The disciple asked: Om. By whose will
directed does the mind proceed to its object? At whose command does the
prana, the foremost, do its duty? At whose will do men utter speech? Who is
the god that directs the eyes and ears?
The teacher replied: It is the Ear of the
ear, the Mind of the mind, the Speech of speech, the Life of life, and the
Eye of the eye. Having detached the Self from the sense-organs and renounced
the world, the Wise attain to Immortality.
The eye does not go thither, nor speech,
nor the mind. We do not know It; we do not understand how anyone can teach
It. It is different from the known; It is above the unknown. Thus we have
heard from the preceptors of old who taught It to us.
That which cannot be expressed by speech,
but by which speech is expressed-That alone know as Brahman, and not that
which people here worship.
That which cannot be apprehended by the
mind, but by which, they say, the mind is apprehended-That alone know as
Brahman, and not that which people here worship.
That which cannot be perceived by the eye,
but by which the eye is perceived-That alone know as Brahman, and not that
which people here worship.
That which cannot he heard by the ear, but
by which the hearing is perceived-That alone know as Brahman, and not that
which people here worship.
That which cannot be smelt by the breath,
but by which the breath smells an object-That alone know as Brahman, and not
that which people here worship.
The teacher said: If you think: "I know
Brahman well," then surely you know but little of Its form; you know only
Its form as conditioned by man or by the gods. Therefore Brahman, even now,
is worthy of your inquiry.
The disciple said: I think I know
Brahman. The disciple said: I do not think I
know It well, nor do I think I do not know It. He among us who knows the
meaning of "Neither do I not know, nor do I know"-knows Brahman.
He by whom Brahman is not known, knows It;
he by whom It is known, knows It not. It is not known by those who know It;
It is known by those who do not know It.
Brahman is known when It is realised in
every state of mind; for by such Knowledge one attains Immortality. By Atman
one obtains strength; by Knowledge, Immortality
If a man knows Atman here, he then attains
the true goal of life. If he does not know It here, a great destruction
awaits him. Having realised the Self in every being, the wise relinquish the
world and become immortal.
Brahman, according to the story, obtained
a victory for the gods; and by that victory of Brahman the gods became
elated. They said to themselves: "Verily, this victory is ours; verily, this
glory is ours only."
Brahman, to be sure, understood it all and
appeared before them. But they did not know who that adorable Spirit
They said to Agni (Fire): "O Agni! Find
out who this great Spirit is." "Yes," he said, and hastened to It. Brahman
asked him: "Who are you?" He replied: "I am known as Agni; I am also called
Jataveda." Brahman said: "What power is in you, who are so well known?" Fire
replied: "I can burn all-whatever there is on earth." Brahman put a straw
before him and said: "Burn this." He rushed toward it with all his ardour
but could not burn it. Then he returned from the Spirit and said to the
gods: "I could not find out who this Spirit is,"
Then they said to Vayu (Air): "O Vayu!
Find out who this great Spirit is." "Yes," he said, and hastened to It.
Brahman asked him: "Who are you?" He replied "I am known as Vayu; I am also
called Matarisva." Brahman said: "What power is in you, who are so well
known?" Vayu replied: "I can carry off all-whatever there is on earth."
Brahman put a straw before him and said: "Carry this." He rushed toward it
with all his ardour but could not move it. Then he returned from the Spirit
and said to the gods: "I could not find out who this Spirit is,"
Then the gods said to Indra: "O Maghavan!
Find out who this great Spirit is." "Yes," he said and hastened to It. But
the Spirit disappeared from him. Then Indra beheld in that very region of
the sky a Woman highly adorned. She was Uma, the daughter of the Himalayas.
He approached Her and said: "Who is this great Spirit?"
She replied: "It is, indeed, Brahman.
Through the victory of Brahman alone have you attained glory." After that
Indra understood that It was Brahman.
Since they approached very near Brahman
and were the first to know that It was Brahman, these devas, namely, Agni,
Vayu, and Indra, excelled the other gods.
Since Indra approached Brahman nearest,
and since he was the first to know that It was Brahman, Indra excelled the
This is the instruction about Brahman with
regard to the gods: It is like a flash of lightning; It is like a wink of
Now the instruction about Brahman with
regard to the individual self: The mind, as it were, goes to Brahman. The
seeker, by means of the mind, communes with It intimately again and again.
This should be the volition of his mind.
That Brahman is called Tadvana, the
Adorable of all; It should be worshipped by the name of Tadvana. All
creatures desire him who worships Brahman thus.
The disciple said; 'Teach me, sir, the
Upanishad." The preceptor replied: "I have
already told you the Upanishad. I have certainly told you the Upanishad
Austerities, self-restraint, and
sacrificial rites are Its feet, and the Vedas are all Its limbs. Truth is
He who thus knows this Upanishad shakes
off all sins and becomes firmly established in the infinite and the highest
Heaven, yea, the highest Heaven.
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