Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


1. The Vâlakhilyas said to Pragâpati Kratu: 'O Saint, if thou thus showest the greatness of that Self, then who is that other different one, also called Self 4, who really overcome by bright and dark fruits of action, enters on a good or bad birth?

p. 296

[paragraph continues] Downward or upward is his course 1, and overcome by the pairs (distinction between hot and cold, pleasure and pain, &c.) he roams about 2.'

2. Pragâpati Kratu replied: 'There is indeed that other 3 different one, called the elemental Self (Bhûtâtmâ), who, overcome by bright and dark fruits of action, enters on a good or bad birth: downward or upward is his course, and overcome by the pairs he roams about. And this is his explanation: The five Tanmâtrâs 4 (sound, touch, form, taste, smell) are called Bhûta; also the five Mahâbhûtas (gross elements) are called Bhûta. Then the aggregate 5 of all these is called sarîra, body 6. And lastly he of whom it was said that he dwelt in the body 7, he is called Bhûtâtmâ, the elemental Self. Thus his immortal Self 8 is like a drop of water on a lotus leaf 9, and he himself is overcome by the qualities of nature. Then 10, because he is thus overcome, he becomes bewildered, and because he is bewildered, he saw not the creator, the holy Lord, abiding within himself. Carried along by the waves of the qualities 11, darkened in his imaginations, unstable, fickle,

p. 297

crippled, full of desires, vacillating, he enters into belief, believing "I am he," "this is mine 1;" he binds his Self by his Self, as a bird with a net, and overcome afterwards by the fruits of what he has done, he enters on a good and bad birth; downward or upward is his course, and overcome by the pairs he roams about.'

They asked: 'Which is it?' And he answered them:

3. 'This also has elsewhere been said: He who acts, is the elemental Self; he who causes to act by means of the organs 2, is the inner man (antahpurusha). Now as even a ball of iron, pervaded (overcome) by fire, and hammered by smiths, becomes manifold (assumes different forms, such as crooked, round, large, small 3), thus the elemental Self, pervaded (overcome) by the inner man, and hammered by the qualities, becomes manifold 4. And the four tribes (mammals, birds, &c.), the fourteen worlds (Bhûr, &c.), with all the number of beings, multiplied eighty-four times 5, all this appears as manifoldness. And those multiplied things are impelled by man (purusha) as the wheel by the potter 6. And as when the ball of iron is hammered, the fire is not overcome, so the (inner) man is not overcome, but the elemental Self is overcome, because it has united itself (with the elements).

p. 298

4. And it has been said elsewhere 1: This body produced from marriage, and endowed with growth 2 in darkness, came forth by the urinary passage, was built up with bones, bedaubed with flesh, thatched with skin, filled with ordure, urine, bile, slime, marrow, fat, oil 3, and many impurities besides, like a treasury full of treasures 4.

5. And it has been said elsewhere: Bewilderment, fear, grief, sleep, sloth, carelessness, decay, sorrow, hunger, thirst, niggardliness, wrath, infidelity, ignorance, envy, cruelty 5, folly, shamelessness, meanness 6, pride, changeability 7, these are the results of the quality of darkness (tamah8.

p. 299

Inward thirst, fondness, passion, covetousness, unkindness, love, hatred, deceit 1, jealousy, vain restlessness, fickleness 2, unstableness, emulation, greed, patronising of friends, family pride, aversion to disagreeable objects, devotion to agreeable objects, whispering 3, prodigality, these are the results of the quality of passion (ragas).

By these he is filled, by these he is overcome, and therefore this elemental Self assumes manifold forms, yes, manifold forms.'


295:4 The pure Self, called âtmâ, brahma, kinmâtram, pragñânaghanam, &c., after entering what he had himself created, and no longer distinguishing himself from the created things (bhûta), is called Bhûtâtmâ.

296:1 M. reads here and afterwards avâkam ûrdhvam vâ gatidvandvaih.

296:2 M. adds at the end, paribhramatîti katama esha iti, tân hovâketi, and leaves it out at the end of § 2.

296:3 M. here reads avara.

296:4 M. reads tanmâtrâni.

296:5 M. reads teshâm samudayas takkharîram.

296:6 The commentator distinguishes between liṅga-sarîra, consisting of prânas, indriyas, the antahkarana, and the sûkshmabhûtas; and the sthûla-sarîra, consisting of the five Mahâbhûtas.

296:7 M. reads sarîram ity uktam.

296:8 M. reads athâsti tasyâh bindur iva.

296:9 It sticks to it, yet it can easily run off again.

296:10 M. reads Ato, and the commentator explains atho by atah kâranât, adding sandhih khândasah.

296:11 See VI, 30.

297:1 M. reads aham so mamedam.

297:2 M. antahkaranaih.

297:3 See commentary, p. 48, l. 7.

297:4 AI. reads upety atha trigunam katurgâlam.

297:5 M. reads katurasîtilakshayoniparinatam. See also Anubhûtiprakâsa, ver. 118.

297:6 Mrityava seems an impossible word, though the commentator twice explains it as kulâla, potter. M. reads kakrineti, which seems preferable. Weber conjectures mritpaka.

298:1 Part of this passage has been before the mind of the author of the Mânava-dharmasâstra, when writing, VI, 76, 77: asthisthûnam snâyuyutam mâmsasonitalepanam, karmâvanaddham durgandhi pûrnam mûtrapurîshayoh, garâsokasamâvishtam rogâyatanam âturam ragasvalam anityam ka bhâtâvâsam imam tyaget. The same verses occur in the Mahâbhârata XII, 12463-4, only with tyaga at the end, instead of tyaget. The rendering of asthibhis kitam by asthisthûnam shows that kita was understood to mean piled or built up, i.e. supported by bones.

298:2 Instead of samvriddhyupetam M. reads samviddhyapetam.

298:3 M. adds snâyu after vasâ, and instead of âmayaih reads malaih. This reading, malaih, would seem preferable, though Manu's rogâyatanam might be quoted in support of âmayaih. The exact meaning of vasâ is given in the Âryavidyâsudhâkara, p. 82, l. 9.

298:4 Therefore should wise people not identify their true Self with the body. M. reads vasuneti.

298:5 M. reads vaikârunyam.

298:6 Instead of nirâkritityam M. reads nikritatvam, which is decidedly preferable. We may take it to mean either meanness, as opposed to uddhatatvam, overbearing, or knavery, the usual meaning of nikriti.

298:7 M. reads asatvam, possibly for asattvam.

298:8 M. reads tâmasânvitaih, and afterwards râgasânvitaih; also trishnâ instead of antastrishnâ.

Next: Fourth Prapâthaka