Dear ones, as you know by now, that the new segment of this blog is of higher level of spiritual knowledge. The following articles need repeated dipping into because it cannot be comprehended easily. After reading the post several times, the thoughts and content need to be contemplated upon, imbibed and then brought into life-practice. It is only after practising that we understand something thoroughly. For example, when we want to mine diamonds, first of all we have to search for the right place . We then have to dig the earth, after which layer after layer of mud, stones and pebbles are removed. Likewise our mind is a compact, tightly packed mountain of mud. It needs to be loosened, separated, sieved and unwanted elements are to be thrown out until the time the desired aim is met.
Knowledge is of two types- Worldly and spiritual knowledge. Or Paroksha and aparoksha gyan. Paroksha in Sanskrit means something which is tangible and seen with eyes and by aparoksha is meant something seen without eyes and which is intangible. Paroksha gyan is worldly knowledge, seen and manifested, while Aparoksha Gyan is that knowledge which is seen without eyes. God is seen without eyes and the world with our eyes. If you want to seek God, have knowledge about God, want to know and have Him, want to sense and feel Him then we need aparoksha gyan.
Insight and deeper understanding of Aparoksha Gyan is arrived at when we ponder over a thought or the words of wisdom of men of great stature who have had a grand vision and exemplary mission in their life. Spiritual wisdom can be achieved by the layperson also, provided he makes many repeated attempts and persists in trying to understand, ruminates and mulls over a thought many times until the under wraps and relevant meaning is revealed to him and eventually becomes his own knowledge. It depends on the devotion of time and attention given by us and the vehement zeal we possess. Great preserved knowledge shrouded in scriptures can be understood by us by repeated efforts of reading and studying it diligently. And along with that, one must also have God’s grace to make things easy. If the grace of God has not been bestowed on the sadhak yet and if the sadhak perseveres, makes many sincere attempts, then God is pleased and bestows his blessing in the form of insight, refined understanding and correct meaning of shlokas and mantras. Therefore the foremost requirement is effort.
Adi Shankracharya was a man of great wisdom, yet he worshipped Devi or Divine Mother and Lord Shiva to please them to get additional knowledge and greater depth of understanding of the ancient scriptures written by sages like Ved Vyas and Rishi Markandeya or for that matter even Rishi Narada. And after reading the scriptures, he churned and churned the knowledge, imbibed it until it became his own.
The mind of man is covered with ignorance, lethargy and obscurity because of which the rays of illumination are unable to penetrate. Divine Illuminations are sparks of light which destroy ignorance. Although we identify ourselves with only the physical body out of unfamiliarity, in reality we are composed of many other bodies or sheaths as well. And eventually what are we? Thought or idea or in Sanskrit it is termed sankalp!. Sankalp is also resolution of mind but here it only means a thought. As our sankalp so our actions. As we go on creating new karmas, each new karma or action in turn creates a thin layer or sheath around us. If we do unmeritorious karmas or deeds, the layers that are formed in our aura or energy field, are dark, cloudy and heavy. On the contrary, when we begin to do more and more glorious, meritorious and worthy actions, the prevailing dark and thick layers begin to thin out and disintegrate slowly allowing the positive illuminating cosmic rays of Golden Light to penetrate inside our mind and give illumination and correspondingly better knowing and clarity to our choked and unlit mind.
Sri Raman Maharishi used to often say that our mind is like a well. Go on taking out bucket after bucket of water until nothing is left inside it. The buckets of water, he hinted at, were the worldly thoughts and ‘nothing left’ means silence, a state of thoughtlessness, quietude and peace. (Refer Awareness-the art of right living ) Over a considerable passage of time, with continuous practice of concentration and various suitable meditation techniques and methods and simultaneously performing good actions, a resultant very positive state of mind is arrived at by the yogi when only the effects of our good karmas are being carrying out and the effects of bad or negative karmas are wiped out. At this point, the soul is freed from the heavy, unbearable load of its own wrong doings and ignominy out of sheer ignorance, mental lethargy and lack of interest. Age old unconsciousness of presence of God within is wiped out and knowledge of God in us is slowly re-established.
This whole long procedure of change in our mind can be compared to this simple example. Suppose I hide a brilliant diamond under a pile of clothes on my bed. Obviously, the shine and brilliance of the diamond cannot be seen. But if one wants to retrieve the diamond and look at its glitter, one will have to make efforts to achieve that. And what is that effort? The effort is to start removing each cloth one by one until only the diamond remains lying still on the bed. We have drawn parallels here to understand that the diamond is our spirit and the layers of clothes are the layers of ignorance and darkness created by the individual himself.
When we deliberately put our mind on words of spiritual wisdom, it produces wondrous results. It begins to affect us and continuous repeated thoughts begin to make a dent on our thinking mind. Good thoughts compel us to do good actions and vice versa. Good actions save us from the misery of unimaginable pain, agony and sorrow. So let’s make sure that we distinguish between the two.
The mind is by nature frivolous and restless. It cannot stay still even for a few minutes. Our mind is like a sponge. (refer Learning a pleasure) It absorbs a multitude of thoughts floating in the atmosphere around us. Each mind in the universe is like a radiating or emitting machine. It sends out waves of good or bad thoughts which float and are suspended in the atmosphere for a long, long time. The suspended thoughts can either be harmonious or inharmonious. Many a times we accept, absorb and assimilate undesired thoughts of doubt, fear, greed, uneasiness, unholy deeds, ingenuity and so on. But a trained and seasoned mind can distinguish between his own thoughts and unwanted thoughts that have entered the mind from outside. With silencing of mind during meditation, the alien thoughts should be rejected and holy thoughts of peace, goodness, compassion, knowledge and wisdom should be procured and assimilated. During periods of isolation and meditation we must train our mind to join and connect with the illumined and God-realized souls and the wisdom which is theirs can be ours.
In Bhagwat Geeta, Bhagwan Sri Krishna explains to Arjun that
Shreyandravya mayadhygya gyan yagya paramtap I
Sarvam karmakhilam Partha gyane parismapyate II 33 chapter 4
Arjuna, sacrifice through Knowledge is superior to sacrifice performed with material things. For all actions without exception culminate in Knowledge, O son of Kunti.
Tadwidhi pranipaaten pariprashnen sevaya I
Updekshyanti te gyanam gyaninstatwadarshinaha II 34
Understand the true nature of that Knowledge by approaching illumined souls. If you prostrate at their feet, render them service, and question them with an open and guileless heart, those wise seers of truth will instruct you in that Knowledge.
Yagyagyatva na punarmohammevam yasayasi pandava I
Yena bhutanyasheshena drakshyasyatmanyatho mayi II 35
Arjuna, when you have reached enlightenment, ignorance will delude you no more. In the light of that Knowledge you will see the entire creation first within your own self, and then in Me.