Birth - Life - Death, when the cycle repeats, “I”, the common factor, remains constant, often eluding our mental perceptions, veiling us from realising the Truth . “I” is nothing, but the sense of Being or Consciousness of Existence... writes Dorjelingpa quoting scriptural writings, as published in Sanathana Sarathi, October 1975.

Cowan depicts: "While in the Connemara Hotel at Madras, two days after I arrived, I was taken very sick with pneumonia and was in bed. As I gasped for breath, suddenly all the body struggle was over, and I died. I found myself very calm, in a state of wonderful bliss and the Lord Sai Baba was by my side. Even though my body was laid on the bed, dead, my mind kept working throughout the entire period of time, until Baba brought me back....”

In between his death and resurrection, he was taken to a very large hall where there were hundreds of people milling around. "The records were brought into the hall.... arm-loads of scrolls. They seemed to be in different languages. As they were read, Baba interpreted them. In the beginning they told me of countries that have not existed for thousands of years and I could not recall them. When they reached King David, the reading of my lives became more exciting. I could hardly believe how great I apparently was, in each life that followed. As they continued reading my lives, it seemed what really counted was 'my motives and character'—as I stood for outstanding peace; spirituality and political activity. I do not remember all the names; but, I am included in almost all the history books of the world, from the beginning of time. As 'I' incarnated, in the different countries. 'I' carried out my mission, which was peace and spirituality."

Baba later on explained to Cowan that every person will not have a similar experience. Unfortunately, each of us do not know what we had been doing since the time of creation.

Lord Krishna declared: "I am the Atman, conscious in the heart of all life; and I am also the beginning, the middle and the end of life." "I am the father and mother of this world, I maintain it and purify it; I am the goal of knowledge, I am OM, and the three Vedas." Jesus Christ said: "Before Abraham was made I... I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life." Lord Buddha said: "Tread the path you will reach the Goal (Enlightenment)"—"Many with deflected perception cannot know see ME." "I am not the first Buddha who came upon earth, nor shall I be the last."

They, and all elevated souls we know, were the Effulgence of the Atma, manifested in different ages and needs to remove Dharma-Glani (decline), to dispel ignorance which obstructed man's efforts to establish his identity with the Source, the Sat, out of which he sprang.

And what is this I? Not a single part of our body can claim the I entity, though each of us has continuity of I awareness. When we keep associating this awareness with our physique and physical environments, our inner eye remains eclipsed to see know the ONE.

Let us try to have the glimpse of That I and use our best efforts, through Baba's Grace and try to immerse ourselves in IT.

Baba dispels our ignorance "I was one, I became Three; the Three became Five and many." With this point, we go to the scriptures: We find: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God” or "There was NADA, the Sound out of which evolved Wind, Fire, Water etc." Ultimately, our mind whirls when we think of the inconceivably long time it took to become gross. In "Dhyana Vahini" Baba says: "Consider the condition of this world hundreds of thousands of years ago. On one side was the fiery lava which poured forth from the volcanoes and crevices that scarred the surface of the earth. The flood of destruction descended on all sides and spread fear and death in the regions around, as if the end of everything had come. On another side, the scarcely noticeable molecules of living matter, the microscopic amoeba floated on the waters or clung to the crevices among the rocks keeping the spark of life safe and well protected... At that time, surely no one would have believed that the future was with the amoeba or the animalcule. Who could have foreseen that these minute specks of life—that speck of Chaitanya or Life Consciousness would win through, nevertheless. In process of time, by the sheer force of the Life Principle it embodied, it blossomed into unimaginable Jivis encased in varieties of form and with Antahkarana (Manas, Buddhi , Ahamkara and Chitta) the human being was processed—this being began to evolve into goodness and strength of character, into art and music; into song and dance, into scholarship and Sadhana and martyrdom, into sainthood and even replicas of Godhead! And, particularly, to this being with Manas, the urge to know this Ultimate Source by the Chit was given. To see the All Pervaded Atma (Vishnu), or the Ever Effulgent (Siva) and to get ourselves immersed in IT, became man's primary effort, which, however, was distracted by Ahamkara. That is why in Cowan's experience (and forces) what really counted was the `motives and character' with which he kept on incarnating in different countries from the beginning. Baba says, "Death means the fading out of the I consciousness. Re birth happens when I consciousness comes again. Ahamkara is born, Ahamkara dies, that is all."

So when we try to find out the I ness that flowed down from the subtle stage to the Gross stage, we get deflected, because our polluted Antahkarana(abstract part of the mind) veils us from IT. That is why Lord Krishna said to Arjuna:

"You and I have been in many births Arjuna,
I can recall them all, but you cannot.
Though birthless and unchangeable and Supreme,
I am born through my Maya, defying the laws of Nature."

When He was in Shirdi, Baba expounded who this ME (or I) is, in His Nectar like words: "You need not go far or anywhere in search of ME. Barring your name and form, there exists in you, as well as in all being, a sense of Being or Consciousness bf Existence. That is Myself. Knowing this, you see ME inside yourself, as well as in all beings. If you practise this, you will realize all pervasiveness and thus attain oneness with ME." Swami Abhedananda explains: "You can never get rid of this sense of `I' unless you attain to the highest liberation or the freedom of soul and become one with God, when the individuality of a Sadhaka reaches infinity." Baba provides the solution: "Maya is only the Buddhi as affected by everything, as warped and twisted by the impressions of everything. Therefore, the Chaitanya which is unaffected by Maya, upon which the world has failed to produce any impression; that Chaitanya is Ishwara.”

But when we consider the magnitude of mental and physical difficulties, we often lose courage. Because IT is a state of Qualitylessness. Beyond Time, Space and Form. Lord Krishna declared: "Giving up all Dharmas, come unto ME alone for refuge; I shall free thee from all sins; grieve not."


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