Para-Brahma Upanishad --2

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3. Then to this realized person reality (i.e. true wisdom) constitutes the inner tuft and sacred thread. To the Brahmana desirous of liberation is (allowed) the state of the inward tuft and sacred thread. The wearing of externally visible tuft and sacred thread (is necessary) for the householders engaged in rituals. The characteristic of the inward sacred thread is not clearly visible like external thread; it is the union with reality inwardly.
4. It (avidya) is not existent (as the cause is not visible), nor non-existent (as the effect is visible as the phenomenal world), nor both (existent and non-existent part, as the two are incompatible). It is not different (from Brahman as it has no independent existence), nor non-different (as it is not a substance), nor of both (different and non-different, as it is an impossibility). It is not possessed of parts (as the parts are absent in the cause), nor partless (as the effect is seen possessed of parts), nor a combination of both. (Thus avidya is indescribable). It is to be discarded by the realization of oneness of Brahman and the Self; for it is the cause of illusion. Thus (it is to be understood).
5. There is nothing other than Brahman of the five padas (i.e. the turyatita). There are four places for realizing the inward Jiva-Brahman who consists of four padas inside the body. (The vyasti’s four padas are: Vishva, Taijasa, Prajna and Turiya. The samasti’s four padas are: Viraj, Sutra, Bija and Turiya). In the eyes, throat, heart and head there are (the four) states of waking, dreaming, deep sleep and turya. (Moreover the Atman is to be conceived as) the Ahavaniya, Garhapatya, Dakshina and Sabhya fires. In the waking state (the presiding deity is) the god Brahma, in dreaming state Vishnu, in deep sleep Rudra and the fourth state is the indestructible one, consisting of consciousness. Hence the four states (waking, etc.,) are to be considered as a covering by four fingers and just as the sacred thread is of ninety-six four-finger breadths (in extent) so the inward brahma-sutra consists of ninety-six categories (tattvas). As the sacred thread consists of three threads so the inward brahma-sutra is brought to the state of thirty two categories in each of the three gunas.
This state of the triad purified by wisdom is to be known separately as the three gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). This is known as the nine Brahman-s possessed of nine attributes. These counted as nine, being rendered into three each having three attributes, are to be identified with the digits of the sun, moon and fire. The first and last (of the triad) are to be turned thrice in the middle and are to be considered as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara. The first and last are to be joined and the knot of non-duality is to be made in the knot of consciousness. Then this which extends from the navel to the Brahmarandhra and connected with the twenty-seven tattvas separately and possessing the three gunas is to be considered as one though they are seen with the characteristics of the Trinity. This (inward) brahma-sutra is to be considered as hanging from the left shoulder reaching up to the right hip. The meeting together of the first and last is to be understood as having one foundation. Things made of clay are considered real (but) it is verbosity (born of ignorance); the transformation is a (mere) name; that it is clay alone is the truth. (As there is no pot without clay, so the primary cause, Brahman alone is real).
With the two letters of the Hamsa (i.e. I am the Hamsa, Brahman) he should be convinced of the internal tuft and sacred thread. The state of a Brahmana is the state deserving meditation on Brahman. The state of being a sage has the absence of visible tuft and sacred thread. Thus the householder has visible tuft for performing ritual and the sacred thread for acquiring wisdom. To the state of the semblance of a Brahmana there is the tuft consisting of a mass of hair and sacred thread made of cotton threads. (The brahma-sutra is one alone); it is four (as Vishva, Viraj, etc.,) by quadruplication. The twenty-four tattvas constitute the threads. The nine tattvas constitute the one transcendent Brahman, (but people) provide many paths (such as Sankhya, Yoga, etc.,) due to difference in approach. Liberation is one alone to all, whether they are Brahma and the other gods, divine sages or human beings. Brahman is one alone. The state of the Brahmana is one alone. Castes, stages of life and special duties are divergent. The tuft is the same to the castes and stages of life. To the ascetic seeking salvation the basis of tuft and sacred thread, (the wise) declare, is the Pranava alone. The Hamsa is the tuft, the Pranava is the sacred thread and the Nada is the connecting link. This is the dharma and no other is the dharma. How is that ? The Pranava, Hamsa and Nada constitute the three fold thread and this remains in consciousness in one’s heart. Know this to be the three fold Brahman. (The ascetic) shall discard the worldly tuft and sacred thread.
6. Having had a shave removing the tuft, a wise person shall discard the external sacred thread. He shall have as the sacred thread the transcendent Brahman which is indestructible.
7. For avoiding rebirth he shall ever long for liberation. The sutra is so called as it indicates (liberation); the sutra indeed is the highest position.
8. He knows the sutra who has become a seeker after liberation, a mendicant monk. He is the knower of the Veda, having unimpeachable conduct. He is the learned Brahmana who sanctifies by his presence the persons who sit in the same row to dine with him.
9. The Yogin, who is the knower of Yoga, a Brahmana and an ascetic shall wear that sutra by which all this (phenomenal world) is joined together (as a unity) just as gems are strung together in a thread.