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Brihadaranyaka Upanishad | Part II. Ch III. The Two Forms of Brahman


Verily, there are two forms of Brahman: gross and subtle, mortal and immortal, limited and unlimited, definite and indefinite.



Photo by Aman Shrestha


1. Verily, there are two forms of Brahman: gross and subtle, mortal and immortal, limited and unlimited, definite and indefinite.


2. The gross form is that which is other than air and akasa. It is mortal, limited and definite. The essence of that which is gross, which is mortal, which is limited and which is definite is the sun that shines, for it (the sun) is the essence of the three elements.


3. Now the subtle: It is air and akasa. It is immortal, it is unlimited and it is indefinite. The essence of that which is subtle, which is immortal, which is unlimited and which is indefinite is the Person (Purusha) in the solar orb, for that Person is the essence of the two elements. This is with reference to the gods.


4. Now with reference to the body: The gross form is that which is other than the air and the akasa that is in the body. It is mortal, it is limited and it is definite. The essence of that which is gross, which is mortal, which is limited and which is definite is the eye; for it (the eye) is the essence of the three elements.


5. Now the subtle: It is the air and the akasa that is in the body. It is immortal, it is unlimited and it is indefinite. The essence of that which is subtle, which is immortal, which is unlimited and which is indefinite is the person (purusha) that is in the right eye, for that person is the essence of the two elements.


6. The form of that person is like a cloth dyed with turmeric, or like grey sheep's wool, or like the scarlet insect called Indragopa, or like a tongue of fire, or like a white lotus, or like a flash of lightning. He who knows this-his splendour is like a flash of lightning. Now, therefore, the description of Brahman: "Not this, not this" (Neti, Neti); for there is no other and more appropriate description than this "Not this." Now the designation of Brahman: "The Truth of truth." The vital breath is truth and It (Brahman) is the Truth of that.








  1. The Upanishads translated by Swami Nikhilananda


 

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