Essence of Prashna Upanishad: Part-1 of 6


  • The article is based on my studies, my concept, my thoughts on the subject. It is further supplemented with my experiences and self realization.
  • ☆I found some link between modern science(Quantum mechanics) and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth , the Ultimate Reality whatever we say.
  • Having gone through the Vedanta/ancient texts, commentaries, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood and convinced too. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
  • ☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts. Sanskrit slokas are taken from books and websites. There may be little variation in the translations and commentaries. I have shared my own views and explanations according to my concept gathered in the subject through experience and intuitions. There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.
  • Your feedback will be highly appreciated. I am sure that the subject matter is highly logical and does not bring any conflict. Hope you will enjoy reading. Regards. NAMASTE. I can be reached at :

** Upanishad do not say any word which may create hatred about anything living or non-living.


Prashna Upanishad comes from the Brahmana portion of the Atharva Veda, belonging to Pippalada Sakha. It has 67 mantras spread over six chapters. Each chapter contains one question. Prashna means question. The scientific approach of Vedanta is the basis of the Prashna Upanishad, where the teacher and the students are engaged in an enquiry into the nature of Universe. This Upanishad leads the aspirant from the known to the unknown, from the manifest to the unmanifest, from the grossly materialistic mind to the Supremely subtle, Absolute and Pure Consciousness’.


ॐ भद्रं कर्णेभिः श‍ृणुयाम देवा
भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः ।
स्थिरैरङ्गैस्तुष्तुवाꣳसस्तनूभिर्व्यशेम देवहितं यदायुः ॥

स्वस्ति न इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवाः
      स्वस्ति नः पूषा विश्ववेदाः ।
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमिः
      स्वस्ति नो बृहस्पतिर्दधातु ॥

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

In this Upanishad, there are six disciples. Each asks a question to the Guru and Guru answers them. Each question and answer becomes a chapter. The first question refers to the origin of the created beings, the second to the constituents of Human personality, the third to the nature of origin of Prana, the fourth is about the psychological aspect of the Human personality , the fifth is about pranava and the sixth is about the metaphysical principle in man. The need of faith, austerity and continence of body and mind for spiritual knowledge is emphasized.

We will discuss only about the First Question in this part.

प्रथमः प्रश्नः । THE FIRST QUESTION:

Vedanta says that this Universe is a manifestation, a projection. It is not a creation like a potter making a pot. It is an Autonomous System. The Universe is projected from Prajapati and again it is withdrawn and back unto Him.

The First question was about the Creation of Universe and the Sustaining Power of Existence.

The Disciples come with Firewood (offerings~** ):

Verse-1.1: Om! Sukesa, the son of Bharadvja, Satyakama, the son of Sibi, Sauryayani, belonging to the family of Garga, Kausalya, the son of Asvala, Bhargava, the son of Bhrigu of Vidarbha, and Kabandhi, the son of Katyana- all these students and Devotees, seeking the supreme Brahman, approached, with their offerings and their faith to Sage Pippalada.

[~** ” Firewood in hand means the tradition was that the disciples should carry firewood to the teacher.]
Verse-1.2: The Sage said: ” Stay with me for a year, practice faith, austerity, continence, then ask what question you like.

Verse-1.3: At the end of the year, Kabandhi Katyana asked the sage ” O Revered, venerable Master, whence are all these creatures born?”

Twin aspect of creation: Matter(Rayi) and the Energy( Prana): E = mc2

Verse-1.4: The Sage said: ” The Creator , His Mind’s eye on the world made a couple in meditation, life and matter, thinking they would do the rest. He brought the mutual union of Matter and Life-force (Prana).

To understand well, we may refer “Tattva Bodha”, where we know that hierarchy downwards from Brahman:
1) Brahman: The Supreme Being, Non-Dual Reality; Pure Consciousness.
2) Brahman+ Maya = Ishwara: The Causal Consciousness, The Unmanifest Seed: Ishwara, the Supreme Creator, Ishwara also stands for the Consciousness in association with the causal body. A step below that is
3) Hiranyagarbha (The cosmic womb): The Manifested means Ishwara in association with Subtle body. Then comes the third step.
3) Prajapati: ” The Creator of Living Beings” : Here, this is same Consciousness in association with Hiranyagarbha and the total mind.

The Equality of Rayi & Prana-1: E = mc2

Verse-1.5: Rayi and prana, both are aspect of creation. In this verse we see that Rayi and Prana are considered to be partners on equal terms. One is with form and the other is formless. both are manifestations from the standpoint of Prajapati, their originator. both arise from the Tanmatras or subtle elements.

The Equality of Rayi & Prana-2.

Verse-1.6: The message out of this lesson is that it is the same life-principle in all creatures. There is no longer the individualistic view of life. Guru is trying to show that all Life is one; that there is one universal Life-force, and it manifests through all life forms. The Sun is indeed Prana, life, Energy; the Moon is Rayi, food, matter. All that have form means gross and all that is formless means subtle is matter and therefore anything having a form is indeed Matter. Rayi and Prana are two forms. Creation moves and maintains its continuity by an interaction of these dual principles. According to modern science, Four fundamental forces of nature govern this Universe. Prana is the Sun; Rayi is the Moon. Matter is solid, matter is subtle. Therefore Rayi is present everywhere. Sun gives light and life to all who live. East and West, North and South, above and below, it is Prana of the Universe.

VaishvAnara:- The immediate Source of Prana & Rayi:

Photo by Bradley Hook on

Verse-1.7-8: He is this VaishvAnara (The sum total of all beings), assuming all forms; Prana is the fire that rises everyday. This is supported by a Rig Veda Mantra: “The wise knows Him, the all pervading, all illuminating, all knowing, the One, upholder of all, and say that He rises as the Sun that He may warm everything, go into everything, it is particular life.”

The Southern path (Dakshinayan)of Return: This course is “Pitriyana”

Verse 1.9: The year is indeed Prajapati. There are two paths-The southern and the northern. Those who follow the Path of Desiree alone by the performance of Sacrificial and pious acts, obtain only the world of Moon which is the realm of Transmigration and certainly they do return here(get reborn). Therefore the worshippers who desire to have offspring take this southern route. For Rayi (Matter) is verily the Path of Forefathers.

*** For the verses 1.9 and 1.10, I request the readers to read my another Blog, which part of ChAndogya Upanishad : The Link:>> "WISDOM OF FIVE FIRES~ Panchagni Vidya" 

The Northern Path of ” No Return” This course is “Devayana”

Verse 1.10: The Solar path(Northern path ~Uttarayana) is for those who practices austerity, celibacy, who have faith and pursue knowledge because they seek the Atman(The Self) and obtained the world of Sun. This is the home of all living creatures. It is immortal, a place without fear. It is the highest goal from there they do not return again.

The year as a Time cycle:

Verse 1.11: This mantra glorifies the SUN as the father of all, the provider of life sustaining rains, and other support on which this Solar system and life on Earth is sustained. It describes the SUN as Lord of Time. Sun gives us seasons and twelve months.

We may relate above Texts with the BIGBANG theory as below. It is reader’s choice how they relate.

The Universe is Conscious. The Sun has intelligence: Please see the video:




Expanding and Collapsing Universe:

According to Unified Quantum field theory by Dr. John Hagelin, Ph.D. :

“The experience of the Unified field of Consciousness, in which the observer, the process of observation and the observed are unified, is considered to be a means of realizing the ultimate inseparability of the observer and the observed, leading to a completely unified view of Self and the environment traditionally known as ” Enlightenment” or ” Unity Consciousness” “

Books of Related Interest:

  1. THE DIVINE MATRIX: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles and Belief. By GREGG BRADEN
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS.****** Translated By: Shree Purohit Swami and W.B.YEATS.
  3. BLACK HOLES: The BBC Reith Lectures : Stephen Hawking.
  4. Taking the Quantum Leap: The new Physics for Non scientists: By Fred Alan Wolf
  5. You are the Universe by Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos.
  6. BIOCENTRISM : How life and Consciousness are the keys to understanding the True nature of the Universe: By Robert Lanza MD with BOB BERMAN
  7. The Self Aware Universe: How Consciousness creates the material world: By Amit Goswami, Ph.D.
  8. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.**
  9. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  10. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  11. Commentary of ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  12. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  13. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  14. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  15. A-U-M Awakening to Reality : By Dennis Waite***
  16. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya:
  17. Information available on internet.

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