Darshana Upanishad by Thirunavukkarasu Sivasubramaniam - HTML preview

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Chapter 1



When the sage Dattatreya was alone, Sankriti approached his Guru and saluted him with folded hands with great modesty and asked him to explain in detail the yoga of eight limbs, the knowledge of which would make him become a Jivan-Mukta.


The Great sage starts to explain the yoga of eight limbs: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are the eight limbs of Yoga.


The ten types of Yama are Ahimsa (Non-violence), Sathya (Truth), Asteya (Non-stealing), Brahmacharya (Celibacy), Daya (Compassion), Arjava (Straight-forwardness), Kshama (Perseverance), Drutir (Willpower or Firmness), Mithahara (Moderate food) and Saucha (Cleanliness).


Ahimsa - Non-Violence


The non violence is verily the penance. It is the non-indulgence in violence by the mind, words, and body in accordance with the injunctions of the scriptures. For a scholar in scriptures, the best of non-violence is the strong belief that Atman transcends all, which is impartial and beyond the grasps.


(Note: He who believes that Atman exists in all, sees Atman in everyone and everything he interacts with. He treats all as his own Atman. If he intends violence against anyone, it is violence against his own self. This belief makes him not to indulge in violence. This is the best type of Non-Violence since there is no scope for violence at all).


Sathya - Truth


The perception of objects seen, heard, smelt by the eyes and other organs of senses alone is true. All that exists is the Supreme Brahman. It could not be otherwise. The strong belief in this fact is the best truth for those who have crossed the ocean of Vedanta.


Asteya - Non-stealing


The complete abstinence of the mind from cereals, gems, gold, and the pearl belonging to others is non-stealing as known by the noblemen. For those who know Atman, the great non-stealing is the abstinence from dealing with Atman as being Anatman.


(Note: Anatman means that which is not Atman. In reality, Anatman does not exist. For those who don't have the real knowledge of Atman, Atman and Anatman are two separate and distinct things. For him who knows, the abstinence from the belief that there exist Atman and Anatman is the Non-stealing. This is the best Non-stealing).


Brahmacharya - Celibacy


The non-indulgence in any contact with women by means of mind, speech, and body is celibacy. It applies to one' own wife too except for the period immediately after mensuration. The constant application of mind to the state of becoming Brahman is the Celibacy.


Daya - Compassion


The indulgence in other beings by mind, body, and speech as towards one's own self is compassion as declared by the scholars of Vedic literature.


Arjava - Straight-forwardness


The uniformity in treating one's own son, friend, wife, enemy, and

own self in all walks of life is Arjava.


Kshama – Perseverance


Kshama is not losing temper of mind, body, and speech even when provoked by enemies.




The downing of wisdom that the complete freedom from the worldly clutches is possible only through the Scriptures is the firmness or imperviousness. The unswerving belief "I am Brahman, nothing other than that" is Drutir.


Mithahara - Moderate Food


Leaving off a quarter of food which is purely for the attainment of success in yoga is Moderate Food.


Shaucha - Cleanliness


External cleanliness is the getting rid of the impurities of the body whereas the internal cleanliness that relates to the mind is the meditation. Scholars say that cleanliness constitutes the knowledge "I am Pure". The body is extremely impure whereas Atman is Pure. Understanding the difference between them, to which of them purity should be prescribed?


Fools enjoy external purity ignoring the purity of internal awareness. It is like getting hold of a clod of the earth leaving off the gold.


Atman is Brahman


For him, who has complete satisfaction with the nectar of knowledge and who has discharged his duties, nothing is left to be done. If at all, there is anything that is left, he has no complete knowledge of the truth. For him, who knows Atman, there remains nothing to be done even in the three worlds.


Hence, with all your effort, have recourse to non-violence and other means. By the knowledge so acquired, know the truth Atman is none other than the eternal Brahman.