Dhyana Bindu Upanishad is the 39th of 108 Upanishads. It contains 106 verses and is attached to Krishna Yajur Veda whereas a smaller version of 26 verses was found attached to Atharva Veda. This Upanishad and Yoga Tattva Upanishad contains some common verses.
Dhyana Bindu Upanishad Translation
The English translation of Dhyana Bindu Upanishad follows.
The mountainous sins accumulated over many births can be destroyed by Dhyana Yoga (Meditation). Nobody is found to have destroyed the sins by any other means except Meditation. Meditation is the only way to annihilate the sins.
Pranava (Om) is the Supreme Bijakshara (seed letter) with Nada (sound) and Bindu (dot). When the Nada dissolves, the soundless residuum (Brahman) remains. In other words, Pranava (Om) is eternal and Brahman is transcending the Pranava. One who knows the transcending Brahman knows everything without a doubt.
A hundred thousandth part of awn of a grain of paddy is the Jiva-Chaitanya (Consciousness of Atman). A hundred thousandth part of Jiva-Chaitanya is Eswara-Chaitanya (Consciousness of Brahman). A fifty-thousandth part of Eswara-Chaitanya is Sakshi-Chaitanya (Knowable consciousness of Brahman). The rest of the part is unmanifested Brahman.
As fragrance resides in flower, as ghee dwells in milk, as oil is in sesame seed, as gold in its ore, so are all beings in Atman like beads are in the string of rosary. The Brahman resides in all beings. So the knower of Brahman is firm and inapprehensive by delusion.
As oil depends on sesame seed and as the fragrance depends on the flower, so the body, both internal and external, depends on Brahman. The tree has branches but the shadow has no branches. Likewise, Atman exists with and without parts.
Nature of Pranava and its form
Om is Brahman. One who desires liberation should always meditate on Om.
“A” is the first part of Pranava. “U” is the second and “M” is the third part.
When the first part “A” is uttered, earth, fire, Rig Veda, Bhur (world) and Brahma (the deity) are absorbed. The color of the letter is yellow and its quality is arrhythmic (Rajas).
When the second part “U” is uttered, the intermediate region above the world, Yajur Veda, the Air, Bhuvar and Vishnu are absorbed. The Color of the letter is white and its quality is rhythmic (Sattva).
When the third part “M” is uttered, the celestial region, the Sun, Sama Veda and Mahesvara are absorbed. The color of the letter is black and its quality is inert (Tamas).
Pranava has eight limbs. It has four feet, three seats, and five deities. One, who does not know this, is not a Brahmana (Brahmin).
The Upanishad does not explicitly mention the details of the limbs and the like.
Pranava is the bow. Atman is the arrow and Brahman is the target. If carefully executed, the Atman will merge with Brahman. With this merger, all karma will recede.
The Vedas, Swaras (sounds), and the three cosmos (having life or not) have their origin in Pranava or Omkara.
The shorter Pranava burns the sin and the longer one bestows prosperity whereas the Ardha matra (half-metered Pranava) gives salvation.
It cannot be explained how to practice the fine end of Ardha Matra which is like the uninterrupted flow of oil or long resounding sound. Only the knower of Vedas knows this.
Pranava Dhyana with Pranayama
Meditate on the Omkara as Ishwara in the middle of the pericarp of the lotus of the heart as a steady motionless flame of a lamp with the size of a thumb.
Draw in the vital air through the left nostril and fill up the belly with the air by meditating on Omkara as the middle of the body surrounded by the circling flames. Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra are the deities of Puraka (Inspiration), Kumbhaka (retention) and Rechaka (Expiration) respectively.
Though it is not explicitly mentioned, this meditation should be accompanied by the normal course of Pranayama with Puraka, Kumbhaka, and Rechaka.
Assuming Atman as the Arani, the wood used for fire, and Omkara as the upper Arani, one should practice churning of meditation by looking upon himself as a lamp. In Pranava dhyana, one should retain his breath to the best of his ability, along with the sound of Om as long as it ceases completely.
One who assumes Om as the form of Hamsa which is shining like crores of Suns devoid of any movement irrespective of breath moving in and out is freed from all the sins.
Meditation on Lord Vishnu
Creation, sustenance, and destruction are acts of Mind. It happens only in the mind. Hence mind is the doer of these acts.
In the supreme seat of Vishnu, mind attains dissolution wherein these acts of creation, sustenance, and destruction cease to be.
The lotus of the heart has eight petals and thirty-two filaments. In the middle of the lotus is Sun and in the middle of the Sun is Moon. In the middle of the Moon is Fire and in the middle of the Fire is Prabha, the light. In the middle of the Prabha is a Peeda or seat surrounded by various gems.
One should meditate upon the pure Vishnu seated on that Peeda, as having Sri-Vatsa (black mark) and Kaustuba (jewel) on his chest, as ornamented with pearls and pure crystals and as resplendent with the brightness of myriads of moons.
Meditation on three lords with Pranayama
The three parts of Pranayama are the Puraka, the inspiration, the Kumbhaka, the retention and the Rechaka, the expiration.
During Puraka, one should meditate on Lord Vishnu as having four arms, as being in the color of flax flower and as firmly seated in the region of the navel.
Likewise, during Kumbhaka, the four-faced Brahma who is of the color of the red gem should be meditated upon as seated in the lotus of the heart.
During Rechaka, one should meditate upon the three-eyed Lord Rudra between the eyebrows as shining like the clearest crystal and as destroying sins.
Meditation in the heart
In the lotus of the heart, is a flower similar to the flower of plantain tree which is facing down below with its stalk up above, complete with the knowledge of Vedas, auspicious, with hundred petals and leaves and with its pericarp fully expanded (fully blown). The regions of Sun, Moon, and Fire exist there one over the other.
One should meditate upon the Sun, Moon, and fire to burst open the lotus upwards with Pranava and to lead his Atman.
He, who knows the three states, three paths, three Brahmans, three letters, three Matras and three half Matras(Ardha matra), is the knower of Vedas.
One, who knows the fine end of Ardha matra above Bindu, Kala and Kaladita as uninterrupted flow of oil or as long resonating sound of a bell, is the knower of Vedas.
Merging of Prana with Brahman
As sucking the water through the lotus stalk, one should draw up the vital air Prana through Susumna. Having turned up the lotus in the form of a bud into a hemisphere, the yogi should draw up the Prana to the center of eyebrows, which is the root of the two nostrils. It is the seat of the nectar that gives immortality and the great resting place of Brahman.
Sadanga yoga is the yoga of six limbs.
- Asana or Posture
- Pratyahara which is subjugation of senses
- Dharana or concentration
- Dhyana or meditation
Note: Typical Ashtanga yoga has eight limbs with Yama and Niyama which are missing here.
The number of Asanas available is equal to the number of species in the world. Only Lord Maheswara knows the distinguishing features of them.
The four main postures are
- Siddha Asana
- Bhadra Asana
- Simha Asana
- Padma Asana
Muladhara is the first chakra. Swadhisthana is the second. Between the two is the seat of Yoni, the perineum. It is named as Kama-rupa.
Muladhara is in the seat of the anus. The lotus in Muladhara has four petals. In the middle of it is Yoni named as the Kama worshipped by the Siddhas, the accomplished yogis. Linga, the genital is placed in the middle of Yoni.
It is facing inwards and radiant like a gem in the crest. He who knows this is the knower of yoga.
This chakra is situated at a place with the Fire above and at the root of genitals below. It has four petals and appears like molten gold shining as a splash of lightning. The Prana is there with its own sound.
The Swadhisthana is the genital organ itself. It has six petals.
Manipura is the region of the navel. Mani in Sanskrit means gems. The body is filled with Prana as Manis are filled in the string. It has ten petals.
Anahata is the lotus in the heart with twelve petals. The Self is evolved in this lotus until it is attached with the karma of past actions. After realizing the truth, it can rise above this lotus.
Seventy-two thousand Nadis originate from Kanda which looks likes a bird’s egg and is found a little above the genital organ and below the navel.
Of the total Nadis of seventy-two thousand, only seventy-two Nadis are spoken of by the scriptures.
Ida, Pingala, Susumna, Gandhari, Hasti-Jihva, Pusa, Yajasvini, Alambusa, Kuhu and Sankhini are the ten chief Nadis among them and they carry Prana.
Ida, Pingala, and Susumna are the primary Nadis carrying Prana always. Moon, Sun and Agni (Fire God) are the deities of these Nadis in the order mentioned.
The Nadi standing in the left of Susumna is Ida. The Nadi standing in the right of Susumna is Pingala.
Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana, Naga, Kurma, Krkara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya are the ten Vayus or airs found in the body.
The first five among them are Prana Vayus and the rest are Upa-Prana Vayus or sub-vital airs. These Vayus are found in thousands of Nadis in the body.
The Jiva goes up and down and moves right and left with the influence of Prana and Apana like a ball being struck down on the earth by the fore-arm comes up and down.
The Prana drags itself from Apana and Apana drags itself from Prana like a bird bound by a string. Prana and Apana repel each other, yet attached by a string.
The knower of yoga knows this.
Ajapa Hamsa Vidya
The Prana goes out with the sound “Ha” and comes in with the sound “Sa”. Jiva chants this mantra “Ha(m)Sa” with every breath. Jiva chants this mantra twenty-one thousand six hundred times during the period of a day and night. This is called Ajapa Gayatri Mantra and also called Ajapa Hamsa Vidya.
It bestows liberation to the yogi. If the yogi takes the resolve to perform this Vidya, he is freed from sins from the very moment of that resolve.
Neither in the past nor in the future, there is any other knowledge, Japa, prayer or practice like this.
How to awaken kundalini?
The Goddess Kundalini sleeps with her face shutting the door of the pathway that leads to the seat of Brahman. When awakened by merging the fire with mind and Prana, she takes the form of a needle, pierces open the door and goes up through Susumna.
The Yogi should, with great effort, awaken the sleeping Goddess and burst open the door for salvation. By folding both the hands, assuming Padma Asana (more firmly than usual), pressing the chin over the chest (Jalandhar Bandha), and meditating intensively, the yogi should raise up the Apana in turns and then give out the Prana.
By virtue of this practice, one achieves the awakening. Though not explicitly given, this technique involves the assuming of three Bandhas.
The yogi who is assuming Padma Asana, fill the Prana in every pore of Nadis and retaining it by Kumbhaka is, no doubt, liberated.
The perspiration produced by this practice should not be wiped out. The limbs should be massaged to absorb the perspiration back into the body.
Avoiding foods which are pungent, sour, and salty, being delighted in taking milk, maintaining celibacy, taking moderate food and taking resort to yoga always, the yogi will become a Siddha within one year.
Kundalini, when reached the throat chakra, bestows siddhi to the yogi. The merger of Prana and Apana will result in the extinction of urine and feces.
By practicing Mula Bandha, an old man becomes young. By pressing the genitals with heels, the yogi should contract the perineum and draw up the Apana. This is called Mula-bandha.
Uddiyana bandha is called as such because it is like the bird always flies up without rest. Contracting the belly above the navel is Uddiyana Bandha. It is the lion that crushes the elephant of death and which binds the nectar falling downwards.
By Jalandhar Bandha, all diseases of the throat will be destroyed. This Bandha is performed by contracting the throat by pressing the chin towards the chest. By doing so, neither the nectar is falling down nor is the Prana moving out.
When the tongue enters back into the hollow space of the skull with eye-glance penetrating the eye-brows, Kechari mudra is performed. The yogi who has mastered the Kechari Mudra does not encounter with death, disease, hunger, thirst, and sleep.
One who has mastered this mudra will neither have any karma attached nor have any illness. He is not bound by the limitations of time.
This is because the tongue has moved into the ether along with the mind. That is why this mudra is adored by the great yogis.
The yogi practicing Kechari mudra by the closing of the passage above uvula by his tongue will not waste his Bindu (semen) even when embraced by the most beautiful women. As long as the Bindu is not being wasted, so long there is no fear of death.
As long as Kechari mudra is performed, so long Bindu will not come out. Even if Bindu comes out to the genitals, by practicing yoni mudra, it is forced upwards.
Bindu is of two kinds. One is white and the other is Red. The white one is called Sukla. Sukla is semen. The red one is the Rajas. Rajas stays in yoni (genitals) and resemble like a coral tree. The seat of the moon is placed in the mid-way between the Ajna Chakra and Sahasrara chakra. The Sukla is in the seat of the moon.
Sukla is Siva and Rajas is Sakthi. Sukla is Moon and Rajas is Sun. The merger of the two is rarely attained. If Sakthi is roused by the Vayu and is united with the Siva, the body will become divine. He who knows to mingle these two Bindus is the real knower of yoga.
The cleansing of impurities, the merger of the Sun and the Moon, and the complete drying of Rasas (essences of the body) are attained by performing Maha Mudra.
By placing the chin on the chest, pressing the anus with the left heel, holding the out-stretched right foot with the two hands, one should fill his belly with air and slowly exhale.
This is said to be the sin-destroying Maha-mudra for men.
Knowledge of Atman and Liberation
There is a lotus with eight petals in the seat of the heart. In the middle of the lotus, there is Jivatman in the form of a circle. It knows everything. It does everything. It attributes everything to its own power like “I am the doer”, “I am the enjoyer”, “ I am the experiencer of the pain”, “experiencer of the pleasure”, “ I am deaf”, “ I am dumb” etc.
When it rests on the eastern petal of white color, then it has the mind for right conduct and worship. The following table explains in detail.
Anahata Chakra Petal Details
|1||East||White||Right Conduct and Worship|
|2||South East||Blood Red||Sleep and Laziness|
|3||South||Black||Hatred and Anger|
|4||South-West||Blue||Sinful and Violence|
|5||West||Crystal||Play and Amusement|
|6||North-West||Emerald||Moving and Detachment Will|
|7||North||Yellow||Love and Pleasure|
|8||North-East||Lapiz Lazuli||Charity and Passion|
If it is between any of the two above (in joints), diseases will prevail. If it is in the center, it knows all, dances and creates bliss.
When ocular pain is the result (usually when the night comes), it makes the first circular line and immerses itself in the middle.
The first circle is the color of Banduka flower. Then the state of sleep comes. In the middle of that state is the dream. It occupies itself with fancies like reading and the like. Then the state of fatigue comes.
It makes the second circle and immerses in the middle. The second circle is the color of the insect Indragopa (red and white). Then the state of dreamless sleep comes. In the dreamless state, it connects with the Lord Parameswara, the highest Lord. This is the state of eternal wakefulness. It follows the attainment of the highest Lord.
Then it makes the third circle and immerses in the middle. It is the color of ruby.
Then comes the state of Turya, the fourth. In this state, there is only the connection between Paramatman (Brahman) and Atman. This is the state of eternal consciousness. Then one should attain the serenity of mind. Placing the mind on Atman one should not think of anything else. Making the merger of Prana and Apana, one should think the whole universe as Atman.
Then comes the state of Turyadita, the state beyond the fourth. In this state, everything appears as bliss. The yogi is beyond the pairs of pleasure and pain, good and bad, heat and cold and the like. He attains the state of Paramatman or Brahman.
This is liberation. This is the knowledge of Atman. By uniting of Prana, Mind, Fire, and Kundalini in the Muladhara, the indestructible Lord can be seen.
Above the Muladhara, one should meditate on the seed letters (Bija), five Pranas, five elements and their location.
The letter “Ya” is the Bija of water, vital air is Prana and its color is the blue cloud.
Likewise, the letter “Ra” is the Bija of Agni, vital air is Apana and its color is the sun.
The letter “La” is the Bija of Prithvi, vital air is Vyana and its color is Banduka flower.
The letter “Va” is the Bija of Vayu, vital air is Udana and its color is the conch.
And the letter “Ha” is the Bija of Ether, vital air is Samana and its color is crystal. Prana stays at heart, navel, nose, fingers and other places.
It travels through seventy-two thousand Nadis and twenty-eight crores of hair pores and it is the same everywhere. It is called Jiva.
With firm control over mind, one should perform the parts of Pranayama namely Rechaka, Kumbhaka, and Puraka.
Drawing in the breath in slow degrees, one should unite Prana and Apana in the heart by uttering Pranava, having contracted his throat and genital organ. Susumna Nadi that looks like a lotus stalk originates from Muladhara to Sahasrara.
The sound that resembles the conch is heard inside the Susumna. When the sound reaches the hearts, it is similar to the note of a peacock.
When the sound reaches the middle of the cave of the skull, the Atman shines like a Sun in the sky. Between the eyebrows, the mind will see its own Atman, the gems, moonlight, Nada, Bindu, and the seat of Brahman.
Thus he attains the liberation.
Thus ends Dhyana Bindu Upanishad.
Om Tat Sat!
Reference: Sanskrit Text Reference