1. Om. Sukesa, the Son of
Bharadvaja, and Satyakama, the son of Sibi, and Sauryayani, belonging to
the family of Garga, and Kausalya, the son of Asvala, and Vaidarbhi,
belonging to the family of Bhrigu, and Kahandhi, the Son of Katya-all
these, devoted to Brahman and firm in Brahman, and seeking the Supreme
Brahman, approached, fuel in hand, the venerable Pippalada with the
thought that he would tell them everything about Brahman.
2. The rishi said to them:
Stay with me a year more, practising austerities, chastity, and faith.
Then you may ask questions according to your desire. If we know we shall
tell you all.
3. Then Kabandhi, the son
of Katya, came to him and asked: Sir, whence are these creatures born?
4. To him the teacher
said: Prajapati, the Creator, was desirous of progeny. He performed
austerities, and having performed austerities, created the pair, the moon
(rayi) and the sun (prana). He said to Himself: “These two should
produce creatures for Me in manifold ways.”
5. The sun is, indeed,
prana, life; the moon is rayi, food. Food is, indeed, all this-what has
form and what is formless. Therefore everything having form is, indeed,
6. Now the sun, when it
rises, enters the eastern quarter and thereby enfolds the living beings of
the east in its rays. And when it illuminates the southern, the western,
the northern, the lower, the upper, and the intermediate quarters-when it
illuminates everything-it thus enfolds all living beings in its rays.
7. That sun rises every
day-the sun, which is the soul of all creatures, the soul of all forms,
which is life and fire. This has been described by the following rik:
8. The wise know him who
is in all forms, full of rays, all-knowing, non-dual, the support of all
life, the eye of all beings, the giver of heat. There rises the sun, the
thousand-rayed, existing in a hundred forms, the life of all creatures.
9. The year, verily, is
Prajapati, and there arc two paths thereof: the Southern and the Northern.
Those who perform sacrifices and engage in pious actions, as duties to be
done, win only the World of the Moon; verily they return hither again.
Therefore the rishis who desire off-spring travel by the Southern Path.
This Path of the Fathers is rayi, food.
10. But those who seek the
Self through austerity, chastity, faith, and knowledge travel by the
Northern Path and win the Sun. The Sun, verily, is the support of all
lives. He is immortal and fearless; He is the final goal. Thence they do
not return. This path is blocked for the ignorant. Concerning it there is
the following verse:
11. Some call Him the
father with five feet and with twelve forms, the giver of rain, and the
dweller in the region above the sky. Others, again, say that the world is
fixed in the omniscient Sun, endowed with seven wheels and six spokes.
12. The month, verily, is
Prajapati. Its dark half, verily, is food, rayi; its bright half, the
eater, prana. Therefore some rishis perform sacrifice in the bright half,
some in the other half.
13. Day and night, verily,
are Prajapati. Of these, day is the eater, prana, and night, the food,
rayi. Those who join in sexual enjoyment by day verily dissipate life; but
to join in sexual enjoyment by night is, verily, chastity.
14. Food, verily, is
Prajapati. From that comes semen; from semen are all these creatures born.
15. Those, therefore, who
practise this rule of Prajapati beget a pair. But Brahmaloka belongs to
those who observe austerity and chastity and in whom truth is firmly
16. The stainless World of
Brahma belongs to those in whom there is no crookedness, no falsehood, no
1. Then Vaidarbhi,
belonging to the family of Bhrigu, asked him: Sir, how many gods support
the body of the created being? How many of these manifest their power
through it? And which one, furthermore, is paramount?
2. To the disciple he
said: Space, akasa, verily is that god-the wind, fire, water, earth,
speech, mind, eye, and ear, as well. These, having manifested their glory,
said boastfully: “We support this body and uphold it.”
3. To them prana, the
chiefmost said: “Do not fall into delusion. I alone, dividing myself
into five parts, support this body and uphold it.” But they were
4. Prana, out of pride,
rose upward, as it were, from the body. Now, when it rose upward all the
others rose upward also, and when it settled down they all settled down
with it. As bees go out when their queen goes out and return when she
returns, even so did speech, mind, eye, and ear. They, being satisfied,
5. It burns as fire, it is
the sun, it is the rain; it is Indra, it is the wind, it is the earth, it
is food. It is the luminous god. It is being and non-being; it is
6. As spokes in the hub of
a wheel, all are fixed in prana, including the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda,
the Sama-Veda, the kshattriyas, and the brahmins.
7. As Prajapati thou
movest about in the womb; it is thou, indeed, who art born again. To thee,
O Prana, creatures bring offerings, to thee who dwellest in the body with
8. Thou art the chief
bearer of oblations to the gods and the first offering to the departed
fathers; thou art the true activities of the rishis, of the Atharvangiras.
9. Indra thou art, O
Prana, and Rudra, too, in prowess. Thou art the Protector. Thou movest in
the sky; thou art the sun, the lord of lights.
10. When, O Prana, thou
showerest down rain, these creatures of thine are delighted, thinking
there will be as much food as they desire.
11. Thou art vratya, O
Prana, and the Ekarshi Fire that devours the butter. Thou art the Supreme
Lord of all. We are the givers of the butter that thou consumest, O
Matarisva! Thou art our father.
12. That form of thine
which abides in speech, which abides in the ear, which abides in the eye,
and which pervades the mind, make propitious. Go not away!
13. All that exists here
is under the control of prana, and also what exists in heaven. Protect us
as a mother her sons; bestow upon us prosperity and wisdom.
1. Then Kausalya, the son
of Asvala, asked Pippalada: Sir, whence is this prana born? How does it
come into this body? How does it abide in the body after it has divided
itself? How does it depart? How does it support the external and how the
2. To him the teacher
replied: You are asking difficult questions; you must be exceedingly
devoted to Brahman. Therefore I will answer you.
3. This prana is born of
Atman. As a shadow is cast by a person, so this prana is, by Atman.
Through the activity of the mind it comes into this body.
4. As an emperor commands
his officials, saying; “Rule these villages or those,” so this
prana employs the other pranas, each in its separate place.
5. Prana engages apana in
the organs of excretion and generation; he himself moves through the mouth
and nose and dwells in the eye and ear. In the middle is samana; it
distributes equally what has been offered as food in the fire in the
stomach. From this prana fire arise the seven flames.
6. The atman dwells in the
heart, where there are one hundred and one arteries (nadi); for each of
these there are one hundred branches, and for each of these branches,
again, there are seventy-two thousand subsidiary vessels. Vyana moves in
7. And then udana,
ascending upward through one of them, conducts the departing soul to the
virtuous world, for its virtuous deeds; to the sinful world, for its
sinful deeds; and to the world of men, for both.
8. The sun, verily, is the
external prana; for it rises, favouring the prana in the eye. The deity
that exists in the earth controls the apana of man. The space, akasa,
between heaven and earth is samana. The air is vyana.
9. Fire, verily, is udana;
therefore he whose fire has been extinguished goes out for rebirth, with
the senses absorbed in the mind.
10. Whatever one’s
thinking, with that one enters into prana. Prana joined with fire,
together with the soul, leads to whatever world has been fashioned by
11. The wise man who thus
knows prana does not lose his offspring and becomes immortal. As to this
there is the following verse:
12. He who knows the
origin of prana, its entry, its place, its fivefold distribution, its
internal aspect and also its external, obtains immortality; yea, he
1. Next Sauryayani,
belonging to the family of Garga, asked: Sir, what are they that sleep in
man, and what are they that remain awake in him? Which deity is it that
sees dreams? Whose is the happiness? In whom, again, are all these
2. To him Pippalada
replied: O Gargya, as the rays of the sun, when it sets, are gathered in
that luminous orb, and again go forth when it rises, even so, verily, all
these-the objects and the senses-become one in the superior god, the mind.
Therefore at that time a man hears not, sees not, smells not, tastes not,
touches not, speaks not, grasps not, enjoys not, emits not, and does not
move about. He sleeps-that is what people say.
3. The prana fires remain
awake in this city. Apana is the Garhapatya Fire, and vyana, the
Anvaharyapachana Fire. And prana is the Ahavaniya Fire, so called from
being taken-since it is taken from the Garhapatya Fire.
4. Samana is so called
because it distributes equally the two oblations, namely, the
out-breathing and the in-breathing; it is the priest. The mind, verily, is
the sacrificer. Udana is the fruit of the sacrifice, because it leads the
sacrificer every day, in deep sleep, to Brahman.
5. There, in dreams, that
god, the mind, experiences glory. Whatever has been seen he sees again;
whatever has been heard he hears again; whatever has been experienced in
different countries and quarters, he experiences again. Whatever has been
seen or not seen, heard or not heard, and whatever is real or not real-he
sees it all. He sees all, himself being all.
6. When the jiva is
overcome by light he sees no dreams; at that time, in this body, arises
7. As a bird goes to a
tree to roost, even so, O friend, all this rests in the Supreme Atman.
8. Earth and its subtle
counterpart, water and its subtle counterpart, fire and its subtle
counterpart, air and its subtle counterpart, akasa and its subtle
counterpart, the eye and what can be seen, the ear and what can be heard,
the nose and what can be smelt, the taste and what can be tasted, the skin
and what can be touched, the organ of speech and what can be spoken, the
hands and what can be grasped, the organ of generation and what can be
enjoyed, the organ of excretion and what can be excreted, the feet and
what is their destination, the mind (manas) and what can be thought, the
intellect (buddhi) and what can be comprehended, the ego (ahamkara) and
the object of egoism, the memory (chitta) and its object, knowledge (tejah)
and its object, prana and what is to be supported.
9. He, verily, it is who
sees, feels, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, and knows. He is the doer, the
intelligent self, the purusha. He is established in the Highest, the
10. He who knows that
imperishable Being, bright, without shadow, without body, without colour,
verily attains the Supreme, the undecaying Purusha, O my good friend, he
who knows Atman becomes all-knowing, becomes all. About it there is the
11. He, O friend, who
knows that imperishable Being wherein rests the intelligent self, together
with the gods, the pranas, and the elements-he becomes all-knowing and
enters into all.
1. Then Satyakama, the son
of Sibi, asked Pippalada; Sir, if among men someone should here meditate
on the syllable AUM until death, which world, verily, would he win
2. He replied: O Satyakama,
the syllable AUM is the Supreme Brahman and also the other Brahman.
Therefore he who knows it attains, with its support, the one or the other.
3. If he meditates on one
letter (matra), then, being enlightened by that alone, he quickly comes
back to earth after death. The rik verses lead him to the world of men. By
practising austerity, chastity, and faith he enjoys greatness.
4. If, again, he meditates
on the second letter, he attains the mind and is led up by the yajur
verses to the intermediate space, to the Plane of the Moon. Having enjoyed
greatness in the Plane of the Moon, he returns hither again.
5. Again, he who meditates
on the Highest Person through this syllable AUM consisting of three
letters, becomes united with the effulgent Sun. As a snake is freed from
its skin, even so he is freed from sin.
6. The three letters of
AUM are mortal; but when joined together in meditation on the total
Reality and used properly on the activities of the external, internal, and
intermediate states, the knower trembles not.
7. The wise man,
meditating on AUM, attains this world by means of the rik verses; the
intermediate world by means of the yajur verses; and that which is known
to the seers by means of the sama verses. And also through the syllable
AUM he realises that which is tranquil, free from decay, death, and fear,
and which is the Highest.
1. Then Sukesa, the son of
Bharadvaja, said to Pippalada: Sir, Hiranyabha, the prince of Kosala, once
came to me and asked this question: “O son of Bharadvaja, do you know
the Person with sixteen parts?” I said to the prince: “I do not
know Him; if I knew Him, why should I not tell you? Surely he who speaks
what is not true withers away to the very root; therefore I should not
speak untruth.” Then he silently mounted his chariot and went away.
Now I ask you: Where does that Person dwell?
2. Pippalada said to him:
That Person-He from whom these sixteen parts arise-is verily here within
3. The Purusha reflected:
“What is it by whose departure I shall depart, and by whose staying I
4. He created prana; from
prana faith, space, air, fire, water, earth, the organs, mind, food; from
food virility, austerity, the Vedic hymns, sacrifice, the worlds; and in
the worlds He created names.
5. As these flowing
rivers, bound for the ocean, disappear into the ocean after having reached
it, their names and forms being destroyed, and are called simply the
ocean-even so, these sixteen parts of the seer, whose goal is the Purusha,
disappear into the Purusha after having reached Him, their names and forms
being destroyed, and are called simply the Purusha. He becomes free of
parts and immortal.
On this there is the
6. Know Him, the Purusha,
who alone is to he known and in whom the parts rest firm, like the spokes
in the nave of a wheel, that death may not affect you.
7. Pippalada said to them:
Thus far, indeed, I know the Supreme Brahman; there is nothing higher than
8. And they, worshipping
him, said: Thou, indeed, art our father-thou who hast taken us across our
ignorance to the other shore.
Adoration to the supreme
rishis! Adoration to the supreme rishis!