What is THAT?

In which the meaning of THAT is explained and an ancient story is narrated.

Svetaketu lived many thousands of years ago in India. When Svetaketu returned home after completing his long education, he had become rather conceited.

Schools those days weren't any better than the ones today. These days they teach you things like, the capital of Mongolia and the exact date when Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo (bet, you don't know either one of them). And so, at the end of school you still don't know anything about yourself, what you want to do with your life and how to be happy. And to be honest, that is all that matters. Isn't it? Svetaketu's father knew this and he was concerned about his son.

Know That, knowing which all is known

"Do you know That," he asked his son, "Knowing which all is known?"

Svetaketu mumbled something, "I learned all the shlokas by heart, I know how to tend to the ritual fire and that kind of stuff. But That, knowing which all is known; never heard of it."

Svetaketu's father sighed. He was a Sage. No, no, not the holier than thou kind. In fact he was a pretty cool guy. And very unorthodox. He figured he would have to take matters in his own hands. And being a man of action, not mere words, he did not wait. He asked Svetaketu to bring him a fig.

Fig seeds

The Fig Seed Experiment

Svetaketu brought him a fig. "Divide it," commanded his father with the natural authority of a wise man.

Svetaketu divided the fig and found in it many seeds. His father took one of them and gave it to Svetaketu. "Divide it," he said again.

Svetaketu did as he was told. His arrogance had disappeared. Svetaketu was open, he was curious and he was trusting.

"What do you see?" asked his father, a slight smile playing on his lips.

Svetaketu looked in to his father's deep endless eyes and replied, "Nothing. Nothing at all."

The great Sage spoke: THAT essence that you do not perceive, from THAT arises the fig tree. THAT essence is the reality. THAT essence is the whole world.

Then the Sage took his son in to his arms and whispered this great truth in to his ear, "You are THAT, Svetaketu."

Thou art That

"Tat Tvam Asi" or "Thou art THAT" is one of the great sayings of the Upanishads. This story has been taken from the Chandogya Upanishad and has inspired THATfirst.

Seeking the Truth is the highest goal. It is called by a variety of names. Some call it Enlightenment, others Self Realization. It has been called by a variety names, such as: Brahman the One without second, Truth or Higher Reality. There being so many words for it, we decided to call it what the unorthodox and if one may dare to say, rather cool sages called it. They simply called it THAT.

Are you ready to put THATfirst in your life?

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