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Isha Upanishad - Shloka 5
|by Dr. R. K. Lahri|
Consciousness acts and acts not;
The nature of the Infinite has further been explained. The seer who realises the Atman is unable to articulate but can only give hints and suggestions about the nature of the supreme. According to Vedic concept, the Consciousness does not undergo any change. Any modification or duality is unconceivable. The Infinite Consciousness is non-dual and unmodified.
The present shloka takes up the inconceivable and contradictory presentation of the potencies of the Lord.
He walks and does not walk; The Atman moves and It moves not; He is far away and yet very near; The seer resorts to contradictions to prove the inconceivable potencies of the Lord and describe His transcendental nature. The seer realises that He is without parts but He is the All; He dwells in the body but He is omnipresent; He enjoys and does not enjoy, He is intelligent in every limb. The seer sees the Truth as he sees that the things are strung in the Self as beads are strung on a thread and knows that “I am not the mind ”. Pure Consciousness is indivisible, without parts. It does not have any form or shape. There is nothing without or within, right or left, outside or apart from It. That is the ultimate Reality.
The seer knows that it is the Consciousness that experiences all but remains pure and unconditioned. It is the Absolute Truth but not as a conceit, but as pure awareness and nothing else. It is like sky, unconditioned and indivisible but it becomes cloud and conditioned. It can be compared to ultimate sub-atomic particle which yet hides within its heart the greatest of the mountains The Supreme Being is formless yet five are its aspects-Will, space, time, order and destiny and cosmic manifestation . It has countless powers, energy, potency, knowledge, dynamics, actions, and non-actions. All these are but Pure Consciousness. They, though may so appear, are not distinct from It.
So the gross body cannot exist if not for the five great elements of the total. Individual is an essential constituent of the total. With it the total becomes complete and full.
The Consciousness lives in the body inside the Jeeva and the same Consciousness stays in totality all over the existence. It knows no time and no place. It is all-pervading and omnipresent. Atman is motionless. It is substratum of the universe and everything is inside it yet He is outside of everything. It is the space that has no range and which cannot be measured. Who can fathom the consciousness then? The seer knows it and sees that He alone is That, the controller of all this and not the content.
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