Kausitaki Upanishad

1. OM. Citra Gangyayani, about to offer a sacrifice, chose
Arum as priest. Aruni sent his son, Svetaketu, telling him
to perform the sacrifice.

When he had arrived, Gangyayani asked him, ‘Son of
Gautama, is there a dosed place in the world in which you
will set me? Or is there some other path there, by which
you will set me in a world?’This passage is deliberately riddling and obscure. The closed place (samvrta.) is ambiguous: is it a barrier which will prevent the patron of the sacrifice from going further, so that he has to come back, or one which will prevent him from having to come back? In either case, the reference is to the two paths to the other world

He said, ‘I do not know this: come, I must ask my
teacher.’ He approached his father and asked him, ‘He asked
me such-and-such: how should I reply?’

He said, ‘I do not know this either. Let us study at his
house and take what others give us. Come, we both will
go.’ With fuel in hand he went up to Citra Gangyayani
saying, ‘I must come to you as a student.

Gangyayani said, ‘You are worthy of the sacred
knowledge (brahman), Gautama, for you have not fallen into
conceit. Come, I will explain it to you.?

2. He said, ‘All those who depart from this world go to
the moon. In the former half of the month it waxes by their
breaths, and with its latter half it causes them to be born
again. This, the moon, is the door to the heaven world:
the one who answers it, it sends onward, but the one who
does not answer becomes rain here, and it rains him down.
He is reborn here in one place after another as a worm, a
flying thing, a fish, a bird, a lion, a boar, a snake, a tiger,
a person, or something else, according to his actions,
according to his knowledge.

‘When he gets there, the moon asks him, “Who are

‘He should answer it,

‘”From the shining, 0 seasons, the seed was brought,
From the fifteenfold begotten, from the ancestors’
realm. The shining (or 'wise'?vicaksana) and fifteenfold is the moon, where the ancestors live.

You caused me to arise in a male as agent:
Through a man as agent, sprinkle me in a mother.

“As such I was born, being reborn as the twelfth or
thirteenth succeeding month through a twelve- or thirteenfold
father. I know that: I know the reverse of that. Seasons,
you have brought me to immortality. By that truth, by that asceticism, I am a season: I am of the seasons. Who am I?
I am you.” It sends him onward.

3. ‘Entering the path that leads to the gods, he comes to
Agni’s world; to Vayu’s world; to Varuna’s world; to Indra’s
world; to Prajapati’s world; to Brahma’s world. This world
has the lake, Ara; watchmen^ the Muhurtas; the river,
Vijara; the tree, Ilya; the public square, Salajya; the
dwelling, Aparajita; the two door-guardians, Indra and
Prajapati; the palace, Vibhu; the throne, Vicaksana; the
couch, Amitaujas; the beloved, Manasi, and her pair,
Caksusi, who take flowers and weave the two worlds; the
apsarases, the Ambas and the Ambayavis;31 the rivers,
Ambaya. The one who knows this arrives there. Brahma33
says, “Run to him! By my glory he has reached the river
Vijara, and he will not grow old.”

4. ‘Five hundred apsarases approach him, a hundred with
fruit in their hands, a hundred with unguents in their hands,
a hundred with garlands in their hands, a hundred with
garments in their hands, a hundred with perfumed powders
in their hands. They adorn him with the adornment of
Brahma. Once adorned with the adornment of Brahma, the
knower of brahman approaches brahman. He comes to the
lake, Ara, and crosses it by mind. When they get there,
those who know only what is in front of them sink. He
comes to the watchmen, the Muhurtas, and they run away
from him. He comes to the river, Vijara, and crosses it,
too, by mind.

‘Then he shakes off his good deeds and bad deeds. His
dear relations get his good deeds and those who are not
dear his bad deeds. Then just as one driving a chariot looks
down on the two chariot wheel, he looks down on day
and night, good deeds and bad deeds, and all dualities. Free
from good deeds, free from bad deeds, the knower of brahman
approaches brahman.

5. ‘He comes to the tree, Ilya, and the smell of Brahma enters him. He comes to the public square, Salajya, and the
taste of Brahma enters him. He comes to the dwelling,
Aparajita, and the brightness of Brahma enters him. He
comes to the two door-guardians, Indra and Prajapati, and
they run away from him. He comes to the hall, Vibhu, and
the glory of Brahma enters him.

‘He comes to the throne, Vicaksana. The Brhat and
Rathantara samans are its front feet; the ^yaita and Naudhasa
its back feet; the Vairupa and Vairaja its side-pieces; the
Sakvara and Raivata its cross-pieces. It is awareness, for by
awareness one discerns.

‘He comes to the couch, Amitaujas. That is the breath.
What has been and what is to be are its front feet; splendour
(sri) and refreshment (ira) its back feet; the Bhadra and
Yajnayajftiya its head-pieces; the Brhat and Rathantara its
side-pieces; the re verses and sdman verses its lengthwise
cords; the yajus verses its crosswise ones; the Soma-stems
its mattress; the Udgitha its coverlet; and glory its pillow.
On it Brahma sits. The one who knows this at first sets just
one foot on it.

‘Brahma asks him, “Who are you?”

‘He should reply to him:

6. ‘”I am a season: I am of the seasons. From space as
womb I came into being as seed for a wife:38 as the brightness
of the year; as the self of being after being. You are the self
of being after being. What you are, I am.”

‘He says to him, “Who am I?”

‘He should say, “Truth (satya).”

‘What is that truth?’

‘”What is other than the gods and the breaths is being
(sat), and what is the gods and the breaths is yonder (tyam),
which is why ‘truth’ is called by this name. So much is all
this. You are all this.” This is what he tells him. This is
taught in a verse:

7. ‘”He whose belly is the yajus, whose head is the saman,
Whose form is the re, unfailing one.

Should be known as Brahma,
Great Rsi, made of brahman.

He says to him, “By what does one win my masculine

‘He should say, “By the breath (prana, masc.).”

‘”By what my neuter names?”

‘”By mind (manas, neut.).”

‘”By what my feminine names?”

‘”By speech (vac, fern.).”

‘”By what my smells?”

‘”By the breath.”

‘”By what my forms?”

‘”By the eye.”

‘”By what my sounds?”

‘”By the ear.”

‘”By what my tastes of food?”

‘”By the tongue.”

‘”By what my actions?”

‘”By the hands.”

‘”By what my joy and sorrow?”

‘”By the body.”

‘”By what my delight, pleasure and procreation?”

‘”By the loins.”

‘”By what my movements?”

‘”By the feet.”

‘”By what my thoughts, that which is to be known, and desires?”

‘He should say, “By awareness.”

‘Brahma says to him, “The waters are my world: that
world is yours.” He wins as his victory the victory, the
attainment, that is Brahma’s-the one who knows this, the
one who knows this.’

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