Chudala: Chapter 11, Divine Ego
Chudala brought her awareness back to the Community and opened her eyes. Kotari-devi was still there.
“Kotari-devi, I have a problem. Michael has not been meditating properly, it seems, and has developed a spiritual ego. Anyway, that is what I think. Do you know what I mean?” Chudala said.
“I do not have any experience with this, since I have almost no meditation teaching experience.” Said Kotari-devi.
“Who should I talk to?” Said Chudala.
“Dr. Tabo has been working with people, teaching meditation, for over 60 years, so he will probably be the best one to help you.” Kotari-devi said.
“How does one make an appointment with Dr. Tabo?” Said Chudala.
“Just use your mind and ask him your question. You don’t need an appointment.” Said Kotari-devi.
Ok, here goes. Thought Chudala. “Dr. Tabo, I need some help.” She said, in her mind.
Chudala was surprised when she immediately had a vision of Dr. Tabo, smiling and saying: “Yes, Chudala! What can I help you with?”
“I am working with Michael now and it seems he has developed a spiritual ego. What can I do to help him break free of that so he can attain Moksha?” Thought Chudala.
After a few seconds, she heard in her mind: “I have just astral viewed your recent conversations with Michael, and you are on the right track. He is appearing to ignore everything you say about his ego, but your words are making an impression. Continue to tell him about how he must root out the very seed of egoism. You will eventually get through and his spiritual ego change. Then he will spontaneously begin to live in the NOW. This is because, illuminating the tricks of the spiritual ego creates balance in the underlying karmic traces. The spiritual ego is a fictious construct of karmic traces, like a mirage is a fictitious construct of sunlight, heat and sand. If you see a mirage and then carefully study it, the mirage will simply disappear.” Thought Dr. Tabo.
“Thank you! Ok, I will continue with confidence.”
Chudala returned to Michael and continued her instructions to him, through Kumbha.
Just as she returned to Kumbha, Michael said: “I find my mind is always fluttering, like a bird in the open sky of my bosom. My mind is constantly lurking like an ape in the wilderness of my heart. I know how to restrain my mind, like they do fish in a net, but I do not know how to get rid of it when it is so engaged with the objects of sense. Please sage, first acquaint me with the nature of the mind, and then teach me the method of renouncing it forever.”
Kumbha replied: “Michael, know that desire is the intrinsic nature of the mind. The word desire is a synonym for the mind. Abandonment of the mind is very easy, more easily accomplished than stirring it, and is attended with a greater delight than possessing a kingdom can afford, more pleasant than the scent of fragrant flowers. But it is very difficult for the ignorant to forsake the desires of their minds. It is as hard for them as it is for a peasant to exercise the powers of a kingdom, or for a heap of grass to be as high as a mountain.”
Michael said, “I understand that it is the nature of the mind to be full of desires. But I find trying to rid the mind to be as impossible as swallowing an iron bolt. I find the mind to be like a fragrant flower in the great garden of the world, and also like the fire pit of all our grief. It is the stalk of the lotus of the world, and it is the wind that blows the gusts of delusion all over the world. Now tell me how this thing may be removed easily? The mind is the locomotive engine of the body. It is the bee that flutters about the lotus of the heart. Now tell me, how can I easily get rid of this mind?”
Kumbha answered: “Total eradication of the mind consists in extinguishing the entire world from it. The learned and men of long foresight say that this is abandonment of the mind.”
Michael replied, “I think extinction of the mind is better than our abandonment of it, on account of securing the success of our purposes. But how can we know the gradual removal of the mind from the hundreds of diseases to which it is subject?”
Kumbha replied: “Egoism is the seed and root of the tree of the mind, with all its branches and leaves and fruit and flowers. Therefore, root out the mind with its very seed of egoism and you have your breast as clear as the empty and clear sky.”
Michael replied, “Tell me, O sage. What is the root of the mind? What are its sprouts and fruit? Tell me also how many stems and branches it has, and how it is possible to root it out all at once.”
Kumbha replied: “Egoism and all the other words that express the self, such as ‘mind’ or ‘I’ or ‘me’ and the like are the seeds of the tree of the mind. The field of its growth is the Supreme Soul, which is the common source of all beings. But that field being filled with illusion, the mind is deluded to believe itself as a first-born sprout springing out of this field. Understanding is the certain knowledge of the mind in its discrete state. Pure understanding is when the germ or sprout of the mind has reached its state of maturity.”
“Understanding (buddhi), when subject to various desires, takes the name of wasteful mind (chitta). Such a mind makes the living being, which is as hollow as a carved stone image, a mere false conception. The body is the stem of this tree of the mind, and it is composed of skin, bones and juicy tissues. The branches of the tree of the mind extend over a great distance all around, and so the sense organs of the body protrude wide about it, perishing in the end trying to seek its enjoyment. Now try to cut off the branches of the tree of your mind and root out the harmful tree all at once.”
Michael said, “Perhaps I can cut off the branches of the tree of mind somehow or another. But tell me, O my sagely teacher, how can I pull out the entire tree all at once?”
Kumbha replied: “All our desires are the various branches of this tree. They are hanging with loads of fruit and they are cut off with the axe of our reason. He alone is able to cut out the tree of his mind who is unattached to the world, who holds his silence and inner tranquility, who is wise in all discussions, and who does whatever offers itself to him at any time. He who uses his manliness of reason and discretion to cut off the branches and brambles of the tree of his mind is also able to uproot this tree from his heart all at once.”
“The first thing to be done with the mind is to root it out from the heart all at once. The next process is to lop off its branches. Therefore, employ yourself more to uprooting it entirely instead of severing of its branches. You may also burn it as the first step instead of cutting the branches. When the great trunk of the tree of the mind is reduced to ashes, there remains an entire mindlessness at last.”
Michael said, “Tell me, O my sagely guide, what fire can burn away the seed of the tree of the mind which is covered with the skin of egoism?”
Kumbha replied: “Michael, the fire that is able to consume the seed of the harmful plant of the mind is the examination of the question, ‘What am I that bears this corporeal form upon me?’”
Michael said, “O sage! I have repeatedly considered questions in my own understanding and found that my egoism does not consist in anything of this world, or of this earth, or of the woods that form its ornaments. My ego resides nowhere in the hills and forests where I lived, or in the shaking of the leaves before me. It does not lie any part of my gross body or in its flesh, bones or blood. It does not lie in any of the organs of action or in the organs of sensation. It does not lie in the mind or in understanding or in any part of the gross body.”
“As we see gold in the form of a bracelet, so do I conceive the intelligent soul in the form of my egoism because it is impossible for any material substance to have anything like intelligence. All real existence depends on the Supreme Soul for its existence. All real entities exist in the supreme essence. It is impossible for anything to exist in a nothingness, just as there is no possibility for a forest to exist in an emptiness.”
“Thus sage, knowing full well that my egoism is an aspect or shadow of my eternal soul and worthy to be wiped off from it, yet I regret my ignorance of the intrinsic spirit which is to be wiped clean so that the internal soul can be seen in full light.”
Kumbha replied: “If you are none of these material objects, as you say, and if your egoism does not consist in materiality, then tell me, what you think yourself to be in reality?”
Michael answered, “O most learned sage, I feel myself to be that intelligent and pure soul which is of the form of consciousness which acquaints me of all existence and which discriminates their different natures. I perceive my egoism is attached to my body, but I am perfectly ignorant whether it is a caused or causeless principle. I am unable, O sage, to rub out this sense of my egoism as an unreality, as something without essence. That is what I greatly regret in myself.”
Kumbha said: “Tell me Michael. What is that great foulness which you feel is attached to you? What makes you act as a man of the world? Do you think it to be something or a mere delusion?”
Michael replied, “The sense of my egoism, which is the root of the tree of my mind, is the great foulness that attaches to me. I do not know how to get rid of it. However, I try to shun it, the more it clings to me.”
Kumbha said: “Every effect is produced from some cause or other, and this is the general law of nature everywhere. Anything otherwise is as false as seeing a second moon in the sky, which is nothing but a reflection of the true moon. The cause produces the effect, whether it is a big one or a small element of it. Therefore, explore the cause of your egoism, and tell me what it is.”
Michael replied, “My sagely guide, I know that mere illusion is the cause of the fallacy of my egoism. But tell me sage, how is this error of mine to subside and vanish? My mind’s inclination towards phenomena makes me suffer all these pains and pangs within myself. Now tell me, O muni sage, how to suppress my thoughts of external objects.”
Kumbha said: “Tell me whether your thinking and knowing are the cause of whatever you think or know, or whether whatever you think or know activates your thinking and knowing powers. If you can tell me this, then I shall be able to explain the process of cause and effect. Now tell me which do you think is the cause and not the cause of knowing and knowable, and of thinking and the thinkable, which are the subjects of my question to you.”
Michael answered, “I think, O sage, that what the body senses is the cause of thinking and thoughts, and of knowing and what is known. Our knowledge of things appears only in forms of bodies that can be sensed. Otherwise, a mere abstract thought of a thing is as insubstantial as an airy nothing. As I cannot conceive the non-entity of a positive entity or the abstract nature of a concrete body, so I do not know how I can ignore my egoism which is the seed of my mind.”
Kumbha said: “If you rely on your material body as a real existence, then tell me, when your soul is separated from the body, what does your knowledge depend upon?”
Michael replied, “The body, evident to view and a real entity, cannot be taken as unreal by anybody, just as the tangible sunlight cannot be called darkness by any man with common sense. Who can ignore the body? It is full with hands and feet and other parts. It is full of life and activity. Its actions are tangible to sight and evident to our perception.”
Kumbha said: “Know this Michael, that nothing can be said to exist which is not produced by some cause. The knowledge or consciousness that we have of something cannot be produced only by mistake and error. There can be no product without a similar cause, and no material form can come out from a formless and immaterial agent. How can anything come to existence without having its seed of a similar nature?”
“Whatever thing appears to anyone without a true cause is as false an appearance to its deluded observer as a mirage in a desert. Know that you are no real existence, only a false shape of your error. Whatever earnestness you take to it, you will never get any water from this delusive mirage.”
Michael said, “It is as useless to inquire into the cause of a nonentity, just as it is fruitless to look into the origin of the secondary moon which is only a false reflection of the true one. Believing in a nothingness is like decorating the body of a barren women’s son.”
Kumbha replied: “The body with its bones and ribs is the product of no assignable cause. Therefore, know it to be a nonentity because it is impossible for the frail body to be the work of an everlasting Maker.”
Michael said, “Now tell me sage, why we should not reckon our parents as the causes and producers of our bodies, with all their members and parts, since they are known as their immediate causes?”
Kumbha replied: “The parents can be nothing and no cause without having another cause for them, because whatever is without a cause is nothing in itself. The causes of all things and effects are called their seeds. When there is no seed in existence, it is impossible for a seedling to be produced. Therefore, when you cannot trace out the cause of an event, account the event as no event at all. There can be nothing without its seed, and the knowledge of a causeless effect or event is an utter impossibility and fallacy of the understanding.”
“It is an extreme error to suppose the existence of a thing without its cause or seed, such as to suppose the existence of two moons in the sky, of water in a mirage, or the son of a barren woman.”
Michael said, “Now tell me sage, why should not our parents be taken as the causes of our production, who had our grandfathers and grandmothers for the causes or seeds of their birth likewise. Why should we not reckon our first great grandfather (Brahma) as the first progenitor of the human race?”
Kumbha replied: “The first great grandfather cannot be the original cause, since he also requires a cause for his birth or else he could not come into existence. Even the great grandfather of creation, Brahma himself, must have a cause, a seed from the Supreme Spirit which produced him, or else the visible form in which he appears is no more than a mere delusion. The form of the visible world is as great a fallacy as the appearance of water in a mirage. The creation of the great grandfather Brahma is no more than a false misconception.”
“I will now wipe off the dark cloud of your error, that our great grandfather Brahma was conceived in the womb of the Supreme Spirit. This will be the salvation of your soul. Therefore, know that the Lord God shines forever with his intelligent soul and mind in Himself. It is from him that the lotus-born Brahma and the entire universe are manifest to our view, and that there is nothing which exhibits itself without Him.”
Michael said, “If the sight of the entire universe is only a phantom, and our knowledge of me, you, and of this and that is only an error of our minds, then why should be concerned or sorry about anything?”
Kumbha replied: “The false impression of the world’s existence has firmly laid hold of men’s minds, just as people believe frozen water is dry land. The learned say that knowledge of gross matter is lost with the dispersion of ignorance, and there is no way to get rid of this long-contracted prejudice without getting rid of ignorance. Only acute understanding is the means to know the truth: that the creation and dissolution of the world depend upon the will and causality of the Supreme Being. He who understands this is sure to lose his rooted prejudice by degrees and come to the knowledge that the material world is a nothing.”
“By refining your mind away from its predisposition to assume the existence of gross forms, you will come to realize how the idea of the creator, such as Brahma or the Prime Male, is as false as water in a mirage. If the great grandfather of the world is a nothingness, then his creation of all creatures (Prajapati, Lord of Creatures) is similarly false and void, as it is absurd for all impossibility to come into being. The perception of a thing in actual existence is as false as the perception of water in a mirage. A little analysis is enough to remove this error, like the mistake of seeing silver in sea shells.”
“Any object that appears to exist without a cause is only a phantom of error and has no essential form whatever in reality. Whatever is done by one’s false knowledge or mistake is of no use, just as the attempt to fill a pot with the water from a mirage proves to be utterly vain.”
Michael said, “Why cannot we call the Supreme Brahman to be the cause of Brahma, the first creator of the world who is called the son of God, the one unborn and without end, inexpressible and everlasting?”
Kumbha replied: “God Brahman, being neither the cause nor the effect of any action, is only an unchanging unity and transcendent spirit. He is never the cause or effect of anything. How can the incomprehensible and unknowable Brahman be designated the creator when he has no property of creator or created or the instrument or cause of anything?”
“The world has no separate cause. It is not the separate product of any causality whatever. It is no duality but one with unity, without beginning or end, coeternal with the eternal one. He that is inconceivable and unknowable is perfect joy, tranquility and ever without decay. The One can never be the active or passive agent of anything because immutability is his nature. Therefore, there is nothing like a creation and the visible world is only a nothing. The Lord God is neither an active nor a passive agent, but quite still and full of bliss.”
“There being no causal power, the world is not the production of anybody. It is only our error that this world is a production without any assignable cause. The uncaused world is the product of nothing and therefore nothing in itself. For if it be the production of nobody, it is a nothingness like its cause also.”
“The nonexistence of anything or the nonexistence of everything is proved as a certain truth. We can have no conception of anything. In the absence of such conception, it is vain to suppose the existence of an egoism or you.”
Michael said, “Sage, now I perceive the truth. I find all that you have said to be reasonable. Now I see that I am the pure and free soul, quite aloof of any bondage or its liberation from bonds. I understand Brahman is no cause of anything because he is entirely without any causation. The world is a nothingness for lack of its cause, and therefore there is no being whatever which we reckon as differentiated. Therefore, there is no such category as the mind or its seed, or growth or decay.”
“Therefore, I bow down to myself of which alone I have consciousness in me. I am only conscious of myself. I only know existence in myself. I have no real knowledge of anything except me. All else appears like fleeting clouds in the womb of the sky. The distinct knowledge of the different categories of time, place, and action in the world is now entirely blended with the knowledge of the unity of the tranquil spirit of Brahman. I am tranquil, calm and quiet and settled in the spirit of God. I neither rise nor fall from or move about any of these props on this stage. I remain as you do, in the immovable spirit of God, which is all quiet, holiness, and joy in itself.”
