1. One may perchance obtain a thing by following a wrong line by mistake; so also even by worshipping Brahman one may get release, the desired goal. So various ways of worship are described in the Nrisimha-Uttara-Tapaniya Upanishad.

2. A man sees a gleam of light emitted by a gem and another sees a gleam of light coming from a lamp; and both imagining that they are gems run to get them. Though (in both the cases) the notions are wrong, the results are different.

3. There is a lamp inside the house, its light is visible from outside. Similarly elsewhere the light of a gem is seen (from outside).

4. On seeing the two gleams at a distance, both (the men) took them for gems and ran after them. Their notions are equally wrong, in that they took the gleams for gems.

5. The man who ran for the gleam of the lamp did not find the gem, but the man who ran for the gleam of the gem got it.

6. Mistaking the gleam of a lamp for a gem is called a Visamvadi Bhrama, 'misleading error' (or an error that does not lead to the goal). Mistaking the gleam of a gem for a gem is called a 'leading' or 'informative' error, though both are errors (or wrong observations).

7. On seeing a mist and mistaking it for smoke, if a man argues the existence of fire there and goes for getting charcoal and accidentally finds it, his mistake is called a 'leading' error, a chance coincidence.

8. Sprinkling on himself the water of the River Godavari thinking it to be that of the River Ganges, if a man is actually purified this is 'leading' error (Samvadi Bhrama).

9. A man suffering from a high fever repeats 'Narayana' in delirium and dies. He goes to heaven. This is again a 'leading' error.

10. In direct perception, in inference and in the application of scriptural authority, there are innumerable instances of such leading errors or chance coincidences.

11. Otherwise, how could images of clay, wood and stone be worshipped as deities or how could a woman be worshipped as fire?

12. From the knowledge and (or) adoption of a wrong means, sometimes, by accident, as in the sitting of a crow on the branch of a palm tree and in the instantaneous fall of a fruit thereof, a desired result is obtained. This knowledge and (or) adoption of a wrong means is called a Samvadi Bhrama or a 'leading' error, or error leading to a right knowledge.

13. The 'leading' error though a wrong notion is potent enough to give the correct result. So also the meditation or worship of Brahman leads to liberation.

14. After indirectly knowing the one indivisible homogeneous Brahman from the books on Vedanta, one should meditate on or think repeatedly 'I am Brahman'.

15. Without realising Brahman to be one's own Self, the general knowledge of Him derived through the study of the scriptures, viz., 'Brahman is', is here called indirect knowledge, just as our knowledge of the forms of Vishnu etc., is called.

16. One may have knowledge of Vishnu from scriptures as having four arms etc., but if one does not have a vision of Him, he is said to have only indirect knowledge, inasmuch as he has not seen Him with his eyes.

17. This knowledge because of its defect of indirectness is not false, for the true form of Vishnu has been revealed by the scriptures which are authoritative.

18. From the scripture a man may have a conception of Brahman as existence, consciousness and bliss but he cannot have a direct knowledge of Brahman unless Brahman is cognised as the inner witness in his own personality.

19. As the knowledge of Sat-Chit-Ananda has been acquired in the scriptural method, it, though an indirect knowledge, is not an illusory one.

20. Though Brahman has been described as being one's own Self in the scriptures and the great Saying, still, one cannot understand It without the practice of enquiry.

21. As long as the delusion that the body is the Self, is strong in a man of dull intellect, he is not able at once to know Brahman as the Self.

22. As the perception of duality is not opposed to an indirect knowledge of non-duality, a man of faith, expert in the scriptures, can easily have the indirect knowledge of Brahman.

23. The perception of a stone image is not opposed to an indirect knowledge of the deity whom the image represents. Which devotee contradicts the idea of Vishnu in the image?

24. The disbelief of those who have no faith need not be considered, for the believing alone are authorised to perform the Vedic actions.

25. An indirect knowledge of Brahman can arise even through a single instruction by a competent teacher. It is like the knowledge of the form of Vishnu which does not depend on intellectual enquiry.

26. As there may be doubts about them, ritualistic works and methods of worship have been discussed (in the scriptures). Who otherwise could have synthesised the directions about them, scattered as they are over many branches of the Vedas?

27. Such rituals and methods of worship have been collected and co-ordinated in the Kalpa-Sutras. With their help man, who has faith, may practise them without further enquiry.

28. The methods of worship are described in other works by the seers. Those who are dull of ratiocination go to a teacher and learn the methods from him.

29. To determine the correct meaning of the Vedic texts let the learned resort to enquiry, but practical worship can be performed (with benefit) according to the teachings of a competent teacher.

30. The direct realisation of Brahman, however, is never possible only from the instructions of a competent teacher without the practice of inquiry.

31. Want of faith alone obstructs the indirect knowledge; want of enquiry is however the obstacle to the direct knowledge.

32. If even by enquiry one does not get the direct knowledge of Brahman as the Self, one should repeatedly practise enquiry, for enquiry, it is prescribed, should continue until direct knowledge dawns.

33. If a person does not realise the Self even after practising till death, he will surely realise it in a future life when all the obstacles will have been eliminated.

34. Knowledge will arise either in this birth or the next, says the author of the Brahma Sutras. The Shruti also says that there are many who listen to the teachings on non-duality and yet do not realise in this life.

35. By virtue of the practice of spiritual enquiry in a previous birth, Vamadeva had realisation even while in his mother's womb. Such results are also seen in the case of studies.

36. In spite of reading many times a boy may not be able to memorise something, but sometimes, next morning, without any further study, he remembers all that he has read.

37. As the seed in the field or in the womb matures in time, so in the course of time the practice of self-enquiry gradually ripens and bears fruit.

38. In spite of repeated enquiry a man does not realise the truth because of three kinds of impediments. This has been clearly pointed out in his Vartika by Acharya Sureshvara.

39. If you ask why the realisation (which did not arise before) comes now, we shall reply that knowledge comes only with the total removal of impediments which may be past, present or future.

40. Therefore only by studying the Veda and its meaning a man is not released. This has been shown in the example of hidden gold.

41. There is the popular song saying that a monk could not realise the truth, the impediment being his past attachment to his queen (or a she-buffalo).

42. His teacher instructed him of Brahman knowing his attachment to her (by telling him that Brahman was her substratum). When the impediment was removed, the monk realised the truth properly.

43. The impediments of the present are (i) binding attachment to the objects of the senses, (ii) dullness of the intellect, (iii) indulgence in improper and illogical arguments and (iv) the deep conviction that the Self is an agent and an enjoyer.

44. Through the practice of inner control and other qualifications and through hearing the truth and so forth, suitable for counteracting the impediments, the latter slowly perish and one realises his Self as Brahman.

45. The future impediment has been well illustrated in the case of Vamadeva. He overcame it in one birth and Bharata in three births.

46. In the Gita, it has been told that a Yogi who has not attained illumination in this life may be freed from the impediment after many births. Yet his practice of enquiry is never fruitless.

47. Because of his practice of enquiry such a Yogi enters into the heaven of the meritorious and then if he is not freed from desires, he is born again in a pious and prosperous family.

48. Or, if he has no worldly desires, he is born in a family of Yogis who have pure intellect due to their practice of enquiry into the nature of Brahman, for such a birth is hard to obtain.

49. He regains the Yogic intellect acquired in his previous birth and so strives more vigorously; this birth is indeed hard to achieve.

50. He is borne on by the momentum of his Yogic practices in the previous birth even against his inclination. Thus after many births he achieves perfection and as a result is liberated.

51. A man who has a strong desire for Brahmaloka, but suppresses it and practises enquiry about the Self, will not have realisation.

52. As the scriptures say, the monk, who has well ascertained the meaning of Vedanta, goes to the realm of Brahma and is released at the end of the four Yugas along with Brahma.

53. In some cases the enquiry itself is impeded because of the result of their evil deeds as the Shruti says: 'Even to hear about Him it is not available to many'.

54. If a man cannot practise enquiry, either due to extreme dullness of intellect or for want of other favourable circumstances, let him always keep the mind on Brahman.

55. As it is possible to continue the thought-current regarding Brahman with attributes, meditation on the attributeless Brahman also is not impossible.

56. (Doubt): Brahman is beyond speech and mind and so cannot be meditated upon. (Reply): Then there can be no knowledge of Brahman too.

57. (Doubt): Brahman is known as beyond speech and mind. (Reply): Then why cannot Brahman be meditated upon as beyond speech and mind?

58. (Doubt): If Brahman can be meditated upon He becomes invested with attributes. (Reply): That happens if He is taken as knowable. (Doubt): Brahman is knowable by Lakshana, indirect indication. (Reply): Then meditate upon Brahman that way, i.e., by Lakshana.

59. (Doubt): The Shruti saying, 'Know that alone to be Brahman which is beyond the range of speech and mind and not that which the people worship', prohibits meditation on Brahman.

60. (Reply): Equally Brahman cannot be an object of knowledge, for the Shruti says: 'Brahman is other than that which can be known'. (Doubt): The Shruti also says that Brahman can be known. (Reply): So also it says that He can be meditated upon. So meditate on Him basing upon those Vedic texts.

61. (Doubt): But Brahman as an object of knowledge is unreal. (Reply): Why not as an object of meditation too? (Doubt): Covering and apprehending by Vrittis is knowledge. (Reply): Similarly, doing that is meditation.

62. (Doubt): Why are you so devoted to meditation on the attributeless Brahman? (Reply): Why are you so opposed to it? Say that. As there are many Shruti texts prescribing meditation on the attributeless Brahman, it is not proper to say that there is no authority for it.

63. Meditation on the attributeless Brahman has been prescribed in the Nrisimha-Uttara-Tapaniya, Prasna (Saibya's fifth question), Katha, Mandukya and other Upanishads.

64. This method of meditation of the attributeless Brahman has been in the Panchikarana Vartika by Sureshvara. (Doubt): This meditation is the means of indirect knowledge of Brahman (but not of liberation). (Reply): We don't say that it is not so.

65. (Doubt): But most of the people do not practise this type of meditation. (Reply): Let them not do. How can the meditation be blamed for the short-comings of the meditator?

66. People of spiritually dull intellect repeat sacred formulas to acquire power over others, finding it more immediately fruitful than meditation on Brahman with attributes. There are people still more dull-witted who concentrate only on agriculture.

67. Let the dull-witted do what they like! Here we speak of meditation on the Absolute. Since it is of one Vidya or Upasana, all the qualifications of Brahman described in the various branches of the Veda must be gathered for meditation.

68. The positive qualities of bliss etc., are all to be co-ordinated into meditation on Brahman. This has been told by Vyasa in the 'Anandadaya..' Sutra.

69. Similarly Vyasa speaks of all the negative indications of Brahman such as 'not gross' in the 'Aksharadhiyam' Sutra.

70. (Doubt): Combining and thinking of these indications do not fit in with meditation on the attributeless Brahman. (Reply): Then your doubt is directed against Vyasa himself and not against me alone.

71. (Doubt): As (Vyasa) has not asked for the inclusion of the forms such as of the sun with golden beard etc., meditation on the attributeless is not contradicted. (Reply): Be satisfied with that; we also do not ask for that.

72. (Doubt): Qualities are only indirect indications; they cannot enter into the true nature of Brahman. (Reply): Let them be so. Meditate on Brahman thus indicated.

73. The Self is here indirectly indicated by positive qualities like 'bliss' etc., and by negative qualities like 'not gross' etc. One should meditate on the indivisible, homogeneous Self as 'That I am'.

74. (Doubt): What is the difference between knowledge and meditation? (Reply): Listen; knowledge depends on the object, whereas meditation depends on the will of the person meditating.

75. By the practice of enquiry, the knowledge of Brahman arises; then it cannot be prevented whether one likes it or not. Such knowledge, by the mere fact of its arising, destroys all ideas of the reality of the world.

76. On acquiring knowledge the aspirant experiences unbroken satisfaction and a feeling of having accomplished all that was to be accomplished. He becomes liberated in life and awaits the wearing-out of his fructifying Karma.

77. On the other hand, a believing man, putting his faith in the teachings of his teacher and without practising enquiry, should meditate on the object prescribed without being distracted by other thoughts.

78. He should continue the practice of meditation until he realises himself to be identical with his object of meditation and then continue this thought till death.

79. A certain Brahmachari used to go for alms keeping in his mind his identity with the vital air within him.

80. Meditation depends on the will of a man whether he is to do or not to do or to do it in a different way. One should therefore always continue the thought current.

81. A student, diligent in reciting the Vedas, reads or recites them even in his dreams through the force of habit. Similarly, one who practises meditation, continues it even in his dreams.

82. Giving up contrary thoughts, if a man ceaselessly meditates, he meditates even in his dreams because of the deep impression.

83. There is no doubt that while experiencing the results of his fructifying Karma a man, because of his strong impression, is able to meditate without intermission, just as a man attached to worldly objects always thinks of them.

84. A woman devoted to a paramour, though engaged in household duties, will all the time be dwelling in mind on the pleasures with him.

85. While enjoying in mind the pleasure of the company of her lover, her household duties though not much disturbed, are managed indifferently.

86. The woman with attachment to a paramour cannot fully do the work as a woman attached to her domestic duties does, with enthusiasm.

87. Similarly, a man who practises meditation one-pointedly, indifferently performs his worldly affairs; but a man who has realised the truth fulfils his worldly duties well, as they do not come in conflict with his knowledge.

88. This world is illusory, Maya and the Self is by nature pure consciousness. How can such knowledge be opposed to his worldly activities?

89. To perform activities, the world need not be thought real nor Self as insentient matter. To do so the right means only are necessary.

90. These means are the mind, the speech, body and external objects. They do not disappear on enlightenment. So why can't he engage himself in worldly affairs?

91. If he controls and concentrates his mind, he is a meditator and not a knower of truth. To know a pot the mind need not be controlled.

92. (Doubt): A pot once known by a modification of intellect, Vritti, remains so always. (Reply): Is not the self-illumined Self also ever manifest?

93. (Doubt): Does the self-luminous property of the Self give you the knowledge of Brahman? The Vritti with Brahman as the object is the cognition of truth, but the Vritti perishes in a moment. (Reply): This objection also applies to the cognition of a pot.

94. (Doubt): Once an intellectual conviction of the pot's existence is established, the cognition (Vritti) of the pot perishes. Afterwards it can be recognised at the will of the cogniser. (Reply): The same applies to the cognition of the Self.

95. Once the nature of the Self has been conclusively determined, the knower can speak of it, think of it or meditate on it at will.

96. (Doubt): The knower too, like a meditator, forgets worldly affairs in his contemplation. (Reply): Let him forget. This forgetfulness is due to his meditation and not because of his knowledge of the Self.

97. Meditation is left to his will, for his release has been achieved through knowledge. From knowledge alone comes release. This the scriptures announce with drum-beats.

98. (Doubt): If a knower does not meditate, he would be drawn to external affairs. (Reply): Let him happily engage himself in them. What is the objection for a knower to be so engaged?

99. (Doubt): This sort of reasoning is wrong, for there the scriptures will be violated. (Reply): If so, what is right reasoning please? (Doubt): Right reasoning is to follow the injunctions and prohibitions of the scriptures. (Reply): But they do not apply to the enlightened.

100. All these injunctions and prohibitions are meant for those who believe themselves to belong to a certain caste or station and stage of life.

101. The knower is convinced that caste, station etc., are creations of Maya and that they refer to the body and not to the Self whose nature is pure consciousness.

102. The clear-sighted knower from whose heart all attachment has vanished is a liberated soul whether he performs or not concentration or action.

103. He whose mind is free from all desires or former impressions has nothing to gain from either action or inaction, meditation (Samadhi) or repetitions of holy formulas.

104. The Self is associationless and everything other than the Self is a display of the magic of Maya. When a mind has such a firm conviction, wherefrom will any desire or impression come in it?

105. Thus when for an illumined sage there is no injunction on prohibition, where is his violating them? Only for him can violation be possible who is bound by them.

106. As a child is not subject to any injunctions and prohibitions, he cannot be charged with their violation. In their absence, in the case of a man of realisation too, how can there be any violation?

107. (Doubt): But a boy does not know anything. (Reply): A knower of truth knows everything. The law applies to one who knows a little, not to the other two.

108. (Doubt): He is a knower of truth who can bless or curse with effect. (Reply): Not that, for these powers result from the practice of austerities.

109. (Doubt): Vyasa and others had these powers. (Reply): But these were produced by some austerities. Austerities meant for knowledge are different from them.

110. Those who practise both the types of austerities possess both powers and knowledge. So each type of practice will produce the result appropriate to it.

111. (Doubt): Ascetics and ritualists, despise the saintly monk who has neither such powers nor follow the injunctions. (Reply): Their austerities and rituals are also despised by the votaries of worldly pleasures.

112. (Doubt): Monks too find a pleasure in the acquisition of alms, clothes and shelter. (Reply): Then what wonderful renunciation they must have being unable to move as it were with their dispassion!

113. (Doubt): It does not matter if the ritualists observing the scriptural rules are abused by the ignorant. (Reply): It also does not matter if a man of realisation is abused by the ritualists who identify themselves with the body and so observe the rules.

114. Therefore as knowledge of truth does not affect the means, such as the mind and so forth, a man of realisation is able to do worldly activities such as ruling a country.
115. (Doubt): He may not have any desire for worldly affairs since he is convinced of the unreality of the empirical world. (Reply): Let it be; let him be engaged in meditation or work according to his fructifying Karma.

116. On the other hand, a meditator should always engage himself in meditation, for through meditation his feeling of identity with Brahman arises, as a devotee has it by meditating on Vishnu.

117. The feeling of identity, which is the effect of meditation, ceases when the practice is given up; but the true Brahmanhood does not vanish even in the absence of knowledge.

118. The eternal Brahmanhood is revealed by knowledge and not created by it, for even in the absence of the revealer the real entity does not cease to exist.

119. (Doubt): But the Brahmanhood of a meditator also is real. (Reply): True, is not the Brahmanhood of the ignorant and the lower creatures also real?

120. Since nescience is common, they do not realise the purpose of their life. But just as begging is better than starving, so also it is better to practise devotion and meditation than to engage in other pursuits.

121. It is better to perform the works ordained in the scriptures than be engrossed in worldly affairs. Better than this is to worship a personal deity and meditation on the attributeless Brahman is still better.

122. That which is nearer to the realisation of Brahman is superior; and meditation on the Absolute gradually becomes like direct realisation of Brahman.

123. A 'leading' error leads to the desired goal, when it becomes knowledge. Similarly meditation on Brahman when ripened, leads to release and becomes real knowledge.

124. (Doubt): A man working prompted by a 'leading' error gets correct knowledge not by the leading error but by another evidence. (Reply): The meditation on the Absolute may also be taken as the cause of other evidence (Nididhyasana leading to direct realisation).

125. (Doubt): Meditation on the form of a deity and repetition of a sacred formula also lead to the goal. (Reply): Let it be so; but the speciality of meditation on the Absolute is that it is nearest to the goal of Self-realisation.

126. When meditation on the attributeless Brahman is mature it leads to Samadhi. This state of intense concentration at case leads on to the Nirodha state in which the distinction between subject and object is eliminated.

127. When such complete cessation of mental activity is achieved, only the associationless entity (Atman) remains in his heart. By ceaseless meditation on It based on the great Sayings, arises the knowledge 'I am Brahman'.

128. There is then a perfect realisation of Brahman as the immutable, associationless, eternal, self-revealed, secondless whole, as indicated in the scriptures.

129. The Amritabindu and other Upanishads recommend Yoga for the same object. It is clear therefore that meditation on the attributeless Brahman is superior to other types of worship.

130. Those who give up meditation on the attributeless Brahman and undertake pilgrimages, recitations of the holy formulas and other methods, may be compared to 'those who drop the sweets and lick the hand'.

131. (Doubt): This applies also to those who meditate on the attributeless Brahman giving up enquiry into Its nature. (Reply): True, therefore only those who are not able to practise enquiry have been asked to meditate on the attributeless Brahman.

132. Those who are very fickle-minded and agitated do not have the knowledge of Brahman by the practice of enquiry. Therefore control of the mind is the chief means for them. By it their mind becomes free from distractions.

133. For those whose intellects are no longer distracted nor restless but are merely covered by a veil of ignorance, the analytical system called Sankhya (intellectual enquiry) is prescribed. It will quickly lead them to spiritual illumination.

134. 'The state of spiritual balance is obtainable by both the Sankhyas (those who follow the path of enquiry) and the Yogis (those who practise meditation). He really knows the meaning of the scriptures who knows that the paths of enquiry and meditation are the same'.

135. The Shruti too declares that with both enquiry and meditation people know the Highest; but whatever in the books of Sankhya and Yoga are against the Shruti are to be rejected.

136. If one fails to perfect the practice of meditation in this life, one does so either at the time of death or in the region of Brahma. Then, obtaining direct knowledge of the reality, one is liberated.

137. The Gita says that a man attains that which he thinks of at the time of death. Wherever his mind is fixed, there he goes, says the Shruti too.

138. So the future life of a man is determined by the nature of his thoughts at the time of death. Then as a devotee of the Personal God is absorbed in Him, so a meditator on the attributeless Brahman is absorbed in It and obtains Liberation.

139. Brahman is called 'eternal' and 'attributeless' but in fact It is of the nature of liberation itself, just as 'leading' error is an error in name only, for it leads to the desired object.

140. As by meditation on the Personal God knowledge of the nature of Ishvara arises, so by meditation on the attributeless Brahman, knowledge of Its nature arises and destroys the ignorance which is the root of rebirth.

141. A meditator becomes Brahman who is 'unattached, desireless, free from body and organs and fearless'. Thus the Tapaniya Upanishad speaks of liberation as the result of meditation on the attributeless Brahman.

142. By the strength of meditation on the attributeless Brahman knowledge arises. So the scriptural verse, 'Verily there is no other path to liberation (except knowledge)' does not conflict with this.

143. So the Tapaniya Upanishad points out that liberation comes from desireless meditation. The Prasna Upanishad also says that by meditation with desire one enters into the region of Brahma.

144. The Prasna Upanishad says that he who meditates with desires on the three-lettered Aum, is taken to the region of Brahma. There he comes to know the attributeless Brahman who is beyond Hiranyagarbha, the sum total of souls and becomes free.

145. The Brahma Sutras in the Apratikadhikarana say that he who desires the region of Brahma and meditates with desires on the attributeless Brahman attains that region.

146. Such a worshipper, by virtue of his meditation on the attributeless Brahman, enters the world of Brahma and there obtains direct knowledge of Brahman. He is not born again, he gets ultimate release at the end of the four Yugas.

147. In the Vedas meditation on the holy syllable Aum in most places means meditation on the attributeless Brahman, though in some places it means meditation on Brahman with attributes.

148. Pippalada being asked by his pupil Satyakama says that Aum means Brahman both with and without attributes.

149. Yama too, questioned by his pupil Nachiketas, replied that he who meditates on Aum knowing it as the attributeless Brahman obtains the fulfilment of his desires.

150. He who meditates properly on the attributeless Brahman gets direct knowledge of Brahman either in this life or at the time of death or in the world of Brahma.

151. The Atma Gita also clearly says that those who cannot practise discrimination should always meditate on the Self.

152. (The Self as if says): 'Even if direct knowledge of Me does not seem to be possible, a man should still meditate on the Self. In the course of time, he doubtlessly realises the Self and is freed'.

153. 'To reach treasures deeply hidden in the earth, there is nothing for it but to dig. So to have direct knowledge of Me, the Self, there is no other means than meditation on one's Self'.

154. 'A man should remove the stones of body consciousness from the field of the mind and then by repeatedly digging with the pick-axe, the intellect, he can get the hidden treasure of the Self.'

155. Even if there is no realisation, think 'I am Brahman'. Through meditation a man achieves even other things (like the Deities), why not Brahman who is ever-achieved?

156. If a man, who is convinced by his experience that meditation, practiced day by day, destroys the idea that the not-Self is the Self, nevertheless becomes idle and neglects meditation, what difference, tell us, is there between him and a brute?

157. Destroying his idea that the body is the Self, through meditation a man sees the secondless Self, becomes immortal and realises Brahman in this body itself.

158. The meditator who studies this Chapter called the 'Lamp of Meditation', is freed from all his doubts and meditates constantly on Brahman.


1. Before the projection of the world the Supreme Self, the secondless, all-bliss and ever complete, alone existed. Through His Maya He became the world and entered into it as the Jiva, the individual Self.

2. Entering the superior bodies like that of Vishnu, He became the deities; and remaining in the inferior bodies like that of men He worships the deities.

3. Due to the practice of devotions in many lives the Jiva desires to reflect upon his nature. When by enquiry and reflection Maya is negated, the Self alone remains.

4. The duality and misery of the secondless Self, whose nature is bliss, is called bondage. Abiding in Its own nature is said to be liberation.

5. Bondage is caused by want of discrimination and is negated by discrimination. Hence one should discriminate about the individual and supreme Self.

6. He who thinks 'I am' is the agent. Mind is his instrument of action and the actions of the mind are two types of modifications in succession, internal and external.

7. The internal modification of the mind takes the form of 'I'. It makes him an agent. The external modification assumes the form of 'this'. It reveals to him the external things.

8. The external things (that are cognised by the mind in a general way, their special qualities having been jumbled up) are cognised by the five sense-organs quite distinctly as sound, touch, colour, taste and smell.

9. That consciousness which reveals at one and the same time the agent, the action and the external objects is called 'witness' in the Vedanta.

10. The witness, like the lamp in a dancing hall, reveals all these as 'I see', 'I hear', 'I smell', 'I taste', 'I touch' as pieces of knowledge.

11. The light in the dancing hall uniformly reveals the patron, the audience and the dancer. Even when they are absent, the light continues to shine.

12. The witness-consciousness lights up the ego, the intellect and the sense-objects. Even when ego etc., are absent, it remains self-luminous as ever.

13. The unchangeable witness is ever present as self-luminous consciousness; the intellect functions under its light and dances in a variety of ways.

14. In this illustration the patron is the ego, the various sense-objects are the audience, the intellect is the dancer, the musicians playing on their instruments are the sense-organs and the light illumining them all is the witness-consciousness.

15. As the light reveals all the objects remaining in its own place, so the witness-consciousness, itself ever motionless, illumines the objects within and without (including the operations of the mind).

16. The distinction between external and internal objects refers to the body and not to the witness-consciousness. Sense-objects are outside the body whereas the ego is within the body.

17. The mind seated within goes out again with the sense organs. In vain, people seek to impose the fickleness of the mind illumined by the witness-consciousness on the latter.

18. The streak of sunlight coming into the room through an opening is motionless; but, if one dances one's hand in the rays, the light appears to be dancing.

19. Similarly, the witness-consciousness, though really fixed in its own place and neither going out nor returning within, yet appears to move owing to the restless nature of the mind.

20. The witness-consciousness can neither be called external nor internal. Both these terms have reference to the mind. When the mind becomes fully tranquil, the witness exists where it shines.

21. If it be said that (when all mental operations cease) there is no space at all, we reply: let it have no space. It is called all-pervasive, because of the mind's creation of space.

22. Whatever space, internal or external, the intellect imagines, is pervaded by the witness-consciousness. Similarly will the witness-consciousness be related to all other objects.

23. Whatever form the intellect imagines, the supreme Self illumines it as its witness, remaining Itself beyond the grasp of speech and mind.

24. If you object 'How such a Self could be grasped by me?', our answer is: Let it not be grasped. When the duality of the knower and the known comes to an end, what remains is the Self.

25. Since Atman is self-luminous in its nature, its existence needs no proof. If you need to be convinced that the existence of Atman needs no proof, hear the instruction of the Shruti from a spiritual teacher.

26. If you find the renunciation of all perceptible duality impossible, reflect on the intellect and realise the witness-consciousness as the one witness of all internal and external creations of the intellect.


1. We now describe the bliss of Brahman, knowing which one becomes free from present and future ills and obtains happiness.

2. 'A knower of Brahman achieves the Supreme'; 'A knower of the Self goes beyond sorrow'; 'Brahman is bliss'; 'One becomes blissful through the attainment of the blissful Brahman' and in no other way.

3. He who establishes himself in his own Self becomes fearless, but he who perceives any difference from the Self is subject to fear.

4. Even Wind, Sun, Fire, Indra and Death, having performed the religious practices in earlier lives, but failing to realise their identity with Him, carry out their tasks in fear of Him.

5. One who has attained the bliss of Brahman experiences fear from nothing. Anxiety regarding his good and bad actions which consumes others like fire, no longer scorches him.

6. Such a knower through his knowledge takes himself beyond good and evil and is ever engaged in meditation on the Self. He looks upon good and bad actions done as the manifestations of his Self.

7. 'When a man has seen the Highest the knots of his heart are sundered; all his doubts are dispelled and all his actions perish'.

8. 'Knowing Him, one crosses death; there is no other path than this'. 'When a man has known the effulgent Self, all his bonds are cut asunder, his afflictions cease; there is no further birth for him.'

9. 'The man of steady wisdom, having known the effulgent Self, leaves behind, even in this life, all joys and sorrows'. 'He is not scorched by thoughts of the good or bad deeds which he may have done or omitted to do'.

10. Thus many texts in the Shruti, Smritis and Puranas declare that the knowledge of Brahman destroys all sorrows and leads to bliss.

11. Bliss is of three kinds: The bliss of Brahman, the bliss which is born of knowledge and the bliss which is produced by contact with outer objects. First the bliss of Brahman is being described.

12. Bhrigu learnt the definition of Brahman from his father Varuna and negating the food-sheath, the vital-sheath, the mind-sheath and the intellect-sheath as not being Brahman, he realised Brahman reflected in the bliss-sheath.

13. All beings are born of bliss and live by It, pass on to It and are finally reabsorbed in it; there is therefore no doubt that Brahman is bliss.

14. Before the creation of beings there was only the infinite and no triad of knower, known and knowing; therefore in dissolution the triad again ceases to exist.

15. When created, the intellect-sheath is the knower; the mind-sheath is the field of knowledge; sound etc., are the objects known. Before creation they did not exist.

16. In the absence of this triad, the secondless, indivisible Self alone exists. The Self alone existed before the projection of the world. Similarly It exists in the states of Samadhi, deep sleep and swoon.

17. The infinite Self alone is bliss; there is no bliss in the finite realm of the triad. This Sanatkumara told the grieving Narada.

18. Even though Narada was versed in the Vedas, the Puranas and the various studies, he was full of grief because of not knowing the Self.

19. Before he began the study of the Vedas he was subject to the three usual kinds of misery, but afterwards he was more grieved because of the added afflictions of the practices of the study, the fear of forgetting and slips or defeat and conceit.

20. 'O Sage', said Narada to Sanatkumara, 'learned as I am in the studies, I am subject to grief. Please take me beyond this ocean of misery'. The Rishi told Narada in reply that the farther shore of the ocean of misery is the bliss of Brahman.

21. As the happiness derived from sense-objects is covered by thousands of afflictions, it is misery only. There is therefore no happiness in the limited.

22. (Objection): Granting there is no happiness in duality, there is no happiness in non-duality either. If you maintain that there is, then it must be experienced and then there will be the triad.

23. (Reply): 'Let there be no experience of happiness in the state of non-duality. But non-duality itself is bliss.' 'What is the proof?' 'The self-revealing requires no other proof'.

24. Your objection itself is evidence of the self-revealing nature of the existence of self-conscious non-duality; for you admit the existence of the secondless and merely contend that it is not bliss.

25. (Objection): I do not admit non-duality but only accept it as a hypothesis to be refuted. (Reply): Then tell us what existed before duality emerged.

26. Was it non-duality or duality or something different from both? It cannot have been the last because it is impossible to conceive so. It cannot have been duality because it had not yet emerged. Hence non-duality alone remains.

27. (Objection): The truth of non-duality is established by argument only and not by experience, it cannot be experienced. (Reply): Then tell whether your argument can or cannot be supported by illustration; it must be the one or the other.

28. You deny (the possibility of) the non-dual experience. (At the same time if you say) there is no illustration (in support of the argument that establishes non-duality) it would be a wonderful logic! (You cannot say there is no illustration in its favour, for an argument must be supported by an illustration). In case there are examples please give us an acceptable one.

29. (Objection): (Here is the argument with illustration). In dissolution there is non-duality, since duality is not experienced there, as in deep sleep. (Reply): Please give an illustration to support your affirmation of the absence of duality in deep sleep.

30. (Objection): The sleeping state of some other person may be an illustration. (Reply): You are indeed a clever man; you have no knowledge of your own experience in deep sleep, which you are going to prove by giving the illustration of another's deep sleep and yet you profess to know that of another.

31. (Objection): The other person is in deep sleep since he is inactive as in my case. (Reply): Then from the force of your illustration you admit the self-revealing nature of the non-dual truth in your own sleep.

32. (How?) There are no sense-organs (for you say you are inactive); there is no illustration (for the illustration adduced by you is inadmissible) and yet there is the non-dual (which you admit); this is what is known as the self-revealing nature of the non-dual. So you are forced to admit it.

33. (Objection)): Admitted that there is the non-dual in deep sleep and that it is self-revealing, what about the bliss you spoke of? (Reply): When all misery is absent, that which remains is bliss.

34. In deep sleep the blind are not blind, the wounded not wounded and the ill no longer ill, say the scriptures. All people too know this.

35. (Objection): The absence of misery does not necessarily imply bliss, since objects like stone or clay are not seen to experience either misery or happiness. (Reply): This is a false analogy.

36. One infers another's grief or joy from his face, melancholy or smiling, but in clay this inference of grief etc., from such indications is impossible.

37. Our happiness and misery, however, are not to be known by inference; both their presence and absence are directly experienced.

38. In the same way the absence of all miseries is directly experienced in deep sleep and since they are the opposites to bliss their total absence is unhindered bliss which has to be accepted as our experience.

39. If sleep does not produce an experience of bliss why do people make so much efforts to procure soft beds etc.,?

40. (Objection): It is only to remove pain. (Reply): That is true for the sick alone. But since healthy people do so too, it must be to obtain happiness.

41. (Objection): Then the happiness in sleep is born of objects due to the bed etc. (Reply): It is true that the happiness before going to sleep is due to these accessories.

42. But the happiness experienced in deep sleep is not obtained from any object. A man may go to sleep expecting to be happy, but before long he experiences a happiness of a higher order.

43. A man fatigued in the pursuit of worldly affairs lies down and removes the obstacles to happiness. His mind being calm, he enjoys the pleasure of resting in bed.

44. Directing his thoughts towards the Self, he experiences the bliss of the Self reflected in the intellect. But experiencing this, even here he becomes tired of the pleasures derived of the triad (of experiencer, experience and experienced).

45. To remove that weariness the Jiva rushes towards his real Self and becoming united with it experiences the bliss of Brahman in sleep.

46. The scriptures give the following examples to illustrate the bliss enjoyed in sleep: the falcon, the eagle, the infant, the great king and the knower of Brahman.

47. Tied to a string, the falcon, flying hither and thither but failing to find a resting place, returns to rest on the wrist of its master or on the post to which it is tied.

48. Similarly the mind, which is the instrument of the Jiva, moves on in the dreaming and waking states in order to obtain the fruits of righteous and unrighteous deeds. When the experiencing of these fruits ceases, the mind is absorbed in its cause, undifferentiated ignorance.

49. The eagle rushes only to its nest hoping to find rest there. Similarly the Jiva eager only to experience the bliss of Brahman rushes to sleep.

50. A tiny tot having fed at the breast of its mother, lies smiling in a soft bed. Free from desire and aversion it enjoys the bliss of its nature.

51. A mighty king, sovereign of the world, having obtained all the enjoyments which mark the limits of human happiness to his full contentment, becomes the very personification of bliss.

52. A great Brahmana, a knower of Brahman, has extended the bliss of knowledge to its extreme limit; he has achieved all that was to be achieved and sits established in that state.

53. These examples of the ignorant, infant, the discriminative king and the wise Brahmana are of people considered to be happy. Others are subject to misery and are not very happy.

54. Like the infant and the other two, man passes into deep sleep and enjoys only the bliss of Brahman. In that state he, like a man embraced by his loving wife, is not conscious of anything either internal or external.

55. Just as what happens outside in the street may be called external and what is done inside the house internal, so the experiences of the waking state may be called external and the dreams produced inside the mind and the nervous system may be called internal.

56. The Shruti says: 'In sleep even a father is no father'. Then in the absence of all worldly ideas the Jivahood is lost and a state of pure consciousness prevails.

57. One having such notions as 'I am a father' experiences joy and grief. When such attachment perishes, he rises beyond all sorrow.

58. A text of the Atharva Veda says: 'In the state of deep sleep, when all the objects of experience have been absorbed and only darkness (Tamas) prevails, the Jiva enjoys bliss'.

59. A man from deep sleep remembers his happiness and ignorance and says: 'I was sleeping happily; I knew nothing then'.

60. Recollection presupposes experience. So in sleep there was experience. The bliss experienced in dreamless sleep is revealed by consciousness itself which also reveals the undifferentiated ignorance (Ajnana) covering bliss in that state.

61. The Vajasaneyins say: 'Brahman is of the nature of consciousness and bliss'. Therefore the self-luminous bliss is Brahman itself and nothing else.

62. The mind and the intellect sheaths are latent in the state called ignorance. Deep sleep is the condition in which these sheaths are latent and it is therefore a state of ignorance.

63. Just as melted butter again becomes solid, the two sheaths in the states following deep sleep again become manifest. The state in which the mind and intellect are latent is called the bliss-sheath.

64. The modifications (Vritti) of the intellect in which, just before sleep, bliss is reflected becomes latent in the state of deep sleep along with the reflected bliss and is known as the bliss-sheath.

65. This Vritti thus turned within, which is termed the bliss-sheath, enjoys the bliss reflected on it in association with the modifications of ignorance, catching the reflection of consciousness.

66. The adepts in Vedanta say that the modifications of ignorance are subtle, whereas those of the intellect are gross.

67. This is fully explained in the Mandukya and Tapaniya Upanishads. It is the sheath of bliss which is the enjoyer and it is the bliss of Brahman which is enjoyed.

68. This profusion of bliss (Anandamayah), having become concentrated into one mass of consciousness in the deep sleep, enjoys the (reflected) bliss of Brahman with the help of modifications (Vrittis) reflecting a superabundance of consciousness.

69. The self (Chidabhasa) in the waking and dream states, is connected or associated with various sheaths such as Vijnanamaya and appears as many (i.e., plays various roles). In the deep sleep state, however, they get merged and become latent like a dough of many (powdered) wheat-grains.

70. The modifications of the intellect, which are instruments of cognition, unite and become one in the state of sleep, just as drops of cold water in the Himalayan regions solidify into a mass of ice.

71. This witness state of compact consciousness, ordinary people and the logicians say, is characterised by the absence of suffering, because in that state the mental modifications of pain and misery subside.

72. In the enjoyment of the bliss of Brahman in deep sleep, the consciousness reflected in ignorance is the means. Prompted by its Karma, good or bad, the Jiva gives up the enjoyment of bliss and goes out to the waking state.

73. The Kaivalya Upanishad says that a Jiva passes from the sleeping to the waking state owing to the effects of the actions of former births. Reawakening thus is a result of actions.

74. For a short time after the waking up the impression of the bliss of Brahman enjoyed during sleep continues. For he remains for some time calm and happy, without taking any interest in the enjoyment of external objects.

75. Then, impelled by his past actions ready to bear fruits, he begins to think of duties and their implementation entailing sufferings of many kinds and gradually forgets the bliss of Brahman experienced (a few minutes before).

76. Experiencing the bliss of Brahman before and after sleep day after day man develops a predilection for it. How can a man, therefore, doubt it (i.e., the existence of the bliss of Brahman)?

77. (Objection): Well, if a mere state of quietude were enjoyment of the bliss of Brahman then the lazy and the worldly would achieve the end of their life. What then is the use of the teacher and the scriptures?

78. (Reply): Your contention would be correct, if he realised that the bliss that he experienced was the bliss of Brahman. But who can know Brahman that is so immensely profound without the help of the teacher and the scripture?

79. (Objection): I know what Brahman is from what you yourself have said. Why then am I without the bliss of realisation? (Reply): Listen to the story of a man who like yourself imagined that he was wise.

80. This man, hearing that a large reward was offered to anyone who knew the four Vedas, said, 'I know from you that there are four Vedas. So give me the reward'.

81. (Objection): He knew the number, not the text, of the Vedas fully. (Reply): You too have not known Brahman fully.

82. (Objection): Brahman is by nature indivisible and is bliss absolute, untouched by Maya and its effects. How can you speak of the knowledge of Brahman as complete or incomplete?

83. (Reply): Do you simply say the word 'Brahman' or do you see its meaning? If you know only the word, it remains for you to acquire knowledge of its meaning.

84. Even if with the help of grammar and so forth you learn its meaning, still realisation remains. Serve your teacher until you have realised Brahman and known that there is nothing further to be known.

85. Leave the vain argument alone and know that whenever happiness is felt in the absence of objects, that happiness is an impression of the bliss of Brahman.

86. Even when on the acquisition of the desired external objects the desire becomes quiescent and the Vritti is directed inward, it reflects the bliss of Brahman. (This is what is known as 'reflected' bliss or Vishayananda or bliss derived from the enjoyment of external things.)

87. There are thus only three kinds of bliss experienced in the world: (1) Brahmananda, the bliss of Brahman; (2) Vasanananda, the bliss arising in the quiescent mind out of the impressions of Brahmananda and (3) Vishayananda, the bliss resulting from the fulfilment of the desire to be in contact with external objects.

88. Of these, the self-revealing bliss of Brahman gives rise to the other two kinds of bliss, the Vasanananda and the Vishayananda.

89. The fact that the bliss of Brahman is self-revealing in deep sleep is established by the authority of the scriptures, by reasoning and by one's experience. Now hear about its experience at other times.

90. The Jiva which is called Anandamaya, enjoying bliss of Brahman during sleep gets identified with the intellect-sheath during the dreaming and waking states, as he changes his seat from one state to another.

91. The Shruti says that in the waking state the Jiva abides in the eye i.e., the gross body; in the dreaming state in the throat and in deep sleep in the lotus of the heart. In the waking state the Jiva pervades the whole gross body from head to foot.

92. In the waking state the Jiva gets identified with the body, as fire with a red-hot ball of iron. As a result of this he comes to feel with certainty: 'I am a man'.

93. The Jiva experiences the three states of detachment, joy and suffering. Joy and suffering are the results of actions; detachment comes naturally.

94. Pain and pleasure are of two sorts as the experience is limited within the mind or is external to it also. The state of detachment appears in the intervals between pain and pleasure.

95. 'Now I have no worries, I am happy', thus do people describe the natural bliss of the Self in the state of detachment.
96. But in this state the natural bliss of the Self is not primary for it is obscured by the idea of egoity and the bliss so experienced is not the bliss of Brahman but only an impression of it.

97. The outside of a pot full of water feels cold. Actually there is no water outside but coldness only. It is from this property of water that the presence of water inside is inferred.

98. Similarly, as one forgets one's egoity by continued practice, one can comprehend through intuitive perception one's natural state of bliss.

99. By continued practice of all kinds the ego becomes exceedingly refined. This state is not sleep because the ego is not completely absorbed; moreover the body does not, as in sleep, fall to the ground.

100. The bliss in which there is no experience of duality and which is not sleep either, is the bliss of Brahman. So said Lord Krishna to Arjuna.

101. 'By the steady application of reason and discrimination an aspirant should gradually control his mind. He should keep the mind fixed on the Self and restrain it from thinking of anything else'.

102. 'Whenever the mind which is restless and fickle, wanders away, the aspirant should restrain it and concentrate it on the Self'.

103. 'The Yogi whose mind is perfectly tranquil, whose passions are subdued, who is sinless and has become Brahman, attains the supreme bliss'.

104. 'When by practice of Yoga, his mind is withdrawn and concentrated, the Yogi sees the Self by the Self and finds supreme satisfaction in the Self'.

105. 'When he obtains that supreme bliss which is beyond the senses, but which can be grasped by the intellect, he becomes firmly rooted in it and is never moved from it'.

106. 'Attaining it he considers no other gain as superior. Once established in it he is not disturbed even by great sorrow'.

107. 'This science of separation from the painful association is called Yoga. This Yoga must be practised with faith and a steady and undespairing mind'.

108. 'A Yogi who is free from imperfections and is ever united with his Self, experiences easily the supreme bliss of identity with Brahman'.

109. 'The control of the mind can be achieved by untiring practice over a long period, even as the ocean can be dried up by baling its waters out drop by drop with a blade of grass.'

110. In the Maitrayani Upanishad of the Yajur Veda, sage Sakayanya spoke of the great bliss experienced in Samadhi to the royal sage Brihadratha while discoursing on Samadhi.

111. 'As fire without fuel dies down and becomes latent in its cause, so the mind, when its modifications have been silenced, merges in its cause'.

112. 'To the mind fixed on Reality, merged in its cause and impervious to the sensations arising from the sense-objects, the joys and sorrows (together with their occasions and materials) experienced as a result of the fructifying Karma seem unreal'.

113. 'The mind is indeed the world. It should be purified with great effort. It is an ancient truth that the mind assumes the forms of the objects to which it is applied.'

114. 'Through the purification of his mind a man destroys the impressions of his good and evil Karma and the purified mind abiding in Atman enjoys undiminishing bliss'.

115. 'If a man were to focus his mind on Brahman, as he commonly does on the objects of senses, what bondage would he not be free from?'

116. 'Mind has been described as of two types, pure and impure. The impure is that which is tainted by desires, the pure is that which is free from desires'.

117. 'The mind alone is the cause of bondage and release. Attachment to objects leads to bondage and freedom from attachment to them leads to release'.

118. 'The bliss arising from absorption in the contemplation of the Self, when all sins and taints are washed off through the practice of Samadhi, cannot be described in words. One must feel it in one's own heart'.

119. Though it is rare for men to keep their minds long in the state of absorption, still even a glimpse of it confers conviction about the bliss of Brahman.

120. A man who has full faith in the truth of this bliss and is ceaselessly industrious about getting it, is sure to have it even for a short while; but this is enough to convince him of its reality at other times also.

121. Such a man ignores the bliss experienced in the state of mental quiescence and is ever devoted to the supreme bliss and meditates on it.

122. A woman devoted to a paramour, though engaged in household duties, with all the time be dwelling in mind on the pleasures with him.

123. Similarly the wise one who has found peace in the supreme Reality will be ever enjoying within the bliss of Brahman even when engaged in worldly matters.

124. Wisdom consists in subjugating the desires for sense-pleasure, even when the passions are strong and in engaging the mind in meditation on Brahman with the desire to enjoy the bliss.

125. A man carrying a burden on his head feels relief when he removes the load; similarly a man freed from worldly entanglements feels he is in rest.

126. Thus relieved of burden and enjoying rest, he fixes his mind on the contemplation of the bliss of Brahman, whether in the state of detachment or experiencing pain or pleasure according to fructifying Karma.

127. As a Sati about to enter the fire considers the delay in putting on clothes and ornaments to be irritating, so also one devoted to the achievement of the bliss of Brahman, feels about worldly objects that obstruct the practice of meditation on bliss.

128. The sage, looking now at the bliss of Brahman and now at such worldly objects as are not opposed to it, is like a crow that turns its eye from one side to another.

129. The crow has only a single vision which alternates between the right and left eye. Similarly the vision of the knower of Truth alternates between the two types of bliss (of Brahman and the world).

130. Enjoying both the bliss of Brahman taught in the scriptures and the worldly bliss unopposed to it, the knower of truth knows them both in the same way as one who knows two languages.

131. When the knower experiences sufferings, he is not disturbed by them as he would have been before. Just as a man half-immersed in the cool water of the Ganges feels both the heat of the sun and the coolness of the water, so he feels the misery of the world and the bliss of Brahman at the same time.

132. The knower of truth, experiencing the bliss of Brahman in the waking state experiences it also in the dreaming state, because it is the impressions received in the waking state that give rise to dreams.

133. The impressions of ignorance still continue in the dreaming state. So in a dream a wise man will experience sometimes joy and sometimes suffering, without being affected by either.

134. In this Chapter, the first of the five dealing with the bliss of Brahman, is described direct realisation of the Yogi revealing the bliss of Brahman.


1. (Question): A Yogi can enjoy the natural bliss of the Self which is different from the bliss of mental quiescence and the bliss of deep sleep; but what will happen to the ignorant man?

2. (Reply): The ignorant are born in innumerable bodies and they die again and again - all owing to their righteous or unrighteous deeds. What is the use of our sympathy for them?

3. (Doubt): Because of the desire of the teacher to help his ignorant pupils he can do something for them. (Reply): Then you must tell whether they are willing to learn the spiritual truth or are averse to it.

4. If they are still devoted to external objects, some suitable kind of worship or ritual can be prescribed for them. If, on the other hand, they, though spiritually dull, desire to learn the truth, they can be instructed in the knowledge of the bliss of the Self.

5. Yajnavalkya instructed this by pointing out to his beloved wife, Maitreyi, that 'a wife does not love her husband for his sake'.

6. The husband, wife or son, riches or animals, Brahmanahood or Kshatriyahood, the different worlds, the gods, the Vedas, the elements and all other objects are dear to one for the sake of one's own Self.

7. A wife shows affection to her husband when she desires his company; the husband too reciprocates but not when he is engaged in worship or afflicted with illness, hunger and so forth.

8. Her love is not for her husband's sake but for her own. Similarly the husband's love also is for his own satisfaction and not for hers.

9. Thus even in the mutual love between husband and wife the incentive is one's own desire for happiness.

10. A child, when kissed by its father, may cry, being pricked by the latter's bristly beard, still its father goes on kissing the child - it is not for its sake but for his own.

11. Wealth and gems have no likes or dislikes of their own, but their owner looks after them with love and care. It is for his own sake, none doubts it to be for theirs.

12. A merchant forces his bullock, though unwilling, to carry a load. He loves the bullock for his own sake, how can it be for the bullock's?

13. A Brahmana knowing that he deserves respect, is satisfied when he receives it. This satisfaction is not felt for his caste, an insentient abstraction, but for the man himself.

14. A king feels exalted that he is a Kshatriya and hence is a ruler, but the feeling is not for the caste. The same applies to men of Vaishya and other castes also.

15. The desire, 'May I attain the region of heaven or of Brahma', is not for the well-being of those regions but only for one's own enjoyment.

16. People worship Shiva, Vishnu and other deities to destroy sins. It is not for the sake of the deities who are already free from sins, but for their own sake.

17. The Brahmanas study the Rig and other Vedas to avoid falling from their (respectable) Brahminhood; this applies to men only and not to the Vedas.

18. People want the five elements, viz., earth, water, fire, air and Akasa, because of their usefulness to them in giving shelter, quenching their thirst, cooking, drying and space for movement and not for the sake of the elements themselves.

19. People desire to have servants or masters for their own benefit and not for the benefit of (servants or masters) themselves.

20. There are plenty of such examples to enable one to study and come to the same conclusion on all occasions. By these one should convince one's mind that for every man the Self is the only real object of love.

21-22. (Doubt): What type of love is it that the scriptures say is felt towards the Self? Is it the passionate attachment which is felt towards wife and other objects, the faith which is experienced in sacrifices and other rituals, the devotion which a man cherishes towards God and his teacher or is it the desire one feels for something one does not possess? (Reply): The real love of the Self is that which, in the absence of these emotions, manifests itself owing to the preponderance of Sattvika quality in the intellect. This love of the Self is different from desire, for it exists even when desire is present or destroyed.

23. (Doubt): Be it so, but food, drink etc., are liked because of their quality of giving happiness (and not for their own sake).

24. If you say that the Self is also a means to happiness like food and drink, then we ask: who is it that enjoys happiness? One and the same thing cannot be both the subject and the object of enjoyment.

25. Love for the means to happiness is partial love, but the love for the Self is infinite. The love for the means passes from one object to another, but the love for the Self is steadfast.

26. Love for an object of happiness always passes from one to another; (they are objects that can be accepted or rejected); but the Self cannot be treated like that; so how can love of Self change?

27. (Doubt): Even though it cannot be accepted or rejected the Self may be regarded as an object of indifference, like a piece of straw. (Reply): No, because it is the very Self of the person who is to regard it with indifference.

28. (Doubt): People begin to hate the Self when they are overpowered by disease or anger and wish to die. (Reply): This is not so.

29. When they desire to do away with the body it is an object for rejection, not their Self. The Self is the subject that desires the end of the body and it feels no hatred for itself. What harm is there if they hate the body, an object?

30. All objects are desired for the sake of the Self and hence of all the objects that are loved the Self is dearest. A man's son is dearer to him than his son's friends.

31. 'May I never perish, may I ever exist' is the desire seen in all. So love for the Self is quite evident.

32. Though the Self as the object of the highest love is taught by the scriptures and proved both by reasoning and experience, there are some who hold that the Self is merely secondary to son, wife etc., as an object of love.

33. To support this they quote the Shruti: 'The son indeed is the Self', which shows the superiority of the son. This has been clearly spoken of in the Upanishad.

34. 'The (father's) Self, born in the form of the son, becomes his substitute for the performance of meritorious deeds. The Self of the father, having fulfilled its purpose (by begetting a son) and having reached old age, departs'.

35. A verse in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says that in spite of the existence of the Self a man who has no son does not go to heaven. So the thinkers said that a son who is well trained in the Vedas helps his father to attain heaven.

36. The joys of this world can be attained through the son and not by other things. The dying father therefore should instruct his son the Vedic truth, "You are Brahman".

37. These Vedic verses are quoted to prove the importance of son, wife and so forth (and one's own Self as secondary). Ordinary people too admit the greater importance of a son.

38. A father labours hard to acquire wealth for the maintenance of his sons and others after his death. Hence the son is superior to the Self.

39. All right, but these texts do not prove the Self to be less important. It is to be remembered that the word 'Self' is used in three senses, figurative, illusory and fundamental.

40. In the expression 'Devadatta is a lion', the identification is figurative, for the difference between the two is evident. Similar is the case of the son and others as the Self.

41. Difference exists between the five sheaths and the Witness, though it is not evident and so the sheaths are illusory, like the thief seen in the stump of a tree.

42. The witness-consciousness is without a second and therefore in it there neither appears nor is any difference. As it is the innermost essence it is accepted that the word 'Self' in its fundamental sense refers to the Witness itself.

43. As the word 'Self' has these three meanings in daily use the suitable one becomes primary, the other two becoming merely secondary.

44. In the case of a dying man, giving charge of the family property and tradition to his son, the figurative meaning of 'Self' fits in, not the primary or the illusory meaning.

45. In the sentence 'the reciter is the fire' the term 'reciter' cannot actually refer to fire, for the latter is incapable of reciting, but must mean a Brahmachari who is able to do so.

46. In such expressions as 'I am thin and I must get fatter', the body should be taken as the Self. For the sake of one's own growing fat nobody engages his son in eating.

47. In such expressions as 'I shall attain heaven by austerities' the doer (the intellect-sheath) should be regarded as the Self. So ignoring the physical enjoyment people practise severe austerities.

48. When a man says, 'I shall be free', he then acquires knowledge (of the Self) from the teacher and the scripture and desires nothing else. Here the word 'I' should be regarded as the witness Self.

49. Just as Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are entitled to perform the sacrifices called Brihaspati-sava, Rajasuya and Vaishyastoma according to their fitness, so the figurative, illusory and fundamental selves are meant in different contexts.

50. Infinite love is always left for the Self which is primary in any particular context; and for whatever is related to it there is just moderate love and for all other things there is no love whatsoever.

51. Other things are of two kinds, to be ignored or hated. Straws lying on the road are disregarded, whereas tigers and snakes are hated. So things are of four kinds, loved, dearly loved, disregarded or hated.

52. The primary Self, things related to the Self and objects to be disregarded or hated - of these four categories of things there is no sacro-sanctity attached to any one of them that it would always be primary or secondary etc. But it (their being primary or secondary etc.,) depends on the effect they produce under particular circumstances.

53. When a tiger confronts man, it is hated; when it is away, it is disregarded; and when it has been tamed and made friendly, it causes joy; thus it is related to him and is loved.

54. Even though nothing is primary or secondary by itself, there are some characteristics to distinguish them under certain circumstances. These characteristics are: their being favourable, unfavourable, or neither of these.

55. The popular conclusion is that the Self is the dearest, the objects related to it are dear and the rest are either disregarded or hated. This is also the verdict of Yajnavalkya.

56. Elsewhere too the Shruti declares: 'Know this Self as the dearest which is more intrinsic than son, wealth and so forth'.

57. Through the eye of discrimination following the Shruti it becomes clear that the witness-consciousness is the real Self. Discrimination means separating the five sheaths and seeing the inner substance.

58. That is the self-luminous consciousness, the Self, which is the witness of the presence and absence of the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep.

59. The various objects of enjoyment, from life down to wealth, are objects of varying degrees of love according to their proximity to the Self.

60. A son is dearer than wealth, the body dearer than the son, the sense-organs dearer than the body, life and mind dearer than the sense organs and the Self is supremely dearer than life and mind.

61. In the Shruti there is a dialogue between a wise and a dull-witted man which illustrates the point that the Self is the dearest of all objects.

62. The wise man holds that the witness-consciousness, is dearer than all objects. The dull-witted man maintains that son and other objects are dearer and that the witness-consciousness enjoys the happiness caused by these objects.

63. The ignorant disciple and the confirmed opponent both assert that something other than the Self (Atman) is the object of greatest love. The reply given will prove to be an instruction to the disciple and a curse to the confirmed opponent.

64. The wise man quotes the scripture in his reply: 'Your dearest thing will make you weep'. The pupil analyses this reply and finds out his error in considering something other than the Self as the dearest.

65. When a married couple desire to have a son and do not have one, they are disappointed and miserable. After conception, a miscarriage or the pain of labour causes sorrow.

66. When a son is born he may suffer from diseases or from the position of the planets at his birth, or he may be stupid or obstinate, or after the investiture of sacred thread, he may study nothing or if he is learned, he may remain unmarried.

67. Again he may start pursuing the wives of others, or he may have an unwieldy family and remain in poverty, or he may grow wealthy and yet die in his youth. Infinite are the sorrows of parents.

68. Having considered all this, the disciple must abstain from forming an attachment to other things. He should focus his love on the Self and contemplate It day and night.

69. The confirmed opponent, who does not give up his contention due to obstinacy and hostility to the knower of truth, sinks into the depths of darkness and suffers the pains of innumerable births.

70. The knower of Brahman is of the nature of Brahman and is described as Ishvara, the all-powerful. Whatever he says will come to pass for the pupil and the opponent.

71. He who contemplates the witness Self as the dearest of all objects will find that this dearest Self never suffers destruction.

72. The Supreme Self, being the object of dearest love, is the source of infinite joy. The Shruti has it that from the sovereignty of this world to position of Hiranyagarbha, everywhere, wherever there is greater love there is greater bliss.

73. (Doubt): If the nature of the Self is bliss as well as consciousness, bliss should be found in all the modifications of the mind, as is consciousness.

74. (Reply): Not so. A lamp burning in a room emits both light and heat, but it is only the light that fills the room and not heat; similarly, it is only consciousness which accomplishes the Vrittis (and not bliss).

75. An object may be characterised by odour, colour, taste and touch, yet each of these properties is cognised by one particular sense-organ and not the others. It is the same with the bliss of the Self.

76. (Doubt): Odours, taste and so forth differ from one another, but in the Self consciousness and bliss are identical. (Reply): Tell whether this identity is in the witness Self or elsewhere?

77. The odour, colour and other properties of a flower are not separate from one another in the flower. If it be said that the separation of these properties is brought about by the sense-organs, we rejoin that the seeming difference between consciousness and bliss is produced by (the predominance of Rajas or Sattva in) the Vrittis.

78. When there is a predominance of Sattva in the Vrittis, we realise, because of their purity, that bliss and consciousness are one and the same, but when Rajas predominates, because of its impurity, the bliss is obscured.

79. As the intensely sour taste of tamarind when mixed with salt is lessened and taste less sour, so with bliss (when it is obscured by Rajas).

80. (Doubt): By discrimination one can feel that the Self is the dearest, but without the practice of Yoga what good is it (for liberation)?

81. (Reply): The goal which is reached by Yoga can also be reached by discrimination. Yoga is a means to knowledge; doesn't knowledge arise from discrimination?

82. 'The state achieved by the Sankhyas is also achieved by the Yogis'. Thus it has been said in the Gita about the identity of the fruit of both Yoga and discrimination.

83. Knowing that for some Yoga is difficult and for some others knowledge, the great Lord Sri Krishna speaks of these two paths.

84. What speciality is there in Yoga when knowledge has been declared as common to both? Both the Yogi and the Viveki (he who practises discrimination) are alike freed from attachment and aversion.

85. One who knows the Self as the dearest has no love for any object of enjoyment. So how can he have attachment? And how can he who sees no object inimical to himself have any aversion?

86. Both the Yogi and the Viveki dislike objects unfavourable to the body, mind etc. If it be said that he who has aversion for such objects is not a Yogi, then we rejoin that equally so is he not a Viveki.

87. It may be said that though in the world of relative experience both accept the conception of duality, the Yogi has the advantage that there is no duality for him while in the state of Samadhi. Our reply is that he who practises discrimination about the non-duality does not experience duality at that time.

88. In the next chapter, called the 'Bliss of Non-duality' we will enlarge on the theme of the absence of duality. Therefore things told till now are free from defects.

89. (Doubt): He is a true Yogi who in his contemplation is ever-conscious of the bliss of the Self and is unconscious of the external world. (Reply): May the blessings of contentment ever abide with you. (For the point is gained, this is the position of the Vivekin also).

90. In this second chapter of the section in which the bliss of Brahman is discussed we have dealt with the bliss of the Self (Atmananda) for the good of persons of spiritually dull intellect.