Shri Dada meets the sceptics
Shri Dada does meet sceptics – some of them he gets to think much more deeply about their own position. To one of them, he says, “Well, you’re not willing to think about it, and the Yoga has no message for you.” There will be people for whom Yoga has no message as they stand. The sentences of the book contain thoughts of a man not highly intellectual – very, very clear – and when we read the book, we should pay attention to some of these very terse phrases. If we’re alert, we can go into them. When he’s talking to this sceptic, the sceptic presents the view that the Earth has been created, and then man is a relatively late arrival on the Earth. Before that, there was what Bertrand Russell called, “A mass of blazing rocks, with no consciousness there whatever”.
Shri Dada asks the sceptic to think. He says, “You cannot imagine your own non-existence. If you do imagine it, then who is the imagining entity? Who is it that imagines? Who is it that imagines?” Bertrand Russell was a famous philosopher, wasn’t he – and he said, “Consciousness? No. I can easily imagine a time when the Earth was a mass of blazing rocks. No consciousness whatever.” He doesn’t realise that by using a word like ‘blazing’, or a word like ‘rock’, he’s supposing, he’s assuming, a consciousness – and a human consciousness. Because – on his own theory – it is only the coarseness of the sense perception which makes the subatomic particles appear as rocks.
On his own, on Bertrand Russell’s own account, matter consists of atoms, and the atoms are the subatomic particles. And it’s only our consciousness which sees this in terms of ‘rock’ or ‘blazing’. Russell doesn’t see that. When he says, “I can easily imagine the time when the Earth was a mass of blazing rocks with no consciousness whatever”, he doesn’t see that he is assuming consciousness by using those words.
Long before Bertrand Russell, this argument is met in this one sentence. “Try to imagine your own non-existence.” The mind becomes irritated and baffled, but if we can sit calmly, with calm determination and try to look into ‘I, I, I’, we shall find something which at the moment we don’t perceive. We shall find something there. Tennyson speaks of this. He used to go into these trances by repeating his own name and going deeper into it, and then he said there was a moment of this expansion and clarity.
Now, these are experimental things. Shri Dada is giving an experiment. It’s not just a question of words. Anybody can produce word arguments, and then as Shankaracharya says, somebody else comes along and produces another word argument, and still another one. As the Chinese Chuang Tzu says, “Even if you beat me in an argument, that doesn’t follow that you’re right. Because somebody who’s even cleverer than you are may come along and beat you in an argument – and would that prove that they were right? No.”
So we’re asked to make experiments, again and again and again. In this book you will find this experimental basis. Don’t just accept these things. You can accept them as a basis for doing the experiment – but you have to do the experiment, otherwise there’s no satisfaction. You can be momentarily convinced; you can think, “Oh, yes, I’m sure it’s true; I feel it’s true.” – but you don’t actually know. When scepticism rises in ourselves, it should be met not by thinking, “Oh, no, no, no, I must believe, I must believe. I’m sure”, but by going into it, calmly, as Jesus expected his disciples to. Not by a lot of book learning, and reading what other people have said and done, but by going into it ourselves, so that he doesn’t say to us, “How dull you are.”
There’s another account on Page 60. If we listen to this, this is an account of what we’re able to do – he says, “Any man can do this.”
“The physical form of Shri Rama is in Vaikunta, but His vibrations are ever around and within us, just as the rays of the sun, though millions of miles removed from us, still penetrate into the deepest mines and caverns. You can even now come into contact with the grace of Rama by praying to Him with a tranquillised mind, divested of vanity and longing for pleasure, and by being devoted to the service of the Guru. Each particle of the holy vibrations of Rama contains His essence. You can have a vision of His materialised personality, anywhere and at any time, if your devotion to Him is complete. The saint Tulsidas, and Raghunath Das in our own time, have had the privilege of the sight of Rama. When one so unworthy as myself can be blessed with His holy Vision, surely the privilege is open to each and every one of you. I pray, brethren, that you may be devotees of Rama.”
© Trevor Leggett
Formerly “Mysticism of the heart 2” [This is also known as Progressive Meditation 2 – The riddle]
Talks in this series are
Part 1 : Mysticism of the heart 2
Part 2: The vibrations of Shri Rama
Part 5: How to stop a thought