Mandala Brahmana Upanishad - Translated by: Shri.K. Narayanasvami Aiyar

Om ! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite.

The infinite proceeds from the infinite.

(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe),

It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone. 

Om ! Let there be Peace in me !

Let there be Peace in my environment !

Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !


1. OM. The great Muni Yajnavalkya went to Aditya-Loka (the sun’s world) and saluting him (the Purusha of the Sun) said: “O 
Revered Sir, describe to me the Atman-Tattva (the Tattva or Truth of Atman).” (To which) Narayana (viz., the Purusha of the sun) 
replied: “I shall describe the eight-fold Yoga together with Jnana. The conquering of cold and heat as well as hunger and sleep, the 
preserving of (sweet) patience and unruffledness ever and the restraining of the organs (from sensual objects) – all these come under 
(or are) Yama. Devotion to one’s Guru, love of the true path, enjoyment of objects producing happiness, internal satisfaction, 
freedom from association, living in a retired place, the controlling of the Manas and the not longing after the fruits of actions and a 
state of Vairagya – all these constitute Niyama. The sitting in any posture pleasant to one and clothed in tatters (or bark) is 
prescribed for Asana (posture). Inspiration, restraint of breath and expiration, which have respectively 16, 64 and 32 (Matras) 
constitute Pranayama (restraint of breath). The restraining of the mind from the objects of senses is Pratyahara (subjugation of the 
senses). The contemplation of the oneness of consciousness in all objects is Dhyana. The mind having been drawn away from the 
objects of the senses, the fixing of the Chaitanya (consciousness) (on one alone) is Dharana. The forgetting of oneself in Dhyana is 
Samadhi. He who thus knows the eight subtle parts of Yoga attains salvation.

2. The body has five stains (viz.,) passion, anger, out-breathing, fear and sleep. The removal of these can be affected respectively 
by absence of Sankalpa, forgiveness, moderate food, carefulness and a spiritual sight of Tattvas. In order to cross the ocean of 
Samsara where sleep and fear are the serpents, injury, etc., are the waves, Trishna (thirst) is the whirlpool and wife is the mire, one 
should adhere to the subtle path and overstepping Tattva and other Gunas should look out for Taraka. Taraka is Brahman which 
being in the middle of the two eyebrows, is of the nature of the spiritual effulgence of Sachchidananda. The (spiritual) seeing through 
the three Lakshyas (or the three kinds of introvision) is the means to It (Brahman). Susumna which is from the Muladhara to 
Brahmarandhra has the radiance of the sun. In the centre of it, is Kundalini shining like Crores of lightning and subtle as the thread 
in the lotus-stalk. Tamas is destroyed there. Through seeing it, all sins are destroyed. When the two ears are closed by the tips of 
the forefingers, a Phutkara (or booming) sound is heard. When the mind is fixed on it, it sees a blue light between the eyes as also 
in the heart. (This is Antar-Lakshya or internal introvision). In the Bahir-Lakshya (or external introvision) one sees in order before his 
nose at distance of 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 digits, the space of blue colour, then a colour resembling Shyama (indigo-black) and then 
shining as Rakta (red) wave and then with the two Pita (yellow and orange red) colours. Then he is a Yogin. When one looks at the 
external space, moving the eyes and sees streaks of light at the corners of his eyes, then his vision can be made steady. When 
one sees Jyotis (spiritual light) above his head 12 digits in length, then he attains the state of nectar. In the Madhya-Lakshya (or the 
middle one), one sees the variegated colours of the morning as if the sun, the moon and the fire had joined together in the Akasa 
that is without them. Then he comes to have their nature (of light). Through practice, he becomes one with Akasa, devoid of all 
Gunas and peculiarities. At first Akasa with its shining stars becomes to him Para-Akasa as dark as Tamas itself and he becomes 
one with Para-Akasa shining with stars and deep as Tamas. (Then) he becomes one with Maha-Akasa resplendent (as) with the fire 
of the deluge. Then he becomes one with Tattva-Akasa, lighted with the brightness which is the highest and the best of all. Then he 
becomes one with Surya-Akasa (Sun-Akasa) brightened by a Crore of suns. By practising thus, he becomes one with them. He who 
knows them becomes thus. 

