top of page
  • Writer's pictureLiveology

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad | Part III. Ch I. Janaka, Emperor of Videha, Performed a Sacrifice


Through the introductory hymn he wins the earth, through the sacrificial hymn he wins the sky and through the eulogistic hymn he wins heaven.



Photo by Chiara David



1. Om. Janaka, Emperor of Videha, performed a sacrifice in which gifts were freely distributed among the priests. Brahmin scholars from the countries of Kuru and Panchala were assembled there. Emperor Tanaka of Videha wished to know which of these brahmins was the most erudite Vedic scholar. So he confined a thousand cows in a pen and fastened on the horns of each ten padas of gold.


2. He said to them: "Venerable brahmins, let him among you who is the best Vedic scholar drive these cows home." None of the brahmins dared. Then Yajnavalkya said to one of his pupils: "Dear Samsrava, drive these cows home." He drove them away. The brahmins were furious and said: "How does he dare to call himself the best Vedic scholar among us?" Now among them there was Asvala, the hotri priest of Emperor Janaka of Videha. He asked Yajnavalkya: "Are you indeed the best Vedic scholar among us, O Yajnavalkya?" He replied: "I bow to the best Vedic scholar, but I just wish to have these cows." Thereupon the hotri Asvala determined to question him.


3. "Yajnavalkya," said he, "since everything here (i.e. connected with the sacrifice) is overtaken by death, since everything is overcome by death, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of death?" "Through the hotri priest and the organ of speech looked upon as fire. The sacrificer's organ of speech is the hotri. This organ of speech is fire; this fire is the hotri; this fire is the means to liberation; this is complete liberation."


4. "Yajnavalkya," said he, "since everything here is overtaken by day and night, since everything is overcome by day and night, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of day and night?" "Through the adhvaryu priest and the eye looked upon as the sun. The sacrificer's eye is the adhvaryu. This eye is the sun. This sun is the adhvaryu; this sun is the means to liberation; this is complete liberation."


5. "Yajnavalkya," said he, "since everything here is overtaken by the bright and dark fortnights, since everything is overcome by the bright and dark fortnights, by what means does the sacrificer free himself from the reach of the bright and dark fortnights?" "Through the udgatri priest and the vital breath looked upon as the air. This vital breath is the udgatri. This vital breath is the air; this air is the udgatri; this air is the means to liberation; this is complete liberation."


6. "Yajnavalkya," said he, "since the sky is, as it were, without a support, by means of what support does the sacrificer go to heaven?" "Through the Brahma priest and the mind looked upon as the moon. The sacrificer's mind is the Brahma. The mind is the moon; this moon is the Brahma; this moon is the means to liberation; this is complete liberation. So far about the ways of liberation; now about the meditation based upon resemblance.


7. "Yajnavalkya," said he, "how many kinds of Rig verses will the hotri priest use today in this sacrifice?" "Three kinds." "And which are these three?" "The introductory, the sacrificial and the eulogistic as the third." "What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?" "All this that has life."


8. "Yajnavalkya," said he, "how many kinds of oblations will the adhvaryu priest offer today in this sacrifice?" "Three." "And which are these three?" "Those which, when offered, blaze upward; those which, when offered, make a great noise; and those which, when offered, sink down." "What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?" "By those which, when offered, blaze upward, he wins the world of the gods; for the world of the gods shines bright, as it were. By those which, when offered, make a great noise, he wins the world of the Manes; for this world of the Manes is excessively noisy. By those which, when offered, sink down, he wins the world of men; for the world of men is down below."


9. "Yajnavalkya," said he, "with how many gods does the Brahma priest seated on the right protect the sacrifice today?" "With one." "Which is that one?" "The mind. The mind is indeed infinite and infinite are the Visve-devas. An infinite world he (the sacrificer) wins thereby."


10. "Yajnavalkya," said he, "how many kinds of hymns of praise will the udgatri priest chant today in this sacrifice?" "Three." "And which are these three?" "The introductory, the sacrificial and the eulogistic "Which are those that have reference to the body?" "The prana is the introductory hymn, the apana is hymn and the vyana is the eulogistic hymn." "What does he (the sacrificer) win through them?" "Through the introductory hymn he wins the earth, through the sacrificial hymn he wins the sky and through the eulogistic hymn he wins heaven. Thereupon the priest Asvala held his peace.








  1. The Upanishads translated by Swami Nikhilananda


 

Liveology® Yoga Studios creates uplifting content for your whole life, drawing from spiritual traditions across the world. Our entire website is an interactive experience. You never know what you'll find! Become a Member for access to all of our visualizations and our exclusive library of articles and videos. Thank you for your continued and growing support all over the world.


Peace & Pineapples!

Comments


Image by Matt Flores
START
HOME
 
Image by Juno Jo
JOIN THE PARTY
BECOME
A MEMBER
Image by Julianna Corbett
LEARN MORE
WELCOME
CENTER
Janu-Sirsasana-Liveology.jpeg
SO MUCH YOGA
YOGA
STUDIO
Image by Erik Brolin
MEDITATION FOR ALL
LIVE ONLINE
EVENTS
products+liveology.jpg
OUR
PRODUCTS
bottom of page