Taittiriya Upanishad

Paperback and eBook versions (tr. C. Johnston)

Translated by Charles Johnston

See also: The Mukhya Upanishads, by C. Johnston

Taittiriya Upanishad

I

INVOCATION

May Mitra, divinity of the day, guard us! May Varuna, divinity of the night, guard us! May Aryaman, divinity of the sun, guard us! May Indra, divinity of power, guard us! May Brihaspati, divinity of voice and of intelligence, guard us! May wide-striding Vishnu, divinity of progress, guard us!

Obeisance to the Eternal! Obeisance to thee, Vayu, the Great Breath! Thou, verily, art the Eternal made manifest! Thee, verily, as the Eternal made manifest I shall declare. I shall declare the Truth. I shall declare the Real. May it protect me! May it protect the speaker! May it protect me! May it protect the speaker! Om: Peace! Peace! Peace!

 

INTONING SACRED SENTENCES

Om: We shall set forth in order the teaching regarding Intoning.

The colour of the sound; the tone, whether high or low; the measure, whether long or short; the stress, whether strong or light; the enunciation, making the sound audible; the combination, linking sounds together.

Thus the teaching of Intoning is declared.

 

THE LAW OF CORRESPONDENCES

May honour abide with us two, Master and disciple! May the radiance of the Eternal abide with us two!

We shall now set forth in order the secret teaching of Correspondences, under five heads: Regarding the world; the givers of light; the teaching; offspring; self. This is called the teaching of Correspondences.

Now, regarding the world: the earth is the initial form, heaven is the final form; the ether of space is the mediating power; Vayu, the Great Breath, brings about the union. Thus, regarding the world.

Now, regarding the givers of light: fire is the initial form; the sun is the final form; the waters of space are the mediating power; the lightning brings about the union. Thus, regarding the givers of light.

Now, regarding the teaching: the Master is the initial form; the accepted disciple is the final form; the secret teaching is the mediating power; the imparting of the teaching brings about the union. Thus, regarding the teaching.

Now, regarding offspring: the mother is the initial form; the father is the final form; the offspring is the mediating power; the engendering brings about the union. Thus, regarding offspring.

Now, regarding self : the lower jaw is the initial form; the upper jaw is the final form; voice is the mediating power; the tongue brings about the union. Thus, regarding self.

These are the Correspondences. He who knows these Correspondences, thus set forth in order, is united with offspring and flocks, with the radiance of the Eternal, with food and all blessings, with the heavenly world.

 

INVOCATION BY THE MASTER

The Power who inspired the sacred hymns is the Divinity of universal form. Above the hymns, he came into being from the Everlasting. May this Ruler endow me with holy wisdom! May I, O Radiant One, become a container and bestower of immortality!

May my body be full of vigour! May my tongue be sweeter than honey! May I hear fully with my ears!

Thou art the vesture of the Eternal, endowed with holy wisdom! Guard for me what I have heard!

Divine Grace brings blessings, and distributes them. May that Grace take to herself these vestures and herds! May she provide food and drink, granting me a blessing always! May she grant the flocks with their fleeces! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, come to me! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, come apart to me! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, come forth to me! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, conquer themselves! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, win peace! Adoration!

May I be Radiance among mankind! Adoration!

May I be more blessed than those rich in possessions! Adoration!

May I enter, Lord, into Thee! Adoration!

Thou, Lord, enter into me! Adoration!

In the Power, thousand-rayed, in Thee, Lord, I am clean! Adoration!

As waters flow, descending; as the months flow into the sum of days, so, Universal Lord, let disciples, serving the Eternal, come from the whole world to me! Adoration!

Thou art my Refuge! Pour thy Light upon me! Come to me!

 

THE FOUR REALMS

Earth, Mid-world, Heaven: These are the three Expressions. Maha-chamasya made known a fourth, in addition to these: the Great One. This is the Eternal, this is the Supreme Self. The other divine powers are its members.

The Earth, verily, is this world; the Mid-world is the interspace; Heaven is that world; the Great One is the sun. Through the sun, verily, all worlds are made great.

The Earth, verily, is this fire; the mid-world is the wind; Heaven is the sun; the Great One is the moon. Through the moon, verily all lights are made great.

The Earth, verily, is the Rig Veda; the Mid-world is the Sama Veda; Heaven is the Yajur Veda; the Great One is knowledge of the Eternal. Through knowledge of the Eternal, all the Vedas are made great.

The Earth, verily, is the forward-breath; the Mid-world is the downward-breath; Heaven is the distributive-breath; the Great One is food. Through food, verily, all the vital breaths are made great.

They, verily, these four, are divided fourfold. The Expressions are four and four. Who knows these, knows the Eternal; to him all the bright Powers bring victory.

 

THE MAN FORMED OF MIND

This radiant ether, here, in the heart within, in it is the Spiritual Man, formed of Mind, immortal, of the colour of gold; here, at the division of the palate, this, which is pendent, like a nipple, this is the womb of the Ruler. Opening a way here, at the top of the head, where the hair separates, and saying, Earth! he establishes himself on this fire; saying, Mid-world! he establishes himself upon the wind; saying, Heaven! He establishes himself in the sun; saying, the Great One! he establishes himself in the Eternal. He wins self-mastery. He wins the Lord of the mind. He becomes lord of voice, lord of vision, lord of hearing, lord of knowledge, all this, he becomes, and more, the Eternal, whose vesture is the ether of space, whose soul is the Real, whose garden is Life, whose joy is Mind, whose treasure is Peace immortal. Thus worship, thou of the ancient Yoga!

 

FIVEFOLD CORRESPONDENCES

Earth interspace heaven directions inter-directions
Fire wind sun moon constellations
Water plants trees space self

Thus, with regard to beings. Now, with regard to self:

Forward- distributive- downward- upward- uniting-
breath breath breath breath breath
Vision hearing mind voice touch
Skin flesh sinew bone marrow

Thus distributing the powers, a Seer and Sage has said: Fivefold, verily, is this all. Through the five, he wins the five.

