KENA UPANISHAD , also called TALAVAKARA UPANISHAD
OF THE SĀMA VĒDA
1. (The disciple asks): By whom decreed, (by whom) appointed, does the mind speed (to its work)? By whom ordained does the first life proceed? By whom decreed, is the word pronounced? Which god assigns (their functions to) the eye and ear?
2. (The teacher answers:) He who is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech of speech, is verily the life of life, the eye of the eye. The wise who have abandoned (those individual existences) when departing from this world, become immortal.
3. Him (the supreme Brahma) does not approach the eye, or speech, or mind. We do not recognise (Brahma as any thing perceptible; therefore) we do not know how to teach him (his nature to a disciple). It is even different from what is known (from the manifested universe; if you then say, it must be the unmanifested universe, no) it is also beyond what is not known (to the senses, it is beyond the unmanifested universe). Thus we heard from the former (teachers) who explained it to us.
4. Think that which is not manifested by speech, and by which speech is manifested, even as Brahma, and not what is worshipped as this (any individual being which is perceived).
5. Know that, which does not think by the mind, and by which they say the mind is thought, even as Brahma, and not what is worshipped as this.
6. Know that which does not see by the eye, and by which they see the eyes, as Brahma, and not what is worshipped as this.
7. Know that which does not hear by the ear, and by which this ear is heard, even as Brahma, and not what is worshipped as this.
8. Know that, which does not breathe by breath, and by which breath is breathed, even as Brahma, and not what is worshipped as this.
1. If thou thinkest, I know well (Brahma), (I say), what thou knowest of the nature of that Brahma, (with reference to the soul) is indeed little, (it is indeed little) what thou (knowest) of his (nature) with reference to the deities; therefore is (Brahma (even to be considered by thee. (The pupil says:) I think, he is known (to me). -I do not think, I know (him well) ; but I do not know, that I do not know (him). -"Whosoever amongst us knows that (tat) (word): "I do not know, that I do not know him," knows him (tat,Brahma).
3. By him (the knower of Brahma) who thinks that Brahma is not comprehended, Brahma is comprehended; he, who (not knowing Brahma) thinks that Brahma is comprehended, does not know him. (Brahma) is unknown to those who (think to) know him, (and) known to those who do not (think to) know him.
4. If he is known to be the nature of every thought, he is comprehended (Hence, from this knowledge) (a person) gains immortality. (A person) gains power by the soul (by one’s own self), (and) by knowledge immortality.
5. If in this world (a person) knows (the soul), then the true end (of all human aspiration) is (gained); if a person in this world does not know (the soul), there will be great calamity. The wise who discern in all beings (the one nature of Brahma) become immortal, after departing from this world.
1. Brahma was once victorious for the sake of the gods. By the victory of Brahma the gods obtained majesty. They reflected: To us belongs this victory, to us belongs this majesty.
2. He knew even that (delusion) of them; he manifested himself to them. They did not know him (and asked each other): Is this (being) worthy of adoration?
3. They spoke to Agni: Jātavēda, do ascertain, whether this being is worthy of adoration. (He replied :) Be it so.
4. He (Agni) ran up to him (Brahma).-He (Brahma) said: Who art thou ? He answered: I am verily Agni, I am verily Jātavēda.
5. (Bramha asked him :) What power hast thou, who art of such a nature 1 (Agni replied:) I can even burn whatsoever there is on earth.
6. He placed a blade of grass before him (saying): Burn this. Approaching it with all his might, he could not burn it. He thence returned (saying): I could not ascertain, whether this being is worthy of adoration.
7. Then they spoke to Vāju: Vāju, do ascertain, whether this being is worthy of adoration. (He replied :) Be it so.
8. He (Vāju) ran up to him. He (Brahma) said: Who art thou? He answered: I am verily Vāju, I am verily Mātaris'wā.
9. (Brahma asked him:) What power hast thou, who art of such a nature? (Vāju replied:) I can even sweep away whatsoever there is on earth.
10. He placed a blade of grass before him (saying): Sweep away this. Approaching it with all his might, he could not sweep it away. He thence returned (saying): I could not ascertain, whether this being is worthy of adoration.
11. Then they spoke to Indra: Maghavan, do ascertain, whether this being is worthy of adoration. (He replied:) Be it so. He (Indra) ran up to him. He (Brahma) disappeared before him.
12. There in the ether he met with a woman, highly adorned, with Umā, the daughter of Himavat. He asked her: Is this being worthy of adoration?
1. She said, it is Brahma; for verily in this victory of Brahma you obtained majesty. Hence (from the word of Umā) he (Indra) even knew Brahma.
2. Therefore verily those gods, Agni, Vāju and Indra, became excellent before the other gods; for they nearest touched that Brahma; they first knew that Brahma.
3. Therefore verily Indra became excellent before the other gods'; for he nearest touched that Brahma; he first knew that Brahma.
4. This is a declaration (in illustration) of him, he shone forth like (the splendour) of the lightning; he disappeared like (the twinkling) of the eye. This (is the comparison of Brahma) with reference to the deities.
5. Then (follows a comparison of Brahma) with reference to the soul. The mind approaches, as it were, to this (Brahma) ; by the mind one recollects him; (by the mind) he is again and again ascertained.
6. He is verily to be adored by that (individual soul). By the name of the adorable he is to be worshipped. All beings pray to him who thus knows that (Brahma.)
7. (The pupil speaks:) O venerable, tell the Upanishad. (The teacher answers:) The Upanishad is made known to thee, we have explained to thee the Upanishad, referring to Brahma.
8. (The means) for its obtainment (are): Restraint (of the senses), subduing (of them) and work ; the V6das with all their members are its foundation, truth its abode.
9. Whoever knows it (the Upanishad) in such a manner, after having shaken of all sin, abides in the eternal, glorious place of heaven, abides in heaven.
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL SANSCRIT.
By Dr. E. Roer.
PRINTED BY T. J. M'ARTHUR, BISHOP’S COLLEGE PRESS.