There are many subjects like physics, chemistry, biology and we study many subjects, but Ishopanishad has a special subject, what are you and how you can derive the maximum, perfect enjoyment, and the secret of yourself, the secret of all, and the secret of the Supreme,− this is the subject matter of this Upanishad particularly. It is in this process, when you are asked to renounce then there is a psychological consequence, human psychology is such that if it follows one direction it gets glued to the direction. If I am seeing a film on television, psychologically I see one film and then I say, if may see the second film, the third film, the fourth film, − I get glued, psychologically. You don't feel like getting out of it. If I read a very nice novel, good story, I go on reading on and on, if somebody calls you out, you feel a kind of a botheration, you want to be glued. Similarly if you're playing a game, you want to play again and again. Similarly, if you renounce, you want to renounce and renounce, many of us don't experience this but this is also a fact. Psychologically if you begin the process of renunciation, you get glued to the process of renunciation. When you start the process of renunciation, you begin to have an experience, the experience of silence, − this is a psychological consequence. You begin renunciation, when you say this is not mine, this is to be sacrificed, this is to be surrendered, this is to be given up, once you start with this in your psychological condition there is the operation of the State of silence. If you go on with this movement then psychologically you start getting stuck with silence.
Silence can be so overpowering that is somebody calls you out, to come out, if in silence you would say, ‘no, I'm so peaceful, I’m so blissful, there is no turmoil, I'm perfectly happy, perfectly satisfied. This is also a very powerful experience psychologically. The movement of renunciation leads you to silence and silence can be so overwhelming that you don't want to be pulled out of it. Now supposing you don't get yourself pulled out and you remain completely in silence then what happens, then will you have enjoyment, which is promised in the very first sentence, that you will enjoy if you renounce, but if you enter into silence and you feel that now you're enjoying the silence, is it really enjoyment? Because even when you do not renounce and try to enjoy that is also an enjoyment, ice cream is also an enjoyment although for a short time. Similarly, silence is also an enjoyment but for a short time. It may seem to be very long, it is true that there are people who can remain in silence for months and months but it is found that our breathing itself is an activity, is an action, is work, our body itself is an engine of action. And even if your mind can be silenced, the engine of the body cannot be silenced and even if you silence it, this is where the teaching of the Upanishad, very often people silence the body and withdraw from it all together, in the state of silence this also is possible. Then the Upanishad says that you've not done the right thing, if you remain silent, which is good, we should have the capacity of silence but if you remain silent and nothing else, if you become incapable of work and activity then you have missed out the secret of permanent enjoyment. This is a hard saying for many people, who are seeking only silence and who believe that silence is the only aim of life.
Silence is the first step; it should not be taken as the last step. First basis even, even indispensable step but it is not the secret of the aim that is enjoined for our life here. Because psychologically, silence takes you away from action and even it tends to pull you into the realm of silence forever and ever, because psychologically this is possible. Therefore, the Upanishad warns you and says if you only attained that then you're not fulfilled. Therefore, it says you should do works here, not going away somewhere in the Himalayas, or into nirvana, into a complete state of silence away from the body, withdrawing from the body forcefully or willingly that is not the way by which you can be fulfilled. And then it says doing works that is the right thing and not anything else, it repeats because there is a feeling that either you can remain in silence forever, or you can also do works, like an optional subject in an examination, you can either do silence or you do works but both are equally good. But this Upanishad says: ‘no’, doing works, that itself and nothing else that is to say, you must cultivate complete silence and complete action, both together; this is the goal that has been proposed in this Upanishad. And then it says that if you can do works then you will not enter into bondage you will be free. This last sentence is very important, what is this idea of bondage, what is this idea of freedom, what is the connection of works with freedom? This is a very big science in the field of yoga, what is work, what is bondage, what is freedom. This is the subject matter in India on which there have been centuries of debate.