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Chhāṇdogya Upanishad | Part V

PART 5

The fifth part describes the different paths followed by souls after death.

Some follow the Northern Path, leading to Brahmaloka, some the Southern Path, leading to the world of the Manes, and some, who neither practise meditation nor perform ritualistic worship, suffer miseries in subhuman bodies.

The purpose of all this is to stimulate in the mind of the aspirant the spirit of detachment from the world, with­out which Liberation is impossible.


Part 5 , Chapter ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24


Chapter 1

The Supremacy of the Prāṇa

1

OM. He who knows what is the oldest and greatest
becomes himself the oldest and greatest.
The prāṇa, indeed, is the oldest and greatest.

2

He who knows what is the most excellent (vāsishṭha)
becomes the most excellent among his kinsmen.
The organ of speech, indeed, is the most excellent.

3

He who knows what has [the attributes of] firmness (pratiṣṭhā)
becomes firm in this world and the next.
The eye, indeed, is endowed with firmness.

4

He who knows prosperity (sampad),
his wishes are fulfilled—both divine and human wishes.
The ear, indeed, is prosperity.

5

He who knows the abode (āyatana)
becomes the abode of his kinsmen.
The mind, indeed, is the abode.

6

The prāṇas (sense-organs) disputed among themselves
about who was the best [among them],
[each] saying: “I am the best,” “I am the best.”

7

They went to Prajāpati, their progenitor, and said:
“O revered Sir, who is the best among us?”

He said to them: “He by whose departure
the body looks worse than the worst
is the best among you.”

8

The organ of speech departed.
After being away for a whole year, it came back and said:
“How have you been able to live without me?”

The other organs replied:
“We lived just as dumb people live,
without speaking, but breathing with the prāṇa (nose),
seeing with the eye, hearing with the ear,
and thinking with the mind.”

Then the organ of speech entered [the body]

9

The eye departed.
After being away for a whole year, it came back and said:
“How have you been able to live without me?”

The other organs replied:
“We lived just as blind people live,
without seeing, but breathing with the prāṇa,
speaking with the tongue, hearing with the ear,
and thinking with the mind.”

Then the eye entered [the body].

10

The ear went out.
After being away for a whole year, it came back and said:
“How have you been able to live without me?”

The other organs replied:
“We lived just as deaf people live, without hearing,
but breathing with the prāṇa, speaking with the tongue,
seeing with the eye, and thinking with the mind.”

Then the ear entered [the body].

11

The mind went out.
After being away for a whole year, it came back and said:
“How have you been able to live without me?”

The other organs replied:
“We lived just like children whose minds are not yet formed,
without thinking with the mind, but breathing with the prāṇa,
speaking with the tongue, seeing with the eye, and hearing with the ear.”

Then the mind entered [the body].

12

Then as the vital breath was about to depart,
he uprooted the organs [from their places]
just as a noble horse tears up the pegs
to which its feet are tied.

They came to him and said:
“Revered Sir, be thou our lord;
thou art the best among us.
Do not depart from us.”

13

Then the organ of speech said to him:
“That attribute of being most excellent which I possess is thine.”

Then the eye said:
“That attribute of firmness which I possess is thine.”

14

Then the ear said:
“That attribute of prosperity which I possess is thine.”

Then the mind said:
“That attribute of being the abode which I possess is thine.”

15

And people do not call them (i.e. the sense-organs)
the organs of speech, the eyes, the ears, or the mind,
but the prāṇas.

The prāṇa alone is all these.

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

Chapter 2

The Mantha Rite

1

The Prāṇa said: “What will be my food?”

They answered: “Whatever food there is
—including that of dogs and birds.”

[The Upanishad says:]
All that [is eaten] is the food of the anna.
Anna is his (i.e. the prāṇa’s) direct name.
For one who knows this,
there exists nothing which is not food.

2

He said: “What will be my dress?”
They answered: “Water.”

Therefore when people eat
they cover him (the prāṇa), both before and after eating, with water.
Thus the prāṇa obtains clothing and is no longer naked.

3

Satyakāma the son of Jabālā
explained this [doctrine of the prāṇa]
to Gośrutī, the son of Vyāghrapāda, and said:

“If one should tell this to a dry stump,
branches would grow and leaves spring forth.”

4

Now, if a man wishes to attain greatness,
he should perform the initiatory rite
on the day of the new moon,
and then on the night of the full moon
he should stir a paste of all the herbs with curds and honey,
and offer it as a libation in the fire
[where the melted butter is offered], saying:
“Svāhā to the oldest (Jyaiṣṭha) and greatest (śreṣṭha)!”
Then let him throw the remainder [adhering to the ladle] into the paste.

5

[In the same manner] he should offer a libation in the fire
[where the melted butter is offered], saying:
“Svāhā to the most excellent (vāsishṭha)!”
Then let him throw the remainder [adhering to the ladle] into the paste.

[In the same manner] he should offer a libation into the fire
[where the melted butter is offered], saying:
“Svāhā to firmness (pratiṣṭhā)!”
and then throw the remainder [adhering to the ladle] into the paste.

[In the same manner] he should offer a libation in the fire
[where the melted butter is offered], saying:
“Svāhā to prosperity (sampad)!”
and then throw the remainder [adhering to the ladle] into the paste.

[In the same manner] he should offer a libation into the fire
[where the melted butter is offered], saying:
“Svāhā to the abode (āyatana)!”
and then throw the remainder [adhering to the ladle] into the paste.

6

Then, moving away a little [from the fire]
and holding the paste (mantha) in his hands, he recites:

“Thou (prāṇa) art anna by name, for all this rests in thee.
He (i.e. the paste, which is the same as the prāṇa)
is the oldest, the greatest, the king, and the sovereign.
May he make me the oldest, the greatest, the king, and the sovereign.
May I be all this!”

7

Then he recites the following Rik-mantra,
swallowing the paste (mantha) each time
he utters a foot of the mantra:

“We desire, of the great progenitor (i.e. the sun)”
—here he swallows a little—
“of the luminous, the food”
—here he swallows a little—
“the best and all-supporting”
—here he swallows a little—
“we meditate quickly on the nature of the sun”
—here he swallows the whole.

Having cleansed the vessel made of metal or wood,
he lies down behind the fire, on a skin or on the bare ground,
controlling his speech and self-possessed.

If he sees a woman [in a dream], then let him know
that his work (rite) has been a success.

8

On this there is the following verse:
“If during rites performed
with a view to fulfilling certain desires,
he sees a woman in his dream,
let him know of his success from this vision in a dream,
yea, from this vision in a dream.”

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

Chapter 3

The Story Of Śvetaketu And Pravāhaṇa

1

Śvetaketu the grandson of Aruṇa
came to the assembly of the Pañcālas.
Pravāhaṇa the son of Jibala said to him:
“Boy, has your father instructed you?”
“Yes, revered Sir,” he replied.

2

[The king said:]
“Do you know to what place
men go after departing from here?”
“No, revered Sir,”
“Do you know how they return again?”
“No, revered Sir.”
“Do you know where the paths
leading to the gods and leading to the Manes separate?”
“No, revered Sir.”

3

“Do you know why yonder world is not filled up?”
“No, revered Sir.”
“Do you know how water, in the fifth oblation,
comes to be called man?”
“No, revered Sir.”

4

“Then why did you say that you had been instructed?
How could he who did not know these things say
that he had been instructed?”

Then Śvetaketu went back to his father
with a sorrowful mind and said to him:
“Revered Sir, you told me that you had instructed me,
though you had not instructed me.

5

“That fellow of a kshatriya asked me five questions,
and I could not answer one of them.”

The father said:
“As you have stated these [questions] to me,
[let me assure you that] I do not know even one of them.
If I had known them, why should I not have told them to you?”

6

Then Gautama went to the king’s place.
When he arrived the king showed him proper respect.
Next morning, when the king came to the assembly,
Gautama, too, came there.

The king said to him:
“Gautama, Sir, ask of me a boon relating to human wealth.”

He replied: “May human wealth remain with you.
Tell me that speech which you addressed to my boy.”
The king became sad.

7

The king commanded him:
“Stay with me for a long time.”
Then he said to him:
“As to what you have told me, O Gautama,
this knowledge did not reach any Brahmin before you.
Thus it was to the kshatriya alone, among all the people,
that the teaching [of this knowledge] belonged.”
Then he began [to teach him]:

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

Chapter 4

The Five Fires (I)

1

“Yonder World is the [sacrificial] fire, O Gautama,
the sun the fuel, the rays the smoke, daytime the flame,
the moon the embers, and the stars the sparks.

2

“In this fire the gods offer faith as libation.
Out of that offering King Moon is born.”

Here ends Chapter 4 of Part Five of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad,

Chapter 5

The Five Fires (II)

1

“Parjanya (the god of rain), O Gautama, is the fire,
the air the fuel, the cloud the smoke, lightning the flame,
the thunderbolt the embers, and thundering the sparks.

2

“In this fire the gods offer King Moon as libation.
Out of that offering rain is born.”

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

Chapter 6

The Five Fires (III)

1

“The Earth, O Gautama, is the fire, the year the fuel,
the ākāśa the smoke, the night the flame,
the quarters the embers, and the intermediate quarters the sparks.

2

“In this fire the gods offer rain as libation.
Out of that offering food is born.”

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

Chapter 7

The Five Fires (IV)

1

“Man, O Gautama, is the fire, speech is the fuel,
the prāṇa the smoke, the tongue the flame,
the eye the embers, and the ear the sparks.

2

“In this fire the gods offer food as libation.
Out of that offering semen is produced.”

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

Chapter 8

The Five Fires (V)

1

“Woman, O Gautama, is the fire, her sexual organ is the fuel,
what invites is the smoke, the vulva is the flame,
what is done inside is the embers, the pleasures are the sparks.

2

“In this fire the gods offer semen as libation.
Out of that offering the foetus is formed.”

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

Chapter 9

Birth and Death

1

“Thus in the fifth libation water comes to be called man.
The foetus enclosed in the membrane,
having lain inside for ten or nine months, or more or less,
is born.

2

“Having been born, he lives
whatever the length of his life may be.
When he is dead, they carry him to the fire [of the funeral pyre]
whence he came, whence he arose.”

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

Chapter 10

The Various Paths Followed After Death

1-2

“Those who know this
and those who, dwelling in the forest,
practise faith and austerities
go to light, from light to day,
from day to the bright half of the moon,
from the bright half of the moon
to the six months during which the sun goes to the north,
from [those] months to the year, from the year to the sun,
from the sun to the moon, from the moon to lightning.

There a person who is not a human being
meets him and leads him to Brahman.
This is the Path of the Gods (Devayāna).

3

“But those who, living in the village, perform sacrifices,
undertake works of public utility, and give alms
go to smoke, from smoke to night,
from night to the dark half of the moon,
from the dark half of the moon
to the six months during which the sun goes to the south.
But they do not reach the year.

4

“From [those] months they go to the World of the Manes,
from the world of the Manes to the ākāśa,
from the ākāśa to the moon. This is King Soma.
They are the food of the gods. Them the gods eat.

5-6

“Having dwelt there [in the lunar world]
till their [good] works are consumed,
they return again the same way they came.

They [first] reach the ākāśa, and from the ākāśa the air.
Having become air, they become smoke;
having become smoke, they become mist;
“Having become mist, they become cloud;
having become cloud, they fall as rain-water.
Then they are born as rice and barley,
herbs and trees, sesame and beans.
Thence the exit is most difficult;
for whoever [capable of begetting children]
eats that food and injects semen,
they become like unto him.

7

“Those whose conduct here [on earth] has been good
will quickly attain some good birth
—birth as a Brahmin, birth as a Kshatriya, or birth as a Vaiṣya.

But those whose conduct here has been evil
will quickly attain some evil birth
—birth as a dog, birth as a pig, or birth as a chaṇḍāla.

8

“[Those who neither practise meditation nor perform rituals]
do not follow either of these ways.
They become those insignificant creatures
which are continually revolving
and about which it may be said: “Live and die.”
This is the third place. “

Therefore that world never becomes full.
Let a man despise this course.
To this end there is the following verse:

9

“‘A man who steals the gold [of a Brahmin],
he (i.e. a Brahmin) who drinks liquor,
he who dishonours his teacher’s bed,
and he who kills a Brahmin

—these four fall, as also a fifth who associates with them.’”

10

“But he who knows these Five Fires
is not stained by sin even though associating with them.
He becomes pure and clean, and obtains the world of the blessed
—he who knows this, yea, he who knows this.”

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

Chapter 11

Concerning The Universal Self

1

Prāchinaśāla the son of Upamanyu,
Satyayajna the son of Pulusha,
Indradyumna the grandson of Bhallavi,
Jana the son of Śarkarāksha,
and Budila the son of Aśvatarāśva—

great householders and great scriptural scholars
—came together and discussed the question:
“What is our self and what is Brahman?”

2

They solved the problem [with the words]:

“Revered Sirs, Uddālaka the son of Aruṇa
knows, at present, about the Vaiśvānara Self.
Let us go to him.”

They went to him.

3

He (Uddālaka) concluded:

“These great householders and great scriptural scholars will question me.
[Perhaps] I shall not be able to tell them everything.
Therefore I shall direct them to another teacher.”

4

He said to them:
“Revered Sirs, King Aśvapati the son of Kekaya
knows, at present, about the Vaiśvānara Self.
Let us all go to him.”

They went to him.

5-7

When they arrived, the king ordered
that proper respect should be paid to each of them.
The next morning, after leaving bed, he said to them:

“In my kingdom there is no thief, no miser, no wine-bibber,
no man without a sacrificial fire, no ignorant person,
no adulterer, much less adulteress.

“Revered Sirs, I am going to perform a sacrifice.
I shall give to you as much wealth as I give to each priest.
Please, revered Sirs, stay here.”

They said:

“If a person comes to another with a purpose,
he should tell the other only about that.
At present, you know about the Vaiśvānara Self.
Please tell us about Him.”

He said to them:
“I shall give you a reply tomorrow morning.”
Next morning they approached him with fuel in their hands.

Without having performed any initiatory rites, the king said to them...

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

Chapter 12

The Head Of The Vaiśvānara Self

1-2

“O son of Upamanyu,
whom do you meditate on as the Self?”

“Heaven only, venerable King,” he replied.

“The Self you meditate on,” said the king
“is the Vaiśvānara Self called the Good Light (Sutejas).
Therefore one sees in your family the Suta libation
as also the Prasuta libation and the Āsuta libation,
and you eat food and see what is pleasing.
Whoever thus meditates on the Vaiśvānara Self
eats food, sees what is pleasing,
and has in his family the glory of Brahman.
That, however, is only the head of the Self.
Surely your head would have fallen off if you had not come to me.”

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

Chapter 13

The Eye Of The Vaiśvānara Self

1-2

Then he said to Satyayajna the son of Pulusha:
“O Prāchīnayogya, whom do you meditate on as the Self?”

“The sun only, venerable King,” he replied.

“The Self you meditate on,” said the king,
“is the Vaiśvānara Self called the Universal Form (Viśvarūpa).
Therefore one sees in your family much and manifold wealth
—there are ready the chariot and mules,
female servants, and gold necklaces
—and you eat food and see what is pleasing.
Whoever thus meditates on the Vaiśvānara Self
eats food, sees what is pleasing,
and has in his family the glory of Brahman.
That, however, is only the eye of the Self.
Surely you would have become blind if you had not come to me.”

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

Chapter 14

The Prāṇa Of The Vaiśvānara Self

1-2

Then he said to Indradyumna the grandson of Bhallavi:
“O Vaiyāghrapadya, whom do you meditate on as the Self?”

“The air only, venerable King,” he replied.

“The Self you meditate on,” said the king,
“is the Vaiśvānara Self of varied courses (Prithagvartmā).
Therefore gifts come to you in various ways,
rows of chariots follow you in various ways,
and you eat food and see what is pleasing.
Whoever thus meditates on the Vaiśvānara Self
eats food, sees what is pleasing,
and has in his family the glory of Brahman.
That, however, is only the prāṇa of the Self.
Surely your prāṇa would have left you if you had not come to me.”

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

Chapter 15

The Trunk Of The Vaiśvānara Self

1-2

Then he said to Jana the son of Śarkarāksha:
“Whom do you meditate on as the Self?”

“The ākāśa only, venerable King,” he replied.

“The Self you meditate on,” said the king,
“is the Vaiśvānara Self called Bahula (full).
Therefore you are full of offspring and wealth,
and you eat food and see what is pleasing.
Whoever thus meditates on the Vaiśvānara Self
eats food, sees what is pleasing,
and has in his family the glory of Brahman.
That, however, is only the trunk of the Self.
Surely your trunk would have been destroyed if you had not come to me.”

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

Chapter 16

The Bladder Of The Vaiśvānara Self

1-2

Then he said to Budila the son of Aśvatarāśva:
“O Vaiyāghrapadya, whom do you meditate on as the Self?”

“Water only, venerable King,” he replied.

“The Self you meditate on,” said the king,
“is the Vaiśvānara Self called Rayi (wealth).
Therefore you are wealthy and flourishing,
and you eat food and see what is pleasing.
Whoever thus meditates on the Vaiśvānara Self
eats food, sees what is pleasing,
and has in his family the glory of Brahman.
That, however, is only the bladder of the Self.
Surely your bladder would have burst if you had not come to me.”

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

Chapter 17

The Feet Of The Vaiśvānara Self

1-2

Then he said to Uddālaka the son of Aruṇa:
“O Gautama, whom do you meditate on as the Self?”

“The earth only, venerable King,” he replied.

“The Self you meditate on,” said the king,
“is the Vaiśvānara Self called Pratisṭhā (the support).
Therefore you are supported by offspring and cattle,
and you eat food and see what is pleasing.
Whoever thus meditates on the Vaiśvānara Self
eats food, sees what is pleasing,
and has in his family the glory of Brahman.
That, however, is only the feet of the Self.
Surely your feet would have withered away if you had not come to me.”

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

Chapter 18

The Vaiśvānara Self As The Whole

1

Then he (the king) said to them all:

“You [being endowed with limited knowledge] eat your food,
knowing that Vaiśvānara Self as if He were many.
But he who worships the Vaiśvānara Self
as the measure of the span [from earth to heaven]
and as identical with the self,
eats food in all worlds, in all beings, and in all selves.

2

“Of this Vaiśvānara Self
the head is Sutejas (the Good Light),
the eye Viśvarūpa (the Universal Form),
the prāṇa Prithagvartmā (of various courses),
the trunk Bahula (full), the bladder Rayi (wealth),
the feet Prithivī (the earth), the chest the Vedi (altar),
the hair the [Kuśa] grass [on the altar],
the heart the Gārhapatya Fire,
the mind the Anvahārya Fire,
and the mouth the Āhavaṇiya Fire.”

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

Chapter 19

Performance Of The Agnihotra In Oneself (the Prāṇa)

1

Therefore the food that comes first
should be offered as an oblation.
The first oblation that he (i.e. the eater) offers,
he should offer, saying: “Svāhā to the prāṇa!”
Then the prāṇa is satisfied.

2

The prāṇa being satisfied, the eye is satisfied.
The eye being satisfied, the sun is satisfied.
The sun being satisfied, heaven is satisfied.
Heaven being satisfied,
whatever is under heaven and under the sun is satisfied.
They being satisfied,
he (i.e. the eater or sacrificer) is satisfied
with offspring, cattle, food,
brightness [of the body], and the light of Brahman.

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

Chapter 20

The Vyāna

1

The Second oblation that he offers,
he should offer, saying:
“Svāhā to the vyāna!”
Then the vyāna is satisfied.

2

The vyāna being satisfied, the ear is satisfied.
The ear being satisfied, the moon is satisfied.
The moon being satisfied, the quarters are satisfied.
The quarters being satisfied,
whatever is under the quarters and under the moon is satisfied.
They being satisfied, the eater is satisfied
with offspring, cattle, food,
brightness [of the body], and the light of Brahman.

Here ends Chapter 20 of Part Five of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 21

The Apāna

1

The Third oblation that he offers,
he should offer, saying:
“Svāhā to the apāna!”
Then the apāna is satisfied.

2

The apāna being satisfied, speech (i.e. the tongue) is satisfied.
Speech being satisfied, fire is satisfied.
Fire being satisfied, the earth is satisfied.
The earth being satisfied,
what is under the earth and under fire is satisfied.
They being satisfied, the eater is satisfied
with offspring, cattle, food,
brightness [of the body], and the light of Brahman.

Here ends Chapter 21 of Part Five of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 22

The Samāna

1

The Fourth oblation that he offers,
he should offer, saying:
“Svāhā to the samāna!”
Then the samāna is satisfied.

2

The samāna being satisfied, the mind is satisfied.
The mind being satisfied, the rain-god is satisfied.
The rain-god being satisfied, the lightning is satisfied.
The lightning being satisfied,
what is under the lightning and under the rain-god is satisfied.
They being satisfied, the eater is satisfied
with offspring, cattle, food,
brightness [of the body], and the light of Brahman.

Here ends Chapter 22 of Part Five of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 23

The Udāna

1

The Fifth oblation that he offers,
he should offer, saying:
“Svāhā to the udāna!”
Then the udāna is satisfied.

2

The udāna being satisfied, the skin is satisfied.
The skin being satisfied, the air is satisfied.
The air being satisfied, the ākāśa is satisfied.
The ākāśa being satisfied,
what is under the air and under the ākāśa is satisfied.
They being satisfied, the eater is satisfied
with offspring, cattle, food,
brightness [of the body], and the light of Brahman.

Here ends Chapter 23 of Part Five of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 24

The Glory of the Agnihotra Sacrifice

1

If, without knowing this
[knowledge of the Vaiśvānara Self],
one offers an Agnihotra oblation,
it is like an oblation offered in dead ashes
after removing the live coals.

2

But if, knowing this, one offers an Agnihotra oblation,
it is like an oblation offered in all the worlds,
in all beings, and in all Ātmans.

3

Even as the soft fibres of the Īṣikā reed,
when thrown into fire, are burnt,
so also are burnt all the sins of one who, knowing this,
offers an Agnihotra oblation.

4

Therefore even if a man who knows this
gives what is left of his food to a chaṇḍāla,
he verily offers it to his Vaiśvānara Self.
On this there is the following verse:

5

“As here on earth hungry children
gather around their mother,
so do all beings
gather around the Agnihotra sacrifice,
yea around the Agnihotra sacrifice.”

Here ends Chapter 24
of Part Five of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.