Chapter 16: The Great Dance of Suchness
Brahman is well known by the name Tatvanam - that - so it is to be meditated upon as Tatvanam - that. All beings love him who know Brahman as such.
“Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”
“The Upanishad has been imparted to you. We have, verily, imparted to you the Upanishad relating to Brahman.”
Of the Upanishad, tapas - austerities; daman - self-restraint; and karma - dedicated work; form the support. The Vedas are its limbs, and truth its abode.
One who realizes it - knowledge of Brahman - thus destroys sin and is well established in Brahman, the infinite, the blissful and the highest.
The word god is not God, because the ultimate cannot have a name. It is nameless - because names are given by others. A child is born. The child is born nameless, then a name is to be given. That name doesn’t come from the inner source of the child’s consciousness. It comes from without. It is a label - useful, utilitarian, but artificial. The child will become a victim. He will identify himself with this name which is given, which really doesn’t belong to him.
But who will give a name to the Brahman? There are no parents, no society, no “other.” And what is the use when the Brahman alone is? A name is needed because you are not alone. You need to be categorized, named, defined, so that others can call you, remember you. If you are alone on the earth, you will not need a name. And Brahman is alone, so who will give him a name? There is no other and there is no utility in it either.
So that is the first thing to be understood and very basic to the Upanishad - because all the religions have given certain names. Hindus have given thousands of names. They have a book, Vishnu Sahastranam - God’s one thousand names. The whole book consists only of names. Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, all have given certain names to God to make prayer possible. The name remains false, but how are you going to call the divine? How are you going to invoke him? How are you going to relate yourself to him? You need a name for the divine, but the Upanishads are not ready to give a name.
The Upanishads are the purest teaching possible; they do not make any compromise. They do not make any compromise for you. They are rigorous, very hard and they try to remain totally pure. So what do the Upanishads call Brahman? They simply call him Tat - that. They do not give him a name. That is not a name; that is an indication. And there is a great difference. When you do not have a name, then you indicate and say “That.” It is a finger pointing toward the unknown. That is a finger pointing toward the unknown, so the Upanishads call him Tat.