Adhvaya Taaraka Upanishad - Translated by: Georg Feuerstein

Presently we would like to expound the secret doctrine of the nondual Deliverer for [the benefit of] the ascetic (yati) who has subdued the sense= s and is filled with the six virtues, namely quiescence and the rest. (1)

Comments: The six virtues praised in Vedântic circles are quiescen= ce (shama), restraint (dama) of the senses, cessation (uparati) of desire or worldly activity, endurance (titikshâ), collectedness (samâdhâna), and faith (shraddhâ).

Always realizing “I am of the nature of Consciousness (cit),” with eyes completely shut or else with eyes somewhat open, by looking inwar= d
above the eyebrows—he, beholding the Absolute, the Supreme, in the fo= rm of a multitude of fires of Being Consciousness Bliss, assumes the appearance [of luminosity]. (2)

[This secret doctrine is known as] Târaka [Yoga] because [it enabl= es the yogin] to overcome (samtârayati) the great dread of the cycle of conception, birth, life, and death. Realizing the psyche (jîva) and the Lord (îshvara) to be illusory, and abandoning all differentiation as “not this, not that” (neti neti)—that which remains is the nondual Absolute. (3)

For the attainment of that [nondual Absolute] careful attention (anusamdhâna) should be paid to the Three Signs. (4)

In the middle of the body there exists the sushumnâ, the “channel of the Absolute,” of the form of the sun and of the luminosity of the full moon. Originating at the root prop (mûlâdhâra), she [i.e., sushumnâ, the central chann= el] extends to the “brahman fissure.” In the center of that [sushumnâ] is the famous kundalinî, with a radiance equal to myriads of lightning flashes and subtle membered l= ike the thread of a lotus fiber. Having beheld it with the mind, a person is liberated because of the obliteration of all sin (pâpa). If he incessantly beholds the splendor (tejas) [of the kundalinî] by virtue= of the flashing forth of Târaka Yoga in a specific area (mandala) on the= forehead (lalâta), he is an adept. Then the sound phû is produced in his= two ear holes, [which should be] blocked with the tips of his forefingers. Then beholding in [an elevated] state of mind that region [in the form of] a blue light located in the middle of the eyes, by looking inward, he attains unexcelled bliss. Thus does he perceive in his heart. Such is the perceptio= n of the Internal Sign to be practiced by the seekers after liberation. (5)

Now [follows] the perception of the External Sign. If he perceives in front of the nose, at [a distance of] four, six, eight, = ten, and twelve thumb breadths in succession the space (vyoman) that is doubly endowed with gleaming yellow color [and again] in the semblance of blood red [color], [which at times] is like blue radiance or dark [blue ]ness, he is a yogin. There are rays of light at the outset in the vision of the person [practicing this Târaka Yoga] [when he is] glancing with fickle visio= n at the space. [If he] sees that, he is a yogin. When he sees rays of light resembling molten gold, [either] at the end of the outer corner [of his sig= ht] or on the ground, that vision [can be said to be] settled. He who sees [thu= s] twelve thumb breadths beyond his head achieves immortality. If he who is st= eady [in that vision next has] the vision of the radiance of space in the head, wherever he may be, he surely is a yogin. (6)

Now [follows] the perception of the Intermediate Sig= n. [The yogin] sees [phenomena that are] like the entire solar wheel, glitteri= ng and so on with morning colors, [or else] like a conflagration of fire, [or] like [the diffusely lit] “mid region” (antarîksha) lacking such [definable radiance]. He abides in the form of their form. Through vis= ion that abounds with these [light phenomena], he becomes the space (âkâsha) devoid of qualities. [Then] he becomes the supreme spa= ce (parama âkâsha) like deep darkness ablaze with the radiant form= of the Deliverer [i.e., Being Consciousness]. [Then] he becomes the great space (mahâ âkâsha) like the conflagration [at the end] of time= . [Then] he becomes the space of Reality (tattva âkâsha) beaming with supreme luminosity superior to everything. [Finally] he becomes the solar s= pace (sûrya âkâsha) resembling the radiant glory of a hundred thousand suns. Thus, the fivefold space, [existing] ext= ernally and internally, [constitutes] the Sign of the Deliverer. He who experiences this, released from the fruit [of his actions], becomes like sp= ace resembling those [described above]. Hence he becomes the Deliverer, the Sign bestowing the fruit of the transmental (amanaska) [Reality]. (7)

That [realization of] the Deliverer is twofold: the former being the Deliverer and the latter the transmental [Condition]. On this there is a stanza: “That [Târaka] Yoga is to be known as twofold, consisti= ng of a preceding and a succeeding [form], whereby the preceding is to be know= n as the Deliverer and the transmental [Reality] as that which is succeeding.= 221; (8)

In the pupils (târa), in the interior of the eyes, there is a repl= ica of the sun and the moon. Through the pupils (târaka) [comes about] perception of the solar and the lunar discs, as it were, in the macrocosm, = and there is [a corresponding] pair of solar and lunar discs in the space in the middle of the head as the microcosm. Having accepted this, those [internal solar and lunar orbs should be] perceived through the pupils. Here [the yog= in] should also meditate, mind yoked, regarding the two as identical, [because = if] there was no connection (yoga) between these [two levels of reality], there would also be no room for sense activity. Hence the Deliverer should be attended to with introspection only. (9)

Comments: This passage introduces a cornerstone of esoteric philosophy, namely the idea that macrocosm and microcosm are mirror images of one anoth= er. Here the yogin is asked to experience their identity directly through introspection, or inner vision (antar drishti). There also is a pun on the words târa (“pupil”) and târaka (“deliverer”).

That Deliverer is twofold: the Deliverer with form and the Deliverer wit= hout form. That which “ends” with the senses is “with form.= 221; That which transcends the pair of eyebrows is “without form.” In every case, in determining the inner import [of a thing] the application of= a controlled mind is desirable. [Similarly], by means of Târaka [Yoga], through vision of that which abides beyond [the senses], with a yoked mind = and through introspection (antar îkshana), [the yogin discovers] Being Consciousness Bliss, the Absolute in its innate form (sva rûpa). Henc= e [at first] the Absolute formed of white effulgence becomes manifest. That Absol= ute is known by the eye aided by the mind in introspection. Thus also the “formless” Deliverer [is realized]. Through a y= oked mind, through the eye, the dahara and other [light phenomena] become known. Owing to the dependence of the process of perception, [both] outwardly and inwardly, on the mind and the eye, it is only through the junction of eye, mind, and Self that perception can take place. H= ence mind yoked inner vision is [instrumental] to the manifestation of the Deliverer. (10)

Comments: In ordinary contexts, the term dahara mentioned in the above passage refers to a mouse or muskrat. It is derived from the verbal root da= bh meaning “to injure” or “to deceive.” However, in its esoteric application, a more likely derivation is from the root dah meaning “to burn.” It probably refers to the miniscule space at the hea= rt, which from ancient times has been considered a locus of the effulgent transcendental Self. This dahara is also mentioned in the Kshurikâ Upanishad (10) translated below.

The sight [should be fixed] in the cavern at the spot between the pair of eyebrows. By this means the radiance abiding abo= ve becomes manifest—this is Târaka Yoga. Having well “conjoined” with careful effort and a yoked mind the Deliverer = with [the mind], [the yogin] should raise the pair of eyebrows a little upward. This is the former [type] of Târaka Yoga. T= he latter, however, is without form and is said to be transmental. There is a great light ray in the area above the root of the palate. That should be contemplated by the yogins. Thence comes the power of miniaturization (anim= an), and so on. (11)

Comments: The power of “miniaturization” (animan), or of becoming as minute as an atom (anu), is one of the eight classical paranorm= al powers (siddhi) ascribed to adepts.

When there is the vision of the External Sign and the Internal Sign, [the eyes being] destitute of [the power of] closing and opening—this is t= he real shâmbhavî mudrâ. Because of being a sojourn to knowe= rs who have “mounted” this seal (mudrâ), the earth becomes purified. Through the vision of these [adepts], all spheres (loka) become purified. He who is granted [the possibility of paying] homage to such great yogins is also delivered [from the cycle of conditioned existence]. (12)

Comments: For a description of the shâmbhavî mudrâ see= The Yoga Tradition, Chapter 18.

The radiant luster of the Internal Sign is the innate form (sva rû= pa) [of the nondual Reality]. Through instruction by a superior teacher the Int= ernal Sign becomes the radiant light of the thousand [petaled lotus at the crown = of the head], or the light of Consciousness (cit), hidden in the cave of the buddhi, or the Fourth Consciousness abiding in the “sixteenth endR= 21; (shodasha anta). The sight of that [supreme Reality] depends on a true teac= her. (13)

Comments: The buddhi is the higher mind, the seat of wisdom. The shodasha anta, or “sixteenth end,” is a psychic center, or space, that is sixteen digits above the crown of the head. This occult psychoenergetic loc= us also is referred to in some of the texts of Kashmiri Shaivism.

[A truly competent] teacher is well versed in the Vedas, a devotee of Vishnu, free from jealousy, pure, a knower of Yoga, and intent on Yoga, alw= ays having the nature of Yoga. (14)

He who is equipped with devotion to [his own] teacher, who is especially= a knower of the Self—he who possesses these virtues is designated as a teacher (guru). (15)

The syllable gu [signifies] darkness. The syl= lable ru [signifies] the destroyer of that [darkness]. By re= ason of the [ability] to destroy darkness, he is called a guru. (16)

The teacher alone is the supreme Absolute. The teacher alone is the supr= eme way. The teacher alone is supreme knowledge. The teacher alone is the supre= me resort. (17)

The teacher alone is the supreme limit. The teacher alone is supreme wea= lth. Because he is the teacher of that [nondual Reality], he is the teacher grea= ter than [any other] teacher. (18)

He who causes this [scripture] to be recited [even] once becomes released from the cycle [of sorrowful existence]. At that instant the sin committed = in all births fades away. He obtains all desires. [For such a yogin] there is attainment of the [ultimate] goal of all humanity. He who knows thus, [truly knows] the secret doctrine. (19)

© 2004 by Georg Feuerstein

Om Shanti ! Shanti ! Shanti !

Here ends the Adhvaya Taaraka Upanishad, as contained in the Shukla Paksha Yajur-Veda.

The translation presented in this page is either in the public domain and /or reproduced according to the Berne Convention for the benefit of our readers. All contents at this site are copyright P.K. Hari Hara Subramanian, 1998-2005, except where noted. All rights reserved.

Click here to go back to the Veda Rahasya Home Page