Om ! May He protect us both
together; may He nourish us both together; May we work conjointly with
great energy, May our study be vigorous and effective; May we not
mutually dispute (or may we not hate any). 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 !
The body is fivefold in nature (the five elements),
existing in the five, depending on the six (tastes of food), connected
with the six qualities (kama etc.,), seven Dhatus, three impurities,
three Yonis (of excretion) and four kinds of food.
Why say ‘Fivefold in nature ?’ The five elements Earth, Water, Fire,
Wind and Ether. In this body, whatever is hard is of Earth, liquid is
water, warm is fire, whatever moves about is air and space-enclosed is
ether. The function of the Earth is to support, water is to consolidate
(digestion etc.,). Fire is to see, wind is for moving, Ether is to give
space (for vital functions).
The eyes are used in seeing form, ears for sound, tongue for taste,
the skin and nose for touch and smell respectively; genital for
pleasure, Apana is for evacuation (of bowels). The person cognises
through the intellect, wills with the mind and speaks with the tongue.
The six-fold support is the six tastes (of food): sweet, acid, salty,
pungent, bitter and astringent.
1-7. Sadja, Risabha, Gandhara, Panchama, Madhyama, Dhaivata, Nisadha
– these are the seven agreeable and disagreeable sounds. White, Red,
Black smoke-coloured, Yellow, Tawny and Pale-White – these are the
colours of the seven Dhatus (primary Humours). Why ? For Devadatta (any
person) there springs up in his mind desire for enjoyment of objects.
From relish of food blood is born, from it is flesh, thence fat, bones,
marrow, semen; by the combination of semen and blood the foetus is born.
Vital warmth springs up in the womb and the belly. In the seat of the
warmth bile, Prana flows – at the proper season ordained by the creator.
8. The embryo lying (in the womb) for (a day) and night is a confused
mass; after seven days it becomes a bubble; after a fortnight, a mass
and in a month, it hardens. In two months develops the region of the
head; in three months, the feet; in the fourth, belly and hip; in the
fifth, the backbone; in the sixth, nose, eyes and ears; in the seventh
the embryo quickens with life and in the eighth month, it becomes
9. By the dominance of the father’s semen, the child becomes male;
the mother’s – female. When equal, a eunuch. If, at the time of
impregnation, the parents are agitated, the child will be blind,
crippled, hunch-backed or stunted in growth. If the couple have
vital-air-trouble, the semen enters in two parts resulting in twins.
10. In the eighth month, in conjunction with the five vital airs the
Jiva gets the capacity to know its past affairs (of past births),
conceives of the imperishable Atman as Om, through perfect knowledge and
meditation. Having known Om he sees in the body the eight Prakritis
derived from it the five elements, mind, intellect and ego and the
sixteen changes [see Prasnopanishad].
11. The body becomes complete in the ninth month and remembers the
past birth. Actions done and not done flash to him and he recognises the
good and bad nature of Karma.
12-17. ‘I have seen thousands of wombs, eaten several kinds of food
and sucked many breasts; born and dead often, I am immersed in grief but
see no remedy. If I can get out of this, I will resort to Sankhya-Yoga
which destroys misery and yields liberation; or I resort to Maheshvara
who destroys misery. Or I resort to Narayana, who destroys misery. If I
did good and bad deeds for the sake of my dependants, I shall myself be
burnt for the deeds – the others who enjoyed the fruits go away
18. The person being squeezed as it were by a machine is touched by
all-pervading air and forgets previous births and deeds.
19. Why is the body so called ? It has three fires: the Kosthagni
ripens all that is eaten; the Darsanagni helps one see colour etc., the
Jnanagni is the mind which helps perform good and bad deeds.
20. The Daksinagni is in the heart; Garhapatya in the belly and
Ahavaniya in the mouth; the intellect is the performer’s consort,
contentment is Diksha, sense organs are the utensils, head is the jar,
hair is the sacred grass, the mouth the interior of the altar etc.
21. The heart measures 8 Palas, tongue 12, bile is one Prastha,
phlegm one Adhaka. Sukla is one Kudupa, fat two Prasthas, Urine and mala
two Prasthas each, depending on what is taken in daily.
The scripture of liberation expounded by Paippalada
Om ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish
us both together; May we work conjointly with great energy, May our
study be vigorous and effective; May we not mutually dispute (or may we
not hate any). 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 !
Here ends the Garbhopanishad belonging to the Krishna-Yajur-Veda.
Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier
Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai