Chapter 9: I Bow Down to Myself
Janak said: Light is my self-nature. I am not other than that. When the universe is illuminated, it is illuminated by my light.
Amazing that through ignorance the imaginary world appears in me, just as silver appears in mother of pearl, a snake in a rope, or a mirage in the rays of the sun.
The universe which has emanated from me will dissolve into me, just as a pot dissolves into clay, a wave into water, or a bracelet into gold.
Amazing am I, I bow down to myself. When the whole world shall perish from Brahma down to the very blade of grass I shall not perish. I am eternal.
Amazing am I, I bow down to myself. Although embodied, I am the nondual. I neither go anywhere nor come from anywhere; I just exist, I pervade the universe.
Amazing am I, I bow down to myself. None here is as capable as I, who have been maintaining the universe for an eternity without even touching it with the body.
Amazing am I, I bow down to myself. I have nothing at all, or I have all that can be encompassed by speech or thought.
Religion is experience, not thinking. Thought cannot be even the shadow of religion. And one who is entangled in thoughts will always remain far away from religion. No one is further away from religion than a thinker.
Just as love is an experience, godliness is also an experience. And if you want to experience it, it is possible only through one’s totality.
The process of thinking is only a small fragment of man, and a very superficial one. It has no depth. It is not part of man’s interiority, not of the center, it is on the periphery. Even if thinking stops, man can live. And now thinking machines have been developed. They make it very clear that a machine too can think - it is no special glory of man.
Aristotle and thinkers like him have called man the thinking animal, the rational animal. This definition should be changed, because now computers can think - and with greater efficiency, with greater skill than man. Man makes mistakes, but with computers there is no possibility of error. Man’s greatness is not in his thinking. Man’s greatness is in his ability to experience.
Just as when you taste something, the taste is not just a thought - it happens, it happens in your very cells. You are immersed in the joy of tasting. When you drink wine, the effects of drinking are not only in your thoughts, your legs begin wobbling.
Have you seen a drunkard walking? The wine has reached to his very cells. It is visible in his stride, in his eyes; it is visible in every move. It doesn’t just show in his thoughts but encompasses his totality.
Religion is like wine - one who drinks it will know. One who drinks it and becomes delighted will experience it.
Janak’s words were uttered in a moment when he was filled with this wine. If you consider them without tasting, there is a possibility of misunderstanding and his meaning will seem something quite different. Then you will add your own interpretations.
For example, when Krishna says in the Gita, “Drop everything, Arjuna, and surrender at my feet” - when you read it you will feel this declaration is very egotistical: “Drop everything, Arjuna, and come to my feet.” To my feet!
The meaning you give to this “my” is your meaning, not Krishna’s. In Krishna no “I” remains; it is just a reference, it is only a symbol. For you the symbol is much more. In your state of illusion the symbol has become the truth. For Krishna it is merely practical, not indicating anything more.