The Vedic seers have pondered over the question: ‘Who am I?’ By intense meditation on the Self, they found that they were not finite, weak and individual souls, but were the Infinite, Omnipotent and Omnipresent God Himself. Just as a ten-litre pot space is not separate from the infinite space, we are not separate from the Omnipresent God. In fact, God ceases to be omnipresent if He does not include us. Thus the seers have found God in all beings (Iswara sarva bhutanaam hriddese thistati). The Vedas have affirmed the presence of God in all beings . ‘Pragyanam Brahma’ (Rig Veda), ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ (Yajur Veda) ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ (Sama Veda) ‘Ayam Atma Brahma’ (Atharva Veda).
Just as a ten-litre pot space is perceived to be a separate and individual entity, we too feel, due to ignorance, that we are individual and separate entities. There originates the ‘I’ feeling. The ten-litre pot space, if it compares itself with a one-litre space, may feel proud. It may feel jealous if it comes across a fifty-litre pot space.
Similarly, we too are beset with feelings of pride, jealousy, happiness, frustration, etc. as long as we hold ourselves to be individual and finite souls.
As long as we hold ourselves to be individual and separate entities, we struggle to protect our little selves, make ourselves happy, perform actions (karmas) to derive happiness, hanker after the fruits of our actions and are thus, entangled by the Law of Karma. If the ten-litre pot space notices that even a million-litre pot space is ‘finite’ and is smaller than the infinite space, and realises that it is not separate from the infinite space, it sheds its feelings of jealousy, pride, etc.
Similarly, a person, realising his innate divinity, cuts across the illusory ‘I’ feeling with the knife of Self-Knowledge and becomes one with the Absolute. He neither performs any actions to bring happiness to his little ‘I’, nor aspires for the fruits of his past actions, and, is delivered from the clutches of the Law of Karma. By kindling the spark of the knowledge of the Self, one burns up the entire stock of the karma accrued during the innumerable past births.
The Vedas declare that the only way one can attain eternal bliss is by the realisation of the innate divinity. There is no other way. (Naanyah panthah vidyate ayanaya). But all those who are unaware of their real nature hold themselves as individual entities, go on performing karmas and are regulated by the Law of Karma.
B. H. V. Nageswar Rao