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Brihadāraṇyaka Upanishad | English Classic

Brihadāraṇyaka Upanishad

Brihadāranyaka Upanishad

Brihadāraṇyaka Upanishad forms the concluding portion of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa of the Śukla (White) Yajur Veda. The literal meaning of the term Brihadāraṇyaka Upanishad is the “Great Forest Upanishad.”

Śankarāchārya, in the Introduction to his commen­tary, says that this Upanishad, consisting of six parts, is called “Great” (Brihat) because of its length and profundity, and “Forest” (Āraṇyaka) because of its having been taught in a forest.

The theme of the book, as of all Vedāntic treatises, is the absolute identity of Ātman and Brahman. This identity has been established by the well- known logical method of jalpa (argument repudiating the views of opponents) and vāda (reasoning for the purpose of discovering Reality).

The Brihadāraṇyaka Upanishad presents a comprehensive view of life, which includes both the enjoyment of happiness in the phenom­enal world and the attainment of the Highest Good, or Liberation. The former is achieved through religious rites—called karma, or work and the latter through Vidyā, or the Knowledge of the identity of the individual self and Brahman, or the Supreme Self.


Part I

Chapter I , verse ...  1 2

Chapter II , verse ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Chapter III , verse ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13-15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Chapter IV , verse ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Chapter V , verse ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8-10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Chapter VI , verse ... 1 2 3

Next ... Part 2 ... Part 3 ... Part 4 ... Part 5 ... Part 6


Part One

Chapter I
MEDITATION ON THE HORSE-SACRIFICE

1

OM. Verily, the head of the sacrificial horse is the dawn, its eye the sun, its vital breath the wind, its open mouth the Vaiśvānara fire, and the trunk of the sacrificial horse is the year.

The back is heaven, the belly the intermediate region, the hoof the earth, the sides the four quarters, the ribs the intermediate quarters, the limbs the seasons, the joints the months and half-months, the feet the days and nights, the bones the stars, the flesh the clouds.

Its half-digested food [in the stomach] is the sand, the blood-vessels the rivers, the liver and lungs the mountains, the hair the herbs and trees.

The fore part of the horse is the rising sun, and the hinder part the setting sun. Its yawn is lightning, its shaking of the body is thunder, its making water is rain, and its neighing is indeed voice.

2

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

Chapter II
THE PROCESS OF CREATION

1

In the beginning there was nothing whatsoever in the universe.
By Death (Hiraṇyagarbha), indeed, all this was covered—
by hunger; for hunger is, verily, death.

“Let Me have a mind,” was His desire, and He created the mind.
Then He moved about, worshipping Himself.
From Him, thus worshipping, water was produced.

“Verily,” Death thought, “while I was worshipping (archatē), water (ka) was produced”;
that is why arka (the fire used in the Horse-sacrifice) is so called.

Surely, water [or happiness] comes to him who knows how arka (fire) came to be called arka.

2

Water, verily, is arka.

What was then like froth on the water became solidified; that was earth.
After the earth was created, Hiraṇyagarbha was tired.

From Him, thus fatigued and heated, came forth His essence as brightness.
That was Fire.

3

He divided Himself into three:

[fire one-third,] the sun one-third, and the air one-third.
Thus Prāṇa (Virāj) is divided into three.

His head is the east, and His arms are that (the north-east) and that (the south-east).
His hinder part is the west, and His two hip-bones are that (the north-west) and that (the south-west).
His sides are the south and the north, His back is heaven,
His belly is the intermediate region, and His chest is the earth.

Thus He stands firm on water. He who knows this stands firm wherever he goes.

4

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

5

He thought: “If I kill him, I shall have but very little food,”

and through [the union of] that speech and that mind He brought forth all this,
whatever there is: the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sāma-Veda,
the metres, the sacrifices, men, and animals.

Whatever He (Death) brought forth He resolved to eat.
Verily, because He eats (ad) everything, therefore is Aditi (Death) called Aditi.

He who knows why Aditi came to have this name of Aditi
becomes the eater of everything, and everything becomes his food.

6

He desired: “Let me sacrifice again with the great sacrifice.”
He was tired and he practised austerities.
From Him thus fatigued and heated, His fame and vigour departed.
The Prāṇas (organs) are verily fame and vigour.

When the Prāṇas went out His body began to swell,
but the mind was set on the body.

7

He desired: “Let this body of Mine be fit for a sacrifice,
and let Me be embodied through this [body].”
[Thinking thus, He entered the body.]

Because the body swelled (aśvat), therefore it came to be called horse (aśva).
And because it became fit for sacrifice (medhya),
therefore the Horse-sacrifice came to be known as Aśvamedha.
He who knows this verily knows the Horse-sacrifice.

[Prajāpati, desiring again to sacrifice with the great sacrifice,
imagined Himself as the horse,]
and letting the horse remain free, He reflected [on it].

At the end of a year he sacrificed it to Himself
and dispatched the [other] animals to the gods.
Therefore [priests even now] sacrifice to Prajāpati the sanctified [horse]
dedicated to all the gods.

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

Chapter III
THE PRĀṆA: ITS GLORIES AND REDEEMING POWER

1

There were two classes of Prajāpati’s sons: the gods (devas) and the demons (asuras).
Naturally, the gods were few and the demons many.
They struggled with one another for [mastery of] these worlds.

[Being overwhelmed by the demons,] the gods said:
“Well, let us overcome the demons at the sacrifice (Jyotiṣṭoma) by means of the Udgītha.”

2

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

3

Then they said to the organ of smell: “Chant [the Udgītha] for us.”
“So be it,” said the organ and chanted for them.

Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the nose, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] fine smelling it utilized for itself.

Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them.
They charged at it and pierced it with evil.

That evil is what is found today when one smells improper things; that is that evil.

4

Then they said to the organ of seeing: “Chant [the Udgītha] for us.”
“So be it,” said the organ and chanted for them.

Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the eye, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] fine seeing it utilized for itself.

Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them.
They charged at it and pierced it with evil.
That evil is what is found today when one sees improper things; that is that evil.

5

Then they said to the organ of hearing: “Chant [the Udgītha] for us.”
“So be it,” said the organ and chanted for them.

Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the ear, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] fine hearing it utilized for itself.

Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them.
They charged at it and pierced it with evil.
That evil is what is found today when one hears improper things; that is that evil.

6

Then they said to the mind: “Chant [the Udgītha] for us.”
“So be it,” said the mind and chanted for them.

Whatever enjoyment common to all comes from the mind, it secured for the gods by chanting, while [the enjoyment derived from] fine thinking it utilized for itself.

Now, the demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them.
They charged at it and pierced it with evil.
That evil is what is found today when one thinks improperly; that is that evil.

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

7

Then they said to the vital breath in the mouth: “Chant [the Udgītha] for us.”
“So be it,” said the vital breath and chanted for them.

The demons knew that through this chanter the gods would overcome them.
They charged at it, intending to pierce it with evil.

But as a clod of earth, hitting a stone, is scattered,
even so they were scattered in all directions, crushed, and completely destroyed.

Thereupon the gods became established [in their true selves] and the demons perished.
He who knows this becomes his true self, and his spiteful kinsman perishes.

8

Then the organs said: “Where is that which joined us [to our true selves]?”

[After deliberation they discovered that] it was here, within the mouth (āsyē).
Hence the vital breath (Prāṇa) is called ayāsya,
and also, because it is the essence (rasa) of the limbs (anga) of the body, āngirasa.

9

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

10

That deity took away death, the evil of these gods,
and carried it to where the end of the quarters is.
There it deposited their evil.

Therefore let no one go to a person [of that region],
or to the country beyond the border,
lest he should meet there with evil, with death.

11

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

12

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

13-15

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

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

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

16

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

17

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

18

The gods said to the vital breath:

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

“Then sit around facing me.”
“So be it.”
They sat down around the vital breath.

That is why whatever food one eats through the vital breath satisfies the organs.
So do his relatives sit around facing him who knows this;
he becomes the supporter of his kinsmen, the greatest among them and their leader,
a good eater of food, and their lord.

