Swami Virajananda


By Swami Virajananda

THEY are despondent that Bhagavan is going to leave them and go away. Where can he go, and how”? These words of Sri Bhagavan contain the whole truth of what he is; they are assurance and more than that, they are fact. But how are we to grasp this promise, how to understand this mysterious eternal presence?

Imagine, if you will, an endless sheet of pure light. Call it the Absolute, or Brahman, or That Which Is ... it does not matter. All the names and forms you wish to behold — mountains, rivers, plants, countless beings — see them as if painted on this sheet, some of them completely opaque, so that you cannot see any of the underlying light, some fully transparent, others partly transparent, according to the predominance of the various gunas. Now see in the middle of each being a tiny aperture, as in the lens of a camera. That is the Self, seated in the hearts of all, and it is of course identical with the substratum; the less ego, the more is it open, and the more the light can come through. What an infinite combination of light transparencies and aperture-sizes God has thus made!

How do the sages, the jivanmuktas, look ? There is no question any longer of transparency or darkness, for, being devoid of ego, their aperture has opened until it reached the outline of their shape, so that, except for this outline, the underlying light is all there is. And all that happens when their bodies die is that this outline gets erased. What remains is the light they always were — call it God, or Brahman, or That Which Is. This is why there is no question of Bhagavan going away; this is why he is our very Self.

The Smriti says:
Neither inward nor outward turned consciousness, nor the two together; not an undifferentiated mass of dormant omniscience; neither knowing nor unknowing, because invisible, ineffable, intangible, devoid of characteristics, inconceivable, indefinable, its sole essence being the assurance of its own Self; the coming to peaceful rest of all differentiated, relative existence; utterly quiet; peaceful, blissful, without a second: this is Atman, the Self, which is to be realized.