Maitrayani Upanishad Part One
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Maitrayani Upanishad Part Two
Translation by Max Muller (1884) - The Sacred Books of the East
1. He (the Self) bears the Self in two ways, as he who is
Prana (breath), and as he who is Aditya (the sun). Therefore there are two paths
for him, within and without, and they both turn back in a day and night. The Sun
is the outer Self, the inner Self is Breath. Hence the motion of the inner Self
is inferred from the motion of the outer Self . For thus it is said:
'He who knows, and has thrown off all evil, the overseer of
the senses, the pure-minded, firmly grounded (in the Self) and looking away
(from all earthly objects), he is the same.' Likewise the motion of the outer
Self is inferred from the motion of the inner Self. For thus it is said:
'He who within the sun is the golden person, who looks upon
this earth from his golden place, he is the same who, after entering the inner
lotus of the heart, devours food (perceives sensuous objects, &c.)'
2. And he who having entered the inner lotus of the heart,
devours food, the same, having gone to the sky as the fire of the sun, called
Time, and being invisible, devours all beings as his food.
What is that lotus and of what is it made? (the Valakhilyas
That lotus is the same as the ether; the four quarters, and
the four intermediate points are its leaves.
These two, Breath and the Sun, move on near to each other (in
the heart and in the ether). Let him worship these two, with the syllable Om,
with the Vyahriti words (Bhuh, bhuvah, svar), and with the Savitri hymn.
3. There are two forms of Brahman, the material (effect) and
the immaterial (cause). The material is false, the immaterial is true. That
which is true is Brahman, that which is Brahman is light, and that which is
light is the Sun. And this Sun became the Self of that Om.
He divided himself threefold, for Om consists of three
letters, a+u+m. Through them all this is contained in him as warp and woof. For
thus it is said:
'Meditate on that Sun as Om, join your Self (the breath) with
the (Self of the) Sun.'
4. And thus it has been said elsewhere: The Udgitha (of the
Sama-veda) is the Pranava (of the Rig-veda), and the Pranava is the Udgitha, and
thus the Sun is Udgitha, and he is Pranava or Om. For thus it is said:
'The Udgitha, called Pranava, the leader (in the performance
of sacrifices), the bright, the sleepless, free from old age and death,
three-footed, consisting of three letters (a+u+m), and likewise to be known as
fivefold (five Pranas) placed in the cave.' And it is also said:
'The three-footed Brahman has its root upward, the branches
are ether, wind, fire, water, earth, &c. This one Asvattha by name, the
world, is Brahman, and of it that is the light which is called the Sun, and it
is also the light of that syllable Om. Therefore let him for ever worship that
(breath and sun, as manifestations of Brahman) with the syllable Om.'
He alone enlightens us. For thus it is said:
'This alone is the Pure syllable, this alone is the highest
syllable; he who knows that syllable only, whatever he desires, is his.'
5. And thus it has been said elsewhere: This Om is the
sound-endowed body of him (Pranadityatman). This is his gender-endowed body,
viz. feminine, masculine, neuter. This is his light-endowed body, viz. Agni,
Vayu, ]Aditya]. This is his lord-endowed body, viz. Brahma, Rudra, Vishnu. This is
his mouth-endowed body, viz. Garhapatya, Dakshinagni, Ahavaniya. This is his
knowledge-endowed body, viz. Rik, Yagus, Saman. This is his world-endowed body,
viz. Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svar. This is his time-endowed body, viz. Past, Present,
Future. This is his heat-endowed body, viz. Breath, Fire, Sun. This is his
growth-endowed body, viz. Food, Water, Moon. This is his thought-endowed body,
viz. intellect, mind, personality. This is his breath-endowed body, viz. Prana,
Apana, Vyana. Therefore by the aforesaid syllable Om are all these here
enumerated bodies praised and identified (with the Pranadityatman). For thus it
‘O Satyakama, the syllable Om is the high and the low
6. This (world) was unuttered. Then forsooth Pragapati,
having brooded, uttered it in the words Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svar. This is the grossest
body of that Pragapati, consisting of the three worlds. Of that body Svar is the
head, Bhuvah the navel, Bhuh the feet, the sun the eye. For in the eye is fixed
man's great measure, because with the eye he makes all measurements. The eye is
truth (satyam), for the person (purusha) dwelling in the eye proceeds to all
things (knows all objects with certainty). Therefore let a man worship with the
Vyahritis, Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svar, for thus Pragapati, the Self of All, is
worshipped as the (sun, the) Eye of All. For thus it is said:
'This (the sun) is Pragapati's all-supporting body, for in it
this all is hid (by the light of the sun); and in this all it (the light) is
hid. Therefore this is worshipped.'
7. (The Savitri begins:) Tat Savitur varenyam, i.e. 'this of
Savitri, to be chosen.' Here the Aditya (sun) is Savitri, and the same is to be
chosen by the love(r) of Self, thus say the Brahma-teachers.
(Then follows the next foot in the Savitri): Bhargo devasya
dhimahi, i.e. 'the splendour of the god we meditate on.' Here the god is
Savitri, and therefore he who is called his splendour, him I meditate on, thus
say the Brahma-teachers.
(Then follows the last foot): Dhiyo yo nah prakodayat, i.e.
'who should stir up our thoughts.' Here the dhiyah are thoughts, and he should
stir these up for us, thus say the Brahrna-teachers.
(He now explains the word bhargas). Now he who is called
bhargas is he who is placed in yonder Aditya (sun), or he who is the pupil in
the eye. And he is so called, because his going (gati) is by rays (bhabhih); or
becau-se he parches (bhargayati) and makes the world to shrivel up. Rudra is
called Bhargas, thus say the Brahma-teachers. Or bha means that he lights up
these worlds; ra, that he delights these beings, ga that these creatures go to
him and come from him; therefore being a bha-ra-ga, he is called Bhargas.
Surya (sun) is so called, because Soma is continually
squeezed out (su). Savitri (sun) is so called, because he brings forth (su).
Aditya (sun) is so called, because he takes up (ada, scil. vapour, or the life
of man). Pavana is so called, because he purifies (pu). Apas, water, is so
called, because it nourishes (pya).
And it is said:
'Surely the Self (absorbed in Prana, breath), which is called
Immorta1, is the thinker, the perceiver, the goer, the evacuator, the delighter,
the doer, the speaker, the taster, the srneller, the seer, the hearer, and he
touches. He is Vibhu (the pervader), who has entered into the body.' And it is
'When the knowledge is twofold (subjective and objective),
then he hears, sees, smells, tastes, and touches (something), for it is the Self
that knows everything.'
But when the knowledge is not twofold (subjective only),
without effect, cause, and action, without a name, without a comparison, without
a predicate, what is that? It cannot be told.
8. And the same Self is also called Isana (lord), Sambhu,
Bhava, Rudra (tamasa); Pragapati (lord of creatures), Visvasrig, (creator of
all), Hiranyagarbha, Satyam (truth), Prana (breath), Hamsa (ragasa); Sastri
(ruler), Vishnu, Narayana (sattvika); Arka, Savitri, Dhatri (supporter),
Vidhatri (creator), Samrag (king), Indra, Indu (moon). He is also he who warms,
the Sun, hidden by the thousand-eyed golden egg, as one fire by another. He is
to be thought after, he is to be sought after. Having said farewell to all
living beings, having gone to the forest, and having renounced all sensuous
objects, let man perceive the Self from his own body.
'(See him) who assumes all forms, the golden, who knows all
things, who ascends highest, alone in his splendour, and warms us; the
thousand-rayed, who abides in a hundred places, the spirit of all creatures, the
9. Therefore he who by knowing this has become the Self of
both Breath and Sun, meditates (while meditating on them) on his Self,
sacrifices (while sacrificing to them) to his Self-this meditation, the mind
thus absorbed in these acts, is praised by the wise.
Then let him purify the contamination of the mind by the
verse Ukkhishtopahatam, &c.: 'Be it food left, or food defiled by left food,
be it food given by a sinner, food coming from a dead person, or from one impure
from childbirth, may the purifying power of Vasu, may Agni, and the rays of
Savitri, purify it, and all my sin.'
First (before eating) he surrounds (the offered food) with
water (in rincing his mouth). Then saying, Svaha to Prana, Svaha to Apana, Svaha
to Vyana, Svaha to Samana, Svaha to Udana, he offers (the food) with five
invocations (in the fire of the mouth). What is over, he eats in silence, and
then he surrounds (the food) once more afterwards with water (rincing the mouth
after his meal). Having washed let him, after sacrificing to himself, meditate
on his Self with these two verses, Prano 'gnik and Visvo 'si, viz. 'May the
Highest Self as breath, as fire (digestive heat), as consisting of the five
vital airs, having entered (the body), himself satisfied, satisfy all, he who
protects all.' 'Thou art Visva (all), thou art Vaisvanara (fire), all that is
born is upheld by thee; may all offerings enter into thee; creatures live where
thou grantest immortality to all.' He who eats according to this rule, does not
in turn become food for others.
10. There is something else to be known. There is a further
modification of this Self-sacrifice (the eating), namely, the food and the eater
thereof. This is the explanation. The thinking Purusha (person), when he abides
within the Pradhana (nature), is the feeder who feeds on the food supplied by
Prakriti (nature). The elemental Self is truly his food, his maker being
Pradhana (nature). Therefore what is composed of the three qualities (gunas) is
the food, but the person within is the feeder. And for this the evidence is
supplied by the senses. For animals spring from seed, and as the seed is the
food, therefore it is clear that what is food is Pradhana (the seed or cause of
everything). Therefore as has been said, the Purusha (person) is the eater,
Prakriti, the food; and abiding within it he feeds. All that begins with the
Mahat (power of intellect) and ends with the Viseshas (elements), being
developed from the distinction of nature with its three qualities, is the sign
(that there must be a Purusha, an intelligent subject). And in this manner the
way with its fourteen steps has been explained. (This is comprehended in the
following verse): 'This world is indeed the food, called pleasure, pain, and
error (the result of the three qualities); there is no laying hold of the taste
of the seed (cause), so long as there is no development (in the shape of
effect).' And in its three stages also it has the character of food, as
childhood, youth, and old age; for, because these are developed, therefore there
is in them the character of food.
And in the following manner does the perception of Pradhana
(nature) take place, after it has become manifest:-Intellect and the rest, such
as determination, conception, consciousness, are for the tasting (of the effects
of Pradhana). Then there are the five (perceptive organs) intended for the
(five) objects of senses, for to taste them. And thus are all acts of the five
active organs, and the acts of the five Pranas or vital airs (for the tasting of
their corresponding objects). Thus what is manifest (of nature) is food, and
what is not manifest is food. The enjoyer of it is without qualities, but
because he has the quality of being an enjoyer, it follows that he possesses
As Agni (fire) is the food-eater among the gods, and Soma the
food, so he who knows this eats food by Agni (is not defiled by food, as little
as Agni, the sacrificial fire). This elemental Self, called Soma (food), is also
called Agni, as having undeveloped nature for its mouth (as enjoying through
nature, and being independent of it), because it is said, 'The Purusha (person)
enjoys nature with its three qualities, by the mouth of undeveloped nature.' He
who knows this, is an ascetic, a yogin, he is a performer of the Self-sacrifice
(see before). And he who does not touch the objects of the senses when they
intrude on him, as no one would touch women intruding into an empty house, he is
an ascetic, a yogin, a performer of the Self-sacrifice.
11. This is the highest form of Self, viz. food, for this
Prana (this body) subsists on food. If it eats not, it cannot perceive, hear,
touch, see, smell, taste, and it loses the vital airs. For thus it is said:
'If it eats, then in full possession of the vital airs, it
can perceive, hear, touch, speak, taste, smell, see.' And thus it is said:
'From food are born all creatures that live on earth;
afterwards they live on food, and in the end (when they die) they return to it.'
12. And thus it is said elsewhere: Surely all these creatures
run about day and night, wishing to catch food. The sun takes food with his
rays, and by it he shines. These vital airs digest, when sprinkled with food.
Fire flares up by food, and by Brahma (Pragapati), desirous of food, has all
this been made. Therefore let a man worship food as his Self. For thus it is
'From food creatures are born, by food they grow when born;
because it is eaten and because it eats creatures, therefore it is called food
13. And thus it is said elsewhere: This food is the body of
the blessed Vishnu, called Visvabhrit (all-sustaining). Breath is the essence of
food, mind of breath, knowledge of mind, joy of knowledge. He who knows this is
possessed of food, breath, mind, knowledge, and joy. Whatever creatures here on
earth eat food, abiding in them he, who knows this, eats food. Food has been
called undecaying, food has been called worshipful; food is the breath of
animals, food is the oldest, food has been called the physician.
14. And thus it has been said elsewhere: Food is the cause of
all this, time of food, and the sun is the cause of time. The (visible) form of
time is the year, consisting of twelve months, made up of Nimeshas (twinklings)
and other measures. Of the year one half (when the sun moves northward) belongs
to Agni, the other to Varuna (when the sun moves southward). That which belongs
to Agni begins with the asterism of Magha and ends with half of the asterism of
Sravishtha, the sun stepping down northward. That which belongs to Soma (instead
of Varuna) begins with the asterism (of Aslesha), sacred to the Serpents, and
ends with half of the asterism of Sravishtha, the sun stepping up southward. And
then there (are the months) one by one, belonging to the year, each consisting
of nine-fourths of asterisms (two asterisms and a quarter being the twelfth part
of the passage of the sun through the twenty-seven Nakshatras), each deter mined
by the sun moving together with the asterisms. Because time is imperceptible by
sense, therefore this (the progress of the stin, &c.) is its evidence, and
by it alone is time proved to exist. Without proof there is no apprehension of
what is to be proved; but even what is to be proved can become proof, for the
sake of making itself known, if the parts (the twinklings, &c.) can be
distinguished from the whole (time). For thus it is said:
'As many portions of time as there are, through them the sun
proceeds: he who worships time as Brahman, from him time moves away very far.'
And thus it is said:
'From time all beings flow, from time they grow; in time they
obtain rest; time is visible (sun) and invisible (moments).'
15 . There are two forms of Brahman, time and non-time. That
which was before the (existence of the) sun is non-time and has no parts. That
which had its beginning from the sun is time and has parts. Of that which has
parts, the year is the form, and from the year are born all creatures; when
produced by the year they grow, and go again to rest in the year. Therefore the
year is Pragapati, is time, is food, is the nest of Brahman, is Self. Thus it is
'Time ripens and dissolves all beings in the great Self, but
he who knows into what time itself is dissolved, he is the knower of the Veda.'
16. This manifest time is the great ocean of creatures. He
who is called Savitri (the sun, as begetter) dwells in it, from whence the moon,
stars, planets, the year, and the rest are begotten. From them again comes all
this, and thus, whatever of good or evil is seen in this world, comes from them.
Therefore Brahman is the Self of the sun, and a man should worship the sun under
the name of time. Some say the sun is Brahman, and thus it is said:
'The sacrificer, the deity that enjoys the sacrifice, the
oblation, the hymn, the sacrifice, Vishnu, Pragapati, all this is the Lord, the
witness, that shines in yonder orb.'
17. In the beginning Brahman was all this. He was one, and
infinite; infinite in the East, infinite in the South, infinite in the West,
infinite in the North, above and below and everywhere infinite. East and the
other regions do not exist for him, nor across, nor below, nor above. The
Highest Self is not to be fixed, he is unlimited, unborn, not to be reasoned
about, not to be conceived. He is like the ether (everywhere), and at the
destruction of the universe, he alone is awake. Thus from that ether he wakes
all this world, which consists of thought only, and by him alone is all this
meditated on, and in him it is dissolved. His is that luminous form which shines
in the sun, and the manifold light in the smokeless fire, and the heat which in
the stomach digests the food. Thus it is said:
'He who is in the fire, and he who is in the heart, and he
who is in the sun, they are one and the same.'
He who knows this becomes one with the one.
18. This is the rule for achieving it (viz. concentration of
the mind on the object of meditation): restraint of the breath, restraint of the
senses, meditation, fixed attention, investigation, absorption, these are called
the sixfold Yoga. When beholding by this Yoga, he beholds the gold-coloured
maker, the lord, the person, Brahman, the cause, then the sage, leaving behind
good and evil, makes everything (breath, organs of sense, body, &c.) to be
one in the Highest Indestructible (in the pratyagatman or Brahman). And thus it
'As birds and deer do not approach a burning mountain, so
sins never approach those who know Brahman.'
19. And thus it is said elsewhere: When he who knows has,
while he is still Prana (breath), restrained his mind, and placed all objects of
the senses far away from himself, then let him remain without any conceptions.
And because the living person, called Prana (breath), has been produced here on
earth from that which is not Prana (the thinking Self), therefore let this Prana
merge the Pratia (himself) in what is called the fourth'. And thus it is said:
'What is without thought, though placed in the centre of
thought, what cannot be thought, the hidden, the highest-let a man merge his
thought there: then will this living being (lifiga) be without attachment.'
20. And thus it has been said elsewhere: There is the
superior fixed attention (dharana) for him, viz. if he presses the tip of the
tongue down the palate and restrains voice, mind, and breath, he sees Brahman by
discrimination (tarka). And when, after the cessation of mind, he sees his own
Self, smaller than small, and shining, as the Highest Self, then having seen his
Self as the Self, he becomes Self-less, and because he is Self-less, he is
without limit, without cause, absorbed in thought. This is the highest mystery,
viz. final liberation. And thus it is said:
'Through the serenity of the thought he kills all actions,
good or bad; his Self serene, abiding in the Self, obtains imperishable bliss.'
21. And thus it has been said elsewhere: The artery, called
Sushumna, going upwards (from the heart to the Brahmarandhra), serving as the
passage of the Prana, is divided within the palate. Through that artery, when it
has been joined by the breath (held in subjection), by the sacred syllable Om,
and by the mind (absorbed in the contemplation of Brahman), let him proceed
upwards, and after turning the tip of the tongue to the palate, without using
any of the organs of sense, let greatness perceive greatness. From thence he
goes to selflessness, and through selflessness he ceases to be an enjoyer of
pleasure and pain, he obtains aloneness (kevalatva, final deliverance). And thus
it is said:
'Having successively fixed the breath, after it had been
restrained, in the palate, thence having crossed the limit (the life), let him
join himself afterwards to the limitless (Brahman) in the crown of the head.'
22. And thus it has been said elsewhere: Two Brahmans have to
be meditated on, the word and the non-word. By the word alone is the non-word
revealed. Now there is the word Om. Moving upward by it (where all words and all
what is meant by them ceases), he arrives at absorption in the non-word
(Brahman). This is the way, this is the immortal, this is union, and this is
bliss. And as the spider, moving upward by the thread, gains free space, thus
also he who meditates, moving upward by the syllable Om, gains independence.
Other teachers of the word (as Brahman) think otherwise. They
listen to the sound of the ether within the heart while they stop the ears with
the thumbs. They compare it to seven noises, like rivers, like a bell, like a
brazen vessel, like the wheels of a carriage, like the croaking of frogs, like
rain, and as if a man speaks in a cavern. Having passed beyond this variously
apprehended sound, and having settled in the supreme, soundless (non-word),
unmanifested Brahman, they become undistinguished and undistinguishable, as
various flavours of the flowers are lost in the taste of honey. And thus it is
'Two Brahmans are to be known, the word-Brahman and the
highest Brahman; he who is perfect in the word-Brahman attains the highest
23. And thus it has been said elsewhere: The syllable Om is
what is called the word. And its end is the silent, the soundless, fearless,
sorrowless, joyful, satisfied, firm, unwavering, immortal, immovable, certain
(Brahman), called Vishnu. Let him worship these two, that he may obtain what is
higher than everything (final deliverance). For thus it is said:
'He who is the high and the highest god, by name Om-kara, he
is soundless and free from all distinctions: therefore let a man dwell on him in
the crown of his head.'
24. And thus it has been said elsewhere: The body is the bow,
the syllable Om is the arrow, its point is the mind. Having cut through the
darkness, which consists of ignorance, it approaches that which is not covered
by darkness. Then having cut through that which was covered (the personal soul),
he saw Brahman, flashing like a wheel on fire, bright like the sun, vigorous,
beyond all darkness, that which shines forth in yonder sun, in the moon, in the
fire, in the lightning. And having seen him, he obtains immortality. And thus it
has been said:
'Meditation is directed to the highest Being (Brahman)
within, and (before) to the objects (body, Om, mind); thence the indistinct
understanding becomes distinct.
And when the works of the mind are dissolved, then that bliss
which requires no other witness, that is Brahman (Atman), the immortal, the
brilliant, that is the way, that is the (true) world.'
25. And thus it has been said elsewhere: He who has his
senses hidden as in sleep, and who, while in the cavern of his senses (his
body), but no longer ruled by them, sees, as in a dream, with the purest
intellect, Him who is called Pranava (Om), the leader, the bright, the
sleepless, free from old age, from death, and sorrow, he is himself also called
Pranava, and becomes a leader, bright, sleepless, free from old age, from death,
and sorrow. And thus it is said:
'Because in this manner he joins the Prana (breath), the Om,
and this Universe in its-manifold forms, or because they join themselves (to
him), therefore this (process of meditation) is called Yoga (joining).
The oneness of breath, mind, and senses, and then the
surrendering of all conceptions, that is called Yoga.'
26. And thus it has also been said elsewhere: As a sportsman,
after drawing out the denizens of the waters with a net, offers them (as a
sacrifice) in the fire of his stomach, thus are these Pranas (vital airs), after
they have been drawn out with the syllable Om, offered in the faultless fire
Hence he is like a heated vessel (full of clarified butter);
for as the clarified butter in the heated vessel lights up, when touched with
grass and sticks, thus does this being which is called Not-breath (Atman) light
up, when touched by the Pranas (the vital airs). And that which flares up, that
is the manifest form of Brahman, that is the highest place of Vishnu, that is
the essence of Rudra. And this, dividing his Self in endless ways, fills all
these worlds. And thus it is said:
'As the sparks from the fire, and as the rays from the sun,
thus do his Pranas and the rest in proper order again and again proceed from him
here on earth.’
27. And thus it has also been said elsewhere: This is the
heat of the highest, the immortal, the incorporeal Brahman, viz. the warmth of
the body. And this body is the clarified butter (poured on it, by which the heat
of Brahman, otherwise invisible, is lighted up). Then, being manifest, it is
placed in the ether (of the heart). Then by concentration they thus remove that
ether which is within the heart, so that its light appears, as it were.
Therefore the worshipper becomes identified with that light without much delay.
As a ball of iron, if placed in the earth, becomes earth without much delay, and
as, when it has once become a clod of earth, fire and smiths have nothing more
to do with that ball of iron, thus does thought (without delay) disappear,
together with its support. And thus it is said:
'The shrine which consists of the ether in the heart, the
blissful, the highest retreat, that is our own, that is our goal, and that is
the heat and brightness of the fire and the sun.'
28. And thus it has been said elsewhere: After having left
behind the body, the organs of sense, and the objects of sense (as no longer
belonging to us), and having seized the bow whose stick is fortitude and whose
string is asceticism, having struck down also with the arrow, which consists in
freedom from egotism, the first guardian of the door of Brahman (for if man looks
at the world egotistically, then, taking the diadem of passion, the earrings of
greed and envy, and the staff of sloth, sleep, and sin, and having seized the
bow whose string is anger, and whose stick is lust, he destroys with the arrow
which consists of wishes, all beings) - having therefore killed that guardian,
he crosses by means of the boat Om to the other side of the ether within the
heart, and when the ether becomes revealed (as Brahman), he enters slowly, as a
miner seeking minerals in a mine, into the Hall of Brahman. After that let him,
by means of the doctrine of his teacher, break through the shrine of
Brahman which consists of the four nets (of food, breath, mind, knowledge, till
he reaches the last shrine, that of blessedness and identity with Brahman).
Thenceforth pure, clean, undeveloped, tranquil, breathless, bodiless, endless,
imperishable, firm, everlasting, unborn and independent, he stands on his own
greatness, and having seen (the Self), standing in his own greatness, he looks
on the wheel of the world as one (who has alighted from a chariot) looks on its
revolving wheel. And thus it is said:
'If a man practises Yoga for six months and is thoroughly
free (from the outer world), then the perfect Yoga (union), which is endless,
high, and hidden, is accomplished.
But if a man, though well enlightened (by instruction), is
still pierced by (the gunas of) passion and darkness, and attached to his
children, wife, and house, then perfect Yoga is never accomplished.'
29. After he had thus spoken (to Brihadratha), Sakayanya,
absorbed in thought, bowed before him, and said: ‘O King, by means of this
Brahma-knowledge have the sons of Pragapati (the Valakhilyas) gone to the road
of Brahman. Through the practice of Yoga a man obtains contentment, power to
endure good and evil, and tranquillity. Let no man preach this most secret
doctrine to any one who is not his son or his pupil, and who is not of a serene
mind. To him alone who is devoted to his teacher only, and endowed with all
necessary qualities, may he communicate it.
30. Om! Having settled down in a pure place let him, being
pure himself, and firm in goodness, study the truth, speak the truth, think the
truth, and offer sacrifice to the truth. Henceforth he has become another; by
obtaining the reward of Brahman his fetters are cut asunder, he knows no hope,
no fear from others as little as from himself, he knows no desires; and having
attained imperishable, infinite happiness, he stands blessed in the true
Brahman, who longs for a true man. Freedom from desires is, as it were, the
highest prize to be taken from the best treasure (Brahman). For a man full of
all desires, being possessed of will, imagination, and belief, is a slave; but
he who is the opposite, is free.
Here some say, it is the Guna (i. e. the so-called Mahat, the
principle of intellect which, according to the Sankhyas, is the result of the
Gunas or qualities), which, through the differences of nature (acquired in the
former states of existence), goes into bondage to the will, and that deliverance
takes place (for the Guna) when the fault of the will has been removed. (But
this is not our view), because (call it guna, intellect, buddhi, manas, mind,
ahankara, egotism, it is not the mind that acts, but) he sees by the mind (as
his instrument), he hears by the mind; and all that we call desire, imagination,
doubt, belief, unbelief, certainty, uncertainty, shame, thought, fear, all that
is but mind (manas). Carried along by the waves of the qualities, darkened in
his imaginations, unstable, fickle, crippled, full of desires, vacillating, he
enters into belief, believing I am he, this is mine, and he binds his Self by
his Self, as a bird with a net. Therefore a man, being possessed of will,
imagination, and belief, is a slave, but he who is the opposite is free. For
this reason let a man stand free from will, imagination, and belief-this is the
sign of liberty, this is the path that leads to Brahman, this is the opening of
the door, and through it he will go to the other shore of darkness. All desires
are there fulfilled. And for this they quote a verse:
"When the five instruments of knowledge stand still
together with the mind, and when the intellect does not move, that is called the
Having thus said, Sakayanya became absorbed in thought. Then
Marut (i. e. the King Brihadratha), having bowed before him and duly worshipped
him, went full of contentment to the Northern Path, for there is no way thither
by any side-road. This is the path to Brahman. Having burst open the solar door,
he rose on high and went away. And here they quote:
'There are endless rays (arteries) for the Self who, like a
lamp, dwells in the heart: white and black, brown and blue, tawny and reddish.
One of them (the Sushumna) leads upwards, piercing the solar
orb: by it, having stepped beyond the world of Brahman, they go to the highest
The other hundred rays rise upwards also, and on them the
worshipper reaches the mansions belonging to the different bodies of gods.
But the manifest rays of dim colour which lead downwards, by
them a man travels on and on helplessly, to enjoy the fruits of his actions
Therefore it is said that the holy Aditya (sun) is the cause
of new births (to those who do not worship him), of heaven (to those who worship
him as a god), of liberty (to those who worship him as Brahman).
31. Some one asks: 'Of what nature are those organs of sense
that go forth (towards their objects)? Who sends them out here, or who holds
Another answers: 'Their nature is the Self; the Self sends
them out, or holds them back; also the Apsaras (enticing objects of sense), and
the solar rays (and other deities presiding over the senses).'
Now the Self devours the objects by the five rays (the organs
of sense); then who is the Self?
He who has been defined by the terms pure, clean,
undeveloped, tranquil, &c., who is to be apprehended independently by his
own peculiar signs. That sign of him who has no signs, is like what the
pervading heat is of fire, the purest taste of water; thus say some. It is
speech, hearing, sight, mind, breath; thus say others. It is intellect,
retention, remembering, knowledge; thus say others. Now all these are signs of
the Self in the same sense in which here on earth shoots are the signs of seed,
or smoke, light, and sparks of fire. And for this they quote:
'As the sparks from the fire, and as the rays from the sun,
thus do his Pranas and the rest in proper order again and again proceed from him
here on earth.'
32. From this very Self, abiding within his Self, come forth
all Pranas (speech, &c.), all worlds, all Vedas, all gods and all beings;
its Upanishad (revelation) is that it is 'the true of the true.' Now as from a
fire of greenwood,when kindled, clouds of smoke come forth by themselves (though
belonging to the fire), thus from that great Being has been breathed forth all
this which is the Rig-veda, the Yagur-veda, the Sama-veda, the Atharvangirasas
(Atharva-veda), the Itihasa (legendary stories), the Purana (accounts of the
creation, &c.), Vidya (ceremonial doctrines), the Upanishads, the Slokas
(verses interspersed in the Upanishads, &c.), the Sutras (compendious
statements), the Anuvyakhyanas (explanatory notes), the Vyakhyanas
(elucidations) - all these things are his.
