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The Four Minor Upanishads


The Tejabindu Upanishad


1. Let us meditate on the shining Self,

Changeless, underlying the world of change,

And realized in the heart in samadhi (adoration or union with the inner god).


2. Hard to reach is the supreme goal of life.

Hard to describe and hard to abide in.

3. They alone attain samadhi who have

Mastered their senses and are free from anger,

Free from self-will and from likes and dislikes,

Without selfish bonds to people and things.


4. They alone attain samahdi who are

Prepared to face challenge after challenge

In the three stages of meditation.

Under an illumined teacher's guidance

They become united with the Lord of Love,

5-6. Called Vishnu, who is present everywhere.

Though the three gunas (qualities) emanate from him,

He is infinite and invisible.

Though all the galaxies emerge from him,

He is without form and unconditioned.


To be united with the Lord of Love

Is to be freed from all conditioning.

This is the state of Self-realization,

Far beyond the reach of words and thoughts.


To be united with the Lord of love,

Imperishable, changeless, beyond cause

And effect, is to find infinite joy.

Brahman (the infinite One) is beyond all duality,

Beyond the reach of thinker and of thought.


Let us meditate on the shining Self,

The ultimate reality, who is

Realized by the sages in samadhi.


Brahman cannot be realized by those

Who are subject to greed, fear, and anger.

Brahman cannot be realized by those

Who are subject to the pride of name and fame

Or to the vanity of scholarship.

Brahman cannot be realized by those

Who are enmeshed in life's duality.


But to those who pierce this duality,

Whose hearts are given to the Lord of Love,

He gives himself through his infinite grace;

He gives himself through his infinite grace.

O M shanti shanti shanti

The Paramahamsa Upanishad

1. Narada (Lord of Events) inquired of the Lord of Love:

"What is the state of the illumined man?"

The Lord replied: "Hard to reach is the state

Of the illumined man. Only a few

Attain to it. But even one is enough.

For he is the pure Self of the Scriptures;

He is truly great because he serves me.

And I reveal myself through him always."


He has renounced all selfish attachments

And observes no rites or ceremonies.

He has only minimum possessions,

And lives his life for the welfare of all.


2. He has no staff nor tuft nor sacred thread.

He faces heat and cold, pleasure and pain,

Honor and dishonor with equal calm.

He is not affected by calumny,

Pride, jealousy, status, joy, or sorrow,

Greed, anger, or infatuation,

Excitement, egoism, or other goads;

For he knows he is neither body nor mind.


Free from the sway of doubt and false knowledge

He lives united with the Lord of Love.

Who is ever serene, immutable,

Indivisible, the source of all joy

And wisdom. The Lord is his true home,

His pilgrim's tuft of hair, his sacred thread;

For he has entered the unitive state.


3. Having renounced every selfish desire,

He has found his rest in the Lord of Love.

Wisdom is the staff that supports him now.

Those who take a mendicant's staff while they

Are still at the mercy of their senses

Cannot escape enormous suffering.

The illumined man knows this truth of life.


4. For him the universe is his garment

And the Lord not separate from himself.

He offers no ancestral oblations;

He praises nobody, blames nobody,

Is never dependent on anyone.


He has no need to repeat the mantram,

No more need to practice meditation.

The world of change and changeless reality

Are one to him, for he sees all in God.


5. The aspirant who is seeking the Lord

Must free himself from selfish attachments

To people, money, and possessions.

When his mind sheds every selfish desire,

He becomes free from the duality

Of pleasure and pain and rules his senses.

No more is he capable of ill will;

No more is he subject to elation,

For his senses come to rest in the Self.

Entering into the unitive state,

He attains the goal of evolution.

Truly he attains the goal of evolution.

O M shanti shanti shanti

The Amritabindu Upanishad

1. The mind may be said to be of two kinds,

Pure and inpure; Driven by the senses

It becomes inpure; but with senses

Under control, the mind becomes pure.


2. It is the mind that frees us or enslaves.

Driven by the senses we become bound;

Master of the senses we become free.

3. Those who seek freedom must master their senses.


4. When the mind is detached from the senses

One reaches the summit of consciousness.

5. Mastery of the mind leads to wisdom.

Practice meditation. Stop all vain talk.

6. The highest state is beyond the reach of thought,

For it lies beyond all duality.


7. Keep repeating the ancient mantram O M

Until it reverberates in your heart.


8. Brahman is indivisible and pure;

Realize Brahman and go beyond all change.

9. He is (both) immanent and transcendent.

Realizing him, sages attain freedom

10. And declare there are no separate minds.

They have realized what they always are.


11. Waking, sleeping, dreaming, the Self is one.

Transcend these three and go beyond rebirth.


12. There is only one Self in all creatures.

The One appears many, just as the moon

Appears many, reflected in water.


13. The Self appears to change its location

But does not, just as the air in a jar

Changes not when the jar is moved about.

14. When the jar is broken, the air knows not;

But the Self knows well when the body is shed.


15. We see not the Self, concealed by maya (illusion);

When the veil falls, we see we are the Self.


16. The mantram is the symbol of Brahman;

Repeating it can bring peace to the mind.


17. Knowledge is twofold, lower and higher.

Realize the Self; for all else is lower.

18. Realization is rice; all else is chaff.


19. The milk of cows of any hue is white.

The sages say that wisdom is the milk

And the sacred Shriptures are the cows.


20. As butter lies hidden within milk,

The Self is hidden in the hearts of all.

Churn the mind through meditation on it;

21. Light your fire through meditation on it;

The Self, all whole, all peace, all certitude.


22. "I have realized the Self," declares the sage,

"Who is present in all beings.

I am united with the Lord of Love;

I am united with the Lord of Love."

O M shanti shanti shanti



The Atma Upanishad


1. This is the teaching of (a great) sage:


Purusha (highest Spirit) manifests itself in three ways:

As outer, inner, and supreme Self.

Skin, flesh, vertebral column, hair, fingers,

Toes, nails, ankles, stomach, navel, hips, thighs,

Cheeks, eyebrows, forehead, head, eyes, outer self.

The body, subject to birth and death.


2. The inner self perceives the outside world.

Made up of earth, water, fire, air and space (akasha).

It is the victim of likes and dislikes,

Pleasure and pain, and delusion and doubt.

It knows all the subtleties of language,

Enjoys dance, music, and all the fine arts;

Delights in the senses, recalls the past,

Reads the Scriptures, and is able to act.

This is the mind, the inner person.


3. The supreme Self, adored in the Scriptures,

Can be realized through the path of yoga.

Subtler than the banyan seed, subtler

Than the hundred-thousandth part of a hair,

This Self cannot be grasped, cannot be seen.


The supreme Self is neither born nor dies.

He cannot be burned, moved, pierced, cut, nor dried.

Beyond all attributes, the supreme Self

Is the eternal witness (shanta atman), ever pure,

Indivisible, and uncompounded,

Far beyond the senses and the ego.

In him conflicts and expectations cease.

He is omnipresent, beyond all thought,

Without action in the external world.

Detached from the outer and the inner,

This supreme Self purifies the impure.

O M shanti shanti shanti