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Ancient story: Sage Uddalaka and his son Shvetaketu~PART-1

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Introduction:

We will know the highest truth from the teachings imparted by the Sage “Uddalaka” and his son Shvetaketu”. Know the answer to this question: Please read with patience. Whole story is abstract. Try to understand the essence between the lines. Each picture is relevant to the post. 

Highly meaningful. Read and enjoy🙏😊❤️

What is That, by knowing which everything is known?

The Story:

Once upon a time there was one boy “Shvetaketu”, the grandson of sage Aruna. His father sage Uddalaka said to him: ” O Shvetaketu, my son! live the life of a Brahmacharin. Find a teacher, learn; none in our family is there, anyone who does not study, and who is a Brahmin in name only.”

Shvetaketu returned home, stiff-necked, arrogant, self-willed.

The boy was sent to Gurukul at the age of twelve and he returned house after graduation. Having studied all the Vedas, full of knowledge, feeling very learned and proud, he showed something extra personality. His father then asked him: ” Shvetaketu, dear boy, I see now that you possess full knowledge, confidence, feeling very learned and it seems that you have become proud.

Father Uddalaka introduces the Spiritual Teaching after a Test.

Uddalaka said:’ My Son! You think such a lot yourself, but did you ask your teacher about that initiation, which makes a man hear what is not heard, think what is not thought, know what is not known.?’

Shvetaketu replied: ” Revered father, what is that initiation? Of what nature is that teaching?” 

The Teachings begin with Examples of Clay, Gold and Metal:

Product (Effect) is non-different from its material (cause):

Uddalaka said:’ Dear Son! By knowing a lump of clay, you know all things all things are made of clay, they differ from one another as it were in language and in name, having no reality but their clay.

 

 

 

 

 

By knowing one nugget of Gold, you know all things made of that Gold. They differ from one another as it were in language and in name, having no reality but their Gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All products, being due to words, a mere name:

By knowing one piece of base metal, you know all things made of that metal. They differ from one another as it were in language and in name, having no reality but their metal.

For the like reason, after that initiation, you know everything.

Svetaketu admits Ignorance:

Svetaketu replies:’ Surely my revered teachers did not know that teaching, for if they had known it, why should they have not imparted me that knowledge. However, revered father, please teach it to me.” I will tech it my dear boy,” said the father.

 Birth of Three Elements: –

My Son! In the beginning, there was “Existence alone”, mere Being, one without a second. Some say there was mere nothing, nothing whatsoever; that everything has come out of nothing.

How could Existence arise from Non-Existence?

But how can that be true, my son,’ said Uddalaka, ‘how could that which is, come from that which is not?’ I put it otherwise, in the beginning there was mere Being, one without a second.

One Becomes Many!

He created light!!!

That Being thought” ” Would that I were many! I will create” He created light. Light thought: ” Would that I were many! I will create!” Light created the waters. When anybody weeps or sweats, the tears and the sweat are created by light.

Those waters thought” Would that we were many! We will create!” They created food. Whenever and whatever it rains, food is abundant. Food is from water!

Discussion: 

We may consider this way: That Fire [ENERGY] as well as Akasa [SPACE], both are created from same source. The order of sequence in the creation is not what is meant to be asserted here; all that is meant to be asserted is that ” all this is the product of Being (Entity) and hence, all is Being alone, one, without a second’.

The Origin of Life:

There are Three classes of creatures: the egg-born, the womb-born, the soil-born.

That Divine Being thought: ” I will go into the three gods-light, water, food. I will give them not only life, but names and shapes.”

The process of Triplication:

‘ He said: ” I will make each of them threefold.” He and life went into three gods, and He gave them names and shapes.

‘You shall hear, my son, how He divides each of the three gods into three, and each of these three into three again.’

These Elements as mentioned here, — Fire, water and Earth, are what we usually known as subtle Elements. They are the pure principles of creation. Later on, they get mixed in certain proportions for the manifestation of grosser elements, namely, The Fire, The Water and the Earth that we see with our eyes. So, what the Upanishad speaks of here as Fire, Water and Earth are not the physical Fire, Water and Earth that we see. They are the super physical elements called Tanmatras. These Tanmatras are mixed or blended in certain proportions. This is called Trivritkarana in Sanskrit (This means Triplication- the mixing of three attributes, three substances, in certain proportions.)

Essential Truth of the Three Elements: 

In Fire, the red colour is the form of Fire; that which is white belongs to WATER; that which is black belongs to FOOD. Thus vanishes the quality of Fire from Fire, for, based upon words, all modifications are but name and the Three forms. This alone is the Truth.

Truth about the SUN:

In The SUN, the red colour is the form of Fire; that which is white belongs to WATER; that which is black belongs to FOOD. Thus vanishes the quality of SUN from SUN, for, based upon words, all modifications are but name and the Three forms. This alone is the Truth.

In The MOON, the red colour is the form of Fire; that which is white belongs to WATER; that which is black belongs to FOOD. Thus vanishes the quality of MOON from MOON, for, based upon words, all modifications are but name and the Three forms. This alone is the Truth.

In Lightning, the red colour is the form of Fire; that which is white belongs to WATER; that which is black belongs to FOOD. Thus vanishes the quality of Lightning from it, for, based upon words, all modifications are but name and the Three forms. This alone is the Truth.

It was indeed on knowing this process that the ancients spoke the following: – The ancients being the great house holders and the great Vedic scholars. To us at present there is nothing unheard, unthought or unknown, that anyone can point out. For from these they understood everything.
Whatever else appeared Red thus, as the colour of Subtle Fire thus did, they understand it to be. 
Whatever else appeared White thus, as the colour of Subtle Water thus did, they understand it to be. 
Whatever else appeared Black thus, as the colour of Subtle Food thus did, they understand it to be. 

Every object in creation has been reduced to its constituents, and it has been discovered that there is nothing in an object except its constituents. This is a law that can apply to every object, whatever its character be. The difference in the contour or the shape of the object is not very important. What is important is the nature of the substance out of which it is formed.

Conclusion:

In this manner, Sage Uddalaka directs the attention of Svetaketu on the essence underlying each object in creation. By taking our minds away from the physical or external qualities of name and form, we are guided to focus on the Absolute Existence (SAT) behind all three elements. In this manner we will understand the real meaning of “Tat Tvam Asi” which is ultimate Reality. In this manner the theme of one of the MahaVakyas : “Tat Tvam Asi” in next section.

“Eva Satyam“: Truth alone exists. Finally, even the three Elements have to be Transcended and we have to see the Pure Existence alone in everything.

STORY WILL CONTINUE!!!

Recommended readings:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite. **
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit** Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.**
  4. Commentary of ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami Krishnananda.
  5. ChAndogya Upanishad: By Swami GuruBhaktananda.
  6. EIGHT UPANISADS -VOL-1 with commentary of Sankaracharya, Translated by SWAMI GAMBHIRANANDA.
  7. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentary By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  8. A-U-M Awakening to Reality: By Dennis Waite***
  9. Panchadasi: Swami Vidyaranya: 
  10. Information available on internet.

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