The Svetasvatara Upanishad Chapter 2

Shiva, the Supreme Self

Text and translation by Jayaram V

Summary: Invocation to Savitr, greatness of Savitr, practice of yoga, results of yoga, description of the glory of God.


1. Controlling his mind and thoughts in search of truth, it was Savitr who first discerned Agni and brought it out of the earth.

Agni is the divine self that is hidden in us. The earth is the physical body. Savitr is a manifestation of the Sun, who is described here as the first being to discern the existence of soul in the body.

2. When our minds are under our control, we are under the command of divine Savitr. May he give us sufficient strength to attain heaven.

3. May Savitr, who is capable of controlling the heaven bound gods, through his thoughts inspire them to shed a bright light.

4. The greatest of the great sages control their minds and thoughts. He who knows the scriptures well has ordered the performance of the sacrificial ceremonies. The divine Savitr is profusely praised.

5. With great veneration and devotion, I join with others in your ancient prayer. May my verse follow the path of Sun. May all the immortal sons of (God) as well as those who have ascended to the heavenly worlds listen to this prayer of mine.

6. Where the fire is kindled, the air is controlled and directed, where the soma juice flows over, there the mind is born.

The fire is the individual soul, the air is breath, the soma juice is bliss and the mind is self-realization.The fire is spiritual fervor. Control of air is control of breath. Soma juice is devotion. Mind is knowledge of God or self.

7. With Savitr as the inspirer, one should participate in the ancient prayer with great delight. Make this prayer your constant meditation. Your works will not effect you.

8. Holding the three parts of the body (the upper chest, neck and head), steady and erect, having established the mind and the senses in his heart, the wise man should cross by the boat of Brahman the streams of fear.

The boat of Brahman is the syllable AUM. The streams of fear is the fear of death, and suffering.

9. Holding the breath in his body, reducing his movements to the barest minimum, let him breath through his nostrils with diminishing breath, restraining his mind with utmost vigilance, the way wild horses are yoked to a chariot.

10. Choosing a place that is plain and clean, free from pebbles, fire and gravel, with soothing sounds of flowing water coming from near by, and with features that are pleasing to the mind and the eyes, in a secret cave, protected from the disturbance of the wind, let him practice his meditation.

11. Fog, smoke, the sun, wind, fireflies, lightening, crystal moon, these are the images that appear as manifestations of Brahman in the beginning stages of the Yoga.

12. When the five fold qualities of yoga consisting of the earth, water, fire, air and ether are firmly established in the body, then in that body strengthened by the fire of yoga, there is no place for sickness, old age and death.

13. Lightness of being, health, steadiness, improvement in the complexion of the body, perfection in the voice, sweetness of the body odor, slight excretions are said to be the first results of the progress of yoga.

14. Just as a mirror shines brightly after it has been cleaned, so does the yogi who has realized the true nature of his soul becomes integrated as one in his body, attains sense of fulfillment and remains free form sorrow.

15. Through the real nature of his own soul, as if by a lamp held on the nature of Brahman, when he sees, his own real nature as one who is unborn and completely pure, He is freed from all the fetters at once.

16. He is God, who pervades all the regions, the first born, hidden in the womb, who is born and will be born again. He stands in front of all beings and has faces in all directions.

Iswara is sakshi, the witness to all that goes on here. He is omnipresent and sees every thing in all directions simultaneously. The expression "born and will be born again" is also in reference to Iswara only because He is also Hiranyagarbha, who disappears when the creation comes to end and Brahman goes into His period of sleep or hibernation.

17. The God who is in fire, in water, who has pervaded the entire universe, who is in the plants, in the trees, to that God, I offer my respects, I offer my respects.

End of Chapter 2

 

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