Book Extract : Somewhere Among The Stars: Reflections Of A Mystic By Adi Varuni

When Ahana entered the courtyard, Krishna was already seated on a raised cushion encircled by the other acharyas and students. She came up to Krishna, bowed, and offered her pranam. Krishna immediately folded his hands and bowed his head in acknowledgement. Ahana could distinctly feel an aura of peace around him. Once she was seated, Krishna smiled at the gathering and asked — “So, what do we discuss today?” Radha spoke up first — “Sir, you spoke of smarana yesterday, remembering who we are, our true identity. Our acharyas say that we are all Brahman, the Divine — tat twam asi. Is it that which we have all forgotten and are trying to recall?”

Krishna was quiet for a few moments. “Yes, Radha, that is what the scriptures and our gurus tell us: that we are all portions, or forms, of that infinite consciousness called Brahman. That is why atmajnana is Brahmajnana — to know the self is to know Brahman. But our question is how, how to know the self, how to know Brahman? How shall a wave in an infinite ocean know the ocean?” Krishna’s eyes swept across the faces of the acharyas and the students. Ahana caught his eye. “The wave is already the ocean, is it not?” she asked. Krishna smiled and nodded. “Yes, of course. Moreover, both the wave and the ocean are water, the same water — in reality, there is neither wave nor ocean.”

“But in physical reality, we do see a wave rising in the sea,” Ahana said. “But do you? In physical reality, do you not see just water? The so-called wave is just a movement of water, and the so-called sea is just the body of water.” “Yes, I can see that now: there is no real wave or sea.” After a momentary pause, Ahana continued, “Likewise, there is no you or me, or anyone — there is only Brahman!” “What was the wave that you were seeing, Ahana?” Krishna asked pointedly. “There wasn’t one actually. I was only seeing water.” “But you were giving it a name, wave.” “Yes, agreed.” “And this is what Vedanta tells us: that the reality we believe we know is only names imposed on forms — nama matra.

The wave and the sea are both names imposed on the water. The water itself is name imposed on something still subtler, something that our scientists call atoms, atoms that make the water. But the atom too is nama imposed on a still subtler rupa.” “How far does it go?” asked Radha. “You cannot see the atom with your naked eyes, can you?” “No, I cannot.” “But the rishis saw the atoms in their mind’s eye because the inner vision is subtler than the outer. Maybe sometime in the future, as the outer vijnana develops, the human eye may glimpse the atoms.

But even then, what will be seen is the namarupa of something still subtler, something that may never be known by any outer vijnana or human sense, however subtle they may be. But beyond all that can be known or intuited, even by the rishis, lies the subtlest of the subtle — what the great sages call Brahman.” “And I am that Brahman?” Ahana almost whispered to Krishna, a note of incredulity in her voice. “Yes, in your subtlest essence, you are!”

( Extracted With due permission from author, publisher)

Somewhere Among the Stars released last year and is being formally launched at JLF 2023 this year.

Partho in conversation with Pariksith Singh
12:00 PM -12:50 PM
Harwthornden Literary Retreat Mughal Tent

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