Chapter 15: Life After Death and Rebirth
Arvind’s experience of Krishna-visions is concerned with Krishna’s image, his physical form. He says that Krishna appeared before him in physical form. This is simply a case of mental projection. Of course such an experience is pleasant and gratifying, but it is nonetheless a projection of our mind. It is an extension of desire; it is exactly dreamstuff. It is our mind’s creation.
We can begin with the mind, but we have to go beyond the mind. The journey begins with the mind, and ends with the no-mind, cessation of the mind. It is significant to know that the mind is the world of words, forms and images; words, forms and images constitute the mind. And where forms and images disappear the mind disappears on its own. There is no way for the mind to exist without words, forms and images. The mind cannot exist in emptiness, in void; it lives on the determined, the concrete. The moment the concrete world comes to an end, the mind itself comes to an end. Krishna-consciousness is attained only when the mind ceases to be; it is a state of no-mind.
Whoever says he has encountered Krishna in his physical form is a victim of mental projection; he is projecting his own mental images on the vast screen of universal consciousness and viewing the objective reality. It is like a movie projector projects fast moving pictures on all empty screen; there is really nothing on the screen except shadows. Such visions are not a spiritual experience, they are wholly psychic. They are, however, very gratifying; a Krishna devotee is bound to be overjoyed to see visions of one he has been desiring to see all his life. But remember, it is only a kind of happiness, not bliss. Nor can you call it an experience of truth.
I don’t mean to say that Arvind’s experience is not real, but he describes it in the way of a scholar, an intellectual. And this makes the experience appear to be one of mental projection. It is not difficult to distinguish a real experience, an experience of the oceanic consciousness from the one that is projected or imagined. An oceanic experience is everlasting; once it comes it comes forever, and it wipes out all other experiences from your mind. It really wipes out the mind itself. One blessed with such an experience sees the divine everywhere - in trees and rocks, in streams and rivers, in mountains and stars. But so far as projected visions are concerned, they appear and disappear, they never last. They are transient, momentary. Being an intellectual, Arvind is not able to portray it rightly; for a man of intellect such a task becomes difficult.
But there is another side of Arvind which is poetic. He is not only an intellectual but also a great poet. As a poet he is not less than Rabindranath Tagore. If he failed to receive the Nobel Prize, it was not because he did not deserve it, but because his poetry is much too complex and difficult to understand. His savitri ranks among the great epics of the world; there are hardly ten great epics of the stature of Savitri. And unlike the scholar, the poet in Arvind is quite capable of seeing Krishna’s visions. Ironically, Arvind has expressed this experience strictly in terms of logic and reason, which is of course natural. And his account of the experience does not have the flavor of the transconscious.