The Taittiriya Upanishad belongs to the Taittiriya school of
the Yajurveda and hence the name. It is divided into three
chapters and 32 sections, of which the first chapter, Sikhshavalli,
containing 13 sections deals with siksha or the study of
phonetics or pronunciation, which is an important branch of the
Vedic studies. The
second chapter, Brahmandavalli is divided into nine sections. It deals with
various aspects of Brahmand, the Universal Egg or manifest
Brahman, such as the course of evolution,
matter and life, life and mind, Brahman as the source of
creation and so on. The third chapter is named Bhriguvalli. It
is divided into 10
sections which deal with an enquiry of Brahman by sage Bhrigu, in
a conversation with his father, Varuna. We are presenting here
translation of the first chapter of the Upanishad. We hope to
complete the remaining translation in due course of time. If you
are looking for a complete translation of the Taittiriya Upanishad
may check this link.
Translation by Jayaram V
May Mitra be kind to us.
May Varuna and the blessings of Aryama.
May also the grace of Indra and Brahaspati.
And Vishnu the strider of the world.
Salutation to Brahman, and Vayu, who alone I deem as Brahman
I declare that you are right and you are good.
May that Brahman protect me and protect the speaker
The science of pronunciation we shall now expound
The sounds, the tone, the measure, and the force for articulation
The uniformity and continuity in their pronunciation are all
The chapter on pronunciation is thus explained.
Having heard the basics of pronunciation from the teacher
the students invoke Brahman and pray for the glory of both.
And the teacher then explains the secrets of conjunction
of words using the five perceptible objects: the Universe, the
light, the knowledge, the people and the body. These are known
as the five great aggregates.
Regarding the universe, the teacher explains like this: the
earth is the first form, the heaven the second, and the space
in between is the middle. The air is the connecting element.
This is it should be about the universe.
Regarding light the teaching is like this: fire is the first
form, the sun is the second. Water is the middle. Lightening
is the connecting element. This is how it should be about light.
Regarding knowledge the teaching is like this: the teacher
is the first form, the taught is the second. Learning is the
middle. The instruction is the connecting element. this is how
it should be about knowledge.
Regarding people the teaching is like this: Mother is
the first form, father is the next. The progeny is the middle.
Procreation is the connecting element. This is how it should
be about the people.
Regarding an individual the teaching is like this: the lower
jaw is the first form, the upper jaw is the second form. Speech
is the middle. Tongue is the connecting element. This is how
it is about the individual.
These are called the great combinations. And he who understands
them as explained here, becomes associated with progeny, with
cattle, with the luminosity of Brahman, with food etc.,and with
the worlds of golden hue.
Section - 4
He who is found eminently among the hymns of the Vedas,
who has originated from the immortal hymns of the Vedas, may
that great Indra fill me with intelligence. May I become a possessor
of that which gives me immortality. May my body become strong
and able. May my tongue yield the nectar of honey. May my ears
listen abundantly. You, who are the intellect and the sheath
of Brahman, may you preserve my learning.
May hairy animals and cattle come to me abundantly. Svaha!
May they bring me prosperity. Svaha! May, He bestow upon me
clothes, cows, food and drink. Svaha! May they all multiply
without delay. Svaha! May the students of Brahman come to me
in large numbers from all directions for sturdy. Svaha! May
the students of Brahman practice self-control and remain ever
May I become prominent among men. Svaha ! May I become
distinct among the rich. Svaha! Lord of Luminosity (Sun God),
may I enter into you. Svaha! May You too enter into me. Svaha!
Among your innumerable branches (Sun rays) may I become purified.
As water flows downwards, as months move towards years, may
the students of Brahman come to me from all places. Svaha! You
are the refuge. Transmit Your power to me and possess me.
Bhu, Bhuva and Suvah are the three words of mystical importance.
Above these there is another called Maha, declared to us by
sage Mahachamasya. This verily is Brahman. It is the body, while
the other three divinities are its limbs.
Bhu is this world. What is called Bhuva is the firmament.
Suvah is the world beyond. What is called Maha is Aditya,the
sun. It is by Aditya that the worlds are nourished.
What is known as Bhu is fire. What is known as Bhuva is
air. What is known as Suvah is Aditya, the sun. What is known
as Maha is the moon. It is by the grace of moon that all the
vitalities are nourished.
What is known as Bhu is Rik. What is known as Bhuva is
Sama. What is known as Suvah is Yajumsi. What is known as Maha
(OM) is the Brahman. It is by the grace of Brahman that the
Vedas are nourished.
What is known as Bhu is prana. What is known as Bhuva
is apana. What is known as Suvah is vyana. What is known as
Maha is food. It is because of food that the pranas are nourished.
The above mentioned four are again four each in number.
He who knows these four verily knows Brahman. All the Gods carry
their offering to Him.
That which is with in the heart is the space where in
lives Purusha of the mental, immortal and golden sheaths. Between
the two palates where lies the small tongue, where the hair
is parted (while combing) and the skull is divided into two
equal halves, is the place of Indra's origin.
With the word "bhuh" he becomes established in fire. With
the word" bhuvah" he is established in the air. With the word
"suvah" he is established in the sun. With the word "mahah"
he is established in Brahman. He attains self-illumination,
control over the minds, becomes the Lord of Speech, the Lord
of the eyes, the ears and the knowledge. After that he becomes
Brahman, whose body is space, whose nature is truth, who plays
with the vital airs, whose mind is bliss and who is filled with
peace and who is immortal.
(To be continued...)