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English translation of
Holy Upanishads - Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

English translation by Swami Nikhilananda
taken from http://sanatan.intnet.mu/

Part 3

Chapter I—Yajnavalkya and Asvala

1
Om. Janaka, Emperor of Videha, performed a sacrifice in which gifts were freely distributed among the priests. Brahmin scholars from the countries of Kuru and Panchala were assembled there. Emperor Tanaka of Videha wished to know which of these brahmins was the most erudite Vedic scholar. So he confined a thousand cows in a pen and fastened on the horns of each ten padas of gold.

2
He said to them: "Venerable brahmins, let him among you who is the best Vedic scholar drive these cows home." 
None of the brahmins dared. Then Yajnavalkya said to one of his pupils: "Dear Samsrava, drive these cows home." He drove them away. 
The brahmins were furious and said: "How does he dare to call himself the best Vedic scholar among us?" 
Now among them there was Asvala, the hotri priest of Emperor Janaka of Videha. He asked Yajnavalkya: "Are you indeed the best Vedic scholar among us, O Yajnavalkya?" 
He replied: "I bow to the best Vedic scholar, but I just wish to have these cows." 
Thereupon the hotri Asvala determined to question him.

3
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "since everything here (i.e. connected with the sacrifice) is overtaken by death, since everything is overcome by death, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of death?" 
"Through the hotri priest and the organ of speech looked upon as fire. The sacrificer's organ of speech is the hotri. This organ of speech is fire; this fire is the hotri; this fire is the means to liberation; this is complete liberation."

4
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "since everything here is overtaken by day and night, since everything is overcome by day and night, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of day and night?" 
"Through the adhvaryu priest and the eye looked upon as the sun. The sacrificer's eye is the adhvaryu. This eye is the sun. This sun is the adhvaryu; this sun is the means to liberation; this is complete liberation."

5
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "since everything here is overtaken by the bright and dark fortnights, since everything is overcome by the bright and dark fortnights, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of the bright and dark fortnights?" 
"Through the udgatri priest and the vital breath looked upon as the air. This vital breath is the udgatri. This vital breath is the air; this air is the udgatri; this air is the means to liberation; this is complete liberation."

6
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "since the sky is, as it were, without a support, by means of what support does the sacrificer go to heaven?" 
"Through the Brahma priest and the mind looked upon as the moon. The sacrificer's mind is the Brahma. The mind is the moon; this moon is the Brahma; this moon is the means to liberation; this is complete liberation. 
So far about the ways of liberation; now about the meditation based upon resemblance.

7
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "how many kinds of Rig verses will the hotri priest use today in this sacrifice?" 
"Three kinds." 
"And which are these three?" 
"The introductory, the sacrificial and the eulogistic as the third." 
"What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?" 
"All this that has life."

8
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "how many kinds of oblations will the adhvaryu priest offer today in this sacrifice?" 
"Three." 
"And which are these three?" 
"Those which, when offered, blaze upward; those which, when offered, make a great noise; and those which, when offered, sink down." 
"What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?" 
"By those which, when offered, blaze upward, he wins the world of the gods; for the world of the gods shines bright, as it were. By those which, when offered, make a great noise, he wins the world of the Manes; for this world of the Manes is excessively noisy. By those which, when offered, sink down, he wins the world of men; for the world of men is down below."

9
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "with how many gods does the Brahma priest seated on the right protect the sacrifice today?" 
"With one." 
"Which is that one?" 
"The mind. The mind is indeed infinite and infinite are the Visve—devas. An infinite world he (the sacrificer) wins thereby."

10
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "how many kinds of hymns of praise will the udgatri priest chant today in this sacrifice?" 
"Three." 
"And which are these three?" 
"The introductory, the sacrificial and the eulogistic "Which are those that have reference to the body?" "The prana is the introductory hymn, the apana is hymn and the vyana is the eulogistic hymn." 
"What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?" 
"Through the introductory hymn he wins the earth, through the sacrificial hymn he wins the sky and through the eulogistic hymn he wins heaven. 
Thereupon the priest Asvala held his peace.

Chapter II—Yajnavalkya and Artabhaga

1
Then Artabhaga, of the line of Jaratkaru, questioned him. 
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "how many grahas (organs) are there and how many atigrahas (objects)?" 
"Eight grahas," he replied, "and eight atigrahas." 
"And which are these eight grahas and eight atigrahas?"

2
"The Prana (the nose), indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the apana (odour), the atigraha; for one smells odours through apana (the air breathed in).

3
"The vak (the organ of speech), indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, name; for one utters names through the organ of speech.

4
"The tongue, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, taste; for one knows tastes by the tongue.

5
"The eye, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha colour; for one sees colours through the eye.

6
"The ear, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha sound; for one hears sounds with the ear.

7
"The mind, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha desire; for through the mind one cherishes desires.

8
"The hands, indeed, are the graha; they are controlled by the atigraha, work; for one performs work by means of the hands.

9
"The skin, indeed, is the graha; it is controlled by the atigraha, touch; for one feels touch through the skin. These are the eight grahas and eight atigrahas."

10
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "since all this is the food of death, who, pray, is that god to whom death is the food?" 
"Fire, indeed, is death; it is the food of water. One who knows this conquers further death."

11
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "when this liberated person dies, do his organs depart from him or not?" 
"No," replied Yajnavalkya, "they merge in him only. The body swells, is inflated and in that state the dead body lies at rest."

12
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "when such a man dies, what is it that does not leave him?" 
"The name. For the name is infinite and infinite are the Visve—devas. He who knows this wins thereby an infinite world."

13
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "when the vocal organ of this dead person merges in fire, the nose in air, the eye in the sun, the mind in the moon, the ear in the quarters, the body in the earth, the akasa (space) in the heart in the external akasa, the hair on the body in the herbs, the hair on the head in the trees and the blood and semen are deposited in water, where is that person then?" 
Yajnavalkya said: "Give me your hand, dear Artabhaga. We shall decide this between ourselves; we cannot do it in a crowd." 
Then they went out and deliberated and what they talked about was karma (work) and what they praised was karma: one becomes good through good karma and evil through evil karma. 
Thereupon Artabhaga, of the line of Jaratkaru, held his peace.

Chapter III—Yajnavalkya and Bhujyu

1
Next Bhujyu, the grandson of Lahya, questioned him. 
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "we were travelling in the country of Madra as religious students, when we came to the house of Patanchala, of the line of Kapi. His daughter was possessed by a gandharva. 
We asked him: 'Who are you?' He said: 'I am Sudhanvan, of the line of Angiras.' While asking him about the limits of the world, we said: 'Where were the descendants of Parikshit?' And likewise I ask you, Yajnavalkya, where were the descendants of Parikshit? Tell me, where were the descendants of Parikshit?"

2
Yajnavalkya said: "The gandharva, I suppose, told you that they went where those who perform the Horse—sacrifice go." 
"And where do they go who have performed the Horse—sacrifice?" 
"Thirty—two times the space traversed by the sun's chariot in a day makes this plane (loka); around it, covering twice the area, is the world (prithivi); around the world, covering twice the area, is the ocean. Now, as is the edge of a razor or the wing of a fly, so is there just that much space between the two halves of the cosmic shell. Through that opening they go out. "Fire, in the form of a falcon, delivered them to Vayu. Vayu, placing them in itself, took them where previous performers of the Horse—sacrifice were." 
Thus did the gandharva praise Vayu. Therefore Vayu alone is the aggregate of all individuals. He who knows this, as stated above, conquers further death.
Thereupon Bhujyu, the grandson of Lahya, held his peace.

Chapter IV—Yajnavalkya and Ushasta

1
Then Ushasta, the son of Chakra, questioned him.
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "explain to me the Brahman that is immediately and directly perceived—the self that is within all." 
"This is your self that is within all." 
"Which self is within all, Yajnavalkya?" 
"That which breathes through the prana is your self that is within all. That which moves downward through the apana is your self that is within all. That which pervades through the vyana is your self that is within all. That which goes out with the udana is your self that is within all. This is your self that is within all."

2
Ushasta, the son of Chakra, said: "You have explained it as one might say: 'Such is a cow,' 'Such is a horse.' Tell me precisely the Brahman that is immediate and direct—the self that is within all." 
"This is your self that is within all." 
"Which is within all, Yajnavalkya?" 
"You cannot see the seer of seeing; you cannot hear the hearer of hearing; you cannot think of the thinker of thinking; you cannot know the knower of knowing. This is your self that is within all; everything else but this is perishable." 
Thereupon Ushasta, the son of Chakra, held his peace.

Chapter V—Yajnavalkya and Kahola

1
Next Kahola, the son of Kushitaka, questioned him. 
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "explain to me the Brahman that is directly and immediately perceived—the self that is within all." 
"This is your self that is within all." 
"Which self is within all, Yajnavalkya ?" 
"It is that which transcends hunger and thirst, grief, delusion, old age and death. Having realized this Self, brahmins give up the desire for sons, the desire for wealth and the desire for the worlds and lead the life of religious mendicants. That which is the desire for sons is the desire for wealth and that which is the desire for wealth is the desire for the worlds; for both these are but desires. 
Therefore a brahmin, after he is done with scholarship, should try to live on that strength which comes of scholarship. After he is done with that strength and scholarship, he becomes meditative and after he is done with both meditativeness and non—meditativeness, he becomes a knower of Brahman. 
"How does the knower of Brahman behave? Howsoever he may behave, he is such indeed. 
Everything else but this is perishable." 
Thereupon Kahola, the son of Kushitaka, held his peace.

Chapter VI—Yajnavalkya and Gargi (I)

1
Then Gargi, the daughter of Vachaknu, questioned him. 
"Yajnavalkya ," said she, "if all this is pervaded by water, by what, pray, is water pervaded?" 
"By air, O Gargi." 
"By what, pray, is air pervaded?" 
"By the sky, O Gargi." 
"By what is the sky pervaded?" 
"By the world of the gandharvas, O Gargi." 
"By what is the world of the gandharvas pervaded?" 
"By the world of the sun, O Gargi. 
"By what is the world of the sun pervaded?" 
"By the world of the moon, O Gargi." 
"By what is the world of the moon pervaded?" 
"By the world of the stars, O Gargi." 
"By what is the world of the stars pervaded?" 
"By the world of the gods, O Gargi." 
"By what is the world of the gods pervaded?" 
"By the world of Indra, O Gargi. 
"By what is the world of Indra pervaded?" 
"By the World of Virij, O Gargi. 
"By what is the World of Virij pervaded?" 
"By the World of Hiranyagarbha, O Gargi." 
"By what, pray, is the World of Hiranyagarbha pervaded?" 
"Do not, O Gargi," said he, "question too much, lest your head should fall off. You are questioning too much about a deity about whom we should not ask too much. Do not ask too much, O Gargi." 
Thereupon Gargi, the daughter of Vachaknu, held her peace.

Chapter VII—Yajnavalkya and Uddalaka

1
Then Uddalaka, the son of Aruna, questioned him. 
"Yajnavalkya," said he, "in the country of Madra we lived in the house of Patanchala, of the line of Kapi, studying the scriptures on the sacrifices. His wife was possessed by a gandharva. We asked him: 'Who are you?' He said: 'I am Kabandha, the son of Atharvan.' He said to Patanchala Kapya and those studying the scriptures on the sacrifices: 'O descendant of Kapi, do you know that Sutra by which this world, the other world and all beings are held together?' Patanchala Kapya said: 'I do not know it, venerable Sir.' Then he said to Patanchala Kapya and those studying the scriptures on the sacrifices: 'O descendant of Kapi, do you know that Inner Controller who controls this world, the next world and all beings?' Patanchala Kapya said: 'I do not know him, venerable Sir.' Then he said to Patanchala Kapya and those studying the scriptures on the sacrifices: 'O descendant of Kapi, he who knows that Sutra and that Inner Controller indeed knows Brahman; he knows the worlds, he knows the gods, he knows the Vedas, he knows the beings, he knows the self, he knows everything.' He explained it all to them and I know it. If you, Yajnavalkya, do not know that Sutra and that Inner Controller and still take away the cows that belong only to the knowers of Brahman, your head will fall off." 
"I know, O Gautama, that Sutra and that Inner Controller." 
"Anyone might say: 'I know, I know.' Tell us what you know."

2
Yajnavalkya said: "Vayu, O Gautama, is that Sutra. By Vayu, as by a thread, O Gautama, are this world, the other world and all beings held together. Therefore, O Gautama, they say of a person who dies that his limbs have been loosened; for they are held together by Vayu as by a thread." 
"Quite so, Yajnavalkya. Now describe the Inner Controller."

3
Yajnavalkya said: "He who inhabits the earth, yet is within the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is and who controls the earth from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.

4—14
"He who inhabits water, yet is within water, whom water does not know, whose body water is and who controls water from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits fire, yet is within fire, whom fire does not know, whose body fire is and who controls fire from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the sky, yet is within the sky, whom the sky does not know, whose body the sky is and who controls the sky from within 
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits the air, yet is within the air, whom the air does not know, whose body the air is and who controls the air from within 
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits heaven, yet is within heaven, whom heaven does not know, whose body heaven is and who controls heaven from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the sun, yet is within the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is and who controls the sun from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the quarters of space, yet is within them, whom the quarters do not know, whose 
body the quarters are and who controls the quarters from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the moon and stars, yet is within the moon and stars, whom the moon and stars do not know, whose body the moon and stars are and who controls the moon and stars from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the akasa, yet is within the akasa, whom the akasa does not know, whose body the akasa is and who controls the akasa from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits darkness, yet is within darkness, whom darkness does not know, whose body darkness is and who controls darkness from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits light, yet is within light, whom light does not know, whose body light is and who controls light from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal." 
This much with reference to the gods (adhidaivatam). Now with reference to beings (adhibhutam).

Continued...

15
Yajnavalkya said: "He who inhabits all beings, yet is within all beings, whom no beings know, whose body all beings are and who controls all beings from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal." 
This much with reference to the beings. Now with reference to the body.

16
Yajnavalkya said: "He who inhabits the nose (prana), yet is within the nose, whom the nose does not know, whose body the nose is and who controls the nose from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the organ of speech, yet is within speech, whom speech does not know, whose body speech is and who controls speech from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the eye, yet is within the eye, whom the eye does not know, whose body the eye is and who controls the eye from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.
"He who inhabits the ear, yet is within the ear, whom the ear does not know, whose body the ear is and who controls the ear from within 
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the mind, yet is within the mind, whom the mind does not know, whose body the mind is and who controls the mind from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the skin, yet is within the skin, whom the skin does not know, whose body the skin is and who controls the skin from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.
"He who inhabits the intellect (vijnana), yet is within the intellect, whom the intellect does not know, whose body the intellect is and who controls the intellect from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He who inhabits the organ of generation, yet is within the organ, whom the organ does not know, whose body the organ is and who controls the organ from within
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. 
"He is never seen, but is the Seer; He is never heard, but is the Hearer; He is never thought of, but is the Thinker; He is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other seer than He, there is no other hearer than He, there is no other thinker than He, there is no other knower than He. He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. Everything else but Him is perishable." 
Thereupon Uddilaka, the son of Aruna, held his peace.

Chapter VIII—Yajnavalkya and Gargi (II)

1
Then the daughter of Vachaknu said: 'Venerable brahmins, I shall ask him two questions. If he answers me these, then none of you can defeat him in discussing Brahman." 
The brahmins said: "Ask, O Gargi."

2
Gargi said: "O Yajnavalkya, I shall ask you two questions: 
As a man of Kasi or the King of Videha, scion of a heroic line, might string his unstrung bow, take in his hand two bamboo—tipped arrows highly painful to enemies and approach his enemies closely, even so, O Yajnavalkya, do I confront you with two questions. Answer me these." 
"Ask, O Gargi."

3
She said: "O Yajnavalkya, what pervades that Sutra which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as what is between them and which—they say—was, is and will be?"

4
He said: "That, O Gargi, which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as what is between them and which—they say—was, is and will be, is pervaded by the unmanifested akasa.

