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Chapter 13: Prayer Simply Happens

Absolute and relative -
He who knows these two together,
Through the relative leaves death behind
and through the Absolute gains immortality.

The threshold of Reality is veiled by golden light.
Reveal it, O Lord, for my dharma is to know the Truth.

O Lord of Light, the knowing one,
the golden guardian, giver of life to all,
Spread apart thy rays, gather up thy brilliance,
That I may perceive thy finest and most splendrous nature,
That cosmic spirit which lies at thy heart.
For I myself am That!

Let my breath merge with the cosmic breath,
May my body be as dust,
Remember, o mind, remember what has been done.

Remember, o mind, remember what has been done.

O Agni, show us the right path,
lead us to eternal freedom,
Thou who knowest all.
May we not be diverted from our goal,
For with all devotion we submit ourselves to Thee.

Purnat purnamudachyate
Purnasya purnamadaya
Purnameva vashisyate.

That is the Whole.
This is the Whole.
From wholeness emerges wholeness,
Wholeness coming from wholeness,
wholeness still remains.

The greatest contribution of the seers of the Upanishads is that they have made this world and the other world synonymous. They have dropped the idea of the mundane and the sacred. That represents the absolute, the ultimate, the further shore; this represents the immediate, the herenow, this shore. Both are one because: that is the whole, this is the whole - there is no distinction at all.

The ordinary religions live on condemning this world; by condemning this world they praise the other world. The Upanishads have a totally different approach: they praise this world with all its beauty, splendor; through praising this world they praise the other world. This approach is life-affirmative.

The Upanishads are in tremendous love with life. They don’t teach renunciation, they teach rejoicing. They would have agreed with Jesus when Jesus says again and again to his disciples, “Rejoice! Rejoice! I say again to you rejoice!” The Upanishads have a very aesthetic approach towards life - not the approach of an ascetic but the approach of a poet, a painter, a musician, a dancer. Their approach is in no way pathological.

But that vision has completely disappeared. Instead of that ecstatic vision of life, for three thousand years humanity has lived with a very sado-masochistic idea: torture yourself and teach others so that they can also torture themselves, because that’s the only way to make God rejoice. This is really a condemnation of God, as if God is a torturer, as if he enjoys people being in pain and anguish.

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