3. Know that Yoga is twofold through its division into the Purva (earlier) and the Uttara (later). The earlier is Taraka and the later 
is Amanaska (the mindless). Taraka is divided into Murti (with limitation) and Amurti (without limitation). That is Murti Taraka which 
goes to the end of the senses (or exist till the senses are conquered). That is Amurti Taraka which goes beyond the two eyebrows 
(above the senses). Both these should be performed through Manas. Antar-Drishti (internal vision) associated with manas comes to 
aid Taraka. Tejas (spiritual light) appears in the hole between the two eyebrows. This Taraka is the earlier one. The later is 
Amanaska. The great Jyotis (light) is above the root of the palate. By seeing it, one gets the Siddhis Anima, etc. Sambhavi-Mudra 
occurs when the Lakshya (spiritual vision) is internal while the (physical) eyes are seeing externally without winking. This is the 
great science which is concealed in all the Tantras. When this is known, one does not stay in Samsara. Its worship (or practice) 
gives salvation. Antar-Lakshya is of the nature of Jala-Jyotis (or water-Jyotis). It is known by the great Rishis and is invisible both to 
the internal and external senses.

4. Sahasrara (viz., the thousand-petalled lotus of the pineal gland) Jala-Jyotis is the Antar-Lakshya. Some say the form of 
Purusha in the cave of Buddhi beautiful in all its parts is Antar-Lakshya. Some again say that the all-quiescent Nilakantha 
accompanied by Uma (his wife) and having five months and latent in the midst of the sphere in the brain is Antar-Lakshya. Whilst 
others say that the Purusha of the dimension of a thumb is Antar-Lakshya. A few again say Antar-Lakshya is the One Self made 
supreme through introvision in the state of a Jivanmukta. All the different statements above made pertain to Atman alone. He alone 
is a Brahma-Nishtha who sees that the above Lakshya is the pure Atman. The Jiva which is the twenty-fifth Tattva, having 
abandoned the twenty-four Tattvas, becomes a Jivanmukta through the conviction that the twenty-sixth Tattva (viz.,) Paramatman is 
‘I’ alone. Becoming one with Antar-Lakshya (Brahman) in the emancipated state by means of Antar-Lakshya (introvision), Jiva 
becomes one with the partless sphere of Param-Akasa.

Thus ends the first Brahmana.


1. Then Yajnavalkya asked the Purusha in the sphere of the sun: “O Lord, Antar-Lakshya has been described many times, but it 
has never been understood by me (clearly). Pray describe it to me”. He replied: “It is the source of the five elements, has the lustre 
of many (streaks of) lightning and has four seats having (or rising from) ‘That’ (Brahman). In its midst, there arises the manifestation 
of Tattva. It is very hidden and Unmanifested. It can be known (only) by one who has got into the boat of Jnana. It is the object of 
both Bahir and Antar (external and internal) Lakshyas. In its midst is absorbed the whole world. It is the vast partless universe 
beyond Nada, Bindu and Kala. Above it (viz., the sphere of Agni) is the sphere of the sun; in its midst is the sphere of the nectary 
moon; in its midst is the sphere of the partless Brahma-Tejas (or the spiritual effulgence of Brahman). It has the brightness of Sukla 
(white light) like the ray of lightning. It alone has the characteristic of Sambhavi. In seeing this there are three kinds of Drishti (sight), 
viz., Ama (the new moon), Pratipat (the first day of lunar fortnight) and Purnima (the full moon). The sight of Ama is the one (seen) 
with closed eyes. That with half opened eyes is Pratipat; while that with fully opened eyes is Purnima. Of these, the practice of 
Purnima should be resorted to. Its Lakshya (or aim) is the tip of the nose. Then is seen a deep darkness at the root of the palate. 
By practising thus, a Jyotis (light) of the form of an endless sphere is seen. This alone is Brahman, the Sachchidananda. When the 
mind is absorbed in bliss thus naturally produced, then does Sambhavi takes place. She (Sambhavi) alone is called Khechari. By 
practising it (viz., the Mudra), a man obtains firmness of mind. Through it, he obtains firmness of Vayu. The following are the signs: 
first it is seen like a star; then a reflecting (or dazzling) diamond; then the sphere of full moon; then the sphere of the brightness of 
nine gems; then the sphere of the midday sun; then the sphere of the flame of Agni (fire); all these are seen in order.

2. (Thus much for the light in Purva or first stage.) Then there is the light in the western direction (in the Uttara or second stage). 
Then the lustres of crystal, smoke, Bindu, Nada, Kala, star, firefly, lamp, eye, gold and nine gems, etc., are seen. This alone is the 
form of Pranava. Having united Prana and Apana and holding the breath in Kumbhaka, one should fix his concentration at the tip of 
his nose and making Shanmukhi with the fingers of both his hands, one hears the sound of Pranava (Om) in which Manas becomes 
absorbed. Such a man has not even the touch of Karma. The karma of (Sandhya-Vandana or the daily prayers) is verily performed at 
the rising or setting of the sun. As there is no rising or setting (but only the ever shining) of the sun of Chit (the higher 
consciousness) in the heart of a man who knows thus, he has no Karma to perform. Rising above (the conception of) day and night 
through the annihilation of sound and time, he becomes one with Brahman through the all-full Jnana and the attaining of the state of 
Unmani (the state above Manas). Through the state of Unmani, he becomes Amanaska (or without Manas).

Not being troubled by any thoughts (of the world) then constitutes the Dhyana. The abandoning of all Karmas constitutes 
Avahana (invocation of god). Being firm in the unshaken (spiritual) wisdom constitutes Asana (posture). Being in the state of Unmani 
constitutes the Padya (offering of water for washing the feet of god). Preserving the state of Amanaska (when Manas is offered as 
sacrifice) constitutes the Arghya (offering of water as oblation generally). Being in state of eternal brightness and shoreless nectar 
constitutes Snana (bathing). The contemplation of Atman as present in all constitutes (the application to the idol of) Sandal. The 
remaining in the real state of the Drik (spiritual eye) is (the worshipping with) Akshata (non-broken rice). The attaining of Chit 
(consciousness) is (the worshipping with) flower. The real state of Agni (fire) of Chit is the Dhupa (burning of incense). The state of 
the sun of Chit is the Dipa (light waved before the image). The union of one-self with the nectar of full moon is the Naivedya (offering 
of food, etc.,). The immobility in that state (of the ego being one with all) is Pradakshina (going round the image). The conception of 
‘I am He’ is Namaskara (prostration). The silence (then) is the Sruti (praise). The all-contentment (or serenity then) is the Visatjana 
(giving leave to god or finishing worship). (This is the worship of Atman by all raja-Yogins). He who knows this knows all.

3. When the Triputi are thus dispelled, he becomes the Kaivalya Jyotis without Bhava (existence) or Abhava (non-existence), full 
and motionless, like the ocean without the tides or like the lamp without the wind. He becomes a Brahmavit (knower of Brahman) by 
cognising the end of the sleeping state even while in the waking state. Though the (same) mind is absorbed in Sushupti as also in 
Samadhi, there is much difference between them. (in the former case) as the mind is absorbed in Tamas, it does not become the 
means of salvation, (but) in Samadhi as the modifications of Tamas in him are rooted away, the mind raises itself to the nature of 
the Partless. All that is no other than Sakshi-Chaitanya (wisdom-consciousness or the Higher Self) into which the absorption of the 
whole universe takes place, in as much as the universe is but a delusion (or creation) of the mind and is therefore not different from 
it. Though the universe appears perhaps as outside of the mind, still it is unreal. He who knows Brahman and who is the sole 
enjoyer of Brahmic bliss which is eternal and has dawned once (for all in him) – that man becomes one with Brahman. He in whom 
Sankalpa perishes has got Mukti in his hand. Therefore one becomes an emancipated person through the contemplation of 
Paramatman. Having given up both Bhava and Abhava, one becomes a Jivanmukta by leaving off again and again in all states Jnana 
(wisdom) and Jneya (object of wisdom), Dhyana (meditation) and Dhyeya (object of meditation), Lakshya (the aim) and Alakshya 
(non-aim), Drishya (the visible) and Adrishya (the non-visible) and Uha (reasoning) and Apoha (negative reasoning). He who knows 
this knows all.

4. There are five Avasthas (states): Jagrat (waking), Swapna (dreaming), Sushupti (dreamless sleeping), the Turya (fourth) and 
Turyatita (that beyond the fourth). The Jiva (ego) that is engaged in the waking state becomes attached to the Pravritti (worldly) path 
and is the particular of Naraka (hell) as the fruit of sins. He desires Svarga (heaven) as the fruit of his virtuous actions. This very 
same person becomes (afterwards) indifferent to all these saying, ‘Enough of the births tending to actions, the fruits of which tend to 
bondage till the end of this mundane existence’. Then he pursues the Nivritti (return) path with a view to attain emancipation. And 
this person then takes refuge in a spiritual instructor in order to cross this mundane existence. Giving up passion and others, he 
does only those he is asked to do. Then having acquired the four Sadhanas (means to salvation) he attains, in the middle of the 
lotus of his heart, the Reality of Antar-Lakshya that is but the Sat of Lord and begins to recognise (or recollect) the bliss of Brahman 
which he had left (or enjoyed) in his Sushupti state. At last he attains this state of discrimination (thus): ‘I think I am the non-dual 
One only. I was in Ajnana for some time (in the waking state and called therefore Vishva). I became somehow (or involuntarily) a 
Taijasa (in the dreaming state) through the reflection (in that state) of the affinities of the forgotten waking state; and now I am a 
Prajna through the disappearance of those two states. Therefore I am one only. I (appear) as more than one through the differences 
of state and place. And there is nothing of differentiation of class besides me’. Having expelled even the smack of the difference (of 
conception) between ‘I’ and ‘That’ through the thought ‘I am the pure and the secondless Brahman’ and having attained the path of 
salvation which is of the nature of Para-Brahman, after having become one with It through the Dhyana of the sun’s sphere as shining 
with himself, he becomes fully ripened for getting salvation. Sankalpa and others are the causes of the bondage of the mind; and the 
mind devoid of these becomes fit for salvation. Possessing such a mind free from all (Sankalpa, etc.,) and withdrawing himself from 
the outer world of sight and others and so keeping himself out of the odour of the universe, he looks upon all the world as Atman, 
abandons the conception of ‘I’, thinks ‘I am Brahman’ and considers all these as Atman. Through these, he becomes one who has 
done his duty.

5. The Yogin is one that has realised Brahman that is all-full beyond Turya. They (the people) extol him as Brahman; and 
becoming the object of the praise of the whole world, he wanders over different countries. Placing the Bindu in the Akasa of 
Paramatman and pursuing the path of the partless bliss produced by the pure, secondless, stainless and innate Yoga sleep of 
Amanaska, he becomes an emancipated person. Then the Yogin becomes immersed in the ocean of bliss. When compared to it, 
the bliss of Indra and others is very little. He who gets this bliss is the supreme Yogin.

Thus ends the second Brahmana.


1. The great sage Yajnavalkya then asked the Purusha in the sphere (of the sun): “O Lord, though the nature of Amanaska has 
been defined (by you), yet I forget it (or do not understand it clearly). Therefore pray explain it again to me.” Accordingly the 
Purusha said: “This Amanaska is a great secret. By knowing this, one becomes a person who had done his duty. One should look 
upon it as Paramatman, associated with Sambhavi-Mudra and should know also all those that can be known through a (thorough) 
cognition of them. Then seeing Para-Brahman in his own Atman as the Lord of all, the immeasurable, the birthless, the auspicious, 
the supreme Akasa, the supportless, the secondless the only goal of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra and the cause of all and assuring 
himself that he who plays in the cave (of the heart) is such a one, he should raise himself above the dualities of existence and 
non-existence; and knowing the experience of the Unmani of his Mans, he then attains the state of Para-Brahman which is 
motionless as a lamp in a windless place, having reached the ocean of Brahmic bliss by means of the river of Amanaska-Yoga 
through the destruction of all his senses. Then he resembles a dry tree. Having lost all (idea of) the universe through the 
disappearance of growth, sleep, disease, expiration and inspiration, his body being always steady, he comes to have a supreme 
quiescence, being devoid of the movements of his Manas and becomes absorbed in Paramatman. The destruction of mans takes 
place after the destruction of the collective senses, like the cow’s udder (that shrivels up) after the milk has been drawn. It is this 
that is Amanaska. By following this, one becomes always pure and becomes one that has done his duty, having been filled with the 
partless bliss by means of the path of Taraka-Yoga through the initiation into the sacred sentences ‘I am pa’, 'That Thou Art', ‘I am 
thou alone’, ‘Thou art I alone’, etc.

