Saturday, March 31, 2012


[*This is the only Upanishat important to the Brahmins who use the Gopichandana as their caste mark. This also advocates the Brhma Dharana at the end]

    Om. The holy Narada addressed the universal Lord, Vasudeva, with adoration. Instruct me, O Lord, the rules of Urdhva Pundra (a vertical sign of Gopichandana paste on the forehead and other places of the body); and also inform me the material by which it is made of, the mantras which are to be recited when applying it, and the places where it should be applied.

    2.    The Lord Vasudeva replied. The origin of the Gopichandana was from the Vaikuntha regions. It delights me and was made a paste by my devotees, Brahma and others on their body. It is called 'Vishnu-chandana' (Sandal paste of Vishnu). It was applied on my body daily by Gopis and removed. Hence 'Gopichandana.'

    3.    It is the means of attaining Salvation as it was besmeared in my body; it is holy and is in consecrated water of my disc. It has the emblem of my disc on it, with white color.

    4.    Next, one should handle it with adoration, chanting the mantra' "O Gopichandana, the destroyer of sins, O Thou, that hast come forth from the body of Vishnu, and hast emblem of the disc, I adore thee. Give me Salvation. I apply thee on my body." He should fetch water reciting the mantra 'O Ganga, hear this &c;' rub it uttering 'Vishnornukam' &c., and apply it on his body reciting the mantras "Let, therefore, the Devas protect me," and by Vishnu Gayatri (Narayanaya Vidmahe &c); or uttering the names 'Kesava' &c., (the twelve names of Vishnu from Kesava to Damodara).

    5.    The Brahmachari and Vanaprastha should apply the paste on the forehead, breast, neck and forearms, uttering either the Vaishnava Gayatri, or Krishna and other names.

    6.    The Grihastha (house-holder) should consecrate it repeating thrice the verse with meditation: "O bearer of the conch-shell, disc and club in hands, O the Dweller in the Dvaraka, Achuta, Govinda, O lotus-like eyed one, protect me, who has taken refuge in thee;" and apply it in the twelve places, crown of the head &c., by the second finger (ring-finger) chanting the Vaishnava Gayatri or Kesava and other names.

    7.    Brahmachari and the householder should apply it on the forehead, breast, neck and forearms uttering either the Vaishnava Gayatri, or Krishna and other names.

    8.    The Sanyasin should apply it by the fore-finger on the crown, forehead, and breast, uttering the Pranava alone.

    9.    The three vertical lines* [* Some who apply the Gopichandana on the forehead vertically without the three lines, it seems, have no Vedic sanction.] represent the three embodied ones Brahma &c., the three Vyahritis (Bhu &c,) the three Vedic metres, the three sacred fires, the three luminaries (the Sun &c), the three times, the three states of consciousness, the three Atmans, and the letters A, U, and M. Thus the Urdhva Pundra is of Pranava. This is Atman. It is Sat (being) and Om.

    10.    All these manifestations are one.

    11.    As it (symbolizes the) uplifting to the higher regions the aspirants of Om, one, therefore, should apply the Urdhva Pundra.

    12.    The Paramahamsa can apply a single line of Urdhva Pundra on his forehead, reciting Pranava.

    13.    The yogi attains the state of my equally (Sayujya), realizing his Self in it which reveals the Truth like a lamp.

    14.    Or, one may realize it (the Truth) in the center of the paste on the breast, or in the lotus-like heart, as it is said: "In the center of it (heart) there is a fine flame of light which burns upwards, which is as bright as the flash of lightening in the middle of the blue cloud. This Supreme Self is as fine as the ear of the wild rice-grains (nivara)." Therefore one should realize the Self which is in the lotus-like heart as remaining in the Pundra.

    15.    Thus one should gradually realize me the Supreme Hari, who is the one's own Self. He, who meditates on me, the imperishable Hari, with undivided attention, and also on his own Self as residing in his lotus-like heart, attains Salvation. There is no doubt in this. He also realizes by devotion my nature which is second less, all pervading, without beginning, middle and end, self-shining, and which is existence, consciousness and bliss.

    16.    The only one Vishnu dwells uninterruptedly in all moveable and immovable things. I, as the Self, dwell in all beings. Like the oil on the oil-seed, the fire in the firewood, the cream in the milk, and like the odor in the flowers, I am dwelling in all beings.

    17.    One reaches the goal by pasting the Gopichandan on his crown, between the eye-brows, and on the breast, and there meditating on Hari, the Sun of consciousness.

    18.    The Sanyasin, who uplifts his senses, who draws his vital current upwards, has Urdhva Pundra caste mark on his body and who practices the centripetal meditation, reaches the upper regions as he possesses the four upper-tending practices. Thus one obtains for himself the decisive knowledge by my devotion. One should, therefore, possess exclusive devotion having the paste Gopichandana on his body.

    19.    It is well ordained that all the Vaidika Brahmins should have the Urdhva Pundra prepared by Gopichandan and water.

    20.    If one, desirous of Salvation, does not procure the Gopichandana, should have the substitute from the earth of the root of the Tulasi plant, in order to obtain the direct perception of the Self.* [* This indicates the Gopichandana rule does not belong to the niyama vidhi, (necessary injunction), like that of Bhasma but it belongs to the optional one.]


    21.    One should besmear himself with the body ashes, procured from the sacred fire of the Atiratra Sacrifices, reciting the mantras "Agner bhasitam," (the holy ashes are from the fire), "I danu* Vishnu," "Trini Pada" (the three steps). Vishnu Gayatri, and Pranava. [* In the Srauta Prayoga, we find this mantra uttered with sprinkling the holy ashes, when the dog pollutes the Sacrificial ground by entering it.]

    22.    By this method one should have the Gopichandana on his body (when the Sruti authoritatively pronounces thus many do not use Bhasma above Gopichandan paste and violate the injunction).

    23.    He, who studies this, becomes free from all the sins. He never gets the impure thought (concerning Bhasma).

    24.    He gets the virtue of bathing in all the holy waters. He obtains the result of performing all the Vedic Sacrifices. He is honored by all the gods.

    25.    He gets an uninterrupted devotion in me, the Lord Narayana. He attains the state of Equality of Vishnu, having obtained the pure knowledge.

    26.    He does never come back to this world, does never come back. Thus Says the Lord Vasudeva.

    27.    He who studies this also attains the same. Thus Om, Truth. Thus ends the upansihat.

R. A. Sastri.


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