The Universal Self
In Gaudapada’s Karikas, Books 2 and 3, there are several verses on this. The essence of the individual self is not lost but expands, finally into the Universal Self. Fear of losing individuality is therefore unjustified.
But when first heard, the maxim `Go above thinker, thinking and thought’ is a shock. An inner voice says: `These things are my life. If they go, what will be left? I can feel nothing else, there is nothing else.’
Here the holy tradition, which embodies the experience of many centuries, tells us that there is something else, as yet realized only intellectually and not in living feeling. An example of a potentiality, theoretically known but not felt is this: If in sleep you lie on your arm, it goes numb. As you get up, the arm seems dead and you can’t move it. Now though your thought tells you, `This is me’, your feeling says `it isn’t’. When the blood circulation returns, you no longer have to insist by thinking, you feel vividly that it is you. It is not a matter of knowing by words but of knowing by being.
Such an experience can give us a tiny hint about the yoga process: the spirit within seems merely theoretical. By changing the life to centre it on one Avatar-form – holy Rama or Jesus or Krishna – the spiritual circulation begins to return. The meditation image, at first merely a mental creation, becomes in samadhi a channel for the divine. What follows is given in beautiful descriptions, different yet clearly the same. Krishna says: `I take my stand in the hearts of my devotees, and destroy all ignorance and darkness with the luminous flame of wisdom, as my compassionate gift.’
Jesus says: `Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. But I am going to wake him.’ Then Christ comes to the soul, and awakens the dead.
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© Trevor Leggett