Showing posts with label Aitareya Upanishad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aitareya Upanishad. Show all posts

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Upanishads are the theological texts of Hinduism which contain the most basic philosophy on which the Hindu thought is based. Along with the Bhagvat Geeta, they form the core of the Hindu understanding of the universe. They impart a  philosophical and spiritual angle to the various Vedic rituals and hence these texts have multilevel interpretations. A scholar can go deep and deep but still he will find the same verses will have infinite meanings that reflect upon the keen sense of metaphysical understanding that our ancestors had.
The most heard quotes from Hindu philosophy are none but Upanishadic verses right from Aham Brahmasmi, Tatvamasi to Satyameva Jayate.

Each of the 4 Vedas i.e Rigveda, Yajuveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda are divided into 4 parts i.e

  • Samhita - The texts that contains verses and hymns to be recited
  • Brahmana - Meanings of certain words and verses
  • Aranyaka - To be recited in the forests. They are similar to Brahmanas
  • Upanishad - They explain the deep philosophical meaning of Vedic verses and rituals
Thus Upanishads themselves are a part of Vedas. There exist more than 200 Upanishads ranging from few pages to fat books. The list of 108 various Upanishads occur in the Muktikopanishad where the names of almost all of the major Upanishads occur. 
The most famous Upanishads of Hindu thought are Brihadaranyaka, Chandogya, Aitareya, Isha, Prashna, Mundok, Kena, Shwetashwatara, etc. 

Another logical conclusion is that every Veda has it's own Upanishad which propounds the contents of that particular Veda. Here is a small classification of Upanishads according to the Vedas they belong to - 




There are infinite sites and honourable Swamis who deal with the philosophical aspect of the Upanishads. This post is mainly meant to deal with the historical and geographical aspect of the Upanishads. 


The Vedic culture mainly comprised of rituals which were basically established to please Gods, live longer or to get priceless gifts from Gods. The Yagyas that were conducted mainly dealt with rituals which included fire, horse, oblations,etc. Now these Yagyas cannot be conducted silently. Thus verses were composed by different families of rishis for their particular Yagyas which were to be recited. This gave rise to a large number of Yagyas for different purposes. All of this is mechanical and ritualistic worship. 

Human mind is always in the pursuit of knowing the deep secrets of the universe and what lies in the infinite space around us. Just as science and rituals are the food for your brain, philosophy and spirituality is the food for your mind. The rishis came to know that a level of perfection and ultimate pleasure can be attained through meditation and becoming one with the Supreme.With time, the rishis started focusing on some basic questions of our existence. Their inborn curiosity led them to find as to who is controlling all that is around us. Consequently, the deep meanings of Vedic verses and the various rituals was taken into account. To quote an example, the Upanishads discuss the deep meaning of why a horse is tied to a pole and faces east during a Ashwamedha Yagya. The consequent result was a concept called "Brahman" or the supreme being. This Brahman is what is driving everything around us.  It is the chemical X that is present in every bit of the universe that makes it function what it is destined to. 

Without going much into philosophy, let's focus on the consequences of this. With a new style of thinking taking shape, the same rituals began to be viewed with completely different angle. The knowledge began to be divided into two types-  Gyankanda and Karmakanda literally meaning philosophy and rituals way of understanding things. Consequently, knowledgeable people started conducting debates about the in depth understanding of the Brahman.  Kings began conducting such debates. Handsome awards were given to the winner. The conversations of such people were recorded and further compiled into scriptures which came to be known as Upanishads. It should be noted that philosophy has existed from the start of civilization but it came out in full force when Upanishads were compiled as texts dealing only with philosophy. These scriptures were compiled, assigned a meter and faithfully transmitted orally. Having such a precious doctrine in them ,these scriptures were declared as Shrutis i.e scriptures to be heard and transmitted where not even a word is to be changed.

The brahmins belonging to that particular branch of Vedas were taught that particular Upanishad. But with time, all these scriptures were made open to all and they got a common name "Vedanta" literally meaning the end point of Vedas. 

Authorship of the Upanishads is a bit complicated issue since very few names are mentioned. But from what information we get, majority of the authors were Brahmins and Kshatriyas. The Varna system being flexible then, even a Shudra was made a Brahmin based on his knowledge. There are many instances where the kings themselves outwitted the Brahmins showing that knowledge was not the sole premise of Brahmins. Kings like Janaka Videha, Ajatshatru Kashiraj, Ashwapati Kekaya,etc won debates with Brahmins who had come to teach them. Shudras like Satyakama Jabala won many debates. Another interesting feature is that we find mention of two women namely Gargi Vachaknavi and Maitrayee who also used to participate in the debates. This shows the high social ranking of women in those times. 


Now coming to the main point- geography of Upanishads. 
If we look at the names of different places mentioned and the kings belonging to different kingdoms, the geography can be broadly classified into Kuru- Panchala region and Kashi-Videha region. In the Kuru-Panchal region, we have kings like Jaivahan Panchal and rishis like Uddalaka. Uddalaka is said to have roamed in the Kuru region to gather Brahmins for a debate. The epicentre for philosophy was of course, the Kashi-Videha region with it's most powerful theologist, Yajnavalkya. He was the one who had defeated almost all people from different parts of Bharat. He was the chief theologist in Videha's king Janaka's court. Because of him, Videha had emerged as an important center for philosophy. 
In addition, in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, we have a reference of Indradyuma Bhallaveya having learnt from king Ashwapati Kekaya, the father of Ram's step mother Kaikeyi. Regions like Gandhara are also mentioned.
Upanishads were composed. Majority of the Upanishads were composed during, just before and just after the era of Rama and king Janaka of Videha. As I have said earlier, king Janaka used to host debates in his kingdom where Yajnavalkya was his chief theologian. Most of the names, thus, appearing with Yajnavalkya become his contemporary. We would see how this is the case as we begin placing the Upanishads. 

All the placing of rishis and sages is done with respect to king Janaka who was one generation before Shri Rama. 

Kaushitaki Upanishad 
The composer of this Upanishad is Kahod Kaushitaki. He was the contemporary of king Janaka and Yajnavalkya. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad  ( 3.5) has a conversation between Yajnavalkya and Kahod Kaushitaki. Plus, Mahabharata ( 3.132 and 133) mention the story where Janaka had organized a debate in his Videha kingdom where Kahod's son Ashtavakra and Ashtavakra's mama Shvetaketu had gone there to debate with Bandi, the son of Varuna. It also gives the information of Shvetaketu's family as Aruni --> Uddalak --> Shvetaketu . 
This would be clear by the following - 

This places the Kaushitaki Upanishad one generation prior to Shri Rama.

Aitareya Upanishad 
This Upanishad is composed by Mahidasa Aitareya, who belonged to a lower caste but was elevated to the post of a Brahmin. He has also composed Aitareya Brahmana, Aitareya Arnyaka,etc. But late additions have also been made to his Brahmana and Aranyaka. We take the help of Sankhyayana Grihya Sutra ( 4.10 and 6.1). It gives the list of teachers of that scripture. This list starts from Kahod Kaushitaki --> Suyajna Sankhyayana --> Mahidasa Aitareya. Apart from these, Ashvalayana Grihya Sutra ( 3.4) inserts Paingya in between Kahod and Suyajna.  See the following



This places Aitareya Upanishad 4 generations before Shri Rama. 

Katha Upanishad 
This Upanishad is a conversation between young Nachiketa and Yama. Nachiketa is said to be the son of Auddalak i.e grandson of Uddalak in Katha Upanishad (1.1.11). Elsewhere, his father is said to be Vajashravas. That could be his personal name. But the placing is clear. 
Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishad These are very easy to place since majority of the people they talk are having a conversation with Yajnvalkya in the court of king Janaka of Videha. If you place the different kings and rishis listed in the these two Upanishads, we conclude that some of them were before Yajnavalkya, some contemporary who had conversation with him and others are later than him. This shows that the conversations were recorded and later on compiled into an Upanishad.
Another way of placing these two Upanishads is by the reference of Indradyumna Bhallaveya. He had a debate with Yajnavalkya. Indradyumna claims in Chandogya Upanishad (5.11) and Shatpatha Brahmana ( that he was counselled by Ashwapati Kekaya which Ramayana mentions to be the father of Kaikeyi, Rama's step mother. So these two Upanishads can indeed be placed in the Ramayanic era.
Since we have placed these Upanishads, we can make a list of names whom are either contemporary or 1-2 generations before/after these Upanishads. All the names appear in Brihadaranyaka (BU) and Chandogya (CU) and Shatapatha Brahmana (SB) -

  • Pravahana Jaivali Panchal - BU (6.2)
  • Ajatshatru Kashi - king of Kashi and his son Bhadrasena Aajatshatru - SB (
  • Uddanka Saulbhayana - BU ( 4.1.3)
  • Budhila Ashvatarashvi - CU (5.16)
  • Patanjala Kpya - BU (3.7.1)
  • Barku Varshna BU (4.1.4)
  • Bhujyu Lahyayani BU (3.3)
  • Gardabhivipeeta Bharadvaja BU (4.1.5)
  • Gargi Vachaknavi BU (3.6)
  • Jaratkarava Artabhaga BU (3.2)
  • Jitvan Shaileeni BU (4.1.1)
  • Ushasta Chakrayana CU (1.10.1)
  • Vidagha Shakalya SB (, BU (3.9)
  • Chaikitayana Dalbhya and his son Brahmadatta Chaikitaneya - CU (1.8)
  • Gargya Balaki - BU (2.1) has a discussion with Ajatshatru Kashi
Besides, these Upanishads also mention Kahod Kaushitaki, Ashtavakra, etc who also were contemporaries of Yajnavalkya. 
As we have seen, Mahidasa Aitareya was 4 generations before Shri Rama. Chandogya being contemporary to Shri Rama, it mentions that Mahidasa Aitareya lived for 116 years - CU (3.16.7). It also mentions the story of Satyakama Jabala who existed some generations after Yajnavalkya thus confirming my proposition that these two Upanishads are compilation of dialogues which were compiled later.

Brihad Jabala Upanishad 
As the name suggests, the composer is Satyakama Jabala. He was a Shudra who was taught by his teacher Haridrumata Gautama. His story appears in Chandogya  (4.4.3).  Now, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (6.3.7) also gives a list of teachers from Uddalaka till Satyakama Jabala. Chandogya (4.10) adds another name of Upakoshala Kamlayana as the pupil of Satyakama Jabala. Following will demonstrate it -
This places the Brihad Jabala Upanishad at 3 generations after Shri Rama. This is also coroborated by a reference to a dialogue between Yajnavalkya and king Janaka that is quoted in Brihad Jabala (7). 

This is a relatively late Upanishad. The placing becomes clear by one reference to king Hiranyanabha of Ayodhya where the rishis had gone to interact with him. PU (6.1)
The rishis who were present were Sauryayani Gargya, Shaivya Satyakama.,Sukesha Bharadvaja, Kaushalya  Ashvalayana, Kabandhi Katyayana, Bhargava Vaidarbhi. 
King Hiranyanabha was 18 generations after Shri Rama. 

This Upanishad cannot be properly 'placed' but it is definately before the times of Yajnavalkya.
As a matter of fact, sage Vaishampayana was the mama and teacher of Yajnnavalkya. Vaishampayana had taught the Yajurveda to Yajnavalkya. At that time, there was only one Yajurveda. Yajnavalkya due to his arrogance was asked to give back all his knowledge. So he gave it back. After worshiping the Sun God, he refined the Yajurveda and made it accurate. The original version taught by Vaishampayana came to known as Krishna Yajurveda and the version of Yajnavalkya came to be known as Shukla Yajurveda. 
Ishopanishad is a part of Yajurveda. Since it is present in both the Yajurvedas, we can be sure that it existed before Yajnavalkya and Vaishampayana. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Unseen forces of nature-Aitareya Upnishad

Aitareya Upanishad talks about various forces that evolve from the Atman and create the Universe that we perceive.

According to Aitareya Upanishad, from Atma evolved Amba. Amba exists beyond the heavens and is glowing. From the same essence (as that of Amba) Purusha was drawn out and laid to protect the Universe that would evolve.

Then Marici, Maram and Apa evolved out of Atma.
  • · Marici (which means particle/dust speck as well light wave) formed the Space
  • · Maram (which means mortal matter) formed the mortal worlds
  • · Apa (which is celestial waters) formed the biological life.
Detailing them further, Aitareya Upanishad says the forces that evolved from Atma are Vaca, Agni, Prana, Caksu, Karnau, Hrdaya, Manasa, Candrama, Zizna, Reta and Apa. These eleven forces drive the evolution of Universe further.

Eleven force-fields – Eleven Rudras

I had also mapped the driving force-fields behind the formation of these forces to the Eleven Rudras mentioned in the Vedas and Upanishads.

Let’s look at the Eleven forces that evolve from Atma and the Eleven force-fields that drive these forces.

Cosmic Space

Of the eleven forces mentioned in Aitareya Upanishad Vaca, Agni, Pranna, Caksu and Karnau are the force-fields of Marici, that fills the Cosmic Space.

Mortal Matter

According to Aitareya Upanishad, ‘Strings’ crystallize on the ‘Skin/top layer’ (of Atma) due to heating up and they grow thickly. These strings then form the mortal matter particles called Hrdaya, Manasa and Candrama. Each one of these is driven by an unique force-field.

Biological life

Zizna, Reta and Apa evolve next to drive the evolution of biological life and consciousness.

Eleven Force Fields

There are eleven force fields or eleven Rudras corresponding to these eleven forces.

  • The five force-fields that fill the Cosmic space are Vaca (Higgs), Agni (Force of Dark Matter), Prana (Dark Energy), Caksu/Aksi (Electro-Magnetic force), Karnau(Gravitation) make up the Cosmic space.
  • The three force-fields that operate inside the mortal matter and drive the formation of Hrdaya (Baryons), Manasa (Mesons) and Candrama (Leptons) create the mortal matter that is susceptible to death.
  • The three force-fields that operate on the chemical compounds driving the evolution of biological life that drive the formation of ziznam, Reta and Apa evolve the biological life and consciousness.

I had mapped these eleven forces to the eleven Rudras in Vedas in several of my blogs that I had been writing for the past four years.

Rudra – The force that vibrates or Howler

Rudra means vibrations. Ru indicates howl/cry/vibrations. Dra indicates running. Rudra means running vibrations. Vibrations that run and spread far and wide. In other words vibrations that make the Universe. Many interpret this vibration as ‘howling’ and western scholar interpret Rudra as ‘howler’. Rudra is the force that vibrates and forms all the eleven fields. In that sense, yes Rudra is a howler.

Rudra ‘vibrates’ the fields that form the perceivable space. Vaca, Agni, Pranna, Caksu and Karnau are the forces of Marici, that drive the evolution of Space. Five Rudras or five force-fields vibrate each of these forces and form the space as we perceive it.

Rudra ‘vibrates’ the strings to form the matter particles (Mara forms the worlds). Hrdaya, Manasa and Candrama are forces of Mara, that drive the evolution of matter. Three Rudras or three force-fields vibrate these forces and form the matter particles as we perceive it.

Rudra ‘vibrates’ the compounds by forming bonds and leads these chemicals to becoming the vehicle for biological life (consciousness). Ziznam, Reta and Apa are forces that are vibrated by Rudra to enable them to become the vehicle of consciousness.

There are eleven Rudras corresponding to these eleven force-fields and they form the eleven dimensional space.

Rudra and Cosmic Space

Cosmic space (antariksham) is a set of force-fields or vibrations of the five Rudras.

Vaca – Higgs field

Vaca means ‘expression’. Aitarerya Upanishad says the ‘face or identification’ of Atma was its ‘expression’. Vaca corresponds to Higgs field which expresses the mortal matter (gives them mass)

Agni – Force field of Dark matter on Matter

Agni means transfer of energy from one to another. According to Sankhya Philosophy Purusha influences Prakrti so that there is a preponderance of Sattwa Guna in Prakrti and triggers the evolution. Preponderance of a particular Guna initiates the ‘transfer of energy’ in an otherwise balanced system.

It is the influence of Dark Matter on matter that triggers the evolution by influencing the ‘transfer of energy’ or causing a pre-ponderance of one particular guna in matter, according to this interpretation.

In my blogs on Sankhya Philosophy, I had mapped that Dark matter impacts the spin property of matter.

Currently science says dark matter does not impact matter. In scientific terms Dark matter is a concept that is present in 2/3rd of Universe and imperceptible to us (similar to Purusha Suktam).

Prana - Dark Energy

Prana (Invisible Dark Energy) corresponds to the Dark Energy that drives the expansion of Universe

Aksi/Caksu – Electro-Magnetic force

Caksu/Aksi (Light Energy) corresponds to the Electro-Magnetic force that evolved from the Universe (at the time of Big-Bang) and is present as Cosmic Micro-wave Background

Karnau – Gravitational force

Karnau (Handle to hold) corresponds to the Gravitational force-field produced by objects of mass through which they are held in a place in space.

Modern science says the cosmic space has all the above five force-fields. Ofcourse these force-fields are present everywhere. These five make up what we perceive as the Cosmic space.

Rudra and fundamental particles of Matter

There are two fundamental particles of Matter viz. Quarks and Leptons. Quarks are always found in groups and are present as either Baryons (3 quarks) or Mesons (One quark and antiquark).

Baryons – Hrdaya particles – Strong Force

Baryons form the ‘core’ of atoms called the nucleons (protons and neutrons). They are ‘Hrdaya’ of the atoms, which are fundamental building block of universe and are also called ‘nucleons’ There is a ‘force-field’ that binds the Quarks forming Baryons and Mesons. This is called ‘Strong force’ or ‘Gluons’.

Rudra (corresponding to Hrdaya) drives the formation of Hrdaya particles (protons, nuetrons). This strong force is the sixth Rudra.

Mesons – Manasa particles – Nuclear force

Several nucleons in a nucleus are bound together by a ‘nuclear force’ mediated by the Mesons. Since Mesons are made of a quark and anti-quark pair, they are hidden. They are the ‘Manasa’ mentioned in Aitareya Upanishad. Manas means hidden.

This nuclear force mediated by the Manasa or Mesons is the seventh Rudra. This Rudra drives the formation of nucleus in an atom.

Candrama – Lepton particles – Weak force

Leptons are satellites to nucleons. Candrama means satellite. The most well known lepton is an Electron.

There is a force that keeps the electrons away from the nucleus. This force is called the Weak-force. The Rudra that drives the Candrama (satellite or the electron/lepton) is the weak-force.

This weak-force is the eighth Rudra.

Rudra and Biological compounds

There are three fundamental bonds that drive biological life. They are covalent, hydrogen and ionic bonds. Covalent bonds result in long peptide chains forming proteins. Hydrogen bonds result in the formation of RNA and DNA. Hydrogen bonds also result in formation of water ahnd acids. Ionic bonds result in the formation of alkali or base.

Proteins – Zizna – Covalent bonds

Zizna (which means long rod like structure) represents the long chains of amino acids or proteins. They are driven by the covalent bonding force.

This covalent bonding force is the ninth Rudra.

DNA/RNA/Acid/Water – Reta – Hydrogen bonds

Reta (which means semen or medium in which sperm floats) represents the DNA and RNA structures that encode genetic information that drive evolution of life. The DNA and RNA are driven by both Covalent and Hydrogen bonding forces. In particular Hydrogen bonding drives the formation of DNA and RNA.

Hydrogen bonding force also results in formation of water that serves as a medium of life (the semen that carries the sperm)

This hydrogen bonding force is the tenth Rudra.

Alkaline – Apa – Ionic bonds

Apa (which is mapped to a medium that is vital for life) represents the alkaline compounds and medium that enables all life processes. These are driven by ionic bonding forces.

This ionic bonding force is the eleventh Rudra.

Rudras – The drivers of biological evolution

The Covalent, hydrogen and ionic bonding forces drive all life processes from formation of amino-acids, RNA/DNA, nucleus, cells, complex organisms, metabolism, fertilization etc.

The thirty-three Devas and the Atma

The eleven Rudras correspond to eleven force-fields that guide the Universe in its evolution in the domain of Physics, Chemistry and biology.

The Twelve Adityas (originators) correspond to twelve stages of stellar evolution that guide the evolution of matter (in particular elements) in our Universe and more specific in our Galaxy.

The Eight Vasus correspond to eight biological factors that reside in all biological beings that serve as a vehicle of that Supreme Consciousness.

The Amba is the Primordial Matter from which all forces evolved.

The Purusha is the Dark Matter which guards the Matter.

These are the thirty three types of Devas or ‘forces’ that guide us. Beyond all of these is the Atman from which everything evolved, about which we can never know fully (according to Nasadiya Suktam).

Monday, May 18, 2015

Aitareya Upanishad

om van me manasi pratishthita mano me vaci
pratisthitamaviravirma edhi vedasya ma anisthah srutam
me ma prahasih anenadhitenahoratra nsandadhamritam
vadisyami satyam vadisyami tanmamatatu
tadvaktaramavatu avatu mamavatu
vaktaram-avatu vaktaram
aum santih santih santih harih om
O Almighty Lord! My speech is well established in my mind. My mind is well established in my speech. O Lord, please empower me to grasp and preach the Vedas. May I never forget Your teachings. Only by knowing You are with me am I able to maintain my days and nights. I shall always only follow You. May You protect me. My dear Lord, please protect me and my preceptor. O my dear Lord, please protect me and my preceptor and all those around me!
Chapter One
atma va idameka evagra asit
nanyat kincana misat sa iksata
lokan nu srija iti
Before creation of the universe everything was situated within the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Brahman), everything was contained within Him, nothing was at that time separate. The jivas (individual souls, tatastha sakti) and even the external energy Maya was still within Him. So that Lord then willed to manifest all the worlds through me (mahi dasa aitareya).
sa imamllokan-asrijata
ambho maricirmaramapah
ado-ambhah parena divam
dyauh pratistha-anttariksam maricayah
prithivi maro ya adhastatta apah
He created all the worlds – Ambahas (Tapah, Janah, Mahah and Svarga lokas – upper planets), Maricayah (the middle planets in the region of the sun, moon, stars which we in the middle earth planet can see. Mara refers to the earth, the planet where sh ort life spans are normal) and Apah (the seven lower planets – Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Rasatala, Mahatala & Patala).
sa iksareme u loka
lokapalan nu arija iti
so ‘dbhya eva purusam samuddhrtyamurcchayat
After contemplating the world He had created, He then decided to fill the worlds. From that waters in which He was lying in, He made the Hiranmaya Purusha.
tamabhyatapat tasyabhitaptasya mukham
nirabhidyata yathandam mukhadyak
vaco ‘gnih nasike nirabhidyetam nasikabhyam
pranah pranad-vayug aksini nirabhidyetam
aksibhyam caksiscaksisa adityah
karnau nirabhidyetam karnabhyam srotam
srotrad disah tvag nirabhidyata tvaco lomanyo
lomabhya osadhivanaspatayah hrdayam
nirabhidyata hrdayanmano manasascascacanddramah
nabhirnabhidyata nabhya apanah apananmrtyah
sisnam nirabhidyata sisnad retah retasa apah
The Lord deeply thought upon the form of Hiranyagarbha Purusha, as He thought in this way there burst forth from that golden egg a mouth. From that mouth came speech, from speech it’s guardian deity, Agni, came. Then came two nostrils and with them came prana – breath and it’s guardian Vayu. Two eyes next came with their guardians, the sun. Then two ears along with hearing, and it’s subtle guardian of the ether. Next came skin, the hairs of that skin being herbs and trees. B-boom, b-boom came the pounding of the heart, from the heart came the mind, and the mind’s guardian deity, the moon. The navel and the out-going breath next came with it’s guardian deity – death. The generative organ appeared, and from this organ semen came forth along with it’s guardian deity, the water based god, Prajapati.
ta eta devatah srista asmin
mahatyarnave prapatamstama-sanaya
pipasabhyam anvavarjjat
ta enamabruvannayatanam nah prajanihi
yasmin pratisthita annamadameti
Being created by the Lord, these guardian deities fell head first into the ocean of birth and death full of sufferings. Now the Lord subjected that Hiranyagarbha Purusha to hunger and thirst. The guardian deities then approached the Lord saying, “O creator, please give us an abode where we can reside and eat food.”
tabhyo gamanayat ta abruvan na vai no ‘yam alamiti
tabhyo-asvamanayat ta abruvan-na vai no ‘yamlamiti
The Lord then brought before the guardian deities a cow. But they said that this was not sufficient for them. So then the Lord brought a horse before them, but again they said it was not sufficient.
tabhyah purusamanayat ta abravan asukrtam vateti
puruso vava sukrta to abravit yathayatanam pravisateti
The Lord then led up a human being before them to which they said, “O well done. This form is just right for us to be established.” The Lord then told them to enter into that body and take up their respective places of residence.
agnirvag bhutva mukham pravisat
vayuh prano bhutva nasike pravisat
adityascaksurbhutva aksini pravisad
disah srotram bhutva jarnau
pravisan ausadhivanaspatayo-lomani
bhutva tvadham pravisan chandrama
mano bhurva hrdayam pravisad
mrtyarapano bhutva nabhim pravisad
apo reto bhutva sisnam pravisan
The fire-god, Agni, representing speech, then entered the mouth. Vayu, the life giving breath then entered the nostrils. The bright sun god Surya representing sight, entered the eyes. The Dik-devatas, the prajapatis from all directions representing hearing, entered the ears. The deities of herbs and trees as haris entered the skin. The moon-god Candra, lord of the mind, entered the heart. The god of death, Yama, entered into the navel representing out-going breath. Varuna Ojas, the water god representing semen entered the generative organ.
tamasanaya-pipase abrutatmavabhyamabhi-prajanihiti
sa te abravidetassveva vam
devatasvabhajamyetasu bhaginyau karomiti
tasmad yasyai kasyai ca devatayai havir-grihyate
bhaginyavevesyamasanaya-pipase bhavatah
Now hunger and thirst personified prayed to the Lord, “Where can we reside, please find a place for us.” The Lord then said, “You shall be shared among all of these aforementioned deities, in this way whichever respective deity receives an offering, hunger and thirst can partake of it.
sa iksateme nu lokasca lokapalasca,
annamebhyah sriji iti
The Lord, Supreme Creator of all, then though, Now I have created the universe and the demigods (guardian deities), let Me now create food for them.
so ‘po ‘bhyatapat tabhyoabhitaptabhyo
murtirajayata ya vai sa
murtirajayatannam vai tad
Contemplating for some time, looking at the waters, then up from the waters came a form. Indeed, that form that was produced from the waters was to be food.
tadenad sristam parag-tyajighamsat
tadvaca ajighriksat
tan-nasaknodvaca grihitum sa
Having been created, it tried to run away. Speech tried to capture it, but was not able to grasp it. If speech had of grasped it then just by the utterance of food one would be satisfied.
tannasaknot pranena gribitum sa yadhainat
pranenagrahaisyadabhipranya haivannam trapsyat
The human form then tried to capture ‘it’s food’ by breath, but he was not able to grasp it by breath, for if he had of grasped it be breath alone, then merely by the scent of food one would be satisfied.
tac caksusta ajighriksat tan nasaknoccaksusa grihitum
sa yad hainaccaksisagrahaisyad dristva
haivannamatra psipat
tad-shortrenagighriksat tannasaknoc-cotreba grihitum sa
yad-hainah-srotrenagrahaisyaca-srutva haivannamatrapsyat tatvaca-ajighriksat
tannasaknot tvaca grihitum sa yad-hainat tvaca grahaisyat
spristva haivann-amatrapsyat tanmnasa-ajighriksat
tannasaknot-manasa grihitum sa yad-hainanmanasagrahaisyat
tannasanotsisnena grihitum sa yad-hainat-sisnenagrahaisyad
visrijya haivannamatrapsyat
The being then tried to grasp it with his sight but couldn’t. If he had then just by the sight of food one would have been satisfied. The being then tried to grasp his food with hearing, but he was not able to do so. If he had then simply by hearing food one would have been satisfied. The being then tried to grasp the food with it’s skin but could not. If he had then simply by touching food one would be satisfied. The being then tried to grasp the food with the min but was unable to do so. If he had of then just by thinking of food one would be satisfied. The being then tried to grasp the food with it’s generative organ, prodding it, but could not grasp it. If this were possible then just by discharge or emission of food one would have been satisfied.
tadapanenajighrisat tadavayat
saiso ‘nnasya graho yadvayuannayurva
esa yadvayuh
Then the being sought to grasp the food by the apana – digestive breath. Taking the food through the mouth with the help of the digestive air, and taking the food down to the stomach, the food was consumed. Proving that it is the digestive air (apana) that consumes food; and so the apana is the principle cause in sustaining one’s life by the intake of food.
sa iksata katham nvidam madrite syadutu
sa iksata katarena prapadya iti
sa iksata yadi vacabhivyahritam
yadi pranenabhipranitam
yadi caksisa dristam
yadi srotrena srntam,
yadi tvaca spristam
yadi manasa dhyatam
yady apanenabhyapanitam
yadi sisnena visristamatha ko ‘ham iti
The Lord then thought to Himself, “How can this being live without Me?” Again He thought, “Through what shall I enter into this gross body?” Again the Lord thought to Himself, “If speech talk, if nostrils breaths, if the eyes see, if the ears hear, if the skin feels, if the mind thinks, if the apana vayu digests, and if the generative organ emits, then what am I?”
sa etam eva simanam vidaryaitaya
dvara prapadyata saisa vidritirnam
dvastadetannandanam tasya traya
avasathastrayah svapnah
ayamavasatho ‘yamavasatho ‘yamavasatheti
So then the Lord opened the Brahma Randhra in the skull and entered into that opening. This opening is known as vidriti; the place of bliss or delight (nandana). For the Lord there are three palces which are dwelling places within that of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, deluded in all those three covered states.
sa jato bhutany abhivyai-ksat kimihanyam vavadisaditi,
sa etam eva purusam brahma tatamamapasya-didamadarsam iti
Thus having manifest Himself within the body of a being, the Lord then made the jiva soul active and naturally the body and senses became conscious of their respective objects. The tiny jiva soul (individual soul) in bondage being puffed up by false ego acted himself as the Lord of the body, the Lord in the form of Paramatma (supersoul or witness) who is actually Lord of the body, saw the tiny soul bewildered thinking himself as being independent from the Lord. There are however some aware souls who on realization of the Supersoul exclaim that there is another who is superior, all pervading, Brahman I see him now.
tasmadidandro-nama idandro ha vai nama
tamidandram santam-indra ityacaksate paroksena
paroksapriyaiva hi devah paroksapriya iva hi devah
Knowing Him indirectly some call Him Indra (He who is beyond the range of the senses – idam drah). Yes, surely His name is Indra, for those wise devotees cryptically call Him Indra for they are fond of such cryptic puzzles.
Chapter 2
puruse ha va ayamadito garbho bhavati
yadetadretah tad etad sarvebhyo ‘…gebhyastejah
sambhutamatmanyevatmanam vibharti
tad yada striyam sinchati-athaitadjanayati
tadasya prathamam janma
In this being, the individual soul (jiva) first enters repeated births in the form of an embryo. The individual soul left his previous situation with desires to fulfill in this world, and now through the semen of the male, is injected into a womb of a woman during her flowering period (ovulation). This is one’s first birth.
tat striya atmabhuyam gacchati
yatha svamangam tatha
tasmadenam na hinasti
sasyaitamatmanamatra gatam bhavayati
The embryo grows in the womb of the woman and she looks after it just as she does one of her very own limbs. She carefully nourishes this embryo that she has received from her husband.
sa bhavayitri bhavayitavya bhavati
tam stri garbham vibharti
so ‘gra eva kumaram janmano ‘gre adhibhavayati
sa yat kumaram janmano ‘gre ‘dhibhavayaryarmanameva
tad bhavayatyesam lokanam santatya
evam santata hime lokastadasya dvitiyam janma
The wife, being the caretaker of her husband’s embryo, is naturally nourished and cared for by the husband. The wife bears the child in her womb and the husband bestows cherishing care on the child in the womb and after birth. While the father nourishes the child from birth onwards, he also looks after his own well-being, for the continuaation of the growing progeny. In this way progeny is continued on the earth. After some time the son gets his sacred thread. This is one’s second birth.
so ‘syayamatma punyebhyah karmabhyah pratidhiyate
athasyayamitara atma krtakrtyah
vayogatah praiti sa itah prayanneva punarjayate
tadasya tritiyam janma
Now the son, whose prototype is the father, is commissioned by the father to perform the samskara ceremonies and spiritual activities in the absence of the father. After this the worthy son (putra) has accomplished his father’s rites, the father having attained old age, the father passes away and is born again. This is one’s third birth.
taduktamrisninah-garbhe nu sannanvesa
mavedamaham devanam janimani visva
satam ma pura ayasiraraksannadhah
syeno javasa niradiyamiti
garbha eva etat-shayano vamadeva-evamvuvaca
In regard to this, it is stated by a great seer: “While I was confined in my mother’s womb I knew well all the many births I had taken. A hundred iron citadels confined me. But somehow by the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord, I again came in contact with my spiritual master that I had previously had in another birth. And now with the swiftness of a hawk, I flew forth” – Thus Rsi Vamadeva declared even while lying in the womb of his mother.
sa evam vidvanasmah sarira-bhedadurdhvam
utcramya-musmin svarge loke sarvan
kamanaptva-amrtahsamabhavat samabhavat
Realizing his predicament Rishi Vamadeva gave up all further materialistic desires, desiring only the lotus feet of the Lord. When finally his present body’s dissolution came, he attained to the Vaikunthas, the abode of transcendental bliss, and resumed his normal eternal constitutional blissful body free from three fold sufferings of this world.
Chapter 3
ko ‘yamatmeti vayamupasmahe
katarah satma yena va rupam pasyati
yena ca sabdam srinoti
yena va gandhanajighrati
yena va vacam vyakaroti
yena va svadu casvaduca vijanati
Who is that Lord whom we worship? Out of the two souls residing in the body, who is that witness who is worshipped by us? The tiny jiva soul observes to see if he is the same as that Lord by seeing Whom one sees, by Whom one hears or by Whom one smells or talks about. Or by how one discriminates between the bitter and the sweet. Are we one?
yadetaddhrdayam manascaited sanjnanam vijnanam
prajnanam medha dristirdhritirmatirmanisa
jutih smritih samkalpah craturasuh kamo vasa iti
sarvanyevaitani prajnanasya namadheyani bhavanti
So we see that which is the heart and mind cannot also be the soul, perception, discrimination, intelligence, wisdom, insight, steadfastness, thought, thoughtfulness, impulse, memory, conception, purpose, life, desire, and control – all these are attributes of the entity within the body whose nature is Brahman, but they are not He, nor He, they.
esa brahmaisa indra esa prajapatirete
sarve devemani ca panca mahabhutani prithivi vayurakasa
apo-joytim-shityetanimani ca ksudramisraniva bijani
itaranmi cetarani ca andajani ca jarujani
ca svedajanicodbhijjani ca asva gavah pusu
sa hastino yadkincedam prani jangamanca patatrica
yaccha sthavaram sarvam tat prajnanetram prajnane
pratisthitam prajnanetro lokah
prajna pratistha prajnanam brahma
He who is the underlying unseen, the Lord of hosts of demigods and humans alike. Who has put into motion the five great elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether, mixed with the modes of nature, each and every living entity down to the smallest organism, those born form an egg and those born from a womb, those born from sweat and those born of a sprout, of horses, cows, men, elephants, those that walk and those that fly, all moving and non-moving beings. Know that the omniscient Personality of Godhead Who is the source of the impersonal Brahma has manifest all these different animate and inanimate objects through His power of Brahman. For the Lord is the source of the spiritual and material worlds everything eminates from Him, knowing this one can go to Him.
sa etena prajnenatmana asman-lokadutcramya
amusmin svarge loke sarvan kamanaptva amrtah
samabhavat samabhavat aum
Rishi Vamadeva having realized his true nature as a spiritual being, free from the influence of material conditioning and the impositions thereof, attained to the transcendental plane. Now happily he regained his natural constitutional position as an eternal servant of Lord Krishna in Goloka Vrndavana.
O Almighty Lord! My speech is well established in my mind. My mind is well established in my speech. Kindly show yourself to me. Bestowing Your kindness upon me, enable me to fully understand You, Whose glories are sounded throughout the Vedas. May I never lose sight of the Vedic injunctions. By constantly remembering You I maintain my days and nights. I shall always deem to live by Your path and shall always speak the truth.
Thus ends Aitareya Upanishad.