Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Quotes – Sage Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi on Self

Sage Yajnavalkya decided to renounce his householder’s life and distribute his wealth among Maitreyi and Katyayani.

Thereupon Maitreyi, his wife, said, ‘Sir, if indeed this whole earth full of wealth be mine, shall I be immortal through that?’

‘No’, replied Yajnavalkya, ‘your life will be just like that of people who have plenty of things, but there is no hope of immortality through wealth.’

Then Maitreyi said, ‘What shall I do with that which will not make me immortal? Tell me, sir, of that alone through which I can attain immortality.’

Yajnavalkya said, ‘My dear, you have been my beloved (even before), and you say what is after my heart. Come, take your seat, I will explain it to you. As I explain it, meditate on its meaning.

It is not for the sake of the husband, my dear, that he is loved, but for one’s own sake that he is loved.

It is not for the sake of the wife, my dear, that she is loved, but for one’s own sake that she is loved.

It is not for the sake of the sons, my dear, that they are loved, but for one’s own sake that they are loved.

It is not for the sake of wealth, my dear, that it is loved, but for one’s own sake that it is loved.

It is not for the sake of the Brahmana, my dear, that he is loved, but for one’s own sake that he is loved.

It is not for the sake of the Kshatriya, my dear, that he is loved, but for one’s own sake that he is loved.

It is not for the sake of worlds, my dear, that they are loved, but for one’s own sake that they are loved.

It is not for the sake of the gods, my dear, that they are loved, but for one’s own sake that they are loved.

It is not for the sake of beings, my dear, that they are loved, but for one’s own sake that they are loved.

It is not for the sake of all, my dear, that all is loved, but for one’s own sake that it is loved.

The Self, my dear Maitreyi, should be realized – should be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon. By the realization of the Self, my dear, through hearing, reflection and meditation, all this is known.