Upadesha Sahasri prose end
hilken_98 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Nov 19 03:47:37 CST 2002
After many battles with demons masquerading as
computer glitches and minor mishaps, it is possible to
complete the Prose Portion of the Upadesha Sahasri.
These three sections ( the first was posted a few
weeks ago) are the preparation of the pupil who
already has the desire to know Brahman but in whom
that desire is not yet firm enough to be able to hear
the teaching to come.
The very question of that which is absolutely real and
existing comes only after thorough and systematic
enquiry. Unless one attains this state of mind and the
competency to inquire into what is the the
imperishable one, one can never understand the answer
and the explanation given to that question.
It is the duty of each of us to come to the state of
the pupil independently even if the final question is
common to all.
May we serve That One through our study.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE CHANGELESS
AND NON-DUAL SELF
45. A certain Brahmacarin, tired of the transmigratory
existence consisting of birth and death, and aspiring
after liberation, approached (Bh. Gita 4.34) 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 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 ones own
nature cannot be got rid of. But if it be causal,
liberation from it may be possible by removing the
46. The teacher said to him, Listen, my child, this
is not your true nature, but causal.
47. Told thus the disciple said, What is the cause,
what will bring it to an end and what is my true
nature? When the cause is brought to an end, there
will be the absence of the effect, and I shall attain
my own true nature, just like a patient who gets back
to 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, is. removed, you will be liberated from the
transmigratory existence consisting of birth and
death, and 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) and what is its object? What is Knowledge
by means of which I can realise 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 experienccr you wrongly consider yourself
to be so. Again, you are eternal but mistake yourself
to be non-eternal. This 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 evidence 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 which 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
super-imposition 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
knowledges, like a human being and a trunk of a 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 knowledges 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 a 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 (atone) is superimposed
through Ignorance on the Self the body will he
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
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
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 alwqys 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
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 he 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 makes 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
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. If I be non-conscious then how do I
cognise pain and pleasure and also of what you say?
69. The teacher replied: Are you different from the
cognition of pain and pleasure and from what I say, or
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 cognise 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 cogniser. I am
different from them as I know all things pervaded by
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 others
72. Disciple: But it may be said that the servant.
and the master are seen to serve each others 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 the 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, It is my own
nature or causal? Has this delusion vanished or
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?
75. 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 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 though
it 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
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,
76.The disciple said, Knowledge is the meaning of a
root and therefore surely consists of change, and that
knower ( as you say) is of a changeless character.
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 cutting
(a thing) in two parts is secondarily called the
meaning of the root (to cut).
78. Told thus, the disciple said, Sir, the example
cited by you cannot prove that I am changeless.
Disciple, For, just as the action of cutting,
producing and including the ultimate change in to be
cut, is secondarily called the meaning of the root (to
cut), so the word knowledge is used secondarily for
the mental modification which is the meaning of the
root (to know) and which ends in the result that is a
change in knowledge, the Self. The example cited by
you cannot, therefore, 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 1, who am
changeless, the knower, as you say, of all the mental
modifications of endless 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 reflection of knowledge of 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
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 would 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 ones 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, persists in deep sleep;
and whatever is non-persistent (at that time) is
either destroyed or negated inasmuch as adventitious
things, never the properties of ones 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
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
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 adventitious (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 disprove
its existence for the sake of another, its manyness,
and its 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
disprove 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
Disciple. But, Sir, I was never conscious of
consciousness or of 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
different from 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 on 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 for them
on anything else; so being of the nature of pure
Knowledge, It does not depend on any 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
95. Teacher. No, These 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
Know1edge 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
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 Se!f be not so on the
Teacher. No, it has been refuted on the ground that
it is pure Knowledge that is it the Self.
99. To whom will the desire (to know a thing) belong
if the Knower depends 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
regressus 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); and such is the case with regard to the
desires of knowing the knower. 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 an 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 from himself by anyone of his own desires
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
regressus 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
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 regressus 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, 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 nonexistent 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 not dependent on anything
102. Disciple. How can the Knower be a Knower if he
is not the seat of the knowledge produced by
103. The teacher said, The knowledge produced by an
evidence does not differ in its essential nature
whether one calls it eternal or transitory. Knowledge
(though) produced by an evidence is nothing but
knowledge. The knowledge preceded by memory, desire,
etc. and supposed to be transitory, and those which
are 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
predicates in the 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
Its essential nature).
104. Here the disciple raises an objection: It is not
reasonable that the Self which is changeless and is 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 regressus 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 regressus 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 regressus 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. All things including sound etc. come
to exist when they are proved by mental functions
resulting in the reflection of the Self.
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.
106. Disciple. But no one depends on any other
evidence such as sense-perception etc. in knowing the
107. Teacher. Yet 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 the changeless Self.
That is what I mean by knowledge.
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
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 the mental modifications
called sense-perception etc. are transitory. It is for
this reason that It is called the result of proofs in
a secondary sense.
109. Disciple. Sir, if this is so, the
Consciousness et the Self which is independent of
evidences regarding Itself, eternal, and changeless
Knowledge, is surely self-evident and, all things
different from It and therefore are non-conscious,
have an existence for only 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 Know]edge and nothing
else that it has an existence? So it does not really
exist at all. Just as a rope-snake, the water in a
mirage and such other things are found to be
non-existent except only as the Knowledge by which
they are known; so the duality --experienced during
waking and dream has reasonably no existence except as
the Knowledge by which it is known. So, having a
continuous existence, the Sell; which is pure
Consciousness, 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 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. For, there is nothing else (except
110. Teacher. It is exactly so. It is Ignorance due
to which 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
111. Disciple.Yes, Sir.
REITERATION AND REFLECTION
112. This method of repetition is described for those
who aspire after supreme tranquillity 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 a
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 brick-bats, 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
of a quite different nature. For, connected with one
another those sound and other objects aye 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 practise
I who am of the nature of Consciousness, not
attached. to anything, changeless, immovable,
imperishable, free from fear, extremely 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 by its special forms such as the notes of
the gamut, praise, etc. which are pleasant and.
desirable, and also 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 the ignorant man of
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 by its special
forms such as fever, colic, pain etc, coldness,
hotness, softness or roughness which are unpleasant.
Again, pleasant touches connected with the body or
brought into existence by external and adventitious
causes can likewise produce no change in me inasmuch
as I am beyond touch like the ether which when struck
with ones fist, does not meet with any change
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 pleasant or 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
shruti says (Kath. Up. 3.15) that I am one who am
eternally devoid of sound, touch, sight, taste and
116. Moreover, sound and the other external objects
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 a foe nor have I any one indifferent
belonging to me. Anybody, therefore, who wishes to
connect me with pleasure and 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 smriti says, It is unmanifested and inscrutable.
(Bh.Gita 2.25) Similarly, I am not changeable by the
action of any of the five elements as I am not of an
objective nature. Therefore the smriti says, It
cannot be cut or burnt. (Bh. Gita 2.24) 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 devotional or adverse to me will be theirs, but
will not touch me who am devoid of old age, fear and
death as the smritis and the shrutis say, It is not
pained by omission or commission,(Br.Up. 4.4.22) It
is not harmed or benefited by any action,(Br.Up.
4.4.23) Unborn, comprising the interior and the
exterior, ( Mu.Up. 2.1.2 ) It is beyond the pain
felt by people and unattached. (Kath. Up. 5.11) 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 all-knowing Shankara.
Peace and Happiness
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