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The Aitareya Upanishad

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The Aitareya Upanishad is one of the oldest of the Upanishads. It belongs to the Aitareya Aranyaka of the Rigveda. It is divided into three chapters andcontains 33 verses. The Upanishad deals with the process of creation. The first chapter deals with the creation of Purusha, ( the primeval Being in Its macrocosmic form and man in Its microcosmic aspect), the creation of the various divinities, and how they were placed and assigned various duties. Section three of the first chapter deals with how food was created and how the various divinities sought to control it, but failed. In the last few verses of this section we are explained how the self entered the body and stayed there as the enjoyer. The second chapter is more difficult to understand. We are explained here the three births of the self. The third chapter deals with the qualities of the Self or Brahman. It contains one of the most famous expressions of the Vedanta, "pragnanam Brahma," which means Brahman is intelligence.

Most of this Upanishad is written in symbolic language and therefore it is neither easy to understand it nor easy to translate it clearly. To avoid ambiguity commonly associated with such texts, we have added a few words here and there in our translation to make the verses more meaningful. We hope the readers will forgive us for this transgression. This Upanishad is presented in four parts which you can access by using the following links.

















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