Chandogya Upanishad (Shankara Bhashya)

by Ganganatha Jha | 1942 | 149,749 words | ISBN-10: 8170842840 | ISBN-13: 9788170842842

This is the English translation of the Chandogya Upanishad, an ancient philosophical text originally written in Sanksrit and dating to at least the 8th century BCE. Having eight chapters (adhyayas) and many sub-sections (khandas), this text is counted among the largest of it's kind. The Chandogya Upanishad, being connected to the Samaveda, represen...

Section 7.12 (twelfth khaṇḍa) (six texts)

Upaniṣad text:

Indra, mortal is this body, held by Death;—it is the abode of that Immortal (unbodied Self);—the bodied one is held by Pleasure and Pain; for the bodied Being, there is no getting rid of pleasure and pain;—but pleasure and pain do not, indeed, touch the unbodied Being.’—(1)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

‘O Indra, this body is mortal,—liable to die.—You think that the Self, which has been expounded by me as contained in the eye, and as marked by restful sleep,—becomes annihilated;—now listen to the cause of all this: ‘This body, that you see, is mortal—perishable;—it is held—seized—by death—constantly.’ If the term ‘mortal’ meant only ‘liable to die at some time’, then the fear of death would not have been so great as it is when it is said that ‘the Body is held constantly’,—pervaded through and through—by death; hence, for this purpose of creating a feeling of disgust for the body, the particular expression has been used ‘is held by death’.—“How is this?” When one has become disgusted with the idea of the Body being his Self, he turns back upon (regrets) that idea.—The ‘body’ here stands for the Body along with the sense-organs, the Mind and the Intellect;—this Body is the abode of the Being in restful sleep, who is cognised in these states (of waking, dream and deep sleep), the Immortal,—free from Death and other qualities besetting the Body, the senseorgans and the Mind.—The term ‘Immortal’ itself connoting bodilessness, the reiteration of the same by the additional term ‘unbodied’ is meant to precluding the notion that ‘like Air and other things, the Self is made up of parts and has a material shape;—this Body is the abode—substratum of experiences of the Self; or it is the abode of the perceiving (Living) Self when he comes to be born, through fire, water, and the rest in that order;—or the body may be regarded as the ‘abode’ of the Being, on the ground that the Being, in the form of the Living Self ‘abides’ in it.

When the Self has for his abode such a Body, which is constantly held by Death, and beset with pleasure and pain brought about by Merit and Demerit,—then, abiding in such a body, he becomes ‘bodied’. Though in his own nature, the Self is unbodied, yet he comes to have such notions as ‘I am the Body—and the Body is myself’, on account of his not understanding his real nature; and this is what is meant by his becoming bodied;—hence having thus become bodied,—he becomes held by Pleasure and Pain. This is a well-known fact,—for this bodied Being, there is no getting rid of—destruction, removal,—of Pleasure and Pain,—caused respectively by the connection and disconnection of external things—and appearing in a continuous series,—which connection and disconnection he regards as his own. The same Being- however, when, his ignorance in the shape of his notion of the Body being the Self has been set aside by his knowledge of his real unbodied nature,—then Pleasure and Pain do not touch him;—the verb ‘touch’ is to be construed with both ‘pleasure and pain’; so that there are two sentences—‘Pleasure does not touch him’ and ‘Pain does not touch him’;—such construction being like that in the sentence ‘na mlecchāśucyadhārmikaiḥ saha sambhāṣeta’. (one should not converse with the mlecha (foreigner)—the unclean—and the unrighteous) [ When ‘not converse with’ is taken with each of the three nouns following]. The reason for this (absence of Pleasure and Pain) lies in the fact that Pleasure and Pain are the effects of merit and demerit,—while the real nature of the Self is being unbodied,—so that merit and demerit being impossible in this latter, the appearance of their effect is still further off; hence, it is that pleasure and pain do not touch him.

“If Pleasure also does not touch the unbodied Self, then it comes to what Indra suspected that ‘during deep sleep, he becomes annihilated.’”

