Section- 15 . The Indwelling Spirit (Contd.) The Order of Merging : Slokam-1,2 & 3. ( Father and Son Discussion)
Section- 15 . The Indwelling Spirit (Contd.) The Order of Merging : Slokam-1,2 & 3. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Purusam, saumya, utopatapinam jnatayah paryupasate, janasi mam, janasi mam iti; tasya yavan na van manasi sampadyate, manah prane, pranah tejasi, tejah parasyam devatayam tavaj-janati.
When a person is very sick and is about to depart from this world, people sit around him. His relatives gather around him and ask him, “Do you recognise us?” “Do you know who I am sitting here?” If the senses are active, naturally, he would recognise them; but if the senses have been withdrawn into the mind, then he can only think but cannot speak. He can only have memory of his relations, but he cannot see them gathered or seated in front of him. What happens at the time of death is that there is a gradual withdrawal of the functions of the various organs in the system. The physical senses are activated by certain forces which impel us towards perception.
When the purpose of bodily existence in this world is finished, then there is no work for the senses. When one is alive, the senses act in a particular manner on account of prarabdha-karma that they are expected to execute in this span of life. When that is over, this body is of no use for the purpose of experience here. Then the senses understand that they cannot do anything through this body. They want to drop this instrument. So they withdraw themselves. Then the physical body cannot any more become a location of these functions of the senses. What are these senses? They are the energies propelled by the mind. It is the mind itself projecting its tentacles through the orifices of the body called the sense organs and the motor organs. So, when the functions of an individual in a particular body is over by the exhaustion of prarabdha-karma, the senses are withdrawn into the mind. Then the dying person can think but cannot see. He cannot speak. No organ will function. He is practically dead. He will be lying on his bed without life, as it were, yet life is there.
As long as the mind is not withdrawn into a higher reality in him, he can think. Otherwise, even thinking is not possible. At the last moment, when a person is just about to pass away, thinking stops. Not only speech and senses stop their activities, even the mind stops its functions and he cannot think. If you speak to that person, he will not reply. He will not react. He will not give any indication of having heard your sound. That is the condition where not only the senses are withdrawn into the mind, but the mind also is withdrawn into the pranas. There is only breathing, neither thinking nor sensing. Then people say the person is still alive. He breathes. Some bring cotton and keep it near the nostrils to see if he is alive. If the cotton moves it means he is alive, otherwise he is gone. So the first stage of withdrawal is the absorption of the senses into the mind.
The second stage of withdrawal is the absorption of the mind into the prana wherein the breathing process continues, life exists, but there is no thinking and there is no sensation. Then what happens? The breath also gets withdrawn into the fire principle which is what we call the heat in the system. As long as there is heat in the system, you say there is the element of life. If the heat also has gone, the whole body becomes cold and limbs are chill. Then we lose all hope; it is finished. Prana is also withdrawn into the fire principle. Vang-manasi sampadyate, manah prane, pranah tejasi—so, when senses are gone, mind is there; when the mind has gone, the prana is there; when the prana has gone, mere heat or fire is there.
Fire or heat is the last thing which is in a person on the verge of leaving this world and entering the other world. When the heat also is withdrawn into the Supreme Being—tejah parasyam devatayam—then there is no consciousness and there is no bodily life. Individual life gets extinguished by a gradual process of absorption of the external functions into the internal ones until they are withdrawn finally into the General Reality, Samanya Satta, in all things. The person enters into a state like that of deep sleep. He does not know what has happened to him. He cannot know that he is dying. That is unconsciousness. There is a sudden shift of emphasis from one level of being to another. One cannot know that one has fallen asleep. However much one may be trying one's best to keep a watch on the process of going to sleep, one will not know it. One is suddenly in it. That is all. Either you are not sleeping or you are sleeping. You cannot be just midway between the two. Likewise with a person when he enters into this Generality of Being where he becomes totally unconscious of particularities and has lost contact with this world of externality. This happens at the time of the withdrawal of the individual soul into the Supreme Soul in the process of Liberation, and also at the time of death. So, from the point of view of theexternal occurrences of the various phenomena of withdrawal, death and Liberation are identical.
What happens to a person when dying, happens also to a person in Liberation. But there is a great difference. The difference is obvious. It needs no explanation. The person is not cast into the wilderness or thrown into an oblivion when he enters the higher stages of conscious expansion. On the other hand, there is unconscious and compulsive pushing back of the functions into their sources at the time of death. In death there is no transcendence. There is only automatic withdrawal. But, in the process of Selfrealisation there is transcendence, so that there is no coming back. When you have outgrown a particular level of experience, you do not come back to it. But, if you have been forced to wrench yourself from a particular experience, the desire for that experience still lingers and you will have to come back to complete your experience.
3. Sa ya eso'nima aitad atmyam idam sarvam, tat satyam, sa atma tat-tvamasi, svetaketo, iti; bhuya eva ma bhagavan vijnapayatv iti; tatha, saumya, iti hovaca.
When a person dies he knows nothing because he enters the Being of all beings, though unconsciously. This Being consciously realised in the supreme 'experience' we call God-realisation or Self-realisation, and into which one is cast unconsciously at the time of death and sleep, is the ultimate Reality. This is the essence and this is the Self of all. “Thou art That, O Svetaketu,” thus instructs Uddalaka once more. “My dear father, explain further,” says Svetaketu.
Now the teaching is about to conclude with one more example. In ancient times, there was a system of finding out who was the thief. The method was to gather all the suspected ones and bring them to the court of the king, and under the order of the king, a heated axe would be brought and they would be asked to touch it. The principle is that a culprit will be burnt by touching the heated axe, whereas one who is innocent will not be burnt. There is a similarity of touching in either case, but there is the dissimilarity of being burnt or not burnt. This is an example that Svetaketu is told by his father Uddalaka, to make a distinction between the realised soul and the ignorant soul.