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 2.23.2

प्रजापतिर्लोकानभ्यतपत्तेभ्योऽभितप्तेभ्यस्त्रयी विद्या सम्प्रास्रवत्तामभ्यतपत्तस्या अभितप्ताया एतान्यक्षराणि सम्प्रास्र्वन्त भूर्भुवः स्वरिति ॥ २.२३.२ ॥

prajāpatirlokānabhyatapattebhyo'bhitaptebhyastrayī vidyā samprāsravattāmabhyatapattasyā abhitaptāyā etānyakṣarāṇi samprāsrvanta bhūrbhuvaḥ svariti || 2.23.2 ||

2. Prajāpati [i.e., Virāṭ] thought about the worlds [he would have]. Out of his thinking, the three Vedas took shape. He then began to think about the Vedas. As a result of this thinking, the Vedas gave birth to the three vyāhṛtis: bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, and svaḥ.

Word-for-word explanation:

Prajāpatiḥ lokān abhyatapat, Prajāpati meditated on the worlds; tebhyaḥ abhitaptebhyaḥ, from [the worlds] which he meditated on; trayī vidyā samprāsravat, emerged the three Vedas; tām abhyatapat, [Prajāpati] meditated on them [the three Vedas]; tasyāḥ abhitaptāyāḥ, out of [the Vedas] which he meditated upon; etāni akṣarāṇi, these akṣaras [syllables]; samprāsravanta, emerged; bhūḥ bhuvaḥ svaḥ, bhūh, bhuvaḥ, and svaḥ; iti, that is all.

Commentary:

How can you attain liberation? You can attain it when you surrender everything for its sake. To make this clear, the story of how the world came into being is narrated:

God (or Virāṭ, or Kaśyapa) created this world by practising austerities. What kind of austerities? He simply planned the creation in his mind. This planning, this mental exercise, is enough austerity for him. And as thinking is doing for him, whatever he thinks immediately comes into being. The worlds emerge from within him. The first to manifest, however, were the three Vedas: Ṛk, Yajuḥ, and Sāma. When these emerged, the Creator thought about them, and from the Vedas came the three vyāhṛtis (lit., utterances): bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ, and svaḥ.

Then from these came Om, the symbol of Brahman. If we concentrate on Om, we attain Brahman. But we have to surrender everything for the sake of Brahman. This is the conclusion to be drawn from this story. Even the Creator has to concentrate on what he is going to create, and he has to surrender everything else.