Whether the desire to find God is a Greed (Lobh), to satisfy one’s ego (Ahmkaar)? is it a Greed just like when someone just wants to accumulate wealth by any means? Can we place both on the same footing? But there is a definite difference between someone who is looking/finding for Cold Drink madly to quench his craving and the other one who is running for water everywhere to quench his thirst. First one is a person who just can’t rise above or control the demand of its senses but for the second the search is existential, it’ll decide his life or death.
For a true Seeker, the search of GOD or ultimate objective Reality is not just out of some type of curiosity but for him it is Existential when he finds the uselessness of life he was living till then, where nothing was under his control, where fear was the only motivational and driving force, where he knows neither his beginning nor his end, when mystery of life engulfs him from everywhere and he feels the presence of a superconsciousness. When he realizes that all our truths are relative, relative to the point of reference
Some time back, someone asked me why our great old Rishis and Gurus created those massive Vedas and Granthas? Whether they did this to satisfy their ego, to show their knowledge? Well…the reason wasn’t this…in fact in most of the cases they weren’t the writers of the great Granthas.
In old times, there were no printing presses, no paper. Knowledge was transferred only through memory to next generations. This is the reason why our Granthas are in Verse form rather of prose. Poetic or verse form is much easier to memorize than prose form. Our Vedas and Granthas weren’t for general public, these in fact were dialogues between Rishis/Gurus and their disciples…who were also on same journey but needed guidance.
But nobody can transfer his experience to others just via words…everybody has to experience on his own. Nobody can make me to experience the taste of oranges just by explaining it via words if I haven’t tasted the one in my life. But someone who has tasted it can help me out by telling me the ways to find it and the “Signs” to identify it. He can tell me the colour, shape and taste of the orange by giving me the example of Lemon.
And if someday on my way to life if I encounter the real orange, I can recall the “signs” explained by him and eventually would be able to taste it and relish it.
And this is what our great Granthas/Vedas are….they are “Signs”. A seeker on his journey to experience the ultimate reality can use these to ascertain whether he is on right path. And he won’t understand these signs just by “reading” these unless he really faces the situation or event. Until then these words remain a secret.
That is why so much importance has been given to a Guru in the spiritual journey…the journey which is the riskiest as one wrong step can lead to a point of no return. And sooner or later in our Life…we are going to realize that roses are not Red in fact…we are coloring them…in their own they may be of a different color…we see only what our eyes CAN SEE.
So just reciting of these Granthas won’t change anything in us unless we are in the realm of experience. These are not supposed to be just read to please some God or fulfill our demands like cheap onions. They walk with us and point towards important signs and milestones in our journey.
Bhagvad Geeta is full of such signs…it always makes me Shiver as I feel it can’t be created by a Human…it can’t be a result of mental juggling like somebody is writing these words just by thinking…No, it is the result of experiences of highest order.
Once someone asked me what death was? “Death…for a common man, may be just like a sleep…in fact a Mahasleep”, was my reply. And I at once recall one phrase from Geeta, when Lord Krishna says, “A yogi is still awake while sleeping”. I have read this earlier a number of times but never understood the real meaning behind it.
In sleep, we become almost a dead body…incapable and insensitive to the surroundings…unaware. We don’t feel our OWN Presence, we lose the feeling of “I Am” and unless we wake up we are never going to realize that we were asleep. We can’t differentiate a dream while in sleep. And so like all other facets of our life in waking state, everything is out of our control in sleep also. Everything becomes dark beyond perception.
There is something of us except our body which is always thinking, creating thoughts, desires, dreams…we call it MIND. Our mind is always working…even in our sleep…that’s why we witness dreams in sleep. But there is one slight difference in waking state….something in us watches these thoughts, sometimes directs the flow and direction of thought. We can call it “soul” or “I am” and when we sleep our body and this thing “soul” goes into some type of shut down mode and so our mind wanders freely and we witness bizarre and irrational dreams.
But a Yogi- as stated by Lord Krishna, sleeps in a different way. A yogi is someone, who through meditations and spiritual awareness has become superconscious and knows that he is much more than a body. He is not someone who can fill a tank of air in his lungs as these Yogasnas and mudras just prepare the body to delve into deep and long spells of meditations, Meditations which one day take his consciousness to a plane where he finds himself out of the realm of time and space breaching physical barriers of human body and feels in harmony with the whole existence.
So when a yogi sleeps only his body sleeps…he himself always remains there and so there are no dreams for Yogis. But when we sleep, everything shuts down and prevails the darkness and we lay there lifeless, totally unaware that we are sleeping. Same thing happens when we die…everything shuts down and we never become aware that we are dead. Everything just vanishes, halts. We always lose consciousness before death and so enter this new territory unaware, sleeping.
If someone can remain conscious while sleeping then he also enters death fully conscious. Lord Krishna calls such a person a Yogi.
But when we will die, there will no remorse and pain because we won’t be there to feel all this.
Here I remember the life of one of India’s great sage…Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950). In his youth…he was fascinated by spiritual world and was on his spiritual journey to know the ultimate. One day, when he was 17, while in his room…a sudden and strong fear of Death caught him from nowhere. He felt a strong wave inside him saying he was going to die. He really felt that death was coming to him then. But he didn’t tremble with fear…instead he thought…if i am going to die then what it will be like? Whether I will survive and only this body will die? What death actually means? With these thoughts he lay down on the floor and let loose his body like a dead man. He thought, “Now I am dead. So my body will now be burnt. But will it stop me from existing? At present this body is just lifeless and silent…but “I” am still alive in this body with same full force…nothing has changed for me…I can still feel “I” in the same way…only bodies die not WE…I am not the body…I am the spirit”.
In that moment…Maharshi felt the presence of his real self separate from body and the next moment he was changed…Birth of the Maharshi took place. People say that he perceived the ultimate reality without doing tough Sadhanas and meditations. Truth unfolded to him directly.
But I don’t agree with this…that was the not his only life…it was the latest in the series of lives he had lived in his previous births. He must have done great hard work for spiritual awakening in his previous lives…he had already crossed most of the distance of the journey. One more step and sun rises.
We can try this in our rooms and I assure that nothing of that sort will happen…only sleep will come unto us.