Translation by Jayaram V
OM! May He protect us both together. May He give
us enjoyment. May we exert ourselves through our radiance. May
there never be differences between us in understanding. OM peace
from heaven, peace from the earth, peace from the body!
OM! May my limbs, speech and prana grow. May
my eyes, ears and the strength of the sense grow too. Everything
is Brahman described in the Upanishads. Brahman never refuses
to accept me. May I never refuse to accept Brahman. Let my Atman
show interest in me and may all the virtues described in the
Upanishads reside in me!
By whose commands this mind works? By whose will the life's
breath circulates? Who is responsible for man's speech? What intelligence
does lead the eyes and the ears?
It is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech
of the speech. Also the life of all life, and the eye of the eye.
The wise abandon the sensory world and become immortal.
There the eyes cannot travel, nor speech nor mind. Nor do
we know how to explain it to the disciples. It is other than the
known and beyond the unknown. So were we taught by our ancients.
That which the speech cannot reveal, but causes the speech
to flow, know that alone to be Brahman, not this whom people worship
here (through mantras).
That which the mind cannot conceptualize, but by which the
mind does conceptualize, know that alone to be Brahman. Not the
one whom people worship here.
That which the eye cannot see, but by which the eyes are able
to see, know that alone to be Brahman. Not this whom people worship
That which the ear cannot hear, but by whom the ear can hear,
know that alone as Brahman, not this which people worship here.
That which one does not breath, but by whom air is breathed,
know that to be Brahman, not that which people worship here.
If you think you know It well, you indeed know It very little.
That whom you see in the beings and gods, you see but very little
(portion) of It.
I know that I know It (some what) well, also I know that I
know It not so well. Who amongst us comprehends It both as the known
and not much known, alone has the right understanding.
He comprehends It who thinks he has not. He has not comprehended
It who thinks he has. To the real masters It is the unknown, but
to the ignorant He is always the known.
Indeed immortality is his gain who understands It by his thoughts.
Through the Atman he gains real strength and immortality through
the knowledge (of Brahman).
In this world if one knows It, one gains truth. If one does
not know it , great is the loss. The wise see clearly in all the
Atman and rise from the sensory world to the world of immortality.
Once Brahman won victory for the devas. But unknowing the
devas were proud of victory. Thought they, "Ours alone is victory
and to us only belongs all the glory."
Brahman knowing their vanity appeared in front of them as
an Yaksha (ethereal spirit). But they did not know who that great
So they said to Agni, "Jataveda, know well what this Yaksha
is." And as requested Agni agreed.
He rushed to the Yaksha and the Yaksha (Brahman) asked, "What
power do you have and of what nature?" And Agni replied," I am Agni
(fire), the omniscient. I can burn all that is on earth."
Then Brahman placed a blade of grass in front of Agni saying,
"Burn it." Agni rushed to it with all his strength, but could not
burn it. He returned to the gods saying," What the Yaksha was I
could not find."
So they said to Vayu (the wind) " O great Vayu, go and find
out what this great Yaksha is and from where ." And as requested
He (Vayu) rushed to the Yaksha and Brahman asked him who he
was. Replied Vayu, " I am Vayu. I am really the master of all skies."
And Brahman enquired," What is the nature of your power in
you." And replied Vayu, "All this, whatever that is here , I can
Brahman placed before him a blade of grass saying, "Blow it
away." Vayu approached it with his full might, but could not move
it even a little. He too returned to the gods saying, "I could not
find that which this Spirit is."
Then the gods requested Indra, "Chief of gods, find out for
us this great Spirit and from where." But as he approached, the
And at the very same spot in the sky appeared extremely charming
Uma Haimavati (daughter of Himavat). He (Indra) asked her who the
great Yaksha was.
"Indeed It was Brahman," she replied. "Through Him alone you
all achieved victory." Then only Indra could discern who the incredible
Therefore Agni, Vayu and Indra are verily above all other
gods, for they alone went nearest to Him and were the first to know
Him as Brahman.
And therefore Indra of the three above all others for he alone
went nearest to Brahman and was the first to know Him as Brahman
(from goddess Uma).
Now this is the instruction regarding Brahman, (envision Him)
as he appeared before the gods, shining like a lightning and disappearing
within the winking of an eye.
Now this is another instruction regarding Brahman, (envision
Him) think of Him mentally as the microcosm (Atman) with in the
body as Atman.
Now Tadvanam is the name upon which He is to be meditated
or worshipped mentally. He who knows Him in this way is extremely
loved by all living beings.
The disciple asks, "Sir teach me Upanishad." And the master
replies," The Brahman of Upanishad is explained to you. That knowledge
of Upanishad we have imparted to you."
"Austerity, control and sincere effort are the foundations
on which it (knowledge of Brahma) rests. The Vedas are its limbs
and Truth is its abode.
Verily he who knows it thus cleanses all his sins and becomes
established in the vast heavenly and the highest state of Bliss.
Yes he is certainly established.
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