Essays on the Gita

Track Running Track 105

There are two important things at this stage which need to be mentioned. The claim to Truth that is made in regard to any Scripture rests upon the psychology of revelation; in fact, every Scripture is named as a revelation. What Moses got in the Ten Commandments were supposed to be revelations; what Christ has said is supposed to be a revelation; the Veda is called  śruti, a revelation, ‘That which is heard’; Upanishads are supposed to be revelations. It is on the basis of the psychology of revelation that it is said that anything that is revealed is necessarily true. This is as distinguished from thinking. Anything that you think is subject to error; it may be true but it is also possible that it is erroneous. But what is revealed is `supposed' to be true – this is the psychology – and this is a claim. Now the problem is, for us who are all seekers, we are told that what is given in the Bible is a revelation, what is given by Moses is a revelation, what is given in Koran is a revelation, what is given in the Veda is a revelation. And yet they don't say the same thing! This is a fact.

So sometimes we are told, it is true that they will not use the same words, but basically what they all say is the same thing. But factually, we do not find it to be so. It is true that there are certain things which are factually so, but we can’t say that everything that is said, is said in every other Scripture: a same revelation although different words, it is not the case. Therefore we must have a correct knowledge of this psychology of revelation.

In the very second line of this book, Sri Aurobindo speaks of ‘revelations and half revelations’, so that means that there can be revelation, there can be half revelation, there can be greater revelation, and that is the real truth of the psychology of revelation. Instead of quarrelling that ‘my revelation is true’ and then claiming that another revelation is false, the best thing is to say that all revelations are true. Even if they differ, the Truth expresses itself in many ways, ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti, (Rig Veda 1.164.46) the same reality which is expressed by different sages differently. Or else the truth that is revealed here is not necessarily a complete truth which is revealed: there are many aspects of the Truth, the Truth is infinite. That’s why the Indian tradition speaks of ananta veda, the revelations are infinite and no particular revelation will catch the whole: the whole idea that one revelation or a body of revelations reflect the whole thing, is itself an erroneous idea when we examine the fact of  revelations; the data of revelations will tell us that there are many revelations and each revelation has its own place; and there is a truth in it which perhaps may be is not elsewhere, but there are truths elsewhere which are not here. Therefore the right attitude is to see that even if you claim that a revelation gives you the Truth, we have to accept the fact that revelations are of many kinds, there are many revelations and each revelation may contain a truth but not the whole of the Truth and that no particular revelation can catch the whole of the Truth. This is the first thing to be noted.

The second thing is: how the revelation is expounded, is expressed? Now, this is a very difficult subject. How is a revelation expressed? Even if you have a revelation, is it expressed in a specific language, with specific words? Is revelation merely a kind of a general enlightenment which afterwards is expressed by you, in your own language – in the language of the vehicle through which the revelation is expressed?

Here also we find that there are varieties of experiences. Sometimes, the revelation is given in a specific language, exact words are given; you really see the revelation before your eyes as you can see this page, similarly when your inner eyes are opened, you can sometimes, you can see exactly as you see the book written before you. Now some people might reject this claim altogether saying this is all bunkum, but such experiences exist, and there are records of people who have no reason to tell lies. In fact such are the things which they have seen and they have worked. Sometimes it is explained in words, you hear, you don’t see, but you really hear the words, the exact words you hear, that is why it is called śruti. It is heard, that also happens. Revelation is done by hearing. And again these things are actually actively pursued and they have produced results.

I will give one small example in my personal experience: I was once assigned, in 1980, a task – I do not give the details of this because they are not very important. But I was given a task in the month of November, which I was supposed to accomplish within a day or two through the High Court of Calcutta. Now, this task had to be completed because the Parliament of India was opening its winter session on the 17th November in that year, and this task was connected with the promulgation of an ordinance, a very important ordinance had to be promulgated by the Government of India. And no ordinance can be passed when the Parliament opens, when the Parliament is in session, no ordinance can be passed. And the Government's idea was this should be passed through an ordinance, so that before the Parliament discusses it, it is already a fait accompli. It was a very important decision to be implemented, so the dating was very important. Now, on the 5th of November, we were about to issue the ordinance – I was one of the principal persons in charge of this ordinance, it had to be promulgated on the 5th of November. Just at the time when the President was about to sign, I was in the room of the President, next to his room, when the Law Secretary of the Government of India rang him up and said, "Sir, please do not sign the ordinance".

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