Trisuparṇamantras

(‘the mantras that guard like the Suparṇa [Garuḍa]’)

The ten mantras of the three anuvākas (sections)—38, 39 and 40—of the Mahānārāyaṇopaniṣad are collectively known as Trisuparṇamantras. This has been declared in the Upaniṣad itself.

As Suparṇa or Garuḍa (the eagle-mount of Lord Viṣṇu) protects amṛta or nectar, these mantras when recited will protect a seeker of spiritual wisdom from the evil effects of even heinous sins like brahmahatyā (killing a brāhmaṇa). Hence they are called Suparṇamantras. Since they are spread over three (= tri) anu-vākas, they are called Trisuparṇamantras.

A brief summary of these mantras may now be given:

Anuvāka 38

May Brahman, the blissful Lord, come to me. O Lord! I am your child. Destroy my bad dream of saṁsāra (empirical existence). I offer myself as an oblation into Thee.

These Trisuparṇamantras should be given to any brāhmaṇa, even if unsolicited. Those who recite them, destroy the sin of brahmahatyā or killing a brāhmaṇa. They become so pure that they can purify a thousand brāhmaṇas, while sitting for food, in the same row.

Anuvāka 39

Brahman who is bliss is attained through the power of intelligence.

O God the Creator! give us prosperity consisting of progeny. Turn away from us this bad dream of the world.

Turn away from us all sins and bring to us what is auspicious.

May the whole nature consisting of wind, rivers, vegetation, night and dawn, particles of earth and sun, be sweet to us.

Anuvāka 40

The (Supreme) Brahman is attained only by a person in whom the desire for Self-knowledge is generated by the proper performance of prescribed duties.

It is the Supreme Being who has become the best in everything: Brahmā (the four-faced creator) among the gods; master of right words among the composers; the seer among the intelligent beings; the strong buffalo among the animals; the kite among the birds; the axe among the destructive tools and soma juice that is praised, among the sacrificers.

It is He again who is in the sun, in the air, in the fire, as also in the individual soul.