November 2010

The impossible is achieved through the process of self-perfection called meditation. – Chinmaya

Ask anyone these questions, “Is it possible to conquer death? Is it possible for us to be present everywhere? How about becoming someone who knows everything and is All-Powerful? Can there be a state free from all kinds of disease and old age? Can we experience infinite happiness? Is it possible to become God…?”

The answer will be a clear-cut “Impossible”!!

All that has been asked above is nothing but the description of our true nature, which, in our present state of ignorance, appears to be an impossibility. Pujya Gurudev is only pointing out to us the possibility of attaining this supreme state in ourselves through a thoroughly developed technique of perfection called meditation.

At the seat of meditation, the only thing that needs to be done is to quieten the mind. Once the mind is hushed in silence all the characteristics of the Self becomes available for experience, just as we see our face clearly when the dusty mirror is wiped clean.

Just like heat in the fire, whiteness in the milk and sweetness in the sugar etc. are their natures and hence cannot be separated from them, so are Existence, Consciousness and Bliss our true nature and can never be separated from us.

But then why is it that we don’t experience these characteristics of the Self in us? It is only because of our disturbed mind. We have filled our minds with various wrong notions about ourselves. These wrong notions are nothing but consolidated thought patterns strengthened due to our repeated unconscious ways of thinking during our response to the world outside. This has been happening in all our countless past lives and hence these wrong notions, which are nothing but a bundle of thoughts, appear to be so real and insurmountable.

Just like a fireball, when rotated with high speed appear like a circle in the space, in the same way, intense and continuous flow of these thought patterns gives a false appearance to the Self which we generally call as the personality of an individual. These firmly etched strong impressions of the mind are the ones which, like a wall, prevent us from knowing our Self.

A pregnant lioness, while pouncing upon a flock of sheep, gave birth to a baby and died. The sheep flock, feeling pity for the little lion cub, took care of it with great love and affection. Very soon, the cub, being attached to the flock, started moving and playing around under their loving protection.

As the days passed by, the elderly sheep became the role model for the baby lion. The little one would imitate whatever the elders did, whether it was in bleating or eating. In this way, years passed by and the cub grew up to become a huge lion with all the characteristics of a meek sheep.

One day, as the sheep were grazing, a wild lion entered the forest and gave a loud roar. Scared, the sheepish lion also took to heels along with other sheep. The wild lion, seeing this strange scene, chased and caught hold of the sheepish lion, who, trembling with fear kept bleating, saying “Please don’t eat me…”

Astonished, the wild lion tried all ways to make him understand that he was not a sheep but a lion. When nothing worked, he took him to a nearby pond and showed his face in the water. The sheepish lion saw that his form resembled that of the wild lion. Now the wild lion gave out a loud roar and asked him to repeat. Soon, the sheepish lion too roared like any other lion. Since then, he lived like a true lion and roamed fearlessly in the forest.

Here the sheepish lion is the individual soul, the wild lion is the Satguru, the pond is the scriptures and the reflection seen in the pond is the knowledge of the Self. The roaring is the realization of the mahaavaakya “I am Brahman”!

The sheepish lion was never a sheep. It was only his wrong notion born out of constant false imagination. He was always a lion, even though he never knew it earlier. In the same way, our nature is ever Sat-Cit-Ananda, though we may not accept it in our present state of ignorance.

Meditation helps us to remove this veil of ignorance. It is by meditation alone that all ordinary persons transformed themselves into great stalwarts to become the redeemers of mankind of their times, be it Narendra (Swami Vivekananda), Mohandas (Mahatma Gandhi), Ratnakara (sage Valmiki), Seenappa (Purandaradas) or Siddhartha (Gautam Buddha).

Meditation reveals to us our true nature when the misleading mind is disciplined to silence. It is only when the silence starts speaking in the loudest voice that we come to know that there was an Ever Perfect One in us whom we ignored all through our lives, while in search of perfection outside!

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Posted in: Chintana

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