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Knowledge Of The Living Spirit








Source: Sacred Books Of The East


"Prana, or breath,[16] is Brahman," thus says Kaushitaki. "Of this
prana, which is Brahman, the mind is the messenger, speech the
housekeeper, the eye the guard, the ear the informant. He who knows mind
as the messenger of prana, which is Brahman, becomes possessed of the
messenger. He who knows speech as the housekeeper, becomes possessed of
the housekeeper. He who knows the eye as the guard, becomes possessed of
the guard. He who knows the ear as the informant, becomes possessed of
the informant.

"Now to that prana, which is Brahman, all these deities, mind, speech,
eye, ear, bring an offering, though he asks not for it, and thus to him
who knows this all creatures bring an offering, though he asks not for
it. For him who knows this, there is this Upanishad, or secret vow, 'Beg
not!' As a man who has begged through a village and got nothing sits
down and says, 'I shall never eat anything given by those people,' and
as then those who formerly refused him press him to accept their alms,
thus is the rule for him who begs not, but the charitable will press him
and say, 'Let us give to thee.'"

"Prana, or breath, is Brahman," thus says Paingya. "And in that prana,
which is Brahman, the eye stands firm behind speech, the ear stands firm
behind the eye, the mind stands firm behind the ear, and the spirit
stands firm behind the mind.[17] To that prana, which is Brahman, all
these deities bring an offering, though he asks not for it, and thus to
him who knows this, all creatures bring an offering, though he asks not
for it. For him who knows this, there is this Upanishad, or secret vow,
'Beg not!' As a man who has begged through a village and got nothing
sits down and says, 'I shall never eat anything given by those people,'
and as then those who formerly refused him press him to accept their
alms, thus is the rule for him who begs not, but the charitable will
press him and say, 'Let us give to thee.'

"Now follows the attainment of the highest treasure, i.e., spirit.[18]
If a man meditates on that highest treasure, let him on a full moon or a
new moon, or in the bright fortnight, under an auspicious Nakshatra, at
one of these proper times, bending his right knee, offer oblations of
ghee with a ladle, after having placed the fire, swept the ground,
strewn the sacred grass, and sprinkled water. Let him say: 'The deity
called Speech is the attainer, may it attain this for me from him who
possesses and can bestow what I wish for. Svaha to it!' 'The deity
called prana, or breath, is the attainer, may it attain this for me from
him. Svaha to it!' 'The deity called the eye is the attainer, may it
attain this for me from him. Svaha to it!' 'The deity called the ear is
the attainer, may it attain this for me from him. Svaha to it!' 'The
deity called mind is the attainer of it, may it attain this for me from
him. Svaha to it!' 'The deity called knowledge is the attainer of it,
may it attain this for me from him. Svaha to it!'

"Then having inhaled the smell of the smoke, and having rubbed his limbs
with the ointment of ghee, walking on in silence, let him declare his
wish, or let him send a messenger. He will surely obtain his wish.

"Now follows the Daiva Smara, the desire to be accomplished by the gods.
If a man desires to become dear to any man or woman, or to any men or
women, then at one of the fore-mentioned proper times he offers, in
exactly the same manner as before, oblations of ghee, saying: 'I offer
thy speech in myself, I this one here, Svaha.' 'I offer thy ear in
myself, I this one here, Svaha.' 'I offer thy mind in myself, I this one
here, Svaha.' 'I offer thy knowledge in myself, I this one here, Svaha.'
Then having inhaled the smell of the smoke, and having rubbed his limbs
with the ointment of ghee, walking on in silence, let him try to come in
contact or let him stand speaking in the wind, so that the wind may
carry his words to the person by whom he desires to be loved. Surely he
becomes dear, and they think of him.

"Now follows the restraint instituted by Pratardana, the son of
Divodasa: they call it the inner Agni-hotri. So long as a man speaks, he
cannot breathe, he offers all the while his breath in his speech. And so
long as a man breathes, he cannot speak, he offers all the while his
speech in his breath. These two endless and immortal oblations he offers
always, whether waking or sleeping. Whatever other oblations there are
(those, e.g., of the ordinary Agni-hotri, consisting of milk and other
things), they have an end, for they consist of works which, like all
works, have an end. The ancients, knowing this the best Agni-hotri, did
not offer the ordinary Agni-hotri.

