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Sita Upanishad


Om ! Gods ! With ears let us hear what is good;
Adorable ones ! With eyes let us see what is good.
With steady limbs, with bodies, praising,
Let us enjoy the life allotted by the gods.
May Indra, of wide renown, grant us well-being;
May Pusan, and all-gods, grant us well-being.
May Tarksya, of unhampered movement, grant us well-being.
May Brihaspati grant us well-being.
Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace !

1. The gods, indeed, said to Prajapati: who is Sita ? What is Her form ? Then Prajapati replied: She is Sita:
2. Being the first cause Sita is known as
Prakriti; of Pranava, too, She is cause
And so is named Prakriti.
3. Maya in very essence,
Is Sita, of three letters formed.
Called Vishnu, the world-seed,
And Maya, too, is the letter i.
4. The letter sa denotes truth immortal;
Achievement; Siva with his consort.
Ta denotes the Queen of Speech
United with Brahman, the Deliverer.
5. The Goddess who is the great Illusion, whose form is unmanifest, and who is denoted by ‘i’ becomes manifest, beauteous as the moon, faultless of limb, decked with ornamental garlands, pearls and other adornments.
6. At first, at the time of Vedic studies, She is essentially the clear Vedic speech. Secondly, on earth, at the tip of the plough She springs up, who, as the bliss of Brahman-realization, is ever present. Thirdly, as denoted by ‘i’ She becomes unmanifest. So is She Sita. Thus they explain in the text of the Saunakas.
7. By Srirama’s (light of total liberation) presence enabled
The universe She sustains;
All embodied beings
She brings forth, sustains and withdraws.
8. Sita must be known;
She is the first cause;
As Om is She that cause,
Declare the Brahman-knowers.
9. Now, therefore, inquiry into Brahman.
10. She here is all the Vedas; all the gods; all the worlds; all renown; all virtue; all ground, effect and cause; the great Beauty of the Lord of gods. She has a form which is different and yet the same. She is the essence of the intelligent and the inert. She is all, from Brahma to stocks and stones. She is embodied, owing to distinctions of attributes and activities. She assumes the forms of gods, sages, men and Gandharvas; of demons, fiends, spirits, ghosts, goblins, etc.; and of the elements, sense-organs, mind and the vital breaths.
11. That divine Being is threefold through Her power, namely the power of desire, the power of action, and the power of knowledge.
12. The power of desire is threefold: Sri, Bhumi and Nila. Auspiciousness is the form (of Sri); the power (of holiness) is the form (of Bhumi); the sun, the moon, and the fire are the forms (of Nila).
13. As the moon (She) is the mistress of the herbs; She is the tree of plenty, flowers, fruits, creepers and bowers; the mistress of medicinal plants and physicians; She is the divine draught of immortality, yielding the fruit of massive splendour. She satisfies the gods with ambrosia and the animals with grass on which, respectively, the gods and the animals live.
14. She illumines all worlds, day and night, in the garb of the sun, etc. As determinations of time, such as the smallest moment, hour, day with its eight divisions, day of the week, and night, as also the fortnight, month, season, six months, and year and as the prescriber of the term of human life as a hundred years, She manifests herself and is known as Delay and Speed. Thus wheel-like, She revolves as the wheel of Time, the wheel of Universe, etc.; comprising (all dimensions of time) from the moment up to fifty years of Brahma’s life. All the luminous temporal divisions are the specific determinations of this very Time, the container of all.
15. As fire is the food and drink of living beings, their hunger and thirst. As regards the gods, She has the form of sacrifice. As regards the herbs in the forest, She is the coolness and the warmth. Both inside and outside the fuel She dwells, eternal and fleeting.
16. The Goddess Sri assumes a threefold form in conformity with the Lord’s will for the protection of the world. That She is styled Sri and Lakshmi is known.
17. The Goddess Bhu is the Earth comprising the seven islands and the seas; the container and the contents of the fourteen worlds such as bhu, etc.; and her essence is Pranava.
18. Nila is festooned with lightnings. To nourish all herbs and living beings, She assumes all forms.
19. At the root of all the worlds, She assumes the form of Water, being known as ‘consisting of frogs’ and supporting the worlds.
20. The real form of the power of action (is as follows): From Hari’s mouth (proceeds) sound; from this sound ‘the drop’; thence, the syllable Om; from this syllable, distinctively proceeds the mount Rama, the abode of the Vaikhanasas. On that mount flourish manifold branches representing action and knowledge.