Whoever, among his kinsmen, desires to be a rival of the man who has this knowledge is not able to support his dependents.

But, on the other hand, he who follows him (the knower of the vital breath) and who, following him, desires to support his dependents is certainly able to do so.

19

It is called ayāsa āngirasa, for it is the essence (rasa) of the limbs (anga).

Yes, the Prāṇa is the essence of the limbs.
From whichever limb the vital breath departs, that limb withers right there;
therefore it is verily the essence of the limbs.

20

It is also Brihaspati (lord of the Rig-Veda).

Speech is Brihati (Rig), and the vital breath is its lord (pati).
Therefore it is called Brihaspati.

21

It is also the Brahmanaspati (lord of the Yajur-Veda).

Speech is Brahman (Yajur), and the vital breath is its lord (pati).
Therefore it is called Brahmanaspati.

22

Prāṇa is Sāman, too. Speech is, verily, sa and this (Prāṇa) is ama.

Sāman (the chant of the Sāma-Veda) is known by that name
because it is sā (speech) and ama (Prāṇa).

Or because it (Prāṇa) is equal (sama) to a white ant,
equal to a mosquito, equal to an elephant, equal to these three worlds,
nay, equal to this universe;

therefore it (Prāṇa) is indeed the Sāma-Veda.
He who knows this vital breath to be such
attains union with it or lives in the same world with it.

23

And it is also the Udgītha.

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

And because it is ut and githa, therefore it is Udgītha.

24

Regarding this [there is also the following story]:

Brahmadatta, the great-grandson of Chikitāna, while drinking Icing [soma], said:

“Let this soma strike off my head if I say that the ayāsya āngirasa chanted the Udgītha through any other means than this [vital breath and speech].”

Surely he chanted through speech and the vital breath.

25

He who knows the wealth of this sāman (vital breath) obtains wealth.
Tone, indeed, is its wealth.

Therefore let one who is going to perform the sacrificial work as a priest
desire that his voice may have a good tone,
and let him perform the sacrifice through that voice with a good tone.

Therefore people desire to see at a sacrifice a priest with a good voice,
like one who has wealth.

He who thus knows what is the wealth of the sāman obtains wealth.

26

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

27

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

28

Next follows the edifying repetition (abhyāroha) only of the hymns called pavamānas.

The priest called prastotri indeed chants the sāman.
While he chants it, let the sacrificer recite these [Yajur verses]:

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

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

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

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

Then come the remaining hymns, with which, by singing them, [the chanter] should obtain food for himself.
Therefore while they are being chanted let the sacrificer ask for a boon—anything that he desires.
Whatever objects this chanter, endowed with such knowledge, desires for himself or for the sacrificer, he obtains by his chanting.

This [meditation] by itself wins the world (Hiraṇyagarbha).

He who thus knows the sāman (the Prāṇa, or vital breath)—
for him there is no fear of not being admitted into that world.

Chapter IV
THE CREATION AND ITS CAUSE

1

In the beginning, this [universe] was the self (Virāj) alone, in the shape of a person.
He reflected and saw nothing else but His self.
He first said: “I am He.”
Therefore He came to be known by the name I (Aham).

Hence, even now, when a person is addressed, he first says: “It is I,”
and then says whatever other name he may have.

And because He, before (purva) the whole group [of aspirants], burnt (aushat) all evils,
therefore He is called Purusha.

He who knows this verily burns up him who wishes to be [Virāj] in advance of him.

2

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

3

He was not at all happy.
Therefore a person [even today] is not happy when alone.
He desired a mate.

He became the size of a man and wife in close embrace.
He divided this body into two.
From that [division] arose husband (pati) and wife (patni).

Therefore, as Yājñyavalkya said,
the body [before one accepts a wife] is one half of oneself,
like the half of a split pea.

Therefore this space is indeed filled by the wife.
He was united with her.
From that [union] human beings were born.

4

She reflected: “How can he unite with me after having produced me from himself? Well, let me hide myself.”

She became a cow, the other (Manu) became a bull and was united with her;
from that [union] cows were born.

The one became a mare, the other became a stallion;
the one became a she-ass, the other became a he-ass and was united with her;
from that [union] one-hoofed animals were born.

The one became a she-goat, the other became a he-goat;
the one became an ewe, the other became a ram and was united with her;
from that [union] goats and sheep were born.

Thus, indeed, he produced everything that exists in pairs, down to the ants.

5

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

6

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

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

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

7

Now, all this [universe} was then undifferentiated.

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

This Self has entered into these bodies up to the very tips of the nails,
as a razor lies [hidden] in its case,
or as fire, which sustains the world, [lies hidden] in its source.

People do not see the Self, for [when viewed in parts] It is incomplete:

when breathing, It is called the vital breath (Prāṇa);
when speaking, the organ of speech; when seeing, the eye;
when hearing, the ear; when thinking, the mind.

These are merely Its names according to Its functions.

He who meditates on one or another of Its aspects does not know, for It is then incomplete:
the Self is separated from Its totality by being associated with a single characteristic.

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

8

This [Self] is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than everything else, [because] It is innermost.

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

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

9

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

10

This [self] was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It knew itself only as “I am Brahman.” Therefore it became all.

And whoever among the gods had this enlightenment, also became That [Brahman].

It is the same with the seers (rishis), the same with men.

The seer Vāmadeva, having realized this [self] as That, came to know: “I was Manu and the sun.”
And to this day, whoever in a like manner knows the self as “I am Brahman,” becomes all this [universe].
Even the gods cannot prevent his becoming this, for he has become their Self.

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

Therefore it is not pleasing to the gods that men should know this.

11

In the beginning this (the kshatriya and other castes) was indeed Brahman, one only without a second.

He, being one, did not flourish.

He projected, further, an excellent form, kshatriyahood—those kshatriyas (rulers) among the gods: Indra, Varuṇa, Soma (Moon), Rudra, Parjanya, Yama, Mrityu (Death), and Iśāna.

Therefore there is none higher than the kshatriyas.

Thus at the Rājasuya sacrifice, the brāhmin sits below and worships the kshatriya. He confers that glory on kshatriyahood alone.

But brāhminhood is [nevertheless] the source of kshatriyahood. Therefore even though the king is exalted [in the sacrifice], at the end of it he resorts to brāhminhood as his source.

He who slights a brāhmin strikes at his own source. He becomes more evil, as one who slights his superior.

12

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

13

Still He did not flourish.

He projected the śūdra caste—Pūshan. This [earth] is verily Pūshan (the nourisher); for it nourishes all that exists.

14

Yet He did not flourish.

He projected, further, that excellent form, justice (dharma).
This justice is the controller of the kshatriya.
Therefore there is nothing higher than justice.

So even a weak man hopes [to defeat] a stronger man through justice,
as one does with the help of a king.
Verily, that which is justice is truth.

Therefore if a man speaks the truth, they say he speaks what is just,
and if he speaks what is just, they say he speaks the truth;
for justice alone is both these.

15

So these [four castes were projected]: the brāhmin: the kshatriya, the vaiśya, and the śudra.

Among the gods Prajāpati became a brāhmin as fire, and among men [He became] the brāhmin.

He became a kshatriya [among men] through the [divine] kshatriyas, a vaiśya through the [divine] vaiśyas, and a śūdra through the [divine] Śūdras.

Therefore people desire to attain the results of their rites among the gods through fire, and among men as a brāhmin. For Prajāpati [directly] projected Himself as these two forms.

Now, if a man departs from this world without realizing his own World (the Self), It, being unknown, does not protect him—as the Vedas, unrecited, or as a deed unaccomplished, do not [protect him].

Nay, even if one who does not know It (the Self) should perform here on earth a great many meritorious acts, those acts will in the end surely perish for him.

One should meditate only upon the World called the Self. He who meditates upon the World called the Self—his work does not perish; for from this very Self he projects whatever he desires.

