Once a Vedantic master was approached by a seeker and asked, “Explain to me Sir, the nature of the self.” The great master looked at him in amusement and said, “I will tell you all about it when no one is here.” After some days, finding the master alone, the man again reminded him, “Now that there is nobody here Sir, please instruct me.”

The master sat in silent meditative poise. Assuming that the teacher had not heard, he repeated his request. The teacher smiled and said, “Not now. Let everyone go away.” The student then asserted, “Sir, everyone has gone, I alone am here.” The teacher smiled again and said, “So long as even ‘you’ are here, how can ‘I’ tell the Truth?”

Only when the ‘I’ ness disintegrates, and the clamour of all thoughts is entirely hushed up, in that ‘ living silence’ happens, the realisation of the all embracing self, the only Truth. From immaturity springs all the audacity of fools. So he again ventured forth “Sir, who is it in the student that will know that there is nobody there?” “That even the wisest do not know,” said the master.

The Self is neither the subject nor the object of knowledge.So long as there is ‘I’ and ‘you ‘ you are in the clutches of the Ego. The all encompassing Self is the ‘Sarva- vyapi’ (all pervading), then where is the room for the entity ‘I’? That from which speech and mind return, unable to reach or apprehend, beyond words, beyond the Ken of the intellect, that is the Supreme Self. An unworldly realisation of oneness, as Wordsworth wrote:

A sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused…….

A motive and a spirit that impels

All thinking things, all objects of

All thought,

And rolls through all things.’

Prarthna Saran, President Delhi Chinmaya Mission

Email: prarthnasaran@gmail.com

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