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The Sun of Self on the Wall of Mind

Lecture delivered on January 12, 1903, in the 
Golden Gate Hall, San Francisco
, U.S.A.

The Immutable in the form of ladies and gentlemen,

The subject of discourse tonight is the Immutable in the changeable.

Before beginning, a few words will be spoken in answer to a question repeatedly put to Rama. What is the significance of the colour you wear? Why do Buddhists wear yellow clothes and Vedantin Sadhus or Swamins wear flame-coloured clothes?

You know every religion has got three aspects. Every religion has got its philosophy, its mythology and its ritual. No religion without philosophy can stand. In order that it may appeal to the learned, the wise, the reasoning class of people, it ought to have a philosophy, and in order that it may recommend itself to the people of sentimental emotions, of emotional nature, it ought to have a mythology, and in order that it may appeal to the common folk, it ought to have a ritual.

The colour of the clothes has something to do with the ritual of the Vedantic religion. Why do the Christians wear the cross? That is the ritual. Why do the Christians put the cross at the top of their churches? That is the ritual. The Roman Catholics have an elaborate ritual; the Protestants have very little of it, but still they have a ritual. They also cannot do without it. So these colours are the ritual of the Vedantic religion. The red colour, the flame colour has the same meaning to the Hindu as the cross to the Christian. What does the cross imply? It is a remembrance of the death of Christ, the love of Christ. Christ suffered his body to be crucified for the sake of the people. That is the meaning of the cross which the Christians wear. If you ask a Hindu to explain to you the meaning of the cross, he will explain it to you differently. He will say the teaching of Christ is, ‘take up the cross, take up your cross and follow me’. He does not say, ‘take up my cross.’ In the Bible, in the New Testament, St. Paul or Christ had not to ask you to take up the cross of Christ, but they say ‘take up your cross’, that is the exact wording; ‘take up your cross’, and the meaning of that is, crucify your flesh, crucify your carnality, your little self, crucify your own ego. That is the meaning of it. So the cross ought to be a symbol of crucifying our selfish interests, our little ego, our little egotistical selfish ego. That is the meaning of the cross, wearing the cross. Whether you take it in this sense or some other sense, it depends on your will, but Vedanta always recommends you to take the cross in that sense, and in this sense does a Buddhist wear yellow clothes.

Yellow is, in India at least, the colour of the dead. The dead carcass has got a yellow colour. The yellow robe or the yellow costume implies that the man who puts on these yellow clothes has crucified his body, has altogether discarded his flesh, risen above carnality, is beyond all selfish motives; just as when the Roman Catholics have to ordain a monk, they put him in a coffin and read over his head the chapter from Job, they read over him the songs and psalms and sermons which are usually read over the dead, and that man being placed in a coffin, is made to believe and realize that he is dead, dead to all temptations, to all passions, dead to all worldly desires. The Buddhists have to wear yellow clothes which mean that the man has no more to do anything with worldly desires, with selfish aims and objects, is dead to the world, as it were, and the flame colour of the Vedantins means the colour of fire. This colour (indicating the dress of the speaker-Rama) cannot represent exactly the colour of fire, the colour of these clothes; but this colour was about the nearest colour to the colour of fire that could be had in America. In India we have a colour which is exactly the colour of fire. When an Indian monk is sitting somewhere, from some distance you cannot recognise whether it is a man or a heap of fire. This colour stands for the colour of fire, and this means that the man has cremated his body. You know in India we do not bury the dead, we cremate them, we burn them. So this red colour implies that the man who has worn these clothes has sacrificed his body, has placed his body on the altar of Truth, all the worldly desires burnt, burnt, burnt. All the worldly desires, all the worldly ambitions, all the worldly hungering and hankering are consigned to the flames.

