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Om! O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
CHAPTER - I
1. Sandilya questioned Atharvan thus: "Please tell me about the eight Angas (parts) of Yoga which is the means of attaining to Atman".
Atharvan replied: "The eight Angas of Yoga are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Of these, Yama is of ten kinds; and so is Niyama. There are eight Asanas. Pranayama is of three kinds; Pratyahara is of five kinds; so also is Dharana. Dhyana is of two kinds and Samadhi is of one kind only. Under Yama (forbearance) are ten: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Daya, Arjava, Kshama, Dhriti, Mitahara and Saucha. Of these, Ahimsa is the not causing of any pain to any living being at any time through the actions of one's mind, speech, or body. Satya is the speaking of the truth that conduces to the well-being of creatures, through the actions of one's mind, speech, or body. Asteya is not coveting of another's property through the actions of one's mind, speech, or body. Brahmacharya is the refraining from sexual inter-course in all places and in all states in mind, speech or body. Daya is kindliness towards all creatures in all places. Arjava is the preserving of equanimity of mind, speech, or body in the performance or non-performance of the actions ordained or forbidden to be done. Kshama is the bearing patiently of all pleasant or unpleasant things, such as praise or blow. Dhriti is the preserving of firmness of mind during the period of gain or loss of wealth or relatives. Mitahara is the taking of oily and sweet food, leaving one-fourth of the stomach empty. Saucha is of two kinds, external and internal. Of these, the external is the cleansing of the body by earth and water; the internal is the cleansing of the mind. This (the latter) is to be obtained by means of the Adhyatma-Vidya (Science of Self).
2. Under Niyama (religious observances), are ten, viz., Tapas, Santosha Astikya, Dana, Ishvarapujana, Siddhanta-Sravana, Hrih, Mati, Japa and Vrata. Of these Tapas, is the emancipation of the body through the observances of such penances as Krichchhra, Chandrayana, etc., according to rules. Santosha is being satisfied with whatever comes to us of its own accord. Astikya is the belief in the merits or demerits of actions as stated in the Vedas. Dana is the giving with faith to deserving persons, money, grains, etc., earned lawfully. Ishvarapujana is the worshipping of Vishnu, Rudra, etc., with pure mind according to one's power. Siddhanta-Sravana is the inquiry into the significance of Vedanta. Hrih is the shame felt in the performance of things contrary to the rules of the Vedas and of Society. Mati is the faith in the paths laid down by the Vedas. Japa is the practising of the Mantras into which one is duly initiated by his spiritual instructor and which is not against (the rules of) the Vedas. It is of two kinds - the spoken and the mental. The mental is associated with contemplation by the mind. The spoken is of two kinds - the loud and the low. The loud pronunciation gives the reward as stated (in the Vedas): (while) the low one (gives) a reward thousand times (that). The mental (gives) a reward a Crore (of times that). Vrata is the regular observance of or the refraining from the actions enjoined or prohibited by the Vedas.
3. Asanas (the postures) are (chiefly) eight, viz., Svastika, Gomukha, Padma, Vira, Simha, Bhadra, Mukta and Mayura. Svastika is the sitting at ease with the body erect, placing each foot between the thighs and knees of the other.
4. Gomukha is (the sitting at ease with the body erect) placing the hollow of the left foot under the side of the right posteriors and the hollow of the right foot under the side of the left posteriors, resembling Gomukha (cow's face).
5. Padma is (the sitting at ease with the body erect) placing the back of each foot in the thigh of the other, the right hand grasping the right toe and the left hand to left toe. This, O Sandilya, is praised by all.
6. Vira is the sitting at ease (with the body erect), placing one foot on the thigh of the other and the other foot underneath the corresponding (opposite thigh).
7-8. Simha is (the sitting at ease with the body erect) pressing the right side (of the thigh) with the hollow of left heel and vice versa. Rest your hands on the knees, spread out the fingers, open your mouth and carefully fix your gaze on the tip of your nose. This is always praised by the Yogins.
9. Siddha is (the sitting at ease with the body erect) pressing the perineum with the left heel and placing the heel of the right foot above the genital organ, concentrating the mind between the two eyebrows.
10. Bhadra is (the sitting at ease with the body erect) pressing the two ankles of the two feet firmly together against the Sivini (viz., lower part of the seed) and binding the knees firmly with the hands. This is the Bhadra which destroys all diseases and poisons.
11. Mukta is (the sitting at ease with the body erect) pressing with the left heel the right side of the tender part of the Sivini and with the right heel the lest side of the tender part of the Sivini.
12-13. Mayura (lit., peacock): Rest your body upon the ground with both palms and place your elbows on the sides of the navel, lift up the head and feet and remain like a stick in the air, (like the plant balance in gymnastics). This is the Mayura posture which destroys all sins.
14. By these, all the diseases within the body are destroyed; all the poisons are digested. Let the person who is unable to practise all these postures betake himself to any one (of these) which he may find easy and pleasant. He who conquers (or gets mastery over) the postures - he conquers the three worlds. A person who has the practice of Yama and Niyama should practise Pranayama; by that the Nadis become purified."
15. Then Sandilya questioned Atharvan thus: "By what means are the Nadis purified ? How many are they in number ? How do they arise ? What Vayus (vital airs) are located in them ? What are their seats? What are their functions? Whatever is worthy of being known in the body, please tell me". To that Atharvan replied (thus): "This body is ninety-six digits in length. Prana extends twelve digits beyond the body. He who through the practice of Yoga reduces his Prana within his body to make it equal to or not less than the fire in it becomes the greatest of the Yogins. In men, the region of fire which is triangular in form and brilliant as the molten gold is situated in the middle of the body. In four-footed animals, it (fire) is quadrangular. In birds, it is round. In its (the region of life's) centre, the purifying, beneficial and subtle flame is situate. Two digits above the anus and two digits below the sexual organ is the centre of the body for men. For four-footed animals, it is the middle of the heart. For birds, it is the middle of the body. Nine digits from (or above) the centre of the body and four digits in length and breadth is situated an oval form. In its midst is the navel. In it, is situated the Chakra (viz., wheel) with twelve spokes. In the middle of the Chakra, the Jiva (Atman) wanders, driven by its good and bad deeds. As a spider flies to and fro within a web of fine threads, so Prana moves about here. In this body, the Jiva rides upon Prana. Lying in the middle of the navel and above it, is the seat of Kundalini. The Kundalini Sakti is of the form of eight Prakritis (matter) and coils itself eight ways or (times). The movement of Vayus (vital airs) checks duly the food and drink all round by the side of Skandha. It closes by its head (the opening of) the Brahmarandhra and during the time of (the practice of) Yoga is awakened by the fire (in the Apana); then it shines with great brilliancy in the Akasa of the heart in the shape of wisdom.
Depending upon Kundalini which is situated in the centre, there are fourteen principal Nadis (viz.,) Ida, Pingala, Susumna, Sarasvati, Varuni, Pusha, Hastijihva, Yasasvini, Visvodhari, Kuhuh, Sankhini, Payasvini, Alambusa and Gandhari. Of them, Susumna is said to be the sustainer of the universe and the path of salvation. Situated at the back of the anus, it is attached to the spinal column and extends to the Brahmarandhra of the head and is invisible and subtle and is Vaishnavi (or has the Sakti force of Vishnu). On the left of Susumna is situated Ida and on the right is Pingala. The moon moves in Ida and the sun in Pingala. The moon is of the nature of Tamas and the sun of Rajas. The poison share is of the sun and the nectar of the moon. They both direct (or indicate) time and Susumna is the enjoyer (or consumer) of time. To the back and on the side of Susumna are situate Sarasvati and Kuhuh respectively. Between Yasasvini and Kuhuh stands Varuni. Between Pusha and Sarasvati lies Payasvini. Between Gandhari and Sarasvati is situated Yasasvini. In the centre of the navel is Alambusa. In front of Susumna there is Kuhuh, which proceeds as far as the genital organ. Above and below Kundalini is situated Varuni, which proceeds everywhere. Yasasvini which is beautiful (or belonging to the moon), proceeds to the great toes. Pingala goes upwards to the right nostril. Payasvini goes to right ear. Sarasvati goes to the upper part or the tongue and Sankhini to the left ear, (while) Gandhari goes from the back of Ida to the left eye. Alambusa goes upwards and downwards from the root of the anus. From these fourteen Nadis, other (minor) Nadis spring; from them springing others and from them springing others; so it should be known. As the leaf of the Asvattha tree (ficus religiosa) etc., is covered with minute fibres so also is this body permeated with Nadis.
"Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana, Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya these ten Vayus (vital airs) move in all the Nadis. Prana moves in the nostrils, the throat, the navel, the two great toes and the lower and the upper parts of Kundalini. Vyana moves in the ear, the eye, the loins, the ankles, the nose, the throat and the buttocks. Apana moves in the anus, the genitals, the thighs, the knees, the stomach, the seeds, the lions, the calves, the navel and the seat of the anus of fire. Udana lives in all the joints and also in the hands and legs. Samana lives, permeating in all parts of the body. Along with the fire in the body, it causes the food and drink taken in, to spread in the body. It moves in the seventy-two thousand Nadis and pervades all over the body along with the fire. The fire Vayus beginning with Naga go towards the skin, the bones, etc. The Prana which is in the navel separates the food and drink which is there and brings about the Rasas (juices) and others. Placing the water above the fire and the food above (or in) the water, it goes to the Apana and along with it, fans up the fire in the centre of the body. The fire thus fanned up by the Apana gradually increases in brightness in the middle of the body. Then it causes through its flames the water which is brought in the bowels by the Prana to grow hot.
fire with the water causes the food and conditions, which are placed above,
to be boiled to a proper degree. Then Prana separates these into sweat,
urine, water, blood, semen, the faeces and the like. And along with the
Samana, it takes the juice (or essence) to all the Nadis and moves in the
body in the shape of breath. The Vayus excrete the urine, the faeces, etc.,
through the nine openings in the body which are connected with the outside
air. The functions of Prana are inspiration, expiration and cough. Those of
Apana are the excretion of the faeces and the urine. Those of Vyana are
(such actions as) giving and taking. Those of Udana are keeping the body
straight, etc. Those of Samana are nourishing the body. Those of Naga are
vomiting, etc.; of Kurma, the movement of the eyelids; of Krikara, the
causing of hunger, etc., of Devadatta, idleness, etc., and Dhananjaya
16. A person possessed of Yama and Niyama, avoiding all company, having finished his course of study, delighting in truth and virtue, having conquered (his) anger, being engaged in the service of his spiritual instructor and having been obedient to his parents and well instructed in all the religious practices and the knowledge of his order of life, should go to a sacred grove abounding in fruits, roots and water. There he should select a pleasant spot always resounding with the chanting of the Vedas, frequented by the knowers of Brahman that persevere in the duties of their orders of life and filled with fruits, roots, flowers and water. (Else) either in a temple or on the banks of a river or in a village or in a town, he should build a beautiful monastery. It should be neither too long nor too high, should have a small door, should be besmeared well with cow-dung and should have every sort of protection. There listening to the exposition of Vedanta, he should begin to practise Yoga. In the beginning having worshipped Vinayaka (Ganesha), he should salute his Ishta-Devata (tutelary deity) and sitting in any of the above-mentioned postures on a soft seat, facing either the east or the north and having conquered them, the learned man keeping his head and neck erect and fixing his gaze on the tip of his nose, should see the sphere of the moon between his eyebrows and drink the nectar (flowing therefrom through his eyes). Inhaling the air through Ida for the space of twelve matras, he should contemplate on the sphere of fire situated in the belly as surrounded with flames and having as its seed â€˜ra'; then he should exhale it through Pingala. Again inhaling it through Pingala and retaining it (within), he should exhale it through Ida. For the period of twenty-eight months, he should practise six times at every sitting through the three Sandhyas (morning, noon and evening) and during the intervals. By this, the Nadis becomes purified. Then the body becomes light and bright, the (gastric) fire is increased (within) and there is the manifestation of Nada (internal sound).
