What is the Body?
Our special theme says, “The body is a fence the Son of God imagines he has built, to separate parts of his Self from other parts. … For within this fence he thinks that he is safe from love.”
We are involved in a very deep contemplation right now. Although we seem to be looking at the body, we are really looking at the mind. We are looking at the mind’s idea that my life-awareness is separate from the life-awareness in others.
I’d like to share the story of Ramana Maharshi’s physical death.
Sri Ramana’s body suffered from sarcoma for many months from early February 1949 until his death on April 14, 1950.
When his devotees, fearing his death, begged him to cure the body, he responded by saying, “Why are you so attached to this body? Let it go.”
His devotees continued to plead with him. They did not want to see him die. They thought they were losing him forever. He replied “Where can I go? I shall always be here.”
On the evening of his death, as the devotees sat on the verandah outside the room that had been specially built for his convenience during his illness, they spontaneously began singing “Arunachala Siva.” On hearing it, Ramana’s eyes opened and shone. He gave a brief smile of indescribable tenderness. From the outer corners of his eyes, tears of bliss rolled down. He took one more deep breath, and then no more.
At that very moment, 8:47 p.m., what appeared to be an enormous star trailed slowly across the sky passing to the northeast towards the peak of Arunachala. Many saw this luminous body in the sky, even as far away as Bombay. They ascribed this phenomenon to the passing of their Master.
I shared this story, because I have contemplated this story many times. What I see in this story is one who no longer believed in the “fence” of the body. I see one who knew life-awareness is one, one life-awareness. This is why he said, “Where can I go? I shall always be here.”
He is here, now, in every living thing, because he is life-awareness. And we are too.
My holy vision sees all things as pure.
Our lesson says, “Father, Your Mind created all that is, Your Spirit entered into it, Your Love gave life to it. And would I look upon what You created as if it could be made sinful?”
In order to realize clarity, we can continue our practice of replacing the word “sin” with other words. For example, we might ask, “Would I look upon what You created as if I can determine what should be and what should not be?”
Let me share a little more from the story of Ramana Maharshi’s death:
As already mentioned, Ramana’s devotees wanted him to cure himself. When this request was made, he responded, “But the [one with knowledge of reality] has no will of his own. Nor is he identified with the body and the ills to which it is heir. … Did I ask the tumor to come so that I may tell it to go? It came of its own accord. What then has my will got to do with it?”
When Ramana’s devotees took it upon their selves to treat his body, he said, “It is for us to witness all that happens.”
I share this story, because I have also contemplated it many times. It seems that Ramana had completely transcended the idea of “should be or should not be.” To him, everything was life-awareness. Or as he put it, there is only the Self.
Interestingly, Ramana’s devotees arranged four operations and other treatments, which he submitted to. He did not resist dying, and he did not resist treatment when it was arranged for him. For Ramana, there was no “should be or should not be.” He was the witness of all that occurred, and all appearances were pure.
Today, let’s continue to contemplate life-awareness as one life-awareness. Let’s realize there are no separate parts that should not be. Nothing can happen that is out of alignment with the whole. The Loving All Method fits well with this contemplation.
If you have 30 minutes for a meditation today, consider this meditation again, because it is a good fit with our current contemplation:
You might also enjoy meditating to light sounds of nature. If so, try this Youtube video:
In addition, here is a song to listen to today. You may listen before meditation, after meditation or at any point during the day to assist with today’s contemplation. When you listen, please sit and listen without being engaged in any other activity: