For this post, I would like to thank Supriya Didi for asking this question in Q/A forum which brought this out and Prahlad ji who suggested putting the answer in the form of a post. And this is how this post took shape.
That day, I was cycling back home after purchasing something required in kitchen from neighborhood. It was 5 p.m. From more than years I have been practicing some kind of meditation/sadhana around the time 5:30~6:30. So around that time, I am naturally a little meditative no matter where I am. While cycling, I felt a faint subtle feeling. It was as if I could feel what was around. As if some part of me was merging. It was a faint experience of oneness with the surroundings. Such experiences form the base of this post.
Disclaimer – That cannot be put in words! Reading this post can be fatal for the logical mind and put it into a confused state!
I once heard somewhere about the “Neti-neti” concept of Upanishads. Neti- नेति is formed by 2 words – न (not) + इति (this). So this means, “Not this, not this”. It is based on negation, “The supreme is neither this, nor this”. Which Adi Shankaracharya describes in Nirvana Shatakam. It refers to the Supreme Non-Dual aspect of Divinity, which they call “That”. And “That” is nothing but what Shiva calls “Bhairav”, the great void, in Vigyan Bhairav.
It can’t be put in words because words and language is relative and limited. The experience of what lies beyond is rooted in silence, silence is infinite. Just think this way- A word, sentence, story, anything begins and ends. But where? In silence. It starts and ends in silence. So it’s limited and silence is eternal, infinite, immortal. So the exact experience of beyond can’t be explained in words by anyone, not even by Divine. If it could have been explained, than every Indian household would have had at least one self realized person because Bhagvad Gita is found in almost every home. All scriptures are like pointers, lamp-posts, to give a faint idea of what can’t be put in words. The only way to understand is to experience first-hand. Self-realisation can mean different things to different people. Everything is overlapped. For example, in a rainbow, although we say there are 7 colours, it’s a very rough idea. If you look closer, they are overlapped, not separated as such, it’s a continuous spectrum.
I have experienced true inner centering in moments of utmost stillness and silence. It’s an altogether a different feeling, in that stage the difference between dream and reality vanishes. When awareness is firmly centered internally at Agya Chakra. When you don’t “Do” meditation, it just happens. And in that state, you naturally stay even amidst chaos. In that moment of crystal clear awareness, you realize the true meaning of verses of Gita, they no longer remain dry verses.
When the mental space merges with the infinite outer space, that time you realize, “I am that, you are that”- “अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि”- “तत्त्वमसि”. It is like breaking of a long dream. It is like death of limited self and birth of infinite self. It is like drop merging in ocean. But when drop merges in ocean, ocean also merges in drop. It is like becoming zero. It is like losing yourself in a void, in a black-hole. But when you become zero, you also become infinite.
Who is sadhak and who is sadhya than? Who is bhakta and who is Ishta then? When the border which separates “you” and “that” is removed, then you are that and that is you. When sadhak merges in Ishta, who will say “I did sadhana”. When there is no difference between self and others, when there is no separate self , how can there be “स्वार्थ” (for benefit of self) and “परार्थ” (for sake of others), what remains is “सर्वार्थ” (for everyone’s benefit) – “शिवे सर्वार्थ साधिके” !
It is like a great discovery, remembrance of what is already there. It happens when you discover the primordial, all-pervading, stillness, emptiness, the great void which is the source of all. It is becoming aware of the eternal moment called “Now/Present”.
It is followed by a deep sense of acceptance of each and everything and everyone. Then you feel same love for your Ishta as well as for the most wicked person you can imagine. Because you see that both are divine, in different name, form and label. There is nothing un-divine. The label of divine and evil loses sense. It is beyond good-bad, right-wrong, moral-immoral, it just is. It is a higher reality which shatters the lower reality. If good-bad, high-low has remained, then it is not the supreme yet. This duality, this division is verily the seed of suffering. And just to remind, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”“.
That strange dimension, you are living in it. Some aware, some asleep.
P.s- Was it a bit confusing? Well, you have been warned in the disclaimer!