Day in, day out, he was writing. Late in the night he will go on writing. Sometimes the candle will burn out, and the wife will come up from behind and just put a candle there. Once in a while he will see the wife’s hand bringing food, taking away the thali and the plates, but he was so concentrated on his work he never inquired,. “Who is this woman?”
It is a beautiful story; whether it really happened or not is not the point. But I don’t think that wives could have been so nice even in those old days. One hopes…but hopes are never fulfilled.
Years passed and the night came when the commentary was completed. Vrihaspati closed the book, the wife came and removed the candle. Now he was free from the commentary and the absorption.
He asked the woman, “Who are you? And why you go on serving me like this?”
The woman said, “I am absolutely blessed that at least you ask my name. It is more than I could have asked for. You must have forgotten…many days have passed. And you were so absorbed in your work, how can you remember, how can one expect to remember? I am Bhamati; you married me a few years ago. Since then I have been serving you.”
And tears rolled down Vrihaspati’s cheeks, and he said, “Now it is too late because I have taken a vow that the day the commentary was completed I would renounce the world. It is too late; I cannot be a husband to you anymore. I have renounced the world. Closing the book is closing this chapter of my life. I am now a sannyasin. But I feel tremendously grateful to you. You are a rare woman. Just out of gratitude I will call my commentary Bhamati.”
Hence his commentary on the Brahma Sutras is called Bhamati. On the surface there is no relation between Bhamati and the Brahma Sutras, but that is what Vrihaspati called it. And he said to his wife, “That way your story will be remembered for centuries.” Yes, many centuries have passed, and I have remembered it, and now you will remember it. A rare woman, and a rare man, and a rare story….
This is concentration, absolute concentration. It is possible to be so concentrated on something that everything else is excluded.
It is said of Thomas Alva Edison, a great scientist, the greatest, because he discovered at least one thousand things alone…. Nobody else has done so much. Many things that you are using are Edison’s inventions: the electric bulb, the gramophone, the radio – many things.
He used to become so absorbed in his work that once he forgot his own name. It is very difficult to forget your own name even if you want to. It becomes so ingrained, it goes so deep in the memory that it becomes part of your unconscious. Even in your sleep you remember your name.