First Chapter.

1. The enquirers after Brahma converse (among each other):
What cause is Brahma?  Whence are (we) produced? By whom do we live, and where do we (ultimately) abide? By whom governed, do we walk after a rule in happiness and unhappiness, O ye knowers of Brahma?

2. Is time Brahma (as cause) or the own nature of things, or the necessary consequences of work, or accident, or the elements, or nature (Yoni) or the soul? This must be considered.-It is not the union of them, because the soul remains; the soul (the individual soul) also is not powerful (to be the author of the creation) since there is (independent of it) a cause of happiness and unhappiness (viz. work).

3. They who followed abstract meditation (Dhyāna) and concentration (Yoga) beheld (as the cause of the creation) the power (Śakti) of the divine soul, - concealed by its own qualities, of the divine soul, which alone superintends all those causes, of which time was the first, and soul (the individual soul) the last.

4. Him we consider as (a wheel) which has one circumference, which is covered by three (layers, of which the circumference is composed), which has sixteen end parts (probably the several pieces of wood, of which the circumference consists), which has fifty spokes and twenty counter-spokes, which has six times eight nails (appendants), which has one rope of various form, whose road is three-fold divided, and which has one revolution for two traces.

5. Him we consider as a river, whose water is derived from five currents (the five senses of intellect), which is fearful and crooked, by its five sources (the five elements), whose waves are the five (vital) airs, whose origin is the producer of the five senses of intellect (the mind), which has five -whirlpools, (the objects of the senses), which is impelled by the velocity of the five kinds of pain, which is divided by the five kinds of misery, and which has five turnings.-

6. In this wheel of Brahma, which is the support, as well as the end of all beings, which is infinite, roams about the pilgrim soul, when it fancies itself and the (supreme) ruler different; it obtains immortality, when it is upheld, by him (the supreme ruler.).

7. This is verily declared as the supreme Brahma. In him the three (the enjoyer or finite soul, the objects of enjoyment and the supreme ruler) (are found); (therefore he is) a good founder and indestructible. The knowers of Brahma, knowing him in this (universe) as different (from it), become free from birth, when they are absorbed in Brahma and steady in abstract meditation.

8. The Ruler (the absolute soul) upholds this universe, which in closest union is manifest and not manifest, destructible and indestructible ; but the soul, which is not the ruler, is enchained by the condition of an enjoyer; when it knows god (the supreme ruler), it is liberated from all bonds.

9. They are alwise the one, and ignorant the other, both unborn, omnipotent the one, and without power the other; (nature) is even unborn, and united with the enjoyer and objects of enjoyment; the soul is infinite, the universe its nature, and therefore without agency. When a person knows this Brahma as this threefold (world), (then he becomes liberated).

10. The first (nature, Pradhāna) is perishable, the destroyer (Hara; god is called Hara, because he destroys all ignorance, etc.) is immortal and imperishable; he, the only god, rules perishable (nature) and the (individual) soul. By meditation upon him, by uniting with him (the whole world), by again and again thinking one's self as the truth, at last ensues cessation of every delusion, (or cessation of the delusion of the world).

11. By knowledge of god (dēva) all the bonds (of ignorance, unhappiness, etc.) are destroyed; birth and death cease with a decrease of pain of every kind. By the meditation (Abhidhyāna) on him (in his relation to the world) the third state (of Brahma as Virāt, or as the cause of the world) whose power equals the universe, (is obtained) at the separation from the body. (By the meditation upon Brahma) in his own independent nature (free from every relation to the world) a person obtains all desires, (becomes Brahma in accordance with his real nature).

12. This (the absolute nature of Brahma) should be thought as eternal, and as abiding in one’s own soul (this may also be translated "founded in its own majesty"); for beside him there is nothing to be known. Knowing the enjoyer (the individual soul), the objects of enjoyment and the dispenser (the supreme ruler), (knowing) all these three kinds even as Brahma, (a person obtains liberation).

