If we can look at things in a new way. Let me give an example—this is about applying the Upanishad to one’s daily life. Well, I may chant the Upanishad daily, and I may chant the Gayatri mantra daily. But the fact is that I don’t understand what I’m chanting. I don’t understand what I read. I just chant—just mumble because unfortunately, I don’t know the meaning of the words that I am chanting.
Take the case of the Gayatri mantra that comes from the Rig Veda, one of the oldest Vedas. What is the prayer? What is the wish that is expressed in the Gayatri? The last part of the Gayatri mantra gives the reason why the Gayatri is chanted. Dhiyo yo naha prachodyat means, “Stimulate my intelligence, O Supreme Being.”
Now, do I really stimulate my intelligence? If I have to stimulate my intelligence, will I stick to all pre-conceived ideas and prejudices and not open my mind to the fresh truth that comes in? Like the fresh breeze that blows during a beautiful spring, with the perfume of the flowers wafting in from the open window? First, I refuse to open my window and then I refuse to smell. I would rather smell the artificial perfume that I have sprayed myself with.