I am The Divine Energy
Adi Shankaracharya has presented the knowledge of the Self through one verse. Memorize it, understand it and chant it daily. When this is done with dedication and complete surrender, the self-illuminating, omnipresent Atma will be revealed to us and our mind will get complete satisfaction. Through this verse, we also understand Acharya’s teaching method. Whenever, an inquisitive seeker approached him, he would start conversing and along the way, tactfully guide him to the path of Enlightenment. We will now look closely at one of these conversations.
Acharya composed the following verse –
किं ज्योतिस्त्वं भानुमानहनि मे रात्रौ प्रदिपादिकं
स्यादेवं रविदीपदर्शनविधौ किं ज्योतिराख्याहि मे |
चक्षुस्तस्य निमीलनादिसमये किं धीर्धियो दर्शने
किं तत्राहमतो भवान्परमकं ज्योतिस्तदस्मि प्रभो ||
Once, a gentleman approached Acharya. He prostrated to him and said, “Maharaj! Please advise me so I can know the Self. I don’t know who I am, what I am… I understand ’Me, Me’ but I don’t know where I come from. Who am I?”
He said, “My good man! ‘किं ज्योति: त्वं?’ meaning, what light source is useful to you? Jyoti (ज्योति) is light, illumination. What is that light source due to which you get knowledge that this is an elephant, this is a horse, this is a mountain, this is a river?”
Gentleman says, “Maharaj! In the presence of sunlight, I see everything. If there was no sun, I will not know anything.”
Acharya says, “During the day, there is sunlight. This is very true. But at night, when there is no sunlight, how do you know?”
Gentleman says, “Maharaj! In the night, ‘रात्रौ प्रदिपादिकं’ the moon’s light, or a lamp is what lets me see things. If there was no moon or a lamp, I will not know.”
Acharya says, “‘स्यादेवं’ that is fine. I agree, to see things around us, we have the sun’s rays during the daytime and in the night, we have the moon’s light, a lamp or fire light. But where do you get the knowledge of the sun, the moon, or another light source?
Acharya continues, “‘रविदीपदर्शनविधौ किं ज्योति:?’ What is the source of knowledge through which we know the sun, the moon or any light source? ‘आख्याहि मे’ tell me.”
Gentleman says, “Maharaj, ‘चक्षु:’ the eyes. My eyes can see, so they are the source of all the information.”
Acharya says, “You say that your eyes provide you with the information, ‘तस्य निमीलनादिसमये किं’ but when you close your eyes, you still receive information, don’t you?”
Gentleman says, “Yes, I do.”
Acharya says, “How does that happen?”
Gentleman says, “My hands, feet, ears, nose, and other sense organs assist me.”
Acharya says, “Now tell me, if someone comes and presses your nose, covers your ears, ties up your hands and feet, won’t you continue to receive information?”
Gentleman says, “Yes, Maharaj!”
Acharya says, “How is this occurring?”
Gentleman says, “’धी’ means intellect. Maharaj, my intellect is the source of the information.”
Acharya says, “‘धियो दर्शने किं?’ Who is it that knows the intellect?”
Gentleman says: “Maharaj, ‘तत्राह्म्’ I am the one who gets the information from the intellect.”
Acharya then smiles and says, “Dear child! ‘अतो भवान् परमकं ज्योति:.’ You are the source that illuminates the sun, the moon, the lamp, the eyes, the intellect, everything. You are the source of all illumination and you are also the one who illuminates you, no other. You are self-illuminating, ‘परमकं ज्योति:’ the supreme source of light. You are the Divine form.”
Gentleman says, “‘तदस्मि प्रभो’ what you are saying is absolutely correct, Maharaj! I am the source, I am the supreme intelligence, I am Consciousness.”
Acharya says, “Everything around you is an illusion. Know that whatever you see is perishable, transient. You, however, the witness, the seer, are indestructible, permanent and omnipresent. Our discussion has proved this!”
Thus, through a small discussion, Acharya explained the existence of the self-illuminating, all pervading, omnipresent Self. The gentleman, now completely content, prostrated before the Acharya and touched his holy feet.
Acharya further says, “You can also experience this verse if you do a study.”
The gentleman says, “What study is that?”
Acharya says, “Sit calmly, close your eyes and observe.”
The gentleman did as Acharya said and he experienced joyfulness.