This Mantra is one of the most popular and oft-quoted quotations of this Upanishad. It answers the fundamental question – why do we love others or wealth or objects and so on? To put it more precisely - what is love? why do we love? (the objects of love may be anything – persons, things, wealth, fame, name, position etc).

We love anything and everything for our own sake. But what do we understand by our own sake? We have to know that correctly. Let us therefore see what is meant by love. The love that we feel in respect of an object is in fact the love that we feel towards that which is called perfection, fullness or completeness of our own being. It is not really a love for the object. We misunderstand the point, when we are attached to a particular object as if it is the source of satisfaction. But the actual fact is that the mind does not want an object for its sake; it wants completeness of being. That is what the mind is searching for.

Thus, when there is a promise of the fulfillment that it seeks, through the perception of an object that appears to be its source, there is a sudden feeling that fullness is going to come, and there is a satisfaction even on the perception of that object; and there is an apparent satisfaction, just by the imagined possession of it together with the yearning for actual possession. So, what is it that we are asking for? We are not asking for any object or thing; we are asking for a condition of completeness in our being. So, Yajnavalkya says nobody is dear. No object can be regarded as lovable or desirable. It is something else that we love and are asking for, but by a notion that is completely misconstrued, we believe that the object is loved. This is the mechanics of love as put forth in this Mantra.

So, what we love is a completeness of being which is reflected in the condition felt to exist between ourself and the object concerned. We must mark this point. What we love is only the condition that we imagine to be present in the state of the possession of the object. But that state can never be reached, for the reasons mentioned earlier. So, nothing is dear in this world. What is dear is the condition which we intend to create, or project in our own being by an imagined contact with the object. So, not one person is dear in this world, but what is dear is that condition which is imagined to be present after the possession of that object or that relationship. Now, what are these objects? Every blessed thing mentioned in this Mantra.

Noticing that Maitreyi is greatly interested to know about the means of attaining immortality Yajnavalkya goes on with his exposition to Maitreyi about the Supreme Self who is of the nature of immortality.

This Mantra says that we love our husband, wife or children not because they are our husband, wife or children but because we see their Self and our Self as one. When a couple regards each other as one, it is happy and it is not when husband and wife think of themselves as two separate entities. The same applies to wealth, social status or anything one can think of. When we harmonize other persons or objects with our own Inner Self, there is happiness. But when we chase other persons or objects as something external, which we must possess, there is tension and misery. So Yajnavalkya suggests to Maitreyi that she should reflect on Self.

After enumerating many things that are usually conceived as dear and desirable in this world such as son, wealth, gods, things etc., but which are actually not the source of real satisfaction to a person, Yajnavalkya says, nothing external can give us happiness, because it is not the thing alone that is the source of happiness but something else which gives happiness but which always remains unrecognized due to a confusion of thought.

Yajnavalkya emphasizes that atmanas-tu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati: for the desire of the Infinite, which is the Self, everything appears to be desirable. If that Infinite (Self) is perceived in all external objects and persons, there is no division between the perceiver and the perceived or the subject and the object. Husband, wife, son, wealth etc., enumerated in this Mantra are the objects of love for the subject due their mere mutual oneness and identity. In such love the subject – object distinction vanishes and the essential unity of the Self is comprehended.

The real attraction of things for a man is the attraction of the Spirit or Brahman, for the Spirit is the indwelling essence of all. Ignorant persons do not know the source of attraction and turn it into selfish love.

Therefore Yajnavalkya says “Atma va are drastavyah srotavyo mantavyo nididhyasitavyo: O, Maitreyi, it is the Atman that is to be beheld; it is the atman that is to be known; it is the atman that is to be searched for; it is the atman which is to be heard about; it is the atman which is to be thought in the mind; it is the atman which is to be meditated upon. There is nothing else worthwhile thinking, nothing else worthwhile possessing, because nothing worthwhile exists, other than This. Maitreyi atmano va are darsanena sravanena matya vijnanenedam sarvam viditam: If we can grasp the significance of what this atman is, we have known everything; and then, we have posses­sed everything; we have become all things. There is nothing left to desire afterwards”. How the Self is everything is answered in the next Mantra.

All objects of the world, earthly possessions, and romantic delights provide opportunities for realization of Self (to love the Self alone). Contemplation is not a mere philosophical thought. It is higher stage of spiritual consciousness. It secures direct connection of reality. While a teacher can help, personal effort alone can take us to the goal of realization. – Dr.S.Radhakrishnan.

We have to particularly note Yajnavalkya’s threefold division of time into 1. hearing the scriptures 2. reflection of their meaning and 3. the practice of meditation. Through meditation the conviction of the Self’s reality is obtained in direct experience.

6) "The brahmin rejects one who knows him as different from the Self. The kshatriya rejects one who knows him as different from the Self. The worlds reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The gods reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The beings reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The All rejects one who knows it as different from the Self. This brahmin, this kshatriya, these worlds, these gods, these beings and this All—are that Self.

Finally the Upanishad says; sarvam tam paradad yo'anyatratmano sarvam veda: Everything shall leave you if you regard anything as other than you. It is a metaphysical point, a psychological theme, and a practical truth. You cannot forget this. Anything that is outside you cannot belong to you and cannot satisfy you, and it will leave you. So, it shall bring you sorrow. It is a point which is eternally true. All things shall desert you, one day or the other. Even those things which you regard as dearest and nearest, most desirable and valuable, shall desert you and leave you bringing sorrow, because they do not belong to you.

Yo'anyatratmano sarvam veda, idam brahma, idam ksatram, ime lokah, ime devah, imani bhutani, idam sarvam, yad ayam atma: So, Maitreyi, says Yajnavalkya; it is the Atman that appears as all these things. This is the point that is never grasped by the mind which looks upon objects as independent entities. The Atman is the one Reality that masquerades in various forms and names, but this point is not understood. The mind that is finite, located and lodged in the body, does not understand the fact that finite objects that are outside are only appearances of a single indivisible Reality. So, the finite tries to clings to the finite, not knowing this fact of infinitude that is at the background of these finite forms. If this infinitude that is at the base of these finite forms is to be understood, realized and made part of one's own being, then the realization accrues: This Atman is all - idam sarvam, yad ayam atma.

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