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Nada Bindu Upanishad

7. Nada Bindu Upanishad

Om!
May my speech be based on (i.e. accord with) the mind;
May my mind be based on speech.
O Self-effulgent One, reveal Thyself to me.
May you both (speech and mind) be the carriers of the Veda to me.
May not all that I have heard depart from me.
I shall join together (i.e. obliterate the difference of) day
And night through this study.
I shall utter what is verbally true;
I shall utter what is mentally true.
May that (Brahman) protect me;
May That protect the speaker (i.e. the teacher), may That protect me;
May that protect the speaker - may That protect the speaker.

Om! Let there be Peace in me!
Let there be Peace in my environment!
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me!

1.

The syllable 'A' is considered to be its (the bird Om's) right wing,
 'Upanishad', its left; 'M', its tail;
and the Ardha-Mātra (half-metre) is said to be its head.

2.

The (Rājasic and Tāmasic) qualities, its feet upwards (to the loins);
Sattva, its (main) body;
Dharma is considered to be its right eye, and Adharma, its left.

3.

The Bhur-Loka is situated in its feet; the Bhuvar-Loka, in its knees;
the Suvar-Loka, in its loins; and the Mahar-Loka, in its navel.

4.

In its heart is situate the Janaloka; Taparloka in its throat
and the Satya-Loka in the centre of the forehead between the eyebrows.

5(a).

Then the Mātra (or Mantra) beyond the Sahasrāra (thousand-rayed) is explained:

5(b)-6(a).

An adept in Yoga who bestrides the Hamsa (bird) thus (i.e., contemplates on Om)
is not affected by Karmic influences or by tens of Crores of sins.

6(b)-7.

The first Mātra has Agni as its Devatā (presiding deity); the second, Vāyu as its Devatā;
The next Mātra is resplendent like the sphere of the sun and the last,
Ardha-Mātra the wise know as belonging to Varuṇa (the presiding deity of water).

8.

Each of these Mātras has indeed three Kalās (parts).
This is called Oṁkāra. Know it by means of the Dhāraṇas, i.e.,
concentration on each of the twelve Kalās
(or the variations of the Mātras produced by the difference of Svaras or intonation).

9-11.

The first Mātra is called Ghośinī; the second, Vidyunmālī (or Vidyunmātra);
the third, Patangini; the fourth, Vāyu-veginī;
the fifth, Nāmadheya; the sixth, Aindrī;
the seventh, Vaiṣṇavī; the eighth, Śankarī;
the ninth, Mahati; the tenth, Dhriti (Dhruva);
the eleventh, Nārī (Mauni); and the twelfth, Brāhmī.

12.

If a person happens to die in the first Mātra (while contemplating on it),
he is born again as a great emperor in Bhāratvarṣa.

13.

 If in the second Mātra, he becomes an illustrious Yakṣā;
if in the third Mātra, a Vidyādhara; if in the fourth, a Gandharva
(these three being the celestial hosts).

14.

If he happens to die in the fifth, i.e., Ardha-Mātra,
he lives in the world of the moon,
with the rank of a Deva greatly glorified there.

15.

If in the sixth, he merges, into Indra;
if in the seventh, he reaches the seat of Vishnu;
if in the eighth, Rudra, the Lord of all creatures.

16.

If in the ninth, in Mahar-Loka; if in the tenth, in Janaloka (Dhruva-Loka --?);
if in the eleventh, Taparloka, and if in the twelfth, he attains the eternal state of Brahma.

17.

That which is beyond these, (i.e.,) Para-Brahman which is beyond (the above Mātras),
the pure, the all-pervading, beyond Kalās,
the ever resplendent and the source of all Jyotis (light) should be known.

18.

When the mind goes beyond the organs and the Guṇas and is absorbed,
having no separate existence and no mental action,
then (the Guru) should instruct him
(as to his further course of development).

19.

That person always engaged in its contemplation and always absorbed in it
should gradually leave off his body (or family) following the course of Yoga
and avoiding all intercourse with society.

20.

Then he, being freed from the bonds of karma and the existence as a Jīva and being pure,
enjoys the supreme bliss by his attaining of the state of Brahma.

21.

O intelligent man, spend your life always in the knowing of the supreme bliss,
enjoying the whole of your Prārabdha (that portion of past Karma now being enjoyed)
without making any complaint (of it).

22-23(a).

Even after Ātma-Jñāna (knowledge of Ātman or Self) has awakened (in one),
Prārabdha does not leave (him);
but he does not feel Prārabdha after the dawn of Tattva-jñāna
(knowledge of Tattva or truth)
because the body and other things are Asat (unreal),
like the things seen in a dream to one on awaking from it.

23(b)-24.
That (portion of the) Karma which is done in former births and called Prārabdha
does not at all affect the person (Tattva-Jñānī), as there is no rebirth to him.
As the body that exists in the dreaming state is untrue, so is this body.

25(a).

Where then is rebirth to a thing that is illusory?
How can a thing have any existence, when there is no birth (to it)?

25(b)-26(a).

As the clay is the material cause of the pot so one learns from Vedanta
that Ajñāna is the material cause of the universe
and when Ajñāna ceases to exist,
where then is the cosmos?

26(b)-27.

As a person through illusion mistakes a rope for a serpent,
so the fool not knowing Satya (the eternal truth) sees the world (to be true).
When he knows it to be a piece of rope,
the illusory idea of a serpent vanishes.

28-29(a).

So when he knows the eternal substratum of everything
and all the universe becomes (therefore) void (to him),
where then is Prārabdha to him, the body being a part of the world?
Therefore the word Prārabdha is accepted to enlighten the ignorant (only).

29(b)-30.

Then as Prārabdha has, in course of time, worn out,
he who is the sound resulting from the union of Pranava with Brahman
who is the absolute effulgence itself,
and who is the bestower of all good,
shines himself like the sun at the dispersion of the clouds.

31.

The Yogin being in the Siddhāsana (posture) and practicing the Vaiṣṇavī-Mudra,
should always hear the internal sound through the right ear.

32.

The sound which he thus practices makes him deaf to all external sounds.
Having overcome all obstacles, he enters the Turīya state within fifteen days.

33.

In the beginning of his practice, he hears many loud sounds.
They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly.

34.

At first, the sounds are like those proceeding from the ocean,
clouds, kettle-drum and cataracts;
in the middle (stage) those proceeding from Maṇḍalā (a musical instrument), bell and horn.

35.

At the last stage, those proceeding from tinkling bells,
flute, Vīṇā (a musical instrument) and bees.
Thus he hears many such sounds more and more subtle.

36.

When he comes to that stage
when the sound of the great kettle-drum is being heard,
he should try to distinguish only sounds more and more subtle.

37.

He may change his concentration
from the gross sound to the subtle or from the subtle to the gross,
but he should not allow his mind to be diverted from them towards others.

38.

The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound
fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it.

39.

It (the mind) becoming insensible to the external impressions,
becomes one with the sound as milk with water
and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Cidākāśa (the Ākāśa where Chit prevails).

40.

Being indifferent towards all objects, the Yogin having controlled his passions,
should by continual practice
concentrate his attention upon the sound which destroys the mind.

41.

Having abandoned all thoughts and being freed from all actions,
he should always concentrate his attention on the sound
and (then) his Chitta becomes absorbed in it.

42-43(a).

Just as the bee drinking the honey (alone) does not care for the odour,
so the Chitta which is always absorbed in sound, does not long for sensual objects,
as it is bound by the sweet smell of Nādi and has abandoned its flitting nature.

43(b)-44(a).

The serpent Chitta through listening to the Nādi is entirely absorbed in it
and becoming unconscious of everything concentrates itself on the sound.

44(b)-45(a).

The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad
to control the maddened elephant - Chitta
which moves in the pleasure-garden of the sensual objects.

45(b)-46(a).

It serves the purpose of a snare for binding the deer - Chitta.
It also serves the purpose of a shore to the ocean waves of Chitta.

46(b)-47(a).

The sound proceeding from Prāṇava which is Brahman is of the nature of effulgence;
The mind becomes absorbed in it; that is the supreme seat of Vishnu.

47(b)-48(a).

The sound exists till there is the Ākāśa conception (Ākāśa-Sankalpa).
Beyond this, is the (Aśabda) soundless Para-Brahman which is Paramātman.

48(b).

The mind exists so long as there is sound,
but with its (sound's cessation) there is the state called Unmani of Manas
(i.e., the state of being above the mind).

49(a).

This sound is absorbed in the Akṣara (indestructible)
and the soundless state is the supreme seat.

49(b)-50(a).

The mind which along with Prāṇa (Vāyu) has (its) Karmic affinities destroyed
by the constant concentration upon Nada
is absorbed in the unstained One.
There is no doubt of it.

50(b)-51(a).

Many myriads of Nāḍis and many more of Bindu –
(all) become absorbed in the Brahma-Prāṇava sound.

51(b)-52(a).

Being freed from all states and all thoughts whatever,
the Yogin remains like one dead.
He is a Mukta. There is no doubt about this.

52(b).

After that,
he does not at any time hear the sounds of conch or Dundubhi (large kettle drum).

53.

The body in the state of Unmani is certainly like a log
and does not feel heat or cold, joy or sorrow.

54.

The Yogin's Chitta having given up fame or disgrace
is in Samādhi above the three states.

55.

Being freed from the waking and the sleeping states, he attains to his true state.

56.

When the (spiritual) sight becomes fixed without any object to be seen,
when the Vāyu (Prāṇa) becomes still without any effort,
and when the Chitta becomes firm without any support,
he becomes of the form of the internal sound of Brahma-Prāṇava.

Such is the Upanishad.

Om!
May my speech be based on (i.e. accord with) the mind;
May my mind be based on speech.
O Self-effulgent One, reveal Thyself to me.
May you both (speech and mind) be the carriers of the Veda to me.
May not all that I have heard depart from me.
I shall join together (i.e. obliterate the difference of) day
And night through this study.
I shall utter what is verbally true;
I shall utter what is mentally true.
May that (Brahman) protect me;
May That protect the speaker (i.e. the teacher), may That protect me;
May that protect the speaker - may That protect the speaker.

Om! Let there be Peace in me!
Let there be Peace in my environment!
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me!

Here ends the Nadabindu Upanishad, as contained in the Rig-Veda.


Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar