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Yajur Vedic Upanishads - XIV

Mandalabrahmana Upanishad

This Upanishad is explained five parts called Brahmanas.

Brahmana - I
The great Muni Yajnavalkya went to Aditya-Loka (the sun's world) and saluting him (the Purusha of the Sun) said: "O Revered Sir, describe to me the Atman-Tattva (the Tattva or Truth of Atman)." (To which) Narayana (viz., the Purusha of the sun) replied: "I shall describe the eight-fold Yoga together with Jnana. The conquering of cold and heat as well as hunger and sleep, the preserving of (sweet) patience and unruffledness ever and the restraining of the organs (from sensual objects) - all these come under (or are) Yama.

Devotion to one's Guru, love of the true path, enjoyment of objects producing happiness, internal satisfaction, freedom from association, living in a retired place, the controlling of the Manas and the not longing after the fruits of actions and a state of Vairagya - all these constitute Niyama. The sitting in any posture pleasant to one and clothed in tatters (or bark) is prescribed for Asana (posture). Inspiration, restraint of breath and expiration, which have respectively 16, 64 and 32 (Matras) constitute Pranayama (restraint of breath).

The restraining of the mind from the objects of senses is Pratyahara (subjugation of the senses). The contemplation of the oneness of consciousness in all objects is Dhyana. The mind having been drawn away from the objects of the senses, the fixing of the Chaitanya (consciousness) (on one alone) is Dharana. The forgetting of oneself in Dhyana is Samadhi. He who thus knows the eight subtle parts of Yoga attains salvation.

The body has five stains (viz.,) passion, anger, out-breathing, fear and sleep. The removal of these can be affected respectively by absence of Sankalpa, forgiveness, moderate food, carefulness and a spiritual sight of Tattvas. In order to cross the ocean of Samsara where sleep and fear are the serpents, injury, etc., are the waves, Trishna (thirst) is the whirlpool and wife is the mire, one should adhere to the subtle path and overstepping Tattva and other Gunas should look out for Taraka. Taraka is Brahman which being in the middle of the two eyebrows, is of the nature of the spiritual effulgence of Sachchidananda.

The (spiritual) seeing through the three Lakshyas (or the three kinds of introvision) is the means to It (Brahman). Susumna which is from the Muladhara to Brahmarandhra has the radiance of the sun. In the centre of it, is Kundalini shining like Crores of lightning and subtle as the thread in the lotus-stalk. Tamas is destroyed there. Through seeing it, all sins are destroyed. When the two ears are closed by the tips of the forefingers, a Phutkara (or booming) sound is heard. When the mind is fixed on it, it sees a blue light between the eyes as also in the heart. (This is Antar-Lakshya or internal introvision). In the Bahir-Lakshya (or external introvision) one sees in order before his nose at distance of 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 digits, the space of blue colour, then a colour resembling Shyama (indigo-black) and then shining as Rakta (red) wave and then with the two Pita (yellow and orange red) colours. Then he is a Yogin.

When one looks at the external space, moving the eyes and sees streaks of light at the corners of his eyes, then his vision can be made steady. When one sees Jyotis (spiritual light) above his head 12 digits in length, then he attains the state of nectar. In the Madhya-Lakshya (or the middle one), one sees the variegated colours of the morning as if the sun, the moon and the fire had joined together in the Akasa that is without them. Then he comes to have their nature (of light). Through practice, he becomes one with Akasa, devoid of all Gunas and peculiarities. At first Akasa with its shining stars becomes to him Para-Akasa as dark as Tamas itself and he becomes one with Para-Akasa shining with stars and deep as Tamas. (Then) he becomes one with Maha-Akasa resplendent (as) with the fire of the deluge. Then he becomes one with Tattva-Akasa, lighted with the brightness which is the highest and the best of all. Then he becomes one with Surya-Akasa (Sun-Akasa) brightened by a Crore of suns. By practicing thus, he becomes one with them. He who knows them becomes thus.

Know that Yoga is twofold through its division into the Purva (earlier) and the Uttara (later). The earlier is Taraka and the later is Amanaska (the mindless). Taraka is divided into Murti (with limitation) and Amurti (without limitation). That is Murti Taraka which goes to the end of the senses (or exists till the senses are conquered). That is Amurti Taraka which goes beyond the two eyebrows (above the senses). Both these should be performed through Manas. Antar-Drishti (internal vision) associated with manas comes to aid Taraka. Tejas (spiritual light) appears in the hole between the two eyebrows. This Taraka is the earlier one. The later is Amanaska. The great Jyotis (light) is above the root of the palate. By seeing it, one gets the Siddhis Anima, etc. Sambhavi-Mudra occurs when the Lakshya (spiritual vision) is internal while the (physical) eyes are seeing externally without winking. This is the great science which is concealed in all the Tantras. When this is known, one does not stay in Samsara. Its worship (or practice) gives salvation. Antar-Lakshya is of the nature of Jala-Jyotis (or water-Jyotis). It is known by the great Rishis and is invisible both to the internal and external senses.

