1. Rishis, discoursing on
Brahman, ask: Is Brahman the cause? Whence are we born? By what do we
live? Where do we dwell at the end? Please tell us, O ye who know Brahman,
under whose guidance we abide, whether in pleasure or in pain.
2. Should time, or nature,
or necessity, or chance, or the elements be regarded as the cause? Or he
who is called the purusha, the living self?
3. The sages, absorbed in
meditation through one-pointedness of mind, discovered the creative power,
belonging to the Lord Himself and hidden in its own gunas. That non-dual
Lord rules over all those causes-time, the self, and the rest.
4. The sages saw the wheel
of Brahman, which has one felly, a triple tire, sixteen end-parts, fifty
spokes with twenty counter-spokes, and six sets of eight; whose one rope
is manifold; which moves on three different roads; and whose illusion
arises from two causes.
5. We meditate on the
River whose five currents are the five organs of perception, which is made
impetuous and winding by the five elements, whose waves are the five
organs of actions, and whose fountain-head is the mind, the source of the
five forms of perception. This River has five whirlpools and its rapids
are the fivefold misery; and lastly, it has fifty branches and five
6. In this great
Brahma-Wheel, in which all things abide and finally rest, the swan wanders
about so long as it thinks the self is different from the Controller. When
blessed by Him the self attains Immortality.
7. It is the Supreme
Brahman alone untouched by phenomena that is proclaimed in the Upanishads.
In It is established the triad of the enjoyer, the object, and the Lord
who is the Controller. This Brahman is the immutable foundation; It is
imperishable. The sages, having realized Brahman to be the essence of
phenomena, become devoted to Him. Completely merged in Brahman, they
attain freedom from rebirth.
8. The Lord, Isa, supports
all this which has been joined together-the perishable and the
imperishable, the manifest, the effect and the unmanifest, the cause. The
same Lord, the Supreme Self, devoid of Lordship, becomes bound because of
assuming the attitude of the enjoyer. The jiva again realizes the Supreme
Self and is freed from all fetters.
9. The Supreme Lord
appears as Isvara, omniscient and omnipotent, and as the jiva, of limited
knowledge and power, both unborn. But this does not deny the phenomenal
universe; for there exists further the unborn prakriti, which creates the
ideas of the enjoyer, enjoyment, and the object. Atman is infinite and
all-pervading, and therefore devoid of agency. When the seeker knows all
these three to be Brahman, he is freed from his fetters.
10. Prakriti is
perishable. Hara, the Lord, is immortal and imperishable. The non-dual
Supreme Self rules both prakriti and the individual soul. Through constant
meditation on Him, by union with Him, by the knowledge of identity with
Him, one attains, in the end, cessation of the illusion of phenomena.
11. When the Lord is known
all fetters fall off; with the cessation of miseries, birth and death come
to an end. From meditation on Him there arises, after the dissolution of
the body, the third state, that of universal lordship. And lastly, the
aspirant, transcending that state also, abides in the complete Bliss of
12. The enjoyer, the
objects of enjoyment, and the Ruler-the triad described by the knowers of
Brahman-all this is nothing but Brahman. This Brahman alone, which abides
eternally within the self, should be known. Beyond It, truly, there is
nothing else to be known.
13. The visible form of
fire, while it lies latent in its source, the fire-wood, is not perceived;
yet there is no destruction of its subtle form. That very fire can be
brought out again by means of persistent rubbing of the wood, its source.
In like manner, Atman, which exists in two states, like fire, can be
grasped in this very body by means of Om.
14. By making the body the
lower piece of wood, and Om the upper piece, and through the practice of
the friction of meditation, one perceives the luminous Self, hidden like
the fire in the wood.
As oil exists in sesame
seeds, butter in milk, water in river-beds, and fire in wood, so the Self
is realized as existing within the self, when a man looks for It by means
of truthfulness and austerity.
16. The Self, which
pervades all things as butter pervades milk, and whose roots are
Self-Knowledge and austerity—That is the Brahman taught by the
Upanishad; yea, that is the Brahman taught by the Upanishads.
1. May the sun, at the
commencement of yoga, join our minds and other organs to the Supreme Self
so that we may attain the Knowledge of Reality. May He, also, support the
body, the highest material entity, through the powers of the deities who
control the senses.
2. Having received the
blessings of the divine Sun, and with minds joined to the Supreme Self, we
exert ourselves, to the best of our power, toward meditation, by which we
shall attain Heaven (Brahman).
3. May the Sun bestow
favour upon the senses and the mind by joining them with the Self, so that
the senses may be directed toward the Blissful Brahman and may reveal, by
means of Knowledge, the mighty and radiant Brahman.
4. It is the duty of those
brahmins who fix their minds and senses on the Supreme Self to utter such
lofty invocations to the divine Sun, omnipresent, mighty, and omniscient.
For He, all-witnessing and non-dual, is the dispenser of sacrifices.
5. O senses, and O deities
who favour them! Through salutations I unite myself with the eternal
Brahman, who is your source. Let this prayer sung by me, who follow the
right path of the Sun, go forth in all directions. May the sons of the
Immortal, who occupy celestial positions, hear it!
6. If sacrifices are
performed without first propitiating the Sun, then the mind becomes
attached to sacrifices in which fire is kindled by the rubbing of the
pieces of fire-wood, the oblations are offered to the deity Vayu, and the
soma juice is drunk excessively.
7. Serve the eternal
Brahman with the blessings of the Sun, the cause of the universe. Be
absorbed, through samadhi, in the eternal Brahman. Thus your work will not
8. The wise man should
hold his body steady, with the three upper parts erect, turn his senses,
with the help of the mind, toward the heart, and by means of the raft of
Brahman cross the fearful torrents of the world.
9. The yogi of well
regulated endeavours should control the pranas; when they are quieted he
should breathe out through the nostrils. Then let him undistractedly
restrain his mind, as a charioteer restrains his vicious horses.
10. Let yoga be practised
within a cave protected from the high wind, or in a place which is level,
pure, and free from pebbles, gravel, and fire, undisturbed by the noise of
water or of market-booths, and which is delightful to the mind and not
offensive to the eye.
11. When yoga is practised,
the forms which appear first and which gradually manifest Brahman are
those or snow-flakes, smoke, sun, wind, fire, fire-flies, lightning,
crystal, and the moon
12. When earth, water
fire, air, and akasa arise, that is to say, when the five attributes of
the elements, mentioned in the books on yoga, become manifest then the
yogi’s body becomes purified by the fire of yoga and he is free from
illness, old age, and death.
13. The precursors of
perfection in yoga, they say, are lightness and healthiness of the body,
absence of desire, clear complexion, pleasantness of voice, sweet odour,
and slight excretions.
14. As gold covered by
earth shines bright after it has been purified, so also the yogi,
realising the truth of Atman, becomes one with the non-dual Atman, attains
the goal, and is free from grief.
15. And when the yogi
beholds the real nature of Brahman, through the Knowledge of the Self,
radiant as a lamp, then, having known the unborn and immutable Lord, who
is untouched by ignorance and its effects, he is freed from all fetters.
16. He indeed, the Lord,
who pervades all regions, was the first to be born, and it is He who
dwells in the womb of the universe. It is He, again, who is born as a
child, and He will be born in the future, He stands behind all persons,
and His face is everywhere.
1. The non-dual Ensnarer
rules by His powers. Remaining one and the same, He rules by His powers
all the worlds during their manifestation and continued existence. They
who know this become immortal.
2. Rudra is truly one; for
the knowers of Brahman do not admit the existence of a second, He alone
rules all the worlds by His powers. He dwells as the inner Self of every
living being. After having created all the worlds, He, their Protector,
takes them back into Himself at the end of time.
3. His eyes are
everywhere, His faces everywhere, His arms everywhere, everywhere His
feet. He it is who endows men with arms, birds with feet and wings, and
men likewise with feet. Having produced heaven and earth, He remains as
their non-dual manifester.
4. He, the omniscient
Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the
support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to
Hiranyagarbha-may He endow us with clear intellect!
5. O Rudra, Thou who
dwellest in the body and bestowest happiness! Look upon us with that most
blessed form of Thine, which is auspicious, unterrifying, and all good.
6. O Dweller in the body
and Bestower of happiness, make benign that arrow which Thou holdest in
Thy hand ready to shoot, O Protector of the body! Do not injure man or the
7. The Supreme Lord is
higher than Virat, beyond Hiranyagarbha. He is vast and is hidden in the
bodies of all living beings. By knowing Him who alone pervades the
universe, men become immortal.
8. I know the great
Purusha, who is luminous, like the sun, and beyond darkness. Only by
knowing Him does one pass over death; there is no other way to the Supreme
9. The whole universe is
filled by the Purusha, to whom there is nothing superior, from whom there
is nothing different, than whom there is nothing either smaller or
greater; who stands alone, motionless as a tree, established in His own
10. That which is farthest
from this world is without form and without affliction They who know It
become immortal; but others, indeed, suffer pain.