"Uktha is Brahman, thus said Sushkabhringara. Let him meditate on the
uktha as the same with the Rik, and all beings will praise him as the
best. Let him meditate on it as the same with the Yagus, and all beings
will join before him as the best. Let him meditate on it as the same
with the Saman, and all beings will bow before him as the best. Let him
meditate on it as the same with might, let him meditate on it as the
same with glory, let him meditate on it as the same with splendor. For
as the bow is among weapons the mightiest, the most glorious, the most
splendid, thus is he who knows this among all beings the mightiest, the
most glorious, the most splendid. The Adhvaryu conceives the fire of the
altar, which is used for the sacrifice, to be himself. In it he the
Adhvaryu weaves the Yagus portion of the sacrifice. And in the Yagus
portion the Hotri weaves the Rik portion of the sacrifice. And in the
Rik portion the Udgatri weaves the Saman portion of the sacrifice. He,
the Adhvaryu, or prana, is the self of the threefold knowledge; he
indeed is the self of prana. He who knows this is the self of it, i.e.,
becomes prana.

"Next follow the three kinds of meditation of the all-conquering
Kaushitaki. The all-conquering Kaushitaki adores the sun when rising,
having put on the sacrificial cord,[19] having brought water, and having
thrice sprinkled the water-cup, saying: 'Thou art the deliverer, deliver
me from sin.' In the same manner he adores the sun when in the zenith,
saying: 'Thou art the highest deliverer, deliver me highly from sin.' In
the same manner he adores the sun when setting, saying: 'Thou art the
full deliverer, deliver me fully from sin.' Thus he fully removes
whatever sin he committed by day and by night. And in the same manner he
who knows this, likewise adores the sun, and fully removes whatever sin
he committed by day and by night.

"Then, secondly, let him worship every month in the year at the time of
the new moon, the moon as it is seen in the west in the same manner as
before described with regard to the sun, or let him send forth his
speech towards the moon with two green blades of grass, saying: 'O thou
who art mistress of immortal joy, through that gentle heart of mine
which abides in the moon, may I never weep for misfortune concerning my
children.'

"The children of him who thus adores the moon do not indeed die before
him. Thus it is with a man to whom a son is already born.

"Now for one to whom no son is born as yet. He mutters the three Rik
verses. 'Increase, O Soma! may vigor come to thee.' 'May milk, may food
go to thee.' 'That ray which the Adityas gladden.'

"Having muttered these three Rik verses, he says: 'Do not increase by
our breath, by our offspring, by our cattle; he who hates us and whom we
hate, increase by his breath, by his offspring, by his cattle. Thus I
turn the turn of the god, I return the turn of Aditya.' After these
words, having raised the right arm towards Soma, he lets it go again.

"Then, thirdly, let him worship on the day of the full moon the moon as
it is seen in the east in the same manner, saying: 'Thou art Soma, the
king, the wise, the five-mouthed, the lord of creatures. The Brahmana is
one of thy mouths; with that mouth thou eatest the kings; make me an
eater of food by that mouth! The king is one of thy mouths; with that
mouth thou eatest the people; make me an eater of food by that mouth!
The hawk is one of thy mouths; with that mouth thou eatest the birds;
make me an eater of food by that mouth! Fire is one of thy mouths; with
that mouth thou eatest this world; make me an eater of food by that
mouth! In thee there is the fifth mouth; with that mouth thou eatest all
beings; make me an eater of food by that mouth! Do not decrease by our
life, by our offspring, by our cattle; he who hates us and whom we hate,
decrease by his life, by his offspring, by his cattle. Thus I turn the
turn of the god, I return the turn of Aditya.' After these words, having
raised the right arm, he lets it go again.

"Next, having addressed these prayers to Soma, when being with his wife,
let him stroke her heart, saying: 'O fair one, who hast obtained
immortal joy by that which has entered thy heart through Pragapati,
mayest thou never fall into sorrow about thy children.' Her children
then do not die before her.

"Next, if a man has been absent and returns home, let him kiss his son's
head, saying: 'Thou springest from every limb, thou art born from the
heart, thou, my son, art my self indeed: live thou a hundred harvests.'
He gives him his name, saying: 'Be thou a stone, be thou an axe, be thou
solid gold; thou, my son, art light indeed: live thou a hundred
harvests.' He pronounces his name. Then he embraces him, saying: 'As
Pragapati the lord of creatures embraced his creatures for their
welfare, thus I embrace thee,' (pronouncing his name). Then he mutters
into his right ear, saying: 'O thou, quick Maghavan, give to him.' 'O
Indra, bestow thy best wishes'--thus he whispers into his left ear. Let
him then thrice kiss his head, saying: 'Do not cut off the line of our
race, do not suffer. Live a hundred harvests of life; I kiss thy head, O
son, with thy name.' He then thrice makes a lowing sound over his head,
saying: 'I low over thee with the lowing sound of cows.'

"Next follows the Daiva Parimara, the dying around of the gods, the
absorption of the two classes of gods, mentioned before, into prana or
Brahman. This Brahman shines forth indeed when the fire burns, and it
dies when it burns not. Its splendor goes to the sun alone, the life
prana, the moving principle, to the air.

"This Brahman shines forth indeed when the sun is seen, and it dies when
it is not seen. Its splendor goes to the moon alone, the life to the
air.

"This Brahman shines forth indeed when the moon is seen, and it dies
when it is not seen. Its splendor goes to the lightning alone, its life
to the air.

"This Brahman shines forth indeed when the lightning flashes, and it
dies when it flashes not. Its splendor goes to the air, and the life to
the air.

"Thus all these deities (fire, sun, moon, lightning), having entered the
air, though dead, do not vanish; and out of the very air they rise
again. So much with reference to the deities. Now then, with reference
to the body.

"This Brahman shines forth indeed when one speaks with speech, and it
dies when one does not speak. His splendor goes to the eye alone, the
life to breath.

"This Brahman shines forth indeed when one sees with the eye, and it
dies when one does not see. Its splendor goes to the ear alone, the life
to breath.

"This Brahman shines forth indeed when one hears with the ear, and it
dies when one does not hear. Its splendor goes to the mind alone, the
life to breath.

"This Brahman shines forth indeed when one thinks with the mind, and it
dies when one does not think. Its splendor goes to the breath alone, and
the life to breath.

"Thus all these deities (the senses, etc.), having entered breath or
life alone, though dead, do not vanish; and out of very breath they rise
again. And if two mountains, the southern and northern, were to move
forward trying to crush him who knows this, they would not crush him.
But those who hate him and those whom he hates, they die around him.

"Next follows the Nihsreyasadana, i.e., the accepting of the preeminence
of breath or life by the other gods. The deities, speech, eye, ear,
mind, contending with each for who was the best, went out of this body,
and the body lay without breathing, withered, like a log of wood. Then
speech went into it, but speaking by speech, it lay still. Then the eye
went into it, but speaking by speech, and seeing by the eye, it lay
still. Then the ear went into it, but speaking by speech, seeing by the
eye, hearing by the ear, it lay still. Then mind went into it, but
speaking by speech, seeing by the eye, hearing by the ear, thinking by
the mind, it lay still. Then breath went into it, and thence it rose at
once. All these deities, having recognized the preeminence in life, and
having comprehended life alone as the conscious self, went out of this
body with all these five different kinds of life, and resting in the
air, knowing that life had entered the air and merged in the ether, they
went to heaven. And in the same manner he who knows this, having
recognized the preeminence in prana, and having comprehended life alone
as the conscious self, goes out of this body with all these, does no
longer believe in this body, and resting in the air, and merged in the
ether, he goes to heaven: he goes to where those gods are. And having
reached this heaven, he, who knows this, becomes immortal with that
immortality which those gods enjoy.

"Next follows the father's tradition to the son, and thus they explain
it. The father, when going to depart, calls his son, after having strewn
the house with fresh grass, and having laid the sacrificial fire, and
having placed near it a pot of water with a jug, full of rice, himself
covered with a new cloth, and dressed in white. He places himself above
his son, touching his organs with his own organs, or he may deliver the
tradition to him while he sits before him. Then he delivers it to him.
The father says: 'Let me place my speech in thee.' The son says: 'I take
thy speech in me.' The father says: 'Let me place my scent in thee.' The
son says: 'I take thy scent in me.' The father says: 'Let me place my
eye in thee.' The son says: 'I take thy eye in me.' The father says:
'Let me place my ear in thee.' The son says: 'I take thy ear in me.' The
father says: 'Let me place my tastes of food in thee.' The son says: 'I
take thy tastes of food in me.' The father says: 'Let me place my
actions in thee.' The son says: 'I take thy actions in me.' The father
says: 'Let me place my pleasure and pain in thee.' The son says: 'I take
thy pleasure and pain in me.' The father says: 'Let me place happiness,
joy, and offspring in thee.' The son says: 'I take thy happiness, joy,
and offspring in me.' The father says: 'Let me place my walking in
thee.' The son says: 'I take thy walking in me.' The father says: 'Let
me place my mind in thee.' The son says: 'I take thy mind in me.' The
father says: 'Let me place my knowledge in thee.' The son says: 'I take
thy knowledge in me.' But if the father is very ill, he may say shortly:
Let me place my spirits in thee,' and the son: 'I take thy spirits in
me.'

"Then the son walks round his father, keeping his right side towards
him, and goes away. The father calls after him: 'May fame, glory of
countenance, and honor always follow thee.' Then the other looks back
over his left shoulder, covering himself with his hand or the hem of his
garment, saying: 'Obtain the heavenly worlds and all desires.'

"If the father recovers, let him be under the authority of his son, or
let him wander about as an ascetic. But if he departs, then let them
despatch him, as he ought to be despatched, yea, as he ought to be
despatched."





Next: Life And Consciousness

Previous: The Couch Of Brahman



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