Friday, December 17, 2010

Yajnavalkya and Understanding the Atma

Yajnavalkya, the greatest seer and sage, said: " Maitreyi, verily, I
am going away from this house into the forest to enter another order
of life (Sannyasa); therefore let me divide my property between you
and Katyayani " .

Maitreyi said: " My venerable lord, if this whole world with all its
wealth belongs to me, tell me truly, could I attain immortality " .

" No, " replied Yajnavalkya, " Like the life of rich people will be your
life; but there is no hope of obtaining immortality by wealth " .

Maitreyi: " Of what use would be wealth to me, if I do not become
thereby immortal? Tell me, O venerable lord, any means of attaining
immortality of which thou knowest " .

Yajnavalkya replied: " Come, sit down, my beloved Maitreyi, I will
explain it to thee. Try to understand well what I say " .

Yajnavalkya said: " Verily, not indeed for the husband's sake the
husband is dear, but for the sake Of the Self the husband is dear.
Verily, not indeed for the wife's sake the wife is dear, but for the
sake of the Self the wife is dear. Verily, not indeed for the sake of
the son the son is dear, but for the sake of the Self the son is
dear. Verily, this immortal all-pervading Atman or Brahman is to be
seen, heard, reflected and meditated upon, O Maitreyi: Atma Vaare
Drashtavyah Srotavyo Mantayo Nididhyasitavyah " .

O Maitreyi! When there is duality, one sees the other, one smells the
other, one tastes the other, one salutes the other, one speaks to the
other, one touches the other, one knows the other, but when the Self
or Atma only is all this, how could one see the other, how could he
smell the other, touch the other, know the other? How could he know
Him by whom he knows all this? That Self is to be described by " No,
no " (Neti, Neti). Atma nor the Supreme Self is imperishable. He is
free and unattached. He is not subject to pain or destruction. How
could one know the knower? Thus, O beloved Maitreyi, thou hast been
instructed " .

Having said this, Yajnavalkya went to the forest.

(Source: Essence of Yoga by Sri Swami Sivananda)

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