Chapter 14: The Great Death
“The brahman is seen in the pure antahkaran, the pure inner sense, just as an object before a mirror is reflected in it.”
“The brahman is seen in the pitrilok, the realm of the spirits of man’s deceased ancestors, just like objects seen in a dream. Reflections of the brahman are seen in gandharvalok, the realm of celestial musicians, like forms reflected in water. And the true nature of the brahman and of the soul are seen clearly in brahmalok, the ultimate reality, just as one can clearly see light and shadow.”
“The sense organs exist separately because of their separate functions. To be born and to die is their intrinsic nature. By knowing the nature of the soul to be different from these, the intelligent ones will go beyond grief.”
“Mind is higher than the sense organs, intelligence is higher than the mind, the soul is higher than intelligence, the unmanifest energy is higher than the soul.”
“But the divine, which is the all-pervading, the formless, is higher even than the unmanifest energy. The one who realizes this truth while living in the body is liberated; he becomes the brahman, the divine.”
“The divine is the deathless. It is the very seat of bliss.”
First, there are a few more things about yesterday’s sutra. Rudolf Otto, a great German thinker, has written a very important book, The Holy. In that book he has repeatedly used a word, tremendum: it means that the divine is fearsome, terrifying. Yama has also expressed this point of view to Nachiketa: that the divine is fearsome. There is a possibility of misunderstanding this viewpoint, so we will enter into it more deeply.
The first thing is that, in fact, it is not the divine that is fearsome, it is your own fear - you are afraid. Instead of saying that the divine is fearsome, it will be better to say that you are afraid of it. And it will help you immensely to understand the reason for your fear.
It is just like when a drop is afraid before it falls into the ocean, because to fall into the ocean means to dissolve, to disappear. It is natural for the drop to be afraid: to meet the ocean means its death, and death creates fear. But if the drop could know that there is also another aspect to dissolving into the ocean - the drop will disappear as a drop and it will become the ocean; it will disappear as a small drop but it will become one with the vast - if the drop could only realize that its death is also its life as the vast, as the deathless, then it would not be afraid. If the drop could see that its death is in reality the opening to eternal life, then it would experience the divine as the very embodiment of love.