Maitrayana-Brahmaya-Upanishad: Third Prapathaka

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Third Prapathaka

1. The Valakhilyas said to Pragâpati Kratu: “O Saint, if thou thus showest the greatness of that Self, then who is that other different one, also called Self, who really overcome by bright and dark fruits of action, enters on a good or bad birth? Downward or upward is his course, and overcome by the pairs (distinction between hot and cold, pleasure and pain, &c.) he roams about.

2. Pragâpati Kratu replied: “There is indeed that others different one, called the elemental Self (Bhutatma), who, overcome by bright and dark fruits of action, enters on a good or bad birth: downward or upward is his course, and overcome by the pairs he roams about. And this is his explanation: The five Tanmatras (sound, touch, form, taste, smell) are called Bhuta; also the five Mahabhutas (gross elements) are called Bhuta. Then the aggregate of all these is called sarira, body. And lastly he of whom it was said that he dwelt in the body, he is called Bhutatma, the elemental Self. Thus his immortal Self is like a drop of water on a lotus leaf, and he himself is overcome by the qualities of nature. Then, because he is thus overcome, he becomes bewildered, and because he is bewildered, he saw not the creator, the holy Lord, abiding within himself. Carried along by the waves of the qualities, darkened in his imaginations, unstable, fickle, crippled, full of desires, vacillating, he enters into belief, believing ‘I am he,’ ‘this is mine;’ he binds his Self by his Self, as a bird with a net, and overcome afterwards by the fruits of what he has done, he enters on a good and bad birth; downward or upward is his course, and overcome by the pairs he roams about.

They asked: “Which is it?” And he answered them:

3. This also has elsewhere been said: He who acts, is the elemental Self; he who causes to act by means of the organs, is the inner man (antahpurusha). Now as even a ball of iron, pervaded (overcome) by fire, and hammered by smiths, becomes manifold (assumes different forms, such as crooked, round, large, small), thus the elemental Self, pervaded (overcome) by the inner man, and hammered by the qualities, becomes manifold. And the four tribes (mammals, birds, &c.), the fourteen worlds (Bhur, &c.), with all the number of beings, multiplied eighty-four times, all this appears as manifoldness. And those multiplied things are impelled by man (purusha) as the wheel by the potter. And as when the ball of iron is hammered, the fire is not overcome, so the (inner) man is not overcome, but the elemental Self is overcome, because it has united itself (with the elements).

4. And it has been said elsewhere: This body produced from marriage, and endowed with growth in darkness, came forth by the urinary passage, was built up with bones, bedaubed with flesh, thatched with skin, filled with ordure, urine, bile, slime, marrow, fat, oil, and many impurities besides, like a treasury full of treasures.

5. And it has been said elsewhere: Bewilderment, fear, grief, sleep, sloth, carelessness, decay, sorrow, hunger, thirst, niggardliness, wrath, infidelity, ignorance, envy, cruelty, folly, shamelessness, meanness, pride, changeability, these are the results of the quality of darkness (tamah).

Inward thirst fondness, passion, covetousness, unkindness, love, hatred, deceit, jealousy, vain restlessness, fickleness, unstableness, emulation, greed, patronising of friends, family pride, aversion to disagreeable objects, devotion to agreeable objects, whispering, prodigality, these are the results of the quality of passion (ragas).

By these he is filled, by these he is overcome, and therefore this elemental Self assumes manifold forms, yes, manifold forms.

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