Part 1 (Prose)
tr. by Ken Knight
A METHOD OF ENLIGHTENING (Teaching) THE DISCIPLE
1. We shall now explain a method of teaching the
means to liberation for the benefit of those aspirants who deeply desire
liberation, who have asked for this teaching and are possessed of faith
2. That means to liberation, Knowledge, should be
explained again and again until it is firmly grasped, to a pure Brahmana
disciple, ( Alston notes: nthis should not be interpreted in a purely
caste sense. At BS comm.. 3.4.38 Sankara quotes Manu Smriti 2.87
'Whoever practices universal benelovence and friendliness is a brahmana
), who is indifferent to everything that is transitory and achievable
through certain means, who has given up the desire for a son, for
wealth, and for this world' and the next, (Br.U. 1.5.16) who has adopted
the life of a wandering monk and is endowed with control over the mind
and senses, with compassion etc., as well as with the qualities of a
disciple well-known in the scriptures, and who has approached the
teacher in the prescribed manner, and has been examined in respect of
his caste, profession, conduct, learning and parentage.
3. The Shruti (Mu.U 1.2.12,13) also says, "A
Brahmana after examining those worlds which are the result of Vedic
actions should be indifferent to them seeing that nothing eternal can be
achieved by means of those actions. Then, with fuel in his hands he
should approach a teacher versed in the Vedas and established in Brahman
in order to know the Eternal. The learned teacher should correctly
explain to that disciple who has self-control and a tranquil mind, and
has approached him in the prescribed manner, the knowledge of Brahman
revealing the imperishable and the eternal Being." For only when
knowledge is firmly grasped, it conduces to one's own good and is
capable of transmission. This transmission of knowledge is helpful to
people, like a boat to one who wants to cross a river. The scriptures
too say, "Although one may give to the teacher this world
surrounded by oceans and full of riches, this knowledge is even greater
than that." Otherwise (if it were not taught by a teacher) there
would be no attainment of knowledge. For the srutis say, "A man (Chh.U.
6.14.2) having a teacher can know Brahman," "Knowledge
(ChhU.4.9.3) received from a teacher alone (becomes perfect),"
"The teacher is the pilot," "Right Knowledge is called in
this world a raft," (Mahabharata 12.313.23)etc. The smriti (Bh.G.
4.34) also says, "Know this through long prostration, through
enquiry and through service, those men of wisdom who have realized the
truth," will be impart it to you.
4. When the teacher finds from signs that knowledge
has not been grasped (or has been wrongly grasped) by the disciple he
should remove the causes of non-comprehension which are: failure to
observe the spiritual law, (dharma), carelessness with regard to worldly
activities, want of previous firm knowledge of what constitutes the
subjects of discrimination between the eternal and the non-eternal,
courting popular esteem, vanity of caste etc., and so on, through means
contrary to those causes, enjoined by the Shruti and smR^iti, viz.,
avoidance of anger etc., and the vows (yama: harmlessness, truthfulness,
non-stealing, continence and non-acceptance of gifts) also the rules of
conduct that are not inconsistent with knowledge.
5. He should also thoroughly impress upon the disciple
qualities like humility, which are the means to knowledge.
6. What is the nature of the teacher. The teacher is
one who is endowed with the power of furnishing arguments pro and con,
of understanding questions and remembering them, who possesses
tranquillity, self-control, compassion and a desire to help others, who
is versed (through the tradition handed down) in the scriptures and
unattached to enjoyments both seen and unseen, who has renounced the
means to all kinds of actions (ritualistic etc.), who is a knower of
Brahman (brahmavit) and is established in it, who is never a
transgressor of the rules of conduct, and who is devoid of shortcomings
such as ostentation, pride, deceit, cunning, jugglery, jealousy,
falsehood, egotism and attachment. He has the sole aim of helping others
and a desire to impart the knowledge of Brahman only. He should first of
all teach the Shruti texts establishing the oneness of the self with
Brahman such as, "My child, in the beginning it (the universe) was
Existence only, one alone without a second, "ChhU 6.2.1) "Where
one sees nothing else" ChhU 7.24.1. " All this is but the
Self," (ChhU 7.25.2) " In the beginning all this was but the
one Self" (ChhU Ai.U.1.1.1) and "All this is verily
Brahman." (ChhU. 3.14.1)
7, 8. After teaching these he should teach the
definition of Brahman through such Shruti texts as "The self,
devoid of sins," (ChhU 8.7.1) "The Brahman that is immediate
and direct,"(BrU 3.4.1) "That which is beyond hunger and
thirst," (BrU3.5.1) "Not-this, not-this," BrU 2.3.6)
" Neither gross nor subtle," (BrU 3.8.8) " This Self is
not- this," (BrU3.9.26) " It is the Seer Itself unseen,"(
BrU 3.8.11) " Knowledge-Bliss,"(BrU 3.9.27ff)
"Existence-Knowledge-Infinite," (Tai.U. 2.1)
"Imperceptible, bodiless,"(Tai.U. 2.7) "That great unborn
Self," (BrU 4.4.22) " Without the vital force and the
mind," (Mu.U 2.1.2) "Unborn, comprising the interior and
exterior," ((MuU2.1.2) " Consisting of knowledge only," (BrU
2.4.12) " Without interior or exterior,"(BrU2.5.19) "It
is verily beyond what is known as also what is unknown" (Ke.U. 1.3)
and "Called AkASha (the self-effulgent One) " (ChhU 8.14.1)
and also through such smR^iti texts. as the following: "It is
neither born nor dies," (BhG 2.20) " It is not affected by
anybody's sins,," (BhG 5.15) "Just as air is always in. the
ether," (BhG. 9.6) "The individual Self should be regarded as
the universal one," (BhG 13.2) "It is called neither existent
nor nonexistent," (BhG BhG 13.12) "As the Self is
beginningless and devoid of qualities,"(BhG 13.31) "The same
in all beings" (BhG 13.27) and "The Supreme Being is
different" (BhG 15.17)-all these support the definition given by
the Shruti and prove that the innermost Self is beyond transmigratory
existence and that it is not different from Brahman, the
9. The disciple who has thus learnt the definition of
the inner Self from the Shruti and the smR^iti and is eager to cross the
ocean of transmigratory existence is asked, "Who are you, my
10, 11. If he says, "I am the son of a Brahmana
belonging to such and such a lineage; I was a student or a householder,
and am now a wandering monk anxious to cross the ocean of transmigratory
existence infested with the terrible sharks of birth and death,"
the teacher should say, "My child, how do you desire to go beyond
transmigratory existence as your body will be eaten up by birds or will
turn into earth even here when you die? For, burnt to ashes on this side
of the river, you cannot cross to the other side."
12, 13. If he says, "I am different from the
body. The body is born and it dies; it is eaten up by birds, is
destroyed by weapons, fire etc., and suffers from diseases and the like.
I have entered it, like a bird its nest, on account of merit and demerit
accruing from acts done by myself, and like a bird going to another nest
when the previous one is destroyed I shall enter into different bodies
again and again as a result of merits and demerits when the present body
is gone. Thus in this beginningless world on account of my own actions I
have been giving up successive bodies assumed among gods, men, animals
and the denizens of hell and assuming ever new ones. I have in this way
been made to go round and round in the cycle of endless births and
deaths, as in a Persian wheel by my past actions, and having in the
course of time obtained the present body I have got tired of this going
round and round in the wheel of transmigration, I have come to you, Sir,
to put an end to this rotation. I am, therefore, always different from
the body. It is bodies that come and go, like clothes on a person."
The teacher would reply,"You have spoken well, you see aright. Why
then did you wrongly say,' I am the son of a Brahmana belonging to such
and such a lineage; I was a student or a householder, and am now a
14, 15. If the disciple says, "How did I speak
wrongly, Sir?," the teacher would reply, "Because by your
statement, 'I am the son of a Brahmana belonging to such and such a
lineage etc.' you identified with the Self devoid of birth, lineage and
purificatory ceremonies, the body possessed of them that are different'
(from the Self)."
16, 17. If he asks, "How is the body possessed of
the diversities of birth, lineage and purificatory ceremonies.
(different from the Self) and how am I devoid of them?" The teacher
would say, "Listen, my child, how this body is. different from you
and is possessed of birth, lineage and sanctifying ceremonies and how
you are free from these." Speaking thus he will remind the disciple
saying, "You. should remember, my child, you have been told about
the innermost Self which is the Self of all, with its characteristics.
as described by the Shruti such as 'This was existence, my child' (ChhU.
6.2.1) etc., as also the smR^iti, and you should remember these
18. The teacher should say to the disciple who has
remembered the definition of the Self, "That which is called akaSha
(the self-effulgent one) which is distinct from name and form, bodiless,
and defined as not gross etc., and as free from sins and so on, which is
untouched by all transmigratory conditions, 'The Brahman that is
immediate and direct,' (Br.U. 3.4.1) 'The innermost Self,'
(Br.U.3.4.1)'The unseen seer, the unheard listener, the unthought
thinker, the unknown knower, which is of the nature of eternal
knowledge, without interior or exterior, consisting only of knowledge,
all-pervading like the ether and of infinite power-that Self of all,
devoid. of hunger etc., as also of appearance and disappearance, is,. by
virtue of Its inscrutable power, the cause of the manifestation of
unmanifested name and form which abide in the Self through Its very
presence, but are different from It, which are the seed of the universe,
are describable neither as identical with It nor different from It, and
are cognized by It alone.
19. "That name and form though originally,
unmanifested, took the name and form of ether as they were manifested
from that Self. This element called the ether thus arose out of the
supreme Self, like the dirt called foam coming out of transparent water.
Foam is neither water nor absolutely 'different from it. For it is never
seen apart from water. But water is clear, and different from the foam
which is of the nature of dirt. Similarly, the Supreme Self, which is
pure and transparent, is different from name and form, which stand for
foam. These-corresponding to the foam-having originally been unmanifest,
took the name and form of the ether as they were manifested.
20. "Name and form, as they became still grosser
in the course of manifestation, assumed the form of air. From that again
they became fire, from that water, and thence earth. In this order the
preceding elements penetrated the succeeding ones, and the five gross
elements ending 'with earth came into existence. Earth, therefore,
possesses the qualities of all the five gross elements. From earth,
.compounded of all five great elements, herbs such as paddy and barley
are produced. From these, after they are eaten, are formed blood and the
seed of women and men respectively. These two ingredients drawn out, as
by a churning rod, by lust springing from ignorance, and sanctified by
mantras are placed in the womb at the proper time. Through the
infiltration of the sustaining fluids of the mother's. body, it develops
into an embryo and is delivered at the ninth or tenth month.
21. "It is born, or is possessed of a form and a
name' and is purified by means of mantras relating to natal and other
ceremonies. Sanctified again by the ceremony of' investiture with the
holy thread, it gets the appellation of' a student. The same body is
designated a house-holder when it undergoes the sacrament of being
joined to a wife. That again is called a recluse when it undergoes the
ceremonies pertaining to retirement into the forest. And it becomes
known as a wandering monk when it performs the ceremonies leading to the
renunciation of all activities. Thus the body which has birth, lineage
and purificatory ceremonies different (from the Self) is different from
22. "That the mind and the senses are also of the
nature of name and form is known from the Shruti,'The mind, my child,
consists of food.' (Chh.U.6.5.4,6)
23. "You said, 'How am I devoid of birth, lineage
and sanctifying ceremonies which are different (from the Self)?' Listen.
The same one who is the cause of the manifestation of name and form,
whose nature is different from that of name and form, and who is devoid
of all connection with sanctifying ceremonies, evolved name and form,
created this body and entered into it (which is but name and form)- who
is Himself the unseen Seer, the unheard Listener, the unthought Thinker,
the unknown Knower as stated in the Shruti text, '(I know) who creates
names and forms and remains speaking.' (T.A. 3.12.7) There are thousands
of Shruti texts conveying the same meaning; for instance, 'He created
and entered into it,' (Tai.U.2.6) 'Entering into them He rules all
creatures.' (T.A. 3.11.1,2) 'He, the Self, has entered into these
bodies,'(Br.U.1.4.7) 'This is your Self.' (Br.U. 3.4.1)' Opening this
very suture of the skull He got in by that door,'(Ai.U.1.3.12) 'This
Self is concealed in all beings,'(Kath.U.3.12) 'That Divinity
thought-let Me enter into these three deities.'(Chh.U.6.3.2)
24. "SR^iti texts too elucidate the same truth;
for example, 'All gods verily are the Self.' (Manu.XII.119) 'The Self in
the city of nine gates,'(B.G.5.13) 'Know the individual Self to be
Myself,' (B.G.13.2) 'The same in all beings,' (B.G.13.27) 'The witness
and approver,' (B.G.13.22) 'The Supreme Being is different,' B.G.13.27)
' Residing in all bodies but Itself devoid of any,' (Kath.U. 2.22 smR^iti
source untraced) and so on. Therefore it is established that you are
without any connection with birth, lineage and sanctifying
25. If he says, "I am in bondage, liable to
transmigration, ignorant, (sometimes) happy, (sometimes) mm happy, and
am entirely different from Him; He, the shining One, who is dissimilar
in nature to me, and is beyond transmigratory existence, is also
different from me; I want to worship Him through the actions pertaining
to my caste and order of life by making presents and offerings to Him
and also by making salutations and the like. I am eager to cross the
ocean of the world in this way. So how am I He Himself?
26. The teacher should say, "You ought not, my
child, regard it so; because a doctrine of difference is
forbidden." In reply to the question, " Why is it
forbidden," the following other Shruti texts may be cited: "He
who knows 'that Brahman is one and I am another ' does not know
(Brahman)," (1.4.10) "He who regards the Brahmanical caste as
different from himself is rejected by that caste." (Br.U. 2.4.6)
"He who perceives diversity in Brahman goes from death to
death," (Br.U. 4.4.19) and so on.
