translated by Sri Aurobindo Chapter One. I. Section
2.These were the worlds he made : ambhah, of the etheral waters, maricich,
of light, mara of death and mortal things, apah, of the lower waters.
Beyond the shining firmament are the etheral waters and the firmament is their base and resting-place;
Space is the world of light ; the earth is the world mortal ; and below the earth are the lower waters.
3.The Spirit thought , “Lo, these are the worlds, and now will I make me guardians for my worlds”
Therefore he gathered the Purusha out of the waters and gave Him shape and substance.
4. Yea, the Spirit brooded over Him and of Him thus brooded over the mouth broke forth, as when an egg
is hatched and breaketh ; from the mouth brake speech and of speech fire was born.
The nostrils brake forth and from the nostrils Breath and of Breath air was born. The eyes brake forth and
from the eyes Sight and of Sight the Sun was born. The ears brake forth and from the ears Hearing and of
Hearing the regions were born. The Skin brake forth and from the Skin hairs and from the hairs herbs of healing
and all trees and plants were born. The heart brake forth and from the heart Mind and of Mind the moon was born.
The navel broke forth and from the navel apana broke forth and of apana Death was born.
The organ of pleasure broek forth and from the organ seed and of seed the waters were born.
1.These were the Gods that He created ; they fell into his great Ocean, and Hunger and Thirst leaped upon them.
Then they said to him, “Command unto us an habitation that we may dwell secure and eat of food.”
2. He brought unto them the cow, but they said, “Verily, it is not sufficient for us”. He brought them the horse,
but they said, “verily, it is not enough for us”.
3. He brought unto them Man, and they said , “O well fashioned truly! Man indeed is well and beautifully made.”
Then the Spirit said unto them, “Enter ye in each according to his habitation”.
4. Fire became Speech and entered into the mouth ; Air became Breath and entered into the nostrils ; the Sun
became Sight and entered into the eyes ; the Quarters became Hearing and entered into the ears ; Herbs of healing
and the plants and trees became Hairs and entered into the skin ; the Moon became Mind and entered into the heart
; Death became apana, the lower breathing, and entered into the navel : the Waters became Seed and
entered into the organ.
5. Hunger and Thirst said unto the Spirit , “Unto us too command and habitation”. But He said unto them,
“Even among these gods do I apportion you; lo! I have made you sharers in their godhead”
Therefore whatever god the oblation is offered, Hunger and Thirst surely have their share in the offering.
Chapter One. Section III.
1. The Spirit thought, “These verily are my worlds and their guardians, and now I will make me food for these”
2. The Spirit brooded in might upon the waters adn from the waters brooded mightily over. Form was born.
Lo, all this that was born as form, is no other than Food.
3. Food being created fled back from His grasp. By speech He would have seized it, but He could not seize it
by speech. Had He seized it by speech, then would a man be satisfied by merely speaking his food?
4. By the breath He would have seized it, but He could not seize it by the breath. Had He seized it by the breath,
then would a man be satisfied with merely breathing food.
5. By the eye He would have seized it, but He could not seize it by the eye., Had He Seized it, then would a man be
satisfied by merely seeing his food.
6. By the ear He would have seized it, but He coiuld not seize it with the ear. Had He seized it by the ear,
then would a man be satisfied by merely hearing food.
7. By his skin He would have seized it, but He could not seize it by the skin. Had He seized it by the skin,
then would a man be satisfied by merely touching food.
8. By the Mind he would have seized it, but He could not seize it by the mind. Had he seized it by the
mind, then would a man be satisified by merely thinking food.
9. By organ He would have seized it, but He could not seize it by the organ. Had he seized it by the organ,
then would a man be satisified by merely emitting food.
10. By the apana He would have seized it, and it was seized.
Lo, this is the seizer of food which is also Breath of the Life, and therefore all that is Breath
hath its life in food.
11. The Spirit thought, “Without Me how should all this be?” and He thought, “By what way shall
I enter in”. He thought also, “If utterance is by Speech, if breathing is by the Breath, if sight is by
the Eye, if hearing is by the Ear, if thought is by the Mind, if the lower workings are by apana,
if emission is by the organ, who then am I?”
12. It was this bound that He cleft, it was by this door that He entered in. `Tis this that is called the gate
of cleaving ; this is the door of His Coming and here is the place of His delight.
He hath three mansions in His City, three dreams wherein He dwelleth, and of each in turn He said
“Lo, this is my habitation” and “This is my habitation” and “This is my habitation”
13. Now when He was born. He thought and spoke only of Nature and her creations;
in this world of matter of what else could He speak or reason? Thereafter He beheld that
Being who is the Brahman and the last Essence. He said, “Yea, this is He; verily, I have beheld Him.”
14. Therefore is He Idandra : for Idandra is the true name of HIm. But though He is Idandra, they
call Him Indra because of the veil of unrevelation ; for the gods love the veil of the Unrevelation
, yea, verily, the gods love the Unrevelation.
1. In the male first the unborn child becometh. This which is seed is the force and heat of
him that from all parts of the creature draweth together for becoming ; therefore he beareth
himself in himself, and when he casteth it into the woman, `tis himself he begetteth.
And this is the first birth of the Spirit.
2. It becometh one Self with the woman, therefore it doeth her no hurt and she cherisheth this self
of her husband that hath got into her womb.
3. She the cherisher must be cherished. So the woman beareth the unborn child and the man
cherisheth the boy even from the beginning ere it is born. And whereas he cherisheth the boy
ere it is born, `tis verily himself that he cherisheth for the continuance of these worlds and
these peoples ; for `tis even thus the thread of these worlds spinneth onn unbroken.
And this is the second birth of the Spirit.
4. Lo, this is the spriit and self of him and he maketh it his viceregent for the works of righteousness.
Now this his other self when it hath done the works it came to do and hath reached its age, lo!
it goeth hence, and even as it departeth, it is born again. And this is the third birth of the Spirit.
5. Therefore it was said by the sage Vamadeva, “I, Vamadeva, being yet in the womb,
knewall the births of these gods and their causes. In a hundred cities of iron they held
me down and kept me ; I broke through them all with might and violence, like a hawk I soared
up into my heavens.” While uet he lay in the womb, thus said Vamadeva.
6. And because he knew this, therefore when the strings of the body were snapped asunder,
lo, he soared forth into yonder world of Paradise and there having possessed all desires ,
put death behind him, yea, he put death behind him.
1. Who is this Spirit that we may adore Him? and which of all these is the Spirit?
By whom one seeth or by whom one heareth or by whom one smelleth all kinds of perfume
or by whom one uttereth clearness of speech or by whom one knoweth the sweet and bitter.
2. This which is the heart, is mind also. Concept and will and analysis and wisdom and intellect
and vision and continuity of purpouse and feeling and understanding, pain and memory and
volition and operation of thought and vitality and desire and passion, all these, yea all, are
but names of the Eternal Wisdom.
3. This creating Brahma ; this ruling Indra; this Prajapati, Father of his peoples ; all these Gods
and these five elemental substances ; even earth, air, ether, water and the shining principles ;
and these great creatures and those small ; and seeds of either sort ; and things egg-born
and things sweat-born and things of the womb and plants that sprout; and horses and cattle
and men and elephants ; yea, whatsoever thing here breatheth and all that moveth and everything
that hath wongs and whatso moveth not ; by Wisdom all these are guided and have their firm abiding
in Wisdom. For Wisdom is the eye of the world, Wisdom is the sure foundation, Wisdom is Brahman Eternal.
4. By the strenght of the wise and seeing Self, the sage having soared up from this world, mounted
into this other world of Paradise ; and there having possessed desire, put death behind him,
yea, he put death behind him.
translated by Sri Aurobindo
Chapter One. Section I
1. OM. Dawn is the head of the horse sacrificial. The sun is his eye,
his breath is the wind, his wide open mouth is Fire, the master might
universal. Time is the self of the horse sacrificial. Heaven is his back
and the midworld his belly, earth is his footing, – the regions are his flanks
and the lesser regions their ribs, the seasons his members, the months
and the half-months are their joints, the days and nights are of his body.
The strands are the food in his belly, the rivers are his veins, his liver and
lungs are the mountains, herbs and plants are his hairs, the rising is his front
and the setting his hinder portion, when he stretches himself, then it lightens
, when he shakes his frame, then it thunders, when he urinates, then it rains.
Speech, verily, is the sound of him.
2. Day was the grandeur that was borne before the horse as he galloped,
the eastern ocean gave it birth; night was the grandeur that was borne behind him
and its birth was from the other waters. These are the grandeurs that came into being
on either side of the horse. He became Haya and bore the gods, Vaja and bore the
Gandharvas, Arvan and bore the Titans, Ashwa and bore mankind. The sea was his brother
and the sea was his birthplace.
Chapter One. Section II
1. Formerly there was nothing here ; this was concealed by Death – by Hunger, for it is
Hunger that is Death. That created Mind, and he said, “Let me have substance”
He moved about working and as he worked the waters were born and he said ,
“Felicity was born to me as I worked”. This verily is the activity in action.
Therefore felicity cometh to him who thus knoweth his soul of activity in action.
2. The waters verily (in their movement) are action ; that which was a lake of waters
was contracted and became compact. This became earth ; upon earth he grew weary;
in his weariness he was heated and the Essence of energy went out from him, even Fire.
3. Fire divided himself into three – the sun one of the three and vayu one of the three ; this is
that force of life arranged triply. The east is his head and the northeast and southeast are his
arms. Now the west is his seat and the southwest and the northwest are his thighs : his sides
are the south and the north ; heaven is his back and the middle region is his belly ; this earth
is his bosom. This is he that is established in the waters wheresoever thou turn.
And as that is he established thus knoweth.
4. He desired, “Let a second self be born to me.” He by mind had intercourse with speech, even
Hunger that is Death ; the seed that was of that union became Time. For before this Time was not
(period of Time) but so long He had borne him in Himself. So long as is Time`s Period, after so
long He gave is birth. He yearned upon him as soon as it was born ; it cried out and that became speech.
5. He saw, “If I devour this, I shall diminish food” ; therefore by that speech and by that self he
created all this that we see, the Riks and the Yajus and the Samas and the rhythms and sacrifices
and animals and these nations. Whatsoever he created, that he set about devouring, verily he
devoureth all ; this is the substantiality of being in substance (that it can be destroyed). He became
the Eater of all the world and everything becometh his food who thus knoweth the substantiality
of being in substance.
6. He desired, “Let me sacrifice more richly with richer sacrifice”. He laboured and put forth heat
of force, and of him thus laboured and headed splendour and strenght came forth.
The life-forces are the splendour and strenght, therefore when the life-foces go forth, the body set
about to rot, yet in his body even so mind was.
7. He desired, “Let this have sacrificial capacity for me, by this let me be provided with a body.
That which has expressed power and being, that is fit for the sacrifice. This verily is the secret
of the Ashwamedha and he knoweth indeed the Ashwamedha who thus knoweth it.
He gave him free course and thought, then after a year (a fixed period of time) he dedicated to the self.
translated by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh,1910.
1.All this is for habitation by the lord, whatsoever is individual universe of movement in the universal motion. By that renounced thou shouldst enjoy; lust not after any man´s possession.
2.Do verily works in this world one should wish to live a hundred years. Thus it is in thee and not otherwise than this; action cleaves not to a man.
3.Sunless are those worlds and enveloped in blind gloom whereto all they in their passing hence resort who are slayers of their souls.
4.One unmoving that is swifter than Mind, That the Gods reach not, for It progresses ever in front. That, standing, passes beyond others as they run. In That the Master of Life establishes the Waters.
5.That moves and That moves not; That is far and the same is near; That is within all and That is also outside all this.
6.But he who sees everywhere the self in all existence and all existences in the self, shrinks not thereafter from aught.
7.He in whom is the Self-Being that has become all existences that are Becomings, for he has the perfect knowledge, how shall ha be deluded, whence shall he have grief who sees everywhere oneness?
8.It is He that has gone abroad – That which is bright,bodiless, without scar of imperfection, without sinew, pure, unpierced by evil. The Seer, the Thinker, the One, who becomes everywhere, the Self-existent has ordered objects perfectly according to their nature from years sempiternal.
9.Into a blind darkness they enter who follow after the Ignorance, they as of into a great darkness who devote themselves to the Knowledge alone.
10.Other, verily, it is said, is that which comes by the knowledge, other that which comes by the Ignorance; this is the lore we have received from the wise who revealed That to our understanding.
11.He who knows That as both in one, the Knowledge and the Ignorance, by the Ignorance crosses beyond death and by the Knowledge enjoys Immortality.
12.Into a blind darkness they enter who follow after the Non-Birth, they as if into a great darkness who devote themselves to the Birth alone.
13.Other,verily, it is said, is that which comes by the Birth, other that which comes by the Non-Birth; this is the lore we have received from the wise who revealed That to our understanding.
14.He who knows That as both in one, the Birth and the dissolution of Birth,by the dissolution crosses beyond death and by the Birth enjoys Immortality.
15.The face of Truth is covered with a brilliant golden lid; that do thou remove, O Fosterer, for the law of the truth, for sight.
16.O Fosterer, O sole Seer, O Ordained, O illumining Sun, O Power of the Father of creatures, marshal thy rays, draw together thy light; the Lustre which is thy most blessed form of all, that in Thee I behold. The Purusha(breath of life) there and there, He am I.
17.The Breath of things is an immortal Life, but of his body ashes are the end. OM! O will! , remember, that which was done remember.
18.O god Agni, knowing all things that are manifested, lead us by the good path to the felicity; remove from us the devious attraction of Sin. Tp thee completest speech of submission we would dispose.
1910 translation by Sri Aurobindo.
1. Vajashravasa, desiring, gave all he had. Now Vajashravasa
had a son names Nachiketas.
2. As the gifts were lead past, faith took possession of him
who was yet a boy unwed and he pondered:
3. Cattle that have drunk their water, eaten their grass,
yielded their milk, worn out their organs, of discontent are
the worlds which he reaches who gives such as these.
4. He said to his father: Me, O my father, to whom wilt thou
give? A second time and a third he said it, and he replied
: To Death I give thee.
5. Among many I walk the first, among many I walk the midmost: something Death means to do which today byy me he will accomplish
6. Look back and see, even as were the men of old – look round! – even so are they that have come after. Mortal man withers like the fruits of the field and like the fruits of the field he is born again.
His attendants say to Yama
7. Fire is the Brahmnin whoo enters as a guest the houses of men; him thus they appease. Bring, O son of Vivasvan, the water of the guest-rite.
8. That man of little understanding in whose house a Brahmin dwells fasting, all his hope and expectations and all he has gained and the good and truth that he has spoken and the wells he has dug and the sacrifices he has offered and all his sons and his cattle are torn from him by that guest unhonoured.
9. Because of three nights thou has dwelt in my house. O Brahmin, a guest worthy of reverance, – salutation to thee, O Brahmin, on me let thre be the weal, – therefore three boons do thou choose, for each night a boon.
10. Tranquillised in his though and serene of mind be the Gautama, my father, let his passion over me pass away from him: assured in heart let him greet me from thy grasp delivered, this boon i choose, the first of three.
11. Even as before assured in heart and by me released shall he be, Auddalaki Aruni, thy father; sweetly shall he sleep through the nights and his passion shall pass away from him, having seen thee from death`s jaws delivered.
12. In heaven fear is not at all, in heaven, O Death, thou art not, nor old age and its terrors; crossing over hunger and thirst as over two rivers, leaving sorrow behind the soul in heaven rejoices.
13. Therefore that heavenly Flame which thou, O Death, studiest, expound unto me, for I believe. They who win their world of heaven, have immortality of their portion. This is the second boon I have chosen.
14. Hearken to me and understand, O Nachiketas; I declare to thee that heavenly Flame, for I know it. Know this to be the possession of infinite existence and the foundation and the thing hidden in the secret cave of our being.
15. Of the Flame that is the world`s beginning, he told him and what are the bricks to him and how many and the way of their setting; and Nachiketas too repeated it even as it was told; the Death was pleased and said to him yet farther.
16. Yea, the Great Soul was gratified aand said to him: Yet a farther boon I give thee; for even by thy name shall this Fire be called; this necklace also take unto thee, a necklace of many figures.
17. Whoso lights the three fires of Nachiketas and comes to union with the Three and does the triple works, beyond birth and death he crosses; for he finds the God of our adoration, the Knower who is born from the Brahman, whom having beheld he attains to surpassing peace.
18. When a man has the three flames of Nachiketas` and knows this that is Triple, when so knowing he beholds the Flame of Nachiketas, then he thrusts from in front of him the meshes of the snare of death; leaving sorrow behind him he in heaven rejoices.
19. This is the heavenly Flame, O Nachiketas, which thou hast chosen from the second boon; of this Flame the peoples shall speak that it is thine indeedd. A third boon to choose, O Nachiketas.
20. This debate that there is over the man who has passed and some say:-This he is not,- and some that he is, that, taught by thee, I would know; this is the third boon of the boons of my choosing.
21. Even by the gods was this debated of old; for it is not easy of knowledge, since very subtle is the law of it. Another boon choose, O Nachiketas; importune me not, nor urge me, this, this abandon.
22. Even by the gods was this debated, it is sure, and thou thyself hast said that it is not easy of knowledge; never shall I find another like thee to tell of it, nor is there any other boon that is its equal.
23. Choose sons and grandsons who shall live each a hundred years, choose much cattle and elephants and gold and horses; choose a mighty reach of earth and thyself live for as many years thou listeth.
24. This boon if thou deemest equal to that of thy asking choose wealth and long living; possess thou, O Nachiketas, a mighty country; I give thee thy desire all desireable things for thy portion.
25. Yea, all desires that are hard to win in the world of mortals, all demand at thy pleasure; lo, these delectable women with their chariots and their bugles, whose like are nor to be won by men, these I will give thee, live with them for thy handmaidens. But of death question not, O Nachiketas.
26. Until the morrow mortal man has these things, O Ender, and they wear away all this keeness and glory of his senses; nay, all life is even for a little. Thine are these chariots and thine the dancing of these women and their singing.
27. Man is not to be satisfied by riches, and riches we shall have if we have beheld thee and shall live as long as thou shalt be the Lord of us. This boon and no other is for my choosing.
28. Who that is a mortal man and grows old and dwells down upon the unhappy earth, when he has come into the prescense of the ageless Immortals and knows, yea, who when he looks very close at beauty and enjoyment and pleasure, can take delight in overlong living?
29. This is which they thus debate, O Death, declare to me, even that which is in the great passage; than this boon which enters into the secret that is hidden from use, no other chooses Nachiketa.
1. One thing is the good and quite another thing is the pleasant, and both seize upon a man with different meanings. Of these whose takes the good, it is well with him; he falls from the aim of life who chooses the pleasant.
2. The good and the pleasant come to a man and the thoughtful mind turns all around them and distinguishes. The wise chooses out the good from the pleasant, but the dull soul chooses the pleasant rather than the getting of his good and it`s having.
3. And thou, O Nachiketas, hast looked close at the objects of desire, at pleasant things and beautiful, and thou hast cast them from thee: thou hast not entered into the net of riches in which many men sink to perdition.
4. For far apart of these, opposite, divergent, the one that is known as the Ignorance and the other the Knowledge. But Nachiketas, I deem truly desirous of the Knowledge whom so many desireable things could not make to lust after them.
5. They who dwell in the ignorance, within it, wise in their own wit and deeming themselves very learned, men bewildered are they who wander about round circling, like blind men lead by the blind.
6. The childish wit bewildered and drunken with the illusion of riches cannot open its eyes and see the passage to heaven: for he that thinks this world is and there is no other, comes again and again into Death`s thraldom.
7. He that is not easu even to be heard of by many, and even those that have heard, they are many who have not known Him, – a miracle is the man that can speak of Him wisely or is skilful to win Him, and when one is found, a miracle is the listener who can know God even when taught of Him by the Knower.
8. An inferior man cannot tell you of Him; for thus told you canst not truly not know Him, since He is thought of in many aspects. Yet unles told of Him by another thou canst not find thy way there to Him; for He is subtler than subtlety and that which logic cannot reach.
9. This wisdom is not to be had by reasoning, O beloved Nachiketas ; only when told thee by another it brings real knowledge, – the wisdom which thou hast gotten. Truly thou art steadfast in the Truth! Even such a questioner as thou art may I meet with always.
10. I know of treasure that it is not for ever; for not by things unstable shall one attain That One which is stable; therefore I heaped the fire of Nachiketas, and by sacrifice of transitory things I won the Eternal.
11. When thou hast seen in thy grasp, O Nachiketas, the possession of desire and the firm foundation of this world and an infinity of power and the other shore of securtiy and great praise and wide-moving firm foundation, wise and strong in steadfastness thou didst cast these things from thee.
12. Realising God by attainment to Him through spiritual Yoga, even the Ancient of Days who has entered deep into that which is hidden and is hard to see, for he is established in our secret being and lodged in the cavern heart of things, the wise and steadfast man casts far from him joy and sorrow.
13. When mortal man was heard, when he has grasped, when he has forcefully seperated the Righteous One from his body and won that subtle Being, then he has delight, or he has got that which one indeed delight in. Verily I deem Nachiketas as a house wide open.
14. Tell me of That which thou seest otherwhere than in virtue and otherwhere than in unrighteousness, otherwhere than in the created and the uncreated, otherwhere than in that which has been and that which shall be.
15. The seat and goal that all the Vedas glorify and which all austeries declare, for the desire of which men practise holy libing, of That will I tell thee in brief compass. OM is that goal, O Nachiketas.
16. For this Syllable is Brahman, this Syllable is the Most High: this Syllable if one know, whatsoever one shall desire, it is his.
17. This support is the best, this support is the highest, knowing this support one grows great in the World of the Brahman.
18. The Wise One is not born, neither does He die: He cannot come from anywhere, neither is He anyone: He is unborn, He is everlasting, He is ancient and sempiternal: He is not slain in the slaying of the body.
19. If the slayer think that he slays, if the slain think that he is slain, both of these have not the Knowledge. This slays not, neither is He slain.
20. Finer than the fire, huger than the huge the Self hides in the secret heart of the creature: what a man strips himself of will and is weaned from sorrow, then he beholds Him; purified from the mental elements he sees the greatness of the Self-being.
21. Seated He journeys far off, lying down He goes everywhere. Who other than I is fit to know God, even Him who is rapture and the transcendence of rapture?
22. Realising the Bodiless in bodies, the Established in things unsettled, the Great and Omnipresent Self, the wise and steadfast soul grieves no longer.
23. The Self is not to be won by eloquent teaching, nor by brain power, not by much learning: but only he whom his Being chooses can win Him: for to him this Self bares His body.
24. None who has not ceased from doing evil, or who is not calm, or not concentrated in his being, or whose mind has not been tranquillised , can by wisdom attain to Him.
25. He to whom the sages are as meat and heroes as food for his eating and Death is an ingredient in His banquet, how thus shall one know of Him where He abides?
1. There are two who drink deep of the truth in the world of work well-accomplished: they are lodged in the secret plane of being and in the highest kingdom of the most High is their dwelling: as of light and shade the knowers of the Brahman speak of them, and those of the five fires and those who kindle thrice the fire of Nachiketas.
2. May we have strenght to kindle Agni Nachiketas, for he is the bridge of those who do sacrifice and he is Brahman supreme and imperishable, and the far shore of security to those who would cross his ocean.
3. Know the body for a chariot and the soul for the master of the chariot: know Reason for the charioteer and the mind for the reins only.
4. The sense they speak of as the steeds and the objects of sense as the paths in which they move; and One yoked with Self and the mind and the sense, is the enjoyer, say the thinkers.
5. Now he that is without knowledge with his mind ever un-applied , his senses are to him as wild horses and will not obey their driver of the chariot.
<6. But he that has knowledge with his mind ever applied, his senses are to him as noble steeds and they obey the driver.
7. Yea, he that is without knowledge and is unmindful and is ever unclean, reaches not that goal, but wanders in the cycle of phenomena.
8. But the that has knowledge is mindful and pure always, reaches that goal whence he is not born again.
9. That man who uses the mind for reins and the knowledge for the driver, reaches the end of his road, that highest seat of Vishnu.
10. Than the senses the objects are higher: and higher than the objects of sense is the Mind: and higher than the Mind is the faculty of knowledge: and than that the Great Self is higher.
11. And higher than the Great Self is the Unmanifest and higher than the Unmanifest is the Purusha: than the Purusha there is none higher: He is the culmination. He is the highest goal of the journey.
12. He is the secret Self in all existences and does not manifest Himself to the vision: yet is He seen by the seers of the subtle and perfect understanding.
13. Let the wise man restrain speech in his mind and mind in self, and knowledge in the Great-Self, and that again let him restrain in the Self that is at peace.
14. Arise, awake, find out the great ones and learn of them: for sharp as a razor`s edge, hard to traverse, difficult of going is that path, say the sages.
15. That in which sound is not, nor touch, nor shape, nor dimmunition, nor taste, nor smell, that which is eternal,and It is without end or beginning, higher than the Great-Self, the Stable, that having seen, from the mouth of death there is deliverance.
16. The man of intelligence having spoken or heard of the eternal story of Nachiketas wherein Death was the speaker, grows great in the world of Brahman.
17. He who being pure recite this supreme secret at the time of the Shraddha in the assembly of the Brahmins, that turns him to infinite existence.
1. The Self-born has set the doors of the body to face outwards, therefore the soul of a man gazes outward and not at the Self within: hardly a wise man here and there, desiring immortality, turns his eyes inward and sees the Self within him.
2. The rest childishly follow after desire and pleasure and walk into the snare of Death that gapes wide before them. But calm souls having learned of immortality seek not for permanence in the things of this world that pass and are not.
3. By the Self one knows form and taste and smell, and by the Self one knows sound and touch and the joy of man with woman: what is there left in this world of which the Self not knows? This is That thou Seekest.
4. The calm soul having comprehended the great Lord, the omnipresent Self by whom one beholds both to the end and the dream and to the end of waking, ceases from grieving.
5. He that has known from very close this Eater of sweetness, the Jiva, the self within that is lord of what was and what shall be, shrinks not therafter from aught nor abhors any. This is That thou Seekest.
6. He is the seer that sees Him who came into being before austerity and was before the waters: deep in the heart of the creatures he sees Him, for there He stands by the mingling of the elements. This is That thou Seekest.
7. This is Aditi, the mother of the Gods, who was born through the Prana and by the mingking of the elements had her being: deep in the heart of things she has entered, there she is seated. This is That thou Seekest.
8. As a woman carries with care the unborn child in her womb, so is the Master of Knowledge lodged in the tinders: and day by day should men worship Him, who live the waking life and stand before Him with sacrifices; for He is that Agni. This is That thou Seekest.
9. He from whom the sun arises and to whom the sun return, and in Him are all the Gods established; none passes beyond Him. This is That thou Seekest.
10. What is in the world , is also in the other: and what is in the other,that again is in this: who thinks he sees difference here, from death to death he goes.
11. Through the mind must we understand that there is nothing in the world that really varies: who thinks he sees difference here, from death to death he goes.
12. The Purusha who is seated in the midst of our self is no larger than the finger of a man; He is the Lord of what was and what shall be. Him having seen one shrinks not from aught, nor abhors any. This is That thou Seekest.
13. The Purusha who is seated in the midst of our self is no larger than the finger of a man; He is like a blazing fire that is without smoke, He is lord of His past and His future. He alone is today and He alone shall be tomorrow. This is That thou Seekest.
14. As water that rains in the rough and difficult places, runs to many sides on the mountain-tops, so the that sees separate law and action of the One Spirit, follows in the track of what he sees.
15. But as pure water that is poured into pure water, even as it was such it remains, so is it with the soul of the thinker who knows God, O seed of Gautama.
1. The unborn who is not devious-minded has a city with eleven gates: when he takes up his abode in it, he grieves not, but when he is set free from it, that is his deliverence. This is That which thou seekest
2. Lo, the Swan whose dwelling is in the purity, He is the Vasu in the inter-regions, the Sacrificer at the altar, the Guest in the vessel of the drinking: He is in man and in the Great Ones and His home is in the law, and His dwelling is in the firmament: He is all that is born of water and all that is born of earth and all that is born on the mountains. He is the Truth and the Mighty One.
3. This is He that draws the main breath upward and casts the lower breath downward. The Dwarf that sits in the centre, to Him all the Gods do homage.
4. When this encased Spirit that is in the body, falls away from it, when He is freed from its casing, what is there then that remains? This is That which thou seekest
5. Man that is mortal lives not by the breath, no, nor by the lower breath; but by something else we live in which both these have their being.
6. Surely, O Gautama, I will tell thee of this secret and eternal Brahmin and likewise what becomes of the soul when it dies.
7. For some enter a womb to the embodying of the Spirit and other follow after the Immoveable: according to their deeds is their goal and after the measure of their revealed knowledge.
8. This that wakes in the sleepers creating desire upon desire, this Purusha, Him they call the Bright One, Him, Brahman, Him Immortality, and in Him are all the worlds established: none goes beyond him. This is That which thou seekest
9. Even as one Fire has entered into the world, but it shapes itself to the forms it meets, so there is one Spirit within all the creatures, but it shapes itself to form and form: it is likewise outside these.
10. Even as one Air has entered into the world, but it shapes itself to the forms it meets, so there is one Spirit within all creatures, but it shapes itself to form and form: it is likewise outside these.
11. Even as the Sun is the eye of all this world, yet is not soiled by the outward blemishes of the visual, so there is one Spirit within all these creatures, but the sorrow of this world soils it not: for it is beyond grief and his danger.
12. One calm and controlling Spirit within all creatures that makes one form into many fashions: the calm and the strong who see Him in their self as in a mirror, theirs is eternal felicity and `tis not for others.
13. The One Eternal is the transient, the One consciousnes in many conscious beings, who being One orders the desires of the many: the calm and strong who behold Him in their self as in a mirror, theirs is eternal peace and `tis not for others.
14. “This is He” is all they can realise of Him, a highest felicity which none can point to nor any define it. How shall I know of Him whether He shines or reflects one light and another?
15. There the sun cannot shine and the moon has no lustre; all the stars are bland: there out lightnings flash not, neither any earthly fire. For all that is bright is but the shadow of His brightness and by His shining all this shines.
1. This is the eternal Ashwattha-tree whose root is above, but its branches are downward. It is He that is called the Bright One and Brahman, and Immortality, and in Him are all the worlds established, none goes beyond him. This is That which thou seekest
2. All this universe of motion moves in the Prana and from the Prana also it proceeded: a mighty terror is He, yea, a thunderbolt uplifted. Who knows Him, are the immortals.
3. For fear of Him the Fire burns: for fear of Him the Sun giveth Heat, for fear of Him Indra and Vayu and Death hasten in their courses.
4. If in this world of men and before thy body fall from thee,thou were able to apprehend it, then thou availest for embodiment in the worlds that He creates.
5. In the self one sees God as in a mirror, but as in a dream in the world of the Fathers: and as in water one sees the surface of the object, so one sees Him in the world of the Gandharvas. But He is seen as light and shade in the Heaven of the Spirit.
6. The calm soul having comprehended in the separateness of the senses and the rising of them and their settingg and their separate emergence, puts from him pain and sorrow.
7. The mind is higher than the senses, and higher than the mind is the genius, and above the genius is the Mighty Spirit, and higher than that The Mighty One who is unmanifest.
8. But highest above the Unmanifested is the Purusha who pervades all and alone has no sign nor feature. Mortal man knowing Him is realesed into immortality.
9. God has not set His body within the ken of seeing, neither does any man with the eye behold Him, but to the heart and the mind and the super-mind He manifest. Who knows Him are the immortals.
10. When the five senses cease and are at rest and the mind rests with them and the higher mind ceases from its workings, that is the highest state, says thinkers.
11. The state unperturbed when the sense are imprisoned in the mind, of this they say “it is Yoga”. Then man becomes very vigilant, for Yoga is the birth of things and their ending.
12. Not wit the mind has man the power to get God, no, nor through speech, nor by the eye. Unless one say “He is”, how can one become sensible of Him?
13. One must apprehend God in the concept “He is” and also in His essential: but when he has grasped Him as the “is”, the the essential of God draws upon a man.
14. When every desire that finds lodging in the heart of man, has been loosened from its moorings, then this mortal puts on immortality: even here he tastes God, in the human body.
15. Yea, when all the strings of the heart are rent asunder , even here, in this human birth, then the mortal becomes immortal. This is the whole teaching of the scriptures.
16. A hundred and one are the nerves of the heart, and of all these only one issues out through the head if a man: by this his soul mounts up to his immortal home, but the rest lead him to all sorts and conditions of births in his passing.
17. The Purusha, the Spirit within, who is no larger than the finger of a man is seated forever in the heart of creatures: one must separate Him with patience from one`s own body as one separates a blade of grass its main fibre. Thou shalt know Him for the Bright Immortal, yea, for the Bright Immportal
18. Thus did Nachiketas with Death for his teacher win the God-knowledge: he learned likewise the whole ordinance of Yoga: thereafter he obtained God and became void of stain and void of death. So shall another be who comes likewise to the Science of the Spirit.
translated by Sri Aurobindo
1.By whom missioned falls the mind shot to its mark? By whom yoked moved the first life-breath forward on its paths? By whom impelled is this word that men speak? What god set eye and ear to their workings?
2.That which is hearing of our hearing, mind of our mind, speech of our speech, that too is life of our life-breath and sight of our sight. The wise are released beyond and they pass from this world and become immortal.
3.There sight not, nor speech, nor the mind. We know It is not nor can distinguish how one should teach of It: for It is other than the known; It is there above the unknown. It is so we have heard from men of old who declared That to our understanding.
4.That is unexpresse by the word; that by which the word is expressed, know That to be the Brahman and not this which man follow after here.
5.That which thinks not by the mind, that by which the mind is thought, know That to be the Brahman and not this which men follow after here.
6.That which sees not with the eye, that by which one sees the eye´s seeing,know That to be the Brahman and not this which men follow after here.
7.That which hear not with the ear; that by which the ear´s hearing is heard,know That to be the Brahman and not this which men follow after here.
8.That which breaths not with the breath, that by which the life-breath is led forward in its patths, know That to be the Brahman and not this which men follow after there.
1.If thou thinkest thou knowest It well, little indeed dost thou know the form of the Brahman. That of It which is thou, that of It which is in the gods, this thou hast to think out. I think It known.
2.I think not that I know It well and yet I know that It is not unknown to me. He of us who knows It, knows That; he knows that It is not unknown to him.
3.H 4.When It is known by perveption that reflects It, then one has the thought of It, for one finds immortality; by the self one finds the force to attain and by the knowledge one finds immortality.
5.If here one comes to that knowledge, then one truly is; if here one comes not to the knowledge, then great is the perdition. The wise distinguish That in all kinds of becomings and they pass forward from this world become immortal.
1.The Eternal conquered for the gods and in the victory of the Eternal the gods grew to greatness. This was what they saw, Ours the Victory, Ours the greatness.
2.The Eternal knew their thought and appeared before them: and they knew not what was this mighty Spirit.
3.They said to Agni: O thou that knowest all things born, learn of this thing, what may be this mighty Spirit and he said : So be It. 4.He rushed towards the Eternal and It said to him: Who art thou? ,I am Agni he said, I am he that knows all things born .
5. Since such thou art, what is the force in thee?. Even all this I could burn, all that is upon the earh
6.The Eternal set before him a blade of grass: This burn and he made towards it with all his speed, but he could not burn it. There he ceased, and turned back; I could not know of It, what might be this mighty Spirit.
7.Then they said to Vayu O Vayu, this discern, what is this mighty Spirit ,and he said : So be It .
8.He rushed upon That; It said to him,Who art Thou, I am Vayu he said, and I am theat which expands in the Mother of all things
9. Since such thou art, what is the force in thee? ,and Vayu replied Even all this I can take for myself, all this that is upon the earth
10.That set before him a blade of grass, This take .He went towards it with all his speed and he could not take it. Even there he ceased, even thence he returned: I could not discern That, what is this mighty Spirit.
11.Then they said to Indra, Master of plentitudes, get thou the knowledge. what is this mighty Spirit and He said So be It . He rushed upon That, That vanished from before him.
12.He in the same ether came upon the Woman, even upon Her who shines out in many forms, Uma ,daughter of the snowy summits. To her he said: What was this mighty Spirit?.
1.She said to him : It is the Eternal. Of the Eternal is this victory in which ye shall grow to greatness. Then he alone came to know that this was the Brahman.
2.Therefore are these gods as it were beyond all the other gods, even Agni, Vayu and Indra, because they came nearest to the touch of That…
3.Therefore is Indra as it were beyond all the other gods because he came closest to the touch of That, because he first knew that it was the Brahman.
4.Now this is the indication of That, – as is this flash of lightening upon us or as this falling of the eyelid, so in that which is of the gods.
5.Then in that which is of the Self, – as the motion of this mind seems to attain to That and by it afterwards the will in the thought continually remembers It.
6.The name of That, is The Delight; as That Delight one should follow after It. He who so knows That, towards him verily all existences yearn.
7.Thou hast said: Speak t me Upanishad (Inner Knowledge); spoken to thee is Upanishad. Of the Eternal verily is the Upanishad that we have spoken.
8.Of this knowledge austerity and self-conquest and works of the foundation, the Vedas are all its limbs, truth is its dwelling place.
9.He who knows this knowledge, smites evil away from him and in that vaster world and infinite heavens finds his foundation,yea, he finds his foundation.
translated by Sri Aurobindo
1. OM is this imperishable Word. OM is the Universe, and this is the exposition of OM.
The past, the present and the future, all that was, all that is, all that will be, is OM.
Likewise all else that may exist beyond the bounds of Time, that too is OM.
2. All this Universe is the Eternal Brahman, this Self is the Eternal, and the Self is fourfold.
3. He whose place is the wakefullness, who is wise of the outward, who hath seven limbs,
to whom there are ninteen doors, who feeleth and enjoyeth gross objects, Vaishwanara,
the Universal Male. He is the first.
4. He whose place is the dream, who is wise of the inward, who hath seven limbs,to whom
there are nineteen doors, who feeleth and enjoyeth subtle objects, Taijasa, the Inhabitant
in Luminous Mind. he is the second.
5. When one sleepeth and yearneth not with any desire, nor seeth any dream, that is the perfect
slumber, who is become Oneness, who is wisdom gathered into itself, who is amde of mere delight
, who enjoyeth delight unrelated, to whom conscious mind is the door, Prajna, the Lord of Wisdom,
He is the third.
6. This is the Almighty, this is the Omniscient, this is the Inner Soul, this is the Womb of the Universe,
this is the Birth and Destruction of creatures.
7. He who is neither inward-wise, nor outward-wise, nor both inward- and outward-wise, nor wisdom
self-gathered, nor possessed of wisdom, nor unpossessed of wisdom, He Who is unseen and
incommunicable, unseizable, featureless, unthinkable, and unnameable, Whose essentiality is
awareness of the Self in its single existence, in Whom all phenomena dissolve, Who is Calm,
Who is Good, Who is the One than Whom there is no other, Him they deem the fourth ;
He is the Self, He is the object of Knowledge.
8. Now this the Self, as to the imperishable Word, is OM :
and as to the letters, His parts are the letters and the letters are His parts, namely, A U M.
9.The Waker, Vaishwanara, the Universal Male, He is A, the first letter, because of Initiality
and Pervasiveness : he that knoweth Him for such pervadeth and attaineth all his desires;
he becometh the source and first.
10. The Dreamer, Taijasa, the Inhabitant in Luminous Mind, He is U, the second letter, because
of Advance and Centrality : He that knoweth Him for such, advanceth the bounds of his knowledge
and riset above difference : nor of his seed is any born that knoweth not the Eternal.
11. The Sleeper, Prajna, the Lord of Wisdom, He is M, the third letter, because of Measure
and Finality : he that knoweth Him for such measureth with himself the Universe and becometh
the departure into the Eternal.
12. Letterless is the fourth, the Incommunicable, the end of phenomena, the Good, the One than
Whom there is no other : thus is OM. He that knoweth is the Self and entereth by his self into the
Self, he that knoweth, he that knoweth.
English version by Sanderson Beck
God originated before the gods,
the creator of all, the protector of the world.
It taught the knowledge of God, the basis of all knowledge,
to Atharvan the eldest son.
What God taught to Atharvan, the knowledge of God,
Atharvan in the ancient times told to Angir.
He taught it to Bharadvaja Satyavaha,
and Bharadvaja to Angiras—both the higher and the lower.
Saunaka, a great householder, duly approached Angiras
and asked, “By understanding what, venerable sir,
does all this become understood?”
To him he said, “Two kinds of knowledge are to be known.
which the knowers of God speak of, the higher and lower.
Of these the lower is the Vedas: Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva,
phonetics, ritual, grammar, definition, metrics, astrology.
The higher is that by which the imperishable is apprehended.
“That which is invisible, intangible,
without family, without class,
without sight or hearing, without hands or feet,
eternal, all-pervading, omnipresent, most subtle,
that is the imperishable
which the wise perceive as the source of creation.
“As the spider puts out and gathers in,
as plants grow on the earth,
as hair on the head and body of a living person,
so from the imperishable arises everything here.
“By discipline God expands.
From that, matter is produced;
from matter, life, mind, reality,
the worlds, and in works immortality.
Whoever is all-knowing and all-wise,
whose discipline consists of knowledge,
from this is produced what is God here,
name and form and matter.
This is that truth.
“The works which the sages saw in the hymns
were variously expressed in the triad.
Perform them constantly, lovers of truth.
This is your path to the world of good works.
“When the flame moves after the fire has been kindled,
then between the two pourings of melted butter
one should throw with faith the offering.
If one’s altar fires are empty of the offerings
for the new moon, the full moon, the rains, the harvest,
or without guests or offerings or ceremonies to the gods
or contrary to rule, one loses hope of all the seven worlds.
The black, the terrible, the swift as thought,
the blood-red, the smoke-colored,
the spark-scattering, the all-shaped goddess,
are the seven flickering tongues of fire.
“Whoever performs sacrifices,
making offerings at the proper time when these are shining,
these as rays of the sun lead one
to where the one Lord of the gods lives.
Saying, ‘Come, come,’ the radiant offerings
carry the sacrificer by the rays of the sun,
praising and honoring one with pleasant words:
‘This is your holy world of God attained by good works.’
“Unsafe are the boats of the eighteen sacrificial forms
in which are expressed the lower work.
The deluded who approve them as leading to good
fall again into old age and death.
Remaining in ignorance, thinking themselves learned and wise,
the deluded afflicted with troubles
go about like the blind led by the blind.
Remaining in various forms of ignorance,
thinking immaturely, ‘We have accomplished our aim.’
Since those who perform rituals
do not understand because of attachment,
therefore when their rewards are exhausted,
they sink down, wretched.
Thinking sacrifices and works of merit are most important,
the deluded know nothing better.
Having enjoyed the high heaven won by good works,
They enter again this world or even a lower one.
“Those who practice discipline and faith in the forest,
the peaceful knowers who live on charity,
depart without attachment through the door of the sun,
to where lives the immortal Spirit, the imperishable soul.
Having tested the worlds won by works,
let the seeker of God arrive at detachment.
What is not made is not attained by what is done.
“For this knowledge,
let one go with fuel in hand to a teacher
who is learned in the scriptures and established in God.
To the one who has approached properly,
whose mind is calm, who has attained peace,
let the one knowing teach in the truth of reality
that knowledge of God
by which one knows the imperishable Spirit, the true.
“This is the truth:
as from a blazing fire
thousands of flaming sparks come forth,
so from the imperishable, my friend,
various beings come forth and return there also.
Divine and formless is the Spirit,
which is outside and inside, unborn, not breath, not mind,
pure, higher than the high imperishable.
“From this is produced breath, mind, and all the senses,
space, air, light, water, and earth supporting all.
Fire is its head, its eyes the sun and moon,
the regions of space its ears, the revealed Vedas its speech,
air its breath, its heart the world.
The earth is its footstool.
“It is the inner soul of all beings.
From it comes fire whose fuel is the sun,
from the moon, rain, plants on the earth;
the male pours seed in the female;
thus creatures are produced from the Spirit.
“From it come the hymns, the chants,
the formulas, the rites of initiation,
and all the sacrifices, ceremonies, and offerings,
the year too, and the sacrificer,
and the worlds where the moon shines and the sun.
“From it also are born various gods, the celestials,
people, cattle, birds, the in-breath and the out-breath,
rice and barley, discipline,
faith, truth, chastity, and the law.
“From it come forth the seven life-breaths,
the seven flames, their fuel, the seven oblations,
these seven worlds in which move the life-breaths
set within the secret place, seven and seven.
“From it the seas and mountains all;
from it flow the rivers of all kinds;
from it come all plants and the essence
by which the inner soul lives in the elements.
“The Spirit itself is all this here:
works and discipline and God, beyond death.
Whoever knows that which is set in the secret place,
that one here on earth, my friend,
cuts apart the knot of ignorance.
Manifest, hidden, moving in the secret place, the great home.
In it lives all that moves and breathes and sees.
“Know that as being, as non-being, as most to be desired,
beyond understanding, as what is best of all.
That which is luminous, subtler than the subtle,
in which are set all the worlds and their inhabitants—
that is the imperishable God.
It is life; it is speech and mind.
That is the real; it is immortal.
“It is to be known, my friend; know it.
Taking as a bow the great weapons of the Upanishads,
place on it an arrow sharpened by meditation.
Stretching it with thought directed to that,
know that imperishable as the target, my friend.
“The word AUM is the bow; the soul is the arrow.
God is said to be the target.
By the unfaltering it is to be known.
One becomes united with it as the arrow.
“In whom sky, earth, and atmosphere are interwoven,
and also the mind together with all the life breaths,
this alone know as the one soul.
Other words dismiss. This is the bridge to immortality.
“Where the channels are brought together
like the spokes in the hub of a wheel
there it moves and becomes manifold.
“AUM. Thus meditate on the soul.
May you be successful in crossing over
to the farther shore beyond darkness.
“Whoever is all-knowing, all-wise,
whose is this greatness on the earth,
in the divine city of God
and established in heaven is the soul.
“Using the mind, leading the life-breaths and the body,
established in matter one finds peace in the heart.
By this knowledge the wise perceive
the light of blissful immortality.
The knot of the heart is loosened, all doubts vanish,
and one’s works cease when it is seen, the lower and higher.
“In the highest golden sheath is God,
without stain or parts.
Radiant is it, the light of lights,
that which the knowers of the soul know.
The sun does not shine there nor the moon nor the stars;
lightning does not shine; how then could this fire?
The whole world is illuminated by its light.
God truly is this immortal.
God in front, God behind, to the right and the left.
Spread out below and above, God is all this great universe.
“Two birds, close companions, cling to the same tree.
Of these two, one eats the sweet fruit,
and the other looks on without eating.
The soul is the one sitting immersed on the same tree,
deluded and sad because helpless.
But seeing the other who is the Lord and beloved,
it realizes its greatness and overcomes the sadness.
“When a seer sees the brilliant creator,
Lord, Spirit, God-source,
then being a knower, shaking off good and evil,
stainless one reaches supreme identity.
Truly it is life that shines forth in all beings.
Understanding this one knows there is nothing else to say.
“Delighting in the soul,
enjoying the soul, doing holy works,
such a one is the best of the knowers of God.
The soul can be attained by truth, by discipline,
by correct knowledge, by studying God.
Within the body, made of light, pure is this
which the ascetics, their faults removed, view.
“Truth alone conquers, not falsehood.
By truth is laid out the path leading to the gods
by which the sages whose desires are satisfied
ascend to where the supreme home of truth is.
Vast, divine, its form unthinkable, subtler than the subtle,
it shines out, farther than the far, yet close-by.
resting in the secret place,
even here it is seen by those with vision.
“It is not grasped by sight nor even by speech
nor by other angels, nor by austerity nor by work.
By the grace of wisdom and mental purity
by meditating one does see the indivisible.
The subtle is to be known by consciousness
in which the five different breaths have centered.
All of human thought is interwoven with the life-breath.
When that is purified, the soul manifests its power.
“Whatever world a person of pure heart
holds clearly in mind,
and whatever desires that one desires,
that world is obtained and those desires.
Therefore whoever desires success
should honor the knower of the self.
That one knows the supreme home of God,
founded on which the whole world shines radiantly.
“The wise who, free from desires, worship the Spirit,
pass beyond the sperm.
Whoever entertains desires, dwelling on them,
is born here and there on account of these desires;
but one whose desire is satisfied, whose soul is perfected,
all desires here on earth vanish away.
“This soul can not be attained by instruction
nor by intellect nor by much learning.
It can be attained only by the one whom it chooses.
To such a one this soul reveals its own nature.
“This soul can not be attained by one lacking strength
nor by carelessness nor by misdirected discipline;
but the one striving by these means who knows,
this soul enters into the home of God.
“Attaining this, the seers, happy with knowledge,
souls perfected, free from emotion, tranquil,
attaining the one who is universally omnipresent,
those wise, united souls enter into the all itself.
“Those who have ascertained
the meaning of the Vedanta knowledge,
ascetics with natures purified by the way of renunciation,
they in the God-worlds at the end of time,
transcending death are all liberated.
The fifteen parts return to their foundations,
and all the angels to their divinities.
“One’s actions and the soul composed of wisdom
all become one in the supreme imperishable.
As rivers flowing into the ocean disappear
losing name and form,
so the knower liberated from name and form
reaches the divine Spirit, higher than the highest.
“Whoever knows that supreme God becomes God.
In that family no one is born who does not know God.
This one crosses over sorrow, crosses over sins,
liberated from the knots of the heart, becomes immortal.
This has been declared in the verse:
‘Doers of the works, learned in scriptures,
absorbed in God, having faith
make offerings to the one seer,
to those one should declare this knowledge of God,
by whom the rite of the head
has been performed according to rule.’”
This is the truth.
The seer Angiras declared it long ago.
Let no one who has not performed the rite read this.
Salutation to the highest seers!
Salutation to the highest seers!
Copyright 1996 by Sanderson Beck
1. The Brahma-students say: Is Brahman the cause? Whence are we born? Whereby do we live, and whither do we go? O ye who know Brahman, (tell us) at whose command we abide, whether in pain or in pleasure?
2. Should time, or nature, or necessity, or chance, or the elements be considered as the cause, or he who is called the person (purusha, vignanatma)? It cannot be their union either, because that is not self-dependent, and the self also is powerless, because there is (independent of him) a cause of good and evil. 3. The sages, devoted to meditation and concentration, have seen the power belonging to God himself, hidden in its own qualities (guna). He, being one, superintends all those causes, time, self, and the rest.
4. We meditate on him who (like a wheel) has one felly with three tires, sixteen ends, fifty spokes, with twenty counter-spokes, and six sets of eight; whose one rope is manifold, who proceeds on three different roads, and whose illusion arises from two causes.
