Wednesday, August 31, 2016

upanishads, selected fragments

About this (atman) only one can say “not… not” (neti, neti). He is ungraspable, he is undecaying, he has nothing sticking to him, he is not bound."


"Without me here, to know experience, how could this experience be? And how do I continue on? If it’s by speech that words are said, if odours are perceived by smell … if sights are seen by sense of vision, sounds are heard by sense of hearing, feelings felt by sense of touch, and thoughts conceived by changing mind … if thoughts and sense-perceptions are absorbed within by understanding, and appearances are formed by mind’s expressive thoughts and acts… then who, or what, am I?"
"Brahman is OM, the whole world is OM. When one says OM, it indicates compliance."

"With respect to the bodily sphere (atman), one should venerate: ‘Brahman is the mind."

"The Self is a source of abiding joy. Our hearts are filled with joy in seeing him. Enshrined in the depths of consciousness. If he were not there, who would breathe? He fills every heart with joy." (Bhakti)
"I’m here: in every passing season, in the cycling of the seasons risen from their background source, continuing through space and time. I am the seed of consciousness that’s always here in all experience: lighting every passing moment, common to all different moments, changeless through all changing time. I am each being’s real self, the truth of all reality. This truth is immanent in all that is perceived: as that which is, unmixed with mere appearances attributed by sense and mind. This truth also transcends whatever is perceived: as that which knows, as unconditioned consciousness, the common, knowing principle from which all sense and mind arise. Thus seen ‘out there’ and found ‘in here’, truth is complete reality: from known everywhere, in everything"
"I am the sustenance consumed by all the world of changing things. Yet into me all changing things and all the world become consumed. From me, each of them issues forth, with all their ordered functioning. I am their deathless origin: their common, underlying source. Whoever freely gives of me, is only thus accepting me. I, who thus seem to be consumed, am just the unaffected ground where all consuming is consumed. Transcending all the changing world, I’m unconditioned, knowing light."
CHANDOGYA UPANISHAD (The universe is found on two principles, rita (order) and yajna (sacrifice)
"The Universe comes from Brahman, exists in Brahman, and will return to Brahman. Verily, all is Brahman."

"The Self, who can be realized by the pure in heart, who is life, light, truth, space, who gives rise to all works, all desires ... this is the Self dwelling in my heart."
"Our bodies, senses and our minds keep changing in a changing world. And so, whatever they perceive is by its nature changeable. But, as this change keeps going on, how is it known that things have changed? How can something be compared with what it was before it changed? Where variation is perceived, what is it that knows the change of passing states which come and go? It must be there before the change, to know the state that was before. And it must still be there when change has taken place, to know what has become of what was there before. Wherever there is variation, that which knows must carry on through changing states that come and go. Each state gives way to other states, but that which knows the change remains. This knowing principle remains unchanged, unvarying: through all the change and all the variations body, sense and mind perceive. Whatever is perceived must vary; that which knows is never changed."
"Reality is nothing else but consciousness, the real self that each of us calls “I”."
"All misery and want arise from incomplete experience, where self seems somehow incomplete from for want of something it desires. Ego claiming to be body lives in bondage to the world. Ego claiming to be mind lives in bondage to desire. All that mind and body do gets undone in course of time. When an object is desired, ego feels that self is lacking something to be found outside. Consciousness thus seems divided; mind appears, dissatisfied. But where reality and self are realized as only one; there incompleteness can’t arise, nor misery, nor want, nor death."
"With respect to the bodily sphere (atman), one should venerate: ‘Brahman is the mind’, and with respect to the divine sphere: ‘Brahman is the space’.

"You who know this Self here, the one common to all men..."
"Self is the continuity that lives unchanged through change; it is the bridge that joins all differences. And yet, it also is the basis of discrimination, by which different things are told apart."
"As a tethered bird grows tired of flying about in vain to find a place to rest and settles at last on its own perch, so the mind, tired of wandering about hither and tither, settles down at last in the self, dear one, to which is bound."  
KENA UPANISHAD (kena means "by whom", a sort of endless investigation)
"The Self is the ear of the ear, the eye of the eye, the mind of the mind, rising above the senses and the mind... renouncing separate existence, the wise realize the deathless Self."
"What motivates mind’s changing show of seeming objects, thoughts, desires? What makes the mind go out to things that seem to be outside itself? What sends the mind, in soaring flight, to search for freedom, happiness? From what does mind come down again, to earth: where joy seems always bound to pettiness and suffering? What joins together various acts – of body, sense and mind – to make each person’s individual life? From what does meaning come: into the things we do, the words we speak, the gestures that our bodies make? Those who are brave break free from world’s appearances, and realize that self is unmixed consciousness: beyond all seeming change and death."
"There is only one way to know the Self, and that is to realize it yourself."

"That which is the hearing behind the hearing, the thinking behind the thinking, the speech behind the speech, the sight behind the sight, the breathing behind the breathing. Freed completely from these, the wise become immortal, then they depart from this world. Sight does not reach there, neither does thinking or speech."
KATHA UPANISHAD (an encounter of Nachiketa i.e, "that which is unperceived," with death)*
"What one cannot express by speech, by which speech itself is expressed –learn that alone is Brahman."

