Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

translated by Sri Aurobindo

Chapter One. Section I

1. OM. Dawn is the head of the horse sacrificial. The sun is his eye,
his breath is the wind, his wide open mouth is Fire, the master might
universal. Time is the self of the horse sacrificial. Heaven is his back
and the midworld his belly, earth is his footing, - the regions are his flanks
and the lesser regions their ribs, the seasons his members, the months
and the half-months are their joints, the days and nights are of his body.
The strands are the food in his belly, the rivers are his veins, his liver and
lungs are the mountains, herbs and plants are his hairs, the rising is his front
and the setting his hinder portion, when he stretches himself, then it lightens
, when he shakes his frame, then it thunders, when he urinates, then it rains.
Speech, verily, is the sound of him.

2. Day was the grandeur that was borne before the horse as he galloped,
the eastern ocean gave it birth; night was the grandeur that was borne behind him
and its birth was from the other waters. These are the grandeurs that came into being
on either side of the horse. He became Haya and bore the gods, Vaja and bore the
Gandharvas, Arvan and bore the Titans, Ashwa and bore mankind. The sea was his brother
and the sea was his birthplace.

Chapter One. Section II

1. Formerly there was nothing here ; this was concealed by Death - by Hunger, for it is
Hunger that is Death. That created Mind, and he said, "Let me have substance"
He moved about working and as he worked the waters were born and he said ,
"Felicity was born to me as I worked". This verily is the activity in action.
Therefore felicity cometh to him who thus knoweth his soul of activity in action.

2. The waters verily (in their movement) are action ; that which was a lake of waters
was contracted and became compact. This became earth ; upon earth he grew weary;
in his weariness he was heated and the Essence of energy went out from him, even Fire.

3. Fire divided himself into three - the sun one of the three and vayu one of the three ; this is
that force of life arranged triply. The east is his head and the northeast and southeast are his
arms. Now the west is his seat and the southwest and the northwest are his thighs : his sides
are the south and the north ; heaven is his back and the middle region is his belly ; this earth
is his bosom. This is he that is established in the waters wheresoever thou turn.
And as that is he established thus knoweth.

4. He desired, "Let a second self be born to me." He by mind had intercourse with speech, even
Hunger that is Death ; the seed that was of that union became Time. For before this Time was not
(period of Time) but so long He had borne him in Himself. So long as is Time`s Period, after so
long He gave is birth. He yearned upon him as soon as it was born ; it cried out and that became speech.

5. He saw, "If I devour this, I shall diminish food" ; therefore by that speech and by that self he
created all this that we see, the Riks and the Yajus and the Samas and the rhythms and sacrifices
and animals and these nations. Whatsoever he created, that he set about devouring, verily he
devoureth all ; this is the substantiality of being in substance (that it can be destroyed). He became
the Eater of all the world and everything becometh his food who thus knoweth the substantiality
of being in substance.

6. He desired, "Let me sacrifice more richly with richer sacrifice". He laboured and put forth heat
of force, and of him thus laboured and headed splendour and strenght came forth.
The life-forces are the splendour and strenght, therefore when the life-foces go forth, the body set
about to rot, yet in his body even so mind was.

7. He desired, "Let this have sacrificial capacity for me, by this let me be provided with a body.
That which has expressed power and being, that is fit for the sacrifice. This verily is the secret
of the Ashwamedha and he knoweth indeed the Ashwamedha who thus knoweth it.
He gave him free course and thought, then after a year (a fixed period of time) he dedicated to the self.

Aitar Upanishad
Brihad Upanishad
Isha Upanishad
Kasha Upanishad
Kena Upanishad
Mandu Upanishad
Mundaka Upanishad
Shwe Upanishad

Indian Texts Archive
Library Lobby