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Chapter 13: Existence Is One

A certain gardener invited his friend to see the beautiful roses which had flowered in his garden. His friend was a goldsmith, and he went there with his touchstone. On seeing the roses he said to his friend, “I do not believe your statement simply by seeing the roses. You cannot deceive me, I am not a child. I test gold, so to test roses is child’s play. I shall test them.”

The gardener asked, “How will you test the flowers?”

His friend replied, “I have brought my touchstone with me.”

The gardener became nervous and thought, “I made a mistake in inviting this man!”

But by this time the goldsmith had plucked a flower and tested it by rubbing it on the touchstone. He threw the flower on the ground and said, “The touchstone has shown that there is nothing in this flower; it is fake.”

The sage of this sutra will feel the same as the gardener must have felt if someone tries to understand this sutra from the logical point of view. Flowers are not tested on the touchstone for gold, and if someone tries to do so, the flowers are not at fault; it merely shows the man’s foolishness. Of all the sutras of the Ishavasya, this especially has the flavor of self-realization. This cannot be tested by the touchstone of logic, and it is fully implied in the sutra that it should not be so tested. It is telling us that it is going to say something which is irrational, which is beyond logic, which cannot happen and yet happens, which should not happen and yet happens, which has no basis for its happening, which has no way of being proved - and yet it happens, and yet it is!

Life is irrational: what does this statement mean? It means that those who try to find out the meaning, the secret of life from the point of view of mathematics, logic, justice, conventions, rules and regulations, will remain without knowing it.

The goldsmith tested the flower on a touchstone. If you take that flower to a science laboratory and say, “This is a very beautiful flower,” then the scientist too will dissect its every part and say, “Where is the beauty here?” He will extract its elements one by one and scatter them. Each chemical will be separated and then he will ask, “Where is the beauty?” It has juice, minerals, chemicals, and all such things, but there is no beauty in it anywhere. If beauty is not found in the laboratory of a scientist, it is not the fault of the flower; nor is it the fault of the scientist, because his laboratory is not there to discover beauty. The dimension in which beauty may be sought and measured is altogether different.

So those who think about life from a mathematical point of view can never measure it, because life is basically a secret. All our knowledge, however great it may be, is founded in ignorance; it simply hints at what remains to be known. And as we come to know more and more, we realize the depth of our ignorance. We are not able to unfold life, and if we try, we become more and more entangled.

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