202. The cessation of that superimposition
takes place through perfect knowledge, and by no other means. Perfect
knowledge, according to the Shrutis, consists in the realisation of the
identity of the individual soul and Brahman.
203. This realisation is attained by a
perfect discrimination between the Self and the non-Self. Therefore one
must strive for the discrimination between the individual soul and the
204. Just as the water which is very
muddy again appears as transparent water when the mud is removed, so the
Atman also manifests Its undimmed lustre when the taint has been
205. When the unreal ceases to exist,
this very individual soul is definitely realised as the eternal Self.
Therefore one must make it a point completely to remove things like
egoism from the eternal Self.
206. This knowledge sheath (Vijnanamaya
Kosha) that we have been speaking of, cannot be the Supreme Self for the
following reasons - because it is subject to change, is insentient, is a
limited thing, an object of the senses, and is not constantly present:
An unreal thing cannot indeed be taken for the real Atman.
207. The blissful sheath (Anandamaya
Kosha) is that modification of Nescience which manifests itself catching
a reflection of the Atman which is Bliss Absolute; whose attributes are
pleasure and the rest; and which appears in view when some object
agreeable to oneself presents itself. It makes itself spontaneously felt
by the fortunate during the fruition of their virtuous deeds; from which
every corporeal being derives great joy without the least effort.
208. The blissful sheath has its
fullest play during profound sleep, while in the dreaming and wakeful
states it has only a partial manifestation, occasioned by the sight of
agreeable objects and so forth.
209. Nor is the blissful sheath the
Supreme Self, because it is endowed with the changeful attributes, is a
modification of the Prakriti, is the effect of past good deeds, and
imbedded in the other sheaths which are modifications.
210. When all the five sheaths have
been eliminated by the reasoning on Shruti passages, what remains as the
culminating point of the process, is the Witness, the Knowledge Absolute
– the Atman.
211. This self-effulgent Atman which is
distinct from the five sheaths, the Witness of the three states, the
Real, the Changeless, the Untainted, the everlasting Bliss – is to be
realised by the wise man as his own Self.
212. The disciple questioned: After
these five sheaths have been eliminated as unreal, I find nothing, O
Master, in this universe but a Void, the absence of everything. What
entity is there left forsooth with which the wise knower of the Self
should realise his identity.
213-214. The Guru answered: Thou has
rightly said, O learned man ! Thou art clever indeed in discrimination.
That by which all those modifications such as egoism as well as their
subsequent absence (during deep sleep) are perceived, but which Itself
is not perceived, know thou that Atman – the Knower – through the
215. That which is perceived by
something else has for its witness the latter. When there is no agent to
perceive a thing, we cannot speak of it as having been perceived at all.
216. This Atman is a self-cognised
entity because It is cognised by Itself. Hence the individual soul is
itself and directly the Supreme Brahman, and nothing else.
217. That which clearly manifests
Itself in the states of wakefulness, dream and profound sleep; which is
inwardly perceived in the mind in various forms as an unbroken series of
egoistic impressions; which witnesses the egoism, the Buddhi, etc.,
which are of diverse forms and modifications; and which makes Itself
felt as the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute; know thou this Atman,
thy own Self, within thy heart.
218. Seeing the reflection of the sun
mirrored in the water of a jar, the fool thinks it is the sun itself.
Similarly the stupid man, through delusion, identifies himself with the
reflection of the Chit caught in the Buddhi, which is Its
219. Just as the wise man leaves aside
the jar, the water and the reflection of the sun in it, and sees the
self-luminous sun which illumines these three and is independent of
220-222. Similarly, discarding the
body, the Buddhi and the reflection of the Chit in it, and realising the
Witness, the Self, the Knowledge Absolute, the cause of the
manifestation of everything, which is hidden in the recesses of the
Buddhi, is distinct from the gross and subtle, eternal, omnipresent,
all-pervading and extremely subtle, and which has neither interior nor
exterior and is identical with one self – fully realising this true
nature of oneself, one becomes free from sin, taint, death and grief,
and becomes the embodiment of Bliss. Illumined himself, he is afraid of
none. For a seeker after Liberation there is no other way to the
breaking of the bonds of transmigration than the realisation of the
truth of one’s own Self.
223. The realisation of one’s identity
with Brahman is the cause of Liberation from the bonds of Samsara, by
means of which the wise man attains Brahman, the One without a second,
the Bliss Absolute.
224. Once having realised Brahman, one
no longer returns to the realm of transmigration. Therefore one must
fully realise one’s identity with Brahman.
225. Brahman is Existence, Knowledge,
Infinity, pure, supreme, self-existent, eternal and indivisible Bliss,
not different (in reality) from the individual soul, and devoid of
interior or exterior. It is (ever) triumphant.
226. It is this Supreme Oneness which
alone is real, since there is nothing else but the Self. Verily, there
remains no other independent entity in the state of realisation of the
227. All this universe which through
ignorance appears as of diverse forms, is nothing else but Brahman which
is absolutely free from all the limitations of human thought.
228. A jar, though a modification of
clay, is not different from it; everywhere the jar is essentially the
same as the clay. Why then call it a jar ? It is fictitious, a fancied
229. None can demonstrate that the
essence of a jar is something other than the clay (of which it is made).
Hence the jar is merely imagined (as separate) through delusion, and the
component clay alone is the abiding reality in respect of it.
230. Similarly, the whole universe,
being the effect of the real Brahman, is in reality nothing but Brahman.
Its essence is That, and it does not exist apart from It. He who says it
does is still under delusion – he babbles like one asleep.
231. This universe is verily Brahman –
such is the august pronouncement of the Atharva Veda. Therefore this
universe is nothing but Brahman, for that which is superimposed (on
something) has no separate existence from its substratum.
232. If the universe, as it is, be
real, there would be no cessation of the dualistic element, the
scriptures would be falsified, and the Lord Himself would be guilty of
an untruth. None of these three is considered either desirable or
wholesome by the noble-minded.
233. The Lord, who knows the secret of
all things has supported this view in the words: "But I am not in them"
… "nor are the beings in Me".
234. If the universe be true, let it
then be perceived in the state of deep sleep also. As it is not at all
perceived, it must be unreal and false, like dreams.
235. Therefore the universe does not
exist apart from the Supreme Self; and the perception of its
separateness is false like the qualities (of blueness etc., in the sky).
Has a superimposed attribute any meaning apart from its substratum ? It
is the substratum which appears like that through delusion.
236. Whatever a deluded man perceives
through mistake, is Brahman and Brahman alone: The silver is nothing but
the mother-of-pearl. It is Brahman which is always considered as this
universe, whereas that which is superimposed on the Brahman, viz. the
universe, is merely a name.
237-238. Hence whatever is manifested,
viz. this universe, is the Supreme Brahman Itself, the Real, the One
without a second, pure, the Essence of Knowledge, taintless, serene,
devoid of beginning and end, beyond activity, the Essence of Bliss
Absolute – transcending all the diversities created by Maya or
Nescience, eternal, ever beyond the reach of pain, indivisible,
immeasurable, formless, undifferentiated, nameless, immutable,
239. Sages realise the Supreme Truth,
Brahman, in which there is no differentiation of knower, knowledge and
known, which is infinite, transcendent, and the Essence of Knowledge
240. Which can be neither thrown away
nor taken up, which is beyond the reach of mind and speech,
immeasurable, without beginning and end, the Whole, one’s very Self, and
of surpassing glory.
241-242. If thus the Shruti, in the
dictum "Thou art That" (Tat-Tvam-Asi), repeatedly establishes the
absolute identity of Brahman (or Ishwara) and Jiva, denoted by the terms
That (Tat) and thou (Tvam) respectively, divesting these terms of their
relative associations, then it is the identity of their implied, not
literal, meanings which is sought to be inculcated; for they are of
contradictory attributes to each other – like the sun and a glow-worm,
the king and a servant, the ocean and a well, or Mount Meru and an atom.
243. This contradiction between them is
created by superimposition, and is not something real. This
superimposition, in the case of Ishwara (the Lord), is Maya or
Nescience, which is the cause of Mahat and the rest, and in the case of
the Jiva (the individual soul), listen – the five sheaths, which are the
effects of Maya, stand for it.
244. These two are the superimpositions
of Ishwara and the Jiva respectively, and when these are perfectly
eliminated, there is neither Ishwara nor Jiva. A kingdom is the symbol
of a king, and a shield of the soldier, and when these are taken away,
there is neither king nor soldier.
245. The Vedas themselves in the words
"now then is the injunction" etc., repudiate the duality imagined in
Brahman. One must needs eliminate those two superimpositions by means of
realisation supported by the authority of the Vedas.
246. Neither this gross nor this subtle
universe (is the Atman). Being imagined, they are not real – like the
snake seen in the rope, and like dreams. Perfectly eliminating the
objective world in this way by means of reasoning, one should next
realise the oneness that underlies Ishwara and the Jiva.
247. Hence those two terms (Ishwara and
Jiva) must be carefully considered through their implied meanings, so
that their absolute identity may be established. Neither the method of
total rejection nor that of complete retention will do. One must reason
out through the process which combines the two.
248-249. Just as in the sentence, "This
is that Devadatta", the identity is spoken of, eliminating the
contradictory portions, so in the sentence "Thou art That", the wise man
must give up the contradictory elements on both sides and recognise the
identity of Ishwara and Jiva, noticing carefully the essence of both,
which is Chit, Knowledge Absolute. Thus hundreds of scriptural texts
inculcate the oneness and identity of Brahman and Jiva.
