Narada approached the sage Sanatkumara and said, “Please teach me, Venerable One.”

“Tell me what you know,” replied the sage, “and then I will teach you what is beyond that.”

“I know the four Vedas - Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva - and the epics, called the fifth. I have studied grammar, rituals, mathematics, astronomy, logic, economics, physics, psychology, the fine arts, and even snake-charming. But all this knowledge has not helped me to know the Self. I have heard from spiritual teachers like you that one who realizes the Self goes beyond sorrow. I am lost in sorrow. Please teach me how to go beyond.”

“Whatever you know is just words,” said Sanatkumara, “names of finite phenomena. It is the Infinite that is the source of abiding joy because it is not subject to change. Therefore seek to know the Infinite.”

“I seek to know the Infinite, Venerable One.”

“where one realizes the indivisible unity of life, sees nothing else, hears nothing else, knows nothing else, that is the Infinite. Where one sees separateness, hears separateness, knows separateness, that is the finite. The Infinite is beyond death, but the finite cannot escape death.”

“On what does the Infinite depend, Venerable One?”

“On its own glory - no, not even on that. In the world people think they can attain glory by having cows and horses, elephants and gold, family and servants, fields and mansions. But I do not call that glory, for here one thing depends on another. Utterly independent is the Infinite.

“The Infinite is above and below, before and behind, to the right and to the left. I am all this. The Self is above and below, before and behind, to the right and to the left. I am all this. One who meditates upon the Self and realizes the Self sees the Self everywhere, and rejoices in the Self. Such a one lives in freedom and is at home wherever he goes. But those who pursue the finite are blind to the Self and live in bondage.

“One who meditates upon and realizes the Self discovers that everything in the cosmos - energy and space, fire and water, name and form, birth and death, mind and will, word and deed, mantram and meditation - all come from the Self.

“The Self is one, though it appears to be many. Those who meditate upon the Self and realize the Self go beyond decay and death, beyond separateness and sorrow. They see the Self in everyone and obtain all things.

“Control the senses and purify the mind. In a pure mind there is constant awareness of the Self. Where there is constant awareness of the Self, freedom ends bondage and joy ends sorrow.”

Thus the sage Sanatkumara taught the pure Narada to go beyond bondage, beyond sorrow, beyond darkness, to the light of the Self.

~ Chandogya Upanishad Chapter 7