The Bliss of Brahman: Taittiriya Upanishad

“Who could have been able to breathe and who could have been able to live if this infinite void or space had not been full of joy or bliss?” Thus does a sage ask us. This is a fine poser.

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When a man realizes the one indivisible Atman (soul), he attains a fearless state of mind. He enjoys bliss. So long as he sees and perceives two separate forces in this world, so long as he perceives duality, he harbours fear in his mind. The perception of duality is the root of fear. It is that fear which haunts the steps of the ignorant and the unthinking.

The Atman is all-powerful. It is the power of the Atman that keeps the sun, the moon and the stars in their proper track. The winds and the rains too obey Him. But when once a man realizes that the Atman pervades everywhere and is also at the centre of his own existence, he sheds all fear and enjoys bliss. That unmixed bliss falls to the lot of only those who are learned in the Vedas, in the books of wisdom, and are not cursed and fettered by personal desires.

Let us suppose that there is a strong, well-built, virtuous young man. If he is a man, firm of mind and full of ambition and if he becomes the owner of this world, he enjoys full happiness. That may be counted as one unit of full human happiness. But hundredfold is the happiness of Gandharvas in heaven. A thousand-fold of that happiness again is the happiness of the gods. A thousand-fold of the happiness of the gods is the happiness of Indra who is lord of the gods. Then again hundredfold of that happiness is the happiness of Brhaspati. Hundredfold of that happiness is the happiness of Prajapati and again hundredfold of that is the happiness of Brahman, the Highest Being.

And that man learned in the Vedas and in the books of wisdom, and unsullied and unfettered by personal desires enjoys the happiness that Brahman enjoys! But, in comparison, what is the measure of that infinite spiritual bliss?

He who knows this and he who knows the bliss of Brahman lives a life which is beyond all fear and he enjoys immortal life.

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