The word upanishad means ‘sitting at the feet of the master’.
In ancient India, there was the gurukul tradition of masters and disciples. Children were left with the master at the age of seven and they grew up centering beautifully in their consciousness. Masters are living embodiments of the scriptural truths. Their thoughts, words and deeds stem from the ultimate Truth. Disciples pick up the truth just by living around them. Swami Sri Yukteshwar Giri , an enlightened master from India says, ‘Sitting with the master is not merely being in his physical presence, but keeping him in your heart, being one with him in principle and tuning yourself to him.’ This is the whole technique of upanishad.
The master is superconscious energy. When you tune to him, you tune to that energy. You can tune only through innocence, openness. Openness is emptiness. Let not knowledge fill you. Knowledge is but a mere tool, not your substance. Reject all knowledge as ‘not this’, ‘not this’. When I say reject, I mean don’t settle for any intermediate knowledge except the ultimate Truth. Because when you drop everything that continuously arises in you, then you have no other go. You are thrown back into yourself and it is there you will find the ultimate Truth. It is then you are ready to be filled with the Truth. Then alone can you make upanishad happen.
Adi Shankara, the great sage from ancient India, sang the beautiful Nirvana Shatakam when he was a mere eight year old:
I have neither hatred nor liking, I have neither greed nor delusion,
I have indeed neither pride nor jealousy,
I have no duty to perform, Nor any wealth to acquire,
I have no craving for pleasure,
I am not being bound for liberation,
I am of the nature of pure Consciousness and Bliss, I am all Auspiciousness, I am Shiva.
Life becomes an unfolding mystery every moment with innocence
Such was his blissful emptiness at that young age. If you watch children, their eyes will be filled with wonder and freshness all the time. They are so empty inside. They don’t hold any opinion about anything. They are ready to receive. Their readiness is expressed in their eyes. Have you ever seen an adult with such eyes? The eyes lose their glow as we grow older because we become dulled by what we start knowing. Knowledge makes us dull. We may know many things, but the knowing should not dull us in any way. We should remain empty in spirit always. If you just look at life without any opinions, without any words of description, without any fixed ideas, then you are like an empty teacup into which the brewed tea can be poured. You receive because you hold nothing, because you are empty. Then you never lose your enthusiasm. You are never bored. You are like a child, innocent and fresh.
A young girl was writing something on a piece of paper.
Her father asked her what it was.
She said, ‘I am writing a letter.’ He asked, ‘To whom?’ ‘To me,’ she replied.
‘What does the letter say?’ He asked.
She replied, ‘How do I know? I have not mailed it and I have not received it yet.’
There is so much freshness behind innocence. Life becomes an unfolding mystery every moment with it. That is the truth. Life is an ever unfolding mystery. It is the mind that typecasts it. The mind always wants life on its own specific terms. Innocence embraces life with life’s own terms. With the mind, life does not find a gate to enter with its mysteries. With innocence, life is welcomed to share its mysteries.
If you play hide and seek with children, you will see that they will hide in the same place as you hid the last time! Not just once but most of the time! How is this possible? It is because of one thing: they move with innocence. They don’t have any idea in their head. They simply follow their heart. They have great trust in you, so they simply hide where you hid, not even suspecting you will look there! That is the beauty.
In child psychology a simple experiment is conducted to determine the intellectual awareness of children. The child will be shown a doll house with dolls of father, mother, son and daughter. The counselor will take away the father and mother dolls and tell the child that they have left for work or shopping. The child will be asked to confirm the statement. Then the child is diverted to look elsewhere and the parent dolls are put back in the doll house where the child can see them. The child is now asked where the father and mother dolls are, and there are very interesting observations in the responses. A child of up to four years would normally respond saying that the mother and father are still away at work or shopping even though they can see them clearly in the doll house. It is only beyond that age, perhaps at the age of five, that the child connects what it sees with reality. Till then the child just believes what is told to it earlier. This is the beauty of innocence.
Innocence trusts. Innocence does not worry about being exploited. Neuroscientists have explanations for this now. They say that till about the age of five or six, a child’s brain wave patterns are in the theta and delta states. These are extremely impressionable states of mind in which we dream and sleep. These are states of no identity. Till the age of twelve they say that brain waves are in alpha state, still very impressionable. This is why children believe most of what adults say to them. In their innocence they trust.
If you watch children’s eyes, they will be clear and empty. This is why they are in bliss. As you grow up, your eyes become filled with knowledge. Then you may have sight, but not insight, because you see through your eyes that are already filled with opinions, judgments and beliefs. Your sight is no longer innocent. It is filtered and clouded. You see through the filter of your beliefs and conditioned memories. There is nothing new to learn from what you see because it becomes a repetition of your past memories. The learning is missed. On the other hand, when you see with empty eyes, everything you see goes deep and causes fresh insight. Life becomes an eternally unfolding mystery. The very nature of your questioning changes. The nature of the questioning reveals the depth of innocence of the questioner.
source: Living Enlightenment