27. These Shruti show that transmigratory existence is
the sure result of the acceptance of (the reality of) difference.
28. "That, on the other hand, liberation results
from the acceptance of (the reality of) non-difference is borne out by
thousands of Shruti; for example, after teaching that the individual
Self is not different from the Supreme One, in the text, "That' is
the Self, thou art That," (Chh.U 6.13.3) and after saying, "A
man who has a teacher knows Brahman," (Chh.U.6.14.2) the Shruti
prove liberation to be the result of the knowledge of (the reality of)
non-difference only, by saying, 'A knower of Brahman has to wait only so
long as he is not merged in Brahman,' (Chh.U. 6.14.2) That
transmigratory existence comes to an absolute cessation, (in the case of
one who speaks the truth that difference has no real existence), is
illustrated by the example of one who was not a thief and did not get
burnt (by grasping a heated hatchet); and that one, speaking what is not
true (i.e. the reality of difference,) continues to be in the mundane
condition, is illustrated by the example of a thief who got
29. "The Shruti text commencing with 'Whatever
these creatures are here, whether a tiger or..'(Chh.U.6.9.3) etc. and
similar other texts, after asserting that 'One becomes one's own master
(i.e. Brahman)'(Chh.U.6.25.2) by the knowledge of (the reality of)
non-difference, show that one continues to remain in, the transmigratory
condition in the opposite case as the result of the acceptance of (the
reality of) difference, saying, 'Knowing differently from this they get
other beings for their masters and reside in perishable regions.'
(Chh.7.25.2) Such statements are found in every branch of the Veda. It
was, therefore, certainly wrong on your part to say that you were the
son of a Brahmana, that you belonged to such and such a lineage, that
you were subject to transmigration, and that you were different from the
30.Therefore, on account of the rebuttal of the
perception of duality, it should be understood that, on the knowledge of
one's identity with the Supreme Self, the undertaking of religious rites
which have the notion of duality for their province, and the assumption
of yajnopavita etc., which are the means to their performance, are
forbidden. For these rites and yajnopavita etc., which are their means,
are inconsistent with the knowledge of one's identity with the Supreme
Self. It is only on those people that refer classes and orders of life
etc., to the Self that vedic actions and yajnopavita etc., which are
their means, are enjoined, and not on those who have acquired the
knowledge of their identity with the Supreme Self. That one is other
than Brahman due only on account of the perception of difference.
31. "If Vedic rites were to be performed and not
meant to be renounced, the Shruti would neither have declared the
identity of oneself with the Supreme Self unrelated to those rites,
their means, castes, orders of life, etc., which are the conditions of
Vedic actions, in unambiguous sentences like 'That is the Self, thou art
That;' (Chh.U.6.8.7) nor would it have condemned the acceptance of (the
reality of) difference in clauses such as 'It is the eternal glory of
the knower of Brahman,' (BrU. 4.4.23) 'Untouched by virtue, untouched by
sin,' (BrU.4.3.22) and 'Here a thief is no thief' etc (BrU 4.3.22)
32. "The Shruti would not have stated that the
essential nature of the Self was in no way connected with Vedic rites
and conditions required by them such as a particular class, and the
rest, if they did not intend that those rites and yajnopavita etc.,
their means, should be given up. Therefore, Vedic actions which are
incompatible with the knowledge of the identity of oneself with the
Supreme Self, should be renounced together with their means by one who
aspires after liberation; and it should be known that the Self is no
other than Brahman as defined in the Shruti."
33. If he says, "The pain on account of burns or
cuts in the body and the misery caused by hunger and the like, Sir, are
'distinctly perceived to be in me. The Supreme Self is known in all the
Shruti and the smR^iti to be 'free' from sin, old age, death, grief,
hunger, thirst, etc., and devoid of smell and taste.' (Chh.U. 8.7.1) How
can I who am different from Him and possess so many phenomenal
attributes, possibly accept the Supreme Self as myself, and myself, a
transmigratory being, as the Supreme Self? I may then very well admit
that fire is cool! Why should I, a man of the world entitled to
accomplish all prosperity in this world and in the next, and realize the
supreme end of life, i.e, liberation, give up the actions producing
those results. and yajnopavita etc., their accessories?
34. The teacher should say to him, 'It was not right
hr you to say, 'I directly perceive the pain in me when my body gets
cuts or burns.' Why? Because the pain due to cuts or burns, perceived in
the body, the object of the perception of the perceiver like a tree
burnt or cut, must have the same location as the bums etc. People point
out pain caused by burns and the like to be in that place where they
occur but not in the perceiver. How? For, on being asked where one's
pain lies, one says, 'I have pain in the head, in the chest or in the
stomach.' Thus one points out pain in that place where burns or cuts
occur, but never in the perceiver. If pain or its causes viz, burns or
cuts, were in the perceiver, then one would have pointed out the
perceiver to be the seat of the pain, like the parts of the body, the
seats of the burns or cuts.
35. "Moreover, (if it were in the Self) the pain
could not be perceived by the Self like the colour of the eye by the
same eye. Therefore, as it is perceived to have the same seat as burns,
cuts and the like, pain must be an object of perception like them. Since
it is an effect, it must have a receptacle like that in which rice is
cooked. The impressions of pain must have the same seat as pain. As they
are perceived during the time when memory is possible (i.e., in waking
and dream, and not in deep sleep), these impressions must have the same
location as pain. The aversion to cuts, bums and the like, the causes of
pain, must also have the same seat (non-Self) as the impressions (of
pain). It is therefore said, 'Desire, aversion and fear have a seat
common with that of the impressions of colours. As they have for their
seat the intellect, the knower, the Self, is always pure and devoid of
36. 'What is then the locus of the impressions of
colours and the rest?' 'The same as that of lust etc.' 'Where again are
lust etc.?' They are in the intellect (and nowhere else) according to
the Shruti, 'lust, deliberation, doubt.'(Br.U.1.5.3) The impressions of
colours and so forth are also there (and nowhere else) according to the
Sruti, 'what is the seat of colours? The intellect.' Br.U. 3.9.20) That
desire, aversion and the like are the attributes of the embodiment, the
object and not of the Self is known from the Shruti, 'Desires that are
in the intellect,' (BrU.4.4.7) ' For he is then beyond all the woes of
his heart (intellect),' (BrU.4.3.22) 'Because It is unattached,' (BrU.
4.3.16) and 'Its' form is untouched by desires' (BrU. 4.3.21) and also
from smR^iti such as' It is said to be changeless,' B.G. 2.25) 'Because
It is beginning-less and without attributes' (B.G. 13.31) and so on.
Therefore, (it is concluded that) impurity pertains to the object and
not to the Self.
