Bhikshuka Upanishad

Pancha Mukha Shiva

Pancha Mukha Shiva, Shiva's Five Faces

Bhikshuka Upanishad

Translated by Prof. A. A. Ramanathan

Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai

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Om ! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite.

The infinite proceeds from the infinite.

(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe),

It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone.

Om ! Let there be Peace in me !

Let there be Peace in my environment !

Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

1. Mendicant monks desiring liberation are of four kinds: the Kutichaka, Bahudaka, Hamsa and Paramahamsa.

2. The Kutichakas (hut-dwelling ascetics) such as (the sages of yore like) Gautama, Bharadvaja, Yajnavalkya and Vasistha, subsist on eight mouthfuls of food and seek liberation alone by the path of yoga.

3. Next the Bahudaka ascetics (remaining mainly in a holy place of sacred waters) who carry a three-fold emblematic staff (tridanda) and water vessel and wear tuft, sacred thread and ochre coloured garment. Avoiding wine and meat, they subsist on eight mouthfuls of food secured as alms from the houses of Brahmana sages and seek liberation alone in the path of Yoga.

4. Then come the Hamsa ascetics who shelter for one night in a village, five nights in a town and seven nights or more in a holy place. Subsisting on cow’s urine and other products from the cow and always addicted to the chandrayana vow, they seek liberation alone in the path of Yoga.

5. Then there are the Paramahamsa ascetics (such as the sages of yore like) Samvartaka, Aruni, Svetaketu, Jadabharata, Dattatreya, Suka, Vamadeva and Harita, who live on eight mouthfuls of food and seek liberation alone in the path of Yoga. They take shelter under the shade of trees, in deserted houses or in a cemetery. They may wear a dress or be unclad. They observe neither Dharma nor Adharma (i.e. they are above the laws of the land). They are not conscious of profit and loss of anything. They discard the doctrines of Visishtadvaita (propounded by Ramanuja), the Suddha Dvaita (of Madhvacharya) and the Asuddha Dvaita. Considering equally a pebble, stone and gold they receive alms from (person of) all castes and see the Atman alone everywhere. Unclad, unaffected by pairs (of opposites, heat and cold, etc.,) receiving no gifts, solely adhering to pure meditation, established in the Atman alone, receiving alms at the prescribed time for sustaining life, (taking shelter during nights) in a deserted house, temple, hay stack, ant-hill, shade of a tree, potter’s hut, a place where ritual fire is kept, sandy bank of a river, a mountain thicket or cavity, a hollow in a tree, the vicinity of a water fall, or a piece of clean ground, they are well on the way to realize Brahman; with pure mind, they give up their bodies in the state of renunciation as a Paramahamsa. They are indeed the Paramahamsas (as they become absorbed in Brahman). Thus (ends) the Upanishad.

Om ! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite.

The infinite proceeds from the infinite.

(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe),

It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone.

Om ! Let there be Peace in me !

Let there be Peace in my environment !

Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Here ends the Bhikshukopanishad belonging to the Sukla-Yajur-Veda.

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