DEDICATED TO TRUTH (MAHAPANNA) AND TO MASTER
IN THE SERVICE OF THE ‘EGO’ OR IN THE SERVICE OF TRUTH?
Pupil : Noble Master, You often quote the ‘Song of Joy’ uttered by people who reach Enlightenment at the foot of the Buddha –Accariyam vata bho Gotama, Acchariyam vata bho Gotama, Nikkujitam va ukkujjeyya’etc. Whether you quote it in Pali or Sinhala, it is so fascinating. It resonates in every body cell and my heart leaps up in joy. I can listen to it a thousand times. Can you tell us the significance of this utterance.
Master : Not all of them who came to Buddha and ended up with this ‘Song of Joy’ came with intent of listening toDhamma. Some were on a direct path of confrontation. They fiercely argued and quarreled with the Buddha. However as the confrontation proceeded, they started caving in and at one point the Truth of the Buddha word struck their inner self so strongly that they could not bear it any longer and they burst into this ‘Song of Joy’ . They had seen the Truth of Life! Since I have myself personally experienced it, I would like to call it not only a ‘Song oj Joy’ but also a “Song of Liberation’
Pupil : Every word of what you say is soothing to me Noble Master
Master : For the present I will touch only on the first line of the stanza. I will explain the balance at later discussions. Meaning of the first line is as follows: “ Magnificent indeed Master Gotama, Magnificent Master Gotama. It is as if I who had been turning my face downwards all this time, today I turned the other way with the face upwards” What is the significance of the head turning downwards and subsequently turning face upwards? When you stay in the head downward position, you see a very limited area. In contrast, when you stay with face upwards, you see unbounded limitless open sky. There is no limit to your seeing.
This is the natural position of the infant child, just out of the mother’s womb. For three months or so he stays in that position. His mind is neither programmed nor conditioned by thinking. He does not make a distinction between the mother and any other moving figure. He does not label anything that comes his way. Buddha recognized this pure state of the infant and he called it the ‘luminous mind’ (Pabhassara midam bhikkave cittam”).
Pupil ; Master, You mentioned the first three months. What happens after the first three months?
Master : All this time he was a part of the Whole. Now he commences the journey towards building up an independent entity, separated from the Whole. After the lapse of first few months, the child starts seeing similar forms over and over again, as much as he hears similar sound patterns. At one point he links up a particular sound pattern called ‘mom’ with a certain form. As time goes on, he sees more forms and hears more sound patterns. The society around the child teaches him the names, attributes and labels to identify those forms and sounds. These name attributes during the initial stages include sounds like ‘mother’, ‘farther’, ‘apple’ etc.
The attributes given by the immediate society are not inherent in the forms he sees or in the sounds he hears. They are only labels. However, for the purpose of normal functioning of life, these names, labels and attributes are ‘real.’ As time passes, he collects data and information through a wider network, ie. the eye, ear, nose tongue and the body. They are processed by the mind. The sense organs and he mind operate in unison and give him a false notion of ‘I’ or ‘me’. The false Ego has taken over and the mantle of illusion has already fallen on him.
A microscopic few starts seeing that the whole thing is an Ego and sense driven process- that they are caught up in an Egoic hypnotic trance and that they are moving away and away from ‘reality’ They commence an inward reverse journey looking for the ‘reality’ of life. As this reverse journey proceeds, the ‘world’ they had created with the senses and the mind starts to dissolve gradually. After it gets evaporated the full cycle is completed and they metaphorically turn to the same position as the infant. Nikkujitam va Ukkujayya,- He has taken the giant step and turned upwards.
Pupil : Noble Master, It seems to me that the starting point as well as the exit point are the same.
Master : Very much so. That is why Buddha saw a cyclic phenomenon in all aspects of our lives. Unless you have gone through the experience yourself, it is difficult to conceive the sense of relief when you go through the full cycle. You are freed from the grip of the mind and the senses. You are unhooked from all conditioned thought. You see things not through the lens of the Ego and the mind. You see things “As they Are” It is not only open as the sky, but is light as the sky. It is simply liberating.
Pupil : We wish we will one day fall at your feet and utter the same ‘Song of Joy and Liberation’.
Master sat in silence.