Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ganapati Upanishad / Atharva Shirsham Word to Word Meaning and Commentary


Upanishads serve as the terminal part of the Vedas.Upanishads give the essence of the Vedas as a conclusion.The Ganapati Upanishad is part of the Atharva Veda.
Introduction to Vedas 

The entire Universe is reverberating.When there is reverberation,there is sound.In other words,the entire cosmos is simply a manifestation of sound energy.The ancient Vedic sages through penance,activated non-mechanical parts of their brains which enabled them to download cosmic data directly.They received cosmic truths in the form of sounds which they heard and experienced.These truths were recited as received,and passed on generations after generations.

Various truths downloaded by various Rishis gave rise to the ocean of Vedas.Veda Vyasa later compiled these Vedas and classified them.These is how the 4 Vedas came to existence.Each of these Vedas had many branches.Each branch had 4 components : 

(1) samhita
(2) brahmana
(3) aranyaka
(4) Upanishad


The Upanishads serve as the essence of the Vedas.

The Ganapati Upanishad,also known as Ganapati Atharva Shirsham is part of an extinct branch of the Atharva Veda ! Though this branch of Atharva Veda is extinct,the Upanishad is somehow preserved.

This Upanishad,having found in the Atharva Veda,has an invocatory shanti mantra - Bhadram karneBhihi...

Every Upanishad will have an invocatory shanti mantra.In the muktika upanishhad,Lord Hanumaana asks Lord Raama as to which shaanti mantra to be chanted before and after every upanishhad.Lord Rama gives the answer :

- vaang me manasi pratishhThitaa....  Upanishhads of rg veda
- puurNam ada (f) puurNam idam....  Upanishhads of shukla yajur veda
- sahanaa vavatu...                           Upanishhads of kR^ishhNa yajur veda
- aapyaayantu mamaangaani...          Upanishhads of  saama veda
- bhadram karNebhihi..                     Upanishhads of atharva veda

Ganapati Upanishad recitation by my Whatsapp Veda Learner Shravanthi

OM bhadram karNebhiH
shR^iNuyaama devaaH
bhadram pashyemaaksha-bhir-yajatraaH

bhadram : goodness,auspiciousness,safety
karNebhihi : with our ears ( karNa = ears )
shR^iNuyaama : May we hear ( shru = to hear / listen )
devaaha : Literally 'one who shines' ( comes from root sound 'div' which means 'to shine'.Refers to deities.
bhadram : goodness,auspiciousness,safety
pashyema : may we see ( pash = to see )
akshhabhihi : through the eyes ( akshha = eyes )
yajatraaha : as if we are doing yajna ( sacrifice )

Here,the vision of everything is equated to having a darshan of an auspicious yajna.

sthirair-a-Ngai-stushhTu-vaa(gm)-sas-tanuubhiH
vyashema deva-hitaM yadaayuH

sthiraihi = with steady,firm
angaihi = limb 
tustu-vaam = tushhTuvaam = may enjoy ( tushhTi means divine contentment )
saha = we
tanuubhihi = tanu means body ( through this body ) 
vi-ashema = ash means to offer.Vyashema means ' may we offer'
deva = one who shines ( deity )
hitam = benefits
yat = this
aayuhu = the measure of lifespan

svasti na indro vR^iddhashravaaH
svasti naH (f) puushhaa vishva-vedaaH
svasti nastaarkshyo arishhTanemiH
svasti no bR^ihaspatir-dadhaatu

svasti = su+asti. sushhThu asti iti svasti.sushhThu = excellent.Asti = being,living.Svasti = to be in an excellent state
naha = for us
indraha = Lord Indra
vR^iddha = increased
shravaaha = having heard
svasti = see above
naha = see above
puushha = pushh means 'nourish'.Puushha refers to the Sun Lord who is the nourisher
vishva-vedaaha = all knowing ( vishva = everything.Vedaaha = to know )
svasti = see above
naha = see above
taarkshhyaha = it is a name for garuDa.
arishhTanemihi = arishhTa ( misfortune ) + nemihi ( thunderbolt )
svasti = see above
naha = see above
brhaspatihi = the teacher for devas.
dadhaatu = to provide something and preserve what has been provided.

Om shaantiH shaantiH shaantiH

peace , peace , peace 

Meaning and commentary :

May we hear auspicious things with our ears.May we see sacred things with our eyes.May we be in spiritual contentment with our strong limbs.May we serve to our fullest with the lifespan allotted by the Devatas.

May the glorious,full famed Indra grant us well-being.May the all-knowing Puushha grant us well being.May Taarkshhya, who is a thunderbolt to misfortune grant us wellbeing.May Brhaspati grant us well being 

The Actual Upanishhad starts from here :

OM namaste gaNapataye

( Recited as ' Om lam namaste gaNapataye' in certain traditions of south Karnataka.For example,in Shringeri.Lam is the seed sound that awakens the muulaadhaara chakra whose presiding deity is Lord gaNesha )

OM = the primordial sound of the universe.The sound form of the absolute consciousness.The entire Vedas is the expansion of 'OM'.

namaste = namaha + te. namaha = na + maha.Na means 'not'.Maha means 'me'.Namaha means ' not me'.It is a process of disidentifying ourselves from all illusions of the body and mind.We are atma.Te means 'you'.GaNapataye refers to Lord gaNapati.

When we recite Om namaste gaNapataye,we empty ourselves so that we get filled by the grace of Lord gaNapati when we surrender to Him.

tvameva pratyaksham tat tvamasi

tvameva = tvam + eva ( you alone ).
pratyakshham = prati + akshham.In front of eyes.It means manifestation
tattvam = principle
asi = are ! ( You are that absolute consciousness )

It means , you alone are the very manifestation of the absolute consciousness ( Brahman)

tvameva kevalaM kartaa.asi

tvameva = you only
kevalam = only
kartaa = doer
asi = are

You alone are the doer 

tvameva kevalaM dhartaa.asi

tvameva = you only
kevalam = only
dhartaa = maintainer
asi = are

You alone are the sustainer

tvameva kevalaM hartaa.asi

tvameva = you only
kevalam = only
hartaa = destroyer
asi = asi

You alone are the dissolver

* In these three verses,we identify Lord GaNesha as Atma.The absolute consciousness that creates,sustains and dissolves the Universe.

* Lord GaNesha is referred to as vighna-hartaa and vighna-kartaa.He does not only remove obstacles,but even creates obstacles when needed.He creates obstacles to prevent us from doing something which may incur an inauspicious experience.

tvameva sarvaM khalvidam bramhaasi

tvameva = you only
sarvaM = everything
khalu = indeed
idam = this ( all this )
bramha = absolute consciousness ( Bramhan )
asi = are

You are verily the absolute consciousness which is all-inclusive.

*Everything is absolute consciousness ( God - Bramhan ).God is substance through which the matrix of creation and materialisation happens.Material creation takes form of the beads which are sourced on a common string which runs through subtly.Hence,everything is in real -  Bramhan only.



tvam saakshaad-aatmaa.asi nityam

tvam = you
saakshhaat = ( sa + aakshhaat ) before the eyes.
aatmaa = aatmaa ( soul ) 
asi = are
nityam = eternal

You are verily the eternal aatmaa ( aatmaa=bramhan=soul=consciousness=god ) , manifest in front of us.

R^itaM vachmi
satyaM vachmi

R^itam = cosmic order
satyaM = truth
vachmi = vachaami : shall speak

I shall utter that which is in parallel to the cosmic order and truth.

*Cosmic order refers to that which tallies with the rhythm of cosmos.It is raw truth.For example,the cosmic order in regards to the solar system is to have the planets orbit around the Sun in perfect geometry.

*Satyam refers to truth.It can be compromised to societal norms,rules,emotions and moral.

ava tvam maam
ava vaktaaraam
ava shrotaaraam
ava daataaram
ava dhaataaram
avaanuu-chaanamava shishhyam

ava = protect
tvam = you
maam = me
vaktaaram = the one who speaks ( recites this upanishhad )
shotaaraam = the one who listens ( listens to the recitation of this upanishhad )
daataaram = the one who gives ( this upanishhad )
dhaataaram = the one who supports that which has been given
anuuchaanam = teacher ( teacher of the Vedas ; this upanishhad in context )
shishhyam = the disciple who learns the Vedas ( this upanishhad in context )

A declaration to have the reciter of the upanishhad,the listener,the provider,supporter,teacher and disciple protected.

ava pashchaattaat
ava purastaat
avottaraataat
ava dakshiNaattaat
ava chor-dhvaattaat
avaadharaattaat
sarvato maaM paahi paahi samantaat

ava = protect
pashcaat taat = behind-from ( from behind ) ; western direction
puraha taat = front-from ( from the front ) ; eastern direction
uttara taat = left-from ( from the left ) ; northern direction
dakshhiNaat taat = right-from ( from the right ) ; southern direction
cha = and 
uurdhvaat taat = above-from ( from above )
adharaat taat = belor-from ( from below )
sarvataha = everywhere
maam = me
paahi = protect
samantaat = equally

A declaration to be protected from all stated directions and from all sides equally.

tvaM vaangmayastvam chinmayaH
tvam-ananda-mayastvaM bramha-mayaH
tvaM sachchid-aanandaa.advitii-yo.asi
tvaM pratyakshham bramhaasi

tvam = you
vaangmayaha = full of 'vaak' , power of speech.
chinmayaha = absolute awareness
aanandamayaha = absolute bliss
bramhamayaha = absolute bramhan ( god )
sat = truth
chit = awareness
aananda = bliss
a-dvitiiyaha = non-duality
asi = are

You are the manifestation of vaak,absolute awareness,absolute bliss,absolute consciousness.You are the manifestation of sachchidaananda - the state of experiential truth and awareness that you are Bramhan which is pure bliss.You are the very manifestation of non-duality.Absolute oneness where You are the Universe.

tvaM GYaana-mayo
viGYaana-mayo.asi

tvam = you
gyaanamayaha = wisdom
viGYaanamayaha = wisdom of the higher/highest frequency (wisdom of aatma )
asi = are

You are the manifestation of worldly wisdom and the wisdom of the highest degree ( spiritual wisdom )

sarvaM jagadidam tvatto jaayate

sarvaM = everything
jagat = the materialistic world.Ja means jananam = to be born.Gat means to go.Jagat means that which is born and dies - the observable universe.
idam = this
tvattaha = from you
jaayate = is born 

The entire materialistic Universe which comes into existence and which dissolves is born from You

sarvaM jagadidam tvattas-tishhThati
sarvaM jagadidam tvayi laya-meshhyati
sarvaM jagadidam tvayi pratyeti

sarvaM = everything
jagat = as explained earlier
idam = this
tvattaha = from you 
tishhThati = sustained and nourished
tvayi = into you
layameshhyati = dissolves 
prati - towards
eti = approaches

All components of jagat is sustained and preserved by You.It undergoes dissolution through your destruction.It also merges back into You ( as they are born from You ).

tvam bhuumir-aapo.analo.anilo nabhaH

tvam = you 
bhuumihi = earth ( most gross element )
aapo = water
analo = fire
anilo = wind
nabhaha = ether ( most subtle element )

As per the Taittirya Upanishhad of the Yajur Veda,absolute consciousness condensed into ether.Ether condenses to form wind.Wind condenses to form fire.Fire condenses to form water.Water condenses to form earth.

Ether is most subtle because it exists as vibration.It can only be perceived as sound energy ( Vedas were downloaded as sound energy from the ether - aakasha )

Wind is slightly more gross.Wind can be perceived by sound and touch.
Fire is even more gross.Fire can be perceived through sound,touch and form.
Water is more gross than fire,for it can be perceived through sound,touch,form and taste.
Earth is the most gross,for it can be perceived through sound,touch,form,taste and smell.

In essence,all these elements are different expressions of the absolute consciousness.The Lord is verily all the elements,for this reason.

This truth is similarly expressed in the Mantrapushhpam of Taittirya AraNyaka of KR^ishhNa yajur Veda and Purushha Suktam.

tvaM chatvaari vaakpadaani

tvam = you
chatvaari = four
vaak = speech
padaani = steps ( levels of speech )

You are the four types of speech.As per the Vedic tradition,there are four types of speech which moves from the gross to subtle :

1.vaikharii : Physical speech which occurs through language.Vibration of the oral cavity produces the necessary sounds which form words,which is heard and interpretted neurologically by the listener.

2.madhyamaa : mental speech.Communication that can occur telepathically.Sometimes,people talk through their mind.

3.pashyanti : Pashyanti means 'to see'.This is in reference to the 'seers' of the Vedas.The person who hears a particular Veda mantra is called a Rishi ( The Rishi for this Upanishhad is Sage GaNaka )

A Rishi is also called a 'mantra drashhTaa'.It means , ' one who sees the mantra'.The Vedas were heard and 'seen'.Seeing here denotes experiential realisation of the cosmic sounds.For example,when a man says he has 'seen' the hardship of life,it means he has wholly experienced it with his being.The Vedas were communicated to mankind through this form of 'speech'

4.paraa : This is the 'wordless' communication.This is the communion with the absolute consciousness beyond the frame of time and space matrix.It is a state.It is the speech of absolute silence.

tvaM guNa-traya-atiitaH
tvaM avasthaa-traya-atiitaH
tvaM deha-traya-atiitaH
tvaM kaala traya-atiitaH

tvam = you
guNa = qualities ( sattva,rajas,tamas)
traya = three
atiitaha = beyond 
avasthaa = states of body awareness ( states of being awake,dreaming and deep sleep )

state of being awake = jaagrata or vishva
dream state = taijasa or svapna
deep sleep = sushhupti or nidraa

You are beyond guNas and the states of awareness

*Here,the Lord is one who is beyond all states.This is the state of all pervasiveness.The state of pure consciousness.The state of turiya

deha = body ( daahyati iti deha = that which can be burnt is body )
kala = time
traya = three

You are beyond the three forms of body.You are beyond the three states of time

* The three forms of body are the gross,mental and causal bodies.The gross body is constitutes the physical frame of muscles,nerves,vessels etc.The mental body is the linga deha.It is the subtle body which holds all the biomemory,bioenergy and karma.The third is the causal body or kaaraNa shariira.This is the geometry formed from vibrations.Only with vibration can there be form.

* The three states of time are

vartamaana = present
bhuuta = past
bhavishhya = future

tvaM muulaadhaara-sthito.asi nityam

tvaM = you
muula = the root
aadhaaraha = base
sthitaha = abide
asi = are
nityam = eternal

You always abide in the muulaadhaara chakra ( the root chakra,located at the perineum)

* The muulaadhara chakra once activated,brings stability to life.It helps one to get rooted.

tvaM shakti-trayaat-makaH

tvaM = you
shakti = powers
traya = three
aatmakaha = which is the nature of 

You are the very embodiment of the three shaktis.

*The three shaktis here are ichchha,kriyaa and gyaana - willpower,power of action and power of knowledge.

tvaaM yogino dhyaayanti nityam

tvaam = you
yoginaha = the yogiis.
dhyaayanti = meditate upon
nityam = eternal

The Yogis eternally meditate upon You

tvaM bramhaa tvam vishhNus-tvaM rudras-tvam-indras-tvam-agnis-tvaM vaayus-tvam suuryas-tvam chandramaas-tvam bramha bhuur-bhuvaH svaroom

tvam = you
bramhaa = creator
vishhNuhu = sustainer
rudraha = destroyer
indraha = Indra
agnihi = agni
vaayuhu = vaayu
suuryaha = suurya
chandramaaha = Moon
bramha = the absolute consciousness
bhuuhu = the plane of materialisation ( the gross plane )
bhuvaha = the plane of vibration ( The plane of vibration that gives the universe its geometry )
svaha = the plane of radiation ( the plane of consciousness which is radiant and all pervasive.The plane of God consciousness.The consciousness which is the core to the plane of vibration and materialisation )
OM = OM

You are bramhaa,vishhNu,rudra,indra,agni,vaayu,chandramaa,bramhan,the three planes of bhuuhu,bhuvaha and svaha.You are OM.

gaNaadiiM puurvam-uchchaarya
varNaadiiM stada-nantaram
anusvaaraH (f) parataraH
ardhendulasitam
taareNa r^iddham
etat-tava manusva-ruupam

gaNadiim = words that start with the sound 'ga' as in the example of 'gaNa'
puurvam = first
uchchaarya = uttered
varNadiim = colour ( description )
tat = that
anantaram = later
anusvaaraha = the sound 'mm' in the Vedic language
parataraha = later
ardha = half
indu = moon
lasitam = beautified 
taareNa = representing the power of taaraNa ( taking across )
r^iddham = enriched
etat = this
tava = your
manuhu = progenitor of mankind ( the ancestor of humans )
svaruupam = form

Meaning and commentary :

The sound 'ga' ( the first syllable of gaNa ) is uttered.This is followed by the first sound of the varNa ( the vowel 'A' ).It ends with the anusvaaraha ( the sound mm).Hence,the secret code that manifests the very cosmic form of Lord GaNapati is 'GAM'.

This is beautified by a half-moon.The sound OM is represented in the devanaagari script with a half-moon ( semicircle with a dot above )

This is the very form of Lord GaNapati.






gakaaraH (f) puurva-ruupam
akaaro madhyama ruupam
anusvaarasch-chaantya-ruupam
bindur-uttara-ruupam
naadaH sandhaanam
sa(gm)-hitaa sandhiH
saishhaa gaNesha-vidyaa
gaNaka R^ishhiH
nichR^id-gaayatriichchhandaH
gaNapatir-devataa
OM gaM gaNapataye namaH

gakaaraha = the sound 'ga'
puurva ruupam = the form at the beginning
*Every sound has a form.Hence,the sound 'ga' itself is seen as the 'first form' of Lord GaNapati
akaaraha = the sound 'a'
madhyama ruupam = is the middle form
anusvaaraha = the sound 'mm'
cha = also
antya-ruupam = the ending form
binduhu = dot
uttara-ruupam = the form which is above ( uttara means north )
naadaha = sound
sandhaanam = the joining thread ( which joins these forms together )
samhita-sandhihi = samhita + sandhihi : the science of combining sounds
sa + eshha = that feminine form
gaNesha-vidyaa = the knowledge of gaNesha
gaNaka R^ishhiHi = the Rishi who heard this upanishhad as revealed from the cosmos is Sage GaNaka
nichR^it gaayatrii = this is the metre ( chhanda ) of this line of the verse
gaNapatir devata = the deity is gaNapati

Meanings and commentary :

Here,the very form of the sacred mantra is described.'GA' is the first sound form.'A'is the middle form.The anusvaara is the final sound form.The dot is the form which is above ( the anusvaara is represented as a dot only in the devanaagari script )

The anusvaara itself is bound to change in the way a group of words are pronounced ( anu = following svaara = vowel / sound  : after-sound )


The mm sound is nasalised in according to the consonant that follows it.For example,if the anusvaara ( mm ) is followed by a consonant 'ga',the anusvaara is pronounced as 'nga' ( which is the nasal sound of the velar group of consonants )

The last horizontal low you see in the diagram shows the nasal sounds for every consonant group.To quote an example :

OM NAMO BHAGAVATE RUDRAAYA is recited as 
ON NAMO BHAGAVATE RUDRAAYA

This is because the mm in OM is followed by the consonant 'na'.Na comes under dental sounds.The nasal sound in the dental group is 'na'.Hence,the anusvaara is nasalised to 'na'.Hence,the recitation of ON NAMO...

This is referred to as the science of combining sounds.

The formulae Om gaM gaNapataye namaha is recited as Ong gang gaNapataye namaha when we apply the anusvaara sandhi.

This is the gaNesha vidya - the secret knowledge of gaNesha.

The Sage who received this Upanishhad is Sage gaNaka.

*The Vedas were NOT composed.They were downloaded from the cosmos in the form of sounds ( mantras ) which were heard by advanced beings.The being who heard and received this upanisshad is Sage gaNaka.

nichR^it gaayatrii is the metre

*Vedas were downloaded in the form of mantras which appear in a particular length ( a particular number of syllables and words ).This is why the language of the Vedas is referred to as Chhandobhashha ( chanda - length ).

The deity is Lord gaNapati.

OM gaM gaNapataye namaH - the secret mantra to invoke lord GaNesha.

eka-dantaaya vidmahe
vakratuNDaaya dhiimahi
tanno dantiH (f) prachodayaat

eka-dantaaya = one tusked
vidmahe = to know
vakra-tuNDaaya = to the One with curved trunk
dhiimahi = to meditate 
tat-naha = He to us 
pracodayaat = to propel and inspire from within

Meaning and commentary :

This is the gayatrii mantra for lord GaNesha.We first recognise the deity - who has one tusk and a curved trunk.We then meditate on the deity.This will have the deity Himself enlighten us.

eka-dantaM
chatur-hastaM
paasham-a-Nkusha-dhaariNam
radaM cha varadaM hastair-bibhraaNam
muushhaka-dhvajam
raktaM lambodaram shuurpa-karNakam rakta-vaasasam
rakta-gandhaanu-liptaa-Ngam
rakta-pushhpaiH supuujitam
bhaktaanu-kampinaM devaM
jagat-kaaraNam-achyutam
aavirbhuutaM cha sR^ishhTyaadau
prakR^iteH (f) purushhaat-param

eka-dantam = one tusked 
chatur-hastam = four hands
paasham = noose
aNkusha = goad
dhaariNam = holding
radam = tooth of elephant
cha = and
varadam = boon giving
hastaihi = with hands
bibhraaNam = shining ( comes from root sound bhraaj )
muushhaka = mouse
dhvajam = flag
raktam = red one
lamba = long
udaram = belly
shuurpa = winnowing baskets 

Image above : Winnowing basket

karNakam = ears
rakta = red
vaasasam = dress
rakta-gandha = red scented ( red sandal )
anu = closely
lipta = smeared
angam = parts of body
rakta = red
pushhpaihi = flowers
supuujitam = worshiped
bhakta = devotee
anu = closely 
kampinam = compassionate
devam = deity
jagat = the creation
kaaraNam = the cause
achyutam = faultless 
aavirbhuutam = having taken form ( manifested )
cha = and
sR^ishhTi = creation
aadau = in the beginning
prakR^itehe = Primordial nature ( Shakti )
purushhat = from the person ( cosmic person )
param = great

Meaning and commentary :

The cosmic form of Lord GaNapati is explained here.He has one tooth and four hands.He holds the noose and goad.The third hand holds a broken tush ( tooth ).The 4th hand is in a boon giving gesture.A mouse serves as His banner.He is red in complexion.He has a large belly.He has large ears that sway like winnowing baskets.He is adorned with red clothings.His body is smeared with the fragrance of red sandal.He is worshiped with red flowers ( hibiscus ).

He is the form of love to His devotees.He is the very causer of this Universe.He is faultless.Though He took a form,He is the very absolute consciousness which was before even creation happened.He is the Cosmic Person !

evaM dhyaayati yo nityaM sa 
yogii yoginaaM varaH

evam = thus
dhyaayati = meditates
yaha = who
nityam = eternal
saha = he
yogii = yogi
yoginaam = among the yogis
varaha = superior

The yogi who meditates upon Lord Ganapati is a superior yogi - the yogi amongst yogis.

namo vraata pataye
namo gaNa-pataye
namah (f) pramatha-pataye
namaste.astu lambodaraay-aika-dantaaya
vighna-naashine
shiva sutaaya varada muurtaye namaH

namaha = not me ( as explained at the beginning of the upanishad )
vraata = one who is associated with vraata - spiritual discipline
pataye = lord
gaNa-pataye = the lord of the Gana-s ( gaNa = group )
pramatha-pataye = 
pra = principle
matha = churning

The principle of churning / recycle is the maintenance aspect of God

te = to you
astu = may it be
lamba + udaraaya = lambodaraaya = to the long bellied.
eka + dantaaya = to the single tusked
vighna = obstacles 
naashine = destroyer
shiva = Lord Shiva
suutaya = the son
varada = boon giver
muurtaye = to the personification

Overall meaning and commentary :

Namaha to the Lord of Vrata-s,the lord of Gana-s and the Lord of pramatha,the big bellied One,the single tusked One,to the destroyer of obstacles,to the son of Shiva and the varadamurti ( personification of all boon-bestowing entities )

The verses that follow are referred to as 'phala shruti'.It comprises the merits of reciting this Upanishad.These are not made up.They are downloaded from the cosmos and are part of the Upanishad itself.

etad-atharva-shiirshhaM yo.adhiite
sa brama-bhuuyaaya kalpate
sa sarva vighnairna baadhyate

etat = this
atharva-shiirshhaM = This Atharva Shiirshha Upanishhad
yaha = who
adhiite = internalise and practice
saha = he
bramha bhuuyaaya = establishes in the state of Brahman
kalpate = mentally contemplates

Meaning and commentary :

One who recites and meditates on this Upanishad becomes Brahman.The Vedas declare - brahmaiva brahmavid bhavati ( One who realises Brahman becomes Brahman ).

One who realises this Upanishad realises that He is verily God.He is established in the state of Brahman.

sa sarva vighnairna baadhyate

saha = he
sarva = everything
vighnaihi = obstacles
na = not
baadhyate = not tied

Meaning and commentary :

He will not be tied by any obstacles !

sa sarvatra sukha-medhate 

saha = he
sarvatra = from all sides
sukham = happiness
edhate = to increase

Meaning and commentary :

He will attain increasing happiness at all places

sa paJNcha-mahaa-paapaat pramuchyate

saha = he
paJNcha = five
mahaa-paapaat = great sins
pra-muchyate = is freed

Meaning and commentary :

He is freed from the great five sins.

The great five sins :

1.brahma hatyaa ( killing of braahmaNa : A Veda teacher )
2.suraapaanam ( eating or drinking intoxicants )
3.steyam (thievery)
4.gurvanganaagamaha = ( seducing guru's wife )
5.sansargaha = association with people who commit the mentioned 4 sins even after knowing about it 

saayam-adhiiyaano diva=sakR^itam paapaM naashayati
praataradhiiyaano raatri-kR^itaM paapaM naashayati
saayaM praataH (f) prayuJNjaano paapo.apaapo bhavati

saayam = evening
adhiiyaanaha = to have it recited and imbibed
divasa = daylight hours
krtam = done
paapam = sins
naashayati = destroyed

Meaning and commentary : 

One who recites and meditates upon this Upanishad in the evening has his sins committed during the day destroyed.

praatar-adhiiyaano raatri-kR^itam paapaM naashayati

praataha = morning
adhiiyaanaha = to have it recited and imbibed 
raatri-kR^itam = night-done
paapam = sins
naashayati = destroye

Meaning and commentary :

One who recites and meditates upon this Upanishad in the morning has his sins committed at night destoyed

saayaM praataH (f) prayuJNjaano paapo.apaapo bhavati

saayam prataha = sunset and sunrise
pra-yuJNjaanaha = combined
paapaha = sin
a-paapaha = not sin
bhavati = becomes

Meaning and commentary : 

One who recites and meditates upon this Upanishad during both times becomes free of all sins.

sarvatra-adhiiyaano.apa-vighno bhavati

sarvatra = everywhere
adhiiyaanaha = to have it recited and imbibed
apa-vighnaha = without obstacles
bhavati = become

