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