Mahā Nārāyaṇa Upanishad | Section 23-32



ṛtaɱ satyaṁ paraṁ brahma puruṣaṁ kṛṣṇapiṅgalam .
ūrdhvaretaṁ virūpākṣaṁ viśvarūpāya vai namo namaḥ .. 1..

1. Supreme Brahman, the Absolute Reality, has become an androgynous Person in the form of Umā Maheśvara, dark blue and reddish brown in hue, absolutely chaste and possessing uncommon eyes. Salutations to Him alone who is the Soul of the universe or whose form is the universe!


This mantra is employed for japa when one is prostrating oneself reverently before the Deity whom one worships.

Sāyana takes Ṛitam as adjectival and Satyam as substantial and explains that while the term Satyam alone denotes pragmatic truth, when qualified by Ṛitam it conveys the idea of the Absolute Truth which is Parabrahman.

The term Brahman in neuter stands for the Absolute Reality. Here the word Puruṣa and its qualifications also are unusually given in the neuter form. This fact stresses the identity of the personal and impersonal, conditioned and unconditioned, aspects of the Divine Reality.

 Bhaṭṭabhāskara interprets this verse in a slightly different light:

It is employed for japa, meditation and repetition when homa is performed by those who seek welfare in this world or desire the bliss of Release.

Further, it describes the Divine Person who is the goal of the religious quest:

The term Ṛitam is analysed also as—the Compassionate form of the Divine Person who is also Satyam because He is conducive to the highest good.

The Param Brahma is Puruṣa because He fills and protects all. When He takes a body, that body is produced and developed by the paternal and maternal seed represented as Kṛṣṇa and pingala, which combination implies also Para-Śiva and Para- Śaktī.


sarvo vai rudrastasmai rudrāya namo astu . puruṣo vai rudraḥ
sanmaho namo namaḥ . viśvaṁ bhūtaṁ bhuvanaṁ citraṁ bahudhā jātaṁ jāyamānaṁ ca
yat . sarvo hyeṣa rudrastasmai rudrāya namo astu .. 1..

1. All this verily is Rudra! To Rudra who is such we offer our salutation. We salute again and again that Being, Rudra, who alone is the light and the Soul of creatures! The material universe, the created beings and whatever there is manifold and profusely created in the past and in the present in the form of the world, all that is indeed this Rudra. Salutations be to Rudra who is such!


Rudra is described as Aṣṭa-mūrti pervading the whole universe in the later scriptures.

This is a mantra saluting Him in this universal aspect. The purpose for which this mantra is employed is the same as that of the immediately preceding ones.


kadrudrāya pracetase mīḍhuṣṭamāya tavyase .
vocema śaṁtamaɱ hṛde .
sarvohyeṣa rudrastasmai rudrāya namo astu .. 1..

1. We sing a hymn that confers on us happiness in the highest degree, to Rudra who is worthy of praise, who is endowed with the highest knowledge, who rains objects to the worshippers most excellently, who is more powerful and who is dwelling in the heart. Indeed all this is Rudra! Salutations be to Rudra who is such!


This Mantra is found also at Rigveda I 43 1. This mantra serves the same purpose as the previous one.


yasya vaikaṅkatyagnihotrahavaṇī bhavati / pratiṣṭhitāḥ/
pratyevāsyāhutayastiṣṭhatyatho pratiṣṭhityai .. 1..

1. He who has the sacrificial ladle made of Vikankata tree for his Agnihotra rite offers oblations effective in producing the desired fruit. Further, these oblations contribute to establish (his spiritual knowledge through the generation of mental purity).


This passage lays down the substance of the sacrificial ladle proper for Agnihotra.

From some other liturgical part of the Veda this sentence is extracted here to serve as a specimen in order to indicate that the entire range of scripture- ordained duties from Agnihotra to Sattrayāga help a seeker after liberation in bringing about mental purity essential for the attainment of his goal.


kṛṇuṣva pāja iti pañca .


Five mantras commencing with the lemma kṛṇuṣva pāja are only indicated in the texts by reference to index words. They are recited for effecting the destruction of hostile influences. They are from the Taittirīya -Saṁhitā I-2-14. Originally they are from the Rig-Veda IV 4 1-5.

Vāmadeva is the Ṛiṣi, Agni is the deity and bhurik pankti is the metre of this group. The extract in full reads as follows:

kṛṇuṣva pājaḥ prasitiṁ na pṛthvīṁ yāhi rājevāmavā ibhena .
tṛṣvīmanu prasitiṁ drūṇāno'stāsi vidhya rakṣasastapiṣṭhaiḥ .. 1..

tava bhramāsa āśuyā patantyanu spṛśa dhṛśatā śośucānaḥ .
tapūṁṣyagne juhvā pataṅgānasandito vi sṛja viśvagulkāḥ ..2..

prati spaśo visṛja tūrṇitamo bhavā pāyurviśī asyā adabdhaḥ .
yo no dūre aghaśaṁ so yo antyagne mākiṣṭe vyathirādadharṣīta .. 3..

udagne tiṣṭha pratyā tanuṣva nyamitrāṁ oṣatāttigmahete .
yo no arātiṁ samidhāna cakre nīcātaṁ dhakṣyatasaṁ na śuṣkam .. 4..

ūrdhvo bhava pratiṁ vidhyādhyasmadāviṣkṛṇuṣva daivyānyagne .
avasthirā tanuhi yātujūnāṁ jāmimajāmiṁ pramṛṇīhi śatrūn .. 5..


aditirdevā gandharvā manuṣyāḥ pitaro'surāsteṣāɱ
sarvabhūtānāṁ mātā medinī mahatī mahī sāvitrī gāyatrī
jagatyurvī pṛthvī bahulā viśvā bhūtā katamā kāyā sā
satyetyamṛteti vāsiṣṭhaḥ .. 1..

1. The sage Vasistha declared that Āditi is the Mother and protector of gods, of celestial minstrels, of men, of departed ancestors, of demons and others;

that she is possessed of hardness or cohesiveness, that she is excellent and honoured, that she belongs to the Divine Spirit, that she is fit to be praised, contingent and supporting all,

that she is rich in crops, broad and possessing a wealth of objects, that she is universal and comprising of the primary element, that she is exceedingly blissful, transformed into the bodies of creatures, illustrious, enduring and hence immortal.


While the word Bhūmi denotes the earth, here the term Āditi refers to the deity embodied by it. This passage is a praise of the Supreme as the Deity of the Earth.

The word Āditi is derived from the root de meaning to divide and generally it is applied to the Deity of the heavens comprising of unlimited space. Here it is taken to denote the Earth.

For a similar eulogy of Aditi see Rigveda I 89 10.


āpo vā idaɱ sarvaṁ viśvā bhūtānyāpaḥ prāṇā vā āpaḥ
paśava āpo'nnamāpo'mṛtamāpaḥ samrāḍāpo virāḍāpaḥ
svarāḍāpaśchandāɱsyāpo jyotīɱṣyāpo yajūɱṣyāpaḥ
satyamāpaḥ sarvā devatā āpo bhūrbhuvaḥ suvarāpa om .. 1..

1. Verily all this is water. All the created beings are water. The vital breaths in the body are water. Quadrupeds are water. Edible crops are water. Ambrosia is water. Samrāt is water. Virāt is water. Svarāt is water. The metres are water. The luminaries are water. Vedic formulas are water. Truth is water. All deities are water. The three worlds denoted by Bhuḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Suvaḥ are water. The source of all these is the Supreme, denoted by the syllable ‘Om’.


This mantra refers to water as a Deity. The Supreme Being is here eulogised as water. The Deity of water is supplicated to avert dryness and to cause rain.


āpaḥ punantu pṛthivīṁ pṛthivī pūtā punātu mām |
punantu brahmaṇaspatirbrahmapūtā punātu mām || 1||
yaducchiṣṭamabhojyaṁ yadvā duścaritaṁ mama |
sarvaṁ punantu māmāpo'satāṁ ca pratigrahaɱ svāhā || 2||

1-2. May this water cleanse my physical body that is made of earthy substances! Thus purified, may the earthy body purify me, the Soul within! May this water purify the guardian of the Vedas, my preceptor! May the purified Vedas taught by the purified teacher purify me! (Or may the Supreme purify me! May the water purified by the Supreme purify me!) My defilement, repast on prohibited food and misconduct if any, and the sin accruing from the acceptance of gifts from persons disapproved by the scripture—from all these may I be absolved! May the waters purify me! Hail!


This Section consisting of two stanzas supplies the formulas employed for purifying ceremoniously a quantity of water taken through the mouth as a part of the midday devotion and also for ācamana during bath.

Here again the water stands for both, the element and the Deity. Intoning this mantra the twice-born drinks little water in the prescribed form with the following ideas in mind:

May I become fit to enjoy the bliss of liberation here in this life through the realisation of the Supreme. For that may I receive instruction, and practise reflection and contemplation upon the final teachings of the Vedas with my mind and body cleansed of ail impurities and sins.

The prayer in the text is built up by a number of clauses: The importance of physical purity comes first. Water purifies the human body which is perpetually rendered unclean by exudations. A clean body is an aid for a pure mind.

The second stanza is both a prayer and an expiation for transgressions of the individual and collectivity. Scrupulous avoidance of offences against the accepted code of religious conduct is possible only for the thoughtful and the painstaking aspirants. Consciousness of the intrusion of sin necessitates such a penitent prayer as this.

Food defiled by others by intention or by contact is unfit for sacramental worship. In peril one may be compelled to take unclean food. The man behind the gift exerts an influence over the enjoyer of it, often in an invisible manner. Hence religious people who insist in right living do not welcome gifts from disapproved people.

Life is beset with these and many other offences against holy regulations and so daily expiations and resolutions are provided in the routine of devotion.


agniśca mā manyuśca manyupatayaśca manyukṛtebhyaḥ |
pāpebhyo rakṣantām | yadahnā pāpamakārṣam |
manasā vācā hastābhyām | padbhyāmudareṇa śiśnā |
ahastadavalimpatu | yatkiñca duritaṁ mayi | idamahaṁ
māmamṛtayonī | satye jyotiṣi juhomi svāhā || 1||

1. May Fire, Anger and Guardians of anger guard me from the sins resulting from anger! May the Day efface completely whatever sin I have committed on this day by thought, word, hands, feet, stomach and the procreative organ! Further, whatever sinful deed has been committed by me, all that and myself I offer as an oblation into the Self-luminous Truth, the source of Immortality! Hail!


Similar to the previous Section this one also is employed for praying over the purificatory water that is taken in as part of daily evening devotion, which serves for expiation of sins.

Manyu is a Deity found mentioned in the Vedas. The meaning given is “longing fervour”— as Bhaṭṭabhāskara puts it.

From this meaning, by restriction, we get the sense of anger towards one’s enemies- including internal foes like craving, rage, covetousness and passion.

The guardians of Manyu are the senses and energies of man. Man’s passions are his misfortunes. Just as the home is protected from thieves and burglars by placing proper guard so a man has to protect himself from sinful acts perpetrated through his enslavement to the passions and pleasures of the senses.

Every act of devotion is an act of weeding and sowing. The mind has to be cleansed of possible sins and planted with thoughts of purity and holy resolutions.

During the evening twilight-devotion offences of the day are burnt in the fire of divine contemplation. The list of sins given here, though fairly comprehensive, may be considered only as illustrative.

A pure mind is at the root of all spiritual progress. Wrong and sinful emotions and feelings stain the mind. Control of mind implies controlling and directing of one’s acts in proper and approved way.

All day-dreaming’s based on personal hurts and satisfaction are therefore to be shunned as sin and repented for.

Sins are committed by words in the shape of lying, swearing, tattling, disparaging and bantering. Aimless and hurtful activities are consciously or unconsciously performed by the hand. The feet are responsible for gadding about and walking over places where one ought not to go. The belly offends by taking in wrong food. Unchastity is a sin for which the procreative organ is held responsible. All the senses are to be carefully guarded.

Without fear of sin no man can tread the right path and human nature is prone to all these weaknesses.

As a preventive and cure for these foibles the aspirant during his evening devotions contemplates daily upon the Supreme Truth—The Shining Reality within himself.

He forgets at least for the time being his lower human nature as it were. Daily repetition of this process finally burns away all the dross in him and makes him pure and divine. That is the purpose of this and similar other mantras recited in this context.


sūryaśca mā manyuśca manyupatayaśca manyukṛtebhyaḥ |
pāpebhyo rakṣantām | yadrātriyā pāpamakārṣam |
manasā vācā hastābhyām | padbhyāmudareṇa śiśnā |
rātristadavalumpatu | yatkiñca duritaṁ mayi |
iadamahaṁ māmamṛtayonī | sūrye jyotiṣi svāhā || 1||

1. May the Sun, Anger and the Guardians of anger guard me from the sins resulting from anger! May the Night efface completely whatever sin I have committed during the last night by thought, word, hands, feet, stomach and the procreative organ! Further, whatever sinful deed has been committed by me, all that and myself I offer as an oblation into the Supreme Light represented by the sun, the source of Immortality! Hail!


This mantra serves the same purpose as the one described in the previous two mantras. The only difference is that this is employed during the performance of the morning twilight devotion of the twice-born.

Traditionally Sūrya is here interpreted as the Supreme, represented by the Sun. Even the word rātri is interpreted to denote the Supreme Being— rā means to give and trai means to protect, that is to say, the protector of the universe who confers the Puruṣārthas to the devotees.

This Section vanes from the previous one only by the substitution of 2 words —sūrya and rātri.