480 – 581
Practice of Knowledge – disciple (verses 480-520)
480 Through the words of the teachers, the pronouncements of the scriptures and by one‘s own reasoning with senses controlled and mind fixed, at an auspicious moment realising the supreme Truth, such a person becomes motionless in form and perfectly established in the Self.
481 After concentrating his mind on the supreme Brahman for some time, he rose, and out of supreme Bliss, he spoke as follows.
482 My intellect is completely vanished and all activities have dropped off by realizsing the oneness of the Self and the Brahman; I understand neither ‘this’ nor ‘not-this’, nor do I know what or of what measure is this endless Bliss.
483 Impossible for speech to express, impossible for the mind to conceive is the splendour of the ocean of the supreme Brahman, replete with the swell of the nectarine Bliss of the Self. In an infinitesimal part of It my mind has merged like a hailstone in the ocean, is now content with the essence of that Bliss.
484 Where has it gone, who has removed it, where has the universe merged? Just now it was seen by me; has it now ceased to be? Wonder of wonders!
485 In the great ocean of Brahman filled with the nectar of absolute Bliss, what is then to be rejected or accepted? What else exists and what is there that is different in any way?
486 In this, I see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing. I abide as the Self, Bliss Eternal, completely different from everything else.
487 Salutations to thee, O noble Guru, who art free from attachments, best of the best among the noble ones, the embodiment of the essence Eternal, Non-dual Bliss, who art endless, ever the shoreless ocean of compassion.
488 Whose gracious glance, like a cascade of moon-beams, has removed the weariness caused by the afflictions of the world, and has taken me to the state of indestructible Bliss of infinite splendour, the Self, in but a moment.
489 Blessed am I, have reached the fulfillment of my life and am free from the jaws of transmigration. I am the embodiment of eternal Bliss, I am the Infinite, all by your Grace.
490 Unattached am I, disembodied am I, free from the subtle body am I and undecaying; serene am I, Infinite am I, unsullied am I, and endless too.
491 I am not the doer, I am not the enjoyer, I am without modification and without activity; I am the embodiment of pure Consciousness, I am Absolute, and ever-auspicious.
492 Indeed, I am other than the seer, the hearer, the speaker, the doer and the enjoyer of individual experience . I am eternal, unbroken, beyond activity, boundless, unattached and Infinite, the essence of all-pervading Knowledge.
493 I am neither this nor that but the supreme Illuminator of both, pure, devoid of anything inner or outer.I am infinite; verily, I am the non-dual Brahman.
494 I am unparalled, the beginningless Reality, beyond all imagined disctintions such as “you” and “I”, “this” and “that.” The essence of Bliss eternal, the Truth, non-dual Brahman am I.
495 I am Narayana, I am the slayer of Naraka, I am the destroyer of Tripurasura; I am the supreme Being, the Lord, I am the undifferentiated consciousness, I am the Witness of everything; I have no other Lord and I am devoid of sense of “I” and “mine”.
496 I am the sole reality residing in all beings in the form of Knowledge. Being their external and internal support, I myself am the experiencer and the experienced; I am all that was previously experienced by me distinctly as ‘this’ and ‘not-this.’
497 In me, the ocean of unbroken Bliss, endless waves of the universe arise and subside by the play of the storm of Maya.
498 Concepts of gross etc., are wrongly imagined in me by people due to the continuous manifestation of superimpositions—just as in time, which is the indivisible and absolute, cycles, years, half-years, seasons etc. are imagined.
499 That which is superimposed by people deluded by the defects in their minds can never sully the substratum, even as the great onrush of waters perceived in a mirage can never wet the desert tract.
500 Like space, I am beyond all contamination, like the sun I am distinct from things illumined, like the mountain I am always motionless, like the ocean I am limitless.
501 I am not connected with the body just as the clouds (have no connection) with the sky; so how can I be subject to the states of waking, dreaming and deep-sleep (that are attributes of the body).
502 It is only the conditioning adjunct which comes and goes; it performs actions and experiences (their results); it alone grows old and dies—I remain immovable like the Kula mountain.
503 There is neither ‘engaging-in-work’ nor ‘abstaining-from-it’ for me who am always the same and without parts. How can that which is One, complete, and infinite like the sky, ever strive?
504 How can there be merits and demerits for me who have no sense-organs, no mind, who am without modification and form—who am the realization of Absolute Bliss? In the passage, ‘not touched’ etc., Sruti also mentions this.
505 If the shadow of a person is touched by heat or cold, good or evil, it does not in the least affect the person who is other than the shadow.
506 In the same way, the witness is not affected by the properties of things observed, for it is distinct from them; it is without modification and indifferent just as the properties of a room (do not affect) the lamp (that illumines it).
507 Just as the sun is the witness of all actions, just as the fire burns everything without distinction, just as the rope is connected with a superimposition, so too am I, the immutable Self, the pure consciousness.
508 I am neither the doer nor do I make others do anything, I am neither the experiencer nor do I make other experience, I am neither the seer nor do I make others see. That Self am I, self-luminous and transcendent.
509 When the conditioning adjunct moves, the confused attribute the resulting movement of the reflection to the object reflected, like the sun which is devoid of any activity; and they cry out, “I am the doer, I am the enjoyer. I am being killed, Alas!”
510 Let his inert body move on water or on land ; I am untouched by its properties like the space (is untouched) by the properties of the jar.
511 Doership, enjoyership, cunning, drunkenness, dullness, bondage and freedom—these passing states of the intellect are, in reality, never in the Self, which is the supreme Brahman, Absolute and Non-dual.
512 Let there be modifications in Prakriti* ten, hundred or thousand ways. What have I, unattached, Knowledge Absolute, got to do with them? The clouds can never touch the sky!
*Material Nature characterized by three qualities of sattva, rajas, and tamas.
513 That in which the entire universe from the unmanifest, down to the grossest thing, appears as but a shadow, which is like the sky, subtle and without beginning and end, indeed, that non-dual Brahman am I.
514 That which is the support of all, which is the illuminator of all things, which is of all forms, which is omnipresent, devoid of multiplicity, eternal, pure, motionless and Absolute, indeed, that non-dual Brahman am I.
515 That which transcends the endless differentiations of Maya, which is the inmost essence in all, which is beyond the range of Consciousness, which is of the nature of Truth, Knowledge and endless Bliss, indeed, that non-dual Brahman am I.
516 I am devoid of activity, modifications, parts and forms. I am absolute and eternal, not depending on any other support, and non-dual am I.
517 I am the Universal, I am all in all, I am transcendent and non-dual, I am absolute, indivisible knowledge, I am Bliss and eternal am I.
518 By the supreme majesty of your Grace, I have gained the grandeur of the soverignity of Self-effulgence. O noble Teacher, salutations to thee, again and again.
519 By your sheer Grace, O Teacher, you have awakened me from ‘sleep’ and saved me, who was roaming in a never-ending ‘dream’, in the forest of birth, decay and death created by illusion, and was tormented day after day by innumerable illusory afflictions and greatly tormented by the tiger of the ego.
520 Salutations to you O king among Teachers, and to that great unfathomable glory of yours, which manifests as the splendor this entire universe. To you my salutations.
Final words of advice (verses 521-575)
521 Seeing that the worthy student has gained the Bliss of the Self, is enlightened, and is prostrating, the noble Teacher being glad at heart again spoke these supreme words.
522 An unbroken stream of perceptions of Brahman is this universe; so in every respect it is nothing but Brahman. In all conditions perceive the Brahman with the vision of illumination and a serene mind. Is it ever possible that one who has eyes can see anything other than forms all around? So too, what is there to engage the intellect of a realized person, save Brahman?
523 Which wise man would relinquish reveling in supreme Bliss for the enjoyment of paltry things? When the greatly enchanting moon is shining, who would wish to gaze upon a painted moon?
524 In the perception of objects unreal, there is neither the slightest contentment nor the cessation of misery. Therefore, content in the realization of the essence of non-dual Bliss, remain happy, ever established in the Self.
525 O noble one, beholding your Self everywhere, contemplating upon the Self, pass your time enjoying the Bliss of the non-dual Self.
526 In the indivisible Knowledge Absolute, the Self, dualistic conceptions are like castles in the air. Therefore, attaining supreme Peace, live in silence, identifying yourself with the non-dual Bliss Supreme.
527 The cause of all imaginations, the mind, becomes perfectly serene to the sage who has known Brahman. Indeed, this is the state of quiescence in which, ever identified with Brahman, one constantly enjoys the non-dual Bliss Absolute.
528 There is nothing more exhilarating than the quiescence which comes from being free of subtle urges (vasanas), to one who has known one‘s own essential nature and who savors the Bliss of the Self.
529 Whether going or staying, sitting or lying down, or in any other state, the enlightened sage whose sole pleasure is in the Self, lives ever at ease.
530 The sage who has perfect Realization of Truth and whose mind, therefore, encounters no obstruction, no more relies upon conditions of place, time, posture, direction, moral discipline, objects of meditation etc. What formulae can there be for recognising one’s own Self?
531 This is a “jar”–to know this what condition is necessary save that the means of knowledge be without any defects, which alone ensure a cognition of the object?
532 This Self which is an eternal Truth, manifests Itself in the presence of the right means of knowledge. It is dependent neither on place nor time nor (outward) purity.
533 “I am Devadatta”, this direct knowledge depends on no other conditions. Precisely thus, the knower of Brahman realizes that he is Brahman (without depending upon anything else).
534 What indeed can manifest That whose effulgence, like the sun, causes the entire false, unreal and unimportant universe to appear at all?
535 That by which all Vedas, Sastras and Puranas and all other beings are endowed with meaning, verily, what can illumine That Supreme Knower?
536 Here is the Self-effulgent Self, of endless power, beyond all conditioned knowledge and yet the direct experience of all. Freed from bondage, realising this alone, the best among the knowers of Brahman reign supreme.
537 Neither grieved nor elated, neither attached nor averse to sense-objects, but content in the essence of endless Bliss, he sports and revels in the Self.
538 Forgetting his hunger and physical pains a child plays with toys. In the same way the wise person is happy and revels without the ideas of “I” and “mine.”
539 Free from anxiety and humiliation, the wise ones have their food, and drink the waters of rivers; they live, free and independent, sleeping without fear in a cemetary or in forest; their robe is the space, which needs no washing or drying, or some bark etc, the earth is their bed and they roam in the avenues of Vedanta while they revel in the supreme Brahman.
540 The knower of Brahman wears no insignia and is unattached to sense-objects; like a child, he remains in this body without identifying with it and experiences sense-objects as they come, by the wish of others.
541 Sometimes robed inspace, sometimes with clothes, sometimes wearing skins, established in the ethereal plane of Knowledge Absolute, he roams about in the world, sometimes like one intoxicated, sometimes like a child and sometimes like a ghost.
542 Being of the nature of desirelessness, the sage roams alone seemingly enjoying sense-objects. He remains ever satisfied with his own Self, abiding as the Self of all.
543 Ever rejoicing in the Blissful state of wisdom the realised person lives, sometimes looking like a fool, sometimes a sage, sometimes with royal grandeur; sometimes roaming, sometimes like a motionless serpent; sometimes respected, sometimes insulted and sometimes unknown.
544 Though without wealth, he is ever-content, though without help he is very powerful, though he does not enjoy sense-objects, he is eternally content, and though without an equal, he sees equality everywhere.
545 Though acting he is inactive, though experiencing the fruits of past actions he is untouched by them, though he has a body he is not identified with it and though limited he is Omnipresent.
546 This knower of Brahman lives without the body idea, and neither pleasure nor pain, neither good nor evil ever touch him.
547 Only he who has connections with the gross body etc., and is identified with them is affected by happiness and sorrow, good and evil. How can any good or evil or their effects affect the sage who has severed his bondage and has realized his Self as the Reality?
548 The sun which appears to be swallowed by Raahu is not actually so. People who do not the real nature of the sun, in their delusion, say that it has been swallowed.
549 So too, the perfect knower of Brahman, liberated from the bondages of body, etc. is looked upon by the ignorant as possessing a body; they but see only an appearance of it.
550 The body of the liberated person remains like the slough of the snake. Here and there, it is moved about by the force of Prana, the way it pleases.
551 Just as a piece of wood is carried by the current to a high ground or low ground, so too the body of the liberated one is carried by the momentum of its past actions and their fruits, as and when they appear.
552 Through desires produced by Prarabdha Karma, the man of Perfection, bereft of the body-idea, moves in the midst of sense-enjoyments, looking like one subject to the transmigration. He, however, lives unmoved in the body like a witness, free from mental agitations, like the pivot of a potter’s wheel.
553 He does not direct the sense-organs to their objects, nor does he detach them from these, but he remains like an indifferent onlooker. His mind being drunk with the ‘wine’ of Bliss of the Self, he holds not the least regard for the fruits of actions.
554 He who has renounced the anxiety to reach the Goal or not to reach the goal, and abides as the Self alone, indeed, he is verily Siva himself, the best among the knowers of Brahman.
555 The perfect knower of Brahman becomes eternally free, even in this life and is fulfilled; he merges with the non-dual Brahman—which he had been all along—through the destruction of limitations (upadhis).
556 Just as an actor, whether he wears the dress of his role or not, is always the same person, so too, the perfect knower of Brahman is always Brahman.
557 The body of a sage, who has realized himself as the Brahman, may wither and fall anywhere like the leaf of a tree; (it matters not) for it has already been burnt by the fire of Knowledge.
558 The sage who is firmly established in the eternal Reality, Brahman, as Infinite, non-dual Bliss, depends not on the usual consideration of place, time etc. for giving up this bundle of skin, flesh and excrement.
559 For, giving up the body or the staff or the water bowl is not liberation; true liberation is the sundering of the heart’s knots formed by ignorance.
560 If a leaf falls in a stream or a river, in a place consecrated to Siva or at a crossroad, what good or evil will it bestow upon the tree?
561 Like the destruction of a leaf, flower or fruit does not affect the tree; even so, by the destruction of the body, sense-organs, pranas and intellect, the Self, the eternal Reality, is never affected. It is the embodiment of Bliss which is one’s own Real Nature and abides like the tree.
562 “The embodiment of consciousness”—in these words the scriptures indicate the true nature of the Self. Having established its Reality, the scriptures speak of the destruction of apparent conditionings only.
563 “Immortal is this Self (Atman), my dear”—this passage from the scriptures speaks of the Immortal in the midst of things finite and subject to modification.
564 Just as stone, tree, straw, grain, husk, etc. are reduced to ashes when burnt, so too, the whole objective universe comprising the body, sense-organs, Pranas, mind etc. are reduced to the supreme Self when burnt into the fire-of-Knowledge.
565 Just as darkness—which is distinctly different from sunlight—vanishes in the sun’s effulgence, so too, this entire objective universe vanishes into Brahman.
566 Just as when a pot is broken the pot-space becomes the limitless space, so too, when the conditionings are destroyed, the knower of Brahman becomes Brahman Itself.
567 Just as milk poured into milk, oil into oil and water into water each becomes united and one, so too, one who has realised the Sefl becomes one with the Self.
568 It does not suffer transmigration having experienced seclusion as a result of being disembodied–being ever-identified with the one Reality, Brahman.
569 By realizing the oneness of the individual Self and Brahman, his bodies (gross, subtle and casual) consisting of ignorance etc. are burnt and he becomes Brahman Itself; how can Brahman (the unborn), ever have rebirth?
570 Maya-conjured up bondage and liberation do not really exist in the Reality, one’s Self, just as the appearance and disappearance of the snake are not in the rope which undergoes no changes.
571 When there is the presence or absence of veiling, bondage and liberation can be spoken of. There can be no veiling for Brahman as It is obvious, there being no second thing besides it. If there is, it will contradict the non-duality of Brahman; the scriptures will never allow duality.
572 Bondage and liberation are attributes of the intellect which the ignorant superimpose upon the Reality, as the hiding from eyes by clouds is superimposed upon the sun. In fact, this Immutable Reality is Absolute Knowledge, non-dual and unattached.
573 The concepts that bondage is and that it is not, are, with reference to the Reality, only attributes of the intellect. Never do they belong to Brahman, the eternal Reality.
574 Therefore, bondage and liberation are conjured up by Maya and do not exist in the Self. As there can be no limitation regarding the Infinite space, how can there be any limitation regarding the supreme Reality which is devoid of parts, devoid of activity, serene, unimpeachable, untainted and non-dual?
575 There is no birth, no death, no bondage, no spiritual aspirant, no seeker after liberation, no one liberated. This is the ultimate Truth.
Blessed disciple liberated (verses 576-578)
576 Considering you to be a seeker after liberation, void of the taints of this Dark Age, with a mind free from desires, I have today revealed to you, again and again, as I would to my own son, the supreme and profound secret, the inmost essence of Vedanta, the crown of all Vedas.
577 Hearing the words of the Teacher, the disciple prostrated to him with reverence, and obtaining his permission, went his way, freed from bondage.
578 And the Teacher, his mind immersed in the ocean of eternal Bliss, forever wandered about, verily blessing the whole world.
The glory of the text-book (verses 579-581)
579 Thus, by means of a dialogue between the Teacher and the disciple, the true nature of the Self (Atman) has been indicated for the easy comprehension of seekers after liberation.
580 May the seekers after liberation appreciate this salutary teaching, those who have cleansed themselves of the taints of the mind by observing the prescribed methods, who are indifferent to worldly enjoyments, who have serene minds and take a delight in the scriptures.
581 For those who are afflicted in this samsara by the burning pains caused by the scorching sun rays of the three-fold sorrows (adhyatmika, adhidaivika, and adhibhautika), and those who, in delusion, roam in a desert in search of water, for them this is the glorious message of Sankara pointing out the Ocean of Nectar, the non-dual Brahman, within easy reach, in order to lead them to liberation. Om Tat Sat.