Sri Swami Sivananda








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The greatness and the sublimity of the Upanishads are well known to all the students of philosophy. There have been attempts to approach the books through various standpoints. Much has been written over the knotty problems of interpretation, by the Eastern and Western scholars. And yet the lay reader has not understood the central teachings fully well. Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, in his comprehensive volume The Principal Upanishads' has given exhaustive commentary on Nine Upanishads and stressed such points clearly and truly, explaining the abstruse ideas in his own inimitable style, thus laying bare the sacred doctrine not only before the eligible pupil but also the lay reader.


For the convenience of the readers, we are bringing out each Upanishad in a separate book. The present volume contains the text, translation, notes and commentary on Taittiriya upanishad.


May the abundant blessings of Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj be upon all the readers.




-The Divine Life Society





श्री गुरु-वन्दना


ॐ नमो ब्रह्मादिभ्यो ब्रह्मविद्यासंप्रदायकर्तृभ्यो वंशर्षिभ्यो महद्भ्यो नमो गुरुभ्यःसर्वोपप्लवरहितः प्रज्ञानघनः प्रत्यगर्थो ब्रह्मैवाहमस्मि ॥ १ ॥


ॐ नारायणं पद्मभवं वशिष्ठं

शक्तिं च तत्पुत्रपराशरं च ।


व्यासं शुकं गौडपदं महान्तं

गोविन्दयोगीन्द्रमथास्य शिष्यम् ॥ २ ॥


श्रीशंकराचार्यमथास्य पद्मपादं च

हस्तामलकं च शिष्यम् ।


तं तोटकं वार्तिककारमन्या-

नस्मद्गुरून्संततमानतोऽस्मि ||३||


श्रुतिस्मृतिपुराणानामालयं करुणालयम् ।

 नमामि भगवत्पादं शंकरं लोकशंकरम् ॥ ४ ॥


शंकर शंकराचार्य केशवं बादरायणम् ।

सूत्रभाष्यकृतौ वन्दे भगवन्तौ पुनः पुनः ।। ५ ।।


ईश्वरो गुरुरात्मेति मूर्तिभेदविभागिने ।

 व्योमवद्व्याप्तदेहाय दक्षिणामूर्तये नमः ।। ६ ।।













This Upanishad belongs to the Krishna yajurveda, forming part of the Taittiriya Aranyaka. The seventh, eighth and ninth Frapathakas of the Aranyaka make this Upanishad.


This is one of the important Upanishads. It enunciates some doctrines of Vedanta in an elementary form. Its texts are often quoted in the later philosophical works. The Taittiriya Upanishad contains the tenets of the Vedanta system. The notion of Brahman as the Supreme Self, and as entirely distinct from the world, is clearly defined. He is described as the source for everything. The ideas of this Upanishad are those of the other Upanishads, but they are systematically arranged here. Hindu philosophers hold this Upanishad in high estimation.


There is a wonderful tradition about the epithet, or name,Taittiriya. The great sage Yajnavalkya quarrelled with his preceptor Vaisampayana. He was asked by his Guru to return the Veda which rajnavalkya had studied under him. Yajnavalkya vomited the Yajurveda he had learnt. The other Rishis, the pupils of Vaisampayana, assumed the forms of littiris (birds, partridges), and swallowed the Veda thus thrown out or vomited. Theretore, it came to be known as laittiriya samhita.


It is divided into three sections called Vallis-(1) Siksha Valli, or  the instruction section, (2) Brahmananda Valli, or the Brahman-bliss section, and (8) Bhrigu Valli, or the Bhrigu section. These names are given from the first word of each, rather than from any signification. Sayana divides the chapters as (1) Samhiti, (2) Varuni and (3) Yajniki, according to the subject matter treated therein. (Valli literally means a creeper.)


The First Section deals with some mystic problems connected with the text, and the study of the Vedas. The preceptor gives clear instructions to the young Brahmacharins on character-building. He imparts to them rules of right conduct and right living. He places before them the moral virtues they should try to possess and develop, and the ideals of life they should cherish in order to prepare themselves for the attainment of Brahma Jana, or the knowledge of the Self.


It describes the course of instruction, and of the moral and mental training, preparatory to the initiation of the student in the science of Brahman. In short, it is the daily study of Vedas, the practice of sacred rites, and the leading of a virtuous and pious life in accordance with the precepts of the sacred scriptures, which prepare the student for the reception of the knowledge of Brahman. Though the first Valli has no connection with the other Vallis, though the first part is not necessary for the clear understanding of the doctrine, yet it is a very useful section. A preparatory course of study is needed for the aspirant. In this section alone, it is more systematically inculcated than in any other Upanishad.


The Second Section deals with the bliss of Brahman.

It contains the doctrine of the Taittiriya Upanishad itself.

It commences with the following memorial verse of the Rig-Veda, which contains the sum total of the whole Upanishad: "Whoever knows Brahman, who is Existence, Knowledge and Infinite, as dwelling within the cavity of the heart in the infinite ether, enjoys all desires at once, together, with the omniscient Brahman".


The order of creation is described in this Valli: "From the Soul (Brahman) verily sprung forth the ether, from the ether the air, from the air fire, from the fire water, from the water earth, from the earth annual herbs, from the annual herbs food, from food seed, from seed man; for man is verily the essence of food". This Valli describes that Brahman is Anandamaya, or Supreme Bliss. It deals with the knowledge of Brahman.


The Third Valli deals with the story of Bhrigu, son of Varuna, who under instructions from his father, understood Bliss as Brahman, after undergoing the penance. It gives a narrative in confirmation of the doctrine taught in the preceding Vallis. It is evident that the knowledge of Brahman is not acquired at once. There are different stages by which the aspirant approaches a clearer and clearer idea of Brahman. The means of obtaining the knowledge is the practice of Tapas or meditation. In this section only, the description of the five Kosas or sheaths is clearly given. The Vedantic doctrine of three bodies and five sheaths is directly based upon the teachings of this Upanishad.


In Arundhati Nyaya, one big star is shown first to the man, then a small star, then a smaller star, and finally, the smallest star. Even so, the instructions given in this Valli or section, take the mind from the gross to the subtle, from the subtle to the subtler, and eventually, from the subtler to the subtlest of all-the Atman or the Self, which is encased within the five sheaths.






ॐ शं नो मित्रः शं वरुणः॥ शं नो भवत्वर्यमा॥ शं न इन्द्रो बृहस्पतिः॥ शं नो विष्णुरुरुक्रमः। नमो ब्रह्मणे॥ नमस्ते वायो॥ त्वमेव प्रत्यक्षं ब्रह्मासि॥ त्वमेव प्रत्यक्षं ब्रह्म वदिष्यामि॥ ऋतं वदिष्यामि॥ सत्यं वदिष्यामि॥ तन्मामवतु। तद्वक्तारमवतु॥ अवतु माम्‌। अवतु वक्तारम्‌।ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥


।। इति प्रथमोऽनुवाकः ।।


May the Sun (Mitra) be good to us! May the Varuna be good to us! May the Sun (Aryama) be good to us! May Indra and Brihaspati be good to us! May Vishnu, of great strides , be good to us! Prostrations to Brahman! Prostrations to Thee, O Vayu! Thou indeed art the visible Brahman! I shall proclaim Thee visible Brahman; I shall call Thee the Just! I shall call Thee the True! May He protect me! May He protect the teacher! May He protect me! May He protect the teacher! Om Peace, Peace, Peace!


Notes and Commentary


Anuvaka means a subdivision of the Vedas, a section or a chapter.


The word Siksha has its general meaning of "Instruction'. But here, it has a specialised, technical meaning, the science of pronunciation'. As the first stage in the instruction concerning the Vedas, this is elaborated as the formal discipline named Siksha, the first of the six Vedangas (limbs of the Veda).


Vayu is Hiranyagarbha, or the cosmic Prana. The utterance of peace-chant propitiates Devatas. The spiritual path is rendered smooth through their grace.

All obstacles are removed. You will not forget what you have learnt. You will possess good health also by pleasing the Devatas who preside over the different organs of the body. Their favour is invoked, because it is only if they grant health, that the study of the books on wisdom can proceed without obstacles. You will have good meditation, if you repeat the peace-chant or Santi Mantra before starting your meditation. The repetition of "Om Santih' thrice is to remove the three kinds of Tapas or obstacles, Viz., the Adhyatmika (from one's self, Adhidaivika (from Devas) and Adhibhautika (from living beings).


Mitra is the presiding deity of the activity of Prana, and of the day. Varuna is the presiding deity of the activity of Apana, and the night. Aryama (the Sun) is the presiding deity of the eye, and the sun. Indra is the presiding deity of strength and hands, Brihaspati of speech and intellect. Vishnu is the presiding deity of feet.


Hiranyagarbha is visible or manifested Brahman. He is nearer than the senses, the eye, etc. May Brahman protect me by imparting knowledge to me. May the same Brahman protect the preceptor by bestowing on him ability and capacity to explain the scriptures.


As all works and their fruits are under the control of Prana (Hiranyagarbha), prostrations are offered to Thee. I call Thee the Just, because the Truth, ascertained by intelligence, study of scriptures and practice, is under your influence. I call Thee the True, because the Truth practised by speech is acquired, owing to Thy grace and influence.


[The Santi Mantra and the first Anuvaka have the same text. Hence the text and meaning of the first Anuvaka have not been repeated.]


Here ends the First Anuvaka




ॐ शीक्षां व्याख्यास्यामः। वर्णः स्वरः। मात्रा बलम्‌। साम सन्तानः। इत्युक्तः शीक्षाध्यायः॥


।। इति द्वितीयोऽनुवाकः ।।


1.    Om. We shall now explain the science of pronunciation, the letters (Varnah), the pitch of the sound or accent (Sarah), the length or measure (Matrah), the effort or strength (in the utterance of letters (Balam), modulation (Samah), and conjugation or continuity (Santanah). Thus has been explained the chapter on the science of pronunciation (phonetics or orthoepy).


Notes and Commentary


Varnah-letter, means guttural, palatal, dental and labial; Svarah -accent, means high, middle and low tunes (Udatta, etc.); Matrah- measure or length, short, long or treble length of tone known as Hrasva, Dirgha and Pluta; Balam- the effort in pronouncing; Samah_-pronouncing the letters uniformly; Santana flowing, continuity in utterance, conjunction of two letters or sounds, known as Sandhi.


Proper pronunciation of a Mantra is very necessary if you want to realise the fruits thereof. You should not repeat the Mantra in a hurried manner. If you repeat it hurriedly, for the sake of finishing a certain number of Maalas within a specified time, you may mispronounce the Mantra. The whole efficacy of the Mantra lies in its proper pronunciation or chanting. The Mantra-Sakti, or the power of a Mantra, is in the sound of the Mantra. Further, Sabda and Artha (sound and the object denoted by the sound) are inseparable. Only if the Mantra is properly pronounced, the desired object denoted by the Mantra will be attained.


Therefore, the science of pronunciation or orthoepy or phonetics, is highly necessary for the student. If he knows the principles of phonetics, he can utter the Mantra in a correct manner. So, this Upanishad begins with the chapter on phonetics, in order that the student may correctly pronounce the Mantras, that are to come in the succeeding chapters of this Upanishad.


Here ends the Second Anuvaka




सह नौ यशः। सह नौ ब्रह्मवर्चसम्‌। अथातः संहिताया उपनिषदं व्याख्यास्यामः। पञ्चस्वधिकरणेषु। अधिलोकमधिज्यौतिषमधिविद्यमधिप्रजमध्यात्मम्‌। ता महासंहिता इत्याचक्षते।


1.    The pupils say: May there be glory (fame) to us both. May the splendour (light) of Brahman (the lustre of spiritual knowledge) be on us both. The teacher says: Now we shall explain the Upanishad of the Samhita, under five headings, namely (1) concerning the worlds, (2) concerning the luminaries, (3) concerning the knowledge, (4) concerning the progeny, (5) concerning the soul. These, they say, are the great Samhitas.


Notes and Commentary


Nau- to us both, the preceptor and the pupil; Brahma- varchasam- the Vedic light, the light of Brahman, or the effulgence of spirituality, the effulgence that beams out from the face of one who is meditating on Brahman, or who has studied the Vedas; Adhilokam- knowledge concerning the worlds; Adhijyautisham- with regard to heavenly lights;

Adhividyam -with regard to knowledge; Adhiprajam- with regard to offspring or progeny; Adhyatmam- with regard to the Self.


Samhita- a conjunction of two words or letters or sound, collection of Vedic Mantras. Samhita means a union, either of letters to a word, or of words to a sentence, or of sentences to a more comprehensive composition, as expressive of the mutual connection of any idea, to which the Samhita may be referred. It means, therefore, also a collection of hymns, as the Rig-veda, etc., and is here especially meant as a collection of hymns according to each separate school. Such a Samhita is, for instance, the sentence: I-se-tva (I divide thee) where the syllable I' may represent the earth, Iva'-the heaven, 'Se'-the connection of both, and the union of all these elements to one word, the air.

Mahasamhita is, where there is a Samhita, and where the things in unity are of such comprehensiveness, as the earth, etc.


May the glory arising out of the thorough knowledge of the Samhita and other Upanishads, be to us both, the spiritual teacher and the pupil. May the effulgence of spirituality be also to us. This is the prayer of the pupil, who has not attained the summum bonum. This cannot be the prayer of the preceptor as he has already attained the summum bonum, because he alone, who has attained Self-realisation, can be the spiritual teacher.


Rules as regards the pronunciation have been taught previously. The Sruti says that we shall now explain the esoteric teaching, which is the subject of the Samhita, in reference to the five Adhikaranas, or topics of knowledge.


Those who know the Vedas call the Upanishads, that treat on these five subjects, the great Samhitas, great because they treat on matters as vast as the worlds, etc.


Knowledge of the Brahman is called Upanishad, because it destroys ignorance, the root cause for births and deaths. It takes one near Brahman and so it is called Upanishad. The book is also called Upanishad, because its subject matter is Vidya or knowledge of the Self.


Here it means the sacred teachings.


अथाधिलोकम्‌। पृथिवी पूर्वरूपम्‌। द्यौरुत्तररूपम्। आकाशः सन्धिः। वायुः सन्धानम्‌। इत्यधिलोकम्।


2.      Now with regard to the world: The earth is the first form. The heaven is the last form. The Akasa (ether) is the union. The Vayu (air) is the medium (of that union). This much as regards the world.


Notes and Commentary


Purvarupam -first form; Uttararupam- last form; Sandhi- union; Sandhanam- the medium of effecting the union.


The knowledge concerning the worlds is mentioned. The earth is the first form, i.e., the first letter. The first sound, or the first letter of a conjunction, or Samhita, should be contemplated as the earth, the last as the heaven and the middle space between the two as the sky. The Akasa means the Antariksha, the sky, the world between heaven and earth. The link or union is that which is between the first and the last forms. It is so called because the first and the last forms meet in it.


अथाधिजौतिषम्। अग्निः पूर्वरूपम्‌। आदित्य उत्तररूपम्‌। आपः सन्धिः। वैद्युतः सन्धानम्‌। इत्यधिज्यौतिषम्‌।


3.    Now, as regards the luminaries or heavenly light: Fire is the first form. The Sun is the last form. Water is the union (link). Lightning is the medium (of that union). That is concerning the lights or luminaries.


अथाधिविद्यम्। आचार्यः पूर्वरूपम्। अन्तेवास्युत्तररूपम्‌। विद्या सन्धिः। प्रवचनं सन्धानम्‌।इत्यधिविद्यम्‌।


4.    Next concerning knowledge: The spiritual preceptor is the first form. The pupil is the last form. Knowledge is the link or union. Instruction is the medium (connection or means of union). This is concerning knowledge.


अथाधिप्रजम्‌। माता पूर्वरूपम्। पितोत्तररूपम्‌। प्रजा सन्धिः। प्रजननं सन्धानम्। इत्यधिप्रजम्‌।


5.    Next, as regards progeny: The mother is the first form. The father is the last form. The progeny is the link (union, conjunction). Procreation is the medium. This is the knowledge concerning progeny.


अथाध्यात्मम्‌। अधरा हनुः पूर्वरूपम्‌।उत्तरा हनुरुत्तररूपम्‌। वाक् सन्धिः। जिह्वा सन्धानम्‌।इत्यध्यात्मम्। इतीमा महासंहिताः।


6.    Next concerning the soul: The lower jaw is the first form. The upper jaw is the last form. Speech is the union.The tongue is the medium. This is concerning the soul. These are the great Samhitas.


य एवमेता महासंहिता व्याख्याता वेद।सन्धीयते प्रजया पशुभिः।ब्रह्मवर्चसेनान्नाद्येन सुवर्ग्येण लोकेन॥


।। इति तृतीयोऽनुवाकः ।।


7.    He, who thus contemplates on these conjunctions, or these above-mentioned great Samhitas as explained, obtains progeny, cattle, the light of Brahman, all kinds of food and the world of Heaven.


Notes and Commentary


Veda- knows, here means, meditates upon.


The meditation should be done with uniform and unshakable faith. It should be done also in accordance with the instructions of the scriptures.


He, who constantly attends upon the spiritual preceptor with Bhava and faith, is said to be engaged in Upasana on the Guru. He gets the fruit of his service. He who meditates on the great Samhitas obtains the fruits, progeny, cattle, etc.


The mind of the pupil is trained and disciplined by the above five kinds of meditation. The mind is fixed on gross objects to begin with. Then it is fixed on subtle and subtler objects. The mind is thus rendered sharp, subtle and one-pointed. Eventually, it is rendered fit for contemplation on the subtlest Atman, the innermost Self of all beings.


Here ends the Third Anuvaka




यश्छन्दसामृषभो विश्वरूपः। छन्दोभ्योऽध्यमृतात् संबभूव। स मेन्द्रो मेधया स्पृणोतु। अमृतस्य देव धारणो भूयासम्‌।शरीरं मे विचर्षणम्‌। जिह्वा मे मधुमत्तमा।कर्णाभ्यां भूरि विश्रुवम्‌।ब्रह्मणः कोशोऽसि मेधया पिहितः।श्रुतं मे गोपाय।


1.    May He, who is the supreme among all Devas, who is of cosmic form, who has been born of the immortal Vedas, who is the Lord of all, strengthen me with wisdom. May I become the possessor of wisdom that leads to immortality. May my body be fit (for meditation). May my tongue become extremely sweet. May I hear much with my ears. Thou art the sheath of Brahman, enveloped by intelligence (worldly knowledge). May Thou protect what I have heard.


Notes and Commentary


In this section are given the hymns for prayer, and the hymns for offering oblations for obtaining wisdom and wealth. This is an invocation of the disciple to Pranava or Om, the symbol or Pratika of Brahman, the Mother of all the Vedas, for the benediction of knowledge and worldly possessions.


Some commentators have taken this as a prayer to



Visvarupa- having all or various forms, because Om runs through all speech. It is immanent in all articulate and inarticulate sounds. Rishabha chief, bull, he who is like the bull among the Vedas, i.e., supreme or pre-eminent; this is Om.


Om is the most powerful syllable of the Vedas. It is the essence extracted from all the Vedas. It is a name of Brahman also. Therefore, the sacred syllable Om is pre-eminent or excellent. The monosyllable is the object of meditation here. It is quite proper to praise Om as 'excellent' or 'pre-eminent'. Om is identical with Brahman. Om surpasses the nectar, that is, the Vedas. Om is the essence of the Vedas. Prajapati (Brahma) performed penance in order to find out which was the best among the worlds, the Devas, the Vedas and the Vyahritis. Om presented itself before Him as being the most excellent. Om is a safe boat to cross the ocean of ignorance. One can realise Brahman through the help of Om. Om is the image or symbol of Brahman. Brahman is obtained with the help of Om. Om is the Lord of all, because it can bestow anything desired.


Sprinotu- may strengthen. May Om, the Lord of all, strengthen me with wisdom. Knowledge of Brahman alone can give real strength and courage. Amritasya- of the immortal (knowledge of Brahman), of the knowledge of the Brahman which is the cause of immortality. This section deals with Brahma-Jnana, or knowledge of the Self.


May my body become fit for meditation. There is a change from the third to the first person. May my tongue become extremely sweet, i.e., may I speak sweet words, may I be sweet in speech. The body and the senses should be quite fit, healthy and strong. Then only, acquisition of the knowledge of the Self is possible.


Just as the scabbard is the sheath of the sword, so also Om is the sheath of Brahman. Om is veiled, i.e., hidden by worldly knowledge. Om is the shrine of Brahman covered by intelligence. Om is the sheath of Brahman enveloped by common understanding. The meaning is, Om or Brahman is not revealed to ordinary intellects.


Srutam- me gopaya- protect what I have heard. Srutam - that which is heard (by me). Me, Maya- by me. Gopaya protect, help me in retaining, make it useful and fruitful, protect the knowledge of Brahman I have learnt by hearing, make me not forget what I have learnt.


The next verse contains hymns for offering oblations into the fire, for one who wishes to possess wealth.


आवहन्ती वितन्वाना। कुर्वाणा चीरमात्मनः। वासांसि मम गावश्च। अन्नपाने च सर्वदा। ततो मे श्रियमावह।लोमशां पशुभिः सह स्वाहा। आ मा यन्तु ब्रह्मचारिणः स्वाहा। वि मायन्तु ब्रह्मचारिणः स्वाहा। प्रमायन्तु ब्रह्मचारिणः स्वाहा। दमायन्तु ब्रह्मचारिणः स्वाहा। शमायन्तु ब्रह्मचारिणः स्वाहा। यशो जनेऽसानि स्वाहा। श्रेयान्‌ वस्यसोऽसानि स्वाहा। तं त्वा भग प्रविशानि स्वाहा। स मा भग प्रविश स्वाहा। तस्मिन् त्सहस्रशाख। नि भगाहं त्वयि मृजे स्वाहा। यथापः प्रवता यन्ति। यथा मासा अहर्जरम्‌। एवं मां ब्रह्मचारिणः। धातरायन्तु सर्वतः स्वाहा। प्रतिवेशोऽसि। प्र मा भाहि। प्र मा पद्यस्व।


॥ इति चतुर्थोऽनुवाकः ।।


2.    She who brings, increases and preserves my clothes, cattle, food and drink in plenty, and does these quickly and for all time, the Goddess of wealth, then bring me sheep, goats and cattle, Svaha. May the Brahmacharins come to me, Svaha. May the Brahmacharins come to me from every side, Svaha. May the Brahmacharins come to me in large numbers, Svaha. May the Brahmacharins control their senses, Svaha. May the Brahmacharins become calm in mind, Svaha. May I become famous among men, Svaha. May I become the best among the wealthy, Svaha. O Lord, may I enter into Thee, Svaha. May Thou O Lord, enter into me, Svaha. In Thee, of thousand branches, may I become well cleansed, O Lord, Svaha.


Just as the waters run to a lower level, just as the months run towards the year, so also, O Lord, may the Brahmacharins come to me from all sides, Svaha. Thou art my resting place. May Thou enlighten me. May I attain Thee.


Notes and Commentary


These Mantras are uttered when the oblations are poured into the sacrificial fire. The address is to the sacred syllable, Om. The student prays for such wealth as described above. The student says: "After giving me wisdom, bring me wealth, together with sheep, goats and cattle". With 'Svaha', each oblation is offered.


Kurvana- doing, that is fulfilling soon. Atmanah-to me. Sahasra sakhe- of thousand branches or divisions, all the different Mantras are regarded as different branches, or divisions or expressions, of the sacred syllable, Om. Nibhagaham tvayi-mrije- in Thee of many branches, may I become cleansed, that is, purify myself from my sins, by the repetition or chanting of Om. Tam tva bhaga pravisani may I enter Thee, O Lord and become one with Thee. Sa ma bhaga pravisa Thou too, O Lord, enter me, may we become one. Aharjaram- into the years. Aharjara means a year, either because it makes the world old by rolling day by day, or because the day is worn out in it. Dhatah- preserver of the worlds, ordainer of all things, dispenser of all. Prativesa- resort, a resting place, a place in which those who take shelter in Thee, free themselves from their sins. Therefore, O Pranava, enlighten me. Take me into Thee. Absorb me into Thee. Make me one with Thee, as a metal coated with mercury, just as salt becomes one with water.


One can do virtuous actions with the aid of wealth. Virtuous actions will destroy sins. Knowledge dawns when the sins are destroyed. The Smriti also says: "Wisdom arises in men when their sins are destroyed. They realise the supreme Self, Paramatman, in themselves, just as one sees his face in a clean mirror".


Here ends the FourthAnuvaka




भूर्भुवः सुवरिति वा एतास्तिस्रो व्याहृतयः। तासामु ह स्मैतां चतुर्थीम्‌। माहाचमस्यः प्रवेदयते।

मह इति। तत्‌ ब्रह्म। स आत्मा। अङ्गान्यन्या देवताः। भूरिति वा अयं लोकः। भुव इत्यन्तरिक्षम्‌। सुवरित्यसौ लोकः। मह इत्यादित्यः। आदित्येन वाव सर्वे लोका महीयन्ते। भूरिति वा अग्निः। भुव इति वायुः। सुवरित्यादित्यः ंअह इति चन्द्रमाः। चन्द्रमसा वाव सर्वाणि ज्योती षि महीयन्ते।

भूरिति वा ऋचः।भुव इति सामानि।सुवरिति यजू षि। मह इति ब्रह्म। ब्रह्मणा वाव सर्वे वेदा महीयन्ते। भूरिति वै प्राणः। भुव इत्यपानः। सुवरिति व्यानः। मह इत्यन्नम्‌। अन्नेन वाव सर्वे प्राणा महीयन्ते। ता वा एताश्चतस्रश्चतुर्ध। चतस्रश्चतस्रो व्याहृतयः। ता यो वेद।स वेद ब्रह्म। सर्वेऽस्मै देवा बलिमावहन्ति।


।। इति पञ्चमोऽनुवाकः ।।


1, 2 & 3. Bhuh, Bhuvah, Suvah-these three are the three sacred interjections or utterances (Vyahritis). Mahachamasya taught a fourth, viz., Mahah, which is Brahman, which is the Atman. The other Devatas (gods) are its limbs.


Bhuh is this world. Bhuvah is the sky. Suvah is the next world. Mahah is the sun. It is by the sun that all the worlds are nourished.


Bhuh is fire. Bhuvah is air. Suvah is the sun. Mahah is the moon. It is by the moon that all the luminaries thrive.


Bhuh is the Rik. Bhuvah is the Saman. Suvah is the Yajus. Mahah is Brahman (the syllable Om). It is by Brahman that the Vedas thrive.


Bhuh is Prana. Bhuvah is Apana. Suvah is Vyana. Mahah is food. It is by food that Pranas thrive.


These four above-said are fourfold, and the four Vyahritis are four each. He who knows these, knows the Brahman. All Devas (gods) carry offerings unto him.


Notes and Commentary


The mode of meditation, which was the subject of the Samhita, was first dealt with. Then there was the description of the hymns or Mantras, meant for those who desire wisdom and wealth.

These Mantras ultimately lead to the attainment of knowledge. Now, in this section, the Sruti teaches the secret of meditation on Brahman, in the shape of the Vyahritis. One can attain Self-realisation, by meditating on the Vyahritis.


This Mahah was discovered by Mahachamasyah, the son of Mahachamasa. Remembering the name of the seer is an essential part of the meditation. This Vyahriti Mahah is Brahman, for Brahman is Mahat (great) and the Vyahriti is Mahah. Further, it is the Atman covering all. The word Atman comes from the root, Vya- ‘to cover', because the Vyahriti Mahah includes all the other Vyahritis. In the shape of the sun, the moon, Brahman and food, it includes all the worlds, the luminaries, the Vedas and the Pranas. Therefore, the other gods are its limbs or members.


Among the worlds, heaven, etc., are only limbs of Mahah. That is the reason it is stated that the worlds, etc., thrive by the sun. It is by the soul that the limbs thrive.


Besides the three Vyahritis Bhuh, Bhuvah, Suvah, there is a fourth Vyahriti named Mahah. The four Vyahritis should be meditated upon in four different ways. Therefore, there are, in all, four times four, i.e., sixteen aspects of the Vyahritis.


He who knows the Vyahritis, as described above, knows Brahman. All Devas, being his limbs, adore the knower when he becomes one with the self-luminous, all-blissful supreme Self, Brahman.


Here ends the Fifth Anuvaka




स य एषोऽन्तरहृदय आकाशः। तस्मिन्नयं पुरुषो मनोमयः। अमृतो हिरण्मयः। अन्तरेण तालुके। य एष स्तन इवावलम्बते।सेन्द्रयोनिः। यत्रासौ केशान्तो विवर्तते। व्यपोह्य शीर्षकपाले। भूरित्यग्नौ प्रतितिष्ठति।भुव इति वायौ। सुवरित्यादित्ये। मह इति ब्रह्मणि। आप्नोति स्वाराज्यम्। आप्नोति मनसस्पतिम्‌। वाक्पतिश्चक्षुष्पतिः।श्रोत्रपतिर्विज्ञानपतिः। एतत्ततो भवति। आकाशशरीरं ब्रह्म। सत्यात्मप्राणारामं मनानन्दम्‌।शान्तिसमृद्धममृतम्। इति प्राचीनयोग्योपास्व॥


।। इति षष्ठोऽनुवाकः ।।


The nature of the entity to be meditated, the path by which Brahman can be attained, the fruits of meditation, and the way to meditate, are explained in this Anuvaka.


In the fifth Anuvaka, the object to be meditated is a symbol, the Vyahriti, regarded as the worlds, etc. In this sixth Anuvaka, the object of contemplation is Brahman, formed of thought and endowed with other attributes. In the former case, the fruit of meditation is The Devas offer tribute'. In the latter case, the meditator attains Lordship or independent sovereignty, also the fruits of meditation of the Vyahriti. In Agni, as Bhuh, he becomes established. The two together constitute one Upasana.


1 & 2. Here, in this space within the heart, resides the Purusha consisting of mind (Manomaya), immortal and resplendent.


Between the two palates, that which hangs down like the breast (the uvula) that is the birth-place of Indra, (ie., the path to the attainment of Indra, ie., Brahman), where the root of hair splits up, dividing the two regions of the skull.


He resides in fire as Bhuh, in air as Bhuvah, in the sun as Suvah, in Brahman as Mahah. He Himself becomes the Lord (of all the gods). He becomes the Lord of the mind, the Lord of speech, the Lord of the eyes, the Lord of the ears and the Lord of intellect. Then, he becomes this- -Brahman who has space (ether) for his body, whose nature is Truth, who sports in life (Prana), whose mind is bliss, who is full of peace, who is immortal.


Thus, do thou, O Prachinayogya (worthy descendant of the ancients, man of the ancient Yoga), meditate on Him.


Notes and Commentary


In the fifth lesson, the contemplation of the lower gods has been taught. The sixth lesson deals with the contemplation of Brahman. Between the two palates, there is the uvula which hangs like the breast. It is the seat of Indra. There exists the root of hair after separating the two parietal bones of the skull. The right and left sides of the interior of the mouth, situated just above the root of the tongue are called the Talukas, the throats, two pillars.


Antahhridaye -within the heart. Purusha- He is called Purusha, because he is lying in this Puri, or city of body, or he pervades the worlds. Manomaya- endued with mind, full of mind, full of the knowing powers of the mind. Manas is knowledge, from the root, man- 'to know'. Manomaya means full of knowledge, because He is known by knowledge, or Manas is that by which one thinks. Manomaya means 'made of Manas', because He is the presiding deity of the mind, or because He is indicated by it, and He identifies Himself with the Manas, or because the soul is manifested through Manas. Those who take to meditation, have to meditate with the Manas or mind.


Ayam purusho manomayah- this Purusha or soul, who is formed of thought. Hiranmayah- of golden effulgence, resplendent. The aspirant finds it easy to meditate on Brahman, as a flame of light located in the cavity of the heart (Jyotir-dhyana). Akasa sariram -having space or ether for body, or having a body which is subtle as space. Satyatma -one whose nature is Truth. Pranaramam- revelling in life, or in whom others revel or sport. Mana-anandam one whose mind is ever-bliss. Santi-samriddham full of peace, rich in peace. Amritam- immortal, deathless. Indra- here it means Brahman. Prachinayogya- one who has prepared himself for meditation on Brahman, by washing his sins by performing the obligatory rites, the Nitya and the Naimittika Karmas prescribed in the former section.


It has been said that the Devatas represented by Bhu, Bhuvah and Suvah are the limbs or parts of Brahman, the Hiranyagarbha represented by Mahah, the fourth Vyahriti. The cavity of the heart is His abode, just as the stone Salagram is the seat of Vishnu. When you meditate on Brahman in the heart, you perceive Him directly as a fruit in the palm of your hand.


Brahman pervades the whole body. It is difficult for beginners to concentrate on the all-pervading Brahman. So, the Rishis have prescribed the cavity of the heart as His seat, to enable the young aspirants to fix their mind on Brahman in the heart. This practice of concentration in the heart will be easy for them. Further, the heart is the vital center in man. It is the seat of life and is full of arteries. Therefore, it is regarded as the most suitable place of meditation on Brahman. This is a kind of Pratika Upasana. This sort of meditation on Brahman is known as Dahara Vidya and Sandilya Vidya (vide Chhandogya Upanishad VIII-1 and 2 and III-14).


There is a cavity within the heart like that within the pot. Many Nadis open into the heart. The heart is like the lotus with its head downward. Here resides the Purusha. Brahman is meditated as residing in the cavity of the heart. He is the knower, the Lord of all. He is the Atman of the knower who beholds Him in the heart.


How a Yogi leaves his body at the time of death, is described here. A very important Nadi, known as Sushumna Nadi, opens out above the heart. This Nadi runs in the middle, between the two palates. This Nadi is the path to reach Indra, the lower Brahman. It is the way to the realisation of Brahman. The Yogi enters into the Sushumna Nadi with the help of Udana Vayu, and leaves this body, having burst open the skull. Penetrating into this Nadi, the mind becomes one-pointed, and is then able to realise immediately, the Supreme Self, the Paramatman. The Sushumna Nadi is the abode of the Supreme Lord. It is the path by which to attain immortality. The Yogi practises Khechari Mudra, blocks the posterior nasal openings with his long tongue, suspends the breath and takes the Prana to the Brahmarandhra, the opening at the top of the head. He becomes Brahman. Saguna Brahman is meant here. The Yogi who leaves the body, having burst open the skull, becomes one with Hiranyagarbha. This is the path of Devayana.


He who knows the path of Sushumna, and sees the Atman goes out through the head, and resides in fire, who presides over this world as Vyahriti Bhuh, and who is a part of Brahman. He covers the whole world. Similarly, he resides in the air and in the sun. When he becomes the Atman of all, the senses of every being belong to him.


In this world, he who is himself a king, is said to be a Svaraj, an independent Lord. Even so, he who meditates on Brahman becomes such a king. He attains Lordship or kingship over mind, intellect, speech, ear, eye, etc. All gods pay homage to him. He attains the powers which Agni, Vayu and Aditya (the sun) possess. By meditation on the fourth Vyahriti, he becomes established in Brahman, abiding in the Brahmaloka or Satyaloka. He attains the power of that Brahman. He himself becomes the Lord of Agni and other subordinate gods. As he is their king, it is said that all the Devas offer tribute to him. As he has attained the state of the universal soul, he becomes the Lord of the mind, intellect, speech, eye and ear of all beings.


Meditate on Brahman as possessing the qualities described above. This is the instruction of the spiritual preceptor, Mahachamasya, in order to awaken reverence in the pupil who is Prachinayogya. This exhortation of the preceptor reveals the high esteem he cherishes for the truth here taught.




The main object of the Sruti is to teach that all is indeed Brahman. The aspirant is taken step by step to the realisation of the highest goal, i.e., all is Brahman only. Meditation on Brahman in the form of the Vyahriti has been already explained. Meditation on the same Brahman in the form of the Panktas, beginning with the earth (represented by the fivefold world, the five presiding deities and the fivefold sphere, referring to the soul), is explained in this section.


पृथिव्यन्तरिक्षं द्यौर्दिशोऽवान्तरदिशः अग्निर्वायुरादित्यश्चन्द्रमा नक्षत्राणि। आप ओषधयो वनस्पतय आकाश आत्मा। इत्यधिभूतम्‌ ऽथाध्यात्मम्‌। प्राणो व्यानोऽपान उदानः समानः। चक्षुः श्रोत्रं मनो वाक्त्वक्। चर्मं मांसं स्नावास्थि मज्जा। एतदधिविधायर्षिरवोचत्‌। पाङ्क्तं वा इदं सर्वम्‌। पाङ्क्तेनैव पाङ्क्तं स्पृणोतीति॥


।। इति सप्तमोऽनुवाकः ।।


1.    The earth, the sky (interspace, mid-region, Antariksham), the heaven, (the main) quarters, and the intermediate quarters; the fire, the air, the sun, the moon, and the stars; the waters, the herbs, the forest trees, space and the Atman- thus far (so much) regarding creatures or all living beings (Iti Adhibhutam). 


Now, as regards the soul (Adhyatmam). The Prana, the Vyana, the Apana, the Udana and the Samana; the eyes, the ears, the mind, the speech and the touch; the skin, the flesh, the muscle, the bone and the marrow.  


After having analysed all this (fivefold arrangement of the worlds, the gods, beings, Pranas, senses and elements of the body), the seer (the Rishi) declared; "All this is Pankta (fivefold). He sustains (strengthens the Pankta by the Pankta itself".


Notes and Commentary


The Vedic texts declare: "A collection of five words is

Pankti and the sacrifice is Pankta". Therefore, all

commencing with the worlds and ending with the soul, are determined to be Pankta. This is regarded as sacrifice (worship). By the performance of the sacrifice, one attains Brahman in the nature of the Pankta. [Pankta is a Vedic metre consisting of five feet (Padas) of eight syllables each]. To regard this whole universe as the Pankta, as made up of the fivefold groups of objects, such as the earth etc., is tantamount to regarding it as a Yajna, sacrificial rite, itself.


The earth, the sky, the heaven, the primary quarters and the intermediate quarters constitute the Lokapankta, a collection of five worlds. Fire, air, the sun, the moon and the stars constitute the collection of the five Devatas. The waters, the herbs, the forest-trees, space and the Atman, constitute the collection of the five living beings (Bhutas). The Atman here means the Virat, the universal soul, manifesting Himself in the form of the visible, physical world. The collection of five objects that are external and gross is described (Adhibhuta).


Beginning with Prana is the collection of the five vital airs. Beginning with the eyes' is the collection of the five senses. Beginning with the skin is the collection of the five primary fluids of the body (Dhatu). Those concern the soul. Here is the collection of five objects, internal and subtle.


The Rishi, that is the Veda, or the seer, who attained a realisation of the same, after having analysed the whole of the objective world, classified it as fivefold, under the two divisions of Adhibhuta and Adhyatma.


All this is Pankta, i.e., fivefold by nature. The external collections of five are strengthened, or sustained, or filled by the internal collections of five (those that pertain to the soul). The two divisions are united under one heading. They are known as one and the same. One should regard the internal group as one with the external. He, who meditates all that is Pankta, becomes one with Brahman, Prajapati.


Here ends the SeventhAnuvaka






ओमिति ब्रह्म। ओमितीदं सर्वम्‌।ओमित्येतदनुकृतिर्ह स्म वा अप्यो श्रावयेत्याश्रावयन्ति।ओमिति सामानि गायन्ति। ओं शोमिति शस्त्राणि शंसन्ति।ओमित्यध्वर्युः प्रतिगरं प्रतिगृणाति। ओमिति ब्रह्मा प्रसौति। ओमित्यग्निहोत्रमनुजानाति।ओमिति ब्राह्मणः प्रवक्ष्यन्नाह ब्रह्मोपाप्नवानीति।ब्रह्मैवोपाप्नोति॥


।। इत्यष्टमोऽनुवाकः ।।


1.    Om is Brahman. All this is Om. This Om is used (uttered) to indicate consent. By uttering Om, they begin chanting (reciting). With Om, they sing the Samans (Sama songs). 'Om Som'-they say, and recite the Sastras (tell the prayers). 'Om'-thus the officiating priest (Adhvaryu) says his answer. With Om, Brahma (a principal priest) makes his assent. Om-thus one permits the offering of an oblation to fire. May I obtain the Vedas (Brahman) -thinks Brahma, and says Om, before he begins to recite the Vedas; and he does obtain the Vedas (Brahman).


Notes and Commentary


The Sruti has taught the meditation of Brahman first in the form of the Vyahriti utterance, and subsequently in the form of Panktas, fivefold groups. The meditation of the syllable Om which is an accessory to all kinds of worship, which forms the necessary preliminary to all kinds of meditation, is explained in this Anuvaka or lesson.


The seventh lesson is intended for the lowest type of aspirants who are endowed with gross intellect. The form of meditation is gross. Meditation on Brahman, as manifested in the form of earth and other visible gross forms, is taught there. The sixth lesson is intended for the middling class of aspirants, where meditation of Brahman, manifested in the subtler forms of Manas and the like, is taught. This eighth lesson is meant for the highest class of aspirants. Meditation of pure Brahman, as declared in the Vedanta and indicated by Pranava, is taught here.


Though the syllable Om is a mere sound, it forms indeed a means of attaining the higher or the lower Brahman. It is, verily, the abode or image of the higher as well as the lower Brahman, just as an idol is the abode or image of Vishnu. The Sruti says: By this means alone, he goes to one of them' (Prasna Up. V-2).


You should meditate on the syllable Om as being Brahman, in the form of a word, because Om is this all, all words are covered by the syllable Om. Pranava or Om is held by all in high esteem. Om is a mere sound. It is insentient in itself and, therefore, cannot be conscious of the worship offered to it and yet, as in the case of worship offered to an idol, the Lord is quite aware of the action of the worshipper. He dispenses the fruits to him.


Om is Brahman. Om is the entire universe. The singers of Sama songs, called Udgatris, sing with Om. With 'Om Som', they recite prose verses. 'Om', the Adhvary utters words of encouragement. When the Hotri has recited the hymns, the Adhvaryu addresses them a word of encouragement, known as Pratigara. When uttering the word of encouragement, the Adhvaryu utters Om. Everyone, who is desirous of performing a Vedic rite, utters Om in the beginning when any Mantra is uttered loudly. Chanting Om the Brahma priest extracts Soma juice. By uttering Om he orders



Being asked 'Shall I offer oblation?', he says Om and assents to the oblation to the fire. As any action begun with the word Om is fruitful, the sacred syllable Om, or the Pranava, should be meditated upon as Brahman.


"As all leaves are fast bound in the stalk, so is all speech fast bound in the syllable Om. The syllable Om is all this" (Chh. Up. II-23-i). Just as the Vata, Asvattha and other fig leaves are pervaded by fibres running through them, so is the whole speech or every form of sound, pervaded by the syllable Om.


As all that which is named is dependent upon the name, all that you see is said to be the syllable Om. Just as Brahman is the basis for everything, so Om is the basis for all sounds and speech.


Pronounce the syllable Om, the designation of Brahman. Do Japa of Om. Sing Om. Chant Om. While doing so, meditate on Brahman denoted by Om.


In Om, all this universe made up of names and forms is comprehended. All objects are included in Om through the words denoting them. As Om is present in everything, it can be the designation or symbol of Brahman who is also present in everything.


Thus ends the Eighth Anuvaka




It is said that one attains independence by mere knowledge. So one may think that the works enjoined in the Sruti and the Smriti are of no avail. This Anuvaka treats of works, in order to show that they are means of attaining the end of man.


It is stated in the eighth lesson that one should meditate on Brahman by means of Pranava, Om. One may think that it highest goal can be reached by Upasana alone, and that the works are of no use. This Anuvaka teaches that the performance of duties should be combined with the Upasana. If the duties are neglected, the Upasana cannot produce the desired effect.


These duties are prescribed for an Upasaka who cannot meditate constantly, who has some impurities in the mind. He who knows Brahman has nothing to do with works. It is not possible to perform Agnihotra by one who meditates incessantly. But, he will have to practise control of the body, the senses and the mind.


ऋतं च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च।सत्यं च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च।तपश्च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च। दमश्च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च।शमश्च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च। अग्नयश्च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च। अग्निहोत्रं च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च। अतिथयश्च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च मानुषं च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च।प्रजा च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च।प्रजनश्च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च।प्रजातिश्च स्वाध्यायप्रवचने च।सत्यमिति सत्यवचा राथीतरः।तप इति तपोनित्यः पौरुशिष्टिः।स्वाध्यायप्रवचने एवेति नाको मौद्‌गल्यः।तद्धि तपस्तद्धि तपः।


।। इति नवमोऽनुवाकः ।।


1.    Right action (justice), the study and the teaching of the Vedas, ought to be practised. Similarly, Truth, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; penance, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; control of the senses, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; tranquility, the Study and the teaching of the Vedas; the (three holy) fires, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; offering to fires, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; (the entertaining of the guests, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; (the performance of human duties, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; children, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; procreation, the study and the teaching of the Vedas; propagation of the race, the study and the teaching of the Vedas (ought to be practised). Satyavachas, the son of Rathitara, holds that Truth alone is necessary (should be practised). Taponitya, the son of Purusishta, holds that Penance only is necessary (should be practised). Naka, the son of Mudgala, holds that the study and the teaching of the Vedas only are necessary (should be practised); that verily is penance; aye, that verily is penance.


Notes and Commentary


Ritam- -the right (action); justice; truthfulness in thought; right knowledge. Svadhyaya- study of the Vedas. Pravachana- lecture, discourse, teaching of the Vedas, loud chanting of the Vedas, the daily ceremony named Brahma Yajna, a daily solemn recitation of Vedas. Tapas- penance, the performance of Krichhra Vrata, fasting and other kinds of bodily mortification. Damah- control of the senses. Samah- tranquility, serenity of the mind born of self-control, control of the mind. Manusham- worldly duties should be performed, performance of duties towards humanity; social duties such as marriage, etc. Praja- progeny, offspring, he should perform Garbhadana and other sacramental rites antedecent to child-bearing. Prajanana sexual intercourse during the periods. Prajati- the begetting of a grandson, that is the son ought to be married, the propagation of the race through children's children by getting the sons married. Satyavachah that is whose speech is truth, or who is named Satyavachah. Taponityah who is regular in penance, or whose name is Taponityah.


In this Anuvaka, the Sruti emphasises that the study of the Vedas must be combined with the practice of the prescribed duties, viz., the Nitya and Naimittika Karmas. A great emphasis has also been laid upon the study and the teaching of the Vedas. The duties of one who is desirous of the Vedic study, are that he must study the Vedas, and teach them to the religious students throughout his life. He must be righteous and truthful. He should control his senses and worship the Lord. He should kindle the fires, perform Agnihotra, serve and honour guests. He should perform his social duties properly. He should produce children and bring them up. The performance of duties, enjoined by the Srutis and the Smritis, is really a help to the attainment of the highest ends.


With all the above-mentioned duties, one ought to pay special attention to the study and the teaching of the Vedas. That is the reason "the study and the teaching of the Vedas" is repeated in each clause. The knowledge of the Vedas can really be acquired only by the proper study of the Vedas, and the supreme consummation or the highest good depends on that knowledge. The teaching of the Vedas is to help us in not forgetting it and also to increase virtue or merit (Dharma). The knowledge becomes perfect, and indelibly impressed by the teaching of the Vedas to others. The dissemination of spiritual knowledge is the highest Dharma of man. It is the highest form of charity also, as it helps to destroy the human sufferings, in toto, by eradicating ignorance.

Therefore, the study and the teaching of the Vedas is of supreme importance. The study and the teaching of the Vedas constitutes in itself a penance. It is called here as the highest Tapas.


The last portion of the verse describes the different views of the sages. The son of Rathitara attaches greatest importance to Truth. The son of Purusishta is of the opinion that penance is the best of all. Naka, son of Mudgala, holds that the study and the teaching of the Vedas are most essential. Having set forth the different views, the verse concludes that the austerities are most important of all.


The repetition of Truth', Penance' and the 'Study and the teaching of the Vedas', though they have been already mentioned, is to inspire or create special regard for them.


Here ends the NinthAnuvaka




The ninth lesson treats of right thinking and other virtuous acts. The tenth lesson, which treats of wisdom or spiritual experiences, comes after the ninth lesson. From this, we may conclude that divine visions, intuitive knowledge of Truth, which leads to Moksha, occur to him who is free from desires, who is thirsting for knowledge and who is engaged in the performance of the obligatory duties which are enjoined in the Srutis and the Smritis.

Knowledge which reveals Brahman, dawns in him untaught. By repeating this Mantra, even persons who have not learnt the Vedas, owing to dullness of intellect or other causes, and therefore, are not competent for Brahma Yajna, can reap the fruits of Brahma Yajna.


अहं वृक्षस्य रेरिवा। कीर्तिः पृष्ठं गिरेरिव।ऊर्ध्वपवित्रो वाजिनीव स्वमृतमस्मि। द्रविणं सवर्चसम्‌। सुमेधा अमृतोक्षितः। इति त्रिशङ्कोर्वेदानुवचनम्।


।। इति दशमोऽनुवाकः ।।


1.    I am the mover (cutter) of the tree (of Samsara). My fame is like the mountain's peak. Supremely pure am I. I am the very Immortal One, as He is in the Sun. I am the lustrous wealth. I am of great wisdom, immortal, undecaying. So runs Trisanku's teaching of wisdom.


Notes and Commentary


The Sruti speaks of the realisation of Trisanku, a Rishi. The recitation of the hymn is intended for the acquisition of knowledge of the Self (Brahma Jana).


Vrikshasya- (Samsara Vrikshasya) of the tree of Samsara. Reriva- mover, starter. Prishtam- top, peak. Vajini- in the sun. Dravinam- -wealth. Savarchasam- resplendent, effulgent, luminous. Sumedha Asmi- I am endowed with great wisdom. Amritokshitah- immortal, undecaying. It may also mean he is sprinkled with nectar, or soaked with Amrita or the waters of immortality. Veda-anuvachana - Veda repetition, the interpretation of the Vedas; the teaching of the supreme knowledge. The whole paragraph is a preparatory invocation for the study of the Vedas. It should be recited before the daily reading of the Veda for the object of obtaining knowledge.


This world is compared to a tree (vide Bhagavad Gita XV-1, Katha Up. VI-4). The tree referred to is Asvattha which means that which is not to last till tomorrow'.


The world which we live in, is impermanent and illusory. This world is compared to a tree, because it is perishable like a tree. It can be cut, from its very root, by the axe of knowledge of the Self. Trisanku, a sage who attained Self-realisation, says that he has destroyed the world by the knowledge of the Atman. It may mean also, I am the mover of the tree of Samsara, being the soul within.'


The glory of a sage is indescribable. It is of the highest kind. Even gods give offering to him and obey his commands. That is the reason Trisanku says: 'My fame is like the mountain's peak'.


"I am the very immortal one who is said to abide in the sun. I am as pure as the immortal abiding in the sun." This refers to the Savitri Purusha, the manifestation of Brahman in the sun.


The knowledge of Brahman dawns by itself in one who performs the obligatory duties, in accordance with the injunctions of the Srutis and Smritis, who is free from attachment, desire and egoism, and who is longing for the final emancipation. Knowledge arises in him, whose mind has been purified by Svadhyaya, recitation of the sacred texts.


Knowledge of Brahman is Savarchasam. It is luminous as it illumines Brahman. Just as a lamp reveals the existence of an object, so also the light of knowledge of the Self reveals Brahman. It is wealth because it is the cause of the bliss of salvation, as wealth is the cause of worldly pleasures. Just as wealth removes the worldly wants and miseries to some extent, so also the knowledge of Brahman removes all miseries of life totally.


Knowledge of Brahman is inexhaustible, divine wealth. Divine wealth is lustrous, i.e., vigorous, because of its power to destroy Samsara or ignorance.


Brahman is the supreme purifier, because He frees the thirsting aspirant from Samsara, or the wheel of births and deaths. When the aspirant is purified, he becomes the pure Brahman.


The Rishi Trisanku had seen in his divine vision, this Mantra which describes his spiritual experiences. The recitation of this Mantra leads to purity and spiritual progress. He who yearns for the final emancipation, should daily repeat this Mantra with faith and devotion.


"May I possess the inexhaustible wealth of Brahma intellectual Jnana. May I be endowed with the vigorous and clear power of clearly comprehending the teachings of the scriptures which expound Brahma Jana. May I then be soaked with the ambrosia of Brahmic bliss, the sacred waters of immortality


According to the Rishi Trisanku, the recitation of this Mantra constitutes the austerity of Vedic recitation, known as Brahma Yajna. The aspirant should recite this daily with faith and devotion.


Thus ends the Tenth Anuvaka






Now comes the final instruction, which the students in those days received when they completed their study under the preceptor.

This corresponds to the convocational address of modern times, delivered at the Universities to students who are given their degrees at the end of their studies.


वेदमनूच्याचार्योऽन्तेवासिनमनुशास्ति। सत्यं वद। धर्मं चर। स्वाध्यायान्मा प्रमदः। आचार्याय प्रियं धनमाहृत्य प्रजातन्तुं मा व्यवच्छेत्सीः।सत्यान्न प्रमदितव्यम्‌।


1.    Having taught the Vedas, the preceptor exhorts the disciple: Speak the truth. Do your duty. Never swerve from the study of the Veda. Do not cut off the thread of the offspring, after giving the preceptor the fee he desires. Never swerve away from Truth. Never swerve from duty. Never neglect your welfare. Never neglect your prosperity. Never neglect the study and the teaching of the Vedas.


Notes and Commentary


Antevasinam -the disciple. Satyam vada- speak the truth. Truthfulness consists in giving utterance to a thing as it is actually perceived, without hypocrisy, or a motive to do injury. One should never tell a lie, however small, even in forgetfulness. Dharmam chara- do your duty. Duty, i.e., the obligatory duties as enjoined in the Srutis and Smritis. It consists of the observance of Agnihotra and other works. Jaimini has defined Dharma thus: Dharma is the thing taught in the word of command (Veda)'. Dharma means Agnihotra and other sacrificial rites enjoined in the extant Srutis. All duties enjoined in the Srutis and the Smritis should be observed. Priyam dhanam- the desired wealth. Having given the Guru Dakshina, the tutor's fee in the shape of gifts, such as cows, gold, cloth, etc., which the preceptor desires at the close of the discipleship, in accordance with the law. Prajatantum- the thread of progeny. Ma vyavacchetsih- do not cut off the line or stop the continuation of progeny. Marry a worthy wife and do not fail to produce children. Marriage is not for sexual enjoyment. It is a sacred duty towards the forefathers and the society. The family-line is kept up by marriage. The departed souls (Pitris) get their offerings uninterruptedly. Further, the strength of the society is maintained. Even if children are not born, every effort must be made to produce children, by the performance of sacrifice for issue (Putrakameshti). That student who is endowed with spiritual Samskaras, and who is free from worldly Vasanas, can become a Sannyasin. Satyanna pramaditavyam-never swerve away from truth. Dharmanna pramaditavyam- never swerve from duty.

Kusalanna pramaditavyam- never neglect your welfare; swerve not from any act for the protection of yourself. Do not deviate from doing things with a good motive and intention. Bhutyai na pramaditavyam- never neglect your prosperity and physical means, such as Yajna, etc. It is not possible to perform works which are conducive to Moksha, without welfare and wealth.


The performance of duties enjoined by the Srutis and the Smritis is compulsory. Heart is purified by doing the obligatory duties. He who has a pure heart soon obtains knowledge of Brahman. The Smriti says: "One destroys sin by austerity and attains immortality by knowledge. Desire to know Brahman by austerity".

Therefore, the duties that are enjoined in the Sastras ought to be performed for attaining purity of heart and knowledge. The performance of obligatory duties is, by itself, a step towards the final emancipation as it creates a taste for knowledge. Brahma Jana dawns quite easily in one whose heart has been purified by the performance of prescribed duties.


The performance of the prescribed duties is conducive to the dawn of knowledge, by annihilating the past accumulated sins. They should be performed till the knowledge of the Atman is attained. After one attains wisdom, no purpose is served by duties or works.


The Srutis say: "He finds the Fearless as the mainstay. In him verily, in truth, burns not the thought, why have I not done righteousness? He obtains security and strength". There is this verse in Isavasya Upanishad to the same effect: "Crossing death by Avidya (Karma), he attains immortality by knowledge".


He who has studied the Vedas under a preceptor should ascertain from his Guru his duties before he returns to his home. The Smriti also says: "Knowing, begin to perform duties"


Never swerve away from truth. Never swerve from duty. One may think that after doing the works once, they may be abandoned. To prevent this supposition, the Sruti has repeated the instructions. The repetition is meant to emphasise on the fact that these duties should be performed and practised throughout life (if one does not get knowledge), and not for a certain period only.


Speaking truth stands also for other virtues mentioned along with it, such as harmlessness (Ahimsa), abstaining from theft (Asteya), celibacy (Brahmacharya and non-covetousness (Aparigraha). What has been learnt should be taught to others. This is also an important duty.




देवपितृकार्याभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम्‌। मातृदेवो भव।पितृदेवो भव। आचार्यदेवो भव। अतिथिदेवो भव। यान्यनवद्यानि कर्माणि। तानि सेवितव्यानि। नो इतराणि।यान्यस्माकं सुचरितानि।तानि त्वयोपास्यानि। नो इतराणि।


2.    Never swerve from the duties to the gods and to the manes. May the mother be thy God. May the father be thy God. May the preceptor be thy God. May the guest be thy God. Let only those actions that are free from blemishes be done, and not others. Only those that are good acts to us should be performed by thee and not other acts.


Notes and Commentary


Duty to the gods, such as Agnihotra, Vinayaka-vrata, Ananta Vrata, etc., and to the manes, such as Sraaddha (annual ceremony) and Tarpana, ought to be performed.


Worship your father, mother, teacher and guests as veritable gods, without regarding them as mere men. Pay them due reverence. Serve them with great respect.


You should do such acts as are uncensurable and sanctioned by Sishtachara, the conduct of the righteous, but not those actions which, though practised by the righteous, are open to blame.

Engage yourself in the performance of good actions, which the teachers we honour practise, and which are not contrary to the teaching of the Vedas, and not others which are contrary to the teaching of the Vedas, though they are practised by the teachers.


ये के चास्मच्छ्रेयांसो ब्राह्मणाः। तेषां त्वयासनेन प्रश्वसितव्यम्‌।


3.    You should remove the fatigue of Brahmanas, who are superior to us, by serving them with seats, etc.


Notes and Commentary


When split as Tuayasane na prasvasitavyam, the text means

Whatever Brahmanas are better than

ourselves, in their sitting, it will not do for thee to breathe. This is another interpretation for this.


When learned Brahmanas, who are superior by age and qualities, who are your teachers, are seated in an assembly for discussion, do not breathe even a word. Do not say anything. Only listen to their valuable instructions. Only grasp the essence of their discourse. Do not oppose them. Do not enter into discussion with them in a tone of familiarity, thinking that you are also very learned. Do not talk before them.


 श्रद्धया देयम्‌। अश्रद्धयाऽदेयम्‌। श्रिया देयम्‌। ह्रिया देयम्‌। भिया देयम्‌। संविदा देयम्‌। अथ यदि ते कर्मविचिकित्सा वा वृत्तविचिकित्सा वा स्यात्‌। ये तत्र ब्राह्मणाः सम्मर्शिनः। युक्ता आयुक्ताः।अलूक्षा धर्मकामाः स्युः। यथा ते तत्र वर्तेरन्‌।तथा तत्र वर्तेथाः। एष आदेशः। एष उपदेशः।एषा वेदोपनिषत्‌। एतदनुशासनम्‌। एवमुपासितव्यम्‌। एवमु चैतदुपास्यम्।


।। इत्येकादशोऽनुवाकः ।।


4 & 5. Gift should be given with faith, it should never be given without faith, it should be given in plenty, with modesty, with sympathy.


Now if there should arise in thee any doubt as regards any action or conduct, thou shouldst act in those matters as do those Brahmanas there, who are thoughtful, religious, not set on by others, not cruel, devoted to Dharma.


Now as regards persons accused of sin, do thou deal with them as do the Brahmanas there, who are thoughtful, religious, not set on by others, not cruel, devoted to Dharma.


This is the injunction. This is the teaching. This is the secret of the Vedas. This is the (God's word of command. This should be observed. Thus is this to be meditated upon.


Notes and Commentary




Sriya deyam to be given in a cheerful mood, to be given in abundance. Different commentators have explained the word Sriya differently. Some have taken it to mean with discrimination', i.e., gifts should be given with proper discrimination. Suresvaracharya has explained it as 'gifts should be made according to one's means', because that is the Sattvic gift. A wealthy man should give large gifts. If he gives small gifts, it will bring great shame on him. Hriya deyam- (gift) to be given with modesty, that is unostentatiously. Dharma kamah- who work only for Dharma and not for any other gain, who are desirous to perform their duty; lovers of virtue. Vedopanishad- the secret of the Vedas, the essence of the injunctions of the Vedas. Upasitavyam- should be observed.


Whenever you come across a learned and wise

Brahmana, serve him by offering seat, Padya, Arghya,

good food, etc.


When you give any gift or wealth to a Brahmana, give it with reverence and faith. What is given with irreverence is of no use in either world. He does not reap the fruit of a gift, when it is offered with irreverence. If you have anything to give, give it with full heart, faith and reverence.


Any action performed with faith, purifies the heart quickly and strengthens the religious consciousness.


This should be observed. This should be observed'.

The repetition is to create special regard for them. No one should fail to observe them.


The instruction given is Adesa or Vedic injunction.

Just as a king commands his servants to do a work, so also a Vedic injunction commands the devotee to observe the above instructions.


How to decide matters of doubt? Here is Suresvar-acharya's comment.


"Deeds are of two classes, those which are enjoined in the Sruti, such as the Agnihotra, and those which are enjoined in the Smriti, such as the Sandhyavandana, or worship of the Divine Being at the main points of time in the day. To take an example from the works enjoined in the Sruti, in one place the Sruti says, The offering of oblation should be made when the sun has risen', and elsewhere it says, The offering of oblation should be made when the sun has not yet risen'. This may give room to a doubt. Again, to take an example of the works enjoined in the Smriti: A doubt may arise as to whether the Sandhya Devata- the form in which the Divine Being should be worshipped at the main points of time in the day-is of the male or female sex, the scriptures speaking of the Devata in either way. To take an example of a custom in worldly affairs handed down in the family: A doubt arises as to the propriety of marrying a maternal uncle's daughter, or of eating animal food, inasmuch as contradictory views prevail in these matters. In such matters of doubt as these, thou shalt act in the way in which those Brahmanas would act, who live in the same country, age, and tribe in which thou livest at the time, who, being free from attachment, aversion, anxiety and other evil tendencies of mind, are competent to decide as to the real meaning of the scriptures; who are themselves engaged in the observance of the constant and incidental duties, intent on their due performance; who are free from anger, free from bigotry; and who work only for virtue (Dharma), not for gain and honour"




The relative merits of Vidya (knowledge) and Karma are now discussed. Does the highest good result purely from Karma, or from knowledge and Karma combined, or from knowledge aided by works, or from knowledge alone?


It may be argued that it results from Karma alone, because he alone is qualified for works, who possesses a knowledge of the Vedas. The Smritis say: The whole Veda with the secret should be learnt by the twice-born'. This knowledge includes a knowledge of the Atman, as taught in the Upanishads. The texts which say, Knowing thus, one sacrifices', show that only a man of knowledge is qualified for works of any kind. It is also stated, Knowledge first, then action'. Some think that the end of the whole Vedas is the performance of Karma. If the highest good cannot be attained by works, then the Veda works alone.


is of no use. The highest good, therefore, accrues from

This position is untenable. It is indeed admitted that Moksha is eternal. The results of Karma are transient or temporary. transitory Diss is not desirable as an end. If the highest good accrues from works, then it would be temporary. Therefore, works cannot produce liberation. They cannot give eternal bliss.



There is a difference between the knowledge which is a condition precedent to the performance of Karma, and the knowledge acquired by meditation. Knowledge through hearing is quite sufficient for the performance of Karma. The knowledge of the processes of meditation is not necessary. The Srutis say 'Hear' and subsequently add, 'reflect and meditate'. The end reached by reflection and meditation is distinct from that which is obtained through hearing.


It may be argued that Moksha, emancipation, may be the result of Karma, aided by Vidya (Jnana or Upasana). It is possible that works, when aided by Vidya, acquire a power to generate a new effect. They may be able to produce results which cannot be produced by Karma alone, just as poison, curd, etc., though in themselves liable to cause death and fever, acquire, in combination with a Mantra and sugar, the power to produce quite new effects, respectively. So, Moksha may be produced by works aided by knowledge.


This is not tenable. What is produced cannot be eternal', applies to this view also. Whatever has a beginning, must have an end. To this, it may be replied that the result produced by the texts may be permanent. No; the Sruti is a revelation. Sruti reveals a thing as it is. It declares an existing thing. It cannot create anything that was not. Not even a hundred Srutis can produce anything which can last forever. What has a beginning, cannot be without an end. The eternal cannot be produced. What is produced is certainly perishable. Thus, the argument that the combination of Karma and knowledge can produce emancipation, is refuted.


It may be argued that knowledge and Karma do both remove the obstacles on the way to Moksha, the final emancipation. No, we see that works produce quite a different effect. The fruits of Karma are Utpatti (production of a new thing), Vikara (transformation), Samskara (consecration), and Apti (fulfilment of desire); but Moksha is different from any of these effects or results.


Moksha is not a thing to be reached. The goal, i.e., emancipation (Brahman) is everywhere. It does not exist separately from those who travel up to it. It is not a thing different from the pilgrim who treads on the spiritual path. Brahman is the cause of Akasa. He is the Creator or cause for everything. Therefore He is Omnipresent. All conscious souls are identical with Brahman. Therefore, Moksha is not a thing to be reached or attained.


A place or town to be reached must be something distinct from the traveller. One cannot be said to reach a place not distinct from himself. What is to be reached, must be a thing removed in space from the traveller. That there is nothing but Brahman, that the individual soul is not distinct from the goal, Brahman, is taught in hundreds of passages in the Srutis and Smritis, such as the following. Having created the universe, He entered it (Taitt. Up. 2-vi), And do thou also know Me as Kshetrajna in all Kshetras (bodies)', or in other words, know the individual soul to be no other than Myself (Gita XIII-2).


An objector may say: "This contention is opposed to the Sruti, which speaks of the path, and the glory of the liberated soul. It conflicts with the Srutis which speak of Brahman to be reached, and of the power of the liberated soul to assume more than one form, to go to the Pitriloka if he likes, to have women and carriages as he wishes."


These passages refer to Karya Brahman, Brahman manifested in the evolved universe. It is only in this manifested Brahman, we may meet women, but not in the Karana Brahman, the unmanifested Brahman, which is one and indivisible. Sruts say: Existence alone, my dear, this at first was, one alone without a second' (Chh. Up. VI-2-i), Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is Infinite (Ibid, VII-24-i), When the Self only is all this, how could he see another?' (Bri. Up. IV-5-xv).


Conjunction of knowledge and works is impossible. Knowledge and Karma cannot co-exist because of their mutual opposition. Knowledge, which is concerned with the Reality wherein object, subject or agent are altogether absent, must be opposed to Karma, which can only be brought by agent, object, etc. It is not possible to regard the same thing as being in truth, conditioned and unconditioned at the same time. One of the two views must necessarily be false. If one of them is false, it is the dualistic view set up by the innate ignorance, because the Srutis say: For when there is, as it were, duality, then one sees the other' (Bri. Up. II-4-xiv), He who sees any difference here, goes from death to death' (Katha Up.2-10), This eternal Being that can never be proved, is to be perceived as one only' (Bri. Up. IV-4-xx), 'One alone without a second' (Chh. Up. VI-2-i), 'Brahman alone is all this', This Self alone is all this' (Chh. Up. VII-25-ii).


No work is possible, where there is no distinction of object, subject, agent, etc. There are thousands of passages in the Srutis, which speak that the doctrine of duality is not consistent with knowledge of the Self, that there is no consciousness of distinction in right

knowledge, and hence, the mutual opposition between knowledge and Karma, and the impossibility of their combination or co-existence. Therefore, the contention that emancipation is the result of knowledge and Karma combined, does not stand to reason.


The objector says that this conclusion certainly conflicts with the Srutis. Works are enjoined by the Srutis. The Vedic texts are all authoritative. To this, we reply that desire for external objects arises in him only, who has no knowledge of the Self. He alone who has desires does Karmas. To reap the fruits of those works, he will have to take a body. To one who has knowledge of Self, there can be no desire. As the Atman is not different from one's own Self, the Atman cannot be an object of desire. To be established in one's own true Self is Moksha. Therefore, there is opposition or antagonism between knowledge and works, and because of their mutual opposition, knowledge does not stand in need of works, to bring about Moksha.


The obligatory works become a cause of knowledge, as they remove the accumulated sins of the past which lie as obstacles in the way. Therefore, the works are treated in this section. Hence, no contradiction of the Srutis enjoining works.


We, therefore, conclude that the highest good or emancipation accrues from knowledge only.


Thus ends the Eleventh Anuvaka




शं नो मित्रः शं वरुणः। शं नो भवत्वर्यमा। शं न इन्द्रो बृहस्पतिः। शं नो विष्णुरुरुक्रमः। नमो ब्रह्मणे। नमस्ते वायो। त्वमेव प्रत्यक्षं ब्रह्मासि। त्वामेव प्रत्यक्षं ब्रह्मावादिषम्‌। ऋतमवादिषम्‌। सत्यमवादिषम्‌। तन्मामावीत्‌। तद्वक्तारमावीत्‌। आवीन्माम्‌। आवीद्वक्तारम्‌।


ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः।

।। इति द्वादशोऽनुवाकः ।।


May the Sun (Mitra) be good to us! May the Varuna be good to us! May Aryama be good to us! May Indra and Brihaspati be good to us! May the all-pervading Vishnu be good to us! Prostrations to the Brahman! Prostrations to Thee, O Vayu! Thou indeed art the visible Brahman! Thee indeed have I declared Brahman visible! Thee I have declared the Just! Thee I have declared the True! That has protected me. That has protected the teacher! Om Peace, Peace, Peace!


Notes and Commentary


In the beginning of the first Anuvaka of the Siksha Valli, the peace-chant was chanted to invoke the blessings of the gods, for the happy termination of the student-life, and for obviating the impediments to the acquisition of knowledge. Here again, the peace-chant is repeated to invoke the blessings of the gods for the attainment of Self-realisation.


In the eleventh lesson, the preceptor's exhortation to the pupil has been given. It has been taught also that the Upasana and works are auxiliaries or aids to the attainment of knowledge of Brahman. According to Sri Sankaracharya, this lesson or Anuvaka should go along with the Brahmananda Valli.


The peace-chant that is given in the first Anuvaka is repeated here, but there is slight difference. This is identical with the first Anuvaka, except for certain Changes of tense, which are appropriate here in the conclusion. In the first Anuvaka, the words I shall proclaim or declare Brahman' are used, because Brahman has not been taught already. Also the words, 'May He protect me' are used. But here, the words I have declared Brahman', That has protected me', are used, because Brahman has already been spoken of, and all obstacles to the study and the acquisition of knowledge have been removed through the grace of the gods. The student expresses here his sense of gratitude to Indra, Varuna and other gods. Even when the works have been performed, one may not attain the fruits on account of the sin of ingratitude. The student remembers the good done by the gods, by way of having removed all obstacles that arise from within and without the body, and so expresses his sense of gratitude to the gods to obviate the sin of ingratitude.


Here ends the Twelfth Anuvaka


Thus ends the Siksha Valli of the Taittiriya Upanishad









ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ।। ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।।


Om! May He protect us both (teacher and pupil). May He cause us both to enjoy the bliss of Mukti. May we both exert to find out the true meaning of the scriptures.May our studies be fruitful. May we never quarrel with each other.


Om Peace, Peace, Peace!


Notes and Commentary


This is a prayer for mutual good feeling between the preceptor and the disciple. The peace-chant is read here with a view to remove all ill-feeling which may have arisen from an unworthy act, or any fault committed from carelessness by the pupil or preceptor in the course of acquiring knowledge. The knowledge imparted by the preceptor cannot bear fruit unless his mind is pacified, for the preceptor is not different from Isvara. This peace-chant serves also to remove obstacles to the acquisition of knowledge.


Sahaviryam karavavahai may we together acquire the capacity for knowledge. May we both acquire the strength which produces knowledge, etc. May we both attain efficiency for wisdom. May we both exert to find out the true meaning of the scriptures. May we both work together with great energy. May all the texts which we have been studying prove effective by throwing light on the teachings therein contained


Tejasvinavadhitamastu-may our study be brilliant. May our study prove vigorous and effective. Let our learning be splendid. May the study enable us to understand what is taught. May the study make us fit to understand the import of what we study.


May Brahman so protect us both at the time of instruction, that the preceptor may instruct me with full energy, and I may grasp his teaching fully, without any doubt, so that my Avidya will be completely dispelled, and my preceptor may be delighted to know that my ignorance has vanished. To achieve this end, may we both so work together harmoniously and vigorously, as to instil into the knowledge a power to cause the desired result. May we not entertain mutual hatred. The disciple may be annoyed that the master has not properly explained, and the master may be displeased with the disciple for lack of sincere faith and devotion. May there be no occasion for such kind of displeasure. This is the drift of this peace-chant.




ॐ ब्रह्मविदाप्नोति परम्‌। तदेषाऽभ्युक्ता।सत्यं ज्ञानमनन्तं ब्रह्म। यो वेद निहितं गुहायां परमे व्योमन्‌।सोऽश्नुते सर्वान्‌ कामान् सह ब्रह्मणा विपश्चितेति॥ तस्माद्वा एतस्मादात्मन आकाशः संभूतः। आकाशाद्वायुः।वायोरग्निः। अग्नेरापः। अद्‌भ्यः पृथिवी।पृथिव्या ओषधयः। ओषधीभ्योऽन्नम्‌। अन्नात्पुरुषः।स वा एष पुरुषोऽन्न्नरसमयः।तस्येदमेव शिरः। अयं दक्षिणः पक्षः। अयमुत्तरः पक्षः। अयमात्मा। इदं पुच्छं प्रतिष्ठा।तदप्येष श्लोको भवति।


।। इति प्रथमोऽनुवाकः ।।


OM. The knower of Brahman attains the Supreme (the Highest). In reference to that is the following hymn recited: "Brahman is Truth, Knowledge and Infinity. He who knows It as existing, hidden in the heart, the transcendent Akasa (Parama Akasa), realises all these desires along with the Omniscient Brahman"


So, from this Atman is Akasa (ether) born; from Akasa, the air (Vayu); from the air, fire; from fire, water; from water, earth; from earth, the herbs (plants, vegetables); from herbs, food; from food, man. Thus man is made of the essence of food. This is his head. This is the right hand (wing). This is the left hand (wing) This is his body (trunk). This is the tail and support. About this also is the following verse.


Notes and Commentary


Brahmavit- the knower of Brahman; he who knows, or has realised intuitively, Brahman. Satyam jnanam anantam brahma- Brahman is Truth (Existence), Knowledge (consciousness and Infinity. Vyomam- Akasa. Annarasamaya full of the essence of food. Paksha side, arm, wing. Dakshina paksha -right hand or right wing. Uttara paksho left hand or left wing. Puccham- the tail.


Meditation, the subject of the Samhita, which is not incompatible with Karma, i.e., which is not in opposition to works, was first taught in the first Valli. Then was taught the contemplation or knowledge of the conditioned Atman, through the Vyahritis, which results in the attainment of independent sovereignty (Svarajya). But these alone cannot bring about a total annihilation, or destruction of ignorance, which is the seed of Samsara, worldly existence.


Brahma Vidya, the science of the Self, is the specific theme of this section. The knowledge of the unconditioned Brahman only can completely destroy ignorance, which is the seed of all miseries. Therefore, the knowledge of the unconditioned, or higher transcendental Brahman, which can destroy the root of worldly existence (Samsara), is begun now in this second Valli.


