I thought it would be nice to read along through some scriptures and discuss the passages. I have a translation of the Upanishads done by Eknath Easwaran, a teacher whom I deeply trust and love. In this book there is an introduction before each translation with some insight from Easwaran.
The seventh verse of the Easwaran translation of the Isha Upanishad is…
Those who see all creatures in themselves
And themselves in all creatures know no grief.
How can the multiplicity of life
Delude the one who sees its unity?
This verse continues directly from the previous where it was said that when you see yourself in everyone you know no fear. I can easily see how fear would be alleviated by seeing the unity of all life. Grief is a little more difficult.
When I miss my dear friend who died, if I’m doing Hinduism right then I will know that her spirit is within me and within everything and everyone else. She is not gone. But that is easier said than felt.
The grief I still feel is perhaps an indication that I’m not entirely enlightened yet I also take comfort, though, in knowing that sages have advised mourning when appropriate. I like to let my body feel what it is feeling and not try to force it to something else. But at the same time, I also maintain the knowledge that what my body or mind is going through is not me. My soul can remain calm and just observe the different emotions as they pass through the physical/maya level.
The second part of this verse is particularly lovely. I think I’m going to start using that quote to give me perspective when I lose sight of what’s real.