"A Discussion between Father and Son"



Illustration of a tree : (continued)


That particular branch which is divested or deprived of the life principle
becomes dry. It is lifeless. Another branch dries up, a third branch dries up,
finally the trunk dries up; the whole tree can dry up. If the life principle in the
tree leaves the body of the tree, the whole tree dries up. So what is it that is in
the tree which you call life? That is the Essence.


What we call death is the departing of life from a particular body. So death
is not the death of the life principle itself. Na jivo mriyata—life itself does not
die. The vitality is transferred from one location to another. It is withdrawn
from a particular formation. That is all. Life which is the manifestation of the
general principle, the pure Being, the Reality, is withdrawn from that particular
manifestation called the body. Then that particular form is said to die. It is
deprived of the essence, the life-force. So is the case with everything including
us. Know this. Evam eva khalu saumya viddhi.


This is only an example that I have given to you, my dear boy. From this
example, this analogy, you must understand everything that follows as an
implication. We are all like trees, human bodies endowed with the living
principle, and we shall die only when the life principle in us in withdrawn. This
Essence that is the Being is the Atman of all things. And everything in this
world, everything in this creation has this as the Self. There are not many
Selves. Though the bodies are many, forms are many, individuals are many, the
Self is only one. So, everything reverts into this Supreme Self from where it has
come and towards which it tends some way or other. “That you are,
Svetaketu—Tattvam-asi, Svetaketu,” says the teacher. “Please explain
further—Bhuya eva ma bhagavan vijnapayatv-iti,” asks the disciple. “Tatha
saumya itihovacha—well, I shall explain to you further,” replies the teacher. He
tells something very interesting about this unmanifested Being from which
manifested forms arise.

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