Article by Pratiksha published in ‘Speaking Tree‘ on September 14, 2014, New Delhi, India
Nothing is everything and everything is nothing, says Pratiksha Apurv, illustrating this with a circular painting.
Any computation – famously referred to as an ultimate revolution for processing information – relies purely on an Indian-invented numerical, shunya. Roughly translated in English, it means ‘emptiness’ or ‘zero’ for the purpose of calculation. But, if we look beyond mathematics where shunya is additive identity, we realise that it plays a central role in defining the world and God. This is exactly what various ‘isms’ including Buddhism as well as vedanta reveal to us, though with layered arguments.
The Ishavasya Upanishad is among the smallest yet greatest documents in existence that can be written on a postcard. These sutras were transmitted 25 centuries before the Buddha.
This verse defines the true meaning of ‘wholeness’ or the infinite, indicating the ultimate phenomenon where every calculation and all computation yield an identical result. This may surprise those living in the tech world. If I have Rs 20 and give you Rs 5, I will have only Rs 15. This is the standard calculation of a computer. However, sages will differ. They will refute such calculation by claiming it as a result of too much mind and that in reality nothing changes.
The argument would be that you did not lose a single paise, and you have the same or maybe even more and nothing changes by giving away something.This is the ultimate definition of God. The division of wholeness by wholeness will only be wholeness.
There is a similar argument in Buddhism which describes the same phenomenon of ‘wholeness’ as ‘nothingness’. Buddhist monk Saraha’s disciple Nagarjuna, in Dvadasanikaya Sastra, refers to the greatest wisdom of shunyata – “no rise, no fall, no addition and no deletion.”
Nagarjuna’s nothingness and Isha Upanishad’s wholeness are two sides of the same coin. It is our own perception that we are looking at both phenomena differently. The Buddha says there is no self and all that there is shunyata, nothingness. While referring to liberation from all bondage, the Buddha says this world is full of darkness, misery and death and, thus, it is nothingness. On the other hand, the upanishads will give you a contrarian view, saying when there is no darkness in your life, bliss will descend and it will be fullness or wholeness, completely empty of misery.
It could appear as an outrageous argument to those who see only three aspects: body, mind and soul. Body means food and sex, while the mind will let you indulge in other creative aspects of life including music, drama, painting and poetry. Mostly these two stages – body, which symbolises duality, and mind, which symbolises several aspects – become the ultimate definition for most of us. We feel ‘this is it; this is life’. When we go higher, the soul comes – our Self where oneness is the sign – you become one with God but one as a number remains etched in our mind. However, this leads to a mistake because there is turiya – the fourth stage where there is neither duality nor oneness.
Osho says in this fourth stage of turiya there is neither two nor many nor one. It can be called either Wholeness or Nothingness. In Osho’s words, “the Buddha used the word Nothingness. Isha Upanishad used it for Wholeness. They mean the same thing. The zero symbolises both – nothing and the whole.”
The Buddha told his disciple Ananda that the world is empty; however, Ishavasya Upanishad says, “That (God) is the whole and this (world) is whole too.” Both arguments define the same stage of turiya with the ultimate definition of nothing and the whole. It is the state of bliss; there is nothing beyond this, there is no further travelling: Tejobhirapurya, Jagatsamagram.
The Bhagwad Gita says a true seeker not only understands this phenomenon but can also see it happening: Ye Bhajantu, Maa Bhaktya, Mayi Te Teshu Chapyamaham. Krishna and the seeker merge and there is no difference, there is no duality or oneness. It is like spring meeting with another spring. That is the whole and this is the whole, too.
Suppose you give your love to someone, do you really think that love is gone? In fact, by giving your love to someone you not only still have love in you but you get even more love. Your love remains with you but you get richer by giving love to somebody else as the flowering starts within you.
Osho has said that this is beyond ordinary economics where if you give something definitely you will have less.But, he says the inner world is totally different. It is like drawing water from a well. The moment you draw water from a well, from the hidden spring more water starts coming to the well to fill the space.
Quote by Osho from I Am That, Ch 14, Q 2
Presentation of Pratiksha’s art on Osho News: Pratiksha: Expressing the Inexpressible
More articles by Pratiksha on Osho News