Sahasrara (viz., the thousand-petalled lotus of the pineal gland) Jala-Jyotis is the Antar-Lakshya. Some say the form of Purusha in the cave of Buddhi beautiful in all its parts is Antar-Lakshya. Some again say that the all-quiescent Nilakantha accompanied by Uma (his wife) and having five months and latent in the midst of the sphere in the brain is Antar-Lakshya. Whilst others say that the Purusha of the dimension of a thumb is Antar-Lakshya. A few again say Antar-Lakshya is the One Self made supreme through introvision in the state of a Jivanmukta. All the different statements above made pertain to Atman alone. He alone is a Brahma-Nishtha who sees that the above Lakshya is the pure Atman. The Jiva which is the twenty-fifth Tattva, having abandoned the twenty-four Tattvas, becomes a Jivanmukta through the conviction that the twenty-sixth Tattva (viz.,) Paramatman is 'I' alone. Becoming one with Antar-Lakshya (Brahman) in the emancipated state by means of Antar-Lakshya (introvision), Jiva becomes one with the partless sphere of Param-Akasa.


Brahmana - II
Then Yajnavalkya asked the Purusha in the sphere of the sun: "O Lord, Antar-Lakshya has been described many times, but it has never been understood by me (clearly). Pray describe it to me". He replied: "It is the source of the five elements, has the luster of many (streaks of) lightning and has four seats having (or rising from) 'That' (Brahman). In its midst, there arises the manifestation of Tattva. It is hidden and un- manifested. It can be known (only) by one who has got into the boat of Jnana. It is the object of both Bahir and Antar (external and internal) Lakshyas. In its midst is absorbed the whole world. It is the vast partless universe beyond Nada, Bindu and Kala. Above it (viz., the sphere of Agni) is the sphere of the sun; in its midst is the sphere of the nectarine moon; in its midst is the sphere of the partless Brahma-Tejas (or the spiritual effulgence of Brahman). It has the brightness of Sukla (white light) like the ray of lightning. It alone has the characteristic of Sambhavi.

In seeing this there are three kinds of Drishti (sight), viz., Ama (the new moon), Pratipat (the first day of lunar fortnight) and Purnima (the full moon). The sight of Ama is the one (seen) with closed eyes. That with half opened eyes is Pratipat; while that with fully opened eyes is Purnima. Of these, the practice of Purnima should be resorted to. Its Lakshya (or aim) is the tip of the nose. Then is seen a deep darkness at the root of the palate. By practicing thus, a Jyoti (light) of the form of an endless sphere is seen. This alone is Brahman, the Sachchidananda. When the mind is absorbed in bliss thus naturally produced, then does Sambhavi takes place. She (Sambhavi) alone is called Khechari. By practicing it (viz., the Mudra), a man obtains firmness of mind. Through it, he obtains firmness of Vayu. The following are the signs: first it is seen like a star; then a reflecting (or dazzling) diamond; then the sphere of full moon; then the sphere of the brightness of nine gems; then the sphere of the midday sun; then the sphere of the flame of Agni (fire); all these are seen in order. Thus much for the light in the Purva or first stage.

Then there is the light in the western direction (in the Uttara or second stage). Then the lustres of crystal, smoke, Bindu, Nada, Kala, star, firefly, lamp, eye, gold and nine gems, etc., are seen. This alone is the form of Pranava. Having united Prana and Apana and holding the breath in Kumbhaka, one should fix his concentration at the tip of his nose and making Shanmukhi with the fingers of both his hands, one hears the sound of Pranava (Om) in which Manas becomes absorbed. Such a man has not even the touch of Karma. The karma of (Sandhya-Vandana or the daily prayers) is verily performed at the rising or setting of the sun. As there is no rising or setting (but only the ever shining) of the sun of Chit (the higher consciousness) in the heart of a man who knows thus, he has no Karma to perform. Rising above (the conception of) day and night through the annihilation of sound and time, he becomes one with Brahman through the all-full Jnana and the attaining of the state of Unmani (the state above Manas). Through the state of Unmani, he becomes Amanaska (or without Manas).

