Teacher and Student – Brahman in Brahman

Last updated on Sep 6, 2009

Posted on Sep 6, 2009

Today, September 5th, is celebrated as the Teacher’s day in India. I wanted to share a meaningful message that makes sense to me and I can relate to it myself. I could not find a better message than this dialog between the great Sage and Teacher Vasistha and his student Ram from the treatise “Yoga Vasistha”.

If there is any one book, that I can say has changed me profoundly, then this has to be it. Never before, perhaps, and surely never since has ever something so profound been attempted. Just read through the exchange in the post and you will understand why I say so. Specifically, concentrate on the definition of Teacher and the Student – and how it has been defined. Just so refreshing!

It goes on to explain this concept in more detail.. but it is so deeply explained that if I had to share all that, I will end up printing the entire book (which, btw, is the 3rd longest book in the world!) here to get the message across. 🙂

Ram asked: Lord, I am bewildered and I do not know what to ask now.  I am totally awakened or enlightened: What shall I ask now?
Vasistha replied: In the absence of a cause for any of this, do not enquire into the cause (why?).  Then you will easily rest in the supreme, indescribable reality.

Ram said: I accept that for want of a cause there has never been a creation.  But to whom does this confusion concerning knowledge and its object arise?
Vasistha Replied: For want of a cause and also because the one infinite peace alone exists, there is no illusion either.  You do not rest in that peace because you have not repeatedly contemplated this truth.

Ram asked: How does contemplation arise and what in non-contemplation?  Again, we are caught in the same trap.
Vasistha replied: In fact there is no illusion in the infinite.  However, because consciousness is infinite and indiminishable, the concept of repeated contemplation of this truth arises in it.

Ram asked: If all this is the one infinite peace, what is the meaning of the words “teacher” and “student” and how does this duality arise?
Vasistha replied: The “teacher” and the “student” are all Brahman existing in Brahman.  To the enlightened there is neither bondage nor liberation.

Ram asked: If the diversity of time, space, matter, energy and all the rest of it do not exist, then how has the concept of oneness of this diversity come into being?
Vasistha replied: The diversity of time, space, matter, energy (action) and experiencing exist only in non-existent ignorance.  There is no concept independent of this.

Ram asked: If the duality of “teacher” and “student” is false, then what is awakening or enlightenment?
Vasistha replied: By awakening, awakening is attained; and the concept of “awakening” is clearly understood.  Of course, all this is comprehensible only to people like you, not to us.

Ram asked: When thus enlightenment itself is related to the ego-sense, then it itself becomes other than enlightenment.  How can such division exist in the pure, indivisible consciousness?
Vasistha replied: The light of enlightenment itself is self awareness.  The apparent division or duality is like the wind and its movement.

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