The Kausitaki Upanishad, Chapter Two
The second chapter of the Kausitaki Upanishad describes the greatness of breath. In many Upanishads breath is compared to Brahman himself. It is also considered the lord of the organs in the body. In this chapter, sage Kausitaki compared to Brahma. He also made references to full moon day or new moon day sacrifices to fulfill wishes and a sacrifice to secure the love of a deity. The fifth verse describes an internal sacrifice, while seventh refers to the threefold meditation upon the Sun. There are references in the remaining verses to other types of sacrifices, which justify its classification by some as a Brahmana or Aranyaka rather than an Upanishad. Many ideas, such as the greatness of breath, presented in this Upanishads are not original but taken from other Upanishads, whcih indicate that it might have undergone several renditions overtime.
The Greatness of Breath
1. prano brahmeti ha smaha kausitakih: tasya ha va etasya pranasya brahmano mano dutam caksur goptr srotram samsravayitr vak parivestri; sa yo ha va etasya pranasya brahmano mano dutam veda dutavan bhavati, yas caksur goptr goptraman bhavati, yah srotram samsravayitr samsravayitrman bhavati , yo vacam parivestrim parivestriman bhavati, tasmai va etasmai pranaya brahmana etah sarva devata ayacama-nayaiva balim haranti evam evam haivasmai sarvani bhutany ayacamanayaiva balim haranti ya evam veda tasyopanisan na yaced iti tad yatha gramam bhiksitva labdhopavisen naham ato dattam asniyam iti ta evainam upamantrayante ye purastat pratyacaksiran esa dharmo'yacato bhavaty annnadas tevainam upamantrayante dadama ta iti.
1. "Breath is Brahma," thus, indeed, said Kausitaki. Of this breath, which is verily Brahma, the mind is the messenger, the eye is the protector (or the concealer), the ear the announcer, and speech the housekeeper. He who, indeed, knows the mind as the messenger of this breath which is Brahma, becomes endowed with the messenger. He who knows the eye as the protector, becomes endowed with the protector. He who knows the ear as the announcer, becomes endowed with the announcer. He who knows the speech as the housekeeper becomes endowed with the housekeeper. Now, to that breath, which is verily Brahma, all these deities (organs in the body) bring offerings, unasked; and to the same breath, even all beings bring offerings, unasked. For he who knows this, this is the secret teaching, "Do not ask for charity." Just as person who goes through a village begging for alms and receives nothing sits down and says to himself, "I shall never accept any alms given here," and upon saying that those who formerly refused to give him feel obliged to invite him (with offerings), so is the case with him who does not beg. To him, those who make offerings of food, offer an invitation and say, "Here, we give you."
2. prano brahmeti ha smaha paingyas tasya va etasya pranasya brahmano vac parastac caksur arundhate, caksuh parastac chot-ram arundhate, srotram parastac mana arundhate, mana para-stac prana arundhate, tasmai va etasman pranaya brahmana etah sarva devata ayacamanaya balim haranti, evam haivasmat sarvani bhutany ayacamanayaiva balim haranti ya evam veda tasyopaisan na yaced iti, tad yatha gramam bhiksit-va'labdh-vopavisen naham ato dattam asniyam iti, ta evainam upaman-trayante ye purastat pratyacaksiran esa dharmo'yacato bhavati annadas tv evainam upamantrayante dadama ta iti.
2. "Breath is Brahma," thus, indeed, said Paingya. In this breath, which is verily Brahma, on the upper side of speech the eye is enclosed, on the sides of the eye the ear is enclosed, on the inside of the ear the mind is enclosed, and on the lower side of the mind the organs (breaths) are enclosed. Now, to that breath, which is verily Brahma, all these deities (organs in the body) bring offerings, unasked; and to the same breath, even all beings bring offerings, unasked. For he who knows this, this is the secret teaching, "Do not ask for charity." Just as person who goes through a village begging for alms and receives nothing sits down and says to himself, "I shall never accept any alms given here," and upon saying that those who formerly refused to give him feel obliged to invite him (with offerings), so is the case with him who does not beg. To him, those who make offerings of food, offer an invitation and say, "Here, we give you."
Notes: Parastat means on the other side, higher than, beyond or after. I have interpreted it differently to denote the location of each of the organ in relation to the other. Arundhate means enveloped, enclosed, or surrounded. Paingya was probably a disciple of Kausitaki. Some commentators have interpreted this verse to mean that the speech is backed by the eye, the eye is backed by the ear, the ear is backed by the mind, the mind is backed by the breath. That is, speech needs the supervision of the eye, the eye needs the supervision of the ear etc.
3. athata eka dhanavarodhanam yad ekadhanam abhidhyayat paurnamasyam vamavasyam va suddhapakse va punye naksatra etesam ekasmin parvani agnim upasamadhaya parisamuhya paristirya paryuksa daksinam janvacya sruvenajyahutir juhoti: van nama devatavarodhini sa me'amusmad idam avarundhyat tasyai svaha: prano nama devatavarodhani. sa me'amusmad idam avarundhyat tasyai svaha: caksur nama devatavarodhani. sa me'amusmad idam avarundhyat tasyai svaha: srotram nama devatavarodhani. sa me'amusmad-idamavarunddham tasyai svaha: mano nama devatavarodhini sa me'amusmad idam avarundhyat tasyai svaha: prajna nama devatavarodhini sa me'amusmad idam avarundhyat tasyai svaha ity: atha dhumagandham prajighayajyalepenangany anuvimrijya vacamyamo'abhipravrijyartham bruyad dutam va prahinuyal labhate haiva.
3. Now, as to the attainment of the highest treasure. If a man covets this, which is the one treasure, on the night of a full moon day or a new moon day or in the bright half of the moon and under an auspicious star, during any of these times, he should build a fire, after sweeping the ground, spreading the sacred grass and sprinkling water. Bending his right knee, with a ladle or a cup he should pour into the fire the offerings of clarified butter, (saying these words):
"The deity named speech is the obtainer of boons, may he obtain this for me from him. Svaha."
"The deity named breath is the obtainer of boons, may he obtain this for me from him. Svaha."
"The deity named eye is the obtainer of boons, may he obtain this for me from him. Svaha."
"The deity named ear is the obtainer of boons, may he obtain this for me from him. Svaha."
"The deity named mind is the obtainer of boons, may he obtain this for me from him. Svaha."
"The deity named intelligence is the obtainer of boons, may he obtain this for me from him. Svaha."
Then, after inhaling the smell of the smoke, and smearing his limbs with a layer of clarified butter, in silence, he should declare his wish, or send a messenger, and slowly walk away. He will truly obtain his wish.
4. athato daivah smaro yasya priyo bubhused yasyai va yesam vaitesam evaitasmin parvany etayaivavrtaita ajyahutir juhoti vacam te mayi juhomy asau svaha; pranam te mayi juhomy asau svaha; caksus te mayi juhomy asau svaha; srotram te mayi juhomy asau svaha; manas te mayi juhomy asau svaha; prajnam te mayi juhomy asau svaha; atha dhumagandham prajigh-ayajyalepenangany anuvimrijya vacamyamo'abhipravrijya samsparsam jigamisedapi vatad va sambhasamanah priyo haiva bhavati smaranti haivasya.
4. Now, as to securing love with divine help. If one wants to become the beloved of any man or woman or of any men or women then during any of those period mentioned before (in the previous verse), he should pour in a similar manner oblations of clarified butter into fire, saying:
"Your speech, I pour into myself as an offering. Svaha."
"Your breath, I pour into myself as an offering. Svaha."
"Your eye, I pour into myself as an offering. Svaha."
"Your ear, I pour into myself as an offering. Svaha."
"Your mind, I pour into myself as an offering. Svaha."
"Your intelligence, I pour into myself as an offering. Svaha."
Then after inhaling the smell of the smoke, and smearing his limbs with a layer of clarified butter, in silence. he should slowly walk away and try to come into contact with the wind or stand in the direction of it (so that wind will carry his intention to the person/s he desires). Surely he becomes their beloved, and they do think of him.
5. athatah samyamanam pratardanam antaram agnihotram ity acaksate yavad vai puruso bhasate na tavat pranitum saknoti pranam tada vaci juhoti yavad vai purusah praniti na tavad bhasitum saknoti vacam tada prane juhoty ete anante amrit ahutir jagrac ca svapan sca santatam juhoty atha ya anya ahutayo'antavatyas tah karmamayyo hi bhavanty taddhasmaitat purve vidvamso'agnihotram na juhavamcakruh.
5. Now, as to the restraint taught by Pratardana or the internal fire sacrifice, as it is called. As long as a person speaks, for that duration he is unable to breath. Thereby, he pours breath as an offering into his speech. As long as a person breaths, for that duration he cannot speak. Thereby, he pours speech as an offering into his breath. These two unending, immortal oblations he pours always as an offering, whether he is awake or asleep. Now, whatever those other offerings there are, they have an ending for they are desire-ridden actions (karma). Knowing this, verily, the ancient did not pour oblations into the fire sacrifice (out of desires).
Notes: In the previous verse, the worshippers were told how to realize their desires pouring oblations into fire. Here, lest they would misuse such sacrifices, they are advised to practice restraint (samyama), with the declaration that any sacrifice performed with selfish and base desires would lead to karmic consequences and knowing it ancient people avoided performing fire sacrifices out of desires.
6. uktham brahmeti ha smaha suskabhringarah tad rig ity upasita sarvani hasmai bhutani sraisthyayabhyarcyante tad yajur ity upasita sarvani hasmai bhutani sraisthyaya yujyante tat samety upasita sarvani hasmai bhutani sraisthyaya sannamante tac chrir ity upasita tad yasa ity upasita tat teja ity upasita tad yathaitac chrimattamam yasasvitamam tejasvitamam iti sastresu bhavati evam haiva sa sarvesu bhutesu srimattamo yasasvitamas tejasvitamo bhavati ya evam veda, tad etad aistikam karmamayam atmanam adhvaryuh samskaroti tasmin yajurmayam pravayati yajur-mayam rinmayam hota rinmaye samamayam udgata sa esa trayyai vidyayah atmaisa u evaitad indrasyatma bhavati, ya evam veda.
6. Uktha is Brahman, thus said Suskabhringara. Let him meditate upon it as Rik. To him all beings offer praise as the best. Let him meditate upon it as Yajus and all beings become united by his greatness. Let him meditate upon it as Saman. Before him, indeed, all beings bow down as the best. Let him meditate upon it as the most powerful, let him meditate upon it as the famous, let him meditate upon it as the radiance. Just as this (ukta) is the powerful, famous and radiant in all the scriptures, so does he who knows this become the most powerful, famous and radiant among all beings. Thus, the Adharvayu priest prepares this self (as the altar) which is meant for performing sacrifices and made up of actions. In that he weaves what is made up of Yajus. In what is made up of Yajus, the Hotri weaves what is made up of Riks. In what is made up of Riks, the Udagatri weaves what is made up of Samans. This (self, which is meant for sacrifices and made up of karmas) is the Self of triple knowledge. He who knows thus becomes the self of Indra.
Notes: Aistikam means what is meant for or related to sacrificial ceremonies. The body is meant for sacrifices means it may be used as offering or it may be used to perform sacrifices. It is made up of works means it is shaped largely by the past karmas. This is the self of triple knowledge, means this body meant for sacrifices and used to perform sacrifices is created by the knowledge contained in the triple Vedas, which are basically our source for performing sacrificial actions.
7. athatah sarvajitah kausitakes triny upasanani bhavanti sarvajiddha sma kausitakir udayantam adityam upatisthate yajnopavitam kritvodakam aniya trih prasicyodapatram vargo'si papamanam me vrndhiti, etayaivavrta madhye santam udvargo'asi papmanam ma udvrindhity etayaivavritastam yantam samvargo'asi papmanam me samvrindhiti tad yad ahoratr-abhyam papam akarot sam tad vrnkte tatho evaivam vidvan etayaivavrtadityam upatishate yad ahoratrabhyam papam karoti, sam tad vrnkte.
77. Now as to the three-fold meditation of the all-conquering meditation of the Kausitaki. The all conquering Kausitaki worshipped the sun while rising, wearing the sacred thread, having brought the water in a vessel and sprinkled the water thrice from the vessel, saying, "You are the deliverer. Deliver me from my sins." In the same manner, he (worshipped) the midday sun, saying, "You are the highest deliverer. Deliver me from my sins." In the same manner, he worshipped the setting sun, saying, "You are the complete deliverer. Deliver me from my sins." Thus, whatever sin he committed during the day and night, from that he got full deliverance. In the same manner, he who knows this, and worships the sun in a similar manner, whatever sin he commits during day and night, from that he becomes delivered fully.
8. atha masi masy amavasyayam vrttayam pascac candramasam drisyamanam upatisthetaivavrita haritatrine va pratyasyati yan me susimam hridayam divi candramasi sritam, manye'ham mam tad vidvamsam maham pautram agham rudam iti, na hy asmat purvah prajah praititi nu jataputrasyathajata putras-yapyayasva sametu te sam te payamsi sam u yantu vaja yam aditya amsumapyayayantity etas tisra rico japitva masmakam pranena prajaya pasubhir apyayayisthah yo'sman dvesti yam ca vayam dvismas tasya pranena prajaya pasubhir apyayaya sva aidrim avrtam avrta adityasyavritam anvavarta iti daksinam bahum anvavartate /p>
8. Now, month after month, when the new moon day comes around, one should worship the moon in the same manner as it appears in the west, or he should throw two blades of grass towards the moon, saying," That subtle heart of mine which rests in the moon in the heaven, I consider myself the knower of that. May I never weep for the misfortune of losing my sons." Verily, his sons will not diebefore him. This is in case of a man to whom a son is already born. Now, regarding the one to whom a son is not yet born, (he should say), "Increase. May the vigor come to you. May milk and food gather in you. That ray which the Adityas gladden (may that rest in you)." Having uttered these three Riks, he should say, "'Do not increase by our breath, by our offspring, by our cattle. He who hates us and whom we hate, increase by his breath, by his offspring, by his cattle. Then I turn myself with the turn of Indra. I return the turn of Aditya." Saying these words, he raises his right arm and drops it again.
Notes: The three riks are addressed to the moon. A prayer is made to the moon (symbolized as the wife) asking him to increase (in size and vigor) day by day with the pregnancy, gathering milk and food from the sacrifices and enjoying the rays of the sun. The third Rik is a prayer asking for the rays of Aditya to rest in the moon. The sun is compared to the husband. Hence, his rays will gladden the moon, the wife. It may be noted that there is an implied symbolism in this verse, with the moon representing the wife and the sun the husband. This is suggested in the very beginning of the verse by stating that the heart of the sacrificer (husband) rests in the moon (the wife). The same is implied in the three riks, which are meant to invigorate the moon (or the wife) so that she may deliver a child. The last prayer is to ensure that the moon does not increase in size consuming the breath (life), the children and the cattle of the sacrificer but those of his enemies. The moon is known to consume the bodies of the souls that go there. Hence the suggestion.
9. atha paurnamasyam purastac candramasam drisyamanam upatistheta etayai vavrita somo rajasi vicaksanah pancamu-kho'asi prajapatir brahmanas ta ekam mukham tena mukhena rajno'atsi tena mukhena mam annadam kuru, raja ta ekam mukham tena mukhena visotsi tena mukhena mam annadam kuru, syenas ta ekam mukham tena mukhena paksino'atsi tena mukhena mam annadam kuru, agnista ekam mukham tenem-am lokamatsi tena mukhena mam annadam kuru, tvayi pan-camam mukham tena mukhena sarvani bhutany atsi tena mukhena mam annadam kuru, masmakam pranena prajaya pasu-bhir avaksestha yo'asman dvesti yam ca vayam dvismas tasya pranena prajaya pasubhir avaksiyasveti daivim avritam avarta adityasyavritam anvavarta iti daksinam bahum anvavartate.
