[Taken from "Wisdom of the Ancient Sages: Mundak Upanishad /
by Swami Rama. Honesdale, PA, The Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA. 1990.]
Chapter 3-Canto 2
Knowers of the Supreme Brahm know that the whole Universe is supported by
Brahm and shines through the light of Brahm. Of those whose all worldly
desires have burned and who worship Purush, the Pure Consciousness, only they
transcend the cycles of birth and death.
Previous verse said that if the person worships with worldly motives (fame, name, vanity
etc), he may attain success in the world, but he is not on the path of spirituality.
This is called Sa-Kaam Poojaa (worship with desires); but if somebody does the same Poojaa
with no desire, but with only spiritual enlightenment, that is the means to liberation.
attained the self-realization, only he knows the Supreme Brahm - One
without a second. The wise who completely devote their time and life to
self-realization attain Moksh and do not come in this world again. There
is no delusion or sorrow for them who have realized the unity in diversity,
means that the same One exists in all; or his own Self exists in the Self
of all. He cannot hate anyone, because if he has understood that his own Self
exists in all, how can he hate himself except to love? He is not separated
from others. Love is the binding force of life while the feeling of separation
comes from hatred.
delusion come to a human being when he identifies himself with his limited
body, mind and its objects. When one identifies himself with the non-Self
aspect of his personality, he is weak and helpless and commits many mistakes
and experiences tension, grief and sorrow. Jesus says - "Love thy neighbor
as thyself." The Upanishad say - "The whole Universe is your family
and all the members of the Universe are your family members." The purpose
of spirituality is to destroy the illusion of separateness between all creatures.
On the other hand who do not renounce their all desires, they take birth
in the surroundings of their desires again and again; but whose desires
are fulfilled he is established in the Self.
Those people who still have desires, take birth in this world again and
again in the same environment for which they long. Thus it is actually the
unfulfilled desires that bring the individual in the world. Besides, among
all desires, the desire of attachment is the one most responsible for
rebirth. When a person's all desires are united into "to attain Brahm",
then that one desire will bring him again in the world to fulfill that
desire. That is why wise men try, with all their resources and spiritual
discipline to destroy ignorance and attain perfection in this lifetime
The knowledge of Aatmaa cannot be attained through discourse, intellectual
discussions or even extensive study, but (IT reveals) only to those whom
IT chooses to unfold itself.
On this path when all efforts and spiritual disciplines are successfully
practiced, a moment comes when there is no desire for anything. At this
stage, Aatmaa reveals itself and its nature - peace, happiness and bliss.
Spiritual discipline helps to remove the veil created by ignorance, and
true desire to attain Brahm possesses the power to do it. The Self is
already there. It is only covered because of the ignorance, as the ignorance
is gone, the Self can be seen clearly. The veil of ignorance can be removed
only when the spiritual Saadhanaa has purified the mind, intellect and heart.
Only those privileged people who are chosen, can see IT.
This Aatmaa cannot be attained by those who lack inner strength,
sincerity, Tap, or dispassion. One who is blessed with these means attains
self-realization and as result enters the Brahm Lok.
Inner strength is necessary to be regained for self-realization, because
it is the inner strength only which is destroyed by mind and the sense
pleasures. When it is regained, it should be protected well. Without yoking
the Individual Self with the Cosmic Self or Brahm, practicing the spiritual
discipline without a definite system cannot lead one to attain the goal of
After attaining this, the person becomes content in his wisdom, is
established in Aatmaa, is free from attachment and desires, and is fully
at peace. Upon attaining Him the realized soul enters Brahm Lok.
Such calm and tranquil souls ultimately become One; exactly in the same
way as a river become one with ocean. Brahm is pure consciousness.
Individuality exists through the association with the body, senses and
mind which constantly feed the Ego. Thus the Ego separates the individual
from the Whole by creating a wall. Although this is all illusory, but the
human being thinks that it is permanent and real. Such illusions can be
washed off with spiritual practice. The knowledge of the Real Self (Cosmic
Self) washes off all the accumulated dust from the impure mind.
Those who attain the final wisdom of Vedaant and who by following the path
of renunciation have purified their minds, attained freedom from all
bondages and after casting off their body they go to Brahm Lok which is
the place of highest immortality
Even after purifying all the stains of
A-Vidyaa from the heart, mind, and Buddhi, A-Vidyaa still remains in some quantity
although the seeker is not able to see it. Therefore wise men form a habit of going into
deep meditation and not allowing the dust of ignorance to touch their internal state. Only
such wise people are illuminated souls and attain freedom from Maayaa. All the impositions
and limitations created by Time, space and causality are destroyed, because he joins Brahm
who is the source of all consciousness with no beginning or end. Therefore such an enlightened
one does not return to he relative plane. Does he become non-existent? No, certainly not,
but he just becomes one with the Absolute. He does not leave even his footprints behind to be
traced. Not leaving his footprints means not leaving any Sanskaar unburned in the fire of
At the time of liberation, all the fifteen constituents of the body (five
elements, five senses, and five Praan) return to their sources of origin.
The senses subside in their origins. All previous Karm, intellectual
knowledge and the individual soul - all become one with Param Brahm.
The Prashn Upanishad and the Mundak Upanishad are similar in their
teachings because they come from the same source - Atharv Ved. What
happens to the body after a man dies? Fill a jar of water and break it in
any way you want, the water will find its own level and meets water; the
outer covering of the jar will meet its own source earth; and the space of
the jar will meet space; the reflection of the Sun will meet the Sun. The
same thing happens to the body too. In fact, no one dies. After the five
senses meet the five elements, five Praan take one form of Individual Soul
and that soul willfully assumes body after body to fulfill its desires.
The highest, immutable and imperishable 'sky' is birthless, deathless,
hence no destruction.
Just as the flowing rivers give up their names and forms after merging
into the ocean, so does the realized soul leaving everything - names and
forms, attains the highest and self-illuminated Purush.
All people should lead the life like the life of river, without dams
of stagnant water which becomes a source of illness and disease. That is
why true Sanyaasee move all the time without stopping at any place for long
time so that they do not get attached to anyone.
One who knows Brahm definitely becomes Brahm and in his lineage no one
remains ignorant of Brahm. He goes beyond all sorrows and vices and
attains freedom from all bondages and thus becomes immortal.
He who knows Brahm, he himself becomes Brahm and no member of his family
remains ignorant of Brahm because he himself becomes an example. Advanced
disciples are taught by their Guru from a long distance. When the body is
still and the mind is still in such silence, the mind has no questions, hence
there are no answers.
The knowledge of Brahm should be imparted only to those who are sincere,
studious and inclined to receive it, self-disciplined and who have taken a
vow to carry fire on their head according to the rules.
Aangiras explained this truth in ancient times that only that person who
has fulfilled his vows may study this Upanishad.
Aangiras taught that this Upanishad should not be read by those who have
not taken vows - the vow to practice spiritual discipline as instructed by
the teacher. The knowledge of Brahm should not be imparted to an impure
person also. Impure person means - if the functioning of the body, breath,
and mind are not coordinated then the person will be making a futile effort
and wasting his time.
END OF CHAPTER 3, CANTO 2
END OF MUNDAK UPANISHAD