Omniscient Conscious Self


In March 1970, I had a near-miss accident, which forced me to analyze my conscious self critically.  It was the occasion suggesting   some additional instincts within us besides normal sense organs. In case of an impeding danger, input of information from an invisible sensory system of consciousness actuates certain actions to save us from death.

My accident was on an empty road of Assam around sunset while I was walking on its pavement, absent minded.  The ONGC Colony of Sibsagar was a mini-township those days, quiet and with only a few persons on road during evening hours. I was out for shopping and my mind absorbed in some problems of science.  Suddenly, I heard a colleague calling me from behind. In reflex response, I stopped, looked back and had a pleasant surprise.  There was none behind me up to the farthest end of the road. I recollected then, the person calling me was in Mikir Hills on that day – about a hundred and fifty miles south. Bemused at the event, I stood for a while before setting forward my foot only to jump back in awe. A snake was moving fast across the pavement. Had I not been stopped by my friend’s distant call, my foot was on its head. There was a chance of   snakebite, cutting short my life.

I had not seen the snake, did not register any sound of its movement and my sense organs had failed to generate audiovisual signals to stop me from impeding death. The accident was averted purely due to some unknown monitoring and control system of consciousness commanding my mind. It gathered information about a moving snake across my path and also interpolated the likely position of my second or third step on its head. Sensing the event and the ensuing fatality, my innate apparatus of consciousness acted to save me from death. It made me to hear a false call from my colleague and stopped me in response to its bluff, a step short of death The apparatus of consciousness within me was surely interested   in keeping me alive.  My conscious self wanted me to live, necessarily in its own interest. The innate monitoring apparatus had acted on its command, I inferred.

The incident of Sibsagar had an answer to a haunting question for long many years: Does soul assist the body in life-functions or our soul lives the body for its own ends?  Answer to my queries was: the soul or the conscious self is independent of body and lives for itself controlling and assisted by   two information systems. The first set is an invisible-information-input-attribute (antahkaran) while the other comprises of our routine sense organs in a physical body. They run parallel in action. If one fails, the other takes over for survival of the physical body. Physical body is, thus, a valuable apparatus for soul.

Jim Corbett, the famous man-eater hunter of Himalayas, narrates a similar incidence of his own escape from a lurking dander of being mauled by a tiger  (1). He assigns his survival to the ‘jungle sensitiveness’ of man.  ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) now replaces Corbett’s term. The object behind the ESP is our conscious self or soul, which, in the narration above, is shown to have the knowledge of the unseen snake and interpolated the future consequences. By exerting effective control on my body, it achieved its requirement. The faculties of observing, thinking and acting as a living being are not physical; they belong to the  soul.

 Soul is no uniqueness of man. I have seen its effective role even in a charging bull long ago, when I was in teens.

In the summer of 1956 I was at my village home after finishing undergraduate examinations. At the farmhouse there was nothing to bother except a field of sugarcane with a new crop. There was complete relaxation all around with nothing to do and nothing to care. Soon, however, I discovered a serious and tough job before me. There was an exceptionally big bull, grazing the crop at the farthest end of a field. The size and gait of the bull reminded me of a warning from my cousin. This bull, introduced in the village by the government for improving the breed of cows, was a dreaded object. It would attack and maul a man if some one attempted to go near or chase it. After some hesitation, I thought of driving it   out of the green field by pelting stones at a distance and run to safety, in case the bull charged. I picked up the spear, signaled the dog to be with me and drove the animal out of the field, keeping enough distance for safety.

Satisfied at the ‘operation bull driving away’, I was returning to the farmhouse leisurely. Suddenly I heard my dog barking loudly behind me and looked back. A chill ran through my spine. The bull was heading madly towards me in a charge, unmindful of the barking dog at its snout.  I was stunned at the impeding death merely twenty feet away while my feet froze. Chance of saving my self by running away was dismal when the last breath   was so close. A reflex stiffened me with my spear pointing towards the charging demon.

Some thing unexpected happened next moment. Approaching close to my spear, the bull put a sudden break to itself, its fore feet making a deep indentation in the soft soil of the field. Unexpectedly, the big animal turned back and ran away with the tail up in the air, as if frightened. I lived, to my disbelief, through this never erasing accident of seventeen. However, for years, I was unable to figure out the compulsion of the bull to flee away at the last moment leaving its frail, teenager target untouched.                  

The near miss accident of Sibsagar provided me with the clue. There was an innate apparatus in the bull too, which warned the animal of a grievous injury and likely death by my spear. The Bull has a soul for certain, I reasoned. My soul judged the situation and acted to save me from peril of snakebite. In the bull, it forced the romping quadruped to turn back and run away from the lethal weapon. I feel like extending the logic further: where there is instinct, there is soul. Man to ant, every animal is included here as soulful, etymologically.

I remember two more occasions where the omniscient self made remarkable contributions while I was on field work.  In Rajasthan, I was speeding past on a car on Jaisalmer-Jodhpur Road in the summer of 1994 with another geologist, conversant with the area. Nearly 17 kilometers away from Jaisalmer, I asked the driver to stop the car. My friend was a bit surprised. There was nothing important there for a petroleum geologist. I walked straight from the car to a low mound, as if driven by an innate force. There were astronomical equipments of Middle and Upper Paleolithic age on the hillock (Ch.-1, Ref: 2, Figs. 7.8, 7.15).  On another occasion of winter 1995, I was in Madhya Pradesh and rushing towards Khajuraho to avail a flight. There was a nearly flat country without much interest for a geologist. However, after reaching close to a gently sloping terrain to the left of my road, I stopped the jeep and walked a hundred yards to the west to discover an astronomical site of Middle Paleolithic, dating back to 45000 years (Ch.-1, Ref: 2, fig. 7.11,12). I am convinced that the omniscient self within myself helped me to discover the two astronomical sites.  It is not only aware of the instinctive requirements of the body but also the intellectual inclinations too of a person. One of the Upanishads describes it very aptly as ‘all knowledgeable and all learned and with the radiant knowledge’ (11); my experience confirms.

There is another observation about the soul, worth caring. The soul and the subconscious mind are active in the jungle or jungle like environment alone.  I had no idea of my pocket being picked up in the crowd around the tomb of Moinuddeen Chisti of Ajmer till I searched my wallet for a visiting card in November ’95.