THE ATMAN – THE KATHA UPANISHAD

 THE ATMAN – THE KATHA UPANISHAD

 

The Atman, 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, It goes everywhere.

Who but myself can know that luminous Atman who rejoices and rejoices not?

 

The wise man, having realized Atman as dwelling

within impermanent bodies but Itself bodiless,

vast and all pervading, does not grieve.

 

This Atman cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books. It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Atman reveals Its own form.

He who has not first turn away from wickedness, who is not tranquil and subdued and whose mind is not at peace, cannot attain Atman. It is realised only through the Knowledge of Reality.

 

Know the atman to be the master of the chariot; the body, chariot;

the intellect, the charioteer; and the mind, the reins.

 

The senses, they say, are the horses; the objects, the roads. The wise call the atman—united with the body, the senses and the mind—the enjoyer.

If the buddhi, being related to a mind that is always distracted, loses its discriminations, then the senses become uncontrolled, like the vicious horses of a charioteer.

 

But if the buddhi, being related to a mind that is always restrained,

possesses discrimination, then the senses come under

control, like the good horses of a charioteer.

 

If the buddhi, being related to a distracted mind, loses its discrimination and therefore always remains impure, then the embodied soul never attains the goal, but enters into the round of births.

But if the buddhi, being related to a mind that is restrained, possesses discrimination and therefore always remains pure,

 

then the embodied soul attains that goal

from which he is not born again.

 

A man who has discrimination for his charioteer and holds the reins of the mind firmly, reaches the end of the road; and that is the supreme position of Vishnu.

As the sun, which helps all eyes to see, is not affected by the blemishes of the eyes or of the external things revealed by it,

 

so also the one Atman, dwelling in all beings, is never contaminated

by the misery of the world, being outside it.

 

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