5. We meditate on the river whose water consists of the five streams, which is wild and winding with its five springs, whose waves are the five vital breaths, whose fountain head is the mind, the course of the five kinds of perceptions. It has five whirlpools, its rapids are the five pains; it has fifty kinds of suffering, and five branches.
6. In that vast Brahma-wheel, in which all things live and rest, the bird flutters about, so long as he thinks that the self (in him) is different from the mover (the god, the lord). When he has been blessed by him, then he gains immortality.
7. But what is praised (in the Upanishads) is the Highest Brahman, and in it there is the triad. The Highest Brahman is the safe support, it is imperishable. The Brahma-students, when they have known what is within this (world), are devoted and merged in the Brahman, free from birth.
8. The Lord (isa) supports all this together, the perishable and the imperishable, the developed and the undeveloped. The (living) self, not being a lord, is bound, because he has to enjoy (the fruits of works); but when he has known the god (deva), he is freed from all fetters.
9. There are two, one knowing (isvara), the other not-knowing (giva), both unborn, one strong, the other weak; there is she, the unborn, through whom each man receives the recompense of his works; and there is the infinite Self (appearing) under all forms, but himself inactive. When a man finds out these three, that is Brahma.
10. That which is perishable is the Pradhana (the first), the immortal and imperishable is Hara. The one god rules the perishable (the pradhana) and the (living) self. From meditating on him, from joining him, from becoming one with him there is further cessation of all illusion in the end.
11. When that god is known, all fetters fall off, sufferings are destroyed, and birth and death cease. From meditating on him there arises, on the dissolution of the body, the third state, that of universal lordship; but he only who is alone, is satisfied.
12. This, which rests eternally within the self, should be known; and beyond this not anything has to be known. By knowing the enjoyer, the enjoyed, and the ruler, everything has been declared to be threefold, and this is Brahman.
13. As the form of fire, while it exists in the under-wood, is not seen, nor is its seed destroyed, but it has to be seized again and again by means of the stick and the under-wood, so it is in both cases, and the Self has to be seized in the body by means of the pranava (the syllable Om).
14. By making his body the under-wood, and the syllable Om the upperwood, man, after repeating the drill of meditation, will perceive the bright god, like the spark hidden in the wood.
15. As oil in seeds, as butter in cream, as water in (dry) river-beds, as fire in wood, so is the Self seized within the self, if man looks for him by truthfulness and penance;
16. (If he looks) for the Self that pervades everything, as butter is contained in milk, and the roots whereof are self-knowledge and penance. That is the Brahman taught by the Upanishad.
1. Savitri (the sun), having first collected his mind and expanded his thoughts, brought Agni (fire), when he had discovered his light, above the earth.
2. With collected minds we are at the command of the divine Savitri, that we may obtain blessedness.
3. May Savitri, after he has reached with his mind the gods as they rise up to the sky, and with his thoughts (has reached) heaven, grant these gods to make a great light to shine.
4. The wise sages of the great sage collect their mind and collect their thoughts. He who alone knows the law (Savitri) has ordered the invocations; great is the praise of the divine Savitri.
5. Your old prayer has to be joined with praises. Let my song go forth like the path of the sun! May all the sons of the Immortal listen, they who have reached their heavenly homes.
6. Where the fire is rubbed, where the wind is checked, where the Soma flows over, there the mind is born.
7. Let us love the old Brahman by the grace of Savitri; if thou make thy dwelling there, the path will not hurt thee.
8. If a wise man hold his body with its three erect parts (chest, neck, and head) even, and turn his senses with the mind towards the heart, he will then in the boat of Brahman cross all the torrents which cause fear.
9. Compressing his breathings let him, who has subdued all motions, breathe forth through the nose with gentle breath. Let the wise man without fail restrain his mind, that chariot yoked with vicious horses.
10. Let him perform his exercises in a place level, pure, free from pebbles, fire, and dust, delightful by its sounds, its water, and bowers, not painful to the eye, and full of shelters and caves.
11. When Yoga is being performed, the forms which come first, producing apparitions in Brahman, are those of misty smoke, sun, fire, wind, fire-flies, lightnings, and a crystal moon.
12. When, as earth, water, light, heat, and ether arise, the fivefold quality of Yoga takes place, then there is no longer illness, old age, or pain for him who has obtained a body, produced by the fire of Yoga.
13. The first results of Yoga they call lightness, healthiness, steadiness, a good complexion, an easy pronunciation, a sweet odour, and slight excretions.
14. As a metal disk (mirror), tarnished by dust, shines bright again after it has been cleaned, so is the one incarnate person satisfied and free from grief, after he has seen the real nature of the self.
15. And when by means of the real nature of his self he sees, as by a lamp, the real nature of Brahman, then having known the unborn, eternal god, who is beyond all natures, he is freed from all fetters.
16. He indeed is the god who pervades all regions: he is the first-born (as Hiranyagarbha), and he is in the womb. He has been born, and he will be born. He stands behind all persons, looking everywhere.
17. The god who is in the fire, the god who is in the water, the god who has entered into the whole world, the god who is in plants, the god who is in trees, adoration be to that god, adoration!
1. The snarer who rules alone by his powers, who rules all the worlds by his powers, who is one and the same, while things arise and exist,- they who know this are immortal.
2. For there is one Rudra only, they do not allow a second, who rules all the worlds by his powers. He stands behind all persons, and after having created all worlds he, the protector, rolls it up at the end of time.
3. That one god, having his eyes, his face, his arms, and his feet in every place, when producing heaven and earth, forges them together with his arms and his wings.
4. He, the creator and supporter of the gods, Rudra, the great seer, the lord of all, he who formerly gave birth to Hiranyagarbha, may he endow us with good thoughts.
5. O Rudra, thou dweller in the mountains, look upon us with that most blessed form of thine which is auspicious, not terrible, and reveals no evil!
6. O lord of the mountains, make lucky that arrow which thou, a dweller in the mountains, holdest in thy hand to shoot. Do not hurt man or beast!
7. Those who know beyond this the High Brahman, the vast, hidden in the bodies of all creatures, and alone enveloping everything, as the Lord, they become immortal.
8. I know that great person (purusha) of sunlike lustre beyond the darkness. A man who knows him truly, passes over death; there is no other path to go.
9. This whole universe is filled by this person (purusha), to whom there is nothing superior, from whom there is nothing different, than whom there is nothing smaller or larger, who stands alone, fixed like a tree in the sky.
10. That which is beyond this world is without form and without suffering. They who know it, become immortal, but others suffer pain indeed.
11. That Bhagavat exists in the faces, the heads, the necks of all, he dwells in the cave (of the heart) of all beings, he is all-pervading, therefore he is the omnipresent Siva.
12. That person (purusha) is the great lord; he is the mover of existence, he possesses that purest power of reaching everything, he is light, he is undecaying.
13. The person (purusha), not larger than a thumb, dwelling within, always dwelling in the heart of man, is perceived by the heart, the thought, the mind: they who know it become immortal.
14. The person (purusha) with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, having compassed the earth on every side, extends beyond it by ten fingers’ breadth.
15. That person alone (purusba) is all this, what has been and what will be; he is also the lord of immortality; he is whatever grows by food.
16. Its hands and feet are everywhere, its eyes and head are everywhere, its ears are everywhere, it stands encompassing all in the world.
17. Separate from all the senses, yet reflecting the qualities of all the senses, it is the lord and ruler of all, it is the great refuge of all.
18. The embodied spirit within the town with nine gates, the bird, flutters outwards, the ruler of the whole world, of all that rests and of all that moves.
19. Grasping without hands, hasting without feet, he sees without eyes, he hears without ears. He knows what can be known, but no one knows him; they call him the first, the great person (purusha).
20. The Self, smaller than small, greater than great, is hidden in the heart of the creature. A man who has left all grief behind, sees the majesty, the Lord, the passionless, by the grace of the creator (the Lord).
21. I know this undecaying, ancient one, the self of all things, being infinite and omnipresent. They declare that in him all birth is stopped, for the Brahma-students proclaim him to be eternal.
1. He, the sun, without any colour, who with set purpose by means of his power (sakti) produces endless colours, in whom all this comes together in the beginning, and comes asunder in the end- may he, the god, endow us with good thoughts.
2. That (Self) indeed is Agni (fire), it is Aditya (sun), it is Vayu (wind), it is Kandramas (moon); the same also is the starry firmament, it is Brahman (Hiranyagarbha), it is water, it is Pragapati (Virag).
3. Thou art woman, thou art man; thou art youth, thou art maiden; thou, as an old man, totterest along on thy staff; thou art born with thy face turned everywhere.
4. Thou art the dark-blue bee, thou art the green parrot with red eyes, thou art the thunder-cloud, the seasons, the seas. Thou art without beginning, because thou art infinite, thou from whom all worlds are born.
