Twam Tat Asi
This short story, quoting the conversation between Swetaketu and his father, attempts to disclose a profound and subtle teaching of Vedas – “Thou Art That (Twam Tat Asi).”
All people, have in themselves an eternal truth and reality called Atman, which corresponds to an identical but greater all-encompassing reality called Brahman. The life in this world is actually an illusion (maya) and the only way to escape the wheel of suffering between life and death is to realize that unchanging reality within one’s individual self, through devotion, penance and meditation.
“Believe me, my son,” said Svetketu’s father, a sage. “An invisible and subtle essence is the Spirit of the whole Universe. That is Reality. That is Atman. Thou Art That.”
“Explain more to me, father,” said Svetaketu.
“So be it, my son. Place this lump of salt in water and return tomorrow morning.”
Svetaketu did as he was commanded.
In the morning his father asked him to take out the lump of salt. Svetketu looked into the water, but could not find the salt, as it had dissolved.
His father then said, “Taste the water. How is it?”
“It is salty” replied Svetketu.
“Look for the salt again” the father addressed.
“I cannot see the salt, father. I only see water that tastes salty” commented Svetketu.
Svetketu’s father then said, “In the same way, O my son, you cannot see the Sprit. But in truth he is here. An invisible and subtle essence is the Spirit of the whole universe. That is Reality. That is Truth. Thou art that (Twam Tat Asi).”