Maitreyi, I am resolved to renounce the world and begin the life of renunciation. I wish therefore to divide my property between you and my other wife, Katyayani.
My lord, if the whole earth belonged to me, with all its wealth, should I through its possession attain immortality?
No. Your life would be like that of the rich. None can possibly hope to attain immortality through wealth.
Then what need have I of wealth? Please, my lord, tell me what you know about the way to immortality.
Dear to me have you always been, Maitreyi, and now you ask to learn of that truth which is nearest to my heart. Come, sit by me. I will explain it to you. Meditate on what I say.
It is not for the sake of the husband, my beloved, that the husband is dear, but for the sake of the Self.
It is not for the sake of the wife, my beloved, that the wife is dear, but for the sake of the Self.
It is not for the sake of the children, my beloved, that the children are dear, but for the sake of the Self...
The Self, beloved Maitreyi, is to be known. Hear about it, reflect upon it, meditate upon it. By knowing the Self, my beloved, through hearing, reflection and meditation, one comes to know all things...
As a lump of salt when thrown into water melts away and the lump cannot be taken out, but wherever we taste the water it is salty, even so, O Maitreyi, the individual self, dissolved, is the Eternal - pure consciousness, infinite and transcendent. Individuality arises by identification of the Self, through ignorance, with the elements; and with the disappearance of consciousness of the many, in divine illumination, it disappears. Where there is consciousness of the Self, individuality is no more.
This it is, O my beloved, that I wanted to tell you.
"Where there is consciousness of the Self, individuality is no more": this that you say, my lord, confuses me.
My beloved, let nothing I have said confuse you. But meditate well the truth that I have spoken.
As long as there is duality, one sees the other, one hears the other, one smells the other, one speaks to the other, one thinks of the other, one knows the other; but when for the illuminated one the all is dissolved in the Self, who is there to be seen by whom, who is there to be smelt by whom, who is there to be heard by whom, who is there to be spoken to by whom, who is there to be thought of by whom, who is there to be known by whom?
Ah, Maitreyi, the Intelligence which reveals all, by what shall it be revealed? By whom shall the Knower be known? The self is described as not this, not that. It is incomprehensible, for it cannot be comprehended; undecaying, for it never decays; unattached, for it never attaches itself; unbound, for it is never bound.
By whom, O my Beloved, shall the Knower be known?
This it is that I teach you, O Maitreyi. this is the truth of Immortality.
So saying, Yagnavalkya entered upon the path of renunciation.