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 7.25.2

अथात आत्मादेश एवात्मैवाधस्तादात्मोपरिष्टादात्मा पश्चादात्मा पुरस्तादात्मा दक्षिणत आत्मोत्तरत आत्मैवेदं सर्वमिति स वा एष एवं पश्यन्नेवं मन्वान एवं विजानन्नात्मरतिरात्मक्रीड आत्ममिथुन आत्मानन्दः स स्वराड्भवति तस्य सर्वेषु लोकेषु कामचारो भवति अथ येऽन्यथातो विदुरन्यराजानस्ते क्षय्यलोका भवन्ति तेषां सर्वेषु लोकेष्वकामचारो भवति ॥ ७.२५.२ ॥
॥ इति पञ्चविंशः खण्डः ॥

athāta ātmādeśa evātmaivādhastādātmopariṣṭādātmā paścādātmā purastādātmā dakṣiṇata ātmottarata ātmaivedaṃ sarvamiti sa vā eṣa evaṃ paśyannevaṃ manvāna evaṃ vijānannātmaratirātmakrīḍa ātmamithuna ātmānandaḥ sa svarāḍbhavati tasya sarveṣu lokeṣu kāmacāro bhavati atha ye'nyathāto viduranyarājānaste kṣayyalokā bhavanti teṣāṃ sarveṣu lokeṣvakāmacāro bhavati || 7.25.2 ||
|| iti pañcaviṃśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

2. Next is the instruction on the Self: The Self is below; the Self is above; the Self is behind; the Self is in front; the Self is to the right; the Self is to the left. The Self is all this. He who sees in this way, thinks in this way, and knows in this way, has love for the Self, sports with the Self, enjoys the company of the Self, and has joy in the Self, he is supreme and can go about as he likes in all the worlds. But those who think otherwise are under the control of others. They cannot remain in the worlds they live in, nor can they move about in the worlds as they like [i.e., they are under many limitations].

Word-for-word explanation:

Atha ataḥ, next; ātmādeśaḥ eva, the instruction regarding the Self; ātmā eva adhastāt, the Self is down below; ātmā upariṣṭāt, the Self is up above; ātmā paścāt, the Self is behind; ātmā purastāt, the Self is in front; ātmā dakṣiṇataḥ, the Self is to the right; ātmā uttarataḥ, the Self is to the left; ātmā eva idam sarvam iti, the Self is truly all this; saḥ vai eṣaḥ, that [worshipper] who; evam paśyan, sees in this way; evam manvānaḥ, thinks in this way; evam vijānan, knows in this way; ātmaratiḥ, has love for the Self; ātmakrīḍah, sports with the Self; ātmamithunaḥ, enjoys the company of the Self; ātmānandaḥ, has joy in the Self; saḥ svarāṭ bhavati, he becomes supreme [a sovereign]; sarveṣu lokeṣu, in all the worlds; tasya kāmacāraḥ bhavati, he can go about as he likes; atha, then; ye, those who; anyatha ataḥ vidaḥ, know otherwise; anyarājānaḥ, are under the control of others; te kṣayyalokāḥ bhavanti, they live in worlds that are not permanent; sarveṣu lokeṣu, in all the worlds; teṣām akāmacāraḥ bhavati, he cannot move about as he likes. Iti pañcaviṃśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ, here ends the twenty-fifth section.


The Upaniṣad says, you see yourself in all that exists. When you have the experience, ‘I am infinite, I am one with all,’ then there is no duality. You enjoy your own Self. Normally we look for friends so we can enjoy ourselves in their company. But when you realize bhūmā, you don’t need any companions. You know that everything is within and not outside.

Now we are so dependent on things outside. If someone is harsh to us we feel bad, and if someone is good to us we are happy. Similarly, we may be addicted to cigarettes and are miserable if we don’t get them. So our happiness always depends on external conditions. Where is our freedom? This is not freedom. We are simply beggars. A free soul, however, is always happy within himself. He is not bothered by external conditions.

Sri Ramakrishna was not dependent on anyone or anything. Once some servants came to him and told him that the owner of the temple garden said he must leave immediately. Sri Ramakrishna at once got up and started walking out of the temple compound, just as he was. He did not stop to pack anything or take a second look at his room. He simply started leaving. The owner happened to see him leaving, and asked: ‘Sir, why are you leaving? I asked your nephew to leave, not you.’ Then Sri Ramakrishna replied, ‘Oh, you don’t want me to leave?’ and he immediately turned around and went back to his room as if nothing had happened.

Suppose you enjoy a certain kind of music, but another person does not care for it. Why does this happen? It is because that music evokes in you a certain feeling or emotion which it does not evoke in the other person. The enjoyment is not in the music. It is within you. So also, sometimes you may sit and daydream, thinking of a pilgrimage you took in the Himalayas long back. You go on thinking and enjoying the memories even though the Himalayas are no longer in front of you. The enjoyment is totally within you.

So when you realize your Self, you no longer need the world outside. In fact, it no longer exists for you. You alone exist. Some people may say this is selfishness, but it is not. Rather, your self has expanded. It has become all-embracing. It has become bhūmā.

Saḥ svarāṭ bhavati—he becomes a sovereign.’ When you attain sovereignty you no longer identify yourself with the body. You feel yourself to be one with the entire cosmos. This is the goal of life—to realize that there is only One which appears as many, with different names and forms.

Section Twenty-six