Chhāṇdogya Upanishad | Part VII

Part 7

The seventh part, through a dialogue between Nārada and Sanatkumāra, explains the various phenomenal objects.

Their cause, Pure Being, was discussed in the preceding part, but not the objects themselves. If the latter remain unexplained one may think that one’s know­ledge is not complete.

It is further shown that though the knowledge of phenomenal entities produces a relatively good result, Self-Knowledge alone brings about the Highest Good.


Part 7 , Chapter ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 2425 26


Chapter 1

Dialogue Between Nārada And Sanatkumāra

1

OM.
Nārada approached Sanatkumāra [as a pupil] and said:

“Venerable Sir, please teach me.”

Sanatkumāra said to him:
“Please tell me what you already know.
Then I shall tell you what is beyond.”

2

Nārada said:

“Venerable Sir,
I know the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sama-Veda,
the Atharva-Veda as the fourth [Veda],
the epics (Purāṇas) and ancient lore
(Itihāsa) as the fifth,
the Veda of the Vedas (i.e. grammar),
the rules of the sacrifices by which the Manes are gratified,
the science of numbers, the science of portents,
the science of time, logic, ethics, etymology,
Brahma-vidyā
(i.e. the science of pronunciation, ceremonials, prosody, etc.),
the science of elemental spirits, the science of weapons,
astronomy, the science of serpents, and the fine arts.

All this I know, venerable Sir.

3

“But, venerable Sir, with all this
I know words only; I do not know the Self.

I have heard from men like you
that he who knows the Self overcomes sorrow.
I am one afflicted with sorrow.
Do you, venerable Sir, help me to cross over
to the other side of sorrow.”

Sanatkumāra said to him:
“Whatever you have read is only a name.

4

“Verily, a name is the Rig-Veda;
[so also] are the Yajur-Veda, the Sāma-Veda,
the Atharva-Veda as the fourth [Veda],
the epics and the ancient lore as the fifth,
the Veda of the Vedas,
the rules of die sacrifices by which the Manes are gratified,
the science of numbers, the science of portents,
the science of time, logic, ethics, etymology,
Brahma-vidyā the science of elemental spirits,
the science of weapons, astronomy,
the science of serpents, and the fine arts.

“Meditate on the name.

5

”He who meditates on a name as Brahman
can, of his own free will, reach as far as the name reaches
—he who meditates on a name as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than a name?”
“Of course there is something greater than a name.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 2

Speech As Brahman

1

“Speech is, verily, greater than a name.

Speech makes one understand the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda,
the Sama-Veda, the Atharva- Veda as the fourth,
the epics and the ancient lore as the fifth,
the Veda of the Vedas,
the rules of sacrifices by which the Manes are gratified,
the science of numbers, the science of portents,
the science of time, logic, ethics, etymology,
Brahma-vidyā, the science of elemental spirits,
the science of weapons, astronomy,
the science of serpents, and the fine arts,

as well as heaven, earth, air, ākāśa, water, fire,
gods, men, cattle, birds, herbs, trees, animals,
together with worms, flies, and ants,
as also righteousness and unrighteousness,
the true and the false, the good and the bad,
the pleasant and the unpleasant

“Verily, if there were no speech,
neither righteousness nor unrighteousness would be known,
neither the true nor the false, neither the pleasant nor the unpleasant.

“Speech, verily, makes us know all this.
Meditate upon speech.

2

“He who meditates on speech as Brahman
can, of his own free will, reach as far as speech reaches
—he who meditates on speech as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than speech?”
“Of course there is something greater than speech.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 3

Mind As Brahman

1

“The Mind is, verily, greater than speech.

Just as the closed fist holds two āmalakas,
or two plums, or two aksha fruits,
so does the mind hold speech and a name.

For when a man thinks in his mind
that he would read the sacred hymns,
then he reads them.

When he thinks in his mind
that he would perform actions,
then he performs them.

When he thinks in his mind
that he would have sons and cattle,
then he desires them.

When he thinks in his mind
that he would have this world and the other,
then he desires them.

Mind, indeed, is the self;
Mind is the world; Mind is Brahman.

“Meditate on the mind.

2

“He who meditates on mind as Brahman
can, of his own free will, reach as far as mind reaches
—he who meditates on mind as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than mind?”
“Of course there is something greater than mind.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 4

Will As Brahman

1

“Will (Saṁkalpa) is, verily, greater than mind.

For when a man wills,
then he thinks in his mind, then he utters speech,
and then he employs speech in [the recital of] a name.

The sacred hymns are included in a name,
and all sacrifices are included in the sacred hymns.

2

“Will, indeed, is the goal of all these
[beginning with mind and ending in sacrifice];
from will they arise and in will they all abide.

Heaven and earth willed,
air and ākāśa willed, water and fire willed.
Through the will [of heaven and earth, etc.] the rain wills;
through the will of the rain, food wills;
through the will of food, the prāṇas will;
through the will of the prāṇas, the sacred hymns will;
through the will of the sacred hymns, the sacrifices will;
through the will of the sacrifices, the world wills;
through the will of the world, everything wills.

Such is will. Meditate on will.

3

“He who meditates on will as Brahman
can, of his own free will, reach as far as will reaches
—he who meditates on will as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than will?”
“Of course there is something greater than will.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 5

Consideration As Brahman

1

“Consideration (Chitta) is, verily, greater than will.

For when a man considers, then he wills,
then he thinks in his mind, then he utters speech,
then he engages speech in [the recitation of] a name.

The sacred hymns are included in a name,
and all sacrifices are included in the sacred hymns.

2

“Consideration is, indeed, the goal of all these
[beginning with mind and ending in sacrifice];
from consideration they arise and in consideration they all abide.

Therefore if a person is without consideration,
even though he possesses much knowledge,
people say of him that he is nothing,
and whatever he knows [is useless];
for if he were [really] learned,
he would not be so inconsiderate.

But if a person is considerate,
though he knows but little,
to him people are eager to listen.

Consideration, indeed, is the goal of all these;
consideration is the self; consideration is the support.
Meditate on consideration.

3

“He who meditates on consideration as Brahman,
he, being permanent, firm, and undistressed,
obtains the worlds
which are permanent, firm, and undistressed;

he can, of his own free will, reach as far as consideration reaches
—he who meditates on consideration as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than consideration?”
“Of course there is something greater than consideration.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 6

Meditation As Brahman

1

“Meditation (dhyāna) is, verily, greater than consideration.

Earth meditates, as it were.
The mid-region meditates, as it were.
Heaven meditates, as it were.
The waters meditate, as it were.
The mountains meditate, as it were.
The gods meditate, as it were.
Men meditate, as it were.

Therefore he who, among men, attains greatness here on earth
seems to have obtained a share of meditation.

Thus while small people are quarrelsome, abusive, and slandering,
great men appear to have obtained a share of meditation.

Meditate on meditation.

2

“He who meditates on meditation as Brahman,
can, of his own free will, reach as far as meditation reaches
—he who meditates on meditation as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than meditation?”
“Of course there is something greater than meditation.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 7

Understanding As Brahman

1

“Understanding is, verily, greater than meditation.

Understanding makes one understand the Rig-Veda,
the Yajur-Veda, the Sama-Veda, the Atharva-Veda as the fourth,
the epics and the ancient lore as the fifth,
the Veda of the Vedas,
the rules of sacrifices by which the Manes are gratified,
the science of numbers, the science of portents,
the science of time, logic, ethics, etymology,
Brahma-vidyā, the science of elemental spirits,
the science of weapons, astronomy,
the science of serpents, and the fine arts;

heaven, earth, air, ākāśa, water, fire,
gods, men, cattle, birds, herbs, trees; animals,
together with worms, flies, and ants;

and also righteousness and unrighteousness,
the true and the false, the good and the bad,
the pleasant and the unpleasant, food and taste,
this world and yonder [world].

Meditate on understanding.

2

“He who meditates on understanding as Brahman
attains the worlds of understanding and knowledge
and can, of his own free will, reach as far as understanding reaches
-—he who meditates on understanding as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than understanding?”
“Of course there is something greater than understanding.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 8

Strength As Brahman

1

“Strength is, verily, greater than understanding.

One strong man causes a hundred men of understanding to tremble.

When a man is strong he can rise.
If he rises he can attend [on the teachers].
If he attends on them he can become
their intimate companion [as a pupil].
If he is their intimate companion he can watch [their conduct],
listen [to their instruction], reflect [on what he hears],
become convinced [of what he reflects on],
act, and enjoy the result [of action].

By strength the earth stands firm,
by strength the mid-region, by strength heaven,
by strength the mountains, by strength the gods and men,
by strength cattle and birds, herbs and trees,
and animals, together with worms, flies, and ants,
by strength the world stands firm.

Meditate upon strength.”

2

“He who meditates on strength as Brahman
can, of his own free will, reach as far as strength reaches
—he who meditates on strength as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than strength?”
“Of course there is something greater than strength.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 9

Food As Brahman

1

“Food is, verily, greater than strength.

Therefore if a man abstains from food for ten days,
even though he might live,
yet he would not be able to see, hear, reflect,
become convinced, act, or enjoy the result.

But when he obtains food,
he is able to see, hear, reflect,
become convinced, act, and enjoy the result.

2

“He who meditates on food as Brahman
obtains the world rich in food and drink;
he can, of his own free will, reach as far as food reaches
—he who meditates on food as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than food?”
“Of course there is something greater than food.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 10

Water As Brahman

1

“Water is, verily, greater than food.

Therefore if there is not sufficient rain,
then living creatures are afflicted with the thought
that there will be less food.

But if there is sufficient rain,
then living creatures rejoice in the thought
that there will be much food.

It is water that assumes the form of this earth,
this mid-region, this heaven, these mountains,
these gods and men, cattle and birds,
herbs and trees, and animals,
together with worms, flies, and ants.

Water indeed is all these forms.
Meditate on water.

2

“He who meditates on water as Brahman
obtains all his desires and becomes satisfied;
he can, of his own free will, reach as far as water reaches
—he who meditates on water as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than water?”
“Of course there is something greater than water.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 11

Fire As Brahman

1

“Fire is, verily, greater than water.

For, having seized the air, it warms the ākāśa.
Then people say: “It is hot, it burns; it will rain.”
Thus does fire first manifest itself and then create water.

Furthermore, thunderclaps roll with lightning
upward and across the sky.
Then people say:
“There is lightning, there is thunder; it will rain.”
Here also does fire first manifest itself and then create water.

Meditate on fire.

2

“He who meditates on fire as Brahman
becomes radiant himself and obtains radiant worlds,
full of light and free from darkness;
he can, of his own free will, reach as far as fire reaches
—he who meditates on fire as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than fire?”
“Of course there is something greater than fire.”
“Please tell that to me, Venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 12

The Ākāśa As Brahman

1

“The Ākāśa is, verily, greater than fire.

For in the ākāśa exist both
- the sun and the moon, lightning, stars, and fire.
It is through the ākāśa that a person calls [another];
it is through the ākāśa that the other hears
it is through the ākāśa that the person hears back.

In the ākāśa we rejoice [when we are together],
and in the ākāśa we rejoice not [when we are separated].
In the ākāśa everything is born,
and toward the ākāśa all things grow.

Meditate upon the ākāśa.

2

“He who meditates on the ākāśa as Brahman
obtains the worlds extending far and wide,
luminous, free from pain, and spacious;
he can, of his own free will, reach as far as the ākāśa reaches
—he who meditates on the ākāśa as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than the ākāśa?”
“Of course there is something greater than the ākāśa.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 13

Memory As Brahman

1

“Memory is, verily, greater than the ākāśa.

