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 7.2.1

वाग्वाव नाम्नो भूयसी वाग्वा ऋग्वेदं विज्ञापयति यजुर्वेदं सामवेदमाथर्वणं चतुर्थमितिहासपुराणं पञ्चमं वेदानां वेदं पित्र्यंराशिं दैवं निधिं वाकोवाक्यमेकायनं देवविद्यां ब्रह्मविद्यां भूतविद्यां क्षत्रविद्यां सर्पदेवजनविद्यां दिवं च पृथिवीं च वायुं चाकाशं चापश्च तेजश्च देवांश्च मनुष्यांश्च पशूंश्च वयांसि च तृणवनस्पतीञ्श्वापदान्याकीटपतङ्गपिपीलकं धर्मं चाधर्मं च सत्यं चानृतं च साधु चासाधु च हृदयज्ञं चाहृदयज्ञं च यद्वै वाङ्नाभविष्यन्न धर्मो नाधर्मो व्यज्ञापयिष्यन्न सत्यं नानृतं न साधु नासाधु न हृदयज्ञो नाहृदयज्ञो वागेवैतत्सर्वं विज्ञापयति वाचमुपास्स्वेति ॥ ७.२.१ ॥

vāgvāva nāmno bhūyasī vāgvā ṛgvedaṃ vijñāpayati yajurvedaṃ sāmavedamātharvaṇaṃ caturthamitihāsapurāṇaṃ pañcamaṃ vedānāṃ vedaṃ pitryaṃrāśiṃ daivaṃ nidhiṃ vākovākyamekāyanaṃ devavidyāṃ brahmavidyāṃ bhūtavidyāṃ kṣatravidyāṃ sarpadevajanavidyāṃ divaṃ ca pṛthivīṃ ca vāyuṃ cākāśaṃ cāpaśca tejaśca devāṃśca manuṣyāṃśca paśūṃśca vayāṃsi ca tṛṇavanaspatīñśvāpadānyākīṭapataṅgapipīlakaṃ dharmaṃ cādharmaṃ ca satyaṃ cānṛtaṃ ca sādhu cāsādhu ca hṛdayajñaṃ cāhṛdayajñaṃ ca yadvai vāṅnābhaviṣyanna dharmo nādharmo vyajñāpayiṣyanna satyaṃ nānṛtaṃ na sādhu nāsādhu na hṛdayajño nāhṛdayajño vāgevaitatsarvaṃ vijñāpayati vācamupāssveti || 7.2.1 ||

1. Speech is certainly superior to name. Speech makes known the Ṛg Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sāma Veda, and the fourth—the Atharva Veda; then the fifth—history and the Purāṇas; also, grammar, funeral rites, mathematics, the science of omens, the science of underground resources, logic, moral science, astrology, Vedic knowledge, the science of the elements, archery, astronomy, the science relating to snakes, plus music, dance, and other fine arts; also heaven and earth; air, space, water, and fire; the gods and human beings; cattle and birds; creepers and big trees; animals of prey as well as worms, fleas, and ants; merit and demerit; truth and untruth; good and evil; and the pleasant and the unpleasant. If speech did not exist there would be no awareness of merit and demerit, nor of truth and untruth, good and evil, the pleasant and the unpleasant. Speech alone makes it possible to understand all this. Worship speech.

Word-for-word explanation:

Vāk vāva nāmnaḥ bhūyasī, speech is certainly superior to name; vāk vai vijñāpayati, speech makes known; ṛg vedam yajur vedam sāma vedam ātharvaṇam caturtham, the Ṛg Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sāma Veda, and the fourth, the Atharva Veda; itihāsa purāṇam pañcamam, history and the Purāṇas, as the fifth; vedānām vedam, grammar [lit., the Veda of the Vedas]; pitryam, rites offered out of respect to the ancestors; rāśim, mathematics; daivam, the science of meteors and other natural phenomena [and omens]; nidhim, the science of underground resources; vākovākyam, logic; ekāyanam, moral science; deva-vidyām, astrology; brahma-vidyām, knowledge of the Vedas; bhūta-vidyām, geology; kṣattra-vidyām, archery; nakṣatra-vidyām, astronomy; sarpa [-vidyām], snake-charming; devajana-vidyām, fine arts; divam ca, heaven; pṛthivīm ca, and the earth; vāyum ca, and air; ākāśam ca, and space; āpaḥ ca, and water; tejaḥ ca, and fire; devān ca, and the gods; manuṣyān ca, and human beings; paśūn ca, and animals; vayāṃsi ca, and birds; tṛṇa-vanaspatīn, creepers and big trees; śvāpadāni, animals of prey; ākīṭa-pataṅga-pipīlikam, worms, fleas, and ants; dharmam ca adharmam ca, merit and demerit; satyam ca anṛtam ca, and truth and untruth; sādhu ca asādhu ca, and good and evil; hṛdayajnam ca ahṛdayajñam ca, pleasant and unpleasant; yat vai vāk, if speech; na abhaviṣyat, did not exist; na dharmaḥ na adharmaḥ vyajñāpayiṣyat, there would be no awareness of merit and demerit; satyani na anṛtam, nor of truth and untruth; sādhu na asādhu na, nor of good and evil; hṛdayajñaḥ na ahṛdayajñaḥ, nor of pleasant and unpleasant; vāk era etat sarvam vijñāpayati, speech alone makes it possible to understand all this; vāk upāssva iti, worship speech.

Commentary:

Vāk is the organ of speech. It produces not only words, but words with deep meanings. For instance, we have access to the wisdom of the Vedas through these words. These words represent Brahman and should be worshipped as such.