The Upanishads (Indian Spirituality)

The Upanishads (introduced and translated by Eknath Easwaran)

the works in this set of translations–the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Dhammapada, are the earliest and most universal of messages like these, sent to inform us that there is more to life than the everyday experience of our senses.  The Upanishads are the oldest

"Nothing can be more important than being able to choose the way we think." Eknath Easwaran 1910-1999

 Some excerpts from Indian Spirituality:                                               

     You are what your deep, driving desire is.

      As your desire is, so is your will.

      As your will is, so is your deed.

                         As your deed is, so is your destiny.  [Brihadaranyaka IV. 4.5]

We live in accordance with our deep, driving desire.

It is this desire at the time of death that determines 

what our next life will be.  We will come back to earth

to work out the satisfaction of that desire. 

But not those who are free from desire; they are free

because all their desires have found fulfillment in

the Self.  They do not die like the others; but realizing

Brahman, they merge in Brahman.  So it is said:

When all the desires that surge in the heart

are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal.

When all the knots that strangle the heart

are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal,

Here in this very life.

As the skin of a snake is sloughed onto an anthill, so

does the mortal body fall; but the Self, freed from the

body, merges in Brahman, infinite life, eternal light.

“The Self is one, though is appears to be many.

Those who meditate upon the Self and realize the Self

go beyond decay and death, beyond separateness and

sorrow.  They see the Self in everyone and obtain all

things.

“Control the senses and purify the mind.  In a pure

mind there is constant awareness of the Self.  Where

there is constant awareness of the Self, freedom ends

bondage and joy ends sorrow.”

“The Self, pure awareness, shines as the light

within the heart, surrounded by the senses.  Only seeming

to think, seeming to move, the Self neither sleeps nor

wakes nor dreams.

When the Self takes on a body, he seems to assume

the body’s frailties and limitations; but when he sheds 

the body at the time of death the Self leaves all these 

behind.

The human being has two states of sonsciousness:

one in this world, the other in the next.  But there is

a third state between them, not unlike the world of

dreams, in which we are aware of both worlds, with

their sorrows and joys.  When a person dies, it is only

the physical body that dies; that person lives on in a 

nonphysical body, which carries the impressions of his

past life.  It is these impressions that determine his next 

life.  In this intermediate state he makes and dissolves 

impressions by the light of the Self.

In that third state of consciousness there are no

chariots, no horses drawing them or roads on which to 

travel, but he makes up his own chariots, horses, and

roads.  In that state there are no joys or pleasures, but

he makes up his own joys and pleasures.  In that state

there are no lotus ponds, no lakes, no rivers.  It is he 

who makes up all these from the impressions of his 

past or waking life.

It is said of these states of consciousness that in

the dreaming state, when one is sleeping, the shining

Self, who never dreams, who is ever awake, watches

by his own light the dreams woven out of past deeds 

and present desires.  In the dreaming state, when one is

sleeping, the shining Self keeps the body alive with the

vital force of prana, and wanders wherever he wills…

“All this is full.  all that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.”
      –O M  shanti shanti shanti
Knowing the senses to be separate
from the Self, and the sense experience
to be fleeting, the wise grieve no more.
Above the sense is the mind, above
the mind is the intellect, above that
is the ego, and above the ego
is the unmanifested Cause.
And beyond is Brahman, omnipresent,
attributeless.  Realizing him one is released
from the cycle of birth and death.
He is formless, and can never be seen
with these two eyes.  But he reveals himself
in the heart made pure through meditation
and sense-restraint.  Realizing him, one is
released from the cycle of birth and death.
When the fives senses are stilled, when the mind
is stilled, when the intellect is stilled, 
that is called the highest state by the wise…
…if one is not established in this state,
the sense unity will come and go…
When all desires that surge in the heart
are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal.
When all the knots that strangle the heart 
are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal.
This sums up the teaching of the scriptures.
As a caterpillar, having come to the end of
one blade of grass, draws itself together and
reaches out for the next, so the Self, having
come to the end of one life and dispelled 
all ignorance, gathers in his faculties and
reaches out from the old body to a new.
Who is the One in all?  Know One, know all.
That through which one enjoys the waking
and sleeping states is the Self.  To know That
as consciousness is to go beyond sorrow.
Those who know the Self as enjoyer
of the honey from the flowers of the senses,
ever present within, ruler or time,
Go Beyond Fear.  For this Self is Supreme!
                        
Advertisements

Thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s