Attaining the Infinite: “Steel & Stone”

When ego, ahamkara, being aware of itself, resides just as easily in the mundane as in the spiritual, without attachment to either, in a perfect condition of self-functioning awareness known as sva-tantra, or perfectly individuated consciousness, it is free of all limitations of the personality. Now, able to stand resolute in the face of the whole truth of existence, it may be said that the final goal has been attained.

When the young sage Ayapa inquired of his Master, Vinayagananda Swami, about the best way to attain this perfected condition of Self, the Master was rather incredulous.

“How to attain? I don’t say. Just you have to attain. And you cannot do that. How you can do that? Can you do?” The Master looked hard at his sheepish disciple.

“If you have to attain that, then you have to first kill all your body feelings. Needing nothing. So, I cannot take you to that sanyas idea, to move behind me as a sanyasi. You have to work, so you work with your body feeling. That’s what Krishna says. Creation is first. You have to create. Whatever idea you want to create, that is His idea. It’s not you. So you have to work. You have to get everything. If you need to attain, then have to kill away this body feeling to be a stone or steel. Then only you can attain. Can you be a steel?” The abashed Ayapa indicates that he cannot. “Can you be a stone? I can be. In this moment somebody can throw a bomb – I am okay. No problem. Only I lose this body. I never lose anything. I will be happy. I will be much happy. You cannot do that.

Where is happiness? Happiness to attain the Self needs too much. And also it needs something like an iron liver in you. Having everything, enjoying the world. Being happy with material things, so also nothing. Can you do that idea? You cannot. There also you are putting your body feeling. The physical feeling. Having everything means whenever somebody comes saying ‘Hello, I want your something what you have’, can you give it quickly to this man? Possibly, no. There needs the iron liver. Having everything – have to give. When a man is enjoying ‘my thing, my thing’ – even a small piece of cloth, too – if another man is happy with my cloth, I will be very happy to see this man happy. I am ten times happy. That’s God. When He gives many things to people, when they are happy, He feels, ‘Hah – all the guys are happy.’ That’s the Lord. That’s the stone. That’s the steel. Not knowing anything, unconscious status in man – being Brahman. That’s the Brahmacharya – the man who is merged with Brahma. When he attains the Self, every enemies turns a friend. You have a place in every mind. That was Christ, who had a place for Himself in every mind. That was Christ, who gave away himself on the cross for many people. Somebody says for them own self. So how you can attain the Self?”

“Through love?” Sage Ayapa offers.

“Possibly. The love must be not expecting anything. You cannot give love sometime, by your body feeling. If you have no desire then the love is pure. Desire is your physical body. Here, there is no desire at all.” The Master gestures to His own heart. “He is just a witness – seeing you, how you play. Somebody can say, I am doing everything inside a room and nobody knows. But you knows. You knows! You who are doing, know it! Later on one day, you have to realize that, too, what I did inside my room. Is it right?

It needs much energy, to feel a man to be a God. It’s easy to be a ghost. It is easy to be anything except a God. Attain Self. Know yourself. Not this and not that. If you don’t know you, you don’t know anything.” 

The Swami gestures at His heart again.

“Be here, still. That’s the boosting happiness which comes in you. Otherwise where is happiness?”

Excerpt − The Mirror Sutra