Saturday, August 14, 2010


(POST 6) =

In the previous five Posts on the fundamental question of  our life, “WHO AM I?”, we  examined many aspects.
We examined – how our bodies, intellect and emotions are ever changing and perishing; yet, how our genetic information is carried to future generations; why we look like our grand fathers and grandmothers and they in turn look like their grand fathers and grand mothers; and by the same logic, how our grandchildren will look much like us; how, even their grand children will carry our features, our habits, our weaknesses and our diseases.
So some thing in us survives beyond our bodies, intellect and emotions. We are not able to think at the level of our Genes and if we can, probably we will know  how our continuity through generations is maintained.
We also saw how most parts of our body organs like our heart, kidneys etc, etc  are all put away out of our control and how that is good for us.
We saw the four-fold qualifications needed to unravel  the question “WHO AM I?” namely-
   1. The capacity to discriminate between the permanent and the impermanent.
   2. Dispassion to the enjoyments of the fruits of one's actions, during this 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.

We saw that these are not as difficult as they look like and how they tend to enhance our joy as we move on this path.
We saw how all of our desires fall under three categories (1) Desire to be Eternal (Existence) (2) Desire to know everything (Consciousness) and (3) Desire to be Happy (Bliss). These are really our yearning for SAT-CHIT-ANANDA.
We search outside of us for satisfaction of all wants. We try to accumulate more and more of outside things, which are small parts of the five great universal forces of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
Who within us, desires more of these? The same 5 universal forces, are also within us and are desiring more and more of themselves from outside. How much ever you accumulate these, there will never be satisfaction. That which is outside is always much more and much bigger than that which is inside – even after lifelong accumulation. So, the desire for more is never fully satisfying. Dissatisfaction remains always. Why? It is not YOU who needs this union. The MAYA that is governing your body-intellect-emotions complex is urging you constantly. And, you are racing at the behest of this Maya, all through your life.
So, what is MAYA? We saw three stories about MAYA.
(1)                How Indra, the King of Gods, became a PIG, loved PIG’s life more than heavenly life – until the Pig was ripped apart and he was dragged out from it.
(2)                How the divine sage, Narada fell in deep love with a lady, led family life, lost the family life and by the grace of Lord Krishna come out of Maya again.
(3)                How Arjuna was killed by his own son, and was redeemed back to life by Lord Krishna through sacrificing the fruits of his Brahmacharya vrit , how his wife Sathya Bhama objects to this and how all the people around understand the Maya later and get Lord Krishna’s blessings.
There are many beautiful stories of Maya. So, what is that Maya which  sits in us and is responsible for all ups and downs of our life, our sorrows and pleasures, our angers and friendships, our loves and hates, our actions and inactions and our lives and deaths?
There is a saying “kama, kridha, lobha, moha, madha, matsaryanaam Dhehe thistathi taskaraaha…”
It means - there are six thieves residing in our bodies and robbing ALL OF OUR JOY. These are - Desire, Anger, Greed, Sex Obsession, Pride and Envy. You must be wary of these robbers of your joy. You can add FEAR also to this list. It completes the fearsome seven.
Simply put, MAYA is equivalent to these fearsome seven. There are of course other definitions of Maya, which we will see later.
DESIRE : When you desire madly, you come under Maya. You can’t distinguish between good and bad. For succeeding in business or profession, you ignore your wife, husband or children, and your own health. There is this saying – that first you will earn wealth losing all health, and then lose all wealth trying to regain health and at the end, you lose both. You neglect you parents to do every thing for your children, and then, the your children will neglect you!
Forget the outside results. Examine your internal thoughts and feelings all the time when you desire some thing. You are feverishly running and spending your whole life after this desire. When you attain the desire – you find, much of your life is gone. Your mind is habituated to running after some desire or other - ALL YOUR LIFE. Maya makes you run after desires always. Buddha says – you are busy collecting a lot of DEBRIS always – until you yourself become DEBRIS. Whatever you are collecting – is debris only. Think of that. MAYA is making you run!! Desire is the cause of all suffering – said Buddha and Lord Krishna both. Desire is MAYA. What is the antidote? Just Be Conscious. Be totally aware. Desire dissolves in awareness. Maya is powerless to affect any one who is TOTALLY AWARE. In awareness, whatever you do – you are joyous, which is your natural self, away from the MAYA.
ANGER : When you are angry, you turn temporarily mad – in proportion to your anger. In anger, a mother can kill her own child. You will commit your life’s biggest mistakes in anger. Angry man loses friends and makes enemies all around. Angry man dies of anger. Anger is Maya. What is the antidote for anger? Where Unconditional love prevails, anger cannot exist. Unconditional LOVE is the antidote of anger. Such love is very EASY too. Easier than anger. It is for this reason that some great Gurus, attach great importance to LOVE. One contemporary Guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar stresses a lot on UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
GREED is Maya. However much you hug your money, possessions or ornaments, they don’t hug you back. Your greed  occupies your mind always and make it incapable of enjoying life. Your greed turns you into a miser. Your greed turns your friends into indifference towards you. You commit all types of unsocial acts in greed. No one likes your Greed.
Many contemporary speakers on Gita advise – look at what you already have and enjoy them first. Greed blinds you to your existing possessions and the happiness they give. When you get what you are greedy for, you find, it gives you least satisfaction. Your greed now turns to some thing else.
Compassion is the antidote of greed. A compassionate man can never be greedy. A compassionate man may be earning well – but is happy to share. ‘ATHITHI DEVOBHAVA’ – means, treat every seeker at your door step as GOD seeking from you. If GOD comes and asks from you, will you still be greedy and miserly? This compassion has nothing to do with sympathy, empathy etc, in which you suffer first, before you can help another. A compassionate man is a joyous man, and helps all, always. This is the message and practice of the great, contemporary Gurus like Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and  Ram Devji Maharaj. Greed  is MAYA. Compassion brings you out of MAYA.
SEXUAL OBSESSION : Kaamaathuranaam na bhayam na lajja – says an old Sanskrit sloka. This Kaama means sex obsession, or, MOHA. It says - if the sex bug bites you, you lose all of your fear, shame and propriety and go in active pursuit of sex. Look at how may rapes, molestations and extra-marital relations are occurring and how excellent achievers in many fields fall prey to sex obsession and lose all of their position in life. 
Adi Sankara warns us of this one weakness several times in his writings. This is the reason why, the institution of marriage is established to satiate people’s sex desire in a rightful way, in a way they can come out of MAYA even while enjoying SEX.
Maithunam (Sex) should be like Prarthanam (Prayer) – says  Swami Sukhabodhananda. The great sage, Vasista lived with his wife, Arundhati, in forests and fathered a hundred children through her. Yet he was out of MAYA, and was the originator of Yoga Vasista. He was the Guru of Lord Rama himself. So did all great sages in the past. Very Few renounced family life. That is also the story of Sage Yagna valkya, whose wife refused to stay back. She said – if you are now after permanent joy, I am also after permanent joy. Let us both go together.
SEX was not an obstacle for them. But, whatever is happening in contemporary society – is MOHA, a form of Maya - and people are bound to suffer from it. Its antidote is RIGHTFUL SEX – in marriage, with the marital partner – to whom you have made promises like  DHARMECHA, ARTHECHA, KAAMECHA, NATHI CHARAAMI -  which means, in all earthly ways, dharma, artha and kaama - shall we both stand together forever.
PRIDE : You are proud of your caste, religion, position, group, money, power, body, beauty, your achievements, strength,  intelligence, skills and so on. Whatever you are proud of – can leave you any time. Neither are they yours really. Pride  is the most foolish quality you can have. Its irony is – except you, everybody notices that you are being foolish in your pride.
Also, anything that you say you have – is not even an iota of what is there in the world and none of them really obey you. Your own heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, in fact, almost nothing inside you obeys you. Very few things in you are allowed to obey you in a very, very limited way!!  How can you be proud of that body which doesn’t obey you? It is so with most other things. Some body invisible is in charge of them – not you.
Also – in pride you forget the most valuable possessions you really have – the fresh air you breathe in and out, the water you drink, you take bath in, and possibly swim in, the beautiful sky that brightens all your life, the beautiful air that brings you the finest smells, the flowers, the moon, the stars, the rivers, the seas, the hills and so many beautiful things that are absolutely free and enjoyable immensely – You are really enjoying them and they are yours. But, you are not proud of them because you do not consider them as your possessions. But, what are your possessions in comparison to these?
All kings and all other proud people who walked the earth before you are now under your feet, as the dust you walk on. Their possessions did not go with them. Greece did not go with Alexander. Germany did not go with Hitler. No body could take any thing with them.
The antidote for Pride is simple. Every day morning, when you get up, remember that you are  alive this morning because of an unseen grace you are not even conscious of – and not because of your possessions or accomplishments. Look at your possessions for some time. Think of which of your possessions will come along with you wherever you go. Think of one permanent possession which will come with you.   Strive to acquire that.
ENVY : If you are not proud of your caste, your religion, your position etc, you are probably envious of others’ caste, religion, power etc – which is equally foolish. When you are proud, there is place inside your mind ONLY FOR YOU and for no one else, including the ALMIGHTY himself. When your are envious, the person your are envious of is always sitting within you and is ruling your mind. Even you have no place inside you!! Your happiness is gone – whatever your other possessions and accomplishments may be.
If you are a silver medalist in Olympics but are envious of the Gold Medalist, you can never be as happy as even the bronze medalist. You can’t be happy at all – even as much as any one who never ever dreams of competing in Olympics. Envy is MAYA. Make no mistake about it.
What is the antidote for ENVY?  Applaud everybody, appreciate everybody who ever has achieved any thing in life. Write to them. Congratulate them whole heartedly. More important, every day, pray for the success of some people – who do not even know you. Pray for the success of those whom you have envied in the past.
FEAR : Fear robs all happiness. Fear of death, fear of disease, fear of old age and so many fears that most people have. You can see the series of posts on fear and fearlessness in my blog “” – which are still continuing. Ignorance creates FEAR and knowledge is the best antidote for fear. Sri Paramarthananda says – one definition of MOKSHA is total, absolute fearlessness. Leave aside all fears. FEAR is MAYA.
SUMMARY : These are the seven aspects of MAYA. We have seen their antidotes too. Is this all there is to MAYA? No. Maya is much more. But, once you are out of these seven deadly sins of Maya, you can be very easily out of Maya. You will be well on your way to know  the answer for “WHO AM I?”

 *  *  *   E N D   *  *  *

No comments:

Post a Comment