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Books > Hindu > One Hundred Eight Vedic Upanisads (Upanisads of Sukla Yajurveda) (Set of 3 Volumes)
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One Hundred Eight Vedic Upanisads (Upanisads of Sukla Yajurveda) (Set of 3 Volumes)
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One Hundred Eight Vedic Upanisads (Upanisads of Sukla Yajurveda) (Set of 3 Volumes)
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ISBN: 9789382443094 (Part -I)
ISBN: 9789382443100 (Part - II)
ISBN: 9789382443117 (Part - III)

 

About the Book

The eternal Upanishads represent the profound essence, the succulent juice and the perennial spiritual philosophy of the Vedas, expounded and elucidated to make them practical and accessible for spiritual aspirants. They are magnificent, stupendous, forceful and powerful instruments in the hands of true seekers that provide spiritual foresight and vision of the ultimate truth and reality.

The Upanishads are integral parr of the vedas; each Veda has a number 0 Upanishads in it. The present series c1assiies these Upanishads in true vedic tradition. i.e. they are listed and separated into dierent volumes strictly according to the Vedic sequence and the Vedas they appear in.

Each verse of each Upanishad has been extensively explained using simple language supplemented by elaborate notes so that these profound meta- physical treaties can be made accessible to eve an a lay man. Towards rheis end, extensive appendices have been added to elucidate the different concepts in simple words. Concepts such as OM, Naad, Naadis, Chakras, Yoga, Atrna, Viraat, Moksha etc. are all elaborately explained in these sparate appendices, a mantra index in roman is also included.

The present volume contains 19 principal Upanishads of the Sukla Yajurveda. The sequence of their listing in this volume strictly follows the sanction of the Upanishads themselves as is clear in Maktiopanishad, canto I, vers no. 54.

 

About the Author

Ajai kumar Chhawchharia born on 8th August 1955 in Burdwan district of west Bengal is a humble and unpretentious bachelor residing in the holy pilgrim city of Ayodhya who has dedicated his entire life in the service of his Lord Ram.

 

Preface

'So may I speak these blessed words to the people at large to the Brahmana, to the Ksairiua, to the Vaisya, and to the Sudra, to my own people and to the foreigner'. (Yajur Veda,26/2). 'God is given different names due to his virtues and works, such as Agni (fire), Aditya (sun), Viiyu (wind), Candramii (moon), Sukra (mars), Brahmii (the Supreme Being), Apa~ (water), and Prajiipati (the creator and care taker, Brahmd). Many other names have also been assigned to him'. (Yajur Veda, 32/1). May my mind, capable of illumination, be moved by righteous intentions. It is light of all lights. It goes far away when one is awake, and comes back when one is asleep'. (Yajur Veda, 34/1).

'Bear with me a little, and I will show you that there are yet words to speak on God's behalf. I will fetch you my knowledge from afar, for truly my words are not false. Behold God is almighty. He is mighty in strength of understanding'. (The Holy Bible, Job 36/2-5). 'With Him is wisdom and strength; He has counsel and. understanding'. (Bible, Job 12/13). 'Behold God is great, and we do not know Him'. (Bible, Job 36/26). 'For who is God except the Lord?' (Bible,2 Samuel 22/32). 'And He shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain'. (Bible, 2 Samuel 23/4).

'Lord, you are my lamp, Oh Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness'. (Bible,2 Samuel 22/29). 'Remember His covenant always, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations'. (Bible, 1 Chronicles, 16/31- 33). 'Remember to magnify His work, of which men have sung'. (Bible, Job 36/24). 'As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is praised; He is a shield to all who trust in Him'. (Bible, 2 Samuel 22/31).

'God is my strength; and He makes my way perfect'. (Bible, 2 Samuel 22/ 33). 'Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, and let them say among the Nations, 'The Lord reigns'; Let the sear roar, and all its fullness; let the field rejoice, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the Lord-'(Bible, 1 Chronicles, 16/15).

The above quotation from 'Muktikopanisad belonging to the Sukla Yajur Veda tradition, which is chapter no. 19 of this anthology, firmly establishes the names of the Upanisads of this Veda, and the sequence to be followed while studying .and narrating them. In this anthology, in true Vedic tradition, I have followed exactly the same sequence as prescribed by Sri Rama to Hanuman in listing and narrating those Upanisads, viz., I start this anthology with the Isavasya Upanisad, and culminate the anthology with Muktikopanisad.

The original Sanskrit texts, their simple layman's lucid version in easy flowing English, simple explanatory notes to clarify various conceptions as and when they appear in the text, their probable interpretations, along with several appendices etc. will make this bouquet useful, while being vibrant, colourful, attractive, lively, succulent and unique at the same time. Knowledge, especially when it relates to divinity and spirituality, is a pleasant perfume which wafts soothingly over the ruffled terrain of our mundane, arduous existence and lends purpose to it, gives hope in the otherwise hopeless whirlpool represented by this mirage-like world which traps and sucks everything down in its vortex of delusions, and is like the bright and glorious Sun rising in the horizon to lighten up all the directions of the realm of our existence and lift the veil of darkness of ignorance and delusions that has spiritually blinded us.

As we have seen, there are in all 19 principal Upanisads in the Sukla Yajur Veda-and each one of them have been included in this anthology as a separate chapter. I've attempted to present each verse of the text in an easily readable style, and have viewed them through the looking- glass of a contemporary modern man, thereby making the entire volume and its astounding ancient wisdom easily accessible to him. At the beginning of each chapter, I've added a brief introduction to highlight the main theme that the particular Upanisad expounds and elucidates; it gives an idea of its contents. Each chapter has the full Sanskrit text with an elaborate, verse by verse, simple, lucid and easy to understand English rendering which would make these profound scriptures accessible even to a common man. Further, a number of appendices are added to elucidate clearly on various concepts or topics appearing in the main text, though I've tried to explain them on the spot briefly wherever they occur in the text.

To start with the narration of the Upanisads, I've included, as an 'introductory', a minor Upanisad of Sukla Yajur Veda, called the 'Siva Sankalpa Upanisad, which exhorts the aspirant to control the mind, and divert its stupendous energy and efforts willingly towards righteousness, auspiciousness, virtuousness, nobility and spiritualism. This is an apt introduction to the teaching of the main texts because concentration and control of the mind is a must before we venture on this spiritual journey of discovery which unfolds before us in the chapters that follow.

Let us have a brief glimpse of the chapters now. Chapter no. 1 is 'Isavasya' which deals with the fundamental spiritual question-where or what is 'Isa', or the Supreme Lord.

Chapter no. 2 is 'Brhadaranyaka' which is by far the largest and most comprehensive in its sweep of metaphysics, theology and spiritualism at their best; it is in a standard pattern of questions and their answers which has been the hallmark of Upanisad teachings.

Chapter no. 3 is 'Jabala' which describes the Avimukta realms which provide a creature liberation and deliverance from this world; it also deals with the subject of Samnyasa.

Chapter no. 4 is 'Hamsa' in which an enlightened creature is likened to a divine Swan, a wise bird in mythology, and it briefly deals with the fundamental concepts in the realm of Yoga.

Chapter no. 5 is 'Paramahamsa' describing the rewards of being a realised soul which culminates in Samnyasa.

Chapter no. 6 is 'Subala' which, like Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, covers a wide range of metaphysical and spiritual subjects, such as creation; the magnificent and stupendous nature of the primary element called the Atma (soul/spirit) of a creature; the broad view that all that exists, from the most minute and subtle to the most extensive and gross, are all the various revelations of the same 'one' element called Atma: it also deals simultaneously with the concepts of Samnyasa, Mukti etc.

Then we come to chapter no. 7 which is 'Mantrika'; it highlights that the essence or soul of all the Mantras, which are divine and holy words or alphabets or syllables with majestic and stupendous mystical and ethereal powers, is Brahma: it also propounds that the pure Atma is like a divine Swan. Chapter no. 8 is 'Niralamba' which defines such concepts as Brahma, jiva, Isvara, Prakrti, World, Karma, Caste/creed, Samnyasa, Worldly fetters, jnana and Ajfiana, Hell and Bliss etc. in a very succinct and pointed way.

Chapter no. 9 is 'Trisikhi Brahmana which describes the beginning and expansion of the creation; it delves on the subject of Yoga exhaustively, describing its relevant topics such as Nadi, Cakra, Mudras, and Moksa etc.

Chapter no. 10 is another Upanisad dealing with Yoga, and it is named 'Mandala Brahmana' (perhaps because the sage who enunciated this text was the senior most seer / sage in that district where he resided). Chapter no. 11 'Advayataraka' describing the Taraka Yoga, or meditation that provides emancipation and salvation to the creature.

Chapter no. 12 is 'Paingala' which, like Brhadaranyaka and Trisikhi Brahmana, describe the genesis of creation; it also describes the four great sayings of the Vedas; called the Mahavakyas: it goes on to enumerate the temperaments, thoughts and behaviours of a realised person, or a Jnani, leading to his liberation and deliverance from this ensnaring world.

Chapter no. 13 is 'Bhiksuko which describes the characteristic features of a Bhiksuka, or a wandering monk, a mendicant, a friar.

Chapter no. 14 is 'Turiyatita' detailing the temperament, thoughts and life of a truly realised and renunciate person that leads him to the 'ultimate truth'. It is one of great Upanisads dealing with that fourth state of consciousness which gives perpetual bliss to an aspirant.

Chapter no. 15 is 'Adhyatma' which, as the name implies, is a major treatise on spiritualism; it virtually summarises this concept and is highly focused on the Atma and matters of the spirit, describing, inter alia, how to obtain salvation and emancipation, liberation and deliverance from the fetters that shackles a creature to this ensnaring world.

Chapter no. 16 is 'Tarasara' which, like Jabalopanisad, describes the Avimukta realm that bestows emancipation and salvation to a creature, along with the concept of Mantras that aid in it.

Chapter no. 17 is 'Yajnavalkyopanisad', in which a brief life sketch of this great sage is included, and chapter no. 18 is 'Satyayani', both dealing with in detail with the various aspects of Samnyasa.

And finally we have chapter no. 19 which is 'Muktikopanisad': it details a spiritual discussion between Lord Rama and his most enlightened devotee, follower and disciple Hanuman. In it, the Lord describes the eternal importance and significance of studying the various Upanisads and classifies them according to the Vedas that they belong to; this Upanisad also elucidates in great detail the concepts of Mukti (liberation and deliverance, emancipation and salvation), and hence gets its particular name on the basis of this fact.

The Brhadaranyaka Upanisad (Chapter 2) has an elaborate section (Canto 2, Brahmana 5) dealing with what is metaphorically called the 'Madhu Vidya'. Hence, a special Sukta dedicated to this theme, known as the 'Madhu Sukta', is included as appendix no. 2 of this volume.

It would be noted while going through the texts of these Upanisads that the Supreme Being is many a times referred to as the 'Purusa', the divine cosmic Lord. There is an excellent Sukta (a hymn used as a prayer) dedicated to this Purusa, called the 'Purusa Sukta', so I have included it in appendix no. 3.

The Sukla Yajur Veda to which the Upanisads of the present volume belong was revealed to the extraordinarily wise and genius sage Yajnavalkya. Besides this, the Supreme Being in the form of the Sun God has revealed a major Upanisad called the Mandala Brahrnana to this enlightened sage (Chapter 10). So a divine Sukta called the 'Surya Sukta' belonging to the Sukla Yajur Veda and dedicated to the Sun God has been included as appendix no. 4.

Aside of these three Suktas, the other appendices are briefly the following-appendix 1 explains the meaning of the 'Santi Patha' of the Sukla Yajur Veda Upanisads: appendix 5 deals with the concept of 'OM and Nada': appendix 6 briefly describes the concept of 'Cakra and Nadi': appendix 7 is dedicated to the theme of 'Yantra, Mantra, Tantra, Yoga etc.'; appendix 8 deals in simple terms with the different concepts of Vedanta appearing universally in all the. Upanisads: and finally appendix 9 is devoted to the eclectic life of 'Samnyasa' which is the last phase in the life of a man and symbolically winds up this volume by emphasizing the importance of realising the falsehood of this material world and the futility of pursuing it rather than attempting to search out the real truth and meaning of life and realise the super consciousness in the form of the 'self' and Brahma.

The alphabetical list of Sanskrit Mantras appearing in the Upanisads of the Sukla Yajur Veda is at the end for easy search and referral.

Meaning – The word 'Upanisad is composed of three Sanskrit syllables- 'up', 'ni' and 'sad. (a) The word 'up' means 'come near, sit down, benevolent, worship, destroy, a cure or remedy, to become disease or fault free, enjoy, without hindrance'. (b) The word 'ni' means 'not, night, darkness and ignorance, special or specific as well as all-inclusive and complete'. (c) The word 'sad' means '6 schools of thought, knowledge, to teach, to learn, to calm down, to destroy'.

Hence, the composite word Upanisad means:-(i) to come and sit down quietly before the teacher, (ii) to sit quietly after having acquired truthful knowledge about the reality, having calmed down all agitations and having dispelled all confusions and doubts, (iii) to remove the darkness of ignorance by the light of knowledge, (iv) the endeavour that removes/dispels the darkness of ignorance and enhances/propagates light of knowledge and (v) to find remedy for the disease/illness represented by this world. (vi) While defining the word Upanisad, Sankaracarya says, 'Seekers of emancipation ... deliberate on it (i.e., the knowledge that is called Upanisad) with steadiness and certainty' (8 Upanisads, Advaita Ashrama, Cal., 1989, pp. 99-100). He says that the Upanisads, like a mother, never tire of reminding us of our true nature. The Atma, which is the focus of the Upanisad, is pure bliss, is eternal and is synonymous with the cosmic soul called Brahma'.

The term Upanisad implies that an initiated disciple sits down before his wise teacher for the purpose of confidential communication of the secret doctrine called Rahasya concerning the relationship between the creator and the created individual. This knowledge can be communicated to only the deserving candidates and not to all and sundry because not only will they ridicule it but also because it would be a waste of time and energy.

The Upanisads, therefore, set at rest ignorance by revealing the knowledge of the eclectic supreme Spirit; they reveal and explain the esoteric mystery which underlines or rests underneath the external system of things. They are profound doctrines having mystical and mysterious meaning. They are a class of philosophical writings whose main aim is the exposition and elucidation of the secret meaning of the Vedas, and they are regarded as the source of Sankhya school of Indian philosophy and are synonymous with Vedanta.

Man can't achieve happiness though mere physical enjoyments. Absolute happiness can result only from liberation, and it follows therefore that spiritual enlightenment alone, which frees the Atma from all delusions, can provide liberation and deliverance from the unending cycle of deeds/ action and their results. Unfulfilled desires and yearnings to fulfil them further propel the creature towards more deeds/ action and their newer results. This cycle causes a hurdle for the unification of the Atma with the Supreme Brahma which is called true and ultimate emancipation and salvation, liberation and deliverance of the creature.

Deussen has expressed the fundamental ideal of the Upanisads in the following words, 'The Brahma, the power which presents itself before us has materialised in all existing things, it creates, sustains, preserves and receives back into itself again all the worlds, this eternal, infinite, divine power is identical with the Atma which, after stripping off everything external, we discover in ourselves as our real, most essential Being, our individual self, the soul/spirit. This doctrine has found expression most pointedly and clearly in the Upanisad's dictum which later became the confession of faith of millions of Indians in the word 'That art thou' (i.e., the cosmos is Brahma) and 'the world exists only in so for as thou (Brahma) are conscious of it'.

What are the Upanisads basically? The Upanisads are also known as Vedanta, which literally mean the 'end or summarised version or the essence of the Veda'. The chief Upanisads are part of and incorporated in the main text of the Vedas in their Samhitas, Brahmanas and Aranyakas

Section. For example, (a) Aitareya Upanisad is a part of Aitareya Aranyaka of R.g Veda (2/4/6); (b) Taittiriya Upanisad is a part of Taittiriya Aranyaka of Krsna Yajur Veda (7/8); (c) The Brhadaranyaka Upanisad is contained in the last 6 Cantos of the 14th chapter of Satapatha Brahmana of Sukla Yajur Veda and; (d) Cantos 3-8 of Chandogya Brahmana of Talawakara branch of the Sama Veda is called Chandogya Upanisad.

There are, however, many Upanisads which have been expounded and enunciated independently by scholarly, wise and enlightened sages who had deep understanding and grasp of spiritual and metaphysical subjects. For example, Jabalopanisad by sage Jabala, Sandilyopanisad by sage Sandilya, Saunakopanisad by sage Saunaka, Paingalopanisad by sage Paingala, and Yajnavalkyopanisad by sage Yajnavalkya. Such Upanisads are therefore named after those sages.

The great and magnificent Upanisads in Hindu philosophy are called the 'Head (or brain, crown) of the Vedas'; they are like the 'light and illumination of the Vedas', for had it not been for them the glory of the Vedas would have been reduced to mere abstract rituals and religious formalities. The Vedas are said to be revealed texts over a long period of time and are divided into three parts according to their subject matter- Karma (rituals), Upasana (worship, devotion, contemplation, honour and reverence) and Jnana (acquisition of truthful knowledge about the eternal, universal and essential Truth and Reality about existence which is the ultimate of all spiritual pursuit). The 'Karma' section involves doing elaborate rituals, doing auspicious deeds and taking righteous actions such as the doing of various fire sacrifices, observance of various sacraments, making charities, giving alms, adhering to religiously sanctioned way of life and diligently observing the codes of conduct laid out for the different spheres of life, such as the four Asramas (Brahmcaraya, Grhastha, Vanaprastha and Samnyasa Asramas) and the various classes into which the society was divided to maintain law and order (such as the Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras). In short to strictly and religiously follow the various dos and don'ts of a regulated form of life so as to prepare one for the next step which involves worship, devotion and contemplation upon his chosen deity which represents divinity and ideals selected by him. These two phases lead to the third phase-acquisition of truthful knowledge about a person's true-self as well as about the supreme Truth and the absolute Reality of this existence. The main focus of this third stage is to learn and get enlightened about what is known as the supreme transcendental cosmic consciousness called Brahma by the Upanisads, and its counterpart, the Atma, residing in the individual creature as its individual consciousness. The realisation of these two entities as being one and indivisible from one another is the main focus of the teachings of the great Upanisads, and this leads to the feeling of spiritual fulfilment and having attained liberation and deliverance from ignorance and its accompanying delusions which translates into emancipation and salvation of the soul.

The Upanisads propound and enunciate upon that pristine knowledge about spirituality, metaphysics and divine philosophy which makes Hinduism so unique and spiritually refined-an all-inclusive, open- ended, pluralistic approach which is tolerant, non-dogmatic and non- fanatical and non-bigot. They are unbiased and highly evolved intellectual exercises involving multidimensional logic, skilful rational thinking, high erudition and excellent scholarship laced with traditional wisdom and spiritualism. They are not blind and abstract dogmas but practical philosophies and guidelines to enlighten a man on his true nature and goal in life. The same basic truth has been expounded from various angles such that an aspirant or learner can understand the concept one way or the other according to his mental calibre. The various paths are open to him according to his individual temperaments and needs.

The primary purpose of the Vedas was the spiritual welfare of the man and to ensure that he breaks free form the endless cycle of birth and death (or transmigration) and find his ultimate peace and rest. This was not possible in other forms of life in this creation simply because in the entire scheme of creation it was only the man who was given the needed intelligence and decision making authority and powers to decide what is correct and good for himself and his soul. But being shrouded in the labyrinth of rituals and complicated verses which were so abstract, mystical and esoteric, the real intention was forgotten and the entire exercise was reduced to learning by rot of the thick and dense texts which became beyond the reach and comprehension, because of their complexity, of even those few who were sincerely inspired to unravel their secrets and inclined to break free from the cycle of transmigration.

Then came the legion of enlightened and wise men who had extraordinary intelligence and deep insight as well as the gift of the language to unravel these secrets for the benefit of the human kind. They learnt and became enlightened about the fundamental philosophical dimension of these Vedas, unravelled their basic ideas and intentions by deep ponderings and contemplation, proposed and tested hypothesis, applied variables corrected any errors they discovered in their thinking retraced their steps and moved ahead with the new path which stood the test of methodical, scientific and empirical experimentations. When a successful method evolved they preached it to their disciples in the worlds of the Upanisads. These doctrines enshrined in these texts are therefore a result of extensive and industrious labour, insight and research. Exponents of Upanisadic philosophy have indeed third to explain their precepts in scientific ways. The readings of these texts have had a profound psychological impact on generations after generations. They have tried to present a remedy to a world overwhelmed by misery and tumult.

