State of no Ego

Dialog between Uddaalak a subjective scientist of macro vision and His Son Shwetketu a objective scientist of micro vision almost 3000 years before….the following story is taken from Chhaandogya Upanishad ( 800 – 600 B.C.).

It must have been a morning like this. The trees were dancing in the morning sun, and the birds were singing. And the house of a great mystic of those days, Udallaka, was celebrating the coming back of his son, Swetketu, from the house of the Master where he had been sent to study.

In those ancient days, education was basically the education of the non-ego. A student was sent to the forest university to live with the Master so that he could dissolve himself and have a taste of existence. 

Yes, he had brought the greatest award that the university could have conferred. He had passed all the examinations, he had obtained the highest degree, and he came loaded with much knowledge. But something was missing, and the father’s eyes were full of tears.

Swetketu could not understand it. He said is something wrong? Why are you unhappy?’

Uddaalak said – “Shwetketu, Have you ever asked your teacher for that instruction by which we hear what cannot be heard, by which we perceive what cannot be perceived, by which we know what cannot be known?

Shwetketu said – “What is that instruction, Sir?”

The father replied – “My dear, just as by a single lump of clay, all that is made of clay is known, all modifications being only a name based upon words, (the difference being only a name arising from speech) but the truth being that all is clay thus, my dear, is that instruction.”

“Please Sir, explain this to me further.” said Shwetketu.

Uddaalak – “Bring me a fruit of that Nyagrodh tree (banyan tree).”
Shwetketu – “Here is one, Sir.”
Uddaalak – “Break it.”
Shwetketu – “It is broken, Sir.”
Uddaalak – “What do you see there?”
Shwetketu – “Those extremely small seeds, Sir.”
Uddaalak – “Break one of them, my dear.”
Shwetketu – “It is broken, Sir.”
Uddaalak – “What do you see there?”
Shwetketu – “Nothing, Sir.”

The father said – “My son, that subtle essence which you do not perceive there, of that very essence this great Nyagrodha tree, grows (exists). Believe me, my son. Now, that which is the subtle essence (the root of all) in That all that exists has its Self; that is the Self; That is the Truth; That thou art, O Shwetketu!”

Shwetketu said – “Please, Sir, explain to me further.”

“Be it so, my child,” replied the father.

Uddaalak – “Place this salt in the water and come to me in the morning.”
Shwetketu, the son, did as he was commanded.
Next day the father said to him – “Bring the salt, my dear, which you put in the water last night.” The son looked for it and did not find it, for it had become dissolved.
The father said – “My child, taste it from the surface of the water. How is it?”
The son replied – “It is salt.”
Uddaalak – “Taste it from the middle. How is it?”
The son replied – “It is salt.”
Uddaalak – “Taste it from the bottom. How is it?”
The son replied – “It is salt.”
The father said – “Throw it away and come to me.”
The son did so; It exists for ever.

Then the father said to him – “Here also in this body, forsooth, you do not perceive the Truth (Sat or Pure Being), my son, but there it is indeed.”
The father said – “Now that which is the subtle essence (the root of all), in That all that exists has its Self: That is the Self; that is the Truth; That thou art; O Shwetketu.

Very disturbed, the young man went back to his master. He had come back from his master’s ashram after many years and was sent back without even a day’s rest.

“But why didn’t you teach me that one my father asks about? Why?…All these years wasted!… My father says I don’t know myself, and of what use is all this knowledge of the Vedas? I can recite, but what am I going to do with it?” He sent me back saying, “Don’t come unless you have become a real knower . So, master, teach me that one”.

The master laughed and said, “That one cannot be taught. Yes, it can be caught, but it cannot be taught. That is why I could not teach it. But if you insist, then a situation can be created”.

That is what all masters do: they just create a situation. “Take hold of all the cows of the ashram” – there are four hundred cows – “and take them to the deepest forest, absolutely inaccessible to other human beings, then come back only when your herd has grown to one thousand cows and bulls. It will take many years, but you go. And remember cows will be your friends and your family: you can talk to them if you like”.

In the beginning he must have tried to talk to the cows, but by and by thought that it was meaningless. Out of habit, he must have recited the Vedas, and the cows would have continued munching their grass. What can you do with an audience of cows? By and by he stopped talking and began to forget. A great unlearning had begun.

The herd grew to be a thousand, but by that time Swetketu had forgotten all about going back. Then one cow, so goes the story, reminded him, “Listen, now that we are a thousand, it is time and our master must be waiting.” Swetketu followed them.

The master came out to receive him and said to the other disciples, “Look at these one thousand and one cows!” But the disciples said, “There are only one thousand cows, and one is Swetketu”. The master said, “He has disappeared, he is no longer there. He is a cow – so innocent; look into his eyes.”

This is a State of no Ego. And this has been the goal in the East – the state where you are not, and in fact for the first time you are.

Numbers are additions of one into one, zero is subtraction of one from one . Once zero always zero even after applying all mathematical calculations.

Zero is cosmic equation of all energy. 

The disappearance of the ego and the appearance of the true and the authentic Self – this is the state we call realization, God realization, self realization ….or enlightenment 360 .

Love All.

(c) ram H singhal

8 thoughts on “State of no Ego

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