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Chhāṇdogya Upanishad | Part VIII

PART 8

The eighth part forms a sort of supplement to the two preceding parts.

In the sixth and seventh parts it was taught that Brahman is non-­dual and free from time, space, and attributes. But this concept is too abstruse for ordinary minds, who believe that any entity, to be real, must exist in time and space and be endowed with attributes.

For the benefit of such people, the present chapter teaches that Brahman dwells in the heart as the luminous ākāśa (space) and is endowed with a number of attributes.

Secondly, it lays down certain disciplines for attaining the Knowledge of Brahman.

Thirdly, it describes by gradual stages the realization of Brahman, which otherwise is too difficult for a person to attain while he dwells in the physical body.


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


Chapter 1

Brahman In The Heart

1

OM.
There is in this city of Brahman an abode,
the small lotus [of the heart];
within it is a small ākāśa.

Now what exists within that small ākāśa,
that is to be sought after,
that is what one should desire to understand.

2-3

If they should say to him:

“Now, with regard to the abode,
the small lotus, in this city of Brahman,
and the small ākāśa within it

—what is there in it that is to be sought after
and what is there that one should desire to understand?”

Then he (the teacher) should say:

“As far as, verily, this [great] ākāśa extends,
so far extends the ākāśa within the heart.

Both heaven and earth are contained within it,
both fire and air, both sun and moon, both lightning and stars;
and whatever belongs to him (i.e. the embodied creature) in this world,
and whatever does not,
all that is contained within it (i.e. the ākāśa in the heart).”

4

If they (the pupils) should say:

“If everything that exists—all beings and all desires
—is contained in this city of Brahman,
then what is left of it
when old age overcomes it or when it perishes?”

5

Then he (the teacher) should say:

“With the old age of the body,
That (i.e. Brahman, described as the ākāśa in the heart) does not age;
with the death of the body That does not die.

That Brahman [and not the body]
is the real city of Brahman.
In It all desires are contained.

It is the Self—free from sin, free from old age, free from death,
free from grief, free from hunger, free from thirst; I
ts desires come true, Its thoughts come true.

Just as, here on earth,
people follow as they are commanded [by a leader]
and depend upon whatever objects they desire,
be it a country or a piece of land

[so also those who are ignorant of the Self
depend upon other objects
and experience the result of their good and evil deeds].

6

“And just as, here on earth,
whatever is earned through work perishes,
so does the next world, won by virtuous deeds, perish.

Those who depart hence
without having realized the Self and these true desires
—for them there is no freedom in all the worlds.

But those who depart hence
after having realized the Self and these true desires
—for them there is freedom in all the worlds.

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

Chapter 2

The Fulfilment Of Desires Through Self-knowledge

1

“If he desires the World of the Manes,
by his mere thought the Manes come to him.

Having obtained the world of the Manes he is happy.

2

“And if he desires the world of the mothers,
by his mere thought the mothers come to him.

Having obtained the world of the mothers, he is happy.

3

“And if he desires the world of the brothers,
by his mere thought the brothers come to him.

Having obtained the world of the brothers, he is happy.

4

“And if he desires the world of the sisters,
by his mere thought the sisters come to him.

Having obtained the world of the sisters, he is happy.

5

“And if he desires the world of the friends,
by his mere thought the friends come to him.

Having obtained the world of the friends, he is happy.

6

“And if he desires the world of perfumes and garlands,
by his mere thought perfumes and garlands come to him.

Having obtained the world of perfumes and garlands, he is happy.

7

“And if he desires the world of food and drink,
by his mere thought food and drink come to him.

Having obtained the world of food and drink, he is happy.

8

“And if he desires the world of song and music,
by his mere thought song and music come to him.

Having obtained the world of song and music, he is happy.

9

“And if he desires the world of women,
by his mere thought women come to him.

Having obtained the world of women, he is happy.

10

“Whatever country he longs for, whatever objects he desires,
by his mere thought all these come to him.

Having obtained them, he is happy.

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

Chapter 3

The Serene Self And Satya Brāhman

1

“These true desires are covered by what is false.
Though they exist always,
yet they have a covering which is false.

Thus, whosoever belonging to the embodied creature
has departed from this life,
him he cannot see in this world with his eyes.

2

“Those of his fellows who belong to him here,
and those who are dead,
and whatever else there is
which he wishes for and does not obtain
—he finds all that by going in there (i.e. into his own Self).
For there, indeed, lie those true desires of his,
covered by what is false.

“As people who do not know the spot
where a treasure of gold has been hidden somewhere in the earth,
walk over it again and again without finding it,
so all these creatures day after day
go into the World of Brahman and yet do not find it,
because they are carried away by untruth.

3

“That Self abides in the heart.
The etymological explanation of heart is this:

This one (ayam) is in the heart (hṛdi);
therefore It is called the heart (hṛdayam).

He who knows this goes every day [in deep sleep] to Heaven
(i.e. Brahman, dwelling in the heart).

4

“Now, this serene being,
after rising from this [physical] body
and attaining the Highest Light,
reaches his own [true] form.
This is the Self.”

Thus he (i.e. the teacher, questioned by his pupils) spoke.
[Continuing, he said:]

“This is the immortal, the fearless. This is Brahman.
And of this Brahman the name is Satyam, the True.”

5

This name Satyam consists of three syllables: Sat, ti and yam.

That which is Sat signifies the Immortal;
and that which is ti is the mortal;
and yam binds them both.
Because this syllable binds both,
therefore it is called yam.

He who knows this goes every day [in deep sleep] to Heaven
(i.e. Brahman, dwelling in the heart).

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

Chapter 4

Brahman As A Dam

1

The Self is a dam, a [separating] boundary,
for keeping these worlds apart.
This dam is not passed by day and night,
by old age, death, and grief, or by good and evil deeds.
All evils turn back from It,
for the World of Brahman is free from all evil.

2

Therefore, having reached this dam,
he who is blind ceases to be blind,
he who is miserable ceases to be miserable,
he who is afflicted [with disease] ceases to be afflicted.

Therefore, having reached this dam, the night becomes day;
for the World of Brahman is lighted once for all.

3

That World of Brahman belongs to those
who realize It by means of continence (brahmacharya)
—for them there is freedom in all the worlds.

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

Chapter 5

Continence

1

Now, what people call yajña (sacrifice), that is really continence.
For he who knows [Brahman] obtains that World
[of Brahman, which others obtain through sacrifice,]
by means of continence.

What people call ishta (worship), that is really continence.
For having desired (ishtva) the Knowledge of the Self,
by means of continence one realizes the Self.

2

Now, what people call the Sātrāyaṇa [sacrifice],
that is really continence.
For by means of continence
one obtains from the True (Sat)
the safety (trana) of the self.

What people call [the vow of] silence (mauna),
that is really continence.
For after knowing the Self [from the scriptures]
one meditates (manute) on It.

3

Now, what people call [the vow of] fasting (anasakayana),
that is really continence.
For that Self does not perish (na nasyati)
which one realizes by means of continence.

What people call the life of a hermit (Araṇyāyana),
that is really continence.

There are in the World of Brahman,
in the third heaven from here (i.e. from earth),
two seas, Ara and Nya by name,
and also there is the lake called Airammadiya.

Furthermore, there are the Aśvattha tree, which showers soma-juice,
and the city of Brahman (i.e. Hiraṇyagarbha), called Aparājita,
and the golden hall built by Brahman (Hiraṇyagarbha) Himself.

4

The World of Brahman belongs to those
who obtain by means of continence
the seas Ara and Nya in the World of Brahman.

For them there is freedom in all the worlds.

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

Chapter 6

The Course After Death For The Illumined

1

Now, those arteries of the heart
are filled with the essences of brown, white, blue,
yellow, and red liquid substances.
Verily, the sun yonder is brown, it is white,
it is blue, it is yellow, it is red.

2

As a long highway runs
between two villages, this one and that yonder,
so do the rays of the sun go
to both worlds, this one and that yonder.

They start from yonder sun and enter into these arteries;
they start from these arteries and enter into yonder sun.

3

When a man is asleep,
with the senses withdrawn and serene, and sees no dream,
then he has entered into these arteries.

Then no evil touches him, for he has obtained the light [of the sun].

4

And when he becomes weak,
then those sitting around him say:

“Do you know me? Do you know me?”

As long as he has not departed from this body, he knows them.

5

When he departs from the body
[if he is a mere ritualist and ignorant of Brahman]
he then goes upward by these rays
[toward the worlds which he has gained by his meritorious work].

Or [if he is a knower of the doctrines
of the ākāśa in the lotus of the heart, as described in VIII. i. 1.]
he then meditates on Om [and thus secures entrance into Brahmaloka],

Or [if he is ignorant he attains lower bodies].

The knower attains the solar orb as quickly
as one directs one’s mind from one object to another.
This indeed is the door [to the World of Brahman] for those who know;
for the ignorant it is closed.

6

On this there is the following verse:

“There are one hundred and one arteries of the heart,
one of which pierces the crown of the head.
Going upward by it, a man [at death] attains immortality.
Other arteries, going in different directions,
only serve as channels for his departing from the body,
yea, only serve as channels for his departing from the body.”

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

Chapter 7

The Person In The Eye

1

Prajāpati said:

“The Self which is free from sin, free from old age, free from death,
free from grief, free from hunger, free from thirst,
whose desires come true, and whose thoughts come true—
That it is which should be searched out,
That it is which one should desire to understand.

He who has known this Self
[from the scriptures and a teacher] and understood It
obtains all the worlds and all desires.

2

The devas (gods) and asuras (demons) both
heard these words, and said:

“Well, let us search out this Self
by searching out which one obtains all the worlds and all desires.”

Indra, among the gods, went forth, and Virochana, among the demons.

Without communicating with each other,
the two came into the presence of Prajāpati, fuel in hand.

3

They dwelt there for thirty-two years,
practising brahmacharya.

Then Prajāpati said to them:
“For what purpose have you both been living here?”

They said: “A saying of yours is being repeated [by learned people]:

“The Self which is free from sin, free from old age, free from death,
free from grief, free from hunger, free from thirst,
whose desires come true, and whose thoughts come true—
That it is which should be searched out,
That it is which one should desire to understand.
He who has known this Self and understood It
obtains all the worlds and all desires.”

Now, we both have dwelt here because we desire that Self.”

4

Prajāpati said to them:
“The person that is seen in the eye—that is the Self.”
He further said:
“This is immortal, fearless. This is Brahman.”

They asked: “Venerable Sir,
he who is perceived in the water
and he who is perceived in a mirror
—which of these is he?”

Prajāpati replied:
“The same one, indeed, is perceived in all these.”

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

Chapter 8

The Doctrine Of The Demons

1

[Prajāpati Said:]

“Look at yourself in a pan of water,
and then what you do not understand of the Self,
come and tell me.”

They cast their glance in a pan of water.
Then Prajāpati said to them: “What do you see?”
They said: “Venerable Sir, we see the entire self
even to the very hairs and nails, a veritable picture.”

2

Prajāpati said to them:
“After you have well adorned yourselves [with ornaments],
put on your best clothes, and cleansed yourselves,
look into the pan of water.”

After having adorned themselves well,
put on their best clothes, and cleansed themselves,
they looked into the pan of water.

“What do you see?” asked Prajāpati.

3

They said: “Just as we ourselves
are well adorned, well dressed, and clean,
so, venerable Sir, are these two [reflections]
well adorned, well dressed, and clean.”

Prajāpati said:
“This is the Self, this is immortal, fearless. This is Brahman.”
They both went away satisfied in heart.

4

Prajāpati saw them [going] and said:

“They are both going away without having known
and without having realized the Self.
And whoever of these, whether gods or demons,
follow this doctrine shall perish.”

Virochana, satisfied in heart, went to the demons
and preached this doctrine (Upanishad) to them:

“The self (i.e. body) alone is to be worshipped here on earth,
the self (i.e. body) alone is to be served.
It is only by worshipping the self here and by serving the self
that one gains both worlds—this and the next.”

5

Therefore even today they say
of one who does not practise charity,
who has no faith,
and who does not perform sacrifices:

“He is verily a demon”; for such is the doctrine of the demons.

The demons deck the bodies of the dead
with garlands and perfume, with raiment, and with ornaments,
for they think that thus they will win the world beyond.

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

Chapter 9

The Shadow Self Is Perishable

1

But Indra, even before he had reached the gods, saw this difficulty:

“As this [reflection in the water] is well adorned
when the body is well adorned,
well dressed when the body is well dressed,
clean when the body is clean,

so this [reflection in the water]
will be blind if the body is blind,
one-eyed if the body is one-eyed,
crippled if the body is crippled,
and will perish if the body perishes.

2

“I do not see any good in this [doctrine].”
He returned with fuel in hand.

To him Prajāpati said:
“Well, Indra, you went away with Virochana, satisfied in heart;
now for what purpose have you come back?”

He (Indra) said:

“Venerable Sir, as this [reflection in the water] is well adorned
when the body is well adorned,
well dressed when the body is well dressed,
clean when the body is clean,

so this [reflection in the water] will be blind if the body is blind,
one-eyed if the body is one-eyed, crippled if the body is crippled,
and will perish if the body perishes.

Therefore I do not see any good in this [doctrine].”

3

“So it is Indra,” replied Prajāpati.
“I shall explain the Self to you further.
Live with me another thirty-two years.”

He lived with Prajāpati another thirty-two years.

Then Prajāpati said to Indra:

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

Chapter 10

The Dream Self

1-2

“He who moves about, exalted, in dreams
—this is the Self, this is immortal, fearless.
This is Brahman.”

Then Indra went away satisfied in heart.
But even before he had reached the gods,
he saw this difficulty:

“Although this [dream self] is not blind even if the body is blind,
nor do its eyes and nose run when the eyes and nose of the body run;
although this self is not affected by the defects of the body,
Nor killed when it (the body) is killed,
nor one-eyed when it is one- eyed—

yet they kill it (the dream self), as it were; they chase it, as it were.
It becomes conscious of pain, as it were; it weeps, as it were.

I do not see any good in this [doctrine].”

3-4

He returned with fuel in hand.

To him Prajāpati said:
“Well, Indra, you went away satisfied in heart;
now for what purpose have you come back?”

He (Indra) said:

“Venerable Sir, although this [dream self]
is not blind even if the body is blind,
nor do its eyes and nose run when the eyes and nose of the body run;
although this self is not affected by the defects of the body,
Nor killed when it (the body) is killed, nor one-eyed when it is one- eyed—

yet they kill it (the dream self), as it were; they chase it, as it were.
It becomes conscious of pain, as it were; it weeps, as it were.

I do not see any good in this.”

“So it is, Indra.” replied Prajāpati.
“I shall explain the Self further to you.
Live with me another thirty-two years.”

He lived with Prajāpati another thirty-two years.
Then Prajāpati said to Indra:

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

Chapter 11

The Self In Dreamless Sleep

1

“When a man is asleep, with senses withdrawn
and serene, and sees no dream
—that is the Self.
This is immortal, fearless. This is Brahman.”

Then Indra went away satisfied in heart.
But even before he had reached the gods,
he saw this difficulty:

“In truth it (i.e. the self in dreamless sleep)
does not know itself as ‘I am it,’ nor these [other] creatures.
It has therefore reached [in dreamless sleep]
utter annihilation, as it were.

I do not see any good in this.”

2

He returned with fuel in hand.

To him Prajāpati said:
“Well, Indra, you went away satisfied in heart;
now for what purpose have you come back?”

He (Indra) said:

“Venerable Sir, in truth it (i.e. the self in dreamless sleep)
does not know itself as ‘I am it,’ nor these [other] creatures.
It has therefore reached utter annihilation, as it were.

I do not see any good in this.”

3

“So it is, Indra.” replied Prajāpati.
“I shall explain the Self further to you, and nothing else.
Live with me another five years.”

Indra lived with Prajāpati another five years.
This made in all one hundred and one years.
Therefore people say that Indra lived with Prajāpati
as a brahmachārī one hundred and one years.

Then Prajāpati said to him:

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

Chapter 12

The Incorporeal Self

1

“O Indra, this body is mortal,
always held by death.
It is the abode of the Self,
which is immortal and incorporeal.

The embodied self is the victim of pleasure and pain.
So long as one is identified with the body,
there is no cessation of pleasure and pain.

But neither pleasure nor pain touches
one who is not identified with the body.

2-3

“The wind is without body;
the cloud, lightning, and thunder are without body.

Now, as these, arising from yonder ākāśa
and reaching the highest light,
appear in their own forms,

So does this serene Being,
arising from this body
and reaching the Highest Light,
appear in His own form.

[In that state] He is the Highest Person.
There He moves about, laughing, playing, rejoicing
—be it with women, chariots, or relatives,
never thinking of the body into which He was born.

“As an animal is attached to a cart,
so is the ākāśa (i.e. the conscious self) attached to the body.

4

“When the person in the eye resides [in the body],
he resides where [the organ of] sight
has entered into the ākāśa (i.e. the pupil of the eye);
the eye is the instrument of seeing.

He who is aware of the thought: ‘Let me smell this.” he is the Self;
the nose is the instrument of smelling.

He who is aware of the thought: ‘Let me speak.” he is the Self;
the tongue is the instrument of speaking.

He who is aware of the thought: ‘Let me hear.” he is the Self;
the ear is the instrument of hearing.

5

“He who is aware of the thought: ‘Let me think this.”
he is the Self; the mind is his divine eye.

He, the Self, sees all these desires in the World of Brahman
through the divine eye, the mind, and rejoices.

6

“The gods meditate on that Self.
Therefore all worlds belong to them, and all desires.
He who knows that Self and understands It
obtains all worlds and all desires.”

Thus said Prajāpati, yea, thus said Prajāpati.

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

Chapter 13

A Mantra For Meditation And Repetition

1

From the dark I come to the variegated;
from the variegated I come to the Dark.
Shaking off evil as a horse shakes [dust] from its hair,
freeing myself from the body
as the moon frees itself from the mouth of Rāhu,
I fulfil all ends and obtain the uncreated World of Brahman.

Here ends Chapter 13 of Part Eight of the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad,

Chapter 14

The Prayer of a Seeker of Eternal Life

1

That which is called the ākāśa
is the revealer of names and forms.
That within which these names and forms exist
is, verily, Brahman.
That is the Immortal; that is the Self.

[Now is stated a mantra:]

“I come to the assembly, the palace of Prajāpati.
I am the glory of the Brahmins,
the glory of the kings, the glory of the Vaiṣyas.
I wish to obtain that glory. I am the glory of glories.
May I never go to the red and toothless, all-devouring, slippery place,
yea, may I never go to it.”

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

Chapter 15

The Attainment Of Brahmaloka

1

Brahma told this [knowledge of the Self] to Prajāpati (Kaśyapa),
Prajāpati to Manu, Manu to mankind.

He who has studied the Vedas
at the house of a teacher, according to the prescribed rules,
during the time left after the performance of his duties to the teacher;

he who, after leaving the teacher’s house,
has settled down into a householder’s life
and continued the study of the Vedas in a sacred spot
and made others (i.e. his sons and disciples) virtuous;

he who has withdrawn all the sense-organs into the Self;
he who has not given pain to any creature
except as approved by the scriptures—

he who conducts himself thus, all through his life,
reaches the World of Brahman after death,
and does not return, yea, does not return.

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

Here ends the Chhāṇdogya Upanishad

The Peace Chant

OM. May the different limbs of my body,
my tongue, ākāśa, eyes, ears, and my strength,
and also all the other sense-organs
be nourished!

All, indeed, is Brahman, as is declared in the Upanishads.

May I never deny Brahman! May Brahman never deny me!
May there never be denial on my part!

May all the virtues described in the Upanishads
belong to me, who am devoted to Ātman!
Yea, may they all belong to me!

Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!