13. As the nature of fire, when concealed in its cause (the wood) is not perceived, nor also a destruction of its subtle body, as it is again (and again) perceived in its cause, the wood, (by rubbing),-as both is (perceived and not perceived), so (the soul is perceived) within the body by the sacred word (Om).

14. Having made his own body the lower piece of wood, and the sacred word the upper piece, a person by practice of abstract meditation, which serves as rubbing, will behold god, as the concealed (fire becomes visible to him by rubbing).

15. As oil in sesame seed (is found by pressing it), butter in curds (by churning them), water in a river (by digging the ground), and fire in the two pieces of wood (by rubbing them),-so is that (absolute soul) perceived within his own self (soul) by a person who beholds him by truth and by austerity (characterized by the subduing of the senses and the mind),

16. (Who beholds) as the all-pervading soul, like butter contained in milk, as the root of the knowledge of the soul and of austerity, that Brahma, upon whom the last end is founded, upon whom the last end is founded.


1. Concentrating first the mind and the senses of intellect (upon Brahma) for the acquiring of truth, may Savitri, having seen the illuminating fire, bring it to the earth.

2. By the grace of the divine Savitri (let us) with concentrated mind (strive) according to our power for the attainment of heaven.

3. Having united the senses (dēvān) through which heaven is gained, with the mind (and) with intellect, let Savitri cause them to manifest the divine infinite light.

4. Great praise (is to be given) to the all-pervading, infinite, alwise Savitri, the knower of (all) intelligent creatures, the one alone, who has arranged the sacrificial rites by the Brāhmaṇas who have concentrated their mind, who have concentrated their senses.

5. I worship your ancient Brahma with reverence; (my) Ślokas will be praised as wise men on a good path; all the sons of the immortal (Prajāpati, viz. the gods, his parts) who inhabit divine dwellings, hear (them).

6. (At the sacrifice) where the fire is kindled, where (in the vessels, appertaining to it) the wind is noisy, where the Soma-juice remains, (when it has been poured in the sacrificial cup), there mind does attend.

7. Worship ye, the ancient Brahma by Savitri, the creator; in him do thou make (thy) entrance (which is characterized by concentration); for thy former work (ceremonial work) does not bind thee.

8. Keeping the upper parts (the chest, neck, and the head) erect and equal to the (other parts of the) body, subduing within the heart the senses together with the mind, let the wise by the raft of Brahma (Om) cross over all the fearful torrents (of the world).

9. Keeping down the senses (Prāṇān), subduing his desires, and gently respiring by the nostrils, let the wise diligently attend to the mind, as (the charioteer) to a car, drawn by vicious horses.

10. At a level place, free from pebbles, fire, and gravel, pleasant to the mind by its sounds, water, and bowers, not painful to the eye, and repairing to a cave, protected from the wind, let a person apply (his mind to god).

11. These appearances precede the concentration by which the manifestation of Brahma is effected; it (Brahma) assumes the form of frost, of smoke, of hot air, of wind, of fire, of fire-flies, of lightning, of crystal, and of the moon.

12. When (in the Yogi's body) composed of earth, water, light, air and ether, the five-fold qualities which mark concentration (v. the next verse), are manifest, then there is no disease, or age, or pain for him, who has obtained the body burning with the fire of concentration.

13. When the body is light and without disease, the mind without desire, when the colour is shining, sweet the voice and pleasant the smell, when the excrements are few, they say, the first degree of concentration is gained.

14. As a piece (of gold or silver), covered with earth, when cleansed, shines like light, so the embodied soul, when beholding the true nature of the soul (of itself) becomes one, obtains its true end, and every pain ceases.

15. When, absorbed in this concentration, (the Yogi) sees by the true nature of his own self, which manifests like a light, the true nature of Brahma, which is not born, eternal and free from all effects of nature  (or, as Śankara explains "tāttwa" from the effects of ignorance), he gets released from all bonds.

16. For he (the Yogi) is the god who is born before all the quarters and intermediate quarters (Hiraṇyagarbha), he is indeed within the womb, he is born, he will be born; in the shape of all he dwells in every creature.

17. To the god who is in the fire, who is in the water, who entered the universe, who is in the annual herbs, and who is in the regents of the forest, (the trees), to this god be reverence, to him be reverence.


1. He, who is only one, possessed of delusion, (Māyā) rules by his ruling powers, rules all the world by his ruling powers,-he, who is ever one-in their (the worlds’) origin and manifestation. They who know him, become immortal.

2. For it is one Rudra only -(the knowers of Brahma) acknowledge not a second,-who rules these worlds with his ruling powers, who dwells within every man, and who, having created all the worlds (and being their) protector, gets wrathful at the time of the end (destroys them).

3. He is the eye of all, the face of all, the arm of all, nay the foot of all. He joins (man) man with arms, the bird with wings, the one god, when creating the heaven and the earth. 

4. May Rudra, the lord of the universe, the alwise (Maharshi) who produced the gods and gave them majesty, and who created at first Hiraṇyagarbha, -strengthen us with auspicious intellect.

5. With thy form, O Rudra, which is auspicious, which is not dreadful (or which is exceedingly dreadful), and which manifests what is holy, with that all-blessed form, O dispenser of happiness from the mountain, look upon us.

6. O dispenser of happiness from the mountain, make propitious the arrow, which thou holdest in thy hand to throw upon the creatures; O guardian of the mountain, do not injure man, or the world.

7. Those who know Brahma, who is greater than the universe, the great one, the infinite, who is concealed within all beings according to their bodies, the only pervader of the whole universe, the ruler,- become immortal.

8. I know that perfect, infinite spirit, who is like the sun after darkness. Thus knowing him, a person overcomes death; there is no other road for obtaining (liberation).

9. By him, than whom nothing is greater, than whom nothing more subtle, nothing older, who one alone stands in the heavens like an unshaken tree, by him, the perfect spirit (Purusha), all this is pervaded.

10. Those who know him as different from the cause of that (world), as destitute of form and pain, become immortal; again to the others unhappiness is allotted.

11. He is the face, the head, and neck of all; he dwells in the cavity (of the heart) of all beings, pervades all, (and) is all-glorious; therefore he is omnipresent, propitious.

12, He is the great, the lord in truth, the perfect one, the mover of all that is, the ruler of the purest bliss, he is light and everlasting.

13. He is the perfect spirit (Purusha), of the measure of a thumb, the inner soul, who always abides in the heart of every man, the ruler of knowledge, who is concealed by the heart and mind. Those who know him, become immortal.

14. The perfect spirit of thousand heads, of thousand eyes, and thousand feet, pervading everywhere (internally and externally) the world, dwells ten fingers above (the navel in the heart).

15. The perfect spirit is the Ruler of this all, of all that was, that is to be, and grows by food, yea that is immortal.

16. Everywhere having his hands and feet, everywhere his eyes and face, everywhere his ears, he pervades all within the world (body).

17. He who shines forth with the qualities of all the senses, is devoid of all the senses. (They call him) the lord of all, the ruler of all, the infinite support.

18. Embodied in the town of nine gates, the soul (Hansa,) moves to things without, subduing the whole world, all that is immoveable and moveable.

19. Without hands and feet he speeds, he takes; without eye he sees, without ear he hears. He knows all that is to be known, yet none is there that knows him. They call him the supreme, great soul (Purusha).

20. He is more subtle than what is subtle, greater than what is great, the soul, dwelling in the cavity (of the heart) of this creature. He who sees by the grace of the creator the glorious ruler as devoid of action, becomes free from grief.

21. I know him, the undecaying, ancient, the soul of all, omnipresent by his pervading nature, whom the knowers of Brahma call unborn, whom the knowers of Brahma call everlasting.


1. He, who one alone, (and) without distinction, by his union with many powers (Śakti) creates infinite distinctions, according to their necessity, and into whom the world at last (at the time of universal destruction) is dissolved, is God. May he grant us auspicious intellect.

2. He, (the nature of Brahma) is even fire, he the sun (Āditya) he the wind, he the moon, he even the brilliant (stars), he Brahma, he is the waters, he is Prajāpati.

3. Thou art woman, thou art man, thou art the youth, and even the maid, thou art the old man trembling on his staff, thou art born, thy face is the universe.

4. Thou art the black bee, the green bird with red-coloured eye, (the parrot,) the cloud, in whose womb the lightning sleeps, the seasons, the seas; without beginning thou embracest all; for by thee are all the worlds created.

5. The one, unborn (the individual soul) for his enjoyment approaches the one, unborn (nature), which is red, white and black, of one form, and producing a manifold offspring; the other, who is unborn, abandons her (nature) whose enjoyment he has enjoyed.

6. Two birds, (the supreme and the individual souls) always united, of equal name, dwell upon one and the same tree (the body). The one of them (the individual soul), enjoys the sweet fruit of the fig-tree, the other (the supreme soul) looks round as a witness.

7. Dwelling on the same tree (with the supreme soul) the deluded soul (the individual soul), immersed, (in the relations of the world) is grieved by the want of power; but when it sees the other, the (long) worshipped ruler as different (from all worldly relations) and his glory, then its grief ceases.

8. Of what use are the hymns of the Big to him that does not know him, the immortal letter of the Rig (or the eternal meaning of the Rig,) the highest ether, in whom all gods abide? But those who know him, obtain the highest end.

9. The sacred metres, the sacrifices, offerings, expiations, what has been, what is to be, and what the Vēdas declare, (all spring forth) from that (immortal letter). -United with delusion (Māyā), he creates the universe; to this the other (the individual) soul is chained by delusion (Māyā).

10. Know delusion (Māyā) as nature (Prakriti), him+ who is united with her, as the Great Ruler (Mahēśvara) this whole world in truth is pervaded by (powers which are) his parts.

11. Whoever comprehends him who, one alone, superintends the first producer and the other producers, in whom this all goes together (is dissolved at the time of destruction) and goes out (is produced in various ways at the time of creation),-whoever comprehends him, the ruler who grants the wish (of liberation), the praiseworthy god, obtains everlasting (absolute) peace.

12. May Rudra, the lord of the universe, the alwise, who produced the gods and gave them majesty, (and) who beheld the birth of Hiraṇyagarbha, strengthen us with auspicious intellect.

13. To the God who is the lord of the gods, in whom the worlds have their support, and who rules the bipeds and quadrupeds, let us bring an oblation.

14. Whoever knows him who is more subtle than what is subtle within that which is impervious (i. e. pervading the whole material creation), the creator of the universe, the many-shaped, the one penetrator of the universe, the all-blessed, gets everlasting peace.

15. Whoever knows him, who at the due time is the preserver of this world, who, concealed in all beings, is the lord of the universe, and with whom the Brahmarishis and the deities are united by concentration, cuts the bonds of death.

16. Whoever knows the blessed God, who, exceedingly subtle, like cream in clarified butter, is concealed in all beings, the one penetrator of the universe, gets liberated from all bonds.

17. That God, whose work is the universe, that supreme soul, who is always dwelling in the hearts of (all) beings, is revealed by the heart, discrimination (manīshā), and meditation (manasā). Those who know him, become immortal.

18. When there is no darkness (when all ignorance has disappeared), then there is neither day nor night, neither existence, nor nonexistence (all differences have ceased); (then there is) the all-blessed even alone. He is everlasting, he is to be adored by Savitri (the deity of the sun), from him alone has arisen the ancient knowledge (of Brahmā).

