Upadesha Sahasri (Verse Section 2)

ken knight hilken_98 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Mar 9 02:55:37 CST 2003

Namaste all,
This second section is short and a simple statement of
advaita and ends with the the direction to find the
The first verse....and its various repetitions
later...have always concerned me inasmuch as the
practice of neti neti is an action, no matter how fine
an action of reflection, and as an action it cannot
reveal the Atman. It can only burnish the mirror as it
were as long as the mirror is believed to exist.
That said, if the mahavakya ayam atman brahma is to be
realised, then the practice is valid.

With this in mind I prefer Alston's translation in
this instance but that is only my opinion so I include
the three translations of the crucial part of the
first verse:


1.      Impossible to be negated, the Self is left over on
the authority of the Shruti, ‘Not this, not this.’ So,
the Self becomes clearly known on the reflection
(Jagadananda), [One attains it in some such way
(mayeda)] [It is directly apprehended (alston), ‘I am
not this, I am not this.’

2.      The consciousness of egoism (i.e., the mistaken
identity of the Self with the body etc.,) has its
origin in the intellect  and has for its object what
(name and form)  is based on words (Ch.Up.6.1.4-6)
only. As its very nature and origin are both negated
(by the Shruti, ‘Not this, not this’), egoism can
never again be regarded as founded on any evidence.

3.      A subsequent knowledge does not arise without
negating the previous one (e.g., the knowledge of the
rope does not come without destroying that of the
snake in a rope-snake). Pure Consciousness, the Self,
only has all independent existence and is never
negated as lit is the result of evidences.

4.      One attains one’s own innermost Self by crossing
the forest of this body infested with ferocious beasts
of grief, delusion etc., like the man of the country
of Gandhara who crossed the forest and reached his own
country. (Ch.Up. 6.14)

Happy studying

Ken Knight

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