Khandogya-Upanishad: Seventh Prapathaka, First Khanda

Updated May 14, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

First Khanda

1. Narada approached Sanatkumara and said, “Teach me, Sir!” Sanatkumara said to him: “Please to tell me what you know; afterward I shall tell you what is beyond.

2. Narada said: “I know the Rig-veda, Sir, the Yagur-veda, the Sama-veda, as the fourth the Atharvana, as the fifth the Itihasa-purana (the Bharata); the Veda of the Vedas (grammar); the Pitrya (the rules for the sacrifices for the ancestors); the Rasi (the science of numbers); the Daiva (the science of portents); the Nidhi (the science of time); the Vakovikya (logic); the Ekayana (ethics); the Devavidya (etymology); the Brahma-vidya (pronunciation, siksha, ceremonial, kalpa, prosody, khandas); the Bhuta-vidya (the science of demons); the Kshatra-vidya (the science of weapons); the Nakshatra-vidya (astronomy); the Sarpa and Devagana-vidya (the science of serpents or poisons, and the sciences of the genii, such as the making of perfumes, dancing, singing, playing, and other fine arts). All this I know, Sir.

3. “But, Sir, with all this I know the Mantras only, the sacred books, I do not know the Self. I have heard from men like you, that he who knows the Self overcomes grief. I am in grief. Do, Sir, help me over this grief of mine.

Sanatkumira said to him: “Whatever you have read, is only a name.

4. “A name is the Rig-veda, Yagur-veda, Samaveda, and as the fourth the Atharvana, as the fifth the Itihasa-purana, the Veda of the Vedas, the Pitrya, the Rasi, the Daiva, the Nidhi, the Vakovakya, the Ekiyana, the Deva-vidya, the Brahma-vidya, the Bhuta-vidya, the Kshatra-vidya, the Nakshatra-vidya, the Sarpa and Devagana-vidya. All these are a name only. Meditate on the name.

5. “He who meditates on the name as Brahman, is, as it were, lord and master as far as the name reaches—he who meditates on the name as Brahman.

Sir, is there something better than a name?

Yes, there is something better than a name.

Sir, tell it me.

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