9. Then, on the night of full moon, one should worship the moon when it appears in the east in the same manner saying, "You are Soma, the King, the discerning, the five mouthed, and the lord of the beings. The Brahmanas are your one mouth. With that mouth you eat the Kshatriyas. With that mouth, make me an eater of food. The kings are your one mouth. With that mouth you eat the people. With that mouth, make me an eater of food. The hawk is your one mouth. With that mouth, you eat the birds. With that mouth, make me an eater of food. Fire is your one mouth. With that mouth, you eat this world. With that mouth, make me an eater of food. You have a fifth mouth. With that mouth you eat all beings. With that mouth, make me an eater of food. Do not decrease us in respect of our lifespan, progeny and cattle. He who hates us and whom we hate, decrease him in respect of his lifespan, his progeny and his cattle. Thus I turn myself with the turn of the god. I return the turn of Aditya." Saying these words, he raises his right arm and drops it again.
10. atha samvesyan jayayai hridayam abhimriset , yat te susime hridaye hitam antah prajapatau, tenamrtatsyesane ma tvam putryam agham niga iti, na hy asyah purvah prajan praititi.
10. Now, when they are together, he should stoke her heart, saying, "O, well behaved one, who has attained immortal joy by that which has been placed in your heart by Prajapati, may you never fall into sorrow for your children." Then, her children would not die before her."
11. atha prosyan putrasya murdhanam abhijigret, angad angat sambhavasi hridayad adhijayase, atma vai putra namasi sa jiva saradah satam asav iti dadhati asma bhava parasur bhava hiranyam astritam bhava, tejo vai putra namasi sa jiva saradah satam, asav iti namasya grihnati, athainam parigrahnati, yena prajapatih prajah paryagrihnat tad aristyai tena tva parigrih-namy asavity athasya daksine karne japati, asmai prayandhi maghavan rijisin itindra sresthani dravinani dhehiti ma cchetta ma vyathisthah satam sarada ayuso jivasa, putra te namna murdhanam abhijighramiti trirasya murdhanam abhijighred gavam tva hinkarenabhihinkaromiti trir asya murdhanam abhihinkuryat.
11. Now if a man has been away and returns home, he should smell his son's head, saying, "You are born from me, limb by limb; you are born from the heart; you, my son, are myself only. May you live for a hundred autumns." He gives him his name, saying, "May you become like a rock; may you become like an axe; may you be desired everywhere like gold. My son, you are the light itself. May you live for a hundred years. He calls him by his name. Then he embraces him, saying," Just as Prajapati embraces his progeny for their welfare, so do I embrace you (whose name is...)." Then he recites in his right ear, "Give Him, O swift Maghavan," and in his left ear, "O Indra, bestow upon him the most excellent wealth. Do not cut off (our family tree). Do not inflict suffering. Let him live for a span of hundred autumns. I smell your head, O son, with your name" Three times he should make a lowing sound over his head, saying, "I make a lowing sound over you like the cows."
12. athato daivah parimara etadvai brahma dipyate yadagnirjvalatyathaitanmriyate yanna jvalati tasyadityameva tejo gacchati vayum prana etadvai brahma dipyate yathadityo drisyate'athaitanmriyate yanna drisyate tasya candramasameva tejo gacchati vayum prana etadvai brahma dipyate yaccandrama drisyate'athaitanmriyate yanna drisyate tasya vidyutameva tejo gacchati vayum prana etadvai brahma dipyate yadvidyudvidyotate'athaitanmriyate yanna vidyotate tasya vayumeva tejo gacchati vayum pranasta va etah sarva devata vayumeva pravisya vayau sripta na murcchante tasmadeva punarudirata ityadhidaivatamathadhyatmam.
12. Now follows Daivah Parimara, the going around death by the gods. This Brahman glows indeed when the fire burns and then this one dies when it does not burn. Of that, to the sun alone goes its light, to the air its breath.
This Brahman glows when the sun is seen and then, when (the sun) not seen, it dies. Of that, to the moon alone goes its light, to the air its breath.
This Brahman glows when the moon is seen and then, when not seen, it dies. Of that, to the lightning alone goes its light, to the air its breath.
This Brahman glows when the lightning is seen and then, when not seen, it dies. Of that, to the to the air alone goes its light, to the air its breath. Indeed, all these deities enter into air only, and although dead, they do not perish. Thereafter, they do rise again. This is with regard to the deities (in the body). Now, with reference to the self (body).
Notes: Parimara (pari+mara) means going around death, or avoiding death by going around it. When you are going somewhere and you know that there is a certain danger along the path, you travel by an alternate route to avoid it. The deities in the body, who are situated in the organs, do the same thing. They are immortals. But being part of the body, they cannot avoid the mortality of the body. When the body dies and is consigned to flames, what do they do? That process it explained here. They quietly escape into air, which is the absorber, and from there after sometime, they find another abode. The body remains alive as long as there is light in it. When the light is gone, it is time for the deities to escape.
13. etad vai brahma dipyate yad vaca vadaty athaitan mriyate yan na valati tasya caksur eva tejo gacchati pranam prana etad vai brahma dipyate yacc aksusa pasyaty athaitan mriyate yan na pasyati tasya srotram eva tejo gacchati pranam prana etad vai brahma dipyate yacchotrena srinoty athaitan mriyate yan na srinoti tasya mana eva tejo gacchati pranam prana etad vai brahma dipyate yan manasa dhyayaty athaitan mriyate yan na dhyayati tasya pranam eva tejo gacchati pranam pranas ta va etah sarva devatah pranam eva pravisya prane mritva na murchante tasmad eva punar udirate tad yadi ha va evam vidvamsam ubhau parvatav abhipravarteyatam daksinas cottaras ca tustursamanau na hainam striniyatam atha ya enam dvisanti yan ca svayam dvesti ta evainam parimriyante.
13. This Brahman glows indeed when one speaks with speech and then it dies when one does not speak. Of that, to the eye alone goes its light, to the breath its breath.
This Brahman glows indeed when one sees with the eye and then it dies when one does not see. Of that, to the ear alone goes its light, to the breath its breath.
This Brahman glows indeed when one hears with the ear and then it dies when one does not hear. Of that, to the mind alone goes its light, to the breath its breath.
This Brahman glows indeed when one thinks with the mind and then it dies when one does not think. Of that, to the breath alone goes its light, to the breath its breath.
Indeed, all these deities enter into breath only, and although dead, they do not perish. Thereafter, they do rise again. If two mountain from the north and south try to roll together and crush him who knows this, they would not be able to crush. But those who hate him, or whom he hates, they all die around him.
Notes: Breath is absorber in the body, just as the air is outside. All things merge into breath. The body dies, but the deities in the organs of the body (tattvas), they are immortal and do not die. Upon leaving one body, they move on to another to continue their enjoyment and nourishment.
114. athato nihsreyasadanam eta ha vai devata aham sreyase vivadamana asmac charirad uccakramuh tadd hapranat suksham darubhutam sisye'thainad vak pravivesa tad vaca vadac chisya eva athainac caksuh pravivesa tad vaca vadac caksusa pasyac chisya eva athainac chrotram pravivesa tad vaca vadac caksusa pasyac chrotrena srinvac chisya eva, athainan manah pravivesta tad vaca vadac caksusa pasyac chotrena srnvan manasa dhayac chisya eva, athainat pranah pravivesa tat tata eva samuttasthau ta va etah sarva devatah prane nihsreyasam viditva pranam eva prajnatamanam abhisam-bhuya sahaiv aitaih sarvair asmac charirad uccakramauk te vayupravista akasatmanah svariyuh, tatho evaivam vidvan prane nihreyasam viditva pranam eva prajnatamanam abhisambhuya sahaiv aitaih sarvair asmac charirad utkramati, sa vayupravista akasatma svareti, sa tad gacchati yatraite devas tat prapya yad amrta devas tad amrto bhavati ya evam vadam.
14. Now, as to the attainment of the highest good. All the deities, disputing among themselves, saying, "I am the best," rose up from the body. Then the body lay, without life, withered like a log. Then the speech entered it. Speaking with the speech, it still lay lifeless. Then the eye entered it. Speaking with the speech, and seeing with eye, it still lay lifeless. Then the ear entered it. Speaking with the speech, seeing with the eye and hearing with the ear, it still lay lifeless. Then the mind entered it. Speaking with the speech, seeing with the eye, hearing with the ear and thinking with the mind, it still lay lifeless. Then breath entered it and they, indeed, all arose at once. All the deities, having realized the highest good accruing from the breath, and having understood that breath alone is responsible for the intelligence in the body, went out of the body, all at once. They entered into the air and being subtle in nature like the space, entered the heaven. In the same manner, he who knows this, having realized the highest good of breath, having understood that breath is responsible for the intelligence of the body, when he departs from the body with all these together, he enters into the air and, being subtle in nature like the space, enters into the heaven. He goes to where the gods are. Having reached that, he who thus knows, becomes immortal with that (knowledge) by which gods became immortal.
Notes:: The breath and the organs belong to the body, not to the Self. Hence pranam eva prajnanam atma only can mean that breath alone is the consciousness (or intelligence) in the body. It is true because without breath the body becomes lifeless, devoid of intelligence and consciousness. I have also taken some liberties in translating the last few lines of this verse to convey the correct meaning with regard to the fate of the person who knows the supremacy of breath in the body.
15. athatah pitaputriyam sampradanam iti cacaksate pita putram presyannahvayati navais trinair agaram samstirya agnim upasamadhayodakumbham sapatram upanidhayaha-tena vasasa sampracchannah pita syeta etya putra uparistad abhinipadyata indriyair indriyani samsprisyapi vasma asinayabhimukhayaiva sampradadhyad athasmai samprayacchati vacam me tvayi dadhaniti pita vacam te mayi dadha iti putran pranam me tvayi dadhaniti pita pranam te mayi dadha iti putras caksur me tvayi dadhaniti pita caksuste mayi dadha iti putrah srotram me tvayi dadhaniti pita srotram te mayi dadha iti putrah annarasan me tvayi dadhaniti pita annarasan te mayi dadha iti putrah karmani me tvayi dadhaniti pita karmani te mayi dadha iti putrah sukhaduhkhe me tvayi dadhaniti pita sukhaduhkhe te mayi dadha iti putrah anandam ratim prajaim me tvayi dadhaniti pita anandam ratim prajatim te mayi dadha iti putrah ityam me tvayi dadhaniti pita ityam te mayi dadha iti putrah mano me tvayi dadhaniti pita manas te mayi dadha iti putrah prajnam me tvayi dadhaniti pita prajnam te mayi dadha iti putrah yady u va apabhigadah syat samasenaiva bruyat pranan me tvayi dadhanati pita, pranan te mayi dadha iti putrah atha daksinavrid upaniskramati tam pitanumantrayate yaso brahma varcasam kirtis tva jusatam ity athetarah savyam amsam nvaveksate paninantaradhaya vasan-antena va pracchadya svargan lokan kaman apnuhiti sa yady agadah syat putrasyaisvarye pita vaset pari va vrajet yady u vai preyat yadevainam samapayeyuh yatha samapayitavyo bhavati yatha samapayitavyo bhavati
15. Now, as to the father's gifting to the son, as they call it. The father, when he is about to depart from this world, calls his son. Having strewn the house with fresh grass, having kindled the fire, having arranged a pot of water with a jug (full of rice), wearing fresh clothes, the father remains lying. He put himself above his son who has arrived and touches his organs with his own organs. Or he may perform the tradition of gifting while he sits before him (if he is in a position to sit). Now, he does the gifting thus:
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my speech."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your speech."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my breath."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your breath."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my eye."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your eye."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my ear."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your ear."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my taste for food."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your taste for food."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my duties."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your duties."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my joys and sorrows."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your joys and sorrow."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my pleasure, sexual enjoyment and procreation."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your pleasure, sexual enjoyment and procreation."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my walking."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your walking."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my mind."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your mind."
The father, "I have hereby placed in you my intelligence."
The son, "I have hereby taken into me your intelligence."
If the father is very ill and unable to speak, he may say summarily, "I have hereby placed in you my breaths." And the son should say, "I have taken into me your breaths." Then walking around his father, with his right side towards him, he turns to the east and walks away. His father calls after him, "May my fame, the luster of my face, and my name and honor may always stay with you." Then the other should look back over his left shoulder, and covering his face with his hand or with the hem of his garment, should say, "May you attain the heavenly world and fulfill all your desires."
If the father recovers, he should live under the authority of his son, or wander about like a mendicant. But if he departs, then he should be sacrificed in the final sacrifice, as the final sacrifice ought to be performed, yes, as the final sacrifice ought to be performed.
Notes: The father to son transmission ritual is based on the Vedic belief that a father lives through his son and a son indeed is another birth of the father. In this manner a father transfers all his energies, talents, skills, knowledge, vigor and power to his son. The ceremony also ensures that the son, who has been given the privilege to succeed his father, becomes the head of the household and carries forward the duties and obligations of his father and those of his family until he himself transfers them to his son. The last few lines of this verse are translated differently by different scholars. I have translated it based upon the meaning samapa, which means a sacrifice. In Hindu tradition, funeral is also a sacrifice, the last sacrifice (antyeshti) in which the body is offered as a sacrifice into fire. It has to be done strictly according to the established practice for the soul to find its way to the next world. That is what I believe is implied here and I have therefore translated it accordingly.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Samkhya Philosophy and 24 Principles of Creation
- The Bhagavadgita On The Problem Of Sorrow
- The Concept of Atman or Eternal Soul in Hinduism
- The Practice of Atma Yoga Or The Yoga Of Self
- The Problem of Maya Or Illusion and How To Deal With It
- Belief In Atman, The Eternal Soul Or The Inner Self
- Brahman, The Highest God Of Hinduism
- The Bhagavad Gita Original Translations
- The Bhagavadgita, Philosophy and Concepts
- Bhakti yoga or the Yoga of Devotion
- Hinduism And The Evolution of Life And Consciousness
- Why to Study the Bhagavadgita Parts 1 to 4
- The Triple Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
- The Practice of Tantra and Tantric Ritual in Hinduism and Buddhism
- The Tradition Of Gurus and Gurukulas in Hinduism
- Origin, Definition and Introduction to Hinduism
- Hinduism, Way of Life, Beliefs and Practices
- A Summary of the Bhagavadgita
- Avatar, the Reincarnation of God Upon Earth
- The Bhagavadgita on Karma, the Law of Actions
- The Mandukya Upanishad
- The Bhagavadgita On The Mind And Its Control
- Symbolic Significance of Numbers in Hinduism
- The Belief of Reincarnation of Soul in Hinduism
- The True Meaning Of Renunciation According To Hinduism
- The Symbolic Significance of Puja Or Worship In Hinduism
- Introduction to the Upanishads of Hinduism
- Origin, Principles, Practice and Types of Yoga
- Hinduism and the Belief in one God
- Essays On Dharma
- Esoteric Mystic Hinduism
- Introduction to Hinduism
- Hindu Way of Life
- Essays On Karma
- Hindu Rites and Rituals
- The Origin of The Sanskrit Language
- Symbolism in Hinduism
- Essays on The Upanishads
- Concepts of Hinduism
- Essays on Atman
- Hindu Festivals
- Spiritual Practice
- Right Living
- Yoga of Sorrow
- Mental Health
- Concepts of Buddhism
- General Essays
Attribution: Reproduced with permission from the Selected Upanishads, A Collection of 14 Upanishads with Devanagari Script, Translation and Notes, Editor and Translation: Jayaram V, Published by PurelifeVision Books, USA, 2013.
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