Mundaka Upanishad


1. ‘This is truth:
‘As from a blazing fire, sparks like itself
Go forth in their thousands,
So, good man, many kinds of beings come forth
From the imperishable, and go back into it too.

2. ‘The person is divine, unshaped.
He is outside and inside, unborn:
Without breath, without mind, pure,
Higher than the highest imperishable.

3. “From him breath and mind are born,
All faculties too,
Space, air, light, water,
Earth the upholder of all.

4. ‘His head is fire, his eyes the moon and sun,
His ears the directions, his speech the Vedas made manifest,
His breath the air, his heart the all:
At his feet is the earth: he is the inner self of all beings.

5. ‘From him comes fire, whose fuel is the sun,
From the moon Parjanya, on earth the plants:
A male sprinkles seed in a female.
Many creatures are brought forth from the person.

6. From him come the rc, saman and yajus verses, initiation (diksa),
Sacrifice, ceremonies (kratu), and gifts (daksina),
The year, the patron of the sacrifice,
The worlds where the moon shines and where the sun does.

7. ‘From him the gods are brought forth in many kinds,
Sadhyas, human beings, animals and birds,
The breath and lower breath (pranapana), rice and barley, and asceticism,
Faith, truth, celibacy (brahmacarya) and rule (vidhi).

8. The seven breaths come forth from him,
The seven flames, fuel, the seven offerings,
The seven worlds in which there move
The breaths, seven by seven, resting in the secret plai

9. ‘From him all the oceans and mountains come,
And the rivers flow in all their forms.
From him, too, all plants and their juices come
By which, with the elements, the inner self is sustained.

10. ‘The person is all this,
Action, asceticism, brahman beyond death.
Good man, the one who knows this, hidden in a secret place,
Undoes the knot of ignorance here.


1. “Obvious yet hidden, called “Moving in Secret”,
Is the great place. Here is fixed
What moves, breathes and blinks.
Know that as being, as not-being, as the lovely glory,
As beyond knowledge, the finest of creatures.

2. ‘That which is blazing, and that which is subtler than the subtle;
In which the worlds are fixed, and those who have worlds,
Is the imperishable brahman.
It is breath, it is speech and mind.
It is truth, it is the immortal.
That must be pierced, good man: pierce that.

3. “Seize as your bow the great weapon of the Upanisad,
And set in it an arrow sharpened by contemplation.
Draw it with a mind that has attained the nature of that.
The target is the imperishable: pierce that.

4. ‘The OM (pranava) is the bow, the arrow the self:
Brahman is its target, it is said.
It must be pierced by one who is not careless:
So, like the arrow, one will become of a kind with it.

5. ‘Know only that as self
On which sky, earth and middle-air are woven,
And mind with all the breaths.
Shun all other words.
This is the bridge to immortality.

6. ‘Where the channels are brought together
Like spokes in a chariot’s hub
It moves within, Becoming many.
By means of OM meditate on the self.
Success to you in crossing beyond darkness!

7. The one who is all-knowing, all-wise,
Whose greatness this is on earth,
Is the self established in the space,
In the divine city of brahman.

8. ‘It is made of mind, leader of breaths and body,
Based on food, directing the heart.
The wise see, by knowledge,
The immortal form of bliss shine out.

9. The knot of the heart is broken;
All doubts are cut through;
One’s actions fade away
When this is seen, the higher and the lower.

10. ‘In the highest golden sheath
Is brahman, stainless, without parts.
It is the pure, the light of lights
Which the self-knowers know.

11. ‘The sun does not shine there, nor the moon and stars.
Lightning does not shine there, let alone fire.
Everything reflects its shining.
Everything is lit by its light.

12. ‘Brahman is the immortal; brahman is in the east;
Brahman is in the west, and in south and north:
Spread out, above and below,
Brahman is all this, the greatest.

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