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Chapter 12: This Direct Knowing

“Although the divine, the innermost soul of all living beings, is one, in the bodies of different creatures it is reflected in their forms, just as the one fire in all the world takes myriad forms. The divine that dwells within also dwells without.”

“Although the innermost soul of all living beings is one, in the bodies of different creatures it is reflected in their forms, just as the one air that permeates the world takes myriad forms. The divine that dwells within also dwells without.”

“Even as the sun, the illuminator of the world, does not become identified with the flaws in man’s vision, the divine, which is the innermost soul of all living beings, does not become identified with man’s misery. Though it is within all, it is separate from all.”

“Only the wise ones, no others, who see the divine that is living within them in each moment - the divine which is the knower of all inner thoughts and feelings; which is the non-dual; which is the mover of all - will know the unchanging, eternal bliss.”

“Only the wise ones who see the divine that is living within them in each moment - the divine which is the stillness in the unmoving, which is the witness within all consciousness and which alone ordains the fruits of the actions of all living beings - will know the unchanging, eternal peace.”

As he heard of the majesty, the bliss and peace that comes of knowing the divine, Nachiketa thought, “How can I truly know this indescribable supreme bliss which the wise ones call the divine? Does it reveal itself, or is it experienced?”

Listening to Nachiketa’s inner thoughts, Yama, the Lord of Death, said, “The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon or the stars; nor does lightning or electrical phenomena cast any light there. Where then does the fire of this world stand? All the suns and the moons and the stars are illumined by its light.the whole existence is illumined by its light.”

In India there are three points of view about the ultimate mystery of existence. The first is of the Hindu Upanishads, the Vedas and the Gita. According to their view, the ultimate reality is one; all else are expressions of this one. There are no individual souls, there is only a universal soul. There are no separate individuals, there is only one universal existence.

The second viewpoint is of the Jainas. According to them the ultimate reality is not just one, it is split into many: there is no universal soul, there are only individual souls. There is not one single totality; instead, there are many separate beings.

The third vision is of the Buddhists. For them there is neither a universal soul nor an individual soul, neither the whole nor the individual. For them there is nothingness, shunyata, the ultimate void.

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