The Aitareya Upanishad is one
of the oldest of the Upanishads.
It belongs to the Aitareya Aranyaka of the
is divided into three chapters and
contains 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.