1. The fire which is within person is that which is in all men, 195 by which the food 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
1. When a person goes forth from this world, he comes
to the air. It parts there for him like the hole in a
chariot-wheel, and he goes up through it. He comes to the
sun. It parts there for him like the hole in a tabor, and
he goes up through it. He comes to the moon. It parts there
for him like the hole in a drum, and he goes up through
it. He comes to a world without sorrow, without snow, and
he lives there for eternal years.
1. When one suffers (tap-) with illness, that is the highest
asceticism (tapes). Whoever knows this wins the highest
world. When they take the dead out to the forest, that is
the highest asceticism. Whoever knows this wins the highest
world. When they lay the dead on the fire, that is the highest
asceticism. Whoever knows this wins the highest world.
1. Some say that food is brahman, but it is not so, for
without breath, food decays. Some say that breath is brahman,
but it is not so, for without food, breath dries up. But when
these two deities become united they reach the highest state.
So Pratrda said to his father, 'What good could I do to
one who knows this? What harm could I do to him?'
His father said, with a gesture of his hand, 'No, Pratrda.
Who reaches the highest state by becoming united with these
two?' He said to him also, 'Vi. Food is vi, for all these
beings have entered (vis-) into food. Ram. Breath is ram, for
all these beings take pleasure (ram-) in breath. All beings
enter into, all beings take pleasure in, the one who knows
1. Uktha. Breath is the Uktha, for breath makes all this
arise (ut-tha). Whoever knows this, a hero who knows the
Uktha arises from him: he wins union with the Uktha, shares
a world with it.
2. Yajus. Breath is the yajus, for all beings are joined
together (yuj-) in breath. Whoever knows this, all beings are
joined with him for his betterment: he wins union with the
yajus, shares a world with it.
3. Saman. Breath is the saman, for all beings are together
(samyac) in breath. Whoever knows this, all beings come
together with him for his betterment: he wins union with
the saman, shares a world with it.
4. Royalty (ksatra). Breath is royalty, breath indeed is
royalty, for breath protects (trai-) one from being injured
(ksan-). Whoever knows this attains royalty that needs no
protection (a-tra): he wins union with royalty, shares a world
1. Bhumih, antariksam, dyauh (earth, middle-air, sky)—eight
syllables. One foot of the Gayatri has eight syllables, and
this is that foot of it. Whoever knows that foot of it as such
wins as much as there is in the three worlds.
2. Scah, yajumsi, samdni (Riggveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda)
—eight syllables. One foot of the Gayatri has eight syllables,
and this is that foot of it. Whoever knows that foot of it as
such wins as much as there is of this threefold knowledge.
3. Pram, apana, vyana (breath, lower breath, diffused
breath)—eight syllables. One foot of the Gayatri has eight
syllables, and this is that foot of it. Whoever knows that
foot of it as such wins as much as there is that has breath.
Its visible foot, the turn, is the one who gives heat
(tap-) beyond the darkness. The fourth is the tuny a. It is
called 'the visible foot' because it has become visible. It is
'beyond the darkness' because it gives heat far, far above
the darkness. The one who knows that foot of it as such
blazes (tap-) with splendour, with fame.
4. The Gayatri is supported on the fourth (tuny a) visible
foot which is beyond the darkness.
That is supported on truth. The eye is truth: the eye,
indeed, is truth. So if now two people were to come arguing,
one saying, 'I have seen', the other saying 'I have heard',
we would believe the one saying, 'I have seen'.
Truth is supported on strength. Breath is strength: it is
supported on breath. So they say, 'Strength is more powerful
That is how the Gayatri is supported in relation to
oneself. It has protected the gayas. The breaths are the
gayas. It has protected the breaths. Because it has protected
(trai-) the gayas, it is called Gayatri. This is the same Savitri
that one teaches. It protects the breaths of the one to whom
one teaches it.
5. Some teach the Savitri as an anustubh, saying, 'Speech
is the anustubh, so we teach it as speech.' One should not
do so. One should teach the Savitri as a gayatn. Even if one
who knows this receives much wealth, it is not equal to one
foot of the Gayatri.
6. If one were to receive the three worlds, full, one would
be getting the first foot of the Gayatri. If one were to receive
as much as there is of this threefold knowledge, one would
be getting the second foot of it. If one were to receive as
much as there is that has breath, one would be getting the
third foot of it. But no-one can get its fourth (turiya), visible
foot, the one who gives heat beyond the darkness: how
could one receive something like this?
7. The way to worship it: 'Gayatri, you are one-footed,
two-footed, three-footed, four-footed: you are no-footed, for
you do not walk. Homage to your fourth, visible foot beyond
the darkness.' One may pray, 'May not attain
this!' or 'May his desire not be fulfilled!' If one offers worship
in this way about someone, his desire is not fulfilled. Or one may pray, 'May I attain this!'
8. On this matter, Janaka of Videha said to Budila Asvatarasvi, 'Ha! You have called yourself a knower of the Gayatri. How is it that you have become an elephant, carrying?'209
'Because I did not know its mouth, your majesty,' he said.
Its mouth is fire. Even if one lays, as it were, much
fuel on a fire, it bums it all up. In the same way, even if
one who knows this does, as it were, much evil, he
swallows it all and becomes pure, cleansed, unageing,
1. The face of truth is concealed
By a vessel made of gold. n
Reveal it, Pusan, to my sight
Which has truth as its dharma.
2. Pusan, Ekarsi, Yama, Surya, son of Prajapati,
Draw apart your rays and draw them together.
I see the light that is your most beautiful form.
That very person—I am he.
3. My breath to immortal air:
This body has ended in ashes.
OM! Will, remember! Remember the deed!
Will, remember! Remember the deed!
4. Agni, god who knows all ways,
Lead us by a good road to prosperity.
Overcome our crooked faults,
And we will render you the utmost reverence.