Thursday, August 5, 2010
WHO AM I? (POST – III) = HOW MUCH YOU (DON’T) KNOW YOUR SELF = WHY DESIRES DON'T END = WHAT IS SAT CHIT ANANDA = WHAT IS MAYA
WHO AM I?
(POST – III)
LIFE IS LIKE THIS = WHY? = WANTS… WANTS… ALWAYS = WHY? = WHAT IS SAT-CHIT-ANANDA? = WHAT IS IGNORANCE / MAYA?
LIFE IS LIKE THIS!
Can you recall the period of your life when you were extremely happy to collect toys, colored glass pieces and stones and play with them? World offered so many beautiful things which you could collect as your personal treasure. That was probably the happiest period of your life.
As a child, you loved your treasure of stones and toys which today may look worthless. But as a child, you were not willing to part with them even when you slept. Nothing else seemed more important and valuable then.
As you were growing, after some point, you were gradually losing interest in your toys. You became more interested in playing games with other children.
You were growing in age and size and your interests too were changing from time to time.
When you became an adolescent, Some of your hormones took greater control over your emotional life. You became interested in the opposite sex. That interest continued into your youth in different forms. Some times, your youthful love was paramount in life – much more important than your studies, sports, friendships and parents. Defying the parents and deceiving parents for the sake of love was and is a pet theme at this age all over the world.
But, things change with time. The rashes of love die down. After you get married, other priorities take you over. The hormones down below start lying low and the hormones up above start taking over. Your pituitary and Adrenals start working much more now. You are becoming middle-aged! You get interested in your job, profession, or business. You may become interested in joining some professional groups, clubs and so on.
You want a house, you want a vehicle, you want some luxuries, you want success, you want name and fame, you want money and so many other things like that – depending on your social status. Wants, ambitions, goals – call them what you will – these are always burning inside you now.
Time passes. You are now more tied to your seat. Your brain is working hard. But, your body is working less. Some days, your knees start supporting you less. They remind you that they need attention. You become conscious of their presence for the first time. Your lungs and heart support you less. When you walk upstairs, you feel them working more and putting pressure on you. Your pancreas, kidneys and stomach – all of them are slowing down and ageing along with you.
Even your organization begins to feel your burden. Some day, somebody else has to take over your place or your responsibilities or both.
You are back at home. But, probably there is none back at home now. Or, very few. You had no time for others. But, now, others have no time for you. You want attention – which you never gave - and you start getting less of that.
You start seeing less, hearing less, smelling less and tasting less. You don’t feel the mosquito biting into your blood that much sensitively as you used to earlier. The five senses are failing.
You start worrying about your son and daughter. And more about your grand daughter and grand son – though you can do nothing for or about them. If your spouse is there still, both will sit and start worrying.
You may now casually come across things like spirituality – across people like Adi Sankaraacharya – the right man for the right age.
You listen to him – “balastavah kreeda sakthaha, tarunasthavah taruneesakthaha, vriddhasthavah chinkthaasakthaha..” and see how things turned out in your life exactly like that.
If you do, probably you are fortunate. You are becoming ripe for seeing the truth about life. But, most people do not ripen yet.
To them, the problems of society, of the grand children, of their own children are so important and real that they try to meddle with them – get repulsed and even get ridiculed. They then join other people of same age and exchange views in parks, railway stations, trains, each other’s house and so on. That becomes a good pastime. Some people have built up a life long profession – like doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants or just about any profession – where there is no retirement. They continue as before and just add children’s problems to theirs.
Behind all this drama of life, one factor remains constant, from birth to death, in every body’s life.
WANTS.. AND WANTS… ALWAYS
A fundamental law in economics tells us that - “wants are unlimited and as each want is satisfied, another want takes its place”. If you demolish this law, the whole science of economics crumbles down. But, this law is largely true. You can’t demolish it. ‘Wants’ is the one constant and common factor governing all of our lives from beginning to end.
Not only economic wants, but all other wants are also, more or less, of the same nature. In reality, an economic want may get replaced by a social want, a social want by a spiritual want, a spiritual want (some times) by a physical want, a physical want by a want for renunciation and so on. One want gets replaced by another and that want is replaced in time by another.
Thus, all through life – wants are constantly present and constantly changing. ‘I WANT’ remains always – though the suffix goes on changing.
