The knowledge that is ultimate and complete is beyond the reach of human sense organs. But it realizable through conscious meditation practice and once it is acquired there remains nothing to explore or know or realize.
The above message could be sensed through the story which features in the dialogue between son Swetaketu and his dad Uddalak Arunika. The dad after performing a life ritual of Bratabandha of his son at 12 sends him to a teacher for education. After the son returns completing his education, the father observes his son’s behavior and response closely. Aruni finds his son at 24 proud of his education. He detects in his response some sense of false confidence about his ultimate knowledge.
Father asks son what he learnt in his teacher’s school. He further questions whether he knew the ultimate knowledge which does not allow any ignorance to remain among humans. Did you know the knowledge which gives you complete understanding and which does not leave you in a situation in which you want to know further?, he asked. No knowledge remains to be learnt after acquiring the ultimate knowledge – related to Atmatatwa.
Son Swetketu answers my teacher did not teach me about such a great supreme knowledge. Please teach me about it the Atmatatwa, says the son to his father. Swetaketu’s father asks to pay attention to what he explains or narrates. He gives examples from the lump of clay, a piece of iron and gold. People think the pots made of clay are different and they have separate existence. But actually they are not. The pots originate in clay and it is the clay that is the ultimate reality; the expressions that it has in the form of various diverse clay pots are all false; the basic truth is clay. Similarly a piece of iron produces various types of utensils made of iron. Ultimately it is iron; the shape and sizes of iron utensils are all false and artificial; the ultimate base is iron.
In the same vein human beings carve out various ornaments out of gold. They look different and they give impression that they have different existence. But after all it is the gold that is basic to all ornaments.
Swetaketu’s father integrating the examples of clay, iron and gold into the Atmatatwa said that all are in Atmatatwa and the latter exists in all beings. Knowledge of the Atmatatwa- the ultimate consciousness- is so complete that after one receives he does not have to acquire any other knowledge. (To be concluded)
by Shirish Ballabh Pradhan