Om brahmavit apnoti param -the knower of Brahman attains the Supreme (the Highest). The knower of Brahman reaches the Highest. This is a brief statement of the meaning of the whole Valli. This Vall contains the essence of the whole Upanishad. Emancipation by knowledge of Brahman is the essential teaching of the whole Upanishad. The Sruti speaks of the bearing and the purpose of the Brahma Vidya to begin with, because one will listen to the teaching, grasp it, hold it in the mind and attempt, in right earnest, to attain Self-realisation only if he knows the bearing and purpose of the Brahma Vidya.



Just as a mother induces her child to drink a medicinal mixture by saying that thereby he will have a very good complexion, so also the Sruti induces one, who is yet a child in the spiritual line, to strive for Self-realisation by stating the fruits of knowledge. We can induce anyone to do an action only by stating the end to be attained. The Sruti begins with the words: The knower of Brahman attains the Supreme, in order to allure man to the proper course of action. The aspirant is attracted by the fruits mentioned in the Sruti. He starts hearing of Srutis, reflection and meditation, which are the processes of attaining knowledge.


Self-realisation is not mere understanding of Brahman through study of books on Vedanta and the Upanishads. It is not mere intellectual grasp of Brahman. It is direct cognition (Atma Sakshatkara) through constant and intense meditation. The purpose of this knowledge of Brahman is the destruction of ignorance, and consequently, the total cessation of Samsara, worldly existence.


Brahman is your own very Self, Soul. It cannot be an object of knowledge. It is always the witnessing subject. To know Brahman is to become identical with the absolute consciousness, through meditation and Nirvikalpa Samadhi.


The result of knowledge begins with hearing the Srutis (Sravana). The Srutis say: 'Atman ought to be heard, thought over and meditated upon'. There is none greater than Brahman. So Brahman is known as Parama, the Highest.


It will be said later on, The knower of Brahman fears nothing', 'He is not affected by virtue or vice?. From this, it is quite clear that there is total cessation of Samsara, or worldly existence, if one attains the knowledge of Brahman.


It may be argued that Brahman is present in all, He is omniscient and omnipresent, He is the Atman of all. So He is not one to be reached. We generally speak of one thing being reached by another thing, one limited object by another limited object. As Brahman is limitless, as He is the Atman, the Self of all, it is not proper to speak of His attainment as if He were limited and distinct from one's own Self. Attainment is always associated with duality, with limitations of time, space, etc. How can then attainment be predicated of Brahman, who is beyond all sorts of limitations?


There is no fault. There is no inconsistency herein. How? Because the attainment or non-attainment of Brahman depends on perception or non-perception (as Brahman). The Jiva, the individual soul, is really one with Brahman. He is in essence identical with Brahman. But he identifies himself, on account of ignorance, with the physical (Annamaya) and other bodies, which are finite and external to the Atman, and which are formed of material elements and becomes engrossed in them.


Ten people, after crossing a river, wanted to see whether all of them were alive. But each of them, counted all the nine others except himself and found that one was missing, and all began to weep bitterly for the loss of one of them. At last, they were disillusioned by someone telling each of them that the reckoner himself was the tenth.


Just as the man fails to see, though near, the existence of himself which completes the required number, when his mind is engrossed in counting the persons external to himself, so also the Jiva on account of his ignorance, is quite oblivious of his being, in reality, one with Brahman. Thus, though Brahman is the Atman Itself, He is not reached or attained on account of ignorance. Therefore, it is right when the Srutis say that Brahman should be reached by one, who did not reach Him on account of his ignorance, when he was taught by the Srutis and the preceptor, and beholds the Brahman, the Atman of all, to be his own Atman or the Self; just as a man who, owing to ignorance, misses himself making up the required number, and who, when reminded by someone else, finds himself again by knowledge.


One does not attain Brahman who is the Self, the Atman of all, like the missing of the tenth man, because he is enveloped by Avidya, ignorance, and so he identifies himself with the five sheaths as his own Self. By the knowledge that I am the tenth', the tenth man is attained, through the annihilation of ignorance. So also, Brahman is attained by the destruction of Ajnana, ignorance or nescience.


The word Brahman derived from the root Brhm -to grow denotes a great thing. The etymology of the word Brahman points to what is eternally pure, conscious, free, infinite, unchanging, self-luminous, all-pervading and so on. This is clear from the definition, 'Satyam Janam Anantam Brahma Truth, Knowledge, Infinity is Brahman'.



Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma: Now, one will be inclined to ask what Brahman is. The Sruti describes the nature of Brahman. Satyam (Truth), Jnanam (Knowledge), Anantam (Infinity) are the attributive adjuncts (Viseshanartha) of Brahman, the substance (Viseshya). This sentence exhausts the definition of Brahman. This sentence is intended to serve as a definition of Brahman. Brahman is what is to be known. So It is Viseshya. Brahman forms the subject of discourse. When qualified by these three epithets or adjuncts Satyam, etc., Brahman is distinguished from all other substances. It is only when it is distinguished from others that it can be known, as a lotus is known in the world as blue, big and sweet-smelling.


Just as the epithets, blue', big and 'sweet-smelling serve to define a lotus, so also the epithets Satyam, Janam, Anantam, serve to define Brahman. When Brahman is defined by these epithets, Brahman is distinguished from all other substances, which do not possess these attributes of Brahman and which are unreal, insentient and finite. An object is said to be known only when it is known as distinguished from all other objects. A red lotus is said to be known only when known as distinguished from the blue lotus, and the lotuses of other colours. Even so, Brahman can be said to be known only when known as distinguished from all objects which are unreal, insentient and finite. Otherwise, you certainly cannot have a definite conception of Brahman.


Besides the blue, big, sweet-smelling lotus there are other kinds of lotuses, namely a red lotus, a small lotus, a slightly fragrant lotus. Therefore the words blue,' etc., Serve to distinguish the lotus meant here from other lotuses. But, there are no other kinds of Brahman. Just as the sun we see is only one, so Brahman also is one alone. There is no other Brahman from which it can be distinguished, as the blue lotus is distinguished from other lotuses. Therefore the adjuncts Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam are of no use. This argument is not sound and tenable. Because the adjuncts are intended to define and not to qualify. The qualifying adjuncts serve to distinguish the qualified object from all others of the same genus or species only. The defining adjuncts on the other hand, aim to distinguish the thing defined from all else, from the whole world. This sentence is intended to serve as a definition, as the sentence, 'Akasa is that which gives space'.


The words Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam are unconnected. Every word is synonymous with the defined (Brahman). Each of these adjuncts is independent of others. Therefore, each adjunct is directly connected with the word Brahman, as Satyam Brahman, Jnanam Brahman and Anantam Brahman.


What is Satyam? That whose form by which it is cognised, does not change is Satyam. When a thing never puts on a form different from that form in which it has been once proved to be, that thing is real. That whose form, by which it is determined, changes, is Anritam, false. Therefore, all changing form (Vikara) is unreal. Changeability is falsehood. The Sruti definitely says:


"All changing form (Vikara) is a name, a creation of speech; what is called clay is alone real, thus Existence (Sat) alone is real." (Chh. Up. VI-1-iv.) Thus in the words, 'Brahman is Satyam', the Sruti distinguishes Brahman from all changing forms.


From this, it may follow that Brahman is the cause. As it is the cause, it is also the agent, because it is the real substance. It is also destitute of intelligence like clay. The Sruti, therefore, says that Brahman is knowledge or consciousness, Jnanam Brahman. The word "Jnana' means knowledge, Or absolute consciousness. It is knowledge itself or knowledge absolute, but not that which knows' or having knowledge' or 'the act of knowing or the object known', as the word is used as an adjunct of Brahman, along with Satyam (Truth) and Anantam (Infinite).


Brahman cannot be real and infinite, if He were the agent of the act of knowing. How can Brahman be real and infinite, when He is liable to changes as being the knower? That is Infinite which is not limited by anything else, which cannot be divided from anything else. If Brahman was the knower, He would be marked off from what is known, and from the act of knowing, from the knowledge and the knowable, and cannot therefore be Infinite, as the Sruti says, Where one sees nothing else, and knows nothing else (but the Self, that is the Infinite (Bhuma, Brahman), but where one sees anything else, knows anything else, that is the finite' (Chh. Up.VII-24-i).


In the passage, where one knows nothing else', it is only the knowing of the non-self that is denied. The Sruti may mean that one knows one's own Self. This objection is not sound. The passage cannot convey the idea that one can know one's own Self. There can be no knowing of one's own Self, on account of the absence of duality in one's own Self. The sentence serves mainly as a definition of Bhuma, the Infinite. One sees an object only when it exists distinctly from him. Bhuma, the Infinite, is that where no object exists. As one's Self is not distinct from himself, he cannot be the knower. If he is the knowable, there can be no knower, because he is enjoined as the knowable. If it is said that the Self can both be the knower and the knowable, we say it cannot be, as it is indivisible, because as devoid of parts, the one Self cannot be both the knower and the knowable (known) simultaneously. Moreover, if the Atman be knowable like a pot, all instruction through the scriptures to know it is useless. Indeed, an instruction to know a well-known thing like a pot, is meaningless. Therefore, if Brahman be the knower, He cannot be Real and Infinite. If Brahman be the knower, He cannot be the Existence Absolute. Absolute existence alone is real. The Sruti says: This is real' (Chh. Up. VI-8-vii). Therefore, as the word Jnanam is used as an adjunct of Brahman, along with the words Satyam and Anantam, it means knowledge. The expression Jnanam Brahman serves to dispel the idea that Brahman is an agent or a cause, and also the notion that He is, like clay, an insentient or non-intelligent object.


As Brahman is defined as knowledge or consciousness, it may be thought that He is finite, as we find that all worldly knowledge is finite. To meet this objection, the Sruti says, "Brahman is Anantam, Infinite (endless or limitless)".


Guho -cavity or cave. Guha from the root Guh--to hide, to cover. The Buddhi, intellect, is the cave because in it are hidden the three categories of knowledge, the knowable and the knower, or because both the ends of life, enjoyment and liberation are therein hidden.


Akasa (Vyomam) is here interpreted to mean the Avyakrita (the undifferentiated). The material Akasa is low when it is compared with the Avyakrita. Therefore, Avyakrita is the highest Akasa. In the Buddhi is the highest Akasa known as the Avyakrita. The Avyakrita is the highest Akasa because of its nearness to Akshara, the Indestructible, Supreme Brahman. This is expressed in the following passage. Sage Yajnavalkya says, There O Gargi, in this Indestructible Akshara, the Akasa (Avyakrita) is woven like warp and woof (Bri. Up. III-8-xi).


Brahman is called Akasa in several places in the Srutis, because It is subtle, formless, all-pervading, supportless and infinite like Akasa. Just as objects are contained in Akasa, so also the whole world exists in Brahman.


The aspirant hears the teaching of the Sruti, withdraws his mind from the external objects, enters into what dwells within the cavity (the Guha, intellect) and realises the Atman which is the only Reality.


Or, we may take Guha in opposition with Akasa, and construe as the cavity of the Avyakrita-Akasa. Then the cave is the Avyakrita-Akasa itself. In this cavity, Avyakrita, are hidden all the substances in the three times (past, present and future), because it is the cause and it is extremely subtle. Within this cave of Avyakrita, Brahman lies hidden. It is proper to understand that the Akasa within the heart is the highest Akasa, because that Akasa is intended as an aid to the meditation and realisation or immediate knowledge of Brahman. That the Akasa of the heart is the highest is well-known from the text. The Akasa without the Purusha, and the Akasa within the Purusha, is the Akasa within the heart'. In that Akasa within the heart is the intelligence in which Brahman is lodged or hidden. Brahman is clearly realised through the Vritti, functioning of the Buddhi. Brahman, which is everywhere, which is devoid of all conditions, and which is not distinct from anything else, cannot be related to any limited space or time.


What does he, who thus realises Brahman, attain? He enjoys all desires, i.e., realises all his desires, all desirable pleasures, without any exception. Does he enjoy them alternatively one after another sons, heaven and the like? The Sruti answers 'No'. He enjoys at the same moment, all the enjoyments in one single consciousness, which, like the sun's light, is eternal, and which is not distinct from the true nature of Brahman, and which we have described above as being Existence, Knowledge and Infinity.


This is the meaning of the words, 'together with Brahman, or along with the omniscient Brahman'. The knower, or the enlightened sage, becoming Brahman, enjoys, as Brahman himself, all pleasures at the same time, not like the man of the world, who enjoys pleasures one after another in the changeful bodily form, which is a mere reflection like the sun's image in water, who becomes a Samsarin, who depends for his pleasures on virtue (Dharma), and the eye and the other sense-organs. How then does he enjoy the pleasures? He enjoys all pleasures simultateously, as he is identical in his true essential nature with the omniscient, omnipresent Brahman, the Atman of all. His pleasures do not depend on performance of duty, and the activity of the senses, eye, etc. He enjoys with Brahman, who is wise, who knows all. Wisdom is Omniscience. The 'wise' means omniscient. The particle Iti, thus added to the Mantra at the end, is intended to show that the Mantra ends there.


In the beginning of the Mantra, it has been said that Brahman is Existence, Knowledge, Infinity. How Brahman is Existence, Knowledge, Infinity is now explained. Infinity is threefold, viz., Infinity in space, in time and in substance. Akasa, for example, is infinite in space, for there is no limit to it in space. But Akasa is not infinite, either in respect of time or in respect of substance. Why? Because it is an effect. But Brahman is not thus, like Akasa limited in time, because it is no effect, for what forms an effect is alone limited by time. Brahman is not an effect. It has no cause. Therefore, it is unlimited in time. So too, in respect of substance. How Brahman is Infinite in respect of substance? It is inseparate from all. It is not different from anything else. It is the existence of a thing, different from another, that limits this latter thing. That thing, which is separate from another, forms the limit of that other thing. The thing which causes the termination of the idea of another thing, forms the limit of that other thing. Where there is the cognisance of a different thing, there the mind turns away from that thing. When the mind turns away from a thing, there is the end of that thing. As the cognisance of a cow turns away from a horse, the clan 'cow is limited by the clan horse'. So it has an end. The idea of the 'cow terminates at the 'horse', and because the idea of cow thus terminates at the horse, the cow is limited, finite. This end, or limit, is seen among objects which are separate from one another. But Brahman has no such distinction. Therefore, Brahman is Infinity even in substance.


Here, one may ask, 'How then is Brahman not different from anything else?' We answer: because He is the cause of all things. For, Brahman indeed is the cause of all things- time, space (Akasa), etc. But it cannot be said that because there is an effect, Brahman -the cause, is not infinite in substance; for, the thing spoken of as effect is unreal, because, really there is no effect distinct from the cause, so as to turn away the mind from the cause.


The Sruti says: "All change is mere word and is but a name. That it is clay is the only truth. 'Sat' is the only Truth". Therefore, as the cause of Akasa, Brahman is Infinite in space. All-pervading thing is never found to rise from that which is not all-pervading. Hence Brahman is unlimited in space. Similarly, Brahman is Infinite in time, because it is not the effect of a cause. Brahman is Infinite in substance also, because there is nothing separate or distinct from it. Hence, it is Absolute Reality.


By the word Tasmat, Brahman, which was concisely defined in the text, is referred to. The term from this' means 'from it' as defined by the Mantra. Brahman, who has been first referred to in the aphoristic passage, is next defined in the words, 'Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma'. Brahman is the Atman. The Sruti says, That is the Atman of all. That is Existence. That is Atman' (Chh. Up. VI-8-vi). From that Brahman, above explained, who is the Atman, was born Akasa.


Akasa is that thing which has sound as its attribute, and affords space for all objects which have a form. From that Akasa, comes into being Vayu, the air, with two properties, the property of touch which is its own, and the property of sound belonging to Akasa, its cause. From Vayu, the air, was born fire, having three attributes, composed of the two preceding attributes, touch and sound, and the attribute 'colour or form", which is its own. From fire came water, with the four attributes of taste, which is its own, and the three preceding attributes, sound, touch and form. From water came earth, with the attribute of smell its own, and the preceding four attributes, sound, touch, form and taste. Herbs, plants, vegetables came from earth; food from herbs; and Purusha with limbs, head, trunk, etc., from food, which has assumed the form of semen. Purusha, or this human being, whom we perceive is a Vikara, product of the essence of food. The semen is the essence of all parts of the body. It is constituted of the energy of all limbs of the body, and so it has the human shape. It bears the procreator's thought-impress of human form. He, who is born from this seed or semen, has also the form of a Purusha (human being), for we find that all creatures that are born of whatever class of beings, are inevitably of the same form as the parents.


All creatures are, without exception, modifications of food and are descended from Brahman. Why then is man alone taken here? Because of his pre-eminence. Wherein does his pre-eminence lie? Man alone, indeed, is qualified or entitled to perform Karma and acquire knowledge. He alone is competent to follow the scriptural teachings. He alone seeks God. The Sruti says: "In man, the Self, or the Atman is more manifested. He is endowed with intelligence, reason, judgment and discrimination. He wishes to attain eternal bliss and immortality by proper means. He speaks what is known He knows?. He thinks, reasons, reflects and meditates. He knows what is good, what is evil, what is right and what is wrong. Man only wishes to attain the innermost Brahman by knowledge. It is man whom the Sruti seeks to unite with Brahman, through knowledge. But the animals are not endowed with such qualities. They only know eating and drinking. They cannot think, reflect and meditate. The physical body has been described by the Sruti, only with a view to enable the aspirant to comprehend the real nature of Brahman, just as the end of the branch of a tree is first shown in order to point out the star hidden behind the branch of a tree. The Sruti tries to lead the aspirant within, to one Self within another, till the real Atman is reached. By meditating upon the Kosas one after another, he realises their true nature. Ultimately, he becomes competent to meditate steadily on the Atman. The Sruti tries to lead the aspirant from the grossest aspect, i.e., the body, to the subtler and subtler aspects until he can grasp the subtlest -the innermost Atman.


The Sruti now proceeds to represent, for the sake of contemplation, the five parts of the Annamaya Kosa, in the form of a bird, in the case of a sacrificial fire. "The sacrificial fire arranged in the form of a hawk, a heron, or some other bird, has a head, two wings, a trunk and a tail. So also here, every Kosa is represented to be made up of five parts" (Suresvaracharya).


Of him there is the head. Of this Purusha, who is constituted of the essence of food, there is the head. In the case of the Pranamaya Kosa and the like, what is not actually the head, is represented as the head, and to guard against the idea that the same may be the case here, ie., with the Annamaya, the Sruti emphasises, This alone is the head?. The same is true in respect of the word 'side.' This is the right hand--the southern side of the man facing east. This is the left hand, the northern side. This is the middle-portion or central part of the body, the trunk- the Atman of the limbs. The Sruti says, The central one or the middle of the limbs is Atman'.


This, the part of the body below the navel, the tail as it were, because, like the tail of a cow, it hangs down, is the support, i.e., that by which man stands. Pratishtha is that by which man is supported (the lower half:


Similarly, the Pranamaya Kosa, or the vital sheath, made of Prana, etc., ought to be figuratively understood. The Pranamava and other three Kosas are not made up of a head, etc. It is better to imagine that these Kosas also are fashioned after the mould of the physical body, just as the molten metal poured into a mould takes the form of that mould. This will help the meditation and discrimination of the four Kosas.


Here ends the First Anuvaka of the Brahmananda Valli




अन्नाद्वै प्रजाः प्रजायन्ते। याः काश्च पृथिवीं श्रिताः। अथो अन्नेनैव जीवन्ति। अथैनदपियन्त्यन्ततः। अन्नं हि भूतानां ज्येष्ठम्‌। तस्मात्‌ सर्वौषधमुच्यते।सर्वं वै तेऽन्नमाप्नुवन्ति। येऽन्नं ब्रह्मोपासते। अन्नं हि भूतानां ज्येष्ठम्‌। तस्मात्‌ सर्वौषधमुच्यते। अन्नाद्‌ भूतानि जायन्ते। जातान्यन्नेन वर्धन्ते। अद्यतेऽत्ति च भूतानि। तस्मादन्नं तदुच्यत इति।तस्माद्वा एतस्मादन्नरसमयात्‌। अन्योऽन्तर आत्मा प्राणमयः।तेनैष पूर्णः। स वा एष पुरुषविध एव।तस्य पुरुषविधताम्‌। अन्वयं पुरुषविधः।तस्य प्राण एव शिरः। व्यानो दक्षिणः पक्षः। अपान उत्तरः पक्षः। आकाश आत्मा।पृथिवी पुच्छं प्रतिष्ठा। तदप्येष श्लोको भवति।


।। इति द्वितीयोऽनुवाकः ।।


All beings, that exist on earth, are born of food; then they live by food, then again to the food, they go at the end. So verily food is the eldest of all creatures. Therefore, it is called the medicament of all. All those who worship food as Brahman, obtain all food. Food is indeed the eldest of all creatures. Therefore, it is called the medicine for all. From food, all beings are born, having been born, they grow by food. Food is eaten by the beings and it also eats them. Therefore, it is called food (Anna).


Other than that (soul) made of the essence of food, there is another self within, formed of Prana. By that this is filled. This (Pranamaya) is exactly of the form of man (Purusha). Its human form is according to the human form of the former. Of that, Prana is the head, Vyana its right wing (side), Apana is the left wing (side), the Akasa is the trunk (body), the earth is the tail, the support. About it also there is the following verse.


Notes and Commentary


Prajah- creatures.Prajayante-  are born. Jivanti- live. Jyeshtam- the eldest. Sarvaushadham- the medicine for all kinds of diseases, medicament for all. Jayante- are produced. Jatani- being born. Vardhante- grow. Adyate-  is eaten. Atti-  eats. Annarasamayat- by its being full of food. Purusha vidhah-  of the form of man. Purushavidhatam- human form.Dakshina paksha- right wing (right hand). Uttara paksha- left wing (left hand): Puccham- the tail. Pratishtita- the seat (the feet, the basis). Annat- from food which has been converted into Rasa (chyle), an important fluid of the body, are born all creatures moving and unmoving (Sthavara and Jangama). Whatever creatures dwell on earth, all of them are born of food and food alone.



Here, the reference to the Annamaya Kosa, or the gross body, is continued. Annam literally means food. It signifies the gross manifestation of matter.


After they are born they live and grow by food alone. Then again at the end, when their life has come to an end, they go to food, i.e., they are dissolved or absorbed in food. Why? Because food is, of all living beings, the eldest, the first born. It is the cause or source of other beings made of food. It is the source for other Kosas. The Pranamaya and other Kosas are not made up of Anna, the physical food, but they grow by the food eaten by men.


Therefore, all beings are born of food, live by food and are absorbed in food, at the end. As this is the nature of food, it is therefore, called the medicament for all which can cool the body, and allay the scorching hunger of all beings. After death, after the Prana departs from the body (Annamaya Kosa), the physical sheath disintegrates into its constituent elements, the gross matter.


The gross elements were first created. The gross bodies of creatures are made out of these elements. Therefore Annam (food, matter) is the eldest of all creatures.


The Sruti, then, proceeds to declare the fruit that accrues to them who have realised the food as Brahman, who meditate on food as Brahman as prescribed. They obtain all kinds of food. They become one with the Virat and attain all food. How to meditate? Thus: "I am born from food. My soul is food, or I have my being in food. I am finally absorbed into food. Therefore, food is Brahman". It may be asked how the meditation of food as the Soul, or the Self, can lead to the attainment of all food. The Sruti answers: "For, food is the eldest of all beings, for it was born before all other creatures, and it is therefore, said to be the medicine for all'. Therefore, it is right that he who meditates on all food as the Atman, should obtain all food. "From food are beings born, when born, by food they grow". This repetition of what has been already said, is for summing up, or for indicating that the present subject is concluded.



Now, the Sruti gives the etymology of the word Anna. Food is eaten by all beings, and is itself, the eater of all beings. As it is eaten and eats, it is therefore called Anna. Food, in its limited aspect, is eaten by all beings. In its universal aspect, all beings are absorbed or dissolved in it. So it feeds upon all beings. The particle It in the test, which means thus', marks the close of the exposition of the first sheath (Kosa).

The Sruti proceeds to show, with the help of knowledge, that the individual soul is identical with Brahman who is within, and beyond the five sheaths from the Annamaya (food-sheath), down to the Anandamaya (the blissful sheath), and goes on to extract the kernel within, by divesting it of the five sheaths formed by ignorance, just as by threshing the many chaff-coverings of Kodrava, one brings to view the grain within.


In order to lead the mind, which has lost its longing and attraction for sensual objects, to the Inner Being which is behind the Annamaya Kosa, the food sheath, the Sruti now proceeds to explain the nature of Prana and the Pranamaya Kosa, the vital sheath. Distinct from the food-sheath, or the gross physical body, which has been described above, there is the inner self made of Prana, falsely imagined to be the Atman like the gross body. The Pranamaya Kosa is also falsely identified with the real Self, the Atman. This self, formed of Prana, fills the self which is formed of food-essence, just as air fills the bellows.


The Annamaya Kosa is permeated by four Kosas, the Pranamaya and the rest. The Pranamaya Kosa is permeated by the three Kosas, the Manomaya by two Kosas and the Vijnanamaya by one Kosa.


The Annamaya is filled by the Pranamaya, as the serpent is filled by the rope (where the latter is mistaken for the former). The Annamaya is an effect of the Pranamaya and it is a mere imagination, as the Sruti says: "All effect is a mere name, a creation of speech".


The Pranamaya Kosa is more subtle than the gross physical sheath. The vital forces of the Pranamaya Kosa perform the different functions of the body, viz., digestion, circulation of blood, deglutition, excretion, etc., and manipulate the physical body from within. The whole physical body is pervaded by the Pranamaya Kosa. The Pranamaya Kosa contains the five Karma Indriyas, organs of actions, viz., organ of speech, hands, feet, organ of generation and anus. The different limbs of the physical body have their corresponding parts in the Pranamaya Kosa. Pranamaya Kosa, along with the mental and intellectual sheaths, forms the Linga Sarira, subtle body or astral body.


The Pranamaya self is of man's form with head, hands, etc. Is it, in itself, possessed of a head, etc.? The Sruti says: No. The self, made of the essence of food, is of the human form. This Pranamaya self is fashioned in human form not by himself, but only after the shape of that made of food, just as an idol is fashioned after the mould into which the melted metal is poured. It is not of the form by itself. The form of each inner one is the human form, after the form of the outer one. Each outer one is full of that which is within. Just as water assumes the shape of the vessel which holds it, so also the Pranamaya Kosa takes the shape of the Annamaya Kosa.



How, then, is he of human form? The Sruti answers: The Prana, expired through the mouth and nose, is itself the head of the Pranamaya self, on the authority of this hymn. The sides or the wings are also fancied on the authority of the scriptural teaching.


Vyana, the air which pervades the whole body, is the right side or the right wing. Apana is the left side or the left wing. Samana, which abides in Akasa, middle of the body, is the trunk or the central part. Samana is said to be the trunk because it occupies a central portion, with reference to the other Vayus. The trunk or the central part is the Atman. This is declared in the Srutis: "Indeed, the middle one of these members is the Atman". The earth is the tail, the support. The Earth is the deity presiding over the earth, the supporter of the life of the body, because it is the cause of its existence. The Sruti elsewhere says: "This (earth) supports the Apana of the man. But for this support, the body will be carried up by the action of the Udana, or it will have to fall down by its weight". Therefore, the earth is the supporting tail of the Pranamaya self. The earth is the vital air which goes upwards. It is called earth because it is the prop of the vital airs.


As to the teaching concerning the Pranamaya self, there is the following verse.


Here ends the Second Anuvaka of the Brahmananda Valli




प्राणं देवा अनु प्राणन्ति। मनुष्याः पशवश्च ये।प्राणो हि भूतानामायुः। तस्मात्‌ सर्वायुषमुच्यते।सर्वमेव त आयुर्यन्ति। ये प्राणं ब्रह्मोपासते।प्राणो हि भूतानामायुः। तस्मात्‌ सर्वायुषमुच्यत इति।तस्यैष एव शारीर आत्मा। यः पूर्वस्य। तस्माद्वा एतस्मात्प्राणमयात्‌। अन्योऽन्तर आत्मा मनोमयः।तेनैष पूर्णः। स वा एष पुरुषविध एव।तस्य पुरुषविधताम्‌। अन्वयं पुरुषविधः।तस्य यजुरेव शिरः। ऋग्दक्षिणः पक्षः। सामोत्तरः पक्षः। आदेश आत्मा। अथर्वाङ्गिरसः पुच्छं प्रतिष्ठा।तदप्येष श्लोको भवति॥


।। इति तृतीयोऽनुवाकः ।।


Through Prana the gods live, and so also do men and beasts. Prana is verily the life of beings. Therefore, it is called the universal life, or the life of all. Those who worship Prana as Brahman, attain the whole life-duration or the full span of life. Prana verily is the life of beings. Therefore, it is called the universal life or the life of all.


Of that former (Annamayatma), this (Prana- mayatma) produced in the body is the soul. Different from the Pranamaya self made of Prana, there is another self made of mind. With that self made of mind, this (the Pranamaya) is filled. This is also of the form of man. Its human form is according to that of the former. Of it, Yajus is the head. Rik is the right side (wing). Saman is the left side (wing). Scriptural injunction (Adesa) is the trunk (body). Atharva-angirasa is the tail, the support. There is the following verse about it.


Notes and Commentary


Devah- gods or the senses. Pasavah- beasts. Purushah vidhah- of the form of man. Purushavidhatam- human form. Sarvam ayus- full life. Adesa -injunction, command, here denotes Brahman, a division of the Vedas, because it commands all that should be commanded.


The gods live after Prana. The gods, Agni and other Devas live, i.e., they do the act of breathing, act by breathing after Prana which is of the nature of air. Through Prana alone the gods live. In the macrocosmic aspect, the gods are the deities who hold control over the various functions of nature. As the present section deals with microcosmic or individual soul, Devas here denotes senses (Indriyas). Through the vibration of Prana only, the senses perform their allotted functions. When the Prana functions, then only the senses also can function.The senses derive their very life from Prana only. So also do men and beasts function only when Prana, the life-principle, functions. The living creatures have their being, not in the Annamaya self alone, but in the Pranamaya self also, which lies within the Annamaya self, and permeates the whole physical body.



All living creatures are endowed with Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya selves, one abiding within the other. The internal permeates the external self which lies outside. All of them are formed of Akasa and other elements of matter. All of them exist only by ignorance. They are set up by Avidya, nescience. They are all possessed of Supreme Soul, Brahman, who is everywhere, who is all, who is the cause of Akasa and all the rest, who is eternal, changeless, self-existent, who is existence, knowledge and infinity and who is beyond the five sheaths. He is indeed the Self of all. He verily is the Atman.


It was said that the gods live through Prana. How SO? Prana is the life of all beings. The Sruti says: As long as Prana is in this body, so long is life' (Kaushitaki Up. III-2). Therefore, Prana is the life of all. Everybody knows well that death occurs when the Prana departs from the body. Everybody knows that Prana is the life of all.


Those who leave the external, particular Annamayatman and meditate on the internal, general Pranamayatman as Brahman, thus, I am Prana, I am the Atman of all, the Self of all beings, because I am the cause or source to attain the full span of life', do not die prematurely. They do not die an unnatural death, before the allotted period. According to the Vedas, the full span of life is hundred years. How so? The Sruti says: Prana is the life of beings, therefore it is said to be the life of all' The repetition is intended to explain the utility of this Vidya (Upasana). Whoever meditates on Brahman, as endowed with certain attributes, himself becomes the possessor of those attributes.



Now, the Sruti shows the aim of all this teaching regarding the Pranamaya Kosa. The Pranamaya Kosa is the self that abides in the Annamaya Kosa. This physical body is mistaken for the pure Atman, by false identification on account of ignorance. The Sruti wants you now to give up the idea that the body is the self, and take up the idea that the Pranamaya Kosa is the self. The mind is taken from the gross body to the subtle Pranamaya sheath. When the idea, that the Pranamaya is the self, is deeply ingrained, the illusion that the Annamaya is one's own self, vanishes. Then you begin to feel that the Annamaya is the body, and the Pranamaya is one's own self that abides in that physical body.


Ananda Giri interprets that the same Chit-dhatu, the principle of Consciousness that is the real self of the former Annamaya, is the self of the Pranamaya.


The Sruti now proceeds to give a description of the Manomaya self. Manas, mind, is that inner sense, or internal organ, or instrument consisting of Sankalpa and Vikalpa (thought and doubt). It is the seat of volition. Just as the Annamaya Kosa is made of food-stuff, so also the Manomaya Kosa is formed of mind-stuff.


Manomaya self is the inner self of the Pranamaya. It permeates the Pranamaya Kosa. The Pranamaya Kosa is filled by the Manomaya Kosa. The Manomaya Kosa contains the organs of knowledge, viz., ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose. The real senses are within. What you see outside, the physical eyes, etc., are mere instruments. The Manomaya Kosa is more subtle and expansive than the Pranamaya Kosa, which is more subtle and expansive than the Annamaya Kosa.


The Manomaya Kosa, the mental sheath, abides within the Pranamaya Kosa like the bladder of a football. Through the functioning of the Manomaya Kosa only, you say I think', I imagine'. For the sake of contemplation, it is said to be of human form made up of five members, viz., head, right wing, left wing, trunk and tail. Just as water assumes the shape of the vessel in which it is kept, just as the melted metal puts on the form of the mould into which it is poured, so also the human form of the Manomaya sheath follows from that of the Pranamaya.


Now the Sruti proceeds to explain the method of meditation on the Manomaya self. Of him, the Yajus is the head. Yajus is that class of hymns (Mantras) which are not subject to any definite rule as to the syllables, letters, or feet or end. The word Yajus denotes all compositions of this kind. It is here represented as the head because of its importance. The importance lies in its being of immediate help in sacrificial rites. For, it is with the Yajus, with the words Svaha, etc., that an oblation is offered. Or, what we call Yajus is only a Manovritti, a state, a mode, a function, an act of mind and consists in thinking and meditating on the organ of utterance, kind of effort, sound, intonation, letter, word and sentence. It is this thought that manifests itself through hearing and other organs, and is given the name of Yajus. The same thing applies to the Rik and to the Saman.


The hymns represent the knowledge of the Atman, denoted by the word Yajus', which depends upon the activity of the mind, and is limited by the Upadhi of the states of mind, which is the vitality of the Atman and which has neither beginning nor end. And so, we can explain how the Vedas are eternal. The Sruti speaks of the unity of the Vedas with the Eternal Self: He is the Atman abiding in Manas, in whom all Vedas become one. This will have a meaning only if the Rik and others are eternal. The hymn also says: The Riks are seated in Akshara, the indestructible, in the Supreme Heaven, wherein all Devas sit on high' (Taitt. Ara.).


The Atharva-angirasas, i.e., the Mantras seen by Atharvan and Angiras and their Brahmana, is the supporting tail, because they deal mainly with the performances of rites, which promote man's well-being by conducing to his peace and strength.


Here ends the Third Anuvaka of the Brahmananda Valli




यतो वाचो निवर्तन्ते। अप्राप्य मनसा सह। आनन्दं ब्रह्मणो विद्वान्‌। न बिभेति कदाचनेति।तस्यैष एव शारीर आत्मा। यः पूर्वस्य।तस्माद्वा एतस्मान्मनोमयात्‌। अन्योऽन्तर आत्मा विज्ञानमयः।तेनैष पूर्णः। स वा एष पुरुषविध एव।तस्य पुरुषविधताम्। अन्वयं पुरुषविधः। तस्य श्रद्धैव शिरः।ऋतं दक्षिणः पक्षः।सत्यमुत्तरः पक्षः। योग आत्मा। महः पुच्छं प्रतिष्ठा।तदप्येष श्लोको भवति॥


॥ इति चतुर्थोऽनुवाकः ।।


Whence all speech turn back with the mind without reaching, he who knows the bliss of Brahman, fears not at any time. This mind is the embodied soul of the former. Of the Pranamaya, this one, namely, the Manomaya, is the self, having the Pranamaya for his body.


Different from that, made of mind, is another inner soul made of knowledge (Vijnana). By that, this is filled. It also has the shape of man. According to the human shape of that, is the human form of this. Faith is its head. Righteousness (Ritam) is the right side or wing. Truth (Satyam) is the left side or wing. Yoga (concentration-meditation) is the trunk (Self. Mahah is the tail, the support.


On this, there is also the following verse.


Notes and Commentary


Vidvan- he who knows. Na bibheti- does not fear. Vijnanamayah- formed of knowledge. Ritam- righteousness. Satyam- truth.



Brahman is beyond all speech and thought. But one can realise Brahman intuitively, through meditation and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. When one knows the eternal bliss of Brahman, he becomes absolutely fearless. Fear comes only when there is duality. How can there be fear for one who beholds oneness of the Self everywhere?


The Manomaya Kosa is made up of Vrittis or Sankalpas (thoughts). It is subtler than the Pranamaya Kosa. It controls the Pranamaya Kosa. So it is the inner self of the Pranamaya Kosa.


Other than that one formed of Manas, there is another self within, formed of Vijnana. By him this one is filled. The inner self of the Manomaya is the Vijnanamaya. It has been shown in the previous Anuvaka that the Manomaya is made up of the Vedas.Vijnana, knowledge, is the knowledge of what is taught in the Vedas.


The Sruti leads the aspirant, who has withdrawn himself from the Annamaya, Pranamaya and the Manomaya still farther within, beyond even the Manomaya Kosa.


Viinanamaya is the determinative knowledge. This determinative knowledge is an attribute of the intellect. It is the determinative faculty which guides the mind and comes to right conclusion or determination. When the mind is in a doubting condition whether to do an action or not, Vijnanamaya renders help by coming to a determination, I must do this'. The sacrificial rites are performed by one, only after ascertaining their nature from right sources of knowledge. Vijnana is the source of all sacrificial rites.


The Manomaya is composed of Vrittis, states of mind. Vijnanamaya is the owner of these states of mind. It is an agent of all thoughts.


Now, the Sruti proceeds to explain the method of meditation on the Vijnanamaya self. He who has acquired through Vedas a well-ascertained knowledge, first entertains faith (Sraddha) as to the things he has to do. As faith is the primary element in all things to be done, it is the head, as it were, of the Vijnanamaya. Faith is the chief factor of knowledge. Righteousness and truth are called the wings (sides), because without these there cannot arise firm conviction.


Yoga is concentration and meditation. It is the trunk as it were, because without meditation one cannot acquire the knowledge of the Reality. Mahah, the principle of Mahat, Hiranyagarbha (cosmic mind), is said to be the tail or support because it is the cause of its effect, the individual Buddhi, just as the earth is the support of the trees, shrubs, etc. Mahat is the great principle that was first born. The Sruti elsewhere says, The great adorable one, the first born' (Bri. Up. V-4). It is tail, because it is the cause to support. The principle of Mahat is the source of all knowledge. Therefore, it is the support of the Atman made up of knowledge, the self Vijnanamaya.


Here ends the Fourth Anuvaka of the Brahmananda valli




विज्ञानं यज्ञं तनुते। कर्माणि तनुतेऽपि च।विज्ञानं देवाः सर्वे।ब्रह्म ज्येष्ठमुपासते। विज्ञानं ब्रह्म चेद्वेद।तस्माच्चेन्न प्रमाद्यति। शरीरे पाप्मनो हित्वा।सर्वान् कामान् समश्नुत इति। तस्यैष एव शारीर आत्मा।यः पूर्वस्य। तस्माद्वा एतस्माद्विज्ञानमयात्। अन्योऽन्तर आत्माऽऽनन्दमयः तेनैष पूर्णः।स वा एष पुरुषविध एव। तस्य पुरुषविधताम्। अन्वयं पुरुषविधः। तस्य प्रियमेव शिरः। मोदो दक्षिणः पक्षः।प्रमोद उत्तरः पक्षः। आनन्द आत्मा। ब्रह्म पुच्छं प्रतिष्ठा।तदप्येष श्लोको भवति॥

।। इति पञ्चमोऽनुवाकः ।।


Knowledge performs the sacrifice as well as Karma.

All the gods worship knowledge as Brahman, the eldest.

If a man knows knowledge as Brahman, and if he does not swerve from it, he attains all desires, having abandoned his sins in the body.


Of that, of the former, this one verily is the embodied self.

Different from this self, made of knowledge (Vijnanamaya) is another self within, formed of bliss. By that this is filled. (The Anandamaya fills and permeates the Vijnanamaya). It also has the shape of man. According to the human shape of that is the human form of this. Of it Love (Priya) is the head. Joy (Modah) is the right side (wing). Delight (Pramodah) is the left side (wing). Bliss (Anandam) is the trunk (self. Brahman is the tail, the support. About that, there is also the following verse.


Notes and Commentary


Anandamaya- formed of bliss. Priyam- love. Modah-joy, satisfaction, joy that arises from gratified desire. Pramoda- delight, great satisfaction, the same joy intensified.


Vijnana, or knowledge, performs sacrifices, because a man who has knowledge performs sacrifices with faith, etc. Therefore, knowledge is said to be the doer. The Buddhi which determines gives sanction, and the mind and the senses work through the gross body. Therefore, Vijnana is the real agent.


It performs deeds as well. The word Karma denotes sacred rites only. But here it means, in a liberal sense, any kind of action. All actions are performed through the sanction of the intellect.


Because all are performed by knowledge (Vijnana), therefore, the Vijnanamaya self is Brahman. All gods, such as Indra, meditate on Hiranyagarbha, who is the eldest, because He is the first born, or the first manifestation, or because He is the source of all individual activities. All actions are done only with previous knowledge. All the gods put faith in this soul of knowledge and meditate upon it. Therefore, they attain knowledge and powers by worshipping that great Brahman. When they meditate on the Hiranyagarbha, they identify themselves with Him, and attain all the wonderful powers and knowledge (Aisvarya and Jana).


If a man constantly meditates on the Hiranya-garbha, he feels identified with Him and thus attains all the wonderful powers.


If a person meditates on the Hiranyagarbha and realises Him, and if, after realisation, he never swerves from that Brahman, and if he dwells constantly in the thought that the Vijnanamaya self is Brahman, he becomes free from all sins too. All sins arise from identification of the Self with the body. Body is the cause of all sins and miseries. But, when one identifies himself with the Hiranyagarbha, through constant meditation and worship, the body-consciousness disappears and with it all sins, just as the shadow disappears when the umbrella disappears. He becomes identical with the Hiranyagarbha, or the Vijnanamaya Brahman, and enjoys all his desires.


The Sruti proceeds to explain the nature of the Anandamaya self. The Anandamaya self is also an effect. The Sruti teaches of the Self in His aspect as the enjoyer by Avidya, ignorance, as He identifies Himself with the Upadhi of Antahkarana, inner sense, which is of fourfold nature (mind, intellect, memory, egoism). The Anandamaya is made up of the latent impressions of love and other forms of happiness. The Anandamaya is the seed-body or causal-body (Karana Sarira). This body functions during deep sleep. The sum total of all causal bodies of all individual souls constitutes the Upadhi, or Maya of Isvara.


Love (Priya) which springs up at the sight of a beloved son and the like, is the head, as it were, of Anandamaya self, because of its pre-eminence or prominence. It is the Anandamaya self who feels I am happy', I am the enjoyer'.


Moda is the joy of exultation produced by the acquisition and possession of a beloved object. Pramoda is the same joy intensified or raised to high pitch. Love (Priya), joy (Moda) and delight (Pramoda) are reflections of bliss manifested in the Sattvic states of mind.


Ananda (bliss) is the trunk. It is the self, or the centre of love, joy and delight, because it runs through them all, because the limbs of joy, delight, are linked with it uninterruptedly. Ananda is the unconditioned, or the Supreme Brahman. This Bliss is manifested or reflected in that state of mind which is not covered by Tamas (darkness), and which is brought about, when sons, friends or such other beloved objects are placed before it, by virtue of good deeds. This is what is known among people as the sensual pleasure (Vishaya-sukha). This pleasure is momentary, because the Karma, which brings about such a state of mind, is impermanent.


The mind is purified by austerity, by knowledge which dispels ignorance, by chastity, faith and pious devotion, becomes more and more free from Tamas, and becomes more and more serene. Then the joy manifests itself in a higher and higher degree in the mind, so purified and rendered clear. The Sruti says later on: 'Joy is He'. Having obtained it, he becomes blissful, because it is this which makes one joyful. There is also another text. 'All other creatures live on a small portion of that bliss' (Bri. Up. IV-3-xxxi).


Bliss is of different degrees of intensity owing to the nature and variety of Karma. Bliss is a hundredfold greater than the satisfaction of a desire. The Sruti describes different degrees of bliss, rising in degree a hundredfold, higher and higher, according to the degree of desirelessness of the person.


Of the Anandamaya self, the Supreme Brahman Himself is the tail, the support, because He is the basis of all.


The Supreme Brahman, which has been described as Satyam Jnanam Anantam, forms the main subject of the discourse. A description of the five sheaths, beginning with Annamaya, has been given in order to realise the Supreme Brahman which is beyond the five sheaths. The Supreme Brahman, which lies within the five sheaths, is also the Self of them all. This non-dual Brahman forms the support, or the ultimate basic reality, that underlies all duality produced by Avidya, ignorance. As the Anandamaya leads ultimately to unity, there is the supporting Brahman, one without a second, who is the ultimate basis of duality caused by ignorance, who is the tail, the support of the Anandamaya.



The five Kosas of man are described in order to destroy the great evil of Samsara. Resolve each Kosa into that which immediately succeeds it. Starting from the Annamaya Kosa, each effect into its immediate cause, till the ultimate cause is reached. Eventually, you will be led on to the knowledge of Brahman, who is beyond cause and effect, who is neither the cause nor the effect. You will realise the oneness of individual soul and the Supreme Soul.


Maya is the illusory power of Brahman. This is the material cause of the universe. It is made up of three Gunas, viz., Sattva (purity), Rajas (passion) and Tamas (darkness. Tamas is the cause of the Annamaya Kosa. So, inertness predominates in this Kosa. Rajas is the cause of the Pranamaya Kosa. It is endowed with Kriya Sakti (power of action). The cause of the Manomaya Kosa is Sattva mixed with Tamas. Therefore, the Tamasic qualities, hatred, etc., are present in the mind. The cause of the Viinanamaya is Sattva mixed with Rajas. Therefore, we find in it the agency. Manas (mind) and intellect (Buddhi) are products of Jana Sakti. The pure Guna of Sattva is the cause of the Anandamaya Kosa, and therefore, we find in it, love, joy, delight. There is Iccha Sakti also in the mind. A desire arises in the mind on account of the Iccha Sakti. Through Jana Sakti, man gets knowledge as to how to possess the desired Objects. Through Kriya Sakti, he exerts and possesses the objects.


Birth and death are the Dharmas (attributes) of the Annamaya Kosa. Hunger and thirst are the Dharmas of the Pranamaya Kosa. Moha (delusion) and Soka (grief) are attributes of the Manomaya Kosa. The Atman is ever-pure and unattached. He is absolutely free from the Shad Urmis, the six waves of the ocean of Samsara, viz., birth, death, hunger, thirst, delusion and grief.


The Annamaya Kosa constitutes the gross physical body (Sthula Sarira). The Pranamaya, the Manomaya and the Vijnanamaya Kosas constitute the subtle or astral body (Linga Sarira). The Anandamaya Kosa constitutes the causal body (Karana Sarira).


The physical body operates during the waking state, the subtle body functions during the dreaming state, and the causal body operates during deep sleep state. During deep sleep, it is the thin veil of Anandamaya Kosa that separates the individual soul from the Supreme Soul, Brahman.


Here ends the Fifth Anuvaka of the Brahmananda valli




असन्नेव स भवति। असद् ब्रह्मेति वेद चेत्। अस्ति ब्रह्मेति चेद्वेद। सन्तमेनं ततो विदुरिति।तस्यैष एव शारीर आत्मा। यः पूर्वस्य। अथातोऽनुप्रश्नाः। उताविद्वानमुं लोकं प्रेत्य।कश्चन गच्छती३ उ। आहो विद्वानमुं लोकं प्रेत्य कश्चित्समश्नुता ३ उ। सोऽकामयत।बहु स्यां प्रजायेयेति। स तपोऽतप्यत। स तपस्तप्त्वा।इदं सर्वमसृजत। यदिदं किञ्च। तत् सृष्ट्वा तदेवानुप्राविशत्‌। तदनुप्रविश्य। सच्च त्यच्चाभवत्। निरुक्तं चानिरुक्तं च। निलयनं चानिलयनं च।विज्ञानं चाविज्ञानं च। सत्यं चानृतं च सत्यमभवत्‌।यदिदं किं च। तत्सत्यमित्याचक्षते।तदप्येष श्लोको भवति॥

।। इति षष्ठोऽनुवाकः ।।


If he knows Brahman as non-existent, he becomes himself non-existent. If he knows Brahman as existent, then (they) know him to be existent. Of him, of the former, this verily is the embodied soul.


Therefore, arise the (following) questions (of the pupil) Does he, who knows not, after having departed this world, go There? Or does he, who knows, after leaving the world, obtain That?


He desired, May I be many, may I be born'. He performed Tapas. Having performed Tapas, He brought forth all this whatever there is. Having brought forth, He entered it. Having entered it, He became Sat (being, what is manifest) and Tyat (the beyond, what is not manifest), defined and undefined, the abode and the non-abode, knowledge and ignorance, truth and falsehood and all this, whatsoever is existing. Therefore, it is called Existence. On this, there is the following verse.


Notes and Commentary


Asat- non-existent. Avidvan- one who does not know. Vidvan- one who knows. Pretya- after he dies, having departed. Amum- that. Lokam- world. Gachhati- goes. Aho-Oh then, tell me. Akamayata desired. Prajayeya- may I produce. Sa akamayatabahu syam prajayeyeti- may I be many, may I be born. Bahu- many. Syam- may I be, I shall be. Tapas- here, means knowledge, Brahman reflected regarding the design of the world to be created. Tat srishtua tadevanu pravisat- having brought forth, He entered it. Sat- being, what is manifest. Tyat- the beyond, what is not manifested. Niruktam- defined. Aniruktam- undefined. Nilayanam- the abode, support. Anilayanam- the non-abode, not supported, not a support. Vijnanam- knowledge. Avijnanam- ignorance.

Satyam -truth. Anritam-  falsehood. Achakshate- call.


He, who has no faith in the existence of Brahman, leads a sensuous life. He is vicious. He has no right conduct. He has no higher aspirations and ideals. This world is everything for him. He identifies himself with the physical body and the other Kosas, and mistakes them for the real Self. He becomes non-existent. He fails to attain immortality or the life eternal. He falls into the abyss of darkness of ignorance, and is caught up again and again in the round of births and deaths.


