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 8.11.3

एवमेवैष मघवन्निति होवाचैतं त्वेव ते भूयोऽनुव्याख्यास्यामि नो एवान्यत्रैतस्माद्वसापराणि पञ्च वर्षाणीति स हापराणि पञ्च वर्षाण्युवास तान्येकशतं सम्पेदुरेतत्तद्यदाहुरेकशतं ह वै वर्षाणि मघवान्प्रजापतौ ब्रह्मचर्यमुवास तस्मै होवाच ॥ ८.११.३ ॥
॥ इति एकादशः खण्डः ॥

evamevaiṣa maghavanniti hovācaitaṃ tveva te bhūyo'nuvyākhyāsyāmi no evānyatraitasmādvasāparāṇi pañca varṣāṇīti sa hāparāṇi pañca varṣāṇyuvāsa tānyekaśataṃ sampeduretattadyadāhurekaśataṃ ha vai varṣāṇi maghavānprajāpatau brahmacaryamuvāsa tasmai hovāca || 8.11.3 ||
|| iti ekādaśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||

3. Prajāpati said: ‘Indra, it is so. I will explain the matter to you again. Stay here another five years.’ Indra lived there another five years. The total time Indra spent thus was one hundred and one years. This is what sages refer to when they say, ‘Indra lived with Prajāpati for one hundred and one years practising brahmacarya.’ Then Prajāpati said to him—

Word-for-word explanation:

Evam eva eṣaḥ, it is like that; maghavan, O Maghavan; iti ha uvāca, [Prajāpati] said; etam tu eva bhūyaḥ anuvyākhyāsyāmi, I will explain it once again; te, to you; vasa, stay here; aparāṇi pañca, another five; varṣāṇi iti, years; saḥ, he [Indra]; ha aparāṇi pañca varṣāṇi, for another five years; uvāsa, lived there; tāni ekaśatam sampeduḥ, one hundred and one [years] were completed; etat tat yat āhaḥ, this is what it is when people say; maghavān prajāpatau brahmacaryam uvāsa, Indra lived with Prajāpati practising brahmacārya; ekaśatam ha vai varṣāṇi iti, one hundred and one years; tasmai ha uvāca, [Prajāpati] said to him. Iti ekādaśaḥ khaṇḍaḥ, here ends the eleventh section.


For the third time Indra returned. Prajāpati must have been very pleased with this. If the student comes back again and again with questions, then naturally the teacher is pleased. He thinks: ‘I have a very clever student. He wants to know, and I am happy to be able to help him.’

This time he asked Indra to practise brahmacarya for just five years, as he could see Indra was almost ready. So Indra practised austerities for a total of a hundred and one years. Śaṅkara says that the reason this story has been introduced here is to show how important Self-knowledge is—that there is nothing higher and more desirable than Self-knowledge.

The Indian scriptures are very clear: If you are mainly interested in acquiring money they say: ‘All right, have money. But remember, it will only give you happiness for a while. Very soon you will discover what a bondage it is.’ It is the same for other things—scholarship, political power, social standing, and so on. You may enjoy them if you want, but all the time you must know that they will not last long and they will not give you peace of mind.

The scriptures say that it is only through Self-knowledge that you will get happiness which is eternal, which is always yours. This is why Self-knowledge is considered to be the highest goal of life.