First the so-called religions, the organized religions of the world, destroyed humanity. Then came science. Science is nothing but an organized materialistic approach to life. Just as religion is an organized approach as far as man’s subjectivity is concerned, science is also a church, a priesthood, and as superstitious as any religion has ever been. Of course, the dimensions are different: religions are organized superstitions about the inner, and science is organized superstitions about the outer.
The Upanishad and its approach is individual. The word upanishad means: sitting in deep communion with the master. It has nothing to do with the church. No church can ever be religious, all churches are basically political. You have to understand the definition: politics means society, collectivity; religion means individuality.
Religion is a rebellion against the collective. Anything that depends on the collectivity, on tradition, on dogma, on ideology, is bound to be against the individual. And the individual is the only reality, the collective is only a word. You never come across the society, you always come across the individual. You never come across humanity, you always come across human beings. You never come across love, you always come across two lovers. You come across loving but never across love.
But we have been conditioned to live with abstractions: society, humanity, love, God. These are all abstractions, empty concepts with no concrete reality behind them.
The Upanishad is very realistic, very pragmatic. It is communion from heart to heart. That’s the meaning of upanishad, a very strange meaning – sitting by the side of a master, just sitting by the side of a master…and then something transpires. Something like a flame jumps from the heart of the master to the heart of the disciple.
The master has come home, the master has experienced the truth. The disciple is seeking, but the seeker has to be silent, utterly silent. It is not a question of asking questions, because the ultimate questions can neither be asked nor answered. They are only transmitted – without asking, without answering. That transmission beyond words is the meaning of the word upanishad. And before we enter into these sutras of the Mandukya Upanishad, this has to be understood.
My whole effort here is to revive the spirit of the Upanishads again. You all sitting in silence with me…this pause, this rest, this relaxed attitude…this silence in which all dualities disappear…I am not here, you are not there, but something pervades, permeates, overwhelms…that overwhelming experience is contained in these sutras.
This mangal sutra –
Purnameva vashisyate –