Chapter 2: From Delusion toward Truth
And this little flame of love, when it manifests itself in a person’s life, is small no longer. When love awakens within, all the world becomes too small, too insignificant before it. When agony rises within, it reduces the world outside to a grain of sand. When bliss awakens within, all joys of the world pale into insignificance.
The greatness and smallness of things can only be gauged when we experience that which is within. And when the truth within is realized, we experience its magnificence and magnitude and find that the vast expanse of the universe stands nowhere near it! We are totally ignorant of this experience, for we have never tried to step in this direction.
We are like the blind man who could never know light no matter how hard he tried. All books on the subject of light would only cause confusion and false conceptions and never lead to the comprehension of light.
Ramakrishna used to tell a story: A blind man was once invited to dinner by his friends. There were various dishes prepared in his honor and he enjoyed them all thoroughly. Then he picked up a piece from the dish he liked best and asked to be told what it was. The host said it was a milk preparation. “What is milk?” asked the blind man.
“Have you seen a seagull? It is as white as the wings of a seagull,” he explained.
“What is a seagull?” asked the blind man again. “And how do I know what its wings are; and what do you mean by white?”
The host was nonplussed. How could color be explained to a blind man? But the blind man insisted - he had to know. Then one man came forward; he curved his hand and held it in front of the blind man and said: “Feel my hand. The seagull’s head is as shapely and graceful.
The blind man felt his hand and his face lit up with delight! “Now I know what milk is like - a curved hand!” His friends were filled with despair, for now it was worse than before. He who knows not from within cannot be made to understand from without. If initially the man knew what color was like, he could be made to understand from the outside - but then there is no need to make him understand!
This is the problem - the greatest problem in life: those who know need no explanation, and there is no way of explaining to those who do not know. In trying to explain to the latter, more problems are created. What is known, is always known from within; and what is imparted, is always the superficial knowledge. Therefore, truth cannot be expressed; it can only be known. To know, one should have some grasp, some acquaintance within; to be instructed means to be taught and explained by one who has this grasp.