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Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville - Isha Upanishad 601

Date – 4.02.2003

This Upanishad that we are studying is as I told you a prayer, a prayer which emerges from knowledge, all that we are reading so far is only the knowledge; the prayer will come only towards the end after knowledge is established. The prayer emerges at the end, verses 17 and 18 these are the two verses of prayer at the end. This prayer can be understood only if we have a good foundation of knowledge and this knowledge is complex in character.

The prayer first of all describes what movement is and then what is behind the movement. Yesterday we were studying the mystery of this movement by a few words, which are juxtaposed and the words which are opposite of each other; that which moves not and that which moves, the same reality that which moves not and that which moves, that standing which is always in front, that standing which is swifter than the mind, that standing, which can never be overtaken by the gods, even who are moving faster and faster but they can never overtake that, these are the statements not of philosophy but of experience.

There is a difference between the method of philosophy and the method of experience. In the method of philosophy there is analysis of concepts, we need to understand the concept of the concepts. What is concept; it is a concept which distinguishes philosophy from science. Science is the study of the object by means of observation, by means of experimentation, by means of verification. You go to the laboratory of physics, chemistry, astronomy or physiology or any science, you will find objects that you can touch, you can smell, you can manipulate, you have the experience of observation; so observation then you experiment and then you come to a conclusion that conclusion is called the knowledge, but scientific knowledge.

In philosophy you don't have an object which you can touch, which you can experiment with; in philosophy we have concepts. Concept of becoming, concept of movement that moves constantly, this experience of becoming, this concept of becoming is very near to the experience of science, therefore, the concept of becoming is one of the easiest concepts to understand because becoming is what we understand more easily. We ourselves are constantly in motion, all the motion by itself is a concept. It is easily understood because we are constantly in motion ourselves, we walk about, we breathe, there is a constant movement of change and therefore, it is easy to understand. But then there is the concept of infinity, there is a concept of eternity, and the concept of stability, there is a concept of essence, there is the concept of the One, the concept of the identical, these are not directly experienced by us.

We do not experience infinity, we do not experience eternity, we do not experience essence; these are all concepts philosophy analyses these concepts through a method different from the method of science.