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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Upanishads > Sri Narayana Upanisad Of the Krsna Yajur Veda

Shri Narayana Upanishad

Of the Krishna Yajur Veda

 

Invocation Mantra

ha°ri°×° oÕ //

sa°ha n˜¤vavatu / sa°ha na¤u bhunaktu /

   sa°ha vŸ°rya¤ð karav˜vahai /

te°ja°svin˜°v adhŸ¤tamastu° m˜ vi¤dvil˜°vahai§ //

oÕ þ˜nti°× þ˜nti°× þ˜nti¤× //

 

harih om—Invoking the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Hari; saha—together; nau—us; avatu—You protect; saha—together; nau—us; bhunaktu—may nourish; saha—together; viryam—great energy; karavavahai—may we do; tejasvin—powerful; avayoh—of ours; adhita—studies; astu—there should be; ma—do not; vidvishavahai—may us not quarrel. om shantih shantih shantih—thrice repitition for prevalence of peace over the three types of material miseries.

Translation

May the Supreme Personality of Godhead protect us both [spiritual master and disciple]. May He nourish us; may we act with great energy. May our studies be powerful and effective; may we not quarrel. O Lord! may peace prevail over the three types of disturbances; adhyatmika, adhidaivika, and  adhibautika; miseries pertaining to the body and mind, miseries imposed by other living entities, and miseries inflicted upon us by natural disturbances.

Notes

The Upanishad portion contains the confidential knowledge of the Vedas. They are found appended to all of the four Vedas and constitute the last of the four portions in which each Veda is presented in. Thus we have Upanishads belonging to the Rig Veda; some belonging to the Yajur Veda, others are found in the Sama Veda and yet others in the Atharva Veda. The four sections in which each Veda reveals its teachings are known as the Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishad portions.

 

The first of the four portions, the Samhita, is an anthology (samhita) of prayers and is also known as the mantra portion. Thus when one refers to the mantras of the Rg Veda we generally mean the Rig-veda-samhita and for the Yajur Veda, the Yajur-veda-samhita, etc.

 

The Brahmana portion, the second of the four, corresponds to each Samhita and guides people to perform sacrificial rites by offering prose explanations of the method of using the mantras in the Yajna or the sacrifice. In doing so they also contain the ritulaistic injunctions and prescriptions when performing sacrifices and chanting mantras. While analysing the rituals it also explains their origin, meaning and why a particular mantra should be uttered with a particular gesture and why an action is to be performed in a particular rite.

 

There are two Brahmana texts to the Rig Veda—the Aitareya and the Sankhayana. The Yajur Veda [in its two revalations—Shukla and Krishna] has the Shatapatha Brahmana as belonging to the Sukla-yajur-veda and the Taittiriya and the Maitrayana Brahmanas for the Krishna-yajur-veda. The Tandya or Panchavimsa, the Shadvimsa, the Chandogya, the Adbhuta, the Arsheya and the Upanishad Brahmanas belong to the Sama-Veda. And the well known Gopatha Brahmana text belongs to the Atharva-Veda.

 

The Aranyakas (known as forest treatises) are considered as supplemements of the Brahmanas which offer a different explanation of the rituals and contain powerful teachings,  including various methods of meditation—upasanas.

 

Although related to the Brahmanas and Aranyakas, the last of the four portions—the Upanishad portion, reveals only the Absolute Truth; for they impart the most confidential knowledge of the Vedas, and is therefore known as the jnana-kanda or knowledge part of the Vedas. The subject matter of the whole Veda is divided into Karma-kanda (ritualistic section-dealing with the various sacrifices and rituals), Upasana-Kanda (worship section-dealing with various kinds of meditation) and Jnana-Kanda-(knowledge section dealing with the Absolute Truth). The Samhitas and the Brahmanas constitute the Karma-Kanda section; the Aranyakas the Upasana-Kanda; and the Upanishads as the Jnana-Kanda.

 

In terms of the varnasrama institution, or the four social and spiritual orders of life for societies systematic development of Krishna consciousness, the respective portions correspond individually, to each one of the four spiritual orders—each one more advance than the next. Hence, the Samhitas for brahmacaris (the student class), Brahmanas for grihastas (family class), Aranyaka's for the vanaprasthas (the retired class of society) and the Upanishads for the sannyasis (those in the renounced order of life).

 

Altogether there are about 280 Upanisads so far unearthed, of which a 108 of them are accepted as primary. Furthermore, of these 108 Upanisads, as the first eleven have been commented on by great acaryas such as Shankaracarya, Ramunujacarya, Madhavacarya, and in our recent time by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, they are therefore accepted as the most important texts for the students—mukhya (chief) Upanisads. Hence, these eleven are considered as 'major' and the others as 'minor' Upanisads. Although, it should be understood that they are not the 'minor' ones in their contents, or in the depth of their thoughts or even in the completeness of their exposition. They are minor only with reference to the knowledge the students have already gathered from the eleven Upanishads with the help of the famous exhaustive Bhashyas, the commentaries. In fact, some of the minor-Upanisads do indeed illuminate some of the unrevealed corners in the 'major' Upanisad's. Such as the Chaitanya Upanishad of the Atharva Veda revealing the advent and lila of the Kali-yuga avatara—Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

 

A list of the first 108 Upanisads, with the name of their corresponding Veda and their appropriate santi-mantra, has been described by Lord Rama to Hanuman in the Muktikopanishad. The shanti-mantra is the invocation mantra of the Veda to which the Upanishad belongs to. Therefore as the Narayana Upanishad belongs to the Krishna-yajur-veda it is ettiquete to invoke the appropraite shanti-mantra before its recitation. Of the 108 enumerated therein, a total of 31 of them belong to the Krishna-yajur-veda and are named as follows: Katha, Taitiriya, Brahma, Kaivalya, Shvetashvatara, Garbha, Narayana, Amrita-bindu, Amrita-nada, Kshurika, Sarva-sara, Shuka-rahasya, Tejo-bindu, Dhyana-bindu, Brahma-vidya, Yoga-tattva, Dakshina-murti, Skanda Tripad-vibhuti, Shariraka, Yoga-shikha, Ekakshara, Aksi, Avadhuta, Katha-rudra, Rudra-hridaya, Yoga-kundalini, Panca-brahma, Pranagni-hotra, Varaha, Kali-santarana and Sarasvati-rahasya Upanisad.

 

The very term 'Upa-ni-shad' has a very purposeful meaning and deep significance indicating the contents, nature and use of this Vedic portion. Recent scholars have derived 'upa' to mean 'near', 'shad' to 'sit', preceded by the proposition 'ni' meaning 'down;' literary; near-sit-down literature. Thus the term describes the literature that is meant to be received from a bonafide spiritual master by submissively approaching, inquiring and rendering service unto him.  Hence, we find in Bhagavad-gita 4.34; "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."

 

However, ancient scholars have given a deeper significance to the term 'Upa-ni-shad.' By reading the word 'shad' to mean 'destruction,' the term 'Upa-ni-shad' means a literature that destroys our present ignorance of spiritual reality by revealing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And when 'shad' means 'approach,' then the term indicates that it is a literature that helps the student to approach or to attain the Supreme Lord. Shrila Prabhupada has summarised the term as 'The Knowledge that Brings One Nearer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.'

 

The Narayanopanishad is counted amongst the list of Vaishnava Upanishads wherein it reveals the eternal truth regarding the nature and epistamology of the Supeme Personality of Godhead. The previous acaryas have often utilised this Upanishad when delivering knowledge about the nature of the Absolute Godhead. Shrila Prabhupada has  also frequently quoted from this Upanishad to reinstate authoritative grounds for ascertaining the position of Lord Krishna.

 

Since time immemorial, the Upanisads are renowned for their divya-jnana, transcendental knowledge, and are especially worshippable by aspiring devotees for they set the highest example in devotional service to Shri Krishna.

 

In the Padma Purana it is explained that during the manifest pastimes of Shri Ramacandra, while the Lord was residing in the forest of dandakaranya, He came across the personified Vedas who were all deeply engaged in intense devotional service. At that time, as soon as they beheld the beautiful form of Lord Shri Rama they were all captivated by the Lord's beauty and immediately thought of the gopi's of Vrindavana who enjoyed conjugal loving affection with Krishna. Immersed in this spiritual ecstasy, the Vedas personified desired to embrace Lord Rama. However, as the Lord had descended in this incarnation as maryada-purushottama, to establish the character of an ideal person [as a husband, king, son and father], He vowed to accept only one consort, therefore making it impossible for the Upanisads and the other Vedas personified to act in that capacity they so eagerly desired for. However, knowing that Lord Shri Krishna could fulfil their desires, being the full-fledged Personality of Godhead, they prayed to become gopis so that it would be possible for them to relish the transcendental mellow of madhurya-bhava with Shri Krishna. After hearing the prayers of the personified Vedas, Shrila Prabhupada explains that Lord Ramacandra remained silent, which showed that He accepted their prayers. Thus they were blessed by Lord Ramacandra to have association with Lord Krishna in their future lives. As a result of this benediction, they all took birth as women in the wombs of gopis at Gokula, and as they had desired in their previous lives, they enjoyed the company of Lord Krishna, who was present at that time in Gokula Vrndavana. (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 16)

 

In the Chaitanya-charitamrita, Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, refers to the pastime as a 'vivid example' that by worshipping Shri Krishna on the path of spontaneous love the - "upanisad sruti-gana" - the Upanisads and Vedas personified attained the lotus feet of Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanda Maharaja. (Madhya 8.223)

 

Further in the Chaitanya-charitamrita, in order to establish the supremacy of Krishna over Narayana, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explains to Vyenketta Bhatöa, that because the Upanishads followed in the footsteps of the Vraja-gopi's they were allowed to enter into the rasa-lila whereas Lakshmi-devi was not able to, even after performing severe vows and penances. The Lord explains that this was because the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi, wanted to enjoy Krishna and at the same time retain her spiritual body in the form of Lakshmi. And as a result she did not follow in the footsteps of the gopis in her worship of Krishna and therefore could not attain the body of a gopi which is required in order to enter into Shri Krishna's rasa lila.

 

In this connection the Krishna Upanishad quotes the same pastime and reveals in text 8 "The personified Vedas became gopis and cows" and in text 13 "The personified Vedas and personified Upanisads became 16 108 women whose forms were perfectly spiritual."

 

In relation to this we will conclude with the following verses:

 

"Great sages conquer the mind and senses by practicing the mystic yoga system and controlling the breath. Thus engaging in mystic yoga, they see the Supersoul within their hearts and ultimately enter into impersonal Brahman. But even the enemies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead attain that position simply by thinking of the Supreme Lord. However, the damsels of Vraja, the gopis, being attracted by the beauty of Krishna, simply wanted to embrace Him and His arms, which are like serpents. Thus the gopis ultimately tasted the nectar of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, we Upanisads can also taste the nectar of His lotus feet by following in the footsteps of the gopis." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.23).

 

"The authorities in the Vedic literature who are known as the sruti-gana worshiped Lord Krishna in the ecstasy of the gopis and followed in their footsteps. Thus "The personified authorities on the Vedic hymns acquired bodies like those of the gopis and took birth in Vrajabhumi. In those bodies they were allowed to enter into the Lord's rasa-lila dance. (Cc Madhya-lila 9.133-34)

 

 

 

prathamah khandah

narayanat sarva-cetana-cetana-janma

 

The First Canto

"The cause of all creation by the all prevading Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana"

 

oÕ a°tha purulo ha vai¤ n˜°r˜yaõo¤ 'k˜ma°yata pra°j˜× s®¤je°yeti¤ / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜t pr˜¤õo j˜°yate /

ma°na× sarvendri¤y˜õi° ca / khaÕ v˜yur jyotir ˜pa× p®thivŸ viþva¤sya dh˜°rinŸ /

n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d bra¤hm˜ j˜°yate / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d ru¤dro j˜°yate /

n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d i¤ndro j˜°yate / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d praj˜pati× pra¤j˜ya°nte /

n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d dv˜daþ˜ditya rudr˜ vasava× sarv˜õi cha¤nd˜(g)D°si /

n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d e°va sa¤mutpa°dya°nte° / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d pra¤varta°nte° /

n˜°r˜°ya°ne pra¤lŸya°nte / ya e¤vaÕ ve°da / ity u¤pa°nila¤t(e) // 1 //

 

om—Invocation; atha—then; purushah—the Purusha incarnation of Shri Krishna; ha—did; vai—certainly; narayano—Lord Narayana; akamayata—desired to;  prajah—living entities; srijeyeti—creates; narayanah—Narayana; prano—life airs; jayate—gave origin to; manah—mind; sarva—all; indriyani—senses; ca—also; kham—ether; vayu—air; jyoti—fire; apah—water; prithivi—earth; vishvasya—cosmic manifestation; dharini—supports; narayanah—Narayana; brahma—Brahma; jayate—gave origin to; narayanah—Narayana; rudrah—Rudra; jayate—gave origin to; narayanah—Narayana; indra—Indra; jayate—gave origin to; narayanah—Narayana; prajapatih—the Prajapatis; prajayante—gave rise to living entities; narayanah—Narayana; dvadasha—twelve; aditya—Adityas; rudra—Rudras; vasavah—Vasus; sarvani—all the; chandamsi—Vedic literatures and their meterical composition; narayanad—Narayana the source for; eva—only; samutpadyante—generates; narayanad—Narayana the source for; pravartante—maintainance; narayanad—Narayana the source for; praliyante—annihilation; yah—this way; evam—indeed; veda—knowledge to be understood; iti—thus; upanishat—revelation of the Upanishad.

Then the Purusha expansion [Karanadakshayi Vishnu], Lord Narayana, desired to create living entities. From Narayana came the life airs, the mind, all the senses, and ether, air, fire, water, and earth which are the primary elements that support the cosmic manifestation. From Narayana Brahma  was born. From Narayana Rudra [Shiva] was born. From Narayana Indra  was born. From Narayana the Prajapati's took birth who give rise to living entities.  From Narayana came the twelve Adityas, the twelve Rudras, the twelve Vasus, all the Vedic meters and the hymns. It is only from Narayana that everything is generated, by Narayana that everything is maintained, and in Narayana that everything is annihilated. In this way it is understood—thus reveals the Upanishad.

 

// etad rig-veda shiro' dhite / iti prathamah khandah //

This is the crown teachings of the Rig Veda. Thus ends the first canto

 

Notes

Being the original cause of all causes, one without a second, being present before creation, in the present time and after the dissolution, Lord Narayana is eternal and therefore the only worshipable entity of the demigods like Brahma etc.

 

The first verse begins with om which indicates taking shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Shri Krishna within this holy vibration. In the Bhagavad-gita 9.17, the Lord explains "vedyam pavitram omkara—I am the oject of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable om" giram asmy ekam aksaram—of vibrations I am the transcendental om [10.25]

 

Pranavash-chandasam aham—"Among the Vedic verse, I am om"

 

According to this statement, it is concluded that in the past, present and future, om is none other than Narayana Himself. The word 'nri' refers  to a person, and "nara” refers to all those produced from him, such as sons and and grandsons.  The “ayana” or shelter of all men, is Narayana.  He is to be served, praised and worshipped; He is the object of all remembrance. He alone is the master of all.

 

After the period of  destruction (maha-pralaya), the Lord desired to create. What did He desire to create? Desiring in His mind to create offspring, He created Brahma, who then performed secondary creation. The plural word "prajah" indicates that all species were born from the body and mind of Lord Brahma. Thus Indra was born from Narayana, as were the twelve Adityas, their associates and families, the eleven Rudras, their associates and their consorts, the Rudranis, and the other thirty-three million demigods such as Ganesha etc. All the different sages such as the devarshis (sages amongst the demigods), maharshis (exalted sages), and rajarishis  (saintly kings) came into existence from Lord Narayana, as well as all other moving and non -moving entities. Then, at the time of annihilation, they once again all merge into the body of the Lord; in other words; after the creation they are maintained by Him until the time of the dissolution. After dissolution, all living entities beginning from Brahma reside within the Lord, until the time of the next creation. In this regard there is evidence from the Mahabharata:

 

yathah sarvani bhutani

 bhavantyadi yugagame

yasminsh ca pralayam  yanti

 punar eva  yugakshaye 

"At the beginning of the primary creation from Lord Narayana, all living entities beginning from Brahma take birth and at the time of annihilation of the millenium, they enter into Narayana."

 

The word 'ca' in this verse (yasminsh ca) indicates that they are also maintained by Him.

 

 

dvitiyah khandah

narayanasya sarvatma-tvam

The Second Canto

"Lord Narayana you are the supreme cause of everything"

 

oÕ a°tha nityo n˜¤r˜ya°õa× / bra°hm˜ n˜¤r˜ya°õa× /

þi°vaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× / þa°kraþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× /

k˜°laþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× / di°þaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× /

vi°di°þaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× / ¨°rdhvaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× /

a°dhaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× / a°nta°r ba°hiþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× /

n˜°r˜ya°õa e°veda(g)D sarvaÕ§ / yad bh¨°taÕ yac ca° bhavyam§ /

ni°lka¤laðko¤ nira¤shjano¤ nirvi¤kalpo¤ ni¤r˜khya°ta°× /

þu°ddho deva eko n˜¤r˜ya°õa× / na dvi°tŸyo§ 'sti° kaþci¤t(e) /

sa vilõur eva bhavati sa vilõur e¤va bha°vati /

ya e¤vaÕ ve°da / ity u¤pa°nila¤t(e) // 2 //

 

om—Invocation; atha—hence; nityah—is the eternal; narayanah—Lord Narayana; brahma—Brahma; narayanah—Narayana is; shivash—Shiva; ca—also; narayanah—Narayana is; shakrash—Indra; ca—also; narayanah—Narayana is; kalash—Time; ca—also; narayanah—Narayana is; dishash—primary directions; ca—also; narayanah—Narayana is; vidishash—sub-directions; ca—also; narayanah—Narayana is; urdhvash— above; ca—also; narayanah—Narayana is; adhash—below; ca—also; narayanah—Narayana is; antar—within; bahir—without; ca—also; narayanah—Narayana is; narayanah—Narayana; eva—certainly; sarvam—everything; yat—is present; bhutam—past; yat—is; ca—also; bhavyah—future; nishkalankah—without material parts; niranjano—Brahman; nirvikalpo—without any master; nirakhyatah—invisible to the masses; shuddho—transcendentally pure; deva—Supreme Personality of Godhead; ekah—One; narayanah—Narayana; na—nor; dvitiyah—second to compare; asti—there is; kashcit—no one; sa—He, Lord Narayana; vishnuh—Shri Vishnu; eva—certainly; bhavati—appears; sa—He, Lord Narayana; vishnuh—Shri Vishnu; êva—indeed certainly; bhavati—manifests; yah—this way; evam—indeed; veda—knowledge to be understood; iti—thus; upanishat—revelation of the Upanishad.

Hence Narayana is the eternal being: and therefore Narayana is Brahma. Narayana is Shiva. Narayana is Indra. Narayana is time. Narayana is the primary directions. Narayana is the subdirections. Narayana is above. Narayana is below. Narayana is within and without. Narayana is certainly everything; past, present and future. He is 'nishkalam' without material parts [although all beings are part of Narayana]. Being free from all falsehood, matter, He is 'niranjanah' or Brahman. He is without any master 'nirvikalpah.' He is 'nirakhyatah' invisible to the masses in general [even though He is everywhere]. Narayana is the pure effulgent Supreme Personality of Godhead: no one else, without a second to compare. He, Lord Narayana, manifests in this world as Shri Vishnu. Certainly, He appears as Shri Vishnu. In this way it is understood—thus says the Upanishad.

 

// etad yajur-veda shiro' dhite / iti dvitiyah khandah //

This is the crown teachings of the Yajur Veda. Thus ends the second canto.

 

Notes

 (explanation of the second verse.) As such, Lord Narayana alone is the Supreme worshipable object in all the universe because He is eternal, imperishable and always remains so, even after the dissolution. 'Ato Brahma ca narayanah' -  Narayana is Brahma (the creator). The  thirty-three million demigods (indicated by the word ca)– Brahma’s sons, grandsons and great grandsons  who  are all born from his mind and body --are not independent Lords, they are not seperate from the Lord. They all worship Narayana.

          'Shivash ca narayanah': Narayana is also Shiva, the destroyer of the universe, along with his associates.  'shakrash ca narayanah': Indra, the king of heaven, as well as his family members is also Narayana.The eleven Rudras along with their ghostly associates and their consorts are Narayana. The eight Vasus and the Ashvini Kumaras along with their companions are Narayana. All the sages such as the devarshis, maharshis, rajarshis are Narayana, as well as the  munis, sadhyas, caranas, gandharvas, daityas, yatudhanas and kinnaras.

          'Kalas ca narayanah': Time, Yamaraja and his scribe Citragupta, are all forms of Narayana.'dishash ca narayanah': the ten directions -- east, west, south, north, south-west, north-west, south-east, north-east, up and down -- and the protective deities of them namely Indra, Anala (Agni), Yama, Nairita, Varuna, Vayu, and Kuvera along with their associates are all Narayana. 'Adhash ca narayanah' The lower planetary systems, their residents, the naga-purushas and their daughters the naga-kanyas, as well as the  presiding deities of that region -- Shri Ananta, Kurma and Varuna are all Narayana.

          'Urdhvash ca narayanah': the higher planets such as Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka and their respective masters such as Brahma, Indra etc. are all Narayana. The incarnations such as Shri Shalagrama which appear from the Gandaki River, and the eight different types of Deity forms of the Lord, and the unembodied entities who are the worshipable objects of those who perform shraddha to the forefathers, who worship Karyavala or who offer tarpana to Bali-Vaishvadeva, are also Narayana.  

'Antar bahish ca narayanah': inside the universe the entities like Brahma,Indra, the devas, sages, rishis, tapasvinis, siddhas, caranas, gandarvas, kinnaras, apsaras, danavas, pious men, yakshas, pretas, bhutas, pishacas, nagas, moving and non-moving creatures, humans, four-legged animals like cows, five-nailed animals (like elephants), two-hooved and one-hooved beasts, those born from sweat, insects, flies, those living on the seven islands and the highest mountains, on golden earth and in dark lands, --and those things outside  the universe--darkness, the five gross elements, false-ego, the twenty-four elements--are all Narayana.

 

          In this entire universe whatever has taken place in the past, whatever is happening at the present and whatever will happen in the future is only because of Narayana. There is nothing that is different from Narayana; everything comes from Him, therefore everything belongs to Him. Hence Brahma and others are all Narayana. He is 'nitya': eternal, ever existent through millions of annihilations. He is 'nishkalam': without parts, although all beings are part of Narayana, He Himself remains perfect and complete, as described in Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.3.27 :

 

kalah sarve harer eva saprajapatayah surah

“The prajapatis and demigods are all portions of the plenary portions of Shri Hari.”

 

          The word 'nirakhyatah' means 'He is invisible to the masses in general even though He is everywhere'. 'Nirvikalpah' refers to the one who is without any master and is one without a second.  Being free from all falsehood, He is 'niranjanah', or Brahman. He is known as 'shuddha', transcendentally pure, or the one who has a pure existence. Therefore, only Lord Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

          'ato deva eko narayanah':  the purport is that the supreme object of reverence for all the residents of the universe, including Brahma, Indra, the demigods, demons and men is Lord Narayana, and no one else.  Thus, among the demigods, demons and men, one who is a householder should control the intelligence and the mind, accept a bona fide spiritual master in order to understand the science of the Supreme Lord Narayana, and become determined to seek the association of devotees. Thus he will be able to understand the science of the Supreme. Then after giving up this life, he will attain Vishnu , who is called ' param', 'para', 'avyayam', 'padam'. 

 

          These four words are explained as follows;

  A person, according to his desire for one of the four types of liberation, performs the proper practices to achieve that end.  The yogi desiring sajujya (merging in the Lord), by practice of  appropriate yoga, attains Vishnu  as 'avyaya,' the imperishable. Eradicating his identity, he merges with Vishnu .  The yogi desiring a form like Vishnu's, by appropriate  practice, attains Vishnu as 'paramam,' supreme, taking a form like Vishnu 's complete with ornaments.  The yogi desiring the same planet as Vishnu, by appropriate practice attains the 'padam' of Vishnu , the abode of Vishnu. It is said, yad gatva na nivartate, tad eva parama padam- “That place from which a person does not return is the supreme abode”.  The yogi desiring closeness to the Lord, by appropriate practice, attains the 'para' of Vishnu , closeness to Vishnu  as His associate. 

 

          There is a second meaning of the phrase "vishnavakhya avyaya padam."   Those who,

after taking initiation from a bona fide guru become pure through associaton with devotees and their  instructions, and become completely surrendered to the Lord by their fixed nature, attain the abode of Vishnu  at death by acting as the servants of the servants of the Lord with no material motives, by following the practices of hearing and chanting about  the Lord.  How is that? The unalloyed devotees of Krishna who, while living  on this planet, become fixed in the devotional processes of hearing and chanting. Taking the Lord's remnants and acting as his menial servant, they attain an indestructible (avyaya) abode (padam) such as Vrindavana by dint of that practice. In the spiritual world they engage themselves ceaselessly in  the Lord's service.

 

          In conclusion, the worship of the thirty three million demigods is included in the worship of Narayana. If a person worships Narayana alone, Brahma, the rishis,the bhutas and pitris are all worshipped and become satisfied.

 

tritiyah khandah

narayanashöaksha-mantrah

The Third Canto

"The Eight Syllable Narayana Mantra"

 

oÕ ity a¤gre vy˜°haret(e) / nama i¤ti pa°þc˜t(e) /

n˜°r˜°ya°õ˜yety u¤pari°lt˜t(e) / oÕ i¤ty ek-˜°klaram /

nama iti¤ dve a°klare / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜yeti pashc˜§klar˜°õi /

etad-vai n˜r˜yaõasy-˜lt˜-kla¤raÕ pa°dam /

yo ha vai n˜r˜yaõasy-˜lt˜klaraÕ pada¤m-adhye°ti /

anapabruva× sarvam ˜¤yureti /

vindate pr˜¤j˜-pa°tya(g)D r˜yas pola¤Õ gaupa°tyaÕ /

tato 'm®tatvam-aþnute tato 'm®tatvam-aþnu¤ta i°ti /

ya e¤vaÕ ve°da / ity u¤pa°nila¤t(e) // 3 //

 

om—Om; iti—is thus; agre—beginning; vyaharet—vibrating [vyaharan]; nama—Namo; iti—is thus; pashcat—afterwards; narayanaya—Narayanaya; ity—thus; uparishtat—thereafter; om—Om; ity—has; eka—one; aksharam—syllable; nama—Namo; iti—has; dvi—two; akshare—syllables; narayanaya—Narayanaya; iti—has; panca—five; aksharani—syllabled; etat—these; vai—certainly; narayana—Narayana; asya—of; ashöa—eight; aksharam—syllabled; padam—jewel; yah—one who; ha—indeed; vai—certainly; narayana—Narayana; asya—of; ashöa—eight; aksharam—syllabled; padam—jewel; adhyana—recities; iti—will thus; anapabruvah—free of fame with a pure heart; sarvam—all; ayur—life; iti—thus attains; vindate—enjoys; praja—off spring; patya—the lord, husband; rayah—walth; poshah—maintainence i.e. health; gau—cows; patya—the lord, husband; tatah—thereafter; amritatvam—immortality, the spiritual world; ashnute—achieves; tatah—thereafter; amritatvam—immortality, the spiritual world; ashnuta—achieves; iti—thus; yah—this way; evam—indeed; veda—knowledge to be understood; iti—thus; upanishat—revelation of the Upanishad.

Chapter Three

In the beginning one vibrates "Om," then "Namo," and thereafter "Narayanaya." Om has one syllable. Namo has two syllables. Narayanaya is five syllabled.  Together these make the eight jewel syllable Narayana-mantra.  One who recites this eight jewel syllable Narayana-mantra free from fame with a pure heart attains all life, off spring, wealth, maintaned health, and cows. Thereafter that person achieves to immortality, the spiritual world. Indeed he achieves the spiritual world. In this way it is understood—thus says the Upanishad.

 

// etat sama-veda shiro' dhite / iti tritiyah khandah //

 

This is the crown teachings of the Sama Veda. Thus ends the third canto.

 

 

caturthah khandah

narayana-pranavah

The Fourth Canto

" Lord Narayana is the Pranava Omkara "

 

oÕ pratyag ˜nandaÕ brahma purulaÕ praõava¤ svar¨°pam /

ak˜ra uk˜ra mak˜¤ra i°ti / t˜nekadh˜ sameta¤d oÕ i°ti /

yam uktv˜¤ mucya¤te yo°gŸ° / ja°nma° saÕs˜¤ra ba°ndhan˜t(e) /

oÕ namo n˜r˜yaõ˜yeti ma¤ntrop˜°saka× /

vaikuõ÷ha bhuvana¤Õ gami°lyati /

tad idaÕ puõýarŸkaÕ vi¤jsh˜na° ghanaÕ /

tasm˜d taýid˜¤bha m˜°tram / brahmaõyo deva¤kŸ-pu°tro° /

brahmaõyo ma¤dhus¨°dana× / brahmaõyo puõýa¤rŸka°klo° /

brahmaõyo vilõur a¤cyute°ti /

sarva-bh¨tastham eka¤Õ n˜r˜°yaõam /

k˜raõa r¨pam-ak˜raõam pa¤ram bra°hma oÕ // 4 //

 

pratyak—directly; anandam—blissful; brahma—Supreme; purusham—Personality of Godhead; pranava—the transcendental Om vibration; svarupam—original form; akara—the letter A; ukara— the letter U; makara— the letter M; iti—thus; tana—them; ekadha—one only; sametah—altogether; om—Om; iti—into thus; yam—whom; uktva—saying; mucyate—is released; yogi—Yogi, a devotee; janma—birth; samsara—material world; bandhanat—bondage; om—Om; namo—Namo; narayanaya—Narayanaya; iti—thus; mantrah—this mantra; upasakah—worshiper; vaikunöha—Vaikunöha, the spiritual world; bhuvanam—transcendental realm; gamishyati—shall go; tat—that; idam—in this; pundarikam—lotus; vijnana—spiritual knowlege; ghanam—clouds; tasmat—therefore; tadit—lightening; matram—only; brahmanyo—Supreme Brahman Godhead; devakiputro—Devaki-putro; brahmanyo—Supreme Brahman Godhead; madhusudanah—Madhusudana; brahmanyo—Supreme Brahman Godhead; pundarikaksho—Lotus Eyed; brahmanyo—Brahman; vishnur—Vishnu; acyuta—Acyuta; iti—thus; sarva—all; bhutastham—maintains all the living entities; ekam—One; narayanam—Narayana; karana—Cause; rupam—form; akaranam—without cause; param—Supreme; brahma—Godhead; om—Om;

 

The original form of the pranava is directly the all blissful Supreme Personality of Godhead. This pranava is composed of three sounds 'a',  'u',  and 'm' and when they are assembled together in oneness, they become Om. The yogi who utters the pranava becomes released from the bondage of birth in this material world. By worshiping the Lord with the Narayana-mantra— "Om Namo Narayanaya" one gains enterence into the transcendental realm of Vaikunöha, the abode of the Lord. The spiritual world is like a beautiful lotus filled with clouds of spiritual knowledge and which always shines like effulgent lightening. Herein resides the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead in whose eternal pastimes is the son of mother Devaki. This Absolute Truth is also the one who is known as the killer of the Madhu demon. The same Supreme Brahman is also famous for being lotus eyed.  This Supreme Brahman appears as Shri Vishnu and Lord Acyuta. In the form of the one Lord Narayana, He maintains all the living entities in this world. He is the cause of all causes and appearing as the syllable Om He represents the Supreme Absolute Truth, Devaki-putro.

 

 

om     pratar adhiyano ratrikritam papam nashayati

          shayam adiyano divasa-kritam papam nashayati

          madhyahna dinam adityabhimukho ‘dhiyanah

          panca maha patakopapatakat pramucyate

          sarva veda parayana punyam labhate

          narayana-sayujyam avapnoti

          narayana-sayujyam avapnoti

          ya evam veda

          ity upanishat(e) // 5 //

 

 

 

ataƒ n€r€yaŠopaniat(e)

Thus begins the ®r… N€r€yaŠa Upaniad

of the KŠa Yajur Veda

 

antiƒ p€tha

Invocation Mantra

` s·h na?vvtu, s·h naE? -un-u, s·h vI·y?¡ krvavhE,

te·j·iSvna·vxI?tmStu· ma iv?iT;a·vhEš.

` zaiNt·> zaiNt·> zaiNt?>.

ha°ri°×° oÕ //

sa°ha n˜¤vavatu / sa°ha na¤u bhunaktu /

   sa°ha vŸ°rya¤ð karav˜vahai /

te°ja°svin˜°v adhŸ¤tamastu° m˜ vi¤dvil˜°vahai§ //

oÕ þ˜nti°× þ˜nti°× þ˜nti¤× //

 

hariƒ oˆ—Invoking the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord ®r… Hari; saha—together; nau—us; avatu—You protect; saha—together; nau—us; bhunaktu—may nourish; saha—together; v…ryaˆ—great energy; karav€vahai—may we do; tejasvin—powerful; €vayoƒ—of ours; adh…ta—studies; astu—there should be; m€—do not; vidvi€vahai—may us not quarrel. oˆ antiƒ antiƒ antiƒ—thrice repitition for prevalence of peace over the three types of material miseries.

TRANSLATION

May the Supreme Personality of Godhead protect us both [spiritual master and disciple]. May He nourish us; may we act with great energy. May our studies be powerful and effective; may we not quarrel. O Lord! may peace prevail over the three types of disturbances; adhy€tmika, adhidaivika, and  adhibautika; miseries pertaining to the body and mind, miseries imposed by other living entities, and miseries inflicted upon us by natural disturbances.

NOTES

The Upaniad portion contains the confidential knowledge of the Vedas. They are found appended to all of the four Vedas and constitute the last of the four portions in which each Veda is presented in. Thus we have Upaniads belonging to the ¬g Veda; some belonging to the Yajur Veda, others are found in the S€ma Veda and yet others in the Atharva Veda. The four sections in which each Veda reveals its teachings are known as the Saˆhit€, Br€hmaŠa, šraŠyak€ and Upaniad portions.

 

The first of the four portions, the Saˆhit€, is an anthology (saˆhita) of prayers and is also known as the mantra portion. Thus when one refers to the mantras of the Rg Veda we generally mean the ¬g-veda-saˆhit€ and for the Yajur Veda, the Yajur-veda-saˆhit€, etc.

 

The Br€hmaŠa portion, the second of the four, corresponds to each Saˆhit€ and guides people to perform sacrificial rites by offering prose explanations of the method of using the mantras in the Yajsha or the sacrifice. In doing so they also contain the ritulaistic injunctions and prescriptions when performing sacrifices and chanting mantras. While analysing the rituals it also explains their origin, meaning and why a particular mantra should be uttered with a particular gesture and why an action is to be performed in a particular rite.

