Chapter 5: One Becomes Three
One day I asked Mulla Nasruddin, “Mulla, every day I see your servant taking two glasses of wine on a tray to your room. Since you are always alone, for whom is the second glass?”
Nasruddin replied, “Once I take a glass of wine I am no longer the same person. I become a different person altogether. Don’t you think it is my duty to offer my hospitality to this other person?”
As soon as you are intoxicated you become a different person; you can never be the same. Being under the influence of intoxicants is the only difference between a sannyasin and a worldly man, for what is the most potent intoxicant but the drug called the ego.
All other intoxicants wear off after a while, but the effect of the ego goes on from birth to birth. You try your best to get rid of it and still you find it standing right in front of you. You try to run away from it, but it follows you like a shadow. You devise a thousand tricks and yet you find it tagging along with you. You practice humility, but there it is stirring inside you.
The ego is the subtlest of all intoxicants. If witnessing is awakening, the ego means you are asleep. As soon as you become the doer, as soon as you become the enjoyer, you fall asleep slumber overtakes you. As soon as you become the witness, awakening occurs and consciousness returns.
As soon as consciousness dawns, the many are lost and only the three remain: that of which you are conscious, the one who is conscious, and the connection between the two. This the Hindus refer to as triputi. The one whose triputi is awakened is a sannyasin; he begins to delve into his spiritual practice. As you dwell more and more in the three your wanderings in the many diminish until you reach a stage when the many will no longer form, and there will be only the three; then you are permanently in the witness state. You suddenly find that the three have faded away when the mind becomes still. You discover that the observer, the observed, and their connection are all one and the same.
This is why Krishnamurti says again and again, “The observer is the observed.”
But this is the ultimate state. First, through long practice all ways of forming the many are closed, the world is no more and only the three remain. Then gradually you come to realize that the three are one. When you know that, the one who sees is that which is seen. Then the connecting link is also lost, for the relationship between the observer and the observed exists only as long as they are separate. But when only one remains, how can there be any relation? The intermediary connection is thus broken.
This is the journey - the return journey to again become one. You become God. When you became many, you were the world. The trimurti stands in between. This is what Nanak means in these sutras.