If, on the contrary, a man knows that there exists Brahman who is the basis or support for everything, who is the basis of all differentiation, who is the seed of all action, and in whom there is no distinction, he leads a virtuous life. He has ideals and higher aspirations. He does not lead a sensual life. He has right conduct in relation to caste, stages of life, etc. He develops dispassion, discrimination and renounces sensual objects. He engages himself in meditation, struggles hard to attain Brahman, the Absolute, and eventually becomes one with Him. Wise men regard him as existing, because he has become identical with Brahman who is Existence (Sat).


Why should there be any suspicion at all of the existence of Brahman? We reply: it arises from the fact that Brahman is beyond sensuous experience, beyond human speech. One has belief in the existence of that which falls within the range of speech. It is right, therefore, to believe that which is beyond the reach of speech is non-existent. People understand that a pot exists when it is within the range of speech, and that it does not exist, when it does not come within the range of speech. Similarly, here also one may believe that Brahman does not exist. Therefore, it is said, If he knows that Brahman exists', etc.


Anandamaya is the embodied self of the Vijnanamaya. Anandamaya is more subtle and expansive than the Vijnanamaya. Anandamaya permeates the Vijnanamaya. Anandamaya is the self that dwells in the Vijnanamaya body.


There can never arise a doubt that the Anandamaya does not exist. But as to Brahman, there is room for doubt, because He is devoid of all distinctions, and He is common to all alike.


These, then, are the disciples' questions following upon the teacher's exposition. Brahman, the cause of Akasa, etc., is common to both the knower and the ignorant. Therefore, it may be supposed that the attainment of Brahman is possible even in the case of ignorant persons. If he who knows not, does not attain Brahman, who is the same everywhere, then even he who knows, does not attain Brahman. What evidence is there to show that the enlightened attain Brahman?


The succeeding portion of the text is begun in order to answer these questions.


It was said that Brahman is Satyam (Truth). It is Truth because It exists.


The Sruti now proceeds to establish the very existence of Brahman.


An objector says: Brahman is not altogether non-existent. Why? Because that which exists, such as pot, is seen in actual experience; that which does not exist, such as the horn of a hare, is not seen. Similarly Brahman also is not seen. Therefore, as Brahman is not seen in actual experience, He does not exist'. This argument is unsound and untenable, because Brahman is the cause of Akasa, etc. It cannot be said that Brahman does not exist, for ether, etc., of which the cause is Brahman, is seen by the senses. Sruti declares that Akasa and all else in the creation, have been born of Brahman. It is a fact of common experience in the world that, that thing exists from which something else is born, as for example, clay and the seed, which are the material cause of pot and a tree. Therefore, Brahman exists, because It is the cause of ether, etc.


We do not see in this world, by our senses, anything born out of nothing. If objects of this world be the product of nothing, they could not be perceived by the senses. But they are perceived as such. Therefore Brahman exists. The Sruti declares: 'How can existence be born of non-existence? How could something be produced out of nothing?' (Chh. Up. VI-2-i). It also stands to reason that something could not be produced out of nothing. It, therefore, stands to reason to say that there is Brahman.


It could not be argued that if Brahman be the cause, like clay and the seed, etc., it could not be intelligent, because Brahman is one who has pure desires (Satya Kama). In our experience, we have found out that an intelligent or sentient being only can have desires. We have stated that Brahman is omniscient. It is, therefore, proper to say that Brahman has pure desires.


An objector may say that if Brahman has desires, he has objects of desire which are not attained. This is not correct because Brahman is independent of desires. Because of His independence, Brahman is not affected by the desires. Brahman's desires are faultless. They cannot rouse Him to action in the same manner as the impure desires influence others and guide their action. How then, are they? They are true (Satya) and wise (Jnana). They are, in nature, like Brahman and therefore pure. Brahman is not guided by them.


On the other hand, it is Brahman who prompts these desires in accordance with the deeds done by sentient beings. Therefore, Brahman is independent as regards desires. He has no desires unattained. He has nothing to desire for; for he does not require any external factors, or extraneous means, for their realisation. The desires of sentient beings do not belong to the Self. They depend upon the operation of Dharma and other causes. They are in need of additional extraneous aids, such as


body and sense-organs, in the accomplishment of objects distinct from the Self, whereas Brahman's desires are not dependent on external causes and the like, and are not prompted by any such motives. What then? They are one with Himself. They are not distinguishable from Him.


Brahman does not multiply Himself by giving birth to things which are quite distinct, just as the father multiplies himself by giving birth to son. How then? It is by the manifestation of the name and form which have remained unmanifested in Himself.


Brahman made Tapas, i.e., He thought about the arrangement of the world to be created. He, thus reflecting, created this universe, with space and time and names and forms, wherein all beings enjoy according to the nature of their Karmas.


According to Sri Ramanuia's Visishtadvaita philosophy, this world is a Parinama of Brahman. Just as milk changes itself into curd, so also Brahman has changed Himself into this world of subtle and gross objects. This is Parinama Vada.


There is serious defect in this doctrine. How can there arise change in the transcendental and perfect Brahman? Change is possible only in time and space. Brahman is beyond time, space and causation. Yet, the world of changing phenomena is present before you. How can this be explained or accounted for?


Sri Sankara propounds the theory of Vivarta Vada, the doctrine of superimposition. According to this doctrine, Brahman has not undergone any change to project this world, or to bring forth the creation. There is a mysterious inherent illusory power in Brahman. It is this power that has brought forth this creation. This inscrutable power is Maya.


Brahman entered the very universe He created, by the same Maya. Having brought forth all forms into existence, from Hiranyagarbha down to immovable objects, the Paramatman entered those very forms which He brought into being.


Now, we have to enquire how He entered the universe? Did He enter in the self-same form as the creator, or in a different form? Which of the two is correct and reasonable? The termination, Ktva (the participle form), having sent forth', indicates that the creator Himself entered the universe.


An objector says: This does not stand to reason if

Brahman is the cause of the universe, like the clay, because the effect is one with the cause, because the creation is in the nature of Brahman. The cause itself is transformed into the effect. Therefore, it does not stand to reason to say that the cause should enter the effect after the effect is produced, as if it had not entered before. There is no entering of clay into the jar. The clay has transformed itself in the form of a jar. That is all.Just as clay may enter the jar in the form of dust, so also the Atman may enter in a different form into the universe of names and forms. The Sruti also says, 'Having entered in this form, in the form of this Jivatman' (Chh. Up.VI-3-11).


This is wrong. This does not at all stand to reason, because Brahman is one. No doubt, a cause like clay may, in the form of dust, enter the pot, for clay is many and is made up of parts, and there is a place not already filled in by the dust or powder. But Atman is one, and is, moreover, partless. There is no place not already filled in by Him. Therefore, it is not proper to speak of His entrance.


The objector says: "How then can He have entrance’. The entering is not opposed to reason. The Sruti says, Into that very thing He then entered?. Let us suppose that Brahman is made up of parts. It is quite possible that He entered into the names and forms, in the form of Jiva, like the hand entering the mouth".


This explanation is not correct. It cannot be said that Brahman has parts, and that just as the hand may enter the mouth, Brahman has entrance into the name and form as Jivatman, because there is no place whereHe is not.


The objector: He enters the cause itself.


Answer: Then He would no longer be the Jivatman, just as a pot ceases to be a pot when it enters into clay, i.e., when it becomes clay.


The objector: There may be entrance, as in the reflection of the sun in water.


Answer: This cannot be, because Brahman is infinite and formless. There can only be a reflection of a finite and corporeal object into another clear surface like water.


But there can be no reflection of Atman, because He is formless, infinite and all-pervading, being the cause of Akasa. Entrance, in the form of reflection, is not possible at all, as there is nothing else which can serve as the reflecting medium, nor any space other than that which He occupies.


The objector: If so, then there is no entering at all. As it conveys no meaning, we have to ignore, altogether, the passage.


Answer: No, it has some other meaning. The Sruti started with the following words: The knower of Brahman reaches the Supreme. Truth, Knowledge, Infinity is Brahman. He who knoweth the one hidden in the cave... Knowledge is intended here. It is the subject with which the Sruti is concerned. In order to impart knowledge of Brahman, the Sruti dealt with the effects of Brahman, beginning with Akasa and ending with food. Then the nature of the five Kosas was dealt with. There, within the Atman made of food and different from it, is that made of Prana; within it is that made of mind; within it is that made of knowledge and within the cavity of knowledge is the Atman of joy, Anandamaya self. Within this very cavity has to be obtained that Brahman, the tail, the support, who is the basis of all differentiated manifestation, who is devoid of all differentiation. He is represented in the passage under consideration to have entered it. The entrance is, therefore, an imaginary representation. It is not an actual fact. The entrance is merely figurative.


He is cognised within the cave of intellect (Buddhi), in such specific forms of manifestation as seer, hearer, thinker, knower and so on. This constitutes His entrance. Therefore, Brahman, the cause, exists. So we should know or realise Him as Existence only.


What did He become after entering the effect? He became the corporeal and the incorporeal, form and formless (Murta and Amurta). These forms and the formless remained in the Atman, prior to creation, in an unmanifested or undifferentiated state. At the beginning of creation, they become differentiated by the Atman dwelling within them. Though they are differentiated, they still remain one with the Atman both in time and space.


Moreover, it became Nirukta (defined) and Anirukta (the undefined). The defined is that object which is distinguished from other classes of objects and from other objects of the same class. It is known to exist at a particular time and at a particular place. It can be specially pointed out as 'this it is'. What is opposed to the defined is the undefined. The terms Nirukta and Anirukta are adjectives qualifying the Murta and the Amurta. They are descriptive attributes of form and formless respectively. Form and the formless are respectively the defined and the undefined, the visible and the invisible. So also, they are the abode or support and the non-abode or non-support. Abode or support is an attribute of form. Non-abode or non-support is an attribute of the formless.


Though invisible', 'undefined' and 'non-abode' are the attributes of the formless, still they pertain to the manifested world, inasmuch as they are said to have come into being after creation. Tyat' denotes Prana, etc. It is Anirukta and is Anilayana. These are the attributes of the formless. Vital force and ether are undefined or indefinite. They constitute the non-abode. These attributes of the formless pertain only to the category of the differentiated being, but not to the unmanifested Brahman, the cause, who is also formless.


Vijnana is animate or the conscious or the sentient beings. Avijnana is inanimate, the unconscious or the insentient objects, such as stone.


Satyam here means relative truth. It does not mean the Absolute Reality, for Brahman, the Absolute Reality, is one alone. Water is said to be real when compared with the mirage, which is illusory. Anita is its opposite. A serpent in the rope, a thief in a post and silver in the mother-of-pearl, are false.


What is it that has become all this? The Absolute Truth. What again, is that Reality? It is Brahman, the subject of discussion here, with which this Upanishad began in the words, Brahman is Truth, Knowledge and Infinity'. Brahman, the one, who is called the Existence, became modified into everything, without exception, as the form and the formless. Because there is no modification of name or form, apart from Brahman, or outside Brahman, therefore, the knowers of Brahman say that Brahman is Truth, that all this is Brahman.


The section began with the question: 'Does Brahman exist or not?' By way of answer to this question, it has been said that he Atman desired, may I become many.In accordance with this desire, He created the Akasa and other things in the universe, what is manifest and what is unmanifest, entered the names and forms and became many as the seer, as the hearer, as the thinker, as the knower.


We should understand that this Brahman, who is the cause of Akasa, etc., who dwells in all creatures, who is located in that excellent cavity of the heart, who is realised by faith, meditation and intuition, who reveals Himself in all the cognitions of the mind, in all His specific manifestations as the seer, the hearer, and so on, does exist.


To the same effect is said this hymn of the Brahmana. Just as in the case of the five sheaths described above, there are Mantras explaining the Atman made of food, etc., here also is a hymn or verse which speaks of the existence of this, the innermost Atman, by speaking of the universe.


Thus ends the Sixth Anuvaka of the Brahmananda Valli




असद् वा इदमग्र आसीत्‌। ततो वै सदजायत।तदात्मानं स्वयमकुरुत।तस्मात् तत्सुकृतमुच्यत इति।यद्वै तत्सुकृतम्‌। रसो वै सः। रसं ह्येवायं लब्ध्वानन्दी भवति। को ह्येवान्यात् कः प्राण्यात्‌। यदेष आकाश आनन्दो न स्यात्‌।एष ह्येवानन्द याति।यदा ह्येवैष एतस्मिन्नदृश्येऽनात्म्येऽनिरुक्तेऽनिलयनेऽभयं प्रतिष्ठां विन्दते। अथ सोऽभयं गतो भवति।यदा ह्येवैष एतस्मिन्नुदरमन्तरं कुरुते।थ तस्य भयं भवति। तत्वेव भयं विदुषो मन्वानस्य।तदप्येष श्लोको भवति॥

।। इति सप्तमोऽनुवाकः ।।


In the beginning was verily this non-existent. From that the existent was born. That created Itself by Itself. Therefore, It is called self-made. This which was self-made that is the source of joy. Having obtained this source of joy, man becomes blessed. Who would have lived and breathed, had not the bliss in the cavity of heart existed! This Brahman Himself bestows bliss. When this Atman attains fearless oneness with the Brahman, who is invisible, incorporeal, undefined, abodeless, then he becomes free from fear. When, however, this Atman makes even the slightest distinction in Brahman, then there is fear for him. That Brahman Himself becomes the source of fear for him, who makes a difference and does not reflect. There is the following verse (hymn) about it.


Notes and Commentary


Asat-non-existent. Idam -this. Agre- in the beginning, formerly, before. Sat- Existence. Ajayata- was born. Rasah-joy, bliss, (lit.) taste. Abhayam -fearlessness. Yadahyeva- because. Eshah- this, the worshipper. Etasmin in this. Adrisye- invisible. Anatmye- incorporeal, unembodied. Anirukte- undefined, unpredicated. Anilayane- abodeless, unsupported, propless. Pratishtam- existence, residence. Vindate- Attains.


Abode: This is Avyaktam, wherein the universe is merged during Pralaya. It may mean Antahkarana, which is the abode of all tendencies or Vasanas.


Non-abode means Brahman which is beyond the cause. Brahman is not supported by anything and so He is non-abode (houseless, propless, supportless). He is established in His own greatness.


By non-existent is meant the unmanifested Brahman, as opposed to this manifested in name and form, as distinguished from the universe with specific names and forms manifested. It does not mean absolute non-existence, because from absolute non-existence, no existence can come.


Non-existent is the undifferentiated and unmanifested state of existence. It is not defined by any name and form. Hence it is called non-existent.


Idam this. This refers to the universe of specific names and forms.


The existent- the manifested, or the created world, which is differentiated by specific names and forms. This world of differentiated names and forms was non-existent. Prior to creation, this universe was Brahman Himself, here spoken of as 'non-existent' or 'non-being'. From that non-existent was born the 'existent' or 'being', with specific names and forms.


Is the creation quite distinct from Brahman, just as the son is distinct from the father? The Sruti says: 'Brahman, spoken of as non-existence or non-being, created Itself. Therefore, it is said to be self-made. Brahman transmuted Itself into the visible or manifested universe by Its own inherent power, without any extraneous help. He made Itself as the universe without being impelled by any one else. There is neither a material cause of the universe similar to clay, nor an efficient cause like the potter, over and above Brahman. Brahman is both the material and efficient cause of the universe. Therefore, Brahman is called Sukrita, the cause par excellence, the self-cause. Brahman is self-created. This is well known to the world because It is the cause or the source of all.


Brahman is an agent by Himself, but the Jiva is not an agent by himself. He is impelled to act by the Antaryamin, the Inner-ruler


Or, the passage can be interpreted in another way. Brahman, the cause is called Sukrita, the meritorious act, the good, on account of its virtue. Brahman created all out of Himself, remaining one with the entire world. Therefore, He is called Sukrita, as an embodiment of such a meritorious act.


Sukrita literally means that which is well done, a good act. It refers to the act of the Lord, not to the Lord Himself who is the agent. Even in worldly parlance, people say that whatever is done by the master himself is done well, but not that which is done by the servants. Sukrita may mean self-made, or self-created, or the cause par excellence, the self-cause, the independent cause.


That, which is well-known in the world as the cause of the connection between actions and their fruits, etc., and as denoted by the word Sukrita, be it the good deed itself or something else, can be explained only on the supposition that an intelligent eternal cause exists. Therefore, we conclude that Brahman exists, because Sukrita is well known. To prove in other ways that Brahman exists, the Sruti teaches that Brahman is bliss. Brahman also exists, because of this. Of what? Because it is Rasa (joy).


Rasa, in common parlance, is that which gives pleasure, satisfaction and joy, i.e., an object which is sweet, sour, etc. One gets Rasa and becomes joyous. Brahman is the supreme Rasa. By the Rasa of Brahman, this universe, which in itself is without Rasa, appears to be full of Rasa.


Love for Brahman cannot arise if He were not of the nature of bliss. Therefore, the word Rasa' denotes that Brahman is bliss itself. All sensual pleasures are only reflection of that one supreme bliss of Brahman. The wise, who are devotees of Brahman, who have no external help to joy, who have no desires, who have attained knowledge, are found full of happiness, as if they had obtained external objects of pleasure. To them, Brahman and Brahman alone is Rasa (joy), the cause or source of that joy. They enjoy the eternal bliss of Brahman in self-contemplations only. Therefore, Brahman, full of Rasa, and the cause of joy, exists.


In order to point out that Brahman exists, even as the source of our physical activity like breathing, etc., and sensual pleasure, the Sruti proceeds to show that Brahman is the cause of both.


Brahman also exists on account of this. For what reason? Because of the breathing and other kinds of activity we see. There is breathing in and out in this body by the help of Prana and Apana. The functions of the vital airs and the senses are carried on by the body and the senses combined. The conjunction, in mutual dependence, for the benefit of one single entity, is not possible without an independent intelligent being, for we have not seen it otherwise. For instance, sand, lime, bricks, do not combine together without an intelligent being, who is outside them all, who is to occupy the house as its lord.


The Sruti declares that Brahman, who is an embodiment of bliss and joy (Rasa), who is the very core of our being, is the source of our life and the activities of our senses. Without Brahman, the eyes cannot see, the ears cannot hear and the Pranas cannot perform their respective functions. The end and aim of existence, or the goal of life is to attain eternal bliss of Brahman. Man wants lasting happiness. On account of ignorance, he seeks it in external objects. He fails in this direction. Then he obtains discrimination, searches within, turns his mind inwards and finds the undying bliss in his own Self, the Atman, through meditation. The path on which a sensualist treads, is only a zigzag route towards the abode of supreme bliss. Every movement of life is towards Sat-chit-ananda Brahman only.


If this Ananda (bliss) does not exist in the supreme ether in the cave of the heart, who indeed in the world can breathe? Therefore, Brahman exists.


Brahman gives joy to the world. He makes all beings in the world happy, according to their merit or virtue. Brahman is the bliss, which is revealed only in its limited forms to living beings, on account of their Avidya, ignorance.


When the object of desire is attained, the mind withdraws its attention from the object, and turns inwards before the desire for another object arises, and enjoys the bliss of the Inner Self. This is what is usually called sensual pleasure. This truth is known only to those who possess the faculty of discrimination. Thus, we should admit that Brahman exists as the source of this sensual pleasure.


Even as the cause of the fear in the ignorant man and of fearlessness in the wise man, Brahman exists. One can become fearless by attaching himself to something which exists. It is not reasonable that freedom from fear can be attained by something which does not exist. Cessation of fear cannot certainly arise from resort to a non-existent being. The Sruti now proceeds to answer how Brahman is the cause of fearlessness.


Fear comes on account of ignorance. Man is attached to the body and so he develops fear. He feels that life will become extinct if the body perishes. When one attains the knowledge of Brahman, he feels that he is eternal and deathless. He feels that he is identical with Brahman, and so he becomes absolutely fearless. He attains Brahman at the very moment he knows Him.


But, when one identifies himself with the body, the mind, the senses and the Prana, he separates himself from the universal life and the transcendental reality. He feels his separate individual existence, and so he is always in want and feels miserable. Through his own ignorance and separateness, he limits himself and becomes a victim of fear, pain and sorrow.


Whatever is visible is a modification or phenomenon.

It is capable of perception. Brahman is not a phenomenon. He is not an object of perception. He is invisible. He cannot be reached by the senses. Invisible means not subject to modification, i.e., changeless. Brahman is changeless, because He is the cause of all modifications or phenomena, and therefore, He is not subject to modifications. An invisible, bodiless thing cannot be described. Because Brahman is invisible, He is formless. In a thing which is free from modification, there is no distinction or distinguishing mark. So, Brahman is indescribable. He is destitute of all attributes.


Fear arises when there is a second object. The Sruti also declares: From the second, verily, fear arises' (Bri.Up. 1-4-i). Distinction, difference, duality are the causes of fear. They are born of ignorance. They are generated by Avidya, nescience. The knower of the Self, who feels oneness or unity with the Brahman, who does not behold distinction, difference or duality when he finds that Brahman is his own Self, when he finds nothing else but the Brahman and makes no difference, becomes fearless. There is no fear of birth and death for him. When he is centred in his own Self, when he rests in his own Sat-chit-ananda Svarupa, he sees, hears and tastes nothing else. You can be afraid of another but you cannot be afraid of your own self. How can there be fear for one who beholds his own self everywhere? Therefore, Brahman alone is the cause of the fearlessness of the knower. When there are various causes of fear in the world, the knowers, Jivanmuktas, are fearless. This itself clearly indicates that Brahman, who frees the knower from all sorts of fear, does exist. If Brahman does not exist, the wise cannot attain fearlessness. Therefore, Brahman, the cause of their fearlessness, does exist.



The ignorant man, who beholds duality and difference, however small it may be, in this one undivided Brahman, who sees the smallest difference, between himself and Brahman, who feels that Brahman is distinct from himself, who perceives another placed before him, on account of ignorance, just as a man sees a second moon owing to a disease in the eye, who thinks that he is subject to Samsara, becomes afraid. He thinks that God is different from him, that He will punish him for his sins, and that the Brahman who is subtle, invisible and formless, who is beyond the reach of the senses and the mind, must be an object of perception and knowledge, through intellect. On account of ignorance, he separates himself from the Brahman and regards himself as doer and enjoyer. Therefore, the Atman alone, in the case of the ignorant, is the cause of the fear of the Atman. The self is the cause of the self's fear. He who has no knowledge of this one indivisible Brahman, is really ignorant. Brahman cannot be realised through mere intellectual reasoning. He is beyond the reach of intellect. There is no triad (knower, knowledge and knowable) in Brahman. He is distinct from the knower, knowable and unknowable.


Here ends the Seventh Anuvaka of Brahmananda Valli






भीषाऽस्माद्वातः पवते। भीषोदेति सूर्यः।भीषाऽस्मादग्निश्चेन्द्रश्च। मृत्युर्धावति पञ्चम इति।सैषाऽऽनन्दस्य मीमांसा भवति।युवा स्यात्साधुयुवाऽध्यायकः। आशिष्ठो दृढिष्ठो बलिष्ठः। तस्येयं पृथिवी सर्वा वित्तस्य पूर्णा स्यात्। स एको मानुष आनन्दाः। ते ये शतं मानुषा आनन्दाः।


स एको मनुष्यगन्धर्वाणामानन्दः। श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य।ते ये शतं मनुष्यगन्धर्वाणामानन्दाः।स एको देवगन्धर्वाणामानन्दः। श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य।ते ये शतं देवगन्धर्वाणामानन्दाः।स एकः पितृणां चिरलोकलोकानामानन्दः।श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य। ते ये शतं पितृणां चिरलोकलोकानामानन्दाः।स एकः आजानजानां देवानामानन्दः।


 श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य।ते ये शतम् आजानजानां देवानामानन्दाः।स एकः कर्मदेवानां देवानामानन्दः। ये कर्मणा देवानपियन्ति। श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य।ते ये शतं कर्मदेवानां देवानामानन्दाः। स एको देवानामानन्दः। श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य।ते ये शतं देवानामानन्दाः। स एक इन्द्रस्यानन्दः।


श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य। ते ये शतमिन्द्रस्यानन्दाः।स एको बृहस्पतेरानन्दः। श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य।ते ये शतं बृहस्पतेरानन्दाः। स एकः प्रजापतेरानन्दः।श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य।

ते ये शतं प्रजापतेरानन्दाः।स एको ब्रह्मण आनन्दः। श्रोत्रियस्य चाकामहतस्य॥


स यश्चायं पुरुषे। यश्चासावादित्ये। स एकः।स य एवंवित्‌। अस्माल्लोकात्प्रेत्य। एतमन्नमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति।एतं प्राणमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति। एतं मनोमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति।एतं विज्ञानमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति। एतमानन्दमयमात्मानमुपसङ्क्रामति।तदप्येष श्लोको भवति॥


।। इत्यष्टमोऽनुवाकः ।।


Through fear of Him, blows the wind. Through fear of Him rises the sun. Through fear of Him, again, Indra, fire and the fifth, Death, proceed (to their respective duties).


The following is the enquiry concerning bliss (Ananda Brahman). Suppose there be a youth, a good youth, well-versed in the scriptures, well-disciplined, resolute and very strong. Suppose, his is all this earth, full of wealth. This is one human bliss. This is the unit measure of human bliss).


