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Chapter 9: The Fire of Knowing

The wise make conscience the base arani, a wood used for creating fire, and om the top arani.

The practice of creating friction by rubbing knowledge between om-arani and conscience-arani, kindles the fire of knowing. This fire burns away all bondage, making one free.

Before we enter into this sutra, it will be good to understand a few of its basic words.

The first word in this sutra is antahkaran, conscience. There is a little difficulty about this word conscience, because what you call conscience is not conscience, and normally you never come to know what the real conscience is.

What do you think of as conscience? A man steals and something inside him says, “Don’t steal, stealing is wrong.” A man eats meat and something inside him says, “Don’t eat meat, it is bad.” A man gets drunk in a pub and something inside him says, “Don’t drink liquor.” This voice is what you call conscience. But this is not the real thing: it is only the voice of the society in you, it is not your own voice. It is not the voice of your own inner self, it is the teaching of the society. So if you are born into a vegetarian family where from your very childhood you have heard that to eat meat is wrong, a sin, only then will there be a voice inside you when you eat non-vegetarian food that says, “It is evil, it is a sin, don’t do it.” This is not the real inner voice, because someone who has been raised in a non-vegetarian family will not hear this voice speaking to him.

If you think that this is conscience, then you will have to admit that there are many kinds of consciences in the world. Then you will have to concede that the inner voice of the divine in you says different things - to one it says to eat meat, to another it forbids it.

These differences are because of the different rules in the societies; it is not the voice of conscience. The day you hear the voice of your conscience and the real conscience is experienced, that voice is one and the same everywhere in the world. It is not many voices. There are no separate consciences - the conscience of a Hindu or the conscience of a Moslem or the conscience of a Christian or a Jaina. But what you call conscience is different for a Hindu, different for a Jaina and different again for a Buddhist. Even amongst Hindus it will be one voice for a brahmin, the highest class, another for a kshatriya, the ruling class, and yet another for a sudra, the serving class.

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