By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Avyakta Upanisad, Avyakta UpaniSad, Avyakta Upanishad
This is a minor upaniṣad which belongs to the Sāmaveda. It is in prose and is spread over seven sections. It deals with the ‘Avyakta’ (the concealed) and the evolution of the manifested world from it.
Onset of Creation
Before creation, only God existed with the Divine light, beyond all names, forms and qualities. It split itself into two beings :
- One is green in color. It assumed a female form called 'māyā'.
- Second is red in color. It assumed a male form.
By the union of these two the golden egg was produced. From this egg Parameṣṭhi or Prajāpati emerged. When he was pondering as to who he was and what was his duty, he heard the divine voice of an invisible being. It told him that he had come out of the Avyakta and had to create the vyakta (the manifest, the world). For this he had to live a life of brahmacarya for a thousand years.
Process of Creation
For the creation he had to live a life of brahmacarya for a thousand years. At the end of this period of austere living, parama-vidyā or the highest knowledge was revealed to him in the form of ṛks in the anuṣṭubh meter. He sang these for a thousand years. Then he saw the Lord in the form of Naṛsimha (Man-lion). He praised him through appropriate phrases. Being pleased with this, Lord Naṛsimha commanded him to create the world and taught him a special meditation.
Creation of World
By meditating he was offering himself to the Lord as the fire. He obtained all the knowledge and all the powers needed for creation. Then, with the help of these ṛks, he created the following :
- Three worlds
- The deities including Indra
- The eleven Rudras
- The eleven Ādityas
- The eight Vasus
- Day and night
- The four Vedas
- The various meters
- The four varṇas
- All the beings of the world
The Upaniṣad ends with a phalaśruti or laudatory statements regarding the fruits one obtains if he knows this vidyā or knowledge revealed here.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore