about its abode and support?”

No, he did not.”

This Brahman is only one-footed, Your Majesty.”

Then you tell us, O Yājnavalkya.”

The ear Is Its abode and the ākāśa is its support. It should be meditated upon as infinite.”

What is infinity, O Yājnavalkya?”

It is the quarters, Your Majesty,” said Yājnavalkya. “Verily, Your Majesty, to whatever quarter (direction) one may go, one never reaches its end. [Hence] the quarters are infinite. The quarters, O Emperor, are the ear, and the ear, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman.

The ear never deserts him who, knowing this, meditates upon it; all beings eagerly approach him; and being a god, he attains the gods.”

I give you a thousand cows with a bull as large as an elephant,” said Emperor Janaka.

Yājnavalkya replied: “My father was of the opinion that one should not accept gifts from a disciple without fully instructing him.”

6

[Yājnavalkya said:] “Let me hear what anyone among your teachers may have told you.”

Satyakāma, the son of Jabālā, told me that the mind is Brahman.”

As anyone who had [the benefit of being taught by a good] mother, father, and teacher should say, so did the son of Jabālā say that the mind is Brahman; for what can be attained by a person who has no mind? But did he tell you about its abode and support?”

No, he did not.”

This Brahman is only one-footed, Your Majesty.”

Then you tell us, O Yājnavalkya.”

The mind is its abode and the ākāśa is its support. It should be meditated upon as bliss.”

What is bliss, O Yājnavalkya?”

It is the mind, Your Majesty,” said Yājnavalkya. “Verily, Your Majesty, with the mind a man [desires and] woos a woman; [then] a son resembling him is born of her, and he is the cause of bliss. The mind, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman.

The mind never deserts him who, knowing this, meditates upon it; all beings eagerly approach him; and being a god, he attains the gods.”

I give you a thousand cows with a bull as large as an elephant,” said Emperor Janaka.

Yājnavalkya replied: “My father was of the opinion that one should not accept gifts from a disciple without fully instructing him.”

7

[Yājnavalkya said:] “Let me hear what anyone among your teachers may have told you.”

Vidaghdha, the son of Śakala, told me that the heart is Brahman.”

As anyone who had [the bene.lit of being taught by a good] mother, father, and teacher should say, so did the son of Śakala say that the heart is Brahman; for what can be attained by a person who is without a heart? But did he tell you about its abode and support?”

No, he did not.”

This Brahman is only one-footed, Your Majesty.”

Then you tell us, O Yājnavalkya.”

‘The heart is its abode and the ā.kā.sa is its support. It should be meditated upon as stability.”

What is stability, O Yājnavalkya?”

It is the heart,” said Yājnavalkya. “Verily, Your Majesty, the heart is the abode of all beings, and the heart, Your Majesty, is the support of all beings. The heart, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman.

The heart never deserts him who, knowing this, meditates upon it; all beings eagerly approach him; and being a god, he attains the gods.”

I give you a thousand cows with a bull as large as an elephant,” said Emperor Janaka.

Yā.jnavalkya replied: “My father was of the opinion that one should not accept gifts from a disciple without fully instructing him.”

 

Chapter II

CONCERNING THE SELF

1

Janaka, Emperor of Videha, rose from his lounge, humbly approached Yājnavalkya, and said: “Salutation to you, O Yājnavalkya. Please instruct me.”

Yājnavalkya said: “Your Majesty, as one who wishes to go a long distance would procure a chariot or a ship, even so you have fully equipped your mind with so many secret names of Brahman. You are also honoured and wealthy; you have studied the Vedas and heard the Upanishads. But do you know where you will go when you are released from this body?”

”Venerable Sir, I do not know where I shall go.”

Then I will tell you where you will go.”

Tell me, venerable Sir.”

2

The person who is in the right eye is named Indha. Though he is Indha, people call him by the indirect name Indra; for the gods are fond of indirect names and hate to be addressed directly.

3

The person who is in the left eye is his wife, Virāj (matter). The ākāśa that lies within the heart is their place of union. Their food is the lump (pinda) of blood in the heart. Their wrap is the net-like structure in the heart. The path on which they move [from sleep to waking] is the nerve that goes upward from the heart; it is like a hair split into a thousand parts. In the body there are nerves called hitā, which are placed in the heart. Through these the essence of our food passes as it moves on. Therefore the subtle body (Taijasa) receives finer food than the gross body (Vaiśvānara).

4

Of the illumined sage [who is identified with Prājna in deep sleep] the east is the eastern vital breath (prāna), the south is the southern vital breath, the west is the western vital breath, the north is the northern vital breath, the upper direction is the upper vital breath, the direction below is the nether vital breath, and all the directions are all the vital breaths.

This self is That which has been described as ‘Not this, not this.’ It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered, for It never feels pain and never suffers injury.

Verily, O Janaka, you have attained That which is free from fear,” said Yājnavalkya.

Venerable Yājnavalkya,” said Emperor Janaka, “may that fearless Brahman be yours [too], for you have made known to us the fearless Brahman. Salutations to you! Here is the Empire of Videha and also myself at your service.”

 

Chapter III

INVESTIGATION OF THE THREE STATES

1

Yājnavalkya called on Janaka, Emperor of Videha. He said to himself: “I will not say anything.”

But once upon a time Janaka, Emperor of Videha, and Yājnavalkya had had a talk about the Agnihotra sacrifice, and Yājnavalkya had offered him a boon. Janaka had chosen the right to ask him any questions he wished, and Yājnavalkya had granted him the boon.

So it was the Emperor who first questioned him.

2

”Yājnavalkya, what serves as light for a man?”

The light of the sun, O Emperor,” said Yājnavalkya, “for with the sun as light he sits, goes out, works, and returns.”

Just so, Yājnavalkya.”

3

When the sun has set, Yājnavalkya, what serves as light for a man?”

The moon serves as his light, for with the moon as light he sits, goes out, works, and returns.”

Just so, Yājnavalkya.”

4

When the sun has set and the moon has set, Yājnavalkya, what serves as light for a man?”

Fire serves as his light, for with fire as light he sits, goes out, works, and returns.”

Just so, Yājnavalkya.”

5

When the sun has set, Yājnavalkya, and the moon has set and the fire has gone out, what serves as light for a man?”

Speech (sound) serves as his light, for with speech as light he sits, goes out, works, and returns. Therefore, Your Majesty, when one cannot see even one’s own hand, yet when a sound is uttered, one can go there.”

Just so, Yājnavalkya.”

6

When the sun has set, Yājnavalkya, and the moon has set and the fire has gone out and speech has stopped, what serves as light for a man?”

The self, indeed, is his light, for with the self as light he sits, goes out, works, and returns.”

7

Which is the self?”

This purusha, which is identified with the intellect (vijnānamaya) and is in the midst of the organs, the [self-effulgent] light within the heart (intellect). Assuming the likeness [of the intellect], it wanders between the two worlds; it thinks, as it were, and moves, as it were. Being identified with dreams, it transcends this [waking] world, which represents the forms of death (ignorance and its effects).

8

That person (the individual self), when he is born, that is to say, when he assumes a body, is joined with evils, and when he dies, that is to say, leaves the body, he discards those evils.

9

And there are only two states for that person: the one here in this world and the other in the next world. The third, the intermediate, is the dream state. When he is in that intermediate state, he surveys both states: the one here in this world and the other in the next world. Now, whatever support he may have for the next world, he provides himself with that and sees both evils (sufferings) and joys.

And when he dreams, he takes away a little of [the impressions of] this all-embracing world (the waking state), himself makes the body unconscious, and creates [a dream body in its place], revealing his own brightness by his own light—and he dreams. In this state the person becomes self-illumined.

10

There are no [real] chariots in that state, nor animals to be yoked to them, nor roads there, but he creates the chariots, animals, and roads. There are no pleasures in that state, no joys, no rejoicings, but he creates the pleasures, joys, and rejoicings. There are no pools in that state, no reservoirs, no rivers, but he creates the pools, reservoirs, and rivers. He indeed is the agent.

11

Regarding this there are the following verses:

‘The effulgent infinite being (purusha), who travels alone, makes the body insensible in sleep but himself remains awake, and taking with him the luminous particles of the organs, watches those which lie dormant. Again he comes to the waking state.

12

‘The effulgent infinite being (purusha), who is immortal and travels alone, guards the unclean nest (body) with the help of the vital breath (prāna) and himself moves out of the nest. That immortal entity wanders wherever he likes.

13

‘In the dream world, the luminous one attains higher and lower states and creates many forms—now, as it were, enjoying himself in the company of women, now laughing, now even beholding frightful sights.

14

‘Everyone sees his sport but him no one sees.’ They say: ‘Do not wake him suddenly.’ If he does not find the right organ, the body becomes difficult to doctor.

Others, however, say that the dream state of a man is the same as the waking state, because what he sees while awake, that only he sees when asleep. [This is wrong.] In the dream state the self (purusha) itself becomes the light.”

Janaka said: “I give you a thousand cows, revered Sir. Please instruct me further about liberation itself.”

15

[Yājnavalkya said:] “That entity (purusha), after enjoying himself and roaming [in the dream state] and merely witnessing [the results of] good and evil, remains in a state of profound sleep and [then] hastens back in the reverse way to his former condition, the dream state. He remains unaffected by whatever he sees in that [dream] state, for this infinite being is unattached.”

[Janaka said:] “Just so, Yājnavalkya. I give you, Sir, a thousand cows. Please instruct me further about Liberation itself.”

16

[Yājnavalkya said:] “That entity (purusha), after enjoying himself and roaming in the dream state and merely witnessing [the results of] good and evil, hastens back in the reverse way to his former condition, the waking state. He remains unaffected by whatever he sees in that state, for this infinite being is unattached.”

[Janaka said:] “Just so, Yājnavalkya. I give you, Sir, a thousand cows. Please instruct me further about Liberation itself.”

17

[Yājnavalkya said:] “That entity (purusha), after enjoying himself and roaming in the waking state and merely witnessing [the results of] good and evil, hastens back in the reverse way to its former condition, the dream state [or that of dreamless sleep].

18

As a large fish swims alternately to both banks [of a river]—the east and the west—so does the infinite being move to both these states: dreaming and waking.

19

As a hawk or a falcon roaming in the sky becomes tired, folds its wings, and makes for its nest, so does this infinite entity (purusha) hasten for this state, where, falling asleep, he cherishes no more desires and dreams no more dreams.

20

There are in his body nerves (naḍis) called hita, which are as fine as a hair divided into a thousand parts and are fi1led with white, blue, brown, green, and red [fluids]. [They are the seat of the subtle body, which is the storehouse of impressions.] Now, when he feels as if he were being killed or overpowered, or being chased by an elephant, or falling into a pit, [in short,] when he fancies at that time, through ignorance, whatever frightful thing he has experienced in the waking state, [that is the dream state]. So also, when he thinks he is a god, as it were, or a king, as it were, or thinks: “This [universe] is myself and I am all,” that is his highest state.

21

 

That indeed is his form—free from desires, free from evils, free from fear. As a man fully embraced by his beloved wife knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within, so does this infinite being (the self), when fully embraced by the Supreme Self, know nothing that is without, nothing that is within.

That indeed is his form, in which all his desires are fulfilled, in which all desires become the self, and which is free from desires and devoid of grief.

22

In this state a father is no more a father, a mother is no more a mother, the worlds are no more the worlds, the gods are no more the gods, the Vedas are no more the Vedas. In this state a thief is no more a thief, the killer of a noble brāhmin is no more a killer, a chandāla is no more a chandāla, a paulkasa is no more a paulkasa, a monk is no more a monk, an ascetic is no more an ascetic.

This form [of his] is untouched by good deeds and untouched by evil deeds, for he is then beyond all the woes of his heart.

23

And when [it appears that] in deep sleep it does not see, yet it is seeing though it does not see; for there is no cessation of the vision of the seer, because the seer is imperishable. There is then, however, no second thing separate from the seer that it could see.

24

And when [it appears that] in deep sleep it does not smell, yet it is smelling though it does not smell; for there is no cessation of the smelling of the smeller, because the smeller is imperishable. There is then, however, no second thing separate from the smeller that it could smell.

25

And when [it appears that] in deep sleep it does not taste, yet it is tasting though it does not taste; for there is no cessation of the tasting of the taster, because the taster is imperishable. There is then, however, no second thing separate from the taster that it could taste.

26

And when [it appears that] in deep sleep it does not speak, yet it is speaking though it does not speak; for there is no cessation of the speaking of the speaker, because the speaker is imperishable. There is then, however, no second thing separate from the speaker that it could speak about.

27

And when [it appears that] in deep sleep it does not hear, yet it is hearing though it does not hear; for there is no cessation of the hearing of the hearer, because the hearer is imperishable. There is then, however, no second thing separate from the hearer that it could hear.

28

And when [it appears that] in deep sleep it does not think, yet it is thinking though it does not think; for there is no cessation of the thinking of the thinker, because the thinker is imperishable. There is then, however, no second thing separate from the thinker that it could think of.

29

And when [it appears that] in deep sleep it does not touch, yet it is touching though it does not touch; for there is no cessation of the touching of the toucher, because the toucher is imperishable. There is then, however, no second thing separate from the toucher that it could touch.

30

And when [it appears that] in deep sleep it does not know, yet it is knowing though it does not know; for there is no cessation of the knowing of the knower, because the knower is imperishable. There is then, however, no second thing separate from the knower that it could know.

31

When [in the waking and dream states] there is, as it were, another, then one can see the other, then one can smell the other, then one can speak to the other, then one can hear the other, then one can think of the other, then one can touch the other, then one can know the other.

32

In deep sleep it becomes [transparent] like water, the witness, one and without a second. This is the World of Brahman, Your Majesty. This is its supreme attainment, this is its supreme glory, this it its highest world, this is its supreme bliss. On a particle of this bliss other creatures live.”

Thus did Yājnavalkya teach Janaka.

33

If a person is perfect of body and is prosperous, lord of others, and most lavishly supplied with all human enjoyments, he represents the highest blessing among men. This human bliss multiplied a hundred times makes one measure of the bliss of the Manes who have won their own world. The bliss of these Manes who have won their world, multiplied a hundred times, makes one measure of bliss in the world of the gandharvas. The bliss of the gandharvas, multiplied a hundred times, makes one measure of the bliss of the gods by action (those who attain godhood through sacrificial rites). The bliss of the gods by action, multiplied a hundred times, makes one measure of the bliss of the gods by birth, as also of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless, and free from desire. The bliss of the gods by birth, multiplied a hundred times, makes one measure of bliss in the World of Prajāpati (Virāj), as also of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless, and free from desire. The bliss in the World of Prajāpati, multiplied a hundred times, makes one measure of bliss in the World of Brahmā (Hiranyagarbha), as also of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless, and free from desire. This, indeed, is the supreme bliss. This is the state of Brahman, O Emperor,” said Yājnavalkya.

Janaka said: “I give you a thousand cows, venerable Sir. Please instruct me further about Liberation itself.”

At this Yājnavalkya was afraid that the intelligent emperor was driving him to give the solution [of all his questions].

34

That entity (the self), after enjoying himself and roaming in the dream state and merely witnessing [the results of] merits and demerits, hastens back in the reverse way to its former condition, the waking state.

35

Just as a heavily loaded cart moves along, creaking, even so the self identified with the body, being presided over by the Self which is all consciousness (the Supreme Self), moves along, groaning, when breathing becomes difficult [at the approach of death].

36

When this [body] grows thin—becomes emaciated through old age or disease—then, as a mango or a fig or a fruit of the peepul tree becomes detached from its stalk, so does this infinite being (the self), completely detaching himself from the parts of the body, again move on, in the same way that he came, to another body for the remanifestation of his vital breath (prāna).

37

Just as, when a king comes, the ugras appointed to deal with crimes, the sutas, and the leaders of the village await him with food and drink and lodgings ready, saying: ‘Here he comes, here he comes,’ even so, for the person who knows [about the fruits of his own work], there wait all the elements, saying: ‘Here comes Brahman, here he comes.’

38

Just as, when the king wishes to depart, the ugras appointed to deal with crimes, the sutas, and the leaders of the village gather around him, even so do all the organs gather around the self, at the time of death, when it struggles for breath.”

 

Chapter IV

DEATH AND THE HEREAFTER

1

[Yājnavalkya continued:] “Now, when that self becomes weak and unconscious, as it were, the organs gather around it. Having wholly seized these particles of light, the self comes to the heart. When the presiding deity of the eye turns back from all sides, the dying man fails to notice colour.

2

[The eye] becomes united [with the subtle body]; then people say: ‘He does not see.’ [The nose] becomes united [with the subtle body]; then they say: ‘He does not smell.’ [The tongue] becomes united [with the subtle body]; then they say: ‘He does not taste.’ [The vocal organ] becomes united [with the subtle body]; then they say: ‘He does not speak.’ [The ear] becomes united [with the subtle body]; then they say: ‘He does not hear.’ [The mind] becomes united [with the subtle body]; then they say: ‘He does not think.’ [The skin] becomes united [with the subtle body]; then they say: ‘He does not touch.’ [The intellect] becomes united [with the subtle body]; then they say: ‘He does not know.’

The upper end of the heart lights up, and by that light the self departs, either through the eye or through the head or through any other part (aperture) of the body.

And when the self departs, the vital breath follows, and when the vital breath departs, all the organs follow.

Then the self becomes endowed with a particular consciousness and passes on to the body to be attained by that consciousness.

Knowledge, work, and past experience follow the self.

3

And just as a leech moving on a blade of grass reaches its end, takes hold of another, and draws itself together towards it, so does the self, after throwing off this body, that is to say, after making it unconscious, take hold of another support and draw itself together towards it.

4

And just as a goldsmith takes a small quantity of gold and fashions [out of it] another—a newer and better—form, so does the self, after throwing off this body, that is to say, after making it unconscious, fashion another—a newer and better—form, suited to the Manes, or the gandharvas, or the gods, or Virāj, or Hiranyagarbha, or other beings.

