Mr. Phillips, an Englishman who used to be a missionary and is now a teacher and who has been about 20 years in Hyderabad, came this morning. He said : “I lost my son in the war. What is the way for his salvation?”
Bhagavan was silent for a while and then replied. “Your worry is due to thinking. Anxiety is a creation of the mind. Your real nature is peace. Peace has not got to be achieved; it is our nature. To find consolation, you may reflect : ‘God gave, God has taken away; He knows best’. But the true remedy is to enquire into your true nature. It is because you feel that your son does not exist that you feel grief. If you knew that he existed you would not feel grief. That means that the source of the grief is mental and not an actual reality. There is a story given in some books how two boys went on a pilgrimage and after some days news came Backthat one of them was dead. However, the wrong one was reported dead, and the result was that the mother who had lost her son went about as cheerful as ever, while the one who had still got her son was weeping and lamenting. So it is not any object or condition that causes grief but only our thought about it. Your son came from the Self and was absorbed Backinto the Self. Before he was born, where was he apart from the Self? He is our Self in reality. In deep sleep the thought of ‘I’ or ‘child’ or ‘death’ does not occur to you, and you are the same person who existed in sleep. If you enquire in this way and find out your real nature, you will know your son’s real nature also. He always exists. It is only you who think he is lost. You create a son in your mind, and think that he is lost, but in the Self he always exists.”
K. M. Jivrajani: What is the nature of life after physical death?
Bhagavan: Find out about your present life. Why do you worry about life after death? If you realize the present you will know everything.
In the afternoon, Bhagavan saw a relative of his, a young man called Sesha Aiyar, in the hall. He said : “Seeing you reminds me of something that happened in Dindigul when I was a boy. Your uncle Periappa Seshaiyar was living there then. There was some function in the house and all went to it and then in the night went to the temple. I was left alone in the house. I was sitting reading in the front room, but after a while I locked the front door and fastened the windows and went to sleep. When they returned from the temple no amount of shouting or banging at the door or window could wake me. At last they managed to open the door with a key from the opposite house and then they tried to wake me up by beating me. All the boys beat me to their heart’s content, and your uncle did too, but without effect. I knew nothing about it till they told me next morning.”
I asked, “How old was Bhagavan then?”
Bhagavan said, “About eleven.” Then he continued : “The same sort of thing happened to me in Madurai too. The boys didn’t dare touch me when I was awake, but if they had any grudge against me they would come when I was asleep and carry me wherever they liked and beat me as much as they liked and then put me Backto bed, and I would know nothing about it until they told me in the morning.”
I said : “It would seem that even in those days Bhagavan’s sleep was not ordinary sleep but some state like samadhi.”
Bhagavan: I don’t know what state it was, but that is the fact. Some who have written about my life have called it somnambulism.
I: It was certainly not somnambulism; that is walking in one’s sleep. This was more like samadhi or absorption in the Self.
In the evening Bose asked : “Is it good to do japa and puja and so on when we know that enquiry into the Self is the real thing?”
Bhagavan: All are good. They will lead to this eventually. Japa is our real nature. When we realize the Self then japa goes on without effort. What is the means at one stage becomes the goal at another. When effortless, constant japa goes on, it is realisation.
Bose: Why did Bhagavan regard Arunachala as Father?
Bhagavan did not reply but sat smiling.
Bose: Perhaps for the benefit of others?
Bhagavan: Yes; so long as there is the feeling ‘I’, it must have a source from whence it came.