5. There is one unborn being (female), red, white, and black, uniform, but producing manifold offspring. There is one unborn being (male) who loves her and lies by her; there is another who leaves her, while she is eating what has to be eaten.
6. Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating.
7. On the same tree man sits grieving, immersed, bewildered, by his own impotence (an-isa). But when he sees the other lord (isa) contented, and knows his glory, then his grief passes away.
8. He who does not know that indestructible being of the Rig-veda, that highest ether-like (Self) wherein all the gods reside, of what use is the Rig-veda to him? Those only who know it, rest contented.
9. That from which the maker (mayin) sends forth all this- the sacred verses, the offerings, the sacrifices, the panaceas, the past, the future, and all that the Vedas declare- in that the other is bound up through that maya.
10. Know then Prakriti (nature) is Maya (art), and the great Lord the Mayin (maker); the whole world is filled with what are his members.
11. If a man has discerned him, who being one only, rules over every germ (cause), in whom all this comes together and comes asunder again, who is the lord, the bestower of blessing, the adorable god, then he passes for ever into that peace.
12. He, the creator and supporter of the gods, Rudra, the great seer, the lord of all, who saw Hiranyagarbha being born, may he endow us with good thoughts.
13. He who is the sovereign of the gods, he in whom all the worlds rest, he who rules over all two-footed and four-footed beings, to that god let us sacrifice an oblation.
14. He who has known him who is more subtile than subtile, in the midst of chaos, creating all things, having many forms, alone enveloping everything, the happy one (Siva), passes into peace for ever.
15. He also was in time the guardian of this world, the lord of all, hidden in all beings. In him the Brahmarshis and the deities are united, and he who knows him cuts the fetters of death asunder.
16. He who knows Siva (the blessed) hidden in all beings, like the subtile film that rises from out the clarified butter, alone enveloping everything,- he who knows the god, is freed from all fetters.
17. That god, the maker of all things, the great Self, always dwelling in the heart of man, is perceived by the heart, the soul, the mind;- they who know it become immortal.
18. When the light has risen, there is no day, no night, neither existence nor non-existence; Siva (the blessed) alone is there. That is the eternal, the adorable light of Savitri,- and the ancient wisdom proceeded thence.
19. No one has grasped him above, or across, or in the middle. There is no image of him whose name is Great Glory.
20. His form cannot be seen, no one perceives him with the eye. Those who through heart and mind know him thus abiding in the heart, become immortal.
21. ‘Thou art unborn,’ with these words some one comes near to thee, trembling. O Rudra, let thy gracious face protect me for ever!
22. O Rudra! hurt us not in our offspring and descendants, hurt us not in our own lives, nor in our cows, nor in our horses! Do not slay our men in thy wrath, for, holding oblations, we call on thee always.
1. In the imperishable and infinite Highest Brahman, wherein the two, knowledge and ignorance, are hidden, the one, ignorance, perishes, the other, knowledge, is immortal; but he who controls both, knowledge and ignorance, is another.
2. It is he who, being one only, rules over every germ (cause), over all forms, and over all germs; it is he who, in the beginning, bears in his thoughts the wise son, the fiery, whom he wishes to look on while he is born.
3. In that field in which the god, after spreading out one net after another in various ways, draws it together again, the Lord, the great Self, having further created the lords, thus carries on his lordship over all.
4. As the car (of the sun) shines, lighting up all quarters, above, below, and across, thus does that god, the holy, the adorable, being one, rule over all that has the nature of a germ.
5. He, being one, rules over all and everything, so that the universal germ ripens its nature, diversifies all natures that can be ripened, and determines all qualities.
6. Brahma (Hiranyagarbha) knows this, which is hidden in the Upanishads, which are hidden in the Vedas, as the Brahma-germ. The ancient gods and poets who knew it, they became it and were immortal.
7. But he who is endowed with qualities, and performs works that are to bear fruit, and enjoys the reward of whatever he has done, migrates through his own works, the lord of life, assuming all forms, led by the three Gunas, and following the three paths.
8. That lower one also, not larger than a thumb, but brilliant like the sun, who is endowed with personality and thoughts, with the quality of mind and the quality of body, is seen small even like the point of a goad.
9. That living soul is to be known as part of the hundredth part of the point of a hair, divided a hundred times, and yet it is to be infinite.
10. It is not woman, it is not man, nor is it neuter; whatever body it takes, with that it is joined (only).
11. By means of thoughts, touching, seeing, and passions the incarnate Self assumes successively in various places various forms, in accordance with his deeds, just as the body grows when food and drink are poured into it.
12. That incarnate Self, according to his own qualities, chooses (assumes) many shapes, coarse or subtile, and having himself caused his union with them, he is seen as another and another, through the qualities of his acts, and through the qualities of his body.
13. He who knows him who has no beginning and no end, in the midst of chaos, creating all things, having many forms, alone enveloping everything, is freed from all fetters.
14. Those who know him who is to be grasped by the mind, who is not to be called the nest (the body), who makes existence and non-existence, the happy one (Siva), who also creates the elements, they have left the body.
1. Some wise men, deluded, speak of Nature, and others of Time (as the cause of everything); but it is the greatness of God by which this Brahma-wheel is made to turn.
2. It is at the command of him who always covers this world, the knower, the time of time, who assumes qualities and all knowledge, it is at his command that this work (creation) unfolds itself, which is called earth, water, fire, air, and ether;
3. He who, after he has done that work and rested again, and after he has brought together one essence (the self) with the other (matter), with one, two, three, or eight, with time also and with the subtile qualities of the mind, 4. Who, after starting the works endowed with (the three) qualities, can order all things, yet when, in the absence of all these, he has caused the destruction of the work, goes on, being in truth different (from all he has produced);
5. He is the beginning, producing the causes which unite (the soul with the body), and, being above the three kinds of time (past, present, future), he is seen as without parts, after we have first worshipped that adorable god, who has many forms, and who is the true source (of all things), as dwelling in our own mind.
6. He is beyond all the forms of the tree (of the world) and of time, he is the other, from whom this world moves round, when one has known him who brings good and removes evil, the lord of bliss, as dwelling within the self, the immortal, the support of all.
7. Let us know that highest great lord of lords, the highest deity of deities, the master of masters, the highest above, as god, the lord of the world, the adorable.
8. There is no effect and no cause known of him, no one is seen like unto him or better; his high power is revealed as manifold, as inherent, acting as force and knowledge.
9. There is no master of his in the world, no ruler of his, not even a sign of him. He is the cause, the lord of the lords of the organs, and there is of him neither parent nor lord.
10. That only god who spontaneously covered himself, like a spider, with threads drawn from the first cause (pradhana), grant us entrance into Brahman.
11. He is the one God, hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the self within all beings, watching over all works, dwelling in all beings, the witness, the perceiver, the only one, free from qualities.
12. He is the one ruler of many who (seem to act, but really do) not act; he makes the one seed manifold. The wise who perceive him within their self, to them belongs eternal happiness, not to others.
13. He is the eternal among eternals, the thinker among thinkers, who, though one, fulfils the desires of many. He who has known that cause which is to be apprehended by Sankhya (philosophy) and Yoga (religious discipline), he is freed from all fetters.
14. The sun does not shine there, nor the moon and the stars, nor these lightnings, and much less this fire. When he shines, everything shines after him; by his light all this is lightened.
15. He is the one bird in the midst of the world; he is also (like) the fire (of the sun) that has set in the ocean. A man who knows him truly, passes over death; there is no other path to go.
16. He makes all, he knows all, the self-caused, the knower, the time of time (destroyer of time), who assumes qualities and knows everything, the master of nature and of man, the lord of the three qualities (guna), the cause of the bondage, the existence, and the liberation of the world.
17. He who has become that, he is the immortal, remaining the lord, the knower, the ever-present guardian of this world, who rules this world for ever, for no one else is able to rule it.
18. Seeking for freedom I go for refuge to that God who is the light of his own thoughts, he who first creates Brahman (m.) and delivers the Vedas to him;
19. Who is without parts, without actions, tranquil, without fault, without taint, the highest bridge to immortality- like a fire that has consumed its fuel.
20. Only when men shall roll up the sky like a hide, will there be an end of misery, unless God has first been known.
21. Through the power of his penance and through the grace of God has the wise Svetasvatara truly proclaimed Brahman, the highest and holiest, to the best of ascetics, as approved by the company of Rishis.
22. This highest mystery in the Vedanta, delivered in a former age, should not be given to one whose passions have not been subdued, nor to one who is not a son, or who is not a pupil.
23. If these truths have been told to a high-minded man, who feels the highest devotion for God, and for his Guru as for God, then they will shine forth,- then they will shine forth indeed.