5

That self is indeed Brahman; it is also identified with the intellect, the mind, and the vital breath, with the eyes and ears, with earth, water, air, and ākāśa, with fire and with what is other than fire, with desire and with absence of desire, with anger and with absence of anger, with righteousness and unrighteousness, with all—it is identified, as is well known, with this (i.e. what is perceived) and with that (i.e. what is inferred). According as it acts and according as it behaves, so it becomes: by doing good it becomes good, and by doing evil it becomes evil. It becomes virtuous through virtuous action, and evil through evil action.

Others, however, say that the self is identified with desire alone. As is its desire, so is its resolution; and as is its resolution, so is its deed; and whatever deed it does, that it reaps.

6

Regarding this there is the following verse:

‘Because of attachment, the [transmigrating] self, together with its work, attains that result to which its subtle body or mind clings. Having exhausted [in the other world] the results of whatever work it did in this life, it returns from that world to this world for [fresh] work.’

Thus does the man who desires [transmigrate]. But as to the man who does not desire—who is without desire, who is freed from desire, whose desire is satisfied, whose only object of desire is the Self—his organs do not depart. Being Brahman, he merges in Brahman.

7

”Regarding this there is the following verse:

‘When all the desires that dwell in his heart are got rid of, then does the mortal [man] become immortal and attain Brahman in this very body.’

Just as the slough of a snake lies, dead and cast away, on an ant-hill, even so lies this body. Then the self becomes disembodied and immortal Spirit, the Supreme Self (Prana), Brahman, the Light.”

Janaka, Emperor of Videha, said: “I give you, venerable Sir, a thousand cows.”

8

Regarding this there are the following verses:

‘The subtle, ancient path stretching far away has been touched (reached) by me; nay, I have realized it myself. By this path the wise, the knowers of Brahman, move on to the celestial sphere (Liberation) after the fall of this body, having been freed [even while living].’

9

‘Some speak of it as white, [others as] blue, grey, green, or red. This path is realized by a knower of Brahman and is trod by whoever knows Brahman, has done good deeds, and is identified with the Supreme Light.’

10

‘Into blinding darkness enter those who worship ignorance; into a greater darkness than that, as it were, enter those who are devoted to knowledge.’

11

‘Cheerless indeed are those worlds covered with blinding darkness. To them after death go those people who are ignorant and unwise.’

12

‘If a man knows the Self as I am this, then desiring what and for whose sake will he suffer in the wake of the body?’

13

‘Whoever has realized and intimately known the Self, which has entered this perilous and perplexing place (the body), is the maker of the universe; for he is the maker of all. [All] is his Self, and he, again, is indeed the Self of all.’

14

‘Dwelling in this very body, we have somehow realized Brahman; otherwise we should have remained ignorant and great destruction would have overtaken us. Those who know Brahman become immortal, while others only suffer misery.’

15

‘When a person following [the instructions of a teacher] directly beholds the effulgent Self, the Lord of all that has been and will be, he no longer wishes to hide himself from It.’

16

‘That under which the year with its days rolls on-upon that immortal Light of all lights the gods meditate as longevity.’

17

‘That in which the five groups of five and the ākāśa rest, that very Ātman I regard as the Immortal Brahman. Knowing that Brahman, I am immortal.’

18

‘They who know the Vital Breath (Prāna) of the vital breath (prāna), the Eye of the eye, the Ear of the ear, the Mind of the mind, have realized the ancient, primordial Brahman.’

19

‘Through the mind alone is Brahman to be realized. There is in It no diversity. He goes from death to death who sees in It, as it were, diversity.’

20

‘Unknowable and constant, It should be realized in one form only. The Self is free from taint, beyond the ākāśa, birthless, infinite, and unchanging.’

21

‘The intelligent seeker of Brahman, learning about the Self alone, should practise wisdom (prajnā). Let him not think of too many words, for that is exhausting to the organ of speech.’

22

That great, unborn Self, which is identified with the intellect (vijnānamaya) and which dwells in the midst of the organs, lies in the ākāśa within the heart. It is the controller of all, the lord of all, the ruler of all. It does not become greater through good deeds or smaller through evil deeds. It is the lord of all, the ruler of all beings, the protector of all beings. It is the dam that serves as the boundary to keep the different worlds apart. The brāhmins seek to realize It through the study of the Vedas, through sacrifices, through gifts, and through austerity which does not lead to annihilation. Knowing It alone one becomes a sage (muni). Wishing for this World (i.e. the Self) alone, monks renounce their homes.

The knowers of Brahman of olden times, it is said, did not wish for offspring [because they thought]: ‘What shall we do with offspring—we who have attained this Self, this World?’ They gave up, it is said, their desire for sons, for wealth, and for the worlds, and led the life of [religious] mendicants. That which is the desire for sons is the desire for wealth, and that which is the desire for wealth is the desire for the worlds; for both these, indeed, are but desires.

‘This Self is That which has been described as Not this, not this.

It is imperceptible, for It is not perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered, for It never feels pain and never suffers injury.

‘Him [who knows this] these two thoughts do not overcome: For this I did an evil deed, and For this I did a good deed. He overcomes both. Things done or not done do not afflict him.’

23

This has been expressed by the following Rig verse:

‘This is the eternal glory of Brahman: It neither increases nor decreases through work. [Therefore] one should know the nature of That alone. Knowing It one is not touched by evil action.’

Therefore he who knows It as such becomes self-controlled, calm, withdrawn into himself, patient, and collected; he sees the Self in his own self (body); he sees all as the Self. Evil does not overcome him, but he overcomes all evil. Evil does not afflict him) but he consumes all evil. He becomes sinless, taintless, free from doubts, and a true Brahmana (knower of Brahman). This is the World of Brahman, O Emperor, and you have attained It.” Thus said Yājnavalkya.

Janaka said: “Venerable Sir, I give you the empire of Videha and myself, too, with it, to wait upon you.”

24

That great, unborn Self is the eater of food and the giver of wealth. He who knows this obtains wealth.

25

That great, unborn Self is undecaying, immortal, undying, fearless; It is Brahman (infinite). Brahman is indeed fearless. He who knows It as such becomes the fearless Brahman.

 

Chapter V

YĀJNAVALKYA AND MAITREYI (II)

1

Yājnavalkya had two wives: Maitreyi and Kātyāyani. Of these, Maitreyi was conversant with the Knowledge of Brahman, while Kātyāyani had an essentially feminine outlook. One day Yājnavalkya, when he wished to embrace another mode of life,

2

Said: “Maitreyi, my dear, I am going to renounce this life [to become a monk]. Let me make a final settlement between you and Kātyāyani.”

3

Maitreyi said: “Venerable Sir, if indeed the whole earth full of wealth belonged to me, would I be immortal through that or not?”

No,” replied Yājnavalkya, “your life would be just like that of people who have plenty. Of Immortality, however, there is no hope through wealth.”

4

Then Maitreyi said: “What should I do with that which would not make me immortal? Tell me, venerable Sir, of that alone which you know [to be the only means of attaining Immortality].”

5

Yājnavalkya replied: “My dear, you have been my beloved [even before], and [now] you have resolved [to know] what is after my heart. If you wish, my dear, I shall explain it to you. As I explain it, meditate [on what I say].”

6

And he said: “Verily, not for the sake of the husband, my dear, is the husband loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self [which, in its true nature, is one with the Supreme Self].

Verily, not for the sake of the wife, my dear, is the wife loved, but she is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for .the sake of the sons, my dear, are the sons loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of wealth, my dear, is wealth loved, but it is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the animals, my dear, are the animals loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the brāhmin, my dear, is the brāhmin loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the kshatriya, my dear, is the kshatriya loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the worlds, my dear, are the worlds loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the gods, my dear, are the gods loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the Vedas, my dear, are the Vedas loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the beings, my dear, are the beings loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, not for the sake of the All, my dear, is the All loved, but it is loved for the sake of the self.

Verily, my dear Maitreyi, it is the Self that should be realized—should be heard of, reflected on, and meditated upon. By the realization of the Self, my dear, through hearing, reflection, and meditation, all this is known.

7

The brāhmin rejects one who knows him as different from the Self. The kshatriya rejects one who knows him as different from the Self. The worlds reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The gods reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The Vedas reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The beings reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The All rejects one who knows it as different from the Self. This brāhmin, this kshatriya, these worlds, these gods, these Vedas, these beings, and this All—are that Self.

8-10

As the various particular [kinds of] notes of a drum, when it is beaten, cannot be grasped by themselves, but are grasped only when the general note of the drum or the general sound produced by different kinds of strokes is grasped;

And as the various particular notes of a conch, when it is blown, cannot be grasped by themselves, but are grasped only when the general note of the conch or the general sound produced by different kinds of blowing is grasped;

And as the various particular notes of a vinā, when it is played, cannot be grasped by themselves, but are grasped only when the general note of the vinā or the general sound produced by the different kinds of playing is grasped;

11

As from a lire kindled with wet fuel various [kinds of] smoke issue forth, even so, my dear, the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sāma-Veda, the Atharvangirasa, history (itihāsa), mythology (purāna), the arts (vidyā), Upanishads, verses (ślokas), aphorisms (sutras), ducidations (anuvyākhyānas), explanations (vyākhyānas), sacrifices, oblations in the fire, food, drink, this world, the next world, and all beings are all [like] the breath of this infinite Reality. From this [Supreme Self] are all these, indeed, breathed forth.

12

As the ocean is the one goal of all waters (the place where they merge), so the skin is the one goal of all kinds of touch, the nostrils are the one goal of all smells, the tongue is the one goal of all savours, the ear is the one goal of all sounds, the mind is the one goal of all deliberations, the intellect is the one goal of all [forms of] knowledge, the hands are the one goal of all actions, the organ of generation is the one goal of all [kinds of] enjoyment, the excretory organ is the one goal of all excretions, the feet are the one goal of all [kinds of] walking, the organ of speech is the one goal of all the Vedas.

13

As a lump of salt has neither inside nor outside and is altogether a homogeneous mass of taste, even so this Self, my dear, has neither inside nor outside and is altogether a homogeneous mass of Intelligence. [This Self] comes out [as a separate entity] from the elements, and with their destruction [this separate existence] is also destroyed. After attaining [this oneness] it has no more consciousness. This is what I say, my dear.”

So said Yājnavalkya.

14

Then Maitreyi said: “Just here you have completely bewildered me, venerable Sir. Indeed, I do not at all understand this.”

He replied: “Certainly I am not saying anything bewildering, my dear. Verily, this Self is immutable and indestructible.

15

For when there is duality, as it were, then one sees another, one smells another, one tastes another, one speaks to another, one hears another, one thinks of another, one touches another, one knows another. But when to the knower of Brahman everything has become the Self, then what should he see and through what, what should he smell and through what, what should he taste and through what, what should he speak and through what, what should he hear and through what, what should he think and through what, what should he touch and through what, what should he know and through what? Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known?

This Self is That which has been described as ‘Not this, not this.’ It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It never attaches Itself; unfettered, for It never feels pain and never suffers injury. Through what, O Maitreyi, should one know the Knower?

Thus you have the instruction given to you. This much, indeed, is [the means to] Immortality.”

Having said this, Yājnavalkya renounced home.

 

Chapter VI

THE LINE OF TEACHERS

1

Now the line [of teachers]:

[We received the knowledge from Pautimashya.] Pautimāshya [received it] from Gaupavana. Gaupavana from [another] Pautimāshya. [This] Pautimāshya from [another] Gaupavana. [This] Gaupavana from Kauśika. Kauśika from Kaundinya. Kaundinya from Śandilya. Śandilya from Kauśika and Gautama. Gautama

2

Gārgya. Gārgya from [another] Gārgya. [This] Gārgya from Gautama. Gautama from Saitava. Saitava from Pārāśaryāyana. Pārāśaryāyana from Gārgyāyana. Gārgyāyana from Uddālakāyana. Uddālakāyana from Jābālāyana. Jābālāyana from Mādhyandināyana. Mādhyandināyana from Saukarāyana. Saukarāyana from Kāshāyana. Kāshāyana from Sāyakāyana. Sāyakāyana from Kauśikāyani. Kauśikāyani

3

From Ghritakauśika.Ghritakauśika from Parāsaryayana. Pārāśaryāyana from Pārāśarya. Pārāśarya from Jātukamya. Jātukamya from Āsurāyana and Yāska. Āsurāyana from Traivani. Traivani from Aupajandhani. Aupajandhani from Āsuri. Āsuri from Bhāradvāja. Bhāradvāja from Ātreya. Ātreya from Mānti. Mānti from Gautama. Gautama from [another] Gautama. [This] Gautama from Vātsya. Vātsya from Śāndilya. Śāndilya from Kaiśorya Kāpya. Kaiśorya Kāpya from Kumārahārita. Kumārahārita from Gālava. Gālava from Vidarbhikaundinya. Vidarbhikaundinya from Vatsanapāt Bābhrava. Vatsanapāt Bābhrava from Pathin Saubhara. Pathin Saubhara from Ayāsya Āngirasa. Ayāsya Āngirasa from Ābhuti Tvāshtra. Ābhuti Tvāshtra from Viśvarupa Tvāshtra. Viśvarupa Tvashtra from the two Aśvins. The two Aśvins from Dadhyāch Ātharvana. Dadhyāch Ātharvana from Ātharvana Daiva. Ātharvana Daiva from Mrityu Prādhvamsana. Mrityu Prādhvamsana from Prādhvamsana. Prādhvamsana from Ekarshi. Ekarshi from Viprachitti. Viprachitti from Vyashti. Vyashti from Sanāru. Sanāru from Sanātana. Sanātana from Sanaga. Sanaga from Parameshthin (Virāj). Parameshthin from Brahmā (Hiranyagarbha). Brahman is self-born (eternal). Salutation to Brahman.

 

Part Five

Chapter I

THE INFINITY OF BRAHMAN

1

OM. Infinite is That [Brahman], infinite in this [manifested universe]. From the Infinite [Brahman] proceeds the infinite. [After the realization of the Great Identity or after the cosmic dissolution], when the infinity of the infinite [universe] merges [in the Infinite Brahman], there remains the Infinite [Brahman] alone.

Om is the Ākāśa Brahman-the primeval ākāśa. [It is] the ākāśa containing air, says the son of Kauravāyani. It (Om) is the Veda—thus the knowers of Brahman know; [for] through it one knows what is to be known.

 

Chapter II

THE THREE GREAT DISCIPLINES

1

Prajāpati had three kinds of offspring: gods, men, and demons (asuras). They lived with Prajāpati, practising the vows of brahmācharins. After finishing their term, the gods said to him: “Please instruct us, Sir.” To them he uttered the syllable da [and asked]: “Have you understood?” They replied: “We have. You said to us, ‘Control yourselves (dāmyata).’” He said: ”Yes, you have understood.”

2

Then the men said to him: “Please instruct us, Sir.” To them he uttered the same syllable da [and asked]: “Have you understood?” They replied: “We have. You said to us, ‘Give (datta).’” He said: “Yes, you have understood.”

3

Then the demons said to him: “Please instruct us, Sir.” To them he uttered the same syllable da [and asked]: “Have you understood?”

They replied: ‘We have. You said to us: ‘Be compassionate (dayadhvam).’” He said: “Yes, you have understood.”

That very thing is repeated [even today] by the heavenly voice, in the form of thunder, as “Da,” “Da,” “Da,” which means: “Control yourselves,” “Give,” and “Have compassion.” Therefore one should learn these three: self-control, giving, and mercy.

 

Chapter III

BRAHMAN AS THE HEART

1

Prajāpati is this—the heart (intellect). It (the heart) is Brahman. It is all. Hridayam (the heart) consists of three syllables. One syllable is hri; and to him who knows this, his own people and others bring [presents]. One syllable is da; and to him who knows this, his own people and others give [their powers]. One syllable is yam; and he who knows this goes to heaven.

 

Chapter IV

MEDITATION ON SATYA BRAHMAN

1

THAT [intellect Brahman] was verily this—Satya alone. And whosoever knows this great, glorious first-born one as the Satya Brahman conquers these worlds. And his [enemy] is thus conquered and becomes non-existent—yes, whosoever knows this great, glorious first-born one as the Satya Brahman; for Satya indeed is that Brahman.

 

Chapter V

IN PRAISE OF SATYA BRAHMAN

1

In the beginning this universe was water alone. That water produced Satya. Satya is Brahman. Brahman produced Prajāpati, and Prajāpati the gods. Those gods meditate on Satya. This [name] Satya consists of three syllables. Sa is one syllable, ti is one syllable, and ya is one syllable. The first and last syllables are the truth. In the middle is untruth. This untruth is enclosed on both sides by truth; thus truth preponderates. Untruth does not hurt him who knows this.

2

Now, that which is Satya is the sun—the being who dwells in yonder orb and the being who is in the right eye. These two rest on each other. The former (the being in the sun) rests on the latter (the being in the right eye) through his rays, and the latter rests on the former through his organs. When the individual self is about to leave the body, he sees the solar orb clearly (i.e. without rays). Those rays no longer come to him.

3

Of this being who is in the solar orb, the syllable Bhuh is the head, for there is one head and there is this one syllable; the word Bhuvah is the arms, for there are two arms and there are these two syllables; the word Svah is the legs, for there are two legs and there are these two syllables. His secret name is Ahar. He who knows this destroys evil and leaves it behind.

4

Of this being who is in the right eye, the syllable Bhur is the head, for there is one head and there is this one syllable; the word Bhuvar is the arms, for there are two arms and there are these two syllables; the word Svar is the legs, for there are two legs and there are these two syllables. His secret name is Aham. He who knows this destroys evil and leaves it behind.

 

Chapter VI

MEDITATION ON BRAHMAN AS THE MIND

1

This being identified with the mind and resplendent by nature [is realized by yogis] within the heart as [of the size of] a grain of rice or barley. He is the lord of all, the ruler of all, and governs all this—whatever there is.

 

Chapter VII

MEDITATION ON BRAHMAN AS LIGHTNING

1

They say that lightning is Brahman. It is called lightning (vidyut) because it scatters (vidānāt) darkness. Whosoever knows this—that lightning is Brahman—scatters the evils [that are ranged against him]; for lightning is indeed Brahman.

 

Chapter VIII

MEDITATION ON THE VEDAS AS A COW

1

One should meditate upon speech (the Vedas) as a cow. She (speech) has four teats: the sounds Svāhā,Vashat, Hanta, and Svadhā. The gods live on two of her teats, Svāhā and Vashat; men, on Hanta; and the Manes on Svadhā. Her bull is the vital breath (prāna), and her calf, the mind.

 

Chapter IX

MEDITATION ON THE VAIŚVĀNARA FIRE

1

This fire which is within a man and digests food that is eaten is Vaiśvānara. Its sound is that which one hears by stopping the ears. When a man is about to leave the body, he hears this sound no more.

 

Chapter X

THE PATH OF THE DEPARTING SOUL

1

When a man departs from this world, he reaches the air. The air opens there for him as wide as the hole of a chariot wheel. Through this [opening] he ascends and reaches the sun. The sun opens there for him as wide as the hole of a lambara. By this [opening] he ascends and reaches the moon. The moon opens there for him as wide as the hole of a drum. By this [opening] he ascends and reaches a World free from grief and cold. There he dwells for endless years.

 

Chapter XI

THE SUPREME AUSTERITIES

1

The supreme austerity is indeed that a man suffers when he is ill. He who knows this wins the highest world.

The supreme austerity is indeed that a man, after death, is carried to the forest. He who knows this wins the highest world.

The supreme austerity is indeed that a man, after death, is laid on the lire. He who knows this wins the highest world.

 

Chapter XII

MEDITATION ON FOOD AND THE VITAL BREATH AS BRAHMAN

1

Some say that food is Brahman; but this is not so, for food decays without the vital breath (prāna). Others say that the vital breath is Brahman; but this is not so, for the vital breath dries up without food. These two deities (food and the vital breath), when they become united, attain the highest state (Brahmanhood). Thus [reflecting,] Prātrida said to his father: “What good, indeed, can I do him who knows this, and what evil can I do him either?”

His father answered, stopping him [with a gesture of his hand]: “Oh, no, Prātrida; for who would attain the highest [merely] by being identified with these two?”

Further, he (the father) said to him this: “[It is] vi; food is verily vi, for all these creatures rest (viśanti) on food. [It is] ram; the vital breath is ram, for all these creatures delight (ramantē) in the vital breath.” All creatures rest on him, all creatures delight in him, who knows this.

 

Chapter XIII

MEDITATION ON THE VITAL BREATH

1

[One should meditate on the vital breath as] the Uktha. The vital breath is the Uktha, for it raises up (utthāpayati) all this [universe]. From him who knows this there is raised a son who is a a knower of the vital breath, and he wins union with and abode in the same world as the Uktha.

2

[One should meditate upon the vital breath as] the Yajus. The vital breath is the Yajus, for all [these] beings are united (yujyantē) with one another if the vital breath is present. All beings are united to give eminence to him who knows this, and he wins union with and abode in the same world as the Yajus (vital breath).

3

[One should meditate upon the vital breath as] the Sāman. The vital breath is the Sāman, for all [these] beings meet (samyanchi) if the Sāman (vital breath) is present. For the sake of him who knows this all beings are united and they succeed in giving him eminence; and he wins union with and abode in the same world as the Sāman.

4

[One should meditate upon the vital breath as] the Kshatra. The vital breath is the Kshatra, for the vital breath protects (trāyate) the body from wounds (khanitoh). He who knows this attains the Kshatra (vital breath) which needs no other protector, and he wins union with and abode in the same world as the Kshatra.

 

Chapter XIV

THE SACRED GĀYATRI

1

The words Bhumi (earth), Antariksha (sky), and Dyaus (heaven) form eight syllables, and the first foot of the Gāyatri consists of eight syllables. So the three worlds constitute the first foot of the Gāyatri. Whosoever knows this about the [first] foot of the Gāyatri wins all that is in the three worlds.

2

Richah, Yajumshi, and Sāmāni form eight syllables, and the second foot of the Gāyatri consists of eight syllables. So these [three] Vedas constitute the second foot of the Gāyatri. Whosoever thus knows the second foot of the Gāyatri wins as much as that treasury of knowledge, the three Vedas, has to confer.

3

Prāna, apāna, and vyāna form eight syllables, and the third foot of the Gāyatri consists of eight syllables. So these [three] forms of the vital breath constitute the third foot of the Gāyatri. Whosoever knows this about the third foot of the Gāyatri wins all the living beings that are in the universe.

Now, its turiya, [apparently] visible (darśata), and supramundane (parorajā) foot is this—the sun that glows yonder. That which is fourth is called turiya. He (the being in the solar orb) is [apparently] visible (darśata), because he is seen, as it were, [by the yogis]. He is supramundane (parorajā), because he shines alone on the whole universe as its overlord. He who thus knows the fourth foot of the Gāyatri shines with splendour and glory.

4

That Gāyatri rests on that fourth, [apparently] visible, supramundane foot. And that, again, rests on truth. The eye is truth, for the eye is indeed truth. Therefore, even today, if two persons come disputing, one saying: “I saw it,” and another: “I heard of it,” we should trust the one who says: “I saw it.”

That truth rests on strength. The vital breath (prāna) is strength. Hence truth rests on the vital breath. Therefore they say that strength is more powerful than truth.

Thus the Gāyatri is based on the vital breath within the body. That Gāyatri protected the gayas. The organs are the gayas; therefore the Gāyatri protected (tatre) the organs. Because it protected the organs, it is called the Gāyatri. The Sāvitri [verse], which the teacher communicates to the pupil, is no other than this. It saves the organs of the pupil to whom it is imparted by the teacher.

5

Some impart [to the pupil] the Sāvitri which is in the Anushtubh metre, saying: “[The goddess of] speech is Anushtubh; [so] we shall impart it to him.”

But one should not do that. One should impart only that Savitri which is Gāyatri. Verily, if one who knows this accepts too much as a gift, as it were, it is not enough for even one foot of the Gāyatri.

6

If he (the knower of the Gāyatri) accepts [as a gift] the three worlds full of wealth, he will be receiving [the fruit of knowing] only the first foot of the Gāyatri. If he accepts [as a gift] as much as this treasury of knowledge, the Vedas, [has to confer,] he will be receiving [the fruit of knowing] only the second foot of the Gāyatri. And if he accepts [as a gift] as much as [is covered by] all living creatures in the world, he will be receiving [the fruit of knowing] only the third foot of the Gāyatri. While [the fruit of knowing] its fourth, [apparently] visible, supramundane foot—yonder sun that glows—is not to be counterbalanced by any gift received.

Indeed, how could anyone receive so much as a gift?

7

The salutation to the Gāyatri:

O Gāyatri, thou art one-footed, two-footed, three-footed, and four-footed. And thou art without any feet, for thou art unattainable. Salutation to thee, fourth foot, [apparently] visible and supramundane! May the enemy never attain his object!”

[Should the knower of the Gāyatri] bear hatred towards anyone, [he should] either [use this mantra]: “May his desired object never flourish!”—in which case that object of the person against whom he thus salutes the Gāyatri never flourishes—or [he may say]: “May I attain that [cherished object] of his!”

8

On this subject Janaka, Emperor of Videha, said to Buḍlila, the son of Aśvatarāśva: ‘Well, how is it that you, who called yourself a knower of the Gāyatri, have come to be an elephant and are carrying me?”

He replied: “Because, Your Majesty, I did not know its mouth.” Janaka said: “Fire is its mouth. If people put a large quantity of fuel into the fire, it is all burnt up. Similarly, a man who knows this, even if he commits a great many sins, consumes them all and becomes pure, clean, and free from decay and death.”

 

Chapter XV

THE PRAYER OF A DYING PERSON

1

The door (real nature) of the truth (Satya Brahman) is covered by a golden disc. Open it, O Nourisher! Remove it so that I who have been worshipping the truth may behold it.

O Nourisher! O lone Traveller of the sky! O Controller! O Sun! O Offspring of Prajāpati! Gather your rays. Withdraw your light. I would see [through your grace] that form of yours which is the most benign. I am indeed He, that purusha [who dwells in the sun]. I am immortal.

Now [when my body falls] may my breath return to the all-pervading Prāna! May this body, reduced to ashes, [return to the earth]!

Om. O Fire, who art the symbol Om, O god of deliberations, remember, remember all that I have done.

O Fire, lead us by the good path towards the enjoyment of the fruit of our action. You know, O god, all our deeds. Destroy our sin of deceit. We offer by words repeated salutations to you.

 

Part Six

Chapter I

THE SUPREMACY OF THE PRĀNA

1

OM. He who knows what is the oldest and greatest becomes the oldest and greatest among his kinsmen. The vital breath (prāna) is indeed the oldest and greatest. He who knows this becomes the oldest and greatest among his kinsmen and also among those of whom he wishes to be so.

2

He who knows what is the most excellent (vasishtha) becomes the most excellent among his kinsmen. The organ of speech is indeed the vasishtha. He who knows this becomes the most excellent among his kinsmen and also among those of whom he wishes to be so.

3

He who knows what has [the attribute of] steadiness (pratishthā) lives steadily in rough as well as smooth places and times. The eye indeed is endowed with steadiness, for with the help of the eye one remains steady in rough as well as smooth places and times. He who knows this lives steadily in rough as well as smooth places and times.

4

He who knows prosperity (sampad) attains whatever object he desires. The ear indeed is prosperity, for when the ear is intact all the Vedas are acquired. He who knows this attains whatever object he desires.

5

He who knows the abode (āyatana) becomes the abode of his kinsmen and also of [other] people. The mind indeed is the abode. He who knows this becomes the abode of his kinsmen as well as of [other] people.

6

He who knows [what has the attribute of] procreation (prajāti) is enriched with children and animals. Semen verily has this attribute. He who knows this is enriched with children and animals.

7

These organs, disputing about who was superior among them, went to Prajāpati and asked: “Which one among us is the most excellent (vasishtha)?” He said: “That one among you is the most excellent by whose departure this body is considered to suffer most.”

8

The organ of speech departed. After being absent for a whole year it came back and said: “How have you been able to live without me?” The other organs said: “We lived just as dumb people live, without speaking through the tongue, but living through the vital breath, seeing through the eye, hearing through the ear, knowing through the mind, and procreating through the organ of generation.” Then the organ of speech entered [the body].

9

The eye departed. After being absent for a whole year it came back and said: “How have you been able to live without me?” The other organs said: “We lived just as blind people live, without seeing through the eye, but living through the vital breath, speaking through the organ of speech, hearing through the ear, knowing through the mind, and procreating through the organ of generation.” Then the eye entered [the body].

10

The ear went out. After being absent for a whole year it came bade and said: “How have you been able to live without me?” The other organs said: “We lived just as deaf people live, without hearing through the ear, but living through the vital breath, speaking through the organ of speech, seeing through the eye, knowing through the mind, and procreating through the organ of generation.” Then the ear entered [the body].

11

The mind went out. After being absent for a whole year it came back and said: “How have you been able to live without me?” The other organs said: |We lived just as idiots live, without knowing through the mind, but living through the vital breath, speaking through the organ of speech, seeing through the eye, hearing through the ear, and procreating through the organ of generation.” Then the mind entered [the body].

12

Then the organ of generation went out. After being absent for a whole year it came back and said: “How have you been able to live without me?” The other organs said: “We lived just as impotent people live, without procreating children through the organ of generation, but living through the vital breath, speaking through the organ of speech, seeing through the eye, hearing through the ear, and knowing through the mind.” Then the organ of generation entered [the body].

13

Then as the vital breath was about to depart, it uprooted the organs [from their places] just as a great, noble horse of the Sindhu country tears up the pegs to which his feet are tied. They said: “Venerable Sir, please do not go out. We shall not be able to live without you.”

If I am such, then give me an offering.”

So be it.”

14

The organ of speech said: “That attribute of being most excellent which I possess is yours.”

The eye said: “That attribute of steadiness which I possess is yours.”

The ear said: “That attribute of prosperity which I possess is yours.”

The mind said: “That attribute of being an abode which I possess is yours.”

The organ of generation said: “That attribute of procreation which I possess is yours.”

Then the vital breath said: “If I am such, then what will be my food and what will be my dress?”

They replied: “Whatever food there is—including that of dogs, worms, insects, and moths—will be your food, and water will be your dress.”

He who knows the food of the vital breath to be such never happens to eat anything or accept anything that is not food. Wise men who are versed in the Vedas therefore take a sip of water just before and after eating; they think that thereby they remove the nakedness of the vital breath.

 

Chapter II

THE PROCESS OF REBIRTH

1

Svetaketu, the grandson of Aruna, came to the assembly of the Panchālas. He approached Pravāhana, the son of Jivala, who was being waited upon by his courtiers. As soon as the king saw him, he said: “Is it you, boy?” He replied: “Yes, Sir.”

Then the king asked: “Have you been taught by your father?”

Yes,” he replied.

2

The king said: “Do you know how people, after departing [from this life], proceed on different paths?” ”No,” he replied.

Do you know how they return to this world?” “No,” he replied. “Do you know why the other world is never filled up [even though] so many people go there again and again?”

No,” he replied.

Do you know after how many offerings of oblations the water (the liquid oblation) becomes endowed with a human voice, rises up, and speaks?”

No,” he replied.

Do you know the means of access to the path leading to the gods or to that leading to the Manes, that is to say, through what deeds men attain the path leading to the gods or that leading to the Manes? We have heard the following words of the Mantra: ‘I have heard of the two paths for men, one leading to the Manes and the other to the gods. Going along them they (departed souls) are united [with their destination]. They (the paths) lie between the father (heaven) and the mother (earth).’”

Svetaketu said: “I do not know even one of these.”

3

Then the king invited him to stay. But the boy, disregarding the invitation, hurried away. He went to his father and said: “Did you not tell me before that you had fully instructed me?”

What then, my intelligent child?”

That fellow of a kshatriya asked me five questions, and I did not know one of them.”

What were they?”

These,” said Svetalcetu, and he recited them.

4

The father said: “My child, believe me, whatever I myself knew, I told you. But come, let us go there and live as religious students (brahmacharins).” “You may go, Sir,” the son replied.

Then Gautama went to where King Pravāhana, the son of Jivala, was giving audience. The king offered him a seat, ordered water for him, and made him the reverential offering. Then he said: “Revered Gautama, we will give you a boon.”

5

Gautama said: “You have promised me this boon. Now please tell me what you spoke about to my boy.”

6

The king said: “Ah, those are divine boons, Gautama. Please ask a human boon.”

7

Gautama said: “You know well that I have gold, cows, horses, maidservants, retinue, and apparel. Please do not be ungenerous towards me in regard to that gift which is plentiful, infinite, and inexhaustible.”

The king said: “Then, verily, O Gautama, you should ask it in the prescribed way.”

Gautama replied: “I approach you as a disciple.”

The ancients used to approach a teacher through mere declaration. So Gautama lived [with the king] by merely announcing that he was a student.

8

The king said: “Please do not be offended with us even as your paternal grandfather was not [offended with ours]. Before now this knowledge never rested with a brāhmin. But I shall teach it to you, for who can refuse you when you speak like this?

9

Yonder world is the [sacrificial] fire, the sun is its fuel, the rays its smoke, the day its flame, the four quarters its cinders, and the intermediate quarters its sparks. In this fire the gods offer faith as libation. Out of that offering King Moon is born.

10

Parjanya (the god of rain), O Gautama, is the fire, the year is its fuel, the clouds its smoke, lightning its flame, the thunderbolt its cinders, the rumbling its sparks. In this fire the gods offer King Moon as libation. Out of that offering rain is produced.

11

This world, O Gautama, is the fire, the earth is its fuel, fire its smoke, the night its flame, the moon its cinders, the stars its sparks. In this fire the gods offer rain as libation. Out of that offering food is produced.

12

Man, O Gautama, is the fire, the open mouth is its fuel, the vital breath its smoke, speech its flame, the eye its cinders, and the ear its sparks. In this fire the gods offer food as libation. Out of that offering semen is produced.

13

Woman, O Gautama, is the fire, her sexual organ is the fuel, the hairs the smoke, the vulva the flame, sexual intercourse the cinders, enjoyment the sparks. In this fire the gods offer semen as libation. Out of this offering a man is born. He lives as long as he is to live. Then, when he dies,

14

They carry him to be offered in the fire. The fire becomes his fire, the fuel his fuel, the smoke his smoke, the flame his flame, the cinders his cinders, and the sparks his sparks. In this fire the gods offer the man as libation. Out of this offering the man emerges in radiant splendour.

15

Those [even among] householders who know this, as described, and those too who, living in the forest, meditate with faith upon the Satya Brahman (Hiranyagarbha), reach [the deity identified with] flame, from him [the deity of] the day, from him [the deity of] the fortnight in which the moon waxes, from him [the deities of the] six months during which the sun travels northward, from them [the deity identified with] the world of the gods (devaloka), from him the sun, from the sun [the deity of] lightning. [Then] a being created from the mind [of Hiranyagarbha] comes and leads them to the worlds of Brahma. In those worlds of Brahma they become exalted and live for many years. They no more return to this world.

16

But those who conquer the worlds through sacrifices, charity, and austerity reach [the deity of] smoke, from smoke, [the deity of] the night, from night [the deity of] the fortnight in which the moon wanes, from the decreasing half of the moon [the deities of] the six months during which the sun travels southward, from these months [the deity of] the world of the Manes, and from the world of the Manes, the moon. Reaching the moon they become food. There the gods enjoy them, just as [here] the priests drink the shining soma juice-saying [as it were]: “Flourish, dwindle.” And when their past work is exhausted they reach this very ākāśa, from the ākāśa they reach the air, from the air rain, from rain the earth. Reaching the earth they become food. Then they are again offered in the fire of man, and thence in the fire of woman. Out of the fire of woman they are born [and perform rites] with a view to going to other worlds. Thus do they rotate. “Those, however, who do not know these two ways become insects and moths, and those creatures which often bite (i.e. mosquitoes and gnats).”

 

Chapter III

RITES FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF WEALTH

1

Whoever wishes to attain greatness (i.e. wealth for performing sacrificial rites) should act as follows: On an auspicious day of the fortnight in which the moon waxes, under a constellation bearing a masculine name, during the northward journey of the sun, he should undertake for twelve days a vow connected with the Upasads, gather in a cup or a bowl made of fig wood all the herbs and their grains, sweep and plaster the ground, lay the fire, spread [the kusa grass], purify the offering (clarified butter) according to the rules, place [between himself and the fire] the mantha (the paste made of those herbs etc.), and offer oblations with the following mantras:

O Fire, to all those gods under you who spitefully slay men’s desires, I offer their share. May they be satisfied and satisfy me with all the objects of my desire! Svāhā!

To that deity who turns out to be spiteful under your protection, thinking that she is the support of all, I offer this stream of clarified butter. Svāhā!”

2

Svāhā to the oldest, svāhā to the greatest!”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste (mantha).

Svāhā to the vital breath (prāna), svāhā to the vasishtha (the most excellent)!”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the :fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste (mantha).

Svāhā to the organ of speech, svāhā to that which has steadiness!”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste (mantha).

Svāhā to the eye, svāhā to prosperity!”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste (mantha).

Svāhā to the ear, svāhā to the abode!”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the :fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste (mantha).

Svāhā to the mind, svāhā to procreation (prajati)!”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the £re and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste (mantha).

Svāhā to the organ of generation!”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the £re and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste (mantha).

3

Svāhā to fire”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svahā to the moon”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to the earth”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to the sky”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to heaven”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the :lire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to earth, sky, and heaven”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the :lire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to the brāhmin”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the :lire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to the kshatriya”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip in to the paste.

Svāhā to the past”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svahā to the future”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to the universe”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the :lire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to all”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the fire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

Svāhā to Prajāpati”—[uttering these words,] he offers an oblation in the lire and lets the remainder adhering to the ladle drip into the paste.

4

Then he touches the paste, uttering [the mantra]: “You move [as the vital breath]; you burn [as fire]; you are infinite [as Brahman]; you are unshaken [as the sky]. You are the meeting-place [of all]. You are the sound hing and are uttered as hing [in the sacrifice by the prastotri]. You are the Udgitha and are chanted [by the udgātri]. You are recited [by the adbvaryu] and recited back [by the agnidhra]. You are fully ablaze in the moist cloud. You are omnipresent and the ruler. You are food [as the moon] and light [as fire]. You are death and you are that in which all things merge.”

5

Then he raises the paste, saying: “[As the vital breath] you know all; we too are aware of your greatness [as the vital breath]. The vital breath is the king, the ruler, the sovereign. May it make me king, ruler, and sovereign.”

6

Then he eats the paste, saying: “’Tat saviturvarenyam’ (‘That adorable light’)—’The winds blow sweetly (madhu), the rivers pour forth sweetness (madhu); may the herbs be sweet (madhu) unto us!’ ‘Svahā. to the earth (Bhuh).’

‘Bhargo devasya dhimahi’—(‘Of the radiant sun, we meditate upon’)—’May the nights and days be sweet (madhu), may the dust of the earth be sweet (madhu), may heaven, our father, be sweet (madhu)!’ ‘Svāhā to the sky (Bhuvah).’

‘Dhiyo yo nab prachodayāt’ (‘May He stimulate our intellect’)—’May the soma creeper be sweet (madhu) unto us, may the sun be sweet (madhu), may the quarters be filled with sweetness (madhu) for us!’ ‘Svāhā to heaven (Svah).’”

Then he repeats the whole Gāyatri and all the verses about sweetness (madhumati), and says at the end: “May I be all this! Svāhā to earth, sky, and heaven.”

Then he eats all that is left of the paste, washes his hands, and lies down behind the fire with his head to the east.

In the morning he salutes the sun saying: “You are the one [non-dual and best] lotus of the quarters; may I be the one lotus among men.”

Then he returns the way he went, sits behind the fire, and repeats the line of teachers.

7

Uddālaka, the son of Aruna, taught this to his pupil Vājasaneya Yājnavalkya and said: “Should one pour it (the paste) even on a dry stump, branches would grow and leaves spring forth.”

8

Then Vājasaneya Yājnavalkya taught this to his pupil Madhuka, the son of Paingi, and said: “Should one pour it even on a dry stump, branches would grow and leaves spring forth.”

9

Then Madhuka, the son of Paingi, taught this to his pupil Chula, the son of Bhagavitta, and said: “Should one pour it even on a dry stump, branches would grow and leaves spring forth.”

10

Then Chula, the son of Bhagavitta, taught this to his disciple Jānaki, the son of Ayasthuna, and said: “Should one pour it even on a dry stump, branches would grow and leaves spring forth.”

11

Then Jānaki, the son of Ayasthuna, taught this to his pupil Satyakāma, the son of Jabālā, and said: “Should one pour it even on a dry stump, branches would grow and leaves spring forth.”

12

And Satyakāma, the son of Jabālā, taught this to his pupils and said: “Should one pour it even on a dry stump, branches would grow and leaves spring forth.”

One must not teach this to anyone but a son or a pupil.

13

Four articles are made of fig wood: the sacrificial ladle, the bowl, the fuel, and the two mixing-rods.

The cultivated grains are ten in number: Rice, barley, sesamum, beans, millet (anu), panic seeds (priyangu), wheat, lentils, pulse, and vetch.

They should be crushed and soaked in curds, honey, and clarified butter, and offered as an oblation.

 

Chapter IV

CONCEPTION AND BIRTH AS RELIGIOUS RITES

1

The earth is verily the essence of all these beings, water is the essence of the earth, herbs of water, flowers of herbs, fruits of flowers, man of fruits, and semen is the essence of man.

2

Prajāpati said to Himself: “Well, let Me make a firm basis for it (semen).” So He created woman. Having created her, He placed her below and worshipped her. Therefore one should worship a woman, placing her below. He (Prajāpati) extended His organ that projects and with it impregnated her.

3

Her lap is the [sacrificial] altar, her hair the [sacrificial] grass, her skin [within the organ] the lighted fire; the two labia of the vulva are the two stones of the soma-press.

He who, knowing this, practises sexual intercourse wins as great a world as is won through the Vājapeya sacrifice; he acquires for himself [the fruit of] the good deeds of the woman. But he who, without knowing this, practises sexual intercourse turns over to the woman his own good deeds.

4

Having known this, Uddālaka the son of Aruna, Nāka the son of Mudgala, and Kumāra-hārita said: “Many mortals, brāhmins only in name, perform the sexual act without knowledge of what has been said and depart from this world impotent and without merit.”

Even if this much semen—of one asleep or of one awake—is spilled,

5

He should touch it and repeat the following mantra:

Whatever semen of mine has spilt on earth, whatever has Rowed to plants, whatever to water, I reclaim it.”

With these words he should take the semen with his ring finger and thumb and rub it between his breasts or eyebrows, repeating the following mantra:

Let the semen return to me, let vigour come to me again, let glow and good fortune come to me again. May the deities who dwell in the [sacrificial] fire put the semen back in its proper place.”

6

Now, if a man sees himself (his reflection) in water, he should recite the following mantra:

May the gods bestow on me vigour, manhood, fame, wealth, and merit.”

[In praise of the wife who will bear him a son:]

She (his wife) has put on the soiled clothes [of impurity]; she is, verily, loveliness among women. Therefore when she has removed the clothes of impurity and appears beautiful, he should approach her and speak to her.

7

If she does not [willingly] yield [her body] to him, he should buy her [with presents]. If she is still unyielding, he should strike her with a stick or with his hand and overcome her, repeating the following mantra:

With power and glory I take away your glory.” Thus she becomes discredited.

8

If she grants [his desire], he should repeat the following mantra:

With power and glory I give you glory.”

Thus they both become glorious.

9

If a man desires his wife with the thought: “May she enjoy love with me,” then, after inserting the member in her, joining mouth to mouth, and stroking her organ, he should utter the following mantra: “O semen, you have been produced from my every limb, [especially] from my heart [through the essence of food]; you are the essence of the limbs. Bring this woman under my control, like a deer pierced by a poisoned arrow.”

10

Now, the wife whom he desires [with .the thought]: “May she not conceive”—after inserting the member in her and joining mouth to mouth, he should inhale and then exhale, repeating the following mantra:

With power, with semen, I reclaim the semen from you.”

Thus she comes to be without semen.

11

Now, the wife whom he desires [with the thought]: “May she conceive”—after inserting the member in her and joining mouth to mouth, he should inhale and then exhale, repeating the following mantra:

With power, with semen, I deposit semen in you.” Thus she verily becomes pregnant.

12

Now, if a man’s wife has a paramour whom he detests, [he should perform the following rite in order to cast an evil spell upon him]: Let him put fire in an unbaked earthen vessel, spread stalks of reed and kusa grass inversely, and offer [in the sacrificial fire] the reed tips, soaked in clarified butter, inversely, repeating the following mantra: “You have made a libation in my kindled fire! I take away your prāna and apāna, you, ———! [Here the name of the evil-doer should be uttered.] You have made a libation in my kindled fire! I take away your sons and cattle, you, ———! You have made a libation in my kindled fire! I take away your Vedic rites and those done according to the Smritis, you, ———! You have made a libation in my kindled fire! I take away your hopes and expectations, you, ———!”

