The Soul of the Released

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The Soul of the Released

SOURCE: The Thirteen Principal Upanishads. Translated from the Sanskrit with an outline of the philosophy of the Upanishads and an annotated bibliography by Robert Ernest Hume. With a list of recurrent and parallel passages byGeorge C. O. Haas. 2d ed., rev. London: Oxford University Press, 1931, pp. 141–144.

Now the man who does not desire.—He who is without desire, who is freed from desire, whose desire is satisfied, whose desire is the Soul—his breaths do not depart. Being very Brahma, he goes to Brahma.

7. On this point there is this verse:—

When are liberated all
The desires that lodge in one's heart,
Then a mortal becomes immortal!
Therein he reaches Brahma!

As the slough of a snake lies on an ant-hill, dead, cast off, even so lies this body. But this incorporeal, immortal Life (prāṇa) is Brahma indeed, is light indeed.'

'I will give you, noble sir, a thousand [cows],' said Janaka, [king] of Videha.

8. [Yājñavalkya continued:] 'On this point there are these verses:—

The ancient narrow path that stretches far away
Has been touched by me, had been found by me.
By it the wise, the knowers of Brahma, go up
Hence to the heavenly world, released.
9. On it, they say, is white and blue
And yellow and green and red.
That was the path by Brahma found;
By it goes the knower of Brahma, the doer of right (punya-kri),
and every shining one.
10. Into blind darkness enter they
That worship ignorance;
Into darkness greater than that, as it were, they
That delight in knowledge.
11. Joyless are those worlds called,
Covered with blind darkness.
To them after death go those
People that have not knowledge, that are not awakened.
12. If a person knew the Soul (Ātman),
With the thought "I am he!"
With what desire, for love of what
Would he cling unto the body?
13. He who has found and has awakened to the Soul
That has entered this conglomerate abode—
He is the maker of everything, for he is the creator of all;
The world is his: indeed, he is the world itself.
14. Verily, while we are here we may know this.
If you have known it not, great is the destruction.
Those who know this become immortal,
But others go only to sorrow.
15. If one perceives Him
As the Soul, as God (deva), clearly,
As the Lord of what has been and of what is to be—
One does not shrink away from Him.
16. That before which the year
Revolves with its days—
That the gods revere as the light of lights,
As life immortal.
17. On whom the five peoples
And space are established—
Him alone I, the knowing, I, the immortal,
Believe to be the Soul, the immortal Brahma.
18. They who know the breathing of the breath,
The seeing of the eye, the hearing of the ear,
The food of food), the thinking of the mind—
They have recognized the ancient, primeval Brahma.
19. By the mind alone is It to be perceived.
There is on earth no diversity.
He gets death after death,
Who perceives here seeming diversity.
20. As a unity only is It to be looked upon—
This indemonstrable, enduring Being,
Spotless, beyond space,
The unborn Soul, great, enduring.
21. By knowing Him only, a wise
Brahman should get for himself intelligence;
He should not meditate upon many words,
For that is a weariness of speech.

22. Verily, he is the great, unborn Soul, who is this [person] consisting of knowledge among the senses. In the space within the heart lies the ruler of all, the lord of all, the king of all. He does not become greater by good action nor inferior by bad action. He is the lord of all, the overlord of beings, the protector of beings. He is the separating dam for keeping these worlds apart.

Such a one the Brahmans desire to know by repetition of the Vedas, by sacrifices, by offerings, by penance, by fasting. On knowing him, in truth, one becomes an ascetic (muni). Desiring him only as their home, mendicants wander forth.

Verily, because they know this, the ancients desired not offspring, saying: "What shall we do with offspring, we whose is this Soul, this world?" They, verily, rising above the desire for sons and the desire for wealth and the desire for worlds, lived the life of a mendicant. For the desire for sons is the desire for wealth, and the desire for wealth is the desire for worlds; for both these are desires.

That Soul (Ātman) is not this, it is not that (neti, neti). It is unseizable, for it cannot be seized. It is indestructible, for it cannot be destroyed. It is unattached, for it does not attach itself. It is unbound. It does not tremble. It is not injured.

Him [who knows this] these two do not overcome—neither the thought "Hence I did wrong," nor the thought "Hence I did right." Verily, he overcomes them both. What he has done and what he has not done do not affect him.

23. This very [doctrine] has been declared in the verse:—

This eternal greatness of a Brahman
Is not increased by deeds (karman), nor diminished.
One should be familiar with it. By knowing it,
One is not stained by evil action.

Therefore, having this knowledge, having become calm, subdued, quiet, patiently enduring, and collected, one sees the Soul just in the soul. One sees everything as the Soul. Evil does not overcome him; he overcomes all evil. Evil does not burn him: he burns all evil. Free from evil, free from impurity, free from doubt, he becomes a Brahman.

This is the Brahma-world, O king,' said Yājñavalkya.

[Janaka said:] 'I will give you, noble sir, the Videhas and myself also to be your slave.'

24. [Yājñavalkya continued:] 'This is that great, unborn Soul, who eats the food [which people eat], the giver of good. He finds good who knows this.

25. Verily, that great, unborn Soul, undecaying, undying, immortal, fearless, is Brahma. Verily, Brahma is fearless. He who knows this becomes the fearless Brahma.'

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The Soul of the Released

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