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One God, One World
God of a Thousand Names

Last Revised: 12 February 2005

Enlightenment Teachings and Experiences

Details of bibliographic acronyms are available here .

Subject: Upanishads (Vedanta)
Dates: Unknown
Tradition: One of the bases of Hinduism.

The secret of immortality is to be found in purification of the heart, in meditation, in realization of the identification of the Self within and Brahman without. For immortality is union with God. (UPAN, 13.)

To many it is not given to hear of the Self. Many, though they hear of it, do not understand it. Wonderful is he who speaks of it. Intelligent is he who learns of it. Blessed is he who, taught by a good teacher, is able to understand it. (UPAN, 17.)

The ancient, effulgent being, in-dwelling Spirit, subtle, deep-hidden in the lotus of the heart, is hard to know. But the wise man, following the path of meditation, knows himself and is freed alike from pleasure and from pain. ... When a man is free from desire, his mind and senses purified, he beholds the glory of the Self and is without sorrow. (UPAN, 17-8.)

The imperishable Brahman ... is the end and refuge of those who seek liberation. (UPAN, 19.)

To him Brahmins and Kshatriyas are but food, and death itself a condiment. (UPAN, 19.)

By learning, a man cannot know him, if he desist not from evil, if he control not his senses, if he quiet not his mind, and practice not meditation. (UPAN, 19.)

The man who has a sound understanding for charioteer, a controlled mind for reins -- he it is that reaches the end of the journey, the supreme abode of Vishnu, the all-pervading. (UPAN, 19.)

Brahman is the end of the journey. Brahman is the supreme goal. (UPAN, 20.)

This Brahman, this Self, deep-hidden in all beings, is not revealed to all; but to the seers, pure in heart, concentrated in mind -- to them is he revealed. (UPAN, 20.)

Soundless, formless, intangible ... tasteless, odorless, ... beyond nature is the Self. Knowing him as such, one is freed from death. (UPAN, 20.)

What is within us is also without. What is without is also within. He who sees difference between what is within and what is without goes evermore from death to death. (UPAN, 21.)

That being ... is the power of all powers. (UPAN, 21.)

He who sees the First-Born ... and sees him inhabiting the lotus of the heart, living among physical elements, sees Brahman indeed. For this First-Born is the immortal Self. (UPAN, 21.)

Having attained Him, one fears no more. (UPAN, 21.)

All the worlds have their being in [Brahman], and no one can transcend it. (UPAN, 22.)

The whole universe came forth from Brahman and moves in Brahman. (UPAN, 23.)

The universe is a tree eternally existing, its root aloft, its branches spread belowThe pure root of the tree is Brahman, the immortal, in whom the three worlds have their being, whom none can transcend, who is verily the Self. (UPAN, 23.)

If a man fail to attain Brahman before he casts off his body, he must again put on a body in the world of created things. (UPAN, 23.)

Words cannot reveal, mind cannot reach, eyes cannot see [Brahman]. (UPAN, 24.)

There are two selves, the apparent self and the real Self, and he alone. Of these it is the real Self, and he alone, who must be felt as truly existing. To the man who has felt him as truly existing he reveals his innermost nature. These are the highest truths taught in the scriptures. (UPAN, 24.)

None beholds him with the eyes, for he is without visible form. (UPAN, 24.)

Renunciation is renunciation of the ego, of selfishness -- not of life. (UPAN, 26.)

Those alone attain the world of Brahman who are steadfast in continence, meditation, and truthfulness. (UPAN, 36.)

Brahman is all. (UPAN, 26.)

Filled with Brahman are the things we see,
Filled with Brahman are the things we see not,
From out of Brahman floweth all that is:
From Brahman all -- yet is he still the same. (UPAN, 27.)

The Seer, the Thinker, the One who is above all, the Self-Existent -- he it is that has established perfect order among objects and beings from beginningless time. (UPAN, 27.)

Him the eye does not see, nor the tongue express, nor the mind grasp. Him we neither know nor are able to teach. Different is he from the known, and different is he from the unknown. (UPAN, 30.)

That which is not comprehended by the mind but by which the mind comprehends -- know that to be Brahman. (UPAN, 30.)

Having given up the false identification of the Self with the senses and the mind, and knowing the Self to be Brahman, the wise, on departing this life, become immortal. (UPAN, 30.)

The pure world of Brahman is attainable by those only who are neither deceitful, nor wicked, nor false. (UPAN, 36.)

He who knows the immutable, the pure, the shadowless, the bodiless, the colorless, attains to Brahman, O my friend. Such an one becomes all-knowing, and he dwells in all beings. Of him it is written:

He who knows that immutable Self, wherein live the mind, the senses, the Pranas, the elements -- verily such an one knows all things, and realizes the Self in all. (UPAN, 39.)

As the web comes out of the spider and is withdrawn, as plants grow from the soil and hair from the body of man, so springs the universe from the eternal Brahman. (UPAN, 43.)

Brahman sees all, knows all; he is knowledge itself. Of him are born cosmic intelligence, name, form, and the material cause of all created beings and things. (UPAN, 44.)

Beyond the ken of the senses is he. (UPAN, 45.)

[Brahman] is the principle of life. (UPAN, 45.)

Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes. (UPAN, 46-7.)

Brahman is supreme. (UPAN, 46.)

Verily, all is [God]. (UPAN, 46.)

He can neither be conceived of nor spoken of [Brahman] is beyond all thought. (UPAN, 47.)

The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes his worshipful lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more.

When the seer beholds the Effulgent One, the Lord, the Supreme Being, then, transcending both good and evil, and freed from impurities, he unites himself with him. ...

This Effulgent Self is to be realized within the lotus of the heart by continence, by steadfastness in truth, by meditation, and by superconscious vision. Their impurities washed away, the seers realize him. (UPAN, 47.)

He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman. (UPAN, 48.)

I am life. My glory is like the mountain peak. I am established in the purity of Brahman. I have attained to the freedom of the Self. I am Brahman, self-luminous, the brightest treasure. I am endowed with wisdom. I am immortal, imperishable. (UPAN, 54.)

He who knows that Brahman dwells within the lotus of the heart becomes one with him and enjoys all blessings. (UPAN, 55.)

Before creation came into existence, Brahman existed as the Unmanifest. From the Unmanifest he created the Manifest. From himself, he brought forth himself. Hence he is known as the Self-Existent. (UPAN, 56.)

Brahman ... drives away all fear. (UPAN, 56.)

I am that Self! I am life immortal! I overcome the world -- I who am endowed with golden effulgence! Those who know me achieve Reality. (UPAN, 59.)

This Self ... is God, all gods ... everything that breathes, the beings that walk and the beings that walk not. ... All these, while they live, and after they have ceased to live, exist in him. (UPAN, 62.)

As [the] rivers, when they are united with the sea, do not know whether they are this or that river, likewise all ... creatures..., when they have come back from Brahman, know not whence they came. (UPAN, 69.)

He who knows, meditates upon, and realizes this truth of the Self, finds that everything -- primal energy, fire, water, and all other elements -- mind, will, speech, sacred hymns and scriptures -- indeed the whole universe -- issues forth from it. (UPAN, 73.)

Neither male nor female art thou,
Nor neuter;
Whatsoever form thou assumest,
That thou art. (UPAN, 126.)

Subject: Greek name: Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus; Egyptian name: Thoth.
Dates: Unknown
Tradition: Unknown; worshipped by Egyptians as a deity.

This is, O Son, the Guide in the way that leads thither; for thou must first forsake the Body before thy end, and get the victory in this contention. (DPH, 2.)

My thoughts being once seriously busied about the things that are, and my Understanding lifted up, all my bodily Senses being exceedingly holden back, as it is with them that are heavy of sleep...: Methought I saw one of an exceeding great stature, and of an infinite greatness, call me by my name, and say unto me, What wouldst thou hear and see? (DPH 7.)

I am that Light, the Mind, thy God, who am before that moist nature that appeared out of darkness. (DPH, 8.)

When he had thus said, he was changed in his Idea or Form, and straightway, in the twinkling of an eye, all things were opened unto me. And I saw an infinite sight, all things were become light, both sweet and exceedingly pleasant; and I was wonderfully delighted in the beholding it. (DPH, 8.)

Others casting themselves down before my feet, besought me that they might be taught; but I, causing them to rise up, became a guide of mankind, teaching them the reasons how, and by what means they may be saved. And I sowed in them the Words of Wisdom, and nourished them with Ambrozian [sic] Water of Immortality. (DPH, 16.)

The sight of Good is not like the beam of the Sun, which being of a fiery shining brightness maketh the eye blind by his excessive Light, that gazeth upon it; rather the contrary, for it enlighteneth, and much increaseth the light of the eye, as any man is able to receive the influence of this intelligible clearness.

For it is more swift and sharp to pierce, and innocent or harmless withal, and full of immortality; and they that are capable, and can draw any store of this spectacle and sight, do many times fall asleep from the Body, into this most fair and beauteous Vision. (DPH, 21-2.)

For it is possible for the Soul, O Son, to be deified while yet it lodgeth in the Body of Man, if it contemplate the beauty of the Good. (DPH, 22.)

For the knowledge of it is a Divine Silence, and the rest of all the senses; for neither can he that understands that, understand anything else, nor he that sees that, see anything else, nor hear any other thing, nor in sum move the Body. (DPH, 22.)

This only is healthful to man, the knowledge of God: ... by this only the soul is made ... Good. (DPH, 23.)

But Knowledge differs much from Sense; for Sense is of things that surmount it, but Knowledge is the end of Sense.

Knowledge is the gift of God; for all Knowledge is unbodily, but useth the Mind as an instrument, as the Mind useth the Body. (DPH, 23.)

Subject: Dattatreya
Dates: Unknown
Tradition: Hinduism

Only a man of samesightedness, only he who sees nothing but the Atman in all things, everywhere and at all times, can attain to this lofty state [the culmination of yoga]. Those who see duality are always submerged in an ocean of grief. (AG, xxi.)

How can I speak of or worship that Supreme Beatitude, which I do not know as an object of knowledge? For I myself am that Supreme Beatitude -- the ultimate Reality, which is full by nature and all-pervading like space. (AG, 14.)

When everything in this world, including the body, becomes unreal and void like space, then truly one knows Brahman. Then there is no longer any parade of dualities for him. (AG, 20.)

In whatever way and in whatever place the yogis die, they merge into Brahman, as the jar-space is united with the limitless space when the jar is broken. (AG, 33.)

I am indeed that Brahman which is free from diversity. O dear friend, how can I, the Self, salute the Self? ... I am uncreated and separate from creation, for I am ever present. ... I am Self-luminous, I am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss and boundless as space. (AG, 56.)

In Brahman there is no distinction between Purusha and Prakriti. ... If Brahman alone is the indivisible Supreme Beatitude, how can one say it is male or female? (AG, 110.)

He whose intellect is not agitated by desires, and whose sense organs are controlled; he who is gentle, pure, without possessions, not covetous, not greedy for food, serene, and steadfast; he who has taken refuge in the Self -- he alone is a sage. ... The sage is vigilant, profound, and steady, and has conquered the mind and the senses. He is humble and gives honour to all. He is well mannered, friendly, compassionate, and farsighted. (AG, 125.)

Subject: Sage Vasistha
Dates: Unknown
Tradition: Hinduism

This world-appearance is a confusion [of the real with the unreal], even as the blueness of the sky is an optical illusion. I think it is better not to let the mind dwell on it, but to ignore it.

Moksa or liberation is the total abandonment of all vasana or mental conditioning, without the least reserve. Mental conditioning is of two types the pure and the impure. The impure is of the nature of nescience and ego-sense; these are the seeds, as it were, for the tree of re-birth. One the other hand, when these seeds are abandoned, the mental conditioning that sustains the body is of a pure nature. Such mental conditioning exists even in those who have been liberated while living: it does not lead to re-birth, as it is sustained only by past momentum and not by present motivation. (CYV, 5.)

Man vainly seeks to extend his life-span, and thereby he earns more sorrow and extends the period of suffering. Only he lives who strives to gain self-knowledge, which alone is worth gaining in this world, thereby putting an end to future births; others exist here like donkeys. To the unwise, knowledge of scriptures is a burden. To the one who is full of desires, even wisdom is a burden. To one who is restless, his own mind is a burden; and to one who has self-knowledge, the body (life-span) is a burden. (CYV, 10.)

As long as one clings to the notion of the reality of 'you' and 'I,' there is no liberation. (CYV, 39.)

There is only one remedy for ignorance of the Lord -- firm and decisive renunciation of craving for sense-pleasure. (CYV, 43.)

When there is cessation of the knowable, and the flow of attention is toward that which is not knowable (pure intelligence), then there is fulfilment and one goes beyond sorrow. (CYV, 43.)

The cosmic intelligence in which the universe, as it were, ceases to be, is the Lord. In him the subject-object relationship appears to have ceased, as such. He is the void in which the universe appears to exist. In him even cosmic consciosuness stands still like a mountain. (CYV, 43.)

Only when the creation is known to be utterly non-existent is the Lord realized. (CYV, 44.)

What is known as liberation ... is indeed the absolute itself, which alone is. (CYV, 45.)

The mind of the knower of truth is no-mind: it is pure satva. After living with such no-mind for some time, there arises the state known as turiya-atita (the state beyond the transcendental, or the turiya, state). (CYV, 306.)

Subject: Sri Krishna
Dates: Unknown
Tradition: Avatar; his teachings are basic to Hinduism.

Feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are caused by the contact of the senses with their objects. They come and they go, never lasting long. You must accept them.

A serene spirit accepts pleasure and pain with an even mind, and is unmoved by either. He alone is worthy of immortality. (BG, 36.)

Poise your mind in tranquillity. (BG, 40.)

Be even-tempered in success and failure; for it is this evenness of temper which is meant by yoga. (BG, 40.)

When [your intellect] can rest, steady and undistracted, in contemplation of the Atman, then you will reach union with the Atman. (BG, 41.)

This is the state of enlightenment in Brahman:
A man does not fall back from it
Into delusion.
Even at the moment of death
He is alive in that enlightenment:
Brahman and he are one. (BG, 44.)

Flying from fear,
From lust and anger,
He hides in me
His refuge, his safety:
Burnt clean in the blaze of my being
In me many find home.(BG, 51.)

He who sees the inaction that is in action, and the action that is in inaction, is wise indeed. Even when he is engaged in action he remains poised in the tranquillity of the Atman. (BG, 52.)

The reward of all action is to found in enlightenment. (BG, 54.)

Though you were the foulest of sinners,
This knowledge alone would carry you
Like a raft, over all your sin.

The blazing fire turns wood to ashes:
The fire of knowledge turns all karmas to ashes. (BG, 55.)

The illumined soul
Whose heart is Brahman's heart
Thinks always: 'I am doing nothing,'
No matter what he sees,
Hears, touches, smells, eats. (BG, 57.)

Brahman is one,
Changeless, untouched by evil:
What home have we but him? (BG, 60.)

Absorbed in Brahman
He overcomes the world
Even here, alive in the world. (BG, 60.)

The enlightened, the Brahman-abiding,
Calm-hearted, unbewildered,
Is neither elated by the pleasant
Nor saddened by the unpleasant. (BG, 60.)

Cut free from desire,
Curbing the heart
And knowing the Atman,
Man finds Nirvana
That is in Brahman,
Here and hereafter. (BG, 61.)

That serene one
Absorbed in the Atman
Masters his will,
He knows no disquiet
In heat or in cold,
In pain or in pleasure,
In honour, dishonour. (BG, 64.)

So with his heart serene and fearless,
Firm in his vow of renunciation,
Holding the mind from its restless roaming,
Now let him struggle to reach my oneness,
Ever-absorbed, his eyes on me always,
His prize, his purpose. (BG, 65.)

Yoga is not for the man who overeats, or for him who fasts excessively, or for the keeper of excessive vigils. Let a man be moderate in his eating and his recreation, moderately active, moderate in sleep and in wakefulness. (BG, 65.)

When, through the practice of yoga, the mind ceases its restless movements, and becomes still, he realizes the Atman. It satisfies him entirely. Then he knows that infinite happiness which can be realized by the purified heart but is beyond the grasp of the senses. He stands firm in this realization. Because of it, he can never again wander from the inmost truth of his being. (BG, 66.)

No one who seeks Brahman ever comes to an evil end. Even if a man falls away from the practice of yoga, he will still win the heaven of the doers of good deeds, and dwell there many long years. After that, he will be reborn into the home of pure and prosperous parents. He may even be born into a family of illumined yogis. But such a birth in this world is more difficult to obtain.

He will then regain that spiritual discernment which he acquired in his former body; and so will strive harder than ever for perfection. Because of his practices in the previous life, he will be driven on toward union with Brahman, even in spite of himself. For the man who has once asked the way to Brahman goes farther than any mere fulfiller of the Vedic rituals. By struggling hard, and cleansing himself of all impurities, that yogi will move gradually toward perfection through many births, and reach the highest goal at last. (BG, 69.)

Behind [my Prakriti], and distinct from it, is That which is the principle of consciousness in all beings, and the source of life in all. It sustains the universe. (BG, 70.)

Who cares to seek
For that perfect freedom?
One man, perhaps,
In many thousands.
Then tell me how many
Of those who seek freedom
Shall know the total
Truth of my being?
Perhaps one only. (BG, 70.)

[There is] no other beside me.(BG, 71.)

I am all that a man may desire
Without transgressing
The law of his nature.(BG, 71.)

I know all beings, Arjuna: past, present and to come. But no one knows me. (BG, 73.)

Veiled in my Maya, I am not shown to many.
How shall this world, bewildered by delusion,
Recognize me, who am not born and change not?(BG, 73.)

Brahman is that which is immutable, and independent of any cause but Itself. The creative energy of Brahman is that which causes all existences to come into being. (BG, 74.)

Men take refuge in me, to escape from their fear of old age and death. Thus they come to know Brahman, and the entire nature of the Atman, and the creative energy which is in Brahman. Knowing me, they understand the nature of the relative world2 and the individual man, and of God who presides over all action. Even at the hour of death, they continue to know me thus. In that hour, their whole consciousness is made one with mine. (BG, 74.)

The nature of the individual man is his consciousness of ego. (BG, 74-5.)

All the worlds ... are subject to the laws of rebirth. But, for the man who comes to me, there is no returning. (BG, 76.)

To reach [God] is said to be the greatest of all achievements. (BG, 77.)

Those who reach [my highest state of being] are not reborn. (BG, 77.)

This entire universe is pervaded by me, in that eternal form of mine which is not manifest to the senses. Although I am not within any creature, all creatures exist within me. I do not mean that they exist within me physically. That is my divine mystery. You must try to understand its nature. My Being sustains all creatures and brings them to birth, but has no physical contact with them. (BG, 80.)

Fools pass blindly by the place of my dwelling
Here in the human form, and of my majesty
They know nothing at all,
Who am the Lord, their soul. (BG, 81.)

I am absolute knowledge. (BG, 82.)

I make all things clean. (BG, 82.)

My face is equal
To all creation.(BG, 84.)

Though a man be soiled
With the sins of a lifetime,
Let him but love me,
Rightly resolved,
In utter devotion:
I see no sinner,
That man is holy.
Holiness soon
Shall refashion his nature
To peace eternal. (BG, 84-5.)

I am where all things began, the issuing-forth of the creatures,
Known to the wise in their love when they worship with hearts overflowing. (BG, 87.)

I am the beginning, the middle, and the end in creation. (BG, 89-90.)

But what need have you, Arjuna, to know this huge variety? Know only that I exist, and that one atom of myself sustains the universe. (BG, 90.)

I am the divine seed of all that lives. In this world, nothing animate or inanimate exists without me. (BG, 90.)

