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 8.12.2

एवमेवैष सम्प्रसादोऽस्माच्छरीरात्समुत्थाय परं ज्योतिरुपसम्पद्य स्वेन रूपेणाभिनिष्पद्यते स उत्तमपुरुषः स तत्र पर्येति जक्षत्क्रीडन्रममाणः स्त्रीभिर्वा यानैर्वा ज्ञातिभिर्वा नोपजनं स्मरन्निदं शरीरं स यथा प्रयोग्य आचरणे युक्त एवमेवायमस्मिञ्छरीरे प्राणो युक्तः ॥ ८.१२.३ ॥

evamevaiṣa samprasādo'smāccharīrātsamutthāya paraṃ jyotirupasampadya svena rūpeṇābhiniṣpadyate sa uttamapuruṣaḥ sa tatra paryeti jakṣatkrīḍanramamāṇaḥ strībhirvā yānairvā jñātibhirvā nopajanaṃ smarannidaṃ śarīraṃ sa yathā prayogya ācaraṇe yukta evamevāyamasmiñcharīre prāṇo yuktaḥ || 8.12.3 ||

2. The air is formless. So also are clouds, lightning, and thunder. All these arise from the sky and assume their respective forms due to the heat of the sun.

Word-for-word explanation:

Aśarīraḥ vāyuḥ, air is formless; abhram vidyut stanayitnuḥ, light clouds, lightning, and thunder; etāni, all these; aśarīrāṇi, are formless; tat yathā, just as; etāni, all these; amuṣmāt ākāśāt, from the sky; samutthāya, arise; param jyotiḥ upasampadya, attain the great light [i.e., are exposed to the heat of the sun in summer]; svena rūpeṇa abhiniṣpadyante, appear in their respective forms [in the rainy season].

Commentary:

Here the idea is that even though we don’t see the Self, it is always within us. The Upaniṣad compares it with air, clouds, lightning, and thunder. In winter the sky is clear. There are very few clouds, and there are no strong winds or storms. But then as summer begins the temperature starts rising, and slowly the clouds gather. Then come the storms with their high winds and lightning and thunder.

Where were the clouds and lightning during winter? They were there, but they were not visible. We see them only when the conditions are right; otherwise they are in a latent form, one with the sky. They appear from the sky, and then they merge into the sun.