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The Upanishads, Part 2 (SBE15), by Max Müller, [1879], at


1. Svetaketu Âruneya went to the settlement of the Pañkâlas. He came near to Pravâhana Gaivali 4, who was walking about (surrounded by his men). As soon as he (the king) saw him, he said: 'My boy!' Svetaketu replied: 'Sir!'

Then the king said: 'Have you been taught by your father!' 'Yes,' he replied.

2. The king said: 'Do you know how men, when they depart from here, separate from each other?' 'No,' he replied.

'Do you know how they come back to this world?' 'No,' he replied 5.

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'Do you know how that world does never become full with the many who again and again depart thither?' 'No,' he replied.

'Do you know at the offering of which libation the waters become endowed with a human voice and rise and speak?' 'No,' he replied.

'Do you know the access to the path leading to the Devas and to the path leading to the Fathers, i.e. by what deeds men gain access to the path leading to the Devas or to that leading to the Fathers? For we have heard even the saying of a Rishi: "I heard of two paths for men, one leading to the Fathers, the other leading to the Devas. On those paths all that lives moves on, whatever there is between father (sky) and mother (earth)."'

Svetaketu said: 'I do not know even one of all these questions.'

3. Then the king invited him to stay and accept his hospitality. But the boy, not caring for hospitality, ran away, went back to his father, and said: 'Thus then you called me formerly well-instructed!' The father said: 'What then, you sage?' The son replied: 'That fellow of a Râganya asked me five questions, and I did not know one of them.'

'What were they?' said the father.

'These were they,' the son replied, mentioning the different heads.

4. The father said: 'You know me, child, that whatever I know, I told you. But come, we shall go thither, and dwell there as students.'

'You may go, Sir,' the son replied.

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Then Gautama went where (the place of) Pravâhana Gaivali was, and the king offered him a seat, ordered water for him, and gave him the proper offerings. Then he said to him: 'Sir, we offer a boon to Gautama.'

5. Gautama said: 'That boon is promised to me; tell me the same speech which you made in the presence of my boy.'

6. He said: 'That belongs to divine boons, name one of the human boons.'

7. He said: 'You know well that I have plenty of gold, plenty of cows, horses, slaves, attendants, and apparel; do not heap on me 1 what I have already in plenty, in abundance, and superabundance.'

The king said: 'Gautama, do you wish (for instruction from me) in the proper way?'

Gautama replied: 'I come to you as a pupil.'

In word only have former sages (though Brahmans) come as pupils (to people of lower rank), but Gautama actually dwelt as a pupil (of Pravâhana, who was a Râganya) in order to obtain the fame of having respectfully served his master 2.

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8. The king said: 'Do not be offended with us, neither you nor your forefathers, because this knowledge has before now never dwelt with any Brâhman1. But I shall tell it to you, for who could refuse you when you speak thus?

9. 'The altar (fire), O Gautama, is that world (heaven) 2; the fuel is the sun itself, the smoke his rays, the light the day, the coals the quarters, the sparks the intermediate quarters. On that altar the Devas offer the sraddhâ libation (consisting of water 3). From that oblation rises Soma, the king (the moon).

10. 'The altar, O Gautama, is Parganya (the god of rain); the fuel is the year itself, the smoke the clouds, the light the lightning, the coals the thunderbolt, the sparks the thunderings. On that altar the Devas offer Soma, the king (the moon). From that oblation rises rain.

11. 'The altar, O Gautama, is this world 4; the fuel is the earth itself, the smoke the fire, the light the night, the coals the moon, the sparks the stars. On that altar the Devas offer rain. From that oblation rises food.

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12. 'The altar, O Gautama, is man; the fuel the opened mouth, the smoke the breath, the light the tongue, the coals the eye, the sparks the ear. On that altar the Devas offer food. From that oblation rises seed.

13. 'The altar, O Gautama, is woman 1. On that altar the Devas offer seed. From that oblation rises man. He lives so long as he lives, and then when he dies,

14. 'They take him to the fire (the funeral pile), and then the altar-fire is indeed fire, the fuel fuel, the smoke smoke, the light light, the coals coals, the sparks sparks. In that very altar-fire the Devas offer man, and from that oblation man rises, brilliant in colour.