37, 38. "Therefore you are not different from the
Supreme Self inasmuch as you are devoid of impurities such as the
connection with the impressions of colours and the like. As there is no
contradiction to perceptional evidence etc., the Supreme Self should be
accepted as oneself according to the Shruti, 'It knew the pure Self to
be Brahman' (Br.U.1.4.10) 'It should be regarded as
homogeneous,'(Br.U.4.4.20) 'It is I that am below.' (Chh.U.7.25.1) ' It
is the Self that is below,' (Chh.U.7.25.2) 'He knows everything to be
the Self,' (Br.U.4.4.23) 'When everything becomes the Self,'
(Br.U.2.4.14) 'All this verily is the Self,' (Br.U.2.4.6) 'He is without
parts,' (Pra.U. (6.5) ' Without interior and exterior.' (Br.U.2.5.19)
'Unborn, comprising the interior and exterior,' (Mu.U.2.1.2) 'All this
is verily Brahman,' (Mu.U.2.2.11) 'It entered though this door,'(Ai.U.
1.3.12) 'The names of pure knowledge,' (Ai.U..3.1.2) ' Existence,
Knowledge, infinite Brahman,'(Tai.U.2.1.1) 'From It,' (Tai.U.2.1.1) 'It
created and entered it,' (Tai.U.2.1.6) 'The shining One without a
second, concealed in all beings and all-pervading,'(Sw.U.6.11) 'In all
bodies Itself bodiless,' (Kath.U.2.22) ' It is not born and does not
die,' (Kath.U.2.18)' (Knowing,) dream and waking,' (Kath.U.2.14) 'He is
my Self, thus one should know,' (Kaushitak.U. III.8) 'Who (knows) all
beings.' (Ish.U.6) 'It moves and moves not,' (Ish.U.5) 'knowin It, one
becomes worthy of being worshipped,' (M.N.U. 2.3) 'It and nothing but It
is fire,' (T.A.10.1) 'I became Manu and the sun,' ((Br.U.1.4.10)
'Entering into them, He rules all creatures,' (T.A.220.127.116.11) 'Existence
only, my child' ((Chh.U.6.2.1)) and 'That is real, That is the Self,
thou art That." (Chh.U.6.8.7))
"It is established that you, the Self, are the
Supreme Brahman, the One only and devoid of every phenomenal attribute
from the smR^iti also such as, 'All beings are the body of One who
resides in the hearts of all,'(Apastamba Dharma Sutra 1.8.22) 'Gods are
verily the Self,' (Manu.XII. 119) ' In the city of nine
gates.'(B.G.5.13) 'The same in all beings.' (B.G.13.27) 'In a Brahmana
wise and courteous,' (B.G.5.18)'Undivided in things divided' (B.G.13.16)
and 'All this verily is Vasudeva (the self)' (B.G.7.19)
39. If he says "If, Sir, the Self is 'Without
interior or exterior,' (Br.U.2.5.19) 'Comprising the interior and
exterior, unborn'(Mu.U.2.1.2) 'Whole,' 'Pure consciousness only' like a
lump of salt,. devoid of all the various forms, and of a homogeneous
nature like ether, what is it that is observed in ordinary usage and
revealed in Shruti and smR^iti as what is to be accomplished, its
(appropriate) means and its accomplishers, and is made the
subject-matter of contention among hundreds of rival disputants holding
40. The teacher should say, "Whatever is observed
(in this world) or learnt from the Shruti (regarding the next world) are
products of ignorance. But in reality there is only One, the Self who
appears to be many to deluded vision, like the moon appearing to be more
than one to eyes affected by amaurosis. That duality is the product of
ignorance follows from the reasonableness of the condemnation by Shruti
of the acceptance of (the reality of) difference such as 'When there is
something else as it were,' (Br.U.4.3.31) 'When there is duality as it
were, one sees another,' 'He goes from death to death,' (Br.U.4.4.19)
'And where one sees something else, hears something else, cognizes
something else, that is finite, and that which is finite is mortal,'
(Chh.U.7.24.1) ' Modifications (i.e., effects. e.g., earthen jars) being
only names, have for their support words only, it is earth alone (i.e.
the cause) that is real' (Chh.U.6.1.4) and 'He is one, I am another.'
(Br.U.1.4.10) The same thing follows from the Shruti teaching unity, for
example, 'One, only without a second,' (Chh.U.6.2.1) 'When to the knower
of Brahman' (Br.U.4.5.15) and 'What delusion or grief is there?'
41. "If it be so, Sir, why do the Shruti speak of
diverse ends to be attained, their means, and so forth, as also the
evolution and the dissolution of the universe?"
42. "The answer to your question is this: Having
acquired (i.e., having identified himself with) the various things such
as the body etc. and considering the Self to be connected with what is
desirable and what is undesirable and so on, though eager to attain the
desirable and avoid the undesirable by appropriate means-for without
certain means nothing can be accomplished-an ignorant man cannot
discriminate between the means to the realization of what is (really)
desirable for him and the means to the avoidance of what is undesirable.
It is the gradual removal of this ignorance that is the aim of the
scriptures; but not the enunciation of (the reality of) the difference
of the end, means and so on. For it is this very difference that
constitutes this undesirable transmigratory existence. The scriptures,
therefore, root out the ignorance constituting this (like) conception of
difference which is the cause of phenomenal existence by giving reasons
for the oneness of the evolution, dissolution, etc. of the universe.'
43. "When ignorance is uprooted with the aid of
the Shruti, smR^iti and reasoning, the one-pointed (B.G.2.41) intellect
of the seer of the supreme Truth becomes established (B.G.2.55) in the
one Self consisting of pure Consciousness like a (homogeneous) lump of
salt and all-pervading like the ether, which is within and without,
without the interior or exterior, and unborn. Even the slightest taint
of impurity due to the diversity of ends, means, evolution, dissolution
and the rest is, therefore not reasonable.
44. "One, eager to realize this right Knowledge
spoken of in the Shruti, should rise above the desire for a son, wealth
and this world and the next which are described in a five-fold
(Br.U.1.4.17) manner and are the outcome of a false reference to the
Self of castes, orders of life and so on. As this reference is
contradictory to right Knowledge it is intelligible why reasons are
given by the Shruti regarding the prohibition of the acceptance of (the
reality of) difference. For, when the Knowledge that the one-dual Self
is beyond phenomenal existence is generated by the scriptures and
reasoning, there cannot exist (side by side with it) a knowledge
contrary to it. None can think of chillness in fire or immortality and
freedom from old age in regard to the (perishable) body. One therefore,
who is eager to be established in the Knowledge of the Reality should
give up all actions with yajnopavita and the rest, their accessories,
which are the effects of ignorance."
Here ends the enlightening (teaching) of the pupil.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE CHANGELESS AND NON-DUAL SELF
45. A certain Brahmacarin, tired of the
transmigratory existence consisting of birth and death, and aspiring
after liberation, approached (Bh. Gita 4.34) in the prescribed manner a
Knower of Brahman established in It and sitting at ease and said,
"How can I, Sir, be liberated from this transmigratory existence?
Conscious of the body, the senses and their objects I feel pain in the
state of waking and also in dream again and again after intervals of
rest in deep sleep experienced by me. Is this my own nature or is it
causal, I being of a different nature? If it be my own nature I can have
no hope of liberation as one's own nature cannot be got rid of. But if
it be causal, liberation from it may be possible by removing the
46. The teacher said to him, "Listen, my child,
this is not your true nature, but causal."
47. Told thus the disciple said, "What is the
cause, what will bring it to an end and what is my true nature? When the
cause is brought to an end, there will be the absence of the effect, and
I shall attain my own true nature, just like a patient who gets back to
normal condition (of his health) when the cause of his disease is
48. The teacher said, "The cause is Ignorance.
Knowledge brings it to an end. When Ignorance, the cause, is. removed,
you will be liberated from the transmigratory existence consisting of
birth and death, and you will never again feel pain in the states of
waking and dream."
49. The disciple said, "What is that Ignorance ?
(What is its seat) and what is its object? What is Knowledge by means of
which I can realise my own nature?"
50. The teacher said, "You are the non-transmigratory
Supreme Self, but you wrongly think that you are one liable to
transmigration. (Similarly), not being an agent or an experienccr you
wrongly consider yourself to be so. Again, you are eternal but mistake
yourself to be non-eternal. This is Ignorance."
51. The disciple said, "Though eternal I am not
the Supreme Self. My nature is one of transmigratory existence
consisting of agency and experiencing of its results as it is known by
evidence such as sense-perception etc. It is not due to Ignorance. For
it cannot have the innermost Self for its object. Ignorance consists of
the superimposition of the qualities of one thing on another, e.g.,
well-known silver on well-known mother of pearl or a well-known human
being on a (well-known) trunk of a tree and vice versa. An unknown thing
cannot be superimposed on a known one and vice versa. The non-Self
cannot be superimposed on the Self which is not known. Similarly, the
Self cannot be superimposed on the non-Self for the very same reason.
52. The teacher said to him, "It is not so. There
are exceptions. For, my child, there cannot be a rule that it is only
well-known things' that are superimposed on other well-known things, for
we meet with the super-imposition of certain things on the Self.
Fairness and blackness, the properties of the body, are superimposed on
the Self which is the object of the consciousness ' I,' and the same
Self is superimposed on the body."
53. The disciple said, "In that case the Self
must be well-known owing to Its being the object of the consciousness
'I.' The body also must be well-known, for it is spoken of as ' this '
(body). When this is so, it is a case of mutual superimposition of the
well-known body and the well-known Self, like that of a human being and
the trunk of a tree or that of silver and mother of pearl. (There is,
therefore, no exception here.) So what is the peculiarity with reference
to which you said that there could not be a rule that mutual
superimposition was possible of two well-known things only?"
54. The teacher said, "Listen. It is true that
the Self and the body are well-known, but, they are not well-known to
all people to be objects of different knowledges, like a human being and
a trunk of a tree. (Question). How are they known then? (Reply). (They
are always known) to be the objects of an undifferentiated knowledge.
For, no one knows them to be the objects of different knowledges saying,
'This is the body' and 'This is the Self.' It is for this reason that
people are deluded about the nature of the Self and of the non-Self, and
say, 'The Self is of this nature' and 'It is not of this nature.' It was
this peculiarity with reference to which I said that there was no such
rule (viz. only well-known things could be superimposed on each
55. Disciple.-" Whatever is superimposed through
Ignorance on anything else is found to be non-existent in that thing,
e.g., silver in a mother of pearl, a human being in the trunk of a tree,
a snake in a rope, and the form of a frying pan and blueness in the sky.
Similarly, both the body and the Self, always the objects of an
undifferentiated knowledge, would be non-existent in each other if they
were mutually superimposed, just as silver etc., superimposed on mother
of pearl and other things and vice versa are always absolutely
non-existent. Likewise, the Self and the non-Self would both be
non-existent if they were similarly superimposed on each other through
Ignorance. But that is not desirable as it is the position of the
Nihilists. If, instead of a mutual superimposition, the body (atone) is
superimposed through Ignorance on the Self the body will he non-existent
in the existing Self. That is also not desirable. For it contradicts
sense-perception etc. Therefore the body and the Self are not mutually
superimposed due to Ignorance. (If they are not superimposed) what then?
They are always in the relation of conjunction with each other like
pillars and bamboos."
56. Teacher-" It is not so. For in that case
there arises the possibility of the Self existing for the benefit of
another and being non-eternal. The Self, if in contact with the body,
would be existing for the benefit of another and be non-eternal like the
combination of pillars and bamboos. Moreover, the Self, supposed by
other philosophers to be conjoined with the body must have an existence
for the sake of another. It is, therefore, concluded that devoid of
contact with the body the Self is eternal and characteristically
different from it."
57. Disciple-" The objections that the Self as
the body only is non-existent, non-eternal and so on, hold good if the
Self which is not conjoined with the body were superimposed on it. The
body would then be without a Self and so the Nihilist position comes
58 Teacher.-" No. (You are not right) - For, we
admit that, like the ether, the Self is by nature free from contact with
anything. Just as things are not bereft of the ether though it is not in
contact with them, so the body etc., are not devoid of the Self though
It is not in contact with them. Therefore the objection of the Nihilist
position coming in does not arise.
59. "It is not a fact' that the absolute
non-existence of the body contradicts sense-perception etc, inasmuch as
the existence of the body in the Self is not known by these evidences.
The body is not known to exist in the Self by perception etc., like a
plum in a hole, ghee in milk, oil in sesame or a picture painted on a
wall. There is, therefore, no contradiction to sense-perception
60. Disciple.-" How can then there be the
superimposition of the body etc., on the Self which is not known by
sense-perception etc., and that of the Self on the body?"
61. Teacher.-" It is not a (valid) objection. For
the Self is naturally well-known. As we see the form of a frying pan and
blueness superimposed on the sky there cannot be a rule that it is
things known occasionally only on which superimposition is possible and
not on things alwqys known."'
62. Disciple.-"Sir, is the mutual superimposition
of the body and the Self made by the combination of the body etc., or by
63. The teacher said, "Does it matter if it be
made the one or the other?"
64. Questioned thus, the disciple said, "If I
were only a combination of the body etc., I would be non-conscious and
would exist for the sake of another only. Therefore the mutual
superimposition of the body and the Self could not he made by me. If, on
the other hand, I were the Self I would be characteristically different
from the combination of the body etc., would be conscious and,
therefore, would exist entirely for myself. So it is I, a conscious
being, who makes that superimposition, the root of all evils, on the
65. Thus told, the teacher said, "Do not make any
superimposition if you know it to be the root of all evils."
66. Disciple.-" Sir, I cannot but make it, I am
not independent. I am made to act by someone else."
67. Teacher.-" Then you do not exist for yourself
as you are non-conscious. That by which you are made to act like one
dependent on another is conscious and exists for itself. You are only a
combination (of the body and other things)."
68. Disciple.-" If I be non-conscious then how do
I cognise pain and pleasure and also of what you say?"
69. The teacher replied: "Are you different from
the cognition of pain and pleasure and from what I say, or not?"
70. The disciple said, "It is not a fact that I
am not different from them. For, I know them to be objects of my
knowledge like jars and other things. If I were not different I could
not cognise them. But I know them; so I am different. If I were not
different the modifications of the mind called pain and pleasure and the
words spoken by you would exist for themselves. But that is not
reasonable. For pleasure and pain produced by sandal paste and a thorn
respectively, and also the use of a jar are not for their own sake.
Therefore the purposes served by sandal paste etc., are for the sake of
me who am their cogniser. I am different from them as I know all things
pervaded by the intellect."
71. The teacher said to him. "As you are
possessed of consciousness, you exist for yourself and are not made to
act by anyone else. For an independent conscious being is not made to
act by another as it is not reasonable that one possessed of
consciousness exists for the sake of another possessing consciousness,
both being of the same nature like the lights of two lamps. Nor does one
possessed of consciousness exist for the sake of another having no
consciousness; for it is not possible that a thing exists for itself for
the very fact that it is non-conscious. Nor again is it seen that two
non-conscious things exist for each other's purpose."
72. Disciple: " But it may be said that the
servant. and the master are seen to serve each other's purpose though
they are equally possessed of consciousness."
73. Teacher.-"It is not so. For I speak of
consciousness belonging to you like heat and light to fire. It is for
this reason that I cited the example of the lights of the two lamps.
Therefore, as changeless and eternal consciousness, like the heat and
light of fire, you know everything presented to your intellect. Thus
when you always know the Self to be without any attribute why did you
say, "I experience pain and pleasure again and again during the
states of waking and dream after intervals of rest in deep sleep?"
And why did you say, "It is my own nature or causal?" Has this
delusion vanished or not?"
74. To this the disciple replied, "The delusion,
Sir, is gone by your grace; but I have doubts about the changeless
nature which, you say pertains to me." Teacher, "What
75. Disciple, "Sound etc., do not exist
independently as they are non-conscious. But they come into existence
when there arise in the mind modifications resembling sound and so on.
It is impossible that these modifications should have an independent
existence as they are exclusive of one another as regards their special
characteristics ( of resembling sound etc.,) and appear to be blue,
yellow etc. (So sound etc. are not the same as mental modifications. (
It is therefore inferred that these modifications are caused by external
objects. So, it is proved that modifications of the mind also are
combinations and therefore non-conscious. So, not existing for their own
sake, they, like sound etc., exist only when known by one different from
them. Though the Self is not a combination, it consists of consciousness
and though it exists for Its own sake, It is the knower of the mental
modifications appearing to be blue, yellow and so on. It must therefore
be of a changeful nature. Hence is the doubt about the changeless nature
of the Self."
The teacher said to him, "Your doubt is not
justifiable, for you, the Self, are proved to be free from change, and
therefore perpetually the same on the ground that all the modifications
of the mind without a single exception are (simultaneously) known by
you. You regard this knowledge of all the modifications which is the
reason for the above inference as that for your doubt. If you were
changeful like the mind or the senses (which pervade their objects one
after another), you would not simultaneously know all the mental
modifications, the objects of your knowledge. Nor are you aware of a
portion only of the objects of your knowledge (at a time). You are,
therefore, absolutely changeless."
76.The disciple said, "Knowledge is the meaning
of a root and therefore surely consists of change, and that knower ( as
you say) is of a changeless character. This is a contradiction."
77. Teacher: "It is not so. For the word
knowledge is used only in a secondary sense to mean a change called an
action, the meaning of a root. A modification of the intellect called an
action ends in a result in itself, which is the reflection of Knowledge,
the Self. It is for this reason that this modification is called
knowledge in a secondary sense, just as cutting (a thing) in two parts
is secondarily called the meaning of the root (to cut).
78. Told thus, the disciple said, "Sir, the
example cited by you cannot prove that I am changeless." Teacher,
Disciple, "For, just as the action of cutting,
producing and including the ultimate change in to be cut, is secondarily
called the meaning of the root (to cut), so the word knowledge is used
secondarily for the mental modification which is the meaning of the root
(to know) and which ends in the result that is a change in knowledge,
the Self. The example cited by you cannot, therefore, establish the
changeless nature of the Self."
79. The teacher said, "What you say would be true
if there were a distinction existing between the Knower and Knowledge.
For, the Knower is eternal Knowledge only. The Knower and Knowledge are
not different as they are in the argumentative philosophy."
80. Disciple.-" How is it then that an action
ends in a result which is Knowledge?"
81. The teacher said, "Listen. It was said (that
the mental modification, called an action) ended in a result which was
the reflection of Knowledge. Did you not hear it? I did not say that a
change was produced in the Self as a result (of the modification of the
82. The disciple said, "How then am 1, who am
changeless, the knower, as you say, of all the mental modifications of
endless objects of my knowledge?"
83. The teacher said to him, "I told you the
right thing. The very fact (that you know simultaneously all the mental
modifications) was adduced by me as the reason why you are eternally
84. Disciple.-" If this is so, Sir, what is my
fault when the mental changes resembling sound etc. and resulting in
reflection of knowledge of My own nature, are produced in Me who am of
the nature of changeless and eternal Consciousness?"
85. Teacher.-" It is true that you are not to be
blamed. Ignorance, as I told you before, is the only fault."
86. Disciple.-" Sir, why are there the states of
dream and waking (in me) if I am absolutely changeless like one in deep
87. The teacher said to him, "But you always
experience them (whenever they arise)."
88. Disciple.-" Yes, I experience them at
intervals but not continuously."
89. The teacher said, "They are then adventitious
only and are not your own nature. They would surely be continuous' if
they were self-existent like Pure consciousness which is your own
nature. Moreover, they are not your own nature inasmuch as they are
non-persistent like clothes and other things. For what is one's own
nature is never seen to cease to persist while one is persisting. But
waking and dream cease to persist while Pure Consciousness continues to
do so. Pure Consciousness, the Self, persists in deep sleep; and
whatever is non-persistent (at that time) is either destroyed or negated
inasmuch as adventitious things, never the properties of one's own
nature, are found to possess these characteristics; for example, the
destruction of money, clothes, etc. and the negation of things acquired
in dream or delusion, are seen.
90. Disciple.-" But, Sir, when this is so, Pure
Consciousness Itself has to be admitted to be adventitious like waking
and dream. For it is not known in deep sleep. Or, (it may be that I have
adventitious consciousness or) am non-conscious by nature."
91. Teacher.----" No. (What you say is not right
). Think over it. It is not reasonable (to say so). You may look upon
Pure Consciousness as adventitious (if you are wise enough); but we
cannot prove It to be so by reasoning even in a hundred years, nor (can
It be proved to be so) even by a dull man. As the consciousness (that
has for its adjuncts mental modifications) is a combination, no one can
disprove its existence for the sake of another, its manyness, and its
destructibility by any reasoning whatever; for we have already said that
whatsoever does not exist for itself is not self-existent. As Pure
Consciousness, the Self is self-existent; no one can disprove Its
independence of other things inasmuch as It never ceases to exist."
