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Chapter CCXLVI - The knowledge of Self

Brahma said:—Hear me, O Narada, now discourse on the knowledge of Self (Atma-Jnanam). There are two kinds of Yogas, viz., the Advaita Yoga and the Sankhya Yoga, the absolute concentration of the mind being the essential factor in both these forms. Practisers of the Advaita Yoga become free from the shackles of existence. Past, present and future acts are destroyed through knowledge. He, who hews down the tree of existence with the axe of right discrimination and takes an ablution in the sacred pool of knowledge and apathy, comes by the bliss of Vishnu. The three states of wakening, dream, and dreamless sleep are the three rods of Nescience, all are included within this Maya; eternal is the secondless Brahma. Without name, form and action is that supreme Self; He created this infinite universe and established himself therein. I am the knower, the embodiment of reality that transcends all illusion. I am He; it is this knowledge which serves as the only road to Emancipation. Practice of knowledge, meditation, hearing of Shastras, celebration of sacrifice, practice of charity and penitential austerities, sojourns to places of pilgrimage, and the study of the Vedas are of no avail as far as the working out of one’s salvation is concerned. Some acquire knowledge through renunciation; celebrations of religious rites, or performances of Pujas confer no real knowledge. Two kinds of injunctions are found in the Vedas on this subject, one is “do acts” (religious rites), and the other is “renounce acts.” Several authorities assert that seekers after Emancipation shall celebrate religious sacrifices for the purpose of purifying their thoughts. They can not confer any other benefit. Those, who meditate upon deities, can not be liberated, even with the aid of right knowledge, in the course of one existence. Uusuccessful Yogins are reborn as Brahmanas in the families of Yogins. It is his acts that bind an animal, liberation lies through knowledge; take recourse to the knowledge of self as otherwise Nescience will assail thee. Undoubtedly a person comes by immortality the moment the desires in his heart are annihilated. As the self is all-pervading, how can a man go any where else, or where else shall he go, or who is he that goes? As the self is infinite, there is no space for it to move in, as it is disembodied, how can it have any locomotion? As it is without a second, it has no separate existence; as it is pure knowledge, how can it have any Nescience? How can this all-pervading one, running through all, like ether, can have any locomotion, advent, or location? The state of its wakening, dream and dreamless sleep are apparent only through the working of Nescience (Maya).