You cannot see me thus with those human eyes. Therefore, I give you divine sight. Behold -- this is my yoga power. (BG, 91.)

A man should not hate any living creature. Let him be friendly and compassionate to all. He must free himself from the delusion of 'I' and 'mine.' He must accept pleasure and pain with equal tranquillity. He must be forgiving, ever-contented, self-controlled, united constantly with me in his meditation. His resolve must be unshakable. He must be dedicated to me in intellect and in mind. Such a devotee is dear to me. (BG, 99.)

Therefore I tell you:
Be humble, be harmless,
Have no pretension,
Be upright, forbearing,
Serve your teacher
In true obedience,
Keeping the mind
And the body in cleanness,
Tranquil, steadfast,
Master of ego,
Standing apart
From the things of the senses,
Free from self;
Aware of the weakness
In mortal nature,
In bondage to birth,
Age, suffering, dying;
To nothing be slave,
Nor desire possession
Of man-child or wife,
Of home or of household;
Calmly encounter
The painful, the pleasant;
Adore me only
With heart undistracted;
Turn all your thought
Toward solitude, spurning
The noise of the crowd,
Its fruitless commotion;
Strive without ceasing
To know the Atman. (BG, 101-2.)

Who thus perceives
With the eye of wisdom
In what manner the Field
Is distinct from its Knower,
How men are made free from the toils of Prakriti:
His aim is accomplished,
He enters the Highest. (BG, 105.)

A man who is born with tendencies toward the Divine, is fearless and pure in heart. He perseveres in that path to union with Brahman which the scriptures and his teacher have taught him. He is charitable. He can control his passions. He studies the scriptures regularly, and obeys their directions. He practises spiritual disciplines. He is straightforward, truthful, and of an even temper. He harms no one. He renounces the things of the world. He has a tranquil mind and an unmalicious tongue. He is compassionate toward all. He is not greedy. He is gentle and modest. He abstains from useless activity. He has faith in the strength of his higher nature. (BG, 114.)

Reverence for the devas, the seers, the teachers and the sages; straightforwardness, harmlessness, physical cleanliness and sexual purity; these are the virtues whose practice is called austerity of the body. To speak without ever causing pain to another, to be truthful, to say always what is kind and beneficial, and to study the scriptures regularly: this practice is called austerity of speech. The practice of serenity, sympathy, meditation upon the Atman, withdrawal of the mind from sense-objects, and integrity of motive, is called austerity of the mind. When men practise this threefold austerity devotedly, with enlightened faith and no desire for reward, it is said to have the nature of sattwa. (BG, 118.)

Those who have renounced ego and desire will reap no fruit at all, either in this world or in the next. (BG, 121.)

All mankind
Is born for perfection
And each shall attain it
Will he but follow
His nature's duty. (BG, 126.)

Learn from me now,
O son of Kunti,
How man made perfect
Is one with Brahman,
The goal of wisdom.
When the mind and the heart
Are freed from delusion,
United with Brahman,
When steady will
Has subdued the senses,
When sight and taste
And sound are abandoned
Without regretting,
Without aversion;
When man seeks solitude,
Eats but little,
Curbing his speech,
His mind and his body
Ever engaged
In his meditation
In Brahman the truth,
And full of compassion;
When he casts from him
Vanity, violence,
Pride, lust, anger
And all his possessions,
Totally free
From the sense of ego
And tranquil of heart:
That man is ready
For oneness with Brahman.
And he who dwells
United with Brahman,
Calm in mind,
Not grieving, not craving,
Regarding all men
With equal acceptance:
He loves me most dearly. (BG, 127-8.)

The Lord lives in the heart of every creature. He turns them round and round upon the wheel of his Maya. Take refuge utterly in him. By his grace you will find supreme peace, and the state which is beyond all change. (BG, 129.)

Subject: Patanjali
Dates: Unknown (between 2nd and 5th Centuries A.D.)
Tradition: Yoga.

When ... there are no more thought-waves at all in the mind, then one enters the samadhi which is called "seedless." (HTKG, 61.)

One God, One World
God of a Thousand Names

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