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 4.15.5

अथ यदु चैवास्मिञ्छव्यं कुर्वन्ति यदि च नार्चिषमेवाभिसंभवन्त्यर्चिषोऽहरह्न आपूर्यमाणपक्षमापूर्यमाणपक्षाद्यान्षडुदङ्ङेति मासांस्तान्मासेभ्यः संवत्सरं संवत्सरादादित्यमादित्याच्चन्द्रमसं चन्द्रमसो विद्युतं तत् पुरुषोऽमानवः स एनान्ब्रह्म गमयत्येष देवपथो ब्रह्मपथ एतेन प्रतिपद्यमाना इमं मानवमावर्तं नावर्तन्ते नावर्तन्ते ॥ ४.१५.५ ॥
॥ इति पञ्चदशः खण्डः ॥

atha yadu caivāsmiñchavyaṃ kurvanti yadi ca nārciṣamevābhisaṃbhavantyarciṣo'harahna āpūryamāṇapakṣamāpūryamāṇapakṣādyānṣaḍudaṅṅeti māsāṃstānmāsebhyaḥ saṃvatsaraṃ saṃvatsarādādityamādityāccandramasaṃ candramaso vidyutaṃ tat puruṣo'mānavaḥ sa enānbrahma gamayatyeṣa devapatho brahmapatha etena pratipadyamānā imaṃ mānavamāvartaṃ nāvartante nāvartante || 4.15.5 ||
|| iti pañcadaśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

5. Then, for those who know this, whether proper funeral rites are performed or not, they go after death to the world of light. From the world of light they go to the world of day; from the world of day to the world of the bright fortnight; from the world of the bright fortnight to the six months when the sun moves northward; from there they go to the year; from the year to the sun; from the sun to the moon; and from the moon to lightning. There someone, not human, receives them and leads them to brahmaloka. This is the way of the gods. This is also the way to Brahman. Those who go by this path never return to this mortal world. They never return.

Word-for-word explanation:

Atha, then; yat, if; u ca eva asmin, in this situation [i.e., for those who know the Self in the eyes]; śavyam, funeral rites; kurvanti, they perform; yadi ca na, or if not; arciṣam, to light; eva abhisambhavanti, they go; arciṣaḥ, from light; ahaḥ, to day; ahnaḥ, from day; āpūryamāṇapakṣam, to the bright fortnight; āpūryamāṇapakṣāt, from the bright fortnight; ṣaṭ māsān, to the six months; yān udan eti, [when the sun] moves to the north; tān, to that; māsebhyaḥ, from those months; saṃvatsaram, to the year; saṃvatsarāt, from the year; ādityam, to the sun; ādityāt, from the sun; candramasam, to the moon; candramasaḥ, from the moon; vidyutam, to lightning; tat, there; puruṣaḥ, a person [existing there]; amānavaḥ, not human; enān, those [human beings]; saḥ gamayati, he leads; brahma, to brahmaloka; eṣaḥ devapathaḥ, this is the path of the gods; brahmapathaḥ, the way to Brahman; etena, by this [path]; pratipadyamānāḥ, those who go; imam mānavam āvartam, to this world of human beings; na āvartante, do not return; na āvartante, do not return. Iti pañcadaśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ, here ends the fifteenth section.

Commentary:

Normally when a person dies, his funeral rites should be performed with great care. This, however, does not apply in the case of one who has known Brahman. If the funeral rites are performed for him, it is good. But if for one reason or another they are not, it

As regards those who worship the Self in the eyes by attributing to it qualities such as saṃyadvāma, vāmanī, or bhāmanī, or those who worship the fires as earth, water, prāṇa, etc., they go after death to the deity of light. From there they go to the deities of day, the bright fortnight, the six months of the northern solstice, and so on. Finally they reach a point where someone appears who is higher than a human being. He leads them to satyaloka, which is the realm of Brahmā. This is not, however, Para Brahman (Pure Consciousness). To attain liberation, one must realize one’s identity with Para Brahman, where there is no going or coming from one realm to another.