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Text / Translation (Swami Jagadananda)
« Last post by Commentary on April 17, 2019, 05:45:50 PM »
Part-I [Prose]


1. We shall now explain a method of teaching the means to liberation for the benefit of those aspirants after liberation who are desirous (of this teaching) and are possessed of faith (in it).

2. That means to liberation, viz., Knowledge, should be explained again and again until it is firmly grasped, to a pure Brahmana disciple who is indifferent to everything that is transitory and achievable through certain means, who has given up the desire for a son, for wealth and for this world and the next, who has adopted the life of a wandering monk and is endowed with control over the mind and senses, with compassion etc., as well as with the qualities of a disciple well-known in the scriptures and who has approached the teacher in the prescribed manner and has been examined in respect of his caste, profession, conduct, learning and parentage.

3. The Sruti also says, A Brahmana after examining those worlds which are the result of Vedic actions should be indifferent to them seeing that nothing eternal can be achieved by means of those actions. Then, with fuel in his hands he should approach a teacher versed in the Vedas and established in Brahman in order to know the Eternal. The learned teacher should correctly explain to that disciple who has self-control and a tranquil mind and has approached him in the prescribed manner, the knowledge of Brahman revealing the imperishable and the eternal Being. For only when knowledge is firmly grasped, it conduces to one's own good and is capable of transmission. This transmission of knowledge is helpful to people, like a boat to one who wants to cross a river. The scriptures too say, although one may give to the teacher this world surrounded by oceans and full of riches, this knowledge is even greater than that. Otherwise there would be no attainment of knowledge. For the Srutis say, A man having a teacher can know Brahman, Knowledge received from a teacher alone (becomes perfect), the teacher is the pilot, Right Knowledge is called in this world a raft, etc. The Smriti also says, Knowledge will be imparted to you etc.

4. When the teacher finds from signs that knowledge has not been grasped (or has been wrongly grasped) by the disciple he should remove the causes of non-comprehension which are: past and present sins, laxity, want of previous firm knowledge of what constitutes the subjects of discrimination between the eternal and the non-eternal, courting popular esteem, vanity of caste etc., and so on, through means contrary to those causes, enjoined by the Srutis and Smritis, viz., avoidance of anger etc., and the vows (Yama) consisting of non-injury etc., also the rules of conduct that are not inconsistent with knowledge.

5. He should also thoroughly impress upon the disciple qualities like humility, which are the means to knowledge.

6. The teacher is one who is endowed with the power of furnishing arguments pro and con, of understanding questions and remembering them, who possesses tranquility, self-control, compassion and a desire to help others, who is versed in the scriptures and unattached to enjoyments both seen and unseen, who has renounced the means to all kinds of actions, who is a knower of Brahman and is established in it, who is never a transgressor of the rules of conduct and who is devoid of shortcomings such as ostentation, pride, deceit, cunning, jugglery, jealousy, falsehood, egotism and attachment. He has the sole aim of helping others and a desire to impart the knowledge of Brahman only. He should first of all teach the Sruti texts establishing the oneness of the self with Brahman such as, My child, in the beginning it (the universe) was Existence only, one alone without a second, Where one sees nothing else All this is but the Self, In the beginning all this was but the one Self and All this is verily Brahman.

7-8. After teaching these he should teach the definition of Brahman through such Sruti texts as The self, devoid of sins, The Brahman that is immediate and direct, That which is beyond hunger and thirst, Not-this, not-this, Neither gross nor subtle, This Self is not-this, It is the Seer Itself unseen, Knowledge-Bliss, Existence-Knowledge-Infinite, Imperceptible, bodiless, That great unborn Self, Without the vital force and the mind, Unborn, comprising the interior and exterior, Consisting of knowledge only, Without interior or exterior, It is verily beyond what is known as also what is unknown and called Akasa (the self-effulgent One); and also through such Smriti texts as the following: It is neither born nor dies, It is not affected by anybody's sins, Just as air is always in the ether, The individual Self should be regarded as the universal one, It is called neither existent nor non-existent, As the Self is beginningless and devoid of qualities, The same in all beings and The Supreme Being is different - all these support the definition given by the Srutis and prove that the innermost Self is beyond transmigratory existence and that it is not different from Brahman, the all-comprehensive principle.

9. The disciple who has thus learnt the definition of the inner Self from the Srutis and the Smritis and is eager to cross the ocean of transmigratory existence is asked, who are you, my child?

10-11. If he says, I am the son of a Brahmana belonging to such and such a lineage; I was a student or a householder and am now a wandering monk anxious to cross the ocean of transmigratory existence infested with the terrible sharks of birth and death, the teacher should say, My child, how do you desire to go beyond transmigratory existence as your body will be eaten up by birds or will turn into earth even here when you die ? For, burnt to ashes on this side of the river, you cannot cross to the other side.

12-13. If he says, I am different from the body, the body is born and it dies; it is eaten up by birds, is destroyed by weapons, fire etc., and suffers from diseases and the like. I have entered it, like a bird its nest, on account of merit and demerit accruing from acts done by myself and like a bird going to another nest when the previous one is destroyed I shall enter into different bodies again and again as a result of merits and demerits when the present body is gone. Thus in this beginningless world on account of my own actions I have been giving up successive bodies assumed among gods, men, animals and the denizens of hell and assuming ever new ones. I have in this way been made to go round and round in the cycle of endless births and deaths, as in a Persian wheel by my past actions and having in the course of time obtained the present body I have got tired of this going round and round in the wheel of transmigration and have come to you, Sir, to put an end to this rotation. I am, therefore, always different from the body. It is bodies that come and go, like clothes on a person, the teacher would reply, you have spoken well. You see aright. Why then did you wrongly say, "I am the son of a Brahmana belonging to such and such a lineage, I was a student or a householder and am now a wandering monk?

14-15. If the disciple says, How did I speak wrongly, Sir ?, the teacher would reply, Because by your statement, "I am the son of a Brahmana belonging to such and such a lineage etc.," you identified with the Self devoid of birth, lineage and purificatory ceremonies, the body possessed of them that are different (from the Self).

16-17. If he asks, How is the body possessed of the diversities of birth, lineage and purificatory ceremonies (different from the Self) and how am I devoid of them ?, the teacher would say, Listen, my child, how this body is different from you and is possessed of birth, lineage and sanctifying ceremonies and how you are free from these. Speaking this he will remind the disciple saying, You should remember, my child, you have been told about the innermost Self which is the Self of all, with its characteristics as described by the Srutis such as "This was existence, my child" etc., as also the Smritis and you should remember these characteristics also.

18. The teacher should say to the disciple who has remembered the definition of the Self, That which is called Akasa (the self-effulgent one) which is distinct from name and form, bodiless and defined as not gross etc., and as free from sins and so on, which is untouched by all transmigratory conditions, "The Brahman that is immediate and direct", "The innermost Self", "The unseen seer, the unheard listener, the unthought thinker, the unknown knower", which is of the nature of eternal knowledge, without interior or exterior, consisting only of knowledge, all-pervading like the ether and of infinite power - that Self of all, devoid of hunger etc., as also of appearance and disappearance, is, by virtue of Its inscrutable power, the cause of the manifestation of unmanifested name and form which abide in the Self through Its very presence, but are different from It, which are the seed of the universe, are describable neither as identical with It nor different from It and are cognized by It alone.

19. That name and form though originally, unmanifested, took the name and form of ether as they were manifested from that Self. This element called the ether thus arose out of the supreme Self, like the dirt called foam coming out of transparent water. Foam is neither water nor absolutely different from it. For it is never seen apart from water. But water is clear and different from the foam which is of the nature of dirt. Similarly, the Supreme Self, which is pure and transparent, is different from name and form, which stand for foam. These - corresponding to the foam - having originally been unmanifest, took the name and form of the ether as they were manifested.

20. Name and form, as they became still grosser in the course of manifestation, assumed the form of air. From that again they became fire, from that water and thence earth. In this order the preceding elements penetrated the succeeding ones and the five gross elements ending with earth came into existence. Earth, therefore, possesses the qualities of all the five gross elements. From earth, compounded of all five great elements, herbs such as paddy and barley are produced. From these, after they are eaten, are formed blood and the seed of women and men respectively. These two ingredients drawn out, as by a churning rod, by lust springing from ignorance and sanctified by Mantras, are placed in the womb at the proper time. Through the infiltration of the sustaining fluids of the mother's body, it develops into an embryo and is delivered at the ninth or tenth month.

21. It is born, or is possessed of a form and a name and is purified by means of Mantras relating to natal and other ceremonies. Sanctified again by the ceremony of investiture with the holy thread, it gets the appellation of a student. The same body is designated a house-holder when it undergoes the sacrament of being joined to a wife. That again is called a recluse when it undergoes the ceremonies pertaining to retirement into the forest. And it becomes known as a wandering monk when it performs the ceremonies leading to the renunciation of all activities. Thus the body which has birth, lineage and purificatory ceremonies different (from the Self) is different from you.

22. That the mind and the senses are also of the nature of name and form is known from the Sruti, "The mind, my child, consists of food".

23. You said, "How am I devoid of birth, lineage and sanctifying ceremonies which are different (from the Self)?" Listen. The same one who is the cause of the manifestation of name and form and who is devoid of all connection with sanctifying ceremonies, evolved name and form, created this body and entered into it (which is but name and form) - who is Himself the unseen Seer, the unheard Listener, the unthought Thinker, the unknown Knower as stated in the Sruti text, "(I know) who creates names and forms and remains speaking." There are thousands of Sruti texts conveying the same meaning, for instance, "He created and entered into it", "Entering into them He rules all creatures". "He, the Self, has entered into these bodies", "This is your Self". "Opening this very suture of the skull He got in by that door", "This Self is concealed in all beings", "That Divinity thought - let Me enter into these three deities."

24. Smriti texts too elucidate the same truth; for example, "All gods verily are the Self", "The Self in the city of nine gates", "Know the individual Self to be Myself", "The same in all beings", "The witness and approver", "The Supreme Being is different", "Residing in all bodies but Itself devoid of any", and so on. Therefore it is established that you are without any connection with birth, lineage and sanctifying ceremonies.

25. If he says, I am in bondage, liable to transmigration, ignorant, (sometimes) happy, (sometimes) unhappy and am entirely different from Him; He, the shining One, who is dissimilar in nature to me and is beyond transmigratory existence, is also different from me; I want to worship Him through the actions pertaining to my caste and order of life by making presents and offerings to Him and also by making salutations and the like. I am eager to cross the ocean of the world in this way. So how am I He Himself?

26. The teacher should say, "you ought not, my child, regard it so; because a doctrine of difference is forbidden." In reply to the question, Why is it forbidden, the following other Sruti texts may be cited: He who knows "that Brahman is one and I am another" does not know (Brahman), He who regards the Brahmanical caste as different from himself is rejected by that caste. He who perceives diversity in Brahman goes from death to death, and so on.

27. These Srutis show that transmigratory existence is the sure result of the acceptance of (the reality of) difference.

28. That, on the other hand, liberation results from the acceptance of (the reality of) non-difference is borne out by thousands of Srutis; for example, after teaching that the individual Self is not different from the Supreme One, in the text, That is the Self, thou art That, and after saying, A man who has a teacher knows Brahman, the Srutis prove liberation to be the result of the knowledge of (the reality of) non-difference only, by saying, "A knower of Brahman has to wait only so long as he is not merged in Brahman". That transmigratory existence comes to an absolute cessation, (in the case of one who speaks the truth that difference has no real existence), is illustrated by the example of one who was not a thief and did not get burnt (by grasping a heated hatchet); and that one, speaking what is not true (i.e., the reality of difference), continues to be in the mundane condition, is illustrated by the example of a thief who got burnt.

29. The Sruti text commencing with "Whatever these creatures are here, whether a tiger or" etc., and similar other texts, after asserting that "One becomes one's own master (i.e., Brahman)" by the knowledge of (the reality of) non-difference, show that one continues to remain in the transmigratory condition in the opposite case as the result of the acceptance of (the reality of) difference, saying, "Knowing differently from this they get other beings for their masters and reside in perishable regions". Such statements are found in every branch of the Veda. It was, therefore, certainly wrong on your part to say that you were the son of a Brahmana, that you belonged to such and such a lineage, that you were subject to transmigration and that you were different from the Supreme Self.

30. Therefore, on account of the rebuttal of the perception of duality, it should be understood that, on the knowledge of one's identity with the Supreme Self, the undertaking of religious rites which have the notion of duality for their province and the assumption of Yajnopavita etc., which are the means to their performance, are forbidden. For these rites and Yajnopavita etc., which are their means, are inconsistent with the knowledge of one's identity with the Supreme Self. It is only on those people that refer classes and orders of life etc., to the Self that Vedic actions and Yajnopavita etc., which are their means, are enjoined and not on those who have acquired the knowledge of their identity with the Supreme Self. That one is other than Brahman is due only on account of the perception of difference.

31. If Vedic rites were to be performed and not meant to be renounced, the Sruti would neither have declared the identity of oneself with the Supreme Self unrelated to those rites, their means, castes, orders of life, etc., which are the conditions of Vedic actions, in unambiguous sentences like "That is the Self, thou art That;" nor would it have condemned the acceptance of (the reality of) difference in clauses such as "It is the eternal glory of the knower of Brahman", "Untouched by virtue, untouched by sin", and "Here a thief is no thief", etc.

32. The Srutis would not have stated that the essential nature of the Self was in no way connected with Vedic rites and conditions required by them such as a particular class and the rest, if they did not intend that those rites and Yajnopavita etc., their means, should be given up. Therefore, Vedic actions which are incompatible with the knowledge of the identity of oneself with the Supreme Self, should be renounced together with their means by one who aspires after liberation; and it should be known that the Self is no other than Brahman as defined in the Srutis.

33. If he says, the pain on account of burns or cuts in the body and the misery caused by hunger and the like, Sir, are distinctly perceived to be in me. The Supreme Self is known in all the Srutis and the Smritis to be "free from sin, old age, death, grief, hunger, thirst, etc. and devoid of smell and taste". How can I who am different from Him and possess so many phenomenal attributes, possibly accept the Supreme Self as myself, and myself, a transmigratory being, as the Supreme Self? I may then very well admit that fire is cool! Why should I, a man of the world entitled to accomplish all prosperity in this world and in the next and realise the supreme end of life, i.e., liberation, give up the actions producing those results and Yajnopavita etc., their accessories?

34. The teacher should say to him, "It was not right for you to say, "I directly perceive the pain in me when my body gets cuts or burns". Why? Because the pain due to cuts or burns, perceived in the body, the object of the perception of the perceiver like a tree burnt or cut, must have the same location as the burns etc. People point out pain caused by burns and the like to be in that place where they occur but not in the perceiver. How? For, on being asked where one's pain lies, one says, "I have pain in the head, in the chest or in the stomach." Thus one points out pain in that place where burns or cuts occur, but never in the perceiver. If pain or its causes viz., burns or cuts, were in the perceiver, then one would have pointed out the perceiver to be the seat of the pain, like the parts of the body, the seats of the burns or cuts.

35. Moreover, (if it were in the Self) the pain could not be perceived by the Self like the colour of the eye by the same eye. Therefore, as it is perceived to have the same seat as burns, cuts and the like, pain must be an object of perception like them. Since it is an effect, it must have a receptacle like that in which rice is cooked. The impressions of pain must have the same seat as pain itself. As they are perceived during the time when memory is possible (i.e., in waking and dream, and not in deep sleep), these impressions must have the same location as pain. The aversion to cuts, burns and the like, the causes of pain, must also have the same seat as the impressions (of pain). It is therefore said, "Desire, aversion and fear have a seat common with that of the impressions of colours. As they have for their seat the intellect, the knower, the Self, is always pure and devoid of fear".

36. "What is then the locus of the impressions of colours and the rest?" "The same as that of lust etc.," "Where again are lust etc.?" "They are in the intellect (and no where else) according to the Sruti - lust, deliberation, doubt". "The impressions of colours and so forth are also there (and nowhere else) according to the Sruti. - what is the seat of colours? The intellect". That desire, aversion and the like are the attributes of the embodiment, the object and not the Self, is known from the Srutis "Desires that are in the intellect", "For he is then beyond all the woes of his heart (intellect)". "Because It is unattached", "Its form untouched by desires" and from Smritis such as "It is said to be changeless", "Because It is beginningless and without attributes" and so on. Therefore (it is concluded that) impurity pertains to the object and not to the Self.

37-38. Therefore you are not different from the supreme Self in as much as you are devoid of impurities such as the connection with the impressions of colours and the like. As there is no contradiction to perceptional evidence etc., the supreme Self should be accepted as oneself according to the Srutis. "It knew the pure Self to be Brahman", "It should be regarded as homogeneous", "It is I that am below", It is the Self that is below", "He knows everything to be the Self", "When everything becomes the Self", "All this verily is the Self", "He is without parts", "Without the interior and exterior", "Unborn, comprising the interior and exterior", "All this verily is Brahman", "It entered through this door", "The names of pure knowledge", "Existence, Knowledge, Infinite Brahman", "From It", "It created and entered it", "The shining One without a second concealed in all beings and all-pervading", "In all bodies Itself bodiless", "It is not born and does not die", "(Knowing) dream and waking, He is my Self, thus one should know", "Who (knows) all beings," "It moves and moves not", knowing It, one becomes worthy of being worshipped, "It and nothing but It is fire", "I became Manu and the sun", "Entering into them He rules all creatures", "Existence only, my child," "That is real, That is the Self, thou art That".
It is established that you, the Self, are the supreme Brahman, the One only and devoid of every phenomenal attribute, from the Smritis also such as "All beings are the body of One who resides in the hearts of all," "Gods are verily the Self", "In the city of nine gates", "The same in all beings", "In a Brahmana wise and courteous", "Undivided in things divided and "All this verily is Vasudeva (the Self)."

39. If he says, If, Sir, the Self is "Without interior or exterior", "Comprising interior and exterior, unborn", "Whole", "Pure consciousness only" like a lump of salt, devoid of all the various forms, and of a homogeneous nature like the ether, what is it that is observed in ordinary usage and revealed in Srutis and Smritis as what is to be accomplished, its (appropriate) means and its accomplishers and is made the subject-matter of contention among hundreds of rival disputants holding different views ?

40. The teacher should say, whatever is observed (in this world) or learnt from the Srutis (regarding the next world) are products of Ignorance. But in reality there is only One, the Self, who appears to be many to deluded vision, like the moon appearing more than one to eyes affected by amaurosis. That duality is the product of Ignorance follows from the reasonableness of the condemnation by the Srutis of the acceptance of (the reality of) difference such as "When there is something else as it were", "When there is duality as it were, one sees another", "He goes from death to death", "And where one sees something else, hears something else, cognizes something else, that is finite and that which is finite is mortal", "Modifications (i.e., effects e.g., an earthen jar) being only names, have for their support words only, it is earth alone (i.e., the cause) that is real" and "He is one, I am another". The same thing follows from the Srutis teaching unity, for example, "One only without a second", "When the knower of Brahman" and "what delusion or grief is there?"

41. If it be so, Sir, why do the Srutis speak of diverse ends to be attained, their means and so forth, as also the evolution and the dissolution of the universe ?

42. The answer to your question is this: Having acquired (having identified himself with) the various things such as the body and the rest, considering the Self to be connected with what is desirable and what is undesirable and so on, though eager to attain the desirable and avoid the undesirable by appropriate means - for without certain means nothing can be accomplished - an ignorant man cannot discriminate between the means to the realisation of what is (really) desirable for him and the means to the avoidance of what is undesirable. It is the gradual removal of this ignorance that is the aim of the scriptures; but not the enunciation of (the reality of) the difference of the end, means and so on. For, it is this very difference that constitutes this undesirable transmigratory existence. The scriptures, therefore, root out the ignorance constituting this (false) conception of difference which is the cause of phenomenal existence by giving reasons for the oneness of the evolution, dissolution, etc., of the universe.

43. When ignorance is uprooted with the aid of the Sruti, Smriti and reasoning, the one-pointed intellect of the seer of the supreme Truth becomes established in the one Self which is of the nature of pure Consciousness like a (homogeneous) lump of salt, all-pervading like the ether, which is without the interior and exterior, unborn and is within and without. Even the slightest taint of impurity due to the diversity of ends, means, evolution, dissolution and the rest is, therefore, not reasonable.

44. One who is eager to realise this right knowledge spoken of in the Sruti should rise above the desire for a son, wealth and this world and the next which are described in a five-fold manner and are the outcome of a false reference to the Self, of castes, orders of life and so on. As this reference is contradictory to right knowledge, it is intelligible why reasons are given regarding the prohibition of the acceptance of (the reality of) difference. For when the knowledge that the one non-dual Self is beyond phenomenal existence is generated by the scriptures and reasoning, there cannot exist side by side with it a knowledge contrary to it. None can think of chillness in fire or immortality and freedom from old age in regard to the (perishable) body. One, therefore, who is eager to be established in the knowledge of the Reality should give up all actions with Yajnopavita and the rest, their accessories, which are the effects of ignorance.


45. A certain Brahmacharin, tired of the transmigratory existence consisting of birth and death and aspiring after liberation, approached in the prescribed manner a Knower of Brahman established in It and sitting at ease and said, How can I, Sir, be liberated from this transmigratory existence ? Conscious of the body, the senses and their objects, I feel pain in the state of waking and also in the state of dream again and again after intervals of rest in deep sleep experienced by me. Is this my own nature or is it causal, I being of a different nature? If it be my own nature, I can have no hope of liberation as one's own nature cannot be got rid of. But if it be causal, liberation from it may be possible by removing the cause.

46. The teacher said to him, Listen, my child, it is not your nature but causal.

47. Told thus the disciple said, "What is the cause? What will bring it to an end and what is my nature? That cause being brought to an end, there will be the absence of the effect and I shall come by my own nature, just like a patient who gets back the normal condition (of his health) when the cause of his disease is removed.

48. The teacher said, The cause is Ignorance, Knowledge brings it to an end. When Ignorance, the cause, will be removed, you will be liberated from the transmigratory existence consisting of birth and death. You will never again feel pain in the states of waking and dream.

49.The disciple said What is that Ignorance ? What is its seat? (What is its object?) And what is Knowledge by means of which I may come by my own nature?

50. The teacher said, You are the non-transmigratory Supreme Self, but you wrongly think that you are one liable to transmigration. (Similarly), not being an agent or an experiencer you wrongly consider yourself to be so. Again, you are eternal but mistake yourself to be non-eternal. That is Ignorance.

51. The disciple said, Though eternal, I am not the Supreme Self. My Nature is one of transmigratory existence consisting of agency and experiencing of its results, as it is known by evidences such as sense-perception etc. It is not due to Ignorance. For it cannot have the innermost Self for its object. Ignorance consists of the superimposition of the qualities of one thing on another e.g., well-known silver on well-known mother-of-pearl or a well-known human being on a (well-known) trunk of a tree and vice versa. An unknown thing cannot be superimposed on a known one and vice versa. The non-Self cannot be superimposed on the Self, for It is not known. Similarly, the Self cannot be superimposed on the non-Self for the very same reason.

52. The teacher said to him, It is not so. There are exceptions. For, my child, there cannot be a rule that it is only well-known things that are superimposed on other well-known things, for we meet with the superimposition of certain things on the Self. Fairness and blackness, the properties of the body, are superimposed on the Self which is the object of the consciousness "I", and the same Self is superimposed on the body.

53. The disciple said, In that case the Self must be well-known owing to Its being the object of the consciousness "I". The body also must be well-known, for it is spoken of as "this" (body). When this is so, it is a case of mutual superimposition of the well-known body and the well-known Self, like that of a human being and the trunk of a tree or that of silver and mother-of-pearl. (There is, therefore, no exception here). So what is the peculiarity with reference to which you said that there could not be a rule that mutual superimposition was possible of two well-known things only?

54. The teacher said, Listen. It is true that the Self and the body are well-known, but they are not well-known to all people to be objects of different knowledge, like a human being and a trunk of tree. (Question): How are they known then? (Reply): (They are always known) to be the objects of an undifferentiated knowledge. For, no one knows them to be the objects of different knowledge saying, "This is the body" and "This is the Self". It is for this reason that people are deluded about the nature of the Self and of the non-Self and say, "The Self is of this nature" and "It is not of this nature". It was this peculiarity with reference to which I said that there was no such rule (viz., only well-known things could be superimposed on each other).

55. Disciple: Whatever is superimposed through Ignorance on anything else is found to be non-existent in that thing, e.g., silver in mother-of-pearl, a human being in the trunk of a tree, a snake in a rope and the form of a frying pan and blueness in the sky. Similarly, both the body and the Self, always the objects of an undifferentiated knowledge, would be non-existent in each other if they were mutually superimposed. Just as silver etc., superimposed on mother-of-pearl and other things and vice versa are always absolutely non-existent. Likewise, the Self and the non-Self would both be non-existent if they were similarly superimposed on each other through Ignorance. But that is not desirable as it is the position of the Nihilists. If, instead of a mutual superimposition the body (alone) is superimposed through Ignorance on the Self, the body will be non-existent in the existing Self. That is also not desirable. For it contradicts sense-perception etc. Therefore the body and the Self are not mutually superimposed due to Ignorance. (If they are not superimposed) what then? They are always in the relation of conjunction with each other like pillars and bamboos.

56. Teacher: It is not so. For in that case there arises the possibility of the Self existing for the benefit of another and being non-eternal. The Self, if in contact with the body, would be existing for the benefit of another and be non-eternal like the combination of pillars and bamboos. Moreover, the Self, supposed by other philosophers to be conjoined with the body, must have an existence for the sake of another. It is, therefore, concluded that devoid of contact with the body the Self is eternal and characteristically different from it.

57. Disciple: The objections that the Self as the body only is non-existent, non-eternal and so on hold good if the Self which is not conjoined with the body were superimposed on it. The body would then be without a Self and so the Nihilist position comes in.

58. Teacher: No. (You are not right). For we admit that, like the ether, the Self is by nature free from contact with anything. Just as things are not bereft of the ether though it is not in contact with them, so, the body etc., are not devoid of the Self though It is not in contact with them. Therefore the objection of the Nihilist position coming in does not arise.

59. It is not a fact that the absolute non-existence of the body contradicts sense-perception etc., inasmuch as the existence of the body in the Self is not known by these evidences. The body is not known to exist in the Self by perception etc., like a plum in a hole, ghee in milk, oil in sesame or a picture painted on a wall. There is, therefore, no contradiction to sense-perception etc.

60. Disciple: How can then there be the superimposition of the body etc., on the Self which is not known by sense-perception etc., and that of the Self on the body?

61. Teacher: :It is not a (valid) objection. For the Self is naturally well-known. As we see the form of a frying pan and blueness superimposed on the sky, there cannot be a rule that it is things known occasionally only on which superimposition is possible and not on things always known.

62. Disciple: Sir, is the mutual superimposition of the body and the Self made by the combination of the body etc., or by the Self?

63. The teacher said, Does it matter if it be made by the one or the other?

64. Questioned thus the disciple said, If I were only a combination of the body etc., I would be non-conscious and would exist for the sake of another only. Therefore the mutual superimposition of the body and the Self could not be made by me. If on the other hand, I were the Self I would be characteristically different from the combination of the body etc., would be conscious and, therefore, would exist entirely for myself. So it is I, a conscious being, who make that superimposition, the root of all evils, on the Self.

65. Thus told, the teacher said, Do not make any superimposition, if you know it to be the root of all evils.

66. Disciple: Sir, I cannot but make it, I am not independent. I am made to act by someone else.

67. Teacher: Then you do not exist for yourself as you are non-conscious. That by which you are made to act like one dependent on another is conscious and exists for itself. You are only a combination (of the body and other things).

68. Disciple: How am I conscious of pain and pleasure and also of what you say, if I be non-conscious?

69. Teacher: Are you different from the consciousness of pain and pleasure and from what I say or not?

70. The disciple said, It is not a fact that I am not different from them. For I know them to be objects of my knowledge like jars and other things. If I were not different, I could not know them. But I know them; so I am different. If I were not different, the modifications of the mind called pain and pleasure and the words spoken by you would exist for themselves. But that is not reasonable. For pleasure and pain produced by sandal paste and a thorn respectively and also the use of a jar are not for their own sake. Therefore the purposes served by sandal paste etc., are for the sake of me who am their knower. I am different from them as I know all things pervaded by the intellect.

71. The teacher said to him, As you are possessed of consciousness, you exist for yourself and are not made to act by anyone else. For an independent conscious being is not made to act by another as it is not reasonable that one possessed of consciousness exists for the sake of another possessing consciousness, both being of the same nature like the lights of two lamps. Nor does one possessed of consciousness exist for the sake of another having no consciousness; for it is not possible that a thing exists for itself for the very fact that it is non-conscious. Nor again is it seen that two non-conscious things exist for each other, as wood and a wall do not serve each other's purpose.

72. Disciple: But it may be said that the servant and the master are seen to serve each other's purpose though they are equally possessed of consciousness.

73. Teacher: It is not so. For I speak of consciousness belonging to you like heat and light to fire. It is for this reason that I cited the example of the lights of two lamps. Therefore, as changeless and eternal consciousness, like the heat and light of fire, you know everything presented to your intellect. Thus when you always know the Self to be without any attribute, why did you say, "I experience pain and pleasure again and again during the states of waking and dream after intervals of rest in deep sleep?" And why did you say, "Is it my own nature or causal?" Has this delusion vanished or not?

74. To this, the disciple replied, The delusion, Sir, is gone by your grace; but I have doubts about the changeless nature which, you say, pertains to me.
Teacher: What doubts?
Disciple: Sound etc., do not exist independently as they are non-conscious. But they come into existence when there arise in the mind modifications resembling sound and so on. It is impossible that these modifications should have an independent existence as they are exclusive of one another as regards their special characteristics (of resembling sound etc.,) and appear to be blue, yellow, etc. (So sound etc., are not the same as mental modifications). It is therefore inferred that these modifications are caused by external objects. So it is proved that modifications resemble sound etc., objects existing externally. Similarly, these different modifications of the mind also are combinations and therefore non-conscious. So, not existing for their own sake they, like sound etc., exist only when known by one different from them. Though the Self is not a combination, It consists of Consciousness and exists for Its own sake; It is the knower of the mental modifications appearing to be blue, yellow and so on. It must, therefore, be of a changeful nature. Hence is the doubt about the changeless nature of the Self.

75. The teacher said to him, Your doubt is not justifiable. For you, the Self, are proved to be free from change and therefore perpetually the same on the ground that all the modifications of the mind without a single exception are (simultaneously) known by you. You regard this knowledge of all the modifications which is the reason for the above inference as that for your doubt. If you were changeful like the mind or the senses (which pervade their objects one after another), you would not simultaneously know all the mental modifications, the objects of your knowledge. Nor are you aware of a portion only of the objects of your knowledge (at a time). You are, therefore, absolutely changeless.

76. The disciple said, Knowledge is the meaning of a root and therefore surely consists of a change; and the Knower (as you say) is of a changeless nature. This is a contradiction.

77. Teacher: It is not so. For the word knowledge is used only in a secondary sense to mean a change called an action, the meaning of a root. A modification of the intellect called an action ends in a result in itself which is the reflection of Knowledge, the Self. It is for this reason that this modification is called knowledge in a secondary sense, just as the action of cutting a thing in two is secondarily called its separation in two which is the ultimate result of the action of cutting the thing.

78. Being told thus, the disciple said, Sir, the example cited by you cannot prove that I am changeless.
Teacher: How?
Disciple: For, just as the ultimate separation (into two) is used secondarily for the action of cutting which is the meaning of a root, so the word knowledge is used secondarily for the mental modification which is the meaning of a root and which ends in the result that is a change in Knowledge. The example cited by you, therefore, cannot establish the changeless nature of the Self.

79. The teacher said, What you say would be true if there were a distinction existing between the Knower and Knowledge. For, the Knower is eternal Knowledge only. The Knower and Knowledge are not different as they are in the argumentative philosophy.

80. Disciple: How is it then that an action ends in a result which is Knowledge?

81. The teacher said, Listen. It was said that the mental modification, called an action, ended in a result which was the reflection of Knowledge. Did you not hear it? I did not say that a change was produced in the Self as a result (of the modification of the mind).

82. The disciple said, How then am I who am changeless, the knower, as you say, of all the mental modifications, the objects of my knowledge?

83. The teacher said to him, I told you the right thing. The very fact (that you know simultaneously all the mental modifications) was adduced by me as the reason why you are eternally immutable.

84. Disciple: If this is so, Sir, what is my fault when the mental changes resembling sound etc., and resulting in the reflection of Knowledge, My own nature, are produced in Me who am of the nature of changeless and eternal Consciousness?

85. Teacher: It is true that you are not to be blamed. Ignorance, as I told you before, is the only fault.

86. Disciple: Sir, why are there the states of dream and waking (in me) if I am absolutely changeless like one in deep sleep?

87. The teacher said to him, But you always experience them (whenever they arise).

88. Disciple: Yes, I experience them, at intervals but not continuously.

89. The teacher said, They are then adventitious only and are not your own nature. They will surely be continuous if they were self existent like Pure Consciousness which is your own nature. Moreover, they are not your own nature inasmuch as they are non-persistent like clothes and other things. For what is one's own nature is never seen to cease to persist while one is persisting. But waking and dream cease to persist while Pure Consciousness continues to do so. Pure Consciousness, the Self, persisting in deep sleep, whatever is non-persistent (at that time) is either destroyed or negated inasmuch as adventitious things, never the properties of one's own nature, are found to possess these characteristics; for example, the destruction of money, clothes, etc., and the negation of things acquired in dream or delusion are seen.

90. Disciple: But, Sir, when this is so, Pure Consciousness Itself has to be admitted to be adventitious like waking and dream. For it is not known in deep sleep. Or, (it may be that I have adventitious consciousness or) am non-conscious by nature.

91. Teacher: No. (What you say is not right). Think over it. It is not reasonable (to say so). You may look upon Pure Consciousness as adventurous (if you are wise enough); but we cannot prove It to be so by reasoning even in a hundred years, nor (can It be proved to be so) even by a dull man. As the consciousness (that has for its adjuncts mental modifications) is a combination, no one can prevent its existence for the sake of another, its manyness and destructibility by any reasoning whatever; for we have already said that whatsoever does not exist for itself is not self-existent. As Pure Consciousness, the Self, is self-existent. No one can prevent Its independence of other things inasmuch as It never ceases to exist.

92. Disciple: But I have shown an exception, namely, I have no consciousness in deep sleep.

93. Teacher: No, you contradict yourself.
Disciple: How is it a contradiction?
Teacher: You contradict yourself by saying that you are not conscious when, as a matter of fact, you are so.
Disciple: But, Sir, I was never conscious of consciousness or anything else in deep sleep.
Teacher: You are then conscious in deep sleep. For you deny the existence of the objects of Knowledge (in that state), but not that of Knowledge. I have told you that what is your consciousness is nothing but absolute Knowledge. The Consciousness owing to whose presence you deny (the existence of things in deep sleep) by saying, "I was conscious of nothing" is the Knowledge, the Consciousness which is your Self. As It never ceases to exist, Its eternal immutability is self-evident and does not depend on any evidence; for an object of Knowledge different from the self-evident Knower depends on an evidence in order to be known. Other than the object the eternal Knowledge, that is indispensable in proving non-conscious things other then Itself, is immutable; for It is always of a self-evident nature. Just as iron, water, etc., which are not of the nature of light and heat, depend for them in the sun, fire and other things other than themselves, but the sun and fire themselves, always of the nature of light and heat, do not depend forr them on anything else; so, being of the nature of pure Knowledge It does not depend on an evidence to prove that It exists or that It is the Knower.

94. Disciple: But it is transitory knowledge only that is the result of a proof and not eternal Knowledge.

95. Teacher: No. There cannot reasonably be a distinction of perpetuity or otherwise in Knowledge. For, it is not known that transitory Knowledge is the result of a proof and not eternal Knowledge, as Knowledge Itself is such a result.

96. Disciple: But eternal Knowledge does not depend on a Knower while transitory Knowledge does so as it is produced by an intervening effort. This is the difference.

97. Teacher: The Knower which is the Self is then self-evident as It does not depend on any evidence (in order to be proved).

98. Disciple: (If the Knowledge of the Self be independent of an evidence on the ground that It is eternal), why should the absence of the result of an evidence with regard to the Self be not so on the same ground?
Teacher: No, it has been refused on the ground that it is pure Knowledge that is in the Self.

99. Whom will the desire (to know a thing) belong to, if the Knower depend on an evidence in order to be known? It is admitted that one who is desirous of knowing a thing is the knower. His desire of knowing a thing has for its object the thing to be known and not the knower. For, in the latter case, there arises a regresses ad infinitum with regard to the knower and also with regard to the desire to know the knower, inasmuch as the knower of the knower and so on (are to be known). Moreover, there being nothing intervening, the knower, the Self, cannot fall into the category of the known. For a thing to be known, becomes known, when it is distanced from the knower by the birth of an intervening desire, memory, effort or evidence on the part of the knower. There cannot be the knowledge of an object in any other way. Again it cannot be imagined that the knower himself is distanced by anyone of his own desire etc. For memory has for its object the thing to be remembered and not one who remembers it; so has desire for its object the thing to be desired and not one who desires it. There arises, as before, an inevitable regresses ad infinitum if memory and desire have their own agents for their objects.

100. Disciple: But the knower remains unknown if there is no knowledge which has for its object the knower.

101. Teacher: No. The knowledge of the knower has for its object the thing to be known. If it has for its object the knower, there arises a regresses ad infinitum as before. It has already been shown that, like the heat and light of the sun, fire and other things, the Knowledge which is changeless, eternal and self-effulgent has an existence in the Self entirely independent of everything else. I have already said that if the self-effulgent Knowledge which is there in the Self were transitory, it would become unreasonable that the Self existed for Itself and that being a combination It would get impurities and have an existence for the sake of another like the combination of the body and the senses. How? (Reply:) If the self-effulgent knowledge in the Self were transitory, It would have a distance by the intervention of memory etc. It would then be non-existent in the Self before being produced and after being destroyed and the Self, then a combination, would have an existence for the sake of another like that of the eye etc., produced by the combination of certain things. The Self would have no independent existence if this knowledge were produced before it was in It. For it is only on account of the absence or presence of the state of being combined that the Self is known to exist for Itself and the non-Self for another. It is, therefore, established that the Self is of the nature of eternal and self-effulgent knowledge.

102. Disciple: How can the knower be a knower if he is not the seat of the knowledge produced by evidences?

103. The teacher said, The knowledge produced by evidence does not differ in its essential nature whether one calls it eternal or transitory. Knowledge (though) produced by evidence is nothing but knowledge. The knowledge preceded by memory, desire, etc., and supposed to be transitory and that which is eternal and immutable do not differ in their essential nature. Just as the result of the transitory actions of standing etc., the meanings of roots, preceded by motion etc., and that of the permanent ones not so preceded do not differ in their essential nature and there are, therefore, the identical statements, "People stand", "Mountains stand", etc.; so, the knower, though of the nature of eternal knowledge, is called a knower without contradiction inasmuch, as eternal knowledge is the same as one produced by an evidence (as regards their essential nature).

104. Here the disciple starts an objection: It is not reasonable that the Self which is changeless and of the nature of eternal Knowledge and not in contact with the body and the senses should be the agent of an action like a carpenter in contact with an adze and other instruments. A regresses ad infinitum arises if the Self unconnected with the body, the senses, etc., were to use them as Its instruments. As carpenters and others are always connected with bodies and senses there is no regresses ad infinitum when they use adzes and other instruments.

105. Teacher: (Reply): Agency is not possible without the use of instruments. Instruments, therefore, have to be assumed. The assumption of instruments is of course an action. In order to be the agent of this action, other instruments have to be assumed. In assuming these instruments still others have to be assumed. A regresses ad infinitum is, therefore, inevitable if the Self which is not joined with anything were to be the agent.
Nor can it be said that it is an action that makes the Self act. For an action, not performed, has no existence. It is also not possible that something (previously existing) makes the Self act as nothing (except the Self) can have an independent existence and be a non-object. For things other than the Self must be non-conscious and, therefore, are not seen to be Self-existent. Everything including sound etc., come to exist when they are proved by mental functions resulting in the reflection of the Self in them.
One (apparently) different from the Self and possessed of consciousness, must be no other than the Self that is free from combination with other things and existing for Itself only.
Nor can we admit that the body, the senses and their objects exist for themselves inasmuch as they are seen to depend for their existence on mental modifications resulting in the reflection of the Self (in them).

106. Disciple: But no one depends on any other evidence such as sense-perception etc., in knowing the body.

107. Teacher: Yes, it is so in the waking state. But at death and in deep sleep the body also depends on evidences such as sense-perception etc., in order to be known. Similar is the case with the senses. It is the external sound and other objects that are transformed into the body and the senses; the latter, therefore, also depend on evidences like sense-perception etc., in order to be known. I have said that knowledge, the result produced by evidences, is the same as the self-evident, self-effulgent and changeless Self.

108. The objector (the disciple) says, It is contradictory to state that knowledge is the result of evidences and (at the same time) it is the self-effulgent Self which is changeless and eternal.
The reply given to him is this: It is not a contradiction.
How then is knowledge a result?
It is a result in a secondary sense: though changeless and eternal, It is noticed in the presence of mental modifications called sense-perception etc., as they are instrumental in making It manifest. It appears to be transitory, as mental modifications called sense-perception etc., are so. It is for this reason that It is called the result of proofs in a secondary sense.

109. Disciple: Sir, if this is so, independent of evidences regarding Itself, eternal and changeless knowledge, which is the Consciousness of the Self, is surely self-evident and all things different from It and therefore non-conscious, have an existence only for the sake of the Self as they combine to act for one another (in order that the events of the universe may continue uninterruptedly). It is only as the knowledge of the mental modifications giving rise to pleasure, pain and delusion that the non-Self serves the purpose of another. And it is as the same knowledge and as nothing else that it has an existence. Just as a rope-snake, the water in a mirage and such other things are found to be non-existent except only the knowledge by which they are known; so, the duality experienced during waking and dream has reasonably no existence except the knowledge by which it is known. So having a continuous existence, Pure Consciousness, the Self, is eternal and immutable and never ceasing to exist in any mental modification. It is one without a second. The modifications themselves cease to exist, the Self continuing to do so. Just as in dream the mental modifications appearing to be blue, yellow, etc., are said to be really non-existent as they cease to exist while the knowledge by which they are known has an uninterrupted continuous existence; so, in the waking state also they are reasonably really non-existent, as they cease to exist while the very same knowledge continues to do so. As that knowledge has no other knower, it cannot be accepted or rejected by Itself. As there is nothing else (except Myself, the aim of my life is fulfilled by your grace).

110. Teacher: It is exactly so. It is Ignorance due to which the transmigratory existence consisting of waking and dream is experienced. It is Knowledge that brings this Ignorance to an end. You have thus attained Fearlessness. You will never again feel pain in waking or in dream. You are liberated from the misery of this transmigratory existence.

111. Disciple: Yes, Sir.


112. This method of repetition is described for those who aspire after supreme tranquility of the mind by destroying accumulated sins and virtues and refraining from accumulating new ones. Ignorance causes defects. Defects produce efforts of the body, mind and speech. And through these efforts are accumulated actions having desirable, undesirable and mixed results. This method is described here so that there may be cessation of all these.

113. As they are perceived by the ear and the other senses the objects called sound, touch, sight, taste and smell have no knowledge of themselves or of other things. Transformed into the body and other things they, like brickbats, are known to lack in the said knowledge. Moreover, they are known through the ear etc. Being the knower, that by which they are known is quite of a different nature. For, connected with one another those sound and other objects are possessed of various properties such as birth, growth, change of condition, decline, death, contact, separation, appearance, disappearance, cause, effect and sex. All of them produce various effects like pleasure, pain and so on. The knower of sound and the like is of a nature different from theirs as It is the knower.

114-115. Distressed by sound and other things experienced, the knower of Brahman will thus practice repetition: I who am of the nature of Consciousness, not attached to anything, changeless, immovable, imperishable, free from fear, extreme subtle and not an object, cannot for the very fact of my being not attached, be made an object and touched by sound in general or its special forms such as, the notes of the gamut, praise, etc. which are pleasant and desirable, and false, terrible, insulting and abusive words, which are undesirable.. So there is no loss or gain due to sound. Therefore what can sound, pleasant or unpleasant, consisting of praise or blame do to me? Pleasant or unpleasant sound regarded as belonging to the Self glorifies or injures and ignorant man on account of indiscrimination. But it cannot do even the slightest good or evil to me who am a man of knowledge. (These ideas should thus be repeated.)
Similarly no change consisting of gain or loss can be produced in me by touch in general or its special form such as fever, colic pain and such other diseases and coldness, hotness, softness or roughness which is unpleasant. Again, pleasant touches connected with the body or brought into existence by external or adventitious causes can likewise produce no change in me as much as I am beyond touch like the ether which, when struck with one's fist, does not meet with any change whatever.
Likewise as I am entirely unconnected with sight, no good or harm is done to me by it, either in its general form or in its special forms both pleasant, and unpleasant, such as ugly sights.
Similarly, Independent of taste I am not harmed or benefited by it, either in its general form or in its special forms such as sweetness, sourness, saltiness, pungency, bitterness and astringency, though accepted as pleasant or unpleasant by the ignorant.
Thus, I who do not consist of smell cannot be harmed or benefited by it, either in its general form or in its special forms such as, flowers, fragrant pastes etc. considered to be pleasant or unpleasant. For, the Sruti says that I am one who am 'eternally devoid of sound, thought, sight, taste and smell.'

116. Moreover, sound and the other external objects that are transformed into the forms of the body, the ear and the other senses through which they are perceived, are transformed into the forms of the two internal organs, (the intellect and the mind) and also into those of their objects. For, they are connected and combined with one another in all actions. When this is so, I who am a man of knowledge have no one belonging to me as a friend or foe, nor have I anyone indifferent to me. Anybody, therefore, who wishes to connect me with pleasure or pain, the results of his action, through a false egoism, makes a vain effort. For I am not within the reach of pain or pleasure as the Sruti says, 'It is unmanifested and inscrutable'. Similarly, I am not changeable by the action of any of the five elements as I am not of an objective nature. Therefore the Sruti says, 'It cannot be cut or burnt'. The merit or demerit arising out of good or evil done to this combination of the body and the senses on the part of those who are devotional or adverse to me will be theirs, but will not touch me who am devoid of old age, death and fear as the Sruti and Smriti say, 'It is not pained by omission and commission', "It is harmed or benefited by any action", 'Unborn, comprising the interior and exterior' and 'It is beyond the pain felt by the people and unattached'. The supreme reason why I am unattached is that nothing really exists except the Self.
As duality does not exist the portions of the Upanishads regarding the oneness of the Self should be studied to a great extent.
Here ends the prose portion of A Thousand Teachings written by the well-known Sankara.

Part-II (Metrical)


1. I bow down to that all knowing One which is Pure Consciousness, all -pervading, all residing in the hearts of all beings and beyond all objects of knowledge.

2. Now then, the Vedas begin to describe the knowledge of Brahman after dealing with all actions preceded by marriage and the installation of sacred fire.

3-4. Action, (both enjoined and prohibited) bring about one's connection with the body; when the connection with the body has taken place, pleasure and pain most surely follow; thence come attraction and repulsion, from them actions follow again, as results of which merit and demerit appertain to an ignorant man, which again are similarly followed by the connection with the body. This transmigratory is thus going on continually for ever like a wheel.

5. The cessation of Ignorance is desirable, as it is the root of transmigratory existence. Hence, a delineation of knowledge of Brahman through which comes liberation (from Ignorance) is commenced.

6-7. Not being incompatible with Ignorance, actions do not destroy it; it is knowledge alone that does it. Ignorance not being destroyed, the destruction of desire and aversion is not possible. Actions caused by impurities are sure to follow in case desire and aversion are not removed. Knowledge alone, therefore, is taught here, so that liberation (from Ignorance) may be accomplished.

8. Obligatory duties should be performed (along with the practice of knowledge) as long as life lasts, because these duties co-operate with Knowledge in producing liberation.

9. As they are equally enjoined obligatory duties and knowledge (should be practiced together). They should be undertaken by those who aspire after liberation because Srutis speak of sins also (arising out of the omissions of those actions).

10-11. (first line) You may say followed by a sure result, Knowledge does not depend on anything else. But it is not so. Just as Agnishtoma, though followed by an unfailing result, depends on things other than itself; so, knowledge, though bringing about a sure result, must depend on obligatory duties.

11. (Last line). (Reply) Some people hold this view. We say: No. As it is incompatible with actions, Knowledge does not depend on them (in producing its result).

12. Accompanied by egoism, actions are incompatible with Knowledge. For it is well known here (in the Vedanta) that Knowledge is the consciousness that the Self is changeless.

13. Actions have their origin in the consciousness that one is a doer and has the desire of having the results of what one does. Knowledge depends on a thing (its own object and also on evidence), while action depends entirely on the performer.

14. The Knowledge (of one's own real nature) destroys the idea of doership etc. (on the part of oneself like the right Knowledge of the nature of the desert which destroys) the conviction of there being water in it. When this so, how can (a man of knowledge) accept them as true and perform actions?

15. It is, therefore, not possible on the par of a man of knowledge to have Knowledge and perform an action at the same time as they are incompatible with each other. So, one who aspires after liberation should renounce actions.

16. The natural conviction on the part of the people that the Self is not different from the body etc. arises through Ignorance. The Vedic injunctions (and prohibitions) are authoritative as long as it prevails.

17. The Self is left over by negating the body etc. by the Sruti, 'Not this, not this', so that one may have the Knowledge of the Self which is devoid of all attributes. Ignorance is brought to an end by this knowledge.

18. How can Ignorance, one negated (by Vedic evidence), arises again? For it is neither in the innermost Self which is only one without a second and without attributes nor in the non-Self.

19. How can there again be the idea that one is a doer of actions and experiencer of their results if Ignorance does not arise after there has grown the Knowledge 'I am Brahman'? Knowledge, therefore, is independent of actions (in producing liberation).

20-21. (first line) Therefore, it is said by the Sruti that the renunciation of actions including mental ones (catalogued in the Naryanopanishad), is superior to their performance. Again immorality is heard of in the Brihadaranyakopanishad which says, This alone. Hence, they should be renounced by those who aspire after liberation.

21. (last line) We give the following reply to the objector who quoted the example of Agnoshtoma.

22. Knowledge is quite opposite in nature to that of actions like Agnishtoma etc. for they are accomplished with the help of many materials and differ in the quality of the result of each individual performance. The example, therefore, is not parallel.

23. As it produces result (variable in quality) the Agnishtoma sacrifice, like agriculture etc., requires subsidiary actions other than itself. But what else will Knowledge depend on?

24. It is only one having egoism that may incur sin (by the omission of duties). A man who has got Self-knowledge has neither egoism nor a desire for the results of actions.

25. The Upanishads, are therefore, commenced in order to teach the Knowledge of Brahman so that Ignorance might be removed and transmigratory existence might for ever come to an end.

26. The word 'Upanishad' is derived from the root 'sad' prefixed by two particles, 'Upa and 'ni' and followed by the suffix 'Kwip'. Si, that which loosens the bondage of birth, old age, etc., enables a man to approach Brahman and destroys birth, death, etc., is called Upanishad.


1. Impossible 'to be negated', the Self is left over on the authority of Sruti 'Not this, not this'. So, the Self becomes clearly known on the reflection. 'I am not this, I am not this.'

2. The consciousness of egoism (i.e. the mistaken identity of the Self with the body etc.) has its origin in the intellect and has for its object what is based on words only. As its very nature and origin are both negated by the Sruti, 'Not this, not this', egoism can never again be regarded as founded on any evidence.

3. A following Knowledge does not arise without negating the previous one (e.g. the knowledge of the rope does not come without destroying that of the snake in a rope-snake). Pure Consciousness, the Self, only has an independent existence and is never negated as It is the result of evidence.

4. One attains one's own innermost Self by crossing the forest of this body infested with ferocious beasts of grief, delusion, etc., like the man of the country of Gandhara who crossed the forest and reached his own country.


1. The aspirant can not know that he is Brahman if It be different from the Self. (It then contradicts the Sruti). But if he has the conviction that he, the Self, is Brahman (there is no contradiction to the Sruti.) This is (right) Knowledge which destroys Ignorance.

