6 (Pupil) ‘Not in the self have I attained it.
Now in other things will I seek that place of
the good, by detachment.’
(Teacher) ‘Devote yourself to your welfare,
not to your harm.
(It is) great, a mass of splendour,
all- pervading, the Lord.’
in the self The form ‘atmart is a (Vedic) locative. ‘In the self’ means that the interior self within is the supreme Self, and everything is to be practised as here. If it were practised as elsewhere than the body, it would be conceived as not the self. Therefore it is in one’s self, in this aggregate of body and senses and mind, having shaken off attachment to outer things, that one should practise realization of that which lies in the cave, the reality of Self.
Does the sage mean that realization of it is not to be practised in other things? At the beginning, certainly, realization of the Self-reality is not to be practised in other things. How then? If in spite of all efforts he does not attain within the body-mind aggregate that Self-reality already described, then the pupil says, ‘Now I shall seek I shall pursue (it) in other things like the (divinity in the) sun, that place of the good, the place for realizing the good, the supreme Self, the place where realization of the Brahman-reality lying in the cave may be practised, by detachment, by desirelessness, after cutting myself away from the pleasures of son, wealth and position.’ For practice of Self-realization and desire for external objects cannot go together.
Well, why should one disregard the many other forms of benefit and practise so hard at Self-realization alone? The teacher says (to him): ‘(Those) other things which are not to one’s benefit are grasped at under the impression that they are so. But it is different with devotion to Self. How so? Because that is benefit itself. Therefore devote yourself to it.’
How is that Self distinguished to which one is to be devoted? The reply is: great, of immeasurable extent, because it has neither within nor without, it is the great Self. Such is the greatness of it. Or again, it is great as having gunas (attributes) as its associated adjuncts (upādhi); it bodies forth, so to say, all things.
a mass of splendour a body of splendour, being in essence the light of supreme consciousness. For it is the splendour of splendours. The holy texts say, ‘by whose splendour the blazing sun burns’ (Taitt. Br. 184.108.40.206) and ‘by his glory all this shines’ (Muṇd. 2.2.10).
all-pervading in all bodies from the first-born god down to a tuft of grass, pervading, abiding in them, manifest as essential awareness.
Brahman is said to be in the things only in the sense that they are each a manifestation of Brahman; Brahman has no (actual) location, for it is all-pervading.
the lord he is supreme over all lords, for he is of unthinkable power.
Devote yourself to the Self which is distinguished by an infinity of attributes like these.