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Chhāṇdogya Upanishad | Part III

Part 3

The first eleven chapters of the third part, called the Madhu-vidyā or Honey-doctrine, describe the meditation on the sun. The sacrificial rites find their fruition in the sun, which gives enjoyment to various creatures according to the nature of their action. The meditation on the sun, through successive steps, leads to the Highest Good.


Part 3 , Chapter ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19


Chapter 1

The Honey-doctrine (Ṛig Veda)

1

Yonder sun is, verily, the honey of the gods.
Heaven is the crossbeam.
The mid-region is the hive.
The [particles of] water-vapours
[drawn by the sun through its rays] are the eggs.

2-3

The Eastern rays of the sun are the eastern honey-cells.
The Rik- verses are the bees.
[The ritual laid down in] the Rig-Veda is the flower.
The water [of the sacrificial libations] is the nectar [of the flower].

These Riks heated the Rig-Veda.
From it, thus heated, issued forth —as its essence
—fame, radiance [of the body], [vigour of] the senses,
virility, and the food that is eaten.

4

That [essence] flowed forth and went toward the sun,
and that forms what is called the red colour [of the rising sun].

Here ends Chapter 1 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 2

The Honey-doctrine (Yajur Veda)

1

The Southern rays of the sun are the southern honey-cells.
The Yajus-verses are the bees.
[The ritual laid down in] the Yajur-Veda is the flower.
The water [of the sacrificial libation] is the nectar [of the flower].

2

These Yajus-verses heated the Yajur-Veda.
From it, thus heated, issued forth—as its essence
—fame, radiance [of the body], [vigour of] the senses,
virility, and the food that is eaten,

3

That [essence] flowed forth and went toward the sun.
That forms what is called the white colour of the sun.

Here ends Chapter 2 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 3

The Honey-doctrine (Sāma Veda)

1

The Western rays of the sun are the western honey-cells.
The Sāman-verses are the bees.
The Sāma-Veda is the flower.
The water is the nectar.

2

The Sāmans heated the Sāma-Veda.
From it, thus heated, issued forth—as its essence
—fame, radiance, [vigour of] the senses,
virility, and the food that is eaten.

3

That flowed forth and went toward the sun.
That forms what is called the dark colour of the sun.

Here ends Chapter 3 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 4

The Honey-doctrine (Atharva Veda)

1

The Northern rays of the sun are the northern honey-cells.
The [verses of the] Atharvāṅgirasa are the bees.
The Itihāsa-Purāṇa is the flower.
The water is the nectar.

2

These very hymns of the Atharvāṅgirasa
heated the Itihāsa-Purāṇa.
From it, thus heated, issued forth—as its essence
—fame, radiance, [vigour of] the senses,
virility, and the food that is eaten.

3

That flowed forth and went toward the sun.
That forms what is called the extremely dark colour of the sun.

Here ends Chapter 4 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 5

The Honey-doctrine (Continued)

1

Now, the upward rays of the sun are the honey-cells above.
The secret teachings [of the Upanishads] are the bees.
Brahman (Om) is the flower.
The water is the nectar.

2

These secret teachings [as the bees]
heated Brahman (Om).
From It, thus heated, issued forth—as Its essence
—fame, radiance, [vigour of] the senses,
virility, and the food that is eaten.

3

That flowed forth and went towards the sun.
That forms what appears to stir in the centre of the sun.

4

These [different colours in the sun]
are the essences of the essences;
for the Vedas are the essences
and these [colours] are, again, their essences.
These are the nectars of the nectars;
for the Vedas are the nectars (i.e. immortal),
and of them these [colours in the sun] are the nectars.

Here ends Chapter 5 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 6

Meditation On The Vāsus

1

On the first of these nectars the Vāsus live,
with Agni (fire) at their head.
Truly, the gods do not eat or drink.
They are satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.

2

They retire into that [red] colour
and rise up from that colour.

3

He who thus knows this nectar
becomes one of the Vāsus,
with Agni (fire) at their head;
he is satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.
He retires into that [red] colour
and again rises up from that colour.

4

As long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west,
so long does he, like the Vāsus, enjoy rulership and sovereignty.
The period of the Vāsus’ enjoyment is limited.
But during that period a Vāsu is a free agent.
On the other hand, those who go to the Plane of the Moon
through the performance of rites unaccompanied by meditation
become the objects of enjoyment of the gods.

Here ends Chapter 6 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 7

Meditation On The Rudras

1

On the second of these nectars the Rudras live,
with Indra at their head.
Truly, the gods do not eat or drink.
They are satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.

2

They retire into that [white] colour
and rise up from that colour.

3

He who thus knows this nectar
becomes one of the Rudras,
with Indra at their head;
he is satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.
He retires into that [white] colour
and again rises up from that colour.

4

As long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west,
twice as long does it rise in the south and set in the north,
and just so long does he, like the Rudras, enjoy rulership and sovereignty.
The period of enjoyment of the Rudras is double that of the Vāsus;
the same is true of the knower of the second nectar.

Here ends Chapter 7 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 8

Meditation On The Ādityas

1

On The Third of these nectars the Ādityas live,
with Varuṇa at their head.
Truly, the gods do not eat or drink.
They are satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.

2

They retire into that [dark] colour
and rise up from that colour.

3

He who thus knows this nectar
becomes one of the Ādityas,
with Varuṇa at their head;
he is satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.
He returns into that [dark] colour
and again rises up from that colour.

4

As long as the sun rises in the south and sets in the north,
twice as long does it rise in the west and set in the east,
and just so long does he, like the Ādityas, enjoy rulership and sovereignty.
The period of enjoyment of the Ādityas
and of the knower of the third nectar
is double that of the Rudras.

Here ends Chapter 8 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 9

Meditation On The Maruts

1

On The Fourth of these nectars the Maruts live,
with Soma at their head.
Truly, the gods do not eat or drink.
They are satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.

2

They retire into that [extremely dark colour]
and rise up from that colour.

3

He who thus knows this nectar
becomes one of the Maruts,
with Soma at their head;
he is satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.
He retires into that [extremely dark] colour
and again rises up from that colour.

4

As long as the sun rises in the west and sets in the east,
twice as long does it rise in the north and set in the south,
and just so long does he, like the Maruts, enjoy rulership and sovereignty.

The period of enjoyment of the Maruts
and of the knower of the fourth nectar
is double that of the Ādityas.

Here ends Chapter 9 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 10

Meditation On The Sādhyas

1

On The Fifth of these nectars the Sādhyas live,
with Brahma at their head.
Truly, the gods do not eat or drink.
They are satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.

2

They retire into that form
and rise up from that form.

3

He who thus knows this nectar
becomes one of the Sādhyas,
with Brahma at their head;
he is satisfied by merely looking at the nectar.
He retires into that form
and again rises up from that form.

4

As long as the sun rises in the north and sets in the south,
twice as long does it rise above and set below,
and just so long does he, like the Sādhyas, enjoy rulership and sovereignty.

Here ends Chapter 10 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 11

The Result Of The Meditation On The Honey

1

Now, After Having risen thence upwards,
it (i.e. the sun) rises and sets no more.
It remains alone in the centre.
And on this there is the following verse:

2

“There (i.e. in Brahmaloka) the sun neither rises nor sets at any time.
O ye gods, if this is true, may I never fall from Brahman!"

3

Verily, for him who thus knows this Brahma-Upanishad,
the sun does not rise or set.
For him it is day forever.

4

This doctrine Brahma told to Prajāpati,
Prajāpati to Manu, Manu to his offspring.
And to Uddālaka Aruṇī this doctrine of Brahman
was narrated by his father.

5

A father may therefore tell that doctrine of Brahman
to his eldest son or to a worthy disciple.

6

It must not be told to anyone else,
even if he should offer one the whole sea-girt earth, full of treasure;
for this [doctrine] is worth more than that, yea, it is worth more.

Here ends Chapter 11 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 12

Meditation On The Gāyatri

1

The Gāyatri is everything, whatever here exists.

Speech is verily the Gāyatri,
for speech sings forth (gāya-ti) and protects (trāya-tē)
everything, whatever here exists.

2

That Gāyatri is also the earth;
for everything that exists here
rests on this earth and does not go beyond.

3

In man, that Gāyatri is also the body;
for the prāṇas exist in this body and do not go beyond.

4

That body, in man, is again the heart within a man;
for the prāṇas exist in it and do not go beyond.

5

That Gāyatri has four feet and is six-fold.
The same is also declared by a Rik-verse:

6

"Such is its greatness (i.e. of Brahman
as known through the symbol of the Gāyatri).
Greater than it is the Person (Brahman).
One of Its feet covers all beings;
the immortal three feet are in heaven (i.e. in Itself)

7-9

The Brahman which has been thus described
is the same as the [physical] ākāśa outside a person.
The ākāśa which is outside a person
is the same as that which is inside a person.
The ākāśa which is inside a person
is the ākāśa within the heart.
The ākāśa which is within the heart is omnipresent and unchanging.
He who knows this obtains full and unchanging prosperity.

Here ends Chapter 12 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 13

Meditation On The Door-keepers

1

Of That Heart there are five doors controlled by the devas.
That which is the eastern door is the ākāśa
—that is the eye, that is Āditya (the sun).
One should meditate on that as brightness and the source of food.
He who knows this becomes bright and an eater of food.

2

That which is the southern gate is the vyāna
—that is the ear, that is Chandramā (the moon).
One should meditate on that as prosperity and fame.
He who knows this becomes prosperous and famous.

3

That which is the western gate is the apāna
—that is speech, that is Agni (fire).
One should meditate on that
as the radiance of Brahman and the source of food.
He who knows this becomes radiant and an eater of food.

4

That which is the northern gate is the samāna
—that is the mind, that is Parjanya (the rain-god).
One should meditate on that as fame and beauty.
He who knows this becomes famous and beautiful.

5

That which is the upper gate is the udāna
—that is Vāyu, that is the ākāśa.
One should meditate on that as strength and greatness.
He who knows this becomes strong and great.

6

These are the five servants of Brahman,
the door-keepers of the world of heaven.

He who thus knows these five servants of Brahman,
the doorkeepers of the world of heaven
—in his family a hero is born.

He who thus knows the five servants of Brahman,
the door-keepers of the world of heaven,
himself attains the world of heaven.

7-8

Now, the light which shines above this heaven,
above all the worlds, above everything,
in the highest worlds not excelled by any other worlds,
that is the same light which is within man.

There is this visible proof [of this light]:
when we thus perceive by touch the warmth in the body.
And of it we have this audible proof:
when we thus hear, by covering the ears,
what is like the rumbling of a carriage,
or the bellowing of an ox, or the sound of a blazing fire.
One should worship [as Brahman]
that [inner] light which is seen and heard.
He who knows this becomes conspicuous and celebrated,
yea, he becomes celebrated.

Here ends Chapter 13 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 14

The Śāndilya Doctrine

1

All This is Brahman.
From It the universe comes forth,
in It the universe merges, and in It the universe breathes.
Therefore a man should meditate on Brahman with a calm mind.
Now, verily, a man consists of will.
As he wills in this world,
so does he become when he has departed hence.
Let him [with this knowledge in mind] form his will.

2-3

He who consists of the mind, whose body is subtle,
whose form is light, whose thoughts are true,
whose nature is like the ākāśa, whose creation Is this universe,
who cherishes all [righteous] desires,
who contains all [pleasant] odours,
who is endowed with all tastes,
who embraces all this who never speaks,
and who is without longing—

He is my Self within the heart,
smaller than a grain of rice,
smaller than a grain of barley,
smaller than a mustard seed,
smaller than a grain of millet;

He is my Self within the heart, greater than the earth,
greater than the mid-region, greater than heaven,
greater than all these worlds.

4

He whose creation is this universe,
who cherishes all desires,
who contains all odours,
who is endowed with all tastes,
who embraces all this, who never speaks,
and who is without longing—

He is my Self within the heart, He is that Brahman.
When I shall have departed hence I shall certainly reach Him:
one who has this faith and has no doubt
[will certainly attain to that Godhead].

Thus said Śāṇḍilya, yea, thus he said.

Here ends Chapter 14 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 15

Meditation On The Universe As A Chest

1

The chest [of the universe],
with the mid-region for its inside
and the earth for its bottom,
does not decay.

The quarters are its [different] corners,
and heaven is its lid, which is above.
This chest is the storehouse of treasures.
Inside it are all things.

2

The eastern quarter is called Juhu,
the southern quarter Sahamānā,
the western quarter Rājñī,
and the northern quarter Subhutā.
Vāyu (the air) is their child.
He who knows this Vāyu
as the child of the quarters
never weeps for his sons.
I know the air to be the child of the quarters,
may I never weep for my sons.

3

I take refuge in the imperishable chest
with this one and this one and this one.
I take refuge in the ākāśa
with this one and this one and this one.
I take refuge in Bhuh
with this one and this one and this one.
I take refuge in Bhuvah
with this one and this one and this one.
I take refuge in Svaḥ
with this one and this one and this one.

4

When I said: “I take refuge in the ākāśa,”
ākāśa meant everything that exists here
—in that I take refuge.

5

When I said: “I take refuge in Bhuh,”
what I [really] said was:
“I take refuge in the earth, the mid-region, and heaven.”

6

When I said: “I take refuge in Bhuvah,”
what I said was:
“I take refuge in fire, the air, and the sun.”

7

When I said: “I take refuge in Svaḥ,”
what I said was:
“I take refuge in the Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, and Sāma-Veda.”
That is what I said, yea, that is what I said.

Here ends Chapter 15 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 16

Man As A Sacrifice (I)

1

A Person, indeed, is a sacrifice.
His [first] twenty-four years constitute the morning libation.
The Gāyatri [metre] has twenty-four syllables,
and the morning libation is offered with Gāyatri hymns.
The Vāsus are connected with that part of the sacrifice.
The prāṇas are the Vāsus; for, verily,
they make everything abide (vāsayanti) in this body.

2

If anything ails him during that period,
he should recite [the following mantra]:
“O ye prāṇas, ye Vāsus,
unite this morning libation with the midday libation.
May I, who am a sacrifice, not disappear
in the midst of the prāṇas, who are the Vāsus.”
Thus he rises from his illness and becomes free of it.

3

His next forty-four years constitute the midday libation.
The Tristubh [metre] has forty-four syllables,
and the midday libation is offered with Tristubh hymns.
The Rudras are connected with that part of the sacrifice.
The prāṇas are the Rudras; for, verily,
they make everything weep (rodayanti).

4

If anything ails him during that [second] period,
he should recite [the following mantra]:
“O ye prāṇas, ye Rudras,
unite this midday libation with the third libation.
May I, who am a sacrifice, not disappear
in the midst of the prāṇas, who are the Rudras.”
Thus he rises from his illness and becomes free of it.

5

His next forty-eight years constitute the third oblation.
The Jagati [metre] has forty-eight syllables,
and the third oblation is offered with Jagati hymns.
The Ādityas are connected with that part of the sacrifice.
The prāṇas are the Ādityas; for, verily,
they take up (ādadate) everything.

6

If anything ails him during that [third] period,
he should recite [the following mantra]:
“O ye prāṇas, ye Ādityas,
extend this my third libation to the full age.
May I, who am a sacrifice, not disappear
in the midst of the prāṇas, who are the Ādityas.”
Thus he rises from his illness and becomes free of it.

7

Mahidāsa, the son of Itarā,
knew this and said [addressing a disease]:
“O you [disease]! Why do you afflict me?
I shall not die of this [pain]”
He lived a hundred and sixteen years.

He, too, who knows this lives on
to a hundred and sixteen years.

Here ends Chapter 16 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 17

Man As A Sacrifice (II)

1

When a man hungers, thirsts, and abstains from pleasures
—these are his initiatory rites.

2

When he eats, drinks, and enjoys pleasures,
he then participates in the Upasadas.

3

When a man laughs, eats, and enjoys sexual intercourse
—these are the Stuta and Śāstra.

4

Austerity, almsgiving, uprightness, non-violence, and truthfulness
— these are the gifts (dakshiṇā) for the priests.

5

[Because the life of a man is a sacrifice]
therefore they say that his mother will give birth (soshyati) to him,
or his mother has given birth (asoshtā) to him.
This is his birth. His death is the Avabhritha.

6

Ghora, of the line of Angirasa,
communicated this [teaching] to Krishna, the son of Devakī
—and it quenched Krishna’s thirst [for any other knowledge]—and said:

“When a man approaches death
he should take refuge in these three [thoughts]:

“Thou art indestructible (akṣara),”
“Thou art unchanging (aprachyuta),”
and “Thou art the subtle prāṇa.””

On this subject there are two Rik-verses:

7

“They (i.e. the knowers of Brahman)
see everywhere the Supreme Light,
which shines in Brahman,
which is all-pervading like the light of day,
and which belongs to the primeval Seed.

“Perceiving the higher light [in the sun]
—which is above the darkness [of ignorance]
—as the higher light in the heart,
[perceiving] the Supreme Light which is higher than all lights,
we have reached the Highest Light,
the Sun, the most luminous among the gods,
yea, we have reached the Highest Light,
the Sun, the most luminous among the gods.”

Here ends Chapter 17 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 18

The Mind And The Ākāśa As Symbols Of Brahman

1

One should meditate on the mind as Brahman
—this is said with reference to the body.
One should meditate on the ākāśa as Brahman
— this is said with reference to the gods.

Thus both
—the meditation with reference to the body
and the meditation with reference to the gods
— are being taught.

2

That Brahman has four feet (quarters):
speech is one foot, the prāṇa (the nose) is one foot,
the eye is one foot, the ear is one foot
—this is said with reference to the body.

Now with reference to the gods:
Agni (fire) is one foot,
Vāyu (air) is one foot,
Āditya (the sun) is one foot,
and the quarters are one foot.

This is the twofold meditation
with reference to the body and with reference to the gods.

3

Speech is, indeed, a fourth foot (quarter) of Brahman
[of which the mind is a symbol].
It shines and warms with the light of fire.

He who knows this shines and warms with fame,
with renown, and with the radiance of Brahman.

4

Prāṇa (the nose) is, indeed, a fourth foot of Brahman.
It shines and warms with the light of the air.
He who knows this shines and warms with fame,
with renown, and with the radiance of Brahman.

5

The eye, indeed, is a fourth foot of Brahman.
It shines and warms with the light of the sun.
He who knows this shines and warms with fame,
with renown, and with the radiance of Brahman.

6

The ear, indeed, is a fourth foot of Brahman.
It shines and warms with the light of the quarters.
With fame, with renown, and with the radiance of Brahman
he shines and warms who knows this, yea, who knows this.

Here ends Chapter 18 of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 19

Meditation On The Sun As Brahman

1

The Sun is Brahman: this is the teaching.
An explanation thereof follows:
In the beginning this [universe] was non-existent.
It became existent. It grew. It turned into an egg.
The egg lay for the period of a year. Then it broke open.
Of the two halves of the egg-shell,
one half was of silver, the other of gold.

2

That which was of silver became the earth;
that which was of gold, heaven.
What was the thick membrane [of the white]
became the mountains;
the thin membrane [of the yolk],
the mist and the clouds.
The veins became the rivers;
the fluid in the bladder, the ocean.

3

And what was born of it was yonder Āditya, the Sun.

When it was born shouts of “Hurrah!” arose,
together with all beings and all objects of desire.
Therefore at its rise and its every return
shouts of “Hurrah!” together with all beings and all objects of desire arise.

4

He who, knowing this, meditates on the sun as Brahman
—pleasant sounds will quickly approach him
and continue to delight him, yea, will continue to delight him.

Here ends Chapter 19
of Part Three of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.