Major encounters in life and major disasters in life come unannounced. Like a thunderbolt. They shake the very foundation you have build upon. They will question everything that you had carefully crafted, created and collected. They will destroy every idea, ideology, thought you held dear. You feel like floating on a wooden board over an endless choppy sea, smashed by storms of unpredictable tomorrows. You will have no ground under your feet. No land in sight.
At this very moment epiphany happens. You realise the futility of your struggles. The relentless fight against the current. Simple acceptance dawns on you. Not a reluctant giving up but a wilful letting go. And you simply relax into the flow of life. Gently flowing with the flow. Realising suddenly the sheer madness of holding on. And sheer magic of letting go.
(Courtesy Urvashi Goja)
In the endless chain of cause and effect – called life, it is difficult to understand what is the cause and what is the effect. While searching for solutions to our problems, we are often caught in this quagmire of cause and effect with no visible or ready solutions. Good Intentions don’t count. The process doesn’t matter. The outcome is also irrelevant. Is it inner blindness which doesn’t allow you to see the solution, (or the problem in the first place?) or is it unwillingness to see the solution. Years of reading and experience doesn’t prepare you for the moment in which all that is required. Your innards are broken, the trust destroyed in a minute and all you are left with is a life which you don’t want or desire.
The Gita insists on unity of the life of spirit which cannot be resolved into philosophic wisdom, devoted love or strenuous action. Work, knowledge and devotion are complimentary both when we seek the goal and after we attain it. We do not proceed on the same lines but that which we seek is same.
Anyone who attains the goal is released from divided loyalties and actions. His body, mind and spirit, the ‘conscious, the pre-conscious and unconscious, to use Freud’s word work flawlessly together and attain a rhythm expressed in the ecstacy of joy, the illumination of knowledge and the intensity of energy. His personality is raised to its fullness, it’s maximum expression, pure and free, buoyant and unburdened.
Our swadharma, outward life and svabhav, inner being must answer to each other. Only then the action will be free, easy and spontaneous.(Excerpted from The Bhagavadgita by Dr. S Radhakrishnan). A great read indeed.
Every deed, whether good or bad, produces it’s natural effect and involved embodiment in world and is obstacle to liberation. Every deed confirms egoism and separateness of doer, and sets in motion new series of effects.
Gahan karmano gatih. It’s not possible to abstain from work or action. Nature is ever at work and we are deluded if we think that process can be held up. Nor is cessation from action desirable. Inertia is not freedom. The binding quality of action does not lies in the action itself, but in the motive or desire that prompts it. Renunciation refers, not to act itself but to the frame of mind behind the act. Renunciation means absence of desire.
A liberated soul uses his body as a vehicle for the manifestation of eternal.
We can reach the goal of perfection in three different ways – by the knowledge of reality (ज्ञान) , by love of supreme (भक्ति) or by subjection to the will of divine (कर्म ). These are distinguished on account of distribution of emphasis on the theoretical, emotional and practical aspects. Men are of different types – reflective, emotional or Doers, but they are not exclusively so. One type is sometimes more dominant than the other. At the end, love, knowledge and Action mingle together. God himself is सत (Truth), चित (Reality) and आनंद Bliss. To those seeking knowledge, he is the eternal light, clear and radiant as the sun at Noon in which there is no darkness, to those struggling for virtue, he is eternal righteousness, steadfast and impartial and to those emotionally inclined, he is the eternal love and beauty. Even as the God combines in himself these features, man aims at the integral life of spirit. Cognition, will and feeling, though logically distinguishable, cannot be separated in real life. They are different aspects of the same soul.
The law of karma does not limits Gods omnipotence. The Hindu thinkers even during the time of composition of Rig-Veda knew about the reasonableness and law abidingness of nature. The reign of law is the mind and will of God and therefore cannot be regarded as limitation of his power.
“Who am I?” is not really a question because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, not a question. It is used as a mantra. When you constantly inquire inside: “Who am I? Who am I?” you are not waiting for an answer. Your mind will supply many answers; all those answers have to be rejected. Your mind will say: “You are the essence of life. You are the eternal soul. You are divine,” and so on and so forth. All those answers have to be rejected:neti neti — one has to go on saying: “Neither this nor that.”
When you have denied all the possible answers that the mind can supply and devise, when the question remains absolutely unanswerable, a miracle happens: suddenly the question also disappears. When all the answers have been rejected, the question has no props, no supports inside to stand on any more. It simply flops, it collapses, it disappears.
When the question also has disappeared, then you know. But that knowing is not an answer: it is an existential experience. Nothing can be said about it, or whatever will be said will be wrong. To say anything about it is to falsify it. It is the ultimate mystery, inexpressible, indefinable. No word is adequate enough to describe it. Even the phrase “essence of life” is not adequate; even “God” is not adequate. Nothing is adequate to express it; its very nature is inexpressible.
But you know. You know exactly the way the seed knows how to grow — not like the professor who knows about chemistry or physics or geography or history, but like the bud which knows how to open in the early morning sun. Not like the priest who knows about God; about and about he goes, around and around he goes.
But the moment you directly penetrate into existence, you disappear as a separate entity. You are no more. When the knower is no more then the knowing is. And the knowing is not about something — you are that knowing itself.
So we cannot say, what “I” means in the question “Who am I?” It means nothing! It is just a device to lead you into the unknown, to lead you into the uncharted, to lead you into that which is not available to the mind. It is a sword to cut the very roots of the mind, so only the silence of no-mind is left. In that silence there is no question, no answer, no knower, no known, but only knowing, only experiencing.
That’s why the mystics appear to be in such difficulty to express it. Many of them have remained silent out of the awareness that whatsoever you say goes wrong; the moment you say it, it goes wrong. Those who have spoken, they have spoken with the condition: “Don’t cling to our words.”
Lao Tzu says: “Tao, once described, is no more the real Tao.” The moment you say something about it you have already falsified it, you have betrayed it. It is such an intimate knowing, incommunicable.
“Who am I?” functions like a sword to cut all the answers that the mind can manage. Zen people will say it is a koan, just like other koans. There are many koans, famous koans. One is: “Find out your original face.” And the disciple asks the master: “What is the original face?” And the Master says: “The face that you had before your parents were born.”
And you start meditating on that: “What is your original face?” Naturally, you have to deny all your faces. Many faces will start surfacing: childhood faces, when you were young, when you became middle-aged, when you became old, when you were healthy, when you were ill…. All kinds of faces will stand in a queue. They will pass before your eyes claiming: “I am the original face.” And you have to go on rejecting.
When all the faces have been rejected and emptiness is left, you have found the original face.
Emptiness is the original face. Zero is the ultimate experience. Nothingness — or more accurately no-thingness — is your original face.
Or another famous koan is: “The sound of one hand clapping.” The Master says to the disciple: “Go and listen to the sound of one hand clapping.” Now this is patent absurdity: one hand cannot clap and without clapping there can be no sound. The Master knows it, the disciple knows it. But when the Master says: “Go and meditate on it,” the disciple has to follow.
He starts making efforts to listen to the sound of one hand clapping. Many sounds come to his mind: the birds singing, the sound of running water…. He rushes immediately to the Master; he says: “I have heard it! The sound of running water — isn’t that the sound of one hand clapping?”
And the Master hits him hard on the head and he says: “You fool! Go back, meditate more!”
And he goes on meditating, and the mind goes on providing new answers: “The sound of wind passing through the pine trees — certainly this is the answer.” He is in such a hurry! Everybody is in such a hurry. Impatiently he rushes to the door of the Master, a little bit apprehensive, afraid too, but maybe this is the answer….
And even before he has said a single thing the Master hits him! He is very much puzzled and he says: “This is too much! I have not even uttered a single word, so how can I be wrong? And why are you hitting me?”
The Master says: “It is not a question of whether you have uttered something or not. You have come with an answer — that is enough proof that you must be wrong. When you have really found it you won’t come; there will be no need. I will come to you.”
Sometimes years pass, and then one day it has happened, there is no answer. First the disciple knew that there was no answer to it, but it was only an intellectual knowing. Now he knows from his very core: “There is no answer!” All answers have evaporated.
And the sure sign that all answers have evaporated is only one: when the question also evaporates. Now he is sitting silently doing nothing, not even meditating. He has forgotten the question: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It is no more there. It is pure silence.
And there are ways…there are inner paths which exist between a Master and a disciple. And now the Master rushes towards the disciple. He knocks on his door. He hugs the disciple and says: “So it has happened? This is it! No answer, no question: this is it. Ah, this!”