 

THE SACRED SYLLABLE OM

Om is the eternal. Om is all this universe. Om is also the expression of assent. Saying, Om! Invoke! they invoke at the sacrifice. Saying, Om! they intone the Sama hymns. Saying, Om! they praise the weapons. Saying, Om! the priest utters the response. Saying, Om! the chief priest chants the opening praise. Saying, Om! the sacrificer assents to the fire-oblation. Saying, Om I the Brahman, about to recite, prays, May I receive inspiration! He receives inspiration.

 

STUDY AND INSTRUCTION

The True, study and instruction; the Real, study and instruction; fervour, study and instruction; control, study and instruction; peace, study and instruction; the fires, study and instruction; the fire-oblation, study and instruction; guests, study and instruction; the sons of man, study and instruction; offspring, study and instruction; engendering, study and instruction; bringing up children, study and instruction.

The true!” said Rathitara, speaker of truth. “Fervour!” said Paurushishti, ever fervent. “Study and instruction!” said Naka, son of Mudgala, “for this is fervour, this is fervour!”

 

A MEDITATION

I am he who fells the tree of rebirth; my glory is as a mountain peak, exalted, pure; I am as the nectar in the sun, the treasure, radiant; I am the possessor of wisdom, immortal, indestructible!

 

MASTER AND DISCIPLE

When he has taught him the Vedas, the Master thus instructs the accepted disciple:

Speak the truth! Work righteousness! Be not remiss in study! Bring a gift acceptable to thy Master, and break not the link of spiritual descent! Depart not from the truth! Depart not from righteousness! Depart not from true welfare! Depart not from true prosperity! Depart not from study and from thy instruction!

Depart not from what is owed to the bright Powers and the Fathers! Let thy mother be to thee as a divinity! Let thy father be to thee as a divinity! Let thy Master be to thee as a divinity! Let a guest be to thee as a divinity! Let all blameless works be performed, but not others! Those things which are esteemed good among us, should be revered by thee, and not others! Whichever knowers of the Eternal are best among us, should be received by thee with reverence!

Give thy gifts with faith! Give not without faith! Give with grace! Give with humility! Give with reverence! Give with compassion!

If thou shouldest have a doubt concerning thy work, or concerning conduct, whatever knowers of the Eternal are there, full of judgment, qualified, devoted, gentle-hearted, loving righteousness, as these shall bear themselves in such a matter, so do thou bear thyself!

Concerning those who are reprimanded, whatever knowers of the Eternal are there, full of judgment, qualified, devoted, gentle-hearted, loving righteousness, as these shall bear themselves in such a matter, so do thou bear thyself! This is the instruction, this is the counsel, this is the secret wisdom of the Vedas, this is the command handed down; thus shalt thou reverently serve! Thus, verily, should service be rendered.

 

CLOSING INVOCATION

May Mitra, divinity of the day, guard us! May Varuna, divinity of the night, guard us! May Aryaman, divinity of the sun, guard us! May Indra, divinity of power, guard us! May Brihaspati, divinity of voice and of intelligence, guard us! May wide-striding Vishnu, divinity of progress, guard us!

Obeisance to the Eternal! Obeisance to thee, Vayu, the Great Breath!

Thou, verily, art the Eternal made manifest! Thee, verily, as the Eternal made manifest, I have declared. I have declared the Truth. I have declared the Real. It has protected me. It has protected the speaker. Om: Peace! Peace! Peace!

 

II

He who knows the Eternal attains to the Supreme. Therefore, this has been declared: He who has gained the knowledge of the Eternal, the Truth, Wisdom, Infinite, hid in the secret place, in the highest shining ether, he, indeed, gains all desires together with the All-Wise Eternal.

From That, verily, from this universal Self, the shining Ether came to birth; from Ether, the Wind, the Great Breath; from the Wind, Fire; from Fire, the Waters; from the Waters, the Earth; from the Earth, Plants; from Plants, Food; from Food, the Seed; from the Seed, Man. So, verily, this man is formed of the essence of food; this is his head, this is his right side, this is his left side, this is himself, this is the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

From food, verily, beings are born, whatsoever they are that dwell on earth; and so by food they live, and so to it they go at the end; for food is the eldest of beings, therefore it is called the all-healing; they, verily, obtain all food, who worship the Eternal as food. Food, verily, is the eldest of beings, therefore it is called the all-healig. From food, beings are born; born, through food they increase; That is eaten, and eats beings, therefore it is called food.

Within him, within this formed of the essence of food, there is another inner self, formed of life-breath; by it, this is filled. And he, verily, has the form of man; according to the human form of that, this has the form of man; the forward breath is his head, the distributive breath is his right side, the downward breath is his left side, the ether is himself, earth is the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

With breath the bright powers breathe, and men and beasts, whatsoever they be, for breath is of beings the life; therefore it is called all-life; they, verily, gain a complete life, who worship the Eternal as the life-breath. For breath is the life of all beings, therefore it is called all-life. This self is embodied in the other, the preceding.

Within him, within this formed of life-breath, there is another inner self, formed of mind; by it, this is filled. And he, verily, has the form of man; according to the human form of that, this has the form of man; the Yajur is his head, the Rig is his right side, the Sama is his left side, the instruction is himself, Atharva and Angiras are the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

That from which words turn back, falling short, together with mind, knowing that bliss of the Eternal, he fears no more for ever. This self is embodied in the other, the preceding.

Within him, within this formed of mind, there is another inner self, formed of understanding; by it, this is filled. And he, verily, has the form of man; according to the human form of that, this has the form of man; faith is his head, righteousness is his right side, truth is his left side, union is himself, the mighty is the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

Understanding draws forth sacrifice, and draws forth works also; as understanding, all the bright powers worship the Eternal, the eldest. If he has come to know the Eternal as understanding, and is not allured therefrom, putting away sins with the body, he gains all desires. This self is embodied in the other, the preceding.

Within him, within this formed of understanding, there is another inner self, formed of bliss; by it, this is filled. And he, verily, has the form of man; according to the human form of that, this has the form of man; love is his head, joy is his right side, rejoicing is his left side, bliss is himself, the Eternal is the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

Unmanifest, verily, he becomes, if he knows the Eternal as unmanifest. If he knows that the Eternal is, thereafter they know him as manifest. This self is embodied in the other, the preceding.

And so there are the further questions: whether anyone who has not attained to wisdom gains that world on going forth, or whether he who has attained to wisdom gains that world on going forth.

He desired: may I become many, may I form beings. He brooded with fervour; brooding with fervour, he emanated all this, whatsoever there is; when he had emanated it, following, he entered into it; entering it, he became what is here and what is there, the defined and the undefined, that which has form and what is formless, understanding and what is beyond understanding, both the real and the unreal. As the real, he became whatsoever is here; that is called the real. Therefore, there is this verse:

Unmanifest, verily, was That in the beginning; from That, verily, the manifest came into being; That manifested itself as the Self, therefore That is called the Self-formed. That, verily, which is Self-formed, is the essence; gaining that essence, he possesses bliss; for who could live, who could breathe, if the shining ether were not joy? For this, verily, brings joy. For when he finds the fearless, the firm foundation, in that which is invisible, selfless, undefined, formless, then, verily, he has gained that which is beyond fear. But if he makes separateness in this, then fear is his. But That, verily, is the fear of him who has gained wisdom and understanding. Therefore, there is this verse:

From awe of That, the wind blows; from awe of That, the sun rises; from awe of That, the Fire-lord and the Sky-lord, and Death runs as the fifth.

This is the measuring of joy:

Let there be a youth, a righteous youth, who has mastered the teaching, very swift, very firm, very powerful, and let this whole earth be full of riches for him; this is one joy of the sons of men.

A hundred joys of the sons of men are one joy of the angels of human form, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the angels of human form are one joy of the angels of divine form, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the angels of divine form are one joy of the Fathers, in the long-enduring worlds, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the Fathers in the long-enduring worlds are one joy of the beings divine by birth, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the beings divine by birth are one joy of those divine beings who have gained divinity through work, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of those divine beings who have gained divinity through work are one joy of the divinities, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the divinities are one joy of the Lord of heaven, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the Lord of heaven are one joy of the Instructor of divine beings, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the Instructor of divine beings are one joy of the Father of all beings, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the Father of all beings are one joy of the Eternal, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

He who is here, in man, and he who is there, in the sun, are one. He who knows this, on going forth from this world transcends this self formed of food, transcends this self formed of life-breath, transcends this self formed of mind, transcends this self formed of understanding, transcends this self formed of bliss. Therefore, then: is this verse:

That from which words turn back, falling short, together with mind, knowing that bliss of the Eternal, he fears no more for ever. Nor does this afflict him: What righteousness have I not worked? What evil have I worked? He who thus knows, raises himself above these two; he raises himself above these two, who knows thus. This is the Secret Teaching, the Upanishad.

 

III

Bhrigu, verily, the son of Varuna, drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. To him he declared this: Food, life-breath, sight, hearing, mind, voice; he told him: That from which these beings are born, that whereby they live, that to which they go forth, into which they enter and are absorbed, seek thou to understand that, for that is the Eternal.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is food; for from food, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through food; to food they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

When he had understood this, he again drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. He told him: Through brooding meditation seek thou to understand the Eternal, for the Eternal is brooding meditation.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is life; for from life, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through life; to life they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

When he had understood this, be again drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. He told him: Through brooding meditation seek thou to understand the Eternal, for the Eternal is brooding meditation.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is mind; for from mind, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through mind; to mind they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

When he had understood this, he again drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. He told him: Through brooding meditation seek thou to understand the Eternal, for the Eternal is brooding meditation.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is understanding; for from understanding, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through understanding; to understanding they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

When he had understood this, he again drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. He told him: Through brooding meditation seek thou to understand the Eternal, for the Eternal is brooding meditation.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is joy; for from joy, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through joy; to joy they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

This, verily, is the wisdom of Bhrigu, son of Varuna; in the supreme shining ether it is set firm. He who thus knows, stands firm; possessing food, he becomes the eater of food; he becomes mighty through offspring, through herds, through the radiance of the Eternal, mighty in renown.

Let him not blame food; this is the law. For food is life; the body is the eater of food. In life the body is set firm; in the body life is set firm; therefore, in food, food is set firm. He who knows this food set firm in food, he indeed stands firm; possessing food, he becomes the eater of food; he becomes mighty through offspring, through herds, through the radiance of the Eternal, mighty m renown.

Let him not disregard food; this is the law. For the waters are food; the radiance is the eater of food. In the waters the radiance is set firm; in the radiance the waters are set firm; therefore, in food, food is set firm. He who knows this food set firm in food, he indeed stands firm; possessing food, he becomes the eater of food; he becomes mighty through offspring, through herds, through the radiance of the Eternal, mighty in renown.

Let him make food abundant; this is the law. For the earth is food; shining ether is the eater of food. In the earth, shining ether is set firm; in shining ether the earth is set firm; therefore, in food, food is set firm. He who knows this food set firm in food, he indeed stands firm; possessing food, he becomes the eater of food; he becomes mighty through offspring, through herds, through the radiance of the Eternal, mighty in renown.

Let him not refuse any in the dwelling; this is the law. Therefore, by whatever means, let him obtain much food. Food has become a blessing for him, they say. This food, verily, has been prepared in the beginning. For him who seeks, this food is prepared in the beginning. This food, verily, has been prepared in the middle. For him who seeks, this food is prepared in the middle. This food, verily, has been prepared at the end. For him who seeks, this food is prepared at the end; for him who thus knows.

Conserving the voice, gaining and conserving through the forward-breath and the downward-breath, work for the hands, going for the feet, ridding himself of what is rejected: this is the way of wisdom and worship for mankind. Then the way for the bright powers: abounding joy in the rain, power in the lightning, bright life among creatures, shining light among the stars; the forming of beings, the immortal, joy in creative power; in the shining ether, the all. Let him reverence That as the firm foundation; he gains a firm foundation. Let him reverence That as the mighty; he becomes mighty. Let him reverence That as mind; he becomes lord of mind. Let him reverence That as obeisance; to him desires make obeisance. Let him reverence That as the Eternal; he gains the Eternal. Let him reverence That as dying into the Eternal; they who hate him, who contend against him, the enemies of his own household, die around him. He who is here, in man, and he who is there, in the sun, are one.

He who thus knows, going forth from this world, transcends this self formed of food, he transcends this self formed of life-breath, he transcends this self formed of mind, he transcends this self formed of understanding, he transcends this self formed of bliss; entering those realms, going to and fro, possessing food according to his desire, taking form according to his desire, he dwells there singing this holy song:

Splendour! Splendour! Splendour!

I am the food! I am the food! I am the food!

I am the eater of the food! I am the eater of the food! I am the eater of the food!

I am the maker of the song! I am the maker of the song! I am the maker of the song!

I am the firstborn of the Real, before the gods, from the womb of the immortal! He who gives me, he also guards me!

I, the food, eat the eater of the food!

I have overcome the world!

I am robed in golden light!

This is the Secret Teaching, the Upanishad.

See Also


Instructions for Disciples

Taittiriya Upanishad

Translated from the Sanskrit with an Interpretation

By Charles Johnston

Full Text Online (PDF)

Translated by Swāmi Nikhilānanda

Taittiriya Upanishad

Part One

On Siksha or Pronunciation

Chapter I

INVOCATION

HARIH OM.

May Mitra be propitious unto us! May Varona be propitious unto us! May Aryaman be propitious unto us! May Indra and Brihaspati be propitious unto us! May Vishnu, of wide strides, be propitious unto us!

Salutation to Brahman! Salutation to Thee, O Vāyu! Thou indeed art the visible Brahman. Thee indeed I shall proclaim as the visible Brahman. Thee indeed, O Vāyu, I shall proclaim as the right (ritam). Thee indeed I shall proclaim as the true (satyam).

May It protect me! May It protect the teacher!May It protect me! May It protect the teacher! OM. Peace! Peace! Peace!

 

Chapter II

LESSON ON PRONUNCIATION

OM. We will expound śikshā, or the science of pronunciation. [It deals with] sound, pitch, quantity, force, modulation, and combination. Thus is explained the lesson on pronunciation.

 

Chapter III

MEDITATION ON THE COMBINATIONS

1

May glory come to both of us (teacher and pupil) together! May the light of Brahman shine alike through both of us!

Now we will explain the Upanishad (i.e. the upāsanā, or meditation) on the Samhitā (combinations) under five heads: with regard to the worlds, the heavenly lights, knowledge, progeny, and the ātman (body). People call these the great Samhitās.

First, with regard to the worlds: The earth is the first form (i.e. sound) [of the word Samhitā], heaven is the last form, the ākāśa is the union, and the air is the medium. Thus with regard to the worlds.

2

Next, with regard to the heavenly lights: Fire is the first form, the sun is the second form, water is the union, and lightning is the medium. Thus with regard to the heavenly lights.

3

Next, with regard to knowledge: The teacher is the first form, the pupil is the second form, knowledge is the union, and the [Vedic] recitation is the medium. Thus with regard to knowledge.

4

Next, with regard to progeny: The mother is the first form, the father is the second form, the progeny is the union, and procreation is the medium. Thus with regard to the progeny.

5

Next, with regard to the ātman (body): The lower jaw is the first form, the upper jaw is the second form, speech is the union, and the tongue is the medium. Thus with regard to the ātman.

6

These are the great Samhitās. He who meditates on these Samhitās, here explained, becomes united with progeny, cattle, the light of Brahman, food, and the heavenly world.

 

Chapter IV

PRAYER FOR WISDOM AND FORTUNE

1

May He (Om) who is the bull (i.e. the foremost) of the Vedic hymns who assumes all forms, who has sprung from the Immortal hymns of the Vedas—may that Indra (the Lord) cheer me with wisdom (medhā). O God, may I be the possessor of immortality!

May my body be competent [to acquire Self-Knowledge]; may my tongue be exceedingly sweet; may I hear abundantly with my ears. Thou (Om) art the sheath of Brahman, concealed by [worldly] intellogence. Guard for me what I have learnt.

2

Om. Next bring me, without delay, fortune accompanied by wool and cattle—fortune which always provides me with clothes and cattle, food and drink. Increase them when they have been acquired, and preserve them long when increased. Svāhā!

May brahmachārins come to me from all directions [for the acquiring of knowledge]! Svāhā!

May brahmachārins come to me variously! Svāhā!

May brahmachārins come to me [according to the scriptural injunctions]! Svāhā!

May brahmachārins practise self-control! Svāhā!

May brahmachārins enjoy peace! Svāhā!

3

May I become famous among men! Svāhā!

May I become richer than the rich! Svāhā!

O gracious Lord, may I enter into Thee! Svāhā!

May Thou, O gracious Lord, enter into me! Svāhā!

O Lord, I am cleansing [my sins] in that Self of Thine, which is like [a river of] a thousand branches. Svāhā!

O Preserver, as waters flow downward, as the months merge in the year, so may brahmachārins come to me from all directions! Svāhā!

Thou art a refuge. To me do Thou shine forth. Accept me unto Thyself completely.

 

Chapter V

FOUR MYSTICAL UTTERANCES

1

BHUH, BHUVAH, SUVAH—these are, verily, the three utterances (vyāhritis). Besides these there is a fourth, called Mahah, which became known to the son of Mahāchamasa. That [Mahah] is Brahman, that is the Self. The other gods are its limbs.

Bhuh is, verily, this world; Bhuvah, the mid-region; Suvah, the world yonder; Mahah, the sun. Through the sun, indeed, do all the worlds become great (mahiyantē).

Bhuh is, verily, fire; Bhuvah, the air; Suvah, the sun; Mahah, the moon. By the moon, indeed, do all the heavenly lights become great.

Bhuh is, verily, the Rik-verses; Bhuvah, the Saman; Suvah, the Yajus; Mahah, Brahman (i.e. Om). By Brahman, indeed, do all the Vedas become great.

Bhuh is, verily, the prāna (the upward breath); Bhuvah, the apāna (the downward breath); Suvah, the vyāna (the diffused breath); Mahah, food, By food, indeed, do all the breaths become great.

They, these four [vyāhritis], become fourfold. Four and four are the vyāhritis. He who knows these knows Brahman. All the gods bring offerings to him.

 

Chapter VI

MEDITATION ON SAGUNA BRAHMAN

1

There is a space (ākāśa) within the heart; in it lies the Person (Purusha) consisting of mind (manomaya), immortal and luminous.

The Sushumnā passes through the piece of flesh which hangs down like a nipple (i.e. the uvula) between the two palates and ends where the skull splits and the roots of the hair lie apart. That Sushumnā is the path for the realization of Indra (i.e. the Lord, or Saguna Brahman). The soul of the aspirant, passing through the Sushumnā, rests in fire, represented by the vyāhriti Bhuh; he rests in the air, represented by the vyāhriti Bhuvah.

2

He (i.e. the illumined soul) rests in the sun, represented by the vyāhriti Suvah; he rests in Brahman, represented by the vyāhriti Mahah.

He attains self-rule. He attains the lordship of the mind; he attains the lordship of speech; he attains the lordship of sight; he attains the lordship of hearing; he attains the lordship of intelligence (vijnāna). Furthermore, he becomes this—he becomes Brahman, whose body is space (ākāśa), whose nature is true, who delights in life (prāna) and rejoices in the mind, who abounds in peace, who is immortal.

Thus do thou, O Prāchinayogya, contemplate.

 

Chapter VII

MEDITATION ON THE FIVEFOLD NATURE AND INDIVIDUAL

Earth, the mid-region, heaven, the [four main] quarters, and the intermediate quarters [constitute the fivefold world]. Agni (fire), Vāyu (air,) Āditya (sun), Chandramā (moon), and the Nakshatras (stars) [constitute the five divinities]. Water, herbs, trees, space (ākāśa), and the body (ātmā) [constitute the five elements]. So much with reference to material objects.

Now with reference to the body: The prāna, vyāna, apāna, udāna, and samāna [constitute the five pranas]; the eye, the ear, the mind, speech, and touch [constitute the five sense-organs]; the skin, flesh, muscle, bone, and marrow [constitute the five ingredients of the physical body].

Having thus ordained [the contemplation of the pānkta, the fivefold], a rishi said: “Whatever exists is fivefold (pānkta).” Through the [inner] fivefold one becomes united with the [outer] fivefold material object.

 

Chapter VIII

MEDITATION ON OM

Om is Brahman. Om is all this. This syllable Om is used to indicate compliance. When they (i.e. the priests) are told: “Om, recite,” they recite. Uttering Om, they sing the Sāman chants. With “Om, Som,” they recite the prayers. Uttering Om, the adhvaryu priest gives the response. Uttering Om, the Brahmā [priest] gives assent. Uttering Om, [a qualified priest] gives permission to offer oblations in the Agnihotra sacrifice. When a Vedic teacher wishes to obtain Brahman he utters Om; thus desiring Brahman, he verily obtains Brahman.

 

Chapter IX

DISCIPLINES

[The disciplines are] rightness and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; truth and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; austerity and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; self-control and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; tranquility and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; [the kindling of sacrificial] fires and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; [the performance of] the Agnihotra sacrifice and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; [hospitality to] guests and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; [the performance of] social duties and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; procreation and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas]; propagation [of the race] and also the learning and teaching [of the Vedas].

[Differing views on the subject:] Truth alone, according to Satyvachas of the line of Rathitara, should be practised; austerity alone, according to Taponitya the son of Puruśishti; according to Naka the son of Mudgalya, the learning and teaching [of the Vedas] alone, for that is austerity.

 

Chapter X

A MANTRA FOR DAILY MEDITATION

I am the mover of the tree [of the universe]. My fame rises high, like a mountain peak. My root is the Supremely Pure [Brahman]. I am the unstained essence of the Self, like the [nectar of] immortality that resides in the sun. I am the brightest treasure. I am the shining wisdom. I am immortal and undecaying.

Thus did Triśanku proclaim after the attainment of the Knowledge [of the Self].

 

Chapter XI

EXHORTATION TO THE DEPARTING STUDENT

1

Having taught the Vedas, the teacher thus instructs the pupil:

Speak the truth. Practise dharma. Do not neglect the study [of the Vedas]. Having brought to the teacher the gift desired by him, [enter the householder’s life and see that] the line of progeny is not cut off. Do not swerve from the truth. Do not swerve from dharma. Do not neglect [personal] welfare. Do not neglect prosperity. Do not neglect the study and teaching of the Vedas.

2

Do not neglect your duties to the gods and the Manes. Treat your mother as God. Treat your father as God. Treat your teacher as God. Treat your guest as God. Whatever deeds are faultless, these are to be performed—not others. Whatever good works have been performed by us, those should be performed by you—not others.

