C.S. Bagi, M.A., was Principal of Lingaraj College, Belgaum, Karnataka.
Sri Bhagavan’s existence and operations being mysteries, their explanations can have no finality. In explaining one mystery we straightaway land ourselves in others equally, if not more perplexing. It is easy to remember but impossible to know Sri Bhagavan.
Every man judges Sri Bhagavan by the measure of his own self. But no judgement of him can be right unless the judge transcends himself. Sri Bhagavan is the Immutable Law. His greatness is in preserving the Law and not in playing juggler’s tricks of turning cocks into bulls and vice versa. Every adjective we employ in describing Him does more justice to our own sentiments with regard to Him than His with regard to Himself. He is not the duality we are. But this is certain: whether indifferent or sympathetic, in either case the world gains by Him as it does from skies whether they are sulky or sunny.
Mysterious are His ways with men. Though nothing unusual happens at the time of darshan to a curious pilgrim, a mild surprise overtakes him later when he begins to note subtle proclivities in his mode of living and thinking – nay, perhaps in external affairs too. Sins of whole lives are forgiven by one act of His Grace. Faith and hope are the only price the sinner pays for His forgiveness.
Sri Bhagavan’s life is a demonstration of the great potentials that lie hidden in the most ordinary and unpromising souls. We learn from Him what self-deceived shadows we are all, entombed in toiling body-minds -mere fantasies of a narrow dream called life. The wary of us will question themselves, ‘Is this life a toilsome delusion?’ Who is to blame? Should we not rather blame ourselves who take the delusion seriously, when our better judgement asks us to wake up?
‘Know thyself’ is the burden of Sri Bhagavan’s teaching as it is the breath of His being. As a process it is the persistent inquiry into the uninquiring self. The question ‘Who Am I’ is a razor’s edge and cuts through all other questions that earthly imagination may conceive. All questions resolve themselves into it. Who Am I? is the question of questions and goes directly to the root of every problem and sums up the entire spirit of quest.
The mind seems to conspire against itself. The limpid stream of pure consciousness called ‘I’ is contaminated by throwing into it the rubbish of not-‘I’.We are a stranger to ourself by claiming everything ours except ourself.
We surrender our judgement to Sri Bhagavan whose life has been to us a reassurance against gloom and despair. May His pleasure be our aim in what we think and talk, and His remembrance in what we do. He knows all our errors and sins. We err even to ask for deliverance. May His Grace be everywhere! One word more. Whatever may be written about Sri Bhagavan, there is no such thing as knowing Him. Remembrance is all. May He be in the remembrance of all who seek the Truth about themsleves!
An extract from his poem:
The Leonine Power
Oh flaming Lion, Stern, Majestic, Holy,
Who can approach, yet who escape Thy Paws?
Oh Sovereign Lord, to be Thy sport is jolly,
For after Sport I dine in Nectarine Jaws!
Yet spare me not my Lord, destroy me all,
Lest slipping Thee I suffer shameful fall!