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MUNDAKOPANISHAD

MUNDAKOPANISHAD

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Translated by Swami Sharvananda
Translated by Swami Sharvananda

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Published by

THE PRESIDENT,
SRI RAMAKRISHNA MAT$,

MYLAPORE, MADRAS

Fourth Edition
(All rights reserved)

Printed by

SUBBARAYUDU, AT THE VASANTA PRESS,
C.

Price 12

Annas

ADYAR, MADRAS

INTRODUCTORY NOTE
THERE
are
sixty-four

verses

or

Mantras

in

this

Upanisad, divided into three chapters each comprising of

two Sections or Khandas.

The whole book

as well as

each chapter is called Mundaka, a word etymologically denoting a shaving razor and a person "with a shaven
head,

namely, a Sannyasin or a monk.
the

A
is

probable

naming from these two senses
explanation for
(l)

Upanisad thus

made out

of the

that para-vidya or the higher

word by some who say wisdom so lucidly and

taught herein removes the superimposed veil of ignorance obscuring the Atman just as a razor shaves
directly
off

the

hair
is

covering

the

head

;

and

(2)

that

this

pre-eminently intended for the Sannyasin y as it does the necessity of sannyasa for the emphasising

Upanisad

attainment of the Eternal and the
belongs
to

Imperishable.

It

the Atharva-veda, and presumably to the
since
its

S'aunaklya-s'akha,

contents were taught to

S'aunaka by Angiras,

who

in his turn

had learned

it

from

Bharadvaja Satyavaha, the disciple of Atharvan, the The authoritativeness eldest son and pupil of Brahma.
of

the

instruction

imparted

is

brought out by this

genealogical table. "

By knowing
due

which," inquires S'aunaka of Angiras,
"
is

with

ceremony and reverence,

all

this

the

84
entire

MUNDAKOPANISAD
phenomena experienced through the mind and the
really

senses

understood

"
?

To

this essential question

of all sciences

and philosophy Arigiras gives a proper and
covering
the
all

elaborate

reply,

remaining part of the

Upanisad, and answering
in

possible questions implied
logical

the original inquiry.

At the outset a
is

scheme
which

of the entire province of knowledge

drawn

up,

subordinates
available then

all

practical

and

theoretical

learning

(and even now) to the realization of the
(para-vidya),

Imperishable
-of

where

all

particular items

The knowledge converge sarva-vidya-pratistha. Upanisadic knowledge that is helpful to this realization
also called para-vidya.

is

In the

first

Section of the
is

first

chapter the nature of the Imperishable
is fittingly

hinted at

in

an early verse and

followed by the descrip-

tion,

with the aid of vivid similes, of
It,

how

so different from
It

has sprung into existence

the universe, " " out of

alone.

The second

Section gives a realistic account
of Vedic ritualism in a

of the grand

mechanism

few

quick and arresting verses. That there is no desire to disparage Vedic rituals is evident from the special care
the

Upanisad

takes

flawless performance

to emphasize and the great

their

devout and

evil resulting

from

object, on the other hand, is to bring home to the wise and discriminating the fact that the immeasurable universe with its exalted

carelessness in this regard.

The

heavenly regions accessible and enjoyable in virtue of the merit acquired by the scrupulous performance of Vedic
sacrifices,
is

but perishable, and thereby to exhort the

true spiritual aspirant to cultivate knowledge, dispassion,

INTRODUCTORY NOTE
austerity,

85
solitude,

concentration,

faith

and love of

for

the attainment of the Immortal and the Imperishable.

The

first

Section of

the
in

second chapter gives the
sublime

Upanisadic
language,

cosmology
the
last

and

picturesque
that

verse

beautifully
is all

disclosing

Purusa, the
*

Supreme Being,
the

the universe, karma,

tapas and immortality

by realizing

whom
of

in one's heart

one

breaks

shackles of ignorance.

The second

section speaks mainly of the

means

knowing

Him

in

one's Self, namely, meditation with the aid of the sound symbol Om. To facilitate this meditation the Supreme-

Being is here again described as the illuminator of the cosmic luminaries, and as the blissful, immortal, omnipresent, Brahman who encompasses all, above, below and
around, and reigns with
all

splendour in the heart of man.

This leads to a statement of the relation between the

Paramatman and
*

the Jivatman

;

and the
'

third chapter

therefore opens with the charmingly vivid
allegory of the

and well-known
to lay

two birds of golden plumage seated on the

selfsame
in clear

tree.

The Upanisad then proceeds

down

spiritual practices

and trenchant language the ethical virtues and which enable the spiritual aspirant to
"

know

the Supreme,
all

by knowing
".

whom

one understands

the meaning of

existence

The

discipline needed for
is

rendering one competent to gain this Knowledge
in sufficient detail in this chapter.

given

We

see that there

is

thus a logical development and

Upanisad. Along with the Katha and the S'vetas'vatara it froms a soulstirring

unity in this clear-cut, beautiful, short

Mantropanisad (the word "Mantra"

in

this

86

MUNDAKOPANISAD
"

context does not denote more than

a sacred verge

",

since

the contents clearly reveal that these Mantras are not

intended to be used as invocations in sacrificial rituals)
varied and charming in metre and diction, exalted in
its

spiritual strain

and uniform

in its sublimity.
it

It

may
in a

be likened also to the Bhagavad-gita, as
"

forms

miniature compass a practical text of jnana, yoga and
bhakti (emphasised here as
purity.

s'raddha ") in their prestine
if

These

sixty -four stanzas,

mastered by long

and constant meditation upon their deep significance, would undoubtedly instil into the student the spirit of
.holiness,

and knowledge, which they breath through every word, and help him to realize the Supreme Purusa, the omnipresent and immortal Bliss anandadispassion
vibhati.

Tupam amrtam yad

NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION
IN this book devanagarl characters are transliterated according to the scheme adopted by the International Congress of Orientalists at Athens in 1912 and since then generally acknowledged to be
the only rational and satisfactory one.
irregularity
q,

In

it

the inconsistency,
:

to

and redundancy of English spelling are ruled out f, w, x and z are not called to use one fixed value is given each letter. Hence a, e, and g always represent 3?^ TT ^ and
;

i

?

or other values which 3^ respectively and never ^ {t and have in English t and d are always used for cj^ and <? they One tialde, one accent, four macrons and ten dots only. (2 above, 8 below) are used to represent adequately and correctly all Sanskrit letters. The letter C alone represents^. Since the natural function of h will be to make the aghosa ghosa (e.g. kh, ch, th, th, ph, gh, jh, dh, dh, bh) it would be an anomaly for a scientific scheme to use it in combinations like ch and sh for values and hence ch here is ^5 and sh H ? . giving
;

^

^

^

1ST

;

The vowel

represented by r because ri, legitimate for ft only, is out of place and the singular ri is an altogther objectionable distortion. The tialde over n represents ^j 5 ii. Accent mark over s
is
,

^

gives 5T

s';

dots above

m and n

give anusvara (

)

m and

^

ri,

Dots below h and r give visarga (:), h, and "^ r, Dots below s, n, t and d give their corresponding respectively. cerebrals ^, 1 , 3 anci ^s, n, t, and d and macrons over a, i, u and Macrons are not used to lengthen the r give a, I, u, r respectively. quantity of e and o, because they always have the long quantity in
respectively.
;

Sanskrit.

Sanskrit
is

distinctiveness

words are capitalized only where special called for, as in the opening of a sentence, title of
of transliteration in full
:

books, etc.
8|

The scheme
3H
ou,
j,

a,
sft

a,

5

i,
:

f

i,

3

u,

3

u,

^
d,

r,

^

r, TT

e aft o,
,

^
H
qr

ai,

jh,

rh,
5?^

h,

^
q^

k,

^kh,
s
,

q^g,

^gh, ^n, =^c,
r;,

^ch,
th,
y,

^
^
^

^

n,

^
n,
s',

t, Z^ th,

d,

^
1,

dh,

^

p

^
^

p h,
s,

^ dh, ^ ^ ^ b, ^ bh, q; m,
h.

t,

r,

^

^

v,

^

q

s,

^

PEACE INVOCATION

$51

srrfer:
T:

I

^irf^r:

i

^rrfer.

u

O

gods (or worshipful Ones) cj^fir: with the

ears

(of

the teacher
(i.e.

and the

disciple)

^H?"^ what

is

auspicious

words of the scripture

etc.)

*Z^TW may
etc.)

we

hear. SHT^T: efficient to sacrifice
is

(^T^Tf^

we) ^T^f^Ti with

eyes *T3"J^ what

auspicious (sacrifice, worship,
f^TT:

^^W

may we

behold.
?T5JRT:

perfect

(lit.

firm)

3rfb

limbs and organs

bodies (^^T*

r^^we

having)

g^fcr: singing (your praise) ^Tt%?T^ allotted by the Lord STT^J: span of life S^^JT may we obtain fully.

^ST3T: He who
preceptors

is glorified

in the scriptures

by ancient
us

^5":

the

Supreme
confer.

Lord

f:

for

^U%i
is

prosperity (in
learned)

our study and in the practice of what

"^QRQ

may

fcfaj^T:

all-knowing

90
Pusan
(lit.

MUNDAKOPANISAD
he

who

nourishes the world)

T:

^TTg may

confer on us prosperity

^rRsftfo: he

who

protects from harm tfr^f: the celestial Bird *f: ^Tl%f 3[sng may confer on us prosperity. ffW%: the Lord of

Prayers
lustre)
f:

(W^T^H

Tf^TT^T taking care of our spiritual
prosperity.

f5T% ^TT^ may confer on us

Om. O
what
is

worshipful Ones,
auspicious.

may
we,

our ears hear
efficient
is

May
your
in

to

worship, see with our eyes what

auspicious.
live

May

we,

who

sing
life

praise,

our

allotted

span of
Indra, the

perfect

health and

strength.

May
who

Lord who
the

is

extolled in the

scriptures,

Pusan
all

saves from

Tarksya and Brhaspati who harm,
lustre,

all -knowing,

protects

our

spiritual

vouchsafe

us

prosperity in our study of the scriptures and the practice of the truths contained thereof.

Om

Peace

:

Peace

:

Peace.

MUNDAKOPANISAD
CHAPTER ONE SECTION ONE
:

^

3UT

Of
world
1TRT:
srft^rr

the universe protector

3>ctf the maker g^T^T of the ^TT Brahma %^TTT^ of the gods
^T:

first (before)

58^^ was.

he ^K^snsrfrnJTO, the

basis of all knowledge ^Tirf^n"^ the knowledge of Brah-

man
told.

^teJj^FT to his eldest son ^TSJ^^T to Atharvan

STH?

Brahma
his

1
,

the creator
first,

and protector
all

of this

universe, arose
eldest

before

the gods.

To

son, Atharvan, he imparted the
all

science of the Spirit, the basis of

sciences.
dis-

[NOTES
tinguished

1.

Brahma

from
of

Brahma (mas.) should be Brahman (neut). The first is

the

demiurge

Hindu

Indian cosmology the creator in the and should be distinguished from trinity

Brahman, the Impersonal Absolute.]

92

MUNDAKOPANISAD

fl

II

^

II

To Atharvan
told,
?fT^l

5RPT

Brahma

STTJ^

what

sTfjlfqRTTJt that knowledge of
^fTf

Brahman

Atharvan
(Arigiras)

formerly ?rfi^ to Angiras
of

^T^ said.

H: he

^TRil^lR

the

Bharadvaja-gotra (lineage)
vrnrgT5f:

^^Mc(^|^ to Satyavaha XTTl'told.

Bharadvaja the
got

Satyavaha
elder people

TOW*^
is

that

(knowledge)

from

the

by the younger

in succession, or the
all

Supreme

Knowledge which
Angiras
(3TT

the goal of

learning

^fff^

to

said).

imparted to Atharvan, even that science of the Spirit, Atharvan imparted
to

What Brahma
Angiras
it

passed he in

Angiras on to Bharadvaja Satyavaha, and
to

in

olden

days.

And

Angiras. Thus the science descended from the greatest sages to lesser
turn
ones.
\

T:

The
that

great

householder

3nTt>:

the son of

S'unaka

f%

famous

f%ftRRj[. properly, in the

manner

CHAPTER ONE
laid

:

SECTION ONE

93

down by

the scriptures

^rfifc*TH Arigiras qrsr^ asked

^Rra: having approached 3 well, SPW. Sir 3R*f^
all

what

firsgnR^

being

known

H^H

I[^*L this

(world)

known *ra% ? becomes.

famous householder, once approached Angiras in the manner laid down " by the scriptures, and questioned, Sir, what is that, knowing which everything in the " world becomes known ?
S'aunaka,
that

%
He

5R:

(Angiras)

3w to him
which

(S'aunaka) 3^FaT

?
5

said

%

two

f%ir

knowledge

irf^R^T to be

known

^%

thus

indeed 34113^: the knowers of the Vedas (or Brahman)

^"^cf

W

have said

sffi^

^r ^

the superior ^tT^T

the inferior

^

^

and.

There are two Angiras replied kinds of knowledge to be acquired, as indeed
:

To him

the knowers of the Vedas have said

one a

lower and the other a higher.

iwr 3W

94
rf^T

MUNDAKOPANISAD
Of them

^W the lower 3ii^: the Rg-veda
:

the

Yajur-veda ^f*Tl<t
fsr^TT

the

Sama-veda
3v5?tr:

^rsHKifaf:

the

Atharva-veda
^TTSR^rt^

phonetics

the code of rituals

grammar

f^T^K^ etymology or the Vedic lexicon

sp^: prosody or metrics S^ufifaj^ astronomy

now TO

the higher ^qr by which
is

^

^%

so.

3T$T

that

W^RJJ the

imperishable ^f^RTR^T

reached (attained).
l

Of

these, the lower

consists of the study of

Yajur-veda, Sama-veda, Atharvaveda, phonetics, the code of rituals, grammar, etymology, metrics and astronomy. Now the

Rg-veda,

higher

Knowledge
is

is

that

by

which

the

Imperishable
[NOTES
1.

attained.
etc.

The lower
is

This enumeration does
knowledge.
It

not, of course, exhaust the field of lower

includes everything that

not directly connected with

the attainment of Self-realization.]

*Tci:

^

What ^T^TH,

invisible 55nRTHH ungraspable

^fnt^r^ without origin
ties or attributes)

T^4^colourless (without proper-

^tf^sJt^without eyes and ears (devoid

CHAPTER ONE
of senses),
<^r

:

SECTION ONE

95

that

^r<TTftr<TF3[Jt

without hands and feet

f^^TH eternal ff?J*t of manifold expressions
pervading

H^TcT^ all^rsq^^

^J^T^i immeasurably
qc

subtle ^T^ that

imperishable

which

STRT:

the

wise

^jjnhfrj^ the

source of creation

TR^^FcT

behold everywhere.

What
and

is

invisible, ungraspable,
;

unoriginated

what has neither eyes, nor what is eternal, ears nor hands, nor feet subtle and limitall-pervading, immeasurably
attributeless
;

less

in
is

manifestation

;

that

Imperishable

Being

what the wise perceive as the source

of all creation.

II

V9

As

^^tfTf^r:

the spider
1

(^cj^ threads
world

of silk)

creates (spins)

Jp^f takes back (contracts within)
in

^

and,

^T^TT

as

^fS^T^

the
living

3?^^:

herbs

^c^^f^f?^ grow, ^TTT as *T3:
effort)

(and hence without

<i^T^ from

man

^iCTcsrHTTTn hairs

on the head

and body (W^W^5T grow), ^TT so %$ here ^T^nTT^ from the Imperishable fifrW^ the universe STW^fif grows

comes

out.

96

MUNDAKOPANISAD

the spider emits and withdraws the web, as herbs sprout on the earth, as hair grows on

As

the

head

effort,

and body of man without any so from the Imperishable Being the
Here three
similes are given to illustrate the

universe springs out.

[NOTES

spontaneity of creation

from the imperishable substance,

Brahman. As a spider spins the cobweb out of its own abdomen and again draws it into itself with perfect ease, so also this universe originates from Brahman and
again dissolves into
It,

spontaneously.

This

illustration

might suggest to some that Brahman has some purpose and some effort, the least though it be, in creating the universe, even as the spider has so by the second illus;

tration that doubt is removed.

As plants grow on the earth quite naturally, without the least purpose or effort on the part of the earth, even so, does creation come out
Brahman, without any purpose
is

of

or effort on Its part.

unconscious, inert substance like the earth ? No, says the text. Just as in the case of man, a conscious being, hair grows on his body without

Then,

Brahman an

any effort and without taxing his body from Brahman, which is Intelligence
universe emanates.

in

any way, so
the inert

itself,

The

first

simile suggests that Brah-

man

is

the universe.

the ground of the origination and dissolution of The second asserts that even after crea-

tion the universe rests in

Brahman

alone, being totally

dependent on It. The third simile states further that creation is a purposeless, effortless, extraneous projection of a certain Power of Brahman, which does not constitute
Its

real

essence which

is

Intelligence.

It

should be

CHAPTER ONE
noted here

:

SECTION ONE

97

how

the Upanisad by the three similes in-

directly asserts that the creation is not a

parinama or

real

transformation of

Brahman

in the pantheistic sense,

but

In this sense only a projection of Its inscrutable Power. Brahman is both the efficient and the material cause of
the universe.]

cfilT

Brahman

dWF

by tapas
(the

^T^

augments.

rRf:
is

from That ^T*T^ food born. ^WT^[ from food

primal matter)

^rfasn^

5TTOT:

the prana (Energy) *nr: the
oftaPT:

mind STST^
(^rn next)

the true (the five elements)

the worlds.

34

in

works

^T^g^r^ the immortal (endless)

^

and.

From brooding
born and from
the
worlds,
it

1

thought
3

(with the joy of creation).

Brahman swells Thence Food is
2

Energy,
endless
5

mind, the True

4
,

and

entanglement

in

works.

[NOTES
*

1.

Brooding

thought

The word

in

the

original

It is generally translated as austerity. tapas '. It implies both heat and thought, and Max Miiller translates it therefore as brooding '. This tapas of Brahman, as will be stated in the next verse, is Knowledge
is
'

of

the

whole of creation
2

in the

ideal

form before

it

concretizes.

98
2.

MUNDAKOPANISAD
Food
is

The

original
'.

word

which
object,

eaten or enjoyed

means that Philosophically it means the

'

annam

'

*

which may be described as that which the SubOften it stands in the scheme ject or the Spirit enjoys. Here we cannot take it as Matter of creation for Matter.
in the gross sense, as

of

prana or Energy is said to come out So we must take it to mean the pure sense of which must be regarded as the first step in objectivity
*

it.

',

the process
creation.

of

the

non-dual
is

Brahman manifesting
*

as
the

The
and

creative will
stress
*

the stress on the

I

',

subject,

this

is
',

with the sense of the

this

the source of objectivity.
*
'

simultaneously accompanied In

the cosmological scheme, this pure sense of objectivity is sometimes described as the avyakrta or the Undifferentiated,
*

and

in

other
is

Upanisads as

the
*

prana.
'

The
and

gross Matter too
rayi
3.
'.

referred to

by the terms annam
c
'

Energy

The

original

word

is

prana

which has a

wide range of meaning in Vedantic literature, from vital breath to Hiranyagarbha or Brahma described as the Here the word is used in the first shoot of creation.
sense of Hiranyagarbha, literally the Golden Egg,
is

who
is

the intelligent power that diversifies creation. God the Creator of the Hindu Trinity.
4.

He

The True

Here the

five

Great Elements, of which

the worlds are constituted.

Endless entanglement in works This refers to samsara, consisting of karmas (deeds) and the enjoy5.

ment of their fruits in an endless chain, until Knowledge, and through it emancipation, are gained.
It

should be remembered that the whole of the desin

cription here and elsewhere

the Upanisads, of the

CHAPTER ONE

:

SECTION ONE

99

creative process, refers to Saguna-brahman, the Deity

with attributes.

It

does not affect the vivarta or illusory

transformation of the Supreme as the impersonal and As soon as the question is raised as to the attributeless.

between the Supreme Brahman and creation, the maya will explain the latter, with all its might and mystery, as only an apparent manifestation of the
relation

doctrine of

Supreme.]

H

^

it

f:

Who

^Hi:[T:

all-knowing

(*T:

who) ST4f^3[

all-wise

Knowledge cHT: austerity ^HOT^ from That q^j; this 3T5T BrahmE (Hiranyagarbha) *HW name ^T^ form STCTH'Sr
(creative

whose

sj'R^T^H consisting of

thought),

and nourishment

3fT5RT are

produced.

Brahma

1

the

Creator,
for

individual

and nourishment
creative thought
is

creatures

beings, these spring

2 from Him, the all-wise and omniscient, whose

Knowledge

itself.

[NOTES
2.

1.

Brahma

The same Hiranyagarbha
thought
is

re-

ferred to as prana (energy) in the previous verse.

Whose
idea
is

creative

knowledge
beings.

itself
is

The

that the creative will of the Absolute

unlike

the

creative

will

of

limited

Limited

100

MUNDAKOPANISAD

beings are affected or modified by creative will, whether be in the sense of procreation or of making anything new. But with regard to Brahman this transformation
it

of the self does not take place.
*

For
is

in Its

case every

assertion

of the
i.e.

this

',

the object,

illuminated with
unaffectedness,
*

Knowledge, as a desert
in
it.

the awareness of Its

own

is

The

not affected by the appearance of mirage idea is the same as the prati-bodha'

viditam

matam (who knows Him
thought)
of the

in

and through every

modification of

Kenopanisad.
thought

Hence
signifies

Knowledge

accompanying

creative

unaffectedness. 1

CHAPTER ONE: SECTION TWO

TIT:
The wise
which ^Rf!T%
this

i^Ff s
in

II

?

n

JRT^inf

the Mantras (hymns)

sacrificial

works

^nre^ saw
in

?R[ that
(or in the

^a^fj^true.
rFTT%

^cfl^tl^ in

the three Vedas

Treta Age),
are spread.
^[Tf%

those

5TfVTT

various ways f^ddlft

^5T9T^T?Tr:

O

truth -seekers, fSRTCTH always

to

them SJF^T perform. gf^TCT of good deeds the world cf: for you ^: this *FW. path.

Whatever
found
the
in
*.

ritualistic

works the sages have

the

sacred

hymns

(Mantras), they
in
2

are true

These are treated elaborately
Vedas.

three

Ye

lovers
;

of

the

true,

perform them constantly for they are to you the path to the worlds of meritorious deeds.
[NOTES
is

The
is

object of praising ritualistic works here

this

:

It

only by their performance to

some extent

102

MUNDAKOPANISAD

that men will gain experience of the ephemerality of worldly as well as of heavenly enjoyments, as will be described in the next chapter. And without a sense of
their ephemerality, the higher doctrines of renunciation

and knowledge cannot have any hold upon men. 1. True In the sense that the results promised
are true.
2.

Lovers of the true

*

The

true

'

here also refers to
fruits

the fruits of sacrifices.
of ritualistic works.]

Hence, those who love the

When
ficial
fire
(lit.

^rftrit

well ignited

^^TUTT

in the sacri-

the carrier of oblations to the gods) ^f^C:
3T^T

the flame ^oTTO^T moves,

then

srre^wft the two
oblations

portions of
pour-

fire

3J??ft*ir

between

^TTlpft:

When

the

sacrificial

fire

has been well-

kindled and the flames begin to move, let oblal the two tions be offered with faith, between
portions of the to be poured).
fire

(where melted butter

is

[NOTES
and hence
the very

Flame
all

is

considered to be the tongue of
of

fire,.

oblations are considered to be offered into
of

mouth

Agni (god

fire)

as

it

were.

No

oblation should be poured

when

the

fire is

smouldering.

CHAPTER ONE
Here reference
1.

:

SECTION

TWO
which

103
is

is

made

to the agnihotra

the

first of all sacrifices.

Between the two
sacrifices

etc.

masa
and
'

connected
of

with

In the dars'a and paurnathe agnihotra, two
fire in

oblations are offered in the ahavaniya

the northern

southern
'

portions
'

it,

with
'.

the

invocations

agnaye svaha and
called

These portions are ajyabhaga, while the middle portion where the whole

somaya svaha
is

remaining oblations are offered

called avapasthana.]

Whose
of
(dars'a)

srf^RjftWll

agnihotra sacrifice

rits

performed on the new moon day devoid of the sacrificial rite to be done on
to be

the full

moon day ^^prfeTJl devoid

of the sacrificial

work

to

be done during the four months of autumn devoid of the first-fruits offerings at harvest
3T|pT*I.

time ^fin^rafifr?!^ unattended by guests
offerings
(part of

devoid of

$T%^%r^

without the vais'vadeva ceremony,

of birds and animals) srf^BRT not according to the scriptural injunctions |pT*t offered *5T and 3^T his STRT^nTT^ to the seven ofl!i|^ the

which constitutes feeding

worlds f^TT^r destroys.
If

one's agnihotra sacrifice
rites

is

not accom-

panied by the

to be

performed at the

104

MUNDAKOPANISAD
the full

new moon,
out
guests,
to

moon, the four months of
;

autumn, and the harvest time
without
offerings

if

it

is

with-

oblations

Vis'vedevas and
;

consisting of the feeding of

animals and birds
tion,

if it is
1

then

it

ruins

contrary to injuncone's future in the seven

worlds.

[NOTES 1. Ruins one's future etc. By such irregular performance of the agnihotra, he cannot attain any of the seven worlds, viz., Bhur, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Jana, Tapas and Satya.]

*TT

|f<i STfl

II

tf

II

The
swift,

Black, ^Toft the Fierce, ?r*nrgrT the Mindthe

goTtf^TT

Deep-red,

g^5R^T
the

the

Smoke^^ft the

coloured,

^forflf^ the

Scintillating,

f^T^T^ft

bright

All-shining

(these

are

seven names)

^,

and

5%

these %qnPTOTTT: the

moving SNJ seven

f*fi|T:

the tongues.

Black, the Fierce, the Mind-swift, the Deep-red, the Smoke-coloured, the Scintillating,

The

the

bright

All-shining,
fire.

these

are

the

seven moving tongues of

CHAPTER ONE

:

SECTION

TWO

105

II

H

II

?T:

He who

STTSFRTHJI shining i|^| into these

in

proper time

^TTfT:

offerings (oblations),
etc.),

offering
^J^j'W

=3^ performs

(agnihotra

of the sun

^WT:

rays

(^JJ^TT
qfcf:

^ruhim t^H: these becoming) ^rar where

*3&:
(lit.

one ^RTJJ, of the gods
residence) (^re there)

lord ^rf^T^TH: resides

f?T^r lead

% indeed.

He who

offers oblations in

proper time into

him the oblations, as these shining flames, sun rays, lead to the place where the one lord
of the gods (Indra) resides.

m
Effulgent
^||^rl<i|:

the offerings 15% 15% come,

come,
jpr??:

^:
holy

this

T:

?(4(<sf|eb:

your ^^cf: earned by good works the world of Brahma, ^% thus ftr^TTH

sweet

WP^H words

5rf5T^r^T: speaking,

^4^*^:

praising

106

MUNDAKOPANISAD
sacrificer ^-pfo of the

^

and cH^ that 445WM*i the

sun

tfSfrrfSr:

by the rays ^ff^cf carry.

"

Welcome
rays,

!

Welcome

"
!

say these bright

offerings,

and carry the

sacrificer

along the

addressing to him the pleasant u words of praise, This is the world of Brahma
sun's

gained by your good works

"
!

^
^TT^
good

These

%

verily ^T^T^JJT

eighteenfold
frail,

the nature of yajnas '^T^T: rafts STCTT
the inferior

^"^TT: of ^[ in which
which
JJjH:

^J

work

SfrRHis told.
Sri":

^T

the ignorant, the unwise 'Ctf^ this

as the supreme
frftr

(5%

thus) srf^Rr^I^ar acclaim,

^

H

old age

and death

srf^cf

go

^

they gT:

again

certainly.

Verily,

they are

frail rafts
l

these sacrifices

with their eighteen
inferior

members, on which such
rests.

work (devoid of knowledge)
this as

The

fools

who acclaim

certainly fall

the highest good, again and again into the domain

of old age

and death.

CHAPTER ONE
[NOTES
ritualistic

I

SECTION

TWO

107

In

the

beginning,

works

in so far as

the Upanisad praised they are useful for securing

for the

heavenly enjoyments, and also in so far as they are useful dawn of disgust for themselves. Now it points
1.

out their utter futility in the attainment of liberation.
sacrificer

Eighteen members and his wife, all

The
of

sixteen priets, and

the

whom

are necessary for the

performance of a

sacrifice.]

In ignorance 9T*c
existing,

in

the midst

^aw^

themselves

sfiTT:

wise ^f^^cf

puffed up with vain knowledge, 3fff*"3*UU: suffering again

and again,
led

JJJ3TT:

the fools ^T^^ff by the blind
STSJT

?F^T: the blind

as

TR^f^T wander about.

Steeped
selves wise
suffering

in

ignorance, yet thinking them-

and learned, fools wander about again and again, like the blind led

by the

blind.

108

MUNDAKOPANISAD

In ignorance

^pTT
life

in multifarious

ways

existing ^ToTT: the foolish 3RTq[

we

fKfTft: those

who have
think.
to

gained their ends of

^f

thus ^rftro^srf^T

3^

because
T

3fifrjT:

the sacrificers ^HTT^

owing

passion

not ST^^fef

know,

(?TOTf<t

therefore)

the

enjoyments of the worlds attained by
STTg^T: dejected xqra?

good works being over

come down.

Engrossed
these

people

the ways of the ignorant, childishly think that they have
in

gained the end of life. But being subject to passions and attachment, they never attain

and therefore they sink down wretched, when the fruits of their good deeds
Knowledge,
are exhausted. Sink down

1

[NOTES

1.

The

idea

is

that

Knowledge

or spiritual enlightenment alone can give the imperishable state of freedom, and this Knowledge does not
arise until

man
is

is rid

of attachments

and passions which
regions last only as of one's deeds,
is

are born of desires.
long as one

The heavenly

entitled to

them by the merits

and when these are exhausted, one

reborn on earth.]

CHAPTER ONE

:

SECTION

TWO

109

II

^o

||

The

sacrifices

and charitable works

like

digging wells and ponds, establishing aim-houses, etc. enjoined by the scriptures 3TR3H supreme JT^WMl: thinking "ST3J3T. the deluded fools 3F3ffl[ other (than this)
RT:
^*

a better

($T%

^%

there

is)

T

%^T*^ do not know.
iitvt

<

they *Jfi&
the highest

seats of sensual

enjoyments

*$

in

heavenly regions

^T^^TT having enjoyed
tms world ^tid<^

(the fruits of their deeds),

^THL^P^

inferior 3T or ff2[rf^r enter.

These deluded men fancy
charitable
l

sacrifices

and

works to be the highest, and know

naught
the
into

better.

Having reaped the
deeds
sensual
in

fruits of
r

their virtuous

the highest heavens

seats
their
still.

of

enjoyments,
life

they

fall
is

old

human

or

into

what

lower

[NOTES
is

1.

Charitable works

Istapurta in the text

a combination of two words, ista and purta. According to the traditional code ista includes agnihotra (the firekindling ceremony) incumbent upon a
holder,
austerity, truthfulness,

Brahmin house-

learning and teaching of

the Vedas, hospitality, and the ceremony called vais'vadeva which consists among its items the feeding of

animals and birds.

Purta consists of sinking of wells,

1

10

MUNDAKOPANISAD

constructing of water tanks and temples, laying out of gardens, supply of food to the needy and other similar

items of unselfish work.]

II

n

II

% Those who
the learned
practising 3PPQ&

%

verily JJTRTT: of peaceful
of

mind

*r^T^ftn the vow

mendicancy
rT^SR? penance

in the forest (solitude)

and

faith

(devout worship)

^RHf%
^T:

live,

^

they %TWT:

purged

of all impurities (SFrT:
vffi

being)

path of the sun

where

^J^T^ST by the that WJW: immortal
(5T5T

imperishable J^T: Being

there) JRnf^f

go

if indeed.

Verily,

those

1

who
of

live in forest (solitude),

leading

a

life

austerity

and

devout

worship peaceful, keeping the 2 mendicant's rule these stainless men go by
the solar
dwells.
3

wise
4

and

gate to where

that immortal

Being

[NOTES
four orders

1.

Those
life

etc.

These include men
and devotion.

of all the

of

who devote themselves

exclusively

to the practice of austerity

CHAPTER ONE: SECTION TWO
2.

111

Mendicant's rule

Externally
living

it

consists in having
;

no possessions and hence

on alms

its

essence,

however, consists in being truly poor in spirit. The path leading to gradual liberation 3. Solar gate
*

(krama-mukti), described as deva-yana or
the gods
4.
'.

the path of

Where

that immortal Being dwells
to

This

is

in

contradistinction

the highest heavens attainable by The region referred to is satyacharity and sacrifices. It is the world attained loka or the world of Brahma.

they

by those who are on the path of krama-mukti, after Krama-mukti or pass away from the earth.

gradual emancipation is attained by those who are devoted to the Personal God and pass away without
gaining

Knowledge.

ledge in course of

In satyaloka they attain Knowtime and are finally liberated at the In contrast to this
is

end

of the cycle.
this
in

jlvan-mukti or

liberation in

very

life,

attained by those
state itself.
;

who

gain

Knowledge
the All.]

the

embodied

going to this place or that for them for

There is no have become they

II

?R

11

Attainable through works

oflfpr^ worlds
(a

having examined,
spiritual

STTirar:

a Brahmana

man

of

inclination)

ft^q^

indifference

or dispassion

1

12

MUNDAKOPANISAD
should get.

fT by work 3rcT: the uncreated ^

cannot be had.

^

f^3TTTTft(;

to

know,

for the
fT:

knowledge
frfifrUlfly:

of

That

(Atman,
fuel

the uncreated)
in

he
the

with

sacrificial

hand

(i.e.

in

attitude of a disciple) STlf^T^ well versed in the

Vedas
only

established

in

Brahman *p^ Guru

15^1

should go.

Having
deeds,

scrutinised

the worlds

gained by

a

man

of spiritual inclination should

become
is

indifferent to

them

;

for deeds,

which

are originated, cannot win the Supreme,

who

Therefore to know That, let unoriginated. him become a pupil under a preceptor who is both learned in the scripture and established
in the Spirit.

That learned Guru
has been well pacified
senses

M^l I^J'RlTlT'r

whose mind

^l*||pc|diii

who has

controlled his

sn^

in

proper

manner

3TOtTPT

w 10
l

nas

CHAPTER ONE: SECTION TWO
approached,

113
Truth)

^H

(f^rgTO^) to that

(seeker

of

by which ?rew true Wfl?^ imperishable

3WI Being
Brahman
said).

know,
:

^m

that jM^lfa^f^ the science of
tell. (lit.

in its

very essence 5nTT^C should

To

such a seeker, whose mind

1

is

tranquil

and senses are controlled, and who approaches him in proper form, let the wise teacher
impart the science of Brahman in its very essence the science by which one knows the
true, imperishable Being.

[NOTES
mind and

1.

Mind

is

tranquil

etc.

Tranquillity ot

control of senses are the qualifications of a true

seeker after God.
of the truths of

Without these the study or hearing Vedanta will have no effect on one's

mind.]

CHAPTER TWO SECTION ONE
:

it

$

it

^t That

i^f^

this

ST9TH truth

:

from

fire

^I^TT: of the

^taldL blazing same appearance f%^Jq'^TT

as

sparks ^Tf^RT:
sfosi (I")

by thousands 5P7^rf spring
friend
<fSTT

out,

my young

so

flrf%^rr:
1

various

W^T:

beings ^T^RT^ from that Imperishable M *!!^^ originate,
<T^ there

^
is

verily ?rPr again ^^gr

go back

^ and.
fire

This

the truth

:

As from a blazing
similar to
it

thousands of sparks,
issue forth,
so,

in nature,

O my young
go back to

friend,

manifold

beings are produced from the Imperishable,

and they

verily

It again.

TOT:

CHAPTER TWO: SECTION ONE
Self-resplendent

115
unorigi-

^H|&

formless

STSf:

nated

J$r:
is

pure

JJ^j ?:

1

the

all- pervading

Being fNI^TIfi[

both within and without f^ indeed,
(life)

verily

without prana
f:

WTTT*. without mind.

(^T:

he)

beyond the unmanifested causal state
(is)

of the

universe ff

indeed.

Self-resplendent, formless, unoriginated
pure, that all-pervading Being and without. Anterior both to
is

and

both within

life

and mind,

He

transcends even the unmanifested causal

state of the universe.

From Him

(the

Purusa)
all

5|T^r:

the prana

(life),

*R: the mind, ^ff^nfilr
ether,

the sensory organs,
^TTT:

^T^

^rg:

air,

szftft:

fire,

water, f^^^T

of all

^if^lft supporter ^[fr^t the earth

^

and 5TR^

is

born.

From Him
air, fire,

are born

life,

mind, senses, ether,
all.

water, and earth that supports

1

16
STOT

MUNDAKOPANISAD
(^) And of
this

(Immortal Purusa)
JJ>sft (is)

Sfflr:

fire

(the celestial

regions called dyuloka)

the head,

Wj{4j4f the moon and the sun ^pft the two eyes, f^T:
the directions, quarters of the sky
sftit

the

two

ears,

f%pfT:
speech,

emanated or well-known %^T: the Vedas
^TTJ:
;

n^J

air

STRT:

breath,

5^1^

heart

fsrw^ the
the earth

universe

3T$T

His qr^jTJ^ from

feet ^Jr^fr

(5fRn originated). Spirit within all

^: He ^^JcTT^cfWW
indeed.

the indwelling

%
is

Verily,
all.

He
is
;

Fire

the indwelling Spirit within His head the sun and moon,
; ;

His eyes the quarters, His ears the revelation (the Vedas), His voice the wind, His breath And from His feet the universe, His heart.
;

;

the earth has originated.

:

II

^

II

From Him ^1%:
nated), *|4: the sun

W

Fire (heaven)

(STRf: is origi;

whose &$F%:

fuel

*imi< from
;

the

moon yfeq:

rain-cloud (f^+^qfa arises)
;

'jf^s^I^ on

earth

W^>W- herbs (wraP*T grow) ^ffl^ man into woman tcT*. semen ftrer% casts;

CHAPTER TWO: SECTION ONE
by
this process) y^MldL

117
ST3TT:

from the Purusa

|<flr:

many

living beings 4J*M<idT: are born.

From Him comes
is

the heaven world, which
;

the

first

Fire,

from the moon
clo-uds

having the sun for its fuel in the heaven world, the rain;

from the clouds, the herbs on earth (the third Fire). (And from the
(the second Fire)

herbs eaten), man (the fourth Fire) casts the In this seed in woman (the fifth Fire).

manner

many
Here
is

beings

are

born of Purusa,

the all-pervading Being.
[NOTES.
:

described the gradual process of the

from the one Purusa. The argument is simple From the Purusa has originated the dyuloka or heaven, and from the moon in the dyuloka, clouds rains falling on earth from the clouds, produce plants and
origin of all beings
;

live on these plants and herbs, and secrete the semen, again, having fallen into the womb of a female, produces living beings. Thus Purusa is the

herbs

;

men

semen

;

final

cause of the origin of beings.
o.r

This subject

is

called pancagnividya,

science of five Fires, and is

elaborately treated in the Chandogya, V, 3-1.]

118

MUNDAKOPAN SAD
I

From Him
observed by the

?&*: the Rk,

*mnfa

the

Saman,

the Yajus, ^fcjT: rules
sacrificer,

^

e.g.

preparatory ceremonies

all

q^\:

^

the sacrifices
i.e.

like agnihotra, 3RJ3T: sacrifices
sacrificial

which require a yupa

a

post,

^f%*JfT:

rewards (given to the

priests),

^

and sfacSR: the year, q*WIf: the
worlds
the

sacrificer offaST: the
;

^

and

(3R<T5n:

have originated)

*& which

moon ^^r

purifies,

R
the

which q4: the sun

purifies).

From
minary
gifts,

Him
rites,

are

Vedic

verses,

the

sacred chants, the sacrificial formulas, prelisacrifices,

ceremonies, sacrificial

and

the time of the sacrifice, the sacrificer, the worlds purified by the sun and the
to

moon, (which come
sacrifice).

one as the

fruits

of

From Him
born. *nTT:

^f

and ^T: the devas (gods)

of various orders (e.g. vasus, rudras, etc.) <ERSRJ?TT:

were

the sadhyas (a group of devas, celestials),
birds,

men, q?R: beasts, SRtfe

m^TTT^ prana

CHAPTER TWO: SECTION ONE
(in -breaths)

119

and apana (out-breaths),

41^^
;

paddy and

barley, rHT: religious austerities
truth,

^

and

3T;T faith,

&&&{

sRU^H vow

f

continence, f%fe:

injunctions

^

and (w*<t}di: were born).

From Him,
celestials,

the gods of various orders, the men, beasts, birds, in-breath, outfaith, truth,

breath, paddy, barley, austerity, continence and the Law.

it

<^

ii

From Him
fuel
;

H^f

seven

5JTQTT:

organs of sense,
^TB"

seven ^Slf^: flames (powers of cognition),
*.

seven

(objects),

STfl"

seven

^rTTT: oblations (know-

ledge)
life)

5^T these S?H seven ofl^r: lokas (seats of sense
SHT^rf^r are born.
ftrff^TT:

^
T:

??H

?f5r

seven and seven

sfjf

where

seated

^RNT:

lying in the cave (heart)

the pranas (life-forces) ^[^^f move.

From Him,

too,

the seven

1

senses in the

head, their powers of cognition, their objects 2 and their knowledge, as also the seven seats
of sense
life

traversed by the life-forces centred

in the hearts of all creatures.

120 [NOTES
1.

MUNDAKOPANISAD

Seven senses The senses meant are the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils and the mouth. These are the nerve centres or 2. Seats of sense life of the senses, without which the exthe inner principles
ternal senses cannot in themselves function.]

8RIJ

39KT:

From Him
*3

*nf

all

mountains

and

(^<i<j*U:

HQ^T: the oceans fit^T: the have originated). ^PSTT^ from
rivers
1

Him
SRT:

4f 4^*41:

of every kind f^RsTW:
^T

^T^^
1

flow.
xf

from

Him

and

tfqft: all

^ftroq herbs ^OT: saps
:

originate),

sfa by which

(sap)

t^

:

this

the subtle body ^jfb by the gross elements

being encircled)

mUo

1

T^ exists.

From Him,

all

the oceans

and mountains

;

from Him, the rivers of every description from Him, too, all herbs and saps by which the
;

subtle

1

body

exists encircled

by the gross

ele-

ments of matter.
The idea seems etc. body which ensheathes the subtle body is originated and sustained by food derived from herbs and saps.]
[NOTES
1.

Subtle body exists

to be that the physical

CHAPTER TWO: SECTION ONE

121

All
austerity

this

3>1T

sacrificial
1

work

^:

(=gr)

(Knowledge)

3^: q^
this

(is)

Purusa alone.

JJ^T^rJI in the cavity of the heart frfl^rf^ seated <Wi[tT*l

supreme, immortal

t^^

5TT

Brahman

^T:

who %^

knows,

^

53^5P?T

handsome youth, &: he

?rfct^ITJrf^S|^

the knot of ignorance

^

here in this

life

f^"f^R% cuts

asunder.

Omnipresent Being is all this sacrificial works, Knowledge and all the rest. O handsome youth, he who knows this supreme,
in the cavity of the rends asunder the knot of ignorance even heart,

Verily, that

Immortal Being as seated
life.

here in this

CHAPTER TWO SECTION TWO
:

it f^IRT?
Manifest (through
very close,
TT*T all

experiences), ^rfv

JJ^T^H moving
as

in

the cavity of the heart

known

^^

This (Brahman)
(in that

the support.

^T5T

here

Brahman)

^^ great *T^ ^^ moving
and
i?cf^

breathing
all)

f^rfJr^fc^

winking

^

this

Srof^cTH

fixed.

15^

this

^TRT know,

^
all,

that

^t

gross, ^RTc^ subtle,

c|\^^^ the adorable of

^ftlJJ^ the highest,

(^T and) 51^1^1*^ of being f^SJRT^ above the understanding. tj^
This Brahman
is

the great support

manil

festing through all experiences, existing

very

close, and moving in the cavity of the heart. All that move and breathe and wink are esta-

blished in

It.

Know

It

the cause of both the
all,

gross and the subtle, the adorable of

the

CHAPTER TWO: SECTION TWO
highest of beings, the one above
2

123

the under-

standing of creatures.
[NoTES
most
2.
1.

Existing very close
is

Being our inner-

Self,

there

Above

the
'

nothing closer to us than Brahman. understanding of creatures This
to
'.

expression may of "the sentence

appear

contradict

the

first
is

Know

It

The

contradiction

part solved

when
is

it

is

understood that the Knowledge of

Brahman

not an intellectual knowledge, nor the knowledge of an object, but the intuition of the Seer above all
seeing.
It
is

not

knowing a

thing,

but being

and

becoming That.]

ftfei

IRII

q^ What
the atoms

$rfr|*T3.

luminous,

3Tc

what ^npsi: than
even, ^Tl%?^ in

(^rfir

even) 3J*g

subtler ^r

what
worlds

oft^T:

the worlds

oTTf^'f:

those that live in the
i^?Rt this

^
ST:

and (%%?IT:

fixed,

^
this

well-known
5R|r

(literally, that and

this)

SHRJ^ imperishable
(life),
cfcj[

Brah-

man.
speech,

He

5TF5T:

prana

that

^r

alone ^T^P
;

*nT:

mind
;

;

g^

^Tc

^FT^T^ true

^

that

^T^TH immortal
penetrate.

^fc

that (JTn3T by the mind)
^ft^T

i^s^
that)

should be penetrated.

O my

friend,

(g^

124

MUNDAKOPANISAD

Luminous, subtler than even atoms, that imperishable Brahman is the abode of the
world

and

all

its

inhabitants.

He

is

life,
is

speech, mind, reality,

immortality. That

the

mark which should be penetrated by
Penetrate
It,

the mind.

O my

friend.

Furnished by the Upanisads fl^rer^ the

mighty weapon vrg: bow
be fixed.
ed
in

*pfttrT

taking,

sharpened by constant worship
^fnP?T

^T^ arrow

^sT^tcT must
absorb-

O

good-looking youth,
%rf^TT

<J-**l<44lt)T

His

drawn,

^

thought

with mind

^WT

having

that

^T

verily

^T^R^ imperishable oT^n^ the

mark (Brahman)

f%%

penetrate (or know).

Taking as bow the mighty weapon furnished by the Upanisads, fix on it the arrow rendered
1

sharp

by constant meditation.

And

having drawn it with the mind absorbed in His thought, penetrate that mark the imperishable

Brahman.

CHAPTER TWO*. SECTION TWO
[NOTES
1.

125

What

the bow, arrow,

etc., of

the analogy

are, is explained in the next verse.

Having drawn

it

This refers

to the

withdrawing

of the senses from external contact.]

The pranava (Om) ^3: bow, ^R: arrow % indeed HI 1*4-11 Atman (Jivatman), 5RjT Brahman <:Tr that
oT^T^ the mark *^*43 undistracted in mind
is

said to be.

^rsnTw by one
mark) %?T^*L
^5nR^T:

(3R

^T^T^

that

should be hit; *TW*J Hke the arrow
in

absorbed

Him

(one with

It)

W[^

must become.
1

Om
self
2

the mystic syllable is and within, the arrow
;

the

bow

;

the

3

target

.

One should
4

hit

that
like

Brahman, the mark with an
the arrow, be-

undistracted

mind, and
It.
*

come one with
[NOTES
1.

Is the

bow
'

Om

'

is

said to be the

bow

because as the

bow
*

the repetition of

Om

helps the arrow to dart at the target, helps the Atman to get fixed in

Brahman.
2.
is

in

Self within The Jivatman or individual self who essence identical with Brahman, but appears to

be limited by the physical and mental adjuncts. Brahman being non-different from the 3. Target the target for the individual self becomes its own Atman,

126
essence.

MUNDAKOPANISAD

For those who are worshippers of Personal God, the difference between the self and the object of

worship, however, holds good.
stages of meditation, the object of meditation that
4.
it

Even then

in the higher

mind

gets so absorbed in the
it.

loses its identity in

Undistracted

By

worldly thoughts and attach-

ments.]

In

whom

SH:

the heaven

^f^fr the earth
STT^ : the pranas
1

the interspace ^ff

^

and

srlf: all

together with
cT^

*T*T:

the

mind

^

and ^ftcTH sewn

(fixed),

Him m&{

the one ^rr^fTtf^
all

Atman (^%

as)

ij^H only 3fTT*r know, ^FTT:
give up.

other ^T^: talks

^T: this ST^f^T of Immortality ^J: bridge.

He
and
all

in

whom

the heaven, the earth and the

interspace are centred, together with the
all

mind

life-breaths

(pranas),
all,

know

Him

alone as the one Self of
other talk.
of

This

is

and desist from man's bridge to the

shore
life).

Immortality (across the ocean of

CHAPTER TWO: SECTION TWO

127

n ^

it

In the hub of a chariot-wheel 5RF: spokes
like
3T5T

%%

where

^TT^":

channels (arteries) ^fcfr: meet,
this ^TTclTT the
(lit.

^|^n ^ri4^IR: becoming manifold, H ^: Atman 3T?<T: within that ^?% dwells

moves).

WcJTR^

that

Atman

^ Om ^f%
3T:

thus tpfJ^ verily s^TOST
(disciples) cTR*?: of the

do you meditate upon.
darkness <TTOT?

to

you

beyond tn^TT for the other side ^fis?
it

godspeed (may

be well).

the arteries meet like the spokes L of a chariot- wheel in the hub, there within
all

Where

the

heart
3

He

2

moves, becoming

manifold.

Meditate

on that Self as

Om.

you

in

crossing to the farther shore

Godspeed to beyond

darkness.

[NOTES

Within

the

heart

The

ancient

Indian

thinkers believed that the vital, mental, intellectual
spiritual faculties of in the heart, the

and

man

are all in a special sense centred

most important
is

Here

the

heart

of all physical organs. described as the centre where one

centre of Its manifestation.

should meditate on this Atman, that being the special For a fuller account of the

128
*

MUNDAKOPANISAD
of

concept
2.

heart

'

in

the

Upanisads, see Notes on

S'vetas'vataropanisad, IV, 17 in this Series.

Becoming manifold

This refers to the apparent
in the ignorant

modifications that the
state,
3.

Atman undergoes
anger, joy, etc.
is

when swayed by
Meditate
etc.

Om

the sound symbol of

Brahman

in the

Upanisads.

Its significance is specially discussed

The mention here of the locus in the Mandukyopanisad. and symbol of the Atman is to facilitate meditation
for the beginner.]

ire

s^w^KMr

*rf<rfg?K

ii

vs

II

^:
in

Who HT:
world
*TOT

omniscient *?4f%r|; all-knowing,

this

whose

i^T: this

^H^T

glory

;

1^: this

Atman

4fi"l5R[^:

of the form of

mind

the controller of the pranas and the body, f^oJ^ in the
effulgent

^^[^

the city of

Brahman

(heart) o?ft% in the

sky

srfaftRT:

seated. (^T:

He) f^Tt^ in the heart
(i.e.

ffRl'bIN

being seated Sisr in the food

in the

body nourished
^tatT:

by food) uRff^d:
wise

is

established
1

(i.e.

subsists).

the

^

which

WF?^ ?^ of the nature of bliss,

CHAPTER TWO
immortal f%*n% shines,

:

SECTION

TWO

129

fetsp5TT

by perfect knowledge

cf^ that qrft<W4J Pd see, realize.

