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WAYS AND MEANS from the book REALITY AT DAWN by RAMCHANDRA

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  • subhash naik
    ... Having determined our goal, the next problem before us is to find out means for the realization of the object. Sages and teachers have elaborately dealt
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 20, 2005
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      Having determined our goal, the next problem before us is to find out means
      for the realization of the object. Sages and teachers have elaborately dealt
      with the subject. They have laid down various forms of practices or
      'Sadhanas', helpful for the attainment of what they put forth as the final goal.
      But for the realization of God, the Indeterminate Absolute or Para Brahma we
      have to adopt means which lead us to the complete negation. Our goal of life,
      as discussed in the previous chapter is the final stage where we are nearest
      to the Superactive Centre or Zero, which is the primeval cause of the entire
      manifestation and to which everything will ultimately return after Maha
      Pralaya (complete dissolution). To acquire this state we have ourselves to
      become zero. No doubt we shall reach that point in natural course at the time
      of Maha Pralaya, but what we strive for, is to acquire it as early as possible in
      order to save ourselves from the miseries of innumerable lives. Just as Maha
      Pralaya or complete dissolution is essential for the return of everything to the
      origin, similarly for our return to the point we must bring about our Pralaya
      (destruction) or acquire a state of complete dissolution of all things of our own
      making. It means we have to be free from all our belongings and assume the
      same naked form in which we were at the time of creation. Our belongings are
      a pile of Samskaras (impressions) with their resultant effects in the form of
      complexities and the diverse coverings which we have gathered round the
      soul and which are the results of our thoughts and actions. We possess
      mental and intellectual faculties which are all active. Our mind determines the
      actions of the body. We see, hear, feel and understand things. We begin to
      like or dislike them. Desires gradually begin to creep in and affect our actions.
      The rings go on multiplying and we exert ourselves for the fulfilment of
      desires. A desire, when satisfied generally creates another to follow in its
      place. We are seldom free from them even for a moment. We see most of the
      things with an idea of having them. These desires mould our physical and
      mental actions and lead to the formation of Samskaras (impressions), adding
      thus more and more coverings to the soul. Fresh desires every moment and
      our efforts to satisfy them lead to continuous additions. Their impressions
      remain on our causal body so long as they are not wiped off through the
      process of 'Bhog'. The completion of the Bhog of all the Samskaras, formed
      every moment cannot ordinarily be possible during the whole life. Thus when
      our life comes to a close we still have a lot of Samskaras in store within us.
      These very Samskaras become the cause of our rebirth, in order to offer us an
      opportunity to complete their Bhog, but unfortunately, instead of finishing them
      we add more than those we have exhausted.

      Another serious obstruction in our path is caused by our sufferings and
      miseries. Almost every one in the world complains of the miseries he is faced
      with and which he wants to do away with. But he neglects the right means. He
      thinks fulfilment of desires to be the only way of removing miseries. But that is
      not the solution. Miseries are commonly considered to be detestable, but
      there have been sages who voluntarily courted miseries, thinking them to be
      a boon and have often prayed to God for them. The mystery of the problem
      will be clear if we look into the origin of miseries. Soul possesses
      consciousness as a result of God's will to effect creation. The soul likewise
      began to form its own tiny creation and gathered round it things of its own
      creation. Now a stir, a motion (i.e., unrest or disturbance) was the main factor
      in bringing about the creation. Similarly for the tiny creation of the soul too,
      unrest or disturbance is indispensable. We also possess the force of will
      which we apply to impart power to the factors necessary for setting up this
      creation. They appear before us in the form of joy or sorrow, comfort or misery.
      The mind, too, being constantly active creates within us liking for the one and
      dislike for the other, introducing the two extremities of a thing. Thus miseries
      come into existence. This is all the creation of the human mind which results
      from our ignorance of the right relationship of things. Our passions, emotions
      and impulses too contribute a good deal in aggravating the troubles and at
      times cause fierce tempest strong enough to threaten a complete wreck. We
      generally attribute its causes to circumstances. But it is a wrong notion. Mind
      is the centre of this outer expansion of man in the form of human body and
      everything which is exhibited through the medium of the body proceeds from
      the centre, the mind. If our mind comes to a harmonious state, circumstances
      and environments will have no effect on it and there will be no disturbance
      within. Peace and tranquillity shall reign all through under all circumstances.
      Passions, excitements and desires will lose their intensity and sorrow, joy or
      misery will disappear from the view. Our desires are the main cause of
      miseries. So the only solution of miseries is the curtailment of desires. Fewer
      the desires, lesser shall be our miseries. But to become desireless is another
      problem. Desires form a network which we are entangled in. The more we try
      to get rid of it, tighter become the fibres of the net. The only way to free
      ourselves from the entanglements is to divert our attention from them and fix
      our eyes on the very Real thing. If we cultivate a habit of remaining unmindful
      of them, they will soon begin to disappear from our view and consequently
      our miseries will be minimised. Reality alone will remain constantly before our
      eyes and everything else will lose its charm or significance.

      Total absence of sufferings and miseries in life is, however, impossible and
      unnatural. In fact they are rather meant for our betterment. They are just like
      bitter pills of medicine given to a patient to restore health. The misuse of even
      the best thing creates trouble. So is the case with miseries. Proper utility of
      everything at the proper time and in the proper way is sure to bring forth good
      results in the long run. Miseries are really our best guide which make our path
      smooth. To a man in ordinary sphere of life, miseries are very helpful for his
      making. Referring to domestic troubles and miseries of a worldly life my
      Master used to say, "Our home is the training ground of patience and
      endurance. To endure calmly the adversities of a household life is for us the
      greatest penance which is the noblest of all other forms of penances. What we
      have, therefore, to do under the circumstances is not to give way to the feeling
      of anger or grief but to assume an unquestioning attitude thinking that we
      ourselves are in the wrong for which we have to forbear with a cool mind.
      Solitary life in a forest and aloofness from all worldly concerns may be, to
      some, the means of cultivating patience and forbearance but to us, the taunts
      and rebukes of our friends and relations is the greatest penance and the
      surest means of success." In fact, to put up coolly with miseries and troubles
      contributes much to our betterment, hence they are valuable assets to our
      progress. It is only by their wrong use that we spoil their effect and thus get
      deprived of their best advantages.

      Renunciation or non-attachment is no doubt an essential stage in realization
      and we can never be free from the entanglements of Maya unless we cultivate
      non-attachment. But it does not mean severing our connection with home, the
      family and all worldly concerns and taking up the life of a religious mendicant.
      I do not agree with those who hold the view that the only means of cultivating
      non-attachment is to get away from home and family and retire to a solitary
      corner discarding all worldly ties. Renunciation effected by such forced
      means, is seldom found to be genuine, for it is just possible that in spite of
      their apparent forced detachment from the world, they may still inwardly be
      clinging to it. No doubt as a householder we have to look after many things,
      we have to support our family, we have to provide for the education of our
      children, we have to look to their wants and necessities, we have to protect
      them from heat and cold, from trouble and sickness and so on. For these
      necessities we earn and possess money and property. The real evil is only
      our undue attachment with things which we are associated with. This is main
      cause of our sufferings. But if we are able to do everything in life thinking it to
      be our duty without any feeling of attraction or repulsion we are in a way free
      from worldly ties and have renounced the world in the true sense although we
      possess and make use of many things. Everything we possess shall, then,
      seem to be a sacred trust from the Supreme Master, for the discharge of the
      duties entrusted to us. Renunciation truly means non-attachment with worldly
      objects and not the non-possession of things. Thus a household life in which
      possession of things and worldly ties are indispensable is no impediment in
      the way of renunciation and consequently of realization, only if one is not
      unduly attached to the objects he is connected with. There are numerous
      examples of saints having attained the highest degree of perfection leading a
      household life all through. Renunciation is in fact a condition or an inner state
      of mind which brings to our view the transitory and changing character of
      things and creates a feeling of non-attachment with such objects. His eyes are
      fixed every moment on Reality which is unchanging and eternal and he is free
      from feeling of attraction and repulsion. This is Vairagya (renunciation) in the
      true sense of the term. When we have achieved this state of mind we are free
      from desires. We feel contented with what is available to us. The end of
      desires means the stopping of the formation of Samskaras. What remains now
      is only to undergo the effect (Bhog) of the previously formed Samskaras
      (impressions) which are to be worked out during the course of our life. Nature
      too helps us in the work by creating field for Bhog in order to remove the
      impressions of our thoughts and actions from the causal body. When these
      coverings melt away we begin to assume finer forms of existence.

      In order to control our thoughts and actions we have to look to the proper
      working of the mind which is never at rest even for a moment. I have often
      heard religious teachers railing at it in bitterest terms, ascribing all bad names
      to it and proclaiming it to be our worst enemy. The reason is quite plain. They
      think it to be the cause of all evil within us, and consequently they advise
      people to crush it and not to follow its biddings. But generally people find it a
      hard task to restrain the diverse activities of the mind, or to disregard its
      biddings. Their theoretical advice and lectures in this respect are, therefore,
      not of much avail to them and almost none of those attending their lectures
      has ever been able to achieve the object in a practical way. Besides the
      present circumstances and the environments too contribute much towards the
      ever increasing activities of the individual mind. Almost everyone, today, feels
      his life to be a hard struggle for existence confronting acute problems of
      poverty, insecurity, distress and rivalry and it is almost impossible to keep
      himself free from its effects. The result is the constant unrest and disturbance
      of mind. We breathe in the same thing from the atmosphere and are
      consequently led away by circumstances and surroundings. Our individual
      mind has become the weather-cock, turning its face at every blast towards the
      direction in which the wind blows. The real hero in the struggle is one, who
      braves them courageously and keeps himself free from their effect.

      I, no doubt, agree with those who say that every evil has its origin in the mind
      and which alone is, therefore, responsible for it, though at the same time I may
      remind them that it is the very same mind that leads us to virtue and also
      helps us to realize our highest self. So it is not every evil alone that proceeds
      from the mind but also every good. Hence those who condemn it in the
      bitterest terms have no justification for it at all. It is really only due to the
      defective moulding of the mind, and what is actually required, is not the
      crushing or the killing of the mind but merely its proper training. The mind is
      like the pendulum of a clock. The clock goes all right so long as the movement
      of the pendulum is regulated. If it is disturbed the clock is out of order.
      Similarly for this human clock it is necessary that the movement of the mind be
      well regulated and adjusted. The methods to mould the mind and regulate its
      activities are also very simple. Really we have spoiled the mind ourselves by
      allowing it to wander about aimlessly during leisure hours. The practice has
      continued for years and it has now become almost its second nature. If we
      now try to control the mind by putting it under restraint we meet with little
      success. The more we try to suppress it by force, the more it rebounds and
      counteracts causing greater disturbance. The proper method to control the
      activities of the mind is to fix it on one sacred thought just as we do in
      meditation, and dispel from it everything unwanted or superfluous. In course
      of time after constant practice, the mind gets disciplined and regulated and
      much of the inner disturbance is eliminated. The best course to free yourself
      from unwanted ideas is to treat them as uninvited guests and remain
      unmindful of them. They will then wither away like unwatered plants and
      ultimately the same sacred thought will remain predominant. The only way to
      accomplish it is, therefore, meditation under the guidance of a capable
      master. By constant practice in meditation the mind will become calm and
      peaceful and the unwanted ideas will cease to trouble you. I often hear
      beginners complaining about the wandering of the mind during meditation.
      From the very first day they expect that during their practice at meditation the
      mind should remain at a standstill but when they find different ideas and
      thoughts haunting their mind they feel greatly perturbed. I must clear it to them
      that it is not the suspended condition of the mind we are striving for in our
      practice, but only the moulding of its multifarious activities. We do not want to
      stop its normal working but only to bring it to a regulated and disciplined state.
      If the activities of the mind are stopped from the very beginning, we probably
      do not stand in need of practising meditation at all. Meditation is the only
      process to achieve that end. Concentration is its natural result in due course.
      The proper method is to meditate all along remaining quite unmindful of the
      foreign ideas and thoughts coming to our mind during that time. Mental
      struggle to keep off the unwanted ideas often proves unsuccessful for it
      causes a strong reaction which is often impossible for man of ordinary
      capabilities to overcome and which is sometimes likely to result in serious
      mental disturbance or even insanity. It may be possible for those who by
      leading a life of celibacy have gained sufficient ojas (lustre) to cope
      successfully with the flow of thoughts and to withstand the effect of their
      reaction, but for ordinary man it is almost an impossibility. If instead of
      struggling to keep off ideas we only remain unmindful of them, very soon they
      will lose their effect and cease troubling us. They will then be only like dogs
      barking after a caravan which goes forward without paying any heed to them.
      When we are attentive to ideas to check them, concentration is naturally there
      which breeds power and thus they become stronger.

      A most common excuse advanced by certain people today is that they are too
      busy to devote any time to meditation or similar other practice. But "the busiest
      man has the greatest leisure" is a well-known saying. I think a man has more
      time at his disposal than there is work for him to do. Their complaint of the
      scarcity of time is due only to its wrong adjustment. If we utilize our time to the
      best advantage we shall never have cause to complain that it is short or
      scarce. There are others who are a bit frank to admit that it is not for want of
      time that they remain away from devotional duties but for their habitual
      negligence and sluggishness which they cannot overcome. To them I would
      say that they are probably never negligent or sluggish in their trade or
      profession which they attend to with full zeal in spite of all personal
      inconvenience and even illness, only because some monetary gain or profit is
      in view. Their longing for the material gain turns them unmindful of their
      inconvenience or illness, similarly if our longing (or Lagan) for the realization
      of the goal is great, our negligent or sluggish habits will not stand in the way
      of our efforts or progress. If we go through the history of ancient sages we find
      that they had sacrificed all the comforts of life for the sake of attaining Reality.
      They led a life of austerity and penance, undergoing every kind of hardship
      and trouble for the sake of the object so dear to their heart. Intense longing for
      the goal made them blind to everything else and they remained firm on the
      path not minding the difficulties and reverses that came across their way.
      Such an intense longing for the object and an iron will to achieve the goal is
      absolutely necessary to ensure complete success. I may assure you that you
      can win laurels in the spiritual field if only you turn your attention towards God
      and proceed with will, faith and confidence, no matter how adversely you may
      be placed in, surrounded by all the worries and miseries of a household life.
      Your busy life will then offer no hindrance in your way. Generally people go
      hesitatingly towards God, thinking themselves to be too incapable and weak
      to achieve the real thing. A powerful will made at the very first step and
      maintained all through, shall never fail to achieve complete success. Half the
      distance is crossed if a man enters the field with a firm mind. Difficulties and
      dejections will melt away at a mere glance and the path of success will be
      made smooth. Indecisive attitude leads to half-hearted efforts and generally
      results in mere partial success or more often in failure. Our firm will enables
      us, automatically to draw in power from unknown sources, for the
      accomplishment of the task. A firm will supplemented by an ever-increasing
      impatience or yearning to achieve the object will enhance the force of our
      effort and we shall thereby remain in constant touch with the same real thing,
      catching every hint conducive to our spiritual well-being and progress.
      Impatience or constant restlessness to reach the goal in the shortest possible
      time is, thus, by far the most important factor which contributes to our speedy
      success. We must not rest even for a while till we have gained the real object,
      the eternal peace and calmness. Intense longing for an object naturally
      creates restlessness for it and we have no peace till we achieve the desired
      object. It is, therefore, a very essential thing and must be cultivated by
      whatever means possible. Thus for gaining the eternal peace we cultivate
      within us restlessness and impatience at the preliminary stage. It may look
      strange at the very face of it when I ask you to cultivate the very thing we want
      to do away with but it is the only way to achieve sure and speedy success.
      The restlessness thus created is temporary and different in character from the
      ordinary restless condition of the mind. It is finer and more pleasant. It creates
      an inlet in our heart for the divine current to flow in and smoothens our
      passage to the kingdom of God. If you thrust a man down into the water you
      find that he makes desperate efforts to free himself from your grip. It is only
      because his impatience to get out of water at once increases his force of effort
      and he does not rest till he is out of water. Similarly such desperate efforts
      caused by extreme impatience to reach the goal at once, will quicken our
      steps on the path of realization and ensure easy success in the least possible
      time. That is the easiest and the most efficient means of speedy success.

      My associates have often enquired from me the method for creating such type
      of restlessness within them. I may tell them that intense love for the object will
      automatically lead them to it. When we are in deep love, we shall naturally
      feel impatient to secure nearness with the loved object. When we are greatly
      in love with any of the worldly objects its idea comes to our mind again and
      again, and we think of it over and over again. Now in order to develop Divine
      love in our heart we have only to reverse the process. If we remember God
      frequently or for the most part of the day, we will automatically develop love
      for Him, which if continued with earnestness will create impatience in our
      heart to secure union at the earliest. Another way of developing love with God
      is to play the part of a lover as if you are enacting a drama. But it is only for
      those who are almost incapable of finer means. The method though artificial
      will shortly bring you to reality and feeling of true love and impatience will
      begin to agitate your heart.

      The most important factor in realization is self-confidence in our own capacity
      and power to achieve success. It is absurd to think, even for a moment, that
      we are in any way too weak or deficient to acquire the highest state of
      perfection ever attained so far even by the greatest sages of the past. We
      must march on the path of realization like a brave soldier with full faith and
      confidence, not minding the difficulties or reverses. Dejections and
      disappointments weaken our will and shatter our firmness. We should meet
      reverses with a brave heart and should never give way to the feeling of
      despondency which is the worst drawback and the deadliest poison to
      spiritual life.

      One of the essentials in the making of a man engaged in spiritual pursuit is
      moderation. It is a very wide term and covers every phase of human activity. It
      means balance in all senses and faculties, nothing more or less than what is
      naturally required at the time for any specific purpose without its slightest
      impression on the mind. Generally, today, we find moderation disturbed in
      almost all cases. The reason mainly is that we attach undue importance to
      whatever thing comes to our view and we strengthen it by the force of our
      thought with the result that it grows stronger over all others. We cultivate this
      habit and apply it to different things with varying intensity. The result that
      follows is nothing but disturbance and mental conflict and it is the root cause
      of all our troubles and miseries. Realization is not possible unless moderation
      and balance are restored. It corresponds closely with the very real thing which
      existed at the time of creation, when everything was in a perfectly balanced
      state. Now after the lapse of time, degeneration crept in. Our senses and
      faculties lost the balance and everything went into disorder. What we have to
      do now is to control our senses and faculties in order to restore moderation in
      them. To cultivate moderation we have to pay special attention to external
      ways of life too, e.g., gentle and polite language, courteous dealing, sympathy
      and love with fellow beings, reverence to elders, unrevengeful nature and so
      on. These habits are greatly helpful in our making. Moderation is a
      characteristic of nature. If we gain complete moderation we are in a way in
      conformity with nature and it is the very essence of spirituality.

      Lastly the most important and unfailing means of success is the prayer. It
      connects our link with God to whom we surrender ourselves with love and
      devotion. In prayer we stand before Him as an humble suppliant presenting to
      Him our true state and completely resigning ourselves to His will. This is the
      true form of prayer and as true devotees we must also feel satisfied with the
      Will of the Master. It is a folly to pray to God for petty worldly ends except in
      most exceptional cases when peace of mind is greatly disturbed for want of
      bare necessities. We should always pray to the supreme Master the
      Omnipotent and the Omniscient alone with a mind totally absorbed in love
      and submission to Him forgetting even ourselves altogether. This is the
      proper way of offering prayer which in such a state seldom goes unrewarded.
      I have dealt with this point more elaborately in my book, Commentary on Ten
      Commandments of Sahaj Marg.

      In the end I may also bring home to your mind that there are different forms
      and practices for achieving the end. They might lead you on the path of
      realization to some distance, but how far, I do not propose to discuss here. I
      leave it to the judgement and the experience of the readers themselves. But I
      assure you positively that it is Raja Yoga and the Raja Yoga alone that can
      lead you on to your ultimate destination or the highest point of human
      approach where you are in perfect harmony with nature, assuming your
      absolute and pure form. No other form or practice can bring forth such results.
      It is, therefore, essential to have recourse to this science if you aim at the
      highest point. The help and support of a truly worthy guide is of course, the
      essential factor and at the same time a serious problem of the day too, but a
      true seeker, I assure you, shall never fail to find him. (COPY RIGHT SRAM
      CHENNAI)
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