Disciple and Teacher

Disciple: “Master, teach me the knowledge of Brahman. I hear that this is the supreme knowledge, hidden and sacred, sought by the wise, and that he who seeks it is freed from impurities and attains the Supreme Being.”

Teacher: “Seek to know Brahman by acquiring faith in the word of the scriptures and in your Guru. Be devoted to Brahman. Meditate on him unceasingly. Not by work, nor by progeny, nor by wealth, but by devotion to him and by indifference to the world, does a man achieve immortality.

The supreme heaven shines in the lotus of the heart. They enter there who struggle and aspire. Understanding the spirit of the scriptural teachings, they renounce the world.”


Kaivalya Upanishad

This upanishad begins with the words: “The sage who by faith, devotion and meditation has realised the Self, and become one with Brahman, is released from the wheel of change and escapes from rebirth, sorrow and death.”

The subtle impressions of his deeds

A man acts according to the desires to which he clings. After death he goes to the next world bearing in his mind the subtle impressions of his deeds; and after reaping there the harvest of his deeds, he returns again to this world of action. Thus he who has desires continues subject to rebirth.

But he in whom desire is stilled suffers no rebirth. After death, having attained to the highest, desiring only the Self, he goes to no other world. Realising Brahman, he becomes Brahman.

When all the desires which once entered into his heart have been driven out by divine knowledge, the mortal, attaining to Brahman, becomes immortal.

As the slough of a snake lies cast off on an anthill, so lies the body of a man at death; while he, freed from the body, becomes one with the immortal spirit, Brahman, the Light Eternal.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

As a man acts, so does he become

As a man acts, so does he become. A man of good deeds becomes good, a man of evil deeds becomes evil. A man becomes pure through pure deeds, impure through impure deeds.

As a man’s desire is, so is his destiny. For as his desire is, so is his will; as his will is, so is his deed; and as his will is, so is his deed; and as his deed is, so is his reward, whether good or bad.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

The Self hastens back to his dreams

The Self, in dreams, shines by his own light…

The Self, having in wakefulness enjoyed the pleasures of sense, gone hither and thither, experienced good and evil, hastens back again to his dreams.

As a large fish moves from one bank of the river to the other, so does the Self move between dreaming and waking.

As a hawk or falcon flying in the sky becomes tired, and stretching its wings comes back to its nest, so does the Self hasten to that state where, deep in sleep, he desires no more desires, and dreams no more dreams.

Indeed, the Self, in his true nature, is free from craving, free from evil, free from fear. As a man in the embrace of his loving wife knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within, so man in union with the Self knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within, for in that state all desires are satisfied. The Self is his only desire; he is free from craving, he goes beyond sorrow.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

The golden, self-luminous being

While one is in the state of dream, the golden self-luminous being, the Self within, makes the body to sleep., though he himself remains forever awake and watches by his own light the impressions of deeds that have been left upon the mind. Thereafter, associating himself again with the consciousness of the organs of sense. the Self causes the body to awake.

While one is in the state of dream, the golden self-luminous being, the Self within, the Immortal one, keeps alive the house of flesh with the help of the vital force, but at the same time walks out of this house. The Eternal goes wherever he desires.

The self-luminous being assumes manifold forms, high and low, in the world of dreams. He seems to be enjoying the pleasure of love, or to be laughing with friends, or to be looking at terrifying spectacles.

Everyone is aware of the experiences; no one sees the Experiencer.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

There are two states for man

There are two states for man – the state in this world, and the state in the next; there is also a third state, the state intermediate between these two, which can be likened to dream. While in the intermediate state, a man experiences both the other states, that in this world and that in the next; and the manner therefore is as follows: When he dies, he lives only in the subtle body, on which are left the impressions of his past deeds, and of these impressions he is aware, illumined as they are by the pure light of the Self. Thus it is that in the intermediate state he experiences the first state, or that of life in this world. Again, while in the intermediate state, he foresees both the evils and the blessings that will yet come to him, as these are determined by his conduct, good and bad, upon the earth, and by the character in which this conduct has resulted. Thus it is that in the intermediate state he experiences the second state, or that of life in the world to come.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad