OM! PEACE! PEACE! PEACE!
All this, whatsoever exists in the universe, should be covered by
the Lord. Having renounced (the unreal), enjoy (the Real). Do
the wealth of any man
We cover all things with the Lord by perceiving the Divine Presence
everywhere. When the consciousness is firmly fixed in God, the conception of
diversity naturally drops away;
because the One Cosmic Existence shines
through all things. As we gain the light of wisdom, we cease to cling to the
unrealities of this world and we find all our joy in the realm of Reality.
If one should desire to live in this world a hundred years, one
should live performing Karma (righteous deeds). Thus thou mayest
live; there is no other way. By doing this, Karma (the fruits of
thy actions) will not defile thee.
If a man still clings to long life and earthly possessions, and
is therefore unable to follow the path of Self-knowledge
(Gnana-Nishta) as prescribed in
the first Mantram (text), then he
may follow the path of the right action (Karma-Nishta). Karma here
means actions performed without selfish motive, for the sake of
the Lord alone. When a man performs
actions clinging blindly to
his lower desires, then his actions bind him to the plane of
ignorance or the plane of birth and death; but when the same
actions are performed with surrender to God, they purify
After leaving their bodies, they who have killed the Self go to
the worlds of the Asuras, covered with blinding ignorance.
The idea of rising
to bright regions as a reward for well-doers, and of
falling into realms of darkness as a punishment for evil-doers is common to
all great religions. But Vedanta claims that this condition of heaven and
is only temporary; because our actions, being finite,, can produce only a
What does it mean "to kill the Self?" How can the immortal Soul ever be
destroyed? It cannot
be destroyed, it can only be obscured. Those who hold
themselves under the sway of ignorance, who serve the flesh and neglect the
Atman or the real Self, is not able to perceive the effulgent and
nature of their Soul; hence they fall into the realm where the
Soul light does not shine. Here the Upanishad shows that the only hell is the
absence of knowledge. As long as man is overpowered by the darkness of
ignorance, he is the slave of Nature and must accept whatever comes as the
fruit of his thoughts and deeds. When he strays into the path of unreality,
the Sages declare that he destroys himself; because
he who clings to the
perishable body and regards it as his true Self must experience death many
That One, though motionless, is swifter than the mind. The
senses can never
overtake It, for It ever goes before. Though
immovable, It travels faster than those who run. By It , the
all-pervading air sustains all living beings.
This verse explains the character of
the Atman or Self. A finite
an object can be taken from one place and put in another, but it can
only occupy one space at a time. The Atman, however, is present
everywhere; hence, though one may
run with the greatest swiftness
to overtake It, already It is there before him.
Even the all-pervading air must be supported by this Self, since
It is infinite; and as nothing can live without breathing
all living things must draw their life from the Cosmic Self.
It moves and It moves not. It is far and also It is near. It is
within and also It is without all this.
is near to those who have the power to understand It, for It dwells in the
heart of every one; but It seems far to those whose mind is covered by the
clouds of sensuality and self-delusion. It is within, because It is
innermost Soul of all creatures; and It is without as the essence of the whole
external universe, infilling it like the all-pervading ether.
He who sees all beings in the Self and
the Self in all beings, he
never turns away from It (the Self).
He who perceives all beings as the Self for him how can there be
delusion or grief, when he sees this oneness (everywhere)?
He who perceives the Self everywhere never shrinks from anything, because
through his higher consciousness he feels united with all life. When a man
sees God in all beings and all beings in God, and also
God dwelling in his own
Soul, how can he hate any living thing? Grief and delusion rest upon a belief
in diversity, which leads to competition and all forms of selfishness. With
the realization of oneness,
the sense of diversity vanishes and the cause of
misery is removed.
He (the Self) is all-encircling, resplendent, bodiless, spotless,
without sinews, pure, untouched by sin, all-seeing,
transcendent, self-existent; He has disposed of all things duly for
This text defines the real nature of the Self. When our mind is cleansed from
dross of matter, then alone can we behold the vast, radiant, subtle,
ever-pure and spotless Self, the true basis of our existence.
They enter into blind darkness and worship Avidya (ignorance and
they fall, as it were, into greater darkness who
worship Vidya (knowledge).
By Vidya one end is attained; by Avidya, another. Thus we have
heard from the wise men who taught this.
He who knows at the same time both Vidya and Avidya, crosses over
death by Avidya and attains immortality through Vidya.
Those who follow or "worship" the path of selfishness and pleasure
without knowing anything higher, necessarily fall into darkness; but those who
worship or cherish Vidya (knowledge) for mere intellectual pride and
satisfaction, fall into greater darkness, because
the opportunity which they
misuse is greater.
In the subsequent verses Vidya and Avidya are used in something the same sense
as "faith" and "works" in the Christian Bible; neither alone
can lead to the
ultimate goal, but when taken together they carry one to the Highest. Work
done with unselfish motive purifies the mind and enables man to perceive his
undying nature. From this
he gains inevitably a knowledge of God, because the
Soul and God are one and inseparable; and when he knows himself to be one with
the Supreme and Indestructible Whole, he realizes his immortality.
They fall into blind darkness who worship the Unmanifested and
they fall into greater darkness who worship the manifested.
By the worship of the Unmanifested one
end is attained; by the
worship of the manifested, another. Thus we have heard from the
wise men who taught us this.
He who knows at the same time both the Unmanifested (the cause
manifestation) and the destructible or manifested, he crosses
over death through knowledge of the destructible and attains
immortality through knowledge of the First Cause (Unmanifested).
This particular Upanishad deals chiefly with the Invisible Cause and the
visible manifestation, and the whole trend of its teaching is to show that
they are one and the same, one being the outcome of the other
hence no perfect
knowledge is possible without simultaneous comprehension of both. The wise
men declare that he who worships in a one-sided way, whether the visible or
the invisible, does not reach the
highest goal. Only he who has a
co-ordinated understanding of both the visible and the invisible, of matter
and spirit, of activity and that which is behind activity, conquers Nature and
death. By work, by making the mind steady and by following the
prescribed rules given in the Scriptures, a man gains wisdom. By the light of
that wisdom he is able to perceive the Invisible Cause in all visible
Therefore the wise man sees Him in every manifested form. Those who have a true conception of God are never separated from Him. They exist in Him and He
The face of Truth is hidden by
a golden disk. O Pushan
(Effulgent Being)! Uncover (Thy face) that I, the worshipper of
Truth, may behold Thee.
O Pushan! O Sun, sole traveler of the heavens, controller
all, son of Prajapati, withdraw Thy rays and gather up Thy
burning effulgence. Now through Thy Grace, I behold Thy blessed
and glorious form. The Purusha (Effulgent Being) who dwells
within Thee, I am He.
Here the sun, who is the giver of all light, is used as the symbol of the
Infinite, giver of all wisdom. The seeker after Truth prays to the Effulgent
to control His dazzling rays, that his eyes, no longer blinded by them,
may behold the Truth. Having perceived It, he proclaims: "Now I see that that
Effulgent Being and I are one and the same, and my delusion is destroyed."
the light of Truth he is able to discriminate between the real and the unreal,
and the knowledge thus gained convinces him that he is one with the Supreme;
that there is no difference between himself and
the Supreme Truth; or as
Christ said, "I and my Father are one."