Meaning and commentary :

One who recites and meditates upon this Upanishad anywhere and everywhere becomes free of all obstacles

dharma-artha-kaama-mokshaM cha vindati

dharma = righteousness
artha = wealth
kaama = desire
moksham = enlightenment
cha = and
vindati = gains

Meaning and commentary :

He will attain the four goals of life ( dharma,artha,kaama and moksha )

idam-atharva-shiirshhama-shishhyaaya na deyam

idam = this 
atharva shiirshham
a-shishhyaaya = to an unworthy student
na = not
deyam = to be given

Meaning and commentary : 

One should not teach this knowledge of Atharva Shirshham to an unworthy student

yo yadi mohaad daasyati sa paapiiyaan bhavati 

yaha = who
yadi = if
mohaat = out of attachment
daasyati = will give
saha = he
paapiiyaan = sinner
bhavati = become

Meaning and commentary :

If one teaches to an unworthy student out of attachment,the teacher becomes a sinner

sahasraa-varta-naadyaM yaM kaamam-adhiite taM tamanena saadhayet

sahasra = thousand
aavartanaat = rounds of recitation
yam = which
kaamam = desires
adhiitee = recited and meditated upon
tam = that
anena = through this Upanishad
saadhayet = achieves

Meaning and commentary : 

One will achieve anything he desires by reciting and meditating upon this Upanishad a thousand times

anena gaNapatim-abhishhiJNchati sa vaagmi bhavati

anena = through this
gaNapatim = of gaNapati
abhishhiJNchati = abhishheka = ritual bathing of deity
saha = he
vaagmi = vaak shakti ( power of speech )

Meaning and commentary : 

One who does abhishheka to lord gaNesha while reciting this Upanishad attains the power of vaak.



chaturthyaamanashnan japati sa vidyaavaan bhavati

chaturthyaam = during chaturthi ( 4th day from full / new moon )
anashnan = an + ashnan = without + eating
japati = to do japa ( continuous recitation )
saha = he
vidyaavaan = full of vidya ( knowledge )
bhavati = becomes

Meaning and commentary : 

One who fasts on chaturthi and recites this Upanishad becomes a vidvaan ( master of knowledge )

ityatharvaNa-vaakyam 

iti = thus
atharvaNa = R^ishi AtharvaNa 
vaakyam = statement

Meaning and commentary :

Thus,this is verily the statement revealed by Sage AtharvaNa

bramhaadyaa-varaNaM vidyaan-na bibheti kadaachaneti

bramhaadyaavaraNam = bramhaadi + aavaraNam = bramhan-origin + covering
vidyaat = by knowing
na = not
bibheti = fears
kadaachana = at any time
iti = and so on

Meaning and commentary :

One who knows the covering of Bramhan ( absolute consciousness ) which is maya ( illusion ) , has nothing to fear.

yo duurvaa-Nkurairyajati sa vai-shravaNopamo bhavati

yaha = who
duurvaa-ankuraihi = with duurvaa grass + budding sprigs
yajati = to do yaaga
saha = he
vaishravanaha = Kubera
upamaha = alike to 
bhavati = becomes

Meaning and commentary : 

One who does yaaga with duurvaa sprigs becomes like Kubera ( the lord of wealth )


yo laajair-yajati sa yasho-vaan bhavati

yaha = who
laajaihi = puffed rice
yajati = to do yaaga
saha = he
yashovaan = man with name and fame
bhavati = become

Meaning and commentary : 

One who does yaaga with puffed rice becomes a person of name and fame

sa medhaavaan bhavati 

saha = he 
medhaavaan = genius
bhavati = become

Meaning and commentary :

He becomes a genius

yo modaka-sahasreNa yajati sa vaaJNchhita-phalam-avaapnoti

yaha = who
modaka = modaka
sahasreNa = by a thousand
yajati = to do yaaga
vaanchhita = desired
phalam = fruit
avaapnoti = gets

Commentary and meaning :

One who does yaaga with a thousand modakas will get his cherished desires fulfilled



yaH saajya samidbhir-yajati sa sarvaM labhate

yaha = who
sa + aajya = with ghee
samidbhihi = samid sticks
yajati = to do yaaga
saha = he
sarvam = all
labhate = attains

Meaning and commentary :

One who does yaaga with samid sticks dipped in ghee will attain everything.

Samidh sticks offered in Yaaga Fire


ashhTau bramhaNaan samya graahayitvaa suurya-varchasvii bhavati

ashhTau = eight
braamhaNaan = braamhaNaas
samyak = together and equally
graahayitvaa = caught
suurya = sun
varchasvii = shining
bhavati = become

Meaning and commentary :

One who teaches 8 braamhaNaas this Upanishad becomes dazzling like the Sun.BraamhaNas refer to those who learn and teach the Vedas.

suurya-grahe mahaanadyaaM pratimaa-sannidhau vaa japtvaa
siddha-mantro bhavati

suurye grahe = solar eclipse
mahaa nadyaam = great river
pratimaa = vigraha ( energised idol )
sannidhau = in the presence of 
vaa = or
japtva = having recited
saha = he
siddha-mantraha = siddhi of this mantra
bhavati = become

Meaning and commentary :

One who recites the Upanishad during solar eclipse in a great river or in the presence of a gaNesha vigraha attains the full potency of this mantra ( upanishad )

Mantra siddhi refers to the full potency of the Upanishad.A person who has attained mantra siddhi will manifest all the powers contained in the mantra when recited.


mahaa-vighnaat
= great obstacles
pramucyate = untied
mahaa-doshhaat = great doshhas
pra-muchyate = untied
mahaa pratyavaayaat = from great misdeeds
pra-muchyate = untied

Meaning and commentary :

Great obstacles will be dissolved.Great doshhas and misdeeds will be nullified.

sa sarvavid-bhavati sa sarvavid-bhavati
ya evaM veda
ityupanishhat

saha = he
sarva-vit = all knowing
bhavati = becomes

Meaning and commentary :

He becomes all knowing.This indicates the state of enlightenment.The ultimate fruit of reciting this Upanishad is enlightenment itself !

yaha = who
evam = thus
veda = veda
iti = thus ends
upanishhat = upanishad

Thus says the Upanishad.

OM bhadram karNebhiH
shR^iNuyaama devaaH
bhadram pashyemaaksha-bhir-yajatraaH

bhadram : goodness,auspiciousness,safety
karNebhihi : with our ears ( karNa = ears )
shR^iNuyaama : May we hear ( shru = to hear / listen )
devaaha : Literally 'one who shines' ( comes from root sound 'div' which means 'to shine'.Refers to deities.
bhadram : goodness,auspiciousness,safety
pashyema : may we see ( pash = to see )
akshhabhihi : through the eyes ( akshha = eyes )
yajatraaha : as if we are doing yajna ( sacrifice )

Here,the vision of everything is equated to having a darshan of an auspicious yajna.

sthirair-a-Ngai-stushhTu-vaa(gm)-sas-tanuubhiH
vyashema deva-hitaM yadaayuH

sthiraihi = with steady,firm
angaihi = limb 
tustu-vaam = tushhTuvaam = may enjoy ( tushhTi means divine contentment )
saha = we
tanuubhihi = tanu means body ( through this body ) 
vi-ashema = ash means to offer.Vyashema means ' may we offer'
deva = one who shines ( deity )
hitam = benefits
yat = this
aayuhu = the measure of lifespan

svasti na indro vR^iddhashravaaH
svasti naH (f) puushhaa vishva-vedaaH
svasti nastaarkshyo arishhTanemiH
svasti no bR^ihaspatir-dadhaatu

svasti = su+asti. sushhThu asti iti svasti.sushhThu = excellent.Asti = being,living.Svasti = to be in an excellent state
naha = for us
indraha = Lord Indra
vR^iddha = increased
shravaaha = having heard
vR^iddhashravaaha = who is very much heard of for His glory
svasti = see above
naha = see above
puushha = pushh means 'nourish'.Puushha refers to the Sun Lord who is the nourisher
vishva-vedaaha = all knowing ( vishva = everything.Vedaaha = to know )
svasti = see above
naha = see above
taarkshhyaha = it is a name for garuDa.
arishhTanemihi = arishhTa ( misfortune ) + nemihi ( thunderbolt )
svasti = see above
naha = see above
brhaspatihi = the teacher for devas.
dadhaatu = to provide something and preserve what has been provided.

Om shaantiH shaantiH shaantiH

peace , peace , peace 

Meaning and commentary :

May we hear auspicious things with our ears.May we see sacred things with our eyes.May we be in spiritual contentment with our strong limbs.May we serve to our fullest with the lifespan allotted by the Devatas.

May the glorious,full famed Indra grant us well-being.May the all-knowing Puushha grant us well being.May Taarkshhya, who is a thunderbolt to misfortune grant us wellbeing.May Brhaspati grant us well being

Credits : I bow to my mentor , Shri Maunish Vyas for teaching me the word-to-word breakdown of this Upanishad.

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3 comments:

  1. अप्रतिम कार्य 👍👍🙏

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very clear meaning with root words. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for your efforts to make us understand the veda

    ReplyDelete