Upadesa Sahasri


1. One becomes free from the distress caused by a series of hundreds of bodies, which has its origin in a swoon due to the fever of desires, if one places oneself under the treatment, in which medicines are Knowledge and dispassion - the causes of the destruction of the fever of desires (mentioned before).

2. Oh my mind, you indulge in vain ideas like 'me' and 'mine'. Your efforts, according to others, are for one other than yourself. You have no consciousness of things and I have no desire of having anything. It is, therefore, proper for you to remain quiet.

3. As I am no other than the Supreme Eternal One I am always contented and have no desires. Always contented I desire no welfare for myself, but I wish your welfare. Try to make yourself quiet.

4. One who is by nature beyond the six continual waves is, according to the evidence of the Srutis, the Self of us all and of the universe. This is what I know from other sources of knowledge also. Your efforts are, therefore, all in vain.

5. There is no idea of difference left which deludes all people through wrong notions when you are merged, for the cause of all wrong notions is the perception of (the reality of) difference. These wrong notions vanish as soon as one is free from this perception.

6. I am not deluded by your efforts. For I have known the Truth and am free from all bondage and change. I have no difference in the conditions preceding the knowledge of Truth and succeeding it. Your efforts, oh mind, are, therefore, useless.

7. As I am eternal I am not otherwise. Transitoriness is due to the connection with changes. I am always self-effulgent and therefore without a second. It is ascertained that everything created by the mind is non-existent.

8. Scrutinised through the reasoning that reality is never destroyed and unreality never born, you have no (real) existence. You are, therefore, Oh my mind, non-existent in the self. Having both birth and death, you are accepted as non-existent.

9-10. As everything - the seer, seeing and the seen - is a false notion superimposed by you, and as no object of perception is known to have an existence independent of that of the Self, the Self is one only. When this is so, the Self in the state of deep sleep does not differ from Itself when in waking (or dream). Unreal like the circular form of a burning torch, superimposition also has no existence independent of that of the non-dual Self. The oneness of the Self is ascertained from the Srutis as the Self has no division within Itself on account different powers and as It is not different (in different bodies).

11. If, according to you, souls were mutually different and so limited (by one another) they would meet with destruction as all such things are seen to come to an end. Again, all being liberated, the whole world would meet with extinction.

12. There is no one who belongs to me nor is there anyone to whom I belong as I am without a second. The world which is superimposed does not exist, my existence being known to be anterior to superimposition. I am not superimposed
It is duality only that is so.

13. The unborn Self can never be regarded as non-existent because there cannot be the superimposition of existence or non-existence on It. What exists prior to you and on which you yourself are superimposed cannot Itself be superimposed.

14. The duality seen to be pervaded by you is unreal. That It is not seen is no reason that the Self does not exist That from which the wrong notions of existence and non-existence proceed must exist. And just as a deliberation ends in a conclusion, so, all things superimposed have a final substratum in the really existing and non-dual Self.

15. If the duality, created by you and assumed by us to be real so that an investigation of the Truth might be possible, were non-existent, truth would remain unascertained, owing to the investigation becoming impossible. The existence of a reality must be accepted as a matter of course if an unascertained nature of Truth is not desirable.

16. (Objection): What is called real is, as a matter of fact, unreal like a human horn as it does not serve any purpose. (Reply): That a thing serves no purpose is no reason why it should be unreal and that a thing serves some purpose is no reason (on the other hand) why it should be real.

17. Your inference is wrong because reality serves some purpose as It is the subject - matter of deliberation, and as It is also the source of all duality proceeding from It under the influence of Maya, according to the Srutis, the Smritis and reason. Thus it is reasonable (that the Self, though changeless, serves some purpose). Otherwise (i.e. as a matter of reality) it is not reasonable that a thing, either permanent or temporary, serves any purpose.

18. According to the Sruti It is of a nature contrary to that of superimposition. This One is without a second as It is also known to have an eternal existence even prior to all superimposition. Unlike everything superimposed on It, which is negated on the evidence of the Sruti, 'Not this, not this'. It is not negated and therefore It is left over.

19. Those who, owing to false notion in their own minds, superimpose the ideas of existence, non-existence etc. on the Self, which is not Itself superimposed and is birthless, imperishable and without a second, always meet with birth, old age and death as different kinds of beings.

20. Duality can have no reality if both its birth and absence of birth are denied (owing to the possibility of contradictions). Again it cannot owe its origin to another thing either real or unreal. For in that case, being the origin of duality, reality would become unreal and unreality real. Hence the nature of actions and their instruments also cannot be ascertained it is for these reasons that the Self is ascertained to be unborn.

21. If the instruments in connection with the birth of duality be considered to be devoid of any action whatever, there will be nothing which will not be an instrument. And if they are considered to have the power of action, they will not be instruments, (for they can be acting neither) in the state of reality nor of unreality. As both these states are without any particulars (and will always produce effects or never produce any). Neither can they become instruments at the time of their deviation from their original states (of reality or unreality). For in that case the description between the nature of the cause and that of the effect cannot be ascertained like the relation of cause and effect between the two ends (moving up and down) of the beam of a balance.

22. If the reversal of reality and unreality is not desirable how can anything owe its origin to them which are of a fixed nature? For, both of them stand without having any connection with each other. Nothing, therefore, Oh my mind, is born.

23. Even by assuming the birth of things, if you like so, I say, your effects serve me no purpose, for not existing in the Self gain or loss cannot be there either uncaused or due to any cause. Even assuming that they exit in the Self, it is a fact that your efforts are of no use to me.

24. Things either immutable or transitory cannot have any relation with other things or themselves. Therefore it is not reasonable that they should have any effects. So nothing belongs to anything else. The Self Itself is also not (directly) within the scope of words.

25. A wise man immediately meets with the complete extinction of bondage like the extinguishing of a lamp when he acquires through reasoning and the Sruti the knowledge of Self which is the same in all conditions, always of the nature of self-effulgent Consciousness and free from duality fancied to be existing or non-existing.

26. Knowing the One bereft of the Gunas which is unknowable according to those who know It to be not different from the Self and which is very well knowable according to those fallaciously argumentative people who wrongly know It to be an object of knowledge - a man thus freed from the Gunas - becomes liberated from the bondage of false notions and is never deluded.

27. False notion cannot be negated in anyway other than thus knowing the Self. It is these wrong notions that are the causes of delusion. These notions, bereft of their cause, come to end absolute end like fire bereft of fuel (when knowledge is achieved).

28. I bow down to the teachers, the great souls, who realised the Supreme Truth and gathered from the ocean of the Vedas this knowledge (described in the present book) like gods who churned the great ocean in ancient time and gathered nectar.

Here ends Thousand Teachings, the substance of all the Upanishads, written by the All-knowing Shankara, the Teacher and wandering Paramahamsa, the disciple of Govinda worthy of adoration.

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