 

Introduction

The 'Sivasankalpa Upanisad is a short text that appears as canto 34, verse nos. 1-6 of Sukla Yajur Veda. It describes the stupendous powers that the mind possesses. Any desire that is germinates in it difficult to rescind. So, these desires and volitions of the mind should be made pure, noble, auspicious and righteous so that their pursuit would be elevating for the soul instead of demeaning and denigrating for it. The word Siva refers to something that is pure, holy, uncorrupted, beautiful, truthful, wise and auspicious. Therefore, this Upanisad prays that one's mind be in proper shape, and it inculcates wisdom and noble thoughts, as well as be auspicious and righteous in its demeanors.

Oh Lord! Our Mind which wanders far and wide during the waking state of consciousness also does so during the dreaming state. [That is, the mind has such stupendous mystical powers that it is able to go at those places where the physical body is unable reach. The mind can reach the farthest corners of the creation in a flash. While a man is awake, it enables him to think even the unimaginable things and conceive ideas that seem incongruous, outlandish and impossible. The mind enables the man to day-dream while he is awake. At the same time, when the physical body is inactive and as good as dead as during sleep, the mind still keeps on working overtime in an imaginary world of dreams and goes from one place to another actively as if it was living in a physical world.]

It is the mind that injects life and awareness in the sense organs of the body, and it is the mind which enables them to perform their functions properly and actively. It is the mind that inspires and impels the various organs of the body to receive the different stimuli from the external world and act accordingly. Had it not been for the coaxing from the mind and the latter inspiring these organs, they would have remained inconsequential and inert, lying defunct and dormant as is evident in a dead body in which the mind has ceased to function.

The mind is certainly the entity that is the medium between the Atma, or the pure consciousness soul of the creature, and the outside world at large. [That is, the living being interacts with the world through the medium of the mind which controls all the functions of the gross organs of the body of the creature. If the mind ceases to function, the creature would lose all its bearings and would be virtually at sea, not knowing what to do and what is happening around it; it would be unable to perceive or comprehend anything. When the mind is inactive, a creature is unaware of anything because although the body and its organs have received the necessary inputs from the outside world the mind does not 'register' them, and without any record in the mind these impulses lose all their enlightening value for the creature. The mind therefore enables the creature to live intelligently in this world, and to acquire knowledge, erudition and wisdom. The mind enables the Atma to interact with the world through the organs of the body which it regulates and directs.] Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [1]

Oh Lord! Wise, erudite and sagacious sages and seers do and successfully complete great religious sacrifices as well as all kinds of righteous, auspicious and noble deeds with the help of the mind which is universally and without exception present in the body of all, and which finds prominence and importance wherever there is any religious or other activity that requires intellectual involvement. [This is because without the involvement of the mind, no intellectual activity is ever possible.] Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [2]

Oh Lord! The mind is endowed with the capacity to acquire and store the profoundest of knowledge. It is conscious and wise, erudite and skilful, intelligent and enlightened. It is blessed with the virtue of patience, resilience, fortitude, forbearance and courage. It is an embodiment of light which is present in all the creatures as the factor , that lightens up their inner self with an eternal source of illumination that dispels all their darkness and makes them wise, erudite, sagacious, skilled, expert and knowledgeable. And it is that element without which nothing can be accomplished successfully. Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [3]

Oh Lord! The mind enables a wise man to become aware of the past, the present and the future. [That is, though the past is not visible and neither is the future certain, but an intelligent application of the mind enables a person to research about the past happenings based on the present and deduce logically what might have happened long time in the past. Similarly, the mind helps the man to predict what would happen in the future based upon his experience of the present and his logical deduction of the past.] The mind is the medium by which the seven types of priests who are assigned the task of doing a fire or any other type of religious sacrifice initiate the process and see to its successful completion. [This is because they have to remember in the mind the finer details of the elaborate rituals and the exercises involved, for it is not practically feasible to go look up the voluminous religious scriptures at the time of actually doing the rituals. The hymns have to be chanted in a proper fashion, and innumerable small and big duties pertaining to a fire sacrifice have to be done with due care and diligence. This is just like a surgeon performing a surgery where he cannot afford to look up a medical book every now and then while the patient is lying on the operation table; the entire process has to be performed with the help of his intelligent mind.] Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [4]

Oh Lord! The hymns of the Vedas have their firm root in the mind (i.e. the hymns are firmly established in the mind because in earlier times the Vedas were learnt by memorizing them and transmitted from one generation to another by the oral method which required the active involvement of the mind as opposed to transmission of knowledge by the method of books). The Mantras (holy words) of the Sama and Yajur Vedas are established firmly in the mind just like the wheel has its spokes. [The hymns of these two Vedas were an integral part of sacrificial rituals, and they were used as chants while performing the actual offering to the sacrificial fire. So, they had to be well remembered so that the chants were not disrupted because someone of the priests had forgotten some verse or stanza. These recitations had to be flawless and rhythmic just like the deliverance of a dialogue in a theatrical performance. So, the mind had to be alert and well versed in them. It must be remembered that in earlier times of the Vedic period, the life of the society revolved around fire sacrifices, and any great deed and all successes were measured in terms of their contribution in such exercises. Therefore, the importance of the mind is also measured in terms of its contribution to the successful performance of the religious sacrifice.]

Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [5]

Oh Lord! Even as an expert charioteer controls the moving horses through the rein and directs them towards the desired destination, the mind too helps a man to reach his destination. The mind is free form the degenerating effects of old age that affects the body. It has great swiftness agility and activity. It is pegged to the heart (because the mid thinks of those things, that seem pleasant to the heart of a man; the heart virtually has control over the functioning of the mind).

Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues let it have the auspicious and righteous of desire and aspirations.

 

Contents

 

  Part I  
  Preface VII
  A note on pronunciations XXXIX
  Key to Transliteration XLI
  Introductory XLIII
1 Isavasyopanisad 1
2 Brhadaranyakopanisad 31
  Part II  
3 Jabalopanisad 735
4 Hamsopanisad 755
5 Paramahamsopanisad 773
6 Subalopanisad 785
7 Mantrikopanisad 945
8 Niralambopanisad 979
9 Trisikhibrahmanopanisad 1013
10 Mandalabrahmanopanisad 1081
11 Advayatarakopanisad 1171
12 Paingalopanidad 1199
  Part III  
13 Bhiksukopanisad 1291
14 Turiyatitopanisad 1303
15 Adhyatmopanisad 1317
16 Tarasarpanisad 1371
17 Yajnavalkyopanisad 1389
18 Satyayaniyopanisad 1491
19 Muktikopanisad 1463
  Appendix 1: Santi Patha 1541
  Appendix 2: Madhu Sukta 1542
  Appendix 3: Purusa Sukta 1556
  Appendix 4: Surya Sukta 1564
  Appendix 5: Om and Nada 1572
  Appendix 6: Chakra and Nadis in the Body 1599
  Appendix 7: Yantra, Mantra, Tantra, Yoga and Japa 1608
  Appendix 8: Various Upanisadic concepts Explained 1664
  Appendix 9: Samnyasa 1712
  Indext of Mantras 1721
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One Hundred Eight Vedic Upanisads (Upanisads of Sukla Yajurveda) (Set of 3 Volumes)

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2013
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Sanskrit Text with English Translation
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One Hundred Eight Vedic Upanisads (Upanisads of Sukla Yajurveda) (Set of 3 Volumes)

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ISBN: 9789382443094 (Part -I)
ISBN: 9789382443100 (Part - II)
ISBN: 9789382443117 (Part - III)

 

About the Book

The eternal Upanishads represent the profound essence, the succulent juice and the perennial spiritual philosophy of the Vedas, expounded and elucidated to make them practical and accessible for spiritual aspirants. They are magnificent, stupendous, forceful and powerful instruments in the hands of true seekers that provide spiritual foresight and vision of the ultimate truth and reality.