92. Disciple.-" But I have shown an exception,
namely I have no consciousness in deep sleep."
93. Teacher.-" No, you contradict yourself"
Disciple.-" How is it a contradiction?" Teacher-" You
contradict yourself by saying that you are not conscious when, as a
matter of fact, you are so."
Disciple.-" But, Sir, I was never conscious of
consciousness or of anything else in deep sleep."
Teacher.-" You are then conscious in deep sleep.
For you deny the existence of the objects of knowledge (in that state),
but not that of Knowledge. I have told you that what is your
consciousness is nothing but absolute Knowledge. The Consciousness owing
to whose presence you deny (the existence of things in deep sleep) by
saying, 'I was conscious of nothing' is the Knowledge, the Consciousness
which is your Self. As it never ceases to exist, Its eternal
immutability is self-evident and does not depend on any evidence; for an
object of Knowledge different from the self-evident Knower depends on an
evidence in order to be known. Other than the object, the eternal
Knowledge that is indispensable in proving non-conscious things
different from Itself, is immutable; for It is always of a self-evident
nature. Just as iron, water, etc., which are not of the nature of light
and heat, depend for them on the sun, fire, and other things other than
themselves, but the sun and fire, themselves always of the nature of
light and heat, do not depend for them on anything else; so being of the
nature of pure Knowledge, It does not depend on any evidence to prove
that It exists or that it is the Knower."
94. Disciple.-" But it is transitory knowledge
only that is the result of a proof and not eternal Knowledge."
95. Teacher.-" No, These cannot reasonably be a
distinction of perpetuity or otherwise in knowledge. For it is not known
that transitory knowledge is the result of a proof and not, eternal
Knowledge, as Know1edge itself is such a result,"
96. Disciple.-"But eternal Knowledge does not
depend on a knower while transitory knowledge does so as it is produced
by an intervening effort. This is the difference,"
97. Teacher.-" The Knower which is the Self is
then self-evident as It does not depend on any evidence (in order to be
98. Disciple.-" (If the knowledge of the Self be
independent of an evidence on the ground that It is eternal) why should
the absence of the result of an evidence with regard to the Se!f be not
so on the same ground?"
Teacher.-" No, it has been refuted on the ground
that it is pure Knowledge that is it the Self."
99. "To whom will the desire (to know a thing)
belong if the Knower depends on an evidence in order to be known? It is
admitted that one who is desirous of knowing a thing is the Knower. His
desire of knowing a thing has for its object the thing to be known and
not the Knower. For in the latter case, there arises a regressus ad
infinitum with regard to the Knower and also with regard to the desire
to know the Knower inasmuch as the knower of the knower and so on (are
to be known); and such is the case with regard to the desires of knowing
the knower. Moreover, there being nothing intervening, the Knower, the
Self, cannot fall into the category of the known. For a thing to be
known becomes known when it is distanced from the knower by the birth of
an intervening desire, memory, effort or an evidence on the part of the
knower. There cannot be the knowledge of an object in any other way.
Again it cannot be imagined that the knower himself is distanced from
himself by anyone of his own desires etc. For memory has for its object
the thing to be remembered and not one who remembers it; so has desire
for its object the thing to be desired and not one who desires it. There
arises, as before, an inevitable regressus ad infinitum if memory and
desire have their own agents for their objects.
100. Disciple.-. "But the Knower remains unknown
if there is no knowledge which has for its object the Knower."
101. Teacher.- "No. The knowledge of the knower
has for its object the thing to be known. If it has for its object the
knower, there arises a regressus ad infinitum as before. It has already
been shown that like the heat and light of the sun, fire, and other
things, the Knowledge which is changeless, eternal and self-effulgent
has an existence in the Self entirely independent of everything else. I
have already said that if the self-effulgent Knowledge which is there in
the Self were transitory it would become unreasonable that the Self
existed for Itself, and, being a combination, It would get impurities
and have an existence for the sake of another like the combination of
the body and the senses. How? (Reply). If the self-effulgent Knowledge
in the Self were transitory, It would have a distance by the
intervention of memory etc. It would then be nonexistent in the Self
before being produced and after being destroyed, and the Self, then a
combination, would have an existence for the sake of another like that
of the eye etc. produced by the combination of certain things. The Self
would have no independent existence if this Knowledge were produced
before it was in It. For it is only on account of the absence or
presence of the state of being combined that the Self is known to exist
for Itself and the non-Self for another. It is, therefore, established
that the Self is of the nature of eternal and self-effulgent Knowledge
not dependent on anything else."
102. Disciple.-" How can the Knower be a Knower
if he is not the seat of the knowledge produced by evidences?"
103. The teacher said, "The knowledge produced by
an evidence does not differ in its essential nature whether one calls it
eternal or transitory. Knowledge (though) produced by an evidence is
nothing but knowledge. The knowledge preceded by memory, desire, etc.
and supposed to be transitory, and those which are eternal and immutable
do not differ in their essential nature. Just as the result of the
transitory actions of standing etc., the meanings of roots, preceded by
motion etc., and that of the permanent ones not so preceded do not
differ in their essential nature, and there are, therefore, the
identical predicates in the statements, ' People stand,' 'Mountains
stand,' etc., so the Knower, though of the nature of eternal Knowledge,
is called a Knower without contradiction inasmuch as eternal Knowledge
is the same as one produced by an evidence (as regards Its essential
104. Here the disciple raises an objection: "It
is not reasonable that the Self which is changeless and is of the nature
of eternal Knowledge and not in contact with the body and the senses
should be the agent of an action like a carpenter in contact with an
adze and other instruments. A regressus ad infinitum arises if the Self,
unconnected with the body, the senses, etc. were to use them as Its
instruments. As carpenters and others are always connected with bodies
and senses there is no regressus ad infinitum when they use adzes and
105. Teacher.-(Reply) "Agency is not possible
without the use of instruments. Instruments, therefore, have to be
assumed. The assumption of instruments is, of course, an action. In
order to be the agent of this action, other instruments have to be
assumed. In assuming these instruments still others have to be assumed.
A regressus ad infinitum is, therefore, inevitable if the self which is
not joined with anything, were to be the agent.'
"Nor can it be said that it is an action that
makes the Self act. For an action, not performed, has no existence. It
is also not possible that something (previously existing) makes the Self
act as nothing (except the Self) can have an independent existence and
be a non-object. For things. other than the Self must be non-conscious
and, therefore, are not seen to be self-existent. All things including
sound etc. come to exist when they are proved by mental functions
resulting in the reflection of the Self.
"One, (apparently) different from the Self, and
possessed of consciousness, must be no other than the Self that is free
from combination with other things and existing for Itself only.
"Nor can we admit that the body, the senses and
their objects exist for themselves inasmuch as they are seen to depend
for their existence on mental modifications resulting in the reflection
of the Self."
106. Disciple.-" But no one depends on any other
evidence such as sense-perception etc. in knowing the body."
107. Teacher.-" Yet it is so in the waking state.
But at death and in deep sleep the body also depends on evidences such
as sense-perception etc. in order to be known. Similar is the case with
the senses. It is the external sound and other objects that are
transformed into the body and the senses; the latter, therefore, also
depend on evidences like sense-perception etc. in order to be known. I
have said that knowledge, the result produced by evidences, is the same
as the self-evident, self-effulgent, and the changeless Self. That is
what I mean by knowledge."
108. The objector (the disciple) says, " It is
contradictory to state that Knowledge is the result of evidences and (at
the same time) it is the self-effulgent Self which is changeless and
eternal." The reply given to him is this: " It is not a
"How then is knowledge a result?"
"(It is a result in a secondary sense:) though changeless and
eternal, It is noticed in the presence of mental modifications called
sense-perception etc. as they are instrumental in making It manifest. It
appears to be transitory as the mental modifications called
sense-perception etc. are transitory. It is for this reason that It is
called the result of proofs in a secondary sense."
109. Disciple.-" Sir, if this is so, the
Consciousness et the Self which is independent of evidences regarding
Itself, eternal, and changeless Knowledge, is surely self-evident and,
all things different from It and therefore are non-conscious, have an
existence for only the sake of the Self as they combine to act for one
another (in order that the events of the universe may continue
uninterruptedly). It is only as the Knowledge of the mental
modifications giving rise to pleasure, pain and delusion that the
non-self serves the purpose of another. And it is as the same Know]edge
and nothing else that it has an existence? So it does not really exist
at all. Just as a rope-snake, the water in a mirage and such other
things are found to be non-existent except only as the Knowledge by
which they are known; so the duality --experienced during waking and
dream has reasonably no existence except as the Knowledge by which it is
known. So, having a continuous existence, the Sell; which is pure
Consciousness, is eternal, and immutable and, never ceasing to exist in
any mental modification, It is one without -a second. The modifications
themselves cease to exist, the Self continuing to do so. Just as in
dream the mental modifications appearing to be blue, yellow, etc. are
said to be really non-existent as they cease to exist while the
Knowledge by which they are known has an uninterrupted continuous
existence; so, in the waking state also they are really non-existent as
they cease to exist while the very same Knowledge continues to do so. As
that Knowledge has no other knower it cannot be accepted or rejected by
Itself. For, there is nothing else (except Myself)."
110. Teacher.-" It is exactly so. It is Ignorance
due to which transmigratory existence consisting of waking and dream is
experienced. It is Knowledge that brings this ignorance to an end. You
have thus attained Fearlessness. You will never again feel pain in
waking or in dream. You are liberated from the misery of this
111. Disciple.-"Yes, Sir."
REITERATION AND REFLECTION
112. This method of repetition is described for
those who aspire after supreme tranquillity of the mind by destroying
accumulated sins and virtues and refraining from accumulating new ones.
Ignorance causes defects. Defects produce efforts of the body, mind and
speech. And through these efforts are accumulated actions having
desirable, undesirable, and mixed results. (This method is described
here) so that there may be a cessation of all these.
113. As they are perceived by the ear and the other
senses the objects called sound, touch, sight, taste and smell have no
knowledge of themselves or of other things. Transformed (into the body
and other things) they, like brick-bats, are (known to lack in the said
knowledge). Moreover, they are known through the ear etc. Being the
knower, that by which they are known is of a quite different nature.
For, connected with one another those sound and other objects aye
possessed of various properties such as birth, growth, change of
condition, decline, death, contact, separation, appearance,
disappearance, cause, effect and sex. All of them produce various
effects like pleasure, pain and so on. The knower of sound and the like
is of a nature different from theirs as It is the knower.
114, 115. Distressed by sound and other things experienced, the knower
of Brahman will thus practise repetition:
"I who am of the nature of Consciousness, not
attached. to anything, changeless, immovable, imperishable, free from
fear, extremely subtle and not an object, cannot, for the very fact of
my being not attached, be made an object and touched by sound in general
or by its special forms such as the notes of the gamut, praise, etc.
which are pleasant and. desirable, and also false, terrible, insulting
and abusive words which are undesirable. So there is no loss or gain due
to sound. Therefore what can sound, pleasant or unpleasant, consisting
of praise or blame do to me?
Pleasant or unpleasant sound regarded as belonging to
the Self glorifies or injures the ignorant man of account of
indiscrimination. But it cannot do even the slightest good or evil to me
who am a man of knowledge. (These ideas should thus be repeated.)
Similarly, no change consisting of gain or loss can be produced in me by
touch in general or by its special forms such as fever, colic, pain etc,
coldness, hotness, softness or roughness which are unpleasant. Again,
pleasant touches connected with the body or brought into existence by
external and adventitious causes can likewise produce no change in me
inasmuch as I am beyond touch like the ether which when struck with
one's fist, does not meet with any change whatever.
Likewise, as I am entirely unconnected with sight no
good or harm is done to me by it either in its general form or in its
special forms pleasant or unpleasant, such as ugly sights.
Similarly, independent of taste I am not harmed or
benefited by it either in its general form or in its special forms such
as sweetness, sourness, saltiness, pungency, bitterness and astringency,
though accepted as pleasant or unpleasant by the ignorant. Thus I who do
not consist of smell cannot be harmed or benefited by it either in its
general form or in its special forms such as flowers, fragrant pastes
etc. considered to be pleasant or unpleasant. For the shruti says (Kath.
Up. 3.15) that I am one who am 'eternally devoid of sound, touch, sight,
taste and smell."
116. "Moreover, sound and the other external
objects transformed into the forms of the body, the ear and the other
senses through which they are perceived, are transformed into the forms
of the two internal organs ( the intellect and the mind), and also into
those of their objects. For they are connected and combined with one
another in all actions. When this is so, I who am a man of Knowledge
have no one belonging to me as a friend or a foe nor have I any one
indifferent belonging to me. Anybody, therefore, who wishes to connect
me with pleasure and pain, the results of his action, through a false
egoism, makes a vain effort. For I am not within the reach of pain or
pleasure as the smriti says, 'It is unmanifested and inscrutable'. (Bh.Gita
2.25) Similarly, I am not changeable by the action of any of the five
elements as I am not of an objective nature. Therefore the smriti says,
'It cannot be cut or burnt.' (Bh. Gita 2.24) The merit or demerit
arising out of good or evil done to this combination of the body and the
senses on the part of those devotional or adverse to me will be theirs,
but will not touch me who am devoid of old age, fear and death as the
smritis and the shrutis say, ' It is not pained by omission or
commission',(Br.Up. 4.4.22) 'It is not harmed or benefited by any
action,'(Br.Up. 4.4.23) 'Unborn, comprising the interior and the
exterior,' ( Mu.Up. 2.1.2 ) ' It is beyond the pain felt by people and
unattached.' (Kath. Up. 5.11) The supreme reason ( why I am unattached)
is that nothing really exists except the Self."
As duality does not exist, the portions of the
Upanishads regarding the oneness of the Self should be studied to a
Here ends the prose portion of A Thousand Teachings
written by the all-knowing Shankara.