33. This fire (the Garhapatya-fire) with five bricks is the
year. And its five bricks are spring, summer, rainy season, autumn, winter; and
by them the fire has a head, two sides, a centre, and a tail. This earth (the
Garhapatya-fire) here is the first sacrificial pile for Pragapati, who knows the
Purusha (the Virag). It presented the sacrificer to Vayu (the wind) by lifting
him with the hands to the sky. That Vayu is Prana (Hiranyagarbha).
Prana is Agni (the Dakshinagni-fire), and its bricks are the
five vital breaths, Prana, Vyana, Apana, Samana, Udana; and by them the fire has
a head, two sides, a centre, and a tail. This sky (the Dakshinagni-fire) here is
the second sacrificial pile for Pragapati, who knows the Purusha. It presented
the sacrificer to Indra, by lifting him with the hands to heaven. That Indra is
Aditya, the sun.
That (Indra) is the Agni (the Ahavaniya-fire) and its bricks
are the Rik, the Yagush, the Saman, the Atharvangirasas, the Itihasa, and the
Purana; and by them the fire has a head, two sides, a tail, and a centre. This
heaven (Ahavaniya-fire) is the third sacrificial pile for Pragapati, who knows
the Purusha. With the hands it makes a present of the sacrificer to the Knower
of the Self (Pragapati); then the Knower of the Self, lifting him up, presented
him to Brahman. In him he becomes full of happiness and joy.
34. The earth is the Garhapatya-fire, the sky the
Dakshina-fire, the heaven the Ahavaniya-fire; and therefore they are also the
Pavamana (pure), the Pavaka (purifying), and the Suki (bright). By this (by the
three deities, Pavamana, Pavaka, and Suki) the sacrifice (of the three fires,
the Garhapatya, Dakshina, and Ahavaniya) is manifested. And because the
digestive fire also is a compound of the Pavamana, Pavaka, and Suki, therefore
that fire is to receive oblations, is to be laid with bricks, is to be praised,
and to be meditated on. The sacrificer, when he has seized the oblation, wishes
to perform his meditation of the deity:
'The gold-coloured bird abides in the heart, and in the sun-a
diver bird, a swan, strong in splendour; him we worship in the fire.'
Having recited the verse, he discovers its meaning, viz. the
adorable splendour of Savitri (sun) is to be meditated on by him who, abiding
within his mind, meditates thereon. Here he attains the place of rest for the
mind, he holds it within his own Self. On this there are the following verses:
(1) As a fire without fuel becomes quiet in its place, thus
do the thoughts, when all activity ceases, become quiet in their place.
(2) Even in a mind which loves the truth and has gone to rest
in itself there arise, when it is deluded by the objects of sense, wrongs
resulting from former acts.
(3) For thoughts alone cause the round of births; let a man
strive to purify his thoughts. What a man thinks, that he is: this is the old
(4) By the serenity of his thoughts a man blots out all
actions, whether good or bad. Dwelling within his Self with serene thoughts, he
obtains imperishable happiness.
(5) If the thoughts of a man were so fixed on Brahman as they
are on the things of this world, who would not then be freed from bondage?
(6) The mind, it is said, is of two kinds, pure or impure;
impure from the contact with lust, pure when free from lust.
(7) When a man, having freed his mind from sloth,
distraction, and vacillation, becomes as it were delivered from his mind, that
is the highest point.
(8) The mind must be restrained in the heart till it comes to
an end;-that is knowledge, that is liberty: all the rest are extensions of the
ties (which bind us to this life).
(9) That happiness which belongs to a mind which by deep
meditation has been washed clean from all impurity and has entered within the
Self, cannot be described here by words; it can be felt by the inward power
(10) Water in water, fire in fire, ether in ether, no one can
distinguish them; likewise a man whose mind has entered (till it cannot be
distinguished from the Self), attains liberty.
(11) Mind alone is the cause of bondage and liberty for men;
if attached to the world, it becomes bound; if free from the world, that is
Therefore those who do not offer the Agnihotra (as described
above), who do not lay the fires (with the bricks, as described above), who are
ignorant (of the mind being the cause of the round of births), who do not
meditate (on the Self in the solar orb) are debarred from remembering the
ethereal place of Brahman. Therefore that fire is to receive oblations, is to be
laid with bricks, is to be praised, to be meditated on.
35. Adoration to Agni, the dweller on earth, who remembers
his world. Grant that world to this thy worshipper!
Adoration to Vayu, the dweller in the sky, who remembers his
world. Grant that world to this thy worshipper!
Adoration to Aditya, the dweller in heaven, who remembers his
world. Grant that world to this thy worshipper!
Adoration to Brahman, who dwells everywhere, who remembers
all. Grant all to this thy worshipper!
The mouth of the true (Brahman) is covered with a golden lid;
open that, O Pushan (sun), that we may go to the true one, who pervades all
He who is the person in the sun, I am he.
And what is meant by the true one is the essence of the sun,
that which is bright, personal, sexless; a portion (only) of the light which
pervades the ether; which is, as it were, in the midst of the sun, and in the
eye, and in the fire. That is Brahman, that is immortal, that is splendour.
That is the true one, a portion (only) of the light which
pervades the ether, which is in the midst of the sun, the immortal, of which
Soma (the moon) and the vital breaths also are offshoots: that is Brahman, that
is immortal, that is splendour.
That is the true one, a portion (only) of the light which
pervades the ether, which in the midst of the sun shines as Yagus, viz. as Om,
as water, light, essence, immortal, Brahman, Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svar, Om.
'The eight-footed, the bright, the swan, bound with three
threads, the infinitely small, the imperishable, blind for good and evil,
kindled with light-he who sees him, sees everything.'
A portion (only) of the light which pervades the ether, are
the two rays rising in the midst of the sun. That is the knower (the Sun), the
true one. That is the Yagus, that is the heat, that is Agni (fire), that is Vayu
(wind), that is breath, that is water, that is the moon, that is bright, that is
immortal, that is the place of Brahman, that is the ocean of light. In that
ocean the sacrificers are dissolved like salt, and that is oneness with Brahman,
for all desires are there fulfilled. And here they quote:
'Like a lamp, moved by a gentle wind, he who dwells within
the gods shines forth. He who knows this, he is the knower, he knows the
difference (between the high and the highest Brahman); having obtained unity, he
becomes identified with it.
They who rise up in endless number, like spray drops (from
the sea), like lightnings from the light within the clouds in the highest
heaven, they, when they have entered into the light of glory (Brahman), appear
like so many flame-crests in the track of fire.'
36. There are two manifestations of the Brahma-light: one is
tranquil, the other lively. Of that which is tranquil, the ether is the support;
of that which is lively, food. Therefore (to the former) sacrifice must be
offered on the house-altar with hymns, herbs, ghee, meat, cakes, sthalipaka, and
other things; to the latter, with meat and drinks (belonging to the great
sacrifices) thrown into the mouth, for the mouth is the Ahavaniya-fire; and this
is done to increase our bodily vigour, to gain the world of purity, and for the
sake of immortality. And here they quote:
'Let him who longs for heaven, offer an Agnihotra. By an
Agnishtoma he wins the kingdom of Yama; by Uktha, the kingdom of Soma; by a
Shodasin-sacrifice, the kingdom of Surya; by an Atiratra-sacrifice, the kingdom
of Indra; by the sacrifices beginning with the twelve-night sacrifice and ending
with the thousand years' sacrifice, the world of Pragapati.
As a lamp burns so long as the vessel that holds the wick is
filled with oil, these two, the Self and the bright Sun, remain so long as the
egg (of the world) and he who dwells within it hold together.'
37. Therefore let a man perform all these ceremonies with the
syllable Om (at the beginning). Its splendour is endless, and it is declared to
be threefold, in the fire (of the altar), in the sun (the deity), in the breath
(the sacrificer). Now this is the channel to increase the food, which makes what
is offered in the fire ascend to the sun. The sap which flows from thence, rains
down as with the sound of a hymn. By it there are vital breaths, from them there
is offspring. And here they quote:
'The offering which is offered in the fire, goes to the sun;
the sun rains it down by his rays; thus food comes, and from food the birth of
And thus he said:
'The oblation which is properly thrown on the fire, goes
toward the sun; from the sun comes rain, from rain food, from food living
38. He who offers the Agnihotra breaks through the net of
desire. Then, cutting through bewilderment, never approving of anger, meditating
on one desire (that of liberty), he breaks through the shrine of Brahman with
its four nets, and proceeds thence to the ether. For having there broken through
the (four) spheres of the Sun, the Moon, the Fire, and Goodness, he then, being
purified himself, beholds dwelling in goodness, immovable, immortal,
indestructible, firm, bearing the name of Vishnu, the highest abode, endowed
with love of truth and omniscience, the self-dependent Intelligence (Brahman),
standing in its own greatness. And here they quote:
'In the midst of the sun stands the moon, in the midst of the
moon the fire, in the midst of fire goodness, in the midst of goodness the
Having meditated on him who has the breadth of a thumb within
the span (of the heart) in the body, who is smaller than small, he obtains the
nature of the Highest; there all desires are fulfilled. And on this they quote:
'Having the breadth of a thumb within the span (of the heart)
in the body, like the flame of a lamp, burning twofold or threefold, that
glorified Brahman, the great God, has entered into all the worlds. Om! Adoration
to Brahman! Adoration!'
1. Agni, the Gayatra (metre), the Trivrit (hymn), the
Rathantara (song), the spring, the upward breath (prana), the Nakshatras, the
Vasus (deities)-these rise in the East; they warm, they rain, they praise (the
sun), they enter again into him (the sun), they look out from him (the sun). He
(the sun) is inconceivable, without form, deep, covered, blameless, solid,
unfathomable, without qualities, pure, brilliant, enjoying the play of the three
qualities, awful, not caused, a master-magician, the omniscient, the mighty,
immeasurable, without beginning or end, blissful, unborn, wise, indescribable,
the creator of all things, the self of all things, the enjoyer of all things,
the ruler of all things, the centre of the centre of all things.
2. Indra, the Trishtubh (metre), the Pankadasa (hymn), the
Brihat (song), the summer, the through-going breath (Vyana), Soma, the Rudras -
these rise in the South; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again
into him, they look out from him. He (the sun) is without end or beginning,
unmeasured, unlimited, not to be moved by another, self-dependent, without sign,
without form, of endless power, the creator, the maker of light.
3. The Maruts, the Gagati (metre), the Saptadasa (hymn), the
Vairupa (song), the rainy season, the downward breath (apana), Sukra, the
Adityas - these rise in the West; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter
again into him, they look out from him. That is the tranquil, the soundless,
fearless, sorrowless, joyful, satisfied, firm, immovable, immortal, eternal,
true, the highest abode, bearing the name of Vishnu.
4. The Visve Devas, the Anushtubh (metre), the Ekavimsa
(hymn), the Vairaga (song), the autumn, the equal breath (samana), Varuna, the
Sadhyas - these rise in the North; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter
again into him, they look out from him. He is pure within, purifying,
undeveloped, tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless.
5. Mitra-Varunau, the Pankti (metre), the Trinavatrayastrimsa
(hymns), the Sakvara-raivata (songs), the snowy and dewy seasons, the out-going
breath (udana), the Angiras, the Moon - these rise above; they warm, they rain,
they praise, they enter again into him, they look out from him-who is called
Pranava (Om), the leader, consisting of light, without sleep, old age, death,
6. Sani (Saturn), Rahu and Ketu (the ascending and descending
nodes), the serpents, Rakshas, Yakshas, men, birds, sarabhas, elephants,
&c.-these rise below; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again
into him, they look out from him - he who is wise, who keeps things in their
right place, the centre of all, the imperishable, the pure, the purifier, the
bright, the patient, the tranquil.
