Dialogues of self and soul-2

‘Akasha — The Fifth element’

“Look at the night sky, the gentle moon, the glimmering stars, the magnificent torrent of light stretched up to infinity!” I said a bit poetically.

She did not turn her head and kept on looking upwards.

I stole a glance at her to find an enigmatic smile on her beautiful face that was drenched in the silvery moonlight.

She looked absolutely stunning.

“Don’t you find it beautiful?” I enquired.

After a long pause, she finally turned her face to look directly at me.

“It is immensely beautiful! However, there is a difference in our perception.” The moonlight and the smile, both danced on her lips as she spoke.

I took a deep breath to steady my thoughts.

“What do you mean?” I asked .

“Look carefully! Do you see anything more than the dazzling display of light?” She answered with a question of her own.

“ You mean the enormous suns, the distant galaxies, the milky ways. The mystical clusters in the clusters?” I queried.

“More than that.” She commented, apparently not satisfied with my answer.

“But there is nothing else. The opulent display of twinkling lights is all I can see!” I said adamantly, a little flustered by the fact that I could not see the object she was hinting at.

“I am talking about the beautiful black. The open space, the vacuity!” She said, now grinning broadly.

“Oh, I see!” I said, finally comprehending her intent.

“But what is so beautiful about it? After all it is nothing.” I countered.

Her face started radiating a glow that seemed to come from an inner light,

“Nothing? It is the thing! It is ‘Akasha’ (space)- eternally existent, superfluid reality! All perceptible matter comes from this primary substance, this tenuity beyond conception, filling what appears as vacuity to you. The Akasha is acted upon by the life giving ‘Prana’, creating all things and phenomena of the physical and metaphysical worlds.” She elaborated.

“I still can’t see the logic” I said.

She raised her hand and gently touched my forehead. The powerful touch sent a tingling sensation, a vibration through my entire being.

Her words started to reverberate in my mind as she explained the phenomenon.

“All the other four elements are destructible and divisible but the Fifth element- Akasha is beyond creation or destruction. It is but the purest form of energy-the dark energy. It is the primordial absolute that creates cosmic matter and hence the properties of Akasha are not found in the material properties. Though it is ‘Absolute’, it is subtle enough to be beyond the grasp of your ordinary senses.”

She paused for the effect.

My gaze did not falter and she spoke again,

Tat -Tvam- Asi- That art thou. You are but a wave that is a part of the infinite ocean of Consciousness. That is the only reality.” She concluded.

I pondered for a second, it was getting really interesting!

“It may be true, but if it is so subtle, then how can I realize Akasha or even my own self?” I asked the next obvious question.

“Through meditation and Yoga of course!” She said matter of factly.

“And you can start with ‘Aum Namah Shivaya’. Beside the eternal Aksara AUM, the mantra has five syllables: na-mah-shi-va-ya- the Panchakshara Mantra (panch means five). Among other things, these five represent the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space (Akasha). Thus, the Om Namah Shivaya mantra leads awareness in the reverse order from manifestation back to the source from which manifestation arose.”

I looked up and silently whispered the great Mantra- ‘Aum Namah Shivaya’. The words resonated inside me as I chanted and the night sky started to change in front of my eyes.

“How does a Mantra work?” I asked after a while.

There was no answer this time. She was gone, leaving me at the threshold of spiritual liberation.

I recalled, she was telling the eternal truth.

-Described in Vedas and told by Sage Uddalaka Aruni to his son Shwetaketu around three thousand years ago.

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