Imperience - Centre for Research and Training in P.A.M
The Unknown

“We can only know the unknown when we become unknown ourselves.” (SDG, Message at Madurai on 30-04-1977, Page-69, 2006 Edition)

Sri. K.C.Narayana


1.     Cogito Ergo Sum so said Descartes. “I think therefore I am” is what he said. This was his answer to the argument that there is no proof of existence for any thing as everything we say we know is only an idea we have of that thing. He argued that while all this may be true, we cannot question the existence of the questioner or we cannot ignore the existence of the doubter who doubts. Master in his book Philosophy of Sahaj Marg stated “Now let the atheist be faced with the question as to what exists. A consistent agnostic can doubt and deny the existence of everything but not his own self. Viz. that which doubts or denies.”(wuf. 11) We thus through inference seem to know our self. What this self however remains Unknown.

2.     Master further stated that God does not have mind and obviously He cannot think. On the face of it, it is atrocious to say so. God however knows without the faculty of thinking.  That is because He is everything and is every where. He is all aspects of all beings. He is not outside but inside and is not separate from us but one with us. He knows through being and not perceiving. He is not limited by the subject, object duality. The limitation of God (is it blasphemous) is that he cannot perceive. He knows but does not know that He knows. We provide Him not just a set of senses but with our capacity for cognition and cognitive perception well developed we lend Him with our capacity to question and understand and reflect. This is because we are the Homo sapiens sapiens the creatures that do know that they know.

3.     Because we perceive and gain knowledge we can never know God and He remains always the Unknown. He is so intimate that we do not perceive and know Him. Knowledge is the link between Subject and Object of perception. But He is neither the Subject nor the Object of any perception. Thus He remains always ‘the Unknown’ through any mediated or perceptive knowledge. He is not known through perception, inference, analogy, Scriptures and advice from elders. He is to be intuited and imperienced. It is only when the mind which coordinates and collates all perceptive data gets totally interiorised and gets purged out of all the impressions of such perceptive data and the reflective analysis it has made of such data, that it gains a status that may be called purity. It is in a pure mind the flower of pure love blossoms. All sadhana is aimed at that only.

4.     We all practice the Natural Path and the meditation prescribed for us only with the aim of knowing the Unknown and become one with it. Master says “We know that God is completely devoid of grossness, so the realisation of God must mean the attainment of a state of similar subtleness to the last possible degree. This is what we aim at in Natural Path. The system helps an abhyasi free himself from grossness that has settled round him in the form of coverings. The technique though quite simple, is often beyond common grasp, since it adheres closely to the absolute Reality and proceeds along subtlest lines. It prescribes meditation on the heart, supposing the presence of Divine Light there. But the abhyasi is directed not to try to see the light in any form or shape. If he does so the light, if perchance it appears to his view, will not be the real one but a projection of his mind. An abhyasi is, however, advised to take it in the form of mere supposition. In that case it will be the subtlest, and we shall thereby be meditating upon the subtlest. Every saint has used the word Light for it and I too cannot avoid it, since that is the only expression best suited for the purpose. But that creates some complications, because when we talk of light the idea of luminosity becomes predominant, and we begin to take it as glittering. The real light carries with it no such sense and may be represented as 'light without luminosity'. It refers to the very real substance or, more appropriately, the substance which is associated with neither light nor darkness but is beyond both.” Here in the very technique of meditation we find the Master eliminating the very process of perceptive knowledge and is asking us to directly dive into the Infinite. In fact he is asking us to meditate on the Unknown- a divine light without luminosity. Those who are accustomed to accept only the perceptive knowledge will not find this method agreeable. But unfortunately the mind with all its notions and ideas cannot comprehend reality in its true form. Any change or modification on the procedure given to us by the Master is bound to lead us to perceptive knowledge which cannot grant us the Unknown. I may say reality is so very intimate that we cannot perceive it and add ‘Do not try to know the Unknown; be the Unknown’.

5.     We have in the pre-para observed the importance of following the method of meditation prescribed without any change. For this we have to determine ourselves to know the Unknown the only thing worth knowing. Master blesses us when he said “I do want that all of you may emerge as the Suns in the field of Spirituality but it is possible only if the reflection of the earth is not allowed to be cast on the sun and this is feasible only if you work out your orbit accordingly. When can be the orbit made? Only when you straighten out the movement. And when will the movement be straight? When the destination is always in full sight. And when can the goal remain in sight? When you become entirely His. When can you be His? When you lose yourself completely. When can you lose yourself? When there is no thought in the heart other than that of His. And when is this possible? Through practice. How does practice become? By love and interest. How are love and interest born? By thinking repeatedly. How repeated thinking becomes possible? Through determination. And when is it possible to make a firm determination? Only then, when you gird up your loins to sacrifice your rest and pleasures and say good bye to lethargy.” In short we have to become unknown to our pleasures, wishes, ideas and notions of things and men. Totally oblivious to the demands of lower and upper tendencies of the mind we have to gird up our loins to know Him and Him alone who is the Unknown. It may be said ‘be unknown so that you know the unknown.’ There is a bonus here; when we become unknown, the Unknown knows us and also owns us. But this is a matter of ones’ imperience. I pray everyone comes to this stage soon under His guidance.

6.      Knowing the Unknown appears to be ridiculously impossible for the common perceptive knowledge. We are sure we have a direct imperience of the Unknown but rational mind demands to have the criteria of certainty about the same. The Law of precedence is an accepted law of certainty and the legal systems of every Nation has its base on that. We are not only the ones who have such imperience. Dr. K.C.V. says “There are several mystics who experience themselves as losing themselves once and for all time, utterly in a vast Universal Consciousness indistinguishably like rivers in an ocean, or like a light that merges in an illumination million times brighter than itself. There is a sense of dissolution of oneself in a Nihil or Supracosmic impersonal Being, a dissolution which thereafter compels the utter giving up of all distinctions and differences between itself and others. Indeed it may be that he experiences none of these and least of all himself. One ceases.” But the path trodden by them is literally the path of the Unknown. It was a few years back I got to read a book called ‘On having no head’. The author was eloquently arguing that we do not have any knowledge of our own head except perhaps the tip of the nose and was narrating his appreciation of his Zen master. On some thinking over the theme I found that the least we know of our body is our back. Surprisingly all the Chakras are located on the spine and all the mystics and others tried to know the Unknown through these relatively unknown body energy centres. We are saved of this exercise by the Master who gave us the excellent method of practice of Pranahuti Aided Meditation.

7.     Master asserts “Consciously, the inner craving of a human heart is the attainment of the Real. This is the ladder for one to ascend towards the Unknown. When this craving is satisfied we also become unknown to ourselves. We thus enter a state of oblivion where self is totally forgotten, and the Consciousness of the body or the soul is all gone. The impressions of existence which encumber the heart are all washed away. One cannot imagine what he is or what others are. The tie of relationship is broken, and he does not feel himself connected with anybody. In short he loses his very entity. He does things which leave no impression upon him. The formation of samskaras stops, and he is free from their effect. He thus acquires the state of nishkam karma, so beautifully discussed by Lord Krishna in the Gita. At this stage the man attains an almost balanced state similar to that which prevailed before the creation came into existence. His heart is quite calm, and mind disciplined. He is so much absorbed in Brahm that he does not like to part with it even for a moment. So he can no longer meditate either on God or on himself. If, however, he attempts to meditate for a while, breathlessness will follow, since he is swimming in the sphere where there is no density. ( This is a matter of personal experience of many aspirants- KCN) At this stage they say that self is realised; but that is a wrong impression because there (the stage of self realisation- KCN) one knows what he is, and this is what they lay so much stress upon. What happens at the stage (stage of absorption in Brahm- KCN) is that the cells of the body begin to get transformed into energy and then finally into its ultimate. There is no charm, no attraction and no anandam (in the popular sense of the word). It is a tasteless state, unchanging and constant. It can more appropriately be described as `sang-e-benamak' - a lump of salt stone from which saltishness has been taken away. (State of Realisation)

8.     The topic of the seminar is a very illuminating sentence taken from the Masters’ message which is very poetical viz. "We can only know the unknown when we become unknown ourselves." Identity card which almost every one has is the sure sign of ones’ existence in modern days. When an aspirant asked the Master for his address instead of pulling out his address or identity card he said “in the scriptural language I might say ‘My address shall be known to you when you have realised yourself.’ But I shall prefer to reply as “when you become only my self”. That means you must begin seeing me in you automatically, not purposely, or when the very same condition gets created in you, then alone shall you be able to know my real address.” That is our identity shall cease. This identity crisis through which we go through in sadhana is necessary before we come to a stage where the illusory ego is dissolved. We then become intimate with the Master who as ever remains Unknown. The paradox in spiritual life is the “Most intimate is the Most Unknown.”

9.     The intimate moments with the Master is most common to most of the aspirants in this system of sadhana. Very high states of consciousness descend into our hearts during meditation and also during prayers. Master states that "Sometimes these things come and go but we should grasp them and make them permanent with us. From there you rise above." The experience of becoming totally unknown to ourselves is one of the feelings during meditation and almost all those who practice the system have expressed the same. But we do not grasp that unknown status of ours and miss the message. It is this that I have been pleading for when I was asking the aspirants to own up the conditions had during meditation. Why is it that after experiencing the state of Void or Null during the meditation, we still keep an attitude of love toward God or Master? Why does not the duality get dissolved? The obvious answer is that 'I-consciousness' persists. It disappears in the state of Samadhi or Void that we no doubt have, but it comes back. The 'I' never disappears on its own. It is the love for the Master or God that keeps us anchored in our path. However the goal does not require to be changed and our aim is to have oneness with God and not just love for God. I have many times wondered as to what the aspirants think of having complete oneness with God. How many would bargain to become Unknown. How many as Scott said would go down to the vile dust, from whence we sprung,
unwept, unhonoured and unsung? But only when we own that type of experience which comes and goes, do we really imperience the Divine. The call is there, the experience is there and yet it is our unpreparedness to lose our identity and become unknown by relinquishing all our ego and identity that is the barrier to know the unknown. The Unknown is too intimate to be known through reason and perception; the path is Love Him who loves all. It is in non selfish Love that we lose our identity and we become Unknown to ourselves. It is then we comply with what Master is asking us to do.

10.                     My humble pranams.