Chapter XV: 9-10
|Presiding over the ear, the
eye, touch, taste and smell, as well as the mind, he enjoys the objects of the senses.
The deluded do not see him who departs, stays and enjoys; but they who possess the eye of knowledge behold him.
Such is the mysterious play of the divine, that the Lord himself, in and through infinite beings, enjoys the bliss of his own nature in his own nature. That was the object of creation, according to some schools of thought. To illustrate this they paint a graphic picture: there, on an ocean (of infinite existence), floats the little divine baby on a banyan leaf. It holds and sucks its big toe as if asking itself: How sweet is my toe that my devotees kiss?
The relation between the senses and the sense-pleasure is such that when the former taste the latter they forget the Lord and the purpose of creation, deluding themselves that objective enjoyment is the goal and that pleasure is independent of the self or God. The Kathopanishad explains why: the very nature of the senses is to flow out towards the objective world, though supreme bliss is in the self (which is all-pervading). When the senses thus flow out, the mind and intellect are externalized and consciousness moves away from the center. That is when one is said to be deluded. He does not realize that behind all these activities is the Lord himself, and he sees the world as a playground of havoc, passion, fear and hopes.
However, the senses of the undeluded are avenues of enlightenment and to them the world looks very different. Since they possess the eye of knowledge, they perceive the Lord alone within themselves and realize that all experiences serve him and are derived from his own nature spread throughout the universe.
Some of the mystifying passages in the scriptures which seem to sanction worldly pleasures can be understood in their right perspective only if we bear this great truth in mind. But to understand rightly demands great purity of heart and penetrating intelligence.
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