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The Upanishads, Part 1 (SBE01), by Max Müller, [1879], at


1. He thought: 'There are these worlds and the guardians of the worlds. Let me send forth food for them.' (1)

He brooded over the water 1. From the water thus brooded on, matter 2 (mûrti) was born. And that matter which was born, that verily was food 3. (2)

2. When this food (the object matter) had thus been sent forth, it wished to flee 4, crying and turning away. He (the subject) tried to grasp it by speech. He could not grasp it by speech. If he had grasped it by speech, man would be satisfied by naming food. (3)

He tried to grasp it by scent (breath). He could not grasp it by scent. If he had grasped it by scent, man would be satisfied by smelling food. (4)

He tried to grasp it by the eye. He could not

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grasp it by the eye. If he had grasped it by the eye, man would be satisfied by seeing food. (5)

He tried to grasp it by the ear. He could not grasp it by the ear. If he had grasped it by the ear, man would be satisfied by hearing food. (6)

He tried to grasp it by the skin. He could not grasp it by the skin. If he had grasped it by the skin, man would be satisfied by touching food. (7)

He tried to grasp it by the mind. He could not grasp it by the mind. If he had grasped it by the mind, man would be satisfied by thinking food. (8)

He tried to grasp it by the generative organ. He could not grasp it by the organ. If he had grasped it by the organ, man would be satisfied by sending forth food. (9)

He tried to grasp it by the down-breathing (the breath which helps to swallow food through the mouth and to carry it off through the rectum, the pâyvindriya). He got it.

3. Thus it is Vâyu (the getter 1) who lays hold of food, and the Vâyu is verily Annâyu (he who gives life or who lives by food). (10)

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

5. And then he thought: 'By what way shall I get there 2?'

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

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

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

9. There are three dwelling-places for him, three dreams; this dwelling-place (the eye), this dwelling-place (the throat), this dwelling-place (the heart) 1. (12)

10. When born (when the Highest Self had entered the body) he looked through all things, in order to see whether anything wished to proclaim here another (Self). He saw this person only (himself) as the widely spread Brahman. 'I saw it,' thus he said 2; (13)

Therefore he was Idam-dra (seeing this).

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


240:1 The water, as mentioned before, or the five elements.

240:2 Mûrti, for mûrtti, form, Colebrooke; a being of organised form, Röer; vrîhiyavâdirûpâ mûshakâdirûpâ ka mûrtih, i.e. vegetable food for men, animal food for cats, &c.

240:3 Offered food, i.e. objects for the Devatâs and the senses in the body.

240:4 Atyagighâmsat, atisayena hantum gantum aikkhat. Sâyana.

241:1 An attempt to derive vâyu from vî, to get.

241:2 Or, by which of the two ways shall I get in, the one way being from the top of the foot (cf. Ait. Âr. II, 1, 4, 1), the other from the skull? Comm.

242:1 Passages like this must always have required an oral interpretation, but it is by no means certain that the explanation given in the commentaries represents really the old traditional interpretation. Sâyana explains the three dwelling-places as the right eye, in a state of waking; as the throat, in a state of dreaming; as the heart, in a state of profound sleep. Saṅkara explains them as the right eye, the inner mind, and the ether in the heart. Sâyana allows another interpretation of the three dwelling-places being the body of the father, the body of the mother, and one's own body. The three dreams or sleeps he explains by waking, dreaming, and profound sleep, and he remarks that waking too is called a dream as compared with the true awakening, which is the knowledge of Brahman. In the last sentence the speaker, when repeating three times 'this dwelling-place,' is supposed to point to his right eye, the throat, and the heart. This interpretation is supported by a passage in the Brahma-upanishad, Netre gâgaritam vidyât kanthe svapnam samâdiset, sushuptam hridayasya tu.

242:2 In this passage, which is very obscure, Saṅkara fails us, either because, as Ânandagñâna says, he thought the text was too easy to require any explanation, or because the writers of the MSS. left out p. 243 the passage. Ânandagñâna explains: 'He looked through all creatures, he identified himself with them, and thought he was a man, blind, happy, &c.; or, as it is elsewhere expressed, he developed forms and names. And how did this mistake arise? Because he did not see the other, the true Self;' or literally, 'Did he see the other Self?' which is only a figure of speech to convey the meaning that he did not see it. The particle iti is then to be taken in a causal sense, (i. e. he did so, because what else could he have wished to proclaim?) But he allows another explanation, viz. 'He considered all beings, whether they existed by themselves or not, and after having considered, he arrived at the conclusion, What shall I call different from the true Self?' The real difficulties, however, are not removed by these explanations. First of all, we expect vâvadisham before iti, and secondly, unless anyam refers to âtmânam, we expect anyad. My own translation is literal, but I am not certain that it conveys the true meaning. One might understand it as implying that the Self looked about through all things, in order to find out, 'What does wish to proclaim here another Self?' And when he saw there was nothing which did not come from himself, then he recognised that the Purusha, the person he had sent forth, or, as we should say, the person he had created, was the developed Brahman, was the Âtman, was himself. Sâyana explains vâvadishat by vadishyâmi, but before iti the third person cannot well refer to the subject of vyaikshat.

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