Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has come among men and is providing spiritual sustenance and guidance, in order to re-establish Truth, Justice, Peace and Love as the main-spring of individual, social and national life. He is using for this great task ancient and modern instruments, Sanathana Dharma and science. His writings, discourses and conversations, which correct, communicate and convince are full of statements and commentaries on the discoveries of physical and metaphysical sciences.
This book which gives, in English, His articles (first published in Telugu in the Sanathana Sarathi) on the Ten Upanishads (invaluable text-books on spiritual discipline and on the glorious fruit of spiritual adventure) will reveal to you the vast limitless Mercy which impels Him to save us from trivialities and prompts Him to guide us along, until we reach the Goal of Life.
Making us tread the path discovered by the Sages of the past, inducing us to revere their Light and their Message, illumining in us the Flame of Knowledge which dispels delusion - that is what Bhagawan, with His Supreme Love, does for us in this book.
Let us read it with care, recapitulate it with earnestness in the silence of our hearts and practice it with humility and faith, in every turn of thought, in every tilt of tongue and in every digit of deed.
Man is essentially Divine. However, he believes himself to be an individual, limited and temporary, because he is entangled in the characteristics of the Five Elements, namely, Sound, Touch, Form, Taste and Smell. This error brings about joy and grief, good and bad, birth and death. To escape from this association with the Elements, to rid oneself of the pulls of their characteristics, is the sign of Liberation, called in Sanskrit as Kaivalya, Moksha or Mukthi. Names may change; but the achievement is the same.
While entangled in the Five Elements, man is attracted, distracted or disappointed by them; all this causes distress. Wealth, possessions - vehicles, buildings - all these re transmutations of the elements. Man craves for them; when he loses them or fails to get them, he spurns them.
Let us take the Five Elements, one by one. The living being has the first one, the Earth, as its base. Water, the second, is the basis for the earth. Water is produced from Fire, the third element, Fire itself emanating from Wind, the fourth. Wind or Vayu arises from Ether, or Akasa. Akasa emerges from the Primal Nature and the Primal Nature is but the manifestation of one aspect of the majesty of God, or the Supreme Sovereign Atma, the Param-atma.
Seeking to reach that Param-atma, the source and core of the Universe, the Individual or Jivi, who has entangled himself in the elements, has to overcome, by discrimination and steady practice of detachment, the bonds one by one; such a person is a Sadhaka; he who wins in this struggle is the Jivan-muktha, 'Liberated even while alive.'
For the exercise of such discrimination and for the visualization of one's innate reality, one has to study the Upanishads. They are collectively called Vedanta. They form the Jnana Kaanda of the Vedas, the section that deals with the Higher Wisdom. Liberation from the consequences of Ignorance can be secured only by Knowledge or Jnana. The Upanishads themselves declare, "Jnaanaad eva thu kaivalyam": "By Knowledge alone can freedom be won."
The Vedas are reputed to be "three sectioned", "Kaanda-thrayaathmakam" - the three sections being Jnana, Upasana and Karma. These three are found in the Upanishads too; they provided the basis for the Adwaita, Visishtadvaitha and the Dwaitha systems of Philosophy also.
The term Upanishad denotes the study and practice of the innate truth: the term, Brahmavidya, denotes the supremacy of spiritual contemplation; the term, Yogasastra denotes the mental churning that brings success. What is the fundamental activity, which is required of man? What is the basic thing to be known? It is only one's basic reality. The Upanishads describe the various stages and the various modes of this search for realising this.
The name is full of significance. 'Upa' means the process of studying with 'Nishta' or steadfastness; 'shad' means the attainment of the Ultimate Reality. The name Upa-ni-shad arose for these reasons. The Upanishads teach not only the principles of Atma vidya; they indicate also the practical means of realisation. They point out not only the duties and obligations one has to bear, but also the actions to be done and those to be avoided.
The Gita is but the essence of the Upanishads. Arjuna acquired through the lessons of the Gita the fruit of listening to the Upanishads. In the Upanishads, the statement, "Thath-thwam-asi", "That thou art", is found. In the Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, "I am Arjuna among the Pandavas", that is to say, "I and You are the same". This is the same as saying "Thou art That", that Jiva and Iswara are the same.
So, whether it is the Gita or the Upanishads, the teaching is Non-duality, not Duality, or qualified Monism. The human eye cannot delve into the minute or the magnitudinous. It cannot read the mystery of the virus or the atom or the stellar universe. Therefore, scientists supplement the eye with the telescope and the microscope. Similarly, sages are able to experience Divinity through the eye of knowledge, gained by following the Dharma of moral conduct and spiritual discipline. When the human eye stands in need of an extraneous instrument to observe even the insignificant worm and virus, how can one refuse to go through the process of mantra if he desires to see the omnipresent transcendent Principle? It is very hard to acquire the eye of wisdom. Concentration is essential for this. And, for concentration to develop and stabilize itself, three things are very important: purity of consciousness, moral awareness and spiritual discrimination. These qualifications are difficult of attainment by ordinary folk.
Man is endowed with the special instrument of discrimination, of judgement, of analysis and synthesis, which among all animals, he alone possesses. He has to develop this and utilise it to the best purpose. Through this instrument, he can realise the Immanent Divinity.
Instead, man pesters himself and others with the question: Where does God reside? If He is real, why is He not seen? Hearing such queries, one feels like pitying the poor questioners. For, they are announcing their own foolishness. They are like the dullards who aspire for university degrees without taking pains even to learn the alphabet. They aspire to realise God without putting themselves to the trouble of practicing the Sadhana required. People who have no moral strength and purity talk of God and His existence and decry efforts to see Him. Such people have no right to be heard.
Spiritual Sadhana is based on the holy Sastras. They cannot be mastered in a trice. They cannot be followed through talk. Their message is summed up in the Upanishads; hence, they are revered as authoritative. They are not the products of human intelligence; they are the whisperings of God to man. They are parts of the eternal Vedas. The Vedas shine gloriously through all their parts.
The Upanishads are authentic and authoritative, as they share the glory of the Vedas. They are 1180 in number, but, through the centuries, many of them disappeared from human memory and only 108 have now survived. Of these, 13 have attained great popularity, as a result of the depth and value of their contents.
The sage Vyasa classified the Upanishads and allotted them among the four Vedas; The Rig Veda has 21 branches and each branch has one Upanishad allotted to it. The Yajur Veda has 109 branches and 109 Upanishads. The Atharvana Veda has 50 branches and 50 Upanishads were its share. The Sama Veda has a thousand branches and the balance, namely, 1000 Upanishads were its share. Thus, the 1180 Upanishads were assigned by Vyasa to the Four Vedas.
Shankaracharya raised the status of ten among the Upanishads by selecting them for writing his commentaries and so they became especially important. Humanity stands to gain or fall by these ten. All who are seeking human welfare and progress are now apprehending whether even these ten will be forgotten, for, neglecting them will usher in moral and spiritual disaster. There is no reason, however, for such fears. The Vedas can never be harmed. Pundits and those with faith should resolve to present before humanity these ten Upanishads at least. They are:
Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Thaithiriya, Aithareya, Chandogya and Brihadaranyaka.
The remaining 98 are:
Brahma, Kaivalya, Svethasva, Jabali, Hamsa, Garbha, Aruni, Paramahamsa, Amrithanada, Narayani, Amrithabindu, Atharvasikha, Atharvasira, Kasithara, Mathrayani, Nrisimhatapani, Brahmajabala, Maithreya, Kalagnirudra, Sulabha, Manthrika, Kshithi, Niraalamba, Sarvahara, Vajrasuchika, Subharahasya, Thejobindu, Nadabindu, Dhyanabindu, Brahmavidya, Atmabodhaka, Yoga, Thathwa, Naradaparivrajaka, Brahmana, Sita, Yogachudamani, Nirvana, Mandala, Dakshinamurthi, Skandaa, Sarabha, Adwaitha, Thaaraka, Mahanarayana, Sowbhagyalakshmi, Saraswathirahasya, Mukthika, Bhavaricha, Ramathapana, Ramarahasya, Mudgali, Vasudeva, Pingala, Sandilya, Mahabhikshuka, Yogasiksha, Sanyasa, Thuriyathitha, Parmaparivrajaka, Narasimha, Akshamalika, Annapoorna, Ekakshara, Akshika, Adhathya, Surya, Kundisakhya, Aatma, Savithri, Parabrahma, Pasupatha, Thripurathapana, Avadhootha, Thripura, Devi, Bhavana, Katha, Yogakundali, Rudrahrdaya, Rudraksha, Bhasma, Darsana, Ganapathi, Thahasata, Mahavakya, Panchabrahma, Gopalathapani, Pranagnihothra, Garuda, Krishna, Datthatreya, Varaaha, Yajnavalkya, Sathyaayana, Avyektha, Hayagriva, and Kalisantharna. The Upanishads have also inspired other works on Geography, Astronomy, Astrology, Economics and Political Theory, as well as the 18 Puranas comprising Skanda, Siva, Garuda and others. The Vedas and the Upanishads are the very foundation for Sanathana Dharma.
