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  • subhash naik
    There are perhaps only a few among the masses who have ever given any serious consideration to the problem of life. Generally they take a very narrow view of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 16, 2005
      There are perhaps only a few among the masses who have ever given any
      serious consideration to the problem of life. Generally they take a very narrow
      view of it. The only problem before them is to secure a decent living, well
      provided with the desired comforts. In other words, to them the object of life is
      only to achieve the greatest possible comfort and prominence in the world. If
      they are able to achieve it, they think their life to be a success, otherwise not.
      They may, however, pass on as great men, philosophers, scientists or
      politicians and acquire world-wide fame and riches, but their problem of life
      still remains unsolved. It does not really end with death, for it is only a change
      of form. Our next life, whatever it may be, begins after death. Just as prior to
      our present life we have had numerous other lives in different forms, similarly
      even after our death we may have numerous other lives. The cycle of birth
      and death continues indefinitely. The problem before us is not to find out a
      solution of our present life but for all lives that we may henceforth have. In the
      wider sense, it covers the entire existence of soul in various forms, gross or
      subtle, at different times till the time of Mahapralaya (Final extinction). There
      may be difference of opinion over the question of births and deaths, among
      the followers of different creeds, but it is certain that mere theoretical
      knowledge of the scriptures will not solve the question. Practical experience
      in the spiritual field is necessary for the purpose. The question ends when
      one acquires 'Anubhava Shakti' (Intuitive Capacity) of the finest type and can
      himself realize the true state of life hereafter. The mystery is, however,
      explained by the people in various ways, but almost all agree on the point that
      the object of life is to achieve eternal bliss after death. For this they insist on a
      life of virtue, sacrifice and devotion which will bring to them the eternal joy of
      the paradise or salvation or peace. But that is not the end of the problem. It
      goes on much beyond. Now in order to trace out the solution of the problem
      we must look back to the point wherefrom our existence has started. Our
      existence in the present grossest form is neither sudden nor accidental but it
      is the result of a slow process of evolution. The existence of soul can be
      traced out as far back as to the time of creation when the soul existed in its
      naked form as a separate entity. From that primary state of existence of the
      soul in its most subtle form we marched on to grosser and grosser forms of
      existence. These may be expressed as coverings round the soul. The earliest
      coverings were of the finest nature and with them we existed in our homeland,
      the Realm of God. The additions of more and more coverings of ego
      continued and subsequently Manas (psyche), Chit (consciousness), Buddhi
      (intellect) and Ahankar (ego) in cruder forms began to contribute to our
      grossness. In due course Samskaras (impressions) began to be formed which
      brought about their resultant effects. Virtue and vice made their appearances.
      Slowly our existence assumed the densest form. The effect of Samskaras is
      the commencement of feelings of comforts, miseries, joys and sorrows. Our
      likings for joys and comforts and our dislikings for sorrows and miseries have
      created further complications. We generally find ourselves surrounded with
      pain and misery and we think that deliverance from them is our main goal.
      This is a very narrow view of the problem.

      The aims and objects of life conceived in terms of worldly ends are almost
      meaningless. We forget that pains and miseries are only the symptoms of a
      disease but the disease lies elsewhere. To practise devotion to please God in
      order to secure worldly comforts or gains is but a mockery. The problem
      before us is not mere deliverance from pain and misery but freedom from
      bondage which is the ultimate cause of pain and misery. Freedom from
      bondage is liberation. It is different from salvation which is not the end of the
      process of rebirth. Salvation is only a temporary pause in the rotation. It is the
      suspension of the process of birth and death only for a certain fixed period
      after which we again assume the material form. The endless circle of rebirth
      ends only when we have secured liberation. It is the end of our pains and
      miseries. Anything short of liberation cannot be taken as the goal of life
      although there remains still a lot beyond it. We find but a few persons who
      have even liberation as the final goal of their life which represents the lowest
      rung in the spiritual flight. The problem of life remains totally unsolved if we
      are below this level. There are persons who may say that they do not want
      Mukti (liberation). They only want to come again and again into this world and
      practise Bhakti (devotion). Their goal of life is undetermined and indefinite.
      Bhakti and nothing beyond as they say is their goal. Really they are attracted
      by the charming effect of the condition of a Bhakta (devotee) and like to
      remain entangled in it for ever. They do it only to please themselves. Freedom
      from eternal bondage is not possible so long as we are within entanglements.
      The natural yearning of soul is to be free from bondage. If there is one who
      does not like to free himself from the entanglements there is no solution for
      him. Bhakti is the means of achieving the goal and not the goal itself. The fact
      as I have stated above is that they are allured by the charming effect of the
      primary condition and do not want to get away from it at any time. The narrow
      view that they have taken, bars their approach to a broader vision and
      anything beyond is out of their sight. Another fallacious argument advanced in
      support of the above view is that devotion, if practised with any particular
      object in view, is far from being 'Nishkam' (desireless). The theory of 'Nishkam
      Upasana' (desireless devotion) as laid down in the Gita emphasises upon us
      to practise devotion without keeping in view any specific purpose. It really
      means that we should practise devotion without our eyes being fixed upon
      any worldly object or without caring for the satisfaction of our desires. It does
      not stop us from fixing our mind upon the goal of life which is absolutely
      essential for those on the march. The goal of life means nothing but the point
      we have finally to arrive at. It is in other words, the reminiscence of our
      homeland or the primeval state of our present solid existence, which we have
      finally to return to. It is only the idea of destination which we keep alive in our
      minds and for that we practise devotion only as duty. Duty for duty's sake is
      without doubt 'Nishkam Karma' (selfless action) and to realize our goal of life
      is our bounden duty.

      Now I come to the point what the real goal of life should be. It is generally
      admitted that the goal must be the highest, otherwise progress up to the final
      limit is doubtful. For this, it is necessary to have a clear idea of the highest
      possible limit of human approach. We have before us examples of Rama and
      Krishna, the two incarnations of the Divinity. We worship them with faith and
      devotion and want to secure union with them. Automatically that becomes our
      goal of life and we can at the utmost secure approach up to their level. Now
      Rama and Krishna, as incarnations, were special personalities vested with
      supernatural powers to work as medium for the accomplishment of the work
      which nature demanded and for which they had come. They had full
      command over various powers of nature and could utilize them at any time in
      a way they thought proper. The scope of their activity was limited in
      accordance with the nature of the work they had to accomplish. They
      descended from the sphere of Mahamaya ( ), which is a state of Godly energy
      in the subtle form hence the most powerful. It is due to this fact that we find
      excellent results coming into effect through their agency in their life-time. The
      highest possible point of human approach is much beyond the sphere of
      Mahamaya; hence a good deal above that level. It may be surprising to most
      of the readers but it is a fact beyond doubt. The final point of approach is
      where every kind of force, power, activity or even stimulus disappears and a
      man enters a state of complete negation; Nothingness or Zero. That is the
      highest point of approach or the final goal of life. I have tried to express it by
      the diagram. The concentric circles drawn round the centre 'C', roughly
      denote the different spiritual spheres we come across during our progress.
      Beginning our march from the outermost circle we proceed towards the centre
      crossing each circle to acquire the next stage. It is a very vast expanse. If I
      speak of liberation, people will think it to be a very far-off thing which can be
      achieved by persistent efforts for a number of lives. In the diagram the state of
      liberation lies between the 2nd and the 3rd circles. The various conditions we
      have to pass through in order to secure liberation are all acquired within
      about a circle and a half. This may help the reader to form a rough idea of
      what still remains to be achieved after we have reached the point of liberation
      which really, as commonly believed, is not an ordinary achievement. After
      achieving this state we go on further crossing other circles till we cross the fifth
      one. This is the stage of Awyakti Gati (undifferentiated state). At this stage a
      man is totally free from the bounds of Maya. Very few of the sages of the past
      could reach up to this position. Raja Janak was one of those who could
      secure his approach to this state. His achievements were considered to be so
      great that even the prominent Rishis (sages) of the time used to send their
      sons and disciples to him for training. The region of Heart as described in my
      book Efficacy of Raja Yoga is now crossed and now we enter the mind region,
      after crossing the fifth circle. The eleven circles after this depict the various
      stages of egoism. The condition there is more subtle and grows finer still as
      we march on through the region. By the time we reach the 16th circle we are
      almost free from egoism. The condition at the stage is almost inconceivable
      and has rarely been attained by even the greatest of the sages. As far as my
      vision goes I find among the ancient sages none except Kabir who could
      have secured his approach up to this stage (i.e., the 16th circle). What
      remains when we have crossed this circle is a mere identity which is still in a
      gross form. We now enter the Central Region. There, too, you will find seven
      rings of something. I may call it light for the sake of expression, which we
      cross during our march onwards. The form of dense identity as I have called it,
      grows finer and subtler to the last possible limit. We have now secured a
      position which is nearmost to the Centre, and it is the highest possible
      approach of man. There we are in close harmony with the very Real
      condition. Complete merging with the Centre is, however, not possible, so as
      to maintain a nominal difference between God and soul. Such is the extent of
      human achievement which a man should fix his eyes upon from the very
      beginning, if he wants to make the greatest progress on the path of
      realization. Very few among the saints and yogis of the world had ever had
      any conception of it. Their farthest approach in most cases had been up to the
      2nd or the 3rd circle at the utmost, and it is unfortunate that even at this
      preliminary stage they sometimes considered their achievements to be very
      great. I have given all this only to enable people to judge those so-called
      great Doctors of Divinity who are said to have attained perfection and are
      generally accepted as such by the ignorant masses who judge their worth
      only by their outward form or elegance.
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