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Chapter 10: The One Reality

“The ultimate reality can be known only by the pure mind. In this world, there is only the ultimate reality. Hence, one who sees the many in this world will wander from death to death; he will be caught in the endless cycle of birth and death.”

“The soul, which is the size of the tip of the thumb, resides in the sky of the heart in the middle of the body. It is the ruler of the past, present and future. Knowing it, one can no longer condemn.”

“This, is that.”

“The soul, which is the size of the tip of the thumb, is like a smokeless flame. It is this soul, the ruler of past, present and future, which is today and which is tomorrow. This soul is the eternal.”

“This, is that.”

“Even as rainwater falling on a high peak will flow to many different places on the mountain, the man who worships gods and demons which are endowed with diverse natures, thinking them to be other than the divine, will continue to pursue them. He will wander lost in their good or evil realms and in the higher and lower species.”

“Nachiketa, of the lineage of the sage Gautama! Even as the pure rainwater remains the same when mixed with other pure waters, when the self of the sage has known the Supreme Self, it becomes the Supreme Self.”
“The ultimate reality can be known only by the pure mind. In this world, there is only the ultimate reality. Hence, one who sees the many in this world will wander from death to death; he will be caught in the endless cycle of birth and death.”

It will be good to understand what is meant here by “pure mind”. What you normally understand to be a pure mind is not pure. People think that a pure mind is a mind that is full of good thoughts, a mind full of moral thoughts; a moral mind. People think that a pure mind is free of all that you consider to be bad or immoral - but in the Upanishads even this so-called moral mind is thought to be impure.

According to the Upanishads, a pure mind is a mind which has neither bad thoughts nor good thoughts, which is neither moral nor immoral, neither shubh, good, nor ashubh, evil - where all the ripples of thought have disappeared. As long as there are thoughts in the mind, mind is impure. The minds of the so-called saint or of the so-called sinner are equally impure, but the impurity in the sinner’s mind is bad thoughts and the impurity in the saint’s mind is good thoughts.

The sage is one who is pure of mind; there are neither good thoughts nor bad thoughts. This seems to be a little complex because you think that good thoughts indicate the presence of purity. But good thoughts also are a foreign element: a good thought also creates ripples in the mind, a good thought also creates a disturbance in the mind, a good thought also creates a limit to the mind. A mind is pure only when there is no foreign element in it.

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