Translation and Comment By Dr. Radhakrishnan

Sanskrit Text and Transliteration by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj



Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad




The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad belongs to the Taittirīya school of the Yajur Veda. Its name is derived from the sage who taught it, It is theistic in character and identifies the Supreme Brahman with Rudra who is conceived as the material and the efficient cause of the world, not only the author of the world but its protector and guide. The elements associated with theism, Personal God and devotion to Him, which are to be met with undoubtedly in the other Upaniṣads, become prominent in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad. The emphasis is not on Brahman the Absolute, whose complete perfection does not admit of any change or evolution but on the personal Īśvara, omniscient and omnipotent who is the manifested Brahman. Terms which were used by the later Sāṁkhya philosophy occur in the Upaniṣad, but the dualism of the Brahman, puruṣa and prakṛti, is overcome. Nature or pradhāna is not an independent entity but belongs to the self of the Divine, devātma-śakti. God Is the māyin, the maker of the world which is māyā or made by him2 The Upaniṣad teaches the unity of the souls and the world in the one Supreme Reality. The Upaniṣad is an attempt to reconcile the different philosophical and religious views which prevailed at the time of its composition.  






किं कारणं ब्रह्म कुतः स्म जाता, जीवामः केन क्व च संप्रतिष्ट्हाः

अधिष्ट्हिताः केन सुखेतरेष्उ वर्तामहे ब्रह्मविदो व्यवस्थाम्  ŚU.

kiṃ kāraṇaṃ brahma kutaḥ sma jātā, jīvāmaḥ kena kva ca saṃpratiṣṭhāḥ
adhiṣṭhitāḥ kena sukhetareṣu vartāmahe brahmavido vyavasthām  ŚU 1.1

1.1.  Those who discourse on Brahman say What is the cause? (Is it] Brahman? Whence are we born? By what do we live? And on what are we established? O ye who know Brahman, (tell us) presided over by whom do we live our different conditions in pleasures and other than pleasures (pains).


कालः स्वभावो नियतिर् यदृच्छा भूतानि योनिः पुरुष इति चिन्त्या

संयोग एषम् न त्वात्म‍भावाद् आत्माप्य् अनीशः सुख‍दुःख‍हेतोः ŚU1.2

kālaḥ svabhāvo niyatir yadṛcchā bhūtāni yoniḥ puruṣa iti cintyā
saṃyoga eṣam na tvātma-bhāvād ātmāpy anīśaḥ sukha-duḥkha-hetoḥ  ŚU 1.2

1.2. Time, inherent nature, necessity, chance, the elements, the womb or the person (should they) be considered as the cause? It cannot be a combination of these because of the existence of the soul. Even the soul is powerless in respect of the cause of pleasure and pain.

Cintyā = Cintyam.

We are told that 'Time is a horse with seven reins ... him the knowing poets mount.'

In the same verse, it is said that 'all the worlds are his wheels.' The creative and destructive functions of Kāla or time are brought out in the M.B.

It also asserts that there is a time-transcending element which overcomes even time-the soul, the living self, Jīva which is not an independent cause, but is subject to the law of karma.

Ātmā = the soul, the living self, Jīva which is not an independent cause, but is subject to the law of karma.

yoniḥ  = the womb. prakṛti which is the mother of all possibilities in the world. The different views are mentioned as they were suggested in the previous history of Indian thought. The non-conscious cannot be the cause of the conscious. The conscious human being cannot be the ultimate cause for he is not the determiner of his own destiny.



ते ध्यान‍योगानुगता अपश्यन् देवात्म‍शक्तिं स्व‍गुणैर् निगूढाम्

यः कारणानि निखिलानि तानि कालात्मयुक्तान्य् अधितिष्ठत्य् एकः  ŚU.

te dhyāna-yogānugatā apaśyan devātma-śaktiṃ sva-guṇair nigūḍhām
yaḥ kāraṇāni nikhilāni tāni kālātmayuktāny adhitiṣṭhaty ekaḥ  ŚUp_1.3

1.3.Those who followed after (were devoted to) meditation and contemplation saw the self-power of the Divine hidden in its own qualities. He is the one who rules over all these causes from time to the soul.

Tasyābhidhyānāt: It seems to foreshadow the praṇidhāna of the Yoga Satra I. 23. Bhakti or devotion is a natural development of dhyāna.VI.22

devātma-śakti: the self-power of the Divine. It is not like the prakṛti of the Sāṁkhya, independent of God. The power, śakti of the Supreme, is the cause of the world. It is of the nature of the Supreme and not independent.

There is no reason, as Plotinus says, why the spirit should remain stationary in itself. It is not impotent as it is the source and potentiality of all things. Enneads V. 6. I. Nothing is lost by its creative activity. In Plotinus, the power of Spirit penetrates the whole spiritual world and the world of souls.

sva-guṇair nigūḍhām: hidden in its own qualities. I. The self-power of the Divine is hidden by the qualities of the Lord, devātma, Īśvara-rūpeṇa avasthitām. S. The power of manifestation (māyā-śakti) is in the form of Īśvara, the Supreme Lord.

2. The self-power of the Divine is hidden by the three qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas. It is the cause of the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the world.

3. The qualities may refer to the modifications of prakṛti, puruṣa, and Īśvara.

4. The power of the Lord to create, preserve and dissolve the world is looked upon as the cause.

Brahman, the unconditioned Absolute, cannot be regarded as the cause of the world. It can only be described negatively.

So it is that the causation of the world is traced to māyā or prakṛti which is the power of Brahman conceived as Īśvara.





तम् एकनेमिं त्रिवृतं षोडशान्तं शतार्धारं विंशतिप्रत्यराभिः

अष्टकैः षड्भिर् विश्वरूपैकपाशं त्रिमार्गभेदं द्विनिमित्तैकमोहम्  Ś.U 1.4

tam eka-nemiṁ trivṛtaṁ ṣoḍaśāntaṁ śatārdhāraṁ viṁśatipratyarābhiḥ
aṣṭakaiḥ ṣaḍbhir viśva-rūpaika-pāśaṁ tri-mārga-bhedaṁ dvini-mittaika-moham
Ś.U 1.4

1.4.  (We understand) Him (as a wheel) with one felly, with three tires, sixteen ends, fifty spokes, twenty counter-spokes and six sets of eights, whose one rope is manifold, which has three different paths, whose one delusion (arises) from two causes.  

In this and the following verses, the world is compared to a rotating wheel or a flowing stream. Its chief characteristic is movement and these images bring it out.

eka-nemiṁ: with one felly. Īśvara is the one source of the manifested world. The root cause of the whole world described in different ways has its locus in Īśvara.

Īśvara uses prakṛti for creation.

It is usual to describe the world as a wheel. ekam pādam nokṣipati Sanatsujātiya VI. II.

trvrtam: with three tires, threefold. Reference is to the three guṇas sativa, rajas and tamas.

ṣoḍaśāntaṁ: sixteen ends. Reference is to the five elements five organs of perception (Jńānedriya). five organs of action (karmendriya) and the mind (manas). Prakṛti and its twenty-three evolutes are sometimes divided into two groups of eight and sixteen. The group of eight is called prakṛti or mūla-prakṛti and consists of prakṛti. buddhi, aham-kāra and the five elements. The group of sixteen called vikāra consists of mind, the ten organs and the five objects of the senses.

This view is accepted by Tattua-samāsa I and 2.

Sāṁkhya Kārikā divides the 24 into three groups: 1. prakrti; 2. 7 called prakṛti-vikṛti; and 3. 16 called vikṛti. The last are called

Ṣodaśaka gaṇa (22).

This expression may refer to the sixteen Kalas mentioned in Prasna VI. I.

śatārdhāraṁ: fifty spokes. They represent the forces which move the wheel. S mentions the five viparyayas, tamas, moha, mahā-mohas tāmisra and andhatāmisra (they may also refer to ignorance, self-love, love, hatred and fear.

Yoga tra I.8; II. 2. khya Sūtra III. 37); twenty-eight aśaktis or disabilities.

Samkhya Sūtra III. 28; the nine inversions of the tuṣṭis, satisfactions, Ibid III. 39; the eight inversions of the siddhis or perfections (III. 40). The various subdivisions of viparyaya, aśakti, tuṣṭi and siddhi given in Sāṁkhya rikā. 46 ff. form a set of fifty. See E. H. Johnston: Some Sāṁkhya and Yoga Conceptions of the śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad. Journal, of the Royal Asiatic Society, October 1940, pp. 855 ff.


pratyarābhiḥ: counter-spokes. These are the ten organs of perception and action and their objects. Prna IV. 8. It may also refer to the five elements with the five objects of the senses and the ten organs.

See M.B. XII. 112. 38-41.

aṣṭakaiḥ ṣaḍbhiḥ: six sets of eights. The six are I. prakṛti: with its eight causes of the five elements, mind (manas), intellect (buddhi), and self-sense (aham-kāra), see B.G. VII. 4; 2. dhātu: with the eight constituents of the body; 3. aiśvarya: lordship with its eight forms;

4. bhāva: eight conditions; 5. deva: gods with their eight classes; and 6. ātma-guṇa.: virtues which are also eight.


viśva-rūpaika-pāśam: whose one rope is manifold.It is desire or Karma viśva-rūpa, nānā-rūpa eka~ kāmākhyaḥ pāśaḥ. S. Viśva-rūpa is often used for the soul which is subject to rebirth.

tri-mārga-bhedaṁ: which has three different paths to salvation explained as dharma, religiousness, adharma , irreligiousness, and

jńāna or wisdom.

moha: delusion or ignorance of sell which is produced by two causes. good or bad works. Both of them commit us to the wheel of rebirth.



पञ्च-स्रोतोऽम्बुं पञ्च-योन्य्-उग्र-वक्रां पञ्च-प्राणोर्मिं पञ्च-बुद्ध्यादि-मूलां

पञ्चावर्तां पञ्च-दुःखौघ-वेगां पञ्च-शद्-भेदां पञ्च-पर्वाम्-अधीमः 1.5 

pańca-sroto'mbuṁ pańca-yony-ugra-vakrāṁ pańca-prāṇormiṁ pańca-buddhyādi-mūlāṁ
pańcāvartāṁ pańca-duḥkhaugha-vegāṁ pańca-śad-bhedāṁ pańca-parvām-adhīmaḥ

1.5· We meditate on him as a river of five streams, from five sources, fierce and crooked, whose waves are the five vital Breaths, whose original source is the fivefold perception, with five whirlpools, an impetuous flood of five pains, divided into fifty kinds (of suffering) with five branches.

The reality of the world and its relation to the Supreme Īśvara are brought out here.

pańcasroto'mbuṁ: having for its water that which has five streams. srotas also used for sense organ.

indriya: the stream of perceptions which each sense organ receives from the outer world. These streams flow from the senses to the mind which is said to have five streams. Nilakantha identifies it with mind or manas.

Yoga Sūtra mentions the five kleśas as avidyā asmitā aśakti, rāga, abhiniveśa.

Vācaspati  Miśra on Sāṁkhya Kārikā (47) explains pańca-viparyaya­bedhāḥ by a quotation from Vārṣagaṇya Pańca-parva-vidyā .



सर्वाजीवे सर्वसंस्थे ब्ढन्ते तस्मिन् हंसो भ्राम्यते ब्रह्मचक्रे

प्ड्थग् आत्मानं प्रेरितारं च मत्वा जुष्टस् ततस् तेनाम्ड्तत्वम् एति  Ś.U.

sarvājīve sarvasaṁsthe bṛhante tasmin haṁso bhrāmyate brahmacakre
pṛthag ātmānaṁ preritāraṁ ca matvā juṣṭas tatas tenāmṛtatvam eti 
Ś.U 1.6

1.5.In this vast brahma-wheel, which enlivens all things, in which all rest, the soul flutters about thinking that the self in him and the Mover (the Lord) are different. Then when blessed by him, he gains life eternal.

Both Īśvara and the individual soul belong to the manifested world.

brahma-cakram: Gaudapada gives Brahman as a synonym for prakṛti. The soul of man is a traveler wandering in this cycle of Brahma which is huge, a totality of lives, a totality of states, thinking itself to be different from the Impeller of the journey. The soul reaches its goal of immortality when it is accepted by the Supreme.



उद्गीतम् एतत् परमं तु ब्रह्म तस्मिंस् त्रयं सुप्रतिष्ठाक्षरं च

अत्रान्तरं ब्रह्म-विदोविदित्वा लीना ब्रह्मणि तत्-परा योनि-मुक्ताः 1.7

udgītam etat paramaṁ tu brahma tasmiṁs trayaṁ supratiṣṭhākṣaraṁ ca
atrāntaraṁ brahma-vido’viditvā līnā brahmaṇi tat-parā yoni-muktāḥ  S.U. 1.7

1.7. This has been sung as the supreme Brahman and in it is the triad. It is the firm support, the imperishable. The knowers of Brahman by knowing what is therein become merged in Brahman, intent thereon and freed from birth.

supratiṣṭhā: v. sapratiṣṭhā, svapratiṣṭhā.

brahma-vido:v. veda·vido. knowers of the Vedas.

paramam: Supreme. Prapańca-dharma-rahitam.S.

trayam: the triad, the individual soul, the world and the cosmic lord.

bhoktā, bhogyam, preritāram. S.

संयुक्तम् एतत् क्षरम् अक्षरं च व्यक्ताव्यक्तम् भरते विश्वम् ईशः

अनीशश् चात्मा बध्यते भोक्त्र्-भावात् ज्ञात्वा देवम् मुच्यते सर्व-पाशैः  1.8

saṁyuktam etat kṣaram akṣaraṁ ca vyaktāvyaktam bharate viśvam īśaḥ
anīśaś cātmā badhyate bhoktr-bhāvāt jńātvā devam mucyate sarva-pāśaiḥ  S.Up_1.8

1.8. The Lord supports all this which is a combination of the mutable and the immutable, the manifest and the unmanifest. And the soul, not being the Lord, is bound because of his being an enjoyer. By knowing God (the soul) is freed from all fetters.

See B.G. XV. 16-17. The later doctrine of Śaiva-siddhānta with its distinctions of Paśu, Pati, pāśa, the creature, the lord and the bond,

is here suggested.



ज्ञाज्ञौ द्वाव् अजाव् ईशनीशाव् अजा ह्य् एका भोक्तृभोगार्थयुक्ता

अनन्तश् चात्मा विश्वरूपो ह्य् अकर्ता त्रयम् यदा विन्दते ब्रह्मम् एतत्  स्वेतुप्_.

jńājńau dvāv ajāv īśanīśāv ajā hy ekā bhoktṛ-bhogyārtha-yuktā
anantaś cātmā viśva-rūpo hy akartā trayam yadā vindate brahmam etat  Ś.Up_1.9

1.9. There are two unborn ones, the knowing and the unknowing, the one all-powerful, the other powerless. Indeed there is (another) one who is unborn, connected with the enjoyer and the objects of enjoyment. And there is the infinite self, of universal form, non-active, When one finds out this triad that is Brahman.

The individual soul, the personal god and prakṛti or nature are all contained in Brahman: The doctrine of the triune unity elaborated later by Rāmānuja is suggested here. For Rāmānuja, God is the soul of nature as well as the soul of souls.

The distinctions of enjoyer, enjoyment, and enjoyed are contained in Brahman: bhoktṛ,bhoga-bhogya-rūpam. S.

akart: non-active. kartṛtvādi-Sāṁsāra--dharma-rahitaḥ..S. In commenting on this verse, S makes out that the manifested world is due to the power of māyā which is not independent of Brahman and so does not constitute a second to it. As it is responsible for the manifested world it is not a nonentity. Its nature is indescribable.



क्षरं प्रधानम् अमृताक्षरं हरः क्षरात्मानाव् ईशते देव एकः /

तस्याभिध्यानाद् योजनात् तत्त्वभावाद् भूयश् चान्ते विश्वमायानिवृत्तिः // १.१० //

kṣaram pradhānam amṛtākṣaraṁ haraḥ kṣarātmānāv īśate deva ekaḥ
tasyābhidhyānād yojanāt tattvabhāvād bhūyaś cānte viśvamāyānivṛttiḥ  Ś.Up1.10

1.10. What is perishable is the pradhāna (primary matter). What is immortal and imperishable is Hara (the Lord). Over both the perishable and the soul the one God rules. By meditating on Him, by uniting with Him, by reflecting on His being more and more, there is complete cessation from the illusion of the world.

What is perishable is the pradhāna (primary matter). What is immortal and imperishable is Hara (the Lord). Over both the perishable and the soul the one God rules. By meditating on Him, by uniting with Him, by reflecting on His being more and more, there is complete cessation from the illusion of the world.

hara: one of the names of Siva; S explains hara as one who removes ignorance. avidyāder haraṇāt.

Salutations to Bhava or Brahma. in whom rajas preponderates for the creation of the universe, salutation to Hara or Siva in whom tamas preponderates for the destruction (of the universe). Salutation to Mṛḍa or Viṣṇu in whom sattva preponderates for giving happiness

to people. Salutation to Siva who is effulgent and beyond the three attributes.

by meditating on him: The way by which the soul is awakened to the divine core of his being is abhidhyāna, an intense contemplation

of the Savior God. It leads to contemplative union with the object and identification with his essential reality. This contemplation is

introspection, an intimate worship, intuition of one's own inner being. The embodied Jīva becomes one with God.

Viśva-māyā. illusion of the world.

When we reach Kaivalya, there IS a total cessation of the world. The contemplator rises above the cosmlc structure and attains Brahma-nirvāṇa.



ज्ञात्वा देवं सर्वपाशापहानिः क्षीनैः क्लेशैर् जन्ममृत्युप्रहाणिः /

तस्याभिध्यानात् तृतीयं देहभेदे विश्वैश्वर्यं केवल आप्तकामः // १.११ //

jńātvā devaṁ sarvapāśāpahāniḥ kṣīnaiḥ kleśair janmamṛtyuprahāṇiḥ
tasyābhidhyānāt tṛtīyaṁ dehabhede viśvaiśvaryaṁ kevala āptakāmaḥ  Ś.Up 1.11

1.11. By knowing God there is a falling off of all fetters; when the sufferings are destroyed, there is cessation of birth and death. By meditating on Him, there is the third state; on the dissolution of the body, universal lordship; being alone, his desire is fulfilled.

This verse describes the different sides and stages of liberation. Negatively it is freedom from birth and death: positively it is oneness with Īśvara, so long as there is the manifested world and oneness with Brahman when the manifested world ceases to exist. A distinction is made here between dhyāna or meditation which leads to lordship and jńāna or wisdom which leads to liberation. The former, which is the contemplation of the heart, the rapture of devotion, is a stage to the latter, which is the contemplation of Intelligence, the blaze of discernment. So long as the cosmic process continues the Personal Lord presides over it and the freed individual becomes a co-worker with Him. When the cosmic process terminates, the Personal Lord lapses into the Absolute and so does the freed individual. He knows as does the Lord that he is the manifestation the Absolute, even when he is functioning in the world.


एतद् ज्ञेयं नित्यम् एवात्मसंस्थं नातः परं वेदितव्यं हि किञ्चित्

भोक्ता भोग्यम् प्रेरितारं च मत्वा सर्वम् प्रोक्तं त्रिविधम् ब्रह्मम् एतत्  1.12

etad jńeyaṁ nityam evātmasaṁsthaṁ nātaḥ paraṁ veditavyaṁ hi kińcit
bhoktā bhogyam preritāraṁ ca matvā sarvam proktaṁ trividham brahmam etat  Ś.Up. 1.12

1.12. That Eternal which rests in the self should be known. Truly there is nothing beyond this to be known. By knowing the enjoyer, the object of enjoyment and the mover (of all), everything has been said. This is the threefold Brahman.

The individual soul, the object of enjoyment, prakṛti and the Supreme Lord Īśvara are all forms of Brahman.

ātma-saṁstham: which rests in the self.

Śiva-dharmottara says: The Yogins see the Lord in the self and not in images.


वह्नेर् यथा योनिगतस्य मूर्तिः न दृश्यते नैव च लिङ्गनाशः

स भूय एवेन्धनयोनिगृह्यस् तद्वोभयं वै प्रणवेन देहे  1.13

vahner yathā yonigatasya mūrti na dṛśyate naiva ca liṅganāśaḥ
sa bhūya evendhanayonigṛhyas tadvobhayaṁ vai praṇavena dehe  Ś.Up. 1.13

1.13· As the form of fire when latent in its source is not seen and yet its seed is not destroyed, but may be seized again and again in its source by means of the drill, so it is in both cases, The self has to be seized in the body by means of the syllable aum.

Fire though not seen at first is there all the time; it becomes visible by friction; even so the Self is there all the time though unperceived by those in a state of ignorance. It is perceived when by meditation on the syllable aum, we subdue the lower self. The vision of the Self is achieved by means of the praṇava, aum.

indhana: the stick used for drilling.

yoni: the underwood in which the stick is drilled.


स्व-देहम् अरणिं कृत्वा प्रणवं चोऽत्तरारणिम्

ध्यान-निर्मथनाभ्यासात् देवम् पश्येन् निगूढवत्  1.14

sva-deham araṇiṁ kṛtvā praṇavaṁ co'ttarāraṇim
dhyāna-nirmathanābhyāsāt devam paśyen nigūḍhavat  Ś.Up. 1.14

1.14. By making one's body the lower friction stick and the syllable aum the upper friction stick, by practicing the drill (or friction) of meditation one may see the God, hidden as it were.

In overcoming the obstacles which prevent the realization of Brahman on the part of the individual, suffering is involved. We are asked to meditate on Godhead and bring Him out of the recesses of our heart.


तिलेषु तैलं दधनीव सर्पिर् आपः स्रोतस्सु अरणीषु चाग्निः

एवम् आत्मा आत्मनि गृह्यते ऽसौ सत्येनैनं तपसा यो ऽनुपश्यति

tileṣu tailaṁ dadhanīva sarpir āpaḥ srotassu araṇīṣu cāgniḥ
evam ātmā ātmani gṛhyate 'sau satyenainaṁ tapasā yo 'nupaśyati  Ś.Up.1.15

1.15. As oil in sesamum seeds, as butter in cream, as water in riverbeds as fire in friction sticks, so is the Self seized in one's own soul if one looks for Him with truthfulness and austerity.

srotas: river-bed. Usually a stream, here the dry bed of a stream which, if dug into will yield water. .

tapasā: by austerity. The divine in us becomes manifest only when we subject ourselves to discipline. The divine  operates in us but it requires effort to make It shine forth. A later Upaniṣad says that the Divine dwelling in us as ghee in milk but even as ghee is obtained after the process of churning. the churning of the mind 1s necessary to reveal the inner splendor.


सर्वव्यापिनम् आत्मानम् क्षीरे सर्पिर् इवार्पितम्

आत्म-विद्या-तपो-मूलं तद् ब्रह्मोपनिषत् परम्, तद् ब्रह्मोपनिषत् परम्  1.16

sarvavyāpinam ātmānam kṣīre sarpir ivārpitam
ātma-vidyā-tapo-mūlaṁ tad brahmopaniṣat param, tad brahmopaniṣat param  Ś.Up. 1.16

1.16. The Self which pervades all things as butter is contained in milk which is the root of self-knowledge and austerity. That is the Brahman, the highest mystic doctrine. That is the highest mystic doctrine.

brahmopaniṣat: the mystic doctrine of Brahman.

Like butter hidden in milk does the eternal wisdom dwell in each and every object; let there be constant churning by the churning stick of the mind. Brahma-bindu U.

Cp. Bhāgavata:

'When men realize me as present in all beings, as latent fire is in wood, from that moment they discard confusion.

As fragrance is in the flower, as butter in milk, as oil in sesamum seeds, as gold in the reef of gold (so God dwells in all objects).




युञ्जानः प्रथमम् मनस् तत्वाय सविता धियः

अग्नेर् ज्योतिर् निचाय्य पृथिव्या अध्याभरत् 2.1

yuńjānaḥ prathamam manas tatvāya savitā dhiya
agner jyotir nicāyya pṛthivyā adhyābharat 2.1

2.1. Savitṛ (the inspirer) first controlling mind and thought for truth discerned the light of Agni (Fire) and brought it out of the earth.

The five introductory verses are taken from Taittirīya Saṁhitā IV. I. I. I—5.

The Upanisads claim to continue the tradition of the Vedas. It is an established convention in Indian thought to make out that

the greatest innovations are only the developments of the old. Even the Buddha said that his teaching was only a restatement of the

four ancient truths, Catvāri ārya-satyāni. See Dhammapada, Introduction.


युक्तेन मनसा वयं देवस्य सवितुः सवे

सुवर्गेयाय शक्त्या  2.2

yuktena manasā vayaṁ devasya savituḥ save
suvargeyāya śaktyā  2.2.

2.2. With mind controlled we are under the command of the divine Savitṛ that we may have strength for (obtaining) heaven.

Suvargeyāya: for (obtaining) heaven.


युक्त्वाय मनसा देवान् सुवर्यतो धिया दिवम्

बृहज् ज्योतिः करिष्यतस् सविता प्रसुवाति तान् 2.3

yuktvāya manasā devān suvaryato dhiyā divam
bṛhaj jyotiḥ kariṣyatas savitā prasuvāti tān 2.3.

2.3. May Savitṛ, having controlled through thought the gods that rise up to the bright heaven, inspire them to make a great light to shine.



युञ्जते मन उत युञ्जते धियो विप्रा विप्रस्य बृहतो विपश्चितः

वि होत्रा दधे वयुनाविद् एक इन् मही देवस्य सवितुः परिष्टुतिः 2.4

yuńjate mana uta yuńjate dhiyo viprā viprasya bṛhato vipaścitaḥ
vi hotrā dadhe vayunāvid eka in mahī devasya savituḥ pariṣṭutiḥ 2.4

2.4. The sages of the great all-knowing control their mind and control their thoughts. The one who knows the law has ordered the ceremonial functions. Great is the praise of the divine Savit.




Translation and Comment By Dr. Radhakrishnan

Sanskrit Text and Transliteration by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj



युजे वाम् ब्रह्म पूर्व्यम् नमोभिर् वि श्लोक एतु पथ्य् एव सूरेः

शृण्वन्तु विश्वे अमृतस्य पुत्रा आ ये धामानि दिवियानि तस्थुः 2.5

yuje vām brahma pūrvyam namobhir vi śloka etu pathy eva sūreḥ
śṛṇvantu viśve amṛtasya putrā ā ye dhāmāni diviyāni tasthuḥ 2.5

2.5. I join your ancient prayer with adoration. Let my verse go forth like the path of the sun. May all the sons of the Immortal listen, even those who have reached their heavenly abodes.

amṛtasya putrāḥ: sons of the immortal.

Cp, 'Ye are all children of light and the children of the day.'

I Thessalonians V. 5; Hebrews III. 6.


अग्निर् यत्राभिमथ्यते वायुर् यत्राधिरुध्यते

सोमो यत्रातिरिच्यते तत्र संजायते मनः 2.6

agnir yatrābhimathyate vāyur yatrādhirudhyate
somo yatrātiricyate tatra saṁjāyate manaḥ 2.6

2.6. Where the fire is kindled, where the wind is directed, where the soma flows over, there the mind is born.

Mind is born where the routine or automatism is broken.



सवित्रा प्रसवेन जुषेत ब्रह्म पूर्व्यम्

तत्र योनिं कृणवसे न हि ते पूर्तम् अक्षिपत्. 2.7

savitrā prasavena juṣeta brahma pūrvyam
tatra yoniṁ kṛṇavase na hi te pūrtam akṣipat 2.7

2.7. With Savitṛ as the inspirer, one should delight m the ancient prayer. Make your source (dwelling) there. Your work will not affect you.




त्रिरुन्नतं स्थाप्य समं शरीरं हृदीन्द्रियाणि मनसा संनिवेश्य

ब्रह्मोडुपेन प्रतरेत विद्वान् स्रोतांसि सर्वाणि भयावहानि 2.8

trirunnataṁ sthāpya samaṁ śarīraṁ hṛdīndriyāṇi manasā saṁniveśya
brahmoḍupena pratareta vidvān srotāṁsi sarvāṇi bhayāvahāni 2.8

2.8. Holding the body steady with the three (upper parts, chest, neck and head) erect, causing the senses and the mind to enter into the heart, the wise man should cross by the boat of Brahman all the streams which cause fear.

See B.G. VI. 13.

saṁniveśya v. saṁnirudhya. .

trīṇi: three, urogrīvaśirāṁsi, chest, neck and head. S. At the time of meditation we must hold the trunk, the head and the neck in a

straight line. The theory of āsanas or postures is a development of this view. The control of the senses by means of mind answers to

the later pratyāhāra.

Body, mind and spirit form one whole and here what IS known as bodily prayer is mentioned.

Brahma: the syllable aum.


प्राणान् प्रपीड्येह संयुक्त-चेष्टः क्षीने प्राणे नासिकयोऽच्छ्वसीत 

दुष्टाश्व-युक्तम् इव वाहम् एनं विद्वान् मनो धारयेता प्रमत्तः 2.9

prāṇān prapīḍyeha sayukta-ceṣṭaḥ kṣīne prāṇe nāsikayo' cchvasīta 
duṣṭāśva-yuktam iva vāham enaṁ vidvān mano dhārayetā pramattaḥ 2.9

2.9. Repressing his breathings here (in the body). let him who has controlled all movements, breathe through his nostrils, with diminished breath; let the wise man restrain his mind vigilantly as (he would) a chariot yoked with vicious horses.

See B.G. V. 27. The verse refers to prāṇāyāma or breath-control.


समे शुचौ शर्करा-वह्नि-वालुका-विवर्जिते शब्द-जलाश्रया-दिभिः

मनोऽनुकूले न तु चक्षु-पीडने गुहा-निवाताश्रयणे प्रयोजयेत् 2.10

same śucau śarkarā-vahni-vālukā-vivarjite śabda-jalāśrayā-dibhiḥ
mano'nukūle na tu cakṣu-pīḍane guhā-nivātāśrayaṇe prayojayet 2.10

2.10. In a level clean place, free from pebbles, fire and gravel, favorable to thought by the sound of water and other features, not offensive to the eye, in a hidden retreat protected from the wind, Jet him perform his exercises (let him practice Yoga).

See B.G. VI. II; Maitrī VI. 30.

The importance of physical surroundings is brought out here. Kūma Purana mentions jantuvyāpta and saśabda. as unfitting a place for meditation. 11. II; M.B. says -nirjane vane, XIV. 567; also nadípulinaśāyī, nadītīraratiś ca. XIII. 6473. The place for meditation should be noiseless and not noisy. śabda is said to be a mistake for sadā, a place green with young grass.

नीहार धूमार्कानिलानलानां खद्योत-विद्युत्-स्फटिक-शशीनाम्

एतानि रूपाणि पुरस्सराणि ब्रह्मण्य् अभिव्यक्तिकराणि योगे 2.11

nīhāra dhūmārkānilānalānāṁ khadyota-vidyut-sphaṭika-śaśīnām
etāni rūpāṇi purassarāṇi brahmaṇy abhivyaktikarāṇi yoge –2.11

2.11. Fog, smoke, sun, wind, fire, fireflies, lightning, crystal moon, these are the preliminary forms which produce the manifestation of Brahman in Yoga.

l We read in the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra: 'In his exercise, the Yogin sees (imaginatively) the form of the sun or the moon or something looking like a lotus, or the underworld or various forms such as skyfire and the like. When all these are put aside and there is a state of imagelessness, then a condition in conformity with suchness (bhūta-tathatā) presents itself and the Buddhas will come together from all their countries and with their shining bands will touch the head of the benefactor.'

At first appears a sign like that of a star, then gradually appear a diamond mirror, thereafter a full lunar circle, thereafter a circle of the lustre of the nine germs, thereafter the midday sun, thereafter a circle of flame, then a crystal, a black circle, a dot, sound, digit, star, sun, lamp, eye, the lustre of gold and nine gems are seen.

l Mystics speak of visions and auditions. Truth is seen through the mirror of human reflection. The mind of man is limited by the nature of its possessor, by the kind of man he is. What thinks is the man, not the mind. Our senses make definite what is in its nature indefinite. We reduce the invisible to our level. As we cannot for long dwell on the heights without suffering from vertigo, we descend to the sense world and use images belonging to it. Though God transcends all forms, He may still use them and convey His presence through them. These images are sent to comfort and instruct us.

l This verse makes out that the images are not the subjective activities of the human self. Besides, many of these visions have a symbolic character. The words and phrases we use to describe impressions which external things make upon us are employed to describe the events of our spiritual life. It is a process of spiritual materialization. Truths of the spiritual life cannot be adequately represented except through symbols. Saint Hildegrand (1098-1180) had visions and she repeatedly assures us: 'These visions which I saw I beheld neither in sleep nor in dream, nor in madness nor with my carnal eyes, nor with the ears of the flesh, nor in hidden places; but wakeful, alert, with the eyes of the spirit and with the inward ears I perceived them in open view and according to the will of God.

And how this was compassed is hard indeed for human flesh to search out: Quoted in Studies in The History and Method of Science, edited by Charles Singer (1917), p. 53. Suso, Theresa, Muhammad and many others had these visions.



पृथ्व्यप्तेजोऽनिलखे समुत्थिते पञ्चात्मके योग-गुणे प्रवृत्ते

न तस्य रोगो न जरा न मृत्युः प्राप्तस्य योगाग्नि-मयं शरीरम् 2.12

pṛthvyaptejo'nilakhe samutthite pańcātmake yoga-guṇe pravṛtte
na tasya rogo na jarā na mṛtyuḥ prāptasya yogāgni-mayaṁ śarīram --2.12

2.12. When the fivefold quality of Yoga is produced, as earth, water, fire, air and ether arise, then there is no longer sickness no old age, no death to him who has obtained a body made of the fire of Yoga.

This verse and the next emphasize the physical aspects of Yoga. Through Yoga we try to build up a healthy and clean body. We attempt to make the very substance of our body incorruptible. Four stages of yoga, ārambha, ghaṭa, paricaya and niṣpatti are described m verses 13, 14, 15 and 16 respectively. In securing bodily health we have the commencement of the yoga, yoga-pravtti. In attaining freedom from sorrow we reach the second stage. In the third stage traces of duality disappear, mahā-sūnyaṁ tato bhāti sarva-samāśrayam. In the fourth stage there is the identity of the individual with the Supreme Self. The Yogin does not become disembodied. The elements composing his body are elevated to the level of their subtleness, sukṣmatva. He leaves his gross body and attains an indefectible one. It is a consciousness-body akin to that of the Supreme with whom the contemplator has Identified himself through meditation.



लघुत्वम् आरोग्यम् अलोलुपत्वम् वर्ण-प्रसादं स्वर-सौष्ठवं च

गन्धस् शुभो मूत्रपुरीषम् अल्पं योग-प्रवृत्तिम् प्रथमां वदन्ति 2.13

laghutvam ārogyam alolupatvam varṇa-prasādaṁ svara-sauṣṭhavaṁ ca
gandhas śubho mūtrapurīṣam alpaṁ yoga-pravṛttim prathamāṁ vadanti --2.13

2.13· Lightness, healthiness, steadiness clearness of complexion, pleasantness of voice, sweetness of odor, and slight excretions, these, they say, are the first results of the progress of yoga.




यथैव बिम्बं मृदयोऽ पलिप्तं तेजोमयम् भ्राजते तत् सुधान्तम्

तद् वात्मतत्त्वम् प्रसमीक्ष्य देही एकः कृतार्थो भवते वीत-शोकः 2.14

yathaiva bimbaṁ mṛdayo' paliptaṁ tejomayam bhrājate tat sudhāntam
tad vātmatattvam prasamīkṣya dehī ekaḥ kṛtārtho bhavate vīta-śokaḥ --2.14

2.14· Even as a mirror stained by dust shines brightly when it has been cleaned, so the embodied one when he has seen the (real) nature of the Self becomes integrated, of fulfilled purpose and freed from sorrow.



यदात्म-तत्त्वेन तु ब्रह्म-तत्त्वं दीपोपमेनेऽह युक्तः प्रपश्येत्

अजं ध्रुवं सर्व-तत्त्वैर् विशुद्धं ज्ञात्वा देवम् मुच्यते सर्व-पाशैः 2.15

yadātma-tattvena tu brahma-tattvaṁ dīpopamene'ha yuktaḥ prapaśyet
ajaṁ dhruvaṁ sarva-tattvair viśuddhaṁ jńātvā devam mucyate sarva-pāśaiḥ --2.15

2.15· When by means of the (real) nature of his self he sees as by a lamp here the (real) nature of Brahman. by knowing God who is unborn, steadfast, free from all natures; he is released from all fetters.




एष ह देवः प्रदिशो ऽनु सर्वाः पूर्वो ह जातः स उ गर्भे अन्तः

स एव जातः स जनिष्यमाणः प्रत्यङ् जनांस् तिष्ठति सर्वतो-मुखः 2.16

eṣa ha devaḥ pradiśo 'nu sarvāḥ pūrvo ha jātaḥ sa u garbhe antaḥ
sa eva jātaḥ sa janiṣyamāṇaḥ pratyaṅ janāṁs tiṣṭhati sarvato-mukhaḥ --2.16

2.16. He, indeed, is the God who pervades all regions, He is the first-born and he is within the womb. He has been born and he will be born. He stands opposite all persons, having his face in all directions.

See jasaneyi Saṁhitā, 32. 4· .

pūrvo hi jātaḥ: is the first born as Hiraṇya-garbha.



yo devo agnau yo apsu yo viśvam bhuvanam āviveśa
ya oṣadhīṣu yo vanaspatīṣu tasmai devāya namo namaḥ --2.17

2.17. The God who is in fire, who is in water, who has entered into the whole world (the God), who is in plants, who is in trees, to that God be adoration, yea, be adoration.





य एको जालवान् ईशत ईशनीभिः सर्वान् लोकान् ईशत ईशनीभिः

य एवैक उद्भवे संभवे च य एतद् विदुर् अमृतास् ते भवन्ति 3.1

ya eko jālavān īśata īśanībhiḥ sarvān lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ
ya evaika udbhave saṁbhave ca ya etad vidur amṛtās te bhavanti—3.1

3.I. The one who spreads the net, who rules with his ruling powers, who rules all the worlds with his ruling powers, who remains one (identical), while (things or works) arise and continue to exist, they who know that become immortal.

jālavān: who spreads the net. Ś identifies jāla or net with māyā.



एको हि रुद्रो न द्वितीयाय तस्थुर् य इमान् लोकान् ईशत ईशनीभिः

प्रत्यङ् जनान् तिष्ठति संचुकोचान्त-काले संसृज्य विश्वा भुवनानि गोपाः 3.2

eko hi rudro na dvitīyāya tasthur ya imān lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ
pratyaṅ janān tiṣṭhati saṁcukocānta-kāle saṁsṛjya viśvā bhuvanāni gopāḥ --3.2

3.2. Truly Rudra is one, there is no place for a second, who rules all these worlds with his ruling powers. He stands opposite creatures. He, the protector, after creating all worlds, withdraws them at the end of time.

l The Highest Reality is identified with Rudra who is assigned the three functions of creation, protection or maintenance and dissolution.

l In RV. Rudra is the personification of the destructive powers of nature, exemplified in storms and lightning. In the later portions of the Veda he is described as Śiva, the auspicious, as Madeva, the great god. Even in the R.V. it is said that he dwells in mountains, that he has braided hair, that he wears a hide.

l pratyan: opposite. He lives as pratyag-ātman.



विश्वतश् चक्षुर् उत विश्वतो मुखो विश्वतो बाहुर् उत विश्वतस्-पात् /

सम् बाहुभ्यां धमति सम्पतत्रैर् द्यावा-भूमी जनयन् देव एकः 3.3

viśvataś cakṣur uta viśvato mukho viśvato bāhur uta viśvatas-pāt /
sam bāhubhyāṁ dhamati sampatatrair dyāvā-bhūmī janayan deva ekaḥ-- 3.3

3.3. That one God who has an eye on every side, a face on every side, an arm on every side, a foot on every side, creating heaven and earth forges them together by his arms and his wings.

Ś means by it samyojayati, he joins men with arms and birds with wings.

bāhubhyām: with arms. As it is in the dual number, Saṁkarānanda takes it for dharma and adharma.

patatraiḥ: with wings. Saṁkarānanda means by it the five chief elements.



यो देवानां प्रभवश् चोद्भवश् च विश्वाधिपो रुद्रो महर्षिः

हिरण्य-गर्भं जनयामास पूर्वं स नो बुद्ध्या शुभया सम्युनक्तु 3.4

yo devānāṁ prabhavaś codbhavaś ca viśvādhipo rudro maharṣiḥ
hiraṇya-garbhaṁ janayāmāsa pūrvaṁ sa no buddhyā śubhayā samyunaktu –3.4

3.4 He who is the source and origin of the gods, the ruler of all, Rudra, the great seer, who of old gave birth to the golden germ (Hiraṇya-garbha), may He endow us with clear understanding.

See IV. 12

Hiraṇya-garbha is the person endowed with clear Ideas.

In verse 3. the stress is on the cosmic form Virāt Svarūpa; here on the cosmic spirit, the world-soul, Hiraṇya-garbha.





या ते रुद्र शिवा तनूर् अघोरापापकाशिनी

तया नस् तनुवा शन्तमया गिरिशन्ताभिचाकशीहि 3.5

yā te rudra śivā tanūr aghorāpāpakāśinī
tayā nas tanuvā śantamayā giriśantābhicākaśīhi –3.5

3.5. Rudra, your body which is auspicious, unterrifying, showing no evil―with that most benign body, O dweller in the mountains, look upon (manifest yourself to) us.

For this and the following verse, see Vājasaneyi Saṁhitā XVI.2-3.

auspicious body: this is not identical with his absolute reality. It IS analogous to the Buddhist dhamakāya.



याम् इशुं गिरिशन्त हस्ते बिभर्ष्य् अस्तवे

शिवां गिरित्र तां कुरु मा हिंसीः पुरुषं जगत् 3.6

yām iśuṁ giriśanta haste bibharṣy astave
śivāṁ giritra tāṁ kuru mā hiṁsīḥ puruṣaṁ jagat

3.6. O Dweller among the mountains, make auspicious the arrow which thou holdest in thy hand to throw. O Protector of the mountain, injure not man or beast.

puruṣam asmadīyam jagad api kṛtsnam. S. the human and the other than human.




ततः परम् ब्रह्म परम् बृहन्तम् यथा-निकायं सर्व-भूतेषु गूढम्

विश्वस्य् ऐकं परिवेष्टितारम् ईशं तं ज्ञात्वामृता भवन्ति 3.7

tataḥ param brahma param bṛhantam yathā-nikāyaṁ sarva-bhūteṣu gūḍham
viśvasy aikaṁ pariveṣṭitāram īśaṁ taṁ jńātvāmṛtā bhavanti—3.7

3.7. Higher than this is Brahman, the supreme, the great hidden in all creatures according to their bodies, the one who envelopes the universe, knowing Him, the Lord, (men) become immortal.

tataḥ param: higher than this. This may refer to the Vedic God Rudra or the manifested world. The reference here is to Īśvara who is higher than Hiraṇya-garbha and Virāṭ-rūpa to the indwelling Lord, antaryāmin, to the Supreme Personal God, Parameśvara.



वेदाहम् एतम् पुरुशम् महान्तम् आदित्य-वर्णं तमसः परस्तात्

तम् एव विदित्वा अतिमृत्युम् एति नान्यः पन्था विद्यतेऽ यनाय 3.8

vedāham etam puruśam mahāntam āditya-varṇaṁ tamasaḥ parastāt
tam eva viditvā atimṛtyum eti nānyaḥ panthā vidyate' yanāya—3.8

3.8. I know the Supreme Person of sunlike color (luster) beyond the darkness. Only by knowing Him does one pass over death. There is no other path for going there.

See VI. 15; B.G. VIII. 9. nānyaḥ panthā: no other path. Panthā, the way, the path; panthikṛt = the road-maker.

ayanāya: for going (to salvation).

The sage Śvetāśvatara says that he has seen the Supreme who dwells beyond all darkness, that he has crossed the world of samsara.



यस्मात् परं नापरम् अस्ति किञ्चिद् यस्मान् नाणीयो न ज्यायोऽस्ति किञ्चित् /

वृक्ष इव स्तब्धो दिवि तिष्ठत्य् एकस् तेनेऽदम् पूर्णं पुरुषेण सर्वम् 3.9

yasmāt paraṁ nāparam asti kińcid yasmān nāṇīyo na jyāyo 'sti kińcit /
vṛkṣa iva stabdho divi tiṣṭhaty ekas tene'dam pūrṇaṁ puruṣeṇa sarvam--3.9

3.9. Than whom there is naught else higher, than whom there is naught smaller, naught greater, (the) one stands like a tree established in heaven, by Him, the Person, is this whole universe filled.

See Kaṭḥa VI.1.

divi: in heaven, dyotanātmani sve mahimni,  S; established in his own greatness.



ततो यद् उत्तरतरं यद् अरूपम् अनामयम्

य एतद् विदुर् अमृतास् ते भवन्ति, अथेतरे दुःखम् एवापियन्ति 3.10

tato yad uttarataraṁ yad arūpam anāmayam
ya etad vidur amṛtās te bhavanti, athetare duḥkham evāpiyanti—3.10

3.10. That which is beyond this world is without form and without suffering. Those who know that become immortal, but others go only to sorrow.




सर्वानन-शिरो-ग्रीवः सर्व-भूत-गुहाशयः

सर्व-व्यापी स भगवान् तस्मात् सर्व-गतस् शिवः 3.11

sarvānana-śiro-grīvaḥ sarva-bhūta-guhāśayaḥ
sarva-vyāpī sa bhagavān tasmāt sarva-gatas śivaḥ--3.11

3.11. .He who is in the faces, heads and necks of all, who dwells in the cave (of the heart) of all beings, who is all-pervading, He is the Lord and therefore the omnipresent Śiva.

See R.V. X. 81. 3: X. 90. I.

S explains Bhagavat by citing the verse in translation:

He who has the six qualities of complete lordship, righteousness, fame, prosperity, wisdom and renunciation is Bhagavān.



महान् प्रभुर् वै पुरुषः सत्त्वस्यैष प्रवर्तकः

सुनिर्मलाम् इमाम् प्राप्तिम् ईशानो ज्योतिर् अव्ययः 3.12

mahān prabhur vai puruṣaḥ sattvasyaiṣa pravartakaḥ
sunirmalām imām prāptim īśāno jyotir avyayaḥ--3.12

3.12. That person indeed is the great Lord, the impeller of the highest being. (He has the power of) reaching the purest attainment, the ruler, the imperishable light.

sattva: highest being. For S the internal organ, antaḥ-karaṇa.



अङ्गुष्ठ-मात्रः पुरुषोऽन्तरात्मा सदा जनानां हृदये सन्निविष्टः

हृदा मन्वीशो मनसाभिकॢप्तो य एतद् विदुर् अमृतास् ते भवन्ति 3.13

aṅguṣṭha-mātraḥ puruṣo'ntarātmā sadā janānāṁ hṛdaye sanniviṣṭaḥ
hṛdā manvīśo manasābhikḷpto ya etad vidur amṛtās te bhavanti

3.13. A person of the measure of a thumb is the inner self, ever dwelling in the heart of men. He is the lord of the knowledge framed by the heart and the mind. They who know that become immortal.

manvīso: the lord of knowledge. jńāneśaḥ. S. v. manīṣā,, by thought.

This reading hṛdāmanīā manasābhikpto is adopted by Saṁkarānanda, Nārāyaṇa and Vijńāna-bhikṣu.



सहस्र-शीर्षा पुरुषः सहस्राक्षः सहस्र-पात्

स भूमिं विश्वतो वृत्वा अत्य् अतिष्ठद् दशाङ्गुलम् 3.14

sahasra-śīrṣā puruṣaḥ sahasrākṣaḥ sahasra-pāt
sa bhūmiṁ viśvato vṛtvā aty atiṣṭhad daśāṅgulam—3.14

3.14. The person has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet. He surrounds the earth on all sides and stands ten fingers' breadth beyond.

See R.V. X. 90. I.

daśāṅgulam: ten fingers' breadth. anantam, apāram. S. endless shoreless. Though the Supreme manifests Himself in the cosmos He

also transcends It.



पुरुष एवेदं सर्वम् यद् भूतं यच् च भव्यम्

उतामृतत्वस्येशानो यद् अन्नेनातिरोहति 3.15

puruṣa evedaṁ sarvam yad bhūtaṁ yac ca bhavyam
utāmṛtatvasyeśāno yad annenātirohati—3.15

3.15· The person is truly his whole world, whatever has been and whatever will be. He is also the lord of immortality and whatever grows up by food.

See R.V. X. 90. 2.

Śayaṇa explains that he is the lord of all the immortals, i.e. the gods, because they grew to their high estate by means of food.



सर्वतः पाणि-पादं तत् सर्वतोऽक्षि-शिरो-मुखम्

सर्वतः श्रुतिमल् लोके सर्वम् आवृत्य तिष्ठति 3.16

sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat sarvato'kṣi-śiro-mukham
sarvataḥ śrutimal loke sarvam āvṛtya tiṣṭhati—3.16

3.16. On every side it has a hand and a foot, on every side an eye, a head and a face. It has an ear everywhere. It stands encompassing all in the world.

See B.G. XIII. I3.



सर्वेन्द्रिय-गुणाभासं सर्वेन्द्रिय-विवर्जितम्

सर्वस्य प्रभुम् ईशानं सर्वस्य शरणं बृहत् 3.17

sarvendriya-guṇābhāsaṁ sarvendriya-vivarjitam
sarvasya prabhum īśānaṁ sarvasya śaraṇaṁ bṛhat.—3.17

3.17· Reflecting the qualities of all the senses and yet devoid of all the senses, It is the lord and ruler, it is the great refuge of all. Refer to B.G.VIII.14.



नव-द्वारे पुरे देही हंसो लीलायते बहिः

वशी सर्वस्य लोकस्य स्थावरस्य चरस्य च. 3.18

nava-dvāre pure dehī haṁso līlāyate bahiḥ
vaśī sarvasya lokasya sthāvarasya carasya ca.—3.18

3.18. The embodied soul in the city of nine gates sports [moving to and fro) in the outside (world), the controller of the whole world, of the stationary and the moving.

See Katha, V. I;  B.G. V. I3.

haṁsa; soul. It is the Universal Spirit.



अ-पाणि-पादोजवनो ग्रहीता पश्यत्य् अचक्षुः स शृणोत्य् अकर्णः

स वेत्ति वेद्यं न च तस्यास्ति वेत्ता, तम् आहुर् अग्र्यं पुरुषम् महान्तम्. 3.19

a-pāṇi-pādojavano grahītā paśyaty acakṣuḥ sa śṛṇoty akarṇaḥ
sa vetti vedyaṁ na ca tasyāsti vettā, tam āhur agryaṁ puruṣam mahāntam.—3.19

3.19. Without foot or hand, (yet) swift and grasping, he sees without eye, he hears without ear. He knows whatever is to be known; of him there is none who knows. They call him the Primeval, the Supreme Person.



अणोर् अणीयान् महतो महीयान् आत्मा गुहायां निहितोऽस्य जन्तोः

तम् अक्रतुम् पश्यति वीत-शोको धातुः प्रसादान् महिमानम् ईशम्. 3.20

aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān ātmā guhāyāṁ nihito'sya jantoḥ
tam akratum paśyati vīta-śoko dhātu prasādān mahimānam īśam.—3.20

3.20. Subtler than the subtle, greater than the great is the Self that is set in the cave of the (heart) of the creature. One beholds Him as being actionless and becomes freed from sorrow, when through the grace of the Creator he sees the Lord and His majesty.

See Taittirīya Āraṇyaka X. 10.1.

akratum: being actionless. viṣaya-bhoga-saṁkalpa-rahitam.S.

dhātuḥ prasādāt: through the grace of the Creator.

dhātu prasādāt: through the clarity born of sense-control. Sense organs are said to be dhātu.



वेदाहम् एतम् अजरम् पुराणं सर्वात्मानं सर्व-गतं विभुत्वात्

जन्म-निरोधम् प्रवदन्त्य् यस्य ब्रह्मवादिनोऽभिव दन्ति नित्यम्. 3.21

vedāham etam ajaram purāṇaṁ sarvātmānaṁ sarva-gataṁ vibhutvāt
janma-nirodham pravadanty yasya brahmavādino'bhiva danti nityam.—3.21

3.21. I know this undecaying, ancient (primeval) Self of all, present in everything on account of infinity. Of whom they declare, there is stoppage of birth. The expounders of Brahman proclaim Him to be eternal.

janma-nirodham: stoppage of birth. .

For whom the foolish think there are birth and death.

rāyaṇa Dīpikā suggests a reading,janma-nirodham na vadanti yasya. For whom birth and death are not spoken. .

Sometimes it is used for the creation and destruction of the world.

This chapter makes out that the Impersonal that the Personal Brahman and Īśvara are not two different entities but the same in two aspects.








य एकोऽवर्णो बहुधा शक्ति-योगाद् वर्णान् अनेकान् निहितार्थो दधाति

विचैति चाऽन्ते विश्वम् आदौ स देवः स नो बुद्ध्या शुभया सम्युनक्तु 4.1

ya eko'varṇo bahudhā śakti-yogād varṇān anekān nihitārtho dadhāti
vicaiti cā'nte viśvam ādau sa devaḥ sa no buddhyā śubhayā samyunaktu—4.1

4.1. He who is one, without any color, by the manifold exercise of his power distributes many colors in his hidden purpose and into whom in the beginning and at the end the universe is gathered, may He endow us with a clear under­ standing.

avaraṇaḥ: devoid of determinations, nirviśea .S.

nihitārthaḥ: in his hidden purpose. Without any motive or personal interest.

ante: in the end. V. śānte. The world was inactive, unmanifest before creation.



तद् एवाऽग्निस् तद् आदित्यस् तद् वायुस् तद् उ चन्द्रमाः

तद् एव शुक्रं तद् ब्रह्म तद् आपस् तत् प्रजापतिः 4.2

tad evā'gnis tad ādityas tad vāyus tad u candramāḥ
tad eva śukraṁ tad brahma tad āpas tat prajāpatiḥ--4.2

4.2. That indeed is Agni (fire), that is ditya (the sun), that is Vāyu (the wind) and that is the moon. That, indeed, is the pure. That is Brahmā. That is the waters. That is Prajā-pati (the lord of creation).

See Vājasaneyi Saṁhitā, XXXII. I.

This verse occurs in Mahānārāyaṇa U.

This verse indicates that the different Vedic gods are not independent but are forms of the One Supreme.

tad: that, self-nature. ātma-tattvam.  S.

śukram: pure, alternatively the starry firmament.

S makes Brahma, Hiraṇya-garbhātmā and Prajā-pati virād-ātmā.

Vijńānabhikṣu makes out that the Supreme through the power of māyā created the manifestations and entered into them and is called by their names.



त्वं स्त्री त्वम् पुमान् असि त्वं कुमार उत वा कुमारी

त्वं जीर्णो दण्डेन वञ्चसि त्वं जातो भवसि विश्वतोमुखः 4.3

tvaṁ strī tvam pumān asi tvaṁ kumāra uta vā kumārī
tvaṁ jīrṇo daṇḍena vańcasi tvaṁ jāto bhavasi viśvatomukhaḥ--4.3

4.3. You are woman. You are man. You are the youth and the maiden too. You, as an old man, totter along with a staff. Being born you become facing in every direction.

Atharva Veda, X.8.27




नीलः पतङ्गो हरितो लोहिताक्षस् तडिद्-गर्भ ऋतवः समुद्राः /

अनादिमत् त्वं विभुत्वेन वर्तसे यतो जातानि भुवनानि विश्वा.4.4

nīlaḥ pataṅgo harito lohitākṣas taḍid-garbha ṛtavaḥ samudrāḥ /
anādimat tvaṁ vibhutvena vartase yato jātāni bhuvanāni viśvā.—4.4

4.4. You are the dark-blue bird; you are the green (parrot) with red eyes. You are (the cloud) with the lightning in its womb. You are the seasons and the seas. Having no beginning you abide through omnipresence. (You) from whom all worlds are born.

Patańgaḥ = bird. Brahmaraḥ = bee. Ś






अजाम् एकां लोहित-शुक्ल-कृष्णां बह्वीः प्रजाः सृजमानां सरूपाः /

अजो ह्य् एको जुषमाणोऽनुशेते जहात्य् एनां भुक्त-भोगाम् अजोऽन्यः 4.5

ajām ekāṁ lohita-śukla-kṛṣṇāṁ bahvīḥ prajāḥ sṛjamānāṁ sarūpāḥ /
ajo hy eko juṣamāṇo'nuśete jahāty enāṁ bhukta-bhogām ajo'nyaḥ--4.5

4.5. The One unborn, red, white and black, who produces manifold offspring similar in form (to herself), there lies the one unborn (male) delighting. Another unborn gives her up, having had his enjoyment.

Red, white and black = Reference is either to fire (tajas), water (ap), and earth (anna), or the three guas, rajas, sattva, and tamas of prakti.  Rajas = passion. Sattva = virtue. Tamas = darkness.

The one she-goat, red, white and black in time produces many young like herself. For the red, white, and black colors: where everything in the universe is said to be connected with the three elements, the red of fire, the white of water, the black of food or of earth. It is the order of creation when the Absolute first produced heat, then water, then earth in the shape of food. The first unborn is he who is ignorant and therefore subject to the influence of prakṛti. The second unborn is he who has overcome his ignorance and is therefore free from bondage to prakṛti.



द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वृक्षम् परिषस्वजाते

तयोर् अन्यः पिप्पलं स्वाद्व् अत्त्य् अनश्नन्न् अन्योऽभिचाकशीति 4.6

dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samānaṁ vṛkṣam pariṣasvajāte
tayor anyaḥ pippalaṁ svādv atty anaśnann anyo'bhicākaśīti 4.6

4.6. Two birds companions (who are) always united, cling to the self-same tree. Of these two the one eats the sweet fruit, and the other looks on without eating.

Our being in time is an encounter of empirical existence and transcendent reality. The eternal in itself and the eternal in the empirical flux are companions. The world is the meeting-point of that which is eternal and that which is manifested in time. Man as an object of necessity, a content of scientific knowledge, is different from man as freedom.



समाने वृक्षे पुरुषो निमग्नोऽनीशया शोचति मुह्यमानः

जुष्टम् यदा पश्यत्य् अन्यम् ईशम् अस्य महिमानम् इति वीत-शोकः 4.7

samāne vṛkṣe puruṣo nimagno'nīśayā śocati muhyamānaḥ
juṣṭam yadā paśyaty anyam īśam asya mahimānam iti vīta-śokaḥ--4.7

4.7. On the sell-same tree, a person immersed (in the sorrows of the world) is deluded and grieves on account of his helplessness. When he sees the Other, the Lord who is worshipped and His greatness, he becomes freed from sorrow.

M.U. III. I. 2. In verse 6, the cause of sorrow is traced to the sense of helplessness induced in us when we are lost in the objective universe: in verse 7 freedom from sorrow is traced to our getting beyond object-thinking into contact with real being.



ऋचोऽक्षरे परमे व्योमन् यस्मिन् देवा अधि विश्वे निषेधुः

यस् तं न वेद किं ऋचा करिष्यति य इत् तद् विदुस् त इमे समासते 4.8

ṛco'kṣare parame vyoman yasmin devā adhi viśve niṣedhuḥ
yas taṁ na veda kiṁ ṛcā kariṣyati ya it tad vidus ta ime samāsate—4.8

4.8. For him who does not know that indestructible being of the Ṛg Veda, whereon in the highest heaven all the gods reside, of what avail is the g Veda to him? They, indeed, who know that rest fulfilled.

R.V. I. I64· 39; Taittiya Āraṇyaka  II. II. 6. The Vedas are intended to lead to the realization of the Supreme. For those who study them without undergoing the inward discipline, they are not of much use.



छन्दांसि यज्ञाः क्रतवो व्रतानि, भूतम् भव्यम् यच् च वेदा वदन्ति

अस्मान् मायी सृजते विश्वम् एतत् तस्मिंस् चान्यो मायया संनिरुद्धः 4.9

chandāṁsi yajńāḥ kratavo vratāni, bhūtam bhavyam yac ca vedā vadanti
asmān māyī sṛjate viśvam etat tasmiṁs cānyo māyayā saṁniruddhaḥ--4.9

4.9. The Vedas, the sacrifices, the rituals, the observances, the past, the future and what the Vedas declare, all this the maker sends forth out of this, in this the other is confined by yā.

the other: the individual soul. The whole world proceeds from the imperishable Brahman. The actual creator is Īśvara, the Personal God, who is acting through his power of yā, devātma-śakti.



मायां तु प्रकृतिं विधि, मायिनं तु महेश्वरम्

तस्यावयव-भूतैस् तु व्याप्तं सर्वम् इदं जगत् 4.10

māyāṁ tu prakṛtiṁ vidhi, māyinaṁ tu maheśvaram
tasyāvayava-bhūtais tu vyāptaṁ sarvam idaṁ jagat—4.10

4.10. Know then that prakṛti is māyā and the wielder of māyā is the Great Lord. This whole world is pervaded by beings that are parts of Him.

The Sāṁkhya prakṛti is identified with the māof the Vedānta. The Upaniṣad attempts to reconcile the views of the Sāṁkhya and the Vedānta.

Īśvara and Śakti are regarded as the parents of the universe. Cp. the following verses:-

'Only when united with Śakti has Siva power to manifest; but without her, the God cannot even stir.'

Again, 'O Father-Mother, this world of ours was created by