The word akhaNDAkAra means ‘form of the whole’. AkAra means ‘form, shape, appearance’; akhaNDa means ‘entire, whole’ (a means ‘not’, khaNDa means ‘broken, deficient, fragmented’). So, what happens on enlightenment is that the previous mental disposition of believing ourselves to be separate and limited is replaced by the realization that we are the unlimited whole – brahman.
This realization takes place in the mind of a person at a moment in time but the irony is that, once it has occurred, it is then known that who-we-really-are is timeless and mindless.
Swami Paramarthananda tells a story about a game he used to play as a child. He and his friends would take a child into a room that was entirely empty and they would place pillows about the room and stand the child up against one wall. He was told to memorize the positions of the pillows and then they blindfolded him. He was then told that he had to cross the room to the other wall without touching any of the pillows. The other children then watched as he very carefully edged his way forward. Whenever they laughed, he would retreat and move sideways before trying again. Eventually he reached the other wall and was allowed to remove the blindfold. He then discovered that all of the pillows had been removed before he began and that he had been moving across an empty floor trying to avoid non-existent objects. Continue reading →
In some characters there is perhaps a sudden recognition of the true nature as oneness, and then – maybe, but not invariably – there might be a blissfullness associated with that, a kind of exaggerated relief at the release of tension. More commonly, because the seeing through of the ‘someone’ in the play has been gradual, there has been a gradual release of the tension associated with being a ‘someone’. And so there isn’t much tension hanging around anyway – therefore there isn’t necessarily any kind of great blissful release.
This is the mental ‘occurrence’ which supposedly causes enlightenment. It is the vRRitti (thought modification) in the form of (AkAra) the formless or undivided (akhaNDa). (Personally, I no longer favor this view and will endeavor to find some quotations which show that it is not quite like this for most people!)
Please submit your quotes, short extracts or personal blogs on this topic!