Upadeśa I

Om. Once upon a time, Nārada, the ornament of Parivrājakas (roaming ascetics), after roaming over all worlds and cleansing, through merely by looking at the places of pilgrimage able to impart rare religious merits, observed, with a mind that had attained purity, without hate, quiescent and patient, and indifferent towards all (objects), the forest of Naimiśa (the modern Nimsār), filled with Ṛshis that were engaged in the contemplation of Reality and had attained the greatness of the ordained bliss; (there) through the recitation of stories about Hari (Vishnu), associated with the musical motes of Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, and Ni (of the gamut), able to impart indifference to objects and to make one look down upon the universe, and instilling divine devotion, fixed and movable (or mental and bodily), he entered (the forest), fascinating the crowds of beings human, animal, Kimpurushas,1 celestials, Kinnaras,2 Apsaras (Houris), and Uragas3 (collected there). (Thereupon the) great Ṛshis Śāunaka and others who had been engaged for twelve years in sattra sacrifice well-skilled in the recitation of Vedas, the knowers of all, and the good practisers of tapas, observed Nārada the son of Brahma and the devotee of the Lord, and having risen up, paid due respect to him. Then having with due respect requested him to sit down, they also seated themselves and addressed him thus: “O Lord, son of Brahma, what is the means of salvation for us? It is meet that it should be communicated (to us).” Thus addressed, Nārada replied to them thus: “One born in a good family and fit to go through the forty-four samskāras, upanayana and others, should, under a teacher to whom he is devoted, study, after the recitation of the Veda of his own śākhā (division), all the different branches of knowledge; then should fulfil, according to the rules ordained, for twelve years the observance of Brahmacharya (celibacy), such as the service of the guru, etc.; then for twenty-five years the āśrama (order of life) of a gṛhastha (householder), and for twenty-five years the āśrama of a vānaprastha (forester). After thus practising well the fourfold celibacy,4 the sixfold5 householder’s life, and the fourfold6 forester’s life, and having performed all the duties thereof, he should acquire the fourfold7 means of salvation; thus the sannyāsin who gives up the desires along with the karmas of mind, speech, and body in this samsāra as well as the vāsanā towards the threefold desire (of son, wife, and wealth), and being without malice and endowed with quiescence and patience, undisturbed in the order of life of Paramahamsa, quits the body in the contemplation of Reality, is an emancipated person. Such is the Upanishad.”

Upadeśa II

All the Ṛshis, Śaunaka and others addressing Lord Nārada said thus: “O Lord, please tell us the rules of sannyāsa.” At which, seeing them, Nārada replied: “It is but meet that we should know the whole truth from the mouth of Brahmā Himself.” After the sattra sacrifice was completed, he took the ṛshis along with him to satyaloka; and after duly making prostrations to and eulogising Brahmā engaged in meditation upon Brahman, he along with others was duly seated under the orders of Brahmā. Then Nārada addressed Brahmā thus: “Thou art guru; thou art father; thou art the knower of the secret of all learning; thou art the knower of all; thou shalt therefore tell me one secret. Who else but thee is fit to tell the secret dear unto me? It is this. Please tell us the rules of the real sannyāsa (asceticism).”

Thus prayed to by Nārada, Brahmā surveyed all in the four quarters; and after meditating for one muhūrta (48 minutes), and assuring himself that the inquiry was truly for the purpose of escaping from the pain of samsāra, Brahmā eyeing Nārada, said thus: “The mystery that was imparted before by Virāt-Purusha of illimitable form according to the Purusha-Sūkta-Upanishad is now being divulged to you. It is very mysterious. It is fit to be hearkened to with great attention. O Nārada, one born in a good family and obedient to his parents, should, after the performance of upanayana according to the rules, find a virtuous guru that is other than his father, is of good custom and habits, of faith, born of good family, a knower of Vedas, a lover of Śāstras, of (good) qualities and free from duplicity. Having made prostrations and rendered useful service to him, he should respectfully acquaint him with his intention. Having studied all departments of knowledge and rendered service for twelve years, he should, under his (the guru’s) orders, marry a girl fit for his family and dear unto him. Then having performed for twenty-five years the karmas incidental to a householder and attained the status of a Brāhmana that has performed sacrifices and the rest, he should beget a son with the only desire of perpetuating the family. After thus spending twenty-five years in the performance of household dharma, he should bathe thrice daily for twenty-five years and take only one meal in the fourth period; he should live alone in the forest, after giving up his previous wanderings in city and village; and without desire for fruit, should perform the karmas incidental to that (forester’s) order .of life, and be without desire for objects seen and heard. Being skilled in the forty samskāras, he should be devoid of desire for all, have a purified mind, have burnt up desire, jealousy, envy and egoism, and have developed the four means of salvation. Then he becomes fit for sannyāsa. Such is the Upanishad.”

Upadeśa III

Then Nārada addressed the grandfather thus:

“O Lord, by whom, after attaining the qualifications of sannyāsa, is it fit to be taken?” To which Brahma, replied: “After first expounding the qualifications of sannyāsa, the rules of sannyāsa will then be stated. Hearken carefully. A eunuch, the outcaste, the maimed, the lewd, the deaf, the youth, the dumb, the heretic, the discus-bearer, the Liṅga-wearer, the vaikhānasa (forester), the Haradhvaja (carrier of Śiva’s flag), the reciter of Vedas for hire, the bald-headed, one without (sacrificial) fire—all these, even though they have attained vairāgya are unfit for sannyāsa. Even though they have become sannyāsins, they are unfit to be initiated into the mahāvākyas (sacred vedic sentences). The Paramahamsa sannyāsin stated before (as fit to take sannyāsa) is the one qualified. It is stated in the smṛtis that he is a parivrāt who is not afraid of others, as others are not afraid of him. The eunuch, the limbless, the blind, the youth, the sinful, the outcaste, the door-keeper, the vaikhānasa, the Haradhvaja, the chakrī (discus-bearer), the Liṅgī (Liṅga-wearer), the heretic, the bald-headed, one without fire (sacrifice), one that had undergone sannyāsa twice or thrice, the reciter of Vedas for hire—all these are not fit for regular sannyāsa but only for ātura-sannyāsa (viz., sannyāsa taken while a person is afflicted, etc.). What is the opinion of āryas (Hindūs) on the (fit) time for ātura-sannyāsa (being taken)? The time when prāna (life) is about to rise (out of the body) is called ātura. The time other than it is incapable of conferring (upon one) the path of salvation and is not ātura. Even in ātura-sannyāsa, the wise should according to rules, initiate themselves into sannyāsa after reciting the mantras again and again in the course of respective mantras. There is no difference between regular and ātura-sannyāsa in the mantras to be uttered at the time of taking sannyāsa. There is no karma without mantras; (hence) karma needs mantras. Anything done without mantra cannot be termed karma. Hence mantras should not be given up. Any karma done without mantra is like an offering made in ashes. Through the conciseness (of the performance) of the karmas, it is stated to be ātura-sannyāsa.

“Therefore, O Muni, the recitation of mantras is stated to be in ātura-sannyāsa. One who is always duly doing agnihotra (fire-sacrifice) should, when he quits (the house) for foreign places through indifference, perform the prājāpatya sacrifice in water and then take up sannyāsa. After completing in water the observances of karma through the mind, or the recitation of mantras, the wise man should attain sannyāsa. Else he becomes a fallen man. When, in the mind, indifference to all objects arises, then men should long after sannyāsa, (that being the best time for it); otherwise they are fallen. One who attains vairāgya should take sannyāsa. One who does not, should remain at home. That vile twice-born with desire, should he take sannyāsa, reaches hell. That Brāhmana who is a celibate, who has under control his tongue, sexual organ, stomach, and hand may become a sannyāsin without undergoing the ceremony of marriage. Having known samsāra as one without sāra (or essence) and not having undergone any marriage on account of the desire to know the sāra (or essence of God), they become sannyāsins on account of the practice of the supreme vairāgya. The characteristic of pravṛtti (path) is the performance of karma; that of nivṛtti is jñāna. Therefore placing jñāna in the forefront, the wise man should take up sannyāsa. When the reality of the eternal Parabrahman is understood, then he should take up one danda (staff) and abandon the holy thread and tuft of hair. Then he becomes fit to eat the alms-food (of sannyāsa), having become devoted to Paramātmā, indifferent to those that are not-Paramātmā and freed from all desires. He becomes fit to be the eater of alms-food who preserves the same countenance when he is beaten, as when he is worshipped or prostrated to. He becomes fit to be the eater of alms-food who is of the firm certitude that he is no other than the non-dual and indestructible Brahman, otherwise named Vāsudeva. He in whom are existent śānti (control of the organs), śama (control of mind), purity (of mind and body), satya (truth), santosha (contentment), ārjava (straightforwardness), poverty, and non-ostentatiousness should be in the order of life of kaivalya (sannyāsa). When one does not, through actions, mind, or speech, commit any sinful action to any being, then he becomes fit for eating alms-food. Having become quiescent (through the control of the mind), having practised the ten kinds of dharmas, having, according to rules, studied vedānta, and having paid the three debts (to devas, ṛshis, and pitṛs), one should take up sannyāsa. Courage, fortitude, the control of the body, honesty, purity of (mind and body), control of the (inner) organs, shame, knowledge, truth, and absence of anger—these ten are the characteristics of dharma. One who does not look back (with pleasure) upon past enjoyments, nor forward into the future, and one who does not rejoice in the present, is fit to become a sannyāsin. One who is able to control within, the inner organs and without, the external organs, may be in the order of life of kaivalya. One who while in life is not affected by pleasures and pains, as the body is unaffected by them after death, may be in the order of life of kaivalya.

“An ascetic of the Paramahamsa (order) shall wear two loin-cloths, one ragged cloth, and one staff. Nothing more is ordained (in his case). Should he through desire wear more than these, he will fall into the hell of raurava and be born into the womb of an animal. Having stitched together old and clean cloths into one and having coloured it with red (ochre), he should wear it as his upper cloth. He may be with one cloth or even without it. He should roam about alone with the sole vision (of Brahman), devoid of desires; but he may be in one place alone in the rainy season. Having quite abandoned his family, including son and wife, vedānta, sacrifice, and the sacred thread, the ascetic should wander incognito. Having given up all faults, such as passion, anger, pride, desire, and delusion, the parivrāt (ascetic) should become one that owns nothing. He is a muni who is devoid of love and hate, who regards equally a clod of earth, stone, or gold, who does no injury to any living creature, and is freed from all. That ascetic reaches salvation who is associated with Ātmajñāna, who is freed from ostentation and egoism, from doing injury and tale-bearing. Through attraction to the senses, he becomes subject to fault, there is no doubt: through their control, he gains perfection. Lust when enjoyed is never gratified. Just as fire increases with the oblation (of ghee, etc., poured into it) so also lust waxes strong (with enjoyment). It should be known that that man who does not rejoice or grieve through hearing, touching, eating, seeing, or smelling is a jitendriya (conqueror of the organs). He whose speech and mind are well brought under control attains, completely and always, all the fruits of vedānta.

“That Brāhmana who is always afraid of respect as poison and always longs after disrespect as nectar, sleeps soundly and rises happily even though he is treated with disrespect. He moves about happily in this world. The one who treats him with disrespect perishes. All cruel words should be endured. None should be treated with disrespect. On account of bodily relationship, none should be made inimical. No anger should be directed in turn towards one who is angry. Soft words (only) should be spoken, even when (violently) pulled by another. No untrue words should be uttered, even should afflictions arise to the seven gates (of the body). One desirous of bliss should dwell in this universe through the aid of Ātmā alone, intent upon Ātmā, free from desires, and without the desire of blessing (others). He becomes fit for salvation through the control of the organs, the destruction of love and hate and non-injury to beings. He should abandon (all identification with) this feeble, perishable, and impure body of five elements whereof the bones are the pillars, which is strung by the nerves, coated over with flesh and blood, covered up by the skin, is of bad odour, full of urine and fæces is ever haunted by dotage and miseries and is the seat of all ills. If an ignorant man be fond of this body firmly knit together with flesh, blood, pus, fæces, and urine, nerves, fat, and bones, he would, a fortiori, be fond of hell. That (identification of the body with the Self) is alone the seat of the Kālasūtra hell. That is alone the Mahā-Vīchi-Vāgura (hell). That is alone the Asipatravanaśreni (hell). Such an idea of the body being the Self should be strenuously abandoned, though all should perish. That love of the body is not fit to be felt by one intent upon his welfare, just as a low-caste woman eating dog’s flesh is unfit to be touched.

“One (fit to reach salvation), after leaving all meritorious actions to those dear to him and all sins to those not dear, attains the eternal Brahman through dhyāna-yoga. Such a man, through the ordinances, gives up little by little all associations, and being freed from all pairs of opposites, remains in Brahman alone. On account of the accomplishment (of salvation), he should be moving about alone and without any help. He who having understood the effect of being alone never derogates from it, is never left in want. The bowl, the foot of the tree, the tattered robe,. the state of being without help, the equality of vision in all these are the characteristics of the emancipated one. One intent upon the welfare of all beings, with a quiescent mind, having the three-knotted staff and bowl, and ever devoted to the One (Brahman), after taking up sannyāsa, may enter a village. Such one is a bhikshu (alms-taker). Should two unite, it is called mithuna (a pair or union); with three, it becomes a grāma (or village); with more, it is a nagara (or city). No city or village, or, mithuna should be made, and an ascetic who commits these three (offences) falls from his duty. Through such intercourse (of ascetics), all kinds of talks connected with the king and alms, friendship, tale-bearing, and malice occur between them. There is no doubt of it.

“He (the ascetic) should be alone and desireless. He should not converse with anybody. The ascetic should ever be uttering the word Nārāyana in each sentence. Being alone, he should be meditating upon Brahman in all mental, spoken, and bodily actions. He should neither rejoice at dying or living. He should be anticipating the time when life will close. He should not be glad of dying; nor should he be glad of living. He should be biding his time like a hireling (for his pay). An ascetic who plays the part of the dumb, the eunuch, the lame, the blind, the deaf, and the idiot is emancipated through the (above six) means. There is no doubt of this. He who has not fondness for eating, saying that this is good and that is bad, who speaks only words that are beneficial, true, and moderate is said to be the dumb. He is a eunuch who is no more affected by the sight of a sixteen years old girl than of a new-born female baby or a hundred-years old woman. He who does not move about for more than the distance of a yojana for alms or for the calls of nature is a lame man. That parivrāt (ascetic) is said to be a blind man, who whether sitting or walking, has his vision extended to no more than four yokes’ distance on the ground. He is said to be deaf who, though hearing words, beneficial or non-beneficial, pleasant or painful to the mind, is as if he does not hear them. That clever ascetic is said to be an idiot who is ever in a state of sleep, as it were, having his organs non-agitated by objects, even though near. He should never observe the following six—the scenes of dancing, etc., gambling, lovely women, eatables, enjoyables, and women in their monthly course.

“The ascetic should never in thought even think of others with the six (viz.,) love, hate, pride, deceit, treachery, and the illusion (of confounding them). To the ascetics, the following six are sinful: cot, white cloth, the stories of women, love towards women, sleep during the day, and vehicles. He who is engaged in Ātmic contemplation should carefully avoid a long journey. He should ever practise the upanishadic vidyā tending to salvation. The ascetic need not bathe daily. He need not observe upavāsa (fast). He need not be one that had studied Vedas. He need not be one that is able to produce a commentary (lecture). He should daily observe acts without sin, deceit, or falsehood. He who, having withdrawn the organs within, like a turtle its limbs (within its shell), is with the actions of the organs and the mind annihilated, without desires, without possessing any object as his own, without dualities, without prostrations, without the oblations to pity devatās (they being with desires), without mine or I, without awaiting anything, without the desire to be happy, and living in places where men do not live—he alone is emancipated. There is no doubt of this.

“A celibate, or householder, or forester, who is (ever) vigilant, has karma, devotion, and knowledge and is independent, after understanding his peculiar tendency and having become indifferent (to his order of life), may become an householder after ending the celibate life, or may from the householder’s life enter the life of a foresters and then the life of an ascetic; or from the life of a celibate, or householder, or forester may (directly) enter that of an ascetic. The moment vairāgya arises in him, he may become an ascetic that moment, whether he is with vrata (religious observance) or not, is snātaka8 or not, or with a discontinued fire-sacrifice or not. On account of that, some perform Prājāpatya-sacrifice alone; or Āgneya-sacrifice may be performed. Is not agni, prāna? Through this alone, one should perform that sacrifice only which is connected with the three dhātus. The three dhātus are sattva, rajas, and tamas alone. With the mantra, अयं ते योनिरृत्वियो यतो जातो अरोचथाः | तं जानन्नग्ना आरोहाथा नो वर्धया रयि || [ayaṃ te yonirṛtviyo yato jāto arocathāḥ; taṃ jānannagnā ārohāthā no vardhayā rayi], agni (fire) should be taken in. Thus it is said (in the Śrutis): एष वा अग्नेर्योनिर्यः प्राणः | प्राणं गच्छ स्वां योनिं गच्छ स्वाहा || [eṣa vā agneryoniryaḥ prāṇaḥ; prāṇaṃ gaccha svāṃ yoniṃ gaccha svāhā]. The agni from āhavanīya should be brought and taken in as before (with the mantras above mentioned). Should such an agni be not obtainable, the homa (oblation) should be done in water with the mantra, आपो वै सर्वा देवतास्सर्वाभ्यो देवताभ्यो जुहोमि स्वाहा [āpo vai sarvā devatāssarvābhyo devatābhyo juhomi svāhā]. After performing homa, the water should be taken in and sipped. After uttering the mantra, साज्यं हविरनामयं मोक्षदं [sājyaṃ haviranāmayaṃ mokṣadaṃ], he abandons the tuft of hair in the head, the holy thread, father, son, wife, karma, vedic study and mantra and becomes an ascetic. The Śrutis say that a knower of Ātmā should be engaged in meditation upon Brahman, through the three mantras tending to salvation.”

Then Nārada asked Brahma thus: “How can one, without the holy thread, be a Brāhmana?” To which Brahma replied: “The wise should, after shaving (the head) together with the tuft of hair, cast off the holy thread. He should wear, as his sūtra (thread), the indestructible and supreme Brahman. On account of (sūchanāt) its being an indication, it (thread) is called sūtra. Sūtra is the Paramapada (supreme seat). He by whom that sūtra is known is Brāhman. That sūtra (thread of Brahman) in which is strung the whole universe like beads on a sūtra (string), should be worn by the yogin that has known yoga and tattva. The wise man that is in supreme yoga should abandon the outer sūtra (thread). He who wears (in his heart) this sūtra of Brāhmic Reality is alone Brāhmana. Through wearing this higher sūtra, it becomes not a rejected one, not an impure one. Those only whose sūtra is internal, having the holy thread as jñāna are the real knowers of the sūtra; they are said to possess the yajnopavīta (holy thread). To those whose śikhā (tuft of hair) is jñāna, whose holy thread is jñāna, and whose meditation is upon jñāna, jñāna alone is supreme. It is said that jñāna alone is able to purify. That wise man alone who possesses the jñāna-śikhā like the śikhā (flame) of agni (fire) is said to possess śikhā (tuft of hair). Those that have mere śikhā are no śikhīs. The Brāhmanas and others that are entitled to perform the vedic karmas are allowed to wear the (external) thread, only as an auxiliary to the karmas. It is only vedic. The knowers of Brahman know that all Brāhmanya (the state of Brahman) accrues to him only that has the jñānamaya śikhā (knowledge-tuft of hair) and the tanmaya (That or Brahman-ful) upavīta (holy thread).

“Having known it, a Brāhmana should take up sannyāsa. Such a sannyāsin, should be, in order to bear the bodily afflictions, with one cloth, bald-headed and without having anything as being required (for his use); or according to rules, he may be (naked) as nature made his body, and should abandon his son, friend, wife, trustworthy relatives, etc., as well as all karmas and love for the universe, the loin-cloth, staff, and covering. Enduring all pairs of opposites without cold or heat, happiness or grief, fame or disgrace, without the six changes, I-ness, malice, pride, ostentation, jealousy, slander of others, love and hate, pleasure and pain, passion, anger, greed and delusion and regarding his body as a mere carcase, without thinking of all the things, internal and external, that are other than Self. Without prostrations, without the worship of devas and pitṛs and without praise or condemnation, he should wander about of his own accord. He should not receive gold and others. For him, there is no invocation or dismissal (of deities), mantra or non-mantra, meditation or worship, aim or non-aim, others or not-others; without having another’s or (his own) settled place of residence, and having a firm conviction, he should be in a desolate house or at the foot of trees, or in a temple, a plenteous turfed spot, a potter’s place or that of agnihotra or sacrifice, river, tank, sand-heap, subterranean vault, cave, mountain-rill, the place prepared for sacrifice or forest; or like the naked personages, Śvetaketu, Ṛbhu, Nidāgha, Jadabharata, Ṛshabha, Durvāsas, Samvartaka, Sanatsujāta, Vaideha (Janaka), Vatasiddha, Śuka, Vāmadeva, Dattātreya, Raivataka, and Goraksha, he should roam about as nature made him, without being recognised and without any means of discovery of his course of life, like a lad, or an insane man, or a ghost, with the actions of a madman though not mad, after discarding in water the three-knotted staff, the stringed sling (bag), vessel, bowl, waist-string, loin-cloth, stick, and cloth. He should ever be engaged in Ātmic deliberation. Being in his natural state without being affected by the pairs, without receiving anything, being ever settled firmly in the Brāhmic path, having a pure mind, eating the food that is obtained without asking, in the palm as vessel, or in another’s vessel in order to merely protect the body at the time required, being of equal mind whether the object is gained or not, without having aught of his own, always meditating upon Brahman, being with Ātma-nishthā, having eradicated all actions, virtuous and sinful, and having given up all—that one who ever utters Brahma-Pranava, that “I am Brahman” alone, with the blissful and non-dual jñāna, and after rising above the three bodies (to Brahman), like the analogy of the wasp and the worm,9 gives up the body as a sannyāsin, is said to have done all his work (in this world). Such is the Upanishad.”

Upadeśa IV

“One who after giving up the world, the Vedas, the objects and the organs is in Ātmā alone, attains the supreme abode. A good ascetic should not make known his caste, name, gotra (clan), etc., his place and time, the Vedas, etc. studied by him, his family, age, history, observance, and conduct. He should neither converse with women nor remember the women he had seen. He should give up all stories connected with women. He should not even see the figure of a woman in a picture. The mind of an ascetic who through delusion adopts the above four things connected with women is necessarily affected and thereby perishes. The following are prohibited (in his case): Thirst, malice, falsehood, deceit, greed, delusion, the pleasant and the unpleasant, manual work, lecture, yoga, kāma (passion), desire, begging, I-ness, mine-ness, the obstinacy of curing diseases, penance, pilgrimage and the accomplishment of fruits of mantras, and medicines. He who performs these interdicted things, goes into a debased state. A muni who has moksha as his supreme seat should address such respectful words as “Please come, please go, please stay, and welcome” to one, even though he be his intimate friend. He should neither receive presents, etc., nor ask for them to be given to others. Even in dream, an ascetic should never direct a person (to do work for him). Even should he witness or hear of the happiness or grief of his wife, brother, son, and other relatives, he should not be affected thereby. He should abandon all joy and sorrow.

“To the ascetics controlling their mind, the following are their svadharmas (own duties): Harmlessness, truth, honesty, celibacy, non-coveting, humility, high-spiritedness, clearness of mind, steadiness of mind, straightforwardness, non-attachment (to any), service to the guru, faith, patience, bodily restraint, mental restraint, indifference, firm and sweet words, endurance, compassion, shame, jñāna, vijñāna, yoga, moderate food, and courage. That paramahamsa of an ascetic in the order of life of a sannyāsin who is without dualities, always follows the pure sattvaguna and sees all equally, is no other than the actual Nārāyana Himself. He may live one day in a village and five days in a city, but five months in the wintry season. At other times he should live in other places (such as forest, etc.). He should not live in a village for two days (even); should he do so, desires and the rest will arise in him and thereby he becomes fit for hell. He should live like a (harmless) worm on the earth with his mind under control and with no settled place of residence, at the end of the village where there are no persons. He may live in the same place in the wintry season. He should roam about on the earth with one or no cloth, with the one vision (of Brahman) alone, with no desires (of objects), with no condemnation of the actions of the wise and with meditation. That yogin of an ascetic should go about, observing the duties of his order of life, and with the eyes cast on the earth, in pure places. He should not roam about in night, midday or the two twilight periods in which are places void or difficult to be waded through or likely to injure living creatures. He may live for one day in a village, for three days in a town, for two days in a hamlet and for five days in a city. He may live in the wintry season (longer) in one place surrounded fully by water. The ascetic should regard all creatures as Self and dwell upon earth like the blind, the hunchback, the deaf, the insane, and the dumb. The bahūdaka and the forester should bathe thrice a day. In the case of hamsa, one bath only is ordained; but none in the case of a paramahamsa. In the case of the one having one staff, seven things are ordained, viz., silence, yoga-posture, yoga, endurance, solitariness, desirelessness, and equal vision over all. Bathing being not prescribed for a paramahamsa, he should abandon all the modifications of the mind only; what is the difference between the worms and the men that rejoice over this ill-smelling body which is but a collection of skin, flesh, blood, nerves, fat, marrow, bone, offal and urine? What is the body but a collection of all, phlegm, etc.? And what are the qualities, the vāsana of the body, effulgence, beauty, etc.? (They are opposed to one another.) The ignorant man that is fond of this body, which is but a compound of flesh, blood, the ill-smelling urine and offal, nerve, fat and bone, will be fond of hell too. Though there is no difference between the women’s secret parts that cannot be described by words and an (ever) oozing tubular wound, yet through the difference of the mind, (men are deluded). Such men are said to be without prāna, (viz., dead) though alive. Prostrations to those that sport in that piece of flesh which is rent in twain and tainted with the breaking of the wind, etc. What more revolting thing is there than this?

“To the wise, there is nothing to do, no sign (of identification). The muni who is without ‘mine’ and fear, with quiescence, without duality and eating leaf (alone), should ever be in meditation with either loin-cloth or no cloth. A yogin who is thus in meditation becomes fit to be Brahman. Though he may have some signs (of identification to pass under this order of life or that), such signs are useless for gaining moksha. The cause of salvation is jñāna alone. He is a (true) brāhmana who cannot be identified as sat (good person) or asat, knower of religious books or not, follower of good conduct or bad conduct. Therefore that learned man who is without signs, a knower of dharma, engaged in the actions of Brahman and a knower of the secret mysteries, should roam about, incognito. He should go about on this earth without any caste or order of life and without being (even) doubted (regarding his identity) by any beings, like the blind, the idiot, or the mute. Then (even) the angels become fond of him who has a quiescent mind. It is the dictate of the Vedas that the sign (of non-identification) itself is Kaivalya.”

Then Nārada asked the Grandfather about the rules of sannyāsa. To which Brahma- assented and said: “Before either the ātura or regular sannyāsa is taken, kṛchchhra penance should be done and then the eight śrāddhas. In each of the (eight) śrāddhas, two brāhmanas should be fed, in lieu of Viśvedevas called Satyavasu and the (Trimūrtis called) Brahmā, Vishnu, and Maheśvara, in Devaśrāddha first; then in Ṛshiśrāddha in lieu of Devaṛshi, Rājaṛshi, and Manushyaṛshi; then in Divyaśrāddha, in lieu of Vasu, Rudra, and Ādityas; then in manushyaśrāddha in lieu of Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumāra, and Sanatsujāta; then in bhūtaśrāddha, in lieu of the five great elements, pṛthivī, etc., eye and other organs and the four kinds of collections of bhūtas; then in Pitṛśrāddha, in lieu of father, grandfather and great-grandfather; then in mātṛśrāddha, in lieu of mother, mother’s father and mother’s grandfather; and then in Ātmaśrāddha, in lieu of himself, his father and grandfather or of himself, grandfather and great-grandfather, should his father be alive. He should perform the eight śrāddhas in one day, or eight days, with the mantras of his śākhā in one yājñapaksha or eight yājñapakshas. Then he should worship and feed the brāhmanas according to the rules contained in pitṛyajña. Then offering the pindas (balls of rice to the pitṛs), he should gladden the brāhmanas with the tāmbūla (nut and betel, etc.,) presents and dismiss them. Then for the accomplishment of the remaining karmas, he should pluck off seven hairs; then again for finishing the rest of the karmas, he should hold seven or eight hairs and have the head shaved. Except his arm-pit and secret parts, he should have the hairs of his head, whiskers and mustache and nails shaved. After shaving, he should bathe and perform the evening sandhyā, uttering Gāyatrī a thousand times. Then performing brahmayajña, he should establish his own fire and acting up to his śākhā, should perform the oblation of ghee according to what is said therein till the ājya portion with those (mantras beginning with) Ātmā, etc.; he should eat thrice the fried rice-powder, and then sipping the water, he should maintain the fire; then seated north of the fire on a deer-skin, he should be engaged in the study of Purānas; without sleeping, he should bathe at the end of the four yāmas and after cooking the oblation of (rice) in the fire, he should offer it to the fire in sixteen oblations according to (the mantras of) Purusha-Sūkta. Then having done virajāhoma and sipped water, he should close it with the gift (to brāhmanas) of cloth, golden vessel, and cows along with presents of money and then dismiss Brahmā (who had been invoked). With the prescribed mantra, he should attract Agni (fire) unto himself. After meditating upon and coming round and prostrating before the fire, he should dismiss it. Then in the morning performing sandhyā and uttering Gāyatrī a thousand times, he should make upaṣthāna (worship) to the sun. Then descending into water up to the navel, he should make arghya (water-offering) to the guardians of the eight quarters; then he should give leave to Gāyatrī, making Sāvitrī enter into vyāhṛti.

The mantra prescribed for this should be uttered through the mind and voice in high, middling, and low tones. With the mantra, आभयं सर्वभूतेभ्यो मत्तः सर्वं प्रवर्तते | [ābhayaṃ sarvabhūtebhyo mattaḥ sarvaṃ pravartate] the water should be sipped and having taken the water with the two hands, it should be dropped on the east. Having uttered स्वाहा [svāhā], he should pluck his hair (yet left) and uttering the prescribed mantra and having torn off the sacred thread and taken it in the hand with water, should utter ओं भूः [oṃ bhūḥ] ‘go to the ocean’ and cast them down as oblation in water:—ओं भूः संन्यस्तं मया | ओं भुवः संन्यस्तं मया | ओं स्वः संन्यस्तं मया || [oṃ bhūḥ saṃnyastaṃ mayā; oṃ bhuvaḥ saṃnyastaṃ mayā; oṃ svaḥ saṃnyastaṃ mayā]. Having uttered thrice and saturated thrice (the water) with (the influence of) the mantra, he should sip the water; and then uttering the mantras ओं भूः [oṃ bhūḥ], etc., he should cast aside in water the cloth and waist-cord. Having thought himself to be the abdicator of all karmas, he, being in the meditation of his own Reality as nature made him, should go as before northwards with hands upraised. Should he be a sannyāsin learned (in the Vedas, etc.), he should get himself initiated into Pranava from his teacher and go about at his own free will with the thought of there being none other but his Self, and feeding his body with fruits, leaves and water, live in mountains, forest and temples. That lover of salvation who after sannyāsa roams about naked in all places with his heart full of the enjoyment of Ātmic bliss, with the fruit of avoidance of karmas and maintaining his life with fruits, juice, barks, leaves, roots and water should abandon his body in mountain caves, uttering the Pranava. But an aspirant after wisdom, should he become a sannyāsin, should, after walking a hundred steps, be addressed by the teacher and other Brāhmans thus: “O Mahābhāga (very fortunate person), stay, stay, wear the staff, cloth and bowl, come to the teacher in order to learn the meaning of Pranava mantra vākya”. He should then take up the waist-cord, loin-cloth, red-coloured cloth and bowl. A bamboo staff which is not injured from top to bottom, equal, beautiful, and not spotted with black, should be worn by him, after sipping the water and uttering the mantra prescribed for the purpose. Then the bowl should be taken up, after uttering the mantra with the Pranava preceding it:—ओं जगज्जीवनं जीवनाधारभूतं मातेव मा मन्त्रयस्व सर्वदा सर्व सौम्य || [oṃ jagajjīvanaṃ jīvanādhārabhūtaṃ māteva mā mantrayasva sarvadā sarva saumya]. Then after first uttering (the mantra) गुह्याच्छादनं कौपीनं ओं | शीतवातोष्णत्राणकरं देहैकरक्षणं वस्त्रं ओं || [guhyācchādanaṃ kaupīnaṃ oṃ; śītavātoṣṇatrāṇakaraṃ dehaikarakṣaṇaṃ vastraṃ oṃ] he should take up the waist-cord, loin-cloth and cloth with the āchamana (sipping of water) preceding it.

“Thus consecrated with yoga and thinking that he had done all that should be done, he should be firm in the observances of his order of life. Thus is the Upanishad.”

Upadeśa V

Then Nārada said to the Grandfather thus:—

“You said that sannyāsa was the liberator of all karmas. Now you say again that the sannyāsin is one that should be in the observance of his āśrama (order of life). (How to reconcile the two?)” To which the Grandfather replied thus: “To the jīva possessing the body, there are three avasthās—the waking, the dreaming, and the dreamless sleeping with turya (the fourth). Those beings of Purushas that are subject to these avasthās follow the observances, incidental to them, of karma, jñāna and vairāgya.” Nārada said: “O Lord, if so, what are the differences of different orders of sannyāsa? And what are the differences of their observances? Please tell us truly.”

Therefore the differences of sannyāsas, and the differences of observances were related for the sake of Nārada by Brahmā, after assenting to his (Nārada’s) question thus:—

“Truly sannyāsa is of one kind only. On account of ajñāna, inability and non-performance of karmas (of persons), it is divided into three and then into four, thus: vairāgya-sannyāsa, jñāna-sannyāsa, jñānavairāgya-sannyāsa and karma-sannyāsa. The vairāgya-sannyāsin is one who becomes an ascetic after being in a vicious condition of lust, etc., and then, becomes disgusted with the objects through his former good karmas. A jñāna-sannyāsin is one who becomes an ascetic with the four means of salvation, after controlling the organs through book-wisdom, and becoming familiar with the experiences of the world of virtue and vice, after abandoning anger, jealousy, envy, ahaṅkāra and all sannyāsa productive of identification, after giving up the three vāsanās of the body, books and world, which are of the form of desires for women, wealth and earth, and after thinking that the whole of the universe should be given up, like vomited food. A jñānavairāgya-sannyāsin is one who becomes an ascetic as nature made him, after practising and enjoying all, and having the body alone remaining, through jñāna and vairāgya, in the realisation of the Reality. A karma-sannyāsin is one who, though he has no vairāgya, becomes an ascetic by regularly passing from one āśrama to another, from the celibate, to the householder and then to the forester. A vairāgya-sannyāsin is one who becomes an ascetic from the celibate order (directly), being as nature made him.

“(There is another fourfold classification.) The four kinds are: vidvat-sannyāsa, jñāna-sannyāsa, vividishā-sannyāsa and karma-sannyāsa. In karma-sannyāsa, there are two (sub-) divisions, nimitta (causal) and animitta (non-causal). Ātura-sannyāsa (on account of the cause of approaching death, disease, etc.), is nimitta-sannyāsa. The krama (regular) sannyāsa is animitta. Ātura-sannyāsa is on account of defective karmas. When sannyāsa is taken at the time of death, it is called nimitta. Animitta is that when one becomes duly a sannyāsin when the body is strong, (after being convinced) that all created things are subject to destruction, that body and others should be given up, that all Ātmās (souls)—each one shining in the pure Akās, dwelling in all, moving in the antariksha (middle world) as of the form of vāyu, in the sacrificial pit as of the form of fire, in the moon, in all men, in the supreme angels, in the form of truth, in ākāś, in the form of the conch, pearl, fish, etc., in water, in the form of grain, etc., on earth, in the form of the limbs of Vedas, in the form of the rivers from the mountains, in the form of truth and the great one—are no other than Brahman and that others are but perishable.

“There are six classes of sannyāsins—kutīchaka, bahūdaka, hamsa, paramahamsa, turīyātīta and avadhūta. Kutīchaka is one who wears the tuft of hair, holy thread, staff, bowl, loin-cloth and tattered cloth, who worships mother, father, and teacher, who has potsherd and sling, who is uttering mantras, who takes food in one and the same place, who wears, vertically, the white earth (on the forehead as sect-mark) and who has a staff. Bahūdaka is one who, like kutīchaka, wears the tuft of hair, tattered cloth, etc., as well as the three (sect-) marks, but who eats eight morsels of food through getting alms. The hamsa is one who wears matted hair and the three vertical sect-marks and eats the alms-food without any limit (as to the morsel) and wears the bare loin-cloth only. The paramahamsa is he who is without tuft of hair and holy thread, begs food in one day from five houses, has one loin-cloth, wears one red cloth alone and sacred ashes and has given up all. The turīyatīta is one who either may take fruits, eating them with his mouth like cows, or if he is an eater of food, may beg food from three houses. The naked man having the body alone has the bodily actions (quiescent), like the dead body. Such an one is the turīyātita. The avadhūta is he who is without any rules, gets his food (in his mouth), following the course of the boa constrictor,10 from all persons except persons of ill-repute and outcastes, and is ever engaged in the realisation of the Real. Should the ātura-sannyāsin be alive (after taking sannyāsa), he should take up regular sannyāsa. The rules to be observed in the case of the (three), kutīchaka, bahūdaka and hamsa are the same as for the orders of life from the celibate to the sannyāsin. For the three, paramahamsa upwards, they have no waist-cord, loin-cloth, cloth, bowl and staff. They may get food from all castes and should be as nature made them. Such are the rules.

“At the time of the sannyāsa, the recitation of the Vedas should be made till the mind is cleared; and after casting aside in water the waist-cord, loin-cloth, staff, cloth, bowl, etc., he should roam about. He should be without even the slightest tattered cloth. He should neither utter anything other than Pranava, nor talk nor hear. He should not study logic or grammar. He should not talk many words; they will but pain his vocal organ. He should not converse with people through the vocal organ. He should not talk in other language (than Samskṛt). He has no worship of God and no witnessing of festivals; he should be free from pilgrimage. The other rules of ascetics are: The kutīchaka should beg alms in one house only; for the bahūdaka, eight morsels in eight houses; for the hamsa, there is no limit; for paramahamsa, he should beg with his hand as the vessel in five houses; for the turīyātita, he should eat fruits with his mouth like cows; (for avadhūta), he should take food like a boa constrictor in all castes. The ascetic should not dwell in one place for many days. He should not make prostrations to any one. Among the turīyātita and avadhūta (ascetics), even though one is junior, he should not make prostrations to another, a senior who has known the Reality. He should not swim with his hands and cross the river. He should not climb up a tree, nor get into a carriage. Nothing should be purchased or sold (by him). No exchange should be made, no ostentation for him. There is nothing for the ascetic to do. If there is anything for him to do, he will perish. Therefore the only thing he is qualified to do is reflection, etc.

“To the āturas and kutīchakas, the world they attain is bhūrloka and bhuvarloka; to the bāhūdakas, swargaloka; to the hamsas, tapoloka; to the paramahamsas, satyaloka. To the turīyātīta and avadhūta, Kaivalya in Ātmā according to the analogy of the wasp and the worm through the realisation of Reality. It is the command of the Vedas that whatever form one thinks of at the last (death) moment and before leaving the body is attained by him and no other. Knowing it thus, he should not be a practiser of anything but the realisation of Reality. Through the observance of any other, he goes to the world of that other. To one that has attained jñāna-vairāgya, his salvation is in the Self, as there is no other observance for him. The same one (Ātmā) alone is styled Viśva in the waking state, Taijasa in the dreaming state and Prājña in the dreamless sleeping state. Through the difference of states, there is the difference of the agent presiding over them. To the fourteen organs (the ten organs of sense and actions and the four organs of the mind in these states,) the outer and inner vṛttis (modifications) are the material cause. There are four vṛttis, viz., manas, buddhi, ahaṅkāra and chitta. Through the differences of actions of the vṛttis, there arise the differences of separate functions. When (the presiding agent is) in the eyes, there is the waking state; in the throat, the dreaming state; in the heart, the dreamless sleeping state; and in the head, the turya (or fourth) state. Knowing these and that the turya is the indestructible, one should not hear or see anything in the waking state, as if he were in dreamless sleeping state, To such a one who does not apparently know them, even the dreaming state forms the same (dreamless sleeping) state. Such a one is termed Jīvanmukta. All the Vedas say that there is salvation to such a one.

“To the ascetic, there should be no desire of this world or the higher. Then he will be one that will practise accordingly. Through the practices of (the study of) books foreign to the realisation of Reality, he becomes a useless person like a camel bearing saffron paint. To him, there is no entry into yoga books, no study of sāṅkhya books, no practise of mantra or tantra. Should there be any entry into other books (than the one treating of Reality), then it will be like an ornament to a dead body. Like a cobbler, he should be beyond karma and knowledge and unfit for salutation and repeating the names of the Lord. He will duly get the benefit of the karmas (of his order of life). Having given up all like the foam (separating itself) from the castor oil, having the mental staff which controls the mind clinging to objects, having the hand as the vessel (for eating) and having the quarters alone as the cloth, the ascetic should go about like a lad, idiot, or ghost. He should neither desire to live nor die. Like a coolie abiding his appointed time (of pay), the ascetic should bide his time (of death). One who lives by taking alms without (the qualifications of) patience, wisdom, vairāgya and the qualifications beginning with śama (control of mind) is the spoiler of the order of life of an ascetic. There is no salvation obtained through the mere assumption of the staff or making the head bald or other disguise or through ostentatious observances. That man who has jñāna as his staff is said to be the ēkadandī (one having Brahman alone as the staff). An ascetic who, having merely a wooden staff without jñāna, eats all (indiscriminately) in all places, goes to the terrible hells called Mahāraurava. (The sense of) greatness in his case is likened by the ṛshis to the pig’s dung. Having given it up, he should move about like a worm. Food and cloth without being begged for by him should be obtained involuntarily through the will of others. A naked (ascetic) may bathe at the wish of another. A man who practises the meditation upon Self in the dreaming state as in the waking is said to be the foremost and first of Brahmavādins. He should neither grieve for things not obtained, nor rejoice at things obtained. With the organs not attached to objects, he should be engaged in the sole protection of life. He should always look down upon the gains obtained with much respect (shown to him). Through the gains obtained with much respect, the ascetic though released becomes bound. What is meant by the protection of life, is this: When the fire (of the hearth in a house) had been extinguished and all have taken food, he may go to the houses of caste people that are fit for taking alms from. The yogin who has his hand only as his alms-bowl should not often take alms. He may take (food) standing or sitting; so in the middle (of taking food), he may sip water. Those who have pure mind should not over-step the limits like the ocean. The great ones do not give up their self-restraint like the sun. When the muni takes, like a cow, the food with the mouth only (without the use of the hand), he becomes of equal vision to all beings. Then he becomes fit for salvation. He may, for alms, go from a forbidden house to a non-forbidden one. He should go (for alms) to a house where the door is ajar, but not to a house where it is closed. The muni who has a dusty body, an uninhabited house or the foot of a tree as his abode, without anything dear or not dear to him, sleeping where the sun sets, without any fire-warship, without any settled place and with patience and the organs under control, should live without any desire in any place obtained. He who after going to the forest dwells with jñāna as the sacrifice and the organs under his mastery and awaits his time (of death), is fit to be of the nature of Brahman. A muni who goes about with no cause for instilling fear into all beings need never have any fear from them. One without any abhimāna (identification with body) or egoism or dualities or doubt, never is angry, never hates, never lies through the vocal organ. That person who, having visited all sacred places, does not do any injury to any living creature and gets alms at the proper time, is fit to be of the nature of Brahman. He should not associate with a forester or householder. He should conduct himself in such manner as not to be known to others. He should not be glad of anything. He should roam about on earth like a worm, according to the direction pointed out by the sun. He should not do or cause to do works tending to (his) fame or pains or people’s benefit. He should not be inclined towards vicious books. He should not live dependent upon any. He should give up all over-disputatious reasoning. He should not join any party (fighting with another). He should not take any disciples. He should not study many books. He should not discourse. Neither should he commence any works. Without any distinguishing characteristics and without letting others know his opinions, that wise man, or muni, ever intent upon the Brāhmic vision, should exhibit himself to people like an idiot, or a lad, or a mute person. He should neither do nor talk anything. He should not think of a good or bad thing. Rejoicing in That within himself, the muni should go about like an idiot. He should roam about alone without associating with any, and with the senses under control. The clever jñānī sporting in Ātmā, ever delighting in Ātmā, looking upon all with equal vision like an Ātma-jñānī, and playing like a child, should wander about like an idiot. That learned man versed in Brahma-vidyā should talk like a madman. He should follow the observances of cows (by eating with the mouth, causing no trouble to anybody). A good jñānī whether pushed, disregarded, slighted, beaten, or hindered by the vicious, or burnt by their acts, or having urine and fæces thrown upon him by them, or afflicted in various other ways, should always think well of them though pained, and thus make them lift themselves through their own Selves. A yogin whether praised or afflicted by others, never thinks of it in order to reach a superior state in yoga. A yogin who is slighted by people, attains a higher state in yoga. A yogin never goes against the actions of the virtuous. He is the same whether people slight him or do not desire his association. He should do all that is right through the actions of mind, speech and body to all beings born out of the embryo or the egg, etc. He should harbour no malice against any and give up all clinging to things. The ascetic after giving up passion, anger, pride, desire, delusion and other faults should be without fear. Eating alms-food, preserving silence, tapas, special meditation, a good jñāna, and vairāgya—these are said, in the opinion (of the great), to be the dharma of the ascetic. Wearing the red cloth, and being ever in dhyāna-yoga, he should live either at the foot of a tree, outside the village, or in the temple. Daily he should live upon begging. He should not eat one food alone (from one only). Till the mind becomes pure, the learned man should thus be moving about. Then when the mind is purified, he may be anywhere as a parivrājaka. Seeing Janārdana in and out everywhere, preserving silence, being without stain like vāyu, roaming everywhere, being equal in happiness and pains, and with patience, eating whatever comes to hand, equally regarding without any hate brāhmana, cow, horse, beasts and others, meditating through the mind upon Vishnu that is Paramātmā and Īśvara, thinking ever of Brāhmic bliss and thinking himself to be Brahman alone—such a one having known thus, regarding the staff to be no other than the certitude of the mind as above, having no desire, being naked and having abandoned all samsāra through the actions ever done through the mind, speech, and body, attains salvation, according to the analogy of the wasp and the worm, through the practice of the realisation of Reality without ever seeing the universe. Such is the Upanishad.”

Upadeśa VI

Nārada addressing Brahma asked: “O Lord! You said of abhyāsa (practice) according to the analogy of wasp and the worm. What is that practice?”

To which the Grandfather replied thus:—

“One (viz., an ascetic) should live with true speech and jñāna-vairāgya and with the body alone as the remaining (possession). Know jñāna alone as the body, vairāgya alone as prāna, śānti (mental control) and dānti (bodily control) as the eyes, manas alone as the face, buddhi alone as kalā (parts of effulgence), the twenty-five tattvas as the limbs, the avasthās as the five great elements, karma, bhakti, jñāna, and vairāgya as the branches (or parts) and that the waking, dreaming, dreamless sleeping, and turya avasthās and the fourteen organs as being of the nature of a pillar planted in the mud. Though such is the case, the man who masters these through his buddhi like a boatman regarding the boat immersed in the mire, or the elephant-driver regarding the elephant (under his control), and has known that all else beside Self is illusory and destructible and become indifferent, should ever utter: ‘I am Brahman alone.’ He should not know anything as other than Self. A Jivanmukta who lives thus is a doer of that which should be done. He should not discourse that he is other than Brahman. But he should ever be discoursing: ‘I am Brahman’. From the waking, dreaming and dreamless sleeping states, he should reach the turya state and then turyātīta (the state beyond turya). The waking state is in the day; the dreaming in the night and the dreamless sleeping in tie midnight. Each avasthā (or state) has its sub-states. The functions of the fourteen organs, eye and others mutually dependent are the following: The eyes perceive forms; the ears, sounds; the tongue perceives tastes; the nose, odours; the vocal organ speaks; the hand lifts; the leg walks; the anus excretes; the sexual organ enjoys; the skin feels; the buddhi perceives objects, being under the control of the organs; through buddhi, he understands; through chitta, he thinks; through ahaṅkāra, he says I’. All these should be abandoned. Through the identification with the house (the body), he, like a householder, becomes a jīva thinking that the body is itself.

“The jīva is dwelling in this body. When he is in the eastern petal (of the heart), he inclined to virtuous actions; in the south-eastern petal, to sleep and laziness; in the southern petal, to cruel actions; in the south-western petal, to sinful actions; in the western petal, to love of sport (or to flirt); in the north-western petal, to travelling; in the northern petal, to peace of mind; in the north-eastern petal, to jñāna; in (the middle of) the pericarp, to vairāgya; in the filament, to Ātmā-deliberation. Such are the different aspects to be understood (in the heart). The first living avasthā (of jīva) is the waking; the second is the dreaming; the third is the dreamless sleeping; the fourth turya; that which is not these four is turyātīta. The one Lord alone that is witness and without qualities appears (as many) through the differences of Viśva, Taijasa, Prājña, and Tatastha (the neutral). One should (always) utter: ‘I am Brahman alone.’ Else in the waking state, (he is) in the four states of the waking state and others:11 in the dreaming state, (he is) in the four states of the dreaming state and others; in the dreamless sleeping state, (he is) in the four states of the dreamless sleeping and others; in the turya, (he is) in the four states of turya and others; to the turyātīta that is nirguna, such states are not. There is only one witness in all the states of Viśva, Taijasa and Prājña, who is presiding over the gross, the subtle and the causal (bodies). Is Tatastha the seer? or is he not? As (to Tatastha), there is the property of seeing; the jīva that is affected by the egoism, etc., of agency and enjoyment is not the seer. The one other than jīva (viz., Tatastha) is not concerned (with egoism, etc.). If it is said that the jīva is not so (concerned with egoism), then it is not a fact. Through the abhimāna of the jīva, there is the abhimāna of the body. And (conversely) through the abhimāna of the body, there is the abhimāna of the jīva. The state of the jīva is as a screen (to screen Brahman) like (the pot and house in) the pot-ākāś and the house-ākāś. Through such a screen, he reaches self-realisation through the mantra—’Hamsa-So’ham’12 having the characteristics of inspiration and expiration. Having known thus, if he should give up the identification with the body, then he does not identify himself with the body (i.e., not attain the state of jīva). Such a one is stated to be Brahman. Having given up abhimāna and anger, being content with moderate food, having conquered the organs and having controlled the avenues (of the organs), one should make the mind enter into meditation. The yogin who has always controlled (his mind and organs) should ever diligently commence his meditation in empty places, caves and forests. The knower of yoga who is bent upon accomplishing the end should never be engaged in giving feasts to Brāhmanas, in śrāddha sacrifices, etc., or in going to places of pilgrimages, festivals or crowds. The well-controlled yogin should go about as if people had treated him with disrespect. He should not go against the actions of the wise. That great ascetic is said to be a tridandin (or having a three-knotted staff) who holds firmly the three-danda (control) of mind, speech, and body. That ascetic is said to be a supreme person who begs alms-food of worthy brāhmanas, when smoke has ceased and fire has been extinguished (in their houses). Is he not a degraded ascetic who, though holding the staff and begging food, is without vairāgya and is not intent upon the observances of his order? He is an ascetic—not any other—who does not go to the house where he expects to find special alms or which he already visited. He is said to transcend all castes and orders of life who realises the self-shining supreme Tattva that is without body and organs, the all-witness, the real vijñāna that is of the form of bliss. To the Ātmā that is of the nature of jñāna, such an idea as: ‘the order of life, etc., is mine,’ being generated out of māyā in this body, can never exist. He who knows thus through vedānta is beyond all castes and orders of life. He from whom all castes and orders of life slip away through Ātmic vision, transcends them all and remains in Ātmā alone. That person is said by knower of the meaning of the Vedas to be ativarnāśramī (beyond caste and order of life) who after crossing all castes and orders of life abides in Ātmā alone. Therefore, O Nārada, the castes and orders of life which are foreign (to Ātmā) are attributed falsely, by the ignorant, to Ātmā. O Nārada, for those that are Brahma-jñānīs, there are no rules ordained nor prohibited; there is nothing to be given up or not; similarly nothing else (for them). Having attained indifference to all objects even up to Brahmā’s seat, having destroyed (or done away with) all fondness for everything, as for son, relatives, wife, etc., and having faith in the path of salvation, and through love of vedānta-jñāna, he should approach a guru who is a knower of Brahman with gift (in his hand). Having an equilibrated mind, he should satisfy the guru for a long time through service, etc., and learn with a steady firm mind the meaning of the sentences of the Vedas. Then being devoid of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and of all attractions, and having attained peace of mind, etc., he sees Ātmā in himself. Through observing the faults of samsāra, there arises indifference. There is no doubt that sannyāsa arises in one who becomes disgusted with samsāra. The aspirant after salvation who is called paramahamsa should, through the hearing, etc., of vedānta, practise Brahma-jñāna, which is the direct and chief means of salvation. In order to attain Brahma-jñāna, the one named paramahamsa should possess the qualities of the control of mind and body, etc. He should always he a practiser of vedānta, being master of the mind, the body and the organs, being without fear and egoism, with a firm mind, without the pairs (of opposites), without attaching himself to any, having a worn-out loin-cloth, and being bald-headed or naked. He should have the great intelligence of the knower of vedānta, a yogin without ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and being equal and friendly to friends and other beings. That jñānī alone and none else is able to cross samsāra who has his mind at peace. With the grace of the guru towards him, he should live with him for one year. He should be careful to observe yama (restraint) and niyama (religious observance). At the end of that (year), he should attain the supreme jñāna-yoga, and roam about on this earth without going against dharma; (or) at the end of one year, he should give up the three orders of life and attain the chief āśrama (of sannyāsa), as well as the supreme jñāna-yoga. Then, taking leave of the guru, he should wander over the earth, having given up association (with wife, etc., as well as anger, and being content with moderate food and having controlled the senses. The householder who does not perform karma, and the ascetic who performs karma—both become fallen through their perverse doings. Each becomes intoxicated through seeing women. Each becomes intoxicated through drinking alcohol. Therefore women, mere sight of whom is poison, should be shunned at a distance. Such things as conversation and proximity with, and sight of, women, dancing, singing, using violence against persons, and disputatious arguments should be given up. Therefore, O Nārada, to such a one, there is neither bath nor muttering of mantras nor worship nor homa, nor means of accomplishment, nor any karma of fire-sacrifice, etc., nor worshipping with flowers, etc., nor karmas to the pitṛs nor pilgrimages, nor religious observances, nor dharmas, nor adharmas, nor any rules of observance, nor any other worldly karmas. He should give up all karmas and worldly observances. That yogin of an ascetic who is a learned person, having his intelligence directed towards Reality, should never injure any worm or insect, bird or tree. O Nārada, roam through the world with vision ever directed inwards, with purity, with mind under control, with a mind that is full of Brahman and all attraction given up within. The muni that goes about alone, does (or should) not dwell in countries where there is no king. (In his case), there is neither praise nor prostration, nor the propitiation of devas or pitṛs. Thus the ascetic who has his abode changeful (in body), or changeless (in Ātmā), should be content with whatever he gets. Thus is the Upanishad.”

Upadeśa VII

The Grandfather, after eulogizing Nārada who asked about the observance of ascetics, replied thus:—

“The ascetic that has attained indifference (to objects), should stay in one and the same place in the rainy season (for four months), and then for (the remaining) eight months should wander alone. Then also the ascetic should not stay in one and the same place for more than a day. Like a deer that does not stay in one place on account of fear, he should not stay in one place. He should not create an attraction (in his mind) that may serve as an obstacle to his going about. He should not cross a stream (by swimming) with his hand, nor ascend a tree, nor witness the festival of a God, nor partake of regal food, nor do the external worship of God. Having discarded all things other than the Self, he should be with his body emaciated by taking food (from each house) like the bees (from each flower). He should not increase the fat (in the body); he should discard ghee like blood. Regarding such royal food as flesh, sandal-coating, etc., as offal, the different tastes as the degraded caste, the cloth as a defiled vessel, the oil-bath as sexual union, the gladdening of a friend as urine, desires as cow’s flesh, the country known to him as the outcastes’ place, gold and women as cobra or deadly poison, the place of assembly as the burning ground, the capital of the town as the hell called Kumbhīpāka, and royal food as balls of rice offered to the dead, he should be without any worship of God other than the Self; and having given up all the actions of the world and his own country, and ever thinking of the bliss of his Self like the bliss arising from the discovery of a lost object, forgetting his country and the fondness for his body, and knowing that his body should be slighted like a carcase, he should dwell away from son, relations and native place, like a thief released from prison. Taking whatever comes to him without effort, ever intent upon the realisation, through meditation, of Brahma-Pranava, being freed from all karmas, having burnt up all passion, anger, greed, delusion, pride, malice, etc., having transcended the three gunas, being without the six human infirmities,13 without the six changes,14 speaking the truth and being opposed to all savoury things, he should live for one day in a village, five days in a town, five days in a sacred place, and five days in sacred waters. With no settled place of residence and with a firm mind, he should dwell alone in mountain caves without uttering falsehood. Two persons should not join together. Should three join, there is created a village thereby; with four, is formed a city. Therefore he should live alone in a village. In it, the ascetic should not give scope to his fourteen organs. Having attained wealth of vairāgya through the non-dissipated jñāna, and having deliberated within himself that there is none other than the Self, he should attain Jīvanmukti, having seen the Reality everywhere. Till prārabdha karma is over, he should understand the four kinds of svarūpa15 (in Tattvamasi) and should live in the realisation of Reality, till his body falls (a prey to death).

“To the kutīchaka there is (prescribed) a bath three times daily; to the bahūdaka, twice; to the hamsa, once; to the paramahamsa there is the mental bath; to the turyātīta, there is the holy-ashes bath; to the avadhūta, there is the wind as the bath. For the kutīchaka, there is the vertical sect-mark; for the bahūdaka, there is the three-lined (horizontal) sect-mark; for the hamsa, both; for the paramahamsa, there is the holy-ashes sect-mark; for the turyātīta, there is the spot-sect-mark; for the avadhūta or for the turyātīta and avadhūta, there is none. For the kutīchaka, shaving takes place once in two months; for the bahūdaka, once in four months; for the hamsa and paramahamsa, none, or if wanted, once in a year; for the turyātīta and avadhūta, none at all. The kutīchaka should take the food in one (place only); the bahūdaka should take alms (in many places); for the hamsa and paramahamsa, the hand is the vessel; the turyātīta, should take food with the mouth as the cow; for the avadhūta, it is like the action of the boa constrictor (opening the mouth and taking whatever comes into it). For the kutīchaka, there are two cloths; for the bahūdaka, there is one cloth; for the hamsa there is a piece of cloth; and the paramahamsa should be naked or have only a loin-cloth; in the case of the turyātīta and avadhūta, they should be as nature made them. For the hamsa and paramahamsa, there is (prescribed) a deerskin, and for no others. For the kutīchaka and bahūdaka, there is the worship of the divine (image); for the hamsa and paramahamsa, there is mental worship; for the turyātīta and avadhūta, there is the idea that they alone are Brahman. The kutīchaka and bahūdaka are entitled to mantras and japas; the hamsa and paramahamsa, to dhyāna (meditation); the turyātīta and avadhūta are entitled to none; but they are entitled to the initiation of the sacred sentences of the Vedas; so also the paramahamsa. The kutīchaka and bahūdaka are not entitled to initiate others; for them, there is (the uttering of) the mental pranava; for the hamsa and paramahamsa, there is the internal pranava (in the heart); for the turyātīta and avadhūta, there is the Brahma-pranava (always). For the kutīchaka and bahūdaka, there is śravana (hearing and study); for the hamsa and paramahamsa, there is manana (thinking and remembering); for the turyātīta and avadhūta there is nididhyāsana (profound meditation ever). For all these, there is necessarily the meditation upon Ātmā. Thus the aspirant after salvation should ever be uttering the Pranava which enables one to cross samsāra, and be living as a Jivanmukta. Thus the ascetic, according to each one’s capacity, should ever be seeking the means to attain Kaivalya. Such is the Upanishad.”

Upadeśa VIII

Then Nārada, asked Parameshthī (Brahmā) to enlighten him, who had surrendered himself to Him, about samsāra-tāraka (or that tāraka or Pranava which lifts one out of samsāra).

Assenting to which, Brahmā began thus: “Omkāra that is Brahman is the vyashti (individual) and the samashti (cosmic). What is the individual? What is the cosmic? Brahma-pranava is of three kinds, samhāra- (destructive) pranava, sṛshti- (creative) pranava, and ubhayātmaka (belonging to both) pranava, as being of two forms, internal and external. (It is also eight:) Antaḥ-pranava, Vyāvahārika-pranava, bāhya-pranava, ārsha-pranava, ubhayātmaka or virāt-pranava, samhāra-pranava, brahma-pranava, and ardhamātrā pranava. Om is Brahman. Know that the mantra of the one-syllabled Om is Pranava. It has the eight differences of akāra, ukāra, makāra, ardhamātrā, nāda, bindu, kalā, and śakti. Know it is not four (alone). Akāra is associated with ten thousand limbs; ukāra, with one thousand limbs; makāra with one hundred limbs; ardhamātrā is of the nature of endless limbs. That which is saguna (associated with gunas) is virāt- (preservation) pranava; that which is nirguna (not associated with gunas) is samhāra- (or destruction) pranava; that which is associated with gunas and is not so associated, is utpatti- (or origination) pranava. Pluta (the elongated accent) is virāt: plutapluta is samhāra. The virāt-pranava is of the form of sixteen mātrās and is above the thirty-six tattvas. The sixteen mātrās are thus: Akāra is the first mātrā; ukāra is the second; makāra is the third; ardhamātrā is the fourth; nāda is the fifth; bindu is the sixth; kalā is the seventh; kalātīta is the eighth; śānti is the ninth; śāntyatita is the tenth; unmanī is the eleventh; manonmanī is the twelfth; purītati is the thirteenth; tanumadhyamā is the fourteenth; pati is the fifteenth; parā is the sixteenth. Then (again) having sixty-four mātrās and their division into the two, Prakṛti and Purusha and resolving themselves into the one hundred and twenty-eight differences of mātrās, it becomes saguna and nirguna. Though Brahma-pranava is one only, it is the substratum of all, the support of the whole universe, of the form of all aksharas (letters), time, Vedas, and Śiva. This Omkāra should be sought after, that is mentioned in the Vedas of the nature of the Upanishads. Know that this Omkāra is the Ātmā that is indestructible during the three periods of time, past, present, and future, able to confer salvation and eulogized by Brahma-sound (Vedas). Having experienced this one Om as immortal and ageless, and having brought about the Brahma-nature in this body, become convinced that your Ātmā, associated with the three bodies, is Parabrahman. Through Viśva and others (viz., Taijasa, Prājña, and Turya) in order, the realisation of Parabrahman should be attained, since Ātmā is of four kinds through his identification with, and the enjoying of, the gross as well as the enjoyer of the gross, the subtle as well as the enjoyer of the subtle, and through his identification (with the third body) enjoying bliss in the fourth. He has four feet. The one presiding over the waking state is gross; and since he is the enjoyer of Viśva (the universe), he becomes the sthūla-prajñā (gross consciousness). He has nineteen16 facets and eight parts. He is pervading everywhere and the Lord. He is the enjoyer of the gross and is the chaturātma called Viśva. He alone is the Purusha called Vaiśvānara. He alone is Viśvajit (the conqueror of the universe). This is the first foot. When this Lord attains the dreaming condition, he is the sūkshma-prajña (subtle consciousness). O conqueror of all, he is the one having eight limbs, and there is none else. He is the enjoyer of the subtle and is chaturātma, named Taijasa and the protector of elements. He alone is the Hiranyagarbha, presiding over the gross (or subtle matter rather). He is said to form the second foot. Sushupti (or the dreamless sleep) is that state where one sleeps without any desire and where one sees not any dreams. The one identified with this dreamless sleep is Prajñāna-ghana, is blissful, of the nature of eternal bliss and the Ātmā in all creatures; yet he is enjoyer of bliss, has chetas (consciousness) as his (one) foot, is all-pervading, indestructible, chaturātmā and the Lord, and is named Prājña, the third foot. He alone is the Lord of all, the knower of all, the subtle-thoughted, the latent one, and the cause of all creation. He alone is the origin and the destruction. These three (states) are obstacles to all creatures obtaining (the final) peace. As is svapna, so is sushupti, it (also) being said to be illusory. The chaturātmā, the fourth, as he is Sat, Chit and Ēkarasa (the one essence), ends as the fourth and follows (upon the heels of each of the above states), is the knower of the means of vikalpa-jñāna and is the anujñātā (the one following knower). Having known them, and known as māyā the three vikalpas of sushupti, svapna and āntara (the inner), even in this state, is he not (to be known as) Sat-Chit-Ēkarasa? This shall be expressed as differentiated thus: It is not even the gross prajñā; nor is it the very subtle prajñā; nor is it prajñā itself (of the causal body): O muni neither is it the trifling prajñā; nor is it the non-prajñā; nor is it the dual prajñā; nor is it the internal prajñā, though it is without prajñā; it is Prajñāna-ghana. It can never be known by the organs; nor it can be known by the reason; it cannot be grasped by the organs of action. It cannot be proved. It cannot be reached by thought. It cannot be proved by analogy. It can be realised by Self-realisation alone. It is with the waking state, etc. It is the auspicious, with changes, without a second. Such a one is thought to be Turya. This alone is Brahman, Brahma-pranava. This should be known. There is no other Turya. To the aspirants after salvation, it is the support, like the sun everywhere; it is the Self-light. As it alone is Brahman, this Brahma-Akās is shining always. Thus is the Upanishad.”

Upadeśa IX

Nārada asked: “Who is Brahma-swarūpa?” To which Brahma replied thus: “Brahma-swarūpa is thus: Those who know that ‘he (Brahman) is one and I am another’ are only paśus (animals). The real paśus (animals) are no animals. The wise man who knows Brahman thus (as himself, and himself as Brahman) escapes out of the mouth of death. There is no other path to salvation.

“Is time the cause (of origination of universes)?17 or nature? or karma? or accident? or the (great) elements? or Purusha? This should be considered. It is not the union of them. (Then) there is the Ātmā, but (jīva-) Ātmā is not the Lord, as it is subject to pleasures and pains. Those (Ṛshis) following dhyāna-yoga have beheld, as the cause, the devātma-śakti concealed by its own qualities of that One that presides over all the causes associated with time and Ātma. Him (the Universal Soul), we consider as the wheel which has one circumference, which is covered by three (layers), which has sixteen end-parts, which has fifty spokes and twenty counter-spokes, which has six times eight (nails), which has one rope of various forms, which has the threefold path, and which has delusion arising from the twofold cause. Him (we worship as a river) which has (water) oozing out of the five currents (of organs), which is terrible and crooked through the five causes (of elements), whose pranas are the five waves, which has buddhi, etc., as the root cause, which has five whirlpools, which is impelled by the velocity of the five pains, which has fifty differences (or has the five miseries), and which has the five obstacles. In this wheel of Brahman, which is the support of life and the last abiding place of all beings, and which is infinite, is whirling deluded the jīva, thinking that it is different from the one (Lord) Ordainer. Being blessed by Him, he gains salvation through such (a blessing). This is declared as Brahman, as the supreme and the indestructible. In it, are the three (the enjoyer, the enjoyed and enjoyment). Hence it is the firm abode (of all). The knowers of Brahman having known Brahman within (the universe, etc.,) attain samādhi in Brahman and are absorbed in Brahman. Īśvara upholds this universe, closely associated with the destructible and the indestructible, which are manifest and unmanifest; but the not-ruler of (jīva-) Ātmā is bound through the thought of its being the enjoyer; and having known the Lord is freed from all fetters. Both Īśvara and jīva are birthless; one (the former; is jñānī and the other (latter) is ajñānī. (The goddess of) Brahmātma-śakti, is birthless, is alone engaged (in this world), on account of the enjoyment of the enjoyers. Ātmā is endless. The universe is His form. He is not the agent. Whoever knows the Brahman that is threefold (as jīva, Īśvara and the universe) is released from bondage. It is pradhāna alone that is destructible. It is Īśvara that is immortal and indestructible. The one Lord (Īśvara) ordains Pradhāna and Purusha.

“The illusion of the universe disappears through meditation on union (or absorption) and sattva-bhāva of Parameśvara always. Through knowing the Lord, avidyā and the rest are destroyed. Through the removal of such pains, there is freedom from birth and death. Through the meditation of that Parameśvara, the third body is acquired after this (physical) body, all wealth is enjoyed, and he attains whatever should be attained. He should know with certitude that all the three things (viz.,) the enjoyer, the enjoyed, and enjoyment are nothing but Brahman, and are of the nature of his own Self. There is none but It to be known. All Ātmic knowledge is through tapas (only). That, Brahman contains in itself all excellence. Having known thus, whoever meditates upon the (Ātmā-) svarūpa, to him where then is grief? Where then is delusion? Therefore the Virāt is the past, present, and future time, and is of indestructible nature.

“Ātmā, that is the atom of atoms and the greatest of the greatest, is in the cave of the heart of all creatures. One without the thought of objects and without grief, knows the Ātmā capable of neither increase nor decrease through the grace of Īśvara or through the non-attraction to the objects of the senses. He (Ātmā) walks speedily without legs, lifts objects without hands, sees without eyes and hears without ears. He knows all, but none knows Him. He is said to be the foremost Mahā-Purusha. Having known Ātmā that is bodiless in this fleeting body, the great, the all-pervading, the support of all, with incomprehensible power, fit to be known through the meaning, etc., of all the Upanishads, the supreme of the supreme, the supreme object fit to be known, the one remaining after all, the all-knowing, the eternal, the foremost of all foremost beings, the ordainer of all, the one fit to be worshipped by all angels, the one without beginning, end, and middle, without limit or destruction, the cause of Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, the one that has all the universe latent in himself, of the nature of the five elements with the expansion of all the quintuplicated creation, without being enveloped by his own limbs of quintuplicated objects, superior to the supreme, greater than the greatest, of the nature of effulgence, the eternal and the auspicious, the undaunted personage never grieves. One who has neither given up vicious actions, nor controlled his organs, nor mastered his mind, nor given up longing after fruits of actions though the mind is undisturbed, nor brought his mind to one state (or point), will not attain this Ātmā.

“This (Brahman) is neither internal nor external consciousness; is neither gross, nor jñāna, nor ajñāna; nor is it the state between the waking and the dreaming states. It cannot be cognised by the organs; is not subject to proof; is within. He who knows that which is by Itself alone is an emancipated person.”

The Lord Brahma said that he becomes an emancipated person. He who knows Reality is a Parivrāt. Such a Parivrāt roams about alone. Through fear, he is like a terrified deer. He will not be opposed to going anywhere. Having given up all but his body, he will live like a bee, and without considering others as foreign to himself; ever meditating upon Reality, he attains liberation in himself. Such a Parivrāt will be without delusion, without action or causing others to act, being absolved from teacher, disciple, books, etc., and having abandoned all samsāra. Such a Parivrāt roams about thus—without wealth, being happy, able to get wealth (if wanted), having crossed jñāna and ajñāna as well as happiness and grief, being Self-effulgence, being fit to be known by the Vedas, having known all, able to confer siddhis and remaining himself as Brahman, the Lord. Such a Parivrāt attains the supreme abode of Vishnu, from which a yogin that has gone to it does not return, and where the sun and the moon do not shine. He does not return. Such is Kaivalya. Such is the Upanishad.


1. A higher being with the form of a horse but with a human head.

2. A higher being with a human form but with the head of a horse.

3. A semidivine serpent with a human face.

4. The four Brahmacharyas are: (1) Gāyatrī; (2) Prājāpatya; (3) Vaidika; (4) Naishtika.

5. The six Gṛhasthas are: (1) Vārtāvṛtti; viz., Agriculture; (2) Sālinavṛtti; (3) Yāyāvara; (4) Ghorasannyāsin; etc.

6. The four Vānaprasthas are: (1) Audumbara; (2) Vaikhānasa; (3) Samprakshāli; (4) Pournama.

7. They are Viveka, Vairagya, etc. [i.e. Ṣat Sampat and Mumukṣutva]

8. A celibate who has completed his first Āsrama.

9. Referring to the idea of the worm becoming the wasp, with the latter’s frequent stinging.

10. The snake, or boa constrictor, is said to remain in one place only on account of its huge body, taking any food that may come to its mouth as it is lying there.

11. Probably “others” refer to the subdivisions of the dreaming; so also of other states.

12. With Hamsa, there is the inspiration, and with So’ham, there is the expiration.

13. The six human infirmities are hunger, thirst, grief, delusion, dotage, and death.

14. The six changes are birth, existence, growth, transformation, decrease, and annihilation.

15. “Tat” has its two aspects of the word and its meaning which is Nirguna. In “Tvam” also there are two, viz., the disciple and the jīva.

16. The nineteen are the five organs of sense, the five organs of action, the five prānas, and the four of the mind.

17. The Svetāsvatara Upanishad begins thus.