The Kena Upanishad translated by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh.


First Part

1.By whom missioned falls the mind shot to its mark? By whom yoked moved the first life-breath forward on its paths? By whom impelled is this word that men speak? What god set eye and ear to their workings?

2.That which is hearing of our hearing, mind of our mind, speech of our speech, that too is life of our life-breath and sight of our sight. The wise are released beyond and they pass from this world and become immortal.

3.There sight not, nor speech, nor the mind. We know It is not nor can distinguish how one should teach of It: for It is other than the known; It is there above the unknown. It is so we have heard from men of old who declared That to our understanding.

4.That is unexpresse by the word; that by which the word is expressed, know That to be the Brahman and not this which man follow after here.

5.That which thinks not by the mind, that by which the mind is thought, know That to be the Brahman and not this which men follow after here.

6.That which sees not with the eye, that by which one sees the eye´s seeing,know That to be the Brahman and not this which men follow after here.

7.That which hear not with the ear; that by which the ear´s hearing is heard,know That to be the Brahman and not this which men follow after here.

8.That which breaths not with the breath, that by which the life-breath is led forward in its patths, know That to be the Brahman and not this which men follow after there.

Second Part

1.If thou thinkest thou knowest It well, little indeed dost thou know the form of the Brahman. That of It which is thou, that of It which is in the gods, this thou hast to think out. I think It known.

2.I think not that I know It well and yet I know that It is not unknown to me. He of us who knows It, knows That; he knows that It is not unknown to him.

3.H 4.When It is known by perveption that reflects It, then one has the thought of It, for one finds immortality; by the self one finds the force to attain and by the knowledge one finds immortality.

5.If here one comes to that knowledge, then one truly is; if here one comes not to the knowledge, then great is the perdition. The wise distinguish That in all kinds of becomings and they pass forward from this world become immortal.

Third Part

1.The Eternal conquered for the gods and in the victory of the Eternal the gods grew to greatness. This was what they saw, Ours the Victory, Ours the greatness.

2.The Eternal knew their thought and appeared before them: and they knew not what was this mighty Spirit.

3.They said to Agni: O thou that knowest all things born, learn of this thing, what may be this mighty Spirit and he said : So be It. 4.He rushed towards the Eternal and It said to him: Who art thou? ,I am Agni he said, I am he that knows all things born .

5. Since such thou art, what is the force in thee?. Even all this I could burn, all that is upon the earh

6.The Eternal set before him a blade of grass: This burn and he made towards it with all his speed, but he could not burn it. There he ceased, and turned back; I could not know of It, what might be this mighty Spirit.

7.Then they said to Vayu O Vayu, this discern, what is this mighty Spirit ,and he said : So be It .

8.He rushed upon That; It said to him,Who art Thou, I am Vayu he said, and I am theat which expands in the Mother of all things

9. Since such thou art, what is the force in thee? ,and Vayu replied Even all this I can take for myself, all this that is upon the earth

10.That set before him a blade of grass, This take .He went towards it with all his speed and he could not take it. Even there he ceased, even thence he returned: I could not discern That, what is this mighty Spirit.

11.Then they said to Indra, Master of plentitudes, get thou the knowledge. what is this mighty Spirit and He said So be It . He rushed upon That, That vanished from before him.

12.He in the same ether came upon the Woman, even upon Her who shines out in many forms, Uma ,daughter of the snowy summits. To her he said: What was this mighty Spirit?.

Fourth Part

1.She said to him : It is the Eternal. Of the Eternal is this victory in which ye shall grow to greatness. Then he alone came to know that this was the Brahman.

2.Therefore are these gods as it were beyond all the other gods, even Agni, Vayu and Indra, because they came nearest to the touch of That...

3.Therefore is Indra as it were beyond all the other gods because he came closest to the touch of That, because he first knew that it was the Brahman.

4.Now this is the indication of That, - as is this flash of lightening upon us or as this falling of the eyelid, so in that which is of the gods.

5.Then in that which is of the Self, - as the motion of this mind seems to attain to That and by it afterwards the will in the thought continually remembers It.

6.The name of That, is The Delight; as That Delight one should follow after It. He who so knows That, towards him verily all existences yearn.

7.Thou hast said: Speak t me Upanishad (Inner Knowledge); spoken to thee is Upanishad. Of the Eternal verily is the Upanishad that we have spoken.

8.Of this knowledge austerity and self-conquest and works of the foundation, the Vedas are all its limbs, truth is its dwelling place.

9.He who knows this knowledge, smites evil away from him and in that vaster world and infinite heavens finds his foundation,yea, he finds his foundation.