Chapter 3: The Need for Integral Knowledge -3-1
3. THE GREAT ABNEGATION AND SEARCH-1.
Truth is covered by a golden vessel.
The individual is cheated by the appearances of the forms of nature.
The lifting up of this vessel and uncovering the Truth is the task of the seeker of perfection.
The fervour of a Nachiketas is expected in every spiritual aspirant.
"Ephemeral things are these that are of the mortal! The vigour of all the senses they wear away. Even a long life is indeed very slight! Thine be the vehicles, thine the dance and the song!.... What there is in the great Beyond—tell me about that; nothing short of this does Nachiketas choose" (Katha Up., 1. 26, 29).
The glorious aspiration for Truth which the characters of the Upanishads depict before us speaks of the grand perseverance of some of the souls in regaining the lost kingdom, in recovering from the disease of life, in centring themselves in conscious plenitude, the birthless and deathless immeasurable Being.
We hear of the admirable patience of the disciples in leading a hard and secluded life of absolute continence for years together for getting themselves initiated into this mysterious Truth of truths.
Indra himself remained with Prajapati, as a pupil, for one hundred and one years, after which he got the initiation from his teacher.
The nature of a total abnegation of the personal interests, a veritable destruction of oneself as it were, which is the prerequisite for the acquiring of Self-knowledge, reflects to us sufficiently the nature of the completeness of the Goal before us, of the freedom and joy that replaces the limited life of the individual.
To be continued .....