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

p. 249


1. He, the sun, without any colour, who with set purpose 1 by means of his power (sakti) produces endless colours 2, in whom all this comes together in the beginning, and comes asunder in the end--may he, the god, endow us with good thoughts 3.

2. That (Self) indeed is Agni (fire), it is Âditya (sun), it is Vâyu (wind), it is Kandramas (moon); the same also is the starry firmament 4, it is Brahman (Hiranyagarbha), it is water, it is Pragâpati (Virâg).

3. Thou art woman, thou art man; thou art youth, thou art maiden; thou, as an old man, totterest 5 along on thy staff; thou art born with thy face turned everywhere.

4. Thou art the dark-blue bee, thou art the green

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parrot with red eyes, thou art the thunder-cloud, the seasons, the seas. Thou art without beginning 1, because thou art infinite, thou from whom all worlds are born.

2. There is one unborn being (female), red, white, and black, uniform, but producing manifold offspring. There is one unborn being (male) who loves her and lies by her; there is another who leaves her, while she is eating what has to be eaten.

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1. Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating.

7. On the same tree man sits grieving, immersed, bewildered, by his own impotence (an-îsâ). But when he sees the other lord (îsa) contented, and knows his glory, then his grief passes away.

2. He who does not know that indestructible being of the Rig-Veda, that highest ether-like (Self) wherein all the gods reside, of what use is the Rig-Veda to him? Those only who know it, rest contented.

9. That from which the maker (mâyin 3) sends forth all this--the sacred verses, the offerings, the sacrifices, the panaceas, the past, the future, and all

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that the Vedas declare--in that the other is bound up through that mâyâ.

10. Know then Prakriti (nature) is Mâyâ (art), and the great Lord the Mâyin (maker); the whole world is filled with what are his members.

11. If a man has discerned him, who being one only, rules over every germ (cause), in whom all this comes together and comes asunder again, who is the lord, the bestower of blessing, the adorable god, then he passes for ever into that peace.

12 1. He, the creator and supporter of the gods, Rudra, the great seer, the lord of all, who saw 2, Hiranyagarbha being born, may he endow us with good thoughts.

13. He who is the sovereign of the gods, he in whom all the worlds 3 rest, he who rules over all two-footed and four-footed beings, to that god 4 let us sacrifice an oblation.

14. He who has known him who is more subtile than subtile, in the midst of chaos, creating all things, having many forms, alone enveloping everything 5, the happy one (Siva), passes into peace for ever.

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15. He also was in time 1 the guardian of this world, the lord of all, hidden in all beings. In him the Brahmarshis and the deities are united 2, and he who knows him cuts the fetters of death asunder.

16. He who knows Siva (the blessed) hidden in all beings, like the subtile film that rises from out the clarified butter 3, alone enveloping everything,--he who knows the god, is freed from all fetters.

17. That god, the maker of all things, the great Self 4, always dwelling in the heart of man, is perceived by the heart, the soul, the mind 5;--they who know it become immortal.

18. When the light has risen 6, there is no day, no night, neither existence nor non-existence 7; Siva (the blessed) alone is there. That is the eternal, the adorable light of Savitri 8,--and the ancient wisdom proceeded thence.

19. No one has grasped him above, or across, or in the middle 9. There is no image of him whose name is Great Glory.

20. His form cannot be seen, no one perceives him with the eye. Those 10 who through heart and

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mind know him thus abiding in the heart, become immortal.

21. 'Thou art unborn,' with these words some one comes near to thee, trembling. O Rudra, let thy gracious 1 face protect me for ever!

22 2. O Rudra! hurt us not in our offspring and descendants, hurt us not in our own lives, nor in our cows, nor in our horses! Do not slay our men in thy wrath, for, holding oblations, we call on thee always.


249:1 Nihitârtha, explained by Saṅkara as grihîtaprayoganah svârthanirapekshah. This may mean with set purpose, but if we read agrihîtaprayoganah it would mean the contrary, namely, without any definite object, irrespective of his own objects. This is possible, and perhaps more in accordance with the idea of creation as propounded by those to whom the devâtmasakti is mâyâ. Nihita would then mean hidden.

249:2 Colour is intended for qualities, differences, &c.

249:3 This verse has been translated very freely. As it stands, vi kaiti kânte visvam âdau sa devah, it does not construe, in spite of all attempts to the contrary, made by Saṅkara. What is intended is yasminn idam sam ka vi kaiti sarvam (IV, 11); but how so simple a line should have been changed into what we read now, is difficult to say.

249:4 This is the explanation of Saṅkara, and probably that of the Yoga schools in India at his time. But to take sukram for dîptiman nakshatrâdi, brahma for Hiranyagarbha, and Pragâpati for Virâg seems suggested by this verse only.

249:5 Vañkayasi, an exceptional form, instead of vañkasi (A. B.)

250:1 We see throughout the constant change from the masculine to the neuter gender, in addressing either the lord or his true essence.

250:2 This is again one of the famous verses of our Upanishad, because it formed for a long time a bone of contention between Vedânta and Sâṅkhya philosophers. The Sâṅkhyas admit two principles, the Purusha, the absolute subject, and the Prakriti, generally translated by nature. The Vedanta philosophers admit nothing but the one absolute subject, and look upon nature as due to a power inherent in that subject. The later Sâṅkhyas therefore, who are as anxious as the Vedântins to find authoritative passages in the Veda, confirming their opinions, appeal to this and other passages, to show that their view of Prakriti, as an independent power, is supported by the Veda. The whole question is fully discussed in the Vedânta-sûtras I, 4, 8. Here we read rohita-krishna-suklâm, which seems preferable to lohita-krishna-varnâm, at least from a Vedânta point of view, for the three colours, red, black, and white, are explained as signifying either the three gunas, ragas, sattva, and tamas, or better (Khând. Up. VI, 3, 1), the three elements, tegas (fire), ap (water), and anna (earth). A. reads rohitasuklakrishnâm; B. lohitasuklakrishnâ (sic). We also find in A. and B. bhuktabhogâm for bhuktabhogyâm, but the latter seems technically the more correct reading. It would be quite wrong to imagine that aga and agâ are meant here for he-goat and she-goat. These words, in the sense of unborn, are recognised as early as the hymns of the Rig-veda, and they occurred in our Upanishad I, 9, where the two agas are mentioned in the same sense as here. But there is, no doubt, a play on the words, and the poet wished to convey the second meaning of he-goat and she-goat, only not as the primary, but as the secondary intention.

251:1 The same verses occur in the Mundaka Up. III, 1.

251:2 It is difficult to see how this verse comes in here. In the Taitt. Âr. II, 11, 6, it is quoted in connection with the syllable Om, the Akshara, in which all the Vedas are comprehended. It is similarly used in the Nrisimha-pûrva-tâpanî, IV, 2; V, 2. In our passage, however, akshara is referred by Saṅkara to the paramâtman, and I have translated it accordingly. Rikah is explained as a genitive singular, but it may also be taken as a nom. plur., and in that case both the verses of the Veda and the gods are said to reside in the Akshara, whether we take it for the Paramâtman or for the Om. In the latter case, parame vyoman is explained by utkrishte and rakshake.

251:3 it is impossible to find terms corresponding to mâyâ and mâyin. Mâyâ means making, or art, but as all making or creating, so far as the Supreme Self is concerned, is phenomenal only or mere illusion, mâyâ conveys at the same time the sense of illusion. In the same manner mâyin is the maker, the artist, but also the magician or juggler. What seems intended by our verse is that from the akshara which corresponds to brahman, all proceeds, whatever exists or seems to exist, but that the actual creator or the author of all emanations is Îsa, the Lord, who, as creator, is acting through mâyâ or devâtmasakti. Possibly, however, anya, the other, may be meant for the individual purusha.

252:1 See before, III, 4.

252:2 Saṅkara does not explain this verse again, though it differs from III, 4. Vigñânâtman explains pasyata by apasyata, and qualifies the Âtmanepada as irregular.

252:3 B. reads yasmin devâh, not A.

252:4 I read tasmai instead of kasmai, a various reading mentioned by Vigñânâtman. It was easy to change tasmai into kasmai, because of the well-known line in the Rig-veda, kasmai devâya havishâ vidhema. Those who read kasmai, explain it as a dative of Ka, a name of Pragâpati, which in the dative should be kâya, and not kasmai. It would be better to take kasmai as the dative of the interrogative pronoun. See M. M., History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 433; and Vitâna-sutras IV, 22.

252:5 Cf. III, 7.

253:1 In former ages, Saṅkara.

253:2 Because both the Brahmarshis, the holy seers, and the deities find their true essence in Brahman.

253:3 We should say, like cream from milk.

253:4 Or the high-minded.

253:5 See III, 13.

253:6 Atamas, no darkness, i.e. light of knowledge.

253:7 See on the difficulty of translating sat and asat, τὸ ὄν and τὸ μή ὄν, the remarks in the Preface.

253:8 Referring to the Gâyatrî, Rig-veda III, 62, 10; see also Svet. Up. V, 4.

253:9 See Muir, Metrical Translations, p. 198; Maitr. Up. VI, 17.

253:10 B. reads hridâ manîshâ manasâbhiklipto, yat tad vidur; A. hridi hridistham manasâya enam evam vidur.

254:1 Dakshina is explained either as invigorating, exhilarating, or turned towards the south.

254:2 See Colebrooke, Miscellaneous Essays, I, p. 141; Rig-veda I, 114, 8; Taitt. Samh. IV, 5, 10, 3; Vâg. Samh. XVI, 16. The various readings are curious. Âyushi in the Svet. Up., instead of âyau in the Rig-veda, is supported by the Taitt. Samh. and the Vâg. Samh.; but Vigñânâtman reads âyau. As to bhâmito, it seems the right reading, being supported by the Rig-veda, the Taitt. Samh., and the Svet. Up., while bhâvito in Roer's edition is a misprint. The Vâg. Samh. alone reads bhâmino, which Mahîdhara refers to virân. The last verse in the Rig-veda and Vâg. Samh. is havishmantah sadam it tvâ havâmahe; in the Taitt. Samh. havishmanto namasâ vidhema te. In the Svet. Up. havishmantah sadasi tvâ havâmahe, as printed by Roer, seems to rest on Saṅkara's authority only. The other commentators, Saṅkarânanda and Vigñânâtman, read and interpret sadam it.

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