Kausitaki Upanishad: Book IV


1. OM. Gargya Balaki was famed as being learned, since he had lived among the Usinaras, among the Matsyas, among the Kurus and Pancalas, and among the Kasis and Videhas. He approached Ajatasatru of Kasi and said to him, 'I must teach you about brahman. '

Ajatasatru said to him, 'We will give you a thousand cows.' He thought, 'On such a teaching, people will run, crying, "A Janaka, a Janaka!"'

2. In the sun, the great; in the moon, food; in lightning, truth; in thunder, sound; in the air, Indra Vaikuntha: in space, the full; in fire, the courageous; in the waters, brightness: so much regarding deities. Regarding oneself: in the mirror, likeness; in the shadow, the companion; in the echo, life; in sound, death; in sleep, Yama: in the body, Prajapati; in the right eye, the self of speech; in the left eye, the self of truth,

3. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the sun, Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as the topmost, the great one dressed in white, the head of all beings. Whoever worships him as such becomes the topmost, the head of all beings.'

4. Balaki said, '1 worship the person who is in the moon.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. 1 worship him as King Soma, the self of food. Whoever worships him as such becomes the self of food.'

5. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the lightning-' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as the self of truth. Whoever worships him as such becomes the self of truth.'

6. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the thunder.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as the self of sound. Whoever worships him as such becomes the self of sound.'

7. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the air.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as Indra Vaikuntha, the unvanquished army. Whoever worships him as such becomes victorious, unvanquished, a conqueror of foes.'

8. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in space.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk* about him. I worship him as the full, the unmoving. Whoever worships him as such is filled with offspring, with animals, with fame, with the radiance of brahman, with the heavenly world: he attains his full life span,

9. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in fire.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as the courageous. Whoever worships him as such becomes courageous among others.'

10. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the waters.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as the self of brightness. Whoever worships him as such becomes the self of brightness.' So much regarding deities: now regarding oneself:

11. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the mirror.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as likeness. For whoever worships him as such, likeness is born in his offspring, not unlikeness.'

12. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the shadow, Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as the companion who never leaves us. Whoever worships him as such gets offspring from a companion and has a companion.'

13. Balaki said,, 'I worship the person who is in the echo.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as life. Whoever worships him as such does not fall into unconsciousness before his time.'

14. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in sound.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as death. Whoever worships him as such does not pass away before his time.'

15. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who, asleep, moves about in dream.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as King Yama. For whoever worships him as such, all this is controlled (yam-) for his betterment,'

16. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the body.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as Prajapati. Whoever worships him as such becomes fruitful in offspring, in animals, in fame, in the glory of brahman, in a heavenly world: he attains his full life Span.

17. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the right eye' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as the self of speech, the self of fire, the self of light. Whoever worships him as such becomes the self of all these.'

18. Balaki said, 'I worship the person who is in the left eye.' Ajatasatru said to him, 'Do not make me talk about him. I worship him as the self of truth, the self of lightning, the self of brightness. Whoever worships him as such becomes the self of all these.'

19. 'Then Balaki fell silent. Ajatasatru said to him, 'Is that all, Balaki?'

Balaki said, 'That is all.'

Ajatasatru said to him, 'You make me talk to no purpose. I must teach you about brahman. What one needs to know, Balaki, is who is the maker of these persons, whose work it is.'

Then Bataki approached him, fuel in hand, and said, 'I must come to you as your student.'

Ajatasatru said to him, 'I think it contrary to the proper form that a Ksatriya should initiate a Brahmana. But come, I shall make it known to you.' He seized him by the hand and set off. They came to a person who was asleep, and Ajatasatru called him: '0 great King Soma, dressed in white!' He just lay there. But then Ajatasatru prodded him with a stick, and he got up.

Ajatasatru said to Balaki, 'Where did the person lie then, Balaki? Where was he? Where has he come from?'

Balaki did not know.

Ajatasatru said to him, 'As to where the person lay then^ Balaki, where he was, and where he has come from; the channels of a person, called hiia, stretch from the heart to the citadel of the heart. As subtle as a hair a thousand fold divided, they exist on a subtle essence of tawny, white, black, and yellow. When, asleep, he sees no dream, he is in those channels.

20. '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. The breath, the self of awareness, enters the self that is the body right to the hairs and the nails. Like a razor hidden in a razor-case, or a scorpion in a scorpion's nest, the breath, the self of awareness, enters the self that is the body right to the hairs and the nails. These selves depend on that self just as his people receive benefit from a chief. Just as a chief receives benefit from his people or his people receive benefit from a chief, these selves receive benefit from that self.

As long as Indra did not understand the self the demons used to overcome him. When he understood it, slaying and conquering the demons he encompassed chiefship, sovereignty and over lordship over all gods and all beings.

Likewise, knowing this, defeating all evils, one encompasses chief ship, sovereignty and over lordship over all beings—the one who knows this: the one who knows this.




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