3

Those brāhmins who are superior to us—you should comfort them by giving them seats.

Whatever is to be given should be given with faith, not without faith—according to one’s plenty, with modesty, with fear, with sympathy.

4

Now, if there arises in your mind any doubt concerning any act, or any doubt concerning conduct, you should conduct yourself in such matters as brāhmins would conduct themselves—brāhmins who are competent to judge, who [of their own accord] are devoted [to good deeds] and are not urged [to their performance] by others, and who are not too severe, but are lovers of dharma.

Now with regard to persons spoken against, you should conduct yourself in such a way as brāhmins would conduct themselves—brāhmins who are competent to judge, who [of their own accord] are devoted [to good deeds] and are not urged [to their performance] by others, and who are not too severe, but are lovers of dharma.

This is the rule. This is the teaching. This is the secret wisdom of the Vedas. This is the command [of God].

This you should observe. This alone should be observed.

 

Chapter XII

THE PEACE CHANT

May Mitra be propitious unto us! May Varuna be propitious unto us! May Aryaman be propitious unto us! May Indra and Brihaspati be propitious unto us! May Vishnu, of wide strides, be propitious unto us!

Salutation to Brahman! Salutation to Thee, O Vāyu! Thou indeed art the visible Brahman. Thee indeed I proclaimed as the visible Brahman. I proclaimed the right. I proclaimed the true.

That protected me. That protected the teacher. Ay, That protected me, that protected the teacher. Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

Part Two

On Brahmānanda or the Bliss of Brahman

Chapter I

THE SHEATH OF FOOD

1

Om. May Mitra be propitious unto us! May Varuna be propitious unto us!May Aryaman be propitious unto us!May Indra and Brihaspati be propitious unto us! May Vishnu, of wide strides, be propitious unto us!

Salutation to Brahman! Salutation to Thee, O Vāyu! Thou indeed art the visible Brahman. Thee indeed I shall proclaim as the visible Brahman. Thee indeed, O Vāyu, I shall proclaim as the right (ritam)! Thee indeed, I shall proclaim as the true (satyam)!

May It protect me! May It protect the teacher! May It protect me! May It protect the teacher!

2

Om. May Brahman protect us both! May Brahman bestow upon us both the fruit of Knowledge! May we both obtain the energy to acquire Knowledge! May what we both study reveal the Truth! May we cherish no ill-feeling toward each other!

Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

3

Om. He who knows Brahman attains the Supreme.

On the above, the following mantra (Rik) is recorded:

He who knows Brahman which is Reality, Knowledge, and Infinity hidden in the cave of the heart and in the highest ākāśa—he, being one with the omniscient Brahman, enjoys simultaneously all desires.”

From that Ātman (Brahman) was born ākāśa; from ākāśa, air; from air, fire; from fire, water; from water, earth; from earth, herbs; from herbs, food; from food, man.

He, that man, verily consists of the essence of food. This indeed is his head, this [right arm] is his right wing, this [left arm] is his left wing this [trunk] is his body (ātman), this support [below the navel] his tail.

On the above, there is recorded the following mantra:

 

Chapter II

THE SHEATH OF THE VITAL BREATH

1-2

From food, verily, are produced all creatures—whatsoever dwell on earth. By food alone, furthermore, do they live, and to food, in the end, do they return; for food alone is the eldest of all beings, and therefore it is called the panacea for all.

They who worship food as Brahman obtain all food. Food alone is the eldest of all beings, and therefore it is called the panacea for all. From food all creatures are born: by food, when born, they grow. Because it is eaten (adyatē) by beings and because it eats (atti) beings, therefore it is called food (anna).”

Verily, different from this, which consists of the essence of food, but within it, is another self, which consists of the vital breath (prāna). By this the former is filled. This too has the shape of a man. Like the human shape of the former (the sheath of food) is the human shape of the latter (the sheath of the vital breath). Prāna (the upward breath), indeed, is its head; vyāna (the diffused breath) is its right wing; apāna (the down-ward breath) is its left wing; ākāśa (samāna) is its trunk; the earth is its tail, its support.

On the above there is also the following mantra:

 

Chapter III

THE SHEATH OF THE MIND

1

The gods breathe after the prāna, so also do men and cattle; for the prāna is the life of creatures. Therefore it is called the life of all (sarvāyusham). Those who worship the prāna as Brahman obtain a full life; for the prāna is the life of creatures. Therefore it is called the life of all.”

2

This [sheath of the prāna] is the embodied soul of the former (the sheath of food). Verily, different from this [sheath], which consists of the essence of the prāna, but within it, is another self, which consists of the mind (manomayakośa). By this the former is filled. This too has the shape of a man. Like the human shape of the former is the human shape of the latter. The Yajur-Veda is its head, the Rig-Veda is its right wing, the Sama-Veda is its left wing, the teaching (ādeśa) is its trunk the hymns of Atharva and Angiras are its tail, its support.

On the above there is also the following mantra:

 

Chapter IV

THE SHEATH OF THE INTELLECT

1

He who knows the Bliss of Brahman, whence all words together with the mind turn away, unable to reach it—he never fears.”

2

This [sheath of the mind] is the embodied soul of the former (the sheath of the prāna).

Verily, different from this [sheath], which consists of the essence of the mind, but within it, is another self, which consists of intellect (vijnāna). By this the former is filled. This too has the shape of a man. Like the human shape of the former is the human shape of the latter. Faith (śraddhā) is its head, what is right is its right wing, what is truth is its left wing, absorption (yoga) is its trunk, Mahat (Hiranyagarbha) is its tail, its support.

On the above there is also the following mantra:

 

Chapter V

THE SHEATH OF BLISS

1

The intellect accomplishes the sacrifice; it also accomplishes all actions. All the gods worship the intellect, who is the eldest, as Brahman (i.e. Hiranyagarbha).

If a man knows the intellect as Brahman, and if he does not swerve from it, he leaves behind in the body all evils and attains all his desires.”

2

This [sheath of the intellect] is the embodied soul of the former (the sheath of the mind).

Verily, different from this [sheath], which consists of the essence of the intellect, but within it, is another self, which consists of bliss (ānanda). By this the former is filled. This too has the shape of a man. Like the human shape of the former is the human shape of the latter. Joy (priyam) is its head, delight (moda) is its right wing, great delight (pramoda) is its left wing, bliss is its trunk, Brahman is its tail, its support.

On the above there is also the following mantra:

 

Chapter VI

BRAHMAN: THE SOURCE OF ALL

1

If a person knows Brahman as non-existent, he himself becomes non-existent. If he knows Brahman as existent, then [knowers of Brahman] know him as existent.”

This [sheath of bliss] is the embodied soul of the former (the sheath of the intellect).

Thereupon the following questions of the pupil: Does anyone who knows not [Brahman] attain that World after departing this life? Or does he who knows [Brahman] attain that World after departing this life?

[The answer:] He (the Supreme Soul) desired: “May I be many, may I be born. He performed austerities. Having performed austerities, He created all this—whatever there is. Having created all this, He entered into it. Having entered into it, He became both the manifest and the unmanifest, both the defined and the undefined, both the supported and the unsupported, both the intelligent and the non-intelligent, both the real and the unreal. The Satya (the True) became all this: whatever there is. Therefore [the wise] call It (Brahman) Satya (the True).

On the above there is also the following mantra:

 

Chapter VII

BRAHMAN AS FEARLESSNESS

In the beginning all this (i.e. the manifested universe) was non-existent. From it was born what exists. That (i.e. Brahman described as non-existent) created Itself by Itself; therefore It is called the Self-made (Sukritam).”

That which is Self-made is flavour (rasa, or essence); for truly, on obtaining the flavour one becomes blissful.

Who could direct the prāna and the apāna [to perform their functions] if this Bliss (Brahman) did not exist in the ākāśa [of the heart]? Brahman verily exists because It alone bestows bliss.

When a man finds fearless support in That which is invisible, incorporeal, indefinable, and supportless, he has then obtained fearlessness. If he makes the slightest differentiation in It, there is fear for him.

That [Brahman] becomes [the cause of] fear for the knower [of differentiation] who does not reflect.

On the above there is also the following mantra:

 

Chapter VIII

THE SUPREME BLISS OF BRAHMAN

From fear of It (Brahman) the wind blows; from fear of It the sun rises; from fear of It Agni and Indra, and Death, the fifth, run.”

Now this is an inquiry regarding the Bliss [of Brahman].

Suppose there is a young man—a noble young man—versed [in the Vedas], the best of rulers, firm in body, and strong; and suppose the whole world, full of wealth, is his: that is one measure of human bliss. This human bliss, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of the human gandharvas, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

This bliss of the human gandharvas, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of the celestial gandharvas, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

This bliss of the celestial gandharvas, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of the Manes, who dwell in the long-enduring world, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

The bliss of the Manes who dwell in the long-enduring world, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of the gods born in the Ājāna heaven, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

The bliss of the gods born in the Ājāna heaven, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of the sacrificial gods who have attained to divinity by means of [Vedic] sacrifices, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

The bliss of the sacrificial gods, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of the [thirty-three] gods, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

The bliss of the [thirty-three] gods, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of Indra, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

The bliss of Indra, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of Brihaspati, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

The bliss of Brihaspati, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of Prajāpati, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

The bliss of Prajāpati, multiplied one hundred times, is one measure of the bliss of Brahmā, as also of a man versed in the Vedas and free from desires.

He who is here in man and he who is in yonder sun—both are one.

He who knows this [as described above], after dying to (i.e. withdrawing from) this world, attains the self which consists of food, attains the self which consists of the vital breath, attains the self which consists of the mind, attains the self which consists of intellect, attains the self which consists of bliss.

On the above there is also the following mantra:

 

Chapter IX

THE MERGING OF GOOD AND EVIL IN BRAHMAN

He who knows the Bliss of Brahman, whence words together with the mind turn away, unable to reach It—he is not afraid of anything whatsoever.”

He does not distress himself with the thought: Why did I not do what is good? Why did I do what is evil? Whosoever knows this regards both these (i.e. good and evil) as Ātman [and thus strengthens It]; indeed he cherishes both these as Ātman.

Such, indeed, is the Upanishad (i.e. the secret Knowledge of Brahman).

Part Three

Regarding Varuna And Bhrigu

Chapter I

DEFINITION OF BRAHMAN

Om. May Brahman protect us both! May Brahman bestow upon us both the fruit of Knowledge! May we both obtain the energy to acquire Knowledge! May what we both study reveal the Truth! May we cherish no ill-feeling toward each other!

Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

 

Harih Om. Bhrigu, the son of Varuna, approached his father Varuna and said: “Venerable Sir, teach me about Brahman.”

To him, the son, he said this: “Food, the vital breath, the eye, the ear, the mind, speech.”

To him he said further: “That from which these beings are born, That by which, when born, they live, That into which [at the time of dissolution] they enter, they merge—seek to know That. That is Brahman.” He performed austerities (tapah). Having performed austerities—

 

Chapter II

THE BODY AS BRAHMAN

He realized that food is Brahman; for from food, verily, are these beings born; by food, when born, do they live; into food [at the time of dissolution] do they enter, do they merge.

Having realized this, he approached his father again and said:

Venerable Sir, teach me Brahman.”

