by Swami Krishnananda
SWAMIJI: From where do you come – from Spain?
Visitor: This individual, this body of mine – what you call ‘I’.
SWAMIJI: Are you Mr. Francis?
Visitor: Mr. Francis.
SWAMIJI: From where have you come?
Francis: As far as I know, there was a combination between my father and mother – some biological thing.
SWAMIJI: Who compiled the biological elements into the form of this Francis?
Francis: I don’t know – the biological laws.
SWAMIJI: Who created these laws? Why are the laws so bad that they are creating Francis? They could have created some angel. [laughter] Why are the laws operating so badly? You would have certainly liked to be an angel and a godman instead of a poor little suffering fellow. Why are the laws so bad? Why they are operating in that way? Tell me. Who is initiating it from behind? Without a cause, an effect cannot follow. So you could not have come unless a cause operated. Who is this cause? You cannot say laws, because who made these laws?
Francis: I think that this question may be… It is not possible to ask this question…
SWAMIJI: I want to know who created these laws. Because you want to know the cause of a thing, we are going to probe into the cause. How did the effect follow from the cause, unless the cause has some intention behind it?
Francis: We can speak of causality inside the world.
SWAMIJI: Inside the world? There is no inside the world. Again you are bringing the inside/outside business. In the world there is no inside/outside; it is a total organism. In a total organism, there is no inside/outside. The idea of inside/outside arises because you have separated yourself from the Universal. The moment you separate yourself from the Universal, the Universal looks like an outside. But if you are actually an organic part of the Universal, where is the question of inside/outside? It is a total action taking place – a total action. Actually, rebirth or birth, whatever you call it, is only your desire. You want to be reborn; that is all. If you don’t want to be reborn, you will not be reborn. If you say, “I don’t want to be reborn. Why should I be reborn? I have no business to be reborn. I have no desire for rebirth” – you would entertain no desire at all for anything whatsoever; then, why should you be reborn? The rebirth stops in one second. But you want to be reborn. Your consciousness concentrates itself in a particular fashion according to the laws, as you are saying, and projects itself into that location. Consciousness condensing itself, solidifying itself and becoming a form for the purpose of fulfilling the existing desires is called rebirth.
Francis: But I still need proof…
SWAMIJI: How can I prove that you have got desires? What is the proof?
Francis: I have desires, yes.
SWAMIJI: What is that proof that you have got desires? You yourself are the proof. And you have to fulfill the desire. And you cannot fulfill the desires in this birth, because they are so many in number.
Francis: But then maybe I will never…
SWAMIJI: You will never fulfill them? You will certainly fulfill them. The law of the cosmos is such that every desire has to be fulfilled.
Francis: But if we have faith in… or we have faith in a possibility...
SWAMIJI: It has nothing to do with faith. It is a scientific law. It is a scientific law of action and reaction. Even if you have no faith that if you go to the top of a tree you will fall down, you will certainly fall even if you have no faith. Why you want faith? There is no question of faith here; it is an action between you and the Universal. These problems will not arise if you don’t persist in thinking that you are an individual outside the Universal. You have created the problem unnecessarily by thinking that you are outside, and then going on arguing against the Universal.
Francis: I think this state of consciousness of non-duality …
SWAMIJI: If there is not duality, where is rebirth? The question doesn’t arise.
Francis: I think this question of rebirth is of vyavaharika…
SWAMIJI: It is vyavaharika only. It is perfectly right. The rebirth is vyavaharika and your existence as Mr Francis is also a vyavaharika existence. Absolutely, you are not existing. Absolutely, you are existing as nothing. So, you have not been born. And therefore, you will need not to be reborn. This is an illusion, as this gentleman was talking about. But it is an illusion only when you identify yourself with the Absolute. Otherwise, if you are yourself convinced that you are outside it, all the laws that operate in the universe will act against you because you have contravened the law of the universal whole. That is all. It is the law of evolution. Something evolved from matter to plant, plant to animal, animal to human being. How can one thing become another thing unless the previous stage has ceased and the second stage has started? And the starting of the second stage is the rebirth of the first stage. What you call evolution as the process in biological law is same as rebirth. How can the higher form come unless the lower form has gone? The lower form dies. That is, there is a mutation taking place. And the mutation of the lower transforms itself into the new form which is the higher form. That new form is what you call the rebirth. What you call rebirth is nothing but the law of evolution taking place, and evolution will not take place if your consciousness is identical with the Absolute. The whole evolution will cease in one second.
Francis: So then, there is some progress.
SWAMIJI: It is the progress of the Absolute.
Francis: Is there any purpose?
SWAMIJI: It is the cosmic purpose.
Francis: There will be some moment when this purpose is fulfilled.
SWAMIJI: It will be fulfilled, and you will never see the universe afterwards.
Francis: Not the universe, maybe…
SWAMIJI: You will never see the universe.
Francis: That happens in a new life?
SWAMIJI: The individual will not be there at that time. Then why are you again saying individual? Again you are bringing the individual.
Visitor: During the night of Brahman, it is timeless. Therefore, it must exist in one moment, and there can be no temporal gap between one day of Brahman and the next one.
SWAMIJI: There is no gap.
Francis: There is no gap between one day and the next one?
SWAMIJI: Where is the gap between day and night?
Francis: I mean between one day and the next day.
SWAMIJI: Where is the gap? We are also passing through one day and the next day. Where is the gap? There is a continuity. No gap.
Francis: Is not deep sleep a temporal state also? So there is no separation between my previous…
SWAMIJI: They are continuous. If they are separated one from the other, then you cannot know that you are one continuous person. The sleeping person, the dreaming person and the waking person are one person; and if each state is different from the other, there would be discontinuity of self-identity. Inasmuch as self-identity is maintained in all the three states, it shows that all the three states are continuous and are not cut off one from the other. Otherwise, the sleeping man would be different, the dreaming man will be another man, and the waking man a third person. It does not happen. It is one continuity.
Francis: The right eye is more active than the left one during the day.
SWAMIJI: That’s what they say. As they say, the right hand is more active than the left hand. This is a kind of usual traditional belief. Perhaps it has some connection with the two nadis operating, the solar and the lunar, the solar being more powerful than the lunar, and maybe the right side is influenced by the solar side, which is more powerful than the lunar side, the left one.
Francis: About the idea of rebirth. I will give two arguments – not against the idea but against its importance for spiritual life. The idea of rebirth is not essential in spiritual life because there have been many saints who did not believe in it.
SWAMIJI: Rebirth? If they don’t believe, you need not bother about it. Why are you worried about them?
Francis: There are saints who attained this spiritual state, who have different beliefs.So it is not essential.
SWAMIJI: A person who has reached the highest state will know everything that is taking place in the cosmos. And rebirth is one of the things that is taking place. Otherwise, he will not be omniscient. Omniscience includes everything, and you cannot say you don’t know something. You must know everything. Otherwise, what is omniscience?
Francis: I think jivanmuktas are omniscient.
SWAMIJI: Jivanmukta also is a very lesser condition. There is something higher than that – Cosmic-consciousness. It is Universal-consciousness, even above jivanmukta. And they must know everything – every atom – so there is nothing that they cannot understand. They should not say they don’t know something. That is not possible. They will know everything. They can count how many hairs are there on the heads of all the people in the world, such consciousness is there. They can know how many leaves are there in all the forests in the world, by direct perception.
Francis: If rebirth is true…
SWAMIJI: What is rebirth? It is a kind of transformation taking place in the cosmos. Why are you using that word ‘rebirth’? It is a transmutation taking place in everything in the cosmos. And everybody has to undergo that transmutation. And nobody could have become jivanmukta unless he has undergone this transformation. Otherwise, he would be a pig or a buffalo always. How would the buffalo become a jivanmukta without undergoing transformation? That is called rebirth, which I mentioned to you earlier. The mutation of species for the purpose of a higher state of consciousness is called rebirth. Otherwise, how would you reach God? You would be the same person forever, unless the mutation takes place. It has to take place.