He

is

all-wise
1

and all-knowing, and His
L>

is

verily this glory

sky of the heart

In the (manifest on earth). the luminous city of Brah3

man
heart,

He
He

is

established, clothed

in

mind and
of

guiding

life

and body.
in

With
4

his seat in the

lives

the whole

body

man.

perfect knowledge of Him the wise realize the state of blissful Immortality.

By

[NOTES 1. Glory (manifest on earth) Glory in the form of Law, Beauty, and Power or Energy. In fact this
universe
2.

itself is

Luminous
is

the expression of His glory or power. The lotus of the city of Brahman
'
'

'

heart

usually called
It is called

brahmapuram

'

or the city of

Brahman.
is

luminous, because there Brahman meditated upon by the devotees as a smokeless brilliant

light.
3.

Clothed in mind

*

etc.
*

Manomaya

',

the

word

in

the original, literally means of the form of mind '. The Atman is called so because in the embodied state It
is

It is

conditioned by the mind. By this conditioning alone spoken of as guiding body and life. Mind is the
original for

medium through which It works on these. The word in the 4. Whole body of man
*

body

is

anna or
the

'

'

food
is

' ;

for

body

is

derived from food.

Though

Atman

seated in the heart, It

may

be

described as living in the whole body, as Its presence is felt all over the body in the form of life and perception.]
4

130

MUNDAKOPANISAD

II

II

That TOW^f
being seen,

in

the high and the low

^

on

3T^T his ^^nfff^T: the knot of the heart
STcfcforfT:
all

ftra^

is

broken,
3>Eftftr

doubts %3js% are rent
^I'Mfd

asunder,

the results of the past actions

are destroyed

^

and.

1 a person realizes Him in both the 2 high and the low, the knots of his heart are

When

loosened, his doubts

3

dispelled,

and

his kar-

mas

4

exhausted.
The high and the low It cause and effect ', or in what in both
1.
*

[NOTES
'

may mean
is

either

ordinarily

from the worldly point of view as good and bad, superior and inferior '. The group of desires and 2. Knots o/ the heart tendencies that clings to one's buddhi (intelligence or higher mind) due to ignorance. They are called
considered
knots, probably because
it

is

they that attach the en-

body and mind, the resultant of animal It is these knots that constitute evolution, to the Atman. the basis of ignorance, and when they are cut, ignorance is dispelled and the Atman freed from its encumbrance. 3. Doubts dispelled Every man is in doubt regarding This is due to ignorance, the ultimate nature of things.

cumbrance

of

and hence doubt is dispelled only with the disappearance of ignorance, which takes place on the knots of
'

the heart being cut

'.

CHAPTER TWO
4.

:

SECTION
There

TWO

131

The

effects

of

karma

are three kinds

of karma, or effects of action, viz., prarabdha, sancita and agamin prarabdha is the name for the effects,
:

of one's previous works,

germinate and bear fruit in stored up for the next life.

which have already begun Sancita is what this life.

to
is

And

all

that are to

come

to

fruition in future lives are classed under

Agamin.

When
agamin
exhausts

the

Atman

is

are destroyed.
itself

only the sancita and But prarabdha still remains. It
realized,

only by actual enjoyments and sufferings

in the present life of the realized

man.

By

virtue of this

prarabdha, his body continues to exist even after the attainment of jnana, and falls only when the prarabdha is

worked
the

So here, by karma (i.e. effects of karma), Upanisad means only the second two kinds of
out.

karma.]

Golden
in the sheath

^ the highest (the deepest core)
with;

out parts ^fT

f%^RL stainless fP^3r*3L indivisible, Brahman (gn& exists). rffiC that
SsfrfifaTJ^of lights SRftflr: light

pure

;

(^ that)

the knowers of

Atman

*nj which (whom) fij: know.

In the luminous sheath (of intelligence), the deepest core of man, dwells Brahman stainless,

indivisible,

pure.

He

is

the light of

all

132
that shines.
Self realize.

MUNDAKOPANISAD
That
is

what the knowers

of the

f^t

There ^^: the sun T *TT% does not shine, the moon and the stars (^T and) T not, ^TTT: these
:

the lightnings
fire

f

^TTf^T

do not shine, ^HTJ^this

^:

how

(^ ST^T^T^ci;
f^cf

would illumine That).
all

Him
after.

^TTTfH shining

verily

*Hn^

^rgw% shines
5^^H
all

^PT His

WOT

by

light

^^

this

f^*TT%

shine.

There the sun does not
and the
shine
stars
;

shine, nor the

moon

these
this

lightnings

too do not
fire
!

much

less

earthly

Verily,.

glory. everything shines, reflecting whole world is illumined with His light.

His

This

[NOTES
to objects to the

luminous

This need not be taken as applying only in a physical sense. It is applicable

whole process of knowing. Anything becomes an object of our knowledge, because the light of the Atman Without the Atman there can be no process reveals it.
of

knowing
14.1

in

any sense.

See Katha, V, 15 and

S'vet.>

VI,

CHAPTER TWO

:

SECTION

TWO

133

n

All this ST^^fJ^^T immortal

^H Brahman
behind,

5pr^TTcj[

in

the front,

Brahman ^W verily. 3fi|T Brahman
side,

sRg Brahman

^f%^l"^f:

on the right

and also on the
Jnjrf*^ pervading

left side, ^T^T:
;

below

^3F^^J^

above

^ and
^rf^OTL

^^
is

this
ST^T

f^^t^ the universe

the supreme, the highest

Brahman

ijcf

verily.

Verily, all this

the immortal

Brahman
!

!

above, below, in front, at the back, upon the right, upon the left All this world is indeed the supreme Brahman
is

He

everywhere

!

CHAPTER THREE SECTION ONE
:

gr

Closely
birds

united

sn^TTOT

in

friendship

gT

two

3RTT*r*l, the self-same snpl. tree ^

clasp close.

cRTt: of

the two ^T^T: one
1

fifcqfijjf^

fruit

with relish 9RT% eats.

^Trq

:

the other (3 again)

without eating ^rftr^T^rftfrT looks on.

Two
One
4

l

birds,

bound

2

one
3

to

another in

close friendship, perch of

on

the self-same tree.

them

eats the fruits of the tree with

relish,

while the other looks on without eating.
1.

[NOTES

Two

birds

These are the Jlvatman
(God).

(indi-

vidual soul) and the
'

Paramatman

The Jlvatman,

according to Advaita philosophy,
limited

is Pure Consciousness by ignorance ', and therefore bound by body, mind, attachment and action. God on the other hand is Pure Consciousness conditioned by maya or Cosmic

Power, but being devoid of ignorance,

is free, intelligent,

CHAPTER THREE
eternal

:

SECTION ONE
take the one bird to

135

and omniscient.
it

Some

mean

mind, as

is

every being. Consciousness Itself which
passing phases of
2.
life in

the real factor in action and enjoyment in The other bird is, of course, that Pure
is absolutely untainted by the the forms of enjoyment etc.

Jlvatman

The to another in close friendship nothing but the image of the Paramatman seen through the medium of the mind. Hence both are

Bound one
is

described as inseparable, even as
the sun.
3.

is

the sun's image from

On

the self-same tree
etc.

i.e.

the body.

4.

One of them

The

Jlva,

owing

to its identifi-

cation with the body and the mind, feels itself to be the agent of all work, and enjoys the fruits thereof,

although

it is the mind that really works and enjoys. the Jlva be taken as a separate entity as the Dvaitins and the Vis'istadvaitins believe it to be, still it

Even

if

can never be considered as the real agent or enjoyer of actions or fruits thereof. Because agentship and enjoyment mean modification and change, and it is
accepted on matter and
all

not

hands that change is only possible with with Spirit or Pure Consciousness.

The Jiva, being Spirit, cannot undergo any change. Hence the truth is that the enjoyment and the agentship of Atman as Jlva, are super- imposed on it by the mind,
through false mutual superimposition (anyonya'dhyasa). The real Self, Atman, remains always untainted by such
modifications of the

mind and simply witnesses them.
S'vet.,

See also the Notes on

IV,

6, in this Series.]

136

MUNDAKOPANISAD

:

II

H

II

The same ^% on
ignorance

the tree f5f<TO:
soul

sunken

in

*J^
when

:

tne

individual

3J4WR:
1

being
(*TJ

deluded
he)
3fs[T

^Ift![r?TT for its

impotence
other

srflxlfo

grieves.

^T^TIi
of

the
it

Sffjj^

the

worshipful

^TH

the

Lord 3JFT

^fi-T

thus jrf^lTRJi glory H*<4M

beholds,

(^T

?3":

then he) ^t?TOIp: free from dejection

becomes).

Seated on the self-same
the

tree,

one of them
ignorance and

personal
]

self

sunken

in

deluded, grieves for his impotence. he sees the Other the Lord,
shipful

But when
the

Wor-

as

also

His glory, he becomes free

from dejection.
[NOTES
comes
Self,
1.

Sees the Other
the

etc.

When

the individual

to realize the transcendental

reality of his

own

which

is

Lord

of

all

the passing phenomenon of life, not really tarnished by the dust and dirt of the materials

beings untouched by even as the sun is

on which

it

reflects,

then his dream of suffering and

eternal bliss of his

enjoyment disappears, and he attains to the unbroken, own Self. See also the Notes on
SVet,, IV, 7, in this Series.]

CHAPTER THREE

:

SECTION ONE

137

When
ma
and

<?3^r:

the seer, the sage ^cNfcl^q^ of golden
SAfTOtfr*^ the progenitor of

colour (self-effulgent)

Brah-

the creator ^tfoj^ the
<T^ffiT

maker ^[T^

the

Lord 5^f^
virtue

the supreme Being
sin

sees, <f^T then

g^^NTO

f%^T shaking

off

f%jT^ becoming wise f^R$fT:
;

the stainless ^RfJ^the supreme ?S"R^j"^ Unity

3^% attains.

When

the

seer

realizes

the

self-effulgent

Being ruler, maker and source of the creator 1 even then that wise one, shaking off merits 2 and demerits, becomes stainless, and attains

supreme Unity.
[NOTES
virtue,
etc.
1.