To him, the son, he said this: “Seek to know Brahman by means of austerities. For austerities are [the means of knowing] Brahman.” He practised austerities. Having practised austerities—

 

Chapter III

THE PRĀNA AS BRAHMAN

He realized that the prāna (vital breath) is Brahman; for from the prāna, verily, are these beings born; by the prāna, when born, do they live; into the prāna [at the time of dissolution] do they enter, do they merge.

Having realized this, he approached his father again and said:

Venerable Sir, teach me Brahman.”

To him, the son, he said this: “Seek to know Brahman by means of austerities. For austerities are [the means of knowing] Brahman.”

He practised austerities. Having practised austerities—

 

Chapter IV

THE MIND AS BRAHMAN

He realized that the mind is Brahman; for from the mind, verily, are these beings born; by the mind, when born, do they live; into the mind [at the time of dissolution] do they enter, do they merge.

Having realized this, he approached his father again and said: “Venerable Sir, teach me Brahman.”

To him, the son, he said this: “Seek to know Brahman by means of austerities; for austerities are [the means of knowing] Brahman.”

He practised austerities. Having practised austerities—

 

Chapter V

THE INTELLECT AS BRAHMAN

He realized that the intellect (vijnāna) is Brahman; for from the intellect, verily, are these beings born; by the intellect, when born, do they live; into the intellect [at the time of dissolution] do they enter, do they merge.

Having realized this, he approached his father again and said: “Venerable Sir, teach me Brahman.”

To him, the son, he said this: “Seek to know Brahman by means of austerities; for austerities are [the means of knowing] Brahman.”

He practised austerities. Having practised austerities—

 

Chapter VI

BLISS AS BRAHMAN

He realized that bliss (ānanda) is Brahman; for from bliss, verily, are these beings born; by bliss, when born, do they live; into bliss [at the time of dissolution] do they enter, do they merge.

This is the wisdom taught by Varuna and learnt by Bhrigu. It is established in the supreme ākāśa [in the heart]. He who knows this is established in the Bliss of Brahman. He becomes a possessor of food and an eater of food. He becomes great in offspring and cattle and in spiritual radiance, and great in fame.

 

Chapter VII

THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD (I)

Let him (the knower of Brahman) never condemn food; that is the vow.

The prāna is, verily, food; the body is the eater of food. The body rests on the prāna; the prāna rests on the body. Thus food rests on food. He who knows this resting of food on food is established; he becomes a possessor of food and an eater of food. He becomes great in offspring and cattle and in spiritual radiance, and great in fame.

 

Chapter VIII

THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD (II)

Let him (the knower of Brahman) never abandon food; that is the vow.

Water is, verily, food; fire is the eater. Fire rests on water, and water rests on fire. Thus food rests on food.

He who knows this resting of food on food is established; he becomes a possessor of food and an eater of food. He becomes great in offspring and cattle and in spiritual radiance, and great in fame.

 

Chapter IX

THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD (III)

Let him (the knower of Brahman) make food plentiful; that is the vow.

The earth is, verily, food; the ākāśa is the eater. The ākāśa rests on the earth, and the earth rests on the ākāśa. Thus food rests on food. He who knows this resting of food on food is established; he becomes a possessor of food and an eater of food. He becomes great in offspring and cattle and in spiritual radiance, and great in fame.

 

Chapter X

MEDITATION ON BRAHMAN

1

Let him not deny ledgings to anyone: this is the vow. Therefore he should procure much food by any means whatsoever. [To guests] he should say: “The food has been prepared for you.”

If this food is given first, food comes to the giver first. If this food is given in the middle, food comes to the giver in the middle. If this food is given last, food comes to the giver last.

2

He who knows this [obtains the fruit mentioned above].

[One should meditate on Brahman] as preservation in speech, as acquisition and preservation in the prāna (upward breath) and the apāna (downward breath), as action in the hands, as movement (walking) in the feet, as evacuation in the anus. These are the meditations on Brahman through human actions.

Next [follows the meditation on Brahman] through the gods: [One should meditate on Brahman] as satisfaction in rain, as power in lightning;

3

As fame in cattle, as light in the stars, as procreation, immortality, and joy in the organ of generation, and as everything in the ākāśa.

Let him contemplate [Brahman] as the support, and he will be supported; let him contemplate [Brahman] as greatness, and he will become great; let him contemplate [Brahman] as the mind, and he will be endowed with mind.

4

Let him contemplate Brahman as adoration, and all desires will fall down before him in adoration. Let him contemplate Brahman as the Supreme Lord, and he will be endowed with supremacy. Let him contemplate Brahman (i.e. the ākāśa) as the destructive agent [of Brahman], and his enemies who hate him and also those who do not hate him will perish.

This he who is in this man, and that he who is in yonder sun, both are one.

5

He who knows this [as described above], after dying to (i.e. withdrawing from) this world, attains the self which consists of food, attains the self which consists of the vital breath, attains the self which consists of the mind, attains the self which consists of the intellect, attains the self which consists of bliss. Then he goes up and down these worlds eating the food he desires, assuming the forms he likes. He sits, singing the chant of the non-duality of Brahman: “Ah! Ah! Ah!”

6

I am food, I am food, I am food! I am the eater of food, I am the eater of food, I am the eater of food! I am the uniter, I am the uniter, I I am the umter!

I am the first-born of the true, prior to the gods, and the navel of immortality. He who gives me away, he alone preserves me. He who eats food—I, as food, eat him.

I [as the Supreme Lord] overpower the whole world. I am radiant as the sun.”

Whosoever knows this [attains Liberation]. Such, indeed, is the Upanishad.

See Also


The Upanishads

Taittiriya and Chhandogya

Translated from the Sanskrit with detailed Introductions and with Notes and Explanations based on the Commentary of Śri Śankarāchārya, the great Eighth-century Philosopher and Saint of India

By Swami Nikhilananda

Full Text Online (PDF)

Translated by Swami Gambhirananda

© 2017 Universal Theosophy