Chandogya Upanishad:

The Chanters' Teaching:

Book VIII Part II


VIII.7

1. �One must seek for and want to know the self, which is free from evil, ageless, deathless, sorrow-less without hunger, without thirst, of true desire, of true resolve. The one who has found and knows the self attains all worlds and all desires.' So said Prajapati.

2. Both gods and demons came to know of this. They said, 'Come, we will seek for the self, since by knowing the self one attains all worlds and all desires.' Of the gods, Indra set forth, and of the demons, Virocana, and unbeknown to one another, they came into Prajapati's presence with firewood in their hands.

3. For thirty-two years they lived as brahmacarins. Then Prajapati asked them, 'What did you want, that you came to stay here?'

They said, 'Folk report your saying, blessed one: "One must seek for and want to know the self, which is free from evil, ageless, deathless, sorrow-less, without hunger, without thirst, of true desire, of true resolve. The one who has found and knows the self attains all worlds and all desires." That is what we wanted, that we came to stay here.'

4. Prajapati said to them, 'The person who is seen in the eye is the self.' He said, 'This is the immortal, the fearless: this is brahman.'

'Then, blessed one, which is it, the one that is discerned in water, or the one that is discerned in a mirror?'

'It is discerned in all places,' he said.

VIII.8

1. 'Look at yourselves (atman) in a dish of water, then tell me what you do not understand about the self.' They looked in a dish of water. Prajapati asked them, 'What do you see?'

They said, 'Blessed one, we see ourselves in reflection, from hair to nails.'

2. Prajapati said to them, 'Make yourselves smart,Literally, well-adorned. Presumably Indra and Virocana are to change horn the simple robes of the brahmacarin to their normal kingly garb. well-dressed and elegant, and look in a dish of water.' They made themselves smart, well-dressed and elegant, and looked in a dish of water. Prajapati asked them, 'What do you see?'

3. They said, 'Blessed one, just as we are smart, well-dressed and elegant, so these, blessed one, are smart, well-dressed and elegant.'

'This is the self,' he said. 'This is the immortal, the fearless: this is brahman.' And they left, their hearts at peace.

4. Seeing them, Prajapati said, 'They are leaving without attaining or knowing the self. Those who have this as their inner teaching,Etadupanishad, 'having this as [their] Upanishad' whether gods or demons, will be defeated.'

Virocana went to the demons, his heart at peace, and � taught them this inner teaching: 'The self must be glorified, the self must be served here.Virocana misunderstands the teaching, identifying the self with the body. Glorifying and serving the self here, one attains both worlds, this one and that one.'

5. So even here, today, they say of one who does not give, does not have faith, does not sacrifice, 'Alas! He is demonic!' for this inner teaching belongs to the demons. Folk make ready the body of the departed with alms,Gifts got by begging clothing and adornments, and think that they will win that world by means of this one.

VIII.9

1. But before he had reached the gods, Indra saw the danger: 'When the body is smart, it is smart. When the body is well-dressed, it is well-dressed. When the body is elegant, it is elegant. But in the same way, when the body is blind, it is blind. When the body is lame, it is lame. When the body is mutilated, it is mutilated. On the destruction of the body, it is destroyed. I see no satisfaction here.'

2. He went back with firewood in his hands. Prajapati said to him, 'Maghavan, you went away with Virocana, your heart at peace. So what did you want, that you came back?'

He said, 'Blessed one, when the body is smart, it is smart. When the body is well-dressed, it is well-dressed. When the body is elegant, it is elegant. But in the same way, when the body is blind, it is blind. When the body is lame, it is lame. When the body is mutilated, it is mutilated. On the destruction of the body, it is destroyed. I see no satisfaction here.'

3. 'Just so, Maghavan,' he said. 'I will explain it to you further. Stay another thirty-two years.' He stayed another thirty-two years. Then he said to him:

VIII.10

1. 'The one that, triumphing, moves about in dream is the self,' he said. 'This is the immortal, the fearless: this is brahman.'

He went away, his heart at peace, but before he had reached the gods, he saw the danger: 'Though the body becomes blind, it is not blind. Though the body is lame, it is not lame. It is not flawed by its flaws.

2. 'It is not slain with its slaying, nor lamed with its laming. But it seems to be killed; it seems to be stripped.Reading vicchadayantiva, 'they strip it as it were': variant, vicchayayantwa, 'they wound it as it were'. It seems to experience unpleasant things; it seems to weep. I see no satisfaction here.'

3. He went back with firewood in his hands. Prajapati said to him, 'Maghavan, you went away, your heart at peace. So what did you want, that you came back?'

He said, 'Blessed one, though the body becomes blind, it is not blind. Though the body is lame, it is not lame. It is not flawed by its flaws.

4. 'It is not slain with its slaying, nor lamed with its laming. But it seems to be killed; it seems to be stripped. It seems to experience unpleasant things; it seems to weep. I see no satisfaction here.'

'Just so, Maghavan he said. 'I will explain it to you further. Stay another thirty-two years.' He stayed another thirty-two years. Then he said to him:

VIII.ll

1. 'When, asleep, withdrawn and perfectly calm, one knows no dream, this is the self,' he said. 'This is the immortal, the fearless: this is brahman.'

He went away, his heart at peace, but before he had reached the gods, he saw the danger: 'Surely this does not directly know itself (atman) as "I am this", nor does it know beings. It merges and dissolves.Vinasam capita bhavati, 'it has merged into dissolution'. During dreamless sleep, though the self is not destroyed, the consciousness of it vanishes. I see no satisfaction here.'

2. He went back with firewood in his hands. Prajapati said to him, 'Maghavan, you went away, your heart at peace. So what did you want, that you came back?'

He said, 'Blessed one, surely this does not directly know itself as "I am this", nor does it know beings. It merges and dissolves. I see no satisfaction here.' 3 'Just so, Maghavan,' he said. 'I will explain it to you further, this and nothing else. Stay another five years.' He stayed another five years. Altogether it came to a hundred and one years. So folk say, 'Maghavan lived as a brahmacarin with Prajapati for a hundred and one years.' Then he said to him:

VIII.12

1. 'Maghavan, the body is mortal. It has been taken by death. But it is the support of the self, which is immortal and bodiless. The embodied has been taken by the pleasant and the unpleasant. For the embodied, there is no escaping the pleasant and the unpleasant. But that which is bodiless the pleasant and the unpleasant do not touch.

2. 'Air is bodiless. Cloud, lightning and thunder�these are bodiless. Just as they, rising up from space and reaching the light beyond, appear in their own form,

3. 'So the blissful one, leaving this body and entering the light beyond, appears in its own form. That is the highest person.Uttama purusa Here he moves about, feasting, playing, or taking pleasure with women, chariots or kin, not remembering this appendage, the body. Just as a draught animal is yoked to a carriage, the breath is yoked to the body.

4. 'Where the eye is fixed upon space, that is the person of the eye.Caksusa purusa The eye is for seeing. The one who experiences, "Let me smell this", is the self. The noseGhrana, literally, 'the [sense of] smell' here refers to the physical base
of the sense. is for smelling. The one who experiences, "Let me say this", is the self. The speech is for talking. The one who experiences, "Let me hear this", is the self. The ear is for hearing.

5. 'The one who experiences, "Let me think this", is the self. Mind is its divine eye. It takes pleasure, seeing with this divine eye, the mind, the desires

6. 'Which are in the world of brahman. The gods worship the self as such, so all worlds and all desires have been taken by them. The one who has found and knows the self attains all worlds and all desires.' So said Prajapati. So said Prajapati.

VIII.13

1. From the dark I take refuge in the dappled, From the dappled I take refuge in the dark.This (deliberately) enigmatic saying perhaps means, 'From this world (dark because clouded by ignorance), I go to the many-coloured world of the gods: from there I go to the (dark because mysterious) world of brahman.' Shaking off evil, as a horse shakes its mane, Shaking off the body, as the moon breaks free from Rahu's mouth, With self achieved (krtatman), I reach, I reach the unmade (akrta) world of brahman.

VIII.14

1. Space, as it is called, is the bringer into being of name and form. That which contains themTe yadantara, 'that which they are inside of. is brahman, the immortal: that is the self.

I reach the house, the court of Prajapati.

I become glory. I have attained

The glory of the Brahmanas, glory of the kings, glory of the people.

The glory of glories, may I not go

To the white, toothless,

Toothless, white and slimy�

May I not go to the slimy!

VIII.15

1. Brahma taught this to Prajapati, Prajapati to Manu, and Manu to his offspring. If one studies the Veda, according to the rule, in the time left over from one's guru's work; if, after returning from the teacher's house into the family, one recites it to oneself in a clean place; if one brings up virtuous children;Dharmika. 'Children' is added for clarity. if one establishes all one's faculties in the self; and if one does no harm to any beings, other than at the due times: E.g. at the sacrifice. if one conducts oneself like this as long as one lives, one attains the world of brahman, and does not return�and does not return.

OM. May my limbs, speech, breath, eye, ear, strength and all senses grow strong. Everything is the brahman of the Upanisads. May I not reject brahman. May brahman not reject me. May there be no rejecting. May there be no rejecting of me. May all the dharmas which are in the Upanisads be in me, who delight in the self. May they be in me.

OM. Peace, peace, peace.




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