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Taittiriya Upanishad

Taittiriya Upanishad
Translated by Swami Gambhirananda
Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta

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!


Siksha Valli

I-i-1: May Mitra be blissful to us. May Varuna be blissful to us. May Aryaman be blissful to us. May Indra and Brihaspati be blissful to us. May Vishnu, of long strides, be blissful to us. Salutation to Brahman. Salutation to you, O Vayu. You, indeed, are the immediate Brahman. You alone I shall call the direct Brahman. I shall call you righteousness. I shall call you truth. May He protect me. May He protect the teacher. May He protect me. May He protect the teacher. Om, peace, peace, peace!

I-ii-1: We shall speak of the science of pronunciation. (The things to learn are) the alphabet, accent, measure, emphasis, uniformity, juxtaposition. Thus has been spoken the chapter on pronunciation.

I-iii-1: May we both attain fame together. May spiritual pre-eminence be vouchsafed to both of us together. Now therefore, we shall state the meditation on juxtaposition through five categories - relating to the worlds, to the shining things, to knowledge, to progeny, and to the body. These, they call the great juxtapositions. Now then, as regards the meditation on the worlds. The earth is the first letter. Heaven is the last letter. The sky is the meeting-place.

I-iii-2-4: Vayu is the link. This is the meditation with regard to the worlds. Then follows the meditation with regard to the shining things. Fire is the first letter. The sun is the last letter. Water is the rallying point. Lightning is the link. This is the meditation with regard to the shining things. Then follows the meditation with regard to knowledge. The teacher is the first letter. The student is the last letter. Knowledge is the meeting-place. Instruction is the link. This is the meditation with regard to knowledge. Then follows the meditation with regard to progeny. The mother is the first letter. The father is the last letter. The progeny is the focal point. Generation is the link. This is the meditation with regard to progeny. Then follows the meditation with regard to the (individual) body. The lower jaw is the first letter. The upper jaw is the last letter. Speech is the meeting-place. The tongue is the link. This is the meditation with regard to the (individual) body. These are the great juxtapositions. Anyone who meditates on these great juxtapositions, as they are explained, becomes conjoined with progeny, animals, the splendour of holiness, edible food, and the heavenly world.

I-iv-1-2: The Om that is the most exalted in the Vedas, that pervades all worlds, and that emerged from the immortal Vedas as their quintessence, may he (Om that is Indra), the supreme Lord, gratify me with intelligence. O Lord, may I be the receptacle of immortality. May my body be fit; may my tongue be surpassingly sweet; may I hear much through the ears. You are the sheath of Brahman: you are covered by (worldly) wisdom. Protect what I have heard. Then vouchsafe to me who am her (i.e. Prosperity's) own, that Prosperity which brings, increases, and accomplishes quickly for me clothes, cattle, food, and drink for ever, and which is associated with furry and other animals. Svaha. May the Brahmacharins (i.e. students) come to me from all sides. Svaha. May the Brahmacharins come to me in various ways. Svaha. May the Brahmacharins come to me in the proper way. Svaha. May the Brahmacharins have physical self-control. Svaha. May the Brahmacharins have mental self-control. Svaha.

I-iv-3: May I become famous among people. Svaha. May I become praiseworthy among the wealthy. Svaha. O adorable One, may I enter into you, such as you are. Svaha. O venerable One, you, such as you are, enter into me. Svaha. O adorable One, who are greatly diversified, may I purify my sins in you. Svaha. As water flows down a slope, as months roll into a year, similarly O Lord, may the students come to me from all quarters. Svaha. You are like a resting house, so you become revealed to me, you reach me through and through.

I-v-1-2: Bhuh, Bhuvah, Suvah - these three, indeed, are the Vyahritis. Of them Mahacamasya knew a fourth one - Maha by name. It is Brahman; it is the Self. The other gods are the limbs. Bhuh, indeed, is this world. Bhuvah is the intermediate space. Suvah is the other world. Maha is the sun; through the sun, indeed, do all the worlds flourish. Bhuh, indeed is the fire. Bhuvah is the air. Suvah is the sun. Maha is the moon; through the moon, indeed, all the luminaries flourish. Bhuh, indeed, is the Rig-Veda. Bhuvah is the Sama-Veda. Suvah is the Yajur-Veda.

I-v-3: Maha is Brahman (i.e. Om), for by Brahman (Om), indeed, are all the Vedas nourished. Bhuh, indeed, is Prana; Bhuvah is Apana; Suvah is Vyana; Maha is food; for by food, indeed, are all the vital forces nourished. These, then, that are four, are (each) fourfold. The Vyahritis are divided into four groups of four (each). He who knows these knows Brahman. All the gods carry presents to him.

I-vi-1-2: In the space that there is in the heart, is this Person who is realisable through knowledge, and who is immortal and effulgent. This thing that hangs down between the palates like a teat, through it runs the path of Brahman; and reaching where the hairs part, it passes out by separating the skulls. (Passing out through that path, a man) becomes established in Fire as the Vyahriti Bhuh; he becomes established in Air as the Vyahriti Bhuvah; in the sun as the Vyahriti Suvah; in Brahman as the Vyahriti Mahah. He himself gets independent sovereignty; he attains the lord of the mind; he becomes the ruler of speech, the ruler of eyes, the ruler of ears, the ruler of knowledge. Over and above all these he becomes Brahman which is embodied in Akasa, which is identified with the gross and the subtle and has truth as Its real nature, which reveals in life, under whose possession the mind is a source of bliss, which is enriched with peace and is immortal. Thus, O Pracinayogya, you worship.

I-vii-1: The earth, sky, heaven, the primary quarters, and the intermediate quarters; fire, air, the sun, the moon, and the stars; water, herbs, trees, sky, and Virat - these relate to natural factors. Then follow the individual ones: Prana, Vyana, Apana, Udana and Samana; the eye, the ear, the mind, speech and sense of touch; skin, flesh, muscles, bones and marrow. Having imagined these thus, the seer said, "All this is constituted by five factors; one fills up the (outer) fivefold ones by the (individual) fivefold ones.

I-viii-1: Om is Brahman. Om is all this. Om is well known as a word of imitation (i.e. concurrence). Moreover, they make them recite (to the gods) with the words, "Om, recite (to the gods)". They commence singing Samas with Om. Uttering the words "Om som" they recite the Shastras. The (priest) Brahma approves with the word Om. One permits the performance of the Agnihotra sacrifice with the word Om. A Brahmana, when about to recite the Vedas utters Om under the idea, I shall attain Brahman". He does verily attain Brahman.

I-ix-1: Righteousness and learning and teaching (are to be practiced). Truth and learning and teaching (are to be practiced). Austerity and learning and teaching (are to be resorted to). Control of the outer senses and learning and teaching (are to be practiced). Control of the inner organs and learning and teaching (are to be resorted to). The fires (are to be lighted up), and learning and teaching (are to be followed). The Agnihotra (is to be performed), and learning and teaching (are to be carried on). Guests (are to be entertained), and learning and teaching (are to be practiced). Social good conduct (is to be adhered to), and learning and teaching (are to be practiced). Children (are to be begotten), and learning and teaching (are to carried on). Procreation and learning and teaching (are to carried on). A grandson (is to be raised), and learning and teaching (are to be practised). Truth (is the thing) - this is what Satyavacha, of the line of Rathitara, thinks. Austerity (is the thing) - this is what Taponitya, son of Purusisti, thinks. Learning and teaching alone (are the things) - this is what Naka, son of Mudgala, thinks. For that indeed is the austerity; for that indeed is the austerity.

I-x-I: I am the invigorator of the tree (of the world). My fame is high like the ridge of a mountain. My source is the pure (Brahman). I am like that pure reality (of the Self) that is in the sun. I am the effulgent wealth. I am possessed of a fine intellect, and am immortal and un-decaying. Thus was the statement of Trisanku after the attainment of realisation.

I-xi-1: Having taught the Vedas, the preceptor imparts this post-instruction to the students: "Speak the truth. Practice righteousness. Make no mistake about study. Having offered the desirable wealth to the teacher, do not cut off the line of progeny. There should be no inadvertence about truth. There should be no deviation from righteous activity. There should be no error about protection of yourself. Do not neglect propitious activities. Do not be careless about learning and teaching.

I-xi-2-4: There should be no error in the duties towards the gods and manes. Let your mother be a goddess unto you. Let your father be a god unto you. Let your teacher be a god unto you. Let your guest be a god unto you. The works that are not blameworthy are to be resorted to, but not the others. These actions of ours that are commendable are to be followed by you, but not the others. You should, by offering seats, remove the fatigue of those Brahmanas who are more praiseworthy among us. The offering should be with honour; the offering should not be with dishonour. The offering should be in plenty. The offering should be with modesty. The offering should be with awe. The offering should be with sympathy. Then, should you have any doubt with regard to duties or customs, you should behave in those matters just as Brahmanas do, who may happen to be there and who are able deliberators, who are adepts in those duties and customs, who are not directed by others, who are not cruel, and who are desirous of merit. Then, as for the accused people, you should behave with regard to them just as the Brahmanas do, who may happen to be there and who are able deliberators, who are adepts in those duties and customs, who are not directed by others, who are not cruel, who are desirous of merit. This is the injunction. This is the instruction. This is the secret of the Vedas. This is divine behest. This is how the meditation is to be done. This is how this must be meditated on.

I-xii-1: May Mitra be blissful to us. May Varuna be blissful to us. May Aryaman be blissful to us. May Indra and Brihaspati be blissful to us. May Vishnu, of long strides, be blissful to us. Salutation to Brahman. Salutation to you, O Vayu. You, indeed, are the immediate Brahman. You alone I shall call the direct Brahman. I shall call you righteousness. I shall call you truth. May He protect me. May He protect the teacher. May He protect me. May He protect the teacher. Om, peace, peace, peace!


Brahmananda Valli

II-i: May He protect us both together. May He nourish us both together. May we both acquire strength together. Let our study be brilliant. May we not cavil at each other.
Om! Peace! Peace! Peace!

II-i-1: The knower of Brahman attains the highest. Here is a verse uttering that very fact: "Brahman is truth, knowledge, and infinite. He who knows that Brahman as existing in the intellect, lodged in the supreme space in the heart, enjoys, as identified with the all - knowing Brahman, all desirable things simultaneously.
From that Brahman, which is the Self, was produced space. From space emerged air. From air was born fire. From fire was created water. From water sprang up earth. From earth were born the herbs. From the herbs was produced food. From food was born man. That man, such as he is, is a product of the essence of food. Of him this indeed, is the head, this is the southern side; this is the northern side; this is the Self; this is the stabilising tail.
Here is a verse pertaining to that very fact:

II-ii-1: All beings that rest on the earth are born verily from food. Besides, they live on food, and at the end, they get merged in food. Food was verily born before all creatures; therefore it is called the medicine for all, those who worship food as Brahman acquire all the food. Food was verily born before all creatures; therefore it is called the medicine for all. Creatures are born of food; being born, they grow by food. Since it is eaten and it eats the creatures, it is called food.
As compared with this self made of the essence of food, as said before, there is another inner self which is made of air. By that is this one filled. This Self is also of the human form. Its human form takes after the human form of that (earlier one). Of this, Prana is the head, Vyana is the southern side, Apana is the northern side, space is the self, the earth is the tail that stabilises. Pertaining to that is this (following) verse:

