Saturday, April 21, 2007

Existence and Non-existence

Oil painting by Duane Keiser

If there is a pot, a pot is perceived,
And if the pot is broken, its brokenness is perceived;
if there is no pot at all,
is not its absence perceived as well?

It can be seen, therefore,
that he who perceives that there is nothing
does not himself become nothing.

The Self has this same unique kind of existence,
beyond both existence and non-existence.

The ultimate Reality
is neither an object to Itself
nor is It an object to anyone else.
Should it then be regarded as non-existent?

In a tank the water may be so clear
that it appears non-existent;
though one who looks into the tank may not see it,
still it is there.

Similarly,The ultimate Reality exists in Itself,
and is beyond the conceptions
of existence or non-existence.

When a jar is placed on the ground,
we have the ground with a jar;
when the jar is taken away,
we have the ground without a jar;
but when neither of these conditions exists,
the ground exists in its unqualified state.

It is in this same way
that the ultimate Reality exists.

-Sri Dnyāneshwar / Sant Jñāneshwar (1275-1296)
(ज्ञानेश्वर in Marathi) (also known as Jñanadeva - ज्ञानदेव )

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