The Brahman of the Upanishads6

The heart of the Upanishads is most meaningful and most fruitful because it embodies the Life of the Brahman. Brahman is Reality in existence; Brahman is Reality’s existence. The eternal Truth of the Brahman is in the finite, beyond the finite, in the Infinite, and beyond the ever-transcending Infinite.

In the domain of realisation, Brahman is the Sovereign Absolute. In the domain of revelation, Brahman is the Omnipresent Reality. And in the field of manifestation, Brahman is the immortalising Perfection.

Brahman the Creator is the Consciousness-Light; Brahman the Fulfiller is the Consciousness-Delight. Brahman is the inner Soul of all and the only Goal in all.


When we look within, Brahman is Consciousness-Force. When we look without, Brahman is Self-Manifestation. When we think of Brahman with the mind, earth-bound mind, limited mind, sophisticated mind, unaspiring mind, our life becomes sheer frustration. But when we meditate on Brahman in the heart, in the silent recesses of the heart, our life becomes pure illumination.


To a non-seeker, Brahman is unknowable. To a beginner-seeker, Brahman is unknown. To a master-seeker, Brahman is knowable, Brahman is known. Further, he himself grows into the Consciousness of Brahman.

> Sarvam khalu idam brahma.

> Indeed, all is Brahman.

The Eternal is existence within. The Eternal is existence without.

There is no abiding happiness in the finite. It is only in the Infinite that we can hear the message of eternal Delight: anandam brahma and anantam brahma. These are the two major aspects of Brahman. Anandam brahma is the life of the all-illumining Delight and the all-fulfilling Delight. Anantam brahma is the Life of Infinity.

Here on earth the Life of Infinity constantly grows for the fulfilment of the Absolute Brahman. That is why the Upanishadic Seers sing from the depths of their hearts about the transcendental Delight of the Brahman:

> Anandadd hy eva khalv imani bhutani jayante,

> Anandena jatani jivanti,

> Anandam prayantyabhisam visanti.

From the transcendental Delight we came into existence; in Delight we grow and play our respective roles; and at the end of our journey’s close we enter into the Supreme Delight.

Again, when the Seers saw Infinity in Brahman, they sang:

> AUM,

> Purnam adah, purnam idam, purnat purnam udacyate.

> Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate.

Infinity is that.

Infinity is this.

From Infinity, Infinity has come into existence.

From Infinity, when Infinity is taken away, Infinity remains.

Brahman is active. Brahman is inactive. The active Brahman inwardly does and outwardly becomes. Also, the active Brahman outwardly does and inwardly becomes. But the inactive Brahman is the total Freedom of inaction and complete Freedom in inaction.

Brahman is at once the eternal unborn and the eternal birth and growth of existence. Brahman is ignorance-night. Brahman is knowledge-light. Brahman the ignorance-night needs total transformation. Brahman the knowledge-light needs complete manifestation.

The whole universe came into existence from Brahman the Seed. When Brahman wanted to project Himself, He first projected Himself through four significant worlds: ambhas, the highest world; marichi, the sky; mara, the mortal world, the earth; and apa, the world beneath earth. Then Brahman sent forth the guardians of these worlds. Next, He sent forth food for them. Then Brahman came to realise that He Himself had to take part in His Cosmic Game, so He entered into the Cosmic lila (Game) through His own Yogic power. First He entered into the human body through the skull. The door by which Brahman entered is called the Door of Delight. This door is the highest centre of consciousness. This is known as sahasrara, the thousand-petaled lotus. It is situated in the centre of the brain. The realisation of the Yogi enters there and becomes one with the Consciousness of the Brahman.

Brahman has many names, but His secret name is AUM.

> Pranavo dhanuh saro atma...

> AUM is the bow and atma, the Self, is the arrow; Brahman is the target.

Through repeated practice the arrow is fixed into the target, the Brahmic Consciousness. That is to say, through regular concentration, meditation, and contemplation, the seeker enters into the Absolute Consciousness of the Brahman.

Creation is the supreme sacrifice of the Brahman. Creation is by no means a mechanical construction. Creation is a spiritual act, supremely revealing, manifesting, and fulfilling the divine splendour of the Brahman. The divine Architect is beyond creation, and at the same time manifests Himself in and through creation.

Brahman created out of His Being priests, warriors, tradesmen, and servants. Then He created the Law. Nothing can be higher than this Law. This Law is Truth. When a man speaks the Truth, he declares the Law. When he declares the Law, he speaks the Truth. The Truth and the Law are one, inseparable.

Indian mythology has divided Time — not earthbound time but eternal Time — into four divisions: satya yuga, treta yuga, dwapara yuga, and kali yuga. According to many we are now in the kali yuga. Brahman in the kali yuga is fast asleep. He is in inconscience-ignorance-mire. In the dwapara yuga He awakes and He looks around. In the treta yuga He stands up, about to move forward. In the satya yuga, the Golden age, He moves fast, faster, fastest, towards His Goal. The message of the Vedas, the eternal message of the Aryan culture and civilisation, the realisation of the Indian Sages and Seers, is movement, inner progress, the life’s march towards the destined Goal.

> Charai veti, charai veti.

> Move on, move on.

UPA 6. Yale University, New Haven, CT, 8 December 1971

From:Sri Chinmoy,The Upanishads: the Crown of India's Soul, Sri Chinmoy Lighthouse, New York, 1974
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