Great Throughts Treasury

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Shvetashvatara Upanishad

Sacred Philosophical Hindu Literature

"By knowing God one is released from all fetters."

"Smaller than the hundredth part of a tip of hair, the Soul of the living being is capable of infinity. Male is he not nor female nor neuter, but is joined with whatever body he takes as his own."

"All is change in the world of the senses, But changeless is the supreme Lord of Love. Meditate on him, be absorbed by him, Wake up from this dream of separateness."

"All faces are His faces; all heads, His heads; all necks, His necks. He dwells in the hearts of all beings. He is the all-pervading Bhagavan. Therefore He is the omnipresent and benign Lord."

"And when the yogi beholds the real nature of Brahman, through the Knowledge of the Self, radiant as a lamp, then, having known the unborn and immutable Lord, who is untouched by ignorance and its effects, he is freed from all fetters."

"As gold covered by earth shines bright after it has been purified, so also the yogi, realising the truth of Atman, becomes one with the non-dual Atman, attains the goal and is free from grief"

"By making the body the lower piece of wood and Om the upper piece and through the practice of the friction of meditation, one perceives the luminous Self, hidden like the fire in the wood."

"As the sun shines, illumining all the quarters-above, below and across-so also God, self-resplendent, adorable and non-dual, controls all objects, which themselves possess the nature of a cause."

"At the time of the creation the Lord spreads out individual nets in various ways and then at the time of the cosmic dissolution withdraws them into the great prakriti. Again the all-pervading Deity creates the aggregates of body and senses, both individual and collective and their controllers also and thus exercises His overlordship."

"By means of desires, contact, attachment and delusion, the embodied soul assumes, successively, diverse forms in various places, according to its deeds, just as the body grows when food and drink are poured into it."

"Endowed with gunas, the jiva performs action, seeking its fruit; and again, it reaps the fruit of what it has done. Assuming all forms and led by the three gunas, the jiva, ruler of the pranas, roams about following the three paths, according to its deeds."

"Grasping without hands, hasting without feet, It sees without eyes, It hears without ears. It knows what is to be known, but no one knows It. They call It the First, the Great, the Full."

"By truly realising Him who, though non-dual, dwells in prakriti, both in its primary and in its secondary aspect and in Whom this whole world comes together and dissolves-by truly realising Him Who is the Lord, the bestower of blessings, the Adorable God, one attains the supreme peace."

"By realising Him who is subtler than the subtlest who dwells in the midst of the chaos, who is the Creator of all things and is endowed with many forms, who is the non-dual Pervader of the universe and all good-by realising Him one attains the supreme peace."

"Having received the blessings of the divine Sun and with minds joined to the Supreme Self, we exert ourselves, to the best of our power, toward meditation, by which we shall attain Heaven (Brahman)."

"He by whom the whole universe is constantly pervaded is the Knower, the Author of time. He is sinless and omniscient, It is at His command that the work which is called earth, water, fire, air and akasa appears as the universe. All this should be reflected upon by the wise."

"He from whom this universe proceeds is higher and other than all forms of the Tree of the World and of time. When one knows Him who is the indweller, the bringer of good, the destroyer of evil, the Lord of powers, the immortal support of all, one attains final Liberation."

"He has no master in the world, no ruler, nor is there even a sign of Him by which He can be inferred. He is the cause, the Lord of the lord of the organs; and He is without progenitor or controller."

"He indeed, the Lord, who pervades all regions, was the first to be born and it is He who dwells in the womb of the universe. It is He, again, who is born as a child and He will be born in the future, He stands behind all persons and His face is everywhere."

"He who constantly rules the world is verily the cause of bondage and Liberation. Established in His own glory, He is the Immortal, the Embodiment of Consciousness, the omnipresent Protector of the universe. There is no one else able to rule it."

"He who is the cause of all and who enables all things to function according to their nature; who brings to maturity all that can be ripened; who, being non-dual, rules over the whole universe and engages the gunas in their respective functions-He is concealed in the Upanishads, the secret part of the Vedas. Brahma knew Him who can be known only from the evidence of the Vedas. The gods and seers of olden times who knew Him became Brahman and attained Immortality."

"He is the Eternal among the eternal, the Conscious among the conscious and though non-dual, fulfils the desires of many. He who has known Him, the luminous Lord, the Great Cause, to be realised by Knowledge (Samkhya) and yoga, is freed from all fetters."

"He is without a body or organs; none like unto Him is seen, or better than He. The Vedas speak of His exalted power, which is innate and capable of producing diverse effects and also of His omniscience and might."

"He who is the sovereign of the gods, in whom the worlds find their support, who rules over all two-footed and four-footed beings-let us serve that God, radiant and blissful, with an oblation."

"He who attains purity of heart by performing actions as an offering to the Lord and merges prakriti and all its effects in Brahman, realises his true Self and thereby transcends phenomena. In the absence of maya, both collective and individual, all his past actions are destroyed. After the destruction of the prarabdha karma he attains final Liberation."

"He who knows Brahman, who is all Bliss, extremely subtle, like the film that rises to the surface of clarified butter and is hidden in all beings-he who knows the radiant Deity, the sole Pervader of the universe, is released from all his fetters."

"He, indeed, is the great Purusha, the Lord of creation, preservation and destruction, who inspires the mind to attain the state of stainlessness. He is the Ruler and the Light that is imperishable."

"He who is the support of both the unmanifested prakriti and the jiva, who is the Lord of the three gunas and who is the cause of bondage, existence and Liberation from samsara, is verily the Creator of the universe, the Knower, the inmost Self of all things and their Source-the omniscient Lord, the Author of time, the Possessor of virtues, the Knower of everything."

"He, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the Support of the universe, Rudra the omniscient, who at the beginning gave birth to Hiranyagarbha-may He endow us with clear intellect!"

"He who knows the Lord, who is without beginning or end, who stands in the midst of the chaos of the world, who is the Creator of all things and is endowed with many forms-he who knows the radiant Deity, the sole Pervader of the universe, is released from all his fetters."

"He, the omniscient Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha-may He endow us with clear intellect!"

"He, the One and Undifferentiated, who by the manifold application of His powers produces, in the beginning, different objects for a hidden purpose and, in the end, withdraws the universe into Himself, is indeed the self-luminous-May He endow us with clear intellect!"

"Himself devoid of senses, He shines through the functions of the senses. He is the capable ruler of all; He is the refuge of all. He is great."

"His eyes are everywhere, His faces everywhere, His arms everywhere, everywhere His feet. He it is who endows men with arms, birds with feet and wings and men likewise with feet. Having produced heaven and earth, He remains as their non-dual manifester."

"He, the non-dual Brahman, who rules over every position; who controls all forms and all sources; who, in the beginning, filled with knowledge the omniscient Hiranyagarbha, His own creation, whom He beheld when He (Hiranyagarbha) was produced-He is other than both knowledge and ignorance."

"Health, a light body, freedom from cravings, a glowing skin, sonorous voice, fragrance of body: these signs indicate progress in the practice of meditation."

"His form is not an object of vision; no one beholds Him with the eyes. They who, through pure intellect and the Knowledge of Unity based upon reflection, realise Him as abiding in the heart become immortal."

"His hands and feet are everywhere; His eyes, heads and faces are everywhere; His ears are everywhere; He exists compassing all."

"I know the great Purusha, who is luminous, like the sun and beyond darkness. Only by knowing Him does one pass over death; there is no other way to the Supreme Goal."

"I know this undecaying, primeval One, the Self of all things, which exists everywhere, being all-pervading and which the wise declare to be free from birth. The teachers of Brahman, indeed, speak of It as eternal."

"If sacrifices are performed without first propitiating the Sun, then the mind becomes attached to sacrifices in which fire is kindled by the rubbing of the pieces of fire-wood, the oblations are offered to the deity Vayu and the soma juice is drunk excessively."

"In this great Brahma-Wheel, in which all things abide and finally rest, the swan wanders about so long as it thinks the self is different from the Controller. When blessed by Him the self attains Immortality."

"In the Immutable, infinite Supreme Brahman remain hidden the two: knowledge and ignorance. Ignorance leads to worldliness and knowledge, to Immortality. Brahman, who controls both knowledge and ignorance, is different from both."

"If these truths have been told to a high-minded person who feels the highest devotion for God and for his guru as for God, then they will surely shine forth as inner experiences-then, indeed, they will shine forth."

"In deep meditation aspirants may See forms like snow or smoke. They may feel A strong wind blowing or a wave of heat. They may see within them more and more light: Fireflies, lightning, sun, or moon. These are signs That one is far on the path to Brahman."

"It is because Thou, O Lord, art birthless, that some rare souls, frightened by birth and death, take refuge in Thee. O Rudra, may Thy benign face protect me for ever!"

"In this universe the Swan, the Supreme Self alone exists. It is He who, as fire, abides in the water. Only by knowing Him does one pass over death, There is no other way to reach the Supreme Goal."

"It is He who, in proper time, becomes the custodian of the universe and the sovereign of all; who conceals Himself in all beings as their inner Witness; and in whom the sages and the deities are united. Verily, by knowing Him one cuts asunder the fetters of death."

"It is not female, it is not male, nor is it neuter. whatever body it takes, with that it becomes united."

"It is the duty of those brahmins who fix their minds and senses on the Supreme Self to utter such lofty invocations to the divine Sun, omnipresent, mighty and omniscient. For He, all-witnessing and non-dual, is the dispenser of sacrifices."