“Perception of oneness of the Self in every being is the highest spiritual perfection. Sage Yajnavalkya said: A wife does not love her husband because of his or her physical satisfaction. She loves her husband because she feels the oneness of her soul with his soul. She is merged in her husband and becomes one with him . The foundation of Vedic marriage is based on this noble and solid rock of soul culture and is unbreakable. Trying to develop any meaningful human relationship without a firm understanding of the spiritual basis of all relationships is like trying to water the leaves of a tree rather than the root. When one perceives one’s own higher Self in all people and all people in one’s own higher Self, then one does not hate or injure anybody. Eternal peace belongs to those who perceive God existing within everybody as Spirit. One should love others, including the enemy, because all are your own self. Husband and wife should try to improve and help develop each other with tender loving care as a cow purifies her calf by licking. Their words to each other should be sweet, as if dipped in honey.
“The Brāhmana ousts (slights) one who knows him as different from the Self. The Kshatriya ousts one who knows him as different from the Self. Worlds oust one who knows them as different from the Self. The gods oust one who knows them as different from the Self. Beings oust one who knows them as different from the Self. “ ~Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Perception of Oneness
As John Donne put it, “Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.” In other words, we are all part of the Oneness, the All. This Upanishad is saying that the realization of that philosophical statement is the “highest spiritual perfection,” and indeed it is. Another way to say it is that the highest level of consciousness man can achieve is that level where He is consciously one with the All, or Oneness of the Self, self here being capitalized because it refers to the higher Self, the spiritual Self, not the physical-mental self.
There are many people in the world, and in New Age limited spiritual schools who will say that they know they are one with the all and have achieved oneness of Self, therefore that have reached the mountain top and have no more to do. Unfortunately, in nearly all cases they have not actually achieved Oneness, they simply have become aware that it is possible. Knowing that a thing is possible is not the same as having achieved it.
Oneness With Your Spouse
While this Upanishad says that A wife loves her husband because of the oneness of her soul with his, I think that is an ideal which few have achieved. Many spouses love each other or at least call it love when they have not in fact achieve this oneness of soul with their spouse. As already noted, there are few these days who truly achieve oneness of the Self, and I don’t think you can achieve oneness with another soul if you haven’t yet achieved it with your own soul. Thousands of years ago when these Upanishads were written, this ideal Vedic marriage may have been common since people were far more spiritual and religious then. Now that we have become so materialistic that there are actually many individuals who believe that spirituality is nothing more than being anti-religion, few such marriages exist.
Watering the Leaves
This is a great analogy for how the world of materialism works. We may know that a tree needs water, but if we put it on the leaves instead of down on the roots, the tree can’t make much use of it. Likewise, when people think they are caring for one another, but are only feeding, clothing, or otherwise caring for the physical body of the person, their care is very limited. It isn’t wrong to care for the body or the mind for that matter. But the most important thing is caring for the spirit and soul. That is what oneness of the Self is all about. Only the spirit is immortal. Flesh can never be immortal. Even the planets and stars are mortal.
The Upanishad says that when we have achieved this oneness of the Self, and we see this higher Self in all people, then we have truly achieved a higher state of being while still in the physical world. As it says, you cannot hate or injure others when you realize that they are part of your own Self. It is like cutting off your own arm. And you cannot be jealous of another because that person has more than you do of whatever you consider valuable. When you have oneness with that person, you celebrate his success, you don’t get jealous. Conversely, you are never greedy when you have oneness of the Self, for you see that by hoarding more than you actually need, you are depriving others of their fair share of Nature’s bounty. I know there are financial gurus who say that is wrong, but it is they who are wrong. There is no unlimited supply of money, gold, food, or anything else. So those who are greedy because they have not even attempted to achieve oneness with the Self, are definitely depriving others of their fair share.
Brāhmana Ousts (slights) One Who Knows Him as Different from the Self
I don’t think it is accurate to say that God “ousts” the one who does not bother to awaken and develop her higher Self. I think it is more that God ignores such people until they are ready to grow. Perhaps the only time He notices them is when they are doing great harm to others, but as long as they are only harming themselves, they are simply ignored. So if you wonder why God doesn’t come to chat with you, it is because you haven’t achieved Oneness with the Self.