Tuesday, March 20, 2012


[*This is 13th in order of 108 Upanishats.]


    Om. Brihaspati addressed Yajnavalkya: "Which is that Kurukshetra which is the place of Divine worship of Gods, and abode of Brahman of all beings"?

    2.    (He replied): "The avimukta is indeed Kurushetra which is the place of divine worship of Gods, and the abode of Brahma of all beings.

    3.    Here, when the life is departing from the beings, Rudra imparts the Taraka Brahman (Om), by which one, having become immortal, attains salvation.

    4.    Therefore one should live in avimukta alone, he should not abandon avimukta."

    5.    It is even so, Yajnavalkya.


    Next, Atri addressed Yajnavalkya: "How can I understand him who is infinite and un-manifested Atman"?

    2.    Yajnavalkya replied to him: "He is to be worshipped in avimukta, who is infinite and un-manifested Atman; he has established himself in avimukta".

    3.    Where is that avimukta?

    4.    It is between Varana and Nasi.

    5.    When is it Varana and when Nasi?

    6.    That which removes all the sins committed by the senses, is called Varana?

    7.    That which destroys the sins committed by the senses, is called Nasi?

    8.    Where is the seat of that (Varanasi)?

    9.    It is at the root of the nose where the eye-brows meet. This is called Dyu (heaven). This is the meeting-place of this and other worlds. This center, the knowers of Brahman worship as Sandhya.

    10.    This is called avimukta. This avimukta is to be worshipped. He, who knows this understands the avimukta-knowledge.




    Next, the Brahmacharins addressed him: "Tell us by what holy recitation (japa) one attains immortality"?

    2.    Yajnavalkya replied: "By Satarudriya (Rudradhyaya). These are the names of the immortal one. Reciting these, one verily attains immortality."



    Next, Janaka of Videha, approaching Yajnavalkya addressed him thus: "O worshipful one, explain to me Sanyasa."

    2.    Yanjavalkya replied: "Having observed the rules of Brahmacharya, one should become a householder. From the stage of the householder, he should become a Vanaprastha (forest-dweller). Next he should renounce the world (Sanyasa). One can take up Sanyasa either from Brahmacharya, or from the stage of the householder or from that of Vanaprastha."

    3.    Whether one be a fulfiller of the vows or not (in the Brahmacharya stage), or whether he has completed the spiritual instructions given by the preceptor or not (in the stage of the householder), or whether he be one who has not maintained the sacred fire, and whether he be one who is not entitled to keep the sacred fire*, [*The first three means the followers of the three asramas and the fourth, the fourth class who are not entitled by birth to worship the sacred fire.] he should renounce the world the very moment he becomes disgusted with it.

    4.    (As preparatory to Sanyasa) some perform the Prajapatya ceremony. This should not be done. Agneyi ceremony should be observed. Agni is verily Prana. By performing this, he verily propitiates the Prana.

    5.    Next, he should perform the Traidhaturiya ceremony. By this he propitiates the three Dhatus, namely, Satva, Rajas, and Tamas.

    6.    (Next) he should smell the sacred fire when chanting the mantra. "This is thy source (Prana) of sacrifices. Taking the birth out of it thou shinest well. Knowing it, O fire, Thou goest (to thy source). Next increase our prosperity." This is verily the birth place of fire which is Prana. The mantra says, 'go (O fire) to Prana, Svaha'.

    7.    (For those who have not maintained the sacred fire the following rule is laid down). Bringing the fire from the (nearest) village, he should smell the fire as said before (see the previous Para).

    8.    If he does not get fire (according to another interpretation, one who is not entitled to keep the fire), he should perform the ceremony in water chanting the mantra, 'water is verily all the deities; I offer oblation to all the deities'. After performing this, he should take out the remainder of the offering mixed with ghee which removes all diseases, should eat the same reciting the Moksha mantra (Jyotiraham, Viraja Vipapma, &c).

    9.    Thus, one should take up (sanyasa) by observing the Vedic ceremony, and worship the Brahman.

    10.    It is even so, holy Yajnavalkya.



    Next, Atri addressed Yajnavalkya: "I ask thee, O Yajnavalkya, how does one become a Brahmana, without wearing the Yajnopavita (the sacred thread?)

    2.    Yajnavalkya replied: "the self is verily his sacred thread.

    3.    The following is the rule for the Parivrajaka, (when the death approaches him). Having sipped a little of the consecrated water, he should lay down his life on the field of battle; or he should quit the body by taking no sustenance whatever, or he should cast his body in the holy waters, or he should enter fire, or he should walk on towards the north, until his body falls dead.

    4.    Now the Paramahamsa ascetic who is clad in rags, clean shaven; becomes fit, to attain Brahman; he should not accept anything from others; he should ever remain pure, without the slightest thought of malice to others; and he should subsist on alms.

    5.    If he has no time to observe the above ceremonies he should take up Sanyasa either in thought, or by pronouncing the formula.

    6.    This path is verily proclaimed by Brahma. Treading this, the Sanyasin realizes Brahman.

    7.    Thus Yajnavalkya taught the king.



    The Paramahamsas are Samvartaka, Aruni, Svetaketu, Durvasa, Ribhu, Nidagha, Jadabharata, Dattatreya, Raivataka, and others, whose characteristics and conduct are imperceptible; though they are not mad, they act like madmen.

    8.    He (Paramahamsa) should consign to the water his staff, water-vessels, the balance-pole, the strainer, the tuft of hair, and the sacred thread pronouncing meanwhile the mantra 'Bhusvaha'; he should seek out the Atman. He should go about quite naked, without possessing anything; he should be free from the pairs of opposites, and should be well trained in the true path of Brahman; he should be pure in thought, and maintain his body by accepting voluntary alms* [* There are four classes of Jivanmuktas; one Brahmavit who goes out for alms at fixed times; the second, Brahmavara, who does not so go out, but receives alms brought to him; the third, Brahmvarya who does not even so receive, but allows himself to be fed by others; the fourth, the Brahmavarishtha, who, being utterly unconscious of this
world, neither seeks alms from others, nor allows himself to be fed by them. The third class is referred to here.] at stated times; he should remain unattached and be the same ins success and failure; he should own no place and should spend his time in an empty house, a temple, a dilapidated well, an ant-hole, under a tree, natural or artificial caves, and water-courses; he should have no pursuits, and should be free from Egotism; he should be ever-centered in meditation on Om. He should be ever-dwelling in Atman and engage himself in rooting out the action of good and bad; and he should cast off his body according to the Sanyasa rules. He is verily the Paramahamsa. Thus ends the Upanishat.

R. A. S.





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