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Seminar on "We are and we are not’ as also ‘we are not and we are"

2. Dr. S.V. Raghavan

The Topical sentence ‘we are and we are not and we are not and we are’ occurs in the paragraph beginning with the words ‘Had there been ‘not to be’ the world would not have existed. If we deal it spiritually, then ‘to be’ has the sense of ‘self’. If we want to go into ‘non-self’ then we will have to annihilate ‘to be’ in thought and we will come to ‘not to be’ in real sense. It means ‘life without life’ -and as if in explanation of that phrase just ahead regarding ‘life’ the words ‘we are….’ have been expressed.

I feel that Rev. Master’s above message requires a great deal of prayerful introspection for its interpretation and in this paper I am making my humble effort in understanding and interpreting the same in a spirit of dedication to Him and also Bodhayanthi Parasparam, our well-chosen motto.

According to the Master manifestation occurred consequent to the arising of the thought of creation stirring up near about the Centre and the outward flow of energy. That is the ‘will of the Divine’ was and still is, ‘to be’ and hence all this display. It appears that a good number of the souls enjoying His company chose to be part of the play being enacted by the Divine merely for its own enjoyment. A sense of separate self-hood became necessary for the souls so that they may be able to enjoy whatever Nature had to offer by way of creation. The hall mark of egoity or ‘self’ is the feeling of doership, ownership and enjoyership. That is why, to exist in its normally understood sense, is to feel or be aware of ‘self’ and the experiences of such a ‘self’ and that is what the Master seems to indicate when He says ‘to be’ has a sense of ‘self’ with an accompanying awareness of separate existence. According to the common folk life is to be enjoyed and where is enjoyment and for whom will that enjoyment be if the ‘enjoyer’ – the ‘self’ is not there?

But for those who are on the Natural path with the goal of oneness with the Absolute, negating themselves to the ultimate limit of becoming ‘zero’ is the call. That such a life is possible has been already demonstrated by Rev.Babuji Maharaj who was structured in such a manner by the Great Lalaji Maharaj, our Revered Adhi Guru.

The Divine can be fully expressed only when we reduce our individuality to zero. That is what the Master says in, ‘If we want to go into ‘non-self’ or in other words the Divine core of our Being, then we will have to annihilate ‘to be’ in thought and we will come to ‘not to be’ in real sense’. The implication seems to be that when the sense of separate existence, ‘to be’ is lost we realize that we are only a part of that Divine existence inseparably linked to it and at the same time one in essence.

Again when He says it means ‘life without life’ we may take it as life without the idea of separate independent existence. It is almost as if we are dead to our ‘selves’, but alive and alert to God and fully available to Him with all faculties dedicated to Him to be used by Him as He deems fit for the fulfillment of His own purposes. In that condition, the condition of ‘nothingness’ where we clearly realize that we are ‘nothing’ and we own nothing’, and we have fully owned the same, we are truly dead to ourselves. The body and faculties of the mind function automatically even as a programmed robot would do, only here, He is the programmer, the executor and beneficiary. As the Master has expressed elsewhere the person fully established in the condition of Tam (Total ignorance) looks like a statue (Sruti V2 p415) ( carrying on with activities of varied type as required for the occasion fully oblivious to his own existence (most of the time for now and then he does descend to states breathing duality as dictated by the demand of humanity) and in such a way that there is no awareness before the action nor during the execution and nor even after its completion. The Master compares the condition of the yogi established in the condition of Tam or Complete Ignorance with the condition of the infant baby, which is not aware of itself and its actions. (Imperience Beckons p5) Everything is automatic even as God’s workings are automatic with no idea of how or by whom it is done.(ERY 53 &54)

The notion of identity or who ‘we are’ is so crucial or so it seems for our very existence as described in the case of a socially eminent person who lost his Identity card and consequently his very identity hence for all practical purposes dead or without life! (Pretense BP V4 p2)

All of us are very meticulous in constructing our identities or personalities made up of our educational qualifications, the groups to which we belong, status economic, religious, social and spiritual included and are indeed shell-shocked when the carefully built up identities collapse like a pack of cards or washed away like sand castles by rushing waves of Time, the great Teacher.

We may say that the feeling ‘we are and yet we are not’ arises as an imperience during our meditations. We all imperience the state of ‘no-mind’ fairly often during meditation and at other times during our states of remembrance when the sense of ‘self’ disappears along with thoughts of any kind. The illusory nature of the ego or sense of self has been well brought out in several articles of BP V III & IV .

‘We are’ affirms our separate existence while ‘we are not’ negates it. “Awareness of individual existence starts the moment Jiva is born and gets strengthened by the customs and educational inputs of the society and culture which promotes ‘I’ -ness The aspirants who have had the taste of nothingness or void when they reflect on such an experience are able to get out of the illusion of this ‘I’ consciousness.” (BP V3 p283) During the moments of no mind, no thought entire self disappears along with all the inter-connected thoughts feelings, relationships, ideas and the egoity. This is the Nothingness condition or state of negation of individuality but there is the awareness in the background. This may be equated to the feeling of ‘we are not’.

After a while we come back as if it were from a literally ‘no man’s land’ the land of non-beingness and recognize of our entityship. During the stretch of our meditative imperience there seems to be a transition, sometimes sudden, between polar opposites, the state of being and the state of non-being, that is from the standpoint of our selves. Again there is this awareness in the background and which is different from the two as stated above, the Pure Consciousness, the true nature of our Being.

This may be compared to the Consciousness persisting through deep sleep, sushupti which informs the subject as if it were that he has undergone the waking, dreaming and the deep sleep condition when there was latency or dormancy in the Absolute or the One Original Consciousness.

This Pure Consciousness is not created, it is born with us and does not admit of any change whatsoever and it is the one that continues through all modifications of our inner state as above.

In this context we may like to review the exposition of the nature of such Imperience as given in BP V III.

“The experience of becoming totally unknown to ourselves is one of the feelings during meditation but we do not grasp the unknown status of ours. It is also seen that after experiencing the void or null experience we still keep an attitude of love to the Master this is because the ‘I’ consciousness persists though it disappeared in the state of void or Samadhi. It never disappears on its own”. (BP V3 p271)

Be as it may, we seem helpless in keeping alive the idea of dependency and or devoted instrumentality to the Master as it were, but despite that, seek again and again the experience of the ‘Void’ so graciously given by Him whenever we seek it.

Again we may look at another relevant passage from BP V3. “There comes a stage when all thoughts have gone awareness pure and simple stays we find that the mind stopped functioning. With it, gone are all the ideas and beliefs and notions and aspirations. All mind-stuff is gone. Repeatedly the vision is sought so that the belief systems assiduously developed and owned are given up in the void of being. This is a painful process of annihilation of the creations of self. Finally by His grace alone we are enabled to move on into the Divine realms where individuality ceases to breathe” (BP V3 p133)

We may recall here Master’s statement that we are proceeding towards the Unknown (SDG p131) and we cannot become one with it unless we become unknown to ourselves and also the statement that where we have come from where nothing comes to us by way of knowledge about ourselves. (SDG p 39)

In another place we find the statement that mergence is possible only for the simple person and simple is he who knows nothing about himself. ( SDG p153)

This also ties in with Master’s observation in the same paragraph containing the Topic ‘we are etc’ that ‘when knowledge revealed itself it was only knowledgelessness’ or jnana-hinata. And regarding the ultimate destiny it is one where ‘the whole habitation of desires gets turned into desolate ruin and the besmeared cup of individuality is broken so as to be incapable of holding anything in it’. This is a very strong message indeed on total annihilation of self so that He alone persists, abides and is able to function in us as He desires with no detriments posed by the self and its own agenda.

In this context, we need to examine the nature of Viveka as it has to do with what we Think ‘we are’ mainly through our conceptualizations and imaginations and what ‘we are’ in Reality. This examination in my view will help us to abide in our Real nature and that goes a long way in being of real dedicated service of the Divine as It would desire.

The following passages in BP V3 will be of relevance.

“Things such as education economic status and so on with which we identify cannot be ‘who we are’ as these things come from outside and also are transient”.

“What one is most afraid to lose is only what exists in the mind or we could say ideas about the ‘self’. It is unreal; if we look for it we will never find it. In one moment of Silence imperienced it is gone along with its contrived importance” (BP V3 p4&7)

Here we may also consider the following in determining our real nature, ‘What remains in one moment of the silent ‘no –mind’, when all that we know to be our self is gone, is bare Conscious Being that abides”. (BP V4 p10)

Again the whole message being about love, ‘Love Him Who Loves All’, the stress has to be throughout on negation a complete one at that.

As it has been pointed out in the article in BP V4 ‘Rev.Lalaji Sahib the Advent’, that Great Personality willed to structure a personality who could totally annihilate himself, who could zero all his wishes desires and drives and live totally all the while only for His Master’s purposes with one pointed orientation towards Him or put in another way as the Divine demanded. We can at best, as we are normally constituted, only love ourselves narcissistically, interested in furthering our bodily survival, fulfilling the vital and at a more evolved level the mental rational and intellectual needs. We are so much consumed by the needs of wish fulfillments of self and of a very narrow circle of those considered by us as near ones tied to ourselves by our own selves from considerations of family, village, community, nationality occupation, culture etc that rarely we can or even want to think beyond or above these things.

It is only the Consciousness of such great Personalities as of our own Rev. Master which can be all inclusive transcending all barriers removing the brokenness as the Master puts it so that the love can be truly Universal so that the same share is made available to all. All our sadhana under PAM is only for moving on from the narrow sphere of the illusory little self and its own creations of ephemeral nature albeit their serving a limited purpose of facilitating organization and our dealings in society to the realms of truly Universal Consciousness.

I would like to end this paper calling to attention what has been said in, ‘Light on Meditation’ (BP V4 P27&33) for understanding the problem of perpetuation of the idea of separateness and the real purpose of the individuated or Particular Consciousness.

Our problem is “The habit of thinking which interferes with our sadhana converting Master as some object of realization to be achieved and implied in that is He or rather His state is something we do not have. It means that the mind by this habit of seeking that object, is affirming sense of separateness. In the experience of Void there is no feeling of separateness, which dissolves along with collapse of time and space.

The real experience of silence in which the mind and its habits of thinking have dissolved is not relative to ideas or definitions about it.In this silence which abides, thoughts arise and pass unobtrusively including the awareness of the ‘I’- consciousness arising from within the Being”.

“Repeated exposures to this significant and simple awareness of Being should make us understand that there is only an Universal consciousness and particular consciousness of self is only an opportunity provided by the Divine to express universal good by the particular”.