Paiṅgala Upaniṣad

 

Dr. Radhakrishnan

 

This Upaniṣad belongs to the Śukla Yajur Veda and is in the form of a dialogue between Yājavalkya and his pupil Paiṅgala. Some of the important questions such as meditation on the Supreme, the nature of release, are discussed in it.

 

Paiṅgala Upaniṣad Page 903 CHAPTER I

 

THE QUESTION

 

1. Then Paiṅgala approaching Yājavalkya, after duly serving him for twelve years, asked, 'Do tell us about the great secret of aloneness.'

 

then: after the required ethical preparation. Paiṅgala = the son of Piṅgala

 

BRAHMAN

 

2 Yājavalkya replied to him 'At the beginning, all this, my dear, was being alone That is Brahman, the ever free, indeterminate, of the nature of truth, knowledge and bliss, ever full, ancient (or eternal) one without a second.

 

sad = being, with the names and forms unmanifest

 

WITNESS SELF

 

3. Even as in the mirage, the pearl-oyster, a log of wood, a piece of crystal and the like there is (respectively) the manifestation of water, silver, the figure of a human being, streaks of light and the like, in that (pure being) is the root-principle of all objectivity, possessed of the qualities of red, white and black, with the qualities in equipoise and incapable of being adequately expressed. When this is reflected in Brahman, it becomes the witness self.

 

The Pure Brahman becomes the witnessing consciousness, the eternal subject faced by the principle of all objectivity. The Pure Spirit develops into the subject-object relationship.

 

The similes employed suggest the apparent character of the reflection. The point stressed is that this development does not

 

904 The Principal Upaniṣads 1.5

 

affect the character of Brahman. The development is based on Brahman but does not injure his integrity

 

mūla-prakṛti = the root principle of matter. It cannot of its own develop. Matter by itself cannot give rise to life, mind, etc. So the principle of Caitanya or consciousness is posited. Owing to the influence of Caitanya the root principle evolves into detailed forms.

 

ĪSVARA

 

4. When that (mūla-prakṛti) undergoes change, due to the preponderance of the sattva (quality) it becomes known as the unmanifested and has the power of veiling (the nature of Brahman). What is reflected in it becomes the Īsvara consciousness. That (principle of Īsvara) has māyā under his control, he is all-knowing, the first cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world, he takes the form of the sprout of the world (the seed from which the world grows). That causes the entire world resting in it to become manifest. On account of the previous deeds of the souls this unfurls like a piece of cloth, with the destruction of the deeds of the souls, this again causes the world to disappear. In that alone remains the entire universe like a rolled up piece of cloth.

 

HIRAṆYA-GARBHA

 

5. From the power of veiling dwelling in Īsvara there comes into being the power of projection, known as the mahat due to the preponderance of rajas. What is reflected in it becomes the Hiraṇya-garbha consciousness. That (consciousness) conceiving the mahat tattva as its own has its form manifested both distinctly and indistinctly.

 

I.7 Paiṅgala Upaniṣad

 

VIRᾹT

 

6. From the power of projection dwelling in Hiraṇya-garbha there comes into being the power of making gross bodies, known as the self-sense. What is reflected in it becomes the Virāt consciousness. That (Virāt consciousness), conserving the self-sense as its own, with its form manifested distinctly becomes the chief person Viṣṇu, the sustainer of all gross creation. From that (Virāt) self, ether originates, from ether air, from air fire, from fire water, from water earth, these five subtile elements become the three qualities (sattva, rajas and tamas)

 

See TU II.1.3

In these passages the nature of the Supreme Reality is mentioned Brahman which transcends the distinction of subject and object. Others are conceived on the subject-object pattern. Witness self has confronting it mūla-prakṛti, Īsvara, avyakta, Hiraṇya-garbha, mahat, Virāt, ahaṁkāra. All these are necessary for one another. Witness Self and Īsvara are sometimes combined. See Mā. U

 

CREATION

 

7 He (the creator of the world) desirous of creating, embracing the quality of tamas (inertia) desired to change the subtile elements into gross ones. Dividing each of the elements measured at the time of creation into two and again subdividing each (first equal part) into four equal parts each and mixing each of the four subdivided equal parts with each of the four (second) equal parts of the other four elements and thus forming five heaps (of five sorts each), out of the elements thus quintuplicated he created many crores of brahmāṇḍas.

 

906 The Principal Upaniṣads I.11

 

(macrocosms), fourteen worlds appropriate to each (of these macrocosms) and globular gross bodies appropriate to each (of these worlds).

 

The process of quintuplication, pacīkaraṇa, is mentioned here.

 

8. Dividing the mobile property of the five elements with four parts, he created out of the three parts thereof, the principle of life with its fivefold functions. Out of the fourth part he created the organs of action

 

As inertia is the character of tamas, mobility is the character of rajas.

 

9. Dividing the rhythmic property (of the five elements) into four parts, out of the totality of the three parts thereof he created the inner sense with its fivefold functions. Out of the fourth part of the rhythmic property he created the organs of perception.

 

10. Out of the totality of the rhythm he created the organs of the sense organs. He then cast them into the macrocosm. Under his orders they stood pervading the entire macrocosm. Under his orders the Virāt possessed of self-sense protected the gross elements. Under his orders Hiraṇya-garbha ruled over the subtile elements.

 

11. They (the gross and the subtile elements and the products of the macrocosm) were not capable of moving or functioning without him. He desired to make them all conscious (sentient). Piercing through the macrocosm and the caverns of the cranium

 

I.12 Piṅgala Upaniṣad. 907

of the individual souls, situated in their crests, he entered them all. Then they, though nonconscious by nature, were engaged in their respective functions, as if they were endowed with consciousness.

12. The Omniscient lord possessed of a particle of māyā, on entering the several bodies and getting deluded by it attained the state of the individual soul. By identification with the three bodies (gross, subtle and causal) he attained the state of the doer and the enjoyer, ever performing the functions of waking, dreaming, sleeping, fainting and dying, he twirls round and round, like a potter's wheel, as if dead though alive, in keeping with the adage relating to the potter's wheel.

Prepared by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

 

māyā-leśa = particle of māyā. Cp. Bhāgavata holding on his own person māyā as a garland of flowers.

svamāyām vanamālākhyāṁ nānā-guṇa-mayīṁ dadhat.

The potter's wheel seems to be still while whirling and whirling while still. Subjection to the world is only seeming, due to false identification of the spirit with the body and its adjuncts. This is, Advaita Vedānta.

 

908 The Principal Upaniṣads II

 

CHAPTER II ĪSVARA AND THE INDIVIDUAL SOUL

 

1. Then Piṅgala asked Yājavalkya thus 'How does the Lord, the all-pervading, the cause of the creation, maintenance and dissolution of all the worlds, attain the state of the individual soul?'

 

THE GROSS BODY

 

2. Yājavalkya replied to him thus I shall relate the character of the individual soul and the Divine in distinction from each other preceded by an account of the origin of the gross, subtle and causal bodies. Let it be listened to by you with attention and one-pointed mind. The Lord, after getting together the minute parts of the quintuplicated great elements, created in order, gross bodies in their individual and collective aspects. The skull, the skin, the intestines, the bones, the flesh and the nails are parts (of the character) of the earth. Blood, urine, saliva, sweat and the like are of the character of water. Hunger, thirst, (bodily) heat, swooning, sex impulse and the like are of the character of fire. Movement, lifting, breathing and the like are of the character of air. Lust, anger and the like are of the character of ether. The combination of these becomes the gross body, organized by (under the influence of) previous karma, provided with the skin and the like, affording the basis for the notion that the stages of infancy and the like belong to it and forming the haunt of various ailments.

 

doṣa = evil. Evils of the gross body are ailments.

 

 

II.4 Piṅgala Upaniṣad. 909

 

THE SUBTLE BODY

 

3 Then out of the three parts (of four) of the great elements in their mobile character and nonquintuplicated state he created the life principle Prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, udāna and samāna are the (varied) functions of the life principle. The minor functions of these are Nāga, Kūrma, Kṛkara, Devadatta and Dhanaṁjaya. The heart, the anus, the navel, the throat and all the limbs form the seats (of the vital airs). Out of the (remaining) fourth part of the ether and other elements in their mobile character he created the organs of action. Its variants are the vocal organ, the hands, the feet, the excretory and the generative organs Their functions are articulate expression, grasping, movement, excretion and (sex) enjoyment.

 

4. In the same manner out of the totality of the three parts of the great elements in their rhythmic character, he created the inner sense. Its various forms (or modifications) are the inner sense, the mind, understanding, thought and self-sense. Determination, conviction, memory, love and dedication are its functions. The throat, the face, the navel, the heart and the middle of the eyebrows are the seats. Out of the fourth part of the great elements in their rhythmical character, he created the organs of perception. Its varied forms are the ears, the skin, the eyes, the tongue and the nose (Perceptions of) sound, touch, shape, taste, smell are its functions. Direction, Air, the Sun Varuṇa, the Aśvins, Fire, Indra: Upendra, Death, the Moon, Viṣṇu, the fourfaced Brahma and Siva are the deities, presiding over the inner senses.

910 The Principal Upaniṣads II.7 THE FIVE SHEATHS

 

5. Then the five sheaths made of food, vital air, mind, understanding and bliss. What is brought into being only by the essence of food, what grows only by the essence of food, that which finds rest in earth full of the essence of food, that is the sheath made of food. That alone is the gross body. The five vital airs, along with the organ of action constitute the sheath made of the vital principle. Mind along with the organs of perception is the sheath made of mind. The understanding along with the organs of perception is the sheath made of intelligence. These three sheaths (of life, mind and intelligence) form the subtle body. The knowledge of one's own form is of the sheath made of bliss. That is also the causal body.

 

See T.U II and III.

 

6. Then the five organs of perception, the five organs of action, the five vital airs, breath and others, the five elements, ether and others, desire, action and darkness (ignorance), they constitute aṣṭapura (the totality of the subtle body).

Prepared by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

 

 

II.8 Paiṅgala Upaniṣad 911

 

7. By the command of the Supreme Lord, after entering each individual gross body and abiding in the intellect, he (Virādātman) attained the Viśva state The intellectual self reflecting consciousness is the Viśva that has pragmatic relations with and conceives of the waking state and the gross body as its own. The field of action is the name of the Viśva state. At the command of the Supreme Lord, the subtle self, after entering each individual subtle body and abiding in the mind attained the Taijasa state The Taijasa state is what mamfests itself in the world of appearances. The product of dreams is the name of the Tasjasa state. By the command of the Supreme Lord, the self conditioned by māyā and along with the (principle of) unmanifested, after entering each separate body attained the Prāja state. The Prāja state is non-differentiated from and (in quest of) the highest truth. That which conceives of the sleeping state as its own is the name of the Prāja state. The Vedic texts 'That thou art' and the like sing about the identity with the Supreme of the individual soul that is (in quest of) the highest end and shrouded by ignorance and traces of the (principle of) unmanifested, which is unrelated to the empirical and the apparent worlds. It is only the consciousness reflected in the inner sense that is capable of attaining the three states (of waking, dream and sleep). After attaining these states of waking, dream and sleep, becoming distracted like a potter's wheel, he becomes, though alive, dead as it were. Then there are the states of waking, dreaming, sleeping, fainting and dying, five in number.

 

This passage assumes the Advaita Vedānta view of the three grades of reality, pāramārthika, vyāvahārika and prātibhāsika, metaphysical or ultimate, empyrical and illusory respectively.

 

WAKING AND DREAM STATES

 

912 The Principal Upaniṣads II.9

 

8. The state of wake consists in the knowledge acquired through the perception of sound and other objects by means of the organs of perception like the ear and others accompanied by the blessings of the respective deities (presiding over the different forms of perception). Therein the individual soul who has established himself in the middle of the eyebrows, after pervading (the entire body) from head to foot, becomes the doer of all actions like husbandry, study of the sacred books. He becomes the enjoyer of their respective fruits. On reaching another world he alone enjoys the fruit. He then stands like an emperor overcome with fatigue, on account of his activities having taken the path leading to the entry into (another) body. When the sense organ has come to rest (ceased to function) the knowledge of the percepts and perceptions arising out of impressions (left by) of the waking state is the dream state. Therein, owing to the cessation of active function such as we have in the waking state, Viśva alone, after attain the Taijasa state, moves through the middle of the nāḍīs, manifesting through his own power the variety of the world in the form of impressions, and himself enjoys as he desires.

 

THE STATE OF SLEEP

 

9. The sleeping state is that in which only thought (functions). Even as a bird tired of flying about turns towards its nest, restraining its wings, even so the individual soul tired of functioning in the worlds of waking and dream, entering on the state of ignorance, enjoys his own bliss.

He retires from his outward and inward activities and enters into his own nature. The principle of ignorance, of objectivity is present in the state of sleep though it is not manifest.

II.12 Piṅgala Upaniṣad Page 913

 

10. As if struck unawares by a hammer or a club, manifesting itself as tremor due to fright or loss of consciousness, caused by the fusing together of the several organs of perception is the state of fainting which resembles the state of a dead man.

 

DEATH

 

11. What is different from the waking, dreaming, sleeping and fainting states, what instils fear into (the hearts of) all living creatures from Brahma (the creator) to a tuft of grass, what causes the giving up of the gross body, that is the state of dying. After drawing together the organs of action and the organs of perception, their respective functions and the vital airs, the soul attended with desire and conduct (in the form of impressions left by conduct) and wrapped up in elements of ignorance goes to another world after attaining another body. Through the ripening of the fruits of his past actions he does not attain any rest, like a worm caught within a whirlpool. The desire for liberation arises in human beings at the end of many births through the ripening of their past virtuous conduct.

 

See BG VII. 19

At the end of many lives, the man of wisdom resorts to Me, knowing that Vāsudeva (the Supreme) is all that is. Such a great soul is very difficult to find. BG 7:19. By Dr. Radhakrishnan.

 

BONDAGE AND RELEASE

12. Then, after resorting to a good teacher and serving him for a long time he questions him as to the nature of bondage and release. Bondage produced by the lack of investigation

914 The Principal Upaniṣads II.12

 

becomes release by (proper) investigation. Therefore one should always inquire. It is possible to determine the nature of the self through the way of super-imposition (of qualities that do not belong to it) and denial. Therefore one should always inquire into the nature of the world, the individual and the supreme self. With the denial of the (ultimate) reality of the soul and the world, the innermost self non-differentiated from Brahman alone remains.

 

The way of superposition (superimposition) and denial is developed by Saṁkara in his Introduction to S.B.

 

III 2 Piṅgala Upaniṣad 915

 

CHAPTER III

 

MEDITATION AND HIGHEST ENLIGHTENMENT

 

 

1. Then Piṅgala asked Yājavalkya, please relate to me a detailed account of the great texts.

Prepared by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

 

2 Yājavalkya replied to him. One should engage in meditation of the kind 'That thou art,' 'Thou art the seat of Brahman' 'I am Brahman.' Therein the imperceptible personal Lord with the qualities of omniscience and others, endowed with the power of māyā, of the character of being, consciousness and bliss, the source of the world is (what is connoted by) the word 'that' (of the text). That alone, being influenced by the inner sense, supported by the conception of self (I-conception] is (what is connoted by) the word 'thou' (of the text). Giving up the power of māyā and ignorance which envelop (the two), the supreme and the individual soul, what is .meant by the terms 'that' and 'thou' becomes Brahman which is nondistinct from the self. The investigation into the import of the texts 'That thou art,' I am Brahman is hearing. Exclusive attention to the meaning of what is heard is reflection. The

916 The Principal Upaniṣads III.3

 

fixing of thought with one-pointed attention solely on the object attained through hearing and reflection is meditation. The thought absorbed only in the object meditated upon, giving up the distinction of the meditator and the act of meditation resembling a lamp in a windless spot attains the highest enlightenment. In that state, when the functioning is directed towards the cognition of the self are roused (the intuitions of the self), are not cognized but only inferred from memory. Through this the numberless previous karmas accumulated during this beginningless cycle of births and deaths attain their dissolution. Thence, through the power of practice, a stream of nectar showers always from a thousand directions. Therefore the adepts in yoga call this highest enlightenment 'the cloud of virtue.' When the nets of dispositions (good and bad) are dissolved without any residue, when the accumulated deeds, virtuous and vicious, are completely destroyed, to the very roots, the past and the future alike, owing to the removal of all impediments being about the direct and immediate perception (of Brahman) as of the āmalaka fruit, on the palm of the hand. Then (the knower of Brahman) becomes one liberated while in life.

 

Śabalah: mixed. The Absolute is viewed as the personal lord with māyā or the power of manifestation. Though sac-cid-āmanda, he is the source of the world, jagad-yoni.

 

Śravaṇa: the four stages of hearing, reflection, meditation and direct intuition, ātma-darśana, here called samādhi are explained. The truths of the sacred texts are endorsed by personal effort and experience. See Introduction XIX

 

a lamp in a windless spot: see BG VI 19:

As a lamp in the windless place flikereth not, to such is likened the Yogi of subdued thought who practices union with the Self (or discipline of himself). BG 7:19 by Dr. Radhakrishnan.

 

inferred from memory: when the intuition is no more felt, when it lapses from consciousness, we have only a memory of it.

dharma-megha: the cloud of virtue. The realized soul is virtuous by nature.

 

III.4 Paiṅgala Upaniṣad page 917

3 Īsvara developed the desire to disquintuplicate the quintuplicated elements. After causing the macrocosms, the worlds composed in them and other effects to recede into their (antecedent) causal form, after making into one the subtle body, the organs of actions, the life principles, the organs of perception and the fourfold inner sense, and after merging all elements in the fivefold causal elements, he causes earth to dissolve in water, water in fire, fire in air, air in ether, ether in the self-sense, the self-sense in the great, the great in the unmanifested and the unmanifested in the self in due order. The Virāt, the Hiraṇya-garbha and the Supreme Lord, owing to the dissolutions of their respective adjuncts, lapse into the Supreme Self. The gross body composed of the quintuplicated great elements, organized through the accumulated (past) karma, owing to the destruction of karma and the ripening of the fruits of good karma, becoming one with the subtle body, attaining the form of the causal body, causes the causal body to merge in the unchanging inner self. The three states of Viśva, Taijasa, Prāja, on account of the dissolution of their adjuncts merge in the inner self. The microcosm being burnt (and purified) by the fire of knowledge becomes merged along with its causes in the Supreme Self. Therefore let the Brāhmaṇa, after becoming possessed of self-control engage in meditation incessantly on the identity of That and Thou. Thereafter, even as the sun shines with all his splendor on the dissipation of the clouds, the self manifests himself. After meditating on the self seated in the middle (of the heart) like a lamp placed inside a vessel, of the size of a thumb and of the form of smokeless flame (the self manifests himself).

 

The order of involution is the reverse of the order of evolution. The subordination of the world, world-soul and the Supreme Lord to the Ultimate Reality is suggested here. The logical priority of Brahman to these three is to be understood.

 

918 The Principal Upaniṣads III.6

 

4. One should meditate on the unchanging, imperishable that is inside, manifesting (the diverse functions). The sage who is continuously engaged in meditation till he goes to sleep or is overtaken by death.

 

5. He should be known as one liberated while alive (in this body) He is blessed and is of fulfilled duties After giving up the state of being liberated while alive, when the time arrives for his quitting the body, he enters on the state of disembodied liberation even as the air attains the state of non-movement.

 

6 (He attains the state) that is devoid of sound, devoid of touch, devoid of forms, devoid of wasting, likewise devoid of taste, that is eternal, and devoid of smell, having neither beginning nor end, that transcends the Great, constant, that alone remains, which is flawless and free from ailing. Prepared by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

 

It is the supreme state which is negatively described, it is oneness with the transcendent Brahman.

 

IV.4 Piṅgala Upaniṣad 919

 

CHAPTER IV

 

1. Then the sage Piṅgala asked Yājavalkya. What is the (nature of) action of a knower? What is his condition? Yājavalkya replied unto him. The seeker after liberation endowed with humility and other good qualities carries (safely) across (the ocean of worldly existence) twenty-one generations of his class. The moment he becomes a knower of Brahman he carries across one hundred and one generations of his class. Know the self as the lord of the chariot and the body as verily, the chariot Know the intellect as the charioteer and the mind as, verily, the reins.

 

See Katha I.III.2 ff

 

2. The senses, they say, are the horses and the objects (of the senses) the paths (they range over). The hearts of the knowers (of Brahman) are so many air chariots

 

3. (The self) associated with the body, the senses and the mind, the great sages declare, is the enjoyer. Therefore, Nārāyaṇa is actually established (as the self) in the hearts (of all beings). The seeker after God, after becoming one with God, becomes the self of all beings.

 

4. As long as his previously commenced karma remains unspent, he functions (very much) like the snake with the slough on. He who has attained liberation, though possessed of the body, wanders about homeless like the moon (on the sky).

 

His body does not fall off until the karmas which have started working out reach their culmination.

 

920 The Principal Upaniṣad IV 9

 

5 Casting off his body either in a place of pilgrimage or in the house of an eater of dog's flesh (the knower) attains aloneness. After scattering the vital airs he attains aloneness. After (the knower has run the appointed course of life and dies) his body should be cast away as an offering to the cardinal points , or else it may be burned. Only in the case of a male who is eligible for the order of monkhood is (burial) prescribed, never for others.

dig-bali: food for appeasing the hunger of birds and the like.

 

6. No pollution (is to be observed by blood relations), no rituals connected with the funeral fire, no oblations (in the form of balls of cooked rice) nor offerings of water nor rituals on new moon and other days should be adopted for the (departed) mendicant who has become Brahman.

 

7. Even as there is no cooking of food that has already been cooked, there is no cremation of the body (of a knower) which has already been burnt (in the fire of austerity). For one whose body has already been consumed by the fire of knowledge, there is no need for the performance of śrāddha ceremonies or any other obsequies.

 

8. So long as there is the limitation (leading to differentiation between the teacher and the pupil) so long the pupil should serve the teacher. He should behave with the teacher's wife and his sons as he would with the teacher (himself).

 

IV II Piṅgala Upaniṣad 92I

 

9. With a purified mind, with a purified consciousness, full of forbearance, and in the attitude 'I am he' full of forbearance, and when he gains the attitude 'I am he,' when the supreme self, the basis of all knowledge gets firmly fixed in the heart, when the body attains the state of quiescence then does the mind scintillating with the intellect become void of its functionings. What is the use of milk to one satiated with nectar? Even so what is the use of the study of the Vedas for one who has perceived the Self? For the Yogin who is satisfied with the nectar of knowledge (of Brahman) there is nothing whatsoever that has yet to be achieved. If there is anything (still to be achieved), he is not a knower of the truth. Remaining aloof, yet not aloof, Remaining in the body, yet not of the body, the innermost self, becomes the all-pervading (Brahman) After purifying the heart, thinking of Brahman the perfect (free from ailment), the Yogin should perceive that he is the all, the transcendent, the blissful.

 

10. As water poured into water, milk poured into milk, ghee into ghee becomes one without differentiation, even so the individual soul and the Supreme Self (become one).

 

The state of liberation is here suggested to be oneness with the Absolute Self.

 

11. When the body is lit (with the flame of) knowledge, when the understanding becomes indivisible in form, then the knower should burn all the bonds with the fire of the knowledge of Brahman. Then he who has attained the form of the self, firmly established in the state without limitations should enter on the state hallowed, that is known as the supreme lord, that is of

 

922 The Principal Upaniṣad IV.17

 

non-dual form, that resembles Ether devoid of impurities, like water that has flown into water.

The state of liberation is described not as that of a fish in water but as that of a dewdrop in the sea. Complete identity is maintained.

Prepared by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

 

12. The self that has a subtle body like the ether, that self, immanent in all beings is not seen like the air. (That) self is motionless both outside and inside. The self, immanent in all beings, perceives with the torch of knowledge.

 

13. Wheresoever the knower may die, whatever may be the manner of death, at that very place he becomes merged (in Brahman) even as the all-pervading ether.

 

14. The knower who knows the self to be indissoluble, like the ether of the pot, reaches independence with the range of his knowledge (spreading) on all sides.

 

As the ether in the pot gets dissolved in the all-pervading ether when the limitations are broken, even so the liberated individual is lost in the universal self.

 

15. A man may perform penance standing on one leg for a thousand years (yet his austerities) do not deserve a sixteenth part of the merit of concentrated meditation.

 

The verse brings out the superiority of dhyāna-yoga to tapas.

 

16. One desires to know all about what constitutes knowledge and what has to be known, but even if he should live for a thousand years he does not get to the end of the (study of the) scriptures.

 

IV 22 Paiṅgala Upaniṣad 923

 

17. What is to be known is the subtle imperishable existence while one's life is unsteady. (Therefore) giving up the network of scriptures (which are many and endless), let the truth be meditated on.

 

18. (It is only) so long as the seeker does not attain knowledge of the real that endless ceremonies, observances of purity, prayers, likewise performance of sacrifices, visits to places of pilgrimage (are prescribed by the scriptures).

 

All these are not ends in themselves They are means to the realization of the eternal.

 

19. For the great souled, the surest way to liberation is the conviction that I am Brahman. The two terms, what leads to bondage and what leads to liberation, are the sense of mineness and the absence of the sense of mineness.

 

Selfishness or looking upon the body and the world as one's own, as means to one's enjoyment causes bondage. The realization that the body and the world are external to the true self and the consequent universality of spirit lead to liberation.

 

20. With the sense of mineness the soul is bound, with the absence of the sense of mineness it is liberated When the mind rises to the state of illumination, the sense of duality is never attained.

 

21. When the seeker attains the state of illumination then he (attains) the highest state. Wheresoever his mind goes there is the highest state.

 

22 There is the transcendent Brahman well established everywhere. However much one tormented by hunger strikes with his fisticuffs the ether round him or chews (any amount of) chaff (his hunger is not appeased).

924 The Principal Upaniṣads IV.24

THE REWARD FOR THE STUDY OF THIS UPANISAD

 

23. For him who does not know 'I am Brahman,' liberation does not arise. He who studies this Upaniṣad every day becomes hallowed as by fire, he becomes hallowed by air, he becomes hallowed by the sun, he becomes hallowed by Brahma, he becomes hallowed by Viṣṇu , he becomes hallowed by Rudra. He attains the merit of bathing in all the sacred waters. He becomes accomplished in the study of all the Vedas. He becomes disciplined in the performance of all the vows prescribed in the Vedas. By him are attained the fruits resulting from a hundred thousand recitals of the Itihāsas, the Purāṇas and the Rudras. By him has been repeated the syllable praṇava (Aum) myriads of times. He sanctifies ten previous and ten future generations. He sanctifies the rows of people with whom he dines. He becomes a great-souled one. He becomes freed from the sins of killing a Brāhmaṇa, drinking liquor, stealing gold, sharing the bed with the teacher's wife and associating with those who have committed these sins.

 

That is the highest state of Viṣṇu (the all-pervader) which the sages see constantly as the eye spreads towards the heaven.

 

24. These knowers of Brahman, with their passions cast away, their inner senses alert, expound clearly that highest state of Viṣṇu This is the truth, (this is) the Upaniṣad.