1. Agni, the Gayatra (metre), the Trivrit (hymn), the Rathantara (song), the spring, the upward breath (prâna), the Nakshatras, the Vasus (deities)-these rise in the East; they warm, they rain, they praise (the sun), they enter again into him (the sun), they look out from him (the sun). He (the sun) is inconceivable, without form, deep, covered, blameless, solid, unfathomable, without qualities, pure, brilliant, enjoying the play of the three qualities, awful, not caused, a master-magician, the omniscient, the mighty, immeasurable, without beginning or end, blissful, unborn, wise, indescribable, the creator of all things, the self of all things, the enjoyer of all things, the ruler of all things, the centre of the centre of all things.
2. Indra, the Trishtubh (metre), the Pankadasa (hymn), the Brihat (song), the summer, the through-going breath (Vyana), Soma, the Rudras—these rise in the South; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again into him, they look out from him. He (the sun) is without end or beginning, unmeasured, unlimited, not to be moved by another, self-dependent, without sign, without form, of endless power, the creator, the maker of light.
3. The Maruts, the Gagatî (metre), the Saptadasa (hymn), the Vairupa (song), the rainy season, the downward breath (apana), Sukra, the Adityas—these rise in the West; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again into him, they look out from him. That is the tranquil, the soundless, fearless, sorrowless, joyful, satisfied, firm, immovable, immortal, eternal, true, the highest abode, bearing the name of Vishnu.
4. The Visve Devas, the Anushtubh (metre), the Ekavimsa (hymn), the Vairaga (song), the autumn, the equal breath (samana), Varuna, the Sadhyas—these rise in the North; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again into him, they look out from him. He is pure within, purifying, undeveloped, tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless.
5. Mitra-Varunau, the Pankti (metre), the Trinavatrayastrimsa (hymns), the Sakvara-raivata (songs), the snowy and dewy seasons, the out-going breath (udana), the Angiras, the Moon—these rise above; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again into him, they look out from him-who is called Pranava (Om), the leader, consisting of light, without sleep, old age, death, and sorrow.
6. Sani (Saturn), Rahu and Ketu (the ascending and descending nodes), the serpents, Rakshas, Yakshas, men, birds, sarabhas, elephants, &c.—these rise below; they warm, they rain, they praise, they enter again into him, they look out from him—he who is wise, who keeps things in their right place, the centre of all, the imperishable, the pure, the purifier, the bright, the patient, the tranquil.
7. And he is indeed the Self, smaller (than small) within the heart, kindled like fire, endowed with all forms. Of him is all this food, within him all creatures are woven. That Self is free from sin, free from old age, from death and grief, from hunger and thirst, imagining nothing but what it ought to imagine, and desiring nothing but what it ought to desire. He is the highest lord, he is the supreme master of all beings, the guardian of all beings, a boundary keeping all things apart in their right places. He the Self, the lord, is indeed Sambhu, Bhava, Rudra, Pragâpati, the creator of all, Hiranyagarbha, the true, breath, the swan, the ruler, the eternal, Vishnu, Narayana. And he who abides in the fire, and he who abides in the heart, and he who abides in the sun, they are one and the same. To thee who art this, endowed with all forms, settled in the true ether, be adoration!
8. Now follow the impediments in the way of knowledge, O King! This is indeed the origin of the net of bewilderment, that one who is worthy of heaven lives with those who are not worthy of heaven. That is it. Though they have been told that there is a grove before them, they cling to a small shrub. And others also who are always merry, always abroad, always begging, always making a living by handiwork; and others who are begging in towns, performing sacrifices for those who are not allowed to offer sacrifices, who make themselves the pupils of Sudras, and Sudras who know the sacred books; and others who are malignant, who use bad language, dancers, prize-fighters, travelling mendicants, actors, those who have been degraded in the king's service; and others who for money pretend that they can lay (the evil influences) of Yakshas, Rakshasas, ghosts, goblins, devils, serpents, imps, &c.; and others who falsely wear red dresses, earrings, and skulls; and others who wish to entice by the jugglery of false arguments, mere comparisons and paralogisms, the believers in the Veda—with all these he should not live together. They are clearly thieves, and unworthy of heaven. And thus it is said:
“The world unsettled by the paralogisms of the denial of Self, by false comparisons and arguments, does not know what is the difference between Veda and philosophy.”
9. Brihaspati, having become Sukra, brought forth that false knowledge for the safety of Indra and for the destruction of the Asuras. By it they show that good is evil, and that evil is good. They say that we ought to ponder on the (new) law, which upsets the Veda and the other sacred books. Therefore let no one ponder on that false knowledge: it is wrong, it is, as it were, barren. Its reward lasts only as long as the pleasure lasts, as with one who has fallen from his caste. Let that false science not be attempted, for thus it is said:
(1) Widely opposed and divergent are these two, the one known as false knowledge, the other as knowledge. I (Yama) believe Nakiketas to be possessed by a desire of knowledge; even many pleasures do not move thee.
(2) He who knows at the same time both the imperfect (sacrifice, &c.) and the perfect knowledge (of the Self), he crosses death by means of the imperfect, and obtains immortality by means of the perfect knowledge.
(3) Those who are wrapped up in the midst of imperfect knowledge, fancying themselves alone wise and learned, they wander about floundering and deceived, like the blind led by the blind.
10. The gods and the demons, wishing to know the Self, went into the presence of Brahman (their father, Pragâpati). Having bowed before him, they said: “O blessed one, we wish to know the Self, do thou tell us.” Then, after having pondered a long while, he thought, these demons are not yet self-subdued; therefore a very different Self was told to them (from what was told to the gods). On that Self these deluded demons take their stand, clinging to it, destroying the true means of salvation (the Veda), preaching untruth. What is untrue they see as true, as in jugglery. Therefore, what is taught in the Vedas, that is true. What is said in the Vedas, on that the wise keep their stand. Therefore let a Brahman not read what is not of the Veda, or this will be the result.
11. This is indeed the nature of it (the Veda), the supreme light of the ether which is within the heart. This is taught as threefold, in the fire, in the sun, in the breath. This is indeed the nature of it, the syllable Om, of the ether which is within the heart. By it (by the Om) that (light) starts, rises, breathes forth, becomes for ever the means of the worship and knowledge of Brahman. That (light, in the shape of Om), when there is breathing, takes the place of the internal heat, free from all brightness. This is like the action of smoke; for when there is a breath of air, the smoke, first rising to the sky in one column, follows afterwards every bough, envelopes it and takes its shape. It is like throwing salt (into water), like heating ghee. The Veda comes and goes like the dissolving view of a master-magician. And here they quote:
“Why then is it called ‘like lightning?’ Because as soon as it comes forth (as Om) it lights up the whole body. Therefore let a man worship that boundless light by the syllable Om.”
(1) The man in the eye who abides in the right eye, he is Indra, and his wife abides in the left eye.
(2) The union of these two takes place in the cavity within the heart, and the ball of blood which is there, that is indeed the vigour and life of these two.
(3) There is a channel going from the heart so far, and fixed in that eye; that is the artery for both of them, being one, divided into two.
(4) The mind excites the fire of the body, that fire stirs the breath, and the breath, moving in the chest, produces the low sound.
(5) Brought forth by the touch of the fire, as with a churning-stick, it is at first a minim, from the minim it becomes in the throat a double minim; on the tip of the tongue know that it is a treble minim, and, when uttered, they call it the alphabet (Greek, stoixeia).
(6) He who sees this, does not see death, nor disease, nor misery, for seeing he sees all (objectively, not as affecting him subjectively); he becomes all everywhere (he becomes Brahman).
(7) There is the person in the eye, there is he who walks as in sleep, he who is sound asleep, and he who is above the sleeper: these are the four conditions (of the Self), and the fourth is greater than all.
(8) Brahman with one foot moves in the three, and Brahman with three feet is in the last.
It is that both the true (in the fourth condition) and the untrue (in the three conditions) may have their desert, that the Great Self (seems to) become two, yes, that he (seems to) become two.