"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Existence Beyond Knowledge and Ignorance

Sri Ramana Maharshi

D.: It is said that the Universe consists of light and sound. Are these two constituents like the light and sound in the physical world? Can they be seen and heard with the physical organs - eye and ear? Or are they to be experienced only subjectively? 

M.: Light and sound correspond to bindu and nada in Tantrik terminology, and to the mind and life-current in the Vedantic. They are gross, subtle and transcendental. The organs can perceive the gross aspect; the other aspects are not so perceptible. The subtle can be inferred and the transcendental is only transcendental. 

D.: Hinduism lays down reincarnation of the jiva. What happens to the jiva during the interval between the death of one body and the birth of the next one? 

M.: Solve this question by referring to the state of sleep. What happens to you in sleep? 

D.: I do not know. 

M.: Yet you exist. Therefore existence beyond knowledge and ignorance is indicated. Although ignorance was prevailing, according to your present idea, yet you did not say so in sleep. You continued to exist all the same. Mere ignorance does not rule out the fact of your existence. 

D.: In the practice of meditation are there any signs of the nature of subjective experience or otherwise, which will indicate the aspirant’s progress towards Self-Realisation.

M.: The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measure to gauge the progress.

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सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad