What we call the physical body and what we call the soul are not two things that are different and apart. There is no break between them; there are links. We have always thought that the body is separate and the soul is separate, and that there is nothing to connect them. Also, we have been thinking not only that they are apart but that they are the opposite of each other. This idea separated religion from science. Religion was supposed to search for that which is other than the body, whereas science was that which dis-covered everything about the body - all except the atman, the soul. So it is only natural that each should deny the other.
Science was engrossed in the physical body and so it asked, "The body is true, but where is the soul?" Religion searched for the inner and called it the soul. It said, "The spirit is real but the physical is an illusion." Therefore, when religion reached its peak it described the body as an illusion, a fantasy, maya, and said that in actuality it did not exist. It proclaimed the atman as truth and the body as illusion. When science reached its heights it disclaimed the atman. It said, "The concept of the soul is false; it is a lie. The body is everything." This error is the cause behind the concept that the body and the atman are two opposite things.
I have talked about the seven bodies. If the first body is the physical and the last is the spiritual, then if we do not consider the five bodies in between there will be no bridge between these two. It would be just as if you were to climb a ladder and then discard all the intervening rungs between the last and the first. Then there is no connection between the first and the last steps.
If you see the full ladder you will find that the first rung is connected with the last. And if you examine it more closely you will find that the last rung is the last part of the first rung, and the first rung is the first part of the last one. Similarly, if we take all the seven bodies together we will find a connection between the first and the second bodies. The first body is the physical body; the second is the etheric body - the emotional body. It is only the subtle form of the physical and it is not nonmaterial.
It is just that it is so subtle that it has not yet been fully grasped by physical means. But now the physicists do not deny the fact that physical matter becomes more and more rarified and nonphysical in its subtle form.
For instance, modern science says that matter when analyzed is ultimately reduced to electrons which are not matter but which are particles of electricity. Nothing like substance remains in the end - only energy. So science has made a wonderful discovery in the last thirty years. Though it had considered matter to be a reality, it has now come to the conclusion that matter does not exist whereas energy is a fact. Science now says that matter is an illusion brought about by the movement of energy at a high speed.
When a fan is made to rotate at high speed we cannot see the three blades separately. What we see is a circle going around and around. Also, the spaces between the blades appear filled. Actually, the blades move so fast that before the reflection of one blade passes our eyes the second blade is already there. Then the third blade comes just as swiftly, with the result that they follow one after the other so that we cannot see the vacant spaces between them. The fan can be made to revolve at such a speed that you can sit on it and never know that anything is moving underneath you. The space between two blades can be filled so swiftly that after one blade passes under you the second will immediately replace it; then you will not feel the empty space at all. It is entirely a matter of speed.
When energy revolves at a high speed it looks like matter. The atomic energy on which our entire modern scientific research is based has never been perceived visually; only its effects are visible.
The fundamental energy is invisible and the question of seeing it does not arise, but we can observe its effects.
So if we look upon the etheric body as the atomic body it will not be wrong - because in this case also we only see the effects and not the etheric body itself. Because of the effects we have to admit its existence. This second body is the subtle form of the first; hence there is no difficulty in connecting the two. They are, in a way, joined to each other. One is gross and so it can be seen; the other is subtle and hence it cannot be seen.
Beyond the etheric is the astral body. It is a subtler form of ether. Science has not yet reached there, but it has reached a conclusion that if we analyze matter, what ultimately remains is energy.
This energy can be called ether. If ether is further broken up into more subtle components, what will remain is the astral - and this is subtler than the subtle.
Science has not yet reached the astral but it will. Until recently science only accepted matter and denied the existence of the atom. Until yesterday, almost, it said that matter is solid. Today it says that there is nothing like solid substance and everything is nonsolid. Now they have proved that even a wall, which appears solid, is not so solid. It is porous and things can pass back and forth through its holes. We may be inclined to say that at least that which is around the pores must be solid, but this too is not solid: each atom is porous.
If we magnify an atom to the same size as the earth we will find that there is as much distance between two components of an atom as there is between the earth and the moon or the sun and the stars. Then we might say that at least the two components at the two ends are solid - but science says that these too are not solid; they are particles of electricity. Now science is not even ready to accept the word particle, because with that is joined the concept of matter. Particle means a portion of matter - but the atom's components are not matter, because matter is solid and keeps its shape whereas these components are continuously changing shape. They are like waves, not particles.
When a wave arises in water, before you even say to yourself, "This is a wave," it has changed, because a wave is that which comes and goes continuously.
But a wave is also a material happening, so science has coined a new word which was not there thirty years ago. The word is quanta. It is difficult to find a Hindi equivalent just as many Hindi words have no equivalents in English: for instance, the word Brahman - the cosmic reality. Words are formed because there is a necessity of expression on the part of those who have experienced.
When the Brahman was experienced it was necessary for those who experienced to coin a word to express it, so the word brahman was coined in the East. The West has not reached this stage yet; hence they do not have any equivalent word, because they did not require it.
This is why many religious terms do not have any equivalents in English. For example, the word aum - this word cannot be translated into any language of the world. It is an expression of a deep spiritual experience. The West has no parallel word by which it can be ex-pressed. In the same manner, quanta is a word coined to express the peak of scientific heights and it has no parallel word in any other language. If we try to understand the meaning of quanta, it means a particle and a wave together. It will be difficult to conceive of it however. It is something which behaves sometimes like a particle, sometimes like a wave, and whose behavior is very unpredictable.
Until now matter was most reliable; there was a certainty about matter. But the ultimate part of matter, the atomic energy that has been discovered, is very uncertain. Its behavior cannot be foretold. First science stood firmly by the certainty of matter. It said that everything is precise and definite. Now the scientist does not press this claim, because he knows that from where he has reached in research today this certainty is very superficial. There is a deep uncertainty within, and it would be interesting to know what this uncertainty means.
Where there is uncertainty there is bound to be consciousness; otherwise uncertainty cannot be.
Uncertainty is a part of consciousness, certainty is a part of matter. If we leave a chair in a certain place in a room we will find it exactly there upon our return, but if we leave a child in the room we will never find it where we left it. There will always be a doubt, an uncertainty, where he will be and what he will be doing. We can be sure about matter, but never about consciousness. Therefore, when science accepted the uncertainty in behavior on the part of the ultimate portion of the atom, it also accepted the possibility of consciousness in the ultimate part of matter.
Uncertainty is the quality of consciousness, but matter cannot be unpredictable. It is not that fire may burn when it chooses and not burn when it does not choose to, nor can water flow in whatever direction it pleases or boil at any temperature it fancies. The functions of matter are determined, but when we go within matter we find that ultimately it is undetermined.
You can take it this way: if we want to find out how many people die in Bombay, this is possible. If there are ten million people we can take the number of deaths in one year and find out approximately how many die per day, and this would be almost correct. If we calculate the mortality rate for this whole country of nine hundred million in the same way, the figure would be closer to the exact number. If we calculate the mortality rate for the whole world, the certainty of the figure will be even greater. But if we want to find out when a single person will die our calculations will be most uncertain.
The greater the crowd, the more material things become. The more individual the phenomenon, the more we find consciousness. In fact, a single piece of matter is a crowd of millions of atoms; therefore, we can predict about it. But if we penetrate within the atom and catch hold of the electron we find that it is individual: we cannot determine its course and it seems as if it decides that on its own. So about a solid rock we can be certain: we will find it in a particular place. But the structure of the individual atoms within will not be the same. By the time we return again to the rock, all the atoms within will have changed their positions and traveled from one place to another.
Uncertainty begins by going deep within matter. This is why science has changed its language from certainty to probability. No longer does it say, "This is how this or that will be." Rather, it says, "It is more probable this way than that." It no longer says emphatically, "This is it." In the past all the claims of science were in the language of certainty: whatever it said was bound to be. But when the search of science went deeper all its former concepts began to break down. The reason was that science had unknowingly stepped from the physical realm into the etheric, about which it has no understanding. Until it accepts the fact of stepping from the physical to the etheric plane, it cannot have any understanding. It has reached the second dimension of matter, the etheric dimension, and this has its own possibilities. There is no gap between the first and the second body.
The third or the astral body is even more subtle. It is the subtlest of the subtle. If we break the ether into atoms - which still seems improbable, because we have barely unfolded the physical atom, so to experiment with ether will still take a long time. when the ether atoms are known we will find that they are the particles of the body that comes next - namely, the astral body. When we broke the physical atom its most subtle particles were found to be etheric. Similarly, if we break the etheric atom the most subtle particles will be that of the astral body. So we shall find a connection between them. These three bodies are clearly joined to one another and it is for this reason that photographs of ghosts have been taken.
A ghost does not have a physical body. Its veiling starts with the etheric body. It has been possible to photograph ghosts, because when the etheric body condenses a sensitive camera can catch its reflection. Another thing about ether is that it is so subtle, that it is easily influenced by the psyche.
If the spirit of a dead person wishes to appear it can condense its form so that the atoms that are spread out come closer and form an outline. This can be caught by a camera.
Thus, our second body that is etheric is much more influenced by the mind than the physical body.
The latter too comes under the influence of the mind, but not to that extent. The more subtle the body, the more it is affected by the mind and the nearer it will be to the mind. The astral body is even more influenced by the mind. This is why astral traveling is possible. A man can be asleep in this room but he can reach any part of the world with his astral body. You must have heard stories of a man being seen in two or three places at the same time. This is possible. His physical body will be in one place and his astral body in another. It is a matter of a little practice and this can be brought about.
The powers of the mind develop more and more as we go inward and they dissipate as we go outward. Going outward is just like burning a lamp and then putting a glass shade over the flame.
After putting it the flame will not appear very bright. Then we put another and yet another. In this way we place seven covers over it. After the seventh covering the light of the flame will be extremely dull and dim because it has to pass through seven layers.
In this way our life energy becomes very dim by the time it reaches the physical body. This is why we do not seem to have much control over the physical body. But if someone begins to travel within, his control over his physical body becomes more and more, exactly in proportion to the depth of his inner journey. The subtle form of the physical is the etheric and the still more subtle part of the etheric is the astral. Then comes the fourth body - the mental body.
Until now we were under the impression that mind is one thing and matter another. Mind and matter were considered as two separate things. In fact, there was no way of defining them. If we were to ask, "What is mind?" we would be told, "That which is not matter," and vice versa. If we were to ask, "What is matter?" there was no other definition. And this is how we have always been thinking about them - as being different and apart. Now, however, we know that mind also is a more subtle form of matter. Conversely, we can say that matter is the condensed form of mind.
When atoms of the astral are broken they become thought waves. There is a close proximity between quanta and thought waves; it was not taken into consideration. So far, thoughts were not considered to have a physical existence, but it is a fact that when you think a particular kind of thought the vibrations around you change accordingly. It is interesting to note that not only thoughts but even words have their own vibrations. If you spread sand particles on a glass top and chant Aum loudly, under the glass the pattern caused by the vibration of the sound will be different from the pattern caused by chanting Rama. If you were to utter an abuse the pattern would again change.
You will be surprised to know that the more foul an abuse, the more ugly is the pattern formed, and the more beautiful a word, the more beautiful will be the pattern of its vibration. The abuse will form a chaotic pattern, whereas the lines of the beautiful words will be well formed and well balanced.
Therefore, for thousands of years research was carried out to find words that produced beautiful vibrations, and it was considered whether their intensity was enough to affect the heart. Words are thoughts that are manifested. However, unmanifested words also carry a resonance and we call them thoughts. When you think about something a particular kind of resonance is created around you, a particular kind of vibration surrounds you. This is why you find sometimes that when you go near a particular person you feel sad for no apparent reason. It could be that the person has not uttered a single negative word, and perhaps he is even laughing and happy to meet you. Yet a sadness takes hold of you from within. On the other hand, in the company of someone else you may suddenly feel cheerful.
You enter a room and you may feel a sudden change inside yourself. Something holy or unholy takes hold of you. In some moments you are surrounded by peace and tranquility, and in others by restlessness. You cannot understand and you wonder, "I was feeling very peaceful. Why has this restlessness suddenly arisen in my mind?" All around you there are thought waves, and they keep on entering within you all the twenty-four hours.
Recently a French scientist developed an instrument which has succeeded in catching thought waves. As soon as a man approaches this instrument it begins to show what thoughts are within him. The instrument begins to catch the thought waves. If an idiot is made to stand before it there will be very few waves reported, because such a person hardly thinks. If an intellectual is made to stand before it the machine takes over all the vibrations of his thoughts.
So what we know as the mind is the subtle form of the astral. As we go more and more within the layers get more and more subtle. Science has reached the etheric body but even now it insists on calling it the atomic plane or the plane of atomic energy. But science has reached down to the second body of matter. It will not take long to reach the third plane, because now it has become necessary to do so.
Work is being done on the fourth plane also but from a different dimension. As mind was considered to be apart from the body, some scientists are working only upon mind; they have left the body completely out. They have experienced a lot of things about the fourth body. For instance, we are all, in a way, transmitters. Our thoughts spread all around us. Even when I am not talking to you my thoughts reach you.
A lot of work is in progress in Russia in the field of telepathy. One scientist, Fayadev, has been successful in transmitting thoughts to a person at a distance of a thousand miles just as is done in radio transmission. If we concentrate our attention with full willpower in a particular direction and transmit a thought, it reaches that particular destination. If the mind at the other end is equally open and ready to receive at that moment and is concentrated in the same direction, the thought is received.
You can try a simple experiment at home. Small children catch thought waves very quickly because their receptivity is very sharp. Seat a child in a dark room in one corner and tell him to concentrate on you for five minutes. Tell him that you will tell him something in silence and he should try and listen. If he hears it he should repeat what he heard. Then you choose a word, say Rama. Now concentrate on the child and repeat this word within yourself until it resounds in you. Do not say it aloud. In two to three days' time, you will find that the child has caught the word.
The reverse can also take place. Once the experiment succeeds it will be easy to carry out further tests. Now you may tell the child to concentrate on you. He should think of a word and throw it in your direction in the same way. With the first part of the experiment your doubt was cleared when the child caught your word. So now you will be receptive and catch the child's word. When the experiment is successful you will stop doubting, and your receptivity will increase accordingly.
Between you and the child there is the physical world. This thought should be intrinsically physical in its content or it will not be able to cross the physical medium. You will be surprised to know that Mahavira has even defined karmas as material. If you are angry and you kill someone it is an action of anger and of murder. Mahavira says that the subtle atoms of these actions cling to you as the scum of karmas and actions. So actions too are physical, and they also hold onto you like matter.
Mahavira calls becoming free of this accumulated conditioning of karmas nirjara - deconditioning.
All the atoms of these karmas that have collected around you should fall off. The day you are rid of them all, what remains of you will be absolutely pure. Nirjara means the falling off of the atoms of actions. When you are angry it is an action, then this anger remains with you always in its atomic form. That is why when the physical body falls these atoms do not disintegrate - because they are very subtle. They come along with you in the next birth.
So the mental body is the subtle form of the astral body. Thus, as you can see, there is no gap between these four bodies. Each is a more subtle form of the preceding body. A lot of work is being done on the mental body. Scientists are working in the field of psychology and especially parapsychology, and the strange and wonderful rules of mental energy are slowly coming within their grasp. Religion grasped them a long time ago, but now many things have become clear to science as well.
There are many people in Monte Carlo who cannot be defeated in the game of dice. Whatever dice they throw brings about the numbers they want. At first it was thought that perhaps the dice were specially designed to throw the number they desired. Then the dice were changed but the result was the same: the dice fell exactly where these people wanted them. Several changes of dice yielded the same result. Even when blindfolded these people managed to throw the right number. This made others sit up and take note. Investigations were begun to find the reason. Actually, the very determination of their thought influenced the dice. They threw the dice with a determination to get the number they wanted. Their thought waves then brought the dice to that same number. What does this mean? If thought waves are capable of changing the direction of dice, they must also be material or else this would not be possible.
Carry out a small experiment and you will understand. Since you talk of science, I talk of experiments. Take a glass filled with water. Add a little glycerine or any other greasy liquid so as to form a thin film on the surface of the water. Place a straight pin lightly over this film so that it floats on the surface. Close the room from all sides. With your palms flat on the ground, concentrate your attention fully on the pin. For five minutes look straight at the pin. Then tell the pin to turn to the left and it will turn to left. Then tell it to turn to the right and it will turn to the right. Tell it to stop and it will stop; tell it to move and it will move. If your thought can move a pin, it can move a mountain also; it is only a matter of proportion. Fundamentally the principle is the same. If you have the ability to move a pin the fundamentals are proven. It is a different matter that the mountain may be too huge a structure to move - but it can move.
Our thought waves touch matter and transform it. There are people who when given your handkerchief will be able to tell approximately as much about you as can be told by seeing you.
This is because your handkerchief absorbs your thought waves. These waves are so subtle that a handkerchief which belonged to Alexander the Great will still carry the facts about his personality.
The waves are so subtle that it takes them millions of years to come out of the object. This is why graves and samadhis came to be constructed.
Yesterday I told you that in India we have the custom of burning our dead, but not our dead sannyasins. An ordinary man's body is burned so that his soul does not go on hovering around him. But the sannyasin is not cremated because his soul had already stopped hovering around his body while he was still alive. Now there need be no fear of his soul having any attachment to his body. We wish to conserve his body, because the body of a man who has spent years in experiencing the divine will diffuse the same thought waves for thousands of years. His burial spot will be meaningful; it will yield results. The body is dead, but this body has been so close to this soul that it absorbed a great deal of the vibrations that had spread from it.
Thoughts have infinite possibilities, but they are physical all the same. Therefore, be very careful what you think, because the subtle thought waves will remain with you even after the body falls. Your physical age is quite short compared to the age of these subtle waves. Scientists have now come to the conclusion that if there have been people like Jesus and Krishna, in the near future they will be able to catch hold of the thought waves of these people. Then we shall be able to tell whether Krishna ever really spoke the Gita - because the thought waves that emanated from Krishna are still present in the universe, rebounding from some planet, some asteroid.
It is just like when we throw a stone into the sea: when it falls it forms a small circle. The stone will sink because it cannot stay long on the surface of the water: it begins to sink as soon as it touches the water. The ripples caused by its impact on the water begin to increase. They become larger and larger and their extension is endless. They may go beyond the horizon of your vision, and who knows what distant shores they have reached.
So thoughts, no matter when they were born - not only those that were spoken but also those that were in the mind - also spread in the universe, and they go on spreading. And they can be caught hold of. Someday, when the momentum of science increases and man progresses further, we will be able to hear them once again. Now the radio news relayed from Delhi to Bombay takes some time to reach Bombay because sound takes time to travel. By the time it reaches Bombay it is no more in Delhi: the waves have left Delhi though the distance is only of a few moments duration.
There is a time gap.
Now suppose in India we are seeing a man in New York on television. When his image is formed in New York it is not at once visible to us; there is a gap between its formation and the time when it reaches us. It could be that in that interval the man may have died, but he will appear alive to us.
Thought waves from the earth, as well as the ripples of other happenings, go out to the infinite number of planets. If we were to go ahead of them and catch them they would still be alive in a sense. Man dies but his thoughts do not die that quickly. Man's life is very short; the life of thoughts is very long. Remember also, the thoughts we do not express live longer than those we express because they are more subtle. The more subtle a thing, the longer is its life; the more gross, the shorter is the life.
Thoughts influence the physical world in many ways. We have no idea of their effect. Biologists have now experienced that if a loving type of music is played beside a plant it begins to flower soon - even out of season. If noisy, chaotic music is played close by it then it does not flower - not even in season. The vibrations of the music touch the plant. Cows give more milk under the influence of a different type of music. Thoughts produce a more subtle ether that produces an aura of ripples.
Each man carries around him his own world of thoughts from which ripples go on spreading out continuously.
These thought waves are also physical. What we know as the mind is a very subtle form of physical energy. Therefore, it is not difficult for science to reach them, because these waves can be caught and investigated. For instance, we did not know until recently how deeply a man sleeps - at what depth his mind goes. Now we know; we have instruments to find out. As we have instruments to measure the pulse rate, so we have instruments to measure sleep. A device is fixed to the head all night long, and from the graph formed on it we can tell exactly when the person's sleep became deep, how long he slept, how long he dreamt, what was the duration of good dreams, what was the duration of bad dreams, how long were the dreams, and whether they were sexual or nonsexual. All this the graph shows. There are about ten laboratories in America where thousands of people are paid to come and sleep and their sleep is closely examined. It is a matter of great concern that we remain unacquainted with sleep.
One-third of a man's life passes in sleep. Sleep is not a small matter. If a man lives for sixty years he sleeps for twenty of them. If this period of twenty years remains unknown a third of his life will remain unknown to him. Now the interesting fact is that if he does not sleep for these twenty years, he will not live for forty years. Therefore, sleep is a basic necessity. A man can sleep without awakening for sixty years, but he cannot live without sleeping. Thus, sleep is a basic requirement.
In sleep we are somewhere else; the mind is somewhere else. But this mind can be measured.
Now it can be known how deep one goes in sleep. There are many people who insist they do not dream. This is an absolute falsehood, and they say this because they do not know. It is very difficult to find a man who does not dream. It is very difficult! Dreams occur all night long. You think that you only have a dream or two, but that is wrong. The machine says that dreams occur throughout the night but we do not remember them. You are asleep so remembrance is absent. The dream you remember is the very last that takes place when sleep is almost finishing. When you come back from sleep the last dream remains in your thoughts. Its faint echo still lingers within as you wake up.
But you do not at all remember all the dreams of deep sleep.
Now it has become necessary to investigate what dreams occur in deep sleep, because that which a man dreams in the depths of sleep reveals his authentic personality. Really we become unauthentic upon awakening. Ordinarily we say, "What is there in dreams?" But dreams reveal more truth about ourselves than our waking state. In our conscious period we cover ourselves with false mantles. If some day we should succeed in making a window in man's head from where we can observe all his dreams, his last freedom will be gone. Then he will not be free even to dream. He will be afraid to dream, because there also morality with its laws and regulations will set up its policemen. It will say, "This dream is not proper; you are not dreaming right." At present however we do not have this freedom. Man is free in his sleep - but his freedom will not be for long, because encroachment on sleep has already begun. For instance, now Russia has started education in sleep.
A lot of work is going on in sleep teaching. In the waking hours more effort has to be made because the child resists. It is difficult to teach a child something, because basically he refuses to be taught.
In fact, every man refuses to learn, because each man starts off with the basic thought that he knows already. The child also refuses saying, "What are you teaching?" In no way is he ready to learn. Then we have to bribe him by giving prizes after examinations, gold medals, etcetera. We have to kindle the spirit of ambition within him; we have to go on pushing him in order to educate him. This conflict takes too long a time. What the child can be made to learn in two hours we get through to him in two months.
So the method of sleep teaching has been evolved, and it has become as clear as day that a child can be taught very well in sleep. The reason is simple: there is no resistance in sleep. A recorded tape is played near the sleeping child which imparts whatever has to be put into the child. "Two plus two is four; two plus two is four", the tape will go on repeating. Ask the child in the morning and he will say, "Two plus two is four."
Now this thought that was imparted in sleep can also be made to penetrate the mind by means of thought waves, because now we know about thought waves. In the past we did not know, but now we know that words themselves are not imprinted on a gramophone record. Rather, the imprints of the sound waves are recorded on the disc. When the needle touches the grooves that have been created it repeats the same waves that caused the grooves to be imprinted.
As I said before, if you chant Aum a pattern will be formed on the sand. The pattern itself is not aum - but if you know that this particular pattern is formed by aum, then someday you will be able to convert this pattern back into aum. Upon the formation of the pattern the sound of aum should occur. The pattern and aum can be looked upon as the same thing. In the gramophone record there are no words - only the grooves created by the impact of the sound of words. When those grooves come in contact with the needle they are converted into the corresponding sounds.
In the very near future we shall be able to make thought records. As the impact of thoughts has been realized it will not take long for man to be able to record it. Then a wonderful thing will happen.
It will be possible that even though Einstein is dead his full thought process will be recorded. Then what Einstein would have thought in the future, had he remained alive, will also be supplied by the machine, because the machine will catch the impact of his entire thought waves.
Sleep, dreams and unconsciousness have been fully investigated. Thus, all the scientific possibilities of the mind are now known to man. Therefore, it is well to understand them. For instance, take a man who is angry. According to our old calculations we will advise him, "Do not give in to anger; you will go to hell." We have no other way. But if this man says he is willing to go to hell, then we are helpless; we cannot do a thing to him. And if the man further declares that he is eager to go to hell, all our morality becomes useless. We can have control over a man only if he is afraid of hell. This is why no sooner did the fear of hell leave the world than our morality went with it also. Now no one is afraid of hell. "Where is hell?" everyone wants to know.
So morality is completely finished, because the fear on which it was based is gone. But science says there is no need for morality as it has developed another formula based on stopping certain bodily secretions. When we are in anger a particular chemical process takes place within the body, because anger is a physical happening. When there is anger within it is absolutely necessary for certain chemical substances to be secreted within the body. Thus, the formula of science is this:
these secretions can be stopped from forming and then there will not be any anger. Then there is no need to stop anger directly. If these fluids are stopped man will find it impossible to be angry. If we try to advise young boys or girls to abstain from sex, to practice celibacy, they never listen. Science says, "Stop all this! If we restrict the growth of certain glands sexual maturity will not come before the age of twenty-five."
This is very dangerous. The moment the mind comes fully within the grip of science man will begin to misuse its knowledge. Science says that the chemical composition of a man who has a rebellious mind is different from that of a man with an orthodox mind. This finding contains dangerous possibilities. If the composition of these chemicals becomes known to man we can make a rebellious man passive and an orthodox man rebellious. Once the compositions of the chemicals that bring about the urge to steal or kill are known there will no longer be any need for jails and executions. All that will be required then is the necessary surgery or treatment to rid the person of these. The chemicals in question can be removed or other chemicals can be introduced to neutralize them or antidotes can be given. All this work is presently under investigation.
All this shows that there are no longer many difficulties in the path of science to reaching the fourth body. The only problem is that a very large part of science is engaged in research for war purposes.
That is why this kind of research is not given primary consideration; it remains a secondary matter.
Yet there has been great progress and unusual results have been obtained.
Aldous Huxley has claimed that that which had happened to Meera or Kabir can be brought about by injections. It is a very heady claim, though true to some extent. Mahavira would fast for a month and his mind would become tranquil. Fasting is a physical act, and if the mind can become peaceful by a physical act then the mind too is physical. With a month's fasting the whole chemical composition of the body changes; that is all there is to it. The nutrition that the body should have had is denied to it and all of the body's reserve is used up. Fat melts and the nonessential elements undergo destruction while the essential ones are saved. In this way the whole chemical arrangement of the body undergoes a complete change.
Science says, "Where is the need to undergo such hardship for one long month? The chemical ratio can be changed according to specifications here and now." If this chemical change is brought about by science you will experience the same peace that Mahavira experienced after a month's long fast in no time at all; a month's fasting will not be necessary.
So I tell you during meditation to breathe hard and fast. But what is going to happen after a half hour of hard breathing? It is only that the ratio of carbon and oxygen within you will change - but this can be brought about by external means also. There is no need to make you labor for half an hour. The ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide in this room can be changed and all those sitting here will experience peace and calm and will feel joyous. Thus, science has entered the fourth body from all sorts of directions, and it is still penetrating into it further.
In meditation various experiences happen to you. You smell all kinds of fragrances, you see colors.
All this can now be brought about without meditation also, because science has found out which part of your brain becomes active during these experiences. If the back part of my brain is stimulated when I see beautiful colors, scientific investigation will show exactly the portion that becomes active and the length of the waves produced. You need not go into meditation. The same vibrations can be brought about within you with the help of electricity and you will begin to see colors. These are all parallel happenings, because no matter which polarity we take hold of the other end at once becomes activated.
There are hazards in this, however. The more new research by man penetrates within, the more its hazards increase. For example, we can now increase the age of man as much as we like. It is no longer in the hands of nature; it is in the hands of science. So in Europe and America there are thousands of old people clamoring for the right to die of their own free will, but they are kept lingering on their deathbeds. They are given oxygen and can be made to live for long periods. A ninety-year-old man begs to die, but the doctors say, "We cannot be a party to it; it is against the law."
Even if an old man's son feels that his father is suffering too much and he should now be allowed to die, he cannot say so openly. There are machines to keep a dying man alive and the nearly dead are made to live on. Now this, in a way, is dangerous.
Our old laws were made when there were no means of keeping a person alive and when we could also kill a person. Now the laws need to be revised, because we can keep a dying person alive and lingering on for so long that he feels, "This is violence, this is an atrocity! I do not want to live any longer. What are you doing to me?" There was a time when we punished a man for his crime by hanging him. It will not be surprising if fifty years hence we punish a man by not allowing him to die. And this punishment will be worse than the first, because dying is a matter of a few seconds whereas living on can be for decades.
So whenever there is a new discovery in the inner world of man there are two results: either mankind can suffer because of it or it can benefit. Whenever power comes, it is always two-sided.
Science has reached the fourth plane within man. Within the next fifty years - rather, within the next thirty years - it will penetrate deeper into the fourth body. Perhaps you may not know that whatever has been undertaken during a particular century reaches its climax at the end of the century. Every century completes its work by the time it comes to its end. This century has taken very many works upon itself which will be completed in thirty years' time. Its greatest task is the entrance into man's psyche, and this will be completed.
The fifth - the spiritual body - is even more subtle than the fourth. Here there are not only vibrations of thought but also vibrations of the being. If I sit absolutely silent without a single thought within, even then my being creates vibrations. If you come near me and there is no thought in me you will still be within the field of my vibrations. And the most interesting thing is that the vibrations of my thoughts are not as strong or penetrating as the vibrations of my being. Therefore, the one who reaches the no-mind state becomes very powerful. It is difficult to gauge the effect of his power because the vibrations of existence begin to arise within him. The energy vibration of the fifth body is the subtlest form of energy in the whole knowledge of man.
So it has happened in many cases, as in the case of Mahavira, that he did not speak. That is, he either spoke very little or he did not speak at all; he just sat. People came, sat before him, understood him and went back. This was possible in his time, but not so now. It is very difficult now because you will only experience the deep waves of the spiritual body if you are ready to be in the no-thought state yourself, and not otherwise. If you are filled with the noise of your own thoughts you will miss these subtle vibrations. They will just pass through you and you will not be able to grasp them.
If the vibrations of existence come within one's grasp, if there is a no-thought state on both sides, then there is no need to talk. Then communication takes place on a very intimate level, and this communication goes straight to the heart. Then there is no explaining because there is no way to explain. Then you also will not waver over whether this or that will be or will not be. Your being will directly know what has happened.
It is not necessarily the case that only human beings are reached by the vibrations of the fifth body.
There is a wonderful phenomenon in the life of Mahavira: it is said that even animals attended his gatherings. Jaina monks have been unable to explain this phenomenon and they never will. Now an animal does not understand human language but it understands the language of being very well.
If I sit in a no-thought condition near a cat, the cat is already in the state of no-thought. With you, however, I will have to talk. To take you to the cat's state of no-thought is a very long journey.
Animals, plants and even stones understand the vibrations that begin from the spiritual body; there is no difficulty in that. So this body is also accessible, but only after the fourth body. The fourth body has been penetrated from many fronts, and science will accept the spiritual state readily. But after this there is some difficulty.
So when I said that things can be made very scientifically clear up to the fifth body but after the fifth body difficulties begin, there are reasons for this. If we understand science well it is a specialization in a particular direction; it is a particular selection. So science can only go deeper when it restricts its search to as few things as possible and tries to know as much as possible only about them. The aim of science is to know more and more about less and less. Its work is twofold: it tries to know more about as small a thing as possible. It makes the subject of its inquiry as small as possible and increases its knowledge about it.
The doctors of old were knowledgeable about the whole body, but the doctor of today is not. The old type of general practitioner is now hardly to be seen. In the world of today he has become a relic; he is no longer reliable. He knows about too many things; hence he cannot know about any one thing well enough to be trusted. Now there are eye specialists and ear specialists, and they can be relied upon because they have acquired the maximum knowledge in a specialized field.
For instance, all the literature available about the eye is so vast that one lifetime is not enough to go through it. It is quite probable that in the near future there might be one eye specialist for the right eye and another for the left eye, or perhaps one specialist for the pupil and one for the retina. As knowledge increases the eye will be divided into many parts for special study, because each part is an important case in itself. The aim of science is to concentrate its focus of attention to such a pinpoint that it can penetrate to the greatest depth. This is how science can come to know a great deal.
So, as I said before, science will reach up to the fifth body, because up to the fifth the individual still exists; hence he can come within its focus. From the sixth the cosmic starts, and this is beyond the focus of science. The cosmic body means the total: science cannot enter there, because science goes from the small to the smallest. So it can only grasp the individual; it will find it very difficult to grasp the cosmic. Religion alone can grasp the cosmic. Hence, up to the atman, the self, science will have no trouble. Difficulties start with the Brahman - the cosmic self. I do not think science will ever be able to grasp the Brahman, because then it will have to leave its specialization. And the moment it leaves its specialization it no longer remains science. It will then be as generalized and vague as religion. So with the help of science we can travel along to the fifth body. At the sixth science will be lost, and the seventh is impossible for it because all of its search is focused only upon life.
Actually, our center of existence is life. We want to be less ill and more healthy; we want to live longer, more happily, more comfortably. The aim of science is to make life more deeply happy, satisfying, healthy and enjoyable. But the seventh body is the acceptance of death: it is the ultimate death. Here, the meditator goes beyond the search for life. He says, "I want to know death also. I have known existence and the mystery of being; now I want to know nonexistence, the nonbeing."
Science has no meaning in this area. Scientists like Freud will call this the death wish and say that this is not a healthy condition of the mind - that it is suicidal. According to Freud liberation and nirvana are not conducive to life and these concepts are a proof of your wish to die. He says that you wish to die, that's why you are ill. The scientist is against the desire for death, because science is based on the will to live and on an expansion of life. The man who wishes to live is a healthy man, but a moment comes when the wish to die is equally healthy. If someone wishes to die before this moment comes it is definitely unhealthy. However, a moment does come in life when a person wishes to die for the sake of death.
One may say it is healthy to be awake and unhealthy to sleep, and gradually we are giving more place to day than to night. At first night started at six o'clock, now it begins at two a.m. We have given the night's time to the day. There are some modern thinkers who go so far as to feel that if night can be completely removed from man's life, a sizeable part of his life can be rescued from going to waste. Where is the need to sleep? It should be done away with, they argue. But as there is a joy in waking, there is a joy in sleeping also. Just as the desire to awaken is natural and healthy, so also is the desire to sleep. If a man keeps alive his eagerness to live even up to his last breath he is not healthy, and if a man nurtures the desire to die from his very birth that too is unnatural and unhealthy. If a child longs for death he is ill, abnormal, and he should be treated. If an old man longs for life, he too should be treated because he is ill also.
Life and death are the two limbs of existence. If you accept only one you are bound to be crippled.
Until the time comes when you accept the other this disability will remain. Both limbs are important - being and nonbeing. He who embraces and accepts both being and nonbeing equally can be called perfectly healthy. He who says, "I have known what it is to be; now I wish to know what it is not to be," is not afraid of nonbeing.
The seventh plane is only for people of courage - who having known life are eager to know death, who are keen to explore death, the state of extinction. They are keen to know what it is not to be, what extinction is like, what is nonbeing. They have tasted life; now they want to taste death.
At this point you should know that death descends from the seventh plane. What we normally know as death comes from the seventh plane and what we know as life comes from the first plane. Birth starts with the physical; birth means the beginning of the physical. This is why the physical body first comes into being in the mother's womb and the other bodies follow later. So the first body is the beginning of life and the last body, the nirvanic body, is from where death comes. So he who clings onto the physical body is very much afraid of death, and he who is afraid of death will never ever know the seventh body.
Thus, as we gradually become more and more detached from the physical body, a time comes when we accept death also. Then only do we know. And he who knows death is liberated in the true sense of the word, because then life and death become two parts of the same thing and one is beyond both. So there is no hope of science reaching to the seventh body, though there is a possibility of its going up to the sixth.
The doors of the fourth body have opened to science, and now there is actually no difficulty for it to go up to the fifth body. But such persons are required who have scientific minds and religious hearts.
Once they appear, entry into the fifth will not be difficult. This combination is very difficult though, because the training of the scientist bars him from becoming religious from several directions. Also, in the same way, religious training prevents a man from becoming scientific. Nowhere do these two branches of training overlap, and this is the great difficulty.
It happens sometimes, and whenever this happens in the world a new peak of knowledge comes into being. For example, take Patanjali: he was a man with a scientific mind, but he entered into religion. He brought yoga to a height which has been difficult to surpass up to now. It is now a long time since Patanjali died and a great deal more work could have been carried out in this field, but no man was found who had the intelligence of a scientist and an inner world of spiritual practice. There has been no one to climb to higher peaks of yoga. Sri Aurobindo tried but he did not succeed.
Sri Aurobindo had a scientific mind - perhaps more scientific than Patanjali, because he was educated in the West. His education was superb. When he was about six years old his father sent him out of India and forbade him to return until he was fully matured. Even on his deathbed, when others in the family talked of calling Aurobindo back, his father would not allow it. He said, "It is all right if I do not see him before my death. He must imbibe the Western culture completely. Let not the shadow of the East fall upon him. Do not even let him know that I am dead." He must have been a very courageous father. Thus, Aurobindo drank deeply of the Western culture. If there ever was a man who was Western in the real sense of the word it was Aurobindo. He had to relearn his mother tongue after returning to India.
So the knowledge of science was complete in him, but religion was a later implantation and so it could not be expressed deeply; otherwise this man would have scaled greater heights than Patanjali.
But this was not to be. In a deep way the training of the West became a barrier, because his thinking was entirely like that of a scientist. He brought the whole evolution theory of Darwin into religion. He introduced into religion thoughts that he brought from the West. But he had no insight into religion which he could introduce to science. As a result, he created a voluminous scientific literature in which religion is very superficial, because any effort to explain about the mysteries of the sixth and seventh plane is bound to be a failure as it cannot be expressed in scientific and logical terms.
Whenever a balance has been reached between a scientific intellect and a religious mind, great heights have been attained. But there is very little possibility of this coming about in the East, because the East has lost its religion and science it never had. There is more of a possibility in the West, because there science has become too much.
Whenever there is an excess the pendulum tends to swing toward the other extreme. That is why the super intellectuals in the West read the Gita with a relish that is not seen anywhere in India.
The first time Schopenhauer read the Gita he put it on his head and danced with joy. When people asked him what was the matter, what was the cause of this mad behavior, he said, "The book is not only worth reading but is worthy of being put upon the head and danced to! I never knew that there were once people on this earth who spoke this way. What I thought could never be put into words has been expressed in this book." Now we will not find a single man here in India who would put the Gita on his head and dance. We will only find people who will place the Gita on the seat of a train and ride sitting upon it - but this is meaningless.
By the end of this century a new height will be touched, because when the need arises many forces are activated in the world. Einstein became a religious man before he died. During his life he remained a scientist, but as his life drew to an end he became religious. That is why those who were essentially scientific said, "We should not take Einstein's last statements seriously. He was out of his mind."
Einstein's last words were meaningful. He said, "I thought I would know everything there is to know about the world, but the more I knew the more I found this to be impossible, because there was a vast infinity still left to be known. I thought that one day I would solve the mystery of the world of science and reduce it to a mathematical equation and that then it would be a mystery no longer.
But the mathematical problem became bigger and bigger, and instead of solving the mystery of the world it became a mystery in itself. It is now impossible to solve this problem."
A few topmost scientists of modern times are hovering around the periphery of religion. Such possibilities now occur in science because it has crossed the second body and is approaching the third, and as it nears the third body the echoes of religion become unavoidable. It is of its own accord entering into the unknown world of uncertainties and probabilities. Sometime, somewhere, it will have to admit the unknown. It will have to agree that there is more besides that which can be seen with the naked eye. What cannot be seen exists; what cannot be heard also exists. A hundred years ago we said that what cannot be heard or seen or touched does not exist. Now science says differently. It says that the range of touch is very small but the range of the untouchable is very vast.
The range of sound is very little but that which cannot be heard is limitless. What is seen is but infinitesimal compared to the limitlessness of the unseen.
Actually, what our eyes behold is a very small part of what is. Our eyes catch a particular wavelength, our ears hear at a particular wavelength. Above and below these wavelengths there is an infinity of other wavelengths. Sometimes, by accident, these wavelengths are also caught by our senses.
Once a man fell from a mountain and his ear was hurt. Now his ear began to catch the radio waves of the radio station of his town. When he was in the hospital he was in a great difficulty; in the beginning he could not understand what was happening. He thought, "Either I am going crazy or I cannot grasp the meaning of what is happening."
Then things began to seem clear and he complained to the doctor. He asked the doctor, "Where is the radio kept in the hospital?"
The doctor said, "Are you hearing things? There is no radio."
Still he insisted that he was hearing the news and he related what he heard. The doctor ran to the office and put on the radio. To his surprise, he found exactly the same news being relayed.
Then things became clear. It was discovered that his ears had become available to strange new wavelengths; they had changed with his fall from the mountain.
It is quite possible that in the near future we shall be able to catch wavelengths directly by fixing a small gadget to the ear. Infinite sounds are passing by us and around us, but we cannot hear them because our field of hearing is very limited. Even many loud sounds cannot be heard. We cannot hear sounds above or below the hearing capacity of our ears. When a star falls the tremendous sound of its falling spreads out all around us but we cannot hear it. If the situation were otherwise we would become deaf. Similarly, the range of our body heat is approximately between ninety- eight degrees and one hundred ten degrees. If it falls under ninety-eight degrees or goes over one hundred ten degrees we die. Our life flickers between ten to twelve degrees. Heat has a tremendous range. It can be lower than this twelve degree range, but we are not related to this.
In the same way we have our limitations in everything. But we can know about things outside these limits because they too exist. Science has begun to accept their existence. Once there is acceptance the quest for where and what these things are begins. All this can be known, all this can be recognized, and it is for this reason I said it is possible for science to reach up to the fifth body.
The question itself is wrong. This question cannot arise and cannot be formed, because when we ask, "Who knows nonbeing?" we take it that someone remains behind. Then it is not nonbeing.
There is no reporting. For instance, when you sleep at night. You are conscious only of that which occurs in your waking hours. Once asleep you are oblivious of your surroundings. So you can only report about your waking hours - of the situation that existed up to the point when you slept. But as a rule you do the opposite. You say, "I went to sleep at eight o'clock." This is wrong. You should have said, "I was awake until eight o'clock." You cannot report sleep, because when you sleep who is to report? Reporting is possible from the other side: "I was awake until eight o'clock, or until eight o'clock I knew I was awake, but I do not know anything after eight. Then I know of having awakened at six. There is a gap between eight and six during which time I was asleep."
This is by way of example. You will know what is until the sixth body. When you plunge into the seventh body and come out again into the sixth you will be able to say "Aha! I have been elsewhere.
I have experienced nonbeing." This account is given only in the sixth body, and so many did not speak after reaching the seventh plane. There was a reason: why say that which cannot be said?
Recently there was a man named Wittgenstein, and he has made some rare statements. One of them is: "That which cannot be said must not be said." Many persons have said what cannot be said and have thus put us into difficulty because they have also told us that it cannot be said. So this becomes negative reporting. This is the news flashed from the last boundary where it is said, "I was up to that point, but thereafter I was not. After this point there was nothing left to know and no one there to know. There was no report and no reporter. But this happened after a particular boundary before which I was." That line of boundary is the boundary of the sixth body.
The Vedas, The Bible, the Upanishads, the Gita, go up to the sixth body. The seventh is that which is inexpressible and cannot, in fact, be expressed. Up to the sixth there is not much difficulty and up to the fifth it is very easy to express. But at the seventh plane, neither the knower remains nor the knowledge. In fact, that which we imply to be the remainder does not remain. If we talk of this empty gap we will have to use the language of negation. Therefore, the Vedas and the Upanishads have to say, "Neither this, nor that." They say, "Do not ask what there is. We can only tell you what was not there; we can only say that what was, is not. There was no father there, no wife, no matter, no experience, no knowledge. And the 'I' too was not: the ego was not. Nor was there the world or its maker. There was nothing there." This is the boundary line of the sixth body. What was there?
You will remain silent, because it is inexpressible.
News about the Brahman has been reported, but what is conveyed beyond it is bound to be negative - as was that which was told by Buddha. Buddha tried his hardest to express the seventh plane.
Therefore, all that he conveys is denial, all that he conveys is negation, and so it did not come within the understanding of the people of his land. The experience of the Brahman, being positive, was well understood by the people. The Brahman was said to be sat-chit-ananda - truth, consciousness, bliss - and these positive assertions were well understood. One could say about it that this is, that is, but Buddha talked about that which is not. Perhaps he is the only one who worked hard to make the seventh plane known.
Buddha was not accepted in this country because the place he talked of is without roots, forms or shapes. People heard and thought it was useless. "What will we do there where there is nothing?"
they said. "At least show us a place where we will BE." But Buddha said, "You will not be." So people of this country withdrew from him, because they wanted to save themselves to the very last.
Buddha and Mahavira were contemporaries, but people understood Mahavira better because Mahavira talked of phenomena up to the fifth plane. But he did not even mention the sixth plane.
This was because Mahavira had a scientific mind, and whenever he tried to explain about the sixth he felt that words seemed to become ambiguous, hazy and illogical. Up to the fifth everything is stable and it is possible to give an account that this is so or that is so, because up to the fifth plane we find things similar to our experience.
Suppose there is a very small island in the middle of an ocean and only one kind of flower grows on this island. There are a few people inhabiting it and they have never stepped off the island. Then one day a passing ship takes one of them aboard and takes him to its land. Here he sees flowers of different kinds. For him "flower" meant one particular type of flower that grew on his island. Now, for the first time, the meaning of flower has expanded, and he realizes that the word flower does not pertain just to one flower but to thousands of them. He sees there are roses, lilies, lotuses and jasmine. Now he is worried. How will he go and explain to his people that flower does not stand for just one type of flower? How will he explain that flowers have names, because on his island the flower, being just one, has no other name: it is merely "flower." Now he wonders how he will speak to the others about the lilies and the jasmine flowers.
He returns to his island, and in spite of his difficulty there is a way out for him. There is at least one flower to go by. Now he can elaborate on this one flower and try and explain the varieties of colors and shapes and scents of the others in order to convey some idea of his discovery. He can say, "Just as this one is white there are others that are red, pink, yellow, and many other colors. Just as this one is small there are big flowers also like the lotus." In this way he can communicate, because one flower is already there to indicate something about the others.
But suppose that this man does not go to another land but instead he goes to the moon where there are no flowers, no plants, where the atmosphere is unusual for him and the atmospheric pressure is different. When he goes back to his island and they ask him what he saw on the moon, it will be very difficult to explain, because there is nothing equivalent to his experience to explain by. There are no words or symbols in his language to convey the report.
This is exactly the situation. Until the fifth we find words to express, but it is the same as trying to express the difference between one flower and a thousand flowers. From the sixth plane language becomes confusing. There we reach a point where even the difference between the one and a thousand is not enough for explaining. It is very difficult. Even then, with the use of negation or totality some idea can be conveyed. We can say there is no limit; it is boundless. We are familiar with boundaries, so with the help of this knowledge we can convey that there is no boundary there.
This will give some idea, and though it is still vague we can assume that we understand. But it is not so.
So there is a lot of confusion. We feel we have followed what is told - that there are no boundaries there. But what is meant by "no boundaries"? Our experience is that of the boundary. It is just as if those people of the island would say, "Yes, we have understood. It is a flower that you are talking about." Then the man will say, "No, no! Do not go by that flower. It has nothing to do with those flowers; such a flower is not found there at all." Then the people will say, "Why do you call them flowers if they are not like this? This alone is a flower."
We too are under the illusion that we understand. When we are told, "God is infinite, limitless," we say, "Yes, we understand." But our experience is only of boundaries. We understand nothing; we only know the word boundary. We add the word "-less" to it and we feel that we know that there is no boundary there and we are sure that we have understood. But once you begin to conceive of that which has no limits, then it will be frightening. No matter how much you visualize the boundary remains. You go further and further - even millions and billions of miles beyond where lightyears end - but wherever you stop the boundary will appear.
The meaning of boundless in our minds can at the most be the boundary of that which is very very far away; it is so far that it is beyond our grasp, but still it exists. Then again we will have missed. So something can be said about the sixth plane and we might think we have understood, but we have not.
Now with the seventh we will not even do so much as to say that we understand. The seventh cannot even be talked about. If someone tries we will immediately say, "What absurd things you are saying!" Therefore, an absurd word was used to indicate the seventh plane - a word which has no meaning, which would mean nothing.
Take, for instance, the word aum: it has no meaning; it is a meaningless word, and we have used it in connection with the seventh body. Until the fifth body we can talk, but when someone insists on talking about the seventh we say, "Aum." Therefore, when a scripture was completed the words aum shanti were written. Do you know what it means? It means that the seventh has come; there is nothing further to be said. The scriptures end as soon as the seventh appears; the beginning of the seventh is the end of the scriptures. Therefore, at the end of each scripture we do not write "The end"; we write "Aum Shanti." The aum is the symbol of the seventh and it is meant to convey that there cannot be any further discussion. It urges us to be tranquil and at peace thereafter.
We have conceived an absurd word which has no meaning, no motive behind it. And if there is any motive behind it, it is rendered useless because we have created this word for that world where all motives end. It is a motiveless word and therefore it does not exist in any other language of the world. Experiments have been carried out, but there is no meaning to aum. A Christian will pray and at the end of his prayer he will say "Amen." He is saying "Enough! Finished! Peace thereafter.
Now no more words." But this is not equivalent to aum. Aum cannot be translated. It is the symbol we have chosen for the seventh.
It was carved in temples to remind us not to halt at the sixth because there is also a seventh plane.
It is placed in between the images of Rama and Krishna to suggest that aum is greater than they are. Krishna gazes out of it - but aum is much greater, aum is very vast. Everything appears out of it, everything merges into it. Therefore, we have not evaluated aum with anything else in the world.
It is the holiest of the holy in the sense that it is the ultimate, the beyond, where everything loses its identity.
So nothing can be reported about the seventh plane. It can only be described in the language of negation: "It is not this; it cannot be that, etcetera." But this also holds meaning only up to the sixth plane. Therefore, many seers have remained silent about the seventh. Those who tried to talk about it raised many difficulties for themselves, because even while talking about it they had to repeat again and again that it is inexpressible. Again and again they had to warn their listeners: "We speak about it, but indeed it cannot be spoken about." Then we are puzzled. Why do they speak of things which cannot be spoken of? They should not tell about it. But they say, "The seventh definitely is, but we have no words worthy to describe it."
There is nothing in the world comparable to it; it is inexpressible. There is a lot that can be told about it, a lot that can be expressed, but the difficulty is that there is no means of conveying it in words. It can be known but it cannot be expressed.
That is why those who were once very talkative, those who were great orators, those who could explain everything under the sun, became suddenly dumb when they returned from the seventh plane. When they are suddenly struck mute in this way their muteness conveys a message: their silent eyes speak of the unspoken. For example, in reference to what you are asking now, Buddha had made a rule that certain questions should not be put to him. He said, "Do not ask these questions. It is not proper to ask them; it is not proper that they should be known." He would say that a certain subject was indefinable and hence should not be discussed. It would be improper to discuss it.
Lao Tzu said, "Please do not ask me to write, because whatever I write will become false. I will never be able to convey what I want to convey; I can only write that which I do not want to convey. But what is the use of that?" So he did not write until the very end. When his countrymen forced him, he wrote a small booklet. The very first sentence he wrote was: "As soon as truth is expressed it becomes a falsehood." But this is the truth of the seventh plane. At the sixth plane it becomes not false, but ambiguous. At the fifth the truth expressed is indisputable. At the seventh only its expression is impossible. Where we ourselves are no more, how can our speech and language remain? They too end with us.
There are two reasons for choosing aum. One is that a word was sought which had no meaning, which cannot be given any meaning - because if it conveys any meaning it is reduced to the fifth plane. So a word was required which was, in a sense, meaningless. All of our words are meaningful; we make words so that they will convey meaning. If they do not convey any meaning why should they be used? We use them to speak, and the purpose of speaking is to convey some thought.
When I utter a word it should strike a certain meaning within you. So when people returned from the seventh plane they felt that if they made any words to express the seventh plane which conveyed a meaning, they would at once be reverting to the fifth plane. Then those words would be added to the dictionary where people will read them and think that they have understood. But the seventh has no meaning. You can say either that it is meaningless or that it is beyond meaning - both of these mean the same thing.
So in the context that all meaning is lost, no meaning remains, what sort of a word could be found for this and how was it to be formed? This word was made with the help of great vision and foresight, and in a very scientific way. A root word was to be constructed, a basic word, which was to be made the foundation. So how was this word that should convey no meaning to be found? In what manner was it to be formed? In a deep way it would become a symbol for the original source.
The three basic sounds of our speech are a-u-m. All our developments of words are an expansion of these three sounds. They are the root sounds. Now the sounds of a-u-m in themselves carry no meaning, because it is their relationships that decide the meaning. When 'a' becomes a word it carries a meaning; when 'm' becomes a word it carries a meaning. But by themselves they are meaningless. Yet they are the roots, and all our speech developments are extensions and combinations of these three sounds.
So these three root sounds were taken and were joined to make the word aum. Now aum could be written, but by writing it one could begin to think that it might have a meaning like any other written words. People would think that aum means that which is in the seventh plane. So no word was coined but a picture of aum was made: no letters were used for it. The three letters a-u-m are only sounds and not letters or words. So aum came into being in a pictorial form in order that it would not be relegated to a dictionary and would instead strike the eye and become a question mark. It came into being in this way so that one would become eager to find out what it means.
Whenever a man reads Sanskrit or comes to study the ancient books, this word becomes difficult to explain. Words come within their grasp because they have a meaning - but [Aum symbol] is beyond comprehension. They always ask, "What does aum mean? What is its significance? What does it mean and why is it not written in letters like a-u-m? Why this pictorial form? If you look at its picture carefully, you will see that it is made up of three parts which are the symbols a, u and m.
This picture requires deep research; it is not an ordinary picture. Research upon it has been carried out from the fourth body and not from the physical plane. Actually, when a person enters the fourth body and is in the no-thought state, the notes of a-u-m begin to resound within him and their combination makes up the word aum. When there is perfect stillness within, when thoughts are completely lost, then the hum of aum begins to resound within. This sound has been caught from the fourth plane where thought is no more and language is no more. Then what remains is the sound of aum. So in this way the sound was caught.
Now as I said before, each word has a pattern of its own. When we use a certain word a particular pattern forms within the mind. If someone meditates on aum, when it resounds on the fourth plane the corresponding picture will begin to manifest within. This is how all seed mantras were discovered.
When the resonance of a particular chakra is caught by a meditator in meditation, the seed mantra of that chakra is revealed. This is how these seed mantras have been formed, and aum is the ultimate seed. It is not the seed of any particular chakra; rather, it is the symbol of the seventh which is the infinite or the eternal.
So in this way the word aum was hit upon. And when it tallied with the experiences of thousands of seekers who gave it their approval, this word was accepted. It did not come into existence with the approval of a single man or even a group of men. When the same word reverberated in a number of meditators, when millions of them testified to its authenticity, then only was it chosen. Therefore, the word aum is not the ancestral property of any religion or organization. Hence, the Buddhists and the Jainas make use of it freely without any fear. It is not the property of the Hindu religion. The reason is that it has been attained by all sorts of meditators from various paths. Whatever equivalents we find in other countries are also, in a way, fragments of this very word.
Now if we examine the findings of Roman or Arabic seekers, we find that the note 'm' is invariably mentioned. Some carry 'a' along with 'm', but 'm' is certain. This is because 'a' and 'u' are very subtle, and thus they are difficult to catch. So the first part of the word slips from our attention and only the latter part is heard. Therefore, when the sound of aum begins to resound within, the 'm' in it is easily caught. If you sit in a closed room and chant aum the preceding sounds will give way to the sound of 'm'. Thus, 'a' and 'u' become completely inaudible, and it is the 'm' that resounds everywhere. So meditators then came to the conclusion that the note 'm' is certain, while that which precedes was not quite clear. The difference is only one of hearing, but wherever a search has been made in this direction something or other of this word has been grasped by meditators.
When an extensive research is carried out - for example, if a thousand scientists carry out the same experiment and get the same result, then its validity is proved.
This country is fortunate in that thousands of years have been spent here in the journey towards the self. Nowhere in the world have people of any country carried out this experiment on such a large scale and in such great numbers. Ten thousand meditators sat around Buddha; forty thousand, both male and female, sat around Mahavira and they carried out mass experimentation. In a small place like Bihar forty thousand disciples of Mahavira were experimenting. Nowhere else in the world has such an event taken place. Jesus, poor fellow, was all alone, and Mohammed had to spend his time futilely battling with ignorant people.
In this country a special situation had developed in which people were aware of the fact that these are not matters to fight over. Here things were clear. Mahavira would sit and forty thousand people would practice meditation in front of him. This afforded a great opportunity to observe and verify the experiences of different meditators on different planes. There could be some error where there are only one or two practicing, but when there are forty thousand there cannot be any error.
Forty thousand persons were occupied in different meditation techniques. Everything was properly thought out, everything was verified, everything was properly grasped.
Therefore, this country has made many more discoveries in the spiritual field than other countries, because in other countries the seeker was all alone. Just as the West is today carrying out scientific experiments on a large scale employing thousands of scientists, in the same way this country had at one time employed thousands of its geniuses, intellectuals, in the science of the soul. The discoveries which they brought back from their journey into the soul are very useful, but on their journeys to other lands this knowledge became fragmented and distorted.
For instance, the cross of Jesus: it is a remnant of the swastika. On its long journey to distant lands this is what has remained of the swastika. The swastika was a symbol like aum. Aum is the symbol of the seventh, the swastika is the symbol of the first. Therefore, the picture of the swastika is dynamic. Its branches spread out and give the effect of motion; it is rotating all the time. The ordinary world means that which is moving all the time. So the swastika was made the symbol of the first body, and aum that of the last. There is no movement in aum. It is absolutely still; there is total silence; everything is at a standstill. With the swastika there is movement.
In its journey the swastika became a cross by the time it reached Christianity. There is every possibility of Jesus having come to Egypt as well as India. He was in Nalanda, the ancient Buddhist university, as well as Egypt, and so he gathered a great deal of knowledge. One thing was the knowledge of the swastika. But this knowledge turned out to be like the news brought back by a man who had seen many flowers to a place where only one flower existed. The message of Jesus was destroyed and only the cross remained.
The upper portion of the aum sign reached Islam. The half moon that they revere is the upper fragment of aum which was separated from the main part during its travel to Arabia. Words and symbols get badly distorted in their journey, and after thousands of years they get so worn out that it is difficult to recognize their original form. New sounds, new words, are added to them as they travel from place to place, and different people with different languages use them. All kinds of changes take place, and then, when something separates from its original source, it is difficult to discern its place of origin, how it came to be and what happened to it.
The spiritual flow of the whole world is intrinsically connected with this country, because the basic, original source of spirituality was born here and it is from here that news of it spread far and wide. But the messengers who took the message to other lands and the people who received the message spoke a different language. Therefore, clarity was lacking in the delivering and receiving of the message. Now no Christian wearing the cross around his neck could ever think that it is part of the swastika; no Mohammedan can dream that the half moon he reveres is a fragment of aum.
According to some Catholic scholars, amen is only a far deviated form of aum. At the end of all Christian prayers the word amen is used to offer obeisance to the divine. It is also the belief of researchers that in The Bible, where it says, "In the beginning there was the word and the word was with God," aum is the word implied. Amen is referred to as the alpha and the omega - the beginning and the end. It is also said that Jesus has told the apostle John, "I am Amen." In other places amen has been used to mean absolute truth or "So be it."
Many Latin words are utilized in the Catholic mode of worship, and in all of them a deviated form of aum is present. For instance, per omni secula seculorum, etcetera. It is also in the English words omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.
Nowadays many churches in India have begun to use the word aum in their prayers, and they have also carved it on their main doors. For instance, St. Mary's College in Darjeeling has the symbol [Aum Symbol] carved on the entrance of the main altar of its temple of worship.