This is a Yogic technique of quite a high order, to be able to shut out the voice and withdraw from the external, the consciousness of the external objects, into this luminous inner sphere of ‘Tejas‘. In one of his books, which I read and they’re very interesting, he was having trouble with the newly founded unions, not very long after the war, about ten or fifteen years, and the row was on when the year changed. Well, New Year holiday, things close down, and then on the fourth day everything opens up and it’s customary then for the President and some of the managers to go, make a formal inspection of the whole premises. And everybody’s standing there, it’s all been cleaned up and it’s all spruced up and so on. Well, they thought they’d, kind of try him out as they were having a row.
So they deliberately left, one of the staff lavatories, the floor, the open floor, one place was deliberately left stained and dirty. All the rest was perfectly clean. And, they wondered what he’d do. And the description said that he was making the rounds and they came to this place, you see, and then, they stood on the threshold, and then it was perfectly apparent there was this defiled area in the middle. And there was a silence, and then he said something to one of the assistant managers, who scurried off, came back with a bucket of hot water, a big cake of soap and a scrubbing brush. And the President then got down on his hands and knees and scrubbed the floor clean, going right onto the end, waving away, until it was perfectly clean. Then he mopped it up, got up, Well, this made him enormously popular in the company and it was one example of a sort of inspiration. Now another one was this. There was a depression in Japan and all of the electrical companies were in a bad way. People couldn’t afford to buy new stuff. Well, his factory then had 600 people, and they don’t like sacking people in Japan but some of the companies were having to do this. Matsushita called his staff together, explained the situation, said, ‘We’ve got this. Now you’ve made these electric stoves and electric kettles and cookers and so on, and we can’t sell them because of the depression, so they’re piling up. It’s no use making any more is it, if we can’t sell them?, can’t get any turnover.’ So everybody sort of bowed their head and then he said, ‘I’m an amateur, you know, in business, but amateurs can do all right.
‘ He said ‘I’ve never had any training or education, which some of you have had, but amateurs can do all right. Now, I’ll suggest this, ‘All of you give up what you’re doing, making these things, and turn yourself for a week into salesmen. You don’t know anything about selling but I didn’t know anything about electricity when I went into the business. And you can sell these things to the housewife at cost price, so long as we get them moving, and then we can make some more’. So 600 salesmen descended on Osaka, amateur salesmen, carrying these things in their hands and selling them at cost price, and his was one of the few companies that survived the depression. He was a man who practised meditation, of his own kind. He’s an idealist and he had these inspirations which are most unexpected.
And our teacher told us that all the time inspiration is raining on us. Now his concern was with his company and the welfare of the people in it, but he did receive inspiration for that. In the yoga doctrine these three are, in a certain sense, created by illusion and the example our teacher often gave was of a play, and if we remember that illustration we can understand more easily, some of the sort of verbal expressions where they discuss these things. For instance, they’ll say, ‘There is no world. No world has been created actually, so it can’t disappear can it?’ Then you think, ‘Well what’s all this, you see, what’s all this. If we go to a play of Hamlet, we see there a kingdom, with a history. The history goes back before the play begins, there was a murder before the play begins. Was it created? Well, not exactly, it doesn’t exactly exist and yet we see it and we feel with it, it goes on. Then at the end, does it disappear? If it was never there, how could it disappear? Yet in another sense it does disappear. And our teacher gave the example of the play because it does enable us to understand some of these logical difficulties in explaining a thing which is both real, because it’s perceived, and unreal, because it’s made up of names and forms.
The concluding verses of the Karikas give the methods of realisation, and they say, ‘The syllables of OM must be realised one after another’.
The first measure or syllable is aa and this corresponds to the state conscious of waking objects, and when it’s meditated on, and Shankara uses the word ‘Samadhi’, the experience becomes universal.
Then heaven is his head, and there are descriptions of this experience in some of the mystic literature of yoga. Then when he meditates on the second, the oo, aaoo, which join together into oohh, then he becomes Hiranyagarbha which is the cosmic intellect, and he receives inspiration from that because he is now unified with it, and the concentrations that the individual has had now become illumined by inspiration. Then, finally the last syllable is the mm which is transcending both consciousness exterior and interior, a jump.
This is the blank circle in the Zen pictures, a jump has to be made. We can think ‘Oh we don’t want to go beyond thought, that would be unconsciousness’. No. Inspiration, Sarvajña, all knowing and bliss, and Shankara says this is not the full bliss, the complete bliss, because there is still ‘the seedbed’, what we should call the causal body, which here in this text, in his commentary, he calls the seeds. And then when they have been burnt up by the yoga practice, then finally there’s the ‘Turiya’ which is unobstructed and can, as our teacher said, ‘play at will in any of these states or in none of them’. I’ll just read the opening verses. ‘The letter OM is all this. All that is past, present or future Is verily OM. Whatever is beyond the three periods of time is also verily OM. All this is surely Brahman. This self is Brahman. This self has the four quarters’.
Here is a battle unsought; completely unselfish, for a warrior that is an open door to heaven
In an expansion of some faculty, there is a sense of joy
© Trevor Leggett
Titles in this series are:
Part 1: Mandukya Upanishad
Part 2: You have to worship