Maitri Upanishad: Book IV

1. 'Then those celibates, utterly amazed, came to him together and said, "Blessed one, homage to you! Teach us. You are our way: no other can be found. What method is there for the elemental self, by which one can leave it and attain union with the self?"

'He told them:

2. '"It has been said elsewhere:

Like the waves in great rivers, what has been done in the past cannot be turned back. Like a breaker in the ocean, the coming of death is hard to ward off. Like an animal, it is bound with ropes made of good and bad fruits. Like a prisoner, it is without independence. Like one in Yama's realm, it is in a state of great fear. Like one drunk with wine, it is drunk with the wine of delusion. Like one seized by evil, it is made to tremble. Like one bitten by a great snake, it is bitten by sense-objects. Like one in great darkness, it is blind with passion. Like a conjuring trick, it is made of artifice. Like a dream, it is a wrong seeing. Like the core of a plantain tree, it is without pith. Like an actor, it changes costume in an instant. Like a wall painting, it delights the mind, but deceptively.

'"And it is said:

The objects, sound, touch and the rest, Remain purposeless:

Attached to them, the elemental self Cannot remember the supreme goal.

3. ""And this is the remedy for the elemental self: study of the knowledge of the Veda, practising one's own dharma, and walking according to one's own stages of life.71 In one's own dharma one stores everything:72 other things are a branch of a grass-tussock. By it one comes to share in what is higher. Established in the stages of life one is called ascetic. It has been said also,

There is no study in the knowledge of self, or purification from actions for one without asceticism. Someone has said:

By asceticism one wins truth:

Through truth one wins mind:

By mind the self is won, And having won that, one does not return.

4. '"Brahman is, said a knower of the knowledge of brahman. This is the gateway to brahman, says one who has been freed from evil through asceticism.

OM it's the greatness of brahman, says one who is well disciplined and who contemplates perpetually.

'"So brahman is attained by knowledge, asceticism, and contemplation. The one who, knowing this, worships brahman by this triad, goes beyond Brahma, and reaches godhead over the gods. He attains indestructible, measureless, flawless bliss. Freed from those things by which he was filled, overcome and ridden,76 he achieves union in the self.'

5. 'The Valakhilyas said, "You speak rightly! You speak rightly! We have placed in mind what you have taught us, just as you said it. Now answer another question: fire, air, the sun, time, the breath, food, Brahma, Rudra, Visnu78ó some meditate on one of these, some on another. Tell us which is the best one."

'He told them:

6. "'These are the supreme forms of brahman, the immortal and bodiless. The one who is attached to any one of them here is happy in the world of that deity. Someone has said:

Brahman, all this. One should meditate on, praise and propitiate those forms of his. Then, with them. one moves in ever higher worlds: and at the universal destruction, one attains oneness with the personówith the person.

'"There are these verses about it:

Just as, without fuel, a fire
Dies down in its own birthplace, On the ceasing of its movements, the mind
Dies down in its own birthplace.

For the mind which, desiring truth,
Has died down in its own birthplace
And is not deluded, the sense objects,
In the power of desire, are false. ,

Consciousness is samsara:
By effort one should purify it.
As is one's consciousness, so one becomes:
That is the eternal secret.

By the calming of consciousness,
One kills action, both pure and impure:
With self calmed, resting in the self,
One wins unfailing bliss.

If a person's consciousness
Were as firmly attached to brahman
As it is to the sense-realm,
Would not all be freed from bonds?

The mind is said to be twofold,
The pure and the impure-
Impure from contact with desire:
Pure when apart from desire.

When, making the mind thoroughly firm,
Free from laxity and distraction,
One reaches a state without mind,
That is the highest state,

The mind should be kept in check
Until it has dissolved into the heart:
This is both knowledge and liberation.
The rest is multiplication of books.

The bliss that the stainless consciousness, washed by concentration,
May have when it has been brought into the self
Cannot be described by speech:
It is experienced directly through the inner organ.

Water in water, fire in fire
Or space in space cannot be made out:
Just so the one whose mind has gone within
Is completely freed.

For human beings the mind is cause
Of bondage and freedom.
When attached to objects, it brings bondage:
When without object, it brings freedom, so it is recorded.

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