Aitareya Upanishad i

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Aitareya Upanishad i: 

This Upanishad is part of the Rg Veda. Its goal is to establish the identity of individual soul with Nirguna Brahman which is pure consciousness (untainted by attributes). 

The Mahaa Vaakyaa is Pragnyaana ghanam Brahma or “Brahman is cosmic consciousness”.  

The Shanti Patha is exclusive to this Upanishad. I am reproducing Swami Gambhirananda’s translation.  

“May my speech be based on (accord with) my mind; may my mind be based on speech. O Self –effulgent One! Reveal thyself to me. May you both (speech and mind) be carriers of the Veda to me. May not all that I have heard depart from me. I shall join together (obliterate the difference of) day night through this study. I shall utter what is verbally true. May that Brahman protect me; my that protect the speaker (the teacher), may the protect me; may that protect me – may that protect the speaker.

Om Shanti Shanti Shantih.” 

This Upanishad is a little abstract.  Where necessary I have given my interpretation. Alternatives are welcome.

  1. There was only Atma or self in the beginning. There was nothing else whatsoever that winked. He thought, “Let me create the worlds.” 
  2. He created these worlds: ambhas, marichi, mara, and aapa. That which is beyond heaven is ambhas. Heaven is its support. The sky is marichi. The earth is mara. The worlds below are the aapah. 
  3. He thought, “Let me create the rulers of the worlds.” He collected (matter) from water and created the Purusha. 
  4. He deliberated on the Purusha. From his mouth came speech. From speech came Fire. From the nostrils came the sense of smell. From the latter came Vayu. From the eyes came the sense of sight. From sight came the Sun. From the ears came the sense of hearing. From the latter came directions. Out of his skin came the hairs. From the latter came the herbs. The heart took shape and gave internal organ. From the last emerged the moon. From the navel came the sex organs. From that came the death. From the procreative organ came water.  
    The last shloka has to be understood as follows. He created the elemental states like fire, water and vayu. He created also the sun, the moon and Space. 
    To sum up: the universe with all its constituents is His creation. 

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