The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, which is clearly related to the Katha Upaniṣad, and is a part of the Black Yajurveda, is named after the Sage Śvetāśvatara whose name means “the one who possesses white horses” (which means, the one who has pure faculties). The philosophy of the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad is close to the Samkhya school—it talks of creation emanating from the dual principles of Purusa (the cosmic spirit) and the Prakrti (the cosmic material principle). Samkhya denies the existence of god but Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad subordinates the Purusa and Prakriti principles to a supreme god or the “One.” The text offers a view of the “One” in its Fourth Adhyaya (fourth book). Here’s the first verse of the fourth book (translation by Robert Ernest Hume, 1921):
1. The One who, himself without color,
by the manifold application of his power (sakti-yoga)
Distributes many colors in his hidden purpose, And into whom, its end and its beginning, the whole world
dissolves—He is God!
May He endow us with clear intellect!
In the next three verses of the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad’s fourth book, the One is pantheistically identified:
2. That surely is Agni (fire god). That is Adltya (sun god).
That is Vsyu (wind god), and That is the moon.
That surely is the pure. That is Brahma.
That is the waters. That is Prajapati (Lord of Creation).
3. Thou art woman. Thou art man.
Thou art the youth and the maiden too.
Thou as an old man totterest with a staff.
Being born, thou becomest facing in every direction.
4. Thou art the dark-blue bird and the green [parrot] with red eyes.
Thou hast the lightning as thy child. Thou art the seasons and
Having no beginning, thou dost abide with immanence,
Wherefrom all beings are born.
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