That which the self-knowers know || On Mundaka Upanishad (2021)

Acharya Prashant
18 min readApr 30, 2024

हिरण्मये परे कोशे विरजं ब्रह्म निष्कलम् । तच्छुभ्रं ज्योतिषं ज्योतिस्तद्यदात्मविदो विदुः ॥

hiraṇmaye pare kośe virajaṃ brahma niṣkalam tacchubhraṃ jyotiṣaṃ jyotistadyadātmavido viduḥ

In a supreme golden sheath the Brahman lies, stainless, without parts. A Splendor is That, It is the Light of Lights, It is That which the self-knowers know.

~ Verse 2.2.10

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Acharya Prashant (AP): A very rich verse, consisting of several parts, each complete in itself. We shall look at them one by one.

“In a supreme golden sheath the Brahman lies” — and the Upanishads refer to the Truth repeatedly this way. Elsewhere also say the scriptures, that the face of Truth is covered with gold. And here again we see: “In a supreme golden sheath the Brahman lies.” What is it that the sage is trying to say?

Before one comes to the Truth, what one encounters, and therefore what one has to overcome, is a great force of desire that asks you to stop. What is gold? Gold is that which you strongly desire; that is the definition of gold here. The face of Truth is covered with gold. Truth implies the dissolution of your individuality: you become one with the Immeasurable, but you lose the little thing that you call as…

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