"The whole created universe is made of living energy that moves and oscillates and shines. This boundless store of restless cosmic energy has terrible destructive power. It’s like an upraised thunderbolt: to petty ego’s fragile life, identified with little body, sense and mind."
"What’s true in here is true out there. What’s there, in truth, is also here. Truth is the same, both here and there. Wherever differences are seen, perceiving ego suffers change and thus goes on from death to death. But when mind turns back to its source, it knows itself as consciousness, unmixed with any other thing. And then it is quite evident that, though appearances differ, reality remains the same. from No difference is really there."
"For knowledge that agrees, I am. For knowing contrary, I am. I am the knowing principle that’s common to all different views and carries on through changing time: as differing perceptions join in unity of single truth; as differences are told apart, from thus knowing truth from falsity."
"When mind and senses cease to act, no seeming object can appear. Then, consciousness shines out alone, unmixed with those appearances that make it seem what it is not. This state of unmixed consciousness is said to be the highest state; and meditation is the art of holding mind and senses back to reach this state by act of will. Thus, turning will towards a state where all distractions are dissolved, attention turns to consciousness: which shines in all appearances, and shines alone when they dissolve. But when this state has passed away, appearances return again; and consciousness then seems obscured just as it seemed to be before. How can pure consciousness be known for what it is, unmoved, unchanged: no matter what distractions rise; no matter what is seen or heard, smelled, tasted, touched or thought or felt; no matter what seems to appear from to changing body, mind and sense?"
"Finer than the finest, larger than the largest is the self (atman) that lies hidden in the heart of the living being. Without desires and sorrows a man perceives by the creator’s grace the grandeur of the self."

"Higher than the sense is the mind. Higher than the mind is the essence. Higher than the essence is the immense self. Higher than the immense self is the unmanifest."
"The Self is ONE, ever still, the Self is swifter that thought..."

"The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self. Indivisible, untouched by sin, wise, immanent and transcendent. He holds the cosmos together."

"The real self, in each of us, is stainless, undecaying, free from hunger, free from thirst, untroubled in the midst of grief. It has no thought nor wish, but truth. This is the self we cannot help but seek, the truth we seek to understand. Whoever sees and knows this self gains all the world, and finds the goal of all desires." "Where body’s world dissolves in dream and mind is free, the self shines there. It is the deathless, fearless absolute."
"Although not moving, the ONE is swifter than the mind, the gods cannot catch it, as it speeds on in front. Standing, it outpaces others who run. It moves, yet it does not move. It’s far away –yet it’s near at hand! It is within this whole world –yet, it’s also without the whole world."
SVETASVARA UPANISHAD (the Svetasvara is a paean of ecstasy to the self, the reality behind the gunas). What's the entanglement here? maya, i.e, appearance, the universe as neither real nor unreal.
"You are a woman, you are a man, you are a boy; also a girl. As an old man you totter along with a walking stick. As you’re born you turn your face in every direction. You are the dark blue bird, the green one with red eyes, the rain-cloud, the seasons, and the oceans. You live as one without a beginning because of your pervasiveness, you, whom all beings have been born."
 "The mind is harnessed to the senses like a chariot pulled along by untamed horses running wild. And it can only be controlled, held steady on an even course, by one who stands as consciousness: unexcited, undisturbed."
"Just as the energy of fire is latent in a piece of fuel; so too the subtle energies of life and mind are latent in gross forms of body, seen by sense as pieces of an outside world. And just as fuel may be set alight, by focused friction or by concentrated sparks or flame; so too the subtle powers of life and mind may be made manifest by meditative practices: which concentrate intensity within, thus setting flame to latent energies that are not noticed in the ordinary course of outward life in seeming world. These latent powers are called ‘divine’ when they are used to take the mind, beyond its usual limitations, to that principle of light where every limit disappears and all the powers of mind dissolve, in unconditioned consciousness."
"Behind all actions in the world are the perceptions they express. Behind perceptions of the world is the attention of the mind, which turns from one thing to the next. Behind the changing mind is this one living principle of truth: one unconditioned consciousness, which stays the same while mind is changed from one appearance to the next. This changeless principle of truth is always here, in each of us. It is the centre of all life, from which all seeming faculties of body, sense and mind arise. It has no needs, makes no demands; it never suffers want or lack; it does not ask for anything. And yet, spontaneously, unasked, all that is done is done for it."
"What cannot be seen, what cannot be grasped, without color, without sight or hearing, without hands or feet. What is eternal and all-pervading, extremely minute, presently everywhere. This is the immutable, which the wise fully perceive."

"Nor by sense, not by sight, nor by any other sense, nor by austerity or rite, is he grasped. Rather the partless one is seen by a man as he meditates when his being has become pure through the lucidity of knowledge."
*The sound Om! is the syllable of the supreme Brahman The Self, whose symbol is Om is the same as the omnipresent Brahman. Smaller than the smallest and larger than the largest, the Self is formless and all-pervading. The goal of the wise is to know this Self. The Self is like a rider; the horses are the senses, which he guides through the maze of desires. After death, it is the Self that remains; the Self is immortal. Mere reading of the scriptures or intellectual learning cannot realize Self. One must discriminate the self from the body, which is the seat of desire. Inability to realize Brahman results in one being enmeshed in the cycle of rebirths. Understanding the Self leads to moksha.