Since the manifold objects of sense are merely emanations of Brahman, to know them in themselves is not enough. Since all the actions of men are but phases of the universal process of creation, action alone is not enough. The sage must distinguish between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is of things, acts, and relations. But wisdom is of Brahman alone; and, beyond all things, acts, and relations, he abides forever. To become one with him is the only wisdom.
With our ears may we hear what is good.
With our eyes may we behold thy righteousness.
Tranquil in body, may we who worship thee find rest.
OM . . . Peace-peace-peace.
Out of the infinite ocean of existence arose Brahma, first-born and foremost among the gods. From him sprang the universe, and he became its protector. The knowledge of Brahman, the foundation of all knowledge, he revealed to his first born son, Atharva.
In turn Atharva taught this same knowledge of Brahman to Angi. Angi, again, taught it to Satyabaha, who revealed it to Angiras.
To Angiras came upon a time Sounaka, the famous householder, and asked respectfully:
“Holy sir, what is that by which all else is known?”
“Those who know Brahman,” replied Angiras, “say that there are two kinds of knowledge, the higher and the lower.”
“The lower is knowledge of the Vedas (the Rik, the Sama, the Yajur, and the Atharva), and also of phonetics, ceremonials, grammar, etymology, metre, and astronomy.
“The higher is knowledge of that by which one knows the changeless reality. By this is fully revealed to the wise that which transcends the senses, which is uncaused, which is indefinable, which has neither eyes nor ears, neither hands nor feet, which is all-pervading, subtler than the subtlest-the everlasting, the source of all.
“As the web comes out of the spider and is withdrawn, as plants grow from the soil and hair from the body of man, so springs the universe from the eternal Brahman.
“Brahman willed that it should be so, and brought forth out of himself the material cause of the universe; from this came the primal energy, and from the primal energy mind, from mind the subtle elements, from the subtle elements the many worlds, and from the acts performed by beings in the many worlds the chain of cause and effect-the the reward and punishment of works.
“Brahman sees all, knows all; he is knowledge itself. Of him are born cosmic intelligence, name, form, and the material cause of all created beings and things.”
Finite and transient are the fruits of sacrificial rites. The deluded, who regard them as the highest good, remain subject to birth and death.
Living in the abyss of ignorance, yet wise in their own conceit, the deluded go round and round, like the blind led by the blind.
Living in the abyss of ignorance, the deluded think themselves blest. Attached to works, they know not God. Works lead them only to heaven, whence, to their sorrow, their rewards quickly exhausted, they are flung back to earth.
Considering religion to be observance of rituals and performance of acts of charity, the deluded remain ignorant of the highest good. Having enjoyed joyed in heaven the reward of their good works, they enter again into the world of mortals.
But wise, self-controlled, and tranquil souls-who who are contented in spirit, and who practice austerity and meditation in solitude and silence-are freed from all impurity, and attain by the path of liberation to the immortal, the truly existing, the changeless Self.
Let a man devoted to spiritual life examine carefully fully the ephemeral nature of such enjoyment, whether here or hereafter, as may be won by good works, and so realize that it is not by works that one gains the Eternal. Let him give no thought to transient things, but absorbed in meditation, let him renounce the world. To know the Eternal, let him humbly approach a Guru devoted to Brahman and well-versed in the scriptures.
To a disciple who approaches reverently, who is tranquil and self-controlled, the wise teacher gives that knowledge, faithfully and without stint, by which is known the truly existing, the changeless Self.
The Imperishable is the Real. As sparks innumerable numerable fly upward from a blazing fire, so from the depths of the Imperishable arise all things. To the depths of the Imperishable they again descend.
Self-luminous is that Being, and formless. He dwells within all and without all. He is unborn, pure, greater than the greatest, without breath, without mind.
From him are born breath, mind, the organs of sense, ether, air, fire, water, and the earth, and he binds all these together.
Heaven is his head, the sun and moon his eyes, the four quarters his ears, the revealed scriptures his voice, the air his breath, the universe his heart. From his feet came the earth. He is the innermost Self of all.
From him arises the sun-illumined sky, from the sky the rain, from the rain food, and from food the seed in man which he gives to woman.
Thus do all creatures descend from him.
From him are born hymns, devotional chants, scriptures, rites, sacrifices, oblations, divisions of time, the doer and the deed, and all the worlds lighted by the sun and purified by the moon.
From him are born gods of diverse descent. From him are born angels, men, beasts, birds; from him vitality, and food to sustain it; from him austerity and meditation, faith, truth, continence, and law.
From him spring the organs of sense, their activities, and their objects, together with their awareness of these objects. All these things, parts of man’s nature, spring from him.
In him the seas and the mountains have their source; from him spring the rivers, and from him the herbs and other life-sustaining elements, by the aid of which the subtle body of man subsists in the physical body.
Thus Brahman is all in all. He is action, knowledge, edge, goodness supreme. To know him, hidden in the lotus of the heart, is to untie the knot of ignorance.
Self-luminous is Brahman, ever present in the hearts of all. He is the refuge of all, he is the supreme goal. In him exists all that moves and breathes. In him exists all that is. He is both that which is gross and that which is subtle. Adorable is he. Beyond the ken of the senses is he. Supreme is he. Attain thou him!
He, the self-luminous, subtler than the subtlest, in whom exist all the worlds and all those that live therein-he is the imperishable Brahman. He is the principle of life. He is speech, and he is mind. He is real. He is immortal. Attain him, 0 my friend, the one goal to be attained!
Affix to the Upanishad, the bow incomparable, the sharp arrow of devotional worship; then, with mind absorbed and heart melted in love, draw the arrow and hit the mark-the imperishable Brahman.
OM is the bow, the arrow is the individual being, ing, and Brahman is the target. With a tranquil heart, take aim. Lose thyself in him, even as the arrow is lost in the target.
In him are woven heaven, earth, and sky, together with the mind and all the senses. Know him, the Self alone. Give up vain talk. He is the bridge of immortality.
Within the lotus of the heart he dwells, where, like the spokes of a wheel, the nerves meet. Meditate tate on him as OM. Easily mayest thou cross the sea of darkness.
This Self, who understands all, who knows all, and whose glory is manifest in the universe, lives within the lotus of the heart, the bright throne of Brahman.
By the pure in heart is he known. The Self exists in man, within the lotus of the heart, and is the master of his life and of his body. With mind illumined by the power of meditation, the wise know him, the blissful, the immortal.
The knot of the heart, which is ignorance, is loosed, all doubts are dissolved, all evil effects of deeds are destroyed, when he who is both personal and impersonal is realized.
In the effulgent lotus of the heart dwells Brahman, man, who is passionless and indivisible. He is pure, he is the light of lights. Him the knowers of the Self attain.
Him the sun does not illumine, nor the moon, nor the stars, nor the lightning-nor, verily, fires kindled upon earth. He is the one light that gives light to all. He shining, everything shines.
This immortal Brahman is before, this immortal tal Brahman is behind, this immortal Brahman extends to the right and to the left, above and below. Verily, all is Brahman, and Brahman is supreme.
Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal mortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.
The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more.
When the seer beholds the Effulgent One, the Lord, the Supreme Being, then, transcending both good and evil, and freed from impurities, he unites himself with him.
The Lord is the one life shining forth from every creature. Seeing him present in all, the wise man is humble, puts not himself forward. His delight is in the Self, his joy is in the Self, he serves the Lord in all. Such as he, indeed, are the true knowers of Brahman.
This Effulgent Self is to be realized within the lotus of the heart by continence, by steadfastness in truth and meditation, and by superconscious vision. Their impurities washed away, the seers realize him.
Truth alone succeeds, not untruth. By truthfulness ness the path of felicity is opened up, the path which is taken by the sages, freed from cravings, and which leads them to truth’s eternal abode.
Brahman is supreme; he is self-luminous, he is beyond all thought. Subtler than the subtlest is he, farther than the farthest, nearer than the nearest. He resides in the lotus of the heart of every being.
The eyes do not see him, speech cannot utter him, the senses cannot reach him. He is to be attained neither by austerity nor by sacrificial rites. When through discrimination the heart has become pure, then, in meditation, the Impersonal Self is revealed.
The subtle Self within the living and breathing body is realized in that pure consciousness wherein is no duality-that consciousness by which the heart beats and the senses perform their office.
Whether of heaven, or of heavenly enjoyments, whether of desires, or of objects of desire, whatever thought arises in the heart of the sage is fulfilled. Therefore let him who seeks his own good revere and worship the sage.
The sage knows Brahman, the support of all, the pure effulgent being in whom is contained the universe. They who worship the sage, and do so without thought of self, cross the boundary of birth and death.
He who, brooding upon sense objects, comes to yearn for them, is born here and there, again and again. driven by his desire. But he who has realized the Self, and thus satisfied all hunger, attains to liberation even in this life.
The Self is not to be known through study of the scriptures, nor through subtlety of the intellect nor through much learning. But by him who longs for him is he known. Verily unto him does the Self reveal his true being.
The Self is not to be known by the weak, nor by the thoughtless, nor by those who do not rightly meditate. But by the rightly meditative, the thoughtful, and the strong, he is fully known.
Having known the Self, the sages are filled with joy. Blessed are they, tranquil of mind, free from passion. Realizing everywhere the all-pervading Brahman, deeply absorbed in contemplation of his being, they enter into him, the Self of all.
Having fully ascertained and realized the truth of Vedanta, having established themselves in purity of conduct by following the yoga of renunciation, these great ones attain to immortality in this very life; and when their bodies fall away from them at death, they attain to liberation.
When death overtakes the body, the vital energy enters the cosmic source, the senses dissolve in their cause, and karmas and the individual soul are lost in Brahman, the pure, the changeless, the infinite.
As rivers flow into the sea and in so doing lose name and form, even so the wise man, freed from name and form, attains the Supreme Being, the Self-Luminous, the Infinite.
He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman. No one ignorant of Brahman is ever born in his family. He passes beyond all sorrow. He overcomes comes evil. Freed from the fetters of ignorance, he becomes immortal.
Let the truth of Brahman be taught only to those who obey his law, who are devoted to him, and who are pure in heart. To the impure let it never be taught.
Hail to the sages! Hail to the illumined souls!
This truth of Brahman was taught in ancient times to Shounaka by Angira. Hail to the sages! Hail to the illumined souls!
OM . . . Peace-peace-peace.