Yajnavalkya says in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4.12 " The self comes out as a separate entity from these elements, and this separateness is destroyed with them. After attaining this oneness it has no more consciousness "

But Nirvana Shatkam says Consciousness is Eternal (Indirectly) and other Mahavakyas like Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 say Brahman is Consciousness. Is there a contradiction or fault in my understanding? Can anyone explain in detail?

Note : This question is not the duplicate of How can Brahman/consciousness be all pervading including living and non living things?

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    Does this answer your question? Is consciousness temporary? How can Brahman exist eternally?
    – Vivikta
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 4:22
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    You still have the subtle body after death. That goes with you to the various lokas. Obviously consciousness persists after death, that is the general Astika view. Charvakas etc don't believe consciousness survives death.
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 8:39
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    Basically he is talking about Atman or limited consciousness to be destroyed.One Brahman is actually everything 'Sarvam Khalvidam Brahman',hence Yagyavalkya said "As a lump of salt dropped into water dissolves with (its component) water, and no one is able to pick it up, but whencesoever one takes it,it tastes salt, even so, my dear, this great, endless, infinite Reality is but Pure Intelligence." So its non-dual state of Nirvana or Kaivalya or Purusha, no one can define that state with Prakriti and its finite divisions of mind, intellect, words etc., its en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadasiva
    – user22687
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 9:16
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    you are confusing the individual waking state consciousness with the Absolute Super-Consciousness. Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 6:13
  • Thankyou @Ikshvaku Sir Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


You are confusing between particular consciousness and the all-pervading consciousness of Brahman. The particular consciousness is responsible for the thought I am that, I am Setu, I am engineer etc. This will not survive death while the all-pervading consciousness is independent of time and body.

Shankara explains in his bhashya of this verse in detail. See the last paragraph

Brahman in association with avidya appears as the elements, which are transformed into the body, organs, and sense objects, consisting of name and form. They are like foam and bubbles on the limpid water of the Supreme Self. With the aid of these elements the self comes out like a lump of salt. As from water, reflections of the sun, moon, and so on arise, or from the proximity of a red cotton pad etc., a transparent crystal turns red etc., so from the limiting adjuncts of the elements, transformed into body and organs and sense-objects, the self comes out clearly as an individualized entity. Through the instruction of the scriptures and the teacher, these elements, which are the cause of individualization, merge in Brahman, as rivers merge in the ocean. [Technically, this should read as appears to emerge and appears to merge etc.]

DESTROYED: When the elements are destroyed, this individualized existence is also destroyed with them. As the reflections of the sun, moon, etc. and the colour of the crystal vanish when their causes the water, the red cotton pad, etc. are removed, and only the sun, moon, etc. remain as they are, so the endless, infinite, and limpid Pure Intelligence alone remains.

No MORE CONSCIOUSNESS: That is to say, no more particular consciousness. "No more is there such a thought as: I, So-and-so, am the son of So and so; this is my land and wealth; I am happy or miserable. For such particular consciousness is due to ignorance, and since ignorance is absolutely destroyed by the realization of Brahman, how can the knower of Brahman, who is established in his nature of Pure Intelligence, possibly have any particular consciousness?

  • Sir I am not getting this again and again, after we get Moksha(Leave body) what is that we experience ? Nothing right? Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 14:15
  • One who has realised Brahman is constantly in peace and bliss because the nature of Brahman is bliss. Moksha is realising that you are Brahman.
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 15:15
  • Sir that Bliss wont be there if we leave our body na so how is bliss eternal Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 15:54
  • Please read mandukya karika. The consciousness I am talking about is beyond waking, dream and deep sleep. You are confusing body consciousness with eternal consciousness.
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 2:09
  • Sir yes I am aware of these 3 types. Even CHandogya mentions 3 states of consiouness and Indra learns from PRajapti to think beyond these 3 states. What happens after you leave this body?When theres nothing existing (without body) how can you say I am consiounes of this or that etc Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 4:24

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