17. Pranayama is said to be the union of Prana and Apana. It is of three kinds - expiration, inspiration and cessation. They are associated with the letters of the (Sanskrit) alphabet (for the right performance of Pranayama). Therefore Pranava (OM) only is said to be Pranayama. Sitting in the Padma posture, the person should meditate that there is at the tip of his nose Gayatri, a girl of red complexion surrounded by the numberless rays of the image of the moon and mounted on a Hamsa (swan) and having a mace in her hand. She is the visible symbol of the letter â€˜A'. The letter â€˜U' has as its visible symbol Savitri, a young woman of white colour having a disk in her hand and riding on a Garuda (eagle). The letter â€˜M' has as its visible symbol Sarasvati, an aged woman of black colour riding on a bull, having a trident in her hand. He should meditate that the single letter - the supreme light - the Pranava (OM) - is the origin or source of these three letters â€˜A', â€˜U' and â€˜M'. Drawing up the air through Ida for the space of sixteen matras, he should meditate on the letter â€˜A' during that time; retaining the inspired air for the space of sixty-four matras, he should meditate on the letter â€˜U' during the time; he should then exhale the inspired air for the space of thirty-two matras, meditating on the letter â€˜M' during that time. He should practise this in the above order over and over again.
Then having become firm in the posture and preserved perfect self-control,
the Yogin should, in order to clear away the impurities of the Susumna, sit
in the Padmasana (Padma posture) and having inhaled the air through the left
nostril, should retain it as long as he can and should exhale it through the
right. Then drawing it again through the right and having retained it, he
should exhale it through the left in the order that he should draw it
through the same nostril by which he exhaled it before and retained it. In
this context, occur (to memory) the following verses:
19. He should practise cessation of breath at sunrise, in the midday, at sunset and at midnight slowly till eighty (times a day) for four weeks.
20. In the early stages, perspiration is produced; in the middle stage the tremor of the body and in the last stage levitation in the air. These (results) ensure out of the repression of the breath, while sitting in the Padma posture.
21. When perspiration arises with effort, he should rub his body well. By this, the body becomes firm and light.
22. In the early course of his practice, food with milk and ghee is excellent. One sticking to this rule becomes firm in his practice and gets no Tapa (or burning sensation in the body).
23. As lions, elephants and tigers are gradually tamed, so also the breath when rightly managed (comes under control); else it kills the practitioner.
24. He should (as far as is consistent with his health and safety) properly exhale it, properly inhale it or retain it properly. Thus (only) will he attain success.
25. By thus retaining the breath in an approved manner and by the purification of the Nadis, the brightening of the (gastric) fire, the hearing distinctly of (spiritual) sounds and (good) health result.
26-30. When the nervous centres have become purified through the regular practice of Pranayama, the air easily forces its way up through the mouth of the Susumna which is in the middle. By the contraction of the muscles of the neck and by the contraction of the one below (viz.,) Apana, the Prana (breath) goes into the Susumna which is in the middle from the west Nadi. Drawing up the Apana and forcing down the Prana from the throat, the Yogin free from old age becomes a youth of sixteen.
31. Seated in a pleasant posture and drawing up the air through the right nostril and retaining it inside from the top of the hair to the toe nails, he should exhale it through the same nostril. Through it, the brain becomes purified and the diseases in the air Nadis are destroyed. Drawing up the air through the nostrils with noise (so as to fill the space) from the heart to the neck and having retained it (within) as long as possible, he should exhale it through the nose. Through this hunger, thirst, idleness and sleep do not arise. Taking in the air through the mouth (wide open) and having retained it as long as possible, he should expel it through the nose. Through this, (such diseases as) Gulma; Pleeha (both being splenetic diseases), bile and fever as also hunger, etc., are destroyed. Now we shall proceed to Kumbhaka (restraint of breath). It is of two kinds - Sahita and Kevala. That which is coupled with expiration and inspiration is called Sahita. That which is devoid of these is called Kevala (alone). Until you become perfect in Kevala, practise Sahita. To one who has mastered Kevala, there is nothing unattainable in the three worlds. By Kevala-restraint of breath, the knowledge of Kundalini arises. Then he becomes lean in body, serene in face and clear eyed, hears the (spiritual) sounds distinctly, becomes free from all diseases and conquers his (Bindu) seminal fluid, his gastric fire being increased. Centring one's mind on an inward object whilst his eyes are looking outside without shutting and opening of his eyelids, has been called Vaishnavi-mudra. This is kept hidden in all the Tantric works.
32. With his mind and breath absorbed in an internal object, the Yogin, though he does not really see the objects outside and under him, still (appears to) see them with eyes in which the pupils are motionless. This is called Khechari-mudra. It has as its sphere of extension one object and is very beneficial. (Then) the real seat of Vishnu, which is void and non-void, dawns on him.
33. With eyes half closed and with a firm mind, fixing his eyes on the tip of his nose and becoming absorbed in the sun and moon, he after remaining thus unshaken (becomes conscious of) the thing which is resplendent, which is the supreme truth and which is beyond. O Sandilya, know this to be Tat (That).
34. Merging the sound in the light and elevating the brows a little, this is of the way of (or is a part of) the former practice. This brings about the state of Unmani which causes the destruction of the mind.
35. Therefore he should practise the Khechari-mudra. Then he attains to the state of Unmani and falls into the Yoga sleep (trance). To one who obtains this Yoga sleep, time does not exist. Placing the mind in the midst of Sakti and Sakti in the midst of the mind and looking on the mind with the mind, O Sandilya be happy.
36. Place the Atman in the midst of Akasa and Akasa in the midst of Atman and having reduced everything to Akasa, do not think of anything else.
37. You should not (then) entertain thoughts, either external or internal. Abandoning all thoughts, become abstract thought itself.
38. As camphor in fire and salt in water become absorbed, so also the mind becomes absorbed in the Tattva (Truth).
39. What is termed Manas (mind) is the knowledge of everything that is known and its clear apprehension. When the knowledge and the object cognised are lost alike, there is no second path (or that is the only path).
40. By its giving up all cognition of objects, it (the mind) is absorbed and when the mind is absorbed, Kaivalya (isolation) alone remains.
41. For the destruction of the Chitta, there are two ways - Yoga and Jnana. O prince of sages, Yoga is the (forcible) repression of the modifications of the mind and Jnana is the thorough inquiry into them.
42-45. When the modifications of the mind are repressed, it (the mind) verily obtains peace. Just as the actions of the people cease with the stopping of the fluctuations of the sun (viz., with sunset), so when the fluctuations of the mind cease, this cycle of births and deaths comes to an end. (Then) the fluctuations of Prana are prevented, when one has no longing for this mundane existence or when he has gratified his desires therein - through the study of religious books, the company of good men, indifference (to enjoyments), practice and Yoga or long contemplation with intentness on any desired (higher) object or through practising one truth firmly.
46. By the repression of the breath through inhalation, etc., by continual practice therein which does not cause fatigue and by meditating in a secluded place, the fluctuations of the mind are arrested. Through the right realisation of the true nature of the sound which is at the extreme end of the pronunciation of the syllable OM (viz., Ardhamatra) and when Sushupti (dreamless sleeping state) is rightly cognised through consciousness, the fluctuations of Prana are repressed.
47. When the passage at the root of the palate which is like the bell, viz., Uvula, is closed by the tongue with effort and when the breath goes up through (the upper hole), then the fluctuations of Prana are stopped.
48-50. When the consciousness (Samvit) is merged in Prana and when through practice the Prana goes through the upper hole into the Dvadasanta (the twelfth centre) above the palate, then the fluctuations of Prana are stopped. When the eye of consciousness (viz., the spiritual or third eye) becomes calm and clear so as to be able to distinctly see in the transparent Akasa at a distance of twelve digits from the tip of his nose, then the fluctuations of Prana are stopped. When the thoughts arising in the mind are bound up in the calm contemplation of the world of Taraka (star or eye) between one's eyebrows and are (thus) destroyed, then the fluctuations cease.
51. When the knowledge which is of the form of the knowable, which is beneficent and which is untouched by any modifications arises in one and is known as OM only and no other, then the fluctuations of Prana cease.
52. By the contemplation for a long time of the Akasa which is in the heart and by the contemplation of the mind free from Vasanas, then the fluctuations of Prana cease.
53. By these methods and various others suggested by (one's) thought and by means of the contact of the many (spiritual) guides, the fluctuations cease.
