Analysis of Isha Upanishad, Second Movement, Part 3

Having established the understanding of Oneness of the entire creation, and the status of the Brahman inclusive of, and surpassing, the manifested universe, the Upanishad then turns to the practical implications of this knowledge for the individual in verses 6 and 7:

“But he who sees everywhere the Self in all existences and all existences in the Self, shrinks not thereafter from aught.”

“He in whom it is the Self-Being that has become all existences that are Becomings, for he has the perfect knowledge, how shall he be deluded, whence shall he have grief who sees everywhere oneness?”

For much of humanity through history, the basic viewpoint was that the sun revolved around the earth.  A similar viewpoint governs the relation of the individual consciousness to the universe even today.  We see the other beings in the world as outside and separate from us and we judge things based on our own reaction or perceived needs.  How do we then adjust and reconcile this viewpoint with the larger truths of Oneness, and thereby overcome the misplaced perception of separation?

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “The idea is the acquisition in man of the supreme consciousness by which the one Self in him extends itself to embrace all creatures and realises the eternal act by which that One manifests itself in the multiple forms of the universal motion.”

“As each object in the universe is really the whole universe in a different frontal appearance, so each individual soul is all Brahman regarding Itself and world from a centre of cosmic consciousness. … In the becoming each individual is Brahman variously represented and entering into various relations with Itself in the play of the divine consciousness; in being, each individual is all Brahman.”

“When this unity has been realised by the individual in every part of his being, he becomes perfect, pure, liberated from ego and the dualities, possessed of the entire divine felicity.  … Real knowledge begins with the perception of essential oneness, — one Matter, one Life, one Mind, one Soul playing in many forms. … We perceive the soul in all bodies to be this one Self or Sachchidananda multiplying itself in individual consciousness.  We see also all minds, lives, bodies to be active formations of the same existence in the extended being of the Self.  This is the vision of all existences in the Self and of the Self in all existences which is the foundation of perfect internal liberty and perfect joy and peace.  … In the individual soul extending itself to the All by the vision of unity …, seeing everywhere oneness, arranging its thoughts, emotions and sensations according to the perfect knowledge of the right relation of things which comes by the realisation of the Truth, … there must be repeated the divine act of consciousness by which the one Being, eternally self-existent, manifests in itself the multiplicity of the world… .”

“…the divine view, the way in which God sees the world, is Himself, as the sole Being, living in innumerable existences that are Himself, supporting all, helping all impartially, working out to a divine fulfilment and under terms fixed from the beginning, from years sempiternal, a great progressive harmony of Becoming whose last term is Sachchidananda or Immortality.  This is the viewpoint of the Self as Lord inhabiting the whole movement.  The individual soul has to change the human or egoistic for the divine, supreme and universal view and live in that realisation.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Isha Upanishad and analysis, pg. 20, 28 & 34-50