A spiritual introspection

Agony stems out of ignorance. It has been the constant endeavour of man, whether in the right way or in the wrong way, to do away with agony and its root cause ignorance (Avidya). In his pursuit, the modern man has required varieties of knowledge thus equipping himself with a plethora of scientific skills and inventions. But alas! Happiness is a far cry. To the consternation of the entire mankind, our very existence is at stake and the atomic wars or star wars are dangling over our heads like Damoclean swords. One section is bent upon annihilating the other in a flash. The other section in turn is girding up its loins to retaliate. Man, not being the creator has absolutely no right to indulge in such destructive activities. He prepares his own grave by such ill-chosen pursuits and terrifying activities.

On the other hand, whatever happiness man earns and enjoys is only transitory. How long a mouse can seek comfort and enjoy the cool shade by sitting under a snake�s hood? A thing, which is a source of happiness now, turns into a source of agony in the next moment. Here the rising Sun is somewhere else the setting Sun. One man�s meat is another man�s poison. In spite of the material prosperity at our command, mental peace remains at a distant horizon. We frantically chase and chase after it ultimately to get frustrated or deluded. There may be outward bonanzas but there are internal strives and tensions. In a moment, fortune smiles on us, but a few steps after, misfortune dogs us. The above discussions only reveal that there is something else other than the material things or powers we possess, which can lead us to perfect bliss. Our ignorance only makes us feel that we are right in our approach. Our senses sometimes deceive us. The mind creates all confusions. We do not see things, as they should be. Our limited and circumscribed vision only misleads us. We judge things from our own standpoints. We do not know that we do not know. That is why we fall into ditches. This phenomenon is ignorance and we are almost like cocoon-bound insects in this vastness of the universe.

This urge for happiness and quest for peace have been hunting and hewning the human brains since time immemorial. The Vedas, the Upanishads, the six Darshans and the Bhagvad Gita, which incorporate the greatest findings of the rishis of the ancient age, continue to be adored as the sacred scriptures or God�s words since they are above any sectarianism, castes, creeds or colours. The principles involved in these scriptures are of universal application and are eternal. It is erroneous to believe that these scriptures are only for the branded Hindus. These are for the whole of humanity indeed.

The scriptures point out that there is an Almighty who is Formless, Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent. He is Sat, Chit and Ananda (Existence, consciousness and Bliss). He is the Supreme Power. From that all pervasive One, the entire universe consisting of the living and nonliving, tangible and intangible have branched out. In other words, whatever we see, we see Him and Him alone. The seeming diversities are because of incessant changes that are taking place resulting in different forms and qualities. When form is different, utility or the quality is also different. We see around us curious mixture of things in various permutations and combinations. The source is one. The cause is one. We see something and call it ice. In another state we call it vapour. If we still go deep, we discover hydrogen and oxygen, Hydrogen is combustible. Oxygen helps in combustion. Yet its product, water, which is altogether in a different form, possesses neither of the two qualities of oxygen and hydrogen. Thus we are deluded by diversities. We are also changing products in the process of change. Our environments also undergo changes every moment. Both the visible and invisible are nothing but some intelligent manipulation of matter and energy. A changeless Unity remaining unaffected at the background effects all changes by means of the Law of Eternity and therefore 'oneness' is the logical conclusion.

It is also the revelation of the modern science that at the nucleus stage all matters are one and the same. Matter is a form of energy. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. Total energy of the system is unity or constant. There is only transformation of energy from one form to another i.e. from energy to energy. Things are different because of the organization and pattern of electrons, which are in different number in different kinds of atoms. Hence the chemical qualities of different atoms also become different. The organization of the electrons again is dynamic constantly changing in definite rhythmical way. Thus an atom does not possess its distinctive quality at a given point of time but only in a tract of time, long enough for the rhythm of movements to establish itself. Spiritualism has gone many layers further in recognizing the Supreme Power who is much subtler than the electrons and who is the sole source and cause of this well spread out universe.

The question arises-Why the electron is moving at such a high speed?

Why there is such inertia of motion? What propelling force set the ball into motion with so much uniformity and consistency? What is the origin of sense/intellect/consciousness? Can the atoms or molecules arrange themselves only by chance into living organisms?

Earth is only a detached part of the Sun. Earth, originally, must have been a flaming hot surface. How did living organism come first?

There are millions of nerves and cells in our brains and bodies. To control such a complex situations, to infuse life, mind, consciousness or intellect in a systematic manner, in a uniform design, is there no marvelous organizing agency that is at work?

That existence called God was realized by the rishis in their super-conscious states and their findings have been handed down to us from generations. He is unthinkable and inexpressible, they say. Since He is one by himself, no example can be cited to describe him that He is like that or He is not like that. It is a matter of self-realization only. Yajnavalkya concluded by telling, "Neti, "Neti" which means, " not this, not this". A sage who has realised Him can say, "I am not body, I am not mind, I am not intellect, I am He". At that stage of realisation, diversities disappear and the jnani will feel identified with Him. That the seeming diversities owe its origin to one Supreme source who is all-pervasive Chaitanya ( I ) is Advaita Siddhanta which is found in the Vedas and Upanishads and which was revived in Jagadguru Sankaracharya�s philosophy.

Even if all objects and identical so far as its source or root cause is concerned, because of ignorance or egoism and the feeling that I am different (seeing the surface difference in names, forms and qualities) people are deluded. Jagadguru Sankaracharya emphatically retold this happening as Maya. Just as cloud stands as an obstacle before the seer for which he cannot see the Sun.

It is due to our ignorance and not due to Brahman�s weakness that we cannot see Him. A drunken man cannot know that he is so much drunk. A child thinks that he is right when he is eating the mud. A seed does not know that once it was a tree and in near future it will be a tree. Similarly a jiva cannot so easily know (because of his jiva form) that he was He and he is He. After attainment of I, he realises that he is He. Then only the superimposed ego is demolished. Truth is realised. Ignorance fizzles out, Identity with Him is established.

To conclude, this much can be said that material prosperity cannot ensure happiness to us. How long we will be groping in darkness standing in the opposite side of the light? It is high time that we should turn ourselves God -ward and seek His blessing. It is high time that we should awaken the latent divine qualities in us and let these blossom. We should peel off ego layer after layer until it becomes a non-entity. Let ignorance fade away Let agony bid good bye. Let the darkness be cleared and God� blessing percolate down to humanity.

Let noble thoughts come to us form every side. Let virtue vibrate and vices vanish.