The Kali-santarana Upanishad of the
Krishna Yajur Veda



Sep 26, CANADA (SUN) — Translated with commentary by Anand Hudli.

The word "Upanishad" means the knowledge a Guru, well versed in the Vedas, imparts to his disciple, seated near him. The Vedas provide two kinds of knowledge - para and apara. Apara vidya consists of knowledge which leads to material prosperity, but para vidya leads one to moksha or liberation. Para vidya consists of the right knowledge of God and the means of reaching Him. Certainly, para vidya is superior to apara vidya. This para vidya of the Vedas is contained in the heart of the Vedas, the Upanishads.

The Upanishads are also known as Vedanta or the conclusions of the Vedas. It is impossible to overstate the influence of the Upanishads on the major philosophical systems of India, including the Advaita, Visistadvaita, and the Dvaita.

The Vaisnava Acharyas are, of course, quite emphatic in prescribing Bhakti as the only means of achieving moksha in this age, the Kali Yuga. Madhva quotes the following from the Narayana Samhita in his commentary on the Mundaka Upanishad:

dvAparIyair janair viShNuh
pancarAtraistu kevalaih
kalau tu nAmamAtreNa
pUjyate bhagavAn harih ||

"In the Dvapara Yuga, people worshiped Vishnu according to the principles described in the Pancaratra. In the Kali Yuga, Bhagavan Hari is to be worshiped simply by chanting His names."

Madhva writes in his famous Dvadasha Stotra:

SruNutAmalasatyavacah paramam SapatheritamucchritabAhuyugam |
na hareh paramo na hareh sadRSah paramah sa tu sarvacidAtmagaNAt ||

"Listen (O devotees) to the pure and true words which I proclaim with uplifted arms! There is none superior to Hari; there is none equal or similar to Hari. Certainly, He is superior to the host of all sentient beings."

The Kalisantarana Upanishad of the Krishna Yajur Veda instructs us to perform the japa of the names of Hari, Rama and Krishna. It asserts that this mantra is the best way to overcome the evils of Kali Yuga. The mantra may be chanted without any restrictions or injunctions, whether one is in a clean or unclean state.

The crest-jewel of all Vaishnava scriptures, the Bhagavata, recommends the chanting of the divine names of Krishna, and thus echoes the teaching of the Upanishad.

kalerdoShanidhe rAjannasti hyeko mahAn guNah |
kIrtanAdeva kRShNasya muktasangah param vrajet || 12.3.51

"In the repository of faults/evils that is Kali Yuga, O King (Parikshit), there is one great virtue. Simply by singing the praises of Krishna, one becomes free from all material attachments, and attains the Supreme."

kRte yad dhyAyato viShNum tretAyAm yajato makhaih |
dvApare paricaryAyAm kalau taddharikIrtanAd || 12.3.52

"The result one obtained in the Krita Yuga by meditating on Vishnu, in the Treta Yuga by performing Yajnas for the sake of Vishnu, in the Dvapara Yuga by serving Him, is obtained in the Kali Yuga by singing the glories of Hari."

The Kalisantarana Upanishad

AUM saha nAvavatu | saha nau bhunaktu | saha vIryam karavAvahai |
tejasvi nAvadhitamastu mA vidviShAvahai | AUM Santih Santih Santih |

"May God protect us (the Guru and the disciple). May we both enjoy the results (of this Upanishad). May we attain strength together. Let the study of this (Upanishad) be illuminating to both of us. Let us not show contempt for each other. Peace. Peace. Peace."

harih AUM | dvAparAnte nArado brahmANam jagAma katham bhagavan gAm
paryaTan kalim santareyam iti | 1

"At the end of Dvapara Yuga, Narada, after traveling the world, approached Lord Brahma and asked him: 'How may I overcome the (evil effects of) the Kali Yuga?'"

sa hovaca brahmA sAdhu pRShTo asmi
sarvaSrutirahasyam gopyam tacchRuNu yena kalisamsAram tariShyasi | 2

"Brahma said: 'You have asked me an excellent question. I shall reveal to you the secret of all Vedas, by which you will cross over the (ocean of) samsara filled with the bad effects of the Kali Yuga. This secret must be preserved and protected.'"

bhagavata AdipuruShasya nArAyaNasya nAmoccAraNamAtreNa nirdhRtakalir
bhavati| nAradah punah papraccha tannAma kimiti | 3

"'By merely uttering the names of the Primeval Purusha, who is Bhagavan Narayana, one is freed from the clutches of Kali.' Narada asked again: 'What are those names of Narayana?'"

sa hovaca hiraNyagarbhah |
hare rAma hare rAma rAma rAma hare hare |
hare kRShNa hare kRShNa kRShNa kRShNa hare hare |

iti ShoDaSakam nAmnAm kalikalmaShanASanam |
nAtah parataropAyah sarvavedeShu dRSyate | 4

"Lord Brahma said: 'O Hari, O Rama, O Hari, O Rama, O Rama O Rama, O Hari, O Hari! O Hari, O Krishna, O Hari, O Krishna, O Krishna O Krishna, O Hari, O Hari! This collection of sixteen names (of Narayana) destroys the evils of the Kali Yuga. I don't see any other effective means (of liberation) in the Vedas.'" [Note: Gaudiyas chant this mantra by reversing the order of the two halves, i.e. the Hare Krishna first and then the Hare Rama.]

iti ShoDaSakalAvRtasya jIvasyAvaraNavinASanam |
tatah prakASate param brahma meghApAye raviraSmimanDalIveti | 5

"'(This mantra) destroys the sixteen kalas of the jiva, beginning with the prana, which constitute the veil of ignorance. Then the Supreme Brahman shines forth, just as the solar disc shines forth brilliantly when the clouds vanish.'"

punarnAradah papraccha bhagavan ko asya vidhiriti |
tam hovaca nAsya vidhiriti | 6

"Narada asked: 'O Bhagavan, what are the regulations or injunctions to be followed in chanting these names?' Brahma said: 'There are no regulations to be followed.'"

sarvadA SuciraSucirvA pathan brAhmaNah salokatAm samIpatAm
sarUpatAm sAyujyatAmeti | 7

"'By chanting these names always, whether in a clean or unclean state, a brahmana obtains the four kinds of liberation, sAlokya, sAmIpya, sArUpya and sAyujya.'" [Notes: 1) sAlokya - living in the abode of God 2) sAmIpya - living in the proximity of God 3) sArupya - living with a form identical with God 4) sAyujya - merging with the body of God ]

yadAsya ShoDaSikasya sArdhatrikoTIrjapati tadA brahmahatyAm
tarati| tarati vIrahatyAm | 8

"'When a brahmana chants this mantra of sixteen names, for a total of one and one half crore times, he becomes free from the sin of killing a brahmaNa. He overcomes the sin of neglecting his domestic fire.'"

svarNasteyAt pUto bhavati |
pitRdevamanuShyANAmapakArAt pUto bhavati | 9

"'He becomes free from the sin of stealing gold. He becomes free from the offenses committed against forefathers, Gods and human beings.'"

sarvadharmaparityAgapApAt sadyah SucitAmApnuyAt |
sadyo mucyate sadyo mucyate ityupaniShat | 10

"'He quickly becomes free from the sin of giving up all religious duties. He becomes liberated immediately; he becomes liberated immediately. Thus the Upanishad.'"

AUM saha nAvavatu | saha nau bhunaktu | saha vIryam karavAvahai |
tejasvi nAvadhitamastu mA vidviShAvahai | AUM Santih Santih Santih | 11

"May God protect us (the Guru and the disciple). May we both enjoy the results (of this Upanishad). May we attain strength together. Let the study of this (Upanishad) be illuminating to both of us. Let us not show contempt for each other. Peace. Peace. Peace."


I have used the following as a transliteration key (the obvious sounds have been omitted for brevity).

A - as in mAtA; a - as in aditi; i - as in visheSh;
I - as in Ishwar; e - as in keshava; R- as in RShi
o - as in govinda ; u - as in puruSha; U - as in citrakUTa;

c - as cidambara; ch - as in chAyA ;
d - as in dAmodara; D - as in pandit ; dh - as in dharma;
t - as in trivikrama; T - as in kUTa or pATalIputra;
th- as in shrInAth; Th - as in ViThala; N - as in nArAyaNa;
l - as in BAla; L - as in MuraLi;
sh - as in shrI; s - as in samsAra; Sh - as in ViShNu or visheSh;


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