There is one interesting feature to be noted. This religion has no one Founder as the others have. That invisible unknown founder is God, the source of all wisdom. He is the Prophet of this Sanathana Dharma. He is the Founder; His Grace and His Inspiration manifested through the pure Sages and they became the spokesmen of this Dharma. When the moral purity of men degenerates, God takes form as grace and inspiration in sages and teachers. He has also given through the Upanishads the Sathya-Jnana, the Wisdom concerning the Reality.
The Lord, intent on the regeneration of the world, communicated Vedas through Hiranyagarbha and Hiranyagarbha, in turn, passed them on to his ten Manasa-puthras, including Athri and Marichi. From them, the Vedas spread among humanity, handed down from one generation to another. As time passed, ages accumulated and continents moved, some Vedas got lost, or were neglected as too difficult for comprehension, and only four have survived into modern times. Vedavyasa, the greatest among the exponents of the Vedas, taught these four to his disciples, in the Dwapara Yuga.
When Vyasa was thus expounding the Vedas, engaged in spreading the sacred scripture, one disciple of his, Yajnavalkya by name, incurred his wrath and as a punishment, he had to regurgitate the Yajurveda that he had already learned, into the custody of his guru and leave the place, to take refuge in Surya Deva, the treasure-house of the Vedas. Just then, the Rishis who revere the Vedas flew into the place in the shape of Thiththiri birds and ate up the regurgitated Yajurveda. That particular section of the Veda is called "Thaithiriyam".
Meanwhile Surya Deva was pleased with the devotion and steadfastness of the unfortunate Yajnavalkya. He assumed the form of a Vaji or Horse and blessed the sage with renewed knowledge of the Yajurveda. The sections thus taught by the Vaji came to be called 'Vajasaneyi'. The Yajurveda as promoted by Vedavyasa is called Krishnayajurveda and that handed down by Yajnavalkya as the Suklayajurveda. In these, the first few chapters are Mantras connected with the Karma Kaanda and the last few sections deal with Jnana Kaanda.
The Ishavasya Upanishad is concerned with this Jnanakanda. Since the opening mantra of this Upanishad starts with the words, 'Isavasyam', the Upanishad is called by that name.
Isavaasyamidam sarvam yathkinchajagathyaam jagath
Thena thyakthena bhunjeethaah, maa gridhah kasyaswid-dhanam
"All things of this world, the transitory, the evanescent, are enveloped by the Lord who is the real Reality of each. Therefore they have to be used with reverent renunciation, without covetousness or greed for they belong to the Lord and not to any one person". That is what this Sloka means.
That is to say, the Universe is the Immanence of the Lord, His Form, His Body. It is wrong to take the Universe and its Lord as different. It is a delusion, a product of the imagination of man. Just as your image under the water is not different from you, the Universe (which is His Image produced on your Ignorance) is the same as He.
So long as man has this delusion, he cannot visualise the Reality immanent in him; on the other hand, he will slide into wrong thoughts, words and deeds. A piece of sandalwood if kept in water will produce a bad smell; but, if it is taken out and rubbed into paste, the former perfume will return. When the authority of the Vedas and Sastras is repeated and when discrimination is sharpened on the practice of Dharma karmas, the evil smell of wrong and wickedness will vanish and the pure innate perfume of the Atma will emerge. Then the duality of doer and enjoyer will disappear; then, you reach the stage called Sarva karma Sanyas, the withdrawal from all activity. In this Upanishad, this type of Sanyas is described as the pathway to Liberation or Moksha.
The Sanyasa which involves the destruction of the three urges (for a mate, for progeny and for wealth) is very difficult to attain without purity of the chiththa or mind.
In this Upanishad, the means for getting this is declared in the second Mantra. That is to say: carry out the Agnihotra etc. prescribed in the Sastras, believe that for liberation one has to be actively engaged in such work and get convinced that no sin can cling so long as one is so engaged. Work without the desire for the fruit thereof slowly cleanses impurities like the crucible of the goldsmith. The pure mind is Jnana; it is the consummation of detachment.