A hundredfold of the human bliss is the unit measure of the bliss of human Gandharvas, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


A hundredfold of the bliss of human Gandharvas is the unit measure of the bliss of celestial Gandharvas, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


A hundredfold of the bliss of celestial Gandharvas is the unit measure of the bliss of the manes, who dwell in the long-enduring world, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


A hundredfold of the bliss of the manes who dwell in the long-enduring world, is the unit measure of the bliss of the Devas born in heaven, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


A hundredfold of the bliss of the Devas born in heaven is the unit measure of the bliss of gods known as Karma Devas, those who have become Devas by their sacrificial deeds, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


A hundredfold of the bliss of the gods, known as Karma Devas, is the unit measure of the bliss of Indra, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


A hundredfold of the bliss of Indra is the unit measure of the bliss of Brihaspati, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


A hundredfold of the bliss of Brihaspati is the unit measure of the bliss of Prajapati, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


A hundredfold of the bliss of Prajapati is the unit measure of the bliss of Brahma, and also is the bliss of one versed in the Vedas, who is free from desires.


He, who is in man, and He, who is in the Sun, are one. He who knows this, having departed from this world, (first) attains this Atman made of food, (next) attains this Atman made of Prana, (next) attains this Atman made of Manas and then Buddhi, and (lastly) attains the Atman made of bliss.


There is the following verse on this.


Notes and Commentary


Adhyayakah- one who had studied the Vedas. Asishtah- well-disciplined. Dradhishtah- resolute, very firm. Balishtah- very strong. Srotriyasya- of one versed in the Vedas. Akamahatasya- of one who is not affected by the desires. Chiralokalokanam- of those (manes) whose abode is the eternal heaven. Karmadevah- those who become gods, owing to their good actions. Ajana -the world of the gods (Devaloka).


Wind, Sun, Fire, Indra and Yama are lords in themselves, who preside over the different functions of the universe, and who do their respective duties for its continuance. They regularly perform their functions of blowing and the like, according to a certain law, which involves much trouble. The regular discharge of their respective functions is possible only if there is a controller. Therefore, Brahman, their cause of fear and their controller, exists. They perform their functions, like the servants of a king, from fear of this Brahman. Their existence is entirely dependent upon Brahman.


Death, or Yama, is the fifth god. He always runs here and there, towards those living beings whose life-period has been over, in order to kill them.


That cause of fear i.e., Brahman, is bliss. Of this Brahman, the following is an investigation. What is that investigation or enquiry? Is Brahman's bliss inherent, i.e., natural, or generated by the relation of objects and enjoyer, or the contact of the subject and the object, like the worldly pleasure? In other words, is it produced by the contact of the senses and sense-objects, like the sensual pleasure? Or, is it independent of all external means?


It is through the sensual pleasure, which is familiar to us, that it will be possible for us to conceive the supreme bliss of Brahman, realisable by the intellect which is withdrawn from all the sensual objects. Even worldly pleasure is a particle of the bliss of Brahman.


When the distinction of the subject and the object, created by Avidya, is destroyed by knowledge, the natural, all-pervading, non-dual bliss is realised. The more the Avidya and desire are thinned out, the more the bliss increases. There is no higher or lower degree in the supreme bliss of Brahman. It is only in the sensual pleasures, generated by Karma, that there is higher and lower degrees. A drop of the bliss of Brahman is enjoyed by men according to their meritorious deeds.



When knowledge is screened by Avidya, and when ignorance is increasing, the bliss of Brahman becomes the worldly pleasure, admitting of various degrees as experienced by Brahma and other beings, according to their intelligence, Karma and external means at their command. The same bliss of Brahman, which is experienced by the knower and a Srotriya who is not affected by desire, is the bliss which is experienced a hundredfold more and more, in the ascending orders of beings, rising from man, Gandharvas and upwards, according to Avidya or ignorance, as desire and Karma decrease, till the bliss of Hiranyagarbha, the culminating point, is reached.


Manushya-gandharvas are those, who being men, have become Gandharvas, on account of meritorious actions, and knowledge of a superior sort. They have the power of making themselves invisible at pleasure and the like. They can assume whatever form they like. Sweet fragrance emanates from their bodies. They have subtle bodies and senses. Obstacles to enjoyment are few. They are endowed with power to resist the pairs of opposites. All materials of pleasure are at their disposal. So they enjoy superior bliss which is a hundred times superior to the human pleasure.


On account of greater peace of mind and clearness of mind, realisation of bliss in the higher world, a hundredfold superior to that in the lower world, is possible.


A Srotriya, a man well-versed in the scriptures, who is free from desire, who has no craving for sensual pleasures, can enjoy a bliss, which is a hundred times superior to the human pleasure, and which is equal to the bliss of men who have become Gandharvas. Freedom from desire is the means for the attainment of supreme bliss.


The means of attaining the highest bliss are, the study of sacred scriptures, righteousness and freedom from desire. The first two are common to all stages from the human stage up to Brahma. The third rises higher with the ascending order of beings. Consequently, it is superior to the other two.


Deva-gandharvas are so from birth. They have been born as such, even at the beginning of the creation. They are singers of the celestial regions (Devaloka). They are endowed with more powers and capacities than the human Gandharvas. Their nature is also more subtle


Ajanajah the Devas born in heaven. The gods born in the world of gods, as such, by the virtue of their performance of the sacrificial deeds, as enjoined in the Smritis


Karmadevas are those who reach the abode of the gods by the performance of mere Agnihotra, etc., as enjoined in the Vedas


The Devas are thirty-three in number. They are the receivers of the oblations offered in the sacrificial rites. They have been created, as such, ever from the beginning of creation. The thirty-three gods are: the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adityas, Indra and Prajapati.


Indra is the lord of the Devas.


Brihaspati is Indra's preceptor. Therefore, he is superior even to Indra on account of his knowledge.


Prajapati is the Lord of creatures, the Virat, whose body is the three worlds. All beings exist in him only. He is the sum total of all individual lives. He is the one who has become many, who pervades the whole world.


Brahma or Hiranyagarbha, is the cosmic mind or the universal life. In him all the different degrees of bliss, described above, unite into one. He possesses the Dharma which generates the bliss, the knowledge that pertains to Dharma and its results and also, perfect freedom from desire. He is the Sutratman.


Even the bliss of the Hiranyagarbha is only a particle of the supreme bliss. This supreme bliss, from which its parts are separated, as drops of water from the sea, and wherein those parts become one, is inherent or natural in Brahman, for He is non-dual. There is no distinction in that state between the bliss and the enjoyer of bliss, because they are one.


The result of the foregoing enquiry is summed up as follows: He, who is in the man and He, who is in the sun, are one'. The Being, which is the Innermost Self, the Atman of man, is the same as the one which gives energy and light to the sun


Becoming one with Brahman, the Supreme Self, is the goal or aim of life. Knowledge of Brahman alone is the means for attaining this end. The effect of knowledge is the eradication of ignorance (Avidya). He who knows Brahman only can become absolutely fearless. Moksha is eternal. It cannot be attained by ritual


It is only when the knower sees nothing else but his own Self, that he can be fearless and permanent, because in that case there is none other than himself that could produce fear. All beings, other than Brahman, must be creatures of ignorance, because that knowledge of Brahman alone makes you consider the external universe as unreal. The idea of duality is the creation of ignorance. This is proved to be unreal by dawn of knowledge.


Here ends the Eighth Anuvaka of the Brahmananda Valli




यतो वाचो निवर्तन्ते। अप्राप्य मनसा सह। आनन्दं ब्रह्मणो विद्वान्। न बिभेति कुतश्चनेति। एतं ह वाव न तपति।किमहं साधु नाकरवम्‌। किमहं पापमकरवमिति।स य एवं विद्वानेते आत्मानं स्पृणुते।उभे ह्येवैष एते आत्मानं स्पृणुते। य एवं वेद। इत्युपनिषत्‌॥


।। इति नवमोऽनुवाकः ।।


He who knows the bliss of Brahman, from which all words return without reaching it, together with the mind, is not afraid of anything


Such thoughts certainly never distress him: "Why have I not done what is good? Why have I committed sin?"


He, who knows thus, regards both these as the Atman. Verily both these he regards as the Atman, who knows thus.


Thus ends the Upanishad.


Notes and Commentary


Vidvan- the knower. Kutaschana- from any one. Na- not.

Bibheti- fears. Tapati -grieves or afflicts. Etam- this. Ha- surely. Sadhu- good action. Ete- these. Esha- this.


This verse gives a brief summary of the whole teaching of this second section- the Brahmananda Valli.


Brahman, the unconditioned, non-dual bliss, is beyond the scope of speech and thought. The speech has the power of describing all objects of this world, only that are conditioned by name and form. The mind has the power of knowing all objects which have name and form. But, Brahman is without name and form, and so, He is indescribable and incomprehensible. Where there is knowledge of objects, there speech goes. Speech and mind, name and perception, always go together.


He who knows the invisible, unqualified, unnameable, Brahman, which is sinless, which is free from all desires, which is free from the relation of enjoyer and enjoyment, which is natural, which is eternal, is not afraid of anything. He realises the unity or oneness of Self. All distinctions, differences, dualities and separateness have vanished from him. The cause of fear, created by ignorance, has disappeared. He beholds his own Self everywhere. He feels that everything that exists is nothing but his own Self. Therefore, he feels no fear from anything.


The knower of Brahman is not affected by such thoughts as, "Why have I not done what is good? Why have I done evil actions?", because he regards that good and bad are but different manifestations of the same Atman. Virtue and vice do not afflict him. They cannot generate subsequent births.


He knows that the Atman is actionless, and the mind only is the doer of all actions. He has neither wants, nor egoism, nor desires. He does not expect fruits for his actions. He never repents over his past actions. He always abides in his own Self and is ever blissful. All troubles come only when man identifies himself with the little body and mind, on account of ignorance and regards himself as the doer and enjoyer. The Knower realises that he is the non-doer and non-enjoyer.


He who, thus, realises that both virtue and vice (Dharma and Adharma) are only different aspects of the same Atman, strengthens his knowledge of the Atman, by realising oneness or unity of Self everywhere. The highest consummation lies here. Thus has been explained in this chapter, the knowledge of Brahman, wherein lies the Highest Good.


Om! May He protect us both (teacher and pupil)! May He cause us both to enjoy the bliss of Mukti! May we both exert to find out the true meaning of the scriptures! May our studies be fruitful! May we never quarrel with each other!


Om Peace! Peace! Peace!


Here ends the Ninth Anuvaka of the Brahmananda Valli

Thus ends the Brahmananda Valli.










ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ।।


।। ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।।


Om! May He protect us both (teacher and pupil)! May He cause us both to enjoy the bliss of Mukti! May we both exert to find out the true meaning of the scriptures! May our studies be fruitful! May we never quarrel with each other!


Om Peace! Peace! Peace!


भृगुर्वै वारुणिः । वरुणं पितरमुपससार । अधीहि भगवो ब्रह्मेति । तस्मा एतत्प्रोवाच । अन्नं प्राणं चक्षुः श्रोत्रं मनो वाचमिति । तहोवाच । यतो वा इमानि भूतानि जायन्ते । येन जातानि जीवन्ति । स तपोऽतप्यत । स तपस्तप्त्वा । यत्प्रयन्त्यभिसंविशन्ति । तद्विजिज्ञासस्व । तद्ब्रह्मेति ।


।। इति प्रथमोऽनुवाकः ।।


Bhrigu, the son of Varuna, approached his father Varuna and said: 'O Revered Sir, teach me Brahman'. He (Varuna) said this to him (Bhrigu): Food, Prana, the eyes, the ears, the mind and the speech (are Brahman).’


To him he further said: That from which these beings are born, that by which being born these beings live, that which, when departing, they enter into- that, seek thou, to know, that is Brahman?


He (Bhrigu) performed penance, and having performed the penance,


Notes and Commentary


Pitaram-father. Upasasara- approached. Adhihi- teach. Tasmai- to him. Etah- this. Provacha- said. Tam- to him. Uvacha- said. Yatha from which. Imani- these. Bhutani- beings. Jayante- are born. Yena -by which. Jatani- being born. Jivanti- live. Prayanti- having departed. Samvisanti- enter. Tat- that. Vijijnasasva- seek, to know.



In order to extol Knowledge, Brahma Vidya, the Sruti starts with a story. In Siksha Valli and Brahmananda Valli, works and contemplation, the remote and indirect means (Bahiranga Sadhana) to Brahma Vidya were dealt with. The present Valli treats of Vichara, enquiry, which is the proximate means to Brahma Vidya.


Varuni is the son of Varuna.


Food is body. Prana is the eater or consumer. It is the life within the body. Eye, ear, mind, speech, are the helps to perception. These are the gates to the perception of Brahman. These are the gates, as it were, of the magnificent city of Brahman (Brahmapuri). You will have to enter into the city of Brahman by passing through these gates. These are the aids to the knowledge of Brahman.


Varuna mentioned first to his son Bhrigu, these, food, etc., which are the gateway to Brahman. Then he gives a description of Brahman. What is that description or definition? It is this: Brahman is that from whom are born all the living beings, from Brahma down to a worm, by whom, when born, they live, i.e., they maintain vital functions and grow, in whom they enter at the time of dissolution (Mahapralaya), and with whom they become one, from whom these beings do not swerve either at their birth, or during their stay, or at dissolution.


Know Brahman, who is thus defined through food, etc., who is the first Cause, from which all objects of this world have come out.


Bhrigu heard from his father, the gateways or helps to the knowledge of Brahman, and the description of Brahman, and began to perform penance, which is the means to the attainment of knowledge of Brahman.


The teaching given by Varuna to his son is incomplete. Bhrigu thought that his father had, in view, another means to the knowledge of Brahman. Bhrigu thought that penance was an important aid, though his father did not say anything about penance. Of all aids to the attainment of Brahman, penance is indeed the most excellent or pre-eminent aid. Therefore, Bhrigu performed penance, as he understood that penance was the most effective means to the attainment of knowledge of Brahman.


The particular mode of Tapas, meant here, is the composure (tranquility) or concentration (Samadhana) of the external and the internal senses, because that is the path or the doorway to the realisation of Brahman. The greatest penance is the concentration of the mind and the senses. The Smriti says: "One-pointedness of the mind and the sense-organs is indeed the highest penance. It is superior to all Dharmas and it is the supreme Dharma. That is a greater virtue than all other virtues".


Here ends the First Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




अन्नं ब्रह्मेति व्यजानात् । अन्नाद्धयेव खल्विमानि भूतानि जायन्ते । अन्नेन जातानि जीवन्ति । अन्नं प्रयन्त्यभिसंविशन्तीति । तद्विज्ञाय। पुनरेव वरुणं पितरमुपससार । अधीहि भगवो ब्रह्मेति । तहोवाच । तपसा ब्रह्म विजिज्ञासस्व । तपो ब्रह्मेति । स तपोऽतप्यत । स तपस्तप्त्वा ।


।। इति द्वितीयोऽनुवाकः ।।


He (Bhrigu) learnt that food is Brahman, because it is from food, that all these beings are born; by food, when born, do they live; and having departed, into food again they enter.


Having known that, he again approached his father Varuna and said, 'O Revered Sir, teach me Brahman'.


He (Varuna) told him: 'By penance (Tapas), seek thou to know Brahman. Penance is Brahman'.


He performed penance and having performed penance,


Notes and Commentary


Annam-food. Brahma -Brahman. Itt- this. Vyajanat-  understood. Imani- these. Bhutani- beings. Jayante- are born. Jivanti- live.

Punareva- again. Tapasa- Brahma. Vijijnasasva- know Brahman by

penance concentration and meditation). Sa- he. Tapah- penance. Taptva -having performed.


Bhrigu came to know that food is Brahman, because all these creatures are born from food, they live by food, and they enter into food again, having departed. Food is the material cause of the food-sheath (Annamaya Kosa), i.e., physical body. Bhrigu concluded that, food was Brahman because food had the distinctive marks of Brahman, i.e., all beings had their birth, etc., in food. Food is the real cause of physical life. It sustains life also. This finding through investigation, did not give him full satisfaction, because he thought: Food has a beginning, and is an effect and Brahman is beyond cause and is beginningless'. He was beset with doubt and wanted to know more. He again approached his father for further enlightenment.



Much stress has been laid in this Valli on penance (Tapas), because it is the best means to attain knowledge of Brahman. That is the reason Varuna said to Bhrigu: Try to know Brahman by penance alone. Penance is Brahman'. Varuna thought that his son would be able to comprehend the extremely subtle Brahman by purifying his mind through Tapas. He thought that his son possessed a gross intellect, so he took the food or gross body as Brahman, and was not able to have a clear grasp or understanding of Brahman, which is beyond the five sheaths. Therefore, he prescribed the practice of penance for Bhrigu.


The reiteration of Tapas is to impress firmly on the mind of Bhrigu, that it is the best means, or the only means, and that realisation of the Self is possible through penance alone.


Varuna means to say: So long as you do not find the thing to which the description of Brahman is fully applicable, so long as the desire to know Brahman, or to have further enlightenment does not cease, so long as you take recourse to Tapas (concentration), which is the only means, try to know Brahman by penance alone.


Varuna said, Penance is Brahman.' This is by way of courtesy, in order to impress the truth that penance was the proximate means to attain knowledge of Brahman.


Here ends the Second Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




प्राणो ब्रह्मेति व्यजानात् । प्राणाद्धयेव खल्विमानि भूतानि जायन्ते । प्राणेन जातानि जीवन्ति । प्राणं प्रयन्त्यभिसंविशन्तीति । तद्विज्ञायपुनरेव वरुणं पितरमुपससार । अधीहि भगवो ब्रह्मेति । तहोवाच । तपसा ब्रह्म विजिज्ञासस्व । तपो ब्रह्मेति । स तपोऽतप्यत । स तपस्तप्त्वा ॥


।। इति तृतीयोऽनुवाकः ।।


He (Bhrigu) understood that the Prana is Brahman, because it is from Prana that all these living beings are born; having been born, they live by the Prana; and having departed, into the Prana again they enter.


Having known that, he again approached his father Varuna to know further and said: 'O Revered Sir, teach me Brahman'


He (Varuna) told him: 'By penance (Tapas), seek thou to know Brahman. Penance is Brahman'


He performed penance and having performed penance,


Notes and Commentary


Iti- thus. Vyajanat- understood. Hi eva- verily.


Bhrigu reflected over the matter for a second time, with a concentrated mind, and came to the conclusion that Prana, or life, is Brahman. He thought: Life is the cause of the birth of the physical body. It is the cause for its sustenance also. As long as life remains in this body, so long the body lives. When the Prana or life departs from this body, death takes place. Prana only energises this body. Through Prana only, the mind and the senses function. As this Prana is the efficient cause of the birth, sustenance and death of the body, life is Brahman' But he was not at all satisfied with this conclusion. He thought: This Prana cannot be Brahman, because it is non-intelligent (Jada), it is an effect, it has a cause, it has a beginning and an end'. So, he again approached his father to get further light.


Here ends the Third Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




मनो ब्रह्मेति व्यजानात् । मनसो ह्येव खल्विमानि भूतानि जायन्ते । मनसा जातानि जीवन्ति । मनः प्रयन्त्यभिसंविशन्तीति । तद्विज्ञाय । पुनरेव वरुणं पितरमुपससार । अधीहि भगवो ब्रह्मेति । त ँ होवाच । तपसा ब्रह्म विजिज्ञासस्व । तपो ब्रह्मेति । स तपोऽतप्यत । स तपस्तप्त्वा ।


।। इति चतुर्थोऽनुवाकः ।।


He (Bhrigu) understood that the mind is Brahman, because it is from mind that all these living beings are born, having been born, they live by the mind, and having departed, into the mind again they enter.


Having known that, he again approached his father Varuna to know further and said: 'O Revered Sir, teach me Brahman'.


He (Varuna) told him: By penance, seek thou to know Brahman. Penance is Brahman'


He performed penance and having performed penance,


Notes and Commentary


Manah-mind. Brahma-Brahman. Itithus. Vyajanat understood. Manasa-from mind. Hi eva khalu—verily. Imani- these. Bhutani-creatures.


Bhrigu reflected over the matter for a third time. He thought: The mind is more subtle than the physical body and the Prana. It is also intelligent. Thought only leads to action and sustains life. Through thought only, man reincarnates and takes bodies. The entrance of Prana into the womb is itself dependent on mind only'. The Prasna Upanishad says, 'By an act of mind only, man comes into this body'. His senses still inhering in his mind, whatever his thought, with that he goes into the Prana; Prana united with the fire, and the Atman, leads him into his world as he has built up? Death takes place when man gives up, by thought, all attachment to the body. So mind is the cause of the dissolution also. So mind is the cause of the birth, sustenance and death of the body. Therefore he came to the conclusion that mind is Brahman. But this result did not give him perfect satisfaction. He thought that mind is only an organ or instrument of cognition, that it is dependent on the agent, it is an effect, has a cause, has no self-luminosity, has a beginning and an end, and therefore, it could not be Brahman, the uncaused. So he approached again his father, for further enlightenment.


Here ends the Fourth Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




विज्ञानं ब्रह्मेति व्यजानात् । विज्ञानाद्धयेव खल्विमानि भूतानि जायन्ते । विज्ञानेन जातानि जीवन्ति । विज्ञानं प्रयन्त्यभि- संविशन्तीति । तद्विज्ञाय । पुनरेव वरुणं पितरमुपससार । अधीहि भगवो ब्रह्मेति त ँ होवाच । तपसा ब्रह्म विजिज्ञासस्व । तपो ब्रह्मेति । स तपोऽतप्यत । स तपस्तप्त्वा ।


।। इति पञ्चमोऽनुवाकः ।।


He understood that knowledge is Brahman, because it is by knowledge that all these living beings are born, having been born, by knowledge they live, and having departed, into knowledge again they enter.


Having known that, he approached his father Varuna to know it further and said: O Revered Sir, teach me Brahman'.


He (Varuna) told him: 'By penance, seek thou to know Brahman. Penance is Brahman'.


He performed penance, and having performed penance,


Notes and Commentary


Bhrigu reflected over the matter for a fourth time. He thought: "Vijnana or knowledge is subtler than mind. It is the agent. Sruti teaches that knowledge is the agent, knowledge accomplishes sacrifice, and that knowledge is Brahman. Agent is the cause of the birth of the body, through his acts. Knowledge only controls and directs the mind, the senses and the body, and propels them to action. It is the cause of the sustenance of the body. Knowledge causes dissolution by engaging in battle and other such acts which bring about death. Knowledge only takes the subtle body after death to heaven or hell, and brings it back again to this earth. Therefore knowledge, which answers to the definition of Brahman, must be Brahman".


But, he found out that this finding could not give him entire satisfaction. He thought: "Knowledge is the agent of all actions of the Jiva and also the enjoyer of the fruits of actions. Agency is associated with pain. An agent is not perfectly pure. He is not free from the sorrows, miseries, troubles, tribulations and conditions of life. Further, these four principles, food, life, mind and intelligence, cannot be the cause of the birth of all beings. Akasa and other primary elements of matter, cannot be produced from knowledge. Therefore, knowledge could not be Brahman". So, he again went to his father for getting further light.


Here ends the Fifth Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




आनन्दो ब्रह्मेति व्यजानात् । आनन्दाद्ध्येव खल्विमानि भूतानि जायन्ते । आनन्देन जातानि जीवन्ति । आनन्दं प्रयन्त्यभि- संविशन्तीति सैषा भार्गवी वारुणी विद्या । परमे व्योमन्प्रतिष्ठिता । स य एवं वेद प्रतितिष्ठति। अन्नवानन्नादो भवति । महान्भवति प्रजया पशुभिर्ब्रह्मवर्चसेन । महान्कीर्त्या ।


।। इति षष्ठोऽनुवाकः ।।


He understood that bliss is Brahman, because from bliss all these beings are born, having been born, by bliss they live, and having departed, into bliss again they enter.


This is the knowledge learnt by Bhrigu and taught by Varuna. This is established in the supreme space (excellent cavity of the heart). He who knows thus, becomes one with Brahman. He becomes the possessor of food and the eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, in cattle and in spiritual lustre. He becomes great in fame.


Notes and Commentary


Sat-that. Esha-this. Vidya-knowledge. Parame- supreme. Vyoman-space. Akasa-sky. Pratishthita-is fixed or established. Annavan-possessing food, he becomes possessed of foodAnnadah-eater of food. Bhavati becomes. Mahan-great. Brahmavarchasena- by spiritual lustre. Kirtya-by fame


Bliss is devoid of pain. It is the highest end of man. It is the cause for the primary elements of matter. Therefore, bliss is Brahman.


Varuna took his son step by step, from the gross to the subtle and subtler aspects of existence, from the gross physical sheath to the innermost bliss. Bhrigu purified himself through penance, slowly penetrated deeper and deeper, through concentration and meditation and understood, that the innermost bliss is Brahman, with the help of penance alone. He came to know, at last, the ultimate truth or basic reality.


Anandamaya Kosa (bliss sheath) is the causal body (Karana Sarira) of Jiva, the individual soul. This is subtler than the Vinanamaya Kosa. Bhrigu dived deep, or penetrated within, and wanted to know what exists even beyond the intellect or Vijnanamaya Kosa, and found out the Anandamaya Kosa. Having reached the Anandamaya Kosa, he ultimately reached the Pratyagatman, or Brahman, which is the innermost Self, which is the basis and support of life and existence, which is realised in the form of bliss.


This chapter of the Upanishad clearly inculcates that he who wishes to know Brahman, should practise that penance which consists in the subjugation of the external and internal organs.


Now, the Sruti here, turning from the story, explains in its own words, the purport inculcated by the story.


This wisdom learnt by Bhrigu and taught by Varuna, which first started with the Annamaya self culminates in the supreme space, i.e., in the supreme non-dual bliss, hid in the cave of the Akasa of the heart.


This Brahma Vidya, knowledge of Brahman, is realised by one's own direct intuitive experience, acquired through penance or one-pointedness of mind.


The fruit of this knowledge is also mentioned here. Anyone else, who gradually penetrates within by the aid of penance, and understands and realises bliss to be Brahman, becomes Brahman himself. He gets himself established in the All-blissful Brahman- one without a second- as he is firm in this knowledge. He who practises this Vidya step by step, with the aid of penance, who dives within step by step, eventually realises the supreme Self. He abandons the five sheaths and attains a firm abode in that supreme support, which is described in the Ananda Valli as Brahman, the tail, the support, which is beyond cause and effect.


There are three Akasas in Vedanta, viz., Bhutakasa, Chittakasa and Chidakasa. Bhutakasa is the elemental space which contains all gross objects. Chittakasa is the mental space which contains the world of thought. Chidakasa is the knowledge-space. This is the supreme space, or the Highest Akasa, the principle of Brahman, the Indestructible, the basic reality, which is the support for all relative existences gross and subtle. Supreme space also means the cavity of the heart, where Brahman is meditated upon.


He is in possession of plenty of food. Mere possession will not suffice. He becomes the eater of food also, i.e., he possesses very good appetite. The digestive fire is kindled. He becomes great in progeny, in cattle, i.e., cows, horses, etc., in spiritual lustre, which is the result of tranquillity of mind, wisdom, etc. He also becomes great in fame which is the result of righteous conduct.


Here ends the Sixth Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




Knowledge of Brahman can be easily attained by an aspirant, of the first class type, who is endowed with purity and one-pointed mind. The Sruti prescribes certain contemplations in the following chapters, which help to attain one-pointedness of mind for those who have a wavering mind on account of mundane desires.


As food is the first gateway to the attainment of knowledge of Brahman, the Sruti enjoins the contemplation of Brahman through the symbol of food. He who meditates on food as Brahman, attains steadiness of mind. Further, he will possess plenty of food. He will be able to eat it with a good appetite, without any disease. He will be blessed with offspring, cattle, horses, spiritual lustre and fame. The aspirant should never despise food, but regard it as if it were his Guru, as he attains knowledge of Brahman through the gateway of food, by contemplating on it as Brahman.


अन्नं न निन्द्यात् । तद्व्रतम् । प्राणो वा अन्नम् शरीरमन्नादम् प्राणे शरीरं प्रतिष्ठितम् । शरीरे प्राणः प्रतिष्ठितः । तदेतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिष्ठितम् । स य एतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिष्ठितं वेद प्रतितिष्ठति । अन्नवानन्नादो भवति । महान्भवति प्रजया पशुभिर्ब्रह्मवर्चसेन । महान्कीर्त्या ।


।। इति सप्तमोऽनुवाकः ।।


Do not speak ill of food. That shall be your vow. Prana (life) is food. The body is the eater of food. The body is fixed in Prana. Prana is fixed in the body. So thus food is fixed in food. He who knows that food is fixed in food, becomes one with Brahman. He becomes the possessor of food and the eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, in cattle and in spiritual lustre. He becomes great in fame


Notes and Commentary


Annam-food. Na nindyat-one should not censure food. Vrata-vow. Veda- knows.


The aspirant should not condemn or speak ill of any kind of food, because Brahman is obtained through the gateway of food.


The Annamaya Kosa, food-sheath, which is formed of food, is the first gateway, as it were, of the realisation of Brahman. This body, which is formed of food, is the most important instrument with which he has to realise Brahman. Therefore, the aspirant should not censure food.


This is your vow. This is intended to extol food. Why is the food extolled? Because it serves as the means of knowing or realising Brahman.


Prana is food, because Prana is within the body and that which is within another is said to be the food of that other. Food is Prana only. Food is an expression of Prana. Food gives strength and energy to the body. So food is called Prana.



The Prana is fixed in the body. Therefore, Prana is food and the body is the eater of food. Similarly, the body is food and Prana is the eater of food. Why is the body fixed in Prana? Because the body depends upon Prana for its existence. If the Prana departs from the body, the body decomposes and disintegrates. Just as a pillar within the house supports the house, so also Prana, life, dwelling within the body, supports the body. Therefore, the body is fixed in Prana. Body and Prana are mutually dependent upon each other. They sustain each other also. They are different aspects of the same food. Without the aid of body and Prana, realisation of Brahman is not possible. Food sustains the body and Prana. Therefore, the aspirant should always extol food. He should not condemn food even if it is not cooked properly. The aspirant should never say: This is bad or useless food' Glory to food the sustainer of this body and Prana, -which helps the aspirant to attain the highest end of life, viz., Self-realisation, Moksha, through knowledge of Brahman.


He who knows that this food is established in food, stands for ever as food eater, and becomes possessed of food, and becomes the eater of food. He attains spiritual lustre and great fame.


Here ends the Seventh Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




अन्नं न परिचक्षीत । तद्व्रतम् । आपो वा अन्नम् । ज्योतिरन्नादम् । अप्सु ज्योतिः प्रतिष्ठितम्। ज्योतिष्यापः प्रतिष्ठिताः । तदेतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिष्ठितम् । स य एतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिष्ठितं वेद प्रतितिष्ठति अन्नवानन्नादो भवति। महान् भवति प्रजया पशुभिर्ब्रह्मवर्चसेन ।महान्कीर्त्या ।।


।। इति अष्टमोऽनुवाकः ।।


Do not reject food. That is the vow. Water is food. Fire is the food-eater. Fire is fixed in water. Water is fixed in fire. So food is fixed in food. He who knows that food is fixed in food, is established. He becomes rich in food and becomes eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, in cattle and in the spiritual lustre. He becomes great in fame.


Notes and Commentary


Parichakshita-one should not abandon food. Jyoti-fire (heat, light). Annadam-consumer of food. Apsu jyoti pratishthitam- the fire rests in water.


This is said to extol food. The food which comes to hand at dinner should not be rejected, because it is not good. When one does not reject food, by making any such distinction as good food and bad food, he is glorified or respected.


Water, that is drunk, is digested by the digestive fire in the stomach. Therefore, water is regarded as food, and fire as the food-eater.


19 Paddy, wheat, fruits and vegetables grow with the help of water.

So, water may be regarded as food itself. Jyoti, i.e., heat or fire, helps digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. So, Jyoti becomes the eater of food.


Lightning is present in the rain water. Perspiration takes place when the body is heated. Therefore, water and fire are considered as each other's support. For the same reason, they are each other's food.


Here ends the Eighth Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




अन्नं बहु अन्नम् । बहु कुर्वीत तद्व्रतम् । पृथिवी वा आकाशोऽन्नादः । पृथिव्यामाकाशः प्रतिष्ठितः आकाशे पृथिवी प्रतिष्ठिता । तदेतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिष्ठितम् । स य एतदन्नमन्ने प्रतिष्ठितं वेद प्रतितिष्ठति । अन्नवानन्नादो महान्भवति पशुभिर्ब्रह्मवर्चसेन । महान्कीर्त्या । भवति । प्रजया


।। इति नवमोऽनुवाकः ।।


Accumulate plenty of food. That is the vow. The earth is the food. Akasa (ether) is the eater of food. In the earth is fixed Akasa. In Akasa is fixed the earth. So food is fixed in food. He who knows that food, thus, rests in food, is established. He becomes rich in food and becomes eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, in cattle and in the spiritual lustre. He becomes great in fame.


Notes and Commentary


Annam bahu kurvita- let him acquire plenty of food. Kurvita- make. Tadvratam- that is the rule for the seeker of Brahman Pritivyamakasapratishthitah- Akasa rests in earth.


In this section, the Sruti enjoins that one should accumulate plenty of food for distribution to travellers.


The earth abides in the ether, which is above and below it. The earth is enveloped by ether on all sides. So the earth is food and the ether is the food-eater. The ether is the basis or container. The ether and the earth are related as the container and the contained. They may be contemplated as resting upon each other by their close contact. The devotee, or the aspirant, should contemplate upon both as each other's food.


In the last three chapters, food is glorified. Minor contemplations viz., contemplation of food as Brahman, contemplation of life and body, contemplation of water and fire, contemplation of earth and ether, are enjoined for the aspirants to attain one-pointedness of mind. Without food, no meditation or spiritual Sadhana or thinking is possible. Food should be meditated upon as God or Brahman. It should be adored and glorified. Worship of food as Brahman will take you eventually to the realisation of the Supreme Self, which is the highest good of man. Whenever you sit before food daily, say, 'Annam (food) is Brahman'. Adore food as Brahman. You will attain Self-realisation through this remembrance of Brahman.


Here ends the Ninth Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli




न कंचन वसतौ प्रत्याचक्षीत । तद्व्रतम् । तस्माद्यया कया च विधया बह्वन्नं प्राप्नुयात् । अराध्यस्मा अन्नमित्याचक्षते । एतद्वै मुखतोऽन्नराद्धम् मुखतोऽस्मा अन्न राध्यते । एतद्वै मध्यतोऽन्न राद्धम् । मध्यतोऽस्मा अन्न राध्यते । एतद्वा अन्ततोऽन्न ँ राद्धम् । अन्ततोऽस्मा अन्न राध्यते । य एवं वेद ।।१।।


1.    Do not turn away anybody who seeks shelter (lodging). This is the vow. Therefore, let one acquire much food by any means whatsoever. They say, food is ready'. If food is prepared in the best manner, food is given to him (the host) also in the best manner. If the food is prepared in the medium manner, food is given to him also in the medium manner. If the food is prepared in the lowest manner, food is also given to him in the lowest manner. He who knows thus, obtains also similar results.


Notes and Commentary


Na Kanchana- none whatsoever. Vasatau- from the house. Pratyachakshita- should not be turned away. Tasmat- therefore. Yaya kaya cha vidhaya- by whatever means. Prapnuyat-should get.


He, who meditates on the earth and Akasa, in the aforesaid manner, should not turn out any guest who seeks shelter in his house. This should be the vow of the devotee. If shelter is given, food also ought to, necessarily, be given. Therefore, a householder should store up much food. This is the Dharma of a householder. If shelter and food are not given to a guest, sin will accrue to the householder.


By whatever means: Wealth should be earned by honest means, only in accordance with the injunctions of Srutis and Smritis.


Whenever a wise man receives a guest, he never turns him out. He says with courtesy, food is ready. In whatever manner, and at whatever period of time, a man gives food, in the same manner and at the same period of time, he gets back food.


If the best food is given to the guest amply, and with much faith and devotion, courtesy and humility, at the prime of life, the giver gets ample food, in the next life, at the prime of life. This is a Sattvic gift.


If the food is not given in abundance, and if it is given with vanity in the middle age, the giver gets food in the medium manner, in the next life, in the middle age. This is only a Rajasic gift of medium kind.


If food is prepared in the lowest manner, and if it is offered to the guest without faith, but with insult and disregard late in life, the giver gets food in the lowest manner, in the future birth, late in life. This is the Tamasic gift of the lowest kind.


The fruit of a gift will be in accordance with the nature of the gift.


क्षेम इति वाचि योगक्षेम इति प्राणापानयोः । कर्मेति हस्तयोः ।

गतिरिति पादयोः । विमुक्तिरिति पायौ । इति मानुषीः समाज्ञाः ।२।।


2.    Brahman resides in speech as preserver, as acquirer and preserver in Prana and Apana, as action in the hands, as motion in the feet, as discharge in the anus. Thus is the meditation (of Brahman) in respect of man.


Notes and Commentary


Kshema-preservation. Vachi- speech. Yogakshema- gain and safety. Gatih- motion. Padayoh- in the two feet. Vimuktiriti  payau-as evacuation in the anus. Iti-so far. Manushih-pertaining to men. Samajnah-meditation.


Kshema means preservation of what has been acquired, and also the well-being of man. The devotee or aspirant should contemplate that Brahman abides in speech, as safety or well-being. When you meet your friend, you generally enquire about his well-being: "How is your health? How do you do? Are you all right? Do you keep good health?" You wish for the well-being of another by speech. As speech is conducive to well-being, well-being lies in speech.


Yoga means acquisition of what has not already been acquired.


Without Prana and Apana life is not possible. Gain and safety, acquisition of objects and their preservation occur, when Prana and Apana are strong. But still they are not altogether due to them. On the contrary, they are due to Brahman only. The power of acquisition and preservation of Prana and Apana is derived from Brahman. Therefore, it should be contemplated that Brahman dwells in Prana and Apana, in gain and safety, as the power of acquisition and preservation of objects.


Similarly, the power of action which is possessed by the hands, of motion by the legs and of excretion by the anus, are also due to Brahman.


Brahman dwells in the hands in the form of action, in the feet as motion, in the anus as discharge. Such are the contemplations of Brahman, with respect to man or human personality, or the physical life of man.


अथ दैवीः । तृप्तिरिति वृष्टौ । बलमिति विद्युति । यश इति पशुषु । ज्योतिरिति नक्षत्रेषु प्रजातिरमृतमानन्द इत्युपस्थे । सर्वमित्याकाशे। तत्प्रतिष्ठेत्युपासीत । प्रतिष्ठावान् भवति । तन्मह इत्युपासीत । महान्भवति । तन्मन इत्युपासीत । मानवान्भवति । तन्नम इत्युपासीत नम्यन्तेऽस्मै कामाः । तद्ब्रह्मेत्युपासीत । ब्रह्मवान् भवति । तद्ब्रह्मणः परिमर इत्युपासीत । पर्येणं म्रियन्ते द्विषन्तः सपत्नाः । परि येऽप्रिया भ्रातृव्याः ।


3.    Now follows the contemplation in reference to gods as satisfaction in the rain, as power in the lightning, as fame in cattle, as light in the stars, as offspring, immortality and joy in the generative organ, as all in the Akasa.


Let him meditate upon that as the support. He becomes well-supported. (He will possess all means of living, such as food and clothing.) Let him meditate upon that as the great; he becomes great. Let him meditate upon that as mind; he becomes thoughtful. Let him meditate upon that as obeisance; to him all desires pay homage. Let him meditate upon that as the Supreme; he becomes possessed of supremacy. Let him contemplate upon that as the destructive aspect of Brahman; all those enemies who hate him, and those rivals whom he does not like, die around him.


Notes and Commentry


Atha-next. Daivih- in reference to the celestial. Triptiriti vrishtau- satisfaction in rain. Balam it vidyuti- power in the lightning. Yasah iti pasushu-vfame in cattle. Jyoti iti nakshatreshu- light in the stars. Prajapathiramritamananda ityupasthe- offspring, immortality and joy in the generative organ. Sarvam iti akase- everything in Akasa. Pratishtha iti- as a support. Upasita- meditate, one should worship.


As rain is the source of satisfaction, pleasure and cheerfulness, through food, etc., Brahman should be meditated upon as being satisfaction in rain. Similarly, in other cases too, Brahman should be meditated upon as power in the lightning, as fame in the cattle, as offspring, immortality and joy in the generative organ. Cattle is a source of great wealth to agriculturists. They bring fame to them.


Immortality is obtained by the discharge of debts by the son. Procreation produces relative immortality, by perpetuating the race and multiplying the species. Brahman should be worshipped, as being fixed in the generative organ, in this form.


Everything is fixed in Akasa. Therefore, all things that exist in Akasa should be contemplated as Brahman. The ether pervades all objects. The all-pervasiveness of ether should be meditated upon as Brahman. He who meditates on Brahman as the all in Akasa, becomes one with all. Akasa is Brahman itself and so it ought to be worshipped as the support of all. In whichever form one meditates upon Brahman, that form he becomes.


Man becomes strong by meditating on the quality of strength. Meditate on Brahman with the attribute of greatness, you become great by wealth and so on. If you meditate on Brahman as mind or thought, you become thoughtful. If you meditate on Brahman with the attribute of homage, all objects of desire become submissive.


Parimara is that in which are destroyed the five Devatas, viz., rain, lightning, the moon, the sun and the fire. It is said in the Chhandogya Upanishad, that in Vayu, the Devas, rain, etc., meet their final dissolution. Vayu is the destructive agent, or aspect of Brahman. Vayu is one with Akasa. It is not different from Akasa.

Akasa is, therefore, Brahman's destructive agent or aspect or place of destruction, i.e., in which all objects merge in final dissolution.


If a man meditates on Akasa which is one with the wind, as Brahman's destructive aspect, all those enemies who hate him and those rivals whom he does not like, die around him.


स यश्चायं पुरुषे। यश्चासावादित्ये । स एकः । स य एवंवित् । अस्माल्लोकात्प्रेत्य । एतमन्नमयमात्मानमुपसंक्रम्य । एतं प्राणमयमात्मानमुपसंक्रम्य । एतं मनोमयमात्मानमुपसंक्रम्य । एतं विज्ञानमयमात्मानमुपसंक्रम्य । एतमानन्दमयमात्मानमुपसंक्रम्य । इमाँल्लोकान्कामान्नीकामरूप्यनुसंचरन् । एतत्साम गायन्नास्ते ।


4.    He who is in man and he who is in the sun, both are the same. He who knows thus, departing from this world, and attaining this Annamaya self, then attaining this Pranamaya self, then attaining this Manomaya self, then attaining this Vijnanamaya self, then attaining this Anandamaya self and eating what he likes, and assuming forms according to his wishes, travels through these worlds, and sits singing the following Sama song.


Notes and Commentary


Sa- he. Ya- who. Ayam- this. Purushe -in man. Adity-  in the sun. Sa ya evam vit- he who knows this. Asmat- from this. Etam annamayam atmanam upasamkramya- after reaching the Annamaya self. Kamanni- enjoying food according to his desires. Kamarupi- assuming forms according to his wishes. Anusancharan-wanderings, travelling.


He eventually enters the soul soul of bliss or Anandamaya self, step by step through the soul of food or Annamaya self, etc. He now sits singing the Sama song, or the song of unity.


He becomes the Atman of all. He attains the knowledge of the identity of the Atman in the Purusha, and the Atman in the sun. All distinctions, differences and dualities melt. He becomes Brahman, who is Truth, knowledge and infinity, who is immortal, fearless, invisible, unborn, self-created, who is the one without a second.


The knower of Brahman enjoys all objects of pleasure at once, because he has become one with Brahman. Objects have no independent existence. They exist in and through Brahman only, which is the only real Existence. The knower of Brahman feels that the whole world is his body. He eats any food he likes, and assumes any form he likes and wanders through the worlds, the earth and the other worlds, i.e., as one with the all. He beholds all these worlds as the Self. By becoming one with Brahman, he realises that all forms belong to him.


He sits singing Saman. Sama is a set of Vedic Mantras of Sama Veda, which are particularly suitable for singing (Sama Gana). But here it means Brahman or sameness. Saman is Brahman, who is 'Sama' or one with all, i.e., equal, he pervades equally through all. To sing


Saman is to proclaim loudly for the benefit of the world, the unity of his Being with the whole world and Brahman, the unity of the Atman, and also the perfection and supreme satisfaction, which is the fruit or result of his knowledge of Self. This is a Mantra which teaches oneness (Samatva). By singing this song, he proclaims to the world and his disciples that he has become one with all.


The knower of Self realises the unity of all the worlds with his own self. He knows his identity with the supreme Self. Therefore, he feels that he also, like Brahman, pervades all the worlds, and so he feels as if he traverses, or travels or wanders through these worlds, although he rests peacefully in his own Satchidananda Svarupa, or the Impersonal Absolute.


हा३वु हा३वु हा३वु अहमन्नमहमन्नमहमन्नम् । अहमन्नादो ३ऽहमन्नादो ३ऽहमन्नादः । अह श्लोककृदह श्लोककृदह श्लोककृत्। अहमस्मि प्रथमजा ऋता३ऽस्य । पूर्वं देवेभ्योऽमृतस्य ना३भायि । यो मा ददाति स इदेव मा३वाः । अहमन्नमन्नमदन्तमा३द्मि । अहं विश्वं भुवनमभ्यभवा३म् । सुवर्न ज्योतीः । य एवं वेद । इत्युपनिषत् । ।


5.    Oh, Oh! I am the food, I am the food, I am the food! I am the eater of food, I am the eater of food. I am the eater of food, I am the author of the Sloka, I am the author of the Sloka, I am the author of the Sloka. I am the first born of the true. Prior to gods, I am the centre of all immortality. Whoever gives me, he surely does save thus. I, the food, eat him who eats food. I have conquered all this world. I am luminous like the sun. He who knows thus (attains the aforesaid results). This is the Upanishad.


Notes and commentry


Aham annam- I am food. Aham annada- I am the eater of food. Ahamslokakrit- I am the composer of the verses. Prathamajah- the first bornRitasya-among the real objects. Devebhya purva prior to gods Amritasya nabih- the centre or basis, or support of immortality. Ya-who. Ma-me. Dadati- gives. Ava- saves. Suvarna jyoti- the golden light. Ya evam veda-who knows thus. Iti upanishad- this is the Upanishad.


This is the Jivanmukta's song of unity with all. The threefold repetition is to indicate wonder. Oh, Oh! is an expression of extreme wonder. The sage is struck with wonder. When he loses his little personality, and realises the oneness with Brahman and the whole universe, the sage says: "I, who am the non-dual, taintless, Brahman, am myself the food, and the food-eater, the enjoyer and the object of enjoyment, the subject and the object. I, who was one with the body, have become Brahman, who is the all, through the grace of the Guru and the scriptures". In the words, I am food', etc., the sage expresses his experiences of oneness. He feels: "Whatever food is prepared, all that is myself. The name and form are unreal. They are false appearances. The basic reality that underlies them, Satchidananda, is only myself". which is


"I am the connection, or union, between the food and food-eater. I am the connection as perceiver and objects of perception. I am the consciousness, which causes union between the enjoyer and the objects of enjoyment. I am the maker of that union. I am, myself, the one who brings the various elements together".


The threefold repetition is also meant to induce confidence, as in the case of swearing. The threefold repetition of 'I am food', is to indicate extreme regard for the knowledge, which is thus expressed, in order to create confidence in those who have no faith. It expresses extreme wonder. The sage experiences: "Previously, I was feeling that I am the doer and the enjoyer. I was identifying with the body, mind, Prana and the senses. Now, I feel I am identical with Brahman. I am struck with wonder. The dual aspect of food and the food-eater, the enjoyer and the enjoyed is false appearance".


Prathamajah- the first born, Hiranyagarbha.


Even prior to Devas I was. I existed even before the manifestation of Jivas, or separated intelligent beings. I am the centre of immortality of the Devas, because I am the Self, the basis of their immortality. The final emancipation of individual intelligences consists in their realisation of oneness with me, with Brahman. I am the prop of liberation, like the nave of a wheel.


Whoever gives food to those who seek food, i.e., whoever teaches that I, myself, am in the form of food, he preserves it without losing. Whoever gives this food, i.e., the wonderful knowledge of Brahman, to the real seekers of Truth or thirsting aspirants, certainly saves them from the miseries and sorrows of mundane existence.


I, in the form of Devata presiding over food, eat up, i.e., punish the greedy miser, who eats all food himself without giving it to others. There is no chance for him for attaining knowledge of the Self. The Sruti says: "A perfect sinner is he who eats alone". Gita says: "Sin do those sinners eat, who cook food for their own sake”.


As Rudra, I destroy the whole world at the time of Pralaya, or dissolution, which is the home of all beings from Brahma downwards (Bhuvanam), and in which all living beings take their birth.


Just as the sun shines without the aid of other lights, so also I am self-luminous. I shine without the help of any other light. Just as the sun dispels the darkness, so also I dispel the darkness of ignorance, set up by Avidya.


To him who realises, through Annamaya and other selves, the non-dual, partless Atman, spoken of as 'Brahman, the tail' with perfect endurance and balance of mind, being free from desire, content and self-composed, who attains the knowledge of the Self as imparted in these two Vallis, by intense devotion and Tapas like Bhrigu, by developing the four means of salvation to him accrue all the fruits described above.


Though it has already been said that the illumined sage attains this fruit, still it is reiterated here in order to point out that the illumined sage alone attains the fruit.


ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ।।


।। ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।।


।। इति भृगुवल्ली समाप्ता ।।


ॐ शं नो मित्रः शं वरुणः । शं नो भवत्वर्यमा । शं न इन्द्रो बृहस्पतिः । शं नो विष्णुरुरुक्रमः । नमो ब्रह्मणे । नमस्ते वायो । त्वमेव प्रत्यक्षं ब्रह्मासि। त्वामेव प्रत्यक्षं ब्रह्मा वादिषम्। ऋतमवादिषम् । सत्यमवादिषम् । तन्मामावीत् । तद्वक्तारमावीत्। आवीन्माम् । आवीद्वक्तारम् ।


।। ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।।


।। इति तैत्तिरीयोपनिषत्संपूर्णा ।।


Thus ends the Bhrigu Valli

Here ends the Taittiriya Upanishad





O Adorable Lord of Mercy and Love!

Salutations and prostrations unto Thee.

Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient

Thou art Satchidananda

(Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute).

Thou art the Indweller of all beings


Grant us an understanding heart

Equal vision, balanced mind,

Faith, devotion and wisdom.

Grant us inner spiritual strength

To resist temptations and to control the mind

Free us from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and jealousy.

Fill our hearts with divine virtues.


Let us behold Thee in all these names and forms.

Let us serve Thee in all these names and forms.

Let us ever remember Thee.

Let us ever sing Thy glories.

Let Thy Name be ever on our lips.

Let us abide in Thee for ever and ever.


-Swami Sivananda