This does not affect our position; what is meant here is the denial of such Pleasure and Pain as are the effects of Merit and Demerit, connected with the Body;—this is clear from the statement that ‘Pleasure and Pain do not touch the unbodied Being.’ As a matter of fact, the term ‘touch’ has been found to be used in connection with what is liable to appear and disappear—such as ‘the cold touch’, ‘the warm touch’; this term ‘touch’ is not used in connection with what forms the very nature of things,—in such as the Heat and Brightness of Fire, which form its very nature,—which are not spoken of as ‘Touch of fire’; commonly like the Heat and Brightness of fire and the sun,—the ‘Pleasure’ in the form of Bliss which forms the very nature of Being, is not denied here (by the Denial of pleasure); because that bliss is the very nature of the Self has been taught in many Vedic texts—such as—(1) Brahman is Consciousness, Bliss’ (Bṛhadā. Upa. III. ix. 28.),—and (2) ‘Brahman is Bliss’ (Taitti—Upa. III. vi. 1.). In fact in this Upaniṣad also ‘it has been declared that ‘the Infinite itself is Bliss’.’

Objection:—“If the Infinite and the Bliss (Pleasure) be one—and the same, then the latter would be either uncognisable; or it would by its very nature, be constantly cognised; so that there would be no difference between the two; and this is not what is desired by Indra, as he has declared that—‘He does not at the time know the Self as I am this, nor does he know these beings,—he seems to have gone to utter annihilation;—and I see no good in this.’—what is desired by Indra is that which knows itself, as also the Beings,—which knows no pain, and who, by such knowledge, attains all regions and all desires.”

True; this is what is desired by Indra, his idea being that ‘these beings are different from me,—than regions and these desires are all different from me,—and I am the owner of all these.’—But this is not what is good (wholesome) for him; and Prajāpati has to explain what is good fortune. What Prajāpati wishes to explain for the good of Indra is the idea that the Self is unbodied like the Ākāśa and when the text speaks of the attainment of all Regions and Desires,’ what is meant is the realisation of the truth that all these are Self itself;—and not that the attainment of something other than the Self,—like the attainment of the kingdom by the king. Such being the case, what would know what,—as ‘these beings’ or ‘I am this’—all being the Self which is one only?

Says the objector—“In accordance with this doctrine, there would be no truth in such Vedic declarations as—(1) ‘with women and conveyances etc. etc.,’ (Chā. Upa. VIII. xii. 3.). (2) ‘If he is desirous of the region of the fathers etc.’, (Chā. Upa. VIII. ii. 1—),—(3), ‘He becomes one, two etc.’ (Chā. Upa. VII. xxvi. 2.).”

Not so; there is nothing incongruous in the idea that what is the All self is related to all rewards; just as the clay attains the position of all jars, water-pots and bowls, etc.

“If he is the All-self, then he would be connected with Pain also.”

No; because the Pain also is held to be included in the All-self, there would be no such incongruity (as one becoming connected with the other); as a matter of fact, all pains are the effects of imagination due to ignorance imposed on the Self; just as the idea of the serpent is imposed upon the Rope. This ignorance, as the [cause of pain, having been destroyed by the perception of real nature of the unity of the body and all things in the Self,—there can be no suspicion at all of the connection of Pain. As for those desires (Pleasures and Powers) which have their source in volition abounding Goodness,—they are connected with the Body of God, and this connection is in regard to all things,—as these have a purely mental existence (in the Mind of God). But the real All-self is beyond all this,—he becomes the ‘experiencer’ only through his limitations; so that which is called the Self is above all those operations that are due to Ignorance,—and none else;—such is the doctrine of the Vedānta.

