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Vajra-sūcikā Upanishad

॥ वज्रसूचिका उपनिषद् ॥
|| vajrasūcikā upaniṣad ||

॥ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः हरिः ॐ ॥
|| śrī gurubhyo namaḥ hariḥ auṁ ||

ॐ वज्रसूचीं प्रवक्ष्यामि शास्त्रमज्ञानभेदनम्  ।
दूषणं ज्ञानहीनानां भूषणं ज्ञानचक्षुषाम् ॥ १ ॥

auṁ vajra-sūcīka pravakṣyāmi śāstram ajñāna-bhedanam |
dūṣaṇaṁ jñāna-hīnānāṁ bhūṣaṇaṁ jñāna cakṣuṣām || 1 ||

I shall teach the Vajra-suchi — the "diamond needle" doctrine

which destroys ignorance, condemns those who are devoid of the knowledge (of Brahman) and exalts those endowed with enlightenment. |1|

ब्राह्मक्षत्रियवैष्यशूद्रा इति चत्वारो वर्णास्तेषां वर्णानां ब्राह्मण एव
प्रधान इति वेदवचनानुरूपं स्मृतिभिरप्युक्तम्  ।2|

brāhma-kṣatriya-vaiṣya-śūdrā iti catvāro varṇās teṣāṁ varṇānāṁ brāhmaṇa eva
pradhāna iti veda-vacanānurūpaṁ smṛtibhir-apy-uktam |2|

Brahmin Kshatriya, Vaiṣya and Śūdra are the four classes (castes).

That the Brahmin is the chief among these classes is in accord with the Vedic texts and is affirmed by the Smṛti.|2|

तत्र चोद्यमस्ति को वा ब्राह्मणो नाम किं जीवः किं देहः किं जातिः किं
ज्ञानं किं कर्म किं धार्मिक इति ॥3|

tatra codyam asti ko vā brāhmaṇo nāma kiṁ jīvaḥ kiṁ dehaḥ kiṁ jātiḥ
kiṁ jñānaṁ kiṁ karma kiṁ dhārmika iti ||3||

In this connection there is a point worthy of investigation.

Who is, verily, a Brahmin?

Is he the individual self? Is he the body? Is he of the class based on birth?
Is he the [possessor of] knowledge?
Is he the [performer of] deeds (previous, present or prospective)?
Is he the performer of the rites?

तत्र प्रथमो जीवो ब्राह्मण इति चेत् तन्न । अतीतानागतानेकदेहानां
जीवस्यैकरूपत्वात् एकस्यापि कर्मवशादनेकदेहसंभवात् सर्वशरीराणां
जीवस्यैकरूपत्वाच्च । तस्मात् न जीवो ब्राह्मण इति ॥4|

tatra prathamo jīvo brāhmaṇa iti cet tan na | atītānāgatāneka-dehānāṁ
jīvasyaika rūpatvāt ekasyāpi karma vaśād aneka-deha-saṁbhavāt sarva-śarīrāṇāṁ
jīvasyaika rūpatvāc ca | tasmāt na jīvo brāhmaṇa iti ||4||

Of these, is the Jīva or the individual self the Brahmin?

No, it is not so;

for the Jīva is one and the same in the innumerable previous and future bodies.

Since the Jīva is the same in all the various bodies obtained through (past) karma, and in all these bodies the form of the Jīva is one and the same.

Therefore the Jīva is not the Brahmin.

तर्हि देहो ब्राह्मण इति चेत् तन्न । आचाण्डालादिपर्यन्तानां मनुष्याणां
पञ्चभौतिकत्वेन देहस्यैकरूपत्वात्
जरामरणधर्माधर्मादिसाम्यदर्शनत् ब्राह्मणः श्वेतवर्णः क्षत्रियो
रक्तवर्णो वैश्यः पीतवर्णः शूद्रः कृष्णवर्णः इति नियमाभावात् ।
पित्रादिशरीरदहने पुत्रादीनां ब्रह्महत्यादिदोषसंभवाच्च ।
तस्मात् न देहो ब्राह्मण इति ॥5|

tarhi deho brāhmaṇa iti cet tan na | ācāṇḍālādi paryantānāṁ manuṣyāṇāṁ
pañca-bhautikatvena dehasyaikarūpatvāt
jarā-maraṇa-dharmādharmādi-sāmya-darśanat brāhmaṇaḥ śveta-varṇaḥ kṣatriyo
rakta-varṇo vaiśyaḥ pita-varṇaḥ śūdraḥ kṛṣṇa-varṇaḥ iti niyamābhāvāt |
pitrādi śarīra dahane putrādīnāṁ brahma hatyādi doṣa saṁbhavācca |
tasmāt na deho brāhmaṇa iti ||5||

Then is the body the Brahmin?

No, it is not so,

because the body which is composed of the five elements, is the same in all classes of human beings down to the chāṇḍālas (outcastes), etc.

And it is also observed that old age and death, virtue [dharma] and vice [adharma] are found to be common to all human beings.

There is also no absolute distinction (in the complexion of the four classes) that the Brahmin is of the white complexion, that the Kshatriya is of the red complexion, that the Vaiṣya is of the tawny complexion, that the Śūdra is of the dark complexion.

[If the body is the brāhmin] the sons and other kinsmen would becoming guilty of the murder of a Brahmin and other (sins) on cremating the bodies of their fathers and other kinsmen.

Therefore the body is not the Brahmin

तर्हि जाति ब्राह्मण इति चेत् तन्न । तत्र
जात्यन्तरजन्तुष्वनेकजातिसंभवात् महर्षयो बहवः सन्ति ।
ऋष्यशृङ्गो मृग्याः,कौशिकः कुशात्,जाम्बूको जाम्बूकात्,वाल्मीको
वाल्मीकात्,व्यासः कैवर्तकन्यकायाम्,शशपृष्ठात् गौतमः,
वसिष्ठ उर्वश्याम्,अगस्त्यः कलशे जात इति शृतत्वात् । एतेषां
जात्या विनाप्यग्रे ज्ञानप्रतिपादिता ऋषयो बहवः सन्ति । तस्मात्
न जाति ब्राह्मण इति ॥6|

tarhi jāti brāhmaṇa iti cet tan na | tatra
jātyantara jantuṣvaneka jāti saṁbhavāt maharṣayo bahavaḥ santi |
ṛṣyaśṛṅgo mṛgyāḥ,kauśikaḥ kuśāt,jāmbūko jāmbūkāt,vālmīko
vālmīkāt,vyāsaḥ kaivartas-kanyakāyām,śaśapṛṣṭhāt gautamaḥ,
vasiṣṭha urvaśyām,agastyaḥ kalaśe jāta iti śṛtatvāt | eteṣāṁ
jātyā vināpya agre jñāna pratipāditā ṛṣayo bahavaḥ santi | tasmāt
na jāti brāhmaṇa iti ||6||

Then is it birth that makes a Brahmin?

No, it is not so,

for many great rishis have sprung from other castes and orders of creation.

We have heard that Riṣyaśriṇga was born of a deer, Kauśika of Kuśa grass,
Jambuka from a jackal, Vālmīki from an ant-hill, Vyāsa from a fisher girl,
Gautama from the back of a hare, Vasiṣṭha from Urvaśī (the celestial nymph),
Agastya from an earthen jar.

Among these, many rishis outside of the caste-system have been accounted as the foremost among the teachers of the Divine Wisdom.

Therefore birth does not (make) a Brahmin.

तर्हि ज्ञानं ब्राह्मण इति चेत् तन्न । क्षत्रियादयोऽपि
परमार्थदर्शिनोऽभिज्ञा बहवः सन्ति । तस्मात् न ज्ञानं ब्राह्मण इति ॥7|

tarhi jñānaṁ brāhmaṇa iti cet tan na | kṣatriyādayo'pi
paramārtha darśino'bhijñā bahavaḥ santi | tasmāt na jñānaṁ brāhmaṇa iti ||7||

Then is it knowledge that makes a Brahmin?

No, it is not so,

because among Kshatriyas and others there are many who have attained cognition of divine truth.

Therefore knowledge does not make a Brahmin.

तर्हि कर्म ब्राह्मण इति चेत् तन्न । सर्वेषां प्राणिनां
प्रारब्धसञ्चितागामिकर्मसाधर्म्यदर्शनात्कर्माभिप्रेरिताः सन्तो जनाः
क्रियाः कुर्वन्तीति । तस्मात् न कर्म ब्राह्मण इति ॥8|

tarhi karma brāhmaṇa iti cet tanna | sarveṣāṁ prāṇināṁ
prārabdhasañcitāgāmikarmasādharmyadarśanātkarmābhipreritāḥ santo janāḥ
kriyāḥ kurvantīti | tasmāt na karma brāhmaṇa iti ||8||

Then do actions (karma) make a Brahmin?

No, it is not so,

since the prārabdha karma which gives rise to the present birth, sañcita (accrued) karma, and Agāmi karma — commenced in the present lifetime which will fructify in a future embodiment is common to all humankind; and that people perform works impelled by their past karma.

Therefore actions do not make a Brahmin.

तर्हि धार्मिको ब्राह्मण इति चेत् तन्न । क्षत्रियादयो हिरण्यदातारो बहवः
सन्ति । तस्मात् न धार्मिको ब्राह्मण इति ॥9|

tarhi dhārmiko brāhmaṇa iti cet tanna | kṣatriyādayo hiraṇyadātāro bahavaḥ
santi | tasmāt na dhārmiko brāhmaṇa iti ||9||

Then does the performance of religious duties (dharma) make a Brahmin?

No, it is not so;

for there have been many Kshatriyas and others who have given away gold [in charity].

Therefore the performer of religious duties is not the Brahmin.

तर्हि को वा ब्रह्मणो नाम । यः कश्चिदात्मानमद्वितीयं जातिगुणक्रियाहीनं
षडूर्मिषड्भावेत्यादिसर्वदोषरहितं सत्यज्ञानानन्दानन्तस्वरूपं
स्वयं निर्विकल्पमशेषकल्पाधारमशेषभूतान्तर्यामित्वेन
वर्तमानमन्तर्यहिश्चाकाशवदनुस्यूतमखण्डानन्दस्वभावमप्रमेयं
अनुभवैकवेद्यमपरोक्षतया भासमानं करतळामलकवत्साक्षादपरोक्षीकृत्य
कृतार्थतया कामरागादिदोषरहितः शमदमादिसंपन्नो भाव मात्सर्य
तृष्णा आशा मोहादिरहितो दम्भाहङ्कारदिभिरसंस्पृष्टचेता वर्तत
एवमुक्तलक्षणो यः स एव ब्राह्मणेति शृतिस्मृतीतिहासपुराणाभ्यामभिप्रायः
अन्यथा हि ब्राह्मणत्वसिद्धिर्नास्त्येव ।
सच्चिदानान्दमात्मानमद्वितीयं ब्रह्म भावयेदित्युपनिषत् ॥10|

tarhi ko vā brahmaṇo nāma | yaḥ kaścid ātmānam advitīyaṁ jāti-guṇa-kriyā-hīnaṁ
ṣaḍūrmi ṣaḍbhāvetyādi sarva doṣa rahitaṁ satya-jñānānandānanta svarūpaṁ
svayaṁ nirvikalpam aśeṣa kalpādhāram aśeṣa bhūtāntaryāmitvena
vartamānamantaryahiścākāśavadanusyūtamakhaṇḍānandasvabhāvamaprameyaṁ
anubhavaikavedyamaparokṣatayā bhāsamānaṁ karataळाmalakavatsākṣādaparokṣīkṛtya
kṛtārthatayā kāmarāgādidoṣarahitaḥ śamadamādisaṁpanno bhāva mātsarya
tṛṣṇā āśā mohādirahito dambhāhaṅkāradibhirasaṁspṛṣṭacetā vartata
evaṁ ukta lakṣaṇo yaḥ sa eva brāhmaṇa iti śṛti smṛtī Itihāsa purāṇābhyāmabhiprāyaḥ
anyathā hi brāhmaṇatva siddhir nāstyeva |
saccidānāndamātmānam advitīyaṁ brahma bhāvayed ity upaniṣat ||10||

Then, who, verily is called a Brahmin?  Whoever he may be —

he who, has attained self-realization, and directly perceives the Ātman like a Myrobalan fruit in the palm of one’s hand.

[Realising that the ātman is] of the nature of Truth, Consciousness, Bliss and Eternity, without a second, devoid of distinctions of birth, attributes and action, devoid of all faults such as the six infirmities, and the six states and devoid of all changes.

Devoid of 6 infirmities:

1. old age, 2. sorrow, 3. delusion, 4. hunger 5. thirst and 6. death

Devoid of 6 states:

1. birth, 2. being, 3.  growth, 4. change, 5. deterioration and 6. perishing

[The ātman] is the basis of endless determinations.
[The ātman] is the indwelling spirit of all beings.
[The atman] pervades everything within and without like space.
[The atman] is of the nature of unlimited joy, indivisible, immeasurable, and is known only by direct cognition.

He who having attained self-realisation becomes rid of the faults of desire, attachment, etc., and is endowed with the six virtues:

1.Sāma — tranquillity, 2. Dāma— self-control, 3. uparati — cessation of dependence upon rituals (or continence), 4. Titikṣā — fortitude, 5. samādhāna— meditation, and 6. Śrāddha — conviction.

He who having overcome emotion, spite, greed, expectation, desire, delusion, etc., with the mind unaffected by pride, egoism and the like;

he alone, who is possessed of these qualities is called a Brahmin.

This is the view of the Vedic texts and tradition, ancient lore and history.

The attainment of the status of a Brahmin is otherwise impossible.

Meditate on the Self as Brahman who is Being, Consciousness and Bliss without a second.

ॐ आप्यायन्त्विति शान्तिः ॥
auṁ āpyāyantviti śāntiḥ ||

॥ इति वज्रसूच्युपनिषत्समाप्ता ॥
|| iti vajrasūcyupaniṣatsamāptā ||

This is the Vajra-sūcikā Upanishad.