19. None is able to comprehend him in the space above, in the space below, or in the space between. For him whose name is the glory of the universe (or infinite glory), there is no likeness.

20. Not in the sight abides his form, none beholds him by the eye. Those who know him dwelling in the heart (in the ether of the heart) by the heart (pure intellect) and mind, become immortal.

21. "He is unborn;” thus thinking, someone perturbed (by the misery of the world) may be found (to pray): "O Rudra, let thy auspicious (dakshiṇa) face preserve me for ever.

22. Injure not our children, nor our grandchildren, nor our lives, nor our cows, nor our horses, nor slay in anger our valiant men; for with offerings we always invoke thee.


1. He, the immortal, infinite, supreme Brahma, in whom both knowledge and ignorance abide unmanifested,-ignorance verily is mortal, knowledge verily immortal,-and who again rules knowledge as well as ignorance, is different (from them.)

2. He, who one alone, superintends every source of production, every form, and all the sources of production, who endowed his son, the Rishi Kapila at the commencement of the creation with every kind of knowledge, and who looked at him, when he was born, 

3. That God, having in various ways changed every kind (of existing principles) in that field (of Māyā), destroys it (at last) again; having created the divine sages in the same manner (as at a former period of creation), the Ruler, the great soul, rules supreme over all.

4. As the sun, manifesting all parts of space, above, between, and below, shines resplendent, so over-rules the all-glorious, adorable God, one alone, all that exists in likeness with its cause.

5. He, who, the cause of the universe, brings to maturity the nature (of all), who changes all beings, which can be brought to maturity, who, one alone, overrules this whole universe, and who distributes all the qualities (to the things to which they belong),

6. He is concealed in the Upanishads, that are concealed in the Vedas. Him Brahma knows as the source of the Vēdas (or as the source of Hiraṇyagarbha.) The former gods and sages who knew him, became indeed of his own nature, (became) immortal.

7. (The individual soul) who, endowed with qualities, is the performer of work for the sake of its fruit, is even also the enjoyer of those actions. Possessed of various forms, endowed with the three qualities, the chooser between the three roads, the lord of life, he proceeds from birth to birth by his actions.

8. He, who, of the measure of a thumb, resembling the sun in splendour, endowed with determination and self-consciousness, and with the quality of intellect and the quality of his body, is perceived even as another (different from the universal soul, although it is one with it) only like the iron thong at the end (of a whip).

9. The embodied soul is to be thought like the hundredth part of the point of a hair, divided into hundred parts; he is considered to be infinite.

10. He is not woman, he is not man, nor hermaphrodite; he is kept by anybody which he may assume.

11. As by the use of food and drink the body grows, so the individual soul, by volition, touch, sight, and delusion, assumes successively forms in accordance with its action in the various places (of production).

12. The individual soul choses (assumes) by its qualities, (by the impressions remaining rom its former actions) manifold, gross, or subtle forms. By the qualities of its actions, and by the qualities of its body it appears, although it is without any difference, the cause of union with those forms.

13. Whoever knows the God who is without commencement, without end, who within this impervious (world) is the creator of the universe, who is of an infinite form, the one penetrator of the universe, becomes liberated from all bonds.

14. Those who know the God, who is to be comprehended by thought (purified intellect), who is incorporeal (immaterial), who is the cause of existence and non-existence, who is all-blessed, and the cause of the origin of the (sixteen) parts, relinquish their bodies.


1. From delusion some sages say, that the own nature of things (is the cause of the universe), others, that time it is; but it is the glory of God in the world, by which (glory) this wheel of Brahma revolves.

2. For over-ruled by him, by whom this all is eternally pervaded, who is alwise, the lord of time, possessed of (all) qualities, omniscient, turns round the creation, which is to be thought as earth, water, fire, air, and ether.

3. Having created this work (the world), and reflecting on it again, he causes principle (the soul) to be joined with principle (the principle of nature), viz. with one, or two, or three, or eight (principles,) also with time and with the subtle qualities of intellect (ātma.)

4. Whoever, after he has performed works endowed with (their) qualities, places them and all his fondness (upon God),-(for), if they (the works) not exist, the effects also cease,-obtains by the cessation of work that which is different from the principles (of nature).

5. He is the commencement (of all), the origin of the causes, by which (the body) is united (with the soul); beyond the threefold-divided time, he appears also without time. Whosoever worships in his mind the adorable God, whose nature is the universe, who is the true origin and abides in his own heart, (obtains what is different from the principles of nature.)

6. Whoever knows him, who is greater than the forms of the tree (of the world) and of time, and different (from either), dependent upon whom this universe turns round, who is the establisher of virtue, and the destroyer of sin, the lord of all glory, who abides in one’s self, and is immortal, (obtains that which is different from the material principles of creation.)

7. We know him, the supreme great Ruler of all rulers, the supreme deity of all deities, the lord of lords, greater than what is greatest, the resplendent, the praiseworthy Ruler of the worlds.

8. There is no effect for him, or a cause; there is none perceived that is like him or superior to him. The supreme power of him is declared to be various; (viz.) it is dependent upon himself, and acting according to (his) knowledge and power.

9. There is in the world no lord of him, nor a ruler, nor also a cause; he is the cause, the sovereign of the sovereign of causes; for him there is no producer, no sovereign.

10. May the one God, who, like the spider, through his own nature, encases himself with many threads, which are produced by the first (cause, Pradhāna, nature,) grant us identity with Brahma,-

11. The one God, who is concealed in all beings, who pervades all, who is the inner soul of all beings, the ruler of all actions, who dwells in all beings, the witness, who is mere thinking, and without qualities, - 

12. The only self-dependent among the many (souls) which are not active, who makes manifold the one seed. The wise who perceive him as placed within their own selves, obtain eternal bliss, not others.

13. He is the eternal one among those that are eternal, the conscious one among those that are conscious,-the one among the many who dispenses desirable objects. Whoever knows this cause, the god who is to be comprehended by the Sānkhya and Yoga, is liberated from all bonds.

14. There (with regard to Brahma) does not manifest the sun, nor the moon and stars, there do not manifest those lightnings, -how then should manifest this (earthly) fire? When he is manifest (by himself), all gets manifest after him. By his manifestation this whole (world) becomes manifest.

15. He is the one Hansa in the midst of this world, he is even fire, entered into water. Knowing him, one overcomes death; there is no other road for obtaining (the last end of man).

16. He creates the universe, and knows the universe, he is the soul (of all) and the origin (of all), the sovereign of time, endowed with (all) qualities (of perfection); he is omniscient, the lord of the first cause (Pradhāna, the first form of creative nature) and of the conscious embodied being, the Ruler of the (three) qualities, and the cause of the liberation, existence and bondage with reference to the world.

17. He is like himself, immortal, and abiding in the form of Ruler, alwise, omnipresent, the preserver of this world; he rules eternally this world; there is no other cause of the dominion (of the world).

18. Let me, desirous of liberation, approach the protection of the God, the manifester of the knowledge of himself, who at first, (at the commencement of the creation) created Brahma, and who gave him the Vēdas;-

19. Who is without parts, without action, who is tranquil, blameless, without spot, the last bridge to immortality, (brilliant) like fire when it consumes the wood.

20. Until man is able to compress the ether like leather, there will be no end of misery, except through the knowledge of God.

21. The sage S'w6t6s'watara, by the power of his austerity and the grace of God, has verily declared to the most excellent of the four orders, the supreme holy Brahma, who is adored as all in all by all the Rishis.

22. The deepest mystery of the Vedānta is not to be declared to a son, or again to a pupil, whose (mind or senses) are not subdued.

23. To the high-minded who has an absolute reliance in God, and as in God, also in the teacher, reveal themselves the meanings, declared (in this Upanishad), reveal themselves those meanings.