Nunam tvam vettha brahmano rupam
Yadasya tvam yadasya devesvatha nu
Mimamsyameva te, manya viditam
If you think I know it well (Brahman*), then you know very little of its form, the form you think you see in other living beings and devas, Therefore you should enquire further.
– Kena Upanishad 2.1
The Kena Upanishad is one of the most fascinating of the Upanishads, and literally means by whom. The student is questioning the teacher about the ultimate nature of reality and rather than ordering the student to act in any particular way, or to follow any ridged doctrine, the preceptor says that it is beyond the reach of the limited thinking faculty. The term used later to describe this type of knowledge is ‘Pratibhodhagyan’ meaning superior knowledge beyond intellectual speculations. The teacher had the opportunity to take a position of authority over the student, but rather he encourages him to awaken within himself, to achieve his own self-realisation knowing that the ultimate knowledge is not something that can be simply taught. This ideology is extremely empowering and protects us from exclusivist dogma preached in many parts of the world.
*Brahman – The final category and ultimate reality of all things sometimes translated as God but perhaps is rather different.
May the Dharma of the Upanishads reside in me, who am devoted to this search for truth.
Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi.