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The Maha-Narayana Upanishad

Translated by Swami Vimalananda – Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai
Hari Om ! May Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Indra, Brihaspati

And all-pervading Vishnu be propitious to us

And grant us welfare and bliss.

I bow down to Brahman in reverence.

O Vayu, I bow down to Thee in adoration.

Thou verily art perceptible Brahman.

I shall declare: Thou art right.

Thou art the true and the good.

May that – the Supreme Being adored as Vayu – preserve me.

May He preserve the teacher.

Me, may He protect; My teacher, may He protect.

Om ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together;

May we work conjointly with great energy,

May our study be vigorous and effective;

May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).

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 !

I-1: The Lord of creation, who is present in the shoreless waters, on the earth and above the heaven and who is greater than the great, having entered the shining intelligences of creatures in seed form, acts in the foetus (which grows into the living being that is born).

I-2: That in which all this universe exists together and into which it dissolves. That in which all the gods remain enjoying their respective powers – That certainly is whatever that has been in the past and whatever indeed is to come in the future. This cause of
the universe, Prajapati, is supported by His own imperishable nature described as absolute ether.

I-3: He by whom the space between heaven and earth as well as the heaven and the earth are enveloped. He by whom the sun burns with heat and gives light, and He whom the sages bind in the ether of their hearts (with the string of meditation), in whom – The Imperishable One – all creatures abide.

I-4-5: From whom the creatrix of the world, Prakriti, was born, who created in the world creatures out of elements such as water, who entered beings consisting of herbs, quadrupeds and men as the inner controller, who is greater than the greatest, who is one without a second, who is imperishable, who is of unlimited forms, who is the universe, who is ancient, who remains beyond darkness or Prakriti and who is higher than the highest – nothing else exists other than, or subtler than, Him.

I-6: Sages declare: That alone is right and That alone is true: That alone is the venerable Brahman contemplated by the wise. Acts of worship and social utility also are that Reality. That alone being the navel of the universe, sustains manifoldly the universe which arose in the past and which springs to existence at present.

I-7: That alone is Fire: That is Air; That is Sun; That verily is Moon; That alone is shining Stars and Ambrosia. That is Food; That is Water and He is the Lord of creatures.

I-8-9: All nimesas, kalas, muhurtas, kasthas, days, half-months, months, and seasons, were born from the self-luminous Person. The year also was born from Him. He milked water and also these two, the firmament and the heaven.

I-10: No person ever grasped by his understanding the upward limit of this Paramatman, nor His limit across, nor His middle portion. His name is ‘great glory’ for no one limits His nature by definition.

I-11: His form is not to be beheld; none whosoever beholds Him with the eye. Those who meditate on Him with their minds undistracted and fixed in the heart know Him; they become immortal.

[Paramatma-sukta or Hiranyagarbha-sukta – from Yajur-Veda-Samhita:

1. The universe arose from Visvakarman through water, earth, fire and other elements. He excelled Aditya, Indra and other gods. The sun called Tvasta rises in the morning embodying His brilliance. In the beginning of creation the mortal world enveloped in gloom
received its divine brilliance from the sun shining in the glory of Paramatman.

2. I know this Great Person who is beyond ignorance and darkness and whose splendour is comparable to that of the sun. Knowing Him thus in this life itself, one transcends death. There is no other path leading to the attainment of liberation.

3. The sun who is the Lord of creatures moves about in the space between heaven and earth causing day and night. Although He is unborn, being the Self of all, He manifests Himself as the manifold universe. Wise men realize the source of the universe, the
all-pervading Paramatman. Prajapati, the first patriarchs, sought the position, which Marichi and other sages attained.

4. Salutation to the resplendent Sun-God who is the son of Para-Brahman, who shines for the benefit of gods, who is invoked as the beneficent leader of the gods, and who was born as the eldest among the gods.

5. When the gods instituted the Knowledge of Brahman they declared thus teaching about the Supreme reality. – That sage who knows the Supreme as described before will have sovereignty over gods, for he has become the Inmost Self of all.

6. O Sun, Hri and Lakshmi are Thy consorts, Thyself being Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Day and night are Thy two sides. Asterisms in the sky are Thine own form. The Ashvins are Thy mouth. Being such, grant me whatever I desire, spiritual illumination,
happiness here and other objects of desire.]

[Hymn to Hiranyagarbha – from Taittiriya-Samhita IV-1-8:

1. The resplendent Prajapati was born at the beginning of creation from the Supreme potent with the power of Maya. Having been born He became the one sustainer and nourisher of all beings. The same Paramatman, here designated as Hiranyagarbha,
supports the earth as well as heaven. May we worship that shining One with offerings – who is of the nature of bliss or whose characteristic nature cannot be interrogated.

2. Who became the sovereign ruler of all beings living and existing on the earth; who controls as the indwelling Spirit all the bipeds and quadrupeds evident on the earth;

3. Who is the giver of Self (all Selves in reality being Himself); who is the bestower of strength (as nourisher through food); whose command even gods are eager to receive; whom immortality and death obey like shadow;

4. Whose glory the mountains, the Himalayas and the rest, declare; whose greatness the ocean along with rivers proclaim; to whose hands engaged in dispensing justice may be compared the eight directions;

5. Whom the dual deity, heaven and earth, shining by light and established for the protection of the world view in mind as the source of their greatness; supported by whom the sun moves gloriously after rising;

6. By whom the powerful sky and the terrestrial region were made firm; by whom the blissful heaven was awarded to the virtuous, by whom Release was appointed for the virtuous; who is the maker of Rajasa creation in the mid-region;

7. Through the power of whom the great Causal Waters holding within it the power of unfoldment and the capacity to produce fire transformed itself into the form of the world and from whom the one Breath of all gods came into existence;

8. Who – the Hiranyagarbha – viewed the waters which create fire and support the Vedic acts of worship (in order to endow it with such potency); who is the one God ruling over all the rest.]

I-12: This Self-luminous Lord renowned in the scriptures pervades all the quarters of heaven. Having been born as Hiranyagarbha in the beginning He indeed is inside the universe represented as the womb. He alone is the manifold world of creation now springing into existence and causing the birth of the world of creation yet to come. As one having face everywhere, He dwells also as the inner most Self leading all creatures.

I-13: The Self-luminous Reality is one without a second and is the creator of heaven and earth. (Having created the universe by Himself and out of Himself.) He became the possessor of the eyes, faces, hands and feet of all creatures in every part of the
universe. He controls all of them by dharma and adharma (merit and demerit) represented as His two hands and the constituent elements of the universe which have supplied the Souls with the material embodiment represented as patatra or legs.

I-14-15: He in whom this universe originates and into whom it is absorbed; He who exists as the warp and woof in all created beings; He by whom the three states (of waking, dream and deep sleep) are appointed in the intellects hidden in creatures; He in whom the universe finds a single place of rest – having seen that Paramatman, the Gandharva named Vena became a true knower of all the worlds and proclaimed (to his disciples for the first time) that Reality as immortal. He who knows that all-pervasive One becomes worthy of receiving the honour due to a father even from his own natural father.

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