There are four gospels in the New Testament–Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. The Gospel of John is distinct because it starts with a metaphysical statement. It says: ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God’.
What is this Word? And, what has God to do with the Word? Now, if you go and slowly explore in other scriptures, as I always do, you will find something similar or same recorded there. This search will take some time. Sooner or later, you will come across something, which is same, or similar at least.
Now, in the Rigveda, there occurs a sentence, which is so close to what St. John says in his gospel. Here it is:
Prajapati vai idam agra asit, tasya vag dvitiya asit, vag vai parama brahman.
Prajapati vai idam agra asit.
In the beginning was Prajapati, the Creator of the Praja, of the Universe only, alone. There was a word, which was alone, the divine word, the divine sound. That word was not different from that Brahman, which is the Creator, the Supreme Being.
Let’s define it that way. Isn’t it similar or is it the same? It is the same. So, when the Keno Upanishad says:
Kenesitam patati presitam manah kena pranah prathamah praiti yuktah.
Kenesitam vacam ima vadanti.
What is behind the words that you utter? What is the meaning of the words that you utter? Here, it is talking about the content of the mind, which creates the word and understands the word.
Words are very powerful! If you don’t know a language, you can’t insult somebody in that language. If somebody doesn’t know the language, he won’t understand a word, he won’t know what you are saying. The moment he knows the language, he will react according to the meaning of the word. So, the word, the sound is actually created from the content of the mind–although, it is the wind blowing through the vocal chords that is responsible for the sound made.
Therefore, the words depend upon the mind, the contents of the mind. So, the Rishi is exhorting you to find out–who or what is the identity of the mind that is the foundation of the uttering of the word?
Caksuh srotra ka udevo yunakti.
Caksuh–the eye, Srotra–the ear.
Who is it that sees when I say I see with my eye? Who is it that hears when I say I hear? What is the identity of the Self? Who is that Self, which is behind all these activities; who, hidden, makes all these activities happen? Where is that Self? It is in your mind. And, how do we find it?
By looking at yourself. By finding out what you are, as you are right now! And who helps? The teacher helps you to understand how to look for the ‘Who’–the identity of the being who is behind your thoughts and actions.