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Maitrayana Brahmana Upanishad Quotes

As birds and deer do not approach a burning mountain, so evil never approaches those who know the Supreme Truth (Brahman).

What is without thought, though in the center of thought, what cannot be thought, the hidden, the highest – let a man merge his thought there; then will this living being be free from attachment.

Meditation should be directed to the highest being within; then the unclear understanding becomes clear.

By self discipline goodness is obtained; from goodness understanding is reached; from understanding the Self is known; and he who has known his True Self does not return to this world.
Maitrayana Brahmana Upanishad


The analogy comparing birds and deer avoiding a burning mountain to the concept of evil avoiding those who understand the Supreme Truth (Brahman) is deeply rooted in spiritual and philosophical traditions, particularly within Hinduism and Vedanta philosophy. Let's explore this expansion further:

Understanding Brahman: In Hindu philosophy, Brahman represents the ultimate reality, the supreme, unchanging, and eternal essence of the universe. It is the underlying fabric of existence, transcending all limitations and dualities. Those who have realized Brahman have gained profound insight into the nature of reality and their own existence.

Symbolism of the Burning Mountain: The burning mountain symbolizes danger and destruction. Just as birds and deer instinctively avoid approaching a burning mountain to protect themselves from harm, those who have attained realization of Brahman are shielded from the negative influences of evil and suffering. The burning mountain serves as a metaphor for the troubles and afflictions that exist in the world.

Evil and Ignorance: In many spiritual traditions, evil is often associated with ignorance, delusion, and the ego. Those who are not enlightened by the knowledge of Brahman are often swayed by the illusions of the material world, leading them to actions that cause suffering for themselves and others. However, those who have realized the Supreme Truth are free from such ignorance and therefore free from the influence of evil.

Inner Peace and Protection: Just as birds and deer find safety by avoiding the burning mountain, individuals who have realized Brahman experience inner peace and protection from the turmoil of worldly existence. Their understanding of the ultimate reality grants them a sense of security and tranquility that shields them from external threats.

Ethical Implications: The analogy also carries ethical implications, suggesting that the pursuit of spiritual knowledge and understanding leads to a life free from evil tendencies. By aligning oneself with the truth of Brahman, one naturally gravitates towards actions that are in harmony with the universal order, fostering goodness and virtue in the world.

Universal Application: While rooted in Hindu philosophy, the message conveyed by this analogy transcends religious boundaries and holds relevance in various spiritual and philosophical contexts. It underscores the transformative power of wisdom and enlightenment in guiding individuals towards a life of righteousness, compassion, and inner fulfillment.

In essence, the analogy of birds and deer avoiding a burning mountain serves as a powerful reminder of the protective influence of spiritual knowledge and understanding, guiding individuals towards a life free from the grasp of evil and suffering.


The idea expressed here - Meditation should be directed to the highest being within; then the unclear understanding becomes clear - suggests that meditation is a practice aimed at connecting with the highest aspect of oneself or a higher power, leading to clarity of understanding. Let's break it down:

Meditation: This is a practice that often involves techniques such as focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to train attention and awareness. It's commonly associated with relaxation, stress reduction, and enhanced self-awareness.

Directed to the highest being within: This implies that meditation should be focused inwardly, toward the deepest and most elevated aspect of oneself, or toward a higher spiritual entity. Rather than seeking external validation or guidance, the emphasis is on turning inward to find clarity and insight.

Unclear understanding becomes clear: By directing meditation toward the highest being within, one can achieve a clearer understanding of various aspects of life, oneself, and existence in general. This suggests that through the practice of meditation, confusion or uncertainty can be transformed into clarity and insight. It's about tapping into inner wisdom and intuition to gain a deeper understanding of reality.

In essence, this statement encourages individuals to look within themselves or toward a higher spiritual source during meditation to gain clarity and understanding, suggesting that true insight comes from connecting with the highest aspects of one's being or with a divine presence.