54. Having by contraction opened the door of Kundalini, one should force open the door of Moksha. Closing with her mouth the door through which one ought to go, the Kundalini sleeps spiral in form and coiled up like a serpent. He who causes this Kundalini to move - he is an emancipated person. If this Kundalini were to sleep in the upper part of the neck of any Yogin, it goes towards his emancipation. (If it were to sleep) in the lower part (of the body), it is for the bondage of the ignorant. Leaving the two Nadis, Ida and the other (Paingala), it (Prana) should move in the Susumna. That is the supreme seat of Vishnu. One should practise control of breath with the concentration of the mind. The mind should not be allowed by a clever man to rest on any other thing.
55. One should not worship Vishnu during the day alone. One should not worship Vishnu during the night alone; but should always worship Him and should not worship Him merely during day and night.
56. The wisdom-producing opening (near Uvula) has five passages. O Sandilya, this is the Khechari-mudra; practise it.
57. With one who sits in the Khechari-mudra, the Vayu which was flowing before through the left and right Nadis now flows through the middle one (Susumna. There is no doubt about it.
58. You should swallow the air through the void (Susumna) between Ida and Pingala. In that place is Khechari-mudra situated and that is the seat of Truth.
59. Again that is Khechari-mudra which is situated in the Akasa-Chakra (in the head) in the Niralamba (supportless) seat between the sun and moon (viz., Ida and Pingala).
60-61. When the tongue has been lengthened to the length of a Kala (digit) by the incision (of the fraenum lingum) and by rubbing and milking it (viz., the tongue), fix the gaze between the two eyebrows and close the hole in the skull with the tongue reversed. This is Khechari-mudra. With the tongue and the Chitta (mind) both move in the Akasa (Khechari), then the person with his tongue raised up becomes immortal. Firmly pressing the Yoni (perineum) by the left heel, stretching out the right leg, grasping the feet with both hands and inhaling the air through the nostrils, practise Kantha-Bandha, retaining the air upwards. By that, all afflictions are destroyed; then poison is digested as if it were nectar. Asthma, splenetic disease, the turning up of the anus and the numbness of the skin are removed. This is the means of conquering Prana and destroying death. Pressing the Yoni by the left heel, place the other foot over the left thigh: inhale the air, rest the chin on the chest, contract the Yoni and contemplate, (as far as possible), your Atman as situated within your mind. Thus is the direct perception (of truth) attained. Inhaling the Prana from outside and filling the stomach with it, centre the Prana with the mind in the middle of the navel at the tip of the nose and at the toes during the Sandhyas (sunset and sunrise) or at all times. (Thus) the Yogin is freed from all diseases and fatigue.
62. By centring his Prana at the tip of his nose, he obtains mastery over the element of air; by centring it at the middle of his navel, all diseases are destroyed; by centring it at the toes, his body becomes light. He who drinks the air (drawn) through the tongue destroys fatigue, thirst and diseases.
63. He who drinks the air with his mouth during the two Sandhyas and the last two hours of the night, within three months the auspicious Sarasvati (goddess of speech) is present in his Vak (speech) (viz., he becomes eloquent and learned in his speech).
64. In six months, he is free from all diseases. Drawing the air by the tongue, retain the air at the root of the tongue. The wise man thus drinking nectar enjoys all prosperity.
65. Fixing the Atman in the Atman itself in the middle of the eyebrows, (having inhaled) through Ida and breaking through that (centre) thirty times, even a sick man is freed from disease.
66. He who draws the air through the Nadis and retains it for twenty-four minutes in the navel and in the sides of the stomach becomes freed from disease.
67-69(a). He who for the space of a month during the three Sandhyas (sunset, sunrise and midnight or noon) draws the air through the tongue, pierces thirty times and retains his breath in the middle of his navel, becomes freed from all fevers and poisons. He who retains the Prana together with the mind at the tip of his nose even for the space of a Muhurta (forty-eight minutes), destroys all sins that were committed by him during one hundred births.
