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 7.20.1

यदा वै निस्तिष्ठत्यथ श्रद्दधाति नानिस्तिष्ठञ्छ्रद्दधाति निस्तिष्ठन्नेव श्रद्दधाति निष्ठा त्वेव विजिज्ञासितव्येति निष्ठां भगवो विजिज्ञास इति ॥ ७.२०.१ ॥
॥ इति विंशतितमः खण्डः ॥

yadā vai nistiṣṭhatyatha śraddadhāti nānistiṣṭhañchraddadhāti nistiṣṭhanneva śraddadhāti niṣṭhā tveva vijijñāsitavyeti niṣṭhāṃ bhagavo vijijñāsa iti || 7.20.1 ||
|| iti viṃśatitamaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

1. Sanatkumāra: ‘When a person is steady and devoted to his teacher, then he has respect. Without being steady, one cannot have respect. One has steadiness when one has genuine respect and devotion. But one must seek this steadiness with great earnestness.’ Nārada replied, ‘I seek this steadiness’.

Word-for-word explanation:

Yadā vai nistiṣṭhati, when one is steady in one’s service and devotion to one’s teacher; atha śraddadhāti, then one has respect; anistiṣṭhan, where this steadiness and devotion is missing; na śraddadhāti, there is no respect; nistiṣṭhan era śraddadhāti, a person has respect when he has this steadiness; niṣṭhā tu era vijijñāsitavya iti, but one must be determined to have this steadiness


It is difficult to translate the word niṣṭhā. The closest word in English is probably ‘steadiness.’ For instance, you say you want to know something, but actually it is only a passing mood on your part. You really don’t mean it. This is the opposite of steadiness. But if you really mean it, if you go on struggling to get that knowledge, no matter how difficult or frustrating it may be to acquire it, then this is niṣṭhā, steadiness.

Śaṅkara says that niṣṭhā comes from serving the guru with devotion. When you devotedly serve your teacher, your love for the subject of your enquiry grows stronger and stronger, and your conviction also grows stronger and stronger. You begin to think: ‘Yes, there is such a thing as Self-realization. How else can I explain my teacher being so good, so kind, so affectionate, so selfless?’ You find that your teacher is unfailing in his loyalty to the ideals which he professes, and slowly you are able to understand the real implication of the words tyāga, renunciation, titikṣā, forbearance, and so forth, because you see him putting them

Section Twenty-one