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Dialogue IX

Swami: O, you have come! Well. What is the news?

Bhaktha: What other news have we except yours? I heard that Your Kerala tour was most pleasant and wonderful. I am sad I was not destined to join.
Swami: Why are you sad for it? Listen to the account and be happy, that is all. Have the confidence and the hope that when next such an opportunity presents itself, you may be able to join. Do not be brooding over the past.

Bhaktha: What is the use of confidence and hope when one is not destined? Hope will only cause greater disappointment.
Swami: Has destiny a shape and a personality so that you can recognise it even before it shows itself? You should not hang on its favour, talking all the time of destiny, destiny... How can that destiny itself fructify without your will and wish, taking practical form, as action? Whatever be the destiny, it is essential to continue acting. Karma has to be done, even to attain one's destiny.

Bhaktha: If one is destined, everything will come of itself, isn't it?
Swami: That is a big mistake. If you sit quiet with the fruit in your hand, hoping that its juice will reach the mouth, how can you take it? It is sheer stupidity to complain that destiny denied you the juice, without squeezing and swallowing the fruit. Destiny gave the fruit into your hand; Karma alone can make you enjoy it. Karma is the duty; destiny the result. Results cannot emerge without action.

Bhaktha: So, Swami, we should not sit with folded hands, placing all burdens on destiny, isn't it?
Swami: Listen. You should never underestimate your powers; engage yourselves in action commensurate with that power. For the rest, talk of destiny to your heart's content. It is wrong to desist from the appropriate Karma, placing reliance on destiny. If you do do so, even destiny will slip out of your hands. Whoever he be, he must engage himself in Karma.

Bhaktha: Yes, yes, Swami. In the Gita also Arjuna is told, "Even I do Karma; the universe cannot go on if I desist from Karma. And so, if you withdraw from it, how can you realise the result?" I believe now that Karma is Purusha-lakshana, the hallmark of men.
Swami: And of women too. It is Prakriti-lakshana. All beings, men or women, trees or animals, worms, insects, all have to do Karma; everything in the universe is bound by this law. There is no escaping this obligation. Karma is the characteristic of Prakriti. Do not refer to it as Purusha-lakshana. Paramathma is the one and only Purusha. Prakriti is all Sakthi, feminine. You are all not Purushas, remember.

Bhaktha: But Swami, there is that distinction in nature; how is it correct to say that all are feminine?
Swami: You may imagine it to be so, guided by your natural reason, but the reality is not that. All this is just secular experience; temporal, temporary. They are not the basic truth. This is simply play-acting; mere impersonation. In some plays, men take the role of women. Sometimes women enact the role of men in plays. Are they, therefore, men? In the drama, Prakriti, all the actors are feminine, though there may be men roles too. The genuine Purusha is only one, that is Siva, the Atma. The Atma is immanent in every one, but for this reason alone, all cannot be deemed masculine. The Prakriti theatre is like a girls' school where all the roles of the play are taken up by girls. Sakthi, which is feminine, puts on all these parts. But do not take the drama as real, my dear fellow.

Bhaktha: Swami, even after hearing all this, the nature of the world remains an enigma to me. When one side is seen, it strikes me as real; when the other side is presented, it strikes me as unreal. Nothing is definite.
Swami: That is exactly the nature of Mithya. It means that the world is neither Sathya nor Asathya, it is real as well as unreal. You are born in Mithya, you are enmeshed in it, and so you cannot distinguish this from that, the Sathya from the Asathya.

Bhaktha: Then sitting aside this discussion of Mithya, tell me something, Swami, about that Sathya, that Purusha, whoever He is.
Swami: The Purusha has neither birth nor death, he undergoes no change. He is Chithswarupa, Jnanaswarupa. Dharma or codes of social conduct are not of His nature; so, he is not Dharmaswarupa. The Jnana which is his nature, does not change, is not corrected or supplemented from time to time; it is eternal wisdom. Light is its nature and so its does not admit of a dot of darkness. The sun does not have effulgence added to it from the world it illumines; it will emit splendour whether there are worlds or not.

The Purusha is self-luminous. He is always the object of knowledge; he cognises all Vrittis or mutations of the Chittha or consciousness; he is modification-less, Aparinaami, unevolved. The Chittha is Parinaami, it changes and evolves. The Purusha is sentience itself; he is not affected by apprehension or non-apprehension. No Vyapara or activity can affect Him. Even when unmanifested, effulgence is his nature.