Therefore even when many people assemble,
if they had no memory they would not hear anyone at all,
they would not think, they would not understand.

But surely, if they had memory,
they would hear, think, and understand.
Through memory one knows one’s sons,
through memory one’s cattle.

Meditate on memory.

2

“He who meditates on memory as Brahman
can, of his own free will, reach as far as memory reaches
—he who meditates on memory as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than memory?”
“Of course there is something greater than memory.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 14

Hope As Brahman

1

“Hope is, verily, greater than memory.

Kindled by hope, [a person endowed with] memory
reads the sacred hymns, performs sacrifices,
desires sons and cattle, desires this world and the other.

Meditate on hope,

2

“He who meditates on hope as Brahman
—all his desires are fulfilled through hope,
his prayers are not in vain;
he can, of his own free will, reach as far as hope reaches
—he who meditates on hope as Brahman.”

Nārada said:
“Venerable Sir, is there anything greater than hope?”
“Of course there is something greater than hope.”
“Please tell that to me, venerable Sir.”

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

Chapter 15

The Ākāśa As Brahman

1

“The Prāṇa is, verily, greater than hope.

As the spokes of a wheel are fastened to the nave,
so are all these [beginning with the name and ending with hope]
fastened to the ākāśa.

The ākāśa moves by the ākāśa.
The ākāśa gives the ākāśa to the ākāśa.
The ākāśa is the father, the ākāśa is the mother,
the ākāśa is the brother, the ākāśa is the sister,
the ākāśa is the teacher, the ākāśa is the Brahmin.

2

“If one says something unbecoming
to a father, mother, brother, sister, teacher, or Brahmin,
then people say:

“Shame on you!
Verily, you are a slayer of your father, a slayer of your mother,
a slayer of your brother, a slayer of your sister,
a slayer of your teacher, a slayer of a Brahmin.”

3

“But if, when the ākāśa has departed from them,
one shoves them together with a poker
and burns every bit of them,
no one would say:
“You are a slayer of your father, a slayer of your mother,
a slayer of your brother, a slayer of your sister,
a slayer of your teacher, a slayer of a Brahmin.”

4

“The ākāśa, verily, is all this.

He (i.e. the knower of the ākāśa) who sees this,
reflects on this, is convinced of this,
becomes an ativādi (superior speaker).

If people say to such a man: ‘You are an ativādi,’
he may say: ‘Yes, I am an ativādi’;
he need not deny it.”

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

Chapter 16

The Knowledge Of The Truth

1

“But in reality he is an ativādi
who has become an ativādi by the knowledge of the True.”
“May I, venerable Sir, become an ativādi
by the knowledge of the True.”
“But one should desire to know the True.”
“Venerable Sir, I desire to know the True.”

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

Chapter 17

Truth Depends Upon Understanding

1

[Sanatkumāra said:]
“When one understands the True,
only then does one declare the True.
One who does not understand the True does not declare It.
Only one who understands It declares the True.
One must desire to understand this understanding.”
“Venerable Sir, I desire to understand.”

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

Chapter 18

Understanding Depends Upon Reflection

1

“When one reflects, only then does one understand.
One who does not reflect does not understand.
Only one who reflects understands.
One must desire to understand this reflection.”
“Venerable Sir, I desire to understand reflection.”

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

Chapter 19

Reflection Depends Upon Faith

1

“When one has faith, only then does one reflect.
One who does not have faith does not reflect.
Only one who has faith reflects.
One must desire to understand faith.”
“Venerable Sir, I desire to understand faith,”

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

Chapter 20

Faith Depends Upon Single-mindedness

1

“When one is single-minded
[in one’s devotion to the teacher],
only then does one have faith.

One who does not have single-mindedness
does not have faith.
Only one who has single-mindedness has faith.
One must desire to understand single-mindedness.”
“Venerable Sir, I desire to understand single-mindedness.”

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

Chapter 21

Single-mindedness Depends Upon Concentration

1

“When one performs one’s duties
(i.e. practises concentration),
only then does one have single-mindedness.
One who does not perform his duties
does not have single-mindedness.
Only one who performs his duties has single-mindedness.
One must desire to understand the performance of duties.”
“Venerable Sir, I desire to understand the performance of duties.”

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

Chapter 22

Concentration Depends Upon Bliss

1

“When one obtains bliss,
only then does one perform one’s duties.
One who does not obtain bliss does not perform his duties.
Only one who obtains bliss performs his duties.
One must desire to understand bliss.”
“Venerable Sir, I desire to understand bliss.”

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

Chapter 23

The Infinite Is Bliss

1

“The Infinite is bliss.
There is no bliss in anything finite.
Only the Infinite is bliss.
One must desire to understand the Infinite.”
“Venerable Sir, I desire to understand the Infinite.”

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

Chapter 24

The Infinite And The Finite

1

“Where one sees nothing else,
hears nothing else, understands nothing else
—that is the Infinite.

Where one sees something else,
hears something else, understands something else
—that is the finite.

The Infinite is immortal, the finite mortal.”

“Venerable Sir, in what does the Infinite find Its support?”
“In Its own greatness—or not even in greatness.”

2

“Here on earth people describe
cows and horses, elephants and gold,
slaves and wives, fields and houses, as ‘greatness.’

I do not mean this,” he said,
“for in such cases one thing finds its support in another.

But what I say is:

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

Chapter 25

Instruction About The Infinite

1

"That infinite, indeed, is below. It is above. It is behind.
It is before. It is to the south. It is to the north.
The Infinite, indeed, is all this.

"Next follows the instruction
about the Infinite with reference to “I”:

I, indeed, am below. I am above. I am behind.
I am before. I am to the south. I am to the north.
I am, indeed, all this.

2

“Next follows the instruction
about the Infinite with reference to the Self:

The Self, indeed, is below. It is above. It is behind.
It is before. It is to the south. It is to the north.
The Self, indeed, is all this.

"Verily, he who sees this, reflects on this, and understands this
delights in the Self, sports with the Self, rejoices in the Self,
revels in the Self [Even while living in the body]
he becomes a self-ruler.
He wields unlimited freedom in all the worlds.

"But those who think differently from this
have others for their rulers;
they live in perishable worlds.
They have no freedom in all the worlds.”

Here ends Chapter 25 of Part Seven of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.

Chapter 26

Self-knowledge

1

"For him who sees this, reflects on this, and understands this,

the ākāśa springs from the Self, hope springs from the Self,
memory springs from the Self, the ākāśa springs from the Self,
fire springs from the Self, water springs from the Self,
appearance and disappearance spring from the Self,
food springs from the Self, strength springs from the Self,
understanding springs from the Self, meditation springs from the Self,
consideration springs from the Self, will springs from the Self,
mind springs from the Self, speech springs from the Self,
the name springs from the Self,
the sacred hymns spring from the Self,
the sacrifices spring from the Self—
ay, all this springs from the Self.”

2

"On this there is the following verse:

"The knower of Truth
does not see death or disease or sorrow.
The knower of Truth sees everything
and obtains everything everywhere.”

"He (the knower) is one [before the creation],
becomes three, becomes five, becomes seven,
becomes nine; then again he is called eleven,
one hundred and ten, and one thousand and twenty.

"[Now is described the discipline for inner purification
by which Self-Knowledge is attained:]

When the food is pure, the mind becomes pure.
When the mind is pure the memory becomes firm.
When the memory is firm all ties are loosened.”

The venerable Sanatkumāra showed Nārada,
after his blemishes had been wiped out,
the other side of darkness.

They call Sanatkumāra Skanda, yea, Skanda they call him.

Here ends Chapter 26
of Part Seven of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad.