Om*. [*This is 28th in order of 108 Upanishats. Of these (1) Kaivalya, (2) Svetasvatara, (3) Atharvasiras, (4) Atharvasikha and (5) Kalagnirudra, are called Pancharudropanishats. It is ordained that every devotee of Isvara should recite them daily before breakfast.]
Next (comes) the Kalagnirudropanishat, for which the Seer (Rishi) is Samvertaka Agni. The metre is Anushtup. The presiding Deity is Sri Kalagnirudra. This (Upanishat) is to be used while besmearing the body with Holy ashes in three lines for the sake of propitiating the Lord Rudra.
2. Om. Next Sanatkuamra addressed Lord Kalagni-rudra thus: Reveal to me, O Lord, the canons of Tripundra and its real nature. What is the material it is made of? What are the places where it is to be applied? What are its dimensions? How many lines is it to consist of? What are the mantras? What is its efficacy? Which is the presiding Deity? Who is the practitioner? and what is its result?
3. To him answered Lord Kalagnirudra. The material it is made of is ashes produced by fire. Chant the Pancha Brahma mantra (Sadyojata to Isana Sarvavidyanam) while taking them in the hand. Invoke the following mantras on them, viz., Agni is Bhasma (holy ashes), Vayu is Bhasma, Vyoma is Bhasma, Jala (water god) is Bhasma and Sththula (earth) is Bhasma. Lift them up reciting the mantra "manastoka." (Do not molest our children etc., vide Rudradhyaya). Mix them up with water reciting the mantra "Triyayusham" (Triyayusham to Tanmesta Triyayusham). And apply them on the scalp of the head, forehead, breast and on the shoulders, chanting the mantras "Triyayusha etc." "Trayambaka", and "Trisakti", in three lines drawn across.
4. This ritual (vrata) called (Sambhava) is proclaimed in the Vedas by the Seers of the same. Therefore one desirous of liberation should practice this to avoid rebirth.
5. Next Sanatkuamra asked for the dimensions of Tripundra application.
6. (He replied). The three lines should occupy the whole forehead, from the eyes to the scalp of the head including also the portion between the eyebrows.
7. It's first line represents the Garhapatya fire, akara (in Om mantra) Rajas, Bhuloka (earth), Atman, Kriyasakti, RigVeda, the morning yaga, and the Deity Mahesvara.
8. The second line represents Dakshinagni, Ukara, Satva, Antariksha (the middle space), inner self, Ichchasakti, Yajur Veda, mid-day yaga, and the Deity Sadasiva.
9. The third line represents Ahavaniya fire, Makara, Tamas, Dyuloka (heaven) the Supreme Self, Jnanasakti, Samaveda, the third yaga, and the Deity Mahadeva.
10. Thus the learned man who makes the Tripundra out of the holy ashes whether he be a bachelor, house-holder, vanaprasththa, or sanyasin, will be purified from the sin of the heinous crimes and as well as from the lighter ones (mahapataka and upapataka).
11. He receives the efficacy of having bathed in all the holy waters.
12. He has the merit attainable by the result of studying all the Vedas.
13. He comes to Know all the Devas.
14. He achieves the fruit of the constant recitation of all the Rudras.
15. He enjoys all the worldly happiness; after his death he reaches the Sayujya of Siva. He is not reborn, he is not reborn. So says Lord Kalagni Rudra.
16. He who studies this (Upanishat) attains this same position.
17. Om. Truth (Satyam). Thus ends the Upansihat.
R. A. Sastri.