The colour of the cross is also red. The blood of Christ is also red. Christians also want something red; this is also red, and it has the double meaning of being blood as well as fire. But it has another significance too. Yellow also could express the idea of the death of the body, of the death of the carnality, but Vedantins do not wear yellow robes, they wear red robes of the colour of fire. That means that it is death from one standpoint and life from another. You know, fire has life, fire sustains life, fire has energy, fire has power. The red robes imply that all the lower desires, all the selfish propensities, all the little ambitions have been consigned to fire, have been put to death; but on the other hand, there has sprung out of them life, fire, energy, power. That red robe has a double meaning. It has the meaning of the death of carnality and also the meaning of the life of the spirit. Be not afraid. Be not afraid. Vedanta preaches the baptism of fire instead of the baptism of water. It preaches the baptism of flame, the baptism of power, energy; oh, be not afraid that this is fire and it will consume us. You read in the Bible too: "He who would save his life must lose it." Lose this lower life and you will save the real life, that is the principle. Oh, people in this world, what a great havoc do they make of their lives! Their worldly life they make a life of imprisonment, a life of death, a life of hell. You will excuse Rama, that is the truth. On their breasts, on their bosoms lies the mighty Himalayas of grief and anxiety, a mighty mountain of grief and anxiety. We should not say Himalayas. The Himalayas is all power and grandeur. We will say a mighty mountain of grief and anxiety. They keep themselves like a pendulum, always oscillating between a tear and a smile, always baffled by the frowns and favours of somebody, or by the threats and promises of somebody else. By their imagination they always create around themselves a prison, a dungeon, a hell.

Vedanta requires you to get rid of this lower nature, this ignorance. Burn this ignorance, burn this lower egoism, burn this lower selfish nature which makes a hell of your body and let in the fire of knowledge. Knowledge is always represented as fire by the Hindus. Let in the knowledge of fire, and let all this chaff and all this dirt and dust be consumed. Come out as all ablaze, as all fire, heavenly fire, that is the meaning of the colour.

Somebody asked Rama. "Why do you attract attention?" Well, Rama told him: "Brother, brother, please see yourself if there be any harm in these clothes." He said, he could not find any harm in them, but that others did. But you are not responsible for the ignorance of others. Be mindful of your own intellect and brain. Find out any fault with these clothes if you have to find, and if others find fault, you are not responsible for that.

The greatest sadhu, the greatest Indian monk, the greatest swami in this world is the Sun, the rising Sun. The rising Sun comes to you everyday dressed in the apparel, in the costume of a Vedantic monk. In tonight’s discourse, this Sun will represent to you the Immutable with reference to the changeable bodies. We shall take the Sun, the Swami, the sadhu, the red-apparelled Sun, symbol of the true Atman, the real Self, which is unchangeable, which is immutable, the same today, yesterday and for ever. With reference to the Sun we shall point out the changeable, the variable things, which stand for the changeable bodies in man. Man has got the changeable things in him, and there is in man the immutable, the unchangeable, the eternal real Atman. The real Atman is like the Sun, and the changeable elements are the three bodies, the gross body, the subtle body and the seed body. These are names that Rama gives to these bodies. In Sanskrit they are sthula, sukshma and karana sharir; and Rama translates them as the gross body, the subtle body, the seed body. These three bodies—the seed body, the subtle body and the gross body—are the changeable elements. These are not the self but the non-self. These are variable, fickle, these are not your Self. Your Self is the immutable, the unchangeable. This is to be shown.

In order to give you a clear idea of the three bodies and the true Atman, we shall resort to an illustration. You will kindly attend very carefully. Tonight there will be talked to you no logic, no great argumentation. Tonight the proposition of man, as proved by the Hindus, will be made clear to you. It will be clearly enunciated so that you may at once comprehend it, and afterwards, if time be, we shall enter into philosophy and reason out every side of the question. You know before bringing out logic to bear upon a theme, we ought to understand what the proposition is. So tonight the meaning of the proposition will be made clear, and you will see that even in this enunciation or this clearing away of the clouds and the understanding of the proposition, there will be, as it were, a proof by themselves. As Pope puts it—

Virtue is a fairy of such beauteous mien,
As to be loved needs only to be seen.

So the truth has such a glorious beauty that in order that it may enter deep into your hearts, it is necessary only to see it clearly. The Sun requires no other proof of its existence. To see the Sun is to prove the Sun. Everything, that be, is seen in some outside light, but light itself does not require some other light in order that it may be visible. So tonight the proposition is simply to be laid before you, without any arguments and without any logic, so-called. Now we come to the illustration.

You will kindly take yourself with Rama to the Himalayan glaciers. There we see all-dazzling scenes, diamond-mountains, all white, an ocean of white glaciers so dazzling, so sparkling, so beautiful, splendid, inspiring. There we find no vegetation, no animal life, no man, no woman. There is upon these glaciers to be seen one source of life, the Sun, the glorious Orb, that shines upon these fairy scenes. Oh, what a splendid sight! Sometimes the light of the Sun sifted through the clouds falls upon the land and makes the whole landscape blaze up in the colour of fire, makes the whole scene assume the swami’s garb, converts the whole scene into a sadhu, an Indian monk. After a while the whole scene becomes yellow, etc., but there is one thing and one thing only on the scene, nothing else. That is the Sun.

Now you observe that in these glaciers there are the greatest rivers of Hindustan, concealed, latent. All the big rivers of India emanate and flow out from these glaciers. Here in these glaciers is the source or the seed body of the river. You will kindly come down with Rama to the second stage of the river life.

Here we come to another phase, we come now to another kind of sights and landscapes. We are still in the mountains, but not at the snow-capped summits, lower down we are. Here for miles and miles, for dozens and scores of miles we have magnificent roses covering every spot and the whole air fragrant, redolent with the sweet, delicious scent of the roses. Here we have beautiful nightingales and other birds singing, indicting valentines all the year round. Here we have magnificent warblers filling the air with their sweet notes, and also we find amongst the magnificent, beautiful, charming trees, the most attractive Ganga, or some other stream, treading its winding course in a zig-zag way, playing, frisking about in the mountains. Oh, beautiful brooks, beautiful rivulets we find here. Here in these beautiful brooklets are the shadows of the trees on the banks reflected, and these streamlets, brooklets are going about in a most charming, in a most playful way, now taking this trend and now that trend, going around and around, turning this way and that way, and singing all along, flow these rivers, brooklets, rivulets.

What is this? This is the second stage of the river’s life. Here the river is in its subtle body. This rivulet or brooklet form of the river is the subtle body of the river, so to say. This subtle body emanated from the seed body of the river, it came from the seed body of the river. You know upon the seed body of the river was the Sun shining, and through the action of the Sun’s heat and light upon the seed body of the river came out the subtle body of the river. This is the subtle body. It is very fickle, vague, meandering, zig-zag. It is now jumping down and taking long leaps in hot haste and in great fury, then it subsides into a lake or a calm. It is very vague, fickle, changing.

Let us descend a little to the plains. Now in the plains we have different scenes. The same water, the same river we saw present in the seed form upon the snow-capped glaciers and which adopted a most fantastic and most poetic aspect in its subtle form lower down on the mountains, the same waters, the same river now becomes a muddy stream upon the plains. In the plains, the same river, the same Ganga becomes a mighty stream. It has undergone a great change. It has put on new clothing, new colour; it does not keep its original transparency and its original limpidness; it becomes dirty, turbid and it becomes changed in colour. Muddy it becomes and at the same time it changes its speed. It becomes now slow, very slow, and on the other hand it becomes more useful now. Upon the surface of this mighty river float boats, float ships, traffic is carried on. People come and bathe, and the water of the great river now is utilized in canals and aqueducts for irrigating the lands and for fertilizing the country around.

This third stage of the river’s life is the gross body of the river. And what about the life of the river? What about the real motive power of the river? The real motive power of the river is the Sun, the glorious Orb. Now let us apply this illustration to man.

Where are your three bodies and how are they related to one another and to the real Self, your true Self, or the Atman?

What are you in reality in your deep sleep state where you are unconscious of everything else, where you know nothing about the world, where father is no father, mother is no mother, house is no house, and the world is no world, where there is ignorance, ignorance and nothing but ignorance, where there is a state of chaos, a state of death, a state of annihilation, so to say, a state of nothingness?

There, Vedanta says in that state which you have never examined, which most of you have never examined, in that state we have the seed body of man, the seed body of man lying prostrate and flat beneath the true Self or Atman of man. There we have the true Self like the Sun shining over the glaciers, man’s life being compared to the river’s life.

You will kindly attend most carefully. Here is something very subtle going to be stated. It was said the other day, but the occasion requires that it should be repeated.

In your deep sleep state this world is not present; nor it is present in the dreamland; there is only dreamlessness. When you wake up, you say that in that deep sleep state is present nothing, nothing, nothing. Vedanta says, indeed, in that deep sleep state is present nothing. But you know as Hegel has clearly shown (the Hindus have anticipated Hegel, that German philosopher) and have proved that this nothing is something; that this nothing is also the seed body; this nothing—which you describe in your wakeful state as nothing, this is the seed body, this is the glacier of your life. As the Bible puts it that out of nothing was something created by God, so the Hindus have also shown that out of this seed body, which you describe as nothing after waking up, out of this seed body which you describe as nothing, out of this seed body or nothing, there springs forth or comes out the whole world. If philosophers come out and say that out of nothing something can never come out, Vedanta says that this which we have called nothing is in reality not nothing, it is called nothing by you only when you wake up. You know the same word we can interpret, in anyway we like. This is not in reality nothing. It is the seed body. This is like the glaciers. Now you will say, well, we have understood that out of that deep sleep which we describe as nothing something comes out, and that apparent nothing is the seed body; but realize the Sun within, realize God within, realize Atman which creates out of this glacier of the seed body this whole universe. Realize that Sun or God or Atman. You will ask what this means. Listen please.

When you get up, you say, "I slept so profoundly that I saw nothing in the dreams." There we say, please write this statement on paper. Then Vedanta comes up and says that this statement is just like a statement made by a man who said that at the dead of night, at such and such a place, there was not a single being present. The judge told him to put that statement on paper, and he did that. The judge asked him if this statement was true. He said, ‘yes’. ‘Is this statement made on hearsay, or is it founded on your own evidence? Are you an eyewitness?’ He said, ‘yes, I am’. ‘All right. Then, if you were an eyewitness and if you wish us to understand that your statement is correct, that there was nobody present, then in order that your statement may be right, you at least must have been present on the scene. But if you were present on the scene, this statement is not literally true. Literally, the statement is not true, because you being a human being you were present; at least one human being was present on the scene. Thus the statement that nobody was present, that there was not a single human being present on the scene, is false, that is a contradictory statement. In order that it may be true as you wish us to understand it to be true, it must be wrong. It must be wrong because at least one human being must have been present on the scene.’

Similarly when we make this statement after waking up, "Oh sir, I slept profoundly and I enjoyed such deep slumbers that nothing was present on the scene;" Rama says, ‘sir, you were present. If you had been asleep, if your true Self, the real Atman, and the real Sun, the real Orb, the real God, had been asleep, then who would have borne witness to the nothingness of the deep sleep or chaos of the dream? As you bore witness to the nothingness of the deep sleep or chaos of the dream, you must have been present there.’ Thus in your deep sleep state, Vedanta says that there are two things at least to be seen, the nothingness which is like the glaciers or like the seed body and the Witness Light, the Sun, the glorious Atman, the resplendent Self or God, which is witnessing all that and shining even upon the desolation of the deep sleep state. There that true Self is the Sun immutable and that nothingness of the deep sleep state is the seed body which is changeable, mutable, alterable and fickle. Why is it changeable and fickle? Because when you come down to the dreamland, when you fall down into the dreaming state, that nothingness is gone, that nothingness is no more. If that chaos or nothing of the deep sleep state had been your real Self, it would have lasted for ever, but it changes. When you descend into the dreamland, the very capability of changing implies that it is not real. That seed body is not real. You will be astonished, you will say how this phenomenal world of ours did emanate from that nothing. It is a fact. You have been thinking matters differently in Europe and America; you have been taking matters in a topsy-turvy state. Believe Rama, this is a truth which must permeate every individual, which must enter the heart of each and all in this universe, sooner or later.

Here people are accustomed to take things from the bottom to the top. They want to make rivers flow uphill, the unnatural course. And so you will be astonished at this statement just now made by Rama that out of that nothingness of your deep sleep state comes out your dreamland experience. You will be astonished. But just examine, just reflect. Is not that the plan of nature? Wherefrom did this earth of yours come? This earth of yours was once in the nebular state. All this was once in a state which had no form, which was akin to your deep sleep state. It was in the nebular state, it was in a chaotic state. Out of that chaotic state have sprung up, by slow degrees, your vegetable kingdom, animal kingdom, and man. Vedanta tells you that what you find in the whole of nature, what you find true from the physical standpoint, the same is true from the metaphysical standpoint. If this whole world springs from chaos or nothing, so to say, your dreamland and wakeful state also sprang from that deep sleep state or chaotic state, the state of nothingness. Your wakeful and dreaming states sprang from that. Just so, it is found in the life of every man. When a baby, he is in a state most resembling the state of nothingness, as it were. Out of that state, by slow degrees, he comes into the other state, which you call higher, though higher and lower are relative terms.

What is the rule in the whole universe is the rule with the ordinary life of every man. Out of the deep sleep state springs this dreaming state. People want to explain the dreaming state as dependent on the wakeful state. You will be astonished when Vedanta puts matters to you in their true light and shows that all the European philosophers, all your Hegels and Kants cannot explain thoroughly the phenomena of dreams. We have no time tonight to dwell upon the subject, but this will be proved to you either in a lecture or in a bookform.

We come to the dream state. In the dreamland we come, as it were, from the glaciers to the lower mountains. You are still on the mountains, asleep. Here the subtle body, the dreaming self, finds itself in a fantastic land, in a poetic region; the dreaming self of yours is now a bird, is now a king. Immediately it becomes a beggar. It is now a man who has lost his way on the Himalayan mountains and then it becomes the citizen of a big city like London. It is now in this city and then in that city. How changeable! Just as the streams in the mountains are changeable, meandering, fickle, taking different turns every now and then, such is the state of your dreaming self. In your dreaming state, you are quick about everything, just as the streams are so quick when in the mountains, the rivulets, the brooklets are so quick and so rapid, so gushing, and so playful. So is your dreaming self so playful and rapid. You live in a land of imagination. There the dead becomes alive and those people who are living, you find sometimes dead—strange land, the land of fantasy and the land of poetry! Is it not quite like the stream in its subtle body on the mountains where it is in the land of poetry and fantasy? After the dreaming experience, passing through the mountains, as it were, in your second stage, you come down to the plains, you wake up. In your wakeful state you make up the gross body, just as the river acquires a gross body when descending upon the plains. You see the deep sleep state is called the seed body, and the body of your dreamland is called the subtle body, and the body of your wakeful state is called the gross body. You know when the rivers come down from the mountains and enter upon the plains, their subtle body remains just the same, but it puts upon itself a red or muddy mantle. You know the water comes from the mountains. That fresh, pure water remains hidden in mud and in the clay and soil of the plains. There the subtle body of the river, as it was seen in the mountains, has not changed, but it is simply wearing a new clothing, it has put on a new costume, and thus when the subtle body of the river has descended to the plains and put on a new muddy costume, we say, the river is in its gross body. It was not so when the subtle body came from the seed body; then the seed body had to melt down and produce the subtle body, and now in the wakeful state, subtle body had not to melt or change, it had simply to put on new garments, new costumes. That is what actually happens.

In your wakeful state, the subtle body, that is to say, the mind, the intellect, which was working in the dreamland does not disappear, that remains the same, but these material elements, material head and material all that, these are put on, as it were, like costumes; and when you have to go to sleep, this material gross body is simply taken down, as it were, hung upon that post, and the subtle body is divested of it.

Just as when going to bed, people take off their clothes, so you take it off and only the subtle body works in your dreams. Now what is the subtle body? It will be shown that that is also material. The relation of the subtle to the gross and the gross to the subtle will be pointed out. You know the rivers in the winter season (the winter season is like the night), usually put off their gross body, strip themselves of their gross body and keep only the subtle body with them, that is, in the winter season rivers are reduced in size, and the mud and clay and the red muddy vesture that they have, they put off. They go to sleep, as it were. Just as the rivers put off their gross body and keep the subtle body only, similarly everyday when you go to bed at night (your winter) you put off the gross body and keep only the subtle body.

But the Sun which was shining upon the seed body, the same Sun shines equally upon the subtle body of the river; and the same Sun which shines upon the seed body and subtle body of the river, shines equally upon the gross body of the river.

The true Atman or real Self, which was seen shining upon the deep sleep state’s body shines also upon your dreamland and upon your wakeful state—upon the gross body, as it were, but where lies the difference? The difference lies in the reflection of the Sun. When the Sun was shining upon the seed body of the river, upon the glaciers, the image of the Sun was not seen there. The action of the Sun was intense upon the glaciers, but the reflection or image of the Sun was not seen; but when the Sun began to shine upon the subtle body of the river, the Sun is reflected.

When the Sun was shining upon the subtle body of the river, there the Sun’s image was seen. No image of the Sun was seen upon the snow-capped peaks or upon the glaciers; but in the subtle body of the river, in the mountains, in the rivulets, is the image of the Sun seen. What does this image imply? This image in origin is the real Self, the true Atman, the Unchangeable, the Immutable in you, the true Divinity, Atman or God. The same God is present in you when you are in the deep sleep state, that God shines upon your seed body, but examine, in the deep sleep state, no egoism is present, you have no idea of ‘I am asleep’, ‘I grow’, ‘I digest the food’, ‘I do this’; that is, there is no ego; the real Self is there, but no ego is there. This false apparent ego which is looked upon as the self by people is not there.

In the dreaming state it becomes apparent. The dreaming state is like the second state of the river, the subtle body of the river. There it becomes apparent, and it becomes apparent also in the wakeful state. You know, your wakeful state is like the state of the river when it is upon the plains, the gross body of the river. There the Sun shines clearly; it was shining clearly upon the glaciers, but it reflects its image only in the stream; in the muddy river is the image of the Sun seen; so in your wakeful state, the image of the Sun is also seen. This egoism—I do this, I do this, I am this, I am that, all this egoism—this selfish apparent self makes its appearance in the wakeful state also. But you see there is a difference in the ego of your dreamland and the ego of your wakeful state. In your dreamland the ego which has been to you as the reflection or shadow of the true Atman or God, is fickle, changeable, vague, unsettled, hazy; exactly as the reflection of the Sun in the stream when it is upon the mountains is vague, meandering, changeable; and in your wakeful state this ego is definite, permanent, as in slow stream, slow river, when it is flowing upon the plains.

Here is something more to be told. People ask what right you have to call the gross body as the after-effect or resultant of the subtle body. People ask what right you have to place the dream state above the wakeful state. Mark it. Of what elements is your wakeful experience composed? Your wakeful experience rests upon time, space, and causality. Can you think of any substance, anything in this world without the idea of time, space and causality entering into it? Never, never. You cannot conceive of anything without these. Now this time, space and causality are like the web and weft of your world. Mark them. They are in your dreamland and they are in your wakeful state. You know, Max Muller, in his translation of ‘Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason’ while giving his introduction says that Kant teaches the same philosophy as Vedanta. He says that Kant has clearly shown that time, space and causality are a priori and the Hindus have not shown it. Rama is going to tell you that Max Muller did not read enough of the Hindu Scriptures. Rama is going to tell you that the Hindus proved time, space and causality to be a priori, to be subjective, and out of that it is shown that the wakeful experience of yours is from one stand-point the after-effect of your dreamland experience. You will patiently listen. In your deep sleep state you have no idea of time, no idea of space, no idea of causality. You come down to the dreamland. There time makes its appearance, space comes into existence, and causality also comes into existence. The Hindus tell you that the time, space, and causality of your dreamland come out of your deep sleep state in the same way as the tiny sprout comes forth from the seed in its feeble, weak form; and in your wakeful state, time, space and causality ripen into the state of a mighty tree. They become strong and ripen into the state of a mighty river; they assume their gross form; just as you develop, the ideas of time, space and causation also develop with your understanding. Thus the subject is nothing else but a resultant of time, space and causation as they develop, in your dreams you have time, but compare the time of your dream with the time of your wakeful state. The time of the dream is fickle, vague, hazy, dim, unsettled, indefinite, and the time of the wakeful state is naturally the ripened form, Rama says, the strong developed form of your time in the dreamland. In your dreams, you know the dead become alive and the living become dead sometimes. It is not so in your wakeful state, the time is definite. The past becomes future, and the future becomes past in your dreamland; it is not so in the wakeful state. You may have heard of Mohammad who in his dream spent a lot of time in ascending to the eighth heaven, but when he woke up, he found that only two seconds had passed.

Similarly the things of your wakeful state are different not in kind but in intensity, in degree, from the things of your dreamland state. In your dreaming state the things are changeable, fickle, vague, indefinite. They can be changed, just as a sapling can be made to grow anyway you like, but when it becomes a gigantic tree, it cannot be changed, diverted, or moulded into any other shape. In your dreamland you now see a woman, and in a second she becomes a mare, a horse. You now find before you a man alive and in no time it becomes fire. The things which you find in your dreaming state were not present in the deep sleep state. Out of the deep sleep state, they sprang up, as out of the glaciers spring up the small rivers, fickle rivulets, and in your wakeful state these a priori forms of time and space ripen into a stiff, rigid form, become definite and get a rigidity of their own.

The wisdom of your dreamland, the intellect of your dreamland is related to the wakeful state. Rama knows by personal experience that oft-times in dreams, when a student, he solved the hardest problems on which he had been meditating, but on waking up did not know how to solve them. Oh, there was some fault in the arguments. The arguments of your dreamland are also fickle, changeable, but related to the arguments of your wakeful state as the more developed tree is related to the fickle sapling, to the changeable buds, the changeable small tree.

Oft-times Rama wrote poetry in dreams, but when he got up and looked at that poetry, the lines did not scan and it was not coherent; there was want of continuity, unity. The reasoning of the dreamland is related to the reasoning of the wakeful state as the subtle body of the river is related to the gross body, and the space of your dreamland is related to the space of your wakeful state in the same way. Space is rigid, constant, invariable. Now you will say, no, no, how is it that in our dreams we always see the same things which we see in our wakeful state? Our dreams are only the reminiscences, are only the remembrances of our wakeful state. Rama says what of that? Let it be so. What is the seed? Out of a seed comes up a beautiful sapling; it is changeable and fickle, and out of this changeable, fickle sapling grows out or develops forth a gigantic, strong, rigid tree. All right. Again, out of this rigid tree come some more seeds, the same kind of seeds as gave rise to this tree. Now in the seeds, the whole tree is contained. The tree has put all its essence and all its power back into the seeds. Then should we argue that the tree did not spring from the seed? Have we any right to argue that the tree did not come out of the seed? No, no, we have no right to argue that way.

