Mystical experience

CHENNAI: The term Amrita that is often used in the Upanishads refers to immortality though it also means sweetness. What is meant is the wonderful effect that the experience of Ultimate Reality can create. The truth is that the Self is greater than the mind and all the worlds in the universe. The Self is hidden but is also enclosing it. Those who know the Self attain immortality, say the Upanishads. The following oft-quoted mantra “I know this great spirit, radiant as the sun, beyond darkness. Only by knowing this does one pass over death. There is no other path for going there” is a fundamental statement of the mystical experience of the Vedic Seer.

The Seer adopts a personal tone to exclaim his firsthand experience of the perception of Reality and it is not an intellectual statement, pointed out Swami Atmashraddananda in a lecture. He states the truth in plain terms, but with great emphasis. The implication is that this truth can be known by all if only they make the required effort.

Where do we come from and where do we go are questions that cannot be answered satisfactorily. The Vedantic view holds that all beings are from beyond Time. None can hope to redeem oneself except through one’s Self. When the focus is on our bodily needs there is a narrow mindedness in us and we are given in to anxiety. These limitations can be overcome if we identify ourselves with the divine element in us. We undergo an inner transformation and the desire to search for the Self takes root.

This is universal in all beings. There is no distinction based on country, status, etc. We have to overcome the evils of our personality such as desire, anger, jealousy, greed, etc. Though it appears that a person is happy with material possessions, this kind of happiness leaves one unsatisfied.

That is why Lord Krishna advocates the path of Bhakti where we direct our desire towards God. While all objects that demand our love may not be with us forever, God alone remains with each being as the guiding principle. His greatness is unfathomable. Through countless births in a process of gradual evolution each individual gets liberated when the true identity of the Self is realised.

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