The Upanishads are integral parr of the vedas; each Veda has a number 0 Upanishads in it. The present series c1assiies these Upanishads in true vedic tradition. i.e. they are listed and separated into dierent volumes strictly according to the Vedic sequence and the Vedas they appear in.

Each verse of each Upanishad has been extensively explained using simple language supplemented by elaborate notes so that these profound meta- physical treaties can be made accessible to eve an a lay man. Towards rheis end, extensive appendices have been added to elucidate the different concepts in simple words. Concepts such as OM, Naad, Naadis, Chakras, Yoga, Atrna, Viraat, Moksha etc. are all elaborately explained in these sparate appendices, a mantra index in roman is also included.

The present volume contains 19 principal Upanishads of the Sukla Yajurveda. The sequence of their listing in this volume strictly follows the sanction of the Upanishads themselves as is clear in Maktiopanishad, canto I, vers no. 54.

 

About the Author

Ajai kumar Chhawchharia born on 8th August 1955 in Burdwan district of west Bengal is a humble and unpretentious bachelor residing in the holy pilgrim city of Ayodhya who has dedicated his entire life in the service of his Lord Ram.

 

Preface

'So may I speak these blessed words to the people at large to the Brahmana, to the Ksairiua, to the Vaisya, and to the Sudra, to my own people and to the foreigner'. (Yajur Veda,26/2). 'God is given different names due to his virtues and works, such as Agni (fire), Aditya (sun), Viiyu (wind), Candramii (moon), Sukra (mars), Brahmii (the Supreme Being), Apa~ (water), and Prajiipati (the creator and care taker, Brahmd). Many other names have also been assigned to him'. (Yajur Veda, 32/1). May my mind, capable of illumination, be moved by righteous intentions. It is light of all lights. It goes far away when one is awake, and comes back when one is asleep'. (Yajur Veda, 34/1).

'Bear with me a little, and I will show you that there are yet words to speak on God's behalf. I will fetch you my knowledge from afar, for truly my words are not false. Behold God is almighty. He is mighty in strength of understanding'. (The Holy Bible, Job 36/2-5). 'With Him is wisdom and strength; He has counsel and. understanding'. (Bible, Job 12/13). 'Behold God is great, and we do not know Him'. (Bible, Job 36/26). 'For who is God except the Lord?' (Bible,2 Samuel 22/32). 'And He shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain'. (Bible, 2 Samuel 23/4).

'Lord, you are my lamp, Oh Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness'. (Bible,2 Samuel 22/29). 'Remember His covenant always, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations'. (Bible, 1 Chronicles, 16/31- 33). 'Remember to magnify His work, of which men have sung'. (Bible, Job 36/24). 'As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is praised; He is a shield to all who trust in Him'. (Bible, 2 Samuel 22/31).

'God is my strength; and He makes my way perfect'. (Bible, 2 Samuel 22/ 33). 'Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, and let them say among the Nations, 'The Lord reigns'; Let the sear roar, and all its fullness; let the field rejoice, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the Lord-'(Bible, 1 Chronicles, 16/15).

The above quotation from 'Muktikopanisad belonging to the Sukla Yajur Veda tradition, which is chapter no. 19 of this anthology, firmly establishes the names of the Upanisads of this Veda, and the sequence to be followed while studying .and narrating them. In this anthology, in true Vedic tradition, I have followed exactly the same sequence as prescribed by Sri Rama to Hanuman in listing and narrating those Upanisads, viz., I start this anthology with the Isavasya Upanisad, and culminate the anthology with Muktikopanisad.

The original Sanskrit texts, their simple layman's lucid version in easy flowing English, simple explanatory notes to clarify various conceptions as and when they appear in the text, their probable interpretations, along with several appendices etc. will make this bouquet useful, while being vibrant, colourful, attractive, lively, succulent and unique at the same time. Knowledge, especially when it relates to divinity and spirituality, is a pleasant perfume which wafts soothingly over the ruffled terrain of our mundane, arduous existence and lends purpose to it, gives hope in the otherwise hopeless whirlpool represented by this mirage-like world which traps and sucks everything down in its vortex of delusions, and is like the bright and glorious Sun rising in the horizon to lighten up all the directions of the realm of our existence and lift the veil of darkness of ignorance and delusions that has spiritually blinded us.

As we have seen, there are in all 19 principal Upanisads in the Sukla Yajur Veda-and each one of them have been included in this anthology as a separate chapter. I've attempted to present each verse of the text in an easily readable style, and have viewed them through the looking- glass of a contemporary modern man, thereby making the entire volume and its astounding ancient wisdom easily accessible to him. At the beginning of each chapter, I've added a brief introduction to highlight the main theme that the particular Upanisad expounds and elucidates; it gives an idea of its contents. Each chapter has the full Sanskrit text with an elaborate, verse by verse, simple, lucid and easy to understand English rendering which would make these profound scriptures accessible even to a common man. Further, a number of appendices are added to elucidate clearly on various concepts or topics appearing in the main text, though I've tried to explain them on the spot briefly wherever they occur in the text.

To start with the narration of the Upanisads, I've included, as an 'introductory', a minor Upanisad of Sukla Yajur Veda, called the 'Siva Sankalpa Upanisad, which exhorts the aspirant to control the mind, and divert its stupendous energy and efforts willingly towards righteousness, auspiciousness, virtuousness, nobility and spiritualism. This is an apt introduction to the teaching of the main texts because concentration and control of the mind is a must before we venture on this spiritual journey of discovery which unfolds before us in the chapters that follow.

Let us have a brief glimpse of the chapters now. Chapter no. 1 is 'Isavasya' which deals with the fundamental spiritual question-where or what is 'Isa', or the Supreme Lord.

Chapter no. 2 is 'Brhadaranyaka' which is by far the largest and most comprehensive in its sweep of metaphysics, theology and spiritualism at their best; it is in a standard pattern of questions and their answers which has been the hallmark of Upanisad teachings.

Chapter no. 3 is 'Jabala' which describes the Avimukta realms which provide a creature liberation and deliverance from this world; it also deals with the subject of Samnyasa.

Chapter no. 4 is 'Hamsa' in which an enlightened creature is likened to a divine Swan, a wise bird in mythology, and it briefly deals with the fundamental concepts in the realm of Yoga.

Chapter no. 5 is 'Paramahamsa' describing the rewards of being a realised soul which culminates in Samnyasa.

Chapter no. 6 is 'Subala' which, like Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, covers a wide range of metaphysical and spiritual subjects, such as creation; the magnificent and stupendous nature of the primary element called the Atma (soul/spirit) of a creature; the broad view that all that exists, from the most minute and subtle to the most extensive and gross, are all the various revelations of the same 'one' element called Atma: it also deals simultaneously with the concepts of Samnyasa, Mukti etc.

Then we come to chapter no. 7 which is 'Mantrika'; it highlights that the essence or soul of all the Mantras, which are divine and holy words or alphabets or syllables with majestic and stupendous mystical and ethereal powers, is Brahma: it also propounds that the pure Atma is like a divine Swan. Chapter no. 8 is 'Niralamba' which defines such concepts as Brahma, jiva, Isvara, Prakrti, World, Karma, Caste/creed, Samnyasa, Worldly fetters, jnana and Ajfiana, Hell and Bliss etc. in a very succinct and pointed way.

Chapter no. 9 is 'Trisikhi Brahmana which describes the beginning and expansion of the creation; it delves on the subject of Yoga exhaustively, describing its relevant topics such as Nadi, Cakra, Mudras, and Moksa etc.

Chapter no. 10 is another Upanisad dealing with Yoga, and it is named 'Mandala Brahmana' (perhaps because the sage who enunciated this text was the senior most seer / sage in that district where he resided). Chapter no. 11 'Advayataraka' describing the Taraka Yoga, or meditation that provides emancipation and salvation to the creature.

Chapter no. 12 is 'Paingala' which, like Brhadaranyaka and Trisikhi Brahmana, describe the genesis of creation; it also describes the four great sayings of the Vedas; called the Mahavakyas: it goes on to enumerate the temperaments, thoughts and behaviours of a realised person, or a Jnani, leading to his liberation and deliverance from this ensnaring world.

Chapter no. 13 is 'Bhiksuko which describes the characteristic features of a Bhiksuka, or a wandering monk, a mendicant, a friar.

Chapter no. 14 is 'Turiyatita' detailing the temperament, thoughts and life of a truly realised and renunciate person that leads him to the 'ultimate truth'. It is one of great Upanisads dealing with that fourth state of consciousness which gives perpetual bliss to an aspirant.

Chapter no. 15 is 'Adhyatma' which, as the name implies, is a major treatise on spiritualism; it virtually summarises this concept and is highly focused on the Atma and matters of the spirit, describing, inter alia, how to obtain salvation and emancipation, liberation and deliverance from the fetters that shackles a creature to this ensnaring world.

Chapter no. 16 is 'Tarasara' which, like Jabalopanisad, describes the Avimukta realm that bestows emancipation and salvation to a creature, along with the concept of Mantras that aid in it.

Chapter no. 17 is 'Yajnavalkyopanisad', in which a brief life sketch of this great sage is included, and chapter no. 18 is 'Satyayani', both dealing with in detail with the various aspects of Samnyasa.

And finally we have chapter no. 19 which is 'Muktikopanisad': it details a spiritual discussion between Lord Rama and his most enlightened devotee, follower and disciple Hanuman. In it, the Lord describes the eternal importance and significance of studying the various Upanisads and classifies them according to the Vedas that they belong to; this Upanisad also elucidates in great detail the concepts of Mukti (liberation and deliverance, emancipation and salvation), and hence gets its particular name on the basis of this fact.

The Brhadaranyaka Upanisad (Chapter 2) has an elaborate section (Canto 2, Brahmana 5) dealing with what is metaphorically called the 'Madhu Vidya'. Hence, a special Sukta dedicated to this theme, known as the 'Madhu Sukta', is included as appendix no. 2 of this volume.

It would be noted while going through the texts of these Upanisads that the Supreme Being is many a times referred to as the 'Purusa', the divine cosmic Lord. There is an excellent Sukta (a hymn used as a prayer) dedicated to this Purusa, called the 'Purusa Sukta', so I have included it in appendix no. 3.

The Sukla Yajur Veda to which the Upanisads of the present volume belong was revealed to the extraordinarily wise and genius sage Yajnavalkya. Besides this, the Supreme Being in the form of the Sun God has revealed a major Upanisad called the Mandala Brahrnana to this enlightened sage (Chapter 10). So a divine Sukta called the 'Surya Sukta' belonging to the Sukla Yajur Veda and dedicated to the Sun God has been included as appendix no. 4.

Aside of these three Suktas, the other appendices are briefly the following-appendix 1 explains the meaning of the 'Santi Patha' of the Sukla Yajur Veda Upanisads: appendix 5 deals with the concept of 'OM and Nada': appendix 6 briefly describes the concept of 'Cakra and Nadi': appendix 7 is dedicated to the theme of 'Yantra, Mantra, Tantra, Yoga etc.'; appendix 8 deals in simple terms with the different concepts of Vedanta appearing universally in all the. Upanisads: and finally appendix 9 is devoted to the eclectic life of 'Samnyasa' which is the last phase in the life of a man and symbolically winds up this volume by emphasizing the importance of realising the falsehood of this material world and the futility of pursuing it rather than attempting to search out the real truth and meaning of life and realise the super consciousness in the form of the 'self' and Brahma.

The alphabetical list of Sanskrit Mantras appearing in the Upanisads of the Sukla Yajur Veda is at the end for easy search and referral.

Meaning – The word 'Upanisad is composed of three Sanskrit syllables- 'up', 'ni' and 'sad. (a) The word 'up' means 'come near, sit down, benevolent, worship, destroy, a cure or remedy, to become disease or fault free, enjoy, without hindrance'. (b) The word 'ni' means 'not, night, darkness and ignorance, special or specific as well as all-inclusive and complete'. (c) The word 'sad' means '6 schools of thought, knowledge, to teach, to learn, to calm down, to destroy'.

Hence, the composite word Upanisad means:-(i) to come and sit down quietly before the teacher, (ii) to sit quietly after having acquired truthful knowledge about the reality, having calmed down all agitations and having dispelled all confusions and doubts, (iii) to remove the darkness of ignorance by the light of knowledge, (iv) the endeavour that removes/dispels the darkness of ignorance and enhances/propagates light of knowledge and (v) to find remedy for the disease/illness represented by this world. (vi) While defining the word Upanisad, Sankaracarya says, 'Seekers of emancipation ... deliberate on it (i.e., the knowledge that is called Upanisad) with steadiness and certainty' (8 Upanisads, Advaita Ashrama, Cal., 1989, pp. 99-100). He says that the Upanisads, like a mother, never tire of reminding us of our true nature. The Atma, which is the focus of the Upanisad, is pure bliss, is eternal and is synonymous with the cosmic soul called Brahma'.

The term Upanisad implies that an initiated disciple sits down before his wise teacher for the purpose of confidential communication of the secret doctrine called Rahasya concerning the relationship between the creator and the created individual. This knowledge can be communicated to only the deserving candidates and not to all and sundry because not only will they ridicule it but also because it would be a waste of time and energy.

The Upanisads, therefore, set at rest ignorance by revealing the knowledge of the eclectic supreme Spirit; they reveal and explain the esoteric mystery which underlines or rests underneath the external system of things. They are profound doctrines having mystical and mysterious meaning. They are a class of philosophical writings whose main aim is the exposition and elucidation of the secret meaning of the Vedas, and they are regarded as the source of Sankhya school of Indian philosophy and are synonymous with Vedanta.

Man can't achieve happiness though mere physical enjoyments. Absolute happiness can result only from liberation, and it follows therefore that spiritual enlightenment alone, which frees the Atma from all delusions, can provide liberation and deliverance from the unending cycle of deeds/ action and their results. Unfulfilled desires and yearnings to fulfil them further propel the creature towards more deeds/ action and their newer results. This cycle causes a hurdle for the unification of the Atma with the Supreme Brahma which is called true and ultimate emancipation and salvation, liberation and deliverance of the creature.

Deussen has expressed the fundamental ideal of the Upanisads in the following words, 'The Brahma, the power which presents itself before us has materialised in all existing things, it creates, sustains, preserves and receives back into itself again all the worlds, this eternal, infinite, divine power is identical with the Atma which, after stripping off everything external, we discover in ourselves as our real, most essential Being, our individual self, the soul/spirit. This doctrine has found expression most pointedly and clearly in the Upanisad's dictum which later became the confession of faith of millions of Indians in the word 'That art thou' (i.e., the cosmos is Brahma) and 'the world exists only in so for as thou (Brahma) are conscious of it'.

What are the Upanisads basically? The Upanisads are also known as Vedanta, which literally mean the 'end or summarised version or the essence of the Veda'. The chief Upanisads are part of and incorporated in the main text of the Vedas in their Samhitas, Brahmanas and Aranyakas

Section. For example, (a) Aitareya Upanisad is a part of Aitareya Aranyaka of R.g Veda (2/4/6); (b) Taittiriya Upanisad is a part of Taittiriya Aranyaka of Krsna Yajur Veda (7/8); (c) The Brhadaranyaka Upanisad is contained in the last 6 Cantos of the 14th chapter of Satapatha Brahmana of Sukla Yajur Veda and; (d) Cantos 3-8 of Chandogya Brahmana of Talawakara branch of the Sama Veda is called Chandogya Upanisad.

There are, however, many Upanisads which have been expounded and enunciated independently by scholarly, wise and enlightened sages who had deep understanding and grasp of spiritual and metaphysical subjects. For example, Jabalopanisad by sage Jabala, Sandilyopanisad by sage Sandilya, Saunakopanisad by sage Saunaka, Paingalopanisad by sage Paingala, and Yajnavalkyopanisad by sage Yajnavalkya. Such Upanisads are therefore named after those sages.

The great and magnificent Upanisads in Hindu philosophy are called the 'Head (or brain, crown) of the Vedas'; they are like the 'light and illumination of the Vedas', for had it not been for them the glory of the Vedas would have been reduced to mere abstract rituals and religious formalities. The Vedas are said to be revealed texts over a long period of time and are divided into three parts according to their subject matter- Karma (rituals), Upasana (worship, devotion, contemplation, honour and reverence) and Jnana (acquisition of truthful knowledge about the eternal, universal and essential Truth and Reality about existence which is the ultimate of all spiritual pursuit). The 'Karma' section involves doing elaborate rituals, doing auspicious deeds and taking righteous actions such as the doing of various fire sacrifices, observance of various sacraments, making charities, giving alms, adhering to religiously sanctioned way of life and diligently observing the codes of conduct laid out for the different spheres of life, such as the four Asramas (Brahmcaraya, Grhastha, Vanaprastha and Samnyasa Asramas) and the various classes into which the society was divided to maintain law and order (such as the Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras). In short to strictly and religiously follow the various dos and don'ts of a regulated form of life so as to prepare one for the next step which involves worship, devotion and contemplation upon his chosen deity which represents divinity and ideals selected by him. These two phases lead to the third phase-acquisition of truthful knowledge about a person's true-self as well as about the supreme Truth and the absolute Reality of this existence. The main focus of this third stage is to learn and get enlightened about what is known as the supreme transcendental cosmic consciousness called Brahma by the Upanisads, and its counterpart, the Atma, residing in the individual creature as its individual consciousness. The realisation of these two entities as being one and indivisible from one another is the main focus of the teachings of the great Upanisads, and this leads to the feeling of spiritual fulfilment and having attained liberation and deliverance from ignorance and its accompanying delusions which translates into emancipation and salvation of the soul.

The Upanisads propound and enunciate upon that pristine knowledge about spirituality, metaphysics and divine philosophy which makes Hinduism so unique and spiritually refined-an all-inclusive, open- ended, pluralistic approach which is tolerant, non-dogmatic and non- fanatical and non-bigot. They are unbiased and highly evolved intellectual exercises involving multidimensional logic, skilful rational thinking, high erudition and excellent scholarship laced with traditional wisdom and spiritualism. They are not blind and abstract dogmas but practical philosophies and guidelines to enlighten a man on his true nature and goal in life. The same basic truth has been expounded from various angles such that an aspirant or learner can understand the concept one way or the other according to his mental calibre. The various paths are open to him according to his individual temperaments and needs.

The primary purpose of the Vedas was the spiritual welfare of the man and to ensure that he breaks free form the endless cycle of birth and death (or transmigration) and find his ultimate peace and rest. This was not possible in other forms of life in this creation simply because in the entire scheme of creation it was only the man who was given the needed intelligence and decision making authority and powers to decide what is correct and good for himself and his soul. But being shrouded in the labyrinth of rituals and complicated verses which were so abstract, mystical and esoteric, the real intention was forgotten and the entire exercise was reduced to learning by rot of the thick and dense texts which became beyond the reach and comprehension, because of their complexity, of even those few who were sincerely inspired to unravel their secrets and inclined to break free from the cycle of transmigration.

Then came the legion of enlightened and wise men who had extraordinary intelligence and deep insight as well as the gift of the language to unravel these secrets for the benefit of the human kind. They learnt and became enlightened about the fundamental philosophical dimension of these Vedas, unravelled their basic ideas and intentions by deep ponderings and contemplation, proposed and tested hypothesis, applied variables corrected any errors they discovered in their thinking retraced their steps and moved ahead with the new path which stood the test of methodical, scientific and empirical experimentations. When a successful method evolved they preached it to their disciples in the worlds of the Upanisads. These doctrines enshrined in these texts are therefore a result of extensive and industrious labour, insight and research. Exponents of Upanisadic philosophy have indeed third to explain their precepts in scientific ways. The readings of these texts have had a profound psychological impact on generations after generations. They have tried to present a remedy to a world overwhelmed by misery and tumult.