2. When his Mans is immersed in the Akasa and he becomes all-full and when he attains the Unmani state, having abandoned 
all his collective senses, he conquers all sorrows and impurities through the partless bliss, having attained the fruits of Kaivalya, 
ripened through the collective merits gathered in all his previous lives and thinking always ‘I am Brahman’, becomes one that has 
done his duty. ‘I am Thou alone. There is no difference between thee and me owing to the fullness of Paramatman’.” Saying thus, he 
(the Purusha of the sun) embraced his pupil and made him understand it.

Thus ends the third Brahmana.


Then Yajnavalkya addressed the Purusha in the sphere (of the sun) thus: “Pray explain to me in detail the nature of the 
five-fold division of Akasa”. He replied: “There are five: Akasa, Parakasa, Mahakasa, Suryakasa and Paramakasa. That which is of 
the nature of darkness, both in and out is the first Akasa. That which has the fire of deluge, both in and out is truly Mahakasa. That 
which has the brightness of the sun, both in and out is Suryakasa. That brightness which is indestructible, all-pervading and of the 
nature of unrivalled bliss is Paramakasa. By cognising these according to this description, one becomes of their nature.

He is a Yogin only in name, who does not cognise well the nine Chakras, the six Adharas, the three Lakshyas and the five 

Thus ends the fourth Brahmana.


“The Manas influenced by worldly objects is liable to bondage; and that (Mans) which is not so influenced by these is fit for 
salvation. Hence all the world becomes an object of Chitta; whereas the same Chitta when it is supportless and well-ripe in the state 
of Unmani, becomes worthy of Laya (absorption in Brahman). This absorption you should learn from me who am the all-full. I alone 
am the cause of the absorption of Manas.

The Mans is within the Jyotis (spiritual light) which again is latent in the spiritual sound which pertains to the Anahata 
(heart) sound.

That Manas which is the agent of creation, preservation and destruction of the three worlds – that same Manas becomes 
absorbed in that which is the highest seat of Vishnu;

Through such an absorption, one gets the pure and secondless state, owing to the absence of difference then. This alone is 
the highest truth. He who knows this, will wander in the world like a lad or an idiot or a demon or simpleton. By practising this 
Amanaska, one is ever contented, his urine and faeces become diminished, his food becomes lessened; he becomes strong in 
body and his limbs are free from disease and sleep. Then his breath and eyes being motionless, he realises Brahman and attains 
the nature of bliss. That ascetic who is intent on drinking the nectar of Brahman produced by the long practice of this kind of 
Samadhi, becomes a Paramahamsa (ascetic) or an Avadhuta (naked ascetic). By seeing him, all the world becomes pure and even 
an illiterate person who serves him is freed from bondage. He (the ascetic) enables the members of his family for one hundred and 
one generations to cross the ocean of Samsara; and his mother, father, wife and children – all these are similarly freed. Thus is the 

Thus ends the fifth Brahmana.

Om ! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite.

The infinite proceeds from the infinite.

(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe),

It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone. 

Om ! Let there be Peace in me !

Let there be Peace in my environment !

Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Om Shanti ! Shanti ! Shanti !

Here ends the Mandala Brahmana Upanishad, as contained in the Shukla Paksha Yajur-Veda.

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