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Chapter 10: Worship of the Self

Soham bhavo namaskarah.
The feeling of I am That - So-aham - is the salutation.

Existence is one, or, rather, existence is oneness. Al-Hillaj Mansoor was crucified because he said, “I am the beloved, I am the divine, I am That which created the world.” Islam was totally unacquainted with this type of language. This language is basically Hindu. Wherever man has contemplated, man has come to duality: God, the creator, and the world, the created. Hinduism has taken the boldest jump by saying that the created is the creator and there is no basic difference.

To Islam, or to other dualistic thinkings, this looks like sacrilege. If there is no difference between God and the world, between man and God, then for dualistic thinkers it appears there is no possibility of religion, no possibility of worship, no possibility of salutation. If you are divine, then whom are you going to worship? If you are the creator, then who is superior to you? Worship becomes impossible.

But this sutra says this is the only worship, this is the only salutation:

The feeling of I am That - So-aham - is the salutation.

Ordinarily, this sutra is absurd, contradictory - because if there is no higher power than you, if you are the highest, then whom are you going to salute? To whom are you going to pay your respects? This is the reason Mansoor was murdered, killed and crucified. This is heresy! He was thought to be a heretic, a nastik, an atheist. If you say you are God, you deny godhood. Then you are the supreme.

For a dualistic way of thinking, this is egoistic. The division must be maintained. You must come nearer and nearer, but you must not become the flame itself. You must become intimate with the divine source, but you must not become one with it. Then respect is possible, worship is possible.

So you can reach to the divine feet, but you cannot become one with the divine flame. How can the creature become the creator? And if the creature becomes the creator, that means the creature was not a creature at all. And if the created becomes the creator, that means there is no creator.

This is one type of religious thinking, the dualistic type. It has its own reasoning and it appeals to our ordinary minds. So, really, even those who are born Hindus are not Hindus unless they can come to conceive the attitude of being one with the creator. One may be born a Hindu, but there is no basic difference between the Hindu, the Mohammedan and the Christian attitude: the actual attitude - the attitude we live and the attitude we behave by.

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