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Basic Spiritual Primer 9 (Path of Knowledge)


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Is it possible to know something which can lead to the knowledge of all things at the same time Generally, such a thing is not possible. If you know one thing, you will know only that thing. It appears to be a supernatural question raised by sage Saunaka. But it turned out to be a simple question for sage Angiras, leading to an answer which is the entire Upanishad.

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Basic Spiritual Primer 9 (Path of Knowledge)

  1. 1. Basic Spiritual Primer 9 (From Mundaka Upanishad of Atharva Veda) IntroductionAmong the 108 Upanishads, the Mundaka Upanishad is regarded as one themost important and it is also one among the thirteen principal Upanishads.It throws a flood of light on the Jnana Marga (the path of Knowledge) and leads theaspirant to the highest rung in the ladder of Jnana (Knowledge).The truth that this Supreme Knowledge is to be had through inspirationalinitiation direct from a realized teacher is brought out very clearly in thisUpanishad.At the onset itself, the Upanishad throws out a challenge to all finite (andtherefore imperfect) sciences. Real Knowledge does not consist in the masteryof mere verbiage, but in the immediate experience of the Self. Without this Self-Knowledge, it is futile to try to know anything else! Knowledge of the Selfinstantly means true knowledge of everything.How is this Knowledge to be attained? While yet engaged in the performance ofhis daily duties, the aspirant should carefully and minutely analyze the nature ofthe world, and grasp the transience of all objects. If everything is transient,what, then, is Eternal and, therefore, worth aspiring for?This question cannot be answered by the aspirants’ intellect, for the intellect itself isa finite and frail instrument and one amongst the transient objects in thisevanescent world. But the emergence in the aspirants’ mind of such a queryis itself the signal that the heart-strands that bound him to Samsara(Objective World) have got loosened, and that with the sword of Jnana(Knowledge) he can easily cut them asunder.This sword is in the Guru’s (Realized Teacher) sheath and has to beacquired by direct personal initiation. In the Guru’s holy presence, thedisciple’s intellect ceases to function. Divine Wisdom floods the heart of the aspirantand he realises that in essence he is that Knowledge Itself! That is the SupremeKnowledge in which the distinction between knowledge, the knower andthe known vanishes.The Upanishad gives graphic descriptions of the effects of desire-promptedactions and shows how the wrong performance of these actions brings on evilconsequences and even the correct performance, while conferring temporaryaffluence and happiness, terminates in the reincarnation of the Jiva in even lowerbirths. Desire is condemned in unequivocal terms.Practice of truth, penance, brahmacharya (celibacy) and the acquirementof correct knowledge are the means that bestow strength on the aspirant—
  2. 2. physical, mental, moral, intellectual and spiritual strength; and an aspirantendowed with this strength alone can reach the Goal—not a weakling, saysthe Upanishad.These are all preparatory practices. These are excellent aids for self-purification. But these ‘actions’ cannot by themselves achieve That which isnot the product of any action—the Supreme Brahman. Utter annihilation ofthe ego is called for; and the Upanishad again and again stresses the Truth that theAtman is all-pervading and is the Self of all. Failure to perceive this Truth aloneresults in egocentric personality. The Upanishad forbids one from talking ofanything other than this all-pervading Self.Just reflect for a moment. If you really and sincerely recognize thepresence of the Atman in every being, no contemptuous expression wouldescape from your lips, no falsehood will be uttered by you; your speech would besweet, truthful and loving. Universal love will reside in your heart; and cosmic loveis synonymous with supreme self-sacrifice, or ego-lessness.The Upanishad has given very apt and illuminating illustrations to makeclear the subtle Truth propounded in it. Mundaka Upanishad Chapter 1, Section 1 Two Kinds of Knowledge – The Higher and the LowerI-i-2: The Knowledge of Brahman that Brahma imparted to Atharva, Atharva transmitted to Angir in days of yore. He (Angir) passed it on to Satyavaha of the line of Bharadvaja. He of the line of Bharadvaja handed down to Angiras this knowledge that had been received in succession from the higher by the lower ones.Lord Brahma taught the science of Brahman, which is the origin, thesupport, and the foundation of every other learning, every otherknowledge or science or art – to his eldest son Atharva, a great sage.Atharva taught this Knowledge to another sage, called Angir. Angir gave thisKnowledge to Bharadvaja, another great sage. Bharadvaja, also known asSatyavaha, taught this once again to Angiras. This is the line of the descent of thisKnowledge.This Knowledge includes everything that is here and also everything that isnot here. The highest Reality as it is in itself and also the reality manifest in theform of creation. This Brahman Vidya is the Knowledge and study of thisgreat Reality which appears as Para (Transcendental Knowledge) and Avara orApara (Material Knowledge), the high and the low at the same time.
  3. 3. I-i-3: Saunaka, well known as a great householder, having approached Angiras duly, asked, ‘O adorable sir, (which is that thing) which having been known, all this becomes known?’Saunaka, the great sage, stood up in the assembly and queried the greatsage Angiras, who received this Supreme Knowledge through a descending line ofteaching commencing from Lord Brahma himself. Humbly, respectfully, in atraditional manner, he approached Angiras, the great master who was in theaudience. He put a question, ‘What is that, by knowing which, one can knoweverything else also?’Is it possible to know something which can lead to the knowledge of allthings at the same time? Generally, such a thing is not possible. If you know onething, you will know only that thing. It appears to be a supernatural question raisedby sage Saunaka. But it turned out to be a simple question for sage Angiras,leading to an answer which is the entire Upanishad.I-i-4: To him he said, ‘"There are two kinds of knowledge to be acquired – the higher and the lower"; this is what, as tradition runs, the knowers of the import of the Vedas say.’Sage Angiras replied, ‘Two kinds of knowledge are to be acquired – thehigher and the lower.’ We have to know what higher knowledge is, and we alsohave to know lower knowledge. This is what we hear from the great knowers ofBrahman.Lower knowledge is important, though lower knowledge is not the same as higherknowledge. The lower knowledge is not going to take us to Brahman, but itis necessary as feet are necessary for us.All knowledge is the graduated training of the mind in the process ofenlightenment. From the perceptible, visible, gross, tangible and acceptablereality, we gradually move the mind to that which is not easily acceptable andcannot be understood as quickly as we can understand that which is seen with theeyes directly. So, we are first told what lower knowledge is.I-i-5: Of these, the lower comprises the Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, Atharva-Veda, and the science of pronunciation etc., the code of rituals, grammar, etymology, meter and astrology. Then there is the higher (knowledge) by which is attained that Imperishable.It gives a blow to the very root of our imagination that the Vedas are thehighest knowledge. The Rig-Veda Samhitas, and everything connected to the
