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New Year's Parable: A Drop of Water


1.
The one who knows the Eternal go to the Eternal.
- Gita

2.
Consider a drop of water, in its journey to the sea and how it undergoes change.

One day the drop is mist.  The next it has become part of a passing cloud.  On the third day, the drop falls onto the ground as a raindrop; eventually the drop seeps down into the earth and joins other drops as part of a mountain stream.  Gradually this stream winds its way into a river and the river empties, along with the drop, into a mighty ocean.

In the next part of its journey, this drop of water as it lies in the ground may be frozen for a time and in the spring thaw join as part of a lovely flower.  In time, the moisture in the flower evaporates back into the air and the drop, again, becomes part of a passing cloud.  However, this time it falls on the earth as part of a winter snow.  Eventually, the drop melts and seeps into the ground.  Gradually, it resumes the journey of finding its way to the mountain stream, river and ocean.

Throughout its adventures, the drop changes many times, assumes different roles and learns about itself in a variety of ways.  When it joins the ocean, the drop will be that much more complete and conscious of its potential.

 In part, this is the nature of the soul’s journey through the many worlds.

by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff


3.
Just as the drop becomes one with the Ocean, so also the individual soul becomes one with the Supreme Soul when ignorance is vanished.

There are two kinds of souls, viz., the individual soul or Jivatman or the human soul, and the Supreme Soul or Paramatman. The individual soul is an image or reflection of the Supreme Soul. Just as the Sun is reflected in different pools of water, so also the Supreme Soul is reflected in different minds of different persons.

Soul is spirit. It is immaterial. It is intelligence or consciousness. It is Chaitanya (the Real Consciousness). Individual soul is reflected Chaitanya (finite consciousness). It is this individual soul that departs from the body after its death and goes to the realm of unseen, with the senses, mind, Prana, impressions, desires and tendencies. It is endowed with a subtle astral body when it proceeds to the intermediary world and the next life.

When the water in the lake is absorbed, the reflection of, the Sun in the water merges in the Sun itself. Even so, when the mind is annihilated through meditation, the individual soul merges itself in the Supreme Soul or Paramatman. This is the goal of life.

The individual soul has become impure through cravings, desires, egoism, pride, greed, lust and likes and dislikes. Hence it is finite (Paricchinna), it is endowed with limited knowledge (Alpajna) and limited power (Alpa-Saktiman). The Supreme Soul is Infinite, Omniscient and Omnipotent. It is an embodiment of knowledge and bliss.

The individual soul is under bondage through ignorance and limiting adjuncts such as mind, body and senses. It is mere appearance. When it attains knowledge of the Imperishable, it is freed from limiting adjuncts and bondage. Just as the bubble becomes one with the ocean, so also the Jiva (individual soul) becomes one with the Supreme Soul when ignorance is destroyed.

A dead body cannot speak, cannot walk, cannot see. It remains like a log of wood after the soul has departed from the body. It is the soul that enlivens, galvanises, moves and directs the body, mind and the senses.

The Supreme Soul is self-consciousness, self-awareness, self-delight, self-knowledge and self-existence. It knows itself and knows others. It is self-luminous and illumines everything. Hence it is Chaitanya. Matter does not know itself. It does not know others. Hence it is Jada or insentient.

The Supreme Soul is formless, attributeless, all-pervading indivisible, decayless, timeless, spaceless. There is neither time nor day nor night in the Sun itself, although it creates day and night. So is the Supreme Soul. Soul is Infinite, Eternal, Immortal.

The Supreme alone exists. This world of names and forms is illusory. It is superimposed upon the Supreme Soul, just as snake is superimposed on the rope when a rope is mistaken as snake. Bring a light; the snake in the rope vanishes at once. Attain illumination or knowledge of the Supreme Soul. This world will vanish in too.

Everybody feels ‘I exist’, ‘I am, Aham Asmi’. No one can say ‘I do not exist’. This itself proves the existence of an Immortal Soul or the Supreme Self. In deep sleep you rest in the Supreme Soul. There is no world for you. You enjoy unalloyed bliss. This proves that the Supreme Soul exists and its essential nature is pure bliss.

Purify your mind. Steady it. Fix the mind on the Supreme Soul. Meditate and realise your essential divine nature. You will be freed from the wheel of births and deaths. You will attain eternal bliss and immortality.

- from the teachings of Sri Swami Sivananda, may God be pleased with him

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Technology of the Heart: New Year's Parable: A Drop of Water
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