by Swami Krishnananda
There is subsequently the lesser level of sensing, thinking, feeling and willing, where consciousness selects specific patterns which are worked up into the objects of perception and cognition, all which become the content of the ordinary human consciousness, or earth-consciousness. This is the level of the sense-life or the desire-life, busy preparing the food which it wishes to devour, an act which is engaged in at the still lower level of the actual craving of the consciousness to swallow the forms physically by sense-contact and an externalised attempt to unite itself with them. The effect of diversification from virat downwards does not end merely with the perception of individuals by individuals, for in this plurality itself is hidden the roots from which ramify the further tendencies to a more intensified hunger for physical food and thirst for sense-contact. Once the unity of the Virat-Consciousness has been lost, the separated parts writhe to complete themselves by a passionate outward-turned seeking. This is the craving of individuals for self-completion, the burning thirst which drives the soul from itself to range throughout the world, seeking its food, devouring all its meats. This thirst, this craving is not merely a psychological function, taking these forms of mentation for mere attributes of the individual’s urges, but it is the fibre and essence of the very constitution of the individual itself. It is this raging tempest of sense-life, this constitutional appetition of the individual that explains the terrible law of Nature by which life sustains itself by destroying life either in absorption through love or abolition through hatred. What a travesty of the truth which proclaims that the worst of tragic scenes are also a manifestation of the tendency to the unity and inseparability of all things! But here, in these frenzied shapes which life has put on under subjection to the downward pulls of outgoing passions, the individual sees not the unity within, which is after all the real cause behind every thought, feeling or action.
The virat is not an outwardly related mechanistic system; it is an organic oneness wherein all persons and things are ‘present in’ rather than ‘perceived by’ the consciousness. It is only here, in this state of consciousness, that one can have real control over everything, and not when objects are ‘perceived’, for, then, they would remain ‘outside’ and so beyond one’s sway or control. The first withdrawal is from the ‘klishta-vrittis’ and the second withdrawal is from the ‘aklishta-vrittis’. While in the former there is a subdual of passion for things, in the latter there is an avoidance of even their ‘perceptibility’ as something external. In this, latter condition, the universe of objects does not merely stand ‘related’ to consciousness, for that would be mere perception—but fuses into the essential essence of consciousness, not as a union of two characters but as a ‘re-cognition’ of the basic singleness of existence. As a matter of fact, passions, whether of the senses or of the ego, cannot cease as long as the ‘aklishta-vrittis’ persist. Successful and true withdrawal is, thus, not a closing of one’s eyes to existing attractions but an abolition of their very meaning in a blissful embrace of their ‘being’ by the consciousness in itself. This is the union of the ‘sat’ of things with the ‘chit’ of the experiencer, which is at once a flood of ‘ananda’, not to be dreamt of by the itchings of sensation of all the worlds put together.
But this is a real torture to the pleasure-loving mind, because this requisite withdrawal looks like a real tearing oneself away from all the concentrated joy-centres, called objects. It all comes as a death-knell to the delights of sense and so no one, usually, attempts this withdrawal. Lo! the glamour of form, the taste of the elixir of relativistic excitement and the rapture of the physical and psychical contacts in space;all this kicks up such dust and raises such clamorous din that the ‘oceanic within’ is not allowed to be seen or even heard of. The splashes of the poison-mixed nectar jetting forth through the pores of the senses from the bursting abundance of bliss within keep the whole creation enchanted and spell-bound, and everyone runs out to reach up to the distant drops that have splashed forth and are sprinkled on the external forms rather than realise the ‘whereabouts’ of this sweetness that is mixed up with the venom of ‘outwardness’ in all sense-pleasures. As the snakes in the story of ‘amritamanthana’ had only their tongues split by licking the sharp-edged grass on which the pot of celestial nectar was merely placed—such was its odour which drew the soul of all the senses in one single torrent of longing-the craving mind has only its senses jangled and mutilated, worn out and sapped of all vitality, in its search for the nectar of joy in the barbed forms of the objects of the world. A daily ‘amritamanthana’ is human struggle for the joy which one wishes to churn out of life. Alas! The demons of the senses obtain only the fuming poison of being wrenched from their pleasure-centres, their hearts writhing for a breath, for they feel like getting suffocated and killed by the agonising rush of upsurging grief as the loss of touch with the objects of their joy. Both the gods of the divine aspirations and the demons of the senses crave for nectar, the latter wanting it in the world of objects. But the nectar cannot be thus had where it is not—what the demons get is the poison of sorrow instead of the nectar of satisfaction. The nectar cannot be imprisoned in this or that object.
For, this nectar of the Absolute does not come up filled in a pot or a vessel that can be grabbed by someone exclusively; it wells up as a universal deluge, drowning everyone and everything, devastating the dirt-ridden huts of clay-made bodies and cleansing the earth of all its sins for ever and ever! The soul’s boundaries burst with the joy which it is unable to contain, it sobs, sheds tears and dances in a maddened ecstasy of ananda. Noone knows what it has seen! Lo! Who can tell what is seen here! Speech dumbed. The mind is hushed. The sun, moon and the stars fade away into this supernal Radiance. The galaxies melt and the fourteen worlds tumble into this blazing Splendour which at once transforms them all into waves of bliss which dash against one another in that joy of the meeting of soul with soul, and of all souls in the One Soul.
The majestic ‘virat’ sports within Itself and makes laws of conditioning autonomy in the ‘Whole’ that It is. It looks at Itself with Its myriad centres, each a whole by Itself, which all act at the same time as heads and eyes and ears and hands and feet and minds and mouths and tongues, within and without all things; creating supporting, involving, distending, contracting and absorbing everything; It beholds Its own Glory without forfeiting Its Self-mastery as an Integrality which is impossible of separateness into an object which It has to contact by way of an outward coming together in a space that would never allow real union of what is really an ‘other’. It exists as an eternally active Cosmic Art of dynamic Dance of heightened bliss-infinite, which goes by the name of Creation of a universe of panoramic expressions of gorgeous beauty and a variety of experience in the indivisible delight of Self-recognition and Self-union in everything;everything is everywhere at every time in every form:—a transporting scene of the anguish of souls to merge into the Inward Selfhood of Unlimited Being, in an experience of ‘I-am-I’, and nothing else! This is the Wonder of all wonders, the Wonder of ‘That which is’! It is only here that all the desires are really fulfilled, and never before.