Chapter 8.3 from "Study Circles for Divinity"
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8.3  ENLIGHTENMENT

WISE SAYINGS FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS

"He who reaches the final scene of existence, he who has no fear and attachments he has none, he who is devoid of passions and has uprooted craving, then, this is his last scene of self, the final form of existence of such a one."    Buddha

"Those features leading to eternal rest, well developed in his mind, no attachment to anything, no desire could ever bind; the permanent peace, Nirvana, is his only attachment, his only dream; such is the Arhat, the Perfect Saint of this world, who with spiritual powers, would attain the bliss supreme."    Buddha

"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die."    Jesus Christ




FROM DISCOURSES OF SAI BABA

WHAT IS LIBERATION?

Why should this creature, man, endowed with extra sensitiveness to share sorrow and joy with others, be born in this changing world of time and space? Nothing that is born can escape death; nothing that is built can withstand disintegration. Why then has man been sent onto this stage of fleeting experiences? There is a purpose behind all the activities of the Divine. Man has to manifest the Divine in him and lead and guide all living beings in that adventure. He has to liberate himself by his efforts and liberate all life by his example. He must become free and secure in his own source. This is what is called liberation (moksha). He is liberated from littleness into vastness, from bondage to boundless bliss.

The ego-alloy enters man only when he is misled by the apparent diversity, to posit multiplicity in creation. The reality which is misconstrued in the dull dusk of primeval ignorance, is God. To see through the fog that projects many where there is only the One, is the purpose of all spiritual practices. If even after years of spiritual practices, by whichever religion it be prescribed, to the aspirant who continues to see differences, distinctions, and diversities, we can conclude that he has a long way to go before he can fulfil the aim of this human existence. (160277)

THE GOAL

Strive - that is your duty. Yearn - that is your task. Struggle - that is your assignment. If only you do these, sincerely and steadily, God cannot keep back long the reward of realisation. The river strives, yearns and struggles to merge with the sea from which it came. It has that consummation ever alert in its consciousness. It attempts to make itself pure and pellucid, so that it may be welcomed by its source. It overcomes every obstacle of terrain in order to journey successfully towards its goal. Man too must utilise all the physical, mental, intellectual, moral and material endowments that God has granted him so that he may journey to the goal of realisation.

Do not be misled by the belief of the existence of two entities: this world and the next, here and hereafter. Realise the hereafter here itself; this world is interwoven with the next. There is no truth in the disparity between the secular and the spiritual, the godly and the materialistic, the heavenly and the earthly. In all the worlds, it is His ukase that runs. Not even a blade of grass can quiver without His will guiding the wind and agitating its position. The bulb of life is illumined by the current coming from the power house, God as all, working according to His laws, drawn through the cable of Love. When that Love is tainted by selfishness, it cannot illumine at all. Self is love-less-ness; Love is self-less-ness. Self gets and forgets; Love gives and forgives. Love can never entertain the idea of revenge, for it sees all others as oneself. When the tongue is hurt by the teeth, do you seek vengeance against the wrong-doer? No, for they both belong to you and are integral parts of your being. So, to, when some other person insults you or inflicts pain, allow wisdom to have mastery over you. Discover the truth and do not rush to conclusions, always keeping Love as your guide.

Of course it is a difficult task, but not beyond the capacity of man. A task that can be finished without struggle and sustained effort is not something to be proud of. It is the difficult one that provides the challenge and brings forth the best and highest in man. Enter upon it with ardour and faith; that will be sweeter. Once victory is achieved in this task, the rest will be added unto you. (160277)

BREAK THE MIND

The mind can be turned towards the Creator and the constant contemplation of the Universal Absolute by the study of Upanishads, the adoption of regular prayer, the sharing with others of the ecstasy of singing spiritual songs, and the adherence to truth. Very often with the progress of meditation, new desires and new resolutions arise in the mind. But one need not despair. The mind can be broken, provided one takes up the task in right earnest and follows a regular routine of training. The final result of this training is the unlimited, unmodified bliss-consciousness. This condition of perfect undisturbed equanimity gives full knowledge of the Universal Absolute and that, in turn, results in liberation from birth and death. (Jnana V 9)

CONTROL THE MIND

The recalcitrant mind can be slowly turned towards meditating on the Absolute if at first it is shown the sweetness of devotional singing, the efficacy of prayer and the calming effects of meditation. It must also be led on by the cultivation of good habits, good company and good deeds. Meditation will, as it proceeds further and further, give rise to greater and greater keenness. Thus, the mind has to be caged in the cave of the heart. The final result of this discipline is no less than perfect undisturbed equanimity.

This equanimity is really speaking knowledge of the Absolute itself, the knowledge that grants release, or liberation. The discipline for this consists of three exercises: the giving up of craving, the elimination of mind and the understanding of the Reality. These three have to be cultivated uniformly and with equal ardour. Otherwise, success cannot be ensured; no one of them is enough. The instincts and impulses are too strong to yield easily; they make the senses active and greedy and bind the person tighter and tighter. Attention has therefore to be paid to the sublimation and subjugation of the senses and the promptings behind them, to the development of self-abnegation, the relentless pursuit of reason and discrimination, in order that the mind may not get mastery over man. When the mind is won, the dawn of Knowledge is heralded. (Jnana V 45)

REALISE THE PLAY TO SEE THE ATMA

Without a clear understanding of the play in which they are acting their roles, people hug the mistake that they are separate individuals or aspirants and waste away their lives, beaten by the waves of joy and sorrow.

When the mystery is cleared, and the play is discovered as mere play, the conviction dawns that you are He and He is you. Therefore, try to know the truth behind life, search for the fundamental, bravely pursue the underlying reality. Seekers of wisdom must always be conscious of this.

The Lord is in every heart, in the subtle as well as the gross forms. So the liberated person, who has had a vision of the Atma presiding over the inner stage will never be affected by sorrow; it can never hold sway over him. The Atma is in the ant and elephant, in the atom as well as the atmosphere. Everything is saturated with the Universal Absolute. The seeker must divert his attention inwards from the exterior world; he must find out the origins of the agitations of the mind. This process will diminish and destroy the activities of the mind which make you doubt, discuss and decide. From that stage onwards, the exhilaration of being the Universal Absolute oneself will be constant. This will stabilise the omnipresent Universal Consciousness, arising from that experience. (Jnana V 43)

OUR TRUE NATURE

People keep on asking others, "Who are you? What is your Name? Where are you from? Whither are you bound?"  -  but they seldom ask these questions of themselves or try to discover answers to these mysteries! When you get that thirst, you are in the Koham stage. Koham means 'Who am I?' I am a highly evolved ape, say some; I am a conglomerate of chemicals, say others. I am a contraption with a limited life, I begin at birth and end at death, say some. I am an eternal entity, and this is but one sojourn of mine here on earth, say others. 'I' is a false limitation imposed by ignorance; I am a wave of the ocean and so I am the ocean itself, declare others! These last announce that the I is soham, 'I am He', He, meaning the eternal Universal Absolute (Brahman) the boundless, beginningless, endless entity. When that axiom is meditated upon and made one's own deepest experience, man has the highest bliss, the bliss of merging into the Atman from which he felt long he had been displaced.

Man is a spark of the Divine; he must manifest in every activity of his, the Divine. Activity is his lot; he cannot exist without the physical activity of breathing, or the mental activity of thought. With every breath, he must inhale the experience of 'I am He'; with every thought, he must express and experience his divine affiliation. God is Love; Love is the most divine quality that man can cultivate and confer on himself. Be born in Love, die in Love; live in Love. That is to say, emerge from God and merge in God; be the wave on the ocean of Love. You should not die; you should merge and fulfil your Self. That is the destiny, that is the destination. (150571)

AWARENESS

All who come embodied are Avatars; that is to say, advents of the Divine, manifestations of God. What, then, is the special feature of Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Christ? Why do you celebrate their birthdays with such reverential enthusiasm? The speciality is this: they are aware; you are unaware of the Atma which is the truth. Awareness confers grace, glory, majesty, might, splendour. Awareness confers liberation from bounds, from time, space and causation, from sleep, dream and wakefulness. For you, sleep is fiction, dream is fantasy and wakefulness is many-directional storm. Avatars are ever alert, aware, alight.

The wise man is he who keeps his reason sharp and clear, and sees things as they really are. He listens to the advice:

Life is a Challenge: Meet It
Life is Love: Share It
Life is a Dream: Realise it
Life is a Game: Play it.

This is the real pilgrim's progress. This is the lion's march across the forest, fearless, masterful and victorious. The roar of the lion makes all the denizens scamper in panic; so too the halo of wisdom scatters the dark brood of fear and doubt. (231172)

VISUALISE THAT REALITY

Your reality is the Self, a wave of the Overself. The one object of this human existence is to visualise that Reality, that Self, that relationship between the wave and the sea. All other activities are trivial; you share them with birds and beasts; but, this is the unique privilege of man. He has clambered through all the levels of animality, all the steps in the ladder of evolution in order to inherit this high destiny. If all the years between birth and death are frittered away in seeking food and shelter, comfort and pleasure as animals do, man is condemning himself to a further life-sentence. (040768)

YOU ARE THE ATMA

All spiritual efforts are not pursued for realising the Atma. There is no need to seek the Atma, which is all-pervasive and present everywhere. Spiritual practices are performed to get rid of the anaatma (that which bars the vision of the Atma). Man forgets his real nature and loses himself in the consciousness of what he is not. He forgets that he is the Atma in reality.

In the state of deep sleep, one is totally unaware of his name, form, position, etc. But on waking, he realises that the 'I', of which he is conscious in the waking state, was present in deep sleep also. The purpose of all spiritual practices is to discover the nature of the 'I' that is experienced in all the different states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. (300387)

People speak about liberation. What is it from which they have to be liberated? Is it from family, wealth or position? No. Liberation from this is an easy affair. Liberation is from the sense of identification with the body. The body is only an instrument and not your true self. The body is a gift from God. It does not belong to you, but you have to protect it as an instrument given to you. Everything belongs to God. You have to treat it as a trust and not as your private property. It is therefore, your duty to make right use of the body and senses given to you. (221095)

 
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