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 2.11.1

मनो हिंकारो वाक्प्रस्तावश्चक्षुरुद्गीथः श्रोत्रं प्रतिहारः प्राणो निधनमेतद्गायत्रं प्राणेषु प्रोतम् ॥ २.११.१ ॥

mano hiṃkāro vākprastāvaścakṣurudgīthaḥ śrotraṃ pratihāraḥ prāṇo nidhanametadgāyatraṃ prāṇeṣu protam || 2.11.1 ||

1. The mind is hiṃkāra, the organ of speech is the prastāva, the eyes are the udgītha, the ears are the pratihāra, and the vital breath [in its fine (five?) forms] is the nidhana. The Gāyatrī prayer is controlled by the vital breath.

Word-for-word explanation:

Manaḥ hiṃkāraḥ, the mind is the hiṃkāra; vāk prastāvaḥ, the organ of speech is the prastāva; cakṣuḥ udgīthāḥ, the eyes are the udgītha; śrotram pratihāraḥ, the ears are the pratihāra; prāṇaḥ nidhanam, the vital breath is the nidhana; etāt gāyatram, this Gāyatrī prayer; prāṇeṣu protam, is rooted in the vital breath.


So long the fivefold and the sevenfold Sāma worships have been discussed, but the names of those worships have not been mentioned. Gāyatra is the first among them. Corresponding to the Gāyatra is the hiṃkāra, with which the worship begins. Similarly, in any act of worship, the mind may be regarded as the hiṃkāra, for it is the mind that must act first before all the other organs.

Next to the mind is the organ of speech. A person first thinks and then speaks out his intentions. The organ of speech is therefore the prastāva. The eyes are the udgītha because of their importance. The ears are the pratihāra, for you can ‘turn away from’ things you don’t want to hear.

Prāṇa, the vital breath, is the nidhana, for when you have suṣupti, dreamless sleep, all the organs merge into the vital breath. The Gāyatrī is worshipped as the vital breath. This is why the Sāma called Gāyatra is. said to be rooted in the vital breath.