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Prasnopanishad (based on talks by Srimat Anirvan) by Sri Gautam Dharmapal

This Upanishad belongs to the Atharvaveda. Though different from the Trayi Rik, Sama and Yajur Vedas it holds a
very important position as regards Jnana Kanda the knowledge portion of the Vedas. Knowledge about Brahman
(Brahmavidya) is elaborately discussed in Atharvaveda. It evolves a system in which knowledge is used in life to enrich it,
to make it strong, prosperous and noble. Maybe, in comparison to Rigveda, it is less ancient, but it is none the less
important for that, and the difference is more in way of antiquity of language rather than in contents. In any case it is
prior o Buddhism.

The Upanishad is mostly in prose. It is named Prasnopanishad because it is presented in the form of questions. Each
chapter starts with a question.

The main subject discussed is that of Prana (the primal Energy) in the form of four questions. The fifth question is about
Pranava. In it we get the indication about the Sadhana, spiritual discipline to realize the ultimate Truth. The last question
is about the Goal, about the Being whom we have to discover in ourselves.

There are three fundamental entities (Tattva), though in essence they are one, viz. Bhuta (Matter), Prana (Energy) and
Prajna , the Supreme Consciousness (Matter, Life and Spirit). Bhutamatra, Pranamatra and Prajnamatra are one and the
same (Kaushitaki Upanishad).

Prajna (Consciousness) has become Bhuta (Matter) through Prana (Life). So in reverse process, we who are material
(Bhuta) have to reach Spirit (Prana i.e. consciousness) through Life (Prana). Spiritual discipline through life Force (Prana)
was given a very high place in the ancient times. But with the growth of ascetic religions, with greater influence of
Sankhya philosophy, the way of the mind, or discrimination and rejection and suppression (Nirodha) took hold of the
nation and the Prana Sadhana received a setback. But the ancient Sadhana through Life-Force (Prana) is a very powerful
discipline to attain the supreme spirit and it is destined to hold its sway once again with the new philosophies, which
accept Life as the manifestation of the Divine the Supreme Consciousness.

Prana is treated both in its individual (Adhyatma) aspect as well as its cosmic (Adhidaivata) aspect. The Prana in the
Cosmos and the Prana in the Individual are one and the same. Realising this oneness, we have to realise our unity with
the universe and in the end , the individual, the Cosmos or Universe and the Supreme Being, the Divine from whom
both have evolved are realised to be One and One alone.

This, in short, is the subject matter of the Upanishad.

Peace invocation
Om bhadram karnebhih srnnuyama deva
Bhdram pasyemaksabhiryajatrahI
Sthirairangaistustuvamsastanubhih
Vyasema devahitam yadayuh II

Svastih na indro vrddhasravah
svasti nah pusa visvavedahI
svasti nastarksyo aristanemih
svasti no brhaspatirdadhatu II
Om santih santih santih II
Om. O Gods, May our ears hear (Brahman as) illuminating speech, May
our eyes behold (Brahman as ) the Good, O Receivers of Sacrifice, May
our bodies, strong and full of light, sing Thy praise and May we live the
full span of life ordained by Gods (1).
May Indra who is glorified by the ancients, ( whose Glory has reached the
Zenith) be auspicious to us, May Pushan, the Omniscient, protect us, May
Tarkshya, the celestial bird, whose flight is unhampered, carry us
onwards, May Brihaspati, the lord of Wisdom, bestow peace and
prosperity on us (2).
Om. Peace, peace, Peace.



For getting the best benefit from the meditation of mantras, it is necessary at first to understand the deep meaning
underlying the terms used in the Mantras. The great Rishis, the seers of the Mantras, condensed in the words they used,
not only a great spiritual power but also great and powerful ideas. We must therefore bring back to our minds the
imageries they used, try to get into the hidden meanings of the symbols that they used. Armed with this understanding,
we will get to the heart of Upandishadic knowledge and then by meditating and practicing the spiritual truths
proclaimed by these ancient Rishis, transform ourselves into living gods. Man, the animal has to become man, the
Divine. And the knowledge and spiritual discipline, for that great transformation, is scattered throughout the Vedic
literature. Let us drink deep into the sweet nectar of these waters of eternal Saraswati and may the Omnipotent,
Omniscient, Omnipresent Lord, bless us with Truth, knowledge, strength and devotion.

Notes (1) This is the common Peace Invocation of Atharva Veda. The prayer is addressed to all Gods. This is no
polytheism. It is intended that we may see God everywhere, in everything. In the Invocation itself, there is an indication
of Sadhana spiritual practice. Sadhana is not to be done by mind alone, but through all the limbs of the body, through
all the senses.

Bhadram Brahman is spoken of as Bhadra. Its ordinary meaning is the auspicious the Good. But the word has a
deeper meaning. It comes from the root bhad or bhand. It has a double meaning. It means both speech and
illumination Vangmaya evam arcismaya, jyotirmaya. Illumination of speech is Bhadram auspicious. We see it as
light and hear it as illuminating Sound the Om or Pranava. Thus it is a befitting symbol for Brahman.

The sadhana through the body is equally important. It is the Sadhana of Sarira Brahma Anna Brahma. So long as the
divine transformation does not take place in the body, the sadhana is not complete. The body consciousness must be
kept alive throughout. It is not a thing to be thrown away, but an instrument to be transformed into the power of the
Divine. The creation of a divine body was one of the goals fo the Sacrifice (Yajna). Brahmi iyam kriyate tanuh (Manu)-the
body is to be transformed into Brahman.

There are other words in the Mantra which also have deeper meaning.
Yajatrah From root yag which means to sacrifice, to give. We sacrifice to gods and in return gods bestow their
powers upon us. By giving our everything to gods, we become fit to receive God within us.
Anga From root ag, from which has come the word agni-fire. In veda the wordanguli finger is the symbol of the
flame of fire. This suggests that all the limbs of our body will be like flames of fire. Our body will become yogagnimayam
sariram-body shining with the fire of yoga This is Tapas Sakti-the radiating power of austerity.
Tanu-From root tan, meaning expansion, continuation and pervasiveness (Vyapti). It also means slimness (suksmatva)
from which we get the word Tanvi- slim-bodied.
We want such limbs in the body, which will shine like flames in the all-pervasive consciousness.

Anga It also means the nervours current in the subtle body. When the flowing light is concentrated in the limbs, then
the body become sstead sthira anga.

In Veda Tanu and Atman are sometimes used synonymously e.g. Tasya esa atma vivrnute tanum svam. Here Tanu
is self. Purusah, madhye atmani tisthati. Here atma is body. (Katha Upanisad 1/2/23 & II/1/12).

When the body is transformed in this way, when it becomes a centre for all-pervasive consciousness with shining flames
as limbs-it becomes a fit instrument Tanuvina to sing for the divine.

This worship has to go on throughout the full span of life ayu. Ayu (ayus, ayuh comes from root I from which is
derived the word Preti Pra+iti the forward movement. This forward movement of life is symbolized by ayu,
human march towards heaven. This movement is limited by time. Thus the time of movement from birth to death is
called ayu. The life-span is ayu. This span of life is devahitam a gift from god, ordained by God. We have to
Vyasema- Visesa bhavena asema specially live this life, possessed by the Divine, for the sake of the Divine.

(2) Svasti Su+asti May it be Good, Auspicious. The existence which is truth and harmony (Satyam, Rtam). In these
and many other places we get the word used in its deepest significance. This asti is the divine existence, the delight of
existence of the Eternal being. The highest good, is this svasti. It is his existence, where there is no i. When the ego is
totally merges in the Divine, then only it is the Real, the best existence (su+asti).

Four aspects of the Divinity, four god-heads are here invoked to bless the aspirants with this joy of existence, with
peace, prosperity and Divenie Protection. They are (when put in order) Indra, Brhaspati, Pushan and (Visnu) Tarkshya
the celestial bird, the vehicle of God Visnu. To signify the energy and working of this divine quality, Tarkshya is used
instead of Visnu. In some invocations Visnu is used. Eg. Sam no Visnur urukramah ay Visnu the god of giant strides
bring peace to us.

