Muktikā Upaniṣad


Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier

Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai


Om ! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite. The infinite proceeds from the infinite. (Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe), It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone.

   Om ! Let there be Peace in me ! Let there be Peace in my environment ! Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

   I-i-1-6. In the beautiful city of Ayodhya, in the centre of a pavilion set with gems, together with Sita, Bharata, Lakshmana and Satrughna, was Rama seated, glorified day and night by sages like Sanaka, Vasistha and Suka as well as other devotees, unchanging witness of thousands of modifications of the intellect, delighted in contemplating his own form. At the end of this Samadhi, Hanuman asked with devotion, ‘O Rama, you are the supreme being, of the nature of Sat, Chid and Ananda. I desire to know your nature truly for liberation. Please tell me how I can be released from bondage without strain.
   I-i-7-14. Rama: Well asked. I shall tell you. I am well established in Vedanta.
   Hanuman: What is Vedanta and where is it ?
   Rama: The Vedas in all their great extent are my breath, Vedanta is well grounded in them, like oil in sesamum.
   Hanuman: How many are the Vedas and how many branches do they have ? Of these what are the Upanishads ?
   Rama: Vedas are four, Rig-Veda etc., many branches and Upanishads exist in them. Rig-Veda has 21 branches and Yajus has 109. Sama has 1000 and Atharva has 50. Each branch has one Upanishad. Even by reading one verse of them with devotion, one gets the status of union with me, hard to get even by sages.
   I-i-15-17. Hanuman: Rama, sages speak differently: some say there is only one kind of liberation. Others say it can be got by worshipping your name and by the Taraka mantra at Kashi. Others speak of Sankhya-Yoga and Bhakti-Yoga, the enquiry into Vedanta-Vakyas etc.
   I-i-18-23. Rama: Liberation is of four kinds: Salokya etc. But the only real type is Kaivalya. Anybody even though leading a wicked life, attains Salokya, not other worlds, by worshipping my name. Dying in the sacred Brahmanala in Kashi, he will get the Taraka-mantra and also liberation, without rebirth. On dying anywhere (else) in Kashi, Maheshvara will utter the Taraka-mantra in his right ear. He gets Sarupya with me as his sins are washed away.
   The same is called Salokya and Sarupya. Persevering in good conduct, with mind fixed upon me, loving me as the Self of all, the twice-born gets nearer to me – This is called the three forms of liberation. Salokya, Sarupya and Samipya.
   I-i-24-25. Meditating on my eternal form as prescribed by the Teacher, one will surely achieve identity with me like the insects changing into the bee. This alone is the liberation of identity (Sayujya) yielding the bliss of Brahman.
   All these four kinds of Mukti will be got by worshipping Me.
   I-i-26-29. But by what means is the Kaivalya kind of Moksha got ? The Mandukya is enough; if knowledge is not got from it, then study the Ten Upanishads. Getting knowledge very soon, you will reach my abode. If certainty is not got even then, study the 32 Upanishads and stop. If desiring Moksha without the body, read the 108 Upanishads. Hear their order.

1. Isa
   2. Kena
   3. Katha
   4. Prasna
   5. Munda
   6. Mandukya
   7. Taittiri
   8. Aitareya
   9. Chandogya
   10. Brihadaranyaka
   11. Brahma
   12. Kaivalya
   13. Jabala
   14. Svetasva
   15. Hamsa
   16. Aruni
   17. Garbha
   18. Narayana
   19. Paramahamsa
   20. Amritabindu
   21. Amritanada
   22. Atahrvasirah
   23. Atharvasikha
   24. Maitrayini
   25. Kaushitakibrahmana
   26. Brihajjabala
   27. Nrisimhatapini
   28. Kalagnirudra
   29. Maitreya
   30. Subala
   31. Kshurika
   32. Mantrika
   33. Sarvasara
   34. Niralamba
   35. Sukarahasya
   36. Vajrasuchika
   37. Tejobindu
   38. Nadabindu
   39. Dhyanabindu
   40. Brahmavidya
   41. Yogatattva
   42. Atmabodha
   43. Naradaparivrajaka
   44. Trisikhi
   45. Sita
   46. Yogachudamani
   47. Nirvana
   48. Mandalabrahmana
   49. Dakshinamurti
   50. Sarabha
   51. Skanda
   52. Tripadvibhuti-Mahanarayana
   53. Advayataraka
   54. Ramarahasya
   55. Ramatapani
   56. Vasudeva
   57. Mudgala
   58. Sandilya
   59. Paingala
   60. Bhiksu
   61. Mahat
   62. Sariraka
   63. Yogasikha
   64. Turiyatita
   65. Sannyasa
   66. Paramahamsaparivrajaka
   67. Akshamalika
   68. Avyakta
   69. Ekakshara
   70. Annapurna
   71. Surya
   72. Akshi
   73. Adhyatma
   74. Kundika
   75. Savitri
   76. Atma
   77. Pasupata
   78. Parabrahma
   79. Avadhutaka
   80. Tripuratapini
   81. Devi
   82. Tripura
   83. Katharudra
   84. Bhavana
   85. Rudrahridaya
   86. Yoga-kundali
   87. Bhasma
   88. Rudraksha
   89. Ganapati
   90. Darsana
   91. Tarasara
   92. Mahavakya
   93. Panchabrahma
   94. Pranagnihotra
   95. Gopalatapini
   96. Krishna
   97. Yajnavalkya
   98. Varaha
   99. Satyayani
   100. Hayagriva
   101. Dattatreya
   102. Garuda
   103. Kalisamtarana
   104. Jabali
   105. Saubhagyalakshmi
   106. Sarasvatirahasya
   107. Bahvricha
   108. Muktika

   I-i-40-43. These destroy three kinds of Bhavana (regarding) body, senses and mind respectively as identified with Atman. The best of Brahmanas will become Jivanmuktas if they study upto the destruction of Prarabdha, these 108 Upanishads from a Guru along with the Shanti-pada. Then, in course of time they will get Vedeha-mukti, surely.
   I-i-44-52. These 108 are the essence of all Upanishads and can cut away all sins by merely hearing once. These cause release whether read with or without knowledge. One may give away a kingdom, wealth etc., to one who asks, but not these 108 to just anyone – to an unbeliever (nastika), ungrateful, of bad conduct, one against devotion to me, deluded by wrong scripture or lacking devotion to the Guru.
   But they shall be taught to one devoted to service, devotee, of good conduct, birth and wisdom. He should be well tested. A Rik verse on this: the goddess of knowledge came to a Brahmana and said ‘Protect me, I am your treasure, do not teach me to one who is jealous, dishonest and deceitful – then I shall powerful, but give it to one who is learned, careful, wise and celibate, after examining him’.

   I-ii-1. Then Maruti asked Sri Ramachandra thus: Please relate to me separately the Shanti-mantras of the different Vedas, Rig etc.
   Sri Rama then said: “My speech rests on my mind … ” [Vanme-Manasi….]. This is the Shanti-mantra of the following ten Upanishads forming part of the Rig-Veda:

   1. Aitareya
   2. Kaushitakibrahmana
   3. Nadabindu
   4. Atmabodha
   5. Nirvana
   6. Mudgala
   7. Akshamalika
   8. Tripura
   9. Saubhagyalakshmi
   10. Bahvricha

   I-ii-2. “That (which lies beyond) is full” [Purnamada ….] – and so on: This is the Shanti-mantra of the following Nineteen Upanishads, forming part of the Sukla-Yajur-Veda:

   1. Isavasya
   2. Brihadaranyaka
   3. Jabala
   4. Hamsa
   5. Paramahamsa
   6. Subala
   7. Mantrika
   8. Niralamba
   9. Trisikhibrahmana
   10. Mandalabrahmana
   11. Advayataraka
   12. Paingala
   13. Bhiksu
   14. Turiyatita
   15. Adhyatma
   16. Tarasara
   17. Yajnavalkya
   18. Satyayani
   19. Muktika

   I-ii-3. “May (the Brahman of the Upanishads) protect us both” [Sahanavavatu …] – and so on: This is the Shanti-mantra of the following Thirty-Two Upanishads, forming part of the Krishna-Yajur-Veda:

   1. Kathavalli
   2. Taittiriyaka
   3. Brahma
   4. Kaivalya
   5. Svetasvatara
   5. Garbha
   6. Narayana
   7. Amritabindu
   8. Amritanada
   9. Kalagnirudra
   10. Kshurika
   11. Sarvasara
   12. Sukarahasya
   13. Tejobindu
   14. Dhyanabindu
   15. Brahmavidya
   16. Yogatattva
   17. Dakshinamurti
   18. Skanda
   19. Sariraka
   20. Yogasikha
   21. Ekakshara
   22. Akshi
   23. Avadhuta
   24. Katharudra
   25. Rudrahridaya
   26. Yoga-kundalini
   27. Panchabrahma
   28. Pranagnihotra
   29. Varaha
   30. Kalisamtarana
   31. Sarasvatirahasya

   I-ii-4. “May the unseen powers nourish” [Apyayantu ….] – and so on: This is the Shanti-mantra of the following Sixteen Upanishads forming part of the Sama-Veda:

   1. Kena
   2. Chandogya
   3. Aruni
   4. Maitrayani
   5. Maitreya
   6. Vajrasuchika
   7. Yogachudamani
   8. Vasudeva
   9. Mahat
   10. Sannyasa
   11. Avyakta
   12. Kundika
   13. Savitri
   14. Rudrakshajabala
   15. Darsana
   16. Jabali

   I-ii-5. “May we hear with our ears the auspicious truths of the Vedanta” [Bhadram-Karnebhih…] – and so on: This is the Shanti-mantra of the following Thirty-One Upanishads of the Atharva-Veda:

   1. Prasna
   2. Mundaka
   3. Mandukya
   4. Atahrvasiras
   5. Atharvasikha
   6. Brihajjabala
   7. Nrisimhatapini (Purvottara)
   8. Naradaparivrajaka
   9. Sita
   10. Sarabha
   11. Tripadvibhuti-Mahanarayana
   12. Ramarahasya
   13. Ramatapini (Purvottara)
   14. Sandilya
   15. Paramahamsaparivrajaka
   16. Annapurna
   17. Surya
   18. Atma
   19. Pasupatabrahmana
   20. Parabrahma
   21. Tripuratapini
   22. Devi
   23. Bhavana
   24. Bhasmajabala
   25. Ganapati
   26. Mahavakya
   27. Gopalatapini (Purvottara)
   28. Krishna
   29. Hayagriva
   30. Dattatreya
   31. Garuda

   I-ii-6. Men who are seekers after Liberation and well-equipped with the four requisite means ! Approach properly, with gifts in the hands, a good teacher who is dedicated, belonging to a good family, well-versed in the Vedas, interested in the scriptures, of good quality, straightforward, interested in the welfare of all creatures, compassionate and learn in the prescribed manner the one hundred and eight Upanishads; study them through listening, reflection and deep absorption continuously; the accumulated Karmas will be dissolved, the three kinds of bodies (gross, subtle and causal) are abandoned and like the ether of the pot when released from its Upadhi, rise to the level of fullness called Videha-mukti. This indeed is the Absolute Liberation (Kaivalya-mukti). That is why even those in the Brahma-loka, get identity with Brahman after listening to the Upanishads from his mouth. And for everyone Absolute Liberation is stated to be (attainable) only through knowledge; not through Karma rituals, not through Sankhya-Yoga or worship. Thus the Upanishad.

   II-i-1. Then Hanuman asked Ramachandra: What is this Jivanmukti, Videha-mukti ? What is the authority, means of success and purpose ? Rama said: For a person there is bondage from doer-ship, enjoyer-ship, pleasure, pain etc., — their prevention is liberation in the body. Videha-mukti (liberation without the body) is from the destruction of Prarabdha (operative) karma, like the space in a pot released from the conditioning (enclosing) pot. For both the authority is the 108 Upanishads. The purpose is eternal happiness through the stopping of the misery of doer-ship etc. This can be achieved by human effort just as a son is got by putra-kama sacrifice, wealth by trade etc., and heaven by jyotistoma.
   II-ii-1-9. There are these verses: Human effort is said to be of the two kinds: For and against the Shastras – the former gives disaster, the latter the ultimate reality. True knowledge does not come to one from latent impressions through the world, Shastras and the body. Such impressions are two-fold: good and bad; if you are induced by the good, you shall reach me gradually but quickly; the bad ones involved lead to trouble and should be overcome with effort. The river of impression flowing through good and bad paths, must be turned into the good path with human effort – One should fondle the mind-child with human effort. When by means of practice, good impressions arise, then the practice has been fruitful. Even when this is in doubt, practice only the good tendencies – there shall be no fault.
   II-ii-10-15. The destruction of impressions, cultivation of knowledge and destruction of the mind, when practised together for long will yield fruit. If not practised together, there will be no success even after hundreds of years, like mantras which are scattered. When these three are practised long, the knots of the heart surely are broken, like lotus fibre and the stalk. The false impression of worldly life is got in a hundred lives and cannot be destroyed without long practice. So avoid desire of enjoyment as a distance with effort and practise the three.
   II-ii-16. The wise know that the mind is bound by the impressions, it is liberated when released well from them. So, O Hanuman, practice the destruction of mental impression, quickly.
   II-ii-17-18. When impressions die out, the mind becomes put out like a lamp. Whoever gives up impressions and concentrates on Me without strain, he becomes Bliss.
   II-ii-19-23. Whether he concentrates on actions or not, when he avoids all the desires of the heart, he is doubtlessly liberated. He has nothing to gain from action or inaction. If his mind is not freed from impressions even Samadhi and Japa cannot give fruit. The highest place cannot be got without silence free from impressions. Sense organs like the eye go towards external objects without voluntary impression but because of the latent impression just as the eye falls voluntarily without attachment on external objects, so the man of wisdom operates in work.
   II-ii-24-31. The sages know that Vasana comprises all objects generated by creative faculty of the mind in attaining or avoiding them. The very unsteady mind which is the cause of birth, old age and death is generated by desire for objects in excess. By the influence of Vasana there is the pulsation of Prana, from it comes Vasana (again) like seed and sprout. For the tree of the human mind, the pulsation and Vasana are two seeds – when one dies both die. Latent impressions stop operating through detached behaviour, avoidance of worldly thought and realization that the body is mortal.
   The mind becomes non-mind by giving up Vasanas. When the mind does not think, then arises mindlessness giving great peace; so long as your mind has not fully evolved, being ignorant of the supreme reality, perform what has been laid down by the teacher, Shastra and other sources. Then with impurity ripened (and destroyed) and Truth understood, you should give up even the good impressions.
   II-ii-32-37. In a Jivanmukta the destruction of the mind is with form – in a Videhamukta it is formless – when you achieve it, the mind with qualities like friendliness will surely attain peace. The mind of the Jivanmukta has no rebirth.
   The mind is the root of the tree of Samsara which has thousands of sprouts, branches, fruits etc. I take the mind to be nothing but construction; make it dry in such a way that the tree also is dried up.
   II-ii-38-47. There is only one means for overpowering mind. Shooting up of one’s mind is one’s undoing, its destruction is good fortune. The mind of the knower is destroyed, it is a chain for the ignorant. As long as the mind is not defeated by means of firm practice, the impressions jump in the heart like ghosts at night.
   The impressions of enjoyment die, like lotus in winter, for one whose mental pride is reduced and the senses – the enemies – are defeated. One should at first conquer the mind, hands locked in hands, teeth set on teeth and limbs subdued. The mind cannot be conquered without defectless reasoning (methods) by merely sitting, just as an elephant in rut without a goad. The reasons (methods) well-nourished in mind-conquest are knowledge of Vedanta, contact with good people, giving up impressions and stopping of the pulsation of Prana. Those who ignore these and control the mind by force, throw away the lamp and search in darkness by means of soot, also (try to) bind an elephant in rut by lotus fibre.
   II-ii-48-50. The tree of mind, bearing the weight of the creepers of thought, has two seeds: the pulsation of Prana and strong impressions. All pervasive consciousness is shaken by the pulsation of Prana – In contrast, by means of concentration the knowledge arises. The Dhyana, its means, is now imparted. Dissolving thought totally in the reverse order, think only of the remaining pure consciousness.
   II-ii-51-56. After the Apana sets and before Prana arises in the heart, there exists the state of Kumbhaka (immobility) experienced by Yogins. Kumbhaka in the external form is the fullness of Prana after in-breath disappears and out-breath arises. By repeatedly practising meditation of Brahman without ego, Samprajnata Samadhi will be got. The Asamprajnata Samadhi, loved by Yogins, is (from) the mind giving great bliss after (all) the mental modifications (thoughts) die away. It is valued by sages, being the spirit devoid of the light (of ego), of the mind (of dream) and of the intellect (in deep sleep). This concentration is other than what is not Brahman. Full above, below and in the middle the essence of goodness – this state, prescribed by the Upanishads, is the ultimate reality.
   II-ii-57-60. Latent impression is that unexamined grasping of objects by persistent imagination. What one brings into being, through intense dispassion by one’s self, is realized quickly, devoid of opposite impressions. Influenced by impressions, a person looks upon those things as reality by the peculiarity of the impressions, the ignorant person sees the spirit wrongly though it does not lose its own nature.
   II-ii-61-68. The impure impression binds, the pure destroys birth. The impure one is solid ignorance and ego, causes rebirth. The restful state is like the roasted seed, giving up the (sprout of) rebirth. Can the inner light be sought with chewing the cud of many Shastras, uselessly ? One who remains alone giving up perception as well as non-perception is himself the Brahman – A person cannot know Brahman by merely learning the four Vedas and Shastras, as the ladle cannot taste the food.
   If a person does not get detachment by the bad smell of his own body, what other cause of detachment can be taught ? The body is very impure – the soul is pure. When one knows the difference, what purification need be prescribed ? Bondage is by impressions, Moksha is their destruction – you give them up as well as the desire for Moksha.
   II-ii-69-71. Give up mental impressions of objects and cultivate pure impressions like friendship; then, discarding even these while acting according to them, putting down all desires, have only the impression of consciousness. Give up these too along with mind and intellect; concentrate only on me.
   II-ii-72-77. Contemplate me as devoid of sound, touch, form, taste and smell, eternal, indestructible, without name and family, destroying all suffering, the nature of vision like the sky, the one syllable Om, unsmearing though omnipresent, unique, without bondage, forward, across, above, below, I fill ever place.
   Unborn, ageless, shining by myself, not the cause nor effect, ever contented when the body dies away, giving up the state of Jivanmukta, one enter the Videhamukti stage.
   So says the Rik: That supreme place of Vishnu the sages see ever – like an eye extended in heaven. The wise and awakened persons, free from emotions, keep it alight.
   Om – This is the Upanishad.

   Om ! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite. The infinite proceeds from the infinite. (Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe), It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone.
   Om ! Let there be Peace in me ! Let there be Peace in my environment ! Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Here ends the Muktikopanishad belonging to the Sukla-Yajur-Veda.


Om… Paz – Paz – Paz.

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