The Taittiriya Upanishad is made up, for the most part, of Instructions for younger disciples, who are learning the first lessons of the secret wisdom from a Master.

As might be expected, these Instructions are often enigmatic, in part because of their brevity; they are intended, not simply to convey information to the mind, but rather to awaken the intuition and to supply material for careful, deliberative thought and meditation.

They contain, among other things, tables of Correspondences, illustrating what The Secret Doctrine calls “the eternal law of correspondences and analogy,” regarding which it is further said:

“From Gods to men, from Worlds to atoms, from a Star to a rushlight, from the Sun to the vital heat of the meanest organic being—the world of Form and Existence is an immense chain, the links of which are all connected. The Law of Analogy is the first key to the world-problem, and these links have to be studied co-ordinately in their Occult relation to each other” (S.D., I, pages 640 and 662).

To illustrate the method of study: If the section entitled “The Law of Correspondences” be drawn up as a table, it will be found that the disciple is compared with the father, the Master being the mother; the purpose of the teaching is, to bring forth the “new creature,” the spiritual man, in the disciple. Thoughtful study will reveal many points of equal interest.


[I.]

Invocation

May Mitra, divinity of the day, guard us! May Varuna, divinity of the night, guard us! May Aryaman, divinity of the sun, guard us! May Indra, divinity of power, guard us! May Brihaspati, divinity of voice and of intelligence, guard us! May wide-striding Vishnu, divinity of progress, guard us!

Obeisance to the Eternal! Obeisance to thee, Vayu, the Great Breath! Thou, verily, art the Eternal made manifest! Thee, verily, as the Eternal made manifest I shall declare. I shall declare the Truth. I shall declare the Real. May it protect me! May it protect the speaker! May it protect me! May it protect the speaker! Om: Peace! Peace! Peace!

Intoning Sacred Sentences

Om: We shall set forth in order the teaching regarding Intoning.

The colour of the sound; the tone, whether high or low; the measure, whether long or short; the stress, whether strong or light; the enunciation, making the sound audible; the combination, linking sounds together.

Thus the teaching of Intoning is declared.

The Law of Correspondences

May honour abide with us two, Master and disciple! May the radiance of the Eternal abide with us two!

We shall now set forth in order the secret teaching of Correspondences, under five heads: Regarding the world; the givers of light; the teaching; offspring; self. This is called the teaching of Correspondences.

Now, regarding the world: the earth is the initial form, heaven is the final form; the ether of space is the mediating power; Vayu, the Great Breath, brings about the union. Thus, regarding the world.

Now, regarding the givers of light: fire is the initial form; the sun is the final form; the waters of space are the mediating power; the lightning brings about the union. Thus, regarding the givers of light.

Now, regarding the teaching: the Master is the initial form; the accepted disciple is the final form; the secret teaching is the mediating power; the imparting of the teaching brings about the union. Thus, regarding the teaching.

Now, regarding offspring: the mother is the initial form; the father is the final form; the offspring is the mediating power; the engendering brings about the union. Thus, regarding offspring.

Now, regarding self: the lower jaw is the initial form; the upper jaw is the final form; voice is the mediating power; the tongue brings about the union. Thus, regarding self.

These are the Correspondences. He who knows these Correspondences, thus set forth in order, is united with offspring and flocks, with the radiance of the Eternal, with food and all blessings, with the heavenly world.

Invocation by the Master

The Power who inspired the sacred hymns is the Divinity of universal form. Above the hymns, he came into being from the Everlasting. May this Ruler endow me with holy wisdom! May I, O Radiant One, become a container and bestower of immortality!

May my body be full of vigour! May my tongue be sweeter than honey! May I hear fully with my ears!

Thou art the vesture of the Eternal, endowed with holy wisdom! Guard for me what I have heard!

Divine Grace brings blessings, and distributes them. May that Grace take to herself these vestures and herds! May she provide food and drink, granting me a blessing always! May she grant the flocks with their fleeces! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, come to me! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, come apart to me! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, come forth to me! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, conquer themselves! Adoration!

May disciples, serving the Eternal, win peace! Adoration!

May I be Radiance among mankind! Adoration!

May I be more blessed than those rich in possessions! Adoration!

May I enter, Lord, into Thee! Adoration!

Thou, Lord, enter into me! Adoration!

In the Power, thousand-rayed, in Thee, Lord, I am clean! Adoration!

As waters flow, descending; as the months flow into the sum of days, so, Universal Lord, let disciples, serving the Eternal, come from the whole world to me! Adoration!

Thou art my Refuge! Pour thy Light upon me! Come to me!

The Four Realms

Earth, Mid-world, Heaven: These are the three Expressions. Mahachamasya made known a fourth, in addition to these: the Great One. This is the Eternal, this is the Supreme Self. The other divine powers are its members.

The Earth, verily, is this world; the Mid-world is the interspace; Heaven is that world; the Great One is the sun. Through the sun, verily, all worlds are made great.

The Earth, verily, is this fire; the mid-world is the wind; Heaven is the sun; the Great One is the moon. Through the moon, verily all lights are made great.

The Earth, verily, is the Rig Veda; the Mid-world is the Sama Veda; Heaven is the Yajur Veda; the Great One is knowledge of the Eternal. Through knowledge of the Eternal, all the Vedas are made great.

The Earth, verily, is the forward-breath; the Mid-world is the downward-breath; Heaven is the distributive-breath; the Great One is food. Through food, verily, all the vital breaths are made great.

They, verily, these four, are divided fourfold. The Expressions are four and four. Who knows these, knows the Eternal; to him all the bright Powers bring victory.

The Man Formed of Mind

This radiant ether, here, in the heart within, in it is the Spiritual Man, formed of Mind, immortal, of the colour of gold; here, at the division of the palate, this, which is pendent, like a nipple, this is the womb of the Ruler. Opening a way here, at the top of the head, where the hair separates, and saying, Earth! he establishes himself on this fire; saying, Mid-world! he establishes himself upon the wind; saying, Heaven! He establishes himself in the sun; saying, the Great One! he establishes himself in the Eternal. He wins self-mastery. He wins the Lord of the mind. He becomes lord of voice, lord of vision, lord of hearing, lord of knowledge, all this, he becomes, and more, the Eternal, whose vesture is the ether of space, whose soul is the Real, whose garden is Life, whose joy is Mind, whose treasure is Peace immortal. Thus worship, thou of the ancient Yoga!

Fivefold Correspondences
Earth interspace heaven directions inter-directions
Fire wind sun moon constellations
Water plants trees space self

Thus, with regard to beings. Now, with regard to self:

Forward-breat distributive-breath downward-breath upward-breath uniting-breath
Vision hearing mind voice touch
Skin flesh sinew bone marrow

Thus distributing the powers, a Seer and Sage has said: Fivefold, verily, is this all. Through the five, he wins the five.

The Sacred Syllable Om

Om is the eternal. Om is all this universe. Om is also the expression of assent. Saying, Om! Invoke! they invoke at the sacrifice. Saying, Om! they intone the Sama hymns. Saying, Om! they praise the weapons. Saying, Om! the priest utters the response. Saying, Om! the chief priest chants the opening praise. Saying, Om! the sacrificer assents to the fire-oblation. Saying, Om I the Brahman, about to recite, prays, May I receive inspiration! He receives inspiration.

Study and Instruction

The True, study and instruction; the Real, study and instruction; fervour, study and instruction; control, study and instruction; peace, study and instruction; the fires, study and instruction; the fire-oblation, study and instruction; guests, study and instruction; the sons of man, study and instruction; offspring, study and instruction; engendering, study and instruction; bringing up children, study and instruction.

The true!” said Rathitara, speaker of truth. “Fervour!” said Paurushishti, ever fervent. “Study and instruction!” said Naka, son of Mudgala, “for this is fervour, this is fervour!”

A Meditation

I am he who fells the tree of rebirth; my glory is as a mountain peak, exalted, pure; I am as the nectar in the sun, the treasure, radiant; I am the possessor of wisdom, immortal, indestructible!

