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The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad



Fifth Brahmana: The Supreme Self and the Supreme Love

This, the last verse of the preceding Brāhmaṇa, is the message of the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣhad finally, but the Fourth Chapter does not end with this recitation. It goes on further, repeating once again the great conversation that took place between sage Yāj˝avalkya and his consort, Maitreyī. We have already covered that section, which is only repeated here again. Achārya Śankara, the commentator, gives the reason as to why it is repeated literally, word for word. He says that this is the system of logical induction. There is a proposition; there is an argument and there is a conclusion. The proposition was the great teaching of Yāj˝avalkya to Maitreyī, and it was substantiated by arguments of various kinds. The arguments were studied in the form of conversations in the preceding sections. Now we are coming to the conclusion that the proposition is correct. So once again the author is repeating the same thing, to bring to mind the original proposition, the teaching of Yāj˝avalkya to Maitreyī, where he explained that all love was love of God. All love is love of Self; all love is love of the Absolute, and there is no love other than that. Even the affection that you have for a cat or a dog is nothing but the Supreme Being calling you, summoning you in some fraction, in some manner. So, all love is divine. There is no such thing as undivine love if you properly understand from where it comes, why it is directed and what it is that summons. Finally, Yāj˝avalkya sums up his teaching to Maitreyī, saying that in the state of liberation there is no externality consciousness; there is no objectivity of any kind; there is nothing to be seen or sensed or understood or thought, because of the fact that all beings are consumed in its own Existence. Having given this final teaching, Yāj˝avalkya leaves home and goes for higher meditations.

We do not propose to expatiate on this subject because we have already covered it earlier. The Sixth Section merely names the successive sages who taught this scripture. So, here we conclude the Fourth Chapter of the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣhad. The philosophical, the mystical and the metaphysical sections are over.