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Tat Tvam Asi (That Thou Art) Teaching from Chandogya Upanishad

Chandogya Upanishad - Text, Slokas, Translation, Summary, Quotes, Tat Tvam Asi - Upanishads in English, Upanishads Quotes, Upanishads PDF, Upanishads in Telugu, Upanishads in Tamil, Upanishads in Sanskrit, Isavasya, Mundaka, Mandukya, Katha, Kena, Aiterey Hindu Spiritual Articles and Videos

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1.   Om. There once lived Svetaketu the grandson of Aruna. To him  his father said: "Svetaketu, lead the life of a brahmacharin; for  there is none belonging to our family, my dear, who, not having  studied the Vedas, is a brahmin only by birth." 

2—3.   Svetaketu went to his teacher’s house when he was twelve  years old and studied the Vedas till he was twenty—four. Then  he returned to his father, serious, considering himself well read  and arrogant.  His father said to him: "Svetaketu, since you are now so  serious, think yourself well read and are so arrogant, have you,  my dear, ever asked for that instruction by which one hears  what cannot be heard, by which one perceives what cannot be  perceived, by which one knows what cannot be known?"  Svetaketu asked: "What is that instruction, venerable Sir?" 

4—6.   "Just as, my dear, by one clod of clay all that is made of clay is  known, the modification being only a name, arising from  speech, while the truth is that all is clay;  "Just as, my dear, by one nugget of gold all that is made of gold  is known, the modification being only a name, arising from  speech, while the truth is that all is gold;  "And just as, my dear, by one pair of nail—scissors all that is  made of iron is known, the modification being only a name,  arising from speech, while the truth is that all is iron—even so,  my dear, is that instruction."

7.   "Surely those venerable men did not know that. For if they had  known it, why should they not have told it to me? Therefore do  you, venerable Sir, tell me about it."  "So be it, my dear," said the father. 

Chapter II — Brahman: the Cause of the Universe

1.   "In the beginning, my dear, this universe was Being (Sat) alone,  one only without a second. Some say that in the beginning this  was non—being (asat) alone, one only without a second; and  from that non—being, being was born."

2.   Aruni said: "But how, indeed, could it be thus, my dear? How  could Being be born from non—being? No, my dear, it was  Being alone that existed in the beginning, one only without a  second.

3.   "It (Being, or Brahman) thought: ‘May I be many; may I grow  forth.’ It created fire. That fire thought: ‘May I be many; may I  grow forth.’ It created water. That is why, whenever a person is  hot and perspires, water is produced from fire (heat) alone.

4.   "That water thought: ‘May I be many; may I grow forth.’ It  created food (i.e. earth). That is why, whenever it rains  anywhere, abundant food is produced. From water alone is  edible food produced. 

Chapter III — The Threefold Development

1.   "Of all these living beings, there are only three origins: those  born from an egg, those born from a living being and those  born from a sprout.

2.   "That Deity thought: ‘Let Me now enter into those three deities  by means of this living self and let Me then develop names and  forms.’

3.   "That Deity, having thought: ‘Let Me make each of these three  tripartite,’ entered into these three deities by means of the  living self and developed names and forms.

4.   "It made each of these tripartite; and how these three deities  became, each of them, tripartite, that learn from me now, my  dear. 

Chapter IV — The Threefold Development further  explained

1.   "The red colour of gross fire is the colour of the original fire;  the white colour of gross fire is the colour of the original water;  the black colour of gross fire is the colour of the original earth.  Thus vanishes from fire what is commonly called fire, the  modification being only a name, arising from speech, while the  three colours (forms) alone are true.

2.   "The red colour of the sun is the colour of fire, the white the  colour of water, the black the colour of earth. Thus vanishes  from the sun what is commonly called the sun, the modification  being only a name, arising from speech, while the three colours  alone are true.

3.   "The red colour of the moon is the colour of fire, the white the  colour of water, the black the colour of earth. Thus vanishes  from the moon what is commonly called the moon, the  modification being only a name, arising from speech, while the  three colours alone are true.

4.   "The red colour of lightning is the colour of fire, the white the  colour of water, the black the colour of earth. Thus vanishes  from lightning what is commonly called lighting, the  modification being only a name, arising from speech, while the  three colours alone are true.

5.   "It was just through this knowledge that the great householders  and great Vedic scholars of olden times declared: ‘No one can  now mention to us anything which we have not heard, thought  of, or known.’ They knew all from these three forms. 

6—7.   "Whatever, appeared red they knew to be the colour of fire;  whatever appeared white they knew to be the colour of water;  whatever appeared black they knew to be the colour of earth.  "Whatever appeared to be unknown they knew to be the  combination of these three deities (i.e. colours). Now learn  from me, my dear, how these three deities, when they reach  man, become each of them tripartite. 

Chapter V — The Threefold Nature of Food

1.   "Food when eaten becomes threefold. What is coarsest in it  becomes faeces, what is medium becomes flesh and what is  subtlest becomes mind.

2.   "Water when drunk becomes threefold. What is coarsest in it  becomes urine, what is medium becomes blood and what is  subtlest becomes prana.

3.   "Fire when eaten becomes threefold. What is coarsest in it  becomes bone, what is medium becomes marrow and what is  subtlest becomes speech.

4.   "The mind, my dear, consists of food, the prana of water and  speech of heat."  "Please, venerable Sir, instruct me further."  "So be it, my dear" 

Chapter VI — The Physical Nature of the Mind, the Prana  and Speech

1.   "That, my dear, which is the subtlest part of curds rises, when  they are churned and becomes butter.

2.   "In the same manner, my dear, that which is the subtlest part of  the food that is eaten rises and becomes mind.

3.   "The subtlest part of the water that is drunk rises and becomes  prana.

4.   "The subtlest part of the fire that is eaten rises and becomes  speech.

5.   "Thus, my dear, the mind consists of food, the prana consists of  water and speech consists of fire."  "Please, venerable Sir, instruct me further."  "So be it, my dear" 

Chapter VII — How the Mind consists of Food

1.   "A person, my dear, consists of sixteen parts. Do not eat any  food for fifteen days, but drink as much water as you like.  Since the prana consists of water, it will not be cut off if you  drink water."

2.   Svetaketu did not eat any food for fifteen days. Then he came  to his father and said: "What, Sir, shall I recite?"  His father said: "The Rik, Yagus and Saman verses."  He replied: "They do not occur to me, Sir."

3.   His father said to him: "Just as, my dear, of a great blazing fire  a single coal, the size of a firefly, may be left, which would not  burn much more than that, even so, my dear, of your sixteen  parts only one part is left; and therefore with that one part you  do not remember the Vedas. Now go and eat and you will  understand me."

4.   Svetaketu ate and approached his father. Then whatever his  father asked him, he showed that he knew it. 

5—6.   Then his father said to him: "Just as, my dear, of a great lighted  fire a single coal the size of a firefly, if left, may be made to  blaze up again by adding grass to it and will thus burn much  more,  "Even so, my dear; of your sixteen parts only one part was left  and that, when strengthened by food, blazed up. With it you  now remember the Vedas. Therefore, my dear, the mind  consists of food, the prana consists of water and speech consists  of fire."  After that he understood what his father said, yea, he  understood it. 

Chapter VIII — Concerning Sleep, Hunger, Thirst and  Death

1.   Uddalaka the son of Aruna said to his son Svetaketu: "Learn  from me, my dear, the true nature of sleep. When a person has  entered into deep sleep, as it is called, then, my dear, he  becomes united with Pure Being (Sat), he has gone to his own  Self. That is why they say he is in deep sleep (svapiti); it is  because he has gone (apita) to his own (svam).

2.   "Just as a bird tied by a string to the hand of the bird—catcher  first flies in every direction and then finding no rest anywhere,  settles down at the place where it is bound, so also the mind  (i.e. the individual soul reflected in the mind), my dear, after  flying in every direction and finding no rest anywhere, settles  down in the Prana (i.e. Pure Being); for the mind (the  individual soul) is fastened to the Prana (Pure Being).

