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the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD


AUTHORS NOTE:
The Upanishads are a body of gnostic texts in Sanskrit language- the ancient language of
India. The Kena Upanishad is the oldest of the verse Upanishads composed in the last few
centuries before the Christian era (BCE). In the year 1805, Raja Rammohan roy made the
first English translation of the Kena Upanishad. Some scholars consider the Upanishadic
texts to number to well over 200 while some state the numbers to be around 170.
As per the great seer of India, Sri Aurobindo, whose commentary of the Kena Upanishad has
been my main source of reference, The Upanishads are Vedanta, a book of knowledge in a
higher degree even than the Vedas.
The central philosophy of the Upanishads is the gnosis of the Supreme Truth, The Brahman
and each text proposes its own path in its own unique style for the attainment of the ultimate
gnosis in man. Every Upanishad is different in its approach but the destination is the same i.e
the complete realization of the supreme truth. The three Vedantic Schools (Dvaita, Advaita
and Vishistadvaita) of thought have all originated from the Upanishads.
In my attempt I have sought to transcreate the Sanskrit texts into simple and rhythmic
English verses in a manner similar to the one I have adopted for my work Bhagavad Gita:
The Rhythm of Krishna.
The original Sanskrit text has been provided along with an English transliteration for those
who are unable to grasp the Devanagari Script and the sole aim of this attempt is to take the
reader closer to the original philosophy of the Kena Upanishad as well as closer to the
Sanskrit language.
Without much ado, I present to you- The rhythm of the Kena Upanishad!

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD


PART ONE:




keneita preita mana kena pra prathama praiti yukta |
keneit vcamim vadanti caku rotra ka u devo yunakti || 1 ||
Who is it that brought the descent, the fall;
The mind originated as per whose call?
Who is it that pushed and forwarded?
That first breath of life in all beings created
The spoken word of man and his language
Have surfaced as per whose patronage?
The eyes, the ears their functioning
Who is it that has set them working? |1|
***



rotrasya rotra manaso mano yad vco ha vca sa u prasya pra |
cakuacakuratimucya dhr pretysmllokdamt bhavanti || 2 ||
The ear of the ear, the mind of the mind that exists
The Speech of the speech, life force of the life that persists,
And the eye of the eye as one when the wise perceive
An immortal passage from this mortal world they receive|2|
***


Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD



na tatra cakurgacchati na vggacchati no mana |
na vidmo na vijnmo yathaitadanuiyt |
anyadeva tadvitdatho aviditdadhi |
itiuruma prve ye nastadvycacakire ||3||
There travel not the eyes or the speech
For it is where even the mind cannot reach
It is not known, something beyond what is known
Which even by teaching cant be understood or known
Something is there, distinct from the known,
That is higher and above the unknown
This information about it has come to us by listening
To the men of ancient times who parted their understanding| 3 |
***



yadvc'nabhyudita yena vgabhyudyate |
tadeva brahma tva viddhi neda yadidamupsate || 4 ||
That which by language cannot be revealed
But that by which the language itself is unveiled
That alone is the Brahman - you should know
Not that after which the followers here go.|4|
***

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD





yanmanas na manute yenhurmano matam |
tadeva brahma tva viddhi neda yadidamupsate || 5 ||
That which cannot be thought by the mind
But that whose thought is the mind
That alone is the Brahman - you should know
Not that after which the followers here go| 5 |
***


yaccaku na payati yena caki payati |
tadeva brahma tva viddhi neda yadidamupsate || 6 ||
That which does not see with the eye
But that whose sight is the eye
That alone is the Brahman - you should know
Not that after which the followers here go| 6 |
***




yacchrotrea na oti yena rotramida rutam |
tadeva brahma tva viddhi neda yadidamupsate || 7 ||
That which hears not by the ears
But that which is the hearing of the ears
That alone is the Brahman - you should know

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD


Not that after which the followers here go| 7|
***


yatprena na priti yena pra prayate |
tadeva brahma tva viddhi neda yadidamupsate || 8 ||
That whose life- force sustains not by breathing
But that by which the life- force is sustaining
That alone is the Brahman - you should know
Not that after which the followers here go|8|
***

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD


PART two:




yadi manyase suvedeti daharamevpi nnam tva vettha brahmao rpam |
yadasya tva yadasya devevatha nu mmsyemeva te manye viditam || 1 ||
If by the mind one believes that he has fully understood
The Brahman, then His form he has only misunderstood All that which forms the Gods, that which has to be thought,
Assuming that by thinking all can be known when sought.| 1 |
***

He who knows that the Brahman, he does not know


And yet He isnt unknown to him, he who does know
To such a being He is verily known
And he knows that, to him, He isnt unknown.|10|
He who doesnt opine about Him, an understanding he has got
But he who thinks about Him and opines, He knows not
Those who seek to define Him, to them He is unknown
He who isnt lost in seeking, to him The Brahman is known.|11|
When by perception He is known to ones cognition
Then the understanding comes through reflection
Powered by the spirits force alone is that understanding gained
And through this knowledges gnosis, immortality is attained.|12|
If in this world, that knowledges consciousness comes
Truly and verily, that being then becomes!

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD


But if to that knowledge, one finds no recognition
Then that being only reaches to its own worldly destruction
Amongst men, only the wise perceive Him to be functioning in everything
Towards immortality from the world of death they gain the passing.|13|
The Brahman and the eternal was the true victor
And reveling in His victory, the gods grew thereafter
But considering it their own they said Victory is ours,
And proclaimed The greatness is but ours|14|
But the Supernal one reading their thoughts appeared
Before the assembly of Gods that had gatheredBut they knew not what to make of the mighty apparition
To know more of that great daemon was their collective aspiration|15|
So the deity of truth and fire- Agni, they approached first
O great knower of living , To know this creature our minds thirst
Pray do tell us something, What this daemon may be
And he consented: So I shall see|16|
And so he went with speed
And approached the great one as per their need
Seeing him Who are you? the being thus questioned
He said I am Agni, Knower of all the things that are created|17|
Then to Agni, He asked: What is your source
Within you, what is your power, your force?
And he answered: Everything I can burn
To ashes all that is on earth I can turn|18|
And the supernal one then set forth a grasss blade

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD


And to Agni- Burn this he then said
With all his vigor and strength he tried to burn
But he couldnt, So he stopped and turned to return
He then said to them It is unknown to me
For I know not what this great Daemon may be|19|
Then to Vayu- the God of life energies, they went
And to him too the same request they sent
Pray do tell us something, What this daemon may be
And Vayu consented: So I shall see|20|
And so he too went with good speed
And approached the great one as per their need
Who are you? the great one asked the lord of wind and air
He replied I am Vayu, And it is my energies that the mothers bear|21|
Then to Vayu, He asked: What is your source
Within you, what is your power, your force?
And he answered: Everything I can take
All that exists on earth as mine I can make|22|
And the supernal one then set forth a grasss blade
And to Vayu-Take this he then said
All his force he channeled and tried to take
But that blade of grass as his, he could not make
He then stopped and returned to them It is unknown to me
For I know not what this great Daemon may be|19|
Then to Indra- O bountiful lord of the illumined mind
Give us the knowledge of this Daemon thus they requested him to find

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD


He consented, I shall find what It may be
And he rushed to Him but It vanished before he could see.|20|
And in the same skies he saw the form feminine
Of Uma the daughter of the snowy mountains divine.
From the one with the myriad forms luminous he sought clarity
Indra asked her, What is this daemon mighty?|21|
She replied to him- He is the eternal
The victory and greatness too is of the supernal
Basking in him alone shall you verily progress
That was the Brahman- only then he could digress.|22|
This was beyond all the other gods
Also beyond Indra, Vayu and Agni- the three overlords
But they also were the first to comprehend
For closest to the touch of the Divine, they did extend.|23|
And Indra was the first amongst all the gods
And was also before the other overlords
The gnosis to Brahman to Indra first came
Knowing which, closest to touching Him, he came.|24|
Of Him, this is but a glimpse, an indication
And also of the gods a brief summarization
Like the flash of a lightning upon us from the sky
In the closing of the eyelid during the blink of an eye.|25|
The gnosis also is in the Self which extends
To which the mind attaining the Brahman gradually portends
After the attainment of That consciousness which by will is sought

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com

the rhythm of kena UPANISHAD


It remembers all, and forgets not even in thought.|26|
That Bliss is the name that can be given to It
And That bliss all beings should aspire to seek It
And by knowing, when That he begins to own
All the living beings yearn for him as the known.|27|
You have asked Upanishad, Reveal to me
And so The Upanishad has revealed for you to see
The truth highest and nearest to the Supernal
We have spoken in this Upanishad of the eternal.|28|
For this gnosis, austerity and control of self
And liberated actions are the foundation itself
Its limbs are the Vedas the knowledge beyond time and space
And truth is its only residence, its dwelling place.|29|
When to him this gnosis is verily knownWarding off all evil, In the heavens a space he begins to own
There, He establishes for himself a baseYes, He attains in that celestial world, a place.|30|

Copyright 2016. SUSHRUT A. BADHE sushrutayurveda@gmail.com