5
She said: "I bow to you, O Yajnavalkya. You have fully answered this question of mine. Now brace yourself for the other." 
"Ask, O Gargi."

6—7
She said: "Yajnavalkya, what pervades that Sutra which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as what is between them and which—they say—was, is and will be?" 
He said: "That, O Gargi, which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as what is between them and which—they say—was, is and will be, is pervaded by the unmanifested akasa." 
"What pervades the akasa?"

8
He said: "That, O Gargi, the knowers of Brahman call the Imperishable. It is neither gross nor subtle, neither short nor long, neither red nor moist; It is neither shadow nor darkness, neither air nor akasa; It is unattached; It is without taste or smell, without eyes or ears, without tongue or mind; It is non—effulgent, without vital breath or mouth, without measure and without exterior or interior. It does not eat anything, nor is It eaten by anyone.

9
"Verily, under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, the sun and moon are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, heaven and earth are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, moments, muhurtas (about forty—eight minutes), days and nights, fortnights, months, seasons and years are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, some rivers flow eastward from the white mountains, others flowing westward continue in that direction and still others keep to their respective courses. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, men praise those who give, the gods depend upon the sacrificer and the Manes upon the Darvi offering.

10
"Whosoever in this world, O Gargi, without knowing this Imperishable, offers oblations, performs sacrifices and practises austerities, even for many thousands of years, finds all such acts but perishable. Whosoever, O Gargi, departs from this world without knowing this Imperishable is miserable. But he, O Gargi, who departs from this world after knowing the Imperishable is a knower of Brahman.

11
"Verily, that Imperishable, O Gargi, is never seen but is the Seer; It is never heard, but is the Hearer; It is never thought of, but is the Thinker; It is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other seer but This, there is no other hearer but This, there is no other thinker but This, there is no other knower but This. By this imperishable, O Gargi, is the unmanifested akasa pervaded."

12
Then said Gargi: "Venerable brahmins, you may consider yourselves fortunate if you can get off from him through bowing to him. None of you, I believe, will defeat him in arguments about Brahman. 
Thereupon the daughter of Vachaknu held her peace.

Chapter IX—Yajnavalkya and Vidaghdha

1
Then Vidaghdha, the son of Sakala, asked him: "How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
Yajnavalkya ascertained the number through the group of mantras known as the Nivid and said:
"As many as are mentioned in the Nivid of the Visve—devas—three hundred and three and three
thousand and three."
"Very good," said Sakalya (the son of Sakala) and asked again:
"How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Thirty—three."
"Very good," said Sakalya and asked again:
"How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Six."
"Very good," said Sakalya and asked again:
"How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Three."
"Very good," said Sakalya and asked again:
"How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Two."
"Very good," said Sakalya and asked again:
"How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"One and a half."
"Very good," said Sakalya and asked again:
"How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"One."
"Very good," said Sakalya and asked:
"Which are those three hundred and three and those three thousand and three?"

2
Yajnavalkya said: "There are only thirty—three gods. These others are but manifestations of them."
"Which are these thirty—three?"
"The eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras and the twelve Adityas—these are thirty—one. And Indra and
Prajapati make up the thirty—three."

3
"Which are the Vasus?" asked Sakalya.
"Fire, the earth, the air, the sky, the sun, heaven, the moon and the stars—these are the Vasus; for in
them all this universe is placed (vasavah). Therefore they are called Vasus.

4
"Which are the Rudras?" asked Sakalya.
"The ten organs in the human body, with the mind as the eleventh. When they depart from this
mortal body, they make one's relatives weep. Because they make them weep (rud), therefore they
are called Rudras.

5
"Which are the Adityas?" asked Sakalya.
"There are twelve months in the year. These are the Adityas, because they move along carrying
(adadanah) all this with them; therefore they are called Adityas."

6
"Which is Indra and which is Prajapati?" asked Sakalya.
"The thunderclap is Indra and the sacrifice is Prajapati."
"Which is the thunderclap?"
"The thunderbolt."
"Which is the sacrifice?"
"The animals."

7
"Which are the six gods?" asked Sakalya.
"Fire, the earth, the air, the sky, the sun and heaven; for these six comprise all those."

8
"Which are the three gods?" asked Sakalya.
"These three worlds, because all those gods are comprised in these three."
"Which are the two gods?"
"Matter and the vital breath (prana)."
"Which are the one and a half?"
"This air that blows."

9
Yajnavalkya said: "Concerning this some say: 'Since the air blows as one substance, how can it be
one and a half (adhyardha)?' The answer is: It is one and a half because by its presence everything
attains surpassing glory (adhyardhnot)."
"Which is the one God?"
"The vital breath (Hiranyagarbha); it is Brahman which is called That (Tyat)."

10
Sakalya said: "Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is the earth, whose organ of vision
is fire, whose light is the mind and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety, he indeed knows, O Yajnavalkya."
"I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety. It is the Being who is in this body. Go on, Sakalya."
"Who is His deity (cause)?"
"Nectar (chyle)," said Yajnavalkya.

11
Sakalya said: "Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is lust (kama), whose organ of
vision is the intellect, whose light is the mind and who is the ultimate support of the body and
organs in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yajnavalkya."
"I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety. It is the Being who is identified with lust. Go on, Sakalya."
"Who is His deity?"
"Women," said Yajnavalkya.

12
Sakalya said: "Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is colours, whose organ of vision is
the eye, whose light is the mind and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety, he indeed knows, O Yajnavalkya."
"I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety. It is the Being who is in the sun. Go on, Sakalya."
"Who is His deity?"
"Truth (the eye)," said Yajnavalkya.

13
Sakalya said: "Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is the akasa, whose organ of vision
is the ear, whose light is the mind and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety, he indeed knows, O Yajnavalkya."
"I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety. It is the Being who is identified with the ear and with the time of hearing. Go on, Sakalya."
"Who is His deity?"
"The quarters," said Yajnavalkya.

14
Sakalya said: "Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is darkness, whose organ of vision
is the intellect, whose light is the mind and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in
their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yajnavalkya."
"I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety. It is the Being who is identified with shadow (ignorance). Go on, Sakalya."
"Who is His deity?"
"Death," said Yajnavalkya.

15
Sakalya said: "Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is particular colours, whose organ
of vision is the eye, whose light is the mind and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs
in their entirety, he indeed knows, O Yajnavalkya."
"I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety. It is the being who is in the mirror. Go on, Sakalya."
"Who is His deity?"
"The vital breath," said Yajnavalkya.

16
Sakalya said: "Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is water, whose organ of vision is
the intellect, whose light is the mind and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety, he indeed knows, O Yajnavalkya."
"I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety. It is the Being who is in water. Go on, Sakalya."
"Who is His deity?"
"Varuna (rain)," said Yajnavalkya.

17
Sakalya said: "Verily, whosoever knows that Being whose body is semen, whose organ of vision is
the intellect, whose light is the mind and who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety, he indeed knows, O Yajnavalkya."
"I know that Being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate support of the body and organs in their
entirety. It is the Being who is identified with the son. Go on, Sakalya."
"Who is His deity?"
"Prajapati (the father)," said Yajnavalkya.

18
When Sakalya kept silent Yajnavalkya addressed him thus:
"Sakalya, have these brahmins made you their instrument such as tongs for burning charcoal?"

19—20
"Yajnavalkya," said Sakalya, "what Brahman do you know, that you have thus flouted these Vedic
scholars of Kuru and Panchala?"
Yajnavalkya replied: "I know the quarters, with their deities and supports."
Sakalya said: "If you know the quarters, with their deities and supports, what deity are you
identified with in the east?"
"With the deity sun."
"In what does the sun find its support?"
"The eye.
"In what does the eye find its support?"
"Colours, for one sees colours with the eye."
"In what do colours find their support?"
"The heart (mind)," said Yajnavalkya, "for one knows colours through the heart. Therefore it is in
the heart that colours find their support."
"Just so, Yajnavalkya."

