Part I, Sections 1-6

[Introduction]
The Powers of the Logos

The great Upanishads were compiled as Instructions for disciples preparing for Initiation. They contain philosophical teaching, and also many stories, generally in the form of spirited dialogues, of great beauty and eloquence, or ironical, but always radiant with spiritual wisdom. If we think of what is here translated as a part of these Instructions, we shall have little difficulty in understanding its significance.

The theme is the Logos, the divine creative Word, which Philo called the Mind of God , with its progressive manifestation in the Universe and in the Spirit of man. Further, the Sections here translated were especially designed for disciples who knew the Sama Veda. If we remember that the Sama Veda is a collection of hymns which are in effect magical incantations, and that the lines which make up these hymns are in the main taken from the hymns of the Rig Veda and set to music, we shall be able to understand most of the allusions, which were familiar to these disciples.

The Logos as a unity, as the divine One, is represented by the syllable “Om” as pronounced with vibration of magical potency. So the divine Word vibrates, sounding with magical potency, and from its sounding the Universe is made manifest. In the highest manifestation, the One becomes Three: the mystery of the Trinity in Unity. In the text here translated, this Highest Triad is symbolized by the form of chant called “Ud-gi-tha”, here rendered by the three words, “Loud Chant Song” to suggest its threefold nature. The Sanskrit word generally translated “syllable” literally means “that which cannot be diminished” and is, therefore, a fitting term for the divine One, as well as for Om as a unit of speech.

Om, then, symbolizes the One, first made manifest as the Triad, here represented as the Loud Chant Song. Then come the progressive manifestations of the Triad through emanation. The text carries us at once to the outermost or lowest emanation, here called “elemental Earth”, to be thought of, not as brute matter, but rather as the crystallization or consolidation of Spirit, to be raised again to its divine form by the progressive infusion of Spirit; just as ice becomes water, steam, invisible vapour, by the infusion of heat. Therefore, we are told that “of elemental Earth the Waters are the essence”; the Waters are the principle of Life, or Prana, that form of Spirit which first acts on Matter, causing the first transformation from mineral into organic Matter, here described as “the Growths”, the earlier forms of plant and animal life. After these earlier forms comes Man, of whom “creative Voice is the essence”; this is the ray of the Logos, “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” It is regarded as a divine perceptive power, and also a power of action, symbolized by the magical energy of a divine invocation or incantation. So we come to the Rig Veda from which are taken the invocations of the Sama Veda, and thence to the Loud Chant Song, symbolizing the divine Triad in man and in the Universe. Thus the wave of manifestation returns to its source; the divine cycle is completed. So the disciples were taught to regard the manifested Universe and the Spirit within themselves as the magnificent music of the divine creative Word, the Logos.

The true Light lighteth every man that cometh into the world, whether he recognize that Light or not. So there are those who know and those who know not; but “what he accomplishes through wisdom, that, verily, possesses greater virtue.”

Then comes the parable of the Bright Powers and the Dark Powers. Since this is teaching for disciples, there is no attempt to reveal the ultimate origin of evil; more important for them is the existence of evil, and its potential presence within themselves. So they were told an ancient tale which shows that every power, though in essence divine, holds within it the possibility of misuse, and therefore of evil. For example, because the Dark Powers pierced Mind with evil, we can form imaginations which corrupt as well as imaginations which stimulate and raise us. Then, when all the powers of man are purified, so that his consciousness is raised to the higher Triad, the Dark Powers in vain assail this divine being; they are shattered as a clod of earth which is dashed against a firm rock. The life of man has risen above duality; he no longer discerns “odorous or malodorous, for he has cast away evil.” Then, perhaps, he is fitted to comprehend “the origin of evil”, and the part which evil plays in the manifestation and dissolution of worlds. Another universal symbol is used in the sentence, “Whatsoever through this principal Life he eats or drinks, through this he guards the lesser lives”: to eat means to gain bodily experience; to drink means to gain mental, or subjective, experience. When, through the “principal Life”, the Higher Self, all the powers have been purified, then all experience is sanctified, he eats and drinks consecrated elements, as in the Sacrament. All experience, purified and ordered by the Higher Self, makes for spiritual wisdom and power. Thus his experience ministers to “the lesser lives”, the different powers manifested by the Spirit. But he who, “at the time of the end”, at death, has not consciously brought himself under the guidance of the Higher Self, is said to “depart” along the weary pathway of compelled rebirth.

In the sentences which end this Section are a series of names, like Angiras and Brihaspati. In the original, there is in each case a play on words; they seem, therefore, to be mnemonics, to fix in the memory of the disciple the essence of the teaching which has gone before.

In the following Section, the Sun, as always in the Mystery teaching, is the great visible symbol of the Logos, as in the eloquent verse “the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings.” Here, the Sun is likened to the principal Life, which is the Logos and the Higher Self, as an undivided part of the Logos. When the Sun rises, “he sings aloud for beings”: it is the ancient tradition of the music of the spheres, echoing the divine music of the creative Word. The Sun is spoken of as fire, and also as “Sound and returning Sound.” There is the thought of the Sun as vibrating forth perpetual energy, and also as being not the source of that energy, but as reflecting it from the true source, the Logos; thus radiating energy as a cliff sends forth an echo.

In the next paragraph, the “distributive Life”, which binds together the forward Life and the downward Life, seems to correspond to the power called Fohat, which is in a sense the intermediary between Spirit and Matter. This balanced force gives the magical energy to the Sama chant, and to “whatever other works there are possessing strong virtue.”

Then the primordial Triad, symbolized by the Loud Chant Song, is correlated with other triads, as Heaven-Interspace-Earth, Sun-Breath-Fire. The sentences enjoining the singer of the chant to seek refuge in the Sama, the Rig, the Seer, the Divinity, the measure, the song-form and the region to which he is to chant a hymn of praise, show the division into seven closely interrelated principles or phases of the chant, and thus stand as a symbol of every sevenfold manifestation of the Logos, including sevenfold man. Finally, he draws close to the divine Self which sent him forth, and there is good hope that his heart’s desire will be fulfilled.

The same return to the divine source and home is taught in the parable of the Bright Powers and Death. The Bright Powers are the divine forces of manifestation, embodied in the descending series of emanations. In the outer and lower emanations, in the more material aspects of life, they are subject to Death, for all material forms are of necessity mortal. Then, with the great return toward Spirit, the divine energy ascended through the emanations, here symbolized as the Rig verse, the Sama chant, the Yajur sentence; they entered into the “magical vibration” which is the first and highest manifestation of the Logos, and thus, reunited with the being of the Logos, they became immortal, fearless. So also he who, thus knowing, enters into the being of the Logos, thereby is immortal.

Then comes the mysterious story of Kaushitaki and his only son. It would seem to picture the task of the disciple, since the spiritual man is spoken of as a son. When that son has been born and attains his strength, he manifests many powers, here described again as sons. As the text has been handed down, it reads, when the sentence recurs, “then mine (my sons) shall be many”, instead of reading, as before, “then thy sons shall be many”. If this ancient reading be correct, it implies that the many powers of the spiritual man are the powers of the disciple after he has attained. And this would be in full accord with spiritual reality, for there is no solution of continuity; the disciple becomes the adept, he is not replaced by the adept. This story ends with a sentence in form equally mysterious: “Thus knowing, that which has been ill chanted from the station of the sacrificial priest, he perfectly fulfils”; the meaning seems to be that, when he has attained, he does perfectly that which, as a struggling disciple, he had done imperfectly; the immortal completes the imperfect work of the mortal.

It has already been noted that the Sama chants are for the most part Rig verses turned into magical song, infused with the vibration which gives them magical potency. So it is said that “the Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse”. This relation is used as a symbol of an inspiring force within a vehicle or vesture. Thus the fire of Life is breathed into “earth”, as in the story in Genesis , forming living beings. So the great Breath blows through the “interspace”; in one sense, it is the electrical energy in the air which gives birth to the thunderstorm, but it is also the whole sum of energies which move in space. “Earth, interspace, heavens, lunar mansions” are symbols of four planes in ascending order; each is shown as infused and energized by a co-ordinate power, here symbolized by “the fire of Life, the great Breath, the Sun, the Moon”, and in each case we are told that the relation between the plane and the force which energizes it is like the relation between Rig and Sama: between the verse of a hymn and the same verse energized by magical vibration.

Then we come again to the Sun as symbol of the Logos. There is the outer white radiance of the Sun, called the photosphere. Beneath and within this is the darker body, in part revealed when a section of the photosphere is torn aside by an electrical cyclone which causes a sunspot: the inner Sun, which is the storehouse of solar energy, with the photosphere upheld by it as the words of the Rig hymn are upheld by the magical vibration of the chant.

Finally, we have the symbolic representation of the Sun as the “divine Man, golden-coloured”, like the Ancient of Days in the Apocalypse, whose “eyes were as a flame of fire” ; an image of the tremendous potency of the creative Logos.


[Translation]
The Divine Creative Word
[Section 1]

OM: As this unchanging Sound he should reverence the Loud Chant Song; for beginning with Om, he chants the Loud Song. This is its expansion:

Of manifested beings, elemental Earth is the essence.

Of elemental Earth, the Waters are the essence.

Of the Waters, the Growths are the essence.

Of the Growths, man is the essence.

Of Man, creative Voice is the essence.

Of creative Voice, the hymn of the Rig Veda is the essence.

Of the hymn of the Rig Veda, the chant of the Sama Veda is the essence.

Of the chant of the Sama Veda, the Loud Chant Song is the essence.

For the Loud Chant Song is of these essences the supreme essence, the spiritual antetype, the eighth in number.

Which is the Rig? Which is the Sama? Which is the Loud Chant Song?—thus it is considered.

Creative Voice, verily, is the Rig; Life-breath is the Sama; the unchanging Sound Om is the Loud Chant Song. These, then, are a creative pair: Voice and Life-breath; Rig and Sama. Then this creative pair is joined together in the unchanging Sound Om. For when the creative pair come together, they mutually fulfil desire.

He is a fulfiller of desires who, thus knowing this, reverences the Loud Chant Song as the unchanging Sound.

Then, verily, this unchanging Sound is affirmation. For when one affirms anything, he says “Om!” Affirmation is obtaining. He is an obtainer of desires who, thus knowing this, reverences the Loud Chant Song as the unchanging Sound.

Through this unchanging Sound the threefold wisdom acts. With Om, one calls aloud; with Om, one praises; with Om, one sings the Loud Chant, for the honour of this unchanging Sound, because of its might, because of its essence.

Therefore both accomplish work, he who thus knows and he who knows not. But different are wisdom and unwisdom; what he accomplishes through wisdom, through faith, through the secret teaching, that, verily, possesses greater virtue.

This, in truth, is the expansion of this unchanging Sound.

[Section 2]

When the Bright Powers and the Dark Powers strove against each other, both coming forth from the Lord of beings, the Bright Powers laid hold on the Loud Chant Song, saying, “Through this we shall overcome them!”

Then they reverenced the Life-breath in the nostrils as the Loud Chant Song. Then the Dark Powers pierced it with evil. Therefore, through this, one smells both odorous and malodorous, for this is pierced with evil.

And so they reverenced creative Voice as the Loud Chant Song. Then the Dark Powers pierced it with evil. Therefore, through this, one speaks both truth and untruth, for this is pierced with evil.

And so they reverenced Vision as the Loud Chant Song. Then the Dark Powers pierced it with evil. Therefore, through this, one sees both seemly and unseemly, for this is pierced with evil.

And so they reverenced Hearing as the Loud Chant Song. Then the Dark Powers pierced it with evil. Therefore, through this, one hears both what should be heard and what should not be heard, for this is pierced with evil.

And so they reverenced Mind as the Loud Chant Song. Then the Dark Powers pierced it with evil. Therefore, through this, one imagines both what should be imagined and what should not be imagined, for this is pierced with evil.

And so this which is the principal Life they reverenced as the Loud Chant Song. Striking it, the Dark Powers fell in pieces, as one would fall in pieces striking against a firm rock. Just as, striking a firm rock, one would fall in pieces, so he falls in pieces who desires evil for one who thus knows, or who seeks to harm him, for such a one is a firm rock.

Nor, verily, through this principal Life does he discern odorous or malodorous, for this has cast away evil. Whatsoever through this he eats or drinks, through this he guards the lesser lives. So, verily, at the end, not finding this principal Life, he departs, at the time of the end he gives up the ghost.

Angiras, verily, reverenced the principal Life as the Loud Chant Song. Indeed they think that it is Angiras, for it is the essence of the members.

Therefore, verily, Brihaspati reverenced this as the Loud Chant Song. Indeed they think that it is Brihaspati, the Great Lord, for creative Voice is great, whereof this is lord.

Therefore, verily, Ayasya reverenced this as the Loud Chant Song. Indeed they think that it is Ayasya, because it proceeds from the mouth.

Therefore, verily, this Baka son of Dalbhya knew. He became master of chants for the people of Naimisha. Of old he sang for them their desires.

He, verily, is a singer of desires who, thus knowing this, reverences it as the Loud Chant Song. So far concerning the Self.

[Section 3]

And so concerning the Bright Powers. He who gleams in the sky, him one should reverence as the Loud Chant Song. When he rises, verily, he sings aloud for beings. When he rises, he drives away darkness and fear. He, verily, drives away fear and darkness, who thus knows.

This principal Life and that Sun are alike. For this is fire and that is fire. This principal Life they designate as Sound, and that Sun as Sound and as returning Sound. Therefore, let him reverence the one and the other as the Loud Chant Song.

And so, in truth, one should reverence the distributive Life as the Loud Chant Song. When he breathes forth, this is the forward Life-breath; when he breathes downward, this is the downward Life-breath. And so that which is the binding together of the forward Life-breath and the downward Life-breath-this is the distributive Life-breath, this is creative Voice. Therefore, without breathing forward, without breathing downward, he sends forth creative Voice. That which is creative Voice, that is the Rig verse. Therefore, without breathing forward, without breathing downward, he sends forth the Rig verse. That which is the Rig verse, that is the Sama chant. Therefore, without breathing forward, without breathing downward, he sings the Sama chant. That which is the Sama, that is the Loud Chant Song. Therefore, without breathing forward, without breathing downward, he chants the Loud Chant Song.

And so, whatever other works there are possessing strong virtue, such as kindling fire with the fire-sticks, running a course, drawing a firm bow, these he accomplishes without breathing forward, without breathing downward. For this cause, one should reverence the distributive Life-breath as the Loud Chant Song.

And so, in truth, one should reverence the unchanging sounds of the Loud Chant Song: that is, the syllables Loud, Chant, Song. The forward Life-breath is “Loud”, for through the forward Life-breath one arises; creative Voice is “Chant”, for they call chants voices; the World-food is “Song”, for in the World-food all stands.

Heaven verily, is “Loud”; Interspace is “Chant”; Earth is “Song”. Sun, verily, is “Loud”; great Breath is “Chant”; Fire-lord is “Song”. Sama Veda, verily, is “Loud”; Yajur Veda is “Chant”; Rig Veda is “Song”. Creative Voice milks for him that milk which is the milk of Voice; food-possessing, a food-eater is he who, knowing thus, reverences these unchanging sounds of the Loud Chant Song; that is, the syllables Loud, Chant, Song.

And so, in truth, concerning the fulfilment of hopes. These one should reverence as refuges:

One should seek refuge in the Sama chant with which he is to chant a hymn of praise. He should seek refuge in the Rig hymn from which the Sama is formed, in the Seer who sang it, in the Divinity whom he is to praise,—in this Divinity be should seek refuge.

One should seek refuge in the measure with which he is to chant a hymn of praise. He should seek refuge in the song-form with which he is to chant a hymn of praise. He should seek refuge in the region toward which he is to chant a hymn of praise.

Finally, drawing close to the divine Self, he should sing praise, steadily meditating on his desire. Then there is good hope that that desire is fulfilled, desiring which he may sing praise,—desiring which he may sing praise.

[Section 4]

Om: let him reverence this unchanging Sound as the Loud Chant Song. This is the expansion of it.

The Bright Powers, verily, fearing Death, went forth into the triune Wisdom of the Veda. They covered themselves with the musical measures. Because with these they covered themselves, this is the musical quality of the measures. But Death perceived them there as one may perceive a fish in the water. They then, discovering this, went forth from the Rig verse, the Sama chant and the Yajur sentence, and entered into the magical vibration.

When, verily, one completes a Rig verse, he adds the magical vibration, Om; so also the Sama. chant; so also the Yajur sentence. This magical vibration is that unchanging Sound, Om. Going forth into that, the Bright Powers were immortal, fearless.

He who, thus knowing this, intones that unchanging Sound, goes forth into that unchanging Sound, the magical vibration, immortal, fearless. Going forth into that, as the Bright Powers were immortal, so is he immortal.

[Section 5]

And so, verily, that which is the Loud Chant Song, that is the intoned unchanging Sound; that which is the intoned unchanging Sound, that is the Loud Chant Song. That heavenly Sun is the Loud Chant Song, he is the intoned unchanging Sound; for intoning the magical vibration, Om, he goes onward.

“Him, verily, I have praised in song, therefore thou, my son, art one only.”

Thus Kaushitaki addressed his son. “But do thou meditate upon the rays; then thine shall be many.” So far concerning the Bright Powers.

And so concerning the Self. He who is the principal Life, him one should reverence as the Loud Chant Song; for intoning the magical vibration, Om, he goes onward.

“Him, verily, I have praised in song, therefore thou, my son, art one only.” Thus Kaushitaki addressed his son. “But do thou meditate upon the Lives as many; then mine shall be many.”

And so, verily, that which is the Loud Chant Song, that is the intoned unchanging Sound; that which is the intoned unchanging Sound, that is the Loud Chant Song. Thus knowing, that which has been ill chanted from the station of the sacrificial priest, he perfectly fulfils,—he perfectly fulfils.

[Section 6]

This earth, verily, is the Rig verse; the fire of Life is the Sama chant. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. This earth is Sa; the fire of Life is Ama. This makes Sama.

The interspace, verily, is the Rig verse; the great Breath is the Sama. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. The interspace is Sa; the great Breath is Ama. This makes Sama.

The heavens, verily, are the Rig verse; the Sun is the Sama chant. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. The heavens are Sa; the Sun is Ama. This makes Sama.

The lunar mansions, verily, are the Rig verse; the Moon is the Sama chant. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. The lunar mansions are Sa; the Moon is Ama. This makes Sama.

And so that which is the white radiance of the Sun is the Rig verse; the indigo-coloured, very dark, is the Sama chant. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. The white radiance is Sa; the indigo-coloured, very dark, is Ama. This makes Sama.

And so this divine Man, golden-coloured, who is seen within the Sun, has a golden beard and golden hair, even to the tips of the nails he is all as bright gold. As is the golden lotus, so are his two eyes. His name is the Highest, for He is raised on high above all evils. He who thus knows, rises, verily, above all evils. The Rig verse and the Sama chant are His two songs. Therefore, the Loud Chant Song is His. Therefore, he who sings the Loud Chant Song is named Chanter, for he is the singer of this. He is Lord of the realms beyond that Sun, and of the desires of the Bright Powers. So far concerning the Bright Powers.


Part I, Sections 7-13

[Introduction]
Instructions and Entertainment

If we remember that this great Upanishad was in a special degree intended for the instruction of young disciples preparing for Initiation, we shall the more readily understand the two contrasting elements which make up the part at present translated. For these disciples, spiritual teaching, steadily rising in significance and penetration, step by step including the great principles of the spiritual universe; and, because they were young disciples, with this deeper instruction a strain of humorous incidents, offering genuine entertainment for youthful spirits, yet ever pushing the frontier of their knowledge forward into the great realms they were preparing to enter.

The parts which are more directly and evidently instructive are all correlated with a single theme, with which we must assume these youthful disciples to have been, through preliminary studies, already familiar: namely, the chants of the Sama Veda, which were, in purpose and in fact, magical incantations, depending for their potency on the correlations of sounds, and particularly the sounds of the human voice, with powers which we may describe as electrical. As we have already seen, the greater part of the Sama Veda—the Veda of Chants—consists of lines of the Rig Veda selected, we may suppose, for the quality of their vowels, and their adaptability to certain types of magical singing or intoning. In a sense, then, the Sama chant is already present in the Rig verse as an ensouling power; in this sense, the Sama is the inspiring force, the soul within the Rig verse.

It was, therefore, altogether natural and appropriate to take this relation between the Rig verse and the Sama chant as the type, or illustration, of a power or energy, within a vesture, as, for example, the power of physical vitality is within the vesture or vehicle of the physical body. So on this theme the lesson of the young disciples is strung.

The Voice, we are told, is the Rig verse; the Life is the Sama chant. The Voice here stands as the type of the physical powers of action, which include also the activities of the hands and the movements of the body, as in walking. The Voice, then, is ensouled by the Life; or, more generally, the powers exercised through the physical organs are ensouled by the living force which distinguishes the body in life, from the body after death. Just as the Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse, which furnishes its outer form, so the Life finds its activity through the physical organs of action. But the two, the ensouling force, and the organic form, are throughout life blended in one, and work harmoniously together; they are like the two parts, Sa and Ama, which blend together to form the single word Sama.

So with the physical power of Vision, the instrument of seeing, which is the foremost of our perceptive powers. There is, on the one hand, the organ of seeing, the eye. There is, on the other hand, the living power of the Seer, which is withdrawn in coma, or in death, though the physical organ remains intact.

In the same way there is the physical organ of hearing, and there is the Mind, which listens to the report of outer things coming through the ear, and translates them into mental impressions, into thoughts.

Then we come back again to the eye, with still more detail. There is the whiteness of the eyeball, and the brightness of the cornea, the convex lens in the forepart of the eyeball. With this is contrasted the indigo-coloured retina, beyond the dark interior of the eye; the sensitive layer which receives the image of outer things, like the sensitized film in a camera.

The Person seen within the eye may be interpreted in two ways: either as the reflection of oneself in the eye of another, or, better, as the sense of the perceiving self within one’s own eye, when we are reflectively conscious of the act of seeing. This common experience is used to fasten the attention of the disciple on the perceiving self within him; and, once he has been made aware of this perceiving self, his perception of it is deepened, once more by an appeal to his familiar knowledge of the Sama chant. Just as there are the Sama chant, the intoned Sentence, the Formula of sacrifice, the prayer of Aspiration, so there are, within the perceiving self, deeper and deeper layers, leading backward and upward to the Highest Self. And, in the last analysis, the perceiving self and the Highest Self are one; the form of this is the form of That; the two songs of That, in manifestation and in withdrawal, are the two songs of this; the name of That, Atma, is the name of this.

So the teaching is directed to render the disciple conscious, first, of the perceiving self in all its activities, as a unity; then to raise his consciousness to the deeper Self within. He is to realize that, just as hand and eye and ear are organs of the perceiving self, so that perceiving self is the organ of the deeper Self within. And by this realization he attains a twofold victory: through the perceiving self, guided and inspired by the deeper Self, he conquers this world and the worlds which are below it; and through the deeper Self he wins the worlds above, the worlds of the Bright Powers. He is Lord of the song of divine desires who, thus knowing, sings the chant.

We come next to the story of the three, who were excellent in singing the Loud Chant Song. It is a part of what we have called the entertainment of the youthful disciples. It is a vivid and amusing dialogue; it carries a definite spiritual meaning; and, thirdly, it does not markedly redound to the glorification of the priestly Brahmans.

Shilaka and Chaikitayana are definitely described as Brahmans. The third person is, by implication of his own speech, not a Brahman. Another story in this same Upanishad tells us more of him: he was a Rajanya, or Rajput, he was a King, he was an Initiate.

The two young Brahmans, however, and here is the fine humour of the tale, quite cheerfully and without question accepted his suggestion of their superiority, and began an instructive dialogue between themselves. But first the one, and then the other, soon reaches the end of his knowledge, and, threatened with the loss of his head, seeks safety in silence. Then the Rajput speaks. And we may, perhaps, see in what he says, a definite purpose. His answer is, in a sense, over the heads of the two young Brahmans, but it is intelligible to the young disciples for whom these teachings were designed, in virtue of what they have already been taught.

His answer is, that this World; this visible and palpable universe, rests in shining Ether, in the Light of the Logos; from the Logos it comes forth into manifestation; into the Logos it returns in withdrawal: a part, as we know, of the Secret Teaching.

So we may imagine the intuitive hearts of the young disciples lighting up with understanding. They have been entertained by a good story; they have learned a lesson of wisdom.

Then concerning the “progeny” of the disciple Udarashandilya: this word, as always, has a multiple meaning. First, the obvious one, of sons and grandsons; next, spiritual children, disciples and their disciples; then the future incarnations of Udarashandilya; and, still higher, the deeper layers of the Self, with their vestures, to which his spiritual life will lead him, until he enters into, and realizes his oneness with, the Supreme Self, the Eternal.

Then immediately follows another story, that of the poor wise man, Ushasti, and the wealthy Prince who has planned a great ceremony of sacrifice. Once more, we may note, the priestly Brahmans are treated with something less than veneration.

The motive of the story is worked out with humorous imagination. Hail-storms have laid waste the fields and gardens of the Kurus, so that even the rich man of the village has nothing left but a bowl of fruit. But, with the respect which the East has always rendered to devotees, he is ready to share this remnant of his store with the needy Ushasti. The dignity with which Ushasti refuses the offering of the water left in a half-empty drinking cup, saying that he can find water whenever he desires, is an entertaining touch in a vivid tale, but it is also something more. Food and water are universal symbols for bodily and mental experience, the elements which nourish the physical and psychical life. For the disciple, these elements are consecrated, as symbolized in the communion. The meaning in the story of Ushasti seems to be that, while he must share the common physical lot of mankind, he must guard the sources of his psychical life against contamination from the impure psychical atmosphere of the world. The devotion of the lady Atiki is, like similar pictures in the Uparushads, a charming feature of Oriental life.

We need not follow in detail the encounter of Ushasti with the Prince and his priestly Brahmans, but we should note that the thoughts of the youthful disciples, to whom the tale was told, are once more brought back to the hidden Power within material forms, to the Divinity that shapes our ends.

Then follows the canine Loud Chant Song, where the white dog and his companions imitate the priestly Brahmans singing and winding about in serpentine dance: for the younger disciples, a highly entertaining tale, but for the older and more thoughtful students, another lesson in mystic symbolism.

We may remember that in Egypt, both Anubis and Set were dog-headed gods. Set was “the adversary”, the reflection in matter of Osiris; Anubis was “the guardian of the dead”, “the preparer of the way to the other world” (during initiation also). So, we may suppose, the process of transmutation is indicated, the circle of the dogs, and their invocation to the Divine Powers, representing, among other things, the aspiration of purified Kama and its at-one-ment with Buddhi. Since the “serpentine power” is called into activity in this transmutation, it is naturally represented here by the serpentine dance. Students of Dante will think of the greyhound in the first Canto of the Inferno, as a kindred symbol.

Then comes a short passage, more easily understood if we go back to the thought of the electrical potencies of sounds. The syllables enumerated may well be the elements of magical incantations.

[Translation]
Vestures of Divinity
[Section 7]

And so concerning the Self. The Voice, verily, is the Rig verse; the Life is the Sama chant. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. The Voice is Sa; the Life is Ama. This makes Sama.

The power of Vision is the Rig Verse; the Self is the Sama chant. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. The power of Vision is Sa; the Self is Ama. This makes Sama.

The power of Hearing is the Rig verse; the Mind is the Sama chant. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. The power of Hearing is Sa; the Mind is Arna. This makes Sama.

And so the white brightness that is in the Eye is the Rig verse; the indigo-coloured beyond the black is the Sama chant. This Sama chant rests upon the Rig verse. Therefore, the Sama chant is sung resting upon the Rig verse. And so the white brightness that is in the eye is Sa; the indigo-coloured beyond the black is Arna. This makes Sama.

And so this Person who is seen within the eye is the Rig verse, he is the Sama chant, this is the intoned Sentence, this is the Formula of sacrifice, this is the prayer of Aspiration. That which is the form of this, is also the form of That. The two songs of That are the two songs of this; the name of That is the name of this.

Those worlds which are below this world, of them he is Lord, and of the desires of the sons of Man. And they who sing here with the lute sing Him; therefore they are conquerors of wealth.

He who, thus knowing this, chants the Sama, sings the praise of both; through That, verily, be gains the worlds that are beyond that world, and the desires of the Bright Powers. And so through this he gains the worlds that are below this world, and the desires of the sons of Man.

Therefore, a Singer of the chant, thus knowing, might say: “What desire shall I sing for thee?” For he, verily, is Lord of the song of desires, who, thus knowing, sings the chant,—who sings the chant.

[Section 8]

Once there were three who were excellent in singing the Loud Chant Song: Shilaka Shalavatya, Chaikitayana Dalbhya, and Pravahana, son of Jivala. They said : “We are excellent in singing the Loud Chant Song. Come then, let us engage in discourse concerning the Loud Chant Song!”

“Let it be so!” they said. So they seated themselves together.

Thereupon Pravahana, son of Jivala, said: “You two, worthy Sirs, should speak first. When two Brahmans are speaking,I shall listen to their words.”

Thereupon Shilaka Shalavatya addressed Chaikitayana Dalbhya: “Come then, let me question thee!”

“Question me!” said he.

“What is the resting-place of the Sama chant?”

“It rests in the Tone,” said he.

“What is the resting-place of the Tone?”

“It rests in the Life-breath,” said he.

“What is the resting-place of the Life-breath?”

“It rests in the Food,” said he.

“What is the resting-place of the Food?”

“It rests in the Waters,” said he.

“What is the resting-place of the Waters?”

“They rest in that World,” said he.

“What is the resting-place of that World?”

“One may not carry it beyond the heavenly World,” said he. “We firmly establish the Sama chant on the heavenly World, for as the heavenly World the Sama chant is praised.”

Thereupon Shilaka Shalavatya said to Chaikitayana Dalbhya: “Not firmly established, of a truth, Dalbhya, is thy Sama chant. If one were now to say, ‘Thy head will fall off!’—thy head would indeed fall off!”

“Come then, let me know this from thee, worthy Sir!”

“Know it!” said he.

“What is the resting-place of that World?”

“It rests in this World,” said he.

“What is the resting-place of this World?”

“One may not carry it beyond the World as foundation.” said he. “We firmly establish the Sama chant on the World, for as the foundation the Sama is praised.”

Thereupon Pravahana. son of Jivala, said to him: “Of a truth, Shalavatya, thy Sama has an end. If one were now to say, ‘Thy head will fall off!’—thy head would indeed fall off!”

“Come then, let me know this from thee, worthy Sir!”

“Know it!” said he.

[Section 9]

“What is the resting-place of this World?”

“It rests in shining Ether,” said he. “All these beings, verily, come forth into manifestation from shining Ether; to shining Ether they go from manifestation; shining Ether, verily, is more potent than these beings; shining Ether is their highest home.” This, verily, is the most excellent Loud Chant Song, this has no end. The most excellent is his, most excellent worlds he conquers, who thus knowing this, reverences the most excellent Loud Chant Song.

When Atidhanvan Shaunaka declared this to his disciple Udarashandilya, he said: “As long as they shall know this Loud Chant Song among thy progeny, so long will their living in this World be most excellent, and so also in that World.” For he who thus knowing, reverences this, his living in this World is most excellent, and so also in that World,—he has a World in that World.

[Section 10]

When the Kurus were devastated by hailstorms, a certain very poor man, Ushasti, son of Chakra, lived with his wife, Atiki, in the village of a man of great possessions. He sought alms of food of the rich man, who was eating stewed fruit. The rich man said, “I have none but these that are set before me!”

“Then give me some of these!” said he. He gave them to him, saying: “Drink of this water also!”

“Nay, for that would be for me to drink leavings!” said he.

“Are not these also leavings?”

“If I were not to eat these, I could not live,” said he. “But I can drink water at my desire.”

When he had eaten, he carried what was left to his wife, but she had already received alms; so taking them, she put them away. Rising early in the morning, he said: “If we could obtain food, we could gain a measure of wealth also. The Prince there is offering a sacrifice, and he might select me for all the ritual offices!”

His wife said to him: “Here, my lord, is this fruit.” Eating the fruit, he went to the place where the sacrifice was proceeding.

There approaching the priests of the chant, who were about to sing the opening praise, he said to the priest of the opening praise: “Priest, if thou shalt sing the opening praise, not knowing that Divinity which is correlated with the opening praise, thy head will fall off!”

In the same way, verily, he said to the priest of the chant:

“Priest, if thou shalt sing the chant, not knowing that Divinity which is correlated with the chant, thy head will fall off!”

In the same way, verily, he said to the priest of the response:

“Priest, if thou shalt sing the response, not knowing that Divinity which is correlated with the response, thy head will fall off!”

Thereupon they stopped and seated themselves in silence.

[Section 11]

Then the master of the sacrifice said to him: “I desire to know thee, worthy Sir!”

“I am Ushasti, son of Chakra!” said he.

He said: “I sought thee, worthy Sir, for all these ritual offices; when I was not able to find thee, I selected others! But, worthy Sir, I request thee to perform all these ritual offices for me!”

“Let it be so! But let these now sing the chants with my permission; and as much wealth as thou wouldst give to them, so much shalt thou give to me!”

“Let it be so!” said the master of the sacrifice.

Then the priest of the opening praise came up to him and said:

“Thou saidst to me, ‘Priest, if thou shalt sing the opening praise, not knowing that Divinity which is correlated with the opening praise, thy head will fall off!’ Tell me, worthy Sir, what Divinity that is!”

“It is the Life,” said he. “For all these beings enter into the Life; to the Life they go forth. This is the Divinity which is correlated with the opening praise. If thou hadst sung the opening praise, not knowing this Divinity, thy head would have fallen off, as I had so declared to thee!”

Then the priest of the chant came up to him and said: “Thou saidst to me, ‘Priest, if thou shalt sing the chant, not knowing that Divinity which is correlated with the chant, thy head will fall off!’ Tell me, worthy Sir, what Divinity that is!”

“It is the Sun,” said he. “For all these beings sing the praise of the Sun on high. This is the Divinity which is correlated with the chant. If thou hadst sung the chant, not knowing this Divinity, thy head would have fallen off, as I had so declared to thee!”

Then the priest of the response came up to him and said: “Thou saidst to me, ‘Priest, if thou shalt sing the response, not knowing that Divinity which is correlated with the response, thy head will fall off!’ Tell me, worthy Sir, what Divinity that is!”

“It is the Food,” said he. “For all these beings live by partaking of the Food. This is the Divinity which is correlated with the response. If thou hadst sung the response, not knowing this Divinity, thy head would have fallen off, as I had so declared to thee!”

[Section 12]

Then follows the canine Loud Chant Song. There was a certain Baka Dalbhya, or Glava Maitreya, who went forth for sacred study. Before him a white dog appeared. Other dogs, gathering about this white dog, said: “Do thou, worthy Sir, sing food for us, for we would eat!”

To them he said: “Early in the morning ye shall assemble hither to me!”

So Baka Dalbhya, or Glava Maitreya, was on the watch for them.

Then, verily, as priests about to sing the chant of purification, join in a circle and wind about in serpentine dance, so did these dogs wind about in serpentine dance. Then they sat down together and intoned the opening verses thus:

“Om! Let us eat! Om! Let us drink! Lord of the heavenly vault!

Lord of beings! Lord of the Sun! Bring ye food here! Lord of food, bring food here! Bring food, bring! Om!”

[Section 13]

Now concerning the meaning of the tones. The tone Ha-u is this World. The tone Ha-i is the great Breath. The tone A-tha is the lunar Lord. The tone I-ha is the Self. The tone I is the Fire-lord. The tone U is the solar Lord. The tone E is the invocation. The tones Au-ho-i are the Bright Powers, the Host. The tone Hin is the Lord of Beings. The vibratory tone is the Life-breath. The tone Ya is the Food. The Voice is Viraj, the Radiant. The tone Hun is the undefined thirteenth interposed trill.

The Voice milks milk for him, that which is the milk of the Voice; he becomes possessed of the Food, and eater of the Food, who thus knows this hidden meaning of the Sama chants,—who knows this hidden meaning.


 

Part II, Sections 1-24

[Introduction]
Correspondence and Emanation

In the second Section of this great Upanishad, Instruction for Disciples is carried a step farther. The principle of Emanation and the great law of Correspondence are illustrated by a series of natural symbols, all of them familiar even to the youngest student of the sacred Wisdom. They are told, first, what it is that emanates, revealing the manifested worlds from the unmanifested Logos. And the triune being of the Logos is once more made clearer, this time by a play of words, based on several meanings of the word Sama, besides its primary meaning, as the system of magical intoning which is the heart of the Sama Veda. The three meanings of Sama are Abundance, Grace, Goodness. They correspond to the True, the Beautiful, the Good of Plato’s sacred triad, or to Sat, Chit, Ananda, Being, Consciousness, Bliss, of the Vedanta of Shankaracharya. The hidden Logos becomes manifest through the mighty music of the Word, the music of the spheres,

Still quiring to the young eyed Cherubim,

and this magical music emanates the worlds.

The series of emanations, earlier illustrated by groups of three, is now pictured by a series of five, beginning with the Earth; that is, beginning from below and ascending; then comes the return, the descent from above, once again in a series of five degrees: Earth, Fire, Mid-space, Sun, Aether; Aether, Sun, Mid-space, Fire, Earth. For him the Regions build, both the Powers going upward and the Powers returning, who rightly understands this. This takes the disciple upward from the stage where he must begin his course, the stage of natural life on earth, through the fire of purification to the mid-space of the first inner world, through this to the sun, here, as always, symbolizing the Logos, and thence to the Aether, which represents the Eternal, Parabrahm, the ultimate goal of the eternities. The progression of cosmic emanation is in the reverse direction: from the Eternal, the Logos comes into manifestation; from the Logos comes the manifestation of space, from this again the fire of manifested life, and, finally, the earth, representing completely developed organic life. Here, the progression is given in both directions. Thereafter, the disciple is left to work it out for himself, only one direction being given.

Through the whole runs an inner meaning. Thus, the Waters mean, as always, the cosmic deep, the waters of space. In the Waters he goes not astray, of the Waters he is lord, who rightly understands this. He wins a home in the air, and afterwards in the ether, who knows this.

The same inner meaning is present in the enumeration of the Animals. The word aja means “goat”; it is also a-ja, “unborn”, the symbol of the Logos. The sheep, the celestial flock, are a familiar symbol in the West. The cow has long been a symbol of the Logos in India, as the giver of sustenance. Similarly, the horse symbolizes the power of the Logos, with its swift extension through the worlds of space, as the manifested worlds. Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad opens with the symbol of the sacrificial horse, the Logos sacrificially offered in the manifestation of the worlds.

Then the fivefold symbol is expanded to seven, the names of the successive parts or stages of the Sama chant being used to illustrate it. Once more, the universe is the Divine Song, rising from the first tone, at cosmic dawn, to the loud chant of fully manifested day, and sinking again to the closing tone in the evening twilight of cosmic day.

The symbolism of the Sun as the Logos is then more fully developed. The sevenfold Logos, the sevenfold Host whose united consciousness and powers constitute the consciousness and power of the Logos, are symbolized by the seven stages of the day from morning to evening twilight. And seven classes of manifested lives are in like manner symbolized by animals, men, birds, devas and so on. This is followed by an exercise in arithmetic, based upon the seven stages of emanation, each threefold, with the One, unchanging Being, the whole numbering twenty-two.

The divisions which follow, dealing with a series of forms of Sama chants, had a much richer and deeper significance for the young disciples of those ancient days, than they can have for us, since they were familiar with these magical songs. We may illustrate one of them: the Gayatri is the great verse from the Rig Veda, attributed to the Rajput sage Vishvamitra:

Let us meditate on the excellent radiance
Of that Divine Sun!
May He guide our souls forward!

Each division takes a symbol which illustrates a stage of the great cosmic process. Each division speaks of the victorious might of him who, attaining, becomes Master of these cosmic powers.

Then, after a passage which appears to give a clue to the magical correlations of the tones, comes an outline of the life of the disciple, beginning with sacrifice, study, generous self-giving, leading onward through fervour of meditation and will in the “family” of his Master, to the great victory.

The three periods of the day, beginning with early morning, symbolize the three great stages: disciple, adept, Master. Advancing, he invokes each divine Power: “Open thou the door of the realm! Thrust back the bar!” The symbol is universal. To the disciple, it is said: “You must be ready to lift the bar of the Golden Gate.” Through the ages, the Master says, “I am the door.”

[Translation]
From Disciple to Master
[Section 1]

Om! Reverence of the Sama in totality (samasta) is good, in truth. For what is good, that, in truth, they name Sama (abundance). What is not good, they call not-Sama (lack).

So likewise they say: With Sama (graciousness) he came to him; the meaning is, With good will he came to him. Or they say, With not-Sama he came to him; that is, Without graciousness be came to him.

So likewise they say: Verily, we have Sama (that which is good), if it be good; the meaning is, This is good. Or they say, We have not-Sama, if it be not good; the meaning is, This is not good.

[Section 2]

Among the Regions, let him reverence the Sama as having five forms:

Earth is the First Tone.
Fire is the Opening Praise.
Mid-space is the Loud Chant.
Sun is the Response.
Aether is the Closing Tone.

Thus among the Powers going upward. And so among the Powers returning:

Aether is the First Tone.
Sun is the Opening Praise.
Mid-space is the Loud Chant.
Fire is the Response.
Earth is the Closing Tone.

For him the Regions build, both the Powers going upward and the Powers returning, who, thus knowing this, among the Regions reverences the Sama as having five forms.

[Section 3]

In the Rain, let him reverence the Sama as having five forms:

Rising wind is the First Tone.
Cloud forming is the Opening Praise.
Rain falling is the Loud Chant.
Lightning with Thunder is the Response.
Clearing after Rain is the Closing Tone.

For him comes Rain, he causes Rain, who, thus knowing this, reverences the Sama as having five forms in the Rain.

[Section 4]

In all Waters, let him reverence the Sama as having five forms:

Cloud condensing is the First Tone.
Rain descending is the Opening Praise.
Waters rolling eastward are the Loud Chant.
Waters rolling westward are the Response.
Ocean is the Closing Tone.

In the Waters he goes not astray, of the Waters he is lord, who, thus knowing this, reverences the Sama as having five forms in the Waters.

[Section 5]

In the Seasons of the year, let him reverence the Sama as having five forms:

Springtime is the First Tone.
Hot season is the Opening Praise.
Rains are the Loud Chant.
Autumn is the Response.
Winter is the Closing Tone.

For him the Seasons build, of the Seasons he is lord, who, thus knowing this, reverences the Sama as having five forms in the Seasons.

[Section 6]

In Animals, let him reverence the Sama as having five forms:

Goats (aja) are the First Tone.
Sheep are the Opening Praise.
Cows are the Loud Chant.
Horses are the Response.
Man is the Closing Tone.

For him Animals are multiplied, of Animals he is lord, who, thus knowing this, reverences the Sama as having five forms in Animals.

[Section 7]

In the Life-powers, let him reverence the Sama as having five forms, most excellent:

Life-breath is the First Tone.
Voice is the Opening Praise.
Seeing is the Loud Chant.
Hearing is the Response.
Mind (manas) is the Closing Tone.

Most excellent, verily, are these. His is the most excellent, most excellent worlds he wins, who, thus knowing this, reverences the Sama as having five forms in the Life-breaths.

[Section 8]

And so concerning seven forms. Let him reverence the Sama as having seven forms in Voice:

Of Voice, whatever is hum, is the First Tone (hin-kāra).
Whatever is pra, is the Opening Praise (pra-stāva).
Whatever is a, is the Beginning (ā-di).
Whatever is ud, is the Loud Chant (ud-gītha).
Whatever is prati, is the Response (prati-hāra).
Whatever is upa, is the Diminution (upa-drava).
Whatever is ni, is the Closing Tone (ni-dhana).

For him Voice milks milk, which is the milk of Voice, of food he is lord, an eater of food is he, who, thus knowing this, reverences the Sama as having seven forms in Voice.

[Section 9]

And so, of a truth, let him reverence yonder Sun as the Sama having seven forms. Because it is the same for all, it is the Sama. Toward me, toward me, it shines, they all say; because of this sameness it is the Sama. Let him know that all beings here are correlated with the Sun.

The time before sunrise is the First Tone. Animals are correlated with this, therefore they sound the First Tone; for they are partakers in the First Tone of this Sama.

And so sunrise is the Opening Praise. Men are correlated with this, therefore they are lovers of praise, lovers of laudation; for they are partakers in the Opening Praise of this Sama.

And so the time of the early gathering of kine is the Beginning. The birds of the air are correlated with this, therefore they fly hither and thither bearing themselves upward in mid-air without support; for they are partakers in the Beginning of this Sama.

And so when it is exactly mid-day, this is the Loud Chant. The Bright Powers are correlated with this, therefore they are best of the offspring of the Lord of Beings; for they are partakers in the Loud Chant of this Sama.

And so when it is past mid-day in the early afternoon, this is the Response.

Children unborn are correlated with this, therefore they are upborne, they descend not; for they are partakers in the Response of this Sama.

And so when the afternoon is past, before sunset, this is the Diminution.

The Forest Lives are correlated with this; therefore, seeing a man, they make themselves small in a hiding-place, a den; for they are partakers in the Diminution of this Sama.

And so when the Sun has just set, this is the Closing Tone. The Fathers are correlated with this, therefore they make offerings to the Fathers; for they are partakers in the Closing Tone of this Sama.

Thus, of a truth, he reverences yonder Sun as the Sama having seven forms.

[Section 10]

And so let him reverence the Sama having seven forms, self-measured, passing beyond Death. The First Tone (hin-kāra) measures three syllables; the Opening Praise (pra-stāva) measures three syllables. This is the same measure.

The Beginning (ā-di) measures two syllables; the Response (prati-hara) measures four syllables. Moving one from this to that, makes the same measure.

The Loud Chant (ud-gītha) measures three syllables; the Diminution (upa-drava) measures four syllables. Three and three are the same, with one syllable remaining. Measuring three syllables, it is the same.

The Closing Tone (ni-dhana) measures three syllables; this is the same. These, verily, taken together measure two and twenty syllables.

With one and twenty he gains the Sun, for yonder Sun is one and twentieth from here. Through the two and twentieth he wins the realm beyond the Sun. This is Rest, for this is free from sorrow.

He gains, of a truth, the victory of the Sun, yea, his victory is beyond the victory of the Sun, who, thus knowing this, reverences the Sama having seven forms, self-measured, passing beyond Death,—reverences the Sama.

[Section 11]

Mind is the First Tone.
Voice is the Opening Praise.
Seeing is the Loud Chant.
Hearing is the Response.
Life-breath is the Closing Tone.

This is the Sama of the Gāyatri, woven on the Life-breaths.

He who thus knows this Sama of the Gāyatri woven on the Life-breaths, is a lord of the Life-breaths, he fills his full span, he lives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. Great in mind should he be: this is his vow.

[Section 12]

He whirls the fire-stick; this is the First Tone.
Smoke is generated; this is the Opening Praise.
Flames arise; this is the Loud Chant.
Red embers are formed; this is the Response.
It sinks to quiescence; this is the Closing Tone.
It reaches complete quiescence; this is the Closing Tone.

This is the Rathantara Sama, woven upon Fire.

He who thus knows this Rathantara Sama woven upon Fire, is a lord of Divine Fire, he is an eater of food, he fills his full span, he lives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. He should not sip water and spurt it upon the fire: this is his vow.

[Note: Section 13 was not included in Johnston’s translation.]

[Section 14]

Sunrise is the First Tone.
The risen Sun is the Opening Praise.
High noon is the Loud Chant.
Afternoon is the Response.
Sunset is the Closing Tone.

This is the Brihat Sama, woven upon the Sun.

He who thus knows this Brihat Sama woven upon the Sun, is a lord of Radiance, he is an eater of food, he fills his full span, he Jives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. He should not blame burning heat: this is his vow.

[Section 15]

Vapours float together; this is the First Tone.
The rain cloud is born; this is the Opening Praise.
Rain descends; this is the Loud Chant.
It lightens, it thunders; this is the Response.
The sky clears; this is the Closing Tone.

This is the Vai-rupa Sama woven upon the Rain.

He who thus knows this Vai-rupa (variformed) Sama woven upon the Rain, gathers cattle of various form, of fair form, he fills his full span, he lives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. He should not blame falling rain: this is his vow.

[Section 16]

Springtime is the First Tone.
Hot season is the Opening Praise.
Rains are the Loud Chant.
Autumn is the Response.
Winter is the Closing Tone.

This is the Vai-rāja Sama woven upon the Seasons.

He who thus knows this Vai-rāja (radiating) Sama woven upon the Seasons, he radiates through offspring and cattle, through Divine Radiance, he fills his full span, he lives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. Let him not blame the Seasons: this is his vow.

[Section 17]

Earth is the First Tone.
Mid-space is the Opening Praise.
Aether is the Loud Chant.
Space-directions are the Response.
Ocean is the Closing Tone.

These are the parts of the Shakvari Sama woven upon the world-realms.

He who thus knows these parts of the Shakvari Sama woven upon the world-realms, he is lord of the world-realms, he fills his span, he lives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. Let him not blame the world-realms: this is his vow.

[Section 18]

Goats are the First Tone.
Sheep are the Opening Praise.
Cows are the Loud Chant.
Horses are the Response.
Man is the Closing Tone.

These are the parts of the Revati Sama woven upon Animals.

He who thus knows these parts of the Revati Sama woven upon Animals, he is lord of Animals, he fills his span, he lives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. Let him not blame Animals: this is his vow.

[Section 19]

Hair is the First Tone.
Skin is the Opening Praise.
Muscle is the Loud Chant.
Bone is the Response.
Marrow is the Closing Tone.

This is the Yajnāyajnīya Sama woven upon the parts of the body.

He who thus knows this Yajnāyajnīya Sama woven upon the parts of the body, he is lord of the parts, not through any part does he fall short, he fills his span, he lives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. Through the year he should not eat the marrow: this is his vow. He should not eat the marrow, verily.

[Section 20]

Fire is the First Tone.
Wind is the Opening Praise.
Sun is the Loud Chant.
Star-spaces are the Response.
Moon is the Closing Tone.

This is the Rājana Sama woven upon the Divine Potencies.

He who thus knows this Rājana Sama woven upon the Divine Potencies, successively advances to oneness of realm, oneness of power, oneness of being with the Divinities, he fills his span, he lives with power, he is rich in offspring and cattle, great in fame. He should not blame knowers of the Eternal: this is his vow.

[Section 21]

The threefold Vedic wisdom is the First Tone.
These three realms are the Opening Praise.
Fire-lord, Wind-lord, Sun, this is the Loud Chant.
Star-spaces, winged birds, sun-rays, this is the Response.
Serpents, seraphs, the Fathers, this is the Closing Tone.

This is the Sama woven upon the All.

He who thus knows this Sama woven upon the All, he is one with the All. Therefore, there is this verse:

Whatsoever things have five forms, in threes each, than them naught else is greater, higher.

Who knows this, knows the All. All world-spaces carry the offering to him. Let him pay reverence, saying: I am the All: this is his vow. This is his vow.

[Section 22]

I choose the loud-toned Sama like the voice of kine. This is the Loud Chant of the Fire-lord. The undefined tone is of the Lord of beings. The defined tone is of the Lunar lord. The soft and smooth tone is of the Wind-lord. The smooth and powerful tone is of Indra. The tone like the curlew’s call is of the Great Preceptor. The descending tone is of the Water-lord. Let him make use of all these, yet let him set aside that of the Water-lord.

Let me sing immortality for the Bright Powers (thus let him sing): oblation for the Fathers; fair hope for the sons of man; grass and water for kine; the heavenly world for the Sacrificer; food for myself, let me sing. Meditating these things in his heart, let him sing this praise unperturbed.

All vowels are selves of Indra. All breathings are selves of the Lord of beings. All contacts (consonants) are selves of the Lord of death.

If one reproach him concerning vowels, he should say: I have taken refuge with Indra, Lord of power; he will answer thee!

And so, if one reproach him concerning breathings, he should say: I have taken refuge with the Lord of beings; he will pulverize thee!

And so, if one reproach him concerning contacts, he should say: I have taken refuge with the Lord of death; he will consume thee!

All vowels are to be voiced with full sound, with power, saying: In Indra, Lord of power, let me give power! All breathings are to be voiced distinctly, not suppressed, open, saying: To the Lord of beings let me give myself over! All contacts are to be voiced clearly, unblurred, saying: From the Lord of death let me withdraw myself!

[Section 23]

There are three branches of the law of righteousness: Sacrifice, study, giving,—this is the first. Fervour, verily,—this is the second. Service of the Eternal, dwelling in the family of a Master,—this is the third, entering and establishing himself perfectly in the family of a Master. All these lead to holy realms. He who stands firm in the Eternal goes to immortality.

The Lord of beings brooded with fervour upon the realms of life. From them, brooded upon with fervour, the threefold Wisdom emanated. On this Wisdom He brooded with fervour. From it, brooded upon with fervour, these imperishable syllables emanated: Earth, Mid-world, Heaven.

Upon these He brooded with fervour. From them, brooded upon with fervour, the sound Om emanated. Therefore, like as by the leaf-stalk all the leaflets are threaded together, so by the sound Om all Voice is threaded together. The sound Om, verily, is this All. The sound Om, verily, is this All.

[Section 24]

Those who possess the Word of the Eternal declare that to the Powers of life belongs the morning sacrifice; to the Powers of force belongs the mid-day sacrifice; to the Sun-powers, the All-powers, belongs the third sacrifice.

Where, then, is the world of the sacrificer? If he know not this, how may he do it? So let him who knows do it.

Before beginning the early morning recitation, let him seat himself behind the household fire, facing the North, and intone the Sama to the Powers of life:

Open thou the door of the realm!
Let us behold thee for sovereignty!

So he makes the offering, saying: Obeisance to the Fire-lord, earth-indwelling, realm-indwelling! Discover the realm for me offering sacrifice! This is the realm of the sacrificer! I shall enter! I, the sacrificer, when my span is fulfilled. Adoration! Thrust aside the bar! Having said this, he rises. To him the Powers of life grant the morning libation.

Before beginning the mid-day recitation, let him seat himself behind the altar-fire, facing the North, and intone the Sama to the Powers of force.

Open thou the door of the realm!
Let us behold thee for wide sovereignty!

So he makes the offering, saying: Obeisance to the Wind-lord, mid-world-indwelling, realm-indwelling! Discover the realm for me offering sacrince! This is the realm of the sacrificer! I shall enter! I, the sacrificer, when my span is fulfilled. Adoration! Thrust aside the bar! Having said this, be rises. To him the Powers of force grant the mid-day libation.

Before beginning the third recitation, let him seat himself behind the fire of oblation, facing the North, and intone the Sama to the Sun-powers, the All-powers:

Open thou the door of the realm!
Let us behold thee for sovereignty of the Self!

Thus for the Sun-powers. So for the All-powers:

Open thou the door of the realm!
Let us behold thee for final sovereignty!

So he makes the offering, saying: Obeisance to the Sun-powers, to the All-powers, Heaven-indwelling, realm-indwelling! Discover the realm for me offering sacrifice! This is the realm of the sacrificer! I shall enter! I, the sacrificer, when my span is fulfilled. Adoration! The bar is thrust aside! Having said this, he rises. To him the Sun-powers, the All-powers, grant the third libation.

He, verily, knows the full measure of the sacrifice, who knows thus, who knows thus.


Part III, Sections 1-11

[Introduction]
The Parable of the Sun

The closing verses of this Parable of the Sun tell us that it is a part of the Secret Teaching; more than that, it is a part of the primeval wisdom impressed on the minds of the earliest human beings by the Divine Spirit who presided over the inception of our race. We should, therefore, be prepared to find in it many spiritual meanings, each in conformity with the Secret Doctrine.

First, there is the teaching regarding the sun. We may take as a basis of comparison what has been said of the sun by an Aryan Master, summed up in these words: “The sun is neither a solid nor a liquid, nor yet a gaseous glow, but a gigantic ball of electro-magnetic Forces, the store-house of universal life and motion, from which the latter pulsate in all directions, feeding the smallest atom as the greatest genius with the same material unto the end of the Maha Yuga.” In this sense, therefore, “the sun is the honey of the bright powers,” the term Deva, which has been translated “bright powers,” and which comes from a root meaning “shine” or “radiate,” including the bright powers on all planes, up to the most spiritual, the various classes of Planetary Spirits, who, descending into incarnation in our world, become human beings, and who are destined to reascend to the divine worlds.

Regarding the appearance of the succeeding veils or vestures of the sun, there is a close correspondence between the observations of modern astronomy and what is taught in this Upanishad. There is, first, the “red form” of the sun, the rose-coloured chromosphere, a part of which was plainly visible to the naked eye during the recent eclipse, and which could, therefore, have been seen as easily during any total eclipse ten thousand years ago. It is a throbbing, surging veil of shining rose colour, which encloses the luminous globe of the sun with a covering many thousands of miles deep. Within it is the “luminous form,” now called the photosphere, from which we receive the sunlight, shining through the rose-coloured veil. Astronomy has discovered that the luminous globe of the sun is not a continuous surface, but is made up of immense luminous flakes or grains, which, because of their shape, have been compared to grains of rice or willow leaves. Sir John Herschel said of them: “The definite shape of these objects, their exact similarity one to another . . . all these characters seem quite repugnant to the notion of their being of a vaporous, a cloudy, or a fluid nature. . . . Nothing remains but to consider them as separate and independent sheets, flakes . . . having some sort of solidity. . . . Be they what they may, they are evidently the immediate sources of the solar light and heat. . . . Looked at from this point of view, we cannot refuse to regard them as organisms of some peculiar and amazing kind; and though it would be too daring to speak of such organization as partaking of the nature of life, yet we do know that vital action is competent to develop at once beat, and light, and electricity.” Commenting on this, an Occultist says that these wonderful objects are “the reservoirs of solar vital energy, the vital electricity that feeds the whole system in which it lives, and breathes, and has its being.” Or, as our Upanishad puts it, “the sun is the honey of the bright powers.”

At certain times, on certain areas of the sun, these luminous flakes appear to drift apart, or to be driven apart; the spaces which they disclose are dark, and are known as sun spots. These also are not infrequently visible to the naked eye, as black flecks on the face of the sun. They are surrounded by a dark penumbra with a darker centre, and astronomers believe that these darker layers everywhere underlie the luminous layer. So that we have also the “dark form” and the “very dark form” of the sun, in the words of the Upanishad. The article in Five Years of Theosophy, from which we have just quoted, further speaks of “the true Sun, an invisible orb of which the known one is the shell, mask or clothing,” corresponding, it would seem, to “that which throbs in the heart of the sun,” as the Upanishad puts it. This appears to be the first, or astronomical, meaning of our Parable.

In the Upanishad, the four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda, with the Secret Instructions as fifth, are taken as the basis or framework of a series of correspondences. To come close to the thought of the teaching, we should remember that a verse of the Rig Veda, for example, is not regarded simply as a phrase, a set of words, a fragment of a descriptive poem. The verse is conceived to be a potent force, a magical incantation depending on the occult correlations of sounds and vibrations in the spiritual ether, the Akasha. The Mantra is a vital force, rather than a bit of literature. It thus has its correspondence with the vital forces radiated from the sun.

Therefore, the four Vedas and the Secret Instructions are taken to represent five ascending planes or worlds of living energy, while the verses represent the powers possessed by the beings on each of these planes; what have been called the ascending, or descending, degrees of the Planetary Spirits, some of which are more backward than man, while others are far more advanced. They are what man has been, and what man is destined to become.

It will follow that man contains within him either the actuality or the potentiality of all the powers manifested in the different degrees of Planetary Spirits. He has developed the powers of those which are in the descending cycle behind him; he possesses the potentiality of the powers of those which are in the ascending cycle ahead of him. Therefore, man, the microcosm, sums up within himself all the powers of the macrocosm.

This Upanishad adopts a fivefold classification of the principles of man, which appears to correspond closely with the fivefold classification of the vestures, or sheaths, of the Taittiriya Upanishad. Beginning with the lowest, these are: the vesture formed of food: the vesture formed of life-breath; the vesture formed of mind; the vesture formed of understanding; the vesture formed of bliss. The highest of these vestures corresponds with, and is revealed by, the Secret Instructions. It is the Higher Self, which, “rising above, shall rise no more, nor go to his setting any more.”

So we have an indication at least of the astronomical, the macrocosmic and the microcosmic interpretations of our Parable of the Sun. Regarding man, the Parable tells us that, on each successive plane, his powers go forth and gather the essence of that plane, making him a vesture of this essence, weaving it into the substance of his being. So experience is converted into enduring substance. The man grows, until he reaches the full stature of the immortal Higher Self, to which he carries upward the essence, the gleaned experience, of each successive plane and world.

The ascending excellence of these planes and worlds appears to be symbolized by the increasing periods attributed to each, in the poetical phrases regarding the rising and setting of the sun. Without doubt, the Parable of the Sun has further, deeper meanings, which are beyond the ken of the present interpreter.

[Translation]
The Parable
[Section 1]

The sun yonder is the honey of the bright powers. The dome of the sky is the bent bamboo supporting it. The luminous air within the dome is the mass of honey combs. The sun’s rays are the brood.

The sun’s eastern rays, verily, are the eastern honey cells. The Rig verses are the honey gatherers. The Rig Veda, verily, is the blossom. The nectars are the currents. As honey gatherers, verily, the Rig verses brooded over the Rig Veda. From it, brooded over, were born fame, radiance, power, valour and food, its essence. The essence flowed; it wrapped itself about the sun. This, verily, is that red form of the sun.

[Section 2]

And so the sun’s southern rays, verily, are the southern honey cells. The Yajur verses are the honey gatherers. The Yajur Veda, verily, is the blossom. The nectars are the currents. As honey gatherers, verily, the Yajur verses brooded over the Yajur Veda. From it, brooded over, were born fame, radiance, power, valour and food, its essence. The essence flowed; it wrapped itself about the sun. This, verily, is that luminous form of the sun.

[Section 3]

And so the sun’s western rays, verily, are the western honey cells. The Sama verses are the honey gatherers. The Sama Veda, verily, is the blossom. The nectars are the currents. As honey gatherers, verily, the Sama verses brooded over the Sama Veda. From it, brooded over, were born fame, radiance, power, valour and food, its essence. The essence flowed; it wrapped itself about the sun. This, verily, is that dark form of the sun.

[Section 4]

And so the sun’s northern rays, verily, are the northern honey cells. The Atharva-Angirasa verses are the honey gatherers. The histories and traditions are the blossom. The nectars are the currents. As honey gatherers, verily, the Atharva-Angirasa verses brooded over the histories and traditions. From them, brooded over, were born fame, radiance, power, valour and food, their essence. The essence flowed; it wrapped itself about the sun. This, verily, is the very dark form of the sun.

[Section 5]

And so the sun’s rays which go upward are the upper honey cells. The Secret Instructions are the honey gatherers. The Eternal is the blossom. The nectars are the currents. As honey gatherers, verily, the Secret Instructions brooded over the Eternal. From the Eternal, brooded over, were born fame, radiance, power, valour and food, its essence. The essence flowed; it wrapped itself about the sun. This, verily, is that which throbs, as it were, in the heart of the sun.

These, verily, are the essences of the essences. For the Vedas are the essences, and these are their essences. These are the nectars of the nectars. For the Vedas are the nectars, and these are their nectars.

[Section 6]

That which is the first nectar, on that the bright powers called Vasus live with Agni, the Fire-lord, as their leader. These bright powers, verily, do not eat or drink, but beholding that nectar they are sated. They, verily, enter into that red form and ascend from that red form. He, verily, who truly knows this nectar, becoming one of the Vasus with Agni, the Fire-lord, as his leader, beholding that nectar, verily, is sated. He, verily, enters into that red form, and from that red form he ascends.

As long as the sun shall rise from the east and shall go to his setting in the west, so long shall he fully possess overlordship and sovereignty over the Vasus.

[Section 7]

And so that which is the second nectar, on that the bright powers called Rudras live, with Indra as their leader. These bright powers, verily, do not eat nor drink, but beholding that nectar they are sated. They, verily, enter into that luminous form and ascend from that luminous form. He, verily, who truly knows this nectar, becoming one of the Rudras with Indra as his leader, beholding that nectar, verily, is sated. He, verily, enters into that luminous form, and from that luminous form be ascends.

As long as the sun shall rise from the east and shall go to his setting in the west, twice as long shall the sun rise from the south and go to his setting in the north; so long shall he fully possess overlordship and sovereignty over the Rudras.

[Section 8]

And so that which is the third nectar, on that the bright powers called Adityas live, with Varuna as their leader. These bright powers, verily, do not eat nor drink, but beholding that nectar they are sated. They, verily, enter into that dark form and ascend from that dark form. He, verily, who truly knows this nectar, becoming one of the Adityas with Varuna as his leader, beholding that nectar, verily, is sated. He, verily, enters into that dark form, and from that dark form he ascends.

As long as the sun shall rise from the south and shall go to his setting in the north, twice as long shall the sun rise from the west and go to his setting in the east; so long shall he fully possess overlordship and sovereignty over the Adityas.

[Section 9]

And so that which is the fourth nectar, on that the bright powers called Maruts live, with Soma as their leader. These bright powers, verily, do not eat nor drink, but beholding that nectar they are sated. They, verily, enter into that very dark form and ascend from that very dark form. He, verily, who truly knows this nectar, becoming one of the Maruts with Soma as his leader, beholding that nectar, verily, is sated. He, verily, enters into that very dark form, and from that very dark form he ascends.

As long as the sun shall rise from the west and shall go to his setting in the east, twice as long shall the sun rise from the north and go to his setting in the south; so long shall he fully possess overlordship and sovereignty over the Maruts.

[Section 10]

And so that which is the fifth nectar, on that the bright powers called Sadhyas live, with Brahma as their leader. These bright powers, verily, do not eat nor drink, but beholding that nectar they are sated. They, verily, enter into that form which throbs in the heart of the sun, and from that form they ascend. He, verily, who truly knows this nectar, becoming one of the Sadhyas with Brahma as his leader, beholding that nectar, verily, is sated. He, verily, enters into that form which throbs in the heart of the sun, and from that form he ascends.

As long as the sun shall rise from the north and shall go to his setting in the south, twice so long shall the sun rise above and go to his setting beneath; so long shall he fully possess overlordship and sovereignty over the Sadhyas.

[Section 11]

And so after that, rising above, the sun shall rise no more, nor go to his setting any more, but shall stand alone in the midst.

Therefore, there is this verse: There is no setting there, nor any rising for ever. O bright powers, through this truth may I never be divided from the Eternal!

For him, verily, there is neither rising nor setting, for him it is everlasting day, who knows this Secret Teaching of the Eternal.

That is that which Brahma declared to Prajapati, Prajapati to Manu, Manu to the descendants. This Eternal his father declared to Uddalaka Aruni, his eldest son. This, verily, should a father declare to his eldest son, or to a fully qualified disciple, but not to any other. Even if any should offer him this world which is surrounded by the waters, filled with wealth, this Teaching is greater than that. it is greater than that.


Part III, Sections 12-19

[Introduction]
Man Linked with the Logos

The great inspiration of these instructions for disciples is the Logos, the Divine Mind, the Divine Voice, that sang a miraculous song, which brought the worlds into being: for the worlds are the song of the Divine Voice.

As a song has many tones and many parts, so also has the mighty song of the Divine Voice. These tones are celestial powers, the great potencies that are revealed in the manifold miracle of the manifested worlds. As melody and harmony run through the song, so also with the divine song that breathes forth the worlds: melody, harmony, beauty everywhere.

In the sections here translated, there is a further thought, of vital moment for the disciple. It is this: the ordered divine powers of the mighty Logos, each with its creative potency, are present, each one of them completely represented, in the being of the disciple. The divine powers which build the worlds, the divine powers which are the worlds, build him also, and are the very essence of his being.

The disciple is taught to recognize these divine powers in himself, to know them, to use them. He is taught a further lesson which, when fully learned, will make him more than a disciple, will make him an immortal, potent and creative as the Logos is creative.

The symbol with which the first of these Sections begins is the measure of the Vedic hymns called the Gayatri, a measure containing twenty-four syllables. One stanza, attributed to the great Rajput sage and seer, Vishvamitra, belongs to the Third Circle of the Rig Veda. It may be rendered thus:

“Let us meditate on the fair radiance of the divine Spiritual Sun, which may lead forward our souls!”

Therefore, the Gayatri is here taken as the symbol of the Spiritual Sun, the Logos as singing the divine song. That Logos sings the worlds into being, and, having brought them into being, saves and upholds them by the sustaining power of the divine song.

The Gayatri, as the song of the Logos, forms all the worlds, and among them this world which we inhabit, and which is a living manifestation of the potencies of the Logos; divine powers constitute it, mould it, maintain it.

The same divine powers constitute and sustain the body of man; each of his bodily powers is made of the essence of the Logos. In the body of man are established the life-breaths, the living powers through which the Logos brings the latent Divine Thought into manifestation.

The same powers of the Logos have in man another and higher, more divine manifestation “in this Heart which is in the man within;” that is, in the Spiritual Man, whom the disciple seeks to become, the man who wears the vesture of the colour of the sun, the heir of immortality. The same powers reappear in this Spiritual Man, purified, spiritualized, glorified. But the manifested world, of which the body of man is a portion, far from including all things, is said here to be but a fourth part of the whole. What the four parts are, with their relation to the life of the disciple, has already been told in the Mandukya Upanishad. One part is manifested here; three parts are immortal in the heavens.

Then follows the identification of Brahma, the Eternal, with the radiant Ether. The word so translated is Akasha, literally “Shining-toward”, and meaning both the extension of Space and all that fills Space; both the container of universal Life and the Life which it contains. The radiant Ether is, therefore, identical with the manifested Logos: it is the primal stage or degree of manifestation, within which, and through the powers of which, all subsequent manifestation takes place. So far concerning “the radiant Ether which is outside the man.” But there is also the “dim star within”, the first spark of the light of the Logos, and as the disciple watches, worshipping, the star grows until it is one with “the infinite Light.” The radiant Ether within the man is the same as the radiant Ether without, since both are the Logos. There are further stages: the radiant Ether in the man within, and the radiant Ether in the inner Heart, the Spiritual Man.

Then follows a more detailed identification of the powers of man as powers of the Logos. As symbols of the powers of the Logos, are taken the Sun, the Moon, the Fire-lord, the Lord of fructifying rain, the Wind, which is the Great Breath. With the Sun is correlated the power of seeing, since through the Sun’s light we see, but that Sun is again the illuminating Logos, and the seeing is divine vision. With the Moon is correlated hearing, for the Moon, “the measurer,” measurer of the hours, the days, the weeks, the months, the lunar year, is here, as always, the symbol of Mind, since through mind we hear and through mind we measure. With the Fire-lord, magnetic fire, is correlated the voice, since through the voice the magnetic fire is manifested in the chanting of the hymns. With the Lord of fructifying rain is correlated mind, since by the right use of the mind, by fructifying thought, the hidden intuitions are made manifest and bear their fruit. With the Great Breath is correlated the upward-breath, the divine power of aspiration, which breathes upward and inward toward the inner Heart, that breath of aspiration which is the immediate presence of the Logos in the consciousness of the disciple.

These five Brahma-spirits are the doorkeepers of the heavenly world: these same powers which appear in the outward life of the disciple, will, when they have been purified and awakened in the inner Heart, open to him the heavenly world. In his family a hero is born, who knows thus: the son, here as elsewhere, is symbol of the Spiritual Man, who is the reborn life of the disciple; that son is a hero, a strong son of the spiritual world.

And so the light that shines at the back of the heavens is the same as this light in the man within. Therefore, let the disciple steadily watch and worship, until the star within becomes the infinite light. What is said concerning the inner enkindling, which is the seeing of that light, appears to refer to a mystical force which represents the creative power of the Logos. The hearing of it is set forth at greater length in The Voice of the Silence , in the description of seven mystical sounds; the last tone is there likened to “the dull rumbling of a thunder-cloud”, closely paralleling our text.

When the disciple has “attained to peace”, he has reached a definite stage on his journey homeward. The flower of the soul has opened; he knows that the way has been found. Awakening to the presence of the Logos, let him reverence it as That from which all comes forth, That in which all shall finally be dissolved, That in which all breathes; That in which he himself lives and breathes, from which he has come forth, to which he seeks to return.

The eloquent passage which follows needs no commentary: it is one of the truths which echo through all expressions of the greater Mysteries: its symbols, like “the grain of mustard-seed”, are universal.

The simile of “the treasure-house containing the mid-world”, uses terms that are more limited, more conventional. Shankaracharya translates them somewhat as follows: the treasure-house is once more the inner Heart, the Spiritual Man, who is indeed the receptacle of many treasures, of many powers. This earth is the floor of the treasure-house, because the disciple enters the path while dwelling in this outer world, but the roof of the treasure-house is the heavens. The eastern quarter of the treasure-house is named the sacrificial ladle; that is, the instrument with which the offering of oil is added to the consecrated fire on the altar; the symbol is fitting, because the disciple begins with the oblation of his separate life in the great Life, which is the universal Fire. The southern quarter, named the overcoming, marks the disciple’s overcoming of the limitations and barriers of his former deeds, in many lives; it is a stage of purification. The western quarter stands, in universal symbolism, for the doorway to the world of the hidden sun; the “queen”, says Shankara’s commentary , is the light of the dawn in that hidden world. The northern quarter is named well-endowed, because it possesses many hidden treasures. Here again is universal symbolism: the kingdom of heaven is like buried treasure, like the pearl of great price.

The sentence concerning lamentation for a son seems to take us back again to the simile of the birth of a hero: may the hero grow strong and increase in power, so that there may be no cause for lamentation.

“In this invincible treasure-house I take refuge, through that, through that, through that”: this finds its interpretation in the later verses: “In the earth I take refuge, in the interspace I take refuge, in the sky I take refuge”; and this seems to be the equivalent of the sentence in Light on the Path: “Inquire of the earth, the air, and the water, of the secrets they hold for you. The development of your inner senses will enable you to do this.”

When we come to the later sentence, “In the Fire-lord I take refuge, in the Great Breath I take refuge, in the Sun I take refuge”, we are once again in presence of symbols for powers of the Logos. The three Vedas are symbols of the records in which a knowledge of these powers is contained.

“Man, verily, is sacrifice”: here again we have a picture of the path of the disciple, with the graded stages through which he passes on his way to the final victory. The beginning of the way is the morning sacrifice. Through this he must press forward, letting no obstacles hinder him, to the attainment symbolized by the midday sacrifice. Again he presses forward to the third sacrifice, finally completing the last stage of his journey as a disciple, to the attainment which is to make him more than a disciple. At each stage he must be indomitable, invincible, letting nothing afflict him or daunt him.

For the symbolism of the four parts of the Eternal we must go back again to Mandukya Upanishad, where the four parts of the Eternal are detailed.

Finally, we come to the great cosmic symbol of the world-egg, the significance of which seems to be, that the birth of a universe, the birth of a solar system, the birth of a child, and the birth of the Spiritual Man, all follow the same laws, and are manifestations, whether macrocosmic or microcosmic, of the same powers, the powers inherent in the Logos. The golden half of the covering of the world-egg is Spirit; the silver half is Matter. These are not two disjunct, adverse entities, but the two poles of the One. The new birth of the disciple obeys the same great laws. When he is reborn, there will come to him a great sound of rejoicing, filling him with joy, filling him with joy.

[Translation]
The Disciple as Child of the Logos
[Section 12]

The Gayatri, verily, is all that is here, whatever here has come into being. The Voice, verily, is the Gayatri. For the Voice sings (gāyati) and saves (trāyate) whatever here has come into being.

What, verily, this Gayatri is, that, verily, this earth is; for in it is established whatever here has come into being, nor does aught transcend it.

What, verily, this earth is, that, verily, is this body in the man; for in it are these life-breaths established, nor does any transcend it.

What, verily, this body in man is, that, verily, is this Heart which is in the man within, for in it these life-breaths are established, nor does any transcend it.

That, verily, is this Gayatri with four parts, sixfold, concerning which it is declared by the Rig verse:

So great is the might of This,
And Spirit is still mightier;
One part of That is all beings,
Three parts of That are the Immortal in heaven.

For that which is named Brahma, the Eternal, is that radiant Ether which is outside the man. That radiant Ether which is outside the man is the same, verily, as the radiant Ether in the man within. That radiant Ether which is in the man within, that, verily, is the same as the radiant Ether in the inner Heart. That is the Fulness which goes not forth. Full Grace, which goes not forth, he gains who knows thus.

[Section 13]

Of it, verily, of this Heart there are five channels for the Bright Powers.

That which is the channel of the East is the forward-breath, that is the power of vision, that is the Sun. Therefore, let him reverence it as fervour, as food to be eaten. Possessed of fervour and an eater of food he becomes, who knows thus.

And so that which is the channel of the South is the distributive-breath, that is the power of hearing, that is the Moon. Therefore, let him reverence it as grace and splendour. Gracious, splendid he becomes, who knows thus.

And so that which is the channel of the West is the downward-breath, that is the voice, that is the Fire-lord. Therefore, let him reverence it as the holy fire, as food to be eaten. Possessor of the holy fire, an eater of food he becomes, who knows thus.

And so that which is the channel of the North, that is the uniting-breath, that is mind, that is the Lord of fructifying rain. Therefore, let him reverence it as glory, and as the brightness of dawn. Possessed of glory, of the brightness of dawn he becomes, who knows thus.

And so that which is the channel of the Zenith is the upward-breath, that is the Great Breath, that is the radiant Ether. Therefore, let him reverence it as divine power and might. Possessed of divine power and might he becomes, who knows thus.

They, verily, these five Brahma-spirits are the doorkeepers of the heavenly world. He who knows thus these five Brahma-spirits as doorkeepers of the heavenly world, in his family a hero is born. He gains the heavenly world who knows thus these five Brahma-spirits as doorkeepers of the heavenly world.

And so the light which shines beyond this heaven, at the back of the whole world, at the back of all that is, in the supreme realms than which none is higher, that, verily, is the same as this light in the man within. This is the seeing of it, when through contact in this body he discerns its enkindling. This is the hearing of it, when, closing the two ears, he hears inwardly a rumbling, a lowing, the sound of a blazing fire. Therefore, let him reverence that as seen and heard. Worthy to be seen and heard he becomes, who knows thus,—who knows thus.

[Section 14]

All this, verily, is the Eternal. Having attained to peace, let him reverence it as That from which all comes forth, That in which all is dissolved, That in which all breathes. And so, of a truth, man is formed of Will. According as a man’s will is in this world, such on going forth from this world he becomes. So let him direct his will.

Made of mind, with the life-breaths as body, radiant-formed, whose imagination is true, whose self is radiant Ether, possessing all works, possessing all desires, possessing all fragrances, possessing all essences, encompassing all this world, unspeaking, unconcerned,—this is my divine Self in the inner Heart, smaller than a grain of rice, or a grain of barley, or a grain of mustard-seed, or a grain of millet, or the kernel of a grain of millet,—this is my divine Self in the inner Heart, older and mightier than the earth, older and mightier than the mid-world, older and mightier than the heavens, older and mightier than these worlds.

Possessing all works, possessing all desires, possessing all fragrances, possessing all essences, encompassing all this world, unspeaking, unconcerned,—this is my divine Self in the inner Heart, this is the Eternal. In that divine Self I shall completely come to birth on going forth from this world. Whose this truly is, can doubt no more. Thus of old spoke Shandilya, thus spoke Shandilya.

[Section 15]

The treasure-house containing the mid-world, with the earth as its floor, grows not old. Its corners are the four directions of space. The sky is its opening above. This treasure-house is the container of riches. In it rests all that is.

Its eastern quarter is named the sacrificial ladle. Its southern quarter is named the overcoming. Its western quarter is named the queen. Its northern quarter is named well-endowed. Of these quarters the Great Breath is the offspring. He who knows thus the Great Breath as the offspring, laments not with the lamentation for a son.

“So I know thus the Great Breath as the offspring of the quarters. Let me not lament with the lamentation for a son.

“In this invincible treasure-house I take refuge, through that, through that, through that.

“In the Life-breath I take refuge, through that, through that, through that.

“In this world I take refuge, through that, through that, through that.

“In the mid-world I take refuge, through that, through that, through that.

“In the heavenly world I take refuge, through that, through that, through that.”

When I said, “In the Life-breath I take refuge,” the Life-breath, verily is all here that has come into being, whatsoever there is; in that, verily, I have taken refuge.

And so, when I said, “In this world I take refuge,” this I said: “In the earth I take refuge, in the interspace I take refuge, in the sky I take refuge.”

And so, when I said, “In the mid-world I take refuge,” this I said: “In the Fire-lord I take refuge, in the Great Breath I take refuge, in the Sun I take refuge.”

And so, when I said, “In the heavenly world I take refuge,” this I said: “In the Rig Veda I take refuge, in the Yajur Veda I take refuge, in the Sama Veda I take refuge.”

[Section 16]

Man, verily, is sacrifice. Of him, four-and-twenty years are the morning oblation. For the Gayatri measure has four-and-twenty syllables, and with the Gayatri is celebrated the morning oblation. With this oblation the Bright Powers called the Vasus are correlated. The life-breaths, verily, are the Vasus, for they uphold all that is here.

Should anything afflict him in this division of life, let him say: “Ye life-breaths, ye Vasus, let this morning oblation of mine be continued until the midday oblation. May I, the sacrifice, not be cut off in the midst of the life-breaths, of the Vasus!” He arises thence, he is freed from ill.

Then of him four-and-forty years are the midday oblation. For the Trishtubh measure has four-and-forty syllables, and with the Trishtubh the midday oblation is offered. With this oblation the Bright Powers called the Rudras are correlated. The life-breaths, verily, are the Rudras, for they bring lamentation to all that is here.

Should anything afflict him in this division of life, let him say: “Ye life-breaths, ye Rudras, let this midday oblation of mine be continued until the third libation. May I, the sacrifice, not be cut off in the midst of the life-breaths, of the Rudras!” He arises thence, he is freed from ill.

Then of him eight-and-forty years are the third oblation. For the Jagati measure has eight-and-forty syllables, and with the Jagati the third oblation is offered. With this oblation the Bright Powers called Sons of the Sun are correlated. The life-breaths, verily are the Sons of the Sun, for they take all that is here.

Should anything afflict him in this division of life, let him say: “Ye life-breaths, Sons of the Sun, let this third oblation of mine be continued to the full life-span. May I, the sacrifice, not be cut off in the midst of the life-breaths, Sons of the Sun!” He arises thence, he is freed from ill.

Knowing this in the olden times Mahidasa Aitareya said: “So why dost thou afflict me, since I shall not go forth because of this!”

He lived a hundred and sixteen years. He lives a hundred and sixteen years, who knows thus.

[Note: Section 17 was not included in Johnston’s translation]

[Section 18]

Mind, verily, as the Eternal let him reverence: thus with regard to the Self. And so with regard to the Divinities, radiant Ether is the Eternal. This is the twofold instruction, with regard to the Self and to the Divinities.

That, the Eternal, has four parts: voice is a part, life-breath is a part, seeing is a part, hearing is a part; thus with regard to the Self. And so with regard to the Divinities: Fire-lord is a part, Great Breath is a part, Sun is a part, the Spaces are a part. This, verily, is the twofold instruction, with regard to the Self and to the Divinities.

Voice, verily, is a fourth part of the Eternal; this through the Fire-lord as its light gleams and glows; he gleams and glows with glory, with splendour, with holy fire, who knows thus.

Life-breath, verily, is a fourth part of the Eternal; this through the Great Breath as its light gleams and glows; he gleams and glows with glory, with splendour, with the holy fire, who knows thus.

Seeing, verily, is a fourth part of the Eternal; this through the Sun as its light gleams and glows; he gleams and glows with glory, with splendour, with holy fire, who knows thus.

Hearing, verily, is a fourth part of the Eternal; this through the Spaces as its light gleams and glows: he gleams and glows with glory, with splendour, with holy fire, who knows thus.

[Section 19]

The Solar Lord, verily, is the Eternal: this is the instruction. Its expansion is this:

Non-existence, verily, was this world in the beginning. It became existence; it came to birth; it took the form of the Egg; it lay quiescent for the measure of an æon; it was parted in twain; these two parts of the shell were the one silver, the other golden.

The half which was silver, that is this Earth; the half which was golden, that is the Heavens; what was the Chorion, that became the mountains; what was the Amnion, that became cloud and mist; what were the veins, these became the rivers; what was the liquid contained within, that became the ocean.

And so, that which came to birth is that Sun. Toward that, thus coming to birth, a great sound of triumphant song, all beings and all desires arose. Therefore, at the Sun’s rising, at every return, a great sound of triumphant song, all beings and all desires arise.

He who, thus knowing this, reverences the Sun as the Eternal, there is the hope that to him will come a great sound of rejoicing, filling him with joy, filling him with joy.


Part IV, Sections 1-15

[Introduction]
Three Parables

The three parables which follow, the stories of Raikva, Satyakama and Upakosala, have certain common characteristics. They have a quaintness, a freshness and sincerity as of an earlier world. They are fables in the technical sense, since in them beasts and birds and the sacrificial fires are endowed with the gift of speech and play a vital part in the dramatic movement of the plot. But they are fables with a spiritual purpose, and are therefore parables.

The three together make up most of the Fourth Part of Chhandogya Upanishad, as the Parable of the Sun, previously translated, takes up much of the Third Part. The First and Second Part are largely given up to what, using a term from the Secret Doctrine, we should call Tables of Correspondences. These are based upon the musical notation of the Vedic hymns and the ways in which they were chanted. There are tables of three, then of five, and finally of seven correspondences. We may illustrate their general character by an example:

Opening Spring Sunrise Breath
Praise Summer Forenoon Speech
Chant Rains Midday Eye
Response Autumn Afternoon Ear
Closing Winter Sunset Mind

These are later expanded to tables of seven. For example, the third is amplified by adding the periods before sunrise and after sunset. And the almost inevitable dryness and iteration of these tables is enlivened by stories, sentences of spiritual wisdom and occasional touches of humour, as in the story of the white dog and his companions, chanting together like so many priests, and invoking with the sacred syllable the Lord of beings, in order that He may give them food. It is not less reverent than the psalmist’s picture of the Lord feeding the young ravens when they cry , but it has an added touch of mirth.

So we have good reason to hold that these earlier sections of our Upanishad are intended for the instruction of young disciples. students approaching the Sacred Science under the guidance of a Master or an older student. And we may well believe that the three parables are also intended for young disciples; two of them, indeed, are concerned with the experiences and trials of young disciples.

The first of the three parables introduces the strange, rugged figure of Raikva of the cart, in sharp contrast with the wealthy and munificent Janashruti, who built rest-houses and distributed food. The evident purpose is, to paint an Aryan Diogenes, sheltered by a cart instead of a tub; to depict a sage without form or comeliness, somewhat like the beggar in the parable of Dives. Raikva foreshadows the Master described in the Crest Jewel; “Now as a madman, now a sage, now a glorious, great king, now a humble wanderer . . . though without riches, yet ever content . . . resting light-hearted in the forest or the burying-ground.” The appearance of ferocity with which Raikva meets the attendant of Janashruti, and later Janashruti himself, has its exact equivalent in a modern description of one of the holy men hidden in dark mountain caves and trackless impenetrable forests: “Apparently—his behaviour will be that of a madman or an idiot, and he will talk unintelligible nonsense purposely to drive away the visitor.” On this, a living Aryan Master comments: “Many of us would be mistaken for madmen.”

Something like this seems to be the purpose of the rough figure of Raikva. Commenting on the sentence, “Where they seek a knower of the Eternal, seek him there,” the commentary attributed to Shankaracharya says that the sages dwell “in the forests, or on islands in the rivers, or in remote places.” a close parallel to the modern description just quoted; we hazard the suggestion that in such places there may be mosquitoes, whose presence would explain Raikva’s occupation when the attendant of Janashruti finds him. But the evident intention is to make him rugged, even in a sense abject, conforming to the ideal and practice of Francis of Assisi.

It is amusing to note that the contemptuous name, “Shudra,” which he gives to the noble and wealthy Janashruti, led to much serious discussion in later centuries, whose doctors held that a Shudra, a man of the Fourth Caste, could not rightly be instructed in the sacred learning. The doctors are careful to point out that the term must not be taken literally, that Janashruti, since he had a guard in attendance on him, must have been a Kshattriya, a man of the Warrior Caste.

Those who have read the story of Death and Nachiketas will find a close parallel between the gifts rejected and the gift accepted, in the one parable and the other. The father of Nachiketas vainly offers cattle; the deficiency is made up by the sacrifice of his son. So, when Janashruti’s offering of cattle is contemptuously refused by Raikva, the rich man brings what he holds dearest in the world, his daughter. There is a point of symbolism in the number of the cattle, which, according to a convention in many sacred books, represent the senses, “the knowers of the field” of perception. The lesser number, whether four or six, represent only the outer, physical senses, with the lower mind correlating their perceptions; the ten, or ten hundred, represent the perfected powers, where the spiritual senses are added to the physical. There is probably a similar meaning in the Book of Job, where, after his trials and triumph, the number of his flocks and herds is doubled.

This brings us naturally to the parable of Satyakama, the “Lover of Truth,” as his name signifies. Satyakama is sent forth, after he has been accepted as a disciple, to tend a herd of cattle, with the understanding that he must not return until they number a thousand. Like the sages we have spoken of, he departs to the depths of the forest, to feed his herds. The evident meaning would seem to be that the disciple is set the task of developing his spiritual perceptions, in addition to his physical powers and mind; and that only after he has done this, can his Master initiate him.

The Sanskrit commentaries confirm the interpretation of this story as a parable of spiritual things. We are told that a Divinity entered the bull, in order to teach him. In general, the teaching given to Satyakama is a foreshadowing, appropriate for a young disciple, of the doctrine of the Four Steps of the Eternal, set forth in Mandukya Upanishad. These four steps are: natural body, subtile body, causal body, divine body, with the states or planes of consciousness corresponding to them. It is easy to see how the story of Satyakama and his four lessons, each divided into four, would prepare the way for this later, more mystical teaching, and make it more intelligible. We may, if we wish, identify his four teachers: the bull, as physical life; the fire, as the life of the subtile body, called the Radiant in the later Upanishad ; the swan as the vesture of the adept; the cormorant, which disappears beneath the waters, as the body of the sage who has attained, and has withdrawn from the visible world.

Both this story and that of Upakosala carry forward the general teaching of the law of Correspondences, the framework in the latter story being supplied by the sacred fires which symbolize the spiritual forces in the successive vestures. So we find these spiritual powers saying, “We protect, in this world and in that world, him who knows this thus, and approaches the Self, the Eternal.” The pathway of him who, thus illuminated, goes forth “from the flame to the day, from the day to the waxing moon,” and so forth, is a symbol of the spiritual poles of the ascending series of planes, as contrasted with the material poles of these same planes, which are symbolized by the smoke, the night, the waning moon, and so on. We shall meet with this same symbol later.

One thought more. Through these parables of teaching imparted by the birds and the fires, there would seem to be the further purpose of laying stress on the lessons which must be learned direct from nature, from that spirit of beauty and mystery which breathes through nature, poignantly felt, never fully revealed. We have, perhaps, in these parables a foreshadowing of what an Aryan Master has said of the training of the disciple: “Fasting, meditation, chastity of thought, word, and deed; silence for certain periods of time to enable nature herself to speak to him who comes to her for information. . . .” Or as it is said in Light on the Path, written down about the same time; “Inquire of the earth, the air, and the water, of the secrets they hold for you. The development of your inner senses will enable you to do this.” If our interpretation be correct, the thousand cattle of the parable of Satyakama, corresponding to the ten powers of perception, five outer and five inner, are the equivalent of “the development of the inner senses.”

There is an innocent and childlike spirit in these parables, well suited for spiritual children. Yet they are genuine parts of the Upanishad. The simple melody rises to magnificent cadences:

“Beloved, thy face shines as the face of one who knows the Eternal. . . .”

“This Eternal they call the Uniter of Beauty. . . .”

“Those who go forward on that path return not. . . .”

[Translation]
Raikva of the Cart
[Section 1]

Janashruti, verily, great-grandson of Janashruta, was a faithful giver, bestowing much, preparing much food. On all sides he caused rest-houses to be built, saying, “On all sides let them eat of my food!”

And so it befell that swans were flying over in the night. Then one swan addressed another swan, saying, “Ho! Ho! Dim-eyes, dim-eyes! The light of Janashruti, great-grandson of Janashruta is bright as day! Be not fascinated by it, lest, approaching, thou bum thyself!”

To him the other swan made answer, “Who is he, indeed, of whom thou speakest as though he were Raikva of the cart?”

“How is it, then, with Raikva of the cart?”

“As by the highest Krita throw of the dice the others are taken, so to Raikva comes whatever good thing creatures do; and this is true also for whoever knows what Raikva knows! Therefore I say this.”

This janashruti, great-grandson of janashruta, overheard. In the morning, when he arose, he said to the attendant on guard, “Dost thou speak of me as equal to Raikva of the cart?”

“How is it, then, with Raikva of the cart?”

“As by the highest Krita throw of the dice the others are taken, so to Raikva comes whatever good thing creatures do; and this is true also for whoever knows what Raikva knows! Therefore I say this.”

The attendant went forth and sought for Raikva, but returned, saying, “I found him not.”

Janashruti said to him, “Where they seek a knower of the Eternal, seek him there!”

One sat beneath a cart scratching an itching skin. The attendant drew near to him and said, “Master, art thou Raikva of the cart?” He affirmed, “I am he!”

So he returned, saying, “I have found him!”

[Section 2]

Thereupon Janashruti, great-grandson of Janashruta, taking six hundred head of cattle, a necklace of gold and a chariot drawn by mules, went forth to where Raikva was and said to him, “Raikva, here are six hundred head of cattle, here is a necklace of gold, here is a chariot drawn by mules! Now, Master, instruct me as to the Bright Power,—that Bright Power which thou approachest!“

The other said, “Thine, O Shudra, be the necklace, the chariot and the cattle!”

Then Janashruti, great-grandson of Janashruta, went and came again, bringing a thousand head of cattle, the necklace of gold, the chariot drawn by mules, and his daughter, and said to him, “Raikva. here are a thousand head of cattle, the necklace of gold, the chariot drawn by mules, this bride and the village in which thou sittest! Now, Master instruct me!”

Then Raikva, raising her face toward him said, “He has brought cattle! By this face alone thou wouldst make me speak!”

So the place is called Raikvapama, in the country of the Mahavrishas, where he dwelt at his request. So Raikva said to him:

[Section 3]

“Air, verily, is a receptacle; when Fire dies out, it enters into Air; when the Sun sets, it enters into Air; when the Moon sets, it enters into Air; when Water dries up, it enters into Air; Air, verily, receives them all; thus far of the outer Powers. So of the inner Powers; Life, verily, is a receptacle; when one sleeps, Voice enters into Life; Seeing enters into Life; Hearing enters into Life; Mind enters into Life; Life, verily, receives them all. So these two, verily, are receptacles; Air among the Powers, and Life among the Lives.”

[Translation, cont.]
A Lover of Truth
[Section 4]

Satyakama, verily, son of Jabala. addressed his mother Jabala, saying, “Lady, I would live the life of a disciple! To what family do I belong?”

She answered him, “I know not, son, of what family thou art. I went about much in my youth as a servant, and at that time thou wast born to me. I know not of what family thou art. But my name is Jabala and thou art Satyakama; say, then, that thou art Satyakama, son of Jabala!”

So he went to Haridrumata, of the Gotama family, and said to him, “I will become a disciple, Master! I will seek wisdom from thee as my Master!” He said to him, “Of what family art thou, beloved?”

He answered him. “I know not, Sir, of what family I am. I asked my mother, and she answered me, ‘I went about much in my youth as a servant, and at that time thou wast born to me. I know not of what family thou art. But my name is Jabala and thou art Satyakama; say, then, that thou art Satyakama, son of Jabala.’ Thus, Sir, I am Satyakama son of Jabala!”

He said to him, “None but a lover of the Eternal could speak thus openly! Bring kindling wood, beloved, for I will take thee as a disciple, since thou hast not swerved from the truth!”

After he had accepted him as his disciple, he chose out four hundred cattle, lean and ill-favoured, and said to him. “Tend these, beloved!”

As he drove them before him, he said, “I may not return until they number a thousand!” So he dwelt afar off for a series of years.

[Section 5]

So, when they had reached the thousand, the bull said to him, “Satyakama!”

He answering said, “Sir!”

“We have reached the thousand, beloved; lead us to the home of the Teacher! And let me tell thee one-fourth of the Eternal!”

“Let the Master tell it!” said he.

So he said to him, “East is one part. West is one part. South is one part. North is one part. This, beloved, is one-fourth of the Eternal, divided into four parts. Its name is Shining. He who, knowing this thus, approaches this one-fourth of the Eternal divided into four parts as the Shining, becomes a Shining one in this world. Shining worlds he wins, who, knowing this thus, approaches this one-fourth of the Eternal divided into four parts as the Shining. Fire will tell thee one-fourth!”

[Section 6]

So, when the morning came, he drove the cattle onward. Where the cattle were in the evening, he kindled a fire, penned the cattle, laid on fuel, and sat down on the West side of the tire, facing the East.

Then the fire said to him, “Satyakama!”

He answering said, “Sir!”

“Let me tell thee, beloved, one-fourth of the Eternal!”

“Let the Master tell it!” said he.

So the fire said to him, “Earth is one part. Mid-space is one part. Heaven is one part. Ocean is one part. This, beloved, is one-fourth of the Eternal, divided into four parts. Its name is Unending. He who, knowing this thus, approaches this one-fourth of the Eternal divided into four parts as the Endless, becomes an Endless one in this world. Endless worlds he wins, who, knowing this thus, approaches this one-fourth of the Eternal as the Endless. A swan will tell thee one-fourth!”

[Section 7]

So, when morning came, he drove the cattle onward. Where they were in the evening, he kindled a fire, penned the cattle, laid on fuel, and sat down on the West side of the fire, facing the East.

A swan, alighting beside him, addressed him saying, “Satyakama!”

He answering said, “Sir!”

“Let me tell thee, beloved, one-fourth of the Eternal!”

“Let the Master tell it” said he.

So the swan said to him, “Fire is one part. The Sun is one part. The Moon is one part. Lightning is one part. This, beloved, is one-fourth of the Eternal. divided into four parts. Its name is Luminous. He who, knowing this thus, approaches this one-fourth of the Eternal divided into four parts as the Luminous, becomes a Luminous one in this world. Luminous worlds he wins, who, knowing this thus, approaches this one-fourth of the Eternal as the Luminous. A cormorant will tell thee one-fourth!”

[Section 8]

So, when morning came, he drove the cattle onward. Where they were in the evening, he kindled a fire, penned the cattle, laid on fuel, and sat down on the West side of the fire, facing the East.

A cormorant, alighting beside him, addressed him saying, “Satyakama!”

He answering said, “Sir!”

“Let me tell thee, beloved, one-fourth of the Eternal!”

“Let the Master tell it!” said he.

So the cormorant said to him, “Life is one part. Seeing is one part. Hearing is one part. Mind is one part. This, beloved, is one-fourth of the Eternal, divided into four parts. Its name is Having-a-home. He who, knowing this thus, approaches this one-fourth of the Eternal divided into four parts as Having-a-home, he becomes one having a home in this world. Worlds having a home he wins, who, knowing this thus, approaches this one-fourth of the Eternal as Having-a-home.”

[Section 9]

So he came to the home of the Teacher. To him the Teacher said, “Satyakama!”

He answering said, “Master!”

“Beloved, thou shinest as one knowing the Eternal! Who has imparted to thee the teaching?”

“Others than men!” he affirmed. “But let the Master speak to my desire. For I have heard from those like the Master that wisdom gained from the Teacher gains the highest goal!”

To him he declared it. In it, naught was lacking, naught was lacking.

[Translation, cont.]
The Teaching of the Fires
[Section 10]

Upakosala, the descendant of Kamala, dwelt with Satyakama, son of Jabala, as a disciple. For twelve years he tended his fires. The teacher instructed others who dwelt with him as disciples, but Upakosala he instructed not.

Then the wife of Satyakama said to him, “This disciple is full of fervour. He has tended the fires well. Let not the fires be before thee in teaching him. Do thou teach him!”

But without teaching him he went forth on a journey.

He, because of sickness, abstained from food. Then the wife of the Teacher said to him, “Disciple, eat! Why dost thou not eat?”

He said, “Many desires are there in man here, of many kinds. I am full of sickness. I shall not eat!”

Then the fires spoke to ether, saying, “This disciple is full of fervour. He has tended us well. Come, let us instruct him!” So they said to him, “The Eternal is Life. The Eternal is Joy. The Eternal is the Expanse.”

He said, “I understand that the Eternal is Life. But joy and the Expanse, I do not understand!”

They said, “What, verily, is Joy, that, verily, is the Expanse; what, verily, is the Expanse. that, verily, is Joy.” Then they declared to him Life and the Shining Ether.

[Section 11]

Then the household fire instructed him, saying, “Earth. Fire, Food, the Sun (these are my four forms). The Spirit who is seen in the Sun, I, verily, am He; I, verily, am He!

“He who, knowing this thus, approaches Him, puts away evil; he is lord of the world: he lives his full life, he lives gloriously. His descendants fail not. We protect, in this world and in that world, him who knows this thus, and approaches Him!”

[Section 12]

Then the southern sacrificial fire instructed him, saying, “The Waters, the directions of Space, the Lunar Mansions, the Moon (these are my four forms). The Spirit who is seen in the Moon, I, verily, am He; I, verily, am He!

“He who, knowing this thus, approaches Him, puts away evil; he is lord of the world; he lives his full life, he lives gloriously. His descendants fail not. We protect, in this world and in that world, him who knows this thus, and approaches Him!”

[Section 13]

Then the eastern sacrificial fire instructed him, saying, “Life, Shining Ether, Heaven, Lightning (these are my four forms). The Spirit who is seen in the Lightning, I, verily, am He; I, verily, am He!

“He who, knowing this thus, approaches Him, puts away evil; he is lord of the world; he lives his full life, he lives gloriously. His descendants fail not. We protect, in this world and in that world, him who knows this thus, and approaches Him!”

[Section 14]

They said, “Upakosala, this, beloved, is the knowledge of us, and the knowledge of the Self. But the Teacher will declare to thee the Way.”

His Teacher returned. The Teacher said to him, “Upakosala!”

He answering said, “Master!”

“Beloved, thy face shines as the face of one who knows the Eternal. Who has instructed thee?”

“Who should instruct me, Sir?” he said, as though denying. “These! They are of this appearance now, but they were of another appearance!” Thus he indicated the fires.

“And what, beloved, did they say to thee?”

“This!” he affirmed.

“The worlds, verily, beloved, they have declared to thee. But I shall tell thee That. As the waters adhere not to the lotus leaf, so, verily, dark deeds adhere not to him who knows this thus!”

“Let the Master tell me!” said he.

[Section 15]

To him he said, “This Spirit that is seen in the eye, this is the Self, this is the immortal, the fearless, this is the Eternal. If oil or water be dropped into the eye, it flows to the eyelids. This Eternal they call the Uniter of Beauty, for to it come all beautiful things. All beauty comes to him who knows this thus. This is also the Bringer of Beauty, for he brings all beauties who knows this thus. This is also the Bringer of Brightness, for in all worlds it shines. In all worlds he shines who knows this thus.

“And so, in the case of such a one, whether they perform the rites or no, such as he pass into the flame, from the flame to the day, from the day to the waxing moon, from the waxing moon to the six months of growing sunshine, from the months to the cycle of the year, from the year to the sun, from the sun to the moon, from the moon to the lightning. There is a Spirit not of the sons of men; He causes them to enter into the Eternal. This is the path of the Bright Powers, the path of the Eternal. Those who go forward on that path return not again to this world of men; they return not again.”


Part IV, Sections 16-17; Part V, Sections 1-2

[Introduction]
The Life of the Disciple as Sacrifice

This Upanishad as a whole is traditionally related to the Sama Veda, the Veda of chants. The Sama Veda in its turn is the embodiment of the rites and ceremonies connected with the Soma sacrifice. But, as has already been recorded, the Soma sacrifice has two meanings, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, two degrees: an outer and an inner; an exoteric and an esoteric degree.

The Theosophical Glossary has much to say of Soma, and of the Soma drink, made from a rare mountain plant by initiated Brahmans. A comparison is drawn between the Soma and the consecrated wine of the Eucharist. As through the consecrated wine the devout communicant is said to receive the divine spirit of the Lord, so through the draught of Soma the sacrificer is said to be raised to a higher consciousness and power, and enabled to exercise faculties of the soul. But it has been said that the Eucharist is also the outer symbol of an inner rite, a symbol of necessity exoteric, since it is in a degree open to all the faithful, and not alone to those who have undertaken and fulfilled the obligations of the religious life. The experience of the devout communicant may be real, but it can at best be only a reflection of the ceremony after which it is modelled.

