Showing posts with label transcreation-misc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transcreation-misc. Show all posts

Friday, December 8, 2023

Transcreating Svetasvatara 1.16

Atman, all-pervasive like butter in milk, and the source of self-reflection and self-realization, is Brahman, the highest truth. That is the supreme upanisad.

~Svetasvatara 1.16 (my tx)

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Transcreating Katha 2.3.2-4

All there is—this universe and everything within it—vibrates with life. 

For all is projected from Brahman and exists within the ground of Brahman. 

And that Brahman has supplied this great jolt like a diamond thunderbolt.

And those who are struck by this knowledge realize one's immortality.

For in awe of Brahman, this inferno burns:

Sun shines, rain falls, wind blows, and death runs out the course.

But if one prevails in realizing one is Brahman before the blaze burns out, 

Then one is freed from such fearful embodiment by that great self-awareness.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Focus, Friend:
Transcreating Mundaka 2.2.2 & 4

2. That which is self-shining, that which is most subtle, but which worlds and their inhabitants depend upon for support, that is indestructible Brahman.

That is the vital force. That is speech and mind. That is the Truth. That is immortal. That alone is the target. Focus, friend.

4. Omkara is the bow, Atman is the arrow, and Brahman is named the goal. That is to be struck by an attentive mind. And as that arrow becomes one with the target, one's Self is known to be Brahman.

Friday, October 27, 2023

What Is Brahman and Who Am I to Say
(transcreating Mundaka 1.1.6)

Brahman is not the natural universe nor an object of worship nor a holy soul nor some moral virtue.

Brahman is unborn and eternal, appearing as many but remaining the immutable one without a second.

Brahman is all-pervasive, depthlessly subtle, ever-constant, and the causeless first cause.

The qualified one who realizes that absolutely knows all is brahman and brahman is oneself.

Friday, July 1, 2022

transcreating the mahavakyas

all this has consciousness as the giver of its reality. all is impelled by consciousness. consciousness is the eye of the universe and consciousness is its end. consciousness is brahman.

that being which is the subtle essence upon which the world is superimposed, that is the truth, such is the self, that you are.

om the word is all this. all that is past, present, and future is om. that which is beyond the three periods of time is also om. all this is verily brahman. this atman is brahman.

this was brahman in the beginning. it knew itself only as “i am brahman.” therefore it became all. it is the same with seers and the same with all people. to this day, whoever knows the self as “i am brahman,” becomes all this.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Mandukya 7 Translation Fantasia

Reality is not a dreamlike thought. Reality is not a waking form. Nor is reality a thought-form. Reality is not the sleep of no-thought. Moreover, reality is not sentient nor insentient.

~Mandukya 7 part-a (tx-aumdada)

It is unperceived, unrelated, incomprehensible, uninferable, unthinkable, and indescribable.

~Mandukya 7 part-b (tr-Nikhilananda)

“Always experienced as the unbroken I-sense”, “in which all phenomena cease; and which is unchanging, auspicious, and non-dual.” “This is what is known as the fourth (Turiya). This is the Ātman, and this is to be realized.”

~Mandukya 7 part-c (tr-Swartz, Gambhirananda, Chinmayananda)


If the Upanishads are the well of truth, and the Mandukya is the essence of that truth, then its seventh verse is its distillation. It could be said the Mandukya 7 is 100✓.

Chinmayananda divides this verse in three and I agree with such a division. I have been using several translations in reading the Mandukya, and I wanted to take the best and build a more perfect seventh verse, which is the most important verse, in that it presents for the first time in this Upanishad the Fourth, Reality.

First, I wanted to create my own interpretation of the first part which clearly presents the negation of the three states presented in the first six verses. According to Sankara, the Mandukya 1-6 defines the snake of illusion as the waking state, dreaming state, and deep sleep state. And by negating these three states in Mandukya 7, the rope of the fourth stateless state, Turiya, or Reality, is revealed.

My transcreation is admittedly self-esoteric but I wanted to make the allusion to the three states very clear as well as equate them with thought and form while still emphasizing the negation. A more conventional translation by Gambhirananda reads: "that which is not conscious of the internal world, nor conscious of the external world, nor conscious of both the worlds, nor a mass of consciousness, nor conscious, nor unconscious." Since 'prajnam' is repeated in this part, G is more correct. I went with a little spiritual (or grammatical) incorrectness here instead.

For the rest of the seventh, I chose the parts of the translations of Nikhilananda, Gambhirananda, Chinmayananda, and Swartz, the four best translations of the Mandukya and Karika in my experience, ringing most true. 

In the second part, I chose Nikhilananda, who translates this section (adṛṣṭam-avyavahāryam-agrāhyam-alakṣaṇam acintyam-avyapadeśyam) with a succinct poetic clarity that follows the crisp Sanskrit faithfully.

For the first section of the third part, I chose Swartz who translates the all-important ekātma-pratyaya-sāraṁ in a most unique way, emphasizing that all this negation does not result in either nihilism or nirvikalpa samadhi but experiential self-awareness (as he has written, "Self knowledge takes place in the mind, but if the mind is non-existent how can it take place?").

Chinmayananda translates the phrase as "traceable through unbroken Self-awareness" which is great but for some reason in the actual translation changes it to "essentially of the Self alone" which is not as great, but still better than "whose valid proof consists in the single belief in the Self" by Gambhirananda. I feel the use of belief to be so wrong!

I chose Ghambhirananda for the second section of the third part though. It is a nice presentation of the positive aspect of the verse without taking it too far like the "all peace, all bliss" of Nikhilananda.

For the third section I chose Chinmayananda over Nikhilananda. They are almost identical, and since N came before C in time, one could make the argument for N. But where C goes "this is to be realized," N goes "this has to be realized," so I went with C instead. I choose is over has. Also, it works out nicely including all four of these fine translations here. So serendipitous in fact, harih aum!