A quiet humble Master lived in a village 8 to 10 miles away from a town. A man from the town visited him regularly. He would go to the kitchen, check out the supplies, see what was over, make a list, then sit with the Master for some time and next day return bringing all that was needed.
One day, early morning, he came in his car, stopped outside the house, took out the supplies from the car, opened the old wicket gate and as he approached the house, the old wise master who was sitting in the verandah shouted, “Drop It!” The man looked around in confusion and wondered if he had done anything wrong. He thought, “Maybe I should not be carrying my offerings with the left hand.” He dropped what was in the left hand.
“Drop It!” shouted the Master again. The man dropped what was in the right hand too, and stood empty – handed. Again roared the Master, “Drop It … Drop that also !” The student looked around, thought for a moment and he dropped it’………… dropped even the thought “I dropped”. The last thought was ‘thoughted’ and what remained was the Pure Consciousness – One without a second !
All you have to do is to drop the 3………Drop It ! Drop It !……….. Drop the body, drop the mind and drop the intellect. This is all that has to be done. But to drop it, you need Viveka (Discrimination), Vairagya (Dispassion), Shad Sampad (The six – fold qualities of calmness of mind, etc. …), Murnukshutwam (Burning desire for liberation). All moral and ethical values are for you to develop the capacity to drop. The final stage is simple. There is no ‘Homework’ – You go to the Master, listen, drop it and come back Realised. It takes no time; but to make yourself a fit student takes a lot of time…………..
Thus the Rishi went on slowly and steadily with delicate strokes cutting the facets of our personality to bring out the brilliance and shine fiom the uncut diamonds of our hearts.
The Royal Peaks stood in their majestic glory as a crown on the head of Bharat. Precious jewels adorned it and in its centre, shining with infinite hues was the jewel of jewels. The Crest Jewel of the Himalayas – The Sidhbari Sandeepany ………And There, at the foothills of the Himalayas sat the King of the Rishi Culture holding in His hands the Crest Jewel of Discrimination – Vivekachudarnani.
Diamond alone can cut diamond. Days passed by as the Expert Diamond Cutter, with verses of Stiri Shankara’s Vivekachudaniani, broadened the girdle, narrowed the apex., flattened the face and cut out facets after facets in various angles to bring out the glorious shine of the one ray of sunlight into hues of multicolours out of the shapeless and dull lumps of rocks. Indeed great are the blessings of The Diamond Cutter – Giving all. He claims nothing as His………….
“There is nothing that the Gum. can give which you don’t have already. But even if you have it, at this moment, it is shrouded in the darkness of your own ignorance, enveloped by the dirt of your own Vasanas. The teacher, through logical explanations, helps you to develop your own discrimination (Viveka). When Viveka dawns, Vairagya or dispassion will come. Whip in hand. He mercilessly removes the skin from the softest part of the body for every excessiveness in the student. When the attachments and the cravings are removed, when the rough edges are cut off, the brilliance which lies hidden in the heart of the rock shines forth. The opaque piece of white rock appears to have become a diamond.”
400 uncut diamonds lay in front of the Master Cutter. Merrily He cut and polished them. 400 delegates and just one Master ! Alone He did His work, laughing away, singing a happy tune.
“Without Vairagya you cannot hope to cross the Ocean of Samsara. Everytime you see sense objects, you must see a skull with two lines crossing each other – DANGER** ! Holding on to the body you hope to swim across. Try holding on to a shark to swim ! There is never a time Mr. Shark is not hungry. You will go straight into his mouth and don’t hope for it to open the mouth so that you may accidentally slip out, for Mr. Shaifc: never speaks to Mrs. Shark with food in the mouth ! ! ”
Orange robes wore given to everyone so that they remained steadily mounted on the stand while the Master Cutter did His job. With 3 sessions of cutting with the Vivekachudamani, a little brushing through the Aarti of Shri Ram – Sita and gentle polishing early morning during meditation, the diamonds started forming under the hands of the Diamond Cutter.
