Dissolution of Attachment and the Bonds of Karma Results from Unity of the Individual Self with the Supreme

Sri Aurobindo translates Mundaka Upanishad, Chapter 2, Section 2, Verse 9:  “The knot of the heart-strings is rent, cut away are all doubts, and a man’s works are spent and perish, when is seen That which is at once the being below and the Supreme.”

The shift from the ego-standpoint to the divine standpoint impacts the individual’s entire response to life.  The Upanishad outlines the changes that take place.  “The knot of the heart-strings is rent”.  The ego-attachment to the things of the world, to specific actions, results, people is dissolved as the universal standpoint takes over the consciousness.  “cut away are all doubts” resolves the limitations of the mental consciousness which always feels a lack of complete knowledge.  The knowledge by identity provides a certainty about the significance of life and the role of the individual which cannot be obtained through any processes of the mind.  “a man’s works are spent and perish” implies that the bondage of karma does not cling to the individual who has identified himself with the Divine and its purpose in the manifestation of the universe.   The condition for this change is the realisation of the unity and oneness of the individual Self and the Supreme.  As long as there is a consciousness of division, this realisation is not complete, the mind is still active and still creating a sense of separateness and division.

The Upanishads are filled with inspired outbursts when the seer experiences this conversion:  “I am He” and “Thou art That” and “All this is the Brahman” and “One Without a Second” are all expressions that try to explain to the mind the vision of Oneness of the Self and the Supreme.

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Mundaka Upanishad, pp. 193-210