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

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The syllable A is considered to be its (the bird Om's) right wing, U, its left: M 2, its tail; and the arḍhamāṭrā (half-metre) is said to be its head.

The (rājasic and ṭāmasic) qualities, its feet upwards (to the loins); saṭṭva, its (main) body;  3 ḍharma is considered to be its right eye, and aḍharma, its left.

The Bhūrloka is situated in its feet; the Bhuvarloka, in its knees; the Suvarloka, in its loins; and the Maharloka, in its navel.

In its heart is situate the Janoloka; the ṭapoloka in its throat, and the Saṭyaloka in the centre of the forehead between the eyebrows.

Then the māṭrā (or manṭra) beyond the Sahasrāra (thousand-rayed) is explained (viz.,) should be explained.

An adept in yoga who bestrides the Hamsa (bird) thus (viz., contemplates on Om) is not affected by karmic influences or by tens of crores of sins. 4

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The first māṭrā has agni as its ḍevaṭā (presiding deity); the second, vayu as its ḍevaṭā; the next māṭrā is resplendent like the sphere of the sun and the last, the Arḍhamāṭrā the wise know as belonging to Varuṇa (the presiding deity of water) .

Each of these māṭrās has indeed three kalās (parts). This is called Omkāra. Know it by means of the ḍhāraṇās, viz., concentration on each of the twelve kalās, or the variations of the māṭrās produced by the difference of svaras or intonation). The first māṭrā is called ghoshiṇī; the second, viḍyunmāli (or viḍyunmāṭrā); the third, paṭaṅginī; the fourth, vāyuveginī; the fifth, nāmaḍheya; the sixth, ainḍrī; the seventh, vaishṇavī; the eighth, śāṅkarī; the ninth, mahaṭī; the tenth, ḍhṛṭi (ḍhruva, Calcutta ed.); the eleventh, nārī (mauni, Calcutta ed.); and the twelfth, brāhmī. 1

If a person happens to die in the first māṭrā (while contemplating on it), he is born again as. a great emperor in Bhāraṭavarsha.

If in the second māṭrā, he becomes an illustrious yaksha; if in the third māṭrā, a viḍyāḍhara; if in the fourth, a ganḍharva (these three being the celestial hosts).

If he happens to die in the fifth, viz., arḍhamāṭrā, he lives in the world of the moon, with the rank of a ḍeva greatly glorified there.

If in the sixth, he merges into Inḍra; if in the seventh, he reaches the seat of Vishṇu; if in the eighth, Ruḍra, the Lord of all creatures.

If in the ninth, in Maharloka; if in the tenth, in Janoloka (Ḍhruvaloka, Calcutta ed.); if in the eleventh, Ṭapoloka, and if in the twelfth, he attains the eternal 2 state of Brahma.

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That which is beyond these, (viz.,) Parabrahman which is beyond (the above māṭrās), the pure, the all-pervading, beyond kalās, the ever resplendent and the source of all jyoṭis (light) should be known.

 1 When the mind goes beyond the organs and the guṇās and is absorbed, having no separate existence and no mental action, then (the guru) should instruct him (as to his further course of development).

That person always engaged in its contemplation and always absorbed in it should gradually leave off his body (or family) following the course of yoga and avoiding all intercourse with society.

Then he, being freed from the bonds of karma and the existence as a jīva and being pure, enjoys the supreme bliss by his attaining of the state of Brahmā. 2

O intelligent man, spend your life always in the knowing of the supreme bliss, enjoying the whole of your prārabḍha (that portion of past karma now being enjoyed) without making ally complaint (of it).

Even after āṭmajñāna (knowledge of Mind or Self) has awakened (in one), prārabḍha does not leave (him); but he does not feel prārabḍha after the dawning of ṭaṭṭvajñāna 3 (knowledge of ṭaṭṭva or truth) because the body and other things are asaṭ (unreal), like the things seen in a dream to one on awaking from it.

That (portion of the) karma which is done in former births, and called prārabḍha does not at all affect the person (ṭaṭṭvajñānī), as there is no rebirth 'to him.

As the body that exists in the dreaming state is untrue, so is this body. Where then is rebirth to a thing that is illusory? How can a thing have any existence, when there is no birth (to it)?

As the clay is the material cause of the pot, so one learns from Veḍānṭa that ajñāna is the material cause of the

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universe: and when ajñāna ceases to exist, where then is the cosmos?

As a person through illusion mistakes a rope for a serpent, so the fool not knowing Saṭya (the eternal truth) sees the world (to be true.)

When he knows it to be a piece of rope, the illusory idea of a serpent vanishes.

So when he knows the eternal substratum of everything and all the universe becomes (therefore) void (to him), where then is prārabḍha to him, the body being a part of the world? Therefore the word prārabḍha is accepted to enlighten the ignorant (only).

Then as prārabḍha has, in course of time, worn out, he who is the sound resulting from the union of Praṇava with Brahman who is the absolute effulgence itself, and who is the bestower of all good, shines himself like the sun at the dispersion of the clouds.

The yogin being in the siḍḍhāsana (posture) and practising the vaishṇavīmuḍrā, should always hear the internal sound through the right ear.

The sound which he thus practises makes him deaf to all external sounds. Having overcome all obstacles, he enters the ṭurya state within fifteen days.

In the beginning of his practice, he hears many loud sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly.

At first, the sounds are like those proceeding from- the ocean, clouds, kettle-drum, and cataracts: in the middle (stage) those proceeding from marḍala (a musical instrument), bell, and horn.

At the last stage, those proceeding from tinkling bells, flute, vīṇā (a musical instrument), and bees. Thus he hears many such sounds more and more subtle.

When he comes to that stage when the sound of the great kettle-drum is being heard, he should try to distinguish only sounds more and more subtle.

He may change his concentration from the gross sound to the subtle, or from the subtle to the gross, but he should not allow his mind to be diverted from them towards others.

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The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it.

It (the mind) becoming insensible to the external impressions, i becomes one with the sound as milk with water, and then becomes rapidly absorbed in chiḍākāś (the akāś where Chiṭ prevails).

Being indifferent towards all objects, the yogin having controlled his passions, should by continual practice concentrate his attention upon the sound which destroys the mind.

Having abandoned all thoughts and being freed from all actions, he should always concentrate his attention on the sound, and (then) his chiṭṭa becomes absorbed in it.

Just as the bee drinking the honey (alone) does not care for the odour, so the chiṭṭa which is always absorbed in sound, does not long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell of nāḍa and has abandoned its flitting nature.

The serpent chiṭṭa through listening to the nāḍa is entirely absorbed in it, and becoming unconscious of everything concentrates itself on the sound.

The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant—chiṭṭa which roves in the pleasure-garden of the sensual objects.

It serves the purpose of a snare for binding the deer—chiṭṭa. It also serves the purpose of a shore to the ocean waves of chiṭṭa.

The sound proceeding from Praṇava which is Brahman is of the nature of effulgence; the mind becomes absorbed in it; that is the supreme seat of Vishṇu.

The sound exists till there is the ākāśic conception (ākāśasaṅkalpa). Beyond this, is the (aśabḍa) soundless Parabrahman which is Paramāṭmā.

The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its (sound's) cessation, there is the state called unmanī of manas (viz., the state of being above the mind).

This sound is absorbed in the Akshara (indestructible) and the soundless state is the supreme seat.

The mind which along with Prāṇa (Vāyu) has (its) karmic affinities destroyed by the constant concentration upon nāḍa is absorbed in the unstained One. There is no doubt of it.

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Many myriads of nāḍas and many more of binḍus—(all) become absorbed in the Brahma-Praṇava sound.

Being freed from all states and all thoughts whatever, the yogin remains like one dead. He is a mukṭa. There is no doubt about this.

After that, he does not at any time hear the sounds of conch or ḍunḍubhi (large kettle-drum).

The body in the state of unmanī is certainly like a log and does not feel heat or cold, joy or sorrow.

The yogin's chiṭṭa having given up fame or disgrace is in samāḍhi above the three states.

Being freed from the waking and the sleeping states, he attains to his true state.

When the (spiritual) sight becomes fixed without any object to be seen, when the vāyu (prāṇa) becomes still without any effort, and when the chiṭṭa becomes firm without any support, he becomes of the form of the internal sound of Brahma-Praṇava.

Such is the Upanishaḍ.


254:1 Lit., Sound-seed.

254:2 The commentator says that M is the last letter and hence tail and arḍhamāṭrā is the head, as it enables one to attain to higher worlds.

254:3 Another reading is: The qualities are its feet, etc., and Ṭaṭṭva is its body.

254:4 Comm.: Since this manṭra has already occurred in the preceding khaṇda of the same sākhā, it is simply referred in the text. The manṭra is:

The meaning seems to be—the letters A and U are the two wings of the Hamm (Om) of the form of Vishṇu which goes to svarga, the abode of Sūrya, the thousand-rayed God; that syllable, 'Om' bearing in its heart all the ḍevas (of saṭṭvaguṇa). He goes up to Sahasrānha seeing the worlds personally: Sahasrānha being the seat of the spiritual sun.

255:1 Comm.: The four māṭrās are subdivided into twelve by their having each three svaras, Uḍāṭṭa, Anuḍāṭṭa, and Svarīṭa. Here the author goes on to give the names of the twelve kalās and shows the method of practising Dhāraṇā on each. Ghoshiṇī is that which gives Prajña: Viḍyunmālī is that which secures entrance into the loka of Viḍyunmālī, the king of the yakshas: Paṭaṅginī is that which confers the power of movement through air like the bird Paṭanginī; Vāyuvegiṅī is that which gives the power of moving very rapidly: Nāmaḍheya means that which confers existence in Piṭṛloka: Ainḍrī in Inḍraloka: Vaishṇavī and Sāṅkarī in Vishṇu and Siva-lokas respectively: Maunī to the loka of Munis or Janoloka and Brāhmī to Brahmaloka.

255:2 Eternal here means the lifetime of Brahmā.

256:1 Another edition says: he should enter through yoga the incomparable and quiescent Śiva.

256:2 Here the Calcutta edition stops.

256:3 Taṭṭvajñāna is the discrimination of the ṭaṭṭvas of this universe and man. Āṭmajñāna—the discrimination of Āṭmā or the Self in man.

Next: 30. Yogakuṇdalī-Upanishaḍ of Kṛshṇa-Yajurveḍa