“A disciple went up to his Gum and said : I wish to offer Guru – dakshina. What may I bring for you, my Lord ?’ The Teacher said, ‘Bring me the filthiest thing you can find !’ The boy went around looking. At one place he saw stools. He thought that -that was the filthiest thing so he went to pick it up when suddenly he heard a strong voice saying, ‘Don’t touch me, you filthy thing !’ The boy looked around and saw no one. It was just him and the stools. He looked at the stools and again tried to pick it up but .the stools cried out, ‘Don’t touch me ! Don’t touch me! I used to be in the beautiful fields among the luxurious green, I blooroed as a flower, got fertilised and became wheat The fanner one day came to me and embraced me. I also embraced him in love but little did I know that he was cutting me down below ! From the moment he touched me my tragedy began. He thiashed me, put me in the daifc grainary and locked me. I loved sunlight – I was a child of sunlight – but I was kept in darkness for days. One day, the door opened. I saw the sunlight creep through. It was his wife. She took me, put me between the grinding stone, made flour of me, poured cold water on me, kneaded me and made dough out of me; then with a cold piece of cloth covered me. I said, ‘Never mind.’ But it was not all. She slapped me, flattened me with a rolling pin and threw me on a hot plate, burnt me on both the sides and then threw me into the fire. Then putting me on the plate she served me to him. He chewed me wetting me with his saliva and making paste of me between his teeth, he swallowed me. Down I went into the pit of acid. Burning acids came flowing from all sides. At last – What is my situation now ?! Man, don’t touch me !’
The disciple came back lo his Guru, prostrated and said, “Master, This is it ! This body of mine is the filthiest of things – so filthy that even the stools on the wayside insulted me.'”
The Diamond Cutter gave His final stroke, “Because of your Vasanas, Narayana had to come and live in this mud house – this foulest of things whose main preoccupation is filth manufacturing. Give up your attachment to this packet of Filth and. Get Out !”
The diamonds wore roughly cut in shapes. Now started the gentle sharpening of the edges to cut out definite angles and create perfect facets. It had to have a perfect length. It could neither be short nor long for light would seep through the surface of the lower pavillion instead of being reflected from its inner surface and spreading out into a flash of beautiful colours.
“You are not the three bodies – Gross, Subtle or Causal. You are not the five Koshas’ – Anamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vigyanamaya and Anandamaya. These five sheaths are not you, for they are all modifications of matter, changing and perishing, inert, with various distinctions, seen like an object, ever dependent and controlled by the other, impure and charactensed by pain and suffering. How can these 5 sheaths be you – the Atman ! – which is the One modificationless Cause of all. Eternal and Imperishable, of the nature of Consciousness, One without a second, the one Subject who is the witness of all change. Omnipotent, Ruler of all. Immaculate, Ever pure and Of the natore of Absolute Bliss ?! ”
“In a silk cloth placed in a velvetine box wrapped in gift paper is a precious locket You remove the gift wrapping, open the box, unfold the silken cloth and see the precious locket. Once you ‘realise’ the locket, the wrapping becomes insignificant. The world is Missed away once you reach THAT BLISS !”
Now began the task of thinning the apex to a point, otherwise it would appear as an ugly blob in the diamond.
The Diamond Cutter sang a song reminding the piece of unfinished rock, “That most brilliant of stones you are; That most precious of things you are; That Thou Art………. That Thou Art………….
That which has no caste, no creed, no family nor lineage, which is without name or form, without merit or demerit, beyond space, time and sense objects – THAT BRAHMAN THOU ART – MEDITATE ON THIS IN YOUR MIND !”
Just like the worm becomes a wasp by single – pointed meditation on the fierce mother wasp who is waiting outside the nest, ever waiting to sting it every time it tries to crawl out, in the same way, with a pure Heart meditate with all your feelings and knowledge on Brahman as yourself. KNOWING BRAHMAN YOU SHALL BECOME BRAHMAN. Brahma Tat Twam Asi Bhavayatmani ………Brahma Tat Twam Asi Bhavayatmani ………..That Thou Art ………….That Thou Art……………..”
At last came the final night, the auspicious night – the Shiv Ratri. The diamond in its brilliance dispelled all the daifcness around. There was a dance of colourful rays flashing in all directions …… Shiva danced the Dance of Bliss. He looks around, “1 am Bliss. Who made me suffer all these years ?” He opens His third eye – the Eye of Wisdom which rises when the mind and intellect are at rest. All the four directions are burnt down. In me, the One without a second, where is the plurality ?Neha Nanasti Kinchan,’ The world is burnt down by His mere glance just as the dream world dissolves on waking. In anger as He turns around asking who was the cause of His sorrow, Parvati comes running and falls at His feet and cries, 1 did not even think You, The Infinite Knowledge would get deluded, I just did it to entertain you. It was just a joke; you took it seriously ! I, Maya cannot do anything without your help. I did all this with your help, therefore, it is not all my fault, it is partly Yours. I am sorry. Hereafter, I will not do it. Now I have understood Your character – You cannot take a joke! And don’t forget when you were doing your sadhana, it was I, the Mind, that assisted You.
You couldn’t Realise without my help. So please spare me.’ The Lord smiled and did not burn her but kept her as His equipment to bless the whole of creation. He keeps Her to His left and sees Her only with the corner of His left eye !
The Mighty One stood in His Infinite Glory adorned with Vibhuti – The ashes of His burnt Vasanas. Each diamond shone in its place. The Master Cutter examined with pride but like a minor who accepts everything, rejects nothing reflects everything, keeping nothing, the Master kept nothing for Himself. The diamonds were not for Him but for Mother India. They were to adorn Her limbs Some were to be mounted on rings for the sacred toes of her feet at Madras. Some of them were to be tied together as anklets for her ankles at Kerala and Andhra. Others were to form a rich band around her waist in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh while some were to adorn her aims as bangles at Gujarat and Assam. Some were to be set in an exquisite necklace around her neck resting on her loving bosom across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Orissa. A few of them were to shine as eamngs at Punjab and Simla while a couple or two were to become a nose ring at Kashmir. That was not all. A few were to be scattered around her maiden body in the oceans so that they may sail far and wide to spread the beauty of her glorious culture around the world.
“In a cave lived a couple. They multiplied and for generations the colony never left the cave. They lived amidst filth and breathed smoke arising from the fire in the centre. Their only companions woe the shadows. The way to the mouth of the cave was a labyrinth and everybody was warned not to go near it. One youngster, out of sheer inquisitiveness, wondering why everyone was stopped from going near it, dared to explore the dark tunnel. It grew darker and darker, the dim light of the Fire behind faded away. There were stones jutting out. Falling, wounded, ulcerated and hungry, the poor boy returned and crumbled back into the cave. Everyone in the cave laughed and criticised. He was made fun of but he remained restless. He evaluated his life in the cave and felt it was meaningless. He had to go.
He made a second attempt This time he decided, 1 will find out what lies beyond or I shall die.’ Now he knew half the way. He went on and on…. At last he turned round a bend and immediately he closed his eyes and sat down screaming. He was born in darioiess…. His eyes were not used to the brilliant sunlight. Very slowly he removed his hands and as he came closer to the mouth of the cave, he felt the cool air, sweet and fragrant. He walked out of the cave……….. Lo ! Wonder of Wonders ! There was a huge expanse of space, green grass and beauty lavishly spread everywhere. He rolled on the grass, screamed, laughed and jumped. It took time to digest the experience. He found delicious fruits and sweet water. He was happy.
One day lying on the grass under a tree, he suddenly remembered, ‘They know not this world. I must go back and bring them.’
He came back. After experiencing ‘that’, this was worst, he started explaining. Everybody sat around him but would anyone understand him? The more poetic he got the crazier they thought he was. The more vigorous he became, the more they were convinced of his insanity.
A youngster, not that he understood him, but seeing the sincerity and honesty in his eyes, thinking that it must be true as he was gone for a long time, decided to go with him. Swiftly they left. The teacher was an inexperienced teacher. He walked forward warning the boy about the stones, the ditches and the bends. They went on for two days………….Suddenly, the teacher felt he heard no footsteps behind him. He turned around… The boy was gone! He had taken courage for two days but could take no more and returned. The teacher returned loo. There was no reception but a general protest. No one was allowed to talk to him. He was a danger to society ! !
Days passed. Another student came. This time the teacher was experienced. He did not say ‘Follow Me* but made him walk in front of him, guiding him from behind. ‘Bend low. Be always humble. If you want to stand do not walk. Careful, there is a stone jutting here. Put you right hand on the wall ……………’ Whenever the boy wanted to go back, the teacher would say, 1 will beat you. ‘ Thus pushing him, the teacher brought him to the mouth of the cave. The boy screamed, cursed the teacher. The teacher smiled saying, “This is That……… ……That world belongs to you. The student opens his eyes……….. The teacher watches the student in total ecstasy and he relives his first experience through the student.
For days they lived together enjoying the beauty. One day when both woe lying on the grass, the Guru said, ‘Now you have to go back.’ The disciple jumped up, 1 don’t want to go there.’ The Guru said firmly, ‘Go back and bring others. If I did not come back you would not be here. You would still be suffering there. I know they will kick you, abuse you ……………what else can the poor things give. You receive it. You tell them of this experience and maybe they will see that what you are saying is the same that the Old one said. Someone will hear. Don’t make the mistake I did. Don’t leave him to follow. Be atrociously criminal looking – kick him miserably and put him forward.
As gratitude to His Teacher, he came back to bring at least some more to the Feet of His Master.