Naaraayana Upanishad


This Upanishad is about the Supreme Being, Naaraayana and hence acquires this title. It quotes various passages from the four Vedas about this Supreme Being and arrives at a conclusive decision about His Supremity. This Upanishad is part of the Krishna Yajur Veda.

The Upanishad:

OM! May Brahman protect us (the Guru and Sishya) both! May he give us both (enough) to enjoy! Efficiency may we both attain! Effective may our study prove! May we not hate (each other) at all!

Om Shanti ! Shanti ! Shanti !

I am now going to explain the principles behind the “tripaat-naaraayana” philosophy, which, if understood and grasped fully, can cull out and weed all forms of illusory material that surrounds all living in this materialistic world.

“OM! The Supreme Being, a.k.a Naaraayana, desired to create living beings. And out of such desire (or vow), the living force of breath called “praana” stems out from the Supreme Being; the mind (manas) and all other sense organs come into being. Also created along with are the Sky, the Air, the Light, the Water and the Earth, which bears all the beings. Out of Naraayana arises the Brahma, the deity who is the creator of all beings; and also the Indra, who is the ruler of all Devas. Out of Him comes Prajaapati, the deity who originates and controls the people, as well as the twelve Aadityaas, eleven Rudraas and eight Vasus (various controlling forces mentioned in the Vedas – each concerning a distinct and different force of nature). It is only out of the same Naaraayana that all Vedas came into existence. Thus, all forces come out of Naaraayana and also finally merge into Him.” – Thus proclaims one of the Upanishads in the Rig Veda.

“Naaraayanan is ever-present and eternal; He is omni-potent and omni-present; Brahma, Sivan, Indran all (these deities) are (various forms of) Naaraayana himself. He indeed, is all forms of time, space and direction. All directions of up, down, sides, in and out are His shadow-cast. All that is existing and the ones to come into existence are Naaraayana Himself. The Single Supreme Being, devoid of any form of impurity, which cannot be expressed in words, and which is the purest of all pure, is Naaraayanan. There is nothing above Him and no second power than His. That one who understands this as such becomes (merges with) the Naaraayana Himself; he becomes (merges with) the Naaraayana Himself (repeated stress).” – Thus asserts one of the Upanishads in the Yajur Veda.

“First utter the syllable “OM”; then utter the words “Namah” and “Naaraayanaaya”. These words respectively are made of one, two and five syllables (as in Sanskrit); thus the entire phrase is made of eight syllables or called as “ashta-aksharam” (ashta-eight; aksharam-syllable). That one who chants this eight-syallable mantra of Naaraayana, lives long without any disrepute or notoriety; he is blessed with rulership, wealth, cattle and servants and ultimately attains the moksha (or the point of no return) also called as salvation; he attains the moksha (repeated with stress).” – Thus states one of the Upanishads in the Sama Veda.

“That blissful Supreme Being (Brahman) which resides within, is of the form of OM or Pranava. The Pranava (OM) is made of A, U and M. That grew in multiples. The blessed one, who recites and chants the syllable OM, he gets rid of all the bindings and bonds of this material world. The one who chants the words “Om Namo Naaraayanaaya” ultimately attains the Vaikunda, the abode of Sri Naaraayanaa (or the Heaven – the Home of Salvation). The Vaikunda is not (to be found) anywhere else but in a pure blessed heart, filled with knowledge (spiritual). From there rises an offshoot of light, as bright as a ray of lightning. That ray of light is representative of the various forms of Naaraayana – called by names such as son of Devaki, the one sweeter than Honey, the one in the form of Brahma, the one with lotus-like eyes, Vishnu (or the savior of all). He resides within all beings, and controls all their activities. He is the form of non-materialistic syllable OM, the Supreme Being.” – Thus states one of the Upanishads in the Atharva Veda.

(Having thus known what each of the four Vedas say about Naaraayana, now let us understand the fruits of chanting His mantra). That one who chants this (mantra) in the morning, destroys all (his) sins committed during the (previous) night. The one who chants this in the evening destroys all sins committed during the day. That one who chants this during mid-day, looking at the Sun, destroys all the five kinds of major and minor sins described as the worst in the Scriptures. He gets all the benefits of having chanted all the Vedas. Ultimately, he merges into and becomes one with the Supreme Being Naaraayana.

OM! May Brahman protect us (the Guru and Sishya) both! May he give us both (enough) to enjoy! Efficiency may we both attain! Effective may our study prove! May we not hate (each other) at all!

Om Shanti ! Shanti ! Shanti !

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