BRAHMASTHRAM (DIVINE WEAPON)
Yesterday or the day before, a boy of about 18 years of age came here on a cycle from some place. After sitting in the hall for a quarter of an hour, he went to Bhagavan and asked, “After crossing Omkar [the sound of Om], where to merge?”
With a smile, Bhagavan said, “Oh, is that so? Wherefrom did you come now? Where will you go? What is it you want to know? Who really are you? If you first tell me who you are, you can then question me about Omkar.”
“I do not know that even,” said the boy.
Then Bhagavan said, “You know for certain that you are existent. How are you existent? Where really were you before? What exactly is your body? First, find that out. When you know all that, you can ask me questions if you still have any doubts. Why should we worry where Omkar merges, and after it merges why worry about what comes next when it ceases to exist? Where do you merge ultimately? How do you come back? If you first find out your state and your movements, we can think of the rest.”
When Bhagavan said all this, the boy could not give any reply and so went away after bowing before Bhagavan. What other brahmasthram (divine weapon) is there against a questioner? If only that weapon is used, the questioner is silenced.
You may ask, “Who gave the name of ‘brahmasthram’ to the stock reply of Bhagavan, ‘Find out who you are?’ ”
Two or three years back, when a sannyasi boasted about having read all books on religious matters and began asking Bhagavan all sorts of questions, he repeatedly gave the same answer, “Find out who you are.”
When the sannyasi persisted in his meaningless questions and arguments, Bhagavan in a firm tone asked him, “You have been asking me so many questions and entering into so many arguments. Why don’t you reply to my questions and then argue? Who you are? First, answer my question. Then I will give you a suitable reply. Tell me first who it is that is arguing.” He could not reply, and so went away.
Sometime later, I developed this idea and wrote five verses on ‘Divya Asthram’ and showed them to Bhagavan, when he said, “Long ago when Nayana (Ganapati Muni) was here, Kapali also used to be here. If they wanted to ask me anything, they would fold their hands first and say, ‘Swami, Swami, if you will promise not to brandish your brahmasthram, I will ask a question.’ If during conversation the words ‘Who are you?’ escaped my lips, he used to say, ‘So you have fired your brahmasthram. What more can I say?’ They called it brahmasthram and you are calling it ‘Divya Asthram’ ”
After that, I too started using the word brahmasthram. Really, who is not humbled by that asthram?
– Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 22nd January, 1946