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 7.12.1

आकाशो वाव तेजसो भूयानाकाशे वै सूर्याचन्द्रमसावुभौ विद्युन्नक्षत्राण्यग्निराकाशेनाह्वयत्याकाशेन शृणोत्याकाशेन प्रतिशृणोत्याकाशे रमत आकाशे न रमत आकाशे जायत आकाशमभिजायत आकाशमुपास्स्वेति ॥ ७.१२.१ ॥

ākāśo vāva tejaso bhūyānākāśe vai sūryācandramasāvubhau vidyunnakṣatrāṇyagnirākāśenāhvayatyākāśena śṛṇotyākāśena pratiśṛṇotyākāśe ramata ākāśe na ramata ākāśe jāyata ākāśamabhijāyata ākāśamupāssveti || 7.12.1 ||

1. Ākāśa [space] is certainly superior to fire. The sun and the moon are both within ākāśa, and so are lightning, the stars, and fire. Through ākāśa one person is able to speak to another. Through ākāśa one is able to hear. And through ākāśa one is able to hear what others are saying. In ākāśa one enjoys, and in ākāśa one suffers. A person is born in ākāśa, and plants and trees grow pointing to ākāśa. Worship ākāśa.

Word-for-word explanation:

Ākāśaḥ vāva tejasaḥ bhūyān, space is certainly superior to fire; ākāśe vai, within space; sūryā-candra-māsau ubhau, are both the sun and the moon; vidyut, lightning; nakṣatrāṇi, the stars; agniḥ, [and] fire; ākāśena, through space; āhvayati, one calls; ākāśena śṛṇoti, through space one hears; ākāśena pratiśṛṇoti, through space one hears what others are saying; ākāśe ramate, in space one enjoys; ākāśe na ramate, in space one suffers; ākāśe jāyate, in space one is born; ākāśam abhijāyate, [trees and plants] grow pointing to space; ākāśam upāssva iti, worship space.

Commentary:

You may find what seem to be errors in every religion, because no religion can reveal the whole of the Ultimate Truth. No religion can exhaust God. It can reveal only one or two aspects of God. So we see here, Sanatkumāra is taking Nārada from a lower truth to a higher truth. He is showing how the cause is higher than the effect.

Suppose there is no such thing as space. Where would fire be? Or lightning? Or the sun or the moon or the stars? So space is higher than fire, or energy. Without space there would be no sound, and no one could speak to another. Nor could anyone be born or grow.