Invocation

Om. May no harm be done here, may the vessels of the great Seers continue in salvation, may these movements be in accord with Divine Will, may this desire be motivated by Love, may what is not beneficent wither to obscurity.
I prostrate.

 

Download EBook copy of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Commentary here.

Revised 5th November 2015

 

Chapter Four

All love is the love of the Divine Absolute.

Section 1.

4.1.1   Om. Janaka, Emperor of Videha, took his seat, when there came Yajnavalkya. Janaka said to him, 'Yajnavalkya, what has brought you here? To have some animals, or to hear some subtle questions asked?' 'Both, O Emperor', said Yajnavalkya.

We are to talk of meditation on the "conditioned" Brahman.   This Brahman is considered through limiting properties,   that is,   through physical attributes in or as creation.   Due to it's   (apparent)   appearance within material creation this Brahman needs or relies on support for it's manifestation.   The support for this Brahman is described through four "feet" or "quarters".

Understanding the Absolute Brahman through this Brahman involves meditating on one's conscious experiencing of Creation such as Speech,   breath,   eye and ear.   or   fire,   sun,   moon and lightning   etc.   and understanding them as that   "quarter"   of Brahman that is a manifest projection of The Absolute Brahman through which to facilitate experience of worldly knowledge.
It is at this point of understanding that a division occurs.   :-

Those with an understanding of duality,   who are still in ignorance of the immutable non-dual Absolute Brahman,   see divinity or an eternal reality as materially manifest within the universe.
The idea is,   phenomenal existence such as the organ of the eye proves,   to the reasonable,   the existence of divine knowledge.   But,   as explained,   to the ignorant this divinity is seen as residing within the material universe.

Those with a realisation of the immutable non-duality of existence understand that all of the manifest universe is transient mutable and therefore empty of true eternal existence.   Therefore all of the experienced universe is merely a projection of that non-dual immutable Absolute knowledge within Absolute Consciousness.

Of the immutable Absolute Brahman and the mutable conditioned Brahman only the Absolute can be   "Realised,"   because its existence is primal,   It has to be,   but cannot be known itself.   The Absolute Brahman is reached through a Yoga,   a teacher and meditation.

The mutable Brahman standing in the universe can be accepted itself through faith trust and belief,   but cannot be Realised in the true sense because it's existence is not primal,   that is it does not have true existence.   This Brahman is the creation of that original desire for mind to experience worldly knowledge therefore it is the form of a material vital force.
This Brahman is the Absolute understood through sensed phenomena.   The considerations of or meditations on,   this Brahman are for the   "householder",   that is,   for the person that for various reasons may not yet be expected to meditate directly on the transcendent Absolute.

Existence is the key.   We do not know all the projected forms of Brahman that have existed and we do not know all the projected forms of Brahman that will exist but we know of the eternal Existence of The Absolute Brahman.

The Absolute is found within through   Meditation,   and   Enquiry,   the seeing of which is true realisation.

Although Yajnavalkya will explain the other feet or support of this Brahman to Janaka this will still only describe Brahman through projected attributes,   which are limitations in terms of understanding.   We also know that the Absolute Brahman is beyond all description other than   "Not this,   not this",   meaning not this conditioned Brahman or vital force.
Note Yajnavalkya's response to Janaka's   offer of reward after each verse   :-
"My father was of opinion that one should not accept (wealth) from a disciple without fully instructing him"
It seems Yajnavalkya himself indicates that this description of Brahman is not adequate for the Absolute Brahman.
A teaching inadequate to reveal the Absolute Brahman is inadequate to lead to liberation through Self Realisation.
The means of liberation is what Janaka seeks from Yajnavalkya.

 

Yajnavalkya continues   :-

4.1.2   'Let me hear what any one of your teachers may have told you'.'Jitvan, the son of Silina, has told me that the organ of speech (fire) is Brahman'.'As one who has a mother, father and teacher should say, so has the son of Silina said this, that the organ of speech is Brahman, for what can a person have who cannot speak? But did he tell you about its abode (body) and support'? 'No, he did not'. 'This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor' 'Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya.' 'The organ of speech is its abode, and the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support. It should be meditated upon as intelligence.' ' What is intelligence, Yajnavalkya'?'The organ of speech itself, O Emperor', said Yajnavalkya, 'through the organ of speech, 0 Emperor, a friend is known; the Rg-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, Athar-vagirasa, (Vedic) history, mythology, arts, Upanisads, verses, aphorisms, elucidations and explanations, (the effects of) sacrifices, (of) offering oblations in the fire and (of) giving food and drink, this world and the next, and all beings are known through the organ of speech alone, O Emperor. The organ of speech, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman. The organ of speech never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it, all beings eagerly come to him, and being a god, he attains the gods'.'I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant', said Emperor Janaka. Yajnavalkya replied, 'My father was of opinion that one should not accept (wealth) from a disciple without fully instructing him'.

Yajnavalkya asked to hear of what Janaka had been taught.   This was Yajnavalkya's way of starting the conversation on a topic of the Emperor's choosing.   The conversation follows polite learned practice.

The next five verses up to verse seven will also consider the created Brahman or vital force of desire.

Yajnavalkya confirms   :-

"the organ of speech (fire) is Brahman."

These following manifest organs as a projection of Absolute knowledge are described through their individual deity.   Here the deity fire represents the organ of speech.
Because we are considering material manifestation in terms of divinity or deity then we should remember that we are considering the realm of a vital force.   A vital force is commensurate with the conditioned Brahman.
Therefore it should be seen that this conditioned Brahman or vital force is accurately described in terms of worldly desire.

"for what can a person have who cannot speak?"

This question is to highlight the needs arising for the fulfilling of that original desire for mind and body.
The original desire for a body (organs) through which to experience worldly knowledge led to the manifestation of the organ of speech.

The meaning is,   "a person"   being the result of that original desire cannot   "have"   all of his desires to experience worldly knowledge fulfilled without all his organs.
The organ of speech is also the means for further creation   (symbolised by the deity fire)   of further objects of desire.

This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor...Then you tell us,   Yajnavalkya"   (of its other three feet). :-

"The organ of speech is its abode"

This is with reference to the deity of speech,   meaning the organ of speech itself is the abode of its deity or divinity.   The seeing of a reality residing within material creation is the delusion of a vital force of desire.

"the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support"

The undifferentiated ether is of the knowledge and Consciousness that is the Absolute Brahman.
From this undifferentiated knowledge the organ of speech and all else arises,   (is supported).
The   "ether"   is the support of the Absolute from which material desires are made manifest.
This undifferentiated knowledge is the "unseen" fourth "foot" supporting Creation,   the Realisation of which is the means of emancipation from the nescience of creation.

"It should be meditated upon as intelligence"

In terms of the deity fire,   we are considering speech as sounding creation,   symbolised by fire.
Speech symbolically naming objects of desire leading to their creation uses Absolute Knowledge or intelligence   "...giving food and drink, this world and the next, and all beings are known through the organ of speech alone, O Emperor"   the meaning is all this arose through desire.

"What is intelligence, Yajnavalkya..."

"The organ of speech itself...through the organ of speech this world and the next...all beings are known through the organ of speech...(all)...is known..."

Speech is the sound of organised knowledge in creation.   Organised knowledge is intelligence.   This material Universe itself is organised knowledge or intelligence in the form of AUM.
The meaning is speech represents desire and this entire creation is the result   ("known")   through desire.

"the organ of speech is the Supreme Brahman."

This   "Supreme" (dual, mutable)   Brahman with four feet is the supreme Brahman with regard to the Brahman with only one foot.
But the Consciousness Absolute   (non-dual)   Brahman is   "Not This",   "not this"   vital force,   conditioned Brahman   or speech.   This is to be Realised.

"The organ of speech never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it,"

This is confirmation that the person who meditates on the phenomena of creation   (such as speech)   as having true divinity or existence,   "who knowing thus meditates upon it"   retains a material form   (rebirth)   within Creation   "The organ of speech never leaves him".

"all beings eagerly come to him."

Becoming once again a reborn   "father",   causing this creation as food itself there will be others   (in this realm of duality)   eager to share his food.

"and being a god, he attains the gods."

What is the meaning of him   "being a god"?
The meaning of this is that due to his meditation he gains the conscious awareness of the divine.   But meditation on the conditioned Brahman sees one's own material "self"   as being a   "divine"   vital force.

If he is a "god" then what is the meaning of   "he attains the gods"?
This means that due to his understanding in Consciousness of a "divine" vital force his meditation will once again lead him to the conscious experience of rebirth where the evils of duality will once again cause him to   "imagine" or "create"   a universe with gods   ("attains the gods")   for him to serve in return for them maintaining his "life".   Reference :-
reference Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.6, "these are all his projection, for he is all the gods"
This is a statement that this meditation does not lead to emancipation through the Realisation of the Non-Dual Absolute Consciousness.   This should be realised.

"I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant', said Emperor Janaka."

Yajnavalkya declines Janaka's gift because he has not yet taught Janaka of the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman.
As described at the beginning,   Yajnavalkya knows the intelligent emperor seeks Absolute emancipation.

Janaka should realise that the manifestation of his very form is this "Supreme Brahman".

 

4.1.3   'Let me hear whatever any one may have told you'. 'Udanka, the son of Sulba, has told me that the vital force (Vayu) is Brahman'. 'As one who has a mother, father and teacher should say, so has the son of Sulba said this, that the vital force is Brahman, for what can a person have who does not live? But did he tell you about its abode (body) and support'? 'No, he did not'. 'This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor'. 'Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya'. 'The vital force is its abode, and the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support. It should be meditated upon as dear'. 'What is dearness, Yajnavalkya?''The vital force itself, O Emperor', said Yajnavalkya, 'for the sake of the vital force, O Emperor, one performs sacrifices for one for whom they should not be performed, and accepts gifts from one from whom they should not be accepted, and it is for the sake of the vital force, O Emperor, that one runs the risk of one's life in any quarter one may go to. The vital force, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman. The vital force never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it, all beings eagerly come to him, and being a god, he attains the gods'.'I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant,' said Emperor Janaka. Yajnavalkya replied, 'My father was of opinion that one should not accept (wealth) from a disciple without fully instructing him.'

Yajnavalkya asks again what Janaka has been taught of Brahman.
Yajnavalkya confirms:-

"the vital force (Vayu) is Brahman"

All deities and gods are a projection of a vital force which is itself due to mans original desire.   Those that see reality in creation have forgotten the reality of the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman.   They consider the conditioned Brahman as a   "divine"   vital force within creation supporting   "their"   life.

"for what can a person have who does not live?"

This question refers once again to that original desire for mind and body   (life)   with which to experience material life.
Having forgotten their true being the ignorant assume that their life is the most dear thing they have and it is the means to realising their ongoing desires.
The Self Realised lay down their life for that most dear thing in reality which is the love of the Absolute,   the only pure desire.

"This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor...Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya".   (of its other three feet).  :-

"The vital force is its abode"

This is with regard to the deity   (Vayu).   The abode or body of a vital force is the material form of creation itself due to its arising from that first desire.

"the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support"

The undifferentiated ether is of the knowledge and Consciousness that is the Absolute Brahman.
From this undifferentiated knowledge all else arises,   (is supported).
This undifferentiated knowledge is the "unseen" fourth foot or support of all within Creation,   the Realisation of which is the means of emancipation from the nescience of creation.

"It should be meditated upon as dear"

Meditation on the vital force as dear should reveal that what is being considered as dear will die because the vital force arises with the   Maya   and delusion of the material Universe and is therefore transient and mortal.
Consider   "what you hold dear will die"   (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.8.)
It is natural for one who has not yet realised the Absolute Self to consider the life of his form as being who he really is,   therefore a vital force or life will indeed be most dear.   This person regards this precious possession of life as himself therefore he would be nothing without it.

"for the sake of the vital force...one performs sacrifices...and accepts gifts from one from whom they should not be accepted"

The delusion of a vital force causes the ignorant to imagine divinity and gods   "living"   within the Universe.   This delusion leads to making offerings to one's gods in return for favours,   the conscious error that leads to rebirth.
A vital force also maintains ignorance by assuming the right or merit to receive unworthy gifts.   Such gifts are information that is received but which is not properly understood   (earned as knowledge).

"one runs the risk of one's life in any quarter one may go to"

He becomes in such fear of losing his life   (vital force)   he will perform ignoble deeds to protect the life of his form.   Wherever he goes,   in whatever quarter,   all he has,   his life,   his dearest possession,   will be his greatest fear in case it is taken.

"The vital force,   O Emperor,   is the Supreme Brahman.

  This (mutable) Brahman with four feet is the supreme Brahman with regard to the Brahman with only one foot.
But Knowledge,   Consciousness and Bliss is the Absolute immutable Brahman that transcends the duality of this Universe and its vital force.   This is to be Realised.

"The vital force never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it"

"Knows thus"   means he who sees his own entity sustained by his vital force,   he will not let go of his material form even suffering rebirth   (never leaving the vital force)   for as long as he meditates with this material desire.

"all beings eagerly come to him."

Becoming once again a reborn   "father",   a creator of the food of creation there will be others   (in this realm of duality)   eager to share his food.

"and being a god, he attains the gods."

What is the meaning of him   "being a god"?
The meaning of this is that due to his meditation he gains the conscious awareness of the divine.   But meditation on the conditioned Brahman sees his own   "self"   as being a   "divine"   vital force.

If he is a "god" then what is the meaning of   "he attains the gods"?
This means that due to his understanding in Consciousness of a "divine" vital force his meditation will once again lead him to the conscious experience of rebirth where the evils of duality will once again cause him to   "imagine" or "create"   a universe with gods   ("attains the gods")   for him to serve in return for them maintaining his "life".   Reference :-
reference Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.6, "these are all his projection, for he is all the gods"
This is a statement that this meditation does not lead to emancipation through the Realisation of the Non-Dual Absolute Consciousness,   this should be realised.

"I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant', said Emperor Janaka."

Yajnavalkya declines Janaka's gift because he has not yet taught Janaka of the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman.
As described at the beginning,   Yajnavalkya knows the intelligent emperor seeks Absolute emancipation.

Janaka should realise that the manifestation of his very form is this "Supreme Brahman".

 

4.1.4   'Let me hear whatever any one may have told you'.'Barku, the son of Vrsna, has told me that the eye (sun) is Brahman. 'As one who has a mother, father and teacher should say, so has the son of Vrsna said this that the eye is Brahman. For what can a person have who cannot see? But did he tell you about its abode and support?''No, he did not'. 'This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor. 'Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya. ''The eye is its abode, and the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support. It should be meditated upon as truth. ''What is truth, Yajnavalkya?' 'The eye itself, O Emperor,' said Yajnavalkya, 'if a person, 0 Emperor, says to one who has seen with the eyes, 'Have you seen?' and one answers, 'Yes, I have,' then it is true. The eye, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman. The eye never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it; all beings eagerly come to him; and being a god, he attains the gods, 'I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant' said Emperor Janaka. Yajnavalkya replied, 'My father was of opinion that one should not accept (wealth) from a disciple without fully instructing him.'

Janaka reports he has been told that the eye (the deity sun) is Brahman.

"(For what can a person have who cannot see?)"

A suggested answer from us is freedom from one fifth of the unreal.   The one who seeks the attainment of desires through the senses is one deluded by duality.
But,   of course,   The eye is needed by the conditioned Brahman to fulfil   (have)   that original desire for material sense experience.

(But),   "This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor...Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya".   (of its other three feet).  :-

"the eye is its abode"

The material creation of the organ of the eye is the abode of material vital force,   or,   all of material creation is a vital force of desire and all deities are a projection of desire.

"The ether (the Undifferentiated) its support".

The undifferentiated ether is of the knowledge and Consciousness that is the Absolute Brahman.
From this undifferentiated knowledge the eye and all else arises,   (is supported).
This undifferentiated knowledge is the "unseen" fourth foot or support of all within Creation,   the Realisation of which is the means of emancipation from the nescience of creation.

"It should be meditated upon as truth".

Meditation on the seeing with the eye should lead to the realisation that all that is seen with the senses is not always the highest Truth.   The truth that is sought through meditation is the Truth of the Absolute which transcends these senses and creation itself.

"What is truth, Yajnavalkya?" "The eye itself, O Emperor," said Yajnavalkya".

What the eye sees is the forms of creation only,   this is the truth.   But creation exists in name and form only,   this is also the truth.   All forms are in reality projected and supported by the Absolute Brahman.   So again what the eye sees is the truth,   But the Absolute is the Immortal Eye of the mortal eye,   that is,   the Truth of the truth.
The above is stated for the clarity of meditation.

"if a person...says to one...'Have you seen?' and one answers, 'Yes, I have,' then it is true".

When the teacher tells the man that the appearance of duality in creation is due to Maya but the man would rather believe the evidence of his own eyes,   then this man is blind to the Truth of the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman.   To such a man the material world is reality and he desires to flourish within it.   To this man his own self will have a supreme Brahman,   (vital force).

"the eye is the supreme Brahman".

  This Brahman with four feet is the supreme Brahman with regard to the Brahman with only one foot.   But Knowledge,   Consciousness and Bliss is the Absolute undifferentiated Brahman.   This is to be Realised.

"The eye never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it."

The man that knows only this much can only meditate as such.   The being that meditates on duality retains the Consciousness of duality.   Such a man remains dependent upon the senses   ("the eye never leaves him")   through the conscious experience of rebirth within the creation cycle.

"all beings eagerly come to him."

Becoming once again a reborn   "father",   a creator of the food of creation there will be others   (in this realm of duality)   eager to share his food.

"and being a god, he attains the gods."

What is the meaning of him   "being a god"?
The meaning of this is that due to his meditation he gains the conscious awareness of the divine.   But meditation on the conditioned Brahman sees his own   "self"   as being a   "divine"   vital force.

If he is a "god" then what is the meaning of   "he attains the gods"?
This means that due to his understanding in Consciousness of a "divine" vital force his meditation will once again lead him to the conscious experience of rebirth where the evils of duality will once again cause him to   "imagine" or "create"   a universe with gods   ("attains the gods")   for him to serve in return for them maintaining his "life".   Reference :-
reference Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.6, "these are all his projection, for he is all the gods"
This is a statement that this meditation does not lead to emancipation through the Realisation of the Non-Dual Absolute Consciousness.   This should be realised.

"I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant', said Emperor Janaka."

Yajnavalkya declines Janaka's gift because he has not yet taught Janaka of the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman.
As described at the beginning,   Yajnavalkya knows the intelligent emperor seeks Absolute emancipation.

Janaka should realise that the manifestation of his very form is this "Supreme Brahman".

 

4.1.5   'Let me hear whatever any one may have told you. ''Gardabhiviplta, of the line of Bharadvaja, has told me that the ear (the quarters) is Brahman. 'As one who has a mother, father and teacher should say, so has the descendant of Bharadvaja said this that the ear is Brahman, for what can a person have who cannot hear? But did he tell you about its abode and support?' 'No, he did not. 'This, Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor.' 'Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya.' 'The ear is its abode, and the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support. It should be meditated upon as infinite. 'What is infinity, Yajnavalkya ''the quarters themselves, O Emperor,' said Yajnavalkya, 'therefore, O Emperor, to whatever direction one may go, one never reaches its end. (Hence) the quarters are infinite. The quarters, O Emperor, are the ear, and the ear, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman. The ear never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it; all beings eagerly come to him; and being a god, he attains the gods. 'I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant,' said Emperor Janaka. Yajnavalkya replied, 'My father was of opinion that one should not accept (wealth) from a disciple without fully instructing him.'

Janaka reports he has been told that the ear (the quarters) is Brahman

"(for what can a person have who cannot hear?)"

Once more it was that very desire for the being of a   "person"   with the organs of a body   ("ear")   through which to experience   ("have")   worldly knowledge that gave rise to all of this   (material or vital force)   creation.

(But),   "This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor...Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya".   (of its other three feet).  :-

"The ear is its abode, and the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support".

The undifferentiated ether is of the knowledge and Consciousness that is the Absolute Brahman.
From this undifferentiated knowledge the ear and all else that exists is made manifest by the vital force of desire,   (is supported).
This undifferentiated knowledge is the "unseen" fourth foot or support of all within Creation,   the Realisation of which is the means of emancipation from the nescience of creation.

"the ear (the quarters).... It should be Meditated upon as infinite"

Meditation on infinity,   that quality which is unbounded by any phenomena should reveal that the senses belong only within the realm of the material universe.   As such they are bounded,   separated from the transcendent realm of highest Truth.

"What is infinity, Yajnavalkya"

"the quarters themselves, O Emperor... to whatever direction one may go, one never reaches its end."

Yajnavalkya states the quarters themselves are Infinity in all the directions.
The idea is that whereas the eye receives the light of the sun,   the hearing   (ear)   "goes out" to meet any sound,   this could be an infinite distance.
For meditation it should be first contemplated upon that the Absolute is Existence itself.   But,   all that   "has"   existence,   as it were,   is but a projection of the Absolute.   This projection is not the Absolute Truth.   Being dependent on their being projected, the quarters or infinity are transient and of creation.
The above is stated for the clarity of meditation.

"the ear is the supreme Brahman"

  This Brahman with four feet is the supreme Brahman with regard to the Brahman with only one foot.   But all that stands within creation is mutable and mortal.
the Absolute undifferentiated Brahman is immutable therefore immortal.   The Absolute is the Existence of Truth, Consciousness and Bliss.
This needs to be realised.

"The ear never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it"

Meditation on Brahman limited by form results in the return to that form   "The ear never leaves him"   through   (the consciousness of)   rebirth.

"all beings eagerly come to him."

Becoming once again a reborn   "father",   a creator of the food of creation there will be others   (in this realm of duality)   eager to share his food.

"and being a god, he attains the gods."

What is the meaning of him   "being a god"?
The meaning of this is that due to his meditation he gains the conscious awareness of the divine.   But meditation on the conditioned Brahman sees his own   "self"   as being a   "divine"   vital force.

If he is a "god" then what is the meaning of   "he attains the gods"?
This means that due to his understanding in Consciousness of a "divine" vital force his meditation will once again lead him to the conscious experience of rebirth where the evils of duality will once again cause him to   "imagine" or "create"   a universe with gods   ("attains the gods")   for him to serve in return for them maintaining his "life".   Reference :-
reference Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.6, "these are all his projection, for he is all the gods"
This is a statement that this meditation does not lead to emancipation through the Realisation of the Non-Dual Absolute Consciousness.   This should be realised.

"I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant', said Emperor Janaka."

Yajnavalkya declines Janaka's gift because he has not yet taught Janaka of the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman.
As described at the beginning,   Yajnavalkya knows the intelligent emperor seeks Absolute emancipation.

Janaka should realise that the manifestation of his very form is this "Supreme Brahman".

 

4.1.6   'Let me hear whatever any one may have told you. ''Satyakama, the son of Jabala, has told me that the Manas   (here, the moon) is Brahman.' 'As one who has a mother, father and teacher should say, so has the son of Jabala said this that the Manas is Brahman, for what can a person without the Manas have? But did he tell you about its abode and support?''No, he did not. 'This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor.' 'Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya.' 'The Manas is its abode, and the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support. It should be meditated upon as bliss. 'What is bliss, Yajnavalkya?''The Manas itself O Emperor,' said Yajnavalkya, 'with the Manas, O Emperor, a man (fancies and) woos a woman. A son resembling him is born of her, and he is the cause of bliss. The Manas, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman. The Manas never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it; all beings eagerly come to him; and being a god, he attains the gods.' 'I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant,' said Emperor Janaka. Yajnavalkya replied, 'My father was of opinion that one should not accept (wealth) from a disciple without fully instructing him.'

Janaka reports he has been told that Manas is Brahman,

"for what can a person without the Manas have"?

Again this Brahman with attributes,   here the attribute   "Manas"   is a result of that original desire for worldly knowledge which caused a vital force of material desire or conditioned Brahman.   Through this conditioned Brahman the manifest world is cognised and experienced.

(But),   "This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor...Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya".   (of its other three feet).  :-

Yajnavalkya states that,   :-

"The Manas is its abode"

The deity whose body is the Manas is another deity as a projection of a vital force of desire.

"the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support"

The undifferentiated ether is of the knowledge and Consciousness that is of the Absolute Brahman.
From this undifferentiated knowledge all else arises,   (is supported).
This undifferentiated knowledge is the "unseen" fourth foot or support of all within Creation, the Realisation of which is the means of emancipation from the nescience of creation.

"What is bliss, Yajnavalkya?"

The bliss seen through Manas is material happiness cognised through the senses.
Manas cognising pain or loss will produce misery just the same because Manas relies on the senses.

"Manas itself is bliss. (a man (fancies and) woos a woman. A son resembling him is born of her,   and he is the cause of bliss".

Yajnavalkya's states that Manas leading to the birth of a Son produces bliss.   But elsewhere the Sruti itself explains that bliss imagined due to a Son would be the bliss of ignorance.   :-
"(What you hold) dear will die"   (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.8.)
Bliss imagined due to the forms of creation is a delusion because all within creation is transient even a loved child,   and if the bliss that is claimed is not eternal then it is not true bliss because the bliss that is experienced through Manas is the bliss of   unsupervised   "thinking".
Mind that is not under the supervision of   Buddhi   (intellect)   is only the world of random ideas.
True bliss is with the stillness of the Absolute.   The Absolute can only be comprehended by the negation of Manas   through meditation to allow higher knowledge to arise from within.

"It should be Meditated upon as bliss"

Meditation on Manas as Bliss should reveal that true Bliss could only be a quality of eternal peace through the harmony of Absolute Knowledge and Consciousness.   These are qualities that transcend this material realm.

The being deluded into thinking he has achieved bliss and the Absolute Brahman through scriptural practices alone will continue within the cycle of rebirth.   Reference   :-
Fools who rejoice in them as (the cause of)..bliss..undergo again and again old age and death.   Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.7
The above is stated for the purity of meditation.

Yajnavalkya states   "Bliss is the supreme Brahman"
  This Brahman with four feet is the supreme Brahman with regard to the Brahman with only one foot.   But Knowledge,   Consciousness and Bliss is the Absolute undifferentiated Brahman.   This is to be Realised.

"The Manas never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it".

Meditation on the worldly manifestation of Manas will achieve the results of that meditation.   This means the rebirth of this meditator back into the material realm of Manas,   "Manas never leaves him".

"all beings eagerly come to him."

Becoming once again a reborn   "father",   a creator of the food of creation there will be others   (in this realm of duality)   eager to share his food.

"and being a god, he attains the gods."

What is the meaning of him   "being a god"?
The meaning of this is that due to his meditation he gains the conscious awareness of the divine.   But meditation on the conditioned Brahman sees his own   "self"   as being a   "divine"   vital force.

If he is a "god" then what is the meaning of   "he attains the gods"?
This means that due to his understanding in Consciousness of a "divine" vital force his meditation will once again lead him to the conscious experience of rebirth where the evils of duality will once again cause him to   "imagine" or "create"   a universe with gods   ("attains the gods")   for him to serve in return for them maintaining his "life".   Reference :-
reference Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.6, "these are all his projection, for he is all the gods"
This is a statement that this meditation does not lead to emancipation through the Realisation of the Non-Dual Absolute Consciousness.   This should be realised.

"I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant', said Emperor Janaka."

Yajnavalkya declines Janaka's gift because he has not yet taught Janaka of the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman.
As described at the beginning,   Yajnavalkya knows the intelligent emperor seeks Absolute emancipation.

Janaka should realise that the manifestation of his very form is this "Supreme Brahman".

 

4.1.7   'Let me hear whatever any one may have told you.' 'Vidagdha, the son of Sakala has told me that the heart (mind, here, Prajapati) is Brahman.' 'As one who has a mother, father and teacher should say, so has the son of Sakala said this that the heart is Brahman. For what can a person without the heart have? But did he tell you about its abode and support?''No, he did not.' 'This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor.' 'Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya. ''The heart is its abode, and the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support. It should be meditated upon as stability. 'What is stability, Yajnavalkya?''The heart itself, 0 Emperor,' said Yajnavalkya, 'the heart, O Emperor, is the abode of all beings, and the heart, O Emperor, is the support of all beings; on the heart, O Emperor, all beings rest; the heart, O Emperor, is the Supreme Brahman. The heart never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it; all beings eagerly come to him; and being a god, he attains the gods.' 'I give you a thousand cows with a bull like an elephant,' said Emperor Janaka. Yajnavalkya replied, 'My father was of opinion that one should not accept (wealth), from a disciple without fully instructing him.'

Janaka reports he has been told that the heart (mind, here,   Prajapati) is Brahman
(For what can a person without the heart have?)
As explained previously,   as an Absolute Conscious experience this person or Brahman was caused through that original desire for worldly experience.

Once again,   the meaning is,   "a person"   being the result of that original desire cannot   "have"   all of his desires to experience worldly knowledge fulfilled without all his organs.
That first desire for mind and body resulted in the vital force of desire,   or Hiranyagarbha,   projecting this conditioned Brahman into creation through experiencing birth,   ref   :-
"This self was indeed Brahman in the beginning"   Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10
This "birth" of the first born is symbolised by Prajapati as the father.

(But),   "This Brahman is only one footed, O Emperor...Then you tell us, Yajnavalkya".   (of its other three feet).  :-

"The heart is its abode, and the ether (the Undifferentiated) its support".

The undifferentiated ether is of the knowledge and Consciousness that is the Absolute Brahman.
From this undifferentiated knowledge the heart, mind, intellect and all else arises,   (is supported).
This undifferentiated knowledge is the "unseen" fourth foot or support of all within Creation,   the Realisation of which is the means of emancipation from the nescience of creation.

Here the heart means the physical organ of the body.

Yajnavalkya states It should be meditated upon as stability.

Meditation on the heart as providing stability should reveal that within this realm of material Creation true stability can only come through the Knowledge and Realisation of the Truth of the Absolute Self or God or Brahman.

Yajnavalkya states The heart itself is stability.

The beating heart maintains the life of all men to experience their ongoing worldly desires.

Yajnavalkya states The heart is the supreme Brahman.

This now mutable and mortal Brahman with four feet is the supreme Brahman with regard to the Brahman with only one foot.
But,   Knowledge,   Consciousness and Bliss is the immortal Absolute undifferentiated Brahman.   This needs to be Realised.

"The heart never leaves him who knowing thus meditates upon it".

Again,   meditation gains the object of meditation.   To meditate on the phenomena of creation will lead one's Consciousness back to the phenomena of creation to complete the imagined need for work.
That is,   in order to transcend material creation and return home to unity with the Absolute man needs to relinquish heart,   mind and all desires.

"all beings eagerly come to him."

Becoming once again a reborn   "father",   a creator of the food of creation there will be others   (in this realm of duality)   eager to share his food.

"and being a god, he attains the gods."

What is the meaning of him   "being a god"?
The meaning of this is that due to his meditation he gains the conscious awareness of the divine.   But meditation on the conditioned Brahman sees his own   "self"   as being a   "divine"   vital force.

If he is a "god" then what is the meaning of   "he attains the gods"?
This means that due to his understanding in Consciousness of a "divine" vital force his meditation will once again lead him to the conscious experience of rebirth where the evils of duality will once again cause him to   "imagine" or "create"   a universe with gods   ("attains the gods")   for him to serve in return for them maintaining his "life".   Reference :-
reference Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.6, "these are all his projection, for he is all the gods"
This is a statement that this meditation does not lead to emancipation through the Realisation of the Non-Dual Absolute Consciousness.   This should be realised.

At the end of each verse or lesson in this section Janaka has offered a generous gift to Yajnavalkya. Yajnavalkya declined the offer on each occasion saying
"My father was of opinion that one should not accept (wealth), from a disciple without fully instructing him".
Yajnavalkya through refusing gifts with these words is really saying that the lessons thus far have thoroughly described what the Absolute is not.   This means the Absolute is Not this,   not this vital force.
It remains for Yajnavalkya to instruct Janaka on the means of attaining realisation of the Absolute.
For Janaka Realisation will include the awareness that the manifestation of his very form is this "Supreme Brahman".

 

Section 2.

4.2.1   Janaka, Emperor of Videha rose from his lounge and approaching Yajnavalkya said, 'Salutations to you, Yajnavalkya, please instruct me.' Yajnavalkya replied, 'As one wishing to go a long distance, O Emperor, should secure a chariot or a boat, so have you fully equipped your mind with so many secret names (of Brahman). You are likewise respected and wealthy, and you have studied the Vedas and heard the Upanisads; (but) where will you go when you are separated from this body?''I do not know, sir, where I shall go.' 'Then I will tell you where you will go.' 'Tell me, sir'.

Yajnavalkya is approached by Janaka who seeks further tuition.
Yajnavalkya, likening Janaka's earthly form which is filled with spiritual teaching to a vehicle filled with fuel and provisions to undertake a long journey,

"you fully equipped your mind with so many secret names (of Brahman)"

The secret names of Brahman refer to the subtle references to the Absolute Non-Dual Brahman contained in the Upanishads that distinguish it from the many forms of Brahman conditioned through time and tradition.   The difference between the conditioned Brahman of the ignorant and the Absolute Brahman are subtle in words,   but both are described within the Upanishad because both have an effect to conscious understanding.   This has to be seen for the purifying of the facility of discrimination.

"You are likewise respected and wealthy, and you have studied the Vedas and heard the Upanisads"

Yajnavalkya means that Janaka is both worldly successful and has also devoted enough time to being spiritually dutiful.

Yajnavalkya then asks,   but,   "where will you go when you are separated from this body"?
The meaning is,   Janaka is well learned and worldly successful,   he is resident in his vehicle and as prepared as he could be for his travel onwards,   but he does not yet know how or where to go.
When the form dies the store of learning dies,   That is,   Knowledge that is stored as information dies with the form.   Unless one has Realised in Consciousness the true being of Knowledge,   The Absolute,   one cannot be guided by such information after death.

"I do not know, sir, where I shall go".

Following on from the previous section we now understand that the meditations on the   "four quarters"   of Brahman did not lead to the realisation of the Absolute Brahman.
If Janaka were a true knower of Brahman,   his final destination,   as it were,   would be known to him.   Janaka would not be seeking such further tuition.

"Then I will tell you where you will go"

4.2.2   This being who is in the right eye is named Indha. Though he is Indha, he is indirectly called Indra, for the gods have a fondness, as it were, for indirect names, and hate to be called directly.

Those   ("gods")   whose reality depends upon the perceiver will not bear the clarity of direct perception,   hence the   "fondness for indirect names".   The subtle meaning is that under the clarity of truth the gods will be seen as nothing more than man's desires.
Indra,   as the deity representing divinity is traditionally portrayed as being in the right eye,   the dominant sense.   This is to promote the concept of the divine within creation.

 

4.2.3   The human form that is in the left eye is his wife, Viraj (matter). The space that is within the heart is their place of union. Their food is the lump of blood (the finest essence of what we eat) in the heart. Their wrap is the net like structure in the heart. Their road for moving is the nerve that goes upward from the heart; it is like a hair split into a thousand parts. In this body there are nerves called Hita, which are placed in the heart. Through these the essence of our food passes as it moves on. Therefore the subtle body has finer food than the gross body.

"The human form that is in the left eye is his wife, Viraj (matter)"

Corresponding to the verse above,   here the left eye traditionally represents the material form of creation.

"The space that is within the heart is their place of union"

With Divinity within the right eye and the material form of creation within the left eye then the two partners are said to form a union,   or are completed as the vital force of material desire,   at the meeting place of the two in the space within the heart.   This vital force is the marriage of the gross   (material)   and subtle   (desire)   of material Creation.

"Their food is the lump of blood (the finest essence of what we eat)"

The gross food available supports the material form but the finer food supports the divinity within the self,   is the meaning.   This food could be more colloquially termed   "food that keeps form and life together".   This would be the misunderstanding of a vital force.

"Their road for moving is the nerve that goes upward from the heart"

the partnership of form and divinity   (vital force)   is confirmed to be material creation itself   (here the nerves within the body).

"Therefore the subtle body has finer food than the gross body"

One meaning of this is the more subtle or divine aspects of this being cohabit the same form.
But a greater meaning here is that this so called divinity is nevertheless maintained by food;   which also confirms it is attached to the form therefore it is clearly a vital force.

The above description of Viraj and Indra within creation is the theorising of a vital force of the ignorant.   One who knows of the non-dual Absolute transcends this duality.

 

4.2.4   Of the sage (who is identified with the vital force ), the east is the eastern vital force, the south the southern vital force, the west the western vital force, the north the northern vital force, the direction above the upper vital force, the direction below the nether vital force, and all the quarters the different vital forces. This self is That which has been described as 'Not this, not this,' 'It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered It never feels pain, and never suffers injury. You have attained That which is free from fear, O Janaka,' said Yajnavalkya. 'Revered Yajnavalkya,' said Emperor Janaka, 'may That which is free from fear be yours, for you have made That which is free from fear known to us. Salutations to you! Here is this (empire of) Videha, as well as myself at your service!'

"Of the sage (who is identified with the vital force)....and all the quarters the different vital forces"

The meaning of this passage is that through identification   (accepting as reality)   a vital force he becomes limited within the six directions or world of material creation.   That is,   the vital force is an ignorance that prevents the transcendence of materiality.

"This self is That which has been described as 'Not this, not this,   'It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived..."

The Sruti reveals   "this self",   is the true   "self"   of the description   "Not this, not this",   so distinguishing between the vital force some imagine as self,   and the true   "self" of the "Absolute Self".
So the Absolute or God or Brahman or Self is not this creation,   not this universe,   not this body,   not this heart,   not the nerve that goes upward from the heart,   not Viraj nor Indra   and not the vital force.   This is the meaning.

"undecaying, for It never decays"

Although the form of a being decays the   "self" is the immortal subtle aspect of a being.   We will be told that this   "self"   is not attached to the form which is mortal and suffers decay.

"unattached, for It is never attached"

The   "self"   has no true existence.   The   "self"   is merely a description that acknowledges the Absolute Self which is itself in reality the Non-Dual Absolute which is the Knowledge and Consciousness through which the individual in creation is maintained.
The meaning is the   "self"   is the Knowledge and Consciousness that can be known only through intuition but which nevertheless is the guide or inner controller,   as it were,   or Consciousness of being of the individual.

"unfettered It never feels pain, and never suffers injury"

This   "self"   is purely the witness in Consciousness to the unfolding of the conscious experience of the individual.   It remains unaffected by any actual pain or attachment experienced by this individual "self".

"You have attained That which is free from fear, O Janaka,' said Yajnavalkya."

This statement from Yajnavalkya declaring Janaka's   "attainment"   has particular meaning and should be noted.
It was Janaka whom through his own efforts cultivated Yajnavalkya to be his teacher.
Further to this,   it was through Janaka's own intelligent questioning that Janaka allowed Yajnavalkya,   the teacher,   to provide the right knowledge to fit those right questions.   This is the way the successful student learns.
Although Yajnavalkya assures Janaka that he is free because he now knows his true   "self"   to be not this body,   we know this is not the ultimate freedom of Self Realisation.   Realisation cannot be handed to another in words.
Although Janaka is pleased he will understand this as his way but not yet his goal.

 

Section 3.

The two previous sections displayed the inadequacy of considering the traditional   "four feet or quarters of Brahman"   or a   "vital force"   to attain transcendent Realisation of the Absolute Self or Brahman.
The intention of this section is to reveal that transcendent Self.

4.3.1   Yajnavalkya went to Janaka, Emperor of Videha. He thought he would not say anything. Now Janaka and Yajnavalkya had once talked on the Agnihotra, and Yajnavalkya had offered him a boon. He had begged the liberty of asking any questions he liked; and Yajnavalkya had granted him the boon. So it was the Emperor who first asked him.

The wise Janaka is intent in his quest for the understanding that will lead to his liberation from the material world.

 

4.3.2   'Yajnavalkya, what serves as the light for a man?''The light of the sun, O Emperor said Yajnavalkya, 'it is through the light of the sun that he sits, goes out, works and returns 'it is Just so, Yajnavalkya.'


As an addition to this section we have included the following verse from the Aparokshanubhuti   (Direct Experience of Reality)   written by Shri Shankaracharya.   This is due to its relevance here   :-

"It is due to the light of the Self that objects appear to exist. The effulgence of the Self is not like that of physical fire, as is shown by the darkness at night."
(Verse 22 from The   Aparokshanubhuti (Wikipedia link)   ascribed to Shri Shankaracharya translated by  Hari Prasad Shastri, Shanti Sadan, London)

Commentary on above verse by Hari Prasad Shastri   One of the great doctrines of Advaita is embodied in this verse.   It is hard to understand before self realisation,   although the great philosophers of Advaita have given the strongest arguments in support of it.   Objects, including the sun, appear on account of the light of the Self.   They have no independent luminosity.   How does the cognation of the sun take place?   It is clear that the self and the human mind are not illumined by the physical sun.   It is the Self that cognises the sun's rise at dawn and its meridian at noon.   The Self also perceives the absence of the sun at night.   The Self is self revealed at all times whether physical light is present or not.   This may be only an intellectual inference at first,   but it becomes evident when the Self-illumination of atman is realised in the inner peace.
Hari Prasad Shastri, Verse 22 from The Aparokshanubhuti.


 

4.3.3   'When the sun has set, Yajnavalkya, what serves as the light for a man?' 'The moon serves as his light. It is through the light of the moon that he sits, goes out, works and returns'. 'Just so, Yajnavalkya.'

These verses are self explanatory and the meaning is plain because the sense organs have not yet been negated.
A further meaning here is that all the time   "man"   is provided with sense information and the support of the material world for all his needs he is less likely to question the appearance of reality his senses provide.

 

4.3.4   'When the sun and the moon have both set, Yajnavalkya, what serves as the light for a man?' 'The fire serves as his light. It is through the fire that he sits, goes out, works and returns.' 'it is Just so, Yajnavalkya.'

The material world,   the realm of the senses,   is the world of ways and means,   action and work.   The man that assumes his role is just this much is not knowingly guided by an awareness of the divine.

 

4.3.5   ''When the sun and the moon have both set, and the fire has gone out, Yajnavalkya, what serves as the light for a man?' 'Speech (sound) serves as his light. It is through the light of speech that he sits, goes out, works and returns. Therefore, O Emperor, even when one's own hand is not clearly visible, if a sound is uttered, one manages to go there.' 'Just so, Yajnavalkya.'

A waking man,   due to Manas,   will tend to trust and give priority to his sense organs,   this is one obvious meaning here.
But as we approach the higher meaning which is revealed in the next verse so also here that higher truth is alluded to.   The   "light of speech"   also reveals the intelligence of the Universe.   That is,   the knowledge of the Absolute is also the guide for man.   But here,   via speech,   that knowledge is just information.   Janaka seeks the accompanying wisdom of understanding.

 

6.   'When the sun and the moon have both set, the fire has gone out, and speech has stopped, Yajnavalkya, what serves as the light for a man?' 'The self serves as his light. It is through the light of the self that he sits, goes out, works and returns. 'Just so, Yajnavalkya.'

The light of the   "self"   is the Divine consciousness which is eternal existence regardless of the state of the material world,   sunlight and so forth.
The   "self"   has awareness of the Absolute Self,   within which all "This" takes place,   as it were.   The Self being knowledge Absolute is the True guide for mankind.

 

7.   'Which is the self?' 'This infinite entity (Purusa) that is identified with the intellect and is in the midst of the organs, the (self-effulgent) light within the heart (intellect). Assuming the likeness (of the intellect), it moves between the two worlds; it thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were. Being identified with dreams, it transcends this world, the forms of death (ignorance etc.).'

"Which is the self"?

The term 'Self' is a linguistic convenience relating to the experience of duality.
The Self has no true existence "itself" in reality,   because the Non-Dual Absolute Alone truly exists.
The Self is a description of Absolute Consciousness projecting the experience of manifest individual   "self"(s)   within Creation.
Therefore,  the individual   "self"   is Consciousness limited to the experience of birth within Creation as an individual.
The   "self"   can be known through the intuition of a cleansed Buddhi as a unity with the Absolute Self.
As such the terms   "Absolute",   "Absolute Brahman",   "Absolute Self",   are interchangeable when referring to this Creation of mankind.

"This infinite entity (Purusa)"

Yajnavalkya describes the   "self"   as   "Purusa"   which is the term given for Absolute Consciousness experiencing through Maya the manifestation of the birth of all beings.   Viewed from Creation Purusa is the Consciousness that unites one's   "self"   with all others within Non-Dual Consciousness Absolute.

"that is identified with the intellect and is in the midst of the organs"

This   "intellect"   refers to mind under the supervision of the higher faculty of discrimination or   "Buddhi".
This discrimination is that subtle intuitive aspect that knows truth from untruth through an awareness of Absolute Knowledge. This "knowing" is felt from within,   therefore it is described as a faculty of the heart but   "Buddhi"   is really a result of non-dual Consciousness.

This   "self"   is the subtle awareness of the experience of Absolute Knowledge in Consciousness.
At this higher level of realisation through this subtle experiencing of   "self"   one realises that one's true being transcends the mortal body therefore the   "self"   is not the body.
But,   great care is needed because although this   "self"   realisation is experienced through the intellect or Buddhi   "identified with the intellect"   it remains subtle,   intuitive   and transcendent.
Unless the intellect through Buddhi is being cleansed and refined Buddhi can assume its own divinity,   it's own   "selfhood",   as it were.

Concerning being   "in the midst of the organs"
Absolute Knowledge and Consciousness is all   "This"   Creation,   whether manifest or unmanifest.
This   "self"   is the conscious experience of a human   "life"   with manifested organs within that Absolute Consciousness.
Therefore the organs of the body are also manifest conscious knowledge just as the space between the organs is that Absolute Self as   "self"   experiencing internal space,   "in the midst of the organs"   as it were.

"(self-effulgent) light within the heart (intellect)"

This is a reference to Absolute Knowledge seen through the higher intellect.   Absolute Knowledge provides the conscious experience of Existence itself.   Absolute Knowledge is   "self-effulgent"   because it is the light   (knowledge)   of the existence of even light itself.
As described here it is the   "self",   known within the heart,   Buddhi, that has access to this   "self-effulgent"   Knowledge.

"Assuming the likeness (of the intellect)"

A being intellectually cognises itself as an autonomous individual due to Maya.   The reality of existence is the Singularity of the Absolute Self,   this is well known.   Here it is stated that it is this projection of the Absolute Self,   as "self",   that enables this experience   (likeness) of an individual intellect.

"it moves between the two worlds; it thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were"

The two worlds refer to the stillness of the unmanifest Absolute and the world of manifest knowledge as Creation.
The True home of this   "self"   is really the Absolute Self or Absolute.
As the manifestation of individual desire this   "self"  will perform the actions of the created,   "it thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were"   but in reality it is the unmoving knowledge that is Absolute Consciousness.
Moving from this conscious state to the next as Consciousness merely discarding or assuming various forms,   ("thinking and shaking as it were")   means the desires and impediments that this Consciousness accumulates experiencing life guides its path between states,   as it were.   But whatever events arise,   this   "self"   is unaffected by any such considerations.   This   "self"   is merely the unmoving witnessing Absolute Self accommodating individual desires and so forth,   merely assuming the likeness of a mind or intellect or returning to rest as the Absolute,   as it were.

"Being identified with dreams, it transcends this world, the forms of death (ignorance etc.)"

This verse includes the world of dreams.   The ultimate meaning is that this Consciousness of   "self"   is but in reality the unmoving Absolute Self which transcends material forms,   the dream state highlights this fact,   which means during dreams it enables the   "experiencing individual"   to transcend the body and populate his own dream world.   Birth and death of forms are the play of this world.

 

Following on from the last statement vis.   :-
"Being identified with dreams, it transcends this world, the forms of death (ignorance etc.)"
This and the next verses talk of the   "self"   as being the man,   as it were.
This will affect the meaning and one's understanding.

4.3.8   That man, when he is born, or attains a body, is connected with evils (the body and organs); and when he dies, or leaves the body, he discards those evils.

"That man, when he is born, or attains a body"

Being born or attaining a body have the same meaning.   As we have heard in the verse above that man is actually The Self as this "self"   (Consciousness)   in question,   thinking and moving as an individual being,   "it thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were".

"is connected with evils (the body and organs) "

The body and organs bring to Consciousness the effects of attachments and desires and so forth.   These are called evils because they detract from the remembering of one's true identity as Absolute Consciousness Alone.

"when he dies, or leaves the body, he discards those evils"

The meaning here is all evils result from material attachments and the consequent seeing of duality.   It follows that once the body is discarded what remains is Consciousness alone as "self".   This "self"   (Consciousness)   freed from the Consciousness of duality and form is freed from the further accumulation of effects from desire and attachment   (evils).

 

4.3.9   That man has only two abodes, this and the next world. The dream state, which is the third, is at the junction (of the two). Staying at that junction he surveys the two abodes, this and the next world. Whatever outfit he may have for the next world, providing himself with that he sees both evils (sufferings) and joys. When he dreams, he takes away a little of (the impressions of) this all-embracing world (the waking state), himself puts the body aside and himself creates (a dream body in its place), revealing his own lustre by his own light-and dreams. In this state the man himself becomes the light.

"That man has only two abodes, this and the next world"

The two abodes or worlds or "states",   that are often referred to are in fact mere experiences of the One Absolute Consciousness,   this is known.
Referring to the   "next world"   It is said that there are different worlds or states of Consciousness depending on the attainments of one's Consciousness of this world.   This man or   "self Consciousness"   experiences of his present life guide him in the next life is the meaning.

"The dream state, which is the third, is at the junction (of the two)"

It can be noticed that the dream state is at the junction of all states of Consciousness.   That is   :-
Waking sleep to dream sleep to profound sleep to dream sleep to waking sleep to dream sleep and so forth.
The significance of the dream state is that there he   "puts the body aside".
Or,   more accurately it could be said that between worlds or the Conscious experience of those worlds the man becomes his own light,   as in dream this man becomes his own guide as it were.
So between every state of being   (Consciousness)   the material form is   "put aside"   and then the material form is again taken up in the next state,   until finally Consciousness remains as Consciousness Absolute,   then the man is said to return home to the Absolute Self.
So in this verse that man is said to transit through a dream state between   "this and the next world", (life experience).

"Staying at that junction he surveys the two abodes, this and the next world".

So it is said that in the dream state the Consciousness that is self   "surveys"   this world and also the next world.   This   "surveying"   will be conducted through the light of desires and impediments.

"Whatever outfit he may have for the next world, providing himself with that he sees both evils (sufferings) and joys".

This   "self Consciousness",   as has been said collects the awareness or impediments or understanding from his present life,   it is only this that can provide him with an   "outfit"   for the next life.   The meaning is any good or evil,   or his   "lifestyle"   for the next life is provided   (outfitted)   from his conscious awareness achieved in this life.

"providing himself with that he sees both evils (sufferings) and joys".

The meaning of this sentence is that whatever the experience of this   "self",   be it good or evil the   "self"   only witnesses,   that is,   the   "self"   as Consciousness is only wearing the outfit of the man.   So what is seen is seen according to the level of conscious understanding of that   "self",   this understanding will be commensurate with the outfit provided by his past life.   But,   "self"   is ultimately unaffected,   being immutable and immortal.

"When he dreams, he takes away a little of   (the impressions of)   this all embracing world   (the waking state)."

Dreaming,   the man furnishes his dream world from his impressions of the world of the waking state.   This equates with the above description of the manís   "outfit",   meaning one's next   "state"   is provided for from his previous   (conscious)   state.

"himself puts the body aside and himself creates   (a dream body in its place)"

The Consciousness that is the   "self"   falls asleep   (experiences such)   and dreams   ("puts the body aside") and from knowledge as Consciousness creates a dream body for the purpose of   "his"   existence in the dream.

"revealing his own lustre by his own light and dreams.....himself becomes the light".

The dream body and the dream experiences of this   "self"   are all enabled and supported by the light of experience and knowledge of this   "Consciousness"   that has been gained through experiencing   "self"   is the meaning.

 

4.3.10   There are no chariots, nor animals to be yoked to them, nor roads there, but he creates the chariots, animals and roads. There are no pleasures, joys, or delights there, but he creates the pleasures, joys and delights. There are no pools, tanks, or rivers there, but he creates the pools, tanks and rivers. For he is the agent.

"There are no chariots, animals...roads no pleasures, joys, or delights no pools, tanks, or rivers there, but he creates the pool (etc.),   For he is the agent".

The next state of the dreamer could be the state of the profound Bliss of dreamless sleep.   Or :-
The next state of the dreamer could be the Absolute State of Truth,   Consciousness   and Bliss.   Or :-
The next state of the dreamer could be the state of dream populated according to the understanding of the Consciousness that forms individual   "self".
Referring to the previous verse it was said that "revealing his own lustre by his own light and dreams.....himself becomes the light". The meaning there as here is that the next or dream world of this man   ("self")   is created purely from the understanding or awareness of this   "self Consciousness"   ("For he is the agent").
This   "self"   creates his next universe the same as the Absolute Self created this Universe in accordance to the one who first desired,   both states from the same Absolute Knowledge   (all that Exists),  according to desire,   is the meaning.

 

4.3.11   Regarding this there are the following verses:
'The radiant infinite being (Purusa) who moves alone puts the body aside in the dream state, and himself awake and taking the shining functions of the organs with him, watches those that are asleep. Again he comes to the waking state.

"The radiant infinite being (Purusa) who moves alone"

Purusa means that Absolute Knowledge and Consciousness within Creation as many individual experiences.   In Creation terms it could be named the Self of the self.   The term   "moves alone"   means that movements of state between waking sleep,   dream,   birth   and death and so forth occur as this   "self"   Consciousness alone.   The forms are not the reality is the meaning.

"puts the body aside in the dream state...himself awake"

All that   (apparently)   takes place does so in Consciousness only.   The body or form has no true existence.   The Consciousness that is the   "self"   is eternally unchanging therefore eternally conscious   (awake)   and as said above moves,   as it were,   without the body   ("puts the body aside").

"taking the shining functions of the organs with him, watches those that are asleep".

As the form of the body exists within Consciousness only so does the functions of the body,   the organs.   The meaning here is that the   "self"   is the Organ of the organ,   that is,   the Eye of the eye and so forth.   The eye of the man in creation may appear tired,   but the Eye that is knowledge alone in Consciousness remains shining immortal and eternally unsleeping.
Eternally unsleeping,   forever the Non-Dual witness of   "those"   experiencing creation.

"Again he comes to the waking state".

This Consciousness that is   "self",   Although unsleeping projects or produces,   in Consciousness,   the state of waking.   The highest meaning here continues in this verse,   this means that all apparent movement or changing of states occur in unmoving Consciousness.

 

4.3.12   The radiant infinite being who is immortal and moves alone preserves the unclean nest (of a body) with the help of the vital force, and roams out of the nest. Himself immortal, he goes wherever he likes.

"The radiant infinite being who is immortal and moves alone"

The Infinite Absolute   "Self"   is the Body of the body.   This Absolute   "Self"   is also the Self of the   "self".   The ultimate meaning of this is that all this takes place in the Singularity of Consciousness that is the Absolute.
The term   "moves alone" reiterates that all said movement is as Consciousness alone.

"preserves the unclean nest (of a body) with the help of the vital force"

All is preserved in the   "self",   be it a manifest sleeping   (unclean)   body or an unmanifest dream   (shining)   body.   it is Absolute knowledge as the light of the   "self".   The consideration here is of Consciousness alone.   the material form of a body is only an appendage,   as it were,   and not the operator or controller of any experience of existence.   So it is said the   "Self"   leaves the sleeping body supported   ("preserves")   by the laws of material nature that maintain all forms of creation in general,   ("vital force").

"roams out of the nest. Himself immortal, he goes wherever he likes".

This   "self",   as said is not the body,   as Consciousness it   (experiences)   roams wherever it likes.   This   "self"   can create what it likes,   go where it likes.   What this   "self"   likes   (desires)   will dictate its experience of bondage or freedom.   That is,   this   "self"   that has been previously described or explained as Consciousness limited within Creation will create its own experience according to its level of limiting factors,   desires and so forth.

 

4.3.13   In the dream world, the shining one, attaining higher and lower states, puts forth innumerable forms. He seems to be enjoying himself in the company of women, or laughing, or even seeing frightful things.

"In the dream world, the shining one, attaining higher and lower states".

This dream world unfolds according to the Consciousness of the dreamer.   It is possible for this dreamer to become a sage or a thief.

"the shining one...puts forth innumerable forms...enjoying...the company of women, or laughing, or..seeing frightful things".

The   "self",   in Consciousness populates his dream world to his desires as said.   His world can include love, family friends and foes   (innumerable forms).   To the dreamer he is experiencing life.   All of this,   all states,   all worlds are here created by the   "self",   but ultimately all is the Absolute Self, remember.

 

4.3.14   'Everybody sees his sport, but nobody sees him.' They say, 'Do not wake him up suddenly.' If he does not find the right organ, the body becomes difficult to doctor. Others, however, say that the dream state of a man is nothing but the waking state, because he sees in dreams only those things that he sees in the waking state. (This is wrong.) In the dream state the man himself becomes the light. 'I give you a thousand (cows), sir. Please instruct me further about liberation.'

"Everybody sees his sport, but nobody sees him".

This means that all see the man going about his business in waking sleep or dreaming,   all see the form,   but no one sees the   "self",   the true being of existence,   the inner controller as it has been described before by the Sruti.

"Do not wake him up suddenly... body becomes difficult to doctor".

This statement refers to waking a dreaming person.   This is further to statements in previous verses such as   "The..(Purusa) who moves alone puts the body aside in the dream state".   The meaning is with the body set aside from its controller then to wake it suddenly with the two separated there is a risk they might not fully rejoin.   This statement is given to highlight that the dream world is not simply a repeat of the waking world taking place within the body.

"Others...say...he sees in dreams only those things that he sees in the waking state".

Following on from above it is said that some claim dreams are merely the memory of the man replaying itself.   That is there is not a Consciousness that is separate from the material form.

"This is wrong. In the dream state the man himself becomes the light".

In continuance of the above it is being restated that indeed it is Consciousness as   "self",   that is the light of knowledge that is the man and not the material form or its memory store.
The meaning is,   this man,   "self",   may continue to create and develop his ongoing desires even in his dreams due to the fact that his true being is this unsleeping   "self".

 

4.3.15   After enjoying himself and roaming, and merely seeing (the results of) good and evil (in dreams), he (stays) in a state of profound sleep, and comes back in the inverse order to his former condition, the dream state. He is untouched by whatever he sees in that state, for this infinite being is unattached. 'It is just so, Yajnavalkya. I give you a thousand (cows), sir. Please instruct me further about liberation itself.'

"After enjoying himself and roaming, and merely seeing (the results of) good and evil (in dreams)".

The term   "enjoying himself"   has the meaning of   "having all things available for his use",   as well as finding specific enjoyments.
Also the meaning here is that enjoyment can come through being merely the observer, (seeing).
Further,   whilst remaining as the observer the enjoyment of being is not dependent on one or the other of good nor evil.

"he (stays) in a state of profound sleep, and comes back in the inverse order to his former condition, the dream state ".

This is with reference to   "self Consciousness",   the states of being are transited purely as Consciousness is the meaning.

"He is untouched by whatever he sees in that state, for this infinite being is unattached".

The infinite Self as the self is eternally unmoving and unchanging.   It is being confirmed that this   "self"   is itself unchanged or unmoved by any experience.

"It is just so, Yajnavalkya".

Janaka's agreement has the meaning that the truth has been told and heard and that Janaka understands the lesson.

 

4.3.16   After enjoying himself and roaming in the dream state, and merely seeing (the results of) good and evil, he comes back in the inverse order to his former condition, the waking state. He is untouched by whatever he sees in that state, for this infinite being is unattached. 'It is just so, Yajnavalkya. I give you a thousand (cows), sir. Please instruct me further about liberation itself.'

"After enjoying himself...in the dream state...merely seeing...the results...he comes back...to...the waking state".

In the waking state the   "self"   again takes up the   (waking)   form of the body.

"He is untouched by whatever he sees in that state".

The Consciousness that is the   "self"   is not affected by the play,   it merely supports it.

"for this infinite being is unattached".

The   "self"   is without desire and is immutable and immortal.

 

4.3.17   After enjoying himself and roaming in the waking state, and merely seeing (the results of) good and evil, he comes back in the inverse order to his former condition, the dream state (or that of profound sleep).

Phenomenal life, this created or projected existence experiences the states of transient waking,   transient dream   or transient profound sleep.   The Constant immortal   (Absolute)   Self maintains,   but is untouched by,   those transient forms that it supports in these states.

"It is just so, Yajnavalkya...Please instruct me further about liberation itself".

Janaka asks further about liberation itself.   The changing states of being described by Yajnavalkya thus far have described the cycle of waking sleep,   dream sleep   and profound sleep.   But there remains to be told the description of how the man   "self"   attains   "liberation itself'"   from this cycle.

 

4.3.18   As a great fish swims alternately to both the banks (of a river), eastern and western, so does this infinite being move to both these states, the dream and waking states.

Of course,   the term   "waking sleep"   or   "waking state"   refers to the state we normally call   "awake".   But due to the reality being that there is a higher fully conscious state,   as it were,   after gaining liberation from this life cycle our normal awake state is in comparison more accurately described as the   "waking state".  
Describing the   "self"   as the   "great fish",   he moves alternately from waking sleep to dream sleep throughout his life experience just as a fish moves alternately from the eastern river bank to the western river bank,   but is associated with neither,   as it follows its course down the river.

 

4.3.19   As a hawk or a falcon flying in the sky becomes tired, and stretching its wings, is bound for its nest, so does this infinite being run for this state, where falling asleep he craves no desires and sees no dreams.

What keeps a being in the creation cycle is desire and attachment.   But the desire for objects eventually fades so attachments to them wither.   No longer deluded by material desire this self seeks its true home   "nest".  
We could include the statement that one tires after many cycles of birth and death,   but the experience as   "self"   seems to be the same just with different words.   Waking sleep,   dream sleep,   dreamless sleep,   dream sleep,   waking sleep,   dream experience,   death or sleep experience,   dream experience,   birth or waking experience,   dream experience,   death or sleep experience   dream experience and so forth.   The immortal self experiences,   as it were,   all states but is unchanged by them.   Eventually the   "self   Consciousness"   experiences,   as it were,   stillness as the Absolute Self,   as Truth,   Consciousness   and Bliss.
Eventually the desire to be One with Absolute Self,   is recognised.   In fact this desire is not a desire,   it is really the Realisation of True Love as the unchanging Self.

 

But,
an intention or meaning of the above description of the tired falcon desiring sleep and heading for it's nest is to consider the conditioned Brahman,   the vital force or the form of the ignorant   (of the Absolute)   man.
The immutable   "self"   does not sleep.

4.3.20   In him are those nerves called Hita, which are as fine as a hair split into a thousand parts, and filled with white, blue, brown, green and red (serums).   (They are the seat of the subtle body, in which impressions are stored.) Now when (he feels) as if he were being killed or overpowered, or being pursued by an elephant, or falling into a pit, (in short) conjures at the time through ignorance whatever terrible things he has experienced in the waking state, (that is the dream state). And when (he becomes) a god, as it were, or a king, as it were, or thinks, 'This (universe) is myself, who am all,' that is his highest state.

"In him are those nerves called Hita, (They are the seat of the subtle body, in which impressions are stored.)"

This   "subtle body"   refers to the vital force of material desire that maintains   (due to that ongoing desire)   the material form of the body.   The mind of the ignorant man is unaware of transcendent   "self"   Consciousness,   or,   more aware of his assumption of divinity residing within his form,   that is,   the ignorance of a divine vital force.
Ignorance of the truth of the Absolute leads to the prominence of subtle physical memory as the guide for one's waking life and dream life,   as it were.
Therefore,   due to his being in ignorance of his true being as Consciousness alone and his consequential attachment to his material form he is so moved to fear for the safety of his form by events within this creation that experiences are stored as impressions of fear for future reference imagining them to be reality and have significance.

"When (he feels) as if he were being killed or...in short conjures...through ignorance whatever terrible things he has experienced in the waking state, (that is the dream state)".

The meaning here is that due to his impressions of ignorance and fear being stored in the subtle body he relives these fearful experiences through that subtle body when it is taken up in the dream state,   and is once again believed to be reality and so he is once again moved by them.

"And when (he becomes) a god, as it were...or thinks, This (universe) is myself, who am all that is his highest state".

When once again he is between the waking state and the dream state.   That is the state of profound sleep,   free from desire and delusion.   There are no more fears,   desires   or attachments to move him.   In this state he just Is.   This state of Consciousness is closest to Self Consciousness Absolute,   "that is his highest state",   which means the highest state within creation where he is free from desire and duality.

 

4.3.21   That is his form beyond desires, free from evils, and fearless. As a man, fully embraced by his beloved wife, does not know anything at all, either external or internal, so does this infinite being (self), fully embraced by the Supreme Self, not know anything at all, Either external or internal. That is his form which all objects of desire have been attained and are but the self, and which is free from desires and devoid of grief.

"That is his form beyond desires, free from evils, and fearless".

Desire was his downfall in the beginning.   Now temporarily beyond desire he has regained his true state.   In this state free from any need that causes attachments he becomes invulnerable to evil effects.   In this state he fears nothing because he does not know himself to be anything in particular,   because in this state he does not know duality.

"fully embraced by the Supreme Self, not know anything at all, Either external or internal".

In deep sleep with no "self" awareness he is as One   ("Fully embraced")   with the Absolute Self.   The self does not   "know any   (particular)   thing"   because the Absolute Self is literally Absolutely all knowledge.   Being Absolutely All there can be no inside or outside,   external or internal.

"That is his form...all objects of desire have been attained...is free from desires and..of grief".

In the Non-Dual state   ("form")   of being all,   what can there be remaining to desire?   All objects of desire are one with himself.   Desires are an imagined need.   All that is needed in truth,   Is the Truth,   that is Unity as the Absolute Self,   this we are told is the state of the   "self"   Consciousness in profound sleep.

 

4.3.22   In this state a father is no father, a mother no mother, the worlds no worlds, the gods no gods, the Vedas no Vedas. In this state a thief is no thief, the killer of a noble Brahmana no killer, a Candala no Candala, a Pulkasa no Pulkasa, a monk no monk, a hermit no hermit. (This form of his) is untouched by good work and untouched by evil work, for he is then beyond all the woes of his heart (intellect).

In the state of Non-Duality there simply cannot be names labels or attributes.   There exists no particular effect or other to touch or be touched.

 

4.3.23   That it does not see in that state is because, although seeing then, it does not see, for the vision of the Witness can never he lost, because it is immortal. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can see.

The sleeping form will not see because although it has eyes to see the   "self   Consciousness"   rests embraced by the Absolute as Knowledge,   until the   "self"   once again takes particular Consciousness   (wakes up)   it remains an unseeing Singularity but is the Absolute seeing principle.
The Absolute Self is the Eye of the eye.

 

4.3.24   That it does not smell in that state is because, although smelling then, it does not smell; for the smellers' function of smelling can never be lost, because it is immortal. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can smell.

The sleeping form will not be able to smell because although it has a nose to smell the   "self   Consciousness"   rests embraced by the Absolute as Knowledge,   until the   "self"   once again takes particular Consciousness   (wakes up)   it remains an un-smelling Singularity without an   "other"   to smell but is the smelling principle that is the Absolute.
The Absolute Self is the Nose of the nose.

 

4.3.25   That it does not taste in that state is because, although tasting then, it does not taste; for the taster's function of tasting can never be lost, because it is immortal. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can taste.

The sleeping form will not taste because although it has a tongue with which to taste the   "self   Consciousness"   rests embraced by the Absolute as Knowledge,   until the   "self"   once again takes particular Consciousness   (wakes up)   it remains an un-tasting singularity but is the tasting principle that is the Absolute.
The Absolute Self is the Taste of tasting.

 

4.3.26   That it does not speak in that state is because, although speaking then, it does not speak; for the speaker's function of speaking can never be lost, because it is immortal. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can speak.

The sleeping form will not speak because although it has vocal chords with which to speak the   "self   Consciousness"   rests embraced by the Absolute as Knowledge,   until the   "self"   once again takes particular Consciousness   (wakes up)   it remains an un-speaking singularity with no   "other"   to hear,   but is the speaking principle that is the Absolute.
The Absolute Self is the Speech of speech.

 

4.3.27   That it does not hear in that state is because, although hearing then, it does not hear; for the listener's function of hearing can never be lost, because it is immortal. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can hear.

The sleeping form will not hear because although it has a ears with which to hear the   "self   Consciousness"   rests embraced by the Absolute as Knowledge,   until the   "self"   once again takes particular Consciousness   (wakes up)   it remains an un-hearing Singularity because there is no   "other"   to speak,   but is the hearing principle that is the Absolute.
The Absolute Self is the Ear of the ear.

 

4.3.28   That it does not think in that state is because, although thinking then, it does not think; for the thinker's function of thinking can never be lost, because it is immortal. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can think.

The sleeping form will not think because although it has a mind with which to think the   "self   Consciousness"   rests embraced by the Absolute as Knowledge,   until the   "self"   once again takes particular Consciousness   (wakes up)   it remains an un-thinking Singularity because being all knowledge all is known and there is not that   "other"   of which to think about.   but it is the thinking principle that is the Absolute.
The Absolute Self is the Mind of the mind.

 

4.3.29   That it does not touch in that state is because, although touching then, it does not touch; for the touchers function of touching can never be lost, because it is immortal. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can touch.

The sleeping form will not feel touch because although it has nerves with which to feel the   "self   Consciousness"   rests embraced by the Absolute as Knowledge,   until the   "self"   once again takes particular Consciousness   (wakes up)   it remains an un-touching singularity because there is not that   "other"   to touch.   But is the touching principle that is the Absolute.
The Absolute Self is the Sense of the senses.  

4.3.30   That it does not know in that state is because, although knowing then, it does not know; for the knower's function of knowing can never be lost, because it is immortal. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can know.

The sleeping form will not be knowing because although it has a mind with which to know the   "self   Consciousness"   rests embraced by the Absolute as Knowledge,   until the   "self"   once again takes particular Consciousness   (wakes up)   it remains an un-knowing Singularity because being All there is not that   "other"   for it to know, but it is the knowing principle that is the Absolute.
The Absolute Self is the Knowledge of all knowledge.

 

4.3.31   When there is something else, as it were, then one can see something, one can smell something, one can taste something, one can speak something, one can hear something, one can think something, one can touch something, or one can know something.

When something else is sensed right there is the Maya of creation presenting duality.   When it is understood that true Existence is a singularity then the Truth of Advaita is understood.

 

4.3.32   It becomes (transparent) like water, one, the witness, and without a second. This is the world (state) of Brahman, O Emperor. Thus, did Yajnavalkya instruct Janaka: This is its supreme attainment, this is its supreme glory, this is its highest world, this is its supreme bliss. On a particle of this very bliss other beings live.

"It becomes (transparent) like water, one, the witness, and without a second"

We have been referring to this   "self   Consciousness"   in particular.   But the reality of course is The Singularity of Consciousness.   This Singularity has now been regained verbally and is thus described as   "transparent like water"   to reveal no division of   "self"   and   "Self"   or Brahman,   just a still pool of Consciousness.
True Bliss is the ultimate harmony and perfection of Unity and it is Absolute. It is not experienced because that would produce the duality of an object of experience.

 

4.3.33   He who is perfect of body and prosperous among men. the ruler of others, and most lavishly supplied with all human enjoyments, represents the greatest joy among men. This human joy multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy for the Manes who have won that world of theirs. The joy of these Manes who have won that world multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of the celestial minstrels. This joy in the world of the celestial minstrels multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy for the gods by action those who attain their godhead by their actions. This joy of the gods by action multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy for the gods by birth, as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless and free from desire. This joy of the gods by birth multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of Prajapati (Viraj), as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless and free from desire. This joy in the world of Prajapati multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of Brahman (Hiranyagarbha), as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless and free from desire. This indeed is the supreme bliss. This is the state of Brahman, O Emperor, said 'Yajnavalkya. I give you a thousand (cows), sir. Please instruct me further about liberation itself.' At this Yajnavalkya was afraid that the intelligent Emperor was constraining him to finish with all his conclusions.

Having revealed the   "self"   as attaining the Absolute Self or Brahman the Shruti,   by way of a eulogy on the true Bliss of Brahman as compared to any imagined state of Bliss within creation.   But,   as will be said   "the intelligent Emperor was constraining him to finish with all his conclusions"   Up to now the description of Absolute Bliss has been likend to the Bliss of deep sleep.   True Bliss, Moksha,   transcends all transient material states.

 

4.3.34   After enjoying himself and roaming in the dream state, and merely seeing the effects of merits and demerits, he comes back, in the inverse order, to his former condition, the waking state.

These verses from verse seven have been Yajnavalkya's   response to Janaka's question   "Which is the self"?   That   "self"   has been described through the states of waking,   dream   and profound sleep.   Then in verse thirty three it was said that   "Yajnavalkya was afraid that the intelligent Emperor was constraining him to finish with all his conclusions".
The conclusion Janaka seeks is the way of liberation for this   "self".   Leading to that conclusion,   the rest of this section is to explain what causes the taking up of a new form within the creation cycle,   (transmigration of the   "self").
Janaka   "the intelligent Emperor"   has already realised that there is no true liberation within the cycle of life and death.   True liberation must be escape from this Creation itself.
We start with this verse describing the   "self"   once again in the waking state,   but now approaching the state of death,   as it were.

 

4.3.35   Just as a cart, heavily loaded, goes on rumbling, so does the self that is in the body, being presided over by the Supreme Self, go making noises, when breathing becomes difficult.

"Just as a cart, heavily loaded, goes on rumbling".

The material body   (here the cart)   loaded with worldly experiences and any remaining desires,   being of creation eventually ages and becomes frail, but because all this is of the knowledge of the Absolute   (the   "self"   as the passenger in the cart)   this decay is not random.

"so does the self... in the body...presided over by the Supreme Self, go making noises, when breathing becomes difficult".

The Self is the knowledge that is the event,   that is,   the   "self"   described here as being   "in the body"   proceeds according to the script of the play   "It thinks, as it were and shakes, as it were"   that is,   "go making noises, when breathing becomes difficult"   as it were.

 

4.3.36   When this (body) becomes thin is emaciated through old age or disease then, as a mango, or a fig, or a fruit of the peepul tree is detached from its stalk, so does this infinite being, completely detaching himself from the parts of the body, again go, in the same way that he came, to particular bodies, for the unfoldment of his vital force.

"When this (body) becomes thin is emaciated through old age or disease",

The Material form is transient and suffers the fate of all creation,   That is old age ,   sickness   and death,   this is well known.

"as a mango, or a fig, or a fruit of the peepul tree is detached from its stalk",

Death of a form occurs at the ripening,   fulfilment,   or a cause that prevents it from being supported by creation.   In the case of a fruit it happens at its ripening which is its fulfilment of this stage of purpose.   A hanging fruit lets go of the branch and moves to the ground for its next stage or form.

"so does this infinite being, completely detaching himself from the parts of the body".

At the death of the form of body the   "self",   unmoving of course,   allows the form to fall away.   The immortal   "self"   as the Absolute Self remains unchanging.

  go, in the same way that he came, to particular bodies",

This   "self"   is in reality the knowledge that is The Absolute Self.   This is the natural state of Existence before Creation occurred,   before the first desire took knowledge to eat for   "itself"   .
The meaning here is that this   "self"   would remain at rest as the clear pool of Absolute Consciousness and Knowledge if there was not the desire in that Consciousness to take form.   Desire caused the original form and it is being said here that this   "self"   will go the same way and again take up another form   (body).

"for the unfoldment of his vital force",

The term   "in the same way that he came, to particular bodies"   here assumes rebirth so the duality and ignorance of desire that assumes a vital force will be a consideration,   and because the force of desire is the cause then the purpose of the new   "life"   will be for continuing of the unfoldment of that vital force of desire.   That is,   for that desire to continue working to it's desired conclusion.

 

4.3.37   Just as when a king is coming, the   Ugras   set against particular offences, the Sutas and the leaders of the village wait for him with varieties of food and drink and mansions ready, saying, 'Here he comes, here he comes,' so for the person who knows about the results of his work, all the elements wait saying, 'Here comes Brahman, here comes Brahman.'

"Just as when a king is coming",

The king is the ruler of the kingdom.   This king that is coming is the ruler of the kingdom of the body of organs.

"the Ugras set against particular offences",

Being reborn this Man,   King,   Brahman will have accrued merit and demerit during his previous   "life".   His previous achievements and so forth will be reflected in his level of Consciousness in this life.

"the Sutas and the leaders of the village wait for him with varieties of food and drink and mansions ready".

For this man returning to material Creation there will be a body and organs for him to take up.   This will be his   "mansion"   along with suitable food to maintain that mansion   (body).

"for the person who knows about the results of his work, all the elements wait saying, Here comes Brahman, here comes Brahman."

This verse describes the man who works for his own purpose,   to achieve a desire.   It is being said that all the elements   (the ways and means to continue his work)   still await the return of this man   (this Brahman)   back to the creation cycle of birth and death.

 

4.3.38   Just as when the king wishes to depart, the   Ugras   set against particular offences, the Sutas and the leaders of the village approach him, so do all the organs approach the departing man at the time of death, when breathing becomes difficult.

"Just as when the king wishes to depart",

Here the subject is the owner or king of the dying body.   The time comes when body and Consciousness part.

"the Ugras set against particular offences"

The departing   "self   Consciousness"   will take an onward path for his journey.   The path he takes will be lit and chosen according to his level of Consciousness which will have resulted from this past life considering its   " particular offences",   desires and so forth.

"the Sutas and the leaders of the village approach him, so do all the organs approach the departing man at the time of death, when breathing becomes difficult".

The village is the sum of the parts of his material being.   At the time of death this man   ("self")   will be discarding one form and either returning home to the Absolute Consciousness and Knowledge or he will take up a new form.   So it is here,   "the departing man"   is the   "self"   that is the   "Eye"   of the eye and the   "Ear"   of the ear and so forth so the term   "all the organs approach the departing man"   refers to the functioning principle of the organs returning or reuniting as that departing   "self".

 

Section 4.

4.4.1   When this self becomes weak and senseless, as it were, the organs come to it. Completely withdrawing these particles of light, it comes to the heart. When the presiding deity of the eye turns back from all sides, the man fails to notice colour.

"When this self becomes weak and senseless, as it were".

The term   "as it were"   qualifies the description of the self as becoming weak and so forth to meaning the unchanging immortal self only presents the appearance of change.   It is the material form of the body and organs that is becoming   "weak and senseless"   in fact we are considering the death of the form.

"the organs come to it".

This is regarding the self.   these organs that come to the self are the functioning principle of each organ.   That is,   because the self is the Eye of the eye and the Ear of the ear and so forth it is the self that is the true support of seeing and so forth.   So when a failing or dying organ is described as   "coming to the self"   The meaning is that the material form of the organ,   eye,   ear,   skin   and so forth dies and falls away but the seeing,   hearing   and touching principle remains with the   "self",   the true being of the Existence of the man.

"Completely withdrawing these particles of light",

So the term   " Completely withdrawing"   refers to the fact that the sense principle remains with the   "self   Consciousness"
This principle that enables the functioning of each organ,   the Eye of the eye and so forth is the Knowledge and Consciousness that is Existence itself.   In fact this Absolute Knowledge forms and supports the whole of Creation,   this Knowledge could be called the   "World"   of the world.   Here we are considering this knowledge in terms of the organs of the body.   But this Knowledge and Consciousness that is Absolute is also the   "self"   .   It is this Knowledge and Consciousness that is in fact the light of the   "self"     As described previously The self serves as his light   Section three verse six.   These particles of knowledge of the being of the   "self"     are   "these particles of light"   that are the organs that are withdrawn back into the   "self",   as it were.

"it comes to the heart".

This heart refers to the subtle body of the   "self",   It is where the subtle knowledge that is the man is said to reside,   his organs and so forth.

"...the man fails to notice colour".

So as the essence of the organs   (the man)   are withdrawn into the subtle body of the   "self",   the function of that material organ will cease,   is the meaning here.   the eye will fail to notice colour,   the ear will not hear and so forth.

 

4.4.2   (The eye) becomes united (with the subtle body); then people say, 'He does not see.' (The nose) becomes united; then they say, 'He does not smell.' (The tongue) becomes united; then they say, 'He does not taste.' (The vocal organ) becomes united; then they say, 'He does not speak.' (The ear) becomes united; then they say, 'He does not hear.' (The Manas) becomes united; then they say, 'He does not think.' (The skin) becomes united; then they say, ''He does not touch.' (The intellect) becomes united; then they say, 'He does not know.' The top of the heart brightens. Through that brightened top the self departs, either through the eye, or through the head, or through any other part of the body. When it departs, the vital force follows; when the vital force departs, all the organs follow. Then the self has particular Consciousness, and goes to the body which is related to that Consciousness. It is followed by knowledge, work and past experience.

"(The eye) becomes united (with the subtle body) then people say, He does not see..smell..taste..speak..hear..think..touch..know..",

Then,   following the eye the tongue,   the vocal organ... and all of the organs that represent the form of the man are said to once again reside as knowledge alone in Absolute Consciousness as the   "the subtle body"   which is the   "self   Consciousness".
When it is said   "then people say, He does not see"   it indicates that people,   because they do not comprehend the Absolute Self,   still refer to the dead form of the man as being all that he was,   because what he was now appears not to function.

"The top of the heart brightens. Through that brightened top the self departs".

This refers to the subtle   "self",   finally departing the dead form. This is descriptive only because it is well known that the   "self"  is unmoving.   In reality all this happens in consciousness and knowledge alone,   this is the meaning of "brightened top",   it is a reference to the light of knowledge.   Although the man exists eternally as Absolute knowledge he now no longer manifests a material form,   we are to understand that the essence or knowledge that is the man is no longer associated with that form.

"When it departs, the vital force follows; when the vital force departs, all the organs follow".

This describes the material form.   The vital force is the mortal material of creation moved through desire to form the objects of desire.   At the death of the form,   after it has been left by specific Consciousness,   here the   "self",   the material decays and returns to the   "pool"   of unmanifest knowledge ready to be taken up once again through a vital force of material desire to form that new object of desire.

"Then the self has particular Consciousness",

This   "self   Consciousness",   as said,   represents a   "particular"   individual who through his or her actions in their past life have limited or expanded that Consciousness as it were.

"goes to the body which is related to that Consciousness followed by knowledge, work and past experience".

So,   depending on the needs,   desires   or intentions of this   "Reborn"   person   ("self   Consciousness"),   the new form will be   "particular"   and commensurate with that.   As said this   "self   Consciousness"   will be a result of the   "knowledge, work and past experience"   that is following it.

 

4.4.3   Just as a leech supported on a straw goes to the end of it, takes hold of another support and contracts itself,   so does the self throw this body aside make it senseless take hold of another support,   and contract itself.

Likening the   "self"   to a leech which climbs to stand vertical from the tip of one blade of grass then falls towards the top of another blade of grass and holding on to that new blade,   with its body stretched between the two blades lets go of the original blade and contracts its body fully towards the new blade.   Like so it is being said the   "self "   when heading for a new body lets go of the previous body without further concern for that.
The term   "throw this body aside make it senseless"   has already been explained in the previous verse two above,   where the sense principle is withdrawn back into the   "self   Consciousness"   leaving the form   "unseeing"   and so forth.

 

4.4.4   Just as a goldsmith takes apart a little quantity of gold and fashions another a newer and better form,   so does the self throw this body away,   or make it senseless, and make another a newer and better form suited to the Manes or the celestial minstrels, or the gods, or Viraj, or Hiranyagarbha, or other beings.

The meaning of this verse is as described above where the vital force leaves the body.   likening the decaying body to the goldsmith taking apart an old form of gold.   whatever new form that   "self "   takes it is still formed from the same substance.   The goldsmith may melt a bracelet to make a broach,   and in doing so one could say the form of the bracelet has been discarded,   but from the same material a broach has emerged,   Just the same with the material form of the body,   while discarding the old form of the person and taking up a new form,   be it   :-

"the Manes or the celestial minstrels, or the gods, or Viraj, or Hiranyagarbha, or other beings",

It should be realised that all such forms are but a projection of the same Knowledge and Consciousness which is this immortal immutable Singularity of   "Absolute Self".

 

4.4.5   That self is indeed Brahman, as well as identified with the intellect, the Manas and the vital force, with the eyes and ears, with earth, water, air and the ether, with fire, and what is other than fire, with desire and the absence of desire, with anger and the absence of anger, with righteousness and unrighteousness, with everything identified, as is well known, with this (what is perceived) and with that (what is inferred). As it does and acts, so it becomes; by doing good it becomes good, and by doing evil it becomes evil it becomes virtuous through good acts and vicious through evil acts. Others, however, say, 'The self is identified with desire alone. What it desires, it resolves; what it resolves, it works out; and what it works out, it attains.'

"That self is indeed Brahman, as well as identified with the intellect... with the eyes and ears... righteousness... unrighteousness... what is perceived and with that what is inferred",

This   "self"   is indeed Brahman,   Brahman is the Self of the   "self".   This has been confirmed in many of the previous verses in this chapter.   The intent is to identify Brahman as all this Creation,   perceived or merely inferred all this is Brahman.   This is also confirmed from previous statements in this Upanishad.

"As it does and acts, so it becomes; by doing good it becomes good, and by doing evil it becomes evil"

Brahman,   this   "self"   is this Universe and all things,   just as described above.   So,   the reference to the   "self"   becoming as it acts has the meaning of an actor taking on the persona of part in the play.   This is because   "That"   that is all thing by nature does not become one thing.   If the action required of it is a good action then the   "self"   enacts the good act and likewise a vicious act and so forth all the time remaining by nature the unaffected actor observing his role.
To illustrate this meaning we can consider the act of Yajnavalkya taking the prize of a thousand cows with ten Padas of gold fixed to the horns of each cow,   as described in   chapter three section one of this Upanishad.   There Yajnavalkya took the prize pre-emptively,   on the face of it this was the unlawful act of a bully or a thief or a cheat because the prize was not yet his to take.   There was no permission or agreement for him to take the cows and in fact he enraged many others that were entitled to compete for that prize.
Yajnavalkya was a Realised man and a great teacher who performed the act of an opportunist thief.   Therefore considering the statement regarding the   "self"   "As it does and acts, so it becomes",   by his unlawful act did the   "self   Consciousness"   that is Yajnavalkya become unlawful?   Clearly that was not the case.   The reason for Yajnavalkya's immunity from his own action was his underlying reason or desire,   as it were.   The Realised Consciousness that is the   "self"   that is Yajnavalkya had no real attachment through desire to the cows or the gold despite his words.   It was the teacher in Yajnavalkya that was the motivation to action,   the story there continued to demonstrated that.   So we conclude that the statement   "As it does and acts, so it becomes"   describes the temporary role of becoming as that of an actor.   Further to this we also have a description of the   "self"   in   :-
Section three verse seven.   "it thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were"   which has the meaning the   "self"   may perform the act of a character but it does not have that character in reality,   it shakes as it were but it is not really shaking.
Our conclusion here is further clarified below.

"Others, however, say, The self is identified with desire alone. What it desires, it resolves; what it resolves, it works out; and what it works out, it attains"

This statement has the meaning that it is attachment through desire alone that decides the state assumed by this immutable stainless   "self"   and not actions be they good or evil that do not result from desire or attachment.   The   "self   Consciousness"   is as described Absolute Consciousness in reality.   It is only desire and its attachments in Consciousness that use Consciousness and knowledge to display the fruits of that desire,   actions that do not come from a desire to attain commensurate results have no effect on   "self   Consciousness".

 

4.4.6   Regarding this there is the following verse: 'Being attached, he, together with the work, attains that result to which his subtle body or mind is attached. Exhausting the results of whatever work he did in this life, he returns from that world to this for (fresh) work.' Thus does the man who desires (transmigrate). But the man who does not desire (never transmigrates). Of him who is without desires, who is free from desires, the objects of whose desire have been attained, and to whom all objects of desire are but the Self the organs do not depart. Being but Brahman, he is merged in Brahman.

"Regarding this ...Being attached, he, together with the work, attains that result to which his subtle body or mind is attached".

"Regarding the effects of desire and attachments highlighted in the previous verse",   this is further confirmation that it is desire and attachment only that decides which state the   "self "   assumes.   Whatever one believes one needs one desires,   whatever one desires one works for.

"Exhausting the results of whatever work he did in this life",

All work undertaken from desire for material improvement becomes exhausted because all of this material creation is transient.   Desires for happiness or to gain satisfaction are endless because happiness,   pleasure   or any form of completeness sought within the material realm are ultimately unfulfilled due to the unreality of Creation.

"he returns from that world to this for (fresh) work.' Thus does the man who desires (transmigrate) ".

Due to desires being naturally insatiable the work of the desirous man remains a conscious objective and this will guide such Consciousness through transmigration back to the cycle of birth and death.

"But the man who does not desire (never transmigrates) ".

The man that is free from desire can let go of the material world and be lead by a higher level of   "self   Consciousness"   away from this material realm.

"to whom all objects of desire are but the Self the organs do not depart. Being but Brahman, he is merged in Brahman".

For the one who achieves Self Realisation all desires fall away and this material world is seen to be devoid of reality and truth.   Such a Realised person desires only to return to the Absolute.   The organs of the subtle body of this one will not be projected to support a new form because this   "self   Consciousness"   will be   "merged in Brahman".

 

4.4.7   Regarding this there is this verse: 'When all the desires that dwell in his heart (mind) are gone, then he, having been mortal, becomes immortal, and attains Brahman in this very body.' Just as the lifeless slough of a snake is cast off and lies in the ant hill, so does this body he. Then the self becomes disembodied and immortal, (becomes) the Prima (Supreme Self), Brahman, the Light. 'I give you a thousand (cows), sir,' said Janaka, Emperor of Videha.

" When all the desires that dwell in his heart (mind) are gone, then he... becomes immortal, and attains Brahman in this very body. "

To be truly free from heartfelt desires means to be truly free from even the natural desires that motivate one to prolong one's very life,   this profound state is not reached through any cognitive or decision process,   it is the state of complete surrender to the Realised Truth of the Absolute.   This rare state of renunciation through Enlightenment or Self Realisation is only achieved through a discipline of enquiry,   study and meditation.   This is the state of clarified love for the Absolute and in this state individual will withers and the Consciousness and knowledge that is the reality of Existence is waited for and allowed,   as it were.   That this reality of Consciousness that is Absolute Brahman has an open heart in this very body,   is the meaning here.

" Just as the lifeless slough of a snake is cast off and lies in the ant hill, so does this body he".

The greatest desire was that first desire for body and mind through which to experience worldly knowledge.
Here,   at last,   the surrender of that first desire is the greatest liberation,   freedom from this world.

" Then the self becomes disembodied and immortal, (becomes) the Prima (Supreme Self), Brahman, the Light".

As stated the   "self   Consciousness"   is now conscious of the Absolute and surrenders to that reality and truth.

 

4.4.8   Regarding this there are the following verses: The subtle, extensive, ancient way has touched (been reached by) me. (Nay) I have realised it myself. Through that sages, the knowers of Brahman (also) go to the heavenly sphere (liberation) after the fall of this body, being freed (even while living).

"The subtle, extensive, ancient way has touched (been reached by) me".

These descriptions of the   "ancient way"   refer to The Primacy of Existence which is the Absolute Brahman or Self.   The initial statement claims this Absolute has been   "reached by me" which means Realised by me.

"(Nay) I have realised it myself".

This next statement is a further qualification or correction to this declaration of Self Realisation   ("by me")   "nay I..myself"   is the correction.
The meaning here is that due to the Realisation of the Self,   the term   "me"   is now understood to be limited and dualistic because it only references or encompasses this apparent physical being in terms of separation from all else.   In contrast the term   "I   myself"   has a universal understanding,   as in   "I"   am That Self.
Therefore the meaning here is that it is I,   not this puppet of a form but this very self has realised the Absolute Self.

"Through that sages, the knowers of Brahman (also) go to the heavenly sphere (liberation) after the fall of this body"

"I"   am all this,   "I"   am the singularity of Existence.   Through   "that"   realisation all will be as the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman   "after the fall of this body".

"being freed (even while living)".

All,   "even while living"   are liberated through   "that"   Realisation of the Primal Singularity.

 

4.4.9   Some speak of it as white, others as blue, grey, green, or red. This path is realised by a Brahmana (knower of Brahman). Any other knower of Brahman who has done good deeds and is identified with the Supreme Light, (also) treads this path.

"Some speak of it as white, others as blue, grey, green, or red".

Referring to the path of liberation as understood by those who see a Brahman with material attributes,   it is said by them to be an experience of colour,   described by   "Some" or "others"   as   "white" or other colour.

"This path is realised by a Brahmana (knower of Brahman)".

This realisation of the path means the final attainment of liberation that was the purpose of that path.   But, this is the Realisation of the Knower of only a created Brahman,   a Brahman with attributes.

"Any other knower of Brahman who has done good deeds and is identified with the Supreme Light, (also) treads this path".

He who knows Brahman in   "Any other"   way   (other than transcendent Self Realisation)   such as by doing good deeds and identifying himself with Brahman through his study of the Vedas,   but here only the ritual portion of the Vedas,  (light of supreme knowledge),  is still said to be journeying on that very same path   "treads this path"   to his desired liberation.

 

4.4.10   Into blinding darkness (ignorance) enter those who worship ignorance (rites). Into greater darkness, as it were, than that enter those who are devoted to knowledge (the ceremonial portion of the Vedas).

"Into blinding darkness (ignorance) enter those who worship ignorance (rites)"

This is also with reference to the previous verse above.   There we heard of the light of Enlightenment and understanding as a material experience.   This verse describes the   "blinding darkness"   of being in that same ignorance of the Absolute.   It is through not understanding and realising the meaning of unity with the non-dual Absolute that cause those who are ignorant in this way to practice rites,   which include working for material gain.   Increasing darkness in the form of increasing forgetting of the transcendent non dual Absolute is the result of such dualistic practices,   is the meaning.

"Into greater darkness, as it were, than that enter those who are devoted to knowledge (the ceremonial portion of the Vedas)"

It is being said that the deepest ignorance,   worse than practicing rites even,   is suffered by those who love what they consider their knowledge of the Divine which they have accumulated through their religious ceremonies.   This devotion blinds them to reality through providing them with a false security that rests in self righteousness and no longer seeks higher truth.

 

4.4.11   Miserable are those worlds enveloped by (that) blinding darkness (ignorance). To them, after death, go those people who are ignorant and unwise.

"Miserable are those worlds enveloped by (that) blinding darkness (ignorance)"

Any states of Consciousness   ("worlds")   or knowledge,   as it were,   that is not at least lit from Absolute Consciousness and Knowledge,   as it were,   would be misery,   due to their being devoid of the Truth, Consciousness   and Bliss that is the Absolute.
The meaning is that there is a natural state of ignorance or forgetting that is caused through birth into this material world.   In spite of such natural ignorance there is the light of the Absolute which through Divine Grace will be seen and followed.
But,   there is a state of ignorance that rests in righteousness so no longer seeks higher truth.   This lack of reason and discrimination,   for the time being,   as it were,   prevents any path to Truth from being seen.

"To them, after death, go those people who are ignorant and unwise".

To those miserable worlds go those whose life experience has not revealed any higher truth,   their ignorance will have become more profound even.
The intimation is that it is not ignorance alone that denies the Divine,   ignorance is natural in creation.   But,   wisdom is also naturally available within creation.   The Absolute is the Self of the   "self".   Which means Absolute Knowledge as Absolute Consciousness is available as one's own   "self".   Right action being performed by any being of creation has a clarifying or cleansing effect on the intellect or   Buddhi   through which Absolute wisdom arises.   Eventually all are destined to return by this path to unity with the Absolute.   But until this time transmigration is the path for those deluded of the Truth, is the meaning here.

 

4.4.12   If a man knows the Self as 'I am this,' then desiring what and for whose sake will he suffer in the wake of the body?

This sounds like a rhetorical question.   It apparently assumes that for the realised sage there should be nothing to keep him within Creation rather than return to unity as the Absolute.   But,   it is not the way of the Sruti to ask rhetorical questions.   From the Kaivalya Upanishad we have :-
'Seeing the Self in all beings,  and all beings in the Self,  one attains that highest Self.  Not by any other means'.
Regarding the above we note that for the sake of the love of the Absolute,   for the sake of the Self,   for the sake of all,   there have been great enlightened beings known and unknown who have remained on within creation to teach and guide others.   Jesus,   Buddha,   Mohammad   are known.   Adi Shankara Himself is known to have an auspicious birth.
The realised soul or sage with the conscious experience of Moksha in this life will also have the conscious experience of witnessing others with the conscious experience of the bondage of ignorance and misery.   Within this non-dual Absolute Consciousness or Self can there be Absolute Self Moksha while there exists the Maya of duality?

But,  why do normal souls having suffered a material existence desire rebirth and return?   Who after leading an earthly life would possibly seek to live it again?
Perhaps a man who through the sheer strength of his continuing desires he has not yet noticed their ultimate transience.

Who after living a life will not have finished his work?
Perhaps a man whose ambitions are endless.

Who after living a life has not satisfied all his senses?
Perhaps a man whose greatest pleasure is feeding greed.

 

Then,   after living an earthly life,   Who would not seek rebirth?
Perhaps a man who by grace has seen the delusional nature of desires.

Perhaps through being free of desires this man has become still enough to feel the love of the Self.
Perhaps this man through realising the Self has also realised the unreality of life.

Perhaps the man who realises the ultimate unreality of his existence also realises that the only will with any validity is the will of the Absolute.

Such a man has surrendered to the love of the Absolute. In a real way it could be said that surrender was his last decision. What happens at death will not be decided by the man.

For the man who has realised The Self there is only The Self.

 

4.4.13   He who has realised and intimately known the Self that has entered this perilous and inaccessible place (the body), is the maker of the universe, for he is the maker of all, (all is) his Self, and he again is indeed the Self (of all).

"He who has realised and intimately known the Self that has entered this perilous and inaccessible place (the body)",

"He"   who Realises the Absolute Self can only be the   "self".   The only one who truly Realises or truly Knows within creation is the   "self"   because only the   "self"   truly exists.
"this perilous and inaccessible place (the body)".   There is only one state of peril in Existence and that is the forgetting of the truth of the Non-Dual Absolute.   It happens that to be within creation and to be born   (in the body)   is in itself that very state of forgetting.   Naturally the peril comes from its   "inaccessibility"   to that forgotten Knowledge and Truth of the Absolute Self.

"is the maker of the universe, for he is the maker of all".

This man,   this   "self"   is the maker of the material universe because it was his desire which projected the material objects of that desire,   (mind,   body   and the world for these to be born into).

"(all is) his Self, and he again is indeed the Self (of all)".

The Singularity,   or the Non-Dual Absolute,  which is Knowledge and Consciousness is the Self of the   "self".   This   "self"   is the result of its desire and the Absolute Self is that Absolute Knowledge from which the object of desire was taken or projected.   Correspondingly it can be seen that the Self,   the   "self"   and the Universe are one.   The desire,   the desirer the object of desire and the facilitator of that object of desire are this Non-Dual Absolute Singularity.
This is the ultimate meaning of   :-
"All is his Self, and he again is indeed the Self of all".

 

4.4.14   Being in this very body we have somehow known that (Brahman). If not, (I should have been) ignorant (and) great destruction (would have taken place). Those who know It become immortal, while others attain misery alone.

"Being in this very body we have somehow known that (Brahman)".

In spite of this very body being an   "perilous and inaccessible place",   (as it was described in the previous verse),   we have nevertheless   "somehow known that Brahman"   This statement serves as a reminder of how and why we are listening to the words of this Upanishad.   We seek that higher truth because   "somehow"   we know of its existence and feel its absence.   The Truth of the Absolute is available to the seeker because   "somehow"   it became known within Creation.

Of course it is not by mistake,   coincidence,   or chance that we are reading these words.

"If not, (I should have been) ignorant, (and) great destruction (would have taken place)"

Due to the Non-Dual nature of Existence and the Absolute this theoretical situation of the Absolute remaining forgotten could not be true in reality,   but it is proffered to increase understanding of the reality of existence.
It would follow that if the truth of the Absolute Brahman were not accessible and therefore could not be known then there could be no liberation from this ignorance.
This Creation of forms was enabled or brought about through the Absolute submitting to some   "forgetting".   In consequence that Primal Singularity of Existence which is known as Truth,   Consciousness   and Bliss is not yet fully realised   (remembered).   If this truth could never again be Realised,   if it remained as forgetting due to its being in a   "perilous and inaccessible place",   then one could understand that this would indeed be a   "great destruction"

"Those who know It become immortal, while others attain misery alone".

It is now well known through the many statements within this Upanishad that one's true being is once more attained,   as it were,   through knowledge and Realisation of the Absolute thereby returning home to the unity of that immortal Absolute.
But,   until the Absolute is Realised in Consciousness the ignorant remain lost in the   "misery"   of the cycle of birth and death within material creation which is a temporary   "great destruction"   of their true Blissful being.

 

4.4.15   When a man after (receiving instructions from a teacher) directly realises this effulgent Self, the Lord of all that has been and will be, he no longer wishes to hide himself from it.

"When a man...directly realises this effulgent Self",

All of us,   All beings will eventually Realise the Truth of Existence which is the Primal Absolute.   This is necessary for Absolute Truth,   Consciousness,   Bliss.   There appears to be many paths involving Grace,   a teacher,   meditation and so forth,   but we are assured by the scriptures that we all will return home to the unity of the Absolute.

"the Lord of all that has been and will be".

This description in a way explains why Realisation is inevitable.   This sentence states simply that this One Existence is   "all that has been and will be "   which means we are already   "That"   and anyway there is nowhere else to go or nothing else to be because to restate,   We are   "all that has been"   All that is now   "and (all) that will be".

"he no longer wishes to hide himself from it".

This sentence contains the main purpose of this verse.   To   "hide himself"   in the sense of this scriptural teaching is to protect one's very essence,   one's heart.  
The Unrealised person,   that is the person ignorant of his or her true being as One with the One Consciousness of Existence imagine themselves as being individual and therefore   "their"   purpose in life is their responsibility.   The ignorant person   "carries their being",   as it were,   through   "their"   life.
To become Realised one has to surrender one's very being to this Existence.   The aspirant knows this intellectually and does not disagree.   Indeed the aspirant changes his ways as he treads his path but in truth full surrender is hidden under a convenient lack of full understanding which is maintained by an element of natural fear.
As said this is the natural way.   It also happens that as Realisation dawns then fear shrinks and one realises that one has been keeping one's essence hidden for security.   But with full Realisation of the Absolute not only does this aspirant not wish to hide but his greatest joy is in surrender,   any notion of having something hidden would be alien to this Realised being.

 

4.4.16   Below which the year with its days rotates, upon that immortal Light of all lights the gods meditate as longevity.

"Below which the year with its days rotates",

The previous verse named   "this effulgent Self".   This sentence,   refers to this creation as being   "below"   That Self   (the Absolute Creator of creation).   With this creation of material forms came mortality and therefore the creation of time   "the year with its days".

"upon that immortal Light of all lights",

Referring again to the Absolute Self   "that immortal"   to emphasise the fact of the Self being immortal and is the knowledge Absolute   ("Light of all lights")   that supports creation.

"the gods meditate as longevity".

This is the point,   The Absolute Self Alone has true existence and is therefore immortal.   All else,   no matter how high and wondrous or seemingly of the utmost importance is transient and empty of true existence.   The wise meditate to realise this Absolute Truth,   "the gods meditate as longevity".

 

4.4.17   That in which the five groups of five and the (subtle) ether are placed, that very Atman I regard as the immortal Brahman. Knowing (Brahman) I am immortal.

"That in which the five groups of five and the (subtle) ether are placed"

The   "five groups of five"   refer to deities and their worlds.   the subtle ether is a term for the Self or Creation in Consciousness.   This is the Absolute Knowledge that is the Absolute Self in this verse called the Atman therefore all   "are placed"   in The Self.   That is all this is a form of knowledge which is the Absolute Self.

"that very Atman I regard as the immortal Brahman"

"that very Atman"   or   "Self"   considered in the above terms itself could indeed only be the immortal Absolute Brahman.
This is confirmation that all forms of   "Self"   are in reality but the Non-Dual Absolute Brahman.

"Knowing (Brahman) I am immortal"

Knowing the Absolute Brahman here means to have Realised the Truth of Existence as the Absolute.   Considering the being that has yet to realise this truth we know that due to his ignorance he suffers within the continual cycle of birth,   death   and rebirth, as such he could be described as experiencing mortality.   Now,  this being,   through Realising the Truth of the Absolute escapes the cycle of death and rebirth and he finds his way back home to the unity of the Immortal Absolute so therefore he now knows himself as   "I am immortal".  In truth the consciousness that is the man is only ever immortal,   to be immortal is to be timeless and unchanging.

 

4.4.18   Those who have known the Vital Force of the vital force, the Eye of the eye, the Ear of the ear, and the Mind of the mind, have realised the ancient, primordial Brahman.

