Paramahamsa Upaniṣad

Translated by Swami Madhavananda
Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta

   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 ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace !


1. “What is the path of the Paramahamsa Yogis, and what are their duties ?” – was the question Narada asked on approaching the Lord Brahma (the Creator). To him the Lord replied: The path of the Paramahamsas that you ask of is accessible with the greatest difficulty by people; they have not many exponents, and it is enough if there be one such. Verily, such a one rests in the ever-pure Brahman; he is verily the Brahman inculcated in the Vedas – this is what the knowers of Truth hold; he is the great one, for he rests his whole mind always in Me; and I, too, for that reason, reside in him. Having renounced his sons, friends, wife, and relations, etc., and having done away with the Shikha, the holy thread, the study of the Vedas, and all works, as well as this universe, he should use the Kaupina, the staff, and just enough clothes, etc., for the bare maintenance of his body, and for the good of all. And that is not final. If it is asked what this final is, it is as follows:
   2. The Paramahamsa carries neither the staff, nor the hair-tuft, nor the holy thread nor any covering. He feels neither cold, nor heat, neither happiness nor misery, neither honour, nor contempt etc. It is meet that he should be beyond the reach of the six billows of this world-ocean. Having given up all thought of calumny, conceit, jealousy, ostentation, arrogance, attachment or antipathy to objects, joy and sorrow, lust, anger, covetousness, self-delusion, elation, envy, egoism, and the like, he regards his body as a corpse, as he has thoroughly destroyed the body-idea. Being eternally free from the cause of doubt, and of misconceived and false knowledge, realising the Eternal Brahman, he lives in that himself, with the consciousness “I myself am He, I am That which is ever calm, immutable, undivided, of the essence of knowledge-bliss, That alone is my real nature.” That (Jnana) alone is his Shikha. That (Jnana) alone is his holy thread. Through the knowledge of the unity of the Jivatman with the Paramatman, the distinction between them is wholly gone too. This (unification) is his Sandhya ceremony.
   3. He who relinquishing all desires has his supreme rest in the One without a second, and who holds the staff of knowledge, is the true Ekadandi. He who carries a mere wooden staff, who takes to all sorts of sense-objects, and is devoid of Jnana, goes to horrible hells known as the Maharauravas. Knowing the distinction between these two, he becomes a Paramahamsa.
   4. The quarters are his clothing, he prostrates himself before none, he offers no oblation to the Pitris (manes), blames none, praises none – the Sannyasin is ever of independent will. For him there is no invocation to God, no valedictory ceremony to him; no Mantra, no meditation, no worship; to him is neither the phenomenal world nor That which is unknowable; he sees neither duality nor does he perceive unity. He sees neither “I” nor ‘thou”, nor all this. The Sannyasin has no home. He should not accept anything made of gold or the like, he should not have a body of disciples, or accept wealth. If it be asked what harm there is in accepting them, (the reply is) yes, there is harm in doing so. Because if the Sannyasin looks at gold with longing, he makes himself a killer of Brahman; because if the Sannyasin touches gold with longing, he becomes degraded into a Chandala; because if he takes gold with longing, he makes himself a killer of the Atman. Therefore, the Sannyasin must neither look at, nor touch nor take gold, with longing. All desires of the mind cease to exist, (and consequently) he is not agitated by grief, and has no longing for happiness; renunciation of attachment to sense-pleasures comes, and he is everywhere unattached in good or evil, (consequently) he neither hates nor is elated. The outgoing tendency of all the sense-organs subsides in him who rests in the Atman alone. Realising “I am that Brahman who is the One Infinite Knowledge-Bliss” he reaches the end of his desires, verily he reaches the end of his desires.

   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 ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace !

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


Om… Paz – Paz – Paz.

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