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Sacred texts of the The Upanishads

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T he Self, having in dreams enjoyed the pleasures of sense, gone hither and thither, experienced good and evil, hastens back to the state of waking from which he started.

As a man passes from dream to wakefulness, so does he pass from this life to the next.

When a man is about to die, the subtle body, mounted by the intelligent self, groans--as a heavily laden cart groans under its burden.

When his body becomes thin through old age or disease, the dying man separates himself from his limbs, even as a mango or a fig or a banyan fruit separates itself from its stalk, and by the same way that he came he hastens to his new abode, and there assumes another body, in which to begin a new life.

When his body grows weak and he becomes apparently unconscious, the dying man gathers his senses about him and, completely withdrawing their powers, descends into his heart. No more does he see form or color without.

He neither sees, nor smells, nor tastes. He does not speak, he does not hear. He does not think, he does not know. For all the organs, detaching themselves from his physical body, unite with his subtle body. Then the point of his heart, where the nerves join, is lighted by the light of the Self, and by that light he departs either through the eye, or through the gate of the skull, or through some other aperture of the body. When he thus departs, life departs; and when life departs, all the functions of the vital principle depart. The Self remains conscious, and, conscious, the dying man goes to his abode. The deeds of this life, and the impressions they leave behind, follow him.

As a caterpillar, having reached the end of a blade of grass, takes hold of another blade and draws itself to it, so the Self, having left behind it [a body] unconscious, takes hold of another body and draws himself to it.

As a goldsmith, taking an old gold ornament, molds it into another, newer and more beautiful, so the Self, having given up the body and left it unconscious, takes on a new and better form, either that of the Fathers, or that of the Celestial Singers, or that of the gods, or that of other beings, heavenly or earthly.





Hinduism 4235 | 
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.34-4.4.4 







W hile one is in the state of dream, the golden, self-luminous being, the Self within, makes the body to sleep, though he himself remains forever awake and watches by his own light the impressions of deeds that have been left upon the mind. Thereafter, associating himself again with the consciousness of the organs of sense, the Self causes the body to awake.

While one is in the state of dream, the golden, self-luminous being, the Self within, the Immortal One, keeps alive the house of flesh with the help of the vital force, but at the same time walks out of this house. The Eternal goes wherever He desires.

The self-luminous being assumes manifold forms, high and low, in the world of dreams. He seems to be enjoying the pleasure of love, or to be laughing with friends, or to be looking at terrifying spectacles.

Everyone is aware of the experiences; no one sees the Experiencer.

Some say that dreaming is but another form of waking, for what a man experiences while awake he experiences again in his dreams. Be that as it may, the Self, in dreams, shines by Its own light....

As a man passes from dream to wakefulness, so does he pass at death from this life to the next.





Hinduism 4234 | 
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.11-14, 35 







N ow my breath and spirit goes to the Immortal,
and this body ends in ashes;
OM. O Mind! remember. Remember the deeds.
Remember the actions.





Hinduism 4223 | 
Isha Upanishad 17, Yajur Veda 40.15 







W hat is here [the phenomenal world], the same is there [in Brahman]; and what is there, the same is here.




Hinduism 4215 | 
Katha Upanishad 2.1.10 







A s one not knowing that a golden treasure lies buried beneath his feet may walk over it again and again, yet never find it, so all beings live every moment in the city of Brahman, yet never find him because of the veil of illusion by which he is concealed.




Hinduism 4193 | 
Chandogya Upanishad 8.3.2 







B right but hidden, the Self dwells in the heart.
Everything that moves, breathes, opens, and closes
Lives in the Self. He is the source of love
And may be known through love but not through thought.
He is the goal of life. Attain this goal!

The shining Self dwells hidden in the heart.
Everything in the cosmos, great and small,
Lives in the Self. He is the source of life,
Truth beyond the transience of this world.
He is the goal of life. Attain this goal!





Hinduism 4188 | 
Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.1-2 







S maller than the smallest, greater than the greatest, this Self forever dwells within the hearts of all. When a man is free from desire, his mind and senses purified, he beholds the glory of the Self and is without sorrow.

Though seated, he travels far; though at rest, he moves all things. Who but the purest of the pure can realize this Effulgent Being, who is joy and who is beyond joy.

Formless is he, though inhabiting form. In the midst of the fleeting he abides forever. All-pervading and supreme is the Self. The wise man, knowing him in his true nature, transcends all grief.





Hinduism 4186 | 
Katha Upanishad 1.2.20-22 







T hat which is the finest essence--this whole world has that as its soul. That is Reality. That is the Self. That art thou.




Hinduism 4178 | 
Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 







A ccording 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." [I say,] as his desire, such is his resolve; as is his resolve, such the action he performs; what action he performs, that he procures for himself.

On this point there is this verse,

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.
So the mind who desires.





Hinduism 4169 | 
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5-6 







T he creator, out of desire to procreate, devoted himself to concentrated ardor (tapas). Whilst thus devoted to concentrated ardor, he produced a couple, Matter and Life (prana), saying to himself, "these two will produce all manner of creatures for me." Now Life is the Sun; Matter is the Moon.




Hinduism 4156 | 
Prasna Upanishad 1.4-5 







A s the web issues out of the spider
And is withdrawn, as plants sprout from the earth,
As hair grows from the body, even so,
The sages say, this universe springs from
The deathless Self, the source of life.

The deathless Self meditated upon
Himself and projected the universe
As evolutionary energy.
From this energy developed life, mind,

The elements, and the world of karma,
Which is enchained by cause and effect.

The deathless Self sees all, knows all. From him
Springs Brahma, who embodies the process
Of evolution into name and form
By which the One appears to be many.





Hinduism 4143 | 
Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.7-9 







A t whose behest does the mind think? Who bids the body live? Who makes the tongue speak? Who is that effulgent Being that directs the eye to form and color and the ear to sound?

The Self (Atman) is ear of the ear, mind of the mind, speech of speech. He is also breath of the breath, and eye of the eye. Having given up the false identification of the Self with the senses and the mind, and knowing the Self to be Brahman, the wise, on departing this life, become immortal.





Hinduism 4137 | 
Kena Upanishad 1.1-2 







I n the golden city of the heart dwells
The Lord of Love, without parts, without stain.
Know him as the radiant light of lights.

There shines not the sun, neither moon nor star,
Nor flash of lightning, nor fire lit on earth.
The Lord is the light reflected by all.
He shining, everything shines after him.





Hinduism 4136 | 
Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.10-11 







B rahman shines forth, vast, self-luminous, inconceivable, subtler than the subtle. He is far beyond what is far, and yet here very near at hand. Verily, He is seen here, dwelling in the cave of the heart of conscious beings.




Hinduism 4132 | 
Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.7 







T hou art the sun
Thou art the air
Thou art the moon
Thou art the starry firmament
Thou art Brahman Supreme;
Thou art the waters--thou, the Creator of all!
Thou art woman, thou art man,
Thou art the youth, thou art the maiden,
Thou art the old man tottering with his staff;
Thou facest everywhere.

Thou art the dark butterfly,
Thou art the green parrot with red eyes,
Thou art the thunder cloud, the seasons, the seas.
Without beginning art Thou,
Beyond time and space.
Thou art He from whom sprang
The three worlds.












I n what does the Infinite rest?"
"In its own glory--nay, not even in that. In the world it is said
that cows and horses, elephants and gold, slaves, wives, fields, and houses
are man's glory--but these are poor and finite things.
How shall the Infinite rest anywhere but in itself?
"The infinite is below, above, behind, before, to the right, to the
left. I am all this. This Infinite is the Self. The Self is below, above,
behind, before, to the right, to the left. I am all this. One who knows,
meditates upon, and realizes the truth of the Self--such a one delights in
the Self, rejoices in the Self. He becomes master of himself, master of
all worlds. Slaves are they who know not this truth."





Hinduism 4118 | 
Chandogya Upanishad 7.23-25 







T he Self is one. Ever still, the Self is
Swifter than thought, swifter than the senses.
Though motionless, he outruns all pursuit.
Without the Self, never could life exist.

The Self seems to move, but is ever still.
He seems far away, but is ever near.
He is within all, and he transcends all.

The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self,
Indivisible, untouched by sin, wise,
Immanent and transcendent. He it is
Who holds the cosmos together.





Hinduism 4117 | 
Isha Upanishad 4-8 







B eyond the senses is the mind, beyond the mind is the intellect, higher than the intellect is the Great Atman [the totality of all minds], higher than the Great Atman is the Umanifest. Beyond the Unmanifest is the Person, all-pervading, and imperceptible.




Hinduism 4115 | 
Katha Upanishad 2.3.7-8 







A s long as there is duality, one sees "the other," one hears "the other," one smells "the other," one speaks to "the other," one thinks of "the other," one knows "the other"; but when for the illumined soul the all is dissolved in the Self, who is there to be seen by whom, who is there to be smelled by whom, who is there to be heard by whom, who is there to be spoken to by whom, who is there to be thought of by whom, who is there to be known by whom? Ah, Maitreyi, my beloved, the Intelligence which reveals all--by what shall it be revealed? By whom shall the Knower be known? The Self is described as "not this, not that" (neti, neti). It is incomprehensible, for it cannot be comprehended; undecaying, for it never decays; unattached, for it never attaches itself; unbound, for it is never bound. By whom, O my beloved, shall the Knower be known?




Hinduism 4113 | 
Bhrihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.5.15 







T he eye cannot see it; the mind cannot grasp it.
The deathless Self has neither caste nor race,
Neither eyes nor ears nor hands nor feet.
Sages say this Self is infinite in the great
And in the small, everlasting and changeless,
The source of life.





Hinduism 4109 | 
Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.6 







I f you think that you know well the truth of Brahman, know that you know little. What you think to be Brahman in your self, or what you think to be Brahman in the gods--that is not Brahman. What is indeed the truth of Brahman you must therefore learn.
I cannot say that I know Brahman fully. Nor can I say that I know Him not. He among us knows Him best who understands the spirit of the words, "Nor do I know that I know Him not."

He truly knows Brahman who knows Him as beyond knowledge; he who thinks that he knows, knows not. The ignorant think that Brahman is known, but the wise know Him to be beyond knowledge.





Hinduism 4108 | 
Kena Upanishad 2.1-3 







T hen Vidaghdha, son of Shakala, asked him, "How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" Yajnavalkya, ascertaining the number through a group of mantras known as the Nivid, replied, "As many as are mentioned in the Nivid of the gods: three hundred and three, and three thousand and three."
"Very good," said the son of Shakala, "and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Thirty-three."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Six."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Three."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Two."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"One and a half."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"One."





Hinduism 4102 | 
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.9.1 







H e is the one God, hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the Self within all beings, watching over all works, dwelling in all beings, the witness, the perceiver, the only one, free from qualities.




Hinduism 4099 | 
Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.11 







T he door of the Truth is covered by a golden
disc. Open it, O Nourisher!
Remove it so that I who have been worshipping
the Truth may behold It.

O Nourisher, lone Traveler of the sky! Controller!
O Sun, offspring of Prajapati! Gather Your rays;
withdraw Your light. I would see, through Your grace,
that form of Yours which is the fairest.
He, that Person who dwells there--is I myself!





Hinduism 4087 | 
Isha Upanishad 15-16 







E ye cannot see him, nor words reveal him;
by the senses, austerity, or works he is not known.
When the mind is cleansed by the grace of wisdom,
he is seen by contemplation--the One without parts.





Hinduism 4086 | 
Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.8 







H e is becoming one, he does not see, they say; he is becoming one, he does not smell, they say; he is becoming one, he does not taste, they say, he is becoming one, he does not speak, they say; he is becoming one, he does not hear, they say; he is becoming one, he does not think, they say; he is becoming one, he does not touch, they say; he is becoming one, he does not know, they say. The point of his heart becomes lighted up and by that light the self departs either through the eye or through the head or through other apertures of the body. And when he thus departs, life departs after him. And when life thus departs, all the vital breaths depart after him. He becomes one with intelligence. What has intelligence departs with him. His knowledge and his work take hold of him as also his past experience.




Hinduism 3950 | 
Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad, IV, 4, 1-2, S. Radhakrishnan (editor and translator), The Principal Upanishads (New York: Harper & Row, 1951) pp. 269-70, 296 







I n the beginning, my dear, this was Being alone' one only
without a second. Some people say 'in the beginning this Was non-
being alone, one only; without a second. From that non-being, being
was produced.'

But how, indeed, my dear, could it be thus? said he [i.e., the
sage Uddalaka], how could being be produced from non-being? On the
contrary, my dear, in the beginning this was being alone, one only,
without a second.

It thought, May I be many, may I grow forth. It sent forth fire.
That fire thought, May I be many, may I grow forth. It sent forth water. . . .

That water thought, May I be many, may I grow forth. It sent forth food. . . .





Hinduism 3935 | 
Chandogya Upanishad, VI, 2, 1-4, S. Radhakrishnan (editor and translator), The Principal Upanishads (New York: Harper & Row, 1953), PP. 151-2, 399, 447-9 







T he Sun is Brahman-this is the teaching. An explanation .thereof (is this). In the beginning this (world) was non-existent. It became existent. It grew. It turned into an egg. It lay for the period of a year. It burst open. Then came out of the eggshell, two parts, one of silver, the other of gold.
That which was of silver is this earth; that which was of gold is the sky. What was the outer membrane is the mountains; that which was the inner membrane is the mist with the clouds. What were the
veins were the rivers. What was the fluid within is the ocean.





Hinduism 3934 | 
Chandogya Upanishad, III, 19, 1-2, S. Radhakrishnan (editor and translator), The Principal Upanishads (New York: Harper & Row, 1953), PP. 151-2, 399, 447-9 







T here was nothing whatsoever here in the beginning. By death indeed was this covered, or by hunger, for hunger is death. He created the mind, thinking 'let me have a self' (mind). Then he moved about, worshiping. From him, thus worshiping, water was produced. . . .
. . . .. That which was the froth of the water became solidified; that became the earth. On it he [i.e., death] rested. From him thus rested and heated (from the practice of austerity) his essence of brightness came forth (as) fire.
He divided himself threefold (fire is one-third), the sun one-third and the air one-third. He also is life [lit., breath] divided threefold, . . .





Hinduism 3933 | 
Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad, 1, 2, 1-3, S. Radhakrishnan (editor and translator), The Principal Upanishads (New York: Harper & Row, 1953), PP. 151-2, 399, 447-9 







W hen the five senses and the mind are still, and the reasoning intellect rests in silence, then begins the highest path. This calm steadiness of the senses is called yoga. Then one should become watchful, because yoga comes and goes.




Hinduism 3683 | 
Katha Upanishad, 6 







B y meditation on Him, by contemplation of Him, and by communion with Him, there comes in the end destruction of earthly delusion.




Hinduism 3604 | 
Svetasvatara Upanishad, VI 







T he Immortal is veiled by the world. The Spirit of Life is the Immortal. Name and form are the world, and by them the Spirit is veiled.




Hinduism 3603 | 
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I.6 







B ehold the glory of God in the universe and all that lives and moves on earth. Leaving the transient, find joy in the Eternal.




Hinduism 3602 | 
Isha Upanishad, I.1 







W ords cannot describe the joy of the soul whose impurities are washed away in the depths of contemplation, who is one with the Atman, his own Self. Only those who experience this joy know what it is.

... As water becomes one with water, fire with fire, and air with air, so the mind becomes one with the infinite Mind and thus attains Freedom.





Hinduism 3601 | 
Maitri Upanishad, VI.19-23; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







W hen a wise man has withdrawn his mind from all things without, and when his spirit has peacefully left all inner sensations' let him rest in peace, free from the movement of will and desire. ... For it has been said: There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and subtle spirit rest upon that and nothing else.

... When the mind is silent, beyond weakness and distraction, then it can enter into a world which is far beyond the mind: the supreme Destination. ... Then one knows the joy of Eternity.





Hinduism 3600 | 
Maitri Upanishad, VI.19-23; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







T he mind of man is of two kinds: pure and impure. It is impure when in the grip of worldly desire, and pure when free from such desire. ... If men thought of God as much as they think of the world, who would not attain liberation?




Hinduism 3599 | 
Maitri Upanishad, VI.24; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







N ot even through deep knowledge can the Self be reached, unless evil ways are abandoned, and there is rest in the senses, concentration in the mind, and peace in one's heart.

... When the wise man rests his mind in contemplation on our God beyond time, who invisibly dwells in the mystery of things and in the heart of man, then he rises above both pleasures and sorrows.





Hinduism 3598 | 
Katha Upanishad, II; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







H e is seen by a pure heart and by a mind whose thoughts are pure.
... When all desires that cling to the heart are surrendered, then a mortal becomes immortal, and even in this world he is one with Brahman.





Hinduism 3597 | 
Katha Upanishad, IV ; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







T he man who surrenders his human will leaves sorrows behind, and beholds the glory of the Self by the grace of God.

... Not through much learning is the Atman reached, nor through the intellect and 'the sacred teachings. It is reached by those whom He chooses; to His chosen the Self reveals His glory.





Hinduism 3596 | 
Katha Upanishad, II; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







W hen a man has seen the truth of the Spirit, he is one with Him; the aim of his life is fulfilled, and he is ever beyond sorrow.

... When a man knows God, he is free; his sorrows have an end, and birth and death are no more. When in inner union he is beyond the world of the body, then the third world, the world of the Spirit, is found, where man possesses all-for he is one with the ONE.





Hinduism 3595 | 
Svetasvatara Upanishad, II,1; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







W hen awake to the vision of one's own Self, when a man in truth can say: "I am He," what desires could lead him to grieve in fever for the body?

... When a man sees the Atman, his own Self, the one God, the Lord of what was and of what shall be, then he fears no more.





Hinduism 3594 | 
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, IV.4.25; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







W hen a sage sees this great Unity, and realizes that his Self has become all beings, what delusion and what sorrow could ever approach him?




Hinduism 3593 | 
Isha Upanishad, 1.7; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







H e cannot be seen by the eye, and words cannot reveal Him. He cannot be realized by the senses, or by austerity or the performance of rituals. By the grace of wisdom and purity of mind, He can be seen in the silence of contemplation.




Hinduism 3592 | 
Mundaka Upanishad, III,1; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







H e is known by those who know Him beyond thought, not to those who imagine He can be attained by thought. ... If you think, "I know Him well," you do not know the Truth. You only perceive that appearance of Brahman produced by the inner senses. Continue to meditate.




Hinduism 3591 | 
Kena Upanishad, II; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







E ven by the mind this truth is to be learned:
There are not many, but only ONE.





Hinduism 3590 | 
Katha Upanishad, IV; based on Mascaro, Juan, 1965 







I n the beginning, there was only the Self. ... He reflected, and saw that there was nothing but Himself, whereupon he exclaimed, "I am" (Aham). Ever since, He has been known within as "I." Even now, when announcing oneself, one says, "I am …” and then gives the other name that one bears.

He was afraid. Even today, one who is alone is afraid. But then he realized, '"Since there is nothing else but myself, what is there to fear?" It is only from [the presence of] a second [entity] that fear need ever arise. However, he was still unhappy. Even today, one is unhappy when alone. He desired a mate. And so he took of the form of a being the size of a man and woman joined in a close embrace; and then He separated into two individuals: a man and a wife. Therefore, as the sage Yajnavalkya has declared, this body, by itself, is like half of a split pea. [In order to become whole again,] this empty space must be filled by a woman. The male [half] then embraced the female [half], and from that the human race arose.

But the female wondered: "How can he unite with me, whom he has produced from himself'? Well then, let me hide!" She became a cow; he became a bull and united with her, and from that cattle arose. She became a mare; he became a stallion. She an ass, he a donkey and united with her; and from that solid-hoofed animals arose. She became a goat, he a buck; she a sheep, he a ram and united with her; and from that goats and sheep arose. In this way, he poured forth all pairing creatures, down to the ants. Then he realized: "All this creation is actually myself; for I have poured forth all this." One who knows this truth realizes that he, himself, is truly the creator [living] within his own creation.





Hinduism 3575 | 
Mundaka Upanishad, 3:1 







A s the rivers flowing east and west
Merge in the sea and become one with it,
Forgetting they were ever separate rivers,
So do all creatures lose their separateness
When they merge at last into pure Being.





Hinduism 3225 | 
Chandogya Up. 10:1-2, pp. 184-185 in The Upanishads. Trans. Eknath Easwaran. Tomales, CA.: Nilgiri Press, 1987 







T he separate self dissolves in the sea of pure consciousness, infinite and immortal. Separateness arises from identifying the Self with the body, which is made up of the elements; when this physical identification dissolves, there can be no more separte self. This is what I want to tell you, beloved.




Hinduism 3224 | 
Brihadaranyaka Up. Chapter 2, 4:12, p. 38 in The Upanishads. Trans. Eknath Easwaran. Tomales, CA.: Nilgiri Press, 1987 







W hat the sages sought they have found at last. No more questions have they to ask of life. With self-will extinguished, they are at peace. Seeing the Lord of Love in all around, Serving the Lord of Love in all around, they are united with him forever.




Hinduism 3223 | 
Mundaka Up. 3:2:5, p. 117 in The Upanishads. Trans. Eknath Easwaran. Tomales, CA.: Nilgiri Press, 1987 







T he truth of the Self cannot come through one who has not realized that he is the Self. The intellect cannot reveal the Self, beyond its duality of subject and object. They who see themselves in all and all in them help others through spiritual osmosis to realize the Self themselves. This awakening you have known comes not through logic and scholarship, but from close association with a realized teacher.




Hinduism 3222 | 
Katha Up. Part 1, 2:9, p. 85 in The Upanishads. Trans. Eknath Easwaran. Tomales, CA.: Nilgiri Press, 1987 





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