So with the Soma rites. There is the outer and lesser rite, in which Soma is, as said in the work just cited, the juice of a mountain plant endowed with wonderful properties. This plant has already been compared with a similar plant used by certain of the remoter tribes in the mountains of Western Mexico, tribes who retain much of the traditional mysticism of Central America, which is in part recorded in the opening chapter of the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Guatemalan school. The juice of the Mexican plant, obtained with great difficulty from far distant mountains, is regarded as sacred, and is prepared with carefully performed rites, which are accompanied by the chanting of very ancient sacred hymns handed down from generation to generation among those who are initiates of this mystery. Fasting and purification are a part of this ceremony, as among stricter Christians they are a part of the preparation for the Eucharist. The Mexican devotees hold that their sacred drink confers upon those who receive it after due preparation, certain powers of prophecy and vision, powers which may be described as clairaudience and clairvoyance. This closely parallels the Vedic rite of the Soma sacrifice.

Yet all these forms are purely exoteric. They do not belong to the Mysteries: they only shadow them forth.

In the Mysteries, the forces and powers involved, the powers symbolized by the mystical wine, or by the Soma, or the sacred drink of the Mexican Indians, are purely spiritual; powers which are brought to bear upon the disciple by the Initiator; powers which awaken his spiritual senses, altogether above the plane of the astral senses which are active in clairvoyance and clairaudience. They are, in fact, powers of the Logos, active and fully developed in the Master, and by the Master awakened in the fully prepared disciple. In that real ceremony the spiritual life of the disciple, liberated from its limitations, becomes one with the great spiritual life of the Master, and, through the Master’s mediatorship, enters into the still greater life of the Logos, regaining, while the ceremony lasts, the realization of its primeval power and wisdom as an undivided part of the great Logos.

There was, in ancient Vedic days, another rite beside the Soma sacrifice, a rite full of lucid symbolic meaning, the rite of the consecrated fire. This holy fire on the altar, in which are made offerings of oil, or melted butter, is in all likelihood the original Vedic sacrifice, the only form of sacrifice in the oldest period, brought, it may well be, by the first Aryan immigrants from Central Asia, and anteceding by millenniums the sacrifice of animals which displaced and superseded it in a degenerate age. This rite also was familiar, as a daily ceremony, to the young disciples for whom these Instructions were worked out and compiled. Like the Soma sacrifice, it has its higher, inner counterpart. For, once more, it is a symbol of Initiation. As the oil is added to the holy fire, living symbol of the Spirit, so the life and aspiration of the disciple are added, in the great rite, to the living, everlasting flame which is the Light of the Logos. As the oil becomes one with the flame, so the disciple’s spirit is made one with the great Spirit. The purpose of the sections here translated seems to be to bridge over, in the disciple’s understanding, the space between the outer and the inner rite; to make the more familiar a stepping stone to the mysterious ceremony for which he is being prepared.

The first section begins by telling him that the Great Breath is sacrifice; the Great Breath which is the Logos, makes the sacrifice of self-limitation, in order that the manifested worlds may be brought into being; the Voice breaks the eternal silence in order that the lesser voices of animate beings may be born. But creation, manifestation, is only half of the work of the Logos. The other half is redemption, salvation; the scattered worlds, animate beings, must be purified and led homeward, so that both they and the Logos may attain to consummation. Therefore, since the Great Breath purifies all that is in the world, it is sacrifice.

Of this the two paths are Mind and Voice; Mind, the inner, latent, subjective side of every being; Voice, the symbol of what is uttered, the spoken thought, the outer and active, the objective. Then comes the parallel with the familiar sacrificial rite. In this rite, certain priests take part, under the guidance of an overseer, called here the Brahmâ. This is the older form of what later became the designation of the priestly caste, but it here means the chief officiant, one who so thoroughly knows the ceremonies and chants of sacrifice, that he stands by to safeguard the separate acts of the lesser officiants.

It is easy to discern the parallel between this rite and the work of the disciple. The Brahmâ, the overseer, in the disciple’s sacrifice, is at once the Higher Self of the disciple, and the disciple’s Master, who interprets to the disciple the will and purpose of his still imperfectly recognized Higher Self. The two paths, the inner and the outer, are right meditation and right action. The Brahmâ, as overseer, perfects the disciple’s meditation; that is, his Master helps him rightly to meditate by sharing his meditation. The three subordinate priests, representing the powers of the disciple, make perfect his actions, which are symbolized by the preparation, the making of the offering, and the chant which accompanies it,—the last, the disciple’s service of praise and adoration.

As earlier, the morning invocation symbolizes the opening stage of the disciple’s path, his first apprenticeship, while he is passing through the successive degrees of probation. Therefore we are told that where, after the morning invocation has begun, before the chant is ended, the Brahmâ priest breaks silence, the disciple perfects but one of the two paths; the other is cut short. For the Brahmâ priest breaks silence and intervenes only to avert the dangerous effects of some blunder committed by the assistant priests; that is, the Master intervenes only to avert the effects of some failure on the disciple’s part, whether a failure in meditation, leading to wrong psychical development, or any failure in action, causing some dangerous complication of Karma. While all goes well, the Master does not intervene, though he watches with helpful solicitude every effort of the disciple. So, from failure in meditation, or in action, the “sacrifice” of the disciple goes awry. Having begun the sacrifice, he becomes worse. The disciple is, as the Upanishad graphically says, like a one-legged man trying to walk, or like a chariot with one wheel missing.

But where both meditation and action are rightly carried out, all fares well with the disciple, and with his “sacrifice.” Having begun the sacrifice, he becomes better. He makes good progress on the path. So through this symbolic reference to the familiar rite, the disciple on probation is given a friendly warning: his meditation and his action must both be perfected, if he is to go forward along the difficult path, which is, as said elsewhere, hard to tread as a razor’s edge.

The passage which follows, and which is once more a parable of the Great Breath, the Logos, conveys the lesson which is needed to supplement this warning. It tells the disciple in what way, through what powers, he may repair his errors of omission or commission, and set his feet once more firmly on the path. And the explanation is profoundly philosophical.

We are once more reminded of the fundamental teaching of the Mandukya Upanishad,—the Eternal, manifested in four degrees, in four worlds, to which correspond four vestures. These four worlds are here called Lord of beings, Heavens, Mid-space, Earth. In these worlds, considered at first as abstractions, potencies, privations, the Logos acts, exerting its creative power, and in each draws forth into activity the potency which was latent. From the lowest of the four worlds, as the outermost point of the arc, the Logos draws forth its essence, Fire; that is, the vital fire or force which energizes all forms of animate being upon the earth, or on any world of like texture. From the second world, counting from below, the Logos draws forth its potency, here called the Great Breath, corresponding to the outer aspect of cosmic electricity, or what may be called the pure and unsullied astral light, in contradistinction to the heavy astral atmosphere which is an emanation of human thoughts and desires. From the third world, still counting from below, the Logos draws forth the power called the Sun, the spiritual electricity of the cosmos, the higher aspect of the Akasha.

Each of the three lower worlds has its symbolic syllable; each is represented, according to the law of correspondences, by one of the three Vedas: the symbolic syllables are Bhur, Bhuvar, Svar; to which correspond the three Vedas, Rig, Yajur and Sama, in ascending scale. This use of the three Vedas is really very simple and, for the young disciples who had long been familiar with the relation between them, very vivid and illuminating. The verses of the Rig Veda provide the raw material of the chants, the words which, inspired by musical tones, become the magical incantations. The Yajur provides the frame, or system, in accordance with which the chants are to be used. The Sama is the inspired chant itself, full of magical power. So the earth-world, in which is the outermost vesture of the disciple, supplies the raw material for his discipleship, the material for his apprenticeship. He must then learn the rules of the new life in the world of the second vesture; and, finally, enter on the third stage, the vesture of the magical song. At the great consummation comes the radiant vesture, in which he is one with the Logos.

The divine secret running through the whole grand progression, and making possible his spiritual ascent, is that the same powers of the Logos are in each world, in each vesture; there is no disjunction nor solution of continuity. Therefore, if aught go awry, if aught be faulty or incomplete at any stage of the way, the remedy is there; divine powers are within his reach to repair what is amiss. The disciple must evoke the heavenly power, by faith and adoration, and, through its potent aid he will once more be set firmly on the path. Thus, in the first degree, by the essence of the Rig verses, by the virtue of the Rig verses, he makes good the injury; that is, by evoking the divine power which was lacking, or deficient, whether in his meditation or in his action, he restores his spiritual life to symmetry and fulness: and so with the succeeding degrees.

Then comes the strange simile of the metals, which, we may believe, had their symbolic correspondences, as they had among the ancient Chaldeans; correspondences at once astrological and mystical. And finally we are told that the “sacrifice” is perfect, in which there is a Brahmâ overseer who thus knows; the path of the disciple is made safe by the ever-watchful power of his Master, who is the overseer of his “sacrifice.”

He who knows the most venerable and best becomes the most venerable and best: a simple sentence, yet one which marks the profound difference in character and ideal between the Eastern Wisdom and our self-assured modern sciences. Those who study the latter, gain a knowledge of astronomy, but they do not expect to inherit thereby the radiance of the stars. Those who study chemistry may grow familiar with the mysteries of the elements, but they do not look forward to oneness with the primal Being which generates the elements. The physicist may measure the speed of light but be does not look forward to wearing a vesture of the colour of the sun. The goal of the Eastern Wisdom is not amassing information, but becoming Wisdom itself, the illimitable Logos, in undivided being. Therefore, to him who knows that hidden treasure, the Divine Realm, all things bring treasure, his own desires and the Bright Powers and men, as he looks earnestly into their hearts.

The vivid parable which follows, when the vital powers ask the Father, “Master, which of us is the best?” is designed to impress once again upon the disciple that all his powers, without exception, are powers of the Logos, lesser breaths of that Great Breath. It is the same parable as that taught by the Vedic Master, in the second answer of the “Upanishad of the Questions,” and has the same profound meaning. In that meaning lie both the responsibility of the disciple and his immortal hope.

Finally, we have yet another parallel between the rites with which the disciple has been familiar from childhood, and the new life on which he seeks to enter, through his desire to go to the Great One. The new moon signifies the new cycle of life on which be is entering, through the rite of Consecration. The mixed potion is the mystical prototype of the Soma; the melted butter poured into the altar fire is his own aspiration, seeking to enter into the Logos. With adoration he meditates on the might of the Giver of all.

Finally there is the strange symbol of the Woman. This is the personified Sophia, or, in Sanskrit, Uma, daughter of the Snowy Mountain, “the Woman, greatly radiant,” of Kena Upanishad.

[Translation]
The Great Breath as Sacrifice
[Section 16]

This, verily, is sacrifice, namely, the Great Breath, since it purifies all that is in the world. Because the Great Breath purifies all that is in the world, therefore it is sacrifice.

Of this the two paths are Mind and Voice.

Through Mind the Brahmâ priest, as overseer, perfects one. Through Voice the priest who makes the offering, the priest who prepares it, the priest who chants, perfect the other.

Where, after the morning invocation has begun, before the chant is ended, the Brahmâ priest breaks silence, he perfects but one of the two paths; the other is cut short.

And so, as a one-legged man walking, or as a chariot moving on one wheel, goes awry, thus, verily, his sacrifice goes awry. He who offers the sacrifice goes awry after his sacrifice has gone awry. Having begun the sacrifice, he becomes worse.

And so where, after the morning invocation has begun, the Brahmâ priest does not break silence before the chant is ended, they, verily, perfect both paths, nor is one of them cut short.

And so, as a two-legged man walking, or as a chariot moving on both wheels, is steady, thus, verily, his sacrifice is steady. He who offers the sacrifice is steady after his sacrifice is steady. Having begun the sacrifice, he becomes better.

[Section 17]

The Lord of beings brooded with fervour over the worlds. Of them, brooded over with fervour, he drew forth the essences: from Earth, Fire: from the Mid-space, the Great Breath; from the Heavens, the Sun.

The Lord of beings brooded over these three divinities. Of them, brooded over with fervour, he drew forth the essences: from Fire, the Rig verses; from the Great Breath, the Yajur formulas; from the Sun, the Sama chants.

The Lord of beings brooded with fervour over this threefold Wisdom. Of it, brooded over with fervour, he drew forth the essences: from the Rig verses, Bhûr (Earth); from the Yajur formulas, Bhuvar (Mid-world); from the Sama chants, Svar (Heaven).

So, if aught should go awry with the Rig verses, he should make an oblation in the household fire, saying “Bhûr! Adoration!” Thus by the essence of the Rig verses, by the virtue of the Rig verses, he makes good the injury of the Rig verses to the sacrifice.

And so, if aught should go awry with the Yajur formulas, he should make an oblation in the southern fire, saying “Bhuvar! Adoration!” Thus by the essence of the Yajur formulas, by the virtue of the Yajur formulas, he makes good the injury of the Yajur formulas to the sacrifice.

And so, if aught should go awry with the Sama chants, he should make an oblation in the fire of oblation, saying “Svar! Adoration!” Thus by the essence of the Sama chants, by the virtue of the Sama chants, he makes good the injury of the Sama chants to the sacrifice.

Then, as through a flux one would join gold; through gold, silver; through silver, tin; through tin, lead; through lead, iron; through iron, wood; or wood through leather; even so through the virtue of these worlds, of the divinities, of this triple wisdom, he makes good what is astray in the sacrifice. Cured of weakness, verily, is that sacrifice, in which there is a Brahmâ overseer who thus knows.

That sacrifice leads northward in which there is a Brahmâ overseer who thus knows. This is the praise of the Brahmâ overseer who thus knows: Whithersoever he turns, that way follows the son of man;

The Brahma overseer alone guards the sacrificers like a steed.

The Brahmâ overseer who thus knows, verily, guards the sacrifice, the sacrificer and all the ministrants. Therefore let him make one who thus knows his overseer; not one who knows not thus,—not one who knows not thus.

[Part V, Section 1]

He, verily, who knows the most venerable and the best becomes the most venerable and the best. The Great Breath, verily, is the most venerable and the best.

He, verily, who knows the most excellent becomes most excellent of his own people. Voice, verily, is the most excellent.

He, verily, who knows the firm foundation stands firm both in this world and in that. Seeing, verily, is the firm foundation.

He, verily, who knows the treasure, to him his desires bring treasure, and the Bright Powers, and men. Hearing, verily, is the treasure.

He, verily, who knows the abode becomes the abode of his own people. Mind, verily, is the abode.

And so the vital powers contended among themselves as to which of them was the better, each one saying, “I am the better! I am the better!”

The vital powers, going to the Lord of beings, to the Father, said, “Master which of us is the best?”

To them He said, “That one of you through whose going forth the body is seen to be most afflicted, that one is the best of you!”

So Voice went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, Voice said, “How have ye been able to live without me?”

“As those who are dumb, not speaking, yet breathing with the breath, seeing with sight, hearing through the power of hearing, thinking through the mind; thus.” Voice entered in again.

Then Seeing went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, Seeing said, “How have ye been able to live without me?”

“As those who are blind, not seeing, yet breathing with the breath, speaking with the voice, hearing through the power of hearing, thinking through the mind; thus.” Seeing entered in again.

Then Hearing went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, Hearing said, “How have ye been able to live without me?”

“As those who are deaf, not hearing, yet breathing with the breath, speaking with the voice, seeing with sight, thinking through the mind; thus.” Hearing entered in again.

Then Mind went forth. Going forth for a cycle and then returning, Mind said, “How have ye been able to live without me?”

“As foolish children, mindless, yet breathing with the breath, speaking with the voice, seeing with sight, hearing through the power of hearing; thus.” Mind entered in again.

Then, when the Breath would have gone forth, as a strong horse might drag away his foot-ropes, so did the Breath drag away the lesser vital powers with him. Drawing near to the Breath, they said, “Master! Be thus here with us! Thou art the best of us! Go not forth!”

To the Breath, Voice then said, “If I am most excellent, then thou art most excellent!”

Then Seeing said to him, “If I am the firm foundation, then thou art the firm foundation!”

Then Hearing said to him, “If I am the treasure, then thou art the treasure!”

Then Mind said to him, “If I am the abode, then thou art the abode!”

Therefore they call them not Voices, nor Seeings, nor Hearings, nor Minds, but they call them Life-breaths. For the Breath is all these powers.

[Section 2]

The Breath said, “What will be my food?”

The powers said, “Whatsoever there is, even to dogs and birds!”

Therefore this is the food of the Breath. For the Breath is obviously its name. Nor, of a truth, is there aught which is not food for him who thus knows.

The Breath said, ”What will be my vesture?” The powers said, “The waters!”

Therefore those who are about to eat invest the Breath both before and after with the waters. For the Breath tends to receive a vesture. It remains not naked.

Therefore Satyakama, son of Jabala, declaring this to Goshruti, son of Vyaghrapada, said, “If one should declare this to a dry stump, branches would be born from it, leaves would unfold themselves!”

And so, if he should desire to go to the Great One, performing the rite of Consecration at the new moon, let him on the night of the full moon mingle a potion of all herbs with curdled milk and honey.

“To the most venerable and the best, adoration!”,—saying this, and making an oblation of melted butter in the altar fire, he should add what remains to the potion.

“To the most excellent, adoration!”,—saying this, and making an oblation of melted butter in the altar fire, he should add what remains to the potion.

“To the firm foundation, adoration!”,—saying this, and making an oblation of melted butter in the altar fire, he should add what remains to the potion.

“To the treasure, adoration!”,—saying this, and making an oblation of melted butter in the altar fire, he should add what remains to the potion.

“To the abode, adoration!”,—saying this, and making an oblation of melted butter in the altar fire, he should add what remains to the potion.

Then drawing back, taking the potion between his hands, he forms these words without uttering them aloud: “Thou art He by name, for all this universe is at home in Thee! Thou art most venerable and best, the Ruler, the Overlord ! The power which is most venerable and best, the power of Ruler and Overlord, let Him cause to come to me! Let me be all this universe!”

And so, of a truth, through this Rig verse, taken measure by measure, he tastes the potion:

“Of the spiritual Sun we choose—”
Saying this, he tastes the potion;

“—the food, of that Divinity—”
Saying this, he tastes the potion;

“—the best, the all-sustaining food,—”
Saying this, he tastes the potion;

“—let us meditate on the might of the Giver of all!”
Saying this, he drinks it all.

Then, when he has cleansed the drinking cup, or the vessel, he rests on the West side of the altar fire, on a skin or upon the earth, restraining the voice, self-controlled. If he should behold the Woman, let him know that the work has been completed.

Therefore there is this verse:

“When in work inspired by desire
He beholds the Woman in his vision,
Then he may know his success
By this appearance in his vision,
—by this appearance in his vision.”


Part V, Sections 3-10

[Introduction]
A King-Initiate

For several reasons, the story of King Pravahana Jaivali is one of the most interesting single passages in the Upanishads. To begin with one of the lesser reasons, it is contained in each of the two greatest Upanishads, with significant variants, of which we shall have something to say.

Now it happens that, of these two great Upanishads, the Chhandogya is traditionally affiliated with the Sama Veda, while the Brihad Aranyaka is in the same way associated with the White Yajur Veda. But the simple truth is that the version in the Chhandogya has nothing in the world to do with the Sama Veda, just as the version in the Brihad Aranyaka has no real relation whatever to the Yajur Veda. Nor have the divergences between the two versions any possible connection with the relation of these two Vedas to each other. The same tradition Links the Katha Upanishad to the Yajur Veda and the Prashna Upanishad to the Atharva Veda, while the Aitareya Upanishad is assigned to the Rig Veda.

There would seem to be excellent reasons for regarding this whole process of affiliating the great Upanishads with one or another Veda as so much fiction, albeit fairly ancient fiction. And this antique fancy has given birth to another, which one finds repeated again and again in the writings of Western Orientalists: the supposition, namely, that the Upanishads represent the intellectual speculations of the Brahmans, of the various schools which handed down the verses of the Vedas, and commented on them. There is convincing evidence of two things which bear directly on this view, in the story of King Pravahana. First, it is made absolutely clear that the most essential part of the Upanishad teaching, as set forth in this story, did not belong to the Brahmans, nor did it originate with them. Second, it is made equally clear that this central essence is in no wise the result of intellectual speculation. A wholly different origin is assigned to it.

This central essence is, in fact, the substance of the Greater Mysteries, imparted to the tried and tested candidate during Initiation. The essential teaching of the Mysteries may be divided into two parts, which are really inseparable: the teaching of Reincarnation and the teaching of Liberation. As revealed in Initiation, in the complete cycle of Initiations, this twofold teaching presents the entire spiritual structure and substance of the Universe. The teaching of Reincarnation discloses the infinitely varying destinies of the vast majority of mankind, and every phase of operation of the law of Karma. The teaching of Liberation, as practically and immediately experienced in the cycle of Initiations, carries the candidate upward through stage after stage of the ascending spiritual spheres. As the Disciple becomes the Adept, as the Adept becomes the Mahatma, the Buddha. the Dhyan Chohan. he will see and experience face to face every reality and power in the whole spiritual Universe, up to, and including, the Eternal Mystery.

This whole cycle is indicated in the story of King Pravahana. in a symbolic form which is at no point difficult to penetrate, if we use the clues to be found scattered through the Upanishads. The symbols belong to what has been called the Mystery Language. They appear to be exactly the same as those which are used, let us say, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and in the earlier and more mystical chapters of the Popol Vuh, which is almost the only accessible record of the ancient Occult Schools of Guatemala and Central America. It may be suggested, in passing, that a part of the substance of the Popol Vuh is so ancient that it contains memories of the spiritual history and powers of the Third Race, and also of the sinking of Atlantis.

With this preface, we may come to the story of King Pravahana, as it is told in the Chhandogya Upanishad, adding more detailed comment at the end.

[Translation]
King Pravahana Jaivali
[Section 3]

Shvetaketu, verily, grandson of Aruni, went To the assembly of the Panchalas. Him Pravahana, son of Jivala, addressed:

“Youth, has thy father instructed thee in the teaching handed Down?”

“He has instructed me, Sire.”

”Knowest thou how these beings, going forth at death, go upward?”

“No, Sire.”

“Knowest thou how they return hither again?”

“No, Sire.”

“Knowest thou the parting of the two ways, Path of the Gods and Path of the Fathers?”

“ No, Sire.”

”Knowest thou how that world is not filled to overflowing?”

“No, Sire.”

“Knowest thou how, at the fifth offering, the Waters arise and speak with human voice?”

“No, Sire.”

“How, then, didst thou say that thou hast been instructed? For how could he, who knew not these things, say he had been instructed?”

He, verily, put to confusion, went to his father’s dwelling, and said to him: “Without having instructed me, verily, thou saidst, Sire, ‘I have instructed thee.’ The Rajanya has asked me five questions. I was not able to set forth one of them.”

He said:

“As thou hast told them to me, I do not know even one of them. If I had known them, how should I not have told them to thee?”

So Gautama went to the King’s dwelling. When he had come thither, the King had due honour shown to him. On the morrow, he went up to the assembly. To him the King said:

“Of the wealth of men, honoured Gautama, thou mayest choose a wish.”

He said:

“Thine, verily, O King, be the wealth of men! But that word which thou saidst in the presence of the youth, declare that to me!”

This was difficult for him. He commanded him:

“Abide thou here a certain time.”

He said to him:

“As thou hast said to me, Gautama, as this Wisdom never previously, before thee, goes to the Brahmans, because of this, therefore, among all peoples it has been the rule of the Kshattriya.”

Then he said to him:

[Section 4]

“That world, verily. Gautama, is a sacrificial fire; of it. the son of Aditi is the fuel; his rays are the enveloping smoke; day is the flame; the moon, the embers; the lunar mansions among the stars are the parks. In it, in this sacrificial fire, the Bright Powers offer Faith; from it, thus offered, the Lunar Lord comes to birth.

[Section 5]

“The Rain-lord, verily, Gautama, is a sacrificial fire; of it, the Wind-lord is the fuel; cloud is the enveloping smoke; lightning is the flame; the thunder-bolt, the embers; the thunderings, the sparks. In it, in this sacrificial fire, the Bright Powers offer the Lunar Lord; from the Lunar Lord, thus offered, rain comes to birth.

[Section 6]

“The Earth-Power, verily, Gautama, is a sacrificial fire; of it, the circling year is the fuel; the radiant ether is the enveloping smoke; night is the flame; the directions of space, the embers; the intermediate directions, the sparks. In it. in this sacrificial fire, the Bright Powers offer the rain; from it, thus offered, food comes to birth.

[Section 7]

“Man, verily, Gautama, is a sacrificial fire; of him, the perceptive and active powers are the fuel, the enveloping smoke, the flame, the embers, the sparks. In him, in this sacrificial fire, the Bright Powers offer food; from it. thus offered , the power of generation comes to birth.

[Section 8]

“Woman, verily, Gautama, is a sacrificial fire; in her, the formative powers are the fuel, the smoke, the flame, the embers, the sparks. In her, in this sacrificial fire, the Bright Powers offer the power of generation; from it, thus offered, the embryo comes to birth. Thus, verily, at the fifth offering, the Waters arise and speak with human voice.

[Section 9]

“After he has lain within for ten lunar months, or for however long it be, as the embryo covered by the chorion, he comes to birth. Having been born, he lives his full life span. When he has gone forth from the body at the appointed time, the fires, verily, take him whence he has come, whence he came to birth.

[Section 10]

“Then those who truly know, and they who, in the forest, worship, saying, ‘Faith, fervour,’ they, verily, come to birth to the flame, from the flame to the day, from the day to the fortnight of increasing moonlight, from the fortnight of increasing moonlight to the six months when the sun goes northward, from these months to the circling year, from the circling year to the son of Aditi, from the son of Aditi to the moon, from the moon to the lightning; there is a Spiritual Man, not of the sons of men; he causes them to enter into the Eternal. This is the path, the Way of the Gods.

“But they who, in the dwelling, worship, saying, ‘Sacrificial rites, purification, giving of gifts,’ they, verily, come to birth to the smoke, from the smoke to the night, from the night to the waning fortnight, from the waning fortnight to the six months when the sun goes southward, the months which do not attain the circling year; from there months to the realm of the Fathers, from the realm of the Fathers to the shining ether, from the shining ether to the moon; there is the Lunar Lord. That is the food of the: Bright Powers; him, the Bright Powers consume.