3.   "Learn from me, my dear, what hunger and thirst are. When a  man is hungry, as they say, it is water that has led (i.e. carried  away) what was eaten. Therefore, just as they speak of a leader  of cows, a leader of horses, a leader of men, so do they speak of  water as the leader of food. So, my dear, know this offshoot  (i.e. the body) to have sprung forth from a cause, for it cannot  be without a root.

4.   "And where could its root be except in food (earth)? And in the  same way, my dear, as food too is an offshoot, seek for water as  its root. And as water too, my dear, is an offshoot, seek for fire  as its root. And as fire too, my dear, is an offshoot, seek for  Being (Sat) as its root. Yes, all these creatures, my dear, have  their root in Being, they dwell in Being, they finally rest in  Being.

5.   "When a man is said to be thirsty, it is fire that has led (i.e.  carried away) what was drunk by him. Therefore as they speak  of a leader of cows, a leader of horses, a leader of men, so do  they speak of fire as the leader of water. So, my dear, know this  offshoot (the body) to have sprung forth from a cause, for it  cannot be without a root.

6.   "And where could its root be except in water? And in the same  way, my dear, as water is an offshoot, seek for fire as its root.  And as fire too, my dear, is an offshoot, seek for Being as its  root. Yes, my dear, all these creatures have their root in Being,  they dwell in Being, they finally rest in Being.  "And how these three deities (fire, water and earth), on  reaching a human being, become each of them tripartite has  already been said. When a person departs hence, his speech  merges in his mind, his mind in his prana, his prana in heat  (fire) and the heat in the Highest Being.

7.   "Now, that which is the subtle essence—in it all that exists has  its self. That is the True. That is the Self. That thou art,  Svetaketu."  "Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction," said the  son.  "So be it, my dear," the father replied. 

Chapter IX — The Absence of Individuality in Deep Sleep 

1—2.   "As bees, my dear, make honey by collecting the juices of trees  located at different places and reduce them to one form,  "And as these juices have no discrimination so as to be able to  say: ‘I am the juice of this tree,’ or ‘I am the juice of that  tree’—even so, indeed, my dear, all these creatures, though  they reach Pure Being, do not know that they have reached  Pure Being.

3.   "Whatever these creatures are, here in this world—a tiger, a  lion, a wolf, a boar, a worm, a fly, a gnat, or a mosquito—that  they become again.

4.   "Now, that which is the subtle essence—in it all that exists has  its self. That is the True. That is the Self. That thou art,  Svetaketu."  "Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction," said the  son.  "So be it, my dear," the father replied. 

Chapter X — The Absence of Particularized Consciousness  in Deep Sleep 

1—2.   "These rivers, my dear, flow—the eastern toward the east and  the western toward the west. They arise from the sea and flow  into the sea. Just as these rivers, while they are in the sea, do  not know: ‘I am this river’ or ‘I am that river,’  "Even so, my dear, all these creatures, even though they have  come from Pure Being, do not know that they have come from  Pure Being. Whatever these creatures are, here in this world—a  tiger, a lion, a wolf a boar, a worm, a fly, a gnat, or a mosquito,  that they become again.

3.   "Now, that which is the subtle essence—in it all that exists has  its self. That is the True. That is the Self. That thou art,  Svetaketu."  "Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction," said the  son.  "So be it, my dear," the father replied. 

Chapter XI — The Indestructibility of the Jiva

1.   "If, my dear, someone were to strike at the root of this large  tree here, it would bleed but live. If he were to strike at the  middle, it would bleed but live. If he were to strike at the top, it  would bleed but live. Pervaded by the living self, that tree  stands firm, drinking in again and again its nourishment and  rejoicing.

2.   "But if the life (i.e. living self) leaves one of its branches, that  branch withers; if it leaves a second, that branch withers; if it  leaves a third, that branch withers. If it leaves the whole tree,  the whole three withers.

3.   "In exactly the same manner, my dear," said he, "know this:  This body dies, bereft of the living self; but the living self dies  not.  "Now, that which is the subtle essence—in it all that exists has  its self. That is the True. That is the Self. That thou art,  Svetaketu."  "Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction," said the  son.  "So be it, my dear," the father replied. 

Chapter XII — The Birth of the Gross from the Subtle

1.   "Bring me a fruit of that nyagrodha (banyan) tree."  "Here it is’ venerable Sir." "Break it."  "It is broken, venerable Sir."  "What do you see there?"  "These seeds, exceedingly small,  "Break one of these, my son."  "It is broken, venerable Sir."  "What do you see there?"  "Nothing at all, venerable Sir."

2.   The father said: "That subtle essence, my dear, which you do  not perceive there—from that very essence this great nyagrodha  arises.  Believe me, my dear.

3.   "Now, that which is the subtle essence—in it all that exists has  its self. That is the True. That is the Self. That thou art,  Svetaketu."  "Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction," said the  son.  "So be it, my dear," the father replied. 

Chapter XIII — The Invisibility of an Existent Object

1.   "Place this salt in water and then come to me in the morning."  The son did as he was told.  The father said to him: "My son, bring me the salt which you  placed in the water last night."  Looking for it, the son did not find it, for it was completely  dissolved.

2.   The father said: "My son, take a sip of water from the surface.  How is it?"  "It is salt."  "Take a sip from the middle. How is it?"  "It is salt."  "Take a sip from the bottom. How is it?"  "It is salt."  "Throw it away and come to me."  The son did as he was told, saying: "The salt was there all the  time."  Then the father said: "Here also, my dear, in this body you do  not perceive Sat (Being); but It is indeed there."

3.   "Now, that which is the subtle essence—in it all that exists has  its self. That is the True. That is the Self That thou art,  Svetaketu."  "Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction," said the  son.  "So be it, my dear," the father replied. 

Chapter XIV — The Means of Self—Knowledge

1.   "Just as someone, my dear, might lead a person, with his eyes  covered, away from the country of the Gandharas and leave  him in a place where there were no human beings; and just as  that person would turn toward the east, or the north, or the  south, or the west, shouting: ‘I have been brought here with my  eyes covered, I have been left here with my eyes covered!’

2.   "And as thereupon someone might loosen the covering and say  to him: ‘Gandhara is in that direction; go that way’; and as  thereupon, having been informed and being capable of  judgement, he would, by asking his way from one village to  another, arrive at last at Gandhara—in exactly the same manner  does a man who has found a teacher to instruct him obtain the  true knowledge. For him there is delay only so long as he is not  liberated from the body; then he reaches perfection.

3.   "Now, that which is the subtle essence—in it all that exists has  its self. That is the True. That is the Self That thou art,  Svetaketu."  "Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction," said the  son.  "So be it, my dear," the father replied. 

Chapter XV — Ultimate Liberation

1.   "Around a dying person afflicted with illness, my dear, his  relatives gather and ask: ‘Do you know me? Do you know me?’  He knows them as long as his speech is not merged in his mind,  his mind in his prana (breath), his prana in heat (fire) and the  heat in the Highest Deity.

2.   "But when his speech is merged in his mind, his mind in his  prana, his prana in heat and the heat in the Highest Deity, then  he does not know them.

3.   "Now, that which is the subtle essence—in it all that exists has  its self. That is the True. That is the Self. That thou art,  Svetaketu."  "Please, venerable Sir, give me further instruction," said the son  "So be it, my dear;" the father replied. 

Chapter XVI — Liberation for the Knower of Brahman

1.   "My dear, they (i.e. the police) bring a man whom they have  seized by the hand and say: ‘He has taken something, he has  committed a theft.’ When he denies it, they say: ‘Heat the axe  for him.’ If he has committed the theft but denies it, then he  makes himself a liar. Being false—minded, he covers himself  with falsehood, grasps the heated axe and is burnt. Then he is  killed.

2.   "But if he did not commit the theft, then he makes himself what  he really is. Being true—minded, he covers himself with truth,  grasps the heated axe and is not burnt. He is released.

3.   "As that truthful man is not burnt so also one who has known  Sat is not born again. Thus in That (Sat) all that exists has its  self. That is the True. That is the Self. That thou art,  Svetaketu."  







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