Shaking
is

off etc.

of the real Self

attained, one

are things of

Knowledge comes the mind and the body, and
to realize that sin,

When

the

that they do not belong to the Spirit.
2.

melts

Attains supreme Unity The vision of all duality away for the seer, and he comes to realize his

very Self as the Supreme Soul, whom he was hitherto worshipping as the Universal Lord.] ft
*?:

138
3T:

MUNDAKOPANISAD

Who

%

(is)

verily

smr. prana 1^:

this (Being)

^^:

ftmtft pervades, (^fo thus) f%3TR^ knowing f%5"T^ a wise man 3T3% becomes, ST^faT^ a vain babbler T does not (*r^ become). ^: this $H4JT^h?:
in all beings

revelling

in

the

Self

?TT5flI%:

satisfied

with the Self

Gbficn^ the performer of devotional practices sf^lR^FJJ
of the

knowers

of the Self ^foj: the foremost.
1

Verily,
this.

He who
2

is

Knowing

this,

prana pervades all one becomes truly wise,
,

never a vain babbler.

Sporting

in the Self,

delighting in the Self, performing pious works, he takes the first rank among the knowers
of

Brahman.
[NOTES
1.

Prana

Here

it is

used as an equivalent

of Is'vara or
2.

Supreme Being.

tion

true

Knowing this etc. The idea is that the realizaof Brahman as the one life of all beings, is alone wisdom. Compared to this wisdom, what we consider
is

wise discourses on worldly topics,

only vain babbling.]

mm
1"^

n
sinless
1

n

^

n
self-controlled

Whom

s

^ffar<?fcrT:

3TcRtt

Sannyasins

(ascetics)

TO^rf^c!

see,

i^: this

CHAPTER THREE
resplendent ^fT:

:

SECTION ONE
Atman
(*T:

139

pure ^HOTT

3F?f:!(r$ft

%

(is)

indeed within the body (or mind).
stantly (cultivated)

He) fa^TO^ con-

U^M

by truth rTTOT by austerity or

concentration Sn^FflF^ by true knowledge

^I^?N[ by

continence (^ and) ^VQ:

%

is

indeed attainable.

The
stantly

Self
1

centration,

attained through veracity, conwisdom 2 and continence, all conis

cultivated.

(thus), the ascetics

When impurities dwindle behold Him stainless, res*
'

plendent

within the very body.
1.

[NOTES
the original,

Concentration
it

Tapas

is

the

word

in

and

is

usually translated as austerity,

form of austerity is to withdraw mind from their natural objects and concentrate them on the Self. This is the real austerity involved in spiritual life, and hence the word is here
difficult

The most

the senses and the

translated as concentration.
2.

Wisdom

The

insight

and discrimination needed

for keeping

unswervingly

to the spiritual path.]

it

^

it

Truthfulness
untruth
T

tr^T

alone 3f3% wins, SF^rt^ the

not.

?3T3fa

by truthfulness

i^TR:

tne

140
deva-yana or the
laid out.
satisfied
Sfrr
(i.e.

MUNDAKOPANISAD
*

divine path

'

q*VR: the path f%cfcf:

is

by which ^TF^JWtt having all their desires free from desires) SETO: the seers or sages
Vffl

i ff"

ascend,

where

<ST3T^T of the

True r!^

that

^Wl. supreme fSpsFR^ abode

(^rfet

is).

Only the

truthful win, not the untruthful.
laid out the 'divine path',
1

By

truth

is

which
to the

the

sages,

free

from

desires,

along ascend

supreme abode
1.

of the True.

'Divine path' The original word for of a life ', may be given the general sense of spiritual striving of which truth is the most impor-

[NOTES
'

*

this,

deva-yana

',

tant discipline. Technically, however, deva-yana or the * path of the gods is the special path by which those who
'

are entitled to gradual liberation or krama-mukti go after death, and it stands in contrast to pitr-yana or the path of
'

the

manes

'

by which those meritorious souls who

will

again be re-born on earth, go after death. For details regarding the paths and the two forms of Mukti, see Notes

on Is'avasya, verse

18, in this Series.]

II

vs

II

?T^ That (the truth of Brahman)
effulgent,

^pj

vast

divine ^rf^qf^qj^ beyond imagination

^

and

CHAPTER THREE
shines.
<SRt

:

SECTION ONE
than
the

141
subtlest

That

*JW3;

U subtler,
distant

<rf^

That

than the farthest distance ^TffiC
^TFcf% within
;

^
this

here (in this body)
life)

here

(in

^T

verily

H^'^g
and.

of the seers

the heart f^rff^T^ resides
l

^

Vast, divine, beyond all imagination, shines It is subtler than the truth of Brahman.
It is the subtlest, farther than the farthest. 2 here within the body, and the sages realize It verily in this life as fixed in the heart.

[NOTES
of truth

all imagination The concept stands distinguished from mere imagialways
1.

Beyond

nations.

This shows the contrast 2. Within the body etc. between Brahman when It is searched for within, and when
It
is

for

Him

looked for as something outside. When one looks outside, one looks upon Him as the cause of the

and naturally one thinks of Him in terms of But He is also very close vastness, inaccessibility, etc. to every embodied being as the life of his life, and he is the sage who finds this out, looking within, in
world,
place of indulging in any vain external quest.]

wn

31

\

142

MUNDAKOPANISAD
That truth
of

Atman) ^-g^T with the
not.
3TT

eyes
T

ff

JJlFl'

is

not perceived.

3TOT by speech 9jft also
T

not.

F*h
^4^TT
Rr

by other ^%: senses

3TOT by
or
f

penance

by work

or

sacrifices

not.

by refinement and purification and then ssn^JIR: engaged
ftps^jqTJ^ the

of

the

unpuri-

derstanding f^J^TfcT: (*ra%) one's
fied
;

mind becomes

?RT:

5

in meditation
(lit.

(through meditation)
parts) cfH

Absolute

without

Him

T^^ifr realizes.

The

Self cannot be described by words, nor

perceived by the
1

eyes

and the

senses,

nor
the

revealed by rituals and penances.

When

becomes calm and refined, understanding one's whole being is purified, and then, engaged in meditation, one realizes Him, the Absolute.
[NOTES The
1.

fined
is

original

Understanding becomes calm and reword for it is jnana-prasada. By jnana

mind, which
in

here meant the buddhi, the understanding or higher is at once the light of the Atman and the

faculty that reveals the

Atman.

everyone, but being directed
it is

This understanding is towards the objects of

the world,
us,

at present revealing only these objects to

and has besides been contaminated by their contact. This contamination consists in its sensuality and The removal of these acquired traits of restlessness. the understanding is what is called jnana-prasada
here,]

CHAPTER THREE: SECTION ONE

143

n
This ^ng: subtle

^

n

%||*H1

Atman

%cTSn by thought
should be

0^
realized
;

within
in

that

body)

^f^foq*:
STnJT:

ufaf^
JJT^":

which (body)

the prana (the
(is

life-force)

JTIRT in five

parts ^ff%^[r has entered

pervading).
of

with the pranas (the senses)

5T3fTTn5[
;

beings
in

^rlq: all

f%rfH mind ^h^f^
purification i^:

is

interwoven

whose f^S^

this ?TT^TT

Atman

appears.

By

1

means

of

thought one should know

within the body, which is permeated by life-force in a fivefold way. Man's thought is interwoven with the
senses.

the subtle truth of the

Atman

When

that

2

(thought)

is

purified, the

Self shines forth.

[NOTES
the
original

1.

By means
is

of thought
It
is

The word
in

in

import jnana of the previous verse, and means the buddhi mind or purified understanding by the^ higher which the Atman is intuited. In this and the previous
with
verse

'cetasa'.

identical

we

get

intuitive faculty

some suggestions on the nature by which the Atman is realized.

of the

144
2.

MUNDAKOPANISAD
That (thought)
is

purified

Purification consists

in
it

withdrawing the buddhi from the senses with which is interwoven in the natural man.]

JFWT

cf:

One

of purified nature 3ff^ ^TJ^

whichever

world 5R^Tr with the mind SrRfa|T% desires,

which

^

and ^1141^ desires

3ST3T3j^r

wants

to have, tf^
xf
is

3H
and

those oTlW^ worlds ?TT^ those

^WT^ enjoyments
^J%^W:
knower
he who
of

^T^

wins.
of

tf^TT^ therefore

desirous

prosperity

3TTcJT3n^ the

Atman

should worship

% verily.
of purified nature

Whatever sphere the man
desires,

whatever object he fixes his heart those worlds and those upon, he obtains Therefore he who is desirous of* objects.
prosperity should
Self-realization.

pay honour

to

the

man

of

CHAPTER THREE: SECTION TWO

:

n

?

n
this

3f:

He

(the

knower

of

Atman)
^

^^

Supreme 5TH Brahman
also)

WT

ne basis

^ knows, ^T on
(^ ^ which
devoid

<H*fH. the

which f^^T^ the universe f5f%?Nl

rests,

S^"^ brightly

^TTfifc

shines.

^

^T^T5RT: those

of all desires

serve,

JJWl, that man (of Self-realization) worship, ^ those ^^T: wise men i^^; this
(i.e.

the seed

human

birth) srfifa^fer

%

verily transcend.

The man of Self-realization knows the Supreme Brahman on whom this world is based, and who shines radiantly. And those wise men who are devoted to such a person,
without
1

any worldly

desire,

go beyond

all

chances of rebirth.
[NOTES
5
1.

Without any worldly desire

This

is

in

contrast to the type referred to in the previous verse,

146

MUNDAKOPANISAD
adore the

who

man

prosperity.

The worship

of realization for attaining worldly of these great ones without
to emancipation.]

any worldly desire leads

*tt

He who

4f<4ii: brooding over ^HTT^the objects
*T:

of desire 3PT*f^ wishes,
(i.e.

he ^i^i^T: by (those) desires

for their satisfaction) H3T S3T here

and there 3n*T&

is

born.

T^T^JnT^
in the
3FTRT:

of

one whose longings have found con<|)dk+fi: of perfected soul

^

summation
all

Atman
f!

desires

here,

in

this

life

^

5

but

itself

JT/^ofnTf^f disappear.

longs for objects of desire, brooding over them, they are born here and there for the satisfaction of those desires. But in
the case of a sage whose longings have found consummation in the Atman and whose soul

Whoever

has been perfected, desires here in this life.

l

vanish

away even

[NOTES

1.

Desires vanish

etc.

That

is,

he has no

further birth.]

