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Shwetaashwatar Upanishad

Person immersed in the discussion about God ask - How did the Universe come into being? Did Gos create it? Who created us and why? Where are we going from here? O you, who know, please tell us who determines what joys and sorrows will condition our lives?

Can we say that these is no master plan and creation is all chance? Can we say that life and its joys and sorrows are results of the passage of time? Is it all inherent in the nature of the things - that life is the natural fruit of the womb? is destiny molded by  the individual's actions?

Yet, chance, inherent nature and Destiny or their combinations fail to explain the cause of creation because of the existence of the of the individual soul which cannot be explained by the above mentioned causes.

The sages immersed in contemplation saw God in their own soul - the soul that is enveloped by the three natural tendencies of Sat, Raj and Tam in different proportions resulting from the previous actions. They also realized that God is the one who is the cause of Time, Nature, Destiny and individual soul and is the ruler of them all.
[Commentary - The three natural tendencies of Sat, Raj and Tam  to be explained. We could call them Saatwik, Raajasik and Taamasik tendencies. Taamasik tendency represents a lack of desire for spiritual and / or worldly achievements. It binds a person to ignorance, laziness, lack of effort and neglect. Raajasik tendency represents a passion for worldly achievement. It creates attachment to what has been attained. It drives a person to action with the purpose of achieving  his worldly ambitions. Saatwik tendency represents the purity and stability of mind. It brings spiritual enlightenment to a being. A person with Saatwik tendency is a seeker after knowledge and wisdom. For more of these read Geetaa, Chapter 14.]

The Lord maintains the Universe, which is a combination of the perishable and imperishable , the manifest and the unmanifest. The person who is forgetful of the Lord binds himself to pleasure-seeking as the goal. But the person who comes to know the Lord, is freed from this trap.

There are three entities, two of which are unborn - (1) the All-knowing Supreme Soul, (2) the Individual Soul. (3) the third entity is Pravritti (the human body including mind) which is pleasure-seeking. The Individual Soul is eternal and does not participate in actions. When one understands these three, one has understood Brahm.

The three entities can be described as follows - (1) Mortal human body, (2) Immortal - the human soul, (3) the Supreme being who rules over the first two. By uniting your mind with the Supreme being and by =meditating on Him with devotion, you can get true understanding and free yourself from Maayaa - from being slave to worldly pleasures.
[Commentary - This is one of the rare instances where a classical Upanishad uses the term Maayaa and talks about freedom to denote slavery to the desires of flesh which includes flesh attachment to person and things. The term Maayaa as used in these Upanishad does not seem to suggest that the world is an illusion and that indifference to the world is the only way to realize God. Shankar's interpretation of the word Maayaa, which he claimed was inspired by the Upanishad(s), as elaborated in his Vivek Choodaamani, seems different from the use in the Upanishad.]

The fruits of practicing Yog are the feeling of agility, heal their body, clearness of complexion, a beautiful voice, a pleasant body odor and freedom from greed.
[Commentary - Yog has two aspects - physical and spiritual. The physical aspect requires regular physical exercise of the body in the prescribed manner, and the spiritual aspect consists of realizing your soul as representing the Supreme Soul.]

When dirt is cleaned away a mirror shines brightly. Similarly when ignorance is removed a person recognizes God in His embodied soul and freed of all sorrow he becomes fulfilled.

Salutations again and again to the Lord who is in the fire, who is in water, who is in plants and trees, really pervades the entire Universe.

God has hands and feet everywhere, he has eyes and faces everywhere. He has eyes everywhere, He has ears everywhere, He pervades everything in the Universe.

Grasping without hands, hastening without feet, He sees without eyes and He hears without ears. He knows what can be known, yet hardly anyone knows Him. The wise call Him the great Supreme Being.

By the grace of the Lord, is a man freed of  sorrow and is able to realize the majesty of the Lord. The Lord's grace makes a person understand that Lord resides in the hearts of man and that he is smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest. [similar to Kaivalya Upanishad, 20]

Lord, You are without any form and yet you assume a multitude of visible forms, thus creating the Universe. From You all things come, and to You they all return. O Great Lord, endow us with wisdom.

The individual souls, inescapably have three natural tendencies which can be described by three colors - black which stands for ignorance and represents Tamas; red which stands for pleasure-seeking and represents Rajas; and white which stands for spirituality representing Sattwa. The first two tendencies keep them in bondage of ignorance and pleasure-seeking. Wisdom lies in abandoning these and in moving towards spirituality.
[Commentary - The Sanskrit word Ajaa means that which is unborn. The soul is neither born, nor does it die. Here Ajaa has been used for soul. Many translators have been agonized by this word and have taken a wrong turn b y translating Ajaa as "goat", it is easy to see that they are unable to extricate themselves out of confusion.]

One needs to know Him to be the cause of all creation. From Him all this comes and unto Him it all returns. He, the Adorable Lord, is the bestower of blessings. By knowing Him, a person finds everlasting peace.

Some intellectuals deny God, and instead ascribe the inherent nature of things, or passage of Time as the cause of events.

God is the starting point of it all. He produces the causes which unite the soul and and the body. He is above the three kinds of Time - past, present, and future. Unlike humans, He is without limbs, He expresses Himself in innumerable forms. Worship the adorable Lord who abodes in our thoughts.

Let us worship the transcendent, the Lord of all the worlds, the Lord of the lords, and the King of the kings - the most adorable one.

There is no effect and no cause known of Him. No one can be found greater than or equal to Him. His great power is revealed in manifold ways. Strength and wisdom are inherent in His nature.

The One, all-pervading God, dwells within us as our soul, watching all our actions. he is the witness and the Knower and he is free of attributes.

God is the maker of the Universe and the Knower of it all. he is His own creator. He is the author of Time and the Master of our body and soul. He is the dispenser of the three natural tendencies in men - Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas. He is the arbiter of our bondage to earthly existence and our liberation from it.


Shwetaashwatar Upanishad has a verse, 5/9
Vaalaagra Shat Bhaagasya Shatadhaa Kalpitasya Cha
Bhaago Jeevah sa Vigyedyah sa Chaanantyaaya Kalpate

Assume 100 parts of 100th part of hair end (micron size) = 10-10 Meter. That is Jeev, not destroyed in any chemical change -all Kalpa = or creation is recombination of atoms only.
Sun is Ashwa = driving force of universe, its lighted area is Shweta-ashwa and its creation cycle is called Shwet Varaaha Kalp. Structures higher than solar system (galaxy, Universe, Brahmaa) are Shwetaashwatar which are described in this Upanishad. One Marxist author Rahula Sankrityayana interpreted that all Rishi took soup (Tar or Taree or the liquid part of the vegetable or meat dish) of horse (Ashwa) bones (Shwet = white part).




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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 02/16/13