“That Yaksha was Brahman,” said Uma. “It was through the victory of Brahman, indeed, that you achieved this glory.” It was from that – from the words of Uma – that Indra understood that the Yaksha was Brahman.
Therefore, verily, these gods – Agni, Vayu, and Indra – excel all other gods, for they approached the Yaksha nearest; they were the first to know him as Brahman.
And, therefore, indeed, Indra excels the other gods, for he approached the Yaksha nearest; he was the first to know him as Brahman.
This is the teaching regarding that – Brahman. It is like a flash of lightning; it is like a wink of the eye. This is with reference to the adhidaivatam – its aspect as cosmic manifestation.
Now its description with reference to the adhyatma – its aspect as manifested in man: mind proceeds to Brahman in all speed, as it were. By his mind also, this Brahman is remembered and imagined as always near.
The mind is abstract. It cannot touch, it cannot see, it cannot hear. It can only think. Thinking is abstract. Thoughts move just in a vacuum. Thoughts have no substance. They cannot be touched, cannot be heard, cannot be felt. So mind is the most abstract faculty in man and when this abstract faculty tries to reach the truth, it can only think about it. It cannot realize it, it cannot feel it. It can only contemplate about it. The approach is going to be indirect. Senses are direct; mind is indirect.
Indra represents the mind; Agni represents the eyes; Vayu, air, represents the ears. Remember this. Ears are the part which is related to the cosmic existence of air. Eyes are the part in man related to the cosmic existence of fire or sun.
Vayu approached Brahman, Agni approached Brahman: they could see, they could hear. They could be in more substantial touch with the ultimate reality, but they could not recognize. The Brahman was present, but the senses could not recognize who he was. For the recognition the mind is needed; only mind can recognize. But then a problem arises: mind cannot approach directly. Mind approaches indirectly. Mind cannot penetrate reality because mind is an abstract sense. It can only think. Through thinking it can recognize, but then the reality disappears. It becomes only a thinking inside. Indra could recognize, but not directly, because when Indra approached, the Brahman, the spirit, disappeared.