Some people hold the following opinion,—“In the text it is the person seen in the eye Prajāpati has spoken of the Reflection-Self (as the Self); and something totally different is the Person in dreams and in deep sleep;—and there can be nothing beyond these which could have the character of being free from evil and the rest; as, if therefore, there would be self-Contradiction.”—

These people, holding the above opinion, explain the purpose of the teaching of the Reflection and other Selves, as follows:—if the very obstruse ultimate truth were set forth at the very outset, then inasmuch as the Supreme Self is difficult to understand,—on the hearing of such an absolute subtile entity, there would arise sheer confusion in those persons whose minds are addicted to entirely external objects. And in order to avoid this contingency, Prajāpati has proceeded with the expounding (as a preliminary step) of the Reflection and other selves.—Just as on the second day of the month, when a man wants to see the very thin moon, another man, at first, points out to him the tree which is visible near at hand—‘now see this way is the Moon’,—then he points out further off to the peak of a high mountain which appeals to be close to the Moon,—then the man sees the Moon; in the same manner, Prajāpati spoke (at the outset) by means of the first three illustrations,—not of the Supreme Self, but—of ‘the Person seen in the Eye’ and so forth. In the fourth illustration, he has spoken of the Highest Person, the Supreme Self, which rising out of the mortal Body, and becoming unbodied and of the nature of pure light, becomes merged in which Highest Person, and he continues to ‘sport and rejoice’, (Chā. Upa. VIII. xxii. 3)—such is the explanation provided by these people.

It is quite true, that this explanation is very pleasing to hear; but such cannot be the meaning of the text. Having propounded the teaching that ‘the Person seen in the Eye is the Self’,—Prajāpati found that his pupils had understood the Reflection to be the Self,—and then with a view to removing this wrong conviction of theirs, he introduced the illustration of the ‘water-cup’.—the question ‘what do you see?’—and then advised them to adorn themselves etc., all this would be meaningless, if what Prajāpati wished to teach was only the Reflection-Self, by the expression ‘the Person seen in the Eye’, further, after having himself taught that the Reflection was the Self, it would be necessary to explain why he sought to set aside that idea; and He’.would Himself state the reasons for the setting aside of the notions that the Dream-Self or the Self in deep sleep was the Self;—but no such reason has been stated;—from all which we conclude that Prajāpati did not propound the teaching that the Reflection in the Eye is the Self. Further, if it had been taught that it is the seer that is seen in the eye, then what has been asserted might be right; but as a matter of fact, however, Prajāpati has said that ‘This I am going to explain further’, and then has gone on to expound the seer in connection with dream also.

It might be urged that—“The Seer has not been expounded in connection with Dreams.”—But that cannot be right; because such expressions have been used (in connection with the Dream-Self) as—‘weeps, as it were’,—‘becomes conscious of pain as it were’;—nor does anyone except the Seer ‘move about worshipped’ (as declared under x. 1); because it has been proved by reasons in another Vedic text, which declares that ‘Herein the Self is self-illumined.’—Even though during dreams the person remains conscious, yet it is not that consciousness which is the cause of the perception of the dream-experiences; what happens is that the consciousness itself becomes perceptible as resting upon the impressions of the wakingstate; just as in the case of the painting it rests on the piece of canvas; so that this would not militate against the ‘Self-luminous’ character of the Seer.—Then again, it has been asserted that ‘during the waking and dreaming states, the man does not know thing, as ‘these things’ nor does he know the Self, as ‘I am This.’”—There could be room for this denial—‘In Truth, he does not rightly know himself etc.’, or (xi. I above),—only if the contingency denied were with the bounds of possibility.—Thus it is having asserted that so long as the Conscious Being has a body, there is no freedom from the Pleasure and Pain due to Ignorance (xii. 1), he has gone on to add that on that serene Being becoming unbodied,—and True Knowledge having come. about,—there is no Pleasure or Pain; and it is only because with the Body the Being is liable to be affected by Pleasure and Pain, that there is ground for the denial of the said Pleasure and Pain, in the sentence—‘the unbodied Being is not touched by Pleasure and Pain’ (xii. 1). It has also been declared as a settled fact, in another Vedic text that—‘the one Self moves along unaffected, throughout the Dreaming and Waking states, like a huge fish’.

It has been alleged that—“The Serene Being rising out of the Body, goes to an abode where he says ‘rejoicing with women and other objects of enjoyment’”,—and this must be a Being, in the shape of the Highest Person, who is different from the Serene Being, as indicated by the different Abode.”

This is not right. Because even in the fourth illustration, Prajāpati has used the same expression as in the other cases—viz: ‘This same I shall explain.’—If a different Being had been meant, then Prajāpati could not have said ‘this same’, which would be a lie. And further, all that teaching wherein,—having shown that the Being who is the creator of Fire, Water and Food and other things entered into his own Product in the shape of the Body, the Teacher has gone on to assert that ‘that thou art’,—would become falsified;’and the right teaching would have been that ‘Therein you will come to rejoice with women and other things.’—if the ‘Highest Person’ were something different from the Serene Being. Further, if the ‘Infinite’ were something totally different from the living Self then the text would not have asserted that ‘I alone am in the Infinite’, and then gone on to sum up with the declaration that All this is Self’;—specially in view of another Vedic text, which says—‘There is no Seer other than this’;—nor, in that case, would all the Vedic texts have applied the term ‘Self’ to the ‘Highest Person’ (Supreme-Self); if the ‘living Self’ (counter-Self) of all living beings were not the same as the Supreme Self. From all this it follows that the Self dealt with in the present context is one only.

This Self itself is not subject to the cycle of Birth and Rebirth. Because, as a matter of fact, the Birth and Rebirth-cycle is imposed upon the Self by Nescience (Ignorance). For instance, the serpent, the silver and the darkness, imposed (respectively) upon the rope, the shell and the Ākāśa, by wrong cognition,—do not come to belong to these latter. This explains the statement—‘for the bodied Self, there is no freedom from Pleasure and Pain.’—Then as for the statement that ‘he becomes conscious of pain, as it were—it has been proved that, in reality he is not conscious of pain. Thus it is clear that throughout all the four illustrations cited by Prajāpati there seems the one idea that ‘this is the Immortal and the Fearless; this is Brahman.’—Even if this declaration were taken as emanating from the Veda itself, hidden in the person of Prajāpati,—even so, it must be true; and it would not be right to prove it to be untrue by means of objectionable reasonings. Because there is no Means of Cognition, superior to (more reliable than) the Vedic text.

“But that man is conscious of Pain and other disagreeable things is a perceptible fact,—found to be invariably true.”

Not so; as that perception is exactly like all such ideas as ‘I am free from decrepitude’, ‘I am decrepit I am born’, ‘I am long-lived ‘I am fair’, ‘I am dark’, ‘I am dead’, and so forth (which people have, and yet which as applied to the Self, are apparently wrong).

“All this is quite true”.

True, it is a matter difficult to understand; so difficult indeed that even the king of the Devas (Indra) was bewildered by the reason for imperishability which was demonstrated by the example of the water-cup,—and belived that ‘it goes to annihilation.’ So also, Virocana, a very wise person, born of Prajāpati himself, accepted the view that the Body is the Self. In fact, it is in this ocean of the ‘annihilation of the Self’ as understood by Indra,— that the Nihilists have become submerged.—Even the followers of Sāṅkhya, though conscious of the fact that the seer is different from the Body and other things, yet renounced the authority of the scriptures and remained fixed in the idea of Diversity, which is the source of death.—Similarly, other philosophers also,—such as Kaṇāda and the rest,—have set about to purify the substance ‘Self’ with nine qualities of the Self,—just like a man going out to colour a piece of cloth, already pale red, with other colours.—So also others, who are ‘Ritualists’ having their minds captivated by external things,—even though depending upon the authority of the Vedas,—have come, like Indra, to regard the absolutely True Unity of the Self as ‘annihilation’, ‘and hence they flounder about up and down like a pulley, (When such is the ignorance of such persons) what then can be said of those insignificant creatures, who are devoid of discrimination, and by their nature, have their minds captivated by external things?

