“Om is the symbol that is all that is” declared the Guru to a seemingly large audience in a huge auditorium in Boone. “All that is past present and future was called by one word Om”. I looked around to see if everyone took in this abrupt declaration with as much absurdity as I did. I wandered into my own past when reminiscing this sentence wondering to what kind of student would this declaration not sound ridiculous? One who is already enlightened perhaps. I did not reach a guru’s feet in disappointment or frustration. I looked for him unable to bear the intensity of my own existence, looking for a deeper meaning and purpose of life. I went to him longing to take me out of the illusionary excitement born out of mundane mind. Here he was making this abrupt declaration.
ओमित्येतदक्षरमिदं सर्वम्| तस्योपव्याख्यानं भूतं भवद्भविष्यदिति सर्वमोंकार एव | यच्चान्यत् त्रिकालातीतं तदप्योङ्कार एव!
He beamed at me. “All that is past, present and future was called by one word Om. Where were you before everything you recognised? There is something in us that tells us that we are not born and that we are not going to die. Something in us never ages. You all feel that but do not recognise that. What is that that says you are born? Thats all you woke up from sleep and your intellect started observing and recognising things”.
Thus the sound Om from that day became my own personal ocean into which I dropped my past, present and future when awareness takes over. When this experience fruits in a being, it begins to dawn that this sound is much wider and much bigger than anything my mind can measure. It is bigger than the concept of time to which my mind is conditioned. It is that divine sound that makes this food laden body, never tiring horse I call mind and ever thirsty intellect look like a human.
सर्वं ह्येतद् ब्रह्म , अयमात्मा ब्रह्म, सो अयमात्मा चतुष्पात | सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म ||
“All this is verily Brahman. if anything has to exist, good or bad it does within this brahman”. Naturally this can only mean that Om is brahman. Nothing can oppose this brahman as it encompasses everything. “God is everywhere hence he is present in me too. God is there all the time he is here now. He belongs to everyone and so he belongs to me. he is capable of everything. He is a field of all possibilities.” Overtime these sentences featured in my mind often. It always made me wonder why would a master drag a mind between the omni potential and limited existence in these sentences. Each time these powerful words brought with it several meanings and comforts.
He could have simply said your very atma in brahman to translate the upanishad. But he didn’t. He chose to help me understand that the concept is like that of space. It was simply called space before the seemingly inert walls were built, maps were drawn and dots were plotted to mark dualities. Similarly Brahman was in a place called everywhere before very finite body encapsulated a portion of it and called it atman and brought it here. It existed forever before this mind bound it in a scale we call time and called it now. Brahman is the very building block out of which this seemingly multitude identities were created by the intellect.
So all the layers built around the unit of brahman is what is stopping the atman to realise that it is brahman and these layers are too manifestations of that brahman in various consistencies and solidities and thus he prepares me to understand the four manifestations of the consciousness beneath which lies brahman undisturbed by the storms and thunders experienced in the surface.