Basic Spiritual Primer 3.2 (Illustrations of Threefold Nature)


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Illustration of the Threefold Nature. Subtle vibrations of food influence mind, of water - prana, and of fat - speech. Middling part of food forms flesh, of water - blood, and of fat - marrow.

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Basic Spiritual Primer 3.2 (Illustrations of Threefold Nature)

  1. 1. Basic Spiritual Primer 3.2 (From Chandogya Upanishad, Sections 5 to 8) Chapter VI, Section 5 Illustrations of the Threefold NatureVI-v-1: ‘Food, when eaten, becomes divided into three parts. What is its grossest ingredient, that becomes faeces; what is the middling ingredient, that becomes flesh; and what is the subtlest ingredient, that becomes mind.The food that you eat is converted into three forms. What happens to the food that iseaten? There is a gross form of the food, there is a middling form of the food and asubtle form of the food. The food that we eat is not entirely absorbed into the system.Some part of it is thrown out as excreta, as unwanted material which cannot beabsorbed into the system. It is refuse that goes out as undesirable to the system; that isthe grossest form.So, one part of the food goes out; something else only is absorbed. That somethingelse other than that which is thrown out has again two aspects, the very subtle vibratoryaspect and the middling form of it. That which is middling is absorbed in the form offlesh in the system. The flesh in the body is due to the entry of the middling quality ofthe foodstuff that we take.But the highly subtle form, the vibration that is produced by the essential quality ofthe food, influences the mind itself. So, you know your mind, your capacity ofthinking, the way of thinking, will be very much influenced by the food that you take,continuously, of course. If you go on eating the same kind of food for years together,that quality of the food will tell upon your psychological pattern.So, the gross thing is thrown out, the middling form is absorbed into the fleshy partof the body, and the subtlest part goes to the mind. The mind feels happy on accountof absorption of some part of the food that we eat. These are the three aspects, the threedegrees of the intensity of the food that we see, that become parts of our system in thismanner. Likewise, the water that you drink has a gross aspect, a middling aspect anda very subtle aspect. Any liquid that you take also is divided into three parts.VI-v-2: ‘Water, when drunk, becomes divided into three parts. What is its grossest ingredient, that becomes urine; what is the middling ingredient, that becomes blood; and what is the subtlest ingredient, that becomes Prana.The gross part of the liquid that we drink, which cannot be absorbed into the system,is thrown out as urine. It cannot be regained by the system. The middling part, moresubtle than the gross one that we take in, becomes blood in the body. The liquid part
  2. 2. in the body, which is blood, is intensified by the liquid form of the food that we drink.The virility in us, the energy, the vitality, the prana in us, is enhanced by the subtlestform of the liquids that we consume.Just as the mind is influenced by the subtle food, the prana is influenced by thesubtle liquid aspect of the diet. There are certain items of diet in which the fireprinciple predominates, e.g., ghee, oil, etc. What happens to these things when one takesthem?VI-v-3: ‘Fire, when eaten, becomes divided into three parts. What is its grossest ingredient, that becomes bone; what is the middling ingredient, that becomes marrow; and what is the subtlest ingredient, hat becomes speech.The energy also becomes threefold in the system. The grossest form becomes bone. Ifwe take ghee, or butter, or oil, in our food, it has something to do with the strength ofthe bones. The middling part of it becomes marrow, the substance that is inside thebone. The subtlest form becomes the energy of speaking. Speech gets activated by thefiery element present in the food that we take.So, our speech, our prana, our mind, are all constituted essentially of these threeitems of diet that we are consuming, and the more we take them in, the more is theinfluence they exert upon these three aspects of our personality.So, we know where we stand. These three elements—fire, water and earth— haveentered our system. They have become our mind, our prana and our speech, whichprocess is indicative of the other senses, also. Our senses, our pranas and our mind, allthese three are tremendously conditioned by the food that we eat.VI-v-4: ‘Hence, dear boy, mind is made up of food, Prana is made up of water, and speech is made of fire. ‘Explain it further to me, revered sir’. ‘Be it so, dear boy’, said the father. “My dear boy, listen to the conclusion of my research. The mind is essentiallyformed of food, the prana is essentially formed of water and speech is essentiallyformed of fire.”The boy says, “It is very difficult for me to understand all these things. Please clarifythis a little more. These are unheard of things that you are telling me, that I am madeup of the three elements, that I have nothing in me of my own. This is strange indeed. Itlooks as if I cannot exist at all independently. I am ‘somebody else’. Unbelievable!Please explain further.” “Yes, I shall tell you, in detail, dear boy. Listen attentively.” ************
  3. 3. Chapter VI, Section 6 Further IllustrationsVI-vi-1: ‘Dear boy, of the curd that is being churned that which is the subtlest part rises upwards and that becomes butter.VI-vi-2: ‘So also, dear boy, of the food that is eaten that which is the subtlest part rises upwards and that becomes the mind. “You know, curd (yogurt), when churned, exudes butter. Butter rises up on churningthe curd. It comes up as the essential part of the milk through the process of curdlingand churning. This is what happens to the food that we take. It is churned inside bythe forces of our body, and the essential part of the food rises up into the structure ofthe psychological organ. It becomes the essence of our thinking process. It becomesthe mind.As butter comes out of milk through curdling and churning, even so, the mind startsfunctioning by means of the churning of the food through the action of the forces ofthe body. This is the case with everything else also,—the water that we drink, and theother fiery elements that we consume.VI-vi-3: ‘Dear boy, of the water that is drunk that which is the subtlest part rises upwards and that becomes Prana.VI-vi-4: ‘Dear boy, of the fire that is eaten that which is the subtlest part rises upwards and that becomes speech.In the same way as the mind is formed of the essential subtle parts of gross food, sois prana formed of water and speech formed of the fiery elements in the food. “So,my dear boy, have I concluded my findings.”VI-vi-5: ‘Hence, dear boy, mind is made up of food, Prana is made up of water, and speech is made up of fire’. ‘Explain it further to me, revered sir’. ‘Be it so, dear boy’, said the father. “Now do you understand that the mind is formed of food, prana is made of water,and speech is made of fire?” “Still more do I require clarification. This much is notenough. Tell me something more about this secret.” “Yes; I shall now declare the secretbehind all this, how food influences the mind, and how the mind is entirelydependent upon food.” ************
  4. 4. Chapter VI, Section 7 Importance of Physical NeedsVI-vii-1: ‘Dear boy, man consists of sixteen parts. Do not eat for fifteen days; drink as much water as you like. Prana is made up of water, and the Prana of one who drinks water is not cut off. “There are sixteen digits of the mind, of our whole personality. Our being issixteenfold. I shall perform an experiment with you to prove how the mind cannot existwithout food. Do not eat for fifteen days. Do not take any solid diet during thesedays. You may drink water, however. Why? Because, of the fact that the pranas areconstituted of water. Thus, if you drink water, the pranas will not be cut off from thebody. If you do not drink even water, you will not be there to undergo the experiment;the pranas would leave the body. So, I tell you, drink water as much as you want, butdo not eat food for fifteen days. You know very well, I told you just now, that theprana is formed of the water element. Hence, a person who drinks water cannot die soeasily.”VI-vii-2: Svetaketu did not eat for fifteen days. Then he approached him saying, ‘What shall I say?’ The father said, ‘The Riks, the Yajus, and the Samans, dear boy.’ ‘They do not at all arise in me, sir’.The boy did not eat for fifteen days, as advised. He fasted completely, but drankwater to his heart’s content. Then he came to the father, after having fasted for fifteendays. “Now what shall I tell you, father? I have come to you after fifteen days of fasting.I have not eaten anything.”“Oh! Chant the Veda,” the father said. “Chant the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samavada.” “Icannot remember anything,” said the boy. “I cannot remember even one verse of theRigveda, or the Yajurveda, or the Samaveda. Memory has gone. The mind is notfunctioning.”VI-vii-3: The father said to him, ‘Dear boy, just as a single ember of the size of a firefly, left over from a large burning fire, cannot burn any more than that, even so, dear boy, of your sixteen parts only one part is left over, now by means of that you cannot perceive the Vedas. Eat, then you will understand me’. “Now, do you know what has happened to you, my dear boy? Do you know why youcannot remember the Vedas, though you are a learned person? You are a master of theVedas, and you say you cannot remember one verse. What has happened to you? Youhave not eaten food. That is all. This is the simple reason. How is it that your memoryhas gone merely because you have not eaten?