7. And he is indeed the Self, smaller (than small) within the
heart, kindled like fire, endowed with all forms. Of him is all this food,
within him all creatures are woven. That Self is free from sin, free from old
age, from death and grief, from hunger and thirst, imagining nothing but what it
ought to imagine, and desiring nothing but what it ought to desire. He is the
highest lord, he is the supreme master of all beings, the guardian of all
beings, a boundary keeping all things apart in their right places. He the Self,
the lord, is indeed Sambhu, Bhava, Rudra, Pragapati, the creator of all,
Hiranyagarbha, the true, breath, the swan, the ruler, the eternal, Vishnu,
Narayana. And he who abides in the fire, and he who abides in the heart, and he
who abides in the sun, they are one and the same. To thee who art this, endowed
with all forms, settled in the true ether, be adoration!
8. Now follow the impediments in the way of knowledge, O
King! This is indeed the origin of the net of bewilderment, that one who is
worthy of heaven lives with those who are not worthy of heaven. That is it.
Though they have been told that there is a grove before them, they cling to a
small shrub. And others also who are always merry, always abroad, always
begging, always making a living by handiwork; and others who are begging in
towns, performing sacrifices for those who are not allowed to offer sacrifices,
who make themselves the pupils of Sudras, and Sudras who know the sacred books;
and others who are malignant, who use bad language, dancers, prize-fighters,
travelling mendicants, actors, those who have been degraded in the king's
service; and others who for money pretend that they can lay (the evil
influences) of Yakshas, Rakshasas, ghosts, goblins, devils, serpents, imps,
&c.; and others who falsely wear red dresses, earrings, and skulls; and
others who wish to entice by the jugglery of false arguments, mere comparisons
and paralogisms, the believers in the Veda - with all these he should not live
together. They are clearly thieves, and unworthy of heaven. And thus it is said:
'The world unsettled by the paralogisms of the denial of
Self, by false comparisons and arguments, does not know what is the difference
between Veda and philosophy.'
9. Brihaspati, having become Sukra, brought forth that false
knowledge for the safety of Indra and for the destruction of the Asuras. By it
they show that good is evil, and that evil is good. They say that we ought to
ponder on the (new) law, which upsets the Veda and the other sacred books.
Therefore let no one ponder on that false knowledge: it is wrong, it is, as it
were, barren. Its reward lasts only as long as the pleasure lasts, as with one
who has fallen from his caste. Let that false science not be attempted, for thus
it is said:
(1) Widely opposed and divergent are these two, the one known
as false knowledge, the other as knowledge. I (Yama) believe Nakiketas to be
possessed by a desire of knowledge; even many pleasures do not move thee.
(2) He who knows at the same time both the imperfect
(sacrifice, &c.) and the perfect knowledge (of the Self), he crosses death
by means of the imperfect, and obtains immortality by means of the perfect
(3) Those who are wrapped up in the midst of imperfect
knowledge, fancying themselves alone wise and learned, they wander about
floundering and deceived, like the blind led by the blind.
10. The gods and the demons, wishing to know the Self, went
into the presence of Brahman (their father, Pragapati). Having bowed before him,
they said: ‘O blessed one, we wish to know the Self, do thou tell us.' Then,
after having pondered a long while, he thought, these demons are not yet
self-subdued; therefore a very different Self was told to them (from what was
told to the gods). On that Self these deluded demons take their stand, clinging
to it, destroying the true means of salvation (the Veda), preaching untruth.
What is untrue they see as true, as in jugglery. Therefore, what is taught in
the Vedas, that is true. What is said in the Vedas, on that the wise keep their
stand. Therefore let a Brahman not read what is not of the Veda, or this will be
11. This is indeed the nature of it (the Veda), the supreme
light of the ether which is within the heart. This is taught as threefold, in
the fire, in the sun, in the breath. This is indeed the nature of it, the
syllable Om, of the ether which is within the heart. By it (by the Om) that
(light) starts, rises, breathes forth, becomes for ever the means of the worship
and knowledge of Brahman. That (light, in the shape of Om), when there is
breathing, takes the place of the internal heat, free from all brightness. This
is like the action of smoke; for when there is a breath of air, the smoke, first
rising to the sky in one column, follows afterwards every bough, envelopes it
and takes its shape. It is like throwing salt (into water), like heating ghee.
The Veda comes and goes like the dissolving view of a master-magician. And here
'Why then is it called "like lightning?" Because as
soon as it comes forth (as Om) it lights up the whole body. Therefore let a man
worship that boundless light by the syllable Om.'
(1) The man in the eye who abides in the right eye, he is
Indra, and his wife abides in the left eye.
(2) The union of these two takes place in the cavity within
the heart, and the ball of blood which is there, that is indeed the vigour and
life of these two.
(3) There is a channel going from the heart so far, and fixed
in that eye; that is the artery for both of them, being one, divided into two.
(4) The mind excites the fire of the body, that fire stirs
the breath, and the breath, moving in the chest, produces the low sound.
(5) Brought forth by the touch of the fire, as with a
churning-stick, it is at first a minim, from the minim it becomes in the throat
a double minim; on the tip of the tongue know that it is a treble minim, and,
when uttered, they call it the alphabet (Greek, stoixeia).
(6) He who sees this, does not see death, nor disease, nor
misery, for seeing he sees all (objectively, not as affecting him subjectively);
he becomes all everywhere (he becomes Brahman).
(7) There is the person in the eye, there is he who walks as
in sleep, he who is sound asleep, and he who is above the sleeper: these are the
four conditions (of the Self), and the fourth is greater than all.
(8) Brahman with one foot moves in the three, and Brahman
with three feet is in the last.
It is that both the true (in the fourth condition) and the
untrue (in the three conditions) may have their desert, that the Great Self
(seems to) become two, yes, that he (seems to) become two.
Maitrayani Upanishad Part One
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