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Copyright 2001 Realization.org.

 

 
 
  CLASSICS
 

Aitareya Upanishad

Translated by F. MAX MÜLLER

 

Part 1

FIRST KHANDA


Adoration to the Highest Self Hari, Om!

1. Verily, in the beginning all this was Self, one only; there was nothing else blinking whatsoever.

2. He thought: 'Shall I send forth worlds?' (1) He sent forth these worlds,

3. Ambhas (water), Mariki (light), Mara (mortal), and Ap (water).

4. That Ambhas (water) is above the heaven, and it is heaven, the support. The Marikis (the lights) are the sky. The Mara (mortal) is the earth, and the waters under the earth are the Ap world. (2)

5. He thought: 'There are these worlds; shall I send forth guardians of the worlds? He then formed the Purusha (the person), taking him forth from the water. (3)

6. He brooded on him , and when that person had thus been brooded on, a mouth burst forth like an egg. From the mouth proceeded speech, from speech Agni (fire).

Nostrils burst forth. From the nostrils proceeded scent (prana), from scent Vayu (air).

Eyes burst forth. From the eyes proceeded sight, from sight Aditya (sun).

Ears burst forth. From the ears proceeded hearing, from hearing the Dis (quarters of the world).

Skin burst forth. From the skin proceeded hairs (sense of touch), from the hairs shrubs and trees.

The heart burst forth. From the heart proceeded mind, from mind Kandramas (moon).

The navel burst forth. From the navel proceeded the apana (the down-breathing), from apana death.

The generative organ burst forth. From the organ proceeded seed, from seed water. (4)


SECOND KHANDA

1. Those deities (devata), Agni and the rest, after they had been sent forth, fell into this great ocean. Then he (the Self) besieged him, (the person) with hunger and thirst.

2. The deities then (tormented by hunger and thirst) spoke to him (the Self): 'Allow us a place in which we may rest and eat food' (1) He led a cow towards them (the deities). They said : 'This is not enough.' He led a horse towards them. They said: 'This is not enough.' (2) He led man towards them. Then they said: 'Well done, indeed.' Therefore man is well done.

3. He said to them: 'Enter, each according to his place.' (3)

4. Then Agni (fire), having become speech, entered the mouth. Vayu (air), having become scent, entered the nostrils. ditya (sun), having become sight, entered the eyes. The Dis (regions), having become hearing, entered the ears. The shrubs and trees, having become hairs, entered the skin. Kandramas (the moon), having become mind, entered the heart. Death, having become down-breathing, entered the navel. The waters, having become seed, entered the generative organ. (4)

5. Then Hunger and Thirst spoke to him (the Self): 'Allow us two (a place).' He said to them: ' I assign you to those very deities there, I make you co-partners with them.' Therefore to whatever deity an oblation is offered, hunger and thirst are co-partners in it. (5)


THIRD KHANDA

1. He thought: 'There are these worlds and the guardians of the worlds. Let me send forth food for them.' (1) He brooded over the water. From the water thus brooded on, matter (mutrti) was born. And that matter which was born, that verily was food. (2)

2. When this food (the object matter) had thus been sent forth, it wished to flee, crying and turning away. He (the subject) tried to grasp it by speech. He could not grasp it by speech. If he had grasped it by speech, man would be satisfied by naming food. (3) He tried to grasp it by scent (breath). He could not grasp it by scent. If he had grasped it by scent, man would be satisfied by smelling food. (4) He tried to grasp it by the eye. He could not grasp it by the eye. If he had grasped it by the eye, man would be satisfied by seeing food. (5) He tried to grasp it by the ear. He could not grasp it by the ear. If he had grasped it by the ear, man would be satisfied by hearing food. (6) He tried to grasp it by the skin. He could not grasp it by the skin. If he had grasped it by the skin, man would be satisfied by touching food. (7) He tried to grasp it by the mind. He could not grasp it by the mind. If he had grasped it by the mind, man would be satisfied by thinking food. (8) He tried to grasp it by the generative organ. He could not grasp it by the organ. If he had grasped it by the organ, man would be satisfied by sending forth food. (9) He tried to grasp it by the down-breathing (the breath which helps to swallow food through the mouth and to carry it off through the rectum, the payvindriya). He got it.

3. Thus it is Vayu (the getter) who lays hold of food, and the Vayu is verily Annayu (he who gives life or who lives by food). (10)

4. He thought: ' How can all this be without me?

5. And then he thought: By what way shall I get there?

6. And then he thought: If speech names, if scent smells, if the eye sees, if the ear hears, if the skin feels, if the mind thinks, if the off-breathing digests, if the organ sends forth, then what am I?' (11)

7. Then opening the suture of the skull, he got in by that door.

8. That door is called the Vidriti (tearing asunder), the Nandana (the place of bliss).

9. There are three dwelling-places for him, three dreams; this dwelling-place (the eye), this dwelling-place (the throat), this dwelling-place (the heart). (12)

10. When born (when the Highest Self had entered the body) he looked through all things, in order to see whether anything wished to proclaim here another (Self). He saw this person only (himself) as the widely spread Brahman. 'I saw it,' thus he said; (13) Therefore he was Idam-dra (seeing this).

11. Being Idamdra by name, they call him Indra mysteriously. For the Devas love mystery, yea, they love mystery. (14)

 

Part 2

FIRST KHANDA


1. Let the women who are with child move away!

2. Verily, from the beginning he (the self) is in man as a germ, which is called seed.

3. This (seed), which is strength gathered from all the limbs of the body, he (the man) bears as self in his self (body). When he commits the seed to the woman, then he (the father) causes it to be born. That is his first birth. (1)

4. That seed becomes the self of the woman, as if one of her own limbs. Therefore it does not injure her.

5. She nourishes his (her husband's) self (the son) within her. (2) She who nourishes, is to be nourished.

6. The woman bears the germ. He (the father) elevates the child even before the birth, and immediately after.

7. When he thus elevates the child both before and after his birth, he really elevates his own self,

8. For the continuation of these worlds (men). For thus are these worlds continued.

9. This is his second birth. (3)

10. He (the son), being his self, is then placed in his stead for (the performance of) all good works.

11. But his other self (the father), having done all he has to do, and having reached the full measure of his life, departs.

12. And departing from hence he is born again. That is his third birth.

13. And this has been declared by a Rishi (Rv. IV, 27, 1): (4)

14. 'While dwelling in the womb, I discovered all the births of these Devas. A hundred iron strongholds kept me, but I escaped quickly down like a falcon.'

15. Vamadeva, lying in the womb, has thus declared this. (5) And having this knowledge he stepped forth, after this dissolution of the body, and having obtained all his desires in that heavenly world, became immortal, yea, he became immortal. (6)

 

Part 3

FIRST KHANDA


1. Let the women go back to their place.

2. Who is he whom we meditate on as the Self? Which is the Self?

3. That by which we see (form), that by which we hear (sound), that by which we perceive smells, that by which we utter speech, that by which we distinguish sweet and not sweet, (1) and what comes from the heart and the mind, namely, perception, command, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, seeing, holding, thinking, considering, readiness (or suffering), remembering, conceiving, willing, breathing, loving, desiring?

4. No, all these are various names only of knowledge (the true Self). (2)

5. And that Self, consisting of (knowledge), is Brahman (m.), it is Indra, it is Pragapati . All these Devas, these five great elements, earth, air, ether, water, fire, these and those which are, as it were, small and mixed, and seeds of this kind and that kind, born from eggs, born from the womb, born from heat, born from germs, horses, cows, men, elephants, and whatsoever breathes, whether walking or flying, and what is immoveable-all that is led (produced) by knowledge (the Self).

6. It rests on knowledge (the Self). The world is led (produced) by knowledge (the Self). Knowledge is its cause.

7. Knowledge is Brahman. (3)

8. He (Vamadeva), having by this conscious self stepped forth from this world, and having obtained all desires in that heavenly world, became immortal, yea, he became immortal. Thus it is, Om. (4)


END OF THE AITAREYA UPANISHAD

 

This page was published on May 21, 2000.


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