Achieving Oneness with the Divine, Transcendent, Universal and Personal

Sri Aurobindo translates Shwetashwatara Upanishad, Chapter Six, Verse 5:  “Lo, we have beheld Him and He is the Beginning and the Cause of all Causes whereby these elements meet together and form ariseth; the past, the present and the future are this side of Him and Time hath no part in Him.  Let us worship the Ancient of Days in our own hearts who sitteth.  Let us wait upon God who must be adored, for the world is His shape and the Universe is but His becoming. (Or, We see Him to be the beginning, the Informing Cause whereby all standeth together; the past, the present and the future are this side of Him and Time hath no part in Him.  Worship ye the Adorable whose shape is the whole Universe and who hath become in the Universe, worship ye the Lord, the Ancient of Days, in your own hearts who sitteth.)”

The seers of the Upanishads had a difficult task.  Having experienced a Reality which went beyond the capacity of human mind and speech to communicate, they used conceptual frameworks which seemed contradictory and which led in later ages, to confusion as seekers latched onto one aspect, while denying the primacy, or even the ultimate reality of other aspects.  How after all can one reconcile “all this is the Brahman” with “not this, not that”?

A new paradigm of understanding is required that goes beyond the linear, exclusive and fragmented process of the mind.  The seers of the Upanishad use language to try to take us beyond the mutually exclusive boundaries of our normal thought process.  Thus, they reconcile the apparent contradictions between the Eternal and the temporal, between the Infinite and the finite, between the Absolute and Transcendent and the world of forms and beings.

The link between all of these things is that “all this IS the Brahman” and that the denials “not this, not that” are meant to remind us that we cannot define, we cannot exclude, we cannot truncate the Reality of the Brahman.  Brahman is personality as well as the Impersonal.  Brahman is Time as well as the Timeless.  Brahman is form, and Brahman is beyond form.

If we cannot approach the divine Personality and the divine Impersonal through the action of the mind, then how do we attain this realisation?  Adoration, worship, devotion all unify the heart of the being with the Adored, the Worshipped and the object of the Devotion, and thus, can bridge the gap in our understanding that is left when the mind retreats without comprehension into its normal “either/or” mode.  The divine Presence resides in the entire creation, and is “seated in the heart”.  Adoration, love and devotion can awaken us to the Presence and thereby bring us to the status of Oneness.

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Shwetashwatara Upanishad, pp.369-384

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