By Dr. Radhakrishnan

Prepared by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

The Maitrī Upaniṣad or Maitrāyaṇīya Upaniṣad, belongs to the Maitrāyaṇa śākhā or branch of the Black Yajur Veda.1 Maitrī is the principal teacher and Maitrāyaṇa is the name of the śākhā to which the Upaniṣad belongs. It contains seven chapters of which the last two are comparatively modern. The whole Upaniṣad is later in date than the classical Upaniṣads which it quotes frequently. 2  We have a reference to the Trimūrti conception Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva in IV.5, which also indicates the late date of the Upaniṣad. The three forms are traced to the three Guṇas, rajas, sattva, and tamas in V.2. Suggestions of the illusory character of the world, momentariness of the phenomena show the influence of Buddhist thought. Rāmatīrtha’s commentary on the Upaniṣad  is of much interest.

1 In some texts it assigned to the Sāma Veda.

2 From the grammatical peculiarities found in this Upaniṣad Max Muller ascribes the Upaniṣad to 'an early rather than to a late period, possibly to an anti-Pāṇinean period.' Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XV (1900), P.6.

Chapter 1


1.1.A sacrifice to brahmā, indeed, is the laying (of the sacrificial fires) of the ancients. Therefore let the sacrificer, having laid these fires, meditate on the self. Thus, verily, does the sacrifice become complete and flawless.  Who is he that is to be meditated upon? He who is called life. Of him there is this story.

pūrveṣām: of the ancients or formerly described. The performance of the sacrifices described previously in the Maitrāyaṇa Brāhmaṇa is to lead up in the end to the knowledge of Brahman.

According to Rāmatīrtha,1 the purpose of the Upaniṣad is to show that ceremonial works insofar as they contribute to produce the knowledge of the Supreme Self are themselves indirect causes of the highest end of man.

Khalu: verily.

1Unless otherwise stated, all references are from Rāmatīrtha.

1.2. Verily, a king, Bṛhadratha by name, after having established his son in the kingdom, reflecting that this body is non-eternal, reaching for the state of non-attachment (to the things of the world) went into the forest. There, performing extreme austerity, he stands, with uplifted arms, gazing at the sun. At the end of a thousand (days) there came into the presence of the ascetic, like a fire without smoke, burning as It were with glow, the revered Sākāyanya the knower of the self. He said unto the king 'Arise, arise, choose a boon.' He did his obeisance and said, 'O Revered One, I know not the self. We have heard that you know Its nature. So tell It unto us. ' Sākāyanya replied, 'Such things used to occur formerly Very difficult, (to answer) is this question a Alkṣvāka, choose other desires. The king, touching his (Sākāyanya's) feet with his head recited this utterance.

Sahasrasya: a thousand, at the end of a thousand years, stihasrasaṁ­

vatsarānte. V. sahasrāhasya, a thousand days.

Vairāgya: non-attachment rāga..nivtti.

tattvavit· ātmatattvasya vettā: the knower of the nature of the self.

1.3 O Revered One, in this foul-smelling, unsubstantial body, a conglomerate of bone, skin, muscle, marrow, flesh, semen, blood, mucus, tears, rheum, faeces, urine, wind, bile and phlegm, what is the good of the enjoyment of desires? In this body which is afflicted with desire, anger, covetousness, delusion, fear, despondency, envy, separation from what is desired, union with the undesired, hunger, thirst, old age, death, disease, sorrow and the like, what is the good of the enjoyment of desires?

niḥsāre: unsubstantial,

kāma: desire, desire for what one has not got.

Moha: delusion.

Such descriptions of the human being occur in Buddhist literature and are intended to create disgust for the human existence.

Cp Manu VI. 62

'On their separation from those whom they love and their union With those whom they hate, on their strength overpowered by old age and their bodies racked With disease. '

1.4. And we see that all this is perishing, as these gnats, mosquitoes and the like, the grass and the trees that grow and decay. But, indeed, what of these? There are others, superior, great warriors, some world-rulers, Sudyumna, Bhūridyumna, Indradyumna, Kuvalayāśva, Yauvanāśva, Vadhryaśva, Asvapati, Śaśabindu, Hariścandra, Ambarīṣa, Ananakta, Saryāti, Yayāti, Anaraṇya, Ukṣasena, and the rest, Kings,  too, such as Marutta, Bharata and others, with their whole families looking on, they renounced great wealth and went forth from this world into that. But, indeed, what of these? There are others, superior. We see the destruction of Gandharvas (fairies), Asuras (demons), Yakṣas (sprites), Rākṣasas (ogres), Bhūtas (ghosts), Gaṇas, Piśācas (goblins), snakes, vampires, and the like. But, indeed, what of these? Among other things, there is the drying up of great oceans, the falling away of mountain peaks, the deviation of the fixed pole-star, the cutting of the wind-ropes (that hold the stars m their places), the submergence of the earth, the departure of the gods from their station. In such a world as this, what is the good of enjoyment of desires? For he who has fed on them is seen to return (to this world) repeatedly. Be pleased, therefore, to deliver me. In this world (cycle of existence) I am like a frog In a waterless well. Revered Sir, you are our way (of deliverance). you are our way.

Everything in the world is transient It rises and grows, decays

and dies. Cp Henry Vaughan' 'Suddenly

do the high things of this world come to an end, and their delectable

things pass away, for  when they seem to be In their flower and full

strength, they perish to astonishment. And sure the ruine of the

most goodly places seems to tell, that the dissolution of the whole is

not far off.' Mount of Olives (1652)

After Ambarīṣa, name of Nahuṣa is given In some texts Anānata

Is the name of a Ṛṣi in R V IX 3

nirodham destruction, another reading, nirodhanam.



II.1Then, the revered Sākāyanya, well pleased, said to the king 'Great King Bṛhadratha, banner of the race of Ikṣvāku, speedily will you who are renowned as Marut (the wind) attain your purpose and become a knower of the self. This, indeed, is thy self' 'Which, O Revered One,' said the King.

Then he said to him.

The question is raised whether the self is different from the body,

the senses, mind, understanding and life and the answer is given

that the self is different from the composite of all these.

The teaching concerning the self continues till VI 28.

II.2 Now he who, without stopping the respiration, goes upwards, moving about yet unmoving, dispels darkness, he is the self. Thus said the revered Maitrī. For thus has It been said, 'Now that serene one, who, rising up out of this body, reaches the highest light and appears with his own form, he is the self,' said he, 'that is the immortal, the fearless That is Brahman '

See CU VIII 3 4

moving about, yet unmoving while he experiences the changes of the mind caused by impressions, he is in reality unaffected by them all.

Śarīrāt:l from this body, both the gross (sthūla) and the subtle (sūkma).

samprasādha: It is the self In deep sleep.

II.3. Now, indeed, O King, this is the brahma knowledge, even the knowledge contained In all the Upaniṣads as declared to us by the revered Maitri. I will narrate it to you. Now we hear that Vālikhilyas were free from evil, of resplendent glory and Vigorous chastity. Now they said to Kratu Prajā-pati, 'O Revered One, this body is like a cart without intelligence. To what supersensuous being belongs such power by which such a sort of thing has been made intelligent, or In other words, who is its mover? What you know, O Revered One, tell us that ' Then he said to them.

The conversation between Vālikhilyas and Prajā-pati, continues till the end of IV 6

apahata-pāpmānaḥ: free from evil, Those who freed themselves from

evil by severe austerities.

tigma-tejasāḥ: of resplendent glory or transcendent radiance.

Ūrdhva-retasāḥ of Vigorous Chasity.

II.4. He who is reputed as standing aloof amidst qualities like those of vigorous chastity, he indeed, is pure, clean, void ,

tranquil, breathless, mindless, endless, undecaying, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent. He abides In his own greatness.

By him this body is set up as possessing intelligence or in other words, this one, verily, is its driver Then they said, 'How,

Revered sir, by this kind of desireless being is this sort of thing set up as possessing intelligence, or in other words, how is this

one Its mover?' Then he said to them.

uparisthaḥ: standing aloof.

ūrdhva·retasaḥ: may be taken as vocative also 'He who, O men of

vigorous chastity, is described in the śruti as dwelling amidst worldly

objects and yet placed above them all. This is more satisfactory.

śūnyaḥ: void.

śānta: ; tranquil.

Nirātmā: mindless. 

Anubhūti-.prakāśa reads anīṣārtmā. (60)

'He abides in his own greatness.' See CU VII 24

aiṭhena' free from any local habitation or attachment.

II.5. Verily, that subtile, ungraspable, invisible one, called the person, dwells here (in the body} With a part (of himself), with previous awareness (volition) even as the man who is fast asleep awakes of his own awareness (volition) Now, assuredly that part of him, which is entirely intelligent In every person is the spirit (knower of the body) which has the marks of conception, determination and self-love, Prajā-pati called Viśva. By him as intelligence is his body set up as possessed of intelligence, or in other words this very one is its mover. Then they said, 'Revered Sir, If by this kind of desireless being this sort of thing is set up as possessed of intelligence, still, how is this one Its mover?' Then he said to them.

buddhi-pūrvam is the reading adopted by Anubhūtiprakāśa 67, 68,

A man If he likes can wake himself from sleep. Another reading is

a-buddhi pūrvam, without previous awareness or volition.

Ksetrajña: knower of the body.



II.6 Verily, In the beginning Prajā-pati (the lord of creatures) stood alone He had no happiness, being alone. Then, meditating on himself, he created numerous offspring. He saw them to be like a stone, without understanding; without life, standing like a post. He had no happiness He then thought to himself.  'Let me enter within in order to awaken (enlighten) them' He made himself like wind and sought to enter into him. Being one, he could not do it. He divided himself fivefold and Is called prāṇa, apāna, samāna, udāna, vyāna (five kinds of breath). That breath which rises upwards that, assuredly, is the prāṇa (breath). Now that which moves downwards, that, assuredly, is the apāna (breath). Now that, verily, by which these two are supported, that, assuredly, is the vyāna (breath). Now that which carries unto the apāna breath gross elements of food and distributes the subtle (elements) in each limb, that, assuredly, is called samāna (breath) It is a higher form of the vyāna (breath) and between them is the production of the udāna (breath). That which brings up or carries down what has been drunk and eaten is the udāna (breath). Now the upāṁśu vessel is over against the antaryāma vessel and the antaryāma vessel is over against the upāṁśu vessel and between these two the god generated heat. That heat is the person and the person is the universal fire. And thus It  is said elsewhere, 'This is the universal fire namely that which is here within a person by means of which the food that is eaten is cooked (digested) Its noise is that which one hears on covering the eyes thus. When a man is about to depart this life he does not hear this noise. He, verily, having divided himself fivefold is hidden in a secret place, he who consists of mind, whose body is life, whose form is light, whose conception is truth, whose soul is space. Verily, not having attained his purpose, he thought to himself from within the heart here, 'Let me enjoy objects. Thence having pierced these openings (the five apertures of the senses), he enjoys the objects by means of the five reins These reins of his are the organs of perception. His horses are the organs of action. His chariot is the body. The charioteer is the mind. The whip is made of one's character. By him thus driven, this body goes round and round like the wheel (driven) by the potter. So this body is set up as possessing intelligence or in other words, this very one is Its mover.

eka: with no one to help, asahāya

agre: before creation, carācarasṛṣṭeḥ pūrvam.

Aśmeva:  Pāṣāṇavad acetana.

aprabuddhāḥ: buddhi-rahitāḥ.

upāṁśu and antaryāma are the two (grahas) vessels for holding

the soma juice. They are placed on either Side of the stone used

for crushing the soma plant See Taittirīya Saṁhitā 1. 4 2. 3; VI. 4 5 6

Thus it is said elsewhere:  B U V 9, C U III 13 8

Guhāyām: in a secret place. It conceals the excess of knowledge, JOY, etc.

Bhā-rūpaḥ: whose form is light.

Satya-sakalpa· whose conception is truth.

Ākāsātmā: whose soul is space.

II.7. Verily, thus self, the seers declare, wanders here on earth in every body (from body to body) unaffected, as it seems, by the light or the dark fruits of action. On account of this unmanifestness, subtility, imperceptibility, ungraspability, freedom from self-sense, (the self) is unabiding and a doer only in seeming, truly is not a doer, he is abiding. Verily, he is pure, steadfast, unswerving, stainless, unagitated, free from desire, remains fixed like a spectator and abiding In his own self. As an enjoyer of righteous work he covers himself with a veil made of qualities, but he remains fixed, yea, he remains fixed.

kavayah seers, medhāvinaḥ.

anabhtbhutah unaffected.

He 18 a seer, a witness, not an object seen.

nispṛhaḥ: free from desire.

prekṣaka. spectator, udāsīna The impartial looker-on of the drama of which all the world, ourselves included, is the stage.

The suggestion that the self assuming the form of an enjoyer wanders in the world of saṁsāra is made here.




II.1. They (the Vālikhilyas) said (to Prajā-pati Kratu), 'Revered One, If you thus indicate the greatness of this self then there

is that other, different one also called self, who, affected by the bright or dark fruits of action, enters a good or an evil

womb, so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders about, affected by the pairs (of Opposites like pleasure

and pain).

II.2. There is, indeed, another, different, called the elemental self, he who, affected by the bright or the dark fruits of action, enters a good or an evil womb so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders about affected by the pairs (of opposites). And this is its explanation. The five subtle elements are called by the name element. Likewise the five gross elements are called by the name element. Now the combination of these is called the body. Now he, Indeed, who is said to be in the body is called the elemental self. Now its immortal self is like a drop of water on the lotus leaf .This (elemental self) verily, is affected by nature's qualities. Now because of being affected, he gets to bewilderment (becomes confused); because of bewilderment he sees not the blessed Lord who dwells in himself the causer of action. Borne along and defiled by the stream of qualities, unstable, wavering, bewildered, full of desire distracted, he gets to the state of self-love. Thinking 'I am he,' 'This is mine,' he binds himself with this self like a bird In a snare. So being affected by the fruits of his action, he enters a good or an

evil womb so that his course is downward or upward and he wanders about, affected by the pairs of opposites. Which one is this? Then he said to them.

Śarīram: body.

The gross body consists of the gross elements, the subtle body of life, senses, mind and the subtle-elements.

Apaśyad: does not see See B G VII 13.

gunaughair uhyamānā, this refers to the torrent of guas by which one is swept along. Cp Plato's river of sensations, Timaeus 43B and

Philo: 'river of the objects of sense that swamps and drowns our Soul under the flood of the passions until he crosses it. The self Is overcome by the guas and falls into an illusion in which it becomes weak, disordered, sensual and believes in Its own separate

existence, fettering Itself by Its own action like a bird In the net.

II.3. And thus it has been said elsewhere. Verily he who is the doer is the elemental self' he who causes to act by means of the organs is the inner person. Now even as a ball of iron, overcome by fire and beaten by workmen takes many forms, the elemental self, overcome by the inner person and beaten by the qualities takes many forms. The mode of that form has a fourfold covering, is fourteen-fold, is transformed in eighty-four different ways, is a host of beings, is verily manifold. All these varieties, verily, are impelled by the person even as the wheel by the potter. Now, as when a ball of Iron is being beaten, the fire is not overcome, even so the person is not overcome, The elemental self is overcome because of its attachment (to qualities).


kaṛtṛbhiḥ: workmen, smiths.

catur-jālam fourfold covering, the four sheaths, matter, life, con­sciousness and intelligence. Commentators mention the four forms of animal life.

Fouteenfold: fourteen classes of beings Reference is to Sāmkhya Kārikā 53 or to the fourteen worlds, Vedānta-sāra I29.

eighty-four This may have reference to an early speculation in natural history or may mean any number of forms

II.4. And thus it has been said elsewhere This body arises from sexual intercourse It is endowed with growth in darkness. Then it comes forth through the urinary passage. It is built up with bones, smeared over with flesh, covered with skin, filled with faeces, urine, bile, phlegm, marrow, fat, grease and also with many diseases, like a treasure house full of wealth.

Niraye: in darkness (of the womb). In due time comes out of the urinary passage (mūrta-dvārena yoni-randhreṇa āmayaiḥ: v. malaiḥ)

Wise people should not identify their true self with the body.

Comment: when Maitri Upaniṣad was spoken, taught and later written, the author assumed that urinary and birth passages are one. A separate vaginal passage was not discovered until modern anatomists said it differently. To this day, women in Indian villages believe that urinary and birth passages are the same. Veeraswamy Krishnaraj. December 5, 2013.

II.5. And then it has been said elsewhere bewilderment, fear, depression, sleepiness, sloth, heedlessness, old age, grief, hunger, thirst (mental), weakness, anger, unorthodoxy, ignorance, jealousy, cruelty, stupidity, shamelessness, meanness, rashness, unequableness, these are the characteristics of the quality of darkness. Inner thirst, affection, passion, covetousness, hurting others, lust, hatred, deceit, envy, insatiability, unsteadfastness fickleness, distractedness, ambitiousness, acquisitiveness, patronage of friends, family pride, aversion to unpleasant objects and over-attachment to pleasant objects, sourness of utterance and gluttonousness, these are the characteristics of the quality of passion. By these he is filled, by these he  is affected, therefore the elemental self attains manifold forms, yea, attains (manifold forms).

sammoha: bewilderment, viparyaya

tandrī: sloth, ālasyam

kārpaṇyam: weakness (mental). kṛpaṇatvam.

nāstikyam· unorthodoxy non-belief In the unseen world and indifference to sacred scriptures.

naiṣkāruṇyam: cruelty.

uddhatatvam = rashness.

hiṁsā = hurting others, para-pīḍā.

dviṣṭiḥ = hatred dveṣaḥ

vyagratvam =  distractedness.

The Upaniṣad is greatly influenced by Sāṁkhya ideas.



IV.I. They (the Vālikhilyas), indeed, of vigorous chastity, exceedingly amazed, approached him and said, 'Revered Sir, salutations to you, instruct us further. You are our way (of deliverance) and there is no other What is the method (rule) by which this elemental self, after leaving this (elemental body) obtains union with the (true) self?' Then he (Prajā-pati Kratu) said to them.

Vismitā: amazed that the true self, pure and undefiled, should appear to be impure and defiled.

Hitvā: leaving.

ātman: atmani, the self. 

Sāyujyam: union.

IV.2. And this It has been said elsewhere. Like the waves in large rivers there is no turning back of that which has been done previously; like the tide of the ocean, the approach of one's death is hard to keep back. Like a lame man, bound by the fetters made of the fruits of good and evil, like the condition of a man in prison, lacking independence, like the condition of one in the realm of death, beset by many fears like one intoxicated with liquor, intoxicated with the liquor of delusion, rushing about like one possessed by an evil spirit like one bitten by a great serpent, bitten by the objects of sense like gross darkness, the darkness of passion like Juggler consisting of illusion, like a dream, false appearances, like the inside of the banana tree, unsubstantial, like an actor changing dress every moment, like a painted scene, falsely delighting the mind and therefore it has been said, 'Objects of sound, touch and the like are worthless objects for a man, the elemental self, through attachment to them, does not remember the highest state.

Pāpmanā: by an evil spirit.

Martye: man, a mortal.

IV.3. This is indeed, the antidote for the elemental self, acquirement of the knowledge of the Veda and the due performance of one's own duty. Pursuit of the duties of the stage of life to which each one belongs, this is the rule for one's own duty, others are like the branches of a stem. Through it one goes upwards, otherwise downwards. That is one’s regular duty which is set forth in the Vedas. Not by transgressing one's regular duty does one belong to the stage of life. If one says that a man does not belong to any of the stages of life for he is (one) who practices austerity, It is not proper. (However) if one does not practice austerity there is no success in the knowledge of the self or in the perfection of works. For thus has it been said: By austerity goodness is obtained and from goodness understanding is reached and from the understanding is the self obtained and he who obtains the self does not return.

Veda-vidyādhigamaḥ: acquirement of the knowledge of the _Veda

Stambha śākeva: branches of a stem, like a bunch of grass.

We belong to a particular stage of life or āśrama by performing the duties belonging to it and not by assuming Its external marks.

Sattvam: goodness.

manaḥ: understanding.

Ātmā: the self.

Clttasyeva mokṣaḥ Upaniṣad Brahmayogin

When one attains self-knowledge, he is freed from saṁsāra.



IV.4. Brahman is said one who knew the knowledge of Brahman. This is the door to Brahman,' said one who had freed himself from evil by (the practice of) austerity. 'Aum is the (manifest) greatness of Brahman,' said one who, completely absorbed, always meditates (on it) Therefore, by knowledge, by austerity, by meditation is Brahman apprehended. He becomes one who goes beyond the Brahmā (the lower, Hiraṇya-garbha) and to the state of the supreme divinity above the gods. He obtains happiness, undecaying, unmeasured, free from sickness, he who knows this and worships Brahman with this triad (knowledge, austerity and meditation). Then freed from those things by which he was filled and affected, this rider of the chariot attains (complete) union with the self.

Brahma-vidyā: knowledge of Brahman which arises from logical investigation.

By austerity, knowledge and meditatton, we obtain Brahman

lower Brahma: śabda Brahman.

rathitaḥ: the rider of the chariot.


IV.5. They said 'Revered One, you are the teacher, you are the teacher. What has been said has been duly fixed in mind

by us. Now answer a further question Fire, air, Sun, time, whatever it is, breath, food. Brahma, Rudra, Viṣṇu, some meditate upon one, some upon another. Tell us which one is the best for us ' Then he said to them.

IV.6. These are but the chief forms of the Supreme, the Immortal, the bodiless Brahman. To whichever one each man is devoted here, in his world he rejoices. For it has been said, Verily

this whole world is Brahman.' Verily, these, which are its chief forms one meditates upon, worships and discards. For

with these one moves higher and higher in the worlds. And when all things perish (in universal dissolution), he attains

unity of (with) the person, yea, of the person.


agryaḥ chief.

tanavavaḥ: forms. mūrtaya 'Veri1y, this whole world is Brahman, C. u III. 14. 1

kṛtsna-kṣaye: when all things perish.

At the end of this world, at the time of universal dissolution, the lord of this world Hiraṇya-garbha lapses into the Absolute Brahman. Till then individualities are retained by the souls including the world-soul. By the worship of these deities one rises to higher states of being. When these forms are resolved he attains to the Unity of the Person The different concepts of the Supreme are supports for contemplation. Here apparently ends the conversation begun in II. 3 between the Vālikhilyas and Prajā-pati as derived by tradition from Maitrī  and narrated by Sākāyanya to King Bṛhadratha Sākāyanya’s teaching is said to be continued till VI 29, though it evidently is a later addition as undoubtedly chapters VI and VII are even according to the commentator.



V.1. Now then this is Kutsāyana's hymn of praise Thou art Brahmā and verily thou art Viṣṇu, thou art Rudra

and thou Prajā-pati, thou art Agni, Varuṇa, Vāyu, thou art Indra and thou art the moon. Thou art food, thou art Yama, thou art the earth, thou art all, thou art the Imperishable All things exist in thee in many forms for their own or for their natural ends. Lord of the universe, salutations to thee, the self of all, the maker of all, the enjoyer of all, thou art all life and the lord of all pleasure and delight. Salutations to thee, the tranquil self, salutations to thee, the deeply hidden, the incomprehensible, the Immeasurable and without beginning and Without end.

Svārtlhe: for their own ends.

svābhāvikaḥ: for their natural ends.

Viśvātmā: because he is the material cause of the world.

the tranquil self. Brahma Khānda XIX 23. 2.

V.2. Verily, in the beginning this (world) was darkness alone. That was in the Highest. When Impelled by the Highest, it moves on to differentiation. That form, verily, is passion. That passion, when Impelled, moves on to differentiation. That, verily, is the form of goodness That goodness, when Impelled, the essence flowed forth. That part is what the intelligence principle in every person is, the knower of the body, which has the marks of conception, determination and self-love, Prajā-pati (the lord of creation] called Viśva. His forms have been pre­viously mentioned. Now then, indeed the part of him which is characterized by darkness that, O students of sacred knowledge, is this Rudra. Now then, indeed, that part of him which is characterized by passion, that, O students of sacred knowledge, is this Brahmā. Now then, indeed, that part of him which is characterized by goodness, that, O students of sacred know­ ledge, is this Viṣṇu. Verily, that one becomes threefold. He developed forth eightfold, eleven-fold, twelvefold, in unlimited parts. Because he thus developed, he is a (created) being, he moves about, having entered all beings. He became the lord of (created) beings. That is the self within and without, yea, within and without. The relation of the three forms (mūrti-traya), to the Supreme is here indicated. The three Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva are not to be conceived as independent persons, they are the threefold manifestations of the one Supreme.

rasa: essence.

cetāmātra:  intelligence-principle, which is entirely intelligent.

Ksetrajña: knower of the body.

Viśva: every one, I.e. every individual He is not only the sum-total Of all existences but is also the principle of the individual being. Eightfold: etc The eight forms are the five vital airs, the sun, moon and stars or the last three and the five elements. The eleven are the eleven organs of sense and action and mind. If we make mind and understanding (buddhi), different, we get twelve. It becomes unlimited if we take the endless activities m the various individuals.




VI.1. He (the self) bears himself in two ways, as he who is breath and he who is the Sun. Therefore, two, verily, are these

paths, inward and outward. They both turn back in a day and night. Yonder sun, verily, is the outer self; the inner self is breath. Hence the course of the inner self is measured (inferred from) by the course of the outer self. For thus has it been said, 'Now, whoever is a knower, who has freed (himself) from evil, the overseer of the senses, pure-minded, firmly established in that, locking away (from outward objects) is even he (the self). Likewise, the course of the outer self is measured by the course of the inner self. For thus has it been said, 'Now that golden person who is within the Sun, who looks on this earth from his golden place is even he who has entered into the lotus of the heart and eats food. 'The sixth and seventh chapters are treated as supplementary. The main purpose of the Upaniṣad is to affirm that there is one Supreme Self to be known and the various  forms of Brahma, Viṣṇu and Śiva are only aspects or manifestations of that Supreme Self. In these chapters we find references to various modes of worship and means by which spiritual knowledge can be gained.  See RV X 902.

akṣādhyakṣa: overseer of the senses and not subject to them.

VI.2. Now, he who has entered the lotus of the heart and eats food is the same as that fire of the Sun which enters the sky,

called Time the Invisible, who eats all beings as his food. What is the lotus and of what is it made? That lotus, assuredly, is

the same as space. The four quarters and the four intermediate quarters are its leaves. These two, breath and the Sun, move

near each other. Let him reverence them with the syllable aum, with the mystic utterances (Bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, svaḥ) and with the

Sāvitrī prayer.

saura: of the sun.

Ākāśa is described as the lotus flower whose petals are the four quarters and the four intermediate quarters or the cardinal points.

Time who eats all beings as his food.

arvāg near.



VI.3. There are, assuredly, two forms of Brahman, the formed and the formless. Now that which is formed is unreal, that which is the formless is the real, that is the Brahman, that is the Light. That which is the light is the Sun. Verily, that came to have aum as its self. He divided himself threefold (for aum. consists of three letters (a, u, m). By means of these all this (world) is woven, warp and woof, across him. For thus has it been said, 'One should meditate on the Sun as aum and get united to it.'

The formed is the effect and the formless is the cause.

Satyam: the real, paramārtha-satyam, sarvādhithānam.

mātrāḥ:  parts, avyavāḥ

VI.4. And then it has been said elsewhere 'Now then the udgītha is the praṇava and the praṇava is the udgītha. And so verily the udgītha is the yonder Sun and he is praṇava. For thus It is said, the udgītha called praṇava, the leader (in the per­formance of sacrificial rites), whose form is radiance, sleepless, ageless, deathless, three-footed, three-lettered, also to be known as fivefold, hidden in the secret place (of the heart). And it is also said, 'The three-footed Brahman has its root above. Its branches are space, wind, fire, water, earth and the like Thus Brahman has the name of the "lone fig tree" and of It that is the radiance which is called the Sun and the radiance too of the syllable aum. Therefore, one should continuously worship it. With the  syllable aum. For thus It is said, "This syllable, indeed, is holy, this syllable, indeed, is supreme. By knowing that syllable, indeed, whatever one desires (becomes) his."

VI.5. And then It has been said elsewhere, 'This aum is the sound form of this (the self). Feminine, masculine and neuter (this) is the sex form. Fire, wind and sun, this is his light form. Brahmā, Rudra and Viṣṇu, this is his lordship form. The Gārhapatya, the Dakṣiṇāgni and the Ᾱhavanīya sacrificial fires-this is his mouth-form.  Ṛg, Yajus and Sāman (Vedas) this is his knowledge-form. Earth, atmosphere and sky, this is his world-form. Past, present and future, this is his time-form. Breath, fire and Sun, this is his heat-form. Food, water and moon, this is his growth form. Understanding, mind and self­ sense, this is his thought-form. The prāṇa breath, the apāna breath and the vyāna breath, this is his breath form. Therefore, by the utterance of the syllable aum all these (forms) are praised, worshipped and ascribed. For thus it is said, 'This syllable aum, verily, is the higher and the lower Brahman.'



VI.6. Now (in the beginning) this (world) was, verily, unuttered When he, the Real, the lord of creation, performed austerity, he uttered (the words) bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, svaḥ.  This, indeed, is Prajā-pati's very gross form, this world-form. Its head is the sky, the navel is the atmosphere, the feet are the earth, the eye is the sun, for a person's great material world depends on the eye, for with the eye he measures all things. Verily the eye is the real for stationed In the eye a person moves about among all objects. Therefore one should reverence bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, svaḥ, fort his Prajā-pati, the self of all, the eye of all, becomes rever­enced, as it were. For thus has it been said, 'Verily this is the all-supporting form of Prajā-pati. for in it all this (world) is hidden, and it is hidden in this whole (world). Therefore, this is what one should reverence.'


VI.7. That desirable (splendor) of Sāvitrī, yonder sun, verily, is Sāvitrī. He, verily, is to be sought thus, by one desirous of

self, so say the expounders of Brahma-knowledge. May we meditate on the splendor of the god?  Sāvitrī, verily, is God. 

Therefore I meditate as that which is called his splendor. So say the expounders of Brahma-knowledge. May he inspire

(illuminate) our thoughts. Thoughts, verily, are meditations. May he inspire these for us, so say the expounders of Brahma-

knowledge. Now splendor, verily, he is hidden in yonder Sun is called splendor or he who is the pupil in the eye. He  is so called because his course is with the rays of the light or he is Rudra because he causes to dry up so say the expounders of

Brahma-knowledge. Now bha means that he illumines these Worlds, ra means that he gladdens these beings, ga means that

creatures here go into him and come out of him. Therefore, because of being  bha, ra, ga,  he is bharga. Sūrya is so named  because of the continued squeezing out, Sāvitrī  is so named because of its bringing forth. Ᾱditya is so named because of  taking up into Itself Pāvana is so named because of its purifying Apas is so named because of its causing to grow. For

thus has it been said, Assuredly the self of one's self is called the leader, immortal, perceiver, thinker, the goer, the evacuator,

the delighter, the doer, the speaker, the taster, the smeller, the seer and the hearer and he touches. He, the all-pervader has

entered the body. For thus has it been said, Now where knowledge is of a dual nature (implying a subject which knows

and an object which is known), there, indeed, one hears, sees, smells, tastes and also touches, the self knows everything.

Where knowledge, being devoid of effort, cause or action, unspeakable, incomparable, indescribable, what is that? It is

impossible to say.

pravaraṇīya v. pracaraṇīya

ātma·kāma = desirous of self.

brahma-vādinaḥ= expounders of Brahma-knowledge

bharjayati =  causes to dry up. Rudra is the destroyer of the world.

Creatures go into him and come out of him =  They go into him in sound sleep and in intervals between successive creations and come out of him In waking and In creation.

For the distinction between dual and non-dual knowledge see B U II 4 14. The self is present in all knowledge but it is not itself

an object of knowledge.

The gāyatrī prayer has come down from the period of the R V. and expresses man's aspiration to know more and more .Cp Nicolas of Cusa: 'To be able to know ever more and more without end, this is our likeness to the eternal wisdom. Man always desires to know better what he knows, and to love more what he loves, and the whole world is not sufficient for him, because It does not satisfy his craving for knowledge.'

VI.8. This self, verily, is the lord, the beneficent the real the terrible, the lord of creation, the creator of all, the golden germ, truth, life, spirit, the ordainer, the pervader Nārāyaṇa the shining, vivifier, the upholder, the maker, sovereign, Indra, the moon. He It is who gives forth heat, concealed by the thousand-eyed golden egg as one fire by another Him, verily, one should desire to know. He should be sought after 'Having given fearlessness to all creatures, having gone to the forest, then having put aside objects of sense, let a man comprehend the self from out of his own body. He who has all forms, the golden one, who is all-knowing, the final goal, the only light, who gives heat, the thousand-rayed, abiding In a hundred places, the life of creatures, the yonder sun rises.

Rāmatīrtha makes out that the Supreme associated with the

three guṇas is described in Sanskrit verse.

The one appears as threefold on account of the three functions: sahāra-sṛṣṭi-sthiti.

Pihitaḥ = concealed.

hiramayena = golden,brilliant.

arayam = forest, a solitary place which soothes the mind.

hariṇam = golden, also interpreted as the seizer of all.

Jāta-vedasaḥ = all-knowing.


VI.9. Therefore, verily, he who knows that this has both these (breath and the sun) as his self, meditates only on his self, sacrifices only to his self, such meditation, the mind absorbed in such practice, is praised by the wise. One should purify the impurity of his mind with the verse 'What has been defiled by the leavings.' He reads the verse Leavings or what has been defiled by leavings and what has been given by a sinner or (what is rendered Impure) by a stillbirth, may the purifying power of Vasu, Agni and of Sāvitrī's rays purify my food and any other that may be evil. First (before taking his food). he swathes (his breath) with water. Hail to the prāṇa breath, hail to the apāna breath, hail to the vyāna breath, hail to the samāna breath, hail to the udāna breath. With these five invocations, he offers the oblation. Then he eats the remainder, with restrained voice (in silence). Then, afterwards he again swathes with water. So, having sipped (the water), having made the sacrifice to the self, he should meditate on the self with the two (formulas) 'As breath and fire,' 'Thou art all. 'As breath and fire, the highest self has entered in with the five airs. May he when pleased himself, please all, the enjoyer of all.' Thou art all, thou art the Vaiśvānara (fire). All that is born is supported by thee. Let all oblations enter into thee. There creatures live where thou, the all-immortal art. So he who eats according to this rule comes not again into the condition of food.

In this passage the taking of food is represented as a sacrifice

Offered by the self to the self .

The formal rinsing of the mouth at the beginning and the end of

meals is described here. See C U V 2

pāpena= by a sinner.

yata-vāk = with restrained voice, maunī.

Viśva-bhuk =the enjoyer of all.

Viśvāmita all-immortal.

comes not again into the Condition of food. He does not become food for others, he is not reborn


VI.10. Now, there is something else to be known. There is a further development of this self-sacrifice, namely, what concerns

the food and the eater thereof. The further explanation of this (follows) The conscious person abides within nature. He is

the enjoyer for he enjoys (feeds on) the food (supplied by) of nature. This elemental self, verily, is food for him, Its maker is

nature. Therefore, that which is to be enjoyed consists of the three qualities and the enjoyer is the person who stands within.

Here the evidence is what is observed (by the senses). Since animals spring from seed and as seed is the food, by this is

explained that nature is what is to be enjoyed. Therefore, the person is the enjoyer, nature is what is to be enjoyed. Abiding

in it he enjoys. All that begins with the intellect and ends with the elements being a transformation of the distinction of

nature with its three qualities is the sign (that there must be a self). And by this, the fourteen-fold course is explained. This

world is indeed the food, called pleasure, pain and delusion. There is no apprehension of the taste of the seed (cause) so

long as there is no production (of effect). And in its three conditions also it has the character of food, as childhood youth and old age. There is in them the character of food, on account of transformation Thus as nature moves to the state of becoming manifest, there arises the perception of it. For the tasting (of the effects of nature) arise intellect and the like, determination, conception and self-love. Then there are the five objects of sense, for the tasting of them. Thus arise all actions of organs and actions of senses. Thus the manifest is food and the unmanifest is food. The enjoyer of it is without qualities (but) from the fact of his being an enjoyer. It is evident that he possesses consciousness. As fire, verily, is the eater of food among the gods and Soma is the food, so he who knows this eats food by fire. The elemental self is called Soma. He who bas the unmanifest as his mouth is called Agni because of the saying. The person truly with the unmanifest as his mouth enjoys the three qualities. He who knows this is a renouncer, a contemplator, a performer of the self-sacrifice. Even as there is no one to touch sensual women who have entered into an empty house, so he who does not touch objects of sense that enter into him is a renouncer, a contemplator, a performer of the self-sacrifice.

dṛṣtam:l what is observed.

pratyayam evidence, pramnāṇam

ligam: Sign Hume interprets it as the subtle body which includes from the Intellect up to the separate elements.

The fourteen-fold course: The four forms of anta-karaa, the five organs of sense-perception and the five organs of action.

Ātmā-yājī = the performer of the self-sacrifice.

kāminya = sensual women.


VI.11. This, verily, is the highest form of self, namely, food, for truly this life consists of food. If one does not eat, he becomes

a non-thinker, a non-hearer, a non-toucher, a non-seer, a non-speaker, a non-smeller, a non-taster, and he lets go his vital breaths. For thus it has been said 'If indeed one eats he becomes full of life, he becomes a thinker, he becomes  hearer, he becomes a toucher, he becomes a speaker, he becomes a taster, he becomes a smeller, he becomes a seer.' For thus has It been said: From food, verily, are creatures, whatsoever dwell on earth, are produced, moreover, by food, verily, they have and again into it they finally pass.'

See CU VII 9 1, TU II 2

VI.12. And thus it has been said elsewhere. Verily all creatures here run about day after day, desiring to get food. The sun

takes food to himself by his rays and thereby he gives forth heat. When supplied with food  living beings here digest Fire,

verily, blazes up by food. This world was fashioned by Brahmā with a desire for food. Therefore, let a man reverence food as

the self. For thus has it been said. From food creatures are born, by food they grow when born, because it is eaten by and

eats creatures, It is called food.

V. annenābhijvalati

See TU II 2,BS IV 1.4.5

abhiiktāḥ =  supplied.

VI.I3. Now It has elsewhere been said: That born of the blessed Viṣṇu which is called the all-supporting that, verily, is thus food life, verily, is the essence of food, mind of life under­ standing of mind, (spiritual) bliss of understanding. He who knows this becomes possessed of food, life, mind, understanding and bliss. Whatever creatures here (on earth) eat food, abiding in them does he, who knows this, eat food. Food, indeed, prevents decay, food is worshipful, It is said: Food is the life of animals, food is the eldest-born, food is the physician, it is said.

savananam = worshipful.

jyeṣṭham = prathamajam, eldest born, first born.


VI.14. And thus It has been said elsewhere: Food verily is the source of this whole (world), and time of food, and the Sun is the source of time The form of it (time) is the year, which is composed of moments (twinklings) and other measures of time, and which consists of twelve months. Of it one half (when the Sun moves northward, belongs to Agni, the (other) half (when the sun moves southward) belongs to Varuṇa. The course from the asterism Magha (the Sickle) to half of Śraviṣṭha (the drum) belongs to Agni. In its northward course from Sarpa (the serpent) to half of Śraviṣṭha belongs to the moon. Among these each month of the self (named as the year) includes nine quarters according to the corresponding course (of the Sun through the asterism). Because of its subtility (imperceptibility of senses) this (course of the Sun) is the proof for only in this way is time proved (to exist). Without proof there is no apprehension of the thing to be proved. However the thing to be proved may become proved from the fact of its containing parts and for the sake of making itself known. For this it has been said, As many parts of time as there are, through this the yonder (sun) moves. He who worships time as Brahma from him time moves away very far. For this has it been said, 'From time all beings flow, from time they advance to growth; in time they obtain rest (they disappear) Time is formed and formless too.'

Half the year is uttarāyaa belongs to Agni, and the other half dakhiṇayāṇa belongs to  Varuṇa.

The two periods are predominantly warm and moist respectively.

Sārpam = the asterism of Ᾱśleṣā, sacred to the serpents.

subtility: indriyāagocaratvāt.

Sambodhanārtham = for making itself known. There are, verily two forms of Brahman, time and the timeless. That which is prior to the sun is the timeless, without parts. But that which begins with (has a beginning from) the Sun is time, which has parts. Verily, the form of that which has parts is the year. From the year, verily, are these creatures produced. By the rear, verily, after having been produced they grow. In the year they disappear. Therefore, the year verily is Prajā-pati, is time, is food, is the abode of Brahman, is the self. For thus has it been said: 'Time cooks (ripens) all things, indeed, in the great self. He who knows in what time is cooked, he is the knower of the Veda.'

The Sun is the self of time as he is its ordainer.

pacati: cooks.

Pacyate: is cooked, is dissolved,.

The temporal process and the Sun go together. What is prior to the Sun is non-temporal.

Time is exalted as the highest principle as the source of all that is. There is a distinction between time which has parts, which is later than the Sun and the stars and the non-time which is without parts and is earlier, between time which cooks or matures all beings and that in which time is cooked or matured.

VI.16. This embodied (incarnate) time is the great ocean of Creatures. In it abides he who is called Sāvitrī (the Sun as

begetter) from whom, indeed, are begotten the moon, stars, planets, the year and the rest. And from them comes this whole

(world) here and whatever of good or evil is seen In this (world) comes from them. Therefore, Brahman is the self of the Sun.

Therefore one should reverence the Sun under the name of time. Some say the Sun is Brahman and thus is it said: 'The

offerer (of the sacrifice), the enjoyer (of the sacrifice), the obla­ tion, the hymn, the sacrifice, Viṣṇu, Prajā-pati all this is the

lord, the witness who shines in yonder orb.'

See CU. III 19 I.

Vigrahavān = embodied, mūrtimān.

VI.17· Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahman, the infinite one, infinite in the east, infinite in the south, infinite in the west, infinite in the north and above and below, infinite in every direction. For him, indeed, east and the other directions exist not nor across, nor below, nor above. Incomprehensible is that Supreme Self, unlimited, unborn not to be reasoned about, not to be thought of, he whose self is space. At the dissolution of all he alone remains awake. Thus from that space, he awakes this (world) which consists of thought only. By him alone is all this meditated on and In him It is dissolved. He is that luminous form which gives heat in the yonder sun, the wonderful light on the smokeless fire as also the fire in the stomach which cooks (digests) food. For thus has It been said, He who is in the fire, and he who is here in the heart and he who is yonder in the sun--he is one. He who knows this goes to the oneness of the one.

na kalpante = exists not.

anūhya = The self cannot be imagined because It is not determinate. Whatever is imagined is determined.

ākāśātman = whose self is space See C.U. III 14 2, K U II 14

citra-taram. wonderful.


VI.18. This is the rule for achieving this (oneness), control of the breath, withdrawal of the senses, meditation, concentration, contemplative inquiry and absorption, (this is) said to be the six-fold yoga. When, by this (yoga) he beholds the gold-colored maker, the lord, the person, the Brahmā source, then the sage, shaking off good and evil, makes everything into oneness in the supreme indestructible. For thus has it been said, 'As beasts and birds do not resort to a burning mountain, so sins do not find shelter in those who know Brahman.

Yoga is the means by which we control the mind. See Yoga Sūtra II.29

Withdrawal of the senses from their objects is pratyāhāra.

Contemplative inquiry or tarka is savikalpaka-samādhi. It may also mean an inquiry whether the mind has become transformed or

not into the object of meditation or an investigation into the hindrances of concentration caused by the inferior powers acquired by


Paśyati = beholds. By means of yoga we achieve direct perception of the Supreme.

VI.19. And thus it has been said elsewhere: 'Verily, when a knower has restrained his mind from the external, when his breath has put to rest objects of sense, let him then remain Void of conceptions. Since the living individual who is named the breathing spirit has arisen here from what is not the breath- ing spirit, therefore let the breathing spirit merge his breathing spirit in what is called the fourth (condition).' For thus has  it been said: 'That which is non-thought, which stands in the midst of thought, the unthinkable, the hidden, the highest, let a man merge his thought there. Then will this living being be without support (attachment).'

aprāṇāt = from what is not the breathing spirit. Its source is the

thinking self.

Turya =  the fourth, the other three being waking, dream and sleep. See MU.7.

liṅga = the subtle body. It will not appear in its separate individuality on account of the absence of any conscious object or the subtle body will become void of all objects.


VI.20. And thus it has been said elsewhere: There is yet a higher concentration than this for him. By pressing the tip of the tongue down the palate, by restraining voice, mind and breath, he sees Brahman through contemplative thought. When, by the suppression of the mind, he sees through self he sees the shining self, more subtle than the subtle, then having the self through the self he becomes selfless. Because of his being selfless he is to be thought of as unmeasurable, without origin. This is the mark of liberation, the highest mystery.' And thus has it been said, 'For by the serenity of thought, one destroys deeds, good and evil, with the serene self abiding is the self he enjoys eternal happiness.'

The process described here is called lambikā-yoga and the state produced by It is called unmanībhāva.

tarkeṇa = through contemplative thought.

nirātmā = selfless.

VI.21. And thus It has been said elsewhere: 'The channel called suṣumnā leading upward, serving as the passage for the breath, is divided within the palate. Through it, when it is joined by the breath, the syllable aum and by the mind, let him pro­ ceed upwards. By causing the tip of the tongue to turn back on the palate, by binding together the senses, let greatness perceive greatness. Thence he goes to selflessness.' On account of selflessness, he is not (ceases to be) an experiencer of pleasure and pain. He obtains aloneness. For thus has it been said 'Having first fixed the breath that has been restrained, having crossed the limit, let him join the limitless in (the crown of the head.'


See CU. VIll 66, Katha VI 16; T U. 1-6, Praśna III 7 (7) 6.

Freed from limitations he becomes conscious of the unlimited perfection of Brahman.


VI.22. And thus it has been said elsewhere: 'There are, verily, two Brahmans to be meditated upon, sound and non-sound. By sound alone is the non-sound revealed. Now here the sound is aum. Moving upward by it one comes to ascend in the non­- sound. So (one says) this is the way, this is immortality, this is complete union and also tranquillity. And now as the spider moves upward by the thread, obtains free space, thus assuredly, indeed the meditator moving upward by the syllable aum obtains independence.' Other expounders of the sound (as Brahman) think otherwise. By closing the ears with the thumbs they hear the sound of the space within the heart. There is the sevenfold comparison of it, like rivers, a bell, a brass vessel, a wheel, the croaking of frogs, rain, as when one speaks in a still place. Having passed beyond this variously characterized (sound), they disappear (become merged) in the supreme, the non-sound, the unmanifest Brahman. There they are unchar­ acterized and indistinguishable like the various juices that have reached the condition of honey. For thus has it been said, 'There are two Brahmans to be known, the sound Brahman and what is higher. Those who know the sound Brahman get to the higher Brahman.'

See MB XII 8540.

nivṛtatvam: tranquility.

kikiṇī = bell.

kāṁsyam a brass vessel.

the croaking of frogs, maṇḍūka-ravaḥ

astam: disappearance, adarśanam

For the comparison of juices and honey see CU VI.9.1-2

The Absolute is not totally unconnected with God. Those who worship God get to the Absolute.

VI.23. And thus It has been said elsewhere: 'What is (called) the sound is the syllable aum. That which is its end is tranquil, soundless, fearless, sorrowless, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, unmoving, immortal, unshaking, enduring, called Viṣṇu, for obtaining what is higher than everything (final release), let him reverence these two. For thus is it said, 'He who is both higher and lower, that God known by the name of aum is soundless and void of being too. Therefore let one concentrate on (the crown) of the head.'

śūnya-bhūtaḥ: void of being. nirākāratvāt nirviśea Distinctions do not apply to it, but it is not, on that account, to be regarded as non-being.

VI.24. And thus It has been said elsewhere 'The body is the bow The arrow is aum. The mind is its point, darkness is the mark. Having pierced through the darkness, one goes to what is not enveloped In darkness. Then having pierced through what is thus enveloped one sees Brahman who sparkles like a wheel of fire, of the color of the Sun, full of vigour, beyond darkness, that which shines in yonder sun, also in the moon, in the fire, in the lightning. And having seen Him assuredly, one goes to immortality. For thus has it been said: 'Meditation is directed to the highest being within and to the (outer) objects. Hence the unqualified understanding becomes qualified. But when the mind is dissolved and there is the bliss of which the witness is the self, that is Brahman, the Immortal, the radiant, that is the way. That indeed is the (true) world.'

See B G XV 12; M U II. 2.3-4

śikhā = point. agram, śalya-sthānīyam.

darkness, Ignorance, mūlājñānam

adamāviṣṭam: what is not enveloped in darkness, atama-āviṣṭam.tama-āveśana-rahitam.

śukram radiant, dīptimat Jñāna-svabhāvam.

VI.25. And thus it has been said elsewhere: 'He who has his Senses indrawn as in sleep, who has his thoughts perfectly pure

as in dream, who, while in the cavern of the senses, is not under their control, perceives him who is called Praṇava, the leader

of the form of light, the sleepless, free from old age, the death­ less, the sorrowless, he himself becomes called Praṇava and

becomes a leader, of the form of light, sleepless, free from old age, deathless and sorrowless.' And thus it is said: 'Because in

his manner he joins the breath, the syllable aum and all this world in its manifoldness or perhaps they are joined, therefore

this (process of meditation) is called Yoga (joining). The oneness of the breath, the mind and likewise of the senses and the

abandonment of all conditions of existence, this is designated as yoga.'

nidreva = as if in sleep, svapna iva: as if in dream.

indriya-bile =  In the cavern of the senses.

avivaśa = not under control.

śuddhitamayā =  perfectly pure.

praṇetāram = leader VI.4.

bhā-rūpam = of the form of light, Jñāna-prakāśa svarūpam

The first verse describes the goal of Yoga and the second the means to it.

VI.26. And thus It has been said elsewhere: 'Verily even as the huntsman draws in the dwellers in the waters with his net and offers them (as a sacrifice) In the fire of his stomach, thus, assuredly does one draw in these breaths by means of the syllable aum and sacrifice them in the fire that is free from ill. Hence it is like a heated vessel. Now as ghee in a heated vessel lights up by contact with (lighted) grass or wood, thus assuredly does he who is called non-breath light up by contact with the breaths. Now that which lights up is a form of Brahman, and that is the highest place of Viṣṇu and that is the Rudra nature of Rudra. That having divided itself in limitless ways fills these worlds.' For thus has it been said, 'And as indeed the sparks (issue) from the fire, as rays from the sun, so do the breaths and the rest come forth again and again into the world In proper order'

SeeB U II 1.20

dwellers in the waters = matsyādīn.

anāmaya = free from ill See S U III 10.

VI.27. And thus it has been said elsewhere. Verily, this is the heart of Brahman, the supreme, the immortal, the bodiless,

even the warmth of the body. For that (heat) this (body) is the ghee (melted butter) Although it is manifest, verily, it is

hidden in the space of the heart Then by intense concentration they disperse the space within the heart that the light, as it

were of that (heat) appears. Then one passes speedily into the same condition (of light) even as a ball of iron that is hidden

In the earth passes speedily into the condition of earthiness. As fire and brass smiths and the like do not trouble about the

ball of iron that is in the condition of earth, so does thought disappear together with its support. And thus it is said, 'The

store house which consists of the space in the heart, the blissful, the supreme abode, is our self, our Yoga (goal) too and this the heat of fire and sun.'

for that this body is the ghee = the splendor of Brahman which is otherwise unmanifested is manifested, even as fire blazes up by contact with ghee.

āviḥ = manifest, prakaṇam. See MU II 2. I.

kośam = storehouse, bhāṇḍāgāram

The words āśraya and ālaya are used in their technical meanings. When disembodied in the yogic process the hṛd-ākaśa is the nirāśraya-liṅga consubstantial (of one and the same substance, essence, or nature.) with citta, its own āśraya. When this process cu1mmates m the ānanda state, it is the higher ālaya. Lamkāvatara Sūtra distinguishes two aspects of ālaya, the lower of which is vijnāpti and the higher param ālayavijñānam which lS tathatā.


VI.28. And thus it has been said elsewhere: Having passed beyond the elements, the senses and the objects of sense and then having seized the bow, whose string is the life of a mendi­cant, and whose stick is steadfastness and having struck down with the arrow which consists of freedom from self-conceit, the first guardian of the door to Brahmā, (who has) bewilder­ment as his crown, greed and envy as his ear-rings, sloth, sleep and impurity as his staff, the cord of self-love, who seizes the

bow whose string is anger, whose stick is lust, who slays beings here with the arrow that consists of desires, having slain him, having crossed over with the raft of the syllable aum to the other side of the space in the heart, in the inner space which gradually becomes manifest one should enter the hall of Brahmā as a miner seeking minerals enters into the mine. Then let him disperse the fourfold sheath of Brahmā by the teaching of his spiritual preceptor. Henceforth being pure, clean, void (of being), tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless, undecaying, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent, he abides in his own greatness. Thereafter, having seen (the self) which abides in his own greatness, he looks down on the wheel of births and deaths as on a revolving wheel (of a chariot). For thus has it been said. If a man practices yoga for six months and is constantly freed (from the world) then the infinite supreme, mysterious Yoga is accomplished. But if a man, though well-enlightened, is afflicted with passion and darkness, if he is attached to son, wife and family, for such a one, no, never at all.'

Tandrī = sloth.

Irā = sleep, nidrā.

Agham = impurity, pāpam _

dhātu--kāmaḥ =  seeking minerals.

fourfold sheath =  consisting of matter, life, mind and understanding

See TU II 1-4

VI.29. Having thus spoken (to Bṛhadratha) Sākāyanya with his heart (fixed) on the inner self bowed before him and said, by this brahma knowledge, did the sons of Prajā-Pati ascend the path of Brahman. By the practice of Yoga one gains con­tentment, endurance of the dualities (of pleasure and pain) and tranquility. Let no one declare this most secret doctrine to anyone who is not a son, who is not a pupil, who is not of a tranquil (mind). To one who is devoted to none other (than his teacher) to one endowed with all qualities, one may give it.

The conversation begun at I.2 and the course of instruction begun

at II.1 conclude here.

See BU VI 3 I2; SU VI. 22

The sons of Prajā-pati The Vālikilyas who approached Prajā-pati

for this knowledge See II.3.

VI.30. Aum. One should be in a pure place, himself pure, abiding in goodness, studying the real, speaking of the real, meditating on the real, sacrificing to the real. Henceforth absorbed in the

real Brahman is he who yearns for the real, becomes another. He has the reward of having his bonds (fetters) cut, becomes void of expectation, is freed from fear in regard to others as in regard to himself, void of desire, he remains, having attained imperishable and unmeasurable happiness. Verily, freedom from desire is, as it were, the highest prize from the choicest treasure. For a person who is made up of all desires, who has the marks of determination, conception and self-love is bound. He who is the opposite of that is liberated. On this point, some (the Sāṁkhyas) say, it is the quality which, through the force of the differentiation of nature, binds the self with deter­mination (and the like) and from the destruction of the fault of determination (and the like) liberation (results). It is with the mind, verily, that one sees. It is with the mind that one hears. Desire, conception, doubt, faith and lack of faith, stead­ fastness and lack of steadfastness, shame, meditation, fear, all this is truly mind. Borne along and defiled by the stream of qualities, unsteady, fickle, bewildered, full of desire, distracted, one gets into the state of self-love. In thinking I am he, this is mine, he binds himself with himself as a bird in a snare. Hence a person who has the marks of  determination, con­ception and self-love is bound. He who is the opposite of that is liberated. Therefore stand free from determination, free from conception, free from self-love. This is the mark of liberation. This is the path to Brahman in this world. This is the opening of the door here in this world. Through it one will go to the farther shore of darkness for therein are all desires contained

(fulfilled). On this point they quote, 'When the five forms (of sense) of knowledge along with the mind stand still and the intellect stirs not, that, they say, is the highest state. Having spoken thus, Sākāyanya had his heart (fixed) on the inner self. Then Marut having bowed before him and properly honoured him, having obtained his end, departed by the northern course of the sun for there is no way thither by a side-path. This is the path to Brahma here in the world. Bursting open the door of the sun, he rose on high and departed. On this point they quote, 'Endless are the rays of him, who, like a lamp, dwells in the heart, white and black, brown and blue, tawny and pale red. One of them leads upwards piercing the solar orb, by it, crossing the world of Brahmā they go to the highest path. The other hundred rays lead upwards also and through them (the worshipper) reaches the abiding-places of the gods But the rays of dim color which manifestly lead downwards by them one wanders here helplessly for experiencing (the fruits of) his deeds. Therefore, the yonder blessed sun is the cause of creation, of heaven and of final emancipation.'

KathaVI 10 16; Praśna I 10; C.U. VIII. 6 I; B U 1.5.3.

calo v. cañcalo

sat = the real, sadākhyam brahma.

brahma-padam = path to Brahman, sāksāt-brahma-prāpti-mārgaḥ.

Avatiṣṭhante stand still, niścalāni bhavanyti.

Marut = marud nāma bṛhaddrathaḥ

kta-ktya =  having attained his end, avāptakāmaḥ

By the upward course we reach the highest state or the abodes Of the gods by the downward course we are reborn in the world of births and deaths.


VI.31. (One asks): Of what nature, verily, are these senses that go forth (towards their objects)? Who is the one that sends them out here and who restrains them? Another answers they are of the nature of self for the self is he who sends forth and restrains them. There are enticing objects of sense and there are what are called the luminous rays. Now the self feeds on objects by the five rays. Who is the self? He who has been defined as pure, clean, void, tranquil and of other marks. He is to be apprehended by his own marks. Some say that the mark of him who is without any mark is as heat and anything pervaded by it are to fire, or what the most agreeable taste is to water, others say that it is speech, hearing, sight, mind, breath, others say that it is understanding, steadfastness, memory, wisdom. Now, verily, these are the marks of him even as the sprouts here are the mark of a seed, as smoke, light and sparks are the marks of a fire. On this point they quote: As indeed the sparks from fire, and likewise as the rays from the sun, having creatures and the rest in proper order again and again proceed from him here on earth.

See II 4; VI 28; S U VI 13; AU III 2; B U IV 4 18; Kena 2.

The sprout reminds us of the invisible seed. Even so from the mani­festations of self we infer the reality of self.

VI.32. From him, indeed, who is In the self come forth all having creatures, all worlds, all the vedas, all the gods and all beings. Its mystic meaning is that it is the truth of the truth. Know as from a fire laid with green (damp) wood, when kindled, clouds of smoke separately issue forth, so, verily, from this great being has been breathed forth that which is the Ṛg Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sāma Veda (hymns of), the Atharvaṇs and the Angirasas, legendary stories, ancient. lore, Sciences, mystic doctrines, verses, aphorisms, explanations and com­mentaries. From it, indeed, all these beings (come forth).

SeeBU II. I.2; II 4.10

Upaniṣad = mystic doctrines.

 The truth of the truth= empirical existence is the truth, the underlying truth of it is the self.

VI.33. Venly, this (gārhapatya sacrificial) fire with its five bricks

is the year. For that the bricks are these, spring, summer, the

rainy season, autumn, winter. So it has a head, two wings, a

back and a tail. In the case of one who knows the person, this

earth is Prajā-Pati's first sacrificial pile. With its hands it raises

the sacrificer to the atmosphere and offers him to Vāyu (the

wind). Wind, verily, is breath. Breath is the fire (Dakṣiṇāgni).

For that the bricks are these, the prāṇa breath, the vyāna

breath, the apāna breath, the samāna breath and the udāna

breath. So it has a head, two wings, a back and a tail. In the

case of one who knows the person, this atmosphere is Prajā-Pati's

second sacrificial pile. With its hands, it raises the sacrificer

up to the sky and offers him to Indra. Verily, Indra is yonder

sun. He is this [third Ᾱhavanīya) fire. For that the bricks are

these, the Ṛg Veda, the YaJur Veda, the Sāma Veda (the hymns

of the), Atharvaṇs and Angirasas, legendary stones, ancient

lore; so it has a head, two wings, a back and a tail. In the case

of one who knows the person, this sky is Prajā-Pati's third

sacrificial pile. With Its hands it presents the sacrificer to the

knower of the self. Then the knower of the self raises him up

and offers him to Brahmā. There he becomes blissful and Joyful.


The three fires which are used in religious sacrifices are treated as

three sacrificial plies erected by Prajā-Pati the lord of creation

on earth, the atmosphere and the sky. The year, the wind and the

sun rule in these three regions.They raise the sacrificer to the next

higher stage until, finally, he reaches Brahmā.


VI.34. The earth is the gārhapatya fire, the atmosphere is the dakṣiṇa fire and the sky the āhavanīya fire. Hence they are (called) the pure, the purifying, the bright. By this the sacrifice is made manifest. Since the digestive fire is the combination of the pure, the purifying and the bright, therefore this fire should be worshipped with oblations, is to be built (with bricks), is to be praised, is to be meditated upon. The sacrificer, when he takes the oblation seeks (to perform) his meditation of the divinity thus, 'The bird of golden hue abides in the heart and in the sun, a diver-bird, a swan, of surpassing radiance. Let us worship him in the fire. Having recited, one discerns the meaning of this verse, the adorable splendor of Sāvitrī should be meditated upon by him, who, abiding in his understanding, meditates thereon. Here he reaches the place of tranquillity for the mind. He places it in the self, indeed, on this point there are these verses. Even as fire without fuel becomes extinct in its own place, even so thought, by the cessation of activity becomes extinct in its own source. Even in a mind which seeks the truth and has quieted down in its own place, there arise false ideas due to past acts when deluded by the objects of sense. One's own thought, indeed, is saṁsāra; let a man cleanse it by effort. What a man thinks, that he becomes, this is the eternal mystery. For by the serenity of one's thought, one destroys all actions, good or bad. Dwelling within the self, with a serene self, he enjoys imperishable happiness. If the thought of man is so fixed on Brahman as it is on the things of this world, who will not then be free from bondage? The mind, it is said, is of two kinds, pure and impure, impure from contact with desire and pure when freed from desire. By freeing mind from sloth and distraction and making it motionless, he becomes delivered from his mind (reaches mindlessness), then that is the supreme state. So long should the mind be restrained in the heart till it reaches its end, that is knowledge, that is liberation. All else is but extensions of the knots that bind us to this life. The happiness of a mind whose stains are washed away by concentration and who has entered the self, it cannot be here described by words. It can be grasped by the inner organ (only). One cannot distinguish water in water,

fire in fire or ether in ether, even so he whose mind has entered in, he is released completely. Mind, in truth, is the cause of bondage and liberation for mankind; for bondage if it is bound to objects, freedom from objects, that is called liberation. Therefore, for those who do not perform the agnihotra sacrifice who do not build up the fire, who are ignorant, who do not meditate, the remembering of the ethereal (heavenly) place of Brahman is obstructed. Therefore that fire should be worshipped with oblations, should be built (with bricks), is to be praised, is to be meditated upon.

Thought is the cause for all things When it is active there are

the three worlds, when it subsides the world subsides. Therefore the

mind should be treated with diligence.'

'The body, heaven and hell and so both bondage and liberation

are but mental. What then have I (who am) essentially intelligence

to do with them?'

This passage equates āśraya with śabda Brahman whose pravtti.

or concomitant differentiation leads to the universe. Its purification

or unification leads to aśabda or utter voidness, śūnyatva.

VI.35. Adoration to Agni (Fire), who dwells in the earth, who remembers the world. Bestow the world on this worshipper.

Adoration to Vāyu (wind) who dwells in the atmosphere, who Remembers the world. Bestow the world on this worshipper.

Adoration to the Ᾱditya (the sun), who dwells in heaven, who remembers the world. Bestow the world on this worshipper.

Adoration to Brahmā, who dwells in all, who remembers all. Bestow all on this worshipper. With a golden vessel is the face

of the real covered. That do thou, O Pūṣan, uncover, that we may reach the Eternal real, the pervader. He who is the

yonder person in the sun, I myself am he. Verily, that which isthe sunhood of the sun is the eternal real. That is the bright,

the personal, the sexless. Of the bright power that pervades the sky, it is only, a portion, which is, as it were, in the midst

of the sun, the eye and in fire. That is Brahman that is the immortal, that is splendor. Of the bright power that pervades

the sky it is only a portion which is the nectar in the midst of the Sun, of which the moon and the living creatures too are

only offshoots. That is Brahman, that is immortal, that is splendour, that is the eternal real. Of the bright power that pervades the sky it is only a portion which shines as the Yajur Veda in the midst of the Sun that is aum, water, light, essence immortal, Brahman bhūr, bhuvas, svar, aum. The eight-footed the pure, the swan, three-stringed, minute the Imperishable, blind to the two attributes (of good and evil), kindled in the light, he who sees him sees all. Of the bright power that pervades the sky it is only a portion, which, rising in the midst of the Sun becomes the two right rays. That is the knower, the eternal, real, that is the Yayus, that is heat, that is fire, that is wind, that is breath, that is water that is the moon that is the bright, that is the immortal, that is the place of Brahman. That is the ocean of light In it, indeed the wor­shippers become dissolved like (a lump of) salt. It is the

oneness with Brahman for in it are all desires contained.' On this point they quote. Even as a lamp moved by a gentle breeze, he who dwells within the gods shines forth. He who knows this, is the knower, he knows the difference, having grasped the oneness, he becomes identified with it They who rise forth perpetually like spray drops (from the sea) like lightnings from the light within the clouds in the highest sky, they, by virtue of their entrance into the light of glory appear like crests of flame in the track of fire.

Pṛthvī-kṣite: who dwells in the earth.

satya-dharmāya viṣṇve that we may reach the eternal real, the pervader.

aliṅgam = sexless.

dvi-dharmo'ndham =  blind to the two attributes (of good and evil).

Brahma-viṣaym = the place of Brahman, brahma-Prāpti-dvāram.

Savit = the knower.

VI.36. Verily, indeed, of the Brahmā light there are these two forms, one, the tranquil and the other the abounding. Now of

that which is tranquil, space is the support, of the other which is the abounding, food here is the support. Therefore one should

offer sacrifice in the sacrificial altar with sacred hymns, herbs, ghee, flesh [sacrificial), cakes, boiled rice and the like, and also

with food and drink cast into the mouth, knowing the mouth to be the āhavanīya fire for the sake of abundance of vigour, for winning the world of sanctity and for immortality. On this point they quote: He who is desirous of heaven should offer the agnihotra sacrifice. One wins the kingdom of Yama by the agniṣṭoma sacrifice, the kingdom of the moon by the uktha, the kingdom of the Sun by the sixteen-day sacrifice, the kingdom of independence by the atirātra sacrifice, the Kingdom of Prajā-pati, by the sacrifice which continues to the end of a thousand years. As the continued existence of a lamp is because of the union of wick, support and oil, so also the self and the bright (sun) continue to exist because of the union of the Inner One and the world egg. The two selves are the witness and the experiencing self. The former is tranquil and the  latter is full of activity.

tejasaḥ = Vlgour.

Svārājyam = the kingdom of independence or the kingdom of Indra:

Even as the lamp burns so long as there is oil to be consumed so

the light of Brahman remains divided as the individual soul and

the Sun so long as the latent brightness of previous actions in the

incorporated being and in the world are not exhausted. If the Sun

is taken as the symbol of the cosmic process. It means that the process

continue until all men are liberated.

VI.37· Therefore one should meditate with the syllable aum on that unlimited splendor. That has been manifested threefold

In the fire, In the sun, In the breath. Now this is the channel by which the abundance of food offered is this fire goes up to

the sun. The sap which flows there from rains down like the udgītha chant. By this living creatures here exist. From living

creatures come offspring. On this point they quote. The oblation which has been offered in the fire goes to the sun. The sun rains that down with his rays. Thereby arises food. From food the production of beings. For thus has it been said, the offering properly cast, In the fire goes toward the sun, from out of the sun comes rain, from the rain food, from food living beings.

nāḍī =  channel, dvāra-rūpa See Manu III. 76.

VI.38. He who performs the agnihotra sacrifice rends the net of selfish desire Then having cut through bewilderment he

does not approve of anger. Meditating on desire, he cuts through the fourfold sheath of Brahmā. Thence he goes to the highest

space. There having broken through the spheres of the sun, of the moon, of the fire and of the pure being, he, then, being

purified himself, he sees the intelligence which abides in the pure being, unmovable, Immortal, indestructible, enduring,

bearing the name of Viṣṇu, the ultimate abode, endowed with love of truth (or the desires) and omniscience, independent,

which stands in its own greatness. On this point they quote: In the midst of the sun stands the moon, in the midst of the

moon the fire, in the midst of fire stands pure being, in the midst of pure being stands the indestructible one. Having

meditated on him who is of the measure of a thumb within the span (of the heart) in the body, who is smaller than the

small, then one goes to the supreme condition. For in that all desires are contained. On this point they quote: Having the

measure of a thumb within the span in the body like the flames of a light burning twofold or threefold, the Brahmā who is

praised, the great god, has entered (all) the worlds Aum, adoration to Brahmā, yea, adoration.

VI 28, VI 23, VI 30, VI. 35.

He who makes the fire sacrifice tears up the snare of greed, cuts

Down delusion and breaks with anger.

of the measure of a thumb within the span in the body·

pradīpa pratāpavat = like the flame of a light.



VII.1. The Fire, the gāyatrī meter, the trivṛt hymn, the rathantara chant, the spring season, the upward breath, the stars, the vasu gods (these), rise in the east, they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and look out through an opening. He is unthinkable, formless, deep (unfathomable), hidden, blame­less. compact (solid], impenetrable, free from qualities, pure, brilliant, enjoying (the play of the three) qualities, fearful, unproduced, the master yogin, omniscient, mighty, immeasurable, without beginning or end, possessing all excellence, unborn, wise, indescribable, the creator of all, the self of all, the enjoyer of all, the lord of all, the inmost being of everything.

vasu gods = deva-gaṇa-viśeṣaḥ.

deep, unfathomable = duravagāhaḥ.

compact solid.

bhayaḥ = fearful, because he lS the all-devounng time, kālarūpaḥ

maghaḥ: mighty or worshipful.

VII.2. Indra, the triṣṭubh meter, the pancadaśa hymn, the bṛhat chant, the summer season, the vyāna breath, the moon, the

Rudra gods rise in the south, they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and look out through an opening. He

is without beginning or end, unmeasured, unlimited, not to be moved by another, independent, without any marks (signs),

formless, of endless power, the creator, the maker of light (the enlightener).

VII.3. The Maruts, the Jagatī meter, the saptadaśa hymn, the Vairūpa chant, the rainy season, the apāna breath, the planet Venus, the Ᾱditya gods, these rise in the west. They warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again within and look out through an opening. That is tranquil, soundless, fearless, sorrowless, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, unmovable, immortal, un­shaking, enduring, bearing the name of Viṣṇu, the highest abode.

VII.4. The Viśve devas, the anuṣṭubh meter, the ekaviṁsā hymn, the Vairāja chant, the samāna breath, Varuṇa, the Sādhya

gods, rise in the north. They warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again within, and look out through an opening. He is

pure within, clean, void, tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless.

VII.5. Mitra and Varuṇa, the paṅkti meter, the triṇava and the trayastriṁśa hymns, the Śākvara and Raivata chants, the winter

and the dewy seasons, the udāna breath, the Aṅgirasas, the moon rise from above. They warm, they rain, they praise, they

enter again within, and look out through an opening. Him who is called praṇava, the Impeller, whose form is light, sleepless,

ageless, deathless, sorrowless.

VII.6. Saturn, Rāhu (the dragon's head), Ketu (the dragon's tall), serpents, the Rākṣasas, Yakṣas, men, birds, deer, elephants and the like rise from below. They warm, they ram, they praise, they enter again within and look out through an opening. He Who is wise, the ordainer, within all, imperishable, pure, clean, shining, patient, tranquil.

vidharaṇaḥ: the ordainer.


VII.7. And he, verily, is the self within the heart, very subtile, kindled like fire, endowed with all forms. Of him all this is food. In him are woven creatures here. He is the self which is free from evil, ageless, deathless, sorrowless, free from uncertainty, free from fetters, whose conception is the real, whose desire is the real. He is the supreme lord, he is the ruler of beings, he is the protector of beings. He is the determining bridge. This self, verily, is the lord, the beneficent, the existent, the terrible, the lord of creation, creator of all, the golden germ, truth, life, spirit, the ruler, the unshaken, the pervader, Nārāyaṇa. He who is in the fire, he who is here in the heart, he who is yonder in the sun, he is one. To thee who art this, endowed with all forms hidden in the real space, be adoration.

viśva-rūpaḥ = endowed with all forms, sarva-rūpo vaiśvānaraḥ

setu = bridge See B U IV 4 22, CU VIII 4 I

hitāya = hidden, nihitāya.


VII.8. Now then, the hindrances to knowledge, O King. This is indeed the source of the net of delusion, the association of one who is worthy of heaven with those who are not worthy of heaven, that is it. Though it is said that there is a grove before them they cling to a low shrub. Now there are some who are always hilarious, always abroad, always begging, always making a living by handicraft. And others there are who are beggars in town, who perform sacrifices, for the unworthy, who are the disciples of Śūdras and who, though Śūdras, are learned in the scriptures And others there are who are wicked, who wear their hair in a twisted knot, who are dancers, who are mer­cenaries, travelling mendicants, actors, those who have been degraded in the King's service. And others there are who, for money, profess that they can allay (the evil influences) of Yakṣas (sprites), Rākṣasas (ogres), ghosts, goblins, devils, ser­pents, imps and the like. And others there are who, under false pretexts, wear the red robe, earrings, and skulls. And others there are who love to distract the believers in the Veda by the jugglery of false arguments, comparisons, and paralogisms, with these one should not associate. These creatures, evidently, are thieves and unworthy of heaven. For thus has it been said: The world bewildered by doctrines that deny the self, by false Comparisons and proofs does not discern the difference between wisdom and knowledge.

Jñānopasargaḥ: hindrances to knowledge Jñānotpatti-vigātakā hetavaḥ

vṛthā = falsely, mthyā

veda-Vidyā = wisdom and knowledge, vedāvidyā = knowledge and ignorance

The caste prejudice comes out here with reference to the Śūdras.

VII.9. Verily, Bṛhaspati (the teacher of the gods) became Śukra (the teacher of the demons) and for the securitv of Indra and for the destruction of the demons created this ignorance. By this (they) declare the inauspicious to be auspicious and the auspicious to be inauspicious. They say that there should be attention to the (new) law which is destructive of the (teaching of the) Vedas and the other scriptures. Therefore one should not attend to this teaching. It is false. It is like a barren woman. Mere pleasure is the fruit thereof as also of one who has fallen from the proper course. It should not be attempted. For thus has it been said widely opposed and divergent are these two, the one known as Ignorance, and the other as knowledge. I (Yama) think that Naciketas is desirous of obtaining knowledge and many desires do not rend you. He who knows at the same time knowledge and ignorance together, having crossed death by means of ignorance he wins the Immortal by knowledge. Those who are wrapped up in the midst of ignorance, fancying themselves alone wise and learned, they wander, hard smitten and deluded like blind men led by one who is himself blind.


śivam = auspicious.

aśivam =inauspicious.

Uddiśanti =  declare.

rati-mātram = mere pleasure, of a passing nature.

knowledge and ignorance: See Katha II 4; Isa II; Katha II 5; MU I 2 8.

VII.10. Verily, the gods and the demons, being desirous of (knowing) the self went into the presence of Brahmā. Having

Bowed before him they said, Revered Sir, we are desirous of (knowing) the self, so do you tell us. Then, after having reflected

a long while, he thought in himself. Verily, these demons are desirous of a self different (from the true one). Therefore, a

very different doctrine was told to them. On that these deluded (demons) here have their life, with intense attachment, destroying the means of salvation and praising what is false. They see the false, as if It were true, as in jugglery. Therefore what is set forth In the Vedas, that is the truth. On what is said in the Vedas, on that wisemen live their life. Therefore a Brāhmaṇa

should not study what is not of the Veda. This should be the purpose.

See  Cu VIII 8

With intense attachment atyasaktāḥ tat-parāḥ. They live according to another idea of the self than the reality, deluded, attached, expressing a falsehood as if by an enchantment they see the false as the true.

Tariḥ = the means, the raft by which to cross the ocean of saṁsāra.


VII.11 Verily, the nature of the ether within the space (of the heart) is the same as the supreme bright power. This is mani­ fested in a threefold way, in fire, in the sun and in the breath of life. Verily, the nature of the ether within the space (of the heart) is the same as the syllable aum. With this syllable, indeed, that (light) rises up (from the depths) goes upwards and breathes forth. Verily, It becomes forever, the support of the meditation on Brahmā. In the breathing, that (bright power) has its place in the heart that casts forth light. In the breathing that is like the action of smoke, for when there is breathing the smoke rises to the sky in one column and follows afterwards one branch after another. That is like throwing salt in to water, like heat in melted butter, like the range (of the thought) of a meditator. On this point they quote, now, why is it said to be lightning? Because in the very moment of going forth it lights up the whole body. Therefore one should meditate with the syllable aum that boundless light. The person who is in the eye, who abides in the right eye, he is Indra and his wife abides in the left eye. The union of these two (takes place) within the hollow of the heart and the lump of blood which is there is indeed the life-vigour of these two. There is a channel extending from the heart up to the eye and fairly fixed there. That is the channel which serves both of them, by being divided in two though but one. The mind stirs up the fire of the body; that stirs the wind. The wind, then moving through the chest produces the low sound. As brought forth in the heart, by contact with the fire of friction it is smaller than the smallest, it becomes double (the minimum size) in the throat, know that it is treble on the tip of the tongue and when it comes forth they call it the alphabet. The seer does not see death, nor sickness, nor any sorrow. The seer sees the all and becomes all everywhere. He who sees with the eye, who moves in dreams, who is sound asleep and he who is beyond the sound sleeper, these are a person's four distinct conditions. Of these the fourth is greater than the rest. Brahman with one quarter moves in the three and with three-quarters in the last. For the sake of experiencing the true and the false the great self has a dual nature, yea, the great self has a dual nature.

See B U. IV 2 3, C.U. VII. 26. 2.

ajasram= for ever.

Veda is Said to be the expression of the mind of Īśvara. Īśvara­cid-vistāro vedaḥ.

Suṣau =  hollow, chidre.

For the four conditions of the self, see Mā.U.

End of Maitrī Upaniad