If you are able to divest yourselves of desire when you are doing work, no impurity can touch you. You know the "Chilliginji" seeds when dropped into muddy water have the power of separating the dirt and depositing it at the bottom; the seeds too sink to the bottom, and slip out of sight! In the same way, those who are adepts in doing Karma without attachment will have their minds perfectly cleansed and the results of their acts will also lose effectiveness and sink to the bottom.
Out of the 18 mantras in this Upanishad only the first two deal directly with the problem of Liberation and its solution. The other sixteen elaborate this solution and serve as commentaries thereon.
The Atma never undergoes any modification; yet it is faster than any mind! That is the mystery and the miracle; it appears to experience all states, but it has no growth, decline or change. Though it is everywhere it is not perceivable by the senses; it is because of its underlying existence and ever-present immanence that all growth, all activities, all changes take place. Cause and effect act and react on account of the Basic stratum of the Atmic reality. The very word, 'Isa' carries this meaning. The Atma is near and far, inside and outside, still and moving. He who knows this truth is worthy of the name Jnani.
The ignorant can never grasp the fact of Atmic immanence. Those who are conscious can see things and can feel their presence near them. Those who have lost awareness will search for the lost jewels though they actually wear them at the moment. Though one may know all things, he conceives the Atma as existing in some un-approachable, unreachable place on account of loss of consciousness. But the Jnani, who is aware, sees the Atma in all beings and all beings as Atma: He sees all beings as the same, and perceives no distinction or difference. So he saves himself from duality.
The Ishavasya makes this great Truth clear to all. The blows of fortune or the enticements of the senses will not agitate the Jnani who has tasted that vision. He sees all beings as himself, having his own innate identity; he is free from bondage, from Dharma and Adharma, and the needs and urges of the body. He is "Swayamprakaasa". So, the Jiva-Rupa is not his genuine form, no, not even the gross and the subtle bodies called the Sthula and the Sukshma sariras.
That is why in the first mantra of the Ishavasya, the Jnana-Nishtha characterised by the absence of craving of any sort is expounded. This is the primary Vedartha; but those who have cravings will find it difficult to get stabilized in that Nishta or state of mind. For such, the second mantra prescribes a secondary means, the Karma Nishta. The rest of the mantras elaborate and support these two nishtas - based on Jnana and Karma. Karma-Nishtha has Desire and Delusion as the cardinal urges; Jnana-Nishtha has Vairagya, the conviction that the world is not Atma, that is to say, not true, and therefore, it is profitless to have any dealings with it. Such an attitude to Vairagya is the gateway to Jnana-Nishtha. From the third to the eighth mantra, the real nature of the Atma is depicted, through the condemnation of the Avidya, which prevents the understanding of the Atma.
Thus the Ishavasya teaches the lesson of renunciation through the first mantra and the lesson of 'liberating activity' (through Karma devoid of Raga and Dwesha) in the second mantra. In the fourth and fifth mantra, it speaks of Atma Thathwa and later of the fruits of the knowledge of that Atma Thathwa. In the ninth mantra, the path of progressive liberation or Karma Mukthi (useful for those who are too weak to follow the path of total renunciation but who are adepts in acts that are conducive to moral development and inner purification) is laid down; this is the path which co-ordinates all Karma on the principle of Upasana. Those who are engaged in acts contrary to Vidya are full of Ajnana, it says; those who confine themselves to the study and practice of divine forms are even worse, for their desire is for powers and skills. Vidya leads to Deva-Loka, Karma leads to Pithr-loka, it is said. So, the Jnana that results in Atma Sakshathkaram or Self-realisation is something quite distinct from these, no attempt to co-ordinate the two can succeed.
Of course, one should not engage in anything opposed to the Sastras; and all actions are classed as Avidya, in the ultimate analysis. At best, Karma can help only to cleanse the mind and the Upasana of Gods can lead to single-mindedness. The Upasana has to rise to the level of the worship of the Cosmic Divinity, the Hiranyagarbha; it has to ripen and develop into Jivan Mukthi, before the end of this life.
The Devatha-Jnana and the Karma-Nishtha have both to be complementary and coordinated; then, one can escape the round of birth and death and become Divine.
The story of Nachiketha’s, who was initiated in a spiritual discipline by Yama Himself, is found in this Upanishad. The same story is also mentioned in the Taitiriya Brahmana and in the Mahabharatha too, in the 106th Chapter of the Anusaasanaparva. This Upanishad has become famous on account of its clarity and depth of imagination. Many of the thoughts expressed in it can be found in the Bhagavad-Gita. Since it belongs to the Katha Saakha of the Krishna Yajurveda School, it is called Kathopanishad.
A very strict ritualist, Vaajasravas, also known as Gauthama, performed a Yaga. As part of the sacrifice he gave away cows that were no longer able to eat grass or drink water, much less yield milk! They were too old for any useful purpose. Seeing this, his virtuous and intelligent son, Nachiketha by name, realised that his father was in for a great deal of sorrow, consequent on the sinful gifts. The boy wanted to save his father from his fate as far as it lay in his power; he asked his father, to whom he intended to offer him as a gift! He importuned that he too should be given away to some one. At this the father got so incensed that he shouted in disgust, "I am giving you to the God of Death". Whereupon, Nachiketha resolved that his father's words must not be falsified though they were uttered in the Jiva-Loka, infected with birth and death. So he persuaded his father to offer him, in strict ritualistic style, as a gift to Yama. Nachiketha promptly proceeded to the abode of the God of Death. He had to wait three nights before he could see Yama. The Lord of Death felt sorry for the delay in receiving a Brahmin guest and promised Nachiketha (by way of atonement) three boons, one for each night he spent outside his doors.
Nachiketha wanted first, that when he returned to his native place and home at His behest, his father must welcome him gladly, free from all anger over his former impertinence, and full of mental equanimity. His second desire was to know the secret of the absence in heaven of hunger or thirst or the fear of death. Yama gladly gave him these boons. In addition Yama initiated him into a special ritual, and its mystery. Nachiketha listened reverentially and grasped the details of that ritual quickly and clearly. Yama was so delighted with his new disciple that He gave the Yaga a new name Nachiketha Agni! This was an extra boon for the young visitor. Nachiketha said; "Master! Man is mortal; but, some say that death is not the end, that there is an entity called Atma, which survives the body and the senses; others argue that there is no such entity. Now that I have the chance, I wish to know about the Atma from you."
Yama desired to test the credentials of his questioner's steadfastness and eagerness to know the Highest Wisdom. If he was undeserving, Yama did not want to communicate the knowledge to him. So, He offered to give him instead, various other boons, related to worldly prosperity and happiness. He told him that the Atma is something very subtle and elusive, that it is beyond the reach of ordinary understanding and He placed before him other attractive boons that could be enjoyed 'quicker' and 'better'. Nachiketha replied: "Revered Master! Your description of the difficulty of understanding it makes me feel that I should not let go this chance for, I can get no teacher more qualified than You to explain it to me. I ask this as my third boon and no other. The alternative boons You hold before me cannot assure me the everlasting benefit that Atma Jnana alone can bestow."
Seeing this Shraddha and this steadiness Yama was pleased and He concluded that Nachiketha was fit to receive the highest wisdom. He said, "Well, My dear Boy! There are two distinct types of experiences and urges, called Sreyas and Preyas, both affect the individual. The first releases; the second leashes. One leads to salvation and the other to incarceration! If you pursue the Preya path, you leave the realisation of the highest goal of man, far behind. The Sreya path can be discerned only by the refined intellect, by Viveka; the Preya path is trodden by the ignorant and the perverted. Vidya reveals the Sreyas and Avidya makes you slide into the Preyas. Naturally, those who seek the Sreya road are very rare."
Yama continued: "The Atma is agitationless, unruffled; it is Consciousness, infinite and full. He who has known the Atma will not be moved by the dual ideas of 'is' and 'is-not', 'Do-er' 'Not-doer' etc. The Atma is not even an object to be known! It is neither knower, known nor knowledge. Discovering this is the supreme Vision; informing one of this is the supreme instruction. The Instructor is Brahmam, and the Instructed is also Brahmam. Realisation of this ever-present Truth saves one from all attachment and agitation and so, It liberates one from birth and death. This great Mystery cannot be grasped by logic; it has to be won by Faith in the Smrithis and experienced."
"The Atma is capable of being known only after vast perseverance. One has to divert the mind from its natural habitat - the objective world - and keep it in unwavering equanimity. Only a hero can succeed in this solitary internal adventure and overcome the monsters of egoism and illusion! That victory alone can remove grief."
The teaching of the Vedanta is that the Highest Truth is capable of being realised by all. All the texts proclaim so with one voice; they also say that the Pranava or the syllable Om is the symbol of the Para and the Apara Brahmam; they declare that the Upasana of the Pranava brings within your reach even the Hiranyagarbha stage and helps you to attain two stages of Brahmam, too. The Hiranyagarbha is enveloped by the thinnest veil of Maya and through Om, it can be rent asunder, and both Para and Apara Brahmam realised.
The Kathopanishad also elaborates on the Atma in various ways. It says that the Atma is not measurable, that it can never be contained by limitations, though it appears so. The image of the Sun in a lake quivers and shakes due to the quivering and shaking of the water; the Sun is but a distant witness. It is unaffected by the media which produce the images. The Atma likewise is the witness of all this change in space and time.
The Jiva, the Individualised Ignorance, is the participant of the fruits of action, of right and wrong, of good and evil; the Jivi forges bondage through Egoism and loosens the bonds through Buddhi, the counter-force of ignorance. Realise that all is won the moment the Indriyas (external and internal) are put out of action. Discard them as false and misleading; merge them all in the Manas. Throw the Manas back into the Buddhi and the Buddhi or individualised Intelligence into the Cosmic Intelligence of Hiranyagarbha. And, having reached that stage of Sadhana, merge the cosmic intelligence in the Atma-Thathwa of which it is but a manifestation. Then you attain the stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the perfect unruffled equanimity of Absolute One-ness, which is your true Nature. That is the secret propounded by this Upanishad; that and the fact that all creation is a proliferation of Nama and Rupa.
Misled by the mirage, you are unable to see the desert waste; frightened by the snake (superimposed by you on the rope) you are unable to discern the basic reality. The beginningless delusion that haunts the Jivi has to be broken through. The 14th Mantra of this Upanishad wakes up the Jivi from the sleep of ages and leads him on towards the goal.
The Atma is beyond Sabda, Sparsa, Rupa, Rasa and Gandha; it knows no end. The senses are object-bound, outward-bound. The Atma is the prime instrument for all activity and knowledge, the inner motive-force behind everything. This delusion of manifold-ness, variety, multiplicity, many-ness, has to die. It is born of Ajnana. The "many" is a mirage caused by "circumstances"; the feeling that you are separate from the One is the root of all this seeming Birth and Death, which the individual appears to go through. Yama then declared the Nature of Brahman to Nachiketha, to remove his doubts on that point.
Like a light hidden by smoke, the Thumb-sized Purusha (the Angushtamaathra) is eternally shining. As the torrent of rain falling on a peak is shattered downwards in a thousand streams, the Jivi, who feels many-ness and difference, falls down through many-ness and goes to waste. This Upanishad announces that there is nothing higher than the Atma or even equal to it. The roots of a tree are invisible; they are hidden underground; but their effect is evident in the flowers that are visible, is it not? This is true of this Samsara Vriksha, the Tree of Life. From that experience, you have to infer that the root, Brahmam, is there as sustenance and as support, said Yama.
The Tree of Samsara is like the magician's mango tree; it is just an illusion. He who has purified his Buddhi can see in it, as in a fine mirror, the Atma, in this very life. Brahmam is the Jneyam, the thing known to the seeker of knowledge; it is the Upaasyam, the thing attained by the seeker of attainment. The Jnani is liberated by his visualisation of Brahmam, but the Upasaka reaches Brahma Loka after death. There, he merges in Hiranyagarbha and at the end of the Kalpa; he is liberated along with the Hiranyagarbha Itself.
Nachiketha understood without a flaw this Brahmavidya that Yama taught him; he was released by Death and attained Brahmam. So far as this Brahmavidya is concerned even he who attempts to know what it is, becomes thereby a better personality, free from the taint of sin.
This Upanishad has taught in many ways the fundamental subjects: Pranava Swarupa, Sreyas and Brahmavidya. My resolve is to tell you now the essence of these teachings. Of course, one Mantra is enough to save those who have sharpened intelligence and who are full of the yearning to escape. For the dull-witted, sense-prompted individual immersed in secular pleasure-seeking, advice however plentiful is a waste.
The Atma is like the ocean; to instruct a person about it, you need not ask him to drink the entire ocean. A single drop placed on the tongue will give him the needed knowledge. So too, if you desire to know the Upanishad, you need not follow every Mantra. Learn and experience the implication of one Mantra; you can realise the Goal without fail. Learn and practice. Learn to practice: That is the secret of the Teaching.