QUESTION: WHAT HAPPENS TO RELIGIOUS VISIONS AND OTHER MANIFESTATIONS OF DEEP MEDITATION WHEN THE SAHASRAR OPENS?
All these things will drop. All pictures will drop – visions, everything, will drop, because these things come only in the beginning. They are good signs, but they will drop away.
Before the opening of the sahasrar comes, many visions will come to you. These are not unreal; visions are real, but with the opening of the sahasrar there will be no more visions. They will not come because this “flowering experience” is the peak experience for the mind, it is the last experience for the mind; beyond this, there will be no mind.
All that is happening beforehand is happening to the mind, but the moment you transcend mind, there will be nothing. When the mind ceases, there will be neither mudras – outward expressions of psychic transformation – nor visions; neither flowers nor serpents. There will be nothing at all, because beyond mind there is no metaphor. Beyond mind the reality is so pure that there is no otherness; beyond mind the reality is so total that it cannot be divided into the experiencer and the experienced.
Within the mind, everything is divided into two. You experience something – you may call it anything; the name doesn’t matter – but the division between the experiencer and the experienced, the knower and the known, remains. The duality remains.
But these visions are good signs because they come only in the last stages. They come only when the mind is to drop; they come only when the mind is to die. Particular mudras and visions are symbolic only, symbolic in the sense that they indicate a coming death for the mind. When the mind dies there will be nothing left. Or, everything will be left, but the divisions between the experiencer and the experienced will not be there.
Mudras, visions – particularly visions – are experiences; they indicate certain stages. It is just like when you say, “I was dreaming”: we can take it for granted that you were asleep because dreaming indicates sleep. And if you say, “I was daydreaming,” then too you have dropped into a sort of sleep, because dreaming is possible only when the mind, the conscious mind, has gone to sleep. So dreaming is indicative of sleep: in the same way, mudras and visions are indicative of a particular state.
You may see visions of certain figures – you can identify them – and these figures, too, will be different for different individuals. The figure of Shiva cannot come to a Christian mind. It cannot; there is no possibility of it coming, but Jesus will come. That will be the last vision for a Christian mind, and it is very valuable.
The last vision to be seen is of a central religious figure. This central figure will be the last vision. To a Christian – and by Christian I mean one who has imbibed the language of Christianity, the symbols of Christianity, one whose Christianity has entered his blood and bones from his very childhood – the figure of Jesus on the cross will be the last. The knower, the experiencer, is still present, but at the very end there will be the savior. It has been experienced; you cannot deny it. In the last moment of the mind – of the dying mind – in the end, Jesus is there.
But to a Jaina, Jesus cannot come; to a Buddhist, Jesus cannot come. To a Buddhist, the figure of Buddha will be there. The moment the sahasrar opens – with the opening of the sahasrar, Buddha will be there. That is why Buddha is visualized on a flower. The flower was never placed there for the real Buddha – under his feet the flower was not there – but the flower is placed there in statues because statues are not real replicas of Gautam Buddha. They are the representation of the last vision to come into the mind. When the mind drops into the eternal, Buddha is seen in this way: on the flower.
That is why Vishnu is placed on a flower. This flower is symbolic of the sahasrar, and Vishnu is the last figure to be seen by a Hindu mind. Buddha, Vishnu, Jesus, are archetypes – what Jung calls archetypes.
The mind cannot conceive of anything abstractly, so the last effort of the mind to understand reality will be through the symbol that has been most important to it. This peak experience of the mind is the mind’s last experience. The peak is always the end; the peak means the beginning of the end. The peak is the death, so the opening of the sahasrar is the peak experience of the mind, the utmost that is possible with the mind, the last that is possible with the mind. The last figure – the centralmost figure, the deepest one, the archetype – will come. And it will be real. When I say “vision,” many will deny that it is real. They will say that it cannot be real because they think the word vision means illusionary, but it will be more real than reality itself. Even if the whole world denies it, you will not be ready to accept the denial. You will say, “It is more real to me than the whole world. A stone is not so real as the figure I have seen. It is real; it is perfectly real.” But the reality is subjective; the reality is colored by your mind. The experience is real but the metaphor is given by you, so Christians will give one metaphor, Buddhists will give another, Hindus will give another.