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 !
1. Then Ashvalayana approached the Lord Paramesthi
(Brahma) and said: Teach, O Lord, the knowledge of Brahman, the highest,
always cultivated by the good, hidden and by which a wise man drives
away instantly all the sins and reaches the Purusha higher than the
2. And to him, the Grandsire (Brahma) said, "Know (this) by means of
faith, devotion and meditation. Not by work, nor by progeny, nor by
wealth, but by renunciation, some attained immortality.
3. Higher than heaven, seated in the cave (Buddhi), that shines,
(which) the self-controlled attain – the self-controlled, who being of
pure minds have well ascertained the Reality, by the knowledge of
Vedanta, and through Sannyasa or renunciation. In the sphere of Brahma,
at the time of cosmic dissolution, they all get liberated from the
highest (apparent) immortality of the manifested universe.
4-5. In a secluded place, sitting in an easy posture, pure, with a
neck, head, and body erect, living in the last of the orders of
religious life, having controlled all the sense, saluting his own
preceptor with reverence, meditating within the lotus of the heart (on
Brahman), untainted, pure, clear and griefless.
6. (Who is) unthinkable, unmanifest, of endless forms, the good, the
peaceful, Immortal, the origin of the worlds, without beginning, middle,
and end, the only one, all-pervading, Consciousness, and Bliss, the
formless and the wonderful.
7. Meditating on the highest Lord, allied to Uma, powerful,
three-eyed, blue-necked, and tranquil, the holy man reaches Him who is
the source of all, the witness of all and is beyond darkness (i.e.
8. He is Brahma, He is Shiva, He is Indra, He is the Immutable, the
Supreme, the Self-luminous, He alone is Vishnu, He is Prana, He is Time
and Fire, He is the Moon.
9. He alone is all that was, and all that will be, the Eternal;
knowing Him, one transcends death; there is no other way to freedom.
10. Seeing the Atman in all beings, and all beings in the Atman, one
attains the highest Brahman – not by any other means.
11. Making the Atman the (lower) Arani, and OM the upper Arani, by
the repeated friction of knowledge, a wise man burns up the bond.
12. With his self thus deluded by Maya or ignorance, it is he who
identifies himself with the body and does all sorts of things. In the
waking state it is he (the Jiva) who attains satisfaction through the
varied objects of enjoyment, such as women, food, drink, etc.
13. In the dream-state that Jiva feels pleasure and pain in a sphere
of existence created by his own Maya or ignorance. During the state of
profound sleep, when everything is dissolved (into their causal state),
he is overpowered by Tams or non-manifestation and comes to exist in his
form of Bliss.
14. Again, through his connection with deeds done in previous births,
that very Jiva returns to the dream-state, or the waking state. The
being who sports in the three cities (viz., the states of wakefulness,
dream and profound sleep) – from Him has sprung up all diversity. He is
the substratum, the bliss, the indivisible Consciousness, in whom the
three cities dissolve themselves.
15. From This spring up Prana (Vitality), mind, all the organs, sky,
air, fire, water and the earth that supports all.
16. That which is the Supreme Brahman, the soul of all, the great
support of the universe, subtler than the subtle, and eternal – that is
thyself, and thou art That.
17. "That which manifests the phenomena, such as the states of
wakefulness, dream and profound sleep, I am that Brahman" – realising
thus one is liberated from all bonds.
18. What constitute the enjoyable, the enjoyer, and the enjoyment, in
the three abodes – different from them all am I, the Witness, the Pure
Consciousness, the Eternal Good.
19. In me alone is everything born, in me does everything rest, and
in me is everything dissolved. I am that Brahman, the secondless.
20. I am minuter than the minute, I am likewise the greatest of all,
I am the manifold universe. I am the Ancient One, the Purusha and the
Ruler, I am the Effulgent One, and the All-good.
21. Without arms and legs am I, of unthinkable power; I see without
eyes, and I hear without ears. I know all, and am different from all.
None can know me. I am always the Intelligence.
22. I alone am taught in the various Vedas, I am the revealer of the
Vedanta or Upanishads, and I am also the Knower of the Vedas. For me
there is neither merit nor demerit, I suffer no destruction, I have no
birth, nor any self-identity with the body and the organs.
23-24. For me there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air,
nor ether. Thus realising the Paramatman, who lies in the cavity of the
heart, who is without parts, and without a second, the Witness of all,
beyond both existence and non-existence – one attains the Pure
25. He who studies the Shatarudriya, is purified as by the Fires, is
purified from the sin of drinking, purified from the sin of killing a
Brahmana, from deeds done knowingly or unawares. Through this he has his
refuge in Shiva, the Supreme Self. One who belongs to the highest order
of life should repeat this always or once (a day).
26. By means of this, one attains the Knowledge that destroys the
ocean of Samsara or repeated transmigration. Therefore, knowing thus one
attains the fruit of Kaivalya or liberation, verily one attains
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 Kaivalyopanishad, included in the
Translated by Swami Madhavananda
Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta