Know your true self and you know joy
If you look at all the pleasures you get in life, they all come with a ‘tax’! This tax is sorrow. Every event, however pleasant, causes pain in the end. Greater the joy, greater the pain. Longing for an event or waiting for a pleasurable event is again pain. Memories of pleasure also bring pain. Before you want something, the feverishness of wanting is painful. When you have it, the fear of losing it is painful. When it is gone the memory of its joy is painful. So the whole thing is all-painful.
But a Viveki — an intelligent person, one whose wisdom has awakened — sees the whole thing as pain. So there is nothing that is not painful. Everything is painful. You say love is so beautiful, but love is also painful. How much close can you get? Bodies can get closer, but still it is not satisfied. Soul is not satisfied by the physical body coming closer. It wants something more, it wants to merge, vanish and disappear. This is what you call love.
There are two expressions in love — One is ‘I want to disappear into you’ or ‘I want to eat you and you disappear’. But lovers don’t know why they are saying it. They say, ‘Oh you are so sweet I want to eat you up’. Love takes you to cannibalism! If that was possible each one would do that literally. Reduce their girlfriend or boyfriend into a small toy and gulp it through. So there is no more worry about where they are going, whom they are looking at, etc!
Otherwise your mind is constantly engaged in finding where your friend is, what they are doing. Lovers become watchdogs after a while! Love also creates pain, tremendous amount of pain. Separation creates pain. A wish creates tremendous amount of pain/pressure in the mind. And then trying to please one, creates pain. To know if they are pleased or not, creates pain. You want to know how the other person’s mind is, how is that possible? You don’t know your own mind!
Knowing what is somebody else’s wish and sitting on it is painful. If you experience some feeling of love and joy and suddenly it is not there, it’s even more painful. To do spiritual practices needs effort, and that is painful. Not doing it, creates more pain. If you really look from the eyes of wisdom there is nothing in this creation that is devoid of pain. Pain is the tail of everything in this world; comes along with anything you take. You take anything you get a free coupon — pain.
When you realise that everything is pain, then what do you do? You have to do something to stop this pain. How? The root cause of pain needs to be eliminated. That pain which has not yet come in life, which has not sprouted, should be nipped off right at the beginning. How do we do that? Forgetfulness of oneself as separate from one’s environment is the main cause of pain.
There are three things — the self, the seer and the seeing. Lack of perception causes pain. If you say, ‘This is me’, then there is a problem. We keep our life somewhere else; we don’t keep our life in us. Life is not in one’s self, life is somewhere else. For some people, life is in the bank account. If the bank closes, there he goes with a heart failure. Whatever you give more importance to in life that becomes the cause of pain. So when you see the difference, that the seer or the life is separate from surrounding eliminates the pain.
Through meditation you can experience that you are not the body. That doesn’t mean that you have to run away from this world. This world is here for your enjoyment. But while enjoying it don’t forget yourself. You are separate from yourself. This is Viveka.
Every aspect in this world is an expression of consciousness. Each thing conveys a message to you, gives you an idea of how great the consciousness is. Everything is active. Everything has manifested out of consciousness. Everything in this world is dynamic; not static. Even the mountain is not static. Every atom is dynamic in nature. They all undergo certain stages of evolution. Everything is governed by this principle.
The entire creation is made up of five elements and ten sense organs — five organs of perception and five organs of action. This entire creation is there to give you pleasure and relief. Whatever gives you pleasure should also give you relief. Otherwise the very pleasure becomes pain. Let me give you an example: you like apple pie, but five of it at one time may be a little too much for you. The same thing which gave you pleasure will now make you suffer. It’s the same with music. The entire creation gives you pleasure and liberation. You have to get yourself liberated from all these at some point of time or else pleasure becomes pain.
The self, though it is ever pure, untainted, is just a witness. But when you feel it becomes one with the buddhi/intellect, then it appears as though it is coloured. Like, somebody who is stuck in the intellect just stick to their ideas as though it is their own and they suffer a lot. The self is the centre of this whole creation.
Though this world does not exist for one who is enlightened like the way it exists for the one who is not enlightened, the world continues to exist with its opposites. For one who has awakened in knowledge there is no more suffering for him. The world appears completely different. For him, every inch of this creation is filled with bliss or part of the self. But for others it exists as they see it.
Your body is made up of three gunas — satva, rajas, tamas — and your thoughts and behaviour patterns change accordingly. It attracts the events accordingly. Tamas creates more dullness, sleep, lethargy and Rajas creates restlessness, desires and anguish. When the mind is dominated by Sattva, it is joyful, alert and enthusiastic. When these three gunas act in your body according to their nature, all these different qualities dominate. Observe the tendencies that come up in you and don’t think that you are those tendencies.
There is a story. There was a great monk, who lived in the Himalayas. He had free access anywhere he went. People loved him and welcomed him. Everyday, this monk went to the king’s palace to have lunch. And the queen would serve him lunch in a golden plate and cup. He would eat and walk away. Once, after his meal, he just grabbed a silver glass and a golden spoon and walked away with it. He didn’t even tell anyone that he wanted them.
People in the palace were surprised. ‘‘What happened to the monk? He has never taken anything like that, what has happened today, that too without telling anybody?’’ they wondered. Three days later he brought the things back. This was even more puzzling.
The king called all the wise people to analyse the monk’s behaviour. The pundits and the wise men investigated to find out what was fed to the monk that day. They found out that it was some food which was confiscated from some robbers/dacoits, that was cooked and served to the monk and that had made him rob!
So, to eliminate the root cause of pain, a definite understanding is essential. Body, mind and the whole world are undergoing changes all the time. The entire universe is in the form of fluidity. The definite knowledge is, ‘I am not the body, I’m the self, I’m the space, I’m the imperishable, untouched, untainted by this world around me. Every particle in this body is changing and the mind is changing’.
This definite knowledge is the way out of this cycle.