It was just another routine visit to the ATM, but the experience was once in a lifetime. As I collected my cash and the card, my mind wandered to the realms beyond the immediate. A sudden realization came upon me thatI had just connected my soul to something extraordinary, beyond the ‘here and now’. I felt as if my atma had found shelter in the blissful lap of the paramatma.
ATM and atma or atman have commonalities that go way beyond their spellings. Like the countless atmas perennially roving about the universe ATMs are strewn everywhere. As there is no destruction of soul, there seems to be no end for the ATMs.
Both are subject to the consequences of your karma. Your karma determines the status of your atma’s journey to or away from the paramatma or the Supreme Soul. Just like that your ATM use is dependent upon your material karma. You may connect and draw only if your karmic accumulation has not fallen below the stipulated minimum balance. If your karma is good enough nirvana is only few buttons away. Deliverance or moksha for atman is similar to getting your cash delivery.
But is it really so simple? It is said that the winding path to salvation is littered with too many false starts and uncertainties. One who uses ATMs frequently is no stranger to such false starts in the shape of link failures and exasperating cash-out situations. If the ATM swallows your card or your cash, you are left to the vagaries of fate for getting them back.
Man in his essential nature is divine. Behind the finite man is the atman, ever free ever pure and ever harmonious. Atman is the universal life principle, the animator of all organisms. ATMs do not fall much behind. They are the prime mover of the shopward-bound, the animator of the youth and the driver of the material man.
The life giving principle of the ATM machine is caught aptly by the catchy slogan i had once seen emblazoned on the T-Shirt of a sprightly youth: “My Father is an ATM”.
As I walked out of the ATM booth that day, i was saying to myself, “What is atman after all but `an ATM` in disguise.”