Chapter 3: A Sense of Separateness
If you have not, then meditation is a way to have such a realization. Try to immerse yourself in meditation in such a way that you are not even aware of meditation, that you do not even have the idea that you are meditating - not even the thought remains that you are meditating on something or someone - and you become so blissful that the concept of duality vanishes.
This is possible in the afternoon’s kirtan, the devotional singing and dancing. If you become totally absorbed in the dance, the dancer vanishes, the outer world vanishes and one’s “amness” also disappears. Only the act remains, a pure act of dance, of bliss, of great celebration. At such a peak point, in such a moment, all experience of duality vanishes and only one remains. This oneness is vast - all is contained in it. These trees close by are a part of it; the sky, too, is a part of it, and this earth. The whole of existence is included in it. Nothing is outside this experience; all becomes one in it.
Meditation is this kind of a realization. And when such a realization becomes so deep that it cannot be lost whether you walk, or sit, or eat, or drink; whether you are in the world or in a monastery, whether you are in a shop, or in a temple - when there is no way to lose this realization, when no matter what you do, it remains intact - then this very realization becomes samadhi.
We are undertaking a journey for this samadhi. That is why it is necessary to understand this sutra quite rightly.
The sutra says:
Kill out all sense of separateness.
Do not fancy you can stand aside
from the bad man or the foolish man.
They are yourself, though in a less degree
than your friend or your Master.
Remember that the sin and shame of the world
are your sin and shame;
for you are a part of it;
your karma is inextricably interwoven
with the great karma.
And before you can attain knowledge
you must have passed through all places,
foul and clean alike.
Many things have been said here, and they are worth considering. If it is true that existence is one - that I am not separate from it, that I am not an island - then my boundaries are only functional, and I do not end at these limits. Then, there is no “other”; then, whatever is happening to the other is also happening to me - perhaps at some distance, but it is also happening to me.
When Mahavira said no even to killing an ant, this is what he meant. The whole philosophy of nonviolence is based on this feeling of non-duality. Not killing an ant does not mean that you should take pity on an ant, or even that it can be pitied; it simply means that whenever you are hurting someone, or causing suffering, or killing, you are unaware that you are being suicidal.