He whom a brāhmin who knows this [rite] curses, departs from this world impotent and shorn of merit. Therefore let no one even joke with the wife of a Vedic scholar who knows this rite; for he who has this knowledge is a dangerous enemy.

13

If a man’s wife has the monthly sickness, she should for three days drink water from a cup [made of bell metal]. Let no śudra man or woman touch her. After three nights she should bathe, put on a new cloth, and her husband should make her thresh rice.

14

If a man wishes that a son with a fair complexion should be born to him, that he should study one Veda, and that he should attain a full term of life, then they (husband and wife) should have rice cooked in milk and eat it with clarified butter. Thus they should be able to beget such a son.

15

If a man wishes that a son with a tawny or brown complexion should be born to him, that he should study two Vedas, and that he should attain a full term of life, then they should have rice cooked in curds and eat it with clarified butter. Thus they should be able to beget such a son.

16

If a man wishes that a son with a dark complexion and red eyes should be born to him, that he should study three Vedas, and that he should attain a full term of life, then they should have rice cooked in water and eat it with clarified butter. Thus they should be able to beget such a son.

17

If a man wishes that a daughter should be born to him who will be a scholar and attain a full term of life, then they should have rice cooked with sesamum and eat it with clarified butter. Thus they should be able to beget such a daughter.

18

If a man wishes that a son should be born to him who will be a famous scholar, frequenting assemblies and speaking delightful words, a student of all the Vedas, and an enjoyer of the full term of life, he should have rice cooked with the meat of a young bull or of one more advanced in years, and he and his wife should eat it with clarified butter. Then they should be able to beget such a son.

19

Now, towards morning he purifies the clarified butter according to the rules of Sthālipāka and offers Sthalipaka oblations repeatedly, saying:

Svāhā to fire! Svāhā to Anumati! Svāhā to the radiant sun, who produces infallible results!”

Having made the offering, he takes up the remnant of the cooked food, eats part of it, and gives the rest to his wife. Then he washes his hands, fills the water-vessel, and sprinkles her thrice with water, uttering [once] this mantra:

Get up from here, O Viśvāvasu! Seek another young woman, a wife with her husband.”

20

Then he embraces her, repeating the following mantra:

I am the vital breath and you are speech. You are speech and I am the vital breath. I am Sāman and you are Rig; I am heaven and you are earth. Come, let us strive together so that we may have a male child.”

21

Then he spreads apart her thighs, repeating the following mantra: “Spread yourselves apart, Heaven and Earth.”

Inserting the member in her and joining mouth to mouth, he strokes her three times [from head to foot], repeating the following mantra: “Let Vishnu make the womb capable of bearing a son! Let Tvashtrā shape the various limbs [of the child]! Let Prajāpati pour in [the semen]! Let Dhātrā support the embryo! O Sinivāli, make her conceive; O goddess [whose glory is widespread], make her conceive! May the two Aśvins, garlanded with lotuses, support the embryo!

22

”Let the [two] Aśvins churn the womb with the [two] golden arani sticks! I am placing a seed in your womb to be delivered in the tenth month. As the earth has fire in its womb, as heaven is pregnant with the sun, as the quarters are impregnated by air, so I am impregnating you by placing this seed in your womb.”

[After the reciting of the mantra, he utters his own name and that of his wife and places the seed.]

23

When she is about to deliver the child, he sprinkles her with water, repeating the following mantra:

As the wind agitates a pond on every side, even so let your foetus stir and come out along with the chorion. Indra (prāna) made a path [when the seed entered the womb]. O Indra, follow that path and come out with the foetus and the covering, and cause also the after birth to come forth with the babe.”

24

When [the son] is born, he should light a fire, take the child on his lap, put a mixture of curds and clarified butter in a bell-metal cup, and offer oblations in the fire repeatedly, uttering the mantra:

May I increase [as the son] in my own home and support a thousand people! May [the Goddess of Fortune] never depart, with children and cattle, from his line! Svāhā! The vital breath that is in me, I mentally offer to you. Svāhā! If I have done anything too much or too little in this ceremony, may the all-knowing and highly beneficent fire make it just right and proper for me. Svāhā!”

25

Then, putting [his mouth] to the child’s right ear, he should say thrice: “Speech! Speech!” Next he should mix together curds, honey, and clarified butter and feed the child with a golden stick which is not placed inside [the mouth], saying [these mantras]:

I put the earth (Bhuh) into you; I put the sky (Bhuvah) into you; I put heaven (Svah) into you. The whole of earth, sky, and heaven I put into you.”

26

Then he (the father) gives him (the son) a name: “You are the Veda (knowledge).“ That is his secret name.

27

Then he presents him to the mother to give him her breast, uttering the mantra:

O Sarasvati, that breast of thine which is fruitful, the sustainer of all, full of milk, the bestower of wealth, and generous, and by which thou nourishest all who are worthy-transfer that [breast] here [to my wife, for my child] to suck.”

28

Then he addresses the mother [of the child] thus:

You are the adorable Arundhati, the wife of Vasishtha, and with me, who am a man, as your partner you have brought forth a male child. Be the mother of many male children, for you have given us a son.”

And people say to the son who is born as the child of a brāhmin endowed with this particular knowledge:

You have surpassed your father and you have surpassed your grandfather. Oh, truly you have reached the extreme limit of attainment through your splendour, fame, and brahminical power.”

 

Chapter V

THE LINE OF TEACHERS

1

Now the line of teachers:

The son of Pautimashi [received this knowledge] from the son of Kātyāyani. The son of Kātyāyani from the son of Gautami.. The son of Gautami from the son of Bhāradvāji. The son of Bhāradvāji from the son of Parāśari. The son of Pārāśari from the son of Aupasvasti. The son of Aupasvasti from the son of [another] Pārāśari. The son of [this] Pārāśari from the son of Kātyāyani. The son of Kātyāyani from the son of Kauśiki. The son of Kauśiki from the son of Ālambi and the son of Vaiyāghrapadi. The son of Vaiyāghrapadi from the son of Kānvi and the son of Kāpi. The son of Kāpi

2

From the son of Ātreyi. The son of Ātreyi from the son of Gautami. The son of Gautami from the son of Bhāradvāji. The son of Bhāradvāji from the son of Pārāśari. The son of Pārāśari from the son of Vātsi. The son of Vātsi from the son of [another] Pārāśari. The son of [this] Pārāśari from the son of Vārkāruni. The son of Vārkāruni from the son of [another] Vārkāruni. [The] son of [this] Vārkāruni from the son of Ārtabhāgi. The son of Ārtabhāgi from the son of Śaungi. The son of Śaungi from the son of Sānkriti. The son of Sānkriti from the son of Ālambāyani. The son of Ālambāyani from the son of Ālambi. The son of Ālambi from the son of Jāyanti. The son of Jāyanti from the son of Māndukāyani. The son of Māndukāyani from the son of Mānduki. The son of Mānduki from the son of Śandili. The son of Śandili from the son of Rāthitari. The son of Rāthitari from the son of Bhāluki. The son of Bhāluki from the two sons of Kraunchiki. The two sons of Kraunchiki from the son of Vaidabhriti. The son of Vaidabhriti from the son of Kārśakeyi. The son of Kārśakeyi from the son of Prāchinayogi. The son of Prāchinayogi from the son of Sānjivi. The son of Sānjivi from Āsurivasin, who was the son of Prāśni. The son of Prāśni from Āsurāyana. Āsurāyana from Āsuri. Āsuri

3

From Yājnavalkya. Yājnavalkya from Uddālaka. Uddālaka from Aruna. Aruna from Upaveśi. Upaveśi from Kuśri. Kuśri from Vājaśravas. Vājaśravas from Jihvāvat, the son of Badhyoga. Jihvāvat, the son of Badhyoga, from Asita, the son of Varshagana. Asita, the son of Varshagana, from Harita Kaśyapa. Harita Kaśyapa from Silpa Kaśyapa. Silpa Kaśyapa from Kaśyapa, the son of Nidhruva. Kaśyapa, the son of Nidhruva, from Vāch. Vāch from Ambhini. Ambhini from the sun. These white Yajuses (sacrificial formulas not vitiated by human blemishes) are explained by Yājnavalkya, belonging to the Vājasaneyi school.

4

[The line of teachers is] the same up to the son of Sānjivi. The son of Sānjivi [received this knowledge] from Māndukāyani. Māndukāyani from Māndavya. Māndavya from Kautsa. Kautsa from Māhitthi. Māhitthi from Vāmakakshāyana. Vāmakakshāyana from Śandilya. Śandilya from Vātsya. Vātsya from Kuśri. Kuśri from Yajnavachas, the son of Rājastamba. Yajnavachas, the son of Rājastamba, from Tura, the son of Kavashi. Tura, the son of Kavashi, from Prajāpati (Hiranyagarbha). Prajāpati [received this knowledge] from his relationship to Brahman (the Vedas). Brahman is self-existent. Salutation to Brahman.

See Also


The Upanishads

Aitareya and Brihadāranyaka

Translated from the Sanskrit with detailed Introductions and with Notes and Explanations based on the Commentary of Śri Śankaricharya, the great Eighth-century Philosopher and Saint of India.

By Swami Nikhilananda

Full Text Online (PDF)

Translated by Swami Madhavananda

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