Written by Dr. Buddhadev Chakraborty
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All in One seems to have a practical existence only in the fantasy of some one’s imagination. It is very likely that a living shape of ‘all-in-one’ would be suspect as unreal. The concept ‘all-in-one’ defies all canons of possibility in our worldly sense perception.
Let us take encyclopedia as an example. Within the fold of a cover, it stores all conceivable kinds of information for reference. An encyclopedia covers entire range of information which can be as diverse as the topics like the size of a tennis court, the way of manufacturing mosquito repellent, the discovery of USA and some typical usage in Japanese language, etc. Such a book can be said to contain ‘what not’.
While talking of ‘all-in-one’, I however do not have a object like an encyclopedia in mind. Encyclopedia does not have knowledge in itself; it is rather a graphics of knowledge acquired and stored in ages by experts in their unrelenting quest for exploring horizons of human knowledge. Hence it is proper to say that an object like an encyclopedia contains all in one, but it is far short of the practical concept of all on one. It is not the one is all; it is at best the one that contains information about all.
I am referring to a person who is known to be the source of everything that exists: living, non-living, small, big, movable, immovable, solid, liquid, and of all shapes and sizes. The person I am referring to is one who bears in him all knowledge that is known and that will be known. He has got in him all kinds of feelings and conceptions. Carrying everything in him, he personifies in himself all possibilities that may like to evolve in future. Notwithstanding the fact that he manifests himself in all shapes and forms, he in essence remains what he is. He is inexhaustible. He is a veritable puzzle, though he lived a life amidst us in our times. I am not referring to a character in mythology; nor am I pointing to somebody in prehistoric age. He did not like to keep himself away from the humanity. On the contrary, he was a man with extraordinary simplicity. He was easily approachable. In fact, he was keen to come closer to everyone. He was one with us; may be as a friend; may be as a guide; may be as a beloved; may be as a father; may be as a fellow brother. And he was Sri Sri Thakur Anukul Chandra.
The Mahabharat says that Lord Krishna manifested his universal image to Arjun in the battle field of Kurukshetra. Arjun’s state of mind and expression on seeing that universal form of Lord Krishna is depicted in Chapter XI of Gita. Summarily,
We are not witness to the happenings of the Mahabharat time. We are however least sceptical about the existence of Lord Krishna in flesh and blood and Arjun’s state of mind and expressions. That is because, we have seen Sri Sri Thakur Anukul Chandra, the latest incarnate of Lord Krishna of Dwapara age. Though the activities and expression of Sri Sri Thakur, diverse and manifold as these were, we had opportunity to experience some kind of universal form of Lord Krishna’s variety. Countless number of people of all levels of consciousness used to come, associate and interact with Sri Sri Thakur on issues that knew no bounds. By way of handling the persons and problems, Sri Sri Thakur’s that all pervading image used to get a natural expression.
Arjun said, “thou art the original creator and doer and greater even than creator Bramha. O thou infinite, O thou lord of the gods, O thou abode of the universe, thou art the immutable, thou art what is and is not, and thou art that which is the supreme.”
By seeing and knowing Sri Sri Thakur for a long and continuous period, we had the opportunity to realize the significance and truthfulness of the above descriptions with respect to Lord Krishna.
What we have seen is his grace, unsought for and bountiful as these are which he poured on all, without differentiation and without considerations of any sort. We have seen love; a loving image of love; love in its genial force, flowing in endless stream. The present day world, behaving like a whirlpool of selfishness was amazed to see the living image of love with its binding force. Sri Sri Thakur by virtue of his boundless love and tireless service, in a sense, set a standard by which love can be defined. The most tenacious bondage of love on one’s part is said to exist for oneself. That bondage is permanent and immutable by nature. What we have experienced with Sri Sri Thakur is that his love for others, may be animate or inanimate, is as real and as strenuous as that for himself. In his love for others, there is no scope for quid-pro-quo. His love for others springs and flows as automatically and as consistently as the flow of a stream down the hill. He does not wait for any requisition, not does he put any conditionality when it comes to loving others. That kind of love for others is a highly uncommon phenomenon. That is found very rarely and that too only in case of one who himself has taken shape in all. His storehouse of love remains open for all. His pool of love does not get depleted even after inundating its surroundings. Thus, the feelings of Arjun as expressed in the following words for Lord Krishna get echoed in adoration of Sri Sri Thakur Anukul Chandra.
