Selections from the Upanishads

He knew that Brahman is bliss. For truly, beings here are born from bliss. When born, they live by bliss. And into bliss when departing, they enter.

-- Taittiriya Upanishad 3.6.1

The face of truth is covered with a golden disc. Unveil it, O Pushan, so that I, who love the truth, may see it.
O Pushan, the sole seer, O Controller, O Sun, off-spring of Prajapati, spread forth your rays & gather up your radiant light that I may behold you of loveliest form. Whosoever is that person (yonder) that also am I.

-- Isha Upanishad 15-16

I have overcome the whole world. I am brilliant like the Sun.
He who knows this, knows the secret wisdom.

-- Taittiriya Upanishad 3.10.5

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The idea of Immensity

"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law ... Love is the fulfillment of the law" - Paul, Romans 13:8, 10 - New Testament

Just a few thoughts on my last post...
Today, I came across this passage in the essay "Creative Unity" by the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore: "... age after age there has come to us the call of faith, which said against all evidence of fact: 'You are more than you appear to be, more than your circumstances seem to warrant. You are to attain the impossible, you are immortal.'
This is the great idea of self-expansion: "You are more than you appear to be" - which lies at the heart of all spirituality.
The point in our existence, at every step, in everything we deal with, is not that we can subjugate or analyze a thing & use it, but that we can love it.
For true knowledge is the knowledge which comes from love, which is knowledge in love, the knowledge of love.
I may know all the facts of a tulip, and all the details of its bio-chemical processes: and that knowledge may give me considerable joy - but it is not ultimate knowledge.
I have ultimate knowledge of a tulip only when I feel love for it.
Only then my affirmation of its existence is complete, and expresses perfection.
Love simply for its beauty, for the fact that it exists, that there is life & motion in it, that there is color & fragrance in it.
Not simply because it is an ornament in my garden, or can be gifted to the woman I love, or offered to some deity in worship - nor just for any utilitarian purpose - but in itself, purely for its incredible loveliness.
I might pass by a clump of tulips on the roadside, & be perfectly indifferent to their swaying & nodding.
In that case, I haven't established the perfect relationship that I can, with the flowers.
They exist, in fact, in the outermost fringes of my consciousness - and are fundamentally UNREAL to me.
But they become suddenly REAL to me - & have a profoundly joyous impact on my consciousness - & truly add to those passing moments of my life - when I do love them, and recognize & rejoice in the life in them & in the fact that they live, and am deeply aware of their beauty.
Then every moment of life becomes an affirmation of all that exists - then we grow into an ongoing, never-ending awareness of the life & bliss that vibrates around us - and we truly feel one with the universe.
Only then does Life becomes a reason unto itself.
Self-expansion is to expand in an ever-growing consciousness that: "Yes! I belong here! I belong on this earth, to this universe!".
It must be an absolute ecstasy!

The question we must ask ourselves when we meet a person is not whether I can outsmart such & such person or not, whether I can use such & such person or not, whether such & such person deserves my esteem or contempt (least of all if such & such a person is "hip" or "happening" or not) - but only if I can love him/her?
How can I? What shall make it possible?
The exercise of that choice reflects the ultimate truth of your being, of your humanity.
An intense desire for such a psychological-emotional affirmation shall then become a driving force in removal of conflicts between two individuals , of laying down new tracks towards deeper understanding, and bringing about solutions to any problems that might arise.
For love removes all sense of fear, threat, & opportunism.
All our bitterness, skepticism, suspiciousness, mistrust, fear, cautiousness - comes from the fact that we've all accepted that "everyone to himself" - whereas the fundamental need of the human soul is that we all need endless, unconditional, undemanding love.
We all thirst for PRE-LOGICAL Love, which is the most important factor in building deep-rooted benevolence, trust, tenderness, gratitude, & optimism in any human being.
JUST GIVE LOVE - AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, AS PATIENTLY AS YOU CAN, AS CONSTANTLY AS YOU CAN - and see what miracles it can work in another human being!
(For that matter, to ANYTHING - even animals, plants, & inanimate objects.)
How it gives birth to love & benevolence in a person, MAKES HIM see truth, MAKES HIM want the good things in life, MAKES HIM WANT to do the good & the right!
But Love does not mean acceptance, or turning a blind eye to errors or crimes, or silence to one's misdeeds or weaknesses.
True love ennobles, purifies, exorcises fear & mistrust, fuels & rejuvenates, edifies & enlightens.
It soothes, tranquilizes, heals wounds, drives away bad dreams, sweeps away the clinging cutting shards of disillusionment, rebuilds hope & confidence, unlocks new founts of energy & resolve, propels man towards greater affirmation of the Right, generates the courage to give & fight, dissolves the weight of agesof loneliness & tortured frustration, opens new vistas to the mind & the soul .
And ABOVE ALL, the an active, constant, universal love ensures that men don't use each other & see each other as instruments & tools of material benefit -- don't trample & exploit each other -- don't deprive & deny each other -- don't harm & hurt each other -- don't cheat, & lie to, each other -- don't loot & torture each other -- don't add to each others' stock of fear, mistrust, & the rapidly diminishing inability to love & respect.
Tagore quotes the Buddha: "Buddha, who developed the practical side of the teaching of the Upanishads, preached the same message when he said, With everything, whether it is above or below, remote or near, visible or invisible, thou shalt preserve a relation of unlimited love without any animosity or without the desire to kill. To live in such a consciousness while standing or walking, sitting or lying down till you are asleep, is Brahma-vihara, or, in other words, is living and moving and having your joy in the spirit of Brahma."
THIS is true self-expansion & self-realization, for it is possible only when we have eliminated every vestige of fear, anger, hatred, & vinidictiveness from our system - and have realized the highest truth of the infinity of our souls.
To be conscious of each & all, of the life that throbs in each & all, & to feel that life throbbing in ourselves, is to Love each & all.
To feel profound tenderness & kinship & respect for each & all, is to Love each & all.
To feel no fundamental animosity, or desire to injure, or desire to see the pain of, each & all, is to Love each & all.
To wish the highest welfare, health, growth, flourishing, & full blossoming of each & all, is to Love each & all.
And to Love each & all, is to see God in each & all, to be ONE with each & all, IS TO LIVE IN THE ALL.

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