21. The primal science of
Vedas three, reveals all sense;
They are the ‘three’, comprising
Ric, Yajus and Saman.
22. Based on a fact, fourfold, they are called
The Ric, Yajus, Saman, Atharvan.
23. The ‘three’ are so famed as they
Concern the four priests, form texts
Of triple sense, lingas, and much else.
The Atharvan is, in essence,
Ric, Yajus and Saman, too.
24. Yet separated it is, being
In the main, of magic sense.
The Rig-Veda does flourish
In branches twenty-one.
25. The Yajus is well known
In nine and hundred various schools.
Saman has a thousand branches;
The Atharvan but forty.
26. The Vaikhanasa philosophy
With intuition is concerned;
With Vaikhanasa it is that
Sages ever engage themselves.
27. Rituals, Grammar, Phonetics, Etymology, Astronomy and Metre are the six limbs.
28. The minor limbs are Vedanta
And Mimamsa, the treatise on
Nyaya and Puranas upheld
By the knowers of the Law; so also
Of meditation (upasana) the chapters;
29. Ethics, of the Vedic lore all branches,
Tradition, Law upheld by Rishis great;
History and legend – these the Upangas.
30. The five minor Vedas are
Architecture and Archery,
Music, Medicine and Occult Thought (daivika).
31. The Discipline, the Rites, the Gloss, the Lore,
Conquest supreme of breath – these twenty-one
Are renowned as self-evident.
32. The word of Vishnu at first sprang forth
From Vaikhanasa as the Vedas three.
33. As of old from sage Vaikhanasa
The ‘three’ sprang forth –
Hear all from me.
The eternal Brahmic form is power to act.
34. The manifest power is but the memory of the Lord; its essence is manifestation and evolution, restriction and promotion, subsidence and upflaring. It is the cause of the patent and the latent, possessing all feet, limbs, faces, colours. It is at once different and non-different (from the Lord); the unfailing consort of the Lord, perpetually dependent on Him. She becomes patent and latent, and is called the manifest power because She is competent to bring about, through the (mere) closing and opening (of Her eye) creation, sustentation and retraction, suppression and promotion.
35. The power of desire is threefold. At the time of retraction, for the sake of rest, when She rests on the right side of the Lord’s chest, in the shape of Srivatsa, She is the power of Yoga.
36. The form of the Power of enjoyment is enjoyment. Associated with the Tree of Plenty, the wish-granting Cow, the wish-fulfilling Gem, and the nine Treasures such as the (precious) Conch and Lotus, She is impelled by the devotion of the worshipper, whether sought or unsought (to yield enjoyments) as a result of rites, compulsory or optional, like the Agnihotra; or as a result of (the eight ‘limbs’ of Yoga practice, namely) restraint, discipline, posture, control of breath, withdrawal, attention, meditation and contemplation; or as a result of worship of the Lord’s image in pinnacled temples; or as a result of ceremonial baths, etc.; or of the worship of manes, etc.; or as a result of giving food, drink, etc., for pleasing the Lord. (All this) is done (through the Power of enjoyment).
37. Now the Power of heroism, four-armed, (is described). She indicates by her gestures fearlessness and (the granting of) boons; She bears the lotus; crowned and bedecked, She is surrounded by all the gods; is bathed, at the foot of the Tree of Plenty, by four elephants, in ambrosial waters from jewelled pots. All divinities, Brahma and others, render obeisance to Her. She is vested with the eight miraculous powers such as becoming atomic in proportion; She is lauded by the wish-granting cow who is before Her; she is extolled by the Vedas, the Shastras, etc. Celestial nymphs like Jaya wait upon Her. The luminaries – the sun and the moon – shed splendour on Her. Tumburu, Narada and others sing of Her glory. The full moon and new moon days hold an umbrella over Her; two delightful beings hold the whisks. Svaha and Svadha fan Her. Bhrigu and other supernatural beings adore Her. The Goddess Lakshmi is seated on a divine Lion-Throne in the lotus posture, effectuating all causes and effects. The steady (image of) the Lord’s idea of differentiation, She beautifies. With tranquil eyes, adored by all the gods, She is known as the Beauty of Heroism. This is the Secret.


Om ! Gods ! With ears let us hear what is good;
Adorable ones ! With eyes let us see what is good.
With steady limbs, with bodies, praising,
Let us enjoy the life allotted by the gods.
May Indra, of wide renown, grant us well-being;
May Pusan, and all-gods, grant us well-being.
May Tarksya, of unhampered movement, grant us well-being.
May Brihaspati grant us well-being.
Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace !

Here ends the Sita Upanishad, included in the Atharva-Veda.

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