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Chapter 1: One Boat, Two Travelers

May the divine protect us both;
may it care for us both.
Together may we strive.
Brilliant be our knowing.
May we hold no envy.
Aum, peace, peace, peace.

To extract the essence from the ordinary, the insignificant, is already difficult enough, but then to extract the quintessential essence of all the essences is much more difficult. To discover the significant from the insignificant is already not easy, but then to extract the ultimate significance from all that is significant is almost impossible. To search for gold in the dust presents its own trials and difficulties, but to find the quintessence of gold from the gold is almost impossible.

The meaning of Sarvasar, of the Sarvasar Upanishad, is: the quintessential essence, the most foundational of all the esoteric knowledge that has ever been discovered. An essence where not even a word can be removed, where nothing remains to be discarded, an essence from where the gross has been eliminated and only the pure self remains, from which the gross that is the gold has been separated out and only the absolute “goldness” has been saved - such is this Upanishad.

In understanding this one Upanishad, doors will open to the most profound understanding known by the genius of man. Hence its name, Sarvasar: the secret of secrets, the mystery within all the mysteries, the essence of essences.

Such a thing is dangerous too, because as a science becomes more subtle, so also it becomes more difficult to grasp. The purer the truth, the farther away it moves from our understanding. It is not the fault of truth, it is only that our understanding is so contaminated that the gap between us and truth has become vast. The only reason for it is our impurity. Hence, the more subtle the truth, the more impractical it becomes for us in our everyday existence.

That is why, although the ultimate knowledge of life was discovered in this country, all we do is waste our time in merely talking about it. It has never occurred to us that it has to be lived. And even if we want to live it, we don’t know which way to approach it - and even if we make this decision, we don’t know in which direction to begin to move. It is so profound, so subtle, that we drop all hope of living it. Then, just to deceive ourselves, we talk about it and feel consoled.

So we have talked about it for centuries - and we have talked about that which cannot be understood by talking about it, about that which can only be known by living it. To live it is the only way to know it. We can understand it only if we integrate it into our lives. To live it, is to understand it.

There are some profound dimensions of life where no gap exists between knowing and being; where to know it and to be it are one and the same; where to be it is the only way to know it.

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