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Truth is unchangeable, rituals are not.
The mark of a living religion, is that it stoutly defends it’s core, and remains very flexible about everything else.
And dead religions, who have lost their core, become stiff externally.
A great religion is very, very dynamic.
It responds to the demands of the time.
And what renders it, it’s dynamism?
The Truth that is at the core of the religion.
Where there is Truth, there is dynamism.
Where there is falseness, there is stubbornness, rigidity, orthodoxy, and resistance to change.
Truth gives you a certain confidence.
Being inexorably with the Truth gives you the confidence that you can play around with everything else.
You know that you are not going to lose the Truth, so you become very free in playing with this, putting that up, putting that down, changing things, changing arrangements.
Changing forms, shapes, colours, names.
When you go to Varanasi, go for Shiva, not for the men of religion, sitting by the Ganga. The banks of Ganga, are all polluted.
Go right to the Source of Ganga.
Varanasi is a great city, provided you know what you are really looking for.
Otherwise, you will get lost.
The method of burning the dead body on wooden pyre, was not conceived for today’s age. When that practice took shape and form, the world was full of trees. Trees were numerous and men were few, so it was alright to cut down trees and use them as fuel to burn something.
Now trees are few, and men are numerous. And it’s obviously, both stupidity and criminality, to cut down living trees, for the sake of dead people.
The living religion will be very, very flexible. It will have a certain elasticity. And dead religions, because they are dead, will become outwardly very stiff. They will not allow any changes to come with time, because they are afraid. Being dead, they are afraid. They think that if changes are allowed to come, then religion itself would die.
Thirst, overwhelms. It simply takes over your mind. One starts panicking. One feels a strong urge to act, because one is thirsty. Something has to be done. And what can one do? One does what one is trained to do, what one is conditioned to do. One starts running. Where? In the world, towards the world.
So, something arises within. It’s a sensation of insufficiency. It’s a sensation of discomfort. It’s a sensation of unrest. The sensation implies – “C’mon. Do something. Something is not right.” So, what to you do? You do, what you can do. And, what the man can do? Run around. So man starts running around.
That is what comes to man, as a nature of his build up.
What does not instinctively come to man, is the realisation that it is first of all important to ask, “What is this thirst? What do I want? Before I ask for a solution, should I first not understand the problem. Before I say, that this is what I want, and this is how I want to get it, should I not first ask, ‘Who am I?’”
Saints have always asked you to look at yourself.
That is what is meant by – going into oneself.
Seeing the structure of one’s mind, seeing how things happen there. Seeing how hope arises, seeing how fear arises. Seeing how the mind concludes, seeing how one quickly gets hurt. Seeing how demands and insecurities, are deeply related. Seeing how, that which one dearly wants, is exactly what one must staunchly avoid. Seeing how that which you want to clutch, is lost, exactly because you clutch it.
There is a water of the earth, that can placate at most the body. The body is thirsty, the water of the earth helps. But, you are not the body, and therefore, the water of the earth will not suffice for you. You need some ‘other’ water.
So, let the one, who is really thirsty, fly over, up to the skies.
And there, he shall be really quenched.
Once, you are there, you will forget all about the earthly pleasures, and attachments.
The body will still remain on the earth, but you will remain with your Beloved.
And that’s the way of living.
Let the body belong to the earth, you stay belonging to your Beloved.
There is the pyaala (bowl) of the earth. There are the earthly taverns, which simply inebriate you. And then there is the pyaala of the skies, which brings you back to awareness.
That is what Kabir Sahib is advising you to drink. Drink the heavenly nectar. The earthly juices, you have had enough. Already. Have they sufficed? Learn at least from your experience, if not from the words of the saints.
You need to continuously utter the ‘name’ of God, both in speech and in mind, because you are what you are. You are not the silent one, are you? Had you been already silent, no sage would have advised you any ‘japa’, any recitation, any mantra. Who are you? You are the restless one. You are the loquacious one. You are the talkative one.