11. All faces are His
faces; all heads, His heads; all necks, His necks. He dwells in the hearts
of all beings. He is the all-pervading Bhagavan. Therefore He is the
omnipresent and benign Lord.
12. He, indeed, is the
great Purusha, the Lord of creation, preservation, and destruction, who
inspires the mind to attain the state of stainlessness. He is the Ruler
and the Light that is imperishable.
13. The Purusha, no bigger
than a thumb, is the inner Self, ever seated in the heart of man. He is
known by the mind, which controls knowledge, and is perceived in the
heart. They who know Him become immortal.
14. The Purusha with a
thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, compasses the earth on
all sides and extends beyond it by ten fingers’ breadth.
15. The Purusha alone is
all this-what has been and what will be. He is also the Lord of
Immortality and of whatever grows by food.
16. His hands and feet are
everywhere; His eyes, heads, and faces are everywhere; His ears are
everywhere; He exists compassing all.
17. Himself devoid of
senses, He shines through the functions of the senses. He is the capable
ruler of all; He is the refuge of all. He is great.
18. The Swan, the ruler of
the whole world, of all that is moving and all that is motionless, becomes
the embodied self, and dwelling in the city of nine gates, flies outward.
19. Grasping without
hands, hasting without feet, It sees without eyes, It hears without ears.
It knows what is to be known, but no one knows It. They call It the First,
the Great, the Full.
20. The Self, smaller than
the small, greater than the great, is hidden in the hearts of creatures.
The wise, by the grace of the Creator, behold the Lord, majestic and
desireless, and become free from grief.
21. I know this undecaying,
primeval One, the Self of all things, which exists everywhere, being
all-pervading, and which the wise declare to be free from birth. The
teachers of Brahman, indeed, speak of It as eternal.
1. He, the One and
Undifferentiated, who by the manifold application of His powers produces,
in the beginning, different objects for a hidden purpose, and, in the end,
withdraws the universe into Himself, is indeed the self-luminous-May He
endow us with clear intellect!
2. That Supreme Self is
Agni (Fire); It is Aditya (Sun); It is Vayu (Wind); It is Chandrama
(Moon). That Self is the luminous stars; It is Hiranyagarbha; It is water;
It is Virat.
3. Thou art woman, Thou
art man; Thou art youth and maiden too. Thou as an old man totterest along
on a staff; it is Thou alone who, when born, assumest diverse forms.
4. Thou art the dark-blue
bee; Thou art the green parrot with red eyes; Thou art the thunder-cloud,
the seasons, and the seas. Thou art beginningless and all-pervading. From
Thee all the worlds are born.
5. There is one
unborn-red, white, and black-which gives birth to many creatures like
itself. An unborn becomes attached to it and enjoys it, while another
unborn leaves it after his enjoyment is completed.
6. Two birds, united
always and known by the same name, closely cling to the same tree. One of
them eats the sweet fruit; the other looks on without eating.
7. Seated on the same
tree, the jiva moans, bewildered by its impotence. But when it beholds the
other, the Lord worshipped by all, and His glory, it becomes free from
8. Of what use are the
Vedas to him who does not know that indestructible Substance, that akasa-like
Brahman, which is greater than the unmanifest and wherein the Vedas and
all the gods are sheltered? Only those who know It attain bliss.
9. The sacred verses, the
offerings (yajna), the sacrifices (kratu), the penances (vrata), the past,
the future, and all that the Vedas declare, have been produced from the
imperishable Brahman. Brahman projects the universe through the power of
Its maya. Again, in that universe Brahman as the jiva is entangled through
10. Know, then, that
prakriti is maya and that Great God is the Lord of maya. The whole
universe is filled with objects which are parts of His being.
11. By truly realising Him
who, though non-dual, dwells in prakriti, both in its primary and in its
secondary aspect, and in Whom this whole world comes together and
dissolves-by truly realising Him Who is the Lord, the bestower of
blessings, the Adorable God, one attains the supreme peace.
12. He, the creator of the
gods and the bestower of their powers, the Support of the universe, Rudra
the omniscient, who at the beginning gave birth to Hiranyagarbha-may He
endow us with clear intellect!
13. He who is the
sovereign of the gods, in whom the worlds find their support, who rules
over all two-footed and four-footed beings-let us serve that God, radiant
and blissful, with an oblation.
14. By realising Him who
is subtler than the subtlest who dwells in the midst of the chaos, who is
the Creator of all things and is endowed with many forms, who is the
non-dual Pervader of the universe, and all good-by realising Him one
attains the supreme peace.
15. It is He who, in
proper time, becomes the custodian of the universe and the sovereign of
all; who conceals Himself in all beings as their inner Witness; and in
whom the sages and the deities are united. Verily, by knowing Him one cuts
asunder the fetters of death.
16. He who knows Brahman,
who is all Bliss, extremely subtle, like the film that rises to the
surface of clarified butter, and is hidden in all beings-he who knows the
radiant Deity, the sole Pervader of the universe, is released from all his
17. The Maker of all
things, self-luminous and all-pervading, He dwells always in the hearts of
men. He is revealed by the negative teachings of the Vedanta,
discriminative wisdom, and the Knowledge of Unity based upon reflection.
They who know Him become immortal.
18. When there is no
darkness, there is no day or night, neither being nor non-being; the pure
Brahman alone exists. That immutable Reality is the meaning of
“That”; It is adored by the Sun. From It has proceeded the
19. No one can grasp Him
above, across, or in the middle. There is no likeness of Him. His name is
20. His form is not an
object of vision; no one beholds Him with the eyes. They who, through pure
intellect and the Knowledge of Unity based upon reflection, realise Him as
abiding in the heart become immortal.
21. It is because Thou, O
Lord, art birthless, that some rare souls, frightened by birth and death,
take refuge in Thee. O Rudra, may Thy benign face protect me for ever!
22. O Rudra, do not, in
Thy wrath, destroy our children and grand-children. Do not destroy our
lives; do not destroy our cows or horses; do not destroy our strong
servants. For we invoke Thee always, with oblations, for our protection.
1. In the Immutable,
infinite Supreme Brahman remain hidden the two: knowledge and ignorance.
Ignorance leads to worldliness, and knowledge, to Immortality. Brahman,
who controls both knowledge and ignorance, is different from both.
2. He, the non-dual
Brahman, who rules over every position; who controls all forms and all
sources; who, in the beginning, filled with knowledge the omniscient
Hiranyagarbha, His own creation, whom He beheld when He was produced-He is
other than both knowledge and ignorance.
3. At the time of the
creation the Lord spreads out individual nets in various ways, and then at
the time of the cosmic dissolution withdraws them into the great prakriti.
Again the all-pervading Deity creates the aggregates of body and senses,
both individual and collective, and their controllers also, and thus
exercises His overlordship.
4. As the sun shines,
illumining all the quarters-above, below, and across-so also God,
self-resplendent, adorable, and non-dual, controls all objects, which
themselves possess the nature of a cause.
5. He who is the cause of
all and who enables all things to function according to their nature; who
brings to maturity all that can be ripened; who, being non-dual, rules
over the whole universe and engages the gunas in their respective
6. He is concealed in the
Upanishads, the secret part of the Vedas. Brahma knew Him who can be known
only from the evidence of the Vedas. The gods and seers of olden times who
knew Him became Brahman and attained Immortality.
7. Endowed with gunas, the
jiva performs action, seeking its fruit; and again, it reaps the fruit of
what it has done. Assuming all forms and led by the three gunas, the jiva,
ruler of the pranas, roams about following the three paths, according to
8. Of the size of a thumb,
but brilliant, like the sun, the jiva possesses both volition and egoism.
It is endowed with the qualities of both buddhi and Atman. Therefore it is
seen as another entity, inferior, and small as the point of a goad.
9. Know the embodied soul
to be a part of the hundredth part of the point of a hair divided a
hundred times; and yet it is infinite.
10. It is not female, it
is not male, nor is it neuter. whatever body it takes, with that it
11. By means of desires,
contact, attachment, and delusion, the embodied soul assumes,
successively, diverse forms in various places, according to its deeds,
just as the body grows when food and drink are poured into it.
12. The embodied soul, by
means of good and evil deeds committed by itself, assumes many forms,
coarse and fine. By virtue of its actions and also of such characteristics
of the mind as knowledge and desire, it assumes another body for the
enjoyment of objects.
13. He who knows the Lord,
who is without beginning or end, who stands in the midst of the chaos, who
is the Creator of all things and is endowed with many forms-he who knows
the radiant Deity, the sole Pervader of the universe, is released from all
14. Those who know Him who
can be realised by the pure heart, who is called incorporeal, who is the
cause of creation and destruction, who is all good and the creator of the
sixteen parts-those who know the luminous Lord are freed from embodiment.
1. Some learned men speak
of the inherent nature of things, and some speak of time, as the cause of
the universe. They all, indeed, are deluded. It is the greatness of the
self-luminous Lord that causes the Wheel of Brahman to revolve.
2. He by whom the whole
universe is constantly pervaded is the Knower, the Author of time. He is
sinless and omniscient, It is at His command that the work which is called
earth, water, fire, air, and akasa appears as the universe. All this
should be reflected upon.
3. The yogi who first
performs actions and then turns away from them, and who practises one,
two, three, or eight disciplines, unites one principle with another
principle and with the help of virtues cultivated by the self and of
subtle tendencies attains Liberation in course of time.
4. He who attains purity
of heart by performing actions as an offering to the Lord, and merges
prakriti and all its effects in Brahman, realises his true Self and
thereby transcends phenomena. In the absence of maya, both collective and
individual, all his past actions are destroyed. After the destruction of
the prarabdha karma he attains final Liberation.
5. The Great Lord is the
beginning, the cause which unites the soul with the body; He is above the
three kinds of time and is seen to be without parts. After having
worshipped that adorable God dwelling in the heart, who is of many forms
and is the true source of all things, man attains final Liberation.
6. He from whom this
universe proceeds is higher and other than all forms of the Tree of the
World and of time. When one knows Him who is the indweller, the bringer of
good, the destroyer of evil, the Lord of powers, the immortal support of
all, one attains final Liberation.
7. We know Him who is the
Supreme Lord of lords, the Supreme Deity of deities, the Ruler of rulers;
who is higher than the imperishable prakriti and is the self-luminous,
adorable Lord of the world.
8. He is without a body or
organs; none like unto Him is seen, or better than He. The Vedas speak of
His exalted power, which is innate and capable of producing diverse
effects, and also of His omniscience and might.
9. He has no master in the
world, no ruler, nor is there even a sign of Him by which He can be
inferred. He is the cause, the Lord of the lord of the organs; and He is
without progenitor or controller.
10. May the non-dual Lord,
who, by the power of His maya, covered Himself, like a spider, with
threads drawn from primal matter, merge us in Brahman!
non-dual and resplendent Lord is hidden in all beings. All-pervading, the
inmost Self of all creatures, the impeller to actions, abiding in all
things, He is the Witness, the Animator, and the Absolute, free from
12. There is a non-dual
Ruler of the actionless many; He makes the one seed manifold. Eternal
happiness belongs to the wise, who perceive Him within themselves-and not
13. He is the Eternal
among the eternal, the Conscious among the conscious, and though non-dual,
fulfils the desires of many. He who has known Him, the luminous Lord, the
Great Cause, to be realised by Knowledge and yoga, is freed from all
14. The sun does not shine
there, nor the moon and the stars, nor these lightnings-much less this
fire. He shining, everything shines after Him. By his light all this is
15. In this universe the
Swan, the Supreme Self alone exists. It is He who, as fire, abides in the
water. Only by knowing Him does one pass over death, There is no other way
to reach the Supreme Goal.
16. He who is the support
of both the unmanifested prakriti and the jiva, who is the Lord of the
three gunas, and who is the cause of bondage, existence, and Liberation
from samsara, is verily the Creator of the universe, the Knower, the
inmost Self of all things, and their Source-the omniscient Lord, the
Author of time, the Possessor of virtues, the Knower of everything.
17. He who constantly
rules the world is verily the cause of bondage and Liberation. Established
in His own glory, He is the Immortal, the Embodiment of Consciousness, the
omnipresent Protector of the universe. There is no one else able to rule
18. Seeking Liberation, I
take refuge in the Lord, the revealer of Self-Knowledge, who in the
beginning created Brahma and delivered the Vedas to Him.
19. To Him who is without
parts, without actions, tranquil, blameless, unattached, the supreme
bridge to Immortality, and like a fire that has consumed all its fuel.
20. When men shall roll up
space (akasha) as if it were a piece of hide, then there will be an end of
misery without one’s cultivating the Knowledge of the Lord.
21. Through the power of
austerity and through the grace of the Lord, the sage Svetasvatara
realised Brahman and proclaimed the highly sacred Knowledge, supremely
cherished by the company of seers, to sannyasins of the most advanced
22. The profound mystery
in the Vedanta was taught in the previous cycle. It should not be given to
one whose passions have not been subdued, nor to one who is not a son or a
23. If these truths have
been told to a high-minded person who feels the highest devotion for God,
and for his guru as for God, then they will surely shine forth as inner
experiences-then, indeed, they will shine forth.