From all this it follows that this philosophical system has been set forth in these four Heads by persons following up the the tradition emanating from Prajāpati;—and it can be understood only by those highly worshipped persons who have renounced all longings for external things, who seek for no other refuge,—who are Parama-Haṃsa, wandering Mendicants, who have reached the final lifestage and are totally devoted to the Philosophy of the Vedānta.—And even to this day, it is only these persons—and none others,—who carry on this teaching.—(1)

Upaniṣad text:

Unbodied is Air; and Cloud, Lightning, Thunder,—these are unbodied. Now, as these, rising out of that Ākāśa and having reached the Highest Light, appear in their own forms.—(2)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

It is necessary now to explain in what manner the unbodied Serene Being comes, through Nescience, to be identified with the Body,—and actually embodied,—and then rises out of the body and appears in its own form; and for explaining this, an example is cited:—Unbodied is Air,—i.e. it is without a body with hands, feet and other limbs;—further, Cloud, Lightning and Thunder,—these are unbodied;—such being the case, in the fulfilment of such purposes as Rainfall and the like,—what happens is that, rising out of that Ākāśa;—the Vedic text supposed to be on the Earth refers to the Ākāśa connected with the Heavenly Region as ‘that’,—these,—the said Air and the rest.—come to assume that same form as Ākāśa, and hence cease to be recognised in their own respective forms of air and the rest, and come to be known by the name of Ākāśa’;—just as the Being in restful sleep, in the state of Ignorance, becomes identified with the body;—air and the rest again rise out of the Ākāśa of the Heavenly Regions, for the purpose of accomplishing such purposes as Rainfall and the like.—“In what way?”—after the laps of Winter, Air and the rest, reach the Highest Light—the highest form of solar light in Summer,—that is, come into contact with Solar heat;—they become disjoined and separated into their respective forms, and appear in their separate forms; the Air relinquishes its calm immobility and appears in the form of Storm;—the Cloud appears in several such forms as the Earth, the Hill, the Elephant and the like;—the Lightning appears in its mobile form of streaks of light;—the Thunder also appears in its own form of Thundering and Thunder-bolt. In this way on the approach of the Rainy Season, all these appear in their own forms.—(5)

Upaniṣad text:

Thus dues the Serene Being, rising out of this Body and having reached the Highest Light, appears in his own form. That is the Highest Person; there he moves about, laughing, playing and rejoicing,—be it with women, or conveyances or relatives,—not mending the body in which he was born. Like the horse yoked to the cart, so is the Spirit attached to body.—(3)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

Just as in the instance cited above Air and the rest are reduced to the condition of Ākāśa, so this Serene Being, having, through ignorance, fallen into the cycle of Birth and Rebirth, becomes reduced to the condition of the body, comes to have such notions as ‘I am the son of so and so,—born—become old—am going to die’; and later on, when,—like Indra enlightened by Prajāpati,— he comes to be enlightened and to realise the truth that ‘you are not of the nature of the body, the sense-organs and the like ‘that thou art’, and so forth; then this Serene Being, the ‘living Self’ rises out of the Body,—as Air etc. rose out of Ākāśa,—and having come to realise his own form as distinct from the Body etc., renounces the idea that the Body is the Self; and comes to appear in his own form of the True Self; this has already been explained before.

That form in which the Serene Being appears, before being enlightened, is due to Ignorance; just as the Rope becomes the serpent and then when illumined by light, it appears in its own form of Rope. In the same manner, the Highest Person the Highest of Persons; there are many ‘persons’,—such as (I) ‘the Person in the Eye’, (2) ‘the dreaming persons’, (3) ‘the manifested’ and the ‘unmanifested’ persons, (4) ‘the person soundly asleep, happy and serene’, (5) ‘unbodied, in his own form’ and of all these the ‘person’ in his own form is the ‘highest’ as compared to the ‘differentiated’ and the ‘undifferentiated’.—This has been fully explained in the Bhagavad-Gītā.

Then, the said Serene Being in his own form and resting in himself, as the All-self,—moves about,—here and there, sometimes in the form of Indra and such other beings,—laughing, or eating all kinds of food, good and bad, that he desires,—sometimes playing—only in the mind (not physically) with things—heavenly as well as earthly brought about by sheer willing,—and rejoicing—in the mind, with women and others,—not minding the Body;— the term ‘Upajana’ stands for what is born of the association of men and women,—or for that which is born in the form of the Self, or near the:Self. He does not mind—remember the Body—as the remembering of it would cause him pain, as the Body abounds in pain.

Objections—“If he does not remember what he has experienced, then Liberated Person is not omniscient.”

This does not affect our position. As a matter of fact the Body owes its origin to ignorance; and all this, ignorance and the rest, has been totally rooted out by True Knowledge, so that, in reality the past experience has not been experienced at all, and hence the not remembering of it does not vitiate his omniscience. For instance, what has been experienced by an insane person, or by a person observed by planetary spirits cannot be remembered after the insanity and the observers have passed off. In the same manner, what is experienced by men involved in the meshes of Birth and Regirth and beset by the evil effects of Ignorance, does not touch the Unbodied All-Self, for the simple reason’, that the basic cause, Ignorance, is absent in this case. Those ‘True Desires hidden by the Untrue’ which are experienced persons whose defects have been removed and whose impurities have been washed off,—these alone are connected with the liberated All-Self,—as these experiences owe their manifestation to True Knowledge, and hence these are pointed out in eulogising the Knowledge of Self; it is for this reason that the specification that ‘these are experienced in the Brahmic Region’ is quite reasonable; because whereby they occur, they are said to occur in the ‘Region of Brahman’,—as Brahman is the All-Self,

Objection:—“It has been said that ‘being one only, Infinite does not see another, hear another or know another’,—and then again that ‘he rejoices on seeing things of the Brahmic Region’;—thus there is Self-Contradiction; the one, seeing, as well as not seeing, at one and the same moment”.

This does not affect our position. This difficulty has been set aside in another Vedic text, where it is shown that ‘on account of the Non-disapperance of the vision of the Seer, He continues to see things’, and yet, inasmuch as the desires have no existence apart from the Seer himself, he does not see them. Though this explanation has been povided [provided?] in connection with the Person in Deep Sleep, yet, the ‘absence of the second is equally present in the case of the Liberated Person also, for whom all is one’; hence ‘by what could he see what?’—As already explained above.

The question that arises now is this—“When the Self is unbodied, and characterised by freedom from evil etc.,— then how is it that he has been spoken of by Prajāpati as the Person-seen in the Eye. It has got to be explained how the said Self is directly seen in the Eye.”

The Text proceeds to explain this; and points out the reason why he is seen in the Eye.—an example is taken. Just as the ‘Prayogya’—the words may be construed as ‘Sa-Prayogya’, or simply as ‘Prayogya’, which means that which is yoked, viz: Horse or Bullock;—in the world,,—the term ‘ācaraṇa’ standing for that by which people go about, i.e. Chariot or Cart,—for drawing it,—so to this body, which is like the chariot, is yoked the Spirit,— with its five functions, endowed with the sense-organs. Mind and Intellect, the Conscious Ego with his Self merged in the faculties of Cognition and Action,—this Spirit being yoked to the Body for the experiencing of the results of his own Karmic Residua; it is this ‘yoking* which has been spoken of above in the text—‘on whose departure shall I depart? on whose firmness shall I become firm?’—This Spirit is appointed to such functions as seeing, hearing and moving; just as the chief officer is appointed by the king. It is of this Spirit that the ‘Visual Organ (Eye) is a part, and which serves as the vehicle for the perception of Colour. (Thus, as the Eye is a part of that Spirit, it is quite reasonable to assert that ‘the Self is seen in the Eye’).—(3)

Upaniṣad text:

Now, wherein the eye has merged into Ākāśa, that is ‘the person in the Eye’; and the Eye is for the purpose of seeing. He who is conscious that ‘I may smell’, is the Self; and the Nose is for perceiving smell. He who is conscious that ‘I may speak is the Self,—and the organ of Speech is for speaking. And he who is conscious that ‘I may hear’, is the Self,—and the Ear is the organ for hearing.—(4)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

Now, when the eye has merged into—become connected with—the Ākāśa—within the pupil in the Eye, within the body,—then the Self in question who is really unbodied is ‘the person in the Eye;—i.e. the person appearing in the Eye;—and for his seeing is the Eye, the organ of vision; and as this organ is attached to the body of the seer, this seer comes to be seen’ through this indication mark in the shape of this Seeing,—though in reality He is above all this, unbodied and unattached.

Prajāpati has spoken of it as Seen in the eye; ‘but that is only illustration; what has been stated is true of all sense-organs; as it is that Self who is the perceiver of all things. And yet in all Vedic texts, ‘He has been spoken of specially as seen in the Eye because it is in the Eye that He is most clearly perceived; as says the text—‘I saw it, hence it is true.’

Further, in this body, he who is conscious—of what—that ‘I may smell’—be cognisant of—good or bad odour,—is the Self; and for bringing about his cognition of Smell, Nose is the organ,—He who is conscious thatI may speak’— words I talk—is the Self; and for the bringing about of his action of Speech, the organ of Speech is the organ.—Similarly, he who is conscious that ‘I may hear’, is the Self,—and the Ear is the organ for hearing.—(4)

Upaniṣad text:

He who is conscious that ‘I may think’, is the Self,—this is his Divine Eye; and it is by means of this Divine Eye of the Mind that he sees the ‘desires’—those in the Brahman- Region,—and rejoices.—(5)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

Now, he who is conscious thatI may think’,—that only thinks without even the slightest touch of the functioning of any other sense-organ—is the Self. The mind is so called because of its function ‘thinking’ (manana).

In the case of all organs the phrase ‘He who is conscious is the Self’ is found, which shows that consciousness forms the very nature of the Self. For instance, when it is said that ‘He who illumines the front is the Sun, who shines to the right, who shines to the left, who shines above, is the Sun’, it is understood that Light forms the very nature of the Sun. The organs of the Eye and the rest are for the purpose of bringing about the action of Seeing and the rest. That this is so follows from the nature of the Self itself.—Then again, when the Self is spoken of as the Knower,—one who does the act of knowing,—he is so by his very nature, by mere Existence, not through any action of his; just as when the Sun illumines things, it does by its mere presence—and not through any action.

This Mind is the Divine Eye of the Self—‘divine’, i.e. not ordinary, that which is entirely different in character from all other organs; and it is the ‘Eye’ in the sense that ‘one Sees by it’. The other sense-organs all apprehend objects existing in the present, hence they are ‘not divine’; the Mind on the other hand, is an organ that apprehends objects past, present and future, is free from defects and is capable of apprehending all things, subtile as well as hidden and remote, hence it is called the ‘Divine Eye’.

The Self thus who has become liberated,—reverted to his own form,—is entirely disassociated from all products of Nescience, such as the Body, the sense-organs and the Mind,—has resumed the position of All-Self—; being so, he is pure like Ākāśa, the Lord of all, with the Mind as his conditioning adjunct; and it is by means of His Divine Mind that He sees these desires,—through a vision that is very operative, like the light of the Sun—and rejoices the text defines the Desires—as those in the Brahman-Region—i.e. Hidden, like buried gold, by the ‘Untrue’, and available by mere willing.—(5)

Upaniṣad text:

‘The Devas meditate upon this Self; therefore are Regions and all Desires obtained by them. One who having sought after this Self, understands It, obtains all Regions and all Desires’;—thus said ‘Prajāpati;—yea, Prajāpati said this.—(6)

Commentary (Śaṅkara Bhāṣya):

Because this Self was expounded to Indra by Prajāpati therefore, having heard it from him, the Devas even now, meditate upon this Self; and by meditating upon It, they obtain all Regions and all Desires. That is to say, the Devas obtained that reward for which Indra dwelt as a Religious Student for a hundred and one years, with Prajāpati,

This might give rise to the idea that—‘All this might have been so in the case of the Devas who are extremely fortunate beings; it cannot be possible for the men of the present day, as they are short-lived and have smaller intelligence. Hence, in order to set aside such an idea, the text adds—Even at the present time, one obtains all Regions and all Desires.—who?—One who, like Indra and others, having sought after this Self understands It. This General statement was made by Prajāpati. The sense is that for all men, there is an equal chance of attaining Self-knowledge and securing its rewards. The repetition is meant to indicate the end of the treatment of subject.—(6)

End of Section (12) of Discourse VIII.

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