2. What would be the use (of the description by the Sruti) of the qualities 'not large' etc., if they were the qualities of one other than the Self, it being not an object of search? But if Brahman (with these qualities) is the Self, the ideas such as largeness, smallness, etc. are negated from the latter.

3. Know, therefore, that the Sruti, 'not large' etc. is meant to negate the false superimposition (of largeness, smallness, etc. on the Self) as it would be description of a void if it were meant to negate those qualities from one other than the Self.

4. Moreover, the saying, 'devoid of the vital force, devoid of the mind and pure' would be unmeaning if these qualities were meant to be negated from one other than the individual Self, the aspirant.


1. How can those actions of which the root is egoism and which are accumulated in the mind produce results when they are burnt by the fire of the right Knowledge that one is neither the doer of actions nor he experiencer of their results?

2. (The objector): Actions burnt by the fire of Knowledge may produce results like the seen ones of the actions of a man of Knowledge. (Reply): No. They are due to another cause. (The Objector): I ask you how there can be actions when egoism is destroyed. Please answer.

3. (Reply). Such actions produce their results by overpowering the Knowledge of Brahman in you, because they have the power of producing the body etc., Knowledge, however, becomes manifest when the results of these actions come to an end.

4. As Knowledge and the experiencing of pain and pleasure are both results of actions that have given rise to the present body and have begun to produce results it is reasonable that they are not incompatible with each other. But other kinds of actions are different in nature.

5. The Knowledge of one's identity with the pure Self that negated the wrong notion of the identity of the body and the Self sets a man free even against his will when it becomes as firm as the belief of the man that he is a human being.

All this, therefore, is established. And reasons have been already given by us.


1. People do not receive Self-knowledge on account of the fear that their duties (according to their castes and orders of life) would be destroyed like Udanks who did not accept genuine nectar which, he thought, was urine.
[That people do not like to receive Self-knowledge is due to their ignorance of the real nature of the Self and a wrong and false conception about It].

2. The Self seems to be moving when the intellect moves, and It seems to be at rest when it is at rest, on account of Its identification with the intellect, like trees appearing to move in the eyes of those who are in a moving boat. Similar is the misconception about transmigratory existence.

3. Just as trees are thought to be moving in a direction opposite to that of a moving boat by a man in it, so, transmigratory existence is (wrongly) thought to belong to the Self (by a man who has identified himself with the intellect). For, there is the passage in the Sruti, 'as if at rest'.

4. The modifications of the intellect are pervaded by the reflection of Consciousness when they come to exist. So the Self appears to be identified with sound etc. This is the reason why people are deluded.

5. As it is the object of Pure Consciousness and exists for It (the ego is not the Self). Pure Consciousness is the Universal Self when the object portion is rejected.


1. The Self Itself is not qualified by an arm which has been cut off and thrown away. Similarly, It is not qualified by any of the remaining things by which It is (thought to be) qualified.

2. Therefore all the qualifications are similar to the arm cut of and thrown away as they are all non-Self. So the Self is free from all qualifications.

3. It is reasonable that like ornaments all these are qualifications (of the Self) owing to superimposition through Ignorance. When the Self is known they prove to be unreal.

4. After rejecting the object portion one should accept the Self as the knower free from all qualifications. The ego, the object portion, is also like the part of the body cut off.

5. The Self of which the whole of the object portion is the qualification is different from it. Bereft of all qualifications, It has an independent existence like that of a man possessing a variegated cow.

6. As it is not the Self the object portion in the consciousness 'I' should be renounced by the wise. As It was mixed with egoism previously the remaining (non-object) portion is implied by the word 'I' in the sentence 'I am Brahman'.


1. I am the supreme Brahman all-knowing and all-pervading as pervaded by the intellect, all things in all conditions are always illumined by me.

2. Just as I am the witness of all the objects of my intellect, so am I that of the objects of other intellects. I am not capable of being rejected or accepted. Therefore I am the supreme Brahman.

3. As It is the witness of all intellects and their modifications, the Self, unlike the intellects, is not of limited knowledge and has no change, impurity or material nature in It.

4. Just as in the presence of sunlight colours such as red etc. (of flowers and other things) are manifested in a jewel, so all objects are seen in the intellect in My Presence. All things are, therefore, illumined by Me like sunlight.

5. Objects of knowledge exist in the intellect as long as it is there in waking and dream; but none exist in the opposite case (i.e. when it is merged during deep sleep). The knower is always the knower. Duality has, therefore, no existence.

6. The intellect knew the non-existence of the supreme Brahman before the discrimination between the Self and non-Self. But after the discrimination there is no individual. Self is different from neither Brahman nor the intellect itself.


1. The connection of enjoyment etc. with me, oh My mind who am by nature Consciousness Itself is due to the delusion created by you. As I am free from all attributes there is no utility according to me from your efforts.

2. Give up the false attempts and come to rest in Me from constant vain-efforts as I am always the supreme Brahman as if free from bondage, Unborn and devoid of duality.

3. The supreme Brahman, the same in all beings and free from all attributes, I am all-pervading like the ether, imperishable, auspicious, homogeneous, partless and actionless. I, therefore, have no benefit to be derived from your efforts.

4. No one different from Me can belong to me who am one only. Nor can I who am unattached belong to anybody. I have, therefore, no benefit to be derived from anything done by you. As you are not other than Myself you can have no effort nor its results.

5. Considering that people are attached to the ideas of cause and effect, I have composed this dialogue (between the mind and the Self) leading to the understanding of the real nature of the Self in order that they might get freed from this (bondage).

6. A man gets liberated from Ignorance, the cause of great fear, and roams (over the world) free from desires, free from grief, a Knower of the Self, the same in all beings and happy, if he ponders over this dialogue.


1. A succeeding one in the series of earth etc. ending with the innermost Self is found to be subtle and more pervasive when a preceding one is negated.
[When we negate a preceding one we get a subtler and more pervasive one till at last the innermost Self is reached which is of the nature of Existence and Consciousness and is the material Cause of everything, and therefore, absolutely all pervading and the subtlest].

2. External earth is the same as that pertaining to bodies, Water etc. the other categories also are, without exception, known to be the same according to evidences.
[When all the elements either or pertaining to bodies are ascertained to be pervaded by the Self, no distinction is known to exist between the external elements and those pertaining to bodies as the Self only then exists].

3. Always Pure Consciousness, I am one without a second, all and all-pervading like the ether before the creation of air and other elements.

4. It has been ascertained that all the beings from Brahma down to the immovable creation are my bodies. From what other source will blemishes like lust, anger etc come into me?

5. People look upon Me, the Lord residing in all beings and always untouched by their defects, as tainted (with those defects) like a boy who (erroneously) looks upon the sky as blue.

6. As the intellects of all beings are illumined by My Consciousness all beings are bodies belonging to Me, who am all-knowing and free from all sins and virtues.

7. Objects that come into being and are capable of being made the objects of Knowledge are as unreal as those known as dreams. As duality has no (real) existence Knowledge is external and objectless.

8. As there is nothing other than the Self in dreamless sleep, it is said by the Sruti that the Consciousness of the Knower is eternal. (As Knowledge is really objectless) the knowledge of objects in the waking state must be due to ignorance. Accept then that its objects are unreal.

9. It is clearly understood that Brahman cannot be the object of knowledge just as it can not be the object of seeing etc. as it has no colour, form and the like.


1. I am the supreme Brahman which is pure consciousness, always clearly manifest, unborn, one only, imperishable, unattached and all-pervading like the ether and non-dual. I am, therefore, ever free.

2. Pure and changeless consciousness I am by nature, devoid of objects (to illumine). Unborn and established in the Self, I am all-pervading Brahman in the front, oblique, upward, downward and all other directions.

3. I am unborn, deathless, devoid of old age, immortal, self effulgent, all pervading and non-dual. Perfectly pure, having neither causes nor effect and contented with the one Bliss, I am free. Yes.

4. No perception whatever in waking, dream or deep sleep belongs to Me but it is due to delusion. For these states have no independent existence or an existence depending on the Self. I am, therefore, the Fourth which is the Seer of all the three states and without a second.

5. As I am changeless the series producing pain viz. the body, the intellect and the senses are not myself nor mine. Moreover they are unreal like dream-objects, there being a reason for interference that hey are so.

6. But it is true that I have no change nor any cause of a change as I am without a second. As I do not possess a body I have neither sin nor virtue, neither bondage nor liberation, neither a caste nor an order of life.

7. Beginningless and devoid of attributes, I have neither actions nor their results. Therefore I am the supreme One without a second. Though in a body, I do not get attached on account of My subtleness like the ether which, though all-pervading, does not get tainted.

8. Though I am the Lord always the same in all beings, beyond the perishable and the imperishable, and therefore the Supreme, the Self of all, and without a second. I am considered to be of a contrary nature on account of Ignorance.

9. Not distanced by anything from Itself and untouched by Ignorance, false conceptions (of possessing a body etc.) and by actions, the Self is very pure. Without a second and established in My real nature like the immovable ether, I am (thought to be) connected with the powers of seeing and other perceptions.

10. There is the saying of the Sruti that one who has the sure conviction about oneself that one is Brahman is never born again. There being no delusion there is no birth. For, when the cause is not there, there cannot be any effect.

11. False conceptions of people such as mine, this, thus, this is so, I am so, another is not so, etc. are all due to delusion. They are never in Brahman which is auspicious, the same in all and without a second.

12. All grief and delusion are removed from those great souls when there arises the very pure knowledge of the non-dual Self. It is the conclusion of those who know the meaning of the Vedas that there cannot be any action or birth in the absence of the grief and delusion.

13. It is the conclusion here (in the Vedanta) that one who, though perceiving the world of duality in the waking state, does not, like a man in deep sleep, perceive it owing to duality being negated, and who is (really) actionless even when (apparently) acting as a man of Self-knowledge; but no one else is so.

14. This Right knowledge described by me is the highest because it is ascertained in the Vedantas. One becomes liberated and unattached (to actions) like the ether if one is perfectly convinced of this Truth.


1. All beings are by nature Pure Consciousness Itself. It is due to Ignorance that they appear to be different from It. Their difference from It is removed by the teaching "Thou art existence".

2. The scriptures negate Vedic actions with their accessories by saying, Knowledge alone is the cause of immorality, and that there is nothing else to cooperate with it (in producing liberation).

3-4. How can there be any special property in Me Who am changeless by nature and witness the modifications of the minds of all without any exception? (How can again there be any change in Me) Who witness the mind and its functions in the waking state as in dream? But as there is the absence of both the mind and its functions in deep sleep, I am Pure Consciousness, all pervading and changeless.

5. Just as dreams appear to be true as long as one does not wake up, so, the identification of oneself with the body etc. and the authenticity of sense-perception and the like in the waking state continue as long as there is no Self-knowledge.

6. I am Brahman, of the nature of Pure Consciousness, without qualities, free from Ignorance, free from the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep. Living in all beings like the ether, I am the witness free from all their defects.

7. Ever free and different from names, forms and actions, I am the supreme Brahman, the Self, consisting of Pure Consciousness and always without a second.

8. Those who think themselves to be one with Brahman and at the same time to be doers and experiencers should be regarded as fallen from both Knowledge and duties. They are, no doubt, unbelievers in the Vedas.

9. It must be accepted on the strength of the scriptures that the Self is Brahman, and that liberation accrues from Right Knowledge only, like the connections with the Self of the results of sin and virtue, which, though unseen, is admitted on the same authority.

10. What are called in the Sruti clothes coloured with turmeric etc. are nothing but mental impressions received by people in dreams. (The Self, their illuminator, must, therefore, be different from them and from the subtle body in which they lie). So the Self, Pure Consciousness, (the perceiver of doership etc.) must be different from them (in the waking state also).

11. Just as a sword taken out of its sheath is seen as it is, so, the Knower, the Self, is seen in dream in Its real and self-effulgent nature free from cause and effect.

12. The real nature of the individual (Self) who was pushed and awakened has been described by the saying Not this, not this which negates all superimposition.

13. Just as objects of enjoyment like a great Kingship etc. are superimposed on Me in dream (and are unreal), so, the two forms, (the visible and the invisible) with the mental impressions, are also superimposed on Me (and are similarly unreal).

14. All actions are performed by the Self which has identified Itself with the gross and the subtle bodies and which has the nature of accumulating impressions. As I am of the nature indicated by the Sruti 'Not this, not this' actions are nowhere to be done by Me.

15. As actions have Ignorance for their cause, there is no hope from them of immorality. As liberation is caused by right Knowledge (alone), it does not depend on anything else.

16. But Immorality is free from fear and destruction. The individual Self (signified by the words) dear to one is Brahman (devoid of all attributes) according to the Sruti, Not this, not this. Whatever is thought to be different from It should, therefore, be renounced together with all actions.


1. Just as a man (erroneously) looks upon his body placed in the sun as having the property of light in it, so, he looks upon the intellect pervaded by the reflection of Pure Consciousness as the Self.

2. The Self gets identified with whatever is seen in the world. It is for this reason that and ignorant man does not know himself (to be Brahman).
[The reason why people mistake the combination of the subtle and the gross bodies for the Self is this identification caused by the reflection. On account of there being the reflection of Pure Consciousness in the body, the senses, the mind, the intellect and the vital force, they appear to be conscious and cannot therefore, be determined from the Self.]

3. An ignorant man gets identified with objects of knowledge and does not know the Self which is different from them like the tenth boy who got identified as it were with the other nine.

4. Say how there can reasonably be the two contrary ideas 'Yes do this' and 'You are Brahman' at the same time and in respect of the same person.

5. Pain belongs to one identifying oneself with it, as in deep sleep, is, therefore, by nature free from pain. The teaching "Thou Art That' is imparted in order that this identification might be removed from the Self.

6. An ignorant person mistakes the intellect with the reflection of Pure Consciousness in it for the Self, when there is the reflection of the Self in the intellect like that of a face in the mirror.

7. He who looks upon the ego, the indiscrimination that produces delusion and other mental modifications (or the reflection of the Self in them) as having no connection with the Self, is, without doubt, the dearest to the knower of Brahman. No one else is so.

8. It is the knower of knowledge that is referred to by word 'Thou' in the Sruti. The understanding of the term 'Thou' in this sense is correct. The other sense different from it is due to superimposition.

9. How can there be knowledge or ignorance in Me who am eternal and always of the nature of Pure Consciousness? No knowledge, therefore, other than the Self can be accepted.

10. Just as the heat fo the sun (in a part of the body )together with that part of the body is the object of the knower, so pain and pleasure together with the intellect in which they lie are in the object of the Self.

11. I am Brahman without attributes, ever pure, ever free, non-dual and homogeneous like the ether and of the nature of Consciousness from which the object portion has been negated.

12. I am always the free supreme Knower in all beings in as much as there cannot be a more comprehensive knower different from Me.

13. He who Knows that the Consciousness of the Self ceases to exist, and that It is never an agent and also gives up the egoism that he is a Knower of Brahman is a (real) knower of the Self. Others are not so.

14. Capable by no means of being known, I am the knower and am always free and pure as the discriminating knowledge which is in the intellect and is liable to be destroyed on account of its being an object of knowledge.

15. The Consciousness of the Self, on the other hand, never goes out of existence and is not capable of being produced by the action of agents etc. in as much as possibility is superimposed on It by another consciousness which is It and is different from It.

16. The doership of the Self is false as it depends on the misconception of the body being the Self. That I do not do anything is the true knowledge which arises from the right evidence (the Vedas).

17. Agency depends on doership instruments etc. but non-agency is natural. It has, therefore, been very well ascertained that the knowledge that one is a doer and experiencer is certainly false.

18. How can the idea that I am a person to be enjoined (by the Vedas to perform actions) be true, when the real nature of the Self is thus known from the scriptures and inference?

19. Just as the ether is in the interior of all, so am I in the interior of even the ether. Therefore I am without any change, without any motion, Pure, devoid of old age, ever free and without a second.


1. There is no vision in Me as I am without the organ of seeing. How can there be hearing in Me who have no auditive organ? Devoid of the organ of speech, I have no act of speaking in Me. How can there be thinking in Me who have no mind?

2-3. Devoid of the vital force, I have no action (in Me) and devoid of the intellect, I am not a knower. Ever free, ever Pure, changeless, immovable, immortal, imperishable and bodiless, I have no knowledge or ignorance in Me who am of the nature of the Light of Pure Consciousness only.

4. All-pervading like the ether, I have no hunger, thirst, grief, delusion, old age and death as I am without a body (mind and vital force).

5. Devoid of the organ of touch, I have no act of touching; and devoid of the tongue, I have no sensation of taste. I never have knowledge or ignorance as I am of the nature of eternal Consciousness.

6. It is well known that the mental modification which is produced through the instrumentality of the eye and is of the form of the object of vision is always witnessed by the eternal Consciousness of the Self.

7-8. Similarly, other mental modifications in the forms of objects of knowledge produced through the instrumentality of other organs and also those in the forms of memory, attachment etc., which are only within the mind, and those again in dream are witnessed by one different from all of them (i.e. by the Self). The Knowledge, therefore, of the Knower is eternal, pure, infinite and without a second.

9. It is through the indiscrimination between the Self and the modifications of the mind, false adjuncts to the Self, that the Knowledge of the Knower is wrongly conceived by the people to be impure and transitory, and the Self happy or miserable.

10. All men misconceive themselves to be ignorant or pure, accordingly, as they identify themselves with the mental modifications 'I am ignorant' or 'I am pure'. It is for this reason that they continue to be in transmigratory existence.

11. One should always remember the Self to be ever-free, unborn and comprising the interior and exterior as described in the Sruti in which the Self is spoken of as eyeless and so on, if one is an aspirant after liberation.

12. That organs never belong to me is known from the Sruti, 'eyeless' etc. There is again the saying of the Sruti belonging to the Atharva Veda that the Self is 'devoid' of the vital force, devoid of the mind and pure.

13. As I am always devoid of the vial force and the mind and heard of in the Kathopanishad as having no connection with sound etc. I am always changeless.

14. I, therefore, have neither un-restlessness nor a profound concentration which is subject to change.

15. How can I who am pure and mindless have those two? I am without any change and without a mind as I am all-pervading and devoid of a body.

16. So, I who am ever free, ever pure and ever awakened had duties to perform so long as there was Ignorance.

17. How can I have concentration, non-concentration or other actions in Me as all men feel that the acme of their lives is fulfilled when they meditate on me and know Me?

18. I am, therefore, Brahman, the all-comprehensive Principle, ever Pure, ever Awakened and ever Unborn devoid of old age, imperishable and immortal.

19. There is no knower among the beings of the world other than Myself. I am the distributor of the results of their actions and the witness. It is I to whom all beings owe their consciousness. Without qualities and without a second, I am eternal.

20. I am not the three visible elements or the two invisible ones, neither I am both (i.e. their combination, the body). I am devoid of all attributes and the three Gunas. In Me there is neither night nor day nor their picture as I am always of the nature of the light.

21. Just as the ether is subtle, without a second and devoid of all forms so am I the non-dual Brahman devoid even of the ehter.

22. The distinction between the Self in Itself and my Self is one due to superimposition (of different adjuncts on one and the same Self), just as difference (is wrongly conceived to) exist in one and the same ether owing to apertures (in various objects).

23. How can difference, absence of difference, oneness, many-ness, and the qualities of being known and being a knower, the results of actions and also agency and experiencing be attributed to Me who am one only?

24. I have nothing to reject or accept on as much as I am changeless. Always free, pure, awakened and without qualities, I am without a second.

25. One should, with great concentration of mind, always know the Self to be All. One certainly becomes all-knowing and free when one knows Me to be residing in one's own body.

26. He who thus knows the reality of the Self becomes successful in attaining the goal of his life and becomes perfect. He becomes a Knower of Brahman and one with It. One knowing the Self otherwise may be said to commit suicide.

27. This ascertained meaning of the Vedas described briefly by me should be imparted to those who have given up worldly action and have controlled their minds by one whose intellect has been trained (according to the scriptures under a teacher who has known Brahman).


1. As the resemblance of objects of knowledge like jars etc. is perceived in dream and memory, it is inferred that the intellect in those forms was surely seen before in the waking state.

2. Just as the body going from place to place for alms seen (e.g. by a wandering mendicant) in dream is not oneself, so witnessing the body in waking state the Seer must be different from it which is seen.

3. Pervading objects like forms, colours etc. the mind appears to be exactly like them, just as (molten) copper assumes the form of a mould when poured into it.

4. Or, just as light, the revealer assumes the forms of the objects revealed by it, so the intellect looks like all things in as much as it reveals them.

5. It was the intellect in the forms of objects of knowledge that was seen before by the seer; how can he see them in dream or remembers their forms, if that were not the case?

6. That intellect is seen in the forms of objects of knowledge is what is meant by saying that it reveals them. The Self is said to witness the modifications of the intellect as It pervades them whenever they arise.

7. I am the Self of all as the intellects of all beings are illumined by Me who am of the nature of the Light of Consciousness.

8. It is the intellect that becomes the instrument, the object, the agent, actions and their results in dream. It is known to be so in the waking state also. The Seer is, therefore, different from the intellect (and its objects).

9. As they are susceptible of appearance and disappearance, the intellect etc. are not the Self. The Self is the cause of their appearance and disappearance and can not be made to appear or disappear.

10. How can an interior, an exterior or any other thing be attributed to the Self which comprises the interior and exterior, is pure and of the nature of homogeneous Consciousness.

11. Why should a knower of Brahman make any more effort if the Self which is left over by negating the non-Self according to the Sruti, Not this, not this, is considered to be the Self?

12. One should rightly think thus: I am all-pervading Brahman beyond hunger etc. How can I have actions?

13. A knower of the Self will wish to perform actions if one who has reached the other bank of a river wishes to reach that bank while there.

14. A (so called) knower of the Self having the ideas of acceptance and rejection should be regarded as not for liberation, but must be considered to be certainly rejected by Brahman.

15. Even for a knower of Prana the world with the sun is Prana and therefore, there is no day or night for him; how then can they be for a knower of Brahman in which there is no duality?

16. The Self whose Consciousness never ceases to exist neither remembers nor forgets Itself. That the mind remembers the Self is also a Knowledge caused by Ignorance.

17. If the supreme Self be an object of the knowledge of the knower, it must be a superimposition due to ignorance. It is only the Self without a second when that superimposition is negated by the right knowledge, like a snake in a rope.

18. Who (and for what reason) will attribute the ideas of me and mine to the Self as It is inborn and comprises the interior and exterior on account of the fact that the agent, action and their results do not exist?

19. For the ideas me and mine are superimposed on the Self due to ignorance. They do not exist when the Self is known to be one only. How can there be an effect without a cause?

20. It is the individual Self known to be the seer, the hearer, the thinker and the knower that is Brahman, the imperishable One. As the individual Self is not different from It, I am the imperishable Principle.

21. As all beings, moving and non-moving, are endowed with actions such as, seeing etc., they are Brahman, the imperishable One. Therefore I am the Self of all, the indestructible One.

22. He has the truest knowledge who looks upon the Self as a non-agent having no connection with actions and their results and free from the ideas of me and mine.

23. Be in peace. What is the use of efforts if the Self has been known to be naturally free from the ideas me and mine and from efforts and desire?

24. One who looks upon the Self as an agent of actions and a knower of objects is not a knower of the Self. One who knows otherwise is a real knower of It.

25. Just as the Self is identified with the body etc., though different from them, so, It is looked upon as the agent of actions and the experiencer of their results owing to the fact that It is not known to be a non-agent.

26. Seeing, hearing, thinking and knowing are always known by people in dream. Moreover, as they are essentially the Self It is directly known.
[The meaning is this: The mind merges in the Self as Primeval Ignorance during deep sleep, but the Self then, as always, exists in its nature of Pure Consciousness. Therefore it is clear that the Self is different from the mind and exists as the witness of this phenomenon; that is what is meant by saying in the verse that the Self is directly known.]

27. Even powerful beings including Brahma and Indra are objects of pity to that knower of the Self who has no fear about the next world nor is afraid of death.

28. What is the use of his becoming a powerful one or becoming Brahma or Indra if all inauspicious desires the cause of misery, are entirely uprooted?

29. He is a Knower of the Self to whom the ideas me and mine have become quite meaningless.

30. How can there be any action in one who finds no difference in the Self both when the intellect etc., Its adjuncts exist and when they do not?

31. Say what action might be desired to be done by one who has known himself to be without a second, who is of the nature of homogeneous consciousness and who is devoid of impurities, both natural and adventitious like the ether.

32. He who sees the Self in all beings and at the same time feels that he has enemies, desires surely to make fire cold.

33. The Self which has for Its adjuncts the intellect and the vital force is reflected in the modifications of the intellect and in the senses, like the sun reflected in water (for example). The Self is free and pure by nature (even in that condition) as it is said in the Sruti, It is at rest as it were.
[The real sun in the sky never moves with the movement of the water in which it is reflected, though the reflection does so. So, the Self does not change with the changes in the intellect in which it is reflected. The meaning of the Sruti quoted is that the Self, in no condition, has either rest or motion; It is always pure. Rest and motion are in the intellect.]

34. How can I have actions who am Pure Consciousness devoid of the vital force and the mind, unattached and all-pervading like the ether?

35-36. As I am Brahman, always changeless and pure, I never see the absence of concentration in Me; and free from sin and virtue. I find nothing in Me to be purified. As I am without parts, without qualities, without emotion and all-pervading, I do not find, on my part the action of going or a place to go to; nor do I find an upward, a downward or an oblique direction.

37. How can any action be left for Me who am ever free; for the Self is always of the nature of the Light of Pure Consciousness and hence devoid of ignorance.

38. How can there be any thought in one who has no mind and actions in one who has no senses? The Sruti truly says, the Self is pure devoid of the vital force and the mind.

39. Always meditating on the Self, one has nothing to do with time etc., as the Self is in no way connected with time, space, directions and causation.

40. The mind is the place of pilgrimage where devas, Vedas and all other purifying agencies become one. A bath in that place of pilgrimage makes one immortal.

41. (Non-conscious objects of Knowledge like) sound etc. cannot illumine themselves or one another. Therefore tastes etc. are illumined by one other than themselves. So are tastes etc. pertaining to the body as they are also objects of knowledge.

42. The objects of knowledge, the ego and other changes described as mine, such as, desires, efforts, pleasure etc., cannot similarly illumine themselves. They cannot illumine one another for the same reason. You, the Self, are, therefore, different from them.

43. All the changes such as, egoism etc., have an agent and are connected with the results of actions. They are illumined completely by Pure Consciousness like the sun. The Self, therefore, is free from bondage.

44. As the minds of all embodied beings are pervaded by the Self as Consciousness which is Its nature like the ether, there is neither a lower nor a higher knower than Itself. So, there is one non-dual universal Self only.

45. The doctrine that there is no Self has been well refuted by me as the gross and the subtle bodies are illumined by one different from them. It must be unalloyed with actions that cause impurity and beyond them. It is very pure, all-pervading, free from bondage and without a second.

46. If, according to you, the mind which assumes various forms like those of jars and other things through its modifications be not illumined (by the Self), the defects in It, in the forms of impurity, non-consciousness and change cannot be prevented like those in the mind.
[If one does not accept that the Self is the witness of the mind and therefore, unattached to it, it is inevitable that the defects of the mind will tarnish the Self. Liberation becomes impossible in that case.]

47. Just as the pure and limitless ether does not get attached nor tainted, so, the Self is always the same in all beings and free from old age, death and fear.

48.The elements with and without forms and the seat of desires, superimposed through delusion by ignorant people on the Self, are thrown out of It which consists of Consciousness only, on the authority of the Vedic evidence 'Not this, not this'. The Self alone is then left over.
[In this verse the whole of the gross and the subtle universes are negated from the Self].

49. The impressions of the objects known in the waking sate, owing to the contact of the mind with them, are perceived like real objects in memory and dream. So the body, the mind and their impressions are different from the Self as they are objects of perception.

50. Just as impurities like clouds etc. do not produce any alteration in the naturally pure ether by their appearance or disappearance; so, there is never any alteration in the ether-like Consciousness free from duality negated by the Sruti.


1. As one cannot become another one should not consider Brahman to be different from oneself. For if one becomes another one is sure to be destroyed.
[The idea is this: The individual Self, if considered to be really different from Brahman, cannot become Brahman as long as it exists; and if it were destroyed who would then become Brahman? Therefore one should know that one is not different from It and It is not different from one.]

2. Things seen (in the waking state) are seen like a picture painted on a canvas when one remembers them. Those by and in which they are so seen are respectively known to be the individual Self and the intellect.

3. What is perceived to be connected with karakas and entailing results is found to be in the (category of) objects when it is remembered. The seat, therefore, in which it was perceived before was an object of Consciousness).

4. The seen (e.g. the intellect) is always different from the seer as it is an object of knowledge like a jar. The seer is of a mature different from that of the seen. Otherwise the seer would be devoid of the nature of being the witness like the intellect.

5. When they are considered to be one's own caste etc. becomes the cause of injunctions like a dead body. They do not, therefore, belong to the Self. The Self would otherwise become the non-Self.

6. As it is said in the Sruti, pleasure and pain (do not touch one who is bodiless). Bodilessness is not the result of actions. The cause of our connection with a body is action. Therefore an aspirant after knowledge should renounce actions.

7. If the Self is considered to be independent with regard to the performance of actions. It must be so with regard to their renunciation also. Why should, therefore, one perform actions when the result is known to be Bodilessness which cannot be produced by actions?

8. After giving up caste etc., which are the causes of duties, a wise man should (constantly) remember, from the scriptures, his own real nature which is incompatible with causes of duties.

9. The one and the same Self is in all beings and they are in It just as all beings are in ether. As by the ether, every thing is pervaded by the Self which is considered to be pure and consisting of the Light of Pure Consciousness.

10. By negating wounds and sinews the Sruti negates the gross body (from the Self). Being pure and free from sin and virtue, the Self is free from all the impressions of pain and pleasure. The Sruti again discards the subtle body by calling the Self bodiless.

11. He who knows the Self to be the same everywhere like Vasudeva, who speaks of the same Self residing in a pipal tree and in his own body, is the best of the knower of Brahman.

12. Just as the ideas of me and mine are not thought to exist in either body, so, also they do not exist in one's own. For the Self is the common witness of all intellects.

13. Desire, aversion and fear have a seat common with that of the impressions of colours. As they have for their seat the intellect, the knower, the Self is always pure and devoid of fear.

14. The meditator assumes the form of the object meditated upon; for the latter is different from the former; there can be no such actions in the Self in order that It may be established in Itself, as It is independent of actions (owing to the fact that It is the Self). For It would not be the Self if it is depended on actions.

15. Pure Consciousness is of one homogeneous nature like the ether, undivided, without old age and impurity. it is conceived to be of a contrary nature on account of adjuncts such as, the eye etc.

16. What is called the ego is not the property of the Self as it is an object of perception like jars and other things. So are to be known the other functions and the impurities of the mind. The Self, therefore, is without any impurity.

17. The Self is changeless and all-pervading, on account of Its being the witness of all the functions of the mind. It would be of limited knowledge like the intellect etc., if it were subject to change.

18. Unlike the knowledge gained through the eyes etc. the knowledge of the Knower does not cease to exist. it is said in the Sruti, knowledge of the Knower does not go out of existence. The knower, therefore, is always of the homogeneous nature of knowledge.

19. One should discriminate thus: Who am I? Am I a combination of the elements or the senses, or am I any one of them separately?

20. I am not any one off the elements separately nor their aggregate; similarly, I am not any one of the senses nor their aggregate; for they are objects (like jars etc.) and instruments (like axes etc.) of knowledge respectively. The knower is different from all these.

21. Placed like fuel in the fire of the Self, burning brightly by Ignorance, desire and action, the intellect always shines forth through the door-like apertures like ears etc.

22. The fore of the Self is the experiencer of gross objects (in the waking state) when the intellect, ignited by the objects which are in the place of oblations, functions among the senses of which the right eye is the chief.

23. One does not get attached to the impurities of the waking stae if, at the time of perceiving colours etc., one remembers that oblations are being offered to the fire of the Self, and remains free from desire and aversion.

24. Manifested in the abode of the modifications of the mind (in dream), and witnessing the impressions produced by actions due to Ignorance, the Self is called Taijasa. It is then the self-effulgent witness.

25. (In deep sleep) when neither objects nor their impressions are produced in the intellect by actions, the Self, cognizant neither of objects nor of their impressions, is known to be Prajna.

26. The condition of the mind, the intellect and the senses, produced by actions are illumined by Pure Consciousness like jars and other things by the sun.

27. As it is so, illumining by the Light the functions of the mind which exist for It i.e. Pure Consciousness, the Self is regarded by the ignorant only as an agent of those functions.

28. Therefore also, illumining everything by Its own Light, the Self is considered to be all-knowing. Similarly, It is regarded as the Accomplisher of everything as It is the Cause of all actions.

29-30. The Self with adjuncts is thus described. (But) It is without adjuncts, indescribable, without parts, without qualities and pure, which the mind and speech do not reach. (For philosophers differ in their conceptions about the Self. Different conceptions are; the Self is (1) conscious, (2) non-conscious, (3) an agent, (4) a non-agent,(5)all pervading, (6) not all-pervading, (7) bound, (8) free, (9) one, (10) many, (11) pure, (12) not pure, and so on.

31. Words with the mind turn back without reaching It as It is without qualities, without actions and without attributes.

32. One should know the Self comparable to the other which is all-pervading and free from all objects having forms, to be the pure and supreme Goal in the Vedanta.

33. One should give up the waking state, its impressions (i.e. dream) and deep sleep which causes everything to merge in itself. The Self, the witness of them all, is then in the nature of Pure Consciousness like the sun which has dispelled the darkness of the night.

34. Illumining the modifications which have for their objects waking, dream and deep sleep, the all pervading Self is the same in all beings, and is the witness of them all.

35. Caused by Ignorance the diverse functions of the intellect (called knowledge) come to exist when the body, the intellect, the mind, the eye, objects and light happen to co-exist (with the Self).

36-37. One should discriminate from these the Self which is the witness, free from all fear, from all adjuncts, free from impurity, firm like the ether, without parts and without actions and know It to be the pure, supreme Brahman, the same in all beings, the all pervading whole, the all comprehensive Principle which is eternally free fro all duality.

38. One should ascertain whether Pure Consciousness which is the witness of all the mental modifications, is knowable or not, and all knowable, whether It is an object of knowledge or not.

39. The supreme Brahman is never capable of being known by me or others, according to the teaching s of the Sruti, 'unseen seer', unknown, (knower) and 'finite' (if thought to be known), and so on.

40. Independent of every other knowledge, of the nature of the light of Pure Consciousness and not distanced by anything, Brahman, my own nature, is always known by me.

41. The sun does not require any other light in order to illumine itself; so, Knowledge does not require any other knowledge except which is its own nature in order to be known.

42. Just as one light does not depend on another in order to be revealed, so, what is one's own nature does not depend on anything else (i.e. being of the nature of Knowledge). The Self does not require another knowledge in order to be known.

43. A thing naturally lacking luminosity gets revealed (i.e. has only its surrounding darkness removed) when in contact with something which by nature is luminous. The saying, therefore, that luminosity is an effect produced on other things by the sun is false.

44. Some thing non-existent coming into existence fro something else is called its effect. But light which is the sun's own nature does not come into existence from previous non-existence.

45. Just as when jars and other things get revealed the sun and other luminous bodies are called the agents of revealing those things on account of their proximate existence only (but are not really the agents); so the Self which is Pure Consciousness only is called a knower (on account of Its existence proximate to things known, but is not really an agent).

46. Just as the sun though devoid of effort on its part, is called the revealer of a snake coming out of its hole, so, the Self, though of the nature of Pure Consciousness only is called a knower (without agency on Its part ).

47. Just as fire which is naturally hot is called a burner on account of its existence (proximate to things burnt), so is the Self a knower (on account of Its existence proximate to objects of knowledge). For the Self is called a Knower when adjuncts are known like the sun which is called a revealer when the snake is seen coming out of its hole.

48. Just as the Self, though devoid of effort, is called a knower, so, It is called an agent (though devoid of effort) like the loadstone. In its own nature, therefore, It is neither capable of being known or unknown.

49. As it is taught in the Sruti that the Self is different from both the known and the unknown, (It is other than the manifested and the un-manifested). The ideas such as, bondage, liberation, etc. are likewise superimposed on the Self.

50. Just as there is no day or night in the sun as it is of nature of light only, so, is there no knowledge or ignorance in the Self which is of the nature of Pure Consciousness only.

51. Knowing Brahman described 'mine' in all respects and gets the perfect conviction in the ether like goal devoid of (the gross and the subtle) bodies, describes as having no connection with acceptance or rejection, according to the method delineated, one is certainly never born again.

52. One who has fallen into the stream of births and deaths cannot save oneself by anything else except Knowledge.

53. The sruti says that the knots of the heart are torn asunder, all doubts disappear and one's actions come to an end when the Self is seen.

54. A man gets liberated if he discards the ideas 'me' and 'mine' in all respects and gets the perfect conviction in the ether like goal devoid of ( the gross and the subtle) bodies, described here according to right inference and the scriptures well-studied.


1. The hard material in the body is known to be a transformation of earth; the liquid part consists of water; and heat, vibration and apertures in the body are due to fire, air and ether respectively.

2. Smell etc., (i.e., the senses) and their objects are produced from earth etc. respectively as the senses have for their objects things of their own kind e.g. colour and light (the latter being of the same nature as the former, its object).

3. These are called the organs of knowledge; the larynx and the hand etc. are called the organs of action; and the mind, the eleventh which is within the body, is for the purpose of knowing different objects one after another (as they tend to present themselves at the same time).

4. The intellect is for determining objects. Always illumining the all-pervasive intellect by Its light, which is Its own nature, the Self is called the Knower.
[The purport of the above four verses is that the Self is different from the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect.]

5. Just as light assumes the forms of objects revealed by it, but is really different from, though apparently mixed up with them, so, the Self is different from the mental modifications (whose forms It assumes while revealing them).

6. The Self illumines, without effort, the intellect in the forms of sound etc. present before It; like a stationary lamp devoid of any effort which illumined everything within its reach.

7. Pleasure etc. qualify the intellect identifying Itself with the combination of the body and the senses and illumined by the eternal Light of the Self.

8. For one considers oneself to be distressed by pain in the head etc., the Seer is different from the seen i.e. that which feels pain. The Self is free from pain as It is the Seer (of the pain).

9. One becomes unhappy when one identifies oneself with the intellect which has assumed the form of unhappiness but not by merely seeing it. The Witness is the pain in the body, which is combination of the limbs and the senses, does not feel pain.

10. May it not be that the Self is both object and subject like the eye? No; the eye consists of several parts and is a combination. But the Self does not become an object as It is the Seer.

11. One may argue that the Self also has many qualities such as knowledge, effort and so on (and, therefore, like the eye It may be both subject and object). No, it is not so; It can never be an object because like light It has only one quality viz. Knowledge.

12. Just as light ,though an illuminator, does not illumine itself, so, even assuming that there is a dividing line (dividing It into two categories viz. subject and object) in the Self. It can not illumine Itself. For it is of a homogeneous conscious nature.

13. Nothing can be an object of its own quality. For fire does not burn or illumine itself.

14. The doctrine of the Buddhists that the intellect is perceived by itself is refuted by this. Similarly, the assumption of parts in the Self is also unreasonable. For It is of a homogeneous nature without having a dividing line in It.

15. The doctrine of the void (Nihilism) is also not reasonable as it must be accepted that the intellect is witnessed like a jar by another i.e. the Self. For the Self exists even before. the intellect comes into existence..

16. Whatever is pervaded by anything is an effect of that thing, the cause. The cause has an existence invariably anterior to that of the effects. Itself uncaused the cause producing effects (such as, the intellect etc.) must, therefore, exist before them.

17. Discarding Ignorance - the root of all superimposition and the controller of transmigratory existence - one should know the Self to be the Supreme Brahman which is always free and devoid of fear.

18. Transmigratory existence consists of waking and dream. Their root is deep sleep consisting of Ignorance. No one of these three states has a real existence because each goes out of existence when another remains in it. One should, therefore, give up all these three states.

19-20. Just as the closing and opening of the eyelids, connected with the vital force, are mistaken for the properties of the eye which is of the nature of light, and just as motion is wrongly attributed to the mind and the intellect which are also of the same nature; so, the Self, though really not an agent, is mistaken for one because actions arise when the body, the intellect, the mind, the eye, light, objects, etc. coexist with it.

21. The peculiar characteristic of the mind is reflection and that of the intellect is determination, and not vice versa. Everything is, therefore, superimposed on the Self.

22. Organs are (thought to be not all-pervading but) limited by their particular appendages (which are in the body). The intellect gets identified with the organs (and hence in the body). Illumining the intellect, therefore, the Self appears to be of the same size as the body.

23. (Objection) Both knowledge and its objects are extremely momentary i.e. perishable by nature every moment. They are appearances only without any reality whatever and are continually being produced. Just as a lamp of the preceding moment appears to be the same in the succeeding moment on account of similarity, so, both the objects and the subjects of the preceding and succeeding moments wrongly appears to be identical on account of similarity. The goal of human life is the removal of this idea of the continuity in knowledge and its objects (and the removal of the indiscrimination to which it is due).

24. (Reply) According to one school of these philosophers external things are objects of knowledge which is different from them. According to another school external objects other than knowledge do not exist. The unreasonableness of the former school is now going to be described.

25-26. (According to this school) knowledge has to be admitted to be identical with external things; and everything being momentary and the intellect, the receptacle, in which the impressions of memory are to be retained, being non-existent (at the time of receiving the impressions), there will always be the absence of memory. Being momentary, (according to them) the intellect never retains the impressions of memory. (Again recognition is said to be due to a misconception of similarity but) there is no cause of similarity (between the preceding and the succeeding moments). (If, on the other hand, a witness perceiving both the moments be admitted,) the doctrine of momentariness is abandoned. But that is not desirable.

27. The teaching of a means to the attainment of the end (viz., the bringing to an end of the idea of continuity in knowledge and its objects) becomes useless. For, it requires no effort to be accomplished as all phenomena exist only for a moment. The coming to an end of the said continuity does not, therefore, depend on anything else.

28. If according to you, the effect depends on the cause though unconnected with it, you have to accept dependence on a series which is quite foreign. If you say, Though all things i.e. causes and effects, are momentary, some effects depend on some fixed causes still nothing can depend on anything else (according to your doctrine of momentariness).

29. The particular one of two things existing at the same time and connected with each other is fit to depend on the other owing to whose connection it is benefited.

30. Our doctrine is that there is false superimposition on the Self and its negation in the same Self. Please tell me who will attain liberation, the result of Knowledge, according to you who hold that all, i.e. both the superimposed and the substratum, are annihilated.

31. That oneself exists is undoubted. You may call it Knowledge, Self or whatever you like. But Its non-existence cannot be admitted as It is the witness of all things existing and non-existing.

32. That by which the non-existence of things is witnessed must be real. All would be ignorant of the existence and non-existence of things if that were not the case. Therefore yours is a position which cannot be accepted.

33. That which must be admitted to exist before the deliberation about existence, non-existence or both is One without a second as there cannot be a cause of diversity before there is any superimposition on It. It must be eternal and different from what is superimposed.

34. Accept duality as unreal. For it comes to exist by way of superimposition like dream objects and does not exist before the deliberation about its existence, non-existence etc.

35. All the modifications of the Primeval Cause are known to be unreal according to the scriptures which say that they have 'words' only fit their support and that 'he' dies again and again and so on. The Smriti also says, 'My' Maya (is difficult to be got rid of').

36. The Self is, therefore, pure and is of a nature contrary to that of what is superimposed. Hence It can neither be accepted nor rejected. It is not superimposed on anything else.

37. Just as there is no darkness in the sun as it is of the nature of light only, so, there is no Ignorance in the Self as It is of the nature of eternal Knowledge.

38. Similarly, the Self has no change of states as It is of changeless nature. It would, no doubt, be destructible if It underwent any change.

39-41. Liberation becomes artificial and therefore transitory according to the philosopher who holds that it is a change of one state into another on the part of the Self. Again it is not reasonable that it is a union (with Brahman) or a separation (from nature). As both union and separation are transitory, Liberation cannot consist of the individual Self going to Brahman or of Brahman coming to it. But the Self, one's own real nature, is never destroyed. For, it is uncaused and cannot be accepted or rejected by oneself (or by others), while other things (e.g. states etc.) are caused.

42. As it is the Self of every thing, not different from anything and not an object like a thing separate from Itself. It cannot be accepted or rejected. It is, therefore, eternal.

43. Everything transitory is for the experience of the Self which is eternal and free from all adjuncts. (Liberation is, therefore, nothing but being established in one's own Self.) As it is so, one aspiring after liberation should renounce all (Vedic) actions with their accessories.

44. To know the real Self to be one's own is the greatest attainment according to the scriptures and reasoning. To know wrongly the non-Self such as the ego etc., to be the Self is no attainment at all. One, therefore, should renounce this misconception (By knowing that one is Brahman).

45.The deviation of the Gunas from the state of equilibrium (which they have during the dissolution of the universe with their consequent evolution) is not reasonable. For no causes of this transformation are admitted in as much as (according to these philosophers) ignorance is then merged. (Individual souls, Purushas as they are called, are always spectators only and Ishwara is not admitted.)

46. If the Gunas be the cause of their mutual change there will always be change or none at all. (If one argues that there cannot be a continuous transformation in the Gunas as creation, maintenance and dissolution are known to come one after another, still) there will be no regulating cause of the modifications of the Gunas acting either on the Purushas or on the Gunas; (and no other categories are admitted in the Sankhya philosophy).

47. If, as admitted, the Prakriti or Pradhana work for (the bondage and the liberation of) the Purushas there will be no distinction between the bound and the liberated. Moreover, there is no relation between what is desired (i.e. liberation) and one who desires it as the Purusha has no desire at all, neither the other, i.e. the Prakriti.

48. As the Purusha is changeless it is not reasonable to the Sankhya philosophy also that the Prakriti can work for it. Even admitting change in the Purusha, it is unreasonable (that the Prakriti is of any service or disservice to it.

49. As there can reasonably be no mutual relation between the Prakriti and the Purusha and as the Prakriti is non-conscious it is unreasonable that the Prakriti can render any service to the Purusha.

50. If any action is admitted in the Purusha, it must be perishable. If (it is argued that) the action in the Purusha is in the nature of Knowledge only, we meet with the difficulty spoken of before. If un-cause action in the Prakriti be admitted, it becomes unreasonable that there can be liberation.

51. Pleasure etc. cannot be the objects of knowledge; for they are the properties of the same substance, just as heat, (a property of fire) cannot be revealed by light.

52. Pleasure and knowledge cannot come together as each of them is (separately) cause by the contact of the mind with the self. Therefore pleasure cannot be the object (of knowledge).

53. As other qualities also are different from one another (like knowledge and pleasure) they cannot be produced at the same time. If it be considered that the knowledge of the qualities is nothing but their coming in contact with one and the same self, we say No; for, they are qualified by knowledge.

54. Pleasure etc. are surely objects of knowledge, because they are qualified by it and also on account of the memory, 'pleasure was known by me'. (Moreover, they cannot be known by being connected only with the self and not with knowledge). For, the self is non-conscious as it is different from knowledge according to you.

55. Pleasure etc. cannot be the qualities of the soul as it is changeless according to you. Moreover why should pleasure etc. of one soul not be there in other souls and also in the mind as difference is common?

56. If knowledge be the object of a second knowledge a regresses ad infinitum is inevitable. If, however, a simultaneous production (of the two knowledge from one single contact of the mind with the self) be admitted, you must accept (the simultaneous production of colour, taste, smell, etc. from the same contact).

57. There is no bondage in the Self as there is no change of condition in It. There is no impurity in the Self in as much as It is 'unattached', as the Sruti says.

58. (The Self is eternally pure) as it is beyond the mind and speech, one only and without any attributes, as the Sruti says: It does not get attached.

59. (Objection) If this be so, in the absence of bondage there cannot be any liberation and the scriptures are, therefore, useless.
(Reply) No. Bondage is nothing but a delusion of the intellect; the removal of this delusion is liberation. Bondage is nothing but what has been described..

60. Illumined by the light of the Self which is Pure Consciousness, the intellect (falsely) believes that it is itself conscious and that there is none else which is on. This is delusion. It is in the intellect.

61. Consciousness which is of the nature of the eternal Self is superimposed on the intellect. This indiscrimination is also beginningless (like the ignorance to which it is due). This indiscrimination, and nothing else, is what is called transmigratory existence.

62. The removal of this indiscrimination and nothing else is what is called liberation, as all other conceptions of it are unreasonable. It is the destruction of the Self according to those who consider liberation to be the change of the individual Self in to a different Being.

63. Similarly it is also not reasonable that liberation is a change of condition (on the path of the Self) as it is changeless, If, however, any change be assumed to exist in It, it must be admitted to consist of parts and so to be destructible like jars and other things.

64-67. Therefore the conception of bondage and liberation different from this is wrong. The conception of the Sankhyas, the Kanadas and the Buddhists about them are not tenable according to reason. They should not be accepted. For, they are not supported by reason and the scriptures. Hundreds and thousand of errors on their part may be mentioned. As the scriptures other than the Vedas have been condemned in the ancient sacred tradition, scriptures other than these (they should not be accepted). A wise man should give up the teachings of such scriptures and all crookedness, and with faith and devotion should have a firm understanding of the true import of the Vedanta accepted by Vyasa.

68. False doctrines of dualism and those according to which the Self is not admitted have thus been refuted by reasoning, so that those who aspire after liberation may be steady in the path of Knowledge (described in the Vedanta) and be free from doubts arising from other's doctrines.

69. Having attained the extremely pure, non-dual Knowledge which is Its own, Witness and contrary to what is superimposed, a man perfectly convinced (of the Truth of the Self) becomes free from ignorance and gets eternal peace.

70. Those who are free from defects and vanity should always fix their mind on Brahman which is always the same, after having a firm grasp of the Knowledge which arises only through the teacher and the Vedas and is the Supreme Goal. For, no man who knows Brahman to be different from himself is a knower of truth.

71. When he acquires this Knowledge, the supreme purifier, a man becomes free from all merit and demerit produced by ignorance and accumulated in many other past lives. He, like the ether, does not get attached to actions in this world.

72. This Knowledge should be imparted only to him whose mind has been pacified, who has controlled his senses and is freed from all defects, who has practiced the duties enjoined by the scriptures and is possessed of good qualities, who is always obedient to the teacher and aspires only after liberation and nothing else.

73. Just as one is free from the ideas of 'me' and 'mine' in respect of others' bodies, so, one becomes free from those ideas in respect of one's own body when one knows the Supreme Truth. One becomes immediately liberated in all respects on attaining this very pure Knowledge.

74. There is no attainment higher than of Self-knowledge in the worlds of men and gods. It arises from nothing but the Vedanta. This Knowledge, superior even to the kingdom of Indra, should, therefore, not be imparted to any person without examining him carefully.


1. The Self is to be known. It is beyond everything knowable as there exists nothing else except It. I bow down to that pure, all knowing and omniscient One which is to be known.

2. I always bow down to those teachers who are conversant with words, sentences and sources of Knowledge and who, like lamps, have shown clearly to us Brahman, the secret of the Vedas.

3. I bow down to my teacher whose words fell (in to my ears) and destroyed ignorance (in me) like the sun's rays falling on darkness and destroying it. I shall now state the reasoning leading to the right conclusion about the Knowledge of Brahman.

4. There is no other attainment higher than that of the Self. For that is the purpose for which the teachings of the Vedas, the Smriti and the actions (described in the work portion of the Vedas) are there.

5. The acquisition on the part of oneself considered to be a source of happiness produces the opposite result also. It is for this reason that the Knowers of Brahman say that the greatest acquisition is that of the Self as it is eternal.

6. Of the nature of being always attained, the Self does not depend on anything else in order to be acquired. The acquisition that depends on other things (e.g. effort etc.) is due to ignorance (and so vanishes when the means to which it is due vanish.)

7. The conception (of the existence) of the non-Self is what is called ignorance, the destruction of which is known to be liberation. This destruction is possible by means of Knowledge only, which is incompatible with ignorance. (Compatible with ignorance), actions cannot destroy it.

8.That actions produced by desires caused by ignorance gives rise to results which are perishable, and that Knowledge produces an imperishable result are known on the evidence of the Vedas.

9. The learned know the Vedas to be one continuous whole the only purpose to which is to demonstrate one thing viz., Knowledge in as much as the oneness of the Self is to be known by the understanding of the Vedic sentences.

10. (One may object that Brahman and the individual Self are different from each other as they are the meanings of two words which are not synonymous. The object is not reasonable) in as much as one has to know the difference between the words from that between their meanings and the difference between their meanings from that between the words. (Therefore the objector is led to the fallacy of reciprocal dependence. So no difference between them can be accepted, there being no Vedic evidence.) (Objection): As the Sruti states three things besides the Self viz. names, forms and actions (it evidently supports the existence of things other than the Self).

11-12. (Reply): As they are interdependent like a painting and a description of it, they are unreal. So the whole of the universe is really non-existent but exists only for a deluded intellect.

13. It is, therefore, reasonable that this universe is unreal. Existence-Knowledge only is real. Existing prior to everything, it is both the knower and the known. It is the form only that is unread.

14-15. Existence-Knowledge through which all things in dream are known is the knower. It is the same entity that is known in dream by Maya. It is the same Consciousness through which one sees, hears, speaks, smells, tastes, touches and thinks in that state is respectively called the eye, ear, the larynx, the auditive organ, the tongue, the organ of touch and the mind. Similarly, it is the same Consciousness that becomes in dream the other organs also functioning variously.

16. Just as the same jewel assumes different colours owing to its proximity to different (coloured) things, so, Pure Consciousness assumes different forms on account various adjuncts which are superimposed on It (in dream).

17. As in dream so in the waking state different forms are superimposed on this Consciousness. It manifests the objects of the intellect when It performs actions produced by desires due to delusion.

18. The events in the waking state are similar to those in dream. The ideas of the interior and exterior in the former state are as unreal as in the latter like reading and writing depending on each other.

19. When the Self manifests different objects, It desires to have them; and accordingly there arises in it a determination (to acquire those objects). It then meets with those particular results of actions done according to particular desires followed by particular determination.

20. Unperceived in deep sleep but perceived (in waking and dream) by those only who are ignorant, the whole of this universe is an outcome of Ignorance and therefore unreal.

21. It is said that in the Sruti that the consciousness of the oneness of the individual Self and Brahman) is Knowledge, and that of a difference (between them) is Ignorance. Knowledge is, therefore demonstrated in the scriptures with great care.

22. When the mind becomes purified like a mirror, Knowledge is revealed in it. Care should, therefore, be taken to purify the mind by Yama, Niyama sacrifices and religious austerities.

23. The best austerities regarding the body, the mind and speech should be practiced in order to purify the mind. The controlling of the mind and emaciating of the body in different seasons should be undertaken.

24. The attainment of the one pointed ness of the mind and the senses is the best of austerities. It is superior to all religious duties and all other austerities.

25. Sensuous perceptions are to be regarded as the waking state. Those very perceptions revealed in sleep as impressions constitute the dream state. The absence of perception and their impressions is known as to be deep sleep. (The witness of three states) one's own Self should be regarded as the supreme Goal to be realised.

26. What is called deep sleep, darkness or ignorance is the seed of the waking and dream states. It gets perfectly burnt by the fire of Self-Knowledge and it no more produces effects, like a burnt seed that does not germinate.

27. That one seed called Maya is evolved into the three states which come one after another again and again. The Self, the Substratum of Maya though only one and immutable, appears to be many, like reflection of the sun in water.

28. Just a the one seed, called Maya, is regarded as different according to different states such as, the undifferentiated dream etc. so, the Self appears to be different in waking and dream bodies, (both individual and aggregate) like reflection of the moon in water.

29. Just as a magician comes and goes on an elephant (created by his own magic), so, the Self, though devoid of all motion, appears to be undergoing conditions such as, the undifferentiated, dreams etc.

30. Just as (in the above example) there is no elephant or its driver, but there stands the magician different from them, so, there are no undifferentiated etc. nor their knower. The Witness which is always of the nature of Pure Consciousness is different from them.

31. There is no magic for the people of right vision or for the magician himself. It is only for the people of clouded vision that magic exists. Hence one, not really a magician, wrongly appears to be so.
[So it is the ignorant only that wrongly believes that Brahman is the wielder of Maya which is equally non-existent both for men of Knowledge and for Brahman.]

32. The Self should be regarded as Brahman in accordance with the Srutis, The Self is immediate; All knots of the heart are torn asunder, If not and so on.

33. (Objection): It is not perceived by the senses as It is devoid of sound etc. Again how can It be perceived by the intellect as It is different from pleasure and so on?

34. (Reply): Just as Rahu, though invisible, is seen in the moon (during an eclipse) and the reflections (of the moon etc.) are seen in the water, so, the Self, though omnipresent, is perceived in the intellect.

35. Just as the reflection and the heat of the sun, found in the water, do not belong to it, so, Consciousness, though perceived in the intellect, is not its quality; for It is of a nature opposite to that of the intellect.

36-37. The Self whose Consciousness never goes out of existence is called the Seer of seeing when it illumines that modification of the intellect which is connected with the eye, and similarly t is called the Hearer of hearing (and so on). The Unborn One called the thinker for thought when It illumines that modification of the mind which is independent of external objects. It is called the knower as Its power of Consciousness never fails; so the Sruti says, the Seeing of the Seen is not destroyed.

38. That the Self is immutable is known from the Srutis, as if It were at rest and It moves as it were. That It is pure is known from other Srutis: The thief in this state and Unattached.

39. The Self is conscious even in deep sleep as well as in the waking and dream as Its power of Consciousness never ceases to exist and as It is changeless. It is only in the objects of knowledge that there is a difference (in dreamless sleep) as the Sruti says, when there is.

40. The consciousness of objects (which arises out of the functioning of the eye etc.) is immediately known; for it depends on an intervening reflection of the Self (in order to be known). As it is the Self of (phenomenal) consciousness Brahman is immediately known.

41. Just as a second lamp is not necessary in order to illumine a lamp, so, a second consciousness is not necessary to make known Pure Consciousness which is of the nature of the Self.

42. The Self is not an object (of knowledge). There is no change or many-ness in It. It is, therefore, capable of neither being accepted nor rejected by Itself or by anyone else.

43. Why should a man have even the lesser fear who knows that he is the Self comprising the interior and exterior, beyond birth, death, decay and old age?

44. It is only before the negation of the idea of caste etc. on the evidence of the Sruti Not large, the ascertainment of the nature of the Self, on the authority of the sentences "Thou Art That', and before the demonstration of the Self (to one), on the part of (the knowledge portion of) the Vedas, that Vedic actions are to be performed (and not afterwards).

45. Caste etc. given up with the giving up of the previous body do belong to the body only and not to the Self. For the very same reason of being perishable the body is also not the Self.

46. The conceptions of 'me' and 'mine' with regard to the non-Self, the body etc. are due to Ignorance and should be renounced by means of Self-knowledge as there is the Sruti of the Asuras.

47. Just as the duty of observing defilement for ten days (following child birth or the death of a kinsman) is refrained from when one becomes a wandering religious mendicant; so, the duties belonging to particular castes etc. comes to an end when right Knowledge is achieved.

48. A man of Ignorance reaps the results of those actions done according to particular desires followed by particular determinations. But when the desires of a man of self-knowledge vanish he becomes immortal.

49. The outcome of the ascertainment of the real nature of the Self is cessation of actions etc. The Self is neither an end nor means. It is, according to the Smriti, eternally extended.

50. Four things are only the results of actions viz., the production, acquisition, transformation and purification of something. They produce no other results. All actions with their accessories should, therefore, be given up.

51-52. One desirous of attaining Truth withdraw in to the Self the love that he has for external persons or things. For, this love, secondary to that for the Self, is evanescent and entails pain. He then should take refuge in a Teacher, a knower of Brahman, who is tranquil, free, bereft of actions and established in Brahman as the Sruti and Smriti say, one having a Teacher knows and Know that.

53. That Teacher should immediately take the disciple in the boat of Knowledge of Brahman across the great ocean of darkness which is within him - the disciple who is of a one-pointed mind and endowed with the qualities of a (true) disciple.

54. The powers of seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, thinking, knowing and so on, though of the nature of Pure Consciousness, differ on account of adjuncts.

55. Just as the sun illumines the world with it rays which are from growth and decay, so, the Self always knows all things in general and all particular things and is pure.

56. Appearing to be in the body owing to Ignorance and, therefore, appearing to be of the same size as the body, the Self is regarded as different from things other than the body (and possessed of its qualities) like the moon etc. reflected in water and appearing to be possessed of tits qualities.

57. One who merges the gross external objects experienced in the waking state in the subtle objects experienced in dreams, and these again in ignorance and then comes to know the Consciousness of the Self attains Brahman and has to follow any path northern or southern.

58. Having thus renounced the three states of the undifferentiated etc. one gets across the great ocean of ignorance, for one is by nature established in the Self without qualities, pure, awakened and free.

59. One is not born again when one knows that one is unborn, deathless, devoid of old age, free from fear, pure and knowing all particular things and things in general.

60. How can one be born again who has known the oneness of the Self and Brahman and is sure of the non-existence of the seed called ignorance stated before?

61. When the Witness is discriminated from the intellect etc. which are unreal, It does not identify Itself again with the gross or the subtle body as before, just as butter raised from milk and thrown into it does not get mixed with it again.

62. One becomes free from fear when one knows that one is Brahman which is Existence, Knowledge and Infinite, beyond the five sheaths consisting of food etc. and which is described in Sruti as not perceivable and so on.

63. That knower of the Truth of the Bliss of the Self has no cause of fear whatsoever. For, afraid of him, the organ of speech, the mind, fire and so on act regularly.

64. Whom should the knower of the Self salute if he is established in his own Glory which is infinite, non-dual and beyond name etc? Actions then have no utility from him.

65-66. The externally conscious individual which is one with the aggregate of the Gross bodies and the individual which is conscious internally only and on with the aggregate of the subtle bodies are both merged in the individual experiencing deep sleep which is one with the undifferentiated.
As the three states viz. deep sleep etc. has words only for their support they are unreal. The truthful man, therefore, who knows that he is Existence-Brahman, gets liberated.

67. I have no knowledge or ignorance in Me as I am of the nature of homogeneous Consciousness only, just as there is no day or night in the sun which is of the nature of light only.

68. As the truth of the scriptures may never be doubted one should always remember one identified with Brahman has nothing to accept or reject.

69. A man is never born again who knows that he is one only in all beings like the ether and that all beings are in him.

70. The Self is pure and self-effulgent having by nature no interior, exterior, middle or anything else anywhere, according to the Sruti, devoid of the interior or exterior.

71. The Self is a non-dual (and left over) by the negation of the universe according to the Sruti, 'Not this, not this'. It should be known as described in the Sruti, 'Unknown knower' and never otherwise.

72. If one knows that one is the supreme Brahman, the Self of all, one should be regarded as the Self of all beings according to the Sruti, 'their Self'.

73. The individual becomes adorable by gods and free from being under their control (unlike beasts under men), if he clearly knows the supreme Self, the shining One to be himself.

74. The Truthful man who has renounced everything unreal does not get bound again when he knows that he is always Consciousness, the eternally existing Self devoid of everything like the ether.

75. Those are to be pitied who know the supreme Brahman to be otherwise. Those, on the other hand, who know It to be not different from themselves are established in the Self and are their own masters. They have all the gods under their control.

76-77. Give up all connection with caste etc. all actions and all talk regarding the non-Self. Always meditate on the pure Self, the all-comprehensive Principle, as Aum. The Self, which like a causeway protects everything established (such as, castes, order of life etc.) and which, untouched by day and night, is in all directions, horizontal, upward and downward, and free from unhappiness, is of the nature of eternal consciousness.

78. One should know oneself to be the Supreme Brahman free from all bondage, merit and demerit, past and future, and also from cause and effect.

79. The self is regarded as the doer of everything though It is a non-doer. It is pure. It runs ahead of those that run, though it does not move at all. It appears to be many though unborn. For It possesses all power by Maya.

80. Without action, a non-agent and one without a second, I, the universal Self, make the world go round like a king who is only a witness or like the loadstone which moves iron by its proximity only.

81. One should have the conception that one is Brahman which is without qualities, without actions, Eternal, free from duality, free from unhappiness, pure, awakened and free.

82. Having gained a perfect knowledge of bondage and liberation with their causes (viz. Ignorance and Knowledge respectively) having acquired a complete understanding of causes and effects which are objects of knowledge and are (therefore) to be negated and having properly known the one supreme and pure Truth (to be the Self) which is beyond all objects of knowledge, known in the Vedanta and taught by the Sruti and the teacher, a knower of Brahman stands freed from the fear of being born again, becomes all and all-knowing, goes beyond grief and delusion and has the acme of his life fulfilled.

83. The Self cannot be accepted or rejected by Itself or others, nor does It accept or reject anyone else. This is right Knowledge.

84. For this Knowledge which is the subject of all the Vedantas, produces the conviction that the Self is Brahman. One becomes perfectly free from the bondage of this transmigratory existence when one achieves it.

85. This Knowledge which is the supreme purifier and the greatest secret of all the Vedas and gods is revealed here (in this chapter).

86. This supreme and secret Knowledge should not be imparted to one who has not controlled oneself, but should be given to a disciple who is obedient and dispassionate.

87. As there is no equivalent which a disciple may offer to the teacher for imparting to him Self-knowledge one should always possess the qualities of a disciple, achieve Knowledge and thus get across the ocean of transmigratory existence.

88. I bow down to that All-knowing and Al-powerful One who is of the nature of consciousness and besides whom there is nothing else viz. a knower, knowledge or an object of knowledge.

89. I bow down to my most adorable Teacher who is all-knowing and has, by imparting Knowledge to me, saved me from the great ocean of births and deaths, filled with Ignorance.


1. I bow down to that Eternal consciousness, the Self of the modification of the intellect, in which they merge and from which they spring.

2. I bow down to the great mendicant, the Teacher of my Teacher who, of great intellect, routed hundred of enemies of the Sruti by means of words comparable to swords made impenetrable through thunder-like reasoning and protected the treasure of the real import of the Vedas.

3. If the conviction, 'I am nothing but Existence and am ever free' were impossible to be attained, why should the Sruti teach us that so affectionately like a mother?

4. Just as the idea of a snake is negated from a rope (in a rope-snake), so, everything of the nature of the non-Self is negated from the eternally existing Self implied by the word 'I', on the evidence of the Srutis 'Thou art That' etc., in which the implied meanings of the words have been ascertained by reasoning (and the scriptures).

5. Brahman should be regarded as the Self on the evidence of the scriptures just as religious duties are known from the same source. Ignorance vanishes (immediately on the attainment of right Knowledge) like the effect of poison coming to an end when mantras are remembered.

6-7. It is reasonable that of the two ideas, 'I am Existence-Brahman' and 'I am an agent' both of which have the Self for their witness, the one owing its origin to Ignorance should be given up. Springing from evidences which are apparently so viz., sense-perception etc. it gets negated like a mistaken notion of a direction by the other one which has its source in the right evidence of the Vedas.

8. When they say 'Do this' and 'You are experiencers' the scriptures restate popular conceptions. The Knowledge, 'I am Existence' arises from the Sruti. The other (arising from injunctive scriptures) is negated by it.

9. (Objection): Absolute liberation does not arise when one is told, 'Thou art That'. One should, therefore, have recourse to the repetition (of the idea, 'I am Brahman') and support it with reasoning.

10. Even acquainted with the literal meaning of the sentence one, once told, cannot know its true import but requires other things which, as we have said, are two.

11. Just as an injunction regarding Vedic actions is necessary, so it is not in compatible in the case of one so long as one has not directly Known the Self and the Knowledge has not been firmly grasped.

12. All one's efforts (viz. self-control etc.) become useless if one can know Brahman without being enjoined. One should, therefore, go on with the repetition so long as the self is not known.

13. Firm impressions originating from sense-perception do surely negate the Knowledge, 'I am Brahman' arising from the Sruti. Moreover an aspirant is attracted towards external objects through impurities (such as, attachment and so on).

14. Perceptional Knowledge which has for its objects particular properties of things does surely contradict that which arises from hearsay and inferences and which is related only to generic properties of things.

15-16. No one is seen freed from the distress of this transmigratory existence simply by understanding the meaning of the sentence. If, however, a rare man is seen to be freed from such distress on the mere hearing of it, he must be inferred to have practiced repetition in previous lives. Moreover our conduct will have to be regarded as non-scriptural (if you do not admit the existence of an injunction) in this case. But that is not desirable.

17. Just as everywhere in the Vedas the means to an end is enjoined after stating the result to be achieved, so here the result, Thou art That' is stated and the means can be nothing but this repetition which only is extended as being capable of revealing an eternally existing thing.

18. Therefore, practicing self-control etc. and renouncing everything incompatible with this end and the means to it, one should carefully practice the said repetition in order directly to know the Self.

19. (Reply): This is not so; for the Upanishads end with 'Not this, not this' (and deal with nothing else). Results to be achieved by means of actions are heard of in the previous part of the Vedas but not liberation which has an eternal existence (and is not achievable by means of any action).

20. Just as the distress experienced by one's son is superimposed by the father on himself who has no distress at all, so, the ego is superimposed on the Self which is eternally free from any pain whatsoever.

21. The superimposition (of the ego on the Self) is negated on the evidence of the Sruti, 'Not this, not this' as if it were a reality. And hence no injunctions which are all due to superimposition can by any means be reasonable (after such a negation has taken place).

22. Just as colour is superimposed on and negated from the sky by ignorant people so, there are the superimposition (of the ego) on the Self and its negation from it.

23. This negation is not one of a reality, but is of a false superimposition only like the prohibition of the placing of fire on the highest region of the sky; for liberation would have surely been transitory if things really existing were negated.

24. It is only to objects of knowledge and not to non-objects that a word or an idea can be applied. Brahman which is the Self of them and also of the ego is not within the scope of a word or an idea.

25. Everything such as agency etc. superimposed by the ego on the Self which is Pure Consciousness is negated together with the ego on the evidence of the Sruti, Not this, not this.

26. (The Self is then known to be) Intelligence, Self-effulgent, a Seer, the Innermost, Existence, free from actions, directly cognised, the Self of all, the Witness, One imparting consciousness to others External, devoid of qualities and without a second.

27. On account of the constant proximity of the conscious Self, the ego also appears to be conscious. Hence the two things viz., oneself and things related to oneself that are denoted by the words 'I' and 'mine', originate.

28. As the ego is possessed of species, action, etc. words are applicable to it. But no word can be used with respect to the innermost Self owing to the absence of these from it.

29-30. Words which denote the ego and the other things which reflect the innermost Self express the latter only indirectly, and by no means describe It directly. For, nothing that has no species etc. can be described by means of words.

31. Just as words denoting the actions of fire are applied only indirectly to torches etc (having fire in them) and not directly as they imply a thing different from them; so words implying the Self are applied to the ego having the reflection of he Self and appearing like It.

32-33. As it imitates the mirror the reflection of a face is different from the face. The face which does not depend on the mirror (for its existence) is also different from its reflection. Similarly, the reflection of the Self in the ego is also regarded (as different from the pure Self) like that of the face which is different from the face. The pure Self is considered to be different from Its reflection like the face (which is different from its own). In fact, however, the Self and Its reflection are free from real distinction between each other like the face and its reflection.

34. (Objection): Some say that the reflection in the ego (as distinct from the Self) is the individual soul. (But if one asks how the reflection which is not a reality can experience anything at all, the objects answer that) the reflection is a reality as the shadows of things are known to be realistic according to the Smriti. Not only so, there is another reason also (why a shadow should be regarded as a reality). For a man in shadow feels refreshingly cool.

35. (Other objections): Some say that the individual soul is a part of Pure Consciousness. Others hold that it is a modification of the same. Still others are of opinion that the ego together with the reflection of Pure Consciousness in it is the individual soul. Others again think that it is the independent ego, (neither a part nor a modification), which is the experience of this mundane existence.

36. The Buddhists say that the individual soul is the momentary consciousness, 'I'. There is no witness (distinct from the series to see the beginning and the end of these momentary phenomena). Now examine which of these doctrines is reasonable.

37. Let us now stop discussing the different doctrines about transmigratory soul. Let us go on with the present subject. The reflection of the face in the mirror is a property neither of the face nor of the mirror. For, if it were the property of either of the two, it would continue even if the other were removed.

38. If it is argued that it is the property of the face because it is called after, it cannot be so. For, it imitates the mirror and is not seen even when the face is there (but the mirror is removed).

39. (First line) If you say that it is the property of both, we say, 'No' because it is not seen even when both are present (but improperly placed).
(Second line) (Objection): It may be said that Rahu, a real thing, though invisible, is sometime seen in the sun and moon; (so the reflection of the face, a reality, though invisible, is sometimes seen in the mirror).

40. (Reply): That Rahu is a real thing is known from the scriptures before one sees it in the sun or moon. But according to those who hold that it is the shadow of the earth, it cannot be a real thing and the unreality of the reflection has been proved by arguments before.

41. There is a prohibition regarding the crossing of the shadows (of one's teachers and other superiors); but it does not prove the reality of a shadow as a sentence expressing one meaning cannot express another at the same time.

42. That one feels cool while sitting in a shadow is not the effect of the shadow on one. It is due to one's refraining from using warm things. Coolness is found to belong to water; but not to shadow.

43. The Self, Its reflection and the intellect are comparable to the face, its reflection and the mirror. The unreality of the reflection is known from the scriptures and reasoning.

44. (Objection): Who is the experiencer of transmigratory existence as it cannot belong to the Self which is changeless, neither to the reflection, which is not real nor to the ego which is not a conscious entity?

45. (Reply) Let the transmigratory condition then is only a delusion due to the indiscrimination (between the Self and the non-Self). It always has an (apparent) existence due to the real existence of the changeless Self and, therefore, appears to be pertaining to it.

46. Just as a rope-snake (a rope mistaken for a snake), though unreal, has an existence due to that of the rope before the discrimination between the rope and the snake takes place; so, the transmigratory condition, though unreal, is possessed of an existence due to that of the changeless Self.

47. Some say that the Self to which the reflection belongs, though changeful on account of the modifications of the mind pertaining to Itself such as, 'I am happy', 'I am miserable' and though an experiencer of the transmigratory condition, is eternal.

48. Having no knowledge of the Vedas and deluded on account of the lack of the real knowledge of the Self and Its reflection, they consider the ego to be the Self.

49. The transmigratory existence consisting of agency and the experiencing of pain and pleasure is, according to them, a reality. They, therefore, continue to be born again and again on account of the ignorance of the nature of the Self, its reflection and the intellect between which they cannot discriminate.

50. That the Vedas imply the Self by means of words such as 'Knowledge' etc. becomes reasonable if it is true that the Self is of the nature of Pure Consciousness and the intellect reflects It.

51-52. (Objection) It is well known among the people that the meaning of the root and that of the verbal suffix, though different from each other, in each of the words such as 'does', 'goes' etc. are seen to belong to the same subject. They are not seen to belong to two different subjects either according to ordinary people or grammarians. Now please tell me the reason why the meanings of the root and the suffix should belong to two different subjects in the case of the words such as, 'knows' etc.

53. (Reply): The meaning of the suffix is the reflection of the Self in the intellect and the root denotes an action i.e. a modification of the intellect. As the intellect and the reflection are not discriminated from the Self, the word 'knows' is applied falsely to It.

54. The intellect has no consciousness and the Self no action. The word 'knows' can, therefore, reasonably be applied to neither of them.

55. The word 'knowledge' in the sense of action of knowing, cannot similarly be applied to the Self. For the Self is not a change only (which is indicated by an action as it is taught in the Srutis that It is eternal).

56. The word 'knowledge', in the sense of the instrument of the action of knowing, is applied to the intellect and not to the Self as an instrument cannot exist without an agent. Neither is the word, in the sense of that which is the object of the same action, can be applied to the Self.

57. The Self is never knowable and is not directly denoted by any word according to those who hold that It is eternally changeless, free form pain and one only.

58. If the ego were the Self, a word might be applied to it in the primary sense. But it is not the Self according to the Sruti as it is possessed of hunger etc.

59-62. (Objection): Well, words that have no primary meanings can have no secondary ones also. Therefore you are to explain the application of the words 'knows' etc.
The Vedas would lose their authority as an evidence if words were false, which is not desirable. (Reply) Should one, therefore, have to accept the application of words according to popular usage?
(Objection) If you accept the usage of ignorant people, you will have to arrive at the conclusion of the Charvakas who hold that there is no Self (other than the body). But that is undesirable.
If, on the other hand, you accept the usage of the learned, you will arrive at the same dilemma as before. The Vedas which are an authority do not use meaningless words.

63-64. (Reply) As the reflection appears like the face people accept its oneness with the reflection in a mirror.
All people, therefore, naturally use the verbs 'knows' etc. owing to the indiscrimination between that in which there is the reflection and that which is reflected.

65. The Self is said to know things on account of the superimposition of the agency of the intellect on it. Similarly the intellect is called a knower owing to the superimposition of Consciousness on it.

66. Eternal Knowledge which is the nature of the Self described by the Srutis as the Light of Consciousness is never created by the intellect, by Itself or by anything else.

67. Just as people regard their bodies as themselves and say that they (bodies) know things, so, they speak of the intellect having the agency in producing knowledge and of the Self (as being its seat).

68. Deluded by the modifications of the intellect which appear to be conscious and are created, the argumentative philosophers say that knowledge is produced.

69. Therefore the word "knows' etc. the corresponding modifications of the mind and their memory are possible on account of the indiscrimination regarding the Self, the intellect and the reflection of the Self in it.

70. Just as the properties of a mirror assumed to be reflection of the face in it are attributed to the face, so are the properties of the intellect assumed by the reflection of the Self are superimposed on It.

71. Just as the torches and other things appear to be possessed of the power of burning (on account of there being fire in them) so, the modifications of the intellect, illumined by the reflection of the Self appears to be endowed with the power of perception.

72. The Buddhist philosophers forbid the existence of a Witness by saying that the modifications of the intellect are themselves perceivers and are also perceived (by themselves).

73-74. Say how to refute (the Buddhists who hold) that the modifications of the intellect are not illumined by a witness different from them. (In refuting the Buddhists it may be said that) though a persistent knower must be accepted on account of reality different from the modifications revealing their presence and absence, It is not necessary to assume a reflection of the Self.
(Reply) The persistent knower also is no better than the modifications themselves as the said knower, different from the modifications, will be equally non-Conscious.

75. If you are of opinion that the presence and absence of the modifications will be known owing to the proximity of the permanent knower, we say, No. For, the changeless knower will be of no utility in that respect. (Even admitting that it will reveal them by its proximity only) everything will have mental modifications.

76-77. (First line) It is the disciple, who is suffering from the misery due to transmigratory existence and seeking liberation, the Witness Itself on other than It, that the Witness is miserable and desirous of liberation is not your view.
If, on the other hand, he be an agent other than the Witness, he cannot accept the idea. 'I am Brahman, the Witness'. (In that case) also the teaching of the Sruti, "Thou Art That' would be false, which is not reasonable.

78. (First line) But this teaching may be accepted if the Sruti teaches it without discriminating the two, the Self and the ego.

78. (Last two lines) But if the Sruti discriminates the ego from the innermost Self and then says to the ego, 'Thou Art That', the defects spoken of (in the previous verse) will creep in.

79. If you say that the word 'thou' finally means the witness, you must explain how there can be a relation between It and the ego so that the word 'thou' may express the Witness indirectly.

80. (Objection): Suppose the relation is one of the seer and the seen. (Reply): How can it be with regard to the Witness which is devoid of activity?

81. If it be contented that there will be the identity of the ego and the Witness, though the latter is devoid of activity, (we say it cannot be so; for) the knowledge of the said identity will not be there in the absence of the knowledge of the relation that my Self, the Witness, exists.

82. If you think that the relation will be known from the scriptures, it cannot be so. For (in that case) all the three defects spoken of before will arise. (And if there be a knowledge of the relation at all), it will be one of 'mine' (but not of identity.)

83. When it is accepted that the non-conscious intellect appears to be conscious, its modifications also appear to be so like sparks of red-hot iron.

84. The knowledge on the part of the people of the appearance and disappearance of the mental modifications is possible only on account of the Witness which is the limit and in no other way. And if the reflection of the Self is accepted, the intellect may know itself to be Brahman.

85. (Objection): Is it not a change on the part of the Self to pervade the intellect like fire pervading a mass of iron? (Reply): We have refuted this in the example of the face and it reflection in a mirror.

86. That black iron appears to be red is only an example (to illustrate the fact that the non-conscious intellect appears to be conscious). An illustration and its subject can nowhere be absolutely similar in all respects.

87. Reflecting Consciousness, therefore, the intellect appears to be conscious like a mirror reflecting a face and appearing like it. It has already been said that the reflection is not real.

88. It is not supported by the scriptures or reasoning that the intellect is conscious. For in that case the body, the eye, etc. also would be so.

89. (Objection): Let them be so.
(Reply): No. For (in that case) the position of the Charvaka philosophers comes in. Moreover the knowledge, 'I am Brahman' also will not be possible if there be no reflection of the Self in the intellect.

90. The teaching, 'Thou art That' will surely be useless in the absence of the knowledge 'I am Brahman'. This teaching is of use to those only who are acquainted with the discrimination between the Self and the non-Self.

91. 'Mine' and 'it' are ideas predicated of the non-Self and the idea 'I' of the ego. The ideas such as, 'I am a man' are predicated of both the Self and the non-Self.

92. They should be regarded as principal and subordinate with relation to one another and should be taken as the qualified or qualifying according to reason.

93. Both the ideas 'mine' and 'it' are qualifications of the ego, as for example,' a man having wealth and a man 'having a cow'. Similarly, the gross body is the qualification of the ego.

94. Everything pervaded by the intellect together with the ego is the qualification of the Witness. Without being connected with anything and pervading everything by means of its reflection the Self is, therefore, always of the nature of Knowledge Itself.

95. All this non-Self exists only for those people who are undiscriminating, but it does not exist at all for men of Knowledge.

96. Agreement with contrary with regard to words and with regard to their meanings are the only means by which the meaning implied by the word 'I' may be ascertained.

97. (Waking up from deep sleep one says) 'I did not see anything at all in that state'. (From this it is clear that) one denies the existence of the knower, knowing and the known in deep sleep; but not that of Knowledge Itself.

98. The scriptures themselves discriminate between Knowledge Itself on the one hand and the knower, knowing and the known on the other, and prove that the former is changeless and really existing, and that the later deviate from existence as they say, It is self luminous and The Knowledge of the knower does not (cease to exist).

99-100. Just as Brahma removed the Ignorance of the son of Dasarata by means of words only, but did not teach him any action in order to remove it so that he might know that he was Vishnu; so, the Sruti teaches one 'Thou art That' in order that one's Ignorance may be removed when one has learnt the meanings of the subordinate sentences according to the Srutis and popular grammar.

101. It is the indirectly expressed meaning of the word 'I' viz., the innermost and self-luminous Self which is expressed in the teaching, 'Thou art That'. And the result is liberation.

102. It would surely be necessary to admit an injunction if right knowledge were not produced immediately when one was taught (that one was Brahman).The Self exists in Its own nature even before one is taught (the meaning of the sentence as, 'Thou Art That').

103. The listening to the teachings and the production of right knowledge are simultaneous, and the result is the cessation of (the transmigratory existence consisting of) hunger etc. There can be no doubt about the meaning of the sentences like 'Thou art That' in the past, present or future.

104. The right knowledge of the Self which is of the nature of Pure Consciousness is, no doubt, produced in one at the time of listening to the teachings as all obstacles are removed (beforehand).

105-106. Is the knowledge, 'I am Brahman Itself' or, 'I am something other than It', is produced (when one is taught, 'Thou art That?) If the meaning implied by the word 'I' is something which is Brahman Itself, you must accept the absolute identity of the innermost Self and Brahman. But if the word 'I' imply something other than the Brahman the knowledge, 'I am Brahman' certainly becomes false. The knowledge of their absolute identity cannot, therefore, be forbidden.

107. The intellect and its modifications having the reflection of the Self in them exist for It and are non-conscious. Liberation, the result, is, therefore, supposed to be in the conscious Self.

108. As neither the intellect (with the reflection of the Self) nor its modification in the form of the ego is of the nature of the result or its (material) cause, the result is capable of being attributed to the Self, though immutable, like victory to a King.

109. Just as the reflection of a face which makes a mirror appear like it is the face itself, so the reflection of the Self in the mirror of the ego making it appear like the Self (in the Self). So the meaning of the sentence, 'I am Brahman' is reasonable.

110. It is only in this way and in no other that one knows that one is Brahman (and that Brahman is oneself). Otherwise the teaching, 'Thou art That' also becomes useless in the absence of a medium.

111. Teaching becomes useful if it is meant for a listener, who will be the listener if the Witness is not?

112. If you are of opinion that the intellect proximate to the Witness is the listener, it cannot be regarded as deriving any benefit from the Witness as from a piece of wood.

113. But the Witness must be admitted to the subject to change if there be any benefit rendered by It to the intellect.
What harm is there if the reflection of the Self is accepted as it is supported by the Srutis and Smritis?

114. If you say that there will be changes in the Self in case the reflection is accepted, we say, 'No'. For, we have already said that the reflection of Consciousness in the intellect is an unreality like a snake appearing to be a rope and like the reflection of a face in a mirror appearing to be the face itself.

115-116. (Objection): No. There will be the fallacy of the reciprocal dependence here as the knowledge of the reflection depends on that of the Self (and the knowledge of the Self depends on that of the reflection); (but it is not so in the case of the face etc. and their reflections) as the face etc. are always known independent of their reflections. The reflection may be said to belong to the Self if the latter be known to have an independent existence. Again, the Self may have an independent existence if the reflection belongs to It.

117. (Reply): It is not so. For, the intellect and the Self are known to exist independent of each other to dream like the face and its reflection, as the Self then illumines the modifications of the intellect in the forms of objects such as, chariots etc. though they are not present in that state.

118-119. Pervaded by Consciousness, mental modifications in the forms of objects come into existence. External objects are what impart their forms to these modifications. The most desirable of all things (on the part of the agent), these external objects are called objects of action. One having such a desire is enjoined to perform actions. The mental modifications in which the forms of external objects are present are called the instruments of his knowledge of objects.

120. The ego which is pervaded by the reflection of the Consciousness is called the knower or the agent of the action of knowing. One who knows oneself (the witness) to be distinct from all these three is a real knower of the Self.

121. The modifications of the intellect called right 'knowledge,' 'doubtful knowledge' and 'false knowledge' deviate from their existence. There is one and the same Consciousness in all of them, but the differences are due to modifications.

122. Just as a jewel differs in color owing to the proximity of (colored) things, so, Consciousness differs (according to different modifications of the mind superimposed on It.) Impurities and changes in the Self are all due to Its connection with these modifications.

123. The modifications of the intellect are manifested, known and endowed with existence by the Self which is immediately known and different from them. It is inferred with the help of the example of a lamp.

124. Does one make another accept the Self by means of positive evidence or without one by merely negating the non-Self and leaving over the Self only?

125. The possibility of a void comes in owing to the witness being unknown, if the non-Self be meant to be negated by means of the evidence of words.

126. (Objection): You are a conscious being, how you can be the body?
(Reply): It cannot be so proved, as the Self is not known (from another evidence). It might be proved by negating the non-Self if Pure Consciousness were known to exist.

127. (Objection): The Self is self-existing as Pure Consciousness is immediately known. (Reply): The knowledge of the Self according to you then becomes similar to that of the void assumed by the Nihilist.

128. (Objection): That the agent, the object and instrument are known to exist simultaneously is proved by memory (e.g. when one says) 'I' knew it.

129. (Reply): Though memory is right evidence, simultaneity is a misconception due to quick perception. So they were perceived before one after another and afterwards remembered in the same way.

130. Relative to, and characteristically different from, each other, the things denoted by the words 'it' and 'myself' in the sentence 'I know it and myself', cannot be the objects of simultaneous perception.

131. Three things (namely, an agent, an instrument and an object) are unnecessary in the perception of each of the knower, knowledge and the known. (And in order to avoid a regresses ad infinitum it cannot be said that each of these three things will prove its own existence, because) the agency of the agent exhausted in proving its own existence will not be available to prove that of the instrument and the object at the same time.

132. What is desired to be governed by the action of an agent is an object of that action. The object, therefore, depends on the agent and not on the Self which is other than it.

133. It is only through evidence such as, words, inference, etc. and in no other way that all things become known to those who do not know them.

134. Is the Self also substantiated by means of evidence or not? Though the Self Itself is independent of evidence, evidence is necessary in order to know It.

135. If the conscious Self Itself is taken to be ignorant, evidence is necessary in order that It may know Itself. It is surely necessary in knowing the Self if one (i.e. the ego) other than It be regarded as ignorant.

136-137. Does substantiation means being known, being endowed with existence or anything else? You should remember the two alternatives spoken of in the previous verse if it means 'being known'. As it is well-known that all things come to existence from their causes, no effort (by way of the application of evidence) is necessary for substantiation.

138. Substantiation, therefore, means 'being known' according to the doctrine in which the knower, knowing and the known are admitted. In the case of both he witnesses and the witnessed it denotes 'being known' and not 'endowed with existence'.

139. If it be assumed that the distinctness of the agent, the object, etc. is what substantiation (we say that) there can be distinctness or indistinctness with respect to the other (i.e. the witness) only, but not the agent.

140. There is no distinctness of a jar to a blind man. (It is nothing more than the jar being known). If, however, they want to predicate distinctness of the agent etc. they must admit that knowingness belongs to the Self.

141. Please tell us what benefits you derive by holding that knowledge depends on other things. If it is contended that dependence (of knowledge) on the knower is desirable (we reply that) the knower also, according to us, is nothing but Knowledge.

142. The intellect itself, though indivisible, is looked upon by deluded people as consisting of the divisions of the knower, knowing and the known.

143. Actions, agents, etc. consist, according to us, (idealists), of knowledge only.
(Reply): You must accept an agent of this knowledge if you admit its existence and destruction (every moment).

144. Your own conclusion is given up if you do not admit any quality belonging to knowledge. (Objection): The qualities of existence etc. are nothing but the negation of their non-existence and so on. (Reply): Even then knowledge cannot be liable to destruction (every moment) as it is known by itself according to you.

145. Destruction has for its ultimate limit something which is self-existent. (You say that) destruction is the negation of non-destruction. A cow is defined according to you as the non-existent of a non-cow. It cannot be the definition of a cow.

146. Things denoted by the word 'momentary' are also, according to you, only the negation of things that are non-momentary.

147. (The Idealists). As there cannot be any difference in non-existence differences are due to names only. (Reply) Please, tell me how there can be many-ness in one indivisible non-existence due only to different names.

148. How can the negation (of a non-cow) denote a cow if by the word negation the negation of different things is meant? (Again) No negation distinguishes one thing from another, nor can special properties do it.

149. Just as names, species, etc do not qualify Knowledge according to you as it has no special properties, (so, the negation of a non-cow, homelessness etc. do not qualify a cow).

150. As you have to accept sense-perception and inference in everyday life, you have to admit difference; for they consist of actions, agents and so on.

151. Entities qualifying knowledge such as jars, blue, yellow, etc. and also the knower by which these are known must be accepted.

152. Just as the perceiver is different from colors etc. which are perceivable, so, the knower, the Self, is different from the modifications of the intellect which are knowable. (Again) just as a lamp which reveals things is different from them, so is the knower different from things known.

153-154. What other relation except that of the seer and the seen can there be between the Self, the Witness, and the modifications of the intellect witnessed by It?
(Question) Does the consciousness of the Self pervade the modifications (really or apparently)?
(Answer) If apparently, the eternal Self must be of some utility to the intellect.

155. It has been said before that the benefit derived from (the proximity of) the Self by the intellect is that it appears conscious like the former. Being a revealer the intellect, like light and so on, pervades objects such as jars etc.

156. Just as a jar placed in the sun may be said to be brought to light, so, an object in the intellect may be said to be brought under its cognizance. This bringing to cognizance is nothing but being pervaded by the intellect. Objects become pervaded by the intellect one after another.

157. The intellect pervades an object (and assumes its form) when the object is revealed through the help (i.e. the reflection) of the Self. Like time and space the all pervading Self can have no order or succession (in pervading objects).

158. A thing like the intellect that depends on the agent etc. in pervading its objects and does not pervade all objects at the same time, (some being always left un-pervaded), is liable to transformation.

159. It is to the intellect and not to the Self which is immutable that the knowledge 'I am Brahman' belongs. Moreover, the Self is changeless because It has no other witness.

160. If the agent, the ego, were to feel 'I am liberated' freedom from pain and pleasure would not be reasonable with respect to it.

161-162 The wrong knowledge that one is happy or unhappy due to one's identification with the body etc. like the pleasure or sorrow due to the possession or loss of an ear-ring, is surely negated by the right knowledge that one is Pure Consciousness. An evidence becoming non-evidence, everything will end in non-existence in the reverse case.

163. One feels pain when one's body gets burnt, cut or destroyed, (because one identifies oneself with it. Otherwise the Self (which is different from the body) is never pained. Owing to there being burns etc. in one man another is not pained.

164. As I am not touched by anything and do not possess a body I am never susceptible of being burnt. Pain arises from the wrong notion (due to a false identification with the body) like the wrong notion of one being dead at the death of one's son.

165. Just as the wrong notion 'I possess an ear-ring' is removed when the right knowledge regarding it arises, so, the false consciousness 'I am unhappy' is negated by the right knowledge, 'I am pure Brahman'.

166. The pure Self might be freely imagined to be susceptible to pain if It were proved to possess it at all. One's identification with the body etc. is the cause of the pain felt and is responsible for the idea that the Self is susceptible to pain.

167. Just as due to indiscrimination touch and movement are felt to be in the Self which is devoid of them, so, normal pain is also felt to be in It (owing to the same reason).

168-169. The pain (due to the identification with the subtle body) comes to an end when one has the discriminating knowledge (that one is the Innermost Self) like the movement etc. (belonging to the gross body) which are negated (when one knows that one is different from it). Unhappiness is seen in the Self when the mind roams against one's will on account of Ignorance. But it is not seen in it when the mind is at rest. It is, therefore, not reasonable that unhappiness is in the innermost Self.

170. The saying 'Thou art That' implies an invisible reality, the words 'Thou' and 'That' expressing the same reality indirectly like (the words 'blue' and 'horse' in) the sentence 'it is a blue horse'.

171. The word 'Thou' comes to mean one free from pain on account of its being used in the same predicament with the word 'That' which means One eternally devoid of pain. Similarly, used in the same connection with the word 'Thou', meaning the Innermost Self (which is directly known), the word 'That' also comes to mean a thing directly known.

172. The sentences, 'Thou art That' produces the immediate knowledge of Self-Brahman like the saying, 'You are the tenth'.

173. Without giving up their own meanings the words 'thou' and 'That' deliver (by implication) a special one resulting in the knowledge of Self-Brahman. They do not express any other meaning contrary to it.

174-175. Just as misled by the number nine the tenth boy did not know himself to be so and wanted to know who the tenth was, so, one does not see one's Self, the Witness, though detached from the non-Self, and self-evident, on account of one's eyes being covered by Ignorance and intellect captivated by desires..

176. One knows one's own Self, the witness of the intellect and all its modifications, from sentences such as, 'Thou art That' like the boy who knew himself from the sentence, 'You are the tenth'.

177-178. The understanding of sentences is possible (on the knowledge of the implied meanings of the words) by the method of agreement and contrariety after it has been ascertained which words should be placed first and which next. For the order of words in Vedic sentences follows the meaning of the sentences. The rule about remembering the meanings of words in accordance with their order in which sentences are construed does not hold good in the Vedas.

179. The question is out of place when the meanings of words in sentences having fixed meanings are made clear in order that the meanings of sentences may be comprehended.

180. The method of agreement and contrariety is spoken of in order that one may be acquainted with the (implied) meanings of words, for no one can know the meaning of a sentence without knowing (the meaning of the words in it).

181-183. The meaning of the sentences like 'Thou art That', i.e. one is Brahman ever free, does not become manifest on account of the non-discrimination of the (implied) meaning of the word 'Thou'. Therefore it is the purpose of the discriminating the meaning of that word and for no other purpose that the method of agreement and contrariety has been described. For when the meaning of the word 'thou' is discriminated) one becomes perfectly sure of the nature of the Innermost Self by the negation of the ego connected with unhappiness from the meaning of the word 'I' and then the meaning of the sentence viz. one invisible Pure Consciousness becomes manifest like an AEgle marmelos fruit placed on one's palm.

184. Those who are well-versed in the meanings of words and sentences should not, therefore, assume a meaning which is not in accordance with the Srutis and give up what is in them. For this explanation of the sentence is thus possible.

185. (Objection): The knowledge, 'I am Brahman' is contradicted by sense-perception etc. like the cooking of gold particles.
(Reply): How can that knowledge be contradicted by these which are evidences only apparently?

186. (Objection): The knowledge that one is devoid of unhappiness does not arise from the sentence as long as one feels that one is unhappy, though the feeling of unhappiness may be due to sense-perception etc. which are all fallacious.
(Reply): we say, 'No'. For, there are exceptions.

187-188. (Reply continued) I felt miserable on account of burns, cuts, etc. in dream and was freed from pain through the teaching (imparted to me by a man of knowledge) in that state. Even if it be a contented that the teaching in dream negates no pain, still pain etc. cannot be regarded as belonging to the Self. For the absence of pain is there both before and after it is experienced, a delusion or a pain being never unceasing.

189. There is no contradiction if by negating the idea that one is unhappy one knows oneself to be the Innermost Self (i.e. Brahman) like the boy who knew himself to be the tenth and not one of the other nine.

190-191. It is from the sentence only and from nothing that one knows oneself to be ever free. The meaning of the sentence is known from the knowledge of the (implied) meanings of the words; these meanings again are surely understood by the method of agreement and contrariety. Thus one knows oneself to be free from pain and action.

192-193. The right knowledge of Self-Brahman becomes manifest fro sentences such as 'Thou Art That', like the knowledge acquired from the sentence 'you are the tenth'. The (false) conception of pain with regard to the Self vanishes for ever when the right knowledge of Self-Brahman arises like all kinds of pain experienced in dream which comes to an end as soon as one wakes up.

194. The knowledge (that they have been cooked) does not arise in the case of gold particles etc. as they do not become soft. They are made hot by boiling them for the purpose of producing an unseen result (in connection with sacrifices). It is not a fact that right knowledge does not arise from sentences like 'Thou art That'. For, there is no such contradiction here.

195. The meaning of the two words 'That' and 'art' in the sentence 'Thou art That' are well known. It does not produce right knowledge for want of help when the (implied) meaning of the word 'Thou' is not known.

196. The world 'art' is used in order to show that the words 'Thou' and 'That' are in the same predicament.

197. Being in the same predicament with the word 'Thou', the word 'That' comes to mean the Innermost Self. (Similarly, being in the same relation with the word 'That') the word 'Thou' comes to mean the same thing as the word 'That'. (Thus in relation to each other) the two words show that the Innermost Self is not unhappy and that Brahman is not other than the Self.

198. Thus both of them in conjunction express the same meaning as is implied by the sentences, 'Not this, not this'.

199. Why do you say that the sentence is not evidence (regarding the knowledge of Brahman) and depends on an action (in order to produce the same knowledge) as the result produced by the sentence 'Thou art That' is the right knowledge regarding Self-Brahman?

200. We do not, therefore, admit (the injunction of an action) in the beginning, end or middle, for it is contradictory and not to be met with in the Vedas. Not only so, we have, in that case, to give up what is there in them. And that would be harmful.

201. (Objection): The Bliss of liberation is not obtained by ascertaining the meaning of the sentences unlike the satisfaction which is felt by eating. Just as boiled milk-rice cannot be prepared with cow dung, so, the direct knowledge of Brahman cannot be produced simply by ascertaining the meaning of the sentence.

202. (Reply): Indirect knowledge, it is true, is the result produced by the sentences regarding the non-Self, but it is not so in the case of those regarding the Innermost Self. It is, on the other hand, direct and certain knowledge like that in the case of the tenth boy.

203. Therefore accept the Self as self-evidence which means the same thing as self-knowledge. The knowledge of the Innermost Self according to us thus becomes possible when the ego vanishes.

204. Pain is a property belonging to the intellect How can it, therefore, belong to the innermost Self which is of the nature of Pure Consciousness and not connected with pain?

205. The Witness is known by Itself which is of the nature of knowledge only. It is the birth of the modification of the intellect pervaded by the reflection of Consciousness that is what is known to be the knowledge of the Self.

206. How can you speak of the hearing etc of the Self on your part which is a contradiction when you are the eternally existing Liberation free from hunger etc.?

207. Hearing etc. would be necessary if Liberation were to be brought about. But it would be transitory in that case. The sentence, therefore, can have no other meaning in the presence of inconsistency.

208. The repetition of the idea, 'I am Brahman' might be possible if there were a difference between the listener and what is listened to. The desired meaning would be wronged in that case. Therefore the sentence becomes unreasonable (i.e. loses authority according to that view).

209. Knowing that one is eternally existing Liberation, one who desires to perform actions is a man of clouded intellect and nullifies the scriptures.

210. For knowing oneself to be Brahman one has no duty to perform; nor can one be a knower of Brahman when one has duties to perform. One deceives oneself by having recourse to both sides.

211. (Objection): If a reality is only pointed to (but no injunction be given) when one is told 'Thou are eternally existing Liberation'. How can one apply oneself to know that one is so (without being enjoined)?

212. It is known by perpetual evidence that one is an agent and miserable. And then there is an effort so that one may not remain so.

213. The Sruti, therefore, restates the agency etc. on the part of the people, and enjoins duties such as reasoning etc. in order that they may know that they are eternally existing Brahman.

214. (Reply): How can one accept an inconsistent meaning after knowing that one is eternally existing Liberation which is free from unhappiness, activity and desires?

215. (Objection): You should say why I thought of an opposite nature, should feel that I have desires and activities and am not Brahman.

216. (Reply): A question on this subject is reasonable, but it is not reasonable to ask why one is free. It is only a thing contrary to evidence that should be questioned.

217. The knowledge that one is free arises from a different evidence viz. the evidence, 'Thou art That'. Arising from fallacious perceptual evidence, unhappiness deserves an explanation.

218. One should be told what one asks and wants to know; and the inquirer desires to know liberation, (the Self) which is free from unhappiness.

219. That which removes unhappiness should be told (by the teacher to the disciple) according to his question, inquiring how his happiness might be removed altogether.

220. There can be no doubt about what the Srutis prove as they are an independent source of knowledge. The words of Sruti, therefore, produce the conviction that one is free. So it should be said that such is the meaning of the Srutis as (it has been proved that) they do not contradict any other source of knowledge.

221. The Knowledge of the Self different fro what has been said before is unreasonable on the authority of the Srutis 'It' is unknown to those who know (It), and 'Who' will know the knower?

222. The renunciation of all actions in order to discriminate the (implied) meaning of the word 'thou' becomes the means (to Self-Knowledge) according to the teaching, 'controlling the internal and external senses'.

223. One should know the Self, the innermost One, and the implied meaning of the word 'thou' in the combination of the body and the senses. One then knows the pure Self to be Brahman, the all-comprehensive principle. And that is the meaning of the sentence, 'Thou art That'.

224. How can one be enjoined to perform a duty when the meaning of the sentence that one is Brahman is known by one according to the right source of knowledge, viz. the Srutis, as no other source of knowledge can then exist for one?

225. No action can, therefore, be enjoined on one when one has known the meaning of the sentence. For the two contradictory ideas, 'I am Brahman' and 'I am an agent' cannot exist together.

226-227. That one is Brahman is the right knowledge. It is not negated by the false conceptions that one is an agent, has desires and is bound, arising from fallacious evidences. This (false) knowledge (i.e. I am an agent) like the identification of the Self with the body, becomes unreasonable when the knowledge that one is Brahman and not other than It is firmly grasped according to the teaching of the scriptures.

228. A man who tries to be free of fear and goes to a place which is devoid of it, from one full of fear, does not, if independent, go to such a place again.

229. How can there be the possibility of wrong conduct on the part of one on whom renunciation etc. are enjoined and who is awakened, on knowing the implied meanings of the words and is aspiring after the comprehension of the meaning of the sentence?

230. Everything, therefore that we said before is substantiated.

231. One does not try to attain anything in which one has lost interest. Why will a man seeking liberation make any effort at all who has lost interest in all the three worlds?

232. No one likes to eat poison even if pressed by hunger. So, no one who is not an idiot will knowingly wish to eat it when his hunger has been appeased by eating sweetmeats.

233. I bow down to my Teacher, a knower of Brahman, who collected for us the nectar of knowledge from the Vedanta like a bee collecting the best honey from flowers.


1. One becomes free from the distress caused by a series of hundreds of bodies, which has its origin in a swoon due to the fever of desires, if one places oneself under the treatment, in which medicines are Knowledge and dispassion - the causes of the destruction of the fever of desires (mentioned before).

2. Oh my mind, you indulge in vain ideas like 'me' and 'mine'. Your efforts, according to others, are for one other than yourself. You have no consciousness of things and I have no desire of having anything. It is, therefore, proper for you to remain quiet.

3. As I am no other than the Supreme Eternal One I am always contented and have no desires. Always contented I desire no welfare for myself, but I wish your welfare. Try to make yourself quiet.

4. One who is by nature beyond the six continual waves is, according to the evidence of the Srutis, the Self of us all and of the universe. This is what I know from other sources of knowledge also. Your efforts are, therefore, all in vain.

5. There is no idea of difference left which deludes all people through wrong notions when you are merged, for the cause of all wrong notions is the perception of (the reality of) difference. These wrong notions vanish as soon as one is free from this perception.

6. I am not deluded by your efforts. For I have known the Truth and am free from all bondage and change. I have no difference in the conditions preceding the knowledge of Truth and succeeding it. Your efforts, oh mind, are, therefore, useless.

7. As I am eternal I am not otherwise. Transitoriness is due to the connection with changes. I am always self-effulgent and therefore without a second. It is ascertained that everything created by the mind is non-existent.

8. Scrutinised through the reasoning that reality is never destroyed and unreality never born, you have no (real) existence. You are, therefore, Oh my mind, non-existent in the self. Having both birth and death, you are accepted as non-existent.

9-10. As everything - the seer, seeing and the seen - is a false notion superimposed by you, and as no object of perception is known to have an existence independent of that of the Self, the Self is one only. When this is so, the Self in the state of deep sleep does not differ from Itself when in waking (or dream). Unreal like the circular form of a burning torch, superimposition also has no existence independent of that of the non-dual Self. The oneness of the Self is ascertained from the Srutis as the Self has no division within Itself on account different powers and as It is not different (in different bodies).

11. If, according to you, souls were mutually different and so limited (by one another) they would meet with destruction as all such things are seen to come to an end. Again, all being liberated, the whole world would meet with extinction.

12. There is no one who belongs to me nor is there anyone to whom I belong as I am without a second. The world which is superimposed does not exist, my existence being known to be anterior to superimposition. I am not superimposed
It is duality only that is so.

13. The unborn Self can never be regarded as non-existent because there cannot be the superimposition of existence or non-existence on It. What exists prior to you and on which you yourself are superimposed cannot Itself be superimposed.

14. The duality seen to be pervaded by you is unreal. That It is not seen is no reason that the Self does not exist That from which the wrong notions of existence and non-existence proceed must exist. And just as a deliberation ends in a conclusion, so, all things superimposed have a final substratum in the really existing and non-dual Self.

15. If the duality, created by you and assumed by us to be real so that an investigation of the Truth might be possible, were non-existent, truth would remain unascertained, owing to the investigation becoming impossible. The existence of a reality must be accepted as a matter of course if an unascertained nature of Truth is not desirable.

16. (Objection): What is called real is, as a matter of fact, unreal like a human horn as it does not serve any purpose. (Reply): That a thing serves no purpose is no reason why it should be unreal and that a thing serves some purpose is no reason (on the other hand) why it should be real.

17. Your inference is wrong because reality serves some purpose as It is the subject - matter of deliberation, and as It is also the source of all duality proceeding from It under the influence of Maya, according to the Srutis, the Smritis and reason. Thus it is reasonable (that the Self, though changeless, serves some purpose). Otherwise (i.e. as a matter of reality) it is not reasonable that a thing, either permanent or temporary, serves any purpose.

18. According to the Sruti It is of a nature contrary to that of superimposition. This One is without a second as It is also known to have an eternal existence even prior to all superimposition. Unlike everything superimposed on It, which is negated on the evidence of the Sruti, 'Not this, not this'. It is not negated and therefore It is left over.

19. Those who, owing to false notion in their own minds, superimpose the ideas of existence, non-existence etc. on the Self, which is not Itself superimposed and is birthless, imperishable and without a second, always meet with birth, old age and death as different kinds of beings.

20. Duality can have no reality if both its birth and absence of birth are denied (owing to the possibility of contradictions). Again it cannot owe its origin to another thing either real or unreal. For in that case, being the origin of duality, reality would become unreal and unreality real. Hence the nature of actions and their instruments also cannot be ascertained it is for these reasons that the Self is ascertained to be unborn.

21. If the instruments in connection with the birth of duality be considered to be devoid of any action whatever, there will be nothing which will not be an instrument. And if they are considered to have the power of action, they will not be instruments, (for they can be acting neither) in the state of reality nor of unreality. As both these states are without any particulars (and will always produce effects or never produce any). Neither can they become instruments at the time of their deviation from their original states (of reality or unreality). For in that case the description between the nature of the cause and that of the effect cannot be ascertained like the relation of cause and effect between the two ends (moving up and down) of the beam of a balance.

22. If the reversal of reality and unreality is not desirable how can anything owe its origin to them which are of a fixed nature? For, both of them stand without having any connection with each other. Nothing, therefore, Oh my mind, is born.

23. Even by assuming the birth of things, if you like so, I say, your effects serve me no purpose, for not existing in the Self gain or loss cannot be there either uncaused or due to any cause. Even assuming that they exit in the Self, it is a fact that your efforts are of no use to me.

24. Things either immutable or transitory cannot have any relation with other things or themselves. Therefore it is not reasonable that they should have any effects. So nothing belongs to anything else. The Self Itself is also not (directly) within the scope of words.

25. A wise man immediately meets with the complete extinction of bondage like the extinguishing of a lamp when he acquires through reasoning and the Sruti the knowledge of Self which is the same in all conditions, always of the nature of self-effulgent Consciousness and free from duality fancied to be existing or non-existing.

26. Knowing the One bereft of the Gunas which is unknowable according to those who know It to be not different from the Self and which is very well knowable according to those fallaciously argumentative people who wrongly know It to be an object of knowledge - a man thus freed from the Gunas - becomes liberated from the bondage of false notions and is never deluded.

27. False notion cannot be negated in anyway other than thus knowing the Self. It is these wrong notions that are the causes of delusion. These notions, bereft of their cause, come to end absolute end like fire bereft of fuel (when knowledge is achieved).

28. I bow down to the teachers, the great souls, who realised the Supreme Truth and gathered from the ocean of the Vedas this knowledge (described in the present book) like gods who churned the great ocean in ancient time and gathered nectar.

Here ends Thousand Teachings, the substance of all the Upanishads, written by the All-knowing Shankara, the Teacher and wandering Paramahamsa, the disciple of Govinda worthy of adoration.
Introduction & Bhashyam / Sutra 4 - Upanishads Reveal Brahman
« Last post by Commentary on April 11, 2019, 06:55:25 PM »
4. But that (Brahman is to be known from Scripture), because it is connected (with the Vedānta-texts) as their purport.

The word 'but' is meant to rebut the pūrva-pakṣa (the primā facie view as urged above). That all-knowing, all-powerful Brahman, which is the cause of the origin, subsistence, and dissolution of the world, is known from the Vedānta-part of Scripture. How? Because in all the Vedānta-texts the sentences construe in so far as they have for their purport, as they intimate that matter (viz. Brahman). Compare, for instance, 'Being only this was in the beginning, one, without a second' (Ch. Up. VI, 2, 1); 'In the beginning all this was Self, one only' (Ait. Ār. II, 4, 1, 1); 'This is the Brahman without cause and without effect, without anything inside or outside; this Self is Brahman perceiving everything' (Bṛ. Up. II, 5, 19); 'That immortal Brahman is before' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 11); and similar passages. If the words contained in these passages have once been determined to refer to Brahman, and their purport is understood thereby, it would be improper to assume them to have a different sense; for that would involve the fault of abandoning the direct statements of the text in favour of mere assumptions. Nor can we conclude the purport of these passages to be the intimation of the nature of agents, divinities, &c. (connected with acts of religious duty); for there are certain scriptural passages which preclude all actions, actors, and fruits, as, for instance, Bṛ. Up. II, 4, 13, 'Then by what should he see whom?' (which passage intimates that there is neither an agent, nor an object of action, nor an instrument.) Nor again can Brahman, though it is of the nature of an accomplished thing, be the object of perception and the other means of knowledge; for the fact of everything having its Self in Brahman cannot be grasped without the aid of the scriptural passage 'That art thou' (Ch. Up. VI, 8, 7). Nor can it rightly be objected that instruction is purportless if not connected with something either to be striven after or shunned; for from the mere comprehension of Brahman's Self, which is not something either to be avoided or endeavoured after, there results cessation of all pain, and thereby the attainment of man's highest aim. That passages notifying certain divinities, and so on, stand in subordinate relation to acts of devout meditation mentioned in the same chapters may readily be admitted. But it is impossible that Brahman should stand in an analogous relation to injunctions of devout meditation, for if the knowledge of absolute unity has once arisen there exists no longer anything to be desired or avoided, and thereby the conception of duality, according to which we distinguish actions, agents, and the like, is destroyed. If the conception of duality is once uprooted by the conception of absolute unity, it cannot arise again, and so no longer be the cause of Brahman being looked upon as the complementary object of injunctions of devotion. Other parts of the Veda may have no authority except in so far as they are connected with injunctions; still it is impossible to impugn on that ground the authoritativeness of passages conveying the knowledge of the Self; for such passages have their own result. Nor, finally, can the authoritativeness of the Veda be proved by inferential reasoning so that it would be dependent on instances observed elsewhere. From all which it follows that the Veda possesses authority as a means of right knowledge of Brahman.

Here others raise the following objection:--Although the Veda is the means of gaining a right knowledge of Brahman, yet it intimates Brahman only as the object of certain injunctions, just as the information which the Veda gives about the sacrificial post, the āhavanīya-fire and other objects not known from the practice of common life is merely supplementary to certain injunctions. Why so?

Because the Veda has the purport of either instigating to action or restraining from it. For men fully acquainted with the object of the Veda have made the following declaration, 'The purpose of the Veda is seen to be the injunction of actions' (Bhāṣya on Jaimini Sūtra I, 1, 1); 'Injunction means passages impelling to action' (Bh. on Jaim. Sū. I, 1, 2); 'Of this (viz. active religious duty) the knowledge comes from injunction' (part of Jaim. Sū. I, 1, 5); 'The (words) denoting those (things) are to be connected with (the injunctive verb of the vidhi-passage) whose purport is action' (Jaim. Sū. I, 1, 25); 'As action is the purport of the Veda, whatever does not refer to action is purportless' (Jaim. Sū. I, 2, 1). Therefore the Veda has a purport in so far only as it rouses the activity of man with regard to some actions and restrains it with regard to others; other passages (i.e. all those passages which are not directly injunctive) have a purport only in so far as they supplement injunctions and prohibitions. Hence the Vedānta-texts also as likewise belonging to the Veda can have a meaning in the same way only. And if their aim is injunction, then just as the agnihotra-oblation and other rites are enjoined as means for him who is desirous of the heavenly world, so the knowledge of Brahman is enjoined as a means for him who is desirous of immortality.--But--somebody might object--it has been declared that there is a difference in the character of the objects enquired into, the object of enquiry in the karma-kāṇḍa (that part of the Veda which treats of active religious duty) being something to be accomplished, viz. duty, while here the object is the already existent absolutely accomplished Brahman. From this it follows that the fruit of the knowledge of Brahman must be of a different nature from the fruit of the knowledge of duty which depends on the performance of actions.--We reply that it must not be such because the Vedānta-texts give information about Brahman only in so far as it is connected with injunctions of actions. We meet with injunctions of the following kind, 'Verily the Self is to be seen' (Bṛ. Up. II, 4, 5); 'The Self which is free from sin that it is which we must search out, that it is which we must try to understand' (Ch. Up. VIII, 7, 1); 'Let a man worship him as Self' (Bṛ. Up. I, 4, 7); 'Let a man worship the Self only as his true state' (Bṛ. Up. I, 4, 15); 'He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 9). These injunctions rouse in us the desire to know what that Brahman is. It, therefore, is the task of the Vedānta-texts to set forth Brahman's nature, and they perform that task by teaching us that Brahman is eternal, all-knowing, absolutely self-sufficient, ever pure, intelligent and free, pure knowledge, absolute bliss. From the devout meditation on this Brahman there results as its fruit, final release, which, although not to be discerned in the ordinary way, is discerned by means of the śāstra. If, on the other hand, the Vedānta-texts were considered to have no reference to injunctions of actions, but to contain statements about mere (accomplished) things, just as if one were saying 'the earth comprises seven dvīpas,' 'that king is marching on,' they would be purportless, because then they could not possibly be connected with something to be shunned or endeavoured after.--Perhaps it will here be objected that sometimes a mere statement about existent things has a purpose, as, for instance, the affirmation, 'This is a rope, not a snake,' serves the purpose of removing the fear engendered by an erroneous opinion, and that so likewise the Vedānta-passages making statements about the non-transmigrating Self, have a purport of their own (without reference to any action), viz. in so far as they remove the erroneous opinion of the Self being liable to transmigration.--We reply that this might be so if just as the mere hearing of the true nature of the rope dispels the fear caused by the imagined snake, so the mere hearing of the true nature of Brahman would dispel the erroneous notion of one's being subject to transmigration. But this is not the case; for we observe that even men to whom the true nature of Brahman has been stated continue to be affected by pleasure, pain, and the other qualities attaching to the transmigratory condition. Moreover, we see from the passage, Bṛ. Up. II, 4, 5, 'The Self is to be heard, to be considered, to be reflected upon, that consideration and reflection have to follow the mere hearing. From all this it results that the sāstra can be admitted as a means of knowing Brahman in so far only as the latter is connected with injunctions.

To all this, we, the Vedāntins, make the following reply:--The preceding reasoning is not valid, on account of the different nature of the fruits of actions on the one side, and of the knowledge of Brahman on the other side. The enquiry into those actions, whether of body, speech, or mind, which are known from--Sruti and Smṛti, and are comprised under the name 'religious duty' (dharma), is carried on in the Jaimini Sūtra, which begins with the words 'then therefore the enquiry into duty;' the opposite of duty also (adharma), such as doing harm, &c., which is defined in the prohibitory injunctions, forms an object of enquiry to the end that it may be avoided. The fruits of duty, which is good, and its opposite, which is evil, both of which are defined by original Vedic statements, are generally known to be sensible pleasure and pain, which make themselves felt to body, speech, and mind only, are produced by the contact of the organs of sense with the objects, and affect all animate beings from Brahman down to a tuft of grass. Scripture, agreeing with observation, states that there are differences in the degree of pleasure of all embodied creatures from men upward to Brahman. From those differences it is inferred that there are differences in the degrees of the merit acquired by actions in accordance with religious duty; therefrom again are inferred differences in degree between those qualified to perform acts of religious duty. Those latter differences are moreover known to be affected by the desire of certain results (which entitles the man so desirous to perform certain religious acts), worldly possessions, and the like. It is further known from Scripture that those only who perform sacrifices proceed, in consequence of the pre-eminence of their knowledge and meditation, on the northern path (of the sun; Ch. Up. V, 10, 1), while mere minor offerings, works of public utility and alms, only lead through smoke and the other stages to the southern path. And that there also (viz. in the moon which is finally reached by those who have passed along the southern path) there are degrees of pleasure and the means of pleasure is understood from the passage 'Having dwelt there till their works are consumed.' Analogously it is understood that the different degrees of pleasure which are enjoyed by the embodied creatures, from man downward to the inmates of hell and to immovable things, are the mere effects of religious merit as defined in Vedic injunctions. On the other hand, from the different degrees of pain endured by higher and lower embodied creatures, there is inferred difference of degree in its cause, viz. religious demerit as defined in the prohibitory injunctions, and in its agents. This difference in the degree of pain and pleasure, which has for its antecedent embodied existence, and for its cause the difference of degree of merit and demerit of animated beings, liable to faults such as ignorance and the like, is well known--from Śruti, Smṛti, and reasoning-to be non-eternal, of a fleeting, changing nature (saṃsāra). The following text, for instance, 'As long as he is in the body he cannot get free from pleasure and pain' (Ch. Up. VIII, 12, i), refers to the saṃsāra-state as described above. From the following passage, on the other hand, 'When he is free from the body then neither pleasure nor pain touches him,' which denies the touch of pain or pleasure, we learn that the unembodied state called 'final release' (mokṣa) is declared not to be the effect of religious merit as defined by Vedic injunctions. For if it were the effect of merit it would not be denied that it is subject to pain and pleasure. Should it be said that the very circumstance of its being an unembodied state is the effect of merit, we reply that that cannot be, since Scripture declares that state to be naturally and originally an unembodied one. 'The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great and omnipresent does never grieve' (Ka. Up. II, 22); 'He is without breath, without mind, pure' (Mu. Up. II, 1, 2); 'That person is not attached to anything' (Bṛ. Up. IV, 3, 15). All which passages establish the fact that so-called release differs from all the fruits of action, and is an eternally and essentially disembodied state. Among eternal things, some indeed may be 'eternal, although changing' (pariṇāminitya), viz. those, the idea of whose identity is not destroyed, although they may undergo changes; such, for instance, are earth and the other elements in the opinion of those who maintain the eternity of the world, or the three guṇas in the opinion of the Sāṅkhyas. But this (mokṣa) is eternal in the true sense, i.e. eternal without undergoing any changes (kūṭasthanitya), omnipresent as ether, free from all modifications, absolutely self-sufficient, not composed of parts, of self-luminous nature. That bodiless entity in fact, to which merit and demerit with their consequences and threefold time do not apply, is called release; a definition agreeing with scriptural passages, such as the following: 'Different from merit and demerit, different from effect and cause, different from past and future' (Ka. Up. I, 2, 14). It (i.e. mokṣa) is, therefore, the same as Brahman in the enquiry into which we are at present engaged. If Brahman were represented as supplementary to certain actions, and release were assumed to be the effect of those actions, it would be non-eternal, and would have to be considered merely as something holding a pre-eminent position among the described non-eternal fruits of actions with their various degrees. But that release is something eternal is acknowledged by whoever admits it at all, and the teaching concerning Brahman can therefore not be merely supplementary to actions.

There are, moreover, a number of scriptural passages which declare release to follow immediately on the cognition of Brahman, and which thus preclude the possibility of an effect intervening between the two; for instance, 'He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 9); 'All his works perish when He has been beheld, who is the higher and the lower' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 8); 'He who knows the bliss of Brahman fears nothing' (Taitt. Up. II, 9); 'O Janaka, you have indeed reached fearlessness' (Bṛ. Up. IV, 2, 4); 'That Brahman knew its Self only, saying, I am Brahman. From it all this sprang' (Bṛ. Up. I, 4, 10); 'What sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who beholds that unity?' (Īś. Up. 7.) We must likewise quote the passage,--Bṛ. Up. I, 4, 10, ('Seeing this the Ṛṣi Vāmadeva understood: I was Manu, I was the sun,') in order to exclude the idea of any action taking place between one's seeing Brahman and becoming one with the universal Self; for that passage is analogous to the following one, 'standing he sings,' from which we understand that no action due to the same agent intervenes between the standing and the singing. Other scriptural passages show that the removal of the obstacles which lie in the way of release is the only fruit of the knowledge of Brahman; so, for instance, 'You indeed are our father, you who carry us from our ignorance to the other shore' (Pr. Up. VI, 8); 'I have heard from men like you that he who knows the Self overcomes grief. I am in grief. Do, Sir, help me over this grief of mine' (Ch. Up. VII, 1,3); 'To him after his faults had been rubbed out, the venerable Sanatkumāra showed the other side of darkness' (Ch. Up. VII, 26, 2). The same is the purport of the Sūtra, supported by arguments, of (Gautama) Ācārya, 'Final release results from the successive removal of wrong knowledge, faults, activity, birth, pain, the removal of each later member of the series depending on the removal of the preceding member' (Nyāy. Sū. I, 1, 2); and wrong knowledge itself is removed by the knowledge of one's Self being one with the Self of Brahman.

Nor is this knowledge of the Self being one with Brahman a mere (fanciful) combination, as is made use of, for instance, in the following passage, 'For the mind is endless, and the Viśvedevas are endless, and he thereby gains the endless world' (Bṛ. Up. III, 1, 9); nor is it an (in reality unfounded) ascription (superimposition), as in the passages, 'Let him meditate on mind as Brahman,' and 'Āditya is Brahman, this is the doctrine' (Ch. Up. III, 18, 1; 19, 1), where the contemplation as Brahman is superimposed on the mind, Āditya and so on; nor, again, is it (a figurative conception of identity) founded on the connection (of the things viewed as identical) with some special activity, as in the passage, 'Air is indeed the absorber; breath is indeed the absorber' (Ch. Up. IV, 3, 1; 3); nor is it a mere (ceremonial) purification of (the Self constituting a subordinate member) of an action (viz. the action of seeing, &c., Brahman), in the same way as, for instance, the act of looking at the sacrificial butter. For if the knowledge of the identity of the Self and Brahman were understood in the way of combination and the like, violence would be done thereby to the connection of the words whose object, in certain passages, it clearly is to intimate the fact of Brahman and the Self being really identical; so, for instance, in the following passages, 'That art thou' (Ch. Up. VI, 8, 7); 'I am Brahman' (Bṛ. Up. I, 4, 10); 'This Self is Brahman' (Bṛ. Up. II, 5, 19). And other texts which declare that the fruit of the cognition of Brahman is the cessation of Ignorance would be contradicted thereby; so, for instance, 'The fetter of the heart is broken, all doubts are solved' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 8). Nor, finally, would it be possible, in that case, satisfactorily to explain the passages which speak of the individual Self becoming Brahman: such as 'He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 9). Hence the knowledge of the unity of Brahman and the Self cannot be of the nature of figurative combination and the like. The knowledge of Brahman does, therefore, not depend on the active energy of man, but is analogous to the knowledge of those things which are the objects of perception, inference, and so on, and thus depends on the object of knowledge only. Of such a Brahman or its knowledge it is impossible to establish, by reasoning, any connection with actions.

Nor, again, can we connect Brahman with acts by representing it as the object of the action of knowing. For that it is not such is expressly declared in two passages, viz. 'It is different from the known and again above (i.e. different from) the unknown' (Ken. Up. I, 3); and 'How should he know him by whom he knows all this?' (Bṛ. Up. II, 4, 13.) In the same way Brahman is expressly declared not to be the object of the act of devout meditation, viz. in the second half of the verse, Ken. Up. I, 5, whose first half declares it not to be an object (of speech, mind, and so on), 'That which is not proclaimed by speech, by which speech is proclaimed, that only know to be Brahman, not that on which people devoutly meditate as this.' If it should be objected that if Brahman is not an object (of speech, mind, &c.) the sāstra can impossibly be its source, we refute this objection by the remark that the aim of the sāstra is to discard all distinctions fictitiously created by Nescience. The śāstra's purport is not to represent Brahman definitely as this or that object, its purpose is rather to show that Brahman as the eternal subject (pratyagātman, the inward Self) is never an object, and thereby to remove the distinction of objects known, knowers, acts of knowledge, &c., which is fictitiously created by Nescience. Accordingly the sāstra says, 'By whom it is not thought by him it is thought, by whom it is thought he does not know it; unknown by those who know it, it is known by those who do not know it' (Ken. Up. II, 3}; and 'Thou couldst not see the seer of sight, thou couldst not hear the hearer of hearing, nor perceive the perceiver of perception, nor know the knower of knowledge' (Bṛ. Up. III, 4, 2). As thereby (i.e. by the knowledge derived from the sāstra) the imagination of the transitoriness of Release which is due to Nescience is discarded, and Release is shown to be of the nature of the eternally free Self, it cannot be charged with the imperfection of non-eternality. Those, on the other hand, who consider Release to be something to be effected properly maintain that it depends on the action of mind, speech, or body. So, likewise, those who consider it to be a mere modification. Non-eternality of Release is the certain consequence of these two opinions; for we observe in common life that things which are modifications, such as sour milk and the like, and things which are effects, such as jars, &c., are non-eternal. Nor, again, can it be said that there is a dependance on action in consequence of (Brahman or Release) being something which is to be obtained; for as Brahman constitutes a person's Self it is not something to be attained by that person. And even if Brahman were altogether different from a person's Self still it would not be something to be obtained; for as it is omnipresent it is part of its nature that it is ever present to every one, just as the (all-pervading) ether is. Nor, again, can it be maintained that Release is something to be ceremonially purified, and as such depends on an activity. For ceremonial purification (saṃskāra) results either from the accretion of some excellence or from the removal of some blemish. The former alternative does not apply to Release as it is of the nature of Brahman, to which no excellence can be added; nor, again, does the latter alternative apply, since Release is of the nature of Brahman, which is eternally pure.--But, it might be said, Release might be a quality of the Self which is merely hidden and becomes manifest on the Self being purified by some action; just as the quality of clearness becomes manifest in a mirror when the mirror is cleaned by means of the action of rubbing.--This objection is invalid, we reply, because the Self cannot be the abode of any action. For an action cannot exist without modifying that in which it abides. But if the Self were modified by an action its non-eternality would result therefrom, and texts such as the following, 'unchangeable he is called,' would thus be stultified; an altogether unacceptable result. Hence it is impossible to assume that any action should abide in the Self. On the other hand, the Self cannot be purified by actions abiding in something else as it stands in no relation to that extraneous something. Nor will it avail to point out (as a quasi-analogous case) that the embodied Self (dehin, the individual soul) is purified by certain ritual actions which abide in the body, such as bathing, rinsing one's mouth, wearing the sacrificial thread, and the like. For what is purified by those actions is that Self merely which is joined to the body, i.e. the Self in so far as it is under the power of Nescience. For it is a matter of perception that bathing and similar actions stand in the relation of inherence to the body, and it is therefore only proper to conclude that by such actions only that something is purified which is joined to the body. If a person thinks 'I am free from disease,' he predicates health of that entity only which is connected with and mistakenly identifies itself with the harmonious condition of matter (i.e. the body) resulting from appropriate medical treatment applied to the body (i.e. the 'I' constituting the subject of predication is only the individual embodied Self). Analogously that I which predicates of itself, that it is purified by bathing and the like, is only the individual soul joined to the body. For it is only this latter principle of egoity (ahaṃkartṛ), the object of the notion of the ego and the agent in all cognition, which accomplishes all actions and enjoys their results. Thus the mantras also declare, 'One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating' (Mu. Up. III, 1, 1); and 'When he is in union with the body, the senses, and the mind, then wise people call him the Enjoyer' (Ka. Up. III, 1, 4). Of Brahman, on the other hand, the two following passages declare that it is incapable of receiving any accretion and eternally pure, 'He 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' (Śv. Up. VI, 11); and 'He pervaded all, bright, incorporeal, scatheless, without muscles, pure, untouched by evil' (Īś. Up. 8). But Release is nothing but being Brahman. Therefore Release is not something to be purified. And as nobody is able to show any other way in which Release could be connected with action, it is impossible that it should stand in any, even the slightest, relation to any action, excepting knowledge.

But, it will be said here, knowledge itself is an activity of the mind. By no means, we reply; since the two are of different nature. An action is that which is enjoined as being independent of the nature of existing things and dependent on the energy of some person's mind; compare, for instance, the following passages, 'To whichever divinity the offering is made on that one let him meditate when about to say vaṣaṭ' (Ait. Brāhm. III, 8, 1); and 'Let him meditate in his mind on the sandhyā.' Meditation and reflection are indeed mental, but as they depend on the (meditating, &c.) person they may either be performed or not be performed or modified. Knowledge, on the other hand, is the result of the different means of (right) knowledge, and those have for their objects existing things; knowledge can therefore not be either made or not made or modified, but depends entirely on existing things, and not either on Vedic statements or on the mind of man. Although mental it thus widely differs from meditation and the like.

The meditation, for instance, on man and woman as fire, which is founded on Ch. Up. V, 7, 1; 8, 1, 'The fire is man, O Gautama; the fire is woman, O Gautama,' is on account of its being the result of a Vedic statement, merely an action and dependent on man; that conception of fire, on the other hand, which refers to the well-known (real) fire, is neither dependent on Vedic statements nor on man, but only on a real thing which is an object of perception; it is therefore knowledge and not an action. The same remark applies to all things which are the objects of the different means of right knowledge. This being thus that knowledge also which has the existent Brahman for its object is not dependent on Vedic injunction. Hence, although imperative and similar forms referring to the knowledge of Brahman are found in the Vedic texts, yet they are ineffective because they refer to something which cannot be enjoined, just as the edge of a razor becomes blunt when it is applied to a stone. For they have for their object something which can neither be endeavoured after nor avoided.--But what then, it will be asked, is the purport of those sentences which, at any rate, have the appearance of injunctions; such as, 'The Self is to be seen, to be heard about?'--They have the purport, we reply, of diverting (men) from the objects of natural activity. For when a man acts intent on external things, and only anxious to attain the objects of his desire and to eschew the objects of his aversion, and does not thereby reach the highest aim of man although desirous of attaining it; such texts as the one quoted divert him from the objects of natural activity and turn the stream of his thoughts on the inward (the highest) Self. That for him who is engaged in the enquiry into the Self, the true nature of the Self is nothing either to be endeavoured after or to be avoided, we learn from texts such as the following: 'This everything, all is that Self' (Bṛ, Up. II, 4, 6); 'But when the Self only is all this, how should he see another, how should he know another, how should he know the knower?' (Bṛ. Up. IV, 5, 15); 'This Self is Brahman' (Bṛ. Up. II, 5, 19). That the knowledge of Brahman refers to something which is not a thing to be done, and therefore is not concerned either with the pursuit or the avoidance of any object, is the very thing we admit; for just that constitutes our glory, that as soon as we comprehend Brahman, all our duties come to an end and all our work is over. Thus Śruti says, 'If a man understands the Self, saying, "I am he," what could he wish or desire that he should pine after the body?' (Bṛ. Up. IV, 4, 12.) And similarly Smṛti declares, 'Having understood this the understanding man has done with all work, O Bhārata' (Bha. Gītā XV, 20). Therefore Brahman is not represented as the object of injunctions.

We now proceed to consider the doctrine of those who maintain that there is no part of the Veda which has the purport of making statements about mere existent things, and is not either an injunction or a prohibition, or supplementary to either. This opinion is erroneous, because the soul (puruṣa), which is the subject of the Upaniṣads, does not constitute a complement to anything else. Of that soul which is to be comprehended from the Upaniṣads only, which is non-transmigratory, Brahman, different in nature from the four classes of substances, which forms a topic of its own and is not a complement to anything else; of that soul it is impossible to say that it is not or is not apprehended; for the passage, 'That Self is to be described by No, no!' (Bṛ. Up. III, 9, 26) designates it as the Self, and that the Self is cannot be denied. The possible objection that there is no reason to maintain that the soul is known from the Upaniṣads only, since it is the object of self-consciousness, is refuted by the fact that the soul of which the Upaniṣads treat is merely the witness of that (i.e. of the object of self-consciousness, viz. the jīvātman). For neither from that part of the Veda which enjoins works nor from reasoning, anybody apprehends that soul which, different from the agent that is the object of self-consciousness, merely witnesses it; which is permanent in all (transitory) beings; uniform; one; eternally unchanging; the Self of everything. Hence it can neither be denied nor be represented as the mere complement of injunctions; for of that very person who might deny it it is the Self. And as it is the Self of all, it can neither be striven after nor avoided. All perishable things indeed perish, because they are mere modifications, up to (i.e. exclusive of) the soul. But the soul is imperishable, as there is no cause why it should perish; and eternally unchanging, as there is no cause for its undergoing any modification; hence it is in its essence eternally pure and free. And from passages, such as 'Beyond the soul there is nothing; this is the goal, the highest road' (Ka. Up. I, 3, 11), and 'That soul, taught in the Upaniṣads, I ask thee' (Bṛ. Up. III, 9, 26), it appears that the attribute of resting on the Upaniṣads is properly given to the soul, as it constitutes their chief topic. To say, therefore, that there is no portion of the Veda referring to existing things, is a mere bold assertion.

With regard to the quotations made of the views of men acquainted with the purport of the Śāstra (who alone were stated to have declared that the Veda treats of actions) it is to be understood that they, having to do with the enquiry into duty, refer to that part of the Śāstra which consists of injunctions and prohibitions. With regard to the other passage quoted ('as action is the purport of the Veda, whatever does not refer to action is purportless') we remark that if that passage were taken in an absolutely strict sense (when it would mean that only those words which denote action have a meaning), it would follow that all information about existent things is meaningless. If, on the other hand, the Veda--in addition to the injunctions of activity and cessation of activity--does give information about existent things as being subservient to some action to be accomplished, why then should it not give information also about the existent eternally unchangeable Self? For an existent thing, about which information is given, does not become an act (through being stated to be subservient to an act).--But, it will be said, although existent things are not acts, yet, as they are instrumental to action, the information given about such things is merely subservient to action.--This, we reply, does not matter; for although the information may be subservient to action, the things themselves about which information is given are already intimated thereby as things which have the power of bringing about certain actions. Their final end (prayojana) indeed may be subserviency to some action, but thereby they do not cease to be, in the information given about them, intimated in themselves.--Well, and if they are thus intimated, what is gained thereby for your purpose? We reply that the information about the Self, which is an existing thing not comprehended from other sources, is of the same nature (as the information about other existent things); for by the comprehension of the Self a stop is put to all false knowledge, which is the cause of transmigration, and thus a purpose is established which renders the passages relative to Brahman equal to those passages which give information about things instrumental to actions. Moreover, there are found (even in that part of the Veda which treats of actions) such passages as 'a Brāhmaṇa is not to be killed,' which teach abstinence from certain actions. Now abstinence from action is neither action nor instrumental to action. If, therefore, the tenet that all those passages which do not express action are devoid of purport were insisted on, it would follow that all such passages as the one quoted, which teach abstinence from action, are devoid of purport--a consequence which is of course unacceptable. Nor, again, can the connexion in which the word 'not' stands with the action expressed by the verb 'is to be killed'--which action is naturally established--be used as a reason for assuming that 'not' denotes an action non-established elsewhere, different from the state of mere passivity implied in the abstinence from the act of killing. For the peculiar function of the particle 'not' is to intimate the idea of the non-existence of that with which it is connected, and the conception of the non-existence (of something to be done) is the cause of the state of passivity. (Nor can it be objected that, as soon as that momentary idea has passed away, the state of passivity will again make room for activity; for) that idea itself passes away (only after having completely destroyed the natural impulse prompting to the murder of a Brāhmaṇa, &c., just as a fire is extinguished only after having completely consumed its fuel. Hence we are of opinion that the aim of prohibitory passages, such as 'a Brāhmaṇa is not to be killed, 'is a merely passive state, consisting in the abstinence from some possible action; excepting some special cases, such as the so-called Prajāpati-vow, &c. Hence the charge of want of purpose is to be considered as referring (not to the Vedānta-passages, but only) to such statements about existent things as are of the nature of legends and the like, and do not serve any purpose of man.

The allegation that a mere statement about an actually existent thing not connected with an injunction of something to be done, is purposeless (as, for instance, the statement that the earth contains seven dvīpas) has already been refuted on the ground that a purpose is seen to exist in some such statements, as, for instance, 'this is not a snake, but a rope.'--But how about the objection raised above that the information about Brahman cannot be held to have a purpose in the same way as the statement about a rope has one, because a man even after having heard about Brahman continues to belong to this transmigratory world?--We reply as follows: It is impossible to show that a man who has once understood Brahman to be the Self, belongs to the transmigratory world in the same sense as he did before, because that would be contrary to the fact of his being Brahman. For we indeed observe that a person who imagines the body, and so on, to constitute the Self, is subject to fear and pain, but we have no right to assume that the same person after having, by means of the Veda, comprehended Brahman to be the Self, and thus having got over his former imaginings, will still in the same manner be subject to pain and fear whose cause is wrong knowledge. In the same way we see that a rich householder, puffed up by the conceit of his wealth, is grieved when his possessions are taken from him; but we do not see that the loss of his wealth equally grieves him after he has once retired from the world and put off the conceit of his riches. And, again, we see that a person possessing a pair of beautiful earrings derives pleasure from the proud conceit of ownership; but after he has lost the earrings and the conceit established thereon, the pleasure derived from them vanishes. Thus Sruti also declares, 'When he is free from the body, then neither pleasure nor pain touches him' (Ch. Up. VIII, 12, 1). If it should be objected that the condition of being free from the body follows on death only, we demur, since the cause of man being joined to the body is wrong knowledge. For it is not possible to establish the state of embodiedness upon anything else but wrong knowledge. And that the state of disembodiedness is eternal on account of its not having actions for its cause, we have already explained. The objection again, that embodiedness is caused by the merit and demerit effected by the Self (and therefore real), we refute by remarking that as the (reality of the) conjunction of the Self with the body is itself not established, the circumstance of merit and demerit being due to the action of the Self is likewise not established; for (if we should try to get over this difficulty by representing the Self's embodiedness as caused by merit and demerit) we should commit the logical fault of making embodiedness dependent on merit and demerit, and again merit and demerit on embodiedness. And the assumption of an endless retrogressive chain (of embodied states and merit and demerit) would be no better than a chain of blind men (who are unable to lead one another). Moreover, the Self can impossibly become an agent, as it cannot enter into intimate relation to actions. If it should be said that the Self may be considered as an agent in the same way as kings and other great people are (who without acting themselves make others act) by their mere presence, we deny the appositeness of this instance; for kings may become agents through their relation to servants whom they procure by giving them wages, &c., while it is impossible to imagine anything, analogous to money, which could be the cause of a connexion between the Self as lord and the body, and so on (as servants). Wrong imagination, on the other hand, (of the individual Self, considering itself to be joined to the body,) is a manifest reason of the connexion of the two (which is not based on any assumption). This explains also in how far the Self can be considered as the agent in sacrifices and similar acts. Here it is objected that the Self's imagination as to the body, and so on, belonging to itself is not false, but is to be understood in a derived (figurative) sense. This objection we invalidate by the remark that the distinction of derived and primary senses of words is known to be applicable only where an actual difference of things is known to exist. We are, for instance, acquainted with a certain species of animals having a mane, and so on, which is the exclusive primary object of the idea and word 'lion,' and we are likewise acquainted with persons possessing in an eminent degree certain leonine qualities, such as fierceness, courage, &c.; here, a well settled difference of objects existing, the idea and the name 'lion' are applied to those persons in a derived or figurative sense. In those cases, however, where the difference of the objects is not well established, the transfer of the conception and name of the one to the other is not figurative, but simply founded on error. Such is, for instance, the case of a man who at the time of twilight does not discern that the object before him is a post, and applies to it the conception and designation of a man; such is likewise the case of the conception and designation of silver being applied to a shell of mother-of-pearl somehow mistaken for silver. How then can it be maintained that the application of the word and the conception of the Ego to the body, &c., which application is due to the non-discrimination of the Self and the Not-Self, is figurative (rather than simply false)? considering that even learned men who know the difference of the Self and the Not-Self confound the words and ideas just as common shepherds and goatherds do.

As therefore the application of the conception of the Ego to the body on the part of those who affirm the existence of a Self different from the body is simply false, not figurative, it follows that the embodiedness of the Self is (not real but) caused by wrong conception, and hence that the person who has reached true knowledge is free from his body even while still alive. The same is declared in the Śruti passages concerning him who knows Brahman: 'And as the slough of a snake lies on an ant-hill, dead and cast away, thus lies this body; but that disembodied immortal spirit is Brahman only, is only light' (Bṛ. Up. IV, 4, 7); and 'With eyes he is without eyes as it were, with ears without ears as it were, with speech without speech as it were, with a mind without mind as it were, with vital airs without vital airs as it were.' Smṛti also, in the passage where the characteristic marks are enumerated of one whose mind is steady (Bha. Gītā II, 54), declares that he who knows is no longer connected with action of any kind. Therefore the man who has once comprehended Brahman to be the Self, does not belong to this transmigratory world as he did before. He, on the other hand, who still belongs to this transmigratory world as before, has not comprehended Brahman to be the Self. Thus there remain no unsolved contradictions.

With reference again to the assertion that Brahman is not fully determined in its own nature, but stands in a complementary relation to injunctions, because the hearing about Brahman is to be followed by consideration and reflection, we remark that consideration and reflection are themselves merely subservient to the comprehension of Brahman. If Brahman, after having been comprehended, stood in a subordinate relation to some injunctions, it might be said to be merely supplementary. But this is not the case, since consideration and reflection no less than hearing are subservient to comprehension. It follows that the Śāstra cannot be the means of knowing Brahman only in so far as it is connected with injunctions, and the doctrine that on account of the uniform meaning of the Vedānta-texts, an independent Brahman is to be admitted, is thereby fully established. Hence there is room for beginning the new Śāstra indicated in the first Sūtra, 'Then therefore the enquiry into Brahman.' If, on the other hand, the Vedānta-texts were connected with injunctions, a new Śāstra would either not be begun at all, since the Śāstra concerned with injunctions has already been introduced by means of the first Sūtra of the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā, 'Then therefore the enquiry into duty;' or if it were begun it would be introduced as follows: 'Then therefore the enquiry into the remaining duties;' just as a new portion of the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtras is introduced with the words, 'Then therefore the enquiry into what subserves the purpose of the sacrifice, and what subserves the purpose of man' (Pū. Mī. Sū. IV, 1, 1). But as the comprehension of the unity of Brahman and the Self has not been propounded (in the previous Śāstra), it is quite appropriate that a new Śāstra, whose subject is Brahman, should be entered upon. Hence all injunctions and all other means of knowledge end with the cognition expressed in the words, 'I am Brahman;' for as soon as there supervenes the comprehension of the non-dual Self, which is not either something to be eschewed or something to be appropriated, all objects and knowing agents vanish, and hence there can no longer be means of proof. In accordance with this, they (i.e. men knowing Brahman) have made the following declaration:- 'When there has arisen (in a man's mind) the knowledge, "I am that which is, Brahman is my Self," and when, owing to the sublation of the conceptions of body, relatives, and the like, the (imagination of) the figurative and the false Self has come to an end; how should then the effect (of that wrong imagination) exist any longer? As long as the knowledge of the Self, which Scripture tells us to search after, has not arisen, so long the Self is knowing subject; but that same subject is that which is searched after, viz. (the highest Self) free from all evil and blemish. Just as the idea of the Self being the body is assumed as valid (in ordinary life), so all the ordinary sources of knowledge (perception and the like) are valid only until the one Self is ascertained.'

(Herewith the section comprising the four Sūtras is finished.)

So far it has been declared that the Vedānta-passages, whose purport is the comprehension of Brahman being the Self, and which have their object therein, refer exclusively to Brahman without any reference to actions. And it has further been shown that Brahman is the omniscient omnipotent cause of the origin, subsistence, and dissolution of the world. But now the Sāṅkhyas and others being of opinion that an existent substance is to be known through other means of proof (not through the Veda) infer different causes, such as the pradhāna and the like, and thereupon interpret the Vedānta-passages as referring to the latter. All the Vedānta-passages, they maintain, which treat of the creation of the world distinctly point out that the cause (of the world) has to be concluded from the effect by inference; and the cause which is to be inferred is the connexion of the pradhāna with the souls (puruṣa). The followers of Kaṇāda again infer from the very same passages that the Lord is the efficient cause of the world while the atoms are its material cause. And thus other argumentators also taking their stand on passages apparently favouring their views and on fallacious arguments raise various objections. For this reason the teacher (Vyāsa)--thoroughly acquainted as he is with words, passages, and means of proof--proceeds to state as primā facie views, and afterwards to refute, all those opinions founded on deceptive passages and fallacious arguments. Thereby he at the same time proves indirectly that what the Vedānta-texts aim at is the comprehension of Brahman.

The Sāṅkhyas who opine that the non-intelligent pradhāna consisting of three constituent elements (guṇa) is the cause of the world argue as follows. The Vedānta-passages which you have declared to intimate that the all-knowing all-powerful Brahman is the cause of the world can be consistently interpreted also on the doctrine of the pradhāna being the general cause. Omnipotence (more literally: the possession of all powers) can be ascribed to the pradhāna in so far as it has all its effects for its objects. All-knowingness also can be ascribed to it, viz. in the following manner. What you think to be knowledge is in reality an attribute of the guṇa of Goodness, according to the Smṛti passage 'from Goodness springs knowledge' (Bha. Gītā XIV, 17). By means of this attribute of Goodness, viz. knowledge, certain men endowed with organs which are effects (of the pradhāna) are known as all-knowing Yogins; for omniscience is acknowledged to be connected with the very highest degree of 'Goodness.' Now to the soul (puruṣa) which is isolated, destitute of effected organs, consisting of pure (undifferenced) intelligence it is quite impossible to ascribe either all-knowingness or limited knowledge; the pradhāna, on the other hand, because consisting of the three guṇas, comprises also in its pradhāna state the element of Goodness which is the cause of all-knowingness. The Vedānta-passages therefore in a derived (figurative) sense ascribe all-knowingness to the pradhāna, although it is in itself non-intelligent. Moreover you (the Vedāntin) also who assume an all-knowing Brahman can ascribe to it all-knowingness in so far only as that term means capacity for all knowledge. For Brahman cannot always be actually engaged in the cognition of everything; for from this there would follow the absolute permanency of his cognition, and this would involve a want of independence on Brahman's part with regard to the activity of knowing. And if you should propose to consider Brahman's cognition as non-permanent it would follow that with the cessation of the cognition Brahman itself would cease. Therefore all-knowingness is possible only in the sense of capacity for all knowledge. Moreover you assume that previously to the origination of the world Brahman is without any instruments of action. But without the body, the senses, &c. which are the instruments of knowledge, cognition cannot take place in any being. And further it must be noted that the pradhāna, as consisting of various elements, is capable of undergoing modifications, and may therefore act as a (material) cause like clay and other substances; while the uncompounded homogeneous Brahman is unable to do so.

To these conclusions he (Vyāsa) replies in the following Sūtra.
Introduction & Bhashyam / Sutra 3 - Scripture as Source of Knowledge of Brahman
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3. (The omniscience of Brahman follows) from its being the source of Scripture.

Brahman is the source, i.e. the cause of the great body of Scripture, consisting of the Ṛg-veda and other branches, which is supported by various disciplines (such as grammar, nyāya, purāṇa, &c.); which lamp-like illuminates all things; which is itself all-knowing as it were. For the origin of a body of Scripture possessing the quality of omniscience cannot be sought elsewhere but in omniscience itself. It is generally understood that the man from whom some special body of doctrine referring to one province of knowledge only originates, as, for instance, grammar from Pāṇini possesses a more extensive knowledge than his work, comprehensive though it be; what idea, then, shall we have to form of the supreme omniscience and omnipotence of that great Being, which in sport as it were, easily as a man sends forth his breath, has produced the vast mass of holy texts known as the Ṛg-veda, &c., the mine of all knowledge, consisting of manifold branches, the cause of the distinction of all the different classes and conditions of gods, animals, and men! See what Scripture says about him, 'The Ṛg-veda, &c., have been breathed forth from that great Being' (Bṛ. Up. II, 4, 10).

Or else we may interpret the Sūtra to mean that Scripture consisting of the Ṛg-veda, &c., as described above, is the source or cause, i.e. the means of right knowledge through which we understand the nature of Brahman. So that the sense would be: through Scripture only as a means of knowledge Brahman is known to be the cause of the origin, &c., of the world. The special scriptural passage meant has been quoted under the preceding Sūtra 'from which these beings are born,' &c.--But as the preceding Sūtra already has pointed out a text showing that Scripture is the source of Brahman, of what use then is the present Sūtra?--The words of the preceding Sūtra, we reply, did not clearly indicate the scriptural passage, and room was thus left for the suspicion that the origin, &c., of the world were adduced merely as determining an inference (independent of Scripture). To obviate this suspicion the Sūtra under discussion has been propounded.

But, again, how can it be said that Scripture is the means of knowing Brahman? Since it has been declared that Scripture aims at action (according to the Pūrva Mīmāṃsā

Sūtra I, 2, 1, 'As the purport of Scripture is action, those scriptural passages whose purport is not action are purportless'), the Vedānta-passages whose purport is not action are purportless. Or else if they are to have some sense, they must either, by manifesting the agent, the divinity or the fruit of the action, form supplements to the passages enjoining actions, or serve the purpose of themselves enjoining a new class of actions, such as devout meditation and the like. For the Veda cannot possibly aim at conveying information regarding the nature of accomplished substances, since the latter are the objects of perception and the other means of proof (which give sufficient information about them; while it is the recognised object of the Veda to give information about what is not known from other sources). And if it did give such information, it would not be connected with things to be desired or shunned, and thus be of no use to man. For this very reason Vedic passages, such as 'he howled, &c.,' which at first sight appear purposeless, are shown to have a purpose in so far as they glorify certain actions (cp. Pū. Mī. Sū. I, 2, 7, 'Because they stand in syntactical connection with the injunctions, therefore their purport is to glorify the injunctions'). In the same way mantras are shown to stand in a certain relation to actions, in so far as they notify the actions themselves and the means by which they are accomplished. So, for instance, the mantra, 'For strength thee (I cut;' which accompanies the cutting of a branch employed in the darśapūrṇamāsa-sacrifice). In short, no Vedic passage is seen or can be proved to have a meaning but in so far as it is related to an action. And injunctions which are defined as having actions for their objects cannot refer to accomplished existent things. Hence we maintain that the Vedānta-texts are mere supplements to those passages which enjoin actions; notifying the agents, divinities, and results connected with those actions. Or else, if this be not admitted, on the ground of its involving the introduction of a subject-matter foreign to the Vedānta-texts (viz. the subject-matter of the Karmakāṇḍa of the Veda), we must admit (the second of the two alternatives proposed above viz.) that the Vedānta-texts refer to devout meditation (upāsanā) and similar actions which are mentioned in those very (Vedānta) texts. The result of all of which is that Scripture is not the source of Brahman.

To this argumentation the Sūtrakāra replies as follows:
2. (Brahman is that) from which the origin, &c. (i.e. the origin, subsistence, and dissolution) of this (world proceed).

The term, &c. implies subsistence and re-absorption. That the origin is mentioned first (of the three) depends on the declaration of Scripture as well as on the natural development of a substance. Scripture declares the order of succession of origin, subsistence, and dissolution in the passage, Taitt. Up. III, I, 'From whence these beings are born,' &c. And with regard to the second reason stated, it is known that a substrate of qualities can subsist and be dissolved only after it has entered, through origination, on the state of existence. The words 'of this' denote that substrate of qualities which is presented to us by perception and the other means of right knowledge; the genitive case indicates it to be connected with origin, &c. The words 'from which' denote the cause. The full sense of the Sūtra therefore is: That omniscient omnipotent cause from which proceed the origin, subsistence, and dissolution of this world--which world is differentiated by names and forms, contains many agents and enjoyers, is the abode of the fruits of actions, these fruits having their definite places, times, and causes, and the nature of whose arrangement cannot even be conceived by the mind,--that cause, we say, is Brahman. Since the other forms of existence (such as increase, decline, &c.) are included in origination, subsistence, and dissolution, only the three latter are referred to in the Sūtra. As the six stages of existence enumerated by Yāska are possible only during the period of the world's subsistence, it might--were they referred to in the Sūtra--be suspected that what is meant are not the origin, subsistence, and dissolution (of the world) as dependent on the first cause. To preclude this suspicion the Sūtra is to be taken as referring, in addition to the world's origination from Brahman, only to its subsistence in Brahman, and final dissolution into Brahman.

The origin, &c. of a world possessing the attributes stated above cannot possibly proceed from anything else but a Lord possessing the stated qualities; not either from a non-intelligent prādhana, or from atoms, or from non-being, or from a being subject to transmigration; nor, again, can it proceed from its own nature (i.e. spontaneously, without a cause), since we observe that (for the production of effects) special places, times, and causes have invariably to be employed.

(Some of) those who maintain a Lord to be the cause of the world, think that the existence of a Lord different from mere transmigrating beings can be inferred by means of the argument stated just now (without recourse being had to Scripture at all).--But, it might be said, you yourself in the Sūtra under discussion have merely brought forward the same argument!--By no means, we reply. The Sūtras (i.e. literally 'the strings') have merely the purpose of stringing together the flowers of the Vedānta-passages. In reality the Vedānta-passages referred to by the Sūtras are discussed here. For the comprehension of Brahman is effected by the ascertainment, consequent on discussion, of the sense of the Vedānta-texts, not either by inference or by the other means of right knowledge. While, however, the Vedānta-passages primarily declare the cause of the origin, &c., of the world, inference also, being an instrument of right knowledge in so far as it does not contradict the Vedānta-texts, is not to be excluded as a means of confirming the meaning ascertained. Scripture itself, moreover, allows argumentation; for the passages, Bṛ. Up. II, 4, 5 ('the Self is to be heard, to be considered'), and Ch. Up. VI, 14, 2 ('as the man, &c., having been informed, and being able to judge for himself, would arrive at Gandhāra, in the same way a man who meets with a teacher obtains knowledge'), declare that human understanding assists Scripture.

Scriptural text, &c., are not, in the enquiry into Brahman, the only means of knowledge, as they are in the enquiry into active duty (i.e. in the Pūrva Mimāṃsā), but scriptural texts on the one hand, and intuition, &c., on the other hand, are to be had recourse to according to the occasion: firstly, because intuition is the final result of the enquiry into Brahman; secondly, because the object of the enquiry is an existing (accomplished) substance. If the object of the knowledge of Brahman were something to be accomplished, there would be no reference to intuition, and text, &c., would be the only means of knowledge. The origination of something to be accomplished depends, moreover, on man since any action either of ordinary life, or dependent on the Veda may either be done or not be done, or be done in a different way. A man, for instance, may move on either by means of a horse, or by means of his feet, or by some other means, or not at all. And again (to quote examples of actions dependent on the Veda), we meet in Scripture with sentences such as the following: 'At the atirātra he takes the ṣoḍasin cup,' and 'at the atirātra he does not take the ṣoḍasin cup;' or, 'he makes the oblation after the sun has risen,' and, 'he makes the oblation when the sun has not yet risen.' Just as in the quoted instances, injunctions and prohibitions, allowances of optional procedure, general rules and exceptions have their place, so they would have their place with regard to Brahman also (if the latter were a thing to be accomplished). But the fact is that no option is possible as to whether a substance is to be thus or thus, is to be or not to be. All option depends on the notions of man; but the knowledge of the real nature of a thing does not depend on the notions of man, but only on the thing itself. For to think with regard to a post, 'this is a post or a man, or something else,' is not knowledge of truth; the two ideas, 'it is a man or something else,' being false, and only the third idea, 'it is a post,' which depends on the thing itself, falling under the head of true knowledge. Thus true knowledge of all existing things depends on the things themselves, and hence the knowledge of Brahman also depends altogether on the thing, i.e. Brahman itself.--But, it might be said, as Brahman is an existing substance, it will be the object of the other means of right knowledge also, and from this it follows that a discussion of the Vedānta-texts is purposeless.--This we deny; for as Brahman is not an object of the senses, it has no connection with those other means of knowledge. For the senses have, according to their nature, only external things for their objects, not Brahman. If Brahman were an object of the senses, we might perceive that the world is connected with Brahman as its effect; but as the effect only (i.e. the world) is perceived, it is impossible to decide (through perception) whether it is connected with Brahman or something else. Therefore the Sūtra under discussion is not meant to propound inference (as the means of knowing Brahman), but rather to set forth a Vedānta-text.--Which, then, is the Vedānta-text which the Sūtra points at as having to be considered with reference to the characteristics of Brahman?--It is the passage Taitt. Up. III, 1, 'Bhṛgu Vāruṇi went to his father Varuṇa, saying, Sir, teach me Brahman,' &c., up to 'That from whence these beings are born, that by which, when born, they live, that into which they enter at their death, try to know that. That is Brahman.' The sentence finally determining the sense of this passage is found III, 6: 'From bliss these beings are born; by bliss, when born, they, live; into bliss they enter at their death.' Other passages also are to be adduced which declare the cause to be the almighty Being, whose essential nature is eternal purity, intelligence, and freedom.

That Brahman is omniscient we have been made to infer from it being shown that it is the cause of the world. To confirm this conclusion, the Sūtrakāra continues as follows:
Introduction & Bhashyam / Sutra 1 - The Inquiry into Brahman
« Last post by Commentary on April 11, 2019, 06:54:49 PM »
1. Then therefore the enquiry into Brahman

The word 'then' is here to be taken as denoting immediate consecution; not as indicating the introduction of a new subject to be entered upon; for the enquiry into Brahman (more literally, the desire of knowing Brahman) is not of that nature. Nor has the word 'then' the sense of auspiciousness (or blessing); for a word of that meaning could not be properly construed as a part of the sentence. The word 'then' rather acts as an auspicious term by being pronounced and heard merely, while it denotes at the same time something else, viz. immediate consecution as said above. That the latter is its meaning follows moreover from the circumstance that the relation in which the result stands to the previous topic (viewed as the cause of the result) is non-separate from the relation of immediate consecution.

If, then, the word 'then' intimates immediate consecution it must be explained on what antecedent the enquiry into Brahman specially depends; just as the enquiry into active religious duty (which forms the subject of the Pūrvā Mīmāṃsā) specially depends on the antecedent reading of the Veda. The reading of the Veda indeed is the common antecedent (for those who wish to enter on an enquiry into religious duty as well as for those desirous of knowing Brahman). The special question with regard to the enquiry into Brahman is whether it presupposes as its antecedent the understanding of the acts of religious duty (which is acquired by means of the Pūrvā Mīmāṃsā). To this question we reply in the negative, because for a man who has read the Vedānta-parts of the Veda it is possible to enter on the enquiry into Brahman even before engaging in the enquiry into religious duty. Nor is it the purport of the word 'then' to indicate order of succession; a purport which it serves in other passages, as, for instance, in the one enjoining the cutting off of pieces from the heart and other parts of the sacrificial animal. (For the intimation of order of succession could be intended only if the agent in both cases were the same; but this is not the case), because there is no proof for assuming the enquiry into religious duty and the enquiry into Brahman to stand in the relation of principal and subordinate matter or the relation of qualification (for a certain act) on the part of the person qualified; and because the result as well as the object of the enquiry differs in the two cases. The knowledge of active religious duty has for its fruit transitory felicity, and that again depends on the performance of religious acts. The enquiry into Brahman, on the other hand, has for its fruit eternal bliss, and does not depend on the performance of any acts. Acts of religious duty do not yet exist at the time when they are enquired into, but are something to be accomplished (in the future); for they depend on the activity of man. In the Brahma-mīmāṃsā, on the other hand, the object of enquiry, i.e. Brahman, is something already accomplished (existent),--for it is eternal,--and does not depend on human energy. The two enquiries differ moreover in so far as the operation of their respective fundamental texts is concerned. For the fundamental texts on which active religious duty depends convey information to man in so far only as they enjoin on him their own particular subjects (sacrifices, &c.); while the fundamental texts about Brahman merely instruct man, without laying on him the injunction of being instructed, instruction being their immediate result. The case is analogous to that of the information regarding objects of sense which ensues as soon as the objects are approximated to the senses. It therefore is requisite that something should be stated subsequent to which the enquiry into Brahman is proposed.--Well, then, we maintain that the antecedent conditions are the discrimination of what is eternal and what is non-eternal; the renunciation of all desire to enjoy the fruit (of one's actions) both here and hereafter; the acquirement of tranquillity, self-restraint, and the other means, and the desire of final release. If these conditions exist, a man may, either before entering on an enquiry into active religious duty or after that, engage in the enquiry into Brahman and come to know it; but not otherwise. The word 'then' therefore intimates that the enquiry into Brahman is subsequent to the acquisition of the above-mentioned (spiritual) means.

The word 'therefore' intimates a reason. Because the Veda, while declaring that the fruit of the agnihotra and similar performances which are means of happiness is non-eternal (as, for instance. Ch. Up. VIII, 1, 6, 'As here on earth whatever has been acquired by action perishes so perishes in the next world whatever is acquired by acts of religious duty'), teaches at the same time that the highest aim of man is realised by the knowledge of Brahman (as, for instance, Taitt. Up. II, I, 'He who knows Brahman attains the highest'); therefore the enquiry into Brahman is to be undertaken subsequently to the acquirement of the mentioned means.

By Brahman is to be understood that the definition of which will be given in the next Sūtra (I, 1, 2); it is therefore not to be supposed that the word Brahman may here denote something else, as, for instance, the brahminical caste. In the Sūtra the genitive case ('of Brahman;' the literal translation of the Sūtra being 'then therefore the desire of knowledge of Brahman') denotes the object, not something generally supplementary (śeṣa); for the desire of knowledge demands an object of desire and no other such object is stated.--But why should not the genitive case be taken as expressing the general complementary relation (to express which is its proper office)? Even in that case it might constitute the object of the desire of knowledge, since the general relation may base itself on the more particular one.--This assumption, we reply, would mean that we refuse to take Brahman as the direct object, and then again indirectly introduce it as the object; an altogether needless procedure.--Not needless; for if we explain the words of the Sūtra to mean 'the desire of knowledge connected with Brahman' we thereby virtually promise that also all the heads of discussion which bear on Brahman will be treated.--This reason also, we reply, is not strong enough to uphold your interpretation. For the statement of some principal matter already implies all the secondary matters connected therewith. Hence if Brahman, the most eminent of all objects of knowledge, is mentioned, this implies already all those objects of enquiry which the enquiry into Brahman presupposes, and those objects need therefore not be mentioned, especially in the Sūtra. Analogously the sentence 'there the king is going' implicitly means that the king together with his retinue is going there. Our interpretation (according to which the Sūtra represents Brahman as the direct object of knowledge) moreover agrees with Scripture, which directly represents Brahman as the object of the desire of knowledge; compare, for instance, the passage, 'That from whence these beings are born, &c., desire to know that. That is Brahman' (Taitt. Up. III, I). With passages of this kind the Sūtra only agrees if the genitive case is taken to denote the object. Hence we do take it in that sense. The object of the desire is the knowledge of Brahman up to its complete comprehension, desires having reference to results. Knowledge thus constitutes the means by which the complete comprehension of Brahman is desired to be obtained. For the complete comprehension of Brahman is the highest end of man, since it destroys the root of all evil such as Nescience, the seed of the entire Saṃsāra. Hence the desire of knowing Brahman is to be entertained.

But, it may be asked, is Brahman known or not known (previously to the enquiry into its nature)? If it is known we need not enter on an enquiry concerning it; if it is not known we can not enter on such an enquiry.

We reply that Brahman is known. Brahman, which is all-knowing and endowed with all powers, whose essential nature is eternal purity, intelligence, and freedom, exists. For if we consider the derivation of the word 'Brahman,' from the root bṛh, 'to be great,' we at once understand that eternal purity, and so on, belong to Brahman. Moreover the existence of Brahman is known on the ground of its being the Self of every one. For every one is conscious of the existence of (his) Self, and never thinks 'I am not.' If the existence of the Self were not known, every one would think 'I am not.' And this Self (of whose existence all are conscious) is Brahman. But if Brahman is generally known as the Self, there is no room for an enquiry into it! Not so, we reply; for there is a conflict of opinions as to its special nature. Unlearned people and the Lokāyatikas are of opinion that the mere body endowed with the quality of intelligence is the Self; others that the organs endowed with intelligence are the Self; others maintain that the internal organ is the Self; others, again, that the Self is a mere momentary idea; others, again, that it is the Void. Others, again (to proceed to the opinion of such as acknowledge the authority of the Veda), maintain that there is a transmigrating being different from the body, and so on, which is both agent and enjoyer (of the fruits of action); others teach that that being is enjoying only, not acting; others believe that in addition to the individual souls, there is an all-knowing, all-powerful Lord. Others, finally, (i.e. the Vedāntins) maintain that the Lord is the Self of the enjoyer (i.e. of the individual soul whose individual existence is apparent only, the product of Nescience).

Thus there are many various opinions, basing part of them on sound arguments and scriptural texts, part of them on fallacious arguments and scriptural texts misunderstood. If therefore a man would embrace some one of these opinions without previous consideration, he would bar himself from the highest beatitude and incur grievous loss. For this reason the first Sūtra proposes, under the designation of an enquiry into Brahman, a disquisition of the Vedānta-texts, to be carried on with the help of conformable arguments, and having for its aim the highest beatitude.

So far it has been said that Brahman is to be enquired into. The question now arises what the characteristics of that Brahman are, and the reverend author of the Sūtras therefore propounds the following aphorism.
Text / Translation (Swami Gambhirananda)
« Last post by Commentary on April 11, 2019, 06:42:34 PM »


Topic-1: Deliberation on Brahman
1. Hence (is to be undertaken) thereafter a deliberation on Brahman.

Topic-2: Origin etc., of the Universe
2. That (is Brahman) from which (are derived) the birth etc., of this (universe).

Topic-3: Scripture as Source of Knowledge of Brahman
3. (Brahman is omniscient) because of (Its) being the source of the scriptures. (Or) (Brahman is not known from any other source), since the scriptures are the valid means of Its knowledge.

Topic-4: Upanishads Reveal Brahman
4. But that Brahman (is known from the Upanishads), (It) being the object of their fullest import.

Topic-5: The first Cause Possessed of Consciousness
5. The Pradhana of the Samkhyas is not the cause of the universe, because it is not mentioned in the Upanishads, which fact is clear from the fact of seeing (or thinking).
6. If it be argued that the seeing is in a secondary sense, we say, not so, owing to the use of the word Self.
7. (Pradhana is not the meaning of the word "Self"), because liberation is promised for one who holds on to That.
8. (Pradhana has not been spoken of even indirectly), because there is no subsequent mention of its rejection, and (because that militates against the assertion at the beginning).
9. Because of the merger of the individual into his own Self.
10. Because the knowledge (gathered from the various Upanishads) is the same (as regards Consciousness being the cause).
11. And because (Brahman is) revealed (as such) in the Upanishads.

Topic-6: The Blissful One
12. The Blissful One is the supreme Self on account of repetition.
13. If it be argued that (the Blissful One) is not Brahman, owing to the use of a word (suffix) denoting modification, we say no, for the word is used in the sense of abundance.
14. For the further reason that Brahman is indicated as the source of Bliss.
15. And the very Brahman spoken of in the mantra is declared in the Brahmana (portion explaining the mantra).
16. The other is not the supreme Self, because that is illogical.
17. And because of the assertion of the difference (between the individual soul and the supreme Self).
18. There can be no reliance on inference (for arriving at Pradhana) owing to (the mention of) desire.
19. Moreover, the scripture teaches the absolute identity of this one with this (One).

Topic-7: The Being Inside
20. The Being inside is God, His qualities having been taught.
21. And God is different (from the individual being) owing to the mention of difference.

Topic-8: Space
22. Space (Akasa) is Brahman, for Brahman's indicatory mark is in evidence.

Topic-9: Prana
23. On that very ground, Prana (is Brahman).

Topic-10: Light
24. Light is Brahman because of the mention of feet.
25. If it be objected that Brahman is not spoken of, because the mention is about a metre, we say, no, for the dedication of the mind is taught in that way; for similar instances are found elsewhere.
26. And this must be so, because this makes possible the representation of all the things etc., as a foot.
27. If it be argued that Brahman (of the earlier text) is not referred to here on account of the difference in the instruction, we say: No, because there is no contradiction in either case.

Topic-11: Pratardana
28. Prana is Brahman, because it is comprehended thus.
29. If it be argued that Prana is not Brahman, since the instruction is about the speaker's own self, (then we say, no), for here is an abundance of reference to the inmost Self.
30. But the instruction proceeds from a seer's vision agreeing with scriptures, as in the case of Vamadeva.
31. If it be argued that Brahman is not spoken of here on account of the indications of the individual soul and the chief vital force, then that cannot be so, since this will lead to a threefold meditation. (Besides, Prana) is accepted (elsewhere) as meaning Brahman (because of the presence of Brahman's characteristics), (and these are) in evidence here.


Topic-1: The Entity Known Everywhere
1. (Brahman is the object to me meditated on), since that which is well known everywhere is taught (here in this Chandogya Upanishad - III-xiv-1,2).
2. And this follows from the fact that the intended qualities are justifiable (in the case of Brahman).
3. And the embodied individual soul is not surely meant, because the qualities do not fit in with it.
4. And because there is reference to the object and subject.
5. Owing to the difference in the (case-endings of the two) words.
6. (This follows) from the Smriti also.
7. If it be objected that the supreme Self is not taught here, because of the smallness of the abode and because of its being referred to as such, then we say: No, for this is done for the sake of contemplation, as is seen in the case of space.
8. If it objected that God will be subject to the experience (of happiness and sorrow as a result of unity), we say, not so, for there is a difference.

Topic-2: The Eater
9. The eater (is God), on account of the appropriation of all that moves and does not move.
10. And (this follows) from the context.

Topic-3: The Two in the Cavity of the Heart
11. The two who have entered into the cavity (of the heart) are the individual Self and the supreme Self, for that is what is seen (in other texts).
12. And because there is a specification.

Topic-4: The Person in the Eye
13. The One inside (is God), for that is logical.
14. And (this follows) from the mention of place etc.
15. And this so for the further reason that the One possessed of bliss is referred to (in the Text, "The One that").
16. And because the course to be followed by one who has heard the secret teaching is spoken of.
17. None other can be the Person in the eye on account of impermanence and impossibility.

Topic-5: The Internal Ruler
18. The internal Ruler in the divine and other contexts (is the supreme Self), since the characteristics of that (supreme Self) are spoken of.
19. Neither Pradhana, known from the (Samkhya) Smriti, is the internal Ruler, for qualities that do not belong to Pradhana are spoken of.
20. The embodied soul also (is not the internal Ruler); for the followers of both the recensions read of this one as different.

Topic-6: The One That is Unseen etc.
21. The entity, possessed of the qualities of not being seen etc., is Brahman, for Its characteristics are spoken of.
22. And the other two (viz., the individual soul and Pradhana) are not meant, for there is the mention of the distinctive characteristics (of Brahman) and (Its) difference (from the two).
23. And because there is a presentation of form.

Topic-7: Vaisvanara
24. Vaisvanara (the Cosmic Person) is the supreme Lord, for though the (two) words (Self and Vaisvanara) denote many things, they are used specifically.
25. The form referred to in the Smriti is an indicatory mark (that Vaisvanara means the supreme Lord). Hence Vaisvanara is God.
26. If it be objected that Vaisvanara is not the supreme Self because of the word used as well as other factors, and because of residence inside, then we say: not so, because the instruction is to conceive of Brahman as such, because the specification is inapplicable to others and because they mention Him even as a person (Purusha).
27. For these very reasons (Vaisvanara is) neither the deity nor the element.
28. According to Jaimini, there is no contradiction even in case of direct meditation.
29. According to Asmarathya, it is from the point of view of manifestation (that God is referred to as spatially limited).
30. According to Badari (God is spoken of as spatially limited) on account of being meditated on.
31. According to Jaimini, the spatial limitation is (justifiable) because of the meditation based on superimposition; for this is shown (in another text).
32. And they (the followers of the Jabala branch) remember (ie., read of) this One (ie., God) in this place (ie., in between the head and the chin).


Topic-1: The Abode of Heaven, Earth, etc.
1. The repository of heaven, earth, etc. (is the supreme Self) on account of the word denoting Itself.
2. Because there is the instruction about (Its) attainment by the free.
3. No inferential entity (is the repository), for there is no word of that import.
4. A living creature also is not so.
5. (And) because there is a mention of difference.
6. On account of the context.
7. And on account of the facts of staying on and eating.

Topic-2: Bhuman (Infinite, Plenitude)
8. Bhuman is the supreme Self, since He is taught as superior to samprasada (ie., Prana or vital force).
9. And the characteristics of Bhuman are appropriate (for the supreme Self).

Topic-3: Immutable
10. Akasa is Brahman because of supporting all things up to (and including) space.
11. And that act of supporting is possible for God only, owing to the mention of His mighty rule.
12. And on account of the exclusion from being other entities.

Topic-4: The Object of Seeing
13. From the mention as the object of the act of seeing (iksana), it follows that the supreme Self is mean.

Topic-5: Dahara (The Small Space)
14. The small space (dahara akasa) is Brahman, on account of the subsequent reasons.
15. From the facts of going and the use of the word (Brahma-loka), (it follows that the small Space is Brahman); likewise it is seen in other Upanishads and an indicatory mark is also present.
16. And owing to the fact of holding (the worlds) in place, (the small Space must be God); for this glory is noticed (in other texts) as pertaining to Him.
17. And because of familiar use.
18. If it be argued that the other one (viz., the individual soul) should be the small Space, since it is alluded to (at the end), then not so, for that is impossible.
19. If it be argued that the small Space is the individual soul, because of the subsequent reference to it (in the same chapter), then we say: rather it is spoken of there in its own revealed nature.
20. Moreover, the reference (to the individual soul in the complementary passage) is meant for a different purpose.
21. If it be argued that from the Upanishadic mention of smallness, (the small space must be the individual being), then this has been repudiated earlier.

Topic-6: Acting in Accordance
22. Because of the fact of acting (ie., shining) in accordance and because of the use of the word "His", (the Light mentioned in the Mundaka Upanishad must be Brahman).
23. Moreover, (this aspect) is mentioned in the Smriti.

Topic-7: The Measured One
24. From the term itself it follows that the measured One is the supreme Self.
25. But the size is spoken of from the point of view of existence within the heart, the scripture being concerned with human beings.

Topic-8: Gods
26. Badarayana thinks that beings higher than those (men) (are also qualified for knowledge), for that is possible.
27. If it be objected that this (corporeality of the gods) wilt give rise to a contradiction (in the matter of the gods being associated) in rites, then we reply: Not so, for in the Vedas are noticed the assumption of many bodies.
28. If it be objected that this contradicts the validity of Vedic words, then not so, for the universe arises from this, which fact is proved by direct revelation and inference.
29. And from this very fact follows the eternity (of the Vedas).
30. And there is no contradiction, since similar names and forms are repeated even in the revolution of the world cycles, as is known from the Vedas and the Smriti.
31. Jaimini asserts (that the gods and others have) no competence (for knowledge of Brahman), owing to the impossibility of their competence for Madhu-vidya etc.
32. Because of the occurrence of the words in respect of a sphere of flight.
33. But Badarayana upholds the existence of competence (for the gods); for (the requisite for competence) exists (in them).

Topic-9: Pseudo-Sudra
34. To him (ie., Janasruti) occurred grief on hearing his (ie., swan's) disparaging utterance, as is evident from his (Janasruti's) approaching him (Raikva), for this is hinted at (by Raikva by using the word Sudra).
35. And because his Kshatriyahood is known later on from the indicatory mark of his mention along with a descendant of Citraratha.
36. Because purificatory rites are mentioned (for others) and absence of these is declared (for the Sudra).
37. And because (Gautama's) inclination arose (to initiate and instruct Satyakama) when the absence of the (Sudrahood) had been ascertained.
38. And because the Smriti prohibits for the Sudra the hearing, study and acquisition of the meaning (of the Vedas).

Topic-10: Vibration
39. (Prana is Brahman) because of (the mention of) vibration.

Topic-11: Light as Declared in the Upanishad
40. Light is Brahman, for it is met with as such (in the Upanishad).

Topic-12: Space Is Brahman, Being Different from Name and Form
41. Akasa (Space) is Brahman, because of the declaration of being something different and so on.

Topic-13: Sleep and Death
42. Because of the declaration of being different in sleep and at the time of departure, (the supreme Lord is the subject-matter of teaching).


Topic-1: The Inferred Entity
1. If it be said that even the inferred entity (Pradhana) is revealed to the followers of some recension, we say, not so, for the word is cognized as occurring in a simile illustrating the body. And the Upanishad also shows this.
2. Rather the subtle (causal state) is meant (by avyakta), for it deserves that epithet.
3. (Avyakta is not Pradhana) because it is dependent on that (God); (but this avyakta has to be admitted as) it serves some purpose.
4. And because (avyakta is) not mentioned as an entity to be known.
5. If it be argued that the Upanishad does mention Pradhana (by the word avyakta), we say: No, for the conscious Self is understood from the context.
6. And thus there is the presentation of three things alone and the question also is concerned with them.
7. And like Mahat (avyakta does not signify any Samkhya category).

Topic-2: The Bowl
8. (The word aja does not refer to Pradhana), because special characteristics have not been stated as in the case of the bowl.
9. The aja certainly consists of the elements counting from fire, for some read of them as such.
10. And since this is an instruction in the form of an imagery, just as in the case of honey etc., therefore there is no incongruity.

Topic-3: Statement of Number
11. Not even on the strength of the mention of number can Pradhana have Vedic sanction, because the entities are disparate and they involve an excess.
12. The vital force and the rest (are the panchajanah), (as is known) from the complementary passage.
13. For the followers of some recension, the number five has to be made up with light in the absence of food.

Topic-4: Causality
14. (Brahman is presented by all the Upanishads); for as the cause of space and the rest, Brahman is spoken of in all the Upanishads just as It is in any one of them.
15. (Non-existence does not mean void), because of its allusion (to Brahman).

Topic-5: Balaki
16. Because (the word "work" is) indicative of the universe, (He of whom this is the work must be Brahman).
17. If it be contended that the supreme Self is not meant, owing to the presence of the indicatory marks of the individual soul and the chief Prana, then that has already been explained.
18. But Jaimini holds the reference (to the individual soul) to be meant for a different purpose, as is known from the question and the answer. Moreover, some mention this clearly.

Topic-6: Correlation of Passages
19. (The Self to be realized, heard of, reflected on and profoundly meditated upon is the supreme Self), because (this is the meaning gathered) from the correlation of the passages.
20. Asmarathya thinks this (statement of non-difference between the individual soul and supreme Self) to be a sign indicative of the fulfilment of the declaration.
21. Audulomi says that (the statement about the identity of the individual soul and the supreme Self occurs in the beginning) since this state of identity comes to the soul when it departs from the body.
22. Kasakritsna thinks (the statement about the identity in the beginning of the text is in order) because of the existence of the supreme Self as the individual soul.

Topic-7: Brahman as Material Cause
23. Brahman must be the material cause as well, so as not to contradict the proposition and the illustration.
24. This is also understood from the teaching about the wilt to create.
25. And because both (origin and dissolution) are taught directly (from Brahman).
26. (Brahman is the material cause) because of action related to Itself by way of change of form.
27. And because Brahman is declared to be the source (yoni).

Topic-8: Explanation of Everything
28. Hereby all (other theories of the cause of the universe) are explained. They are explained.



Topic-1: Conflict with Smriti
1. If it be argued (that from the acceptance of Brahman as the cause of the universe) arises the defect of the (Samkhya) Smritis being left without any scope, then not so, for otherwise will arise the defect of other Smritis losing their scope.
2. And (Pradhana is not the cause) since the others are not met with (in the Vedas and common experience).

Topic-2: Refutation of Yoga
3. Hereby is refuted Yoga.

Topic-3: Difference in Nature
4. Brahman is not the cause of the universe owing to the dissimilarity in the nature of this universe; and the fact of being so is known from the Vedas.
5. But this is only a reference to the presiding deities, because of the mention of distinction (between the sentient deities and the insentient organs and elements) and the inherence (of these deities in them).
6. But it is seen.
7. If it be said that the effect (in that case) is non-existent (before creation), then not so; for it is merely a negation (without any object to deny).
8. Since in dissolution there is the predicament of the cause becoming just like that effect, therefore this (theory that Brahman is the material cause) becomes incongruous.
9. But that cannot be so on account of the existence of supporting illustration.
10. And because the defects cling to your own point of view.
11. If it be argued that although reasoning is inconclusive, still it has to be done in a different way, (so as to avoid this defect), then even so there will be no getting away from the defect.

Topic-4: Non-acceptance by the Wise
12. Hereby are explained all the (other) theories that are not accepted by the wise.

Topic-5: Brahman Becoming an Experiencer
13. If it be argued that the distinction between the experiencer (of happiness and sorrow) and the things experienced will cease when the (experienced) objects turn into the experiencer, then we say that such a distinction can well exist as observed in common experience.

Topic-6: Origin
14. There is non-difference of those cause and effect on account of the texts about origin etc.
15. (Cause and effect are non-different) since the effect is perceived when the cause is there.
16. And (cause and effect are non-different) because the posterior one has (earlier) existence (in the cause).
17. If it be argued that the effect did not exist before creation, since it is declared (in the Upanishad) as "non-existent", then we say, no, because from the complementary portion it is known that the word is used from the standpoint of a difference of characteristics.
18. (The pre-existence and non-difference of the effect are established) from reasoning and another Upanishadic text.
19. And the effect is non-different from the cause on the analogy of a piece of cloth.
20. And this is so just as in the case of the outgoing breath etc.

Topic-7: Non-performance of Good
21. Since the other (individual soul) is mentioned (as identical with Brahman), faults like not doing what is beneficial and so on will arise.
22. But (Brahman is) greater (than the embodied being) on account of the declaration of the difference (between the two).
23. On the analogy of stone etc., as also for other reasons, that (opponent's view) is untenable.

Topic-8: Creation without Materials
24. If it be said that (Brahman) cannot be the cause, since one is noticed to procure materials (for the production of an object), then we say, no, for it is possible on the analogy of milk.
25. Also (Brahman can create without extraneous help) like gods and others (as is seen) in this world.

Topic-9: Wholesale Transformation
26. (If Brahman changes into the world, then) there will arise the contingency of either wholesale transformation or the violation of the texts about partlessness.
27. But (this has to be accepted) on the authority of the Upanishad, for Brahman is known from the Upanishads alone.
28. Because it occurs thus in the case of the individual soul as well and creation of diverse kinds occur in the cases of gods and others.
29. And because the opponent's own point of view is equally vitiated.

Topic-10: Possession of All Powers
30. Moreover (the Deity is) possessed of all (powers), it having been revealed thus (in the Upanishads).
31. If it be argued that (Brahman cannot act) on account of absence of organs, that was answered earlier.

Topic-11: Need of Motive
32. (Brahman is) not the cause, owing to the need of some motive (for creation).
33. But (creation for Brahman is) a mere pastime like what is seen in the world.

Topic-12: Partiality and Cruelty
34. No partiality and cruelty (can be charged against God) because of (His) taking other factors into consideration. For so the Vedas show.
35. If it be argued that it is not possible (to take Karma - merit and demerit - into consideration in the beginning), since the fruits of work remain still undifferentiated, then we say, no, since the transmigratory state has no beginning.
36. Moreover, this is logical and (so) it is met with (in the scriptures).

Topic-13: Propriety of All the Characteristics
37. And Brahman is the cause on account of the propriety of all the Characteristics (of a cause in It).


Topic-1: Samkhya View Refuted (Impossibility of Design)
1. The inferred one (Pradhana) is not (the cause) owing to the impossibility of explaining the design, as also for other reasons.
2. And the inferred (Pradhana) cannot be the cause, since the tendency to create (cannot logically arise in it).
3. If it be claimed (that Pradhana acts spontaneously) like milk and water, then even there (intelligence is the guide).
4. And (Pradhana is not the cause) since (nothing extraneous to it exists, so that) it has nothing to rely on (for impulsion to or stoppage from action).
5. And Pradhana cannot change (automatically) like grass etc., (into milk in a cow) for such a change does not occur elsewhere (e.g. in a bull).
6. Even if (spontaneous modification of Pradhana be) accepted, still (Pradhana will not be the cause) because of the absence of any purpose.
7. If it be argued that like a (lame) man (riding on a blind man) or a lodestone (moving iron), (the soul can stimulate Pradhana), even then (the defect will persist).
8. Besides, Pradhana cannot act on account of the impossibility of (the existence of) any relationship of the principal and its subordinates (among the gunas constituting Pradhana).
9. And even if the inference be pursued otherwise (still the defect will persist) owing to the absence of the power of intelligence (in Pradhana).
10. And (the Samkhya doctrine is) incoherent because of the contradictions involved.

Topic-2: Vaisesika Objection Refuted
11. Rather (the universe may originate from Brahman) even as the great and long (triads etc.,) originate from the short (dyad) or the inextensive (atom).

Topic-3: Atoms Not the Cause of Universe
12. (Whether adrista leads the atoms or conjunction helps them), in either case no action is possible and hence there can be no creation or dissolution.
13. And (there can be no creation or dissolution) by reason of assuming inherence, for this leads to an infinite regress on a parity of reasoning.
14. (The atomic theory is inadmissible) for the further reason of (activity etc.,) persisting eternally.
15. And on account of the possession of colour etc., there will be a reversal (of the nature of the atoms), for this accords with experience.
16. And (the atomic theory is untenable) because it is defective from either point of view.
17. This (theory of atom as the cause) is to be entirely ignored, since it is not accepted (by the worthy).

Topic-4: Refutation of Buddhist Realists
18. Even if the integration be supposed to arise from either of the causes, that will not be achieved.
19. If it be argued that a combination becomes possible since (nescience and the rest) can be the causes of one another (in a successive series), then we say, no, (for nescience etc.,) can each merely be the cause of origin of another just succeeding.
20. And because the earlier is negated when the later emerges, (therefore nescience and the rest cannot each be the cause of the next in the series).
21. (If it be contended that the effect arises) even when there is no cause, then your assertion (of causation) will be stultified; else (if you contend that the entity of the earlier moment continues till the entity of the later moment emerges), the cause and effect will exist simultaneously.
22. Neither pratisamkhya-nirodha (artificial annihilation) nor an apratisamkhya-nirodha (natural annihilation) is possible, for there can be no cessation (either of the current or of the individuals forming the current).
23. And (the Buddhist view is untenable) owing to defect arising from either point of view.
24. And (non-existence cannot be asserted) in the case of Akasa on account of the absence of (its) dissimilarity (with destruction).
25. And (a permanent soul has to be admitted) because of the fact of remembrance (ie., memory).
26. Something does not come out of nothing, for this does not accord with experience.
27. And (if something can come out of nothing, then) on the same ground, success should come even to the indifferent people.

Topic-5: Buddhist Idealism Refuted
28. (External objects are) not non-existent, for they are perceived.
29. And because of the difference of nature (the waking state is) not (false) like dream etc.
30. (Tendencies) can have no existence since (according to you) external things are not perceived.
31. And (the ego-consciousness cannot be the abode), for it is momentary.
32. Besides (this view stands condemned), it being untenable from every point of view.

Topic-6: Jaina View Refuted
33. (The Jaina view is) not right since the presence (of contradictory attributes) in one and the same thing is impossible.
34. Similarly also (arises the defect of) the soul having no all-pervasiveness (or having only a medium dimension).
35. And the contradiction cannot be avoided even by an assumption of sequence (in the increase and decrease of parts), for still there will be the defects of mutability etc.
36. The ultimate size attainable (by the soul) being permanent, the other two sizes also must be so; and hence there will be no distinction (among the sizes).

Topic-7: God Is Not a Mere Superintendent
37. For the Lord there can be no creatorship, for that leads to incongruity.
38. And (the incongruity arises) because of the impossibility of a relationship.
39. And (the position is untenable) because of the impossibility of (Nature) coming under (His) direction. (Or) And (God cannot be proved), since no physical support (adhisthana) is possible for Him.
40. Should it be argued that God will direct Nature like (a man directing) the organs, then it cannot be so, for that will result in God's having experiences (of happiness, sorrow etc.). (Or) If a body, equipped with sense-organs, be assumed for God, (we say that) this is not possible; because of (consequent) experiences etc.
41. God will be subject to finitude or loss of omniscience.

Topic-8: Bhagavata View Refuted
42. (The Bhagavata view that Samkarsana and others originate successively from Vasudeva and others is wrong), since any origin (for the soul) is impossible.
43. And (this view is wrong because) an implement cannot originate from its agent (who wields it).
44. Alternatively even if (it be assumed that Vasudeva and others are) possessed of knowledge, (majesty etc.,), still the defect cannot be remedied.
45. Besides, (in this scripture) many contradictions are met with and it runs counter to the Vedas.


Topic-1: Origin of Space
1. Space is not (a created thing), since this is not heard of in (some of) the Upanishads.
2. But there is (a mention of the origin of space).
3. (The Upanishadic passage about creation of space has) a secondary sense, for real creation is impossible.
4. And (this is borne out) by Vedic texts.
5. And it is possible for the same word ("originated") to have (primary and secondary senses) like the word Brahman.
6. The (Vedic) assertion (that "all things become known when the one is known") can remain unaffected only if all the effects are non-different from Brahman; and this is confirmed by Vedic texts.
7. But (space is a product); for separateness persists wherever there is an effect, as it is seen in the world.

Topic-2: Origin of Air
8. Hereby is explained air.

Topic-3: Origin of Brahman Denied
9. But (origin) for Existence (Brahman) is impossible on account of illogicality.

Topic-4: Origin of Fire
10. Fire originates from this one (ie., air); for the Upanishad says so.

Topic-5: Origin of Water
11. Water (was born from this fire).

Topic-6: Origin of Earth
12. (The word "food" means) earth on the strength of the topic, colour and other Vedic texts.

Topic-7: Creation from God's Deliberation
13. It is He only, who through profound meditation on each thing (created it), as is known from His indicatory marks.

Topic-8: Reverse Order of Dissolution
14. But as compared with this order of creation, the order of dissolution proceeds in a reverse way. This is logical too.

Topic-9: The Origin of Mind and Intellect
15. If it be contended that the intellect and mind must find accommodation in some order in some intermediate stage, because indicatory marks of their existence are in evidence, then not so, because their presence creates no difference (ie., does not disturb the order of creation or dissolution).

Topic-10: Birth and Death
16. The mention of birth and death must be in the primary sense in relation to the moving and the motionless; in relation to the soul it must be in a secondary sense, the application (of such words) being possible when a body is present.

Topic-11: Origin of the Soul
17. The individual soul has no origin; because the Upanishads do not mention this, because its eternality is known from them and (because of other reasons).

Topic-12: Eternally Conscious Soul
18. The soul is eternally a cognizer for this very reason (of being free from origin and dissolution).

Topic-13: Soul's Dimensions
19. (The individual soul must be atomic in dimension owing to the mention in the Vedas) of its departure from the body, going (to the next world by following a course) and coming back (from there).
20. (The soul's atomicity stands confirmed) owing to the relation of one's own soul with the latter two facts (viz., following of a course and coming back).
21. If it be objected that the soul is not atomic because its size is heard of as not being so, we reply, no, since that context relates to the other (ie., the supreme Self).
22. And the individual soul is atomic because of the direct Upanishadic use of the word as well as mention of infinitesimality.
23. (The soul's atomicity and its feeling over the whole body involve) no contradiction, just as in the case (of a drop) of sandal paste.
24. If it be objected that (the argument holds good in the case of sandal paste) owing to its peculiarity of position, (but that is not evident in the case of the soul), then we say, no, (a peculiar location) for the soul is admitted in the Upanishads, for it exists in the heart.
25. Or on the analogy of what is seen in the world, (the soul may pervade the whole body) through its attribute (of sentience).
26. (The quality of sentience can have) separate existence like smell.
27. And the Upanishad also show this.
28. (The soul and its intelligence are separate), since they are taught separately (in the Upanishads).
29. But the soul comes to have such appellations because of the dominance of the modes of that intellect; this is just as in the case of the supreme Self.
30. And because the contact between the soul and the intellect persists so long as the worldly state of the soul continues, there can be no defect, for this is what is met with in the scriptures.
31. Rather because that contact (with the intellect etc.,) which remains latent (in sleep and dissolution) can become manifest (during waking and creation) like manhood etc., (from boyhood etc.,).
32. Else (if the existence of the internal organ be not admitted) there will be the possibility of either constant perception or non-perception or it will have to be admitted that either of the powers (of the soul or of the organs) becomes (suddenly) debarred (or delimited or lost).

Topic-14: Soul as Agent
33. The individual soul must be an agent, for thus alone the scriptures become purposeful.
34. (The soul is an agent) because there are teachings about its roaming.
35. (The soul is an agent) because of its taking up (the organs).
36. And the soul is an agent because of the mention (as such) in respect of action; were it not so, there would have been a contrary indication.
37. As in the case of perception (there is no uniformity), so also there is no uniformity (in the case of action).
38. (The soul must be an agent), for (if the intellect be so), it will lead to a reversal of power.
39. And (the soul must be an agent) because (a contrary supposition will) lead to a negation of deep meditation (on God).

Topic-15: The Soul under Two Conditions
40. And (rather) this is like the carpenter existing under both conditions.

Topic-16: Soul's Agentship Derived from God
41. But the agentship (of the individual soul) is derived from God, for that is what is stated in the Vedic texts.
42. (God is), however, dependent on the efforts made, so that injunctions and prohibitions may not become meaningless and other defects may not arise.

Topic-17: Relation of Soul and God
43. (The individual souls are) parts of God because of the mention that they are different, also because some read otherwise of (Brahman's) identity with fishermen, slaves, gamblers and others.
44. This follows from the words of the mantras also.
45. And this is also stated in the Smriti (Gita).
46. The Supreme Self is not so (touched by the suffering of the individual soul), even as light etc., are not (affected by the things that condition them).
47. They say so in the Smritis and (the Upanishads declare thus).
48. Injunction and prohibition become effective owing to physical association, just as it is in the case of light etc.
49. And there is no intermixture (of actions and results), since the soul has no connection with all (the bodies).
50. And (the individual soul) is only a reflection (of the supreme Self) to be sure.
51. (Even the unseen potential results of works cannot regulate individual allocation), since the unseen potential results (themselves) cannot be allocated thus.
52. And the same (defect springs up) even in the case of resolves etc.,
53. If it be said that this (individual allocation of pleasure and pain) can be possible in accordance with the separate part (of each soul in each body), then it cannot be so, because of all (the omnipresent souls) getting included in all (the bodies).


Topic-1: Origin of the pranas
1. Similarly the organs (are produced from the supreme Self).
2. (Origin of the organs has to be accepted) because of the impossibility of (the text about origin having) the secondary sense.
3. Also because that term, ("is born"), is used earlier (in the primary sense) in the Upanishad (in connection with Prana).
4. (Pranas must have originated from Brahman) since speech is preceded by them.

Topic-2: Number of Pranas
5. The pranas are seven in number because of being so known and because of such a specification.
6. But the hands etc., are there; since (an excess is) established thus, therefore it is not so.

Topic-3: Atomic Pranas
7. And the organs are atomic (ie., subtle and limited in size).

Topic-4: Chief Prana: Its Creation
8. So also the foremost (Prana is a product of Brahman).

Topic-5: Nature of Prana
9. Prana is neither air nor a function, because it is taught separately.
10. But Prana is not independent just like the organs of vision etc., because instruction is impared along with them and because of other reasons.
11. No fault accrues, because Prana is not a sense-organ. For thus it is shown in the Upanishads.
12. It is taught that Prana has five states like the mind.

Topic-6: Prana Is Atomic
13. And the chief Prana is atomic (ie., subtle and limited in size).

Topic-7: Presiding Deities
14. But there is the (fact of) presiding over by (the deities) Fire and others, for so it is taught in the scriptures.
15. (The organs are) connected with the possessor of the organs, as is known from the Vedic texts.
16. And on account of that soul's constant relation (with the body).

Topic-8: Prana and Pranas
17. As distinguished from the chief Prana, the other pranas (eleven in number) are the organs, for they are so designated.
18. Because of the (mention of) difference in the Upanishads.
19. And (the organs are different from Prana) because of the dissimilarity in characteristics.

Topic-9: Creation of Gross Objects
20. The arrangement of designation and shape, however, is by Him who made the elements tripartite, for it is taught (in the Upanishad).
21. Flesh etc., are produced from earth as it is shown in the Upanishads. From the other two as well (evolve other things).
22. But owing to the preponderance (of any one) occurs the corresponding designation, occurs the corresponding designation.



Topic-1: Departure from the Body
1. In the matter of obtaining the next one (ie., body), the individual soul moves out enveloped (by the subtle elements), for so it is known from the question and its solution.
2. But the soul is not enveloped by water alone, since water has three components; water is mentioned because of its pre-ponderance.
3. And from the going out of the organs (it follows that the elements also move out).
4. If it be objected (that the organs do not accompany the soul at the time of death) since the Upanishadic texts mention their entry into the (deities) Fire and others, then we say, not so, for that is said in a secondary sense.
5. If it be objected (that water does not come to be known as man), since it is not heard of in the first instance, then not so, for on logical grounds, water itself is meant.
6. If it be argued (that the soul does not depart enveloped by water) since it is not mentioned thus in the Upanishads, then not so, for it is perceived to be so in the case of those who perform sacrifices etc., (ie., it can be verified by what happens to the sacrificers).
7. Or rather the statement (that the souls become the food of gods) is made in a metaphorical sense on account of their non-realization of the Self. For the Upanishad shows the same.

Topic-2: Return of the Souls
8. After the actions are exhausted, the soul returns together with (the residual) karma, as is known from the Upanishads and Smritis, along the path followed (by it) while going as also differently.
9. If it be contended that (the soul gets its rebirth) owing to conduct (and not residual karma), then according to Karsnajini, it is not so, that (Upanishadic passage) being used suggestively (for residual karma).
10. If it be objected that (in that case) conduct will cease to have any usefulness, then it is not so, because karma is dependent on that conduct.
11. But (the teacher) Badari thinks that good and bad works themselves are meant (by the word carana).

Topic-3: Fate of Evil-doers
12. It is known from the Vedic texts that (the moon is the goal) even for the performers of unholy acts etc., as well.
13. (Vedantin): But as for others (they have their descent) after suffering in the abode of Death; (thus occur their) ascent and descent, for their course is met with in the Upanishads.
14. And they mention this in the Smritis.
15. And (they are mentioned as) seven (hells in the Puranas).
16. Since Death's control extends even there, no contradiction can arise.
17. But (by the expression "of these two paths") what is meant is "of knowledge (ie., meditation) and action", for that is the topic under discussion.
18. (The specification about the number of oblations) is not applicable in the case of the third state, this being noticeable (in the Upanishad).
19. Moreover, there are records in the Smritis (of birth without parentage) as also in the Mahabharata etc., and there is popular belief as well.
20. Moreover, it is seen (that creatures are born without the five oblations).
21. Life springing from moisture is included in the third term (plant life).

Topic-4: Similarity with Space etc., during Descent
22. (The descending soul) attains similarity (with space, air, etc.,); for that is reasonable.

Topic-5: Intervening Period of Descent
23. (The descent of the soul from one state to another takes place) not after long intervals, (as is known) on the authority of a specific statement (in the Upanishad).

Topic-6: The Souls in Plants and Thereafter
24. As in the earlier stages, so also (in the later stages) the soul merely resides in paddy etc., that are already inhabited by other souls, for so it is declared.
25. If it be argued that rites (invoking killing of animals) are unholy, we say, no, since they are sanctioned by scriptures.
26. Then (the soul) gets connected with an inseminator.
27. From the womb (comes) a new body (for the descending soul).


Topic-1: Dream State
1. In the intermediate stage (of dream) occurs (real) creation; for the Upanishad says so.
2. And some (following a particular branch) consider the Self to be a creator (of things desired); and sons and others (are the objects desired).
3. But the dream creation is a mere Maya, because of its nature of not being a complete manifestation of the totality of attributes (found in the wakeful state).
4. A dream is also an omen, for so it is known from the Upanishads and experts say so.
5. From the meditation on the supreme Lord, however, becomes manifest that which remains obscured; because the soul's bondage and freedom are derived from Him.
6. Or rather that covering occurs also on account of connection with the body.

Topic-2: The Soul in Deep Sleep
7. The absence of that dream (ie., dreamless sleep) takes place in the nerves and the Self, as it is known to be so from the Upanishads.
8. For the same reason, the soul's waking up is from this supreme Self.

Topic-3: The Same Soul Returns from Sleep
9. But the very same soul returns from sleep because of the reasons of action, remembrance, scriptural authority and injunction.

Topic-4: Soul in swoon
10. In the case of one in swoon, there is only partial attainment (of the state of sleep), that being the last alternative.

Topic-5: The Nature of Brahman
11. Not even according to place can Brahman have a twofold characteristic, for everywhere (It is taught to be without attributes).
12. If it be argued that (Brahman cannot have only one characteristic), on account of differences (met with in the scriptures), (we say that) it is not so, because the scriptures negate each of these differences individually.
13. Moreover, the followers of certain branches declare thus.
14. Brahman is only formless to be sure, for that is the dominant note (of the Upanishadic teaching).
15. And like light, Brahman can (be assumed to) have different appearances, so that the scriptures may not become purportless.
16. The Upanishad also declares Brahman to be Consciousness alone.
17. Moreover, the Vedas reveal this; likewise this is mentioned in the Smritis also.
18. Hence also are the illustrations of the sun's reflection etc.
19. But that kind of parallelism is inapplicable as nothing is perceived to be similar to water.
20. Since Brahman has entered into the limiting adjuncts, It seems to participate in their increase and decrease. The illustration is apt since the illustration and thing illustrated have propriety from this point of view.
21. And (this is also) in accordance with (the Vedic) revelation.

Topic-6: Unconditioned Brahman and Soul
22. The Upanishad certainly denies the limitation that is being dealt with and then speaks of something more.
23. That Brahman is unmanifest, for the Upanishad says so.
24. Moreover, Brahman is realized in Samadhi, as is known from direct revelation and inference.
25. And the effulgent Self appears to be different during activity, as is the case with light etc.; yet (intrinsically) there is non-difference as is evident from repetition (of "That thou art").
26. Hence (the individual gets) unity with the Infinite; for such is the indicatory mark (in the Upanishad).
27. But since both difference and non-difference are mentioned, the relationship (between the supreme Self and the individual is) as that between the snake and its coil.
28. Or they are like light and its source, both being but effulgence.
29. Or (the relationship between the individual and the supreme Self is) as already shown.
30. And on account of the denial.

Topic-7: Brahman One without a Second
31. There is some entity superior to this Brahman, because of the mention of embankment, measure, connection and difference.
32. But (the Self is referred to as an embankment) on account of similarity.
33. For the sake of intellectual grasp (Brahman's magnitude is spoken of) just like the feet (of the mind or of space), (or the quarters of the karsapana).
34. (Connection and difference are mentioned about Brahman) from the point of view of limiting adjuncts, as in the case of light etc.
35. And because (such a position alone is) logically justifiable.
36. Similarly from the denial of everything else (it follows that there is nothing but Brahman).
37. Hereby (is established) the omnipresence (of the Self), (as is known) on the strength of (Upanishadic) words like extension and other sources (ie., Smriti and logic).

Topic-8: Fruits of Action
38. The fruit of action is from Him, this being the logical position.
39. (God is the ordainer of results) for the further reason that the Upanishads say so.
40. For these very reasons Jaimini considers virtuous deeds to be the yielder of results.
41. But Badarayana considers the earlier One (viz., God) (as the bestower of results), because He is mentioned as the cause of even action.


Topic-1: Sameness of Meditation
1. Any (particular) conception for meditation (vijnana) imparted in all the Upanishads is the same on account of the sameness of the injunction etc.
2. If it be said that the vijnanas cannot be the same owing to the difference in details, then not so, for difference can occur even in the same vijnana.
3. The rite of carrying fire on the head is an appendage of Vedic study, because it is stated to be so in the Samachara and also because of competence. And that regulation is like that about libations.
4. Moreover, (the scripture) reveals (this fact).

Topic-2: Combination of Traits
5. And in similar meditations (all) the traits are to be combined, for there is no difference in application like the subsidiaries of an injunction.

Topic-3: Difference of Meditations
6. If it be said that the (Udgitha) meditations (in the Chandogya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads) are different on account of the difference of (texts), then not so, for there is no difference.
7. Rather not owing to a difference of subject-matter even as in such cases as (meditation on the Udgitha as) possessed of the quality of being higher than the high, (greater than the great).
8. If from the sameness of name, (the two meditations are held to be the same), that has already been answered. But that (sameness of name) is met with (even with regard to things quite different).

Topic-4: Specifications of Om
9. Since Om pervades all the Vedas, it is appropriate to qualify it by the word Udgitha.

Topic-5: Sameness of the Meditation on Prana
10. All (the meditations on Prana) being the same, these traits (found here in one) are to be added elsewhere.

Topic-6: Combination and Non-combination of Attributes of Brahman
11. Bliss and other characteristics of the principal entity (ie., Brahman) are to be combined.
12. Attributes such as having joy as the head and so on are not to be added everywhere, since (they have) degrees of intensity and feebleness, (which are) possible in a context of difference (ie., duality).
13. But the other characteristics are to be understood everywhere on account of identity of purport.

Topic-7: Purusha as the Highest in Katha
14. What is mentioned in the Katha Upanishad is meant for deep meditation on Purusha, (and not for stating any gradation), as that serves no purpose.
15. And (this must be the conclusion) on account of the use of the word Self.

Topic-8: The Supreme Self in Aitareya
16. The supreme Self is to be understood in the Aitareya Upanishad, just as elsewhere (in other texts about creation), on account of the subsequent qualification. (Or) The Self is to be understood (in the Chandogya Upanishad), just as in the other (Brihadaranyaka) Upanishad, because of the subsequent (instruction about identity).
17. If it be objected that it follows from the trend of the sentences that the Supreme Self is not meant, (the reply is that) it must be so because of the definite statement (that the Self alone existed in the beginning). (Or) If it be argued that the rule about the conformity of the commencement and the conclusion leads to the idea that the Self is not meant, then we say that it must be so because of the definite statement.

Topic-9: Acamana and Meditation on Prana
18. Since acamana is mentioned as a duty already recognized, it occurs (in the Upanishad) in connection with a fresh injunction (of meditation on Prana).

Topic-10: Same Meditation in the Same Branch
19. (The meditations) in the same branch are similarly the same (and their traits are to be combined) because of the non-difference of the object.

Topic-11: No Combination in Meditation on Satya-Brahman
20. Elsewhere also (in the case of meditation on Satya-Brahman), (the attributes have to be combined) as here (in the case of Sandilya-Vidya), on account of the very fact of connection (with the same object of meditation).
21. Rather they are not to be combined on account of a distinction.
22. The scripture also indicates the same thing.

Topic-12: Attributes of Brahman in Ranayaniya Not to be
Combined Elsewhere
23. And (the attributes of Brahman such as) possession of unchallenged powers and pervasion of heaven are also not to be added to other meditations for the same reason (of association with special abodes).

Topic-13: Purusha-Vidya in Chandogya and Taittiriya
24. And the characteristics of the Purusha-Vidya are not to be added to the Taittiriyaka because they have not been recited there as it is done in the course of the Purusha-Vidya in other branches.

Topic-14: Non-combination of Disparate Traits
25. Piercing etc., are not to be applied in meditation, since (the mantras of piercing etc., are) disparate in purport.

Topic-15: Rejection and Reception of Merit
26. But where only the rejection of virtue and vice is spoken of, the reception of these by others has to be inferred, on account of the term reception being a counter-correlative of rejection. And this is on the analogy of kusas, metres, praise and recitation, as has been explained (by Jaimini).

Topic-16: Discarding Virtue and Vice at Death
27. (A man of knowledge gets rid of virtue and vice) at the time of death, since nothing remains to be attained. For thus it is that others (ie., the followers of the other branches) state.
28. As there is no conflict between the two (ie., two texts, or cause and effect) on the admission that destruction results from voluntary effort, (therefore such effort must take place before death).

Topic-17: Paths of Those Who Know Or Do Not Know the
Qualified Brahman
29. The soul's course after death must have purposefulness in two ways, for else it will lead to contradiction.
30. This (differentiation) is reasonable, for facts indicative of a soul's journey are met with (in the case of meditation on the qualified Brahman alone), just as (much as such a difference is) met with in common life.

Topic-18: The Path of Gods Is for All Worshippers of
Qualified Brahman
31. (The journey of the souls along the path of the gods is) not restricted (to any particular meditation). It applies to all meditations (on the qualified Brahman). This involves no contradiction as is known from Upanishadic and Smriti texts (lit. direct text and inference).

Topic-19: People with a Mission
32. Those who have a mission to fulfil continue in the corporeal state as long as the mission demands it.

Topic-20: Conception of the Immutable
33. All the (negative) conceptions of the Immutable are to be combined, since the process of presentation is similar and the object dealt with is the same. This is just as it is in the case of the Upasad sacrifice, as has been shown by Jaimini.

Topic-21: Same Conception in Mundaka and Katha
34. The conceptions (in the Mundaka and Svetasvatara on the one hand and Katha on the other) are the same, on account of the mention of a particular limit.

Topic-22: The Inmost Self in Brihadaranyaka
35. (The conception of the Self is the same in Brihadaranyaka III-iv-1 and III-v-1, since) one's own Self is declared to be the inmost of all as in the case of the aggregate of elements. (Or - since one's own Self is declared to be the inmost of all, just as it is shown to be the Self of all in Svetasvatara VI-11).
36. If it be argued that unless difference be admitted the separate statements become illogical, the reply is that this is not so, for it can be like another instruction of this kind.

Topic-23: Reciprocity of Conceptions
37. There should be a reciprocal interchange as in the case of other traits; for so the readers (of the scriptures) recite distinctly.

Topic-24: Satya-Brahman in Brihadaranyaka
38. Since the same Satya-Vidya is taught in both the places (of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad), therefore traits like Satya have to be combined.

Topic-25: Combination of Traits in Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya
39. Traits like (true) desire etc., (mentioned in the Chandogya) are to be added to the other (viz., Brihadaranyaka) and those mentioned there are to be added here, because of the (sameness of) abode etc.

Topic-26: Agnihotra to Prana
40. There can be no omission (of the performance of the Agnihotra to Prana) on account of the respect shown (in the Upanishad).
41. The Agnihotra is to be performed from that (food) itself when it is present, for such is the declaration (of the Upanishad).

Topic-27: Meditations Connected with Rites Are Not Obligatory
42. There is no obligatory rule about that (ie., the meditations becoming connected always with rites), for that is obvious from the Upanishad, inasmuch as a meditation has a separate result, consisting in the elimination of hindrance to a rite.

Topic-28: Meditations on Prana and Vayu
43. (The meditations on Prana and Vayu or Air are to be kept apart) exactly as in the case of offerings, as that has been stated by Jaimini.

Topic-29: Fires in Agni-Rahasya Not Parts of Sacrifice
44. The fires (of the mind, speech, etc., of Agni-rahasya) do not form parts of any rite, on account of the abundance of indicatory marks; for these marks are stronger than the context. That also was said by Jaimini.
45. On the strength of the context, the conceptual fires are to be used alternatively for the actual fire enjoined earlier. They constitute some rite like the imaginary drinking (of Soma juice).
46. And (this conclusion is supported) by the fact of extended application.
47. The fires rather constitute only a meditation, for so it is determined (in the Vedas).
48. And owing to the indicatory mark met with.
49. Moreover, the view (that the fires constitute a meditation) cannot be set aside owing to the greater authority of express statement etc.,
50. On account of being linked up with the mind and such other reasons, the mental fires are independent even as other meditations are. And it is seen that the sacrifices are treated as independent (irrespective of their context), as was pointed out by Jaimini.
51. Not even on the ground of similarity can the mental fires become subservient to rites, since they are noticed to serve human needs, just as it is in the case of death; for the world does not become fire just because of a similarity.
52. From the subsequent Brahmana text also it is known that the scripture has that (prescription of a meditation) in view; but the connection with fire occurs because of the abundance of the attributes of fire that have to be imagined here.

Topic-30: The Self Distinct from Body
53. Some deny the existence of the soul, its existence being dependent on the existence of the body.
54. But this is not so; there is a distinction (between the soul and the body) because consciousness may not exist even when the body exists, as it is in the case of perception.

Topic-31: Meditations Connected with Accessories of Rites
55. But the meditations connected with the accessories of rites are not to be confined to the branches of the Vedas in which they obtain, for they are to be adopted in all the (branches of the) Vedas.
56. Or rather (they are to be adopted in other branches) like the mantas; (and thus) there is no contradiction.

Topic-32: Meditation on Vaisvanara as a Whole
57. The meditation on the whole is of greater importance just as in the case of sacrifices. For so the Upanishad shows.

Topic-33: When Meditations Differ
58. The meditations are different when there is a difference in terminology etc.

Topic-34: Alternative Meditations
59. Any one meditation (can be accepted as) an alternative for other meditations, because their result is the same.

Topic-35: Meditations Yielding Worldly Results
60. As for the meditations (based on symbols and) undertaken for fulfilment of worldly desires, they may be either combined or not combined according to one's option, since the previous reason (of sameness of result) does not exist.

Topic-36: Meditations Based on Subsidiaries
61. In the case of the meditations based on the subsidiaries (of rites), their position is the same as of their bases.
62. (The meditations are to be combined), also because they are enjoined (in the Vedas).
63. (The meditations are to be combined) because of the (indicatory mark of the) rectification (of one with the help of another).
64. And from the Upanishadic declaration that Om, which is a accessory of the Vedic rites is common to all the Vedas, (it follows that the meditations based on it must co-exist).
65. (The meditations are) rather not to be combined, since the Upanishads do not declare this.
66. And (there is no obligation about combination) since the Upanishad shows (contrariwise).


Topic-1: Knowledge not a Subsidiary of Rites
1. Badarayana thinks that liberation results from this (knowledge of the Self), (as presented in the Upanishads), because the Vedic texts declare so.
2. Jaimini thinks that since the Self holds a subservient position in rites etc., the mention of the result of knowledge is (merely) in glorification of the agent, as is the case elsewhere.
3. (This is confirmed) on the strength of what is revealed about the behaviour (of the knowers of Brahman).
4. (This is so) because the Upanishad declares this.
5. (This is so), because both knowledge and work follow the Self (when it transmigrates).
6. (And this is so) because rites are enjoined for one who is possessed of that (knowledge of the Vedas).
7. And (this follows) from the restrictive texts.
8. But Badarayana's view stands unshaken because of the instruction that the supreme Self is even greater (than the agent); for so it is revealed (by the Upanishads).
9. But the Upanishadic declaration (of conduct) is equally in evidence (proving that knowledge is not subservient to religious acts).
10. The declaration is not universal.
11. Knowledge and action are to be divided like a hundred things.
12. (Engagements in religious actions is prescribed) for him only who has merely recited the Vedas.
13. (The restrictive texts) do not apply (to the man of knowledge), since the restrictions is made without any specification.
14. Or rather the consent (accorded) for doing religious acts is meant for the glorification of knowledge.
15. Moreover, some refrain from (religious) work according to personal predilection.
16. Moreover, (from knowledge comes) the destruction (of the whole world).
17. And knowledge belongs to the monks, for they are met with in the Vedas.

Topic-2: Sannyasa Prescribed by Scriptures
18. Jaimini thinks that to be an allusion to other stages and no injunction; and (this is so) since the scripture condemns them.
19. Badarayana thinks that the other orders of life are also to be observed, since Vedic texts speak equally of all the stages of life.
20. Or rather it is an injunction as in the case of holding the sacrificial fuel.

Topic-3: Injunctions for Meditation Not Eulogistic
21. If it be contended that texts (about Udgitha etc.) are merely eulogistic, because of having been accepted as subservient to ritual acts, then not so, because of the extra-ordinariness (of the texts).
22. Moreover, (there must be injunctions) on account of the occurrence of words having an injunctional meaning.

Topic-4: Upanishadic Stories
23. If it be argued that they (the Upanishadic stories) are meant for the (ritualistic application called) Pariplava, (we say) that this not so, on account of the stories for the Pariplava having been specified.
24. And because (the stories) become connected (with meditations) through unity of idea in that way, (therefore they are meant for illuminating the proximate knowledge).

Topic-5: Sannyasins Free from Rituals
25. For that very reason again, (the Sannyasin has) no need of "lightning fire", and such other rites.

Topic-6: Rituals etc., Needed for Knowledge
26. On the strength of the Upanishadic sanction of sacrifices etc., all religious activities as well are necessary. This is the same as in the case of a horse (in matters of its adequacy).
27. (Even though there be no injunction about sacrifices etc.,), still one must be endowed with self-control and the like, since these are enjoined as subsidiaries of knowledge; and hence have to be practised as a matter of course.

Topic-7: Restrictions about Food
28. All kinds of food are permitted only when life is in danger; for so it is revealed.
29. And (this should be the interpretation) so that the scriptures (about permissible and forbidden food) may not be contradicted.
30. Moreover, the Smritis support this view.
31. Hence also occur the scriptural texts prohibiting license.

Topic-8: Duties of Orders of Life should be Fulfilled
32. At the same time the duties of the orders of life are to be performed (by one who does not want liberation), since these have been enjoined.
33. And (these have to be performed, since these are enjoined as) being jointly the generators of knowledge.
34. Considered either way, however, the very same religious duties are meant for performance, because of the indicatory marks of both kinds.
35. The Vedas also show that one (equipped with Brahmacharya etc.,) is not overpowered.

Topic-9: Knowledge for People outside Orders
36. As a matter of fact, a person standing in between two stages is also entitled, such cases being met with (in the Upanishads).
37. Moreover, the Smritis also mention this fact.
38. And (in their case) there can be the favour of special factors (like Japa etc.,).
39. But as compared with this, the other one is better, because of indicatory sign (in the Upanishad and Smritis) as well.

Topic-10: Defection from Monasticism
40. But for one who has become so, there can be no reversion from it, on account of restriction, absence of text sanctioning reversion and absence of good precedence. This is the view of Jaimini as well.

Topic-11: Expiation for Transgression of Celibacy
41. And even an expiation is not available for him, since his fall is known from the Smriti to be irremediable and he has no connection with it.
42. Some, however, consider this to be a minor sin and concede expiation as in a case of eating forbidden food. So it is explained by Jaimini.

Topic-12: They are to be Excommunicated
43. (Whether their transgression constitutes a major or a minor sin), they are to be kept outside in either case in accordance with Smriti texts and behaviour of good people.

Topic-13: Meditations Connected with Rites
44. The teacher Atreya thinks that the agentship for meditation belongs to the master of the sacrifice, since the Upanishads mention their results.
45. The (teacher) Audulomi says that it is the duty of the priest (to undertake such meditations), for he is retained for that.
46. And from Vedic texts also (this stands confirmed).

Topic-14: Injunction about Meditativeness
47. In case of a partial application to knowledge by one possessed of (imperfect) knowledge, an injunction is implied in another auxiliary which is the third; this is like the main injunction being applied to the subsidiary acts.
48. But the conclusion is made (in the Chandogya Upanishad) with the householder, since he has an all-inclusive life.
49. Since there is injunction even about the others, just as much as of meditativeness.

Topic-15: The Childlike State
50. (The word 'balya' in the Brihadaranyaka means that a man of enlightenment should behave like a child) without displaying his parts, for so it fits in with the context.

Topic-16: Time of Fruition of Knowledge
51. The generation of knowledge takes place even in this life if there is no obstruction to the means adopted. For this is what is revealed (by the Upanishads).

Topic-17: Liberation is Uniform Everywhere
53. There is no rule of this kind with regard to the result called liberation, because that state has been definitely determined (to be the same), because that state has been definitely determined (to be the same).



Topic-1: Repetition of Meditations etc.
1. Repetition is necessary, since the Upanishads instruct repeatedly.
2. And (this is so) on account of the indicatory mark.

Topic-2: Identity of the Self with Brahman
3. But the Upanishads acknowledge Brahman as the Self and cause It to be so understood.

Topic-3: No Self-identity with Symbols
4. (The aspirant is) not to identify (himself) with a symbol, for he cannot understand himself to be so.

Topic-4: Superimposition of the Higher on the Lower
5. The sun etc., are to be looked upon as Brahman because of the consequent exaltation.

Topic-5: Subordinate parts of Rites As the Sun etc.
6. And the ideas of the sun etc., are surely to be superimposed on the subsidiary parts of the rites, for that is reasonably maintainable.

Topic-6: Meditation in a Sitting Posture
7. One should adore mentally while having a sitting posture, since it is possible in that way alone.
8. And because of (the possibility of) concentration (in that way).
9. And (meditativeness is attributed) from the standpoint of motionlessness.
10. Moreover, they mention (this) in the Smritis.

Topic-7: No Restriction of Place
11. Meditation is to be undertaken wherever the mind gets concentrated, because there is no specification.

Topic-8: Meditation till Death
12. (Meditation is to be repeated) up till the moment of death, for it is noticed in the scriptures that it is done so even then.

Topic-9: Knowledge Destroys all Results of Actions
13. On the realization of That, there occur the non-attachment and destruction of the subsequent and previous sins respectively, because it is declared so.

Topic-10: No Remnant of Virtue Even
14. In the very same way there is no attachment of the other (ie., of virtue) as well. Liberation must follow as soon as the body falls.

Topic-11: Past Accumulated Results are Destroyed
15. But only those past (virtues and vices) get destroyed which have not begun to bear fruit, for death is set as the limit of waiting for liberation.

Topic-12: Agnihotra etc.
16. But Agnihotra etc., conduce to the very same result, for so it is revealed (in the Upanishads).
17. Besides these, there is also another kind of (good) action with regard to which some people (make the assignment), according to both Jaimini and Badarayana.

Topic-13: Rites Unaccompanied by Meditation
18. The Upanishadic text, "whatever is done with knowledge" surely indicates this.

Topic-14: Experience of the Active Merit and Demerit
19. But the (enlightenment) man merges in Brahman after exhausting the other two, (viz., merit and demerit that have started fruition), by experiencing (their results in the present life).


Topic-1: At Death the Organs Merge in Mind
1. The (function) of the organ of speech merges in the mind (at the time of death) for so it is seen and so the Upanishads say.
2. And for the same reason all the functions of all the organs get merged in the mind.

Topic-2: Mind Merges in Prana
3. That mind merges in the vital force as is revealed in the subsequent text.

Topic-3: Prana Merges into the soul
4. That one (ie., the vital force) is (known to be) withdrawn into the ruler (ie., the individual Self) from such facts as approaching that (Self at the time of death).
5. The soul comes to stay among the elements, it being so declared by the Upanishads.
6. (The soul does) not (come to stay) amidst a single element, for both (the Upanishads and Smritis) show otherwise.

Topic-4: Departure of the Enlightened and the Unenlightened
7. And the mode of departure (at the time of death) is the same (for the knower of the qualified Brahman and the ignorant man) up to the beginning of the path (of the gods); and the immortality (that is spoken of) is the one that is attained without burning ignorance.

Topic-5: Relative Merger of Fire etc.
8. That group of elements (counting from fire) continues till complete liberation; for there is a declaration of the continuance of the transmigratory state till then.
9. That fire (as also other elements) is minute in its nature, as also in size, because it is seen to be so.
10. For this (very) reason the subtle body is not destroyed even when the gross one is.
11. And this warmth belongs to this subtle body to be sure, for that stands to reason.

Topic-6: No Departure for a Knower of Brahman
12. If it be contended that the organs of the man of knowledge do not depart from the body because of the denial in the scripture, then (according to the opponent) it is not so, for the denial is about the departure from the individual soul.
13. This is not so, for in case of the followers of one recension there is a clear denial of the soul's departure.
14. And the Smriti also says so.

Topic-7: the Organs of the Knower Merge in Brahman
15. Those organs get merged in the supreme Brahman, for such is the declaration of the Upanishad.

Topic-8: Absolute Absorption of the Constituents
16. (Absolute) non-distinction (with Brahman comes about) on the authority of the scriptural declaration.

Topic-9: Departure of one who knows the Qualified Brahman
17. (When the soul of the man who has realized the qualified Brahman is about to depart), there occurs an illumination of the top of the heart. Having that door illumined by that light, the soul, under the favour of Him who resides in the heart, departs through the hundred and first nerve, owing to the efficacy of the knowledge and the appropriateness of the constant thought about the course which is a part of that knowledge.

Topic-10: The Soul follows the Rays of the Sun
18. (The soul of the man of knowledge) proceeds by following the rays of the sun.
19. If it be argued that the soul departing at night can have no progress along the rays, then it is not so, since the connection between the nerve and the rays continues as long as the body lasts; and this is revealed in the Upanishad.

Topic-11: Soul's Journey during the Sun's Southern Course
20. For the very same reason (the soul gets the result of knowledge) even when departing during the sun's southern course.
21. And these times etc., are mentioned in the Smriti for the Yogins; and these (paths of) Samkhya and Yoga are mentioned in the Smritis and not the Vedas.


Topic-1: Only One Path to the World of Brahman
1. The soul travels along the path starting from flame, that being well known.

Topic-2: The Departing Soul Reaches Air after Year
2. The soul of the knower of the qualified Brahman goes from the year to air, on account of the absence and presence of specification.

Topic-3: The Soul proceeds from Lightning to Varuna
3. Varuna is to be placed after lightning, because of their connection with water (ie., cloud).

Topic-4: Guiding Deities
4. (Flame etc., are) conducting deities, owing to the indicative mark to that effect.
5. Because that stands established on account of both (the traveller and the path) being then unconscious.
6. From there they are guided by the very same being who comes to lightning; for it is of him that the Upanishad speaks.

Topic-5: The Path Leads to the Conditioned Brahman
7. Badari thinks that the souls are led to the conditioned Brahman, for it (alone) can reasonably be the goal.
8. And (the conditioned Brahman must be the goal) owing to the specific mention of this.
9. But (the conditioned Brahman has) that designation owing to nearness (to the absolute Brahman).
10. On the final dissolution of the world of the conditioned Brahman, they attain, along with the lord of the world, what is higher than this conditioned Brahman, as is known on the strength of the Upanishadic declaration.
11. This is confirmed by Smriti as well.
12. Jaimini thinks that they are led to the supreme Brahman, that being the primary meaning (of the word Brahman).
13. And (this is so) because the Upanishad reveals (this fact).
14. Moreover, the firm resolution about attainment is not concerned with the conditioned Brahman.

Topic-6: Worship with and without Symbols
15. Badarayana says that the superhuman being leads to Brahman only those who do not use symbols (in their meditation), since this twofold division involves no contradiction and one becomes what one resolves to be.
16. And the Upanishad reveals a speciality about the results (of meditations with symbols).


Topic-1: Nature of Freedom
1. Having reached the "highest Light", the soul becomes manifest in its own real nature because of the use of the term "in its own" (in the Upanishad).
2. The soul then attains liberation, that being the (Upanishadic) declaration.
3. The Light is the Self as it is obvious from the context.

Topic-2: Liberated Soul Inseparable from Brahman
4. In liberation the soul exists in a state of inseparableness from the supreme Self, for so it is noticed in the Upanishad.

Topic-3: Characteristics of the Liberated Soul
5. Jaimini says that from references etc., (in the Upanishads) (it is evident that the liberated soul) becomes established in the attributes that Brahman has.
6. Audulomi says that the liberated soul becomes established in consciousness as consciousness itself, that being its true nature.
7. Badarayana says that even so, there is no contradiction, since the earlier nature exists according to Upanishadic reference.

Topic-4: Fulfilment of Desire through Will
8. (The fathers and others come) as a result of the will alone, because the Upanishad says so.
9. And for that very reason (a man of knowledge has) no other lord (to rule over him).

Topic-5: Body after Reaching Brahma-loka
10. Badari asserts the absence of body and organs (for one who reaches the Brahma-loka - the world of Brahman), for the Upanishad says so.
11. Jaimini asserts the existence of body and sense-organs (after the realization of the qualified Brahman), since the Upanishad speaks of option.
12. Hence Badarayana considers the released souls to be of both kinds (ie., with or without bodies and senses) just as it is the case with the Dvadasaha (twelve-day) sacrifice.
13. In the absence of a body, the fulfilment of desires is reasonably possible as in dreams.
14. When the body exists, the fulfilment of the desires is just as in the waking state.

Topic-6: Entry into many Bodies
15. The released soul can animate different bodies like a lamp, for the scripture shows this to be so.
16. (The declaration of the absence of particularized knowledge is made) from either of the two points of view, viz., deep sleep and absolute union; for this is made clear in the Upanishad.

Topic-7: Acquisition of Divine Powers
17. The released soul gets all the divine powers except that of running the universe (with its creation, continuance and dissolution), as is known from the context (which deals with God) and from the non-proximity (of the individual soul).
18. If it be held (that the powers of the liberated soul are unlimited) owing to direct scriptural declaration, then it is not so, since it is (the attainment) of Him (ie., God) who appoints others as lords of the spheres and resides in those spheres that is spoken of (in the Upanishad).
19. And there is another form of the supreme Lord that does not abide in the effect, for so has the Upanishad declared.
20. And both the Upanishadic and Smriti texts show thus (that the supreme Light is beyond all changing things).
21. Also from the indicatory mark in the Upanishads about the equality of experience alone (it is known that the liberated souls do not get unfettered powers).
22. There is no return for the released souls on the strength of the Upanishadic declaration; there is no return for the released souls on the strength of the Upanishadic declaration.
Introduction & Bhashyam / Introduction
« Last post by Commentary on April 10, 2019, 10:42:26 PM »
It is a matter not requiring any proof that the object and the subject whose respective spheres are the notion of the 'Thou' (the Non-Ego) and the 'Ego,' and which are opposed to each other as much as darkness and light are, cannot be identified. All the less can their respective attributes be identified. Hence it follows that it is wrong to superimpose upon the subject--whose Self is intelligence, and which has for its sphere the notion of the Ego--the object whose sphere is the notion of the Non-Ego, and the attributes of the object, and vice versā to superimpose the subject and the attributes of the subject on the object. In spite of this it is on the part of man a natural procedure-which has its cause in wrong knowledge--not to distinguish the two entities (object and subject) and their respective attributes, although they are absolutely distinct, but to superimpose upon each the characteristic nature and the attributes of the other, and thus, coupling the Real and the Unreal, to make use of expressions such as 'That am I,' 'That is mine.'--But what have we to understand by the term 'superimposition?'--The apparent presentation, in the form of remembrance, to consciousness of something previously observed, in some other thing. Some indeed define the term 'superimposition' as the superimposition of the attributes of one thing on another thing. Others, again, define superimposition as the error founded on the non-apprehension of the difference of that which is superimposed from that on which it is superimposed. Others, again, define it as the fictitious assumption of attributes contrary to the nature of that thing on which something else is superimposed. But all these definitions agree in so far as they represent superimposition as the apparent presentation of the attributes of one thing in another thing. And therewith agrees also the popular view which is exemplified by expressions such as the following: 'Mother-of-pearl appears like silver,' 'The moon although one only appears as if she were double.' But how is it possible that on the interior Self which itself is not an object there should be superimposed objects and their attributes? For every one superimposes an object only on such other objects as are placed before him (i.e. in contact with his sense-organs), and you have said before that the interior Self which is entirely disconnected from the idea of the Thou (the Non-Ego) is never an object. It is not, we reply, non-object in the absolute sense. For it is the object of the notion of the Ego, and the interior Self is well known to exist on account of its immediate (intuitive) presentation. Nor is it an exceptionless rule that objects can be superimposed only on such other objects as are before us, i.e. in contact with our sense-organs; for non-discerning men superimpose on the ether, which is not the object of sensuous perception, dark-blue colour.

Hence it follows that the assumption of the Non-Self being superimposed on the interior Self is not unreasonable.

This superimposition thus defined, learned men consider to be Nescience (avidyā), and the ascertainment of the true nature of that which is (the Self) by means of the discrimination of that (which is superimposed on the Self), they call knowledge (vidyā). There being such knowledge (neither the Self nor the Non-Self) are affected in the least by any blemish or (good) quality produced by their mutual superimposition. The mutual superimposition of the Self and the Non-Self, which is termed Nescience, is the presupposition on which there base all the practical distinctions--those made in ordinary life as well as those laid down by the Veda--between means of knowledge, objects of knowledge (and knowing persons), and all scriptural texts, whether they are concerned with injunctions and prohibitions (of meritorious and non-meritorious actions), or with final release.--But how can the means of right knowledge such as perception, inference, &c., and scriptural texts have for their object that which is dependent on Nescience?--Because, we reply, the means of right knowledge cannot operate unless there be a knowing personality, and because the existence of the latter depends on the erroneous notion that the body, the senses, and so on, are identical with, or belong to, the Self of the knowing person. For without the employment of the senses, perception and the other means of right knowledge cannot operate. And without a basis (i.e. the body) the senses cannot act. Nor does anybody act by means of a body on which the nature of the Self is not superimposed. Nor can, in the absence of all that, the Self which, in its own nature is free from all contact, become a knowing agent. And if there is no knowing agent, the means of right knowledge cannot operate (as said above). Hence perception and the other means of right knowledge, and the Vedic texts have for their object that which is dependent on Nescience. (That human cognitional activity has for its presupposition the superimposition described above), follows also from the non-difference in that respect of men from animals. Animals, when sounds or other sensible qualities affect their sense of hearing or other senses, recede or advance according as the idea derived from the sensation is a comforting or disquieting one. A cow, for instance, when she sees a man approaching with a raised stick in his hand, thinks that he wants to beat her, and therefore moves away; while she walks up to a man who advances with some fresh grass in his hand. Thus men also--who possess a higher intelligence--run away when they see strong fierce-looking fellows drawing near with shouts and brandishing swords; while they confidently approach persons of contrary appearance and behaviour. We thus see that men and animals follow the same course of procedure with reference to the means and objects of knowledge. Now it is well known that the procedure of animals bases on the non-distinction (of Self and Non-Self); we therefore conclude that, as they present the same appearances, men also--although distinguished by superior intelligence--proceed with regard to perception and so on, in the same way as animals do; as long, that is to say, as the mutual superimposition of Self and Non-Self lasts. With reference again to that kind of activity which is founded on the Veda (sacrifices and the like), it is true indeed that the reflecting man who is qualified to enter on it, does so not without knowing that the Self has a relation to another world; yet that qualification does not depend on the knowledge, derivable from the Vedānta-texts, of the true nature of the Self as free from all wants, raised above the distinctions of the Brāhmaṇa and Kṣattriya-classes and so on, transcending transmigratory existence. For such knowledge is useless and even contradictory to the claim (on the part of sacrificers, &c. to perform certain actions and enjoy their fruits). And before such knowledge of the Self has arisen, the Vedic texts continue in their operation, to have for their object that which is dependent on Nescience. For such texts as the following, 'A Brāhmaṇa is to sacrifice,' are operative only on the supposition that on the Self are superimposed particular conditions such as caste, stage of life, age, outward circumstances, and so on. That by superimposition we have to understand the notion of something in some other thing we have already explained. (The superimposition of the Non-Self will be understood more definitely from the following examples.) Extra-personal attributes are superimposed on the Self, if a man considers himself sound and entire, or the contrary, as long as his wife, children, and so on are sound and entire or not. Attributes of the body are superimposed on the Self, if a man thinks of himself (his Self) as stout, lean, fair, as standing, walking, or jumping. Attributes of the sense-organs, if he thinks 'I am mute, or deaf, or one-eyed, or blind.' Attributes of the internal organ when he considers himself subject to desire, intention, doubt, determination, and so on. Thus the producer of the notion of the Ego (i.e. the internal organ) is superimposed on the interior Self, which, in reality, is the witness of all the modifications of the internal organ, and vice versā the interior Self, which is the witness of everything, is superimposed on the internal organ, the senses, and so on. In this way there goes on this natural beginning--and endless superimposition, which appears in the form of wrong conception, is the cause of individual souls appearing as agents and enjoyers (of the results of their actions), and is observed by every one.

With a view to freeing one's self from that wrong notion which is the cause of all evil and attaining thereby the knowledge of the absolute unity of the Self the study of the Vedānta-texts is begun. That all the Vedānta-texts have the mentioned purport we shall show in this so-called Śārīraka-mīmāṃsā.
Bhagavad Gita Bhasya / CHAPTER 18 - Mokṣasannyāsa Yoga
« Last post by Commentary on April 09, 2019, 11:59:17 PM »
‘Samnyasa’ and ‘Tyaga’ distinguished

In the present discourse the Lord proceeds to teach, by way of summing up, the doctrine of the whole of the Gita - Sastra, as also the whole of the Vedic Doctrine. Verily, the whole of the doctrine taught in the preceding discourses is to be found in this discourse. Arjuna, however, asks to know only the distinction in meaning between ’samnyasa’ and ‘tyaga.’

Arjuna said:
1. ’Of samnyasa’ O Mighty-armed, I desire to know the truth, O Hrishikesa, as also of ‘tyaga’, severally, O Slayer of Kesin.
Samnyasa: the connotation of the term ‘samnyasa.’ Tyaga: the connotation of the term ‘tyaga’. Severally: as distinguished from each other. Kesin was an Asura whom the Lord, the son of Vasudeva, slew, and the Lord is therefore addressed as ‘Kesi-nishudana,’the Slayer of Kesin. The words ‘samnyasa’ and ‘tyaga’ have been used here and there in the preceding discourses, their connotations, however, not being clearly distinguished. Wherefore, with a view to determining them, the Lord addresses Arjuna, who desired to know of them, as follows:

The Blessed Lord said:
2. Sages understand ‘samnyasa’ to be the renouncement of interested works; the abandonment of the fruits of all works, the learned declare, is ’tyaga’.
A few sages understand by ‘samnyasa’ the abandonment of kamya-karmani, of works (such as the Asvamedha, Horse sacrifice) accompanied with a desire for fruits. The learned declare that ‘tyaga’ means abandonment of the fruits of all the works that are performed, - nitya and naimittika, ordinary and extra-ordinary duties, i. e., of the fruits that may accrue to the performer. The abandonment of interested works and the abandonment of fruits (of works) being intended to be expressed (by the two words), the meaning of the words ‘samnyasa’and ‘tyaga’ is in any way one and the same so far as the general idea is concerned, namely, abandonment. They are not quite so distinct in meaning as the words ‘jar’ and ‘cloth’.

Objection:The nitya and naimittiha works, ordinary and extra-ordinary duties, are said to produce no fruits. How is it that the abandoning of their fruits is here spoken of? It is like speaking of the abandoning of a barren woman's son.
Answer: No such objection may be raised here, since, in the opinion of the Lord, ordinary and occasional duties produce their own fruits, as He will show in xviii. 12, where, indeed, while teaching that Samnyasins alone (those alone who have renounced all desire for the fruits of works) have no connection whatever with those fruits, the Lord teaches also that those who are not samnyasins will have to reap the fruits of the ordinary works which they are bound to perform.

Should the ignorant perform works or not?

3. That action should be abandoned as an evil, some philosophers declare; while others (declare) that acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity should not be given up.
Some philosophers, following the doctrine of the Sankhyas, etc., declare that all action should be given up as an evil, even by those who are fit for Karma-Yoga. As an evil: this may be interpreted to mean either that all Karma should be given up as involving evil since it is the cause of bondage; or that it should be given up like passion and other such evil tendencies. With regard to the same class of persons (viz., those who are fit for Karma-Yoga), others say that the acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity ought not to be abandoned. It is the Karma-Yogis that form the subject of discussion here; and it is with reference to them that these divergent views are held, but not with reference to the jnana-nishtas (wisdom devotees), the samnyasins who have risen (above all worldly concerns). Those persons who have been raised above the path of Karma in iii. 3 are not spoken of in this connection.

Objection: Just as the persons who are qualified for works form the subject of discussion here - in the section where the whole doctrine of the sastra is summed up,though their path has already been specified in iii. 3, so also the Sankhyas, the devotees of wisdom, may also form the subject of discussion here.
Answer: No, because of the inconceivability of their abandoning of duty from delusion or on account of pain.
To explain: The Sankhyas (men of knowledge) perceive in the Self no pain whatever arising from bodily trouble, since desire, pain, etc., are said to be the attributes of Kshetra or matter. Wherefore they do not abandon action for fear of bodily trouble and pain. Neither do they perceive action in the Self. If they could ever perceive action in the Self, then it would be possible to imagine their abandoning of obligatory works from delusion. In fact, they abandon works because they see that action pertains to gunas and think ‘I do nothing at all’ (v. 8). How those men who know the truth renounce works has been described in v, 13, etc. Therefore, it is only the other class of persons who are ignorant of the true nature of the Self and are qualified for works, and in whose case the supposition of the abandoning of duty from delusion or for fear of bodily trouble is possible, - it is only these that are censured as Tamasic and Rajasic relinquishers (tyagins) in order to praise the abandoning of the fruits of action resorted to by the followers of works who do not know the Self. And the samnyasin proper has been distinguished - by the Lord, when defining the man who has transcended gunas - as one “renouncing all undertakings... who is silent, content with anything, homeless, steady-minded,” (xii. 16 - 18). And the Lord will hereafter describe (his devotion) as “that supreme consummation of knowledge” (xviii. 50). Thus, it is not the samnyasins, who are the devotees of wisdom, that are referred to here. It is only the abandoning of the fruits of works that, by reason of its being Sattvic, is spoken of as Samnyasa in contradistinction to the Tamasic and Rajasic (abandoning of works); but not the samnyasa proper, that pre-eminent renunciation of all works.

Objection: Since xviii. 11 states the reason why renunciation of all action is an impossibility, it is only the samnyasa proper that is spoken of in this connection.
Answer: No, because the passage referred to as a statement of the reason is only intended to praise (something else enjoined). Just as the passage “on abandonment peace closely follows” (xii, 12) is only a praise of the abandonment of the fruits of works, since it is addressed to Arjuna who is ignorant of the Self and who could not therefore follow the several paths previously spoken of, so also, the passage here referred to goes to praise the abandonment of the fruits of action. It is not possible for anyone to point out an exception to the proposition “Renouncing all actions by thought, and self - controlled, the embodied one rests happily in the nine-gated city, neither at all acting nor causing to act.” (v. 13). Wherefore these alternative views regarding Samnyasa and tyaga concern those persons only for whom works are intended. On the other hand, the Sankhyas, those who see the Supreme Reality, have only to follow the path of knowledge, accompanied with the renunciation of all works; and they have nothing else to do, and do not therefore, form the subject of the alternative views set forth here. And so we established this proposition while commenting on ii. 21 and at the commencement of the third discourse.

The Lord's decree is that the ignorant should perform works
Now, as to these divergent views.

4. Learn from Me the truth about this abandonment, O best of the Bharatas; abandonment, verily, O best of men, has been declared to be of three kinds.
Do thou learn from My words the truth as to the alternatives of abandonment and renunciation referred to. Abandonment (tyaga): the Lord has used this single word here, implying that the meaning of ’tyaga’ and ’samnyasa’ is one and the same. Of three kinds: Tamasic, etc., Declared: in the sastras. Because it is hard to know the fact that the threefold (Tamasic, etc.,) abandonment denoted by the words ’tyaga‘ and ‘Samnyasa’ is possible in the case of him alone who does not know the Self and for whom works are intended, - not in the case of him who sees the Supreme Reality, therefore no one, other than Myself, is able to teach the real truth about the subject. Wherefore, learn from Me what My - the Lord's - decree is as to the real teaching of the sastra. What is the decree then? The Lord says:

5. Practice of worship, gift, and austerity should not be given up; it is quite necessary; worship, gift and austerity are the purifiers of the wise.
The three sorts of action should be performed; for, they cause purity in the wise, i.e., in those who have no desire for fruits.

The obligatory works should be performed without attachment

6. But even those actions should be performed, setting aside attachment and the fruits; this, O son of Pritha, is My firm and highest belief.
Those actions, etc., the acts of worship, gift and austerity, which have been said to be purifiers, should be performed, setting aside attachment for them and abandoning their fruits. A proposition was started in the words, ‘Learn from Me the truth about this’ (xviii. 4); and as a reason for it, it has been stated that worship, etc., are the purifiers; so that the Words “even those actions should be performed this is My firm and highest belief” form a mere conclusion of the proposition started in xviii. 4. “Even those actions should be performed” cannot be a fresh proposition; for, it is better to construe the passage as related to the immediate subject of the present section. The word “even” implies that these actions should be performed by a seeker of liberation, though they form the cause of bondage in the case of one who has an attachment for the actions and a desire for their fruits. The words ‘even those’ cannot certainly refer to actions other (than the acts of worship, etc.).
But others explain: Since obligatory (nitya) actions bear no fruits, it is not right to speak of “setting aside attachment and the fruits.” Therefore, in the words “even those actions” etc., the Lord teaches that even those works which are intended to secure objects of desire – i.e., even kamya or interested works, as opposed to nitya or obligatory works - should be performed; how much more then the obligatory acts of worship, gift and austerity. It is wrong to say so; for, it has been declared here that even obligatory actions are productive of fruits, in the words “worship, gift and austerity are the purifiers of the wise” (xviii. 5). To a seeker of liberation who would give up even the obligatory works, looking upon them as the cause of bondage, where is an occasion to engage in interested works? “Even these actions” cannot refer to interested (kamya) works, inasmuch as these have been despised as constituting an inferior path (ii. 49) and decisively declared to be the cause of bondage (iii. 9, ii. 45, ix. 20, 21), and are too far removed from the present section.

Tamasic and Rajasic renunciations of works
Therefore, for a seeker of liberation who is ignorant and is (therefore) bound to perform works,

7. Verily, the abandonment of an obligatory duty is not proper; the abandonment thereof from ignorance is declared to be Tamasic.
Not proper: since it is admitted to be a purifier in the case of an ignorant man. To hold that a duty is obligatory and then to abandon it involves a self-contradiction. Therefore, this sort of abandonment is due to ignorance and is said to be Tamasic, inasmuch as ignorance is Tamas. Moreover,

8. Whatever act one may abandon because it is painful, from fear of bodily trouble, he practices Rajasic abandonment, and he shall obtain no fruit whatever of abandonment.
He does not obtain moksha, which is the fruit of the renunciation of all actions accompanied with wisdom.

Renunciation in works is Sattvic
What then is the Sattvic abandonment? - The Lord says:

9. Whatever obligatory work is done, O Arjuna, merely because it ought to be done, abandoning attachment and also the fruit, that abandonment is deemed to be Sattvic.
Abandoning etc.: These words of the Lord form, as we have said, the authority which declares that obligatory (nitya) works produce fruits. Or thus: An ignorant man may even suppose that, though the fruits of obligatory works are not declared in the Scripture, the obligatory works, when performed, do produce their fruits for the doer in the form of self - regeneration, or by way of warding off pratyavaya or the sin of non - performance. But even this supposition is prevented by the words “abandoning the fruits.” Hence the appropriateness of the words “abandoning attachment and the fruits.” That abandonment: the abandoning of all attachment for, and of the fruits of, obligatory works.

Objection: It is the threefold abandonment of works - referred to as ‘Samnyasa’ (xviii. 7) - that forms the subject of the present section (xviii. 4, etc.,). Out of the three, the Rajasic and Tamasic (sorts of abandonment of works) have been treated of. How is it that the abandonment of attachment and of the fruits of works is spoken of as the third? It is something like saying, “Three brahmanas have come; two of them are proficient in shadangas or the six auxiliary sciences, and the third is a Kshatriya.”
Answer: No such objection can be raised here; for, the object of this section is to praise (the abandonment of the fruits of works, as compared with the abandonment of works, i.e., by comparing the two abandonments), both being alike abandonments. In fact, the abandonment of works and the abandonment of desire for the fruits do agree in so far as they alike imply abandonment. Accordingly, by despising the two sorts of the abandonment of works, as Rajasic and Tamasic abandonments, the abandonment of desire for the fruits of the works is praised as being the Sattvic abandonment in the words ‘that abandonment is deemed to be Sattvic.’

From renunciation in works to renunciation of all works
When the man who is qualified for (Karma-Yoga) performs obligatory works without attachment and without a longing for results, his inner sense (antah-karana), unsoiled by desire for results and regenerated by (the performance of) obligatory works, becomes pure. When pure and tranquil, the inner sense is fit for contemplation of the Self. Now, with a view to teach how the man whose inner sense has been purified by the performance of obligatory works and who is prepared to acquire the Self - knowledge, may gradually attain to jnana - nishtha or devotion in knowledge, the Lord proceeds as follows:

10. He hates not evil action, nor is he attached to a good one, - he who has abandoned, pervaded by Sattva and possessed of wisdom, his doubts cut asunder.
Evil action: the Kamya-karma, the interested action, which becomes the cause of Samsara by producing a body. He does not hate evil action, thinking “of what avail is it?” Good one: nitya-karma, obligatory action. He cherishes no attachment for it by way of thinking that it leads to moksha by purifying the heart and thereby conducing to knowledge and to devotion in knowledge. - Of whom is this said? - Of him who has abandoned attachment and desire, and who, having abandoned attachment to action and desire for its fruit, performs obligatory works (nitya karma). When does he hate no evil action? When is he not attached to a good one? - When he is permeated with Sattva, which causes a discriminative knowledge of the Self and the not-Self. As he is permeated with Sattva, he becomes gifted with wisdom, with knowledge of Self. As he becomes possessed of wisdom, his doubt caused by avidya is cut asunder by the conviction that to abide in the true nature of the Self is alone the means of attaining the Highest Bliss, and that there is no other means.
That is to say, when a man who is qualified (for Karma-Yoga) practices Karma-Yoga in the manner described above and thereby becomes gradually refined in the self (antah-karana), then he knows himself to be that Self who, as devoid of birth or any other change of condition, is immutable; he renounces all action in thought; he remains without acting or causing to act; he attains devotion in wisdom, i.e., he attains freedom from action. Thus, the purpose of the Karma-Yoga described above has been taught in this verse.

Renunciation of fruits is alone possible for the Ignorant
For the unenlightened man, on the other hand, who wears a body by way of identifying himself with it, who, not yet disabused of the notion that the Self is the agent of action, firmly believes that he is himself the agent, for him who is thus qualified for Karma-Yoga, abandonment of all works is impossible, so that his duty lies only in performing prescribed works by abandoning their fruits, - not in abandoning those works. To impress this point, the Lord proceeds thus:

11. Verily, it is not possible for an embodied - being to abandon actions completely; he who abandons the fruits of actions is verily said to be an abandoner.
An embodied being: a body-wearer, i.e., he who identifies himself with the body. No man of discrimination can be called a body-wearer, for it has been pointed out (ii.21, etc.) that such a man does not concern himself (in actions) as their agent. So, the meaning is: it is not possible for an ignorant man to abandon actions completely. When an ignorant man who is qualified for action performs obligatory works, abandoning merely the desire for the fruits of his actions, he is said to be an abandoner (tyagin) though he is a performer of works. This - the title “abandoner,” – is applied to him for courtesy's sake. Accordingly, the abandonment of all actions is possible for him alone who, realizing the Supreme Reality, is not a ’body - wearer,’i.e., does not regard the body as the Self.

Effects of the two renunciations after death
Now, what is the benefit which accrues from the abandonment of all actions? - The Lord says:

12. The threefold fruit of action, - evil, good, and mixed, - accrues after death to non-abandoners, but never to abandoners.
Fruit: brought forth by the operation of various external factors. It is a doing of avidya; it is like the glamour cast by a juggler's art very delusive, inhering, to all appearance, in the Innermost Self; by its very etymology, the word ‘phala,’ fruit, implies something that vanishes, something unsubstantial.
Action (karma): Dharma and Adharma. Evil: such as hell (naraka), the animal kingdom, etc. Good: such as the Devas. Mixed: Good and evil mixed together in one; the humanity. These three sorts of fruits accrue after death to non - abandoners, to the unenlightened, to the followers of Karma-Yoga, to the abandoners (samnyasins) not strictly so called but never to the real samnyasins, engaged exclusively in the path of knowledge (jnana-nishtha) and belonging to the highest order of samnyasins, the Paramahamsa - Parivrajakas. Indeed, exclusive devotion to Right Knowledge cannot but destroy avidya and other seeds of Samsara. Accordingly, a complete abandonment of all works is possible for him alone who has attained to Right Knowledge, inasmuch as he sees that action and its accessories and its results are all ascribed to the Self by Avidya: but, for the unenlightened man identifying himself with the body, etc., which constitute action, its agent and accessories, complete abandonment of action is not possible. This truth, the Lord proceeds to teach in the following verses:

Factors in the production of an act

13. These live factors in the accomplishment of all action, know thou from Me, O mighty-armed, as taught in the Sankhya which is the end of action.
These: which are going to be mentioned. Learn: this exhortation is intended to secure steady attention on the part of the hearer to what follows, as well as to indicate the difference (in the view which is going to be presented) as to the nature of those things. In the words ‘taught in the Sankhya,’ the Lord praises them, as they are things that ought to be known. Sankhya: Vedanta (the Upanishads) in which all the things that have to be known are expounded. It is qualified by the epithet “krita-anta”, the end of action, that which puts an end to all action (karma). The verses ii. 46. and iv. 33 teach that all action ceases when the knowledge of the Self arises; so that the Vedanta, which imparts Self-knowledge, is ‘the end of action.’

14. The seat and actor and the various organs, and the several functions of various sorts, and the Divinity also, the fifth among these.
The seat: the body which is the seat of desire, hatred, happiness, misery, knowledge and the like; i.e., the seat of their manifestation. Actor: the enjoyer, partaking of the character of the upadhi with which it may be associated. The various organs: such as the sense of hearing, by which to perceive sound, etc. Functions: of the air (vayu), such as outbreathing and inbreathing. Of various sorts: twelve in number. Divinity: such as the Aditya and other Gods by whose aid the eye and other organs discharge their functions.

15. Whatever action a man does by the body, speech and mind, right or the opposite, these five are its causes.
Right: not opposed to dharma, taught in the sastra. The opposite: what is opposed to dharma and opposed to sastra. Even those actions, - the act of twinkling and the like, - which are the necessary conditions of life are denoted by the expression “the right or the opposite”, since they are but the effects of the past dharma and a-dharma. Its causes: the causes of every action.

Objection: The body, etc. (xviii. 14), are necessary factors in every action. Why do you speak of (a distinction in actions) in the words “whatever action a man does by the body, speech or mind?”
Answer: This objection cannot be urged against us. In the performance of every action, whether enjoined or forbidden, one of the three - body, speech or mind - has a more prominent share than the rest, while seeing, hearing, and other activities, which form mere concomitants of life, are subordinate to the activity of that one. All actions are thus classed into three groups and are spoken of as performed by body, or speech, or mind. Even at the time of fruition, the fruit of an action is enjoyed through the instrumentality of body, speech and mind, one of them being more prominent than the rest. Hence no gainsaying of the assertion that all the five are the causes of action (xviii. 14).

The agency of the Self is an illusion

16. Now, such being the case, verily, he who, as untrained in understanding, looks on the pure Self as the agent, that man of perverted intelligence sees not.
Now: with reference to what we are speaking of. Such being the case: every action being accomplished by the five causes described above. this shows the reason why the person here referred to is said to be a man of perverted intelligence. The unenlightened one, in virtue of his ignorance, identifies the Self with the five causes and looks upon the pure Self as the agent of the action, which is really accomplished by those five causes. – Why does he regard them so? - For, his understanding (buddhi) has not been trained in the Vedanta, has not been trained by a master's teaching, has not been trained in the principles of reasoning. Even he who, while maintaining the existence of the disembodied Self, looks upon the pure Self as the agent, is a man of untrained understanding; he does not therefore see the truth about the Self and action. He is therefore a man of perverted intelligence, - his intelligence takes a wrong direction, is vicious, continually leading to birth and death. Though seeing, yet he does not see (the truth), like a man whose timira - affected eye sees many moons, or like one who regards that the moon moves when the clouds arc in motion, or like a man who, seated in a vehicle, regards himself as running - when it is the others (the bearers) that run.

Realization of the Non-Agency of the Self Leads to Absolution from the Effects of All Works
Who then is the wise man that sees rightly? The answer follows:

17. He who is free from egotistic notion, whose mind is not tainted, - though he kills these creatures, he kills not, he is not bound.
He whose mind has been well trained in the scriptures, well - trained by a master's instructions, and well - trained in the sound principles of reasoning, is free from the egotistic notion that ’I am the agent.’ He thinks thus: It is these five - the body, etc., ascribed to the Self through avidya - that are the causes of all action, not I. I am the witness of their actions, I am “without breath, without mind, pure, higher than the Indestructible which is Supreme” (Mun. Up. 2 - 1 - 2). I am pure and immutable. He whose antah-karana (buddhi), which is an upadhi of the Self, is not tainted, does not repent thus: “I have done this; thereby I shall go to naraka (hell).” He is wise; he sees rightly; though he kills all these living creatures, he commits no act of killing, nor is he bound by the fruit of a-dharma as an effect of that act.

