Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad

Brihad-aranyaka
Upanishad
c. 700 B.C.

Sacred Philosophical Hindu Literature

Author Quotes

Whoever thus knows ?I am Brahma!? becomes this All; even the gods have not power to prevent his becoming thus, for he becomes their self.

When are liberated all the desires that lodge in one?s heart, then a mortal becomes immortal! Therein he reaches Brahma.

When the Father produced by intellect and austerity seven kinds of food, one of his [foods] was common to all, of two he let the gods partake, three he made for himself, one he bestowed upon the animals on this [food] everything depends, both what breathes and what does not. How is it that these do not perish when they are being eaten all the time he who knows this imperishableness?he eats food with his mouth (prat?ka), he goes to the gods, he lives on strength.

When this self comes to weakness and to confusedness of mind, as it were, then the breaths gather around him. He takes to himself those particles of energy and descends into the heart. When the person in the eye turns away, back [to the sun], then one becomes non-knowing of forms. ?He is becoming one,? they say; ?he does not see.? ?He is becoming one,? they say; ?he does not smell.? ?He is becoming one,? they say; ?he does not taste.? ?He is becoming one,? they say; ?he does not speak.? ?He is becoming one,? they say; ?he does not hear.? ?He is becoming one,? they say; ?he does not think.? ?He is becoming one,? they say; ?he does not touch.? ?He is becoming one,? they say; ?he does not know.?? He becomes one with intelligence.

Where one?s mind is attached?the inner self goes thereto with action, being attached to it alone. Obtaining the end of his action, whatever he does in this world, he comes again from that world to this world of action.

Which (katama) is the soul? ?The person here who among the senses is made of knowledge, who is the light in the heart. He, remaining the same, goes along both worlds, appearing to think, appearing to move about, for upon becoming asleep he transcends this world and the forms of death. Verily, this person, by being born and obtaining a body, is joined with evils. When he departs, on dying, he leaves evils behind. Verily, there are just two conditions of this person: the condition of being in this world and the condition of being in the other world. There is an intermediate third condition, namely, that of being in sleep. By standing in this intermediate condition one sees both those conditions, namely being in this world and being in the other world. Now whatever the approach is to the condition of being in the other world, by making that approach one sees the evils [of this world] and the joys [of yonder world].

Verily, that great unborn Soul, undecaying, undying, immortal, fearless, is Brahma.. . The Soul (?tman), which pervades all things . . . this is Brahma.

Verily, there are just two conditions of this person: the condition of being in this world and the condition of being in the other world. There is an intermediate third condition, namely, that of being in sleep.

Verily, this soul is Brahma, made of knowledge, of mind, of breath, of seeing, of hearing, of earth, of water, of wind, of space, of energy and of non-energy, of desire and of non-desire, of anger and of non-anger, of virtuousness and of non-virtuousness. It is made of everything. This is what is meant by the saying ?made of this, made of that.? According as one acts, according as one conducts himself, so does he become. The doer of good becomes good. The doer of evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous by virtuous action, bad by bad action. But people say: ?A person is made [not of acts, but] of desires only.? [In reply to this I say:] As is his desire, such is his resolve; as is his resolve, such the action he performs; what action (karma) he performs, that he procures for himself.

Verily, this world is a triad?name, form, and work. Of these, as regards names, that which is called Speech is their hymn of praise (uktha), for from it arise (ut-th?) all names. It is their S?man (chant), for it is the same (sama) as all names. It is their prayer (brahman), for it supports (ûbhar) all names. Now of forms.?That which is called the Eye is their hymn of praise (uktha), for from it arise (ut-th?) all forms. It is their S?man (chant), for it is the same (sama) as all forms. It is their prayer (brahman), for it supports (ûbhar) all forms. Now of works.?That which is called the Body (?tman) is their hymn of praise (uktha), for from it arise (ut-th?) all actions. It is their S?man (chant), for it is the same (sama) as all works. It is their prayer (brahman), for it supports (ûbhar) all works. Although it is that triad, this Soul (?tman) is one. Although it is one, it is that triad. That is the Immortal veiled by the real (satya). Life (pr??a, ?breath?) [a designation of the ?tman], verily, is the Immortal. Name and form are the real. By them this Life is veiled.

What is soundless, touchless, formless, imperishable, likewise tasteless, constant, odorless, without beginning, without end, higher than the great.

What shall we do with offspring, we whose is this Soul, this home?? They, verily, rising above the desire for sons and the desire for wealth and the desire for worlds, lived the life of a mendicant.

When a man thinks he is about to depart, he says to his son: ?Thou art holy knowledge. Thou art sacrifice. Thou art the world.? The son replies: ?I am holy knowledge. I am sacrifice. I am the world.? Verily, whatever has been learned [from the Vedas], the sum of all this is expressed by the word ?knowledge? (brahma). Verily, whatever sacrifices have been made, the sum of them all is expressed by the word ?sacrifice.? Whatever worlds there are, they are all comprehended under the word ?world.? So great, verily, is this all. ?Being thus the all, let him assist me from this world,? thus [the father considers]. Therefore they call ?world-procuring? a son who has been instructed.1 Therefore they instruct him. When one who has this knowledge departs from this world, he enters into his son with these vital breaths [i.e. faculties: Speech, Mind, and Breath]. Whatever wrong has been done by him, his son frees him from it all. Therefore he is called a son (putra).2 By his son a father stands firm in this world. Then into him [who has made over to his son his mortal breaths] enter those divine immortal breaths.

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

This Soul (?tman) is honey for all things, and all things are honey for this Soul. This shining, immortal Person who is in this Soul, and, with reference to oneself, this shining. [104] immortal Person who exists as Soul?he is just this Soul, this Immortal, this Brahma, this All. Verily, this Soul is the overlord of all things, the king of all things. As all the spokes are held together in the hub and felly of a wheel, just so in this Soul all things, all gods, all worlds, all breathing things, all selves are held together.

This that people say, ?By offering with milk for a year one escapes the second death??one should know that this is not so, since on the very day that he makes the offering he who knows escapes the second death.

This that people say, ?Worship this god! Worship that god!??one god after another?this is his creation indeed! And he himself is all the gods.

Verily, at that time the world was undifferentiated. It became differentiated just by name and form, as the saying is: ?He has such a name, such a form.? Even today this world is differentiated just by name and form, as the saying is: ?He has such a name, such a form.

Verily, Brahma is fearless. He who knows this becomes the fearless Brahma.

Verily, even if one performs a great and holy work, but without knowing this [i.e., that the whole world is Brahma or the Self, and that I am Brahma or the Self], that work of his merely perishes in the end. One should worship the Self alone as his [true] world. The work of him who worships the Self alone as his [true] world does not perish.

So whoever worships another divinity [than his Self], thinking ?He is one and I another,? he knows not. He is like a sacrificial animal for the gods. Verily, indeed, as many animals would be of service to a man, even so each single person is of service to the gods. If even one animal is taken away, it is not pleasant. What, then, if many? Therefore it is not pleasing to those [gods] that men should know this [i.e., that the gods are only a phase of Brahma and that an individual man may himself become Brahma by knowing himself to be such].

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.

Striking down in sleep what is bodily, sleepless he looks down upon the sleeping [senses]. Having taken to himself light, there returns to his place the golden person, the one spirit (ha?sa).

Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahma, one only. Being one, he was not developed. He created still further1 a superior form, the Kshatrahood, even those who are Kshatras (rulers)2 among the gods: Indra, Varu?a, Soma, Rudra, Parjanya, Yama, M?ityu, ???na. Therefore there is nothing higher than Kshatra. Therefore at the R?jas?ya ceremony the Brahman sits below the Kshatriya. Upon Kshatrahood alone does he confer this honor. This same thing, namely Brahmanhood (brahma), is the source of Kshatrahood. Therefore, even if the king attains supremacy, he rests finally upon Brahmanhood as his own source. So whoever injures him [i.e.. a Brahman] attacks his own source. He fares worse in proportion as he injures one who is better.

That self is dearer than a son, is dearer than wealth, is dearer than all else, since this self is nearer.

Author Picture
First Name
Brihad-aranyaka
Last Name
Upanishad
Birth Date
c. 700 B.C.
Bio

Sacred Philosophical Hindu Literature