Om. Sukesa, the Son of
Bharadvaja and Satyakama, the son of Sibi and Sauryayani, belonging to the
family of Gargaand Kausalya, the son of Asvalaand Vaidarbhi, belonging to
the family of Bhriguand Kahandhi, the Son of Katya-all these, devoted to
Brahman and firm in Brahman and seeking the Supreme Brahman, approached,
fuel in hand, the venerable Pippalada with the thought that he would tell
them everything about Brahman.
The rishi said to them: Stay with me a
year more, practising austerities, chastity and faith. Then you may ask
questions according to your desire. If we know we shall tell you
Then Kabandhi, the son of Katya, came to
him and asked: Sir, whence are these creatures born?
To him the teacher said: Prajapati, the
Creator, was desirous of progeny. He performed austerities and having
performed austerities, created the pair, the moon (rayi) and the sun
(prana). He said to Himself: "These two should produce creatures for Me in
The sun is, indeed, prana, life; the moon
is rayi, food. Food is, indeed, all this-what has form and what is formless.
Therefore everything having form is, indeed, food.
Now the sun, when it rises, enters the
eastern quarter and thereby enfolds the living beings of the east in its
rays. And when it illuminates the southern, the western, the northern, the
lower, the upper and the intermediate quarters-when it illuminates
everything-it thus enfolds all living beings in its rays.
That sun rises every day-the sun, which is
the soul of all creatures, the soul of all forms, which is life and fire.
This has been described by the following rik:
The wise know him who is in
all forms, full of rays, all-knowing, non-dual, the support of all life, the
eye of all beings, the giver of heat. There rises the sun, the
thousand-rayed, existing in a hundred forms, the life of all
The year, verily, is Prajapati and there
are two paths thereof: the Southern and the Northern. Those who perform
sacrifices and engage in pious actions, as duties to be done, win only the
World of the Moon; verily they return hither again. Therefore the rishis who
desire off-spring travel by the Southern Path. This Path of the Fathers is
But those who seek the Self through
austerity, chastity, faith and knowledge travel by the Northern Path and win
the Sun. The Sun, verily, is the support of all lives. He is immortal and
fearless; He is the final goal. Thence they do not return. This path is
blocked for the ignorant. Concerning it there is the following
Some call Him the father with five feet
and with twelve forms, the giver of rain and the dweller in the region above
the sky. Others, again, say that the world is fixed in the omniscient Sun,
endowed with seven wheels and six spokes.
The month, verily, is Prajapati. Its dark
half, verily, is food, rayi; its bright half, the eater, prana. Therefore
some rishis perform sacrifice in the bright half, some in the other
Day and night, verily, are Prajapati. Of
these, day is the eater, prana and night, the food, rayi. Those who join in
sexual enjoyment by day verily dissipate life; but to join in sexual
enjoyment by night is, verily, chastity.
Food, verily, is Prajapati. From that
comes semen; from semen are all these creatures born.
Those, therefore, who practise this rule
of Prajapati beget a pair. But Brahmaloka belongs to those who observe
austerity and chastity and in whom truth is firmly established.
The stainless World of Brahma belongs to
those in whom there is no crookedness, no falsehood, no
Then Vaidarbhi, belonging to
the family of Bhrigu, asked him: Sir, how many gods support the body of the
created being? How many of these manifest their power through it? And which
one, furthermore, is paramount?
To the disciple he said: Space, akasa,
verily is that god-the wind, fire, water, earth, speech, mind, eye and ear,
as well. These, having manifested their glory, said boastfully: "We support
this body and uphold it."
To them prana, the chiefmost said: "Do not
fall into delusion. I alone, dividing myself into five parts, support this
body and uphold it." But they were incredulous.
Prana, out of pride, rose upward, as it
were, from the body. Now, when it rose upward all the others rose upward
also and when it settled down they all settled down with it. As bees go out
when their queen goes out and return when she returns, even so did speech,
mind, eye and ear. They, being satisfied, praised prana.
It burns as fire, it is the sun, it is the
rain; it is Indra, it is the wind, it is the earth, it is food. It is the
luminous god. It is being and non-being; it is immortality.
As spokes in the hub of a wheel, all are
fixed in prana, including the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sama-Veda, the
kshattriyas and the brahmins.
