Unformatted text preview: 80 Identity in Caste and Territorial Societies Thinking Historically McNeill suggests that the Upanishads expressed a religious vision that
challenged the power of priests, sacriﬁce, and caste. How does this se-
lection from the Upanishads support that interpretation? Great is the Ga atri, the most sacred verse of the Vedas; but how much
. .y . greater IS the Infinity of Brahman! A quarter of his being is this whole vast
universe: the other three quarters are his heaven of Immortality. (3.12.5) There is a Light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us
all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens.
This is the Light that shines in our heart. (3.13.7) All this universe is in the truth Brahman. He is the beginning and
end and life of all. As such, in silence, give unto him adoration. Man in truth is made of faith. As his faith is in this life, so he be—
comes in the beyond: with faith and vision let him work. There is a Spirit that is mind and life, light and truth and vast
spaces. He contains all works and desires and all perfumes and all
tastes. He enfolds the whole universe, and in silence is loving to all. This is the Spirit that is in my heart, smaller than a grain of rice, or
a grain of barley, or a grain of mustard—seed, or a grain of canary—seed,
or the kernel of a grain of canary—seed. This is the Spirit that is in my
heart, greater than the earth, greater than the sky, greater than heaven
itself, greater than all these worlds. He contains all works and desires and all perfumes and all tastes.
He enfolds the whole universe and in silence is loving to all. This is the
Spirit that is in my heart, this is Brahman. (3.14) “Bring me a fruit from this banyan tree.” “Here it is, father.” “Break it.” “It is broken, Sir.” “What do yOu see in it?” “Very small seeds, Sir.” “Break one of them, my son.” “It is broken, Sir.” “What do you see in it?” “Nothing at all, Sir.” Then his father spoke to him: “My son, from the very essence in
the seed which you cannot see comes in truth this vast banyan tree. ."' Believe me, my son, an invisible and subtle essence is the Spirit of -« mfwhole universe. That is Reality. That is.A£[email protected]¥JZ ...
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- Fall '11