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Category: My Notes

The Goal

The Goal

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.

The ways of knowledge

The ways of knowledge

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

The law of karma

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.

Neti Neti – Neither this, nor that!

Neti Neti – Neither this, nor that!

“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!”

Outer desire and Inner Quality

Outer desire and Inner Quality

To divide a man into outer desire and inner quality is to violate the integrity of human life. The two orders of reality – the transcendental and empirical are closely related.

How what I want is separate from what I am? I think it is not same as “I am what I do”. What I do and what I want or desire are two different things – they exist at different levels of our existence.

The entire universe of manifestation and multiplicity is not real and seems to be real only for those who live in ignorance (avidya). To be caught in it is the bondage in which we all are implicated. The last condition cannot be removed by our efforts. Works are vain (are they really?) and bind us firmly to the unreal cosmic process – the endless chain of cause and effect. Only the wisdom that the universal reality and individual self are same can bring us redemption. When this wisdom arises, the ego is dissolved, the wandering ceases and we have perfect joy and blessedness.



And so the journey starts

And so the journey starts

“We touch reality most deeply, where men struggle, fail and triumph”

(pp.1,  The Bhagvadgita, S RadhaKrishnan)

A friend of mine had advised me to read Shrimadbhagvadgita when I was going through tough times. Life has its share of ups and downs and although I too had my share of them, I never thought that I should look to Gita while understanding my own reaction to such ups and downs. But sometimes, you need a trigger (may be a stent or two in your heart) to kick start your journey. And that’s what S Radhakrishnan’s statement says.

I started back in Jan 2016, and I continued until March 2016, wherein the life became comfortable again and Gita got shelved. However, as that common idiom goes, what goes around, comes around.

During my school days, I had discovered that I learn much better when I write. So that is what I am going to do here as well.