These four gods can be place in two pairs (1) Indra-Brihaspati (2) Pushan-Tarkshya or Visnu. The first pari can be said
powers of spiritual discipline (sadhana sakti) and the second the powers of Attainment *siddha sakti). Speaking
psychologically they can be classified as Vigour and Valour (virya-tapas) and the powers of Penance and Austerity (oja-
sakti) and Faith, Wisdom (sraddha-prajna). The divine powers are symbolically placed in different world. The worlds,
the divine aspects and their psychological counterparts may be placed in short as under:

Upholding power powers of Discipline Powers of Attainment
(Adhara sakti) (Sadhana sakti) (siddha sakti)

Earth The middle Worlds The Heavens
Agni Indra-Brihaspati Surya-Aditya (Pushan Visnu)
The Fire The Lightenings The Sun
Aspiration The powers of Austerity The Knowledge, The Truth

The earth-consciousness has to be raised to the Heavens through the middle worlds. In the process of this
transformation, particular powers are essential. Particular gods symbolize these particular powers and by meditating on
them, the asporatn received the beneficent help from the particular divine power. In essence all the divine powers are
the One God (eko devah viprah bahudha vadanti) Agni, Indra-Brihaspati and Aditya-Visnu are one and the same god
manifesting differently at different levels of consciousness.

We give below the ideas in short underlying these great divine aspects as interpreted by Sri Aurobindo:

Agni: Seven-tounged power of will, a force of god instinct with knowledge: Pure priest, divine worker, mediator between
earth and heaven.

Indra: The puissant Power of pure existence, self-manifested as the Divine Mind. Other pole of Light instinct with
Force which descends from heaven to earth. Hero with shining horses, Slayer of Darkness, Power of Life-giving heavenly
waters.

Brihaspati: Brahma-Creator of the world; by His expansive neighing cry, He creates; Manifestor of all forms from
darkness and the Inconscient.

Aditya: Sun is the master of Supreme Truth. Truth of Being, Truth of knowledge, truth of the process and act and
movement of functioning. Creator and Manifestor, the Father, enlightener of our souls. Illuminations are the herds-the
rays of the Sun.

Visnu: Holds in His triple stride all the three worlds. All pervading He makes room for the action of Indra. The friend,
the Beloved, the Beautiful Godhead (On the wings of His Vehicle Tarkshya the Celestial Bird) He moves everywhere.

There are many Suktas (hymns) in rigveda devoted to agni and indra. They have the largest number of suktas because
they are the divine aspects nearest to man and most essential for the human consciousness in its upward journey. So
indra is called Vriddhasrava, one who is much glorified. The verb root sru is also used to mean Divine hearing. One who
has fully got the power of Divine hearing. The function of Indra and Brihaspati can be easily understood by the symbolic
story in the Rigveda.

Pani: The panis (the stealers and concealers, those who usurp others wealth psychologically our selfishness, rigidity, the
obstacles of our material mind) kidnap the cows (go-meaning earth or light) and hide them in a mountain cave (adri-
guha which cannot be pierced) where there is total darknesss (Andhatamisra). (The divine light is hidden in the material
body). Sarama, the hound of heaven is sent to find out the whereabouts of the cows. In spite of her request the panis
do not deliver cows. Then indra with hs (Vajra-sakti) thuderbolt destroys the cave. But before that Brihaspati with his
great sound (arava-vaksakti) disintegrates the solidity of the cave. And with the help of Brihaspati, Indra frees the
concealed cows.

Indra and Brihaspati together destroy our obstacles in the plysical and vital consciousness, Pushan and Visnu remove the
obstacles in the mental and over-mental consciousness.

Aditya-consciousness or Light-consciousness is divided into seven aspects. They are symbolically placed with seven
steps, of the Sun from midnight to mid-day.

The first is called the Aswinis-the Twin gods who start their march from midnight. The light is hidden. There is
darkness outside.

The second is Usha-the Dawn-the darkness is pierced but the light is yet not seen. The third is Savita, the progenitor of
life and light. The red light of sun is now clearly seen. The fourth is Bhaga-the child in its full glory is called Vishnu, who
encompasses and illuminates all the three worlds.

According to the centres of consciousness in our body the place do bhaga is at the heart centre (Anahata-cakra), that of
Surya at the Throat centre (Visuddha-cakra); that of Pushan at the Ajna-cakra between the eyebrows. It is the place of
the Third eye.

(Prajna-caksu the eye of Higher wisdom). From pushan the consciousness rises to the centre in and above the head
(Murdhani) to the all pervasive consciousness of Visnu.

Pushan is therefore, all knowing Visvavedah and Tarkshya (used in place of Visnu) is all-pervasive.

Vedah also means wealth. The root is Vid which means to know, to possess. It is both knowledge and attainment. The
journey onwards from Pushan is from light to light. The process of Knowing, Attaining and Becoming Brahman, becomes
natural and unhampered when we reach this stage.

Aristanemi- Nemi is the circumsference of the wheel. The wheel is a symbol used quite often to signify the even
progressive movement. Just as all the spokes are gathered at the Centre, similarly all the outward motions, activities of
the being are drawninward and concentrated at the centre of the soul. He is then called Nabhanedista-one who has
gathered oneself at the navel centre. Once this is done, then again the rays are thrown outward and they again make a
circle. This wheel then moves on and on. The knowledge, the Force then becomes all-pervasive and its progress is
unhampered. This is the significance behind Suryacakra, Dharmacakra, Jnanacakra, etc. This Cakra is the powerful
weapon (Sudarsana) in the hands of Lord Visnu as well as Sri Krishna.

By meditating on this mantra we invoke all these powers of the Supreme Divine Being, to protect us, to enter in us, so
that they may transform our physical, vital and mental being and make us divine.

Part Two

Om namah paramatmane | hariah om || sukesa ca bharadvajah saibyasca satyakamah sauryayani ca gargyah
kausalyascasvalayano bhargavo vaidarbhih kabandhi katyayanaste haite brahmapara brahmanisthah param
brahmanvesamana esa ha vai tatsarvam vaksyatiti te ha samitpanyo bhagavantam pippaladamupasannah || 1 ||

Tan ha sa rsiruvaca bhuya eva tapasa brahmacaryena sraddhaya samvatsaram samvatsyatha yathakamam prasnan
prcchata yadi vijnasyaah sarvam ha vo vaksyama it || 2 ||

Atha kabandhi katyayana upetya papraccha | bhagavan kuto ha va imah prajah prajayanta iti || 3 ||

Tasmai sa hovaca prajakamo vai prajapatih sa tapotapyata sa tapastaptva sa mithunamutpadayate | rayim ca pranam
cetyetau me bahudha prajah karisyata iti || 4 ||

Adityo ha vai prano rayireva canderama rayirva etat sarvam yanmurtam camurtam ca tasmanmurtireva rayih || 5||

Athaditya udayanyatpracim disam pravisati tena pracyan pranan rasmisu samnnidhatte | yaddaksinam yat praticim
yadudicim yadadho yadurdhvam yadantara diso yat sarvam prakasayati tena sarvan pranan rasmisu samnnidhatte || 6
||

Sa esa visvanaro visvarupah pranognirudayate tadetadrcabhyuktam || 7 ||

Visvarupam harinam jatavedasam
Parayanam jyotirekam tapantam
Sahasrarasmih satadha vartamanah
Pranah prajanamudayatyesa suryah || 8 ||

First Question:

1. OM: salutations to the supreme self; hari om; sukesha the son of bharadwaja satyakama the son of shibi, gargya
the grand-son of surya, aswalayana of kosal bhargava of vidarbha and kabandhi katyayana. All of them were devoted to
Brahman, steadfast in (their devotion to) Brahman, (but were desirous to know) and seekers of supreme Brahman.
(thinking) that he will verily tell them all (about Brahman), they approached the revered pippalada with sacrificial fuel in
their hands.

2. To them the Rishi said, live truly for one more year in faith, continence and austerity. (Then) ask questions as
you desire. If I know, I will surely tell you everything.

Atharvaveda has two branches Pippalada and Shaunaka. This uanishad belongs to the pippalada branch of
atharvaveda. The teacher of this Upanishad Rishi pippalada may be the pioneer of this branc of atharvaveda. The name
pippalada is very ancient. There is one famous verse in which two birds of beautiful plumage sitting on the same tree
are described. One sitting as a witness, the other eating the sweet pippal (svadu pippalam atti). One who eats pippal
fruit is pippalada. The same root ad is in the word anna, food or mater. Now in reality the fruit of pippala is astringent
or bitter. Why then the word sweet (swadu) is used? It means that the aspirant by his sadhana transforms this
bitterness into sweetness, just as matter is transformed into spirit consciousness (anna-annada). Spirit, consciousness
is involved in matter. By the fire of Sadhana Faith, Brahmacarya (continence) and Austerity it has to be transformed
into consciousness. The Rishi who has fully attained this transformation, who has made sweet, tasteful this bitter fruit
of (life tree) pippala is Pippalada, its eater, enjoyer.

There will always be these two ways of attaining perfection. One is the way of the Sankhya, of witness-self, of rejecting
the experience of life, the way of negation. The other is the way of acceptance of Life, of affirmation or realizing
everything as manifestation of the Divine sarvam khalu idam brahma, verily all this is Brahman, and of reaching
ananda-brahma. Atharvaveda mostly teaches this other way. And the Rishis, pippalada and shaunaka are the great
exponents of this way. In vedas, i.e. samhitas and upanishads we generally find a balance, almost a synthesis, a going
together of these two ways, but unfortunately the later teachers have emphasized only one or the other way, thereby
creating conflicts and clashes between different ideologies and consequently cutting the roots of the great spiritual tree
which gave shelter to both the birds.

May the reading of this ancient Upanishad infuse in us that true spirit of all-pervasive consciousness (Brihat cetana)
which is the heritage left to us by our great forefathers.

To resume the text, in these first two verses we have a fine illustration of the relation between the teacher and the
taught and their respective qualities a fine picture indeed of the ancient ashram-schools.

The (disciple) seekers here are brahmaparah, brahmanistha, param brahma anvesamanah. Brahma is brhat cetana the
vast consciousness, rtam brhat, rtam mahat the truth, the vast expansion of consciousness is the aim of all seeking.
The divine, the Brahman is the vast, the ultimate truth. The seekers must have devotion to truth. They must have
steadfastness, tenacity, capacity to stand the rigours of discipline necessary for this search for truth. They must not rest
till truth in its totatlity is realized. They must always move higher and higher sanuhsanuharohanti. There is no end to
seeking. Truth has the ever widening horizon. More you go up, there is yet a higher point to reach. That is why the
seekers described here, though they have surely achieved something, are desirous of knowing the absolute Brahman.

This search ends only when you have attained this highest point, when all the knots in your consciousness are loosened,
when all your doubts have vanished (bhidyatehrdayagranthischidyante sarvasamsayah). The mortal becomes immortal
and he enjoys Brahman even here. (atha martyah amrtam bhavati, atra brahma samasnute katha Upanishad H/3/14)

Now the students, when they go to the teachers house, do not go empty-handed. They used to take the sacrificial fuel
with them, the things necessary for keeping the fire burning in the teachers house. This has a double meaning. It
alludes to the ancient practice of keeping the fire alive in ones house all the time and also to the fire of knowledge
which is always kept alive at the teachers place. When you go to a teacher, you go there not only to receive knowledge,
but it is the responsibility of the disciple to keep the torch burning.

When these disciples go to the teachers they are asked to pass one more year in austerity. This is very important.
Before receiving true knowledge you must increase your capacity to receive that knowledge. Faith, continence,
austerity, all these increase the capacity of the disciple. He then becomes a fit channel to receive the waters of the great
river of knowledge. Samvatsarah : one full year was an important period. The sadhana proceeded according to the
cycles of seasons. The harmony that is in the cycle of time was made an instrument to help the sadhana to create
harmony in ones life.

Sraddha, Tapah, Brahmacaryam Sraddha is the first spark of the Divine which is felt in the heart/ It comes a a grace
from the Divine. I is not like ordinary faith or belief. It is the inborn psychic response to the call of the divine. Sraddha
entered into Nachiketa (Katha Upanishad). Sadhana begins with this avesa, first inflow of the divine in human heart.

Then by discipline, by austerity, the first spark has to be kindled into a big fire that burns everything undivine and
puriifies the Sadhaka. This tapas is the strength and power (Viryasakti) necessary for Sadhana. Sraddha and Tapas
together constitute the staqte of Brahmacarya. Brahmacarya literally means to move in the consciousness of
Brahmabrihat, vastness. THe first touch that is received thorough Sraddha has to be reared and increased by Tapas
remaining in this state of Brahmi consciousness. The current meaning of Brahmacarya (celibacy or continence) should
rather be considered as a part of tapas.

When the disciple is ready, the teacher is also pleased to deliver the knowledge to him. He will give without reserve. The
teacher is not arrogant. He does not claim he knows everything. There is humility in him to say that If I know, I will
surely tell you. It was rather knowing together by mutual discussion. The ancient Rishis knew that Tuth can never be
known dffllfully. Nor can one say that it is unknown (Cf Kenopanishad). So with utter selflessness the teacher will
instruct whenever he finds a sincere aspirant.
3. Now Kabandhi Katyayana approached him and asked,Sir, what is the source of creation for all these created
beings?
4. To him he said,Prajapati verily desired progeny. He performed austerity. Performing austerity he created ( a
couple ( a male and a female) Rayi the impulse , the Food, the sustaining nouRishing principle i.e. the female
Principle and Prana the cosmic Energy, the male principle of creative evolution (Matter and energy). These two will
create my manifold progeny.
5. The Sun Aditya is verily this Prana and the Moon is Rayi. And rayi is all that is with form as well as all that is
without form. Therefore, the form is Rayi.

The first principles that govern creation are discussed here.

Sraddha, tapah, brahmacaryam sraddha is the first spark of the divine which is felt in the heart. It comes as a grace
from the divine. It is not like ordinary faith or belief. It is the inborn psychic response to the call of the divine. Sraddha
entered into nachiketa (Katha Upanishad). Sadhana begins with this avesa, first inflow of the divine in human heart.

Then by discipline, by austerity the first spark has to be kindled into a big fire that burns everything undivine and purifies
the sadhaka. This tapas is the strength and power (viryasakti) necessary for sadhana. Sraddha and tapas together
constitute the state of brahmacarya. Brahmacarya literally means to move in the consciousness of brahma brihat,
vastness. The first touch that is received through sraddha has to be reared and increased by tapas remaining in this
state of brahmi consciousness. The current meaning of brahmacarya (celibacy or continence) should rather be
considered as a part of tapas.

When the disciple is ready, the teacher also is pleased to deliver the knowledge to him. He will give without reserve.
The teacher is not arrogant. He does not claim that he knows everything. There is humility in him to say that if I know, I
will surely tell you. It was rather knowing together by mutual discussion. The ancient Rishis knew that truth can never
be known fully. Nor can one say that is unknown. (cf. kenopanishad) so with utter selflessness the teacher will instruct
whenever he finds a sincere aspirant.

1. now, kadandhi katyayana approached him and asked, sir, what is the source of creation of all these created
beings?

2. to him he said, prajapati verily desired progeny. He performed austerity. Performing austerity he created a couple
(a male and a female) rayi the impulse, the food (matter), the sustaining, nouRishing principle i.e. the female
principle and prana the cosmic energy, the male principle of creative evolution (matter and energy). These two will
create my manifold progeny.

3. The sun Aditya is verily this prana and the moon is rayi. And rayi is all that is with form as well as all that is without
form. Therefore, the form is rayi.
The first principles that govern all creation are discussed here.

The question of creation, from where all this has come, where all will go after death and destruction and such other
questions regarding creation of this universe have formed the starting point of all enquiry spiritual as well as secular
from times immemorial. The swetaswatara Upanishad starts with this very enquiry kutasma jatah. from where we
are born etc.

The Rishi enumerates three first principles necessary for all creation. Prajapati, prana and rayi. The creation starts with
prajapati the name itself is significant. The divine aspect from where the first movement of creation started was
named prajapati in the vedas and upanishads. He is brahma of the puranas the creator god. At the back of prajapati is
Brahman the eternal principle the supracosmic consciousness. It is always described in neuter gender as tat that,
whereas prajapati is the fatherhood of god and therefore always described as sah he, the masculine. In tantra where
motherhood of god is given greater predominance, it is sa she, the feminine. The vedic cult is predominantly
patriarchal.

In the present context Brahman may be said nirguna brahma nonqualified Brahman and prajapati saguna Brahman
qualified Brahman. Another ancient name for prajapati is hiranyagarbha or tvashta the lord who manifests the
universe from the unmanifested reality.

The creation starts with a desire in this god, father. This beginning of creation starts with a desire in this god, father.
This beginning of creating has been variously described. At one place, it is said that everything was lying quiet like the
waters of a calm lake. Then there was a little stirring. And this, first disturbance in water put in motion the whole of
creation. In another Upanishad brihadaranyaka it is said atma eva idam agre asit atma alone was there in the
beginning, like a single man, sa naiva reme. (alone) he was not happy. He wanted another. He divided his own self into
two they became husband and wife. And from them all (people) were born.

This desire was the first vibration in cosmos. Then it took the form of tapas, austerity which generates heat. The light
principle was the next stage. That which was static now became dynamic. According to sankhya tamas, inertia was
there in the beginning. There was movement, rajas and sattva, light was created.

Then as if out of himself Prajapati created the two prana and rayi the husband and the wife.

Because in creation the mother-principle is more important, rayi is placed before prana. The desire of prajapati
transformed itself into rayi and the tapas-light-heat into prana. First prajapati, then prana and with it rayi this will be
the logical order. Prajna pure consciouness prana the life force and rayi anna matter, body life and spirit. All
the three are interconnected and inhabit all the creation. Prajapatih carati garbhe as prajapati dynamic power he
moves in all wombs aham bijapradah pita (gita) I am the father who puts seeds in all wombs. Rayi is also aditi the
mother regarding whom it is said sa pita sa mata sa putrah generally rayi is interpreted as matter because according
to nignantu it means wealth. But that is its very gross meaning. In the abstract sense and the first creation is surely in
the abstract it means an impulse (samvega). It comes from the root R, Rn, Rnanti to run. Rayah meaning the current
(flow) of river and retah semen come from the same root. It is outflow from prana or prajapati. The word
visargah, visrsti (root srj) is the outflow of the worlds from the supreme consciousness. Manifestation and not
creation is the proper term. This spirit of manifestation is rayi, the thing manifested is also rayi. That is why it is said,
that which is with form = consolidation is rayi and that which is without form is also rayi. Form as well as formlessness
both are the powers of rayi-shakti. That which is formless takes form. But in taking form it does not exhaust itself.
Brahman has four quarters or parts (catuspada brahma). By one pada or part it manifests the universe and the other
three are in amrita immortal beyond any manifestation. Sun aditya is prana and moon is rayi.

The symbols are analogical. There are two conceptions about moon to symbolize two different consciousness. One is
called Chandra chandrama the other is called soma. Where there is waxing and waning, when the consciousness is
unstable, when there are ups and downs in sadhana it is compared with this Chandra. It is the normal mental
consciousness. Mans mind is compared to moon. It has fifteen kalas (digits) according to which it waxes and wanes.
But when the mind shoots up it reaches the sixteenth kala which is beyond, where the amrita immortal ananda jou-
consciousness is self-existent, then it is called soma. In between is aditya the stable, the effulgent, witness
consciousness. Aditya, the son of mother aditi the unbound, whole consciousness. The process of sadhana is first to
ascend to aditya consciousness and then to enter into soma consciousness. Because the supernatural is latent in the
natural, because form and formlessness are latent in each other, Rayi is both as well as formlessness.

6. Now, when the sun rises in the east, then he marshals the pranas of the east through his rays. And when whatever
he illuminates the south, the west, the north, the lower (hemisphere), the upper (hemisphere) or the intermediate
quarters, through his rays he marshals all the pranas (of these places).

7. Here rises he (the sun), the life of the universe, the form of the universe, the (great) prana (life force), the fire. For
him this Rk is uttered (used).

8. (Know him to be) the universal form, the effulgent (shining with rays). The all-pervading omniscient, the highest goal,
the one who is the only light and giver, radiator of heat (knowledge and power). There rises the sun of thousand rays,
the prana of all creatures manifest in hundred ways.

The sun is the fosterer of life. He is worshipped as the manifest form of the divine, whom we see everyday before our
eyes. He is the store-house of all energy. To be united with the source of that universal energy was a great spiritual
discipline yah asau asau purusah soham asmi That being that is there, I am that. (Isa Upanishad) The rising of the
sun is one of the most beautiful sights and has always inspired the poets of all times.

The vedic Rishis, who were nearer to nature, experienced its spell all the more powerfully and there are many hymns
eulogising the rising sun. here we get a fine description of the sun-rise, the identification and inner transformation which
this identification with sun makes possible in the aspirant.

The rising of the sun is the spiritual awakening in the aspirant. The mantra for this sunrise is surya jyotih jyotih suryah
svaha. The sun is the supreme light and I sacrifice myself in that universal light. To experience the universal self within
ones self, to be one with it was the goal.

Aditaya-rashmi-prana the sun, the rays, the energy Aditya is the universal prana, energy is radiated from him on all
sides in the form of rays.

Sam nidhatte this is a technical term. It means to throw out the light the emanation and yet to hold it with ones
self. The same universal prana is both at the source as well as at the very end of rays. It is the same universal prana that
moves, illumines everything.

The sun is the universal form when seen from the cosmic point of view (adhidaivata). When seen from the individual
view (adhyatma) he is vaishvanara. It is the fire that is in everybody. Aham vaisvanaro bhutva..pacamyannam
caturvidham- gita XV / 14 becoming vaishvanara, I digest the food of four types. The word vaishvanara has two other
meanings. The one who dances in the universe rhythmically or the one in whom the universe dances i.e., the one who
comes down in an ordered way in all beings or the one towards whom all beings move. The energy of the sun enters in
all beings through his rays. All creatures dance with joy with the touch of his life-giving rays.

And when seen from the physical view-point (adhibhuta) this sun is the fire (agni) on earth.

There are three forms of jyoti-light. They are fire on the earth, the lightning in the mid-region and the sun in the
heavens. All the three are forms of the one and the same energy manifested differently in different planes. The light that
is in my heart has to be transformed in the light that is in the sun. It is conceived that the divine has come down in every
individual as rays and piercing the crown of the head entered into the heart of every individual. Therefore the heart
(centre) is the seat of the divine. He dwells always in the heart of being (sada jananam hrdi sannivistah katha
Upanishad II/3/17). And taking hold of this very ray, which passes through the susumna-hita nadi (the nerve that goes
above towards the crown of the head) the aspirant has to rise above to the divine and be one with him. This was one of
the great spiritual disciplines of ancient times and was widely developed by the hatha yogis, the tantrics, natha yogis
and other sects.

When we conceive this energy in the nervous system it is seen as prana the breath the out-going breath and the
ingoing breath (prana-apana). When we breathe in, we take in the universal energy and when we breathe out we merge
ourself in the universal self prana or energy.

In this way we consciously feel that the sun that rises is but a representation of the same divine being, who dwells in our
hearts as well as in all beings. Such meditation on the sun widens our consciousness.

9. The first portion enumerates the different attributes of the sun. the eulogy is for meditation. The second portion
describes the sun-rise and the actual action.

Visvarupam: whatever exists is his form isa vasyam idam sarvam all that exists is for the habitation of the lord (Isha
Up.) it signifies the universality of the divine.

Harinam: the root is hr to shine Hiranya jyoti. The white, pure light. When the shakti, the power is suggested it is
Hiranya jyoti, the shining light. These are the rays the front side of the sun.

Jatavedasam: agni is also called jatavedah that which knows all births or one who witnesses all that is born. He is
hidden in the heart of every being and he is also present as a link from birth to birth.

He is maifest in three ways (1) he has become the universe. He is diffused in the universe. (2) he is residing in the hearts
of every being. (3) He shines in the worlds.

This light is parayanam param ayanam the highest point, wherein everything dissolves, where every being has to
reach. The journey from light to more light ends in that supreme light.

He is jyotih ekam the only light. As well as he is Tapantam- who radiates heat, energy. He is not only light but infuses
radiates light and energy in the being.

The aspirant beholds his great energy the divine being rising before his eyes in the form of the mighty sun. He is
thousand rayed. These rays are his going forth. Every ray of his gives birth to a new life. He is the prana manifesting in
hundreds of ways. He is the sould of all creatures. This aditya, the sun the supreme prajana, the highest energy is the
source of all creation. He is the prajapati the father of all creatures.

PART THREE

Samvatsaro vai prajapatistasyayane daksinam cottaram ca | tadye ha vai tadistapurte krtamityupasate te
candramasameva lokamabhijayante | ta eva punaravartante tasmadeta rsayah prajakama daksinam pratipadyante | esa
ha vai rayiryah pitryanah | || 9 ||

Athottarena tapasa brahmacaryaena sraddhaya vidyaya tmanamanvisyadityamabhijayantel etadvai prananama-
purnaravartanta ityesa nirodhastadesa slokah || 10 ||

Pancapadam pitaram dvadasakrtim diva ahuh pare ardhe purisinam | atheme anya u pare vicaksanam saptacakre sadara
ahurarpitamiti || 11 ||

Maso vai prajapatistasya krsnapaksa eva rayih suklah pranastasmadeta rsayah sukla istam kurvantitara itarasmin || 12
||

Ahoratro vai prajapatistasyahareva prano ratrireva rayih pranam va ete praskandanti ye diva ratya samyujyante
brahmacaryameva tadyadratrau ratya samyujyante || 13 ||

Annam vai prajapatistato ha vai tadretastasmadimah prajah prajayanta iti || 14 ||

Tadye ha vai tat prajapativratam caranti te mithunamutpadayante tesamevaisa brahmaloko yesam tapo brahmacaryam
yesu satyam pratisthitam || 15 ||

Tesamasau virajo brahmaloko na yesu jihmamanrtam na maya ceti || 16 ||

Iti prasnopanpishadi prathamah prasnah ||

Verses 9 to 13:

Now in the next five verses we get the description and divisions of the time, signifying their importance in human life.

The vedic Rishis correlated these divisions of time with different stages of growth of inner consciousness. They have
therefore to be understood symbolically and not literally.

First, the year is divided in the northern and southern solstices (summer & winter solstices) uttarayana-dakshinayana.
Then the month is divided into two parts the bright fortnight and the dark fortnight (shuklapaksha-krishnapaksha) and
lastly the day is divided into day and night ahah-ratri. When the light is whole and undivided, the time is eternal and
timeless. The consciousness is saturated in complete unity. It is beyond all differentiation, division and discord. There is
no sense of separateness. This sense of separation comes in time, when there is movement of time. Creation itself is a
process of differetiation in time. Then the one eternal is divided into hundreds of parts (satadha vartamanah). The goal
of human life is to reach that eternal time or timelessness, from divisions to unity (from kala to akala) and established
into that eternal time to sport in time.

Though during the movements between northern & southern solstices there is difference in the play of light, the sun is
always there. It is therefore called day of gods. But in the bright and dark fortnights there is regular waxing and waning
of light. The days are then called the day of the manes. And the day and night when light and darkness alternate
quickly, the days are called the days of human being our mundane life.

Our consciousness during the process of sadhana grow in these three passages of time.

The northern and southern solstices (uttarayana-dakshnayana0 respectively classified as the path or vehicle of gods
(devayana) and the path or vehicle of manes (pitryana). They are also called (archismarga) the way of light and the
smoky way (Dhumamarga). Those who depart by the path of gods go to the abode of Brahman and do not return.
There is no rebirth for them. Those who depart by the other way, go to the abode of moon (candraloka) and return to
earth. They are reborn. These two ways were again equated with the way of knowledge and the way of works. These
sharp divisions developed later on in Upanishads and we find a clear echo of it in the Gita- when again a synthesis is
arrived at. But in the rig veda where the division between knowledge and works is not so sharp, both were of equal
importance and both led to the highest abode (parama dhama). In this Upanishad we find some hesitation on the part
of the Rishi. Though in the beginning the
way of northern solstice (Utarayana) is given predominance, in the end of the chapter the other way also is eulogized as
leading to the same brahmaloka the abode of Brahman.

Creation is the play of two powers prana and rayi. Prana is the steady background, rayi is the everchanging
formulations. This play of rayi is compared with the way of the manes. This way of manes is also of two types: the
ordinary human way of the manes and the way of the manes of the enlightened beings (siddhaugha pitryana
manavaugha pitryana). When the consciousness is enlightened there is no fall even if one goes by the way of manes
through works (Istapurti). Works can be performed in ignorance as well as in knowledge with an illumined mind. Works
when done with an illumined mind are no bondage. On the contrary they are also an equally powerful way to lead to
the highest truth. This was the idea behind the sacrifices (yajna) of the vedas.

Istaputra: these are works of sacrifices and charity.

Nirodha: it means here the movement is obstructed. It goes to transcendence where there is no movement.

9. The year is verily prajapati. It moved in two solstices the southern and the northern now those who worship him
through works such as sacrifices and charity (Isapurta) they attain the world of the moon and they return. Therefore,
the Rishis who are desirous of progeny, (they) take (the way of) the southern (solstice). This is verily rayi (matter) the
way of the manes.

10. Now those (Rishis) who seek atman (alone) through penance, celibacy, faith and knowledge go by the northern
(solstice) way and attain the sun (Aditya). This is verily the abode of the pranas (all energy). Here is immortality,
fearlessness. This is the highest zenith, and they do not return and (there everything ends), all (movement) ends there.
Thereon is this verse (sloka).

12. The month is verily prajapati its dark fortnight is rayi (matter) and bright one prana (Energy). Therefore some
Rishis perform sacrificial works etc. in the bright fortnight and some others in other one.

The duration of the time is slowly narrowed down. The process of sadhana in the bright and dark periods is the same.
In the previous verses the year was symbolized as prajapati. Now the month is prajapati. The month and its two
fortnights suggest the moon and the sadhana connected with the waxing and waning of moon. There were different
types of sacrifices connected with different periods of time.

The sacrifice performed during the bright fortnight was called paurnamasa yajna and it culminated on the fullmoon day.
The sacrifices performed during the dark fortnight was called darsha-yajna and it culminated on the new moon day.

Agnihotra: The agnihotra sacrifice was performed during the period of ahoratra one full day. (The mantra for
agnihotra was in the morning jyotih suryah suryah jyotir swaha and in the evening, when the light of the sun will pass
away, the fire (Agni) was kept as the symbol of sun and the mantra was agnih jyotih jyotiragni swaha)

Mark here the stress on the sacrificial works ista. Both types of Rishis are supposed to perform the sacrifice some in
the dark period and some in the bright period.

12. Day and night together, the full day is the prajapati. Its day part is prana and night part is rayi. They dissipate
energy only who unite in sexual love during the daytime. Those who unite by night verily (practise) celibacy.

The Rishis considered the whole life as a sacrifice to be offered to the gods and as a reward for sacrifice they enriched
the whole life. The life-shunning asceticism had not taken hld of the Rishis in general. And therefore nothing was left to
chance or seen as ugly or unholy. If life is to be lived, why not live it fully and in the finest way possible? If children
(progeny) are desired why not beget them as a grace of gods and make even sexual act an act of sacrifice, a holy act,
done with all its solemnity, seriousness and sense of responsibility. This is the reason why we find in the vedic literature
unhesitating references to the sexual life. They are as natural as when they are describing the sunrise, the blooming of a
flower or the cultivation of mother earth.

