Chapter 7: The Center of the Cyclone
These are secret languages, rituals are secret languages. Through them something has been communicated. Books can be destroyed, languages can become dead, the meanings of words go on changing. Because of this, whenever there has been an enlightened man he has created certain rituals. They are more permanent languages. When scriptures disappear, when religions become dead, when old languages cannot be understood, or can be misinterpreted, rituals continue. Sometimes a whole religion disappears, but the rituals go on. They become transplanted into new religions. They enter new religions without anyone being aware of what is happening.
Rituals are a permanent language, and whenever one goes deep in them the secrets are discovered. This Upanishad is basically concerned with the ritual of worship, and every act is meaningful. In itself it looks childish. It is stupid to go into a temple and make rounds around the altar or the image of the deity- it looks stupid. What are you doing? In itself it is. We have forgotten that the key is a key. Its meaning is in knowing the lock, its meaning is in opening the lock. These seven rounds around the altar are concerned with seven bodies, and the altar is concerned with the innermost center.
Move around your center, go on moving inwards, and a moment comes when every movement stops. There is no sound. You have entered silence. This silence is divine, this silence is bliss, this silence is the aim of all religions, and this silence is the purpose of all life. And unless you attain this silence, whatsoever you may attain is useless, meaningless. Even if you can attain the whole world, it is of no use.
If you attain this inner silence, this center, and you lose the whole world, even then it is worth attaining. No bargain is bad - even if everything is staked, sacrificed. When you achieve the inner silence, you know whatsoever you have paid for it was nothing. What you get is invaluable. What you lose for it was just rubbish.
But the rubbish to us is wealth, the rubbish is to us very valuable. And I will repeat again: if you think that you can purchase with this rubbish, then you will never be able to get to the center. The center cannot be a result. If you throw this rubbish, you attain to it - that’s a consequence.
Stillness is pradakshina - the movement around That for worship - around That - the inner center, the innermost center. This is the periphery, That is the center. So go on leaving this and go on moving towards That - this is all that sadhana consists of, this is the path.