By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Subala Upanisad, SubAla Upanisad, Subaala Upanisad
Subāla Upaniṣad is a fairly long minor Upaniṣad, assigned to the Śukla Yajurveda. It has 16 khaṇḍas the total number of mantras being 67. Almost the whole Upaniṣad is in prose. A brief summary of the Upaniṣad may now be attempted here:
It consists of 6 mantras. It discusses about the topics like:
- Nature of Brahman without attributes
- Creation of the world
It has 4 mantras. It talks about the following topics:
- Puruṣa - the Supreme Person
- Creation of scriptures
- Various beings
- Reverse process of dissolution
It has 3 mantras. It describes about the attainment of the Atman by practising the six disciplines like:
- Satya - truth
- Dāna - charity
- Tapas - austerity
- Ahimsā - non-violence
- Brahmacarya - celibacy
- Nirvedana - detachment or renunciation
It has 4 mantras. It talks about the subject like:
- Daharākāśa - space in the region of the heart
- Three states of consciousness
It has 15 mantras. This section which is fairly long, describes the following:
- how the various organs, their objects and their presiding deities are all connected by nāḍīs
- How the ātman activates them all
- He is the knower of all, the supreme ruler of all, fit to be worshiped by all and unaffected in any way.
- He is indescribable
It has 7 mantras. This section declares that:
- The whole creation has proceeded out of Nārāyaṇa
- Nārāyaṇa is everything
It has 2 mantras implying that the Nārāyaṇa is the inner Self of everything.
It has 1 mantra which infers that the ātman lives in the impure body but is ever pure, shining and divine.
It has 16 mantras. It delineates regarding the following:
- Dissolution of the entire creation into Brahman during pralaya
- Result of knowing that Brahman is becoming that Brahman
- Means of attaining Brahman through Vedāntic disciplines like repeating the Vedas, self-control, renunciation and samādhi
It has 2 mantras. It explains the following:
- All the worlds have been established in Brahman.
- One who knows it, becomes Brahman.
It has 1 mantra. This section describes:
- Four types of nādīs
- Result of departure of the soul through these
- Exit through the fourth nāḍī called apunarbhavā gives the soul liberation.
It has 1 mantra. This short section deals with:
- Purity of food
- One should not consume food which is stale and gone bad
- A sanyāsin can eat the food brought to him unasked by his devotees, but should not plan for it
It has 2 mantras depicting the mode of sādhana of sanyāsins and the characteristics after attaining perfection.
It has 1 mantra which uses the analogy of the food and the eater and concludes that the Brahman is called Paradeva and he is the substratum of all the ‘eaters’.
It has 1 mantra which shows that How does one who is vijñānaghana burn or destroy the seed of rebirth. As he rises above the body at the time of death, he burns everything from prāṇa right up to mṛtyu, because of the very realization.
It has 1 mantra which gives the tradition of transmitting Brahmavidyā whom to give and whom not to give and the importance of devotion to the guru.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore