Hamro dharma

Upanishad, Svetâsvatara



1. The Brahma-students say: Is Brahman the cause 1? 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?

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2. Should time, or nature 1, or necessity, or chance, or the elements be considered as the cause, or he who is called the person (purusha, viânâtmâ)? It cannot be their union either, because that is not self-dependent 2, and the self also is powerless, because there is (independent of him) a cause of good and evil 3.

3. The sages, devoted to meditation and concentration, have seen the power belonging to God himself 4, hidden in its own qualities (guna). He, being one, superintends all those causes, time, self, and the rest 5.

6. 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;

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whose one rope is manifold, who proceeds on three different roads, and whose illusion arises from two causes.

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1. 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 2.

7. But what is praised (in the Upanishads) is the

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[paragraph continues] Highest Brahman, and in it there is the triad 1. The Highest Brahman is the safe support, it is imperishable. The Brahma-students 2, when they have known what is within this (world), are devoted and merged in the Brahman, free from birth 3.

8. The Lord (îsa) supports all this together, the perishable and the imperishable, the developed and the undeveloped. The (living) self, not being a lord, is bound 4, 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 (îsvara), the other not-knowing (gîva), both unborn, one strong, the other weak 5; there is she, the unborn, through whom each man receives the recompense of his works 6; and there is the infinite Self (appearing) under all forms, but himself inactive. When a man finds out these three, that is Brahma 7.

10. That which is perishable 8 is the Pradhâna 9 (the first), the immortal and imperishable is Hara 10.

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[paragraph continues] The one god rules the perishable (the pradhâna) and the (living) self 1. 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 2; but he only who is alone, is satisfied 3.

12. This, which rests eternally within the self, should be known; and beyond this not anything has to be known. By knowing the enjoyer 4, 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 5, is not seen, nor is its seed destroyed,

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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 upper-wood, man, after repeating the drill of meditation, will perceive the bright god, like the spark hidden in the wood 1.

15. As oil in seeds, as butter in cream, as water in (dry) river-beds 2, as fire in wood, so is the Self seized within the self, if man looks for him by truthfulness and penance 3;

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.


231:1 This translation seems the one which Sankara himself prefers, for on p. 277, when recapitulating, he says, kim brahma kâranam âhosvit kâlâdi. In comparing former translations, whether by Weber, Roer, Gough, and others, it will be seen that my own differs considerably from every one of them, and differs equally from Sankara’s interpretation. It would occupy too much space to criticise former translations, nor would it seem fair, considering how long ago they were made, and how imperfect were the materials which were then accessible. All I wish my readers to understand is that, if I differ from my predecessors, I do so after having carefully examined their renderings. Unfortunately, Roer’s edition of both the text and the commentary is often far from correct. Thus in the very first verse of the Svetâsvatara-upanishad, I think we ought to read sampratishthâh, instead of sampratishthitâh. In the commentary the reading is right. Vyavasyâm is a misprint for vyavasthâm. In the second verse we must separate kâlah and svabhâvah. Yadrikhhâ no very unusual word, meaning chance, was formerly taken for a name of the moon! Instead of na tvâtmabhâvât, both sense and metre require that we should read anâtmabhâvât, though the commentators take a different view. They say, because there is a self, and then go on to say that even that would not suffice. Such matters, however, belong to a critical commentary on the Upanishads rather than to a translation, and I can refer to them in cases of absolute necessity only, and where the readings of the two MSS., A. and B, seem to offer some help.

232:1 Svabhâva, their own nature or independent character.

232:2 Union presupposes a uniter.

232:3 Âtmâ is explained by Sankara as the gîvah, the living self, and as that living self is in his present state determined by karman, work belonging to a former existence, it cannot be thought of as an independent cause.

232:4 Devâtmasakti is a very important term, differently explained by the commentators, but meaning a power belonging to the Deva, the Îsvara, the Lord, not independent of him, as the Sânkhyas represent Prakriti or nature. Herein lies the important distinction between Vedanta and Sânkhya.

232:5 Kâlâtmabhyâm yuktâni, kâlapurushasamyuktâni svabhâvâdini. Âtman is here taken as synonymous with purusha in verse 2.

232:6 It is difficult to say whether this verse was written as a summing up of certain technicalities recognised in systems of philosophy existing at the time, or whether it is a mere play of fancy. I prefer the former view, and subjoin the explanation given by Sankara, though it is quite possible that on certain points he may be mistaken. The Îsvara or deva is represented as a wheel with one felly, which would seem to be the phenomenal world. It is called trivrit, threefold, or rather having three tires, three bands or hoops to bind the felly, these tires being intended for the three gunas of the prakriti, the Sattva, Ragas, and Tamas. In the Brahmopanishad (Bibl. Ind. p. 233 p. 251) the trivrit sûtram is mentioned. Next follows shodasântam, ending in the sixteen. These sixteen are differently explained. They may be meant for the five elements and the eleven indriyas or organs (the five receptive and the five active senses, together with manas, the common sensory); or for the sixteen kalâs, mentioned in the Praopanishad, VI, 1, p. 283. Then follows a new interpretation. The one felly may be meant for the chaos, the undeveloped state of things, and the sixteen would then be the two products in a general form, the Virâg and the Sûtrâtman, while the remaining fourteen would be the individual products, the bhuvanas or worlds beginning with Bhûh.

Next follows satârdhâram, having fifty spokes. These fifty spokes are supposed to produce the motion of the mundane wheel, and are explained by Sankara as follows:

1. The five Viparyayas, misconceptions, different kinds of ignorance or doubt, viz. Tamas, Moha, Mahâmoha, Tâmisra, Andhatâmisra, or, according to Patañgali, ignorance, self-love, love, hatred, and fear (Yoga-sûtras I, 8; II, 2; Sânkhya-sûtras III, 37).

2. The twenty-eight Asaktis, disabilities, causes of misconception. (See Sânkhya-sûtras III, 38.)

3. The nine inversions of the Tushtis, satisfactions. (Sânkhya-sûtras III, 39.)

4. The eight inversions of the Siddhis, perfections. (Sânkhya-sûtras III, 40.)

These are afterwards explained singly. There are 8 kinds of Tamas, 8 kinds of Moha, 10 kinds of Mahâmoha, 18 kinds of Tâmisra, and 18 kinds of Andhatâmisra, making 62 in all. More information on the Asaktis, the Tushtis, and Siddhis may be found in the Sânkhya-sûtras III, 37-45; Sânkhya-kârikâ 47 seq.; Yoga-sûtras II, 2 seq.

Then follow the 20 pratyaras, the counter-spokes, or wedges to strengthen the spokes, viz. the 10 senses and their 10 objects.

The six ashtakas or ogdoads are explained as the ogdoads of Prakriti, of substances (dhâtu), of powers (aisvarya), of states (bhâva), of gods (deva), of virtues (âtmaguna).

The one, though manifold cord, is love or desire, Kâma, whether of food, children, heaven or anything else.

The three paths are explained as righteousness, unrighteousness, p. 234 and knowledge, and the one deception arising from two causes is ignorance of self, produced by good or bad works.

234:1 Here again, where the Îsvara is likened to a stream, the minute coincidences are explained by Sankara in accordance with certain systems of philosophy. The five streams are the five receptive organs, the five springs are the five elements, the five waves are the five active organs. The head is the manas, the mind, or common sensory, from which the perceptions of the five senses spring. The five whirlpools are the objects of the five senses, the five rapids are the five pains of being in the womb, being born, growing old, growing ill, and dying. The next adjective pañkâsadbhedâm is not fully explained by Sankara. He only mentions the five divisions of the klesa (see Yoga-sûtras II, 2), but does not show how their number is raised to fifty. Dr. Roer proposes to read pañkaklesa-bhedâm, but that would not agree with the metre. The five parvans or branches are not explained, and may refer to the fifty kinds of suffering (klesa). The whole river, like the wheel in the preceding verse, is meant for the Brahman as kâryakâranâtmaka, in the form of cause and effect, as the phenomenal, not the absolutely real world.

234:2 If he has been blessed by the Îsvara, i.e. when he has been accepted by the Lord, when he has discovered his own true self in the Lord. It must be remembered, however, that both the Îsvara, the Lord, and the purusha, the individual soul, are phenomenal only, and that the Brahma-wheel is meant for the prapañka, the manifest, but unreal world.

235:1 The subject (bhoktri), the object (bhogya), and the mover (preritri), see verse 12.

235:2 B. has Vedavido, those who know the Vedas.

235:3 Tasmin pralîyate tv âtmâ samâdhih sa udâhritah.

235:4 Read badhyate for budhyate.

235:5 The form îsanîsau is explained as khândasa; likewise brahmam for brahma.

235:6 Cf. Svet. Up. IV, 5, bhuktabhogyâm.

235:7 The three are (1) the lord, the personal god, the creator and ruler; (2) the individual soul or souls; and (3) the power of creation, the devâtmasakti of verse 3. All three are contained in Brahman; see verses 7, 12. So ‘pi mâyî paramesvaro mâyopâdhisannidhes tadvân iva.

235:8 See verse 8.

235:9 The recognised name for Prakriti, or here Devâtmasakti, in the later Sânkhya philosophy.

235:10 Hara, one of the names of Siva or Rudra, is here explained as p. 236 avidyâder haranât, taking away ignorance. He would seem to be meant for the Îsvara or deva, the one god, though immediately afterwards he is taken for the true Brahman, and not for its phenomenal divine personification only.

236:1 The self, Âtman, used here, as before, for purusha, the individual soul, or rather the individual souls.

236:2 A blissful state in the Brahma-world, which, however, is not yet perfect freedom, but may lead on to it. Thus it is said in the Sivadharmottara:

Dhyânâd aisvaryam, atulam aisvaryât sukham uttamam,
ânena tat parityagya videho muktim âpnuyât.

236:3 This alone-ness, kevalatvam, is produced by the knowledge that the individual self is one with the divine self, and that both the individual and the divine self are only phenomenal forms of the true Self, the Brahman.

236:4 Bhoktâ, possibly for bhoktrâ, unless it is a Khândasa form. It was quoted before, Bibl. Ind. p. 292, l. 5. The enjoyer is the purusha, the individual soul, the subject; the enjoyed is prakriti, nature, the object; and the ruler is the Îsvara, that is, Brahman, as god. I take brahmam etat in the same sense here as in verse 9.

236:5 This metaphor, like most philosophical metaphors in Sanskrit, p. 237 is rather obscure at first sight, but very exact when once understood. Fire, as produced by a fire drill, is compared to the Self. It is not seen at first, yet it must be there all the time; its linga or subtle body cannot have been destroyed, because as soon as the stick, the indhana, is drilled in the under-wood, the yoni, the fire becomes visible. In the same way the Self, though invisible during a state of ignorance, is there all the time, and is perceived when the body has been drilled by the Pranava, that is, after, by a constant repetition of the sacred syllable Om, the body has been subdued, and the ecstatic vision of the Self has been achieved.

Indhana, the stick used for drilling, and yoni, the under-wood, in which the stick is drilled, are the two aranis, the fire-sticks used for kindling fire. See Tylor, Anthropology, p. 260.

237:1 Cf. Dhyânavindûpan. verse 20; Brahmopanishad, p. 256.

237:2 Srotas, a stream, seems to mean here the dry bed of a stream, which, if dug into, will yield water.

237:3 The construction is correct, if we remember that he who is seized is the same as he who looks for the hidden Self. But the metre would be much improved if we accepted the reading of the Brahmopanishad, evam âtmâ âtmani grihyate ‘sau, which is confirmed by B. The last line would be improved by reading, satyenainam ye ‘nupasyanti dhîrâh.


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.

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1. 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.

2. 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.

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1. Your old prayer has to be joined 2 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 3, where the wind is checked, where the Soma flows over, there the mind is born.

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7. Let us love the old Brahman by the grace of Savitri; if thou make thy dwelling there, the path will not hurt thee 1.

8. If a wise man hold his body with its three erect parts (chest, neck, and head) even 2, and turn his senses with the mind towards the heart, he will then in the boat of Brahman 3 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 4. Let the wise man without fail restrain his mind, that chariot yoked with vicious horses 5.

10. Let him perform his exercises in a place 6

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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 1.

12. When, as earth, water, light, heat, and ether arise, the fivefold quality of Yoga takes place 2, then there is no longer illness, old age, or pain 3 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 4.

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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 1, 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 2. He stands behind all persons, looking everywhere.

17. The god 3 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!


238:1 The seven introductory verses are taken from hymns addressed to Savitri as the rising sun. They have been so twisted by Sankara, in order to make them applicable to the teachings of the Yoga philosophy, as to become almost nonsensical. I have given a few specimens of Sankara’s renderings in the notes, but have translated the verses, as much as possible, in their original character. As they are merely introductory, I do not understand why the collector of the Upanishad should have seen in them anything but an invocation of Savitri.

These verses are taken from various Samhitâs. The first yuñgânah prathamam is from Taitt. Samh. IV, 1, 1, 1, 1; Vâg. Samh. XI, 1; see also Sat. Br. VI, 3, 1, 12. The Taittirîya-text agrees with the Upanishad, the Vâgasaneyi-text has dhiyam for dhiyah, and agneh for agnim. Both texts take tatvâya as a participle of tan, while the Upanishad reads tattvâya, as a dative of tattva, truth. I have translated the verse in its natural sense. Sankara, in explaining the Upanishad, translates: ‘At the beginning of our meditation, joining the mind with the Highest Self, also the other prânas, or the knowledge of outward things, for the sake of truth, Savitri, out of the knowledge of outward things, brought Agni, after having discovered his brightness, above the earth, in this body.’ He explains it: ‘May Savitri, taking our thoughts away from outward things, in order to concentrate them on the Highest Self, produce in our speech and in our other senses that power which can lighten all objects, which proceeds from Agni and from the other favourable deities.’ He adds that ‘by the favour of Savitri, Yoga may be obtained.’

