Kausitaki Upanishad: Book III


1. OM. Pratardana Daivodasi reached the beloved home of Indra through battle and manly deeds. Indra said to him, 'Pratardana, choose a boon (vara).'

Pratardana said, 'You choose for me what you think best for a human being,

Indra said to him, 'A superior (vara) does not choose for an inferior (avara). You choose.'

Pratardana said, 'That is no favour (avara) to me.'

But Indra did not depart from truth, for Indra is truth. Indra said to him, 'Know me; I think this is best for a human being, that he should know me. I slew the three-headed son of Tvastr; I gave the Arunmukha sorcerers up to the wolves; breaking many treaties I destroyed the Prahladiyas in the sky, the Paulomas in middle-air, and the Kalakanjas on earth: yet, such though I was, not a hair of mine grows less. If someone knows me, his world does not grow less by any action of his, not by theft, not by murder, not by the killing of his mother, not by the killing of his father. Though he has commited any evil, the dark colour does not leave his face.'

2. He said, 'I am the breath, the self of awareness: so worship me as immortal life. The life is the breath, the breath is the life. As long as the breath dwells in the body, there is life. By the breath one attains immortality in this world: by awareness one attains true resolve. The one who worships me as immortal life attains a full life-span in this world: he attains immortality, imperishability, in the heavenly world.'

Some say; 'The breaths become a unity, or no-one would be able at once to be made aware of a name with speech, a form with the eye, a sound with the ear, a thought with the mind: but becoming a unity, the breaths make one aware of all these, one by one. When the speech speaks, all the breaths speak with it; when the eye sees, all the breaths see with it; when the ear hears, all the breaths hear with it; when the mind thinks, all the breaths think with it; when the breath breathes, all the breaths breathe with it.'

'So it is,' said Indra, 'but there is a supremacy among the breaths.

3. 'One lives without speech, for we see the dumb. One lives without the eye, for we see the blind. One lives without the ear, for we see the deaf. One lives without the mind, for we see the foolish. One lives with arms cut off, one lives with legs cut off, for we see it is so. But when the breath, the self of awareness, seizes the body, it causes it to stand up (ut-tha): so one should contemplate it as the Uktha. This is all-attainment in the breath. What the breath is, awareness is, and what awareness is, the breath is: they dwell in the body together and they leave it together.' This is the seeing of it, this is the knowing of it:

When the person, asleep, sees no dream, he becomes unified in the breath. Speech enters it with all names; the eye enters it with all forms; the ear enters it with all sounds,- the mind enters it with all thoughts. When he wakes up, just as sparks from a burning fire might scatter in all directions, the breaths scatter from the self, each to its proper place; the gods from the breaths, the worlds from the gods.

But when the breath, the self of awareness, seizes the body, it makes it stand up, so one should contemplate it as the Uktha. This is all-attainment in the breath. What the breath is, awareness is, and what awareness is, the breath is.

This is the proof of it, this is the understanding of it:

When the person, ailing and about to die, becomes weak and falls into unconsciousness, folk say of him, 'His consciousness has left him: he does not hear, he does not see, he does nor speak with speech, he does not think.' He becomes unified in the breath. Speech enters it with all names; the eye enters it with all forms; the ear enters it with all sounds; the mind enters it with all thoughts.

When it leaves the body, it leaves with all these together.

4. Speech releases all names into it; by speech it attains all names. The breath releases all smells into it: by the breath it attains all smells. The eye releases all forms into it: by the eye it attains all forms. The ear releases all sounds into it: by the ear it attains all sounds. The mind releases all thoughts into it: by the mind it attains all thoughts. This is all—attainment in the breath. What the breath is, awareness is, and what awareness is, the breath is. These two live in the body together, and leave it together.

Now we will explain how all beings become one with this awareness.

5. Speech is one part taken out of it, and name is the external element of being which corresponds to it. The breath is one part taken out of it, and smell is the external element of being which corresponds to it. The eye is one part taken out of it, and form is the external element of being which corresponds to it. The ear is one part taken out of it, and sound is the external element of being which corresponds to it. The tongue is one part taken out of it, and the taste of food is the external element of being which corresponds to it. The hands are one part taken out of it, and action is the external element of being which corresponds to them. The body is one part taken out of it, and joy and sorrow are the external element of being which corresponds to it. The loins are one part taken out of it, and delight, pleasure and procreation are the external element of being which corresponds to them. The feet are one part taken out of it, and movements are the external element of being which corresponds to them. The mind is one part taken out of it, and thoughts and desires are the external element of being which corresponds to them.

6. Rising to speech through awareness, by speech one wins all names. Rising to the breath through awareness, by the breath one wins all smells. Rising to the eye through awareness, by the eye one wins all forms. Rising to the ear through awareness, by the ear one wins all sounds. Rising to the tongue through awareness, by the tongue one wins all tastes of food. Rising to the hands through awareness, by the hands one wins all actions. Rising to the body through awareness, by the body one wins all joy and sorrow. Rising to the loins through awareness, by the loins one wins all delight, pleasure and procreation. Rising to the feet through awareness, by the feet one wins all movements. Rising to the mind through awareness, by the mind one wins ail thoughts.

7. Without awareness, speech cannot make one aware of any name. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere: I was not aware of this name,' Without awareness, the breath cannot make one aware of any smell. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere: I was not aware of this smell.' Without awareness, the eye cannot make one aware of any form. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere: I was not aware of this form.' Without awareness, the ear cannot make one aware of any sound. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere: I was not aware of this sound.' Without awareness, the tongue cannot make one aware of any taste of food. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere: I was not aware of this taste of food.' Without awareness, the hands cannot make one aware of any action. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere: I was not aware of this action.' Without awareness, the body cannot make one aware of any joy or sorrow. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere: I was not aware of this joy or sorrow.' Without awareness, the loins cannot make one aware of any delight, pleasure or procreation. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere:

I was not aware of this delight, pleasure or procreation, Without awareness, the feet cannot make one aware of any movement. One says, 'My mind was elsewhere: I was not aware of this movement.' Without awareness, thought cannot be effective, or be aware of that of which it should be aware. 8. One should not seek, to know speech: one should know the speaker. One should not seek to know smell: one should know the smeller. One should not seek to know form: one should know the seer. One should not seek to know sound: one should know the hearer. One should not seek to know the taste of food: one should know the knower of the taste of food. One should not seek to know action: one should know the doer. One should not seek to know joy and sorrow: one should know the knower of joy and sorrow. One should not seek to know delight, pleasure or procreation:

one should know the knower of delight, pleasure and procreation. One should not seek to know movement: one should know the mover. One should not seek to know mind:

one should know the thinker.

Those are the ten elements of being in relation to awareness. There are ten elements of awareness in relation to being. For if there were no elements of being there would be no elements of awareness, and if there were no elements of awareness there would be no elements of being, since form cannot be realised from either one of them alone.

It is not various. Just as the rim is fixed to the spokes of a chariot wheel, and the spokes are fixed to the hub, the elements of being are fixed to the elements of awareness, and the elements of awareness are fixed to the elements of being. Breath is the self of awareness, delight, unageing, immortal.

It does not grow greater by right action or less by wrong action. The one that it wishes to lead up out of these worlds it impels to right action, and the one it wishes to lead down it impels to wrong action. It is the guardian of the world, the overlord of the world, the ruler of the world.119 One should know: it is my self. One should know: it is my self.




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