Mahā Nārāyaṇa Upanishad | Section 80



tasyaivaṁ viduṣo yajñasyātmā yajamānaḥ śraddhā patnī
śarīramidhmamuro vedirlomāni barhirvedaḥ śikhā hṛdayaṁ yūpaḥ
kāma ājyaṁ manyuḥ paśustapo'agnirdamaḥ śamayitā dānaṁ
dakṣiṇā vāgghotā prāṇa udgātā cakṣuradhvaryurmano brahmā
śrotramagnīt yāvaddhriyate sā dīkṣā yadaśnāti
taddhaviryatpibati tadasya somapānaṁ yadramate tadupasado
yatsañcaratyupaviśatyuttiṣṭhate ca sa pravargyo yanmukhaṁ
tadāhavanīyo yā vyāhṛtirahutiryadasya vijñāna tajjuhoti
yatsāyaṁ prātaratti tatsamidhaṁ yatprātarmadhyandinaɱ sāyaṁ
ca tāni savanāni ye ahorātre te darśapūrṇamāsau
ye'rdhamāsāśca māsāśca te cāturmāsyāni ya ṛtavaste
paśubandhā ye saṁvatsarāśca parivatsarāśca te'hargaṇāḥ
sarvavedasaṁ vā etatsatraṁ yanmaraṇaṁ tadavabhṛtha etadvai
jarāmaryamagnihotraɱsatraṁ ya evaṁ vidvānudagayane pramīyate
devānāmeva mahimānaṁ gatvādityasya sāyujyaṁ gacchatyatha yo
dakṣiṇe pramīyate pitṛṇāmeva mahimānaṁ gatvā candramasaḥ
sāyujyaṁ gacchatyetau vai sūryācandramasormahimānau brāhmaṇo
vidvānabhijayati tasmād brahmaṇo mahimānamityupaniṣat || 1||

1. The institutor of the sacrifice, in the case of the sacrifice offered by a Sannyāsin who has attained supreme knowledge in the manner already described, is his   own Self.

His faith is his wife; his body is his sacrificial fuel; his chest is his altar; his hairs are his holy grass, the Veda he has learnt is his tuft of hair; his heart is his sacrificial post; his desire is his clarified butter; his anger is his animal to be immolated; his austerity is his fire, his sense-control is his immolator, his gifts are his Dakṣiṇā, his speech is his Hotri priest; his breath is his Udgātri priest; his sight is his Adhvaryu priest, his mind is his Brahman priest, his

hearing is his Agni priest, the span of his life is his preparatory rite, what he eats -that is his oblation; what he drinks that is his drinking of soma juice, when he delights himself that is his Upasad rite, when he walks, sits and stands that is his Pravargya rite; that which is his mouth that is his Āhavanīya Fire, that which is his utterance that is his offering of oblation, that which is his knowledge that is his Homa sacrifices, when he eats in the afternoon and forenoon that is his Samidhoma (oblation of fuel in the fire); the three divisions of the day—forenoon, midday and evening—relating to him are his savanas, the day and night are his Darśapūrṇamāsa sacrifices, the half months and the months are his Cāturmāsya sacrifice, the seasons are his Paśubandha sacrifice; the Samvatsaras and the parivatsaras are his Ahargaṇa sacrifice; the total sacrifice is, indeed, his Sattra; death is the Avabhritha or completion of his sacrifice.

That person who knows this, namely, the conduct of a Sannyāsin—covering all the duties from Agnihotra to Sattra and terminating in death overcome by old age—and who dies during the period of the sun’s movement to the north attains to the over-lordship of gods like Indra and then reaches identity or companionship with the sun.

On the other hand he who dies during the period when the sun moves to the south gets only the greatness of the manes and then attains to the identity or companionship with the moon.

A brāhmaṇa who knows separately the greatness of the sun and the moon realizes these two; but he who has become a knower of Hiraṇyagarbha wins further. From that knowledge which was acquired in the world of Hiraṇyagarbha, he attains to the greatness of Brahman, the Supreme who is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss, at the dissolution of the world of Hiraṇyagarbha.

Thus the secret knowledge here, and in this Upaniṣad, is concluded.


This Section is allied to the Puruṣā Vidyā, reference to which is made in the Brāhma Sūtras III 3 24.

Those who are ultra-loyal to the operating religion of the Vedas hold the opinion that the entire Veda is meant for laying down commands that govern the life of religious aspirants.

 If this thesis is accepted, even a Sannyāsin, who has become liberated- in-life by adopting the supreme means of liberation, namely Sannyāsa, described in the Sections above, is under obligation to engage himself in sacrificial duties.

According to the Uttara Mīmāṃsā this position is not tenable. What the Sannyāsin performs is called ātma-yajña, which is not the usual form of mental, physical and social operations. It is Yajña only in allegory.

Through an extended simile the Yajña of the Sannyāsin is described here.

The conventional sacrifice has various ingredients: Persons, place, time, substances, commencement, completion, order, varieties. All these are brought into this picture here.

The description of the sacrifice starts with the Yajamāna or the institutor of the sacrifice along with his Patnī, the wife. Either of these by demise or withdrawal brings a sacrifice to an abrupt end.

In the allegory here, the individual Self acting as the Witness of the functions of the body and the senses is the Yajamāna, because all the functions of the body and the mind are for his sake.

A Sannyāsin’s life is rooted in an unswerving faith in the truth taught by the scriptures and by his preceptor, he never strays away from that faith, and so this faith takes the place of the wife who must be present in the real Yajña.

His body will be finally consigned into the holy fire as a corpse and so it is his fuel.

The necessaries of a sacrifice are stocked in the altar, so also the thoughts connected with the sacrifice are kept within one’s chest.

On the spread out holy grass (Kuśa) Gods are invoked. The hair on the chest within which lies the heart in which the Sannyāsin meditates—stands for such a grass seat.

Knowledge of the Veda must be always supporting the life of the Sannyāsin and the Yajamāna and so that is compared to the tuft of hair called śikhā which should not be removed, except for a vow, from the head of a Brāhmaṇa.

The heart of the Sannyāsin is said to be the Yūpa (the sacrificial post) on which the animals (anger and the like) are tied and slaughtered.

Clarified butter offered into the consecrated Fire indicates that desires are kindled when they are stimulated and that they are extinguished by fulfilment.

In the Somā Yāga victims are immolated. Similarly anger and other passions are to be slayed by the Sannyāsin in his mystic sacrifice. Without the consecrated Fire no sacrifice is possible. For the Sannyāsin, that fire is tapas in the form of sense-control and calmness.

In the case of the Sannyāsin, giving of knowledge, the performance of duties proper to his station is Dakṣiṇā.

Every part of the body of the Sannyāsin is sacrificed in the fire of tapas and therefore the whole duration of his life is called a Sattra or a sacrificial session.