  4. 4. Rig-Veda – the Brahmanas, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, Atharva-Veda and all theauxiliary sciences (shastras) – are all lower knowledge only.There are four Vedas. The Rig-Veda consists of hymns, prayers, mantras. TheYajur-Veda consists of certain invocations necessary for the performance ofsacrifice. The Sama-Veda is Rig verses set in music. The Atharva-Veda containssuch material as may be regarded as a sequel or an appendix to the tri, orthe threefold Vedas – Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda and Sama-Veda.These four Vedas are not easy to understand. Their language is difficult, theirgrammar is very hard, and the implications of what they say are so deep thatwithout proper introductory learning, one cannot know what the Vedas speak at all.This introductory training consists of what is called the Vedanga, a six foldeducation.The anga or the limb of the Veda is six fold, and we cannot approach theVeda unless we are proficient in these six accessories called the Vedanga.This six fold education or the six auxiliary shastras or sciences are:1) Siksha is the science of phonetics, the art of intonation and modulation of the voice in the recitation of a Veda mantra. It has a way of pronunciation, an articulation, a modulation, and a raising of the voice or a bringing down of the voice, or keeping the voice in a harmonious manner without raising it or bringing it down. These are called the sciences of giving a special meaning to the mantra. Veda mantras are composed in such a way that different intonations give them different suggestions. A special kind of technique has been adopted by the science of Siksha, which instructs us in the art of the correct intonation and pronunciation of a Veda mantra.2) Kalpa means the performance of a ritual connected with a specific injunction of the Veda, especially of the Brahmanas. The Kalpa Sutras or the codes of rituals are of four types: Shrauta Sutras, Grhya Sutras, Dharma Sutras and Sulba Sutras. The Shrauta Sutra is a text which describes the manner of the performance of sacrifices according to Vedic injunctions. The Grhya Sutras is connected with sacrifices and performances to be undertaken in one’s own house. The Dharma Sutra is that Kalpa which gives us the rules and regulations of social and ethical life. The Sulba Sutras are appendices to the Vedas which give rules for constructing altars. This is Vedic mathematics.3) Vyakarana is grammar. There are two types of grammar – classical grammar and Vedic grammar. Vedic grammar is studied only in advance stages. Students of Sanskrit usually study only classical works and the well- known Vyakarana. Unless we know the technology of the method by which words have been used in the Veda mantras, we will not make
  5. 5. any sense out of them, and so Vyakarana, the study of grammar, is necessary.4) Nirukta is the etymology of the word, how the word has been formed. As every word in a language has a root from which it is derived, Vedic words also have a root from where they arise.5) Chhanda is the science of poetic meter, in the Vedas there are eleven Chhandas such as Gayatri, Usnik, Anustup, Brihati, Pankti, Jagati, Atichhanda, Atyasthi, Atijagati, and Ativirath and other metered hymns. Every verse, every mantra of the Rig-Veda Samhita particularly, varies in its meter. It is long or short; it is Gayatri Chhandas (24 syllables) or Tristubh (44 syllables), and so on, and accordingly the intonation also changes. So, meter is the Chhandas.6) Jyotisha is the astronomical science which tells us at what particular time of the conjunction of the stars or the planets we have to undertake a particular ritual or a sacrifice.We cannot go to the Veda directly and understand anything out of it unlesswe are proficient in these six auxiliary shastras or sciences.All these together with the original Vedas – Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda andAtharva-Veda – should be considered as ways of lower knowledge. Therefore,mere reading, learning, and or recitation of Scriptures and the auxiliarysciences are lower knowledge and will not lead us to Supreme Knowledgeof Brahman.They purify our mind, and enlighten us into the mysteries of the whole ofcreation. They will purify our mind because of the power that is embedded in themantras, the blessing that we receive from the sages who composed the mantra,and also the special power that is generated by the meter.All these put together create a religious atmosphere in the person whotakes to the study of the Vedas or any other Scripture. It is great and grand,worth studying. It will inculcate in us the values that are not merely physical butsuper physical.Yet, it is not enough. What is that greater knowledge, the higherknowledge with which alone can we reach the imperishable Reality.Learning is different from wisdom; scholarship is not the same as insight. One maybe a learned Vedic scholar and very proficient in the performance of sacrifices andthe invocation of gods in the heavens, but eternity is different from temporality.All these glories of the Vedas are in the region of time, and the eternal istimeless. What is that timeless thing, that which is called Imperishable?Scriptures give description of Reality but that Reality is not in them.
  6. 6. I-i-6: (By the higher knowledge) the wise realize everywhere that which cannot be perceived and grasped, which is without source, features, eyes, and ears, which has neither hands nor feet, which is eternal, multi-formed, all- pervasive, extremely subtle, and un-diminishing and which is the source of all.That great Reality is to be encountered in direct experience; that Realitywhich is not capable of perception through the eyes; that which cannot be graspedwith a hand; that which has no origin; that which has no shape or form; which hasno sense organs like us; no limbs such as feet, hands etc; permanent, eternal, all-pervading, subtler than the subtlest; imperishable; the origin of all beings; andonly the wise who are on the path of the spirit will behold that greatReality within their own selves.I-i-7: As a spider spreads out and withdraws (its thread), as on the earth grow the herbs (and trees), and as from a living man issues out hair (on the head and body), so out of the Imperishable does the Universe emerge here (in this phenomenal creation).This Reality is now further explained through three wonderful illustrations.The first analogy is that of the spider weaving its web to illustrate that from thisEternal Being, this world, this universe, has emanated. The second analogy of theherbs and trees growing on earth illustrates that God is also the support of Hiscreation. And the third analogy of hair growing on head and body illustrates thatinanimate things issue from animate and God is the creator of both inanimate andanimate life.We have seen a spider spitting threads from its own body. From its saliva, asit were, threads come out, and it weaves a web around itself. Or we have seentrees spontaneously growing from under the earth, or we have seen hair growingon the head. In some such way is the manner of the creation of this world.These analogies have some significance of their own. The spider does notcreate the web from external material. The instrumental cause is the same as thematerial cause in the case of the spider weaving a web.In the case of the potter making a pot, the instrumental cause is not thesame as the material cause; and so is the case with the carpenter makingthe furniture. That is to say, the potter does not make the pot out of a substancecoming from his body, and so is the case with the carpenter.But in the case of the spider, the creation of the web materially emanatesfrom the very body of the spider, and so here the material cause is identicalwith the instrumental cause; they are not two different things. God does notcreate the world as a carpenter or a potter does; the substance of God is
  7. 7. verily present in the creation. That illustration is brought out by this analogy ofa spider creating a web.Trees grow from the earth; they draw sustenance from the earth. Theoriginal support of all the trees is the substance of the earth. This analogy tellsus that the world is sustained by God, and all the values of the world comefrom God only, and He is the soul of all that He creates.There is also the analogy of hair growing. When we behold rocks, stones,inanimate matter existing in this world, we sometimes have difficulty connectinginanimate things with animate consciousness. How can animate, conscious Godcreate inanimate stuff?This analogy brings out the possibility of inanimate things coming fromanimate consciousness, as hair grows from animate skin and becomes inanimateso that we can shave it off, or dead nails projecting themselves forth from animateroots, and the like. From consciousness, apparently unconscious things canalso emanate.These difficulties are solved by analogies of this kind – namely, a spider’sweb, the trees growing from the earth, and the hair growing from thebody. Like that, we have to understand that eternity produces temporality. So, outof the Imperishable, this perishable Universe has emerged.I-i-8: Through knowledge Brahman increases in size. From that is born food (the Unmanifested). From food evolves Prana (Hiranyagarbha); (thence the cosmic) mind; (thence) the five elements; (thence) the worlds; (thence) the immortality that is in karmas.In one verse the whole of creation is described. Brahman, the Supreme Absolute,distends, swells – becomes large, as it were – by tapas. Tapa means concentration.Brahman’s concentration is the will to create. It becomes extended in theform of the contemplated shape of creation, as it were.When we think something, the mind takes the form of that thing which wethink. Now the Supreme Absolute thinks, wills, concentrates itself upon the shapewhich creation has to take, and that is the swelling or the extending or thebecoming large of Brahman in tapas. The swelling or the extension of being intapas also means the increase in the potentiality of the one thatconcentrates. In the case of Brahman, it would mean the contemplation of theform of the world which has to be created in the future. In the case of peoplelike us, tapas would mean the intensity of heat generated inside by theconcentration of the mind and the prana.When Brahman concentrates itself in tapas, anna is created. From the pointof view of ordinary linguistic exposition, anna means food, anything that is eaten.
  8. 8. But in the Upanishads, anna does not mean just what we eat. It is somethingmore than that. The material content of consciousness is called anna. The contentof the consciousness which takes the shape of the content in the act ofconcentration creates an anna for it. The object of thought is the food ofthought. Anything that we think is the diet of the psychic process.The implementation of the ideation of the Absolute is the food, the content,the shape or the form of this tapa. Anna is produced in this manner. Cosmicpotentiality is created by the concentrating act of Brahman as tapas. When thispotential in the form of a concrete substantiality of will wields itself, it immediatelyvibrates into the form of the future shape in a more distinct form, with creation asspace.Then there is prana, the vibration. Here the word ‘prana’ indicates the cosmicprana, or Hiranyagarbha Tattva. Hiranyagarbha is prana, the cosmic vibrationof the energy of Brahman through the manifested stuff called anna orpotentiality.Then there is a further diversification of this concentrated universal pranain the form of thinking. We may compare this manas, or thinking, of Brahman toVirat Svarupa (Cosmic Form), which has emanated from the outline of the creativeprocess available in Hiranyagarbha. In the cosmic mind, which is Virat, everythingis clear.Satya is the law and order of the universe that come together with themanifestation of these gods, Hiranyagarbha and Virat. The law and order ofthe universe are also created simultaneously. The unified integration of the cosmicprana, Hiranyagarbha or Virat, is the principle behind the law and order that has tooperate in the manifested universe.Then the world is created – lokas – the fourteen worlds, which are madeup of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether. Then actionproceeds there. That is to say, individuals emerge from this cosmic manifestation ofthe five elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether; and then the fruit of actions.To sum it up, there are eight steps or degrees in the process of creation:1. First there is the Supreme Absolute.2. Then there is anna, or the potential for the future manifestation in the form of tapas.3. Then there is Hiranyagarbha, the vibratory cosmic prana, as the potential energy of Brahman through the manifested stuff anna.4. Then there is thinking, which is the cosmic thought identifiable with Virat.5. Then there is law and order.6. Then there is the manifestation of the fourteen worlds.7. Then there is individuality, the individuals or jivas, who are propelled towards action and karma.8. And finally there is fruit of action.
  9. 9. I-i-9: From Him, who is omniscient in general and all-knowing in detail and whose austerity is constituted by knowledge, evolve this (derivative) Brahman, name, colour and food.God knows everything in general and also in particular. He has directknowledge of even the minutest details of even an atom. A great cosmic order is inHis mind. This is the generality of the knowledge of God. But the particularity isevery little detail, even to counting the number of hairs of a person or thebreaths that he breathes. That also is known to Him.Can we imagine what kind of knowledge God must have? How manycreatures are there in this creation: gods, human beings, demons, subhumancreatures, insects, and what not? How many leaves on the tree? He will countthem. Unimaginable power of comprehension! So, God knows everything ingeneral as well as in particular.His wisdom, His knowledge, His consciousness, His intention, His purpose,His awareness – that is tapas. The greatest tapa is the concentration ofknowledge, and every other tapa is secondary.From this great being, Brahman, Absolute, emanates the secondaryBrahman known as prakriti. This derivative Brahman does not mean SupremeBrahman but prakriti, the matrix of things. Then name and form manifestthemselves. The inward characteristic of an object is called nama and itsoutward characteristic is called rupa.The indication, the determining factor of a particular shape that anindividual has to take is called linga sharira in our case, and the subtlebody is called the sukshma sharira. Here, nama does not simply mean a nameof a person; it is the indicative linga, or the specific character, of the would-beindividual in the form of a body. Rupa is the actual physical form.Thus, the subtle and the physical shapes emanate as nama and rupa fromthis derivative Brahman, Mula Prakriti. The field of action is created. Here foodor anna means the actual matter, which is the field of particular individual action forthe jivas to reap their fruits according to their deeds. These nine versesconstitute one section of the Upanishad. Chapter 1, Section 2 Fruits of Action – Lower KnowledgeThe object of the lower Vidya is connected with the doer, the instrument ofdoing, the action, and the result thereof. The path of the lower Vidya is one ofSamsara (Objective World), whose beginning and end cannot be known. It is of theform of pain and, therefore, it has to be rejected by all intelligent beings.
  10. 10. The experience of Samsara is continuous like the flow of waters in a river.The cessation of this flow is called emancipation which is the object of the higherKnowledge, which is beginning-less and endless, decay-less, deathless, immortal,fearless, pure and calm, of the nature of establishment in the Self, non-dual andSupreme Bliss. The experience of Samsara is not a constant or steadyexperience but a constant movement or a free flow of mental experiences.It is not existence, but change.Change is another name for Samsara. This change is the involuntary urgecaused by the sense of imperfection and desire for perfection. It is this greatdiscontent present in life that never allows anything to be what it is for more than amoment. Everything has to transform itself, for nothing is perfect.Whatever is in space or in time comes under the law of causation and,therefore, is bound to be imperfect.This section of the Upanishad has thirteen verses and deals with the natureof lower Vidya and its criticism is intended to make one conscious of theimperfect state and then go beyond it.I-ii-8: Remaining within the fold of ignorance and thinking, ‘We are ourselves wise and learned’, the fools, while being buffeted very much, ramble about like the blind led by the blind alone.I-ii-9: Continuing diversely in the midst of ignorance, the unenlightened take airs by thinking, ‘We have attained the goal.’ Since the men, engaged in karma, do not understand (the truth) under the influence of attachment, thereby they become afflicted with sorrow and are deprived of heaven on the exhaustion of the results of karma.I-ii-10: The deluded fools, believing the rites inculcated by the Vedas and the Smritis to be the highest, do not understand the other thing (that leads to) liberation. They, having enjoyed (the fruits of actions) in the abode of pleasure on the heights of heaven, enter this world or an inferior one.I-ii-11: Those who live in the forest, while begging for alms – viz. those (forest- dwellers and hermits) who resort to the duties of their respective stages of life as well as to meditation – and the learned (householders) who have their senses under control – (they) after becoming freed from dirt, go by the path of the sun to where lives that Purusha, immortal and un- decaying by nature.I-ii-12: A Brahmana should resort to renunciation after examining the worlds acquired through karma, with the help of this maxim: ‘There is nothing (here) that is not the result of karma; so what is the need of (performing) karma?’ For knowing that Reality he should go, with sacrificial faggots in hand, only to a teacher versed in the Vedas and absorbed in Brahman.
  11. 11. I-ii-13: To him who has approached duly, whose heart is calm and whose outer organs are under control, that man of enlightenment should adequately impart that knowledge of Brahman by which one realizes the true and imperishable Purusha.The seeker of Truth, who has been blessed to understand the transientnature of this Samsara and reflects upon the inner contemplative message of theVedas or other Scriptures, should immediately seek a fully realized teacher inorder to realize the true and imperishable Brahman. Chapter 2, Section 1 Higher KnowledgeIn this Section of the Upanishad, all experiences are traced back to theirultimate cause from which they proceed, in which they subsist and intowhich they return. The knowledge of this ultimate Cause means the knowledge ofeverything that exists. This ultimate Cause is the object of higher Knowledge, ParaVidya or Brahman Vidya, which is the subject matter of the following Mantras orVerses.II-i-1: That thing that is such is true. As from a fire fully ablaze, fly off sparks in their thousands that are akin to the fire, similarly O good-looking one, from the Imperishable originate different kinds of creatures and into It again they merge.As from a large conflagration of fire thousands of sparks emanate in alldirections, in a similar manner, varieties of individualities – species of beings andthings – emerge from this imperishable Reality and return to it, as sparks of firethat rise from the conflagration shoot up and then go back to their source,which is the fire itself. Thus is the world coming from its cause, which is theimperishable Brahman. It comes, it is sustained, and it returns.The illustration of the fire and sparks is to indicate that there is somequality in us which will enable us to reach God. If the effect is totallydisconnected from the cause – if there is nothing in the effect which can be calledsimilar to the essence of the cause – there will be no relationship between them.This is to indicate that in spite of our separation from God, our fall fromBrahman, as it were, we are still endowed with that potential for returning toBrahman because the seat of Brahman is planted in our own heart. Thisillustration makes out that basically we are verily that which we areseeking. If we are entirely dissociated from that, there will be no possibility of ourreturning to it. The Atman is Brahman basically.
  12. 12. II-i-2: The Purusha is transcendental, since He is formless. And since He is coextensive with all that is external and internal and since He is birth- less, therefore He is without vital force and without mind; He is pure and superior to the (other) superior imperishable (Maya).II-i-3: From Him originates the vital force as well as the mind, all the senses, space, air, fire, water, and earth that supports everything.II-i-4: The indwelling Self of all is surely He of whom the heaven is the head, the moon and sun are the two eyes, the directions are the two ears, the revealed Vedas are the speech, air is the vital force, the whole Universe is the heart, and (It is He) from whose two feet emerged the earth.II-i-5: From Him emerges the fire (i.e. heaven) of which the fuel is the sun. From the moon emerges cloud, and (from cloud) the herbs and corns on the earth. A man sheds the semen into a woman. From the Purusha have originated many creatures.II-i-6: From Him (emerge) the Rik, Sama and Yajur mantras, initiation, all the sacrifices – whether with or without the sacrificial stake – offerings to Brahmanas, the year, the sacrificer, and the worlds where the moon sacrifices (all) and where the sun (shines).From this Being, everything proceeds. Our past, our present, as well as ourfuture are all in the hands of God. The condition into which we are born intothis world, the community in which we find ourselves, the length of life for whichwe will be living in this world, the experiences which we will pass through areall written down while we are still in our mother’s womb.II-i-7: And from Him duly emerged the gods in various groups, human beings, beasts, birds, life, rice and barley, as well as austerity, faith, truth, continence and dutifulness.II-i-8: From Him emerge the seven sense-organs, the seven flames, the seven kinds of fuel, the seven oblations, and these seven seats where move the sense-organs that sleep in the cavity, (and) have been deposited (by God) in groups of seven.There are five sense organs (ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and skin) and fivemotor organs (speech, manipulation by hands, locomotion by legs, sex by genitalorgans, and excretion by rectal organ). Of these, the two sense organs (eyeswith eighty-three percent input and ears with fourteen percent input) are the mostactive and provide fuel for the five motor organs. Seven cavities are on the faceitself comprising two each of ears, eyes, and nose respectively and one ofmouth.
  13. 13. These senses and their powers of cognition and the capacity involved inthem to perform their function and the particular objects to which they aredirected, as also the knowledge that such objects are the requisites for the functionof a specific sense organ, and the physical locations of these senses are all stepsof a Yajna or sacrifice that take place in the creative process of expansionfrom the One to the one-thousand shining lights at the astral level andsubsequently their permutation and combination that supports the variety in thelower physical and sub-astral worlds.Seven functions of the sense organs mentioned, and the flaming anguish of thesesenses to grab that particular food or object are known as seven flames. Ourdesires are like flames. They rush forth like burning heat in the direction oftheir objects. And the objects themselves are called samit (an offering), which isoffered into the sacrifice. The sacrifice (homa) is the consumption of the object.Homa is a ritual in which making offerings into a consecrated fire is the primaryaction.Sacrifice is to give up the lower for the higher. But in the expansivecreative process it is the reverse. In order to create the Objective World, Godhid Himself at every creative step but it is His power working at the back ofeverything that He created but His creation does not know Him.In the external sacrifice, we require a solid base or field on which we place acontainer in which the fire is burned and some material is poured in the fire withthe chanting of mantras to fulfill our objective. The similar sacrificial processtakes place in our body.For example our body is the field and the two cavities of the eyes are thecontainer into which the images of the Objective World are continuously pouredand our desires to possess the objects of our liking are the flames and in thissacrifice the intention or the will to possess the desired object (lower) is thefirming up of the desire or mantra and the objective is achieved at the cost ofcreative power as consciousness (higher) working in us. In the external sacrificewe give up the higher for the lower and that is the reason we are unable toknow our Creator.But in order to know our Creator, we shall have to perform an internalsacrifice, in which the eyes are closed to the external Objective World and they aredirected inward towards its presiding deity Sun and our faith firms up the desire toknow the deity and the appearance of Light within signifies the completion of thesacrifice. We give up the lower for the higher. We do not stop at the Sun andaspire to go higher to know the cause behind Sun and then ultimately tothe Absolute Cause, Brahman.Similar internal sacrifice has to be performed simultaneously at thecavities of ears so as to withdraw our consciousness from the external captivatingsounds and direct our ears inward to hear the Creative Word of God. The commandBe It is the Creative Word of God and through It came Light. This Creative Word
  14. 14. is the support of the entire creation and it is reverberating in all inanimateand animate life.The next in line is the cavity of mouth which has to be closed to all good orbad spoken words and directed inward to invoke the deity of Agni (Fire) fromwhich it derives its power to speak. Agni is the deity presiding at the navel centerwhich is also the support for the two lower physical and sub-astral worlds. WhenAgni is invoked, it increases our will power to restrain the senses and also helps usto maintain the hold on the applied restraint.The cavity of mouth performs another function that of intake of food. Thepure and sattvic food should be taken with a prayer of thanks to God. All outwardthoughts should be driven away by repeating the Name of the Lord while takingfood so that the effect is credited to the deities within. If we fail to thank theLord and consume our food with the thoughts of the Objective World, theeffect will be credited to the demons and our natural orientation foroutward expansion will gain more strength.The preparation for the internal sacrifice will be complete once we providea solid base to the body in the form of asana; the cross-legged posture so thatlocomotion is kept in check. We sacrifice locomotion (lower) which is possible at thecost of Fire element to know the higher cause working behind the Fire element.Life is a prayer. The sense organs, in their greed for their objects, areactually craving for relief from the agony or the involvement in this grizzlyaction of their longings for things. There is a deity operating inside the ear as apoint of consciousness at the back of the nervous system and the eardrum and thatis the cause of the sounds that we hear. So is the case with all other sense organs.If we ignore the presence of these conscious points called divinities, wewould be paying disrespect to them, and the Agnihotra - internal sacrificewould not then be performed.II-i-9: From Him emerge all the oceans and all the mountains. From Him, flow out the rivers of various forms. And from Him issue all the corns as well as the juice, by virtue of which the internal self verily exists in the midst of the elements.Even the oceans are created by Him. The mountains, oceans and rivers cannotbe there but for the will of That. The rivers flow in a particular direction only, andnot in another direction. The sun rises only in one direction, and not elsewhere.The stars scintillate and maintain their positions not in any other manner,all because of the operation of the law of Brahman.All the trees and plants grow only because of the will of That. There cannotbe a breeze moving, wafting through the leaves of trees in the thick of the forest
  15. 15. without the operation of His law. Do you believe that such a thing is possible,that even an atom cannot vibrate and act in the manner it does unless thecentral will is there operating at the nucleus of that atom?II-i-10: The Purusha alone is all this – (comprising) karma and knowledge. He who knows this supreme, immortal Brahman, existing in the heart, destroys here the knot of ignorance, O good-looking one!The whole universe is the Purusha alone. Actions and penances also are thisImmortal Supreme alone. One who knows this which is seated within the secretcave, breaks open the knot of ignorance?Because all is the Purusha alone, it follows that differences are unreal.Hence, modification is described as merely a play of speech consisting only in nameand, therefore, false. What is true is the Purusha alone. Other than this Purusha,there is nothing. This is the reply given by the preceptor to the disciple’squestion regarding that the knowledge of which means the knowledge ofeverything.When the Purusha is known, all is known. In fact there is no such thing as all,except this one Purusha. The Knowledge of the Purusha, therefore, means theabsence of duality which is the same as the destruction of ignorance andattainment of Immortality and Absoluteness.However, this realization is possible only under the guidance of a livingrealized teacher when we ourselves practice complete withdrawal ofconsciousness from the Objective World while living yet in human body andwhen we actually see the creation from the other side of the mirror of the InnerMind at the forehead. Only then the knot of ignorance which has caused us tobelieve that we are here as isolated individuals and the world is outsidewill be destroyed. Chapter 2, Section 2 Realization of Supreme BeingArmed with the lower and higher knowledge in the preceding sections, thedisciple now moves on towards actual realization of the Supreme Being.II-ii-1: (It is) effulgent, near at hand, and well known as moving in the heart, and (It is) the great goal. On It are fixed all these that move, breathe, and wink or do not wink. Know this One which comprises the gross and the subtle, which is beyond the ordinary knowledge of creatures, and which is the most desirable and the highest of all.
  16. 16. II-ii-2: That which is bright and is subtler than the subtle, and that on which are fixed all the worlds as well as the dwellers of the worlds, is this immutable Brahman; It is this vital force; It, again, is speech and mind. This Entity, that is such, is true. It is immortal. It is to be penetrated, O good-looking one, shoot (at It).II-ii-3: Taking hold of the bow, the great weapon familiar in the Upanishads, one should fix on it an arrow sharpened with meditation. Drawing the string, O good-looking one, hit that very target that is the Imperishable, with the mind absorbed in Its thought.II-ii-4: Om is the bow; the soul is the arrow; and Brahman is called its target. It is to be hit by an unerring man. One should become one with It just like an arrow.Constant meditation on Om allows the individual consciousness to take theform of Om itself which is unlimited in its nature. The meditator becomesultimately the object of meditation itself. Om is the symbol of Brahman and,therefore, meditation on Om leads to the realisation of Brahman. When onemeditates on Om, the mind gets purified. It is freed from its distractivenature and, consequently, it rests in the tranquil condition of the AbsoluteOm.But this mantra of Om should be given as the spoken word by a livingrealized teacher to the disciple for it to be effective. Mere recitation of Omwithout a living teacher who has realized Brahman within will not produce anyresult. This is also the message in ‘The Law of Liberation – Garuda Purana –Chapter 16.’Meditation should be practised not with heedlessness and non-discrimination, butwith the power consequent upon complete renunciation of all objects andstates, giving rise to absolute passionless-ness thorough concentration of mind.One thing can become identical with another thing only when that onething partakes of the nature of the other thing.Desires of all kinds, potential or manifested, are detrimental to the consciousnessof oneness and, hence, the realisation of Oneness, or Brahman, follows the practiceof absolute desire-less-ness. All the factors that go to make up one’sindividual existence have to be cast off through meditation on theuniversal Being, which transcends all planes of phenomenal existence.II-ii-5: Know that Self alone that is one without a second, on which are strung heaven, the earth and the inter-space, the mind and the vital forces together with all the other organs; and give up all other talks. This is the bridge leading to immortality.
  17. 17. This Atman should be known not as any kind of object of knowledge, but as thesubstance of one’s own Self as well as the Self of everybody else. As asubject can never become an object at any time, the Self cannot be known throughany means related to objective knowledge. But it is known in the form of Self-awareness freed from the objective faculties pertaining to the five material sheaths.This is achieved through a total abstraction of oneself, i.e., refusal to abideby the laws of relative thinking and understanding. This, again, is possibleonly after sense-abstraction, which is signified by discipline and control of speech.Speech is a means of relating oneself to external objects by means ofspending energy. This energy is initially spent out through thinking. Everythought sends out energy to the object that is thought. In this process, themind gets transformed. As this transformation is a change of the mind itself,there is absence of equilibrium in the mind. This disturbed state of the mindtransmits its transformation to the senses, which connect themselves accordinglywith the forms of objects determined by this previous transformation.The cessation of speech means the stoppage of connections with personsexternal to oneself, though subtle connections are kept up by the mind,independent of the senses. Therefore, the gross and subtle relationships arestopped respectively through cessation of sense-functions and of mentalmodifications.This practice is reinforced by continuous meditation on the nature of theAtman. The Atman is figuratively described as the bridge to Immortality, meaning,thereby, that its experience is Immortal.II-ii-6: Within that (heart) in which are fixed the nerves like the spokes on the hub of a chariot wheel, moves this aforesaid Self by becoming multiform. Meditate on the Self thus with the help of Om. May you be free from hindrances in going to the other shore beyond darkness?When a person appears to have a certain quality, it must be understoodthat this quality is of the mind and not of the Atman. When it is said that aperson is happy or sorry, pleased or displeased, it means that the mind of theperson has taken certain forms. As all forms are changes felt within, theycannot belong to the nature of the Atman.Every experience is a fluctuation of the mind, good, bad or otherwise, inrelation to the individual. Because of the intimate relationship that is betweenthe Atman and the mind, it appears as though the whole person changes when themind changes itself. This is the reason why a person says, “I am happy”, “I amsorry”, etc., though in essence these conditions do not belong to the person at all.This Atman, which is distinct from the functions of the mind, should bemeditated upon through the symbol of Om. The meditators are those who have
  18. 18. withdrawn themselves from the impulse for desire and action through an intenseyearning for the attainment of Absolute Knowledge, so that obstacles may notimpede the free progress of the disciple. The preceptor blesses them withauspiciousness for the sake of reaching the other shore of darkness, i.e.,the attainment of the light of the Self.II-ii-7: That Self which is omniscient in general and all-knowing in detail and which has such glory in this world – that Self, which is of this kind – is seated in the space within the luminous city of Brahman. It is conditioned by the mind, It is the carrier of the vital forces and the body, It is seated in food by placing the intellect (in the cavity of the heart). Through their knowledge, the discriminating people realize that Self as existing in Its fullness everywhere – the Self that shines surpassingly as blissfulness and immortality.In thinking individuals, Brahman manifests as existence and consciousness, but ininanimate beings only the aspect of existence is revealed. Bliss, however, isexperienced in addition to the experience of existence and consciousnessonly in the higher class of beings in whom the quality of Sattva ispredominant. In Tamas, Rajas and Sattva respectively, existence, consciousnessand bliss are experienced in succession, the succeeding one including the precedingnatures of reality.Therefore, all individuals belonging to all degrees of manifestation reflectin different degrees the reality of the Self. It is felt as existence by theindividual through the mind which defines one’s personality. Because it is the mindthat reflects the Atman, the presence of the Atman is felt only where the mindmanifests itself. There is neither going nor coming nor establishment inspace with reference to the Atman, it is everywhere and it permeates theentire space.II-ii-8: When that Self, which is both the high and the low, is realized, the knot of the heart is broken, all doubts are cleared, and all one’s actions become dissipated.The knots of the heart are Avidya, Kama and Karma, or ignorance, desireand action. Avidya is the cause, Kama is the medium and Karma is theeffect. These three binding factors confine experience to an individual personality.Because ignorance is the cause of all troubles, Knowledge, which is the opposite ofignorance, is able to break open the fort of ignorance, desire and action.Doubts which trouble the minds of the individuals are ultimately clearedwhen Brahman is realized. Doubt is a function of the mind, which is an effect of
  19. 19. nescience. When its cause is removed, it is itself removed. When the mind, thecause of actions, is refined by the removal of ignorance, all actions perish.Actions are threefold in nature: Sanchita, Prarabdha, and Agami:• Sanchita Karma is the store of the effects or the impressions of all the actions performed by an individual in his countless previous births. All these effects of actions have to be experienced by the individual in different bodies.• A set of actions out of the Sanchita Karma, which can be experienced only under some particular conditions, is allotted to a particular body for the sake of experience in those conditions and this allotted portion is called Prarabdha, which forms the basis for current life.• The Agami Karma consists of actions performed by the individual through a particular body or the mind which will bear fruit in future.II-ii-9: In the supreme, bright sheath is Brahman, free from taints and without parts. It is pure, and is the Light of lights. It is that which the knowers of the Self realize.The intellect is the seed of the highest empirical knowledge and, therefore,it is nearest to the consciousness of Brahman. It is characterised by Sattva-Guna and, therefore, its colour is said to be golden. Because of this Sattva presentin it, the human being has consciousness in him, even in his individualizedcondition.But the intellect is also characterised by Rajas; and hence itsconsciousness is always objective. Objectivity belongs to the Rajas in theintellect, and the consciousness in it belongs to Brahman which is behind theintellect. However, the intellect is the pointer to the existence of Brahman.Meditation is practised through the aid of the function of the intellect. Meditationis made possible because of the consciousness or Sattva that is in it, andmeditation is made necessary because of the Rajas (activity) that is in itwhich dissipates energy and impedes real knowledge. The Atman is realisedthrough the intellect by transcending the intellect. Hence, Brahman is said to bemanifest in the intellect.This Atman is known by those who follow the course of the naturalessential consciousness within through the withdrawal of the senses andthe mind. But, those who follow the course of the mind and the senses enter intothe world of sorrow. The mind and the senses constitute the world of darknesswhich is illuminated by the light of the Atman.
  20. 20. The whole universe appears to have consciousness and light because theuniverse which is truly the region of darkness reflects the consciousnessand the light of Brahman. Even the greatest light of the universe and thegreatest consciousness manifest in it are only a borrowed reflection of Brahman.Brahman is not known by them who are busy with the universe of darknessin which roam the mind and the senses.II-ii-10: There the sun does not shine, nor the moon or the stars; nor do these flashes of lightning shine there. How can this fire do so? Everything shines according as He does so; by His light all this shines diversely.II-ii-11: All this that is in front is but Brahman, the immortal. Brahman is at the back, as also on the right and the left. It is extended above and below, too. This world is nothing but Brahman, the highest.In truth, that which appears as various names and forms is only Brahman,which is without names and forms. All are in It but It is not in them in itscompleteness, as It is not fully manifest in any name or form. True Knowledge istherefore division-less, without reference to the knower or the known or therelation between the two. The Upanishads conclude that Brahman alone is theAbsolute Reality. Chapter 3, Section 1 Knower of SelfIII-i-1: Two birds that are ever associated and have similar names cling to the same tree. Of these, one eats the fruit of divergent tastes and the other looks on without eating.The two birds are the Jiva and Isvara, both existing in an individualcompared to a tree. They exist together as the reflection and the original. Theyboth manifest themselves in different ways in every individual. Both the Jiva andIsvara have a common substratum which is Brahman and which is the reality ofboth.Isvara is the inner teacher or the innate grace. Isvara is the untouched andunblemished and most pure aspect of beginning-less undifferentiated universalseed consciousness which is unaffected by obscuration (klesha), karmic residuesor and the seed germs that result from ordinary actions based on the kleshas (lackof vision, the egoist mindset, craving, antipathy, and attachment to solidity).Jiva is the embodied soul, the immortal essence of a living organism(human, animal, bird, fish or plant etc.) which survives physical death. At
  21. 21. the point of physical death the jiva takes a new physical body depending onthe karma and the individual desires and necessities of the particular jiva inquestion.The body is compared to a tree because it can be cut down like a tree. Thistree is also called the Kshetra or the field of manifestation and action of theKshetrajna or the knower of the field. The body is the field of action andexperience and it is the fruit of actions done already.That which distinguishes the Jiva from Isvara is the mind only. In fact, themind itself constitutes the Jiva. It is the Jiva that is affected by Avidya (Ignorance),Kama (Desire) and Karma (Action). Because of the conjunction ofconsciousness with these limiting factors, it has to experience the resultsof its actions; but Isvara, who is not limited to any adjunct, has no actionswhatsoever to perform, and so, no experience of the results of actions.The fruits enjoyed by the Jiva are of the nature of pleasure and pain, i.e.,they are all relative experiences born of non-discrimination. The experienceof Isvara is eternal and is of the nature of purity, knowledge and freedom.Relative experience is the effect of the presence of Rajas, but the characterof Isvara is Sattva and, hence, there is no phenomenal experience for Him.He is in fact the director of both the agent of actions and the results of actions.Isvara’s activity consists in His mere existence. The value of His existence isgreater than that of the activity of the whole universe. It is His existence thatactuates the whole universe of manifestation.III-i-2: On the same tree, the individual soul remains drowned (i.e. stuck), as it were; and so it moans, being worried by its impotence. When it sees thus the other, the adored Lord, and His glory, then it becomes liberated from sorrow.The grief of the Jiva is the result of its inability to live in conformity withthe forms of the effects of unwise actions done in the past. Such thoughtlessactions, no doubt, lead to their corresponding results and as they are not in tunewith the law of Truth, they torment the individual in the form of unpleasantexperiences. Without a relative experience the individual cannot live, andwith every relative experience produced by ignorance, fresh misery isadded to the pre-existing lot.Because of its confinement to the forms of its desires and actions, the Jivafeels itself to be impotent, confused and helpless. It is even made to feel thata particular experience to which it is connected is alone real and that there is noreality beyond it. Due to this, it is now and then connected with and separated fromthe objects of its desire. It is born and it dies, passing through several kindsof wombs in accordance with the kinds of its actions.
  22. 22. The freedom of the individual consists in the vision of the Lord Supremewho is co-existent with it, in fact inseparable from it as its very Self. Therealisation of Isvara is the same as the raising of the individual consciousness tothe consciousness of Isvara. The Jiva ceases to exist the moment it realisesIsvara. The glory of the real essence of the individual is known only when the veilcovering it is removed. This is achieved in the realisation of God. The ultimaterealisation is in the form of the identity of the Self with the Supreme Being.Here, the whole universe is realised to be the same as the essence of the spiritualinfinite. This realisation puts an end to all kinds of imperfections and sorrows.III-i-3: When the knowing individual has the vision of the intelligent creator, the Lord, the Purusha, the Brahman which is the source of all, then it shakes off both merit and demerit, and having become taintless, attains to supreme equality with the Lord.Divine knowledge is free from the conception of good and bad, becausethis knowledge is non-relative. It is an all-consuming wisdom in which relativenatures or conceptions can have no value. Distinctions like virtue, vice, good,bad, high, low, etc., are made only as long as the all-comprehensiveknowledge, which underlies all these distinctions, is not realised.The effects of merit and demerit are burnt up by the fire of knowledge,because these effects are only conceptual and not spiritual. They exist onlyas long as the mind exists. When the mind is transcended, they too aretranscended. The whole universe stands transfigured in the Absolute.The Jiva becomes free from blemishes, attachments and sorrows, and gets unifiedwith the Supreme Being. Equality with the Infinite is the same as identitywith the Infinite, which is of the nature of non-duality, limitless andunsurpassable.III-i-4: In all beings this one supreme life manifests itself. Knowing this, the wise one does not speak of anything else. Having his sport in the Self, bliss in the Self, and action in the Self, he is the best among the knowers of Brahman.One, who realises this Supreme Being as one’s own Self, ceases from hisnatural sense-functions and puts an end to all speech unconnected withthe Self. Rather, he does not speak at all. Speech is a manner of connecting onething with another thing. In Self-realisation, the relationship of the subjectwith the object is transcended and all things become the Self Itself.Whenever there is a perception of duality, speech has got a value, but innon-duality all such relationships lose their value. Instead of the experiences
  23. 23. of the external relationships, the knower has the experience of Self-identity. Thisexperience of the Self is described in the form of finding everything that isfound externally, in one’s own Self Itself.The statement regarding sporting in the Self or finding all bliss in the Self make itclear that the highest form of happiness is realised without any contact with anyobject or any condition. Real bliss is not the effect of either mental orphysical contact, but is the result of the absence of all contacts. In short,bliss consists in the resolution of the very sense of objectivity into the conscioussubject.The action of the knower consists in the knowledge of the Self. Self-delightitself is action for him. It is a simple mass of bliss that he experiences, unhamperedby any function alien to the nature of the Self. The action of the knower is ofthe nature of renunciation, meditation and wisdom.III-i-5: The bright and pure Self within the body, that the monks with (habitual effort and) attenuated blemishes see, is attainable verily through truth, penance (tapa), correct knowledge, and continence – brahmacharya (self-control), practised constantly.Truth is adherence to fact, whether absolute or relative. It is proceedingalong the way of the unity of existence. Relatively, it takes the form of acting inconformity with facts that are experienced through the process of individualknowledge. Absolutely, it is living in the light of the fact that Existence is absoluteand indivisible. Truth is the way of disintegrating the individual personalitythrough presentation of the good and not the pleasant.Tapas, or penance, in its true sense, consist in the withdrawal of sensesand concentration of the mind. Austerity, or penance, is only a means to theend and not the end itself. By Tapas what is meant is not merely bodilymortification, because bondage does not consist in the body but the mind thatanimates the body. The cause of bondage is the mind alone and, therefore,the discipline of the mind is Tapas.Proper knowledge is equal vision, or perception of the one Atman in all.This is a function deeper than that of speaking truth or practicing Tapas. It is afunction of the spirit which realises itself in every form of existence.Brahmacharya (celibacy) is the method of the abstraction of sense-energyfrom the externals and the conservation of the same for the sake ofsteadying the mind and giving it the energy necessary for the practice ofconcentration and meditation, though the popular meaning of Brahmacharya iscontinence (restraint of the desires and passions, chastity). It really meansleading a life befitting the nature of Brahman; or moving or conducting oneselfin accordance with the law of Brahman, which is the unity of existence.
  24. 24. Such control is not merely the abandonment of objects but is the absenceof the taste for objects. Bondage is not caused by the existence of objects but bythe connection of the mind with those objects. In short, self-control is absenceof sense-experience, giving rise to mental equilibrium, light, consciousnessand joy.These observances should be practised continuously without exceptionsuntil the realisation of the Self, because the stoppage of such practices may lead tothe assertion of individuality and impede the process of Self-realisation. TheUpanishad has said that “the Atman is attained by those in whom there isno crookedness, no falsehood and no play of tricks”.This Atman is realised within oneself and not outside oneself. This Atman isrealised in one’s own heart, in the form of splendid effulgence, perfectly pure andlimitless in its nature, only by those who are free from attachments and sins,desires and all kinds of greed.III-i-6: Truth alone wins, and not untruth. By truth is laid the path called Devayana, by which the desire-less seers ascend to where exist the supreme treasure attainable through truth.The sages got a vision of this Truth because they were absolutely free fromsuch defects as deceit, delusion, fraud, pride, vanity and falsehood. Theyfound the consummation of their desires and aspirations in this Absolute Truth.They became first desire-less and then sought the Truth. Desire breedsfalsehood, and desire-lessness gives rise to Truth. Truth enables one to attain theSupreme Treasure which is the Absolute Truth.III-i-7: It is great and self-effulgent; and Its form is unthinkable. It is subtler than the subtle. It shines diversely. It is farther away than the far-off, and It is near at hand in this body. Among sentient beings It is (perceived as) seated in this very body, in the cavity of the heart.III-i-8: It is not comprehended through the eye, or through speech, or through the other senses; nor is It attained through austerity or karma. He, who meditates upon it with absolute purity (Sattva) of mind, as the part-less Being, beholds it through the serenity attained in knowledge.The serenity of knowledge is that state where nothing is experienced otherthan simple awareness.In ordinary human beings, this knowledge is not manifest, since he is notconnected with the tranquility of mind and also since he is polluted by the defectsof love and hatred for external things.
  25. 25. As a mirror covered over by dust is not able to reflect an object,knowledge, though it is present within, is not experienced, as the mind isdisturbed by objectivity. When the dirt of the mind consisting of infatuation withthe sense-objects is removed and the mind is rendered calm, pure and peaceful,then one is said to have attained the serenity of knowledge in which condition aloneone becomes fit for the experience of Brahman.III-i-9: This subtle Atman should be known with the purified mind into which the Prana with its fivefold aspect has entered. The mind is pervaded completely by the functions of the Pranas together with the powers of the senses. In this purified mind this Atman is revealed.III-i-10: The man of pure mind wins those worlds which he mentally wishes for and those enjoyable things which he covets. Therefore one, desirous of prosperity, should adore the knower of the Self.Because of the omniscience and omnipotence of the knower of Self,whoever worships him becomes prosperous. The resolve (sankalpa) of theKnower is rooted in Satya or Truth, and his influence upon those who adore andworship him, is great. Wherever this Knower of the Self moves, there heexercises his influence automatically. Whoever comes in contact with himgets completely transformed. Chapter 3, Section 2 Reasserting the Importance of a Living and Fully Realized TeacherIII-ii-1: Him who knows this Supreme Abode of Brahman in which the whole universe is situated and which is brilliantly shining, those heroes who adore and worship, without any desire in their minds, transcend this seed of birth.III-ii-2: He who contemplates on objects of desire, having a desire for them, is born here and there due to those desires; but for him whose desires are all fulfilled, whose Self is perfectly contented due to the sense of perfection, all desires dissolve themselves here itself.An individual is born in that condition of mental experience in which it willbe possible for him to fulfill the desires cherished previously. Desires goadan individual towards virtue and vice, and the performance of actions which lead tobirth and death. Birth and death cannot be negated until all desires arefulfilled or destroyed. In fact, there is no such thing as complete fulfillment ofphenomenal desires as long as one exists as a phenomenal being having desires forobjects of phenomena.
  26. 26. Desires are never fulfilled through acquisition of objects, but they findtheir fulfillment, which is the same as their destruction, in the source ofConsciousness itself, in the knowledge of which they vanish altogether.All the different individuals have their cloaks made up of their own varyingdesires through which alone they have objective experience which is calledbirth, life and death. Such experiences cease when these cloaks are cast off andthe Absolute Self is realised under the guidance of a teacher who has realised thatBrahman within.III-ii-3: This Self (Atman) is not to be attained through discourses, through intellect, or through much of hearing. That which one seeks, by that alone it is attained. To such a one this Self reveals its true nature.The Self cannot be realised through an external process of speaking, thinking orhearing. Whom one wishes to attain, i.e., the Self or the Atman, by him alone is Itattained. The realisation of the Self is actually attained not by the mind, butby consciousness which belongs to the Self and which in fact is the SelfItself. Our consciousness is diffused, scattered in the Objective World. It has to bewithdrawn from there and concentrated within as advised by the realized teacher.III-ii-4: This Self (Atman) cannot be attained by one who is devoid of strength, not through heedlessness, not even through penance which is devoid of its proper insignia. That wise one who strives hard with these methods, his self enters into the state of Brahman (or the Absolute).Strength here stands for mental and moral power, or inner toughness, withoutwhich concentration is impossible. One should not expect to know the Self throughsuch heedless practices as attachments to worldly objects and relations, northrough works done for the sake of personal gain. Even austerity practisedimproperly as a sort of mortification without its insignia, viz., inner renunciation,will not help in the realisation of the Self.But a wise one who strives hard with strength, carefulness and knowledgeconnected with inner renunciation, one who aspires to attain the SupremeBeing becomes a Knower of the Self, and his Self enters into the essence of theAbsolute.III-ii-5: Having attained this, the seers become contented with their knowledge, established in the Self, freed from attachment, and composed. Having realized the all-pervasive One everywhere, these discriminating people, ever merged in contemplation, enter into the All.
  27. 27. III-ii-6: Those, to whom the entity presented by the Vedanta knowledge has become fully ascertained, who are assiduous and have become pure in mind through the Yoga of monasticism – all of them, at the supreme moment of final departure, become identified with the supreme Immortality in the worlds that are Brahman, and they become freed on every side.III-ii-7: To their sources repair the fifteen constituents (of the body) and to their respective gods go all the gods (of the senses). Actions, the self consisting of intelligence—all these become unified in the Supreme Imperishable.III-ii-8: As rivers flowing into the ocean lose themselves in the ocean, casting off name and form, so the knower, freed from name and form, attains the Divine Purusha who is higher than the high.III-ii-9: Anyone who knows that Supreme Brahman becomes Brahman indeed. In his line is not born anyone who does not know Brahman. He overcomes grief, and rises above aberrations; and becoming freed from the knots of the heart, he attains immortality.III-ii-10: Those who have performed their duties well, who are learned in scriptures, who intensely aspire for Brahman, who faithfully worship the sacred fire called Ekarshi, who have undergone the vow of the head, to them alone this Brahma-Vidya should be told.To them alone should one expound this knowledge of Brahman who areengaged in the practice of purificatory disciplines, versed in the Vedas, anddevoted to Brahman, who personally sacrifice to the fire called Ekarshi with faith,and by whom has been duly accomplished the vow of holding fire on the head.In the Atharva Veda there is a form of sacred fire called “Ekarshi,” but inthis verse the reference is to “the sole fire”–the “fire” that is Brahman. Andthe vow of holding or carrying the holy fire in the head means one who hasestablished the Divine Fire of Brahman-realization within himself, who evercarries Brahman in his “head”–his consciousness.III-ii-11: This highest truth was declared in ancient days by the Rishi Angiras. This Vidya should not be studied by one who has not followed the prescribed rules. Prostration to the great Rishis! Prostration to the great Rishis! Om Peace, Peace, Peace.