'[Look at] this great tree, my dear. If you were to strike at its root, it would bleed but live on; if you were to strike it in the middle, it would bleed but live on; if you were to strike it at the top, it would bleed but live on. Strengthened by the living Self (atman), it still stands, drinking in the moisture and exulting
If life (jiva) leaves one of its branches, it dries up; if it leaves a second, that too dries up; if it leaves a third, that too dries up. If it leaves the whole [tree], the whole [tree] dries up. This, my dear boy, is how you ought to understand it,' he said.
When the life has gone out of it, this [body] dies; [but] the life does not die. This finest essence - the whole universe has it as its Self: That is the Real: That is the Self; That you are (tat twam asi), Svetaketu!'
'Good sir, will you kindly instruct me further?' 'I will, my dear child,' said he.
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