“Thou art the father of all this world of the moving and unmoving; thou art one to be worshipped and the most solemn object of veneration. None is equal to thee, how then another greater in all the three world, O incomparable in might? Therefore I bow down before thee and prostrate my body and I demand grace of thee, the adorable Lord. As a father to his son, as a friend to his friend, as a love to his beloved, so shouldst thou, O Godhead, bear with me!”
In the context of Arjun’s visualization of the divine and universal form of Lord Krishna, I have a feeling that we were also equally privileged to have had the glimpse of that form of the Lord which exhibits his all pervading nature and imperishable self. It is said that Arjun could not see thta image in his normal eye. “Thou canst see me,” said the Lord, “not by only this eye of thine. I give thee the divine eye, behold my yoga, me Godhead.”
The implication of this in Sri Sri Thakur’s thought, as we understand, is that the sensory organs of a person are not adequate for all kind of perceptions. Everyone has been blessed with the morphological eye, but what is required is one’s willingness to see a thing with due analysis and synthesis. Unless one hoes deeper into any particular thing and see the thing in all its aspects, it does not help one to see and understand the thing despite having the sensory organs. The act of vision is not only a function of eye; it requires the coordinated effort of brain, consciousness and memory. What Lord Krishna wanted to develop in Arjun is the concept of complete vision with a greater insight. We are not aware, if Sri Sri Thakur had enlighted any person in particular in the manner Lord Krishna did to Arjun. But what we have seen with Sri Sri Thakur is a case of mass enlightenment. Sri Sri Thakur set himself as an exemplar, as a demonstrator and as gurde and without waiting for any solicitation, he has poured himself out. We had an opportunity, unique in a sense, to get practical guidance from Sri Sri Thakur in the process of following him. Those of us who did avail the opportunity in a greater scale, their achievements and accomplishments knew no bounds. And those, who have not taken that much care to obey him, never-the-less have been benefited a lot. Sri Sri Thakur is still alive and is amidst our company. “I intend”, as He desired, “that even after my departure, people should be able to interact with Me.” For realizing his desire, He has left behind a huge volume of invaluable literature. He would remain alive in us, if we are attached to Him through the process of ‘japa’ and meditation agter being properly initiated by such a ‘ritwik’ whose allegiance to Sri Sri Thakur is total and uninterrupted. While pursuing ‘sadhana’, one has to seek guidance and inspiration from the literature that Sri Sri Thakur has bequeathed.
The all pervading and all encompassing image of Sri Sri Thakur which we are talking about has been highlighted by Sri Sri Thakur himself in the following manner. “The universal image signifies the oneness of many. The term ‘vishwa’ is derived from a root ‘’vis’, which means entry. ‘Vishwa rupa’ means that ‘rupa’ in which all varieties of ‘rupa’ enter and get consolidated. Getting a glimpse of that universal image is not something like seeing varieties of images. It is like viewing, knowing and experience the various qualities and virtues of the Guru who possesses those divine attributes in endless and infinite measure. While practicing ‘yaahan’ (spiritual discourse), one undergoes such experiences.”
That infinite attributes of Guru is something which is indescribable. He is unfathomable through our intelligence. Hence we are required to know him through his self revelation. In one of the prayers sung by him, Sri Sri Thakur says, “knowledge and ignorance are alike for thou, as thou art the knowledge. Knowledge supreme is thy soul.” He is the knowledge itself. Knowledge has found life in him. He is the knowledge embodied. Yet he is devoid of the ego that is usually associated with knowledge. His awareness of self does not create a gulf between him and others.
At times, Sri Sri Thakur was heard saying, “all knowledge has taken the form of ignorance at me”. This, I think, is the fundamental difference between our knowledge and that is his. What happens in our case is that ignorance is replaced by knowledge as we go on learning form other enlightened persons by means of repeated exercises that spans over out entire lifetime. In case of Sri Sri Thakur, it is different. Sri Sri Thakur’s life, activities and various events since his childhood days are testimony to the fact that Sri Sri Thakur was possessive of inborn knowledge. He was born with whatever knowledge and wisdom was seen in him. There was no shred of ignorance in gis life and that was tight form his days of infancy. He had of course to pass through all phases of human life in physical and material place; but his life and style of living was not one with others. He had a consciousness that was novel and unique. He was complete by himself and there was nothing that could have been added to him. He has nothing new to acquire and little to add to his store of knowledge. The kind of original thought and elementary feelings that was seen in him was something incomparable and unprecedented.
One incident from the childhood days of Sri Sri Thakur is worth recounting here. The teacher was teaching arithmetic in the class. The teacher explained that ‘one’ plus ‘one’ would make ‘two’. This basic formula of arithmetic, which has been accepted by all as axiomatic, created a doubt in the infantile mind of Anukul Chandra. It was something not acceptable to him. He wondered: how can there be two objects similar in all respects? In this world, each object, despite its apparent similarity with others is unique by itself. No two leaves of a tree are like. When the two ‘ones’ do not exist, where is the question of their additions, resulting in ‘two’? On that day, the teacher however was not convinced of the veracity of the elementary thought of Anukul Chandra. It was a doubt that can only come from one who has observed the universe in its operation in a microscopic view. But that question of pupil Anukul appeared to be silly and mischievous to the teacher who reprimanded the pupil with an advice to improve his basic arithmetic.
The fact of the matter is that he who is born with a full grasp of the basics of the sense perceptions, his observations, analysis and thought processes are something exceptional. Sri Sri Thakur was heard saying, “it is not correct that what we do not see, do not hear and do not feel through our sense organs, does not exist. Our sense perceptions have a certain limit and whatever exists beyond the circumference of our perceptions becomes nonexistent for us. It is however possible to stretch the horizon of our perception and enhance our area of feelings by means of sharpening the sensory and nervous system. By means of right exercise, it is possible to enlarge our area of perception. In the process, a stage comes, when you may be able to know a person and his antecedents only by seeing his shade.”
The responsiveness of senses and fineness of consciousness were at their peak with Sri Sri Thakur. And this state of existence was seen with him right from his days of infancy. He had not gone through a book completely except one novel, ‘Mayabini’ by Panchkadi Dey. What comes out is that a kind of spiritual communion and feeling of oneness with each and all can be said to be the basis of his existence and source of his knowledge.
Sri Sri Thakur is said to be the epitome of the truth eternity and the cause of all causes.
It is said earlier that a special kind of vision is required for seeing the universal image. Few of us are possessive of that view. Hence, we all are not that fortunate to have a thorough glimpse of Sri Sri Thakur. Depending upon our individual distinction and inclination, we see a partial view of Sri Sri Thakur. Even viewing from our individual angle, we find that he is infinite and incomprehensible. He possessed such an attractive personality that as if he used to captivate persons of all kinds. Innumerable persons belonging to all streams of thoughts, choices and views used to throng around him with a view to making themselves one with him. In the process, a chord of integration used to develop automatically among his followers, keeping him at the centre. Sri Sri Thakur’s place of residence thus turned out to be rendezvous – a pilgrimage of integration, association and transformation. In the words of Rabindranath, “it is like sacrificing many in the altar of one, forgetting all differences; it is a mass upheaval. It is like offering individual for the sake of collective uplift.” At Sri Sri Thakur, one finds a sublimation of one’s own distinctiveness. One discovers a path for achieving excellence in one’s field of interest. A fellow seeking salvation, comes and attains spiritual enlightenment; a philosopher comes and acquires knowledge about the mystery of the universe; a scientist and an intellectual comes and finds solution to problems of individual and social welfare. An artist gets such ideas and inspiration that his creations become asset for the civilization. Likewise, persons of various fields like social worker, politician, physician, businessman, teacher, artist, astrologer, students, housewife and all get their required stuff for their progress and prosperity.
A remarkable thing in case of Sri Sri Thakur is that the path directed by him leads one to a sphere of knowledge which is not complicated by a series of watertight compartments. The wisdom and enlightenment derived from the thoughts of Sri Sri Thakur leads one towards a coherent and unifying solution of life.
The knowledge that one possesses ought to be utilized for regulating one’s life and conduct which ultimately would lead one towards enrichment of one’s personality. Hence, it is necessary for us to know what is good and what is desirable. And for that purpose, what is required is our regular and lively contact with a Guru who embodies all bliss and perfection. Unless our knowledge serves life and promotes all that is beautiful in life, that knowledge would be harmful and may invite one’s downfall.
Sri Sri Thakur had a whole and complete view of human life – individual and collective. The nature and all natural objects, with their vast and varied expressions were linked with Sri Sri Thakur in such an integrated manner that he used to feel for everything as his own. He knew: what is the need of an individual at what point of time? How that need can be met with a supreme sense of fulfullment? What are the likely hurdles in the way? How to eliminate them? How one problem is related to others? He has set before us example, through his own life, as to how can one lead a blissful life. His own life has been a live demonstration of his ideology and purpose. He inspires; he consoles; he guides as he leads each and every individual on the path of bliss. He had a solution to every problem that man used to come with to him. His expressions and feelings used to flow as easily and spontaneously as the fall of rain drops. The ease and felicity with which he used to ramble on the gamut of subjects covering the entire range of knowledge is testimony to the originality of his thought. The volumes carrying his sayings, numerous and versatile as these are, depict his l ife that causes wonder for its simplicity and grandeur – all at once.
Despite being a treasure trove, he remains reticent and indifferent about himself. With as quiet a posture as nature, he goes on emptying out himself for his creation. His feeling of oneness with others is as natural as the feeling of left hand for right. In other words, he remains in everything and everything is found in him. He said, “I feel, an essence of identity like a thread is passing through everything, without any effort, as if automatically and unconsciously. It appears the universe which is there within my jurisdiction of senses or above the jurisdiction of conception is filled with the one, the Supreme Father. Similarly, it is He who is filled in all individuals including my own frame. I feel, it is He who has taken shape in everything and displaying a sense of distinction while playing the role ‘I’ and ‘thou’. He is embracing and it is He again who is receiving the embrace. It is as ig all the expressed physique of the Supreme Father is me and at the same time my own person is nothing but His expression. Hence, service that may be rendered for anybody is as good as service for one’s own sake. Any damage to anybody anywhere is same as damage to me. Unless and until my knowledge does not enlighten others, the knowledge tends to be sterile. Hence, it has been my urge to serve all, in my own interest. It is as if others are complementary to me. They are my interest; they protect me; they nurture me. They are my own self. I cannot help doing for them.” He further says, “the universal I is so natural to me that whenever I think of myself, I see me in everything. It is as instantaneous as putting the switch on and getting the light.”
All the discussions made above are only an attempt to present a minuscule account of that personality which is all embracing and all powerful. A limited consciousness of ours is certainly not enough to comprehend a consciousness that pervades the entire universe. Non-the-less, the attempt made here is in response to a call made by the Supreme Father to all of us for a life of completeness. He is unique and absolute. He has shown us a sure way to success, leading to peace and beauty. This only awaits our acceptance, our union with him and our habitual discipline. A life that follows him is a life of success and beauty. All kinds of desire then get an ultimate satisfaction leading to state of extinction of desire and when that happens, one dwells in a state of supreme consciousness.