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Chandogya Upanishad

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Date of composition

c. 8th4th BCE

Purported authors

Uddalaka Aruni, Sanatkumara,Sandilya[citation needed]

Type of Upanishad

Mukhya U ani!had




Chandogya Brahmana,$anca"im!a Brahmana

Number of chapters


Core phi osophy

%n#n#!! o& th# Atman

Commented upon by

Adi Shankara

Popu ar verse

'at t"am a!i

$art o& a !#ri#! on th#





Bhadrayaka ( a Taittirya ( Kaha


Chndogya ( Kena


Muaka (Mkya (Pra na 'hi! )o*+ "i#, talk #dit

The Chandogya Upanishad (also Chhandogya; Sanskrit: chndogyopaniad ) is one of the "primary" (mukhya) Upanishads Together !ith the "aiminiya Upanishad #rahmana and the #rihadaranyaka Upanishad it ranks among the oldest Upanishads, still dating to the #rahmana period of $edic Sanskrit (%efore &'' #C(, most likely a%o)t the *th to +th cent)ry #C() ,citation needed- .t is associated !ith the /a)th)ma Shakha of the Sama0eda .t fig)res as n)m%er 1 in the 2)ktika canon of 3'* Upanishads .t is part of the Chandogya Brahmana, !hich has ten chapters The first t!o chapters of the #rahmana deal !ith sacrifices and other forms of !orship The other eight constit)te the Chandogya Upanishad ,3- Tho)gh there are more than t!o h)ndred Upanishads, ten are principal These are called the 4ashopanishads and are kno!n for their philosophical depth, ha0ing %ecome pop)lar thro)gh the commentaries of 5di Shankara and 2adh0acharya 5long !ith #rhadaranyaka Upanishad, theChandogyopanishad is an ancient so)rce of principal f)ndamentals of $edantaphilosophy 5 n)m%er of references made to this Upanishad in #rahma s)tras indicate the special importance of this Upanishad in $edantic philosophy .mportant Upasana6s s)ch as 4ahara 0idya and Shandilya 0idya are its speciality


o o o o o o o o

3 Commentary 7 8rgani9ation 7 3 First Chapter 7 7 Second Chapter 7 & Third Chapter 7 : Fo)rth Chapter 7 ; Fifth Chapter 7 < Si=th Chapter 7 + Se0enth Chapter 7 * (ighth Chapter & See also : >eferences ; ?rimary reso)rces < So)rces + (=ternal links

8f the a0aila%le commentaries, the oldest !as !ritten %y 5di Shankara 5di Shankara stated that his commentary is a %rief %ook for those !ho !ant a s)mmary of this Upanishad 5nanda @irimentioned in his commentary that a 4ramidacharya !rote an ela%orate and detailed commentary !ell %efore 5di Shakara, %)t little is kno!n a%o)t this 4ramidacharya and his !ork is no! lost #rahmanandi Tankacharya !rote a %rief e=planation for this )panishad and 4ramidacharya !rote an ela%orate and detailed commentary on the !ork of #rahmanandi Tankacharya Sri >aman)Aa makes many references to these t!o scholars in his commentaries, Vedanta Sangraha and Sri Bhasya

The Chandogya Upanishad contains eight chapters, !ith each chapter di0ided into s)%chapters called /handa

First Chapter[edit]
The first chapter contains thirteen khandas The first khanda ordains the Upasana of udgitha (or holy sylla%le 82) The sylla%le 82 is called %y the term udgitha since a priest designated as Udgt starts his singing of Sama6s !ith 82 in $edic yaAnas

