Hindu Philosophy has been laying great stress on ethics both from the subjective and objective standpoints. Subjective ethics is related to an individual’s life. More particularly, sublimation of his mind and his life to help purification and deepening of inner life. In this process he equates and deliberately substitutes for the expression i.e., “REALITY” the “Relative values”. Even the religious leaders of the same religion do this. To my view the ULTIMATE REALITY is beyond the categories of good and evil. This applies even to those divinities (incarnations) born as human beings and other jeevas (beings with known life).
The objective ethics deals with Social Welfare. It is based on the conception of duties like Dharma, determined by a man’s position in society and his stage of life and upon certain universal duties common to all human beings. But objective ethics is not an end in itself. Ultimately its objective is to help the individual attain the knowledge of God. But Hindu ethics in its original formulation and later as well, stressed on the subjective values of action because the knowledge of God or the quest to know the “REALITY” is dependent upon individual effort, his sincerity, aspiration and yearning. But the objective aspect is meant to build together all the individuals into a society, each serving as complementary to each other. Hence the need for objective values is also felt by everybody.
When one goes into the depth of life of AMMA of JILLELLAMUDI, one understands that the moment the universal power takes the form of any jeeva with a body, it attains limitations of human being, barring of course those who are full AVATAARAAS (incarnations). Nevertheless, the innumerable forms are of the same power, there is neither depletion nor appreciation (increase) or growth in that power. These are there analytically to the physical form. The power within remains the same forever and ever. The power is not broken (khanda). As one becomes old or sick or dying, that power slowly becomes one with that universal power to which it once belonged. The subjective aspect is stressed as important by Chaandogya Upanishad in 18th sarga, chapter III-M-6 wherein meditation on mind is stressed as Brahman is realized in the pure mind. This meditation on the mind is intended to cleanse the mind. One is asked to look upon the entire mind and Akasa as ‘Brahman’. The whole of Upanishad lays stress on the purification of mind as sine qua non (an essential prerequisite) for realization. Yoga of any form is important from this point of view. It is one of the means to realize also.
MOTHER OF JILLELLAMUDI gives equal importance to both ethics and metaphysics. It is not possible to separate objective value from subjective, she says. In one context (Page 122, AJMD) she says, “the (basis of) human life is dependent upon RAGA AND DVESHA i.e., your love and hatred. “I” ness i.e. the feeling of owning its performance and not having any role for any external agency as the basis for these two. If these are in a limited form, one will try for viraaga or detachment. In one way ‘Love’ is also desired. Even enmity is also an attachment. “If one examines their statement critically from one’s own experience the truth of this statement reveals itself to him. As I said in the earlier paras she does not make distinction between subjective and objective values. She says in another context that “if a human being were to properly understand the human fervor he becomes divine. Good and bad are nothing but different attitudes and characters. As a pinnacle of this sublime thought she says “HE WHO COGNIZES all as of the same Power is Gnani or enlightened one, and the ONE who has become all these, is GOD. Becoming all these means although cognizing as different entities but feeling as part of himself or projection of oneself.
All that sayings of AMMA are not reproductions of what is already there in sastras or religious books or the experiences of others. These are the pearls of wisdom from her experiences right from the time she was in a cell form at the time of fertilization like VAMADEVA MAHARSHI who wrote AITAREYA UPANISHAD. She said that “What I am today is not different from what I was before birth or with my body in the womb as far my state of mind is concerned. I am ever like this. This to me is clear indication that she is conscious of her being as shakti before she took this body. See the below mentioned extract from her life in childhood (extracted and translated from AJMD Vol-I. P. 14) when she was hardly 4 years 2 months old i.e.. May 1932. “One day mother went by walking alone to the sea shore of Muthayipalem- a seashore village not very far away but close to her maternal grandpa’s place in Bapatla. She was wearing gold ornaments bedecked fully by her loving mother. It is there where innumerable fishermen normally keep fishing in deep waters. One fisherman saw her as a child in the evening with gold ornaments. In those days fishermen were very poor and their livelihood was by fishing which was replete with great risks. He saw mother and approaching her accosted her with a question “Who are You?” she deliberately avoided reply. He coolly removed all the ornaments from mother’s body (to rob her of), as it was dark and none were there to see him. He later thinks that if some body were to come to know this to the shore in search of her to take the child back he might land in trouble. So he lifted her and swung her body and threw her into the deep waters of the sea with intent to kill her. When the body of this baby Mother touched the water, profulgent light with sparkling brilliance spread the entire water around, lighting the surface of waters and space above. But mother is not seen? she did not appear to him as the first wave brought her to the shore. But in that confused slate of mind the fisherman was scared by the profulgent and perturbed as he was pulled into deeper waters by the same wave. He was drawn into the deep sea and could not extricate himself from the danger. He was fighting for life and gasping. At that moment Mother (child) was seen by him as a woman with all pofulgance on her face which he saw in waters nearby. Approaching him in waters she lifts him the way he took her in his hands and, while throwing her into waters and brings him to the shore. He couldn’t fully recognize her in the water as a child. But when he was dropped on the shore safely to his amazement he found Mother who rescued him from waters was sitting smiling in the same place where she was sitting before he approached her to rob of her ornaments. He now recognized mother as the one whom he saw on the surface of sea water while throwing and profulgent light over walkers on the face of mother and body both as one and the same. He takes her to his house, feeds her and when she starts redecorating her with her jewelry he robbed, she says “the jewelry which you removed from my body is yours now. You are my child, rather, you are my precious jewel. I am satisfied that you came out alive from the deep sea waters. That itself is my precious wealth. This is all your jewelry and you are my jewel. By which time it was 5:30 a.m. and the sun was rising, reddening the eastern horizon spreading colors on the sheet of water of the sea”.
The fisherman respectfully asks her “If you agree I shall take you to your home. You can’t go alone as a child. See the mother’s reply “While coming to the fishing shore of the sea did you accompany me” when I arrived at the shore did you protect me (with the feeling that I was a child?) Protection and discipline or punishment is always by “ONE”. In your house I ate. don’t need your company to go home”. So saying she goes back home. But although she gave up all the jewelry to the fisherman when she went back home, it was found that all the jewelry she gave to him and was robbed was found intact on her body. This event has a great significance and lessons to be drawn by the moralists, metaphysicians, philosophers, saints etc.
For an atheist the entire episode is a fiction although it is as real as the existence of that Atheist on this earth. Because mother herself dictated it. Mother told whoever asked her question “My mouth is not made of ordinary skin to utter any falsehood”. And on another occasion she said that all that is dictated is her real experience. Even atheists believed mother as a great loving human being with humane fervor. The communists like Late Nagi Reddy believed that she was not preaching any religion, but humanism bereft of caste and creed. This was his meeting with mother in 1978. She said she has no religion or caste but love. I am a witness to this meeting in my house where he met her in 1973 at Hyderabad.
For Buddhistic philosophers it is all human ethics or Kshama, kindness and loving that is what Buddha preached all his life. Even those who harbored ill feelings and harmed her in her childhood rescued them from dangers. Tit for Tat was not the ethics for her like Jesus Christ, the son of God.
For metaphysicians, mother evolved from the power that be, directly or destined to be born with such qualities which are not external accomplishments but came along with genes. It is all unexplainable mysticism, unimaginable cruelty in thought, word and deed, to which she was subjected to by them.
To me she is neither of any of these. But she is the supreme shakti incarnate. It is not an external impost on humanity or the universe. The love for that shakti is “SAHAJA” (natural) for she is bereft of duality. This conclusion is based on her own statement in AJMD “Love is natural to me” so I am the mother of all. It is only for those with dualities bereft of humane fervor. Every Mother knows not the badness and goodness of her child. All being her own children, according to her feeling there is no scope for fault finding. So there is no recognition of “Dualities” for a real mother in respect of her child (P92 AJMD) “I do not harbor any ill feeling for any person”, said she (P 198)
So it is difficult to make an invidious distinction between ethical and philosophical approaches as GOOD AND BAD qualities, for those who have no dualities.
In end this article with the saying of QUENTIN CRISP, the great philosopher of the western world who says:
THE VERY PURPOSE OF EXISTENCE IS TO RECONCILE THE GLOWING OPINION WE HOLD OF OURSELVES WITH THE APPALLING THINGS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK ABOUT US AS TO WHAT WE ARE. WE ARE A PART OF THAT WHICH EXISTS AS ALL AND ONE SHOULD STRAIN TO PROBE THIS TRUTH TO SUSTAIN THE FEELING TO REALIZE WHO YOU ARE?”.
(to be continued)
“OM TAT SAT”
(Collected from “In Quest of Harmony in Philosophical Concepts” by Dr T. Raja Gopalachari)