We have great pleasure in presenting to our readers the English translation of the Chandogya Upanisad. After the publication of the English translations of all other Upanisads on which Sri Sankara wrote his commentaries, there was a great and persistent demand for the publication of the Chandogya Upanisad and with its coming out, the series is now completed.
We are sure; this edition will be received with the same enthusiasm and eagerness by the reading public as the earlier ones. Swami Swahananda has translated the Upanisad into English. In interpreting the text, the commentary of Sri Sankara has been systematically followed, mainly in the light of its gloss by Anandagiri.
In preparing the book, much help was derived from a Bengali edition of the book by Swami Gambhirananda. Available English editions were also consulted. Swami Vimalananda has written the Introduction. Our thanks go to him and to Prof.
K. Subrahmanyam, M.A. L.T., Vice-Principal, Vivekananda College, for kindly revising the long manuscript.
I. THE VEDAS: Their relation to the Chandogyapanisad: Veda hyamrtah’—the Vedas are immortal and eternal. Prajapati brooded upon the worlds. From them thus brooded upon issued forth trayividya. Virat, or Kasyapa, practised concentration of thought in order to grasp the essence for the benefit of the world. As a result three fold knowledge flashed in his mind. According to this interpretation by Sri Sankaracarya, of the text quoted above from the C, it is evident that the C accepts the verbal inspiration of the Vedas, a conception that appears in the Puruasukta of the Rgveda and other places in the Vedic literature. The ninth stanza of the Puruasukta runs to this effect: From that total sacrifice of the Virat b and samans originated; the collection of chandas and yajus also originated. Chandas in the plural here can hardly be the Atharvaveda as it is proposed by expounders. If the textual words permit the construction ‘rcah jajnire, samani chandamsi jajnire’, which is quite tenable, that would clearly show the identity of saman and chandas, the appositional use being indicative of words as well as the tune of the Samaveda. The word chandas is usually traced to the root chad’ meaning ‘to cover’; it can very well be a derjvative of the root ‘chand’ having the meaning ‘to please’. The melody of saman is certainly delightful to the ear and the heart, and so the Samaveda is called chandas in this sense. The gruti affirms this svargo vai lokab Samaveda5 ‘—the Samaveda is verily the heavenly world. Heavenly melody lifts one to the highest divine experience in the opinion of Yajnavalkya:
He who knows the actual play of Vina, an expert in the science of melody and time, easily attains to Brahman.’ This pre-eminence of the Samaveda can very well be the purport of Sri Krta’s declaration I am the Samaveda among the Vedas ‘. Patanjali, too, concedes the pride of place to the Samaveda by putting’ it first in order while enumerating the Vedas which the ancients used to learn by imitating the intonations of the preceptor. All these facts lead us to the conclusion that the Samaveda merited special recognition for its musical form, spiritual import and liturgical significance as revealed in great acts of worship like Jyotistoma connected with it. The present upanisad forms part of the Samaveda and shares the authority and honour due to that gruti. In the Sarirakabhasya Sankaracarya introduces passages cited from the C, at times as the sruti of the Tandins or as the Chandogya- brahmana.’ According to him chandogya is the singer of the saman—chando sama gayati iti chandogah— and hence chandogya is what belongs to the followers of the Samaveda. The upaniads that are found in an existing samhita or brahmana are specially deemed genuine and authoritative. The C fulfils this condition as it forms the latter four-fifths of a Chandogyabrahmana in ten chapters. About one hundred and thirty topics are discussed in the course of this upanisad, and a good number of them forms the foundation of later developments in religion and philosophy witnessed in India. This upanisad was a favourite of the author of the Brahmasutra’s who makes copious references to its topics.
The author of the Sarirakabhasya on the Brahmasutras who also paid his special esteem to this upanisad has not only cited profusely from it, but also has written a separate commentary on it with great care and insight. This is the oldest commentary now available on the C. In it Sri Sankaracarya has interpreted and explained all the passages, directly or indirectly, and interrelated the notions scattered all over the text. The -great acarya has worked the ideas of all •the outstanding upanisads into the structure of a single system which fact alone claims for his work unparalleled worth and significance. The translation and notes appearing in the body of this publication are based on sankarabhasya and therefore this Introduction, too, follows the same lead.
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