SELF – SOUL – THE UPANISHADS
The Self is one. Ever still, the Self is
Swifter than thought, swifter than the senses.
Though motionless, he outruns all pursuit.
Without the Self, never could life exist.
The Self seems to move, but is ever still.
He seems far away, but is ever near.
He is within all, and he transcends all.
The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self,
Indivisible, untouched by sin, wise,
Immanent and transcendent. He it is
Who holds the cosmos together.
Who is the Self that we meditate on?
Is it the Self by which we see, hear, smell, taste and through which we speak? Is Self the mind by which we perceive, understand, know, remember, will, desire and love?
These are but servants of the true Self who is pure awareness.
This Self is Everything in Everything.People who realize this eternal Self,
called Brahman, live in joy and go beyond death.
Who is this Self whom we desire to worship? Of what nature is this Self?
Is he the Self by which we see form, hear sound, smell odor, speak words, and taste the sweet or bitter?
Is he the heart and the mind by which we perceive, command, discriminate, know, think, remember, will, feel, desire, breathe, love, and perform other acts?
Nay, these are but adjuncts of the Self, who is pure consciousness.
And this Self, who is pure consciousness
is Brahman. He is God, all gods:
the five elements – earth, air, fire, water, ether; all beings great or small, born of eggs, born from the womb, born from heat, born from soil: horses, cows, men, elephants, birds; everything that breathes, the beings that walk and the beings that walk not.
The reality behind all these is Brahman who is pure consciousness.
All these while they live, and after they have
ceased to live, exist in him.
Neither is born nor dies, cannot be burned,
moved, cut, nor dried up.
The person here who among the senses is made
of knowledge, is the light in the heart.
He, remaining the same, goes along both worlds, appearing to think, appearing to move about, for upon becoming asleep he transcends this world and the forms of death.
‘Verily, this person, by being born and obtaining a body, is joined with evils. When he departs, on dying, he leaves evils behind.
It is in everyone and everything: the heart’s inner light,
the conscious being common to all levels of being.
The knower of all existence. Infinite, indivisible, consciousness and bliss, the reality behind all existence. The lord, the king of all beings.
(Also stated in the Ananda Upanishad.)
He who dwells in the air and within it, in the heaven and within it, and also in the sun and space, in the moon and stars, in the ether, in darkness, in light, whom the light doesn’t know, whose body the light is, ruling the light within.
As all spokes in a wheel’s fulcrum are centered all beings
are contained in that Self.
Until there is duality one sees, hears, smells the other, speaks to the other, one thinks about the other and knows him; but for the illumined soul in whom all is dissolved in the Self who can ever be there to be seen by whom, smelt or heard by whom, spoken to by whom, thought of by whom, known by whom? The Intelligence which reveals all by what could itself be revealed?
By whom the Knower could possibly be known?
The Self being unknown, all three states of the soul are but dreaming – waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep. In each of these dwells the Self; the eye is his dwelling place while we wake, the mind is his dwelling place while we dream, the lotus of the heart is his dwelling place while we sleep the dreamless sleep.
Has no beginning, is eternal, devoid of qualities or attributes
and abides in all beings supporting their existence
without directly acting.
– Is without origin and eternal,
unlimited by all qualities although seated in the body acts not, nor is affected by anything.
– Is never defiled by anything;
it is self-luminous and once our ignorance is dissolved shines most brightly.
– Free like the ether, abides in all forms
but is veiled by ignorance. It is hidden in a secret place (Buddhi), assumes the nature of mind, the prana is his resplendent body.
– Goes upwards and chases away the darkness;
remaining in perfect calm, rising from our body reaches the highest light and comes forth in his own form.
In the secret cave of the heart, two are seated by life’s fountain.
The separate ego drinks of the sweet and bitter stuff,
liking the sweet, disliking the bitter,
while the supreme Self drinks sweet and bitter neither liking this
nor disliking that. The ego gropes in darkness,
while the Self lives in light.
The Self Is never affected by the sorrow of the world,
is not born and never dies.
It has not sprung from anything and nothing emerged from It.
Birth-less, eternal, everlasting and ancient, it is
not killed when the body is killed.
The Self, smaller than the small, greater than the great, is hidden in the hearts of all living creatures. A man who is free from desires beholds the majesty of the Self through tranquility of the senses and the mind and becomes free from grief.
Though sitting still It travels far; though lying down
The Highest Self cannot to be fixed, unlimited, unborn he is, not to be reasoned about nor conceived. He is like the ether (everywhere),
and at the destruction of the universe
he alone is awake.
Thus from that ether he wakes all this world, which consists of thought only, and by him alone is all this meditated on, and in him it is dissolved. His is that luminous form which shines in the sun, and the manifold light in the smokeless fire, and the heat which in the stomach digests the food.
The Mundaka Upanishad:
Bright but hidden, the Self dwells in the heart. Everything that moves,
breathes, opens and closes lives in the Self.
He is the source of love and may be known through love but not through thought. He is the goal of life. Attain this goal!
The shining Self dwells hidden in the heart. Everything in the cosmos,
great and small, lives in the Self.
He is the source of life, Truth beyond the transience of this world.
He is the goal of life. Attain this goal!
The effulgent Self, who is beyond thought, Shines in the greatest, shines
in the smallest, Shines in the farthest, shines in the nearest,
Shines in the secret chamber of the heart.
Beyond the reach of the senses is he, but not beyond the reach of a mind stilled through the practice of deep meditation. Beyond the reach of words and works is he, but not beyond the reach of a pure heart freed from the sway of the senses.
Not through discourse, not through the intellect, not even through study of the scriptures can the Self be realized.
The Self reveals Himself to the one who longs for the Self. Those
who long for the Self with all their heart are chosen
by the Self as his own.
Not by the weak, not by the unearnest, not by those who practice wrong disciplines can the Self be realized. The Self reveals Himself as the Lord of Love to the one who practices right disciplines.
Which are the right disciplines for you?
Endowed with qualities, the doer of works manifest their consequences,
reaps the result of his actions; ruling life he moves
in his journey by his own acts.
A conscious being like smokeless fire governing both the past and the future, which we must patiently raise it from our own body.
Soundless, intangible, formless, undecaying and tasteless, eternal and odorless, dwells in the hearts of men.
Is in itself is devoid of senses but shines through them.
Is neither male, female nor neuter but the sex of whatever body it inhabits. Is fivefold: there is a self of the essence of Matter, one of Life filling it, one of Mind, one of Truth-Knowledge and a last an inner self of Bliss.
Is capable of infinity.