Thirty two years later

Prajapati tells Indra: “That which moves about in dreams, enjoying sensuous delights and clothed in glory, that is the Self. That is immortal, that is fearless, and that is Brahman.”

Pleased with what he had heard, Indra again departed. But before he had reached the other gods, he realised the uselessness of this knowledge also. “True it is,” he thought to himself, “that this Self is not blind when the body is blind, nor lame when the body is lame or hurt. But even in dreams it is conscious of many sufferings. So in this doctrine I can see no good.”

So he went back to Prajapati for further instruction. After thirty-two more years, Prajapati said: “When a man is sound asleep, free from dreams, and at perfect rest – that is the Self. The Self is immortal and fearless, and it is Brahman.”

Indra went away, but realised that even this knowledge was useless. “In reality,” thought he, “one does not know oneself as this or that while asleep. One is not conscious, in fact, of any existence at all. The state of one in deep sleep is next to annihilation. I can see no good in this knowledge either.”

Will Indra ever get to the bottom of this question??

Indra and Virochana

Continuing the story of Chandogya Upanishad: ‘Now Virochana, satisfied for his part that he had found out the Self, returned to the demons and began to teach them that the body alone is to be worshipped, that the body alone is to be served, and that he who worships the body and serves the body gains both worlds, this and the next. Such doctrine is, in very truth, the doctrine of the demons!

But Indra, on his way back to the gods, realised the uselessness of this knowledge. “As this Self,” he reasoned, “seems to be well adorned when the body is well adorned, well dressed when the body is well dressed, so will it be blind when the body is blind, lame when the body is lame, deformed when the body is deformed. When the body dies, this same Self will also die! In such knowledge I can see no good.”

So he returned to Prajapati and asked for further instruction. Prajapati required him to live with him for another thirty-two years.’

Brighten your day

Bite-sized chunks of yoga theory

Brighten your day, when the world looks weary.

Upanishads, Eight Limbs and the Gita,

Quotes to make your temper sweeter.

Foods that help improve your health,

And lessons about the Inner Self.

Come and check out ‘yoga prescribed’,

Truths enlighten when well imbibed.

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‘YOGA PRESCRIBED’ by Carole Kerton. (£6).

The gods and demons

The gods and demons both heard of this truth, and they thought to themselves, “Let us seek after and realise this Self, so that we may obtain all the worlds and all desires.”

Thereupon Indra from the gods, and Virochana from the demons, went to Prajapati, the renowned teacher. For thirty two years they lived with him as pupils. Then Prajapati asked them why they had lived with him for so long.

“We have heard,” they replied, “that one who realises the Self obtains all the worlds and all desires. We have lived here because we want to learn of this Self.”

Then said Prajapati: “That which is seen in the eye – that is the Self. That is immortal, that is fearless, and that is Brahman.”

“Sir,” inquired the disciples, “is that the Self which is seen reflected in the water, or in a mirror?”

“The Self is indeed seen reflected in these,” was the reply. Then Prajapati added, “Look at yourselves in the water, and whatever you do not understand, come and tell me about it.”
Indra and Virochana gazed on their reflections in the water, and returning to the sage, they said: “We have seen the Self, exactly like ourselves, well adorned and in our finest clothes.”

To which Prajapati rejoined: “The Self is indeed seen in these. The Self is immortal and fearless and it is Brahman.” And the pupils went away well pleased.

But Prajapati, looking after them, lamented thus: “Both of them departed without analysing or discriminating, and without truly comprehending the Self. Whosoever follows a false doctrine of the Self will perish.”

Chandogya Upanishad.

It was said of old…

It was said of old: “The Self, which is free from impurities, from old age and death, from grief, from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing but what it ought to desire, and resolves nothing but what it ought to resolve, is to be sought after, is to be inquired about, is to be realised. He who learns about the Self and realises it obtains all the worlds and all desires.”

This is our mission. Yoga is a journey of SELF-discovery…

Golden treasure

“As one not knowing that a golden treasure lies buried beneath his feet, may walk over it again and again, yet never find it, so all beings live every moment in the city of Brahman, yet never find him, because of the veil of illusion by which he is concealed.

The Self resides within the lotus of the heart. Knowing this, devoted to the Self, the sage enters daily that holy sanctuary.”

Chandogya Upanishad

This house has the shape of the lotus…

“Within the city of Brahman, which is the body, there is the heart, and within the heart there is a little house. This house has the shape of the lotus, and within it dwells that which is to be sought after, inquired about, and realised.

What then is that which, dwelling within this little house, this lotus of the heart, is to be sought after, inquired about and realised?

As large as the universe outside, even so large is the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning, and all the stars. What is in the macrocosm is in the microcosm.

All things that exist, all beings and all desires, are in the city of Brahman; what then becomes of them when old age approaches and the body dissolves in death?

Though old age comes to the body, the lotus of the heart does not grow old. at death of the body, it does not die. The lotus of the heart, where Brahman exists in all his glory – that, and not the body, is the true city of Brahman. Brahman, dwelling therein, is untouched by any deed, ageless, deathless, free from grief, free from hunger and from thirst. His desires are right desires, and his desires are fulfilled.”

Chandogya Upanishad.

The light that shines

“The light that shines above the heavens and above this world, the light that shines in the highest world, beyond which there are no others – that is the light that shines in the heart of men…

The Self, who is to be realised by the purified mind and the illumined consciousness, whose form is light, whose thoughts are true; who, like the ether, remains pure and unattached; from whom proceeds all works, all desires, all odours, all tastes; who pervades all, who is beyond the senses, and in whom there is fullness of joy forever – he is my very Self, dwelling within the lotus of my heart.”

Try reading that out loud! It’s gorgeous. I had a glitch on my computer, and had to write the last part again. I was glad! Love ‘the fullness of joy’…

Chandogya Upanishad.

The lotus of the heart

“The Self, who is to be realised by the purified mind and the illumined consciousness, whose form is light, whose thoughts are true; who, like the ether, remains pure and unattached; from whom proceeds all works, all desires, all odours, all tastes; who pervades all, who is beyond the senses, and in whom there is fullness of joy forever – he is my very Self, dwelling within the lotus of the heart.

Smaller than a grain of rice is the Self; smaller than a grain of barley, smaller than a mustard seed, smaller than a canary seed, yea, smaller even than the kernel of a canary seed. Yet again is that Self, within the lotus of my heart, greater than the earth, greater than the heavens, yea, greater than all the worlds.”

This, from Chandogya Upanishad, is such a wonderful description of Atman, the divine individual spark, and Brahman, the Supreme Being.

May quietness descend…

“May quietness descend upon my limbs, my speech, my breath, my eyes, my ears; may all my senses wax clear and strong. may Brahman show himself unto me. May I never deny Brahman, nor Brahman me. I with him and he with me – may we abide always together. May there be revealed to me, who am devoted to Brahman, the holy truth of the Upanishads. OM…Peace – peace – peace.”

So we continue to digest bite-sized chunks of the yogic wisdom. This was from Chandogya Upanishad, which is one of my favourites.