|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|Dialogue of Yājñavalkya and Māitreyī|
From the Upanishads: Translation of Edward Washburn Hopkins
|YĀJÑAVALKYA had two wives, Māitreyī and Kātyāyanī. Now Māitreyī was versed in holy knowledge [brahma], but Kātyāyanī had only such knowledge as women have. But when Yājñavalkya was about to go away into the forest [to become a hermit], he said, Māitreyī, I am going away from this place. Behold, I will make a settlement between thee and that Kātyāyanī. Then said Māitreyī, Lord, if this whole earth filled with wealth were mine, how then? should I be immortal by reason of this wealth? Nay, said Yājñavalkya: even as is the life of the rich would be thy life; by reason of wealth one has no hope of immortality. Then said Māitreyī, With what I cannot be immortal, what can I do with that? Whatever my Lord knows, even that tell me. And Yājñavalkya said, Dear to me thou art, indeed, and fondly speakest. Therefore I will explain to thee, and do thou regard me as I explain. And he said:Not for the husbands sake is a husband dear, but for the egos sake is the husband dear; not for the wifes sake is a wife dear, but for the egos sake is a wife dear; not for the sons sake are sons dear, but for the egos sake are sons dear; not for wealths sake is wealth dear, but for the egos sake is wealth dear; not for the sake of the Brahman caste is the Brahman caste dear, but for the sake of the ego is the Brahman caste dear; not for the sake of the Warrior caste is the Warrior caste dear, but for love of the ego is the Warrior caste dear; not for the sake of the worlds are worlds dear, but for the sake of the ego are worlds dear; not for the sake of gods are gods dear, but for the egos sake are gods dear; not for the sake of bhūts [spirits] are bhūts dear, but for the egos sake are bhūts dear; not for the sake of anything is anything dear, but for love of ones self [ego] is anything [everything] dear; the ego must be seen, heard, apprehended, regarded, Māitreyī, for with the seeing, hearing, apprehending, and regarding of the ego the All is known
. Even as smoke pours out of a fire lighted with damp kindling-wood, even so out of the Great Being is blown out all that which is,Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sāma-Veda, Atharva- [Angiras] Veda, Stories, Tales, Sciences, Upanishads, food, drink, sacrifices; all creatures that exist are blown [breathed] out of this one [Great Spirit] alone. As in the ocean all the waters have their meeting-place; as the skin is the meeting-place of all touches; the tongue, of all tastes; the nose, of all smells; the mind, of all precepts; the heart, of all knowledges;
as salt cast into water is dissolved so that one cannot seize it, but wherever one tastes it is salty,so this Great Being, endless, limitless, is a mass of knowledge. It arises out of the elements and then disappears in them. After death there is no more consciousness. I have spoken. Thus said Yājñavalkya. Then said Māitreyī, Truly my Lord has bewildered me in saying that after death there is no more consciousness. And Yājñavalkya said:I say nothing bewildering, but what suffices for understanding. For where there is as it were duality [dvāitam], there one sees, smells, hears, addresses, notices, knows another; but when all the universe has become mere ego, with what should one smell, see, hear, address, notice, know any one [else]? How can one know him through whom he knows this all, how can he know the knower [as something different]? The ego is to be described by negations alone, the incomprehensible, imperishable, unattached, unfettered; the ego neither suffers nor fails. Thus, Māitreyī, hast thou been instructed. So much for immortality. And having spoken thus, Yājñavalkya went away [into the forest].|| 1|