Unchanging reality

Balaki, of Garga gotra, asked King Ajathashatru to teach

him about Brahman. Ajathashatru took Balaki to a person

who was asleep. Ajathashatru addressed the sleeping man

as “Brihan, Paandaravasaha and Somarajan,” the names of

Prana which mean “great, white robed, bright.” But the

man did not wake up. Then Ajathashatru shook him and he

woke up. The man did not get up when he was addressed

by the names of Prana, said M.K. Srinivasan in a discourse.

In the state of sushupti (deep sleep), it can be understood

that the Jivatma is diferent from the body. But the Prana is

constantly functioning. So there is the need to diferentiate

between Prana and Jivatma. That is why Ajathashatru

addressed the sleeping man by the names of Prana. The

lack of response from the man to this showed that the

Jivatma and Prana were different.

When the man woke up, Balaki asked him where he had

been when he was asleep. Ajathashatru explained that the

Jivatma rested in the Paramatma during the state of sleep,

and all entities came from Paramatma. A spider moves

along diferent threads in its web. Likewise, Paramatma

shows itself in diferent forms. Another example given by

Ajathashatru was of sparks from a fire flying in all

directions, to show that all entities came out of Paramatma

at the same time.

But if Jivatmas rest in Paramatma during sleep, does this

mean oneness of the two? Ajathashatru explained why it

was not so. Jivatmas have dharmabhuta jnana — that is

attributive consciousness. But this fluctuates, because of

the limitations of sense organs. But there is no such

limitation in the case of Paramatma. He is satyasya satyam

—unchanging and unconditional Reality. So Paramatma

and Jivatma are not one and the same