Who are you? You are the one who just loves to ‘Yak, yak, yak’. You are the one who is always busy, talking. If there is no other person to talk to, then you indulge yourself in some internal dialogue. You start talking to yourself, don’t you? You are always in a conversation. A conversation in which only you are there, obviously. The other doesn’t exist.
That’s the kind of conversation we have.
One is merely using the words of the other, to further one’s own argument. The ego is so insecure, it keeps asserting itself. In fact, man’s entire life is spent in self-assertion. Man’s entire life is spent convincing himself, that he exists.
Man is so insecure.
You know why this ego is so attention-seeking? Because it is very, very insecure about itself.
All it’s life it is never really sure, that it exists.
That’s the life of the ego.
It’s entire life, the ego is never really sure that it exists.
And therefore, it makes all kinds of attempts, to assert itself.
‘Talking’ means – having something in mind, to be concerned with. When you are talking to someone, that fellow is in your mind, is he not? Equally, when you are thinking about something, that too is a kind of ‘talk’. Because we indulge in such a non-sensical talk, so the saints said that you better recite the name of the ‘Lord’. And that is the technique of ‘japa’.
Because you are so stubbornly addicted to talking, because you are so very prone to be infatuated with names, you better take name of the ‘Lord’.
If at all you are obsessed with names, you better be obsessed with the name of the ‘Lord’, because the name of the ‘Lord’ has a special quality.
It dissolves all other names that you are fond of, so fixated with.
And having dissolved all other names, the name of the ‘Lord’ too disappears.
It’s a cleansing agent.
It just sanitizes, and doesn’t stay back.
When you take the name of the Lord, you are insured against taking various harmful names, are you not? In the time and space, that you would have otherwise misused to be bothered with, hundred miscellaneous names, you took the name of the ‘Lord’. That’s the utility of ‘japa‘. And that’s why recitation has been such a powerful spiritual method.
Sadhana is not for the sake of the body.
The body does not want any kind of liberation. All that the wants is – food, rest, sleep, sex. Therefore, whenever you would go against the conditioning and the objectives of the body, the body is bound to resist.
‘True Self’ is really is a misnomer. The True Self is not personal. The True Self does not belong to ‘you’. Not ‘yours’.
You can’t say, “It’s mine.” It is unknowable, unthinkable, untouchable, unimaginable. You can say nothing about it. You are the low self, who can at best simply surrender to the Truth. The Truth is, sometimes called as ‘The True Self’, or ‘the High Self’.
‘Witnessing’ is never something, that you would ever – know of.
You can never say, “I was in the witnessing mode, an hour back. And now I am not witnessing.”
You are ‘somebody’.
Given that you are ‘somebody’, the somebody would always have an option, a choice, as to what to be.
Make a choice, in favor of humility.
It is not very honest to say, “One is nobody.”
You have already made all the other choices. So, when you say that there has to be a reason, there is only one reason – suffering. All your other choices, all your choices in vanity, arrogance, bigness, smartness, cleverness, have already been tried, and they brought you suffering. So, there is one choice left. And that final choice is – humility. If you still want to try out, the various choices that you like, you may still try them. The result would be – more suffering.
And that suffering would ultimately push you, to humility.
Humility is a forced choice.
It comes either to the very intelligent ones, or to the very experienced ones.
Either you are so very intelligent, that you quickly realise, that arrogance doesn’t help. Or, you are so experienced in getting beaten up by life, that life beats all the smartness out of you.
So, either intelligence, or experience.
All the miseries, the gloom of life, that is these ‘dark suggestions’. By ‘dark suggestions’, Rumi means the urge, the tendency, the motivation, to remain in darkness, to act out of darkness.
Yes, there is a plan. The plan is that – you have to ‘look’ at those suggestions, and get rid of them. Somebody suggests you something, by following his suggestion, you find that your misery is deepening, your darkness is deepening, what do you do with the suggestion? You dismiss it.
Do you dismiss only the suggestion? No, you also dismiss the one, who has been suggesting.
We are prepared, at most, to dismiss some of your motivations, our urges.
But, even when we dismiss them, we dismiss them relatively.
We dismiss the ‘bad’, in relation to the ‘good’.
Which means every time we dismiss the ‘bad’, we end up accepting something else as ‘good’.
Every time you dismiss something ‘bad’, you end up accepting something, that you call as ‘good’.
So the rejection is never total.
It is a zero-sum game. Something has been rejected, and in it’s lieu, something else has been accepted. So the center from where all these suggestions come, all these motivations arise, that center remains untouched, scrutinized.
Dismiss the very center. For that, you will need to dismiss, not only that which appears problematic, but also that which appears auspicious. Then the plan will fructify.
The world is a plan.
What is the objective of the plan?
That the plan must be seen through.
That the plan must be dismantled.
When you are given a riddle, a puzzle, what is the objective? The objective is not that you remain forever caught in the riddle. The objective is that the riddle must be solved. That is the plan. The solution is the plan. The dissolution is the plan.
Let the plan materialise.
Darkness exists because of so-called brightness. And brightness exists only in relation to the darkness.
They all arise from the same center. And they both remain protected, because they both appear different. Had they both appeared same, both would have disappeared.
Yes, of course, the Teacher is the bridge – a bridge between dimensions. One end of the bridge is this world – space and time, thoughts, emotions, appearances. The other end of the bridge, is another dimension – silence, no space, no time, no movement. But the movement into timelessness, begins from a point, that is time-bound.
The one who is ushering you, into the timeless, is himself time-bound.
The Atman might be mortal.
The body of the Teacher, is mortal.
The Truth might be timeless, but the Teacher, as a body, has only definite time.
He uses that time.
And that is the only proper use of anybody’s time – to move into the timeless.
That is the proper use of life, in this dualistic world – to move into that, which is beyond duality.
So, the Guru, the Teacher, spends his life, spends his time, holding the hands of others, ushering them, escorting them, into the timeless.
That is the use of his time.
The time of the Teacher, is sacred.
The time of the Teacher, is very-very precious.
We use our time, to extend and continue time.
He uses his time, to terminate time.
Terminate time, not only for himself, but for the entire humanity.
The time of the Guru, is most precious. The mental space of the Guru, is most sacred, because he uses that mental space, to take everybody, beyond the mind. But remember, he exists as a body, as a human being. So, he has only limited time, and limited mental space. His resources, are demarcated.
Therefore, being attached to the Teacher, is not only a personal fault, it is actually a disservice to mankind.
If you are attached to a Teacher, then you are first of all, doing yourself, a disservice. Because by being attached to the Teacher, you will prevent him, from doing good to you. Secondly, because you are attached to the Teacher, you will start consuming, sucking, his time. And his time is precious.
Because you are attached to the Teacher, so you will want to occupy his mental space. And his mental space is sacred.
Hence, you block the bridge for everybody.
Every minute of the life of the Teacher is worth centuries. The proof is that, that without the Teacher, it would have taken you centuries, to understand, what he just easily and readily brought to you. His one minute, is not just one minute.
There is a great lake, but a narrow path, and only a narrow path, leads to that lake. You cannot block the lake, the lake is immense. And he lake is so immense, that a thousand people can simultaneously drink and draw from the lake. The lake has enough depth, to provide for a countless number of people. But only a narrow path leads to that lake.
Would you want to block that path? That narrow path, is the Teacher’s time. That narrow path, is the Teacher’s personal life.
Don’t block it.
Being attached to the Teacher, you prevent others from benefiting, from the Teacher. And, you too do not benefit from the Teacher.
Being attached to the Teacher, you prevent others from benefiting, from the Teacher. And, you too do not benefit from the Teacher.
The more you choose to value stuff in your life, that is not really stuff, the more you will rise above stuff.
We talk of spontaneity. We talk of it’s finality, reversibility. We talk of it’s unknowability. We talk of the total possession that love takes over oneself. But, all that is, a lot of poetry.
The reality is, that love too is a choice.
Love cannot just overwhelm you, and overpower you, and possess you, if you don’t want it to.
You have to allow love, to dominate you.
If you don’t allow, it won’t.
It’s such handicap, you know. Even God needs our permission, to enter us.
And more often than not, the permission doesn’t come.
Love won’t just happen, you have to permit it. In the choice between convenience and love, the right choice won’t just happen. You have to make it. And the temptation to go with convenience, is always there.
Behind your seeing, can be Joy. But in nothing material, in nothing see-able, lies Joy. When you are joyful, then the world is a wonderful place. But if you are not joyful, just seeing something, will not give you Joy. It may give you relief. It may give you temporary happiness.
But not, the real thing.
Material attracts, because the ego can measure the material. And only the material can be measured. In material, lies a lot of security, because material can be stored and possessed. You can write your name on the material. And you can claim it. Nobody else can touch it. You can deposit it in, a bank locker, and it is all yours, till your death. You can even leave it behind for your kids, such is the quality of material.
Most of us not seekers of love, we are chasers of lovers.
There is a great difference between them – wanting love, and wanting a lover.
There is great difference between – wanting love, and wanting a lover.
If you have a lover, it doesn’t matter to you, whether you have love or not – such is your obsession with lovers.
Because lovers are material, and love is not.
Non-duality does not mean that you have to drop judgments. Non-duality means that – the ego is always judging, and that is inevitable.
Ego is always acting as a judge. And as long as ego is there, it would continue to judge. You cannot tell the Ego, “Kindly don’t judge.” That is so idealistic, that it is stupid. You are telling the lion, to not to eat meat. That won’t happen. You are telling the ego to – not to judge. That won’t happen. The ego would keep judging. That’s it’s prakriti, it’s constitution.
Now that the ego is known to judge, there is only one hope left for the ego. And that is – that the ego judges rightly.
If you are honest, you will find, that in spite of your efforts to not to judge, you are anyway, always judging. So, you will be disappointed. And if you are not very honest, then you will falsely declare that – you do not judge. And therefore, you will be a hypocrite. It’s better then, to know, that given how we are, we are continuous judges.
What does it mean to judge rightly?
In every situation, see where fear is, see where temptation is, see where limits are.
See where the blind force of habit is.
Don’t go towards that direction.
That is what is – ‘right judgement’.
If habit, time and tradition are taking you somewhere, pause!
If the habitual rush of tendencies is taking you somewhere, pause!
Your problem is not that you are not convinced of a thought-free state.
Your problem is that you are not convinced of a thought-free state – for yourself.
If I say that in sleep, you are thought-free, and yet blissful. You would retort and say, “Yes, there is bliss. But not for me.” You want to experience the bliss, along with everything, that you are. In sleep, bliss is there. But all that, that you are, is not there. So that bliss, appears so useless.
You are not questioning freedom from thought. You are questioning, whether there is freedom from thought, for you, as you are. No, there is no freedom that way. So, you have to make a choice. You have to decide. whether you are more particular about preserving yourself, or is that bliss, dearer to you?
That which you are questioning, is not totally unknown to you. You do not really dispute it. If you have ever known Silence, or Love, then you cannot dispute that there is something beyond the little ‘you’. If you have been ever awestruck by anything, then you cannot dispute, that there is something beyond ‘you’.
If you have ever listened carefully to me, then you cannot dispute that there is something beyond ‘you’. And that is not the product of thought, because I do not give you the time to think.
When you are with me, do you get the space, the occasion to think? You don’t. If you are attentive, then you are taken to a place, where there is just ‘you’. The baggage of thoughts, the swarming of the bees, is not there.
That ‘beyondness’, is beyond dispute, because all dispute is thought.
That ‘beyondness’ is beyond questions as well, because all questions are thoughts.
That ‘beyondness’ is beyond my teaching, and your listening, if my teaching and your listening, are a thought.
The Sun is forever shining there. There is no sunset. And even as the Sun is shining there, you can enjoy the beauty of the moon and the stars. And there is no death, no old-age, no disease, no fear, and no suffering.
Never forget who you are.
If you will forget who you are, you will take up false responsibilities.
It hurts to realise, that suppositions are stories.
The more you live in stories about yourself, the more you will have ideas about the world.
The more you gain clarity about yourself, the more you realise, that your stories about the world, were all cotton-wool stuff.
Others and situations, are able, to cause a drastic change, in your mental environment, because you are not aligned with, you are not sticking to, something immovable.
Had you really been tethered to something, that cannot be proven false, that can be easily blown away, then how could the others, just carry you along, and take you for a ride, and shake you, and displace you?
We are not firmly affixed to that definitive-ness. There is nothing in our life, that is ‘certain’. And because of this lack of certainty, all external influences, become too much on us.
We are not firmly rooted in reality. We are not like a strong tree, with deep roots. We are more like a fallen leaf. So, every small influence, or a little bit of breeze, let alone a powerful gust, just takes us away.
I AM – that is the only thing about which, you can be sure. That is the only thing, you must always remember.
When you remember THAT, you will have very little space to remember miscellaneous things.
When your mind is constantly occupied by that fundamental realisation, then how will there be any space, to accommodate, miscellaneous worldly stuff?
But we displace, the essential, and create space for the non-sensical. These two things happen together – both equally unfortunate. The tree is uprooted, and then the leaves start being taken away by the winds.
Don’t be uprooted! Don’t be uprooted!
Remember one essential thing, and then all else will sound very trivial to you.
You will be able to ignore it, reject it, dismiss it, without much effort.
You will become unavailable.
Things will keep happening, you won’t be available to them.
Because now, you have reserved yourself, fully, for the essential.
What must you attend to – that which is important, that which is critical, or that which is flimsy, casual, transient? What must you attend to?
Keep attending, to that which is definite, important, urgent.
All else will fall in place.
Don’t blame others, or society. They are able to influence you, because you are faithless. The wind blows for everybody. If you are a healthy being, you enjoy it. If you are weak and sick, with your immunity compromised, then you curse the wind, and run indoors, complaining of fever.
All the ones around you, who influence you, affect you, are just winds.
Be strong, and enjoy the winds.
If you can explain these things (God, Truth, Love), to a six year old, then you really know.
If you can’t explain them to a six year old, then all you have is, words.
‘God’ is that, which you want, more than all other things.
God is not a concept, or an ideal. God is the root of our daily experiences. So how is it possible, that you will not be able to bring or explain God, to a six-year old? The six-year old, too, is pining and longing for God, in his own way.
Why do you think the new born cries?
Superficially, it is for the mother and the feed.
Deeply, it is for God.
Why do you think you are asking this question?
Superficially, for an answer.
Deeply, for God.
Why do you think we eat, live, breathe?
Superficially, for something.
Deeply, only for God.
Live a rich, fulfilled life.
And when you find, that you are on the verge of becoming dependent, then call it off.
As far as I am concerned, I would want to be in the thick of the battle.
I would want to fight where the problem really is.
We all want progress, you know.
And every bit of that, which you call as ‘progress’, is carbon-emitting.
Every bit of that, which you as the ‘good life’, is carbon-emitting.
If the fact of your enslavement, curdles your blood, it means there is free-spirit in you.
But that free-spirit gets invoked, only when presented with the fact of slavery.
If you do not know that you are enslaved, your free-spirit remains dormant. Or, if you keep presenting slavery itself, as the free spirit, even then the free-spirit remains just asleep, peacefully.
For the free-spirit to rise, and act, and rebel, you have to first acknowledge to yourself, that you are neck deep in slavery.
And then there is a contradiction between – the freedom of your spirit, and the fact of your slavery.
Now there is a conflict.
You need this conflict to arise.
You need an inner war.
Peace is great, but false peace, is deadly.
The seeker of peace, must be present and ready, to forego false peace, and experience disquiet and turbulence.
Awakening begins with suffering.
Obviously, it is not going to be pretty, when moment after moment, you are bombarded with the fact of your impotency and helplessness. Is it going to be pleasant? Not at all. You would want to resist the fact, deny the fact. You would squirm and cringe.
But the fact is, for real, and therefore must not be denied. And when you admit and acknowledge that fact, there is bound to be an inner strife.
By spirit, you are free.
And in life, you are in bondage.
These two cannot go together.
Let there be a war.
Remember that, botheration is a choice. It is a value decision.
You say, “I value the opinion others have of me.”
It is not something natural, or spontaneous.
It is a decision that you make.
If you will value to the utterances of all and sundry, how will you be able to value the words of scriptures, or saints, or teachers?
You cannot equally value both.
If you are not succeeding in following my advice, that is clear proof, that there are just too many people influencing you.
Of what use, is wisdom literature?
It helps you remove, what you already know. It has a negative function.
And that is, it’s utility – that it has a negative function.
When I say, “Negative,” I do not mean – bad.
I mean – it has a cleansing effect.
When I say, “It has a negative function,” I mean – it negates. It reduces, it cleanses. It removes.
That which you are already occupied with.
To be born, is to be born inside a prison.
Start honestly, from where you are. You are the body. And see what that does to you. Living as the body, thinking as the body, see what that does to you. Perceive the damage. Come face-to-face with it.
And then is a certain detachment from the body.
You obviously can be, much-much more than the body
‘Can be’ – potentially.
But whether or not, you are much-much more than the body, depends on your choices: how are you living, how are you deciding, how are you eating, working.
If you are someone, who can constantly be in the inner shrine, then you do not need to visit an external temple.
But, you are not that person.
If you are not in the temple, then you are absorbed in, some non-sense.
Therefore, to wean you away from that non-sense, it is important, that there exists a temple.
My task is, in some sense, to distract you.
When distractions become a way of life, then spirituality is about, distracting you, away from distractions.
See, if you are on the right track, right path, and for some reason, for a while, there is some kind of a deviation, then you call it a – ‘distraction’. But, for us, rubbish is not a rare, or temporary deviation. For us, the rubbish is, the constant happening. Therefore, ‘this’ is a distraction.
You are not greedy for the experience. You are greedy for what the experience would, purportedly bring to you.
The experiencer wants fulfillment, and that is what the experience promises to bring him. It is not the experience that is paramount, but the promise. And it is okay to buy into that promise, sometimes. But, don’t you want to verify that the promise has been kept?
You have given away, a part of yourself, irretrievably. Is the lost minute, ever going to return? You just expended, a minute of your life, in seeking a particular experience. Is that minute, ever going to return? Now, before you expend the next minute, don’t you want to check?
Do we appreciate, the loss that is called ‘time’?
Or, do we live, as if we are immortal?
The fact of death is, strongly repressed.
Is that how we live?
It was not without reason, that saints always reminded you of death.
If they don’t remind you of death, then you keep throwing yourself away, wasting yourself away, as if you have infinite resources, especially infinite time.
The fact of your life as a ‘person’ is – you do not have infinite time.
Every transaction has to be made, with just one goal in sight.
You know that goal, right? We need not name it again and again.
It is the name of the One, who has no name.
That is – the Goal.
‘Humbleness’ is required, or meaningful, only in the context of an inflated ego. Because most of us live in stories about ourselves, and those stories cause us a lot of misery, therefore freedom from those stories is needed.
A mind free of stories about itself, is a humble mind.
What is ‘humility’? To not to live in the stories about oneself.
It is not the size of the character that matters.
It is the story around the character, that is the pain.
Therefore, humility, is a certain cleanliness.
Humility, is a certain absence – an absence of ideas, and stories about oneself.
To be humble, is to live in the fact of one’s life, irrespective of how the fact appears.
If you are not humble, it directly implies that you do not know yourself. Because you do not know yourself, the reaction to the ignorance is, imagination. Why else do you need to imagine? Imagination is a reaction to lack of self-knowledge.
When you do not ‘know’, then you need to weave stories and imagine.
The moment you know this thing called ‘I’, you will no more call it the ‘I’, because now you are distanced from it. And to call something as ‘I’, you have to be completely united with it, identified with it. To know the ‘I’, is to no more be able to call it the ‘I’. It’s a paradox, you see.
What is ‘humility’ then? To know the ‘I’, and therefore be a little cautious, of calling it – the ‘I’.
If water and poison are kept in front of you, ten cups of water and ten cups of poison, and you have have to make ten choices, what does ‘spirituality’ mean? Ten out of ten times, I will pick water.
It is as simple as that.
Spirituality means – make the right decision, every time.
Why must you ever pick the poison?
Make the right choice, every time.
It is born out of suffering. There is no other transformative force. You do not need to transform, if you are not suffering. If you are already alright, do you need to change? So, all spirituality, springs from there.
Wisdom, and realisation, and understanding are needed, because man is not alright.
So, you have to come face-to-face, with the fact of your inner disquiet.
And that requires courage.
That requires a dedication to peace.
Why does it require courage? Because disquiet does not live within us, carrying the name of ‘disquiet’. ‘Disquiet’ lives within us, carrying very lovely, and sacred names. Names in which in which we have made a lot of investment. Therefore, to call disquiet as ‘disquiet’, is a courageous decision. It means mentally writing-off, a lot of your investments. Giving up on a lot of your assumed receivables.
Hence, courage is needed.
Do we want to write-off things easily? We want to cling to hope. We want to keep hoping, that an investment will come good. That some money, that others owe to us, would be returned to us, sooner than later.
It requires courage, to firmly write something off. It requires courage to realise that hope is useless, that you have invested in the wrong places. And that by sticking to hope, you are only turning the condition worse.
Sometimes, the situations force us to confront the facts. Mostly, we do not allow the situations to go so bad, specially in the modern-age. There is so much money, and so much technology, and so much entertainment, one can remain gladly absorbed in one thing, or the other. Science and economics, and social security, all are there to serve us. So, they act as a buffer against sudden shocks of realisation.
All the security that we have built around us, acts as a shock-absorber. It doesn’t allow the shocks of reality to reach us. So we remain comfortably insulated. This gives us an even more allowance, to continue in our dream world.
We never face the full consequences of our actions. And even if we face them, we don’t face them in one go. We never get to see a big wound in the chest. Instead of the big wound, our security systems ensure, that we have hundred little cuts. Now, hundred little cuts can never all be seen together, in one go. So, we live under the delusion, that there is only a little bit of bleeding.
Had there been a single big wound on the chest, then we would have been forced to realise, the extent of our suffering. But, we don’t have that one big wound. We have arranged to turn that one big wound into, several small ones. And even those several small ones, don’t occur to us, parallely. They come to us in installments.
And that gives us enough allowance, to keep deceiving ourselves. And keep telling ourselves, that all is alright.
Be in the company of somebody courageous.
Sometimes it happens, that a little initial push, is needed from the outside.
And then the power of your self-observation, is enough to keep propelling you.
If you are continuously in an environment, in the company of people, who would not move towards, or for the sake of realisation or liberation, then you too would find movement difficult.
But such difficulty, is only initial.
Once you move a little bit, then you will start finding the movement – natural, spontaneous.
If you really want, you must want it so desperately, that you have no time left, to complaint against the results.
Before the result of one attempt is declared, you should already be invested in preparing for the next attempt.
And so when the results of the previous attempt, come to you, you hardly have any time, to cry over them.
That must be the intensity of your love.
Dharma, you must take like death.
When it comes, it comes.
Unavoidable – irrespective of the situations.
If you are really in love, then you either achieve results within your situations.
Or if you find that within the situation, the result cannot be achieved, then you no more allow yourself, to be contained by the situation.
Whenever freedom starts appearing too expensive, do consider the alternative. And then you will see that freedom at all costs, is very affordable. When freedom starts appearing too expensive, just consider the alternative. And then you will see whether freedom is expensive, or the lack of it.
One thing about spiritual progress is that – one must never label her choices as her ‘helplessness’.
What you are ‘choosing’, with all due respect to your personal notion of your personal welfare, cannot be called as your ‘helplessness’.
All I am saying is – there is something, that one gains, by being in a particular situation. You too are gaining something, by being in that situation. There is something that one gains, by coming out of that situation.
Impartially, wisely, weigh both of these things, and see.
Who is not a natural lover? The Ego. The Ego is not a natural lover. The Ego, by it’s very constitution, remains in fear. And the one who remains in fear, cannot naturally or easily love. So, when it is said, “Love,” surely someone is being advised or instructed to love.
Surely you cannot advise the True Self to love, because the True Self is not in any need of any instructions or advise. Nor is the True Self deficient of love. Who is being advised to love? The Ego.
Who is this ‘thyself’? The Real Self, the True Self.
So, when it is said, “Love yourself,” it is analogous to – Love the True Self, Love God, Love Atman.
Who is being told to love? The Ego.
And who is going to be loved? The True Self, that you can call as ‘the Heart’, or ‘God’, or ‘the Atman’.
‘Love thyself’ does not mean – love all your stupidities. The Ego is not being advised to love itself. Because the Ego cannot love itself. Why? Because the Ego is already in great attachment with itself.
‘Self-love’ only means – do not love yourself. Love the Truth.
‘Self-love’ does not mean – love the little self, love the petty-self.
‘Self- love’ means – love the best part of yourself.
‘Self-love’ means – love the best part of yourself.
‘Self-love’ means that even if you are covered with all non-sense, know that there is something venerable, something admirable within you.
Do not love your rubbish, your non-sense, your trivia. Do not love your filth. Love That which is precious about you. Now, instead of loving, and respecting that which is precious inside oneself, ‘self-love’ is often misconstrued as remaining more and more attached to one’s own rubbish. Don’t do that.
Unless the Ego leans towards the Truth, it will not even know what ‘love’ really means. What the Ego has for itself, is some rotten variety of attraction and attachment. The Ego has to be a student of love. And the education of Ego starts when it somehow leans towards the Truth. And then, for the first time, love strikes the Ego. Otherwise, the Ego is very loveless.
If you ever find, a loving ego, rest assured that it has become fond of the Truth. Otherwise, how it would have learnt love? Truth teaches love to the Ego. Therefore, the truth is the best Teacher. And therefore, if there is a truthful Teacher, he would teach Love.
Truth and Love, therefore go together.
If there is Truth, for you, then you will definitely fall in love with it. It is impossible to perceive Truth, in whatever way possible, and not fall in love with it.
Truth has such a unique and wordless beauty about itself, that you cannot avoid, falling in love with it. In India they have said, “Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram (Truth is so beautiful).” You will have to fall in love with it.
That is the meaning of ‘Love thyself’, or ‘self-love’.
Love the Truth, it deserves your love.
Only the Truth deserves your love.
The more you go into your suffering, the more you will see the falseness of the sufferer.
‘God’ is not an experience, but suffering is an experience.
Therefore, your suffering is an important judge, not of God, but of your Ego.
But there are those, who do not understand this, and they start talking of experiencing – God. Now, God, or Peace, or Truth, or Anand(Joy), they are not elements of experience. But, still experience is very important. Why? Because, it is your frustration with experience, that brings you to Spirituality. Therefore, the experience that frustrates you, must vanish.
Hence, the aim of Spirituality, is not to provide you with more relish-able experiences., but to give you freedom from bothersome experiences.
The Scriptures, first of all, implore you, to look at yourself.
If you are suffering, then ‘God’ is nothing but freedom from suffering.
If you are longing, then ‘God’ is nothing but the fulfillment of that longing.
If you are lonely, then ‘God’ is nothing but freedom from loneliness.
Therefore, what is ‘God’, that depends on who you are.
‘God’ is that – which fulfills you.
Adhyaatm (Spirituality) does not start with – all is okay, all is well. It starts with – ‘I admit I am unwell’. And if you admit that you are unwell, how do you not know what ‘liberation’ means? What does ‘liberation’ mean to an unwell one? Liberation from – the un-wellness. That is ‘God’.
You will love or respect ‘God’, only as much as you love, the dissolution of your suffering.
The more you want your suffering to cease, the more you will love ‘God’.
The more intense is your self-love, therefore, the more intense would be your love for God.
Excerpts from articles published in July’19. Edited for clarity.
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