Chapter 4: The Supreme Knowledge
Svetaketu became aware. There were four hundred animals, birds, other wild animals, trees, rocks, rivers and streams, but no man and no possibility of any human communication. There was no use in being very egoistic, because these animals didn’t know what type of great scholar this Svetaketu was. They didn’t consider him at all; they didn’t look at him with respect, so by and by the pride disappeared, because it was futile and it even looked foolish to walk in a prideful way with the animals. Even Svetaketu started feeling, “If I remain egoistic these animals will laugh at me - so what am I doing?” Sitting under the trees, sleeping near the streams, by and by his mind became silent.
The story is beautiful. The years passed and his mind became so silent that Svetaketu completely forgot when he had to return. He became so silent that even this idea was not there. The past dropped completely, and with the dropping of the past the future drops, because the future is nothing but a projection of the past - just the past reaching into the future. So he forgot what the master had said, he forgot when he had to return. There was no when and where, he was just here and now. He lived in the moment just like the animals, he became a cow.
The story says that when the animals became one thousand, they started feeling uncomfortable. They were waiting for Svetaketu to take them back to the ashram and he had forgotten, so one day the cows decided to speak to Svetaketu and they said, “Now it is time enough, and we remember that the master had said that you must come back when the animals became one thousand, and you have completely forgotten. Now is the time and we must go back. We have be-come one thousand.”
So Svetaketu went back with the animals. The master looked from the door of his hut at Svetaketu coming with one thousand animals, and he said to his other disciples, “Look, one thousand and one animals are coming.” Svetaketu had become such a silent being - no ego, no self-consciousness, just moving with the animals as one of them.
The master came to receive him; the master was dancing, ecstatic. He embraced Svetaketu and he said, “Now there is nothing to say to you - you have already known. Why have you come? There is no need to come now, there is nothing to be taught. You have already known.”
Svetaketu said, “Just to pay my respects, just to touch your feet, just to be grateful. It has happened, and you have taught me that which cannot be taught.”
This is what a master is to do: create a situation in which the thing happens. So only indirect effort can be made, indirect help, indirect guidance. And wherever direct guidance is given, wherever your mind is taught, it is not religion. It may be theology but not religion; it may be philosophy but not religion.
The supreme knowledge is that which cannot be taught. But the sage Sankriti asked: Teach me the supreme knowledge.
The sun god said:
I shall now explain to you this most rare knowledge, upon the attainment of which you will become free while yet dwelling in this body. See in all beings the Brahman, who is one, unborn, still, imperishable, infinite, immutable and conscious; so seeing live in peace and bliss. Do not see anything except the self and the supreme. This state is known as yoga. Rooted thus in yoga, carry out your deeds.