Para-Brahma Upanishad --1

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Para-Brahma Upanishad
Translated by Prof. A. A. Ramanathan
Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai

Om ! O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
May we see with our eyes what is auspicious, O ye worthy of worship !
May we enjoy the term of life allotted by the Devas,
Praising them with our body and limbs steady !
May the glorious Indra bless us !
May the all-knowing Sun bless us !
May Garuda, the thunderbolt for evil, bless us !
May Brihaspati grant us well-being !
Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

1. Now then Saunaka, the great householder (mahashala) approached in due form the revered sage Pippalada of Angiras family and asked him: (All created things) were surely present in the divine ether of the heart of Brahman (the Hiranyagarbha). How did the great lord create them out of himself in different species and who is this great and powerful lore ? To him (Pippalada) said: The most excellent lore of Brahman which I now expound, (Brahman of that alone) is true. It shines brilliantly in the city of the transcendent Brahman, being beyond Rajas (and the other gunas), partless, pure, indestructible and sustaining the power of the senses and the vital airs. He is the creator of the group of bees (in the form of individual souls) and restrains (their outward vision). Remaining in the city of his Self, doing no worldly work (as an ascetic) (he realizes oneness with Brahman). (But) as a doer of action he reaps the fruit (of repeated births and deaths), like a farmer. The knower of the true nature of action does action, (without attachment). Knowing the secret of action, (that unattached action leads to liberation) (the ascetic) shall do action. Which person (possessing discrimination) will throw the net (of motivated action) on the one (Brahman, screening it) ? (Motiveless action) will not drag him (to worldliness), will not drag him.
2. The deities presiding over the vital breath are four (Vishva, Viraj, Otir and Turya). All the nadis (where the vital breath and the deities remain are also four). (The former two active in Rama and Arama get fatigued in the waking and dreaming states and rest during) deep sleep as a hawk flying in the sky. Just as a hawk flying in the sky goes (when fatigued) into its abode, the nest, so the speaker (the Self) after remaining in this (waking) and the other (dreaming state, rests in deep sleep). This Self (while resting) in the golden transcendent sheath (of the ether of the heart) and being immortal is active in the three nadis (Rama, etc.,). (The first pada of this being avidya) it remains in the state of Brahman in the three quarters. The remaining pada (the Jiva) attains (its natural state) and then follows (i.e. attains liberation). Hence the speaker of elsewhere (the Jiva in the avidya) and the other (the Tripada Brahman are fancied to be different and thereby the Jiva wanders in bondage.
(Although) the Jiva remains in the golden transcendent sheath (of the ether of the heart,
yet it experiences the states of waking, etc., due to avidya). Just as Devadatta (i.e. any person) awakened from sleep when prodded with a stick does not go back (to sleep immediately, so also the Jiva getting wisdom from the Vedanta does not have the delusion of the three states of waking, etc.,); and it is not tainted by good or bad acts (such as the optional) charitable deeds. It is similar to a small boy who experiences joy without specific desires (in whatever thing that comes to him). Just as the luminous being (Jiva), (after getting fatigued in the waking and dreaming states) welcomes the joy of deep sleep, so it experiences bliss by realizing (its oneness with) the supreme effulgence (Brahman), which gives all round lustre to luminaries (such as the sun). Thus the heart (chitta) merges itself in the highest (Brahman) and thus realizing the Paramatman enjoys bliss. The pure colour (i.e. the state of non-distinction) arises from the (grace of) Ishvara. Again by the same path of turya-svapna (dreaming in the fourth state) he gives rest to the Self. Just as a leech moves from one position to another (the Jiva moves from the waking state of the turya to the dreaming state of the turya); this desire (to move from one state to another in the turya) arises due to (the grace of) Ishvara. By this the Jiva enjoys itself (by means of the distinctionful and distinctionless deep meditation, Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa Samadhi).
The juncture of the individual and supreme consciousness is rejected as there is a tinge of distinction involved in it. (When distinctionlessness alone exists) it is the highest (i.e. Brahman) and there is nothing other than that. (When Self-realization does not result by the study, etc., of the scripture) then one shall resort to the eight-limbed Yoga; this like a flower of a plantain tree (ever rubbing against the stem and attaining the state of a blossom) succeeds (in attaining perfection). That which remains as the source of Indra (Ishvara) is ever awake there, as the source of the Veda (as Parameshvara). Beyond (the bonds of) good and bad, he (the ascetic) is not tainted by (accidental) good or bad actions. This effulgent Being is the (bestower of) favour on other gods (like the god Brahma), the ‘internal check’ of the form of unattached pure consciousness, the Purusha, the Hamsa of the Pranava, the supreme Brahman. It is not the chief Prana (vital breath). The Pranava is the Self (Jiva). (This state of the Jiva) remains as the first effulgent being. How can he who knows thus (the true nature of the Pranava) set forth difference (between the Jiva and Brahman) ? He realizes that the Jiva is Brahman (alone).