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 7.1.5

स यो नाम ब्रह्मेत्युपास्ते यावन्नाम्नो गतं तत्रास्य यथाकामचारो भवति यो नाम ब्रह्मेत्युपास्तेऽस्ति भगवो नाम्नो भूय इति नाम्नो वाव भूयोऽस्तीति तन्मे भगवान्ब्रवीत्विति ॥ ७.१.५ ॥
॥ इति प्रथमः खण्डः ॥

sa yo nāma brahmetyupāste yāvannāmno gataṃ tatrāsya yathākāmacāro bhavati yo nāma brahmetyupāste'sti bhagavo nāmno bhūya iti nāmno vāva bhūyo'stīti tanme bhagavānbravītviti || 7.1.5 ||
|| iti prathamaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

5. ‘Anyone who worships name as Brahman can do what he pleases within the limits of the name.’ Nārada asked, ‘Sir, is there anything higher than name?’ ‘Of course there is something higher than name,’ replied Sanatkumāra. Nārada then said, ‘Sir, please explain that to me’.

Word-for-word explanation:

Saḥ yaḥ, he who; nāma brahma iti upāste, worships name as Brahman; yāvat nāmnaḥ gatam, as far as name can go; tatra, that far; asya yathā-kāmacāraḥ bhavati, as he wishes he can go; yaḥ nāma brahma iti upāste, he who worships name as Brahman; bhagavaḥ, sir; nāmnaḥ bhūyaḥ asti iti, is there anything higher than name; nāmnaḥ vāva bhūyaḥ asti iti, there is certainly something higher than name; bhagavān, sir; tat me bravītu iti, please explain it to me. Iti prathamaḥ khaṇḍaḥ, here ends the first section.

Commentary:

If you worship name as Brahman then you can achieve anything you want within certain limits. But Brahman is the real purport. The names by themselves are not important.

Names have a limited use. When you call a flower a rose, you are obviously referring to a particular species of flower. Within the limits of that species, you have as much freedom as you like. You may be referring to a rose of any colour you like—white, red, yellow, etc. You are free within the limits of the colours and other characteristics of the rose.

But when you identify the rose as Brahman, you impose on Brahman the limitations that the name ‘rose’ has. As Brahman is nameless, you have no right to impose the limitations that name implies on it.