Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
20 February 2018
Birth of Past
“Gross and Subtle”
Every man and woman is convinced that the past has happened and that the past is behind them. They believe that what had happened to them in the present moment is now in the past and it did not actually happen in a past moment.
This implies that the past did happen in the present, but is now in the past. This implies that the birth of the past happened in the present. Firstly, what could the understanding of birth of past be is the question?
The moment in daily life gives a clue to this understanding, because every moment in daily life is not in the past moment. Secondly, what could the understanding of the moment in daily life be is the question?
For the first question, it is obvious that the past is known only as words and only through words. Now, a word is made up of letters in the alphabet and a letter is an illusion of a particular sound.
Similarly, letters in the alphabet are a collection of particular sounds. This implies that a word is a collection of sounds as illusory letters in the alphabet. The moment when man recognised a word in the mind, it was the birth of a word.
This is evident because the child recognises one letter at a time and speaks one letter at a time as the child grows. The recognition of a letter is the birth of a letter as an illusion of subtle sound. Similarly, speaking a word is the birth of a word as an illusion of gross sound.
Therefore, the moment a primitive man recognised a letter and spoke a letter in the moment, it was the birth of subtle and gross past respectively. This is because letters have grown up to be the past in the modern man and woman’s mind.
For the second question, the understanding of the moment in daily life is: The primitive man was without a letter in the moment and, so too, the modern child is without a letter in the moment. To both the primitive man and the modern child letters have evolved in the moment.
Next, a moment is followed by the next moment. Wisdom reveals that, if there are many moments, there would be in between a moment and the next a moment as well. Wisdom signifies that a moment in daily life is eternal and a division between moments is not an actuality.
The moment in daily life also signifies that the past is an illusion of the moment, because the moment was without a letter in primitive man and also in the modern child. A moment has evolved in the daily life of modern man and woman with illusory letters.
The enlightened have rightly proclaimed that the past is illusory in the moment of daily life. This is because the moment in daily life is without a thought in primitive man and also in the modern child. An illusory thought as the past is present only intermittently in the moment in daily life and not in every moment in daily life.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2018
Many a moment is spent by man in contemplation or recollection of the past and events and people in the past. The recollections may be known to be illusory, yet they have the power to enliven in the present. The enlightened are indicating that the moment that is, is the birthplace of all that is not. Until this is understood, reality may be attributed to that which is not, both the subtle and the gross, the thought and the spoken, while unreality is attributed to that which is.
German Translator’s Note:
The past is the reference point for comparison with the present. The past makes us restless, if it was beautiful, because we long for the past, while being in the present, which may not be so beautiful. The past makes us restless, if it was ugly, because we want to forget it and cannot forget as long as forgetting does not happen to us. This is how the past happens to us: It pops up in our heads, whenever and in however manner, it is meant to happen by the intelligence of life, not by will and choice. Therefore, in any case, the past needs to be understood deeply, in order to place the past into the moment which is not, but only appears to be: into the illusory moment of the mind. Then, we are free from the past in any case and open of the timeless Here and the thoughtless Now: the real moment in life.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.