The second khanda ordains that )dgitha sho)ld %e meditated as $ital Bife Force or ?rana, and tells a story to e=plain the Coliness of ?rana descri%ing ho! it remained )nto)ched %y e0il !hile all other fi0e senses got tainted %y e0il Third khanda says that )dgitha sho)ld %e meditated as s)n god Fo)rth khanda contin)es telling one more method ( Upasana )for meditating )pon 82 as the Eternal and Ultimate Refuge (Amritam, Abhayam) and tells that one !ho meditates this !ay %ecomes himself an (ternal and Ultimate >ef)ge Fifth khanda tells that one !ho meditates on the S)n and its rays as separate from each other or ?rana and its f)nctions s)ch as speech etc as separate from each other !o)ld %eget many children 8ne more Upasana of )dgitha is told in Si=th khanda for o%taining !ealth Se0enth khanda ordains that 82 (or )dgitha) sho)ld %e meditated as Purusha (4i0ine ?erson) present in the right eye !ho is nothing %)t another manifestation of S)n (5ditya)!ho in t)rn another manifestation of 82 Cence descri%es the eD)ality of 82, 4i0ine ?erson present in the >ight (ye and S)n 5nother Upasana of )dgitha is told in ninth and tenth khanda6s !hich is said to res)lt in a Superior Divine Essence ( Parovareeya Satva ) in the practitioner This is told in the form of a story of Three Scholars of Sama Tenth and (le0enth khandas descri%e three parts of Sama called Prastava, udgitha and Pratihaara !hich are s)ng %y priests in 0edic >it)als and their respecti0e gods thro)gh a Story of ?riest Ushasti Chakrayana T!elfth khanda tells a%o)t the Udgitha Sama re0ealed %y gods in the form of 4ogs The res)lt of singing this Sama is a0aila%ility of food Thirteenth khanda descri%es the 0ario)s Upasana6s of Stho%haE5kshara6s

Se ond Chapter[edit]
There are 7: khandas in the second chapter 5fter ha0ing ela%orated on different Upasana6s of 0ario)s organs of Sama, the second chapter ela%orates many Upasana6s of f)ll Sama as a !hole (that is, com%ined Sama !ith all Sama organs or parts) .n other !ords, it can %e said that if first chapter descri%es the Upasana of different %ody parts separately, the second chapter descri%es the Upasana6s of !hole %ody (F)ll Sama) Worshipping F)ll Sama or Whole Sama is descri%ed to %e yielding good character (Saadhu Dharma) to !orshipper in first khanda Second khanda descri%es Fi0eEFold Sama or Sama !ith Fi0e 8rgans (Pan ha !idha Sama) C.2E/ara, ?rasta0a, )dgitha, ?ratihara and Fidhana are the names of Fi0e organs of Sama .n second to se0enth khanda6s this Fi0eEFold Sama is ordained to %e concept)ali9ed or 0ie!ed as different !orlds s)ch as earth, hea0en etc .n !orld0ie!, as !ind, lightning etc 5s a process, raining Clo)d, rain, ocean, etc !o)ld %e the !ater 0ie! 4ifferent seasons s)ch as spring in a seasons 0ie!, or as sheep etc in terms of animals and finally as 0ital airs (?rana)

(ach of these concept)ali9ations or 0ie!s of Fi0eFold Sama is a separate Upasana of Fi0efold Sama and descri%ed to %e ha0ing definite fr)it or res)lt for the practitioner (ighth khanda ordains Se0enEFold Sama T!o more organs 5di and Upadra0a are added to Fi0e organs descri%ed in second khanda to make Sama Se0en Fold This Se0en Fold Sama is ordained to %e seen or 0ie!ed in the speech in eighth khanda Fr)it of this Upasana is !orshipper ne0er faces scarcity of food and !ill ha0e eno)gh food to pro0ide for others Fe=t Upasana is to meditate or 0ie! se0enfold sama in the mo0ement of s)n in the sky Fr)it of this )pasana is !orshipper attains S)n6s form ( "ditya S#arupa ) This is the content of ninth khanda Tenth khanda ordains Upasana of sylla%les of se0en organs of Se0en Fold Sama (Sapta !idha Sama $ama%shara Upasana) /handa6s 33G73 descri%e ho! some famo)s Samas or ( Sama 2antras ) to 0ie!ed &ayatra Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as 2ind, Speech, (ye, etc Rathantara Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as process of generating fire %y r)%%ing t!o !ood pieces !aamya 'evya Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as mating process %et!een male and female h)man %eings (rihat Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as !orld acti0ity as per of mo0ement of s)n across the hori9on !airupa Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as process of raining !aira)a Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as Seasonal Cycle Sha%varee Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as different !orlds Revati Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as gra9ing animals *agnya+*agneeya Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as hair, skin, meat, etc Ra)ana Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as Fire, Wind, Stars, etc Finally Complete Sama or Sar0a Sama is ordained to %e 0ie!ed as three 0eda6s (Trayi $idya) !hich are >ig0eda, HaA)r0eda andSama 0eda and !hole !orld (ach of these Upasana6s are mentioned along !ith a distinct fr)it or res)lt to the !orshipper Bater khandas of this chapter descri%e 0ario)s modes of singing Sama, )pasana on holy sylla%le 82, three Savana,s, their respecti0e gods and Sama6s to them

-hird Chapter[edit]
This chapter has 31 khanda6s First 33 khandas deal !ith Upasana of S)n and this Upasana is kno!n as .adhu !idya /handas 37 and 3& teach #rahman thro)gh @ayatri 3:th /handa ela%orates famo)s meditation Shandilya !idya, kno!n

after its re0ealer the seer Shandilya This /handa descri%es the atman in terms of a grain: IThis atman, !hich d!ells in the heart, is smaller than a grain of rice, smaller than a grain of %arely, smaller than a grain of m)stard, smaller than a grain of millet, smaller than the germ !hich is in the grain of millet; this atman, !hich d!ells in the heart, is also greater than the earth ,the sphere of gross manifestation-, greater than the atmosphere ,the sphere of s)%tle manifestation-, greater than the sky ,the sphere of formless manifestation-, greater than all the !orlds together ,that is, %eyond all manifestation, %eing the )nconditioned- 3;th /handa descri%es /osha !idya for %egetting long life and 0alo)r for one6s son 3<th and 3+th /handas detail Purusha !idya !hich res)lts in increased life span of practitioner .t is told that seer Mahidasa Aitareya li0ed for 33< years %y practicing Purusha !idya 3*th /handa ordains that 2ind sho)ld %e meditated as #rahman

Fourth Chapter[edit]
The story of king "an)shr)ti ?a)trayana and the Self reali9ed seer >aik0a; and of Satyakama, the son of "a%ala, is told in this chapter ,7- 5 meditational practice called Samvarga !idya, propagated %y >aik0a, is also descri%ed

Fifth Chapter[edit]
The fifth chapter starts !ith a fa%le proclaiming the s)periority of life %reath o0er other senses 5n esoteric kno!ledge of Fi0e Fires (Pan hangi !idya) is also descri%ed The concept of $aish0anara 5tman is also el)cidated in this chapter

Si0th Chapter[edit]
This chapter contains one of the more important metaphysical messages of this Upanishad .t contains the 2aha0akya -at -vam "si ("That art Tho)") ,&- This chapter also esta%lishes the principle of 5tman thro)gh a dialog)e %et!een Uddalaka and his sonSh0etaket) 2any metaphors, s)ch as, the ill)stration of c)rd and %)tter, %anyan tree and its seed, ri0ers and ocean etc, are gi0en to ill)strate the concept of 5tman Within this dialog)e, the theory of %eing (sat) arising from nonE%eing(asat) is ref)ted and p)re )ndifferentiated %eing alone is held as the so)rce of e0erything

Seventh Chapter[edit]
5t the start of this chapter, the fo)r $edas, the .tihasas, ?)ranas, mathematics, astrology, the science of treas)res, logic, the science of ethics, etymology, fine arts etc are held as mere !ords %y Farada !ho 0isits Sanatk)mara seeking the kno!ledge of5tman or the Self Sanatk)mara thro)gh remainder of the 0erses descri%es the Self progressi0ely thro)gh 0ario)s stages, from grosser ones to s)%tler ones, c)lminating in the esta%lishment of the Self as #h)ma or the 5%sol)te The 0ario)s stages mentioned in order of s)%tlety as !ell as appearance in this chapter are Fame, Speech, 2ind, Will, 2emory, Contemplation, Understanding, Strength, Food, Water, Ceat, (ther, 2emory, Cope, Bife, Tr)th, Tr)th and Understanding, Tho)ght and Understanding, Faith, Steadfastness, 5cti0ity, Cappiness , The .nfinite, The .nfinite and the Finite, The (go and the Self and The ?rimacy of the Self

Eighth Chapter[edit]
The story of .ndra6s persistence in gaining the kno!ledge of #rahman is reco)nted in this chapter

The meditational

techniD)e of concentrating on the Uni0ersal Self (#rahman) in the ca0e of the heart ( 'ahara !idya) is also e=plained

See also[edit]