238:2 The second verse is from Taitt. Samh. IV, 1, 1, 1, 3; Vâg. Samh. XI, 2. The Vâgasaneyi-text has svargyâya for svargeyâya, and saktyâ for saktyai. Sankara explains: ‘With a mind that has been joined p. 239 by Savitri to the Highest Self, we, with the sanction of that Savitri, devote ourselves to the work of meditation, which leads to the obtainment of Svarga, according to our power.’ He explains Svarga by Paramâtman. Sâyana in his commentary on the Taittirîya-samhitâ explains svargeyâya by svargaloke gîyamânasyâgneh sampâdanâya; Sankara, by svargaprâptihetubhûtâya dhyânakarmane. Saktyai is explained by Sankara by yathâsâmarthyam; by Sâyana, by saktâ bhûyâsma. Mahîdhara explains saktyâ by svasâmarthyena. I believe that the original reading was svargyâya saktyai, and that we must take saktyai as an infinitive, like ityai, construed with a dative, like drisaye sûryâya, for the seeing of the sun. The two attracted datives would be governed by save, ‘we are under the command of Savitri,’ svargyâya saktyai, ‘that we may obtain svargya, life in Svarga or blessedness.’

239:1 The third verse is from Taitt. Samh. IV, 1, 1, 1, 2; Vâg. Samh. XI, 3. The Taittirîyas read yuktvâya manasâ; the Vâgasaneyins, yuktvâya savitâ. Sankara translates: ‘Again he prays that Savitri, having directed the devas, i.e. the senses, which are moving towards Brahman, and which by knowledge are going to brighten up the heavenly light of Brahman, may order them to do so; that is, he prays that, by the favour of Savitri, our senses should be turned away from outward things to Brahman or the Self.’ Taking the hymn as addressed to Savitri, I have translated deva by gods, not by senses, suvaryatah by rising to the sky, namely, in the morning. The opposition between manasâ and dhiyâ is the same here as in verse 1, and again in verse 4.

239:2 This verse is from Taitt. Samh. IV, 1, 1, 1, 4; I, 2, 13, 1, 1; Vâg. Samh. V, 14; XI, 4; XXXVII, 2; Rig-veda V, 81, 1; Sat. Br. III, 5, 3, 11; VI, 3, 1, 16. Sankara explains this verse again in the same manner as he did the former verses, while the Satapatha-brâhmana supplies two different ritual explanations.

240:1 For this verse, see Taitt. Samh. IV, 1, 1, 2, 1; Vâg. Samh. XI, 5; Atharva-veda XVIII, 3, 39; Rig-veda X, 13, 1. The Vâgasaneyins read vi sloka etu for vi slokâ yanti; sûreh for sûrâh; srinvantu for srinvanti; and the Rig-veda agrees with them. The dual vâm is accounted for by the verse belonging to a hymn celebrating the two sakatas, carts, bearing the offerings (havirdhâne); most likely, however, the dual referred originally to the dual deities of heaven and earth. I prefer the text of the Rig-veda and the Vâgasaneyins to that of the Taittirîyas, and have translated the verse accordingly. In the Atharva-veda XVIII, 39, if we may trust the edition, the verse begins with svâsasthe bhavatam indave nah, which is really the end of the next verse (Rv. X, 13, 2), while the second line is, vi sloka eti pathyeva sûrih srinvantu visve amritâsa etat. I see no sense in pathyeva sûrâh. Sankara explains pathyeva by pathi sanmârge, athavâ pathyâ kîrtih, while his later commentary, giving srinvantu and putrâh sûrâtmano hiranyagarbhasya, leads one to suppose that he read sûreh srinvantu. Sâyana (Taitt. Samh. IV, 1, 1, 2) explains pathyâ sûrâ iva by gîrvânamârga antarikshe sûryarasmayo yathâ prasaranti tadvat. The same, when commenting on the Rig-veda (X, 13, 1), Says: pathyâ-iva sûreh, yathâ stotuh svabhûtâ pathyâ parinâmasukhâvahâhutir visvân devân prati vividham gakkhati tadvat. Mahîdhara (Vâg. Samh. XI, 5) refers sûreh (panditasya) to slokah, and explains pathyeva by patho ‘napetâ pathyâ yaamârgapravrittâhutih.

240:2 Yugé cannot stand for yuñge, as all commentators and translators suppose, but is a datival infinitive. Neither can yuñgate in the following verse stand for yunkte (see Boehtlingk, s. v.), or be explained as a subjunctive form. A. reads adhirudhyate, B. abhirudhyate, with a marginal note abhinudyate. It is difficult to say whether in lighting the fire the wind should be directed towards it, or kept from it.

240:3 That is, at the Soma sacrifice, after the fire has been kindled and stirred by the wind, the poets, on partaking of the juice, are p. 241 inspirited for new songs. Sankara, however, suggests another explanation as more appropriate for the Upanishad, namely, ‘Where the fire, i.e. the Highest Self, which burns all ignorance, has been kindled (in the body, where it has been rubbed with the syllable Om), and where the breath has acted, i.e. has made the sound peculiar to the initial stages of Yoga, there Brahman is produced.’ In fact, what was intended to be taught was this, that we must begin with sacrificial acts, then practise yoga, then reach samâdhi, perfect knowledge, and lastly bliss.

241:1 We must read krinavase, in the sense of ‘do this and nothing will hurt thee,’ or, if thou do this, thy former deeds will no longer hurt thee.

241:2 Cf. Bhagavadgîtâ VI, 13. Samam kâyasirogrîvam dhârayan. Sankara says: trîny unnatâny urogrîvasirâmsy unnatâni yasmin sarire.

241:3 Explained by Sankara as the syllable Om.

241:4 Cf. Bhagavadgîtâ V, 27. Prânâpânau samau kritvâ nâsâbhyantara kârinau. See Telang’s notes, Sacred Books of the East, vol. viii, p. 68 seq.

241:5 A similar metaphor in Kath. Up. III, 4-6; Sacred Books of the East, vol. xv, p. 13.

241:6 The question is whether sabdagalâsrayâdibhih should be referred to mano ‘nukûle, as I have translated it, or to vivargite, as Sankara seems to take it, because he renders sabda, sound, by noise, and p. 242 âsraya by mandapa, a booth. See Bhagavadgîtâ VI, 11. In the Maitr. Up. VI, 30, Râmatîrtha explains sukau dese by girinadîpulinaguhâdisuddhastâne. See also Âsv. Grihya-sûtras III, 2, 2.

242:1 Or, it may be, a crystal and the moon.

242:2 The Yogaguna is described as the quality of each element, i.e. smell of the earth, taste of water, &c. It seems that the perception of these gunas is called yogapravritti. Thus by fixing the thought on the tip of the nose, a perception of heavenly scent is produced; by fixing it on the tip of the tongue, a perception of heavenly taste; by fixing it on the point of the palate, a heavenly colour; by fixing it on the middle of the tongue, a heavenly touch; by fixing it on the roof of the tongue, a heavenly sound. By means of these perceptions the mind is supposed to be steadied, because it is no longer attracted by the outward objects themselves. See Yoga-sûtras I, 35.

242:3 Or no death, na mrityuh, B.

242:4 Pareshâm pâthe tadvat sa tattvam prasamîkshya dehîti.

243:1 Sarvatattvair avidyâtatkâryair visuddham asamsprishtam.

243:2 This verse is found in the Vâg. Samh. XXXII, 4; Taitt. Âr. X, 1, 3, with slight modifications. The Vâgasaneyins read esho ha (so do A. B.) for esha hi; sa eva gâtah (A. B.) for sa vigâtah; ganâs (A. B.) for ganâms. The Âranyaka has sa vigâyamânah for sa vigâtah, pratyanmukhâs for pratyañganâms, and visvatomukhah for sarvatomukhah. Colebrooke (Essays, I, 57) gives a translation of it. If we read ganâh, we must take it as a vocative.

243:3 B. (not A.) reads yo rudro yo ‘gnau.


1. The snarer 2 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 3,–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 4, and after having created all worlds he, the protector, rolls it up 5 at the end of time.

6. 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 7.

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4. He 1, 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.

2. 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!

3. 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 4.

5. I know that great person (purusha) of sunlike lustre beyond the darkness 6. A man who knows him truly, passes over death; there is no other path to go 7.

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

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nothing smaller or larger, who stands alone, fixed like a tree in the sky 1.

10. That which is beyond this world is without form and without suffering. They who know it, become immortal, but others suffer pain indeed 2.

11. That Bhagavat 3 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 4, he possesses that purest power of reaching everything 5, he is light, he is undecaying.

13 6. The person (purusha), not larger than a thumb,

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dwelling within, always dwelling in the heart of man, is perceived by the heart, the thought 1, the mind; they who know it become immortal.

14 2. 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 (purusha) is all this, what has been and what will be; he is also the lord of immortality; he is whatever grows by food 3.

16. Its 4 hands and feet are everywhere, its eyes and head are everywhere, its ears are everywhere, it stands encompassing all in the world 5.

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 6, the bird, flutters outwards, the ruler of

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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 1. 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 2. I know 3 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 4.


244:1 This Adhyâya represents the Highest Self as the personified deity, as the lord, îsa, or Rudra, under the sway of his own creative power, prakriti or mâyâ.

244:2 Sankara explains gâla, snare, by mâyâ. The verse must be corrected, according to Sankara’s commentary:

ya eko gâlavân îsata îsanîbhih
sarvân llokân îsata îsanîbhih.

244:3 Sambhava, in the sense of Vergehen, perishing, rests on no authority.

244:4 Here again the MSS. A. B. read ganâs, as a vocative.

244:5 I prefer samkukoka to samkukopa, which gives us the meaning that Rudra, after having created all things, draws together, i.e. takes them all back into himself, at the end of time. I have translated samsrigya by having created, because Boehtlingk and Roth give other instances of samsrig with that sense. Otherwise, ‘having mixed them together again,’ would seem more appropriate. A. and B. read samkukoka.

244:6 This is a very popular verse, and occurs Rig-veda X, 81, 3; Vâg. Samh. XVII, 19; Ath.-veda XIII, 2, 26; Taitt. Samh. IV, 6, 2, 4; Taitt. Âr. X, 1, 3.

244:7 Sankara takes dhamati in the sense of samyogayati, i.e. he joins men with arms, birds with wings.

245:1 See IV, 12.

245:2 See Vâg. Samh. XVI, 2; Taitt. Samh. IV, 5, 1, 1.

245:3 See Vâg. Samh. XVI, 3; Taitt. Samh. IV, 5, 1, 1; Nîlarudropan. p. 274.

245:4 The knowledge consists in knowing either that Brahman is Îsa or that Îsa is Brahman. But in either case the gender of the adjectives is difficult. The Svetâsvatara-upanishad seems to use brihanta as an adjective, instead of brihat. I should prefer to translate: Beyond this is the High Brahman, the vast. Those who know Îsa, the Lord, hidden in all things and embracing all things to be this (Brahman), become immortal. See also Muir, Metrical Translations, p. 196, whose translation of these verses I have adopted with few exceptions.

245:5 Cf. Vâg. Samh. XXX, 18; Taitt. Âr. III, 12, 3,

245:6 Cf. Bhagavadgîtâ VIII, 9.

245:7 Cf. Svet. Up. VI, 15.

246:1 Divi, the sky, is explained by Sankara as dyotanâtmani svamahimni.

246:2 The pain of samsâra, or transmigration. See Brihad. Up. IV, 3, 20 (p. 178).

246:3 I feel doubtful whether the two names Bhagavat and Siva should here be preserved, or whether the former should be rendered by holy, the latter by happy. The commentator explains Bhagavat by

aisvaryasya samagrasya vîryasya yasasah sriyah
ânavairâgyayos kaiva shannâm bhaga itiranâ.

[paragraph continues] Wilson, in his Essay on the Religious Sects of the Hindus, published in 1828, in the Asiatic Researches, XVI, p. 11, pointed out that this verse and another (Svet. Up. II, 2) were cited by the Saivas as Vedic authorities for their teaching. He remarked that these citations would scarcely have been made, if not authentic, and that they probably did occur in the Vedas. In the new edition of this Essay by Dr. Rost, 1862, the references should have been added.

246:4 Sankara explains sattvasya by antahkaranasya.

246:5 I take prâpti, like other terms occurring in this Upanishad, in its technical sense. Prâpti is one of the vibhûtis or aisvaryas, viz. the power of touching anything at will, as touching the moon with the tip of one’s finger. See Yoga-sûtras, ed. Rajendralal Mitra, p. 121.

246:6 Cf. Taitt. Âr. X, 71 (Anuv. 38, p. 858). Kath. Up. IV, 12-13; above, p. 16.

247:1 The text has manvîsa, which Sankara explains by ânesa. But Weber has conjectured rightly, I believe, that the original text must have been manîshâ. The difficulty is to understand how so common a word as manîshâ could have been changed into so unusual a word as manvîsa. See IV, 20.

247:2 This is a famous verse of the Rig-veda, X, 90, 1; repeated in the Atharva-veda, XIX, 6, 1; Vâg. Samh. XXXI, 1; Taitt. Âr. III, 12, 1. Sankara explains ten fingers’ breadth by endless; or, he says, it may be meant for the heart, which is ten fingers above the navel.

247:3 Sâyana, in his commentary on the Rig-veda and the Taitt. Âr., gives another explanation, viz. he is also the lord of all the immortals, i.e. the gods, because they grow to their exceeding state by means of food, or for the sake of food.

247:4 The gender changes frequently, according as the author thinks either of the Brahman, or of its impersonation as Îsa, Lord.