 

Introduction

The 'Sivasankalpa Upanisad is a short text that appears as canto 34, verse nos. 1-6 of Sukla Yajur Veda. It describes the stupendous powers that the mind possesses. Any desire that is germinates in it difficult to rescind. So, these desires and volitions of the mind should be made pure, noble, auspicious and righteous so that their pursuit would be elevating for the soul instead of demeaning and denigrating for it. The word Siva refers to something that is pure, holy, uncorrupted, beautiful, truthful, wise and auspicious. Therefore, this Upanisad prays that one's mind be in proper shape, and it inculcates wisdom and noble thoughts, as well as be auspicious and righteous in its demeanors.

Oh Lord! Our Mind which wanders far and wide during the waking state of consciousness also does so during the dreaming state. [That is, the mind has such stupendous mystical powers that it is able to go at those places where the physical body is unable reach. The mind can reach the farthest corners of the creation in a flash. While a man is awake, it enables him to think even the unimaginable things and conceive ideas that seem incongruous, outlandish and impossible. The mind enables the man to day-dream while he is awake. At the same time, when the physical body is inactive and as good as dead as during sleep, the mind still keeps on working overtime in an imaginary world of dreams and goes from one place to another actively as if it was living in a physical world.]

It is the mind that injects life and awareness in the sense organs of the body, and it is the mind which enables them to perform their functions properly and actively. It is the mind that inspires and impels the various organs of the body to receive the different stimuli from the external world and act accordingly. Had it not been for the coaxing from the mind and the latter inspiring these organs, they would have remained inconsequential and inert, lying defunct and dormant as is evident in a dead body in which the mind has ceased to function.

The mind is certainly the entity that is the medium between the Atma, or the pure consciousness soul of the creature, and the outside world at large. [That is, the living being interacts with the world through the medium of the mind which controls all the functions of the gross organs of the body of the creature. If the mind ceases to function, the creature would lose all its bearings and would be virtually at sea, not knowing what to do and what is happening around it; it would be unable to perceive or comprehend anything. When the mind is inactive, a creature is unaware of anything because although the body and its organs have received the necessary inputs from the outside world the mind does not 'register' them, and without any record in the mind these impulses lose all their enlightening value for the creature. The mind therefore enables the creature to live intelligently in this world, and to acquire knowledge, erudition and wisdom. The mind enables the Atma to interact with the world through the organs of the body which it regulates and directs.] Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [1]

Oh Lord! Wise, erudite and sagacious sages and seers do and successfully complete great religious sacrifices as well as all kinds of righteous, auspicious and noble deeds with the help of the mind which is universally and without exception present in the body of all, and which finds prominence and importance wherever there is any religious or other activity that requires intellectual involvement. [This is because without the involvement of the mind, no intellectual activity is ever possible.] Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [2]

Oh Lord! The mind is endowed with the capacity to acquire and store the profoundest of knowledge. It is conscious and wise, erudite and skilful, intelligent and enlightened. It is blessed with the virtue of patience, resilience, fortitude, forbearance and courage. It is an embodiment of light which is present in all the creatures as the factor , that lightens up their inner self with an eternal source of illumination that dispels all their darkness and makes them wise, erudite, sagacious, skilled, expert and knowledgeable. And it is that element without which nothing can be accomplished successfully. Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [3]

Oh Lord! The mind enables a wise man to become aware of the past, the present and the future. [That is, though the past is not visible and neither is the future certain, but an intelligent application of the mind enables a person to research about the past happenings based on the present and deduce logically what might have happened long time in the past. Similarly, the mind helps the man to predict what would happen in the future based upon his experience of the present and his logical deduction of the past.] The mind is the medium by which the seven types of priests who are assigned the task of doing a fire or any other type of religious sacrifice initiate the process and see to its successful completion. [This is because they have to remember in the mind the finer details of the elaborate rituals and the exercises involved, for it is not practically feasible to go look up the voluminous religious scriptures at the time of actually doing the rituals. The hymns have to be chanted in a proper fashion, and innumerable small and big duties pertaining to a fire sacrifice have to be done with due care and diligence. This is just like a surgeon performing a surgery where he cannot afford to look up a medical book every now and then while the patient is lying on the operation table; the entire process has to be performed with the help of his intelligent mind.] Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [4]

Oh Lord! The hymns of the Vedas have their firm root in the mind (i.e. the hymns are firmly established in the mind because in earlier times the Vedas were learnt by memorizing them and transmitted from one generation to another by the oral method which required the active involvement of the mind as opposed to transmission of knowledge by the method of books). The Mantras (holy words) of the Sama and Yajur Vedas are established firmly in the mind just like the wheel has its spokes. [The hymns of these two Vedas were an integral part of sacrificial rituals, and they were used as chants while performing the actual offering to the sacrificial fire. So, they had to be well remembered so that the chants were not disrupted because someone of the priests had forgotten some verse or stanza. These recitations had to be flawless and rhythmic just like the deliverance of a dialogue in a theatrical performance. So, the mind had to be alert and well versed in them. It must be remembered that in earlier times of the Vedic period, the life of the society revolved around fire sacrifices, and any great deed and all successes were measured in terms of their contribution in such exercises. Therefore, the importance of the mind is also measured in terms of its contribution to the successful performance of the religious sacrifice.]

Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues; let it have the most auspicious and righteous of desires and aspirations. [5]

Oh Lord! Even as an expert charioteer controls the moving horses through the rein and directs them towards the desired destination, the mind too helps a man to reach his destination. The mind is free form the degenerating effects of old age that affects the body. It has great swiftness agility and activity. It is pegged to the heart (because the mid thinks of those things, that seem pleasant to the heart of a man; the heart virtually has control over the functioning of the mind).

Let such a mind of mine be steadfast and possessed of the noblest qualities and virtues let it have the auspicious and righteous of desire and aspirations.

 

Contents

 

  Part I  
  Preface VII
  A note on pronunciations XXXIX
  Key to Transliteration XLI
  Introductory XLIII
1 Isavasyopanisad 1
2 Brhadaranyakopanisad 31
  Part II  
3 Jabalopanisad 735
4 Hamsopanisad 755
5 Paramahamsopanisad 773
6 Subalopanisad 785
7 Mantrikopanisad 945
8 Niralambopanisad 979
9 Trisikhibrahmanopanisad 1013
10 Mandalabrahmanopanisad 1081
11 Advayatarakopanisad 1171
12 Paingalopanidad 1199
  Part III  
13 Bhiksukopanisad 1291
14 Turiyatitopanisad 1303
15 Adhyatmopanisad 1317
16 Tarasarpanisad 1371
17 Yajnavalkyopanisad 1389
18 Satyayaniyopanisad 1491
19 Muktikopanisad 1463
  Appendix 1: Santi Patha 1541
  Appendix 2: Madhu Sukta 1542
  Appendix 3: Purusa Sukta 1556
  Appendix 4: Surya Sukta 1564
  Appendix 5: Om and Nada 1572
  Appendix 6: Chakra and Nadis in the Body 1599
  Appendix 7: Yantra, Mantra, Tantra, Yoga and Japa 1608
  Appendix 8: Various Upanisadic concepts Explained 1664
  Appendix 9: Samnyasa 1712
  Indext of Mantras 1721
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