Sri Niralamba Upanishad

BY: SUN STAFF

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust


Jan 05, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — By Srila Veda Vyasa, translated by Sriman Kusakratha dasa.


Sri Niralamba Upanishad

Text 1

esham ajnana-jantunam samastarishta-santaye. yad yad boddhavyam akhilam tad asankya bravimy aham.

Now I will explain the truth. Knowledge of the truth puts an end to the calamities that plague the bewildered conditioned souls.

Text 2

kim brahma ka isvarah ko jivah ka prakritih ka paramatma ko brahma ko vishnuh ko rudrah ka indrah ka samanah ka suryah kas candrah ke surah ke asurah ke pisacah ke manushyah kah striyah ke pasv-adayah kim sthavaram ke brahmanadayah ka jatih kim karma kim akarma kim jnanam kim ajnanam kim sukham kim duhkham kah svargah ko narakah ko bandhah ko mokshah ka upasyah ka sishyah ko vidvan ko mudhah kim asuram kim tapah kim paramam padam kim grahyam kim agrahyam kah sannyasity asankyaha.

What is the Supreme? Who is the Supreme Controller? Who is the individual soul? What is material nature? Who is the Supersoul? Who is Brahma? Who is Vishnu? Who is Siva? Who is Indra? Who is Yama? Who is Surya? Who is Candra? Who are the demigods? Who are the demons? Who are the ghosts and goblins? Who are the human beings? Who are women? Who are cows and other creatures? Who are the unmoving beings? Who are the brahmanas and other castes? What is birth? What are pious deeds? What are impious deeds? What is true knowledge? What is ignorance? What is happiness? What is suffering? What is Svargaloka? What is hell? What is bondage? What is liberation? Who should be worshiped? Who is a proper disciple? Who is a wise person? Who is a fool? What is demonic activity? What is austerity? What is the Supreme Abode? What should be accepted? What should not be accepted? Who is sannyasi? Fearing that someone would ask these questions, the speaker of the Upanishad gave the following replies.

Text 3

brahmeti ca mahad-ahankara-prithivy-ap-tejo-vayv-akasatvena brihad-rupenanda-kosena karma-janartha-rupataya bhasamana-dvitiyam akhilopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-sakala-sakty-upabrmhitam anady anantam suddham sivam santam nirgunam ity adi vacyam anirvacyam caitanyam brahma.

The Supreme has neither beginning nor end. He is pure, auspicious, peaceful, and conscious. He is never touched by the modes of material nature. Although material words can never described Him, He is described by the spiritual words of the scriptures. He is the master of all potencies. Although He is always untouched by matter, it is by His potencies that the egg-shaped material universes made of mahat-tattva, false-ego, earth, water, fire, air, ether, fruitive actions, and various kinds of knowledge are manifested.

Text 4

isvara iti ca brahmaiva sva-saktim prakrity-abhidheyam asritya lokan srishtva pravisyantaryamitvena brahmadinam buddhindriya-niyantritvad isvarah.

The Supreme is the ultimate controller. Employing His material potency, He creates the material world and then enters it as the Supersoul of Brahma and the other living beings. Because He controls the intelligence and senses of the living beings, He is the ultimate controller.

Text 5

jiva iti ca brahma-vishnv-isanendradinam nama-rupa-dvara sthulo 'ham iti mithyadhyasa-vasaj jivah so 'ham eko 'pi deharambhaka-bheda-vasad bahu-jivah.

There are many individual spirit souls. Bewildered by illusion, the individual spirit soul thinks, "I am this gross material body with a certain name and form, and I live in this world controlled by Vishnu, Siva, Indra, and others." Or the bewildered spirit soul may also think, "I myself am the Supreme". These illusions cast the spirit soul into a series of material bodies.

Text 6

prakritir iti ca brahmanah sakasan nana-vicitra-jagan-nirmana-samarthya buddhi-rupa brahma-saktir eva prakritih.

Material nature is a potency of the Supreme. This potency is very intelligent and capable. She has the power to great many material universes filled with great variety.

Text 7

paramatmeti ca dehadeh parataratvad brahmaiva paramatma.

The Supreme is the Supersoul. He is called Supersoul because He is superior to the individual soul, who is himself the master of the material body.

Text 8

sa brahma sa vishnuh sa indrah sa samanah sa suryah sa candras te suras te asuras te pisacas te manushyas tah striyas te pasv-adayas tat sthavaram te brahmanadayah.

Brahma is Brahma. Vishnu is Vishnu. Indra is Indra. Yama is Yama. Surya is Surya. Candra is Candra. The demigods are the demigods. The demons are the demons. The ghosts and goblins are ghosts and goblins. The human beings are human beings. Women are women. Cows and other creatures are cows and other creatures. Unmoving beings are unmoving beings. The brahmanas and other castes are the brahmanas and other castes.

Text 9

sarvam khalv idam brahma neha nanasti kincana.

Still, they are all spiritual beings. Not a single one of them is material in his nature.

Text 10

jatir iti ca na carmano na raktasya na mamsasya na casthinah na jatir atmano jatir vyavahara-prakalpita

Birth is a material illusion. The spirit soul is neither skin, nor blood, nor flesh, nor bones. The soul does not really take birth in this world.

Text 11

karmeti ca kriyamanendriyaih karmany aham karomity adhyatma-nishthataya kritam karmaiva karma.

Pious deeds are deeds performed by a person who has faith in the spiritual truth. Such a person thinks, "With my working senses now I shall perform these pious deeds". Those are pious deeds.

Text 12

akarmeti ca kartritva-bhoktritvady-ahankarataya bandha-rupam janmadi-karanam nitya-naimittika-yaga-vrata-tapo-danadishu phalabhisandhanam yat tad akarma.

Impious deeds are deeds impelled by false ego, which makes one think "I am the doer" and "I am the enjoyer". Such deeds keep one bound to the material world and make one take birth again and again and suffer a series of distresses. Even regular and occasional yajnas, vows, austerities, charity and other pious deeds become impious deeds when the performer is greedy for the benefits obtained by performing them. That is the nature of impious deeds.

Text 13

jnanam iti ca dehendriya-nigraha-sad-gurupasana-sravana-manana-nididhyasanair yad-yad-drig-drisya-svarupam sarvantara-stham sarva-samam ghata-patadi-padartha ivavikaram vikareshu caitanyam vina kincin nastiti sakshat-karanubhavam jnanam.

True knowledge is to directly see the all-pervading Supersoul with one's own eyes. This is attained by controlling one's senses and worshiping the bona fide spiritual master, and also by hearing about, remembering, and meditating on the Lord. This knowledge is not anything like the knowledge of the temporary and ever-changing things, like waterpots and pieces of cloth, that make up the material world. Thus true knowledge is direct perception of the Supersoul.

Text 14

ajnanam iti ca rajjau sarpa-bhrantir ivadvitiye sarvanusyute sarvamaye brahmani deva-tiryan-nara-sthavara-stri-purusha-varnasrama-bandha-mokshopadhi-nana tma-bheda-kalpitam janam ajnanam.

Ignorance is to misunderstand the true nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as one may mistake a rope for a snake, a person in ignorance thinks the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has no rival, who is everywhere present, and who is the loom upon which all existence is woven, is like the demigods, animals, human beings, unmoving beings, women, or men of this material world or is bound by the duties of varnasrama-dharma, or is subject to material bondage and liberation, or has a material body, or is subject to a host of other material limitations. Such a misunderstanding is ignorance.

Text 15

sukham iti ca sac-cid-ananda-rupam jnatvananda-rupo yah sthitih saiva sukham.

Happiness is attained when one directly sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose transcendental form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. Seeing Him is happiness.

Text 16

svarga iti ca sat-samsargah svargah.

Svargaloka is a material realm where pious souls dwell. That is Svargaloka.

Text 17

naraka iti ca asat-samsara-vishaya-jana-samsarga eva narakah.

Hell is a material realm where impious souls attached to material sense pleasures dwell. That is hell.

Text 18

bandha iti ca anady-avidya-vasanaya jato 'ham ity adi-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is when, overcome with seemingly beginningless ignorance and lust, one decides: "I shall take birth in the material world."

Text 19

pitri-matri-sahodara-darapatya-griharama-kshetra-mamata-samsaravarana-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is when one decides: "I must stay in the material world because of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, wife, children, home, garden, and land. They all belong to me." That is bondage.

Text 20

kartritvady-ahankara-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is when one is under the sway of false ego, which brings with it a host of material ideas, such as "I am the doer". That is bondage.

Text 21

animady-ashtaisvaryasa-siddha-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is when one yearns to attain the eight mystic powers. That is bondage.

Text 22

deva-manushyady-upasana-kama-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is when one desires to worship certain demigods, human beings, or other like beings. That is bondage.

Text 23

yamady-ashtanga-yoga-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is when one decides to practice ashtanga-yoga, which beings with yama. That is bondage.

Text 24

varnasrama-dharma-karma-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is when one decides to fulfill the duties of varnasrama-dharma. That is bondage.

Text 25

ajna-bhaya-samsayatma-guna-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is to doubt or fear the orders of the Supreme Lord, and to rely, instead, on one's own powers and abilities. That is bondage.

Text 26

yaga-vrata-tapo-dana-vidhi-vidhana-jnana-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is, with the goal of attaining impersonal so-called knowledge, to practice yajnas, vows, austerity, charity, and the observance of rules and regulations. That is bondage.

Text 27

kevala-mokshapeksha-sankalpo bandhah.

Bondage is to yearn after impersonal liberation. That is bondage.

Text 28

sankalpa-matra-sambhavo bandhah.

Bondage is created by material desires.

Text 29

moksha iti ca nityanitya-vastu-vicarad anitya-samsara-sukha-duhkha-vishaya-samasta-kshetra-mamata-bandha-kshayo mokshah.

Liberation is when, understanding the difference between the eternal and temporary worlds, one no longer desires to dwell in the temporary material world, which contains a mixture of various happinesses and sufferings.

Text 30

upasya iti ca sarva-sarira-stha-caitanya-brahma-prapako gurur upasyah.

The spiritual master brings one to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who stays in the bodies of all living beings. Such a spiritual master should be worshiped.

Text 31

sishya iti ca vidya-dhvasta-prapancavagahita-janavasishtam brahmaiva sishyah.

A proper disciple is one who has attained true knowledge, knowledge that destroys the illusion that plunges one into the material world. That is a proper disciple.

Text 32

vidvan iti ca sarvantara-stha-sva-samvid-rupa-vid vidvan.

A wise person is one who knows the all-pervading Supersoul. That is a wise person.

Text 33

mudha iti ca kartritvady-ahankara-bhavanarudho mudhah.

A fool is a person under the sway of false ego, which brings with it a host of material ideas, such as "I am the doer". That is a fool.

Text 34

asuram iti ca brahma-vishnv-isanendradinam aisvarya-kamanaya nirasana-japagnihotradishv antaratmanam santapayati caty-ugra-raga-dvesa-vihimsa-dambhady-apekshitam tapa asuram.

Demonic austerity is when, to attain the powers and opulences of Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Indra, and others, one torments the Supersoul by following a severe regimen of austerities, japa, agnihotra-yajnas, or other like activities. Such austerities, impelled by passionate longing, hatred, violence, arrogance, and other faults, are demonic in nature.

Text 35

tapa iti ca brahma satyam jagan-mithyety-aparoksha-janagnina brahmady-aisvaryasa-siddha-sankalpa-bija-santapam tapah.

Spiritual austerity is austerity where the fire of transcendental knowledge, which teaches "This material world is an illusion", burns away the desire to have powers and opulences like Brahma and others.

Text 36

parama-padam iti ca pranendriyady-antahkarana-gunadeh parataram sac-cid-anandamaya-nitya-mukta-brahma-sthanam parama-padam.

The supreme abode, which is far above the material world of the modes of nature, material life, material senses, material mind, and all else material, is the home of the eternal, all-knowing, always blissful Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always untouched by matter. That is the supreme abode.

Text 37

grahyam iti ca desa-kala-vastu-pariccheda-rahitya-cin-matra-svarupam grahyam.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose spiritual form is not limited by time, space, or anything else material, should be accepted. He should be accepted.

Text 38

agrahyam iti ca sva-svarupa-vyatirikta-maya-maya-buddhindriya-gocara-jagat-satyatva-cintanam agrahyam.

The idea that the material world, which is perceived by the material intelligence and material senses and created by the Maya potency, and which is different in nature from the true spiritual identity of the living beings, is the true reality, should not be accepted. It should not be accepted.

Text 39

sannyasiti ca sarva-dharman parityajya nirmamo nirahankaro bhutva brahmeshtam saranam upagamya tat tvam asi sarvam khalv idam brahma neha nanasti kincanety adi maha-vakyarthanubhava-jnanad brahmaivaham asmiti niscitya nirvikalpa-samadhina svatantro yatis carati sa sannyasi sa muktah sa pujyah sa yogi sa paramahamsah so 'vadhutah sa brahmana iti.

A sannyasi is a person who, renouncing all varieties of religion, and free of false ego and false possessiveness, surrenders unto the Supreme, desires Him alone, and worships Him. Such a person understands the true meaning of the Vedic statements "sarvam khalv idam brahma neha nanasti kincana" and {.sy 168}brahmaivaham asmi". Fixed in trance, and meditating on the Supreme, he wanders freely from one place to another. That person is a sannyasi. He is liberated. He is to be worshiped. He is a yogi. He is a paramahamsa. He is an avadhuta. He is a brahmana.

Text 40

niralambopanishadam yo 'dhite gurv-anugrahatah so 'gni-puto bhavati sa vayu-puto bhavati na sa punar avartate na sa punar avartate punar nabhijayate punar nabhijayate ity upanishat.

A person who studies this Niralamba Upanishad becomes, by his spiritual master's mercy, pure like fire. He becomes pure like the wind. He does not return. He does not return. He is not born again. He is not born again. [Some Text is missing from the close of this sloka translation.]


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