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

To and fro

In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Yagnavalkya tells us: ” The self-luminous being who dwells within the lotus of the heart, surrounded by the senses and the sense organs, and who is the light of the intellect, that is the Self. Becoming identified with the intellect, he moves to and fro, through birth and death, between this world and the next. Becoming identified with the intellect, the Self appears to be thinking, appears to be moving. While the mind is dreaming, the Self also appears to be dreaming, and to be beyond the next world as well as this.

When man, the individual soul is born, and assumes relationship with the body and the sense organs, he becomes associated with the evils of the world. When at death he gives up the body, he leaves all evils behind.”

The Self is honey for all beings

The sun, the space, the moon, the lightning, the thunder, the ether, the law, the truth, the race of men, are all described as being ‘honey for all beings’. And then we learn that, “This Self is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this Self. The intelligent, immortal being, the soul of this Self, and the intelligent, immortal being, the soul in the individual being – each is honey to the other. Brahman is the soul in each; he indeed is the Self in all. He is all…As the spokes of a wheel are held together in the hub and in the felly of a wheel, just so all beings, all creatures, all gods, all worlds, all lives, are held together in the Self.

He made bodies with two feet, he made bodies with four feet. He entered into all bodies, and because he dwells in the lotus of the heart, he is known as PURUSHA. There is nothing that is not surrounded by him, nothing that is not filled with him.”

This earth is honey

This earth is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this earth. The intelligent, immortal being, the soul of this earth, and the intelligent, immortal being, the soul in the individual being – each is honey to the other. Brahman is the soul in each; he is indeed the Self in all. He is all.

This water is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this water. The intelligent, immortal being, the soul of this water, and the intelligent, immortal being, the soul in the individual being – each is honey to the other. Brahman is the soul in each; he is indeed the Self in all. He is all.

This fire is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this fire. the intelligent, immortal being, the soul of this fire, and the intelligent, immortal being, the soul in the individual being – each is honey to the other. Brahman is the soul in each; he indeed is the Self in all. He is all.

This air is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this air. The intelligent, immortal being, the soul of this air, and the intelligent, immortal being, the soul in the individual being – each is honey to the other. Brahman is the soul in each; he is indeed the Self in all. He is all.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

 

A wonderful clear description

Here is a wonderful clear description of the Self from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: “As for water the one centre is the ocean, as for touch the one centre is the skin, as for smell the one centre is the nose, as for taste to one centre is the tongue, as for form the one centre is the eyes, as for sound the one centre is the ears, as for thought the one centre is the mind, as for divine wisdom the one centre is the heart – so for all beings the one centre is the Self.

As a lump of salt when thrown into water melts away and the lump cannot be taken out, but wherever we taste the water it is salty, even so, O Maitreya, the individual self, dissolved, is the Eternal – pure consciousness, infinite and transcendent…Where there is consciousness of the Self, individuality is no more.”

The sleeping man

Ajatasatru led Gargya to a sleeping man and said: “This man, who is a conscious, intelligent being – where was he when he was thus asleep, and how did he thus wake up? When this man, who is a conscious, intelligent being, is thus in deep sleep, he enters into the Self, within the lotus of the heart, having withdrawn into himself both his senses and his mind. When his senses and his mind are thus withdrawn, he is said to be absorbed in the Self.

In this state he knows nothing; he enters into the seventy-two thousand nerves which go out from the lotus of the heart. Even as a young man, or an emperor, or the best of Brahmins, when he has experienced the ecstasy of love, straightway takes sweet repose, so does a man deep in sleep find rest.

But when he sleeps, but also dreams, he lives in a world of his own. He may dream that he is a king, or that he is the best of Brahmins; he may dream that he is an angel, or that he is a beast. As an emperor, having obtained the objects of enjoyment, moves about at will in his dominions, so the sleeper, gathering up the impressions of sense, compounds them into dreams according to his desires.

As threads come out of the spider, as little sparks come out of the fire, so all the senses, all the worlds, all the gods, yea, all beings issue forth from the Self. His secret name is Truth of the Truth.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad