Tuesday, October 1, 2019

BU 4.4.8 - Immortal lifebreath

Excerpt from the book 'Upanishads' - A new translation by Patrick Olivelle

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

There is an ancient path
  extremely fine and extending far;
It has touched me, I've discovered it!
By it they go up to the heavenly world
released from here,
wise men, knowers of brahman.

In it are the white and the blue, they say,
  the orange, green, and red.
By brahman was this path discovered;
By it goes the knower of brahman,
  the doer of good, the man of light.

Into blind darkness they enter, 
  people who worship ignorance;
And into still blinder darkness,
  people who delight in learning.

'Joyless' are those regions called,
in blind darkness they are cloaked;
Into them after death they go,
  men who are not learned or wise. 

If a person truly perceives the self,
  knowing 'I am he';
What possibly could he want,
Whom possibly could he love,
  that he should worry about his body?

The self has entered this body, this dense jumble.
  If a man finds him,
  Recognizes him,
He's the maker of everything - the author of all!
The world is his - he's the world itself!

While we are still here, we have come to know it.
If you've not known it, great is your destruction.
Those who have known it - they become immortal.
As of the rest - only suffering awaits them.

When a man clearly sees this self as god,
  the lord of what was
  and of what will be,
He will not seek to hide from him.

Beneath which the year revolves
  together with its days,
That the gods venerate
  as the light of lights,
  as life immortal.

In which are established 
  the various groups of five,
  together with space;
I take that to be the self - 
  I who have the knowledge,
  I who am immortal,
I take that to be - 
  the brahman,
  the immortal.

The breathing behind breathing, the sight behind sight,
  the hearing behind hearing, the thinking behind thinking - 
Those who know this perceive brahman,
  the first,
  the ancient.

With the mind alone must one behold it - 
  there is here nothing diverse at all!
From death to death he goes, who sees
  here any kind of diversity.

As just singular must one behold it - 
  immeasurable and immovable,
The self is spotless and beyond space,
  unborn, immense, immovable.

By knowing that very one a wise Brahmin
  should obtain insight for himself.
Let him not ponder over a lot of words;
  it just tires the voice!

~~

BU 4.4.7 - A man of desire

Excerpt from the book 'Upanishads' - A new translation by Patrick Olivelle

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 

A man resolves in accordance with his desire, acts in accordance with his resolve, and turns out to be in accordance with his action. 

      A man who's attached goes with his action,
        to that very place to which
        his mind and character cling.
      Reaching the end of his action,
        of whatever he has done in this world - 
      From that world he returns
        back to this world,
        back to action.

'That is the course of a man who desires.
'Now, a man who does not desire - who is without desires, who is freed from desires, whose desires are fulfilled, whose only desire is the self - his vital functions (prana) do not depart. Brahman he is, and to brahman he goes. 

      When they all are banished,
        those desires lurking in one's heart;
      Then a mortal becomes immortal,
        and attains brahman in this world. 

~~

A man turns into something good by good action and into something bad by bad action. 

Srik

Monday, September 30, 2019

good sense

Excerpt from the book 'Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy' by Rene Descartes

Good sense is the best distributed thing in the world, for everyone thinks himself to be so well endowed with it that even those who are the most difficult to please in everything else are not at all wont to desire more of it than they have. It is not likely that everyone is mistaken in this. Rather, it provides evidence that the power of judging well and of distinguishing the true from the false (which is, properly speaking, what people call "good sense" or "reason") is naturally equal in all men, and that the diversity of our opinions does not arise from the fact that we lead our thoughts along different paths and do not take the same things into consideration. For it is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to apply it well. The greatest souls are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues. And those who proceed only very slowly can make much greater progress, provided they always follow the right path, than do those who hurry and stray from it. 

~~
Well... yeah! Couldn't agree more!

Srik

Thursday, September 26, 2019

BU 3.9.28 - mighty tree

Excerpt from the book 'Upanishads' - A new translation by Patrick Olivelle

- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad - 

Man is like a mighty tree-
    that's the truth.
His body hairs are its leaves, 
His skin is its outer bark.
Blood flows from his skin,
As sap from the bark of a tree.
Blood flows when the skin is pricked,
As sap, when the bark is slit.

His flesh is the sapwood;
His sinews are the fibres -
    that's certain.
His bones are the heartwood;
And his marrow resembles the pith.

A tree when it's cut down,
Grows anew from its root;
From what root does a mortal man grow,
When he is cut down by death?

Do not say, 'From the seed';
For it's produced from him
    while he is still alive;
And like a tree
    sprouting from a seed,
It takes birth at once,
    even before he dies.

A tree, when it's uprooted,
will not sprout out again;
From what root does a mortal man grow,
When he is cut down by death?

Once he's born,
    he can't be born again.
Who, I ask,
    will beget him again?

Perception, bliss, brahman,
The gift of those who give,
The highest good - 
    awaits those who know this
    and stand firm.

~~
Very thoughtful and thought provoking. A great comparison to a tree.


BU 2.4.1 - Immortality

Excerpt from the book 'Upanishads' - A new translation by Patrick Olivelle

- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad -

'Maitreyi!' Yajnavalkya once said. 'Look - I am about to depart from this place. So come, let me make a settlement between you and Katyayani.

Maitreyi asked in reply: 'If I were to possess the entire world filled with wealth, sir, would it make me immortal?' 'No', said Yajnavalkya. 'it will only permit you to live the life of a wealthy person. Through wealth one cannot expect immortality.'

'What is the point in getting something that will not make me immortal?' reported Maitreyi. 'Tell me instead, sir, all that you know.'

Yajnavalkya said in reply: 'You have always been very dear to me, and now you speak something very dear to me! Come and sit down. I will explain it to you. But while I am explaining, try to concentrate.' Then he spoke:

'One holds a husband dear, you see, not out of love for the husband; rather. it is out of love for oneself (atman) that one holds a husband dear. One holds a wife dear not out of love for the wife; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds a wife dear. One holds children dear not out of love for the children; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds children dear. One holds wealth dear not out of love for wealth; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds wealth dear. One holds the priestly power dear not out of love for the priestly power; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds the priestly power dear. One holds the royal power dear not out of love for the royal power; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds the priestly royal dear. One holds the worlds dear not out of love for the worlds; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds the worlds dear. One holds the gods dear not out of love for the gods; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds the gods dear. One holds the beings dear not out of love for the beings; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds the beings dear. One holds the Whole dear not out of love for the Whole; rather, it is out of love for oneself that one holds the Whole dear.'

'You see, Maitreyi - it is one's self (atman) which one should see and hear, and on which one should reflect and concentrate. For by seeing and hearing one's self, and by reflecting and concentrating on one's self, one gains the knowledge of this whole world.'

May the priestly power forsake anyone who considers the priestly power to reside in something other than his self (atman). May the royal power forsake anyone who considers the royal power to reside in something other than his self. May the gods forsake anyone who considers the gods to reside in something other than his self. May beings forsake anyone who considers beings to reside in something other than his self. May the Whole forsake anyone who considers the Whole to reside in something other than his self.

All these - the priestly power, the royal power, worlds, gods, beings, the Whole - all that is nothing but this self.  

~~

I'm on a high! sigh!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

BU 1.5.1

Excerpt from the book 'Upanishads' - A new translation by Patrick Olivelle

- Brhadaranyaka Upanishad -

    By wisdom and by toil,
    when the father produced
    the seven kinds of food - 

One was common to all here.
Two he assigned to the gods.
Three he kept for himself.
One he gave to the beasts.

    All beings depend on it,
    both those that breathe
    and those that do not.

Why aren't they exhausted,
when they are eaten every day?

The man who knows it
as the inexhaustible - 

    he eats food with his face;
    he reaches the gods;
    he lives on invigorating food.

--

BU 1.4.16

Excerpt from the book 'Upanishads' - A new translation by Patrick Olivelle

-Brhadaranyaka Upanishad-

Now, this self (atman) is a world for all beings. So, when he makes offerings and sacrifices, he becomes thereby a world for the gods. When he recites the Vedas, he becomes thereby a world for the seers. When he offers libations to his ancestors and seeks to father offspring, he becomes thereby a world for his ancestors. When he provides food and shelter to human beings, he becomes thereby a world for human beings. When he procures fodder and water for livestock, he becomes thereby a world for livestock. When creatures, from wild animals and birds down to the very ants, find shelter in his houses, he becomes thereby a world for them. Just as a man desires the well-being of his own world, so all beings desire the well-being of anyone who knows this. All this is known and has been thoroughly examined. 

--
Well, it all started here I suppose!