Being can be felt in the silence of the soul. When an inner surrender of the self-conscious will takes place, there is great peace of mind and body, and gradually the movements of the mind seem to stop. There is no thinking, but there is a deep feeling of Being, of a deeper reality than the reality of ordinary consciousness. Faith in Being then becomes absolute: how could one doubt the deepest experience of one’s life? Amiel describes the glimpses of Being when he writes in his diary:
“2nd January, 1880. Here there is a sense of rest and quietness. Silence in the house and outside. A tranquil fire gives a feeling of comfort. The portrait of my mother seems to smile upon me. This peaceful morning makes me happy. Whatever pleasure we may get from our emotions I do not think it can equal those moments of silent peace which are glimpses of the joys of Paradise. Desire and fear, grief and anxiety are no more. We live a moment of life in the supreme region of our own being: pure consciousness. One feels an inner harmony free from the slightest agitation or tension. In those moments the state of the soul is solemn, perhaps akin to its condition beyond the grave. It is happiness as the Orientals understand it, the happiness of the hermit who is free from desire and struggle, and who simply adores in fullness of joy. We cannot find words to express this experience, because our languages can only describe particular and definite conditions of life: they have no words to express this silent contemplation, this heavenly quietness, this ocean of peace which both reflects the heavens above and is master of its own vast depth. Things return to their first principle, while memories become dreams of memories. The soul is then pure being and no longer feels its separation from the whole. It is conscious of the universal life, and at that moment is a center of communion with God. It has nothing and it lacks nothing. Perhaps only the Yogis and the Sufis have known in its depth this condition of simple happiness which combines the joys of being and non-being, which is neither reflection nor will, and which is beyond the moral and the intellectual life: a return to oneness, to the fullness of things, the vision of Plotinus and Proclus, the glad expectation of Nirvana.”
Interwoven in his creation, the Spirit is beyond destruction. No one can bring to an end the Spirit which is everlasting. For beyond time He dwells in these bodies, though these bodies have an end in their time; but He remains immeasurable, immortal. Therefore, great warrior, carry on thy fight.
If any man thinks he slays, and if another thinks he is slain, neither knows the ways of truth. The Eternal in man cannot kill; the Eternal in man cannot die.
He is never born, and He never dies. He is Eternity; He is for evermore. Never born and eternal, beyond times gone or to come, He does not die when the body dies.
Beyond the power of sword and fire, beyond the power of water and winds, the Spirit is everlasting, omnipresent, never-changing, never-moving, ever One.
Invisible is He to mortal eyes, beyond thought and beyond change. Know that He is, and cease from sorrow.
He whose mind is untroubled by sorrows, and for pleasures he has no longing, beyond passion, and fear and anger, he is the sage of unwavering mind. Who everywhere is free from all ties, who neither rejoices nor sorrows if fortune is good or is ill, his is a serene wisdom.
When in recollection he withdraws all his senses from the attractions of the pleasures of sense, even as a tortoise withdraws all its limbs, then his is a serene wisdom.
For the man who forsakes all desires and abandons all pride of possession and of self reaches the goal supreme.
This is the eternal in man. Reaching Him all delusion is gone. Even in the last hour of his life upon earth, man can reach the Nirvana of Brahman – man can find peace in the peace of his God.
When the mind of the Yogi is in harmony and finds rest in the Spirit within, all restless desires gone, then he is one in God.
Then the seeker knows the joy of Eternity; a vision seem by reason far beyond what senses can see. He abides therein and moves not from Truth.
Then, with reason armed with resolution, let the seeker quietly lead the mind into the Spirit, and let all his thoughts be silence.
Extracts from the Bhagavad Gita translated by Juan Mascaro. (Penguin Classics). 1962
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