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Chapter 16: The Great Dance of Suchness

You may have heard one of the most famous sentences of the Upanishads: Tat-vam-asi - That art thou. You are also the Brahman, but the Upanishads go on calling him that. Even to say “calling him” is not good because the moment we use he, him, the ultimate becomes a person. The Upanishads do not say that he is a person; he is just a force, energy, life, but not a person. So they insist on calling him Tat - that. That is the only name given by the Upanishads to the ultimate.

Many things are implied, of course. One: if there is no name, or if Tat, that, is the only name, prayer becomes impossible. You can meditate on that, but you cannot pray. The Upanishads really do not believe in prayer; they believe in meditation. Prayer is something addressed to a person. Meditation is simply sinking, drowning, within yourself. The person is somewhere outside you, but that, the Brahman, the ultimate force, is within you. You need not relate to it as the other; you can simply drown yourself inwardly. You can simply sink within yourself and you will find that - because “That art thou.”

To take Brahman as the other is false for the Upanishads. Not that the other is not Brahman: everything is Brahman; the other also, the outer also, is Brahman. But the Upanishads say that if you cannot feel him within, it is impossible for you to feel him without - because the nearest source is within; the without is faraway. And if the nearest has not been known, how can you know the faraway, the distant? If you cannot feel him in yourself, how can you feel him in others? It is impossible.

The first step must be taken within. From there the Brahman, that, is nearest. You are that. To say nearest is false; there is not even that much distance - because even when someone is near there is distance. Nearness shows a certain distance; nearness is a sort of distance. He is not even near you - because you are that. So why go wandering without? He is in the home. You are looking for the guest and he is the host. You are waiting for the guest to come and he is already the host. He is you.

So the first implication is: for the Upanishads there is no prayer; there is meditation. Prayer is a relationship between two, just like love. Meditation is not a relationship between two. It is just like surrender. Meditation is going withinwards, surrendering yourself unto yourself - not clinging to the periphery, but sinking deep to the center. And when you are at your center you are in that - Tat, Brahman.

The second implication: when the Upanishads call him that, it means he is not the creator; rather, he is the creation - because the moment we say, “God is the creator,” we have made him a person. And not only have we made him a person: we have divided existence into two - the creator and the created. The duality has entered. The Upanishads say that he is the creation. Or, to be more accurate, he is the creativity - the very force of creation.

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