Khanda I

Then he (Raikva1) asked: “What was at first?” To which (He the Lord) replied:

“There was neither Sat2 nor asat nor Sat-asat. From it, tamas (darkness) was evolved. From tamas came bhūtādi;3 from bhūtādi came ākāś, from ākāś, vāyu; from vāyu, agni (fire); from agni, āpas (water); and from āpas, pṛthivī (earth). Then it became an egg. After remaining so for one (divine) year, it split into two and became earth below,4 the ākāś above and in the midst, the infinite Purusha of a divine form of myriads of heads, eyes, feet and hands. Prior to the bhūtas (elements), he had evolved Mṛtyu (time or death) of three letters,5 three heads, and three feet, and having a khanda-paraśu6 (broken axe). To him, Brahma (the Purusha) spoke. He entered Brahma himself and evolved mentally the seven sons7 and these Havirāts (or sons) as well as the seven prajāpatis (progenitors). Brāhmanas8 were born from His mouth, Kshattriyas from His hands, Vaiśyas from His thighs, and from the feet were born the Śudras. The moon was born from His manas (mind), the sun from His eyes, vāyu from (His) ears and prānas from (His) heart. Thus all things were born.”

Khanda II

“From apāna came Nishādas, Yakshas, Rākshasas, and Gandharvas. From (His) bones, arose the mountains. From His hairs arose the herbs and the trees. From His forehead, Rudra was born through His anger. The breath of this great Being became the Ṛgveda, Yajurveda, Sāmaveda, Atharvaveda, Śīkshā (the science of the proper pronunciation and articulation of sounds), Kalpa (the science of methodology), Vyākarana (grammar), Nirukta (glossarial explanation of obsolete and other terms in Vedas), Chhandas (prosody or vedic metre), Jyotisha (astronomy), Nyāya (logic), Mīmāmsā (including rituals and vedānta), Dharmaśāstras, commentaries, glosses and all beings. This Ātmā (or the Self of Purusha) is Hiranyajyotis (or golden or effulgent Light) into which all the universe is absorbed. He divided Ātmā (his Self) into two moieties; out of one moiety, the woman was created; and out of the other, man. Having become a Deva, He created the Devas. Having become a Ṛshi, He created the Ṛshis; also He created Yakshas, Rākshasas, Gandharvas, wild and domestic beasts and others such as cows, bulls, mares and horses, she-asses and asses and Viśvambhara (the Supporter) and Viśvambharā (the earth). Becoming Vaiśvānara (fire) at the end (of creation), He burnt up all objects. Then (in dissolution), pṛthivī was absorbed in āpas, āpas in agni, agni in vāyu, vāyu in ākaś, ākaś in indriyas (organs), indriyas into tanmātras (rudimentary properties), tanmātras into bhūtādi, bhūtādi into mahat, mahat into avyakta, avyakta into akshara (the indestructible), akshara into Lamas (darkness). And Lamas becomes one with the supreme Lord. And then there is neither Sat nor asat, nor Sat-asat. This is the teaching of Nirvāna and this is the teaching of the Vedas. Yea, This is the teaching of the Vedas.”

Khanda III

“At first, there was Asat, unborn, non-existent, unsupported, soundless, touchless, formless, tasteless, odourless, and decayless. The undaunted man never grieves, as he knows Ātmā to be great, all-pervading and unborn. It (Ātma) is prānaless, mouthless, earless, tongueless, manas-less, tejas-less, eyeless, nameless, gotraless (or clanless), headless, handless, feetless, non-unctuous, bloodless, non-measurable, neither long nor short, neither gross nor atomic, neither great nor small, endless, indescribable, nonreturnable, non-luminous, not hidden, having neither inside nor outside, neither eating anything nor being eaten by others. Some one (out of many) attains to this (Ātmā) by the six means of satya (truth), dāna (charity), tapas (religious austerities), non-injury to any creature, celibacy and complete indifference to worldy objects;9 and there are no other means. Whoever feels happy with the thought ‘I know That’, that learned person’s prāna will never get out of his body at the moment of death, but will become absorbed in Brahman; and being absorbed in Brahman, he attains the state of Brahman Itself as he who knows this.”

Khanda IV

“In the middle of the heart is a red fleshy mass in which is the dahara-lotus. Like the lotus, it opens into many (petals). There are ten openings in the heart. The (different kinds of) prānas are located there. Whenever he (Ātmā) is united with prāna, he sees cities with rivers and other variegated things; when united with vyāna, he sees Devas and Ṛshis; when united with apāna, he sees Yakshas, Rākshasas and Gandharvas; when united with udāna, he perceives the celestial world, Devas, Skanda (Kārtikeya or the six-faced Mars), and Jayanta (Indra’s son); when united with samāna, he sees the celestial world and the treasures (of Kubera); when united with rambhā (a nādi hereafter given out), he sees whatever is seen or not seen, heard or not heard, eaten or not eaten, asat or Sat and all else.

“There are ten midis; in each of these are seventy-one. And these become 72,000 branch nādis. When Ātmā sleeps therein, it produces sound; but when Ātmā sleeps in the second kośa (or sheath) then it sees this world and the higher as also knows all the sounds. This is spoken of as samprasāda (deep sleep rest). Then prāna protects the body. The nādis are full of blood, of the colours green, blue, yellow, red, and white. Now this dahara-lotus has many petals like a lily. Like a hair divided into 1,000 parts, the nādis called hita are. The divine Ātmā sleeps in the ākāś of the heart, in the supreme kośa (or ānandamaya sheath); sleeping there, it has no desires, no dreams, no deva-worlds, no yajñas or sacrificer, no mother or father, no relative, no kinsman, no thief, or no Brahman-slayer. Its body is tejas (resplendent effulgence) and of the nature of nectar (or the immortal). It is as if in sport, a water-lotus. When he returns again to the waking state by the same way (he quitted or went in before to the heart), he is Samrāt.10 Thus says he.”

Khanda V11

“That which joins one place (or centre) with another is the nādis which bind them. The eye is adhyātmā, (pertaining to the body); the visible objects are ādhibhūta (pertaining to the elements) and the sun is adhidaivata (spiritual). The nādis form their bond (or connect them). He who moves in the eye, in the visible, in the sun, in the midis, in prāna, in vijñāna,12 in ānanda, in the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“The ear is adhyātma, the audible adhibhūta, and dik (the quarters) is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in the ear, in the audible, in the quarters, in the nādis, in prāna, in vijñāna, in ānanda, in the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“The nose is adhyātma, the odoriferous adhibhūta, and the earth is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in the nose, the odoriferous, the earth, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“The tongue is adhyātma: the tastable adhibhūta, and Varuna is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in the tongue, the tastable, Varuna, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākaś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“The skin is adhyātma, the tangiferous adhibhūta, and the vāyu is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in the skin, the tangiferous, the vāyu, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“Vāk (speech) is adhyātma, that which is acted upon by vāk is adhibhūta, and Agni is Adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in vāk, that which is acted upon by vāk, Agni, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“The hand is adhyātma, that which can be handled is adhibhūta, and Indra is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in the hand, that which can be handled by it, Indra, the nādis, prāna vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“The feet is adhyātma, that which is walked upon is adhibhūta, and Vishnu (or Upendra) is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in the feet, that which is walked upon, Vishnu, the midis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātma. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“The anus is adhyātma, the excreta is adhibhūta, and Mṛtyu is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves the anus, the excreta, Mṛtyu, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“The genitals is adhyātma, the secretion is adhibhūta, and Prajāpati is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in the genitals, secretion, Prajāpati, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

13“Manas is adhyātma, the thinkable is adhibhūta, and the moon is Adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in the manas, the thinkable, the moon, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“Buddhi is adhyātma, the certainly knowable is adhibhūta, and Brahma is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in buddhi, the certainly knowable, Brahma, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“Ahaṅkāra is adhyātma, that which is acted upon by ahaṅkāra is adhibhūta, and Rudra is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in ahaṅkāra, that which is acted upon by ahaṅkāra, Rudra, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“Chitty is adhyātma, that which is acted upon by chitta (producing fluctuation of thought) is adhibhūta, and Kshetrajña is adhidaivata. The nādis bind them. He who moves in chitta, that which is acted upon by chitta, Kshetrajña, the nādis, prāna, vijñāna, ānanda, the ākāś of the heart, and within all else—That is Ātmā. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow, or end.

“He is the knower of all, the Lord of all, the ruler of all, the one latent in all, the one worshipped for the happiness of all, but Himself not worshipping (or seeking) any happiness, the one worshipped by all, the Vedas and other books and to which all this is food, but who does not become the food of another; moreover, the one who, as the eye, is the ordainer of all, the one who as annamaya is Bhūtātmā; the one who as prānamaya is Indriyātmā, the one as manomaya is Sankalpātmā, the one who as vijñānamaya is Kālātmā, the one who as ānandamaya is Layātmā, is one and not dual. How can it be said to be mortal? How can it be said that there is not immortality in It? It is neither internal prajñā nor external prajñā nor both, nor Prajñānaghana; it is neither prajñā nor not-prajñā; it is neither known nor is it to know anything. Thus is the exposition of Nirvāna; and thus is the exposition of the Vedas; yea, thus is the exposition of the Vedas.”

Khanda VI

“At first there was not anything in the least. These creatures were born through no root, no support but the Divine Deva, the one Nārāyana.14 The eye and the visible are Nārāyana; the ear and the audible are Nārāyana; the tongue and the ‘tastable’ are Nārāyana; the nose and the ‘smellable’ are Nārāyana; the skin and the tangible are Nārāyana; manas and that which is acted upon by it are Nārāyana; buddhi and that which is acted upon by it are Nārāyana; ahaṅkāra and that which is acted upon by it are Nārāyana; chitta and that which is acted upon by it are Nārāyana; vāk and that which is spoken are Nārāyana; the hand and that which is lifted are Nārāyana; the leg and that which is walked upon are Nārāyana; the anus and the excreted are Nārāyana; the genitals and the enjoyment of pleasure are Nārāyana. The originator and the ordainer as also the agent and the causer of changes, are the Divine Deva Nārāyana only. Ādityas, Rudras, Maruts, Vasus, Aśvins, the Ṛk, Yajus, and Sāma, Mantras, Agni, clarified butter and oblation—all these are Nārāyana. The origin and the combination are the Divine Deva Nārāyana only. Mother, father, brother, residence, asylum, friends and dependents are Nārāyana only. The divine midis known as virājā, sudarśanā, jitā, saumyā, moghā, kumārā, amṛtā, satyā, sumadhyamā, nāsīrā, śiśirā, surā, sūryā, and bhāsvatī (fourteen nādis in all), that which thunders, sings and rains, viz., Varuna, Aryamā (sun), Chandramas (moon), Kalā (part), Kavi (Śukra), the creator Brahma and Prajāpati, Indra, Kāla (or time) of days, half-days, Kalpa, the upper, and the directions—all these are Nārāyana. That which was and will be is this Purusha only. Like the eye (which sees without any obstacle) the thing spread in the ākāś, the wise ever see this supreme seat of Vishnu. Brāhmanas who are ever spiritually awake, praise in diverse ways and illuminate the supreme abode of Vishnu. Thus is the exposition to the attaining of Nirvāna; thus is the teaching of the Vedas; yea, thus is the teaching of the Vedas.”

Khanda VII

“Within the body, is the one eternal Aja (unborn), located in the cave (of the heart). Earth is His body. Though He moves in the earth, earth does not know Him. Waters are His body. Though He moves in the waters, waters do not know Him. Tejas is His body. Though He moves in tejas, tejas does not know Him. Vāyu is His body. Though He moves in vāyu, vāyu does not know Him. Ākāś is His body. Though He moves in ākāś, ākāś does not know Him. Manas is His body. Though He moves in manas, manas does not know Him. Buddhi is His body. Though He moves in buddhi, buddhi does not know Him. Ahaṅkāra is His body. Though He moves in ahaṅkāra, ahaṅkāra does not know Him. Chitta is His body. Though He moves in chitta, chitta does not know Him. Avyakta is His body. Though He moves in avyakta, avyakta does not know Him. Akshara is His body. Though He moves in akshara, akshara does not know Him. Mṛtyu (death) is His body. Though He moves in Mṛtyu, Mṛtyu does not know Him. Such an one is the Mind within all creatures, the remover of all sins and the Divine Deva, the one Nārāyana.

“This knowledge was imparted (by Nārāyana) to Apāntaratama who in turn imparted it to Brahmā. Brahma imparted it to Ghora-Aṅgiras. He imparted it to Raikva, who in turn imparted it to Rāma. Rāma imparted it to all creatures. This is the teaching of Nirvāna; this is the teaching of the Vedas; yea, this is the teaching of the Vedas.”

Khanda VIII

“The Ātmā of all which is immaculate, is located within the cave in the body. Ātmā which lives in the midst of the body filled with fat, flesh and phlegm in a seat very closely shut up with shining many-coloured walls resembling a Gandharva city and with the (subtle) essence going out of it (to other parts of the body), which seat may be likened to a plantain flower and is ever agitated like a water-bubble—this Ātmā is of an unthinkable form, the Divine Deva, associateless and pure, has tejas as its body, is of all forms, the Lord of all, the unthinkable and the bodiless, placed within the cave, immortal, shining, and bliss itself. He is a wise person who cognizes Ātmā thus, and not one who does not do so.”

Khanda IX

Once Raikva questioned Him (Lord) thus: “O Lord, in whom does everything disappear (or merge)?” He replied thus: “That which (or he who) disappears in the eye becomes the eye only; that which disappears in the visible becomes the visible only; that which disappears in the sun becomes sun only; that which disappears in Virāt becomes Virāt only; that which disappears in prāna becomes prāna only; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in ānanda becomes ānanda only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in the ear becomes ear itself; that which disappears in the audible becomes the audible only; that which disappears in dik (space) becomes dik only; that which disappears in sudarśanā (discus) becomes sudarśanā only: that which disappears in apāna becomes apāna only; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in ānanda become ānanda only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in the nose becomes nose only; that which disappears in the odoriferous becomes odoriferous only; that which disappears in pṛthivī becomes pṛthivī only; that which disappears in jitam (victory) becomes; victory only; that which disappears in vyāna becomes vyāna only; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in bliss becomes bliss only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in the mouth becomes the mouth only; that which disappears in the tasted becomes the tasted only; that which disappears in Varuna becomes Varuna only; that which disappears in soumya (moon or Mercury) becomes soumya only; that which disappears in udāna becomes udāna only; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in bliss becomes bliss only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in the skin becomes the skin only; that which disappears in touch becomes touch only; that which disappears in vāyu becomes vāyu only; that which disappears in cloud becomes cloud only; that which disappears in samāna becomes samāna only; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in bliss becomes bliss only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in vāk becomes vāk only; that which disappears in speech becomes speech only; that which disappears in Agni becomes Agni only; that which disappears in kumārā becomes kumārā only; that which disappears in hostility becomes hostility itself; that which disappears in vijñāna become vijñāna only; that which disappears in bliss becomes bliss only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in the hand becomes the hand only; that which disappears in that which is lifted by the hand becomes that which is lifted by the hand; that which disappears in Indra becomes Indra only; that which disappears in the nectar becomes the nectar only; that which disappears in mukhya becomes mukhya only; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in bliss becomes bliss only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain, that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in the leg becomes the leg only; that which disappears in that which is walked upon becomes that which is walked upon; that which disappears in Vishnu becomes Vishnu only; that which disappears in satya becomes satya only; that which disappears in the suppression of the breath and voice becomes the suppression of the breath and voice; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in bliss becomes bliss only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in the anus becomes the anus only; that which disappears in that which is excreted becomes that which is excreted; that which disappears in Mṛtyu becomes Mṛtyu only; that which disappears in spirituous liquor becomes spirituous liquor only; that which disappears in hurricane becomes hurricane only; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in bliss becomes bliss only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in the genitals becomes the genitals only; that which disappears in that which is enjoyed becomes that which is enjoyed; that which disappears in that which is Prajāpati becomes Prajāpati only; that which disappears in nāsīnām becomes nāsīnām only; that which disappears in kurmira becomes kurmira only; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna only; that which disappears in bliss becomes bliss only; that which disappears in turya becomes turya only—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in manas becomes manas itself; that which disappears in the thinkable becomes the thinkable itself; that which disappears in the moon becomes the moon itself; that which disappears in śiśu becomes śiśu itself; that which disappears in śyena becomes śyena itself; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna itself; that which disappears in ānanda, becomes ānanda itself; that which disappears in turya becomes turya itself—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in buddhi becomes buddhi itself; that which disappears in the certainly knowable becomes the certainly knowable itself; that which disappears in Brahma becomes Brahmā himself; that which disappears in Kṛshna becomes Kṛshna himself; that which disappears in Sūrya becomes Sūrya itself; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna itself; that which disappears in ānanda becomes ānanda itself; that which disappears in turya becomes turya itself—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in ahaṅkāra becomes ahaṅkāra itself; that which disappears in that which is acted upon by ahaṅkāra becomes that itself; that which disappears in Rudra becomes Rudra himself; that which disappears in asura becomes asura itself; that which disappears in śveta becomes śveta itself; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna itself; that which disappears in ānanda becomes ānanda itself; that which disappears in turya becomes turya itself—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrow-less, endless, and seedless.”

Then He continued: “That which disappears in chitta becomes chitta itself; that which disappears in that which is acted upon by chitta becomes that itself; that which disappears in Kshetrajña becomes Kshetrajña itself; that which disappears in bhāsvatī becomes bhāsvatī itself; that which disappears in nāga becomes nāga itself; that which disappears in vijñāna becomes vijñāna itself; that which disappears in ānanda becomes ānanda itself; that which disappears in turya becomes turya itself—(all these) attain that which is deathless, fearless, sorrowless, endless, and seedless.”

“He who knows this as seedless in this manner becomes himself seedless. He is neither born, nor dies, nor is deluded, nor split, nor burnt, nor cut—yea, he does not feel angry, and hence he is said to be Ātmā, capable of burning all. Such an Ātmā is neither attained by a hundred sayings, nor by (the reading of) many scriptures, nor by mere intelligence, nor by hearing from others, nor by understanding, nor by Vedas, nor by scriptures, nor by severe tapas, nor sāṅkhya, nor yoga, nor observances of the orders of the life, nor by any other means (than the following). Devoted Brāhmanas who repeat the Vedas according to rules and who worship Him with praise attain Him. He who is quiescent, self-controlled, indifferent to worldly objects and resigned, having centred his mind on Ātmā sees Ātmā and becomes one with the Ātmā of all, as also he who knows this.”

Khanda X

Then Raikva asked Him: “O Lord, where do all things rest? He replied: “In the worlds of Rasātala (or nether worlds).”

“In what are these (Rasātala worlds) woven warp and woof?” He replied: “In the worlds of Bhūḥ.”

“In what are these (worlds of Bhūḥ) woven warp and woof?” He replied: “In the worlds of Bhuvaḥ.”

“In what are these (Bhuvaḥ worlds) woven warp and woof?” “In the worlds of Suvaḥ.”

“In what are these (Suvaḥ worlds) woven warp and woof?” “In the worlds of Mahaḥ.”

In what are these (Mahaḥ worlds) woven warp and woof?” “In the Janaloka.”

“In what are these (Jana worlds) woven warp and woof?” “In the Tapoloka.”

“In what are these (Tapolokas) woven warp and woof?” “In the Satya loka.”

“In what are these (Satya worlds) woven warp and woof?” “In the Prajāpati loka.”

“In what are these (Prajāpati worlds) woven warp and woof?” “In the Brahmaloka.”

“In what are these (Brahma worlds) woven warp and woof?” “In the Sarvaloka.”

“In what are these (Sarva lokas) woven warp and woof?” “In Ātmā—which is Brahman, like beads (in a rosary) warp-wise and woof-wise.”

Then he said: “All these rest in Ātmā, and he who knows this, becomes Ātmā itself. Thus is the exposition of Nirvāna. Thus is the exposition of the Vedas; yea, thus is the exposition of the Vedas.”

Khanda XI

Again Raikva asked Him: “O Lord! what is the seat of Ātmā which is replete with vijñāna? and how does it leave the body and pervade the universe?” To this He replied: “There is a mass of red flesh in the middle of the heart. In it, there is a lotus called dahara. It buds forth in many petals like a water-lily. In the middle of it is an ocean (samudra).15 In its midst is a koka16 (bird). In it there are four nādis. They are ramā, aramā, Ichchhā and punarbhava. Of these, ramā leads a man of virtue to a happy world. Aramā leads one of sins into the world of sins. (Passing) through Ichchhā (nādi), one gets whatever he remembers. Through punarbhava, he splits open the sheaths; after splitting open the sheaths, he splits open the skull of the head; then he splits open pṛthivī; then āpas; then tejas; then vāyu; then ākāś. Then he splits open manas; then bhūtādi; then mahat; then avyakta; then akshara; then he splits open mṛtyu and mṛtyu becomes one with the supreme God. Beyond this, there is neither Sat nor asat, nor Sat-asat. Thus is the exposition of Nirvāna; and thus is the exposition of the Vedas; yea, thus is the exposition of the Vedas.”

Khanda XII17

“Anna (food) came from Nārāyana. It was first cooked in Brahmaloka in the Mahā-samvartaka fire. Again it was cooked in the sun; again it was cooked in kravyādi (lit., the fire that burns raw flesh, etc.); again it was cooked in jwālakīla (the flaming kīla); then it became pure and not stale (or fresh). One should eat whatever has fallen to his lot and without begging; one should never beg any (food).”

Khanda XIII

“The wise man should conduct himself like a lad, with the nature of a child, without company, blameless, silent and wise and without exercising any authority. This description of Kaivalya is stated by Prajāpati. Having found with certitude the supreme seat, one should dwell under a tree with torn cloths, unaccompanied, single and engaged in samādhi. He should be longing after the attaining of Ātmā and having attained this object, he is desireless, his desires have decayed. He fears none, though he finds the cause of death in such as elephants, lions, gadflies, musquitoes, ichneuma, serpents, Yakshas, Rākshasas, and Gandharvas. He will stand like a tree. Though cut down, he will neither get angry nor tremble. He will stand (or remain) like a lotus. Though pierced, he will neither get angry nor tremble. He will stand like ākāś; though struck, he will neither get angry nor tremble. He will stand by Satya (truth), since Ātmā is Satya.

“Pṛthivī is the heart (or centre) of all odours; āpas is the heart of all tastes; tejas is the heart of all forms; vāyu is the heart of all touch; ākāś is the heart of all sounds; avyakta is the heart of gītās (or sounds); mṛtyu is the heart of all Sattvas; and mṛtyu becomes one with the Supreme. And beyond Him, there is neither Sat nor asat, nor Sat-asat. Thus is the exposition of Nirvāna; thus is the exposition of the Vedas; yea, thus is the exposition of the Vedas.”

Khanda XIV18

“Pṛthivī is the food, and āpas is the eater; āpas is the food, and jyotis (or fire) is the eater; jyotis is the food, and vāyu is the eater; vāyu is the food, and ākāś is the eater; and akāś is the food and the indriyas (organs) are the eaters; indriyas are the food and manas is the eater; manas is the food, and buddhi is the eater; buddhi is the food, and avyakta is the eater; avyakta is the food, and akshara is the eater; akshara is the food, and mṛtyu is the eater; and mṛtyu becomes one with the Supreme. Beyond Him, there is neither Sat nor asat, nor Sat-asat. Thus is the exposition of Nirvāna, and thus is the exposition of the Vedas; yea, thus is the exposition of the Vedas.”

Khanda XV

Again Raikva asked: “O Lord, when this Vijñāna-ghana goes out (of the body or the universe), what does it burn and how?” To which He replied: “When it goes away, it burns prāna, apāna, vyāna, udāna, samāna, vairambha, mukhya, antaryāma, prabhañjana, kumāra, śyena, kṛshna, śveta, and nāga. Then it burns pṛthivī, āpas, tejas, vāyu, and ākāś; then it burns the waking, the dreaming, the dreamless sleeping and the fourth states as well as the maharlokas and worlds higher; then it burns the lokāloka (the highest world forming a limit to the other worlds). Then it burns dharma and adharma. Then it burns that which is beyond, is sunless, limitless, and worldless. Then it burns mahat; it burns avyakta; it burns akshara; it burns mṛtyu; and mṛtyu becomes one with the great Lord. Beyond Him, there is neither Sat nor asat, nor Sat-asat. Thus is the exposition of Nirvāna, and thus is the exposition of the Vedas; yea, thus is the exposition of the Vedas.”

Khanda XVI

“This Subāla-Bīja-Brahma-Upanishad should neither be given out nor taught to one who has not controlled his passions, who has no sons, who has not gone to a Guru, and having become his disciple has not resided with him for a year, and whose family and conduct are not known. These doctrines should be taught to him who has supreme devotion to the Lord and as much to his Guru. Then these truths shine in his great soul. Thus is the exposition of Nirvāna; thus is the exposition of the Vedas; yea, thus is the exposition of the Vedas.”


1. In the Chhāndogya Upanishad, Raikva is said to be the imparter of Samvargavidyā.

2. The absolute (Parabrahman) is neither Sat (Be-ness) nor asat (not-Be-ness) nor a commingling of both. It is neither spirit nor matter nor a commingling of both.

3. Bhūtādi is tāmasa ahaṅkāra according to Vishnu Purāna.

4. “Above and below” refers not to the position but only to the state, of matter, gross or subtle. “In the midst” implies that ākāś and earth are soaked in and with spirit.

5. This refers to the first triune manifestation of Purusha or spirit through time when only there is activity, Mṛtyu or Kāla is the first manifestation whereas Yama (or the God of death) is the secondary one dealing with the death of creatures lower down.

6. Khanda means divided or with parts. Parasu literally injuring another. Hence Mṛtyu with his khanda-parasu divided eternal time into its parts and conditions the absolute through primordial matter. In the Purānas and other books, Mṛtyu and Yama are represented as having an axe broken in a conflict.

7. This refers to the septenary manifestation from the triune one; also to the sub-septenary ones.

8. In other words beings of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and an admixture of these were born.

9. The word anāsakena (non-injury) is repeated in the text which is wrong.

10. Lit., one producing sound.

11. In this chapter are given out the several correspondences of the devas (or the presiding spiritual deities) and of the objects to the five organs of sense, the five organs of action, and the antaḥkarana (or lower mind) composed of manas, buddhi, ahaṅkāra, and chitta.

12. Probably prāna, vijñāna, and ānanda refer to the sheaths formed by them.

13. Although in the original manas, buddhi, etc., are in the middle, yet they are inserted here after the karmendriyas.

14. Nārāyana is the Universal Self. This chapter gives out the pantheistic theory that the whole universe is nothing but God Nārāyana.

15. The ocean probably refers to ākāsic space.

16. Koka probably refers to Hamsa.

17. In this chapter are related the different fires, the first or primordial anna or food-substance has to pass through in order to become the gross food.

18. The causes and effects are herein given out, the cause of an effect becoming itself the effect of a higher cause.