247:5 Sankara explains loka by nikâya, body.

247:6 Cf. Kath. Up. V, 1.

248:1 Cf. Taitt. Âr. X, 12 (10), p. 800; Kath. Up. II, 20; above, p. 11. The translation had to be slightly altered, because the Svetâsvataras, as Taittirîyas, read akratum for akratuh, and îsam for âtmanah.

248:2 Cf. Taitt. Âr. III, 13, 1; III, 12, 7.

248:3 A. reads vedârûdham, not B.

248:4 A. and B. read brahmavâdino hi pravadanti.


1. He, the sun, without any colour, who with set purpose 1 by means of his power (sakti) produces endless colours 2, in whom all this comes together in the beginning, and comes asunder in the end–may he, the god, endow us with good thoughts 3.

2. That (Self) indeed is Agni (fire), it is Âditya (sun), it is Vâyu (wind), it is Kandramas (moon); the same also is the starry firmament 4, it is Brahman (Hiranyagarbha), it is water, it is Pragâpati (Virâg).

3. Thou art woman, thou art man; thou art youth, thou art maiden; thou, as an old man, totterest 5 along on thy staff; thou art born with thy face turned everywhere.

4. Thou art the dark-blue bee, thou art the green

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parrot with red eyes, thou art the thunder-cloud, the seasons, the seas. Thou art without beginning 1, because thou art infinite, thou from whom all worlds are born.

2. 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.

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1. 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-îsâ). But when he sees the other lord (îsa) contented, and knows his glory, then his grief passes away.

2. 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 (mâyin 3) sends forth all this–the sacred verses, the offerings, the sacrifices, the panaceas, the past, the future, and all

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that the Vedas declare–in that the other is bound up through that mâyâ.

10. Know then Prakriti (nature) is Mâyâ (art), and the great Lord the Mâyin (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 1. He, the creator and supporter of the gods, Rudra, the great seer, the lord of all, who saw 2, 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 3 rest, he who rules over all two-footed and four-footed beings, to that god 4 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 5, the happy one (Siva), passes into peace for ever.

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15. He also was in time 1 the guardian of this world, the lord of all, hidden in all beings. In him the Brahmarshis and the deities are united 2, 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 3, alone enveloping everything,–he who knows the god, is freed from all fetters.

17. That god, the maker of all things, the great Self 4, always dwelling in the heart of man, is perceived by the heart, the soul, the mind 5;–they who know it become immortal.

18. When the light has risen 6, there is no day, no night, neither existence nor non-existence 7; Siva (the blessed) alone is there. That is the eternal, the adorable light of Savitri 8,–and the ancient wisdom proceeded thence.

19. No one has grasped him above, or across, or in the middle 9. 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 10 who through heart and

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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 1 face protect me for ever!

22 2. 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.


249:1 Nihitârtha, explained by Sankara as grihîtaprayoganah svârthanirapekshah. This may mean with set purpose, but if we read agrihîtaprayoganah it would mean the contrary, namely, without any definite object, irrespective of his own objects. This is possible, and perhaps more in accordance with the idea of creation as propounded by those to whom the devâtmasakti is mâyâ. Nihita would then mean hidden.

249:2 Colour is intended for qualities, differences, &c.

249:3 This verse has been translated very freely. As it stands, vi kaiti kânte visvam âdau sa devah, it does not construe, in spite of all attempts to the contrary, made by Sankara. What is intended is yasminn idam sam ka vi kaiti sarvam (IV, 11); but how so simple a line should have been changed into what we read now, is difficult to say.

249:4 This is the explanation of Sankara, and probably that of the Yoga schools in India at his time. But to take sukram for dîptiman nakshatrâdi, brahma for Hiranyagarbha, and Pragâpati for Virâg seems suggested by this verse only.

249:5 Vañkayasi, an exceptional form, instead of vañkasi (A. B.)

250:1 We see throughout the constant change from the masculine to the neuter gender, in addressing either the lord or his true essence.

250:2 This is again one of the famous verses of our Upanishad, because it formed for a long time a bone of contention between Vedânta and Sânkhya philosophers. The Sânkhyas admit two principles, the Purusha, the absolute subject, and the Prakriti, generally translated by nature. The Vedanta philosophers admit nothing but the one absolute subject, and look upon nature as due to a power inherent in that subject. The later Sânkhyas therefore, who are as anxious as the Vedântins to find authoritative passages in the Veda, confirming their opinions, appeal to this and other passages, to show that their view of Prakriti, as an independent power, is supported by the Veda. The whole question is fully discussed in the Vedânta-sûtras I, 4, 8. Here we read rohita-krishna-suklâm, which seems preferable to lohita-krishna-varnâm, at least from a Vedânta point of view, for the three colours, red, black, and white, are explained as signifying either the three gunas, ragas, sattva, and tamas, or better (Khând. Up. VI, 3, 1), the three elements, tegas (fire), ap (water), and anna (earth). A. reads rohitasuklakrishnâm; B. lohitasuklakrishnâ (sic). We also find in A. and B. bhuktabhogâm for bhuktabhogyâm, but the latter seems technically the more correct reading. It would be quite wrong to imagine that aga and agâ are meant here for he-goat and she-goat. These words, in the sense of unborn, are recognised as early as the hymns of the Rig-veda, and they occurred in our Upanishad I, 9, where the two agas are mentioned in the same sense as here. But there is, no doubt, a play on the words, and the poet wished to convey the second meaning of he-goat and she-goat, only not as the primary, but as the secondary intention.

251:1 The same verses occur in the Mundaka Up. III, 1.

251:2 It is difficult to see how this verse comes in here. In the Taitt. Âr. II, 11, 6, it is quoted in connection with the syllable Om, the Akshara, in which all the Vedas are comprehended. It is similarly used in the Nrisimha-pûrva-tâpanî, IV, 2; V, 2. In our passage, however, akshara is referred by Sankara to the paramâtman, and I have translated it accordingly. Rikah is explained as a genitive singular, but it may also be taken as a nom. plur., and in that case both the verses of the Veda and the gods are said to reside in the Akshara, whether we take it for the Paramâtman or for the Om. In the latter case, parame vyoman is explained by utkrishte and rakshake.

251:3 it is impossible to find terms corresponding to mâyâ and mâyin. Mâyâ means making, or art, but as all making or creating, so far as the Supreme Self is concerned, is phenomenal only or mere illusion, mâyâ conveys at the same time the sense of illusion. In the same manner mâyin is the maker, the artist, but also the magician or juggler. What seems intended by our verse is that from the akshara which corresponds to brahman, all proceeds, whatever exists or seems to exist, but that the actual creator or the author of all emanations is Îsa, the Lord, who, as creator, is acting through mâyâ or devâtmasakti. Possibly, however, anya, the other, may be meant for the individual purusha.

252:1 See before, III, 4.

252:2 Sankara does not explain this verse again, though it differs from III, 4. Viânâtman explains pasyata by apasyata, and qualifies the Âtmanepada as irregular.

252:3 B. reads yasmin devâh, not A.

252:4 I read tasmai instead of kasmai, a various reading mentioned by Viânâtman. It was easy to change tasmai into kasmai, because of the well-known line in the Rig-veda, kasmai devâya havishâ vidhema. Those who read kasmai, explain it as a dative of Ka, a name of Pragâpati, which in the dative should be kâya, and not kasmai. It would be better to take kasmai as the dative of the interrogative pronoun. See M. M., History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 433; and Vitâna-sutras IV, 22.

252:5 Cf. III, 7.

253:1 In former ages, Sankara.

253:2 Because both the Brahmarshis, the holy seers, and the deities find their true essence in Brahman.

253:3 We should say, like cream from milk.

253:4 Or the high-minded.

253:5 See III, 13.

253:6 Atamas, no darkness, i.e. light of knowledge.

253:7 See on the difficulty of translating sat and asat, τὸ ὄν and τὸ μή ὄν, the remarks in the Preface.

253:8 Referring to the Gâyatrî, Rig-veda III, 62, 10; see also Svet. Up. V, 4.

253:9 See Muir, Metrical Translations, p. 198; Maitr. Up. VI, 17.

253:10 B. reads hridâ manîshâ manasâbhiklipto, yat tad vidur; A. hridi hridistham manasâya enam evam vidur.

254:1 Dakshina is explained either as invigorating, exhilarating, or turned towards the south.

254:2 See Colebrooke, Miscellaneous Essays, I, p. 141; Rig-veda I, 114, 8; Taitt. Samh. IV, 5, 10, 3; Vâg. Samh. XVI, 16. The various readings are curious. Âyushi in the Svet. Up., instead of âyau in the Rig-veda, is supported by the Taitt. Samh. and the Vâg. Samh.; but Viânâtman reads âyau. As to bhâmito, it seems the right reading, being supported by the Rig-veda, the Taitt. Samh., and the Svet. Up., while bhâvito in Roer’s edition is a misprint. The Vâg. Samh. alone reads bhâmino, which Mahîdhara refers to virân. The last verse in the Rig-veda and Vâg. Samh. is havishmantah sadam it tvâ havâmahe; in the Taitt. Samh. havishmanto namasâ vidhema te. In the Svet. Up. havishmantah sadasi tvâ havâmahe, as printed by Roer, seems to rest on Sankara’s authority only. The other commentators, Sankarânanda and Viânâtman, read and interpret sadam it.


1. In the imperishable and infinite Highest Brahman 1, wherein the two, knowledge and ignorance, are hidden 2, the one, ignorance, perishes 3, the other, knowledge, is immortal; but he who controls both, knowledge and ignorance, is another 4.

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 5 in his thoughts the wise son, the fiery, whom he wishes to look on 6 while he is born 7.

8. In that field 9 in which the god, after spreading out one net after another 10 in various ways, draws it together again, the Lord, the great Self 11, having

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further created the lords 1, 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 2.

5. He, being one, rules over all and everything, so that the universal germ ripens its nature, diversifies all natures that can be ripened 3, and determines all qualities 4.

5. Brahma (Hiranyagarbha) knows this, which is hidden in the Upanishads, which are hidden in the Vedas, as the Brahma-germ. The ancient gods

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and poets who knew it, they became it and were immortal.

1. 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 2.

3. 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 4, 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 5 (only).

11 6. By means of thoughts, touching, seeing, and

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passions the incarnate Self assumes successively in various places various forms 1, 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 2, through the qualities of his acts, and through the qualities of his body.

13 3. 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 4), who makes existence and non-existence, the

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happy one (Siva), who also creates the elements 1, they have left the body.


255:1 Sankara explains Brahmapare by brahmano hiranyagarbhât pare, or by parasmin brahmani, which comes to the same. Viânâtman adds khândasah paranipâtah. As the termination e may belong to the locative singular or to the nom. dual, commentators vary in referring some of the adjectives either to brahman or to vidyâvidye.

255:2dhe, lokair âtum asakye, Sankarânanda.

255:3 Sankara explains ksharam, by samsritikâranam, amritam by mokshahetuh.

255:4 Sankara explains that he is different from them, being only the sâkshin, or witness. Sankarânanda seems to have read Somya, i.e. Somavatpriyadarsana, as if Svetâsvatvara addressed his pupil.

255:5 Like a mother, see I, 9.

255:6 Like a father.

255:7 See on this verse the remarks made in the Introduction.

255:8 The MSS. read yasmin for asmin, and patayas for yatayas, which the commentator explains by patîn.

255:9 The world, or the mûlaprakriti, the net being the samsâra.

255:10 Sankara explains ekaikam by pratyekam, i.e. for every creature, such as gods, men, beasts, &c.

255:11 I doubt whether mahâtmâ should be translated by the great p. 256 Self, or whether great would not be sufficient. The whole verse is extremely difficult.

256:1 From Hiranyagarbha to insects; or beginning with Marîki.

256:2 Cf. IV, 11; V, 2.

256:3 MS. B. has prâkyân, and explains it by pûrvotpannân.

256:4 This is again a very difficult verse. I have taken visvayonih as a name for Brahman, possessed of that devâtmasakti which was mentioned before, but I feel by no means satisfied. The commentators do not help, because they do not see the difficulty of the construction. If one might conjecture, I should prefer paket for pakati, and should write parinâmayed yat, and viniyogayed yat, unless we changed yakka into yas ka.

256:5 This verse admits of various translations, and requires also some metrical emendations. Thus Viânâtman explains vedaguhyopanishatsu very ingeniously by the Veda, i.e. that part of it which teaches sacrifices and their rewards; the Guhya, i.e. the Âranyaka, which teaches the worship of Brahman under various legendary aspects; and the Upanishads, which teach the knowledge of Brahman without qualities. These three divisions would correspond to the karmakânda, yogakânda, and ânakânda (Gaimini, Patañgali, Bâdarâyana). See Deussen, Vedânta, p. 20. Mr. Gough and Dr. Roer take Brahmayoni as ‘the source of the Veda,’ or as the source of Hiranyagarbha. The irregular form vedate may be due to a corruption of vedânte.

257:1 Here begins the description of what is called the tvam (thou), as opposed to the tat (that), i.e. the living soul, as opposed to the Highest Brahman.

257:2 The paths of vice, virtue, and knowledge.

257:3 Both MSS. (A. and B.) read ârâgramâtro by avaro ‘pi drishthah.

257:4 An expression of frequent occurrence in Buddhist literature.

257:5 A. and B. read yugyate. A. explains yugyate by sambadhyate. B. explains adyate bhakshyate tirobhûtah kriyate. Sankara explains rakshyate, samrakshyate, tattaddharmân âtmany adhyasyâbhimanyate.

257:6 The MSS. vary considerably. Instead of mohair, A. and B. read homair. They read grâsâmbuvrishtya kâtma. A. reads âtmavivriddhiganma, B. âtmanivriddhaganmâ. A. has abhisamprapadye, B. abhisamprapadyate. My translation follows Sankara, who seems to have read âtmavivriddhiganma, taking the whole line p. 258 as a simile and in an adverbial form. Viânâtman, however, differs considerably. He reads homaih, and explains homa as the act of throwing oblations into the fire, as in the Agnihotra. This action of the hands, he thinks, stands for all actions of the various members of the body. Grâsâmbuvrishti he takes to mean free distribution of food and drink, and then explains the whole sentence by ‘he whose self is born unto some states or declines from them again, namely, according as he has showered food and drink, and has used his hands, eyes, feelings, and thoughts.’ Sankarânanda takes a similar view, only he construes sankalpanam and sparsanam as two drishtis, te eva drishtî, tayor âtmâgnau prakshepâ homâh; and then goes on, na kevalam etaih, kim tv asmin sthâne sarire grâsâmbuvrishtyâ ka. He seems to read âtmavivriddhaganmâ, but afterwards explains vivriddhi by vividhâ vriddhih.

258:1 Forms as high as Hiranyagarbha or as low as beasts.

258:2 Instead of aparo, B. reads avaro, but explains aparo.

258:3 Cf. III, 7; IV, 14, 16.

258:4da is explained as the body, but Sankarânanda reads anilâkhyam, who is called the wind, as being prânasya prânam, the breath of the breath.

259:1 Sankara explains kalâsargakaram by he who creates the sixteen kalâs, mentioned by the Âtharvanikas, beginning with prâna, and ending with nâman; see Praa Up. VI, 4. Viânâtman suggests two other explanations, ‘he who creates by means of the kalâ, i.e. his inherent power;’ or ‘he who creates the Vedas and other sciences.’ The sixteen kalâs are, according to Sankarânanda, prâna, sraddhâ, kha, vâyu, gyotih, ap, prithivî, indriya, manah, anna, vîrya, tapah, mantra, karman, kâla (?), nâman. See also before, I, 4.


1. Some wise men, deluded, speak of Nature, and others of Time (as the cause of everything 2); 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 3, who assumes qualities and all knowledge 4, it is at his command that this work (creation) unfolds itself, which is called earth, water, fire, air, and ether;

5. 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 6 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 7 different (from all he has produced);

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5. He is the beginning, producing the causes which unite (the soul with the body), and, being

p. 262

above the three kinds of time (past, present, future), he is seen as without parts 1, 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 2 (of the world) and of time, he is the other, from whom this world moves round, when 3 one has known him who

p. 263

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 1, 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 2. He is the cause, the lord of the lords of the organs 3, 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 (pradhâna), grant us entrance into Brahman 4.

11. He is the one God, hidden in all beings, all-pervading,

p. 264

the self within all beings, watching over all works, dwelling in all beings, the witness, the perceiver 1, the only one, free from qualities.

12 2. He is the one ruler of many who (seem to act, but really do) not act 3; he makes the one seed manifold. The wise who perceive him within their self, to them belongs eternal happiness, not to others.

13 4. 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 Sânkhya (philosophy) and Yoga (religious discipline), he is freed from all fetters.

p. 265

14. The 1 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 2 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 3; there is no other path to go.

16. He makes all, he knows all, the self-caused, the knower 4, the time of time (destroyer of time), who assumes qualities and knows everything, the master of nature and of man 5, the lord of the three qualities (guna), the cause of the bondage, the existence, and the liberation of the world 6.

17. He who has become that 7, 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 8, he who

p. 266

first creates Brahman (m.) 1 and delivers the Vedas to him;

19. Who is without parts, without actions, tranquil, without fault, without taint 2, 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 3.

21. Through the power of his penance and through the grace of God 4 has the wise Svetâsvatara truly 5 proclaimed Brahman, the highest and holiest, to the best of ascetics 6, as approved by the company of Rishis.

p. 267

22. This highest mystery in the Vedânta, 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 1.

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.


260:1 See Muir, Metrical Translations, p. 198.

260:2 See before, 1, 2.

260:3 The destroyer of time. Viânâtman reads kâlâkâlo, and explains it by kâlasya niyantâ, upahartâ. Sankarânanda explains kâlah sarvavinâsakârî, tasyâpi vinâsakarah. See also verse 16.

260:4 Or sarvavid yah.

260:5 Instead of vinivartya, Viânâtman and Sankarânanda read vinivritya.

260:6 Âruhya for ârabhya, Sankarânanda.

260:7 These two verses are again extremely obscure, and the explanations of the commentators throw little light on their real, original meaning. To begin with Sankara, he assumes the subject to be the same as he at whose command this work unfolds itself, and explains p. 261 tattvasya tattvena sametya yogam by âtmano bhûmyâdinâ yogam samgamayya. As the eight Tattvas he gives earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, thought, personality, while the Âtmagunas are, according to him, the affections of the mind, love, anger, &c. In the second verse, however, Sankara seems to assume a different subject. ‘If a man,’ he says, ‘having done works, infected by qualities, should transfer them on Îsvara, the Lord, there would be destruction of the works formerly done by him, because there would be no more connection with the self.’ Something is left out, but that this is Sankara’s idea, appears from the verses which he quotes in support, and which are intended to show that Yogins, transferring all their acts, good, bad, or indifferent, on Brahman, are no longer affected by them. ‘That person,’ Sankara, continues, ‘his works being destroyed and his nature purified, moves on, different from all things (tattva), from all the results of ignorance, knowing himself to be Brahman.’ ‘Or,’ he adds, ‘if we read anyad, it means, he goes to that Brahman which is different from all things.’

Sankarânanda takes a different view. He says: ‘If a man has performed sacrifices, and has finished them, or, has turned away from them again as vain, and if he has obtained union with that which is the real of the (apparently) real, &c.’ The commentator then asks what is that with which he obtains union, and replies, ‘the one, i.e. ignorance; the two, i.e. right and wrong; the three, i.e. the three colours, red, white, and black; and the eight, i.e. the five elements, with mind, thought, and personality; also with time, and with the subtile affections of the mind.’ He then goes on, ‘If that man, after having begun qualified works, should take on himself all states (resulting from ignorance), yet, when these states cease, there would be an end of the work, good or bad, done by him, and when his work has come to an end, he abides in truth (according to the Veda); while the other, who differs from the Veda, is wrong.’ Sankarânanda, however, evidently feels that this is a doubtful interpretation, and he suggests another, viz. ‘If the Lord himself,’ he says, ‘determined these states (bhâva), it would seem that there would be no end of samsâra. He therefore says, that when these states, ignorance &c., cease, the work done by man ceases; and when the work done ceases, the living soul gets free of samsâra, being in truth another, i.e. different from ignorance and its products.’

Viânâtman says: ‘If a man, having done work, turns away p. 262 from it, and obtains union of one tattva (the tvam, or self) with the real tattva (the tat, or the Lord);–and how? By means of the one, i.e. the teaching of the Guru; the two, i.e. love of the Guru and of the Lord; the three, i.e. hearing, remembering, and meditating; the eight, i.e. restraint, penance, postures, regulation of the breath, abstraction, devotion, contemplation, and meditation (Yoga-sûtras II, 2 9); by time, i.e. the right time for work; by the qualities of the self, i.e. pity, &c.; by the subtile ones, i.e. the good dispositions for knowledge, then (we must supply) he becomes free.’ And this he explains more fully in the next verse. ‘If, after having done qualified works, i.e. works to please the Lord, a Yati discards all things, and recognises the phenomenal character of all states, and traces them back to their real source in Mûlaprakriti and, in the end, in the Sakkidânanda, he becomes free. If they (the states) cease, i.e. are known in their real source, the work done ceases also in its effects, and when the work has been annihilated, he goes to freedom, being another in truth; or, if we read anyat, he goes to what is different from all these things, namely, to the Lord; or, he goes to a state of perfect lordship in truth, having discovered the highest truth, the oneness of the self with the Highest Self.’

I think that, judging from the context, the subject is really the same in both verses, viz. the Lord, as passing through different states, and at last knowing himself to be above them all. Yet, the other explanations may be defended, and if the subject were taken to be different in each verse, some difficulties would disappear.

262:1 Viânâtman and Sankarânanda read akalo ‘pi, without parts, and Sankara, too, presupposes that reading, though the text is corrupt in Roer’s edition.

262:2 Explained as samsâravriksha, the world-tree, as described in the Katha Up. VI, 1.

262:3 It seems possible to translate this verse in analogy with the former, and without supplying the verb either from yâti, in verse 4, p. 263 or from vidâma, in verse 7. The poet seems to have said, he is that, he is seen as that, when one has worshipped him, or when one has known him within oneself.

263:1 Sankara thinks that the lords are Vaivasvata &c.; the deities, Indra &c.; the masters, the Pragâpatis. Viânâtman explains the lords as Brahman, Vishnu, Rudra, &c.; the deities as Indra, &c.; the masters as Hiranyagarbha, &c. Sankarânanda sees in the lords Hiranyagarbha &c., in the deities Agni &c., in the masters the Pragâpatis, such as Kasyapa.

263:2 If he could be inferred from a sign, there would be no necessity for the Veda to reveal him.

263:3 Karana, instrument, is explained as organ of sense. The lords of such organs would be all living beings, and their lord the true Lord.

263:4 Besides brahmâpyayam, i.e. brahmany apyayam, ekîbhâvam, another reading is brahmâvyayam, i.e. brahma kâvyayam ka.

264:1 All the MSS. seem to read ketâ, not kettâ.

264:2 See Katha-upanishad V, 12-15.

264:3 Sankara explains that the acts of living beings are due to their organs, but do not affect the Highest Self, which always remains passive (nishkriya).

264:4 I have formerly translated this verse, according to the reading nityo ‘nityânâm ketanas ketanânâm, the eternal thinker of non-eternal thoughts. This would be a true description of the Highest Self who, though himself eternal and passive, has to think (gîvâtman) non-eternal thoughts. I took the first ketanah in the sense of kettâ, the second in the sense of ketanam. The. commentators, however, take a different, and it may be, from their point, a more correct view. Sankara says: ‘He is the eternal of the eternals, i.e. as he possesses eternity among living souls (gîvas), these living souls also may claim eternity. Or the eternals may be meant for earth, water, &c. And in the same way he is the thinker among thinkers.’

Sankarânanda says: ‘He is eternal, imperishable, among eternal, imperishable things, such as the ether, &c. He is thinking among thinkers!

Viânâtman says: ‘The Highest Lord is the cause of eternity in eternal things on earth, and the cause of thought in the thinkers on earth.’ But he allows another construction, namely, that he is the eternal thinker of those who on earth are endowed with eternity and thought. In the end all these interpretations come to p. 265 the same, viz. that there is only one eternal, and only one thinker, from whom all that is (or seems to be) eternal and all that is thought on earth is derived.

265:1 See Kath. Up. V, 15; Mund. Up. II, 2, 10; Bhagavadgîtâ XV, 6.

265:2 Hamsa, frequently used for the Highest Self, is explained here as hanty avidyâdibandhakâranam iti hamsah.

265:3 Cf. III, 8.

265:4 Again the MSS. read kâlakâlo, as in verse 2. They also agree in putting ah before kâlakâlo, as in verse 2.

265:5 Pradhânam avyaktam, kshetrao viânâtmâ.

265:6 He binds, sustains, and dissolves worldly existence.

265:7 He who seems to exist for a time in the form of kshetraa and pradhâna.

265:8 The MSS. vary between âtmabuddhiprakâsam and âtmabuddhiprasâdam. The former reading is here explained by Sankarânanda as svabuddhisâkshinam.

266:1 Explained as Hiranyagarbha.

266:2 Nirañganam nirlepam.

266:3 Sankarânanda reads tadâ sivam aviâya duhkhasyânto bhavishyati; Viânâtman retains devam but mentions sivam as a various reading. Both have anto, not antam, like Roer. Sankara seems to have found na before bhavishyati, or to have read duhkhânto na bhavishyati, for he explains that there will be no end of misery, unless God has first been known. It is possible, however, that the same idea may be expressed in the text as we read it, so that it should mean, Only when the impossible shall happen, such as the sky being rolled up by men, will misery cease, unless God has been discovered in the heart.

266:4 The MSS, read devaprasâdât, which is more in keeping with the character of this Upanishad.

266:5 Samyak may be both adverb and adjective in this sentence, kâkâkshinyâyena.

266:6 Atyâsramin is explained by Sankara as atyantam pûgyatamâsramibhyah; and he adds, katurvidhâ bhikshavas ka bahûdakakutîkakau, Hamsah paramahamsas ka yo yah paskât sa uttamah. Weber (Indische Studien, II, 109) has himself corrected his mistake of reading antyâsramibhyah, and translating it by neighbouring hermits.

These four stages in the life of a Sannyâsin are the same to-day as they were in the time of the Upanishads, and Dayânanda Sarasvatî p. 267 describes them in his autobiography, though in a different order: 1. Kutîkaka, living in a hut, or in a desolate place, and wearing a red-ochre coloured garment, carrying a three-knotted bamboo rod, and wearing the hair in the centre of the crown of the head, having the sacred thread, and devoting oneself to the contemplation of Parabrahma. 2. Bahûdaka, one who lives quite apart from his family and the world, maintains himself on alms collected at seven houses, and wears the same kind of reddish garment. 3. Hamsa, the same as in the preceding case, except the carrying of only a one-knotted bamboo. 4. Paramahamsa, the same as the others; but the ascetic wears the sacred thread, and his hair and beard are quite long. This is the highest of all orders. A Paramahamsa who shows himself worthy is on the very threshold of becoming a Dîkshita.

267:1 Cf. Brih. Up. VI, 3, 12; Maitr. Up. VI, 2 9.


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