Maitrayana-Brahmaya-Upanishad: Second Prapathaka

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Second Prapathaka

1. Then the Saint Sakayanya, well pleased, said to the King: “Great King Brihadratha, thou banner of the race of Ikshvaku, quickly obtaining a knowledge of Self, thou art happy, and art renowned by the name of Marut, the wind. This indeed is thy Self.

Which, O Saint,” said the King.

Then the Saint said to him:

2. “He who, without stopping the out-breathing, proceeds upwards (from the sthula to the sukshma sarira), and who, modified (by impressions), and yet not modified, drives away the darkness (of error), he is the Self. Thus said the Saint Maitri.” And Sakayanya said to the King Brihadratha: “He who in perfect rest, rising from this body (both from the sthula and stikshma), and reaching the highest light, comes forth in his own form, he is the Self (thus said Sakayanya); this is the immortal, the fearless, this is Brahman.

3. “Now then this is the science of Brahman, and the science of all Upanishads, O King, which was told us by the Saint Maitri. I shall tell it to thee:

We hear (in the sacred records) that there were once the Valakhilyas, who had left off all evil, who were vigorous and passionless. They said to the Pragâpati Kratu: ‘O Saint, this body is without intelligence, like a cart. To what supernatural being belongs this great power by which such a body has been made intelligent? Or who is the driver? What thou knowest, O Saint, tell us that.” Pragâpati answered and said:

4. “He who in the Sruti is called ‘Standing above,’ like passionless ascetics, amidst the objects of the world, he, indeed, the pure, clean, undeveloped, tranquil, breathless, bodiless, endless, imperishable, firm, everlasting, unborn, independent one, stands in his own greatness, and by him has this body been made intelligent, and he is also the driver of it.

They said: “O Saint, How has this been made intelligent by such a being as this which has no desires, and how is he its driver?” He answered them and said:

5. “That Self which is very small, invisible, incomprehensible, called Purusha, dwells of his own will here in part; just as a man who is fast asleep awakes of his own will. And this part (of the Self) which is entirely intelligent, reflected in man (as the sun in different vessels of water), knowing the body (kshetragnta), attested by his conceiving, willing, and believing4, is Pragâpati (lord of creatures), called Visva. By him, the intelligent, is this body made intelligent, and he is the driver thereof.

They said to him: “O Saint, if this has been made intelligent by such a being as this, which has no desires, and if he is the driver therjeof, how was it?” He answered them and said:

6. In the beginning Pragâpati (the lord of creatures) stood alone. He had no happiness, when alone. Meditating on himself, he created many creatures. He looked on them and saw they were, like a stone, without understanding, and stancling like a lifeless post. He had no happiness. He thought, I shall enter within, that they may awake. Making himself like air (vayu) he entered within. Being one, he could not do it. Then dividing himself fivefold, he is called Prâna, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana. Now that air which rises tipwards, is Prâna. That which moves downwards, is Apana. That by which these two are supposed to be held, is Vyana. That which carries the grosser material of food to the Apana, and brings the subtler material to each limb, has the name Samana. [After these (Prâna, Apana, Samana) comes the work of the Vyana, and between them (the Prâna, Apana, and Samana on one side and the vyana on the other) comes the rising of the Udana.] That which brings up or carries down what has been drunk and eaten, is the Udana.

Now the Upamsu-vessel (or prâna) depends on the Antaryama-vessel (apana) and the Antaryamavessel (apana) on the Upamsu-vessel (prâna), and between these two the self-resplendent (Self) produced heat. This heat is the purusha (person), and this purusha is Agni Vaisvanara. And thus it is said elsewhere: “Agni Vaisvanara is the fire within man by which the food that is eaten is cooked, i.e. digested. Its noise is that which one hears, if one covers one's cars. When a man is on the point of departing this life, he does not hear that noise.

Now he, having divided himself fivefold, is hidden in a secret place (buddhi), assuming the nature of mind, having the Prânas as his body, resplendent, having true concepts, and free like ether. Feeling even thus that he has not attained his object, he thinks from within the interior of the heart, “Let me enjoy objects.” Therefore, having first broken open these five apertures (of the senses), he enjoys the objects by means of the five reins. This means that these perceptive organs (ear, skin, eye, tongue, nose) are his reins; the active organs (tongue (for speaking), hands, feet, anus, generative organ) his horses; the body his chariot, the mind the charioteer, the whip being the temperament. Driven by that whip, this body goes round like the wheel driven by the potter. This body is made intelligent, and he is the driver thereof.

This is indeed the Self, who seeming to be filled with desires, and seeming to be overcome by bright or dark fruits of action, wanders about in every body (himself remaining free). Because he is not manifest, because he is infinitely small, because he is invisible, because he cannot be grasped, because he is attached to nothing, therefore he, seeming to be changing, an agent in that which is not (prakriti), is in reality not an agent and unchanging. He is pure, firm, stable, undefiled, unmoved, free from desire, remaining a spectator, resting in himself Having concealed himself in the cloak of the three qualities he appears as the enjoyer of rita, as the enjoyer of rita (of his good works).

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