Chapter VII – A Word in Parting
The parting letter runs thus: in search of my Father and
“I have A in obedience to his command, started from here. THIS is only embarking on a virtuous enterprise. Therefore none need to grieve over THIS affair. To trace THIS out, no money need be spent.
Your College fee has not been paid. Rupees two are enclosed herewith.”
The opening sentence blurts out an I’. The individual consciousness is then to the fore and clearly noticed by the reader. But in the very next sentence, the philosopher’s stone touches and transmutes the baser metal (the individual ego) before the reader’s eyes into the gold of an impersonal or expanded I’. The next phrase after I’, in the letter is (my Father). Here leaps the blest ego on to Heaven, asserting a son’s right to visit the father. The baseness of the ego is immediately lost, and the survivor is the Son of God.’ He is like his Father, a spirit, and not a “cunning cast of clay.” The removal of dehatma buddhi (the idea I am the body’), this disappearance of the earth-stain from the writer, furnishes the clue to the otherwise puzzling term (this) in the following sentences. Reference is made by the enlightened soul of the writer in the second sentence, to the journey to Tiruvannamalai; and in describing himself, the third person neuter is employed. Not I’, but this’ is what launches on the enterprise. What leaves Madurai for Tiruvannamalai now (i.e., from the second sentence onwards) is not the spirit, that is already getting absorbed in God, but the body, viewed clearly as distinct from
the spirit. Then comes the letter to a close with a “Thus-” Here, in place of the dashes, a
signature would have been appended by Venkataraman of earlier years. But on this occasion, the personality which began with an I’ had melted into this’ in the succeeding lines, and at the close there was evidently no person remaining at that time and at that place to sign the letter.