The seed in the soil grows into a tree, the tree is the manifested form of the seed. This change from seed to tree and tree to seed shows that the Sakthi in the seed has Vyapara. This is Parinaama. But the Purusha is unchanging, unaffected. He is the see-er. He is completely apart from Prakriti. No deed can diminish His glory, nor exhaust His personality.

Bhaktha: Then which is Prakriti? Who is Purusha?
Swami: The principle behind the seen is Prakriti; the principle behind the see-er is Purusha. Amoolam, moolam, it is said; the root cause has no root! Causeless both Prakriti and Purusha have no beginning.

Bhaktha: Then this Samsara too should be beginningless, isn't it Swami? It resulted from the union of the two.
Swami: That union is the result of delusion; prompted by delusion, it produces delusion again. That is the law of the seed and the tree.

Bhaktha: Union means what, Swami? What is the condition?
Swami: The reflection of the Purusha in the Gunas, which evolve from Prakriti, that is union. Listen, just an example. The sun is not water, neither is water, sun. Still, by their juxtaposition, reflection is produced. The image has the characteristic neither of the sun nor of water nor can it be said that it is devoid of these. When the water is agitated, the image too gets agitated. The image also shines a little. Again, the magnet is distinct from the iron, but when the two are brought near, the magnet affects the iron and makes it similar to itself. This is the relationship called Samyoga, or union.

Bhaktha: Of these, which is the real Purusha and which is the active Purusha, tell me.
Swami: Did I not speak of the sun and the image? The image-Purusha is the doer, the enjoyer, the experiencer. The original, the Bimba is unaffected. He is the non-doer, the non-experiencer. The image-Purusha is known therefore, as the Vyavaharikapurusha or the Grihitha, the acceptor. The Bimba is the true, the eternal, the real, the Atmaswarupa. The Grihitha is the knower and by that act of knowing, he has undergone modification.

Bhaktha: Right, Swami. Wonderful. How many books one should have conned in order to know all this! And, even then, to grasp the meaning is so hard. I have now known the Purusha is not in the world, that all this is merely a drama, Paramathma being the one Purusha. To attain Him, everything in Prakriti is striving; this is probably what is spoken of as Siva-Sakthi. Fine, fine.
Swami: You are right. It is also referred to as Jiva-Brahma union. Every one must strive for this union. The Jiva cannot exist alone; Moksha-Sadhana has to be done, willy-nilly, by every living thing. Without it, there can be no peace.

Bhaktha: What does Moksha mean exactly, Swami? And what is Mukthi?
Swami: Both mean the same. That which is burdened with the Manas is the Jivi; when the Manas and the Nama and Rupa which it spins from out of its substance, are destroyed, then the Jivi attains Moksha. Then it becomes one with Brahmam; that is Moksha. When the Ganga or the Godavari reach the sea, their separate names, forms, tastes and limits all disappear and they acquire the name, form, taste and limit of the sea itself.

Until the Jivas attain the end of the mind, they bear the Nama, Rupa and the Ruchi of delusion, myness and I-ness; when the Jivi nears the sea, these characteristics begin to disappear slowly; when the Gunas as well as the mutations of the mind are destroyed, then one can say that union has been accomplished with Brahmam. How can the Ganga which has merged with the ocean be sweet? If it is said that one has merged in Brahmam, he should not have the three Gunas, nor any taste of Manas. Such full union is known as Sayujyamukthi.

Bhaktha: O, how grand, Swami. Bless every one to attain that union; then the world will really be happy.
Swami: What? For Me to bless so would be to go against the freedom you are endowed with. Take up the Sadhana prescribed for winning that blessing; gain the blessing by effort, that is the way. It is not something that is given away. You do not pray to the sun to make the rays fall on you, do you? Shining is His nature; He is doing it always. Remove the obstacles between you and the sun and the rays are on you. So too, keeping the obstacles of delusion, myness and I-ness between you and the rays of grace, what is the use of complaining that they do not fall on you? What can the rays do?

Bhaktha: That is as good as saying that we must remove all traces of I-ness and myness from our minds.
Swami: Why do you say, "As good as saying?" I am saying it emphatically, over and over again. If you seek the rays of grace, try and remove the obstacles. Remember, even if you do not strive for it now, you will feel the urge some time later; you cannot escape that urge. It has to happen some day, this shuffling off the coils of delusion. Why postpone the day of joy, the day of liberation? Strive for this from this very day, nay, this very minute. You may leave now, my boy. But come again. I must tell you one more thing. Do not go to extremes; be steady; be patient.