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Readings: Upanishad

This is from the Hindu 'Shvetashvatara Upanishad' chapter 3 verses 1 to 5 and chapter 4 verses 1 to 5.


Brahman, attributeless Reality,
Becomes the Lord of Love who casts his net
Of appearance over the cosmos and rules
It from within through his divine power.
He was before creation; he will be
After dissolution. He alone is.
Those who know him become immortal.

The Lord of Love is one. There is indeed
No other. He is the inner ruler
In all beings. He projects the cosmos
From himself, maintains and withdraws it
Back into himself at the end of time.

His eyes, mouths, arms, and feet are everywhere.
Projecting the cosmos out of himself,
He holds it together.

He is the source of all the powers of life.
He is the lord of all, the great seer
Who dwells forever in the cosmic womb.
May he purify our consciousness!
O Lord, in whom alone we can find peace,
May we see your divine Self and be freed
From all impure thoughts and all fear.


May the Lord of Love, who projects himself
Into this universe of myriad forms,
From whom all beings come and to whom all
Return, grant us the grace of wisdom.

He is fire and the sun, and the moon
And the stars. He is the air and the sea,
And the Creator, Prajapati.
He is this boy, he is that girl, he is
This man, he is that woman, and he is
This old man, too, tottering on his staff.
His face is everywhere.

He is the blue bird, he is the green bird
With red eyes; he is the thundercloud,
And he is the seasons and the seas.
He has no beginning, he has no end.
He is the source from which the worlds evolve.

From his divine power comes forth all this
Magical show of name and form, of you
And me, which casts the spell of pain and pleasure.
Only when we pierce through this magic veil
Do we see the One who appears as many.

[Easwaran, E. (1988), 'Shvetashvatara Upanishad: The Faces of God', The Upanishads, London: Penguin Arkana, 219-225.]


The sun is Brahman - this is the teaching. A further explanation thereof [is as follows]:

In the beginning this world was merely non-being. It was existent. It developed. It turned into an egg. It lay for a period of a year. It was split asunder. One of the two eggshell-parts became silver, one gold.

That which was of silver is the earth. That which was of gold is the sky. What was the outer membrane is the mountains. What was the inner membrane is cloud and mist. What were the veins are the rivers. What was the fluid within is the ocean.

Now, what was born there from is yonder sun. When it was born, shouts and hurrahs, all beings and all desires rose up toward it. Therefore at its rising and at its every return shouts and hurrahs, all beings and all desires rise up toward it.

He who, knowing it thus, reverences the sun as Brahman - the prospect is that pleasant shouts will come unto him and delight him - yea, delight him!

The Hindu Chandogya Upanishad, 3, 19, vv. 1-4: 'The Cosmic Egg', from Radhakrishnan and Moore (1957), Indian Philosophy, 65-6.

Hindu Katha Upanishad:

Know thou the self (atman) as riding in a chariot,
The body as the chariot.
Know thou the intellect (buddhi) as the chariot-driver,
And the mind as the reins.

The senses, they say, are the horses;
The objects of sense, what they range over.
The self combined with senses and mind
Wise men call "the enjoyer."

He, however, who has not understanding,
Who is unmindful and ever impure,
Reaches not the goal,
But goes on to transmigration [rebirth].

He, however, who has understanding,
Who is mindful and ever pure,
Reaches the goal
From which he is born no more...

Higher than the senses are the objects of sense.
Higher than the objects of sense is the mind;
And higher than the mind is the intellect (buddhi).
Higher than the intellect is the Great Self (Atman).

Higher than the Great is the unmanifest (avyakta).
Higher than the unmanifest is the Person.
Higher than the Person there is nothing at all.
That is the goal. That is the highest course.

(Radhakrishnan and Moore (1957), Indian Philosophy, 46-7)