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Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville - Isha Upanishad 806

And the object of ignorance is many ness, what is many?  What is the nature of many? The answer is there can be no many, if there is no one. All manyness is impossible if not basically there is one. There is a word in English which is called pluralism. Many are called plural and pluralism means that there are many reality is originally each one of them self existent is called pluralistic philosophy. So those who believe that each one of the many a self–existent is called a pluralist philosopher, one who believes that there is only one reality is called monist, there are who believe that one can never become many, one always remains one can never become many, they are called pure monist. But Upanishad is neither a pluralist nor a pure monist because it says very clearly one goes abroad it is he who has gone abroad. One who has become all therefore Upanishad is not a pure monist; it's a monist who maintains that one can become many without losing oneness. So there is a long discussion in the world on these three concepts, − one, many and the relationship between one and many and the discussions on this subject are so intricate and so misleading and yet so attractive that people remain confined only to the discussion. This is the vice of metaphysical thinking you go on because it's a real mystery, how does one seed becomes many seeds? The simplest way of knowing is, such is the nature of reality, it's a wonder but it is so, reality is such an argument and the simple argument is, is one a numerical one everyone is a numerical one then surely it can't be many but according to the Upanishad the one is not numerical in character, one basically is what maybe called identical. There's a difference between one that is numerical one and one that is identical.

What is identical? I gave yesterday the example of the essence of rose, the essence in Rosewater remains what it is he does not cease to be rose essence it manifests itself in water is in oceans of water is and yet that essence remains identical so this is the philosophy of this Upanishad it does not say that one always remains the same in the sense that one is capable of becoming many if you say that one cannot become many this means that one is incapable there is incapacity in it but the meaning of essence is always force if you analyse the idea of essence you find that essence by its very nature is forceful. All essence gives you the concept of root. And root is that it is capable of growth, the very nature of root is that it is capable of growth the capacity is very much involved in the very idea of the root, essences the root. The word itself which is used so often is actually essence. Self is the essence; it is the same Self which has become all.

 Now the idea of ignorance is normally tied with the idea of many and the idea of knowledge is tied with the idea of one. So if it is said only the knowledge of many, you will not come to know the one therefore, you will remain in darkness. But if you come to know to pursue only the one, you will never know the secret of the wonder of how the one becomes many. You are in ignorance and your entangled into the many you will always find some kind of suffering if you pursue only the many it is such a world you that you will always be having shokha, mohah. You will always have delusions and some kind of suffering. Therefore, whenever there is suffering there is awakening. So, you will not enter into greater darkness. It will be darkness but at a point there is a remedy for it, you will come to awake yourself but if you follow only the one, there's no misery. So, you'll never be awakened and therefore you will never know the secret of many. Therefore, it's a greater darkness. If you follow the many, if you follow ignorance, you will never come to know one but there is a possibility of coming to know one because in many there is the root of misery and then you will experience misery. Misery will awake you and you will see that something has to be sought–after and you'll try to seek the one. But if you seek only the one, in the oneness there is no misery and therefore if you attach yourself to the one, you remain there only. And you'll never know and that is a greater darkness. I'll stop here today that next time we'll see what is the many, what is the one, what is the relationship and therefore, the relationship between knowledge and ignorance. These three verses are supposed to be the most difficult in the literature of the Upanishads and therefore we must take some time to understand the complexity of these three verses.


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