Chapter 1: Oneness of Matter and Spirit
May all the limbs of my body grow strong.
May my speech be nourished and strengthened.
May my nose, my eyes, my ears and my other sense organs be nourished and strengthened.
All Upanishads are a likeness of the brahman, the ultimate reality.
May I never forget the brahman,
may the brahman never forget me,
may I never be forgotten.
Absorbed in the brahman, may I realize the dharma, the natural and eternal law of the universe described in the Upanishads.
Om. shantih, shantih, shantih.
The Kaivalya Upanishad is a longing for the ultimate freedom. Kaivalya means the moment in your consciousness when you are utterly alone, but you do not feel lonely. You are totally solitary, and yet you do not feel the absence of the other. You are alone, but so whole that there is no trace of the need for another to fulfill you. Kaivalya means you remain utterly alone, but in such a state that the whole is contained in your being. Your very being becomes the whole. This is the longing of man that is hidden in his deepest, innermost core.
All misery is the misery of having boundaries. All misery is the misery of being limited. All misery is that “I am not whole,” that “I am incomplete, and so many things are needed for me to be fulfilled. And even if all the requirements are met and all things are attained, I still remain unfulfilled and my incompleteness continues. Even if everything is achieved, I am still incomplete.”
Out of this, the inquiry which we call religion arose in man: “Could it be that if I am not complete even after acquiring everything I want, then this journeying in the dimension of acquiring is in itself wrong, pointless? Then I should look in some other direction, where I am not dependent on outer things to become complete, but where I am already complete in myself.” Then nothing else will be needed for your wholeness.
Hence, those who have searched deeply have felt that man will not know bliss as long as any of his needs are dependent on others. As long as the other is needed, misery will remain. “As long as my happiness depends on the other, I am bound to be miserable. As long as I am dependent on the other for anything, I am dependent, and there cannot be any bliss in dependence.” If you were to distill the essence of all your miseries, what you would find in your hands would be dependence. And the ultimate essence of all bliss is freedom.
This ultimate freedom has been called moksha, this ultimate freedom has been called nirvana, this same ultimate freedom has been called kaivalya. There are three different reasons for this.