Thursday, September 26, 2019

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!