As Prajapati thou movest about in the
womb; it is thou, indeed, who art born again. To thee, O Prana, creatures
bring offerings, to thee who dwellest in the body with the
Thou art the chief bearer of oblations to
the gods and the first offering to the departed fathers; thou art the true
activities of the rishis, of the Atharvangiras.
Indra thou art, O Prana and Rudra, too, in
prowess. Thou art the Protector. Thou movest in the sky; thou art the sun,
the lord of lights.
When, O Prana, thou showerest down rain,
these creatures of thine are delighted, thinking there will be as much food
as they desire.
Thou art vratya, O Prana and the Ekarshi
Fire that devours the butter. Thou art the Supreme Lord of all. We are the
givers of the butter that thou consumest, O Matarisva! Thou art our
That form of thine which abides in speech,
which abides in the ear, which abides in the eye and which pervades the
mind, make propitious. Go not away!
All that exists here is under the control
of prana and also what exists in heaven. Protect us as a mother her sons;
bestow upon us prosperity and wisdom.
Then Kausalya, the son of
Asvala, asked Pippalada: Sir, whence is this prana born? How does it come
into this body? How does it abide in the body after it has divided itself?
How does it depart? How does it support the external and how the
To him the teacher replied: You are asking
difficult questions; you must be exceedingly devoted to Brahman. Therefore I
will answer you.
This prana is born of Atman. As a shadow
is cast by a person, so this prana is, by Atman. Through the activity of the
mind it comes into this body.
As an emperor commands his officials,
saying; "Rule these villages or those," so this prana employs the other
pranas, each in its separate place.
Prana engages apana in the organs of
excretion and generation; he himself moves through the mouth and nose and
dwells in the eye and ear. In the middle is samana; it distributes equally
what has been offered as food in the fire in the stomach. From this prana
fire arise the seven flames.
The atman dwells in the heart, where there
are one hundred and one arteries (nadi); for each of these there are one
hundred branches and for each of these branches, again, there are
seventy-two thousand subsidiary vessels. Vyana moves in these.
And then udana, ascending upward through
one of them, conducts the departing soul to the virtuous world, for its
virtuous deeds; to the sinful world, for its sinful deeds; and to the world
of men, for both.
The sun, verily, is the external prana;
for it rises, favouring the prana in the eye. The deity that exists in the
earth controls the apana of man. The space, akasa, between heaven and earth
is samana. The air is vyana.
Fire, verily, is udana; therefore he whose
fire has been extinguished goes out for rebirth, with the senses absorbed in
Whatever one's thinking, with that one
enters into prana. Prana joined with fire, together with the soul, leads to
whatever world has been fashioned by thought.
The wise man who thus knows prana does not
lose his offspring and becomes immortal. As to this there is the following
He who knows the origin of prana, its
entry, its place, its fivefold distribution, its internal aspect and also
its external, obtains immortality; yea, he obtains immortality.
Next Sauryayani, belonging to
the family of Garga, asked: Sir, what are they that sleep in man and what
are they that remain awake in him? Which deity is it that sees dreams? Whose
is the happiness? In whom, again, are all these gathered
To him Pippalada replied: O Gargya, as the
rays of the sun, when it sets, are gathered in that luminous orb and again
go forth when it rises, even so, verily, all these-the objects and the
senses-become one in the superior god, the mind. Therefore at that time a
man hears not, sees not, smells not, tastes not, touches not, speaks not,
grasps not, enjoys not, emits not and does not move about. He sleeps-that is
what people say.
The prana fires remain awake in this city.
Apana is the Garhapatya Fire and vyana, the Anvaharyapachana Fire. And prana
is the Ahavaniya Fire, so called from being taken-since it is taken from the
Samana is so called because it distributes
equally the two oblations, namely, the out-breathing and the in-breathing;
it is the priest. The mind, verily, is the sacrificer. Udana is the fruit of
the sacrifice, because it leads the sacrificer every day, in deep sleep, to
There, in dreams, that god, the mind,
experiences glory. Whatever has been seen he sees again; whatever has been
heard he hears again; whatever has been experienced in different countries
and quarters, he experiences again. Whatever has been seen or not seen,
heard or not heard and whatever is real or not real-he sees it all. He sees
all, himself being all.
When the jiva is overcome by light he sees
no dreams; at that time, in this body, arises this happiness.
As a bird goes to a tree to roost, even
so, O friend, all this rests in the Supreme Atman:
Earth and its subtle
counterpart, water and its subtle counterpart, fire and its subtle
counterpart, air and its subtle counterpart, akasa and its subtle
counterpart, the eye and what can be seen, the ear and what can be heard,
the nose and what can be smelt, the taste and what can be tasted, the skin
and what can be touched, the organ of speech and what can be spoken, the
hands and what can be grasped, the organ of generation and what can be
enjoyed, the organ of excretion and what can be excreted, the feet and what
is their destination, the mind (manas) and what can be thought, the
intellect (buddhi) and what can be comprehended, the ego (ahamkara) and the
object of egoism, the memory (chitta) and its object, knowledge (tejah) and
its object, prana and what is to be supported.
He, verily, it is who sees, feels, hears,
smells, tastes, thinks and knows. He is the doer, the intelligent self, the
purusha. He is established in the Highest, the imperishable
He who knows that imperishable Being,
bright, without shadow, without body, without colour, verily attains the
Supreme, the undecaying Purusha, O my good friend, he who knows Atman
becomes all-knowing, becomes all. About it there is the following
He, O friend, who knows that imperishable
Being wherein rests the intelligent self, together with the gods, the pranas
and the elements-he becomes all-knowing and enters into all.
Then Satyakama, the son of
Sibi, asked Pippalada; Sir, if among men someone should here meditate on the
syllable AUM until death, which world, verily, would he win
He replied: O Satyakama, the syllable AUM
is the Supreme Brahman and also the other Brahman. Therefore he who knows it
attains, with its support, the one or the other.
If he meditates on one letter (matra),
then, being enlightened by that alone, he quickly comes back to earth after
death. The rik verses lead him to the world of men. By practising austerity,
chastity and faith he enjoys greatness.
If, again, he meditates on the second
letter, he attains the mind and is led up by the yajur verses to the
intermediate space, to the Plane of the Moon. Having enjoyed greatness in
the Plane of the Moon, he returns hither again.
Again, he who meditates on the Highest
Person through this syllable AUM consisting of three letters, becomes united
with the effulgent Sun. As a snake is freed from its skin, even so he is
freed from sin.
The three letters of AUM, if employed
separately, are mortal; but when joined together in meditation on the total
Reality and used properly on the activities of the external, internal and
intermediate states, the knower trembles not.
The wise man, meditating on AUM, attains
this world by means of the rik verses; the intermediate world by means of
the yajur verses; and that which is known to the seers by means of the sama
verses. And also through the syllable AUM he realises that which is
tranquil, free from decay, death and fear and which is the
Then Sukesa, the son of
Bharadvaja, said to Pippalada: Sir, Hiranyabha, the prince of Kosala, once
came to me and asked this question: "O son of Bharadvaja, do you know the
Person with sixteen parts?" I said to the prince: "I do not know Him; if I
knew Him, why should I not tell you? Surely he who speaks what is not true
withers away to the very root; therefore I should not speak untruth." Then
he silently mounted his chariot and went away. Now I ask you: Where does
that Person dwell?
Pippalada said to him: That Person-He from
whom these sixteen parts arise-is verily here within the body.
The Purusha reflected: "What is it by
whose departure I shall depart and by whose staying I shall
He created prana; from prana faith, space,
air, fire, water, earth, the organs, mind, food; from food virility,
austerity, the Vedic hymns, sacrifice, the worlds; and in the worlds He
As these flowing rivers, bound for the
ocean, disappear into the ocean after having reached it, their names and
forms being destroyed and are called simply the ocean-even so, these sixteen
parts of the seer, whose goal is the Purusha, disappear into the Purusha
after having reached Him, their names and forms being destroyed and are
called simply the Purusha. He becomes free of parts and immortal.
there is the following verse:
Know Him, the Purusha, who alone is to be
known and in whom the parts rest firm, like the spokes in the nave of a
wheel, that death may not affect you.
Pippalada said to them: Thus far, indeed,
I know the Supreme Brahman; there is nothing higher than this.
And they, worshipping him, said: Thou,
indeed, art our father-thou who hast taken us across our ignorance to the
Adoration to the supreme rishis! Adoration to the supreme
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