The more we identify with the little “i” in us, the more will be our confusions in life. By expanding it to identify with a larger cause, we shall find our confusions dwindling into nothingness. – Chinmaya
All confusions in life arise out of our ignorance of the Self. We are unaware that our true nature is all-pervading, eternally blissful pure Consciousness. Instead, we identify ourselves with our limited equipments of body, mind and intellect and consider these inert equipments as our real nature. All our transactions in this world are with the firm notion that ‘I am this body’ and this notion continues from the moment we wake up till we go to sleep.
This little ‘i’ born out of ignorance is the cause of all sufferings and therefore the moment we enter into deep sleep all our problems also vanish as the little ‘i’ is no more present to trouble us! Hence for all of us, the deep sleep experience is all peace and bliss, free from time, space and dualities.
If ignorance about my real nature is the cause of my sufferings, then the solution lies in gaining knowledge about myself. And this knowledge can be gained only when the mind is quietened. Silence the mind and the Reality, the Supreme Self is seen as it is.
As this Self is me myself, I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything. I just have to know it. And the only obstacle which stands in my way is my own disturbed mind. Therefore all the spiritual practices described in our scriptures are only to quieten the mind. Put in other words, though I am never away from my Self, the apparent separation is experienced only because of my disturbed mind.
Pujya Gurudev used to give the example of a youngster who, on a Shivarathri day, is compelled do take bhang (an intoxicating drink) by his friends. Very soon, the youngster, under the effect of the intoxicant, sitting in his own house starts crying “I want to go to my home”. His friends, unable to convince him that he is already there, just to pacify him, take him to the garage. He is made to sit inside the car, and after starting the car, they shake the car for around five to ten minutes to give him the feel of movement. The youngster, later, comes out of the car fully convinced that he has reached home after the ‘travel’.
In the same way, various sadhanas prescribed are not to create the Self or to reach the Self, but to know the Self which I ever was. The sadhanas purify the mind and once the mind is totally silenced, I come to know myself as I am.
The dreamer suffers throughout the dream not knowing that he is the waker. None of the happenings of the dream can ever affect the waker. But for the dreamer, the sufferings are real and he considers himself an insignificant fellow separate from the dream world. But the moment he wakes up, all his confusions dwindle into nothingness and he comes to know that he alone is real and not the dream world. This transformation happens when he stops identifying with the dreamer and considers himself as the waker.
Even at the relative plane, it is true that when we identify with a larger cause, our problems dissolve. A selfish individual, when identified with his family forgets his selfish needs and readily sacrifices for his family. When his vision expands further and when he is able to identify with his country then effortlessly he loves his countrymen. And finally with the dawn of Self-Knowledge, when he is able to see everyone as his own Self, all confusions are reduced to nought.
Thus the solution to all our problems lies in expanding the little‘i’ to the Supreme ‘I’ which alone can lead to a peaceful life free from all confusions.
O M T A T S A T