Michael, having found his rest in the spirit of Brahman, remained quiet for some moments, like a steady and tireless candle flame in a calm, windless place. As he was about to be absorbed in unwavering meditation, he was suddenly roused from his trance by the distraction of Kumbha’s voice.
Kumbha said: “Michael, I see you are not waking from the sleep of your entranced meditation in which you are situated in perfect bliss. You must neither be absorbed in your contemplation nor be a complete stranger to your abstract meditation either. The mind undivided in its attention is cleansed from all deceit. Freed from its knowledge of parts and particulars, the mind becomes emancipate in its living state.”
I think Michael is close to attaining full enlightenment now. Chudala thought. He is apparently seeing the unreality of visible things in his quiet and settled state.
Michael said, “Though I know full well about all these things, yet I want to propose some questions regarding them. I hope you will give answers for my correct and perfect knowledge of them. Tell me, how can we reconcile the impure conception of the Universal Soul representing the universe with the pure idea of the Supreme Soul which is ever calm, quiet and transparent?”
Kumbha replied: “You have asked well, Michael. This shows the clarity of your understanding. If this is all that you want to know, then hear me explain it fully to you.”
“Whatever is seen here and everywhere, together with all moving and inert creation, are all perishable and become extinct at the end of every kalpa age. At the end of the kalpa age, the true and essential reality remains in an obscure chaotic state, deprived of both light and darkness. This essential reality is Divine Consciousness, pure and quiet and as clear as the transparent air. It is free from all attributes and full of transcendental intelligence. The one that remains at the end of a kalpa is the Supreme Soul.”
“It extends over all space and is purely bright, transparent and quiet. It is enveloped in light and is pure intelligence. It is inscrutable and unknowable, even and quiet, and full of bliss. It is called Brahman the great, the final extinction of all bodies, full of all knowledge.”
“It is the smallest of the small and the largest of whatever is large in the universe. It is the greatest of anything that is great and heavy and it is the best of whatever is good and excellent. It is so very small that if you place this sky beside it, the sky will appear as big as the great Mount Meru by the side of a small atom. It is also so very big and bulky that if this stupendous world were placed side by side to it, the world must appear like an atom before it, or vanish into nothing. Brahman is attributed with the name of Universal Soul because it pervades the entire universe and is its intrinsic soul. Its exterior appearance is called by the title of Viraj, which means ‘the All Radiant’.”
“There is no difference between the description and what it describes, just as there is none between the air and the wind, air in motion, and as sky and emptiness are synonyms. The universal Consciousness is the phenomenal world, and the same consciousness is manifested in the forms of ‘I’ and ‘you.’ As wind makes water become a wave at a certain time and place, so the world rises and falls at times in the Supreme Soul without any external cause. As gold is transformed into bracelets at certain times and place, by some means or another, so the spirit of God is transformed into the visible world at certain times, without any assignable cause whatever.”
“The most glorious God is lord of his kingdom of the world. He is one with his creation, ever pure, quiet, and without decay. He pervades over all these worlds scattered like tufts of grass all around us. This transcendentally good and great God is the only real existence. God comprises all temporary and finite existences within himself. Through our own reasoning, we know that this glorious creation of the universe is all derived from him.”
“Know him to be the essence of the extended universe, extending his form of complete consciousness over everything, a unity that never admits of a duality. Therefore, there is no reason to conceive a duality beside his unity because God’s unity is the sole principle of the Supreme Soul, fully manifest in everything in its ever undiminished and everlasting state. The Lord always remains as the all in all, manifest in all various forms, neither visible nor perceptible by us. He cannot be said to be the cause or effect of anything.”
“The Lord, being neither perceptible nor conceivable by us, is something super-eminently good and super-fine. He is all and the soul of all, too fine and transparent and known only by our conceptions of him because he has no conscious perception whatever. Being inexpressible by words and manifest in all without manifestation or appearance of himself, he cannot be the cause of whatever is real or unreal. That which has no name of itself cannot be the seed of another. No nameless nothing can grow anything, nor can a corresponding world spring out of a non-corresponding spirit. Indeed, the inexhaustible mass of Divine Consciousness is no cause or casual instrument or effect of anything. The product of the Divine Soul must be something of the form of the invisible soul, which is everlasting consciousness or intelligence.”
“So, nothing is produced by the Supreme Brahman, nor does anything arise from Him, like waves from water that have wind for their cause. All distinctions of time and place are absent in the uniform and unchanging spirit of Brahman. There can be no creation or destruction of the world from him, and hence the world is uncreated and without any cause.”
Michael said, “I know that the waves of water are caused by winds of the air, and so I understand this world and our egoism and the like have their causality in the Supreme Spirit.”
Kumbha replied: “Michael, now know the positive truth. As I am telling you after all, there is nothing like a separate world or our separate ego existing in Supreme Spirit. The world and the ego exist as one with the Divine Spirit, without bearing any distinct name or personality at all.”
“As subtle ether contains the subtle element of vacuum in its bosom, so the Divine Soul entertains in itself the fine-spun idea of the mundane system without its substance. Whether you behold this world in its true form of Divine Consciousness, or in any other form of gross matter, it is to be correctly understood as nothing but a representation of Divine Consciousness. The full knowledge of something makes it sweet to the understanding, even though it may be as bitter as gall to taste. Imperfect knowledge of something, such as that of the world, makes it appear as if full of grief, even though there is no such thing in reality.”
“Ambrosia, the water of life, being taken as a poison will act as poison in the patient’s constitution. So the Lord of intellect appears in a favorable or unfavorable light according to how knowledge or ignorance represents him to our understanding. The blessed Lord God appears to us in a benevolent or non-benevolent aspect, just as our true and false knowledge paints him in our minds, and just as the blinded eye sees many a false sight in the light of the sun. The essence of Brahman always remains the same in his essential form of consciousness, but because of the depravity of our understanding, he is represented in one form now, then in another at a different time and under different circumstances. In fact, the body and the embodied soul appear as any other sensible object in the world, but when viewed in the abstract light of reality, they blend in the spiritual form of God.”
“Therefore, it is vain to make any inquiry concerning the nature of the world and our egoism and the like. What is really exists is to be inquired into, and not that which is a nothingness in itself. It is vain to ask about an appearance, which being looked into vanishes into nothing. It is equally vain to speak of the essence of gold when it presents us with no form. Without the existence of God, there is no entity called the world or our egoism. Having no cause, these things are identical with the one self-existent God.”
“The world does not appear of itself. It rests like a carving in the spirit of God. It shows itself as separate to us only by illusion. These existences composed of the five elements produce many other beings, just as males and females mate and produce their offspring in infinity. So Divine Consciousness, being joined with the illusory intelligence, presents endless forms to our view.”
“Through God’s inherent knowledge, the Divine Soul represents itself in the shapes of the many things that are comprised in his omniscience. He is full in himself and manifests his fullness in himself. He is never wanting in his fullness which always exists in Him. The fullness of the world is derived from the fullness of God. Yet the Divine fullness remains complete, just as when you deduct from the infinite, the remainder is still infinite.”
“Divine Consciousness, though forever the same and serene, appears to shine forth in creation because of our knowledge of creation, which dissolves with our imperceptibility of it. So, our egoism, being the same with the Divine Ego, appears to be different from it, just as our fluctuating minds depict it in various lights. The Divine Self never becomes many and never forsakes its state without decay. It is of a luminous form and its essence has no beginning or end. It assumes as many forms as the ever-changing mind imposes upon it. At one time, the identical soul believes itself to be Viraj, lord of the world, and at another, to be a contemptible being. Sometimes it sees itself in its true form of divinity and at another time its thought makes it think it is some other thing.”
“The world appears as a vast and extended space, perfectly quiet in its nature, inexpressible by words or their meanings. All its objects are of wonderful shape to view and appear to us according to our conceptions without showing their real nature to us.”
I am pleased with Michael’s progress. Thought Chudala. We have converted his “know it all” spiritual ego into a serious, inquiring asset, the Divine Ego, and this is serving him well.