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Shri Nrisimha Purva-Tapaniyopanishad
om bhadram karnebhih shrinuyama devah
vyashema devahitan yadayuh
svasti na indro vriddhashravah
svasti nah pusha vishvavedah
svasti nastarkshyo arishtanemih
svasti no brihaspatir dadhatu
om shantih shantih shantih
“O Lord of the demigods, may we continue to hear Your auspicious glories with our ears. O Worshipable One, may we forever see Your auspicious glories with our eyes. May we engage our entire span of life, with every limb of the body steady, in singing Your glories. This is to our highest benefit, O dear Lord.
May Indra, the ancient and famous, Pushan the all-knowing and swift, Vayu, who saves us from all harm, and Brihaspati who protects spiritual wealth—all kindly bestow upon us their blessings [for the intellectual strength to understand the scriptures and to follow the teachings]. Oh Supreme Personality of Godhead, may peace prevail over the three types of disturbances; adhiatmika, adidaivika, and adhibautika.”
om apo va idamasam astatsalilameva / sa prajapatirekah pushkara-parne samabhavat / tasyantara-manasi kamah samavartata idam srijeyamiti / tasmadyat-purusho manasabhigaccati / tad-vaca vadati tat-karmana karoti tadeshabhyanukta / kamastadagre samavartatadhi manso retah prathamam yadasit / sato bandhumasati niravindan-hridi pratishya kavayo manishyeti upainam tadupanamati yat-kamo bhavati ya evam veda sa tapo’tapyata sa tapastaptva sa etam mantra-rajam narasimham-anushtubhamapashyet tena vai sarvam-idam-srijat yad-idam kinca / anushtubho va imani bhutani jayante anushtubha jatani jivanti anushtubham prayantyabhisamvishanti tasyaisha bhavati anushtupprathama bhavati anushtuvuttama bhavati vagva anushtup vacaiva prayanti vacodyanti parama va esha candasam yad-anushtuvati // 1 //
The (unmanifest) universe was immersed in water. There, Prajapati (Brahma) was born upon a lotus-leaf. In his mind a desire arose: “I will create the universe.” Therefore, whatever a man desires in his mind, he then tells in speech and attains it by performing activity.
He (Brahma) performed austerities, and after that austerity he saw the mantra-raja (the king of mantras) which glorifies Lord Narasimha and is composed in the anushtubh metre. And using this, he began creating whatever exists. Therefore, it is said that whatever exists in the whole universe is anushtubh; from the anushtubh are born all creatures; having been born, they live because of the anushtubh; dying they go back to the anushtubh. The anushtubh is the first, and the anushtubh is the last, for the anushtubh is speech. Creatures depart by speech, and they are born by speech. Therefore it is said that the anushtubh is the highest of all metres.
sasagaram sa-parvatam sapta-dvipam vasundharam tat-samnah prathamam padam janiyat yaksha-gandharvapsaro-ganasevitam-antariksham tat-samno dvitiyam padam janiyad-vasu-rudradityaih sarvair-daivaih sevitam divam tat-samnas-tritiyam padam janiyat brahma-svarupam niranjanam paramam vyomakam tat-samnash-caturtham padam janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati rig-yajuh-samatharvanash-catvaro vedah sangah sashakhash-catvarah pada bhavanti kim dhyanam kim daivatam kanyangani kani daivatani kim candah ka rishiyariti // 2 //
One should know that the first line (of the mantra-raja) is the earth with its oceans, mountains and seven islands. The second line is the antariksha (space between earth and heaven) populated by the multitudes of Yakshas, Gandarvas and Apsaras. The third line is the heavenly planets where the Vasus, Rudras, Adityas and all other demigods reside. The fourth line is the transcendental form of the Absolute Truth dwelling in the highest abode. He who knows this attains immortality. The four lines (of this mantra) are the four Vedas, Rg, Yajur, Sama and Atharva, with their angas and shakhas (divisions and brances). Thus (one should inquire) what is the meditation (of this mantra)? What is it’s Deity? What are its parts? Who are their Deities? What is the metre? Who composed it?
sa hovaca prajapatih -
sa yo ha vai savitrisyashtaksharam padam shriyabhishiktam tat-samno’ngam veda shriya haivabhishicyate sarve vedah pranavadikastam pravanam tat-samno’ngam veda sa trimllokanjayati catur-vimshatyakshara maha-lakshmir-yajus-tat-samno’ngam veda sa ayur-yashah kirti-jnan-aishvarya vanbhavati tasmad-idam sangam sama janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati savitrim pranavam yajur-lakshmim shtri-shudraya neccanti dva-trimshad-aksharam sama janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati savitrim lakshmim yajuh pranavam yadi janiyat stri shudrah sa mrito’dho gaccati tasmat-sarvada nacashte yadyacashte sa acaryaste naiva sa mrito’dho gaccati // 3 //
Lord Brahma said –
One who knows that wonderful mantra consisting of eight syllables and the savitri mantra (as an anga) is blessed with all wealth. All the Vedas have the pranava (om) at the beginning; if one also knows this pranava as an anga of that mantra, he conquers the three worlds. There is a mantra of Goddess Mahalakshmi whic consists of twenty-four syllables – if one knows this as one of the anga-mantras (of the mantra-raja), one will be blessed with longevity, fame, honour, knowledge and power. Therefore one should know this mantra along with its angas; he who knows it attains immortality. The acaryas do not give the savitri mantra, the pranava or the lakshmi mantra to women and shudras. One should know well this thirty-two syllable mantra, and he who knows it attains immortality. However, if a woman or a shudra knows the savitri mantra, pranava or lakshmi mantra they go downwards after death. Therefore one should never initiate them into this. If one does so, the teacher will also fall down after death.
sa hovaca prajapatih –
agnirvaideva idam sarvam vishva bhutani prana va indriyani pashavo’nnambhritam samrat svaranvirat tat-samnah prathamam padam janiyat rig-yajuh-samatharva-rupah suryo’ntaraditye hiranmayah purushastat-samno dvitiyam padam janiyat ya aushadhinam prabhur-bhavati
taradhipatih somastat –samnas-tritiyam padam janiyat sa brahma sa shivah sa harih sendrah so’ksharah paramah svarat tat-samnash-caturtham padam janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati ugram prathamasyadyo jvalam dvitiyasyadyam nrisimham tritiyasyadyam mrityum caturthasyadyam sama janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati tasmad-idam sama yatra kutra-cinnacashte yadi datubhapekshate putraya shushrushave dasyatyanyasmai shishyaya va ceti // 4 //
Lord Brahma said –
One should know that the first line of this mantra is Agni, the Vedas, this universe and all living entities, the five life-airs, the sense organs, animals, food, and the eternal Supreme Lord, who is independent and omniscient.
One should know that the second line of the mantra is the sun in the form of the Rg, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda‚ and the Supreme Lord who resides within the sun-orb.
One should know that the third line is the Lord that rules over all plants and herbs, the Lord of all luminaries, and the moon.
One should know the fourth line to be Brahma, Siva, Hari, Indra, Agni – the eternal Supreme Lord.
He who knows this attains immortality.
One should know that ugram is the first word of this mantra, jvalan is the second, nrisimham is the third, mrityum is the fourth. He who knows this attains immortality.
One should not give this mantra capriciously; if one wishes to impart it, one should only impart it to one’s son if he desires to learn it, or otherwise to a disciple.
sa hovaca prajapatih –
kshirodarnava-shayinam nrikesari-vigraham yogi-dhyeyam param padam sama janiyadyojaniteso’mritatvam ca gaccati viram prathamasyadyardhantyam tam sa dvitiyasyadyardhantyam hambhi tritiyasyadyardhantyam mrityum caturthasyadyardhantyam samam tu janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati tasmad idam sama yena kena-cid-acarya-mukhena yo janite sa taineva sharirena samsaran-mucyate mocyati mumukshur-bhavati japatenaiva sharirena devata-darshanam karoti tasmad-idam eva mukhya-dvaram kalau nanyesham bhavati tasmad-idam sangam sama janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati // 5 //
Lord Brahma said -
One should know this mantra as the form of the man-lion (Nrisimha) who rests in the milk-ocean in the spiritual world, who is meditated upon by the yogis. One who knows this attains immortality.
One should know the word viram as the last part of the first-half of the first line. Tam sa –as that of the second; ham bhi - as that of the third; mrityum - as that of the fourth. One who knows this attains immortality.
Therefore one who learns this mantra from the mouth of his spiritual master is liberated from the cycle of birth and death; he helps to liberate and attains liberation; he who chants it sees the Lord while still residing in this body. This is therefore considered to be the gate of liberation in the age of Kali, and there is no other way to attain liberation. Therefore one should know this mantra with all its divisions. He who knows this attains liberation.
ritagm satyam param brahma purusham krishna-pingalam / urdhva-retam virupaksham shamkaram nila-lohitam // uma-patih pashu-patih pinaki hyamita-dyutih / ishanah sarva-vidya-namirashvarah sarva-bhutanam brahmadhipatir-brahmano’dhipatiryo vai yajur-veda-vacyastam sama janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati maha-prathamantar-dhasyadyantavato dvitiyantar-dasyadyam shanam tritiyantar-dhasyadyam nama caturthantar-dhasyadyam sama janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati tasmad idam sama sac-cid-ananda-mayam param brahma tamevam vidvan-amrita iha bhavati tasmad idam sangam sama janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati // 6 //
One should know this mantra as being non-different from the Supreme Absolute Truth; the Supreme Person who is of a dark hue; the dark and red form of Sankara, the husband of Uma, the lord of animals, the wielder of the bow, who is of infinite splendor, the master of knowledge, the lord of all beings, the lord of Brahma and the brahmanas, the one who is to be praised by the Yajur Veda. One who knows this attains immortality.
One should know that the word maha is the main word of the last half of the first line; rvato – as that of the second; shanam - as that of the third, nama- as the fourth. One who knows this attains immortality.
Therefore this mantra is the Supreme Brahman, who is full of bliss, knowledge and eternity; he who knows this becomes immortal. Therefore one should know the mantra along with its divisions. And one who knows this attains immortality.
vishva-srija etena vai vishvam idam srijanta yad vishvam srijanta tasmad vishva srijo vishvam enananu prajayate brahmana salokatam sarshtitam sayujyam yanti tasmad idam sangam sama janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati vishnum prathamantyam mukham dvitiyantyam bhadram tritiyantam myaham caturthantyam sama janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati yo’sau veda yad idam kimcatmani brahmanye-vanushtubham janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati stri pumsayorva ihaiva sthatumapekshate tasmai sarvaishvaryam dadati yatra kutrapi mriyate dehante devah paramam brahma tarakam vyacashte yenasavamriti-bhutva so’mritatvam ca gaccati tasmad idam sama madhyagm japati tasmad idam samangam prajapatis tasmad idam samangam prajapatirya evam vedeti mahopanishat / ya etam mahopanishadam veda sa krita purashcarano maha-vishnur bhavati maha-vishnur bhavati // iti prathamopanishat // 7 //
With this (mantra) those entities who create created the universe created. Since they created everything, they are known as ? Everything originates from them and they finally achieve the same world, wealth, and remain close to the Absolute Truth. One who knows this attains immortality.
One should know the word vishnum as the final part of the first line, mukham as the second, bhadram as the third, and myaham as the fourth. And one who knows this attains immortality.
The Lord has manifest all this. It relates to the soul and to the Absolute Truth. One should know how to worship with the anushtubh metre. One who knows this attains immortality.
And if a man or woman desires to stay on the earth, the (mantra-raja) gives him wealth and power over all things. Wherever one may die, the Supreme Lord blesses that person and delivers him to the highest abode, where he attains immortality. Therefore one should chant this mantra. One who chants this and knows it well, becomes a part of it, and becomes like Prajapati.
Thus reads the great upanishad. One who knows this great upanishad and performs the proper worship, attains Mahavishnu. He attains Mahavishnu.
deva ha vai mrityoh papmabhyah samsaracca bibhiyuste prajapatimupadhavam stebhya etam mantra-rajam narasimham-anushtubham prayaccattena vai ha mritum-jayan papmanam cataran-samsaram catarams-tasmadyo mrityoh papmabhyah samsaracca bibhiyatsa etam mantra-rajam narasimham-anushtubham prati-grihnatiyatsa mrityum tarati sa papmanam tarati sa samsaram tarati tasya ha vai pranavasya ya purva matra prithivya karah sa rigbhir-rig vedo brahma vasavo gayatri garhapatya sa samnah prathamah pado bhavati dvitiyantariksham sa ukarah sa yajur-bhir yajur vedo vishnu rudras-trishtuvdakshanagnih sa samno dvitiyah pado bhavati tritiya dyauh sa makarah sa samabhih sama vedo rudra aditya jagatya-havaniyah sa samnas-tritiyah pado bhavati yavasane’sya caturthyardhamatra sa somaloka aumkarah so’tharvanair mantrairthava vedah samvartako’gnir maruto virade karsher bhasvati smrita sa samnash-caturthah pado bhavati // 1 //
The demigods were afraid of death, sin and the cycle of birth and death. They took refuge in Prajapati and he gave them this mantra-raja which invokes Narasimha and is composed in the anushtubh metre. With this they conquered death, overcome sin, and avoided the cycle of birth and death. Therefore one who fears death, sin and samsara should take this mantra-raja which is addressed to Lord Narasimha and composed in the anushtubh metre. He will then conquer death, sin and samsara.
Of the pranava, the first syllable is ‘a’. It is the Rg Veda, it is Brahman, the Vasus, the gayatri metre and the garhapatya fire – this is the first line.
The second syllable is ‘u’ and it is the Yajur Veda, it is Vishnu, the Rudras, the trishtubh metre and dakshina fire – this is the second line.
The third syllable is ‘m’ and that is the Sama Veda, it is Rudra, the Adityas, the jagati metre and the ahavaniya fire – this is the third line.
The fourth half-syllable which is at the end is the world of Soma, the om sound. It consists of the hymns of the Atharva Veda, the Atharva Veda itself, it is the fire of universal destruction, the Maruts, the Viraj, the highest wisdom and the greatest effulgence – this is the fourth line.
ashtaksharah prathamah pado bhavatyashtaksharasrayah pada bhavantyeva dvatrimshadaksharani sampadyante dvatrimshadakshara va anushtub-bhavatyanushtubha sarvamidam srishtamanushtubha sarvamupasamhritam tasya haitasya pancangani bhavanti catvarah padashcatvaryangani bhavanti sa-pranavam sarvam pancamam bhavati hridayaya namah shirase svaha shikhaya vashat kavacaya hum astraya phadati prathamam prathamena samyujyate dvitiyam dvitiyena tritiyam tritiyena caturtham caturthena pancamam pancamena vyatipajati vyatishikta va ime lokas-tasmadyatishiktanyangani bhavanti aum-ityetad-aksharam-idam sarvam tasmat-pratyaksharamubhayata aum-karo bhavati aksharanam nyasamupadishanti brahmavadinah // 2 //
The first line is of eight syllables, and the three remaining lines are also of eight syllables; thus the result is thirty-two syllables. The anushtubha metre is therefore of thirty-two syllables; by the anushtubha metre the whole world was created, and by the anushtubha metre it is wound-up again.
(The mantra) has five angas (parts) – the four lines correspond to these four angas and the pranava corresponds with the fifth. Of the five angas, om corresponds with the heart (namah), to the head (svaha), to the shikha (vashat), to the body (hum) and to the missile (phat). The first is combined with the first line (ugram viram mahavishnum - om hridayaya namah), the second is combined with the second line (jvalantam sarvatomukham -om shirase svaha)‚ the third with the third line (nrisimham bhishanam bhadram - om shikhaya vashat), the fourth with the fourth line (om mrityumrityum namamyaham – om kavacaya hum) and the fifth with the fifth (om ugram viram mahavishnum jvalantam sarvatomukham nrisimham bhishanam bhadram mrityumrityum namamyaham – om astraya phat).
Because all the worlds are linked with one another, similarly the constituents (of the lines of the mantra) are also interwoven into one another. The pranava syllable is the whole world (Mandukya Upanishad), therefore the sound of om has a place both before and after each syllable (of the mantra). Thus – om u om gram om vi om ram om etc. These syllables are to be thus drawn as teachings of those who know Brahman.
tasya ha va ugram prathamam sthanam janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati viram dvitiyam sthanam mahavishnum tritiyam sthanam jvalantam caturtham sthanam sarvatomukham pancamam sthanam nrisimham shashtam sthanam bhishanam saptamam sthanam bhadram ashtamam sthanam mrityumrityum navamam sthanam namami dashamam sthanam-aham-ekadasham sthanam janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati ekadasha-pada va anushtub-bhavatyanushtubha sarvam-idam srishtamanushtubha sarvamidam-upasamhritam tasmat-sarvaushtubham janiyadyo janite so’mritatvam ca gaccati // 3 //
In this (mantra) one should know that ugram is first – one who knows this attains immortality. At the second is viram, at the third mahavishnum, at the fourth jvalantam, at the fifth sarvatomukham, at the sixth nrisimham, at the seventh bhishanam, at the eighth bhadram, at the ninth mrityumrityum, at the tenth namami and at the eleventh aham. One who knows this attains immortality.
The anushtubh has eleven words, by the anushtubh this whole world has been created and by the anushtubh it will again be reabsorbed. Therefore one should understand this whole world as being of the nature of anushtubh- one who knows this attains immortality.
deva ha vai prajapatim-bruvannatha kasmad-ucyata-ugramiti sa hovaca prajapatir-yasmat-svamamahimna sarva(gm)lokaan-sarvandevan-sarvan-atmanah sarvani bhutanyud-vrihnatyajasriam srijati visrijati vasayatyuddhahyat-udgrihyate stuhi shrutam gartasadam yuvanam mrigam na bhimamupahatrum-ugram mridajaritre rudrastavano anyante asmannivapantu senah tasmad-ucyata ugramiti / atha kasmad-ucyate viramiti yasmat svamamahimna sarva(gm)lokaan-sarvandevan-sarvan-atmanah sarvani bhutani viramiti viramayatyajasram srijati vasayati yato virah karmanyah sudraksho yuktagrava jayate devakamas-tasmad-ucyate viramiti // atha kasmad-ucyate mahavishnumiti yasmat-svamamahimna sarva(gm)lokaan-sarvandevan-sarvan-atmanah sarvani bhutani vyapnoti vyapayati sneho yatha palalapindam shantamulamotam protamanuvyasam vyatishikto vyapyate vyapyate yasmann jatah paro anyo asti ya avivesha bhuvanani vishva prajapatih prajaya samvidanah trini jyotimshI sacate sashodashim tasmad-ucyate mahavishnumiti // atha kasmad-ucyate jvalantamiti yasmat svamamahimna sarva(gm)lokaan-sarvandevan-sarvan-atmanah sarvani svatejasa jvalati jvalayati jvalayate jvalayate savita prasavita dipto dipayandipyamanah jvalam jvalita tapanvitapantsamtapanrocano rocamanah shobhanah shobhamanah kalyanastasmad-ucyate jvalantamiti // atha kasmad-ucyate sarvatomukhamiti yasmat svamamahimna sarva(gm)lokaan-sarvandevan-sarvan-atmanah sarvani bhutani svayamanindriyo’pi sarvatah pashyati sarvatah shrinoti sarvato gaccati sarvata adatte sarvagah sarva-gatas-tishtati / ekah purastadya idam babhuva yato babhuva bhuvanasya gopah / yamapyeti bhuvanam samparaye namami tamaham sarvatomukhamiti tasmad-ucyate sarvatomukhamiti // atha kasmad-ucyate nrisimhamiti yasmat-sarvesham bhutanam na viryatamah shreshtmashca simho viryatamah shreshtamashca / tasman-nrisimha asit-parameshvaro jagadvitam va etad-rupam yadaksharam bhavati pratad-vishnustavate viryaya mrigo na bhimah kucaro girishtah / yasyo-rushu trishu vikramaneshv-adhikshiyanti bhuvanani vishva tasmad-ucyate nrisimhamiti // atha kasmad-ucyate bhishanamiti yasmad-bhishanam yasya rupam drishtva sarve lokah sarve devah sarvani bhutani bhitya palayante svayam yatah kutashca na bibheti bhishasmat-datah pavate bhishanamiti // atha kasmad-ucyate bhadramiti yasmad-svayam bhadro bhutva sarvada bhadram dadati rocano rocamanah shobhanah shobhamanah kalyanah / bhadram karnebhih shrinuyama deva bhadram pashyemakshamiryajatrah sthirai-rangaistushtuva(gm)s-stanubhir-vyashema devahitam yadayuh tasmad-ucyate bhadramiti // atha kasmad-ucyate mrityummrityumiti yasmat svamahimna svabhaktanam smrita eva mrityumrityum ca marayati / ya atmada balada yasya vishva upasate prashisham yasya devah yasya ccayamritam yo mrityumrityuh kasmai devaya havisha vidhema tasmad ucyate mritymrityumiti // atha kasmad ucyate namamiti yasmadyam sarve deva namanti mumukshavo brahmavadinashca / pra nunam brahmanaspatir-mamram vadatyukthayam yasmin-nindro varuno mitro aryama deva aukamasi cakrire tasmad-ucyate namamiti // atha kasmad-ucyate ‘hamiti / ahamasmi prathamaja ritasya purvam devebhyo amritasya nabhih / yo ma dadati sa idevamavah ahamannamannam-adantamadme aham vishvam bhuvanabhabhyabhavam suvarna-jyotir evam vedeti mahopanishat // 4 // iti dvitiyopanishat //
The Demigods said to Prajapati (Brahma): Why is the word ‘ugram’ used? And Prajapati answered Because by His greatness He (the Lord) lifts up all the worlds (udghrinati), all demigods, all entities, creates continually, ekshpands and gives life, while He is caused to be elevated and is elevated
Therefore the word ugam is used.
Now why is the word ‘viram’ used? Because by His power he