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Subtle truths

CHENNAI : It is not by reasoning but by an "awakening" that one is able to gain a vision of the Supreme Reality. Yet the path to this stage of realisation is rooted in one's concerted efforts to know the truth, and this in turn draws from the knowledge of scriptures and expositions of learned preceptors.

Though Lord Krishna's instruction to Arjuna in the battlefield spans the entire gamut of subtle truths that lie beyond the ken of reasoning, the appropriate examples He chooses clarify their paradoxes and finer distinctions, said Sri Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal in a discourse.

The Atma within each created being is a manifestation of the Supreme Being. It shares the basic paradox with the divine by which it remains distinct from the body in which it exists, just as the Supreme Being remains unaffected, though He is the life giving support of the entire universe. All distinctions that are perceived in this universe and within one's lifetime are fleeting and the Atma continues to live even after the body has been dead. The consequences of good and bad deeds are experienced by the soul/body entity that characterises every being. When the Atma aligns itself with the body, it appears to suffer/experience joy/sorrow, pleasure/pain, etc. If the inner self recognises its true nature as part of the Brahman, and refrains from identifying itself with the physical body, it remains blissful.

The analogy of space is used to illustrate the inherent subtlety of the Atma. Being an all-pervading subtle entity, space comes into contact with the entire universe. Yet it remains untainted. It does not absorb fragrance, is not affected by water or heat, and remains intact when cut with a knife. Though it is all pervading, it is very subtle. It is the place where fire burns, yet it does not feel the heat. Space or ether is so called because it gives space. When a pot is placed on fire, it is able to get the heat, and blackness. But space in which the pot and fire interact is untainted. But over and above all this one needs to perceive the ultimate truth only through one's eye of wisdom, to discover the subtle distinction between the field and the knower of the field.

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