Thursday, July 29, 2010
WHO AM I? = EASY ANSWERS TO TOUGH LOOKING QUESTIONS = SIMPL;ICITY OF ANCIENT WISDOM
WHO AM I?
THE AGE OLD
TO TOUGH LOOKING
Every one of us wants to be Happy. No one wants to be sorrowful and no one wants to be in misery.
Despite our wanting to be happy - almost every one of us becomes sorrowful and miserable frequently in life.
In life certain things happen the way we want them to happen. But, many things happen in a way that we do not want. When things go our way – we are happy. When they against our way, we are unhappy and miserable.
If things and persons outside of us or other than us behave against our wishes, it is OK. We can understand. But, many times, we our self act against our interests and our wishes. That seems strange.
Let us look at an example. We all know that smoking, drinking or taking drugs is harmful to us. But many people in the world indulge in all these activities.
Who can prevent them from acting against their own interests.
Let’s say, for example, YOU indulge in smoking, drinking or drugs.
In this case, who is acting against your own interest? YOU. You against YOU.
Isn’t that funny? Isn’t that a tragedy?
But some times, when the going gets tough, when you get into a real big problem, you will go and see a Doctor. There, it is YOU supporting YOU.
The Doctor chides you and tells you – any more drinking, even God cannot help you. You are now afraid. YOU are afraid that YOU may not stop drinking. You are afraid of YOU.
You are also angry with the Doctor – for not giving some good medicine but giving advice.
Then, some one somehow comes from the ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS – and starts taking you to their place – to counsel you, advise you and induce you to stop drinking. YOU find YOU are in good company, of people similarly placed and fighting against THEMSELVES. YOU also ready YOU to fight YOU.
YOU resolve to become a new YOU. YOU implement YOUR resolution for a month or so. YOU are hilarious that YOU are winning against YOU.
Is it time for celebration? A little loosening up. Seeing Old friends. YOU long to see YOUR old, drinking friends and celebrate your success and induce them also to join you.
And, you go and JOIN THEM. You are again your OLD YOU.
Life has been going this way for many alcoholics around the world.
If you carefully watch – there are many entities sitting inside you and either befriending or fighting with each other.
Are you a single person or multiple persons?
Who are YOU?
Who am I?
This is the age old question that the ordinary man and the extraordinary SAINT have both been asking all the time.
This is the central theme of all the UPANISADS of ancient Indian Vedantic tradition. They don’t ask, who is GOD?
They ask, WHO AM I?
Am I the body?
Am I the mind?
Am I my thoughts?
Am I my emotions?
When I die – what happens? My body, my mind, my thoughts and my emotions die. Is that the end of me? Is there some thing in me that survives the physical death?
If yes, what is it?
These are all age-old questions.
Great saints and the wisest of persons spent whole lives in search of answers to these questions.
So, where will you search for answers to these questions?
The wisest of saints have solved many riddles and puzzles relating to the body, the mind, the thoughts and the emotions in their search of answers to the eternal question of – who am I.
So, for the age-old question, we must first look at the age-old answers already found by the wisest of the saints, look at the justification and rationale for these answers and accept them if we are satisfied. If we are still not satisfied, we can go in further search. There is no need to re-invent the wheel.
The answer to this one question “WHO AM I” is discussed exhaustively in Vedanta, the upanisads which are the Indian Spirituality Texts – and this is taught by Great Gurus of Vedanta till this day. They don’t talk of how to go to GOD or heaven or going to hell, religious rituals etc. They in fact laugh at these goals.
But, everybody is not considered ripe for receiving and assimilating vedantic (spirituality) teaching.
Four qualifications are considered essential for the student of this enquiry.
The Four-fold qualities of the student of Vedanta are :
1. The capacity to discriminate between the permanent and the impermanent.
2. Dispassion to the enjoyments of the fruits of one's actions, during our life and thereafter.
3. Six fold qualities of – (i) Control of the mind, (ii) control of sense organs, the external faculties of perception like eyes etc, (iii) ability to perform one's duties (enthusiastically, without any sense of burden),(iv) ability to endure the pairs of opposites like heat & cold, pleasure & pain etc, (v) Faith in the words of Guru, and Scriptures, and (vi) ability for single minded focus on goals
4. Yearning for liberation.
These qualifications of a Vedantic student – appear to be quite daunting. For acquiring these qualifications, you need a Vedantic teacher. But, the teacher will teach you Vedanta only if you possess these qualifications. So, which one first?
In reality, it is not that daunting. Once you get into this enquiry – and become serious about it ,you will find you are acquiring these qualifications –any way. And you will be enjoying life a lot more.
Just be serious to know – yourself. What is permanent in you and what is impermanent in you. Likewise, look all around you carefully. You need to become conscious of what is permanent and what is not permanent. Who is coming into your life and going out of it and when? This way, you will easily start discriminating between the permanent and the impermanent. This question will now make sense to you. It does.
You try to win a Gold medal in Olympics. Several people are striving. You are one of them. For some one, that is the only life goal. For you, it is one more life goal. So, he may land himself the Gold medal. You may not. Accept it as a matter of fact. You may not be able to marry the best woman or man in the world. Accept it too. For that matter, you too are not the best man or woman in the world, for others to marry you (on that qualification). You may not get 90 percent marks in an examination despite your best effort. Accept it.
All of your efforts tend to yield some results either lower or equal or higher than what you aim for, or, not at all in the same direction you aim for, or, even, results in the opposite or negative direction. All these happen despite all of your efforts. There are so many universal forces acting beside your efforts – and therefore, the combined result can be any of the above. Accept it gracefully. Acceptance makes you enjoy your life better. Does the second prescribed qualification make more sense to you now.
Control over your own mind and senses and actions, gives you great liberation in the worldly actions – apart from your study of Vedanta. That also makes your life better. That is the third qualification.
The last one, a yearning for liberation – is actually liberation from sorrow, liberation from mental shackles and so on. Liberation from SAMSARA – which connotes all impermanent problems and pleasures - this is what you seek to achieve first. The intermediate goals are liberation from all sorrows, all fears and so on. Moksha, when you achieve it – is the final liberation. Please understand – that we are not talking of leaving the body, or leaving the world. No. That is not Moksha or liberation.
Liberation is – as you are, where you are.
Don’t we want that?
The vedantic study gives answer to the question – WHO AM I – and the process is not necessarily a burdensome suffering. It is a great, enjoyable, hilarious process.
A process that is different from the REST OF THE WORLD.
Are you willing?
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