Active Participation in the Universal Creation is Enjoined

Sri Aurobindo translates Taittiriya Upanishad, Bhriguvalli, Chapter 9:  “Thou shalt increase and amass food; for that too is thy commandment unto labour.  Verily earth also is food and ether is the eater.  Ether is established upon earth and earth is established upon ether.  Here too is food established upon food.  He who knoweth this food that is established upon food, getteth his firm base.  He becometh the master of food and its eater, great in progeny, great in cattle, great in the radiance of holiness, great in glory.”

The Upanishad continues to develop the theme noted in chapters 7 and 8.  Matter should not be blamed nor rejected.  These are both “negative” statements that might lead to acquiescence, but not active and positive participation.  Chapter 9 moves to an affirmative statement, that the seeker should take part in the manifestation and aid in the process of the creation.

Once again, the Upanishad sets forth the inter-relations of all existence, this time by showing how earth and the ether are related.  It is interesting to note that until quite recently Western science was rejecting the concept of “ether” and was simply considering space to be “empty”.  Over the last 150 years or so, this view has evolved considerably, as various issues arose in the scientific world view that required space to actually not be empty.  The questions revolved around how electro-magnetic waves could travel through space without a medium of any sort, as well as how gravitational force could work in a total vacuum.   The idea of an “ether” suddenly became feasible.  Today scientists speak of “dark matter” filling the universe between the points of visible matter and acting upon the visible universe.  They speak of galaxies devouring one another.  It begins to look like the picture provided by the Rishi of the Taittiriya Upanishad!

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads,  Taittiriya Upanishad, Bhriguvalli, pp.275-281, M. P. Pandit, Upanishads: Gateways of Knowledge, pp. 169-182