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Mundaka Upanishad – Renderings



Truth [Satya] indeed conquers!

Not untruth, falsehood.

Untruth is all discord, out of harmony with the Real.

The Real is a spontaneous unfolding of the One.

The Way of effulgent Wisdom is laid open and forever determined by Truth.

By Truth through the Path of Wisdom pass those who see, the visionary Seers who are free, free from pride and deceit, and no longer compelled by temporal desires.

These liberated Seers ascend to that state of consciousness, the highest abode, the place of the treasure that is Truth, the Real.



The wise know the Self,

radiant shinning effulgence,

the Abode wherein rests all this universe.

The wise become Knowers of the One

[Brahmin] — indeed

they are this Oneness.

Freed from desire, liberated

they transcend human seed,

and are not born again.



Whoever hankers for, covets

and broods on sense desires

will be reborn in surroundings

that reflect such thinking and

bind them in worldly objects.


While those who have desired

only the highest and who have

transformed into the Self, the Oneness,

they feel content, all desires vanished.


When you have Become the All,

what remains to be longed for?

How can emptiness

be perceived in Fullness?


Man is made of faith.

Whatever his faith is, so he is.

- Bhagavad Gita XVII.3




This Self is not attainable

through study of the Vedas and sacred texts,

nor is It realized through a great intelligence,

or by listening to many scholarly discourses.


Indeed the Self is revealed

within to those who seek

only to reach the Self alone.



This Self cannot be attained by the weak,

who lack the courage of an adamantine will.

Nor is It attained without discernment.

Those who are heedless, inattentive,

and unmindful, remain vulnerable,

attached to the temporal external realms.


Wisdom must be lived every day,

in each moment, ordinary and familiar.

“An outer mark is no source of virtue.”

True renunciation is within, internal.


Thus the pure and discerning enter

the abode of Brahman, the Oneness.




Seers united with the Self

become content in Knowledge,

composed in Wisdom,

free from attachments,

their senses withdrawn.


The all-pervading One expands

within, filling these discerning ones,

the Wisdom Seers, who thus enter

everywhere, merging into All. 



As rivers flowing to the sea

become invisible, indistinguishable,

giving up name and form,

so the illumined ones, awakened,

freed from name and form,

dissolve in union Divine,

merging with the Self-effulgent One,

greater than the great.




The Mahabharata, Shanti Parva, Mokshadharma Parva, Chapter 239

21. When a living creature sees his own soul in all things, and all things in his own soul, he is said the attain the Oneness [Brahma].

23. Even the gods [the sense organs] are stupefied in the path of that trackless one who forms the soul of all creatures, who is engaged in the well being of all creatures and who wishes to attain the final Refuge.

24. Indeed, the road which is followed by men of Knowledge is as invisible as that of birds in the sky or fish in water.



The Mahabharata, Sanskrit Tex and English Translation, Vol. VIII Shanti Parva; Translation according to M.N. Dutt; Parimal Publications, Delhi, India, 2004.


My renderings of the Mundaka Upanishad from original Sanskrit is based on these translations and Sanskrit dictionaries:

Mundaka Upanishad, with the original text in Sanskrit and Roman transliteration, translated with commentary by Swami Muni Narayana Prasad; D.K. Printworld, New Delhi, 1998.

Mundakopanishad, Commentary by Swami Krishnananda; The Divine Life Society, Uttarakhand, Himalayas, India, 1951, 2008.

Eight Upanisads, Volume Two, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda, with the commentary of Sankaracarya; Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, India, 1958, 2006.

The Principal Upanishads, Swami Shivananda; The Divine Life Society, U.P. India, 1998.

The Upanishads, A New Translation by Swami Nikhilananda, Volume One; Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, New York, 1949, 2003.