(Attaining the Lord should become the Rhythm of daily life, the Ritual of Life)
The purpose of daily life is to experience the Lord, then the routine of daily life transforms into a ritual. The ritual gives the magnetic impact of rhythm. The purpose of human life is At-one-ment and this is attained through a practice of experiencing the Lord in the daily events of life. This enables experiencing bliss in its optimum level every moment. To be blissful at all times is the goal set. This blissful state is also called the realisation of Truth or God. God realisation means realisation of the Truth of One Existence, realisation of One Existence, One Consciousness and its work in detail. This has to be the attempt of the humans. The human souls search for happiness, and that search ends when one realises that he himself is happiness and that happiness can be found within according to one’s disposition. The inner happiness is called joy. In the inner chambers of joy, there is the bliss. When man dips deep into the source of mind he finds himself in the light of buddhi, which is joyful. Wisdom is the buddhic state, which is joyful. The nature and its intricate work are understood beyond the seeming conflicts. Therefore joy prevails as man further searches into the inner chambers of joy that is, the source of the light of buddhi. He finds himself as a unit of consciousness. Each soul is but a unit of consciousness in whom pure knowledge is imbedded. Every soul is a unit of consciousness that emerges from the pool of consciousness, called Universal Consciousness. When this is realised the joy becomes boundless, because of the realisation that the soul – unit consciousness – emerges from Universal Consciousness which is boundless. This Universal Consciousness emerges from Existence, which too is boundless. Experiencing all these states through a path of discipline is called yoga, discipleship. When the experience of One Consciousness and One Existence is realised, man dwells in the optimum of bliss. Man has this potential.
“God made man in his own image and likeness”, says the Bible. “Man is God’s image”, says the Veda. Veda further says that, “Man is the micro-cosmos, while God is macro-cosmos.” Whatever is in God is potentially in man. Man can transform himself into God-man (son of God) by submitting himself to a process. The seers of all times advised, “Man, know thyself.” In the process of knowing himself man knows the micro-cosmos and macro-cosmos. The presence of Lord Sanat Kumara on the planet is to fulfil this purpose of every human, to evolve, to realise God. It is for this reason the third teaching is: “Attaining the Lord should become the rhythm of life, the ritual of life.” The Lord says, “Experience God in every action and interaction. Experience from moment to moment. Miss not even a moment.” The great sages as Narada, Jesus the Christ and the like do so. They do so even now. Discipleship is expressed by a Master of Wisdom as submitting oneself to a training, by which one lives as soul, but not as personality. To function as a soul and experience the One Soul in and around is given as the third teaching. In recent times Sri Aurobindo lived and experienced thus. To him all life is God. All events are Godly. When he was in prison, he did not see the prison. He saw even the prison warden as God. It was astonishingly joyful for him. Every aspirant is strongly recommended to read the Alipore prison experience given by Sri Aurobindo. It is an affirmation for every aspirant that it can happen to every human.
The Veda says, “Man sees God, but sees not. Man listens to God, but listens not.” When one sees the other, there is the contact of the eye. From eye to eye, there is transmission of consciousness. Eye by itself cannot see. The seer sees through the eye. When he sees eye to eye, he is contacting the seer in the other. The seer in the first person and the seer in the other person are but one. It is one individualised consciousness seeing the other individual consciousness. But both are consciousness only. Likewise when there is speaking and listening, it is one sound emerging from one consciousness and received by another unit of consciousness. All actions and all transactions are that of consciousness only. When one holds this awareness, the day is filled with experiencing consciousness, whose other name is God.
The One Consciousness in all Forms
Trying to see the One Consciousness in all forms is the first step. Trying to see the One Consciousness in all varieties of behaviour is the second step. Seeing the Consciousness at work is the third step. This is the order of training suggested by Bhagavata Purana. The form and the behaviour of the animate forms are the two veils to the consciousness. The first step is, understand that all forms are God forms, from universe to the atom. All formations have their basis in One Consciousness. This is better realised today with the help of science, though it was known earlier to the seers. The tremendous activity within the atom is a realised fact today, while it was a realised truth before. The electron, the proton and the neutron are in tremendous activity. When the atom is broken it releases such unimaginable energy, which is but the energy of consciousness. Proton is the positive, electron is the negative and neutron is the neutrality. These three constitute the basic triangle of creation according to the ancients, from out of which all formations happen.
The forms that one sees are but the aggregate of atoms. The formations are based on the electromagnetic patterns. Different patterns bring in different formations. Patterns are invisible. The variance of patterns from one to the other is yet another subject. Nevertheless there are three aspects again: electromagnetic field, electromagnetic patterns and forms. The electromagnetic field is called consciousness in the scriptures. Thus for all forms the basis is consciousness. Every form therefore is to be seen as a form of consciousness. That is the first step.
See Behind the Behaviour in the Animate Forms
The second step is to see the behaviour in the animate forms. This needs much more patience and Sraddha. The behaviour of the animate forms quickly affects us and we miss to see that it is but a pattern of behaviour. Behind the pattern there is the behaving one, the consciousness. This observation is rather difficult. The inanimate forms do not interact with us. It is therefore easier to see the One Consciousness in all inanimate forms, but in the animate forms there is visible behaviour. Certain behaviours are agreeable to us, certain other behaviours are not agreeable. We therefore get affected by the duality. Thereby we miss to continue seeing the One Consciousness. For this reason it takes long years to feel the One Consciousness, which is beyond the variety of behavioural patterns. It is at this juncture one needs a teacher who demonstrates the ability to see the One Consciousness surpassing the dualities of behaviour. He remains in equanimity, in equilibrium. He stays neutral, unaffected by acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.
The Necessity of a Teacher?
Many times people question, “Is there a necessity of a teacher to realise the Truth?” To such ones the answer is ‘No’. Until one gets to the second step of discipleship the need for a teacher does not emerge in oneself. It naturally emerges when one meets stalemate. When there is a situation of pass-not, you need someone to pass you out. Impasse is not acceptable to any being. At that moment help is sought. Teachers are available only for those who helplessly seek to progress. Those who help themselves are let to move on until they become helpless. Only at the points of crises, of helplessness teachers help out. They are not available to help at every centimetre of movement.
A demonstration is always seen as better way of teaching. When someone demonstrates a teaching, it is better understood by the pupil. For this reason the teacher demonstrates during times of crisis. This he does with facility and with much felicity. The pupil wonders, but gets inspired to follow.
Following the teacher is through keen observation of the teacher. Keen observation is possible only if you hold on to patience and Sraddha. The teacher apparently does not display. He is subtle in his display. He is not showy. Only shallow ones display. The deeper one is in knowledge, the more natural he remains, the more normal he remains. A true teacher is natural and normal and does naught to put on airs. In his interactions with others and in his transactions he subtly displays. Virtues are at play when he is in action. Compassion, contentment, understanding, love, knowledge, friendliness and such other virtues are at play in spontaneity. Disciples think of practicing virtues. It is a laborious process. When they engage in observing consciousness, virtues gather. There is a way to ensure that virtues gather around oneself than running after virtues. Similarly, the vices run away as one approaches the consciousness through the process of observation. Ignorant ones think of coming out of anger, irritation, jealousy, hatred, pride and prejudice.
Observation is the Key
For this reason Lord Sanat Kumara says, “Do not get worried and do not strain to gather the virtues. Also do not strain to eliminate the vices. It is a path of difficulties. Instead link-up through observation of the Divine in the animate and inanimate forms.” If this practice is carried out with patience and with Sraddha, one transcends even the duality. This is a key by itself, which is generally overlooked.
Observation is the true key. The other word is witnessing. Be patient and be keen to observe the consciousness. You would slowly find that the behavioural patterns are but the imagery on the silver screen of consciousness. Silver screen is the basis for the imagery. Consciousness is the basis for behaviour. Behaviours are in variety. Imagery is also in variety, but the silver screen is one, consciousness is one. When the silver screen is observed, imagery does not affect us. Similarly when consciousness is observed, behaviours do not affect. But this needs practice for long years. Sometimes the practice may extend to a few lives. Nevertheless this is the only key to be followed. One may fail a thousand times, but still pursuing this practice is progressing on a direct highway. This needs to be remembered.
Smile of the Heart
The best treasure that one can have is a smile on the face. A smiling face is good to look at. But how does it come? To put up a smiling face is tense. It builds tension. But smile is natural to those who observe consciousness in others. A conscious entity carries a natural smile on the face. It is the normal state, while for purposes of work he may put on other expressions. Smile comes when there is joy at heart. Joy is but enfoldment of inner consciousness. For this reason all those who have unfolded as consciousness have a natural smile on their face.
Similarly, the one in whom consciousness unfolds through the personality remains contented at all times. He is not in wanting of anything. Since he is filled with consciousness, he is naturally fulfilled. A fulfilled one is not in want of something from the world. Indeed many are the gifts that come up to the sincere student who wills to observe consciousness at all cost in all situations. It is futile to attempt to fulfil oneself with money, power and worldly positions. To the man who turns towards the world for fulfilment, it remains a never ending pursuit. It is like running after a mirage. Turn inward, find consciousness – which you are. Turn outward and observe consciousness in all that surrounds you. This is the way to fulfil the purpose of life. This is the ritual. This is the routine of the day.
Know the key of Witnessing. Witnessing enables you to be distant to that which is being witnessed. One cannot witness that which is a part of self. If something is kept too close to your nose you cannot see it well. If it is kept at a distance of 10 to 15 cm from one’s nose one can see better, better than before. Witnessing requires distancing from that which is to be witnessed. Again, one cannot witness if it is too far. In yoga this principle is upheld to accomplish what is to be accomplished through yoga. Remember, the other name for witnessing is observation. “Be an observer, be a witness”, say the saints of yoga.
When you are in a situation learn to be an observer to the situation, more than being a participant. The state of a participant is involvement. The state of an observer is non-involvement. To be a witness or an observer is to be an audience. When the play is on, the audience observes the play. When the movie is on, the audience observes the movie. The play or the movie in this context is one’s own life. To observe one’s own life, to witness one’s own life is a faculty that one has to develop. Each one is no doubt a player of his or her life. But through practice one can develop an observer in oneself. It means a part of oneself remains an observer while the other part is a player. This is a very important step for aspirants who would like to walk the path of discipleship.
Be the Player and the Observer
Observe while you act, observe while you see, while you listen, while you eat, while you talk. This is how the daily life can be experimented to be the player and also to be an observer. This is a great facility in yoga. Lord Krishna speaks of it in the 5th chapter of Bhagavad Gita. Slowly as one learns this faculty he realises that there are two parts in him: one part is the being, the other part is doing. It is the being that is doing. When it is doing, the being is becoming the doer. It is not necessary that he completely becomes a doer. A part of him can be being, a part of him can be doing. Normally persons involve into doing and in that involvement become impassionate, and as a consequence the original state is forgotten. The original state of every person is Be-ness. According to the demands of life the Be-ness gets dynamic and starts acting. Imagine a watch dog. A watch dog is always observing. It is not in action. It rests on its four legs and watches. When there is an event to be responded to, it takes to action and again gets back after the action to be in the same restful posture. The humans do not come back to their restful state of Be-ness, until they are put to sleep by nature. The first step therefore is to watch, to observe, and to witness one’s own actions. If this does not happen, they become their situations. They cease to be masters of the situations and become slaves of it, becoming restless. The humans are therefore compared to a chameleon, which keeps changing its colours according to the colour of the leaf, of the tree and during this process one forgets its original colour. Humans also forget their original state of being when they continuously become identified with their actions. They need to get back to Be-ness, between one action and the other, as the first step. And as a second step, they can be doing and also be simultaneously observing.
Throughout the day if one attempts to practice this, he would be eligible for advanced steps of observation. In the advanced state one is advised to observe one’s thirst when one is thirsty. Observe one’s hunger when one is hungry. When one is thirsty and if one observes one’s thirst as an observer, one would be distant from the thirst. When one is distant from the thirst, the thirst disappears! When one is hungry and if one witnesses one’s hunger, one grows distant from one’s hungriness. Then the hunger disappears. It is by observation, thirst and hunger can be overcome from time to time, until one gets drinking water and eatable food. One does not have to become anxious about the thirst and hunger. It is one’s presence in the body that gives the feeling of hunger and thirst to the body. When one is distant from one’s body through observation, the body feels no hunger and thirst. The chemistry of hunger, thirst, desire happens in one’s body due to one’s presence. When one keeps distance from the body, the body does not demand many things as it normally does.
Diversion versus Witnessing
This observation can be further extended to observing the pain in the body. When one observes dispassionately the pain, one distances from the paining part. Thereby pain does not affect one so much. Normally people are diverted to more attractive things to stay away from pain. A painful person when put to a movie full of humour, his attention is diverted from pain to the movie. During the entire duration of the movie he is not with the pain, he is with the movie. But the pain returns once the movie is over. What is it that has happened to him during his engagement with the movie? His awareness is diverted from the point of pain to the movie. His awareness is thus distanced from the pain.
Diversion is a temporary technique. Witnessing is a technique that is good for all times. Diverting one’s mind to a movie is seeking an external support as a remedy. Witnessing is a self-supporting remedy. When one develops the ability to witness, one can use this facility in many ways. One can withstand from hunger and thirst, one can withstand from pain, one can stand out from the body as well. Through constant observation of one’s own body, which is a contemplation by itself, one can stand out and witness one’s body. People are crazy for initiations to have out-of-body-experience. But science of yoga gives this simple and straight forward technique to stand out and observe one’s body. Similarly one can start observing one’s own personality. As one gets more and more dispassionate in one’s observation, one can clearly see one’s personality with its strengths and weaknesses. Personality is also a vehicle for the soul. When the soul through witnessing comes out of the personality, he can experience the blissful state of being the soul without the personality.
Experience Soul/Self (I Am)
Thus one can hang for a while the robe of personality and the robe of body to a coat-hanger and be a soul! It is the simplest way and far better than strenuously trying to repair the body and repair the personality to experience the soul. This path of repairing is a laborious path. Instead stand out from them and experience the soul. Once one realises that one is a soul, one remains intact even while one is in an imperfect personality or imperfect body. As soul one can even repair faster one’s personality and body. As personality one cannot repair one’s own personality. An imperfect personality is like a broken hand. When the hands are broken, what repair can one do to oneself? An imperfect personality when it attempts to perfect itself fails in doing so, because it is imperfect. Therefore the easier way is observation, witnessing, watching oneself.
When one watches within, when one witnesses within one’s body one sees many things. One sees the functioning of awareness flowing from oneself. One can also see life and its flowing through the self. One can see the functioning of the solar system in oneself. One can also see the inner astronomy and astrology. The science of observation or witnessing is a great science by itself, by which many attain to be the soul. To be a soul is to get back to the original state of Be-ness. Such Be-ness is blissful. The purpose of life is thus accomplished. The rhythm of life and the ritual of life thus get fulfilled.
… to be continued