(79) OMKARAM --- AKSHARAM
24th January, 1947
Recently, as I was returning home from the Ashram one evening at about 5 p.m., I heard two young men having some discussion between themselves. One of them said, “I questioned Ramana Maharshi very boldly as to what remains after the Omkaram is crossed. He was unable to reply and so closed his eyes and slept. It is all a pose with him.”
Though, at the outset, I got angry at their speaking disparagingly about my Guru, I subsequently felt amused at their foolishness and said in a mild tone: “Sir, why do you decry your elders? Do we know, first of all, what Omkaram is, that we should venture to ask what remains after Omkaram?”
The young man replied, “I asked him only because I do not know. Why should he not reply suitably?” I said, “Please do not be impatient. If you ask him once again, with patience, you will know.” They went away that day, but were present in the hall the next day. Unexpectedly, some one else questioned Bhagavan thus: “Swamiji, it is said that Akara, Ukara, Makaras make up Omkaram. What is the meaning of these three letters? What is the embodiment of Omkaram?”
Bhagavan replied: “Omkaram itself is Brahman. That Brahman is the nameless and formless pure SAT. It is that that is called Omkaram. Akara, Ukara, Makara or Sat, Chit, Ananda --- any three of these two groups is Brahman.
Omkaram which is beyond the speech or the mind and which can only be experienced, cannot be described by word of mouth --- one cannot say what its swarupa (shape) is.” This reply also served to clear the doubts of the two youths who questioned him yesterday evening.
Similarly, someone or other used to ask Bhagavan, now and then, “What is the form of Akshara? What does it look like? How can we know it?” Bhagavan’s reply to all such questions was: “In accordance with the saying in the Gita, ‘aksharam brahma paramam’, ‘that which is supreme and permanent is the form of Akshara’.
As for the question how we can know it, the SELF is Akshara. That which is indestructible is Aksharam. How to know it? That question should arise only if Akshara were different from the Self. But the two are not different, but only one. That which is, is only one. That is SAT. That SAT is SELF; there is nothing else other than the Self. The proper thing to do is to enquire and know who the Self is and to remain in the Self.