  5. 5. Take the example of fire. Suppose there is a huge conflagration of fire which is burningstrongly and it has now subsided and you have removed all the firewood, or thefaggots. The fuel has been withdrawn and the fire is subsiding gradually. There isonly one small spark left. What can that spark do? It cannot burn things. Theconflagration can burn anything which is thrown into it, but the spark cannot soburn. Now, the fire is there, but it is so little quantitatively and so feeble in its actionthat it cannot do the work of fire though it is qualitatively fire alone.This is what happened to you. Fifteen parts of your mind have been withdrawn. Youare sixteenfold, as I told you. For fifteen days you have not eaten. So, only one part ofyour mind is now active. Of the sixteen parts, one part is there. Perhaps if you had noteaten for sixteen days, something worse would have happened. For fifteen days youhave not eaten, and so fifteen parts of the mind have been withdrawn, even as fuel iswithdrawn from a fire.The mind is there only in name. You are able to think, but not effectively, and not toany purpose, just as the fire is there as a spark but it cannot do the work of fire. Thisis what happened to you by not eating food. Therefore, you cannot chant the Veda. Themind is not working; how can you remember anything? The Vedas have gone fromyour mind. Now, my dear boy, go and eat. Then you will understand something moreabout this secret.”The boy then went and had a meal. He ate well, indeed, because he had not eaten forfifteen days. After eating a square meal, and having rested, he comes back to thefather. The boy is happy.VI-vii-4: He ate and then approached his father. Whatever he asked him, he answered them all.He was very happy; having eaten food, the mind was alert at once, and heremembered all the Vedas, and everything came to his memory. Whatever questionwas put, he could answer immediately because of the strength which the mind hadreceived through the food that he had taken. Otherwise, he was in a dying condition.VI-vii-5: The father said to him, ‘Dear boy, just as when a single ember of the size of a firefly left over from a large burning fire, is made to blaze up by adding straw and it burns much more than before, even so, dear boy, of your sixteen parts, only one part remained, and that being nourished by food, has been made to blaze up; and by that you perceive the Vedas now. “Now, my dear boy, I will give you another example. Suppose there is only a spark offire. Now, bring a small, thin blade of grass, put it over that spark and see how it flamesand burns. Bring another piece of grass, and then ten pieces of grass, and add a little
  6. 6. more fuel. Then, slowly, the fire burns again. So, that little spark of mind that could notremember anything, which was mind only in name, now, once again, has become areally strong mind with attention and memory because of the strength it has receivedfrom the food that you have absorbed into your system. The fifteen digits that hadbeen withdrawn have now been given back.”VI-vii-6: Hence, dear boy, the mind is made up of food, the Prana is made up of water, and speech is made up of fire. From his words, (Svetaketu) understood it – yea, he understood it. “The mind is the essence of food, prana of water, and speech of heat. You are madeup of these elements only. Your mind has been inflamed into action by the food thatyou have taken. Now you know very well what is the connection between food andthe mind. You have demonstrated it in action. Your mind would have perished if youhad not eaten at all.”“My dear father, please tell me something more. This is very interesting.” ************ Chapter VI, Section 8 Concerning Sleep, Hunger, Thirst and DyingVI-viii-1: Once Uddalaka Aruni said to his son Svetaketu, ‘Dear boy, know from me the true nature of sleep. When a man is said to be sleeping, then, dear boy, he has become united with Being and has attained his own nature. Hence people speak of him as sleeping, for them he has attained his own nature.Now, there are greater secrets in a person than the food that is eaten. We are notmerely food, or water, or fire. There is something very interesting in us, somethingwhich one cannot understand, ordinarily. Every day you go to sleep, you dream, youwake up. Why does this happen? This is something quite different from the subjectof food.You have some other element in you more than the food you take. You have someessential root of your personality, which is the deeper side of your nature, whosevarious functions are waking, dreaming and sleeping.What happens to you when you sleep? Do you know that? You cannot easily say whathappens to you in sleep, nor why you sleep. Listen to me now. I shall tell yousomething about this interesting secret. When a person is in the condition of sleep, inSanskrit we say, svapiti, “He sleeps”.
  7. 7. Here is a linguistic interpretation of the word svapna, describing what sleep actuallymeans. The etymological meaning of the term svapiti,—’one sleeps’, is that ‘onegoes’, or ‘reaches’ sva, i.e., the self. One word sva connotes one’s own being oressential nature. What is made out, thus, is that one gets absorbed into oneself in sleep.You become yourself in sleep; that is why there is no consciousness of anythingexternal, then.One gets absorbed into the true being that one is. But, in other conditions, i.e., waking,etc., one gets drawn out of the true being that one is, into its other aspects which areexternal, such as physical being. In sleep, you get into yourself, you enter yourself, youbecome yourself, and know nothing but yourself. This is sleep. You have withdrawnyourself from all outside connections and relationships. Now, why does this happen?What makes you go to sleep? Who compels you to enter into the state of sleep?A theory is promulgated here by means of an analogy, or comparison. Suppose thatthere is a bird whose legs are tied with a thread to a peg on the earth and that thread isfairly long, and the bird flies. How far can it fly? It can fly only to the extent of thelength of the thread with which it is tied with its legs to the peg in the ground.So, it goes here, there, flying in different directions, but it cannot go beyond thelimitation of the thread. It goes in search of freedom, but it cannot find it, because itsmovement is restricted. After moving from place to place in different directionsthroughout the day, it gets exhausted of this activity and returns to the place where itslegs are tied. It is controlled by something of which it may not be even aware. Notknowing this, it searches for freedom outside.This is what your mind does daily. It is tethered to a peg which is the root of yourbeing. But it does not know this fact. So, it goes out flying like a bird in all directions inthe outward world, seeking happiness and freedom. It does not find any such thingthere. It does not get what it longs for. The whole day it works, from morning tillevening, in search of that which it wants. But, it does not find it anywhere. Then it getstired of all activity, and is withdrawn into that from which it arose, to which it reallybelongs, of which it is a real expression, and from which it is inseparable.Then, what happens to you? In the daytime you are, verily, other than what you are.You are then artificial, alienated from your being and, therefore, restless in your mind.Like the bird that jumps from place to place, the mind flits from object to object. Ithas lost its moorings and it does not know where to stand. But how far can it go on likethis? It gets exhausted some time or the other, and returns to the source. The mindwithdraws itself every day due to the exhaustion of its activity, which is theconsequence of its search vainly for the freedom that it cannot find in the outer world.This example is cited now.
  8. 8. VI-viii-2: ‘Just as a bird tied to a string, after flying in various directions and finding no resting place elsewhere, takes refuge at the very place where to it is tied, even so, dear boy, that mind, after flying in various directions and finding no resting place elsewhere, takes refuge in Prana alone; for the mind, dear boy, is tied to Prana.You have no support anywhere in this world, except your own self, as the peg is theresting place of the bird in the illustration. But, this is a point which nobody canremember. You seek support outside, and so go on working hard every day to come incontact with things external, thinking that your support is outside, but it is not there!You cannot find a final support anywhere in the world. Everybody is sick of you, infact, wherever you go.Then what happens? Your experiment fails and you go back to your home, becausenobody really wants you. There is the home which you enter after realising the truth ofthings. “I have searched and searched with the help of friends and so-called supports. Ihave found nothing anywhere; I go back to my own home.” This is what you do whenyou retire to sleep, but you do not properly get educated by the phenomenon. You donot know why you are exhausted in life.If you had known the reason for this occurrence, you would have learnt a lesson fromthis futile experiment of earthly pursuits. The understanding is not there; there is onlyan exhaustion and a fatigue, the cause of which is never realised. So, every day youmake the same mistake and every day you go back home crying in the same way.“This is the sleep that you undergo,” says the father to the son. You go to the being thatyou are, instead of searching for support in the non-being that is ‘the outside’. The mind is rooted in true being which is your essential nature, which you enter insleep. That is sleep,—that is your basic substance.VI-viii-3: ‘Dear boy, know from me (the true nature of) hunger and thirst. When a man is said to be hungry, then (it is to be understood that), water is leading away what has been eaten; (therefore water may be designated as hunger). Just as people speak of the leader of cows, the leader of horses, and the leader of men, even so they speak of water as the leader of food. Hence, dear boy, know this shoot (the body) to be put forth (by a root), for it cannot be without a root.Why are you hungry, and why are you thirsty? This, again, is the action of the threeelements in your body. We said there are three primordial features of reality manifestas fire, water and earth. They are functioning in the body in some way. Because of theaction of these three elements in the body, you are hungry and thirsty.
  9. 9. What is this hunger, and what is this thirst? “Now, my dear boy, listen to me again. Ishall explain what is hunger and what is thirst.” You go on pouring food, gross items,articles of diet into your stomach, but, even then, you are hungry after some time.Why? The water element liquefies the physical food, draws the essence of it inward,and exhausts the contents of the food that you have taken. So, you feel hungry again,in spite of your having eaten food. The water principle draws the gross food into itself.Food dissolves in the water principle and, then, naturally, the food is exhausted and soyou feel the need for it again. This is how there is hunger.In Sanskrit, asanaya is ‘hunger’. Why do you call hunger as asanaya? Because, water(naya) carries food (asa) and causes hunger (asanaya). A person who leads cows is calledgonaya, one who drives horses is called asvanaya, he who is a leader of men is calledpurusanaya. Like that, water is called asanaya, because it leads food to its proper place.From the body which is the effect, try to know its source, which is water. There is noeffect without a cause.VI-viii-4: ‘Where could its root be apart from food? Even so, dear boy, with food as the shoot, look for water as the root; with water as the shoot, dear boy, look for fire as the root; with fire as the shoot, dear boy, look for Being as the root. All these creatures, dear boy, have Being as their root, have Being as their abode, and have Being as their support.VI-viii-5: ‘Again, when a man is said to be thirsty, then (it is to be understood that), fire is leading away what has been drunk: (therefore fire may be designated as thirst). Just as people speak of the leader of cows, the leader of horses, and the leader of men, even so they speak of that fire as the leader of water. Hence, dear boy, know this shoot (water) to be put forth (by a root), for it cannot be without a root. “This absorption of the food into the water element inside your body is anindication that some subtle force is working in you, other than the mere working ofthe alimentary canal in your physical body. There are subtler forces. So, from theeffect you go to the cause,” says the teacher.“If the food is dissolved by water and drawn further inward by the action of water anddue to it you feel hungry, even so you feel thirsty for another reason. The water isabsorbed or dried up by the fire principle in your system. The fire draws into itself thewater principle and then you begin to feel thirsty. The water principle goes into thefire principle. So, finally what remains is a heat in the system and energy that isgenerated on account of the food that you eat. So what is the heat? It is the heat offire,—in other words, the energy that you acquire due to the consumption of food.When food is dissolved by water, and water is absorbed by fire, it is converted into
  10. 10. energy in the system. That is why you feel strong when you take food, and that is alsothe reason why you feel hungry and thirsty later on.”By way of the analysis of the constituents of the individual, it has thus been pointedout by Uddalaka, the sage, that everything in this personality is made up of theessence of the three elements,—fire, water and earth. And what we call hunger isnothing but the dissolution of the physical food by the element of water and theabsorption of it into the system. What you call thirst is similarly the absorption of thewater element in the system by the fire principle within us. The effect is consumed bythe cause and is absorbed into its own self. This process continues until all effects areabsorbed into the final cause of all things, where they abide absolutely andcompletely.VI-viii-6: ‘Where could its root be apart from water ? Dear boy, with water as the shoot, look for fire as the root; with fire as the shoot, look for Being as the root. All these creatures, dear boy, have Being as their root, have Being as their abode, and have Being as their support. How dear boy, each of these three deities, on reaching man, becomes threefold has been explained to you earlier. When this man is about to depart, dear boy, his speech merges in the mind, mind in Prana, Prana in fire and fire in the supreme deity.What is the ultimate cause? The cause ultimate can only be that which is not absorbedinto a higher cause. The absorption process ceases when the ultimate cause is reached.The grosser forms get absorbed into the subtler ones, and the subtler ones reach thecausal state, the so-called ultimate cause from the empirical point of view. Thisultimate cause dissolves in the Absolute. There, everything comes to a cessation. Theindividuality gets dissolved, as it were. It gets tuned up to the ultimate Reality.So, there is an absorption of the grosser element of the earth into the water element,the water element into the fire element and the fire element into the ultimate Realitywhich is called Sat, pure Being. It is the origin of all things from which the multiplicityappears to proceed through the instrumentality of this triplicated structure of theuniverse, the constituents of which are fire, water and earth. Everything, ultimately, isrooted in Being. This is what Uddalaka makes out.If we find out and discover the cause of everything in pure Being, we will not findthe ultimate cause of anything in any other thing, except in that Being, pure andsimple, in which the effects are rooted in an undistinguishable manner.All this variety of creation is rooted in Being which is incapable of further absorptioninto any higher cause, because nothing can be greater than Being. Everything is aneffect of It. Everything is an expression of It, but It Itself is not an expression of anything
  11. 11. else. The generality of existence that is behind the particularity of objects is what iscalled Sat or Satta.Sometimes, it is known as Satta samanya, general Being in all created objects which istheir essence. Every particular can be resolved into this causeless cause. Just as thevarieties of furniture can be resolved into the cause which is the wood, so is the casewith any other manufactured object. There is a tendency of every effect to return intoits cause. This is what we call the evolutionary process.It is impossible for the effect to rest in itself, because of the pull exerted by the cause.This pull is invisibly felt and inexorably exercised universally everywhere, in allcreation, in respect of every object whatever it may be, organic or inorganic. And sonothing can have any peace in this world. Everything is restless, everything moves,everything is tense and everything has an objective transcending itself. That is whythere is such endless activity going on in the world, in every field of life.Everything tries to overcome its own limitations and to entertain higher and higherobjectives, until it reaches the pure Being. The very aspiration to become somethingelse, to transcend one’s self, to become better and to move towards something greater, isbecause of the limitedness, the finitude of things. This itself is a pointer to the existenceof a cause beyond themselves. If there is no cause beyond an effect, there would be nomotion of the effect towards something else, and there will be no feeling of finitude.There would be no aspiration, no desire whatsoever, and no activity at all.So, this is the philosophical background to which our mind is driven through theanalogical explanations of Sage Uddalaka, when he says that the earth element goesback into the water element, the water element into the fire element, and the fireelement into that pure Being, the causeless cause of all things.Everything is having Being as its abode and everything is rooted in Being. Everythingis established in It, as the branches of a tree are supported by the trunk and aredependent on it. The trunk again is dependent on the root, and the root on the seedwhich contains all this variety. The magnificent expanse of the tree is hidden in thatlittle insignificant thing which we call the seed. We have already explained how thethree elements get mixed up in certain proportions called trivritkarana and come toconstitute both the objective universe as well as the subjective body of an individual.Now this subtlety of things, this essence of things, this background of all objects andthis invisible Cause that is transcendent and is behind all the variety of particulars, isthe Self of all beings. This is the Atman of all things and everything in this world hasthis as its Self. Everything is moving towards the Self of itself. Where do we move?We move towards our Self. We do not move towards something else, some other
  12. 12. object. So, even the so-called evolution is not a movement towards something else. It isa movement towards the very Self of that which is moving.The whole difficulty is to locate where that Self is. Is It inside or outside, is It in me orin you, or is It somewhere else? This is a point which will be discussed in the nextchapter of this Upanishad.This movement of the world and the tendency of things to move, the whole processof the absorption of the effect into the cause, is ultimately an indication thateverything is pulled by the Self towards Itself. The subtlest of all things is the Being,pure and simple, and this Being which we call Sat is also the Atman of all things. Thereis a hint given here as to where the Self is, though it is not pointedly explained as towhere It is.You have already been told as to where Being is, and now the Being is identifiedwith the Atman, the Self. So naturally where Being is, there Self also has to be. And wehave already said that the Sat, the pure Being, is the Sattasamanya, and therefore, it mustbe everywhere. So, the Self is everywhere.Now, where is it that you are going when you are pulled by the Self towards Itself?What is it that pulls you, which object? Everything pulls you from every side. So it isnot an entry of one thing into another thing, not even of the individual into the cosmic.It is not anything internal in an empirical sense, internal in the sense of somethingbeing inside another thing physically. It is a metaphysical internality, a spiritualinternality, inconceivable by the mind. It cannot be calculated in a mathematical wayas if something is contained in something else; not at all. It is the Self of all things in anovel manner, impossible to describe in words, and it is this universal Selfhoodwhich is the cause of all things and towards which everything is moving.VI-viii-7: ‘That Being which is this subtle essence (cause), even That all this world has for its self. That is the true. That is the Atman. That thou art, O Svetaketu.’ ‘Revered sir, please explain it further to me’. ‘So be it, dear boy’, said (the father). “O Svetaketu, my dear boy! You cannot be separated from That; you cannot standoutside this Being. As everything has come from that, you too have come from That. Bythe triplicated process of the elements your body has been formed, and everything thatyou are individually is a shape taken by that Being through the triplication of the threeelements.So, what you call ‘yourself’ or ‘myself’ or anything, refers to the Self and is a shape orform taken by the Being, and these shapes in turn cannot stand outside the Being.That is the Self of all Beings, and therefore, naturally you too are that. You cannot stand
  13. 13. outside it, or external to it, or different from it. That is your Self; you yourself are That.O Svetaketu, the great conclusion to which you come by the analysis of the threeelements is the existence of pure Being as the background of all that exists.” So saysUddalaka.“This is something very difficult to understand,” says Svetaketu. “These are thingsthat I have not heard of from my preceptors earlier, and I require further instructionin greater detail about this Being, regarding which you have instructed me just now.You have startled me by saying that I am one with Being. It is more difficult tounderstand when you say that this Being includes other beings also which you calldifferent objects of creation.You have merged me with other objects, and taken me into this Being, as everythingis put together in a menstruum, as it were, and melted into a pot where all beingshave become one. I require further explanation. How is it that everything becomes onein Being, and what type of Being is this where we all go and become united? What isthis process of unification? How do all beings get together and melt, as it were, intothis Being when they reach It?”The following sections contain Uddalaka’s further explanation. ************