Chapter 2: Living in Your Own Light
Upanishads are not commentaries and they are not the culmination of the Vedas either. Upanishads are a totally new beginning. The very word upanishad is of immense importance. The word upanishad is derived from the Sanskrit root shad. Shad has many meanings and all are significant. The first meaning is “to sit”.
The Zen people say:
Sitting silently, doing nothing,
The spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
That is the meaning of shad: just sitting silently in deep meditation; not only sitting physically but sitting deep down psychologically too. You can sit physically in a yoga posture, but the mind goes on running, chasing; then it is not true sitting. Yes, physically you look still, but psychologically you are running in all the directions.
Shad means sitting physically and psychologically both. because body and mind are not two things, not two separate entities. Body and mind is one reality. We should not use the phrase “body and mind”; we should make one word, “bodymind”. The body is the outer shell of the mind and the mind is the inner part of the body. Unless both are in a sitting posture, not running anywhere - into the past, into the future - not running anywhere, just being in the present, now and here.that is the meaning of shad; it is the very meaning of meditation.
It also means “to settle”. You are always in a chaos, in a state of turmoil, unsettled, always hesitating, confused, not knowing what to do, what not to do. There is no clarity inside - so many clouds, so much smoke surrounds you. When all these clouds have disappeared, when all this chaos has disappeared, when there is no confusion at all, it is called settling.
When one is settled absolutely, clarity arises, a new perspective. One starts seeing what is the case. Eyes are no more covered by any smoke; for the first time you have eyes to see that which is.
The third meaning of shad is “to approach”. You are confused, you are living in darkness, you don’t know who you are, you don’t know the meaning of your life, of your existence. You have to approach somebody who has arrived home, who has found the way. You have to approach a Buddha, an enlightened master - a Lao Tzu, a Zarathustra, a Jesus, a Mohammed. You have to approach somebody who is afire with God, aflame, who is radiating godliness, in whose presence you feel bathed, refreshed, in whose presence something starts falling from your heart - the whole burden, anguish, anxiety - and something starts welling up within you: a new joy, a new insight. Hence the meaning “to approach”.