Prasna Upanishad, Class 4


I had difficulty in comprehending and digesting this class and summarized as best as I can.  I greatly appreciate any corrections, additions and comments to my summary.

In the last class, Swamiji stated that Rayee is a non translatable word. For my own sake of understanding this Upsanishad, I equate Rayee to matter and Prana to energy with the full recognition that Rayee and Prana are spiritual and philosophical terms and they encompass much more than the modern scientific terms of energy and matter – for example, prana and rayee include formless thoughts and action. While equating Rayee and Prana to matter and energy is not recommended, I found it easier to understand these classes.

First creation is in form pairs or mithuna shristy or the creation of rayee and prana. Rayee and prana are two principles pairs of opposite mutually complementary; both of them together make a whole. This division between rayee and prana is superficial; rayee is prajabathi or cause or karanam; prajapathi alone becomes rayee and prana. Superfically we call amoortha as prana and moortha as rayee. But since both rayee and prana came from prajapathi, everything can be called rayee and similarly everything can be called prana. For example, ice is also be called water, stream is also called water. The ice/stream division is superficial and both are water. Similarly the division between rayee and prana is also superficial as both are prajapathi.


After mithuna shrishty, Swamiji discussed loga shristy or sun (prana) and moon (rayee). By spreading the rays from the east, the sun is embracing all jivas and becoming one with all jivas. The sun alone is giving life and energy to all beings and therefore the existence of beings is due to sun’s energy and therefore there is no jivas other than sun. Physical energy, prana energy and intellectual energy all are given only by surya prakasha.


The sun is known as vaisvanara, the macro gross body in waking stage.  The surya alone is in the form all human beings.

Surya is known as visvaroopa, prana (life of everyone), Agni (fire). When the fire principle is up above, we call it surya and when it is down on the earth, we call it Agni. Without sun, there will be no life. This principle is also supported by the following mantra in Rig Veda.

V8 (Mantra from Rig Veda)

Sun is omniscient because it illuminates everything. Rishis knew sun to be all of the following:

  • Visva roopaha – Ever pervading
  • Harinam – rays
  • Jaata Vedhasam: One who is omniscient:
    • One who illumines all
    • A devada from Chainthanyam angle.
  • Parayanam: The ultimate supporter of everything
  • Joythihi: One who is effulgent
  • Ekam: One
  • Tapantam: The one who shines all the time
  • Sahasra rahihi: With thousands of rays
  • Satadha vartamana:  Manifests in hundreds of form
  • Pranaha:  The very prana of all beings.

The conclusions of these three slokas is that prana or sun is everything.


After loga shrishity, comes the kala shrishti, which is recognized by the movement of sun and moon. Surya prakasam determines the day; Chandra’s, on the other hand, determines thithi. The whole year is prajapathi because sun and moon are manifestation of prajapathi. So kalam is a manifestation of prajapathi. A year has two ayanam (solstice). Dhakshinayanam (rayee) and utharayanam (prana).