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 4.3.8

तस्म उ ह ददुस्ते वा एते पञ्चान्ये पञ्चान्ये दश सन्तस्तत्कृतं तस्मात्सर्वासु दिक्ष्वन्नमेव दश कृतं सैषा विराडन्नादी तयेदं सर्वं दृष्टं सर्वमस्येदं दृष्टं भवत्यन्नादो भवति य एवं वेद य एवं वेद ॥ ४.३.८ ॥
॥ इति तृतीयः खण्डः ॥

tasma u ha daduste vā ete pañcānye pañcānye daśa santastatkṛtaṃ tasmātsarvāsu dikṣvannameva daśa kṛtaṃ saiṣā virāḍannādī tayedaṃ sarvaṃ dṛṣṭaṃ sarvamasyedaṃ dṛṣṭaṃ bhavatyannādo bhavati ya evaṃ veda ya evaṃ veda || 4.3.8 ||
|| iti tṛtīyaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

8. Then they gave him alms. The first five [Vāyu, etc.] and the second five [prāṇa, etc.] together make ten. That is kṛta [the throw of dice of the highest denomination]. These ten are the ten directions, and they are the food. This kṛta is Virāṭ. As Virāṭ is all-pervasive, everything is its food. By that Virāṭ all this is seen. He who knows this Virāṭ becomes Virāṭ himself. He becomes all-pervasive and everything becomes his food.

Word-for-word explanation:

Tasmai, to him [the brahmacārin]; u ha daduḥ, they gave [alms]; te vai ete, all these; pañca anye, five other [i.e., air, plus the four others (fire, the sun, the moon, and water) constituting its food]; pañca anye, five other [i.e., prāṇa, plus the four others (speech, the eyes, the ears, and the mind) constituting its food]; daśa santaḥ, make ten; tat kṛtam, that is kṛta [the turn of the dice that swallows all others]; tasmāt, therefore; sarvāsu dikṣu daśa, these which are in the ten directions; annam eva, are the food; kṛtam, [and also] kṛta; sā eṣā virāṭ, that is Virāṭ; annādi, that which swallows; tayā, by that [Virāṭ]; sarvam idam dṛṣṭam, all this is seen; yaḥ evam veda, he who knows thus; asya sarvam idam dṛṣṭam bhavati, all this to him becomes seen; annādaḥ bhavati, [and] he becomes an eater of food. Iti tṛtīyaḥ khaṇḍaḥ, here ends the third section.


Prāṇa (the vital force), speech, the eyes, the ears, and the mind—these five represent our physical (adhyātmika) self. Air, fire, the sun, the moon, and water—these five represent nature (adhidaivika), which surrounds us. These ten together are compared to the dice throw called kṛta. Being the highest number, kṛta ‘swallows’ the other throws of dice, adds their numbers to itself, and then becomes ten. (Kṛta is 4, so the other numbers are 3, 2, and 1; therefore 4+3+2+1 = 10.)

Then if is said that the adhyātmika and adhidaivika elements together are the ten quarters. They represent the whole world, so they are Virāṭ. This Virāṭ is both the eater and the food. The person who knows this then becomes Virāṭ.

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