Brahma Knowledge, by L. D. Barnett, , at sacred-texts.com
In the Lord is to be veiled this universe, whatsoever stirs in the world. With renunciation thereof 2 thou mayst enjoy; lust thou after the wealth of none.
One may seek to live a hundred years doing works here. So it is with thee, not otherwise; his work defiles not man. 1
Dæmonic are in sooth these worlds, veiled in blind darkness; into them pass after death whatsoever folk slay their own souls.
The One, unstirring, is yet swifter than the mind; the gods cannot reach it as it travels before. Standing it outspeeds others that run; in it the Wind-spirit lays the waters.
It stirs, and stirs not; it is far, and near. It is within all, and outside all that is.
But he who discerns all creatures in his Self, and his Self in all creatures, has no disquiet thence.
What delusion, what grief can be with him in whom all creatures have become the very self of the thinker discerning their oneness?
He has spread around, a thing bright, bodiless, taking no hurt, sinewless, pure, unsmitten by evil; a sage, wise, encompassing, self-existent, he has duly assigned purposes for all time.
Into blind darkness pass they who worship Ignorance; into still greater dark they who are content with Knowledge. 2
It is neither what comes by Knowledge, they
say, nor what comes by Ignorance; thus have we heard from the sages who taught us this lore.
He who understands both Knowledge and Ignorance 1 passes by Ignorance over death and by Knowledge enjoys deathlessness.
Into blind darkness pass they who worship Change-into-naught; into still greater dark they who worship Change-into-aught. 2
It is neither what comes by Change-into-aught, they say, nor what comes by Change-into-naught; thus have we heard from the sages who taught us this lore.
He who understands 3 both Change-into-aught and Destruction passes by Destruction over death and by Change-into-aught enjoys deathlessness.
The face of truth is covered with a golden bowl. O Pūshan, remove it, that the keeper of truths may see. 4
O Pūshan, sole seer, O Yama, Sun, child of
[paragraph continues] Prajā-pati, part asunder thy rays, mass together thy radiance. I see that fairest shape of thee. Yonder, yonder spirit am I.
The breath to the everlasting wind; and be this body ended in ashes.
Om! remember, O my spirit, remember the work! remember, O my spirit, remember the work! O Fire, lead us by good ways to riches, thou god who knowest all courses; keep far from us crooked sin, and we will offer to thee exceeding homage and praise. 1
88:1 The Īśāvāsya or Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā Upanishad.
88:2Viz. of the phenomenal world of sense-perception.
89:1 Provided he has knowledge of Brahma.
89:2 "Ignorance" probably means the conception of the phenomenal world as really existent in itself; "Knowledge," the attempt to trace the universe back to a first principle different from the Self.
90:1 Viz. he who knows both these forms of knowledge to be delusive.
90:2 The author here attacks those who believe that Being undergoes change either into non-being or into a different phase of being. His cardinal principle is that Being is one and changeless.
90:3 I.e., he who knows both ideas to be false.
90:4 This and the following verses (a death-bed prayer, according to tradition) are a prayer to the Sun-god to reveal the figure of the Purusha in the sun (corresponding to the figure in the human eye, and symbolic of Brahma; see p. 16). The Sun-god is here identified with Yama, the ruler of the dead. On Prajā-pati, see p. 14; in the next extract he is mythically represented as a teacher of philosophic lore.