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. We continue exploring 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. Thus you can read Gurudev's words directly and bring your own voice to the discussion.
(We now conclude Chapter 26, which is titled THE GOAL OF PERFECTION ACHIEVED. To review the chapter so far, click the Choose-day label on right panel.)
All the different religions of the world and all the different yogas (paths) of Hinduism, however distinct they might seem to be in their approaches, in one voice insist that Man must learn to control his organs of knowledge and action. Self-control without and within is the one point on which all religions sing in melodious agreement.
This control of the indriyas is not to be accomplished by simply suppressing them; and there have been some violent methodologies of self-punishment devised over the centuries for attempting this! No. Deep in us lie the desires fed by our ignorance and unless we get to the very root of them and the cause of the delusion, अविद्य/avidya (ignorance), we cannot control ourselves effectively. For as long as there remain any traces of the delusion, like the roots of the dandelion, there will be resurgence. The desires will continue to rage, urging the senses to seek out their satisfaction.
With Knowledge alone can we end our ignorance.
The Knowledge of our Real Nature, the realisation of the शिवो-हम् /shivo-hum state (recognition that "I am the Eternal"), the knowledge that "I am not this name/form/personality, but one homogeneous mass of Pure Consciousness", alone can end our avidya and भ्रान्ति/bhraanti (delusion).
Pure Knowledge is our Eternal Bliss ( स्वरूप/svaruupa); it already exists and is therefore not a state to be 'created'. Rather it awaits rediscovery, like the key lost in the pocket. We only have to end the veiling, the clouding of our pure vision. When the clouds move from the sun, how brilliant is it?!! This removal of ignorance is brought about by shravanam, mananam and nididhyaasana.
Shravanam, most can do. It is 'active listening' (not simply hearing, but lodging what is heard in memory). Thus, when we move into mananam, we can gain more and more intellectual understanding about the futility of seeking happiness in the external world and its sense-objects. This is where the real control of the senses begins. Those things become less and less a source of desire. Slowly, the agitations of the mind created by those previous desires weaken. This enables a sense of calm and tranquillity within, which is a true source of joy. Consequently, meditation becomes firmer, higher and concentration refined to a firm, stable point.
The more aavarana is controlled, the more is vikshepa stilled. The more tossings and turnings are quelled, the easier it is to 'slip off the veil'. Over time, in proportion to the intensity of अभ्यास/abhyaasa (practice), we can purify, raising ourselves from our tamasic, or rajasic-tamasic states into ever more steady sattva.
As we hear, reflect and meditate upon the shruti (scriptures), the disturbances and the muddiness in our mental lake are eliminated. Naturally, the pure sun of Knowledge of Eternal Truth gets reflected clearly. The clearest and the truest reflection of the Truth is the God Principle. Therefore, a saadhaka slowly comes to manifest in his or herself a certain amount of divinity and godliness. Miracles are, at this stage, easy for them. Grace is natural. Kindness becomes instinct. Love, the very breath. Mercy is their essence. Truthfulness and Lordliness are theirs… in short, one who attains this level is as a God-man on Earth; s/he lives fed or starving, suffering or in health, laughing or weeping, caring less for the body than the task of guiding others to their enlightenment.
At this stage, if s/he be yet steady in saadhana and can still maintain the divine urge to know and become, with dispassion enough to reject and renounce even the powers and joys of godhood, then during the highest flights of deepest meditation, wafts beyond even sattva come. To become trans-sattva (or सत्त्वतीत/sattvatiita) is to be one who has transcended even the gunas. The experience is that of being the Truth Supreme and becoming 'that'. Having reached OM and merging there, the saadhaka becomes OM; this is परमं पदम् /paramam padam, reaching the final goal of perfection; सत्-चित् -आनन्द/sat-chit-aananda, Truth-Consciousness-Bliss.
There in Him rests all. The universe has risen only from Him; in Him it exists; towards Him it moves; into Him must it finally enter and ever afterwards becomes Him, the eternal Truth Absolute.
Thus without control of the sense, without self-control, no spiritual growth is possible. No control is effective until we start the shravanam-mananam-nididhyaasana schooling. Study of the Upanishads. Independently thinking over them. Meditating regularly. It is yours to choose. Through a control of desires, intelligently pursue saadhana and success can be yours.
"You can!" is the confident assurance given by all masters to everyone who has approached them for guidance. To this can be added "You must!"
Kindle Life continues for a short while on Workings-days, where some practical measures are given. Click the 'Kindle Life' label in the right bar to review the text discussion as a whole. Don't forget that you can obtain your very own copy to pore over, scribble on and get all touchy-feely with from the source links given above. Bring your doubts and questions to the comments box, or if you prefer, via the contacts box (P-O-O-P page).