The Core Question

By whom willed and directed does the mind alight on its objects?
By whome commanded does the prana (vital breath), that precedes all.
start? By whom willed do men utter speech?
What intelligent power directs the eye to see, the eyes to hear?

Kenopanishad 1.1

It is the ear of the ear,
It is the mind of the mind
It is the speech of the speech.
It is the breath of the breathing.
It is the eye of the eye…

Kenopanishad 1.2

The teacher proceeds from the known to the unknown…
We all know that we hear with our ears.
But a set of ears on their own are as deaf as a post.
Follow the sound vibrations through the eardrums along the nerves.
It is the brain which is actually ‘hearing’ those vibrations. But that’s not the end of it. If the Consciousness leaves the brain you won’t hear.

Even if that Consciousness simply shifts the focus of your brain for a moment, the ears are still transmitting sounds to it as it ticks away, but you are deafened.

Someone might ask three times if you want sugar in your tea, but all you know is that you forgot to lock the door when you left the office.
Therefore, it is Consciousness which enables you to hear. It is the ‘ear of the ear’ because it is that which makes you conscious of sound.

By the same token. Consciousness is the see-er in the eye,
the mind in the mind, the speaker in speech.
That, says the teacher, is the source of existence, is God (Brahman/ब्रह्मा). So, God is the subject of all you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, feel or understand.

Therefore, God can never be an object of perception or comprehension.

Swami Parthasarathy


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