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Ekakshara Upanishad

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Title: Ekakshara Upanishad  
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Subject: Upanishads, Muktikā, Sanskrit texts, Gopala Tapani Upanishad, Hamsopanishad
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Ekakshara Upanishad

. Ekakshara Ganapathi
Devanagari एकाक्षर
IAST Ekākshara
Meaning of name One letter meaning one syllable
Stated authors Supreme Lord
Associated Veda Krishna Yajurveda
Number of chapters 1
Number of verses 13

Ekakshara Upanishad (Sanskrit: एकाक्षर उपनिषत्) IAST: Ekākshara Upaniṣat}, also spelled Ekaksharopanishad (Sanskrit: एकाक्षरोपनिषत्) is one of 108 Upanishadic Hindu scriptures, written in Sanskrit language. It is one of the 32 Upanishads under the Krishna Yajurveda.[1] It is also affiliated as one of the 24 Samanya Upanishads.[2] The Upanishad tells about the Lord of All Beings, the Supreme Lord, who resides in the recess of one’s heart [3] who is also known as Hiranyagarbha, the manifested cosmos, the guardian of the universe.[4]

Ekakshara is defined as one syllable or single syllable word which represents the imperishable God.[5]


This Upanishad, presented in 13 verses, starts with an invocation to God seeking protection and strength, but without rancor, but with peace for all. It tells about Shiva with his consort Uma also known as Parvati, who is realized through the practice of Sushumna, is hailed as the Lord of beings, Parjanya meaning “raincloud”, and as Supreme Guardian of the Universe.[4]

His [Shiva] ubiquitous presence as the Lord of the universe is hailed not only as yet to be born or the first to take birth, but also as the sacrificial fire and all-knowing.[4]

The Upanishad emphasizes that the Supreme Lord is the source of life and the Lord in the universe responsible for its creation. The Lord is conceived in the womb as a divine infant armed with divine “bow and arrow”.[4]

The Upanishad states that the Lord with the wide sweep of his glowing arrow created the Sun in the universe who shines like Hiranyagarbha (manifested cosmos). He created the eagle, Subramanya also known as Murugan, and Arishyanemi (Garuda or humanoid bird).[4]

The Upanishad identifies the Supreme Lord with Indra’s thunderbolt (representation of lightning), as Soma (lunar deity and also representing an image of Shiva and Uma), the divine words of Svaha" (meaning well said), Svadha and Vasat said at the denouement of a mantra, present as Rudra without getting hurt in the heart of wild animals and with great feeling to all the living beings. The lord is stated to encompass the entire space with matter (plenum), make the air pure, represent the bear incarnation of Varaha, represent all the three states of existence – past, present and future – control all forms of action which are indestructible.[4]

The Vedas are his creation, represent "Vasus" the attendant deities of Indra and also Vishnu at a later stage, the asuras (demons), also represents the akasha (sky), agni (fire) and the fire sacrifice (homa) and various forms of Rudra. He is said to reside in the celestial chariot of the Sun removing all darkness, while "all that pertains to Him shines in lovely (fashion) like gold in some other sky".[4]

The Lord is hailed as Prajapati, who protects the Universe and extends in every direction. The learned in Vedas with knowledge of the Brahman praise him by singing hymns from Vedas during a Vedic sacrifice with offerings of divine Vedic juice of Soma.[4]

The Upanishad identifies the Lord as all humans (male and female), boy and girl, as the ultimate disposer (ordainer), as Varuna, the god of celestial ocean and water, the planetary year, Aryama an early Vedic deity, and everything else.[4]

The Upanishad further explains the forms of the Lord as: Mitra, deity of Rigvedic origin; Garuda with shining wings; the Moon; Indra; Varuna; Rudra; Tvastar, the first born creator of the universe; Vishnu the protector from all asuras (demons); Savitar the Vedic solar deity; and encompasses the entire universe. He is also described as the Swayambhu (self manifested), "womb" of all that takes birth, the prithvi (earth), the "atmosphere", and the "firmament". He is ever resident in the niche of one's heart, who is worshiped by the learned, and encompasses all wisdom.[4]


  1. ^ Prasoon 2008, p. 83.
  2. ^ Carlos Alberto Tinoco. Upanishads. IBRASA. pp. 87–.  
  3. ^ Roshen Dalal (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books India. pp. 429–.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Warrier, Warrier. "Ekakshara Upanishad". 
  5. ^ Yoganand, Swami. OM Yoga. How To Regrow Lost Hairs. p. 16. 


  • Prasoon, Prof.S.K. (1 January 2008). Indian Scriptures. Pustak Mahal.  
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