250. Eliminating the not-Self, in the
light of such passages as "It is not gross" etc., (one realises the
Atman), which is self-established, unattached like the sky, and beyond
the range of thought. Therefore dismiss this mere phantom of a body
which thou perceivest and hast accepted as thy own self. By means of the
purified understanding that thou art Brahman, realise thy own self, the
251. All modifications of clay, such as
the jar, which are always accepted by the mind as real, are (in reality)
nothing but clay. Similarly, this entire universe which is produced from
the real Brahman, is Brahman Itself and nothing but That. Because there
is nothing else whatever but Brahman, and That is the only self-existent
Reality, our very Self, therefore art thou that serene, pure, Supreme
Brahman, the One without a second.
252. As the place, time, objects,
knower, etc., called up in dream are all unreal, so is also the world
experienced here in the waking state, for it is all an effect of one’s
own ignorance. Because this body, the organs, the Pranas, egoism, etc.,
are also thus unreal, therefore art thou that serene, pure, supreme
Brahman, the One without a second.
253. (What is) erroneously supposed to
exist in something, is, when the truth about it has been known, nothing
but that substratum, and not at all different from it: The diversified
dream universe (appears and) passes away in the dream itself. Does it
appear on waking as something distinct from one’s own Self ?
254. That which is beyond caste and
creed, family and lineage; devoid of name and form, merit and demerit;
transcending space, time and sense-object – that Brahman art thou,
meditate on this in thy mind.
255. That Supreme Brahman which is
beyond the range of all speech, but accessible to the eye of pure
illumination; which is pure, the Embodiment of Knowledge, the
beginningless entity – that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy
256. That which is untouched by the
sixfold wave; meditated upon by the Yogi’s heart, but not grasped by the
sense-organs; which the Buddhi cannot know; and which is unimpeachable –
that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
257. That which is the substratum of
the universe with its various subdivisions, which are all creations of
delusion; which Itself has no other support; which is distinct from the
gross and subtle; which has no parts, and has verily no exemplar – that
Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
258. That which is free from birth,
growth, development, waste, disease and death; which is indestructible;
which is the cause of the projection, maintenance and dissolution of the
universe – that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
259. That which is free from
differentiation; whose essence is never non-existent; which is unmoved
like the ocean without waves; the ever-free; of indivisible Form – that
Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
260. That which, though One only, is
the cause of the many; which refutes all other causes, but is Itself
without cause; distinct from Maya and its effect, the universe; and
independent – that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
261. That which is free from duality;
which is infinite and indestructible; distinct from the universe and
Maya, supreme, eternal; which is undying Bliss; taintless – that Brahman
art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
262. That Reality which (though One)
appears variously owing to delusion, taking on names and forms,
attributes and changes, Itself always unchanged, like gold in its
modifications – that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
263. That beyond which there is
nothing; which shines even above Maya, which again is superior to its
effect, the universe; the inmost Self of all, free from differentiation;
the Real Self, the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute; infinite and
immutable – that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.
264. On the Truth, inculcated above,
one must oneself meditate in one’s mind, through the intellect, by means
of the recognised arguments. By that means one will realise the truth
free from doubt etc., like water in the palm of one’s hand.
265. Realising in this body the
Knowledge Absolute free from Nescience and its effects – like the king
in an army – and being ever established in thy own Self by resting on
that Knowledge, merge the universe in Brahman.
266. In the cave of the Buddhi there is
the Brahman, distinct from the gross and subtle, the Existence Absolute,
Supreme, the One without a second. For one who lives in this cave as
Brahman, O beloved, there is no more entrance into the mother’s womb.
267. Even after the Truth has been
realised, there remains that strong, beginningless, obstinate impression
that one is the agent and experiencer, which is the cause of one’s
transmigration. It has to be carefully removed by living in a state of
constant identification with the Supreme Self. Sages call that
Liberation which is the attenuation of Vasanas (impressions) here and
268. The idea of "me and mine" in the
body, organs, etc., which are the non-Self – this superimposition the
wise man must put a stop to, by identifying himself with the Atman.
269. Realising thy own Inmost Self, the
Witness of the Buddhi and its modifications, and constantly revolving
the positive thought, "I am That", conquer this identification with the
270. Relinquishing the observance of
social formalities, giving up all ideas of trimming up the body, and
avoiding too mush engrossment with the Scriptures, do away with the
superimposition that has come upon thyself.
271. Owing to the desire to run after
society, the passion for too much study of the Scriptures and the desire
to keep the body in good trim, people cannot attain to proper
272. For one who seeks deliverance from
the prison of this world (Samsara), those three desires have been
designated by the wise as strong iron fetters to shackle one’s feet. He
who is free from them truly attains to Liberation.
273. The lovely odour of the Agaru
(agalochum) which is hidden by a powerful stench due to its contact with
water etc., manifests itself as soon as the foreign smell has been fully
removed by rubbing.
274. Like the fragrance of the
sandal-wood, the perfume of the Supreme Self, which is covered with the
dust of endless, violent impressions imbedded in the mind, when purified
by the constant friction of Knowledge, is (again) clearly perceived.
275. The desire for Self-realisation is
obscured by innumerable desires for things other than the Self. When
they have been destroyed by the constant attachment to the Self, the
Atman clearly manifests Itself of Its own accord.
276. As the mind becomes gradually
established in the Inmost Self, it proportionately gives up the desires
for external objects. And when all such desires have been eliminated,
there takes place the unobstructed realisation of the Atman.
277. The Yogi’s mind dies, being
constantly fixed on his own Self. Thence follows the cessation of
desires. Therefore do away with thy superimposition.
278. Tamas is destroyed by both Sattva
and Rajas, Rajas by Sattva, and Sattva dies when purified. Therefore do
way with thy superimposition through the help of Sattva.
279. Knowing for certain that the
Prarabdha work will maintain this body, remain quiet and do away with
thy superimposition carefully and with patience.
280. "I am not the individual soul, but
the Supreme Brahman" – eliminating thus all that is not-Self, do away
with thy superimposition, which has come through the momentum of (past)
281. Realising thyself as the Self of
all by means of Scripture, reasoning and by thy own realisation, do away
thy superimposition, even when a trace of it seems to appear.
282. The sage has no connection with
action, since he has no idea of accepting or giving up. Therefore,
through constant engrossment on the Brahman, do away with thy
283. Through the realisation of the
identity of Brahman and the soul, resulting from such great dicta as
"Thou art That", do away with thy superimposition, with a view to
strengthening thy identification with Brahman.
284. Until the identification with this
body is completely rooted out, do away with thy superimposition with
watchfulness and a concentrated mind.
285. So long as even a dream-like
perception of the universe and souls persists, do away with thy
superimposition, O learned man, without the least break.
286. Without giving the slightest
chance to oblivion on account of sleep, concern in secular matters or
the sense-objects, reflect on the Self in thy mind.
287. Shunning from a safe distance the
body which has come from impurities of the parents and itself consists
of flesh and impurities – as one does an outcast – be thou Brahman and
realise the consummation of thy life.
288. Merging the finite soul in the
Supreme Self, like the space enclosed by a jar in the infinite space, by
means of meditation on their identity, always keep quiet, O sage.
289. Becoming thyself the
self-effulgent Brahman, the substratum of all phenomena – as that
Reality give up both the macrocosm and the microcosm, like two filthy
290. Transferring the identification
now rooted in the body to the Atman, the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
Absolute, and discarding the subtle body, be thou ever alone,
291. That in which there is this
reflection of the universe, as of a city in a mirror – that Brahman art
thou; knowing this thou wilt attain the consummation of thy life.
292. That which is real and one’s own
primeval Essence, that Knowledge and Bliss Absolute, the One without a
second, which is beyond form and activity – attaining That one should
cease to identify oneself with one’s false bodies, like an actor giving
up his assumed mask.
293. This objective universe is
absolutely unreal; neither is egoism a reality, for it is observed to be
momentary. How can the perception, "I know all", be true of egoism etc.,
which are momentary ?
294. But the real ‘I" is that which
witnesses the ego and the rest. It exists always, even in the state of
profound sleep. The Shruti itself says, "It is birthless, eternal", etc.
Therefore the Paramatman is different from the gross and subtle bodies.
295. The knower of all changes in
things subject to change should necessarily be eternal and changeless.
The unreality of the gross and subtle bodies is again and again clearly
observed in imagination, dream and profound sleep.
296. Therefore give up the
identification with this lump of flesh, the gross body, as well as with
the ego or the subtle body, which are both imagined by the Buddhi.
Realising thy own Self, which is Knowledge Absolute and not to be denied
in the past, present or future, attain to Peace.
297. Cease to identify thyself with the
family, lineage, name, form and the order of life, which pertain to the
body that is like a rotten corpse (to a man of realisation). Similarly,
giving up ideas of agency and so forth, which are attributes of the
subtle body, be the Essence of Bliss Absolute.
298. Other obstacles are also observed
to exist for men, which lead to transmigration. The root of them, for
the above reasons, is the first modification of Nescience called egoism.
299. So long as one has any relation to
this wicked ego, there should not be the least talk about Liberation,
which is unique.
300. Freed from the clutches of egoism,
as the moon from those of Rahu, man attains to his real nature, and
becomes pure, infinite, ever blissful and self-luminous.