The Upanishads, Part 2 (SBE15), by Max Müller, , at sacred-texts.com
1. In the beginning there was nothing (to be perceived)
here whatsoever. By Death indeed all this was concealed,--by hunger; for death is hunger. Death (the first being) thought, 'Let me have a body.' Then he moved about, worshipping. From him thus worshipping water was produced. And he said: 'Verily, there appeared to me, while I worshipped (arkate), water (ka).' This is why water is called ar-ka 1. Surely there is water (or pleasure) for him who thus knows the reason why water is called arka.
2. Verily water is arka. And what was there as the froth of the water, that was hardened, and became the earth. On that earth he (Death) rested, and from him, thus resting and heated, Agni (Virâg) proceeded, full of light.
3. That being divided itself threefold, Âditya (the sun) as the third, and Vâyu (the air) as the third 2. That spirit (prâna) 3 became threefold. The head was the Eastern quarter, and the arms this and that quarter
[paragraph continues] (i. e. the N. E. and S. E., on the left and right sides). Then the tail was the Western quarter, and the two legs this and that quarter (i. e. the N. W. and S. W.) The sides were the Southern and Northern quarters, the back heaven, the belly the sky, the dust the earth. Thus he (Mrityu, as arka) stands firm in the water, and he who knows this stands firm wherever he goes.
4. He desired 1, 'Let a second body be born of me,' and he (Death or Hunger) embraced Speech in his mind. Then the seed became the year. Before that time there was no year. Speech 2 bore him so long as a year, and after that time sent him forth. Then when he was born, he (Death) opened his mouth, as if to swallow him. He cried Bhân! and that became speech 3.
5. He thought, 'If I kill him, I shall have but little food.' He therefore brought forth by that speech and by that body (the year) all whatsoever exists, the Rik, the Yagus, the Sâman, the metres, the sacrifices, men, and animals.
And whatever he (Death) brought forth, that he resolved to eat (ad). Verily because he eats everything, therefore is Aditi (Death) called Aditi. He who thus knows why Aditi is called Aditi, becomes an eater of everything, and everything becomes his food 4.
6. He desired to sacrifice again with a greater sacrifice. He toiled and performed penance. And while he toiled and performed penance, glorious power 1 went out of him. Verily glorious power means the senses (prâna). Then when the senses had gone out, the body took to swelling (sva-yitum), and mind was in the body.
7. He desired that this body should be fit for sacrifice (medhya), and that he should be embodied by it. Then he became a horse (asva), because it swelled (asvat), and was fit for sacrifice (medhya); and this is why the horse-sacrifice is called Asva-medha.
Verily he who knows him thus, knows the Asvamedha. Then, letting the horse free, he thought 2, and at the end of a year he offered it up for himself, while he gave up the (other) animals to the deities. Therefore the sacrificers offered up the purified horse belonging to Pragâpati, (as dedicated) to all the deities.
Verily the shining sun is the Asvamedha-sacrifice, and his body is the year; Agni is the sacrificial fire (arka), and these worlds are his bodies. These two are the sacrificial fire and the Asvamedha-sacrifice, and they are again one deity, viz. Death. He (who knows this) overcomes another death, death does not reach him, death is his Self, he becomes one of those deities.
1. There were two kinds of descendants of Pragâpati, the Devas and the Asuras 2. Now the Devas were indeed the younger, the Asuras the elder ones 3. The Devas, who were struggling in these worlds, said: 'Well, let us overcome the Asuras at the sacrifices (the Gyotishtoma) by means of the udgîtha.'
2. They said to speech (Vâk): 'Do thou sing out for us (the udgîtha).' 'Yes,' said speech, and sang (the udgîtha). Whatever delight there is in speech, that she obtained for the Devas by singing (the three pavamânas); but that she pronounced well (in the other nine pavamânas), that was for herself. The Asuras knew: 'Verily, through this singer they will overcome us.' They therefore rushed at the singer and pierced her with evil. That evil which consists in saying what is bad, that is that evil.
3. Then they (the Devas) said to breath (scent): 'Do thou sing out for us.' 'Yes,' said breath, and sang. Whatever delight there is in breath (smell), that he obtained for the Devas by singing; but that he smelled well, that was for himself. The Asuras knew: 'Verily, through this singer they will overcome us.' They therefore rushed at the singer, and
pierced him with evil. That evil which consists in smelling what is bad, that is that evil.
4. Then they said to the eye: 'Do thou sing out for us.' 'Yes,' said the eye, and sang. Whatever delight there is in the eye, that he obtained for the Devas by singing; but that he saw well, that was for himself The Asuras knew: 'Verily, through this singer they will overcome us.' They therefore rushed at the singer, and pierced him with evil. That evil which consists in seeing what is bad, that is that evil.
5. Then they said to the ear: 'Do thou sing out for us.' 'Yes,' said the ear, and sang. Whatever delight there is in the ear, that he obtained for the Devas by singing; but that he heard well, that was for himself. The Asuras knew: 'Verily, through this singer they will overcome us.' They therefore rushed at the singer, and pierced him with evil. That evil which consists in hearing what is bad, that is that evil.