When we analyze our wants – we find that they fall under three distinct categories.
(i) I want to exist always. I don’t want to grow old, infirm or sick. I also don’t want to die. I want to become bigger and better – physically, economically, socially, or in some way. In short - I want to be immortal and eternal – and that too not as an old, infirm person – but as a vibrant, all competent person.
(ii) My first innate want to exist always – is not enough for me. I want to know everything about every thing. I want to know more and more. I want graduation, then Post graduation, then a Ph.D and so on. How much I am willing to strive for, to be most knowledgeable man is not the question – I want to be the most intelligent, knowledgeable and wisest person on earth. All people should listen to me and act according to my wishes. People, animals, insects every thing.
(iii) Third, I want to be happy always. Wherever I am and whatever I am doing – I want to be joyful, peaceful, smiling. How much joy – Maximum that there is and can be. At what times? All the time. Where? Wherever I am.
These three desires – (i) to be immortal and eternal (ii) to be the wisest and possess all wisdom in the universe and guiding all others in all activities according to our wishes and (iii) to be infinitely happy – make us do all that we do. All of our activities are guided by these three innate, primal desires.
You can identify all of your desires and activities and categorize under these three classes. Some of your wishes and desires may fall under more than one class.
SAT – CHIT – ANANDA
WHAT IS IT?
Why do you want to be immortal, all knowing and blissful?
After all, animals and birds never go beyond the most basic and most simple desires of - food, sex, sleep and play. They never write books, never meditate, never pray, never go to temples or churches and never build big businesses. Even building nests is treated as waste by many animals.
What exactly is it that you are seeking? When does your seeking end?
The ancient Indian saints have found all the answers to these questions in the Upanisads. Upanisads are called the Vedantic texts.
There is an extraordinary quality to these UPANISADS. They don’t talk much of GOD or GODs. They talk of you – and of only YOU. They tell you what you already are – and why you don’t know it.
We have seen the three types of desires that we pursue all of our life- to be immortal and eternal, to be all knowing, and to be joyous always. We pursue these three desires because we are that which we are pursuing and we do not know that. So, what is it that we are pursuing?
SAT (pronounced as SATH) – means the truth, the eternal and the unchanging. Being eternal is already your quality. You don’t need to seek it. By definition, if you are eternal and unchanging – YOU do not age, do not fall sick and do not die. This also means that – what is aging, falling sick and dying is not the REAL YOU. You are covered by a veil of ignorance or MAYA. So, you go on seeking what you are – outside of you - every where in the universe and in every thing. But, nothing can satisfy you. It is because what you seek is what you are. Do you need to seek your self – especially out side of you?
CHIT (pronounced as CHITH ) – means consciousness. This consciousness is also eternal, unchanging and is everywhere. It is in presence of this all pervading consciousness, that all action, all movement, all life and non-life happens. Chit is the eternal witness in whose presence all action happens and can happen – but not itself a direct participant in the action. To repeat, while no action or movement can occur in the absence of chit, Chit itself does not partake in any action directly. Can you recall how Lord Krishna conducted the Maha Bharat war – as a witness - without being a direct, active participant in it. You are SAT and you are CHIT both.
ANANDA : - means the highest form of joy. This also is eternal, unchanging and every where. In its very nature – what is eternal, unchanging and every where can not suffer and cannot die, and remains as the purest consciousness before which all else happens. So, you are Sat, you are Chit and you are Ananda.
Now, SAT-CHIT-ANANDA are not three characteristics of you. It is YOU. If you are eternal, everywhere and all the time as pure consciousness and pure joy, you can’t be different from me. For, I am also sat-chit-ananda. So is HE. So is SHE. So is every one. We are not different from each other. We are one.
Can You see your self in me and in all others around you? If You are sat-chit-ananda, but you are not able to see yourself in me and others – why? What is this veil of ignorance called MAYA? How can we tear off this veil?
If you are SAT-CHIT-ANANDA and so too am I and all the others – where does GOD reside? And, who is he to us? What does he do? What are these trees, hills, galaxies all around you?
We will continue the series – in the next post.
(PS: It is difficult to be accurate with every word in an enquiry of this serious nature – though that is the aim. Readers are therefore invited to give their opinions, suggestions and corrections – which will be gratefully accepted)
* * * to be continued * * *