Letter 38

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21st February, 1946
Yadavalli Rama Sastri came here the other day and asked Bhagavan, “Swami, people say that the Self is as luminous as a crore of suns. Is that true?” Bhagavan said, “Certainly! Granted that its lustre is equal to that of a crore of suns, how could it be determined? We can’t see with these eyes even the one sun that is visible. How can we see a crore of suns? That is a different eye with a different type of vision. When you can see with that eye, you can give whatever name you like to it, a crore of suns or moons, or anything you like.” Some time back, another person asked a similar question: “It is said that Aswathama, Vibheeshana and others are chiranjeevis (eternally living beings) and that they are now living somewhere. Is that true?” “Yes, that is true,” said Bhagavan. “What is your idea of a chiranjeevi? Those that know the state which is never destroyed, where is death for them, and where is birth? They live as chiranjeevis for all time and at all places. We are now talking about them, and so they are present here. When it is said that a person lives forever, it does not pertain to this body consisting of the five elements. When Brahma Kalpas (ages of Brahma) themselves come and go like dolls’ houses, is it possible to attribute permanency to bodies that age?” said Bhagavan.