Brhadaranyaka Upanishad:

The Great Forest Teaching:

Book Five Part II


V.9

1. The fire which is within person is that which is in all men, 195 by which the food is eaten is digested. Literally, 'cooked' It is its sound that one hears when one covers one's ears like this. When one is about to depart, one does not hear this sound.

V.10

1. When a person goes forth from this world, he comes to the air. It parts there for him like the hole in a chariot-wheel, and he goes up through it. He comes to the sun. It parts there for him like the hole in a tabor,Lombard, said to be a musical instrument, type unspecified. But if the
word is onomatopoeic it must surely be some kind of drum. and he goes up through it. He comes to the moon. It parts there for him like the hole in a drum, and he goes up through it. He comes to a world without sorrow, without snow, and he lives there for eternal years.

V.ll

1. When one suffers (tap-) with illness, that is the highest asceticism (tapes).This chapter suggests that the most unwelcome experiences can be
used for spiritual training. Whoever knows this wins the highest world. When they take the dead out to the forest, that is the highest asceticism. Whoever knows this wins the highest world. When they lay the dead on the fire, that is the highest asceticism. Whoever knows this wins the highest world.

V.12

1. Some say that food is brahman, but it is not so, for without breath, food decays. Some say that breath is brahman, but it is not so, for without food, breath dries up. But when these two deities become united they reach the highest state.

So Pratrda said to his father, 'What good could I do to one who knows this? What harm could I do to him?'

His father said, with a gesture of his hand, 'No, Pratrda. Who reaches the highest state by becoming united with these two?' He said to him also, 'Vi. Food is vi, for all these beings have entered (vis-) into food. Ram. Breath is ram, for all these beings take pleasure (ram-) in breath. All beings enter into, all beings take pleasure in, the one who knows this.' Vi-ram- means 'to cease', 'to abandon'. Perhaps Pratrda's father means
that by understanding vi and ram one attains the cessation of suffering.

V.13

1. Uktha. Breath is the Uktha, for breath makes all this arise (ut-tha). Whoever knows this, a hero A heroic son who knows the Uktha arises from him: he wins union with the Uktha, shares a world with it.

2. Yajus. Breath is the yajus, for all beings are joined together (yuj-) in breath. Whoever knows this, all beings are joined with him for his betterment: he wins union with the yajus, shares a world with it.

3. Saman. Breath is the saman, for all beings are together (samyac) in breath. Whoever knows this, all beings come together with him for his betterment: he wins union with the saman, shares a world with it.

4. Royalty (ksatra). Breath is royalty, breath indeed is royalty, for breath protects (trai-) one from being injured (ksan-). Whoever knows this attains royalty that needs no protection (a-tra): he wins union with royalty, shares a world with it.

V.14

1. Bhumih, antariksam, dyauh (earth, middle-air, sky)�eight syllables.Pronouncing dyauh in the Vedic way as di-auh. Most Sanskrit metres have four lines (or half-lines, as
they are most commonly written) which are accordingly known as
padas or padas, 'feef or 'quarters' One foot of the Gayatri has eight syllables, and this is that foot of it. Whoever knows that foot of it as such wins as much as there is in the three worlds.

2. Scah, yajumsi, samdni (Riggveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda) �eight syllables. One foot of the Gayatri has eight syllables, and this is that foot of it. Whoever knows that foot of it as such wins as much as there is of this threefold knowledge.

3. Pram, apana, vyana Pronounced as vi-tna. (breath, lower breath, diffused breath)�eight syllables. One foot of the Gayatri has eight syllables, and this is that foot of it. Whoever knows that foot of it as such wins as much as there is that has breath.

Its visible foot, the turn,Tunya, literally 'fourth', but a less usual term than caturtha, the ordinary
word. Its meaning is specialised to denote the transcendent fourth
outside any set of threefor example the state of mind that is other
than waking, dream and dreamless sleep. Here it is the fourth 'foof
to complete the three 'feef of the Gayatri that can be chanted and
heard. is the one who gives heat (tap-) The sun beyond the darkness. The fourth is the tuny a. It is called 'the visible foot' because it has become visible. It is 'beyond the darkness'Rajas, a wide term that may mean cloud, dust, darkness, impurity,
passion. because it gives heat far, far above the darkness. The one who knows that foot of it as such blazes (tap-) with splendour, with fame.

4. The Gayatri is supported on the fourth (tuny a) visible foot which is beyond the darkness.

That is supported on truth. The eye is truth: the eye, indeed, is truth. So if now two people were to come arguing, one saying, 'I have seen', the other saying 'I have heard', we would believe the one saying, 'I have seen'.

Truth is supported on strength. Breath is strength: it is supported on breath. So they say, 'Strength is more powerful than truth.'

That is how the Gayatri is supported in relation to oneself. It has protected the gayas. The breaths are the gayas.Gays in this sense seems to be a word invented to account for the
etymology of Gayatri. It has protected the breaths. Because it has protected (trai-) the gayas, it is called Gayatri. This is the same Savitri that one teaches. It protects the breaths of the one to whom one teaches it.

5. Some teach the Savitri as an anustubh, saying,There are several alternative Savitri verses, including some in other
metres. Anon (1968: 436) considers that this is a warning against
teaching the student the version in anustubh ('sloka') verse, perhaps
because it is simpler. The anustubh that he quotes is RV V.82.1, as at 'Speech is the anustubh, so we teach it as speech.' One should not do so. One should teach the Savitri as a gayatn. Even if one who knows this receives much wealth, it is not equal to one foot of the Gayatri.

6. If one were to receive the three worlds, full, one would be getting the first foot of the Gayatri. If one were to receive as much as there is of this threefold knowledge, one would be getting the second foot of it. If one were to receive as much as there is that has breath, one would be getting the third foot of it. But no-one can get its fourth (turiya), visible foot, the one who gives heat beyond the darkness: how could one receive something like this?

7. The way to worship it: 'Gayatri, you are one-footed, two-footed, three-footed, four-footed: you are no-footed, for you do not walk. Homage to your fourth, visible foot beyond the darkness.' One may pray,Added for clarity. This verse contrasts strangely with the advice given
in V.3.1-3, though it is of a piece with the somewhat competitive attitude to life found elsewhere in the Brhadaranyaka, and even more
in the Vedas. It seems curious that the desire to frustrate an enemy
is. put ahead even of the desire to do well onesel 'May not attain this!' or 'May his desire not be fulfilled!' If one offers worship in this way about someone, his desire is not fulfilled. Or one may pray, 'May I attain this!'

8. On this matter, Janaka of Videha said to Budila Asvatarasvi, 'Ha! You have called yourself a knower of the Gayatri. How is it that you have become an elephant, carrying?'209

'Because I did not know its mouth, your majesty,' he said.

Its mouth is fire. Even if one lays, as it were, much fuel on a fire, it bums it all up. In the same way, even if one who knows this does, as it were, much evil, his seems to have been put in to explain the morally doubtful advice
in the previous verse. The repeated iva, 'as it were', suggests that the
author does not want us to take it too literally. he swallows it all and becomes pure, cleansed, unageing, immortal.

V.15

1. The face of truth is concealed By a vessel made of gold. n Reveal it, Pusan, to my sight Which has truth as its dharma.

2. Pusan, Ekarsi, Yama, Surya, son of Prajapati, Draw apart your rays and draw them together. I see the light that is your most beautiful form. That very person�I am he.

3. My breath to immortal air: This body has ended in ashes. OM! Will, remember! Remember the deed! Will, remember! Remember the deed!

4. Agni, god who knows all ways, Lead us by a good road to prosperity. Overcome our crooked faults,

And we will render you the utmost reverence.




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