Master and Disciple

When he has taught him the Vedas, the Master thus instructs the accepted disciple:

Speak the truth! Work righteousness! Be not remiss in study! Bring a gift acceptable to thy Master, and break not the link of spiritual descent! Depart not from the truth! Depart not from righteousness! Depart not from true welfare! Depart not from true prosperity! Depart not from study and from thy instruction!

Depart not from what is owed to the bright Powers and the Fathers! Let thy mother be to thee as a divinity! Let thy father be to thee as a divinity! Let thy Master be to thee as a divinity! Let a guest be to thee as a divinity! Let all blameless works be performed, but not others! Those things which are esteemed good among us, should be revered by thee, and not others! Whichever knowers of the Eternal are best among us, should be received by thee with reverence!

Give thy gifts with faith! Give not without faith! Give with grace! Give with humility! Give with reverence! Give with compassion!

If thou shouldest have a doubt concerning thy work, or concerning conduct, whatever knowers of the Eternal are there, full of judgment, qualified, devoted, gentle-hearted, loving righteousness, as these shall bear themselves in such a matter, so do thou bear thyself!

Concerning those who are reprimanded, whatever knowers of the Eternal are there, full of judgment, qualified, devoted, gentle-hearted, loving righteousness, as these shall bear themselves in such a matter, so do thou bear thyself! This is the instruction, this is the counsel, this is the secret wisdom of the Vedas, this is the command handed down; thus shalt thou reverently serve! Thus, verily, should service be rendered.

Closing Invocation

May Mitra, divinity of the day, guard us! May Varuna, divinity of the night, guard us! May Aryaman, divinity of the sun, guard us! May Indra, divinity of power, guard us! May Brihaspati, divinity of voice and of intelligence, guard us! May wide-striding Vishnu, divinity of progress, guard us!

Obeisance to the Eternal! Obeisance to thee, Vayu, the Great Breath!

Thou, verily, art the Eternal made manifest! Thee, verily, as the Eternal made manifest, I have declared. I have declared the Truth. I have declared the Real. It has protected me. It has protected the speaker. Om: Peace! Peace! Peace!

II.

He who knows the Eternal attains to the Supreme. Therefore, this has been declared: He who has gained the knowledge of the Eternal, the Truth, Wisdom, Infinite, hid in the secret place, in the highest shining ether, he, indeed, gains all desires together with the All-Wise Eternal.

From That, verily, from this universal Self, the shining Ether came to birth; from Ether, the Wind, the Great Breath; from the Wind, Fire; from Fire, the Waters; from the Waters, the Earth; from the Earth, Plants; from Plants, Food; from Food, the Seed; from the Seed, Man. So, verily, this man is formed of the essence of food; this is his head, this is his right side, this is his left side, this is himself, this is the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

From food, verily, beings are born, whatsoever they are that dwell on earth; and so by food they live, and so to it they go at the end; for food is the eldest of beings, therefore it is called the all-healing; they, verily, obtain all food, who worship the Eternal as food. Food, verily, is the eldest of beings, therefore it is called the all-healing. From food, beings are born; born, through food they increase; That is eaten, and eats beings, therefore it is called food.

Within him, within this formed of the essence of food, there is another inner self, formed of life-breath; by it, this is filled. And he, verily, has the form of man; according to the human form of that, this has the form of man; the forward-breath is his head, the distributive-breath is his right side, the downward-breath is his left side, the ether is himself, earth is the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

With breath the bright powers breathe, and men and beasts, whatsoever they be, for breath is of beings the life; therefore it is called all-life; they, verily, gain a complete life, who worship the Eternal as the life-breath. For breath is the life of all beings, therefore it is called all-life. This self is embodied in the other, the preceding.

Within him, within this formed of life-breath, there is another inner self, formed of mind; by it, this is filled. And he, verily, has the form of man; according to the human form of that, this has the form of man; the Yajur is his head, the Rig is his right side, the Sama is his left side, the instruction is himself, Atharva and Angiras are the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

That from which words turn back, falling short, together with mind, knowing that bliss of the Eternal, he fears no more for ever. This self is embodied in the other, the preceding.

Within him, within this formed of mind, there is another inner self, formed of understanding; by it, this is filled. And he, verily, has the form of man; according to the human form of that, this has the form of man; faith is his head, righteousness is his right side, truth is his left side, union is himself, the mighty is the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

Understanding draws forth sacrifice, and draws forth works also; as understanding, all the bright powers worship the Eternal, the eldest. If he has come to know the Eternal as understanding, and is not allured therefrom, putting away sins with the body, he gains all desires. This self is embodied in the other, the preceding.

Within him, within this formed of understanding, there is another inner self, formed of bliss; by it, this is filled. And he, verily, has the form of man; according to the human form of that, this has the form of man; love is his head, joy is his right side, rejoicing is his left side, bliss is himself, the Eternal is the basis whereon he stands firm. Therefore, there is this verse:

Unmanifest, verily, he becomes, if he knows the Eternal as unmanifest. If he knows that the Eternal is, thereafter they know him as manifest. This self is embodied in the other, the preceding.

And so there are the further questions: whether anyone who has not attained to wisdom gains that world on going forth, or whether he who has attained to wisdom gains that world on going forth.

He desired: may I become many, may I form beings. He brooded with fervour; brooding with fervour, he emanated all this, whatsoever there is; when he had emanated it, following, he entered into it; entering it, he became what is here and what is there, the defined and the undefined, that which has form and what is formless, understanding and what is beyond understanding, both the real and the unreal. As the real, he became whatsoever is here; that is called the real. Therefore, there is this verse:

Unmanifest, verily, was That in the beginning; from That, verily, the manifest came into being; That manifested itself as the Self, therefore That is called the Self-formed. That, verily, which is Self-formed, is the essence; gaining that essence, he possesses bliss; for who could live, who could breathe, if the shining ether were not joy? For this, verily, brings joy. For when he finds the fearless, the firm foundation, in that which is invisible, selfless, undefined, formless, then, verily, he has gained that which is beyond fear. But if he makes separateness in this, then fear is his. But That, verily, is the fear of him who has gained wisdom and understanding. Therefore, there is this verse:

From awe of That, the wind blows; from awe of That, the sun rises; from awe of That, the Fire-lord and the Sky-lord, and Death runs as the fifth.

This is the measuring of joy:

Let there be a youth, a righteous youth, who has mastered the teaching, very swift, very firm, very powerful, and let this whole earth be full of riches for him; this is one joy of the sons of men.

A hundred joys of the sons of men are one joy of the angels of human form, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the angels of human form are one joy of the angels of divine form, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the angels of divine form are one joy of the Fathers, in the long-enduring worlds, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the Fathers in the long-enduring worlds are one joy of the beings divine by birth, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the beings divine by birth are one joy of those divine beings who have gained divinity through work, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of those divine beings who have gained divinity through work are one joy of the divinities, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the divinities are one joy of the Lord of heaven, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the Lord of heaven are one joy of the Instructor of divine beings, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the Instructor of divine beings are one joy of the Father of all beings, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

A hundred joys of the Father of all beings are one joy of the Eternal, and of the disciple who has attained, who is not stricken by desire.

He who is here, in man, and he who is there, in the sun, are one. He who knows this, on going forth from this world transcends this self formed of food, transcends this self formed of life-breath, transcends this self formed of mind, transcends this self formed of understanding, transcends this self formed of bliss. Therefore, then: is this verse:

That from which words turn back, falling short, together with mind, knowing that bliss of the Eternal, he fears no more for ever. Nor does this afflict him: What righteousness have I not worked? What evil have I worked? He who thus knows, raises himself above these two; he raises himself above these two, who knows thus. This is the Secret Teaching, the Upanishad.

III.

Bhrigu, verily, the son of Varuna, drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. To him he declared this: Food, life-breath, sight, hearing, mind, voice; he told him: That from which these beings are born, that whereby they live, that to which they go forth, into which they enter and are absorbed, seek thou to understand that, for that is the Eternal.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is food; for from food, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through food; to food they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

When he had understood this, he again drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. He told him: Through brooding meditation seek thou to understand the Eternal, for the Eternal is brooding meditation.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is life; for from life, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through life; to life they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

When he had understood this, be again drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. He told him: Through brooding meditation seek thou to understand the Eternal, for the Eternal is brooding meditation.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is mind; for from mind, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through mind; to mind they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

When he had understood this, he again drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. He told him: Through brooding meditation seek thou to understand the Eternal, for the Eternal is brooding meditation.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is understanding; for from understanding, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through understanding; to understanding they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

When he had understood this, he again drew near to Varuna his father. Master, teach me the Eternal, said he. He told him: Through brooding meditation seek thou to understand the Eternal, for the Eternal is brooding meditation.

He brooded in meditation. When he had brooded in meditation, he understood that the Eternal is joy; for from joy, verily, these beings are born; born, they live through joy; to joy they go forth, into it they enter and are absorbed.

This, verily, is the wisdom of Bhrigu, son of Varuna; in the supreme shining ether it is set firm. He who thus knows, stands firm; possessing food, he becomes the eater of food; he becomes mighty through offspring, through herds, through the radiance of the Eternal, mighty in renown.

Let him not blame food; this is the law. For food is life; the body is the eater of food. In life the body is set firm; in the body life is set firm; therefore, in food, food is set firm. He who knows this food set firm in food, he indeed stands firm; possessing food, he becomes the eater of food; he becomes mighty through offspring, through herds, through the radiance of the Eternal, mighty m renown.

Let him not disregard food; this is the law. For the waters are food; the radiance is the eater of food. In the waters the radiance is set firm; in the radiance the waters are set firm; therefore, in food, food is set firm. He who knows this food set firm in food, he indeed stands firm; possessing food, he becomes the eater of food; he becomes mighty through offspring, through herds, through the radiance of the Eternal, mighty in renown.

Let him make food abundant; this is the law. For the earth is food; shining ether is the eater of food. In the earth, shining ether is set firm; in shining ether the earth is set firm; therefore, in food, food is set firm. He who knows this food set firm in food, he indeed stands firm; possessing food, he becomes the eater of food; he becomes mighty through offspring, through herds, through the radiance of the Eternal, mighty in renown.

Let him not refuse any in the dwelling; this is the law. Therefore, by whatever means, let him obtain much food. Food has become a blessing for him, they say. This food, verily, has been prepared in the beginning. For him who seeks, this food is prepared in the beginning. This food, verily, has been prepared in the middle. For him who seeks, this food is prepared in the middle. This food, verily, has been prepared at the end. For him who seeks, this food is prepared at the end; for him who thus knows.

Conserving the voice, gaining and conserving through the forward-breath and the downward-breath, work for the hands, going for the feet, ridding himself of what is rejected: this is the way of wisdom and worship for mankind. Then the way for the bright powers: abounding joy in the rain, power in the lightning, bright life among creatures, shining light among the stars; the forming of beings, the immortal, joy in creative power; in the shining ether, the all. Let him reverence That as the firm foundation; he gains a firm foundation. Let him reverence That as the mighty; he becomes mighty. Let him reverence That as mind; he becomes lord of mind. Let him reverence That as obeisance; to him desires make obeisance. Let him reverence That as the Eternal; he gains the Eternal. Let him reverence That as dying into the Eternal; they who hate him, who contend against him, the enemies of his own household, die around him. He who is here, in man, and he who is there, in the sun, are one.

He who thus knows, going forth from this world, transcends this self formed of food, he transcends this self formed of life-breath, he transcends this self formed of mind, he transcends this self formed of understanding, he transcends this self formed of bliss; entering those realms, going to and fro, possessing food according to his desire, taking form according to his desire, he dwells there singing this holy song:

Splendour! Splendour! Splendour!

I am the food! I am the food! I am the food!

I am the eater of the food! I am the eater of the food! I am the eater of the food!

I am the maker of the song! I am the maker of the song! I am the maker of the song!

I am the firstborn of the Real, before the gods, from the womb of the immortal!

He who gives me, he also guards me!

I, the food, eat the eater of the food!

I have overcome the world!

I am robed in golden light!

This is the Secret Teaching, the Upanishad.