 

There are two Br€hmaŠa texts to the ¬g Veda—the Aitareya and the Sankhayana. The Yajur Veda [in its two revalations—®ukla and KŠa] has the ®atapatha Br€hmaŠa as belonging to the Sukla-yajur-veda and the Taittiriya and the Maitrayana Br€hmaŠas for the KŠa-yajur-veda. The Tandya or Panchavimsa, the Shadvimsa, the Chandogya, the Adbhuta, the Arsheya and the Upanishad Brahmanas belong to the Sama-Veda. And the well known Gopatha Br€hmaŠa text belongs to the Atharva-Veda.

 

The šraŠyakas (known as forest treatises) are considered as supplemements of the Br€hmaŠas which offer a different explanation of the rituals and contain powerful teachings,  including various methods of meditation—up€saŠas.

 

Although related to the Br€hmaŠas and šraŠyakas, the last of the four portions—the Upaniad portion, reveals only the Absolute Truth; for they impart the most confidential knowledge of the Vedas, and is therefore known as the jsh€na-kaŠa or knowledge part of the Vedas. The subject matter of the whole Veda is divided into Karma-kanda (ritualistic section-dealing with the various sacrifices and rituals), Upasana-Kanda (worship section-dealing with various kinds of meditation) and Jshana-Kanda-(knowledge section dealing with the Absolute Truth). The Saˆhit€s and the Br€hmaŠas constitute the Karma-Kanda section; the šraŠyakas the Upasana-Kanda; and the Upaniads as the Jnana-Kanda.

 

In terms of the varnasrama institution, or the four social and spiritual orders of life for societies systematic development of KŠa consciousness, the respective portions correspond individually, to each one of the four spiritual orders—each one more advance than the next. Hence, the Saˆhit€s for br€hmac€r…s (the student class), Br€hmaŠas for ghastas (family class), šraŠyaka's for the v€naprasthas (the retired class of society) and the Upaniads for the sanny€s…s (those in the renounced order of life).

 

Altogether there are about 280 Upanisads so far unearthed, of which a 108 of them are accepted as primary. Furthermore, of these 108 Upanisads, as the first eleven have been commented on by great €c€ryas such as ®a‰kar€c€rya, Ramunuj€c€rya, Madh€v€c€rya, and in our recent time by ®r…la Bhaktivinoda µh€kura, they are therefore accepted as the most important texts for the students—mukhya (chief) Upanisads. Hence, these eleven are considered as 'major' and the others as 'minor' Upanisads. Although, it should be understood that they are not the 'minor' ones in their contents, or in the depth of their thoughts or even in the completeness of their exposition. They are minor only with reference to the knowledge the students have already gathered from the eleven Upaniads with the help of the famous exhaustive Bh€yas, the commentaries. In fact, some of the minor-Upanisads do indeed illuminate some of the unrevealed corners in the 'major' Upanisad's. Such as the Chaitanya Upaniad of the Atharva Veda revealing the advent and l…l€ of the Kali-yuga avat€ra—®r… KŠa Chaitanya Mah€prabhu.

 

A list of the first 108 Upanisads, with the name of their corresponding Veda and their appropriate s€nti-mantra, has been described by Lord R€ma to Hanum€n in the Muktikopaniad. The €nti-mantra is the invocation mantra of the Veda to which the Upaniad belongs to. Therefore as the N€r€yaŠa Upaniad belongs to the KŠa-yajur-veda it is ettiquete to invoke the appropraite €nti-mantra before its recitation. Of the 108 enumerated therein, a total of 31 of them belong to the KŠa-yajur-veda and are named as follows: Ka˜ha, Taitir…ya, Brahma, Kaivalya, ®vet€vatara, Garbha, N€r€yaŠa, Amta-bindu, Amta-n€da, Kurika, Sarva-s€ra, ®uka-rahasya, Tejo-bind™, Dhy€na-bind™, Brahma-vidy€, Yoga-tattva, Dakin€-m™rti, Skanda Trip€d-vibh™ti, ®€riraka, Yog€-ikha, Ek€kara, Aksi, Avadh™ta, Ka˜ha-rudra, Rudra-hdaya, Yoga-kuŠal…ni, Pashca-brahma, Pr€Š€gni-hotra, Var€ha, Kali-saŠ˜€raŠa and Sarasvati-rahasya Upanisad.

 

The very term 'Upa-ni-ad' has a very purposeful meaning and deep significance indicating the contents, nature and use of this Vedic portion. Recent scholars have derived 'upa' to mean 'near', 'ad' to 'sit', preceded by the proposition 'ni' meaning 'down;' literary; near-sit-down literature. Thus the term describes the literature that is meant to be received from a bonafide spiritual master by submissively approaching, inquiring and rendering service unto him.  Hence, we find in Bhagavad-gita 4.34; "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."

 

However, ancient scholars have given a deeper significance to the term 'Upa-ni-ad.' By reading the word 'ad' to mean 'destruction,' the term 'Upa-ni-ad' means a literature that destroys our present ignorance of spiritual reality by revealing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And when 'ad' means 'approach,' then the term indicates that it is a literature that helps the student to approach or to attain the Supreme Lord. Shrila Prabhupada has summarised the term as 'The Knowledge that Brings One Nearer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, KŠa.'

 

The N€r€yaŠopaniad is counted amongst the list of Vainava Upaniads wherein it reveals the eternal truth regarding the nature and epistamology of the Supeme Personality of Godhead. The previous €c€ryas have often utilised this Upaniad when delivering knowledge about the nature of the Absolute Godhead. ®r…la Prabhup€da has  also frequently quoted from this Upaniad to reinstate authoritative grounds for ascertaining the position of Lord KŠa.

 

Since time immemorial, the Upanisads are renowned for their divya-jnana, transcendental knowledge, and are especially worshippable by aspiring devotees for they set the highest example in devotional service to Shri Krishna.

 

In the Padma Purana it is explained that during the manifest pastimes of ®r… R€macandra, while the Lord was residing in the forest of daŠakaranya, He came across the personified Vedas who were all deeply engaged in intense devotional service. At that time, as soon as they beheld the beautiful form of Lord ®r… R€ma they were all captivated by the Lord's beauty and immediately thought of the gop…'s of Vndavana who enjoyed conjugal loving affection with KŠa. Immersed in this spiritual ecstasy, the Vedas personified desired to embrace Lord R€ma. However, as the Lord had descended in this incarnation as maryad€-puruottama, to establish the character of an ideal person [as a husband, king, son and father], He vowed to accept only one consort, therefore making it impossible for the Upanisads and the other Vedas personified to act in that capacity they so eagerly desired for. However, knowing that Lord ®r… KŠa could fulfil their desires, being the full-fledged Personality of Godhead, they prayed to become gop…s so that it would be possible for them to relish the transcendental mellow of madhurya-bh€va with ®r… KŠa. After hearing the prayers of the personified Vedas, ®r…la Prabhup€da explains that Lord R€macandra remained silent, which showed that He accepted their prayers. Thus they were blessed by Lord R€macandra to have association with Lord KŠa in their future lives. As a result of this benediction, they all took birth as women in the wombs of gop…s at Gokula, and as they had desired in their previous lives, they enjoyed the company of Lord KŠa, who was present at that time in Gokula Vrndavana. (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 16)

 

In the Chaitanya-charitamrita, Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mah€prabhu, refers to the pastime as a 'vivid example' that by worshipping ®r… KŠa on the path of spontaneous love the - "upanisad sruti-gana" - the Upanisads and Vedas personified attained the lotus feet of Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanda Mah€r€ja. (Madhya 8.223)

 

Further in the Chaitanya-charitamrita, in order to establish the supremacy of KŠa over N€r€yaŠa, Chaitanya Mah€prabhu explains to Vyenketta Bha˜˜a, that because the Upaniads followed in the footsteps of the Vraja-gop…'s they were allowed to enter into the r€sa-l…l€ whereas Lakmi-dev… was not able to, even after performing severe vows and penances. The Lord explains that this was because the goddess of fortune, Lakmi, wanted to enjoy KŠa and at the same time retain her spiritual body in the form of Lakmi. And as a result she did not follow in the footsteps of the gop…s in her worship of KŠa and therefore could not attain the body of a gopi which is required in order to enter into ®r… KŠa's r€sa l…l€.

 

In this connection the KŠa Upaniad quotes the same pastime and reveals in text 8 "The personified Vedas became gopis and cows" and in text 13 "The personified Vedas and personified Upanisads became 16 108 women whose forms were perfectly spiritual."

 

In relation to this we will conclude with the following verses:

 

"Great sages conquer the mind and senses by practicing the mystic yoga system and controlling the breath. Thus engaging in mystic yoga, they see the Supersoul within their hearts and ultimately enter into impersonal Brahman. But even the enemies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead attain that position simply by thinking of the Supreme Lord. However, the damsels of Vraja, the gopis, being attracted by the beauty of Krishna, simply wanted to embrace Him and His arms, which are like serpents. Thus the gopis ultimately tasted the nectar of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, we Upanisads can also taste the nectar of His lotus feet by following in the footsteps of the gopis." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.23).

 

"The authorities in the Vedic literature who are known as the sruti-gana worshiped Lord Krishna in the ecstasy of the gopis and followed in their footsteps. Thus "The personified authorities on the Vedic hymns acquired bodies like those of the gopis and took birth in Vrajabhumi. In those bodies they were allowed to enter into the Lord's rasa-lila dance. (Cc Madhya-lila 9.133-34)

mwm> o{f>

naray[t! svRcetnacetnjNm

prathamaƒ khaŠaƒ

n€r€yaŠ€t sarva-cetan€-cetana-janma

 

The First Canto

"The cause of all creation by the all prevading Supreme Personality of Godhead,

Lord N€r€yaŠa"

 

` A·w pui;ae h vE? na·ray[ae?=kam·yt m·ja> s&?j·eyeit? , na·ra·y·[t! ma?[ae ja·yte, m·n> sveRiNÔ?yai[· c , o< vayuJyaeRitrap> p&iwiv ivZv?Sy xa·ir[I , na·ra·y·[ad‰ a?ua ja·yte ,  na·ra·y·[ad‰ i?Ôae ja·yte , na·ra·y·[aid?NÔae ja·yte , na·ra·y·[ad‰ mjapit> m?jay·Nte , na·ra·y·[ad‰ TadzaidTya iÔa vsv> svaRi[ D?Nda‡·is , na·ra·y·[ad·ev s?muTp·*·Nte· , na·ra·y·[ad‰ m?vt·RNte· , na·ra·y·[e m?lIy·Nte , y @?v< v·ed , #Tyu?p·in;?t! . 1.

oÕ a°tha purulo ha vai¤ n˜°r˜yaõo¤ 'k˜ma°yata pra°j˜× s®¤je°yeti¤ / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜t pr˜¤õo j˜°yate /

ma°na× sarvendri¤y˜õi° ca / khaÕ v˜yur jyotir ˜pa× p®thivŸ viþva¤sya dh˜°rinŸ /

n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d bra¤hm˜ j˜°yate / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d ru¤dro j˜°yate /

n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d i¤ndro j˜°yate / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d praj˜pati× pra¤j˜ya°nte /

n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d dv˜daþ˜ditya rudr˜ vasava× sarv˜õi cha¤nd˜(g)D°si /

n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d e°va sa¤mutpa°dya°nte° / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜d pra¤varta°nte° /

n˜°r˜°ya°ne pra¤lŸya°nte / ya e¤vaÕ ve°da / ity u¤pa°nila¤t(e) // 1 //

oˆ—Invocation; atha—then; puruah—the Purua incarnation of ®r… KŠa; ha—did; vai—certainly; n€r€yaŠo—Lord N€r€yaŠa; ak€mayata—desired to;  praj€h—living entities; sjeyeti—creates; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa; pr€no—life airs; j€yate—gave origin to; manah—mind; sarva—all; indriy€Ši—senses; ca—also; khaˆ—ether; v€yu—air; jyoti—fire; €pah—water; pthiv…—earth; vivasya—cosmic manifestation; dh€rin…—supports; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa; brahm€—Brahm€; j€yate—gave origin to; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa; rudrah—Rudra; j€yate—gave origin to; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa; indra—Indra; j€yate—gave origin to; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa; praj€patih—the Praj€patis; praj€yante—gave rise to living entities; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa; dv€daa—twelve; €ditya—šdityas; rudra—Rudras; vasavah—Vasus; sarvani—all the; chand€msi—Vedic literatures and their meterical composition; n€r€yan€d—N€r€yaŠa the source for; eva—only; samutpadyante—generates; n€r€yan€d—N€r€yaŠa the source for; pravartante—maintainance; n€r€yan€d—N€r€yaŠa the source for; pral…yante—annihilation; yah—this way; evam—indeed; veda—knowledge to be understood; iti—thus; upaniat—revelation of the Upaniad.

Then the Purua expansion [K€raŠadakay… ViŠu], Lord N€r€yaŠa, desired to create living entities. From N€r€yaŠa came the life airs, the mind, all the senses, and ether, air, fire, water, and earth which are the primary elements that support the cosmic manifestation. From N€r€yaŠa Brahm€  was born. From N€r€yaŠa Rudra [®iva] was born. From N€r€yaŠa Indra  was born. From N€r€yaŠa the Praj€pati's took birth who give rise to living entities.  From N€r€yaŠa came the twelve šdityas, the twelve Rudras, the twelve Vasus, all the Vedic meters and the hymns. It is only from N€r€yaŠa that everything is generated, by N€r€yaŠa that everything is maintained, and in N€r€yaŠa that everything is annihilated. In this way it is understood—thus reveals the Upaniad.

. @td«Gvedizrae=xIte, #it mwm> o{f>.

// etad g-veda iro' dh…te / iti prathamaƒ khaŠaƒ //

 

This is the crown teachings of the ¬g Veda. Thus ends the first canto

NOTES

Being the original cause of all causes, one without a second, being present before creation, in the present time and after the dissolution, Lord N€r€yaŠa is eternal and therefore the only worshipable entity of the demigods like Brahm€ etc.

 

The first verse begins with oˆ which indicates taking shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord ®r… KŠa within this holy vibration. In the Bhagavad-g…t€ 9.17, the Lord explains "vedyaˆ pavitraˆ omk€ra—I am the oject of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable oˆ" giram asmy ekam aksaram—of vibrations I am the transcendental oˆ [10.25]

 

PraŠava-chandas€m aham—"Among the Vedic verse, I am oˆ"

 

According to this statement, it is concluded that in the past, present and future, oˆ is none other than N€r€yaŠa Himself. The word 'n' refers  to a person, and "nara” refers to all those produced from him, such as sons and and grandsons.  The “€yaŠa” or shelter of all men, is N€r€yaŠa.  He is to be served, praised and worshipped; He is the object of all remembrance. He alone is the master of all.

 

After the period of  destruction (mah€-pral€ya), the Lord desired to create. What did He desire to create? Desiring in His mind to create offspring, He created Brahm€, who then performed secondary creation. The plural word "praj€ƒ" indicates that all species were born from the body and mind of Lord Brahm€. Thus Indra was born from N€r€yaŠa, as were the twelve šdityas, their associates and families, the eleven Rudras, their associates and their consorts, the Rudr€Š…s, and the other thirty-three million demigods such as GaŠea etc. All the different sages such as the devaris (sages amongst the demigods), maharis (exalted sages), and r€jais  (saintly kings) came into existence from Lord N€r€yaŠa, as well as all other moving and non -moving entities. Then, at the time of annihilation, they once again all merge into the body of the Lord; in other words; after the creation they are maintained by Him until the time of the dissolution. After dissolution, all living entities beginning from Brahm€ reside within the Lord, until the time of the next creation. In this regard there is evidence from the Mah€bh€rata:

                       

yath€ƒ sarv€Ši bh™t€Ši

 bhavanty€di yug€game

yasmi‰ ca pralayaˆ  y€nti

 punar eva  yugakaye 

"At the beginning of the primary creation from Lord N€r€yaŠa, all living entities beginning from Brahm€ take birth and at the time of annihilation of the millenium, they enter into N€r€yaŠa."

 

The word 'ca' in this verse (yasmi‰ ca) indicates that they are also maintained by Him.

 

 

iTtIy> o{f>

naray[Sy svRaTmTvm!

dvit…yaƒ khaŠaƒ

n€r€yaŠasya sarvatma-tvam

 

The Second Canto

"Lord N€r€yaŠa you are the supreme cause of everything"

 

` A·w inTyae na?ray·[> , a·ua na?ray·[> , iz·vZc? naray·[> , z·³Zc? naray·[> , ka·lZc? naray·[> , id·zZc? naray·[> , iv·id·zZc? naray·[> , ^·XvRí? naray·[> , A·xí? naray·[> , A·Nt·b·RihZc? naray·[> , na·ray·[ @·ved‡ sv¡š yShU ·t< y½· _vymš!, in·:k?l'kae? inr?Ãnae? iniv?RkLpae? in?raOy·t·>, zu·Nae dev @kae na?ray·[>,  n iT·tIyaeš=iSt· kií?t!, s iv:[urev -vit s iv:[ure?v -·vit, y @?v< v·ed , #Tyu?p·in;?t! . 2.

oÕ a°tha nityo n˜¤r˜ya°õa× / bra°hm˜ n˜¤r˜ya°õa× /

þi°vaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× / þa°kraþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× /

k˜°laþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× / di°þaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× /

vi°di°þaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× / ¨°rdhvaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× /

a°dhaþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× / a°nta°r ba°hiþ ca¤ n˜r˜ya°õa× /

n˜°r˜ya°õa e°veda(g)D sarvaÕ§ / yad bh¨°taÕ yac ca° bhavyam§ /

ni°lka¤laðko¤ nira¤shjano¤ nirvi¤kalpo¤ ni¤r˜khya°ta°× /

þu°ddho deva eko n˜¤r˜ya°õa× / na dvi°tŸyo§ 'sti° kaþci¤t(e) /

sa vilõur eva bhavati sa vilõur e¤va bha°vati /

ya e¤vaÕ ve°da / ity u¤pa°nila¤t(e) // 2 //

oˆ—Invocation; atha—hence; nityah—is the eternal; n€r€yaŠah—Lord N€r€yaŠa; brahm€—Brahm€; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; iva—®iva; ca—also; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; akra—Indra; ca—also; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; k€la—Time; ca—also; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; dia—primary directions; ca—also; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; vidia—sub-directions; ca—also; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; ™rdhva— above; ca—also; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; adha—below; ca—also; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; antar—within; bahir—without; ca—also; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa is; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa; eva—certainly; sarvam—everything; yat—is present; bh™tam—past; yat—is; ca—also; bhavyah—future; nikala‰kah—without material parts; nirashjano—Brahman; nirvikalpo—without any master; nir€khyatah—invisible to the masses; uddho—transcendentally pure; deva—Supreme Personality of Godhead; ekah—One; n€r€yan€h—N€r€yaŠa; na—nor; dvit…yah—second to compare; asti—there is; kacit—no one; sa—He, Lord N€r€yaŠa; viŠuh—®r… ViŠu; eva—certainly; bhavati—appears; sa—He, Lord N€r€yaŠa; viŠuh—®r… ViŠu; êva—indeed certainly; bhavati—manifests; yah—this way; evam—indeed; veda—knowledge to be understood; iti—thus; upaniat—revelation of the Upaniad.

Hence N€r€yaŠa is the eternal being: and therefore N€r€yaŠa is Brahm€. N€r€yaŠa is ®iva. N€r€yaŠa is Indra. N€r€yaŠa is time. N€r€yaŠa is the primary directions. N€r€yaŠa is the subdirections. N€r€yaŠa is above. N€r€yaŠa is below. N€r€yaŠa is within and without. N€r€yaŠa is certainly everything; past, present and future. He is 'nikalam' without material parts [although all beings are part of N€r€yaŠa]. Being free from all falsehood, matter, He is 'nirashjanaƒ' or Brahman. He is without any master 'nirvikalpaƒ.' He is 'nir€khy€taƒ' invisible to the masses in general [even though He is everywhere]. N€r€yaŠa is the pure effulgent Supreme Personality of Godhead: no one else, without a second to compare. He, Lord N€r€yaŠa, manifests in this world as ®r… ViŠu. Certainly, He appears as ®r… ViŠu. In this way it is understood—thus says the Upaniad.

. @t*juveRdizrae=xIte, #it iTtIy> o{f>.

// etad yajur-veda iro' dh…te / iti dvit…yaƒ khaŠaƒ //

 

This is the crown teachings of the Yajur Veda. Thus ends the second canto.

NOTES

 (explanation of the second verse.) As such, Lord N€r€yaŠa alone is the Supreme worshipable object in all the universe because He is eternal, imperishable and always remains so, even after the dissolution. 'Ato Brahm€ ca n€r€yaŠaƒ' -  N€r€yaŠa is Brahm€ (the creator). The  thirty-three million demigods (indicated by the word ca)– Brahm€’s sons, grandsons and great grandsons  who  are all born from his mind and body --are not independent Lords, they are not seperate from the Lord. They all worship N€r€yaŠa.

          '®iva ca n€r€yaŠaƒ': N€r€yaŠa is also ®iva, the destroyer of the universe, along with his associates.  'akra ca n€r€yaŠaƒ': Indra, the king of heaven, as well as his family members is also N€r€yaŠa.The eleven Rudras along with their ghostly associates and their consorts are N€r€yaŠa. The eight Vasus and the Avin… Kum€ras along with their companions are N€r€yaŠa. All the sages such as the devaris, maharis, r€jaris are N€r€yaŠa, as well as the  munis, s€dhyas, c€raŠas, gandharvas, daityas, y€tudh€nas and kinnaras.

          'K€las ca n€r€yaŠaƒ': Time, Yamar€ja and his scribe Citragupta, are all forms of N€r€yaŠa.'dia ca n€r€yaŠaƒ': the ten directions -- east, west, south, north, south-west, north-west, south-east, north-east, up and down -- and the protective deities of them namely Indra, šnala (Agni), Yama, Naita, VaruŠa, V€yu, and Kuvera along with their associates are all N€r€yaŠa. 'Adha ca n€r€yaŠaƒ' The lower planetary systems, their residents, the n€ga-puruas and their daughters the n€ga-kany€s, as well as the  presiding deities of that region -- ®r… Ananta, K™rma and VaruŠa are all N€r€yaŠa.

          'Urdhva ca n€r€yaŠaƒ': the higher planets such as Bh™rloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka and their respective masters such as Brahm€, Indra etc. are all N€r€yaŠa. The incarnations such as ®r… ®€l€gr€m€ which appear from the GaŠdaki River, and the eight different types of Deity forms of the Lord, and the unembodied entities who are the worshipable objects of those who perform r€ddha to the forefathers, who worship Karyav€l€ or who offer tarpaŠa to Bali-Vaivadeva, are also N€r€yaŠa.  

'Antar bahi ca n€r€yaŠaƒ': inside the universe the entities like Brahm€,Indra, the dev€s, sages, is, tapasvin…s, siddhas, c€raŠas, gandarvas, kinnaras, apsaras, d€navas, pious men, yakas, pretas, bh™tas, pi€cas, n€gas, moving and non-moving creatures, humans, four-legged animals like cows, five-nailed animals (like elephants), two-hooved and one-hooved beasts, those born from sweat, insects, flies, those living on the seven islands and the highest mountains, on golden earth and in dark lands, --and those things outside  the universe--darkness, the five gross elements, false-ego, the twenty-four elements--are all N€r€yaŠa.

 

          In this entire universe whatever has taken place in the past, whatever is happening at the present and whatever will happen in the future is only because of N€r€yaŠa. There is nothing that is different from N€r€yaŠa; everything comes from Him, therefore everything belongs to Him. Hence Brahm€ and others are all N€r€yaŠa. He is 'nitya': eternal, ever existent through millions of annihilations. He is 'nikalam': without parts, although all beings are part of N€r€yaŠa, He Himself remains perfect and complete, as described in ®r…mad Bh€gavatam 1.3.27 :

 

kal€ƒ sarve harer eva sapr€japatayaƒ sur€ƒ

“The praj€patis and demigods are all portions of the plenary portions of ®r… Hari.”

 

          The word 'nir€khy€taƒ' means 'He is invisible to the masses in general even though He is everywhere'. 'Nirvikalpaƒ' refers to the one who is without any master and is one without a second.  Being free from all falsehood, He is 'nira‰janaƒ', or Brahman. He is known as 'uddha', transcendentally pure, or the one who has a pure existence. Therefore, only Lord N€r€yaŠa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

          'ato deva eko n€r€yaŠaƒ':  the purport is that the supreme object of reverence for all the residents of the universe, including Brahm€, Indra, the demigods, demons and men is Lord N€r€yaŠa, and no one else.  Thus, among the demigods, demons and men, one who is a householder should control the intelligence and the mind, accept a bona fide spiritual master in order to understand the science of the Supreme Lord N€r€yaŠa, and become determined to seek the association of devotees. Thus he will be able to understand the science of the Supreme. Then after giving up this life, he will attain ViŠu , who is called ' param', 'p€ra', 'avyayam', 'padam'. 

 

          These four words are explained as follows;

  A person, according to his desire for one of the four types of liberation, performs the proper practices to achieve that end.  The yog… desiring s€jujy€ (merging in the Lord), by practice of  appropriate yoga, attains ViŠu  as 'avyaya,' the imperishable. Eradicating his identity, he merges with ViŠu .  The yog… desiring a form like ViŠu's, by appropriate  practice, attains ViŠu as 'paramam,' supreme, taking a form like ViŠu 's complete with ornaments.  The yog… desiring the same planet as ViŠu, by appropriate practice attains the 'padam' of ViŠu , the abode of ViŠu. It is said, yad gatva na nivartate, tad eva parama padam- “That place from which a person does not return is the supreme abode”.  The yog… desiring closeness to the Lord, by appropriate practice, attains the 'para' of ViŠu , closeness to ViŠu  as His associate. 

 

          There is a second meaning of the phrase "viŠav€khya avyaya padam."   Those who,

after taking initiation from a bona fide guru become pure through associaton with devotees and their  instructions, and become completely surrendered to the Lord by their fixed nature, attain the abode of ViŠu  at death by acting as the servants of the servants of the Lord with no material motives, by following the practices of hearing and chanting about  the Lord.  How is that? The unalloyed devotees of KŠa who, while living  on this planet, become fixed in the devotional processes of hearing and chanting. Taking the Lord's remnants and acting as his menial servant, they attain an indestructible (avyaya) abode (padam) such as Vnd€vana by dint of that practice. In the spiritual world they engage themselves ceaselessly in  the Lord's service.

 

          In conclusion, the worship of the thirty three million demigods is included in the worship of N€r€yaŠa. If a person worships N€r€yaŠa alone, Brahm€, the is,the bh™tas and pits are all worshipped and become satisfied.

t&tIy> o{f>

naray[ada]mNSh>

tt…yaƒ khaŠaƒ

n€r€yaŠ€˜€ka-mantraƒ

 

The Third Canto

"The Eight Syllable N€rayaŠa Mantra"

 

`imTy?a¢e Vya·hret!, nm #?it p·íat!, na·ra·y·[ayeTyu?pir·dat!, `im?Tyeka·]rm!, nm #it? Te A·]re, na·ra·y·[ayeit pÂaš]ra·i[,

oÕ ity a¤gre vy˜°haret(e) / nama i¤ti pa°þc˜t(e) /

n˜°r˜°ya°õ˜yety u¤pari°lt˜t(e) / oÕ i¤ty ek-˜°klaram /

nama iti¤ dve a°klare / n˜°r˜°ya°n˜yeti pashc˜§klar˜°õi /

etad-vai n˜r˜yaõasy-˜lt˜-kla¤raÕ pa°dam /

yo ha vai n˜r˜yaõasy-˜lt˜klaraÕ pada¤m-adhye°ti /

anapabruva× sarvam ˜¤yureti /

vindate pr˜¤j˜-pa°tya(g)D r˜yas pola¤Õ gaupa°tyaÕ /

tato 'm®tatvam-aþnute tato 'm®tatvam-aþnu¤ta i°ti /

ya e¤vaÕ ve°da / ity u¤pa°nila¤t(e) // 3 //

 

oˆ—Oˆ; iti—is thus; agre—beginning; vy€haret—vibrating [vy€haran]; nama—Namo; iti—is thus; pac€t—afterwards; n€r€yaŠ€ya—N€r€yaŠ€ya; ity—thus; uparitat—thereafter; oˆ—Oˆ; ity—has; eka—one; akaram—syllable; nama—Namo; iti—has; dvi—two; akare—syllables; n€r€yaŠ€ya—N€r€yaŠ€ya; iti—has; pashca—five; €kar€Ši—syllabled; etat—these; vai—certainly; n€r€yaŠa—N€r€yaŠa; asya—of; €˜a—eight; akaraˆ—syllabled; padam—jewel; yah—one who; ha—indeed; vai—certainly; n€r€yaŠa—N€r€yaŠa; asya—of; €˜a—eight; akaraˆ—syllabled; padam—jewel; adhyana—recities; iti—will thus; anapabruvaƒ—free of fame with a pure heart; sarvam—all; €yur—life; iti—thus attains; vindate—enjoys; pr€j€—off spring; patya—the lord, husband; r€yah—walth; poah—maintainence i.e. health; gau—cows; patya—the lord, husband; tatah—thereafter; amtatvam—immortality, the spiritual world; anute—achieves; tatah—thereafter; amtatvam—immortality, the spiritual world; anuta—achieves; iti—thus; yah—this way; evam—indeed; veda—knowledge to be understood; iti—thus; upaniat—revelation of the Upaniad.

CHAPTER THREE

In the beginning one vibrates "Oˆ," then "Namo," and thereafter "N€r€yaŠ€ya." Oˆ has one syllable. Namo has two syllables. N€r€yaŠ€ya is five syllabled.  Together these make the eight jewel syllable N€r€yaŠa-mantra.  One who recites this eight jewel syllable N€r€yaŠa-mantra free from fame with a pure heart attains all life, off spring, wealth, maintaned health, and cows. Thereafter that person achieves to immortality, the spiritual world. Indeed he achieves the spiritual world. In this way it is understood—thus says the Upaniad.

. @tTSaamvedizrae=xIte, #it t&tIy> o{f>.

// etat s€ma-veda iro' dh…te / iti tt…yaƒ khaŠaƒ //

 

This is the crown teachings of the S€ma Veda. Thus ends the third canto.

ctuwR> o{f>

naray[m[v>

caturthaƒ khaŠaƒ

n€r€yaŠa-praŠavaƒ

 

The Fourth Canto

" Lord N€r€yaŠa is the PraŠava Oˆk€ra "

 

oÕ pratyag ˜nandaÕ brahma purulaÕ praõava¤ svar¨°pam /

ak˜ra uk˜ra mak˜¤ra i°ti / t˜nekadh˜ sameta¤d oÕ i°ti /

yam uktv˜¤ mucya¤te yo°gŸ° / ja°nma° saÕs˜¤ra ba°ndhan˜t(e) /

oÕ namo n˜r˜yaõ˜yeti ma¤ntrop˜°saka× /

vaikuõ÷ha bhuvana¤Õ gami°lyati /

tad idaÕ puõýarŸkaÕ vi¤jsh˜na° ghanaÕ /

tasm˜d taýid˜¤bha m˜°tram / brahmaõyo deva¤kŸ-pu°tro° /

brahmaõyo ma¤dhus¨°dana× / brahmaõyo puõýa¤rŸka°klo° /

brahmaõyo vilõur a¤cyute°ti /

sarva-bh¨tastham eka¤Õ n˜r˜°yaõam /

k˜raõa r¨pam-ak˜raõam pa¤ram bra°hma oÕ // 4 //

 

pratyak—directly; €nandaˆ—blissful; brahma—Supreme; puruaˆ—Personality of Godhead; praŠava—the transcendental Oˆ vibration; svar™pam—original form; ak€ra—the letter A; uk€ra— the letter U; mak€ra— the letter M; iti—thus; t€na—them; ekadh€—one only; sametah—altogether; oˆ—Oˆ; iti—into thus; yam—whom; uktv€—saying; mucyate—is released; yog…—Yog…, a devotee; janma—birth; saˆs€ra—material world; bandhan€t—bondage; oˆ—Oˆ; namo—Namo; n€r€yaŠ€ya—N€r€yan€ya; iti—thus; mantrah—this mantra; up€sakah—worshiper; vaikuŠ˜ha—VaikuŠ˜ha, the spiritual world; bhuvanaˆ—transcendental realm; gamiyati—shall go; tat—that; idam—in this; puŠar…kaˆ—lotus; vijsh€na—spiritual knowlege; ghanaˆ—clouds; tasm€t—therefore; tait—lightening; m€tram—only; brahmaŠyo—Supreme Brahman Godhead; devak…putro—Devak…-putro; brahmaŠyo—Supreme Brahman Godhead; madhus™danaƒ—Madhus™dana; brahmaŠyo—Supreme Brahman Godhead; puŠar…k€ko—Lotus Eyed; brahmaŠyo—Brahman; viŠur—Vishnu; acyuta—Acyuta; iti—thus; sarva—all; bh™tastham—maintains all the living entities; ekaˆ—One; n€r€yaŠam—N€r€yaŠa; k€raŠa—Cause; r™pam—form; ak€raŠam—without cause; param—Supreme; brahma—Godhead; oˆ—Om;

 

The original form of the praŠava is directly the all blissful Supreme Personality of Godhead. This praŠava is composed of three sounds 'a',  'u',  and 'm' and when they are assembled together in oneness, they become Oˆ. The yog… who utters the praŠava becomes released from the bondage of birth in this material world. By worshiping the Lord with the N€r€yaŠa-mantra— "Oˆ Namo N€r€yaŠ€ya" one gains enterence into the transcendental realm of VaikuŠ˜ha, the abode of the Lord. The spiritual world is like a beautiful lotus filled with clouds of spiritual knowledge and which always shines like effulgent lightening. Herein resides the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead in whose eternal pastimes is the son of mother Devaki. This Absolute Truth is also the one who is known as the killer of the Madhu demon. The same Supreme Brahman is also famous for being lotus eyed.  This Supreme Brahman appears as ®r… ViŠu and Lord Acyuta. In the form of the one Lord N€r€yaŠa, He maintains all the living entities in this world. He is the cause of all causes and appearing as the syllable Oˆ He represents the Supreme Absolute Truth, Devaki-putro.

 

 

      pr€tar adh…y€no r€triktaˆ p€paˆ n€ayati

          €yam ad…y€no divasa-ktaˆ p€paˆ n€ayati

          m€dhy€hna dinam €dity€bhimukho ‘dh…yanaƒ

          pashca mah€ p€takopap€tak€t pramucyate

          sarva veda p€r€yaŠa punyaˆ labhate

          n€r€yaŠa-s€yujyam av€pnoti

          n€r€yaŠa-s€yujyam av€pnoti

          ya evaˆ veda

          ity upaniat(e) // 5 //