1. ‘Then those celibates, utterly amazed, came to him together and said, Blesssed one, homage to you! Teach us. You are our way: no other can be found. What method is there for the elemental self, by which one can leave it and attain union with the self?
‘He told them:
2. It has been said elsewhere:
Like the waves in great rivers, what has been done in the past cannot be turned back. Like a breaker in the ocean, the coming of death is hard to ward off. Like an animal, it is bound with ropes made of good and bad fruits. Like a prisoner, it is without independence. Like one is Yama’s realm, it is in a state of great fear. Like one drunk with wine, it is drunk with the wine of delusion. Like one seized by evil, it is made to tremble. Like one in great darkness, it is blind with passion. Like a conjuring trick, it is made of artifice. Like a dream, it is a wrong seeing. Like the core of a plantain tree, it is without pith. Like an actor, it changes costume in an instant. Like a wall painting, it delights the mind, but deceptively.
And it is said:
The objects, sound, touch and the rest,
Attached to them, the elemental self
Cannot remember the supreme goal.
3. And this is the remedy for the elemental self: study of the knowledge of the Veda, practicing one’s own dharma, and walking according to one’s own stages of life. in one’s own dharma one stores everything: other things are a branch of a grass-tussock. By it one comes to share in what is higher. Established in the stages of life one is called ascetic. It has been said also,
There is no study in the knowledge of self, or purification from actions, for one without asceticism. Someone has said:
By asceticism one wins truth:
Through truth one wins mind:
By mind the self is won,
And having won that, one does not return.
4. Brahman is, said a knower of the knowledge of brahman. This is the gateway to Brahman, says one who has been freed from evil through asceticism.
OM is the greatness of brahman, says one who is well disciplined and who contemplates perpetually.
So Brahman is attained by knowledge, asceticism, and contemplation. The one who, knowing this, worships brahman by this triad, goes beyond brahma, and reaches godhead over the gods. He attains indestructible, measureless, flawless bless. Freed from those things by which he was filled, overcome and ridden, he achieves union in the self.’
5. ‘The Valakhilyas said, You speak rightly! You speak rightly! We have placed in mind what you have taught us, just as you said it. Now answer another question: fire, air the sun, time the breath, food, Brahma, Rudra, Visnu some meditate on one of these, some on another. Tell us which is the best one.
‘He told them:
6. These are the supreme forms of Brahman, the immortal and bodiless. The one who is attached to any one of them here is happy in the world of that deity. Someone has said: Brahman is all this: one should meditate on, praise and propitiated those forms of his. Then, with then, one moves in ever higher worlds: and at the universal destruction, one attains oneness with the person-with the person.