Maitri Upanishad: Book II


1. The blessed 6akayanya, very pleased, said to the king: 'Great King Brhadratha, banner of the house of Iksvaku, you will quickly achieve your purpose and become a knower of the self, renowned by the name of "Marut"�

'This is your self.'

'Which is it, blessed one?'

2. '"The one that, departing upwards on the cessation of the breathing, suffering yet not suffering, dispels darkness�this is the self": so said the blessed Maitri. For it is said: "The blissful one that, leaving this body and entering the light beyond, appears in its own form, is the self," he said. "This is the immortal, the fearless: this is brahman."

3. 'This is the knowledge of brahman, the knowledge of all the Upanisads, your majesty. It was taught to us by the blessed Maitri: I will recount it to you.

'The Valakhilyas, as is well known, were free from evil, of intense brightness, celibate. They said to Prajapati, "Blessed one, the body is without intelligence, like a cart. Who is it that, higher than the senses, had such power as to set it up in this form, with intelligence? Who is the instigator of it? Blessed one, tell us what you know." 'He told them:

4. '"The one who is famed as standing above�pure, clean, void, at peace, without breath, selfless, unending, indestructible, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent�rests in his own power. He set up the body in this form, with intelligence. He is the instigator of it."

'They said, "Blessed one, how has one like this�invisible, without wants�set it up in this form, with intelligence, and how is he the instigator of it?"

'He told them:

5. '"That subtle, ungraspable, invisible one called the person returns here, without previous consciousness, with a part of himself, just like one who wakes up from deep sleep without previous consciousness. That part of him is that element of intelligence in each person, the knower of the field, with the characteristics of will, determination and conceit, Prajapati with all eyes. He, as intelligence, set up the body with intelligence, and he is the instigator of it."

'They said, "Blessed one, how does such a one exist with part of himself?"

'He told them:

6. "'In the beginning there existed one, Prajapati. Being one, he was not happy. He meditated on himself and created many creatures. He saw them, standing like a stone, without intelligence, without breath, like a post. He was not happy. He thought, I must enter inside them to wake them up. He made himself into air, as it were, and entered inside them. As one, he could not, so he divided himself into five and is what is called the breath, the lower breath, the diffused breath, the up-breath and the central breath.

'"Now the one that goes out upward is the breath; the one that goes together downward is the lower breath; the one that places the coarsest element of food in the lower breath and leads it (sam-a-m-) into every limb is called the central breath (samana); the one that brings up or swallows down what is drunk or eaten is the up-breath; the one by which the channels are pervaded is the diffused breath.

'"The upamsu takes over from the antaryama, and the antaryama from the upamsu. In the space between them, heat is created, What heat is, is the person: that person is the fire that is in all men.

'"It has been said elsewhere:

The fire which is within a person is that which is in all men, by which the food that is eaten is digested. It is its sound that one hears when one covers one's ears like this. When one is about to depart, one does not hear this sound.

'"When he had divided himself in five, hidden in the secret place, made of mind, with breath as body, with light as form, of true resolve, with space as self . . .

'"Within the heart, not having achieved his object, he thought, I must eat objects. So he opened up holes, and he goes out and eats objects through five rays (ra'smi). The organs of perception are his reins ; the organs of action are his horses; his chariot is the body; the mind is his driver; his whip is made of nature.

"'Impelled by him the body moves around, like the wheel impelled by the potter: he set up the body with intelligence, and he is the instigator of it.

"'Poets declare him to be the self. As though under domination, as though overcome by the white and black fruits of actions, he wanders amongst bodies. But because of his unmanifest nature, subtlety, invisibility, and lack of possessiveness, he is without fixity, not an agent, though he seems an agent and fixed.

7. '"He is fixed like a watcher, pure, steadfast, unmoving, not prone to defilement, undistracted, without yearning. Remaining his own, experiencing the law, he is fixed, hiding himself with a veil made of the strands"




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