Sexual indulgence was considered a lowly act and as a loss of brahmacarya celibacy, but the sexual act when
performed as a sacrifice for begetting children with prior common consent was not considered as a fall from the state of
brahmacarya.

14. Food is verily prajapati. From it comes semen the seed. From that again all these creatures are born.

The Rishis, while answering the question, whence all these creatures are born, makes a long betour and first taking us to
the highest and most subtle regions brings us down to the grossest cause. The creation is not a small matter, it starts
from god, the great father, the creator, sustainer and destroyer of all creations past, present and future. We have to
understand the whole complex process, the idea behind it and then continue the process amongst ourselves like the
father that is in heaven. What is there is here. We have to realize that the act always in the knowledge and
consciousness of that realization.

15. Therefore those who follow the religious act of prajapati, beget a pair (a son and a daughter). For them is verily this
world of Brahman in whom there is austerity, celibacy and in whom truth is established.

16. For them is that (highest stainless transcendent) world of Brahman in whom crookedness, untruth and self-
deception (ignorance) do not exist.

Esah Brahmalokah: This world of Brahman and asau virajo brahmalokah that stainless-pure-world of Brahman:

Sri Shanker makes a distinction between these two worlds and says in the first verse by this world of Brahman is meant
the world of the moon- the path of the manes but this does not seem to be proper. Three pronouns are generally
used etat, idam and adah. Etat is used when it is referred to as very close. Idam is used when it is referred for the whole
universe isa vasyam idam sarvam ishopanishad. Asau or adah is used for the transcendent or that which is above
yah asau asau purusah so hamasmi ishopanishad. Esah means here and is equivalent to idam. It means that the
persons who follow the (householders) family life experience. Brahman even here on this very earth, provided they
follow their way with austerity, proper celibacy and truthfulness. All these qualities are essential even for those who
aspire for the Brahman that is above and beyond asau brahma. Tapas penance occupied the first position in the
requisite of a sadhaka. From penance truth was a natural step. Truth and harmony (satyam rtam) went together. Tapas
heat of spiritual fire was the result of penances including celibacy. The heat that radiates for or from truth is tapas.
The studies of vedas in all its parts, understanding the hidden mystic meaining behind them and with spiritual practices
under the guidance of a guru were a part of these penances. The knowledge required for good progeny also formed a
part of these vedas. Even this suprajanana vidya the art of good progeny had its two sides one of karma, works by
a sexual act and the other of knowledge, for progeny of knowledge one was called putramantha or srmantha and the
other urdhvamantha. The followers of urdhvamantha were the pioneers of the cult of ascetics (munidhara) sramanah
urdhvamanthinah. Buddha and Shankar come in that lineage. Suprajanana, (good offsprings), sampradana (passing on
life or knowledge) and sampradaya (sect, followers of the same ideal) convey a similar idea. Following the vows of
prajapati, to beget children was not considerd a hindrance or against brahmasadhana.

Virajah: Beyond all worlds this word ordinarily means (Vi+rajah) that which is without the quality of rajas non-
attached. But this is the meaning of the sankhya philosophy. In veda, rajah is equivalent to loka e.g. parthivam rajah =
parthiva loka. So like srstih-visrstih, Virajah also refers to Atisristhi the worlds beyond or beyond creation. To shoot
beyond sun was considered the highest ascendance, the movement beyond all the worlds. We find in katha Upanishad
a mention of this shooting above first to reach the sun, from sun to moon, from moon to nakshatra constellation or
meteors and from there to shoot beyond in the great utter void mahasunya.

This great void or this shooting beyond all the worlds, is referred to by the word viraja brahmaloka. The world of
Brahman is beyond all worlds and so it is referred to as asau that, instead of esah. This, of the previous verse.
Psychologically the process will be somewhat like this. Our mundane consciousness gets illuminated by the heat of
tapas, symbolized by agni. From fire we go up in the midregions (antariksa) where we have the flashes of intuitions in
the form of lightnings (vidyut). Rising still higher, we reach the sun in the heavens. The intuition is then well-
established. We rise to the universal cosmic consciousness. Beyond this is the ananda caitanya the bliss-
consciousness symbolized by soma moon transformed into ananda-caitanya. When we go beyond this bliss-
consciousness we enter the transcendent supra-cosmic consciousness. Then we reach the constellations. This is akasa-
the sky which contains all light, kasyapa-cetana. Satksatra positive experience. Naksatra - negative experience. From
here starts neti neti the negative realisations. And even beyond this is the great void which is neither sat nor asat
which cannot be called existence nor non-existence. The goal placed before them by the Rishis was to reach these
staggering heights and then to return and get established as aditya, the sun, in aditya-cetana in the world to bestow life,
hope and faith to the millions as a beacon light, a guiding star.

Jihmam Crookedness: Dhwargati Avartagati moving in a zigzag way, in a crooked way, in a circular motion. There are
three types of movements in the sadhana (1) Avarta-gati circular movement (2) utkranti the upward spiral
movement (3) pragati the shooting up or all-pervasive movement.

First is the circular movement of thought, our talking birth again and again; then the movement from light to light. To
rise above slowly but still taking rounds and then final flooding of consciousness or shooting up above in a straight line
leaving the circular movement. All movement then ends in the great void, in the parama dhama tad vishnoh paramam
padam that highest abode, that highest place of vishnuh.

Maya: self-deception -illusionMaya: self-deception illusion

The word maya is used only in two places in upanishads. Here and in the swetaswatara Upanishad. In rigveda the word
is often used. It has two meanings there. One is the creative power. The root ma from which the word mata (mother)
is derived. Mata and maya are synonymous. The maya of varuna is his eternal mate, aditi aditi devatamayi. She is
maya, the eternal cause of creation. Varuna, the father avyakta caitanya, the unmanifest consciousness spirit. Aditi
the mother the material cause upadana sakti. In some vedantic thoughts both these are considered as one.

This world is the manifestation of that one consciousness. Sri Shankar had interpreted this word always in the sankhya
tradition. According to yaska, maya means both knowledge (prajna) and actions (karma). But maya is never prajna
according to Shankar. For him, maya and avidya ignorance are synonymous. In rigveda this other meaning is also
alluded to as asurasya maya, anirvacaniya. The maya of the asuras daemons which is deceptive, indescribable. As
ignorance when she envelops us in illusion, then also it is the maya shakti. According to the tantra the mother is
mahavidya, mahamaya, mahadevi, mahasuri, etc. she is the highest knowledge, the cause of liberation and she again is
the cause of bondage in the world. She is both mata and maya, vidya and avidya. Of couse here in this verse the word
maya is used as meaning ignorance, self-deception.


Part Four

Atha hainam bhargavo vaidarbhih prapaccha | bhagavan katyeva devah prajam vidharayante, katara etat prakasayante,
kah punaresam varistha iti || 1 ||

Tasmai se hovacakaso ha va esa devo vayuragnirapah prthivivammanascaksuh srotram cal te prakasyabhivadanti
vayametadbanamavastabhya vidharaayamah || 2 ||

Tan varisthah prana uvaca | ma mohamapadyatha ahamevaitat pancadhatmanam pravibhajyaitadbanamavastabhya
vidharayamiti te sraddhana babhuvah || 3 ||

Sobhimanadurdhvamutkramata iva tasminnutkramatyathetare sarva evotkramante tasmimsa pratisthamane sarva eva
pratisthante. Tadyatha maksika madhukararajanamutkramantam sarva evotkramante tasmimsca pratisthamane sarva
eve pratisthanta evam vammanascaksuh srotram ca te pritah pranam stunvanti || 4 ||

Eso gnistapatyesa surya
Esa parjanyo maghavanesa vayuh |
Eso prthivi rayirdevah
Sadasaccamrtam ca yat || 5 ||

Ara iva rathanabhau prane sarvam prastisthitam |
fco yajumsi samani yajnah ksatram brahma ca || 6 ||

prajapatiscarasi garbhe tvameva pratijayase |
tubhyam prana prajastvima balim haranti
yah pranaih pratisthitam || 7 ||

devanamasi vahnitamah pitrnam prathama svadha |
rsinam caritam satyamatharvangirasamasi || 8 ||

indrastvam prana tejasa rudrois pariraksita |
tyanamtarikse carasi suryastvam jyotisam patih || 9 ||

yada tvamabhivarsasyathemah prana te prajah |
anandarupastisthanti kamayannam bhavisyatiti || 10 ||

vratyastvam pranaikarsirtta visvasya satpatih |
vayamadyasya datarah pita tvam matarisva nah || 11 ||

y ate tanurvaci pratisthita ya srotre ya ca caksusi |
ya ca manasi santata sivam tam kuru motkramih || 12 ||

pranasyedam vase sarvam tridive yat pratisthitam
mateva putran raksasva srisca prajnam ca vidhehi na iti || 13 ||

The next three questions are mainly the eulogy of prana, pranopasana sadhana based on prana, the life=force-
occupied a very important place in the vedic sadhana. Prana in its highest conception is the consciousness-force of
Brahman (cit=sakti). The primordial stir in brahman (Brahma-kshobha) is prana. Creation, manifestation proceed from
this first primal vibration. The sun, moon, the lightnings, the fire, these are the adhidaivata cosmic manifestion
representation of the great prana (Maha Prana).

In the first four verses of this chapter, a story in an allegorical form is narrated showing the prominence of prana
amongst all forces. And the rest of the chapter is an eulogy of prana suggesting all its glorious forms and majesty. It is
almost the vibhuti yoga of prana.

1. Now bhargava of vidarbha asked him, o great master! How many gods (powers) maintain or organize the
creatures? How many (gods) illumine it? Who again is the greatest among them?

2. To him, he said, sky indeed is this god, (and also) the air, the fire, the water, the earth and the speech, the mind,
the eye and the ear. They having illumined (the body) said, we organize and control this body.

3. To them the supreme central prana (mukhya prana) said, do not remain in that illusion. I organize and control this
body by dividing myself into five parts (panca-prana). But they remained doubutful.

4. Offended, he as if made a move to go out or above (to leave the body). When he started leaving, others also began
to leave. When he is established all are established. It was just as when the king bee goes out (the bees) get settled. So
also the speech, the mind, the eye and the ear, being pleased (having understood the greatness of prana), began to
praise the prana.

Devah: gods these are the powers of consciousness. They are spiritual-principles governing all creation.
Vidharayante- Vidhrutah from vi+dhru to organize the disintegrated principles. Prajah: the creation is in chaos. It is
the gods who organize them. Two sets of principles are placed. The first set is the base on which the play of
consciousness functions.

One is stable (sthanu) in a sense the other is moving. Pancamahabhuta: the five great physical principles form this
substratum. They are the different forms of matter the material cause of everything. The most rarefied of matter is
akasa in a sense. Akasa is at the root of both matter and energy. From akasa are formed both vayu and prana the air
and energy, the material and spiritual forces. And so amongst all the gods, akasa is given a special referene, the rest are
mentioned as following Akaska is given a special reference, the rest are mentioned as following akasa.

Akasa, Vayu, Agnih, Apah, Prthivi. These form the cosmic stuff or matter. All the creation is a combination of these five
principles. They are one in essence. The difference is only in the degree of density.

The Earth is the principle if solidity. In ourselves it is the body. Finer than earth is water (Apah). There is fluidity in it. In
us it is the rasah, the fluids. Then comes fire (heat) this is our tapas, the fire of aspiration, austerity. When it takes a
further finer form it turns into air (Vayu-prana). Matter now changes into pure energy. When this air stops moving the
concentration gets still rarefield into akasha. This is the prajna, the spiritual goal of our life.

Vak, Manah, caksuh, shrotra, prana: these are five conscious principles. Consciousness is manifested through these
principles. They are called five door-keeprs of Brahman (Brahma-dvarapala). Special spiritual disciplines are enjoined,
taking each of these, as an aid. With speech-the mantra sadhana-with mind, the yogas (Bhakti, karma and jnana
according to the three functions of mind feeling willing and thinking with the eye, jyoti-light-sadhana with ear, the
nada-sound-sadhana and pranava-upasana sadhana with the word OM; with prana, pranayama kundalini yoga etc.
similarly there are disciplines pertaining to pancamahabhuta also culminating in the meditation on akasha. All-
pervasiveness, sense of infinity is the fruit of this sadhana. Prana being the chief of all these, it is left out in the
beginning. That prana is the chief of all conscious principles is evident from all our experience. Life is prana. When we
die, it is prana that leaves the body. In sleep all the senses of our body stop functioning, prana alone functions. Without
prana there is no manifestation. He is therefore the prajapati the lord of praja, all beings.

Our sadhana is the gradual rise of consciousness from material ordinary consciousness (prakrta cetana) to divine
consciousness (Divya cetana). So the Rishis took matter as a matter of fact. Only the conscious principles were dealt
upon with greater emphasis and their evolution as a greater necessity. In fact, they considered matter as involved spirit.
There is a progressive evolution of spirit, from matter to life, from life to mind and onward.

Banah: Body: Reed-shaft-Arrow. As bahan it also meant a flute. Body is like a flute with seven apertures or holes to play
the divine music. [actually nice holes with two lower ones also called doors (Dwara). The body is called a city with
nine doors (navadwarapura). ]

Body is also compared with a beehive. This simile is often used in the vedic literature. Honey is compared with the bliss-
consciousness (Ananda-cetana). Prana is here called the king of bees.

Now the adoration of prana.

5. This (Prana) is fire, that burns, he is the sun. He is parjanya (the raincloud). He is Indra and he is vayu (Air). This
(Prana) is the earth, the matter, the shining one (Devah) and what exists and what exists not (Existence as well as non-
existence) and the immortal.

Prana is verily all the gods. In gradual order from below, they are the earth, agni (Fire), Vayu (Air), indra (god of the
mind), parjanya (rain-cloud) and surya (sun). As abstract principles prana is rayi, energy; existence (sat), non-existence
(asat) and immortality (amritam). Let us observe the functions of the gods subjectively.

The earth is the base, the physical matter-it is our body. The conscious force in it is Agni (The fire). It is also the fire of
aspiration, lying dormant in us. The air (vayu) is the god or deity of mid-region. Vayu and Indra are a pair (Mithuna).
Vayu is our life-force-the prana that we breathe in and out. When this is controlled the powers of pure mind are
awakened. No the soma- bliss-consciousness that purs down from heaven is parjanya (rain-cloud). It is hidden in the
clouds. Vritra-the demon whom Indra kills is obstructing its way. By the powers of pure mind that are now awakened
in the form of Indra, these forces of darkness are to be pierced, so that bliss can pour down from the heavens in our
body-consciousness. This flooding of our consciousness with infinit is signified by parjanya. And when dark clouds have
passed away, the light of sun shines forth brightly in the sky above. Peace, Infinity, bliss, illumination, knowledge of
everything is ours if prana is worshipped. This Prana is again the principle of motion. He is Rayi; he is being and non-
being, sat and asat. Asat is the great void. Akasa-which contains everything and yet is beyond everything. It is the one
or zero. Sat is the being, the infinite consciousness the aditya and rayi is the gushing forth of rays of light the finite
innumerable formulations. All the three are immortal. They are eternal. The soul, universe, and god-all the three are
eternal and immortal.

6. The riks, the yajus, the samas, the sacrifice, the kshatra and the brahma everything is established in prana, just as
the spokes are fixed in the navel of a chariot.

Prana is the source of everything. All came out of prana just as the spokes from the navel and rays from the sun.
Without prana there is no life and therefore no sacrifice. The vedas rigveda, yajurveda or samaveda are the collections
of mantras used in sacrifices. In that sense they are all dependant on prana. Brahma and Kshatra : The arya society was
divided in three main divisions. Visa, ksatriya and brahmana. They were called dwijas the twice born. The second
birth was the time when the sacred thread (Upavita) was given. Only the above three classes were allowed to wear the
sacred thread. The rest of the people were considered as shudras, the uncultured people.

Visas are the common people.

Kshatra-Brahma: These two terms can be taken as symbols of attributes necessary for spiritual evolution. Visas are
those who have entered the spiritual path. Visas are those who have entered the spiritual path. Visas are the common
men. Then by the force of austerity the fire within has to be reared. This is the work of kshatra-virya. Tapas (austerity,
strength and vigour) is this kshatra. And Sraddha Faith and the power of knowledge is the power of brahma. These
are also prana.

7. You are verily Prajapati who move about in every womb and are born again and again. O, Prana! All these people
bring their offerings to you only, who dwells in the body as (five) pranas.

The natural life is nothing but the action of prana. Prana takes birth as a child in the womb. All the creatures take food
only to strengthen this life-force. All our life is a sacrifice and whatever we take in is an offering in that sacrifice.

8. You are the best vehicle (carrier) of gods, the first offering of the manes. You are the truth behind the works of Rishis
like Atharva and Angiras.

We get here the three steps states of Life the gods, the manes and the Rishis.

Vahnitamah: The best of vehicles: The vehicle of gods is fire (agni). Vahni also means fire. The oblations given in fire go
up to the sun-world (adityaloka). The oblations given in fire go up to the sun-world (adityaloka). The oblations given to
the fire within us, in the form of austerities, rise up to the cosmic and supracosmic consciousness. The individual attains
universal and infinite expansion.

There were two kinds of mantras for offerings swaha and swadha. When the gods were invited and the oblations
were offered to them, the swaha mantras were used. When the manes were invited, svadha mantras were used. This
developed into two kinds of sadhana. The worship of gods (Devopasana) and the worship of the self (Atomopasana).
The Rishis were the torchbearers of knowledge (vidya). Their sadhana was the sadhana of liberation, of ascent and
expansion of consciousness. Atharva and angiras are the names of two very well known Rishis who are mentioned at
many places in rigveda and other scriptures. Atharva was the pioneer of agni vidya the science of fire. Angira was the
pioneer of yajna vidya the science of sacrifice.

Psychologically Atharva symbolizes the overhead consciousness- Murdhanyacetana and Angira symbolizes the flow of
light from overhead consciousness (Agnisrota) that floods the nerves. When the consciousness is concentrated in the
overhead region, when the kundalini shakti rises up and joins with shiva in the sahasrara centre, it is called the atharva
consciousness and when the bliss consciousness the nectar of the sahasrara center (ananda-amrita-cetana) flows
down in all the parts of the body through the nervous system, it is the angiras consciousness.

Prana is the force behind all these spiritual disciplines.

Prana! Thou art Indra, Thou art Rudra as force (and also) the protector. Thou art the sun moving in the sky. Thou art the
lord of all lights.

Prana is the lord of the three worlds. The godheads of the three worlds are Agni (Fire) on the earth (bhuloka), vayu and
indra in the midregions (antariksa) and Aditya the sun in the heavens (Dyuloka).

Rudra is the godhead who destroys. But the same godhead when pleased is shiva the bestower of bliss the
protector. The stormy sky represents the rudra form and the calm sky shiva-form of the same godhead. As sky he is
covering everything. He destroys what is crooked and wicked and protects the good, the innocent. Rudra is the
godhead of midregions (antariksa).

Psychologically, Vayu the air is the pure Prana, Life-force and Indra is the pure mind, agni is the fire of aspiration. The
goal is the sun (Surya cetana), the light of all lights (Jyotisam patih). It is pure self (Atma).

10. O Prana! When thou rainest (thou art rain also) all these people dance in delight with the hope that there will be
food (in abundance).

Prana is the god of rains Parjanya as well. It is the power behind the pouring down of rains. The physical rain
symbolizes a spiritual pouring down of truth-knowledge consciousness. The spiritual evolution was compared with the
changes in the seasons. The spring brings the first sprouting of the spiritual consciousness. There is light, joy
everywhere, vasanta vyas to shine. It is the season of joy and sweetness Madhumaya ritu like our childhood and
adolescence. Then comes the summer (grisma). It is the time of purification, of austerity, the period of struggle. The
tremendous head burns, dries and sometime even destroys the aspirant. This is the time of youth and gown-ups. But it
is soon followed by the rainy seasons. The struggle brings the joy of victory. There is joy and bliss everywhere. If the life
is lived well, then the old age brings another childhood and adolescence the joy and sweetness of spring appear again
in life.

11. O Prana, thou art vratya, the ekarsi, the eater; thou art the one existent, the lord of the universe; we bring food
(offered as oblations to the fire). O matarisva, thou art our father.

Vratya Vratyas were aryas who did not perform sacrifices and did not believe in vedic gods. They were ayajnah
Adevah Avedah did not believe in vedas as well. They worshipped Akasha-the void. The munis, the shaivas, the
Buddha and the jaina came from these vratyas. In certain vedic literature they were severely condemned as
Mantrahinah those who had no mantras and those who usurped the rights of brahmanas. But their spiritual powers
were undisputed and as such slowly a synthesis was created. Eka Vratya a name for siva and varuna was accepted in
the Aryan pantheology and was given a very prominent place. The 15th kanda (Chapter) of atharva veda is called vratya
kanda and there the vratya is praised as siva ekadeva the one god. Hence-Prana as Rudra or Siva is also called vratya
here.

Ekarsi-the one seer. The word Rishi has three meanings- (1) motion as in purvam arshat (Isa Upanisad). Who moves
forward, (2) one who pierces risti, (3) the seer, one who sees in a vision the intuitive seeing. In the movement of the
sun (cosmically) it comes next to pushan pushan ekarse yama surya etc. (Isa Upanisad). Its psychological place is
between the brows Ajna Cakra. The word is also used for shiva. The yogic power of shiva is Ekarsi. Agradhi-whose
intelligence is pointed.

Atta adyasya the root ad, to eat. Both the words are derived from the same root, anna-annada. In the spiritual
terminology the world the matter all that is manifested created is anna. The lord, the self (atma) is the annada the
eater of food atta and annada are synonymous. Adyasya of that which is eatable.

Visvasya Satpati sat whatever exists existence. He is the lord of all that exists in the universe. The whole universe
exists in him and he is the ruler, the lord of the universe as well.

Matarisva Tvam pita: matarisva one who has increased in the (womb) of the mother. The son is the father. Prana is the
mahat. He is purusha, hiranyagarbha. But maha-prakrit, avyakta aditi is his mother. So though bourn as a son, yet he
is our father our creator.

12. O (Prana)! Do not leave us. May your body which is established in the speech, in the ear, in the eye and which
pervades the mind by propitious.

All the powers which are extrovert should be turned inwards and everything should be merged in the spirit of the sky
in the void (akasha, sunyata) so that there is the condition of prapancopasamanm santam shivam advaitam amritam
pure existence, the supreme bliss and immortality (Cf. mandukya Upanishad). The superiority of prana is affirmed by all
the lower powers (sense organs). One established in this undivided unified consciousness (Ekarasi cetana) in Samadhi
(consciously) and in deep sleep (in ingnorance) or in death (yogis, consciously, the rest unconsciously) or at the time of
total destruction. This is the condition of Shiva.

13. Whatever exists here or whatever is established in the three worlds is under the control of Prana. (O Prana) protect
us as mother (protects) her children; ordain for us prosperity and supreme knowledge.

Prana who is Shiva is Vasi the controller, One who has merged everything within ones self is ones own master
Swarata. He is also the master of his surroundings Samrat. The three worlds are interwoven as tribhuvana where there
is samsaragati, where there is the whirling of the wheel of the world. Psychologically these three worlds are the three
qualities Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. The three worlds are the three states of consciousness the waking (Jagrat), the
dream (Swapna) and the deep sleep (susupti) as well. The three worlds are also the physical, the vital and the mental
worlds.

Sri Prjna one is the boon of abhyudaya material welfare. Sri wealth and prosperity in this world the other prajna
is for the supreme beatitude, for liberation. Nihsreyas spiritual welfare.

to be continued in June or July 2009, when the translation becomes available