Monday, July 5, 2021

Where is the face?

 Where is the face?

Some days ago, we had interesting discussion on Sanskrit and Tamil, and a query was raised about the word Mukham. Whether the Tamil word mukham derived from Sanskrit word Mukha or vice verse? Which was first? 

There is a spiritual story, which brings out this fact that the visible world is a set of names and forms. 

There was a Saint who lived in a hut outside the town. A seeker invited him for dinner to learn something from him. The Saint accepted the invitation but decided to teach the seeker about the nature of the world. The seeker invited him to come with him in his car. The Saint said to the gentleman, “My friend! I don’t see your car”. The man pointed to his car but the saint insisted that he couldn’t see it. The gentleman walked up to the car, and pointed the windshield, and said, “this is my car”. The saint said, “I see some glass, but I don’t see any car”. The man went to open the door of his car and said this is my car. Please get in. The saint said, “I see a door, but I don’t see a car”. The man said that if I can’t prove that this is a car, please slap on my face (mukham). The saint agreed. The seeker showed part after part of the car but the saint kept on identifying it as something else. Finally frustrated, the seeker said, “sorry, maharaj, I couldn’t prove the existence of my car. Please slap me”. The seeker pointed to his cheek. The saint said, this is a cheek, this is not your face. The man pointed at his forehead, and called it his face. The saint said, “this is not your face. This is your forehead”. In short, the seeker couldn’t show where his face was and was thoroughly nonplussed. The saint said, “ my friend! Until you prove to me that you have a face, I will not be able to slap you”. 

He continued, “Just as there is no such thing as a face or a car, so also the so called world which is a conglomeration of names and forms also does not exist. The appearance is only of the five elements- earth, water, fire, air and space- are visible as a multitude of colours and designs in the form of these mutable, illusory objects. Even these five elements are illusory forms of Shiva, the Self, Supreme Consciousness. The substratum of all, the creatures and gross world are only superimposed on the Self. 


12 May 2021


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