Sunday, May 17, 2009

Upanishads - Mundaka

The Upanishads

See my previous posts:
Reading the Mundaka Upanishad I learned, for the first time, that the Indian motto "satyameva jayate' comes from this Upanishad (see image below in the post).

The faith which as sustained Indian civilization, which could be said to constitute (through Mahatma Gandhi) the greatest gift of the civilization to the world today, is encapsulated in part 3 of the Mundaka Upanishad, which furnished the motto of the modern Indian nation: Satyam eva jayate, nanritam, "Truth alone prevails, not unreality" (III.1.6). [page 107]


I.1.3 A great householder named Shaunaka once came
To Angiras and reverently asked:
"What is that by knowing which all is known?"
I.1.4 He replied: "The illumined sages say
Knowledge is twofold, higher and lower.
I.1.5 The study of the Vedas, linguistics,
Rituals, astronomy, and all the arts
Can be called lower knowledge. The higher
Is that which leads to Self-realization.
I.1.7 "As the web issues out of the spider
And is withdrawn, as plants sprout from the earth,
As hair grows from the body, even so.
The sages say, this universe springs from
The deathless Self, the source of life.

I.1.8 "The deathless Self meditated upon
Himself and projected the universe
As evolutionary energy.
From this energy developed life, mind,
The elements, and the world of karma,
Which is enchained by cause and effects.
I.2.7 Such rituals are unsafe rafts for crossing
The sea of samsara, of birth and death.
Doomed to shipwreck are those who try to cross
The sea of samsara on those poor rafts.
I.2.8 Ignorant of their ignorance, yet wise
In their own esteem, these deluded men
Prouf of their vain learning go round and round
Like the blind led by the blind.

II.1.2 The Lord of Love is above name and form.
He is present in all and transcends all.
Unborn, without body and without mind.
From him comes every body and mind.

II.2.2 The shining Self dwells hidden in the heart.
Everything in the cosmos, great and small,
Lives in the Self. He is the source of life,
Truth beyond the transcience of this world.
He is the goal of life. Attain this goal!
III.1.6 Truth is victorious, never untruth.
Truth is the way; truth is the goal of life.
Reached by the sages who are free from self-will.
III.1.8 Beyond the reach of the senses is he,
But not beyond the reach of a mind stilled
Through the practice of deep meditation.
III.2.3 Not through discourse, not through the intellect,
Not even through study of the scriptures
Can the Self be realized. The Self reveals
Himself to the one who longs for the Self.
Those who long for the Self with all their heart
Are chosen by the Self as his own.
III.2.8 The flowing river is lost in the sea;
The illumined sage is lost in the Self.
The flowing river has become the sea;
The illumined sage has become the Self.
III.2.9 Those who know the Self become the Self.
None in their family forgets the Self.
Freed from the fetters of separateness,
They attain to immortality.

Book Details:
  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Nilgiri Press; 1 edition (June 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915132397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915132393
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.5 x 1 inches

Books on the Upanishads