Aitareya Upanishad: Book IV


1. In a person, he first becomes an embryo. What the seed is is energy {tejas), come together from all the limbs. One carries a self in oneself (atman). When one sprinkles it in a woman, one begets it. That is one's first birth.

2. It becomes own self to the woman, just like a limb of her own, so it does not harm her. She nurtures one's self when it has come here.

3. She, the nurturer, becomes one to be nurtured. The woman carries the embryo. One nourishes the boy before and after birth. When one nourishes the boy before and after birth, one nourishes oneself {atman}. for the continuance of the worlds: for so the worlds continue. That is one's second birth.

4. He, being one's self, is set in one's place for meritorious actions. Then one's other self, having done what was to be done and reached his age, departs  The son takes the ageing father's place in sacrifices etc., and the father dies. Departing from here, he is born again. That is one's third birth.

5. It was said by the Rishi:

'While in the womb I fully knew
The births of all the gods.
A hundred citadels of iron surrounded me.
A hawk, I flew out with speed.'

Vamadeva said that while lying in the womb.

6. Knowing this, from the break-up of this body he rose upwards; he won in that heavenly world all desires; and he became immortal, became immortal.




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