16 April 2012
Dear Nutan Swamiji,
Thank you for your reply.
I read the book I mentioned only because I wanted some guidance and did not know where to seek it, and also because a friend of mine, whom I have come to regard as a mentor, had suggested that I read it.
If you say that I did not receive any answers to my questions because of lack of humility in seeking them, I can only say that I was unaware of the lack, though, I do not quite understand what humility has to do with seeking answers. And I was certainly not distracted from seeking answers by anything. I could not distract myself even if I tried. You see, since I lived and breathed my questions, getting answers was the only hope I had of being free of them.
I will certainly read the books that you have mentioned. I'll let you know my thoughts after I've read one of them.
Nutan Swamiji's Response
19 April 2012
Dear and blessed T,
Harih OM Tat Sat. Jai Guru. I felt like writing again, something from whatever I have found important in this long life of intense enquiry, discipleship, and dissemination. It might be of some use to you. Let me know.
1. A God-believing person is a believer in the “concept of God”. An atheist is also a believer, but in the “concept of No-god”. Both of them are believers. They believe in some concept of their mind. This apriori belief stifles their enquiry. A seeker of ultimate Truth should start with no belief.
2. Whether you believe or do not believe – in God or even in the World – the fact remains that you have to believe in yourself. If you say “no”, then your statement or even enquiry loses its ground. So, you cannot question the “believer” – the believer of God or No-god. In fact, you cannot call it a belief; it is a conviction. It is an experience that cannot be denied.
3. That is why the scriptures define “aatmaa” as the conviction/experience of “I”-ness or “am”-ness in us: “Aham pratyaya-gocharah”.
4. Knowledge of Truth is to realize that this “I” is not really limited by the body. It is undivided, one, and universal. In fact, the whole universe, of which the body is also a part, is “appearing” in this “aatmaa”. This “I” or “aatmaa” or Consciousness, is the supreme Reality.
5. As far as the life and its fulfillment are concerned, it does not matter whether you believe in God or No-god, or anything whatsoever. What really matters is what you do with your belief. Knowledge of the real identity must make one free from all the bondages the mind and intelligence are suffering from.
6. Have you ever thought why man started thinking of God? Or, in our scientific language, why man felt like introducing the concept of something or somebody like God?
7. We find everything in the world is governed by causality – cause and effect relationship. The book in front doesn’t move unless I push it. The letter doesn’t get written until I think and write it. … That is why, seeing the apple fall to the ground (and not move towards any other direction), Newton was looking for a “cause” in the earth.
8. People in ancient past, seeing the natural phenomena (like the existence and movement of the heavenly bodies, sudden occurences like lightning, flood, earthquake) for which they could not locate any apparent cause, thought of some unknown Powers behind. That is why those days we had the lightning-god, the rain-god, the wind-god, the creator-god, the destroyer-god, etc.
9. Initially, it might have been the naïve concepts of one or more super human beings controlling the world from some unseen quarters. With the evolution of abstract thinking, these concepts were replaced by refined concept of God as formless “Cosmic Intelligence”.
10. Whatever it is, the concept of God is an “inference” from the causality we observe in the world. I would rather call it an “extrapolation” that has to undergo drastic revaluation on deeper thinking and analysis.
Thousands of years ago, the Rishis of our land (ascetic scientific thinkers who became Knowers) enquired into the Ultimate Reality and found that:
1. Although everything we observe in the material world is related by causality, the Ultimate Truth, if at all there is, has to be beyond causality. Why?
2. Suppose we find B to be the cause of A, the question will be “How did B come to be”. We find by further analysis that C is the cause of B. But, then what can be the cause of C? Proceeding like this, whatever cause, say Z, we arrive at the end, the question will still remain: “What caused Z?” In simple words, our question will be: “Who created the Creator/God?”
3. This inconclusiveness of the very nature of causal search is called “infinite regression” or “anavasthaa doshah”. To circumvent this logical stalemate, some argued that the “first cause” in the chain was a “cause-less cause”. That is how the Creator (Brahmaa) was called “svayambhooh” or “self-born”.
4. But, this way of truncating the very causality that makes us look for an ultimate cause, is not logical. Rather, we must realize the fact that “causality” is limited by duality and time, and the ultimate Reality, by definition, must transcend causality. The necessity to look for an ultimate “cause” comes out of the extrapolation of causality beyond its kingdom.
5. So, the extrapolation of the law of causality in determining the ultimate Reality is not valid. The Reality, by its very definition, must transcend causality and duality.
6. In science, right in the beginning, we have, by a fundamental postulate, kept away the “Subject” from our enquiry. The Subject who is knowing the world. Our Rishis discovered that the key to Reality lies in the Subject. They thought that the whole world (which includes my body-mind-intelligence personality) is known by “I”, the Subject. So, let us first find out what that “Subject” in reality is.
7. And they discovered the “Subject” – the Self, the Consciousness, who is revealing the external world as well as the internal world of mind-emotion-intelligence-ego. They discovered that the “I” in us is really not limited by our body-mind complex; it is the unchanging Substratum of the entire changeful Universe.
8. This was the greatest discovery of mankind – the discovery of our immortal identity. From this have flown the eternal Jnaana-Ganga (the Ganges of eternal knowledge). This discovery made the Rishis sing the song of Immortality era after era – as enshrined in the Upanishads, Bhagavadgeeta, and other unparalleled literature of Bharat.
9. This discovery fulfilled man emotionally as well as intelligentially. It made him free and natural. No more running after. No more running away. No more struggle to gain happiness. No more fear of coursing through unhappiness.
10. The possibility is open before every body, even today. The question is only whether one wants it.
Dear T, I stopped before starting the dissertation on “Self”, because it is becoming too long, and perhaps intricate too. Further exposition, if needed, can be taken up later.
With love and blessings,