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The Upanishads, Part 2 (SBE15), by Max Müller, [1879], at

p. 255


1. In the imperishable and infinite Highest Brahman 1, wherein the two, knowledge and ignorance, are hidden 2, the one, ignorance, perishes 3, the other, knowledge, is immortal; but he who controls both, knowledge and ignorance, is another 4.

2. It is he who, being one only, rules over every germ (cause), over all forms, and over all germs; it is he who, in the beginning, bears 5 in his thoughts the wise son, the fiery, whom he wishes to look on 6 while he is born 7.

8. In that field 9 in which the god, after spreading out one net after another 10 in various ways, draws it together again, the Lord, the great Self 11, having

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further created the lords 1, thus carries on his lordship over all.

4. As the car (of the sun) shines, lighting up all quarters, above, below, and across, thus does that god, the holy, the adorable, being one, rule over all that has the nature of a germ 2.

5. He, being one, rules over all and everything, so that the universal germ ripens its nature, diversifies all natures that can be ripened 3, and determines all qualities 4.

5. Brahma (Hiranyagarbha) knows this, which is hidden in the Upanishads, which are hidden in the Vedas, as the Brahma-germ. The ancient gods

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and poets who knew it, they became it and were immortal.

1. But he who is endowed with qualities, and performs works that are to bear fruit, and enjoys the reward of whatever he has done, migrates through his own works, the lord of life, assuming all forms, led by the three Gunas, and following the three paths 2.

3. That lower one also, not larger than a thumb, but brilliant like the sun, who is endowed with personality and thoughts, with the quality of mind and the quality of body, is seen small even like the point of a goad.

9. That living soul is to be known as part of the hundredth part of the point of a hair 4, divided a hundred times, and yet it is to be infinite.

10. It is not woman, it is not man, nor is it neuter; whatever body it takes, with that it is joined 5 (only).

11 6. By means of thoughts, touching, seeing, and

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passions the incarnate Self assumes successively in various places various forms 1, in accordance with his deeds, just as the body grows when food and drink are poured into it.

12. That incarnate Self, according to his own qualities, chooses (assumes) many shapes, coarse or subtile, and having himself caused his union with them, he is seen as another and another 2, through the qualities of his acts, and through the qualities of his body.

13 3. He who knows him who has no beginning and no end, in the midst of chaos, creating all things, having many forms, alone enveloping everything, is freed from all fetters.

14. Those who know him who is to be grasped by the mind, who is not to be called the nest (the body 4), who makes existence and non-existence, the

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happy one (Siva), who also creates the elements 1, they have left the body.


255:1 Saṅkara explains Brahmapare by brahmano hiranyagarbhât pare, or by parasmin brahmani, which comes to the same. Vigñânâtman adds khândasah paranipâtah. As the termination e may belong to the locative singular or to the nom. dual, commentators vary in referring some of the adjectives either to brahman or to vidyâvidye.

255:2dhe, lokair gñâtum asakye, Saṅkarânanda.

255:3 Saṅkara explains ksharam, by samsritikâranam, amritam by mokshahetuh.

255:4 Saṅkara explains that he is different from them, being only the sâkshin, or witness. Saṅkarânanda seems to have read Somya, i.e. Somavatpriyadarsana, as if Svetâsvatvara addressed his pupil.

255:5 Like a mother, see I, 9.

255:6 Like a father.

255:7 See on this verse the remarks made in the Introduction.

255:8 The MSS. read yasmin for asmin, and patayas for yatayas, which the commentator explains by patîn.

255:9 The world, or the mûlaprakriti, the net being the samsâra.

255:10 Saṅkara explains ekaikam by pratyekam, i.e. for every creature, such as gods, men, beasts, &c.

255:11 I doubt whether mahâtmâ should be translated by the great p. 256 Self, or whether great would not be sufficient. The whole verse is extremely difficult.

256:1 From Hiranyagarbha to insects; or beginning with Marîki.

256:2 Cf. IV, 11; V, 2.

256:3 MS. B. has prâkyân, and explains it by pûrvotpannân.

256:4 This is again a very difficult verse. I have taken visvayonih as a name for Brahman, possessed of that devâtmasakti which was mentioned before, but I feel by no means satisfied. The commentators do not help, because they do not see the difficulty of the construction. If one might conjecture, I should prefer paket for pakati, and should write parinâmayed yat, and viniyogayed yat, unless we changed yakka into yas ka.

256:5 This verse admits of various translations, and requires also some metrical emendations. Thus Vigñânâtman explains vedaguhyopanishatsu very ingeniously by the Veda, i.e. that part of it which teaches sacrifices and their rewards; the Guhya, i.e. the Âranyaka, which teaches the worship of Brahman under various legendary aspects; and the Upanishads, which teach the knowledge of Brahman without qualities. These three divisions would correspond to the karmakânda, yogakânda, and gñânakânda (Gaimini, Patañgali, Bâdarâyana). See Deussen, Vedânta, p. 20. Mr. Gough and Dr. Roer take Brahmayoni as 'the source of the Veda,' or as the source of Hiranyagarbha. The irregular form vedate may be due to a corruption of vedânte.

257:1 Here begins the description of what is called the tvam (thou), as opposed to the tat (that), i.e. the living soul, as opposed to the Highest Brahman.

257:2 The paths of vice, virtue, and knowledge.

257:3 Both MSS. (A. and B.) read ârâgramâtro by avaro 'pi drishthah.

257:4 An expression of frequent occurrence in Buddhist literature.

257:5 A. and B. read yugyate. A. explains yugyate by sambadhyate. B. explains adyate bhakshyate tirobhûtah kriyate. Saṅkara explains rakshyate, samrakshyate, tattaddharmân âtmany adhyasyâbhimanyate.

257:6 The MSS. vary considerably. Instead of mohair, A. and B. read homair. They read grâsâmbuvrishtya kâtma. A. reads âtmavivriddhiganma, B. âtmanivriddhaganmâ. A. has abhisamprapadye, B. abhisamprapadyate. My translation follows Saṅkara, who seems to have read âtmavivriddhiganma, taking the whole line p. 258 as a simile and in an adverbial form. Vigñânâtman, however, differs considerably. He reads homaih, and explains homa as the act of throwing oblations into the fire, as in the Agnihotra. This action of the hands, he thinks, stands for all actions of the various members of the body. Grâsâmbuvrishti he takes to mean free distribution of food and drink, and then explains the whole sentence by 'he whose self is born unto some states or declines from them again, namely, according as he has showered food and drink, and has used his hands, eyes, feelings, and thoughts.' Saṅkarânanda takes a similar view, only he construes saṅkalpanam and sparsanam as two drishtis, te eva drishtî, tayor âtmâgnau prakshepâ homâh; and then goes on, na kevalam etaih, kim tv asmin sthâne sarire grâsâmbuvrishtyâ ka. He seems to read âtmavivriddhaganmâ, but afterwards explains vivriddhi by vividhâ vriddhih.

258:1 Forms as high as Hiranyagarbha or as low as beasts.

258:2 Instead of aparo, B. reads avaro, but explains aparo.

258:3 Cf. III, 7; IV, 14, 16.

258:4da is explained as the body, but Saṅkarânanda reads anilâkhyam, who is called the wind, as being prânasya prânam, the breath of the breath.

259:1 Saṅkara explains kalâsargakaram by he who creates the sixteen kalâs, mentioned by the Âtharvanikas, beginning with prâna, and ending with nâman; see Prasña Up. VI, 4. Vigñânâtman suggests two other explanations, 'he who creates by means of the kalâ, i.e. his inherent power;' or 'he who creates the Vedas and other sciences.' The sixteen kalâs are, according to Saṅkarânanda, prâna, sraddhâ, kha, vâyu, gyotih, ap, prithivî, indriya, manah, anna, vîrya, tapah, mantra, karman, kâla (?), nâman. See also before, I, 4.

Next: Adhyâya VI