CHAPTER THREE: SECTION TWO
11MHKH1

147

3 $

W
WIT
STTOTt

This
T:

Atman
;

S||x|lf
T

by discourses
intellect,

f

cannot be attained
nor

ij^RTT
(i.e.

nor by

T

Atman
his
1

^

much ^5f by
alone

hearing

learning).

ST^the

^:
^r

this (the aspirant)

f^"
is

longs with
attainable
;

the whole heart

by that longing ^n^T:

^f:

this

^rr^TT

Atman ^TH

its

own rfgn form

reveals.

Self is not attained through disnor through intellectuality, nor through courses,

The

much

learning.

longs for It a one the Self

gained only by him who with the whole heart. For to such
It is
l

reveals Its

own

nature.

Self reveals Its own nature The Self is always the true nature of one's innermost being it has not to be brought from anywhere else. Ignorance only

[NOTES

1.

;

veils

it. True longing of the heart dispels that ignorance, and then the Self, which was always there, reveals Itself. The passage, interpreted from the purely religious point of view, has been made a sanction for the doctrine

of grace.

In this sense

it

may

be translated thus

"

:

The

Deity

is

not attained through discourses, nor through

148
intellectuality,

MUNDAKOPANISAD

nor through much learning. He is attained only by one whom He chooses to such a one He reveals His own person." See also Katha, II, 23, in this Series.]
:

II

II

This

STTcJTT

Atman 4<sHO^" by one
T
5f

destitute of

strength (weak-spirited)

oT^T:

is

not attainable, SHRTT^T^
^rfoTlIRi;

by carelessness

^r

and

m nor,

improper
T

(lit.

without proper sign)
(^HST:
is

^FTST:

from tapas

5Rfa also

not

attainable),

q: that f%^T^ the wise 'Ja: these
strives,

gqi%:

by means ^f^r
STfT^TT^

aPPT his

^:

this

W^TT
of

Atman

the world

of

Brahman

(the

state

Brahman) f^RKf enters.

The
spirit,

Self

is

not gained by
the
2

men

*

of

weak

nor

by
strive

careless,

practising

improper

nor by those But wise austerities.

with vigour, attention and propriety, attain union with Brahman.

men who

[NOTES
'

balahlna

'

The original word 1. Men of weak spirit may indicate also a physically weak man.
degree of physical strength
in spiritual life,
is

While a

fair

absolutely

necessary for success

what

is still

more

CHAPTER THREE: SECTION TWO
needed
is

149

an abundance of

faith,

self-confidence and
failure

inner toughness that keeps one
obstacles.
2.

uncowed by

and

Improper austerities
in

The
*

expression

the original

is

literal meaning of the by tapas devoid of proper

insignia (linga)'. According to S^ankara, tapas here means not mere austerity, but the disciplines of inner cogitation and concentration leading to the Knowledge of Atman. He also holds that the linga or insignia referred to is due

entry into sannyasa or the fourth order of life. Spiritual discipline without the proper external garb does not lead to the highest result In justification so he thinks.
of this

view

it

may

be said that the association of

hoary sacred traditions with the life of sannyasa, and the checks that the garb imposes on conduct, both consciously and unconsciously, are all factors that safe-

guard an aspirant from going
pression
'

off the track.

The

ex'

may

also

mean

*

false notions of austerity
'

or

flesh-torturing ascetic practices
in the

which are condemned

Bhagavad-gita.]

II

\

II

This (the
seers STRgjJT:

Self)

^*SJI^ having attained 5K^RT: the with wisdom (and longing for

satisfied

nothing
attached

else)

$9K4fir: perfected in soul sfRRTTT: nontranquil

JnOTntt:

(^TWf^f

become).

&

they

150

MUNDAKOPANISAD
devout souls
^t?r:

the wise

OTO^
rTT^T

the

all-

pervading
realized

(Brahman)

sdhf:

everywhere

having

^^into
sages

the All

^

verily ^rn%srf% enter.

The
else)
;

who have

attained the Self find
for nothing

satisfaction

in

wisdom (and long

they are perfected in soul, non-attached

realized the all-pervading those wise and devout ones Spirit everywhere, enter into the All.
tranquil.

and

Having

II

^

II

:

Those who are well-established
yoga of sannyasa

in

the

Self that forms the sole quest of all Vedantic
(i.e.

studies ^t^ifl'ijVlId, through the

by a
their

life

of striving

and renunciation) ?^*frWT: with

nature purified

^

^rT

*(^<4: all

those Sannyasins
(i.e.

(aspirants) Mil*-d*>N at the time of death

of illumi-

nation)

isf^Iqfl^y

in

Brahman

TO^J^TT:

having attained
all sides.

supreme immortality

^R^^Pd

are absolved on

Those aspirants whose natures have been purified by a life of striving and renunciation, and who are well-established in the Self that

CHAPTER THREE: SECTION TWO
forms the sole quest of
all

151

Vedantic studies,
1

they attain immortality in Brahman at the 2 time of illumination they are absolved on all
;

sides.

[NoTES
to S'ankara.
'

1.

At
of

the

time of illumination
'

This

is

the -meaning

the

word
'.

Its literal

meaning

paranta-kale ', according is at the time of death
* *

or

tation

S'ankara justifies his interpreend of time on the ground that just as death is the end of the body for the ignorant man, so is the moment of illumination for the knowing one for he understands thenceforth that he is not the body, and he is therefore dead to the body. This interpretation gives us the exat the
;

treme Advaitic view which denies even prarabdha-karma in a jivan-mukta. If we substitute at the time of death ', we get the idea of prarabdha-karma which ends only
'

with the death of the body. If we have at the end of time ', we get the conception of krama-mukti for
;

*

one who

krama-mukti attains complete union with Brahman only at the end of the Cycle. This
is

entitled to

last meaning is not appropriate here, as it is a clear reference to a knowing one.l 2. Absolved on all sides Has no more bondage here or hereafter he is not re-born also.]
:

H<fl*wP<i

li

vs

ii

152
Their)
or sources TRTT:

MUNDAKOPANISAD
tra^O" fifteen ^TT: parts SfRf^r: bases

(^T^f%) go away,

^^

all

^3T: senses

^

and srfcf^^raTg
enter).

m

the corresponding deities (TRT

(^T^

their)

PYti% the karmas

fcfrffTWT:

intellectual

self

(or personality)

^

and

q$

all

^

the

supreme ^ff<) in the indestructible *3faTWfnT get united.

Their
sources
deities
; ;

l

fifteen

phases

resolve

into

their

their senses, into the corresponding

and

their

deeds and personality, into

the supreme, imperishable Being.
Fifteen phases L] nopanisad, VI,
1.

[NOTES

Prana

etc.

See Pras'-

4.

As Wo[*rRT:
names and forms
the ocean

flowing

RT:

rivers

*U41^ the

f^ffre

having relinquished ^5^" into

knower

^I^Prf disappear, grn so f^T6[T^ the H4f^MI<t from name and form f^Tf>: being free

3^^

fHT^ qRH the highest of the high f^Tf^ effulgent the Purusa ^T% attains.

As
losing

rivers,

flowing, disappear in the ocean

name and

form, so the wise man, free

CHAPTER THREE: SECTION TWO

153

from name and form, goes unto the highest
of the high

the

Supreme

Divinity.

q*:

He who f

verily

Brahman

^

^

that <RJ^
5TfT

supreme

5T1T

the

knows,

?T:

he

Brahman
the family

^

very

^T^f% becomes.
ignorant of

3T^T his
T

Brahman

sins cHT% crosses, grief tTC% transcends, from all knots of the heart f%g^H: being free
f:

^^ VR% is TT^M^

in

not born.

&: he

immortal

T^T% becomes.

Whoever knows
ignorant of

the

supreme

Brahman,

becomes very Brahman.

Brahman
and

is

In his family none born. The knots 1

of his heart being unloosed, he goes

beyond

sorrow and
[NOTES
1.

sin,

attains immortality.

of his heart being unloosed a phrase that occurs frequently in the Upanisads, and stand for ignorance, desire, passion,

Knots
'

Knots of the heart

is

etc.,

which
6

frustrate the

dawn

of Knowledge.]

154

MUNDAKOPANISAD

n
This very doctrine ^T^T by one rk
verse)
(a

Vedic

^r^rE^

is

expressed. (^ who)
STrf^TT:

ra^TTcr^cf:

those per-

forming the
SfiirRIJT:

rites,

well-versed

in

the

Vedas,

having devotion to the Deity, ST^SF^cf: possess
sacrificial fire called

faith,

tj^i^n the

Ekarsi ^f^f

sacrifice,

%
fire
i^cf

by whom 3

again

f^f^ ^
1

properly, according to the

injunctions of the Vedas

f^KMtfH

the

vow

of carrying

on the head ^faf J^ has been performed,
alone

HW^ to them
Brahman

^cffH this 5^1%^?!^ knowledge of
told.

should be

This very doctrine has been declared in the Communicate this following Vedic verse
:

knowledge of Brahman only to such as perform the rites, are well-versed in the Vedas, have
devotion to the Deity, possess faith, and make oblations to the fire called Ekarsi they must 1 again have observed s'irovrata according to
;

CHAPTER THREE: SECTION TWO
[NOTES
1.

155
is

Sirovrata

S'ankara says that this

an

observance mentioned in the Atharva-veda, the chief A feature of which is the carrying of fire on the head.

makes an intelligent guess that it Sannyasa ceremony which requires the shaving of the head for the expression literally means observance regarding the head He supports this interpretation on the ground that this Upanisad called
modern
translator
to

may

refer
*

the

;

'.

Mundaka
to

*

or

of the

shaven -headed

'

Sannyasins whose distinguishing feature

has special reference is shaven

head.]

This ST3TH tne truth ^f^: the seer
Angiras
5?T in ancient times

^F^

1

told. ^T'tfliUMd:

one

who

has not performed any penance or accomplished any vow this <T Snsft^T should not study, ^nr: obeisance
r:

to the great Rsis.

This
nicated

is

the very truth.

it

Rsi Angiras commuto his disciples in ancient times.

one who has not observed any 1 vow should study it.

No

We

bow down to you, great sages Bow down to you, great sages
!

!

156
[NOTES
the
1.

MUNDAKOPANISAD
Any vow
The
idea
is

that the study of

Upanisads should be undertaken only by
inclination.

men

of

Spiritual always spiritual accompanied by some kind of tendency towards renunA vrata or vow is always an act ciation of the world. Hence it is mentioned as a test of of renunciation.

inclination

is

man's

fitness to study the Upanisads.]

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