Sunday, April 24, 2011
Epiphany Of A Sinner
This is a matter of several years ago.
And it happened more than twice or thrice. At different times.
Through my college days.
I would be suddenly gripped by the strangeness of a certain fact.
Describing the feeling, the way it occurred then to me,
There were millions of people in this world but all that mattered, nay, existed was ‘I’, Sowmya.
Today I would not use the words ‘mattered’ and ‘existed’. Today, I would use the word awareness. All that awareness meant was “I”. I would, forever, be aware of myself and none else.
But then, years ago, I knew much less and hence fewer words.
Continuing in the words of those days,...
If I slept now and woke up tomorrow, ‘it’ would still be ‘I’, Sowmya.
Even after 20 years, ‘it’ would still be ‘I’, Sowmya.
There were thousands of people and their life and their stories but all that could be felt, experienced, mattered, was ‘I’, sowmya.
It would always be ‘my’ life, my body, my mind, my thoughts, my feelings.
I was the centre of the universe.
I would always remain I and not become someone else.
The thought held me in its grip for a few minutes as if in a trance.
The first few times, I could not identify it, leave alone have the right words to describe it, even to myself.
It neither made me happy nor sad. I just thought it strange that I should be the centre of the universe, that ‘I’ alone should matter, that it would always be ‘my’ life today, tomorrow, 20 years from, although there were so many others in this world.
I found myself in this spell several times and experienced the same sensation of awe. And then I ignored it. For a long time now, I have never had the thought.
For the last two years, I have been reading some works on spirituality; Ramana Maharshi, Autobiography of A Yogi and all.
In these works, saints experience moments of stupor in which they are able to identify with all beings around them. They can see what is behind them clearly without turning their head. It’s a kind of super conscious state where they realize oneness or unity. They can feel others - their bodies, minds, thoughts, and not just be limited to themselves, their own bodies and minds.
Also, these are their moments of epiphany where they realize what is called by different names - the supreme spirit, the infinite, God… and all.
Long after I put down Autobiography of a Yogi, I realized that, that strange old thought that had gripped me during those spells was an epiphany of sorts.
But of course, they were saints. I was a mere sinner. Our epiphanies were of opposite nature.
While they had realized what was beyond themselves, I had realized my limitation in all it’s vividness.
While they had realized universal consciousness, what had occurred to me during those spells was the realization of the absence of a universal consciousness in all its starkness; the limitation of consciousness to my individual self; the inability to transcend this self.
I would always be aware of myself and never of another person. That was what the thought was!
Though there are millions in this world, as far as consciousness is concerned, there will always be one person. I. And only I.
Has anyone ever had such a strange thought?