In Yoga the self, known as the purusha, the knower or the witness, is the witnessing consciousness that witnesses everything that is presented to the perception viz, world, body and mind. This self is indifferent to everything, seeing everything equally; pain and pleasure; profit and loss; the changing of seasons and events on earth. It never gets involved or attached, because none of these things belong to it. This self is the true self that Yoga attempts to realize, defined by Patanjali in the Yogasutras opening sutra
Yoga is the cessation of the activities of the mind, then the witnessing consciousness is revealed in its true form YS 1.2-3
The notion of the self and the identity of self with god(Brahman) is central to all the upanishads. The upanishads are the only scripture in the world that place the self identical to god, or even higher and more important than god. No other scripture in the world presents such a radical doctrine which elevates ones 'self' to lordship.
Translation: The Upanishads, by Max M?ller
- All this is Brahman (n.) Let a man meditate on that (visible world) as beginning, ending, and breathing 1 in it (the Brahman).
Now man is a creature of will. According to what his will is in this world, so will he be when he has departed this life. Let him therefore have this will and belief:
The intelligent, whose body is spirit, whose form is light, whose thoughts are true, whose nature is like ether (omnipresent and invisible), from whom all works, all desires, all sweet odours and tastes proceed; he who embraces all this, who never speaks, and is never surprised,
He is my self within the heart, smaller than a corn of rice, smaller than a corn of barley, smaller than a mustard seed, smaller than a canary seed or the kernel of a canary seed. He also is my self within the heart, greater than the earth, greater than the sky, greater than heaven, greater than all these worlds.
He from whom all works, all desires, all sweet odours and tastes proceed, who embraces all this, who never speaks and who is never surprised, he, my self within the heart, is that Brahman (n.) When I shall have departed from hence, I shall obtain him (that Self). He who has this faith 2 has no doubt; thus said S?ndilya 3, yea, thus he said.
Therefore when they say, 'There will be a birth,' and 'there has been a birth' (words used at the Soma-sacrifice, and really meaning, 'He will pour out the Soma-juice,' and 'he has poured out the Soma-juice'), that is his new birth. His death is the Avabhritha ceremony (when the sacrificial Vessels are carried away to be cleansed).
Ghora ?ṅgirasa, after having communicated this (view of the sacrifice) to Krishna, the son of Devăk? and he never thirsted again (after other knowledge)--said: 'Let a man, when his end approaches, take refuge with this Triad: "Thou art the imperishable," "Thou art the unchangeable," "Thou art the edge of Pr?na."' On this subject there are two Rik verses (Rig-veda VIII, 6, 30):--
7.'Then they see (within themselves) the ever-present light of the old seed (of the world, the Sat), the highest, which is lighted in the brilliant (Brahman).'
'Perceiving above the darkness (of ignorance) the higher light (in the sun), as the higher light within the heart, the bright source (of light and life) among the gods, we have reached the highest light, yea, the highest light .'
- 'Now that which is that subtile essence (the root of all), in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.'
Whatever these creatures are here, whether a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge, or a gnat, or a musquito, that they become again and again.
'Now that which is that subtile essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.'
'These rivers, my son, run, the eastern (like the Gang?) toward the east, the western (like the Sindhu) toward the west. They go from sea to sea (i. e. the clouds lift up the water from the sea to the sky, and send it back as rain to the sea). They become indeed sea. And as those rivers, when they are in the sea, do not know, I am this or that river,
'In the same manner, my son, all these creatures, when they have come back from the True, know not that they have come back from the True. Whatever these creatures are here, whether a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge, or a gnat, or a musquito, that they become again and again.
'That which is that subtile essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.'
'If a man is ill, his relatives assemble round him and ask: "Dost thou know me? Dost thou know me?" Now as long as his speech is not merged in his mind, his mind in breath, breath in heat (fire), heat in the Highest Being (devat?), he knows them.
'But when his speech is merged in his mind, his mind in breath, breath in heat (fire), heat in the Highest Being, then he knows them not.
'That which is the subtile essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it.'
- 'The Infinite (bh?man) is bliss. There is no bliss in anything finite. Infinity only is bliss. This Infinity, however, we must desire to understand.'
'Sir, I desire to understand it.'
. 'Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is the Infinite. Where one sees something else, hears something else, understands something else, that is the finite. The Infinite is immortal, the finite is mortal.'
'Sir, in what does the Infinite rest?'
'In its own greatness--or not even in greatness 2.'
