Upanishad | Stories
|Ch-2-Uddaalak and Shwetaketu-1|
Uddaalak and Shwetaketu-1
It is the dialog between Muni Uddaalak and his son Shwetaketu. Uddaalak was the son of one of the main disciples of Rishi Dhaumya - Aaruni. Uddaalak had two sons named Nachiketaa and Shwetaketu. Nachiketaa is the main character of Kath Upanishad and Shwetaketu's name appears in three main Upanishad - Brihadaaranyak, Chhaandogya and Kaushitakee Upanishad. Shwetaketu is the recipient of the knowledge enshrined in the Mahaa-vaakya (Tat-Twam-Asi) which appears in the sixteen chapters of the 6th section (Prapathak) of the Chhaandogya Upanishad.
After studying for 12 years in the Gurukul Shwetaketu returns to his father Uddaalak
Aaruni and boasts of his educational attainments.
The father replied - "My dear, The various earthen pots and toys are made of clay. To understand these shapes and sizes, you should know the nature of clay. Just as by a single lump of clay, all that is made of clay is known, all modifications being only a name based upon words, (the difference being only a name arising from speech) but the truth being that all is clay thus, my dear, is that instruction."
"Where does a man go when he sleeps?" asked the son.
Realizing that the young man has still not understood the concept, the father continued --
Uddaalak - "Bring me a fruit of
that Nyagrodh tree (banyan tree)."
The father said - "My son, that subtle essence which you do not perceive
there, of that very essence this great Nyagrodh tree, grows (exists). Believe
me, my son. Now, that which is the subtle essence (the root of all) in That
all that exists has its Self; that is the Self; That is the Truth; That thou
art, O Shwetaketu!"
Uddaalak - "Place this salt in the water and come to me in the morning."
Then the father said to him - "Here also in this body, forsooth, you do
not perceive the Truth (Sat or Pure Being), my son, but there it is indeed."
Comparing a man blind folded and left in a forest who first removes the cloth tied on his eyes and goes on enquiring where his village is and ultimately finds it after a number of attempts, we have to find our way to reach that spirit.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 02/09/13