Kaivalya Upanishad of Krishna-Yajurveda

by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar | 1914 | 1,043 words | ISBN-10: 8120815653

This is the English translation of the Kaivalya Upanishad (belonging to the Krishna-Yajurveda): a minor Sanskrit treatise selected amongst a collection 108 extant upanishads, dating to at least the 1st millennium BC. The Kaivalya-upanishad extols Shiva and describes the internal state of a soul (paramatma) while on its spiritual journey towards Ka...

Contents of the Kaivalya Upaniṣad

Harih-Om. Then[1] Āśvalāyana went to Lord Parameṣṭī (Brahmā) and addressed Him thus: "Please initiate me into Brahmavidyā (Divine Wisdom), which is the most excellent, which is ever enjoyed by the wise, which is mystic, and by which the learned, after having soon freed themselves from all sins, reach Puruṣa, the Supreme of the supreme."

To him the Grandfather (thus) replied:

"Know (It) through Śraddhā (faith), Bhakti (devotion), Dhyāna (meditation), and Yoga. Persons attain salvation not through Karma, progeny or wealth but through Sannyāsa (renunciation) alone. Ascetics of pure mind through (the realisation of) the meaning well-ascertained by Vedānta-Vijñāna and through Śannyāsa-Yoga enter into That which is above Swarga (heaven) and is in the cave (of the heart). They all attain Paramātmā[2] in the Brahma-world and are (finally) emancipated.

"Being seated in a pleasant posture in an unfrequented place with a pure mind, and with his neck, head, and body erect, having given up the duties of the (four) orders of life, having subjugated all the organs, having saluted his Guru with devotion, having looked upon the heart (-lotus) as being free from Rajoguṇa and as pure, and having contemplated in its (heart's) centre Parameśvara who is always with His consort Ūma, who is pure and free from sorrow, who is unthinkable and invisible, who is of endless forms, who is of the nature of happiness, who is very quiescent, who is of the form of emancipation, who is the source of Māyā, who has no beginning, middle or end, who is One, who is All-Pervading, who is Cidānanda (Consciousness-Bliss), who is formless, who is wonderful, who is the Lord (of all), who has three eyes, who has a blue neck, (Nīlakaṇṭha), and who is serenity (itself)—the Muni attains Paramātmā, the womb of all elements, the All-Witness, and above lamas. He only is Brahma. He only is Śiva. He only is Indra. He only is the indestructible. He only is the Supreme. He only is the Self-Shining. He only is Viṣṇū. He only is Prāṇa. He only is Time. He only is Agni (fire). He only is the moon. He only is all things that exist or will hereafter exist. He only is eternal. Having known Him, one crosses death. There is no other path to salvation. He only attains Parabrahman who sees in himself all elements and himself in all elements. There is no other means. Having constituted his body an Araṇi (the lower attritional piece of wood) and Praṇava (Om), the upper Araṇi, a wise man burns Ajñāna by the churning of meditation.

"It is only He (Paramātmā) who, deluded by Māyā, assumes a body with the internal organs and does everything. It is only He who in the waking state is gratified with women, food, drink, and other diverse enjoyments. In the dreaming state, the Jīva enjoys pleasures and pains in the several worlds which are created by His Māyā. In the dreamless sleeping state when all are absorbed, He, replete with Tamas, attains the state of happiness. Then through the force of the Karmas of previous births, that Jīva again wakes up and goes to sleep. All the diversified objects (of the universe) emanate from the Jīva, who sports in the three bodies (gross, subtle and causal). The three bodies are finally absorbed in Him who is the source of all, who is Bliss, and who is Absolute Wisdom. From Him, arise Prāṇa, Manas, all the organs of sense and action, Ākāś, Vāyu, Agni, water and the earth supporting all. Parabrahman, which is of all forms, which is the Supreme Abode of this universe, which is the most subtle of the subtle and which is eternal, is only yourself. You are only That. One who knows himself to be that Parabrahman that shines as the universe in the waking, dreaming, dreamless and other states, will be relieved from all bondage. I am that Sadāśiva, (or the eternal happiness) who is other than the enjoyer, the enjoyed, and the enjoyment in the three seats (or bodies), and who is witness and Cinmātra. All emanate from Me alone. All exist in Me alone. All merge into Me alone. I am that non-dual Brahman. I am the atom of atoms; so am I the biggest (of all). I am this diversified universe. I am the oldest of all. I am Puruṣa. I am Īśa (the Lord). I am of the form of Jyotis (light) and of the form of happiness. I have neither hands nor feet. I have power unthinkable. I see without eyes. I hear without ears. I am omniscient. I have one kind of form only. None is able to know Me fully. I am always of the form of Chit. I am the One that should be known through all the Vedas. I am the Guru who revealed the Vedānta. I am only He who knows the true meaning of Vedānta. I have no sins or virtues. I have no destruction. I have no birth, body, organs of sense or action, or Buddhi. To Me there is no earth, water or fire. There is no Vāyu; there is no Ākāś. He who thinks Paramātmā as being in the cave (of the heart), as having no form, as being secondless, as being the witness of all and as being neither Sat nor Asat, attains the pure form of Paramātmā.

"Whoever recites this Upaniṣad belonging to Yajurveda, he becomes as pure as Agni (fire). He becomes purified from the sins of theft of gold. He becomes purified from the sins of drinking alcohol. He becomes purified from the sins of murder of a Brahman. He becomes purified from the sins of commission (of those that ought not to be done) and the sins of omission (of those that ought to be done). Therefore he becomes a follower of Brāhman. Were one who has stepped beyond the duties of the four orders of life to recite (this Upaniṣad) always or even once, he acquires the wisdom that destroys the ocean of Saṃsāra. Therefore having known Him, he attains the Kaivalya State (or state of isolation or emancipation)—yea, he attains the Kaivalya State."


Footnotes and references:


After attaining Sādhana-Catuṣṭaya or the four means of salvation.


Hiraṇyagarbha or the higher Self.