Once Gargya, a learned but proud man, went to Ayatasatru, Kind of Benares, and offered to teach him about Spirit, Brahman. The king was interested in acquiring this knowledge. So he said to the sage, ‘I will give you a thousand gifts if you can teach me.’ So Gargya began his teaching, ‘I worship as Spirit the God that is the sun.’
‘No,’ said the king, ‘that is a very limited view. I worship Him as the crowned king of all.’
Gargya continued, ‘I worship as Spirit the God that is in the moon.’
‘No, that’s not the right way to talk about the Spirit,’ responded the king.
Gargya went on to suggest that the Spirit to worship is in lightning, wind, fire, water, mirror, shadow and finally life and the power of intelligence. But the king dismissed all of these as inadequate, so Gargya, exhausted by his efforts, asked the king to teach him instead.
The king took him by the hand to go for a walk, and they soon came upon a man who was sleeping soundly. The king called him by different names, but the man didn’t stir until they shook him awake.
The king said, ‘You see, when the man was sleeping his consciousness had gone, but when we woke him it returned. Where does this consciousness go and where does it come back from?’ Gargya didn’t know.
The king said, ‘When he was asleep, he moved around in his dreams. His world was a dream world. Using his senses, he wandered around in the world of dreams. But once he entered into a deeper sleep he became conscious of nothing at all. His soul rested peacefully in his heart and he entered into the Self.
If a man worships the Eternal Spirit thinking that the Eternal Spirit can be one thing or another, he does not realize the truth, nor can he reach the bliss of liberation.
‘In the same way that threads emerge from a spider, and sparks shoot from fire, so all the senses comes from this Self. He is known as the truth of all truths. The senses are true but he is the truth of them all.’