21
"Yajnavalkya," said Sakalya, "what deity are you identified with in the south?"
"With the deity Yama (the god of justice)."
"In what does Yama find his support?"
"The sacrifice."
"In what does the sacrifice find its support?"
"The remuneration of the priests."
"In what does the remuneration find its support?"
"Faith, for when a man has faith he remunerates the priest. Therefore it is in faith that the
remuneration finds its support."
"In what does faith find its support?"
"The heart (mind)," said Yajnavalkya, "for one knows faith through the heart. Therefore it is in the
heart that faith finds its support."
"Just so, Yajnavalkya."

22
"Yajnavalkya," said Sakalya, "what deity are you identified with in the west?"
"With the deity Varuna (the god of rain)."
"In what does Varuna find his support?"
"Water."
"In what does water find its support?"
"Semen."
"In what does semen find its support?"
"The heart," said Yajnavalkya. "Therefore they say of a new—born child who resembles his father
that it seems as if he has sprung from his father's heart—that he has been created of his father's
heart, as it were. Therefore it is in the heart that semen finds its support."
"Just so, Yajnavalkya."

23
"Yajnavalkya," said Sakalya, "what deity are you identified with in the north?"
"With the deity Soma (the moon and the creeper of that name)."
"In what does Soma find its support?"
"The initiatory rite."
"In what does initiation find its support?"
"Truth. Therefore they say to the one who is initiated: 'Speak the truth'; for it is in the truth that
initiation finds its support."
"In what does the truth find its support?"
"The heart," said Yajnavalkya, "for through the heart one knows the truth; therefore it is in the heart
that the truth finds its support."
"Just so, Yajnavalkya."

24
"What deity," said Sakalya, "are you identified with in the fixed direction (i.e. overhead)?"
"With the deity fire."
"In what does fire find its support?"
"Speech."
"In what does speech find its support?"
"The heart."
"In what does the heart find its support?"

25
"You ghost," said Yajnavalkya, "that you think that the heart should be elsewhere than in ourselves!
If it were elsewhere than in ourselves, dogs would eat this body or birds tear it to pieces."

26
"In what do the body and the heart find their support?" asked Sakalya.
"In the prana."
"In what does the prana find its support?"
"In the apana."
"In what does the apana find its support?"
"In the vyana."
"In what does the vyana find its support?"
"In the udana."
"In what does the udana find its support?"
"In the samana."
Here the Upanishad itself states:
This self is That which has been described as "Not this, not this."
It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is
never attached; unfettered, for It never feels pain and never suffers injury.
Yajnavalkya said: "These are the eight abodes, the eight organs of vision, the eight deities and the
eight beings.
"Now I ask you about that Person who is to be known only from the Upanishads, who definitely
projects those beings and again withdraws them into Himself and who is at the same time
transcendental.
"If you cannot clearly explain Him to me, your head shall fall off?' Sakalya did not know Him; his
head fell off; and robbers snatched away his bones, mistaking them for something else.

27
Then Yajnavalkya said: "Venerable brahmins, whosoever among you wishes to question me may
now do so, or all of you may. Or whosoever among you desires it, I shall question him, or I shall
question all of you.
But the brahmins did not dare.

28
Yajnavalkya interrogated them with the following verses:

As is a mighty tree, so indeed is a man: this is true. His hairs are the leaves and his skin is the outer bark.

From his skin blood flows and from the bark, sap. Therefore when a man is Wounded blood flows, as sap from a tree that is injured.

His flesh is its inner bark and his nerves are its innermost layer of bark, which is tough. His bones lie within, as does the wood of the tree. His marrow resembles the pith.

A tree, when it is felled, springs again from its root in a new form; from what root, tell me, does a man spring forth after he is cut off by death?

Do not say: From the semen, for that is produced from the living man. A tree springs from the seed as well; after it is dead it certainly springs again.

If a tree is pulled up with its root, it will not spring again. From what root, tell me, does a mortal spring forth after he is cut off by death?

If you think he is indeed born, I say: No, he is born again. Now who should again bring him forth?

The Upanishad states: It is Brahman, which is absolute Knowledge and Bliss, the ultimate goal of
him who offers wealth and also of him who has realized Brahman and stands firm in It.

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-- Part 3 --





 
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