Sakthi Vikatan 20 Jan, 2015

Posted Date : 06:00 (06/01/2015)

           Author: Kaivalliya Navanītham P.N. Parasuraman.  Images: Nataṉam

When I know you

The tradition is that the Guru regards his disciple as his son. Therefore, Guru begins thus.


“Son, a self-unknowing person, like the dry leaf going around and round, goes through birth and death cycle (metempsychosis) repeatedly, until he realizes the soul is Braḥmam.

He is caught in the revolving Cycle of Time in a helpless state. Once you know yourself and realize Ātmā and Braḥmam are one, Mukti is at hand.  ‘You carry no blame. Since you asked me these questions, I am giving you instructions,’ said Guru.

When he heard, “You asked me…,” the disciple asked him a question.

Gurudeva, did you think I am a dolt? “You said one should know oneself. There is no one like that. But, why are we all caught in the sea of metempsychosis and languish? I came trusting you for answers. Please instruct me.”

‘We should know our soul. The inexperienced disciple considers the soul as body.’ Gurunāthar explains, “My dear disciple, all do not become self-knowing.  The knower not only knows about the truths of his body but also the truths about the nature of Ātmā inside the body. Such knower is the self-knowing person.”

Though this appears understandable on hearing it, the mind does not accept it. Immediately, another question pops up. For the disciple also, a question rose.

“Gurunāthar, how is the body different from the soul inside it?

That disciple is no other than ourselves (individually). He is our representative. Th eyes see, the ears hear, the nose smells, the mouth talks… The body experiences all that is said. Therefore, ‘Ātmā, Jīva and Parabrahmam:’ What a good story they make. Questions arise, ‘Is Ātmā the activator of all? Who has seen Ātmā?’

But, if one has a bit of spiritual wisdom, these questions do not come up. Despite such knowledge or lack thereof, such perverse arguments and questions won’t come up. The problem inside us is we accept what comforts us initially; later the problems arise from them and we to escape from the burdens create more burdensome problems.

Don’t we know we differ from the clothes we wear? Likewise, we should understand that body differs from Āṉmā (soul). Whether we understand or not, thought of it never occurs to us.  That is the problem with the greenhorn-disciple, who believes in and says ‘What you see is what your get.’  All this is body. Hearing the words of the disciple, Gurunāthar was alternately happy and unhappy.

Gurunathar was unhappy about how he will make him understand the concept of Āṉmā Tattva, while he thinks, ‘I am the body.’ Simultaneously …

Appātā, Though he holds to the view, ‘I am the body,’ does he not hold on to something? That is gracefully enough! He was happy that the believer in body will one day become a believer in the soul.

He put forward some answers in the form of questions. They are…

Appāṭā = அப்பாடா = int. An exclamation of surprise, relief.