Because the Absolute alone exists as Truth (knowledge),   Consciousness   and Bliss all of this universe is merely the projection of that Absolute Knowledge.   On its own this Universe and all it contains is of name and form only and has no true existence.
To consider the vital force,   eye,   and so forth within creation is to only comprehend the shadow or reflection of reality.   Because the ear within creation does not truly exist,   it is the Knowledge that created it that makes it hear in Consciousness.   This is because the hearing principle is in the knowledge that alone has true existence as the Absolute.   The Absolute is the Life of life.
Those who Realise   "That"   that alone has true Existence will Realise that Primal Singularity of Knowledge and Consciousness is the meaning here.

 

4.4.19   Through the mind alone (It) is to be realised. There is no difference whatsoever in It. He goes from death to death, who sees difference, as it were, in It.

"Through the mind alone (It) is to be realised"

"the mind alone"   has that very literal meaning here.   There is nothing in this Universe that is the Truth in reality therefore the truth is not available through any of our senses.   "the mind"   here means the intellect comprising the refined mind guided by Buddhi the intellect of the heart,   of intuition.   Buddhi can be aware through   "Self"   Consciousness of higher knowledge and can be a guide for an intellect which includes mind,   aware of this,   the great seers of the past developed meditation to still discursive thoughts and so allow the subtle aspect of the intellect to reveal awareness of that Absolute Self Consciousness.   This awareness in Consciousness becomes Self Realisation.   As said,   Through no sense or agent other than this subtle mind can that Truth be seen.

"There is no difference whatsoever in It"

This sentence explains the difficulty for the material or intellectual mind.   Quite simply and literally   "IT"   is all that Exists and   "There is no difference whatsoever in "IT".   In reality there is not that which Exists and that which does not exist.   There is only Existence.   This Absolute is the knower and the known so Through what should one know the knower?   Referencing Yajnavalkya from chapter 2.4.14.

"He goes from death to death, who sees difference, as it were, in It. "

Speaking in terms of Non-Duality those that see their reality,   their life in creation as being all there is,   and therefore seek material gain or objects of desire   "who sees difference, as it were, in It"   will have a Consciousness of desire and this can only lead them back to this means of obtaining dualistic desires,   this material creation of death and rebirth.

 

4.4.20   It should be realised in one form only, (for) It is unknowable and eternal. The Self is taintless, beyond the (subtle) ether, birthless, infinite and constant.

"It should be realised in one form only"

The meaning is the Absolute is not like this or like that,   it does not do this or do that.   The Absolute has no attributes through which it can be known   " realised".   The Self has no form and should be realised as   "Absolute".

"It is unknowable and eternal taintless... birthless, infinite and constant "

It is a marvellous fact that the Absolute is unknowable but the fact of its Existence can be Realised with certainty.   The fact that it is taintless is known due to its immutability due to its immortality.   Due to its being without beginning and therefore birthless The Absolute is immortal.   The Absolute is infinite due to the fact of its being all there is and due to all this it is the Constant One.

 

4.4.21   The intelligent aspirant after Brahman, knowing about this alone, should attain intuitive knowledge. (He) should not think of too many words, for it is particularly fatiguing to the organ of speech.

"The intelligent aspirant after Brahman, knowing about this alone, should attain intuitive knowledge".

This refers to the previous verse stating that the Absolute is itself unknowable,   Therefore this Absolute should be sought through the intuition of a mind stilled of random thoughts to gain higher subtle knowledge.

"(He) should not think of too many words"

On this subject words are the Self as known by the senses and the emotions and distilled from information.   By the time for meditation words have played their best part.

"it is particularly fatiguing to the organ of speech"

Words cannot contain the Absolute.   To allow too many words to arise in the process can only lead to exhaustion.
The organ of speech is associated with the path of intelligence in the being.   To exhaust the organ of speech is to limit the workings of subtlety and intelligence that play their part in Realisation.
Through turning to the mantra and allowing the mantra to take the focus off the words thereby allowing them to blur into the subtle being one allows the subtle heart of the intellect,   the Buddhi,   to be the guide.   From then on words are an intrusion because the meditator is surrendering to intuitive intelligence on the way of the Self.

If we may make an observation here,   in the seeking of the Absolute words or ideas do collect,   this just happens.   But then,   during meditation times of significance are marked by stillness,   a lack of words and a lack of need for words,   but there is understanding.   This is simply offered as an observation.

 

4.4.22   That great, birthless Self which is identified with the intellect and is in the midst of the organs, lies in the ether that is within the heart. It is the controller of all, the lord of all, the ruler of all. It does not become better through good work nor worse through bad work. It is the lord of all, It is the ruler of all beings, It is the protector of all beings. It is the bank that serves as the boundary to keep the different worlds apart. The Brahmanas seek to know It through the study of the Vedas, sacrifices, charity, and austerity consisting in a dispassionate enjoyment of sense objects. Knowing It alone one becomes a sage. Desiring this world (the Self) alone monks renounce their homes. This is (the reason for it): The ancient sages, it is said, did not desire children (thinking), 'What shall we achieve through children, we who have attained this Self, this world (result).' They, it is said, renounced their desire for sons, for wealth and for the worlds, and lived a mendicant life. That which is the desire for sons is the desire for wealth, and that which is the desire for wealth is the desire for the worlds, for both these are but desires. This self is That which has been described as 'Not this, not this.' It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered It never feels pain, and never suffers injury. (It is but proper) that the sage is never overtaken by these two thoughts, 'I did an evil act for this,' and 'I did a good act for this.' He conquers both of them. Things done or not done do not trouble him.

"That great, birthless Self which is identified with the intellect"

The Self is Eternal,   unborn,   without beginning.   The Absolute Self is subtle because it is itself unknowable.   Being the Projector of material Creation means the Absolute Self is also the support of a person's "being" in the Universe.   This "being" is represented by mind or intellect.   This has the meaning that the "self" within creation that knows himself through his mind is actually known within Absolute Self Consciousness,   the "Mind" of the mind.

Further to the above the Absolute can only be known intuitively from within gross material Creation.   Intuition is experienced within the subtle heart or higher intellect.   This subtle intellect is also known as the Buddhi. The   Buddhi   that is most still and open is an aid to reason.   It is the Buddhi that facilitates the discrimination between the real   (truth)   and the unreal   (false).   So it is the Buddhi or heart or higher intellect that facilitates the intuition that Realises the Self,   in stillness.

"and is in the midst of the organs, lies in the ether that is within the heart.   It is the controller of all, the lord of all, the ruler of all".

This statement describe how that all pervading Absolute Self is experienced within the   Maya   of creation as the subtle   "self".   It is also the subtle area of the intellect of Buddhi.
Through this subtle   "self"   and Buddhi the Truth of the Absolute is Realised and the unreality of all material creation is discriminated and known.
The   "self".   is the appearance of the knowledge which is   "the controller of all, the lord of all, the ruler of all"   The nature of this knowledge is Absolute,   that is,   Non-Dual.   it is the One Absolute Self of All that is experienced individually as the   "self",   reference   Under the mighty rule of this Immutable, 0 Gargi   (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.8.9).

"It does not become better through good work nor worse through bad work. It is the lord of all, It is the ruler of all beings, It is the protector of all beings".

This Absolute Self is without beginning and immortal so therefore it is unchanging,   immutable.   Being Absolute the Self is all things,   this means it is without further attributes such as good,   bad,   better,   worse,   right or wrong,   further to this being all things it is also good and bad,   better and worse,   right and wrong.   Being Absolute it is without desire and just Is.   This Truth is the ultimate protection because it is unassailable.

"It is the bank that serves as the boundary to keep the different worlds apart".

The Absolute is Existence itself so there is no inside or outside and no separate worlds.   In reality the absolute is the bank of Conscious Knowledge that contains,   as it were,   all worlds.
Held within that bank of Conscious Knowledge,   as it were,   is this Creation of forms each form held and supported at the place and knowledge of its being.

"The Brahmanas seek to know It through the study of the Vedas, sacrifices, charity, and austerity consisting in a dispassionate enjoyment of sense objects".

The meaning or intention here is to highlight the practices of those aspirants who are not guided by discrimination or divine reason.   That is to say,   the mere following of rites and ceremony does not purify   Buddhi to enable subtle intuition to reveal Self Knowledge.
Within this and all Upanishads,   it is clearly stated that sacrifice and rites do not lead to the realisation of the Self,
(ch1, sec.4. v15... Therefore people desire to attain the results of their rites among the gods through fire,   and among men as the Brahmana.   For Brahman was in these two forms.   If, however,   anybody departs from this world without realising his own world (the Self),   It,   being unknown,   does not protect him...
Neither will the associated reading of the scriptures or the practice of austerities alone produce desired enlightenment.
  ( ch2.sec.4.v5... The Self, my dear Maitreyi, should be realised, should be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon.   By the realisation of the Self,   my dear, through hearing,   reflection and meditation,   all this is known.)
Therefore,   it is not Enlightenment or Realisation for itself that must be sought because the desire for these does not arise from the right understanding,  or true love ,   as it were.   It is love for the Truth which has arisen from an empathy for the plight of the born and a distaste for the unreal as it is increasingly seen,   this love causes one to turn from work and activity to seek stillness and light within.

"Knowing It alone one becomes a sage".

This asserts the meaning of the above.   The Self should be sought for its own sake,   The spiritual Academic can know all scripture but may not be the Sage that knows the Self.   The illiterate man may be unable to read the scriptures but can be the Realised Sage.   To know ("It alone")   is to know all.

"The ancient sages, it is said, did not desire children (thinking), 'What shall we achieve through children, we who have attained this Self... They... renounced their desire for sons... for wealth and for the worlds... the desire for sons is the desire for wealth... the desire for wealth is the desire for the worlds, for both these are but desires".

"we who have attained this Self"

They are the Realised Sages.   Once the Self has been realised all desires fall away,   including the desire for sons or wealth.   To the Self realised sage all within this creation is seen to be transient and false it follows that there will be no desire for gain or to flourish within it or indeed to introduce more forms   ("children")   to this suffering.

"This self is That which has been described as 'Not this, not this.' It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered It never feels pain, and never suffers injury".

The self   "Itself"   cannot be described because it is unknowable itself but is known of.   The Absolute or Absolute Self is known as the unborn Singularity of Existence.   Nevertheless, this Creation subject to duality birth and decay must owe its existence to that Absolute Singularity.   Therefore a mortal self in creation is in reality an appearance of an Absolute Self.   Because all creation itself is transient and mortal the immortal   "self"   in creation is therefore 'Not this, not this',   that is not anything detectable in the mortal universe.   Or, there is nothing immortal in this Universe.

"(It is but proper) that the sage is never overtaken by these two thoughts, 'I did an evil act for this,' and 'I did a good act for this.' He conquers both of them. Things done or not done do not trouble him".

The sage who has Realised the Absolute will know Reality through the faculty of divine reason and discrimination.   Past actions will be seen as the events that they were and let go of.   The Realised Sage is freed from the duality of judgements resulting from the pairs,   good and evil,   right and wrong,   short and tall,   should have should not have and so forth.   The sage will let go of any identity as an individual,   as such who is there to claim good or evil?

 

4.4.23   This has been expressed by the following hymn: This is the eternal glory of a knower of Brahman: it neither increases nor decreases through work. (Therefore) one should know the nature of that alone. Knowing it one is not touched by evil action. Therefore he who knows it as such becomes self controlled, calm, withdrawn into himself, enduring and concentrated, and sees the Self in his own self (body); he sees all as the Self. Evil does not overtake him, but he transcends all evil. Evil does not trouble him, (but) he consumes all evil. He becomes sinless, taintless, free from doubts, and Brahmana (knower of Brahman). This is the world of Brahman, O Emperor, and you have attained it, said Yajnavalkya. 'I give you, sir, the empire of Videha, and myself too with it, to wait upon you.'

"This is the eternal glory of a knower of Brahman"

Meaning that a Realised knower of the Absolute returns home to that eternal Bliss of Brahman.

" it neither increases nor decreases through work".

The Absolute is Existence itself,   literally how could Existence which by definition is the totality of everything increase or decrease?   It could not of course.
The concept of work,   increase   and decrease belongs to the unreality of the forms that are merely the projection of the Absolute.   The projection of the Universe consists of the knowledge that is the Absolute which is the Consciousness that is the Absolute .   This Consciousness and Knowledge being Absolute itself does not increase nor decrease.

"(Therefore) one should know the nature of that alone".

The nature of Brahman,   The Absolute,   is knowledge Absolute.   This creation is a projection of that Absolute Knowledge,   and as such it is Absolutely complete.
The Absolute is all there is.   There is nothing else to effect change. The Absolute being eternal,   changeless,   immutable,   without attributes,   is the primal Singularity,   not two and so described by the term Advaita.   This is the nature of The Absolute Self,   Brahman.

"Knowing it one is not touched by evil action".

Evil action means any occurrence that is not commensurate with the above truth of the Absolute which results in greater ignorance.   For instance the man that works for material gain to increase his worldly Status is ignorant of the truth of Non-Duality this ignorance delays his return back home to the Absolute,   this is the evil.
The Realised person   (" Knowing it")   is not touched by such worldly desire.

"Therefore he who knows it as such becomes self controlled, calm, withdrawn into himself, enduring and concentrated".

That Realised person   ("he who knows it")   has no worldly desires because he realises the truth as being with the Absolute and not within this material creation.   Consequently he is not distracted from the Absolute truth by worldly events so he remains calm and enduring and so forth.

"and sees the Self in his own self (body); he sees all as the Self".

Seeing truth and reality as being the non-dual Absolute therefore this creation as being also supported by that non-dual Absolute he Realises his own self as being a reflection of that very Absolute Self therefore all apparent other persons are also the same Self as his-Self.   For the Realised being this is confirmed through his practice of referring to his subtle self through the subtle intellect and Buddhi

"Evil does not overtake him, but he transcends all evil".

As described previously evil means all that results from the forgetting of the Non-Dual Absolute.   This knower of the Absolute naturally   ("transcends all evil")

"Evil does not trouble him, (but) he consumes all evil".

Having transcended ignorance,   which by definition describes all evil,   this person that has Realised the Absolute has Realised all.   Therefore this man of divine knowledge naturally devours ignorance.   Ignorance is merely a lacking of the Truth.   Truth Which is the Natural state of Absolute Existence will naturally eliminate the unnatural state of ignorance   ("consumes all evil").

"He becomes sinless, taintless, free from doubts, and Brahmana (knower of Brahman). This is the world of Brahman".

Sin is merely an action that is not in accord with the Truth of the Absolute.   The knower of The Absolute apart from being sinless becomes one with the immortal Absolute.   Being a knower of Knowledge Absolute there is not the doubt to arise from the unknown.   This state or   ("world of Brahman"),   once attained is Realised as Truth.

 

4.4.24   That great, birthless Self is the eater of food and the giver of wealth (the fruits of one's work). He who knows It as such receives wealth (those fruits).

This important verse is placed here as a sobering reminder of the pitfalls of forgetting the Truth of the Absolute Self   ("That great, birthless Self").   The Absolute is not an eater of food of any form.   The Absolute is only ever a witness.   The Absolute Self,   the witness, is not a giver of wealth.
Forgetting leads to mistaking a vital force as one's   "self".   This is a duality which leads to need and desire.

"That great, birthless Self is the eater of food and the giver of wealth (the fruits of one's work)".

This describes a vital force,   the self of the ignorant.   The vital force is the eater of food.   ref. :-
...for whatever food is eaten, is eaten by the vital force alone.   Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.17
The vital force rises from the desire for this universe with its objects of desire as food.
Further,   it is through assuming a divine vital force that the ignorant work for gain seeking wealth as their divine reward.

"He who knows It as such receives wealth (those fruits)".

He who knows it as such means he who only understands his "self" to be his divine vital force within creation.   It is he who practices rites or meditates with the desire for gain.   Ultimately the fruits of his desire will be gained through experiencing rebirth into the   (Consciousness)   of this material realm.

 

4.4.25   That great, birthless Self is undecaying, immortal, undying, fearless and Brahman (infinite). Brahman is indeed fearless. He who knows It as such becomes the fearless Brahman.

This last verse now describes the truth of the Absolute Self   ("That great, birthless Self").

"That great, birthless Self is undecaying, immortal, undying, fearless and Brahman (infinite)".

"Birthless"   The Primal Unity,   Absolute Brahman is without origination,   unborn.   This is a prerequisite for immortality because to be immortal is to undergo no change in state   ("undecaying,   undying")   whatsoever for eternity.

"He who knows It as such becomes the fearless Brahman".

Fear is a product of duality.   When one is all there is,   being the eternal,   immortal totality of Existence there is no other of any form or description to fear.   He who Realises the Absolute Realises his identity as this fearless Absolute.

 

Section 5.

4.5.1   Now Yajnavalkya had two wives, Maitreyi and Katyayani. Of these Maitreyi used to discuss Brahman, (while) Katyayani had then an essentially feminine outlook. One day Yajnavalkya, with a view to embracing another life   :-

This section on The Self as discussed between Yajnavalkya and his Wife Maitreyi is a close repeat of section 4 chapter 2. The purpose of the Sruti   (and there will be a purpose)   in repeating it here may be due to the Sruti intending it to be seen again in the light of greater knowledge received from the subsequent revelations concerning the   "self"   such as in the previous section.   We now know Yajnavalkya to be the greatest Sage of this Upanishad.
The reader can link back as a reminder.

 

4.5.2   'Maitreyi, my dear,' said Yajnavalkya, 'I am going to renounce this life for monasticism. Allow me to finish between you and Katyayani.'

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

We have been taught that with Self realisation comes renunciation. This renunciation does not occur simply as a result of any aversion.   Aversion to the unreal plays its part in Realisation but True love is the highest state of the Realised.   Renunciation is practiced in the form of abstinence by the aspirant.   But Yajnavalkya is a realised sage and the declaration to his wife of his renouncing this life is more of an admission that with his realisation came a natural falling away of concern or involvement with worldly affairs.   Yajnavalkya's   request to Maitreyi results from a duty of love to tell her the truth of the situation.
Through Self knowledge Yajnavalkya knows that with Maitreyi and Katyayani all will be well.

