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Thirty Minor Upanishads, tr. by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar, [1914], at

p. 106




[This Upanishaḍ is intended to give a complete and clear idea of the nature of Āṭmā, that has four avasṭhās (states of consciousness) and four seats, for the better consummation of the nirguṇa ḍhyāna.]

Om. Śaunaka Mahāśala questioned the holy Sage Pippalāḍa of the Aṅgiras goṭra thus: "In this beautiful Brahmapura of body, the fit residence of divine beings, how are (the deities of) vāk, etc., located? How do they function? To whom belongs this power? He to whom this power belongs, what is He?"

Pippalāḍa then having deeply considered, imparted to him the Brahmaviḍyā (divine wisdom), that most excellent of all things. "It is prāṇa (i.e.,) Āṭmā. It is Āṭmā that exercises this power. It is the life of all Ḍevas. It is their death and (their) life. Brahman that shines pure, nishkala, resplendent, and all-pervading, in this divine Brahmapura (of body), rules (all). The Jīva (identifying himself with) the inḍriyas, rules them like a spider. The spider throws out from a single thread out of his body a whole web, and draws it into himself by that same thread; so prāṇa, whenever it goes, draws after it the objects of its creation (vāk, etc.). During sushupṭi, (the prāṇa) goes to its seat (Brahman) through the nādis of which is the ḍevaṭā, like an eagle, that making air as the means of communication, reaches his abode. They say, as ḍevaḍaṭṭa, though beaten (during sushupṭi) by a stick, etc., does not move, so also the actor does not suffer or enjoy for the

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merits or demerits of religious actions. Just as a child obtains happiness without desiring for it (in play), so also ḍevaḍaṭṭa obtains happiness in sushupṭi. He certainly knows, (being) Param-Jyoṭis, and the person desiring jyoṭis, enjoys bliss in the contemplation of jyoṭis. Then he comes back to the dream-plane by the same way, like a caterpillar. It remaining on a blade of grass, first puts forward its foot on another blade in front, conveys its body to it, and having got a firm hold of it, then only leaves the former and not before. So this is the jāgraṭa state. As this (ḍevaḍaṭṭa) bears at the same time eight skulls, so this jāgraṭa, the source of Ḍevas and Veḍas, clings to a man like the breasts in a woman. During the jāgraṭa avasṭhā, merit and demerit are postulated of this Deva (power); he is capable of great expansion and is the inner mover. He is khaga (bird), karkata (crab), pushkara (ākāś), prāṇa, pain, parāpara, Āṭmā and Brahman. This deity causes to know. He who knows thus obtains Brahman, the supreme, the support of all things, and the Ksheṭrajña. He obtains Brahman, the supreme, support of all things, and the Ksheṭrajña.

 1 "The Pursuha has four seats—navel, heart, neck, and head. There Brahman with the four feet specially shines. Those feet are jāgraṭa, svapna, sushupṭi, and ṭurya. In jāgraṭa he is Brahmā, in svapna Vishṇu, in sushupṭi Ruḍra, and in ṭurya the supreme Akshara. He is Aḍiṭya, Vishṇu, Īśvara, Purusha, prāṇa, jīva, agni, the resplendent. The Para-Brahman shines in the midst of these. He is without manas, ear, hands, feet, and light. There the worlds are no worlds, Ḍevas no Ḍevas, Veḍas no Veḍas, sacrifices no sacrifices, mother no mother, father no father, daughter-in-law no daughter-in-law, chaṅdāla no chaṅdāla, paulkasa no paulkasa, śramaṇa no śramaṇa, hermits no hermits; so one only Brahman shines as different. In the Hṛḍayākāś (ākāś in the heart) is the Chiḍākāś. That is Brahman. It is extremely subtle. The Hṛḍayākāś can be known. This moves in it. In Brahman, everything is strung. Those who thus know the Lord know everything. In him the Ḍevas, the worlds, the Piṭṛs and the Ṛshis do not rule. He who has awakened knows everything.

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[paragraph continues] All the Ḍevas are in the heart; in the heart are all the prāṇas: in the heart are prāṇa, jyoṭis and that three-plied holy thread. In the heart in Chaiṭanya, it (prāṇa) is.  1 Put on the yajñopavīṭa (holy thread), the supreme, the holy, which came into existence along with the Prajāpaṭi, which gives long life and which is very excellent; let this give you strength and ṭejas. The wise man having shaved his head completely, should throw away the external thread. He should wear, as the holy thread, the supreme and indestructible Brahman. It is called sūṭra, because sūchanāṭ (indicating) (that the Āṭmā is in the heart). Sūṭra means the supreme abode. He who knows that sūṭra is a vipra (brāhmaṇa), he has crossed the ocean of the Veḍas. On that sūṭra (thread), everything is strung, like the beads on the thread. The yogin, well versed in yoga and having a clear perception of Truth, should wear the thread. Practising the noble yoga, the wise man should abandon the external thread. He who wears the sūṭra as Brahman, he is an intelligent being. By wearing the sūṭra, he is not polluted. They whose sūṭra is within, whose yajñopavīṭa is jñāna—they only know the sūṭra, and, they only wear the yajñopavīṭa in this world. Those whose tuft of hair is jñāna, who are firmly grounded in jñāna and whose yajñopavīṭa is jñāna, consider jñāna only as supreme. Jñāna is holy and excellent. He whose śikhā (tuft of hair) is jñāna like the śikhi (flame of agni)—he, the wise one, only wears a true śikhā; others wear a mere tuft of hair. Those brāhmaṇas and others who perform the ceremonies prescribed in the Veḍas—they wear this thread only as a symbol of their ceremonies. Those who know the Veḍas say that he only is a true brāhmaṇa who wears the śikhā of jñāna and whose yajñopavīṭa is the same (jñāna). This yajñopavīṭa (Yajña means Vishṇu or sacrifice and Upavīṭa is that which surrounds; hence that which surrounds Vishṇu) is supreme and is the supreme refuge. He who wears that really knows—he only wears the sūṭra, he is Yajña (Vishṇu) and he only knows Yajña (Vishṇu). One God hidden in all things, pervades all things and is the Inner Life of all things. He awards the fruits

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of karma, he lives in all things, he sees all things without any extraneous help, he is the soul of all, there is nothing like him, and he is without any guṇas (being secondless). He is the great wise one. He is the one doer among the many action-less objects. He is always making one thing appear as several (by māyā). Those wise men who see him in buḍḍhi, they only obtain eternal peace. Having made Āṭmā as the (upper) araṇi (attritional piece of wood) and Praṇava the lower araṇi, by constant practice of ḍhyāna one should see the concealed deity. As the oil in the sesamum seed, as the ghee in the curds, as the water in the rivers, and as the fire in the araṇi, so they who practise truth and austerities see Him in the buḍḍhi. As the spider throws out and draws into itself the threads, so the jīva goes and returns during the jāgraṭa and the svapna states. The heart is in the form of a closed lotus-flower, with its head hanging down; it has a hole in the top. Know it to be the great abode of All. Know that during jāgraṭa it (jīva) dwells in the eye, and during svapna in the throat; during sushupṭi, it is in the heart and during ṭurya in the head.  1 (Because buḍḍhi unites) the Praṭyagāṭma with the Paramāṭma, the worship of sanḍhyā (union) arose. So we should perform sanḍhyāvanḍana (rites). The sanḍhyāvanḍana performed by ḍhyāna requires no water. It gives no trouble to the body or the speech. That which unites all things is the sanḍhyā of the one-staffed (sannyāsins). Knowing That from which speech and mind turn back without being able to obtain it and That which is the bliss of jīva, the wise one is freed. The secret of Brahmaviḍyā is to reveal the real nature of the Āṭmā, that is all-pervading, that is like ghee in the milk, that is the source of āṭmaviḍyā and ṭapas and to show that everything is in essence one.

"So ends the Brahmopanishaḍ."


106:1 In this Upanishaḍ, the Southern Indian edition begins later on but the other portions also are given as being fuller.

107:1 The South Indian Edition begins here.

108:1 This manṭra is repeated whenever the holy thread is newly worn.

109:1 The five sentences from here relating to Sanḍhyā are not to be found in the South Indian Edition.

Next: 14. Vajrasūchi-Upanishaḍ of Sāmaveḍa