Maitri Upanishad

1. The blessed 6akayanya, very pleased, said to the king:
‘Great King Brhadratha, banner of the house of Iksvaku, you
will quickly achieve your purpose and become a knower of
the self, renowned by the name of “Marut”?

‘This is your self.’

‘Which is it, blessed one?’

2. ‘”The one that, departing upwards on the cessation of
the breathing, suffering yet not suffering, dispels
darkness?this is the self”: so said the blessed Maitri. For
it is said: “The blissful one that, leaving this body and
entering the light beyond, appears in its own form, is the
self,” he said. “This is the immortal, the fearless: this is

3. ‘This is the knowledge of brahman, the knowledge of all
the Upanisads, your majesty. It was taught to us by the
blessed Maitri: I will recount it to you.

‘The Valakhilyas, as is well known, were free from
evil, of intense brightness, celibate. They said to Prajapati,
“Blessed one, the body is without intelligence, like a cart.
Who is it that, higher than the senses, had such power as
to set it up in this form, with intelligence? Who is the
instigator of it? Blessed one, tell us what you know.”
‘He told them:

4. ‘”The one who is famed as standing above?pure, clean,
void, at peace, without breath, selfless, unending,
indestructible, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent?rests
in his own power. He set up the body in this form, with
intelligence. He is the instigator of it.”

‘They said, “Blessed one, how has one like
this?invisible, without wants?set it up in this form, with
intelligence, and how is he the instigator of it?”

‘He told them:

5. ‘”That subtle, ungraspable, invisible one called the person
returns here, without previous consciousness, with a part
of himself, just like one who wakes up from deep sleep
without previous consciousness. That part of him is that
element of intelligence in each person, the knower of the
field, with the characteristics of will, determination and
conceit, Prajapati with all eyes. He, as intelligence, set
up the body with intelligence, and he is the instigator of

‘They said, “Blessed one, how does such a one exist
with part of himself?”

‘He told them:

6. “‘In the beginning there existed one, Prajapati. Being
one, he was not happy. He meditated on himself and created
many creatures. He saw them, standing like a stone, without
intelligence, without breath, like a post. He was not happy.
He thought, I must enter inside them to wake them up. He
made himself into air, as it were, and entered inside them.
As one, he could not, so he divided himself into five and
is what is called the breath, the lower breath, the diffused
breath, the up-breath and the central breath.

‘”Now the one that goes out upward is the breath; the
one that goes together downward is the lower breath; the
one that places the coarsest element of food in the lower
breath and leads it (sam-a-m-) into every limb is called the
central breath (samana); the one that brings up or swallows
down what is drunk or eaten is the up-breath; the one by
which the channels are pervaded is the diffused breath.

‘”The upamsu takes over from the antaryama, and the
antaryama from the upamsu. In the space between them,
heat is created, What heat is, is the person: that person
is the fire that is in all men.

‘”It has been said elsewhere:

The fire which is within a person is that which is in all men,
by which the food that is eaten is digested. 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.

‘”When he had divided himself in five, hidden in the secret place, made of mind, with breath as body, with light as form, of
true resolve, with space as self . . .

‘”Within the heart, not having achieved his object, he
thought, I must eat objects. So he opened up holes, and he
goes out and eats objects through five rays (ra’smi). The
organs of perception are his reins ; the organs of
action are his horses; his chariot is the body; the mind is
his driver; his whip is made of nature.

“‘Impelled by him the body moves around, like the wheel
impelled by the potter: he set up the body with intelligence,
and he is the instigator of it.

“‘Poets declare him to be the self. As though under
domination, as though overcome by the white and black
fruits of actions, he wanders amongst bodies. But because
of his unmanifest nature, subtlety, invisibility, and lack of
possessiveness, he is without fixity, not an agent, though
he seems an agent and fixed.

7. ‘”He is fixed like a watcher, pure, steadfast, unmoving,
not prone to defilement, undistracted, without yearning. Remaining his own, experiencing the law, he is fixed, hiding himself with a veil made of the strands”

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