Oneness of creation

The Chandogya Upanishad is one of the ten major Upanishads dealing with the identityof the individual self with the supreme self, the need to recognize the importance of pursuit of moral and ethical values and the bliss and peace of mind that is to be obtained
by such efforts.

The Upanishad commences with a prayer for peace, especially relevant to
the contemporary world, beset as it is with strife, conflict and greed.  It conveys thethought that when the individual is at peace, then society as a whole will be peaceful.  
Through various stories discussed in the text, the Chandogya Upanishad drives home
profound philosophical truths in a telling manner. One such illustration deals with the story of a boy named Svetaketu, who takes up religious studies on the advice of his father. Returning home after a twelve year course of study, Svetaketu is asked by his
father about his studies and whether he learnt about ‘that instruction whereby what is not heard becomes heard, what is not thought about becomes thought about and what is not known becomes known’.  

The boy expresses surprise at such a question and asks how could there be such an instruction. The father replies that by examining one piece of clay, all that is made of clay can be known. All modifications are mere names, a play of words. Similarly, everything in this world is a manifestation of that power. Through apt illustrations, the father explains.

“Bees make honey by bringing together the essences of various trees situated in different places. In that combined state, the essences lose their individual identities.
They have merged into one integral whole. In the same way, all creatures ultimately spring from and merge into that highest reality, but they know not this truth.

Be they a tiger, a wolf, a boar, a worm, a bird or an insect, they all become ‘that’ again.  Son, eastern rivers flow towards the eastern ocean. Western rivers flow towards the western ocean. Upon mingling with the ocean, the river waters lose their individual identities. Similarly, all creatures spring from that ‘real’ and again go back into it, but they do not know this”.

The father continues and asks Svetaketu to bring the berry of a banyan tree. He asks the boy to cut it and tell him what is inside. The boy replies that he sees small seeds. The father again tells him to cut open one seed and see what is inside. The boy does so and says there is nothing inside. The father says “from that nothing, from that subtle essence this huge banyan tree sprang forth.  Similarly all beings emanate from that invisible power”. Now comes that famous line “ that thou art”. (TAT TVAM ASI in Sanskrit).
Thus the identity of the individual self with the Supreme self is explained and thereby the fact of the oneness of all creation.

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