Hastamalakam V




            What do you see when you look into a mirror? "My face", you would say, but it is not the correct answer. That which is on view is only the virtual image of your face. It is unreal for the reason that it cannot be touched by you nor can it be caught on a screen behind. When you move away from the mirror, the image ceases to exist. Don't you understand now that your face alone is the object, concrete in form, which you can touch and feel and pinch? Hastamalakan gives this example and says what all we see in the Universe including ourselves are only virtual images of the One Reality, which he has identified himself to be.


            I have said before that there is much conscious and unconscious philosophy in English poetry but very little of poetry in Western philosophy which for the most part, is speculative and dialectical. Anthony Euwer wrote a limerick:


                        "As beauty I'm not a great star;

                        Others are handsomer far,

                        But my face — I don't mind it

                        Because I'm behind it —

                        It's the folk out in front that I jar!"


            There is genuine risk of your being jarred by your own face as reflected in the mirror, but you have only yourself to blame for the mishap!


            In royal gardens of yore there used to be a mirror-house for children to play in. On the walls and ceiling of this house mirrors of various kinds and sizes would have been fixed — some plane, some concave and still some convex. A prince on entering the play-house would see innumerable images of himself all around — some very long, some very short and narrow, all of them rollickingly grotesque and a few alone straight to provide contrast. The prince would make faces and disport himself there to his heart's content without needing a playmate.


            A dog sneaked into such a mirror-house and felt that numerous canines were rushing to surround and attack it. In dread it rushed about in all directions, knocked against the mirrors and totally exhausted by the futile self-defence, it became demented and died a whining death before the evening.


            The prince however would not have any fear because he is aware of the reality. "The phenomenal world is only your play-house," says Hastamalakan, "if you do not forget who you are."



— Excerpt from Sage TGN’s Talk on Hastamalakam

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