15. 'Those who thus know this (even Grihasthas), and those who in the forest worship faith and the True 2 (Brahman Hiranyagarbha), go to light (arkis), from light to day, from day to the increasing half, from the increasing half to the six months when the sun goes to the north, from those six months to the world of the Devas (Devaloka), from the world of the Devas to the sun, from the sun to the place of lightning. When they have thus reached the place of lightning a spirit 3 comes near them, and leads them to the worlds of the (conditioned) Brahman. In these worlds of Brahman they dwell exalted for ages. There is no returning for them.

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16. 'But they who conquer the worlds (future states) by means of sacrifice, charity, and austerity, go to smoke, from smoke to night, from night to the decreasing half of the moon, from the decreasing half of the moon to the six months when the sun goes to the south, from these months to the world of the fathers, from the world of the fathers to the moon. Having reached the moon, they become food, and then the Devas feed on them there, as sacrificers feed on Soma, as it increases and decreases 1. But when this (the result of their good works on earth) ceases, they return again to that ether, from ether to the air, from the air to rain, from rain to the earth. And when they have reached the earth, they become food, they are offered again in the altar-fire, which is man (see § 11), and thence are born in the fire of woman. Thus they rise up towards the worlds, and go the same round as before.

'Those, however, who know neither of these two paths, become worms, birds,, and creeping things.'


204:3 See Khând. Up. V, 3; Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, I, 433; Deussen, Vedânta, p. 390. The commentator treats this chapter as a supplement, to explain the ways that lead to the pitriloka and the devaloka.

204:4 The MSS. I. O. 375 and 1973 give Gaivali, others Gaibali. He is a Kshatriya sage, who appears also in Khând. Up. I, 8, 1, as silencing Brâhmanas.

204:5 The same question is repeated in Roer's edition, only substituting p. 205 sampadyante for âpadyante. The MSS. I. O. 375 and 1973 do not support this.

206:1 Abhyavadânya is explained as niggardly, or unwilling to give, and derived from vadânya, liberal, a-vadânya, illiberal, and abhi, towards. This, however, is an impossible form in Sanskrit. Vadânya means liberal, and stands for avadânya, this being derived from avadâna, lit. what is cut off, then a morsel, a gift. In abhyavadânya the original a reappears, so that abhyavadânya means, not niggardly, but on the contrary, liberal, i.e. giving more than is required. Avadânya has never been met with in the sense of niggardly, and though a rule of Pânini sanctions the formation of a-vadânya, it does not say in what sense. Abhyavadâ in the sense of cutting off in addition occurs in Satap. Br. II, 5, 2, 40; avadânam karoti, in the sense of making a present, occurs Maitr. Up. VI, 33.

206:2 The commentator takes the opposite view. In times of distress, he says, former sages, belonging to a higher caste, have p. 207 submitted to become pupils to teachers of a lower caste, not, however, in order to learn, but simply in order to live. Therefore Gautama also becomes a pupil in name only, for it would be against all law to act otherwise. See Gautama, Dharma-sûtras VII, i, ed, Stenzler; translated by Bühler, p. 209.

207:1 Here, too, my translation is hypothetical, and differs widely from Saṅkara.

207:2 Cf. Khând. Up. V, 4.

207:3 Deussen translates In diesem Feuer opfern die Götter den Glauben.'

207:4 Here a distinction is made between ayam loka, this world, and prithivî, earth, while in the Khând. Up. ayam loka is the earth, asau loka the heaven.

208:1 Tasyâ upastha eva samil, lomâni dhûmo, yonir arkir, yad antahkaroti te 'ṅgârâ, abhinandâ visphuliṅgâh.

208:2 Saṅkara translates, 'those who with faith worship the True,' and this seems better.

208:3 'A person living in the Brahma-world, sent forth, i.e. created, by Brahman, by the mind,' Saṅkara. 'Der ist nicht wie ein Mensch,' Deussen, p. 392.

209:1 See note 4 on Khând. Up. V, 10, and Deussen, Vedânta, p. 393. Saṅkara guards against taking âpyâyasvâpakshîyasva as a mantra. A similar construction is gâyasva mriyasva, see Khând. Up. V, 10, 8.

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