 

4.5.3   thereupon Maitreyi said sir if indeed this whole earth full of wealth be mine, shall I be immortal through that or not? No replied Yajnavalkya your life will be just like that of people who possess plenty of things. But there is no hope of immortality through wealth.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

"if indeed this whole earth full of wealth be mine, shall I be immortal through that or not?"

Maitreyi with this question immediately demonstrates her wisdom and understanding.

"No replied Yajnavalkya... there is no hope of immortality through wealth".

Yajnavalkya's answer confirms that there is no thing in this world that leads to the knowing and liberation of the Absolute.
From the heart of Maitreyi's question comes the basic truth of creation that all this is ultimately unreal,   transient and mortal.   It follows that any comfort or pleasure derived from this material world is an ultimate illusion and all time spent resting in such pleasure is time wasted.

 

4.5.4   Then Maitreyi said, 'What shall I do with that which will not make me immortal? Tell me, sir, of that alone which you know (to be the only means of immortality).'

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

"What shall I do with that which will not make me immortal? "

Meaning of what use are worldly objects to one who desires to transcend this world?
Confirmation of Maitreyi's   realisation of the worthless nature of material wealth.

" Tell me, sir, of that alone which you know (to be the only means of immortality) "

Maitreyi,   acknowledging her husbands wisdom   ("Tell me, sir, of...which you know")   asks to be left supported by the truth of the eternal rather than the decay of   "plenty of things".

 

4.5.5   Yajnavalkya said, 'You have been my beloved (even before), and you have magnified what is after my heart. If you wish, my dear, I will explain it to you. As I explain it, meditate (upon its meaning).'

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

" You have been my beloved (even before), and you have magnified what is after my heart".

Referring to the times when   "Maitreyi used to discuss Brahman"   with him Yajnavalkya who was known as a great teacher gives heartfelt agreement to Maitreyi's   instruction.

"If you wish, my dear, I will explain it to you"

This simple sentence has an important meaning especially in teaching subtle subjects such as this .   A student need to have asked a question and be open hearted in readiness for the answer.   Subtle subjects cannot be conveyed in words alone,   there has to be a desire for understanding that motivates the student to search for the meaning of the words for understanding.

"As I explain it, meditate (upon its meaning)"

Again Yajnavalkya's   instruction to meditate is crucial to this subtle understanding.   It is said that the Self needs to be meditated upon to be realised.   Yajnavalkya himself will reinforce this statement in the next verse.

 

In the following verse   "One's own sake"   means   "one's own   "self".
This is explained.

4.5.6   He said, 'It is not for the sake of the husband, my dear, that he is loved, but for one's own sake that he is loved. It is not for the sake of the wife, my dear, that she is loved, but for one's own sake that she is loved. It is not for the sake of the sons, my dear, that they are loved, but for one's own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of wealth, my dear, that it is loved, but for one's own sake that it is loved. It is not for the sake of the animals, my dear, that they are loved, but for one's own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of the Brahmana, my dear, that he is loved, but for one's own sake that he is loved. It is not for the sake of the Ksatriya, my dear, that he is loved, but for one's own sake that he is loved. It is not for the sake of the worlds, my dear, that they are loved, but for one's own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of the gods, my dear, that they are loved, but for one's own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of the Vedas, my dear, that they are loved, but for one's own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of the beings, my dear, that they are loved, but for one's own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of all, my dear, that all is loved, but for one's own sake that it is loved. The Self, my dear Maitreyi, should be realised, should be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon. When the Self, my dear, is realised by being heard of, reflected on and meditated upon, all this is known.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

As a footnote to this translation Swami Madhavananda denoted the term   "own sake"   as meaning   "own self".   This is in keeping with the meaning and the intention of the Sruti here.   That intention is to reveal the Absolute Self through divine love which it will be revealed is the love that is true recognition of one's identity with all within creation.

Further to the above it should be realised from Yajnavalkya's description that he has eliminated all of material creation as being an object of love   "It is not for the sake of all, my dear, that all is loved".
Yajnavalkya states that all is loved for one's own sake.   Indeed all that remains after the elimination of all material creation is one's own self,   for what else truly exists?   It can only be that same   "self"   seen in all else that remains to be loved.

"It is not for the sake of the husband, my dear, that he is loved, but for one's own sake that he is loved".

The meaning here is that it is not the material form of the   (husband,   wife,   sons,   wealth,   Vedas,   all)   that is loved but it is their very existence that proves the Absolute   (Self,   Brahman,   God)   that is loved.   This   "own sake"   is one's own   "self"   which is the same   "self"   as all forms of creation.   This is the meaning.

"The Self, my dear Maitreyi, should be realised, should be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon".

This Self represents the appearance of the divine as the   (false)   duality of Creation,   as such it is the Absolute Self of the   "self"   within,   as it were,   Creation.   This Absolute,   which is the Absolute Truth,   or Absolute Brahman or God or The Non-Dual Existence needs to be Realised in order to find one's way back home to Truth and escape the nescience of this material creation.
Yajnavalkya,   the Realised teacher tells us that through hearing the teaching,   Reflecting on that information,   and then practicing meditation one can come to know,   Realise that liberating Truth.

When Maitreyi agreed to marriage she will have sensed in the form of Yajnavalkya the means of fulfilling here desires for union and children.   At the same time her intelligence will have been looking to recognise something in Yajnavalkya,   something that the intellect could relate to.   Maitreyi would have felt this as the desire to love.
What the Realised later come to understand is that it is the   "One Self"   that recognises that very   "Self"   in an apparent   "other"   being. The fully Self Realised become aware of the Self in all of Creation.   This Recognition is the manifestation of love.
So it is not the form named Yajnavalkya that Maitreyi loves it is how well the Consciousness of the   "self"   of Yajnavalkya allows the Self to shine.   This is how Maitreyi could still love Yajnavalkya even as his form or body changes and weakens with age.

 

4.5.7   The Brahmana ousts one who knows him as different from the Self. The Ksatriya ousts one who knows him as different from the Self. The worlds oust one who knows them as different from the Self. The gods oust one who knows them as different from the Self. The Vedas oust one who knows them as different from the Self. The beings oust one who knows them as different from the Self. All ousts one who knows it as different from the Self. This Brahmana, this Ksatriya, these worlds, these gods, these Vedas, these beings and this all are the Self.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

"The Brahmana   ( Ksatriya,   worlds,   Vedas,   beings)   ousts one who knows him as different from the Self "

In reality the appearance of duality in creation is a delusion of Maya.   But,   this duality is the cause of fear even though our natural desire is for the truth of unity.   The desire to love is the Non-Dual truth manifesting as the unity of love.   It is natural that all being will reveal the truth of   "their"   divine self,   as it were.   The clarity of the light of this   "self"   revealed through each individual form depends on the extent to which that individual is cloaked by ignorance and fear.
Referring to the commentary for verse 6. Above describing Maitreyi's love for Yajnavalkya being in reality her   "self"   recognising the same light of the   "self"   in Yajnavalkya.   Here,   if that light were not seen due to its being cloaked by said ignorance and fear then the form of Yajnavalkya would have been   "ousted"   by Maitreyi because love for the   "self"   would not be seen and Yajnavalkya would be seen as   "different from the Self"   this is the meaning.

" these worlds, these gods, these Vedas, these beings and this all are the Self."

As stated the Reality of Existence is a Non-Dual singularity.   The seeing of difference is due to the   Maya   of Creation but even so the being that undertakes practices to discover truth cleanses or purifies the intellect enough to see and reveal the light of the   "self"   which is the Consciousness of the Absolute Self which is the Absolute Consciousness of Existence.

 

4.5.8   As when a drum is beaten one cannot distinguish its various particular notes, but they are included in the general note of the drum or in the general sound produced by different kinds of strokes.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

"As when a drum is beaten one cannot distinguish its various particular notes "

Likening the projection of Creation to the projection of sound from a drum,   The meaning is each comes from a single source but many individual qualities are sensed.

" but they are included in the general note of the drum... "

Nevertheless,   is the meaning,   all the differences detected by our senses are merely projected from that single source.   Creation from the Non-Dual Absolute and sound from one drum.

 

4.5.9   As when a conch is blown one cannot distinguish its various particular notes, but they are included in the general note of the conch or in the general sound produced by different kinds of blowing.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

Considering a conch shell,   for our purpose it is a unity,   one being that has the capability of producing different effects.   This capability is contained in the knowledge that enables or supports its very existence.   How the conch sounds or behaves will always strictly conform to this knowledge which are its laws and its nature.   However it sounds and vibrates eventually it will return to rest as the unity of knowledge that it is.
Likening this conch shell to the Absolute,   The Absolute is a Non-Dual Singularity that is Knowledge Absolute,   whatever is projected strictly conforms to the Knowledge that is that Absolute and eventually whatever is projected will return to rest as that Absolute Singularity.

 

4.5.10   As When a Vina is played on one cannot distinguish its various particular notes, but they are included in the general note of the Vina, or in the general sound produced by different kinds of playing.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

It should be kept in mind when considering these similes,   such as musical instrument,   that in reality every individual part is eternal. That is, a note may fade away but in this Bubble of Existence as it were,   nothing leaves and nothing fades out of existence,   The knowledge that it is,   is eternal.

 

4.5.11   As from a fire kindled with wet faggot diverse kinds of smoke issue, even so, my dear, the Rg-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, Atharvahgirasa; history, mythology, arts, Upanisads, verses, aphorisms, elucidations, explanations, sacrifices, oblations in the fire, food, drink, this world, the next world, and all beings are all (like) the breath of this infinite Reality. They are (like) the breath of this (Supreme Self).

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

"As from a fire kindled with wet faggot diverse kinds of smoke issue,   Rg-Veda... arts... aphorisms... sacrifices... drink... all beings"

Smoke of all colours comes from burning wet material.   This is being likened to the seemingly infinite variation in the forms of Creation.

"They are (like) the breath of this (Supreme Self)".

The meaning here is that as different smoke rises from fire then the different forms of creation arise from the Absolute.   From the above all encompassing list ranging from the gross material to the subtle idea one should realise that the Absolute is this very Existence itself.
The Supreme Self is this word, this paper, this reading.   As from the same fire or cause many colours of smoke rise up so from the One Self many existences are experienced.   Or,   all forms are merely many experiences of This One Consciousness.

 

4.5.12   As the ocean is the one goal of all sorts of water, as the skin is the one goal of all kinds of touch, as the nostrils are the one goal of all odours, as the tongue is the one goal of all savours, as the eye is the one goal of all colours, as the ear is the one goal of all sounds, as the Manas is the one goal of all deliberations, as the intellect is the one goal of all knowledge, as the hands are the one goal of all sorts of work, as the organ of generation is the one goal of all kinds of enjoyment, as the anus is the one goal of all excretions, as the feet are the one goal of all kinds of motion, as the organ of speech is the one goal of all Vedas.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

That the satisfaction of a desire is the one goal of all Creation,   as the satisfaction of continuing desire is the one goal of rebirth of man,   as rebirth is the one goal of the continuing   Maya   of creation.
That everything has a connection and purpose with and for another within creation should be understood as an obvious indication of its primal unity and of the interdependence or common reason of all things.   There is one intelligence as the common controller of all forms.
That one Absolute Brahman is the one goal,   it is the one home that all of manifest creation is returning to, is the meaning.

 

4.5.13   As a lump of salt is without interior or exterior, entire, and purely saline in taste, even so is the Self without interior or exterior, entire, and Pure Intelligence alone. (The self) comes out (as a separate entity) from these elements, and (this separateness) is destroyed with them. After attaining (this oneness) it has no more (particular) Consciousness. This is what I say, my dear. So said Yajnavalkya.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

"As a lump of salt is without interior or exterior, entire, and purely saline in taste"

We are to comprehend this lump of salt as literally being endless,   that is   "without interior or exterior, entire".   The meaning is that this   "lump of salt"   represents this universe,   This entire Existence.   That being the state of Existence then nothing else but salt would Exist.   The description or name we give to salt is to distinguish it from anything else such as pepper or air.   In this example nothing else but salt exists so there is no reason for it to have a name because it is just IT or more precisely it just IS.   If this IT had Consciousness then it would be conscious of nothing because nothing exists,   we know it is salt because it is just our example in a realm of many examples.   But in the realm of the lump of salt only salt exists and there is nothing else for this salt to be different to so as said,   this salt just IS.   Because the Salt IS existence,   salt,   the name,   the description   "itself"   does not exist because to have a description one has to be able to discriminate,   to be able to discriminate there has to be duality,   but the realm of the lump of salt is a unity of Salt alone.   This is also the reality of our Existence which is Consciousness Alone.

"so is the Self without interior or exterior, entire, and Pure Intelligence alone".

Just as in the Non-Duality of the salt realm salt itself does not,   nor could it exist because for there to be salt there would also have to be an   "other"   that was not salt but there exists nothing else.   So it is in this Existence,   There exists Consciousness Alone so Consciousness does not exist as anything particular because for it to be particular there would have to be something else for Consciousness to stand apart from but there is not.

"(The self) comes out (as a separate entity) from these elements, and (this separateness) is destroyed with them".

This realm of Creation appears to have many forms   ("elements")   but all of these elements are held within the one Non-Dual Consciousness.   when these forms or elements decay and so forth The Absolute Self,   This Consciousness remains   "The self comes out as a separate entity"..

"After attaining (this oneness) it has no more (particular) Consciousness"

The meaning is that when the delusion of separateness is seen then Consciousness alone remains as this Existence and just as in the salt realm salt has no   "particular"   existence then in this actual realm of Consciousness,   Consciousness has no   "particular"   Consciousness.

 

4.5.14   Maitreyi said, "Just here you have led me into the midst of confusion, sir, I do not at all comprehend this" He said, 'Certainly I am not saying anything confusing. This self is indeed immutable and indestructible, my dear.'

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

" Maitreyi said... sir, I do not at all comprehend this."

Maitreyi admitting to not understanding allows the Sruti to explain the implications of Non-Duality again.

" He said... This self is indeed immutable and indestructible "

This Existence that is Consciousness without cause for particular Consciousness by nature is therefore immutable.   With no particular Consciousness there is no agent for change.   With no particular Consciousness due to there being no agent for change there is no cause to mutate,   being immutable there is no destruction and with no destruction there is immortality.

 

15.   Because when there is duality, as it were, then one sees something, one smells something, one tastes something, one speaks something, one hears something, one thinks something, one touches something, one knows something. But when to the knower of Brahman everything has become the Self, then what should one see and through what, what should one smell and through what, what should one taste and through what, what should one speak and through what, what should one hear and through what, what should one think and through what, what should one touch and through what, what should one know and through what? Through what should one know that owing to which all this is known? This self is That which has been described as 'Not this, not this.' It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered it never feels pain, and never suffers injury. Through what, O Maitreyi, should one know the Knower? So you have got the instruction, Maitreyi. This much indeed is (the means of) immortality, my dear. Saying this Yajnavalkya left.

See Comment on this verse Ch.2

When all that exists is One Alone how can it be differentiated from anything else?   There is nothing else.   What is the meaning of name or description when there are no other names or descriptions?   When all that exists is Consciousness there is no thing called Consciousness.   There is no thing,   there just Is   (Existence Alone).

section 6

4.6.1   Now the line of teachers: Pautimasya (received it) from Gaupavana. Gaupavana from another Pautimasya. This Pautimasya from another Gaupavana. This Gaupavana from Kausika. KauSika from Kaundinya. Kaundinya from Sandilya. Sandilya from Kausika and Gautama. Gautama,

 

4.6.2   From Agnivesya. Agnivesya from Gargya. Gargya from another Gargya. This. Gargya from another Gautama. This Gautama from Saitava. Saitava from Parasaryayana. Parasaryayana from Gargyayana. Gargyayana. from Uddalakayana. Udda.laka.yana from Jabalayana. Jabalayana from Madhyandina-yana. Ma.dhyandina.yana from Saukarayana. Saukarayana from Kasayana. Kasayana from Sayakayana. Sayakayana from Kausikayani. KauSikayani-

 

4.6.3   From Ghrtakau&ka. Ghrtakau&ka from Parasaryayana. Parasaryayana from Para-sarya. Para-sarya from Jatukarnya. Ja.ru-karnya from Asurayana and Yaska. Asurayana from Traivani. Traivani from Aupajandhani. Aupajandhani from Asuri. Asuri from Bhara-dvaja. Bha.radva.ja from Atreya. Atreya from Manti. Manti from Gautama. Gautama from another Gautama. This Gautama from Vatsya. Vatsya from Sandilya. Sandilya from Kai^orya Kapya. Kaisorya Kapya from Kuma.raha.rita. Kuma.raha.rita from Galava. Galava from Vidarbhikaundinya. He from Vatsanapat Ba.-bhrava. He from Pathin Saubhara. He from Ayasya Ahgirasa. He from Abhuti Tvastra. He from Viivarupa Tvastra. He from the two Asvins. The Asvins from Dadhyac Atharvana. He from Atharvan Daiva. He from Mrtyu Pradhvarhsana. He from Pradhvarhsana. Pradhvarhsana from Ekarsi. Ekarsi from Viprachitti. Viprachitti from Vyasti. Vyasti from Sana.ru. Sana.ru from Sanatana. Sanatana from Sanaga. Sanaga from Paramesthin (Viraj). Paramesthin from Brahman (Hiranyagarbha). Brahman is self-born. Salutation to Brahman.!

 

Ohm   peace,   peace,   peace.

 

Continue to Chapter Five