“Having dwelt there so long as the accumulation lasts, they return again by the same road to the shining ether, from the shining ether to the wind; having become wind, he becomes smoke; having become smoke, he becomes mist; having become mist, he becomes rain-cloud; having become rain-cloud, he descends as rain; then in this world as rice or barley, herbs or trees, sesame or beans; thence, verily, it is difficult to come forth; when one eats this food and turns it into vital power, he comes to birth again.

“Then they whose conduct here is righteous, the prospect for them is that they will enter a righteous birth, birth as a Brahman, a Kshattriya, a Vaishya; but they whose conduct is foul, the prospect for them is that they will enter a foul birth, birth as a dog, as a pig, as an outcast.

“But they who go by neither of these paths, are these mean beings continually returning. ‘Be born. die!’ as they say; this is a third station. Therefore that world is not filled to overflowing. Therefore let him seek to guard himself from that. There is this verse:

“He who steals gold, he who drinks intoxicating liquor, he who dishonours his teacher, he who slays a knower of the Eternal, these four fall, and, fifth, he who associates with them.

“But he who knows these Five Fires, even though associating with these, is not stained by evil; clean, purified, possessing a holy world is he who knows thus, who knows thus.”

Commentary

There are obscurities, and probably both omissions and interpolations in the text, but its general meaning is clear. Let us try to shed some further light on it by comparing with it the parallel version in the Sixth Part of the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad.

There are certain minor differences in the wording of the questions which King Pravahana addresses to the youth Shvetaketu; when the youth had failed to answer them, the King invited him to remain, with an implied promise to instruct him, but the youth, disregarding the invitation, ran away to his father. Again, when his father, who is called in both versions Gautama, son of Aruna, had confessed that he also could answer none of the questions, he suggested that he and his son should go together to King Pravahana, to become his disciples. The youth answered, “Go thyself, Sire!” So the father, with the humility that his son so completely lacked, came alone to the court of King Pravahana.

The King welcomed him, bade him be seated, and had water brought for him. Then, it would seem, Gautama gave a gift to the King; though the text is not certain, and the pronouns are not quite clear. However this may be, the King said:

“To the honourable Gautama we give a wish.”

Then he said:

“The wish is promised to me! The word which thou saidst in the presence of the youth, declare that to me!” He said:

“Among divine wishes is this, Gautama. Therefore ask a wish of human wishes.”

He said:

“It is known; there is store of gold, of cattle and horses, of slaves, of tapestries and robes. Be not niggardly toward me, Sire, in that which is mighty, infinite, illimitable!”

“Then in the consecrated way, Gautama, this should be sought!”

“I come to the Master as a disciple!” for saying this, verily, they came of old time as disciples. So, acknowledging that he was his disciple, he dwelt with him.

So far this added passage, which enriches the other version in a definite way; for the offer of the human wishes, by which the King tries and tests his visitor, is a sacramental formula, so to speak, for the trials and tests of the aspirant for discipleship. It is almost word for word the same as the offer made by Yama, Lord of Death, to Nachiketas. It is the equivalent of “the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them,” in another Drama of Initiation.

This sacramental formula, therefore, makes it clear that it is here a question of the trials preceding Initiation, and thereafter of Initiation.

The substance of the teaching regarding the Five Fires, to which we shall return, is practically the same in both versions. Then once more, we have certain illuminating additions:

“He lives as long as he lives, and so, when he dies, they bring him to the fire. . . . In the fire, the Bright Powers offer the man; from this offering, the man is born of the colour of the sun. They who know this thus, and they who, in the forest, worship Faith and Truth, they, verily, come to birth to the flame, from the flame to the day, from the day to the fortnight of increasing moonlight, from the fortnight of increasing moonlight to the six months when the sun goes northward, from these months to the world of the Bright Powers, from the world of the Bright Powers to the sun, from the sun to the lightning realm; to them, become as lightning, a Spiritual Man, Mind-born, coming, causes them to go to the worlds of the Eternal. In those worlds of he Eternal they dwell for illimitable ages. For them, there is no return.”

This is in certain respects the better version. In both, it is quite clear that we are in presence of a natural symbolism, in which are contrasted the fire and the smoke of the funeral pyre, day and night, the waxing and waning month, the waxing and waning year, to represent a series of ascending planes, with their positive and negative poles.

Those who, in the forest, that is, in the life of discipleship, worship Faith and Truth, representing the principle called Buddhi, rise from the fire in a vesture of the colour of the sun, and ascend through the succession of planes, in each gravitating to the positive pole. It is again a picture of Initiation. Then, when they have attained the spiritual world, spoken of as the realm of lightning, the Spiritual Man, the Mind-born son of Brahma, who is the Higher Self, causes them to enter the Eternal. For them, there is no return, the cycle of rebirth has been fulfilled. This, then, is the Path of the Gods, the Way of Liberation.

Equally clear is the description of the Path of the Fathers, which is the Way of Reincarnation. We shall gain a clue to these two names, if we remember the teaching that the Higher Ego is the Manasa-putra, the Mind-born; while the middle nature, the psychic man, is the representative of the Lunar Pitri, the Father, the Lunar Lord of our symbolism. Those in whom the centre of consciousness and will and love is in the higher nature, are thereby drawn to the positive pole of each successive plane, and thence, through the mediation of the Higher Self, to the Eternal. But those in whom the centre of consciousness and will and love is in the psychic, or lunar, nature, are thereby bound: they are drawn toward the negative pole of each plane, until they come to the lunar realm, which has been called Devachan. There they remain until the accumulation of spiritual energy has worked itself out. Then they return to birth by the selfsame way. The planes, becoming increasingly more material, are graphically described as ether, wind, smoke, mist, rain. The actual incarnation is also described in symbolism almost as transparent: the incarnating person must find, by psychical gravitation, a family magnetically akin to him; until he does, “it is difficult to come forth.”

With the fuller insight coming from the later sections of our story, it is not difficult to find the meaning of the earlier, in which the Five Fires are described. It is once more a description of the descent into incarnation, whether at the beginning of a world-period or at each rebirth. Faith, sacrificed in the first fire, is once more the spiritual nature, which is in a sense sacrificed on that plane by the necessity of descending to the plane below, where the Lunar Lord, the psychic nature, is born, or emanated from the spiritual nature. So the soul descends into birth.

The Man and the Woman have both a literal and a universal meaning; they are of the macrocosm as well as the microcosm, Purusha and Prakriti in the Cosmos, as well as man and woman on this earth. And the five elements, fuel, flame, sparks, and so on, in each of the sacrificial fires, represent at once forces in the different principles of the individual man, and the corresponding forces on each plane of manifested Nature.

So we have in outline the teaching, the imparting of which through immediate spiritual experience constitutes Initiation into the Greater Mysteries. Through such Initiation, and not through intellectual speculation, comes the wisdom which the great Upanishads impart, while veiling it in symbolism.

This brings us to an exceedingly interesting question: Who was in possession of this wisdom? To whom did the institution of the Mysteries belong?

It is because the story of King Pravahana answers this question that we have called it one of the most interesting passages in the Upanishads.

The father of the youth, who in both versions is called Gautama, son of Aruna, is a Brahman; the words of the King make this quite clear. More than that, he has imparted to his son the hereditary lore handed down among the Brahmans, and another passage, which comes later in the Chhandogya Upanishad, and in which the same father and son appear to figure, makes it clear that both father and son had studied and learned by heart the whole of the Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas, which are there mentioned by name. So they were fully instructed Brahmans.

Is it, then, conceivable that these Brahmans could be thus familiar with the three holy Vedas, and yet be completely ignorant of the twin teaching of Reincarnation and Liberation? It is conceivable, for there is in fact no mention of either doctrine in the Rig Veda, and the two other Vedas are built of essentially the same materials. It would appear that the view of the world after death, in the Rig Veda, is not in harmony with this twofold teaching, but is rather what may be described as Ancestor Worship; the souls of the father, grandfather and ascending ancestors dwell in a shadowy world, where they are dependent for their well-being on offerings of food made by their descendants. And this view, with the obligation of offering food to the shadowy ancestors, has been so deep-rooted and persistent, that even to-day it is the central principle of popular Hinduism. The theory of Brahmanical law is that the son inherits his father’s property primarily that he may have the means of offering the periodical sacrifices, called Shraddha, to the shade of his father and to those of his ascending predecessors; and when it has been shown that a certain individual, acting in accordance with the Brahmanical rules, has offered the Shraddha, this is taken by the courts as evidence that he is the rightful heir. When sons are lacking, a son may be adopted; and immense importance attaches to the adoption of sons in India, precisely for this reason.

So that in fact the Rig Veda, the central spiritual heritage of the Brahmans, does not contain the teaching of Reincarnation and Liberation. Shvetaketu might have known the Rig Veda by heart, as we are told he did know it, and yet have remained entirely ignorant of any knowledge of Reincarnation and Liberation, and therefore unable to answer even one of the five questions which the Rajanya addressed to him.

Rajanya is the equivalent of Rajaputra, the modern form of which is Rajput. Concerning the relation of the Rajanyas to the Brahmans, the Vaishyas and Shudras, there is an interesting passage in the Mahabharata, which tells us that “the colour of the Brahman is white, the colour of the Kshattriya is red, the colour of the Vaishya is yellow, the colour of the Shudra is black.” Since the skin colour of the Brahman is to this day white, while the lowest castes are black, it is antecedently possible that the two other colours named are also skin colours. A direct study of the Rajputs of pure race shows, in fact, that they are a red race; while non-Aryan races, like the Santals and Shavaras, who still follow agriculture, the traditional occupation of the Vaishya, are yellow, though deeply sun-tanned.

Between the Brahman and the Shudra of to-day, there is obviously a difference of race. It would seem that there is also a like difference between Rajput and Brahman, the one belonging to a red race, the other to a white. Perhaps it would be accurate to say that they represent different subdivisions of the same sub-race, corresponding to the differences between the great Races. It would further appear that the Rajputs, not the Brahmans, were in possession of the Greater Mysteries, which were “handed down from Guru to Guru among them,” as the Commentary on this passage attributed to Sbankara Acharya expresses it; and that we have, in the story of Pravahana and Gautama, the first instance of the Initiation of a Brahman into these Mysteries, which “never before had been imparted to a Brahman.” Pravahana, son of Jivala, the King and Initiator, is the central figure in this epoch-making event.


Part V, Sections 11-24

[Introduction]
A King Initiate and His Disciples

This is one of a group of passages in the great Upanishads which are of the highest historical value, since they explicitly declare that the Brahmans learned wisdom from the King Initiates of the Rajputs. It is, indeed, somewhat surprising, and in a way creditable to the Brahmans that, during the many centuries they have been custodians of the sacred books of India, they have never destroyed or even attenuated these evidences of their debt to the royal sages, though these same Brahmans have for centuries claimed pre-eminence for their own caste.

Whether the five “owners of great houses, great in the traditional lore” were Brahmans, we are not explicitly told; they may have been wealthy Vaishyas, since the Vaishyas also were admitted to the traditional teaching of the Aryas. But concerning Uddalaka, son of Aruna, we are fully informed. He was by birth a Brahman, the father of the youthful Shvetaketu, “conceited, vain of his learning, proud,” to whom the great Rajput King Pravahana, son of Jivala, addressed a series of perplexing questions, not one of which the Brahman youth was able to answer. Of the youth Shvetaketu we are further told that he had learned by heart the Three Vedas and was able to repeat their verses. But the questions which the King Initiate put to him involved the immemorial Mystery teaching handed down among the Rajputs, centering about the twin doctrines of Liberation and Reincarnation; and of these there is no clear revelation in the hymns of the Three Vedas.

Uddalaka, son of Aruna, proposed to his son Shvetaketu that they should go together to the King to learn wisdom, but Shvetaketu replied that his father might go alone. So the elder Brahman went, and, after being submitted to certain trials, was accepted as a pupil by the King, with the significant words: “This teaching never went to any Brahman before thee, but was among all peoples the teaching of the Kshatriyas alone.”

In the present story, Uddalaka plays a part which reminds us of more than one Brahman in the discourses of the Buddha. He is apprehensive that he may be asked questions too hard for him to answer; and it is this apprehension, which he seems to have kept to himself, which inspires in him the thought of going, with his five querents, to the great King Ashvapati, famous for his wisdom and for the admirable state of his kingdom.

Uddalaka and his friends were courteously received by the King; at the same time, they were submitted to a test, just as had happened to Uddalaka when he went as a suppliant to King Pravahana. The King told them that he was about to celebrate a great sacrificial ceremony, and that he would give each one of them the same gifts that he had prepared for the celebrating priests. But they were not to be drawn aside from their deeper purpose. They said: “With what purpose a man may come, that, verily, let him declare! Declare the Spirit to us!” So, setting aside the proffered gifts, they came to him on the next morning with fuel in their hands, the traditional symbol of the disciple who comes, ready to be enkindled, and asks the Master for light. Then we are told that without subjecting them to the form of acceptance, the King proceeded to teach them. This may mean one of two things: either that he was satisfied by their disinterested desire for wisdom, and therefore thought the ceremony of acceptance unnecessary; or that he did not formally accept them because they were not yet ready for the final teaching concerning Liberation and Reincarnation,—themes which, in fact, he did not touch on.

The King followed the course that is customary in the Orient,—he asked them questions, demanding of each one in turn what, or whom, be reverenced as the Spirit, the supreme Reality. Both questions and answers follow a definite plan, exactly as in one of the shorter Upanishads, where six disciples betake themselves to a Master. The series of questions and the answers of the six querents depict six planes or manifestations of Being, symbolized as the heavens, the sun, the wind, shining ether, the waters, the earth, and generally corresponding to the six manifested Elements, so-called; but the querents have no understanding that these six manifestations are in reality aspects of one Being, the Eternal, the Supreme Brahma.

With lively symbolism, not devoid of humour, the great King Initiate stresses the limitation of their conceptions, telling them that calamity would have befallen them, had they not come to him. The deeper meaning is, that a partial view of the great Life, any view that is circumscribed and limited, inevitably limits and dwarfs the mind and spirit of him who holds it, so that it is not unfitting to call him blind or lame.

A significant phrase is addressed by the King to each questioner: “Thou eatest food, thou beholdest what is dear!” Food is, in the symbolic language of the Upanishads, a general term for experience gained and assimilated. The questioners gained experience; they saw what was dear. But the time had come for them to gain deeper experience, to seek, in the words of Yama the Initiator, not the dearer, but the better, not the pleasant, but the real, the immortal. Therefore, when the King tells his questioners of the Infinite Spirit, the Eternal, he adds that he who rightly knows and reverences that Spirit, “of the measure of a span, yet of infinite extent,” eats food in all worlds, among all beings, in all Spirits; his experience begins to be universal, of universal significance.

Then comes the teaching of the Five Breaths, the Five Lives. Here, in graphic images, a profound truth is half-revealed: that the powers made manifest in the celestial bodies and the wide realms of Nature are in reality all powers of the One, the Eternal, the Spirit which is present in all things.

Further, it is taught that these same powers, and all of them, are represented in man, in the perceptive and active powers of his body, in the powers of his mind, in the powers of his inner being, his soul, his Spirit: “When the Forward-breath rejoices, the eye rejoices; when the eye rejoices, the sun rejoices; when the sun rejoices, the heavens rejoice,” because the golden thread of unity runs through all these powers; because the powers of man are directly connected not only with the cosmic powers, but, even more, with the divine powers. It is in virtue of this bond that man may awaken to a fuller consciousness of his divine kinship, and inherit the Eternal; entering that world, he shall no more return.

[Translation]
The Spirit and the Eternal
[Section 11]

Prachinashala, son of Upamanyu, Satyayajna, son of Pulusha, Indradyumna, grandson of Bhallava, Jana, son of Sharkaraksha, Budila, son of Ashvatarashva,—these were owners of great houses and great in the traditional lore. Meeting together, they entered into an investigation: What is our Spirit (Atma)? What is the Eternal (Brahma)?

They came to an agreement, saying: Sirs, this Uddalaka, son of Aruna, thoroughly knows this Spirit which is common to all. Let us betake ourselves to him!

They betook themselves to him. But he came to this conclusion: These owners of great houses, great in the traditional lore, will ask me questions, and I may not be able to answer everything. Let me recommend them to another!

So to them he said: Sirs, of a truth King Ashvapati, son of Kekaya, thoroughly knows this Spirit which is common to all. Let us betake ourselves to him!

They betook themselves to him. To them, when they had arrived, to each one of them, he caused due honours to be paid. Rising in the morning, thus he said: In my kingdom there is no thief, nor any avaricious, nor a drinker of spirits, nor one who offers no oblation, nor one without wisdom, nor any man or woman unchaste. Wherefore, Sirs, I am about to make an offering; so much wealth as I shall give to each priest, so much, Sirs, shall I give to you. Sirs, remain here with me!

They said: With what purpose a man may come, that, verily, let him declare! The Spirit, that which is common to all, thou knowest thoroughly. Declare that Spirit to us!

To them he said: In the morning I shall give you an answer. They, verily, came back to him again at the beginning of the day with fuel in their hands. Without subjecting them to the form of acceptance, he spoke to them thus:

[Section 12]

Son of Upamanyu, whom dost thou reverence as Spirit?

The heavens, Sir King! said he.

That is, of a truth, a Spirit endowed with splendour, common to all, whom thou dost reverence as the Spirit. Therefore, in thy family the essence is seen distilled and increased. Thou eatest food, thou beholdest what is dear!

He eats food, he beholds what is dear, there is divine radiance in the family of him who thus reverences this Spirit common to all. But, said he, this Spirit of thine is only the head of the Spirit. Therefore, thy head would have fallen off, if thou hadst not come to me!

[Section 13]

And so he said to Satyayajna, son of Pulusha:

Prachinayogya, whom dost thou reverence as Spirit?

The sun, Sir King! said he.

That is, of a truth, a Spirit of universal form, common to all, whom thou dost reverence as the Spirit. Therefore, in thy family much is seen, of every form, such as a chariot drawn by she-mules, a bondmaiden, a chain of gold.

Thou eatest food, thou beholdest what is dear! He eats food, he beholds what is dear, there is divine radiance in the family of him who thus reverences this Spirit common to all. But, said he, this Spirit of thine is only the eye of the Spirit. Therefore, thou wouldst have become blind, if thou hadst not come to me!

[Section 14]

And so he said to Indradyumna, grandson of Bhallava:

Vaiyaghrapadya, whom dost thou reverence as Spirit?

The wind, Sir King! said he.

That is, of a truth, a Spirit of diverse ways, common to all, whom thou dost reverence as the Spirit. Therefore, offerings come to thee by diverse ways, ranks of chariots follow after thee by diverse ways. Thou eatest food, thou beholdest what is dear! He eats food, he beholds what is dear, there is divine radiance in the family of him who thus reverences this Spirit common to all. But, said he, this Spirit of thine is only the breath of the Spirit. Therefore, thy breath would have departed, if thou hadst not come to me!

[Section 15]

And so he said to Jana, son of Sharkaraksha:

Son of Sharkaraksha, whom dost thou reverence as Spirit?

The shining ether, Sir King! said he.

That is, of a truth, a Spirit abounding, common to all, whom thou dost reverence as the Spirit. Therefore, thou art abounding in offspring and in wealth. Thou eatest food, thou beholdest what is dear! He eats food, he beholds what is dear, there is divine radiance in the family of him who thus reverences this Spirit common to all. But, said he, this Spirit of thine is only the bodily vesture of the Spirit. Therefore, thy body would have fallen away, if thou hadst not come to me!

[Section 16]

And so he said to Budila, son of Ashvatarashva:

Vaiyaghrapadya, whom dost thou reverence as Spirit?

The waters, Sir King! said he.

That is, of a truth, a Spirit of wealth, common to all, whom thou dost reverence as the Spirit. Therefore, thou art possessed of wealth, well supplied. Thou eatest food, thou beholdest what is dear! He eats food, he beholds what is dear, there is divine radiance in the family of him who thus reverences this Spirit common to all. But, said he, this Spirit of thine is only the bladder of the Spirit. Therefore, thy bladder would have burst, if thou hadst not come to me!

[Section 17]

And so he said to Uddalaka, son of Aruna:

Gotama, whom dost thou reverence as Spirit?

The earth, Sir King! said he.

That is, of a truth, a firm foundation, a Spirit common to all, whom thou dost reverence as the Spirit. Therefore, thou art firmly established in offspring and herds. Thou eatest food, thou beholdest what is dear! He eats food, he beholds what is dear, there is divine radiance in the family of him who thus reverences this Spirit common to all. But, said he, this Spirit of thine is but the feet of the Spirit. Therefore, thy feet would have withered, if thou hadst not come to me!

[Section 18]

To them he said:

Ye, all of you, but partly perceiving the Spirit which is common to all, eat food. But he who rightly reverences this Spirit common to all, of the measure of a span, yet of infinite extent, he eats food in all worlds, among all beings, in all Spirits.

Of this Spirit common to all, the radiant heavens are, of a truth, the head; the sun of universal form is, of a truth, the eye; the wind of diverse ways is, of a truth, the breath; the shining ether is, of a truth, the bodily vesture; the abounding waters are, of a truth, the bladder; the firm earth is, of a truth, the feet; the breast is, of a truth, the place of the altar; the hairs are the sacrificial grass; the heart is the household fire; the mind is the fire of sacrifice; the mouth is the fire of oblation.

[Section 19]

Therefore, the first food to which he may come, should be made an offering. The first oblation which he may make, let him make an oblation of that to the Forward-breath, saying: Adoration to the Forward-breath! The Forward-breath rejoices. When the Forward-breath rejoices, the eye rejoices; when the eye rejoices, the sun rejoices; when the sun rejoices, the heavens rejoice; when the heavens rejoice, whatsoever the heavens and the sun govern, rejoices; together with the rejoicing of this, he rejoices in offspring, in herds, in divine radiance.

[Section 20]

And so the second oblation which he may make, let him make an oblation to the Distributive-breath, saying: Adoration to the Distributive-breath! The Distributive-breath rejoices. When the Distributive-breath rejoices, hearing rejoices; when hearing rejoices, the moon rejoices; when the moon rejoices, the spaces rejoice; when the spaces rejoice, whatsoever the spaces and the moon govern, rejoices; together with the rejoicing of this, he rejoices in offspring, in herds, in divine radiance.

[Section 21]

And so the third oblation which he may make, let him make an oblation to the Downward-breath, saying: Adoration to the Downward-breath! The Downward-breath rejoices. When the Downward-breath rejoices, voice rejoices; when voice rejoices, fire rejoices; when fire rejoices, the earth rejoices; when the earth rejoices, whatsoever the earth and fire govern, rejoices; together with the rejoicing of this, he rejoices in offspring, in herds, in divine radiance.

[Section 22]

And so the fourth oblation which he may make, let him make an oblation to the Uniting-breath, saying: Adoration to the Uniting-breath! The Uniting-breath rejoices. When the Uniting-breath rejoices, mind rejoices; when the mind rejoices, the rain-lord rejoices; when the rain-lord rejoices, lightning rejoices; when lightning rejoices, whatsoever lightning and the rain-lord govern, rejoices; together with the rejoicing of this, he rejoices in offspring, in herds, in divine radiance.

[Section 23]

And so the fifth oblation which he may make, let him make an oblation to the Upward-breath, saying: Adoration to the Upward-breath! The Upward-breath rejoices. When the Upward-breath rejoices, touch rejoices; when touch rejoices, the wind rejoices; when the wind rejoices, shining ether rejoices; when shining ether rejoices, whatsoever the wind and shining ether govern rejoices; together with the rejoicing of this, he rejoices in offspring, in herds, in divine radiance.

[Section 24]

He who, not knowing this, offers the Fire-invocation, it is as though he were to scatter the red embers and pour the oil on dead ashes. But he who, knowing this, offers the Fire-invocation, his offering is made in all worlds, among all beings, in all Spirits.

And so as the stem of a reed cast into the fire burns away, thus, verily, do all his sins burn away, who, knowing this thus, offers the Fire-invocation. Therefore, of a truth, should one who knows thus offer the leavings of his food to a Chandala, an outcast, nonetheless the offering would be made to the Spirit, common to all. And there is this verse:

Like as hungry children here wait upon their mother,
So all beings wait upon the Fire-invocation.


Part VI, Sections 1-16

[Introduction]
The Eternal and the Universe

The passage of the Chhandogya Upanishad here translated, and especially the latter part, has become the key-stone of the Vedanta philosophy. The sentence, That Thou Art, which affirms the oneness of the Self and the Eternal, is quoted again and again as the Mighty Saying, or is simply alluded to by that name, as being too well known to require quotation.

Perhaps something of the freshness and charm of the story, the grace and humour with which the characters, father and son, are drawn, is overshadowed by this solemn treatment. We have met them before. They are the father and son in the great story of the King-Initiate, Pravahana son of Jivala; the courteous, humble father and the conceited son, who, rather than confess his ignorance and wait patiently to learn, turns his back on the great Initiate and runs away. And in this later tale the youth defends himself with the same pert vanity as in the earlier. He then said: “Without having instructed me, verily, thou saidst, Sire, ‘I have instructed thee.’” In the present story he says: “I am sure that those teachers of mine did not know this themselves.” His fluent self-defence characterizes the boy through and through.

Nevertheless he is the recipient of the most universal and far-reaching message in the Upanishads. What is here translated falls naturally into two parts; the conclusion of each part is marked, according to the usage of these old treatises, by a phrase repeated: “Thus he learned of him; thus, verily, he learned.”

The first part presents the teaching of the emanation, from the Eternal Being, of the threefold universe, or the three worlds, corresponding in general to Parabrahm and the first, second and third Logos, in the Secret Doctrine. We may think of the three manifested worlds as the Spiritual, here called the Radiance; the Psychical, or the Waters; and the Physical, the Earth; or as Heaven, the Mid-world and Earth, according to a phrase often used in the Upanishads. But it should be remembered that the separation between them is one of manifestation only, not of essence. Thy are all manifestations, or apparitions, of Being, the only reality. We may think of the Radiance as the spiritual pole of manifested Being; Earth as the material, or negative pole; and the Waters as the world between. In this sense, the progression from Evil to Good corresponds to a reversal of polarity, from material to spiritual, from negative to positive, from receptive to creative.

The division, Being, Radiance, the Waters, Earth, is really seven-fold, since in each of the three manifested worlds a corresponding Self is infused. Taking the microcosmic correspondence, we have these seven principles, beginning from the highest: the supreme Self; the spiritual self in the causal body; the psychical self in the psychic body; the habitual self in the physical body; or seven in all. It should be remembered that we are here using the word, psychical, to describe the whole middle nature, and not in the more limited sense of an abnormal phase of the mind.

When we come to the divisions of man, we find the same classification into three, and a similar symbolism. Formative Voice stands for the spiritual nature, the Logos consciousness in the causal body. Vital Breath, formed of the Waters, is the psychical consciousness in the psychic body; that is, in a body possessed of form. Mind is the consciousness in the physical body, a consciousness which, the Upanishad tells us, is formed of the essence of Earth. This is in harmony with what an Aryan Master has written: “Manas, pure and simple, is of a lower degree, and of the earth earthly; and so your greatest men count but as nonentities in the arena where greatness is measured by the standard of spiritual development.”

In conformity with this symbolism, the physical experience of the personnlity is thought of as the food eaten: experience on the higher plane, which, for the moment, we are calling psychical, is similarly described as water which is drunk. If we carry this image a step farther, we can think of holy experience as divided into consecrated food and consecrated drink, thus establishing the symbolism of a sacrament, such as appears to have existed in the ritual of Osiris.

When it is said that “man is divided into sixteen parts,” this probably refers to the division of five powers of perception, five powers of action, five vital breaths, and mind as the sixteenth. But we need not press the details of the simile too far.

In the second part, with the Mighty Saying as the refrain of each section, the purpose is, by vivid illustrations, to establish the intuition of Spirit as present and operative everywhere and in all things.

The passage which describes the entry of separate beings into the Real, in dreamless sleep, has a parallel in the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad: “Here the father is father no more; nor the mother a mother; nor the worlds worlds.” In the deeper sense, it approaches the mystery of Nirvana. But the whole passage is one for meditation rather than analysis.

[Translation]
The Three Worlds
[Section 1]

There lived once Shvetaketu, Aruna’s grandson; his father addressed him, saying:

Shvetaketu, go, learn service of the Eternal; for no one in our family serves the Eternal in name only.

So going when he was twelve years old, he returned when he was twenty-four; he bad studied all the Vedas and was conceited, vain of his learning and proud. His father addressed him:

Shvetaketu, since you are conceited, dear, vain of your learning and proud, have you asked for that instruction through which the unheard becomes heard, the unthought becomes thought, the unknown becomes known?

What sort of instruction is that, Master? said he.

Just as, dear, by a single lump of clay everything made of clay may be known, for the difference is one of words and names only, and the reality is that it is clay; just as, dear, by a single jewel of gold everything made of gold may be known, for the difference is one of words and names only, and the reality is that it is gold; just as, dear, by a single knife-blade everything made of iron may be known, for the difference is one of words and names only, and the reality is that it is iron; just like this is that instruction.

But I am sure that those teachers of mine did not know this themselves; for if they had known it, how would they not have declared it to me? But let the Master tell it thus to me, said he.

Let it be so, dear, said he.

[Section 2]

Being, dear, was in the beginning, one, without a second. But there are some who say that non-Being was in the beginning, one, without a second, so that from non-Being, Being would be born. But how, indeed, dear, could this be so? How from non-Being could Being be born? said he; but in truth Being was in the beginning, dear, one, without a second.

Then Being beholding said: Let me become great; let me give birth. Then it put forth Radiance.

Then Radiance beholding said : Let me become great; let me give birth. Then it put forth the Waters. Just as a man toils and sweats, so from Radiance the waters are born.

Then the Waters beholding said: Let us become great; let us give birth. Then they put forth the world-food, Earth. Just as when it rains, abundant food is produced, so from the Waters the world-food, Earth, is born.

[Section 3]

Of all these, of beings, there are three germs: what is born of the Egg, what is born of Life, what is born of Division.

This Divinity beholding said: Let me enter these three divinities with this Life, with my Self, let me give them manifold names and forms. Let me make each of them threefold. So this Divinity, entering these three divinities, by the Life, by the Self, gave them manifold names and forms. That made each of them threefold. How, indeed, dear, these three divinities become each threefold, learn this of me.

[Section 4]

In fire, the radiant form is from Radiance; the clear form is from the Waters; the dark form is from Earth. But the separate nature of fire is a thing of names and words only, while the reality is the three forms.

So of the sun, the radiant form is from Radiance; the clear form is from the Waters; the dark form is from Earth. But the separate nature of the sun is a thing of names and words only, while the reality is the three forms.

So of the moon, the radiant form is from Radiance; the clear form is from the Waters; the dark form is from Earth. But the separate nature of the moon is a thing of names and words only, while the reality is the three forms.

So of lightning, the radiant form is from Radiance; the clear form is from the Waters; the dark form is from Earth. But the separate nature of lightning is a thing of names and words only, while the reality is the three forms.

Therefore of old time those who knew this, the great lords and teachers of old, spoke thus: None of us may now speak of anything as unheard, unthought, unknown; for by these they knew. Whatever form was radiant, as it were, they knew it was from Radiance; whatever form was clear, as it were, they knew it was from the Waters; whatever form was dark, as it were, they knew it was from Earth. Whatsoever, verily, had been unknown, they knew that it was a union of these three divinities.

But, dear, how these three divinities, when they come to man, become each threefold, learn this of me.

[Section 5]

Food that is eaten is divided threefold. Its grossest part becomes waste; its middle part becomes flesh; its finest part becomes Mind.

Waters that are drunk are divided threefold. The grossest part becomes waste; the middle part becomes blood; its finest part becomes vital Breath.

Things that produce radiant heat when eaten are divided threefold. The grossest part becomes bone; the middle part becomes marrow; the finest part becomes formative Voice.

For Mind, dear, is formed of food, of Earth; vital Breath is formed of the Waters; formative Voice is formed of Radiance.

Let the Master teach me further, said he. Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 6]

Of churned milk, dear, the finest part rises to the top and becomes butter.

Just so of food eaten, dear, the finest part rises to the top and becomes Mind. And so of the waters that are drunk, the finest part rises to the top and becomes vital Breath. And so when heat-giving things are eaten, the finest part rises to the top and becomes formative Voice.

For Mind, dear, is formed of Food; vital Breath is formed of the Waters; formative Voice is formed of Radiance.

Let the Master teach me further, said he.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 7]

Man, dear, is made of sixteen parts. Eat nothing for fifteen days, but drink as much water as you wish; for vital Breath, being formed of the Waters, will be cut off if you do not drink.

He ate nothing for fifteen days; then he approached him, saying: What shall I say, Sire?

Repeat verses of the Rig Veda, formulas of the Yajur Veda, chants of the Sama Veda, said he.

They do not come back to me, Sire, said he.

He said to him: As, dear, from a great fire, if one ember remain no bigger than a firefly, it will not burn much; just so, dear, of your sixteen parts but one remains, and by this one part you do not recall the Vedas. Eat, and you shall learn of me.

He ate, and then approached him; and whatever he asked him, be repeated it all.

The Master said to him: As, dear, from a great fire, if one ember remain no bigger than a firefly, if it be fed with grass. it will blaze up, and will then burn much; so, dear, of your sixteen parts one remained; being fed with food, it blazed up, and through it you recall the Vedas. For Mind, dear, is formed of Food; vital Breath is formed of the Waters; formative Voice is formed of Radiance. Thus he learned of him; thus verily he learned.

[Translation, cont.]
That Thou Art
[Section 8]

Uddalaka, son of Aruna, addressed his son Shvetaketu, saying: Learn from me, dear, the reality regarding sleep. When a man sinks to sleep, as they say, dear, then he is wrapped by the Real; he has slipped back to the Self. And so they say of him, he sleeps, because he has slipped back to the Self. And just as a falcon tied by a cord, flying hither and thither, and finding no other resting place, comes to rest where he is tied, so indeed. Dear, the man’s mind, flying hither and thither, and finding no other resting place, comes to rest in vital Breath; for Mind, dear, is bound by vital Breath.

Learn from me, dear, the reality regarding hunger and thirst. When a man hungers, as they say, the Waters guide what he eats. And as there are guides of cows, guides of horses, guides of men, so they call the Waters guides of what is eaten. Know that the man grows up from this, dear, as a sprouting plant; and it cannot be without a root.

And where can the root be, save the Earth? Therefore, through Earth as outgrowth, seek the Waters as root; through the Waters as outgrowth, seek the Radiance as root; through the Radiance as outgrowth, seek Being as root; for all these beings, dear, are rooted in Being, abiding in Being, set firm in Being.

And so when the man thirsts, as they say, the Radiance guides what he drinks. As there are guides of cows, guides of horses, guides of men, so they call the Radiance the guide of what he drinks. Know that he grows up from this, dear, as a sprouting plant; and it cannot be without a root.

And where can the root be, save the Waters? Therefore, through the Waters as outgrowth, seek the Radiance as root; through the Radiance as outgrowth, seek Being as root; for all these beings, dear, are rooted in Being, abiding in Being, set firm in Being. And how these three divinities, coming to a man, become each threefold, that has been declared before.

And of him, dear, of the man when he goes forth, formative Voice sinks back into Mind, Mind into vital Breath, vital Breath into the Radiance, the Radiance into the higher Divinity. This is the fine essence, the Self of all that is, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Let the Master teach me further, said he.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 9]

As the honey-makers, dear, gather the honey from many a tree, and weld the nectars together in a single nectar; and as these find no separateness there, nor say: Of that tree I am the nectar, of that tree I am the nectar; so, indeed, dear, all these beings, when they enter into Being, know not, nor say: We have entered into Being. But whatever they are here, whether tiger or lion or wolf or boar or worm or moth or gnat or fly, whatever they are, that they become again. This is the fine essence, the Self of all that is, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Let the Master teach me further, said he.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 10]

These eastern rivers, dear, roll eastward; and the western, westward. From the ocean to the ocean they go, and in the ocean they are united; as there they know no separateness, nor say: This am I, this am I; so, indeed, dear, all these beings, when they come forth from Being, know not, nor say: We have come forth from Being. But whatever they are here, whether tiger or lion or wolf or boar or worm or moth or gnat or fly, whatever they are, that they become again. This is the fine essence, the Self of all that is, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Let the Master teach me further, said he.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 11]

If any one strike the root of this great tree, dear, it will flow and live; if any one strike the middle of it, it will flow and live; if any one strike the top, it will flow and live. So filled with Life, with the Self, drinking in and rejoicing, it stands firm. But if the life leave one branch, that branch dries up; if it leave a second, it will dry up; if it leave a third, it will dry up; if it leave the whole, the whole will dry up. Thus, indeed, dear, you must understand, said he. Abandoned by Life, verily, this dies; but Life dies not. This is the fine essence, the Self of all that is, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Let the Master teach me further, said he.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 12]

Bring me a fruit of that fig-tree, said he.

Here is the fruit, Master.

Divide it, said he.

It is divided, Master.

What do you see in it? said he.

These atom-like seeds, Master.

Divide one of them, said he.

It is divided, Master.

What do you see in it? said he.

I see nothing at all, Master.

So he said to him: That fine essence that you perceive not at all, dear, from that fine essence the great fig-tree comes forth. Believe then, dear, that this fine essence is the Self of all that is, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Let the Master teach me further, said he.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 13]

Put this salt in water, and come to me early in the morning.

He did so, and he said to him: The salt that you put in the water last night, bring it to me, beloved.

Seeking its appearance, he could not see it, as it was dissolved.

On this side taste it, said he; how is it?

It is salt, said he.

In the middle taste it, said he; how is it?

It is salt, said he.

On that side taste it, said he; how is it?

It is salt, said he.

Cast it away, then, and return to me.

He did so; but it exists forever. He said to him: You do not perceive Being in the world, yet in truth it is here. This fine essence is the Self of all that is, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Let the Master teach me further, said be.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 14]

Just as if, dear, one were to blindfold a man, and lead him far from Gandhara, and were to leave him in the wilderness, and to the east, to the north, to the south he should cry: Blindfolded am I led here, blindfolded am I deserted. And just as if one should come, and loosing the bandage from his eyes, should say: In that direction is Gandhara; in that direction you must go. And he asking from village to village like a wise man and learned, should come safe to Gandhara; so, verily, the man who has found a Teacher knows: It is only until the time of my release; then I shall find my home. And this fine essence is the Self of all that is, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Let the Master teach me further, said he.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 15]

When a man, dear, is near his end, his kin gather round him: Do you know me, do you know me? they say. So long as formative Voice sinks not back into Mind, and Mind into vital Breath, and vital Breath into the Radiance, and the Radiance into the higher Divinity, so long he knows. But when formative Voice sinks back into Mind, and Mind into vital Breath, and vital Breath into the Radiance, and the Radiance into the higher Divinity, he knows not. And this fine essence is the Self of all that is, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Let the Master teach me further, said he.

Be it so, dear, said he.

[Section 16]

As, dear, they seize a man and bring him: He has stolen, they say; he has committed theft. Heat the axe for him. And if he be the doer of it, he makes himself untrue; maintaining untruth, and wrapping himself in untruth, he grasps the heated axe; he is burned, and he is slain. But if he be not the doer of it, he makes himself true; maintaining truth, and wrapping himself in truth, he grasps the heated axe; he is not burned, and so he is set free. And the truth that saves him from burning, this is the Real, this the Self. That thou art, O Shvetaketu.

Thus he learned of him; thus, verily he learned.


Part VII, Sections 1-26

[Introduction]
Sanatkumara and Narada

Two of the greatest and most mysterious personages in the Indian tradition are the central figures in this story. The Upanishad text gives no clue as to why they are chosen; nor does the Commentary attributed to Shankaracharya greatly help us, beyond giving to Narada the title of Deva-Rishi, Divine Seer. But we may learn from the Puranas, and from The Secret Doctrine, which has much to say of profound interest regarding them, that Sanatkumara is one of the seven Mind-born Sons of Brahma; one of the seven Dhyan Chohans or Planetary Spirits, who stand at the head of the seven spiritual rays proceeding from the Logos; the rays on which all souls and all lives are ranged according to their several natures. Narada, the Deva Rishi, is incarnated in the earliest human races, and appears again and again, presiding over great and significant spiritual events in the life of mankind, as, for example, the incarnation of Krishna as Avatar. Narada appears to be the type of the Master, or of the Lodge of Masters, above whom is the Host of the Dhyan Chohan.

But Narada appears also to have a more general character, and to represent the seeking, aspiring spirit in all mankind, rising in spiritual longing toward the Lodge and the Host, and from them seeking spiritual life and light. For all mankind he says: “I have heard that he who knows the Soul crosses beyond sorrow, but I am one who sorrows.”

If, then, this dialogue represents the aspiring soul of man seeking and receiving wisdom from the Lodge, the heavenly Host, we might justly expect to find in it a summary of all wisdom, so far as wisdom may be put into words. At first sight, we do not find this, but rather an ascending ladder of powers, or faculties, or principles, the relations of which are not very clear, and are sometimes altogether obscure. But, as we look deeper, and brood over them, something like order begins to reveal itself among them.

There are in all twenty-three powers and principles in what we have called the ascending ladder; it would seem that they may be divided into three groups, the first group of eight being Name, Voice, Mind, Will, Imagination, Meditation, Discernment, Power; each being, in all likelihood, a symbol with several meanings. When Narada recites the sum of those things which he already knows, a sum which in fact includes all human knowledge, science, philosophy, practical life, and the arts of beauty, which the Commentary explains as comprising music, dancing and painting, Sanatkumara answers that all these things are Name only; the Vedas and the sciences are made up of words, words only. But words are definite forms of sound, and it seems that Name here stands not only for formed words but for all defined and concrete forms on the planes of manifestation. So with the next term in the series, Voice; besides being the immediate power which calls words into being, it seems to stand for the constructive powers which call all forms into being; for example, those powers in the germ plasm of the seed which give shape and form to the plant or animal. Then, coming back to the power of speech in man, the great Teacher says that Mind is beyond Voice, since all speech is an expression of the Mind, in which arises the form of the word before it is embodied in sound, in speech. And it would seem that, in the case of the germ plasm, there must be a similar antecedent stage, the potentiality or abstraction of the plant before it is expressed and manifested in a physical form. To go back again to man, we know by experience that, when we form a thought to be uttered in speech there is an element of exertion, of effort; we exert ourselves to think, just as we exert ourselves to climb a hill. Therefore Will is beyond Mind. And so, in the manifestation of the potentiality of the germ plasm in the growth of a plant, there is, beyond the abstract form, the driving power which pushes the plant out from the seed and up from the ground, a force which closely resembles Will. But we can will only what we can imagine, therefore Imagination is beyond Will; and, as we have been told, Imagination can add to Will marvellous effectiveness and power. But, in order that Imagination may be effective, it must be made fruitful by Meditation, that brooding power of which the symbol is fructifying heat. And, as the effective brooding of the bird is made manifest by the hatching of nestlings, so, says the Commentary, “Meditation is known by its fruit.” But in all imagining, made effective by Meditation, there is choice, selection of this and rejection of that, as a landscape painter may turn from one scene and take another for his picture. So beyond Meditation there is Discernment, that activity of Buddhi which forms a judgment. Finally, above all, and the source of all, is the Power which brings them into being. So for our human powers and for the powers in all life of which our human powers are but one manifestation, we can find a clue for the order in which they are recited here by Sanatkumara.

Then we come to the second group of eight, Food, Waters, Radiance, shining Ether, Memory, Hope, Life, Truth. The first four are evidently cosmic principles or elements, which have been considered in earlier parts of this Upanishad. But we may well believe that the second four are also cosmic principles: Memory and Hope may be the backward-looking and forward-looking powers of the Logos, which sum up the past and project it into the future. Life and Truth may well stand for the Logos itself, manifest and unmanifest; the eternal Truth made manifest in Life.

Seven powers or principles remain, all powers of the Soul: Discernment, Thought, Faith, Steadfastness, Happiness, and the two powers called the Great and the Soul, the Great corresponding to Mahat, and the Soul being Atma, the supreme, universal Self of all beings.

This is but an outline, a suggestion of the fulness of meaning that may be found in this teaching, through the right use of discernment and brooding meditation. And, when we come to sum the matter up, it would seem that in a certain sense this teaching does include the whole of wisdom, potentially, not fully revealed.

Much light may be added by a study of other parts of the Upanishads. Take this, for example: “When he sees no other, hears no other, discerns no other, that is the Great”; and compare this passage of the Brihad Aranyaka: “The Spirit sees not; yet seeing not, he sees. For the energy that dwelt in sight cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is no other besides the Spirit. or separate from him, for him to see. . . . The Spirit hears not; yet hearing not, he hears. For the energy that dwelt in bearing cannot cease, because it is everlasting. But there is nothing else besides the Spirit, or separate from him, for him to hear. . . . For only where there is separation may one see another, may one taste another, may one speak to another, may one hear another, may one think of another, may one touch another, may one know another. But the one Seer is undivided, like pure water. This, O king, is the world of the Eternal. This is the highest path. This is the highest treasure. This is the highest world. This is the highest bliss. All beings live on the fragments of this bliss.”

[Translation]
The Teaching of Sanatkumara
[Section 1]

“Teach me, Master!” Saying this, Narada came as a pupil to Sanatkumara.

“Come to me with what thou knowest; then I shall tell thee that which is beyond that”; thus he answered.

“The Rig Veda I know, Master, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, and the Atharva as fourth; the histories and ancient lore as fifth; the science of the Vedas; what concerns the Fathers; the study of numbers; divine events; the knowledge of periods of time; philosophical reasoning; the rules of conduct; the science of the bright powers; the science of the Eternal; the science of those who have passed from life; the science of battle; the science of the stars; the lore of serpents; the arts of beauty; this, Master, I know! So, Master, I am a knower of the magical chants, but not a knower of the supreme Self. the Soul. For I have heard, Master, from those who are like unto thee, that he who knows the Soul crosses beyond sorrow; but I, Master, am one who sorrows; therefore, may the Master cause me to cross to the further shore of sorrow!”

To him he answered: “Whatever thou hast learned, that, verily, is but Name; for these are but Name: the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, and the Atharva as fourth; the histories and ancient lore as fifth; the science of the Vedas; what concerns the Fathers; the study of numbers; divine events; the knowledge of periods of time; philosophical reasoning; the rules of conduct; the science of the bright powers; the science of the Eternal; the science of those who have passed from life; the science of battle; the science of the stars; the lore of serpents; the arts of beauty. This is but Name. Do thou reverence Name. He who reverences Name as the Eternal, as far as is the reach of Name, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Name as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Name?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Name.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 2]

“Voice verily, is beyond Name. For Voice makes known the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, and the Atharva as fourth; the histories and ancient lore as fifth; the science of the Vedas; what concerns the Fathers; the study of numbers; divine events; the knowledge of periods of time; philosophical reasoning; the rules of conduct; the science of the bright powers; the science of the Eternal; the science of those who have passed from life; the science of battle; the science of the stars; the lore of serpents; the arts of beauty; and also heaven and earth, the air, shining ether, water and fire, the bright powers and mankind; beasts and birds, herbs and trees, lords of the forest, all living things down to worms, butterflies and ants; the law of right and what is against the law; truth and untruth; good and evil; that which delights the heart, and that which delights not. If, verily, there were no Voice, neither the law of right nor what is against the law would be made known, nor truth nor untruth, nor good nor evil, nor that which delights the heart or delights not; Voice, verily, makes all this known. Do thou reverence Voice. He who reverences Voice as the Eternal, as far as is the reach of Voice, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Voice as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Voice?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Voice.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 3]

“Mind, verily, is beyond Voice. For, as the closed fist encompasses two Amalaka fruits, two Kola fruits, two Aksha fruits, so, verily, Mind encompasses Voice and Name. When through Mind he thinks, ‘Let me learn the magical chants!’ he learns them; ‘Let me perform the works!’ he performs them; ‘Let me desire sons and cattle!’ he desires them; ‘Let me desire this world and the other world!’ he desires them; for the Soul is Mind, the world is Mind, the Eternal is Mind. Do thou reverence Mind. He who reverences Mind as the Eternal, as far as is the reach of Mind, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Mind as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Mind?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Mind.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 4]

“Creative Will, verily, is beyond Mind; for when he exercises Will, he holds in Mind; then he sends forth Voice; he sends it forth in Name; in Name, the magical chants are one; in the magical chants the works are one. They, verily, are made one in Will; Will is their Soul; in Will they stand firm; through Will, heaven and earth came into being; through Will, air and shining ether came into being; through Will, the waters and fire came into being; through the Will of these, rain comes into being; through the Will of rain, food comes into being; through the Will of food, the lives come into being; through the Will of the lives, the magical chants come into being; through the Will of the magical chants, the works come into being; through the Will of the works, the world comes into being; through the Will of the world, all comes into being. Do thou reverence creative Will. He who reverences Will as the Eternal, attains worlds formed through Will; steadfast, he attains steadfast worlds; established, he attains established worlds; unshaken, he attains unshaken worlds; as far as is the reach of Will, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Will as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Will?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Will.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 5]

“Imagination, verily, is beyond Will; for when he exercises Imagination, then he evokes Will, then he holds in Mind, then he sends forth Voice; he sends it forth in Name; in Name, the magical chants are one; in the magical chants, the works are one. These, verily, become one in Imagination; Imagination is their Soul; in Imagination are they set firm; therefore, if anyone, even though knowing much, is without Imagination, they say of him, ‘He is naught; if he knew, if he were wise, he would not be thus without Imagination.’ But if anyone, even though not knowing much, is possessed of Imagination, they desire to listen to him. For Imagination is the meeting-place of these; Imagination is the Soul; Imagination is the support. Do thou reverence Imagination. He who reverences Imagination as the Eternal, attains worlds formed through Imagination; steadfast, he attains steadfast worlds; established, he attains established worlds; unshaken, he attains unshaken worlds; as far as is the reach of Imagination, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Imagination as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Imagination?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Imagination.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 6]

“Meditation, verily, is beyond Imagination. The earth meditates, as it were; the mid-space meditates, as it were; heaven meditates, as it were; the waters meditate, as it were; mountains meditate, as it were; the bright powers and men meditate, as it were; therefore, they who, here among men, attain to greatness, are partakers in the reward of Meditation. Those who are small, are quarrelsome, traitors, tale-bearers; but those who are great are partakers in the reward of Meditation. Do thou reverence Meditation. He who reverences Meditation as the Eternal, as far as is the reach of Meditation, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Meditation as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Meditation?“

“Verily, there is that beyond Meditation.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 7]

“Discernment, verily, is beyond Meditation. Through Discernment, he knows the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, and the Atharva as fourth; the histories and ancient lore as fifth; the science of the Vedas; what concerns the Fathers; the study of numbers; divine events; the knowledge of periods of time; philosophical reasoning; the rules of conduct; the science of the bright powers; the science of the Eternal; the science of those who have passed from life; the science of battle; the science of the stars; the lore of serpents; the arts of beauty; heaven, earth, air, shining ether, the waters, fire, the bright powers and men, beasts and birds, herbs and trees, the lords of the forest, all living things down to worms, butterflies and ants; the law of right and what is against the law; truth and untruth; good and evil; that which delights the heart and that which delights not; food and essence; this world and that world; through discernment, verily, he knows them. Do thou reverence Discernment as the Eternal. He who reverences Discernment as the Eternal, attains the worlds of Discernment, the worlds of Wisdom; as far as is the reach of Discernment, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Discernment as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Discernment?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Discernment.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 8]

“Power, verily, is beyond Discernment; for one man possessing Power causes a hundred men possessing Discernment to tremble. So, when he possesses Power, he becomes one who rises; rising, he becomes one who serves; serving, he becomes a disciple; a disciple, he becomes a seer, he becomes a hearer, he becomes a thinker, he becomes a knower, he becomes a doer, he becomes a discerner. For through Power stands the earth, through Power the mid-space, through Power the heavens, through Power the bright powers and men, through Power beasts and birds, herbs and trees, the lords of the forest, all living things down to the worms, butterflies and ants; through Power the world stands. Do thou reverence Power.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Power?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Power.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 9]

“Food, verily, is beyond Power. Therefore, if he should not eat during ten nights, if he should live, he becomes a non-seer, a non-hearer, a non-thinker, a non-knower, a non-doer, a non-discerner; but when Food comes to him, he becomes a seer, he becomes a hearer, he becomes a thinker, he becomes a knower, he becomes a doer, he becomes a discerner. Do thou reverence Food as the Eternal. He who reverences Food as the Eternal, attains worlds rich in Food and Drink. As far as is the reach of Food, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Food as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Food?”

“Verily, there is that which is beyond Food.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 10]

“The Waters, verily, are beyond Food. Therefore, when there is no good rain, the lives sicken: ‘Food will become less!’ they say. And so, when there is good rain, the lives rejoice: ‘Food will become abundant!’ they say. The Waters, verily, taking form, become this earth, the mid-space, heaven, the mountains, the bright powers and men, beasts and birds, herbs and trees, the lords of the forest, all living things down to the worms, butterflies and ants; the Waters taking form become these. Do thou reverence the Waters. He who reverences the Waters as the Eternal, attains all desires, he becomes full of content. As far as is the reach of the Waters, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences the Waters as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond the Waters?”

“Verily, there is that beyond the Waters.”

“Let the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 11]

“The Radiance, verily, is beyond the Waters. That, verily, laying hold of the air, heats the shining ether; then they say: ‘It is oppressive, it is hot, it will rain.’ The Radiance, verily, first showing this, then puts forth the Waters; then, with lightnings flashing up and across, thunderings come. Therefore, they say: ‘It tightens, it thunders, it will rain.’ The Radiance, first showing this, puts forth the Waters. Do thou reverence the Radiance. He who reverences the Radiance as the Eternal, possesses Radiance, he wins worlds possessing Radiance, luminous, whose darkness is driven away. As far as is the reach of the Radiance, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences the Radiance as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond the Radiance?”

“Verily, there is that beyond the Radiance.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 12]

“Shining Ether is beyond the Radiance. In shining Ether are both sun and moon, lightning, the starry mansions, fire. Through shining Ether, he calls; through shining Ether, he hears; through shining Ether, he responds; in shining Ether, he finds delight; in shining Ether, he finds not delight; in shining Ether, he is born; into shining Ether, he is born again. Do thou reverence shining Ether. He who reverences shining Ether as the Eternal, wins worlds possessing shining Ether, possessing radiant light, boundless, wide-extending. As far as is the reach of shining Ether, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences shining Ether as the Eternal.“

“Master, is there aught beyond shining Ether?”

“Verily, there is that beyond shining Ether.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 13]

“Memory, verily, is beyond shining Ether. For if many should gather together not possessing Memory, they would bear no one, they would not think, they would not discern; for through Memory he discerns his sons, through Memory his cattle. Do thou reverence Memory. He who reverences Memory as the Eternal, as far as is the reach of Memory, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Memory as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Memory?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Memory.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 14]

“Hope, verily, is beyond Memory. Kindled by Hope, verily, he learns the magical chants, he performs the works, he desires sons and cattle, he desires this world and that. Do thou reverence Hope. He who reverences Hope as the Eternal, by Hope all his desires are enriched, not vain are his expectations. As far as is the reach of Hope, so far is he lord of his desires who reverences Hope as the Eternal.”

“Master, is there aught beyond Hope?”

“Verily, there is that beyond Hope.”

“May the Master declare that to me!”

[Section 15]

“Life, verily, is beyond Hope. As the spokes are set firm in the nave, so in this Life is all set firm; through Life, life goes forward; Life gives life, to life it gives; for Life is father, Life is mother, Life is brother, Life is sister, Life is teacher, Life is the knower of the Eternal. So, if to father, mother, brother, sister, teacher, or knower of the Eternal he as answered aught too harshly, ‘Shame on thee!’ they say to him, ‘thou art a slayer of father, thou art a slayer of mother, thou art a slayer of brother, thou art a slayer of sister, thou art a slayer of teacher, thou art a slayer of a knower of the Eternal!’ But if, after life has gone from them, he should thrust them on the pyre with a bar of iron and should burn their bodies to ashes, they would not say to him: ‘Thou art a slayer of father, thou art a slayer of mother, thou art a slayer of brother, thou art a slayer of sister, thou art a slayer of teacher, thou art a slayer of a knower of the Eternal!’ For Life is all these. He, verily, who sees thus, thinks thus, discerns thus, becomes an excellent speaker. If they should say to him: ‘An excellent speaker art thou!’ he should say: ‘An excellent speaker am I’; he should not deny it. But he is an excellent speaker who through Truth excels in speaking.”

[Section 16]

“May I, then, Master, through Truth excel in speaking!”

“Truth must be sought and discerned.”

“Master, I would discern Truth!”

[Section 17]

“If he discerns, he speaks Truth; not without discerning does he speak Truth; discerning, he speaks Truth; Discernment is to be sought and discerned.”

”Master, I would seek Discernment!”

[Section 18]

“When he thinks, he discerns; not without thinking does he discern; with thinking he discerns; Thought is to be sought and discerned.”

“Master, I would know Thought!”

[Section 19]

“When he has Faith, he thinks; without Faith, he thinks not; having Faith, he thinks; Faith is to be sought and discerned.”

“Master, I would know Faith!”

[Section 20]

“When he is steadfast, he has Faith; not without steadfastness can he have Faith; steadfast, he has Faith; Steadfastness is to be sought and discerned.”

“Master, I would know Steadfastness!”

[Section 21]

“When he does the works, then he is steadfast; not without doing the works is he steadfast; doing the works, verily, he is steadfast; Working, verily, is to be sought and discerned.”

“Master, I would know Working!”

[Section 22]

“When he gains Happiness, he does the works; not without gaining Happiness does he work; gaining Happiness, verily, be works. Happiness, verily, is to be sought and discerned.”

“Master, I would know Happiness!”

[Section 23]

“The Great is Happiness; not in the little is Happiness; the Great, verily, is Happiness. The Great is to be sought and discerned.”

“Master, I would know the Great!”

[Section 24]

“Where he sees no other, hears no other, discerns no other, that is the Great. Where he sees other, hears other, discerns other, that is the little. The Great is immortal. The little is mortal.”

“In what, Master, does the Great stand firm?”

“In its own greatness; or, verily, not in greatness. Cattle and horses they call greatness here, elephants and gold, slaves and wives, lands and houses; but I say not so, for each of these is set firm in another.

[Section 25]

This, verily, is beneath, this is above, this is behind, this is before, this is in the South, this is in the North; this, verily, is all that is.

“Then, from this, the instruction concerning the thought of ‘I’; I, verily, beneath, I above, I behind, I before, I in the South, I in the North, I all that is.

“Then, from this, the instruction concerning the supreme Self, the Soul; the Soul, verily, beneath, the Soul above, the Soul behind, the Soul before, the Soul in the South, the Soul in the North, the Soul all that is. So, verily, he, seeing thus, thinking thus, discerning thus, delighting in the Soul, rejoicing in the Soul, wedded to the Soul, joying in the Soul, is self-ruled; in all worlds he is lord of his desires. But they who see otherwise are ruled by another; they are of perishable worlds; in all worlds they win not their desires.

[Section 26]

“For him, verily, who sees thus, who thinks thus, who discerns thus, from the Soul is Life, from the Soul is Hope, from the Soul is Memory, from the Soul is the shining Ether, from the Soul is the Radiance, from the Soul are the Waters, from the Soul are evolution and involution, from the Soul is Food, from the Soul is Power, from the Soul is Discernment, from the Soul is Meditation, from the Soul is Imagination, from the Soul is Will, from the Soul is Mind, from the Soul is Voice, from the Soul is Name, from the Soul are the magical chants, from the Soul are the works; from the Soul is all that is.”

Then there is this verse:

The Seer sees not death, sickness, nor any sorrow;
The Seer sees all, in all ways attaining all.

This is onefold, threefold, fivefold, sevenfold, ninefold, and again it is recorded as elevenfold, a hundred and elevenfold, and also twenty thousand-fold.

In pure food is pure being, in pure being the teaching stands firm, in gaining the teaching, there is a loosing of all knots; him whose stains are wiped away the Master Sanatkumara guides to the shore beyond the darkness; him they call the Warrior, him they call the Warrior.


Part VIII, Sections 1-15

[Introduction]
Instructions for Disciples

All the great Upanishads are concerned with the Mysteries, whether as rituals of Initiation or dialogues between Master and disciple. The present treatise, Chhandogya Upanishad, appears to be a graduated series of Instructions for disciples, beginning with what The Secret Doctrine calls the Law of Correspondence, and leading up gradually to the revelation that in man, as the Microcosm, are represented all the divine powers of the Logos, the Macrocosm.

The division of these Instructions here translated begins with the teaching of the Heart, as the dwelling place of spiritual consciousness and power. The heart, awakened, inspires the intelligence; the illuminated intelligence guides the powers of the heart.

Writing to the disciples at Corinth, Paul the Initiate said, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” In the same sense, this Upanishad speaks of man as “the city of the Eternal.” The “small lotus” within the city is the Heart, as dwelling place of spiritual power and light: “In this shining ether in the heart within are concentrated both heaven and earth,—whatsoever of the Self is in this world, and whatsoever is not, all this is concentrated in this dwelling”; the essence of all of the Logos that has so far been manifested in the visible world, and also the essence of all that has not yet been manifested, all that should be manifested until the consummation of the Yuga.

As so often, the teaching is cast in the form of a dialogue between a Master and his disciples. In many of these dialogues, as that between King Yama and Nachiketas, or that between Shvetaketu and his father, names are given; in the present teaching there are no names, yet the relation between Master and disciples shines out clearly.

There are two stages in the teaching: First, the revelation of the divine powers in the heart, as in the Macrocosm; second, the further revelation that, through the awakening of these divine powers, the Spiritual Man takes form, a being immortal, invincible, radiant. Even though the bodily temple be destroyed, the Divinity in the temple is untouched.

Then comes a vitally important message, which gives a clue to much of human life and to the cause of the tragedy of human life: “These true desires here are overlaid with false; of these true desires there is a covering of false. . . . Therefore, even as those who know not the place where a treasure of gold is buried, even though they walk over it again and again, would not find it, so, verily, all these beings here go day by day to the world of the Eternal and do not find it, led in captivity by the false.” The significance of this is exactly the same as that of the later parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

Nothing is but the Eternal and the powers of the Eternal. All men, all hearts, exiles from the Eternal, seek that incessantly, longing for their home, though they know not what they seek. That true desire underlies and gives life to all false desires. Those who seek satisfaction in fragrance and garlands, in song and music and fair women, even in food and drink, are blindly gropingly seeking the Eternal. Their true desires are overlaid with false. Yet the essence of what they desire, and that which alone can satisfy their desire is in the divine Self, the Eternal. By conquering the evil and allurement of false desires, we may make the heart clean, and in the clean heart find the dwelling of the Eternal.

In the Revelation, there is a close parallel to what is related in this Upanishad concerning “the third heaven above this world,” where are the Lake of Joy and the Tree of Life, distilling nectar: “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb . . . and on either side of the river was there the tree of life . . . and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Both Scriptures have the same theme, they are concerned with Initiation into the divine Spirit, among whose treasures are the water of life and the healing of the nations.

So we come to the great story of Prajapati, Lord of beings, to whom repaired Indra of the Gods and Virochana of the Demons. Its essence is the same as before: the true desires are overlaid with false, the illusory forms of this outer world. Virochana sees only the false covering and is fully satisfied with that. So it has been said that to fix the sight on Nature is evil and the source of evil, but, fixing the vision on Nature, to see through Nature to the Eternal, is the path of wisdom and immortality.

This is the essence, but the teaching of Prajapati goes farther than this. He covers, in fact, the whole teaching of the Seven Principles, as taught most succinctly in Mandukya Upanishad, leading up to the divine Self, one with the Logos, above the three limited vestures, in “the third heaven above this world,” to repeat the phrase already used.

[Translation]
The Lotus of the Heart
[Section 1]

And so, that which is in this city of the Eternal, a small lotus, is a dwelling; in it is a small space, radiant ether; that which is in this within, that is to be sought out, that is what you should seek to discern.

If the disciples should say to him, “That which is in this city of the Eternal, a small lotus, is a dwelling; in it is a small space, radiant ether; what is it that exists in it, that should be sought out, that we should seek to discern?”

He should say, “As great as is this shining ether of space, so great is this shining ether in the heart within; within this are concentrated both heaven and earth, both fire and wind, both sun and moon, lightning and the stellar realms; whatsoever of the Self is in this world and whatsoever is not, all this is concentrated in this dwelling.”

If the disciples should say to him, “If in this city of the Eternal all is concentrated, and all beings, and all desires, when old age overcomes this, or it falls into decay, what then remains of it?”

He should say, “Not through the fading of this does that grow old, nor by the slaying of this is that slain; this city of the Eternal is the Real, in it are concentrated desires, this is the Self, from which evil has been driven away, ageless, deathless, beyond sorrow, beyond hunger and thirst, true in desire, true in creative imagination; for it is as if people here should betake themselves to a new territory according to a decree, on whatsoever portion they should set their desires, whatever region, whatever part of the land, on that they would dwell, drawing a living from it. Then, just as here the region won by work is exhausted, so, verily, over there the region won by good works is exhausted. Therefore, they who in this world go forth, without having sought and found the divine Self and the true desires of the Self, for them there is in all the worlds no true fulfilment of desire; so they who in this world go forth, having sought and found the divine Self and the true desires of the Self, for them there is in all worlds the true fulfilment of desire.

[Section 2]

“So if he be desirous of the world of the Fathers, through his creative power the Fathers arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of the Fathers, he is mighty.

“And so if he be desirous of the world of the Mothers, through his creative power the Mothers arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of the Mothers, he is mighty.

“And so if he be desirous of the world of the Brothers, through his creative power the Brothers arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of the Brothers, he is mighty.

“And so if he be desirous of the world of the Sisters, through his creative power the Sisters arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of the Sisters, he is mighty.

“And so if he be desirous of the world of the Companions, through his creative power the Companions arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of the Companions, he is mighty.

“And so if he be desirous of the world of fragrance and garlands, through his creative power fragrance and garlands arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of fragrance and garlands, he is mighty.

“And so if he be desirous of the world of food and drink, through his creative power food and drink arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of food and drink, he is mighty.

“And so if he be desirous of the world of song and music, through his creative power song and music arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of song and music, he is mighty.

“And so if he be desirous of the world of fair women, through his creative power fair women arise and stand before him; endowed with the world of fair women, he is mighty.

“Whatsoever realm he is desirous of, whatever desire he desires, through his creative power it arises and stands before him; endowed with it, he is mighty.

[Section 3]

“These true desires here are overlaid with false; of these true desires there is a covering of false. Whoever, belonging to him, should go forth in death, he cannot reach him to behold him in this world. And so whoever there are belonging to him, living in this world, or who have gone forth in death, and whatever else he desires and cannot attain, entering into the divine Self he finds all this, for in the divine Self are all these his true desires which were overlaid with false. Therefore, even as those who know not the place where a treasure of gold is buried, even though they walk over it again and again, would not find it, so, verily, all these beings here go day by day to the world of the Eternal and do not find it, led in captivity by the false.

“This divine Self is in the heart. This is the definition of it, ‘He in the Heart.’ Therefore it is named the Heart. Day by day he who knows thus goes to the heaven world. And so he who is this Lord of peace, rising up from this body, attaining to the higher Light, is endowed with his own form; this is the divine Self,” said he; “this is the immortal, the fearless; this is the Eternal; and of him, of this Eternal, the name is Satyam, Truth.

“These are the three syllables: Sat-ti-yam; Sat is the immortal; Ti is the mortal; Yam joins the two, uniting the mortal to the immortal. Therefore, he who knows thus goes day by day to the heaven world.

[Section 4]

“And so, that which is the divine Self, that is the bridge, holding the worlds apart, that they may not blend together. Day and night cross not this bridge, nor age and death, nor good nor ill works; all evil deeds turn back from this, for all evil is driven away from this world of the Eternal. Therefore, when he has crossed this bridge, the blind is no longer blind, nor the maimed maimed, nor the afflicted afflicted. Therefore, crossing this bridge, night is transformed to day, for this world of the Eternal is radiance everlasting.

“Therefore, they who seek and find this world of the Eternal through service of the Eternal, theirs is this world of the Eternal; in all worlds theirs is the fulfilment of true desire.

[Section 5]

“And so what they name sacrifice is service of the Eternal, for he who through service of the Eternal has attained wisdom, finds that world. And so what they name offering is service of the Eternal, for making the offering through service of the Eternal, he finds the divine Self. And so what they name the continued sacrifice is service of the Eternal, for through service of the Eternal he finds the continuing home of the true divine Self. And so what they name silent meditation is service of the Eternal, for through service of the Eternal seeking and finding the divine Self, he meditates. And so what they name fasting is service of the Eternal, for the divine Self which he finds through service of the Eternal stands fast. And so what they name dwelling in the forest is service of the Eternal; for the forest is Aranya, and Ara and Nya are the two seas in the world of the Eternal, in the third heaven above this world. There are the Lake of Joy and the Tree of Life, distilling nectar; there is the invincible stronghold of the Eternal, the golden dwelling of the Lord. Therefore, they who seek and find these two seas in the world of the Eternal through service of the Eternal, theirs is the world of the Eternal; theirs in all worlds is the fulfilment of true desire.

[Section 6]

“And so there are these channels of the heart which arise from the subtile essence, orange and bright and deep blue and yellow and red; that sun is orange, bright, deep blue, yellow and red. Therefore, as a highway stretched out goes between two villages, this and that, so, verily, these rays of the sun go between two worlds, this and that; they radiate from that sun and penetrate into these channels; they radiate from these channels and penetrate into the sun.

“Therefore, where one is sunk in sleep, altogether entered into quietude, so that he discerns no dream, then he has entered into these channels; him no evil touches, for he is then endowed with the radiance.

“And so when one has fallen into weakness, they who are seated about him say, ‘Knowest thou me? Knowest thou me’ He, so long as he has not risen from this body, knows them. And so when he rises from this body, by these rays he mounts upward. Repeating, Om, verily, he ascends; as swiftly as he could send a thought, so swiftly he goes to the sun; this, truly, is the door of the world, the entrance of the wise, but a barrier to the unwise.”

Therefore, there is this verse:

A hundred and one are the channels of the heart; of them one mounts upward to the crown; ascending by that, he goes to immortality; the others lead in all directions.

[Translation, cont.]
Deva and Asura
[Sections 7-8]

“That divine Self from which all evil is driven away, ageless, deathless, beyond sorrow, beyond hunger and thirst, whose desire is true, whose creative power is true, that is to be sought after, that is to be discerned; he wins all worlds and all desires who, seeking that divine Self, discerns it:” thus spake Prajapati, Lord of beings.

This both Devas and Asuras, Gods and Demons, heard. They said “That divine Self we desire to know, that Self seeking which one wins all worlds and all desires.”

Indra, verily, of the Gods, and Virochana of the Demons set forth toward him; these two, not making it known to each other, drew near to Prajapati with fuel in their hands.

They two dwelt in service of the Eternal thirty-two years. To them Prajapati said, “Seeking what have ye dwelt here?”

They two said, “’That Self from which all evil is driven away, ageless, deathless, beyond sorrow, beyond hunger and thirst, Whose desire is true, whose creative power is true, that is to be sought after, that is to be discerned; he wins all worlds and all desires who, seeking that Self, discerns it’: thus they report the Master’s word; seeking this, we have dwelt here.”

To them Prajapati said, “This person who is seen in the eye, this is the Self, said he, this is the immortal, fearless, this is the Eternal!”

“But that one, Master, who is perceived in water, and that one in a mirror, which is he?”

“It is he, verily; in all these places he is perceived. When ye have considered the Self in a vessel of water, whatever of the Self ye understand not, declare ye that to me.”

They two observed in the vessel of water. To them, Prajapati said, “What see ye?” They said, “We see the whole Self of our two selves, Master, answering even to the hair, even to the nails.”

To them Prajapati said, “Adorning yourselves well, with fair garments well decked, observe in the vessel of water.” They two, adorning themselves well, with fair garments, well decked, observed in the vessel of water.

To them Prajapati said, “What see ye?” They said, “Just as we two, Master, are well adorned, with fair garments, well decked, so are these two, Master, well adorned, with fair garments, well decked!”

“This is the Self,” said he, “this is the immortal, fearless, this is the Eternal!”

They two went forth with peaceful heart. Following them with his eyes, Prajapati said, “Without understanding the Self, without finding, they two have departed! Whosoever shall hold this to be the true teaching, Gods or Demons, they shall go astray and fall!”

With peaceful heart Virochana went to the Demons. To them he declared this as the true doctrine, “Self, verily, in this world is to be reverenced, Self is to be served; reverencing Self, verily, in this world, serving Self, he wins both worlds, this and the other world.”

Therefore, even to-day in this world they say, of him who gives no gifts, who has no faith, who makes no sacrifice, “He is as a Demon!” For this is the doctrine of Demons. They deck the body of one who has gone forth with begged garlands and perfumes, robes and ornaments, thinking that with this they will win the other world.

[Sections 9-12]

But Indra, even before he had reached the Gods, saw this fear: “Verily, just as when the body is well adorned, this is well adorned; when the body is well clad, this is well clad; when the body is well decked, this is well decked; in just the same way, when the body is blind, this is blind; when the body is halt, this is halt; when the body is maimed, this is maimed; when the body is destroyed, this is destroyed. I see nothing enjoyable in this!”

So with fuel in his hand he came back again. To him Prajapati said, “O Masterful One, with peaceful heart thou hast departed with Virochana; seeking what hast thou come back?”

He said, “Just as, Master, when the body is well adorned, this is well adorned; when the body is well clad, this is well clad; when the body is well decked, this is well decked; in just the same way, when the body is blind, he is blind, when halt, halt, when maimed, maimed, and when the body is destroyed, this is destroyed. I see nothing enjoyable in this!”

“He is so, in truth, O Masterful One,” said he. “But I shall make him further manifest to thee. Dwell here other two and thirty years!”

He dwelt there other two and thirty years. To him the Lord of beings said, “He who moves and acts in dreams, putting on greatness, he is the Self; this is the immortal, the fearless, this is the Eternal.”

He set forth with peaceful heart, but even before he had reached the Gods, he saw this fear: “Even though it be true that, when the body is blind, this Self of dream is not blind, when the body is halt, he is not halt, nor is he impaired through the defect of the body; not by the slaying of this is he slain, nor by the maiming of this is he maimed; nevertheless they seem to slay him, they seem to pursue him; he feels what is painful, he laments, as it were. I see nothing enjoyable in this!”

So with fuel in his hand he came back again. To him Prajapati said, “O Masterful One, with peaceful heart thou hast departed; seeking what hast thou come back?”

He said, “Even though it be true, Master, that, when the body is blind, this Self of dream is not blind, when the body is halt, he is not halt, nor is he impaired through the defect of the body; not by the slaying of this is he slain, nor by the maiming of this is he maimed; nevertheless they seem to slay him, they seem to pursue him; he feels what is painful, he laments, as it were. I see nothing enjoyable in this!”

“He is so, in truth, O Masterful One,” said he. “But I shall make him further manifest to thee. Dwell here other two and thirty years.”

He dwelt there other two and thirty years. To him the Lord of beings said, When one is sunk in sleep, altogether entered into quietude, so that he discerns no dream, this is the Self, said he; this is the immortal, the fearless, this is the Eternal.”

He set forth with peaceful heart, but even before he had reached the Gods, he saw this fear: “Verily, this Self in dreamlessness does not completely know himself, so as to say, ‘I am he,’ nor does he know these beings; he has gone to surcease. I see nothing enjoyable in this!”

So with fuel in his hand he came back again. To him Prajapati said, “O Masterful One, with peaceful heart thou hast departed; seeking what hast thou come back?”

He said, “Verily, this Self in dreamlessness does not completely know himself, so as to say, I am he, nor does he know these beings; he has gone to surcease. I see nothing enjoyable in this!”

“He is so, in truth, O Masterful One,” said he. “But I shall make him further manifest to thee, for there is nothing other than this. Dwell here other five years.”

He dwelt there other five years. This completed one hundred and one years. This is why they say, One hundred and one years Indra the Masterful One dwelt with Prajapati in service of the Eternal.

To him the Lord of beings said, “O Masterful One, mortal, verily, is this body, seized and held by death, yet it is the standing place of the immortal, bodiless, divine Self. This Self, when united with the body, is enthralled by pleasure and pain, for there is no driving away of pleasure and pain for him who is united with the body, but pleasure and pain do not touch the bodiless.

“Bodiless are the wind, cloud, lightning, thunder, bodiless are these. Therefore, as these, ascending from that expanse of ether, entering into the higher Light, return to their own form, so, verily, this Perfect Peace, ascending from this body, entering into the higher Light, returns to his own form. This is the highest Spiritual Man. There he rejoices, as those rejoice who laugh, disporting themselves, finding delight in fair women, in cars, in friends, not remembering the burden of this body. For as a horse is yoked to a wagon, so is this Life yoked to the body.

“And so, when the eye is fixed on aught in space, it is the Spirit that sees, the eye is but the means of seeing; and so, when he says, ‘Let me smell this,’ it is the Self, the sense of smell is but the means; and so, when he says, ‘Let me utter this,’ it is the Self, voice is but the means of utterance; and so, when he says, ‘Let me hear this,’ it is the Self, the sense of hearing is but the means; and so, when he says, ‘Let me think this,’ it is the Self, the mind is the radiant eye of the Self; with this radiant eye, the mind, the Self sees these desires and is full of joy.

“Those who are in the world of the Eternal, the Radiant Ones, worship the divine Self. Therefore, by them all worlds are possessed and all desires. All worlds he wins and all desires who, seeking after the divine Self, discerns it.” Thus spake Prajapati; thus spake Prajapati.

[Section 13]

From the dark, go forward to the many-coloured; from the many-coloured, I go forward to the dark. Just as a horse shakes off loose hairs, so I rid myself of sin; ridding myself of this body, as the moon escapes from the mouth of the Demon of eclipse, I, a Spirit completely formed, am born into the uncreate world of the Eternal, I am born into the world of the Eternal.

[Section 14]

That which is named the shining ether is the moulder of name and form, of separate life. That within which these dwell is the Eternal, that is the Supreme Spirit. To the assembly of the Lord of beings, to His dwelling I go forward. I become the glory of knowers of the Eternal, the glory of kings, the glory of the people. Glory have I attained. Therefore may I, the glory of glories, not fall into hoary and toothless days, into toothless and hoary and decrepit days. May I escape decrepit days.

[Section 15]

This teaching Lord Brahma imparted to the Lord of beings, the Lord of beings imparted it to Manu, and Manu to his descendants. He who, following the rule, has learned this Wisdom from the family of a Master, in the time left over from doing the Master’s work, turns again home. Nor does such a one return again.

[Here ends the Chhandogya Upanishad]