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


1. Next Krishna-Hârita 4 confided this Brâhman5 concerning speech to him (his pupil):

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2. Pragâpati, the year, after having sent forth all creatures, burst. He put himself together again by means of khandas (Vedas). Because he put himself together again by means of khandas, therefore (the text of the Veda) is called Samhitâ (put together).

3. Of that Samhitâ the letter n is the strength, the letter sh the breath and self (Âtman).

4. He who knows the Rik verses and the letters n and sh for every Samhitâ, he knows the Samhitâ with strength and breath. Let him know that this is the life of the Samhitâ.

5. If the pupil asks, 'Shall I say it with the letter n or without it? 'let the teacher say, 'With the letter n.' And if he asks, 'Shall I say it with the letter sh or without it?' let the teacher say, 'With the letter sh 1.'

6. Hrasva Mândûkeya said: 'If we here recite the verses according to the Samhitâ (attending to the necessary changes of n and s into n and sh 2), and if we say the adhyâya of Mândûkeya (Ait. Âr. III, 1), then the letters n and sh (strength and breath) have by this been obtained for us.'

7. Sthavira Sâkalya said: 'If we recite the verses according to the Samhitâ, and if we say the adhyâya of Mândûkeya, then the letters n and sh have by this been obtained for us.'

8. Here the Rishis, the Kâvasheyas 3, knowing

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this, said: 'Why should we repeat (the Veda), why should we sacrifice? We offer as a sacrifice breath in speech, or speech in breath. What is the beginning (of one), that is the end (of the other).'

9. Let no one tell these Samhitâs (Ait. Âr. III, 1-III, 2) to one who is not a resident pupil, who has not been with his teacher at least one year, and who is not himself to become an instructor 1. Thus say the teachers, yea, thus say the teachers.

, and then rest in another place finishing it.

11. 'And in the place where he reads this, he should not read p. 268 anything else, though he may read this (the Mahâvrata) where he has read something else.

12. 'No one should bathe and become a snâtaka 1c who does not read this. Even if he has read many other things, he should not become a snâtaka if he has not read this.

13. 'Nor should he forget it, and even if he should forget anything else, he should not forget this.

14. 'No, he should never forget this.

15. 'If he does not forget this, it will be enough for himself (or for acquiring a knowledge of the Self).

16. 'It is enough, let him know this to be true.

17. 'Let him who knows this not communicate, nor dine, nor amuse himself with any one who does not know it.'

Then follow some more rules as to the reading of the Veda in general:

18. 'When the old water that stood round the roots of trees is dried up (after about the month of Pausha, January to February 2c) he should not read; nor (at any time) in the morning or in the afternoon, when the shadows meet (he should begin at sunrise so soon as the shadows divide, and end in the evening before they fall together). Nor should he read 3c when a cloud has risen; and when there is an unseasonable rain (after the months of Srâvana and Bhâdrapada, August and September 4c) he should stop his Vedic reading for three nights. Nor should he at that time tell stories, not even during the night, nor should he glory in his knowledge.

19. 'This (the Veda thus learnt and studied) is the name of that Great Being; and he who thus knows the name of that Great Being, he becomes Brahman, yea, he becomes Brahman.'

p. 267 p. 268


264:4 One of the sons of Harita, who was dark. Comm.

264:5 Brâhmana, in the sense of Upanishad, this secret doctrine or explanation. It forms an appendix, like the svishtakrit at the end of a sacrifice. 'Iva,' which the commentator explains as restrictive or useless, may mean, something like a Brâhmana.

265:1 The letters n and sh refer most likely to the rules of natva and shatva, i. e. the changing of n and s into n and sh.

265:2 If we know whenever n and s should be changed to n and sh in the Samhitâ.

265:3 The Kâvasheyas said that, after they had arrived at the highest knowledge of Brahman (through the various forms of meditation and worship that lead to it and that have been described in the Upanishad) no further meditation and no further sacrifice could be p. 266 required. Instead of the morning and evening stoma they offer breath in speech, whenever they speak, or speech in breath, when they are silent or asleep. When speech begins, breathing ceases; when breathing begins, speech ceases.

