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"Fana" means complete annihilation, but annihilation of what? Before replying to this question, let us see what the spiritual pilgrim himself is. A human being is the Real Self, plus consciousness, plus sanskaras, plus ego, plus mind. We shall leave aside the Real Self for the present, as in reality, the ego is nothing but the perverted manifestation of the Real Self. Now Fana means the complete annihilation of all Sanskaras (A'mal) or mental impressions of actions, desires and tendencies bound with egoism, ego and mind, with the exception of consciousness. Thus consciousness remains after Fana—but, consciousness of what? Of nothing. And who is conscious? None. Yet this "conscious nothingness," or the spiritual vacuum, is there. Because there is no ego, there is no "I am nothing," but simply nothingness, neither God nor the universe, neither the Creator nor the creation; yet this nothingness is not unconsciousness, but "unconsciousness," if we can say so, as it is difficult to grasp the situation merely through the medium of the intellect.


The consciousness in the state of Fana is neither gross, nor subtle, neither false nor real, neither of the world nor of God but it is there, just as water is, though it is devoid of any color. And it is because the consciousness remains after the annihilation of the sanskaras, false ego and the mind, that its attention is drawn to the Real Ego, the Real "I." As the false ego is but the perverted manifestation of the Real Ego, it follows that everybody is possessed of the Real Ego, or that at the back of the false ego, there lies the Real Ego. The reason why the consciousness of the average human being is totally unaware of it is that his consciousness itself is false, and the consciousness is false owing to the sanskaras. Before the creation manifested itself, the Paramatman or God was latently conscious. In other words, He did not know that He was God, and so He might be said to be devoid of the Real Ego. Therefore, paradoxical as it may seem, on the false consciousness depends the real consciousness, on the false ego, the outcome of false consciousness, depends the Real Ego.


Now let us see what is meant by Baka or Abiding. Certainly it is not nothingness, and hence it cannot be Fana, the above described "spiritual vacuum." Baka is the end of the second Journey, which begins the moment Fana is completed. The process of the egoless consciousness reaching the Real Self is the second Journey, and when it is completed, Baka is said to be attained. It is, as it were, the turning of the "unconscious consciousness" into superconsciousness, the state of "I am God" which is the real cosmic consciousness and Godhood, but not Prophethood, Kutubiyat* or Sadguruship.


There is nothing higher or greater than this "I am God" state, the state of perfect superconsciousness. Nothing else remains in existence for the


*Kutubiyat should be Qutubiyat but I want to keep the integrity of the original print mistakes.-webmaster JK


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