[Skanda]1

Om. O Mahādeva (Lord of Devas), I am indestructible through a small portion of Thy grace. I am replete with Vijñāna. I am Śiva (Bliss). What is higher than It? Truth does not shine as such on account of the display of the antaḥkarana (internal organs). Through the destruction of the antaḥkarana, Hari abides as Samvit (Consciousness) alone. As I also am of the form of Samvit, I am without birth. What is higher than It? All inert things being other (than Ātmā) perish like dream. That Achyuta (the indestructible or Vishnu), who is the seer of the conscious and the inert, is of the form of Jñāna. He only is Mahādeva. He only is Mahā-Hari (Mahāvishnu). He only is the Jyotis of all Jyotis (or Light of all lights). He only is Parameśvara. He only is Parabrahman. That Brahman I am. There is no doubt (about it). Jīva is Śiva. Śiva is Jīva. That Jīva is Śiva alone. Bound by husk, it is paddy; freed from husk, it is rice. In like manner Jīva is bound (by karma). If karma perishes, he (Jīva) is Sadāśiva. So long as he is bound by the bonds of karma, he is Jīva. If freed from its bonds, then he is Sadāśiva. Prostrations on account of Śiva who is of the form of Vishnu, and on account of Vishnu who is of the form of Śiva. The heart of Vishnu is Śiva. The heart of Śiva is Vishnu. As I see no difference2 (between these two), therefore to me are prosperity and life. There is no difference—between Śiva and Keśava (Vishnu). The body is said to be the divine temple. The Śiva (in the body) is the God Sadāśiva3 (in the temple).

Having given up the cast-off offerings of ajñāna, one should worship Him with the thought “I am He”. To see (oneself) as not different (from Him) is (jñāna) wisdom. To make the mind free from sensual objects is dhyāna (meditation). The giving up of the stains of the mind is snāna (bathing). The subjugation of the senses is śoucha (cleansing). The nectar of Brahman should be drunk. For the upkeep of the body, one should go about for alms and eat. He should dwell alone in a solitary place without a second. He should be with the sole thought of the non-dual One. The wise person who conducts himself thus, attains salvation. Prostrations on account of Śrīmat Param-Jyotis (Supreme Light) abode! May prosperity and long life attend (me). O Narasimha!4 O Lord of Devas! through Thy grace, persons cognize the true nature of Brahman that is unthinkable, undifferentiated, endless, and immutable, through the forms of the Gods, Brahma, Nārāyana, and Śaṅkara.

Like the eye (which sees without any obstacle the things) spread in the ākāś, so the wise always see the supreme abode of Vishnu. Brahmans with divine eyes who are always spiritually awake, praise in diverse ways and illuminate the supreme abode of Vishnu. Thus is the teaching of the Vedas for salvation.

Thus is the Upanishad.


1. Skanda is the son of Śiva and is represented on earth by Sanatkumāra.

2. This will give a rude shock to the followers of Śiva and Vishnu in India, who, wage useless war as to the supremacy of Vishnu and Śiva.

3. Sadāsiva, lit., eternal bliss. This is one of the names applied to Śiva as also Mahādeva.

4. Narasimha, lit., Man-lion. This refers to one of the incarnations of Vishnu when he killed the evil power Hiranyakasipu.