Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
KINDLE LIFE. In the next few weeks we will explore some of the points raised by HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda-ji in the publication of this name. Remember, you can purchase, (very economically!), the book from Chinmaya Mission Publications or if you prefer, the Amazon Link.
Chapter three of Kindle Life discusses Man's Heritage. Here Gurudev opens with the word 'independence' It is this which is the essence of freedom which Man seeks, but in fighting for it mistakes libertinism as independence . True independence is liberation from the ravages and terrors which arise from the trap of licentious and addictive behaviour. The truly independent personality is not hampered by attachment to the worldly items which seem so twinkly and fun. Independence takes courage. It can mean rowing against the tide - and what a tide is the lure of the glittery, glamoury, material world!
In choosing to perfect the art of independence, which is our true heritage, the deep and abiding call in every heart, we can find ourselves able to navigate samsaara, but be not of it.
The ancient wisdoms, the scriptures, become like a compass, the map of our direction. Steering by the guidance therein, we navigate samsara with much less pain and angst. It will not stop the storms and squalls which arise, but we will be so much better equipped to navigate through them and minimise any damage. By making the choice to live by the tenets of our elders, then, we are setting ourselves apart. This is particularly true in vedanta, when undertaking the sadhana chatushtaya. Viveka and vairagya can, from outside, appear to be cold and stone-like; uncaring and disinterested, aloof or even air-headed. How wrong are these perceptions! The other sailors being tossed about on samsaara would do well to emulate such an example. It is not that this person is at all devoid of feeling, it is simply that they are not ruled, but are the ruler of, emotion. At other times they will be seen to be enjoying the fruits of such discipline, laughing with their company, enraptured in the joy of nature of children at play. But neither will this be excessive. Balanced temperament is what is manifest. Gurudev says it well;
"...sentiments adorn a person, but sentimentalism is as a scar upon his personality... The secret of success in life thus lies in keeping the head above the storms of the heart."
The Rsis were the pioneers of one of the most enduring paths to achieving this balance; we would be wise to take up their wisdom! The heritage we have is choice and we can choose to live life rightly, to aim for the ultimate goal of escaping the endless cycle called samsaara. For some the move is not so far. For others it can seem like moving from one planet to another. Fund the desire to stand back from poor choices. Make the decision to redirect you vision. Life will happen. Will you let it run you, or will you take charge?