266:1 The strict prohibition uttered at the end of the third Âranyaka, not to divulge a knowledge of the Samhitâ-upanishad (Ait. Âr. III, 1-2), as here explained, is peculiar. It would have seemed self-evident that, like the rest of the sruti or sacred literature, the Âranyaka too, and every portion of it, could have been learnt from the mouth of a teacher only, and according to rule (niyamena), i. e. by a pupil performing all the duties of a student (brahmakârin 2a), so that no one except a regular pupil (antevâsin) could possibly gain access to it. Nor can there be any doubt that we ought to take the words asamvatsaravâsin and apravaktri as limitations, and to translate, 'Let no one tell these Samhitâs to any pupil who has not at least been a year with his master, and who does not mean to become a teacher in turn.'

That this is the right view is confirmed by similar injunctions given at the end of the fifth Âranyaka. Here we have first some rules as to who is qualified to recite the Mahâvrata. No one is permitted to do so, who has not passed through the Dîkshâ, the initiation for the Agnishtoma. If the Mahâvrata is performed as a Sattra, the sacrificer is a Hotri priest, and he naturally has passed through that ceremony. But if the Mahâvrata is performed as an Ekâha or Ahîna ceremony, anybody might be the sacrificer, and therefore it was necessary to say that no one who is adîkshita, uninitiated, should recite it for another person; nor should he do so, p. 267 when the Mahâvrata is performed without (or with) an altar, or if it does not last one year. In saying, however, that one should not recite the Mahâvrata for another person, parents and teachers are not to be understood as included, because what is done for them, is done for ourselves.

After these restrictions as to the recitation of the Mahâvrata, follow other restrictions as to the teaching of it, and here we read, as at the end of the Upanishad:

4. 'Let no one teach this day, the Mahâvrata, to one who is not a regular pupil (antevâsin), and has been so for one year, certainly not to one who has not been so for one year; nor to one who is not a brahmakârin and does not study the same Veda 1b, certainly not to one who does not study the same Veda; nor to one who does not come to him.

5. 'Let the teaching not be more than saying it once or twice, twice only.

6. 'One man should tell it to one man, so says Gâtukarnya.

7. 'Not to a child, nor to a man in his third stage of life.

8. 'The teacher and pupil should not stand, nor walk, nor lie down, nor sit on a couch; but they should both sit on the ground.

9. 'The pupil should not lean backward while learning, nor lean forward. He should not be covered with too much clothing, nor assume the postures of a devotee, but without using any of the apparel of a devotee, simply elevate his knees. Nor should he learn, when he has eaten flesh, when he has seen blood, or a corpse, or when he has done an unlawful thing 2b; when he has anointed his eyes, oiled or rubbed his body, when he has been shaved or bathed, put colour on, or ornamented himself with flower-wreaths, when he has been writing or effacing his writing 3b.

10. 'Nor should he finish the reading in one day, so says Gâtukarnya, while according to Gâlava, he should finish it in one day. Âgnivesyâyana holds that he should finish all before the Trikâsîtis 4b

266:4b See Ait. Âr. I, 4, 3, 1-4.

266:2a Âpastamba-sûtras, translated by Bühler, p. 18.

266:1b See Gautama-sûtras XIV, 21, and Bühler's note.

266:2b Nâvratyam âkramya is explained by the commentator by ukkhishtâdyâkramana.

266:3b This, if rightly translated, would seem to be the earliest mention of actual writing in Sanskrit literature.

266:1c Âpastamba-sûtras, translated by Bühler, p. 92 (I, 2, 30, 4).

266:2c Âpastamba-sûtras, translated by Bühler, p. 33 (I, 3, 9, 2).

266:3c Âpastamba-sûtras, translated by Bühler, p. 44 (I, 3, 11, 31).

266:4c Âpastamba-sûtras, translated by Bühler, p. 33 (I, 3, 9, 1).

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