Chapter 13: The Fragrance of Awareness
Sarvatra bhavana gandhah
The feeling of That everywhere
is gandha - the only fragrance.
The Indian metaphysics divides existence into two realms. One is “this” - that which can be pointed out; and another is “That” - that which is beyond this, which cannot be pointed out. The Sanskrit word for truth is satya. This Sanskrit word is very meaningful and very beautiful. It is a combination of two words, sat and tat. Sat means “this” and tat means “That”; satya means, “this” plus “That” is truth. So first we should understand what “this” is and what “That” is.
That which can be perceived, that which can be understood, that which can be comprehended, that which can be pointed out, figured out, that which can be shown, that which can be seen - all belong to “this.” That which cannot be seen but yet is, that which cannot be comprehended but yet is, that which cannot be contemplated but yet is, belongs to “That.” So “this” means the known and the knowable, and “That” means the unknown and the unknowable. The known plus the unknown is the truth; this plus That is satya.
So this division is very meaningful, significant. Without giving it any name we simply call it this and That. Whatsoever science can know is this, and whatsoever science cannot know is That. Science is concerned with this, and religion is concerned with That. That’s why between science and religion there is no meeting, and there cannot be really. That meeting is in a way impossible. This cannot become That. That means all which transcends - that which is always beyond. The very beyondness is That. So they cannot have a meeting - and yet they are not separate, yet there is no gap, there is no gulf. So how to understand it?
It is like this: darkness and light never meet, yet they are not separate. Where light ends, darkness begins. There is no gap - yet they never meet, yet they never overlap. They cannot. Where light ends, darkness begins. Where light is, darkness is not. Where darkness is, light is not. They never overlap, they never meet and yet there is no gap, there is no distance. They never meet, yet they are very near. The boundary of one is the boundary of the other also. There is really no gap at all.
The same is the phenomenon with this and That - the world, this; and the truth, That - they never meet, they never overlap, yet there is no gap. In a way they are always meeting somewhere, because where one ends the other begins - yet there is no overlapping. Light can grow more, then the darkness will go further away. Science can know more, but whatsoever it knows becomes this. The That goes further away, it can never touch it - yet is just on the boundary. It is there just by the corner where it ends. To call it That means it is far away - beyond, transcending.