6. Then they said to the mind: 'Do thou sing out for us.' 'Yes,' said the mind, and sang. Whatever delight there is in the mind, that he obtained for the Devas by singing; but that he thought well, that was for himself. The Asuras knew: 'Verily, through this singer they will overcome us.' They therefore rushed at the singer, and pierced him with evil. That evil which consists in thinking what is bad, that is that evil.
Thus they overwhelmed these deities with evils, thus they pierced them with evil.
7. Then they said to the breath in the mouth 1: 'Do thou sing for us.' 'Yes,' said the breath, and sang. The Asuras knew: 'Verily, through this singer
they will overcome us.' They therefore rushed at him and pierced him with evil. Now as a ball of earth will be scattered when hitting a stone, thus they perished, scattered in all directions. Hence the Devas rose, the Asuras fell. He who knows this, rises by his self, and the enemy who hates him falls.
8. Then they (the Devas) said: 'Where was he then who thus stuck to us 1?' It was (the breath) within the mouth (âsye 'ntar 2), and therefore called Ayâsya; he was the sap (rasa) of the limbs (aṅga), and therefore called Âṅgirasa.
9. That deity was called Dûr, because Death was far (dûran) from it. From him who knows this, Death is far off.
10. That deity, after having taken away the evil of those deities, viz. death, sent it to where the end of the quarters of the earth is. There he deposited their sins. Therefore let no one go to a man, let no one go to the end (of the quarters of the earth 3), that he may not meet there with evil, with death.
11. That deity, after having taken away the evil of those deities, viz. death, carried them beyond death.
12. He carried speech across first. When speech had become freed from death, it became (what it had been before) Agni (fire). That Agni, after having stepped beyond death, shines.
13. Then he carried breath (scent) across. When breath had become freed from death, it became
[paragraph continues] Vâyu (air). That Vâyu, after having stepped beyond death, blows.
14. Then he carried the eye across. When the eye had become freed from death, it became Âditya (the sun). That Âditya, after having stepped beyond death, burns.
15. Then he carried the ear across. When the ear had become freed from death, it became the quarters (space). These are our quarters (space), which have stepped beyond death.
16. Then he carried the mind across. When the mind had become freed from death, it became the moon (Kandramas). That moon, after having stepped beyond death, shines. Thus does that deity carry him, who knows this, across death.
17. Then breath (vital), by singing, obtained for himself eatable food. For whatever food is eaten, is eaten by breath alone, and in it breath rests 1.
The Devas said: 'Verily, thus far, whatever food there is, thou hast by singing acquired it for thyself. Now therefore give us a share in that food.' He said: 'You there, enter into me.' They said Yes, and entered all into him. Therefore whatever food is eaten by breath, by it the other senses are satisfied.
18. If a man knows this, then his own relations come to him in the same manner; he becomes their supporter, their chief leader, their strong ruler 2. And if ever anyone tries to oppose 3 one who is possessed of such knowledge among his own relatives, then he
will not be able to support his own belongings. But he who follows the man who is possessed of such knowledge, and who with his permission wishes to support those whom he has to support, he indeed will be able to support his own belongings.
19. He was called Ayâsya Âṅgirasa, for he is the sap (rasa) of the limbs (aṅga). Verily, breath is the sap of the limbs. Yes, breath is the sap of the limbs. Therefore from whatever limb breath goes away, that limb withers, for breath verily is the sap of the limbs.
20. He (breath) is also Brihaspati, for speech is Brihatî (Rig-veda), and he is her lord; therefore he is Brihaspati.
2 1. He (breath) is also Brahmanaspati, for speech is Brahman (Yagur-veda), and he is her lord; therefore he is Brahmanaspati.
He (breath) is also Sâman (the Udgîtha), for speech is Sâman (Sama-veda), and that is both speech (sâ) and breath (ama) 1. This is why Sâman is called Sâman.
22. Or because he is equal (sama) to a grub, equal to a gnat, equal to an elephant, equal to these three worlds, nay, equal to this universe, therefore he is Sâman. He who thus knows this Sâman, obtains union and oneness with Sâman.
23. He (breath) is Udgîtha 2. Breath verily is Ut, for by breath this universe is upheld (uttabdha); and speech is Gîthâ, song. And because he is ut and gîthâ, therefore he (breath) is Udgîtha.
24. And thus Brahmadatta Kaikitâneya (the grandson of Kikitâna), while taking Soma (râgan), said: 'May this Soma strike my head off, if Ayâsya Âṅgirasa sang another Udgîtha than this. He sang it indeed as speech and breath.'
25. He who knows what is the property of this Sâman, obtains property. Now verily its property is tone only. Therefore let a priest, who is going to perform the sacrificial work of a Sama-singer, desire that his voice may have a good tone, and let him perform the sacrifice with a voice that is in good tone. Therefore people (who want a priest) for a sacrifice, look out for one who possesses a good voice, as for one who possesses property. He who thus knows what is the property of that Sâman, obtains property.
26. He who knows what is the gold of that Sâman, obtains gold. Now verily its gold. is tone only. He who thus knows what is the gold of that Sâman, obtains gold.
27. He who knows what is the support of that Sâman, he is supported. Now verily its support is speech only. For, as supported in speech, that breath is sung as that Sâman. Some say the support is in food.
Next follows the Abhyâroha 1 (the ascension) of the Pavamâna verses. Verily the Prastotri begins to sing the Sâman, and when he begins, then let him (the sacrificer) recite these (three Yagus-verses):
'Lead me from the unreal to the real! Lead me
from darkness to light! Lead me from death to immortality!'
Now when he says, 'Lead me from the unreal to the real,' the unreal is verily death, the real immortality. He therefore says, 'Lead me from death to immortality, make me immortal.'
When he says, 'Lead me from darkness to light,' darkness is verily death, light immortality. He therefore says, 'Lead me from death to immortality, make me immortal.'
When he says, 'Lead me from death to immortality,' there is nothing there, as it were, hidden (obscure, requiring explanation) 1.
28. Next come the other Stotras with which the priest may obtain food for himself by singing them. Therefore let the sacrificer, while these Stotras are being sung, ask for a boon, whatever desire he may desire. An Udgâtri priest who knows this obtains by his singing whatever desire he may desire either for himself or for the sacrificer. This (knowledge) indeed is called the conqueror of the worlds. He who thus knows this Sâman 2, for him there is no fear of his not being admitted to the worlds 3.
74:6 Called the Agni-brâhmana, and intended to teach the origin of p. 75 Agni, the fire, which is here used for the Horse-sacrifice. It is found in the Satapatha-brâhmana, Mâdhyandina-sâkhâ X, 6, 5, and there explained as a description of Hiranyagarbha.
75:1 We ought to read arkasyârkatvam, as in Poley's edition, or ark-kasyârkkatvam, to make the etymology still clearer. The commentator takes arka in the sense of fire, more especially the sacrificial fire employed at the Horse-sacrifice. It may be so, but the more natural interpretation seems to me to take arka here as water, from which indirectly fire is produced. From water springs the earth; on that earth he (Mrityu or Pragâpati) rested, and from him, while resting there, fire (Virâg) was produced. That fire assumed three forms, fire, sun, and air, and in that threefold form it is called prâna, spirit.
75:2 As Agni, Vâyu, and Âditya.
75:3 Here Agni (Virâg) is taken as representing the fire of the altar at the Horse-sacrifice, which is called Arka. The object of the whole Brâhmana was to show the origin and true character of that fire (arka).
76:1 He is the same as what was before called mrityu, death, who, after becoming self-conscious, produced water, earth, fire, &c. He now wishes for a second body, which is the year, or the annual sacrifice, the year being dependent on the sun (Âditya).
76:2 The commentator understands the father, instead of Speech, the mother.
76:3 The interjectional theory.
76:4 All these are merely fanciful etymologies of asvamedha and arka.
77:1 Or glory (senses) and power. Comm.
77:2 He considered himself as the horse. Roer.
78:1 Called the Udgîtha-brâhmana. In the Mâdhyandina-sâkhâ, the Upanishad, which consists of six adhyâyas, begins with this Brâhmana (cf. Weber's edition, p. 104 7; Commentary, p. 1109).
78:2 The Devas and Asuras are explained by the commentator as the senses, inclining either to sacred or to worldly objects, to good or evil.
78:3 According to the commentator, the Devas were the less numerous and less strong, the Asuras the more numerous and more powerful.
79:1 This is the chief or vital breath, sometimes called mukhya.
80:1 Asakta from sañg, to embrace; cf. Rig-veda I, 33, 3. Here it corresponds to the German anhänglich.
80:2 See Deussen, Vedanta, p. 359.
80:3 To distant people.
81:1 This is done by the last nine Pavamânas, while the first three were used for obtaining the reward common to all the prânas.
81:2 Here annâda is well explained by anâmayâvin, and vyâdhirahita, free from sickness, strong.
81:3 Read pratipratih; see Poley, and Weber, p. 1180.
82:1 Cf. Khând. Up. V, 2, 6.
82:2 Not used here in the sense of song or hymn, but as an act of worship connected with the Sâman. Comm.
83:1 The ascension is a ceremony by which the performer reaches the gods, or becomes a god. It consists in the recitation of three Yagus, and is here enjoined to take place when the Prastotri priest begins to sing his hymn.
84:1 See Deussen, Vedânta, p. 86.
84:2 He knows that he is the Prâna, which Prâna is the Sâman. That Prâna cannot be defeated by the Asuras, i.e. by the senses which are addicted to evil; it is pure, and the five senses finding refuge in him, recover there their original nature, fire, &c. The Prâna is the Self of all things, also of speech (Rig-yaguh-sâmodgîtha), and of the Sâman that has to be sung and well sung. The Prâna pervades all creatures, and he who identifies himself with that Prâna, obtains the rewards mentioned in the Brâhmana. Comm.
84:3 In connection with lokagit, lokyatâ is here explained, and may probably have been intended, as worthiness to be admitted to the highest world. Originally lokyatâ and alokyatâ meant right and wrong. See also I, 5, 17.