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The Upanishads, Part 1 (SBE01), by Max Müller, [1879], at


1. 'Maghavat, this body is mortal and always held by death. It is the abode of that Self which is

p. 141

immortal and without body 1. When in the body (by thinking this body is I and I am this body) the Self is held by pleasure and pain. So long as he is in the body, he cannot get free from pleasure and pain. But when he is free of the body (when he knows himself different from the body), then neither pleasure nor pain touches him 2.

2. 'The wind is without body, the cloud, lightning, and thunder are without body (without hands, feet, &c.) Now as these, arising from this heavenly ether (space), appear in their own form, as soon as they have approached the highest light,

3. 'Thus does that serene being, arising from this body, appear in its own form, as soon as it has approached the highest light (the knowledge of Self 3) He (in that state) is the highest person (uttama pûrusha). He moves about there laughing (or eating), playing, and rejoicing (in his mind), be it with women, carriages, or relatives, never minding that body into which he was born 4.

p. 142

'Like as a horse attached to a cart, so is the spirit 1 (prâna, pragñâtman) attached to this body.

4. 'Now where the sight has entered into the void (the open space, the black pupil of the eye), there is the person of the eye, the eye itself is the instrument of seeing. He who knows, let me smell this, he is the Self, the nose is the instrument of smelling. He who knows, let me say this, he is the Self, the tongue is the instrument of saying. He who knows, let me hear this, he is the Self, the ear is the instrument of hearing.

5. 'He who knows, let me think this, he is the Self, the mind is his divine eye 2. He, the Self, seeing these pleasures (which to others are hidden like a buried treasure of gold) through his divine eye, i. e. the mind, rejoices.

'The Devas who are in the world of Brahman meditate on that Self (as taught by Pragâpati to Indra, and by Indra to the Devas). Therefore all worlds belong to them, and all desires. He who knows that Self and understands it, obtains all worlds and all desires.' Thus said Pragâpati, yea, thus said Pragâpati.


141:1 According to some, the body is the result of the Self, the elements of the body, fire, water, and earth springing from the Self, and the Self afterwards entering them.

141:2 Ordinary, worldly pleasure. Comm.

141:3 The simile is not so striking as most of those old similes are. The wind is compared with the Self, on account of its being for a time lost in the ether (space), as the Self is in the body, and then rising again out of the ether and assuming its own form as wind. The chief stress is laid on the highest light, which in the one case is the sun of summer, in the other the light of knowledge.

141:4 These are pleasures which seem hardly compatible with the state of perfect peace which the Self is supposed to have attained. The passage may be interpolated, or put in on purpose to show that the Self enjoys such pleasures as an inward spectator only, without identifying himself with either pleasure or pain. He sees them, as he says afterwards, with his divine eye. The Self perceives p. 142 in all things his Self only, nothing else. In his commentary on the Taittîrya Upanishad (p. 45) Saṅkara refers this passage to Brahman as an effect, not to Brahman as a cause.

142:1 The spirit, the conscious self, is not identical with the body, but only joined to it, like a horse, or driving it, like a charioteer. In other passages the senses are the horses; buddhi, reason, the charioteer; manas, mind, the reins. The spirit is attached to the cart by the ketana; cf. Ânandagñânagiri.

142:2 Because it perceives not only what is present, but also what is past and future.

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