Who am I?
It begins here. We all have the answer because we have heard it or read about it. Have we experienced it? Many of us have not. So then it is just a belief, not the truth. What one experiences is the truth.
Making the above point was to bring upfront the fact that we are all living on a list of beliefs. Every family, every cult has its own teachings. We tend to fall in line with the one we are associated to. It turns into blind belief.
“Mere Guru ne kaha to sach hi hai” “What my Guru says is the ultimate truth”
There is no denial of the above. What the Guru says is the absolute truth. But it will be truth for us when we experience it,
until then it will be what we believe in. This is a pretty good step as at least we are on the path and we are following some belief system.
When will we experience the truth that is now just something we believe in? We can write about it and speak about it and even discuss, yet the truth remains that it might not be our experience and so not the truth but a belief.
When we meet a Guru and listen to his gyaan we feel so good and so full of knowledge. Here again, we take the knowledge and not the wisdom that is being imparted. With the knowledge that we acquire we grow big (literally) spiritually. We get the feeling of knowing a lot. Believe me, we know nothing! We know nothing until it is our own experience. Rest all is just rote from the books, or the notes or the scriptures. We may have managed to understand the meaning of all that is written there and yet we are nowhere near to reality because we have yet to experience the wisdom hidden in those verses.
It might sound very crude and yet it is what we need to accept. Only then can we move on and work on our beliefs to make it the truth. How?
Following on the path of the Guru is the easiest and yet a tough one. Just do what he says…
Easiest if we do not have any counter questions and have the full samarpan bhaav (surrender). When we have doubts and questions we ask our Guru. He keeps on explaining to us and at times we understand and at times we are not clear about certain things. This creates a conflict in our minds and our progress is affected. And so it becomes tough…
Then we listen to several Saints, read books and attend spiritual seminars and follow motivational speakers on their channels. This is because somewhere we know that the actual realisation is yet to strike. Somewhere sometime it will. So we work hard.
That is just a small area of the hard work that is actually necessary. Listening to gyaan and attending satsangs is a very small percentage of the actual work required.
Spirituality is not only about understanding gyaan or following a Guru. It is much more than that.
It is exploring the very being, the very consciousness and touching the core!
So always first begin with the sthool shareer (the body) and then think of the core. What we are doing now is directly trying to access the core. It is not going to happen!
So start work on your body. Start with yog asana and pranayam. Understand the two and go to the depth of it. Work on it and practice it. Now that the body is active and agile we can focus on the inner self. The breath is where we need to focus on. The right technique of breathing will lead us to understanding the prana shareera.
Now that we have regulated the body and the breath and are quite healthy our mind can focus on listening to gyaan. For example, can you imagine a person having knee pain, headache, indigestion or any other illness/discomfort, trying to focus on the gyaan? It is not possible. So outer and inner cleansing of the body is necessary.
Next is the cluttered mind. The Guru is distributing the nectar of wisdom and we are sitting in front of him wanting to collect the entire pot of wisdom. Yet we carry with us a pot full of clutter and try to fit in the nectar somewhere. Where is the space available?
So a mind free of worries will always gather more wisdom. If we are living in this world, we will have innumerable issues to face . So worries have become part of us. Here we need to remember that it is not a part of us and we need to keep it away from us. We still need to face it, but without being attached to it. This way the external issues will no longer worry us.
We worry about small things and small issues. Why not worry about the fact that “Am I working hard enough to experience the self in this life? Am I on the path or just feel that I am on it?”
Questions on the self will lead us towards the answers. External issues will come, there will be answers and we will scrape though it. Yet we get stuck to those as they give us the pleasure of achievement once we have solved it.
Another major reason why we are put off the spiritual path and pulled towards the unreal, the illusion is the search for people who are actually on the path and living it and not being able to find such people. We look around and find that we are on a path because someone led us there and now when we look at that someone we see that the person has not progressed much. This is a major put off.
Another one is where we hear that the sansaar is mithya and that we must not delve much into it and walk on the spiritual path. How is that remotely possible?
Sansaar is mithya (unreal) and that is true. Yet unless we experience it, how can we blindly believe in it? For us, now it is as true as this body we adorn. Also the advice of leaving the sansaar – whats there in it? Everything is there in being spiritual.
But how can we experience this spiritual self/ being without this body? Just shows how important the body is. Similarly when we, with this body live in this sansaar we can achieve whatever we have come here to achieve.
So all that is around us is false. Yet we need this falsified sansaar, this body and many other things for us to walk on the spiritual path and attain wisdom . So we cant just shrug it off! Its the tool we need to attain self realisation. The whole point in this is that we must be aware that we must not get attached to all that is false and must strive to experience paramatma.
This is where the major obstacle comes. We all are attached to certain things, people, position in society and so on. Here we need to keep our eyes open that all that we are getting attached to ( including our own body) is something that is not going to last forever. It is going to end and so its temporary. Also we need to remember that the journey to reach the self requires the temporary ( body, the world, people ).
One can say that I have left sansaar and sit on a mountain. Still he is in this sansaar. Is the space, the mountains, the greenery around him not sansaar? Who said sansaar is just the relationships we have? Sansaar is the entire world around us.
Sansaar is what each individual mind has created just the way it has created this body. And the self needs both the creations as well as the mind that has created it in order to attain self realisation.
Also when we speak about Mukti let us remember that “ we are mukt- we are free” – It is just that we are not aware of it. The day we become aware of it everything around us falls in place.
It is just so easy and simple. Nothing is mine, even this body is not mine as its all going to be destroyed. All that is around me is my own creation. One day it will all vanish. I will be left in my true form – one with the paramatma.
I would have then reached the point where there would be no more punarapi jananam punarapi maranam…
I would have reached the eternal state- where the mind would have culminated into the self to become one with the divine…