Not being troubled by any thoughts (of the world) then constitutes the Dhyana. The abandoning of all Karmas constitutes Avahana (invocation of god). Being firm in the unshaken (spiritual) wisdom constitutes Asana (posture). Being in the state of Unmani constitutes the Padya (offering of water for washing the feet of god). Preserving the state of Amanaska (when Manas is offered as sacrifice) constitutes the Arghya (offering of water as oblation generally). Being in state of eternal brightness and shoreless nectar constitutes Snana (bathing). The contemplation of Atman as present in all constitutes (the application to the idol of) Sandal.

The remaining in the real state of the Drik (spiritual eye) is (the worshipping with) Akshata (non-broken rice). The attaining of Chit (consciousness) is (the worshipping with) flower. The real state of Agni (fire) of Chit is the Dhupa (burning of incense). The state of the sun of Chit is the Dipa (light waved before the image). The union of one-self with the nectar of full moon is the Naivedya (offering of food, etc). The immobility in that state (of the ego being one with all) is Pradakshina (going round the image). The conception of 'I am He' is Namaskara (prostration). The silence (then) is the Sruti (praise). The all-contentment (or serenity then) is the Visatjana (giving leave to god or finishing worship). (This is the worship of Atman by all raja-Yogins). He who knows this knows all.

When the Triputi are thus dispelled, he becomes the Kaivalya Jyoti without Bhava (existence) or Abhava (non-existence), full and motionless, like the ocean without the tides or like the lamp without the wind. He becomes a Brahmavit (knower of Brahman) by cognizing the end of the sleeping state even while in the waking state. Though the (same) mind is absorbed in Sushupti as also in Samadhi, there is much difference between them. (in the former case) as the mind is absorbed in Tamas, it does not become the means of salvation, (but) in Samadhi as the modifications of Tamas in him are rooted away, the mind raises itself to the nature of the Partless. All that is no other than Sakshi-Chaitanya (wisdom-consciousness or the Higher Self) into which the absorption of the whole universe takes place, in as much as the universe is but a delusion (or creation) of the mind and is therefore not different from it.

Though, the universe appears perhaps as outside of the mind, still it is unreal. He who knows Brahman and who is the sole enjoyer of Brahmic bliss which is eternal and has dawned once (for all in him) - that man becomes one with Brahman. He in whom Sankalpa perishes has got Mukti in his hand. Therefore one becomes an emancipated person through the contemplation of Paramatman. Having given up both Bhava and Abhava, one becomes a Jivanmukta by leaving off again and again in all states Jnana (wisdom) and Jneya (object of wisdom), Dhyana (meditation) and Dhyeya (object of meditation), Lakshya (the aim) and Alakshya (non-aim), Drishya (the visible) and Adrishya (the non-visible) and Uha (reasoning) and Apoha (negative reasoning). He who knows this knows all.

There are five Avasthas (states): Jagrat (waking), Swapna (dreaming), Sushupti (dreamless sleeping), the Turya (fourth) and Turyatita (that beyond the fourth). The Jiva (ego) that is engaged in the waking state becomes attached to the Pravritti (worldly) path and is the particular of Naraka (hell) as the fruit of sins. He desires Svarga (heaven) as the fruit of his virtuous actions. This very same person becomes (afterwards) indifferent to all these saying, 'Enough of the births tending to actions, the fruits of which tend to bondage till the end of this mundane existence'. Then he pursues the Nivritti (return) path with a view to attain emancipation. And this person then takes refuge in a spiritual instructor in order to cross this mundane existence. Giving up passion and others, he does only those he is asked to do.

Then having acquired the four Sadhanas (means to salvation) he attains, in the middle of the lotus of his heart, the Reality of Antar-Lakshya that is but the Sat of Lord and begins to recognise (or recollect) the bliss of Brahman which he had left (or enjoyed) in his Sushupti state. At last he attains this state of discrimination. Having expelled even the smack of the difference (of conception) between 'I' and 'That' through the thought 'I am the pure and the secondless Brahman' and having attained the path of salvation which is of the nature of Para-Brahman, after having become one with It through the Dhyana of the sun's sphere as shining with himself, he becomes fully ripened for getting salvation. Sankalpa and others are the causes of the bondage of the mind; and the mind devoid of these becomes fit for salvation. Possessing such a mind free from all (Sankalpa, etc.,) and withdrawing himself from the outer world of sight and others and so keeping himself out of the odour of the universe, he looks upon all the world as Atman, abandons the conception of 'I', thinks 'I am Brahman' and considers all these as Atman. Through these, he becomes one who has done his duty.

The Yogin is one that has realised Brahman that is all-full beyond Turya. They (the people) extol him as Brahman; and becoming the object of the praise of the whole world, he wanders over different countries. Placing the Bindu in the Akasa of Paramatman and pursuing the path of the partless bliss produced by the pure, secondless, stainless and innate Yoga sleep of Amanaska, he becomes an emancipated person. Then the Yogin becomes immersed in the ocean of bliss. When compared to it, the bliss of Indra and others is very little. He who gets this bliss is the supreme Yogin.


Brahmana - III
The great sage Yajnavalkya then asked the Purusha in the sphere (of the sun): "O Lord, though the nature of Amanaska has been defined (by you), yet I forget it (or do not understand it clearly). Therefore pray explain it again to me." Accordingly the Purusha said: "This Amanaska is a great secret. By knowing this, one becomes a person who had done his duty. One should look upon it as Paramatman, associated with Sambhavi-Mudra and should know also all those that can be known through a (thorough) cognition of them.

Then seeing Para-Brahman in his own Atman as the Lord of all, the immeasurable, the birthless, the auspicious, the supreme Akasa, the supportless, the secondless the only goal of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra and the cause of all and assuring himself that he who plays in the cave (of the heart) is such a one, he should raise himself above the dualities of existence and non-existence; and knowing the experience of the Unmani of his Mans, he then attains the state of Para-Brahman which is motionless as a lamp in a windless place, having reached the ocean of Brahmic bliss by means of the river of Amanaska-Yoga through the destruction of all his senses. Then he resembles a dry tree. Having lost all (idea of) the universe through the disappearance of growth, sleep, disease, expiration and inspiration, his body being always steady, he comes to have a supreme quiescence, being devoid of the movements of his Manas and becomes absorbed in Paramatman. The destruction of mans takes place after the destruction of the collective senses, like the cow's udder (that shrivels up) after the milk has been drawn. It is this that is Amanaska. By following this, one becomes always pure and becomes one that has done his duty, having been filled with the part less bliss by means of the path of Taraka-Yoga through the initiation into the sacred sentences 'I am pa', 'That Thou Art', 'I am thou alone', 'Thou art I alone', etc.

When his Mans is immersed in the Akasa and he becomes all-full and when he attains the Unmani state, having abandoned all his collective senses, he conquers all sorrows and impurities through the partless bliss, having attained the fruits of Kaivalya, ripened through the collective merits gathered in all his previous lives and thinking always 'I am Brahman', becomes one that has done his duty. 'I am Thou alone. There is no difference between thee and me owing to the fullness of Paramatman'." Saying thus, he (the Purusha of the sun) embraced his pupil and made him understand it.


Brahmana - IV
Then Yajnavalkya addressed the Purusha in the sphere (of the sun) thus: "Pray explain to me in detail the nature of the five-fold division of Akasa". He replied: "There are five: Akasa, Parakasa, Mahakasa, Suryakasa and Paramakasa. That which is of the nature of darkness, both in and out is the first Akasa. That which has the fire of deluge, both in and out is truly Mahakasa. That which has the brightness of the sun, both in and out is Suryakasa. That brightness which is indestructible, all-pervading and of the nature of unrivalled bliss is Paramakasa. By cognising these according to this description, one becomes of their nature. He is a Yogin only in name, who does not cognize well the nine Chakras, the six Adharas, the three Lakshyas and the five Akasa.


Brahmana - V
"The Manas influenced by worldly objects is liable to bondage; and that (Mans) which is not so influenced by these is fit for salvation. Hence all the world becomes an object of Chitta; whereas the same Chitta when it is supportless and well-ripe in the state of Unmani, becomes worthy of Laya (absorption in Brahman). This absorption you should learn from me who am the all-full. I alone am the cause of the absorption of Manas.

The Manas is within the Jyotis (spiritual light) which again is latent in the spiritual sound which pertains to the Anahata (heart) sound. That Manas which is the agent of creation, preservation and destruction of the three worlds - that same Manas becomes absorbed in that which is the highest seat of Vishnu. Through such absorption, one gets the pure and secondless state, owing to the absence of difference then. This alone is the highest truth. He, who knows this, will wander in the world like a lad or an idiot or a demon or simpleton. By practising this Amanaska, one is ever contented, his urine and faeces become diminished, his food becomes lessened; he becomes strong in body and his limbs are free from disease and sleep. Then his breath and eyes being motionless, he realises Brahman and attains the nature of bliss. That ascetic, who is intent on drinking the nectar of Brahman produced by the long practice of this kind of Samadhi, becomes a Paramahamsa (ascetic) or an Avadhuta (naked ascetic). By seeing him, all the world becomes pure and even an illiterate person who serves him is freed from bondage. He (the ascetic) enables the members of his family for one hundred and one generations to cross the ocean of Samsara; and his mother, father, wife and children - all these are similarly freed.


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