Rāma-purvatāpanīya Upaniṣad

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Rama-purvatapaniya Upanisad, RAma-purvatApanIya UpaniSad, Raama-purvataapaniya Upanishad

Significance of Rāma-purvatāpanīya Upaniṣad

Rāma-purvatāpanīya Upaniṣad is one of the minor Upaniṣads assigned to the Atharvanaveda and devoted to the Rāma sect. There are 94 verses in the anuṣṭubh meter spread over five chapters, each being known as ‘Upaniṣad.’

Content of Rāma-purvatāpanīya Upaniṣad

First Chapter

The first chapter with 13 verses gives several interesting definitions of the word ‘Rāma.’ Two of them are:

  1. One by whom the rākṣasas[1] are killed[2]
  2. One in whom the yogins find pleasure[3]

Second Chapter

The second chapter with only three verses describes how the whole universe has come out of the seed ‘Rāma,’ just like the banyan tree which comes out of its tiny seed.

Third Chapter

The third chapter describes the whole universe as a yantra[4] of Rāma and his spouse Sitā. Obeisance to them with the word namah is itself the mantra.[5]

Fourth Chapter

The fourth chapter with 67 verses is the longest. The subjects dealt with in this are:

  • The six-syllabled mantra of Rāma as indicated in the Rāmarahasyopaniṣad[6]
  • Prayer to Rāma by gods for the destruction of their enemies
  • Prayer by the ṛṣis or sages which gives the story of Rāmā in brief
  • Beautiful description of Rāma, after being crowned as the king
  • Details of inscribing the Rāmayantra[7]
  • Mālāmantra consists of 48 letters, beginning with Om namo bhagavate raghunandanāya and ending with visnave namah
  • Eulogy of the yantra

Fifth Chapter

The last section with ten verses deals with some ritualistic aspects connected with:


  1. Rākṣasas are also called as rā.
  2. It is also called as māraṇa; ma.
  3. It is also called as ramante.
  4. Yantra means geometrical representation.
  5. Mantra is the esoteric formula.
  6. Rāmarahasyopaniṣad 2.16-24
  7. Rāmayantra is the mystical diagram infused with the spirit of Rāma.
  8. Bhutaśuddhi means purification of elements.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore