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To exist, to know and to enjoy – these are the three fundamental urges of man. In fact, all of man’s desires, ambitions, aspirations and efforts are based on one or more of these fundamental motives. Certainly the most fundamental urge or instinct is, to be, to survive, to persist (as a being), to perpetuate oneself, to be ever present. It is not relevant to say that not everybody succeeds in this. The fact of this universal urge cannot be gainsaid. It is the urge that is systematically and meticulously sustained by the mother or the mother symbol. The second urge is to inquire, to understand, to investigate, to know and be all-knowing. No one can escape this urge though it may not manifest itself with the same intensity in all people. This urge is sustained, monitored and nurtured by the father (or the father symbol) who introduces one to the external world. The third urge is to enjoy, to be happy, to relax, to experience a satisfactory state. This is common to all human beings; in fact, in some of us it may go even to the extent of expressing itself as an urge to be perfect. Unlike the other two urges one does not find a motivator for this until one discovers one’s spouse. It is the spouse who, in the long run, nurtures and monitors the urge to be happy and to enjoy. It is the spouse who shares all the happiness and thereby doubles it and who shares also all the unhappiness and thereby halves it. These three urges form the fountainhead for every aspiration of man and its expression in terms of his behavior and action. Whatever he does in this world is a consequence, direct or indirect, of one or more of these urges. He goes to school because he wants to know, he wants to earn a living by which he can live and, in due time, relax. He marries because he wants to lead a happy life with all its enjoyments.

But all these three urges are just a finite limited version of their corresponding infinite versions. The infinite expression of the first one expresses itself as the Truth which is the Ultimate. It is the One which survives everything else. It is imperishable. It is the immutable anvil that remains the same whatever happens around, on, in, over, or beyond. It is the spark of everything that is animate or inanimate. It may be called, technically, the Spark of Immanence, because it is the Life of all Life, the Soul of all Souls. The Sanskrit name for this is sat, which means Existence, the Truth. The infinite expression of the urge to know is Consciousness itself, infinite Intelligence. It is called cit. It is neither Knowledge alone, nor the Knower alone, nor the Known alone. It is all three in one. It is an indivisible triad. It is the ultimate Truth which lies beyond all knowledge as the Knower and beside whom everything else becomes the Object. It is always the Subject, which cannot be ‘known’ in the ordinary sense of the word. The infinite expression of the third urge, namely to be happy and to be perfect is ananda , the eternal Bliss. It is the eternal truth from which every spark of enjoyment and experience emanates. This sat-cid-ananda is the ultimate in any experience. It is called the Absolute Reality or the Transcendental Ultimate by Hindu Vedanta. Religion calls it God and gives it several familiar names.

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 Ó Copyright. V. Krishnamurthy October 12, 2000