BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD | 2.4.12 | SRI SANKARACARYA
sa yatha saindhava-khilya udake prasta udakam evanuviliyeta , na hasya udgrahanayeva syat , yato yatas tv adadita lavanam eva , evam va ara idam mahad bhutam anantam aparam vijnana-ghana eva ; etebhyo bhutebhyah samutthaya , tany evanuvinasyati ; na pretya samjnasti , iti are bravimi , iti hovaca yajnavalkyah . || 2.4.12 ||
12 . As a lump of salt dropped into water dissolves with ( its component ) water , and no one is able to pick it up , but from whencesoever one takes it , it tastes salt , even so , my dear , this great , endless , infinite Reality is but Pure Intelligence . ( The self ) comes out ( as a separate entity ) from these elements , and ( this separateness ) is destroyed with them . After attaining ( this oneness ) it has no more consciousness * . This is what I say , my dear . So said Yajnavalkya .
|| BHASYA || : An illustration on the point is being given : As a lump of salt , etc . The derivative meaning of the word " Sindhu " is water , because it " flows " .
That which is a modification or product of water is " Saindhava " or salt . " Khilya" is the same as " Khila " ( a lump ) . A lump of salt dropped into water , its cause , dissolves with the dissolution of ( its component ) water . The solidification of a lump through its connection with particles of earth and heat goes when the lump comes in contact with water , its cause . This is the dissolution of ( the component ) water , and along with it the lump of salt is said to be dissolved .
No one , not even an expert , is able to pick it up as before . The particle " iva " is expletive ; the meaning is , none can at all pick it up . Why ? Whencesoever , from whichsoever part , one takes the water and tastes it , it is salt . But there is no longer any lump .
Like this illustration , O Maitreyi , is this great Reality called the Supreme Self , from which you have been cut off by ignorance as a separate entity , through your connection with the limiting adjuncts of the body and organs , and have become mortal , subject to birth and death , hunger and thirst , and other such relative attributes , and identified with name , form and action , and think you are born of such and such a family .
That separate existence of yours , which has sprung from the delusion engendered by contact with the limiting adjuncts of the body and organs , enters its cause , the great Reality , the Supreme Self , which stands for the ocean , is undecaying , immortal , beyond fear , pure , homogeneous like a lump of salt , and which Pure Intelligence , infinite , boundless , without a break , and devoid of differences caused by the delusion brought on by ignorance .
When that separate existence has entered and been merged in its cause , in other words , when the differences created by ignorance are gone , the universe becomes one without a second , " the great Reality " .
Great , because It is greater than everything else and is the cause of the ether etc ; Reality ( Bhuta ) — always a fact , for It never deviates from Its nature .
The verbal suffix " kta " here denotes past , present and future . Or the word " Bhuta " may denote truth ; the expression then would mean : It is great and true . There may be things in the relative world as big as the Himalayas , for instance , created by a dream or illusion , but they are not true ; hence the text adds the qualifying word " true " .
It is endless . Sometimes this may be in a relative sense ; hence the text qualifies it by the term infinite . Pure Intelligence : Lit . a solid mass of intelligence . The word " Ghana " ( a solid mass ) excludes everything belonging to a different species , as " a solid mass of gold or iron " . The particle " eva " ( only ) is intensive . The idea is that there is no foreign element in It .
QUESTION : If It is one without a second , really pure and untouched by the miseries of the relative world , whence is this separate existence of the individual self , in which it is born or dies , is happy or miserable , possessed of the ideas of " I and mine " , and so on , and which is troubled by many a relative attribute ?
REPLY : I will explain it . There are the elements transformed into the body , organs and sense-objects , consisting of name and form .
They are like the foam and bubbles on the limpid water of the Supreme Self .
The mergence of these elements down to sense-objects in Brahman , which is Pure Intelligence , through a discriminating knowledge of the Truth has been spoken of — like the emptying of rivers into the ocean .
From these elements called " truth " , ie with their aid , the self comes out like a lump of salt .
As from water reflections of the sun , moon , etc arise , or from the proximity of such limiting adjuncts as a red cottonpad a transparent crystal turns red and so forth , so from the limiting adjuncts of the elements , transformed into the body and organs , the self comes out clearly as an individualised entity .
These elements , transformed into the body , organ and sense-objects , from which the self comes out as an individual , and which are the cause of its individualisation , are merged , like rivers in the ocean , by the realisation of Brahman through the instruction of the scriptures and the teacher , and are destroyed .
And when they are destroyed like the foam and bubbles of water , this individualised existence too is destroyed with them .
As the reflections of the sun , moon , etc and the colour of the crystal vanish when their causes , the water , the red cottonpad , and so on , are removed , and only the sun , moon , etc , remain as they are , so the endless , infinite and limpid Pure Intelligence alone remains .
After attaining ( this oneness ) the self , freed from the body and organs , has no more particular consciousness . This is what I say , my dear Maitreyi .
No more is there such particular consciousness as , " I so and so am the progeny of so and so ; this is my land and wealth ; I am happy or miserable " .
For it is due to ignorance , and since ignorance is absolutely destroyed by the realisation of Brahman , how can the knower of Brahman , who is established in one's nature as Pure Intelligence , possibly have any such particular consciousness ?
Even when a person is in the body * , particular consciousness is ( sometimes ) impossible ; so how can it ever exist in a person who has been absolutely freed from the body and organs ?
So said Yajnavalkya — propounded this philosophy of the highest truth to the spouse , Maitreyi .
( NOTES : * That is , particular consciousness . | * For instance , in the state of deep sleep . )
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