The KAIVALYA UPANISHAD enquiry into the ultimate freedom is an effort to know the secret of total loneliness without feeling lonely. Man can be lonely because others are not present. In that case, even in loneliness, the absent crowd is present. But one can be alone, so totally fulfilled, so totally oneself, that the other is not felt - not even as an absence. The other is not. When the other has dissolved totally, absolutely, you become free.
By freedom, the UPANISHADS means not a political thing, not a social thing, not even a psychological thing; by total freedom, they mean a spiritual, basic, ultimate freedom. One becomes so fulfilled that the whole universe is felt not as an other, but as oneself. Really, one has to go deep into it. We feel the other because we are unfulfilled: We feel the other as THE OTHER because we are unfulfilled. Once we are fulfilled, the other is dissolved. In a fulfilled mind there is no feeling of the other. Totally fulfilled, the universe and you become one.
This is the search: how to be one with the total universe. And if it is possible to be one with the total universe, then one is lonely without the feeling of loneliness. This phenomenon is known as KAIVALYA: loneliness without feeling lonely.
This UPANISHAD is concerned with this ultimate aloneness, what Plotinus has called, "a flight of the alone to the alone." This is the flight; this is what Plotinus means.
This is the flight, but this flight begins with a prayer. Nothing religious can begin without a prayer.
Really, whatsoever begins with a prayer is religious, because a prayerful mind means many things - much is implied in a prayerful mood. One: man is not enough; alone he is not enough. Alone he is helpless, alone he cannot go on this flight, a divine support is needed.
The support of the total is needed, the support of the whole. Unless the whole supports man, man cannot proceed, because we are not something separate from the whole. We belong to it as an organic part, not as a mechanical part. A mechanical part can be pulled out from the whole, but not an organic part. My eyes are part of me, organically one with me. If my eyes are pulled out, they will not be eyes then, because they can only be eyes when I am seeing through them. My eyes, out of me, will be just dead. Even to call them eyes will be wrong, because they cannot be called eyes if they are not seeing. My eyes see only when they are one with me.
This is organic unity: parts are not parts, they cannot be parted, so they are not parts. In an organic unity the part behaves as a whole. In a mechanical unity, the part behaves as a part.
If you pull my eyes out, the eyes will not be eyes - not only that, I will not be a see-er, because how can I be a see-er without the eyes? Eyes pulled out will be dead eyes; without eyes I will be a dead see-er. Eyes and me exist in an organic unity. The eyes are not my part, they ARE me. I am not something apart from my eyes, I AM my eyes.
This is what I mean by organic unity. Man exists in his wholeness as an organic unity; that's why prayer is meaningful. Prayer only means alone, helpless, I am nothing. I cannot even move, I cannot even be, so help me. The total is invoked through prayer. The whole is invoked, the whole unity is called forth: Help me; only then I can proceed, only then this enquiry will be possible.
Prayer means this: a call for help from the whole. Prayer also implies that unless the whole desires it, it is futile, unless the whole helps it, it is not even desirable. So first, the whole must be with me.
Unless the whole is with me, my efforts are futile, and not only futile, they may be even dangerous.
They may be even against myself.
Man is ignorant. He can go on a search which is meaningless; he can ask for things which which are not really for his benefit; he can ask for things which will prove poisonous to himself; he can desire his own death; he can desire his own destruction. The whole must be asked first. The whole must be taken into confidence, so to speak.
The whole must be with me; only with the whole with me, can I go anywhere. And the going will never be harmful to me or to anyone else. This is one thing to be understood.
There is a proof for it also. Science begins without prayer - man endeavoring by himself, without any participation, without any call, without any prayerful mood for the whole - man, endeavoring by himself, without any participation, without any call, without any prayerful mood for the whole - man, struggling alone. That's why science becomes a conquering, a struggle, a fight, a war. And that's why, as I see it, science has led humanity into a cul-de-sac.
Science has promised many things, but not a single promise has been fulfilled. On the contrary, everything that was felt, propagated as a blessing to humanity, has proved quite the contrary. Why?
Why so much effort, so much concentration, so much energy wasted by scientists? And humanity is going on every day, deeper into its hell - why? Any endeavor begun in a non-prayerful mood is going to be dangerous, because the whole has not been asked. The whole has not been taken into confidence. The whole has not even been considered.
Prayer means, the whole is significant; I am nothing, I must ask permission, and I must ask for help. If my prayer is answered, only then is any step to be taken. And with a prayerful start man never goes astray; the very prayer changes the whole consciousness. The very mood creates a surrender, creates a surrendering mind, a surrendering consciousness. The very prayer creates in you, not a fight with the universe, but a love.
In another way, two things are very significant in human consciousness. The Freudian psychology says man has two types of wills, or man's will is divided into two conflicting centers. One, Freud has called EROS - love. Another, Freud has called THANATOS - death. If you mind is functioning from the center of death, thanatos, then a fight is created. If your mind is functioning from the center of eros, then a love towards the universe.
I would like to say, that to begin with prayer is to begin with the center of eros. To begin with prayer is to begin the effort as a love effort. It is advancing towards existence in a love-ful mood. It is through love that one prays. If you are going to fight, then prayer is not needed. Science is fighting with the universe; religion is a love effort, it is falling in love with the universe.
So this UPANISHAD begins with a prayer, and the prayer is very strange, because the UPANISHAD says, ask that the senses - eyes, ears, nose... the senses should be strengthened first. "Let my senses be strengthened."
This is the first prayer - very strange, very un-Indian looking! Very unreligious because a religious man is against the senses. He can pray that "I should be away, beyond, transcendent to my senses; how can I dissolve my senses completely?" That seems logical, rational, consistent, but THIS prayer is very strange. "Give strength, more energy, more growth, more maturity to my senses" - Why?
Really, any authentic religious mind lives in a non-duality, not in a duality. For really authentic religion there is no duality between consciousness and body, no duality between the divine and the world, no duality between mind and matter; the duality is just a mental construct.
Duality exists nowhere, the whole is one. If we take it as two, or if it appears to us as two, it is because of our way of looking, not because it is so. Through senses it appears to us as matter, and through a non-sensuous approach it appears as mind, as consciousness. But it is one!
Matter is just a very deeply asleep consciousness; consciousness is just awakened matter. Matter becomes conscious. So a stone by your side is just in a deep sleep, a very deep sleep of a mind.
It may take millennia for it to be awake, but it is. Even in a stone, deep down a soul is asleep, a possible consciousness is there, a potential consciousness is there. And even in you, it has come only to an awakening - it is there.
Matter and mind are two states of one thing, of one phenomenon: asleep it is matter, awakened it is mind.
So for the UPANISHADS there is no duality between body and consciousness. So he asks, prays that, "my senses should be strengthened to become more mature, more strong, more sensitive more penetrating. Why? - because if my eyes can become more penetrating, I can see the divine even in matter, in a tree, even in a stone I can see it. If I am not seeing it, there are two reasons. One, the stone is asleep; second, my eyes are not so penetrating that they can reach even into its sleep and know it. These are the two reasons.
Matter is consciousness asleep, and I cannot feel it because my eyes are not so penetrating. My senses are not even so alive that I can feel the consciousness asleep in the stone. So there are two possibilities: either the stone must become, must flower into consciousness, then I can know - or my eyes must come to their perfection, then I can penetrate. And then even if the consciousness is asleep, I can know and feel.
The UPANISHAD prays, "Let my senses be strengthened, so I can penetrate your mystery." Your mystery is here but I cannot see it, my eyes are weak or just blind. My eyes are blind, they don't see you, they don't feel you. Wherever I see, wherever I feel, only matter comes to my knowledge. My feeble senses are not capable of feeling you. Make my senses more alive, more strong, more acute, so I can go deep in your mystery, which is all around.
This is a strange prayer and a very beautiful one. Strange, because we have been fed a very wrong conception that the senses are your enemy. So kill the senses, destroy them. With a deadened sensuality, with a dead body, you will be more spiritual. This has been given to us, fed into our minds, this totally wrong conception. It is a very pathological conception towards life - ill, diseased, neurotic.
The UPANISHADS are very healthy, life-affirmative. They say one is not to be dead in the body; rather, more alive. If you are more alive, more and more alive, then you will not feel the body at all. A moment comes when the body is totally filled with aliveness - every particle of the body alive, awakened - then there is no body at all. You become just energy, just consciousness.
So this is a transformation, not a suppression. The prayer is not for suppression. The rishi is not praying, "Let my eyes be weak or blind so I cannot see that which must not be seen." On the contrary, he is praying, "Let my eyes be so strong that I can see that which cannot be seen. The unseeable, the unknowable are not seen; so give me strength, give me more energy, more consciousness to my senses." He is praying, "Let me come down, down to my body, to every fiber of my body. Let me be deep down into every particle of my body, so alive, so full of energy, so full of consciousness and sensitivity, that I can know you and I can feel your mystery."
Really, those who have ever felt the divine mystery were basically the most sensitive minds in the world.
Our so-called ascetics - who are just trying to deaden their bodies, trying to destroy the instrument of knowing - may come to a point where they become just an enclosed stone. The body has become completely dead, and now they are just enclosing themselves. They can become very perfect egos, but never souls, never enlightened ones.
They can be perfect egoists, because the more you are closing yourself the more your are self- centered, and the self is strengthened. You become a monad, completely enclosed and dead in yourself. Then you can live in your illusions, then you can live in your dreams, then you are in a coma. You are broken from the whole by your own effort. This is a spiritual suicide. Really, this is suicide; all else is just changing from one body to another. This is a spiritual suicide.
The rishi is saying quite the contrary, "Let my body be more alive, let me come down to my body. Let my fingers be my soul, so when I touch something, it is not only that I am touching by my fingers, but I am touching and fingers are dissolved. I become prominent, significant, I go THROUGH my fingers, and then only, I can touch something which cannot be touched." If I take your hand in my hand, and if I can move with my whole consciousness through my fingers, only then I am touching YOU, not your hand. Then your being is touched, and then your mystery becomes something alive to me. Then the doors of your mystery are open to me; then I begin to participate in your existence.
Then a window opens and we are not two.
This can happen with the whole of existence, and when this happens only then one can achieve total freedom.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR NIGHT MEDITATION Now close your eyes and put both your hands in a NAMASKAR posture to pray. Close your eyes, bow down your head in a surrender. Now begin to pray in your heart, "Man alone is helpless. I am helpless. What can I do without the divine help? Without you, what can I do? Help me... help me...
help me." Open your heart towards the divine, to be filled by his grace. With this thought we begin this prayerful camp, that on the last day we will be able not only to pray but also to thank him.