Chapter 9: The Fire of Knowing
When Swami Ramateertha returned from America, Sardar Poorna Singh went with him to the Himalayas. They were sleeping in the same room and one night, in the middle of the night, Poorna Singh was awakened by the chanting of Rama Rama in the room. He was puzzled: “Is Ramateertha awake and chanting Rama Rama?” He went closer, but Ramateertha was asleep. Actually, he was snoring, which meant that he was in a deep sleep - but the chanting of Rama Rama was still there. He thought, “Is there someone else in the house making this sound?”
Afraid, he went out of the house and looked all around with a torch, but as far as he could see there was nobody on the verandah or nearby. But when he was out on the verandah, he realized that the sound had become fainter and when he went back into the house it grew louder. That made it clear to him that the sound was indoors, but there was only one room. He looked under both the beds to see if there was someone there.
While he was looking under Ramateertha’s bed, the sound grew even louder. So he put his ear close to Ramateertha’s heart and found that the sound was emanating from there. Then he put his ear close to Ramateertha’s feet and found that the sound was also coming from there; he put his ear close to his hand and found that the sound was even coming from there. It was arising from Ramateertha’s whole body! He became even more afraid. He shook Ramateertha, woke him up and asked him, “Sir, what is going on?”
Ramateertha said, “What is there to be startled or afraid about? It has been happening like this for a long time. I myself used to get startled and wonder whether it was coming from somebody else, but now it has become spontaneous. It goes on by itself, continuously inside me. You must have been a little silent to be able to hear it. But now, relax and go back to sleep.”
Only when you have come to such a state does the third possibility open up. Then there will be no need to do it. Then the mind can also be put aside: “I will not do it from my side. I will sit silently and for my part, I will not do anything, either with my mouth or with my mind or with my will.” Suddenly, you will find that the chanting is already happening: “I am simply hearing it.” When you have become just a listener within yourself and not a doer, only then is the ultimate, atomic state of om attained.
Then, om becomes an arani. Then, the explosion of om in its friction with the base arani of conscience will burn away all that is false in you. After this, you will never be the same as you were before. You will have become a different person. It is a second birth, the old man has disappeared. This new man has nothing to do with the old, it is discontinuous with the old. The old man has gone, this is a new man.
Until this inner fire has been lit, a man will not become free from the bondage of the world.
The final thing: existence has placed the key within you. Whenever you choose to use it, it will free you. If you don’t use it, only you are responsible.
Enough for today.