Everything is ephemeral.
Everything here changes constantly!
The camphor burns leaving no residue. When you put anything in fire, it is burnt leaving ash. But pure camphor leaves no ash at all. In country side, people use ‘chilliginji’ seeds to purify water which contains lot of dust and dirt. Ultimately, water is purified with no evidence of the seeds. This is how purification of mind takes place.
There is one more example, to illustrate the above point. In India, dead bodies are cremated in funeral pyre. A stick will be used by the in charge of burning to turn the body at intervals to burn it in quick time. While doing so, he will put the stick finally inside the pyre which also gets burned automatically. Shri Ramana Maharishi says, the inquiry, ‘who am I’ is made by the mind. It is like the thief catching the thief. Hence it will not be possible for the mind to find out the real identity of “I” which is the immortal self. When the inquiry is deep and focused, the mind loses its relevance. Also, the mind can aid only during concentration. In meditation, mind cannot take an individual. Pure meditation is beyond mind and thoughts. Only, when one relinquishes all his thoughts, he becomes eligible for meditation. Otherwise, it will be a simple exercise like sitting tight, closing one’s eyes becoming rigid.
What arises first as ‘I’ is the mind principle. The mind attaches itself to a body and it identifies the body as ‘I’. But the body is really inert and it is the mind which feels and perceives all experiences. The body never claims as “I”. It is only the mind which acts through the body,, asserts as ‘I’ giving a false identity to the body. Bodies come and goes but the Self within which is the real “I” survives the death of the body.
This is the real paradox of life. We witness the death of many bodies around but we are comfortable with the thought that we won’t succumb so soon! This is the greatest mistake, any individual commits. Once a lady came to the presence of Buddha and pleaded with him to revive her son who is dead. Buddha told her to bring mustard seeds from any house where none has died so far. She went to several houses and begged for mustard seeds but on hearing the condition of Buddha, people have not spared the seeds to her stating that someone has died in the past. It is only to show the lady the futility to cry over death, Buddha asked her to bring the seeds from those in whose family, none has died so far! This is the truth of mortal life. All bodies are mortal. Even sages, saints, prophets and avatars pass away when their tasks in the world are complete. Thus Rama, Krishna, Jesus and Buddha departed from this world. But who has perceived the self within? It is not possible through the mind or intellect. Only intuition born out of steady meditation will reveal the truth.
Many of our ancestors tried to find out the reality behind this mortal life. They receded to remote jungles and engaged in deep meditation on God. After many long years of austerity, they could find that the Divinity alone is the only reality behind this illusory creation. Everything in this world is subjected to destruction. Nothing survives on earth. Everything undergoes changes constantly. Whatever changes cannot be real. Hence they focused on the real and found out that God is all pervading and transcends the creation. It is the Eternal Truth. God alone is and all else is false. Hence Buddha told the worldly people that ‘everything is ephemeral and everything is grief!