Fourth Brahmana

1. Now when Yagnavalkya was going to enter upon another state, he said: “Maitreyi, verily I am going away from this my house (into the forest). Forsooth, let me make a settlement between thee and that Katyayani (my other wife).

2. Maitreyi said: “My Lord, if this whole earth, full of wealth, belonged to me, tell me, should I be immortal by it?

No,” replied Yagnavalkya; “like the life of rich people will be thy life. But there is no hope of immortality by wealth.

3. And Maitreyi said: “What should I do with that by which I do not become immortal? What my Lord knoweth (of immortality), tell that to me.

4. Yagnavalkya replied: “Thou who art truly dear to me, thou speakest dear words. Come, sit down, I will explain it to thee, and mark well what I say.

5. And he said: “Verily, a husband is not dear, that you may love the husband; but that you may love the Self, therefore a husband is dear.

“Verily, a wife is not dear, that you may love the wife; but that you may love the Self, therefore a wife is dear.

“Verily, sons are not dear, that you may love the sons; but that you may love the Self, therefore sons are dear.

“Verily, wealth is not dear, that you may love wealth; but that you may love the Self, therefore wealth is dear.

“Verily, the Brahman-class is not dear, that you may love the Brahman-class; but that you may love the Self, therefore the Brahman-class is dear.

“Verily, the Kshatra-class is not dear, that you may love the Kshatra-class; but that you may love the Self, therefore the Kshatra-class is dear.

“Verily, the worlds are not dear, that you may love the worlds; but that you may love the Self, therefore the worlds are dear.

“Verily, the Devas are not dear, that you may love the Devas; but that you may love the Self, therefore the Devas are dear.

“Verily, creatures are not dear, that you may love the creatures; but that you may kve the Self, therefore are creatures dear.

“Verily, everything is not dear that you may love everything; but that you may love the Self, therefore everything is dear.

“Verily, the Self is to be seen, to be heard, to be perceived, to be marked, O Maitreyi! When we see, hear, perceive, and know the Self, then all this is known.

6. “Whosoever looks for the Brahman-class elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the Brahman-class. Whosoever looks for the Kshatra-class elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the Kshatra-class. Whosoever looks for the worlds elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the worlds. Whosoever looks for the Devas elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the Devas. Whosoever looks for creatures elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by the creatures. Whosoever looks for anything elsewhere than in the Self, was abandoned by everything. This Brahman-class, this Kshatra-class, these worlds, these Devas, these creatures, this everything, all is that Self.

7. “Now as the sounds of a drum, when beaten, cannot be seized externally (by themselves), but the sound is seized, when the drum is seized or the beater of the drum;

8. “And as the sounds of a conch-shell, when blown, cannot be seized externally (by themselves), but the sound is seized, when the shell is seized or the blower of the shell;

9. “And as the sounds of a lute, when played, cannot be seized externally (by themselves), but the sound is seized, when the lute is seized or the player of the lute;

10. “As clouds of smoke proceed by themselves out of a lighted fire kindled with damp fuel, thus, verily, O Maitreyi, has been breathed forth from this great Being what we have as Rig-veda, Yagur-veda, Sama-veda, Atharvangirasas, Itihasa (legends), Purana (cosmogonies), Vidya (knowledge), the Upanishads, Slokas (verses), Sutras (prose rules), Anuvyakhyanas (glosses), Vyakhyanas (commentaries). From him alone all these were breathed forth.

11. “As all waters find their centre in the sea, all touches in the skin, all tastes in the tongue, all smells in the nose, all colours in the eye, all sounds in the ear, all percepts in the mind, all knowledge in the heart, all actions in the hands, all movements in the feet, and all the Vedas in speech—

12. “As a lump of salt, when thrown into water, becomes dissolved into water, and could not be taken out again, but wherever we taste (the water) it is salt—thus verily, O Maitreyi, does this great Being, endless, unlimited, consisting of nothing but knowledge, rise from out these elements, and vanish again in them. When he has departed, there is no more knowledge (name), I say, O Maitreyi.” Thus spoke Yagnavalkya.

13. Then Maitreyi said: “Here thou hast bewildered me, Sir, when thou sayest that having departed, there is no more knowledge.

But Yagnavalkya replied: “O Maitreyi, I say nothing that is bewildering. This is enough, O beloved, for wisdom.

“For when there is as it were duality, then one sees the other, one smells the other, one hears the other, one salutes the other, one perceives the other, one knows the other; but when the Self only is all this, how should he smell another, how should he see another, how should he hear another, how should he salute another, how should he perceive another, how should he know another? How should he know Him by whom he knows all this?

How, O beloved, should he know (himself), the Knower?