'In the world they call cows and horses, elephants and gold, slaves, wives, fields and houses greatness. I do not mean this,' thus he spoke; 'for in that case one being (the possessor) rests in something else, (but the Infinite cannot rest in something different from itself)
'The Infinite indeed is below, above, behind, before, right and left--it is indeed all this.
'Now follows the explanation of the Infinite as
the I: I am below, I am above, I am behind, before, right and left--I am all this.
- 'Next follows the explanation of the Infinite as the Self: Self is below, above, behind, before, right and left--Self is all this.
'He who sees, perceives, and understands this, loves the Self, delights in the Self, revels in the Self, rejoices in the Self--he becomes a Svar?g, (an autocrat or self-ruler); he is lord and master in all the worlds.
'But those who think differently from this, live in perishable worlds, and have other beings for their rulers.
'These true desires, however, are hidden by what is false; though the desires be true, they have a covering which is false. Thus, whoever belonging to us has departed this life, him we cannot gain back, so that we should see him with our eyes.
'Those who belong to us, whether living or departed, and whatever else there is which we wish for and do not obtain, all that we find there (if we descend into our heart, where Brahman dwells, in the ether of the heart), There are all our true desires, but hidden by what is false . As people who do not know the country, walk again and again over a gold treasure that has been hidden somewhere in the earth and do not discover it, thus do all these creatures day after day go into the Brahma-world (they are merged in Brahman, while asleep), and yet do not discover it, because they are carried away by untruth (they do not come to themselves, i. e. they do not discover the true Self in Brahman, dwelling in the heart).
'That Self abides in the heart. And this is the etymological explanation. The heart is called hrid-ayam, instead of hridy-ayam, i. e. He who is in the heart. He who knows this, that He is in the heart, goes day by day (when in sushupti, deep sleep) into heaven (svarga), i.e. into the: Brahman of the heart.
'Now that serene being which, after having risen from out this earthly body, and having reached the highest light (self-knowledge), appears in its true form, that is the Self,' thus he spoke (when asked by his pupils). This is the immortal, the fearless, this is Brahman. And of that Brahman the name is the True, Satyam,
. Prag?pati said: 'The Self which is free from sin, free from old age, from death and grief, from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing but what it ought to desire, and imagines nothing but what it ought to imagine, that it is which we must search out, that it is which we must try to understand. He who has searched out that Self and understands it, obtains all worlds and all desires.'
He who is called ether (?k?sa) is the revealer of all forms and names. That within which these forms and names are contained is the Brahman, the Immortal, the Self.
- 'Maghavat, this body is mortal and always held by death. It is the abode of that Self which is 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.
I come to the hall of Prag?pati, to the house; I am the glorious among Brahmans, glorious among princes, glorious among men . I obtained that glory, I am glorious among the glorious. May I never go to the white, toothless, yet devouring, white abode ; may I never go to it.
'He (the Self) of whom many are not even able to hear, whom many, even when they hear of him, do not comprehend; wonderful is a man, when found, who is able to teach him (the Self); wonderful is he who comprehends him, when taught by an able teacher 1.'
'That (Self), when taught by an inferior man, is not easy to be known, even though often thought upon ; unless it be taught by another, there is no way to it, for it is inconceivably smaller than what is small 3.'
'The wise who, by means of meditation on his Self, recognises the Ancient, who is difficult to be seen, who has entered into the dark, who is hidden in the cave, who dwells in the abyss, as God, he indeed leaves joy and sorrow far behind
'A mortal who has heard this and embraced it, who has separated from it all qualities, and has thus reached the subtle Being, rejoices, because he has obtained what is a cause for rejoicing. The house (of Brahman) is open, I believe, O Nakiketas.'
'The knowing (Self) is not born, it dies not; it sprang from nothing, nothing sprang from it. Ancient is unborn, eternal, everlasting; he is not killed, though the body is killed . 'If the killer thinks that he kills, if the killed thinks that he is killed, they do not understand; for this one does not kill, nor is that one killed.'
'May we be able to master that N?kiketa rite which is a bridge for sacrificers; also that which is the highest, imperishable Brahman for those who wish to cross over to the fearless shore .'
'Know the Self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect (buddhi) the charioteer, and the mind the reins .'
'The senses they call the horses, the objects of the senses their roads. When he (the Highest Self) is in union with the body, the senses, and the mind, then wise people call him the Enjoyer.'
'He who has no understanding and whose mind (the reins) is never firmly held, his senses (horses) are unmanageable, like vicious horses of a charioteer.'
