Nrisimha Poorva Tapaniya Upanishad

Nrisimha Poorva Tapaniya Upanishad
Translated by P. R. Ramachander
Published by

Om! O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
May we see with our eyes what is auspicious, O ye worthy of worship!
May we enjoy the term of life allotted by the Devas,
Praising them with our body and limbs steady!
May the glorious Indra bless us!
May the all-knowing Sun bless us!
May Garuda, the thunderbolt for evil, bless us!
May Brihaspati grant us well-being!
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!

The First Upanishad

Bhagawan Narasimha who is partly human and partly lion shines as Parabrahma with Rutha (discipline of the visible world) and Sathya (basic truth). He appears with two colours viz. black and golden red. His nature is to go up and he has a very terrible and fearsome stare but he is a "Sankara" doing good to people. He is called "Neela Lohitha (He who is red and black)" because his neck is black and the top of it is red. In another of his aspects he is Umapathi (husband of Uma) and Pasupathi (Lord of all beings). He holds the bow called "Pinaka" and has great luster. He is the god of all knowledge. He is god of all beings. He is the Lord of all Vedas. He is the boss of Brahma and He is praised by Yajur Veda. One should know the praise of Sama Veda of him. Those who know that will attain the deathless state.

The Second Upanishad

Devas were afraid of death, sins and family life. They approached Praja Pathi. He told them about the Narasimha Mantra which was "the King of all Mantras" written in Anushtup meter. Because of this, they won victory over death. They won over all sins and also destroyed the problems of family life. So any of those who are afraid of death, sins and family life, should get themselves taught the "Narasimha Mantra" which is called "the King of Mantras" and which is written in anushtup meter. They all would win over death and win over sin as well problems due to family life.

The King of Mantras:
[The following is a simple translation of the King of Mantras of Lord Narasimha and what follows is an explanation and justification of each description.)

My salutations to That Nrusimha,
Who is fierce,
Who is heroic,
Who is Maha Vishnu,
Who is burning,
Who has faces every where,
Who is half Lion and half Man,
Who is fearful,
Who is safe,
Who is death and deathlessness.

He is called "Ugra [fierce]" because by his power He creates, looks after, destroys and elevates without break and also attracts all devas, all beings, all bhoothas Hey Lord Narasimha, you who is being praised by me, please give me perennial happiness even when I am in this body which is not permanent. Let your soldiers kill all my enemies who are different from me. 1

He is called "Veera [heroic]" because by his power He makes all worlds, all devas, all beings and all boothas play, and allow them to take rest and also creates, helps them grow and attracts without any break these worlds, devas, beings and boothas. He is behind every action, very capable, mountain like and one who fulfills the desires of devas. 2

He is "Maha Vishnu", because he pervades in all the worlds and makes all the world pervade, similar to the fatty gum that spreads in all meat, from this side to that and also from other side to this side. There is nothing in the world that is not him. He is pervading in all things in the world. He is the leader of all souls. Worship of souls is His worship. He exists in all the three shining things viz. Moon, Sun and fire. 3

He is called "Jwalantham [burning]", because he makes the entire world which includes all devas, all beings and all Bhoothas shine because of his luster and also shines in them and makes them release flames. He is the one who created the world and makes it rapidly multiply. He is the one who shines because of his own luster and also makes others shine. He spreads heat throughout the world and makes the world swelter. He spreads his rays everywhere and makes them release rays. He has a personality which causes only good. He gives only that which is good and he is good. 4

He is called "Sarvatho Mukham [having faces everywhere]" because he sees everywhere without having any organs, he is able to hear every thing, he is able to go every where, he is able to attract everything, and also because he is spread everywhere and exists every where. In the beginning he was alone and he has become all these things now. Those who rule over the world came from him. In the end everything goes back and merges in him. I salute him who has faces every where. 5

Among all animals the most fear some and also most special is the lion. That is why God of the Universe took birth as Narasimha. That deathless form became one which does good to the entire world. That is why he is called "Narasimham [half man and half lion]". That Maha Vishnu who has this fearsome form does not cause fear among his devotees. He is being worshipped and praised by them. He is the one who travels all over earth and also one who lives on the mountain top. In his form of Trivikrama, he measured all the worlds in three steps. 6

He is called "Bheeshanam [fear full]" because all the crowds of devas, men and Bhoothas and all the worlds run away fearing Him; but he is not afraid of anything. The wind blows because it is afraid of Him. The Sun rises above because he is afraid of Him. It is because of fear for Him, that the God of fire, Indra and the God of death do their work. 7

He is called "Bhadram [safe]' because he is good things personified, because he forever shines giving good things, because he makes others shine, because he is superior and because he does very good things. Hey Devas, we have to hear with our ears about this "Bhadram". Hey, those of you who are fit to be worshipped, we have to see with our eyes that "Bhadram". Let us live as much as the Gods live with healthy organs and healthy bodies praising and singing Him. 8

He is called "Mruthyu-Mruthyum [death and deathlessness]" because just by mere thought of His devotees, he destroys death and untimely death to them. He is one who gives the knowledge of the soul and also one who gives strength. All devas bow before Him and praise Him. Let us satisfy Him by offering Him "Havis-food" through the fire sacrifice because even his shadow is nectar and he is the death which destroys death. 9

He is worshipped by the chanting of "Namami [I salute him]", because he is being worshipped by all devas, all those who have forsaken his world and all those who swear by Brahmam and also because the lord of the Vedas worship him telling these words. Indra, Mithra (Sun), Aryama and all other devas exist in him. 10

I was born before this world which is pretty and orderly. I existed even before the devas. I am the central power of that which never dies. He who gives me (in my form as food for people) in charity, becomes the one who protects the soul. If given without understanding this, I who am food, eat the one who eats. I am the one who becomes all the world and destroys it. My light is like that of a sun, who standing alone gives light to all the world. This Upanishad says that one who understands this attains salvation. 11

The Third Upanishad

The devas requested Brahma to teach them the power of Anushtup Mantra Raja (The king of Chants set to anushtup meter) and also its root. Brahma told them:

This illusion (Maya) which is the power of Narasimha (which is Eem) is the one which creates everything, protects them and destroys them. Therefore you have to realize that this illusion is the power. The one who understands the power of this illusion, he crosses all sins and also attains deathlessness. He enjoys the wealth with fame. The experts in Brahmam argue among themselves whether this is short, long or extra long (Pronunciation?). One who pronounces this with short ending, will burn away all sins and would attain deathlessness. He who pronounces this in long ending, would get wealth with fame and also attain deathlessness. He who pronounces it with extra long ending would attain ethereal knowledge and also deathlessness. What follows is the explanation given by sages:

"Oh power behind Eem who is the personification of the power of illusion, please protect us. Please bless us so that we are able to cross easily in a straight forward manner this sea of birth and death. People who know you, call you also as Sreedevi, Lakshmi, Parvathy, Bhoodevi (The Goddess of Earth), Sashti Devi, Sree Vidhya and Indra Sena. Requesting you to give me long life, I submit myself to you who is the mother of all Vedas.

All the beings and things in the world were produced from the sky (Ether). All living things were made from the sky. They live in the sky. They go towards the sky and enter and disappear there. So we have to understand that the sky is the root (The root word for the sky is Ham)."

The explanation given by sages are as follows:
"That root "Ham" is the Sun God traveling in the pure sky, in "Air" in the atmosphere, in "Fire" in fire sacrifices, and exists as "Guests" in homes. That is the only one thing which is with devas and also with men. It is the truth. It is that thing which is born out of sky, water, earth, sacrificial fire and mountains. This is the great truth. The Upanishad says that "only the one who knows this knows the secret implication of the mantra".

Fourth Upanishad

The devas approached Brahma and asked him to teach them about the branch (part) mantras of the Narasimha Mantra Raja. Brahma told them that they should know that the Pranava, Savithri, Yajur Lakshmi and Narasimha Gayathri are the four parts (Branches) of Narasimha Mantra and also that any one who knows this attains deathlessness.

1. Pranavam is nothing but "Om"

2. The Savithri Mantra which protects those who chant it is told in Yajur Veda. It has spread throughout the world. The Savithri Ashtakshara (Eight letters) consists of the two letters "Gruni", the three letters, "Soorya" and the three letters "Aadhithya". This is a chant which increases your stature and your wealth. Great wealth will come in search of one who knows this.

3. The Yajur Mahalakshmi Mantra is "Om Bhoor Lakshmi, Bhuvar Lakshmi, Suva Kala Karni, Thanno Lakshmi Prachodayath". This has 24 letters. All this universe is in the form of this Gayathri. So the one who knows this Yajur Maha Lakshmi Mantra, would enjoy great wealth with lot of fame.

4. The Narasimha Gayathri is, "Om Nrusimhaya Vidhmahe Vajra Nakhaya Deemahi. Thannah Simha Prachodayath". This is the mantra in which all the Vedas and Devas reside. The one who knows this would be the one with whom the Devas and Vedas will live forever.

The devas approached Brahma and asked him, "By chanting which Mantra, God will take great mercy on us and give us a sight of His form. Please tell us about that." Then Brahma told them as follows:
"Om, Um, Om. Yo Vai Nirusimho Devo Bhagawan Yascha Brahma Thasmai Vo Namo Namah. Om Kram Om. Yo Vai Nrusimho Devo Bhagwan Yascha Vishnu Thasmai Vai Namo Nama. Om Veem Om. Yo Vai Nrusimho Devo Bhagwan Yascha Maheswara Thasmai Vai Namo Nama."

[The 32 gods to whom similar mantra has to be prayed with Um-kram-Veem-Ram are Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara Purusha, Eashwara, Saraswathi, Sree Gowri, Prakuthi, Vidhya, Omkara, Ardha mathra, Vedhaa, Panchakhya, Saptha Vyahrudaya, Loka Pala, Vasava, Rudra, Aadhithya, Ashtou Gruha, Maha Bhootha, Kaala, Manu, Mruthyu, Yama, Kandhaka, Paraana, Soorya, Soma, Virat Purusha, and Jeeva and in the end chant "Om Ham, Om, Yo Vai Nrusimho Devo Bhagawan Yascha Sarvam Tasmai Vai Namo Nama.")

Brahma told, "If One who prays God daily using these 32 mantras, God will become greatly pleased and would appear personally. So to any one who prays Bhagawan Narasimha using these mantras, He would appear to him personally. That devotee would also see everything and attain deathlessness .Thus tells the great Upanishad."

Fifth Upanishad

Devas approached Brahma and requested him, "Bhagawan, please tell us about the famous Chakra called Maha Chakra. The sages tell that "It is supposed to fulfill all the wishes and is the gateway to salvation".

Lord Brahma told them:
"Sudharshana (the holy wheel of Lord Vishnu) is that great Chakra. On its middle is written, the Taraka mantra (OM) and also the single letter of Narasimha (Kshroum), on its six petals of the Sudarshana six letters (Sahasrara Hum Phat) are written, on its eight petals the eight letters (Om Namo Narayanaya) are written, on its twelve petals is written the twelve holy letters (Om Namo Vasudevaya), on its sixteen petals, the mathruka (model) sixteen letters with their roots (Am Aam, Em, EEm..... Aha) is written and on its 32 petals are written the letters of the "Narasimha Anushtup Mantra Raja." This is the Sudarshana Chakra, This fulfills all ones wishes and is the gateway of salvation. It is a form of Yajur Veda, Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Brahmam and Amrutha (nectar).

The one who daily chants this "Narasimha Anushtup Mantra Raja" would be able to control fire, control wind, control Sun, control moon, control water, control all devas, control all planets and control poison.

Rig Veda tells us about this, "The devotees who practice this would be able to see Lord Vishnu in the ethereal sky, like an ordinary man is able to see the sun in the sky. The devotees who are Brahmins would be able to praise the lighted Vishnu's form. The Upanishads tell that, this would be attained only by one who worships without any desire."

Om! O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
May we see with our eyes what is auspicious, O ye worthy of worship!
May we enjoy the term of life allotted by the Devas,
Praising them with our body and limbs steady!
May the glorious Indra bless us!
May the all-knowing Sun bless us!
May Garuda, the thunderbolt for evil, bless us!
May Brihaspati grant us well-being!
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 Nrisimha Poorva Tapaniyopanishad, as contained in the Atharva-Veda.

[Publisher's Note: Nrisimha Tapaniya Upanishad, listed as one of the 108 Upanishads in our version of Muktika Upanishad, has been shown as two Upanishads (Nrisimha Poorva Tapaniya Upanishad and Nrisimha Uttara Tapaniya Upanishad) in another version of Muktika Upanishad. Hence their translations are being provided here separately.]

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