Aitareya Upanishad

The Best Quotes

Brahman is Consciousness

In the beginning [all] this verily was Atman only,
one and without a second.

In the beginning [all] this verily was Atman only, one and without a second. There was nothing else that winked. He bethought Himself: "Let Me now create the worlds." (1.1.1)

Having been born as the jiva[individual soul], He realized the elements (bhutas) as one with Himself [and expressed this in words]. What else here would one desire to speak about?
He perceived this very person as the all-pervading Brahman. He said: "Ah, I have seen It." (1.3.13)

Who is He whom we worship, thinking: "This is the Self (Atman)"? [Of the two mentioned in the scriptures,] which one is the Self? Is it He by whom one sees form, by whom one hears sound, and by whom one tastes the sweet and the unsweet?

It is the heart and the mind. It is [known, in accordance with its different functions, as] consciousness, lordship, knowledge [of arts], wisdom, retentive power of mind, sense knowledge, steadfastness, thought, thoughtfulness, sorrow, memory, concepts, purpose, life, desire, longing [for sense-objects]: all these are but various names of Consciousness (Prajnanam).

He is Brahman, He is Indra, He is Prajapati; He is all these gods; He is the five great elements—earth, air, akasa, water, light; He is all these small creatures and the others which are mixed [with them]; He is the origin [of the moving and the unmoving]—those born of an egg, of a womb, of sweat, and of a sprout; He is horses, cows, human beings, elephants—whatever breathes here, whether moving on legs or flying in the air or unmoving. All this is guided by Consciousness (Prajnanam), is supported by Consciousness. The basis [of the universe] is Consciousness. Consciousness is Brahman.

He, [having realized oneness with Pure Consciousness,] soared from this world, and having obtained all desires in yonder heavenly world, became immortal—yea, became immortal. (3.1.1-4)

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* Excerpts translated by Swami Nikhilananda