16

Now, this self (the ignorant person) is an object of enjoyment (lokah) to all beings.

In so far as he offers oblations in the fire and performs sacrifices,
he becomes an object of enjoyment to the gods.
In so far as he studies the Vedas,
he becomes an object of enjoyment to the rishis.
In so far as he makes offerings to the Manes and desires children,
he becomes an object of enjoyment to the Manes.
In so far as he gives shelter and food to men,
he becomes an object of enjoyment to men.
In so far as he gives fodder and water to the animals,
he becomes an object of enjoyment to the animals.
In so far as beasts and birds and even ants find a living in his home,
he becomes an object of enjoyment to these.

Just as one wishes no injury to one’s body, so do all beings wish no injury to him who has this knowledge.

All this, indeed, has been known and well investigated.

17

In the beginning this [aggregate of desirable objects] was but the self, one only.

He cherished the desire: “Let me have a wife, so that I may be born [as the child]; and let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.” This much, indeed, is [the range of] desire; even if one wishes, one cannot get more than this.

Therefore, to this day, a man who is single desires: “Let me have a wife, so that I may be born [as the child]; and let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.” So long as he does not obtain each one of these, he thinks he is incomplete.

Now, his completeness [can also come in this way]:

The mind is his self, speech his wife, the vital breath his child,
the eye his human wealth, for he finds it with the eye;
the ear his divine wealth, for he hears it with the ear;
the body his [instrument of] rites, for he performs rites through the body.

[So] this sacrifice has five factors—the animals have five factors, men have five factors, and all this that exists has five factors. He who knows this obtains all this.

Chapter V
MANIFESTATIONS OF PRAJĀPATI

1

The following are the mantras:

[I shall now disclose] that the father produced seven kinds of food through meditation and rites.

One is common to all [eaters]. Two he assigned to the gods. Three he designed for himself. And one he gave to the animals. On it (food) rests everything—whatsoever breathes and whatsoever breathes not.

Why are not these foods exhausted although they are always being eaten? He who knows the cause of this inexhaustibility of the food eats food with pre-eminence (pratika). He obtains [identity with] the gods and lives on nectar.”

2

When it is said: “That the father produced seven kinds of food through meditation and rites,” the statement means that the father indeed produced them through meditation and rites.

When it is said: “One is common to all [eaters],” it means that the food which is eaten is that which is common to all. He who appropriates this food is never free from evil, for this is, verily, the general food.

When it is said: “Two he assigned to the gods,” the statement means oblations made in the fire and presents offered otherwise to the gods. Therefore people make oblations in the fire and offer presents otherwise to the gods.

Some, however, say that the two foods refer to the new-moon and full-moon sacrifices. Therefore one should not engage in sacrifices for material ends.

When it is said: “One he gave to the animals,” the statement refers to milk; for at first men and animals live on milk alone. That is why they first make a new-born babe lick melted butter or they put it to the breast. And they speak of the new-born calf as not yet eating grass.

When it is said: “On it rests everything—whatsoever breathes and whatsoever breathes not,” it means that everything rests on milk, all that breathes and breathes not.

It is further said [in another Brāhmana] that by making offerings of milk in the fire for a year one overcomes further death; but one should not think thus. For he who knows this overcomes further death the very day he makes the offering, because he offers all eatable food to the gods.

When it is asked: “Why are not these foods exhausted although they are always being eaten?” the answer is that the eater is indeed the cause of this inexhaustibility, for he produces this food again and again.

When it is said: “He who knows the cause of this inexhaustibility,” the statement means that the eater is indeed the cause of this inexhaustibility, for he produces this food through meditation and rites. If he did not do this the food would be exhausted.

When it is said: “He eats food with pratika,” the word pratika means pre-eminence; hence the meaning is that he eats food pre-eminently.

The statement: “He obtains [identity with] the gods and lives on nectar,” is a eulogy.

3

Three he designed for himself”—that is to say, the mind, the organ of speech, and the vital breath; these he designed for himself.

[They say:] “My mind was elsewhere, I did not see it; my mind was elsewhere, I did not hear it.” It is clear that a man sees with his mind and hears with his mind.

Desire, determination, doubt, faith, lack of faith, steadfastness, lack of steadfastness, shame, intelligence, and fear—all this is truly the mind. Even if one is touched from behind, one knows it through the mind; therefore [the mind exists].

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

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8-10

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

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

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

That Prajāpati, represented by the year, consists of sixteen parts.

The nights [and days] are fifteen of his parts, and the constant point is the sixteenth.
He [as the moon] is increased and decreased by the nights [and days].

Through the sixteenth part he permeates all living beings as the new-moon night and rises the [following] morning. Therefore, in honour of this deity, on this night let no one cut off the breath of any breathing being, not even of a lizard.

15

Verily, the person who knows this is himself that Prajāpati who is endowed with sixteen parts and who is represented by the year. Wealth constitutes fifteen of his parts, and the body is his sixteenth part. He is increased and decreased by that wealth.

This body is the nave and wealth is the felloe. Therefore even if a man loses everything, but lives in his body, people say that he has lost only his felloe [which can be restored again].

16

Now, these are, verily, the three worlds: the world of men, the world of the Manes, and the world of the gods.

The world of men can be gained through a son only, and by no other rite;
the world of the Manes through rites;
and the world of the gods through meditation.

The world of the gods is the best of the worlds. Therefore they praise meditation.

17

Now therefore follows the entrusting:

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

[The Śruti explains the thoughts of the father:]

Whatever has been studied by me (the father) is all unified in the word Brahman.
Whatever sacrifices have been made by me (the father) are all unified in the word sacrifice.
And whatever worlds were to be won by me (the father) are all unified in the word world.
All this is indeed this much.
He (the son), being all this, will protect me from [the ties of] this world.”

Therefore they speak of a son who is well instructed as being conducive to the [winning of the] world; and therefore [a father] instructs him.

When a father who knows this departs from this world, he—along with his own organ of speech, mind, and vital breath—penetrates his son.

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

18

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

19

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

20

The divine vital breath from water and the moon permeates him.

And, verily, that is the divine vital breath which,
whether moving or not moving, neither feels pain nor is injured.
He who knows this becomes the self of all beings.
As is this deity (Hiraṇyagarbha), so is he.
And as all beings honour this deity, so do they honour him.

Howsoever creatures may grieve, that grief of theirs remains with them; but only merit goes to him.

No demerit ever goes to the gods.

21

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

Prajāpati projected the organs. They, when they were projected, quarrelled with one another. The organ of speech resolved: “I will go on speaking”; the eye: “I will go on seeing”; the ear: “I will go on hearing.” So did the other organs, according to their functions.

Death, having taken the form of weariness, laid hold of them—it overtook them, and having overtaken them, restrained them. Therefore does the organ of speech become tired, and so do the eye and the ear.

But death did not overtake the vital breath (Prāṇa) in the body.

The other organs resolved to know it and said: “This is verily the greatest among us; whether moving or not moving, it neither feels pain nor is injured. Well then, let us assume its form.”

They all assumed its form. Therefore they are called Prāṇas after it.

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

This is with regard to the body.

22

Now with regard to the gods:

Fire resolved: “I will go on burning”; the sun: “I will go on giving heat”; the moon: “I will go on shining.” And so did the other gods, according to their functions.

As is the vital breath in the body among the organs, so is air (vāyu) among the gods.
The other gods fade, but not air. Air is the deity that never sets.

23

Now there is this verse (śloka):

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

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

Chapter VI
THE THREE ASPECTS OF THE UNIVERSE

1

Verily, this [universe] is a triad of name, form, and work.

Of those names [which are in daily use], speech (sound in general) is the source (uktha), for from it all names arise. It is their common feature (sāman), for it is common to all names. It is their Brahman (self), for it supports all names.

2

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

3

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

These three together are one—this body; and the body, although one, is these three.

This immortal entity is covered by truth: the vital breath is the immortal entity, and name and form are truth, and by them the immortal entity is covered.