Great words

असतो मा सद्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर्मा अमृतम्गमय

शान्ति शान्ति शान्ति

– बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद्, १.३.२८

From untruth, take me to truth
From darkness, take me to light
From death, take me to immortality

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, “The Teaching of the Great Forest”, 1.3.28

There are few words spoken in the history of humanity that hold such power. These words are a distillation of all our energies, all our struggles, into the one thing that matters. Untruth to truth. Darkness to light. Death to immortality.

Words in front of which all we may write is a mere candle in the sun, a little ember glowing in the face of that infinite, unfathomably powerful, mysteriously distant, yet so close reality.

These words were spoken 3000 years ago. Before I was, before any of us were. But there were human beings whose hearts quivered in silence, and whose lips uttered these words with deep seriousness.

What is it like to be a person who can utter these words and not a pale imitation of these words? What is it like to utter them with all their power, their immensity, their passion, their suffering?

Can we be such a human being? 3000 years have passed. Already then, the speakers of these words were grappling with untruth, darkness, death. Ours is a world where death pervades all – the environment, the mechanisation of life, the look on the face of our friends.

Can we live with these words – as living, quivering, pulsating realities that burn our very being? Else our living means little, if anything at all.

Those who spoke these words knew why we are here. In these words, they still live. They still live with their mysterious traditions, their dwellings in the forest, their thunderous silences. Through these words, they enter our lives and give us a glimpse of what we were meant to be, a glimpse of the real nature of the human destiny.








~ by tdcatss on February 26, 2016.

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