The dialogue between dad and son about the ultimate and complete knowledge gets more interesting as the son explores new meaning in what his father explains about the Atmatatwa. The same has been described in the Chhandagyopanishad. There was only one truth – the non-dualistic one truth – at the beginning of the creation, says the father to his son. Shankaracharya also indicates the same in his exlainatory statement: there was unexpressed truth at the opening of creation; the same later began to be expressed in various dimensions.Further describing the phenomenon of how the single truth got expressed in various ways, the father said the truth had a desire of being multiplied. As a result of the same light came into being; it was followed by water; then emerged crops or the grains. Describing the process of creation in an elaborative way, Aruni says: the process of creation through eggs, wombs and through earth began subsequently. The creation appeared to be a systematic result of procreation through eggs (worms insects, birds etc.), wombs (humans and animals etc.) and the earth (plants and vegetables etc.). To give an example of practical notion in this regard, Aruni asks Swetaketu to bring a glass of water and some salt. As the son brings them, he allows the salt to be dissolved in water throughout the night. The next morning the dad asks the son how the salt got lost in water. He asks his son to find out the location of salt in water. Through the example Aruni seeks to prove that the ultimate truth is present everywhere like the salt is everywhere in water. Taste water of any point in the glass, you will have salty taste but you cannot locate salt in it once it is dissolved. Aruni explains with emphasis once again the truth – the Atma or the ultimate consciousness – is everywhere, but the same cannot be fetched out – cannot be traced or felt – with sense organs, intellectual exercise or mind. It is only through deep meditation that the truth the ultimate consciousness can be realized.The father explains then explains the importance of nutrition to body, sense organs and mind. Whatever we eat, he says, gets divided into nutritious parts for body or sense organs or mind. In the process some pieces go waste and they are eliminated by bodily process. Others are utilized for functionality of sense organs and thought process or mind.To give an example in this regard, the father asks Swetaketu not to eat any grain or cereals for fifteen days; just have water for that period; the son does according to the advisory. After this Uddalak asks son to recite the four Vedas. The son fails to do so for he is too hungry and does not have stamina to recite. Since he has taken water he, however, remains alive. Following this the father asks son to eat grains and be nourished. Then he asks him to recite the Vedas. The son does so efficiently for he derived nutritious power through grains.
By Shirish Ballabh Pradhan