Om. Prostrations to Nārāyana wearing conch, discus, and mace,2 by whom the Yogi is released from the bondage of the cycle of rebirth through the utterance of Him who is of the form of Pranava, the Om, composed of the three letters A, U, and M, who is the uniform bliss and who is the Brahmapurusha (all-pervading Purusha). Om. Therefore the reciter of the Mantra “Om-namo-Nārāyanāya” reaches the Vaikuntha world. It is the heart-Kamala (lotus), viz., the city of Brahman. It is effulgent like lightning, shining like a lamp. It is Brahmanya (the presider over the city of Brahman) that is the son of Devakī. It is Brahmanya that is Madhusūdana (the killer of Madhu). It is Brahmanya that is Pundarīkāksha (lotus-eyed). It is Brahmanya, Vishnu that is Achyuta (the indestructible). He who meditates upon that sole Nārāyana who is latent in all beings, who is the causal Purusha, who is causeless, who is Parabrahman, the Om, who is without pains and delusion and who is all-pervading—that person is never subject to pains. From the dual, he becomes the fearless non-dual. Whoever sees this (world) as manifold (with the differences of I, you, he, etc.), passes from death to death. In the centre of the heart-lotus is Brahman, which is the All, which has Prājñā as Its eye and which is established in Prajñāna3 alone. To creatures, Prajñāna is the eye and Prājñā is the seat. It is Prajñāna alone that is Brahman. A person who meditates (thus), leaves this world through Prajñāna, the Ātmā and ascending attains all his desires in the Supreme Swarga deathless. Oh! I pray Thee, place me in that nectar-everflowing unfailing world where Jyotis (the light) always shines and where one is revered. (There is no doubt) he attains nectar also. Om-namaḥ.
I am without Māyā. I am without compare. I am solely the thing that is of the nature of wisdom. I am without Ahaṅkāra (I-am-ness). I am without the difference of the universe, Jīva and Īśwara. I am the Supreme that is not different from Pratyagātmā (individual Ātmā). I am with ordinances and prohibitions destroyed without remainder. I am with Āśramas (observances of life) well given up. I am of the nature of the vast and all-full wisdom. I am one that is witness and without desire. I reside in My glory alone. I am without motion. I am without old age—without destruction—without the differences of My party or another. I have wisdom as chief essence. I am the mere ocean of bliss called salvation. I am the subtle. I am without change. I am Ātmā merely, without the illusion of qualities. I am the Seat devoid of the three Gunas. I am the cause of the many worlds in (My) stomach. I am the Kūtastha-Chaitanya (supreme Cosmic-mind). I am of the form of the Jyotis (light) free from motion. I am not one that can be known by inference. I alone am full. I am of the form of the stainless salvation. I am without limbs or birth. I am the essence which is Sat itself. I am of the nature of the true wisdom without limit. I am the state of excellent happiness. I am One that cannot be differentiated. I am the all-pervading and without stain. I am the limitless and endless Sattwa alone. I am fit to be known through Vedānta. I am the one fit to be worshipped. I am the heart of all the worlds. I am replete with Supreme Bliss. I am of the nature of happiness, which is Supreme Bliss. I am pure, secondless, and eternal. I am devoid of beginning. I am free from the three bodies (gross, subtle, and causal). I am of the nature of wisdom. I am the emancipated One. I have a wondrous form. I am free from impurity. I am the One latent (in all). I am the equal Ātmā of eternal Vijñāna. I am the refined Supreme Truth. I am of the nature of Wisdom-Bliss alone.
Though I cognize as the secondless Ātmā by means of discriminative wisdom and reason, yet is found the relation between bondage and salvation. Though to Me the universe is gone, yet it shines as true always. Like the truth in the (illusory conception of a) snake, etc., in the rope, so the truth of Brahman alone is, and is the substratum on which this universe is playing. Therefore the universe is not. Just as sugar is found permeating all the sugar-juice (from which the sugar is extracted), so I am full in the three worlds in the form of the non-dual Brahman. Like the bubbles, waves, etc., in the ocean, so all beings, from Brahma down to worm, are fashioned in Me; just as the ocean does not long after the motion of the waves, so to Me, there is no longing after sensual happiness, being Myself of the form of (spiritual) Bliss. Just as in a wealthy person the desire for poverty does not arise, so in Me who am immersed in Brāhmic Bliss, the desire for sensual happiness cannot arise. An intelligent person who sees both nectar and poison rejects poison; so having cognized Ātma, I reject those that are not-Ātmā. The sun that illuminates the pot (both within and without) is not destroyed with the destruction of the pot; so the Sākshī (witness) that illuminates the body is not destroyed with the destruction of the body. To Me there is no bondage; there is no salvation, there are no books, there is no Guru; for these shine through Māyā and I have crossed them and am secondless. Let Prānas (vital airs) according to their laws be fluctuating. Let Manas (mind) be blown about by desire. How can pains affect Me who am by nature full of Bliss? I have truly known Ātmā. My Ajñāna has fled away. The egoism of actorship has left Me. There is nothing I should yet do. Brahman’s duties, family, Gotra (clan), name, beauty, and class—all these belong to the gross body and not to Me who am without any mark (of body). Inertness, love, and joy—these attributes appertain to the causal body and not to Me, who am eternal and of changeless nature. Just as an owl sees darkness only in the sun, so a fool sees only darkness in the self-shining Supreme Bliss. Should the clouds screen the eyesight, a fool thinks there is no sun; so an embodied person full of Ajñāna thinks there is no Brahman. Just as nectar which is other than poison does not commingle with it, so I, who am different from inert matter, do not mix with its stains. As the light of a lamp, however small, dispels immense darkness, so wisdom, however slight, makes Ajñāna, however immense, to perish. Just as (the delusion) of the serpent does not exist in the rope in all the three periods of time (past, present, and future), so the universe from Ahaṅkāra (down) to body does not exist in Me who am the non-dual One. Being of the nature of Consciousness alone, there is not inertness in Me. Being of the nature of Truth, there is not non-truth to Me. Being of the nature of Bliss, there is not sorrow in Me. It is through Ajñāna that the universe shines as truth.
Whoever recites this Ātmabodha-Upanishad for a Muhūrta (48 minutes) is not born again—yea, is not born again.
1. This Upanishad treats of Ātmic instruction.
2. The three symbols stand for Ākāsa, Manas, and Buddhi.
3. In the Māndūkya Upanishad, Prājñā is said to be the Jīva in the third state and Prajñāna is its attribute. Prajñāna is Prakarsha Jñāna or special wisdom, viz., of looking over the past and the future.