Objection: Even supposing that this is intended as a mere praise, the statement that “though he kills all these creatures, he does not kill” involves a self - contradiction.
Answer: This objection cannot stand; for, the statement can be explained by distinguishing the two standpoints of worldly conception and absolute truth. From the standpoint of worldly conception, which consists in thinking ‘I am the killer’ by identifying the Self with the physical body etc., the Lord says, " though he kills;” and from the standpoint of absolute truth explained above, He says. “he kills not,” he is not bound. Thus both are quite explicable.
Objection: The Self does act ia conjunction with the body, etc., as implied by the use of the word 'pure’ in xviii. 16, ‘he who looks on the pure Self as the agent.’
Answer: This contention is untenable; for the Self being. by nature, immutable, we cannot conceive Him to act in conjunction with the body, etc. What is subject to change can alone conjoin with others, and thus conjoined can become the agent. But there can be no conjunction of the immutable Self with anything whatsoever, and He cannot therefore act in conjunction with another. Thus, the isolated condition, being natural condition. And His immutability is quite evident to all, as taught by the sruti, smriti and reason. In the Gita itself, for instance, it has been over and over again taught in the words, "He is unchangeable,” (ii. 25): “actions are wrought by gun as” (III 27); “though dwelling in the body, be acts not” (xiii. 31 ). And the same thing is also taught in the passages of the sruti such as “It meditates as it were, It moves as it were” (Bri Up. 4 - 3 - 7). By reasoning also we may establish the same. thus: - That the Self is an entity without parts, is not dependent oh another, and is immutable,. is the royal road (i.e., is undisputed). Even if it be admitted that the Self is subject to change, He should only be subject to a change of His own; the actions of the body, etc., can never be attributed to the agency of the Self. Indeed, the action of one cannot go to another that has not done it. And what is attributed to the Self by avidya cannot really pertain to Him, in the same why that the mother-of-pearl cannot become silver, or (to take another illustration) in the same way that surface and dirt ascribed by children through ignorance to akasa cannot really pertain to akasa. Accordingly, any changes that may take place in the body, etc., belong to them only, not to the Self. Wherefore, it is but right to say that in the absence of egotism and of all taint in the mind, the wise man neither kills nor is bound. Having started this proposition in the words “he slays not, nor is he slain;” (ii. 19) having stated in ii. 20 as the reason therefore the immutability of the Self. having in the beginning of the sastra (ii. 21) briefly taught that to a wise man there is no need for works, and having introduced the subject here and there in the middle and expatiated upon it, the Lord now concludes it in the words that the wise man “kills not, nor is bound”. with a view to sum up the teaching of the sastra. Thus, in the absence of the egotistic feeling of embodied existence, the samnyasins renounce all avidya-generated action. and it is therefore right to say that the threefold fruit of action "evil, good and mixed" (xviii. 12), does not accrue to the samnyasins; and the further conclusion also is inevitable that quite the reverse is the lot of others. This teaching of the Gitasastra has been concluded here. To show that this essence of the whole Vedic Teaching should be investigated and understood by wise men of trained intelligence, it has been expounded by us here and there in several sections in accordance with the scripture (sastra) and reason.

The impulses to action
Now will be mentioned the impulses to action:

18. Knowledge, the object known, the knower, (form) the threefold impulse to action; the organ, the end, the agent, form the threefold basis of action.
Knowledge: any knowledge, knowledge in general. Similarly, the object known refers to objects in general, to all objects of knowledge. The knower: the experiencer, partaking of the nature of the upadhi, a creature of avidya. This triad forms the threefold impulse to all action, to action in general. Indeed, performance of action with a view to avoid a thing or to obtain another and so on is possible only when there is a conjunction of the three, - knowledge, etc. The actions accomplished by the five (causes of action), - by the body, etc., - and grouped into three classes according to their respective seats - speech, mind, body, - are all traceable to the interplay of the organ, etc., and this is taught in the second part of the verse. The organ: that by which something is done; the external organs being the organ of hearing, etc., and the internal organs being buddhi (intelligence), etc. The end: that which is sought for, that which is reached through action by the agent. The agent: he who sets the organs going, partaking of the nature of the upadhi (in which he works). In these three all action inheres, and they are therefore, said to form the threefold basis of action.

The Impulses are threefold according to the gunas
Inasmuch as action, the several factors of action, and the fruit, are all made up of the gunas, the Lord now proceeds to teach the threefold distinction of each, according to the three distinct gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas:

19. Knowledge and action, and the agent, are said in the science of the gunas to be of three kinds only, according to the distinction in gunas. Hear thou duly of them.
Action (karma.): ‘karma’ here means action (kriya). It is not used in the technical sense of the word denoting the object of an action, what is sought to be attained by means of action. Agent: the performer of acts. They are of three kinds only. This restriction is intended to imply the absence of distinctions other than that caused by the gunas. Gunas: such as Sattva. The science of the gunas here referred to is Kapila's system of philosophy. Even Kapila’s science of gunas is certainly an authority so far as it concerns the gunas and their experiencer (bhoktri). Though they are opposed to us as regards the supreme truth, viz., the oneness or non-duality of Brahman, still the followers of Kapila are of acknowledged authority in the exposition of the functions of the gunas and of their products, and their science is therefore accepted here as an authority as serving to extol the teaching which follows. Hence no inconsistency. Hear, etc., Pay attention to the teaching which follows here, concerning knowledge and the rest, as well as their various distinctions caused by different gunas, as I describe them duly, according to the science, according to reason.

Sattvic Knowledge
Here follows the threefold character of knowledge:

20. That by which a man sees the one Indestructible Reality in all beings, inseparate in the separated, that knowledge know thou as Sattvic.
Reality (Bhava): the one Self. Indestructible: which cannot be exhausted either in itself or in its properties; Kutastha or immutable. All beings: from Avyakta, or the unmanifested matter, down to the sthavara or unmoving objects. That Reality, the Self, is not different in different bodies; like the akasa, the Self admits of no division. Know thou this direct and right perception of the non-dual Self as Sattvic.

Rajasic Knowledge
The dualistic fallacious systems of philosophy are Rajasic and Tamasic, and therefore they cannot directly bring about the cessation of Samsara.

21. But that knowledge which, by differentiation, sees in all the creatures various entities of distinct kinds, that knowledge know thou as Rajasic.
By differentiation: regarding them as different in different bodies. Entities: Selfs. Which sees, etc., This should be interpreted to mean ‘by which one sees, ’since knowledge cannot be an agent.

Tamasic Knowledge

22. But that which clings to one single effect if it were all, without reason, having no real object, and narrow, that is declared to be Tamasic.
Tamasic knowledge is engrossed in one single effect, - such as the body or an external idol - as though it is all - comprehensive, thinking ‘this body is the Self’ or ’that is God’, and that there is nothing higher than that. Jiva (soul), for example, dwelling in the body is regarded by the naked sramanakas, etc., as being of the size of that body; and the Isvara is regarded (by some) to be the mere stone or piece of wood. This knowledge is not founded on reason and does not perceive things as they are. Because it is not founded on reason, it is narrow, as extending over a limited area, or as producing very small results. This knowledge is said to be Tamasic because it is found only in Tamasic beings possessing no faculty of discrimination.

Sattvic Action
The threefold nature of action is next described:

23. An action which is ordained, which is free from attachment, which is done without love or hatred by one not desirous of the fruit, that action is declared to be Sattvic.
Ordained: Obligatory (nitya). It is not an action done by one impelled by love or hatred.

Rajasic Action

24. But the action which is done by one longing for pleasures or done by the egotistic, costing much trouble, that is declared to be Rajasic.
Pleasures: as fruits of action. The Egotistic: not as distinguished from one who has realized the true nature of the Self (who is absolutely free from egotism), but as distinguished from one who is free from pride, in the sense in which an ordinary srotriya (a devotee of the Vedic Religion) of the world is expected to be free from egotism. For, he who is absolutely without egotism, i.e., one who has realized the Self, cannot even be imagined to long for the fruit of an action or to do an action costing much trouble. Even the doer of a Sattvic action is ignorant of the Self and is egotistic; much more so are the Rajasic and Tamasic doers. In common parlance, a srotriya who is ignorant of the Self is said to be free from egotism; we say “He is a modest (non-egotistic) brahmana.” It is only from this class of persons that the doer of a Rajasic action is distinguished as being egotistic.

Tamasic Action

25. The action which is undertaken from delusion, without regarding the consequence, loss, injury, and ability, that is declared to be Tamasic.
Loss: Loss of power and of wealth accruing from the action done. Injury: to living beings. Ability: one's own ability to complete the work.

Sattvic Agent
Now the Lord proceeds to treat of the distinction among agents:

26. Free from attachment, not given to egotism, endued with firmness and vigor, unaffected in success and failure, an agent is said to be Sattvic.
Success: Attainment of the fruit of the action done. Unaffected: as having been impelled to act merely by the authority of the sastra, not by a desire for the fruits.

Rajasic Agent

27. Passionate, desiring to attain the fruit of action, greedy, cruel, impure, subject to joy and sorrow, such an agent is said to be Rajasic.
Greedy: thirsting for another's property, not giving away one's own· property to worthy persons, etc. Cruel: doing harm to others. Impure: devoid of external and internal purity. Subject to joy and sorrow: rejoicing on the attainment of what is desirable, and feeling sorry on the attainment of what is not desirable or on having to part with what is desirable. Joy or sorrow may arise at the success or failure of the action in which he is engaged.

Tamasic Agent

28. Unsteady, vulgar, unbending, deceptive, wicked, indolent, desponding, and procrastinating, (such) an· agent is said to be Tamasic.
Vulgar: quite uncultured in intellect (buddhi), who is like a child. Unbending: not bowing like a stick to anybody. Deceptive: concealing his real power. Wicked: setting others at variance with each other. Indolent: not doing even what ought to be done. Desponding: always depressed in spirit. Procrastinating: postponing duties too long, always sluggish, not doing even in a month what ought to be done today or tomorrow.

Intellect and Firmness are threefold according to Gunas

29. The threefold division of intellect and firmness according to qualities, about to be taught fully and distinctively (by Me), hear thou, O Dhananjaya.
Qualities: Gunas, such as Sattva. The first half of the verse contains in an aphoristic form what is going to be taught. Dhananjaya: the conqueror of wealth. Arjuna is so called because he acquired much wealth, - human and divine, material and spiritual, - during his tour of conquest through the four quarters of the earth.

Sattvic Intellect

30. That which knows action and inaction, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear and absence of fear, bondage and liberation, that intellect is Sattvic, O Partha.
Action (pravritti): the cause of bondage, the karmamarga, the path of action as taught in the sastra. Inaction (nivritti): the cause of liberation, the path of samnyasa. – As ‘action’(pravritti) and ’inaction’(nivntti) occur in connection with ‘bondage’(bandha) and ‘liberation’(moksha), they have been interpreted to mean the paths of action and renunciation (karma and samnyasa). What...done: the necessity for doing or not doing - by one who relies on the sastra - at particular places and times, actions producing visible or invisible results, according as they are enjoined or prohibited by the scriptural or social ethics. Fear etc., the cause of fear and the cause of fearlessness, either visible or invisible. Bondage and liberation: together with their causes. Knowledge is a vritti or function or state of intellect (buddhi), whereas intellect is what functions or undergoes change of state. Even firmness (dhriti) is only a particular function or state of intellect.

Rajasic Intellect

31. That by which one wrongly understands dharma and a-dharma, and also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, that intellect, O Partha, is Rajasic.
Dharma is what is ordained in the scriptures and a-dharma is what is prohibited in them. What... done: the same that was mentioned already. (xviii.30). Wrongly: in opposition to what is determined by all authorities).

Tamasic Intellect

32. That which, enveloped in darkness, sees adharma as dharma and all things perverted, that intellect, O Partha, is Tamasic.
It takes quite a perverted view of all things to be known.

Sattvic Firmness

33. The firmness which is ever accompanied by Yoga, and by which the activities of thought, of life-breaths and sense-organs, O Partha, are held fast, such a firmness is Sattvic.
Yoga: samadhi or concentration of mind. Held fast: restrained from rushing into ways which are opposed to the sastra. It is only when they are restrained by firmness (of the intellect) that they do not rush into ways which are opposed to the sastra. The meaning of the passage is this: He who, by unflinching firmness, restrains the activities of thought (manas), of life - breaths and sense-organs restrains them by Yoga.

Rajasic Firmness

34. But the firmness with which one holds fast to dharma and pleasures and wealth, desirous of the fruit of each on its occasion, that firmness, O Partha, is Rajasic.
Dharma etc., when a person is firmly convinced at heart that dharma, pleasure and wealth ought always to be secured and is desirous of the fruit of each whenever that one (dharma or pleasure or wealth) occupies his attention, the firmness of such a person is Rajasic.

Tamasic Firmness

35. That with which a stupid man does not give up sleep, fear, grief, depression and lust, that firmness, O Partha, is Tamasic.
The stupid man holds sensual gratification in high esteem and never gives up lasciviousness. He regards sleep, etc., as things that ought always to be resorted to.

Pleasure is threefold according to gunas
The threefold division of actions and of the several factors (karakas) concerned in action, has been described. Here follows the threefold division of pleasure which is the effect of actions:

36. And now hear from Me, O lord of the Bharatas, of the threefold pleasure, in which one delights by practice and surely comes to the end of pain.
Hear: Pay steady attention to. Practice: familiarity, frequency. The end: cessation or alleviation.

Sattvic Pleasure

37. That which is like poison at first, like nectar at the end, that pleasure is declared to be Sattvic, born of the purity of one's own mind.
Like poison at First: on its first occurrence it is attended with pain as it is preceded by much trouble in the acquisition of jnana or spiritual knowledge, of vairagya or indifference to worldly objects, of dhyana and samadhi. At the end, the pleasure is like nectar, arising from mature knowledge and indifference to external objects. Declared: by the wise. Born, etc., born of the purity of one's own buddhi or antah-karana: or, born of the perfectly clear knowledge of the Self. Being so born, the pleasure is Sattvic.

Rajasic Pleasure

38. That pleasure which arises from the contact of the sense-organ with the object, at first like nectar, in the end like poison, that is declared to be Rajasic.
In the end like poison: after indulgence, the (sensual) pleasure proves to be like poison, because it leads to deterioration in strength, vigor, color, wisdom, intellect, wealth and energy; and because it leads to a-dharma, and, as an effect thereof, to hell (naraka).

Tamasic Pleasure

39. The pleasure which at first and in the sequel is delusive of the self, arising from sleep, indolence, and heedlessness, that pleasure is declared to be Tamasic.
In the sequel: after the termination.

No man or god is free from gunas
Here follows the verse which concludes the present subject:

40. There is no being on earth, or again in heaven among the Devas, that can be free from these three gunas born of Prakriti.
Being: animate or inanimate. Gunas: such as Sattva. On earth: among men.

The sequel sums up the whole Doctrine
The whole Samsara, manifested as action, instruments of action, and results, made up of the gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas), and set up by avidya, the evil of samsara has been thus described as well as its root. It has also been figuratively represented as a tree, in xv. i, et seq. It has also been said that after having cut the tree of samsara asunder with the strong sword of non - attachment, “then That Goal should be sought after” (xv. 3, 4). From this it may follow that, as everything is made up of the three gunas, a cessation of the cause of samsara cannot be brought about. Now, it is with a view to show how its cessation can be brought about, with a view, further, to sum up the whole teaching of the Gita-sastra, and with a view to show what the exact teaching of the Vedas and the smritis is which should be followed by those who seek to attain the highest end of man, - it is with this view that the next section, from xviii. 41 onward, is commenced.

Duties of the four castes ordained according to nature

41. Of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as also of Sudras, O Parantapa, the duties are divided according to the qualities born of nature.
Sudras are separated from others - who are all mentioned together in one compound word - because sudras are of one birth and are debarred from the study of the Vedas. Divided: the duties are allotted to each class, as distinguished from those pertaining to the other classes. - By what standard? - According to the qualities (gunas) born of nature. Nature (svabhava) is the Isvara's Prakriti, the Maya made up of the three gunas. It is in accordance with the gunas of the Prakriti that duties - such as serenity and the like - are assigned to the Brahmanas, etc. respectively. Or to explain in another way: The source of the Brahmana's nature (svabhava) is the guna of Sattva; the source of the Kshatriya's nature is Rajas and Sattva, the latter being subordinate to the former; the source of the Vaisya's nature is Rajas and Tamas, the latter being subordinate to the former; the source of the Sudra's nature is Tamas and Rajas, the latter being subordinate to the former. For, as we see, the characteristic features of their nature are serenity, lordliness, activity, and dullness respectively. Or to interpret yet in another way: - Nature (svabhava) is the tendency (Samskara, Vasana) in living beings acquired by them in the past births, and manifesting itself in the present birth by way of being ready to yield its effects: and this nature is the source of the gunas, it being impossible for the gunas to manifest themselves without a cause. The assertion that nature (Samskara, Vasana) is the cause (of the gunas) means that it is a kind of specific cause. The duties, such as serenity, are assigned to the four classes in accordance with the gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, which are brought into manifestation by their respective natural tendencies, and which lead to those duties as their natural effects.

Objection: The duties of Brahmanas, etc., are enjoined by the sastra and are assigned to them by the sastra. How then can it be said that they are divided according to the Sattva and other gunas?
Answer: There is no room here for any such objection. By the sastra, too, are the duties - such as serenity - assigned to the Brahmanas, etc., only in accordance with their respective gunas, such as Sattva, but not independently of them. Wherefore it is said that duties are assigned according to gunas, though it has also been said that they are assigned by the sastra. What then are those duties? The answer follows:

42. Serenity, self - restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness, and also uprightness, knowledge, wisdom, faith, these are the duties of the Brahmanas, born of nature.
 ‘Serenity’ and ‘self-restraint’ have already been explained (xvi. I, 2). Austerity: physical austerity, and so on, mentioned above ( xvii. 14, 15, 16). Purity: already explained. Faith: in the teaching of the scriptures. Born of nature: this means the same here as in the latter portion of xviii. 41.

43. Bravery, boldness, fortitude, promptness, not flying from battle, generosity and lordliness are the duties of the Kshatriyas, born of nature.
Fortitude: that by which upheld one is not subject to depression under any circumstances whatever. Promptness: the performing, without confusion, of duties which present themselves quite unexpectedly and demand ready action. Not flying from battle: not turning away from the foes. Lordliness: exercise of ruling power over those who are to be ruled.

44. Ploughing, cattle - rearing, and trade are the duties of the Vaisyas, born of nature. And of the nature of service is the duty of the Sudra, born of nature.

Devotion to one's own duty leads to perfection
These duties, respectively enjoined on the several castes, lead, when rightly performed, to Svarga as their natural result, as stated in the smritis, such as the following: “Men of several castes and orders, each devoted to his respective duties, reap the fruits of their actions after death, and then by the residual (karma) attain to births in superior countries, castes and families, possessed of comparatively superior dharma, span of life, learning, conduct, wealth, happiness and intelligence.” (Apastamba-dharmasutra, 2 - 2 - 2, 3). And in the Purana also are specified the different results and worlds which the several castes and orders attain. But, from the operation of a new cause the following result accrues:

45. Devoted each to his own duty, man attains perfection; how one, devoted to one's own duty, attains success, that do thou hear.
Each to his own duty: as ordained according to his nature. Man: he who is qualified (for Karma-Yoga). Perfection (samsiddhi): which consists in the body and senses being qualified for the devotion of knowledge (jnana-nishtha) after all their impurities have been washed away by the performance of one's own duty. - Can this perfection be attained directly by the mere performance of one's own duty? No. How then? Learn how it can be attained:

46. Him from whom is the evolution of (all) beings, by whom all this is pervaded, - by worshipping Him with his proper duty, man attains perfection.
‘Pravritti’ (in the text) may mean either evolution or activity; and it proceeds from the Isvara, the Antaryamin, the Ruler within. Beings: living creatures. His proper duty: each according to his caste, as described above. Worshipping the Lord by performing his duty, man attains perfection, in so far only as he becomes qualified for the devotion of knowledge (jnana-nishtha). Such being the case, therefore,

47. Better is one's own duty (though) destitute of merits, than the duty of another well performed. Doing the duty ordained according to nature, one incurs no sin.
Just as a poisonous substance does not injure the worm born in that substance, so, he who does the duty ordained according to his own nature incurs no sin.

One ought not to abandon one's own duty
It has been said that he who does the duty ordained according to his nature incurs no sin like a worm born in poison, that the duty of another brings on fear, and that he who does not know the Self cannot indeed remain even for a moment without doing action. Wherefore,

48. The duty born with oneself, O son of Kunti, though faulty, one ought not to abandon; for, all undertakings are surrounded with evil, as fire with smoke.
Born with oneself: born with the very birth of man. Faulty: as everything is composed of the three gunas. All undertakings: whatever the duties are; by context, one's own as well as other's duties; for, the reason here assigned is that they are all made up of the three gunas. Though a man may perform another's duty, abandoning what is called his own duty, the duty born with himself, he is not free from fault; and another's duty brings on fear. And since it is not possible for any man who does not know the Self to give up action entirely, therefore he ought not to abandon action (karma).

Is entire renunciation of action possible?
(Now, let us enquire): Is it because of the impossibility of entire abandonment of action that no one ought to renounce one's own (nature-born) duty, or is it because some sin accrues from the abandoning of the duty born with oneself?

Question: Now, of what good is this enquiry?
Answer: In the first place, if the duty born with oneself ought not to be abandoned (merely) because of the impossibility of renouncing action entirely, then it would follow that there can be nothing but merit in renouncing it entirely.

The Sankhya, Buddhistic and Vaiseshika theories

Objection: Yes; but an entire renunciation is not possible. Is the soul (Purusha) always mobile like the gunas of the Sankhyas? Or, is action itself the actor (soul), like the five Skandhas of the Buddhists, undergoing destruction every moment? In either case, an entire renunciation of action is impossible.
Now there is also a third theory: When the thing (soul) acts, then it is active; when it does not act, then it is actionless. Such being the case, it is possible to renounce action entirely. And there is this peculiarity in this theory: neither is the thing (soul) ever mobile, nor is action itself the actor (the soul); but it is a permanent fixed substance, wherein action which was non-existent before arises, and wherein action which has been existent ceases while the substance remains pure (actionless), with the potentiality (of the activity) in it, and as such forms the actor. Thus, say the followers of Kanada. What objection is there to this theory?

Refutation of the Vaiseshika theory

Answer: There is certainly this objection, that it is contrary to the Lord's teaching. How do you know? For, the Lord has said ‘there can be no existence of the non–existent’ (ii. 16) and so on. But according to the followers of Kanada, the non-existent comes into existence, and the existent becomes non-existent. Wherefore their theory is contrary to the Lord's teaching.
Objection: - How can it be objected to if it agrees with reason, though it may be opposed to the Lord's teaching?
Answer: We reply: This view is certainly objectionable, because it is opposed to all evidence. How? If a dvyanuka (an aggregate of two atoms) or other substance is absolutely non-existent before its production, and if, remaining for a time after production, it again becomes non-existent, then it follows that what was non-existent becomes existent, and what is existent will become nonexistent; that non-entity becomes an entity and an entity becomes non-entity. In that case it must be that a non-entity (abhava) which is to become an entity (bhava) is like a rabbit's horn before becoming an entity, and that it becomes an entity by the action of the threefold cause, - of the material, the non-material or accidental, and the efficient causes, (samavayi - asamavayi-nimitta-karanas). Now, it is not possible to hold (in the present case) that a non-entity is born and needs a cause; for, it does not apply to other non-entities, such as a rabbit's horn. If a pot or the like, which is to be produced (as an effect), be of the nature of an entity, then we can understand that when it is to be produced as an effect, it needs a cause so far merely as regards its manifestation. Moreover, if the non-existent should become existent and the existent should become nonexistent, then nobody can be certain as to anything whatsoever in matters of evidence and things ascertainable by evidence, inasmuch as there can be no certainty that the existent will continue to be existent and the non-existent will continue to be nonexistent.

Moreover, when they (the followers of Kanada) say that a dvyanuka or such other substance is produced as an eflect, they speak of it as connected with its cause and as existent. Having been non-existent before production, it becomes, in virtue of the operation of its cause, connected with that cause - the ultimate atoms - and with existence, by the relation known as samavaya, i.e., intimate or inseparable relation. When (thus) related, i.e., when it is inseparably connected with the cause, it becomes existent. Here they may be asked to explain how the non-existent can have a cause of its own. We cannot indeed think of a thing which can cause the birth of a barren woman's son or his relation to anything else.
Objection: The Vaiseshikas do not hold that the nonexistent is related to anything. It is substances, such as dvyanuka s, that are said to be intimately related to their causes.
Answer: No; because they are not supposed to exist prior to this relation. The Vaiseshikas do not argue that a pot or the like exists prior to the action of the potter, the potter's stick and wheel. Neither do they hold that clay assumes by itself the form of a pot. Wherefore, as the only other alternative, they have to admit that the non-existent (pot) becomes related (to the cause).

Objection: It is not opposed to reason to hold that, though non-existent, it may be related by samavaya or intimate relation (to the cause).
Answer: Not so; for, no such thing can be admitted in the case of a barren woman's son. If we are to hold that the antecedent Non-existence (pragabhava) of a pot or the like becomes related to the cause, but not the barren woman's son, notwithstanding that both are alike nonentities (abhava), it is necessary to show how one non-entity can be distinguished from the other. Non-existence of one, Non-existence of two, Non-existence of all, antecedent nonexistence (pragabhava), Non-existence after destruction (pradhvasambhava), mutual Nonexistence (anyonyabhava) absolute Non-existence (atyantabhava), - nobody can point out any definite distinction among these in themselves. In the absence of a distinction, it is unreasonable to hold that only the antecedent Non-existence of a pot becomes a pot through the action of a potter, etc., that it becomes related to a cause of its own, viz., the pot - shreds which are existent, that when thus related it can very well be spoken of as being produced and so on, but that such is not the case with regard to the Non-existence after destruction (pradhvasambhava) of the same pot, though both alike are non-existent. It is unreasonable to hold that other nonexistences (abhavas), such as Non-existence after destruction, can never become (an existent effect) and so on, whereas antecedent Non-existence alone, such as that of dvyanuka and the like substances, can become (an existent effect) and so on, though it is an abhava or non – existent quite as much as Non-existence after destruction or absolute Non-existence.
Objection: We do not hold that the non-existent becomes the existent.
Answer: Then the existent becomes existent, - for instance, a pot becomes a pot, a cloth becomes a cloth. This, too, is opposed to all evidence, like the theory that non-existent becomes existent.

Refutation of the Parinama-Vada

As the Parinama (transformation) theory of the Sankhyas, even that theory does not differ from the theory of the Vaiseshikas, inasmuch as it postulates the production of properties non-existent before, as well as their destruction. Even admitting their explanation that by manifestation or disappearance (an effect is said to come into existence or undergo destruction), the theory is all the same opposed to evidence, as may be found if we enquire whether the manifestation and disappearance are previously existent or non-existent. For the same reason, we have to condemn that theory also which says that production, etc., of an effect, are only different states of the cause itself.

The Lord's theory of illusion

As the only other alternative, there remains this theory, that the One Existence, the sole Reality, is by avidya, imagined variously, as so many things undergoing production, destruction and the like changes, like an actor on the stage. This doctrine of the Lord has been stated in ii. 16; the consciousness of the existent (sat) being constant and the consciousness of all the rest being inconstant.

The enlightened alone can renounce action entirely

Objection: Then, the Self being immutable, where is the impossibility of renouncing all action entirely?
Answer: Action is the property or attribute of the gunas, be they regarded as real things, or as things set up by avidya. It is ascribed to the Self through avidya, and it has therefore been said that no ignorant man (avidvan) can renounce action entirely even for a moment (iii. 5). On the other hand, he who knows the Self is able to renounce action entirely, inasmuch as avidya has been expelled by vidya or wisdom; for, there can be no residue left of what is ascribed by avidya. Indeed, no residue is left of the second moon created by the false vision of the timira-affected eye, even after the removal of timira. Such being the case, the statements contained in v. 13, xviii. 45, 46 are quite reasonable.

Perfection in Karma-Yoga leads to absolute Perfection
It has been said that the perfection reached by means of Karma-Yoga consists in becoming qualified for jnananishtha, the Path of Wisdom; and it is with a view to describe, as the fruit thereof, the naishkarmyasiddhi, - perfection in the form of absolute freedom from action, known as jnana-nishtha, - that the Lord now proceeds to teach as follows:

49. He whose reason is not attached anywhere, whose self is subdued, from whom desire has fled, he by renunciation attains the supreme state of freedom from action.
He whose reason (buddhi, antah-karana) is free from attachment to sons, wife, and other objects of attachment, whose self (antah-karana) is brought under his own control, from whom desire for the body, for life, and for pleasures has fled, - a person of this sort who knows the Self attains to the supreme perfection, to absolute freedom from action (naishkarmyasiddhi), by samnyasa. In virtue of his knowledge of the unity of the actionless (nishkriya) Brahman and the Self, all actions have fled from him. This is known as the state of absolute freedom from action; and it is a siddhi or perfection - Naishkarmyasiddhi may also mean the attainment (siddhi) of naishkarmya, the state in which one remains as the actionless Self. It is supreme as distinguished from the perfection attainable by Karma-Yoga; it is the state of immediate liberation (sadyo-mukti). This state is attained by samnyasa or right knowledge, - or better still, by the renunciation of all actions for which one is prepared by his right knowledge, and so says the Lord in v. 13. Now, the Lord proceeds to teach how a man who, having attained perfection (as described above in xviii. 46) by performing his duty (as taught above) in the service of the Lord, has come by the discriminative knowledge of the Self, can attain the perfection known as naishkarmya or absolute freedom from action, i.e., a firm unswerving stand in the knowledge of the pure Self.

50. How he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that in brief do thou learn from Me, O son of Kunti, that supreme consummation of knowledge.
The perfection he has already attained consists in the body and the senses being prepared for devotion to knowledge, as a result of the Grace of the Lord worshipped through his duty. Reference to this (perfection) serves as a prelude to what follows. - What is that perfection to which that reference forms a prelude? - It is the process of jnana-nishtha, or devotion to knowledge, by which he attains Brahman, the Supreme Self. That process, the way to the attainment of jnana-nishtha, do thou understand with certainty from my speech. Is it to be described at length? No, says the Lord; it will be described only in brief.

Absolute perfection is the consummation of Self-knowledge
What the attainment of Brahman - referred to in the words "how he reaches Brahman," is, the Lord proceeds to specify in the words "that supreme consummation of knowledge." Consummation (nishtha) means perfection, the final or highest stage.

Question: Consummation of what?
Answer: Of Brahma-jnana or knowledge of Brahman.
Question: Of what nature is the consummation of Brahma-jnana?
Answer: Of the same nature as Atmajnana or Self-knowledge.
Question: Of what nature is the Self-knowledge?
Answer: Of the same nature as the Self.
Question: Of what nature is the Self?
Answer: Of the nature described by the Lord and in the passages of the Upanishads, and (ascertainable) by nyaya or reasoning (upon the scriptural texts).

Is Self-knowledge possible at all?

Objection: Knowledge or cognition (jnana) is of the form of its object.
But it is nowhere admitted that the Self is an object of cognition or has a form.
Answer: The Self has a form, as taught in the scriptural passages, ‘In color like the sun’ (Sve. Up. 3-8); ‘Luminous in form’(Cha. Up. 3 - 14 - 2); ‘Self-luminous’ (Bri. Up. 4-3-9)
Objection: No; those passages are intended to remove the idea that the Self is of the nature of darkness (Tamas). When the Self is said to be neither of the form of a substance nor of an attribute, it would follow that the Self is of the nature of darkness: and the preventing of this idea is the aim of the descriptions such as ‘In color like the sun.’ Form is specifically denied, the Self being described as ‘formless’ (Katha - Up. 3 - 15). Neither is the Self an object of cognition, as taught in passages like the following: "His form stands not in (our) ken, nor can anyone see Him with the eye " (Sve. Up. 4 - 20); " Without sound and touch " (Katha - Up. 3 - 15). Wherefore it is wrong to speak of a cognition of the form of the Self. Such being the case, how can there be a cognition of the Self? Indeed, all cognition, whatever be its object, is of the form of that object. And it has been said that the Self is formless. If both the Self and the cognition thereof be formless, how is the constant meditation of Self-knowledge or the consummation thereof to be attained?

The Self reveals Himself in Pure Reason

Answer: Do not think so; for, it can be shown that the Self is extremely pure, extremely clear, and extremely subtle. And Buddhi (reason) being as pure, etc., as the Self, it can put on the semblance of that aspect of the Self which is manifested as consciousness. Manas puts on a semblance of Buddhi, the sense-organs put on a semblance of Manas, and the physical body again puts on a semblance of the sense-organs. Wherefore common people look upon the mere physical body as the Self. And the Lokayatikas (materialists) who argue that consciousness is a property of the physical body declare that the Purusha or Soul is identical with the physical body endued with consciousness. Similarly, others argue that consciousness is a property of the senses; others again argue that consciousness is a property of Buddhi. There are a few who hold that there is something within even beyond the Buddhi, viz., the Avyakta (the Unmanifested) also called the Avyakrita (the Undifferentiated), in the form of Avidya; and they say that the Avyakrita is the Self. Everywhere, from Buddhi down to the physical body, the cause of illusory identification of each with the Self is its wearing asemblance of the consciousness of the Self; and it is therefore unnecessary to impart directly a knowledge of the Self.
What then is necessary? What is necessary is the mereelimination of the not-Self associated with the Self, - names, forms and the like; but it is unnecessary to try and teach what the consciousness of the Self is like, inasmuch as it is invariably comprehended in association with all objects of perception which are set up by avidya. Accordingly, the Vijnanavadins, the Buddhistic Idealists, hold that there is nothing real except ideas, and that these ideas require no external evidence (to prove their existence), inasmuch as it is admitted that they are self-cognized. Therefore, we have only to eliminate what is falsely ascribed to Brahman by avidya; we have to make no more effort to acquire a knowledge of Brahman as He is quite self - evident. Though thus quite self - evident, easily knowable, quite near, and forming the very Self, Brahman appears - to the unenlightened, to those whose reason (Buddhi) is carried away by the differentiated phenomena of names and forms created by avidya - as unknown, difficult to know, very remote, as though He were a separate thing.

But to those whose reason (Buddhi) has turned away from external phenomena, who have secured the grace of the Guru and attained the serenity of the self (manas), there is nothing, nothing else so blissful, so well-known, so easily knowable, and quite so near as Brahman.
Accordingly, the knowledge of Brahman is said to be immediately comprehended and unopposed to dharma. fix. 2.) Some conceited philosophers hold that reason (Buddhi) cannot grasp the Self, as He is formless, and that therefore the Devotion of Right Knowledge is impossible of attainment.

True, it is unattainable to those who have not been properly initiated into the traditional knowledge by the Gurus (the Great Ones), who have not learned and studied the (teachings of the) Vedanta, whose intellect is quite engrossed in the external objects of senses, and who have not been trained in the right sources of knowledge. But, for those who are differently situated, (i.e., who have been duly initiated, etc.,), it is quite impossible to believe in the reality of the dual - the perceiver and the perceived – of our external perception, because they perceive no reality other than the consciousness of the Self. And we have shewn in the preceding sections that this - not the reverse - is the truth, and the Lord also has declared the same in ii.69. Wherefore it is only a cessation of the perception of the differentiated forms of the external world that can lead to a firm grasp of the real nature of the Self. For the Self is not a thing unknown to anybody at any time, is not a thing to be reached or got rid of or acquired. If the Self be quite unknown, all undertakings intended for the benefit of oneself would have no meaning. It is not, indeed, possible to imagine that they are for the benefit of the physical body or the like which has no consciousness; nor is it possible to imagine that pleasure is for pleasure's sake and pain is for pain's sake. It is, moreover, the Self-knowledge which is the aim of all endeavor. Wherefore, just as there is no need for an external evidence by which to know one's own body, so there is no need for an external evidence by which to know the Self who is even nearer than the body. Thus, it is clear that, to those who can discriminate, the Atma-jnana-nishtha (devotion to Self-knowledge) is easy of attainment.

Cognition and the Cogniser are self-revealed
Those also who hold that cognition (jnana) is formless and is not known by immediate perception must admit that, since an object of knowledge is apprehended through cognition, cognition is quite as immediately known as pleasure or the like.
Moreover, it cannot be maintained that cognition is a thing which one seeks to know. - If cognition were unknown, it would be a thing which has to be sought after just as an object of cognition is sought after. Just as, for example, a man seeks to reach by cognition the cognisable object such as a pot, so also would he have to seek to reach cognition by means of another cognition. But the fact is otherwise. Wherefore cognition is self - revealed, and therefore, also, is the cogniser self-revealed. Therefore it is not for the knowledge (of Brahman or the Self) that any effort is needed; it is needed only to prevent us from regarding the not-Self as the Self. Therefore, Devotion to Knowledge (jnana-nishtha) is easily attainable.

The Path to Absolute Perfection
How is this consummation of knowledge to be attained? Listen:

51. Endued with a pure reason, controlling the self with firmness, abandoning sound and other objects, and laying aside love and hatred.
Pure: free from illusion (maya), from doubt and misconception. Reason (buddhi): the determining faculty. The Self: the aggregate of the body and the senses. Abandoning etc., (as we should understand from the context) all superfluous luxuries, all objects except those only which are necessary for the bare maintenance of the body, and laying aside love and hatred even for those objects which appear necessary for the maintenance of the body. Then,

52. Resorting to a sequestered spot, eating but little, speech and body and mind subdued, always engaged in meditation and concentration, endued with dispassion.
Resorting, etc., ever accustomed to resort to such sequestered spots as a jungle, the sandbank of a river, the mountain - cave. Eating but little: as conducive to the serenity of thought by keeping off sleep and such other evils. This devotee of wisdom should also restrain his speech, body and mind. With all the senses thus quieted, he should always and devoutly practice Dhyana or meditation upon the nature of the Self, and Yoga or concentration of the mind on the Self. Always: this implies that he has to do nothing else, no mantrajapa (repetition of chants or mystic formulae), etc. Dispassion: absence of desire for visible and invisible objects. This should be a constant attitude of the mind. Moreover,

53. Having abandoned egotism, strength, arrogance, desire, enmity, property, free from the notion of "mine," and peaceful, he is fit for becoming Brahman.
Egotism: identifying the Self with the body, etc., Strength: that strength which is combined with passion and desire, but not the physical or any other strength: the latter being natural, its abandonment is not possible. Arrogance: which follows the State of exultation and leads to the transgression of dharma, as said in the smriti: “When a man exults, he becomes arrogant, and when he becomes arrogant, he transgresses dharma” - (Apastamba-Dharmasutra, 1 - 13 - 4). Property: though a man is free from all passions of the mind and the senses, he may own so much of external belongings as is necessary for bodily sustenance and for the observance of his duties (dharma); but even this the aspirant abandons; i.e., he becomes a Paramahamsa - Parivrajaka, a samnyasin of the fourth or highest order. He does not regard even the bodily life as his. Peaceful: free from exultation and care. Such a devotee of wisdom is fit to become Brahman.

The consummation of Knowledge attained by Devotion
In this way,

54. Becoming Brahman, of serene self, he neither grieves nor desires, treating all beings alike; he attains supreme devotion to Me.
He who has reached Brahman and attained self–serenity does not grieve regarding his failure to accomplish an object or regarding his wants. It is not indeed possible to suppose that he who knows Brahman can have a longing for any object unattained therefore the words "he neither grieves nor desires" is tantamount to saying that such is the nature of the man who has become Brahman. Another reading makes the passage mean " he neither grieves nor exults." Treating all beings alike: he regards the pleasure and pain of all creatures equally with his own, (i.e., that they would affect them just as they affect himself). It is not meant here that he sees the identity of the Self in all, as this will be mentioned in the next verse. - Such a devotee to wisdom attains highest devotion to Me, the Supreme Lord, the fourth or the highest of the four kinds of devotion, vis., the Devotion of Knowledge, spoken of in vii. 16. Then,

55. By Devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; then, knowing Me in truth, he forthwith enters into Me.
By Bhakti, by the Devotion of Knowledge he knows Me as I am in the divers manifestations caused by upadhis. He knows who I am, he knows that I am devoid of all the differences caused by the upadhis, that I am the Supreme Purusha, that I am like unto akasa; he knows Me to be non-dual, the one Consciousness (Chaitanya), pure and, simple, unborn, undecaying, undying, fearless, deathless. Thus, knowing Me in truth, he enters into Myself immediately after attaining knowledge. It is not meant here that the act of knowing and the act of entering are two distinct acts. What then is the act of entering? It is the knowledge itself; for, there is nothing to be effected (by knowledge) other than itself, as the Lord has taught, " Do thou also know Me as Kshetrajna." (xiii. 2).

Objection: The statement that "by the supreme devotion of knowledge he knows Me," involves a contradiction. How? Thus: when the knowledge of a Certain object arises in the knower, then and then alone the knower knows that object; no devotion to that knowledge, no repetition of the knowledge is necessary. Therefore, the statement that "he knows Me, not by knowledge, but by devotion to knowledge, by a repetition of knowledge," involves a contradiction.
Answer: This objection does not apply here; for, the word "devotion (nishtha)" means that the knowledge aided by all the favorable conditions of its rise and development and freed from obstacles culminates in a firm conviction by one's own experience. When the knowledge of the unity of the individual Self (Kshetrajna) and the Supreme Self (Paramatman), generated by the teachings of the Scriptures and the master under conditions favorable to the rise and ripening of that knowledge - viz., purity of mind, humility and other attributes (xiii. 7, et seq.), - and accompanied with the renunciation of all works which are associated with the idea of distinctions such as the agent and other factors of action, culminates in a firm conviction by one's own experience, then the knowledge is said to have attained supreme consummation. This jnana-nishtha (Devotion of Knowledge) is referred to as the Supreme or fourth kind of Devotion, Bhakti (vii. 17), - supreme as compared with the remaining three kinds of Devotion, with that of the distressed, etc., (vii. 16). By this supreme devotion the aspirant knows the Lord as He is, and immediately afterwards all consciousness of difference between the Isvara and the Kshetrajna disappears altogether. Thus there is no contradiction involved in the statement that “by the Devotion of Knowledge (the aspirant knows) Me.”

Renunciation of all works is necessary for absolute perfection

Then alone can the well - ascertained teaching of all scriptures - viz. the Upanishads, Itihasas, Puranas and Smritis - enjoining retirement have a meaning. The scriptural texts are such as the following:
“Knowing It, they renounce and lead a mendicant life.” - (Bri. Up. 3 - 5 - 9). “Wherefore they say that renunciation is excellent among these austerities.” - (Yajniki - Up. 79). "Renunciation excels." - (Ibid. 78). "Samnyasa is the renunciation of actions." "Having abandoned Vedas, this world and the next," etc. - (Apastamba-dharmasutra, 2 - 23 - 13). "Renounce dharma and a-dharma." And so on. Here, in the Gita also, passages of similar import (such as v. 12) occur. It cannot be held that these passages are meaningless. Nor can it be held that they are arthavadas, mere explanatory or incidental remarks (not meant as obligatory injunctions); for, they occur in the sections which specially treat of renunciation. Moreover, (renunciation of works is necessary) because Moksha consists in the realization of the immutability of one's own Inner Self. He who wishes to reach the eastern sea should not indeed travel in the opposite direction, i.e., by the same road that the man who wishes to go to the western sea chooses. And the Devotion of Knowledge (jnana-nishta) consists in an intent effort to establish a continuous, current of the idea of the Inner Self (Pratyagatman); and there would be a conflict if that devotion were to be conjoined with ritual (karma), which is like going towards the western sea. It is a firm conviction of philosophers that the difference between the two is as wide as that between a mountain and a mustard seed. Hence the conclusion that the Devotion of Knowledge (jnana-nishtha) should be practiced by renouncing all action.

Devotion to the Lord by works enjoined
The perfection accruing as the fruit of that Bhakti–Yoga which consists in worshipping the Lord through one's own duties qualifies the aspirant for the Devotion of Knowledge which culminates in moksha. This Bhakti - Yoga, the Yoga of Devotion to the Lord, is extolled here, in this section which sums up the teaching of the sastra, with a view to firmly impress that teaching.

56. Doing continually all actions whatsoever, taking refuge in Me, - by My Grace he reaches the eternal undecaying Abode.
Doing all actions including even the prohibited actions, whoso seeks refuge in Me, Vasudeva, the Lord, with his whole self-centered in Me, reaches the eternal Abode of Vishnu by the Grace of the Lord. Wherefore,

57. Mentally resigning all deeds to Me, regarding Me as the Supreme, resorting to mental concentration, do thou ever fix thy heart in Me.
Mentally: with discriminative faith. All actions: producing visible and invisible results. Me: the Lord. As taught in ix. 27, do thou dedicate all thy actions to Me. Regarding: regarding Me, Vasudeva, as the highest goal; his whole self-centered in Me. Resorting, etc., resorting to the Buddhi - Yoga (samahita-buddhitva, steady-mindedness, firm faith) as thy sole refuge.

58. Fixing thy heart in Me, thou shalt, by My Grace, cross over all difficulties; but if from egotism thou wilt not hear (Me), thou shalt perish.
Difficulties: the impassable obstacles arising from (avidya), the cause of Samsara. Egotism: the idea that thou art a learned man. If thou wilt not abide by my advice, then thou shalt be ruined. Neither shouldst thou think, “I am independent; why should I obey the dictates of another.”?

59. If, indulging egotism, thou thinkest ‘I will not fight,’ vain is this, thy resolve; nature will constrain thee.
Thinkest, resolvest. Vain: for, thy nature as a Kshatriya will constrain thee to do so. Also because,

60. Bound (as thou art), O son of Kunti, by thy own nature - born act, that which from delusion thou likest not to do, thou shalt do, though against thy will.
Nature-born: such as prowess, etc., mentioned above (xviii. 43). Against thy will: in subjection to some external force. For,

61. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, whirling by Maya all beings (as if) mounted on a machine.
The Lord (lsvara): the Ruler, Narayana. Arjuna. pure in the internal self, of a pure antahkarana. The word “Arjuna” is used in the sense of ‘pure’ in the Big-Veda. “The dark day and the light day.” (6-9-1). He causes all beings to revolve as if – ‘as if’ being understood - mounted on machines, like wooded dolls mounted on a machine. By Maya: by causing illusion. ‘Whirling’ should be construed with ‘dwells.’

62. Fly unto Him for refuge with all thy being, O Bharata; by His Grace shall thou obtain supreme peace (and) the eternal resting place.
Seek thou that Lord as thy sole Refuge with thy whole being for relief from the distress of samsara. Then, by His Grace, thou shalt obtain supreme peace and attain to My – i.e., Vishnu’s - Supreme Eternal Abode.

63. Thus has wisdom, more secret than all that is secret, been declared to thee by Me; reflect. thou over it all and act as thou pleasest.
Me: the Omniscient Lord. It: the Sastra, the teaching declared above. All: everything that has been taught.

Devotion to the Lord is the Secret of success in Karma-Yoga
Listen to what I am again going to say:

64. Hear thou again My word supreme, the most secret of all; because thou art My firm friend, therefore will I tell thee what is good.
Again: though it has been more than once declared. I do not tell thee either from fear or from hope of reward; thou art My firm friend, thou art ever beloved of Me; and for this reason, I shall tell thee of the supreme good, the means of attaining knowledge. This last is, indeed, the highest of all kinds of good. What is it? The Lord says:

65. Fix thy thought on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, do homage to Me. Thou shalt reach Myself. The truth do I declare to thee; (for) thou art dear to Me.
Thou shalt reach Myself: thus acting - i.e., looking up to Vasudeva alone as thy aim, means, and end - thou shalt come to Me. In this matter I make a solemn promise. The meaning of the verse is this: Thus, knowing that the Lord's declarations are true, and being convinced that moksha is a necessary result of devotion to the Lord, one should look to the Lord as the highest and sole Refuge.

Right Knowledge and Renunciation
Having taught in conclusion that the supreme secret of the Devotion of Karma-Yoga, is the regarding of the Lord as the sole Refuge, the Lord now proceeds to speak of the Right Knowledge, the fruit of the Devotion of Karma-Yoga, as taught in the essential portions of all the Vedantas (Upanishads):

66. Abandoning all righteous deeds, seek Me as thy sole Refuge; I will liberate thee from all sins; do thou not grieve.
Righteous deeds (dharma): including unrighteous deeds (a-dharma) also, since naishkarmya or freedom from all action is intended to be taught here. Here may be cited such passages of the sruti and the smriti as the following: " Not he who has not abstained from evil deed.. can attain It." - (Katha - Up. 1 - 2 - 24) “Abandon dharma and a-dharma.” So, the passage means “renouncing all works.” Me alone: the Isvara, the Self of all, dwelling the same in all. Seek Me as thy sole Refuge: in the belief “I myself am that: Isvara;” i.e., do thou understand that there is naught else except Me. When thou art firm in this faith, I shall liberate thee from all sins, from all bonds of dharma and a-dharma, by manifesting Myself as thy own Self. So, it has been already said here, "I destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the luminous lamp of wisdom, abiding in their self." - (x. II.) Wherefore do thou not grieve.

What is the means to the Highest Bliss, Knowledge or Works?

What has been determined in this Gita-sastra as the means of attaining the Highest Bliss (nis - sreyasa)? Is it Knowledge (Jnana), or Works (Karma), or both together? Whence this doubt? It has been said " Knowing which one attains the Immortal" (xiii. 12), and "Then knowing Me in truth, he forthwith enters into Me" (xiii. 55): these and other passages teach that the Highest Bliss is attained by mere knowledge. Such passages again as "Thy concern is with action alone" (ii. 47), and "Do thou also perform action," (iv. 15), teach that performance of works is quite obligatory. Since it has been taught that both knowledge and works are obligatory, there may arise a doubt as to whether also the two conjoined may not constitute the means to the Highest Bliss. What is the good of this enquiry at all? It is this, viz., to determine which one of them forms the means to the Highest Bliss. Wherefore, the subject is very wide and is worth investigating.

Self-Knowledge alone is the means to the Highest Bliss

Pure Self-knowledge alone is the means to the Highest Bliss; for, as removing the notion of variety, it culminates in liberation (kaivalya). Avidya is the perception of variety involving actions, factors of action, and the ends of actions. It is always present in the Self. " Mine is action; I am the agent; I do this act for such and such a result:" in this form, avidya has been active in time without a beginning. The remover of this avidya is the knowledge of the Self arising in the following form, "Here I am, free, a non - agent, actionless, devoid of results"; for such a knowledge removes the notion of variety which causes one to engage in action. - The word " alone " (in the opening line of this paragraph) is intended to exclude the two other alternatives: neither by works alone, nor by works and knowledge conjoined together, is the Highest Bliss attained. Since, moreover, the Highest Bliss is not an effect to be accomplished by action, works cannot be the means to it. Indeed, the Eternal Reality is not produced either by knowledge or by works.

Objection: Then, even the pure knowledge serves no purpose!
Answer: Not so; for, by removing avidya, it culminates in emancipation, which is a visible result. We know from experience that knowledge which removes the darkness of avidya culminates in emancipation as its result; for instance, in the case of a rope (mistaken for a serpent), as soon as the light of the lamp removes the darkness which caused the error, the rope is no longer mistaken for a serpent. The result of illumination culminates indeed in the emancipation of the rope, in freeing the rope from the various mistaken notions of serpent, etc., which then cease altogether. So, too, as regards the Self-knowledge.

Knowledge cannot be conjoined with Works
Now, when the agent and other factors of action are operating in the act of cutting or in the act of churning fire, - each act producing a visible result, they cannot (at the same time) operate in another act productive of another result different from severance or the kindling of a fire; so also when the agent and other factors of action are concerned in the act of knowledge - devotion (jnana-nishtha), whereof alike the result is visible, they cannot at the same time operate to bring about another act productive of a result other than the emancipation of the Self. Wherefore, the Devotion of Knowledge cannot be conjoined with works.

Objection: They may be conjoined, just as the act of eating and the acts of fire - worship (agnihotra), etc., are conjoined.
Answer: No; for, emancipation being the result of knowledge, (the devotee of knowledge) cannot desire the result of works. When there is an all-spreading flood of water close by nobody would ever think of constructing wells and tanks to any purpose. So also when knowledge leading to emancipation as its result has been attained, nobody would ever desire any other result or seek to do an act by which to obtain that other result. He who is engaged in an act by which he hopes to acquire a whole kingdom will not certainly engage in an act which can at best secure for him a piece of land, nor will he cherish a desire for it. Therefore, - works are not the means to the Highest Bliss. Neither is a conjunction of knowledge and works possible. Nor can it be held that knowledge which leads to emancipation requires the aid of works; for, as removing avidya, knowledge is opposed to works. Indeed, darkness cannot remove darkness. Therefore, knowledge alone is the means to the Highest Bliss.

Refutation of the theory that salvation is attained by works alone

Objection: No. For, by neglect of nitya or obligatory works one incurs sin (pratyavaaya); and kaivalya or emancipation is eternal.
To explain: It is wrong to say that emancipation is attained by knowledge alone; for, by neglect of the nitya-karma or obligatory works enjoined in the sruti, a man incurs sin which leads him to hell, etc.
Counter-objection: Thus, then, since moksha is not to be attained by works, there can be no hope of attaining moksha at all.
Rejoinder: There is no room for any such objection, inasmuch as moksha is eternal. The sin of omission (pratyavaya) is avoided by the observance of the nitya-karma or obligatory works; by avoiding the prohibited acts, no obnoxious bodies are generated; by avoiding the kamya – karma or interested acts no desirable body either is generated; and when the present body perishes on the exhaustion of the fruits of the works which have given rise to the body, no more causes 'then exist which can generate another body; and when attachment and other passions are expunged from the heart, the emancipation of the Self - i.e., the realization by the Self of His own true nature - is attained without any effort.
Counter-objection: Those of the acts done in the past innumerable births, which have not yet begun their effects, and of which some lead to heaven and others to hell, and so on, have not been extinguished, because their effects have not been enjoyed.
Rejoinder: No; for we argue that the fruits of those works are reaped in the form of the trouble and pain involved in the performance of the nitya-karma. Or, the nitya-karma may, like the prayaschitta or expiatory act, serve to destroy past sins. The works which have begun their effects being exhausted by the enjoyment of their fruits, and no new works being undertaken, it follows that emancipation is attained without any effort.
Answer: No; for the sruti says that there exists no other road to moksha than knowledge: “Knowing Him alone, one crosses beyond death; there exists no other road to the Abode” (Svet. Up. 3 - 8). The Sruti says, further, that moksha is as impossible for the unwise man as it is impossible for men to compress the akasa like leather (Ibid. 6 - 20). And the Puranic tradition also says that ‘one attains emancipation by knowledge.’ Moreover, the good deeds (punya-karma) which have not yet begun their effects cannot be said to have been exhausted. Just as the existence of sins which have not begun their effects is possible, so also the existence of good (punya) deeds which have not yet begun their effects is possible; and as these cannot be exhausted without generating another body, moksha is not possible. Neither is it possible to generate no new merit and demerit (dharma and adharma in this body), inasmuch as destruction of love and hatred and delusion which lead to acts of merit and demerit cannot be effected except by means of Self-knowledge. Because the sruti says that the nitya-karma produces merit (punya) as its result, and because the smriti says that, by performing their proper duties, the several castes and orders attain to a high immeasurable happiness, the exhaustion of works is not possible.

Refutation of the theory that the Nitya Karma leads to no future births

Now, as to the contention: As painful in itself, the nityakarma is itself the fruit of sinful deeds committed in the past; apart from itself, the nitya-karma bears no distinct fruit, because the sruti speaks nowhere of its fruits, the mere circumstance of a man being alive forming a sufficient ground for its necessary performance. We say, no; for, it is impossible for those deeds to yield their fruits which have not yet begun to work out their effects. Neither can there be any variety in the pain (involved in the performance of the nitya-karma).
To explain: It is wrong to say that the fruits of the sinful deeds committed in the past births are reaped in the form of the trouble and pain involved in the performance of the nityakarma. We cannot indeed understand how the fruit of the deeds which did not sprout up for fruition at the time of death can be reaped in the birth caused by another set of deeds. Otherwise, there would be nothing unreasonable in the supposition that infernal suffering is possible in the very birth that has been generated by Agnihotra (firesacrifice) for the enjoyment of the fruit thereof i.e., for the enjoyment of heaven (svarga).

Moreover, the pain involved in the performance of the nitya-karma cannot answer to that variety of suffering (which should result from the variety) of acts of sin. While many acts of sin productive of as many distinct kinds of suffering may possibly exist, to suppose that their effects consist in the mere trouble and pain involved in the observance of the nitya-karma would lead to the further supposition - which it is impossible to hold - that the suffering inflicted by the pairs of opposites, diseases and the like, has no cause of its own, and that the trouble and pain involved in the observance of the nitya-karma is alone the effect of past sins, but not the pain of carrying stones on the head or the like.

Besides, it is irrelevant to say that the trouble and pain involved in the observance of the nitya-karma constitutes the result of the sinful, deeds done in the past. - How? - It has been urged that no extinction of the past sin which has not begun to bear fruit is possible; whereas you say that the fruit of the deed which has begun to bear fruit - not the fruit of the deed which has not begun to bear fruit - is reaped in the form of the trouble and pain involved in the observance of the nitya-karma. If, on the other hand, you mean that the whole sin committed in the past has begun to bear fruit, then there is no ground for the specification that the mere trouble and pain involved in the observance of the nityakarma are the fruits (of those sinful deeds which have not begun to produce their effects). It would then also follow that the enjoining of the nitya-karma has no purpose to serve; for, the sinful deeds which have begun their effects can be extinguished by merely undergoing the effects so produced.

Moreover, if pain be the result of the nitya-karma enjoined in the sruti, that pain may arise from the trouble involved in the observance of the nitya-karma itself as from any other active exercise: it is therefore unreasonable to suppose that it is the result of another action. Again, as enjoined on a man on the mere ground of his being alive, the nitya-karma cannot be, any more than a prayaschitta or expiatory act, the effect of sins committed in the past. An expiatory act, enjoined by reason of a certain act of sin having been committed, is not the fruit of that sinful act. If, on the other hand, the pain of the expiatory act be the effect of the very sinful act which forms its occasion, then, it would follow that the trouble and pain involved in the performance of the nitya – karma occasioned by the man's being alive, etc., is the effect of that very state of being alive which has occasioned the necessity; the nityakarma and prayaschitta being alike necessitated by the particular occasions respectively.

Moreover, the trouble and pain involved in the per formance of a nitya - agnihotra (five - worship done as a duty and a kamya-agnihotra (fire-worship done with a motive) being equal, and no special reason being found as to why the trouble and pain involved in the performance of the nitya-karma alone should constitute the result of sins committed in the past, but not the trouble and pain involve in the performance of the kamya-karma, it would follow that the latter also is the result of sins committed in the past. Such being the case, it is wrong to infer, on the ground of consistency (arthapatti), that because no mention is made in the sruti of the nitya-karma's results and because the injunction thereof is otherwise inexplicable, the trouble and pain involved in the performance of the nitya-karma is the result of sins committed in the past. The injunction being otherwise inexplicable, we should even infer that the nitya-karma is productive of results distinct from the pain and trouble involved in its performance. The opponent is also guilty of inconsistency. When is once admitted that through the performance of the nitya-karma the fruit of another deed is reaped, this reaping forms itself the fruit of the nitya-karma, and it is therefore inconsistent to hold at the same time that the nitya – karma produces no fruits of its own. Moreover, when the kamya-agnihotra is performed, the nitya-agnihotra is also said to have been performed simultaneously, as included in that self-same act; and therefore, the fruit of the kamya-agnihotra should become exhausted with the trouble and pain involved in the nitya-agnihotra, inasmuch as the kamya-agnihotra is not a distinct act from the nitya-agnihotra. If, on the other hand, the effect of the kamya-agnihotra be something distinct, such as svarga, then it would follow that the trouble and pain of its performance must also be distinct; but it is not so, for it is opposed to facts. In point of fact, the trouble and pain involved in the performance of the nitya-karma is not distinct from that of the kamya-karma. Furthermore, an action which is neither enjoined nor prohibited (in the sruti) is productive of immediate results; but an act which is enjoined or prohibited by the sastra cannot be productive of immediate result. If this latter were productive of immediate results, then no effort would be made with a view to attain an unseen result, even though it be svarga or the like, so long as it is held that in the case of Agnihotra or the like-despite the absence of all distinction in the nature of the Act-the fruits of the act when performed as a nityakarma are reaped in the form of the mere trouble and pain - involved in its performance, whereas when performed as a kamya-karma the self-same act produces a superior result - such as svarga merely because there is a longing for its results, although the latter act is not superior to the former in any of the subsidiary parts in the mode of performance. Wherefore it is in no way reasonable to contend that the nitya-karma does not lead to results in the unseen future.

The Paths of Knowledge and Works are meant for distinct classes of aspirants

So, knowledge alone can cause total destruction of good or evil deeds caused by avidya - not the performance of the nitya-karma. For, avidya and kama (nescience and desire) constitute the seed of all action. Accordingly, it has been declared that Karma-Yoga pertains to the ignorant and that Jnana-nishtha or knowledge - devotion accompanied with renunciation of all works pertains to the wise. Vide ii. ig, 21; iii. 3, 26, 28; v. 8, 13; vii. 18; ix. 21, 22; X. 10. From the last verse here quoted it should be inferred that ignorant men who are devoted to action cannot approach the Lord. And therefore, notwithstanding that ignorant men, who are followers of works, are most devout, rendering service to the Lord, they resort only to one of the several paths mentioned (xii. 6 - 1 1) in their descending order, the lowest of them being that which consists in abandoning the fruits of action. But as regards those who are devoted to the Undefinable and the Indestructible, the attributes, they cultivate are mentioned m xii. 13 - 20; and their path of knowledge is also described in the three discourses commencing with the (thirteenth) discourse on the Kshetra. The triple result of action. - such as the evil, good and mixed fruit, - (xviii. 12) does not accrue to those who have renounced all works generated by the five causes such as the body (xviii. 14), who know that the Self is one and non-agent, who are engaged in the higher devotion of knowledge, who have known the true nature of the Lord, - to the Paramahamsa - Parivrajakas (i.e., the samnyasins of the fourth or highest order) who have obtained refuge in the unity of the Self and the Divine Being. But it does accrue to others who are ignorant, who follow the path of works, who are not samnyasins. Thus, should we assign the paths of duty taught in the Gitasastra.

Action is a creature of Avidya
Objection: It cannot be proved that all action is caused by avidya.
Answer: No; it can be proved, as in the case of brahmanicide (brahmahatya). - The nityakarma is no doubt taught in the sastra; but it concerns the ignorant alone. Just as the act of brahmanicide, which, as prohibited in the sastra, is known to be a source of evil, is committed only by him who is ignorant and influenced by passion and other evil tendencies, - his concern in it being otherwise inexplicable - so also, all nitya, naimittika, and kamya karmas, i.e., all works comprising the constant and occasional duties as well as all interested sacrificial rites, concern only him who is ignorant (of the Self).
Objection: So long as it is not known that the Self is distinct from the body, it is not likely that any man would undertake to perform the nitya-karma, etc.
Answer: Not so; for, we see that a man engages in an act thinking "I do" the act, which, being of the nature of motion, is really done by the agency of the not-Self, (of the body, etc.).
Question: The regarding of the aggregate of the body, etc., as the Self is only a gauna- pratyaya or a figuratively expressed notion; it is not an illusion (mithya).
Answer: Not so; for, then its effects, too, must be gauna, must have been figuratively spoken of.
To explain the objection: When we speak of the aggregate of the body, etc., - which are things belonging to the Self, - as the Self, our words should be understood in a figurative sense, as when, for instance, addressing the father the sruti says “thyself art he who is spoken of as thy son.” In common parlance, too, we say “this cow is my very life.” In the present case there is certainly no mithyapratyaya or illusory notion. It is only when the distinction between the two is not perceived, - as when a pillar is mistaken for a man, that we have an instance of illusion.
To explain the answer: Not so. A gauna-pratyaya cannot lead to a real effect; for, a figurative expression, - the sign of similarity being understood, is merely intended to extol the subject. For example, such expressions as “Devadatta is a lion” and “the student is fire” are intended merely to extol the subjects, Devadatta and the student, because of their respective resemblance to the lion and fire in point of fierceness and yellowishness; but no effect of the existence of a real lion or of a real fire is accomplished in virtue of that figurative expression or idea. On the other hand, one actually experiences the evil effects of an illusory notion. Furthermore, one knows what the subject in reality is when it is figuratively spoken of as some other thing; one knows that Devadatta is no lion and that the student is no fire.

So also, if the bodily aggregate be figuratively spoken of as the Self, the act done by the bodily aggregate would not be regarded as an act done in reality by the Self, by the real subject of the notion " I." Indeed, no act done by a gauna (figurative) lion or fire can become an act done by a real lion or fire. Neither is any purpose whatever of an actual lion or fire served by fierceness or yellowishness, it being merely intended to extol (the subject). Moreover, he who is thus praised knows that he is not a lion, that he is not fire; he never regards an act of a lion or of fire as his. So, (if, in the present case, the bodily aggregate were figuratively spoken of as the Self), one would think rather that the act of the (bodily) aggregate "is not mine," i.e., not the real Self's, than that "I am the agent, mine is the action." And as regards the theory that the Self actually does an act, - his memory, desire and effort forming causes of action, - we say that such is not the case, because they proceed from illusion. In fact, memory, desire and effort proceed from impressions produced by the experience of desirable and undesirable effects of actions set up by illusion. Just as in this birth dharma and a-dharma and the experience of their fruits are due to the identifying of the Self with the aggregate of the body, etc., to affection and aversion and so on, so also in the last previous birth and in the birth previous to that, and so on. Thus, we are to infer that samsara, past and future, is caused by avidya and is without a beginning. Wherefore it follows that the final cessation of Samsara is attained through devotion to knowledge accompanied with renunciation of all works. Because attachment to the body is an aspect of avidya, therefore, when avidya ceases, the body also must cease to be, and then samsara necessarily ceases. - The identifying of the Self with the aggregate of the body, etc., is an aspect of avidya; for, nobody in the world who knows that he is distinct from a cow, etc., and that the cow, etc., are distinct from him, regards them as himself.

Only an ignorant man identifies the Self with the aggregate of the body, etc., for want of discrimination, in the same way that one mistakes the branchless trunk of a tree for a man; - but not he who knows the truth by discrimination. As to the son being spoken of as the father himself in the sruti, "thyself art he who is spoken of as thy son," it is a gauna-pratyaya, a figuratively expressed notion, because of their relation as the generator and the offspring. By what is only figuratively spoken of as the Self, no real purposes of the true Self can be accomplished, any more than the son can eat for the father. No real purposes, for instance, of a real lion and a real fire can be achieved by what are only figuratively spoken of as a lion and fire.

Objection: Since the scriptural ordinances are of undisputed authority in the transcendental matters, the purposes of the Self can certainly be achieved by what are figuratively spoken of as the Self - viz., the body, the senses, and so on.
Answer: No; for, they are selfs set up by avidya. The body and the senses and the like are not figuratively spoken of as the Self. On the other hand, being really not - Self, they are regarded as selfs by illusion; for, they are regarded as the Self so long as there is illusion, and they cease to be regarded as the Self when illusion disappears. It is only children, the ignorant people, who, for want of knowledge, think, "I am tall, I am yellowish," and thus regard the aggregate of the body, etc., as the Self. On the other hand, those who can discriminate and understand that “I am distinct from the aggregate of the body,” etc., do not identify themselves with the aggregate of the body, etc. This notion of identity is therefore - because it does not exist in the absence of Illusion - caused by illusion; and it is not a gauna-pratyaya. It is only when similarity and difference are distinctly seen between two things - as between a lion and Devadatta, or between a student and fire, - that those two things may be figuratively spoken of in word as identical or so regarded in thought, but not when similarity and difference are not perceived. And as regards the appeal made to the authority of Sruti, we say that no such appeal should be made, inasmuch as sruti is an authority in transcendental matters, in matters lying beyond the bounds of human knowledge.

Sruti is an authority only in matters not perceived by means of ordinary instruments of knowledge, such as pratyaksha or immediate perception; - i.e., it is an authority as to the mutual relation of things as means to ends, but not in matters lying within the range of pratyaksha; indeed, sruti is intended as an authority only for knowing what lies beyond the range of human knowledge. Wherefore it is not possible to suppose that the notion of " I " which arises in connection with the aggregate of the body, etc., and which is evidently due to illusion, is only a figurative idea. A hundred srutis may declare that fire is cold or that it is dark; still they possess no authority in the matter. If sruti should at all declare that fire is cold or that it is dark, we would still suppose that it intends quite a different meaning from the apparent one; for, its authority cannot otherwise be maintained; we should in no way attach to sruti a meaning which is opposed to other authorities or to its own declaration.

The theory of Avidya does not militate against the authority of Karma-Kanda

Objection: As a man does an action only when he is subject to illusion, it would follow that when he ceases to be an agent the sruti (which treats of works) would prove false.
Answer: No; for, sruti is still true in the matter of Brahma-vidya.
Objection: If the sruti which treats of works should be no authority, the sruti which teaches Brahmavidya, too, can be no authority.
Answer: Not so; for, there can arise no notion that can remove (Brahmavidya). The notion that the Self is identical with the aggregate of the body, etc., is removed when the true nature of the Self is known from the sruti which teaches Brahmavidya; but not so can this knowledge of the true Self be ever removed in any way by anything whatsoever: for, knowledge of the Self is necessarily associated with its result (i.e., the absence of avidya) like the knowledge that fire is hot and luminous. Our theory, moreover, does not drive us to the conclusion that the sruti teaching works proves useless; for, by restraining the first natural activities one by one and thereby gradually inducing fresh and higher activities, it serves to create an aspiration to reach the Innermost Self. Though the means is mithya or illusory, still it is true, because the end is true, as in the case of the arthavadas or explanatory statements subsidiary to a main injunction. And even in ordinary affairs, when we have to induce a child or a lunatic to drink milk or the like, we have to tell him that thereby his hair will grow, and so on. Or, we may even argue that the sruti treating of works is an authority in itself under other circumstances (i.e., before the attainment of Self-knowledge), just as pratyaksha or sense–perception caused by attachment to the body is held to be authoritative prior to (the attainment of) Self-knowledge.

Refutation of the theory of the Self's agency by mere presence

Another theory runs as follows: Though not directly engaged in action, the Self does act by mere presence. This by itself constitutes the real agency of the Self. A king, for instance, though himself not acting, is said to fight when his soldiers fight, in virtue of his mere presence, and he is said to be victorious or defeated. Similarly, the commander of an army acts by mere word. And we find that the king and the commander are connected with the results of the act. To take another example: the acts of the ritviks or officiating priests are supposed to belong to the yajamana or sacrificer. So the acts of the body, etc., we may hold, are done by the Self, inasmuch as their results accrue to the Self. To take yet another example: since the loadstone or magnet makes a piece of iron revolve, real agency may rest with what is not actually engaged in an act. And so also in the case of the Self.

We reply: It is not right to say so; for it would be tantamount to saying that that which does not act is - a, karaka or an agent.
The opponent says: Yes, karaka or agency may be of various kinds.
We reply: No; for, we find that the king, etc., (as instanced above), are direct agents also. In the first place, the king may be personally engaged in fighting. He is a direct agent as causing others to fight, as paying them wages, and also as reaping the fruits accruing from success and defeat.
The sacrificer, too, is a real agent as offering the main oblation and as giving presents. Wherefore, we should understand that to speak, by courtesy, of a man as an agent when he is not actually engaged, amounts to a figure of speech. If real agency, which consists in one being actually engaged in the act, were not found in the case of such agents as the king and the sacrificer, then we might suppose that even agency by mere presence constitutes real agency, as in the case of a magnet causing a piece of iron to revolve. On the contrary, we do find the king and the sacrificer actually engaged in some acts.
Wherefore agency by mere presence is merely a gauna or figurative agency. Such being the case, even the connection with results can only be gauna or unreal. By a gauna or figurative agent no real action is performed. Therefore it is quite unreasonable to say that the activity of the body, etc., makes the actionless Self a real doer and enjoyer.

The theory of Avidya concluded

But all this becomes explicable when traced to illusion as its cause, as in the case of dreams and the juggler's art (maya). And no agency or enjoyer-ship or any other evil of the sort is experienced in sleep, samadhi and similar states in which there is a break in the continuity of the illusory notions identifying the Self with the body, etc. Wherefore the illusion of samsara is due solely to an illusory notion and is not absolutely real. Therefore we conclude that Right Knowledge conduces to absolute cessation of Samsara.

Qualification for instruction in the Gita Doctrine

Having concluded the whole doctrine of the Gita – sastra in this discourse, and having also briefly and conclusively stated the doctrine especially here at the end to impress it the more firmly, the Lord proceeds now to state the rule as to the handing down of the instruction.

67. This (which has been taught) to thee is never to be taught to one who is devoid of austerities, nor to one who is not devoted, nor to one who does not do service, nor to one who speaks ill of Me.
This sastra has been taught to you by Me for your good, for the destruction of Samsara. Not devoted: without devotion to the Guru and to the Deva. Never: under no circumstances whatever. It should not be declared to him who, devoted and full of austerities as he may be, renders no service. One who speaks ill of Me: he who looks upon Me, Vasudeva, as an ordinary man, and who in his ignorance declares Me guilty of self - adulation and does not like to be told that I am the Isvara, He, too, is not fit; and the sastra should not be taught to him. By implication we should understand that the sastra is to be taught to him who does not speak ill of the Lord, who is a man of austerities, who is devoted, and who renders service. Now, as it has been elsewhere said that it should be taught "either to a man of austerities, or to an intelligent man," it should be declared to a man of austerities who is devoted and renders service, or to an intelligent man possessed of the two attributes; it should not be taught to a man of austerities or to an intelligent man if he is not devoted and does not render service. It should not be taught to him who is jealous of the Lord, though he may be possessed of all attributes. It should be taught to one who is devoted and renders service to the Guru. This is the rule as to how the sastra should be handed down.

The merit of teaching the Doctrine
Now the Lord proceeds to state what fruits will accrue to him who hands down the instruction:

68. He who with supreme devotion to Me will teach this Supreme Secret to My devotees, shall doubtless come to Me.
This Supreme Secret: the Secret Doctrine taught above in the form of a dialogue between Kesava and Arjuna. It is Supreme because it conduces to the Highest Bliss. Teach: establish by teaching both the text itself and the doctrine, as I have established it by teaching it to thee. By repetition of ‘devotion ‘here, it is meant that by devotion alone one becomes worthy of being taught the sastra. – How should he teach it? - In the faith that he is thus doing service to the Eternal Lord, to the Parama - Guru, the Supreme Teacher. As the fruit of this act, such a teacher will go to the Lord, he will be liberated.

69. Nor is there any among men who does dearer service to Me than he; nor shall there be another on earth dearer to Me than he.
Nor, etc.: There is none in the present generation. He: the man who hands down the sastra. Shall be: in future time. On earth: in this world.

70. And he who will study this sacred dialogue of ours, by him I shall have been worshipped by the sacrifice of wisdom, I deem.
Dialogue: this work which is in the form of a dialogue. Of the four kinds of sacrifice such as vidhi or ritual, Japa or a loud prayer, upamsu or a prayer uttered in a low voice, manasa or a prayer offered with the mind. The jnana-yajna or wisdom-sacrifice comes under the head of manasa and is therefore the highest. Thus, the Gita-sastra is extolled as a jnana-yajna. Or, we may regard this passage as revealing what the real effect (of the act enjoined here) is, viz., that the act will produce an effect equal to that of wisdom – sacrifice of the contemplation of a Devata or the like.

The merit of hearing the Doctrine
The benefit accruing to the hearer is stated as follows:

71. And the man also who hears, full of faith and free from malice, even he, liberated, shall attain to the happy worlds of the righteous.
Even he: much more so he who understands the doctrine. Liberated: from sin. The righteous: those who have performed Agnihotra or such other sacrifices.

The Lord assured by Arjuna of his grasp of the Teaching

The Lord now asks with a desire to know whether the pupil has understood or not the teaching of the sastra, the object of the question being that He might make the pupil understand the teaching by some other means, if the latter be found to have not understood it. And this is to show that it is the duty of the teacher to try again to make the pupil understand the teaching and enable him to attain his object.

72. Has it been heard by thee, O Partha, with an attentive mind? Has the delusion of ignorance been destroyed, O Dhananjaya?
It: what I have told thee. Heard: have you heard it without distraction and understood? Delusion of ignorance: that absence of discrimination which is caused by ignorance and which is natural. Has your delusion been destroyed? Its destruction is the object of all this exertion on your part to hear the sastra and of the exertion on My part as the teacher.

Arjuna said:
73. Destroyed is delusion, and I have gained recognition through Thy Grace, O Achyuta. I am firm, with doubts gone. I will do Thy word.
Delusion: born of ajnana or ignorance, the cause of the whole evil of samsara, hard to cross like the ocean. I: who have sought Thy Grace, Recognition: of the true nature of the Self. When this recognition is obtained, then will all the ties of the heart be loosened. This questioning and answering about the destruction of delusion shows conclusively what the purpose of a knowledge of the teaching of the whole Sastra is, namely, the destruction of delusion and the attainment of a recognition of the Self. So the sruti (Cha. Up. 7-1-3, 26-2) begins with the words "Not knowing the Self, I grieve" and then speaks of the loosening of all ties by means of Self - knowledge. There are also scriptural passages such as "The tie of the heart is broken" (Mund. Up. 2 - 2 - 8) and " To him who sees unity, what delusion is there, what grief? " (Isa. Up. 7). I am firm: in Thy command. Do thy word: Arjuna means to say " Through Thy Grace I have achieved the end of life; I have naught to do.”

Sanjaya extols the Lord and His teaching
The teaching of the sastra is over. Now, in order to connect it with the main narrative, Sanjaya goes on:

Sanjaya said:
74. Thus have I heard this wonderful dialogue between Vasudeva and the high-souled Partha, which makes the hair stand on end.

75. Through the grace of Vyasa have I heard this Supreme and most secret Yoga direct from Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, Himself declaring it.
Through the grace of Vyasa: by obtaining from him the divya-chakshus or divine vision. Yoga: this dialogue; the work is called Yoga because it leads to Yoga. Or, the word may mean Yoga itself. Himself: it is not through mere tradition that I have heard it.

76. O king, remembering every moment this wonderful and holy dialogue between Kesava and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.
King: Dhritarashtra, Holy: as the mere hearing of it destroys sin.

77. And remembering every moment the most wonderful Form of Hari, great is my wonder, O king; and I rejoice again and again.
Form: Visvarupa, the Universal Form. Not to dilate much.

78. Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, wherever is Arjuna, the archer, there fortune, victory, prosperity and polity are established, I deem.
Wherever: on that side on which. The Lord of Yoga: He is the Lord of all Yogas, since the seed of all Yoga comes forth from Him. Archer: wielding the bow called the Gandiva. There: on the side of the Pandavas. Prosperity: increase of fortune.

Bhagavad Gita Bhasya / CHAPTER 17 - Śraddhātrayavibhāga Yoga
« Last post by Commentary on April 09, 2019, 11:58:59 PM »
The ignorant, but faithful

The Lord's words (xvi. 24) having given Arjuna an occasion for a question, he said:

Arjuna said:
1. Whoso worship, setting aside the ordinance of the scripture, endued with faith, - what faith is theirs? Is it Sattva, or Rajas, or Tamas?
Whoso: not exactly specified. It must refer to those who, endued with faith, i.e., thinking that there is something beyond, on observing the conduct of the learned, worship the Gods and the like, unaware of the procedure laid down in the scriptures, the sruti and the smriti. Those, on the other hand, who, while knowing the injunctions of the scripture, set them aside and worship the Gods, etc., contrary to those injunctions, - they cannot indeed be meant here, because of the qualification that they are ‘endued with faith’. We cannot suppose that those men are endued with faith who, while knowing the scriptural injunctions about the worship of the Gods, etc., set them aside, without caring for them and engage in the worship of the Gods which is not in accordance with the injunctions. Therefore, it is only the persons of the other class described above that are here referred to. Arjuna's question may be thus stated: Is the worship offered by them to the Gods, etc., based in Sattva, or Rajas, or Tamas?

The three kinds of Faith
Seeing that such a general question cannot be answered without reference to the several particular aspects of it, the Blessed Lord said:

The Blessed Lord said:
2. Threefold is that faith born of the individual nature of the embodied, - Sattvic, Rajasic, and Tamasic. Do thou hear of it.
Faith, of which thou hast asked, is of three sorts. It is born of the individual nature (svabhava) i.e., the samskara or tendency made up of the self - reproductive latent impressions of the acts - good and bad, Dharma and Adharma - which were done in the past births and which manifested themselves at the time of death. Sattvic: faith in the worship of the Gods (Devas) which is an effect of Sattva. Rajasic: faith in the worship of the Yakshas and the Rakshasas, which is an effect of Rajas. Tamasic: faith in the worship of the Pretas and the Pisachas, which is an effect of Tamas. Do thou understand the threefold faith which is going to be described. As to this threefold Faith,

3. The faith of each is in accordance with his nature, O Bharata. The man is made up of his faith; as a man's faith is, so is he.
 Each: every living being. Nature (Sattva): the antah-karana with its specific tendencies or samskara. Man: Jiva, samsarin. So: in accordance with that faith. So the Sattvic faith or the like has to be inferred from its characteristic effects, namely, the worship of the Gods or the like. The Lord says:

4. Sattvic men worship the Gods; Rajasic, the Yakshas and the Rakshasas; the others, - Tamasic men, - the Pretas and the hosts of Bhutas.
Hosts of Bhutas: as also the seven Matrikas.

Men of Rajasic and Tamasic Faiths
Thus, by a general principle laid down in the scripture, Sattvic and other devotions have been determined through their respective effects. Now only one in a thousand is Sattvic and devoted to the worship of the Gods, while the Rajasic and Tamasic creatures form the majority. How?

5. Those men who practice terrific austerities not enjoined by the scripture, given to hypocrisy and egotism, endued with the strength of lust and passion.

6. Weakening, ‘all the elements in the body - fools they are - and Me who dwell in the body within; know thou these to be of demoniac resolves.
Terrific: causing pain to himself and to other living beings. Endued, etc: This portion of the text may also be interpreted to mean ‘possessed of lust, passion and strength. Elements: organs. Me: Narayana, the Witness of their thoughts and deeds. To weaken Me is to neglect My teaching. Know thou that they are demoniac (asuric) in their resolves, so that you may avoid them. This is a word of advice to Arjuna.

Threefold Food, Worship, Austerity and Gift
Now will be shown what sort of food - which is divided into three classes, viz., that which is savoury and oleaginous, and so on - is dear to the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic men respectively, so that a man may know that he is one of Sattva or of Rajas or of Tamas as indicated by his own partiality for one or another particular class of food - such as the savoury and the oleaginous - and then give up the Rajasic and Tamasic food and resort to Sattvic one. Similarly, the object of the threefold division here made of sacrifice and the like according to the Sattva and other gunas is to show how a man may find out and give up the Rajasic and Tamasic ones and resort exclusively to the Sattvic ones. The Lord says:

7. The food also which is dear to each is threefold, as also worship, austerity and gift. Do thou hear of this, their distinction.
Each: Every living being that eats. This: that which is going to be described. Their: of food (ahara), etc.

The three kinds of Food

8. The foods which increase life, energy, strength, health, joy and cheerfulness, which are savoury and oleaginous, substantial and agreeable, are dear to the Sattvic.
Oleaginous: oily, fatty, substantial: which can last long in the body.

9. The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent, dry and burning, are liked by the Rajasic, causing pain, grief and disease.
Excessively: should be construed. with all, thus, excessively bitter, excessively hot, etc.,

10. The food which is stale, tasteless, putrid and rotten, refuse and impure, is dear to the Tamasic.
Stale: Half - cooked. ‘Yatayama’ (Lit. cooked three hours ago) meaning ‘powerless’ is thus explained, to avoid tautology; for, the next word ‘gatarasa’(tasteless) means the same, i.e., ‘powerless. ’Rotten: the cooked food over which one night has passed. Refuse: left after a meal. Impure: unfit for offering.

The three kinds of Worship
Now the three sorts of worship will be described:

11. That worship is Sattvic which is offered by men desiring no fruit, as enjoined in the Law, with a fixed resolve in the mind that they should merely worship.
That they should merely worship: that their duty lies in the mere performance of the worship itself, that no personal end has to be achieved by that means.

12. That which is offered, O best of the Bharatas, with a view to reward and for ostentation, know it to be a Rajasic worship.

13. They declare that worship to be Tamasic which is contrary to the ordinances, in which no food is distributed, which is devoid of mantras and gifts, and which is devoid of faith.
Distributed: to brahmanas. Devoid of mantras: with hymns defective in utterance and accent. Gifts: prescribed fees (to priests).

Physical Austerity
Now the three kinds of austerity will be described:

14. Worshipping the Gods, the twice - born, teachers and wise men, - purity, straightforwardness, continence, and abstinence from injury are termed the bodily austerity.
The bodily austerity: that which is accomplished by the body, i.e., in which the body is the chief of all factors of action, - the doer, etc., - of which the Lord will speak in xviii. 15.

Austerity in Speech

15. The speech which causes no excitement and is true, as also pleasant and beneficial, and also the practice of sacred recitation, are said to form the austerity of speech.
Excitement: pain to living beings. Pleasant and beneficial: having respectively to do with the seen and the unseen. ‘Speech ’is specified by the attributes of ‘causing no excitement’ and so on. An invariable combination of all these attributes is here meant. That speech addressed to others which, though causing no pain, is devoid of one, two or three of the other attributes - i.e., is not true, not pleasant and not beneficial - cannot form the austerity of speech; so, that speech which, though true, is wanting in one, two, or three of the other attributes cannot form the austerity of speech; so, an agreeable speech which is wanting in one, two or three of the other attributes cannot form the austerity of speech. So, the speech which, though beneficial, is wanting in one, two, or three of the other attributes cannot form the austerity of speech. - What forms the austerity then? The speech that is true, that causes no excitement, that is agreeable and good, forms the austerity of speech; as for example, "Be tranquil, my son, study (the Vedas) and practice yoga, and this will do thee good." Practice of sacred recitation: according to ordinances.

Mental Austerity

16. Serenity of mind, good-heartedness, silence, self-control, purity of nature, this is called the mental austerity.
Good-heartedness: the state of mind which may be inferred from its effects, such as the, brightness of the face, etc., Silence: even silence in speech is necessarily preceded by a control of thought, and thus the effect is here put for the cause, viz., the control of thought. Self-control: a general (control of the mind. This is to be distinguished from silence (mauna) which means tlie control of thought so far as it concerns speech. Purity of nature: Honesty of purpose in dealings with other people.

The three kinds of Austerity according to Gunas
The Lord proceeds to show that the foregoing austerity, - bodily, vocal and mental, - as practiced by men, is divided into classes according to Sattva and other gunas.

17. This threefold austerity, practiced by devout men with utmost faith, desiring no fruit, they call Sattvic.
Threefold: having respectively to do with the three seats - body, speech, and mind. With faith: believing in the existence of things (taught in the scriptures.)

18. That austerity which is practiced with the object of gaining good reception, honour and worship, and with hypocrisy, is said to be of this world, to be Rajasic, unstable and uncertain.
Good reception: in such words as ‘Here is a good brahmana. of great austerities.’ Honour: the act of rising to greet, of making a reverential salutation, etc., Worship: the washing of feet, adoring and feeding. Unstable: as productive of a transient effect.

19. That austerity which is practiced out of a foolish notion, with self-torture, or for the purpose of ruining another, is declared to be Tamasic.

The three kinds of Gift
Now the threefold nature of gift will be described.

20. That gift which is given - knowing it to be a duty to give - to one who does no service, in place and in time, and to a worthy person, that gift is held Sattvic.
Given to one, etc.: to one who cannot return the good, or to one from whom, though able to return the good, no such return is expected. Place: Kurukshetra etc., Time: Sankranti (passage of the sun from one Zodiacal sign to another) etc. Worthy: as learned in the six sciences (angas) etc.

21. And that gift which is given with a view to a return of the good, or looking for the fruit, or reluctantly, that gift is held to be Rajasic.
With a view etc., hoping that he (the donee) will in time return the service, or that the gift will secure for himself some (now) unseen reward.

22. The gift that is given at a wrong place or time, to unworthy persons, without respect or with insult, that is declared to be Tamasic.
At a wrong place and time: at a place which is not sacred and which is associated with mlechhas (Non-aryans), with unholy things and the like, and at a time which is not auspicious - i.e., which is not marked with any such speciality as the sun's passage from one zodiacal sign to another. Unworthy persons: such as fools or rogues. Without respect: without agreeable speech, without the washing of feet, or without worship, though the gift be made in proper time and place.

How to perfect the defective acts
The following instructions are given with a view to perfecting sacrifices, gifts, austerities, etc.

23. "Om, Tat, Sat": this has been taught to be the triple designation of Brahman. By that were created of old the, brahmanas and the Vedas and the sacrifices.
Taught: in the Vedanta by the knowers of Brahman. By that etc: by the triple designation, etc. This is said in praise of (the triple) designation.

24. Therefore, with the utterance of ‘Om,’ are the acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity, as enjoined in the scriptures, always begun by the students of Brahman.
Acts of sacrifice: acts in the form of sacrifice, etc.,

25. With ‘Tat’ without aiming at the fruits, are the acts of sacrifice and austerity and the various acts of gift performed by the seekers of moksha.
With ‘Tat’: with the utterance of ‘Tat’, which is a designation of Brahman. The fruits: of sacrifice, etc., Acts of gift: gifts of land, gold, etc., The use of ‘Om’ and of ‘Tat’ has been explained. Now the use of ‘Sat’ is given as follows:

26. The word ‘Sat’ is used in the sense of reality and of goodness; and so also, O Partha, the word ‘Sat’ is used in the sense of an auspicious act.
In expressing the reality of an object which is unreal - as for example, the birth of a son who is unreal - and in expressing that a man is one of good conduct who is not so, this designation of the Brahman, viz., the word ‘Sat,’ is employed. It is also used with reference to the act of marriage and the like.

27. Devotion to sacrifice, austerity and gift is also spoken of as 'Sat'; and even action in connection with these is called 'Sat.'
Sacrifice: the act of sacrifice. Spoken of: by the learned. These: sacrifice, gift and austerity. Or, ‘tadarthiyam karma’ may be interpreted to mean action for the sake of the Lord whose triple designation is the subject of treatment here. These acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity, - even such of them as are not of the Sattvic class and are imperfect, - turn out to be Sattvic and perfect ones, on applying to them with faith the triple designation of Brahman.

Works without faith are fruitless
Because all these acts become perfect when done in full faith, therefore,

28. Whatever is sacrificed, given, or done, and whatever austerity is practiced, without faith, it is called ’asat,’ O Partha; it is naught here or hereafter. Given: to the brahmanas. Deed: such as adoration and obeisance. Asat: as they are quite outside the path by which I (the Isvara) may be reached. It is naught: though costing much trouble, it is of no use here as it is despised by the wise; nor can it produce any effect hereafter.

The teaching of the discourse summed up
[The teaching of this discourse may be thus summed up; - There are devotees, who, though ignorant of the scriptures, are yet endued with faith, and who, according to the nature of their faith, may be classed as Sattvic, Rajasic, or Tamasic. These should cultivate pure Sattva by avoiding Rajasic and Tamasic kinds of food, worship, gift and austerity, and resorting exclusively to Sattvic ones. When their acts of worship, gift, and austerity are found defective, they may be perfected by uttering the three designations of Brahman, ’Om,’ ‘Tat,’ and ‘Sat.’ With their reason (buddhi) thus purified, they should engage in the study of scriptures and in the subsequent stages of investigation into the nature of Brahman. Thereby they attain a direct perception of Truth and are finally liberated. - A.]

Bhagavad Gita Bhasya / CHAPTER 16 - Daivāsurasampadvibhāga Yoga
« Last post by Commentary on April 09, 2019, 11:58:51 PM »
Spiritual disposition

In the ninth discourse were indicated three kinds of nature (prakriti) belonging to sentient beings, namely, the nature of the Gods, that of the Asuras, and that of the Rakshasas. The sixteenth discourse proceeds to describe them at length. Of these the nature of the Gods (Daivi Prakriti) leads to liberation from samsara, and those of the Asuras and the Rakshasas lead to bondage. Accordingly, the nature of the Gods will be described with a view] to its acceptance, and the other two with a view to their rejection.

The Blessed Lord said:
1. Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga; alms-giving, self-restraint and worship, study of one's own (scriptures), austerity, uprightness.
Purity of heart: purity of the antah-karana (sattva), i.e., abandonment of deception, dissimulation, falsehood and the like, in all transactions; that is to say, transacting business in perfect honesty. Knowledge consists in understanding the nature of things, such as the Self, as taught in the Scripture (sastra) and by the Teacher (Acharya). Yoga consists in making what has been thus learnt an object of one's own direct perception, by concentration (one-pointed-ness) through the subjugation of the senses. This viz., fearlessness, purity of heart, and steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga - forms the Daivi or Sattvic nature by pre-eminence. Whatever attributes among those (mentioned in xvi. 1 - 3) can possibly pertain to the disciples treading a particular path, they constitute the Sattvic nature of the disciples in that particular path. Alms - giving distributing food and the like as far as lies in one's power. Self-control: the subjugation of external senses; that of the antah-karana (internal sense, manas) being mentioned in the next verse. Worship: including the fire-worship (agnihotra) and the like enjoined in the sruti, as also the worship of the Gods (Deva - yajna) and the like enjoined in the smriti. Study, etc: study of the Rig-Veda and the like with a view to some unseen results (adrishta). Austerity: bodily mortification and other penances, which will be mentioned in the sequel. Uprightness: this should be a constant attitude. Moreover,

2. Harmlessness, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, serenity, absence of calumny, compassion to creatures, uncovetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness.
Harmlessness: abstaining from injury to sentient beings. Truth: speaking of things as they are, without giving utterance to what is unpleasant or what is false. Absence of anger: suppression of anger arising when beaten or reviled. Renunciation: ‘tyaga’ (lit., giving up) is thus explained, since ‘alms-giving’ has already been mentioned. Serenity: tranquility of mind (antah-karana). Compassion to creatures: to those in suffering. Uncovetousness: unaffectedness of the senses when in contact with their objects. Absence of fickleness: not to speak or move hands and legs in vain. Moreover,

3. Energy, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of pride; these belong to one born for a divine lot, O Bharata.
‘Tejas’ means energy, not brightness of the skin. Forgiveness: unaffectedness when beaten or reviled. We have explained 'absence of anger’ to mean suppression of anger when it arises.
Thus 'forgiveness ‘and 'absence of anger’ should be distinguished from each other. Fortitude: that state of mind (antah-karana) which removes the exhaustion of the body and senses when they droop down and upheld by which the body and senses no longer get dejected. Purity: of the two sorts, the external and the internal; the one being accomplished by means of earths and water, the other consisting in the taintlessness of mind and heart, in freedom from impurities such as deception and passion. Absence of hatred: absence of a desire to injure others. Pride: consists in supposing oneself worthy of a high honor. These – from ‘fearlessness ‘to ‘absence of pride’ - are found in one who is born for a divine lot, i.e., who is worthy of the powers of the Devas, i.e., for whom there is happiness in store.

Materialistic disposition
Here follows a description of the demoniac (asuric) nature:

4. Ostentation, arrogance and self - conceit, anger as also insolence, and ignorance, belong to one who is born, O Partha, for a demoniac lot.
Ostentation: pretending to be righteous. Arrogance: pride of learning, wealth, high connection, etc. Insolence: in speech; e.g. to speak of the blind as having eyes, of the ugly as handsome, of a man of low birth as one of high birth, and so on. Ignorance: misconception of duties and the like.

Results of the two dispositions
The effects of the two natures are spoken of as follows:

5. The divine nature is deemed for liberation, the demoniac for bondage. Grieve not, O Pandava; thou art born for a divine lot.
Liberation: from the bondage of Samsara. The demoniac (asuric) nature leads to an unfailing bondage, and so does the fiendish (Rakshasic) nature. Now, seeing some such question as "Am I possessed of demoniac nature, or of divine nature? " occur in the mind of Arjuna on hearing what has been said, the Lord again says: grieve not; thou art born for a divine lot; i.e., thou hast happiness in prospect.

The materialists

6. There are two creations of beings in this world, the divine and the demoniac. The divine has been described at length; hear from Me, O Partha, of the demoniac.
Creation: means what is created. The men who are created with the two kinds of nature, the divine and the demoniac, are here spoken of as the ‘two creations.’ It is said in the sruti, ‘Verily there are two classes of Prajapati's creatures, Devas and Asuras.’ (Bri. Up. 1 - 3 - 1) Every being in this world is included in the one or the other of the two creations, the divine and the demoniac. The purpose of repeating again what has been already said is stated thus: - The divine has been declared at length, beginning with xvi. 1, but not the demoniac; therefore, do thou hear and understand the demoniac nature to be described at length by Me in the sequel here in order that you may avoid it. The demoniac nature will be described, - to the very end of the discourse - as an attribute of some living men; for, only when it is recognized in the visible, its avoidance is possible.

7. Neither action nor inaction do the demoniac men know; neither purity nor good conduct nor truth is found in them.
They do not know what acts they should perform to achieve the end of man, nor from what acts they should abstain to avert evil. Not only do they not know ‘action and inaction, ‘there is neither purity nor good conduct nor truth in them. Indeed, the demons are persons who are wanting in purity and good conduct, who are hypocrites and liars.

The materialist's view of the world

8. They say, "the universe is unreal, without a basis, without a Lord, born of mutual union, brought about by lust; what else?"
These demons of men say, “As we are unreal, so this whole universe is unreal. Neither are dharma and a-dharma its basis. There exists no Isvara ruling the universe according to dharma and a-dharma. Universe is, therefore, they say, without a Lord. The whole universe is, moreover, caused by the mutual union of man and woman under the impulse of lust. It is brought about only by lust. What else can be the cause of the universe? There is no other cause whatever, no invisible cause, of the universe, no such thing as karma.” This is the view of the materialists (Lokayatikas), that sexual passion is the sole cause of all living creatures.

Men's life as guided by materialism

9. Holding this view, these ruined souls of small intellect, of fierce deeds, rise as the enemies of the world for its destruction.
Ruined souls: having lost all chances of going to the higher worlds. Their intellect is small, as it concerns itself only with sense-objects. Of fierce deeds: intent on injuring others.

10. Filled with insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance, holding unwholesome views through delusion, they work with unholy resolve.

11. Beset with immense cares ending only with death, sensual enjoyment their highest aim, assured that that is all.
They give themselves up to care. Sensual enjoyment: Enjoyment of sense-objects such as sound. They are convinced that this sensual enjoyment is the highest end of man.

12. Bound by hundreds of bands of hope, given over to lust and wrath, they strive to secure by unjust means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyment.
They are attracted here and there, bound by a hundred bands of false hopes. They secure wealth for sensual enjoyment, not for (performing acts of) dharma. By unjust means: by robbing other men's wealth.

The materialist's aspirations
Their aspiration is expressed as follows:

13. This today has been gained by me; this desire I shall attain; this is mine, and this wealth also shall be mine in future.
In future: in the coming year this wealth also shall be mine, and thereby I shall be known to be a man of wealth.

14. “That enemy has been slain by me, and others also shall I slay. I am a lord, I enjoy, I am successful, strong and healthy.”
That unconquerable enemy, say Devadatta by name, has been slain by me, and others also shall I slay. What can these poor men do? There is none equal to me in any respect. How? I am a lord, I enjoy, I am successful in every way, blessed with children and grandchildren; I am no ordinary man, I am alone strong and healthy.

15. "I am rich and well-born. Who else is equal to me? I will sacrifice, I will give, I will rejoice." Thus, deluded by unwisdom.

16. Bewildered by many a fancy, entangled in the snare of delusion, addicted to the gratification of lust, they fall into a foul hell.
Well-born: born in a family learned in the scriptures for seven generations. Even in this respect none is equal to me. I will surpass others even in respect of sacrificial rites. I will give (money) to actors and obtain a high delight. Many a fancy: such as those described above. Delusion is a snare, as it is of the nature of an enclosure or envelope. They are addicted to sensual gratification; and with sins thus accumulated they fall into a foul hell, such as Vaitarani.

The materialist’s sacrificial rites

17. Self-honored, stubborn, filled with the pride and intoxication of wealth, they perform sacrifices in name with hypocrisy, without regard to ordinance.
Self-honored: Esteeming themselves as possessed of all good qualities; they are not esteemed as such by the righteous. They perform sacrifices without regard to the several parts and obligations enjoined in the scriptural ordinances.

The materialist's neglect of Divine Commandments

18. Given over to egotism, power, haughtiness, lust, and anger, these malicious people hate Me in their own and other's bodies.
Egotism: they esteem themselves very high for qualities which they really possess and for those which they falsely attribute to themselves. This egotism is what is called avidya; and it is the hardest thing (to overcome), the source of all perversities (doshas), of all evil acts. Power: accompanied with lust and passion and seeking to humiliate others. Haughtiness: when this arises one transgresses the path of virtue; it is a peculiar vice seated in the antah-karana. Lust: sexual passion, and the like. Anger: at something unpleasant. They are given over to these and other great vices. Moreover, they hate Me, the Isvara, abiding in their own and other bodies as the Witness of their thoughts and actions. To hate Me is to transgress My commands. They are malicious, jealous of the virtue of those who tread the right path.

The materialist's fall

19. These cruel haters, worst of men, I hurl these evil-doers forever in the worlds into the wombs of the demons only.
These: the enemies of the right path and haters of the righteous. Worst: because they are guilty of unrighteous deeds (a-dharma). Worlds: paths of samsara passing through many a hell. Wombs of the demons: wombs of the most cruel beings such as tigers, lions and the like.

20. Entering into demoniac wombs, the deluded ones, in birth after birth, without ever reaching Me, O son of Kunti, pass into a condition still lower than that.
These deluded creatures are born, birth after birth, only in Tamasic wombs and pass into lower and lower states. Without ever reaching Me, the Isvara, they fall into a condition which is still lower (than they are in at present). Without reaching Me: Certainly, there is no room whatever even for the supposition that they will ever reach Me. The meaning, therefore, is, ‘without ever attaining to the right path taught by Me.’

The three Gates of Hell to be avoided
Here follows a summary of the whole demoniac (asuric) nature in which, in its three forms, the whole variety of asuric nature, though endless, is comprehended; which being avoided, the whole asuric nature becomes avoided, and which is the source of all evil.

21. Triple is this, the gate to hell, destructive of the self: LUST, WRATH, and GREED. Therefore, these three, one should abandon.
The gate to hell: the gate leading to hell (naraka). By merely entering at the gate, the self is ruined, i.e., is fit for no human end whatever. Since this gate is ruinous to the self, let every one abandon these three; lust, wrath and greed. Here follows the praise of this abandonment:

22. A man who is released from these, the three gates to darkness, O son of Kunti, does good to the self, and thereby reaches the Supreme Goal.
Gates to darkness: leading to hell (naraka) which is full of pain and delusion. He who is released from lust, wrath and greed will act for the good of the self, because of the absence of that by which obstructed he has not hitherto so acted. By so doing he even attains moksha.

Let the Law guide thy life
The scripture (sastra) is the authority on which all this renunciation of asuric nature, and the observance of what is good, are based. One would engage in these only on the authority of the scriptures (sastra), not otherwise. Therefore,

23. He who, neglecting the scriptural ordinance, acts under the impulse of desire, attains not perfection, nor happiness, nor the Supreme Goal.
Scriptural ordinance: the command of the Veda in the form of injunctions and prohibitions, giving us to know what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Perfection: fitness for attaining the end of man. Happiness: in this world. Supreme Goal: Svarga or Moksha, (as the case may be).

24. Therefore, the scripture is thy authority in deciding as to what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Now, thou oughtest to know and perform thy duty laid down in the scripture-law.
Authority: source of knowledge. Scripture - Law: The scripture itself is the Law, which says " thou shalt act so and so, thou shalt not act so and so."
Now: referring to the stage where the disciple is fit for Karma-Yoga.

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