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.

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