Chandogya Upanishad:

The Chanters' Teaching:

Book VI Part II


VI.9

1. 'Good lad, just as bees secrete honey by collecting the nectars from different kinds of trees, and combine the nectar into oneness,

2. 'And just as there they do not keep any distinction, so as to be able to say, "I am the nectar of that tree", "I am the nectar of that tree", so, good lad, all creatures, once they have entered into being, do not know that they have entered into being.

3. 'Whatever they are here—a tiger, a lion, a wolf, a boar, a worm, a flying thing, a gnat or a mosquito—they become that.

4. 'This subtle part is what all this has as self. It is truth: it is the self. You are that, Svetaketu.'

'Blessed one, explain it to me further.'

'I will, good lad' he said.

VI.10

1. 'Good lad, the eastern rivers flow east and the western rivers flow west, and from the sea merge into the sea. That is just sea. Just as there they do not know "I am that river", "I am that river",

2. 'So, good lad, all creatures, once they have come forth from being, do not know that they have come forth from being. Whatever they are here-a tiger, a lion, a wolf, a boar, a worm, a flying thing, a gnat or a mosquito-they become that.

3. 'This subtle part is what all this has as self. It is truth: it is the self. You are that, Svetaketu.'

'Blessed one, explain it to me further.'

I will, good lad,' he said.

VI.ll

1. 'Good lad, if someone were to strike at the root of this great tree, it would ooze sap but live. If someone were to strike at the middle, it would ooze sap but live. If someone were to strike at the top, it would ooze sap but live. Pervaded by the life, by the self, it stands, happy, ever drinking.

2. 'If the life leaves one branch of it, that branch dries up. If it leaves a second, that dries up. If it leaves a third, that dries up. If it leaves the whole tree, the whole dries up. Good lad, know that this is the same,' he said.

3. 'When separated from the life, it dies, but the life does not die. This subtle part is what all this has as self. It is truth: it is the self. You are that, Svetaketu.'

'Blessed one, explain it to me further.'

'I will, good lad,' he said.

VI. 12

1. 'Bring a banyan fruit from this tree.'

'Here it is, blessed one.'

'Break it.'

'I have broken it, blessed one.'

'What do you see there?'

'Tiny seeds, blessed one.'

'Now break one of them.'

'I have broken it, blessed one.'

'What do you see there?'

'Nothing, blessed one.'

2. He said to him, 'Good lad, on this subtle part-the subtle part which you do not see-rests the great banyan I tree. Good lad, have faith.

3. 'This subtle part is what all this has as self. It is truth: it is the self. You are that, Svetaketu.'

'Blessed one, explain it to me further.'

'I will, good lad,' he said.

VI.13

1. 'Put this salt in water, and come to me in the morning.' He did so. His father said to him, 'Now, bring me the salt that you put in water last night.'

He felt for it, but did not find it.

2. 'Quite,' said his father, 'for it has dissolved. But sip from the side of it. What is it like?'

'Salt.'

'Sip from the middle of it. What is it like?'

'Salt.'

'Sip from the other side of it. What is it like?'

'Salt.'

'Throw it away, then come to me.'

He did so, and said, 'It is there all the time.'

His father said to him, 'You do not see being here, but it is here.

3. 'This subtle part is what all this has as self. It is truth: it is the self. You are that, Svetaketu.'

'Blessed one, explain it to me further.'

'I will, good lad,' he said.

VI.14

1. 'Suppose, good lad, that someone were to lead a man blindfold from Gandhara and then release him in a deserted place; and suppose that he were to be blown to east, north, south, or west, crying, "I have been led blindfold and released blindfold!"

2. 'And suppose that someone were to undo the blindfold and tell him, "Gandhara is in this direction. Walk in this direction." And he, being wise and intelligent, by asking from village to village would reach Gandhara. In the same way a person who has a teacher knows, "It is only so long until I am released. Then I will reach my goal."Sam-pad-, 'prosper, be successful'.

3. 'This subtle part is what all this has as self. It is truth: it is the self. You are that, Svetaketu.'

'Blessed one, explain it to me further.'

'I will, good lad,' he said.

VI.15

1. 'Good lad, if a man is ill, his relatives wait around him saying, "Do you know me? Do you know me?" So long as his speech has not entered into mind, his mind into breath, his breath into heat, his heat into the highest deity, he knows them.

2. 'But when his speech has entered into mind, his mind into breath, his breath into heat, his heat into the highest deity, he does not know them.

3. 'This subtle part is what all this has as self. It is truth: it is the self. You are that, Svetaketu.'

'Blessed one, explain it to me further.' 'I will, good lad,' he said.

VI.16

1. 'Good lad, suppose they bring a man with his hands bound, saying, "He has stolen! He has committed a theft! Heat up an axe for him." If he is the culprit he makes himself false. Because he is denying the truth. This passage embodies the belief in the 'act of truth', a formal statement of truth which has miraculous powers, on which the innocent suspect can draw. Joined with falsehood, hiding himself behind falsehood, when he seizes the heated axe he is burnt, and then he is executed.

2. *But if he is not the culprit, he makes himself true. Joined with truth, hiding himself behind truth, when he seizes the heated axe he is not burnt, and then he is set free.

3. 'As he would not then be burnt . . .So the wise one is not injured by fan-man? By speaking truth he identifies himself with truth, which cannot be injured. Here mention of the subtle part (amman) is omitted, but it is clearly being identified with the inner truth. It is what all this has as self. It is truth: it is the self. You are 'that, Svetaketu.'

Then he understood his teaching: he understood.




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