[Varāha]1

Chapter I

The great sage Ṛbhu performed penance for twelve deva (divine) years. At the end of the time, the Lord appeared before him in the form of a boar. He said: “Rise, rise and choose your boon.” The sage got up and having prostrated himself before him said: “O Lord, I will not, in my dream, wish of thee those things that are desired by the worldly. All the Vedas, Śāstras, Itihāsas2 and all the hosts of other sciences, as well as Brahma and all the other Devas, speak of emancipation as resulting from a knowledge of thy nature. So impart to me that science of Brahman which treats of thy nature.”

Then the boar-shaped Bhagavān (Lord) said: “Some disputants hold that there are twenty-four tattvas (principles) and some thirty-six, whilst others maintain that there are ninety-six. I shall relate them in their order. Listen with an attentive mind. The organs of sense are five, viz.: ear, skin, eye and others. The organs of action are five, viz.: mouth, hand, leg and others. Prānas (vital airs) are five;3 sound and others (viz., rudimentary principles) are five.4 Manas, buddhi, chitta and ahaṅkāra are four;5 thus those that know Brahman know these to be the twenty-four tattvas. Besides these, the wise hold the quintuplicated elements to be five, viz.: earth, water, fire, vāyu and ākāś; the bodies to be three, viz.: the gross, the subtle and the kārana or causal; the states of consciousness to be three, viz.: the waking, the dreaming and the dreamless sleeping. The munis know the total collection of tattvas to be thirty-six (coupled with jīva).

“With these tattvas, there are six changes, viz.: existence, birth, growth, transformation, decay and destruction. Hunger, thirst, grief, delusion, old age and death are said to be the six infirmities. Skin, blood, flesh, fat, marrow and bones are said to be the six sheaths. Passion, anger, avarice, delusion, pride and malice are the six kinds of foes. Viśva, Taijasa and Prājña6 are the three aspects of the jīva. Sattva, rajas and tamas are the three gunas (qualities). Prārabdha,7 sañchita and āgāmin are the three karmas. Talking, lifting, walking, excreting and enjoying are the five actions (of the organs of action); and there are also thought, certainty, egoism, compassion, memory (functions of manas, etc.,), complacency, sympathy and indifference: dik (the quarters), Vāyu, Sun, Varuna,8 Aśvini devas,9 Agni, Indra, Upendra,10 and Mṛtyu (death): and then the moon, the four-faced Brahma, Rudra, Kshetrajña,11 and Īśvara. Thus these are the ninety-six tattvas. Those that worship, with devotion, me of the form of boar, who am other than the aggregate of these tattvas and am without decay are released from ajñāna and its effects and become jīvanmuktas. Those that know these ninety-six tattvas will attain salvation in whatever order of life they may be, whether they have matted hair or are of shaven head or have (only) their tuft of hair on.12 There is no doubt of this. Thus ends the first chapter.”

Chapter II

The great Ṛbhu (again) addressed the Lord of Lakshmī of the form of boar thus: “O Lord, please initiate me into the supreme Brahmavidyā (or science).” Then the Lord who removes the miseries of his devotees being thus questioned, answered thus: “Through (the right observance of) the duties of one’s own caste and orders of life, through religious austerities and through the pleasing of the guru (by serving him rightly), arise to persons the four, vairāgya, etc. They are the discrimination of the eternal from the non-eternal; indifference to the enjoyments of this and the other worlds; the acquisition of the six virtues, śama,13 etc., and the longing after liberation. These should be practised. Having subdued the sensual organs and having given up the conception of ‘mine’ in all objects, you should place your consciousness of ‘I’ in (or identify yourself with) me, who am the witness Chaitanya (consciousness). To be born as a human being is difficult—more difficult it is to be born as a male being—and more so is it to be born as a Brahman. Even then, if the fool does not cognise through the hearing,14 etc., of vedānta, the true nature of the Sachchidānanda (of Brahman) that is all-pervading, and that is beyond all caste and orders of life, when will he obtain moksha? I alone am happiness. There is none other. If there is said to be another, then it is not happiness. There is no such thing as love, except on my account. The love that is on account of me is not natural to me. As I am the seat of supreme love, that ‘I am not’ is not. He who is sought after by all, saying “I should become such,” is myself, the all-pervading. How can non-light affect Ātmā, the self-shining which is no other than the light whence originates the words ‘I am not light’. My firm conviction is, whoever knows for certain that (Ātmā) which is self-shining and has itself no basis (to rest upon), is one of vijñāna.

“The universe, jīva, Īśvara, māyā and others do not really exist, except my full Ātmā. I have not their characteristics. Karma which has dhāranā and other attributes and is of the form of darkness and ajñāna is not fit to touch (or affect) me, who am Ātmā, the self-resplendent. That man who sees (his) Ātmā which is all-witness and is beyond all caste and orders of life as of the nature of Brahman, becomes himself Brahman. Whoever sees, through the evidence of vedānta, this visible universe as the Supreme Seat which is of the form of light, attains moksha at once. When that knowledge which dispels the idea that this body (alone) is Ātmā, arises firmly in one’s mind as was before the knowledge that this body (alone) is Ātmā, then that person, even though he does not desire moksha, gets it. Therefore how will a person be bound by karma, who always enjoys the bliss of Brahman which has the characteristics of Sachchidānanda, and which is other than ajñāna? Persons with spiritual eyes see Brahman, that is the witness of the three states that has the characteristics of be-ness, wisdom and bliss, that is the underlying meaning of the words ‘Thou’ (Tvam) and ‘I’ (Aham), and that is untouched by all the stains. As a blind man does not see the sun that is shining, so an ignorant person does not see (Brahman). Prajñāna alone is Brahman. It has truth and prajñāna as its characteristics. By thus cognising Brahman well, a person becomes immortal. One who knows his own Ātmā as Brahman, that is bliss, and without duality and gunas (qualities), and that is truth and absolute consciousness is not afraid of anything. That which is consciousness alone which is all-pervading, which is eternal, which is all-full, which is of the form of bliss, and which is indestructible, is the only true Brahman. It is the settled determination of Brahmajñānīs that there is naught else but that. As the world appears dark to the blind and bright to those having good eyes, so this world full of manifold miseries to the ignorant is full of happiness to the wise. In me, of the form of boar, who am infinite and the Bliss of absolute Consciousness, if there is the conception of non-dualism, where then is bondage? And who is the one to be emancipated? The real nature of all embodied objects is ever the absolute Consciousness. Like the pot seen by the eyes, the body and its aggregates are not (viz., do not really exist). Knowing, as Ātma, all the locomotive and fixed worlds that appear as other than Ātmā, meditate upon them as ‘It I am’. Such a person then enjoys his real nature. There is no other to be enjoyed than one-Self. If there is anything that is, then Brahman alone has that attribute. One who is perfect in Brahmajñāna, though he always sees this established universe, does not see it other than his Ātmā. By cognising clearly my form, one is not trammelled by karma. He is an undaunted person who by his own experience cognises as his own real nature all (the universe and Brahman) that is without the body and the organs of sense—that is the all-witness—that is the one noumenal vijñāna, that is the blissful Ātmā (as contrasted with jīvātmā or the lower self) and that is the self-resplendent. He is one that should be known as ‘I’ (myself). O Ṛbhu, may you become He. After this, there will be never any experience of the world. Thereafter there will always be the experience of the wisdom of one’s own true nature. One who has thus known fully Ātmā has neither emancipation nor bondage. Whoever meditates, even for one muhūrta (48 minutes) through the cognition of one’s own real form, upon Him who is dancing as the all-witness, is released from all bondage. Prostrations—prostrations to me who am in all the elements, who am the Chidātmā (viz., Ātmā of the nature of wisdom) that is eternal and free and who am the Pratyagātmā. O Devatā, you are I. I am you. Prostrations on account of myself and yourself who are infinite and who are Chidātmā, myself being the supreme Īśa (Lord) and yourself being Śiva (of a beneficent nature). What should I do? Where should I go? What should I reject? (Nothing, because) the universe is filled by me as with the waters of the universal deluge. Whoever gives up (fond) love of the external, love of the internal and love of the body and thus gives up all associations, is merged in me. There is no doubt about it. That Paramahamsa (ascetic) who, though living in the world, keeps aloof from human congregation as from serpent, who regards a beautiful woman as a (living) corpse and the endless sensual objects as poison, and who has abandoned all passion and is indifferent towards all objects is no other than Vāsudeva,15 (viz.,) myself. This is satya (truth). This is nothing but truth. It is truth alone that is now said. I am Brahman, the truth. There is naught else but I.

“(The word) ‘upavāsa’ (lit., dwelling near) signifies the dwelling near (or union) of jīvātmā and Paramātmā and not (the religious observance as accepted by the worldy of) emaciating the body through fasts. To the ignorant, what is the use of the mere drying up of the body? By beating about the hole of a snake, can we be said to have killed the big snake within, A man is said to attain paroksha (indirect) wisdom when he knows (theoretically) that there is Brahman; but he is said to attain sākshātkāra (direct cognition) when he knows (or realises) that he is himself Brahman. When a yogin knows his Ātmā to be the Absolute, then he becomes a jīvanmukta. To mahatmas, to be always in the state ‘I am Brahman’ conduces to their salvation. There are two words for bondage and moksha. They are ‘mine’ and ‘not mine’. Man is bound by ‘mine’, but he is released by ‘not mine’. He should abandon all the thoughts relating to externals and so also with reference to internals. O Ṛbhu having given up all thoughts, you should rest content (in your Ātmā) ever.

“The whole of the universe is caused through saṅkalpa alone. It is only through saṅkalpa that the universe manifests. Having abandoned the universe, which is of the form of saṅkalpa and having fixed your mind upon the nirvikalpa (one which is changeless), meditate upon my abode in your heart. O most intelligent being, pass your time in meditating upon me, glorifying me in songs, talking about me to one another and thus devoting yourself entirely to me as the Supreme. Whatever is chit (consciousness) in the universe is only Chinmātra. This universe is Chinmaya only. You are Chit. I am Chit: contemplate upon the worlds also as Chit. Make the desires nil. Always be without any stain. How then can the bright lamp of Ātmic vijñāna arising through the Vedas be affected by the karma arising from the ignorance of the actor and the agent? Having given up not-Ātmā and being in the world unaffected by it, delight only in the Chinmātra within, ever intent on the One. As the ākāś of the pot and that of the house are both located in the all-pervading ākāś, so the jīvas and Īśvara are only evolved out of me, the Chidākāś (the one ākāś of universal consciousness). So that which did not exist before the evolution of Ātmās (jīvas and Īśvara) and that which is rejected at the end (viz., universal deluge) is called māyā by Brahmajñānīs through their discrimination. Should māyā and its effects (the universe) be annihilated, there is no state of Īśvara, there is no state of jīva. Therefore like the ākāś without its vehicle, I am the immaculate and Chit.

“The creation, sentient as well as non-sentient from īkshanā (thinking) to praveśa (entry) (as stated in Chhāndogya-Upanishad, Prapāthaka VI, Khandas II and III) of those having the forms of jīvas and Īśvara is due to the creation (or illusion) of Īśvara; while the samsāra (worldly existence) from the waking state to salvation is due to the creation of jīva. So the karmas ordained in the sacrifice (called) Trināchaka (so called after Nachiketas of Katha-Upanishad) to yoga are dependent upon the illusion of Īśvara; while (the systems from) Lokāyata (atheistical system) to sāṅkhya rest on the illusion of jīva. Therefore aspirants after salvation should never make their heads enter into the field of controversy regarding jīva and Īśvara. But with an undisturbed mind, the tattvas of Brahman should be investigated. Those who do not cognise the tattva of the secondless Brahman are all deluded persons only. Whence (then) is salvation to them? Whence then is happiness (to them) in this universe? What if they have the thoughts of the superiority and inferiority (of Īśvara and jīva)? Will sovereignty and mendicancy (experienced by a person) in the dreaming state affect him in his waking state? When buddhi is absorbed in ajñāna, then it is termed, by the wise, sleep. Whence then is sleep to me who have not ajñāna and its effects? When buddhi is in full bloom, then it is said to be the jāgrat (waking state). As I have no changes, etc., there is no waking state to me. The moving about of buddhi in the subtle nādis constitutes the dreaming state. In me without the act of moving about, there is no dreaming. Then at the time of sushupti when all things are absorbed, enveloped by tamas, he then enjoys the highest bliss of his own nature in an invisible state. If he sees everything as Chit without any difference, he alone is an actual vijñānī. He alone is Śiva. He alone is Hari. He alone is Brahma. This mundane existence which is an ocean of sorrow, is nothing but a long-lived dream, or an illusion of the mind or a long-lived reign of the mind. From rising from sleep till going to bed, the one Brahman alone should be contemplated upon. By causing to be absorbed this universe which is but a superimposition, the chitta partakes of my nature. Having annihilated all the six powerful enemies, through their destruction become the non-dual One like the scent-elephant. Whether the body perishes now or lasts the age of moon and stars, what matters it to me having Chit alone as my body? What matters it to the ākāś in the pot, whether it (the pot) is destroyed now or exists for a long time. While the slough of a serpent lies cast off lifeless in its hole, it (the serpent) does not evince any affection towards it. Likewise the wise do not identify themselves with their gross and subtle bodies. If the delusive knowledge (that the universe is real) with its cause should be destroyed by the fire of ātmajñāna, the wise man becomes bodiless, through the idea ‘It (Brahman) is not this; It is not this.’ Through the study of Śāstras, the knowledge of reality (of the universe) perishes. Through direct perception of truth, one’s fitness for action (in this universe) ceases. With the cessation of prārabdha (the portion of the past karma which is being enjoyed in this life), the destruction of the manifestation (of the universe) takes place. Māyā is thus destroyed in a threefold manner. If within himself no identification (of jīva) with Brahman takes place, the state (of the separateness) of jīva does not perish. If the non-dual one is truly discerned, then all affinities (for objects) cease. With the cessation of prārabdha (arising from the cessation of affinities), there is that of the body. Therefore it is certain that māyā perishes thus entirely.

“If it is said that all the universe is, that Brahman alone is that is of the nature of Sat. If it is said that the universe shines, thon it is Brahman alone that shines. (The mirage of) all the water in an oasis is really no other than the oasis itself. Through. inquiry of one’s Self, the three worlds (above, below and middle) are only of the nature of Chit. In Brahman, which is one and alone, the essence of whose nature is absolute Consciousness and which is remote from the differences of jīva, Īśvara and guru, there is no ajñāna. Such being the case, where then is the occasion for the universe there? I am that Brahman which is all full. While the full moon of wisdom is robbed of its lustre by the rāhu (one of the two nodes of the moon) of delusion, all actions16 such as the rites of bathing, alms-giving and sacrifice performed during the time of eclipse are all fruitless. As salt dissolved in water becomes one, so if Ātmā and manas become identified, it is termed samādhi. Without the grace of a good (perfect) guru, the abandonment of sensual objects is very difficult of attainment; so also the perception of (divine) truth and the attainment of one’s true state. Then the state of being in one’s own self shines of its own accord in a yogin in whom jñāna-śakti17 has dawned and who has abandoned all karmas. The (property of) fluctuation is natural to mercury and mind. If either mercury is bound (or consolidated) or mind is bound (or controlled), what then on this earth cannot be accomplished? He who obtains mūrchchhā18 cures all. diseases. The dead are brought to life again. He who has bound (his mind or mercury) is able to move in the air. Therefore mercury and mind confer upon one the state of Brahman. The master of indriyas (the organs) is manas (mind). The master of manas is prāna. The master of prāna is laya (absorption yoga). Therefore laya-yoga should be practised. To the yogins, laya (-yoga) is said to be without actions and changes. This laya (absorption) of mind which is above speech and in which one has to abandon all saṅkalpas and to give up completely all actions, should be known through one’s own (experience). As an actress, though subject (or dancing in harmony) to music, cymbals and other musical instruments of time, has her mind intent upon the protection of the pot on her head, so the yogin, though intent for the time being upon the hosts of objects, never leaves off the mind contemplating on Brahman. The person who desires all the wealth of yoga should, after having given up all thoughts, practise with a subdued mind concentration on nāda (spiritual sound) alone.”

Chapter III

“The One Principle cannot at any time become of manifold forms. As I am the partless, there is none else but myself. Whatever is seen and whatever is heard is no other than Brahman. I am that Parabrahman, which is the eternal, the immaculate, the free, the one, the undivided bliss, the non-dual, the truth, the wisdom, and the endless. I am of the nature of bliss; I am of undivided wisdom; I am the supreme of the supreme; I am the resplendent absolute Consciousness. As the clouds do not touch the ākāś, so the miseries attendant on mundane existence do not affect me. Know all to be happiness through the annihilation of sorrow and all to be of the nature of sat (be-ness) through the annihilation of asat (not-be-ness). It is only the nature of Chit (Consciousness) that is associated with this visible universe. Therefore my form is partless. To an exalted yogin, there is neither birth nor death, nor going (to other spheres), nor returning (to earth); there is no stain or purity or knowledge but (the universe) shines to him as absolute Consciousness. Practise always silence ‘I am (viz., that you yourself are) Parabrahman’ which is truth and absolute Consciousness, which is undivided and non-dual, which is invisible, which is stainless, which is pure, which is second-less, and which is beneficent. It (Brahman) is not subject to birth and death, happiness and misery. It is not subject to caste, law, family and gotra (clan). Practise silence—I am Chit which is the vivarta-upādāna19 (viz., the illusory cause) of the universe. Always practise silence—I am (viz., you are) the Brahman, that is the full, the secondless, the undivided consciousness which has neither the relationship nor the differences existing in the universe and which partakes of the essence of the non-dual and the supreme Sat and Chit.

“That which always is and that which preserves the same nature during the three periods of time, unaffected by anything, is my eternal form of Sat. Even the state of happiness which is eternal without upādhis (vehicles) and which is superior to all the happiness derivable from sushupti is of my bliss only. As by the rays of the sun, thick gloom is soon destroyed, so darkness, the cause of rebirth is destroyed by Hari (Vishnu) viz., the sun’s lustre. Through the contemplation and worship of my (Hari’s) feet, every person is delivered from his ignorance. The means of destroying deaths and births is only through the contemplation of my feet. As a lover of wealth praises a wealthy man, so if with earnestness a person praises the Cause of the universe, who will not be delivered from bondage?

“As in presence of the sun the world of its own accord begins to perform its actions, so in my presence all the worlds are animated to action. As to the mother-of-pearl, the illusory conception of silver is falsely attributed, so to me is falsely attributed through māyā this universe which is composed of mahat, etc. I am not with those differences that are (observable) in the body of low caste men, the body of cow, etc., the fixed ones, the bodies of brāhmanas and others. As to a person, even after being relieved from the misconception of the directions, the (same misconception of) direction continues (as before), just so is to me the universe though destroyed by vijñāna. Therefore the universe is not. I am neither the body nor the organs of sense and action, nor prānas, nor manas, nor buddhi, nor ahaṅkāra, nor chitta, nor māyā, nor the universe including ākāś and others. Neither am I the actor, the enjoyer, nor he who causes the enjoyment. I am Brahman that is Chit, Sat and Ānanda alone and that is Janārdana (Vishnu).

“As, through the fluctuation of water, the sun (reflected therein) is moved, so Ātmā arises in this mundane existence through its mere connection with ahaṅkāra. This mundane existence has chitta as its root. This (chitta) should be cleansed by -repeated effort. How is it you have your confidence in the greatness of chitta? Alas, where is all the wealth of the kings! Where are the Brahmās? Where are all the worlds? All old ones are gone. Many fresh evolutions have occurred. Many crores of Brahmās have passed away. Many kings have flitted away like particles of dust. Even to a jñānī, the love of the body may arise through the asura (demoniacal) nature. If the asura nature should arise in a wise man, his knowledge of truth becomes fruitless. Should rajas and others generated in us be burnt by the fire of discriminative (divine) wisdom, how can they germinate again? Just as a very intelligent person delights in the shortcomings of another, so if one finds out his own faults (and corrects them) who will not be relieved from bondage? O Lord of munis, only he who has not ātmajñāna and who is not an emancipated person, longs after siddhis. He attains such siddhis through medicine,20 (or wealth), mantras, religious works, time and skill. In the eyes of an ātmajñānī, these siddhis are of no importance. One who has become an ātmajñānī, one who has his sight solely on ātmā, and one who is content with Ātmā (the higher self) through (his) ātmā (or the lower self), never follows (the dictates of) avidyā. Whatever exists in this world, he knows to be of the nature of avidyā. How then will an ātmajñānī who has relinquished avidyā be immersed in (or affected by) it. Though medicine, mantras, religious work, time and skill (or mystical expressions) lead to the development of siddhis, yet they cannot in any way help one to attain the seat of Paramātmā. How then can one who is an ātmajñānī and who is without his mind be said to long after siddhis, while all the actions of his desires are controlled?”

Chapter IV

On another occasion Nidāgha asked Lord Ṛbhu to enlighten him as to the characteristics of jīvanmukti.21 To which Ṛbhu replied in the affirmative and said the following:

“In the seven bhūmikās or (stages of development of wisdom) there are four kinds of jīvanmuktas.22 Of these the first stage23 is śubhechchhā (good desire); the second is vichāranā (inquiry); the third is tanumānasī (or pertaining to the thinned mind); the fourth is sattvāpatti (the attainment of sattva); the fifth is asamsakti (non-attachment); the sixth is the padārthabhāvanā (analysis of objects) and the seventh is the turya (fourth or final stage). The bhūmikā which is of the form of pranava (Om) is formed of (or is divided into) akāra—A, ukāra—U, makāra—M, and ardhamātrā. Akāra and others are of four kinds on account of the difference of sthūla (gross), sūkshma (subtle), bīja (seed or causal), and sākshī (witness). Their avasthās are four: waking, dreaming, dreamless sleeping and turya (fourth). He who is in (or the entity that identifies itself with) the waking state in the gross amśa (essence or part) of akāra is named Viśva; in the subtle essence, he is termed Taijasa; in the bīja essence, he is termed Prājña; and in the sākshī essence, he is termed Turya.

“He who is in the dreaming state (or the entity which identifies itself with the dreaming state) in the gross essence of ukāra is Viśva; in the subtle essence, he is termed Taijasa; in the bīja essence, is termed Prājña; and in the sākshī essence, he is termed Turya.

“He who is in the sushupti state in the gross essence of makāra is termed Viśva; in the subtle essence, Taijasa; in the bīja essence, he is termed Prājña; and in the sākshī essence, he is termed Turya.

“He who is in turya state in the gross essence of ardhamātrā is termed Turya-viśva. In the subtle, he is termed Taijasa; in the bīja essence, he is termed Prājña; and in the sākshī essence, he is termed Turya-turya.

“The turya essence of akāra is (or embraces) the first, second and third (bhūmikās or stages of the seven). The turya essence of ukāra embraces the fourth bhūmikā. The turya essence of makāra embraces the fifth bhūmikā. The turya essence of ardhamātrā is the sixth stage. Beyond this, is the seventh stage.

“One who functions in the (first) three bhūmikās is called mumukshu; one who functions in the fourth bhūmikā is called a brahmavit; one who functions in the fifth bhūmikā is called a brahmavidvara; one who functions in the sixth bhūmikā is called a brahmavidvarīya; and one in the seventh bhūmikā is called a brahmavidvarishtha. With reference to this, there are ślokas. They are:

“‘Śubhechchhā is said to be the first jñānabhūmi (or stage of wisdom); vichāranā, the second; tanumānasī, the third; sattvāpatti, the fourth; then come asamsakti as the fifth, padārthabhāvanā as the sixth and turya as the seventh.’

“The desire that arises in one through sheer vairāgya (after resolving) ‘Shall I be ignorant? I will be seen by the Śāstras and the wise (or I will study the books and be with the wise)’ is termed by the wise as Śubhechchhā. The association with the wise and Śāstras and the following of the right path preceding the practice of indifference is termed vichāranā. That stage wherein the hankering after sensual objects is thinned through the first and second stages is said to be tanumānasī. That stage wherein having become indifferent to all sensual objects through the exercise in the (above) three stages, the purified chitta rests on Ātmā which is of the nature of sat is called sattvāpatti. The light (or manifestation) of sattvaguna that is firmly rooted (in one) without any desire for the fruits of actions through the practice in the above four stages is termed asamsakti. That stage wherein through the practice in the (above) five stages one, having found delight in Ātma, has no conception of the internals or externals (though before him) and engages in actions only when impelled to do so by others is termed padārthabhāvanā, the sixth stage. The stage wherein after exceedingly long practice in the (above) six stages one is (immovably) fixed in the contemplation of ‘Ātma alone without the difference (of the universe) is the seventh stage called turya. The three stages beginning with Śubhechchā are said to be attained with (or amidst) differences and non-differences. (Because) the universe one sees in the waking state he thinks to be really existent. When the mind is firmly fixed on the non-dual One and the conception of duality is put down, then he sees this universe as a dream through his union with the fourth stage. As the autumnal cloud being dispersed vanishes, so this universe perishes. O Nidāgha, be convinced that such a person has only sattva remaining. Then having ascended the fifth stage called sushuptipada (dreamless sleeping seat), he remains simply in the non-dual state, being freed from all the various differences. Having always introvision though ever participating in external actions, those that are engaged in the practice of this (sixth stage) are seen like one sleeping when fatigued (viz., being freed from all affinities). (Lastly) the seventh stage which is the ancient and which is called gūdhasupti24 is generally attained. Then one remains in that secondless state without fear and with his consciousness almost annihilated where there is neither sat nor asat, neither self nor not-self. Like an empty pot in the ākāś, there is void both within and without; like a filled vessel in the midst of an ocean, he is full both within and without. Do not become either the knower or the known. May you become the Reality which remains after all thoughts are given up. Having discarded (all the distinctions of) the seer, the sight and the seen with their affinities, meditate solely upon Ātmā which shines as the supreme Light.

“He is said to be a jīvanmukta (emancipated person) in whom, though participating in the material concerns of the world, the universe is not seen to exist like the invisible ākāś. He is said to be a jīvanmukta, the light of whose mind never sets or rises in misery or happiness, and who does not seek to change what happens to him (viz., either to diminish his misery or increase his happiness). He is said to be a jīvanmukta who though in his sushupti is awake and to whom the waking state is unknown and whose wisdom is free from the affinities (of objects).

“He is said to be a jīvanmukta whose heart is pure like ākāś, though acting (as if) in consonance to love, hatred, fear and others. He is said to be a jīvanmukta who has not the conception of his being the actor and whose buddhi is not attached to material objects, whether he performs actions or not. He is said to be a jīvanmukta, of whom people are not afraid, who is not afraid of people and who has given up joy, anger and fear. He is said to be a jīvanmukta who, though participating in all the illusory objects, is cool amidst them and is a full Mind, (being) as if they belonged to others. O muni, he is called a jīvanmukta who, having eradicated all the desires of his chitta, is (fully) content with me who am the Ātmā of all. He is said to be a jīvanmukta who rests with an unshaken mind in that all pure abode which is Chinmātrā and free from all the modifications of chitta. He is said to be a jīvanmukta in whose chitta do not dawn (the distinctions of) the universe, I, he, thou and others that are visible and unreal. Through the path of the guru and Śāstras, enter soon Sat—the Brahman that is immutable, great, full and without objects—and be firmly seated there. Śiva alone is Guru; Śiva alone is Vedas; Śiva alone is Lord; Śiva alone is I; Śiva, alone is all. There is none other than Śiva. The undaunted Brāhmana having known Him (Śiva) should attain wisdom. One need not utter many words as they but injure the organ of speech.

