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 1.2.9

नैवैतेन सुरभि न दुर्गन्धि विजानात्यपहतपाप्मा ह्येष तेन यदश्नाति यत्पिबति तेनेतरान्प्राणानवति एतमु एवान्ततोऽवित्त्वोत्क्रमति व्याददात्येवान्तत इति ॥ १.२.९ ॥

naivaitena surabhi na durgandhi vijānātyapahatapāpmā hyeṣa tena yadaśnāti yatpibati tenetarānprāṇānavati etamu evāntato'vittvotkramati vyādadātyevāntata iti || 1.2.9 ||

9. So far as the chief prāṇa is concerned, there is no good or bad odour for it. This is because it is pure [i.e., it is never touched by anything evil born of egotism]. If this prāṇa eats and drinks anything, it does so only to sustain the sense organs [such as the eyes, the ears, and so on]. When death occurs, the chief prāṇa does not eat or drink anything [and as a result, the sense organs collapse]. They seem to have left the body. [They still want to eat and drink, however, so that they may live, and] this is indicated by the fact that a person dies with the mouth open.

Word-for-word explanation:

Etena eva, by this [chief prāṇa]; surabhi, no sweet odour; na durgandhi, no bad odour; vijānāti, is known; hi, because; eṣaḥ, this [prāṇa]; apahata-pāpmā, is pure [untouched by evil]; tena, by that [prāṇa]; yat aśnāti, whatever a person eats; yat pibati, whatever a person drinks; tena, by this [eating and drinking]; itarān prāṇān, the sense organs; avati, sustains; u antataḥ, at the time of death; etam, this [chief prāṇa]; avittvā eva, without receiving any food and drink; utkrāmati, goes out of the body; [this is why] antataḥ, at the time of death; vyādadāti eva, a person has the mouth open.


For the chief prāṇa, there is no good or bad odour because it is pure. Egotism is the source of impurity, and the chief prāṇa is free from egotism. And being free from egotism, the chief prāṇa is selfless. People eat and drink because of the chief prāṇa. But the chief prāṇa does not eat or drink for itself. It enables

But how do we know that the food and drink the chief prāṇa consumes goes to sustain the organs? When death occurs the chief prāṇa stops eating and drinking. As a result, the sense organs stop functioning, as if they have left the body. It is seen, however, that when a person dies his mouth is open. This is indicative of the desire of the chief prāṇa to eat and drink.