Chandogya Upanishad (english Translation)

by Swami Lokeswarananda | 165,421 words | ISBN-10: 8185843910 | ISBN-13: 9788185843919

This is the English translation of the Chandogya-upanishad, including a commentary based on Swami Lokeswarananda’s weekly discourses; incorporating extracts from Shankara’s bhasya. The Chandogya Upanishad is a major Hindu philosophical text incorporated in the Sama Veda, and dealing with meditation and Brahman. This edition includes the Sanskrit t...

Verse 1.2.2

ते ह नासिक्यं प्राणमुद्गीथमुपासांचक्रिरे तं हासुराः पाप्मना विविधुस्तस्मात्तेनोभयं जिघ्रति सुरभि च दुर्गन्धि च पाप्मना ह्येष विद्धः ॥ १.२.२ ॥

te ha nāsikyaṃ prāṇamudgīthamupāsāṃcakrire taṃ hāsurāḥ pāpmanā vividhustasmāttenobhayaṃ jighrati surabhi ca durgandhi ca pāpmanā hyeṣa viddhaḥ || 1.2.2 ||

2. The gods and goddesses worshipped the prāṇa presiding over the nostrils as udgītha. The demons, however, misused it. [To them it was only an organ of smelling.] That is why [because of this misuse] people smell both good and bad odours through the nostrils.

Word-for-word explanation:

Te, they [the gods and goddesses]; ha nāsikyam prāṇam udgītham upāsāñcakrire, worshipped as udgītha the prāṇa [life principle] presiding over the nostrils; asurāḥ ha, the asuras, however; tam pāpmanā vividhuḥ, pierced it with evil [i.e., misused it, as if it were meant only for sense pleasure such as enjoying fragrance]; hi, this is why; eṣaḥ, this [prāṇa presiding over the nostrils]; pāpmanā viddhaḥ, is tainted with evil; tasmāt, therefore; tena, by it [i.e., the nostrils]; jighrati, smells; surabhi ca, good odour; durgandhi ca, and also bad odour.


Mark the contrast between the attitude of the gods and goddesses and of the demons. To the demons, the nostrils were only an organ for smelling. Being what they are, it is natural that they would think so. But to the gods and goddesses, the nostrils are the seat of prāṇa, the vital breath, and they worship prāṇa there. The nostrils are also holy to them for another reason: they use the nostrils in reciting the udgītha to prāṇa. The demons know nothing about prāṇa or udgītha. To them, prāṇa is merely that which carries good and bad odours.