Pancha Brahma Upanishad

Shiva Blessing Devotees

by P.R.Ramachander

Introduction

Pancha Brahma Upanishad belongs to the Black Yajur Veda. It deals with the panchanana or the fivefold aspect of Supreme Brahman, here equated with Shiva, but described as Pancha Brahmas. The Upanishad explains the significance of the five divinities Sathyojatha, Aghora, Vamadeva, Thathpurusha and Ishana, their respective attributes, functions and colors. The five fold aspect of Brahman or Shiva is represented by the five syllables hidden in the Panchakshari mantra, "Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya." The Upanishad also reveals the fact that every form in the universe contains the five fold aspect of Brahman and that Lord Shiva exists in the hearts of all beings. The following is an original translation of the Pancabrahma Upanishad by P.R. Ramachander. Hope it will help you to understand the meaning and significance of the fivfold aspects of Lord Shiva, namely Sathyojatha, Aghora, Vamadeva, Thathpurusha and Ishana - Jayaram V.

Translation

Aum ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together;
May we work conjointly with great energy,
May our study be vigorous and effective;
May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).
Aum ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Sage Pippalada asked Lord Ishwara, “Oh, God, Which appeared first?”

For which, the Lord Maheswara replied:

1 The Para Brahma took shape in stages of Sathyojatha, Aghora, Vamadeva, Thathpurusha and Ishana.

2 Sathyojatha is the aspect of earth and is the Sun, Goddess Lakshmi, Brahma, the letter Aum, Rig Veda, Garhapathyagni (Household fire), mantras, Saptha Swaras (seven notes) and yellow colour. It gives all that is wished for.

3 Aghora is the aspect of water and is moon, Goddess Parvathy, Yajur Veda, blue colour of the cloud, Dakshinagni (the fire of the south) and fifty letters. It drives away all sins, destroys all that is evil and grants riches.

4 Vamadeva gives great knowledge and destroys all sins. It is the aspect of fire, is lights of crores of suns, Sama Veda, eight type of songs, courageous tone, Ahwaneeyagni, power of knowledge, power to destroy and slightly blackish white colour. It gives full consciousness, rules over all the three worlds, spread over all the three worlds and grants all sort of luck and results for the action performed.

5 Thathpurusha is with eight letters (Aa, Ka, Cha, Ta, Tha, Pa, Ya, Sa) and is in the eight petal lotus and is normally surrounded by air. It has five fires, protects effects of mantras, personification of the fifty consonants, has the form of Atharva Veda, is the chief of several crores of Ganas, has the shape which is extremely big, red coloured, gives whatever is asked for, medicine for worry and diseases and the root of Srishti (creation), Sthithi (upkeep) and Laya(merging). It is the basis of all strengths. It is the Thureeya which is beyond the three common states and is the thing called Brahman. It is worshipped by Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. It is the philosophy from which all others originate.

6 You should understand that Ishana is the witness for intelligence and is the activator of the brain. It is the aspect of sky and cannot be seen. It is decorated by the sound of “Aum”. It has the shape of all devas. It is peaceful. It is beyond peace. It is beyond sound. It is Aa and occupies the headship of vowels. It is the form of Pancha Brahma which is everywhere and activates the five actions of creation, upkeep, destruction, disappearance and blessing. It hides the Pancha Brahmas within itself and exists as itself and shines beyond the Pancha Brahmas by its light. It shines in the beginning, middle and end without any causative reason. All those devas who are all under stupor by the illusion of Maheswara would not understand properly that Mahadeva who is the teacher of the universe, is the cause of all causes. His shape does not appear before the eye. This world is shining because of that Parathpara Purusha in whom the world exists. It merges in him. That Ishana aspect is the Para Brahman which is the upper boundary of peace. The knowledge that the Para Brhaman is oneself and the rise of Sathyo Jatam (birth of truth) is Para Brahman. Whichever is seen or heard is the soul of Para Brahman.

The existence in five shapes is called Brahma Karya (activity). After understanding Brahma Karya, Ishana is appreciated. After putting the fact all that is originating from Para Brahman in ones soul, the wise man experiences and understands that “It is me” and becomes Brahman as well as deathless. There is no doubt that the one who understands this Brahman becomes freed (emancipated).

One should chant the Panchakshara Mantra which is from Na to Ya (Namasivaya) and which is of the shape of five letters and is Lord Shiva’s body. After understanding the philosophy of the soul of Pancha Brahma, One should understand that every form is the form of those five. One who studies this knowledge of the soul of the Pancha Brahma would shine himself as Pancha Brahma. This Upanishad tells that Lord Shiva, who grants salvation to one, from this day- to-day life of the world, exists as witness without differentiation in the heart of all beings and is called Hrudayam (That which exists within).

Aum ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together;
May we work conjointly with great energy,
May our study be vigorous and effective;
May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).
Aum ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Here ends the Pancha Brahmopanishad belonging to the KrishnaYajur Veda.

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