Beyond Words and Meanings

“Truth is a pathless land” – ¬†this is a famous statement made by J Krishnamurthy (JK)way back in 1929 when he dissolved the Order of the Star of the Theosophical Society for which he was made the head. Since then volumes have been written by several to unfold what exactly he meant by this statement. I venture to put forth my views on this with the aim of getting some clarity for myself. Let us first look at the context in which JK said this. As I mentioned, he made this amazing statement while dissolving the ‘order of the star’ which he was heading. By way of explanation he narrated a story: The devil was walking along with his friend and they saw a guy in front stooping and picking up something. The friend asked the devil: ‘what is it that the guy is picking up’. The devil said: The guy is picking up a piece of Truth. The friend said: Isn’t it bad business for you? Aren’t you worried that someone has stumbled on Truth and we will have no job from tomorrow’? The devil smiled and replied: “Not at all, my friend. I will make sure the guy organizes Truth before spreading it”. The rest is history.We have formed a variety of organizations in the name of various religions and started spreading different versions of Truth. No wonder that Truth stands completely distorted today. JK, like many of us, was totally disgusted with the organized religious establishments and hence this powerful statement.

The question then is what is Truth and how does one know it.? Truth is something that comes into existence when we completely negate the man-made psychological order. The psychological order consists of mere words and meanings. Eswara or God’s order cannot be understood in terms of man-made order. For instance when we see a Rose flower, we don’t see it as it is. We see it through the lens of our past memories about flowers and that makes us compare and make a judgment on the flower in front of us. In other words, our memory pollutes the present experience of a flower at any given time. The challenge before us is whether we can enjoy a flower or for that matter any object without using words and meanings. This is what is meant by negating the mind with all its contents of envy, jealousy, anger, expectations, fear, anxiety, insecurity etc.

Our Upanishads write volumes about Truth and finally conclude that what has to be understood and experienced is beyond words. However, we cling to words and meanings and miss the substance. In other words, can we see or experience a thing as it is without ¬†words and meanings? Our Shastras refer to this as a moment when the seer, seen and seeing merge into one – the seer. I could see a practical demonstration of this recently while taking my grand-daughter for a stroll. I saw her watching the naked, stark bare winter trees stripped of all leaves lining the avenue without blinking an eye lid. I tried to distract calling her name out but she wasn’t bothered. That was the moment of Truth for her. This happens automatically for infants since they have no memory to interfere with their act of seeing. If we can do that, it will be a great beginning to our journey to understand and experience Truth.