Similarly Vedanta says that the Shushupti, Rama says the seed state of yours, the deep sleep state is like the seed. Out of that comes the dreamland and from that flows out, as it were, or develops the wakeful, gross body. And again if your wakeful experience can be condensed back into your sleep, it is but natural. If your wakeful experience can be condensed or forced into your dreamland, into your dreaming experience, it does not contradict Rama’s statement. Let it be. Still that will not entitle you to say that your wakeful state did not develop out of your subtle body or the dreamland. You are not entitled to say that. Exactly as when the whole tree is condensed and put into the seed, this does not entitle us to say that the tree did not spring from the seed. If in your dreams you usually have the reminiscences of your wakeful state, that does not entitle you to gainsay the statement made by Rama that out of time, space and causation, out of the differentiation of the dreamland, or the dreaming experience, was developed or evolved the wakeful experience.

The Vedanta philosophy says that the dreamland and wakeful experience originated from the nothingness or chaos of your deep sleep. When the Hindus say that the world is nothing or the world is the result of ignorance, they mean that the deep sleep state in which you had a kind of nothing, a chaos, that chaos or nothing of your deep sleep state is ignorance, condensed ignorance; if you want to say ignorance per se, there the deep sleep state is the ignorance per se, and out of that ignorance or darkness comes this world, comes this differentiation and change, and that ignorance is changeable. You know, in your dreamland you have two kinds of things, the subject and the object, and according to Vedanta, the subject and object make their appearance simultaneously. There in your dreams, you become the seer on one side and the object seen on the other side. If you see a horse and the rider in a dream, both make their appearance together; if you see a mountain in the dream, the mountain is the object and you, the seer or observer. There the object and the subject make their appearances together. There by a kind of time, the past and future of the dream is also simultaneous with the object; the past, present and future of the dream, the causation of the dream and the subject and object of the dream, all these make their appearance simultaneously.

Similarly Vedanta says, in your wakeful state also you are the object seen and you are the seeing subject; you are the friends and foes on that side and you are their observer on this side; you are the enemies on one side and you are the friends on the other side; you are everything. But all these apparent phenomena of the dream, phenomena of the deep sleep state, phenomena of the wakeful state, all these phenomena are mutable, changeable fickle, uncertain, indefinite. The real Self which was compared to the Sun, the real Atman, shines upon the three bodies in the same way that the Sun shines upon the three bodies of the river, that Atman is immutable, unchangeable. That Atman or Sun shines upon the glacier of your deep sleep state; by your Atman or Sun is the deep sleep state illumined; and by that Atman or Sun is your wakeful experience illumined. And you see again that the sun shines not only upon the three bodies of one river, but the same Sun shines upon the three bodies of all the rivers in this world in exactly the same way. Similarly what if the river of this body is different from the river of that body? What if this river of life flows in a different way from the river of life in that case? But all these rivers of life, all these streams of existence have the same Eternal, Immutable, Constant Atman, or the Sun of suns, the Light of lights shining over them at all times, under all circumstances, unchangeable, immutable. That you are, that you are. That is the real Self, and your real Self is the real Self of your friend, is the real Self of each and all. Your real Self is not only present with you in the wakeful state, it is equally present in the deep sleep state; it is equally present under all changes and circumstances.

Realize that real Self stands above all anxiety, above all fear, stands above all tribulation and trouble. Nobody can harm you, no one can injure you.

Break, break, break at the feet of thy crags, oh sea,
Break, break, break at my feet, O world that be,
O suns and storms, O earthquakes, wars,
Hail, welcome, come, try all your force on me!
Ye nice torpedoes fire! my playthings, crack!
O shooting stars, my arrows, fly!
Your burning fire! can you consume?
O threatening one, you flame from me;
You flaming sword, you cannon ball,
My energy headlong drives forth thee!
The body dissolved is cast to winds;
Well doth Infinity me enshrine!
All ears my ears, all eyes my eyes,
All hands my hands, all minds my minds!
I swallowed up death, all eyes my eyes,
How sweet and strong a food I find!
No fear, no grief, no hankering pain;
All delight, or sun or rain!
Ignorance, darkness, quaked and quivered,
Trembled, shivered, vanished, for ever
My dazzling light did parch and scorch it,
Joy ineffable! Hurrah!! Hurrah!!!

Om! Om!! Om!!! 

Last Updated: Sat Dec 18, 1999
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