(113) WHICH IS THE FOOT AND WHICH IS THE HEAD?
24th April, 1947
This afternoon at 3 o’clock, a devotee stood near Bhagavan’s sofa and said, “Swami, I have only one desire, namely to put my head on Bhagavan’s foot and do namaskar (obeisance). Bhagavan must grant me this favour.”
“Oh! is that the desire! But then which is the foot and which is the head?” asked Bhagavan. No reply.
After pausing for a while Bhagavan said, “Where the self merges, that is the foot.” “Where is that place?” asked that devotee. “Where? It is in one’s own self. The feeling ‘I’ ‘I’, the ego, is the head. Where that aham vritti (ego) dissolves, that is the foot of the Guru.”
“It is said that bhakti should be like mother, father, Guru and god, but if the individual self gets dissolved, how is it possible to serve them with bhakti?” he asked. Bhagavan said, “What is the meaning of the individual self getting dissolved? It means, making that bhakti expansive. Everything is from one’s own self. Hence, if one is in one’s own self, one gets the shakti (energy) to broad base them all.”
That devotee said, “Does dissolving one’s self in its own place mean that with buddhi (developed mind) one discards the annamaya and other kosas (sheaths of the body) and after that discards buddhi itself?” Bhagavan replied, “Where do you go if you discard buddhi? The buddhi remaining in its own state is the knowing of one’s own state. To eliminate or discard the various elements mentioned already, buddhi must be used like a punishing rod.
The buddhi is described as of two parts, unclean and clean.
When it is associated with the work of the antahkarana it is stated to be unclean. That is known as mind and ahankara.
When buddhi is used as a punishing rod to drive away those things and to give the inspiration of the Self (aham sphurana), i.e. ‘I’, it is known as clean buddhi. If that is caught and the rest is discarded, that which is, remains as it is.”
Further questioning was: “It is said that that buddhi must be made one with Atma. How is that?” Bhagavan replied, “How can it be made one with Atma when it is not a thing which comes from outside? It is within oneself. The feeling or the shadow of Atma is buddhi. If that buddhi, the static thing, is known, one remains as one’s own self. Some call that ‘buddhi’, some ‘shakti’ and some call it ‘aham’. Whatever the name, it must be caught hold of firmly to drive away all that comes from elsewhere.