by ALLADI MAHADEVA SASTRY
TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD is one of the eleven major Upanishads.
It has special importance for students of Advaita Vedanta
and Jnana Yoga because it's the only Upanishad that
sets forth the doctrine of the five sheaths (kosas)
that envelop and conceal the Self like a scabbard holding
a sword. The techniques of Jnana Yoga (including self-enquiry)
are designed to dispel the illusion that these sheaths
and the Self are one and the same. For Advaita Vedanta,
self-realization is nothing more than the loss of this
to this Upanishad, the five kosas fit one inside another
like five socks slipped over the same foot. The outermost
kosa is the annamaya-kosa or physical sheath
(literally, food sheath). Inside it is the pranamaya-kosa
or sheath made of prana (energy), which "fills
the physical sheath as air fills a bellows." Inside
the prana sheath is the manomaya-kosa or mind
sheath. Next is the vijnanamaya-kosa or sheath
of intellect, and last is the anandamaya-kosa
or sheath of bliss. Inside all five of them, as if sheltered
in a cave, is the Self.
translation is a tradeoff between mutually incompatible
goals, and the creator of this one has taken that principle
to extremes by pursuing a literal one-to-one correspondence
of words at the expense of everything else. The result
is a faithful translation in a peculiar style whose
syntax fails at times to qualify as English. Nevertheless,
I confess I find the result not displeasing; it suggests
to me some imaginary archaic English as old as the work
its original printed form, this translation was accompanied
by translations of several commentaries including Sankaracharya's.
We have omitted the commentaries here on our website
and include only the translator's preface and the English
version of the Upanishad.
complete text of the original book, including both the
Upanishad and commentaries, was recently reprinted in
an excellent hardcover edition by Samata Books in Madras.
was originally published in 1903, and its copyright
May 13, 2000
page was published on May 13, 2000 and last revised
on July 11, 2001.