II-iii-1: The senses act by following the vital force in the mouth; all human beings and animals that are there act similarly; since on the vital force depends the life of all creatures, therefore it is called the life of all; those who worship the vital force as Brahman, attain the full span of life; since on the vital force depends the life of all, it is called the life of all.
Of the preceding (physical) one, this one, indeed, is the embodied self. As compared with this vital body, there is another internal self constituted by mind. By that one is this one filled up. That self constituted by mind is also of a human shape. The human shape of the mental body takes after the human shape of the vital body. Of the mental body, the Yajur-mantras are the head. The Rig-mantras are the right side, the Sama-mantras are the left side, the Brahmana portion is the self (trunk), the mantras seen by Atharvangiras are the stabilising tail. Pertaining to this there is a verse:

II-iv-1: One is not subjected to fear at any time if one knows the Bliss that is Brahman failing to reach which (Brahman, as conditioned by the mind), words, along with the mind, turn back.
Of that preceding (vital) one, this (mental one is verily the embodied self. As compared with this mental body, there is another internal self constituted by valid knowledge. By that one is this one filled up. This one as aforesaid, has verily a human shape. It is humanly shaped in accordance with the human shape of the earlier one. Of him faith is verily the head; righteousness is the right side; truth is the left side; concentration is the self (trunk); (the principle, called) Mahat, is the stabilising tail. Pertaining to this, here is a verse:

II-v-1: Knowledge actualises a sacrifice, and it executes the duties as well. All the gods meditate on the first-born Brahman, conditioned by knowledge. If one knows the knowledge-Brahman, and if one does not err about it, one abandons all sins in the body and fully enjoys all enjoyable things.
Of that preceding (mental) one this (cognitive one) is verily the embodied self. As compared with this cognitive body, there is another internal self constituted by bliss. By that one is this one filled up. This one, as aforesaid, has verily a human shape. It is humanly shaped in accordance with the human shape of the earlier one. Of him joy is verily the head, enjoyment is the right side, hilarity is the left side; bliss is the self (trunk). Brahman is the tail that stabilises. Apropos of this here is a verse:

II-vi-1: If anyone knows Brahman as non-existing, he himself becomes non-existent. If anyone knows that Brahman does exist, then they consider him as existing by virtue of that (knowledge).
Of that preceding (blissful) one, this one is the embodied self. Hence hereafter follow these questions: After departing (from here) does any ignorant man go to the other world (or does he not)? Alternatively, does any man of knowledge, after departing (from here) reach the other world (or does he not)?
He (the Self) wished, "Let me be many, let me be born. He undertook a deliberation. Having deliberated, he created all this that exists. That (Brahman), having created (that), entered into that very thing. And having entered there, It became the formed and the formless, the defined and the undefined, the sustaining and the non-sustaining, the sentient and the insentient, the true and the untrue. Truth became all this that there is. They call that Brahman Truth. Pertaining to this, there occurs this verse:

II-vii-1: In the beginning all this was but the Un-manifested (Brahman). From that emerged the manifested. That Brahman created Itself by Itself. Therefore It is called the self-creator.
That which is known as the self-creator is verily the source of joy; for one becomes happy by coming in contact with that source of joy. Who, indeed, will inhale, and who will exhale, if this Bliss be not there in the supreme space (within the heart). This one, indeed, enlivens (people). For whenever an aspirant gets fearlessly established in this un-perceivable, bodiless, inexpressible, and un-supporting Brahman, he reaches the state of fearlessness. For, whenever the aspirant creates the slightest difference in It, he is smitten with fear. Nevertheless, that very Brahman is a terror to the (so-called) learned man who lacks the unitive outlook.
Illustrative of this is this verse here:

II-viii-1-4: Out of His fear the Wind blows. Out of fear the Sun rises. Out of His fear runs Fire, as also Indra, and Death, the fifth.
This, then, is an evaluation of that Bliss:
Suppose there is a young man - in the prime of life, good, learned, most expeditious, most strongly built, and most energetic. Suppose there lies this earth for him filled with wealth. This will be one unit of human joy. If this human joy be multiplied a hundred times, it is one joy of the man-Gandharvas, and so also of a follower of the Vedas unaffected by desires. If this joy of the man-Gandharvas be multiplied a hundred times, it is one joy of the divine-Gandharvas, and so also of a follower of the Vedas unaffected by desires. If the joy of the divine-Gandharvas be increased a hundredfold, it is one joy of the manes whose world is everlasting, and so also of a follower of the Vedas unaffected by desires. If the joy of the manes that dwell in the everlasting world be increased a hundredfold, it is one joy of those that are born as gods in heaven, and so also of a follower of the Vedas untouched by desires. If the joy of those that are born as gods in heaven be multiplied a hundredfold, it is one joy of the gods called the Karma-Devas, who reach the gods through Vedic rites, and so also of a follower of the Vedas unaffected by desires. If the joy of the gods, called the Karma-Devas, be multiplied a hundredfold, it is one joy of the gods, and so also of a follower of the Vedas untarnished by desires. If the joy of the gods be increased a hundred times, it is one joy of Indra, and so also of a follower of the Vedas unaffected by desires. If the joy of Indra be multiplied a hundredfold, it is one joy of Brihaspati and so also of a follower of the Vedas unaffected by desires. If the joy of Brihaspati be increased a hundred times, it is one joy of Virat, and so also of a follower of the Vedas untarnished by desires. If the joy of Virat be multiplied a hundred times, it is one joy of Hiranyagarbha, and so also of a follower of the Vedas unsullied by desires.

II-viii-5: He that is here in the human person, and He that is there in the sun, are one. He who knows thus attains, after desisting from this world, this self made of food, attains this self made of vital force, attains this self made of mind, attains this self made of intelligence, attains this self made of bliss.
Expressive of this there occurs this verse:

II-ix-1: The enlightened man is not afraid of anything after realising that Bliss of Brahman, failing to reach which, words turn back along with the mind.
Him, indeed, this remorse does not afflict: "Why did I not perform good deeds, and why did I perform bad deeds? He who is thus enlightened strengthens the Self with which these two are identical; for it is he, indeed, who knows thus, that can strengthen the Self which these two really are. This is the secret teaching.


Bhrigu Valli

III-i-1: Bhrigu, the well-known son of Varuna, approached his father Varuna with the (formal) request, "O, revered sir, teach me Brahman". To him he (Varuna) said this: "Food, vital force, eye, ear, mind, speech - (these are the aids to knowledge of Brahman)". To him he (Varuna) said: "Crave to know that from which all these beings take birth, that by which they live after being born, that towards which they move and into which they merge. That is Brahman". He practiced concentration. He, having practiced concentration,

III-ii-1: He realised food (i.e. Virat, the gross Cosmic person) as Brahman. For it is verily from food that all these beings take birth, on food they subsist after being born and they move towards and merge into food. Having realised that, he again approached his father Varuna with the (formal) request. "O, revered sir, teach me Brahman". To him he (Varuna) said: "Crave to know Brahman through concentration; concentration is Brahman". He practiced concentration. He, having practiced concentration,

III-iii-1: He knew the vital force as Brahman; for from the vital force, indeed, spring all these beings; having come into being, they live through the vital force; they move towards and enter into the vital force, Having known thus, he again approached his father Varuna with the (formal) request. "O, revered sir, teach me Brahman". To him he (Varuna) said: "Crave to know Brahman through concentration; concentration is Brahman". He practiced concentration. Having practiced concentration,

III-iv-1: He knew mind as Brahman; for from mind, indeed, spring all these beings; having been born, they are sustained by mind; and they move towards and merge into mind. Having known that, he again approached his father Varuna with the (formal) request. "O, revered sir, teach me Brahman". To him he (Varuna) said: "Crave to know Brahman through concentration; concentration is Brahman". He practiced concentration. Having practiced concentration,

III-v-1: He knew knowledge as Brahman; for from knowledge, indeed, spring all these beings; having been born, they are sustained by knowledge; they move towards and merge in knowledge. Having known that, he again approached his father Varuna with the (formal) request. "O, revered sir, teach me Brahman". To him he (Varuna) said: "Crave to know Brahman through concentration; concentration is Brahman". He practiced concentration. Having practiced concentration,

III-vi-1: He knew Bliss as Brahman; for from Bliss, indeed, all these beings originate; Having been born, they are sustained by Bliss; they move towards and merge in Bliss. This knowledge realised by Bhrigu and imparted by Varuna (starts from the food-self and) terminates in the supreme (Bliss), established in the cavity of the heart. He who knows thus becomes firmly established; he becomes the possessor of food and the eater of food; and he becomes great in progeny, cattle and the luster of holiness, and great in glory.

III-vii-1: His vow is that, he should not deprecate food. The vital force is verily the food, and the body is the eater; for the vital force is lodged in the body. (Again, the body is the food and the vital force is the eater, for) the body is fixed on the vital force. Thus (the body and vital force are both foods; and) one food is lodged in another. He who knows thus that one food is lodged in another, gets firmly established. He becomes a possessor and an eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, cattle, and the luster of holiness and great in glory.

III-viii-1: His vow is that he should not discard food. Water, indeed, is food; fire is the eater; for water is established on fire. (Fire is food and water is the eater, for) fire resides in water. Thus one food is lodged in another food. He who knows thus that one food is lodged in another, gets firmly established. He becomes a possessor and an eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, cattle, and the luster of holiness and great in glory.

III-ix-1: His vow is that he should make food plentiful. Earth is food; space is eater; for earth is placed in space. (Space is food; and earth is eater, for) space is placed on earth. Thus one food is lodged in another food. He who knows thus that one food is lodged in another, gets firmly established. He becomes a possessor and an eater of food. He becomes great in progeny, cattle, and the lustre of holiness and great in glory.

III-x-1-2: His vow is that he should not refuse anyone come for shelter. Therefore one should collect plenty of food by whatsoever means he may. (And one should collect food for the further reason that) they say, "Food is ready for him". Because he offers cooked food in his early age with honour, food falls to his share in the early age with honour. Because he offers food in his middle age with medium courtesy, food falls to his share in his middle age with medium honour. Because he offers food in his old age with scant esteem, food falls to his share in old age with scant consideration. To him who knows thus (comes the result as described).
(Brahman is to be meditated on) as preservation in speech; as acquisition and preservation in exhaling and inhaling; as action in the hands; as movement in the feet; discharge in the anus. There are meditations on the human plane.
Then follow the divine ones. (Brahman is to be meditated on) as contentment in rain; as energy in lightning.

III-x-3-4: Brahman is to be worshiped as fame in beasts; as light in the stars; as procreation, immortality, and joy in the generative organ; as everything in space. One should meditate on that Brahman as the support; thereby one becomes supported. One should meditate on that Brahman as great; thereby one becomes great. One should meditate on It as thinking; thereby one becomes able to think. One should meditate on It as bowing down; thereby the enjoyable things bow down to one. One should meditate on It as the most exalted; Thereby one becomes exalted. One should meditate on It as Brahman's medium of destruction; thereby the adversaries that envy such a one die, and so do the enemies whom this one dislikes.
This being that is in the human personality, and the being that is there in the sun are one.

III-x-5-6: He who knows thus, attains, after desisting from this world, this self made of food. After attaining this self made of food then, attaining this self made of vital force, then attaining this self made of mind, then attaining this self made of intelligence, then attaining this self made of bliss, and roaming over these worlds with command over food at will and command over all forms at will, he continues singing this Sama song: "Halloo! Halloo! Halloo! I am the food, I am the food, I am the food; I am the eater, I am the eater, I am the eater; I am the unifier, I am the unifier, I am the unifier; I am (Hiranyagarbha) the first born of this world consisting of the formed and the formless, I (as Virat) am earlier than the gods. I am the navel of immortality. He who offers me thus (as food), protect me just as I am. I, food as I am, eat him up who eats food without offering. I defeat (i.e. engulf) the entire universe. Our effulgence is like that of the sun. This is the Upanishad.


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 Taittiriyopanishad, included in the Krishna-Yajur-Veda.

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