Prashna Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary

by S. Sitarama Sastri | 1928 | 19,194 words

The Prashna Upanishad is a series philosophical poems presented as questions (prashna) inquired by various Hindu sages (Rishi) and answered by Sage Pippalada. The questions discuss knowledge about Brahman, the relation of the individual (Purusha) with the universal (Atman), meditation, immortality and various other Spiritual topics. This commentar...

अथ हैनं सैब्यः सत्यकामः पप्रच्छ । स यो ह वै तभ्दगवन्मनुष्येषु प्रायणान्तमोङ्कारमभिध्यायीत । कतमं वाव स तेन लोकं जयतीति तस्मै स होवाच ॥ १ ॥

atha hainaṃ saibyaḥ satyakāmaḥ papraccha | sa yo ha vai tabhdagavanmanuṣyeṣu prāyaṇāntamoṅkāramabhidhyāyīta | katamaṃ vāva sa tena lokaṃ jayatīti tasmai sa hovāca || 1 ||

1. Then, Satyakama, son of Sibi, questioned him: “Oh Bhagavan! what world does he, who among mortals meditates on ‘Om’ till death, win by that?” To him he replied.


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com,Satyakama, son of Sibi, questioned him. Now the Prasna is begun for the purpose of enjoining the worship of the syllable ‘Om,’ as a means to the attainment of the Para (higher) and Apara (lower) Brahman, Oh Bhagavan. Who among mortals, like a wonder, until death meditates upon the syllable ‘Om,’ (the word meditation is the continuous contemplation as Âtman of the letter ‘Om’ regarded as Brahman by courtesy, by one whose senses are turned away from external objects and whose mind is composed, the course of such meditation not being vitiated by other or dissimilar states of consciousness and being ready like the flame of a lamp in an airless place). Who thus maintains a vow for life and combines in him truth, abstinence from sexual pleasures, abstinence from cruelty, absence of acceptance, renunciation, sanyasam, cleanliness, cheerfulness, absence of fraud and many other kinds of forbearance and religious observance. What world, for there are many worlds to be won by worship and karma, does he attain by thus meditating on ‘Om.’ To him who had thus questioned, he, Pippalada replied.

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