Friday, September 8, 2017

What is the Nature of Witnessing?

There could be two types of witnessing; one the subjective perception of a subjective experience and the second, the subjective perception of an objective event. When either of these are invoked to verify the establishment of truth, these perceptions turn to witness. Whenever the witness is called upon by whosoever is making a decision or judgement, it is with the purpose of evaluating the truth so that one’s decision or judgement could be based on factual and logical analysis which are grounded in truth.
In today’s world we are inundated with court room cases where witnesses and legal arguments are replete with error and manipulation.
The famous case in which Lucia de Berk who is a Dutch nurse who has spent six years of a life sentence in jail for murdering seven people in a killing spree that never happened was recently cleared. The case against Lucia was built on a suspicious pattern and statistical analysis: there were nine incidents on a ward where she worked and Lucia was present during all of them. But given the background of the type of patients in her ward and a larger time sampling indicated that the premises of witness was in error. Even the most astute minds can go wrong as we always operate with limited intelligence.
In his etymological analysis of the Sanskrit word ‘Saksi’, James Robinson Cooper recites the following mythological event.
“In the Vedas we find the story of Saksi Gopal, a beautiful deity of Gopal Krishna. An old Brahman and his young assistant had travelled to many holy places and ultimately visited Vrindavan, the resident of the deity Krishna in his cosmic form. The old man appreciated the service rendered by the youngster and had promised before the deity of Gopal Krishna that he could have the hand of his daughter. When they returned home however, under protest from the family, the mood changed and the promise was not fulfilled. Upon the request of the young Brahman, Gopal Krishna agreed to leave Vrindavan and appear as "witness" to the promise the old Brahman had made and thereby take that which was rightfully his. "Saksi" is simply "aksi" meaning "eye" the "S" represents "union" "connection" "bonding" and so "Saksi" means "to connect with the eye" or as the Sanskrit dictionary defines "witness”.”
Now when I read this episode what struck me was the nature of witnessing. Mostly the meaning assigned to witnessing is the effect of observation or specifically seeing. This is the reason that we say in legal parlance ‘eyewitnesses’. But when we invoke the Cosmic form of the Divine the witnessing transcends the limited dimension of only seeing. In the full episode of the ‘Saksi Gopal’, when the old Brahmin tell his young assistant that he will give his daughter’s hand in marriage, the young Brahmin refuses saying that he had done all the services to the old man out of love for Lord Krishna to whom the old Brahmin was a devotee. Hence the intension and the act both at the mental and physical level was witnessed by a superior intelligence and this is the reason, the beautiful Sanskrit word ‘Sarvadhīsākhibhūta’ (“that which is the witness to everyone’s intelligence" which is taken from the Guru Gita) is used to invoke Lord Krishna as a witness to the promise.
Within the context of our daily life pressures and the manipulations we are subject to, setting the right course for our lives and seeking a justice which lies beyond the worldly level, our inner consciousness must invoke the Divine intervention and integration.
In the normal course of events when we need someone to testify to truth we invoke an infallible witness but what happens when you are in the process of a purely subjective act such as one’s true realization. Our spiritual path lies in this domain. When we seek deliverance from ignorance or reason for events in our lives where there are imperceptible causes, we hit a bottleneck as an objective witness is not available to our defence. Hence our reliability on Divine wisdom is the best recourse we have.
Here we can refer to the Book of Job, which is a wisdom scripture of the Bible. When Job, a very devote man, looses all his wealth and family and is afflicted with a despicable disease, he understands his inability to comprehend any reason for his status and he is lost as to whom he should appeal to and his pain and cries out:
“……yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure. “Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest! Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend” …….Job 16: 17-21
Do not be disappointed if you cannot ascertain the veracity of any of your perceptions. This is part of the process of letting go. This is not a defeatist attitude but a surrender to the cosmic intelligence which the all-pervading witness to truth.

Love to you all.

No comments :

Post a Comment