Third Brahmana

1.Yagnavalkya came to Ganaka Vaideha, and he did not mean to speak with him. But when formerly Ganaka Vaideha and Yagnavalkya had a disputation on the Agnihotra, Yagnavalkya had granted him a boon, and he chose (for a boon) that he might be free to ask him any question he liked. Yagnavalkya granted it, and thus the King was the first to ask him a question.

2. “Yagnavalkya,” he said, “what is the light of man?

Yagnavalkya replied: “The sun, O King; for, having the sun alone for his light, man sits, moves about, does his work, and returns.

Ganaka Vaideha said: “So indeed it is, O Yagnavalkya.

3. Ganaka Vaideha said: “When the sun has set, O Yagnavalkya, what is then the light of man?

Yagnavalkya replied: “The moon indeed is his light; for, having the moon alone for his light, man sits, moves about, does his work, and returns.

Ganaka Vaideha said: “So indeed it is, O Yagnavalkya.

4. Ganaka Vaideha said: “When the sun has set, O Yagnavalkya, and the moon has set, what is the light of man?

Yagnavalkya replied: “Fire indeed is his light; for, having fire alone for his light, man sits, moves about, does his work, and returns.

5. Ganaka Vaideha said: “When the sun has set, O Yagnavalkya, and the moon has set, and the fire is gone out, what is then the light of man?

Yagnavalkya. replied: “Sound indeed is his light; for, having sound alone for his light, man sits, moves about, does his work, and returns. Therefore, O King, when one cannot see even one's own hand, yet when a sound is raised, one goes towards it.

Ganaka Vaideha said: “So indeed it is, O Yagnavalkya.

6. Ganaka Vaideha said: “When the sun has set, O Yagnavalkya, and the moon has set, and the fire is gone out, and the sound hushed, what is then the light of man?

Yagnavalkya said: “The Self indeed is his light; for, having the Self alone as his light, man sits, moves about, does his work, and returns.

7. Ganaka Vaideha said: “Who is that Self?

Yagnavalkya replied: “He who is within the heart, surrounded by the Prânas (senses), the person of light, consisting of knowledge. He, remaining the same, wanders along the two worlds, as if thinking, as if moving. During sleep (in dream) he transcends this world and all the forms of death (all that falls under the sway of death, all that is perishable).

8. “On being born that person, assuming his body, becomes united with all evils; when he departs and dies, he leaves all evils behind.

9. “And there are two states for that person, the one here in this world, the other in the other world, and as a third an intermediate state, the state of sleep. When in that intermediate state, he sees both those states together, the one here in this world, and the other in the other world. Now whatever his admission to the other world may be, having gained that admission, he sees both the evils and the blessings.

“And when he falls asleep, then after having taken away with him the material from the whole world, destroying and building it up again, he sleeps (dreams) by his own light. In that state the person is self-illuminated.

10. “There are no (real) chariots in that state, no horses, no roads, but he himself sends forth (creates) chariots, horses, and roads. There are no blessings there, no happiness, no joys, but he himself sends forth (creates) blessings, happiness, and joys. There are no tanks there, no lakes, no rivers, but he himself sends forth (creates) tanks, lakes, and rivers. He indeed is the maker.

11. “On this there are these verses:

After having subdued by sleep all that belongs to the body, he, not asleep himself, looks down upon the sleeping (senses). Having assumed light, he goes again to his place, the golden person', the lonely bird. (1)

12. Guarding with the breath (prâna, life) the lower nest, the immortal moves away from the nest; that immortal one goes wherever he likes, the golden person, the lonely bird. (2)

13. Going up and down in his dream, the god makes manifold shapes for himself, either rejoicing together with women, or laughing (with his friends), or seeing terrible sights. (3)

14. “People may see his playground but himself no one ever sees. Therefore they say, Let no one wake a man suddenly, for it is not easy to remedy, if he does not get back (rightly to his body)."

Here some people (object and) say: ‘No, this (sleep) is the same as the place of waking, for what he sees while awake, that only he sees when asleep.’ No, here (in sleep) the person is self-illuminated (as we explained before).

Ganaka Vaideha said: “I give you, Sir, a thousand. Speak on for the sake of (my) emancipation.

15. Yagnavalkya said: “That (person) having enjoyed himself in that state of bliss (samprasada, deep sleep), having moved about and seen both good and evil, hastens back again as he came, to the place from which he started (the place of sleep), to dream. And whatever he may have seen there, he is not followed (affected) by it, for that person is not attached to anything.

Ganaka Vaideha said: “So it is indeed, Yagnavalkya. I give you, Sir, a thousand. Speak on for the sake of emancipation.

16. Yagnavalkya said: “That (person) having enjoyed himself in that sleep (dream), having moved about and seen both good and evil, hastens back again as he came, to the place from which he started, to be awake. And whatever he may have seen there, he is not followed (affected) by it, for that person is not attached to anything.

Ganaka Vaideha said: “So it is indeed, Yagnavalkya. I give you, Sir, a thousand. Speak on for the sake of emancipation.

17. Yagnavalkya said: “That (person) having enjoyed himself in that state of waking, having moved about and seen both good and evil, hastens back again as he came, to the place from which he started, to the state of sleeping (dream).

18. “In fact, as a large fish moves along the two banks of a river, the right and the left, so does that person move along these two states, the state of sleeping and the state of waking.

19. “And as a falcon, or any other (swift) bird, after he has roamed about here in the air, becomes tired, and folding his wings is carried to his nest, so does that person hasten to that state where, when asleep, he desires no more desires, and dreams no more dreams.

20. “There are in his body the veins called Hita, which are as small as a hair divided a thousandfold, full of white, blue, yellow, green, and red. Now when, as it were, they kill him, when, as it were, they overcome him, when, as it were, an elephant chases him, when, as it were, he falls into a well, he fancies, through ignorance, that danger which he (commonly) sees in waking. But when he fancies that he is, as it were, a god, or that he is, as it were, a king, or “I am this altogether,” that is his highest world.

21. “This indeed is his (true) form, free from desires, free from evil, free from fear. Now as a man, when embraced by a beloved wife, knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within, thus this person, when embraced by the intelligent (prag-na) Self, knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within. This indeed is his (true) form, in which his wishes are fulfilled, in which the Self (only) is his wish, in which no wish is left—free from any sorrow.

22. “Then a father is not a father, a mother not a mother, the worlds not worlds, the gods not gods, the Vedas not Vedas. Then a thief is not a thief, a murderer not a murderer, a Kandala not a Kandala, a Paulkasa not a Paulkasa, a Sramana not a Sramana, a Tapasa not a Tapasa. He is not followed by good, not followed by evil, for he has then overcome all the sorrows of the heart.

23. “And when (it is said that) there (in the Sushupti) he does not see, yet he is seeing, though he does not see. For sight is inseparable from the seer, because it cannot perish. But there is then no second, nothing else different from him that he could see.

24. “And when (it is said that) there (in the Sushupti) he does not smell, yet he is smelling, though he does not smell. For smelling is inseparable from the smeller, because it cannot perish. But there is then no second, nothing else different from him that he could smell.

25. “And when (it is said that) there (in the Sushupti) he does not taste, yet he is tasting, though he does not taste. For tasting is inseparable from the taster, because it cannot perish. But there is then no second, nothing else different from him that he could taste.

26. “And when (it is said that) there (in the Sushupti) he does not speak, yet he is speaking, though he does not speak. For speaking is inseparable from the speaker, because it cannot perish. But there is then no second, nothing else different from him that he could speak.

27. “And when (it is said that) there (in the Sushupti) he does not hear, yet he is hearing, though he does not hear. For hearing is insrparable from the hearer, because it cannot perish. But there is then no second, nothing else different from him that he could hear.

28. “And when (it is said that) there (in the Sushupti) he does not think, yet he is thinking, though he does not think. For thinking is inseparable from the thinker, because it cannot perish. But there is then no second, nothing else different from him that he could think.

29. “And when (it is said that) there (in the Sushupti) he does not touch, yet he is touching, though he does not touch. For touching is inseparable from the toucher, because it cannot perish. But there is then no second, nothing else different from him that he could think.

30. “And when (it is said that) there (in the Sushupti) he does not know, yet he is knowing, though he does not know. For knowing is inseparable from the knower, because it cannot perish. But there is then no second, nothing else different from him that he could know.

31. “When (in waking and dreaming) there is, as it were, another, then can one see the other, then can one smell the other, then can one speak to the other, then can one hear the other, then can one think the other, then can one touch the other, then can one know the other.

32. “An ocean, is that one seer, without any duality; this is the Brahma-world, O King.” Thus did Yagiiavalkya teach him. This is his highest goal, this is his highest success, this is his highest world, this is his highest bliss. All other creatures live on a small portion of that bliss.

33. “If a man is healthy, wealthy, and lord of others, surrounded by all human enjoyments, that is the highest blessing of men. Now a hundred of these human blessings make one blessing of the fathers who have conquered the world (of the fathers). A hundred blessings of the fathers who have conquered this world make one blessing in the Gandharva world. A hundred blessings in the Gandharva world make one blessing of the Devas by merit (work, sacrifice), who obtain their godhead by merit. A hundred blessings of the Devas by merit make one blessing of the Devas by birth, also (of) a Srotriya who is without sin, and not overcome by desire. A hundred blessings of the Devas by birth make one blessing in the world of Pragâpati, also (of) a Srotriya who is without sin, and not overcome by desire. A hundred blessings in the world of Pragâpati make one blessing in the world of Brahman, also (of) a Srotriya who is without sin, and not overcome by desire. And this is the highest blessing.

This is the Brahma-world, O king,” thus spake Yagnavalkya.

Ganaka Vaideha said: “I give you, Sir, a thousand. Speak on for the sake of (my) emancipation.

Then Yagnavalkya was afraid lest the King, having become full of understanding, should drive him from all his positions.

34. And Yagnavalkya said: “That (person), having enjoyed himself in that state of sleeping (dream), having moved about and seen both good and bad, hastens back again as he came, to the place from which he started, to the state of waking.

35. “Now as a heavy-laden carriage moves along groaning, thus does this corporeal Self, mounted by the intelligent Self, move along groaning, when a man is thus going to expire.

36. “And when (the body) grows weak through old age, or becomes weak through illness, at that time that person, after separating himself from his members, as an Amra (mango), or Udumbara (fig), or Pippala-fruit is separated from the stalk, hastens back again as he came, to the place from which he started, to (new) life.

37. “And as policemen, magistrates, equerries, and governors wait for a king who is coming back, with food and drink, saying, ‘He comes back, he approaches,’ thus do all the elements wait on him who knows this, saying, ‘That Brahman comes, that Brahman approaches.

38. “And as policemen, magistrates, equerries, and governors gather round a king who is departing, thus do all the senses (prânas) gather round the Self at the time of death, when a man is thus going to expire.