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 7.13.2

स यः स्मरं ब्रह्मेत्युपास्ते यावत्स्मरस्य गतं तत्रास्य यथाकामचारो भवति यः स्मरं ब्रह्मेत्युपास्तेऽस्ति भगवः स्मराद्भूय इति स्मराद्वाव भूयोऽस्तीति तन्मे भगवान्ब्रवीत्विति ॥ ७.१३.२ ॥
॥ इति त्रयोदशः खण्डः ॥

sa yaḥ smaraṃ brahmetyupāste yāvatsmarasya gataṃ tatrāsya yathākāmacāro bhavati yaḥ smaraṃ brahmetyupāste'sti bhagavaḥ smarādbhūya iti smarādvāva bhūyo'stīti tanme bhagavānbravītviti || 7.13.2 ||
|| iti trayodaśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

2. ‘One who worships memory as Brahman has free movement as far as memory goes.’ Nārada asked, ‘Sir, is there anything higher than memory?’ ‘Of course there is something higher than memory,’ replied Sanatkumāra. Nārada then said, ‘Sir, please explain that to me’.

Word-for-word explanation:

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


Sanatkumāra says to meditate on memory as Brahman. Even the lowest truth is Brahman. But we must not stop there. That is not the goal.

True knowledge is not a collection of information stored in our memory. True knowledge is attained through assimilation. We have to grasp it, absorb it. Knowledge has to become part and parcel of our being; otherwise we are like beasts of burden.

It is no use knowing the truth unless we act in the light of that truth. Until scholarship has made some impact on our character, it is nothing. Only when it makes us a new individual do we become truly enlightened.

Sri Ramakrishna used to give the example of a vulture. A vulture flies very high in the sky, but it is always looking down at the ground—looking for the dead body of some animal so that it can come down and eat the flesh. Similarly, merely going up won’t do. That is to say, merely stuffing your mind with information is not enough. You have to use that information to overcome the obstacles in your life. That’s what is meant.