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Fifth Brahmana

1. Yagnavalkya had two wives, Maitreyi and Katyayan1.Of these Maitreyi was conversant with Brahman, but Katyayani possessed such knowledge only as women possess. And Yagnavalkya, when he wished to get ready for another state of life (when he wished to give up the state of a householder, and retire into the forest),

2. Said, “Maitreyi, verily I am going away from this my house (into the forest). Forsooth, let me make a settlement between thee and that Katyayani.

3. Maitreyi said: “My Lord, if this whole earth, full of wealth, belonged to me, tell me, should I be immortal by it, or no?

No,” replied Yagnavalkya, “like the life of rich people will be thy life. But there is no hope of immortality by wealth.

4. And Maitreyi said: “What should I do with that by which I do not become immortal? What my Lord knoweth (of immortality), tell that clearly to me.

5. Yagnavalkya replied: “Thou who art truly dear to me, thou hast increased what is dear (to me in thee). Therefore, if you like, Lady, I will explain it to thee, and mark well what I say.

6. And he said: “Verily, a husband is not dear, that you may love the husband; but that you may love the Self, therefore a husband is dear.

“Verily, a wife is not dear, that you may love the wife; but that you may love the Self, therefore a wife is dear.

“Verily, sons are not dear, that you may love the sons; but that you may love the Self, therefore sons are dear.

“Verily, wealth is not dear, that you may love wealth; but that you may love the Self, therefore wealth is dear.

“Verily, cattle are not dear, that you may love cattle; but that you may love the Self, therefore cattle are dear.

“Verily, the Brahman-class is not dear, that you may love the Brahman-class; but that you may love the Self, therefore the Brahman-class is dear.

“Verily, the Kshatra-class is not dear, that you may love the Kshatra-class; but that you may love the Self, therefore the Kshatra-class is dear.

“Verily, the worlds are not dear, that you may love the worlds; but that you may love the Self, therefore the worlds are dear.

“Verily, the Devas are not dear, that you may love the Devas; but that you may love the Self, therefore the Devas are dear.

“Verily, the Vedas are not dear, that you may love the Vedas; but that you may love the Self, therefore the Vedas are dear.

“Verily, creatures are not dear, that you may love the creatures; but that you may love the Self, therefore are creatures dear.

“Verily, everything is not dear, that you may love everything; but that you may love the Self, therefore everything is dear.

Verily, the Self is to be seen, to be heard, to be perceived, to be marked, O Maitreyi! When the Self has been seen, heard, perceived, and known, then all this is known.

7. “Whosoever looks for the Brahman-class elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the Brahman-class. Whosoever looks for the Kshatraclass elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the Kshatra-class. Whosoever looks for the worlds elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the worlds. Whosoever looks for the Devas elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the Devas. Whosoever looks for the Vedas elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the Vedas. Whosoever looks for the creatures elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the creatures. Whosoever looks for anything elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by anything.

“This Brahman-class, this Kshatra-class, these worlds, these Devas, these Vedas, all these beings, this everything, all is that Self.

8. “Now as the sounds of a drum, when beaten, cannot be seized externally (by themselves), but the sound is seized, when the drum is seized, or the beater of the drum;

9. “And as the sounds of a conch-shell, when blown, cannot be seized externally (by themselves), but the sound is seized, when the shell is seized, or the blower of the shell;

10. “And as the sounds of a lute, when played, cannot be seized externally (by themselves), but the sound is seized, when the lute is seized, or the player of the lute;

11. “As clouds of smoke proceed by themselves out of lighted fire kindled with damp fuel, thus verily, O Maitreyi, has been breathed forth from this great Being what we have as Rig-veda, Yagur-veda, Sama-veda, Atharvangirasas, Itihasa, Purana, Vidya, the Upanishads, Slokas, Sutras, Anuvyakhyanas, Vyakhyanas, what is sacrificed, what is poured out, food, drink, this world and the other world, and all creatures. From him alone all these were breathed forth.

12. “As all waters find their centre in the sea, all touches in the skin, all tastes in the tongue, all smells in the nose, all colours in the eye, all sounds in the ear, all percepts in the mind, all knowledge in the heart, all actions in the hands, all movements in the feet, and all the Vedas in speech—

13. “As a mass of salt has neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of taste, thus indeed has that Self neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of knowledge; and having risen from out these elements, vanishes again in them. When he has departed, there is no more knowledge (name), I say, O Maitreyi,”—thus spoke Yagnavalkya.

14. Then Maitreyi said: “Here, Sir, thou hast landed me in utter bewilderment. Indeed, I do not understand him.

But he replied: “O Maitreyi, I say nothing that is bewildering. Verily, beloved, that Self is imperishable, and of an indestructible nature.

15. “For when there is as it were duality, then one sees the other, one smells the other, one tastes the other, one salutes the other, one hears the other, one perceives the other, one touches the other, one knows the other; but when the Self only is all this, how should he see another, how should he smell another, how should he taste another, how should he salute another, how should he hear another, how should he touch another, how should he know another? How should he know Him by whom he knows all this? That Self is to be described by No, no! He is incomprehensible, for he cannot be comprehended; he is imperishable, for he cannot perish; he is unattached, for he does not attach himself; unfettered, he does not suffer, he does not fail. How, O beloved, should he know the Knower? Thus, O Maitreyi, thou hast been instructed. Thus far goes immortality.” Having said so, Yagnavalkya went away (into the forest).

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