There are many things to be understood here. Knowing oneself as unattached and indifferent as the sky…. We see the sky every day. A bird flies in the sky, but leaves no traces in the sky. When one walks on the ground, footprints are left behind. If the ground is wet the footprints are deeper; if the ground is rocky the footprints are very light, but if you try they can be made deeper there too. But in the sky, when a bird flies, no footprints are left behind. The sky remains the same as it was before the bird flew by. There is no way of knowing from the sky that a bird has flown across it. Clouds gather in the sky, they come and go; the sky remains as it was.
There is no way of contaminating the sky – of making impressions on it, marks on it. We can draw lines on water, but no sooner are the lines made than they disappear; yet if lines are made on stone they last for thousands of years. Lines just cannot be drawn in the sky, so there is no question of their disappearing.
Please understand this difference. Lines cannot be drawn in the sky – I may move my finger across the sky, the finger passes but the line is not drawn and the question of the disappearance of the line simply does not arise. The day a person goes beyond the mind, when the consciousness transcends the mind, he experiences that, like the sky, so far no marks or lines have ever been drawn on the soul. It is eternally pure, eternally enlightened, no pollution has ever happened to it.
Unattached – asanga – like the sky…. The word asanga is very valuable. Asanga means one is in the world but unattached, unaffected by anything. The sky is present all around; it is encompassing trees, it is encompassing you. It is encompassing the pious man as well as the impious man; it is present where a good deed is happening, it is present where an evil deed is happening. You sin or you earn virtue, you live or you die – the sky is present, but unattached. It is present with you, but it is not your companion. It does not make any relationship with you. It is present but its presence is unattached. It is always present, but no friendship is created with you, no relationship is formed with you.
Asanga means unrelated. It is there, but unrelated. If you disappear the sky does not even notice that you disappeared or that you ever were. How many earths appear and disappear again, how many people are born and die, how many palaces are built and collapse into dust again – how much has happened under the sky, but the sky keeps no account. You inquire and the sky has kept no history; it is empty. The sky is as if nothing has ever happened.
You may look back at millions of years – it is said that our earth was born some four billion years ago. During these four billion years how much has happened on this small earth – how many wars, how many love affairs, how many friendships, how many enmities, how many conquests, how many defeats and how many people – but the sky has no account of any of it. It is as if nothing has ever happened; no traces of any happenings are left on the sky.
Indians have never been concerned with history. Westerners wonder why this is so, why Indians do not have a sense of history. We do not know exactly when Rama lived, we do not know the exact date of the birth of Krishna. Nothing is certain. We have mythical stories about them, but no historical records.