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"A Discussion between Father and Son"

 



 

 

 

The Indwelling Spirit:
--------------------------------

 

1. Yatha, saumya, madhu madhukrto nistishthanti, nanatyayanam
vrkshanam rasan samavaharam katam rasam gamaynti.


2. Te yatha tatra na vivekam labhante, amushyaham vrkshasya raso'smi,
amushyaham vrkshasya rasosmiti, evam eva khalu, saumya, imah sarvah
prajah sati sampadya na viduh, sati sampadyamaha iti.


What happens to all individuals when they reach Being? The explanation is
given through an analogy. “You see,” says the father to the son, “honeybees go
to different flowers, collect the essence of the flowers and convert it into a jelly
by certain chemical processes that take place within their own bodies. Thus is
formed what is called honey. Now this thing called honey includes the essences
of various flowers, hundreds and hundreds of them from where they have been
collected. The honey is an amalgam of all these essences, but in this body of
the honey one cannot distinguish the essence of one flower from that of another
flower. No particular essence can be cognised in its own individuality in this
mass called honey. Everything has become indistinguishable. It is something
like what happens to the various essences of the flowers when they become
honey. They have become one and they are present in honey, no doubt, but that
distinguishability of character is absent. No particular flower can be
distinguished there in the body of the honey, and no particular essence will be
conscious of its presence there as an individual isolated from others. There
would be a total consciousness of the honey, but not the individual
consciousness of the particular essence of the flowers of which the honey has
been formed. This is the work that the bees have done. They have abolished the
distinction of all these flowers and merged them into a single essence. That is
called honey. This is what happens to all people when they go to pure Being.
They are drawn back to pure Being just as the essences of flowers are drawn
into the body of the honey. And when they go there they no more exist,—not
that they do not exist. The essences of the flowers do exist in the honey. The
only difference is that they will not be aware of such thoughts as, “I am this
flower”, “I am that flower” and so on. Similarly when all reach the Being,
though they do not cease to exist, they do not have such thoughts such as “I am
Mr. So- and-so”, “I am Mrs. So-and-so”, “I am a man”, “I am a woman”, “I am
a human being”, “I am this”, “I am that”, etc. All distinction vanishes. They
will be there as the constitutive essence of the pure substance that Being is,
even as honey is, so that there would be no self-consciousness of a
particularised nature. This will happen to us when we reach pure Reality, the
Absolute Being.

 

In the case of the entry of the individual into the state of pure Being, there
is an important point to note. There can be two types of entries, an unconscious
entry and a conscious entry. In deep sleep one does contact the nature of this
pure Being. One just stumbles upon it, as it were. One is unconscious of it and
does not really get absorbed into it. But one does contact it in some mysterious
manner. One's individuality-consciousness is abolished no doubt, but it does
not become veritable universal consciousness. It becomes as though
unconsciousness. There is something that is common between unconsciousness
and absolute Consciousness. The common principle is that in both of these
states there is no particularised consciousness. But there is a tremendous
difference. A philosopher once humorously remarked that the difference
between universal consciousness and deep sleep and similarity between them
are like those that exist between God and dog. There is similarity no doubt, and
yet all know the difference. Because of the inability to absorb oneself into that
Being, one comes back from that state. Even at death one does not get
conscious entry into the Being. One is not able to continue in either condition
of deep sleep or death for long, on account of the existence of the potentiality in
the form of subtle impressions of unfulfilled desires to rise up into waking
consciousness, in this body when one wakes up, or into another body when one
is reborn. When one gets up from sleep one is the same person that went into
sleep. A wakes up as A, B as B, C as C when they return from deep sleep. A
does not become B or C.

 
 

Chandogya Upanishad : Chapter-2, Section-9, Mantram-1 & 2.

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