Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

Book 4. Chapter 3

2] Yajñavalkya, what is the light which everyone sees?

The sun, your majesty. By sunlight everyone sees whatever they need.

3] But when the sun has set, Yajñavalkya, what guides them then?
They have the moon your majesty. By moonlight everyone finds what they need to.

4] When both Sun and Moon are covered by clouds, then what guides them?

Fire. By firelight everyone is led to what they need.

5] And when there is no fire?

The voice is their guide. Even when you cannot see your own hand before your face, you can still go towards the sound of voices.

6] And if there is no voice?

One’s inner self becomes one’s light. By it you guide your steps.

7] What is the self, Yajñavalkya?
Among all the senses there is an inner consciousness which consists of intelligent understanding, like a light within the heart: this is the self. A constant presence, this consciousness, which ultimately transcends death, moves freely between the two worlds in sleep, transcending our physical constraints by appearing to contain both the power of thought and movement.

8] At birth this consciousness is formed within temporal reality. At death it relinquishes it. 

9] This consciousness has two states: that of this world and that of the other world. Yet there is also an intermediate state, the twilight world of sleep. From it we see the other two, this world in which we live now, and the other world that is beyond it. Entering the intermediate /dream state we see into the other world and encounter both positive and negative messages.
When you fall asleep, you carry with you all the matter of your waking experience. (But within dream) it is actually your own self which creates and destroys whatever appears. And here the light of your own consciousness is your guide.
10] There are no chariots, no distances, no roads; yet within there appear chariots, distances and roads. There are no joys, no pleasures, no delights (yet you experience them nonetheless). There are no baths, no lotus-pools, no rivers; yet you find baths, lotus-pools and rivers - for your self is the creator.

11] On this there are these verses:
In sleep you sift and blend physical sensations: 

and conscious in the world of dreams you see all.
Like a lonely crane on a long flight you absorb 
this pure energy
and so return to your body transformed.
12] Having placed protection around your earthly nest (your sleeping body) 

you are free to soar to the realm of the immortals. 

Wherever you choose to go you are that high-flying bird 

searching for transcendence and transformation.
13] In dream you visit both heavens and hells with the powers of a god – 

amazing the manifold forms of which you’re creator. 

You take your pleasure with partners, laugh – 

or else encounter nightmares: everything appears real.
People you know may appear in this world at your will:
but you they never see.

14] They say you should not waken a deep sleeper - for someone whose spirit doesn’t reunite with hir body can become deranged. Some claim there’s no difference between sleep and waking – for one sees similar things whether awake or asleep – yet everything you see in sleep is created by your own imagination.
Worthy sir, continue! said King Janaka. I will give you a thousand cows for guiding me toward liberation.

15] Serene in sleep, you follow your bliss and encounter many experiences, both good and bad, yet before returning to your body you will have encountered truth (whether you recognise it or not). Here whatever you see does not imprison your soul, for this state is free from all attachments. 17] Awake, you (also) follow your bliss and encounter many experiences, both good and bad, before returning to your dreamworld. 18] So as a great fish swimming freely hither and thither between the banks, in sleep your consciousness swims freely between the other world and everyday life.
19] Eventually, as an eagle tired after a high flight folds its wings and swoops back down onto its nest, so too this inner self hastens back to your sleeping form, desiring nothing further and forgetting what it has seen.
20] A 1000 times smaller than the arteries (hita) of the heart are the meridians down which the body’s energies run – (which we call) white, blue, yellow, green, and red.

Now when it seems you’re about to be killed, or captured, or chased by an elephant or that you fall into a pit, this is only the ignorant mind reliving waking fears – but when, like a god or king, you experience wholeness then that is the highest state of being. 21] This is a person’s deepest place, beyond desire, free from evil, free from fear.
Just as someone making love to their partner is oblivious of everything else, so in this inner embrace of self and soul humans experience the fullest wisdom of which they're capable. Here all wishes are fulfilled, for one is preoccupied with the transcendent self alone, and thus without material desire there is no consequential sorrow.

22] Here the father is no longer a father, mother no longer a mother, ecstasy no longer ecstasy, the Vedas no longer Vedas. Here a thief is no longer a thief, an abortionist no longer an abortionist, an outcast no longer an outcast, a mendicant no longer a mendicant, an ascetic no longer an ascetic. Each one now attracts good not misfortune, for all are beyond heart-sadness.
23] Tho in this state your eyes cannot see, yet in your inner vision there is no distinction between seer & sight since both are part of one integrated being. For there is nothing else, nor can anyonelse see what you see.
25] Tho in this state your cannot taste, yet in your inner world there is no distinction between taster & what is tasted, since both are part of one integrated being. There is noonelse to taste anything.
27] Tho in this state you cannot hear or speak, yet in your inner world there is no distinction between what is heard & what is spoken, since both are integrated. Noonelse can know what has been uttered.
28] Tho in this state you cannot think or touch, yet in your inner world there is no distinction between thinker & thought, or toucher & what is touched, since both are one integrated being. Noonelse’s senses or understanding are involved. 30] Similarly, encountering wisdom within oneself is an indivisible experience.

31] When someonelse is present you can compare your comprehension of what you’ve experienced. 32] But in great ocean of dreams you become one unified being, without duality: this is the world of Brahman (universe /universal consciousness). This is at once the highest path, the highest attainment, the highest reward and greatest satisfaction a human being can know. It is this bliss from which all other activities borrow: yet in those, people declare themselves thrilled by the merest fraction of what can be encountered within.



Don't play poker with a snake – the snake always wins.