Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha
A true seeker of spiritual truth should read the inspiring and enlightening writings of ascetic Saints and Knowers, and not of intellectual giants or erudite scholars. If and when deeper enquiry dawns in them, they should humbly go to the saintly Knowers.
An enlightening, moving and heart-warming correspondence between Nutan Swamiji and a young girl, which addresses the difficulties of many intellectuals.
Dear Nutan Swamiji
I do hope you will welcome argument and dissent as part of our discussion. I’m an atheist, but only reluctantly. I want to believe, but books by spiritual leaders have completely failed to satisfy me. …
I was never spiritually inclined. Even now I’m not. I would be happy believing in God, a simple unquestioning belief in a power higher than me. But my mind questions reality and existence.
Our perception of reality is based on our senses. Yet even without a single sense organ you would still know of your own existence. How then would you define reality? How then would you believe in existence at all? What exactly then is the reality of who you are?
I don’t want to think this way. It brings me no peace. All I want is to be happy and peaceful. …
I feel concerned about your mind. I don’t know why you have not been led to the proper literature or the proper teacher. …
I have never believed in any God, or questioned any belief. I have only enquired about the ultimate Reality, and finally landed on the Truth about my own Self.
When I went to my Gurudev (Baba Gangadhara Paramahamsa) with my enquiry about the ultimate Truth, he pointed out that being a Physicist I must appreciate the difference between theoretical knowledge and the conviction gained by doing the experiment myself. He put me in the inner laboratory, to do the experiment myself and have the knowledge first hand.
A true seeker of spiritual truth should read the inspiring and enlightening writings of ascetic Saints and Knowers, and not of intellectual giants or erudite scholars. If and when deeper enquiry dawns in them, they should humbly go to the saintly Knowers. Because, spiritual knowledge is gained easily and naturally from a person who is living the knowledge. A flame is to be lit from another flame, not from a beautiful picture of fire.
A God-believing person believes in the “concept of God”, while an atheist believes in the “concept of No-god”. Both believe in some concept of their mind. Whether you believe or do not believe – in God or even in the World – the fact remains that you have to believe in yourself. In fact, you cannot call it a belief. It is an “experience” that cannot be denied.
Have you ever thought why man felt like introducing the concept of something like God?
We find everything in the world is governed by causality – cause and effect relationship. The concept of God is an “extrapolation” from the causality we observe in the world. This extrapolation in determining the ultimate Reality is not valid. The Reality, by its very definition, must transcend causality and duality. Our Rishis understood that the whole world is known by “I”, the Subject. And they discovered the “Subject” – the Self, the Consciousness, who is revealing the external world as well as the internal world of mind-emotion-intelligence-ego.
They discovered that the “I” in us is really not limited by our body-mind complex; it is the unchanging Substratum of the entire changeful Universe. This was the greatest discovery of mankind – the discovery of our immortal all-embracing identity.
This discovery fulfilled man emotionally as well as intelligentially. It made him free and natural. No more struggle to gain happiness or fear of coursing through unhappiness!
The possibility is open before every body, even today. The question is only whether one wants it.
Thank you for your mail. And thank you for the time and effort that you have spent in answering my questions.
You said that our saints came to the conclusion that the Subject, the “I”, is the unchanging substratum of the entire changing universe. I would like to know how they arrived at this conclusion. Isn’t it just a theory, being passed off as the truth because there is no way of proving it? And hasn’t this theory been propounded only to console us human beings?
It is difficult to make sense of life anyway. Indeed, how could we make sense of our sufferings and our joys, of our immense love for our loved ones, when we know that it all comes to nothing in the end? It doesn’t really bother me not to be immortal; for me, the quest is to find the meaning of reality and existence. That I think, for me, would be equivalent to finding God. …
Dear and blessed …,
Harih OM Tat Sat. I don’t know whether my writing will serve any purpose. Because, you seem to be more eager to ask your pet questions, than to grasp what is communicated. Before making sweeping statements, why don’t you, with a little more of patience and humility, read and ruminate over what I am writing?
The discovery of the real “Subject” or “I” was not a “conclusion”, but a “discovery” – an experimental discovery. Anybody is free to repeat the experiment and verify for himself/herself guided by the able Teachers.
Not that all will succeed. Like in laboratories, many of the students are not able to get the correct results. They cannot blame Nature or the laws for that. They must understand that their sincerity or competence was lacking.
One has to get rid of all preconceived notions and imaginations. Any desire or ambition will not allow the seeker to have the impersonal vision necessary to overcome delusions. Finally, reasoning itself will lead us beyond reasoning, to get merged in the transcendental Truth.
Anything that can be described becomes an objective concept before the knowing “I”, the Subject. The Truth is beyond the Subject-object duality or division.
True spirituality enables a person to blossom naturally like a flower with whatever qualities he/she has. It makes us see and accept life and the world as they are.
Dear Nutan Swamiji,
I had a big smile on my face when I read your gentle reproach of my lack of humility and patience in assimilating what you’ve written till now. I admit guilt on both counts, as also on my brash dismissal of the knowledge of the Truth acquired by learned people over thousands of years. I agree with you, I’m in no position to do so, since I have no knowledge of the scriptures at all.
I would have to let you know that over the last 24 years, I’ve been under medication twice for clinical depression. My unanswered questions about life are inextricably interwoven with the fact of my depression, which in turn was triggered off because of stresses that I could not cope with.
Well, if you can be so patient with such an unworthy seeker (having replied so soon and with so much understanding), I can certainly relinquish my impatience, brashness and lack of humility. And the main reason why I want to do so, is that, finally, through you, I see a glimmer of light at the end of my dark, dark tunnel.
Dear and blessed …,
Harih OM Tat Sat. Do not wrestle with your questions. Let them come or go. Answers, if at all required, will dawn by themselves.
Relax. Rely on the all-powerful Presence within. Be cheerful, playful like a small girl. You have to do nothing. Just do whatever comes in front. Do it cheerfully and well, applying all your faculties.
How long will you have to be on medicine? Is it being tapered off? Don’t worry. Read very good literature. Have you got the book “In Tune with the Infinite” (by Ralph Waldo Trine)? Listen to our “Song of the Soul”. Do you have our “Prabhaata-rashmih (vol.1)”? See whether you would like to read it – one article a day.
Dear Nutan Swamiji,
Yes, my medicine is being tapered off. Thank you for your advice. You said to try and feel the all-powerful Presence within. How should I try and feel it? I feel a sense of peace when I read your mail. Do write whenever you can.
Dear and blessed …,
Harih OM Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Happy to receive your mail. It is good to know that you are doing well.
The inner Presence is the source from where our ‘I’- sense arises. We are not able to have its relieving touch because of our ‘ego’ associated with various aspects of our personality. In deep sleep, the ego getting dissolved, we get recharged by its rejuvenating touch.
We can very much feel this Presence even while awake, if we relax and forget the world as well as ourselves. Take 1 hr a day, if possible, to RELAX.
Be effortless. Don’t try to become effortless! Don’t try to analyze or interpret. Just relax, and observe what happens.
With loving good wishes,