A story from the Upanishads - The missing Tenth Man

Discussion in 'Hindu Stories' started by Amit, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Amit

    Amit New Member

    Ten students studied together and all of them one day have gone to attend a function in the neighborhood village. They crossed a river by foot when they went but when they were returning, in the middle of the river flash floods came and with great difficulty they managed to reach the shore.

    In the riverbed after relaxing for some time the leader of the group wanted to make sure that all the ten were there in the group and no one was washed away. He made a quick count of all but found that only nine were there. He was shell- shocked.

    He asked all of them to line-up before him and counted by touching each one and still the number came up only to nine. So, yet another student offered to re-check and he changed position with the leader and did the counting the same way the leader did. He also got only nine in front of him.

    Now, the matter is confirmed. Tragedy has struck them. The tenth man is missing. One of their colleagues is not there. So, they sat down there and were crying aloud grief-stricken.

    A wise man was passing that way. Taking pity on them he asked them what was the problem. Sobbing uncontrollably they narrated the whole story. The wise man understood the problem! First, he said to them that they have no cause for worry. Encouraged by his words, they took refuge in that wise man.

    He made them stand in a line and asked the leader to count each one. The leader did so and counted all his friends and the figure came to nine. At this point the wise man intervened and told the leader that the one who counted the nine students, that is, the leader himself was the tenth man. Oh! so, all were safe. There was joy and happiness all around and they thanked the wise man who has solved their problem.

    This is a story from an upanishad. Through such simple stories upanishads explain great philosophical truths.

    In the creation, starting from the body of oneself, a physical gross entity,( individual and cosmic total) is objectified.

    So also, starting from one's own mind and inner faculties, the psychological and intellectual subtle entity, ( individual and cosmic total) is objectified.

    If the gross and subtle entities are effects then that entity which brought them into being , (individual and cosmic total) is objectified as the personal as well as the total ego entity.

    In short, the Gross, Subtle and Causal entities are objectified.
    These Gross, Subtle and Causal entities are:
    - objectified very clearly in the waking state,
    - vague in the dream state and
    - completely resolved in the deep sleep state.

    So, there are three distinct ENTITIES each of them objectified in three states of EXPERIENCES. What is objectified must be different from the subject.

    Like in the Upanishad story, the Self is apparently missing but all the above mentioned nine entities are counted by the Self only.

    Self the subject, distinct from the above mentioned nine entities, but seldom realized, is the one which counts the other nine entities. Thus the story establishes the existence of the Self.

    The analogy in the upanishad story must be used only to the point of establishing the existence of the Self. Every example should be taken only up to the limit it is meant. The Self cannot be grouped with the other gross, subtle and causal entities of waking, dream and deep sleep states, as such grouping can be done for the ten students mentioned in the upanishad story.

    The study of the Self is a study by itself!! Knowledge, must always be grasped clearly and with out error. Knowledge with absolute clarity but error-prone is dangerous, whereas, error-free knowledge sans clarity is useless, as it will be lost at any time.

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