तदेतत्प्रेयः पुत्रात्, प्रेयो वित्तात्, प्रेयोऽन्यस्मात्सर्वस्मात्, अन्तरतरं, यदयमात्मा । स योऽन्यमात्मनः प्रियं ब्रुवाणं ब्रूयात्, प्रियं रोत्स्यतीति, ईश्वरो ह, तथैव स्यात्; आत्मानमेव प्रियमुपासीत; स य आत्मानमेव प्रियमुपास्ते न हास्य प्रियम् प्रमायुकम् भवति ॥ ८ ॥tadetatpreyaḥ putrāt, preyo vittāt, preyo'nyasmātsarvasmāt, antarataraṃ, yadayamātmā | sa yo'nyamātmanaḥ priyaṃ bruvāṇaṃ brūyāt, priyaṃ rotsyatīti, īśvaro ha, tathaiva syāt; ātmānameva priyamupāsīta; sa ya ātmānameva priyamupāste na hāsya priyam pramāyukam bhavati || 8 ||8. [Page 141] This Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than everything else, and is innermost. Should a person (holding the Self as dear) say to one calling anything else dearer than the Self, '(What you hold) dear will die'—he is certainly competent (to say so)—it will indeed come true. One should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. Of him who meditates upon the Self alone as dear, the dear ones are not mortal.
Here is another reason why the Self should be known to the exclusion of everything else. This Self is dearer than a son: A son is universally held dear in the world; but the Self is dearer than he. which shows that It is extremely dear. Similarly dearer than wealth such as gold or jewels, and everything else, whatever is admittedly held dear in the world. Why is the Self dearer than those things, and not the organs etc.? This is being explained: And is innermost. The body and the organs are inner and nearer to oneself than a son or wealth, for instance, which are external things. But this Self is nearer than those even. A thing which is extremely dear deserves to be attained by the utmost effort. So is this Self, which [Page 142] is dearer than everything else held dear in the world. Therefore one should make the utmost effort to attain It, evep abandoning that which is imposed as a duty on one, for the attainment of other dear objects. But one may ask, when both Self and non-Self are dear, and the choice of one means the rejection of the other, why should the Self alone be chosen to the exclusion of the other, and not inversely? This is being answered: Should a person holding the Self as dear say to one calling anything else but the Self, such as a son, dearer than the Self, ‘What you hold dear, for instance, the son, will die (lit. will meet with the extinction of life)’—Why does he say like this? Because he is certainly competent to say so. Hence— ii, what he said, will indeed come true, the dear one will die, for he speaks the truth. Therefore he is in a position to say like that. Some say that the word ‘īśvara’ (competent) means ‘swift.’ It might if it was commonly used in that sense. Therefore, giving up all other dear things, one should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. Of him who meditates upon the Self alone as dear, who knows that the Self alone is dear and nothing else, and thinks of It with the full conviction that the other things commonly held dear are really anything but dear—of one possessed of this knowledge the dear ones are not mortal. This is a. mere restatement of a universal fact, for a knower of the Self has nothing else to call dear or the opposite. [Page 143] Or it may be a eulogy on the choice of the Self as dear (in preference to non-Self); or it may be the declaration of a result for one who is an imperfect knower of the Self, if he meditates upon the Self as dear, for a suffix signifying a habit has been used in the word ‘Pramāyuka’ (mortal).
This is another important verse. This Atma is dearest to all. Be it wife, son, wealth, or any other thing - Atma is dearer than everything.
How is Atma dearest? Only 2 things are loved in the world by all. 1 is ananda or Sukham. The 2nd thing is sukha sadhanam the cause of happiness.
Other than happines if a man runs after something it will have to be the cause of happiness.
The love for sukham or sukha sadhyam is primary because it is unconditional. I love sukham because it is sukham. Love for sukhasadhanam is secondary because it is conditional. If the means stops being a means for sukham I will stop loving it. If i attain the desired object the sadhanam also stops being loved. Love for sadhanam means is only for getting or attaining the sukham, and this love is irrelevant once the end is attained. Love for sukha sadhanam is not a real one at all - it is only a fake one. It is actually love for sukham that is falsely appearing in the sukha sadhanam
From Scriptures we come to know that Atma lone is sukham and anatma is dukham. From this maxim what corollaries do we get.
Connect the 2nd and 3rd maxim. Sukham alone is truly loved. So Atma alone is truly loved. Atma alone is unconditionally loved by all. If there is love for anatma - son, wife, wealth, house, - all anatma - they are loved only as sukha sadhanam - means for sukham and is thus conditional. It is a fake love. Nothing else in the Creation is truly love - I love because it gives me ananda or I love it for my own sake. This is called atma seshatvam an important idiom. The moment the sukhasadanam does not give sukham it is dropped. Any strain in a relationship, in a family, comes because one relationship which was sukhasadanam a means to joy for me is now not providing me with that sukham and it leads to rejection of that means either openly physically which is separation or internally or mentally which is hatred. All because sukhasadhanam has either ceased to be sukhasadanam or has actually become dukhasadanam. Everybody is selfish - this is the universal law. There is no choice - love for self is the only true law is the universal law. Self love is a fact that cannot be changed.
We can extend this to everything o including God.
Even love for God cannot be as true, as primary, as love for Oneself. God is loved for sukhasadanam.
From this a corollary question arises.In Vedanta it says a jnani loves unconditionally. Gita Ch 6 aatmaopamyena sarvatra samam pashyati yorjuna |sukham vaayadivaa dukham sa yogi paramo mathaha
This seems to violate this universal law. Is this possible? How to reconcile this? Is this law not applicable to jnani.
Vedanta says law is true for jnani also - jnani is also selfish -he also can only love himself. Even Bhagwan also loves himself only truly. Still jnani's love is Universal because he has discovered HimSelf to be All. His self is the All. And similarly for Bhagwan - since His Self is All he has Universal Love for All. Jnani has discovered everyone and everything to be nondifferent from his self. Ajnani is selfish with 's' and hence there is raga dvesha.. Jnani is selfish with "S" and hence he has no problem as his Love is all encompassing.
Tad etat atmatattvam preyah dearer putrah sons Upanishad goes directly to who is Universally the dearest. Then extends to wealth etc
How do we account sacrificing their lives for others, for their children, for their country etc So there does seem to be some situations where this is not true? People sacrifice life for "their" country, children, because those are related to :me: atma sambandhat.. i will do it for my country.. my child.. not universally. Putrah sneha Atma seshatvat.
It is dearest because it is innermost antarataram. Absolutely interior. Absolutely close. Which is myself.Brahman which is Purnam has entered the mind as Atma and hence Atman is Purnam and Atman is sukham. "nAlpe sukham asti yo vai bhuma tad sukham" in Chandogya.
All other forms of love are fake or temporary and will one day be a source of pain. But instead of saying this directly it is putting the advise in a wise man's words and saying it is correct. The wise man says yaha anya atmanam priyam bruvanam bruyat Priyam rotsyati If you hold dear anatma then one day that loved object will die/perish/go away. Ishwara ha here is the master of the statement; tathaiva syat what he says is true. Anamatma will definitely perish.
Atma will never go away and so for a jnani who loves everything and everyone as the atma there will never be any loss, nor will it disturb him. So a jnani never has sorrow. sa ya ātmānameva priyamupāste. na hāsya priyam pramāyukam bhavati
Shankara adds that this can also be taken up as a upasana for a madhyama adhikari and says someone who does upasana on the atma being the most dear will get moksha.