“(The Ṛshi) Śuka25 is a mukta (emancipated person). (The Ṛshi) Vāmadeva is a mukta. There are no others (who have attained emancipation) than through these (viz., the two paths of these two Ṛshis). ‘Those brave men who follow the path of Śuka in this world become sadyomuktas (viz., emancipated) immediately after (the body wears away); while those who always follow the path of vedānta in this world are subject again and again to rebirths and attain krama (gradual) emancipation, through yoga, sāṅkhya and karmas associated with sattva (guna). Thus there are two paths laid down by the Lord of Devas (viz.,) the Śuka and Vāmadeva paths. The Śuka path is called the bird’s path: while the Vāmadevā path is called the ant’s path.26 Those persons that have cognised the true nature of their Ātmā through the mandatory and prohibitory injunctions (of the Vedas), the inquiry into (the true meaning of) mahāvākyas (the sacred sentences of the Vedas), the samādhi of sāṅkhya yoga or asamprajñāta samādhi27 and that have thereby purified themselves, attain the supreme seat through the Śuka path. Having, through hathayoga28 practice with the pain caused by yama, postures, etc., become liable to the ever recurring obstacles caused by animā and other (siddhis) and having not obtained good results, one is born again in a great family and practises yoga through his previous (karmic) affinities. Then through the practice of yoga during many lives, he attains salvation (viz.,) the supreme seat of Vishnu through the Vāmadeva path. Thus there are two paths that lead to the attainment of Brahman and that are beneficent. The one confers instantaneous salvation and the other confers gradual salvation.

“To one that sees (all) as the one (Brahman), where is delusion? Where is sorrow? Those that are under the eyes of those whose buddhi is solely occupied with the truth (of Brahman) that is the end of all experience are released from all heinous sins. All beings inhabiting heaven and earth that fall under the vision of Brahmavits are at once emancipated from the sins committed during many crores of births.”

Chapter V

Then Nidāgha asked Lord Ṛbhu to enlighten him as to the rules (to be observed) in the practice of Yoga. Accordingly He (the Lord) said thus:

“The body is composed of the five elements. It is filled with five mandalas (spheres).29 That which is hard is Pṛthivī (earth), one of them; that which is liquid is Apas; that which is bright is Tejas (fire); motion is the property of Vāyu; that which pervades everywhere is Ākāś. All these should be known by an aspirant after Yoga. Through the blowing of Vāyumandala in this body, (there are caused) 21,600 breaths every day and night. If there is a diminution in the Pṛthivīmandala, there arise folds in the body; if there is diminution in the essence of Apas, there arises gradually greyness of hair; if there is diminution in the essence of Tejas, there is loss of hunger and lustre; if there is diminution in the essence of Vāyu, there is incessant tremor; if there is diminution in the essence of Ākāś, one dies. The jīvita (viz., Prāna) which possesses these elements having no place to rest (in the body) owing to the diminution of the elements, rises up like birds flying up in the air. It is for this reason that it is called Udyāna (lit., flying up). With reference to this, there is said to be a bandha (binding, also meaning a posture called Uddiyānabandha, by which this flight can be arrested). This Uddiyānabandha30 is to (or does away with) death, as a lion to an elephant. Its experience is in the body, as also the bandha. Its binding (in the body) is hurtful. If there is agitation of Agni (fire) within the belly, then there will be caused much of pain. Therefore this (Uddiyānabandha) should not be practised by one who is hungry or who has urgency to make water or void excrement. He should take many times in small quantities proper and moderate food. He should practise Mantrayoga,31 Layayoga and Hathayoga, through mild, middling and transcendental methods (or periods) respectively. Laya, Mantra, and Hathayogas have each (the same) eight subservients. They are yama, niyama, āsana, prānāyāma, pratyāhāra, (Parana, dhyāna, and samādhi.32 (Of these), yama is of ten kinds. They are non-injury, truth, non-coveting, continence, compassion, straightforwardness, patience, courage, moderate eating, and purity (bodily and mental). Niyama is of ten kinds. They are tapas (religious austerities), contentment, belief in the existence of God or Vedas, charity, worship of Īśvara (or God), listening to the exposition of religious doctrines, modesty, a (good) intellect, japa (muttering of prayers), and vrata (religious observances). There are eleven postures beginning with chakra. Chakra, padma, karma, mayūra, kukkuta, vīra, svastika, bhadra, simha, mukta, and gomukha, are the postures enumerated by the knowers of yoga. Placing the left ankle on the right thigh and the right ankle on the left thigh, and keeping the body erect (while sitting) is the posture “Chakra”. Prānāyāma should be practised again and again in the following order, viz., inspiration, restraint of breath and expiration. The prānāyāma is done through the nādis (nerves). Hence it is called the nādis themselves.

“The body of every sentient being is ninety-six digits long. In the middle of the body, two digits above the anus and two digits below the sexual organ, is the centre of the body (called Mūlādhāra or sacral plexus). Nine digits above the genitals, there is kanda of nādis which revolves oval-shaped, four digits high and four digits broad. It is surrounded by fat, flesh, bone, and blood. In it, is situate a nādī-chakra (wheel of nerves) having twelve spokes. Kundalī by which this body is supported is there. It is covering by its face the Brahmarandhra (viz., Brahma’s hole) of Sushumnā. (By the side) of Sushumnā dwell the nādis Alambusā and Kuhūḥ. In the next two (spokes) are Vārunā and Yaśasvinī. On the spoke south of Sushumnā is, in regular course, Piṅgalā. On the next two spokes, are Pasha and Payasvinī. On the spoke west of Sushumnā is the nādi called Sarasvatī. On the next two spokes are Śāṅkhinī and Gāndhārī. To the north of Sushumnā dwells Idā; in the next is Hastijihvā; in the next is Viśvodarā. In these spokes of the wheel, the twelve nādis carry the twelve vāyus from left to right (to the different parts of the body). The nādis are like (i.e., woven like the warp and woof of) cloth. They are said to have different colours. The central portion of the cloth (here the collection of the nādis) is called the Nābhichakra (navel plexus). Jvalantī, Nādarūpinī, Pararandhrā, and Sushumnā are called the (basic) supports of nāda (spiritual sound). These four nādis are of ruby colour. The central portion of Brahmarandhra is again and again covered by Kundalī. Thus ten vāyus move in these nādis. A wise man who has understood the course of nādis and vāyus should, after keeping his neck and body erect with his mouth closed, contemplate immovably upon Turyaka (Ātmā) at the tip of his nose, in the centre of his heart and in the middle of bindu,33 and should see, with a tranquil mind through the (mental) eyes, the nectar flowing from there. Having closed the anus and drawn up the vāyu and caused it to rise through (the repetition of) pranava (Om), he should complete with Śrī bīja. He should contemplate upon his Ātmā as Śrī (or Parāśakti) and as being bathed by nectar. This is kālavañchana (lit., time illusion). It is said to be the most important of all. Whatever is thought of by the mind is accomplished by the mind itself. (Then) agni (fire) will flame in jala (water) and in the flame (of agni) will arise the branches and blossoms. Then the words uttered and the actions done regarding the universe, are not in vain. By checking the bindu in the path, by making the fire flame up in the water and by causing the water to dry up, the body is made firm. Having contracted simultaneously the anus and yoni (the womb) united together, he should draw up Apāna and unite with it Samāna. He should contemplate upon his Ātmā as Śiva and then as being bathed by nectar. In the central part of each spoke, the yogin should commence to concentrate Bala (will or strength). He should try to go up by the union of Prāna and Apāna. This most important yoga brightens up in the body the path of siddhis. As a dam across the water serves as an obstacle to the floods, so it should ever be known by the yogins that the chhāyā of the body is (to jīva). This bandha is said of all nādis. Through the grace of this bandha, the Devatā (goddess) becomes visible. This bandha of four feet serves as a check to the three paths. This brightens up the path through which the siddhas obtained (their siddhis). If with Prāna is made to rise up soon Udāna, this bandha checking all nādis goes up. This is called Samputayoga or Mūlabandha. Through the practising of this yoga, the three bandhas are mastered. By practising day and night intermittingly or at any convenient time, the vāyu will come under his control. With the control of vāyu, agni (the gastric fire) in the body will increase daily. With the increase of agni, food, etc., will be easily digested. Should food be properly digested, there is increase of rasa (essence of food). With the daily increase of rasa, there is the increase of dhātus (spiritual substances). With the increase of dhātus, there is the increase of wisdom in the body. Thus all the sins collected together during many crores of births are burnt up.

“In the centre of the anus and the genitals, there is the triangular Mūlādhāra. It illumines the seat of Śiva of the form of bindu. There is located the Parāśakti named kundalinī. From that seat, vāyu arises. From that seat, agni becomes increased. From that seat, bindu originates and nāda becomes increased. From that seat, Hamsa is born. From that seat, manas is born. The six chakras beginning with Mūlādhāra are said to be the seat of Śakti (Goddess). From the neck to the top of the head is said to the seat of Śambhu (Śiva). To the nādis, the body is the support (or vehicle); to Prāna, the nādis are the support; to jīva, Prāna is the dwelling place; to Hamsa, jīva is the support; to Śakti, Hamsa is the seat and the locomotive and fixed universe.

“Being without distraction and of a calm mind, one should practise prānāyāma. Even a person who is well-skilled in the practice of the three bandhas should try always to cognise with a true heart that Principle which should be known and is the cause of all objects and their attributes. Both expiration and inspiration should (be stopped and made to) rest in restraint of breath (alone). He should depend solely on Brahman which is the highest aim of all visibles. (The giving out of) all external objects is said to be rechaka (expiration). The (taking in of the) spiritual knowledge of the Śāstras is said to be pūraka (inspiration) and (the keeping to oneself of) such knowledge is said to be kumbhaka (or restraint of breath). He is an emancipated person who practises thus such a chitta. There is no doubt about it. Through kumbhaka, it (the mind) should be always taken up, and through kumbhaka alone it should be filled up within. It is only through kumbhaka that kumbhaka should be firmly mastered. Within it is Paramaśiva. That (vāyu) which is non-motionless should be shaken again through kantha-mudrā (throat-posture). Having checked the course of vāyu, having become perfect in the practice of expiration and restraint of breath and having planted evenly on the ground the two hands and the two feet, one should pierce the four seats through vāyu through the three yogas. He should shake Mahāmeru with the (aid of) prakotis (forces)34 at the mouth of vāyu. The two putas (cavities) being drawn, vāyu throbs quickly. The union of moon, sun and agni should be known on account of nectar. Through the motion of Meru, the devatās who stay in the centre of Meru move. At first in his Brahma-granthi, there is produced soon a hole (or passage). Then having pierced Brahma-granthi, he pierces Vishnu-granthi then he pierces Rudra-granthi. Then to the yogin comes vedha35 (piercing) through his liberation from the impurities of delusion, through the religious ceremonies (performed) in various births, through the grace of gurus and devatās and through the practice of yoga.

“In the mandala (sphere or region) of Sushumnā (situated between Idā and Piṅgalā, vāyu should be made to rise up through the feature known as Mudrā-bandha. The short pronunciation (of Pranava) frees (one) from sins: its long pronunciation confers (on one) moksha. So also its pronunciation in āpyāyana or pluta svara (tone). He is a knower of Veda, who through the above-mentioned three ways of pronunciation36 knows the end of Pranava which is beyond the power of speech, like the never-ceasing flow of oil or the long-drawn bell-sound. The short svara goes to bindu. The long svara goes to brahmarandhra: the pluta to dvādaśānta (twelfth centre). The mantras should be uttered on account of getting mantra siddhis. This Pranava (OM) will remove all obstacles. It will remove all sins. Of this, are four bhūmikās (states) predicated, viz., ārambha, ghata, parichaya, and nishpatti. Ārambha is that state in which one having abandoned external karmas performed by the three organs (mind, speech and body), is always engaged in mental karma only. It is said by the wise that the ghata state is that in which vāyu having forced an opening on the western side and being full, is firmly fixed there. Parichaya state is that in which vayu is firmly fixed to ākāś, neither associated with jīva nor not, while the body is immovable. It is said that nishpatti state is that in which there take place creation and dissolution through Ātmā or that state in which a yogin having become a jīvanmukta performs yoga without effort.

“Whoever recites this Upanishad becomes immaculate like agni. Like vāyu, he becomes pure. He becomes freed from the sin of drinking alcohol. He becomes freed from the sins of the theft of gold. He becomes a jīvanmukta. This is what is said by the Ṛgveda. Like the eye pervading the ākāś (seeing without effort everything above), a wise man sees (always) the supreme seat of Vishnu. The brāhmanas who have always their spiritual eyes wide open praise and illuminate in diverse ways the spiritual seat of Vishnu.

“Om, thus is the Upanishad.”


1. This means boar and refers to the incarnation of Vishnu as a boar.

2. Books such as Mahābhārata and Rāmāyana.

3. Prāna, Apāna, Udāna, Vyāna and Samāna, having their respective places and functions in the body.

4. Sound, touch, form, taste and odour.

5. Producing respectively uncertainty, certain knowledge, fluctuation of thought, and egoism and having certain centres in the body.

6. In the states of waking, dreaming and dreamless sleeping.

7. Being past karmas now being enjoyed, past karmas being in store to be enjoyed hereafter and the karmas now produced to be enjoyed hereafter.

8. Presiding over water or tongue.

9. Presiding over odour or nose.

10. Presiding over leg or nether world.

11Vide the translation of Sarvasāra-Upanishad.

12. This refers to the several class of persons in different modes of life who wear their hair in different ways as yogins, ascetics and so on.

13. Meaning respectively mental restraint, bodily restraint, the renunciation or practising of works without reference to their fruits, endurance of heart and soul, etc., faith and settled peace of mind.

14. Meaning meditation and reflection thereon.

15Viz., Vishnu, the Lord of all persons.

16. During the solar and lunar eclipses, these rites are done by the Hindūs.

17. Of the six saktis, she is one that gives wisdom.

18. Either controlling the breath through prānāyāma or the consolidation of mercury through some means, leading in both cases to siddhis, etc.

19. Of the two causes of the universe, Spirit is the nimitta (instrumental) cause while matter is the upādāna (material) cause. This material cause is again subdivided into three: viz., ārambha (initial), parināma (changed) and vivarta (illusory). The first or material cause may be exemplified by the cotton or woollen thread being the initial material cause of cloth or dresses which are woven out of these threads without changing the threads; the second by milk being the changed cause of curd, since a change takes place in the milk which becomes curd; the third by a serpent being the illusory cause of a rope, for here through illusion we mistake the rope for the serpent.

20. The mystic Hindū Tamil books teem with works on medicine through which the higher siddhis can be developed.

21. Jīvanmukti is emancipation. Jīvanmuktas are those that have attained emancipation.

22. [See note 21.]

23. This word and others are explained in full later on in the text.

24. Lit., secret sleep.

25. Suka is a Ṛshi, the son of the present Vyāsa and the narrator of Bhāgavata Purāna. Vāmadeva is also a Ṛshi.

26. Bird’s path, like birds which fly at once to the place they intend to go; Ant’s path, like ants which move slowly.

27. It is that of intense self-absorption when one loses his consciousness of individuality.

28. Hathayoga, as stated in Patañjali’s Yoga Philosophy.

29. There are either the five elements or Mūlādhāra (sacral plexus), Svādhishthāna (epigastric or prostatic plexus), Manipūraka (solar plexus), Anāhata (cardiac plexus) and Visuddhi (laryngeal or pharyngeal plexus). These are situated respectively in the anus, the genital organs, navel, heart and throat. The last or the sixth plexus is omitted here, as the five plexuses mentioned above correspond to the five elements. This chapter treating of yoga is very mystical.

30. This is one of the postures treated of in Siva Samhita and other books.

31. There are four kinds of yoga—the fourth being Rājayoga. Mantrayoga is that in which perfection is obtained through the pronunciation of mantras. Layayoga is that in which perfection is obtained through laya (absorption).

32. They mean respectively forbearance, religious restraint, posture, restraint of breath, subjugation of the senses, contemplation, meditation, and intense self-absorption.

33. Lit., germ.

34. It is mystic here and later on.

35. He has pierced all the granthis and hence becomes a master of vedha.

36. There are the three kinds of pronunciation with 1 mātrā, 2 mātrās and 3 mātrās. They are respectively hrasva, dīrgha and pluta which may be translated as short, long and very long.