Chapter 17: I Am This!
Listening to these teachings from the master, the disciple became enlightened and began to say: I had seen the world just now, where has it gone? Who has taken it away? Into what has it become dissolved? It is a great surprise! Does it not exist?
In this great ocean of Brahman which is full of the nectar of infinite bliss, what have I to renounce now and what have I to take? What is other now and what is extraordinary?
Here I do not see anything, I do not hear anything and I do not know anything, because I am always in my blissful soul and I myself am my own nature.
I am unattached, bodiless, genderless; I am God myself; I am absolutely silent, I am infinite, I am the whole and the most ancient.
I am not the doer, I am not the sufferer, I am unchanging and inexhaustible. I am the abode of pure knowledge, I am alone and I am the eternal godliness.
This knowledge was given by the master to Apantaram, Apantaram gave it to Brahma, Brahma gave it to Ghorangiras, Ghorangiras gave it to Raikva, Raikva gave it to Rama and Rama gave it to all living beings. This is the message of nirvana and this is the teaching and discipline of the Vedas.
Thus ends this Upanishad.
Listening to these teachings from the master, the disciple became enlightened.
What is stated in this sutra is not only difficult to understand, it may appear impossible to us. How can one become enlightened just by listening? Our logical minds cannot understand it. If listening has really happened it is not impossible, but because we do not know how to listen, it appears impossible that just by listening the disciple became enlightened.
Let us first understand this before we enter into the sutra. There is one fundamental difference between the present era of science and the era when the Upanishads were born. In those days when the Upanishads were born the basis of the mind was trust. Now the basis of the mind is doubt. In those days trust was as natural as doubt is natural today. The mind has undergone a revolutionary change. With the birth of science, doubt has gained a sort of dignity. Why? Because science is born out of doubt.
Science only doubts. Right doubt is the key for the development of science. Scientific facts can be discovered only if one goes on doubting. Doubt is a process of discovering the truths of science.
When the discoveries of science started becoming useful to man, when it spread all over from the smallest needle to the atom bomb, science started acquiring prestige. And when it became impossible for man to live without science and science began to win in all fields and its victory flag began to flutter in the material world, naturally doubt also acquired prestige, because science is born out of doubt.
When science became victorious in the material world, doubt also gained prestige. Today, throughout the whole world, whatever education we impart is the education of doubt. Right from the first grade to the last degrees of the university we teach doubt, because without doubt there is no thinking. If one has to think, one should doubt. The sharper the thinking is to be made, the sharper the edge of doubt required.
The whole structure of the modern world is created around science. Science has entered into everything - our eating, drinking, sitting, getting up, walking and living. But because science exists on the foundations of doubt, doubt has also become the foundation stone of the present man’s mind. Today nobody can accept anything quietly. Trust is not the word of the day.
When the Upanishads were written, trust had the same prestige as doubt has today. Just as doubt is the basis for science, trust is the basis for religion. Let this be properly understood. Just as thinking cannot exist without doubt, the no-mind state cannot arise without trust.