28th January, 1947
This afternoon at 3 o’clock an Englishman asked Bhagavan something in English in which the word “Nature” occurred a number of times and Bhagavan replied as follows: “These questions would not arise if one knew one’s own nature well. They will continue to arise till one knows it.
Until then we will be under the delusion that all these unnatural things are natural. We have to understand that the true state is always there and at all times. We discard that which is there and wish for that which is not there, and suffer on that account. All that comes and goes is unreal.
The soul always remains in its natural place. As long as we do not realise that truth, we suffer.” “Where can we see this soul? How can we know it?” was the next question.
“Where can we see the soul? This question is like staying in Ramanasramam and asking where Ramanasramam is. The soul is at all times in you and everywhere and to imagine that it is somewhere far off and search for it, is like performing Panduranga bhajan. This bhajan commences in the first quarter of the night with tinkling bells tied to the feet of the devotees and with the brass lamp stand placed in the centre of the house. The devotees go round and round the lamp stand, dancing rhythmically to the tune, ‘Pandarpur is thus far! Pandarpur is thus far! Come on! proceed,’ but as they go round and round, they actually do not proceed even half a yard closer to Pandarpur. By the time the third quarter of the night is reached, they will begin to sing, ‘See! there is Pandarpur. Here is Pandarpur. See, see!”
During the first quarter of the night they were going round the same lamp as now in the third quarter. It dawns, and they sing, ‘We have arrived at Pandarpur. This is Pandarpur,’ and so saying, salute the same lamp stand and end the bhajan. It is the same with this also. We go round and round in search of atma (soul) saying, ‘Where is atma? Where is it?’ till at last the dawn of jnana drishti (vision of knowledge) is reached, and we say, ‘this is atma, this is me.’ We should acquire that vision. When once that vision is reached, there will be no attachments even if the Jnani mixes with the world and moves about in it. When once you put on shoes your feet do not feel the pain of walking on any number of stones or thorns on the way. You walk about without fear or care, whether there be mountains or hillocks on the way. In the same way, everything will be natural to those who have attained the jnana drishti. What is there apart from one’s own self?
“That natural state can be known only after all this worldly vision subsides.” “But how is it to subside?” was the next question. Bhagavan replied, “If the mind subsides, the whole world subsides. Mind is the cause of all this. If that subsides, the natural state presents itself. The soul proclaims itself at all times as ‘I’, ‘I’. It is self-luminous! It is here. All this is THAT. We are in that only. Being in it, why search for It? The ancients say:
Drishtim gyaanamayeem kritva brahmayam jagat
Making the vision absorbed in jnana one sees the world as Brahman.
“It is said that Chidakasa itself is Atma Swarupa (image of atma) and that we can view it only with the help of the mind.” “How can we see it if the mind has subsided?” someone else asked. Bhagavan said, “If the sky is taken as an illustration it must be stated to be of three varieties --- chidakasa, chittakasa and bhuthakasa. The natural state is called chidakasa, the ‘I- feeling’ that is born from chidakasa is chittakasa. As that chittakasa expands and takes the shape of all the bhutas (elements), this is all bhuthakasa. After all, the mind is a part of the body, isn’t it? When it is chittakasa which is consciousness of the self, ‘I’ does not see the chidakasa but sees the bhuthakasa; This is said to be mano akasa; and when it leaves mano akasa and sees chidakasa, it is said to be chinmaya.* The subsiding of the mind means, the idea of multiplicity of object vanishes, and the idea of oneness of objects appears. When that is achieved everything appears natural.”
In accordance with this idea, Bhagavan has written in his Unnadhi Nalupadhi, verse 14: “If it is said that there is the first person ‘I’ then there are the second and third persons ‘you’ and ‘he’. When the real nature of the first person is known and the ‘I’ feeling disappears, the ‘you’ and the ‘he’ disappear simultaneously, and that which shines as the only One becomes the natural state of the ultimate reality.”
chittam chiditi jaaneeyaat ta-kaar rahitam yadaa
t-kaaro vishayaadhyaasaha japaaraago yathhaa manau
Bereft of the letter “ta” mind becomes consciouness. “Ta” indicates association with worldiness, just as a colourless gem manifests colour in the proximity of a China Rose.
-- Sankara’s Sadacharanusandhanam