69(b). Through the Samyama of Tara (Om), he knows all things. By retaining the mind at the tip of his nose, he acquires a knowledge of Indra-world; below that, he acquires a knowledge of Agni (fire) world. Through the Samyama of Chitta in the eye, he gets a knowledge of all worlds; in the ear, a knowledge of Yama (the god of death) world); in the sides of the ear, a knowledge of Nrriti-world; in the back of it (the ear), a knowledge of Varuna-world; in the left ear, a knowledge of Vayu-world; in the throat, a knowledge of Soma (moon) world; in the left eye, a knowledge of Shiva-world; in the head, a knowledge of Atala world; in the feet, a knowledge of Vitala world; in the ankles, a knowledge of Nitala (rather Sutala) world; in the calves, a knowledge of Sutala (rather Talatala) world; in the knees, a knowledge of Mahatala world; in the thighs, a knowledge of Rasatala world; in the loins, a knowledge of Talatala (rather Patala) world; in the navel, a knowledge of Bhur (earth) world; in the stomach, a knowledge of Bhuvar world; in the heart, a knowledge of Suvar world; in the place above the heart, a knowledge of Mahar world; in the throat, a knowledge of Jana world; in the middle of the brows, a knowledge of Tapa world; in the head, a knowledge of Satya world. By conquering Dharma and Adharma, one knows the past and the future. By centring it on the sound of every creature, a knowledge of the cry (or language) of the animal is produced. By centring it on the Sanchita-Karma (past Karma yet to be enjoyed), a knowledge of one's previous births arises in him. By centring it on the mind of another, a knowledge of the mind (or thoughts) of others is induced. By centring it on the Kaya-Rupa (or form of the body), other forms are seen. By fixing it on the Bala (strength). The strength of persons like Hanuman is obtained. By fixing it on the sun, a knowledge of the worlds arises. By fixing it on the moon, a knowledge of the constellation is produced. By fixing it on the Dhruva (Polar star) a perception of its motion is induced. By fixing it on his own (Self), one acquires the knowledge of Purusha; on the navel, he attains a knowledge of the Kaya-Vyuha (mystical arrangement of all the particles of the body so as to enable a person to wear out his whole Karma in one life); on the well of the throat, freedom from hunger and thirst arises; on the Kurma Nadi (which is situated in the well of the throat), a firmness (of concentration) takes place.
By fixing it on the Tara (pupil of the eye), he obtains the sight of the Siddhas (spiritual personages). By conquering the Akasa in the body, he is able to soar in the Akasa; (in short) by centring the mind in any place, he conquers the Siddhis appertaining to that place. Then comes Pratyahara, which is of five kinds. It is the drawing away of the organs from attaching themselves to the objects of senses. Contemplating upon everything that one sees as Atman is Pratyahara. Renouncing the fruits of one's daily actions is Pratyahara. Turning away from all objects of sense is Pratyahara. Dharana in the eighteen important places (mentioned below) is Pratyahara, (viz.,) the feet, the toes, the ankles, the calves, the knees, the thighs, the anus, the penis, the navel, the heart, the well of the throat, the palate, the nose, the eyes, the middle of the brows, the forehead and the head in ascending and descending orders.
70. Then (comes) Dharana. It is of three kinds, (viz.,) fixing the mind in the Atman, bringing the external Akasa into the Akasa of the heart and contemplating the five Murtis (forms of Devatas) in the five elements - earth, Apas, fire, Vayu and Akasa.
71. Then comes Dhyana. It is of two kinds, Saguna (with Gunas or quality) and Nirguna (without quality). Saguna is the meditation of a Murti. Nirguna is on the reality of Self.
72. Samadhi is the union of the Jivatma (individual self) and the Paramatman (higher Self) without the threefold state (viz., the knower, the known and the knowledge). It is of the nature of extreme bliss and pure consciousness.
Thus ends the first chapter.
CHAPTER - II
Then the Brahma-Rishi Sandilya not obtaining the knowledge of Brahman in the four Vedas, approached the Lord Atharvan and asked him: "What is it? Teach me the science of Brahman by which I shall obtain that which is most excellent."
Atharvan replied: "O Sandilya, Brahman is Satya, Vijnana and Ananta in which all this (world) is interwoven, warp-wise and woof-wise, from which all originated and into which all are absorbed and which being known makes everything else known. It is without hands and feet, without eyes and ears, without tongue or without body and is unreachable and undefinable. From which, Vak (speech) and mind return, being unable to obtain (or reach) It. It is to be cognised by Jnana and Yoga. From which, Prajna of old sprang. That which is one and non-dual, that which pervades everything like Akasa, which is extremely subtle, without a blemish, actionless, Sat (be-ness) only, the essence, of the bliss of consciousness, beneficent, calm and immortal and which is beyond. That is Brahman. Thou art That. Know That by wisdom.
He who is the one, the shining, the giver of the power of Atman, the omniscient, the Lord of all and the inner Soul of all beings, who lives in all beings, who is hidden in all beings and the source of all beings, who is reachable only through Yoga and who creates, supports and destroys everything - He is Atman. Know the several worlds in the Atman. Do not grieve, O knower of Atman, thou shalt reach the end of pains."
Thus ends the second chapter.
CHAPTER - III
Then Sandilya questioned Atharvan thus: "From the Brahman that is OM, imperishable, actionless, beneficial, Sat (be-ness) only and supreme, how dissolution this universe arise ? How does it exist in It ? And how is it absorbed in It ? Please solve me this doubt."
Atharvan replied: "The Supreme Brahman, the Truth, is the imperishable and the actionless. Then from the formless Brahman, three forms (or aspects) arose, (viz.,) Nishkala (partless), Sakala (with parts) and Sakala-Nishkala (with and without parts). That which is Satya, Vijnana and Ananda; That which is actionless, without any impurity, omnipresent, extremely subtle, having faces in every direction, undefinable and immortal - that is His Nishkala aspect. Maheshvara (the great Lord) who is black and yellow rules with Avidya, Mula-Prakriti or Maya that is red, white and black and that is co-existent with him. This is his Sakala-Nishkala aspect. Then the Lord desired (or willed) by his spiritual wisdom (thus): May I become many ? May I bring forth ? Then from this Person who was contemplating and whose desires are fulfilled, three letters sprang up. Three Vyahritis, the three-footed Gayatri, the three Vedas, the three Devas, the three Varnas (colours or castes) and the three fires sprang. That Supreme Lord who is endowed with all kinds of wealth, who is all pervading, who is situated in the hearts of all beings, who is the Lord of Maya and whose form is Maya; He is Brahma; He is Vishnu; He is Rudra; He is Indra; He is all the Devas; He is all the Bhutas (elements or beings); He only is before; He only is behind; He only is on our left; He only is on our right; He only is below; He only is above; He only is the all. That form of him as Dattatreya, who sports with his Sakti, who is kind to his devotees, who is brilliant as fire, resembling the petals or a red lotus and is of four hands, who is mild and shines sinlessly - this is His Sakala form."
Then Sandilya questioned Atharvan, "O Lord, that which is Sat only and the essence of the bliss of consciousness - why is He called Parabrahman?"
Atharvan replied: "Because He increases Brihati and causes to increase everything (Brimhayati); so he is called Parabrahman.
Why is He called Atman ?
Since He obtains (Apnoti) everything, since He takes back everything and since He is everything, so he is called Atman.
Who is He called Maheshvara (the great Lord)?
Since by the sound of the words Mahat-Isha (the great Lord) and by His own power, the great Lord governs everything.
Why is He called Dattatreya?
Because the Lord being extremely pleased with Atri (Rishi) who was performing a most difficult penance and who had expressed his desire to see Him who is light itself, offered Himself (Datta) as their son and because the woman Anasuya was his mother and Atri was his father.
Therefore he who knows the (secret) meaning knows everything. He who always contemplates on the supreme that It is himself becomes a knower of Brahman. Here these Shlokas (stanzas) occur (to memory): 1-4: He who contemplates always the Lord of Lords and the ancient thus - as Dattatreya, the beneficent, the calm, of the colour of sapphire, one who delights in his own Maya and the Lord who has shaken off everything, as naked and as one whose whole body is besmeared with the holy ashes, who has matted hair, who is the Lord of all, who has four arms, who is bliss in appearance, whose eyes are like full-blown lotus, who is the store of Jnana and Yoga, who is the spiritual instructor of all the worlds and who is dear to all the Yogins and one who is merciful towards His devotees, who is the witness of all and who is worshipped by all the Siddhas is freed from all sins and will attain (the Spirit)."
Om Satyam (Truth).
Thus ends the third chapter.
O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
Here ends the Sandilya Upanishad, included in the Atharva-Veda.
ReferenceK. Narayanasvami Aiyar. "Sandilya Upanishad."
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YouSigma. "Sandilya Upanishad." 2008.
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