Katha Upanishad: Book VI


1. There is an eternal pipal-tree
With its roots above, its branches below.
It is the bright; it is brahman;
It is called the immortal.
On it all the worlds depend:
No one goes beyond it.
This is that.

2. 'Whatever there is that moves (jagat)
The breath impels it as it is sent forth.
It is a great terror, an upraised thunderbolt.
They who know this become immortal.

3. 'From fear of it, Agni burns.
From fear, Surya shines.
From fear both Indra and Vayu,
And Death, as fifth, run on.

4. If one has been able to wake up to it here
Before the break-up of the body,
One is fitted to attain a body
In the worlds of creation.

5. 'In oneself, it appears as though in a mirror;
In the world of the ancestors, as though in a dream;
In the world of the gandharvas, as though it appeared in water;
In the world of Brahma, as though in bright light and shadow.

6. 'Knowing the senses to be separate,
Likewise the rising and setting
Of things that arise separately,
The wise one does not grieve

7. 'The mind is higher than the senses,
Being (sattva) higher than the mind:
The great self is above being,
The umnanifest higher than the great.

8. "Above the unmanifest is the person,
Pervading and without mark,
Knowing which, a being is liberated
And reaches immortality.

9. Its form is not present to the sight—
No-one sees it with the eye.
The wise one, adept in mind, sees it in his heart.
Those who know it become immortal.

10. 'When the five knowings cease,
Together with the mind,
And the intelligence does not stir,
They call that the highest bourne.

11. 'This steadfast control of the senses
Is known as "yoga"—
Then one becomes undistracted:
For yoga is the origin and the passing away.

12. 'It cannot be won
By speech or mind or eye.
How can it be grasped in any other way
Than by one saying, "It is!"

13. 'It can be grasped so: "It is!"-
Through the real nature of both.
When it has been grasped so: "It is!"—
Its real nature becomes clear.

14. 'When all the desires that dwell
In one's heart are let go,
Mortal becomes immortal:
One reaches brahman here.

15. 'When all the knots of
The heart here are broken,
Mortal becomes immortal;
This is the teaching.

16. 'A hundred and one are the channels of the heart.
Of them, one flows out through the head.
Going up by it, one reaches immortality.
Others, on departing, go in all directions.

17. 'The person, a thumb in length, in the midst of the self,
Ever resting in the hearts of people,
One should by wisdom draw out from one's own body
Like the cane from a munja-reed.
One should know it as the bright, the immortal.
One should know it as the bright, the immortal.'

18. Naciketas, having received this knowledge, taught by Death,
And the complete method of yoga,
Attaining brahman, became free of impurity, deathless,
And so will any other who knows it in relation to the self.

OM. Together may it protect us two:
Together may it profit us two:
Together may we do a hero's work,
May we learn intelligently:
May we never hate one another.

OM. Peace, peace, peace.




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