'But he who has understanding and whose mind is always firmly held, his senses are under control, like good horses of a charioteer.'
'He who has no understanding, who is unmindful and always impure, never reaches that place, but enters into the round of births.'
'But he who has understanding, who is mindful and always pure, reaches indeed that place, from whence he is not born again.'
'He (the Self) cannot be reached by speech, by mind, or by the eye. How can it be apprehended except by him who says: "He is?"'
'By the words "He is," is he to be apprehended, and by (admitting) the reality of both (the invisible Brahman and the visible world, as coming from Brahman). When he has been apprehended by the words "He is," then his reality reveals itself'
'When all desires that dwell in his heart cease, then the mortal becomes immortal, and obtains Brahman.'
'When all the ties of the heart are severed here on earth, then the mortal becomes immortal--here ends the teaching
This is the truth. As from a blazing fire sparks, being like unto fire 1, fly forth a thousandfold, thus are various beings brought forth from the Imperishable, my friend, and return thither also.
That heavenly Person is without body, he is both without and within, not produced, without breath and without mind, pure, higher than the high Imperishable 2.
From him (when entering on creation) is born breath, mind, and all organs of sense, ether, air, light, water, and the earth, the support of all.
Fire (the sky) is his head, his eyes the sun and the moon, the quarters his ears, his speech the Vedas disclosed, the wind his breath, his heart the universe; from his feet came the earth; he is indeed the inner Self of all things 3.
From him comes Agni (fire) 4, the sun being the fuel; from the moon (Soma) comes rain (Parganya); from the earth herbs; and man gives seed unto the woman. Thus many beings are begotten from the Person (purusha).
Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating 1.
On the same tree man sits grieving, immersed, bewildered by his own impotence (an-?s?). But when he sees the other lord (?s?) contented and knows his glory, then his grief passes away .
When the seer sees the brilliant maker and lord (of the world) as the Person who has his source in Brahman, then he is wise, and shaking off good and evil, he reaches the highest oneness, free from passions;
For he is the Breath shining forth in all beings, and he who understands this becomes truly wise, not a talker only. He revels in the Self, he delights in the Self, and having performed his works (truthfulness, penance, meditation, &c.) he rests, firmly established in Brahman, the best of those who know Brahman .
When they have reached him (the Self), the sages become satisfied through knowledge, they are conscious of their Self, their passions have passed away, and they are tranquil. The wise, having reached Him who is omnipresent everywhere, devoted to the Self, enter into him wholly.
- Having well ascertained the object of the knowledge of the Ved?nta 1, and having purified their nature by the Yoga 2 of renunciation, all anchorites, enjoying the highest immortality, become free at the time of the great end (death) in the worlds of Brahm?.
In that vast Brahma-wheel, in which all things live and rest, the bird flutters about, so long as he thinks that the self (in him) is different from the mover (the god, the lord). When he has been blessed by him, then he gains immortality
There are two, one knowing (?svara), the other not-knowing (g?va), both unborn, one strong, the other weak ; there is she, the unborn, through whom each man receives the recompense of his works ; and there is the infinite Self (appearing) under all forms, but himself inactive. When a man finds out these three, that is Brahma
The one god rules the perishable (the pradh?na) and the (living) self From meditating on him, from joining him, from becoming one with him there is further cessation of all illusion in the end.
When that god is known, all fetters fall off, sufferings are destroyed, and birth and death cease. From meditating on him there arises, on the dissolution of the body, the third state, that of universal lordship 2; but he only who is alone, is satisfied 3.
This, which rests eternally within the self, should be known; and beyond this not anything has to be known. By knowing the enjoyer 4, the enjoyed, and the ruler, everything has been declared to be threefold, and this is Brahman.
As the form of fire, while it exists in the under-wood 5, is not seen, nor is its seed destroyed, but it has to be seized again and again by means of the stick and the under-wood, so it is in both cases, and the Self has to be seized in the body by means of the pranava (the syllable Om).
By making his body the under-wood, and the syllable Om the upper-wood, man, after repeating the drill of meditation, will perceive the bright god, like the spark hidden in the wood .
As oil in seeds, as butter in cream, as water in (dry) river-beds , as fire in wood, so is the Self seized within the self, if man looks for him by truthfulness and penance ;
(If he looks) for the Self that pervades everything, as butter is contained in milk, and the roots whereof are self-knowledge and penance. That is the Brahman taught by the Upanishad.
20 . The Self, smaller than small, greater than great, is hidden in the heart of the creature. A man who has left all grief behind, sees the majesty, the Lord, the passionless, by the grace of the creator (the Lord).
21 . I know this undecaying, ancient one, the self of all things, being infinite and omnipresent. They declare that in him all birth is stopped, for the Brahma-students proclaim him to be eternal .
- For he it is who sees, hears, smells, tastes, perceives, conceives, acts, he whose essence is knowledge , the person, and he dwells in the highest, indestructible Self,--. He who knows that indestructible being, obtains (what is) the highest and indestructible, he without a shadow, without a body, without colour, bright--,yes, O friend, he who knows it, becomes all-knowing, becomes all.
That Self which is very small, invisible, incomprehensible, called Purusha, dwells of his own will here in part ; just as a man who is fast asleep awakes of his own will . And this part (of the Self) which is entirely intelligent, reflected in man (as the sun in different vessels of water), knowing the body (kshetrag?a), attested by his conceiving, willing, and believing , is Prag?pati (lord of creatures), called Visva. By him, the intelligent, is this body made intelligent, and he is the driver thereof.'
This is indeed the Self, who seeming to be filled with desires, and seeming to be overcome by bright or dark fruits of action, wanders about in every body (himself remaining free). Because he is not manifest, because he is infinitely small, because he is invisible, because he cannot be grasped, because he is attached to nothing, therefore he, seeming to be changing, an agent in that which is not (prakriti), is in reality not an agent and unchanging. He is pure, firm, stable, undefiled , unmoved, free from desire, remaining a spectator, resting in himself Having concealed himself in the cloak of the three qualities he appears as the enjoyer of rita, as the enjoyer of rita (of his good works).'
- As the spider comes out with its thread, or as small sparks come forth from fire, thus do all senses, all worlds, all Devas, all beings come forth from that Self The Upanishad (the true name and doctrine) of that Self is 'the True of the True.' Verily the senses are the true, and he is the true of the true.
'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 Maitrey?! When we see, hear, perceive, and know the Self , then all this is known.
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?
- This Self is the honey of all beings, and all beings are the honey of this Self Likewise this bright, immortal person in this Self, and that bright, immortal person, the Self (both are madhu). He indeed is the same as that Self, that Immortal, that Brahman, that All.
And verily this Self is the lord of all beings, the king of all beings. And as all spokes are contained in the axle and in the felly of a wheel, all beings, and all those selfs (of the earth, water, &c.) are contained in that Self.
He (the Lord) became like unto every form, and this is meant to reveal the (true) form of him (the ?tman). Indra (the Lord) appears multiform through the M?y?s (appearances), for his horses (senses) are yoked, hundreds and ten.'
This (?tman) is the horses, this (?tman) is the ten, and the thousands, many and endless. This is the Brahman, without cause and without effect, without anything inside or outside; this Self is Brahman, omnipresent and omniscient. This is the teaching (of the Upanishads).
- Then Ushasta K?kr?yana asked. 'Y?g?avalkya,' he said, 'tell me the Brahman which is visible, not invisible, the Self (?tman), who is within all.'
Y?g?avalkya replied: 'This, thy Self, who is within all.'
'Which Self, O Y?g?avalkya, is within all?'
Y?g?avalkya replied: 'He who breathes in the up-breathing, he is thy Self, and within all. He who breathes in the down-breathing, he is thy Self, and within all. He who breathes in the on-breathing, he is thy Self, and within all. He who breathes in the out-breathing, he is thy Self, and within all. This is thy Self, who is within all.'
- Ushasta K?kr?yana said: 'As one might say, this is a cow, this is a horse, thus has this been explained by thee. Tell me the Brahman which is visible, not invisible, the Self, who is within all.'
Y?g?avalkya replied: 'This, thy Self, who is within all.'
'Which Self, O Y?g?avalkya, is within all?'
Y?g?avalkya replied: 'Thou couldst not see the (true) seer of sight, thou couldst not hear the (true) hearer of hearing, nor perceive the perceiver of perception, nor know the knower of knowledge. This is thy Self, who is within all. Everything also is of evil.' After that Ushasta K?kr?yana held his peace.
- 'He who dwells in the seed, and within the seed, whom the seed does not know, whose body the seed is, and who pulls (rules) the seed within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal; unseen, but seeing; unheard, but hearing; unperceived, but perceiving; unknown, but knowing. There is no other seer but he, there is no other hearer but he, there is no other perceiver but he, there is no other knower but he. This is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal. Everything else is of evil.' After that Udd?laka ?runi held his peace.