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 7.15.4

प्राणो ह्येवैतानि सर्वाणि भवति स वा एष एवं पश्यन्नेवं मन्वान एवं विजानन्नतिवादी भवति तं चेद्ब्रूयुरतिवाद्यसीत्यतिवाद्यस्मीति ब्रूयान्नापह्नुवीत ॥ ७.१५.४ ॥
॥ इति पञ्चदशः खण्डः ॥

prāṇo hyevaitāni sarvāṇi bhavati sa vā eṣa evaṃ paśyannevaṃ manvāna evaṃ vijānannativādī bhavati taṃ cedbrūyurativādyasītyativādyasmīti brūyānnāpahnuvīta || 7.15.4 ||
|| iti pañcadaśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

4. It is prāṇa that is all this. He who sees thus, thinks thus, and knows thus becomes a superior speaker. If anyone says to him, ‘You are a superior speaker,’ he may say, ‘Yes, I am a superior speaker.’ He need not deny it.

Word-for-word explanation:

Prāṇaḥ hi eva etāni sarvāṇi bhavati, prāṇa is all this; saḥ vai eṣaḥ, he who; evam, thus; paśyan, seeing; evam manvānaḥ, thus considering; evam vijānan, thus knowing; ativādī bhavati, becomes a superior speaker; cet, if; tarn brūyuḥ, anybody says to him; ativādī asi iti, you are a superior speaker; ativādī asmi iti brūyān, he will say, ‘Yes I am a superior speaker’; na apahnuvīta, he will not deny it. Iti pañcadaśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ, here ends the fifteenth section.


Who is an ativādī? Here ativādī means ‘a superior speaker.’ It is one who has realized the Truth and has thereby acquired the ability to say nothing but the truth.

When a holy person speaks, his words make sense. There is a ring of truth about them. They are authoritative. Such a person is an ativādī We all speak. We are speaking all the time. But for most of us our words are like the cawing of crows. Our words are just sounds. They make no sense. But when the speaker is a holy person, one who has realized God, who has seen the Truth face to face, everything he says is true.

If you have read Josephine McLeod’s reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda, you will remember how she described the first time she heard Swamiji speak: ‘He stood up and said something, and I thought, “Yes, this is true.” Again he said something, and I thought, “Yes, this is true too.” Yet again he said something and I said to myself, “This is also true.” Whatever he said was true.’ Such a person is an ativādī.

In one of the Upaniṣads we find a ṛṣi calling to humanity: ‘Hear me, O children of immortal bliss. I have known the Truth. If you know it you overcome